After five days of searching, Yako had managed to find an apartment. A bit closer to the office than she would like, but every time she looked further Neuro would sabotage the process somehow. The one place she did manage to get was even smaller than the office's attic space. But it was hers and it was separate and…

Yako stared from where she stood in the doorway. It was back.

The nest that is. The nest that Neuro had built. He had apparently moved it from the office to take over her new apartment.

Well shit.

Think positive. She knew that the nest, from the few night she slept in it (alone! Thank you very much!), was extremely comfortable. And it wasn't like she expected to have a place that was demon-proof anyway. (Probably the only place in the universe Neuro couldn't get into would be beyond the Pearly Gates.) So if all he had done so far was to provide her with a place to rest then she'd be thankful.

Now to cross her fingers and hope that was all that he had done.

With a sigh she hug her bag on one of the protruding thorns, and slipped off her jacket to hang it on another. She had met up with some of her old school friends for dinner; so she absently went through her evening routine before falling into the nest to sleep.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow she'd talk to Neuro about the nest situation.


The next morning Yako awoke to fingers combing through her hair, and for a brief, disorientating moment she thought it was her mother waking her up for school. But the illusion ended when there was a sharp yank! against her scalp.

She sat up and almost based foreheads with Neuro.

"Morning, Louse!" he grinned, reaching out again to smooth down her hair.

"What are you doing?" She scooted backwards, yelping when her shoulder hit one of the spikes in her nest.

"We've got a case!" Neuro announced, sitting across the nest from her. He was dressed in his usual suit, but the jacket and shoes seemed to be missing. Yako tried not to focus on how…casual he looked, almost… approachable.

Well. Tried being the keyword.

And maybe it was just part of his demonic scheming. Because she let her guard down the tiniest bit and pushed his odd wake-up call to the back of her mind.

"Why didn't you just call me then?" Yako asked, yawning and stretching now that the adrenaline was dissipating. Neuro's gaze dropped down as she stretched before he turned an innocent look back up.

"Because this case requires a certain dress code." He gestured to the garment bag hanging by her front door. "Didn't you say we're partners now? I'm assisting you in preparing."

"Okay…" Yako hummed, staring at him suspiciously. "In what ways are you assisting me?"

Neuro hummed back mimicking her and she rolled her eyes. He watched her climb out of the nest with no further commentary and Yako retreated into the bathroom with the mysterious outfit to prepare for her day.

He better be "assisting" by making sure she has a proper breakfast before work.

When Yako emerged she was pleasantly surprised to find that Neuro had not destroyed her apartment but had apparently brought her a fast-food breakfast. She eyed the two bulging paper bags on the table with longing. She knew Neuro well enough that there was only a 50/50 chance that there was actually eatable food in the bag.

"Breakfast to go?" She questioned. Neuro was standing at her dressing, investigating her meager collection of beauty supplies.

"Sit down and eat, you heathen," he replied with a smirk. "Our ride will find traffic rather…troublesome today."

"What did you do to Godai's car?"

A tube of mascara hitting her forehead served as a reminder not to question Neuro and Godai's relationship. At least not when transportation was involved.

Suddenly determined to enjoy her junk food breakfast Yako sat down at her tiny table and began to eat.

She had only gotten about halfway through when she felt Neuro standing behind her. She made to turn to face him but a clawed grip on her scalp stopped her. "Stay still."

She gulped down her mouthful of food. "I'm not finished though!"

"By all means keep stuffing your face, but keep the rest of your head still or I will disconnect the two." Neuro commanded, sounding rather cheerful. His lightened his painful grip and, very disconcertingly, began to comb his fingers through her hair.

"What are you doing?"

She could hear his grin. "Styling."

"W-why are you styling my hair?" She yelped as something cold and damp touched her scalp. "And what are you putting in it?"

"Because it looked like something a hell-beast vomited after a ten-day feeding frenzy. And I'm using mousse, but I can use this disembodied hand I found as a clip if you'd prefer it up." He sounded so casual about it that Yako shuddered. It felt nice having him touch her hair.

She fully acknowledged that it would probably end up horrendous by the end, but except for the occasional scratches of his claws it was nearly enjoyable.


"You're being nice." Yako muttered. For as odd as his behavior was she had worked with him long enough to realize the meaning underneath. The suit jacket and skirt he brought her was something out of her own closet, something she had learned not to mention after the first few times he had brought her a "uniform".

"What? But Sensei!" Neuro intoned, using his simpering kiss-ass voice. "Can I not prove my eternal devotion by assisting you in your preparation for our day of mystery solving?"


"Then how shall I prove the level of my…affection, sensei?" He had dropped the playful, facetious tone, and the deep purr he adopted made her shiver.

"I don't know!" Finished with her meal she squirmed out from his touch. She stood and turned to face him, he was smiling at her, and it wasn't his facetious 'innocent' smile either. The strand of hair accidentally sheered by him tossing scissors at her hadn't stayed in place, falling across her face when she turned. He reached out to tuck it back behind her ear.

She felt frozen in place by his gaze on her. He only smirked and stroked her hair one last time before turning suddenly and heading towards the door.

"Let's go. I'm salivating for this mystery."

Yako tried to convince herself that the reason her heart was pounding was because he must have something planned.

Tried being the keyword.