Hello everyone it's me again and I have a new chapter for you all. I hope you all enjoy chapter 9.

I don't own gravitation.

Episode 6: Dead or Alive! The search for Ryuichi Sakuma debriefed!

It was finally the weekend and everyone was enthused by the thought of hanging out and goofing off without any worries or academic responsibilities. Unfortunately, Shuichi was not going to be one of the other teens. He was not only still grounded from before, but he also was preoccupied with another scheme brewing in his mind, finding Ryuichi Sakuma alive. He hadn't spoken to anyone about his latest plan yet and unbeknownst to him, Hiro was hatching the same scheme to cheer him up. As much as the teen detested being a vampire slayer, he did have a duty to keep others safe from harm from the creatures of the night, and Ryuichi may have been one of them. And if his suspicions were correct, it was possible that Yuki may have had something to do with the much older slayers disappearance. All he had to do was put two and two together.


Flashback

"You see my boy; I've been very concerned about your behavior as well as your apathy when it comes to your duties. I understand that you are young and would rather be with your friends than be part of a much greater cause but I'm afraid that you must take into account the threat that we are dealing with. Rumor has it that Yuki, the feared grim reaper of Vampire slayers has returned to Tokyo in search of both Ryuichi and the new slayer, that's you. Since his rumored return, none of us have seen or heard from Ryuichi. We all fear that worse has come to worst and if that is so, then you must carry out all of his duties. It will be up to you to kill the slayer killer himself; failure is not an option!"

Shuichi let out a low but audible sigh. Considering his history with lectures, Ushio was surprised that the boy hadn't fallen asleep halfway through the speech. Especially considering his desire to be a normal teenager was more than obvious to everyone. To Shuichi on the other hand, there was one thing in that lecture that got his undivided attention; the fact that Ryuichi was missing in action. This could be his chance! Perhaps if the new slayer could find the old alive, he wouldn't have to be tortured with a life of vampire killing. His master didn't know it, but there was yet another crazy idea brewing in Shuichi's mind. One so crazy that even he would second guess himself. But in his mind it had to be done!

"My boy, if we are going to retain peace in this world, you and Mr. Winchester must cooperate with one another to defeat not only ordinary vampires but the slayer killer himself as well. Do you understand?" Ushio reiterated.

End Flashback.


"Shindou look out!" A voice warned. The pink haired slayer was so dazed from his thoughts that he didn't see that there was a minibus heading his way! The next thing he knew he was whisked from the street back onto the sidewalk. Shuichi looked up to see that it was his classmate, Ken that pulled him out of his impending injury or death. He felt like his heart skipped a beat at the sight of his classmate.

"Didn't anyone tell you to cross on the green and not in between?" Ken asked.

"What? Oh, my bad, I guess I was just so focused on my…uh…studies, yeah I was just so focused on that I forgot to look both ways. Hahaha…" Shuichi replied nervously. Ken wasn't fooled by what Shuichi said. He knew that there might have been other things on his classmates mind than just schoolwork. He may not have known Shuichi as well as Hiro or Suguru did, but he knew Shuichi well enough to tell if something was wrong with him.

"Hey, Shindou are you okay?" Ken asked. "You seem kind of out of it."

"What?" Shuichi replied. It wasn't long before the other boy's concerns were confirmed. Shuichi really was out of it. But the teen couldn't reveal why he wasn't feeling himself. If there was one rule that he did follow strictly as a slayer was that no one from outside the temple (Other than Hiro and Suguru) should ever know about the existence of Vampire Slayers. This was not only to protect Shuichi but also the people closest to him from being put in danger of attacks from Yuki or any other enemies.

"Maybe you should go home and rest." Ken suggested. "I'll walk you."

The teen couldn't believe what he'd just heard! Was Ken really going to walk with him to his house? No one really knew it or at least didn't say much about it but since 9th grade, Shuichi had a small crush on Ken that grew over time when they became friends. He wanted to tell the other boy but was really shy around him; especially when they were alone. Ken was also too timid to admit it to his friends or anyone else but he liked Shuichi as well but knew that because of the slayer being apparently very attractive to the eye, others would want to date him as well. After a minute he finally snapped out of it and responded to his classmate.

"S-Sure I don't mind." Shuichi accepted. He took a few steps with his classmate to head back home to the temple and stay there the rest of the weekend since he was still grounded. But not before receiving a phone call from Hiro. In his mind, that was the worst possible time for Hiro or anyone to call him.

"Hiro, I hope that this is important!" The vampire slayer snapped at his best friend.

"Well, someone is in a sour mood for a Friday." Hiro teased. "Anyway Shuichi I found something that I think you'll find really interesting. I need you to get over to my house as soon as you can."

Shuichi mentally rolled his eyes at whatever Hiro had that was supposedly so interesting but in his gut he figured he might as well go to see what it was about however there was one thing Shuichi would have to get around; he was still grounded from the week before and he had a curfew to abide by. Perhaps he could go to his best friend's house without worrying about getting in trouble. Without a second thought Shuichi dialed home on his cell hoping that at least one of the monks would answer.

"Hello?" A voice answered. It was Master Ushio. Just as Shuichi wanted!

"Master, I'll be staying afterschool for a little while, is that okay?" The young slayer lied. One thing he wasn't used to doing in the eighteen years of his life was lying to anyone, especially his legal guardian. Sure he snuck out, stole his master's car and crashed it to go to a party but he didn't exactly lie about it. Part of him felt regretful for not being truthful but whatever Hiro wanted to show him that was of such interest couldn't be ignored.

"Just make sure you're home before supper!" Ushio demanded in an assertive tone. He was still angry with Shuichi for falling asleep during one of his lectures as usual. "You have to patrol tonight and will start your training tomorrow."

'Great, I'm on vampire extermination duty again tonight.' Shuichi thought. "Yes, master."

Click! He hung up his cell and placed it back in his pocket. Then he saw the look that Ken was giving him.

"You know, Shindou it's really not good to lie to people. You never know when a lie becomes the truth and no one believes you." Ken said. "So where are you really going?"

"To Hiro's, of course!" Shuichi answered with a huge grin. Then he thought about it. Maybe he could still spend time with his classmate while going to his friend's house. It was worth a shot.

"Ken, do you want to go with me to Hiro's?" Shuichi asked. He hid his face behind his bag to hide how red his face was turning. He still hadn't gotten the courage to tell Ken how he felt and wanted to wait until he thought the time was right; hopefully before Ken started to like someone else. Ken felt a little awkward about seeing Hiro after his last phone conversation with him didn't go so well. But he really didn't have much better things to do at the time. The brown haired boy nodded and they headed for Hiro's but not before Shuichi made a few stops on the way there to several stores picking up newspapers from there. To Ken, it seemed rather suspicious; especially since nearly all of the articles that his friend picked up had headlines involving the missing Ryuichi Sakuma.


Hiro's Apartment—30 minutes later

"Okay Hiro, what's this 'really interesting thing' that you wanted me to rush over here for?" The slayer asked. Hiro was going to explain it to him as if he didn't already know the deal but after peering at the newspapers with headlines about the missing former slayer, he had an idea that Shuichi already knew. But he decided to tell them anyway.

"Shuichi, I'm not sure if you found this out on the news, but Ryuichi Sakuma is missing and has been missing for nearly two weeks now with no one seeing or hearing from him. Sure there were countless sighting according to the police department but many of the leads they had were dead ends. Now I know what you two are thinking: why am I talking to you about this? Well that's because you know since you have a knack for finding what's missing Shuichi, maybe we could search for Ryuichi Sakuma ourselves. It's said that anyone who finds him gets a 100,000 yen reward."

"100,000 yen, are you serious?!"Both Shuichi and Ken asked simultaneously. Wow! They thought. Ryuichi bust have been a little more well-known than they initially thought. The price seemed right and in Shuichi's mind, so did the adventure. That is, if he could go through with it without getting caught again.

"That seems like a great Idea Hiro except we're both still grounded and I'm still Maa's slave until summer vacation starts." Shuichi whispered to his friend. "Besides, shouldn't we just leave this kind of stuff to the police?"

Hiro then began to explain more about the situation and the case of the missing slayer turned out to be much more of a mystery than Shuichi or any of the monks initially thought.

"The police haven't found even one trace of since last week. In fact even a few of the officers on this case went missing, too. Because of that we should be careful not to be part of that statistic." He continued.

"There's one more problem." Shuichi started to point out while still whispering. "Ushio has me on the graveyard protection agency tonight and I don't think I'll be able to get out of it."

"That's why we'll be starting our search right now!" Hiro exclaimed. "This afternoon we will begin our search for Ryuichi Sakuma!"

While Ken wasn't really paying attention to what exactly they were whispering about he could tell that it was possibly another hare-brained scheme that they had come up with that he would somehow get dragged into. This would be his first time being along for the ride of Shuichi and Hiro's misadventures. Oh, if he only knew what kind of crazy antics he was getting himself into with these boys.

And that's the chapter everyone I hope you all enjoyed. I'll see you all whenever. R&R please.