Chapter 1: Cum Mortuis In Lingua Mortua
“With the Dead in a Dead Language”
Kaminari Denki knew that he smoked a lot of pot; hell, wake and bake could be considered the theme to his otherwise dull life, but even he knew that what Shinsou Hitoshi had just defied the laws of physics. As if high school wasn’t fucked enough already, right? Now he’s watching some goth/supernatural hybrid scaling a ten-story building after leaving some poor, defenseless woman all alone in an alleyway, dazed and confused and determined that she only needed to pick up a pack of smokes before work that morning, never mind the two puncture marks protruding from the left side of her neck that healed rapidly before Kaminari’s shocked eyes.
Kaminari couldn’t convince her otherwise as she readjusted the red denim jacket she wore, fixing her long blonde hair that laid skewed, and so he sent her about her business with a spiel about low blood pressure for good measure. His mother would have been disappointed in him if he didn’t at least do that much. Fuck, his mom.
What to do?
What to say?
And worse of all?
The two of them had made eye contact.
Like, full on eye contact.
Shinsou now knew Kaminari knew something, and so the blonde hurried home as fast as he could, slamming his skateboard back onto the wet concrete as he took off in the opposite direction, dodging pissed off motorist after pissed off motorist just to make it home out of breath with his heart in his throat, realizing his mother wouldn’t be joining him for at least another ten to twelve hours. Shinsou Hitoshi at bare minimum had just assaulted some woman, and at maximum, he’d drank her blood and then messed with her head in a way that made her think he hadn’t. He hoped and he prayed to any god out there that would listen that she wouldn’t come home just to find his lifeless, bloodless corpse. He decided then that research, much research needed to be conducted then as he barely remembered to kick off his black and white checkered Vans in the genkan in his hurry to try and not die.
Kaminari wanted to believe that what he’d witnessed couldn’t be possible, that it was him, the day, the week, something else that could have been off, but he knew better. He just knew. The first word he typed into the search engine happened to be “Vampire,” and his gut sunk the more he read.
The taking of a person’s vital life force (i.e. blood) to sustain their own; enhanced speed, enhanced strength, and psychic powers all appeared to check out. Pale and attractive, too, for that matter, but he could neither confirm nor deny any fangs, though those two almost insignificant little puncture marks to the side of that woman’s neck leaned more to the affirmative. Kaminari never concerned himself with Shinsou’s shadow before, but he knew for sure that the other teen held a reflection; he often daydreamed whilst staring at it during Art History where Shinsou sat next to the window on the other side of the room where the sun shone through more often than not around this time of year.
The sun. Shinsou could often be found outside during the day even if he didn’t necessarily like it, but further research deduced that sun sensitivity didn’t always coincide with vampirism. A stake, decapitation, and complete incineration appeared to be the only means of removal, and Kaminari knew he didn’t have the heart, nor the stomach to do any of those, so the only thing left to do was one of three:
One.) Avoid being alone with Hitoshi like he carried a resurgence of the bubonic plague inside school and out. Which, to be fair, was highly unlikely due to the fact that they shared three classes, Denki often went to one of only two possible skate parks in Kawaguchi, and Shinsou often frequented Kaminari’s place of work to catch a movie or two, but not often alone, though never with the same person. Which didn’t make Kaminari jealous—at all.
Kaminari could always quit, but he loved the late nights, free junk food (that he stole), and working with one of his best friends in the entire universe, Ashido. His mom made plenty of money as an anesthesiologist, but after his father passed away at the tender age of five from a lengthy battle with Leukemia, he’d promised his mother to dutifully be the “man of the house” with tears in his childlike eyes. He worked if only to buy his own wants and needs, and things his mother loved, but would never dare to buy for herself.
So, that led to step...
Two.) Take all precautionary measures at all cost. He’d take a cross from those missionaries that always seemed to stop by at the worst time of day, preaching to him in pretty poor Japanese how to go about “saving” his eternal soul and whatnot. He often declined in near perfect English (his only shū in the history of his academic career, thank you very much) that he wasn’t interested in religion nor his soul, but he would lie through his straightened teeth just to get his hands on one of those.
He’d already purchased a bag or two (he couldn’t recall in his delusional state) of mustard seeds. He’d even paid a little extra to have it extradited overnight. Thank you, Modern World.
Japanese trees did not appear to be good enough to ward off vampires. A disappointing revelation, he realized, gnawing away on his fingernails with a nervous habit he promised to break one day. He’d paint over them, dress code be damned.
That said, there remained only one more option in Kaminari Denki’s brain, which led to...
Three.) Accept his inevitable death with a calm, cool collectiveness you could often only find in poetry. All he would ask when Shinsou came to collect his damnable soul was one last blunt; a single bong rip, even. He wouldn’t ask for much, he promised.
Speaking of which, it was getting late, his mother would be home soon, and Kaminari hadn’t started on the dinner he’d promised her. ‘One last dinner,’ he thought. ‘Make your last meal with her a perfect one.’
He smoked a blunt with his bedroom window open, staring intently at the lights that lined the opposite side of the street while listening to a song or two by the Cocteau Twins, and got to work on his best rendition of hambugu ever mastered in his kitchen. Kaminari wanted to be a chef, a dream concocted at the age of eight after a wonderful dream involving eggs the size of wales and ramen the length of crest falling waves as far as the eye could see. His mom worked hard, then she came home to love and see to her only child’s needs, not leaving much time to herself. Her selflessness urged him on, and he often cooked dinner just in time to eat it with her before getting ready for work (he was almost always at least ten minutes late). Very frowned upon.
He didn’t work that Wednesday evening.
“You know, mom,” he said, sitting at the kitchen table as still as he could be as his mother painted his nails a rich, deep purple color. Plum, maybe. “I love you. There’s no people on earth that could have adopted me like you and papa did.”
“ Denki,” she warned, ruby red painted lips pulled tight. “You know you never have to thank us for that. You were the gift.”
Kaminari laughed at that, he couldn’t help it.
He, the gift.
The pot smoking slacker who might graduate on time with the rest of his class whose only interests included skateboarding, playing video games, watching movies and reading weird books by American authors.
He bid her farewell for the what he believed might be his last night alive with a tight embrace and chaste, but purposeful kiss to her high forehead. He watched her walk upstairs first, trying to memorize her back one last time, her dark hair falling like a waterfall down the length of her spine. He lay in bed that night wide awake, glancing over at his bedroom window periodically as though a large, gaping mouth would form within it, fangs and all, beckoning him with a deep, honey smooth voice to come outside and play.
It was the faint blue of struggling daylight when his eyelids grew to be too weary, too heavy to hold them up, and only a short while after that the alarm on his phone sounded at the ready, informing him that it was time for school. Time to die. Correction: time to get ready for school, then die.
“I Love you, Denki! Call me when you’re on your way home!” his mother exclaimed, already dressed and heading for the front door. “And remember! A text is not a phone call, will you?!”
“What was that? I couldn’t hear you, baby?”
“I said of course, mom!”
“Love you more...”
“Love you the most!”
“Another stalemate, then. Do your best today, Denki,” she said. “I know school isn’t to your taste, but it’s your last year and then you can explore your cooking opportunities.”
“I will, mom,” he promised. “Do your best as well.”
“Will do! Bye!”
The apprehension Kaminari felt could be found in the toilet of his bathroom where his breakfast now sat. He’d already missed one day, he knew he couldn’t afford two. He knew.
One joint. He smoked one joint, grabbed his spray painted, mask tape skateboard, and soldiered on. To quote Kurt Vonnegut: “ I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. ”
Kaminari knew then that he was about to go careening over the edge, one way or another.
The first of three things Kaminari noticed when he got to school that Thursday morning was a shock of indigo colored hair, the second thing he noticed were the indigo colored eyes that tried their damndest to drag him under, and the third thing? Aizawa-sensei standing outside the door to homeroom with his arms crossed and his chin tucked down underneath the scarf he always wore, no matter the season.
“You’re both late,” he said, no inflection in his voice once so ever, but annoyance clearly written in the dark slate of his eyes.
“Sorry,” they both said, bowing just so at the same time.
“Sorry for being late, sensei,” they said, and again they bowed.
Kaminari could only stare at the well polished floor beneath his feet. He could feel the heat coming from Shinsou’s gaze, but he could not, would not meet it head on. ‘Please don’t read my mind’ was the only mantra Kaminari could seem to focus on to stave off any real possibility of Shinsou actually reading his mind.
“I promise never to do it again,” Shinsou said.
“What he said,” Kaminari added, wriggling around like a worm on a hook as he peered up at his teacher with what could only be described as the utmost desperation.
Aizawa appeared satisfied. For the time being, at least.
“Get inside, the both of you.”
Kaminari didn’t move until after Shinsou moved first, glad to be facing his back as he escaped to his desk towards the last row of class where safety resided in his group of friends. Kirishima with his cheerful understanding, Ashido with her chaotic force of good, Sero with his overall genuine self, and even Bakugou with his general fuckery were all shining beacons of light that called out to him in the darkness. The group could only nod or wave at him as he took his seat, breathing a sigh of relief.
Shinsou sat towards the front of homeroom, wedged in between Midoriya and Todoroki, and that felt safe. For a brief moment, he felt safe. It would prove to be fleeting, but it did happen.
Minutes felt like hours.
Hours felt like days.
Kaminari wanted to cry.
“Come on, Kami! We’ve got math!” Ashido exclaimed, looping her arm with his as they exited homeroom together.
“You look pale, man. You still not feeling good?” Kirishima asked, bumping elbows with Bakugou as they walked out alongside each other.
Kaminari couldn’t resist, he took one cautionary glance over his shoulder only to be greeted by that searing indigo stare again. He’d always wanted Shinsou’s gaze upon him, just not quite like this. The intensity in them made him feel like he was drowning in a sea of purple.
“I forgot to eat breakfast today.”
Lie number one of many.
“Shit for brains, how are you supposed to focus like that?!” Bakugou barked.
“Aw, look. He cares,” Sero jeered, dodging a jab aimed straight for his brittle ribs.
Que fake laugh number one of many.
A cross in one pocket, mustard seeds in another. Take no chances, he thought. For prey, there was safety in numbers, and Kaminari was most definitely prey.
Except those numbers dwindled the closer he got to English. Kaminari’s feet began to drag the closer he got to Yamada-sensei's classroom door. The last class of the day.
The third and final class he shared with one Shinsou Hitoshi. The one class he and Shinsou sat only one seat apart from each other. Christ, his new Lord and Savior resided with Mineta Minoru of all fucking people.
“Well, hello there, dear listener!” Yamada greeted with a wave and an over exaggerated bend of his slender torso. “You’re almost late, skater dude! So, get a rush on!”
“Sorry,” Kaminari said, sad almost to tears because Yamada truly was his favorite teacher, and today was probably the day he would ever get to attend his class.
“That sounded so unlike you, what’s the deal?” he asked in English, blocking Kaminari’s path with an outstretch of an impossibly long arm.
To be fair, Aizawa had probably told him in advance. Shinsou was his problem child, and Kaminari was Yamada’s. He still didn’t understand why or how the two were so close without ever truly revealing it, save small glimpses captured here and there.
It had given Kaminari all the wrong kinds of hope where Shinsou was concerned, to be completely fair.
“I just...don’t feel well,” he said with an apathetic shrug.
“Do you need to go see Shuzenji-san?” he asked, thin brows raised high in concern for him.
Yes, he thought.
“No, I’m good,” he said.
To his doom he marched.
Kaminari took his seat, his spine ramrod straight for once, and his chin tucked downwards with his eyes glued to the front of the board that had only one question written on it: What’s your favorite quote by any given author?
Kaminari snorted. Simple.
“I’m keeping it random today, kids, so Kaminari-kun, why don’t you start us off?”
The blonde gave a small smile at that. The one good thing about his last day on earth. Hopefully, someone would remember it for eulogy purposes since he didn’t have enough time to sort out his own.
“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”
“Vonnegut, huh? Excellent!” Yamada responded with a thumbs up. “Uraraka, you’re next!”
Kaminari couldn't even hear the poor, sweet girl over Shinsou’s dreadful stare.
Any moment, his body would combust and catch fire.
“Shinsou, what about you?”
Kaminari felt his entire body stiffen. He could have been mistaken for a bonsai in that very moment.
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
“Another Vonnegut, eh? I like it. Funky!”
“Two different books,” Kaminari reasoned, numb really. “His was Man Without a Country, where mine was from Mother Night.”
He was truly fucked.
That quote...why that quote?!
He let his head hit his desk with a deep sigh, and kissed his ass goodbye when the last bell of the day rang out. He grabbed his skateboard, forgot his bag, and never looked back as he ran to catch up with someone, anyone who would walk home with him. To his surprise, it came in the form of Shiozaki Ibara.
Mother fucking Nature, herself. His first crush in primary school.
“Sure, we only live one or two streets over from each other, right?”
“Yes! Yes, we do!” he exclaimed, ecstatic to simply be gone .
Well, except Shinsou didn’t come after him that night, nor the next. Honestly, Kaminari was beginning to feel a little miffed awaiting his not-so-imminent demise. He’d even gone skateboarding alone at the park one night, and not a single thing happened.
Well, until it did.
Kaminari went to work that Sunday night like he did every Sunday night. The drag, they’d say. No one liked to come in late knowing they had to be at school or work the following day, except the insomniacs and one lone vampire who was very much alone that rainy Sunday evening.
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is,” he greeted at the window.
Another Vonnegut quote, and from the same book.
A Man Without a Country.
“What would you like to view this evening, sir?” he asked, face leveled as best as it could be given the circumstance, never mind Ashido dancing to his far right as she tried to focus on her task of sweeping their cramped work booth.
Ashido would offer him a ride every night, and Kaminari would refuse her offer every night, but not that night.
No, not that night.
“What would you recommend?”
Going home, he thought.
“That’s not my choice to make,” he said.
“It is tonight.”
“You like the oddball classics, don’t you? Why not something with, say, Bela Lugosi ? We have ‘ Murders in the Rue Morgue’ playing tonight,” he offered.
“Very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s work, no?”
Kaminari grinned, he knew that already. “There’s always ‘ Dracula,” he offered with a tight lipped smile. His mother would have been proud of it for it resembled hers so perfectly.
Shinsou’s sadistic pleasure slid right off his face in an instant then. “One ticket for ‘ Murders in the Rue Morgue,” he said, forcing the words through his teeth. “ Please.”
“No date tonight?!” Ashido exclaimed, throwing the broom aside in her new quest to play matchmaker, her hands rubbing together.
Shinsou pulled up on the collar of his black overcoat before smoothing it back down again. He did the same thing with his hair before he said, to no one in particular, “No, not tonight.”
“Shame! Maybe you should consider expanding your options a little! I’ve never seen you with a blonde before, and I hear they’re good luck!”
“ Mina !” Kaminari pleaded under his breath, ripping the ticket almost in half, jerking back from the glass in shock.
Shinsou dared to smirk at that, no doubt picking up on Kaminari’s inherent distress. “You’re right,” he said, taking his ticket with careful consideration. “I should .”
“Denki!” Ashido wailed, nudging him in the shoulder with her elbow. “You ruined your shot! You’ve been after him since first year.”
Kaminari supposed that he did, in fact, ruin some sort of chance. He just didn’t think it was for a date with the goth of his dreams.
“Mina, I’m gonna need a right tonight. The streets are wet, and my hair looks too good to ruin,” he said.
“You never ask for a ride! You okay, hun?”
“I’m still not feeling one hundred percent,” he said, and honestly, what he’d said wasn’t a lie.
Kaminari Denki doubted that he would feel one hundred percent ever again.
“Of course! Want some hot tea to settle your stomach?”
But no, his pockets were once again filled with a red rosary with a tiny man on it in one pocket and mustard seeds that smelled atrocious in the other.
“Yeah, I’d love some.”
Lie, and don’t forget to say goodbye to one of your greatest friends.
“Night, Mina. Thanks for the ride.”
“Of course! See you tomorrow at school?” she asked, and Kaminari could tell that there was real worry in the tone of her voice, no matter how upbeat it held together.
He simply waved her off as he said, “Of course.”
Of course the mustard seeds atop his roof would do absolutely nothing to ward Shinsou Hitoshi off, which honestly pissed Kaminari off a little bit as he sat next to the fan aimed out his bedroom window, taking one last rip from his bong before setting it down. Well, at least he wouldn’t die sober. At night he slept with the cross around his neck. Shinsou noticed it right away.
“Cute,” he said, approaching Kaminari with a speed the blonde knew to be inhuman.
“Fucking missionaries,” he cursed, back pressed up against his bedroom wall, next to a poster he had of the Blue Öyster Cult’s Agents of Fortune album.
How fitting, he thought.
“Here’s the thing, Denki,” Shinsou said, encroaching upon Kaminari’s personal space fast. “I’m only here to erase your memories. Or, more accurately, distort them. I do it all of the time as you’ve probably already realized, and it’s painless. You’ll simply do as told.”
“Does your heart beat?” Kaminari asked, throwing Shinsou’s whole spiel right back into his face.
“W-what?” he asked, stuttering a bit as he took a deliberate step back.
“I don’t care if you fuck with my head, man. All I want to know before I don’t know is whether or not your heart beats.”
Shinsou’s entire body tensed as he looked Kaminari in the eye and uttered a simple, “No.”
“Yeah,” Kaminari said, for clarity. “Sad.”
“Why? Why would you say that?”
“You make my pulse race and my heart beat so fast whenever I see you, but you’ve never been able to feel the same, and it saddens me...”
Kaminari’s body felt as though it had sunk through the floor, through the entire universe, and he retained no control over his own being as Shinsou leaned forward, lips pressed up against the blonde’s ear, his breathless whisper loud in the silent echo of Kaminari’s mind. “You’re the reason I don’t get close to things, Sunshine,” he said, his cool presence sending an unwanted chill throughout Kaminari’s body. “You’re the reason I can’t do this.”
Kaminari realized secondhand that Shinsou Hitoshi had just kissed him, his lips thinner than his own, and slightly chapped as they held his hostage. Kaminari wanted to return it, truly he did, but his body remained a rag doll in Shinsou’s cold hands. How unfair.
“Forget that day,” he commanded. “Forget what you don’t already know about me. Be a good boy, and do as I say, Denki. It was not that I was so unloved that froze me. I had taught myself to do without love.”
Shinsou Hitoshi soon vanished that dreary night full of rain and humidity, and soon Kaminari regained possession of himself, but an odd thing happened then.
Kaminari Denki didn’t forget anything said or done to him.
It was all there as he slid down onto his bedroom floor, face held in his hands as his body shook.
Chapter 2: Caput Mortuum
Kaminari Denki woke up the following morning dazed, confused and without an idea of what he should do about, well, anything. He bid his mother goodbye in their usual fashion, got dressed, and made sure there were no mustard seeds leftover in any of his pockets. He only appeared to have two coherent thoughts running through his head at the time.
Kaminari’s Two Coherent Thoughts:
- ‘Shinsou Hitoshi does not have a beating heart.’
- ‘Shinsou Hitoshi kissed me.’
That Monday would prove to be a gauntlet Kaminari knew he’d more than likely fail. He knew for a fact that his face contained a wide array of expressions for a wide array of emotions. He also knew himself to be a shit liar of epic proportions, it’s partially why he was always in trouble to begin with.
The entire trip to school made his heart sink further and further down into the pit of his stomach. Kaminari needed to pretend that nothing of significant importance had occurred the night before, but it had, and he couldn’t stop thinking about it. It threatened to drive him mad.
Why hadn’t it worked? It worked on that woman, so what made him different in any way, shape or form? He didn’t know where to begin with any of that.
Kaminari was notorious for having an atrocious memory to start with, it made studying a frustrating endeavor that felt more akin to torture than anything educational wise in nature. Bakugou often lost his already limited patience whenever Kaminari was included in their study group, and Yaoyorozu just made him feel like a hopeless idiot, no matter how hard she tried, though she never intended to. Her tea collection remained unrivaled, however, and he often went solely to drink his fill of imported leafs.
Kaminari hustled to home room in his usual fashion, clinging to Sero for conversation and abject safety. “You really must be feeling better, huh?” he asked as they both took their seats.
“Yeah, yeah,” Kaminari said, brushing his friend off. “I think it was just a stomach flu or something.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he could make out the looming figure with indigo hair that walked in with such casual elegance that Kaminari couldn’t help but replay the night before, again and again, cutting out different pieces before mending them all back together again. The cool kiss he felt robbed of. He sighed, but then his stomach dropped when Shinsou’s gaze turned to meet his, and Kaminari could only glance away with an immediacy he didn’t quite mean.
“Oh, you guys missed it!” Ashido exclaimed, taking her seat with an over exaggerated sigh. “Kami missed his chance big time last night!”
Kaminari knew immediately where she planned to take the conversation, and felt his mouth run dry. “ Mina,” he warned, pointing an accusing finger at her.
“Oh, you mean with Shinsou?” Kirishima asked, his smile brighter than that of the sun in comparison to Bakugou’s scowl of casual disinterest.
“The purple-headed goth freak, you mean?”
“Don’t call him that,” he said, glaring at the other blonde with a sincerity that made it hard to miss Shinsou’s quick look back at his group of friends, including Kaminari himself.
Of course he could hear him, what with his enhanced senses and all. He’d probably overheard every romantic sigh Kaminari had ever sent his way, every word filled to the brim with utter want and longing. Did he feel the same?
“You’re the reason I don’t get close to things, Sunshine. You’re the reason I can’t do this.”
That replayed in his head, over and over again, on a continuous loop. Fear of being outed in more ways than one appeared to be the set of proverbial chains that bound Shinsou to himself. The reason the only contact he appeared to have with others that of feeding, of survival.
A Man Without a Country.
Kaminari felt the same lingering sadness blossom and take hold inside his chest. He tried to keep his emotions and reactions normal, but he could feel his own pulse spike with trepidation. He tried not to dwell on the other teen at all, but he was already failing, and it was only first period.
“So, what happened with the freak?” Bakugou continued, trying to pour salt into a wound he knew nothing about.
“He’s not a freak!”
That appeared to garner everyone’s attention, but especially Shinsou's who merely looked back at him with an unreadable, puzzle-like expression. Kaminari could feel his cheeks ignite with embarrassment, and Aizawa looked less than impressed with the whole lot of them. Good.
“I’ll tell you guys later,” Ashido whispered, giving Kaminari an apologetic shrug.
Kaminari wanted to die.
Maybe that would have been the easiest option, he thought, wanting to bury himself inside himself.
Thankfully, class didn’t linger too long after that. Of course, math would be next, but that was inevitable. He’d just have to suffer through that, but at least Shinsou wouldn’t be there.
Well, except the other teen appeared to be holed up by the doorway, not bothering to take off to his next class just yet. Shinsou raked his fingers through his wild hair before smoothing it back down as far as it would go again, the same nervous tick he’d shown just the night prior. If his other hand wasn’t occupied with a book, he would have more than likely done the same with his bland-colored uniform collar. Kaminari took a closer look at the book in his left hand, and noticed it to be Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night. The same book Kaminari quoted in class last Thursday...the book Shinsou himself quoted right before he’d disappeared into the night just the day prior.
Kaminari swallowed, hard.
“So, I never got to ask,” he started with a casual shrug, or what he tried to pass off as casual. “Are blonde’s good luck?”
Kaminari could only panic before he said, words rushed and jumbled, “No, absolutely not.” Readjusting the strap of his messenger bag, he added, “We’re all terrible luck. You should avoid us like the plague.”
“Denki !” Mina cried out, trying to catch up with him, but Kaminari refused to stop or to look back even once.
He was a man possessed.
A man riddled with fear.
Kaminari decided after math class to skip art history altogether, and head outdoors to a special spot near the back of the premises where a bamboo forest stood closer to the sky than the earth. He went far enough inside it so as not to be spotted, and dug out the nugget of weed he’d hidden on his person. He’d even gone so far as to bury a pipe near his favorite tree; a thick beam of bamboo that looked as though someone had tried to hack it down to pieces, but failed in their quest to do so.
He sat on the ground with his legs crossed underneath him, searching his uniform pocket for his favorite lighter. He would apologize to his mom about all of this later, but she just wouldn't understand. Couldn’t.
“Need a light?” Kaminari shrieked, rearing back as Shinsou crouched down in front of him all of the sudden, their eyes leveled. “Skipping class isn’t good form, you know?”
“You’re here, too, so...”
“Did I do something to you at work yesterday to make you act this way?”
Kaminari wanted to laugh, and so he did.
“I was rude to you,” he said, playing along.
It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t the full truth, either.
“I was rude first,” Shinsou said, gaze heavy and body impossibly still. It made Kaminari want to fidget.
Kaminari chuckled, keeping his airy tone about him. Or, at least, he tried to.
“Then that makes both of us, then,” he said, curious as Shinsou handed him a black and yellow striped lighter that looked awfully familiar. “Hey...”
“You dropped it.”
No, he didn’t.
“No, I didn’t,” he said, watching as Shinsou’s thin veneer cracked in two.
“I said, no I didn’t.”
Kaminari didn’t open his mouth, afraid to lose control over his body again all over again. He shook his head to signify that no, he wasn’t going to fall for that again. He wanted at least a fighting chance.
“...Everything,” he admitted. “You did it wrong. Whatever it was.”
“That’s not possible,” Shinsou said, brows furrowed as he stood them both up, ramming Kaminari’s back into the thin tree behind him with enough force to make it hurt.
Kaminari placed a hand over Shinsou’s heart, and felt nothing. “Sad...,” he murmured.
“You can’t remember!”
“You stole my body and then you stole a kiss from me!” he shouted back, near breathless as Shinsou’s hands enveloped his throat, squeezing.
“Who are you?! Who are your parents?! What bloodline do you descend from?!”
“I don’t know!” Kaminari wheezed, wrapping his hands around Shinsou’s wrists, even though it proved futile given the other’s strength. “I’m adopted .”
“Adopted...,” Shinsou muttered, letting go of Kaminari’s throat just so.
“Yes, adopted! My parents died when I was less than two years old, you sadistic fuck!”
Shinsou appeared truly ashamed for his previous action, but Kaminari could also sense the apprehension as well. “You can’t be...,” he said, mumbling as though it had been his windpipe nearly crushed.
“I don’t know what to tell you.”
“You’re not lying, I can sense it, but then...”
“Your blood, I need some of it.”
“Absolutely not!” Kaminari fought tooth and nail as Shinsou trapped him up against the bamboo tree, his favorite.
“I won’t feed from you, I don’t...I don’t always do that, only when I have to.”
“Yeah, Wednesday mornings and Sunday nights, apparently!”
“Just...hold still,” Shinsou warned, dragging a sharp nail along one of Kaminari’s pinned wrists.
“Stop!” he whimpered, afraid and also pissed off. The cut wasn’t long, but it was most certainly deep. It felt as though it would never end.
Shinsou took hold of his wrist then, bringing it up to his nose first and then his mouth. Within an instant, Shinsou hissed and dropped the bleeding appendage, reeling back as fangs protruded from his mouth. He appeared more afraid of Kaminari in that moment than the bleeding teen did of him.
“You’re of magic!” Shinsou exclaimed, as though he were throwing a curse at the confused blonde.
“What are you even on about?!”
“I knew it. I just knew it!” Shinsou continued, pulling at his hair until the strands groaned and threatened to give way.
Kaminari reached for him, but Shinsou reared back as though he were a wounded animal shoved into a corner. “What’s wrong with you?!” he asked, on the verge of panicking himself, his entire body thrumming with what felt like electricity.
And to his shock and awe, it was. The stress, the pain, and the anger, it all led to a chemical imbalance—a reaction. He not only electrocuted himself, but Shinsou as well by sheer proximity.
Well, except, the electricity didn’t feel bad—at all. In fact, if it weren’t for Shinsou’s pained expression and gritted teeth, Kaminari doubted that he would have been able to stop it. A shock to his teeth, hair and heart. It felt...exhilarating.
“I’m, I’m sorry,” he started, but Shinsou was gone in an instant.
Kaminari didn’t know what to do or feel, but his heart was racing, and he could taste the sensation of battery acid still on his tongue. He sighed, closed his eyes, and clutched the lighter in his hand with a resurgence of strength. He was alive.
For the time being anyway.
The next two days were spent as though nothing out of the ordinary had occurred, but Kaminari could feel the difference, at home as well as at school. He could feel the electricity still coursing through his veins under high levels of stress and all memories of physical and emotional pain he could recall from past experiences alone. Lightning and electricity used to stir nothing but hesitation and the utmost fear in him growing up. He wondered why that was now, but felt intense anxiety at the thought of asking his mother about his adoption papers. One, it wasn’t talked about frequently or at all, and two, his papers were deemed lost in the move they made a year after his father passed away, but he needed to know more about his biological parents; no matter how awkward he might feel about asking for them.
Kaminari noticed that Shinsou’s stare held a different, almost murderous intent to them after that day in the forest. The blonde realized then that it might have more to do with Kaminari’s knowledge than any magical powers he might possess. Of course, Kaminari contained little to no control over any of that, but that appeared to matter little to the now known vampire.
In fact, Kaminari waited for another late night visit, but spent most of his free time digging around inside his mother’s office that sat situated on the first floor of the house, close enough to the kitchen for the blonde to get dinner started as he looked through file after file. A frustrating endeavor, he realized after the second day of searching and researching everything he could get his hands on. He then realized one night after a loving meal of miso chicken and steamed rice that perhaps what he sought resided in his mother’s bedroom and not her office where anyone could have access to. This theory only cemented itself after a brief, but tense conversation with her as he helped to blow dry her waist-length hair one night, section by section.
“Ut-oh, mama? That card only gets pulled when you’re in trouble or not feeling well. What’s happened now?” she asked, taking a straightening iron to the stubborn parts of her wavy hair that refused to settle down into its proper fashion.
“No, no,” he said, hands held up pleadingly in the air, as though he were a criminal of some sort who’d been caught trying to steal. “Nothing like that, mama. I was just wondering about my adoption papers again.”
“Adoption...papers,” she murmured low under her breath, clearly taken aback by her child’s sudden request after so long. “Denki, you know what happened to those papers. The house papa and I reared you in flooded and cracked after that one earthquake so long ago...”
“I know, I know, but the agency you used must still exist,” he said, placing the blow dryer underneath the bathroom sink. “Or, or my biological parents names at least. You must know that much at least, mama.”
Kaminari Emi sighed, her true age showing for the first time in years.
“The agency no longer exists,” she admitted. “But your birth name was Yamamoto Denki.”
“And my biological parents? Their names?”
“I only remember that your father’s name was Eiichi. Your mother’s is more difficult to remember. She was not Japanese...”
Kaminari could tell by the way she dragged the iron through her hair with rough motions that his mother was lying. It was the why of it that bothered him the most. He retired to his bedroom that night with what little information he’d gathered, attempting to find something, anything, but to no avail.
“Mama, was my mother from the U.S.?” he inquired before they departed for the long night ahead.
“No,” his mother responded, head tilted to one side as she studied her only child with intense scrutiny. “She hailed from England.”
Up until that point, Kaminari hadn’t known himself to be Hāfu, though he had an idea, and it took him quite a lot of time mulling the thought around in his head to begin to understand the series of complex emotions he felt about just one of the many surprises thrown his way. He’d heard the term used as an insult hurled at others, and felt great shame at not having said anything in that person's defense. He’d also heard it used by half-Japanese individuals as a way to describe themselves; a way for them to take back a word originally meant to cause them heartache and shame, and flip it over on its head, spitting on those who would spit on them instead.
As long as no one referred to him as an ainoko, he decided all would be fine.
That following Friday, Kaminari called off work, feigning the same illness as before. His boss appeared to be understanding, maybe even sympathetic, and then he quickly ascended the stairs to his mother’s bedroom, picking the lock to her door with relative ease. He began with her over-sized closet, trying to put things back into their proper place so that she wouldn’t notice anything astray, but once again, he found nothing.
No matter how hard he delved beneath the surface, and then he spotted it, his mother’s personal laptop. Intuition coaxed him into grabbing a hold of it, and he punched in every passcode he could think of, but to no avail. Then something came to him then, his newly found power. In faint measures, he should be able to bypass the damn thing.
Well, that or he would fry it, and if that happened, Kaminari could always place the blame on the dreary weather and the fact that his mother never remembered to unplug the charger from the laptop itself.
He tried not to focus on the pain of Shinsou’s sharp thumb nail digging into the flesh of his wrist, and more on the pleasure of Shinsou’s chapped lips as they pressed against his own in a stolen kiss that made his knees weak and his brain scrambled. In this way, he could alter the throng of electricity that coursed down through his right arm into the tips of his fingers, transferring it into the plains of the commandeered laptop. To his complete and literal shock, it worked.
Kaminari was inside, but in no way prepared for all that he would go on to find out.
In a single folder entitled, “Yamamoto,” Kaminari found a slew of files deemed lost located right before his eyes. The original copies might have been forfeited to Mother Nature, but not before they were scanned in and saved. He didn’t know what to feel in that moment in regards to his mother’s blatant deceit just then, but determined that he needed to delve through everything he could as fast as he could. In it, he not only found his original birth certificate, but multiple newspaper clippings from the day his parents were killed in an accident that would go on to change his life forever. It didn’t take long to realize that something felt off, and in more ways than one.
The facts were this:
Kaminari was born on the 29th of June just as he’d always known, but the blonde was not born anywhere near Saitama prefecture as he’d been led to believe, but Sapporo, Hokkaido where his biological father, Yamamoto Eiichi, had been born and raised as well. The second thing he learned was that of his mother’s name and origins: her name in the English custom was that of Kalista Selinofoto, and she was born to a Britishi mother and Greek father in Kings Heath, Birmingham, England. The two of them met at Hokkaido University where his mother was a foreign exchange student hellbent on not only learning the basics of Japanese, but becoming fluent in it. After graduation, his parents were married and his mother was added to the family registry as Yamamoto Kalista where Denki would be added to the list less than two years later. A little after that, Eiichi would go on to accept an open and better paying position in Kawaguchi, Saitama prefecture, uprooting their small family in search of better opportunities and warmer winters.
And then there were a multitude of newspaper clippings scanned in for good measure about the night Kaminari Denki’s life changed forever afterwards. A family of three collided head-on with another vehicle twice its size on a dreary night filled with nothing but rain, lightning and thunder as it careened straight off the road into a barrier of wet cement and scarce trees. The other vehicle could not be located even after an extensive search went into effect, and the lone survivor, the couples one and a half year old son, was flown out to the nearest trauma center where he stayed in intensive care for a little over a month, though the worst of his injuries proved to be more psychological than physical in nature. Thereafter, the child was adopted out to his parents' closest friends after exhaustive research turned up no living relatives on either side. Friends...
Adopted out to his parents' closest friends, he read and reread that lone sentence again and again, quietly to himself at first, but then out loud. The thought tasted like static on his tongue, and the hurt it cultivated planted a painful seed deep inside him at the fact that his mother would lie to him about something of such importance for nearly his entire life. The number one rule that he and his mother shared happened to be such a simple one: no lying under any circumstances to each other, no matter what. If his mother would go so far as to feign such blatant ignorance as to what his biological mother’s name was from him, he pondered as to what else she’d chosen to withhold over the last sixteen—nearly seventeen—years of his short life with her. It hurt him in such a way that words, Japanese and English alike, failed to capture it.
Kaminari found himself curious about the European woman who’d given birth to him in comparison to the Japanese mother who’d raised him as her own for as long as he could remember, his mama and his papa. Were Kalista and Emi that close? Or had it been his adoptive father, Minato, who’d been close to his biological father, Eiichi? Kaminari didn’t know, but felt hellbent on figuring it all out, one way or another. If his mother had felt uncomfortable with their small chat the night prior, it would prove nothing compared to their following one, but he relented for the time being out of pure pity for the stressful day she’d endured at the hands of a younger, more arrogant surgeon the hospital had brought on board just a little over a month ago.
Kaminari served her two bowls full of roasted eggplant unagi donburi, pressing a kiss to the top of her head as she launched into another tirade filled to the brim with both frustration and tears she refused to acknowledge as they fell anyway. “I just don’t understand why he refuses everyone else's sound advice!” she exclaimed, picking up a piece of unagi with the best pair of chopsticks they possessed. “I believe in my heart that it’s because the majority of us are all women over the age of thirty-five, but I, as the anesthesiologist, refuse to over sedate a patient, or worse, under sedate them! Could you imagine the terror, Denki? Of waking up with no control over your body once so ever. Of being fully aware of what it is that’s being done to you, but not being able to say or do anything once so ever to help yourself! Could you imagine?!”
Kaminari tried not to think about his experience with Shinsou in that moment, picking at a piece of eggplant absentmindedly as he uttered a simple, “No.”
The following Saturday was when Shinsou appeared yet again, just after midnight. Kaminari took a deep, calming breath, and held it. He set his phone down beside him, disappointed that his last text would be in regards to Ashido’s dream of drag racing for a living after high school. Shinsou peered over at him from the small ledge of Kaminari’s bedroom window, and in that moment, Kaminari felt like a worm trying, and failing, to crawl away from a bird—futile. He wanted to crack a joke of some sort, but no sense of humor clung to him in that moment.
“I don’t know what to do with you,” Shinsou said, gathering the courage necessary to enter Kaminari’s room in full, such a deep contrast to their previous meetings.
“I don’t know what to do with myself, either,” he admitted, sitting upright in bed just then, crossing his legs, one underneath the other per his usual custom. “I’ve learned a lot of things I didn’t know about myself, things my mom refused to tell me. That hurts, you know. To be lied to, to know there’s more to something, but you can’t find the key.”
“Look, I get it. You couldn’t alter my memories or whatever, so feel free to kill me. I know I’m loud, I know most people think I’m incapable of withholding a secret. Blah, blah, blah . I’m tired of looking over my shoulder all the time and waiting, so just get it done and over with.”
“You would accept death with such open arms, Denki?”
Kaminari simply shrugged at that. “And so it goes...,” he said, quoting his favorite book by his favorite author one last time.
“My favorite, of course.”
Shinsou sighed, removing his drenched overcoat to reveal a Depeche Mode tee shirt, and honestly, Kaminari wasn’t surprised by his wardrobe selection in the slightest outside of school.
“I know,” Shinsou said with a harsh sigh, tugging at his hair again. “I know that.”
“I didn’t realize that you could overhear...well, everything,” Kaminari said, back pressed against his bedroom wall. “And I’ve said some embarrassing things.”
“You keep other people in line,” Shinsou interjected. “None of your friends would have had the balls to stand your ground with Bakugou, save Kirishima. You got angry when he said those things about me...”
“Of course I did!” Kaminari exclaimed, slapping a hand over his mouth in consideration to his sleeping mother who resided down the opposite end of the hallway. “He doesn’t know the first thing about you.”
Shinsou took a hesitant seat beside Kaminari then, and what the blonde wouldn’t give to be in anything else other than the oversize Bauhaus tee shirt and plain pair of yellow boxer briefs he wore. He didn’t want to die in them, and wondered if Shinsou would allow for him to change into something a little more stylish, something more inline with his public persona. What a stupid thought to have at a moment like this, but it couldn’t be helped on his part.
“But you do,” Shinsou said, looking at Kaminari with a weariness written across the long, drawn out features of his face. “You know I’m a freak.”
Kaminari fought the urge to roll his eyes at that. “We’re a bunch of kids about to get thrust into the real world, Shinsou,” he said. “You’re no different. It’s not like you hurt that woman, and it’s not like you killed her either. You took what you needed in order to survive, and then you let it be. You let them be.”
“You don’t understand...”
“No, you don’t understand. I’ve liked you since first year, and do you know why?”
“You did this diorama in first year for ‘The Tall-Tale Heart’ that freaked the entire class out, including me, but I liked it. I loved how different it was. How different you were,” he said, lost in thought. “I knew you were different then, but it wasn’t off putting in the least to me.”
“I’ve never understood your fascination with me, but I’ve always appreciated it from afar. I still do, but...”
“Look, man. I’ve come to learn a lot about myself, but nothing to do with this supposed magical side of me. I know that my mother was born in Birmingham, that both my dad and I were born in Sapporo, of all places! I know my parents moved here for work, and I know that they died. The car that hit them fled, and was never found. I know that I was the only survivor, and that my parents closest friends adopted me as their own, which is something my mom lied to me about,” he said with a defeated sigh, thumping his head back against the wall.
“She’s trying to protect you,” Shinsou said, placing a chilled hand along Kaminari’s bare thigh. “That’s more than what a lot of mother’s would do for their offspring...”
“...Is a tyrant,” he said, eyes glued to the wooden floor before his eyes. “Sibylla.”
“That doesn’t sound Japanese, either.”
“Because it’s not. My mother came from Europe over a century ago. She brought her covenant with her all the way to Japan, all women, to conqueror what already resided here. She decided a few years back that she needed an heir, and so she seduced a local man and bore a child. Dissatisfied that her only surviving heir would be male, she did away with the man shortly after my birth. I don’t have a name or a face to place onto him, and I learned at a young age never to ask.”
“What does magic have to do with any of this?” Kaminari asked, leaning into Shinso who struggled between the desire to do the same and the need to wrestle himself away from such a soothing act.
In a matter of seconds, Shinsou pinned Kaminari down onto the soft mattress of his bed, his gaunt face making the protruding fangs all the more apparent. The blonde realized it for what it was, a scare tactic. A warning.
“I’ve said too much already, and I can’t bring myself to end your life,” he said with a snarl, his face mere inches from Kaminari’s throat.
“Looks like we’re at a stalemate, then,” he said, using his mom’s own words against an unsettled, quite disheveled looking vampire.
“Yes, a stalemate. I don’t know shit about magic or vampires, and you can’t bring yourself to break my neck or whatever...”
“I would never make you suffer, Denki. I wouldn’t make it painful, by any means. I wouldn’t...”
Kaminari rolled his eyes with a laugh, finding the whole thing absurd. “Well, that’s comforting to know,” he said.
“You’re not afraid of me,” Shinsou said, running slender, long fingers through soft blonde tresses as though he were admiring porcelain.
Kaminari felt hypnotized then, but for a completely different reason in that moment, and with Shinsou so close...all he longed for was another kiss. A Kiss he could contribute to, but the timing would not permit for such intimate things.
“You never lie to me. Your heart remains content and consistent, if but a little excited at times,” he added, indigo colored eyes peering down into pools of gold. “It’s not me you have to fear anymore, Denki. It’s them. They ruin your kind, and your blood...it, I can’t begin to describe the difference. Don’t seek further into the truth of your parents, it can only bring harm to you and those you love. Sibylla cannot catch wind of you, or there will be hell to pay.”
Shinsou paused before he leaned forward, nuzzling the side of Kaminari’s neck and face. The blonde’s breath hitched, fearful and excited all at the same time that the other might bite him. A sudden craving loomed over them both, but Shinsou refrained at the last second.
“Your scent is both intoxicating as well as dangerous, Denki.”
“Say that again,” Shinsou said, eyes loosely shut and lips slightly parted.
As though he were waiting for a kiss, and Kaminari felt too weak to refuse such a dire request. He kissed Shinsou’s lips, and though they were cold to the touch, he felt as though he might melt from the inside out at the sheer pleasure of doing it. How many dreams had manifested something similar to him before?
Too many. Not enough.
“ Hitoshi,” he called again for good measure, but the vampire had leaped towards his window again, three of his fingers pressed lovingly against his lips. Trying desperately to capture Kaminari’s kiss, to save it forever.
“I like the way my name pours forth from your lips, it’s not mocking in its tone.”
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”
Shinsou gave a demure smile at that, sliding the glass of Kaminari’s window back open as he said, “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.”
And with that, Shinsou Hitoshi once again disappeared into the humid, rainy night. And once again, Kaminari found himself with his face cradled in between his hands, but not for the same reason as before. No, Kaminari Denki realized two important things in that moment.
Kaminari’s Two Important Revelations:
- Like was rapidly transforming into love at a pace he had no control over, and
- No matter how many warnings Shinsou threw his way, none would go on to stick. Kaminari was determined to learn about his magical bloodline, at any cost.
And there would be a great toll to pay for Kaminari’s curiosity.
Chapter 3: Alea Lacta Est
I'm breaking this chapter up into two pieces, so yay, two for one special. Sorry for the delay, I've been dealing with Hurricane Dorian and all that dreadful weather.
“The Die is Cast”
“All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist...It’s just an illusion here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once that moment is gone it is gone forever,” Shinsou Hitoshi said, choosing to greet Kaminari that Sunday evening with yet another quote.
Vonnegut, of course.
Slaughterhouse-Five, to add fuel to the fire.
Kaminari could hear Ashido squeal in the far left corner where she sat on her side of the booth, her hands muffling the sound as best as she could, which did little to stifle the excited teen. He ignored her, keen on watching the young man who loomed close to the glass that currently separated them. The blonde knew that Shinsou could easily shatter the glass with nary a scratch to his otherwise pristine hand, but he wouldn’t—couldn’t. The white Ramones tee shirt with red print underneath his usual overcoat was a nice change in color, Kaminari noted, absorbed in the other’s appearance. In their first year of high school, Shinsou had been all long limbs and tired eyes, but now...well, now Shinsou’s limbs were still long as ever, but they were filled out along with the rest of him.
There went his mind again, Kaminari thought, clearing his throat.
“You know most people don’t communicate solely in quotes, right?” he asked, his face flushed red, redder than the uniform he wore with gold buttons and thread. He felt like a trained monkey someone decided to dress up, forcing him to dance and perform humiliating acts for his owner’s own amusement, but that was neither here nor there.
“I figure that we’re not like most people,” Shinsou said with a shrug, hands tucked into the pockets of the dark denim of his blue jeans as he enjoyed watching the blonde’s obvious reactions to him.
A pure sadist, that one.
Kaminari shook his head in disbelief, chuckling to himself. “What would you like to watch this evening, sir?” he asked, trying his best to keep a straight face, and failing miserably.
“I’d like two tickets to see ‘The Invisible Man,’ please,” he answered, face devoid of any emotion at Kaminari’s blatant confusion.
“I’m sorry, did you say two?”
“There’s no one else here besides you, Shinsou,” he said, fingers rapping against the counter before him. “If you want to watch it twice, just say so. I won’t charge you extra. People do it all the time.”
Shinsou laughed at that, full and brilliant, and even if it was at Kaminari’s expense, he couldn’t find it within himself to be mad about it. Ashido slid over to him from across the other side of the short room, spinning just once in her rolling chair before smacking Kaminari upside his head with all her might. He winced before turning back towards the manic girl who couldn’t control her giddy laughter any longer.
“The second ticket is for you, you klutz!” she exclaimed in between her giggles, nearly snorting.
“I’m working,” he hissed, pointing at his hideous uniform top for emphasis. “I’d get fired!”
“Yeah, like me, Sero, Kirishima, Sato and Koda are going to rat on you, you big dummy!”
“Do you not want to watch a movie with me? Just say so. You won’t break my heart, promise,” Shinsou said, teasing and goading him all at the same time, placing a pale hand over a heart Kaminari knew for a fact did not beat.
‘’Fine,” he bit, printing out the two tickets before handing them to Shinsou. “But I’m changing first, so wait here for me.”
Kaminari stripped as fast as he could in the vacant men’s room, revealing a pair of black jeans, a black and white checkered plaid shirt and a plain black tee he wore to work that afternoon. He felt both foolish as well as underprepared, but he knew he still looked good, especially after he fixed the portions of his hair that Ashido’s fingers messed up. In the realms of looks, he wasn’t lacking. Shinsou looked wholly unprepared for the image that stood before him at the concession stand, and that pleased the blonde something fierce. He then turned his attention to one of his other best friends in the whole wide world, Sero.
Tender hearted Hanta.
“Sero, Sato! How lovely to see both of you fine gentlemen behind the concession stand like the good worker bees you are!” he greeted, a shit-eating grin plastered to his face as Shinsou let out a low, short snort.
Sero’s head tilted to one side, his long dark hair pulled back into a neat ponytail for once. “I’ve got so many questions right now,” he said, and Sato nodded in agreement. “Where to even start?”
“I asked him on a date, Ashido let him slip out the booth to change, and now we’re here where he’s trying to hustle you out of some refreshments, I presume,” Shinsou said, his fingers brushing against Kaminari’s.
“Date? Yes, date,” Kaminari said, looking towards his friends and fellow coworkers with pleading eyes. “And I’ve seem to have forgotten my wallet, gentlemen. Again.”
“You’re always forgetting your wallet,” Sero said, no sympathy to his face once so ever. “You keep this shit up, and it’s me they’re going to suspect has sticky fingers, or that I’m the one who can’t count.”
“What would you like, Shinsou?” he asked, ignoring Sero entirely as he felt giddy in a way he’d never been before.
“A beer, please.”
“Got it,” Sero said. “And you, you thief?”
“Caramel popcorn and a coke, please.”
“A man after my own heart,” Sato said, joking as he grabbed the largest cup they had to offer.
“You’re both so good to me,” Kaminari said, goods in tow as he pretended to wipe a tear he’d shed away.
“Yeah, yeah,” Sero said with a flapping of his hand, unable to keep the grin off his face. “Get out of here already. We have paying customers to deal with.”
Theater 13, from beginning to end, remained empty save for the two of them, and it made Kaminari’s heart race as though he’d entered a marathon with no time to prepare. Shinsou chose the center of the back row in the middle aisle where no one save a ghost or two could hear or see them. In the back of his head, Kaminari made a mental note of Koda somewhere high above them, monitoring the projection screen with silent diligence.
“We’ll begin with a reign of terror, a few murders here and there, murders of great men, murders of little men—well, just to show we make no distinction. I might even wreck a train or two...just these fingers around a signalman’s throat, that’s all.”
Kaminari could hear the words, knew them by heart even, but he failed to focus on anything other than the man, the vampire currently sitting beside him. Shinsou must have felt along the same way, setting his beer aside before turning his attention towards Kaminari, and him alone. The blonde couldn’t help but to fidget under such intense scrutiny, fighting the urge to chew on his nails with waning resolve.
“Your heart’s pounding,” Shinsou said, mentioning it as casual as one would the weather. “Your pulse just spiked.”
Kaminari never get the chance to talk on his own behalf before Shinsou reached over, tilting the blonde’s head to the side by the chin with gentle fingers. Kaminari groaned into it, chuckling as Shinsou lifted the armrest up and out of his way, chasing the blonde’s ever elusive lips all the while. Kaminari caved in readily, falling into the coolness of Shinsou’s kiss, the stillness of any breath, and he loved it.
And he loved it simply because it was Shinsou.
“All right, you fools. You’ve brought it on yourselves! Everything would have come right if you’d only left me alone. You’ve driven me near madness with your peering through the keyholes and gaping through the curtains, and now you’ll suffer for it! You’re crazy to know who I am, aren’t you?! All right! I’ll show you!”
“What’s so different about it?”
Shinsou seemed to struggle then, face close to the other’s as he searched for the right words to say. “It’s like your favorite candy,” he said. “The best thing you’ve ever tasted or smelled, but you can never indulge in it.”
“Why not?” Kaminari asked, curious beyond compare. “Why can’t you indulge?”
Shinsou stroked his cheek lovingly then, like he considered him something precious. “I wouldn’t be able to trust myself,” he admitted, peering into Kaminari’s illuminated eyes that halfway reflected all that played on the screen situated in front of them. “I’m full, completely sated, and even then, there’d be no stopping me. Nothing from you would ever be enough.”
Kaminari wanted to protest, wanted to, but couldn’t as Shinsou pressed a lingering kiss to the side of his neck, fangs grazing just so. The blonde felt hot all over then, enticed by the smell of caramel and beer, and the thin veneer of the undead. Shinsou craved him, more than anything, and that knowledge was enough for the time being. He couldn’t risk pushing Shinsou away, not when he’d done everything in his power to keep him still. A frightened, wounded animal.
That’s what Shinsou Hitoshi reminded him of, and all Kaminari Denki wanted to do was mend his broken, war torn soul.
“The taste would be nectar blessed by the gods themselves, Denki,” he said, his voice a mere murmur against Kaminari’s full lips. “How can I put this? Your blood, because it’s magical in nature, it would strengthen me. I don’t want that. I can’t risk it, and because it’s you, I could become addicted to it—to the taste of you.”
A drug, went unsaid.
“Look,” Kaminari said, holding Shinsou’s solemn looking face in between both of his hands. “I get it. I’m not going to push you to do something you don’t want to or can’t do. I just want to spend time with you, and kiss you, and quote my favorite books to you because you understand what the hell I’m talking about. I...I’ve never felt the way I do about you about anyone else before. I just want to keep this going.”
Shinsou’s only response was to kiss him then, again and again, until Kaminari’s head grew light and began to spin. The movie, though a stunning classic in its own right, could not compare to the sight that laid before his eyes, dark though it was. No one and nothing could ever compare to Shinsou in that moment; the way his wild hair sat atop his head, the shimmer of his eyes, or how smooth his porcelain skin felt underneath Kaminari’s ever daring touch, and oh, how he dared. And best of all? Shinsou appeared to be just as enthralled with him, if not more so. His hands wrestling underneath Kaminari’s undershirt, caressing the blonde’s sides with a sense of urgency Kaminari didn’t believe him capable of.
Shinsou might not have been able to bite him, per se, but he felt more than content littering deep marks across every span of flesh he could come into contact with. Whatever Kaminari would allow for him to take and taint. The blonde would give him the world, if only Shinsou asked with eyes so sincere, deep and rich. One of Shinsou’s large hands slid further up along the plains of Kaminari’s torso, the chill of it causing the blonde to quiver beneath his daring touch. Kaminari was in love, and it might have been the stupidest mistake he’d ever made in his entire life, but in that one moment, and a few that followed, it was the greastest feeling in all the world.
“ Hitoshi,” he moaned, ending the other’s name on a low-pitched sigh. “If you don’t stop...”
“I know,” Shinsou crooned, lips pressed along the shell of Kaminari’s ear. “You’re hard to resist, and I’m weak, Denki. So, so weak when it comes to you...”
“Your resolve is a lot more firm than my own,” Kaminari said, running his fingers through the mystical forest of Shinsou’s hair. “I’m ready and willing to blow you. Right here, right now.”
Shinsou groaned at that. “I know you are, but the movie’s almost over and I doubt you would want Kirishima to walk in on something like that,” he said.
“I’ve caught him and Bakugou in much more compromising positions.”
“Oh, yeah?” Shinsou asked with a low chuckle, cheeks dusted a nice pink in color, almost as pink as Ashido’s pixie bob.
“Yeah,” Kaminari said, gasping as Shinsou undid the button of his form fitting jeans. “You wanna know who tops?”
Shinsou hummed, appearing to dwell on the matter as he drug Kaminari’s zipper all the way down. “I would presume they switch,” he said, damn near purring as he spat into the palm of his hand.
The blonde gulped, hard, as that spit-slick hand delved beneath the elastic band of his black boxer briefs, taking hold of his half-hard dick. “Believe it or not,” he said with a low keen as that wonderfu hand began to work its magic on him, making it doubly hard to concentrate. “Bakugou only bottoms.”
Shinsou gave a low chuckle at that, chasing Kaminari’s lips down with his own for a messy, tongue-fueled kiss. “Power bottom, then?” he stated, expecting an answer from the blonde’s sex-addled brain.
“Y-yes,” Kaminari grit out, mewling pitifully as Shinsou’s hand sped up before slowing down again, dragging the blonde’s pleasure out.
“And what about you, Denki?” he asked, giving a firm twist of his wrist as the head of Kaminari’s dick began to leak steadily with precome. “What about me? When the scent of your arousal spikes just as it has right now...”
Kaminari felt his hips stutter forward of their own accord as Shinsou continued to jerk him off without a hint of mercy or discretion, and the blonde could hardly find the words he so desperately needed to please the other. “I-I don’t know,” he said, his teeth gritting together as he grabbed a hold of Shinsou’s bicep for support. “Oh, Hitoshi. Please. I can’t think like this.”
“Come on, Denki. At least try for me,” Shinsou said, speeding up before slowing down again, absolutely torturing him. “Be a good boy for me.”
Those two words alone did things to Kaminari he didn’t quite understand, but liked. A little too much, maybe.
“You on top,” he said, body slumping down into his seat as he tried to remember how to breathe again. “Always on top because of how much taller, ungh, and stronger than me you, ah , are!”
The movie was drawing to its end then, and so, too, was Kaminari as Shinsou smiled down at him with a wicked look written across his face. “You want me to take control,’ he said, like there was nothing to it.
“ Yes ,” Kaminari whimpered, close, so close to finishing with someone else’s hand wrapped around his cock.
“Come on, Denki,” he cooed. “Be a good boy, and come for me.”
Kaminari did as told, his hips rocking up hard into Sounsou’s grip, their lips locked in a desperate, hungry kiss.
“ Christ,” Kaminari gasped, heart thundering within the confines of its cage.
“I don’t think he has anything to do with what we just did,” Shinsou said with a deep chuckle full of brilliant resonance, just as Kaminari had always dreamed of.
“You’re right,” Kaminari mused, cleaning himself up with a stack of napkins he’d taken from the concession stand. “That was all you.”
Shinsou laughed again, deep and full of pleasure, and what Kaminari wouldn’t give to hear it over and over again, directed at him always. “I loved making a mess out of you,” he said, licking some of Kaminari’s come clean from his fingertips, making the blonde flush from head-to-toe.
“I would still,” Kaminari started, but Shinsou hushed him with a harsh, nearly bruising kiss, tasting some of his own essence on the other’s tongue.
Equal measures gross and hot, he decided in the end.
“I wanted to do that for you tonight,” he said. “Don’t worry about anything else.”
“I want to teach you how to skateboard,” the blonde said all of a sudden, the thought coming to him in his blissed out state.
Shinsou smiled at that, a genuine smile, too, that spoke of nothing but the utmost truth. “I’d like that,” he said. “When’s your next day off?”
“Tomorrow,” Kaminari answered. “I almost always never work Mondays, and the weather’s supposed to clear up so we won’t get drenched riding to and fro.”
“I don’t have a skateboard, though,” Shinsou said, as though he’d just remembered that crucial fact, and maybe he had.
Kaminari beamed then, leaning over as he placed a chaste kiss to Shinsou’s lips. “I guess it’s a good thing I own more than just one,” he said, taking a sip of soda from his long forgotten cup.
“I guess so.”
Kaminari left that night on cloud nine. In fact, he couldn’t wait to call Ashido with all the details later that night after they officially closed, which might take a little longer than usual considering they were officially one man short. He’d make it up to all of them in some way, shape or form. Shinsou admitted with a faint blush that he did, in fact, have a curfew of sorts when it came to Sunday evenings. Kaminari couldn’t find it in him to care at that point, he’d gone on a date with Shinsou Hitoshi, of all people, after getting off of work early, followed by a hand-job blessed by the theater gods themselves. The rain couldn’t hope to dampen his mood in the slightest, even as he walked on, skateboard held aloft in his left hand.
It grew heavier the closer he got towards home with giant claps of thunder in between that made it to where Kaminari never heard them coming for him...
They, whoever they were, hit him hard and they hit him fast. Kaminari didn’t even get the chance to scream as his mouth was gagged, feet skidding across the wet pavement as he was drug into an alleyway that contained an imported mercedes of some sort with the trunk popped open. A faint red sign for a local hotel was the last thing the blonde could make out before he could see no more, a heavy sack placed over his head as he tried to fight back, but in the end, both his hands and feet were bound. His skateboard cast aside in his struggle.
Into the trunk he went, and out he would go, into a nightmare he could never have imagined nor prepared for...
“To the Waves”
The first thing Kaminari noticed when he came to was a faint glimmer of silver against a backdrop of black lace. The silver belonged to a large, albeit beautifully designed, dagger with a long, thin point, and the black that of a long dress that belonged to a slender woman who towered over his restrained form. A woman with long indigo colored hair that draped over a lone shoulder in perfect waves settled into his line of sight then, with eyes that matched.
Kaminari’s subconscious already knew her.
“So he has mentioned me to you,” she said, her voice saccharine like poison. “How sweet of him. Only good things, I hope.”
If Kaminari hadn’t been strapped down to a gurney of some sort, he would have ran for his life, but as it remained, he was trapped with the one being on earth he never wanted to be. He knew then that he was at her mercy, and that unlike her son, she had none to spare. A caged animal.
He was a caged, frightened animal.
“If you’re looking for Hitoshi, he’s not here, I’m afraid,” she said, dragging the flat side of the dagger up and down a lone thigh. “He doesn’t like to come here often, though. I don’t know why.”
The single light above him made his eyes hurt and his head spin. His body ached all over, and his adrenaline could only soar higher the longer he assessed the situation. Shinsou’s mother, a strange, scary place, and no way to call for help.
A caged animal.
“I knew he’d been up to something, but this,” she said, trailing off as she aimed the pointed end of the dagger at Kaminari’s frightened face. “It’s nothing personal, dear, but you reek of the living. I believed, at first, that he merely fancied a human of some sort, but there’s something more to your scent that makes me wonder...”
Instead of finishing her sentence, Shinsou’s mother merely dragged the dagger up and down along Kaminari’s inner forearm, going deeper with every swipe. The blonde cried out after the fourth slice drew more and more blood, the pain overriding his terrified silence, and he wondered, if but briefly, where his shirt had gone to leave him half-nude and shivering in the cold dampness. His next thought was that of his own mother.
What time was it? Was she still up and waiting for him to come home like she did every night, even though she claimed otherwise? Was he really going to die without seeing her face one last time?
Was he going to die, and leave her all alone?
“Stop!” he screamed. “Please, stop!”
Sibylla did as told, but only so that she could inspect the blood seeping forth from Kaminari’s wound. Her face resembled Hitoshi so closely, but her eyes were soulless—heartless. She did what Shinsou refused to do, she tasted his blood.
“How divine,” she said, letting go of him as she licked one side of his blade. “You’re kind is very rare, especially here where my kind has settled for over a century now.”
“Please, stop,” he said, at a loss for words.
“No wonder he’s so obsessed with you,” she said, ignoring his pleas for clemency. “He knows what you are, and yet, he refuses to do what our kind are inclined to do with you. His loss.”
“I don’t even know how to use it! Please, just let me go!”
“Your blood tastes faintly familiar,” she continued, undeterred. “Who are your parents, child?”
“They’re dead,” he spat, struggling against his restraints with a renewed desire to live.
“Curious, that,” Sibylla said, taking the dagger up again as she tried to decide where to strike next. She chose the upper portion of Kaminari’s chest, right above where his still beating heart sat.
Kaminari didn’t want to die without telling his mother goodbye one last time, but Shinsou’s mother didn’t plunge the dagger in through his chest cavity as he thought she would. Instead, she sliced a deep line down vertically, simply watching as rivets of blood pooled and spilled along either side of his chest. She smiled then, cruel and fiercely did she smile.
“Your blood could strengthen us or be used in the making of weapons or potions against others who dwell here that prove to be nothing but a nuisance to my kind. Kitsune’s, tanuki’s and those nasty jorogumo’s just to name a few,” she said, smiling all the while, though it looked to be as painful as it did fake. “That’s truly an awful death for one’s like yourself, however. We need a lot of blood to make a lot of weapons and potions, which means you’ll be in agony for quite some time as we bleed you dry, but I shouldn’t tire you with such talk. I’ll leave you, for the time being. It’s when I come back that you should fear.”
She left him with that.
Kaminari tried not to outright panic then. He tried not to think about the fact that blood was pouring forth from open wounds that stung and burned. He tried most of all not to think about whom inflicted those wounds. His mother would have welcomed Shinsou in with a cup of tea and a slew of embarrassing baby photos. Shinsou’s mother greeted him by having him abducted, strapping him to a gurney in a fortified shed of some sort, and made him bleed.
Kaminari took a deep breath, and forced his mind to settle itself. He focused on the pain, and he focused on the fear he felt. The looming threat that Shinsou’s mother and her underlings posed to not only him, but others like him.
A calming sensation befell him as the thunder outside clapped louder and louder as the lightning struck closer and closer. He could feel it then, the electricity that blanketed around his body like a second skin. It started at his toes, and worked its way up.
Shinsou’s face crept into his thoughts, and try as he might, Kaminari couldn’t fight the desire to cry. The tears were against his will, but the distress helped to make the electricity conduct. The first charge that came from his fingertips startled him a little, but the harder he clamped down on the sensation, the more electricity coursed through his entire being.
His heart pounded.
His head ached.
And Kaminari Denki was afraid.
The electricity began to emit further and further away from his body, hitting the metal clasps that held him pinned. A flash of lightning and a clap of thunder later, Kaminari Denki was free, but no longer alone. The door to the foretified shed with medival torture devices lining its every wall busted open, and Shinsou Hitoshi fell in through the bolted door he’d broken down with the heel of his boot.
Shinsou reached out for him, but Kaminari electrocuted him out of both fear and instinct. His instincts told him that Shinsou was a predator, and that he needed to flee from him, even though his heart would go on to disagree. There were more sounds of heart wrenching sobs then, but they weren’t coming from the blonde, but Shinsou himself. Kaminari rushed passed him, right out the door and into a dark forest rich with bamboo trees and heavy with rain. He didn’t get far before a river, the only river possible cut off his path.
North or south, east or west of it, he didn’t know, but he’d rather get swept into Tokyo Bay and drowned than bled dry like a lamb led to the slaughter. Before he could even think to jump in, however, two strong arms encircled his waist, reeling him back and away from the edge. Kaminari fought, electricity emitting from his entire body now, but Shinsou refused to let him go.
“Stop, Denki,” he said, his voice coarse and barely audible over the booming thunder. “Please stop so I can get you out of here. Get you home.”
Kaminari was quickly losing strength, drained of electricity and losing too much blood.
“How did you find me?” he asked, slumping forward as Shinsou tried to get a better hold on him. “How did you know I was here?”
“Your shirt,” Shinsou said, choosing to carry him bridal style in the end. “I found your plaid shirt.”
“Where are we?”
“A bad place,” he said, wrapping Kaminari up in his overcoat as he ran, his long legs carrying them both at an abnormal pace. “The worst place.”
“Close your eyes for me, Denki,” Shinsou said, keeping the other close to his chest. “I’ll get you home, just close your eyes and try to forget all of this for right now.”
Kaminari tried to laugh, but couldn’t. He might live to see his eighteenth birthday, afterall.
Kaminari fought, but Shinsou’s words and his own fatigue got the best of him in the end. The next time his golden eyes opened, he was at home on their old floral pattern sofa his mother refused to get rid of. Too many memories. His mother was up on her feet, pacing to and fro as she raged up a storm—an actual storm. Then Shinsou appeared before him, sitting on top of the coffee table, taking his mother’s abuse.
None of this added up.
“Mom...,” he called out to her, tensing as he clutched at his wounded chest. “What?”
The wound on his chest was healing, and the wound to his inner forearm was already healed. His mother wrapped her arms around the tops of his shoulders, mindful of the cut, and squeezed. Kaminari held her as she wept.
“What day is it? What time?”
“It’s six in the morning,” Shinsou answered, rearing back from one of Kaminari Emi’s resounding slaps. “Monday.”
“What happened to me?” he asked, trying to sit upright, but his mother wouldn’t allow him to.
“Him!” she shouted, pointing her finger directly at Shinsou’s face. “He happened, Denki! A vampire!”
“Mama,” Kaminari pleaded, but his mother was too upset.
“I should go,” Shinsou said, standing.
“Wait!” Kaminari exclaimed, his voice hoarse as he took hold of Shinsou’s cold and waiting hand. “Why didn’t you tell me what my blood could be used for?”
Shinsou looked away, then. “I didn’t. I never wanted you to know something like that. How my kind treat yours,” he said.
“How did your mother find me?”
“I don’t know,” he said, raking his fingers through his hair, again and again, clawing at it. “But I promise to find out. I promise I won’t let her find you or your mom.”
“You can promise by leaving, and never coming back!” his mother exclaimed, another loud clap of thunder, but no rain came down upon their roof that Kaminari could hear or see out through their living room window.
“Is that what you wanted from me all along?” Kaminari asked, and he couldn’t look Shinsou in the eye because he knew the truth. His heart did, at least, but his brain refused to listen.
“Of course not,” Shinsou said, his voice strained. “I just wanted to be closer to you. I care about you. Please.”
“Just leave me be right now,” Kaminari said, voice barely above that of a whisper.
“I’m sorry,” was the last thing Shinsou said to the both of them before he left out the front door for the first time.
Once Shinsou was gone, Kaminari turned his full attention towards his mother.
“How did you know what he was?”
“How could I not?!”
There were black track marks streaming down his mother’s face, and Kaminari knew how distraught she must have been, but he had questions that needed answers, and only Emi could provide them. She offered him a steaming mug of tea. Ocha, of course.
“Who were my parents, really?” he asked, placing a finger up before his mother could even open her mouth. Her lips their natural pale pink. “Please don’t lie to me this time.”
His mother bowed her head as she took a seat beside him. “I’m sorry,” she said with a long sigh. “I should have been honest with you then, but I grew afraid, and lost heart.”
Kaminari tried not to judge her too harshly then, for he knew what she did was out of love and fear for her one and only child, but it hadn’t helped him in the end. It only hurt him.
“Those among us who have magic have always been persecuted for they are inherently good, and wish to do so,” she started, trying her hardest not to breakdown into sobs again. “It is this will to do good that often brings harm to them, but I digress. Your mother’s magic was intuned with that of lightning...she was quite a trickster, that one. Your father’s was electricity, which you’ve inherited most strongly out of the two. Your mother and father loved each other so much it could make a bystander blush, and they loved you even more.”
“So, you did know them?”
Kaminari Emi hung her head then, tears streaming down her face and into the upturned position of her palms. “Your father and I had been friends since childhood,” she choked out. “We grew up in the same orphanage in Nishi-ku after we lost both our parents respectively. We promised to do good, stay quiet, and work hard. We wanted to move to Honshu after we completed university. There, he met his wife, and I met my husband the year before.”
“You knew my biological dad his entire life?” he asked, mulling the thought over in his head, but it simply wouldn’t take at first.
“Since we were six and seven years old. I was exactly one year older than him, to the day,” she said, wiping her eyes with both hands. “He was so excited to have you.”
“Do you have magic?”
Instead of answering him outright with words, his mother clapped her hands twice. After the first clap, rain began to pour inside their home, everywhere but on them and their belongings, drenching the floorboards and rugs. After the second, thunder shook the house.
“You couldn’t control it earlier, when I first woke up,” he said, stunned.
“How could I?!” his mother exclaimed. “A vampire brings my bleeding child home seven hours after you were due to be here! I searched everywhere I could on foot, bringing more thunder and rain than intended.”
“He’s never hurt me, mama,” Kaminari said.
“I can see that he cares for you, Denki, yes, but just being near him is dangerous for you. His mother...”
“Do not say that name in this house!” she shouted, placing a hand over her mouth, surprised by her own reaction.
Kaminari didn’t want to ask, but his stomach churned, and his heart began to pound so loud that he almost couldn’t hear. He knew the answer, but he needed to hear it said out loud.
“My parents didn’t die in a car accident, did they?”
Kaminari Emi wept openly then as she shook her head just once, no. “Your papa and I couldn’t get there in time,” she said.
“Papa?” Kaminari asked, taken aback.
“I could make water, but papa could manipulate it,” she said, face contorted into a cracked mask that revealed nothing but the purest of agonies. “When you’re like us, you can sense others like yourself. That’s why your father and I were so close, how papa and I met...”
“How my dad met my mom...”
“Exactly,” she said, a small, sad smile twinging her lips. “There are so few of us now. We try to do our best by keeping a low profile, but even you’ve been able to tell when others are like you, even if you didn’t know what, exactly, it was about them that drew your eye.”
“Hitoshi, mama. I’ve always been drawn to him,” he said. “Always.”
“Have you been drawn to him, or him to you?” she asked.
“ Me,” he replied, pleading for her to understand, to accept what he knew to be true. “I fell in love with him the moment I saw him.”
“The moment you saw him was the exact moment his mother left Hokkaido for here, permanently,” she said, wiping her face yet again.
Kaminari had never seen his mother cry so much, not since the night his father died with them by his side, each holding one of his hands until they lost their strength, and he slipped away into the stars.
“She was able to get your mother and father, though they didn’t give her what she wanted in the end. She only got a taste of your father’s blood before your mother struck her down with a bolt of lightning that almost ended her life right then and there. If not for her underlings, if not for Oksana , she would have died that night, but she didn’t, and she swore revenge on all our kind. She believes until this day that everyone there died that night, but you didn’t. Your father took a calculated risk in killing the electrical system in the SUV they were driving to send you away from the real danger.”
Kaminari could feel his heart shatter into a thousand pieces, each slice cutting him deeper than the last. There were tears gathered at either corners of his eyes, but they refused to shed. Couldn’t.
“You’ve lied to me my entire life,” he said, at long last, his face flushed with a growing anger that refused to relent now that it had opened. “We promised .”
“Denki, I was going to tell you on your eighteenth birthday. I wanted to prepare you slowly. I didn’t realize...I couldn’t ever have guessed that you and that woman’s son would ever come to cross paths. I never sensed him,” she said, her long hair shielding most of her face as she spoke.
“Because he’s not evil!”
“But he’s chained to something that is ! As long as she exists, he is bound to her . His free will can only go so far,” his mother exclaimed, imploring her son to understand.
“You pinky promised me after papa died! You promised me! No lies!”
“And I promised your parents to love and protect you if anything ever happened to them!” she shouted, facing her son head-on now. “And I promised your papa to always cherish you, even as he took his last breath before my eyes, and I’ve never gone back on either of those promises! I refuse to start now! I might not have given birth to you, Denki, and I might not have gifted you your name, but you are my son! Mine! And I will protect you at all cost, no matter what!”
She embraced him then, and Kaminari could only cling back to her.
“I love you,” he said. “Thank you for loving me so much, mama. I’m sorry.”
“I love you more than this life and the next, Denki,” she said, her lips pressed to the top of his head. “We’re not safe here anymore.”
“What do we do?”
“We can’t! We’ve made a whole life here, mama!”
“There’s no other choice! I’ll tell my employers that we must go further south, to Osaka. I’ll tell them that my mother is ill, and that we must leave as soon as possible.”
“I’ll give you a week to say your goodbyes, but don’t prolong it. Don’t tell him where we’ll go,” she said, holding him tight. “You can place the blame solely on me. It’s all my fault for not telling you when I knew I should.”
“It’s not your fault,” he said, tears gathering along his eyelashes before spilling down his cheeks at long last. “It’s all mine. It’s all my fault.”
“I’ll call the school, tell them...I’ll tell them something for today, okay?”
“We’ll get through this,” she promised.
He hugged her tighter still. “I know,” he said, but his heart knew it to be another promise his mother simply could not keep, try as she might.
Shinsou's mom. Eeep.
Chapter 5: Caetera Desunt
“The Rest is Missing”
Kaminari Denki didn’t think that his eighteenth birthday would be marked by having to tell all of his friends goodbye, and preparing to move to Osaka in secret. Kaminari had never even visited Osaka before, and now both he and his mother would be seeking a whole new life there. He struggled to process it, still, even as the countdown dwindled down to less than four days. In that time, he’d done everything to try and avoid Shinsou, once and for all, but of course that was harder to do than to say. He couldn’t think about it without wanting to give in.
The first note Shinsou left on his desk that Tuesday after nearly broke his resolve right there and then.
‘Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.’
Shinsou knew that, knew him, and the blonde bit his lip until it bled in order not to breakdown and cry. The only people who knew that Kaminari was moving resided in his teachers who expressed their deepest condolences, and his closest circle of friends who could only look on with expressions of disbelief and the darkest of despair. Ashido couldn’t stop crying, and eventually, she excused herself from class to try and collect herself.
Shinsou knew then that something was amiss beyond what had occurred that Sunday evening to Monday morning. However, he couldn’t get Kaminari to open up about it. No matter how hard he tried, Kaminari refused to speak, lest the vampire weave him back into his web yet again, and drag the answers out of his compliant mouth.
Kaminari knew it wouldn’t take much.
The blonde normally worked Friday evenings, but he’d already turned in his resignation that Monday afternoon. His devastation refused to allow him to prolong it, and his boss wished both him and his mother the best. If anything pissed him off the most, it was just how understanding everyone in Kaminari Denki’s life were towards him.
Why couldn’t anyone see?
Why couldn’t they understand?
Kaminari’s life was quickly coming to an end, just not in a physical sense. Well, unless you counted his heart clenching painfully at every note, every word Shinsou sent or said to him. He felt like he was dying a slow, painful death. And he knew why, he just couldn’t say it out loud to anyone. Not to his teachers, not to his best friends, and not to the one person who made his pulse race and his heart pound.
A person who just so happened to also be born a vampire, a pillar of evil that wasn’t evil himself.
So Kaminari did what he always did when anger and frustration began to take hold of him, he picked up the first skateboard his father ever gave to him, and left for his favorite skatepark in Kawaguchi right after school. He wanted to clear his head and lessen the burden on his heart, if but for a few hours. For the time being, all Kaminari need worry about was running, jumping, falling and flipping in a way that brought him joy instead of fear or sorrow.
And then he appeared.
In the midst of a crowd, he still stood out. He always did.
Kaminari couldn’t hear him at first, short of breath and panting after missing the easiest ramp over twelve times in a row. His father taught him how to skate a little before he died, he told Denki how he fell in love with it as a young teen long before he left north for university, where he said he met the woman of his dreams. The woman he loved until the moment he drew his last breath, and maybe even after that. After he’d passed, Kaminari would run away just to come here. A five year old trying to find his dead father amongst a throng of people. His mother would let him, would follow him in secret, and watch as her only child searched endlessly for someone no longer there.
Shinsou was very much there, and he let himself be known in the only way he seemed to know how.
“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep,” he said, quoting Vonnegut just as he always did.
Kaminari took one look at his bloody, scratched up palms before turning his attention back towards the other teen. “My mom’s not home, we should talk there,” he said, making one of his first decisions as a legal adult under his country’s ever shifting perspective.
Of course, his mother would beg to disagree, but in two days, Shinsou’s eighteenth birthday would follow his.
“Are you sure?” Shinsou asked, head tilted to one side as he offered the blonde a helping hand.
Kaminari readily took it. Oh, he was.
Upon arriving at his house, the two reached a dilemma. His mother’s wards now extended to the second story of their home where Shinsou could reach him at one time. Kaminari would have to try his hand at disabling them, but Shinsou held no doubts that he could, and said as much.
“You can do it, just focus on putting all of your focus on one portion of your body at a time,” he said.
“Hers is a combination of rain and thunder, though...”
“And yours is electricity and lightning. One is a conductor for the other, and one is complimentary,” Shinsou urged.
Kaminari did as told trying to reach the lightning his biological mother had gifted to him at birth. He focused on his feet first, wiggling his toes in the worn out, light gray converse he liked to use while skating. The sensation climbed up to his legs, and then to his waist. He focused it all into his one hand that held aloft the spare key to his front door. He closed his eyes, and held his breath.
This would be just one of a series of complicated tests for himself.
“You did it,” Shinsou said, placing one hand along of Kaminari’s shoulder. He didn’t believe him at first, his eyes still clenched shut.
“Denki, open your eyes before someone sees us, and possibly calls your mom.”
The blonde did as told, surprised to see the front entrance way to his recently cleaned home. There were boxes everywhere, and Shinsou’s hesitance at the genkan lingered, as did his silence. Kaminari turned around then, closing the door behind the other who couldn’t close it himself.
“We’re, uh, moving,” he said, at long last, and as their eyes met, his heart stuttered and broke all over again.
“I can see that,” Shinsou said, and Kaminari flinched as all emotion left the other’s voice.
“It’s, it’s not my decision,” he said, searching Shinsou’s gaze for anything, anything at all.
“I know,” Shinsou responded, his entire body stiff. “It’s all my fault...”
“No,” Kaminari said, reaching out for him, grabbing him by the front of the Joy Division tee shirt he must have changed into after school, bringing him closer. “No, it’s not. You’re not the reason.”
“I am,” he said. “At least, partially.”
Kaminari shook his head wordlessly, feeling the other’s cool skin warm underneath his touch. When Shinsou still refused to move or otherwise respond, he rose up onto the tips of his toes, bringing the vampire down for what would go on to prove a pretty desperate kiss for the both of them. Shinsou grabbed hold of him then, using his superior strength to pick Kaminari up, who readily wrapped his legs around the other’s waist.
“Please don’t make me spend these last few days alone,” he begged, breaking away from Shinsou in order to catch his breath.
“I have an idea for all of our sakes,” he said, putting Kaminari back down, though the blonde didn’t wish to part, but Shinsou looked rather serious, even more so than usual. “It’s why I’ve been trying to get you to talk to me.”
“What?” he asked, staring up at the other teen.
“We do whatever it takes to kill my mother,” he said, and Kaminari froze.
“We can together,” Shinsou said, pressing kiss after kiss to Kaminari’s cheeks and lips. “I can make you stronger, and you can do the same for me. There’s a way.”
“You...you’re serious,” Kaminari said, realizing the full extent of their situation.
“I am, yes,” he said, but he could sense Kaminari growing vastly overwhelmed, and fast. “Let’s go to your room, okay?”
“Okay,” Kaminari said, wanting to sit down as apprehension gripped him tight.
In the blink of an eye, they stood at the edge of Kaminari’s bed, and together they sat down on his all black comforter, his leopard print blanket down on the matching rug where he woke up that morning. If his mood felt a little lighter, he would mention the fact that his mother called him a caterpillar trying his hardest to become a butterfly most mornings. If.
“I can’t break free of Sibylla’s hold otherwise,” he said, after a moment, looking straight ahead at Kaminari’s bedroom window.
“That’s what my mom said as well,” he admitted. “My mom almost killed her. My, uh, biological mom, that is, but—”
“Who is that, exactly?”
“My mother’s protector,” he said, turning his attention back towards Kaminari, his gaze almost blinding with its sheer intensity. “Her lover, her first turned. Whatever you want to call her, really. She’s the strongest out of all of them...all of us.”
“How many of them are there?”
“Including my mother, there’s six, but...”
“Varya, she raised me,” he explained, and Kaminari saw a series of expressions cross over his face within a span of few seconds. “She’s my mother’s second turned, but she’s...different, in a way.”
“Yes,” Shinsou said, and Kaminari took his hand in his, giving it a light squeeze. “She taught me that you didn’t have to kill to feed. She taught me how to limit my feedings to bare minimum, but that’s also what makes me so weak...”
“You’re not weak, at all,” Kaminari said. “It’s not a fault to not want to harm someone.”
“We can’t go into this with that mindset, Denki.”
“Will Varya help us?”
“As much as she can,” he said.
“Then it’s three against five, at least,” Kaminari said, smiling when Shinsou spared him a small smirk of his own. “I feel like there’s something you’re holding back on.”
“I said there was a way to make us both stronger...”
“And? Don’t hold back on me.”
“I feed on you, and then feed you some of my blood,” he said, gaze wavering somewhat.
“Yeah,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck in apprehension. Kaminari found this habit of his cute.
He was far more human than he even realized.
“Well, if it’ll give us a chance to stay together, I’ll do whatever it takes,” he said, and he meant it. “I don’t want to leave Saitama, and I most certainly don’t want to leave you.”
Shinsou’s eyes widened considerably, obviously taken aback by the admission. “Are you sure?” he asked. “You don’t have to, you know?”
“Look, I know next to nothing about my own kind, but they’re idea is to run first, fight second, but I don’t want to move, to run. I wanna fight, and not only for me, but for you and others like me. My mother did it once, I can do it, but if I try, I know my mom will lose her shit. If I die...she’ll be all alone.”
“I don’t want to force you into this.”
“But you’re going to do this, no matter what,” he said. “I can feel it.”
As if to answer for him, the sun began to fade as the clouds rolled in. “I really thought it wasn’t going to rain on my birthday,” he added, laughing. “It always does, though.”
“Yeah, but I’m still older by two days, so let me complain.”
Instead, Kaminari ended up on his back with a very enticing figure falling in between his legs. “We forgot to take our shoes off,” Shinsou said, staring at Kaminari’s lips all the while.
“I won’t tell if you won’t.”
Shinsou could no longer hold back, capturing Kaminari’s lips with his own as the rain began to pour outside. The intensity of it all had the electricity thrumming throughout Kaminari’s entire body, rising to the surface of his skin, sending small sparks across Shinsou’s flesh where it came into contact with him. He tried to push him away, but Shinsou persisted, trailing tender kisses down along the side of Kaminari’s neck.
“Aren’t I hurting you?” he asked, though it came out more like a moan than a question. “ Hitoshi.”
“No, not at the moment,” he answered after he’d found the desire to pull away.
Kaminari wondered how lovely it must be not to need oxygen to exist. “You really took it easy on me for all those races last year, huh?” he asked, giggling as Shinsou peered down at him with an almost sheepish look about him.
“To be fair, in my defense, I got distracted,” he said, mouth pressed close to Kaminari’s ear. “I might not have a pulse or a beating heart, but I can still hear them, especially those that belong to a certain blonde I know.”
Kaminari moaned at that, weak to Shinsou’s entire existence.
“I need you to relax, Denki,” Shinsou said, cradling the blonde’s cheek in one hand while the fingers of the other one danced along Kaminari’s neck, causing a shiver to course through his body.
Kaminari felt his pulse quicken as his adrenaline spiked, his face flushed as Shinsou’s fangs lengthened considerably. A part of him was terrified about what came next, but also exhilarated to an extent. This was Shinsou, and above all else, he trusted the vampire to not take more than what was necessary.
“I’m always relaxed around you,” he promised, though that wasn’t always the truth, especially in the beginning, but he wanted this. “You don’t have to worry about me.”
Shinsou placed a chaste kiss to Kaminari’s mouth, inhaling the scent of him. “It’s not you I’m worried about,” he admitted, averting his gaze.
“Hey, I know that if I said stop, that you’ll stop. No matter what.”
“I’m going to bite you know, okay?”
Kaminari took a deep breath. “Okay,” he said, word a mere whisper on his tongue. “Okay.”
Shinsou settled in between the other’s thighs, and man, that was distracting, Kaminari thought as their bodies intertwined. The indigo haired teen said nothing further as he tilted Kaminari’s head slightly to the right, his fangs dragging along the sensitive flesh there. A soft gasp emitted from the blonde’s throat, piercing through the Kaminari’s skin as the blonde let out a low whimper, his arms wrapping around Shinsou’s broad shoulders as a roiling heat spread throughout his body all at once. He felt as though he’d been seared from the inside out. His nails dug into Shinsou’s shoulders, holding on for dear life.
“Haah, ‘Toshi!” he exclaimed, Shinsou’s fangs digging in deeper, the heat spreading throughout his entire being.
It felt exhilarating.
Shinsou swiped his tongue across the two puncture marks, catching every ounce of Kaminari’s essence, gripping him tighter and tighter—losing control. The pleasure began to fade away into exhaustion, and Kaminari could feel the strength fleeing from his body. He tried not to panic as he shoved Shinsou away, panting for breath.
“Hitoshi, enough!” he exclaimed. “I can’t take no more.”
Shinsou backed off immediately. “I-I’m sorry,” he stammered, stroking the blonde’s hair with the utmost tenderness.
Kaminari breathed a sigh of release, bangs plastered to his face as he took a trembling hand and placed it against Shinsou’s cheek. The vampire appeared dazed and confused, blood staining his teeth and the corners of his mouth. Kaminari leaned forward to place a chaste kiss to bloodstained lips, tasting himself at the same time.
“You’re fine,” he said, kissing Shinsou again. “It felt...nice. I just couldn’t hold on much longer before passing out.”
Shinsou gave him a brief nod, unable to trust his voice at the moment, but eventually calmed down enough to speak. “I’m going to bite my wrist,” he dsif. “When I do, you need to drink it all. Don’t waste any.”
“I will,” Kaminari said, blushing somewhat at the idea. “It’s only fair, right?”
Shinsou laughed at that, and what a wonderful sound that was. “Yeah, I guess so,” he said, placing his wrist up towards his mouth, and bit down hard enough to make him bleed.
Kaminari swallowed hard at the sight before him, watching as Shinsou’s blood began to pour forth from his wrist with rivets of blood. The blonde didn’t hesitate, nor did he refuse when Shinsou positioned his bloody wrist to Kaminari’s mouth. The taste didn’t seem as coppery as his own. In fact, the more he drank, the more he craved, sucking as much blood from the vampire as he could. His magic began to react more strongly to it.
“You’re doing so good, Denki,” Shinsou said, hissing as Kaminari took more and more from him, trying to satiate what felt like an endless appetite.
No wonder Shinsou had such a hard time dealing with this, it truly was addicting. He drank until the last drop, dissatisfied with how quickly Shinsou’s healing factor kicked in. When he pulled away, pupils equally as dilated as Shinsou’s own.
“That was...intense,” he said with a laugh.
Shinsou gave a small smirk at that, wiping his mouth before closing the gap between them with passionate kiss. “There is no exquisite beauty,,,without some strangeness in the proportion, he said.
Kaminari ginned like the fool he was at the other teen. “Moving onto Edgar Allen Poe, huh?” he asked, smiling fondly at the vampire.
“It seemed more appropriate.”
“I don’t want you to leave me tonight, ‘Toshi,” he said, close to whining.
“I know, but as it stands...”
“I know, I get it.”
“I’ll tell you this though, Denki,” Shinsou said, his eyes piercing through Kaminari’s soul. “You’re not alone in this as you might think.”
Shinsou left not too long after that, heading off into the dreary weather that only threatened to grow worse. Before he left, however, he gave him a limited edition cover of Kurt Vonneguts ‘ Welcome to the Monkey House. ’ Kaminari laughed at the birthday gift, but clutched it close to his chest anyway. He laid back onto his bed, sweaty clothes and all, and he wondered what Shinsou met by that.,,
You’re not alone in this as you might think.
Chapter 6: Per Aspera Ad Astra
Sorry for the delay, I've been out of the country dealing with some family issues.
"Through Hardships to the Stars”
‘You’re not as alone as you think.’
Shinsou met up with him the following school day, walking side by side, Kaminari’s skateboard slung over his shoulder. The poor thing needed a break after the abuse it had suffered the afternoon prior. Kaminari bit his lip, happy and content to be walking with the vampire, but also a little uneasy.
“There’s something on your mind, I can tell,” Shinsou said, hands tucked into his pants pockets.
Kaminari sighed. “I keep thinking about what you said yesterday,” he said.
“Oh, I thought it had to do with the blood sharing,” he said with a low chuckle, rubbing the back of his neck before smoothing down the collar of his uniform shirt.
Kaminari couldn’t help but to stop, reach up onto his tippy toes, and place a chaste kiss to a cool cheek that warmed underneath his touch. “You’re too cute when you’re embarrassed,” he said, resuming their casual pace. “I was talking about what you meant when you said I wasn’t alone?”
“Meet me during lunch where you normally go to hideout at,” Shinsou said, a smirk hinged on the corner of pale pink lips.
“You’re a monster,” he claimed with a pout to his face.
“The best one you’ve ever met,” he quipped, and Kaminari sounded at that.
“You’re not a monster, Hitoshi! Don’t say that about yourself!”
“Technically, I am, Denki,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“I don’t believe in technicalities, Hitoshi. You are who you are, and that’s not a monster, so suck it!”
“You offering, or...?”
Kaminari’s face reddened, especially when he spotted Aizawa not too far away from them. Late, again, for homeroom. The two came to a standstill, bowing before their annoyed teacher could start tearing into them.
“We’re sorry, sensei,” they said in unison, but unlike last time, they were standing side by side, Kamanari’s fingers brushing across Shinsou’s own.
Unlike last time; however, he let them go on without drawing their fear out for his own gratification. The two lingered just a second longer before they took their respective seats, so far away for one another, but Shinsou would glance back each and every time Kaminari chose to say something lewd or absurd under his breath so that only the vampire could hear the things he said. Shinsou got reprimanded at least twice for breaking out into riotous laughter.
“You look so much happier today, Kami!” Ashido exclaimed after the bell rang, and they were moving onto their next class.
“I-I, yeah,” he said, at a loss for words.
“You seemed so down before. What’s changed?” Sero asked as Ashido leaned into him.
“I just, um—”
“Denki, those jokes you told me weren’t funny,” Shinsou said, interrupting the group dynamic.
“Who said they were jokes?” the blonde asked with a raised brow.
“Yeah, we’ll see about that,” he said, turning his back to him as he raised a hand. “See you at lunch.”
“Oh, my gosh!” Ashido exclaimed. “Kami and Shinsou have been doing things behind our backs!”
“You’re the one that started that matchmaking shit,” Bakugou cursed, Kirishima’s arm slung across the ash blonde’s shoulders.
“Speaking of which, Koda’s been way more quiet since that night. What did you two do to the guy?” Kirishima asked.
“What?! Absolutely nothing!” Kaminari exclaimed as he walked faster towards his math class.
“Oh, my! They did do something!” Ashido said with absolute delight in her voice.
“Gross,” Sero groaned.
“At least you didn’t clean the place when they were done, man,” Kirishima groused.
“You know Denki’s been wanting a piece of that since first year!” Ashido tutted, pulling Sero closer to her as they, too, hurried back to class. “And now they’re going to have a long distance romance!”
Hopefully not, Kaminari thought.
Kaminari breathed a sigh of relief when his next two classes came to an end, and he could creep off towards the edge of the bamboo forest. The air felt stifled with humidity, rain threatening to downpour at any second. The sun hovered half behind a dark, gray cloud.
He lingered at his usual spot, aware that he seemed to be the first to arrive.
A short whooshing sound could be heard as a gust of wind ruffled his hair and uniform before a towering presence stood before him. The look in his eyes screamed intensity, but his smile appeared sincere enough not to warrant any fear.
“Kaminari, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said, still smiling. “My name is Yoarashi Inasa, and I’m here to help!”
“Be more considerate with how loud you are, Yoarashi,” Shinsou said, tone neutral, and his hands still in his pockets as he approached the two men from somewhere behind them. “Denki, this is one of the elementals. He can control the wind, and he’s very adept with his skills.”
“Where did you find him? I’ve never seen him before,” Kaminari said, a little taken aback by coming into contact with another who possessed magical abilities.
“It’s because he goes to another school,” came a voice to the right of him.
“Todoroki?” Kaminari asked, taken even further back to see one of his classmates approaching.
“Yes, Todoroki has fire and ice as his magical caste, and we need the flames,” Shinsou said.
“You’ve known about Hitoshi being, y’know, a vampire?”
“I’ve shared classes with him for over four years now, I’m well acquainted with who and what he is.”
“It’s good to see you, Shouto.”
“You as well, Inasa.”
So Todoroki knew the stranger on a more intimate level. Strange.
“So sorry that I’m late,” came another familiar voice, and when Kaminari looked to the left of him, there stood nonother than Shiozaki Ibara.
“Let me guess, she’s the earth?” Kaminari asked, once again stunned, but not entirely by her. He’d always been taken with her. He tended to gravitate towards her in primary school. His subconscious knew that they were similar somehow.
That Shiozaki was safe.
“I am, indeed,” she said, vines wrapping up and down along her arms. “I can bring forth trees, vines and flowers of my own creation.”
“That’s amazing,” Kaminari said, surprised by the green-haired woman.
“Where’s Izumi?” Shinsou asked, sliding into place alongside Kaminari.
“Who’s that?” Kaminari asked.
“He’s this pain in the ass middle schooler,” Shinsou spat, seeming on edge.
“Better talk well of me if you want my help, vampire!” came a young boy’s voice, and Kaminari could only surmise that the brat with a baseball cap was none other than Izumi himself.
“Hey, don’t insult him!” Kaminari yelled. “Respect your elders!”
“Who are you to ask me to be kind to a creature that’s decimated my family?”
“My parents and grandparents were taken, too, so there’s no point in a pissing contest. You guys might be able to help us, but it was Shinsou’s idea in the first place.”
“You’re a vampire seeking your humanity, no?” Shiozaki questioned, staring deeply into Shinsou’s indigo colored eyes.
“Yes, in a sense. I want my mother dead, I don’t want to hurt people, but most of all, I want to be with Denki,” Shinsou said, his words so honest that they made Kaminari blush. “Together, you make up the four elements, but Denki’s a bit of a wild card.”
“What do you mean?” Yoarashi asked. “I thought you said Kaminari knew little about his own powers.
“Yes, well, we found a way around that.”
“You partook of his blood and blended it with your own to feed some of it back to him,” Todoroki said, no expression across his face once so ever in comparison to Yoarashi’s wide eyes and slackened jaw.
“They did what?!” Yoarashi exclaimed, confused just as much as Shiozaki and Izumi were.
“It worked, okay,” Kaminari said, lifting a hand as electricity danced across his skin, and then extended it across his entire body, from head to toe. “I've also got lightning in my back pocket.”
“You inherited two magical abilities just like me,” Todoroki noted. “But the lightning must drain you considerably.”
“It does,” the blonde admitted.
“Look, Todoroki can emit fire, and Yoarashi can blow it up to deadly limits,” Shinsou said. “Izumi can create water, and when the water gets mixed with electricity? The shock from hell, and with Shiozaki able to bind them down, we have a real chance. There’s an abandoned warehouse three blocks from here, I’ll send you the address. We meet there tonight so we can get a feel of what we can do.”
“What time?” Izumi asked, arms crossed.
“We’ll be there,” Yoarashi said, pulling Todoroki into a warm embrace that the other didn’t seem to mind.
It took what Kaminari thought he knew about the world, and flipped it on its head.
“I have to head back before anyone notices my absence,” Yoarashi said, letting Todoroki go who could only gaze up at the taller, broader teen with what appeared to be longing.
Kaminari knew the feeling well.
“See you tonight, then,” Todoroki said as they parted ways. “I’m heading off to meet Midoriya.”
“I gotta go, too,” Izumi announced. “See you around, vampy.”
Shinsou merely nodded at the young pre-teen. Kaminari wanted to argue, but Shinsou’s hand placed low on his back distracted him. The last to leave was Shiozaki, and it appeared a power play of sorts on her part as she and Shinsou stared each other down.
“I’ll be seeing you later tonight, Kaminari,” she said, at last. “Stay safe.”
“Will do,” Kaminari said as Shinsou kept silent. “What’s the deal with you two?” he asked once he could no longer see the other teen.
“I fed on a friend of hers a few years back. She’s been weary of me ever since, especially now that it’s known that we aren’t friends, or friendly. We’ve crossed a line that no one ever has before, Denki. A vampire with a magic wielder? It goes against nature.”
“Because we have feelings for each other?”
“Exactly,” Shinsou said, gripping Kaminari by the chin as he leaned down for a kiss; a kiss that the blonde readily added to, one after another.
Shinsou had him pinned against his favorite tree, and yet, he felt no fear once so ever. All the blonde could do was kiss and be kissed until he was utterly breathless. Shinsou chuckled as he pulled away, staring down at Kaminari’s flushed cheeks and dilated pupils.
“So all of those crude, lewd things you tortured me with—”
“I want to do each and every one of them,” he answered earnestly.
Shinsou smirked at that. “Hopefully, after we do what we need to do, we can do some of those things...,” he said.
“Why not right here, right now?” Kaminari asked, keen on getting more out of the other teen. “It is your birthday tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow, not today. Besides, I’m not in the mood to be caught with my pants down on school premises.”
“Come on, fifth period’s about to start.”
Kaminari spent the last two classes they had together uttering any and every dirty thought he could muster, making Shinsou flustered. The vampire swore revenge as they took their seats for the last class of the day. Kaminari merely stuck out his tongue, Shinsou’s eyes glued to motion.
“I’m going to go home, make dinner before my mom gets home, and say my usual goodbyes as I lay down for the night. Then I’ll sneak out when she goes to bed,” Kaminari said as school let out, they stopped right before the gate to kiss goodbye, and went along their separate paths.
Kaminari knew that if they were going to do this that Shinsou would have to feed more than he was accustomed to. It bothered him some, but mainly because he knew that it bothered Shinsou more. Shinsou didn’t like feeding on others, but it was the only way to get his strength up to his mother’s level.
Kaminari eagerly waited for night to fall, his focus consumed by the tonkatsu he decided to make for dinner. His mother’s favorite comfort food, and he knew that she needed it. Kaminari, too, for that matter. No matter how stressful the situation proved to be, he could drown it all out by cooking up a storm. He wondered what foods he could make for Shinsou that he would like, maybe even love.
The thought alone made him warm all over, his heart beating a little faster.
“It smells delicious in here, as always,” his mother greeted, her long hair pulled up into a high bun. Her white scrubs pristine and wrinkle free. “How was your day?”
“Welcome home, mama,” he said, scooping rice into two separate bowls. “I made you your favorite. School went well.”
“Thank you, Denki,” she said, embracing him from behind. “You’re such a good son to me.”
“I’m serious,” she said, squeezing him tight. “I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you.”
“Me, too,” Kaminari said, tears stinging his eyes.
“Let’s eat,” she said, pulling away from him.
The two of them ate in silence that night, the shift in atmosphere weighing heavily on them both. The guilt Kaminari felt filled his stomach more than the meal itself. He hated to lie to her, to go behind her back like this, but this was for her just as much as it was for him.
He kept reminding himself of that as they prepared for bed in their usual fashion. Kaminari completed his routine, sitting on the edge of his bed as he counted down the minutes until his mother’s door would close one last time. Finally, all was quiet and still, and Kaminari could make his escape.
He crept down the stairs, one by one, careful to avoid the ones that creaked. His painted nails were chipped from where he’d chewed on them, the taste of acrylic heavy on his tongue. He’d break the habit one day, but his nerves had won out that night.
He shut the front door slowly, carefully behind him, focusing on the directions Shinsou had sent to all of them. The walk wasn’t too far, his gaze focused on the dilapidated building before his eyes. A former toy company that had gone out of business years before.
It loomed over him, gray with streaks of white. Kaminari moved towards the back of the building, searching for the side door Shinsou had directed them to enter through. He found it, studying the broken handle as he pulled back on it. It gave a loud groan as he entered, a cold draft hitting him head-on. Of course Shinsou would choose such a building to meet up at.
He spotted Todoroki first.
“Hey,” he said with a wave of his hand.
Todoroki gave a quick nod of his head, pulling the black sweater he wore closer to his person. The door groaned again as Yoarashi appeared next, dressed in a simple white tee shirt and loose fitting jeans. The man was an absolute giant. A friendly one, but still. His smile could blind the sun itself.
“Shouto, Kaminari,” he greeted, his voice booming as he moved to Todoroki’s side. “It’s good to see you both.”
“You as well,” Todoroki said, looking up at the other teen with what Kaminari could only consider a fond expression.
Kaminari had never seen Todoroki show such emotion before, subtle as it was. He figured that the two were romantically involved, or on the verge of it at least. It was interesting to see.
“Yo,” Izumi quipped, fixing his red cap as he stood before them. “Where’s the vamp? This was his idea.”
Kaminari couldn’t help but notice that Shinsou’s presence was nowhere to be found. He wondered how his feedings had gone. The thought made the hair on the back of his neck stand on edge.
“He’ll be here,” he said.
“You would know, wouldn’t you,” Izumi said. The absolute brat.
Kaminari couldn’t help but to roll his eyes, arms crossed. “Yeah, I would,” he said.
“I don’t get it,” Izumi said. “You would make a tasty snack, but he’s too chicken shit to feed on you, so he falls in love instead?”
“He’s different,” the blonde argued, defensive.
“It’s none of our business,” came Shiozaki’s soothing voice. “We’re here to destroy his mother and her convent, not dictate Shinsou’s personal affairs, as strange as they may be to us.”
The whole thing was strange, how could they judge?
“Glad to see you all showed up,” Shinsou said, emerging from the shadows that large wooden crates filled with defective toys produced. “Let’s get down to business, shall we?”
“What are we supposed to do?” Todoroki asked, his head tilted to one side as white and crimson bled together.
“This is merely a practice run,” Shinsou said, standing before them, dressed in all black.
He looked good like that, but his energy felt different, Kaminari noticed. Dangerous somehow.
“We’ll see what you all can do individually, and then figure out how we can mold it together to make it absolutely lethal,” he said, meeting each and every one of their eyes. “I know you don’t often get to show your powers off, but tonight is different. You’re safe to do so here.”
“How so?” Yoarashi asked. “Do you have wards set up?”
“Yes,” he said. “Thanks to Shiozaki.”
“They’ll hold for at least three hours,” Shiozaki added. “I’m well versed in them. My father in particular is very skilled. No sound, no vibration, no movement will be sensed by human or demon alike.”
Was she referring to Shinsou in that manner as well?
“Who’s up first, then?” Izumi asked. “I’m ready to drown some people.”
“Todoroki, I’d like to see what you can do with your dual powers,” Shinsou said, pale lips tinted red. “Once that’s finished, I’d like to see what you and Yoarashi can do together, seeing how you two have more experience working together.”
“Very well,” Todoroki said, getting into place.
By the end of it, half of the warehouse was covered in ice and the other half completely scorched. The sheer power of it mesmerized Kaminari to no end, and when Yoarashi joined him, they all had to take cover. A tornado of open flames the height of the building itself was a sight to behold. Yoarashi’s wind took Todoroki’s flames and turned it into a raging inferno. The way they worked together was beautiful, both of them completely attuned with one another.
“That was amazing!” Kaminari exclaimed once the pair had finished and it was safe to get close again.
“Well done,” Shiozaki added.
“It was alright,” Izumi muttered, face hidden beneath his cap.
“Izumi and Denki, you’re up next,” Shinsou said. “We’ve got to get you two accustomed to one another’s power.”
“What are we supposed to do?” Kaminari asked, nervous to an extent.
“Izumi will flood the area with water while Kaminari uses his electricity to bring anything caught in it to their knees.”
“How do you know we’ll be able to work well with each other?” the blonde asked, concerned about his lack of mastery. “No offense, but we’re not like Todoroki and Yoarashi. We didn’t even meet until today.”
“That’s why you all are practicing here,” Shinsou said. “To learn how to work with one another. We won’t leave until we get it right.”
“ Fuck,” Kaminari muttered under his breath, insecure of his skill set.
Shinsou approached him then, tilting his head up by the chin, studying him with an intense look about him. “You’ll do fine,” he said, leaning forward until his lips brushed against the blonde’s ear. “And afterwards, we can celebrate my birthday in full. How does that sound?”
Kaminari could only blush as he nodded his head. “Yeah? Okay,” he said, moving to get into position besides Izumi who didn’t even acknowledge his presence.
He knew then that it was going to be a long night, and it was. By the end of it, Kaminari felt drained of all his strength, his lithe body swaying to and fro. He’d used the lightning only once, a large bolt crashing down where he stood with a loud crack. The strange thing about it was that it shot up from the ground, through his body and then out, careening through whatever dared to be in his way. The magnitude of it stunned all who witnessed it, including Kaminari himself. He could see how his mother had almost did away with Sibylla all those years ago.
“That was...wow,” Izumi said, adjusting his cap once again, peering up at Kaminari with an awed sort of expression. He counted that as a win in and of itself.
“That will certainly come in handy,” Shiozaki said, her gaze soft and thoughtful all at once. “You can only do it once though, correct?”
Kaminari nodded his head, too drained to do much else. “Yeah,” he said, leaning on Shinsou who helped to hold him up. “It takes a lot out of me.”
“A last resort,” Todoroki said, studying the situation in full.
“Yes,” Shinsou said, holding Kaminari close. “You all worked well together. I have no doubt that, together, we’ll be able to take her down. The next three days will be her most vulnerable. She fasts periodically before regaining excess strength. I’ll provide all the details of the plan later tonight. Rest up for now.”
Once again, they all departed save Kaminari and Shinsou who remained behind. “Let’s get you home,” Shinsou said, keeping Kaminari up with little strength. The blonde couldn’t resist getting as close as possible to the other teen.
“You feel different,” he mumbled, placing one foot in front of the other, counting each and every step and crack in the sidewalk along the way.
“Do I?” Shinsou asked, his body stiffening somewhat as they waited for the light to change so that they could cross.
Kaminari knew it had to do with the increased feedings the vampire participated in recently. “Yeah, your presence feels more pronounced somehow,” he said.
“Good,” Shinsou said. “It means it’s working.”
“I know it must be difficult for you...doing that,” he said, coming to a halt as they approached the street corner, city lights their only guide.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to kill her, Denki.”
“I know,” Kaminari said. “I will, too.”
Shinsou gave a demure smile at that, leaning down to place a chaste kiss to Kaminari’s cheek as the blonde chased ever elusive lips. After a teasing moment, Shinsou gave in, kissing Kaminari hard on the mouth, his hands entwined in the blonde’s hair. Kaminari smiled into it, content to kiss the vampire for the rest of his life.
“Let’s get you home,” Shinsou said, finally pulling away from him, a crooked smile on the edge of his lips.
Kaminari wondered how well Shinsou would handle becoming fully mortal, but shook the thought away. All of that would come after, he determined. No point in getting lost in such an uncomfortable series of thoughts.
The pair arrived at their destination, but right away they could sense that something was amiss. Kaminari’s chest clenched tight as his heart sank, throat constricting as they moved closer to the front door that laid slightly ajar, hurrying inside. He didn’t get far before he noticed the message scrawled in blood across the wall aligning their staircase. Kaminari had to read it over and over again, the words refusing to settle clearly in his minds eye.
What a lovely gift you’ve left for us
Shinsou let out a low growl, fists clenched down by his sides. “ Oksana,” he cursed into the stilted air of the silent home.
Kaminari’s entire world came crashing down. He determined then that they would all suffer, no matter what it took. He would take back what was his, no matter what. He swayed, clutching at the handrail as his knees buckled, falling down onto the first step. The room began to spin, tears streaming down his face as he shut his eyes.
“Call the others,” he said, his voice deadly serious even to his own ears, desperate. “We’ve got to get her back, Hitoshi.”
Shinsou took Kaminari’s hand in his, giving it a tight squeeze. “I promise we will,” he said. “We’ll kill them all.”
Chapter 7: Celer-Silens-Mortalis
“Swift, Silent, Deadly”
‘We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.’
Kaminari knew that his mother’s number one priority would be his survival. She would want him to run at the first sign of danger, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t run, not when the woman who’d raised him was facing absolute peril.
If there was any chance that he could get her back, he would do so without a moment's hesitation. He’d promised his father that he would always be there for her, that he would protect her at all costs. He would not go back on his word now.
Shinsou studied him as he remained seated on the first step of their staircase, hands laced in front of him as they waited for the others to arrive. He felt calm. Determined.
Fear could not, would not permeate through his exterior. No such room existed at this point, rain pelting against the living room window, thunder rolling through at shorter and shorter intervals.
He wondered if it was her trying to send a message.
“They’re here,” Shinsou announced, moving to open the door before the first knock could commence.
“Kaminar, are you okay?” Shiozaki asked, eyes wide and hair heavy with rain. She didn’t seem to notice or care that she was drenched.
“Of course not,” Izumi said, shaking excess water from his hat before it could get into his eyes. “His mom just got snatched by a bunch of bloodsuckers!”
“We need to act,” Todoroki said, closing the umbrella he’d used before handing it back to Yoarashi,” and fast.”
“We need a plan first,” Yoarashi said, and each member of their small group looked to Shinsou for the answer.
“I didn’t think this would ever be a hostage situation,” Shinsou admitted, arms crossed, brow furrowed. “Sibylla must have caught wind of something going on. She’s trying to force our hand, makes us act fast and irrationally.”
“Well, it’s working,” Kaminari said, shoulders slumped forward as he folded in on himself. “That place ...they took her there, didn’t they?”
“Yes,” Shinsou said, eyes boring into Kaminari’s person, pleading for forgiveness though there was nothing to forgive in the blonde’s opinion.
He couldn’t help who his mother was or what she did.
Kaminari’s hands balled up into fists then, his entire body trembling from head to toe. “They’re going to torture her,” he said. “Bleed her dry like they threatened to do to me.”
“We’ll stop them!” Yoarashi said, eyes narrowed, body tense with unrestrained anger.
“Vampires aren’t the only thing that haunt that forest,” Shinsou said.
“It’s a good thing we’re well versed in white magic, then,” Shiozaki said, arms wrapped around herself in a protective embrace. It was clear that the idea of going into that forest troubled her, her connection to the earth making her intune with everything, good and bad, that went on in nature itself.
“Then we need to get going,” Izumi said. “As long as we can burn and electrocute them, everything else doesn’t matter.”
Kaminari stood then, mind whirling with a series of thoughts. “Izumi and I will pair together, Yoarashi and Todoroki, too. We’ll need you and Shiozaki backing us up,” he said, gaze boring into the vampire who could only peer back at him. “You guys need to provide the opening we need.”
“No problem,” Shinsou said, and it was decided.
The full moon they stood under did little in the way of illuminating their path. The forest that loomed before them proved old and weary of those who invaded its land, but no other option could be taken. Shinsou led the way, keeping to the river on the edge of such an oppressive living, breathing entity.
The secrets this forest kept told of creatures once thought to be nothing more than myth. Shiozaki brought a handful of shikigami to life, sending the eager paper men to scope out the surrounding area for any traps or delays and report back. Kaminari watched as they disappeared into the deepest portions of the forest, impressed by the level of skill Shiozaki contained.
“They’ll be back in less than twenty minutes or so,” she said, following closely behind Shinsou as their group continued to move forward on their own.
“How did you learn to do that?” Kaminari asked, curiosity getting the best of him.
Shiozaki looked back at him with a soft expression. “My father taught me,” she said. “After my mother...left. He knows a lot about wards and possession. He decided to start teaching me at a young age, just in case.”
“Impressive,” Todoroki said. “My father forced my siblings and I to start at a young age as well, but only on the magic we wield.”
“You didn’t need him,” Yoarashi said, holding Todoroki’s gaze as he did so. “You didn’t need the abuse.”
“Not all of us were fortunate enough to have gentle teachings, Inasa,” he said, eyes focused on the wet ground beneath his feet.
The river rushed loudly beside them, the moment tense. It was obvious Yoarashi knew more about Todoroki’s upbringing than the rest of them.
Kaminari could only think about his own upbringing. The lack of knowledge bothered him some, but when he looked back all he could hear was laughter, and all he could see was bright smiles that bordered on painful. His mother only ever greeted him with a warm hug and a ruby red smile that accentuated the dimples in her cheeks.
The only thing Kaminari Emi ever wanted for her son was a content, happy life. She hid a large portion of herself in order to give him a normal life, but they were far from normal. He couldn’t blame her for wanting to protect him from the forces that had taken almost everything away from them save each other.
Emi, an orphan herself, took Denki in and embedded nothing but love and understanding into how she raised him. Together, they weren’t alone. Together, the dead could no longer haunt them.
Tears gathered in his eyes, unbridled rage fueled his veins. His mother would happily die for him if it meant that he would be safe. It was only fair that he return the favor.
He wasn’t a frightened child anymore. The kind that crawled into bed when lightning flashed across the sky.
The lightning was his now.
The shikigami returned, eagerly telling their master all that they’d witnessed.
“The forest is host to many creatures,” she said. “The direct path is the most dangerous, but we should be able to get rid of the creatures we’ll encounter with Todoroki’s ability.”
“What creatures?” Izumi asked.
“Jorogumo,” Shinsou said, thin lips pulled into a tight line.
“Eh, what?!” Izumi exclaimed. “We’re supposed to go through a forest full of giant spiders?”
“The other areas are haunted by ghosts,” Shiozaki said. “Ghosts intent on maiming or killing those they come across. We have a better chance going up against things we can actually fight back against.”
“I’ll lead with Shinsou then,” Todoroki said, moving to stand beside the vampire.
“I’ll stay towards the back,” Kaminari said, gaining everyone's attention. “That way I can electrocute the bastards without worrying about shocking any of you in the process.”
“Whatever happens, try not to drain yourself,” Shinsou said, staring at Kaminari as he did so. “We can’t afford to waste a lot of energy here. If we’re weakened, it’ll be game over for all of us.”
Kaminari could feel his heart as it began to race. The forest proved dense with bamboo trees shooting up as far as the eye could see, tall and unyielding. The air damp, ground wet with mud that clung to their feet, attempting to pull them under—trap them. A never ending series of webs clung to the trees, intricate in their designs. There remained very little room for them to move through, pieces of silk clinging to arms and legs as they trudged on, ready to strike down anything that dared to test them.
A large billow of flame shot up as Todoroki dodged a massive set of mandibles, a loud wail emitting through the air as the jorogumo lit ablaze, attempting to flee from the raging inferno that embraced it. A series of vines entangled around its throat, tightening until its head detached from its body, dropping to the forest floor. After a moment, nothing of the massive spider remained, reduced to mere ash.
Returned back to the earth that surround it.
A pointed leg struck out before Kaminari could sense it, striking Izumi in his shoulder, knocking him down. Yoarashi used his wind to hold the jorogumo back, Shiozaki helping Izumi back to his feet. Kaminari used the opportunity to electrocute the creature, angered that it got a hit in. The spider wailed as its body tensed and shook, shriveling back as Kaminari ended its life. His boy thrummed with the feeling of it, sparks dancing across his skin.
At the last moment, he remembered to reel it in.
At the sight of Todoroki and Yoarashi’s combined powers, the rest of the jorogumo fled for their lives. The threat of a raging inferno enough to send them running further away. Shinsou continued to lead them, peering back occasionally to make sure everyone remained in one piece.
A harrowing moment came when a woman appeared out of nowhere, or what appeared to be a normal woman at first until she opened her mouth to speak, fangs protruding from her mouth. Vampire.
A tall woman with long chestnut brown hair adorned with a crown made of red roses in her hair. The hazel-green pool of her eyes could drown a weaker man. She stood still, very still until she hunched over, hissing as she clutched her stomach, blood coating her hands.
“Varya!” Shinsou shouted, running to the woman’s side. Kaminari remembered that name.
This was Sibylla’s second turned, the one who taught Shinsou restraint. The reason that Shinsou could love even though he belonged to the undead.
“Hitoshi,” she said, her voice a mere whisper as Shinsou embraced her carefully, holding her up as he examined the extent of her injuries.
“What happened?” Shinsou asked, and it was the first time Kaminari had seen him so panicked.
“They have her,” she said, cursing under her breath. Kaminari realized she had a gaping hole through her abdomen. A wound that would take time to heal, even for a vampire.
“Feed from me,” he said, his hands placed on either side of the woman’s face. “Feed from me so that you can heal.”
“No, you need all the strength you can muster, Hitoshi,” she said, kissing the palm of one of his hands. “Go. Defeat them and claim your humanity.”
“Mother,” he whispered.
Varya smiled softly at that, holding Shinsou’s hand in both of hers. “I love you, my child,” she said. “I’ll be here waiting for you.”
Kaminari placed a hand on Shinou’s shoulder, noticing how hard the vampire trembled. He helped Varya to sit beside one of the many trees around them, placing a kiss to the top of her head. “I’ll free us all,” he said, pulling away from her at last.
“I know you will.”
The fortified structure came into view, a twisted forlorn feeling excluded from it. Evil.
Kaminari rushed ahead, knowing that his mother was inside. Tortured.
Shinsou held him back, lips pressed close to his ear. “It’s a trap,” he said. “They know we’re here. They’re waiting for us to rush in.”
“I always knew you were a bright child, Hitoshi,” came an all too familiar, dreadful voice.
One that haunted his dreams.
“It’s too bad Varya corrupted your ideals of what it means to be a vampire.”
“Did you hurt her?” Shinsou asked, spine straight, head held high. He was ready for this fight. He’d been preparing for it his entire life.
“I’m afraid she got in the way,” Sibylla said, a demure smirk hinged on her full lips.
“Let the woman go,” he said, voice low. Deadly.
Kaminari had never seen him like this before, but he could relate, electricity thrumming through his being. Lethal.
“She’s kin to you, is she not?” Sibylla asked, her focus shifting from Shinsou to Kaminari.
“Let my mother go,” he said. “She has nothing to do with this.”
“Mother?” Sibylla said with a laugh. “Is that what you call her? You do not share the same blood, I would know.”
“What have you done with her?!”
“You know, I do believe your actual mother and I have met. Your father, too, briefly. A long night that was...what a powerful weapon their blood would have made. A shame, really.”
“She is my mother,” Kaminari said, his anger amplifying his power, electricity twisting through her insides. “I already know what you did to my parents.”
“I did nothing,” she said, fangs glinting under the moonlight as she bared them in a twisted smile. Her true self pouring through. “I’m afraid that was all Oksana’s doing.”
Shinsou turned at that, shoving Kaminari to the ground as a powerful fist barely missed making contact with the left side of the blonde’s face. Shinsou got up, lunging for a short woman with cropped blonde hair. The suit she wore proved no hindrance in how ferocious she attacked, and Kaminari knew then that that could be no other than Oksana herself. The realization had Kaminari using everything in his power to shock the woman into submission so that Shinsou could finish her off. She let out a piercing shriek, but a blow to the head cut his attack short.
“What the fuck?!” he exclaimed, clutching the back of his head as he spun around, coming into contact with another member of Sibylla’s covenant.
A young looking woman with strawberry blonde hair, freckles and a serrated blade in her hand.
Kaminari dodged another attack, grabbing the vampire’s wrist as she made to stab him through the heart, shocking the hell out of her until he could smell her flesh burning. She was strong, but she was not immune to pain, eventually letting go of her weapon to clutch her singed arm, but never spoke. She kept going after him, over and over again like an attack dog. Vicious.
“Kaminari!” Izumi shouted, escaping one of the other vampires long enough to dose her in water. Kaminari couldn’t help but smirk, charging up as much electricity in his system as he possibly could. He clutched either side of her shoulders, sending current after current through her as possible. Her eyes bulged, jaw unhinged as she let out a harrowing scream, convulsing under his hold.
Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, her body going slack as her knees buckled. A large gust of wind blew past him as Todoroki set the vampire’s body aflame. The sight was a thing of nightmares, but Kaminari had no time to think about it.
He needed to get to his mother.
The scene was chaos, but Kaminari couldn’t afford to focus on it, heading towards the same building he’d been held in. He made it to the door before he felt something pierce through his left side. He reached back, freeing the dagger as he let out a low cry.
It had pierced his lung, making each and every moment excruciating, but he didn’t stop. Couldn’t.
Kaminari broke through the door, his gaze fell upon his mother in an instant. She laid across the gurney, dressed in a champagne colored nightgown stained with blood. Her eyes remained loosely shut, lips pale.
Kaminari could feel his heart pounding against his ribcage as he strode to her side, caressing her face as tears filled his eyes. “Mama,” he called, voice strained as he studied the deep cuts across her arms and legs, blood pooling everywhere across her body, dripping onto the floor. “Mama, I’m here.”
Her eyelids fluttered briefly, but they didn’t open. “Denki,” she rasped. “Run.”
“I’m not going to run, mama,” he said, undoing the straps that pinned her in place. “We’re going to get out of here together, okay? I’m going to get you out of here.”
Emi let out a low groan as Denki tried to move her. She was too weak to move on her own. Kaminari realized he would have to leave her there until this was all over.
He swallowed past the lump in his throat, placing a shaky kiss to her forehead as he’d done a thousand times before. “I’ll be back for you, I promise,” he said.
As Kaminari made to leave there come a piercing scream that had him covering his ears with his hands. He ran outside just in time to see a bloody Shinsou on top of Oksana, a dagger plunged into her throat as he worked to decapitate her, hate and resentment fueling his strength. Shiozaki had Sibylla pinned to a tree, hundreds of vines binding her down like a thousand coiling snakes. Shinsou moved off of Oksana, giving Todoroki the opportunity to set her on fire, incinerating her down to the bone until she faded away to nothing.
Sibylla cried in agony as her lover was reduced to nothing more than mere dust. Good. She would finally learn what it felt like to have your entire world stripped away...to know fear, to know pain.
Kaminari rushed to Shinsou’s side, ignoring his own wounds to focus on his. His face and neck held deep scratches, sharp nails having gouged deep. A wild look filtered through his eyes as he took in the blonde’s appearance, noticing the wound to his side as Kaminari struggled to breathe.
It began to rain, loud claps of shaking the ground beneath their feet. Kaminari knew it was his mother’s doing. A small smile hinged on his lips, impressed and endeared by her strength.
A loud snap broke their trance-like focus, Sibylla breaking through Shiozaki’s vines as she sent her flying. Todoroki focused all of his energy on her, but even with Yoarashi’s help, it was not enough. Todoroki was drained, collapsing if not for Yoarashi catching him.
Kaminari rushed forward, dodging the vampire’s vicious attacks long enough to bring his lightning to life. He felt it in his feet, his chest tightening as his body filled with excess energy. The rain and Izumi’s own gift helped to cultivate an even deadlier attack...just like that night, all those years ago.
“You’re not going to survive this one,” he said, teeth gritting as Sibylla’s razor sharp nails dug into the sides of his neck.
He could hardly make out Shinsou moving in to tear her hands away before she could gouge out his throat. A blinding flash of light shot up from the ground below them, passing through Kaminari’s body into Sibylla’s, and by extension, Shinsou. Kaminari let out a choking noise as he fell to his knees, coming face-to-face with Sibylla’s charred remains.
He’d struck her down, but by proxy, Shinsou had also been caught in its grasp.
“Hitoshi!” he cried, crawling over to him on trembling hands and knees.
His arms were scorched, his shirt in tatters. Kaminari started doing chest compressions, tears blurred his vision as they fell freely. The others could only look on helplessly in silence.
After a few minutes, Kaminari grew desperate, his entire body racked with sobs as he placed his head down upon Shinsou’s chest. He couldn’t hear it, at first, the slow beating of a newly born heart, but the more he listened to his surroundings, the more evident it grew. At long last, he realized it for what it was.
Shinsou’s heart could beat.
He stared down at the other’s weary face, leaning closer until he felt warm breath ghost across his lips. Shinsou could breathe!
Shinsou’s eyes opened, his brilliant indigo gaze searing through Kaminari’s person. “You’re alive!” he exclaimed, cradling Shinsou’s face in between his hands before pressing a harsh kiss against warm, quivering lips.
“Being alive hurts,” Shinsou said, and Kaminari could only laugh, damn near hysterical by everything that had transpired.
“It can suck sometimes, yeah, but we’re here now,” he said, kissing him again, addicted to the way Shinsou’s mouth now felt against his. “It gets better.”
“Anything’s better than being what I was,” he said, a small smile gracing the curve of his lips.
“We’ll get my mom, get Varya, and get the fuck out of here,” Kaminari said, tears filling his eyes. His emotions were decidedly all over the place. “We’ve got a lot of living to do, Mister!”
“Show me where your mother is, Kaminari,” Shiozaki said, placing a hand on both him and Shinsou. “I healed Todoroki up, I’ll heal you two up as best as I can, and then I’ll tend to both of your mothers.”
“You’re the best, Shiozaki!”
The teen could only laugh, her face covered with mud and twigs in her hair, but Kaminari determined that she had never looked as pretty as she did in that moment. Izumi did his best to help Shinsou up, the pair of them walking side-by-side as Shiozaki escorted Kaminari to where his mother lay unresponsive where he’d left her. Yoarashi carried Todoroki in his arms, and it was honestly the sweetest thing Kaminari had ever seen.
“You two are, like, an item, right?” he asked, no longer able to control himself as he nervously waited for Shiozaki to tend to his mother’s wounds.
Yoarashi’s face grew hot and red with embarrassment. “I, uh, well...,” he began, stopping to clear his throat.
Todoroki opened his dual-colored eyes then, peering up at the other teen with that same fond expression he’d had before. “We are now,” he said, daring Yoarashi to say differently.
“I suppose we are,” Yoarashi said, smiling like a fool as he held the other teen in his arms. Todoroki determined then that it would be the perfect time to wrap his arms around the other’s neck, kissing him hard on the mouth.
If Yoarashi had been struggling before, it was nothing compared to afterwards. Kaminari couldn’t help but laugh at his expense.
“Hey, ‘Toshi, we should go on a double date with them sometime,” he said, turning to look at the former vampire holed up in the corner. It was taking him some time and effort to adjust to being human, but Kaminari figured they had all the time in the world now.
“You think you can carry me bridal style like that?” Shinsou asked, lone eyebrow raised.
Kaminari moved to his side, embracing him as he placed a kiss to the other’s pale cheek, enjoying the flush that flourished across his cheeks and the bridge of his nose. The heat that rolled off him in waves. “Baby, you know if I had the upper body strength, I totally would,” he said, enjoying the loud snort that tore through Shinsou’s person.
“You guys are so gross,” Izumi said, letting out a low groan. A most typical brat, Kaminari decided.
“Aren’t they?” came a soft, raspy voice that had them all snapping their attention towards Kaminari Emi in an instant.
“Mama!” the blonde exclaimed, rushing over to her side, cradling her in his arms.
“Denki,” she cried, tears rolling down her cheeks as she wiped his dirty face. “You did it.”
“I had some help,” he said, taking the time to introduce her to each and everyone of their fellow magic users.
“Thank you, all of you,” she said, giving Kaminari’s hand a tight squeeze. “That includes you, Shinsou. I...thank you for protecting my son.”
“Any time,” Shinsou said with a nod of his head.
“We need to get to Varya so I can take a look at her stomach,” Shiozaki said, helping Emi to sit up.
“She’s the one that tried to help me,” Emi said, her cheeks flushed with shame. “If it wasn’t for her stalling them, I...I’d be dead.”
Kaminari gave a small smile at that, placing a kiss to his mother’s forehead. “That’s Hitoshi’s real mom,” he said.
His mother smiled back. “I can see why he turned out so good,” she said.
“Varya, can you hear me?” Shinsou asked, his head pressed against her chest as Shiozaki focused the last of her energy into healing the woman’s wounds. “I did it. We did it. We’re human now, just like we wanted for so long.”
Kaminari held his mother in a tight embrace, fear and unease hanging over their heads the longer the process took. “She’ll come to, just give her time,” Emi whispered, holding Denki just as tight.
“Her wound’s the deepest,” Shiozaki confirmed, wiping her brow with her free hand as she focused more and more energy into the massive wound. “She’s breathing, but her heart rate is irregular. Izumi, I need your help.”
“What can I do?” he asked, arms crossed and eyes hidden under his hat. “I’m not...I don’t know how to do that.”
“I’ll teach you,” Shiozaki said with a comforting smile thrown over her shoulder. “She’s needs water, and I need to cleanse her wounds.”
Shinsou moved aside to let the youngest of their group settle down beside her. Izumi placed his hands where they were directed to, and his brows furrowed the harder he tried to concentrate. A hue of blues and greens emitted from their hands, and Kaminari couldn’t help but to be a tad bit jealous. The two, like his mother, were gifted with healer hands whereas his own could do nothing but tear things apart. He could only pray that it would be enough for her.
The two hadn’t gotten the chance to meet yet.
Shinsou’s entire body looked ridgid, his eyes glued to the scene in front of him. Kaminari wanted so desperately to say something, anything to him, but he didn’t know what. He bit his lip as his mother reached out, taking Shinsou’s hand into her own. He looked back at her, tears in his eyes, and it was the first time Kaminari had ever seen him cry. The blonde didn’t even know if he could when he was still a vampire.
Shinsou continued to hold Emi’s hand until a loud gasp echoed across the small area they inhabited. He reached for her as soon as Shiozaki and Izumi pulled away, dragging Varya’s abused body into a warm hug. He didn’t bother to hold back his tears then, breaking down into his mother’s arms as she clung to him.
“I knew you could do it,” she cried, rubbing his back in small, soothing circles. “We’re free.”
“They’re all dead,” Shinsou choked, tucking his face into her neck. “We killed them all.”
“Good,” she said. “Good.”
Kaminari Emi invited them all to stay over at their house. Varya and Shinsou took her bed while Yoarashi, Todoroki and Izumi took the two spare futons downstairs. Shiozaki slept soundly on their sofa while she and Denki settled down for the night on his bed.
“I never thought there would come a day when that woman would ever be defeated,” she said, stroking Denki’s hair just as she did when he was a child. “I can’t even begin to describe to you how easy my heart feels now...”
“This means we don’t have to leave, right?” Denki asked, fighting off the desire to fall into a deep sleep just then. “I can stay here with Hitoshi...”
“We can stay here,” she said, a weary smile gracing her lips. “Hitoshi and Varya can stay with us as long as they need.”
“Really,” she confirmed. “Now get some sleep, Denki.”
“I love you.”
“I love you more.”
“I love you the most.”
“Impossible,” she said.
“Another stalemate, I guess,” Denki mumbled, his eyes slipping shut as sleep finally caught up with him at long last.
“I guess so,” he heard her say. “Your parents would be so proud. Your papa, too...”
Chapter 8: Acta Est Fabula, Plaudite!
Hello! It took me a lot longer to get this chapter out, but it's finally here! The ending! I really enjoyed writing this, and of course, I love Shinsou/Kaminari even more.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“The Story is Done, Applaud!”
A little over a month had come and gone since that turbulent night, rainy days giving way to warm sunshine that Kaminari wanted nothing more than to bathe in forever. Early evening was fast approaching, but that didn’t stop the blonde from enjoying the rare times he now shared with his friends as they cheered Shinsou on. After much pleading on his part, the former vampire had reluctantly agreed to give skateboarding a try.
“You can do it, Shinsou!” Ashido cheered, fists high in the air as she shook with enthusiasm.
Kaminari took perverse pleasure in getting to hold Shinsou so close to him in a public setting, keeping the taller of the two steady on his feet. Well aware that normally it was the other way around, with Shinsou’s looming figure keeping the blonde secure when he felt most adrift. To his credit, Shinsou had amazing balance, human or not.
“After this next run, we’ll call it a day,” he said, chin propped up on Shinsou’s shoulder.
“You just want to have the house to ourselves,” Shinsou said, a quirk to his upturned lips.
“Of course I do! Your mom’s at school, and mine’s at work. It’s perfect!” he exclaimed, hands on Shinsou’s waist.
After their sudden return back into human society, Varya realized how little she knew of the world now and the ways in which it worked. Kaminari Emi had made it her sole mission to help the woman enroll in school, a hundred and twenty-eight year old woman who still only looked to be in her mid-to-late twenties, it wasn’t hard. Funnily enough, she and Shinsou would be attending the same university in little over a month.
After five tries, Shinsou completed his first ramp, the black and white striped tank top he wore rose up as he used the cotton material to wipe the sweat from his overheated face, exposing well-toned abs that made Kaminari nearly drool with want. Shinsou had bulked up some since being turned mortal, eating foods high in both nutrients as well as protein that Kaminari made for him instead of subsisting entirely off of blood. The first thing the blonde had ever made for him happened to be okonomiyaki after that long, tumultuous night, and Shinsou fell completely head over heels for it, requesting the dish and all of its varieties frequently.
Kaminari could do little more than obey, finding Shinsou’s simple love too cute to ever deny.
“See you guys later!” the blonde exclaimed, waving at his group of friends that Shinsou was quickly becoming acclimated to.
“Boo!” Ashido quipped, giving the two a big thumbs down as she sat on Sero’s lap, the two of them eating ice cream to try and beat the heat. “I can’t believe you guys live with each other already! Not even Kiri and Blasty have done that!”
“Hey, dipshit! We’re not too far behind,” Bakugou argued, using the opportunity to turn everything into a competition.
“We aren’t?” Kirishima asked, glancing over at his boyfriend with a quirk of his brow, his pointed teeth curled into an amused smile.
“It would be better if it was just us two,” Shinsou said, and Kaminari couldn’t help but to agree.
“Well, Kaminari’s working full-time now at old Yukimura’s restaurant and you’re working part-time at that bookstore down the street, right?” Kirishima asked, using a little paper fan to try and keep both he and Bakugou cool, despite the ash blonde’s insistence that he didn’t need it. His flushed cheeks spoke otherwise.
“Yeah,” Kaminari said, brushing his hair back and out of from his face. “We’re saving up money to get an apartment, but Hitoshi will be starting school soon, and I don’t want to stress him out with moving just yet.”
“We’ll get there,” he said, indigo gaze fully on him.
The five of them continued to talk for a little while, alternating between serious talks about their future to their usual buffoonery that Shinsou watched with a voyeuristic sense of amusement. Slowly, he started to ease himself into Kaminari’s social circle, shedding his past life as an outcast, a loner with a secret. There were no more secrets to be had, but he struggled to learn how to grow close to people who weren’t Kaminari himself.
It was endearingly sweet, the blonde thought the closer they got home. He’d done everything in his power to seduce the other teen that Sunday afternoon, from the simple black shorts that showed more than not to the yellow crop-top that exposed just how cinched his waist truly was, leaving the long-sleeve, forest green plaid shirt tied loosely around his protruding hip bones. The simple black choker he wore truly sealed the deal; however, an obvious weakness of Shinsou's that he took pleasure in exploiting at every turn.
“You hungry?” he asked, more out of habit than anything else.
“Yes,” Shinsou said, spinning Kaminari around as he pinned the blonde back against the front door, “but not for food.”
“How naughty, ‘Toshi,” Kaminari said, trying to keep the slyness out of his voice and the smirk off of his lips with varying degrees of success. “I was merely trying to be a good host.”
“I’m sure,” Shinsou said, eyes peering down at Kaminari’s mouth all the while with keen interest, his cheeks flushed with heat and something more akin to longing.
“I’m very innocent,” Kaminari argued, moaning as Shinsou tilted his chin up, pressing a rough kiss to the blonde’s mouth.
Kaminari’s hands found themselves on either side of Shinsou’s head, his fingers threading through wild, purple tresses as Shinsou’s hands secured themselves around his waist, long fingers nearly touching. A soft gasp escaped full lips as Shinsou ground their hips together, pressing Kaminari harder into the wooden door behind him. The blonde felt his desire, his absolute need billowing the rougher Shinsou’s actions grew.
“Hitoshi, room,” he said, eyes wide, pitiful and pleading.
A winning combination.
“You mean you don’t want to come in these tight little shorts you have on?” Shinsou asked, giving Kaminari a downright sinful smirk in the process.
“I’d much rather come with you inside me,” he said, delighting in the full body shiver that tore throughout the other man.
“Upstairs,” he ordered, taking a step back to allow Kaminari just enough room to move. “Now.”
A lot could change in a month, Kaminari realized, his shirt up and over his head as Shinsou worked to remove his shorts. Instead of cool nothingness, Shinsou’s breath lingered hot against the plains of his body, large hands laying him flat on his back, the warmth of his touch searing Kaminari’s skin. Shinsou’s teeth were sharp as ever, but not abnormally so as they tugged one of the blonde’s hardened buds in between them, biting down. Kaminari hissed, his back arching, his hands pulling at Shinsou’s untamable hair. Shinsou knew each and every way to set Kaminari’s body aflame from the inside out, committing every little detail to memory.
“Oh,” he moaned, thighs spread, quivering the lower and bolder Shinsou’s touches grew.
Shinsou’s teeth skimmed along one side of his pelvic bone, a slick, warm finger teasing his rim. Kaminari tried his best not to writhe underneath him, the dual sensation intensifying as Shinsou’s mouth engulfed the head of his cock, a single digit slipping deep inside him. Kaminari’s body proved to be inherently sensitive, a fact Shinsou tended to abuse the more he overwhelmed him. His hips jerked up, thighs clenching down around Shinsou’s shoulders as the other took him further into his mouth, distracting the blonde from the dull ache that two fingers scissoring deep inside him provided. He gasped when Shinsou used his thumb to massage his perineum, assaulting each and every one of Kaminari’s senses as the blonde fought to ground himself.
“Hitoshi!” he cried, yanking the other’s hair as he struggled to catch and keep his breath.
Shinsou pulled off of his cock with a loud pop, enjoying the disheveled sight that greeted him, his indigo gaze heated as he drank in the panting mess that was his lover. Before Kaminari could say anything further, Shinsou added a third finger, curling the digits upward as he drove them into the blonde’s pliant body. Kaminari could come from those fingers alone, and they both knew it.
“Please!” he cried, fingers twisted in the comforter beneath him. “Please fuck me already! ‘Toshi, please!”
“You’re not the only one who can tease, Denki,” Shinsou said, his eyes boring into Kaminari’s own, his tongue trailing across his bottom lip.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’ll behave! Please!” Kaminari exclaimed, babbling nonsense with the hopes that Shinsou would take mercy upon him.
His eyes slammed shut, bottom lip tucked in between his teeth as Shinsou maneuvered his knees up towards his chest. Kaminari gladly held them in place, exposing himself further as Shinsou placed a chaste kiss to the inside of one of Kaminari’s thighs, pressing steadily inside him. Kaminari sighed and groaned, welcoming Shinsou in with limited resistance. The feeling addictive, a steady trickle of heat spreading throughout his entire body once Shinsou finally bottomed out.
While the two had more than explored each other’s bodies within the last month or so, today marked only the fourth time they’d been able to go all the way. Work, school and a general lack of privacy all contributed to this, limiting most of their exploits to quick and frantic grinding. A mouth here, a hand there, but it made Kaminari all the more determined to work hard so that one day, they could have a place to call their own and all the privacy in the world.
Besides, he had a mental to-do list of all the places and positions that he wanted Shinsou to do him in, and that didn’t include his mother’s kitchen or his too small bathroom.
The thought faded away from him when Shinsou pulled almost all of the way out, filling Kaminari with a mixture of adrenaline and butterflies before slamming right back inside him. His eyes flew open, a bastardized version of Shinsou’s name pouring forth from his lips. His cheeks flooded with warmth as one of Shinsou’s hands wrapped loosely around his throat, keeping Kaminari face forward so that he could study each and every flicker of emotion that the blonde dared to make under such scrutiny.
Shinsou ways always so intense.
A predator still in moments like these, and Kaminari was most decidedly his willing prey. Shinsou would consume him whole—mind, body and soul. Kaminari would open himself up to him like a feast in which only Shinsou could partake in.
“You look so good like this,” Shinsou mused, leaning forward to capture the blonde’s mouth, tongue sliding along the seal of Kaminari’s lips, seeking entry.
Kaminari gladly welcomed him, each of his pants and groans swallowed up by the man looming over top of him, their hips rocking together in a slow build-up. Shinsou bit his bottom lip, massaging their tongues together. He made it a point to dominate each and every one of Kaminari’s senses, overwhelming him, drowning him in a sea of conflicting pleasure. He lived to build him up only to break him back down again, cultivating nothing but an aching desire to be torn apart. To come undone, knowing that Shinsou got off on pleasuring him to the point of agony.
“Hitoshi! Ahhn ! Wait, wait!” he cried, pleaded when Shinsou took his leaking cock into hand, jerking him off with short, rough motions he knew made Kaminari’s thighs shake, his knees tremble. “You’re gonna make me come too soon!”
The smile Kaminari got in return could only be described as absolutely feral. He knew then that he was in trouble, especially when Shinsou made it a point to hit his prostate on every other thrust, forcing the blonde to scrabble back only to claw his way forward again. Trying to run away from his pleasure while simultaneously chasing after it.
He wanted to come so bad.
“Oh, fuck! Hitoshi!” he moaned, whimpering as the other teen littered his neck and chest with searing bites and soothing kisses.
“Come one, Denki,” Shinsou cooed, his tone of voice sickly sweet. “Don’t leave me waiting.”
Kaminari’s entire body jerked hard at his words, his head thrown back as he came with a loud, echoing cry. Shinsou worked him through the last of his orgasm, his thrusts growing more erratic, his hips careening as he kept the blonde pinned down underneath him, using Kaminari’s body to gain his own release. The series of soft, stuttered groans, breathy sighs and harsh grunts panted against the side of his neck the closer Shinsou grew was nearly enough to make Kaminari hard again. His thighs shook from pure exertion now, his legs protesting his current position, but it was well worth it when Shinsou finally came with Kaminari’s given name on his lips.
The two spent the next few minutes lazily making out, flesh on flesh as they drank in their fill of one another, but it never quite felt like enough. After a while, Shinsou left to retrieve a wet washcloth to clean him up with, pressing loving kisses all over the blonde’s face. Kaminari couldn’t help but giggle when Shinsou pressed his lips across his eyelids, finding it all rather ticklish.
Once finished, Shinsou tossed the used cloth into the dirty clothes basket while Kaminari put on the other teen’s New Order tee shirt. Shinsou forgoed a shirt of his own, slipping on a pair of loose sweatpants instead as he grabbed one of Kaminari’s decorative pipes. The blonde grinned from ear-to-ear in lieu of thanks, grabbing the grinder from out of his nightstand while Shinsou opened the window, turning on the fan.
After food and sex, one of the first things Kaminari and Shinsou did together was smoke. Shinsou had never experienced getting intoxicated before, not even from the beer he normally drank before turning fully human. He found the experience pleasurable enough on its own, but found experiencing it with Kaminari even more so. Shinsou didn’t smoke as much or as often as Kaminari did, his tolerance relatively low, but they made it a habit to do so before or after being intimate together. He felt as though it brought them closer together in a relaxed, silly sort of way and Kaminari found it endearing to say the least.
After they got comfortable, they would typically watch a movie, listen to music, or play games on their phones while enjoying the others presence. Kaminari recognized their love as something young and new, and found himself anticipating the small changes that marked its maturity over time. The transition would be gradual, winding and uncertain for them both, and he couldn’t wait to see what the future held in store for them now that Shinsou had his humanity, and Kaminari his truth.
“You’ve gotten better at not electrocuting me,” Shinsou said, leaning back against the far bedroom wall, Kaminari’s back tucked against his bare chest. “Especially when you come.”
The Used played softly in the background, Kaminari's hands preoccupied with slaying zombies on his phone, but his mind was focused solely on the man behind him. Shinsou placed his face into the crook of Kaminari’s neck, his breath warm against the sensitive skin there. Kaminari chuckled at the other’s words.
“Believe it or not, I’m not trying to kill you every time we have sex.”
“Could have fooled me.”
“Har-har,” Kaminari said, sticking his tongue out at the other as he elbowed him in the ribs. “You’re lucky I love you.”
Shinsou hummed thoughtfully at that. “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved,” he said, pressing a chaste kiss to Kaminari’s flushed cheek.
The Sirens of Titan
The book Kaminari got as a belated birthday gift for the other teen. Kaminari turned then, pressing a soft kiss to the corner of Shinsou’s mouth. A feeling of tenderness filling the pit of his stomach, blossoming into nothing but pure affection.
“Help me kill these fucking guys.”
What better way to end a story than with p0rn?