Shinobu and Itsuki's journey from work partners to lovers. Rating will go up at some point. Put romance in the genre cause that's what it more or less will be eventually in a way.
Also, Itsuki is addressing Shinobu as Sensui because from what I’ve heard, in Asian countries, basically if you’re not close to someone, it’s proper to call them by their last name, not their first and my memory of honorifics and if and when they’re used is a bit fuzzy so I just cut them out. And I used a little bit of basic Japanese, like in names of places or things, like Reikai instead of Spirit World and youkai instead of demon, stuff like that.
The rating will go up for later chapters, but for right now, since there's nothing "bad" yet, I'm leaving it G. The title may change if I find one that is better suited but this will do for now.
Disclaimer: Liz owns nothing but the computer she’s typing this on, the plot, and the clothes on her back.
“I’m really glad we’re going to work together, Sensui.” Itsuki walked alongside the dark haired teenager as they left Koenma’s office. The pint sized ruler had looked over Itsuki’s record and determined that the yaminade would be a good partner for the Reikai Tantei. They had been called to meet with Koenma, who convinced Shinobu of this. Itsuki had been quite happy, and Shinobu was for the most part, at least outwardly, indifferent.
Shinobu wasn’t particularly thrilled about working with the teal haired youkai, but over their few encounters, he realized he didn’t mind Itsuki as much as he thought he would. The yaminade was polite, even friendly, and human enough to startle Shinobu. He hadn’t tried to bite off his head, which was a good bit nicer than any other demon he’d ever encountered.
“Sensui?” Itsuki’s soft voice snapped him from his thoughts. “Is something wrong? You’re very quiet.” Shinobu shook his head.
“No, I’m fine.” Shinobu replied as they stepped out of Koenma’s palace and were escorted back to Ningenkai.
“So, I’ll see you tomorrow?” Shinobu cocked his head, looking over at Itsuki.
“Tomorrow?” A concerned look crossed Itsuki’s face.
“Koenma asked us to come back tomorrow afternoon so he could give us some information about our case, remember?” Itsuki reminded him, his golden eyes studying Shinobu, who nodded.
“Oh, that, yeah.” The concerned look returned to Itsuki’s face.
“You’re really out of it…” Shinobu shook his head, partially to reject Itsuki’s statement, but also in an attempt to clear his head.
“I’m fine Itsuki.” Itsuki gave a nod, but didn’t look convinced.
“Alright…goodbye, Sensui. I’ll see you after school tomorrow.” Shinobu gave him a nod and Itsuki waved, turning and leaving.
That night Shinobu’s focus was almost completely absent. His fingers wouldn’t obey during dinner and he dropped either his food or his chopsticks several times. His parents had looked at him same way Itsuki had but he shrugged it off and finished his dinner as quickly as he could before retreating upstairs.
He took a shower in an attempt to clear his head, but his thoughts were either too vague to really get very far thinking about, just beyond his reach, or about Itsuki. He couldn’t seem to get the youkai out of his head.
His hand reached for the knob and turned the water from warm to cold, shivering, hoping that would help clear his mind. But after a few minutes of the icy water beating down on him, he determined all he would get from it was a cold and returned the water temperature to normal as he finished washing.
Stepping into his bedroom a few minutes later, his thoughts finally stopped drifting around and settled on Itsuki, making Shinobu inwardly growl as he pulled his pajamas on, sitting down at his desk, opening his school bag. Maybe homework would get rid of the demon inside his head. He flipped open his history book and began to read, but before he was even done with the first paragraph, he was just staring at the page. Damn it.
He slammed the book shut and sighed, giving up the fight with his mind and letting his thoughts drift to Itsuki. He had never even heard of a demon like him before, and he didn’t mean that in a sense of Itsuki’s abilities. If he weren’t spiritually aware, he might have even thought Itsuki was a human. He possessed manners and intelligence among several other things that belonged to good humans, not evil creatures like youkai.
Shinobu sighed and tossed his textbook back into his bag before getting up, opening the window and looking out, deeply inhaling the fresh air. He really didn’t want to keep thinking about Itsuki. There was just something about him his mind wasn’t fully able to wrap around. He hoped it would be gone by tomorrow. He couldn’t mess up a case for the first time just because his mind was clouded by thoughts of some youkai.
In school the next day, Shinobu’s focus was even more absent. His teacher asked him multiple times if he wanted to go to the nurse, but each time, he politely but firmly declined and went back to attempting to focus on his schoolwork. However, his mind still wouldn’t obey and he found himself either staring blankly at the book or the board, or even at times out the window or at the clock. His thoughts would try to drift to his new partner, but he would shake his head to chase the thoughts away, prompting odd looks from his classmates.
The day passed a mix of too fast and too slow. Most of it seemed to rush by in a blur, he couldn’t remember what he was doing five minutes ago, but it seemed to go on forever. Finally, the last bell of the day rang and he all but jumped from his seat, quickly catching his chair before it clattered to the floor. The dark haired teen shoved his books into his school bag and headed for the door. Heading downstairs and stepping out of the building, Shinobu began to pick up on a familiar energy. Itsuki.
Looking around the area between the school and the gate, he couldn’t see Itsuki, who was in a crowd, quite easily found due to his unusual coloring. Walking towards the school gate, he noticed sensed Itsuki was closer and looking up into a tree, spotted the smiling yaminade sitting on a branch.
“Hello, Sensui.” Itsuki greeted him, still smiling as he joined him on the ground.
“Hello, Itsuki.” Shinobu replied politely, beginning to walk. He had to get away from the school. The last thing he needed was people getting suspicious. He already had more attention attracted to him than normal because his behavior was a little off. He didn’t need his teachers asking about a man who looked to be in his early twenties, waited for him in a tree, and likely looked like a foreigner who made a mistake dying his hair.
“How was school?” Itsuki asked, falling into step beside him, attempting to start a conversation.
“Fine.” Shinobu replied simply, not sure whether he wanted to talk to Itsuki much. Sure, they had spoken and had a few conversations, but he wasn’t sure whether or not an evil creature like a youkai could be trusted.
“Are you feeling better today?” Itsuki tried again, looking over at him.
“Huh?” Shinobu cocked his head, looking back at Itsuki who had that concerned look on his face again.
“Yesterday you weren’t…you. You seemed a little out of it.” Shinobu mentally kicked himself. He still wasn’t focused. He had a case today, he couldn’t have his head in the clouds, yet currently all his brain was able to comprehend was that Itsuki’s hair, although an odd color, looked nice when blown about by a light breeze and that walking along the street, in normal human clothes, he looked very…human. Not at all like an evil, blood-thirsty youkai, though from his little experience with him, Itsuki wasn’t blood-thirsty or violent at all.
“Sensui?” Itsuki’s voice drifted through his ears to his brain but it didn’t really register. “Sensui…” Itsuki’s voice came again, this time startling him. “You’re staring at me. Is something the matter?” Itsuki’s golden eyes studied him.
“I’m fine Itsuki.” Shinobu said firmly, but for a moment, his eyes lingered on Itsuki, who didn’t look something even remotely like convinced. The teen’s eyes then drifted to the ground, as he walked along, quickly and quietly, Itsuki at his side, their shadows connected on the sidewalk beneath his feet.
“Sensui, look out!” A hand grabbed his arm a moment later and Shinobu realized he had been about to walk out into traffic. “Come on.” Itsuki pulled on his arm and Shinobu complied unconsciously as he was led to a bench and Itsuki gently pushed him to sit down, kneeling in front of him. “What’s up with you today? Are you sick?” Itsuki gently laid a hand on Shinobu’s forehead, snapping the teenager back to reality and making him jerk away from the youkai.
“Don’t touch me, I’m fine!” Shinobu next to shouted and Itsuki jumped slightly at the tone and sudden movement.
“Sorry.” The yaminade murmured, his hand moving away from Shinobu, folding his hands on his knees. Shinobu sighed, now feeling bad for barking at Itsuki for being concerned; though a small part of him was surprised the supposedly sub-human being might have feelings, and that he felt bad for being rude to him.
“No, I’m the one who should be apologizing.” Itsuki shook his head.
“It’s alright.” Itsuki smiled a little, moving to sit beside Shinobu. They were both quiet. Shinobu wasn’t sure what to say or do. Part of him just wanted to continue on, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to focus on the case. His thoughts were interrupted by Itsuki’s voice. “Do you just hate me because I’m a demon or is it something else?” Shinobu jumped a little, turning to look at Itsuki.
“I don’t hate you.” He replied next to automatically. It was true. He was by no means eager to have Itsuki as a partner, but he didn’t hate him. Itsuki looked at him, not particularly convinced. “Really.” Shinobu uncertainly reached out, wrapping an arm around Itsuki’s shoulders, not sure what else to do. “I don’t hate you.” He repeated and was surprised when Itsuki leaned into him, looking up at him and smiling.
“Thank you.” Shinobu couldn’t help but return the smile and Itsuki leaned a little closer before a small gust of wind caught his hair, blowing it into Shinobu’s face, tickling his nose and making the teenager sneeze, Itsuki laughing a little. “Sorry.” He said, pulling his hair back into a ponytail.
“It’s fine.” Again, Shinobu felt a smile creep over his face as silence fell over them again, this time more comfortable. And for the first time since getting the news Itsuki would be his partner, Shinobu’s thoughts settled and he felt focused again.
“Yes?” The teal-haired man looked at him.
“Thanks.” Shinobu said quietly. Itsuki cocked his head a little at first then smiled, nodding and wrapping his arm around Shinobu the same way the teen had done to him a moment ago.
“Anytime.” Shinobu smiled back, feeling just a little shy as he leaned into Itsuki, resting his head on him. To anyone passing by, they must have been quite a sight, Shinobu mused as Itsuki’s hand gently patted his shoulder before the yaminade spoke again. “We should probably get going in a little bit; Koenma’s probably getting a bit impatient.” Shinobu nodded his agreement and Itsuki’s arm slipped from around him as they stood up, beginning to walk again, heading towards where they would meet whoever was taking them to Reikai today.
“Itsuki?” Shinobu said after a few blocks, looking over at his new partner. “You can call me Shinobu, if you want.”
“Shinobu…” Itsuki murmured, testing it on his tongue, a smile playing on his lips as he nodded.
This is just the first chapter of what may eventually turn into a very long story, but I can make no promises because I am the queen of leaving multi-part stories unfinished out of either laziness or writer's block.