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I picked up an unlikely life partner

Chapter Text

Karasuma Tadaomi.

An agent with a soft spot for dogs. 

He’d always dreamt of picking one up, maybe one day. That same thought went through his mind as he hiked up a familiar little mountain. When the building came to sight, he could almost hear his student’s voices, greeting him. 

Except, it’s been seven long years now.

He no longer had the duty of a teacher but the agent had to return for inspection from time to time. Karasuma did not understand why he needed to do this annual inspection. Perhaps the higher ups are paranoid that the super creature may not be entirely dead but he knew what he saw that day and that person was definitely dead. He even remembered the pain that the students went through that day. 

Karasuma couldn’t help but think that if he was the one in charge of the operation then he could’ve done better so the students didn’t have to grief. But the past was the past, even if his rank had gone up to ‘chief’ by now.

In any case, he should start with inspecting the building. Nothing much have changed. Not knowing what to do with the building yet, where there was a small patch of soil and flowers, the class decided to regrew a garden of red tulips in memory of--

--him.

The agent shifted his sight to the window as he heard a light rustle. The center of the garden seemed destroyed but more importantly, on it and sleeping soundly was a stranger. A man in what seemed like a green hospital shirt and pants. His hair colour was dark and he didn’t seem Japanese.

For a second, Karasuma had thought that the stranger was a stray animal. But the moment he took a step closer to the man, his eyes fluttered open and hazy eyes were fixed on Karasuma as if the stranger had known that he was there all along. 

“State your name and purpose for coming here. You’re trespassing an owned land.” 

Not to mention, destroying Class E’s hardwork. It reminded him of the past though, the tulips were accidentally destroyed too once by the octopus. The stranger lazily sat up, ruffling his messy hair. He eyed the agent from the corner of his eyes and the chill that went down his spine had the agent holding back the urge to grab the gun under his coat.

The stranger opened his mouth to speak but instead, he was interrupted by a growl and he clutched his stomach.

“Uh...before that, do you have any food? I’ve been here the whole day. ” 

The agent glared, he didn’t like that he didn’t get an answer. After all, he might be a dangerous person. Looking at the man, the initial bloodlust was gone. Instead, he seemed non-chalant and weak, groaning on a bed of flowers.

“Karasuma....treat me to some food. I know you have the money,they always pay you well.”

Karasuma narrowed his eyes at the call of his name. How the stranger knew his name, he didn’t know. The agent sighed. What was the point if this stranger didn’t want to answer him? He should just go along with the usual procedure and subdue him if he resists.

“Stand up. I’ll get you some food then throw you in for interrogation.”

“You’re going to arrest me...?”

“You’re suspicious.”

Fair enough, the man thought. He just didn’t think that he’d hear such words coming from Karasuma. Well being threatened of arrest instead of being killed was better in a sense.

“Have you had anything at all?”

He tilted his head to the side, glancing at the tulips on the ground as he muttered.

“.....I don’t have money on me so only these flower petals.”

Hearing those words, Karasuma decided that maybe the first phone call he’ll make was to the mental institution. He could understand being hungry but who would ever casually eat a flower? It was possible, he knew, but this man was odd, in a bad way.

He couldn’t help it. Anything used to be delicious, even tissue packs and daggers. He wasn’t used to this body, that’s for sure, he could feel his stomach churning from the lack of proper food.  

“I can get you something to eat, what do you want?”

“....Cake.”

The agent stayed silent for a moment. He’s had criminals spitting and cursing at him or demanding high-class food like quality steak and wine but that definitely was not what he expected.

“In any case, you’re coming with me. You’re not to leave my sight until you identify yourself. ”

The man stood and brushed the dusts and dirt from his clothes.

“Me? I’m your colleague in Kunigaoka High. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten? That’s cruel, Karasuma.”

The agent blinked, looking back at the man with a raised brow. His memory wasn’t bad but he couldn’t remember seeing anyone like him involved with the events of seven years ago.

“I’ve never seen a man like you. Who were you? One of the teachers in the main building? Or perhaps one of the assassins? ” 

“---The octopus.”

The teacher answered with a smile over his lips and the agent took a few seconds to process his words. But the more he thought about it, the more absurd it sounds. Karasuma inspected the man from top to bottom before coming to one conclusion.

“You’re human.”

It was the only thing Karasuma could say but Koro on the other hand, raised a brow.

“I’ve always been human, you of all people should know that after my heartfelt and touching recollection of my past.”

Nevermind the unnecessary addition to his reply, the way that this person was speaking so shamelessly was the same as Koro had in the past. The agent curtly replied.

“You know that that’s not what I meant.”

Koro frowned. He was starving and parched. But knowing how Karasuma was before and now, he figured he wouldn’t let him go without an explanation.

“I really have no recollection. When I came to, I was drenched in this outfit lying here on a bed of flowers. I really am the Class’ ‘Koro-sensei’, I remember everything leading up to my death!”

Karasuma knew the man had no reason to lie to a chief of defense. In addition, information about Koro was confidential and impossible for a random stranger to know. Either that or he was actually a very dangerous individual who had somehow obtained that information. In that case, it would probably be better for him to handle this person himself.

“...I’ll take you home.” 

Karasuma finally relented. Koro on the other hand, grinned. He did prefer to have some proper place to collect his thoughts and memories instead. Plus, that may mean free accommodation!

“I’ll follow you.”

Hearing that, the agent begrudgingly made his way back to the foot of the mountain to get to his car. 

“Oh, right. Glad to see you well Karasuma. How are the kids? How long has it been since I died?”

Seeing the human that used to be a trange creature strapping his seat belt and smiling at him, he couldn’t help but breathe out a sigh. This was about to be a long ride home. 

Karasuma Tadaomi had always wanted to bring a pet home, not a human who used to be a monster moving at mach speed. 

TO BE CONTINUED.

Chapter Text

Within the span of 20 minutes since Koro stepped into Karasuma’s home, he was provided a proper meal but sadly, no cake or desserts. At first, that made Koro frown but he ate his meal anyway. On the opposite side, Karasuma didn’t seem to be in a hurry to change out of his suit and was tapping a finger on the table as he examined the man before him. He furrowed his brows.

“...I’m asking you one more time. What is your name?”

The former assassin took his time to chew on a big mouthful of rice.

“‘Koro’.” He replied before scooping another spoonful. “Technically, I’m still not sticking to any one name but Kayano gave it to me.”

Karasuma pursed his lips. It was obvious that this man looked nothing alike to that creature and though his face beared a resemblance, all of his data as a human was burnt down in the lab. Well, except for the general information but it was simply impossible to ascertain whether this man was speaking the truth about his identity. For all he knew, he could be an impostor. Karasuma took a breath and began to toss his questions.

“When Takaoka challenged the class to make an example out of the children, which student was picked?”

“Shiota Nagisa.”

“What is the main dish served during the school festival?”

“The answer is acorn noodles which were made out of Japanese stone oaks placed in water with its interior blended and soaked in a sack of cloth for a week. Then it is dried for three days and grinded to flour.”

“What are the results of the second semester final exam for the students? ”

“Akabane Karma in first place, Nakamura Rio third, Isogai Yumma in fourth and in fifth place--”

“--That's enough.” 

Karasuma saw no point in continuing. As far as he knew, he had personally made sure that the incident with Takaoka was not known to anyone outside of the class. On top of that, trivial questions concerning th class wasn’t something that would be memorized on a whim. This man truly seemed to know about Class-E, even answering without an ounce of hesitation.

“Karasuma.”

“--What?”

The former assassin placed his utensils down.

“I had enough of being dissected and experimented in a lab so as insane as it seems, just hear me out.”

Normally, the God of Death would consider all sorts of experience to be good because any knowledge and experience, good or bad, may be handy for future assassinations. But the torture that he had to go through and the death of a dear friend was not something that he would like to relive again. The agent paused after hearing his words. At this point, Koro had assumed that he had no choice but to believe that he’s the monster and if that were true, then he had to surrender him to the officials. 

Scientists and medical professionals would stop at nothing to examine a resurrected man.

Karasuma gazed at the man for a moment before he sighed, relenting for now. He would simply be inhuman if he ignored what he just said.

“...Alright.”

The former assassin crossed his arms over his chest and began to speak.

“The last thing I remembered was making a final roll call for the students and feeling my consciousness leave my body. Then today at sunrise, I opened my eyes on a bed of crushed tulips behind the school. I immediately felt a wave of sleepiness that I couldn’t fight so I suppose I passed out until I heard your footsteps coming closer.”

The former assassin watched the agent’s reaction. He didn’t seem to give much but was in deep thought, Finally, he parted his lips to speak.

“...I will believe you for now but you are not to leave my sight. If I find that you’re an impersonator or that you lied, then I will hand you over personally.”

The God of Death didn’t seem to be fazed with that threat at all. In fact, a smile spread across his lips.

“Great!..So you said that you’re not going to let me out of your sight but there are exceptions right? Like going to the bathroom? Because I need to go now and also, I need a bath.”

Karasuma went silent and the lack of reply worried Koro. Suddenly, the chair dragged as the agent stood and he gave the former teacher a look that tells him to start moving. The smile on Koro’s lips died off almost immediately. 

“...Karasuma, you really don’t have to do follow me. I swear on my name.”

Which is a fake name, but what sort of honour could a dead man even put to the table?

“There’s a window in the bathroom.”

With such a simple answer, Koro knew that he wasn’t clear of suspicions yet. He leaned to the front of his seat.

“Well, yes but it’s the fifteenth floor. I can fly before but now? I’d be dead if I dropped from this height!”

Karasuma narrowed his eyes at the man before him. 

“...You said that you’re that person, didn’t you? Then surely you of all people would have thought of a way if you do want to escape.”

After leaving those words, Karasuma left his seat. Koro was dumbfounded. That was true but there’s a limit to how strict this man can be! While the agent was ahead, the former assassin quickly got to his feet and followed him.

“We’re both men, what are you fussing about?”

“That’s an interesting question. So you honestly don’t think that anything can happen between two men? Or do you just not know?”

Karasuma stopped in his tracks while the lips of the former assassin curved into a smile as he walked past him. He turned on his feet and placed a hand on the frame of the door, a smirk adorned his lips as he gazed at the agent’s expression.

“...You knew about my past but not in detail. I know, because I would never leave any trail behind. So here’s a word of advice from a former colleague... just because I like women and fancy their appearance doesn’t mean that I can’t like men.”

The agent examined the other. Normally he would just be annoyed when that yellow-headed monster was close to him but he seemed like nothing but human as he smirked at him so confidently. 

“Fine. But leave the door open.”

Though he was caught off guard with the question, he still managed to rationalise and gave a sound answer. Koro smiled in return and replied ‘sure’. The former assassin took his time as he dipped in the bath. Honestly, he pushed Karasuma on edge because he just wanted time alone to think of a plan to find out more about how he had miraculously returned to life. Despite what happened to him, he was pretty calm. Within a couple of minutes, he tried to move his arm expecting them to turn to tentacles but there was nothing. There was also an odd feeling of being in his body but not at the same time, as if he was deconstructed and constructed again one cell at a time.    

While the former assassin was lost in thought, Karasuma’s footsteps came closer. He did think that the agent would come running if he made any suspicious noise but to think that he would still barge in after all that he said...

“Your change of clothes. Use mine.”

Karasuma didn’t seem to mind as he casually walked up to place the clothes on the shelf beside the tub and placed the change of clothes.

“Oh--thanks.”

Koro couldn’t tell what this man had in mind so he simply decided to behave as if the agent wasn't in the room and placed an arm on the rim of the tub, relaxing himself. Unexpectedly, instead of walking away as anyone would have expected, Karasuma turned his attention to where he was, causing the former teacher to instinctively flash a friendly smile in return. The God of Death did not seem pale, nor did he look like he was starved for a long period. In fact, he seemed plenty healthy and even had muscles on him. How was this all possible? He couldn’t help but feel that his explanation was either a lie or that he had somehow reverted back in time. Whilst the number of possibilities ran through his mind, Koro had kept up his smile.

“...Hmm. As much as I miss you too, you can’t just stare at a naked man in the tub Karasuma.”

Karasuma didn’t seem fazed as he looked straight into Koro’s eyes. He only had one question in mind.

“Were you always like this?”

Koro blinked, not expecting that question. But he could understand the curiosity over a dead man who used to have an odd, monstrous appearance. 

“Yeah, I think? I would say that I’m not as fit as I was in my prime but this is similar to how I was right before the antimatter cells took over my body. I was allowed to keep my body fit because they needed my heart and organs to be as healthy as possible. I also had just enough food, though they were bland. Why do you ask?”

Hearing his reply, Karasuma then shifted a glance at his face. In the first place, he looked foreign but human just like him. 

“You look different compared to your profile document.”

Hearing that casual comment, Koro let out a light chuckle. He waved his hand, notioning that Karasuma was being silly with his words. 

“Of course, Karasuma. I was a round-headed tentacle monster. I told you that I was a human once. Did you not believe me?”

“No, I meant you look better in person. I saw your picture as a human from the document in the rubbles of the lab. It’s unexpected.”

The agent seemed focused on placing a fresh towel as well as other things that would be needed. On the other hand, the infamous assassin stared at the agent, surprised at his words to the point that he was almost rendered speechless. After a second of hesitation, he muttered. 

“...Did you just compliment me?”

Karasuma bent to take the worn clothes and placed it over his arm. He turned to look at the other, giving nothing away from his expression.

“You were right. I do live in a conservative society so some topics don’t sink in as quickly. But that doesn’t mean I’m blind to appearances. You had a look like you were wondering why I was staring so I just decided to be forward. Also, don’t take too long in the tub. We’re not sure of what happened to you and you used to not do so well with water.” 

With that, Karasuma left the room and closed the door behind him. Not having a chance to speak, Koro was left with his mouth hanging and he closed it. First he was interrogated while eating then complimented while still in the tub. Compared to all the annoyed look he'd been thrown with in the past, he decided to take Karasuma's words as a compliment. Still, it was the first time that he realized he knew nothing about the man called Karasuma Tadaomi, well other than the fact that they had opposing jobs and were both teachers of Class E. Now, he had to live in the same space as his roommate. He took a breath and raised his voice so the agent could hear.

"Karasuma, are you saying that I'm handsome~? Since you've seen me now you'd be doing me a huuuge favor if you spread the word when you see any of the students next time. They didn't believe me when I said it myself~"

Shortly after, Koro swore that he heard a 'tsk' coming in from out the door. 

The God of Death's airy chuckle echoed in the bathroom.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Chapter Text

Turns out, the agent meant it when he said that he wouldn’t let Koro out of his sight. He slept in a room adjacent to his with the windows locked at all times. Karasuma would also be awake whenever he opened his door. How uptight can this man be? he thought. Then again, it wasn’t as if he had anywhere to go and he never knew if word would spread about how he came back to life, whether it was as a former monster or the God of Death. One morning while they were lounging on the couch and Karasuma was busy typing on his laptop, Koro suddenly started a conversation.

"You know Karasuma, it occurs to me that in these two weeks you are the same as you were in classroom. Actually, maybe you're even more of a workaholic now. So with me managing the house, what are your thoughts about me after experiencing my excellent cooking and housekeeping skills?"

Koro smiled, but behind that charming smile was a man who was smug to have transformed the house into one that is organized and also replaced all of Karasuma's energy packs and instant food into quality nutritional meals. Needless to say that if he was still a monster, he would've been coloured in stripes of green. Karasuma did not miss a beat in his work and he continued to write another email. 

"If I turn you in, it will be enough for me to retire and fund at least ten charities across Japan."

The God of Death's smile dropped.

"...But your cooking is delicious and its helpful to have the house organized."

And he smiled again, perhaps even brighter this time. He dismissed it with a cool 'hm', but as Karasuma glanced away from his laptop he could see that Koro was in a good mood while he tapped into his phone. Karasuma paused and stared at the phone in his hand. He didn't remember giving one to him, knowing that information and connections are an assassin's greatest strengths. Koro had somehow gotten his phone without him noticing and Karasuma couldn't say that he was surprised but he squinted his eyes at the man beside him. Karasuma had always been observant, he knew that Koro had been gradually picking up information just from his subtle phone conversation, the news, the television and even his surroundings.

Despite his clearly dubious acts, the former assassin still dared to question why he was keeping an eye on him.

“What’s your password?”

The agent raised a brow, looking at him ass if he was crazy. Nevermind the fact that a top assassin was trying to use the phone of a defence agent, this man had guts to even ask for a password as well. Nevertheless, he did want to know what he had in mind and he could always trace his calls and activities. Karasuma returned his attention back to his work.

“1234.”

The God of Death paused for a moment, as if he was waiting for Karasuma to say that it was a joke but he didn’t. He carefully tapped in the numbers and watched as the screen changed into the wallpaper of a dog. 

The phone actually unlocked.

“You’re the chief of national defence and your password is 1234...?”

As the clicking of keys continued, Karasuma merely replied.

“I don’t text important things over the phone and I look at photos and documents in person. The content is unimportant and in normal circumstances, anyone who steals it would have their chin kissing the ground.”

Koro looked at Karasuma. For a moment, he felt a chill coming from that subtle threat. But he knew what he was doing and the God of Death does not fear anyone. 

Koro shifted an inch away anywya.

“Are you sure? I can see your text with your manager and colleagues...oh, they’re mostly greetings and invitations for a cup of coffee. Wait, there’s also a text from Irina dated a few months ago--”

In that instant, the phone was taken away by the agent who had his brows furrowed as he muttered lowly.

“...I’ll change it.”

The assassin looked back at the man and hummed thoughtfully. He shrugged before snatching the phone back. 

“Don’t bother, I’m the God of Death. There’s no phone I can’t break into given a computer and five minutes. But it was my fault for going through your texts."

After hearing that, Karasuma let the man hold his phone. He knew that Koro was just proving a point so he could at least trust him not to go through it again. Still, hearing that tapping on his phone made him curious. 

“What are you doing?”

Karasuma waited for an answer but it didn’t come. He pulled away from his laptop and turned his attention to the phone that showed a search result. 

‘Akabane Karma’

The agent watched as the former teacher wordlessly scrolled and tapped on any relevant news about his former students and repeated the same action for the next name in the class roster, then another, and even the next after that. Karasuma realized that despite the many questions that Koro might have had, the first thing he had done was not to find out more about himself but to check in on every last one of his former students instead. 

“They’re alright.” Despite the agent's reassurance, the former monster still furrowed his brows. Karasuma continued to speak. “All your former students are still alive. Some faced quite a number of difficulty growing up but they grew from it. I don’t keep in contact with all of the students but I haven’t received any bad news as of a month ago.”

The God of Death finally stopped his hands from moving, it was a page where pictures of the students were taken on their graduation day. But they seem neither happy nor liking the attention from the death of a monster that threated to destroy the world.

“There were flowers...planted at the exact spot five years after I have died.”

As the words left his lips, the God of Death had a small smile on his face. He knew they were strong children and had grown remarkably in the classroom. Yet with the gap in his memory, it was as if they had just graduated a two weeks before.

Over the next few days, Koro and Karasuma had to resort to searching online for the latest news on their former students because the agent insisted that abusing his power to dig for information was illegal. Being the freeloader in the house, Koro was about to speak up about how strict the man was over a trivial search but he understood. Thus why it took them days to finally find their students. It turned out that some students had opened up their own store, others became influential figures in diplomatic affairs or in fields of science. One of them even became a teacher. They've seen how the adults who were once children give their speech on television, hosted a science seminar. Some of their businesses and art were also on the news. But one student in particular intrigued them the most and they decided to pay a visit to him personally.


“Alright, class is adjourned. Don’t forget to review what I’ve taught today.” 

Hearing a resounding ‘yes’ in return from the students, Nagisa smiled. His students were never the easiest bunch to teach but no one is unteachable, he learned that fact from a certain monster in the past. Just as he was packing his materials, Nagisa heard the door slide open. He turned his head and saw the agent along with a foreign man beside him.

“Karasuma-sensei! I didn’t know you’d be visiting today. It’s been about two years since we last met.”

“It has, we have both been busy. How are you Nagisa?”

“Well, I can’t say that I’m really good at my job but I think that I’m getting used to being a teacher now. Oh, but I do have a meeting soon…” 

“That’s fine. I’m just dropping by shortly to see how you’re doing.” 

Nagisa was pretty busy since the exam periods are approaching. Once again, he caught sight of the man beside his former teacher and realized that he hadn’t been introduced. 

“Karasuma-sensei, this person is…?”

The former God of Death smiled and held out a hand for the other to take.

“I’m Karasuma’s colleague at work.”

Nagisa was sharp and deliberated taking the hand for a moment but he did so with the same smile. He suppose it wasn’t odd for someone in Karasuma’s line of work to not give out their names.

“Oh, I see. You must also have important work to do then. I admire the job that you have.”

Nagisa had shorter hair now and Koro could see that he had magnificently graduated from living in his mother’s shadows. The former teacher couldn’t help but relax when he saw his student seeming fine and pursuing his dream. He had to admit that despite supporting Nagisa with any path that he chose to take, he was worried if his advice had been right as a fresh educator. Koro's smile turned from formal to genuine.

“It’s tough...but at the end of the day, I couldn’t think of any other job as rewarding.”

“I see, that’s great. I like my job too, I just hope that the path I took and the way that I’ve been as a teacher is right.”

Hearing that the former teacher noticed that Nagisa sounded like a proper adult but he supposed he was still growing since he could sense the tinge of worriness from his voice.

“Not one method of being a teacher is ever right. Students aren’t the only one who are allowed to make mistakes and learn from it. Believe in yourself, Nagisa.”

Nagisa gazed at the man before him. For some reason, his words felt very nostalgic for a man that he’d only just met.

“...I see. Thank you.” The blue haired male felt thankful for his wise words. But knowing that he’d spent his time, he grabbed his bag and turned his attention to Karasuma.  “Karasuma-sensei, I need to leave now but before I go...um, about the thing that we talked about before. Are you really giving up?”

Karasuma was silent for a moment. It was the first time that Koro had seen the man being lost in such deep thought. Finally, the man closed his eyes. He shouldn’t even need to think about the topic at this point.

“No. She was right, I had plenty of chances.”

“...Alright then. I’m sorry that I can’t see you out of the building but we students are always here for the two of you so don’t be a stranger and don’t worry about us too much, Karasuma-sensei.”

With a small smile, Nagisa bowed to the two of them and left. Seeing him leave, Karasuma parted his lips.

“Are you sure about this?”

Koro watched as his former student left to continue on with his life. He wanted to talk with Nagisa as he did with all the other students. But a part of him told him that perhaps his death had played a part in their growth and that it was better to leave things the way they are.

“This is enough.”

Koro seemed glad. Maybe the only thing he regretted during his death was that he couldn’t see his students grow into fine adults. These few days, he was able to do so even if he only remained as a memory to them. The role given by his friend as their teacher was truly done. They both returned to the car which was parked and the former assassin breathed out a sigh of relief.

“Looks like everyone that I knew five years ago are happy now.” He muttered. “..except for you.”

Not hearing a word of rebuttal, Koro felt that what Nagisa had said was still lingering in his thoughts. Karasuma had been behaving as he did before he died but could it be that he was the one who has been troubled?

“What happened?”

Karasume slotted his key into the car and he paused momentarily.

“I...disappointed Irina.”

The God of Death pursed his lips and kept silent as he waited for the man to continue. Karasuma placed a hand on the wheel but he didn’t start the car, his brows furrowed as he seemed to be recollecting his past. 

“We tried our best to make things work in our marriage...but the defence force had been too busy in the last few years. After your death, the government entrusted me with more pressing work that involves millions of lives. The more work I was given, the higher I went up in position because it was necessary for me to be involved. Eventually, I had to---no, I chose to prioritise my work and unknowingly left her behind. At that time, Irina was also focused on turning over a new leaf and doing her best in an opposing line of work compared to the past. We grew apart and finally divorced after straining our relationship. She told me that it was unfair that I’m always choosing work over her but I couldn’t defend her in the face of issues which involve the fate of the citizen and countless of lives.”

Karasuma paused and a bitter smile formed on his lips as he muttered.

“...Maybe even that was an excuse. ”

The former assassin remained silent. Simply by seeing a pained expression on the agent, he knew that it was a rough path that he didn’t intend to take with Irina. 

“I’m sorry. In a way, my death had affected your relationship. But I know both you and Irina, I’m sure that the two of you had tried to make it work in your own way.”

“No. Even if they entrusted me with more after your death, I simply should have trusted the others to do the same. Perhaps in your classroom, the kids and Irina learned and grew but I reverted back to how I was when the mission ended."

Karasuma had a bitter smile on his lips. Koro had always known that his colleagues held secrets and pushed their feelings and thoughts to be hidden deep within. But just like the way he regretted neglecting to learn about ways that could save Aguri's life, he knew that the agent simply needed someone to see past him.

"...Karasuma, you've always been hard on yourself. But I'm sure that Irina isn't perfect and I'm not either. After all, Aguri died because of my shortcoming. But as long as I'm around, I'll make sure that you won't make the same mistake again."

The agent let his words sink in.

He didn't know that he needed to hear those words. 

He didn't even know how much it had been weighing in his mind.

Karasuma lightly tapped a finger on the steering wheel as he sorted out his thoughts and breathed out softly.

"The kids are just worried but we’re honestly on friendly terms. Besides, a man that the world had thought to be dead had somehow revived.”

‘One headache after another’ was the thought that Koro assumed Karasuma to have when he said the bit about him coming back to life. Even though he didn’t know how it happened, his very existence still made the agent risk too many things. Just as the assassin was about to speak up and apologize, Karasuma muttered.

“Thank you. It’s good that you’re back.”

Hearing the words from Karasuma, he couldn’t help but finally realized that even the unlikely person to show his feelings had missed him. Though that fact made him want to meet his students and other colleague more, he decided to bury that desire to not expose himself and trouble the agent any further.

“It’s great to be.”

After all, he still has Karasuma as his friend.

“Now let’s go eat something good, your treat of course.”

Karasuma felt an eyebrow twitch at the man’s audacity. But he merely sighed and started up the engine.

“I’ll make sure to have you work to be bone once I figure out what you can do without an identity.”

The former assassin felt a shiver run down his spine. When a workaholic man like Karasuma mentioned such a thing, he definitely would work him back to his deathbed.  Koro gave out a nervous chuckle as he gazed out of the window.

“...T-Take your time, Karasuma. I’ve just returned from death's door so I think I deserve a little break.”

“Oh? But you had all the time in the world to do whatever you wanted when you were a monster. Didn’t you go to the arctic during recess and ate mapo tofu in Taiwan after school?”

Koro looked away. He couldn’t really defend himself at this point and he replied defeatedly. 

“Let’s not bring up the past anymore...”

Unknowingly to Koro, Karasuma had never shared about his failed marriage and so, it felt like a weight had lifted off from his shoulders. A small smile finally formed on his lips.

TO BE CONTINUED. 

Chapter Text

“Dear guests, we hope that you’ll enjoy your stay.” 

A staff in a traditional kimono knelt and bowed his head at the assassin and agent who occupied the room. He then slid the door close. Koro dropped his bag and sat across a low table, grinning victoriously at the other.

“Well, what did I tell you? Two men in an onsen retreat isn’t exactly ideal but I knew I was lucky.”

Karasuma squinted his eyes at the other. He simply couldn’t trust this man’s words but it all started a week ago.


“Come try our lucky dip! The first prize is a two night stay at a famous onsen in the countryside.”

Whilst walking in the mall to get their necessities, the invitation caught Koro’s attention. The former assassin had an ice cream in hand and he stopped in his tracks, gazing at the commotion. Koro walked up to the man casually.

“Excuse me, how do we participate in this?”

“Anyone who bought any signature item from our mall can have one try. We have three big prizes and a grand prize to the onsen.”

“Hm...does this ice cream count? I don’t think I’ve seen this sold anywhere else.”

The elderly man laughed. While he had never specified the minimum price to participate, he didn’t think anyone would come up with just a cone of ice cream. In the first place, seeing Koro being so nonchalant just seemed like he was doing it for fun.

“Sure, young man. Step right up.”

Koro passed the ice cream to Karasuma and took the receipt from his breast pocket. The agent seemed skeptical about the situation, not knowing what he had in mind. The God of Death winked at him.

“Don’t worry. Since you treated me to lunch I’m feeling lucky today.”

Karasuma couldn’t say much as he watched the male step up. In a large clear box the size of a human, wind was blown and numbered ping pong balls were dancing around due to the current. There was a slot for a person to put his hand in which he assumed to be where participants grab a random ball to win a prize. Koro shifted his gaze up to a certain number. He stayed still for a few seconds before suddenly flicking his hand, bouncing one of the ball against the wall and onto the number he had his eyes on. The numbered ball swirled in the tank, hitting the wall and rolled in the current close to his palm. He grabbed it as if it was only natural. The former assassin smiled as he took it out and handed it to the elderly man to inspect. His eyes widened for a fracture of a second before he took the microphone on the table and announced.

“We have a winner! The first prize goes to this young man!”

While Karasuma stared at the blatant swindle that was unfolding before his very eyes, he felt like dragging the other male off the stage. On the other hand, Koro let out a gasp of surprise and looked as if he was touched.

“Oh, wow. Thank you, everyone. I must have been insanely lucky!”


“...You definitely cheated.”

Back in the inn, Karasuma spoke knowing the truth of the situation. He didn’t know exactly how Koro knew that that one specific ball was the prized number but that winning act was pretty cheap. The assassin smirked in return.

“It’s nothing compared to what I can actually do. I’ll have you know that I have my ways around anything.”

The man shrugged. What kind of world-class assassin would he be if he couldn’t win a simple lottery while he’s penniless? Karasuma inspected the other male and he crossed his hands over his chest.

“Hm...you’re pretty confident for a petty criminal confessing a crime to a nation’s chief of defence.”

Koro froze and he looked away from the man before him. 

“Well, you see, even if I have the skills I still need the luck so I’m not exactly cheating .

He lied. In truth, he saw the direction of the elderly man’s gaze towards the prized number and simply aimed for it. Though Karasuma clearly had his suspicion, he didn’t probe further about it. In the first place, he still came to this inn knowing that he likely cheated so he was no better. Luckily, it was also easy for the former assassin to get away with travelling to another city with a new alias. It was fearsome how he still had connections even when he ‘died’. Karasuma headed to the wardrobe and took a fresh pair of Yukata that was to be worn in the inn. 

“It took us a long time to get here. I’m going to the hot spring. What about you?”

The God of Death simply raised an arm and grinned and the agent knew his answer. He tossed the other yukata to him and they both headed out.

During the bath, they talked about their former students and the inn that they currently stayed at. The two didn’t feel that they lacked topics to talk about. After all, they once worked in the same place with the same people. Moreover, even though they had opposing jobs, it all comes down to politics and the many shrewd dealings that happen around the globe. Though Koro was still professional enough not to leak the details that he shouldn’t, it was interesting to hear about the other’s point of view. Having talked for quite some time, Karasuma rose to his feet.

“We had a quick rinse before but I think I’ll wash myself.”

Afterwards, he left the bath and the God of Death followed. 

“I’ll wash your back.”

Karasuma raised a brow but he didn’t question it. After taking the stools and soap, the former assassin began his task.

“You know, I’ve travelled to many places but this is the first time that I’ve been in an onsen. This country is pretty peaceful, assassins aren’t really needed or in demand.”

While he stayed in Japan during the whole time that he was teaching, he couldn’t even get into the onsen because his limbs would swell too much to enjoy the soak. Who’d ever thought that he’d be here with a fellow former teacher and also, washing his back. The God of Death continued on with his task. Karasuma hummed thoughtfully.

“I doidn't expect you to be so sentimental. If it were the you before, I’d think that you’d prefer to peek at the women’s bath instead.”

The foreign man felt the edge of his lips twitched at the comment. 

“...Hey, I might be a pervert but I’m not a bastard like that. I mean, if I wanted to then I could’ve peeked at a hundred different bathhouses in ten seconds without anyone noticing, but I didn’t.”

Karasuma turned his head to look at the other in the eyes. While the former assassin wanted to reply firmly, he felt like he was caught in a lie. In truth, he did consider it.

“I really didn’t!”

Karasuma didn’t say a word but he shook his head and sighed. Still, if he could believe that a monster that was once dead is now alive then he could believe the man’s word on the matter. He looked ahead at the steam that was forming from the bath. This place was nothing less than peaceful and it was a good change for someone who always worked with no end like him.

“...This isn’t my first time in an onsen but it is the first time that I have another man wash my back…I suppose this is new, and a little odd.” 

Koro raised a brow and he stopped moving the sponge that he was using to wash.

“You’re saying that after I’ve already hugged you once before?”

“Did you? I don’t remember.”

This time, it was Karasuma’s turn to be confused. When did they ever hug? He could hardly remember such a memory. Before he could probe further about it, a pair of hands were loosely wrapped around his neck and he felt a weight upon his back, warm body and skin against the other.

“Like this.”

Karasuma was stunned. The other male was too close, so much so that he felt his breath on his ear. The agent didn’t know whether it was because the God of Death was a man used to foreign culture but no man in this country would normally do what he was doing. With that reason in mind, he decided to go along.

“...That was when you were still that yellow thing.

The former assassin pulled up his arm slightly, leaving less space between his arm and the other’s neck.

“Calling me a ‘yellow thing’ is a little rude, Karasuma. ”

Karasuma wanted to retort and say that he was exactly what he looked like, a creature that was hard to explain. But the agent relented with a sigh leaving his lips.

“...Fine. I apologize.”

At that moment, he could feel the rumble of the assassin’s chest as he laughed. They were both soaped up with the assassin sticking so close to him. But oddly, he didn’t hate it. 

“I was just kidding but you’re so serious.”

Koro chuckled, even patting the man’s shoulder as he did. Karasuma paused and took a breath, he took a bucket of water before pouring it over his body. 

“I’m going back.”

The man on his back pulled back and he was grinning even though parts of him was soaped up. He looked silly like that, was what Karasuma realized.

“Sure. I guess me as well since you wouldn’t let me off your sight.”

Honestly, Karasuma felt that there was no need to keep that up since he already believed this man’s identity, as impossible as that may be. But at that moment, he didn’t exactly feel like correcting him. Perhaps he was used to his presence? Karasuma stopped his thoughts in its tracks and he made his way out. While having someone share his house does remind him of what he had before with Irina, he shouldn’t jump into that nostalgic emotion. After all, he had already failed that life once.


“There we go.” 

The God of Death placed a huge bottle of alcohol in the center of the table along with two cups. While he was smiling, the agent raised a brow instead. 

“You had this look on your face before you left the bath, llike you were telling me that you really needed a drink.” 

Karasuma gazed at the bottle. He had been so caught up with work that he hadn’t thought about drinking. In fact, if it weren’t for Koro’s insistence for him to take a break, he wouldn’t be here in the first place. The agent didn’t show any signs of protest. Instead, he took the bottle closer to open it.

“...Even if I do, it’s no excuse to burn a hole through my wallet by buying such an expensive drink.”

“I paid for them. I managed to get in contact with one of the men who was holding my hidden accounts. He should be able to retrieve more soon enough, then I can pay you back for everything you've spent on me.” 

Koro shrugged. At this point, he had already accepted the fact that he was granted a second life. While the former monster was lost in thought thinking of anonymously donating to some of the works of his students, Karasuma thought otherwise. Clearly the most infamous assassin would have a lot of fortune and he was now more free than ever to roam about since he was presumed dead. He was more than capable of building a new life and identity. He poured the alcohol into the other’s cup and to his own.

“So are you going to move out?”

Koro seemed surprised at the question while Karasuma on the other hand, had already started drinking. 

“No.” 

The assassin immediately answered. Though after taking a sip of the alcohol, he wondered if Karasuma was implying something else. Koro raised a brow.

“Do you want me to?”

“...No.”

The reply came as a mutter, as if the agent himself was unsure. But he somehow continued.

“I think that I’ve grown used to having you around.”

Compared to his normal lifestyle that relies heavily on coffee and protein packs, it is definitely better with Koro around since he takes care of their meals. He realized that just as he was before, the former monster was capable of doing many things from cooking to cleaning and even folding his clothes. Come to think of it, having the God of Death doing chores and welcoming him home is something that he’d unexpectedly grown used to. The thought brought one of his rare smiles to his lips.

“Hmm, I didn’t know that you had thought of me as such a good friend.”

Oddly, Karasuma immediately felt that the word ‘friend’ wasn’t quite right. In the first place, he didn’t know much about the assassin and neither did he about him aside from what happened with Irina.

“Friends..? I’m not really sure about that.”

The former assassin shot a quizzical look as he raised a brow. He had expected Karasuma to either agree or disagree with him quickly but the agent seemed to have other views in mind that he couldn’t comprehend.

“Then what am I to you?”

After gulping another glass, Karasuma seemed to be lost in thoughts. There was a short pause before he muttered.

“...Like a pet ? I picked you up like a stray dog, fed you and gave you a home.”

Koro’s arms stopped mid-pour and he gazed at the man before him. He didn’t think that he had to voice out his opinion on this but he couldn’t read Karasuma’s train of thoughts at all.

Or..perhaps the man himself was unable to collect his own thoughts? It wasn’t surprising since he had always been out of touch when it comes to recognizing the feelings of others, let alone his own. Perhaps finally voicing out and sharing about his failed marriage had made him question his relations with other people. Koro set his glass down and a sigh left his lips. He stood on his feet and went around the low table. Karasuma looked at the man to his side. 

Before he could question him, the God of Death had swooped in, an arm outstretched as it grabbed the layer of cloth over his shoulder and pushed him back. The agent quickly raised an arm to grab his but stopped short when he unexpectedly felt a sharp object inching dangerously close to his neck, over his arteries and under his chin. With the bloodlust of the assassin, every cell of his being was alarmed due to the weapon and thus, the momentum of the object caused him to lose his balance and fall on the floor in order to avoid his neck from being sliced. 

The agent’s dark hues shifted down to the object, realizing that it was not a knife but rather, a piece of folded menu of the inn written over its surface. The material of his yukata was gripped in his palm to gain his attention and a voice whispered by his ear.

“If I didn’t know any better then you’re asking to be bitten.”

Karasuma realized that he had held his breath and a chill ran down his spine. But strangely, what brought him back to reality was not his own mind but the warmth of the other on him.

“...You’re insane.”

No, he himself must be going insane, was the thought that ran through his mind. The assassin glared at the man beneath him.

“You said that I’m a pet. Do you fear building a relationship with others so much to the point that you’re even disregarding I’m human now?”

The former assassin pulled back, his brows furrowed. His expression was a mix of many emotions; confusion and what the agent grew all too familiar with with the recent years, anger.

“I have many names, personalities and faces. ‘Koro-sensei’ was one of them, as was that clumsy yet inviting persona I had. But since I met you again, I’ve been nothing but myself.”

It had been undeniably tough. At times, he felt like it was difficult to express himself but if he truly meant to redeem himself then he should at least face his roommate as how he was before, full of openings and wearing his emotions on his sleeves. 

“You’re not a friend. I have those and they come and go with work, we just email each other and talk over coffee.”

Karasuma at least knew that much was the truth.

“Then what am I?”

What exactly does this man want and expect from him? Little did he know, the answer was quite simple once Karasuma was faced with the question. As he locked his gaze with the other, the words flowed out of his lips faster than he could think.

“I don’t want you to leave like Irina did.”

Perhaps he didn’t notice it himself but having someone in his life only to have them leave had left a certain void that he could never explain. Knowing the agent, he probably took the downfall of his marriage as his own fault. Koro's grip on his shoulder loosened.

“You’re saying that you’re more or less uncaring about your friends but when it comes to me...you don't want me to leave you?”

There was a short pause before Karasuma nodded his head. The former assassin examined the other’s features, inching closer as his palm rested underneath his yukata, over his chest. He stopped short when he felt the other’s breath against his, a mutter escaped his lips.

“...You look better with your hair down.”

Karasuma kept eye contact. Despite being aware that he was being tested for something he was unaware of, he found himself looking into the eyes of the man before him. On top of that, the agent was never the type to be intimidated and back away so it felt like a challenge where he’d be betraying himself if he does.

“I’ve been told, but it isn’t as neat.”

“A little messiness is good. It makes you look natural and more approachable.”

The agent glanced down at the small gap between their bodies. In fact, the other’s yukata was already touching his. Realizing that he was also trapped underneath, he replied.

“Is that why you’re still on top of me?”

The God of Death smiled. It took the agent a while to realize but his reaction wasn’t bad at all. 

“Is that what you think is happening?”

“...You said that you’re not only interested in women but also men.”

Words such as ‘I’ve never actually thought of that’ or ‘I was kidding’ were at the tip of his tongue. But the former assassin found a different answer leaving his lips.

“I am now .”

Karasuma stared at his expression that didn’t give much away. As usual, he looked attractive and gentle with his smile though every one of his moves were always calculated. Feeling the agent’s heartbeat thumping beneath his fingers, he pulled back with a sigh as he reached a conclusion.

“I should have done this sooner.”

“What do you mean?”

“I meant, making you more aware of me. Ah, I guess I’m the slow one here if it has gotten to this point.”

The God of Death casually sat on the other’s lap. Seeing that Karasuma had no complaints aside from a raised brow at his behaviour, the smile on his lips grew. 

“Honestly, I thought that you’re hard-hearted but it’s cute knowing that it’s the opposite. Karasuma...you’re intelligent so if you’d put in just a third--no, a fifth of your time into figuring out your own thoughts, I’m sure you’d notice it yourself. Now before you think along the lines of ‘just being around this person is enough’--think again, Karasuma. Do you know why it’s so hard for you to realize what I mean to you?”  

Karasuma did not like where this was leading to. They had always been quick to catch on each other’s intentions and this time was not an exception. 

“I’m not a friend or family. You’re interested in me romantically, dare I say, maybe even sexually.”

The assassin hung an arm loosely around his shoulders while Karasuma looked away. Truthfully, he had no excuse left but a part of him seemed to refuse to accept it so easily.

“It’s different than when I’m with Irina.”

A chuckle came from the man on his lap. Koro seemed amused but from the way that he carried his words and carefully led Karasuma to realize his own feelings, he knew that his laugh was never meant to mock him but instead, to lead him to an answer that he could work out by his own. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why he had been comfortable with this man. They held an unspeakable amount of respect and understanding for each other’s circumstances even if their lives are different.

“No two feelings are the same. Some forms of affection makes you feel at peace, others leave you torn, intoxicated or blinded. But the way that your heart is racing betrayed your expression.”

Karasuma turned his gaze back at the other. Just as he was finally willing to listen, the assassin’s words flowed clearly.

“It’s telling me that you need me.”

TO BE CONTINUED.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Karasuma woke up as early as dawn. By denying the assassin’s words and thinking of his work, he didn’t have a hard time sleeping. But waking up to a recollection of yesterday’s events was not something that he could just ignore. The agent turned his head, expecting to see the former teacher sleeping in the other bed but it was empty. Karasuma sat up, looking around and realizing that he was alone. He didn’t think that the God of Death was so shrewd to abandon him but for a moment, he thought, what if? The agent got to his feet and slid the door open to the living room.

A smooth voice in a flutent, foreign language was heard talking over the phone and the waft of smoke danced amidst the cold air. The former assassin was speaking on the phone with a bud of cigarette on his lip. However, just as soon as he noticed the other, the cigarette was snatched from his lips. Karasuma’s brows were furrowed and he didn’t show any signs of returning it as he waited for the man to finish talking on the phone.

“...Yes, I will not contact you again so finish what I ordered as soon as possible.”

Karasuma remembered that Koro did mention that he was in contact with an acquaintance to get his money back. This has to be the call with that person, he thought. The assassin pulled the phone away from his ear and ended the call, with a smile on his lips, he casually greeted the other.

“Had a good sleep?”

The agent did not reply to his question, instead he shot him back with another.

“When did you start to smoke?”

A thoughtful hum left Koro’s lips.

“About a week ago? Though if we’re talking about when it actually started, then a long time ago, before it’s even legal for me. I mean, who would actually care in the slums? Anyway, working in the underworld means getting used to this stuff and illegal substances. I only stopped because the scent would leave traces but there’s just no reason not to now.”

Thinking that Karasuma would be satisfied with his answer, the former assassin held out a hand to have the butt back. The agent looked at his hand, contemplating to do just that and he lowered his hand to his but stopped just as the cigarette was passed to his hand.

“...I’ll buy you some Japanese sweets later so stop picking back on this habit. You’re no longer indestructible.”

Koro stared at this man dumbfounded. For some reason, the agent seemed to be paying more attention to him. Still, he placed the bud back to his lips.

“Hm...well, I can’t deny that offer since I’m still low in money...”

“If there are people who still recognizes you or that man you’re in contact with decides to find you, then you’ll leave behind some traces one way or another.”

The former assassin seemed impressed by his cautiousness, but more than that, the amount of thought that went through his reasoning. It is true that one should be three steps ahead and consider all possibililties when involved in this line of work. He clapped for the agent.

“Wow. Very good, Karasuma. Maybe the one year that we spent together in class had actually trained you to have the mindset of an assassin.”

Karasuma narrowed his eyes at the other male who only laughed in return. He was speaking the truth. Though it seems that he was underestimated.

“That’s why I’ve only been using your phone, when you don’t notice it of course. You woke up unusually early today.”

Koro fished out the phone that he used from his pocket and tossed it back to Karasuma. Honestly, he thought that the man would question about it the moment he had his phone to his ear but who would’ve thought that he was distracted by the cigarette instead? Karasuma caught the devices and flashed the man a warning look. He thought that Koro simply didn’t have a phone of his own but it seems that the assassin knew about the fact that his phone is protected by the agency.

“But its pretty unfair of you to bring up the topic of assassination. You know that I’m a perfectionist….”

The notorious assassin thought through his words.

“Hmm..I finally have a new life to do whatever I want so I can’t promise you. But I’ll cut back on it, deal?”

“...Deal.”

With that Karasuma slipped his phone back to his pocket. He shot a glance at the other before leaving for the washroom to do start his morning rituals. Unexpectedly, the roommate who is aware of his morning habits had followed him but he had no word of protest and let the man be. For some reason, the assassin’s expression seems to be constantly beaming with an awfully mischievous look on his face. Karasuma figured that it was because he had neither denied nor accepted his words from the day before but Koro was already smiling as if he knew that it was the truth.

While Karasuma was brushing his teeth, he found himself lost in his thoughts. He was slowly coming to accept it but why...

Why does it have to be another assassin?

And the most notorious of them too!

As if he was reading his thoughts, the assassin who was leaning against the doorway suddenly spoke out.

“You know, I feel bad for you. The most cunning assassin, a criminal, a former monster and now a man presumed to be dead. Out of all the people in the world that you could’ve picked to take an interest in.”

Karasuma gave the man a side glance and started to rinse then splash water on his face. Usually he would think that Koro was teasing him but he knew better from his tone. Karasuma couldn't understand why Koro suddenly voiced out his thoughts so pessimistically. Honestly, he felt that it was unlike him to do so. Once he was done, he simply replied.

“You…”

Karasuma paused as he looked at the reflection of the assassin in the mirror. He didn’t quite know what to say at the start, but soon he found the words leaving his lips with ease.

“There must be something about you that’s good. You tried to redeem the fact that you couldn’t save a friend and you taught children who are now respectable adults. Even if you’re new at teaching, you listened to their problems and helped each of them find a path that they can be proud of.”

The assassin was silent. He took a whiff of the cigarette and exhaled. When the smoke finally left his lips, he took the butt off his lips between two fingers.

“Karasuma.”

The agent who had only finished drying his face with a towel turned his head at the call of his name. By the time he realized that the assassin was close, he found himself locking lips with the other. The light scent of cigarettes invaded his mouth immediately. His eyes grew wide but that alone didn’t seem enough for the assassin who propped an arm on the sink and took a daring step closer. The surprise of the kiss gave the assassin an edge and he parted the agent’s lips, licking the inside of his mouth as he invited his tongue for a dance. The hesitant reply from Karasuma was enough for the other to deepen the kiss, swiping across his lip and biting down on it. He felt the agent flinched and decided to pull back to give him a little break.

“That expression you have on you….”

A smirk painted on his lips as he examined the agent’s expression, surprise and confusion seemed to be a mix of it but disgust was not. Rather, the colour forming on his previously pale and cool skin clearly shows the opposite.

“Did I, for one moment, change your opinion on cigarettes? You seem like you enjoyed it.”

Simply from the alluring yet smug smirk on his face, Karasuma felt like wiping his lips. But what was the point now? He could barely lie to himself, not when the assassin was constantly catching him off guard with his advances.

“I’m not changing my mind. It’s not the scent of smoke that I enjoyed.”

Leaving the former assassin shell-shocked by his reply, Karasuma left the room before he regretted and took back his words. He did not want the assassin to read his expression any further.

“Hey, Karasuma.”

His voice rang behind him and Karasuma stopped in his tracks as he opened his wardrobe.

“What?”

The agent’s tone seemed slightly annoyed simply because the last bit of pride in him disliked being toyed with. But it didn’t seem to stop the other from forming the words of an outlandish idea that just popped in his mind.

“Which do you prefer, trial dating or being fuck buddies?”

A deafening silence filled the room. At first, Karasuma pretended not to hear it but as he took the towel that was stacked on top of the other, specifically their towel, and still feeling the presence of the other in the room, Karasuma knew that the assassin was still boldly expecting a reply.

“...You’re insane.”

“And you’re interested in me.”

The assassin interjected which left the agent speechless.

Touché. And how he hated that he was right.

Karasuma cursed under his breath while the former assassin grinned. Why wait for the man to realize his own feelings if he could just say it plainly out loud? Once again, Karasuma felt cornered. It seems that the assassin had the upper hand in understanding and reading emotions whereas he was constantly caught off guard by how forward he was being. Despite it being a peaceful morning in a quiet inn, the agent pinched the bridge of his nose as he felt a headache coming. He didn't even know where to begin.

“...I’m a man. You’re usually interested in...voluptuous women.”

“If you’re wondering whether I can do it, I can. Just last night while I was on top of you and we were chatting, I was actually--”

Karasuma turned on his feet and covered his mouth with his palm, cutting his sentence off. He felt like he’d heard enough brazen words coming out of the man’s mouth. At that moment, Koro swore that if the man was a beast, he would’ve growled along with that icy glare.

Well, not that a former top assassin will ever be intimidated.

“It’s out of my morals to have sexual partners. If you have the nerve to ask me out on a trial relationship then just ask me out normally.”

As the words left his lips, Karasuma lifted off his hand. The God of Death seemed to be cautious with his words as it trailed off.

“You mean….”

Karasuma couldn’t reply as he wasn’t sure of what to say but he breathed out a sigh. This assassin reminded him of Irina, the way that he was assertive and somehow always making him yield to his whims and brazen suggestions. The God of Death beamed, a grin on his lips.

“Dating it is then. Isn’t this interesting? I was your target and now your first boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend...”

The agent felt odd having the word roll off his tongue. After all, it wasn’t only until the day before that he realized he could be attracted to a man. But seeing the God of Death looking accomplished and hearing his chuckle resounding lightly in the room, the agent did not feel the slightest hint of uneasiness in his heart. In fact, a quaint smile had unknowingly formed on his lips. Even without pondering over the question, this time he was sure that it doesn’t matter what gender he had found himself being attracted to.

Not as long as that person is him.

TO BE CONTINUED.

 

Chapter Text

“I’m heading to the bath. Are you coming?”

“Wow. You’ve suddenly gotten so bold, Karasuma.”

The agent froze with the towels in his hands and he looked at the other with a serious expression.

“I don’t have any intentions and I can’t help that we’re both men so it sounded that way.”

Koro chuckled at his words, patting his shoulders.

“I know. I’m going too, or else I’ll just end up falling asleep again.”

Koro hummed as he took the towel and made his way, leaving Karasuma speechless. Does the assassin enjoy teasing him that much? Then again, he’s always had that mischievous side to him. Once they were back in the bath, the God of Death stretched his arms, a sigh left his lips as he enjoyed the warm soak of the bath.

What a wonderful and peaceful day.

It would be great if he could grab some snacks after this, maybe try the inn's special syrup shaved ice and just laze around, watching television and then taking a good nap with the spring breeze gently blowing in through the windows--

“We’re going hiking after this.”

The agent’s sudden declaration immediately cut into his idle reality. Koro shifted his gaze to the man beside him, shooting him a dirty look. Simply from that expression, Karasuma knew that his new boyfriend wasn’t a fan of his idea but he wasn’t fazed.

“What else do you plan to do? Watch television and laze around? You can do that at home.”

He was right, which is why he couldn’t refute his idea at all. Still, he was really hoping for some time to just cozy up in his room. Koro crossed his arms over his chest and grumbled.

“Alright, fine. We’ll have breakfast then go on your little hike.”

The agent raised a brow at that. 

“What are you talking about? It’s best to hike before the sun rises or else we’ll be beaten down by the heat of the sun. I was planning on being here for only 15 minutes at most.”

“...You’re kidding.”

Oh how Koro wished he had his old mach twenty speed, then he can declare that he reached the top and back in less than a second. Still, Karasuma had sacrificed his few precious ‘working days’ to come by after much persuation from him so he couldn’t ask Karasuma not to do as he liked.

“Don’t worry, you’ll be able to finish the hike.”

Coming from Japan’s chief of defence, somehow he believed his words.


Two hours later, the former mach speed monster would reflect and regret being talked into the activity by the agent. He should have known that Karasuma is a desciplined man and that he'd been holding back with their students all this time. Rather than a trail, it felt like he was dragging his feet into war.

“...We’re out of pathways. There’s no other choice. We’re moving forward in this direction.”

Koro trudged and leaned a hand against a tree. What was up with his army-like instructions? Clearly if there were no more trails then that would mark the end of the hike itself. Or was he wrong with that mindset? He couldn’t exactly tell with the lack of air in his lungs. The assassin swore that he felt like a soldier navigating through a mountainous area.

“Wait a damn second!”

Koro heaved a breath, then more, and another. Gods, he really was running out of stamina wasn’t he? They were both slightly drenched from the sweat, not to mention the sun was already beating on them like hell on Earth. 

“How...how long was this trail supposed to be? And why am I not informed about the extended trail that we’re doing?”

Karasuma was gazing at his map. He didn't seem bothered by the trail at all. In fact, he seemed more than ready to continue. To the agent, hiking wasn't an activity that he could take part in as of late. He had been drowned with documents and the responsibility in managing the staff of the agency. 

“40 kilometres. And it’s a path that I just created after looking at the map provided by the innkeeper.”

The assassin almost had his jaw dropped. He took another step forward, his brows furrowed as he looked at the agent as if he was insane.

“40 fucking kilometres up this mountain?! That would take 8 hours!”

He might make it on a flat road but this was too much even for him. An assassin wasn't a soldier, he organizes the perfect trail that would be most efficient. Karasuma paused, looking at the other. He remembered how Irina was enthusiastic but ended up complaining about his schedule and exercise routine as well. The agent quickly realized that perhaps he was lacking in tactfulness.  

“...I’m sorry. This is all because I’ve seen you keep up with me in my morning run. I believed in you.”

I believed in you. . .

The words echoed in his ears. Karasuma was right. He might not have the stamina of a full-fledged agent but he was not one to disappoint. He took on too many roles and skill to count, even executing them flawlessly. If he takes this as another one of his assassination attempt, for the God of Death it’ll be like cutting into a piece of cake.

Koro took a deep breath and grabbed a bottle of water from his backpack, gulping it. He poured the rest of the content on his head to cool himself down and dissipate the heat. Karasuma watched as the water drenched his clothes, making it cling onto him more than it already had. 

“...You just used up all the water you had.”

The assassin narrowed his eyes at the other, fiery determination in his eyes that sent a jolt down the agent’s spine. Ignoring the man’s words, he held out a hand to the other. 

“Give me the map, a spare compass and a pen. I’ll review the trail you made. Also, from this point on this isn’t a fucking trail anymore. Its survival. I’ll find a river somewhere and catch some fish for lunch.”

Karasuma lowered his bag and rummaged it to get the items that he was asked for. As he handed them over, he found himself gazing at the other. 

“...I think I just understood what you meant when you said that you can be interested in men.”

The assassin raised a brow, as if wondering why he was stating the obvious.

“I know I’m hot Karasuma, that is, assuming that I won’t shrivel up and die the next day--because god knows why I’m still alive and going through hell on Earth. But you have the rest of your life with me to figure out why you're attracted to your boyfriend, for now we need to get moving.”

That brought a light smile to Karasuma's lips. It was interesting to see the man refusing to give up and instead, taking all control so quickly. He couldn’t deny that it seemed clearer now why he’d taken a liking to this man in the first place. 


Towards the end of the trail and despite the change in attitude, it doesn’t change the fact that Koro had reached his physical capacity. Even Karasuma himself seemed to have been tired off, though not in any way worse of a state compared to Koro. The latter immediately crashed face-first on the bed after a quick shower, a groan from his lips as he could almost feel his soul wanting to leave his tortured body. The agent sat by his bed with a bottle of water in hand and he patted the man’s back, hoping that it would soothe him a little.

“Rest. I’ll bring in our dinner soon.”

Despite the tiring hike, he personally enjoyed his time with Koro. They were able to talk and show each other their own navigating skills. For instance, while he was able to catch more fish than Koro, the assassin had taught him some tricks to better find his way in the dark without any equipment. 

“Thank you for going along with me. I’ll try to tell you more about the plans that I make next time.”

Karasuma felt the man shift under his palm and retracted it. Koro turned to his back and breathed out a sigh. Immediately, Karasuma found himself checking if Koro was alright. He seemed tired but other than expected strains to his muscles, it looks like he will be alright by the next two days. Koro mumbled.

“You don’t have to apologize, I didn’t ask you about the details either. Besides, you were right. I was thinking of just wasting the day away even though we’ve travelled all the way out here. It was pretty fun....”

Karasuma didn’t really know how much of it was said for his sake, but remembering the effort that the former asssassin had put in to finish what he planned was a moving thought. The agent found himself propping a palm on the bed placing a hand over his head, patting him as he would one of his students. It was gentle, so much that he could almost feel the other's emotions through the action. This man is silly, Koro thought. There are better ways to thank a lover if only he could be half as forward as he is. Though he suppose, it was one of Karasuma's charms. The assassin gazed at the other, lifting an arm to the back of his neck to pull him in for a kiss. Suddenly, a sharp pain mercilessly ran down his back and the former monster found himself pulling back and lying on the bed defeatedly. 

Karasuma watched as the man writhed from the pain on his back. Surprisingly, he found himself almost giving in to the kiss that had almost happened. He pulled up the blanket and leaned in, kissing his forehead.

“Stay here. I’ll get our food.”

Koro let out an approving grunt, knowing that he couldn’t move if he wanted to anyway. But inside, he was a tad happier. Who wouldn't if a man as stoic as him was finally showing some affection?

“...Karasuma. When we get home tomorrow I want to rest and eat all the snacks that we bought.”

Koro couldn’t see the man’s expression as it was too painful to shift too much on the bed but he swore that he heard a light chuckle and a soft, resounding ‘yes’.

As he heard the door close, the assassin closed his eyes and he smiled.

That rare laugh of his was worth everything.

TO BE CONTINUED.

Chapter Text

It was an unexpectedly mundane day for both men. Within a few days, Koro had managed to finish all the treats that he'd bought from the inn and Karasuma was back to being swamped with work. Though on the off days like today, they would try to spend time together. Not having much to do for the day, Koro decided to pick a show to watch. There was the sound of shifting clothes as they made themselves comfortable on each end of the couch as well as the munching of a bowl of popcorn. But both were deafened by the lines of the actors on the screen.

“ All those moves and techniques…
  I should have known. 
  Were you an assassin all along? ”

Karasuma narrowed his eyes at the screen. Out of all things that they could’ve watched, the God of Death had chosen a typical romantic comedy about spies and assassins. Karasuma would’ve thought that it was a silly movie before. Who in their right mind would not have noticed that their lover is an agent or assassin after that many rounds of suspicious events?

Regardless, the agent continued to watch as the female lead, the assassin, seemed to be recklessly throwing a bomb towards an intruder but had cleverly used that momentary panic to put a knife at the stranger’s throat.

“--Hey, that’s me if we’re married! Though I wouldn’t even need to use an explosive. That’s an amateur move that would alert the others if they possibly came with more ‘friends’.”

Watching this movie had become even more ridiculous after hearing Koro’s words. Karasuma realized that to a certain extent, the show they were watching is actually their reality. While he continued to watch, he had to admit that once he chose to ignore the stunts and assumptions which didn’t make sense, it was pretty fun to watch. Seeing as how the God of Death was silent throughout the movie, he assumed that he must’ve felt the same. 

When the screen darkened and the credits began to roll, Koro turned to him but Karasuma blatantly refused to do the same. He had a bad feeling in his gut for what the man was about to say. 

“Wouldn’t it be great if I return back to being an assassin?”

Back when he was the artificial monster, he had always been provoking him. Karasuma in particular had to deal with all the irresponsible decisions that he’d made, whether it was cleaning after him during a game of cops and robbers or making excuses to his bosses for stolen government intelligence. He watched as the credit rolls on the screen.

Despite the sudden declaration, Karasuma refused to breathe a word to support him.

“Think about it, ‘...the infamous God of Death thought to be reaped by death itself returned to his former glory’.” Koro inched closer. “Tell me that it sounds exciting because I know it is.”

Karasuma Tadaomi is in no way spiritual or religious but at this moment, he uttered a certain deity’s name out of a loss for words at the man’s irresponsible suggestion. He finally mumbled under his breath.

“...I’ll arrest you.”

Koro pursed his lips. It sounded like a warning but at the same time, he couldn’t help but be full of himself knowing that Karasuma, as his now lover, wouldn’t. If anything, he was saying it for his own good because he didn’t want to have to do that.

His assumption was right.

“Okay but for real or are we talking about some kinky play because I’m down for ‘cops and robbers’ between teachers.”

Karasuma breathed out a sigh as the assassin had inched so close to him that he could feel the warmth of his body. He knew that Koro is being playful because he’s comfortable with him. Karasuma couldn’t be mad at that. He placed down the remoteh, finally turning his attention to the real assassin.

“You like role play?”

The edge of the male’s lips curved into a confident smirk. At that moment, Karasuma realized why he had been going along with the whims of this person. He couldn’t help but feel that his confidence was charming. The second he admitted to that thought, he'd probably be much more of a sucker than he already was in the realtionship so he pursed his lips.

“Hell yes, I do. Assassins can’t be picky when it comes to seduction but we still have our own personal preferences.”

“You’re a lot more straightforward now.”

“You’re not my student, there’s no reason for me to be embarrassed in a conversation between two adults.”

Koro placed his hand in the bowl of popcorn, gathering the crumbs and eating them. 

“So you still like breasts.”

The infamous assassin choked on the bits of popcorn. Nevermind what he said, hearing the stoic and quiet Karasuma saying the word ‘breasts’ was something he’d never imagined. Despite that, the same man was holding up a cup of water and offering it to him. Koro took the cup and gulped down the remaining bits of popcorn.  

“I told you. Just because I like women doesn’t mean I can’t like men.”

Karasuma pursed his lips in return. He supposed he can’t argue with that. In fact, he should’ve known that the world’s most feared assassin would be eloquent in his speech.

“Just like the way I like soft chest, I can like it hard too.”

Koro wiped his lips and placed down the glass. A wave of silence suddenly overcame them and it was deafening. He shifted on his seat.

“...I was referring to muscles.”

“I know what you meant.”

“Just making myself clear.”

Another silence filled the room. Koro looked away while Karasuma too for some reason couldn’t keep his eyes on the male beside him or the television anymore. 

“...So do you want to do it?”

A raised brow was returned to the assassin.

“Now?”

“We’re not shy, adolescent highschoolers. We should just do it if we want to.”

Karasuma shifted on his seat. He feared that it would come to this. Though he had searched through the site and books, it'd be different when it comes to considering for the real thing. He parted his lips, muttering.

“...Who will be the receiving end?”

“I thought that it’d be you.”

“What reason do you have to assume that it’s me?”

“I mean...surprisingly, you can be cute.”

“That doesn’t make any sense and it proves nothing.”

The assassin was shut down immediately by the agent’s surprisingly sound logic. He noted that this is what happens when two intelligent men try to make a point.  

“We can switch but in all my life, I’ve always been the top.”

“The same for me.”

“One slutty ex-wife doesn’t count, Karasuma.”

“......”

Karasuma squinted his eyes at the other male. He had to admit that Irina was the one who initiated most of their experiences. But what bothered him was that the assassin somehow seem to knew that fact. Could it be that he is much easier to read than he thought? He grunted a reply, relenting.

“Fine. We’ll start with me.”

When the assassin grinned in return, Karasuma swore that he would never admit he’d take up the role forever if he’d only asked. When Koro began to move closer, Karasuma found himself sinking on the seat with his head on the armrest, trapped between the other’s arms. Karasuma gazed up at the other male questioningly while Koro only smiled and spoke.

“Doing it on the couch is pretty hot too.”

“Don’t we need some...assisting equipment for this?”

The assassin gazed at the other but the lack of a follow-up to his words made him burst into laughter. Did he meant toys? That was a pretty innocent question coming from such a tough man. He couldn’t help but wonder how much he’d searched online for that to come up.

“We don’t really need those. I mean, there’s different ways that we can have sex. We’re both men, Karasuma. The most that we will need would be lube--”

“I don’t have it.”

Koro shut his lips and he narrowed his eyes at the man beneath him. 

“When was the last time that you had sex?”

“...Two years ago.”

That was before he divorced his ex-wife. Koro was at a loss for words and he took a deep breath, pulling away from the other male. Karasuma sat up on the couch, looking at the other with concern. 

“I’m free next week. If you want to, we can try then.”

“Karasuma, it takes a really long time for men to prepare themselves. We don’t have time to waste. Let’s go, and while we’re at it, we’ll get some other stuff too.”

The assassin took the agent’s hand and pulled him up. Of course being the one who had no experience with the same sex, Karasuma merely followed him as they quickly prepared to leave. Within a couple of roads down, they finally reached a certain back end shop in a department store. The red neon signs and costumes behind the glass just screams that it was a pleasure store. Karasuma didn’t quite know what sort of expression he had to put on as he entered but before he knew it, he was already getting dragged around the aisle like he was shopping for groceries.

“Karasuma, look at this.”

The agent tilted his head to look at the pouch that Koro was pointing at. Except, the pouch did not have the sort of purpose that he’d normally expect. It seems it was made out of candies strung together in the shape of a suggestive undergarment. Karasuma squinted his eyes at the item. He knew there were many whimsical stuff in a sex store but wasn’t this a little too much? Though as he looked at the man beside him, he could suddenly understand why these things were made. Just as he was about to part his lips, a light chuckle came from the man beside him as he placed the suggestive item on its hook.

“I was just kidding. This is kind of embarrassing you know, its like its meant for people who are new to sex and thought that some expired candy can spice things up.”

Karasuma shut his lips immediately. While Koro was trying to pull the agent to look at another interesting item, he found that he couldn’t do so. The agent had stayed rooted in his place, squeezing onto their locked hand.

“Stop grabbing random things and get to the important ones. I thought that you wanted to get that one so I was going to say that I’d...try it...if you wanted to.”

It was embarrassing beyond belief to admit that, to the point that Karasuma looked away. Koro found himself at a loss for words as he gazed at the embarrassed male. Somehow, this side of him is not one that he’d expect him to have. If only he could capture this moment somehow, he thought. But he wasn't mean enought o snap a picture of his lover during times of weakness like this. The former god of death parted his lips and was about to speak when suddenly, he felt a bump by his arm. He turned his head to look at the stranger with blonde hair who had carelessly bumped into him.

“Oh, sorry. This place is a little cramped.”

The smooth voice was sweet and Koro found himself staring at clear blue eyes. Normally, he would be clear-headed and avoid such meetings from happening but what more could he do when they’re merely a few steps away? The assassin squeezed the hand that held his lover as the agent parted his lips.

“...Irina?”

“Hm?”

The blond blinked, seeming confused to be recognized by a stranger. Though as she shifted her sight to the man behind him, he realized that it was none other than her ex-husband.

TO BE CONTINUED.