The human world was impressive, Kuroko admitted. Thousands of artificial lights flickered within the darkness of Tokyo, bringing him the closest thing he would ever experience to sunlight. Much to his displeasure, Akashi had absolutely forbid him from going out in the day because of his weak constitution.
Kuroko consoled himself with the reminder that, at the very least, Maji Burger was still open late night. It was one of the first human establishments Aomine had introduced to him, and he had remained a steadfast fan of their vanilla shakes ever since.
Even now, his usual order was sitting in his hands as he watched over the bustling metropolis on one of its many skyscrapers, far enough so that the smells and sounds of the city wouldn't overwhelm him, but close enough so that his enhanced vision could see all the skittering humans making their way through the ever-thinning crowds on the street.
It was rare to see the stars in the pollution of the modern day, but Kuroko prefers this sight instead. The humans burned brightly with life, much like the distant stars that shine to their death, and a thousand stories unfold from below him, better than any storybook could provide.
There was something out of place, though. An unmistakable sense of death among the energetic life of the crowds. It only lingered on the outer edges of his senses, eventually teasing his curiosity enough to focus in on it. Then his eyes narrowed.
It was the smell of blood.
Coming to one of the districts under the Teikou Coven's jurisdiction had been a risk, but they had over-hunted in their old haunt, angering the locals there enough to make moving a necessity. Besides, according to rumors, the vampire overseeing this district was a relatively new member of Teikou's inner circle, perhaps someone they could even handle on a 3-on-1 before the coven as a whole acted.
The trio of hungry vampires took their chances.
And so far, it had paid off splendidly. Simple flirting had lured two drunk humans with them to an alley, the humans far too trusting due to Tokyo's recent peaceful history with the supernatural. The humans looked at the alley in confusion, eyes dilated and wild from the alcohol, and it was only when one of the vampires approached, smirk on his face with fangs flashing, that the humans realized that something was wrong.
It was too late.
A large hand muffled their protests while three pairs of sharp incisors bit in without restraint, savoring their first taste of blood in days. Unfortunately, their enjoyment was short lived.
"Oi! That's enough," a voice called out before yanking the vampires away from the pale-faced humans with supernatural strength. "There's no reason to take that much blood. You're going to kill them!"
The vampires took a moment to regroup from the surprise attack, half expecting to face off with the Teikou vampire already. But a closer look revealed that their attacker was very much human, a foreigner with wild red hair, brandishing a silver sword in hand that no vampire could wield.
Hunters were very rare – humans gifted with superhuman strength much like their own. They had the delusion of being able to control the supernatural populace, but none of the immortality to become a real lingering threat. Even the most powerful hunter inevitably died to the forces of time.
Still, this hunter in front of them was very real and in his prime. Yet the vampires held no fear.
"We're hungry, that's reason enough," one sneered, distracting the hunter enough so that one of his companions could leap in a surprise attack. It was quickly repelled by a reflexive swing of the sword that cut open a gash in the attacking vampire's arm. In one swift motion, Kagami flicked his sword to clean it of the blood before taking a proper stance, sword held at ready.
"Heeeh, then I suppose I don't have to hold back. You three, you're rogues, aren't you?"
This only provoked further aggression from the vampires, all three attacking at once with fairly straightforward attacks that Kagami had no trouble dodging. They were predictable, still weak and incapable of thinking at full coherency from their recent lack of meals.
"Is that all you have?" The hunter taunted, dodging another strike and swinging his sword warningly at any limbs or fangs that got too close for comfort. Eventually, one of his attack caused a vampire to lose balance, falling over briefly and creating the perfect window of opportunity for a finishing attack. Just as he was about to strike down, he was surprised to feel a piercing pain from behind.
Turning around, he caught sight of a fanged grin – a fourth member.
"Che," Kagami said in annoyance, yanking himself away as fast as he could.
"Not so tough now, hunter, are you?"
"Well…" a new voice mused out loud, soft but still audible to an audience with enhanced hearing, "it is four-on-one. That's not very fair, is it?"
A new figure jumped down to the scene in front of Kagami, hood unraveling from the fall to reveal light blue hair that far out-matched Kagami's in terms of curiosity.
"Eh? A little brat?" The newly arrived vampire laughed in good humor, licking his fingers that were covered in Kagami's blood. "It looks like the food is lining up for us tonight! Are you going to fight us too?"
"No," the boy replied, instead walking up to Kagami to help support his wavering body, "in terms of combat ability…I have none."
Kuroko takes advantage of everyone's confusion over his declaration to slip behind Kagami, whispering, "so, I'll be relying on you Kagami-kun."
By that point, the stranger was gone, nowhere in sight even when he turned around to look. But he still felt the stranger, like a calm presence shrouding his body, taking away the pain of his injuries and leaving only the feeling of power.
He didn't have long to question the curious sensation. The gang of vampires were on the attack again, finally snapping out of their stupor to settle on their default plan of straightforward attacking. To Kagami's surprise, their aim seemed to be worse than ever, missing him by feet rather than inches. It was like their attacks had totally been misdirected towards a completely different, non-existant enemy.
"Please focus Kagami-kun, don't get arrogant."
It was that voice again, whispering in his head. None of the vampires appeared to hear it, but it was hard to tell by their constantly snarled faces. The only thought they had now was to attack him, bloodlust evident in their eyes. It must have been the open wounds, leaving enough blood in the air to drive the starving vampires even more wild than ever.
"Wait, how do you know my name-"
The next attack came too close for comfort, snapping his attention back to the battle. He blocked the subsequent blow with his sword, and knocked another vampire back with a quick follow-up. His body moved as smoothly as ever, unhindered by pain or injury as he sliced through his first vampire. The creature screeched, fingering the wound with horror until the body promptly crumbled into ashes.
That's when fear started to shine in the eyes of the remaining three, and their instinct to flee kicked in. But there would be no escape for them. Kagami's body closed the distance between him and the vampires with a speed he knew he could never achieve on his own and his sword started to glow.
He was far past the point of questioning these occurrences.
"Heh, interesting!" Kagami grinned, slashing the sword horizontally at the vampires. An energy shockwave resonated from the blade, slicing further through all three of them. It didn't take long for the three remaining vampires to join their companion as ashes.
He only had a brief moment to enjoy the satisfaction of a good hunt. The pain from his wound rapidly set in again, bringing him to his knees from the sudden shock of sensations. Kagami reflexively put a hand to his wound, noticing that it was still bleeding despite the earlier relief.
"I'm sorry," the voice said again, and this time he could actually see the blue haired boy the words belonged to leaning down next to him, "it seems I cannot link to a hunter as well as I had hoped. You've lost a lot of blood."
"…link?" Kagami muttered, focusing on his breathing more than anything. His vision was already blurring from the sheer amount of blood loss.
"Kagami-kun, at this rate, you are going to die here."
"Well, aren't you positive," scoffed Kagami who tried to stand up despite his wound. Cold hands gripped his shoulders, holding him down with ease. If he could see straight, he would have noticed the disapproving glare from the boy.
"I will help you, but in exchange, please leave Tokyo for a while. Akashi-kun will be very displeased when he hears of this."
At this point, Kagami could barely even tell what the boy was saying. What he did notice was the boy reaching for his sword, using it to create a gash on his own wrist. This alarmed him enough back into coherency – "Hey! What do you think you're doing?"
"Helping you," replied the deadpan voice. Then, the bloody wrist was promptly shoved into his mouth, blood rushing in as the wound was pressed against his lips. He tried to resist at first, closing off the torrent of blood with his tongue. He knew better than to drink the blood of a stranger, whom he now also deeply suspected was a vampire.
And he definitely did not want to become a vampire. That would not pass well with his hunting companions.
There was a scoff by his side, almost as if the boy could read his thoughts. He probably could, Kagami realized.
"Kagami-kun, this meager amount won't be enough to turn you. You're wasting blood."
A bit reluctantly, he took in some of the blood, forcing a swallow with distaste. With Kuroko's encouragement, he braved a second mouthful. By then, the effects had, surprisingly, already kicked in. It started as an itch on his skin, one he did not dare try to scratch. The skin slowly knitted itself back together, skin cells growing, pulling, and recombining together until the gaping hole on his side left perfectly smooth skin. It was an odd experience, matched only by the even stranger battle earlier.
"Better?" Kuroko asked, removing his wrist and casually licking the blood from it as if it were the most normal thing in the world. His eyes, formerly a bright blue, had morphed into a dark shade of red with slitted pupils.
"You…You just helped kill four of your own kind?" Kagami asked with a puzzled expression. Not to mention, the vampire had also saved him. He ran a hand over the location of his former injury, still awed that the skin was unmarred like nothing had ever happened.
"There would have been worse consequences for them if they lived," replied Kuroko. He glanced over at the ashes with an eerily blank face. "The coven rules here are…particularly harsh."
"Then…will you be in trouble for helping me?"
"No," the small vampire immediately reassured with confidence , which only puzzled Kagami further. "But you will, if you do not leave soon, Kagami-kun. Please take those two humans with you too."
"Ah, right," Kagami gathered himself, brushing off the slightest bits of dust and ashes from his clothing and sheathing his sword before slinging one of the two women over his back and the other around his shoulder. His mind was on autopilot now. It was so confused about how to process this new situation that the routine procedures for cleaning up after a hunt set in before anything else crossed his mind. He was almost out of the alley before he remembered he still had one burning question he needed to ask.
"Hey, you know, I think you still owe me a name. It's not fair that you know mine without giving me yours."
A small amused smile crept on the vampire's face. Both knew that he owed the hunter nothing - it was the opposite way around if anything - but nonetheless, Kuroko indulgently gave way to the human that had fought as his partner tonight. "Very well. You may call me Kuroko."
"Right," Kagami returned the smile with a grin. "Thanks for your help Kuroko. I'll be going then."
The vampire didn't reply. It was only when Kagami was a fair distance away that Kuroko let himself lean back on an alley wall, grunting at the fatigue that had crept upon him. That battle had taken more energy than he had expected. And he had given his blood to a hunter, even if it was only a small amount. Akashi wouldn't be pleased if he found out about this. When he found out about this.
Nothing escaped Akashi's attention.
Kise traced the smell of drying blood to an alley in the red light district, a popular place for rogues to roam. He had expected a typical, if not troublesome, case of rogue vampires to take care of, but was surprised to instead find one of his own coven members asleep against a wall, surrounded by ashes of what he assumed to be former vampires.
And it was not just any coven vampire.
"Kurokocchi!" Kise exclaimed, rushing to hug the small vampire with equal amounts of enthusiasm and worry. "Kurokocchi, what are you doing here? Are you hurt? Who did this to you?"
The smaller vampire's half-lidded eyes blinked several times, replacing a look of drowsiness with one of annoyance, but he took Kise's hug attack in stride, counting to ten mentally before swiftly shoving Kise off of him. "I'm fine, Kise-kun. I found some rogue vampires loitering around and simply took care of them."
Kise gave Kuroko a skeptical look. Not only did he know that Kuroko was utterly incapable of fighting by himself, but also - "Mouu," he pouted, "why didn't you call me then, Kurokocchi? I would have helped! It's my job!"
"It would have been too late," Kuroko replied, and pulled his hood back up before Kise could latch on again. The sun was about to come up, and he would have to return to the coven headquarters soon. However, even taking one step proved to be too much, his body swaying traitorously until he grasped on to the wall again. He had lost a bit more energy than expected.
Kise was by his side in an instant, worry more evident than ever in his expression. "Kurokocchi, you're paler than usual! You look like a sheet. Did you...Did you lose blood?"
The lack of response was answer enough.
Kise grabbed Kuroko's shoulder, fixing him with a serious stare. "Then, please take some of mine," he insisted, squatting down so that he was at Kuroko's height. Kise's arms moved to wrap around Kuroko, pulling him into an embrace that positioned Kuroko's head exactly at Kise's exposed neck.
In the vampire world, exposing one's neck was the ultimate sign of trust, and here Kise was, offering it so easily. It was flattering, if not foolish, but who was he to talk? Kuroko wrapped his arms around Kise's neck, patting his hair from behind.
"Don't be silly Kise-kun, I can't do that. You still have a job to do, don't you, district manager?"
Kise frowned, loosening his grip on Kuroko. "But-"
Kuroko gently extracted himself from the hold, but lingered close enough to affectionately press his forehead against Kise's. "So please, try to do your job with more enthusiasm."
A sigh. Kise couldn't argue with that. He could never argue with Kuroko well. It was almost as hard as arguing with Akashi - those resolute blue eyes didn't give way to even an inch of hesitation. "At least let me take you back?"
Kuroko agreed to that, helping Kise back up. "But you know," Kise began again as the two headed into the streets, drawing curious glances from everyone around them. Kise's bright yellow hair and good looks drew as much attention as Kuroko's casual dressing usually tried to draw away. They were, admittedly, a bizarre sight: a tall model-like figure, dressed neatly in a button down shirt, holding hands with a kid in ragged hoodie looking as if he had come from the poorest of slums, but neither of the vampires paid the attention any mind. "You've been going out a lot lately, Kurokocchi."
"Hmm," Kuroko replied noncommittally. And then, after some thought, he added, "I like it though. This human world."
Kise chuckled at the response, and Kuroko could sense a mix of amusement and bitterness in his friend. "Ah, sometimes Kurokocchi, you sound so young, even though you're older than me. I don't get what you see in it. After a while, this human world...it can get so...boring."
A sharp jab on his side startled Kise, causing a slight flinch and transformed his serious expression into a more familiar pouting mask once again. "Maybe Kise-kun is just too young to understand," Kuroko challenged. "This world is filled with interesting things."
"Eh, really?" Kise recomposed himself and rested his arm on Kuroko's shoulder in a friendly manner, "Well, make sure to show me someday then, Kurokocchi!"
A/N: So I finally gave into the ultimate writer's temptation of writing a vampire AU ahaha. I fell in love fast and hard with this fandom and I was disappointed there weren't more long fic, so this will hopefully be my contribution if my attention span lasts.
As for pairings in this fic, it's going to be a hint of everyone x Kuroko but probably primarily Aomine, Kise, and Akashi with Kuroko because those are my three favorites. My focus for this fic is less on the romance and more on relationships/friendships and plot though, so if you don't like any of the pairings, it really won't play as much of a gigantic role in the fic if that's any consolation.
Also, if anyone is interested in beta-ing, let me know. I don't have as much time to weed out my own spelling/grammar/plot holes due to school, so I apologize for the small faults. Please let me know if you spot any problems anywhere and I'll be glad to fix it! :)