As Neuro and Yako headed back to the office after solving one of the usual mysteries, Neuro decided he was in a good mood due to his full stomach and graciously spared Yako of being dragged by her head on their way. Distracted by his own fantasies of the Ultimate Mystery and its deliciously intricate tastes, Neuro didn't realize that some of Yako's pesky school friends were headed their way until they were directly in his line of sight, and sadly, in Yako's as well. She waved eagerly at them, and one of her close friends—Kanae was her name if he remembered correctly—caught sight of her. With a pleasantly surprised, "Oh!" she led her group over to chat.
The handful of gossiping girls were annoying as ever, but for now he let it slide. He could always punish Yako later. Public decency and all that...though he really couldn't care less. They crowded to one side of the sidewalk near a busy intersection, huddled in a formation that was obstructing to pedestrians, but still allowed them to cross the street without stopping to complain about their loitering. Neuro stood respectfully behind Yako, his innocent "assistant" face plastered on, and absentmindedly listened to the girls' idle chatter.
Some shot him a few looks.
"Wow, Yako, so this is your assistant? He's pretty hot," a wink and a nudge made Yako laugh halfheartedly. She could hardly believe her friends saw him that way. He was Neuro. What they were implying was equally impossible, on several different levels.
"You guys sure hang around a lot. I hardly see you after school nowadays, Yako," Kanae raised an eyebrow, a knowing smirk tugging at the edge of her lips. A chorus of delighted gasps rose from the girls.
"Ooh, we didn't think you two were that familiar, Yako!" they giggled.
"No, no you guys...we really don't have that kind of—" she cut off, startled, as Neuro suddenly clamped his hands on her shoulders and gave a charming smile to her friends.
"Aw, sensei's just embarrassed! We really have quite a close relationship~!" Neuro smiled innocently. He jumped in at a point of the conversation where he could feign obliviousness. Yako stared at him in horror. Was he actually trying to make everything worse? She hadn't thought he would risk her public reputation like this, but who was she kidding?
"Neuro what are you—!"
"Sensei~, calling my name so casually like that, what would other people think?" Neuro cupped a hand to her cheek and pouted, leaning in until his face was just inches from hers. Inside he was laughing in maniacal glee. Yes, he felt like playing with her for a bit. Embarrassing Yako in front of her friends was just the most satisfying of punishments...especially since this was bound to spread rumors. He would force her to be boyfriend-less for the rest of her life.
Yako's face began to redden, whether from anger, frustration, or something else. As she grabbed Neuro's hand in an attempt to jerk it off her face, he took the chance to lace his fingers through hers instead, pulling their hands down between them. Yako's friends were practically cooing now.
"Really, Yako, you can't deny it," they purred, which only prompted Yako to try to draw her hand away in embarrassment. Neuro held on tightly though, refusing to let her pull away.
"You guys, it's seriously not like that! And Neuro, what are you talking about? Don't you let other people call you by your first name, too?" She gave him a pointed look, obviously feeling quite triumphant about the validity of her argument. Cheeky slug.
"But sensei," Neuro paused to give a convincing blush, "When you say it, I can't help but feel all tingly inside..." He took that line from one of those dramas that Yako seemed to like to watch when she was slacking off, and which he also sometimes observed Godai secretly watching when he thought nobody was around.
"Even though this must be a forbidden feeling..." Neuro snuggled up to her slightly, lightly resting a hand on her waist. He really relished the way Yako's friends were eating all of this up.
"…Since we are only partners in work after all."
He stared into Yako's eyes intently then, and she couldn't help but swallow at the intensity of his gaze. She knew his words emphasized an underlying meaning that only she understood. That last word Neuro had left her with before heading off to the Demon World still sent shivers down her back. Three years...Yako thought that Neuro had already forgotten that he acknowledged her as a "partner" after such long time...
Yako suddenly realized that she had missed her chance to reject him while she was distracted by his stare, which pretty much meant she accepted what he said. Shoot! This was looking worse and worse. Irritated, she tried to step out of Neuro's hold, but he ended up tightening his grasp instead.
Yako looked in desperation to her friends, who were tearful by now and sniffling in exaggerated sympathy, "Aw, poor you! Yako, you really shouldn't go around teasing him so much anymore! Besides, we support your relationship wholeheartedly, you guys are just too cute together!"
She gaped at them, appalled that they had completely turned against her now. Yako glared in disgust at Neuro and his manipulations and saw his thinly disguised smirk.
"I'm so glad to hear that!" Neuro chirped brightly. He moved his had from her waist to intertwine with her fingers once more, beaming.
After a few more good wishes and giggles from the girls, Kanae finally declared that they needed to get going and leave the happy new couple alone. Yako smiled stiffly as she saw her friends off, knowing that the next day she would have to deal with a horde of rumors. Neuro only offered a fiendish grin.
Dusk was settling in by the time they had almost reached the office, streetlamps flickering on and the chilly night air breezing in. It wasn't until they were practically in front of the agency did Yako finally realize that she was still holding hands with Neuro. She'd been too distracted by more exasperating thoughts.
Scowling, Yako finally mustered up the courage to ask him frankly about the thoughts that had been pestering her the whole walk back.
"Why did you have to do that in front of my friends, Neuro? You know there'll be rumors...not to mention the press..." she sighed wearily, a puff of air that sent her bangs flicking up, "Though I have to say, that was a pretty convincing performance."
Neuro's grip on her hand tightened, his usual look of superiority subtly shifting from his features. Leaning down slowly, his warm breath caressing her neck, he whispered in her ear, "Just what makes you think that all of it was an act...?"
My first MTNN fanfic, sorry if anyone was OOC! Also my first time writing anything fluffy at all, so I'm really sorry if it's awkward.
EDIT: Some changes made.
Reviews are appreciated!