Disclaimer: I don't own the KuroBasu franchise or its characters, I just like writing gay fiction about them plzkthx
It was 7:20 AM when he arrived at the footsteps of Seirin Agency's doors in fresh new clothes with a suitcase trailing behind him. After the latest incident, he had just enough time to change clothes at his temporary hotel residence before making his way through Tokyo to find the agency that had offered to provide him housing for his stay in Japan. The hunting agency was located in Tokyo so Kagami felt a little bad about not completely heeding Kuroko's words, but there would be no better place to lie low from vampires than at one of the many hidden agencies.
However, he was honestly surprised that the agency had managed to remain intact for so long when they had headquarters at the most obvious location possible: a church.
Admittedly, it wasn't nearly as gaudy as some of the churches in America, but religious groups had been one of the first to actively hunt the supernatural and had thus received back equal hostility and suspicion. It would be the first place any supernatural being would destroy in search of hunters.
Perhaps the supernatural also have cultural differences among countries, as odd as that sounded. To be honest, Kagami hardly cared. He was willing to take on any supernatural being that would attack at this point to make up after his earlier screw-up last night, promise be damned.
"Oiii! Is this Seirin?" He yelled at the door, kicking it once with his feet for good measure. "Anyone ho-"
"Idiot! Are you trying to give us away?"
The door swung open, revealing a glaring brunette dressed in what he recognized as a typical Japanese school uniform. Hardly the image of a hunter, but then again, appearances were deceiving in anything involving the supernatural.
"Then come in already!"
The girl had more strength than she let on. Kagami found himself being dragged by the front of his shirt into the church, the door slamming behind him.
"You're lucky Alex gave us a call about you before hand," said the girl as she lead him through another room and down what he figured was a hidden corridor. "You have quite a scary aura, one of our newbies may have mistaken you for an enemy."
Kagami snorted, "They wouldn't be able to hurt me."
The girl immediately smacked him on the head and said, disapprovingly, "Didn't anyone teach you? Arrogance is the first step to defeat."
"Tch." he rubbed the injury lightly. "Are all Japanese women this violent?"
"Riko's been born and raised by one of Japan's top hunters, so she can be a bit harsh, but she means well. You should take her advice," said a new voice, a towering burnette that appeared from the shadows of the new room to pat Kagami on the head with a friendly grin. "Kagami Taiga, is it? We've been waiting for you, welcome, welcome! Kiyoshi Teppei, it's great to finally meet you! And that's our fearless leader sulking there in the corner, Hyuuga Junpei."
"I am not sulking." Hyuuga huffs, re-adjusting his glasses. The man was dressed in clothes typical of clergy men, indicating that he was also probably the pastor for this church. Kagami, still trying to duck away from Kiyoshi's affectionate gesture, was unimpressed.
"You guys are pretty free with giving out your names here," the redhead noted with a hint of reproach. Names held a lot of power in their world, power that shouldn't be given out so lightly.
"It's a sign of trust," Riko is the one to explain this time. "In Seirin, we trust each other absolutely. We work in teams, and in teams, trust is necessary. If we do not trust each other with names, how can we trust each other with our backs?"
"So let's get along, Kagami-kun~"
Kagami avoided Kiyoshi's hand once again. Japanese were sure weird, he thought to himself, but there's an air about them that put him at ease and he released a small sigh along with some of his hesitations about the group. They had been kind enough to offer him shelter for his stay in Japan, and he was not rude enough to spit on their hospitality.
"Yeah, sure," he muttered politely, his slight embarrassment hidden with a small bow. Thank you for taking me."
"Welcome back, Tetsuya."
Akashi sat at an ornate seat in the center of the throne room, legs crossed comfortably and chin rested upon his interlaced hands. Though Akashi's tone was pleasant, with a deceptive smile of amusement on his lips, Kuroko could tell from those narrowed heterochromatic eyes that the coven leader was displeased.
Next to Akashi was a girl, neck red with freshly drawn blood. It wasn't hard to guess that she was Akashi's latest meal. His eyes trailed down the trail of blood dripping from her neck and noticed the elaborate bracelet on her wrist.
Feedstock, he noted with pity as the girl eyed him back curiously.
"I'm back," Kuroko replied, giving a small bow while averting his eyes from the human.
The other vampire took note of the action with a frown. "Come here, Tetsuya," he commanded, holding out a beckoning hand. Kuroko gravitated towards it automatically without thinking.
The cool hand stroked Kuroko's cheek once, then went to his chin to tilt it up, forcing the smaller vampire to make eye contact. Akashi smiled once more, a look of pure possessiveness, like a cat who had its prey at hand. Kuroko would have shivered if he were any less self-controlled.
"You've been getting quite adventurous lately," Akashi commented. "Perhaps I shouldn't have been so lenient..."
His hand slid down Kuroko's neck and settled on a slim arm, delicately holding it up to observe it closely. Though the earlier injury Kuroko inflicted upon himself was long gone, Akashi was looking at it so intently that it was as if the other vampire could see the wound.
Akashi thumbed over the exact area, pressing down on it. Kuroko winced, and immediately regretted it when the redhead looked at him knowingly.
"Did you think I wouldn't find out, Tetsuya?"
"No," Kuroko replied, staring straight back at Akashi's challenging gaze, "but even so, I can not stand aside and watch innocent people get killed."
"A hunter is hardly an innocent person," Akashi said coldly.
"He had good intentions."
"His intention was to kill."
"His intention was to protect," Kuroko firmly disagreed. "He would not have attacked if the rogues had not almost drained those humans."
Akashi sighed. "You are far too trusting of hunters, Tetsuya. For you to go to the extent of giving your blood to a hunter..." The other vampire gave one last disapproving glance at the pale wrist before releasing it.
Kuroko self-consciously rubbed the area. "Only enough to heal him."
"Nonetheless, you've broken one of our rules, and you know that I can't let that slide, even for you."
"Don't be so tense, Tetsuya," Akashi said as he stood from his throne, putting a hand on Kuroko's shoulder. "Your punishment will come later. We have a march coming next full moon and we cannot show any signs of weakness, but you will be staying within the coven until then."
Kuroko's eyes widened slightly at the mention of a march. They had not had one in a while. No one dared to challenge their coven for territory after the rumors of their strength had grown over the years, but he supposed it was inevitable. Even among the supernatural, whose lives far outlasted humans, lessons did not last. More blood would be spilled for the sake of power. An endless struggle that they could not stop, only minimize.
The smaller vampire nodded numbly, face kept cautiously blank and emotions under wraps from Akashi. It was pointless to go against the coven leader any further about this.
With his other hand, Akashi gestured to the human to come closer. She obliged, confused at first, but realization quickly dawned on her. There was only one use for a human like her within a vampire coven, so she did what she had always done - she bared her neck.
A frown escaped Kuroko's mask of indifference. Akashi knew he hated feeding on the humans kept captive in their coven - ("They aren't captives, they come willingly and stay willingly," Akashi had said flippantly, "and we treat them well, much better than the human world would have left them.") - and despised the reverent look of blind worship the human gave him as she waited for him to feed.
They did stay willingly, if only for the fact that they did not know of anything better. They were street rats, orphans, people from the dredges of society that Akashi had picked up. To them, a life in the coven where they had three meals a day and a sheltered bed was heaven enough. They had lost hope of anything better, and Kuroko found that extremely saddening. To feed on them would only be perpetuating their delusion that their sole purpose in life was to be a meal for vampires.
He turned away from the bleeding neck. "I'm not hungry."
"Do not lie to me, Tetsuya," Akashi said with a threat in his voice. The other vampire rested his free hand on the girl's neck, sharpened nails ripping open a deeper wound. A small gasp escaped her lips, but she did not dare to complain. "Let's not waste blood, hmm?"
The smell of blood was thick in the air now, tempting the edges of his self control, but it was not nearly enough to phase him deeply. He had survived weeks without blood before, much to everyone's concern. However, this was different. He knew Akashi could, and would, leave the girl to bleed out.
The current Akashi had become quite cruel when it came to achieving his goals, the ends justifying the means.
Hesitantly, Kuroko leaned towards the neck, taking a tentative lick at the warm blood. The girl tilted her head encouragingly. He could sense that she was as eager to end the feeding as much as he was. Sighing, he continued to cover the wound with his mouth, taking in the blood and pressing his tongue soothingly against the ripped skin.
His eyes began to gain a glazed red tint to them as the warm viscous liquid made its way down his throat. There was always a rush of energy, power, that came from feeding - the spiritual properties of blood resonated with vampires more than any other supernatural creature, energizing them like nothing else could. It was no wonder some vampires got carried away on that high rush, accidentally bleeding out their victims.
But Kuroko had much more control than an average vampire, despite this being his first meal in weeks. While his saliva was not nearly as potent as his blood, it too had healing properties that managed to clot the girl's wound. When he felt the blood flow slow, he avoided angering the wound with his tongue and settled for licking off the excess blood around it. His hand held the trembling human steady while he used his powers to project calming emotions into her - relax, you are safe, it's over.
Akashi ended the ordeal, adding the last suggestion of sleep. She was too weak to resist, collapsing instantly in Kuroko's arms.
"Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?" Akashi asked, ruffling Kuroko's hair affectionately. Then he paused, a smirk blossoming on his face as he leaned down to lick some stray blood on Kuroko's cheek. The tongue moved to his lips, parting them easily as the kiss deepened. Kuroko was trapped between the grip of Akashi's hands on his shoulder and the weight of the girl in his arms, unable to move from the aggressive kiss.
This, too, was another power play. These days, almost everything with Akashi was one, Kuroko thought sadly.
But underneath it all, he sensed a feeling of desperation. Perhaps, it was the way Akashi tightly gripped his shoulders, like a drowning man trying to keep afloat. Or perhaps, it was how, despite the initial force in which he pressed against Kuroko, Akashi's tongue was still gentle, stroking against Kuroko's slowly and languidly. Regardless, he knew what he sensed was real. After all, he has known Akashi the longest out of any vampire in the coven.
Kuroko closed his eyes, resigning himself to the kiss. Even now, he could not bring himself to resent Akashi. Because Akashi was precious to him too.
"Remember, Tetsuya," Akashi whispered as he relented, "Everything I do is for your sake as well."
When Kuroko opened his eyes again, he was alone again.
There were two types of hunter agencies: ones that were strictly dedicated to taking hunting requests, and ones that, in addition to keeping the supernatural in line, integrated themselves within the community they protected. Few opted for the latter, because personal ties with regular humans only gave the supernatural another weakness to exploit, but Seirin never seemed to stop surprising him.
The first type of structure was known for touch-and-go contact, recruiting a large number of hunters and allowing them a great deal of independence over their own activities, but providing no support besides scouting targets to hunt and taking a share of the profits in exchange for the information. This was, by far, the most popular structure in the states where its large landmass made it difficult for smaller organizations to cover everything.
The other type was supposedly a more close-knit structure, their small sizes affording them the ability to have regular meetings without much notice. And really, that's all Kagami knew about them, having no contact with such organizations before. To protect themselves, they tended to also be tight-lipped about their workings.
Seirin met during the mornings - that was the first thing he learned when Riko rapped on the door to his guest room at precisely 6 AM, and when he didn't answer, she had come in anyways and yanked him off the makeshift futon mattress. The subsequent threat of cold water got him dressed and to the meeting room in record time.
"Do we have these every day?" Kagami asked irritably, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"No," Riko said cheerfully. Kagami highly suspected that she was one of those dreaded morning persons. "Only Saturdays, some of our members still attend school and we run service on Sundays."
Kagami had dropped out of school as soon as possible to devote his time to hunting, but things were different here, he continued to remind himself. He took a moment to truly look at the other members he did not meet earlier that morning. A couple were definitely young, but he had started even younger. They looked absolutely inexperienced though, not giving off much of a presence at all. They could be hiding it, but Kagami doubted it from the open faces of curiosity and awe they showed while not too subtly eying Kagami.
Besides Hyuuga, whose power (largely magical) simmered around him, and Kiyoshi, whom he suspected was as physically powerful as himself if his abnormally large body size was anything to go by, there was one other in the room that caught his attention. A black haired boy talking to Hyuuga with a serious expression. He was one of the older members, Kagami suspected.
"Okay, okay everyone, let's get this meeting started!" Kiyoshi said with a smile - another morning person, Kagami lamented - and clapped his hands to get everyone's attention.
Hyuuga punched him lightly on the shoulder. "That's my line, idiot."
The pastor cleared his throat, taking his position at the podium like he would at a sermon while Riko and Hyuuga stayed behind him supportively. Hyuuga squared his shoulders and straightened his back, trying to match Kiyoshi's imposing posture as much as he could but failing miserably. Nonetheless, Kagami observed everyone in the room smiling at the scene. Hyuuga commanded their respect in his own way.
"As you all have noticed by now," Hyuuga began, "we have a new member among us. Kagami-kun is a transfer from America, but he was born in Japan and has come to spend a year here to better understand our ways. Please treat him with respect."
Kagami received the chorus of greetings with only mild embarrassment. "Thank you for having me," he repeated again.
After the chattering had quitted, Hyuuga continued. "While Kagami-kun will definitely be a help in our hunts, we must not let down our guard. Riko, I trust you will work him into a training schedule with the other members?"
"I'm already on it," Riko assured with a glint in her eye that unsettled Kagami. The looks of pity he received did nothing to improve his impression of this future "training."
"Good. Then we will move to other matters. The most important of which..." Hyuuga's face grew more solemn. "Izuki has picked up rumors of a march coming next full moon."
"A...march?" Kagami was the first to ask, confusion evident on his face. The image of an army of monsters marching in uniform came to mind, which only came a tad bit short of ridiculous.
"Yes, it is a tradition of the local vampire coven here. It's directed as a challenge of sorts, with the time and location spread beforehand. This is the only time that all of the coven's top members gather outside of their headquarters, with no support whatsoever from their auxiliary members, and march through the borders of their territory. It's practically an invitation to attack them."
"So...we're going to attack them?" One of the newer members asked, eyes wide with fear.
"No, we have no reason to challenge the local coven," Riko sharply intruded. "One of the many reasons we still exist is that they do not consider us a threat on their territory. For the most part, they refrain from killing humans and we leave them alone."
Kagami remembers Kuroko, his small voice whispering ominously about the laws of the coven being quite strict. Nonetheless, he still feels uneasy about a whole local coven of vampires going unchecked. "Are they strong?"
Riko frowned, staring hard at Kagami with concern, as if she could sense Kagami's hidden desire to challenge them. "They've destroyed anyone who has ever tried to challenge one of their marches."
Even Kiyoshi, who usually was the most carefree of the lot, had a serious expression. "I've only seen one march in my lifetime," he admitted, "but...they were monsters. You would have to have been there to truly understand. Thousands of creatures, not only vampires, came to stop the march, trying to claim the fame of defeating the legendary coven, but by dawn, it didn't even look like they had a scratch on them."
"So," Hyuuga concluded, "we will not be interrupting the march. But we must minimize all human casualties, and if possible, do reconnaissance. That is what we will focus on for the next few days in everyone's training drills."
Hyuuga stepped down to allow Riko to take over, but Kagami had begun to zone out as she chattered on about a frightening list of exercises. His thoughts were elsewhere.
(I will help you, but in exchange, please leave Tokyo for a while.)
Did Kuroko know about this march? Exactly how strong was this mysterious coven? He itched to measure himself against them, to have a fight that would push him to his limits. Kagami was one of the hunters that genuinely enjoyed his job, the thrill of the fight, a dance between life and death, appealing to him like nothing else in life had. But as much as avoiding a fight screamed against his instincts, he did make a promise. Now to both Kuroko and Seirin.
He sighed. What a disappointment.
A/N: Thank you all for your support! I was blown away by the interest this received, glad to know others also still like vampire stories haha. Now I can feel a little bit better indulging one of my take on one of my favorite cliches
Sorry my pacing can be a little slow, the rest of MiraGen will be introduced very soon! Also fyi I don't know much about churches/christianity besides lots of google and wikipedia reading please forgive me if I somehow accidentally offend you with some inaccuracy or another! D: