Chapter 1: Dream Come True
“Good morning, Katsuki!” Koge chirped happily to her lover as she approached him, her voice barely audible over the clacking of horse hooves on the stone street near by. Crimson eyes tore away from a book to gaze upon her, though their curiosity was quickly narrowed into annoyance. “Tch, you’re late, Utsuro.” Snapping the thin book closed, Bakugou tucked it away into his deep red vest, the golden buttons that adorned it shimmering against the sunlight with his movement. “An hour late, in fact.”
A small pout crossed Koge’s lips as she reached him, reaching up to push some of her white hair back behind her ear. “I’m sorry love, I didn’t have a very good morning. We’re still on time for breakfast with your parents, though, aren’t we?” She took his arm as he offered it to her, the high quality fabric of his black blazer soft beneath her touch. Bakugou nodded as he started leading them down the street, his mere presence enough to split the lower citizens away from their path. It had always amazed Koge how wealth and status could affect a person’s life, both for better or for worse. She did have to admit that never having to trip or bump into anyone when walking beside her lover was wonderful, as she was practically invisible to everyone else.
“Unfortunately, we are still in time for that fucking disaster. I almost wish you would have been later so we could avoid it.” Bakugou looked down at her, just his gaze enough to bring heat into her cheeks. “Why did you have a bad morning, Utsuro? You seem happy enough.” Koge gave a soft hum, reaching across her chest to caress his upper arm with her free hand. “Well, it was nothing, I guess. You’re just going to think I’m silly.”
“Then my opinion of you wouldn’t change.”
Koge narrowed her eyes at him, though his snarky smirk only made her heart race. “You’re the one that’s silly. No, it’s a serious thing I had a dream about, but you’ll just call me stupid.”
“A dream made you an hour late? Utsuro, are you fucking serious?” Bakugou glowered down at his lover, who only pouted further. “Shut up, Katsuki! See, that’s why I didn’t want to tell you! C’mon, it really upset me, okay?”
“How?” Bakugou urged her to walk around a puddle, to which she silently complied. With a small sigh, Koge lied her head against his shoulder, tightening her grip on his arm a bit. “I just… Well, I had a nightmare that you just… vanished. I came out to meet you one morning and you weren’t here. I couldn’t find you, and everyone around me didn’t recognize your name. It was like you never existed…”
“Vanish? Where the fuck would I go, Utsuro?” Bakugou came to a stop, awaiting the arrival of their carriage to take them up to his parents home. When she didn’t respond, he turned to face her, placing both hands firmly on her upper arms. Still, Koge did not look up at him, obviously fighting back the urge to cry. “I don’t know, Katsuki. It was just so horrible, you know… To wake up like that and you’re just gone.”
“Well, I’m not.” Bakugou cupped her cheeks, squishing them together gently as he tilted her head up to look at him. “I’m right here and every day I’ll be in that same damn spot waiting for you. Right next to that ugly ass broken statue. So get it out of your head.” Koge gave a small sniff as she looked up at him, gently placing both of her hands over his. “You mean it?”
“Anything that’s keeping me from you is against my will. And I’d fucking fight it, you know I would.” He placed a rough kiss on her forehead before taking her lips, something he very rarely did in public. His kisses always made her entire body tingle excitedly, moving closer and pushing herself up on her toes to reach him better. When he finally set her free, he stroked her cheek gently. “You brat. Upset over a dream. You should know better. There’s a reason I put that ring on your finger.”
“We’re telling your parents today, right?”
“Yes. And you’ll be moving in, out of that shack.”
“No more leaky roof?”
Bakugou scoffed, releasing her and crossing his arms over his chest as Koge giggled. “That’s all you care about? Getting away from a leaky fucking roof?” Koge nodded, placing her hands on her hips. “Yes. I could care less about marrying you because of love or whatever. I just want to live in a big house and have lots of money.” Koge gave him a sly smile as she reached over to fix his vest, which had gotten a bit crooked. “All this talk about love and things has just been a ruse.”
“Tch, well aren’t you just a snarky bitch.” Bakugou’s amused smirk and teasing tone only made Koge laugh, turning to face the carriage as it approached them. “Only for you, my Katsuki. I’ll be your snarky bitch forever.” As the carriage stopped, Bakugou opened the door for her and allowed her in first, though he surprised her with a firm smack to the ass as she climbed in. Koge squeaked, nearly tripping over the last step as he stumbled into the seat. “Katsuki! You’re so fiesty today!”
Bakugou closed the door behind him as he entered the carriage, sitting down beside her. “I have to punish you for making me wait so long, Utsuro. That’s not even a portion of what you’re gonna get when I have you alone.” Fixing her bodice a bit as she sat down beside him, Koge gave a small roll of her eyes, glowering up at him. “Sometimes I wonder what I see in you.”
Bakugou cupped her cheek, turning her head to kiss her softly. “That’s easy.”
“Mhmm… I see how much you love me.”
“And I do.” A soft stroke of his thumb against her chin and his calm voice sent chills across her skin, her heart already racing as she craved his lips and his touch.
“I love you.”
Why did that dream always have to come back to haunt her? That memory, one which she savored and yet resented at the same time. She could still feel his touch, taste his lips and hear his voice so clearly that she could have sworn that he was beside her in bed. But, he never was. Every day Koge awoke cold and alone, her warm blankets doing little to ease the chill in her core. Laying there now, still and quiet, she wished desperately to feel a presence behind her or a rough hand to wipe away the warm tears that rested on her cheeks. She could feel how they pooled on her pillow, soaking into the white fabric to only further her annoyance of them. This wasn’t the first time she had woken up crying in her many years of life, though it had become more of a recent occurrence as of late.
With a sigh, Koge reached up and wiped her cheeks, freeing her skin of the annoying wetness. Opening her eyes only brought on more tears, however, and she was quick to smother those as well, doing her best to blink away the blurry screen of tears and sleep. She felt heavy and exhausted, both in mind and body, and she figured that she must have been thrashing badly in the night. Though, she assumed that a maid had come in and tucked her back into bed, as her blankets were pristine over her body. It was a bit odd to her that they hadn’t tried to awaken her then, but perhaps they had and she had just been too out of it to respond.
Using what strength she could muster, the young woman sat up, giving a small shiver at the tickling feeling of her white hair cascading down across her back and shoulders. Gazing about the room, she brought her left hand to her chest, fiddling with the ring that adorned her third finger to make sure that it was still there. Her prized possession never left her skin, being the last truly important gift her lover had given her. Everything else in the room was reminders and memories, but none were as important as this silver ring. Engraved with intricate details of vines and flowers, it had no stone, but the fact that it had been made especially for her was enough to make it special. Though, it could have been a piece of wood or wax and Koge would have still said yes.
Throwing the blankets off of her legs, Koge slipped her chilled feet into some slippers beside her bed, standing and shuffling her way towards the raging fire place. If the blankets being fixed hadn’t been enough to tell her a maid had been here, then this fire surely did. With a small yawn, Koge warmed herself, crossing her arms over her chest. The shift she wore was thin silk fabric, leaving little to the imagination and no source of warmth at all. Why she continued to wear it even on this cold nights, she wasn’t sure. Perhaps it was because she was still used to his warmth in bed, so hot and comforting that she never needed to dress warmer.
Before her thoughts could travel far, there was a soft knock on her bedroom door, pulling her attention from the flames. “Come in.” With her approval, the door opened, a young woman with curly dark red hair making her way inside. “Good morning, My Lady. I’m surprised to see you up so early.” Koge turned her pale blue gaze back to the flames, glad to hear the door click shut. “Nene, you know you don’t have to address me like that. I got you this job because you’re my friend.”
“Ah… I know, Koge. I just… Lady Bakugou gets so upset sometimes, I’d just rather not have a lecture. But behind closed doors, if you don’t tell, then I won’t.” Nene placed a tray of tea down onto a small table that rested beside the bed. Koge rubbed her arm, looking back at Nene curiously as she poured steaming tea from a pot into a small cup. “What did you mean I’m up early? Did you not come in here and start the fire?” Nene’s face scrunched up in confusion, leaving the tea black and unsweetened as she brought it over to Koge. “Huh? No, it wasn’t me. Perhaps it was someone else. I’ve been spending the morning making the last sewing adjustments to Lady Bakugou’s dress.”
Koge took the cup as it was handed to her, peering down into the dark brown liquid. “Hm, I see. I guess it was someone else. It sure is nice, though, to wake up to a fire. It’s been a while…”
Nene paused for a moment as she fixed the bedding, glancing at Koge before returning to her duty. “Ah yes, Katsuki used to do that for you, right? Well, if you want it, I can make sure it gets done for you.”
“Perhaps… I’ll think about it.” Koge sipped from her tea, moving a bit closer to the fire. “Will you be joining me in town today? I’m going to the Apothecary for some training and then to get flowers.” Nene smiled, fluffing and placing the pillows. “I would love to! The flowers need replacing already?”
“Yes,” Koge finished off her tea before she continued. “This cold has been making them die faster. And, I think Eijirou has come back to town finally. I thought I saw him walking around yesterday, I’m sure he’ll be excited to see you.”
Nene’s face flushed, giving a small cough as she gathered Koge’s clothing from the wardrobe. “O-oh, he is? It’s been so long… Three months? I’m sure he’s forgotten about me completely!”
“That isn’t possible. That boy is smitten with you.” Koge placed her cup of tea down before changing into a fresh shift, beginning to place the rest of her layers on as well. “He’s just so odd… with those teeth and he likes to run around barefoot!”
Nene giggled softly. “Ah well, the teeth can be explained but hating shoes is a different matter. It is really nice of your mentor to take him in though! You’ve just gotten jobs for all your friends.” She stepped up to help Koge tie her corset, smile fading a bit as she did so. “Hm… you’ve lost more weight. Your mentor won’t be happy if he notices…”
“Sir Eguchi will notice… but I… this is turning out to be harder than I thought. It’s getting close…”
“I know, Koge… And I know sometimes you get a little annoyed with my talk of spirits and the supernatural, but that fire this morning. None of us would have started that without a warning. Maybe… it’s a sign from him.”
Koge was silent for a while, until a cool breeze caught her attention. Glancing over, she noticed for the first time that the white lace curtain was slightly more parted than usual and the window was left less than an inch open.
“Maybe, Nene… Maybe…”
Chapter 2: Support and Rage
“Koge are you sure you want to wear that out? What if it rains on it?”
“Oh it will be fine, Nene. It gets washed in water, what would a little rain do to it?” Koge glowered up at her friend as they walked together down the stone paved streets of town. Although the weather was quite dreary, grey and wet, the streets were bustling with activity. People of all kinds and social status wandered around, set on their destinations that Koge could care less about knowing. Although it was busy, the crowds seemed to part for them, allowing them through without much effort. But, unlike her brighter days, the people in their way did not part out of respect.
Rather, it was a fear that had them stepping out of the way. Koge did have to admit that she understood why they were wary of her, though she thought that this nonsense would have faded with time. It isn’t uncommon for a lover to suffer from a mental illness of some kind when losing their partner, either to death or interest in another. But, whatever Koge had been suffering from wasn’t understood by anyone but herself. The pain had been unbearable when her lover had vanished, and somehow, there had been a rumor that spread. It was said that the cuts on her wrists were not an attempt to take her life, but instead a blood sacrifice, a ritual to beg the gods to return her lover to his world.
It was nonsense, of course. Koge had tried to do no such thing, but since then, she had been labeled as a possible witch. She had even been blamed for Bakugou’s disappearance, some saying she sold his soul to the devil in exchange for power. It was the most ridiculous thing Koge had ever heard, but her attempts to explain herself were in vain. And so, she was outcasted by all but those closest to her, including her family, Bakugou’s family and her few friends.
The biggest reason why Koge wouldn’t have done any type of ritual to bring him back was because she didn’t believe he was dead in the first place. No body found, no evidence, no suspects, no proof. There was nothing to make her believe that he had passed on, and so she kept hold of the smallest hope that perhaps he would return one day. Tomorrow, another year, five years or even twenty years from now, she would welcome him back with open arms.
At first, she had tried to argue with anyone who said that he was dead, often getting into verbal fights that a woman of her status should never be seen engaging in. Polite, quiet and obedient is how she was supposed to be, but that is never how she was. Bakugou had told her that’s what he liked about her, how she never held her tongue even in front of someone who could have her thrown into jail with a single word. Of course, being this way didn’t come without its punishments and difficulties. This included being dubbed as insane any time she tried to claim that Bakugou was still alive, even so far as to nearly be thrown into a madhouse for it. Her only salvation had been her soon to be Mother-In-Law, who had used her status and money to protect her, but only with the condition that Koge would calm down.
So she had. Nearing the one year anniversary of her lovers disappearance, Koge kept to herself, not even bothering to snap back at people who tried to belittle her or insult her. She had her family, her friends and her possessions to keep her company, bringing what little happiness she could muster to the surface. One of them being the subject of Nene’s current worry.
A deep red scarf that used to belong to her lover, worn around her shoulders and tucked into her bodice to act as a draped shaw. It was quite large on Koge and was not typically something that a woman should be seen wearing, but that was of little consequence. Often on the days that she was missing him more than normal, she would adorne a piece of his clothing, just to calm her. This scarf had always been her favorite, the fabric warm and soft against her skin.
“But you always fret about getting it dirty.” Nene continued with her worry. “I just don’t want something to happen to it, you’ll get so upset.”
“It’s fine. I’ll be inside most of the day, anyway.” Koge stopped at the entrance to an odd looking dome shaped building, one which was extremely uncommon for this areas architecture. Though, it matched the oddness of the owner, so it was nothing anyone gawked at for long. As she pushed open the door, a bell jingled excitedly, announcing her arrival.
“Ah, welcome in! Just a moment!”
The excited voice called from up the spiral staircase, which lead to a small library and storage of special herbs and liquids. Just as Koge and Nene stopped to wait patiently, and figure of a young man their age approached the intricate iron railing, grinning down at them with sharp pointed teeth. “Nene! And Koge! What a surprise!”
Koge gave a small nod in greeting, while Nene gave a shy wave. “Hello, Kiri. It’s good to see you.” Both women took a step back as Kirishima leapt over the railing, landing in front of them with polished ease. Koge gave a small shake of her head, raising an eyebrow at her energetic friend. “Eijirou, Sir Eguchi gets upset when you jump over the railing like that. Remember last time, you fell through the floor.” Koge pointed over towards a spot not too far away, where a brand new cellar door rested, locked and waiting use. Eijirou chuckled, ruffling his mess of straight red hair. “Aha, well, Sir had been talking about making a new entrance to the basement anyway! So it worked out!” A grin and a thumbs up followed his confident, if not ignorant, statement.
Nene giggled softly. “Still, you should be careful, Kiri. It would be bad if you did get hurt.” Kirishima’s grin softened to a smile, giving a playful bow. “As you wish! Though I’m tougher than you think.”
“If you start going off about being part dragon again, I’m going to fire you.”
A new voice filled the room, catching the full attention of the three young adults. A tall man came out from a back room that was behind the long counter, eyeing his employee with annoyance. His orange gaze was piercing, instantly making Kirishima laugh nervously as he rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry, Sir! I swear I wasn’t! I was just gonna say that I, uh… I’ve been training?” His face flushed as Nene giggled, obviously embarrassed at being caught.
“Well, now that Koge is here, you can take a few hours off. Why don’t you take dear Nene out for a while, hm?” The older man smiled at them, leaning on the counter with gloved hands clasped. Nene’s cheeks flushed darker, though she looked down at Koge, worried about leaving her. Koge gave a small nod, nudging Nene in the arm gently. “Go on. You can buy some of the things we need at the house while you’re out. You have my money purse, just leave me enough for flowers.”
“O-okay… Thank you. I’ll be back soon.” Nene gave a small bow before leaving with Kirishima silently, though Koge could hear them laughing softly once outside. Looking back out of the window, she watched them vanish into the crowd, Nene taking Kirishima’s arm as he offered it to her. She must have been staring for a while, as the sound of her mentor’s voice startled her a bit.
“Come here, my dear.”
Tearing her eyes away from the window, Koge made her way over to the counter, placing her delicate hand into his large one as he offered it to her. “What’s wrong? Tell Seiji all about it.”
Koge sighed softly, looking up at Seijirou as she tried to think of what to say. Though, looking at this man didn’t exactly help her thoughts stay clear. There was something odd about him, something that she could never quite put her finger on, but it wasn’t exactly anything bad. The problem was that he was absolutely gorgeous, with pale flawless skin and a piercing gaze that typically left people speechless. Women that came into the apothecary would always swoon over him, his charming smile and alluring voice enough to make any woman leave their husband in an instant and vice versa. He could have anyone he wanted, and yet, he chose to be alone. It was odd to Koge, but that is just how he was, and he had been so good to her that she didn’t dare question his reasoning.
“It’s just… I had that same dream again this morning.” Koge touched the scarf around her shoulders tenderly. “I’m just struggling more lately.” Seijirou nodded, patting the top of her hand gently. “I see. Is that all?”
“No… when I woke up this morning, a fire had been started. Just like Katsuki used to do for me. And the window was open just a tad. Nene said it wasn’t her. I… don’t really know what to think.” Koge had kept her gaze down while speaking, feeling a bit timid about sharing these thoughts. Though, when she looked back up, she thought for a moment there was a different gleam in Seijirous eyes, one intense and even angry. Though, it was gone with a blink, his comforting smile only growing. “Oh darling, that is an odd occurrence! Perhaps it was simply a misunderstanding between the maids.”
“Probably.” Koges eyes moved down to his hands as his leather gloves squeaked a bit with his movement. Ever since she first met him, he had gloves on his hands, every single moment. She wasn’t sure why, and though she had asked a long time ago, he simply laughed it off and claimed that it was because of his fear of dirt and grime. Her hand was so pale against the worn black leather of his gloves, only adding to her thoughts that she looked sickly. Seijirou must have noticed as well, a finger tracing one of her visible veins.
“Not getting much sun, are you?” Seijirou released her hand, standing up straight. Koge gave a small shake of her head, making her way around the counter to the back room. “No, Sir. I tend to stay indoors unless I’m coming here or buying flowers.”
“You’re thinner, too! My dear, you know the first steps to feeling better are to take care of yourself.” Seijirou followed her, reaching up to ruffle his wavy black hair, which was parted over to one side with the other shaved down. The long side reached down to his shoulder, and though it was an odd haircut, it wasn’t all that odd for him. Koge sighed as she entered the room, closing her eyes while removing her small purse. “I understand that, Sir, but—“
She was interrupted by her own squeal, dropping her purse and covering her mouth in fright. Much to her embarrassment, she had been startled by another person in the room, something she wasn’t exactly used to seeing. Another man was sitting in a chair across the room, lax with his feet propped up on a table. Though, the instant her eyes landed on him, he tended, piercing blue glare keeping her frozen in her spot. Seijirou was the one to break the tension, chuckling softly as he walked inside.
“Ah, I’m sorry, Koge! I should have told you I had a guest.” He stopped beside her, bending down to pick up her purse for her. Koge glanced up to her teacher before back towards the stranger, watching him closely as he removed his feet from the table. “O-oh that’s okay, I was just… not paying attention.” After handing her purse back to her, Seijirou motioned for the other man to come over, though he also took a step forward himself. Koge thought this a bit odd, as if he were putting space between her and the newcomer, but she decided to stay quiet about it.
“Come here, Doey, it’s alright.”
Standing, the man slowly approached, keeping his eyes down as he ruffled his already messy orange hair. The closer he got, Koge could see that he was just as flawless as Seijirou, freckles sprinkled across his face and exposed shoulders, his tattered grey vest doing little to cover his torso and arms. It was odd to her that he couldn’t seem to keep eye contact for more than a few seconds at a time, but she assumed that he was shy or possibly even put off by her own emotionally drained stare.
“Koge, darling, his is Dokuji. He’s going to be my new apprentice, learning with you. Though, he’ll end up being here at different times than you more often than not.” Seijirou patted Dokuji’s shoulder, making the younger mans face scrunch up a bit in annoyance. Koge nodded, giving a small bow in greeting. “It’s a pleasure.”
Although she had her head down and couldn’t see him, Koge could hear how hard Dokuji swallowed before he spoke, his voice a bit nervous and shaken. “The pleasure’s mine, uh… miss–?”
“Please just call me Koge. I prefer not to go by my last name.”
“Right,” Dokuji took in a deep breath, awkwardly shoving his hands into his pockets. “I’m going to… Go deal with the, uh… Boxes.” He wormed his way around the two, quickly scurrying out of the room. Seijirou huffed, glaring after him as he placed his hands on his hips. “Excuse you!”
“Yeah, excuse me!” Dokuji called back, though he was already up the stairs and out of sight.
With a sigh, Seijiro headed over towards his desk, pulling open a drawer. “He’s not really used to this type of environment, so please forgive him. He’ll get better once he’s more comfortable around you.” Koge nodded, taking a piece of parchment as he handed it to her. “Of course, I understand. Are these the concoctions for today?”
With a nod, Seijirou sat down in his chair, pulling a large leather book towards him. “Yes. Do you remember them all?”
“If not I will look them up in the books before I make them. Hm… though most of these are sedatives?”
“Ah yes, we had an order from the hospital that we need to rush, so these are priority. Just don’t ingest anything or you’ll be sleeping on the floor.” Seijirou chuckled as he gave her a playful nudge in the arm, sending her off to work. “And take care of customers as they come in, okay?”
“Yes, Sir.” Koge left the room without another word, sticking to her duties.
By the time Nene and Kirishima returned, Koge had finished all her work and was allowed to leave, Nene talking her ear off excitedly as they left. Though, the instant the door shut behind them, Seijirou sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Man… That poor girl–”
He was cut off by a sudden thud right under his feet, the wood floor shaking with the impact. With an annoyed click of his tongue, he headed to the cellar door that Kirishima had forced him to make, squatting down beside it. “What?!”
“Get down here you fucking kook! Now!”
“And why should I do that?”
“Come down here or I’m going up there, you fucking prick!”
Pulling out his keys from his pocket, Seijirou unlocked the padlock on the door, pulling it open and beginning his descent down the stairs. The cellar grew dark as the door slammed shut behind him, though he had no problems seeing, stepping out into the open area. Arms crossed over his chest, his gaze met with the crimson glare that came from across the room, the figure sitting with his back against the wall.
“What do you want? I’m busy trying to run a business.”
“I want you to tell me what the fuck you think you’re doing. Why would you let her near that fucking creep, he’s not ready!”
“And you think you are? I have to lock you in a damn cellar just to keep an eye on you. What the fuck do you think you’re doing!?” Seijirou snapped back, walking closer as he pointed up towards the ceiling. “You damn idiot! You think it was smart to go to her this morning?! You think your little gesture was sweet?”
The confronting man before Seijirou stood, though he wasn’t given a chance to speak. “She needs to think you’re dead! Now all she has on her mind again is you, all because you decided a visit would be smart. It wasn’t, Katsuki. You’ll be lucky if Our Lady doesn’t rip you to shreds because you did that.”
“She can go choke on a dick, it’s not like I wanted this–” Bakugou was interrupted by his own choked scream as Seijirou snatched him by the neck, slamming him up against the wood wall with nearly enough force to send him through it. Ignoring the feeling of Bakugou’s claws digging into his arm, Seijirou leaned in closer, his glare and voice dark enough to send anyone running. “Next time you say something like that about Our Lady, I’ll be the one to rip you apart. I’ve known you and Koge for years, and what’s happened to you both breaks my heart. But I won’t stand for your tough guy rebellious bullshit.”
Releasing him, Seijirou backed away, leaving Bakugou to sit back down and clutch his throat. “If you love her, Katsuki. You’ll stay away. This will be the last time I allow you into the town during the day.”
With a scoff, Bakugou leaned back against the wall, too physically weak from hunger to fight back. “Go fuck yourself. Or get your little pet to do it for you, I don’t care. You don’t know what’s best for her.”
“I do know that she’s been mourning your loss for too long. You can watch her and protect her all you want, but you have to become nothing but a memory. Now get control of yourself. We’re leaving soon, and you’re eating tonight, whether you like it or not.” Seijirou turned and began his way out of the cellar, not bothering to take another look at the broken man behind him. “Accept what you are and get over it. The faster you do that, the less painful the rest of eternity will be.”
Once again left alone, Bakugou leaned his elbows on his knees, hiding his face in trembling hands. He was so hungry and so distraught, the scent of every human that had entered the store that day clinging to his senses, like he was in a pit of endless flesh. Koge’s, however, was the most prominent, so strong that he could have sworn he could taste her on his tongue. How badly he wanted to rip into her, to sink his teeth into her skin and drain her of life was overwhelming. Maybe Seijirou had been right, that his actions that day had been a huge mistake.
Because now, he found himself wanting Koge more than he ever had in his entire life, and he couldn’t have her. He wished desperately to change what had happened, to wake up and realize this entire ordeal was nothing but a crazy nightmare.
But he knew he never would.
Chapter 3: Dark Figure
Koge glanced up at the darkening sky as she delicately adjusted the assorted bouquet of flowers, placed with care in the crumbling arms of a statue. Discarded long ago, the figure of a woman had been standing in this same spot for over twenty years. Although she was missing her head and a portion of her right shoulder, her arms were frozen in a cradling position, though whatever child or item she had been carrying had crumbled and broken apart to be unrecognizable. Now, the arms of the statue served as the resting place for Koge’s tribute, which she changed out any time the flowers showed signs of wilting.
This statue served as an important detail during her relationship with Bakugou. It was the place they always met up and even was the only witness to their first kiss. Koge wasn’t sure why she picked this statue to place the flowers instead of the stone that had been placed in the graveyard for him. Though, she did dream of coming to place flowers here one day to find him waiting for her, or for the flowers to be with him at her doorstep. Stupid and childish, she knew better than to ever share this with anyone, even too ashamed to tell Nene.
Now, with fresh flowers, the statue looked more alive. She knew that if Bakugou knew she was leaving flowers like this, he would think it was stupid, and for a moment she thought she could hear him chastising her behind the clacking of horse hooves as a carriage passed her by.
“Are you ready to go home, Nene?” Koge addressed her friend, who was standing beside her, waiting patiently. Nene smiled, adjusting a cloth bag on her shoulder that held her shopping from that day. “If you are. Those flowers look lovely. You picked more this time?”
“Yes. I just thought it would be nice.” After fixing one more flower into place, Koge turned to leave, ignoring the odd stares she was getting from passersby. Nene followed, her petticoats swaying with her dramatic turn. “It’s wonderful. Do you have any plans for next week? For the statue?”
Koge tilted her head to the side a bit as she thought. “I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t think I’ll do anything really huge… Just keep up my routine.”
The one year anniversary of Bakugou’s disappearance went by without any changes, followed by another three months. Every day was just as dark and grey in Koge’s mind as they always had been, though some were admittedly darker than others. One of the worst was on a bright and sunny day, where Koge came to the statue only to find that it was gone, the dead flowers left trampled on the ground. Someone had complained, she had been told, that the statue was ugly and a nuisance. Another side of the story was that someone thought her flowers were a part of a ritual, saying that supernatural things had been occuring in their home since she began putting them there.
So, another piece of him had been ripped away, but there was nothing she could do about it. The rest of that day was spent at home, sitting on her bed with the flowers beside her. She had no appetite, wanted no visitors and allowed the beautiful day to pass by in a blur. Having slept through most of it, she woke in darkness, sitting up from bed to look at the window. It’s night already? Great, now I won’t sleep.
Sighing in frustration, she rubbed her face before crawling out of bed, shuffling her chilled body over to the window. Pulling back the curtains, she looked out into the dark streets, which were only illuminated by occasional torches. The flickering flames created an ominous glow, though it was nothing Koge wasn’t used to. Sneaking out at night had been the norm at one point, as that was the only way her and Bakugou would be alone while he wanted to keep their relationship quiet. Life long friends or not, the son of a wealthy politician dating a lower class maids daughter wasn’t exactly socially acceptable.
Restless and feeling caged from her day long self induced confinement, Koge dressed herself in a simple light dress and heavy wool coat, slipping her ice cold feet into some flats. As silently as she could without waking anyone, she made her way outside, only momentarily startled by the barking of a nearby dog. Silently cursing at herself, she began to make her way down the street, hugging her coat to her body tightly. There was no other sound besides her own footsteps, lulling her mind into fanciful daydreams and thoughts. Occasionally, she would walk past the random street whore or bar that was loud with drunken excitement, but otherwise there were very few people out.
She wasn’t sure how long she wandered the streets, but when her feet began to ache, she decided that it was time to return home. Looking up to get her bearings, she thought for a moment that she saw the flutter of a black cloak round the corner in front of her. Huh… I hadn’t heard or noticed anyone walking in front of me… Odd. Deciding it must have just been her eyes playing tricks on her, she continued down her decided path.
Come to think of it… I have seen people in dark cloaks around town before. Ever since I was little… I guess I just never really thought about it. I always just thought they were travelers. As she rounded the same corner where she thought she had seen the figure, she came to a stop, a bit shocked to see the dark figure just standing there. With its back to her, it seemed to be messing with something in its hands, but that isn’t what struck her as truly odd. Even with a cloak, the way this person stood and moved was so familiar to her, with obvious bad posture and rough gestures.
“Damn it! Fucking belt…”
Koge’s entire body went ice cold as the voice reached her ears. Although it was quiet, there was no doubt in her mind.
K… Katsuki? It’s…
With an audible click of his tongue, the figure moved more into the light of a torch, body turned just a bit as he continued to fumble with a piece of his clothing. Locks of wild spiked ash blonde hair was visible poking out of the hood, and the side of his face was unmistakable.
Koge didn’t even take a moment to think before she ran towards him, only gaining his attention when she called out his name. She barely recognized the shock that crossed his face as she launched herself at him, catching him off balance and sending them both onto the hard stone beneath their feet. Landing on top of him, she ignored his yelp of shock, clutching onto him with all her strength. “Katsuki, I knew you weren’t dead!” She sat up, sitting square on his stomach keeping her grip on his vest tight, tears pouring down her face. “Where were you? What happened?”
“K-Koge… You have to get off me…”
“Huh?” Through her blurry vision, she finally noticed the expression on his face, an intense and horrified grimace that made her racing heart stop. “Katsuki…? What’s wrong?” Leaning forward a bit, she brought her right hand up to caress his cheek, though he was quick to clench his eyes shut and turn his head away. “Koge, get off me! I can’t do this!” His entire body was trembling beneath her, snatching onto her upper arms with an intense amount of strength. Koge winced a bit, but didn’t budge, tugging at his clothing a bit that was still in her grip.
“Please, tell me what’s wrong--” She squealed as he flipped them over, pinning her down beneath him. Bakugou was breathing heavily now, his face buried in the crook of her neck as he brought a hand up to cover her mouth. He was so ravaged with emotions and urges that he didn’t know what to do. It was agonizing, wanting to do everything to her ranging from kissing, to fucking, to killing her by sinking his teeth into her flesh and ripping her apart with his claws. He could hear and feel her pulse, his lips barely resting against her pale skin as he fought to control himself.
Although her mouth was covered and she could not speak, Koge reached up to gently run her fingers through his hair, kissing his palm sweetly. The sensitive gesture snapped Bakugou back into focus, noticing everything else about her that had been overshadowed by his immediate instincts. The tears that were cascading down her cheeks touched the skin of his hand and his cheek, her breathing ragged and hitching with her silent sobs. She was so much lighter and thinner than he remembered, the energy she radiated sad and hopeless. He had sensed this before and he knew that all of it was his fault. And yet, she showed no resentment towards him.
Lifting his head up from her neck, Bakugou finally locked his gaze with hers, sliding his hand from over her mouth to caress her cheek. “Koge… You weren’t ever supposed to see me…” Trying to suck in breath behind her sobbing, Koge placed her hand over his, only just realizing how cold his skin was against hers. “K-Katsuki, please-- please come back to me. I-I can’t do this, I need you!”
“I can’t come back.”
“Why--!” Her loud outburst was silenced by his lips, kissing her with a fierce and longing passion that she immediately matched. But, just as it had begun, it was cut short, Bakugou having to pull himself away as her taste overwhelmed him. He loved her so much, and yet, this new animal inside him just wanted to devour her. He couldn’t bare the thought.
“Don’t try to look for me!” Bakugou ripped himself from her, standing. “You’ll just end up dead!”
“Katsuki, wait!” Koge tried to reach out for him, but with a blink of her eyes, he was gone. Not a single trace was left of him, besides the throbbing of her arms and the tingling of her lips. Sobbing openly, Koge hugged herself, leaning forward until her forehead was pressed into the muddy stone of the road. “I’m already dead! I’m dead without you, Katsuki!” The pain in her chest became so severe that she struggled to breathe, clutching onto the front of her dress as she collapsed over onto her side. Cold darkness began to fall upon her, crushing her under a tangible weight that sent her vision and mind into a swirling blackness.
I wish… He would have at least told me he loved me… Just so I would know it’s still true…
When Koge awoke, she found herself in bed, head pounding and entire body aching as if she had just been run over by a carriage. With a tired groan, she reached up and put a hand to her forehead as she rolled over onto her back. The sun was annoyingly bright behind her white curtains, the sound of people and horses barely reaching her aching ears. It must be midday for there to be that much activity… How long have I been asleep? What happened? Turning away from the window and back onto her side, Koge’s blurry vision landed on the crackling fireplace, finally noticing it’s warmth. Beside her bed on a small table was a bowl, a rag and some medical bottles that she couldn’t quite recognize.
Was she sick? She sure as hell felt like it, though she wasn’t entirely sure if she had a fever. Her throat was aching and her mind was fuzzy, but that could have just been from a bad night's sleep. Come to think of it, she couldn’t exactly remember going to bed. I… I remember getting up at night time and… going for a walk. And…--
With a sharp gasp, Koge sat up, all of it rushing back to her. Just as she did, her bedroom door opened, Nene gasping as she was startled by seeing Koge sitting up with shock on her face. “Ah, Koge! It’s good to see you--”
“Huh?” Nene shut the door behind her, walking over to the bed with a confused expression. “What about him?”
“I saw him.” Tears welling back up into her eyes, Koge looked up at her friend, just as surprised in her self as Nene looked. “I saw him. I touched him, Nene! He kissed me!” She reached out, taking Nene’s hand. “I know I did!”
Nene held Koge’s trembling hand tightly, though worry was apparent on her face. “Koge… I… I think you just had a dream. A stranger found you collapsed out in the street two nights ago. You’ve been out ever since. I think--”
“No, Nene, it wasn’t a dream!” Koge’s eyes began to well up with tears. “I… I know it wasn’t. It was too real. H-he’s alive!” She took her hand back, pulling down the sleeve of her shift to look at her upper arms. Sure enough, there were dark bruises around her arm where he had grabbed her, and the other was exactly the same. “He had grabbed me… But he… He was cold. He was like ice. But he was so handsome, more than before he vanished and he smelled… I don’t know what he smelled like, but it was just heaven.”
Nene gave a small cough to clear her throat, sitting down beside Koge as she took her hand again. “Koge… I want to believe you, but… How is that possible.” Koge shook her head, taking in deep breaths to calm herself. “I-I don’t know. He told me that… That he can’t come back. And that if I look for him I could end up dead.” Wiping her cheeks, she looked into the flickering flames coming from her fireplace. “He acted so odd… Like… He couldn’t stand to be near me. Like it was painful or just upset him so badly that he couldn’t breathe.”
“Without any actual proof there’s nothing we can do, Koge. You were found alone in the street, unconscious and chilled to the bone. People are already talking that you tried to… that you tried to take your own life again, if you go out and start saying you saw Katsuki--”
“What? People will think I’m crazy?” Koge snapped, taking her hands back from her friend. “Everyone already thinks I’m crazy as it is. I know what I saw and what I felt! This isn’t like that other time--”
“It’s exactly like that other time.” Nene spoke softly to try and keep Koge calm. “You wanted so badly to see him again that you thought you did. It’s okay to want him, but--”
“I didn’t just see him. I felt him, talked to him! He kissed me!” Koge began to sob, now, distraught and exhausted. “Why didn’t he stay with me, Nene… Why…” Leaning forward, she rested against her friend, clutching onto her for some sense of support and comfort. Nene held her close, stroking her hair gently as she rocked her from side to side. How could she possibly agree with such an outlandish claim?
Unless… He really did go into that forest… And the rumors are true.
“It’s okay, Koge… We’ll figure this out… Okay?”
Chapter 4: Truth
“Koge, please, I can’t hear any of this anymore!”
Taking in a sharp breath, Koge’s words caught in her throat, silenced by the woman she considered to be a mother. With a loud, frustrated sigh, Mitsuki placed her hands onto the desk before her, hanging her head for a moment as she leaned forward. “I can’t… I’ve supported your mourning and your recovery all this way, but it seems like every time you take a step towards improving, something forces you to take two steps back. Now it’s more hallucinations?”
Koge shook her head, taking a few steps forward. The fact that this woman, whom she had grown to love as family, was pushing back against her in such a way broke her heart. She knew that she had caused grief for her in the past year, but she never imagined that Mitsuki would shut her out like this. “N-No, they weren’t hallucinations! Please, Mama, you have to believe me. I even have bruises on my arms--”
“You could have given those to yourself.” Mitsuki stood up straight, looking down at Koge with exasperated sympathy. “You have to get a hold of yourself, Koge. I can’t keep humoring these fanciful ideas that my son is still alive. Everyone has accepted it but you.” She made her way towards the couch that her husband sat on, bringing a hand up to her forehead as she struggled to control her patience. Koge clutched onto her skirt tightly, her eyes darting from one parent to the other. Masaru gave a small cough to clear his throat, standing to help his wife sit down. He had always been more patient and more accepting of Koge’s struggles, but she could see on his face that even he was struggling to keep his composure.
“K-Koge, please, you have to understand where… where we are coming from.” He spoke with a soft tone, though it did little to calm the young woman confronting them. “We… We loved our son. Losing him has been more painful than anything we’ve had to go through in our lives.” He made his way over to her, placing his hands gently on her trembling shoulders. “Perhaps… You need some time away from the house… Away from all the things that remind you of him.”
“You mean at the asylum.” Koge choked out, not even able to look at him. “I’m not crazy.”
“Spouting lies about our dead son kissing you is crazy.” Mitsuki snapped from the couch. “It’s a disgrace to the dead, going on about such things! Koge, you’ll bring bad omens if you keep this up. We already have people wanting to throw you out of the town. I don’t want that for you, just… please….”
“Our son is dead.” Masaru took over for his wife, releasing Koges shoulders and standing up straight. “It’s time to let him rest…”
Without responding, Koge turned and stormed out of the room, fleeing the house before she could be tied up and ushered to the insane asylum. She wasn’t crazy. She refused to believe it, and there was only one person left that she could confide in.
Pushing open the door to the apothecary, Koge paused for just a moment, letting the door shut and the bells jingle as she listened for any signs of her mentor.
“Ah fuck, Seiji, watch the teeth!”
“Shh! Shut up or Kiri will hear us, idiot.”
Koge could hear the almost indistinct whispering behind the door to Seijirou’s office, though she didn’t get a chance to head over there as Kirishima appeared from around the corner to the supply showroom. His hair was up in a messy ponytail, wide sharp tooth grin on his face as always. “Hey! Are you feeling better? I heard you had gotten sick a few days ago.” Koge nodded, glancing around anxiously as she wanted desperately to talk to Seijirou. “I’m good. Are you here alone?”
“Ah, nah! Sir and Dokuji are in his office working on something. I was told not to disturb them, so I’ve been wrapping up herb portions into the new cheesecloth we got. I’m glad you’re feeling better! Though you look kinda flustered--”
“I just need to talk to Seijirou. Excuse me.” Koge moved past Kirishima, making a beeline for the office door. At first, she tried to open without knocking, though found that it was effectively locked. This wasn’t anything new, but the fact that it blocked her advances only piled onto her frustrations.
“The door is shut for a reason, darling! Come back in a while.”
Koge frowned at the dismissal, knocking on the wood a few times. “Sir, please, it’s really important!” A frustrated sigh was heard after a moment, before soft cursing and shuffling. “Alright, Koge. Just a moment.”
Taking a few steps back, Koge waited, shuffling nervously on her feet. How should she say this? Should she just spill her guts to him or take it a bit slow? Seijirou was a great listener and typically always had the best advice, so she was relying so heavily on his help that she was scared to freak him out. As his footsteps approached from the other side of the door, she began to panic, stomach bubbling so violently that she nearly felt like vomiting. Even though she knew that Kirishima was watching curiously, but that didn’t stop her from spitting out what had happened the instant Seijirou opened the door, anticipation forcing her to lose all control.
“I saw Katsuki.”
Seijirou paused right in the middle of beginning to speak, shock coming over his fair features. “Wha-?” He cleared his throat, glancing over her shoulder at Kirishima. “Darling, that’s not--”
“Please don’t tell me it’s not possible! I know what happened to me, everyone keeps calling me crazy.” Koge’s outburst surprised Seijirou enough to make him jump a bit, bringing a hand to his chest. “My dear, it’s okay,” He placed his hands on her shoulders, giving them a comforting squeeze. “Don’t cry. Come in, we’ll talk about it. You watch the store.” He gave a sharp look to Kirishima, who grimaced at the accusatory snap in his voice. “Y-yes, sir.”
As Koge was ushered into the room, she wiped her sore and swollen eyes, finally noticing Dokuji sitting in Seijirou’s office chair. Feet up on the desk, he was using just a bit of force to make the chair sway, an annoyed glare locked on the wall as he chewed on a broken quill. He was obviously flustered, though Koge paid him no mind, quickly turning back to Seijirou. “I’ve tried to talk to Nene and Katsuki’s parents, but none of them believe me. You always believe in these odd happenings, and you know so much, there has to be an explanation for what happened to me.”
After sitting her down in a chair on the other side of his desk, Seijirou hopped up to sit on it himself, blocking the glaring Dokuji from her view. “Well, tell me what happened. You saw him?”
Koge explained the situation as she had many times over, having to pause and take deep breaths to keep her emotions in control. Seijirou listened without any interruptions, barely even moving from his spot. To Koge, he seemed blank and emotionless, as if he were trying to hide how he truly felt about it all from her. Though, when she finished, a smile crossed his lips. That made her feel better, even if it was obviously a bit forced.
“My, that sounds… Interesting. But you don’t have anything to prove it?”
“No… I just have these bruises on my arms that look like someone grabbed me, which he did. They are way too big to be my own hands. And how could I make those shapes on my own with a rope or anything else?” Koge lifted her shawl up a bit to show the bruises on her left arm, to which Seijirou leaned forward a bit to see. “Hm, those do look like fingers. I don’t think you could have done that to yourself, either.”
“Then it had to have been him. He has to be alive--”
“No way,” Dokuji spoke up, though Koge still couldn’t see him as Seijirou was blocking the way. She could, however, see Seijirou’s expression turn into an annoyed scowl as Dokuji continued. “With what you say, he’s dead. Just not the type of dead that everyone thinks.”
Koge tried to lean over a bit, catching Dokuji’s piercing blue glare behind messy bangs. The constant accusations that Bakugou was dead was starting to tug at her heart, struggling against the urge to just give up and believe it all. But, this was something she hadn’t been told yet, and it confused her greatly. “What does that mean?”
“It means,” Dokuji snapped the already broken quill in half. “That he’s turned into something else, I bet. You know the rumors around here, don’t you? About that big mansion in the forest?”
“Ah… Lady Kayama lives there. I saw her once, going to a party up at the governor's home. I’ve heard some stuff from Nene, but nothing really serious.” Koge nervously fiddled with her own fingernails, picking at them as she awaited more of an explanation. She wasn’t sure what this had to do with Katsuki, nor did she think it really mattered. What did a private woman who lived alone in the forest have to do with her lover?
“Let’s put it this way,” One piece of the quill went back between his teeth, while the other was used to emphasize his words. “You said your boyfriend--”
“Excuse me. Fiance. You said that he was cold, hotter looking than normal and that he smelled like…?”
“Caramel, I think…”
“Tch, that’s weird. Anyways,” He flipped some of his hair out of his face, though it just returned back into place. “That’s all the classic signs of a blood sucker!”
“A… Vampire?” Koge looked up at Seijirou with nervous disbelief, wondering if Dokuji was the one who’s mind should be questioned. Seijirou was silent and emotionless, letting his lover speak. Koge had only ever heard of vampires in stories and in books, described as beautiful human like creatures that thrived off the blood of the living. As long as they continued to eat, they lived for eternity. The thought of Bakugou having been turned into such a thing was unthinkable, but she did have to admit that it did make a little bit of sense.
“Yes. That’s the story, that anyone who goes into that forest gets taken by those creatures. Either they kill them or change them. That’s why this area has so many disappearances and things. According to the legend, at least. I believe it.” Dokuji finished off with a sly smirk, nudging Seijirou in the hip with his foot. “So does this old man. He loves that spooky shit.”
“Do not.” Seijirou said with a sigh, reaching down to push his foot away. “I mean yes I believe the legends, but I don’t like spooky shit.”
“Then… you think that’s what happened to him? Why he acted so weird?” Koge shifted in her seat, still trying to comprehend that this could truly be a fact. “What can I do?”
“Nothing.” Seijirou leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “If it is true, then there’s nothing you can do. But there’s no proof of such a thing, Koge. Without anyone else seeing him or physical proof--”
Shaking her head, Koge stood, interrupting him with her movement. “Unless someone can read my mind, I have no proof! Sir--”
“I’m sorry, darling. There’s nothing I can do to help… If you don’t want to end up locked away, it’s better to continue on like it never happened. Ah, wait, Koge!” Seijirou stood up off the desk as the young woman took her leave, exiting the store before anyone could say another word. With an annoyed huff, Seijirou leaned back against his desk, crossing his arms over his chest. “Good job, Doey. Now she’s upset and you freaked her out.”
“I told her the truth, she just didn’t believe it.” Dokuji flicked one half of the quill at Seijirou, hitting him in the back of the head. Seijirou glared at him over his shoulder, reaching back to make sure the wood wasn’t stuck in his hair. “You did that because you were mad at her for interrupting us.” Shaking his head, Dokuji went back to chewing on his piece of wood, glowering up at the older man. “I’m not mad about nothin’. Except I got serious blue balls. But that’s besides the point, what are you gonna do now?”
“Talk to Our Lady about it. Maybe… She’ll be in a good mood.”
Chapter 5: Blood Wine
Seijirou took in a deep breath as he stood before the large double doors that lead to his leaders office. Intricately carved dark wood stared back at him, and the longer he stared at it, the more he noticed something new. With each new discovery, he could have sworn that the design changed completely, but he knew that it hadn’t in over five hundred years, give or take a few. The beauty of it quite perfectly described the woman that resided inside, who most likely already knew that he was there. Still, he was nervous to knock, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. Beside him, Dokuji sighed impatiently, nudging Seijirou in the side.
“C’mon Seiji, just go. The most she could do is rip your head off.” Dokuji teased, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Or, y’know. Banish you. Lock you up to starve you for a while. The lighter punishments.”
“Will you shut up.” Seijirou hissed between clenched teeth. “She won’t do anything to me. I just don’t want her to punish Katsuki.” Dokuji scoffed, rocking on his feet a bit. “He deserves something for being so reckless.”
“No he doesn’t. He didn’t go to her on purpose. Whatever, I don’t have to explain this to you, you already know! Just wait here.” Seijirou left his partner behind as he approached the door, giving a few strong knocks.
“Come in, Seiji dear.”
After one last quick glance over his shoulder at Dokuji, Seijirou pushed one of the doors open, just enough for him to enter. “Good evening, My Lady Midnight.” He gave a low bow as the door shut behind him. “I hope I haven’t disturbed you.” The woman he addressed stood, smiling at him softly as she made her way around a large desk. “Not at all, Seijirou, you are never a bother. Please, come sit with me.” Midnight made her way over to a set of chairs that rested besides a roaring fireplace, where Seijirou joined her. Trying to hide how anxious he was, he waited for her to take her place before sitting in his own chair out of respect.
“I apologize for coming on your feeding night, I was surprised to see that you were home.” Seijirou leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and clasping his hands together tightly. Midnight smiled, her bright blue eyes observing him closely. “It’s quite alright, I sent Hizashi out to hunt for me today since I was feeling a bit lethargic. He should be returning soon, so I will be back to my chipper self tomorrow! But I’m sure we aren’t here to talk about me?”
Seijirou laughed softly, turning his gaze to look into the fire. “On point, as always. My Lady… How have you been feeling about Katsuki?”
“Hm? Well, I think he is starting to come around, there haven’t been any incidents that I am aware of and he does very well on patrols. He fought back that whole pack of trespassers on his own the other night! I was very impressed. Why, is there something going on with him? He’s out on patrol right now, is he not?” She reached across to a small table that sat between them, pulling loose a cork on a dark green wine bottle. Carefully, she poured a thick deep red liquid into a wine glass. “Would you like some Blood Wine, Seiji dear?”
“Ah, no thank you, My Lady. That pork blood goes straight to my head, you know!” Seijirou laughed off his intolerance to the liquid, quickly trying to get back on subject. “Katsuki does seem to be doing very well, there is just… one problem I wanted to discuss with you.”
“His fiance that was left behind, correct?”
“Hm… Yes.” Seijirou looked up at her, pulling his gaze away from the fire. Midnight was staring at him with the same intense look, as if she already knew what was about to be said. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Seijirou continued. “As you know, I’ve known these two a long time. Koge is… very close to me. What’s happened to the two of them is--”
“No fault of anyone but their own.” Midnight interrupted after taking a drink from her glass. “It is Katsuki’s bad choices that led them to this point. If he hadn’t followed Izuku into the forest, none of this would have happened. They would be married, perhaps with a child on the way.”
Brow furrowing, Seijirou gave a small shake of his head in disagreement. “I’m sorry, My Lady, but… I feel like the punishment they are both suffering isn’t comparable to his childish actions. Yes, he saw a feeding, but I feel like Toshinori acted out of line in changing them.” Midnight sighed, setting her glass down on the table. “My dear, there is nothing that can be done about that now. What is this really about?”
After hesitating for a moment, Seijirou leaned back in his seat, crossing his long legs. “Koge saw him. A week ago.”
“What?” Midnight’s calm expression shifted into one of intense shock, a hand coming to rest on her chest. “What do you mean? He didn’t report such a thing.”
“Of course he didn’t, why would he? He’s scared you’ll kill her, I’m sure.” Seijirou reached up to rub his temple. “Koge was out for a walk while he was on patrol and she saw him. Apparently, she tried to get information out of him, but he kissed her to stop her questions and then he ran off, warning her not to look for him. Katsuki didn’t tell me, either. Koge came to me about it.”
“Has she told anyone?”
“Only Katsuki’s parents, her best friend and myself. And Dokuji. But no one believes her, and I pretended that it wasn’t possible as well. I… I think we need to do something.”
“No, there is nothing that we need to do.” Midnight frowned, giving a shake of her head. “Let the town believe she has gone insane. She’ll be locked away and then we will be troubled no further.”
“I’m not sure that Katsuki can keep himself away. You know what it’s like for us… When we’re drawn to a human that we can’t resist. Not only is he drawn to her scent, he actually loves her. I’m… I’m asking you to let us turn her. So she can be with him if she so desires.”
“Absolutely not.” Midnight gave an amused laugh, a sharp snap that shut Seijirou down immediately. “I do not run a charity house. No one gets changed without probable cause, that is my rule and I will not go against it. You’ve followed that for all the centuries you’ve been with me, Seijirou. Even when you found a human lover, you left them when the time came.” Standing, Midnight picked up her glass of wine, taking a drink from it before headed back towards her desk.
“But, My Lady, please consider the consequences of all this.” Seijirou stood, following her. “What if he goes to her? She won’t be able to control her attraction to him, and neither will he. He could end up killing her or someone could catch them--”
“I said no.” Midnight turned to face him with a stomp of her foot, sending a threatening shockwave roaring through the ground and shaking the entire home. Seijirou was able to keep his footing, though he did hold his tongue, knowing that warning well. Although he was upset, he gave another deep bow, fists clenched tightly at his sides. “Understood. I bid you farewell and goodnight.”
Without another word shared between them, he left the office, being sure the door shut fully behind him. Dokuji looked up at him curiously as he approached. “Seiji, did she attack you or something, what was that--” Seijirou silenced him as he cupped his cheeks, kissing him passionately out of frustration. Confused, Dokuji was still for a moment before he gave into him, clutching onto Seijirou’s clothing at his sides. When Seijirou finally pulled away, he rested his head forehead against his lovers, sighing deeply as he calmed.
“She said no.”
“Ah… why’d you kiss me like that?”
“Because. We’re the lucky ones… I can’t help them.”
“It’ll be alright, Seiji… We’ll figure something out.”
“Ah, found you! I knew you’d be up here.”
Bakugou didn’t bother looking away from the window that he had his crimson glare set on, though he did huff in annoyance at the loud greeting. “Will you shut up. Someone will hear you.” Kirishima sighed as he plopped down to sit beside his friend, resting his arms on his knees as he pulled them up to his chest. “Sorry, sorry. Is she up?”
“No. She’s been asleep for a while, now. Though occasionally she gets up and goes to the window.” Bakugou made sure his hood was pulled as far forward on his head as he could. He had been here for hours, watching Koge’s window for any sign of her. There was an unending urge to see her, drawn to her like he was a moth to flame. Every time she opened the window to peek out, her scent filled his sensus, blinding him to everything else. Though, it wasn’t just her scent that pulled him in. He still loved her, more than anything, and becoming something that was inhuman didn’t stop those feelings. In fact, he was pretty sure it was more intense.
“Why don’t you go to her?” Kirishima asked casually, though the question was instantly shot down by a glare from his friend. Bakugou clicked his tongue. “Are you kidding? I can’t just fucking go to her, I don’t know what I’ll do or what she’ll do. No, you moron, I can’t.”
Rubbing the back of his neck, Kirishima sighed. “Bakugou… I know I’m not supposed to be supporting interactions with humans that aren’t feedings but… You love her. And unlike you, she’s not going to live forever.”
“You think I don’t fucking know that? Every second I’m trying to figure out a way to make this work… I thought of changing her and then we could just run away… Leave Midnight’s territory, but…”
Bakugou’s brow furrowed into one of embarrassment and annoyance, like he was ashamed of himself. “I don’t even fucking know how to change her. I don’t remember how it was done to me and none of the elders will tell me. Biting obviously doesn’t work, so it has to be something else.”
Kirishima leaned his head back to gaze up at the sky, a bit surprised with the intensity of the stars against a moonless night. “Hm… Y’know, come to think of it, I don’t know either. And I doubt that Seijirou or Dokuji would tell me. Do you think she would even want to be changed?”
“Why wouldn’t she?” Bakugou huffed, focusing a bit closer as he thought he saw movement of the white lace curtains inside the bedroom. “If she would marry me, what’s the difference?”
“Uh, a lifetime of being an immortal monster that can only survive by drinking the blood of humans?” Kirishima glowered at his friend, who was obviously thinking too selfishly into this entire situation. “At least you actually have a way of changing her to be like you, though. I don’t. Nene will never be like me.” He sighed, falling back to lay on the roof they were perched on. “I mean, I won’t live forever like you. But hundreds of years is still a long time.”
“You should just tell her.”
“I have told her! And she doesn’t believe me, she thinks I’m joking. Y’know, Dokuji told Koge about what happened to you and she didn’t believe him, either.”
Bakugou growled softly, rubbing his face. “Fuckhead… Of course he did. Seijirou didn’t stop him?” Kirishima shrugged. “I think he wanted Koge to know the truth without actually having to tell her himself. He wants to help, but I don’t think he knows how can without upsetting Lady Midnight.”
“She won’t agree to anything. I’m not surprised that Koge didn’t believe any of it… And that Nene doesn’t believe you. Who would? A vampire and a dragon. Sounds fucking ridiculous.” Bakugou stood, adjusting his cloak a bit as he did. Kirishima looked up at him, though didn’t sit up himself. “What are you doing?”
“I’m… Just going to go in to make sure she’s sleeping.” Bakugou looked down at his friend, feeling his stomach bubble anxiously at the skeptical look he was giving him. “What?!” Kirishima sat up, leaning back on his arms. “Don’t mess with her. She’s been hysterical all week. If you’re going to wake her up, then you’re going to have to keep seeing her in secret.”
“I’m not planning on waking her up! I just… Oh fuck off, I don’t have to explain myself to you.” With that, he took a step off the roof, using his new found agility and power to stealthily jump and climb his way silently to her window. As quietly as he could, he began to pry open the window, a quiet sigh of relief exiting his lungs at the fact that it wasn’t locked. The instant it lifted, her scent hit him like a brick, flooding his entire body with desire, arousal and hunger. It took every inch of his self control to not barge into the room, digging his nails into the wood of the windowsill until the initial hit calmed.
Finding that holding his breath helped, he finished climbing into the room, shutting the window behind him. At first, he stared at Kirishima in the distance, trying to get the courage to turn around. With a wave of Kirishima’s hand in a ‘go on’ motion, Bakugou tore himself away from the window, quietly walking further into the room. Though, the instant his eyes landed on the bed, he froze, finding that what he saw was not at all what he expected.
Chapter 6: Sanity
Pale blue eyes were locked on him, wide with shock and welling with tears. Sitting up, Koge had one of Bakugou’s old blazers in her lap, sewing up a hole he had made. A single candle rested on the bedside table, creating just enough light for her to see. Sewing and tailoring clothes had always been one of her skills, so the fact that she was doing it wasn’t what shocked him. The fact that she was up literally in the middle of the night fixing one of his blazers was. In fact, it was so bizarre that he couldn’t help but give a short chortle, smile spreading across his lips. “Utsuro… You do realize that one is so old it doesn’t fit me anymore, right?”
Koge blinked at the sound of his voice, the tears spilling down her cheeks. “O-oh… I…” She looked down at the dark red fabric, running her hand along it to smooth it out a bit across her lap. “I just… I remembered that you had torn it, and… I figured I could fix it and perhaps make it a bit bigger in the arms for you. Then it would… It would fit.” Hands trembling, she gripped onto the fabric tightly, keeping her head down. “You’re… You’re a hallucination.”
Bakugou frowned, reaching up to remove his hood. “So what if I am. I’m here, aren’t I?” He took a few steps closer to the bed, gripping onto the wooden footboard, which creaked under his weight as he leaned on it. Koge gave a small jump at the sound, quickly looking back up at her lover in surprise. “I suppose…” Sticking her needle into a pin cushion, Koge folded up the blazer and placed it down beside her carefully. “Katsuki… Seeing you here just confirms that I’m crazy. Losing you has made me completely lose my mind. Everyone thinks that, so it must be true.”
“Do you think you’re crazy?” Bakugou questioned, hating to see her so down. Though, his keen eyes caught onto something that he hadn’t noticed before, something he had no idea about. The scars that adorned her wrists told him that she had tried to end her own life sometime after his disappearance, and the guilt that immediately crushed him filled him with a sense to flee. His stupid actions had hurt her more than any physical pain he had gone through, all because he had decided to act like a child. How stupid and selfish he had been made him sick, and he wanted nothing more than to take all her suffering away.
With a small shake of her head, Koge pushed the blankets off of her legs, her pale skin glowing against the flickering candle flame. “I know I’m not crazy. I knew all this time that you were still alive, and I know that I kissed you the other day. The bruises on my arms prove it.” Although she brought a hand up to touch the yellowing bruise on her left arm, Bakugou wasn’t looking at it. All his attention was on the rest of her body, how perfect she looked in that silk shift that clung to her curves. It hung off one shoulder, tempting him with an enticing view of her neck. He hated that all he could think about was sinking his teeth into her when he should be holding and comforting her.
“You’re not crazy. And I’m not a hallucination. I’m really here.” He held a hand out towards her. “I… didn’t mean to bruise you like that. I’m still working on… controlling my strength, even when I’m not spooked.” Koge glanced from his hand up to his face, feeling a panic beginning to bubble in her stomach. She wanted to take his hand, but then what? He had claimed that he couldn’t come back to her, so what was all this?
“Katsuki… Why are you here?”
Bakugou’s expression turned a bit stern, though he only motioned with his hand for her to come to him. ”I… can’t stay away. Come to me.” Koge felt happiness beginning to swell within her heart, a hint of a smile forcing its way through. Although she was still a bit cautious, she shifted her body down the bed towards him, not shy about her shift sliding further up her legs. The closer she got to him, the more his scent filled her senses. He smelled so good, like warm caramel, and it didn’t help that he looked absolutely gorgeous in the candlelight. It took every inch of her self control to not leap onto him, though her focus was shattered has he suddenly let out a hiss, yanking his hand back and stepping away from the bed.
Without really noticing, Koge had reached out to take his hand. The negative reaction from her touch startled her so badly that she quickly backed up, clutching her hand closer to her chest. “O-Oh no, Katsuki, I--”
“It’s not you.” Bakugou hissed between his teeth, glaring down at the red and irritated skin on his index finger. “It’s your ring.”
“My ring?” Koge looked down at the piece of jewelry that adorned her finger, suddenly feeling a rush of fear at the thought that she would have to remove it to be able to touch him. “Why my ring?” Bakugou gave a small shake of his hand as the pain faded, returning to his spot at the end of the bed. “It’s silver. I… Can’t touch silver. Can you take it off just while I’m here?”
“I… Okay.” With a deep breath to calm herself, she carefully pried the ring from her finger, feeling instantly vulnerable without it. Still, her wanting to touch him was stronger than her need to keep it on, so she carefully placed it down onto the bedside table next to the flickering candle. The soft clink it made against the wood made her stomach lurch a bit, having not seen the ring anywhere but her finger since he first proposed to her. It was the only thing she had left that truly tied her to him, and now, she had to get rid of it to be with him. If this was all truly in her mind, then losing it during whatever psychotic break this could be would ruin her. But if it was real, if he was truly standing at the end of the bed they once shared, then that meant that she would have him back.
Tenderly touching the now vacant spot on her finger, Koge looked back towards her lover, who was waiting silently for her to make a decision. She could see the frustration in his furrowed brow, the longing in his crimson gaze perfectly matching her own. Without another thought, Koge moved down the bed towards him, taking his hand as he reached it out towards her. It was as if a spark rushed through them, short circuiting any rational thought or reluctantancy. Before either of them could even stop or think, Koge had her arms around Bakugou’s neck, kissing him passionately.
But, as she kissed him, she realized nothing was how it had been. It was all so much more intense, from both sides. He tasted like heaven and smelled so delicious that she found herself hopelessly drawn to him, wanting to kiss and touch every inch of him. The lust that Koge felt was nothing she had ever experienced before, even from back when their relationship first began. Even the way he touched her, holding her body tightly against his with his hands eagerly exploring her back, was different. Sure, it was something that Koge had expected, for them to want each other so badly that the entire interaction would be nothing but crazed sex. But this was different.
It was as if everything about him made her want him. It felt… dangerous, like she was a fish attracted to a shiny lure, only to meet her death at the end of a hook and a skillet over fire. She thought it was odd that she would compare herself to a meal, like he was going to eat her. It almost felt that way, like all his passion was driven from hunger.
And, if Bakugou were honest with himself, it was. By now, he had grown used to the typical routine of feeding, attracting women to him with just a glance, whisking them away with false promises, only to provide them with a very unpleasant night. Typically, it was common for those of his kind to enjoy a bit of fun before they fed, but that was something that Bakugou had refused to do, no matter how enticing the thought. Just because he had vanished from the world of the living didn’t mean that his soul no longer belonged to Koge. It had and always would.
Thus, his raging hunger and sexual desire were fighting with each other. On one hand, he wanted to make love to her, to feel her and shower her in the affection they had both been robbed of. But, on the other hand, he wanted to rip into her flesh like a crazed animal, to fuck her while draining her of life. He couldn’t believe how strong his negative desires were, even after a hefty feeding the night before. It made him feel disgusting, for thinking such a thing of the woman that he loved. He could only hope that his love for her would be enough to tame him.
Koge released a soft gasp at the feeling of his hands gripping onto her backside, catching his gaze as the kiss paused. Having been lost in the heat, she hadn’t even noticed that her shift had been pulled up, nor did she remember bringing her hands around to fiddle with the buttons of his cloak. With the snap of the last one coming free, they both allowed the heavy cloth to fall free from his shoulders to become a lifeless lump on the floor. “Why do you wear that, Katsuki? To hide your new haircut?” Koge teased playfully, her fingers moving to the buttons of his vest as he kissed her. Once that clothing was also discarded, Bakugou hoisted himself up over the footboard, scooping her small frame up into his arms as he did so.
“That’s the first thing you comment on, Utsuro? My fucking hair? Of all the dumb shit to notice first--” He lied her down beneath him, pausing for just a split second as he yanked his shirt off over his head. Koge’s shift was quick to follow, leaving her bare and vulnerable. Bakugou had no time to admire her, however, locked in her embrace and entranced by her lips. That didn’t stop his hands from wandering, sliding up her sides to caress her breasts.
With the release of her first sweet moan, Bakugou felt an intense swell of hungry passion rush through his body, the urge to feed off her becoming only stronger. In an instant, it nearly overwhelmed him, forcing him to sit up and release her. “God fucking damn it, I can’t do it!” Panting heavily from the rush of primal urges, he glared up at the white ceiling, watching the dancing shadows created by the flickering candle flame. He couldn’t even look at her, too scared that the sight of her nude body would break his control. “I’m not strong enough… I don’t trust myself not to hurt you.”
Laying there in her own bewildered state, Koge timidly covered her chest with her arms, trying to catch her breath. The fact that he couldn’t even look at her was heavy on her battered heart, and guilt was beginning to creep over her. She felt selfish, wanting him so badly that she didn’t even think about how hard it might be for him. There was the tangible weight on her mind that nothing would be as it had, even if he was truly by her side again. She wanted so badly for things to be normal, for him to love and touch her as he always had. It had almost been a reality, teasing her with every touch or kiss. Now, it was cracking, threatening to shatter if she didn’t find a way to pull him back.
“Let’s… Let's slow down, Katsuki.” Slowly, Koge sat up, taking it upon herself to pull her blanket over her body. Taking a deep, trembling breath of his own, Bakugou finally turned his gaze down to her once he was confident she was covered. The dejected look on her face only made him feel worse, and as he flopped to sit he rested his elbows onto his knees. Hiding his face in his hands, he let out a groan of frustration.
“I’m fucking worthless, Koge… After everything I’ve put you through, I try to come back and just… Fix it. Somehow. And I can’t even fucking touch you without… Without--”
“Wanting to feed off me. Right?” Koge caught his gaze as Bakugou lifted his head from his hands. He was surprised that she was so quick to understand, even though he really hadn’t revealed anything to her. It was the conversation she had with Dokuji, he assumed, that had truly tipped her off about what he had become. Now that he was here and she could physically touch him, she no longer doubted what had been told to her.
Deciding there was no point in hiding any of it, Bakugou gave a nod, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. His expression and body language told Koge that he was ashamed of how he felt, so with a slow and gentle touch, she placed a hand on his knee. “It’s not your fault, Katsuki… You can’t help it. You’ve… done really well, though. You got me naked, at least.” She cracked a smile and a small giggle, lifting Bakugou’s spirits just enough to not feel like a monster.
“I can’t believe you don’t hate me… After everything.” Bakugou let his hand rest over hers, softly stroking her skin with his thumb. Koge made no further moves, letting him adjust at his own pace, though a swell of emotion brought a burning to her eyes at how cold his touch was. She hadn’t really noticed during the heat of their moment before, but now it was near shocking. There was no heat. No life.
“I could never hate you,” Koge spoke softly, fighting back her raging emotions. “Never. I’m so happy you’ve come back to me, Katsuki.” She clutched onto the fabric of his pants as her voice hitched. “But I’m also scared… What if you can’t stand to be around me, now? I won’t survive losing you again.”
“You don’t have to be scared of that… Nothing will keep me away from you now. But I… There are rules I have to keep following. Or she might want to get rid of you…” Bakugou slowly slid his hand up Koge’s arm, stopping at the yellowing bruise that he had left on her. In response to his touch, Koge shifted herself just a bit closer to him, though she kept her body hidden behind the blankets.
“Why don’t you just tell me everything… From the beginning. So that I can understand, and maybe we can just… work this out.” Koge couldn’t resist nuzzling her face into his palm as he caressed her cheek, her skin flushing at the rough feeling of his thumb wiping away the rogue tears. With a sigh, Bakugou glanced out at the night sky, trying to gauge how much time he had left. Although the thought of being caught out in the sun weighed heavy on his mind, he didn’t want to leave her, nor did he want to give her a watered down version of what happened and what was now his reality. She deserved to know it all.
And so, he told her. For hours he went on, describing in detail all the things that he could remember. From the first moment of following Izuku Midoriya into the forest to scare him, finding that they were instead forced into a fate that, in his opinion, no one deserved. It took him two months to fully transition, and he was pretty positive that he had been dead for the majority of it. He couldn’t remember how it was done to him or what the entire process entailed, nor could he ever get anyone else to tell him about it. He then spent the next five months locked up, fighting to learn how to control his rage and new found strength before he could be trusted outside.
Bakugou admitted that, at the time, he had completely forgotten about her. He didn’t remember anything from before, his need to kill and feed clouding his mind entirely. He couldn’t remember how to be human. The one who helped him the most, out of the entire clan, was Seijirou. That ‘kook’, as Bakugou called him, was the only one who could get through to him, and that was only because Bakugou could recognize him. And, upon recognizing him, the memories of his lover, friends and family slowly returned.
That is what made him calm down enough to be allowed freedom, his wanting to be able to see Koge again.
“So…” Koge spoke up quietly when there was a moment of silence, softly running her fingers along his arm. During the hours of conversation, the two had moved to lay down, Koge dressed in his shirt while they cuddled beneath the blankets. Keeping things at a relatively low level of intimacy seemed to allow him enough control to be this close to her, and with her head resting on his chest, the only thing she had to complain about was the lack of heartbeat. “Now you’re Lady Kayama’s… clan member? You hunt for her and protect her territory. That’s why you roam the streets at night.”
“Mhmm…” Bakugou watched his hand as he ran his fingers through her white locks, having been stroking the same area for a good twenty minutes, now. “As long as I am here, I have to listen to her. If I don’t want to be killed or punished…”
“It’s so odd to hear you say that you have to obey someone. You, my stubborn Katsuki…” A yawn forced its way though her lips, closing her eyes as she nuzzled her face further into his chest. “She would be really angry if she found out about this… right?”
“Yeah. I’ve been watching you and visiting for a few months now… Lighting your fire. I also went to visit the flowers every time you replaced them. I’ve even been taking one, I have them drying out in a book. I remember you showed me that trick once.” Caressing the back of her neck, he kissed the top of her head softly, able to feel how she smiled against his skin and the heat in her cheeks. “Lots of stupid mushy shit, you know…”
“Because you still love me.” Koge tilted her head up to catch his gaze, worry obvious on her furrowed brow. “Right? Those feelings aren’t… different?”
“No, Koge. If anything, they’re stronger. Because now I know what it feels like to not have you… And I can’t imagine a life - an eternity - without you.” Bakugou kissed her softly, holding her body closer. “I still want you as my wife… But--”
“Change me, then.” The lack of hesitation in her proposal made Bakugou pause, staring down at her in shock for a moment before he shook his head.
“I… Don’t know how it works. They won’t tell me and… Biting obviously doesn’t work, because when I feed, nothing happens. Are you even sure you want to? It’s… painful and you might not make it through.”
Koge placed her hand on his cheek, stroking his fair skin softly with her thumb. “We can figure out how. But once we do, I want it to happen. I’d rather take the chance then spend my entire life only seeing you at night and growing old without you.”
“You’ll have to leave everything behind… Nene, my parents… No one can know we’re still alive… or, alive-ish.”
“You know I’d follow you to the other side of the world, Katsuki. No one would miss me, anyway. Everyone thinks I’m some kind of insane witch, your parents are sick of me, and Nene barely tolerates me…” The reminder of just how outcased she had become brought new tears to her eyes, though she held them back the best she could. “No, I don’t belong here anymore… I belong with you.”
Bakugou found himself at a loss for words at the moment, contemplating her words. If he were honest with himself, he wanted more than anything for her to be like him, so he could kiss and caress her without any need to restrain himself. He wanted to love her at his fullest, and with this new barrier between them, he knew that he couldn’t, not without risking putting her in danger.
Sharing another loving kiss, Bakugou answered her with silent affection, which Koge took as an agreement. When their kiss parted, Koge sighed softly in happiness, an emotion that she thought had been forgotten. “I love you so much, Katsuki. I still can’t believe you came back to me… That I get to kiss you again and hear your voice. I never thought I would.”
“I love you, too, Koge. You should rest, now…”
“I don’t want to. You’ll be gone when I wake up.” Although she was defiant, she snuggled her body closer to him, resting comfortably. Bakugou went back to stroking her hair softly, giving a heavy sigh.
“Yes… But just know that I’ll be back every night. Unless I have to eat...”
Koge giggled softly, already beginning to drift off. “That’s a good idea… I don’t want to become dinner….” With that, Koge found herself lost to the dark grip of unconsciousness, dreaming of her lovers smile and his hands against her skin.
It was a disappointment, however, to wake up alone. The sun shone bright through her window, forcing a groan from her lips as she turned her head into her pillow. Though, as she shifted, she felt something in her hand, hearing it crumple against her grip. Curious, she suffered through the blinding light to look down at it, finding a piece of paper folded up in her palm. Opening it carefully, she first found her engagement ring, followed by words sprawled across the paper. They were more than just a simple message. It was proof that he had truly been there, that everything she had felt and been told wasn’t just a dream. Her lover was a being that could walk this Earth, and in that moment, she made a silent vow to never let him slip from her fingers again.
Don’t forget this. I’ll be back tonight for my shirt.
Chapter 7: Secrets Out
Bakugou did indeed return the next night, and the night after that. Two months went on with him not missing a single night, no matter if it was raining, snowing or whatever else the weather decided to throw at them. He would come and sit with her, reminiscing about their childhood and the days before misery. Although he had been trying to find out from his clan members, there still was no information given to him on how he could change her, nor could Koge find out anything from sources she had. That being Nene, who had a bit of a fascination for myths and the supernatural.
“The last I was able to get out of her was that your… essence has to get into me. Whatever that means.” Koge was currently sewing up a hole that he had ripped on his pants during a feeding, allowing him to pace the room. Arms crossed, his crimson glare was locked on the wooden floorboards, which creaked softly with his weight.
“My essence. Like, my blood? That doesn’t make sense, because when I bite someone, my saliva gets into their wounds, but it doesn’t change them.”
“Maybe you just don’t give it long enough to take effect before you suck out all their blood and kill them.” How casually Koge spoke about all this was still shocking to Bakugou, as he had always dreaded how long it would take her to adjust to him and his new lifestyle. Koge, however, didn’t skip a beat in her adjustments. If it was the norm to him, then it was for her as well, and she wasn’t going to question anything he said or did.
“You don’t understand, Utsuro. The instant I taste the blood, I can’t stop until I’m full. And that’s usually not until the person is literally drained. I couldn’t wait to give them a chance if I wanted to.” He came to stop next to her vanity, picking up a book that rested there.
Koge nodded, finishing up her patchwork before moving on to the next hole. “That’s why they only let the older members of the clan change people, I suppose. They can control themselves. Let’s just ask Seijirou to do it–”
“Fuck that!” Bakugou snapped, dropping the book a bit louder than what was necessary. “If anyone is going to change you, it has to be me. Besides, he wouldn’t do it. Our Lady Midnight has him wrapped around her little finger. She wouldn’t even let him change his lovers over the past few centuries, and from his ranting, there have been a couple that he truly didn’t want to leave. But now he has his little feral brat.”
“I like Dokuji. He’s not that bad. He actually reminds me a lot of you.”
“You’ll regret that when I’m finally able to make love to you, Utsuro.”
Koge giggled at the threat, though the subject still was a sore spot for both of them. They still hadn’t been able to get past kissing and cuddling, and she had to wear a piece of his clothing for him to not be overwhelmed with her scent. Retaining abstinence was harder than Koge would have ever imagined, especially since they weren’t strangers to each other’s bodies. She adored every inch of him, from his fluffy spiked blonde hair to his toes, and it had only grown stronger since he returned to her. It wasn’t just the fact that he had been gone for over a year, but also what he had become. He gave off an attractive aura and scent that she could barely resist, and just a simple glance from him could make her blood boil with desire.
“Eventually, love. Though you make it hard to not want to try. Especially walking around like you are right now, in that long shirt and no pants– ah, ow!” Koge let out a hiss as she pricked her finger with her needle, yanking her hand away to bring her finger to her lips. Bakugou scoffed, glowering at her over his shoulder.
“That’s what you get for gawking at me. All you can see is my legs anyway, that’s not something new.” He turned his glare to look down at himself, the long white tunic stopping at his mid thigh. He had the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and the buttons around the collar loose, practically leaving him nude. “Though I guess it’s not just that… I’ve been changed to attract humans in a sexual way. That includes you.”
Once she was sure she wasn’t bleeding, Koge went back to sewing, a sigh escaping her lips. “Let’s try to avoid the topic, I guess. I almost have this last hole closed up and you can put your pants back on. I–”
“Sh!” Bakugou suddenly hushed her, holding out a hand in the same moment. His eyes were locked on the door to the bedroom, and if he were a cat, Koge could just imagine how his hair would be standing on end. Still, she kept silent as he demanded, though the silence was broken by another voice and a soft knock to the door.
“Koge? Are you alright?” Nene’s worried voice instantly made Koge’s stomach lurch, her heart racing at the thought that Nene had heard them talking. Why she was up in the middle of the night was something that Koge couldn’t fathom, but it immediately made her want to jump out of the window with her lover and hide forever.
With a glare from Bakugou that told her to speak, Koge glanced around frantically, trying to figure out how to hide not only his pants, but his coat and vest that were beside her as well. “Y-yes Nene, I’m fine! I’m just unable to sleep is all.”
As if he could predict Nene’s actions, Bakugou was quick to get onto the other side of the door, hiding behind it as it opened. Nene peeked in curiously, holding a brass candle holder with a nearly fully melted candle flickering in the darkness to illuminate her form. She seemed concerned as she laid eyes on Koge’s current situation, sitting on the bed with clothes scattered around her. “Koge, are you fixing his clothes again…?”
Swallowing the lump in her throat as she did everything in her power to not glance at Bakugou, Koge merely nodded, clutching onto the pants tightly. “Yes, I couldn’t sleep, and this is… often my way to get sleepy. To just fix his clothes. Yes.”
Everyone who was familiar with Koge knew that she was an awful liar, especially when it came to people whom she was close with. She had a tendency to be honest and quite blunt, so any time she tried to hide something, she would rather just leave to avoid confrontation. Even though she wasn’t looking at him, she could feel her lovers glare, threatening to blow up if Koge wasn’t able to get Nene to go away. She was already failing.
“But that’s so many, and… those aren’t familiar to me. Are you sure you’re okay?” Without Koge’s permission, Nene walked into the room, allowing the door to shut softly behind her. Koge could see Bakugou tense and even reach up to cover his mouth and nose at the redheads presence, bringing nervous bubbles to Koge’s stomach.
“Nene, really, I’m okay. I’d really rather be alone right now.”
“Is it mean of me to say that I don’t believe you? You have such a guilty face right now. And I… thought I heard voices.” As Nene began to glance around the room curiously, there was nothing Koge could do to stop the sudden rush of events that nearly made her faint from panic. A simple glance to the left had Bakugou in Nene’s peripheral vision, instantly making Nene gasp and stumble away from him. Within seconds, she was shoved up against the door with Bakugou’s hand over her mouth, the candle holder in her hand falling to the ground with a loud clank. As it rolled across the floor, the candle extinguished from the impact, all three in the room were still and silent, except for Nene’s rapid and horrified breathing.
“You forgot to lock the door, Utsuro.” Bakugou glared at Koge over his shoulder, not giving Nene a second to wiggle out of his grip. With a small shake of her head, Koge stood, nervously fixing her shift. “I-I thought I had locked it earlier in the night. No one is usually up this late. Katsuki, let her go, it’s okay-”
“It’s not okay! No one can see me, don’t you understand that?!” The way he hissed at Koge made her cower down into herself a bit, crossing her arms tightly over her chest. With a heavy sigh, Bakugou turned his glare back to Nene, who’s grey eyes were scanning his face with confused horror. “You’re so fucking irritating, Nene. Why are you even up this late?”
When such a question was presented to her, Nene’s face instantly flushed, embarrassment overshadowing her confusion. It was then that Bakugou could smell a familiar scent on her, lingering in her hair and on her flesh that had initially been hidden by her perfume. With a scoff, Bakugou glared at the door. “Kirishima. You were sneaking around with him.”
Nene’s face only flushed darker, giving a frustrated groan that was muffled by his hand over her mouth as she tried to wiggle to escape. With a sigh, Koge made her way over to them, putting her hand on Bakugou’s arm to try and calm him. “Katsuki, please. She won’t tell anyone. She’s kept all my secrets and all my struggles hidden from everyone already. Just let her go.”
Glare softening as Bakugou observed Koge’s worried expression, he released Nene with a click of his tongue, taking a step back as their friend slumped to the floor. Hiccuping and sobbing now that she was free, Nene pressed herself tighter to the wall, looking up at the couple with a thousand questions visible in her eyes. “K-k-koge, please, what is going on? Why is he here? He’s dead!”
“Shh, Nene, please.” Koge knelt down beside her friend, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Be quiet, someone will hear you.”
“I-is this why you’ve been asking me all these weird questions?” Nene wiped the tears from her flushed face, struggling to speak behind her hiccups. “About vampires? Is that what is going on? How did he smell Kiri on me? How is he alive? Are you going to kill me now that I know?”
“I will if you don’t shut your fucking mouth.” Bakugou growled in frustrated annoyance, walking away and towards the bed to fetch his clothes.
Koge glowered after her lover, hugging Nene as she leaned against her. “Katsuki, stop it. That’s unnecessary. It’s okay for her to know–”
“No, Utsuro, it’s not okay for anyone to know! One fucking person can lead to another, and another, until Lady Midnight knows that I’ve been sneaking around with you. She’ll send me away or kill you, don’t you get it?!”
“P-please don’t fight,” Nene interrupted them before Koge could retort, finally calming down enough to speak properly. “Katsu, you don’t have to worry about me. I swear, I won’t tell anyone. I’m… not even allowed to speak really anyway outside of formalities. You know that…” Finding her strength, Nene stood along with Koge, fixing her bodice that had been disturbed by the tussle. “You didn’t have to beat me up like that, though…”
With a roll of his eyes, Bakugou began to pull on his pants after removing Koge’s needle from them. “You would have screamed if I didn’t. My parents running in here would be a fucking disaster…”
“I-I’m sorry,” Nene clutched onto the front of her dress. “I was just worried about Koge, you know… I’ve been the only one to look after her this whole time. When I heard her talking, I thought perhaps she was… Uhm…”
“That I was having an episode or something.” Koge finished for her, making her way back towards the bed. “Wouldn’t be the first time. Nene, please sit, we all need to talk about this seriously.”
Nene glanced at the chair that Koge motioned towards, timidly shuffling to it before sitting. There was silence between the three for a moment as Koge buttoned up Bakugou’s vest for him, the petite woman trying to figure out how to go about all of this. Before she could even think of what to say, Bakugou spoke for her, placing one of his hands on her side affectionately.
“Listen, Nene. It’s forbidden for me to be here. Outside of people I lure in for food, no one human is ever supposed to lay eyes on me.”
“But you love Koge so much. I… I’m not surprised that you came back to her.” Nene smiled at them both softly, bringing a heat to Koge’s cheeks as Bakugou slid his hand around to her back to pull her body against him. “It’s so romantic. Even if it is heartbreaking what you’ve both been through… I did have a thought that what happened was something like this, though, when Koge told me she saw you in the street a while back and coming in to find that her fireplace was lit nearly every morning.”
“Why would you even suspect it?” Bakugou glowered at Nene as he hugged Koge to him tightly, as if he were wanting to protect her. Koge took to his embrace without question, wrapping her arms around his torso. With a small shrug, Nene leaned back in the seat, reaching up to run her fingers through her thick, curly dark red hair.
“I’ve always been interested in that stuff, you know. And there were just so many signs that hinted towards that that I picked up on from what I witnessed and what Koge told me. And she’s… been asking a lot of questions. Particularly how a vampire would change someone.” Nene raised a suspicious eyebrow at Koge, who halfway hid her face into Bakugou’s chest.
Bakugou gave a frustrated click of his tongue. “What, you expect her to not want to change to be with me?”
“That’s not what I’m saying, Katsu. All I’m saying is that it was obvious. To me, at least, from what she was asking me. I fully expect for her to want to be like you. It makes me sad… But I’d never want you two to be apart again.” With that, Nene stood, making her way towards her discarded candle holder and picking it up from the floor along with the candle. Frowning as she watched her friend fix the candle into place, Koge shared a quick glance with Bakugou.
“What are you doing, Nene?”
With a smile, Nene pulled a match from her dress pocket, lighting it and igniting the wick of her candle. “You think I’m going to just give up on you now? I have to go fetch my books. I’m sure we can find the secret in there somewhere.”