Daken couldn’t really help getting worried even when on the inside she already knew there was no need to worry, like in this moment. It was something that would never change in her, just like the fact of putting everyone else’s life before her own. She looked around the living room but she couldn’t see the cat anymore. Cats were nice animals, but they liked to play a bit too much… and playing with sharp claws wasn’t exactly the best game. But it looked like Carlos was used to it, otherwise he wouldn’t have so many pets around his house. For a moment she thought Toko had actually understood her words, but it looked like he had simply noticed that someone was looking at him. What a smart dog indeed. “Ehm, it was just a joke—”, she tried to explain when Heikichi started growling - just like a dog, in a way. This time she did shiver a little, even if she knew how easy it was to make the boy angry even if there was nothing to get angry at. She sent a worried gaze at Carlos, then another look at Heikichi once he got up. Was it already so late? “Ah—- W-wait, I should go too then”. Of course she should: she had no intentions of staying there alone with Carlos. The boy was really nice, but it would be awkward to be there alone with him, not to mention that she should go home early too. She quickly got up and smiled at the human. “Thank you very much for your hospitality… and for the videogame! I really had a lot of fun”.
Was it over? Suddenly, the infernal had left and the demon girl was already getting ready to dash out at the same time. Carlos had ended up a little puzzled after both’s speed. “Uhm… that was awkward.” he mumbled. He should apologize later but he wasn’t sure of what he did in the first place. He didn’t forget to smile back at the girl. “You’re welcome. Any time you want to come by again, give me a call. Koi has my number. Maybe all of us can hang out someday.” he proposed. It was vague, as he didn’t want the girl to feel uncomfortable, but he wanted to be as welcoming as he could. “See you some other time.” he said, waving with his hand as the girl left. That had ended up weird, for sure.
The next day, Heikichi was still at the front, but not feeling as angry as one could expect. He just wanted to make the day quick and maybe switch out for a while. It didn’t take him long to do so; barely a pair of hours after he started his shift at work and thus puzzling Koichi greatly. For some reason, nobody had noticed a difference aside from the bad mood. After catching up with what had happened the last day as he had lunch (Heikichi, Carlos and Daken playing videogames, really?) he decided to call the girl. Her shift had to be over by that time… unless he miscalculated it again. He dialled her number and waiter for the girl to pick up. "Hey… it’s Koichi. Sorry about yesterday." he couldn’t help apologizing.
There were so many supernatural beings and so many different worlds that it wasn’t hard to believe some species could keep themselves hidden. Moreover, Dante wasn’t interested in investigating the reality around himself and he had no ways to go to other worlds or meet other creatures, so he was mostly ignorant about everything and everyone. This didn’t mean he wanted to stay ignorant though: in fact, he was profitting by the situation to find out more about the boy in front of himself and about his species. “So you are… what, different from them? Special? Good for you, I guess”. For a moment he wondered if the other had fallen asleep, but judging from the rhythm of his breath he seemed to be still awake. “Well… By the way, my name is Dante. We started off in the wrong way, I guess”. He even offered a slight smile, even if the other’s eyes were closed - better in this way though, because Dante’s sharp fangs didn’t look friendly at all.
Why was the other still bugging him? He felt so tired he could perfectly sleep there, or stay there forever, or let the other kill him. Many choices, no answer. "Special… hah." he let out a weak laugh. How special he was, surely. “I’d have preferred to be completely human, actually.” he complained a little. Not that the other really had to care about it. When the other introduced himself, he opened his eyes just a little. What was he playing? Now he would have preferred it of the other just killed him already instead of insisting at giving him conversation. "I’m Koichi… I’m sorry again for everything." he replied before letting his eyelids fall again. He just couldn’t keep himself awake. It was too tiring, but he would attempt to, at least focus his senses on the other’s voice so he wouldn’t drift into sleep without noticing.
The vampire didn’t know exactly what kind of thoughts were crossing the other’s mind, but he could tell he was terribly tired and probably still very confused because of… whatever happened. Maybe that story of multiple personalities was actually true, but Dante had learnt never to trust an opponent and he would apply this rule in this particular case too. It was true that the kid didn’t seem a danger anymore now, but he wouldn’t trust him so easily. Feeling a faint pain in his own legs, the vampire sat down next to the other and threw a tired look at him as he started explaining. “…I’ve never heard of infernals before”, he mumbled, raising an eyebrow even if of course this didn’t mean the other was lying. The existence of such a species was plausible after all. “Okay, I believe you… more or less. And infernals can control ice and fire?”. And that weird kind of telekinetic push that almost threw him onto a wall. He wasn’t going to forget that one, of course.
He didn’t know what Dante was thinking of the whole story so far but since that even for him it was quite far-fetched, he wouldn’t be surprised if he was accused of lying. He wasn’t going to put on a fight if the other changed his mind. He was quite sure he would throw up if he attempted to get up, actually. "I’m not surprised either… they keep themselves well hidden in their world." he replied. It was always the same thing when he had to explain that. "Uhm… each infernal usually controls one element… fire, ice, electricity, mental powers, earth and animal shifting… that’s the whole list. But I control all those to a smaller degree… for some stupid reason and even thought I’m half human." he refused to explain why he could do it. Mostly because it was lengthy, boring and his throat hurt. He ended up closing his eyes, but he still was awake.
There was no way Dante could know how much of a bad thing killing that poor boy would be, but in any case for now he wasn’t going to kill anyone - and not only because his current conditions wouldn’t allow him to make any other efforts. He was starting to believe that there was a shred of truth in the other’s words, despite that confused explanation, so he would let him explain himself in a better way and decide what to do afterwards. He blinked in surprise when the other revealed sort of a green mark on his neck, that had been covered by the choker before. One more proof that the vampire wasn’t facing a normal human. For sure it didn’t look like a tattoo. “I’m not going to kill you”, he reassured the other, even if hearing such words from someone who looked like a wounded zombie wasn’t reassuring at all. “And I hurt you too”, he allowed himself to admit. For sure, something had changed in that kid. He didn’t look so cocky and arrogant anymore. “Mh… First of all, what the hell are you? Humans can’t create fire or ice”, he asked, raising one of his burnt arms as if to show the effects of those flames.
Koichi still didn’t hold many hopes about getting out of there alive, but, surprisingly, he didn’t really care. Maybe a consequence of his dissociation a while ago was that he didn’t mind virtually anything. He didn’t even notice the other’s surprise when revealing the mark hidden by the chocker, just let out a soft sigh when he finally felt a little more comfortable. He still wanted to cover his neck with something, but he couldn’t move. “…Mhm.” he only let out a strange sound that sounded like a groan in response to his declaration of not wanting to kill him. What was he supposed to say? He wasn’t as hurt either way. He just had a small wound on his neck and was terribly tired. “…I’m an infernal.” he replied. He knew that question was coming. "We… were a hybrid of demons and angels a long time ago but we evolved from that… I’m mixed though. I’m half human…" he sighed again. He was starting to hate that boring story. Or maybe he just felt so bad he was starting to hate everything. He couldn’t tell. He didn’t care.
Since he was too tired to continue the fight, Dante would just focus on finding out more about his interlocutor. It was already clear that the boy was no common human, but what kind of creature was he exactly? For sure not a demon, or else he would have understood it. For once, the vampire would allow his usual curiosity to save the other’s life, also because there was something in the back of his head telling him that killing the poor boy wouldn’t be fair. It was nothing more than a simple feeling, but he believed the other was being sincere. “You know, it sounds like an excuse to me”, he admitted, but he didn’t sound angry anymore. He was very quick at calming down, and getting angry or wild wasn’t usually his favourite reaction - so he would abandon his ‘animal’ side and just behave civilly as he always did. He crouched down, right in front of the boy. “So… it was another person who fought against me?”, he replied, somewhat skeptic. But it was also true the boy had a different voice at first. “Okay, okay… uhm… what if I ask you a couple of questions and you reply?”.
Aside that killing him would be a grim thing for the human world to happen in the first place, something the vampire couldn’t know, Koichi felt truly bad for almost killing that man, even if it hadn’t been him. It brought him horrible thoughts again, proof that they had never left. “I know…” he sighed. What right did he have to ask for trust? He didn’t even bother getting scared when he found the other’s face in front of him again despite having lied down. He did bring a hand to the pair of holes in his neck; just above the chocker he was wearing to hide the marks. Why did he have to wear that thing? Sighing, he opened it so it would stop tightening around his neck uncomfortably. “Yeah… I know it’s complicated, weird and you may even want to kill me again but I don’t… really care. I hurt you.” if he was wallowing in self-pity, he didn’t care even if got called out for it. He really couldn’t care less. "…sure, ask me whatever you like." that was unexpected. Maybe the other was just curious.
If Heikichi didn’t want to explain why he wanted a piercing or if he didn’t want to talk about that matter anymore, it was equally fine for Daken. She wasn’t the kind of person to insist on subjects that could end up bothering someone or making them feel uncomfortable, and making Heikichi get angry was obviously the last thing she wanted, especially now that they all seemed so calm and relaxed thanks to the videogame. That game had really a weird effect on the infernal… but it was a positive thing for someone who got angry so easily. In any case, Daken had already dropped that matter to focus on Carlos’ hand and its… well, very small scratches. As usual, the girl was worrying uselessly. She allowed herself to let out a relieved sigh and finally let go of the boy’s hand, blushing a little because of the sudden decision she had taken. “Y-yes, sorry… I just… ehm… exaggerated a little”, she apologized, looking away. But it looked like the boy didn’t care too much so she just smiled again a bit at what Heikichi said. “I really like cats… They’re so cute, and enigmatic… I like them more than dogs”. She couldn’t help sending a look at Toko, as if she was expecting the dog to raise its head and protest. “Heikichi is not a cat!”, she complained. “Cats don’t yell so much”. This was a joke, obviously.
It was better to just stop insisting or else Heikichi would just get very pissed off and leave abruptly, leaving the girl alone with Carlos and an awkward silence. Fortunately, the cat had good timing. He just watched them talk as he sprawled lazily on the couch without saying a word. The boy smiled when Daken seemed so put off about having worried about nothing. “Hey, it’s fine. It’s nice of you to worry but I’m fine.” he wasn’t even bleeding, even if it stinged a bit. That damned cat surely was mischievous at times and liked to play with toilet paper too much. He still loved her, like all of his pets. When the girl looked at Toko, the animal looked back and lifted an ear. It may not have understood what she was talking about, but it did understand clearly when someone looked at it, it seemed. The dog ended up stretching its neck and yawning after noticing she didn’t mean to call its attention. "Yeah, sure, stab me while you’re at it." Heikichi complained, not being able to hold back a groan along his words. He was just confirming what the girl said, in fact. “Maybe you’re just a needy puppy instead who wants to be tough.” that did set off the infernal."Alright, now you’re starting to piss me off!" he growled threateningly. “Woah, sorry, I’m just joking.” he tried to apologize, but the infernal just looked away. He seemed to have gotten in a foul mood again. Whoops. "Tch. I guess I should go home. It’s late and my parents would be happy seeing me home in the agreed time for once." he grumbled, getting up.
In a videogame duel against Heikichi she would never manage to win, but it was fun to tease the boy about it, especially because she was sure he would understand she was just joking. The first times she had spoken with him Daken was constantly afraid of making him get angry or annoyed, but now that she knew him a bit better she could allow herself to joke more about it: he wasn’t a bad person after all, he just liked to bark at everything in order to appear scary. And she seemed to catch a glimpse of embarrassment in his reaction because she giggled under her breath. “Come on… Talking with him won’t hurt anyone. Maybe he will even tell you it’s fine to get a piercing… a small one, maybe”. Not that she would like to see a piercing on Koichi’s face, but as long as it was fine for him she would accept everything. And it looked like Carlos shared her opinion, even if insisting in that way would end up making Heikichi angry… or simply embarrassed, that is. When she heard the human’s yelp she hurried to turn to the side and saw what the cat was doing to him. “Ah—- Did she hurt you? Is your hand bleeding? Let me see…”. As usual, she couldn’t help feeling worried even if it was clearly nothing. She took Carlos’ hand in her own and proceeded to check on it.
Even if she was joking, he would like the challenge to happen at some point. He liked playing that game and more realistic ones only frustrated him deeply. There was a nice balance and he usually got in such a nice mood when playing that Carlos had resorted to invite him over whenever he saw him stressed out. Better to unwind by smashing buttons than by getting into actual fights, at least. “Okay, okay, will you just cut it out? I’ll ask him! Okay! Sheesh!” he complained. It seemed he didn’t want to hear anything else about that topic, for some reason. He wouldn’t explain either why he wanted a piercing in the first place, it seemed. He looked mainly angry, but he was also embarrassed. Why? Who knew. At least that dumb cat had taken the heat off him for a while. “No, no, I’m fine. She only scratched me a little.” he showed his hand to her without complaining, though. There were little punctures over his hands of the cat’s claws that she had done while grabbing his hand. “It’s really nothing. I’m a nurse, remember?” he said, smiling. "You’re just in second year." Heikichi shot back. “But who’s the one who treats your nasty wounds when Suzume isn’t around, eh?” he lifted a brow, but he didn’t seem to be taken aback by the comment either. “Anyhow, cats are mysterious beings. They just make it look like a coincidence that they’re in the same room as you the majority of the time… they’re like you, Hei.” he ended up snickering, unable to resist mentioning that. "You call me dog most of the time and now I’m a cat? Make up your damn mind."
Despite the blood staining his face and clothes and the bad burns on his arms, Dante didn’t look so bad as before: a human gaze was back in his eyes and he simply seemed tired, but not desperate anymore. The little blood he drank was enough to let him survive for some time, or at least to sustain him properly until he managed to find a less difficult victim. Now his curiosity was waiting to be satisfied by a proper explanation from the boy. In another moment, the vampire would have already killed him without a second thought; but now he wasn’t strong enough for that, so he just proceeded to listen those confused words and try to understand their meaning. “You can’t remember? Yeah, that’s a good excuse”, he mumbled, trying to fix his own clothes to a more decent appearance. They were all ripped and bloodied, he basically had to throw them away. What a pity. But the boy’s words made him lift his head to look at him skeptically. “What do you mean? You’re here, I think, and you’re the one I fought”. But at the same time he couldn’t help thinking that the poor kid wasn’t lying at all.
He wasn’t sure of what to think of his attacker. It was obvious Heikichi and him had fought, but they didn’t know each other. He even looked… surprisingly civil and well-mannered, leaving the bloodied clothes and burnt arms aside. He didn’t seem to be in pain, though. Now he had to find some kind of way to explain himself even if it would never make any sense. How was he supposed to explain out of the blue that he was mad? "I have no memory of that…" he mumbled. His voice didn’t come out well. His throat was starting to hurt him as if he had been forcing it before. "Look, I know it’s hard to believe but… I share my body with more… people, identities… sort of. We just take over and we don’t know what the others do…" he tried to get up again, only to fall down on his knees again as his vision suddenly darkened when he was about to manage to stand on his feet. "I’m sorry for anything I did to you, I really am… but I can’t remember. It wasn’t me… and… I guess whatever I did… I deserved whatever you were going to do to me, I guess." his voice kept lowering with time as he just gave up at attempting to stand up and let himself lie down again. It had been a while since he felt so bad and useless. "I guess I only give problems."
Talking about someone who had been killed would only end up making Daken feel nervous or scared, so she was glad the two boys had decided to drop that subject and to focus on happier things, such as Heikichi’s incredible self-confidence after his victory against the AI of the game. It was amusing to see how much a simple victory could make him feel better, as if he were invincible, while only ten minutes before he looked disappointed just because he had been defeated. “Is this a challenge…?”, the girl grinned, even if for sure any duel had to be postponed to another moment. Now she would never manage to win against him, but in some time… if she played more and became better at it… who knew. “You could at least speak with Koichi about it… Maybe you’ll find out he has always wanted to have ten piercings and blue hair, and he will agree with you”. She couldn’t help laughing after these words, which were clearly a joke, but anyway her suggestion of speaking with Koichi about it was still valid. It had to be hard for them to share a body, considering how different they were to each other. “Why, there’s no need to feel so ashamed because of it, Heikichi”. She really couldn’t understand why he felt so embarrassed.
At least it was easy to make him happy for a little while. If he didn’t have occasional ego boosts, things would be a lot different for him. Even if he seemed more care-free than his alter, they both had their equal share of self-hate they needed to take down somehow. “It’s the promise of a beating, lady.” he shot back in a cocky attitude, resting his elbows on the couch in a confident stance and wearing a smirk on his face. Her following joke made him frown slightly instead and he turned his head to a side. Was that hidden embarrassment? "Very funny. I’ll talk to him but like hell he’s going to let me do what I want. It’s already enough he lets me buy my own clothes." they felt uncomfortable in each other’s clothes and this was bound to be the same. They really were very different and even as brothers there would be constant arguments. “Yeah, what are you so embarrassed about? Everyone knows you like to look tough and scary with all those skulls and the trouser chains.” Carlos added, seconding Daken’s words. “Screw you both.” the other replied, refusing to answer and looking away. Carlos let out a surprised yelp afterwards. It seemed he had tried to pet Mimi at some point and the animal had decided to grab his hand with its tiny claws. “Ah! You wanted exactly three belly rubs or what?” he complained, moving the hand softly so the cat would let go. It ended up doing so, getting up, meowing and walking out afterwards. Carlos rubbed the scratched hand against the other. “Cats are so mean sometimes.”
The vampire’s curiosity wouldn’t last for long though: either he found out soon what was going on with his opponent, or he would simply kill the boy as a revenge for the humiliating fight of before. For now, he just realized that the poor kid looked so confused that he didn’t know what was happening to him, and for sure he wasn’t simply faking it: it was a real reaction. Dante could understand when someone was lying, and this wasn’t the case. “Oh, stop whining!”, he mumbled, letting go of the other’s chin. After a moment of reflection he decided to get up, almost risking to fall back down because of a wave of vertigo and nausea that hit him. He managed to keep his balance and wiped the blood away from his own chin with the back of his hand. “You’re pathetic. You didn’t kill me, so I’m not killing you either”. Also because he wasn’t strong enough for that: the little blood he drank wasn’t enough to give him back his full energies. The infernal’s apology was ignored. “Where did your attitude of before go, uh?”, he repeated once again, but this time in a softer voice. He wasn’t so angry anymore, just… curious.
What he needed was some breathing room, at least so he could calm down, make the world stop spinning and stablish himself at the front so he could properly explain himself. Once the vampire finally got off him, his breathing started turning less erratic and his eyes began to focus more, slowly blinking their way back to reality. He hadn’t lost enough blood to feel weak, but his energies were still spent from the effort he had made at fighting before and the mental strain he was having forced on him. The boy slowly began to understand what was happening and even get a hold of the other’s words. His life was spared for the time being, it seemed. Pathetic. That’s what he was. With a harsh cough, he finally seemed to focus, even if he still felt dizzy and he could barely sit up, trembling slightly from the aftershock. “I’m sorry I attacked… I… I can’t remember what happened. I wouldn’t have done it but it wasn’t… well, he was but… ugh.” he rubbed his forehead. He knew it wasn’t his fault, but would the other understand, or care about it? Or maybe he should start to take responsibility for Heikichi’s actions. “The one you fought is gone and… I know it sounds ridiculous, I’m very sorry…” he attempted to get up but a wave of nausea made him plop down to the floor again. It had been an awful panic attack. He still could feel the cold sweat over his back.