Flash Fic Challenge – Hearts Aflame

This is a flash fic challenge, I did it, and right away I want to say this has spawned a hell of a plot bunny. This isn’t the last you’re seeing of Leo,
Yuki, and Cain. I got occult detective/paranormal romance, and I so want to get into it. I know how Leo/Yuki came about, I know how Cain got all his stuff … I have so much back story guys! So consider this a teaser.

N.B.: Yuki is genderless, and is referred to with they/them pronouns.


Hearts Aflame

Leo Sakai barely shut the door before the hounds of hell were slamming against it, making it rattle in its frame. He laughed darkly, pressing himself against the door. “Okay, Yuki, now’s a good time to stop being mad at me,” he said.

“Oh, did you two have a fight again?” a voice asked from the shadows.

Leo was startled, but only briefly, and fear quickly morphed into annoyance. “Of course. You stole the Heart of Dagon, didn’t you?”

The supposedly fearsome dark sorcerer Cain Martinez seemed to form out of the shadows, his long black hair covering half his face like a shroud. He was still a goth’s dream, with black eyeliner surrounding his light hazel eye that looked more than touched with gold, and wearing a black duster that was almost more cape like than coat. It was also bulletproof, but most people didn’t know that. “Oh please, do you really think I’m that dumb?”

“At times, yeah,” Leo replied, as the door was thumped and kicked beneath his back. He could feel the thick wood of the door starting to give way under the assault of the crazed people beyond it. They were screeching and speaking something that they probably thought was a language, but wasn’t. That was the whole problem with the Heart of Dagon. The magic it possessed was incredibly powerful, but improperly contain or use it, and it turned everyone within spitting distance into living zombies, insane with the energy to destroy every living thing in their path. One witch had written that it was like turning a person’s brain into angry wasps. And there was no turning it back, no matter how powerful a mage you were.

“Trust me, I wouldn’t touch that thing for all the gold in Laveau’s castle. I just felt the surge of dark energy and came to see what asshole was fiddling with powers way beyond his control. Is that what brought you here, or were you looking for me?” Cain gave him his smug smirk of a smile, which Leo always wanted to punch off his face.

“I think every mystical adjacent person in the tri-state area felt that pulse. I’m surprised we’re the only ones here.” When whatever unlucky, stupid bastard attempted to harness the Heart of Dagon, it sent out a dark magical shockwave that felt like a seismic event to Leo. Yuki felt it even more than he did.

Maybe the rest did the smart thing and ran away, Yuki said.

“So why hasn’t Yuki made an appearance yet?” Cain wondered. “What did you do to piss them off this time?

“What is that supposed to mean?” Leo snapped, as he heard the crack of wood starting to split. “I’m not always to blame.”

Cain laughed, and to really sell it, bent over at the waist, and sounded like he was struggling to breathe. Leo gave him his evilest scowl, but he didn’t see it.

You kind of are, Yuki said. I’m two hundred and twenty years old. I’m beyond this kind of pettiness.

“Except that was a very petty thing to say,” Leo replied, as he felt the door get way too loose in its frame. He turned and quickly backed away from the door, hands up.

Cain finally recovered from his laughing fit, and sighed. “Looks like it’s time to introduce them to the Night Blade.” He pulled out a black sword from underneath his coat. It was actually called The Night Blade, as it was supposedly tempered in demon’s blood, and it was lethal to most mystical things. Leo was pretty sure it was just an enchantment, not that whole demon blood crap, but why ruin a good story with facts? “Are you really going to leave all the fun to me and Leopold, Yuki?”

“The name’s Leo,” Leo snapped. Cain new he hated it when anyone used his full name. It was so old fashioned, dorky, and painfully white.

You’re half white, Yuki said, as the door exploded open, and all the crazed, cursed humans fell into the room. And I suppose I should keep us both in one piece.

Leo could have objected, but didn’t. He wasn’t a slouch as a mage, but even he couldn’t keep up with a two hundred year old kitsune. He felt Yuki as a warmth that seemed to surge up from his chest, and he ceded conscious control of his body to the fox spirit.

It was an awful lot like moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat. He could see everything, and distantly feel his body, but he was no longer behind the wheel. Leo saw his hands crackle with spectral blue energy, and as the first of the Dagon victims came within a foot of him, energy lashed out from his/Yuki’s hand, and the blue fireball took out about half of the crowd of twenty in a single hit. See? That was why he couldn’t compete with Yuki.

The room filled with the wet sounds of a sword cleaving flesh, as Cain got to work, and Yuki used their spectral flame to all but vaporize the remaining stragglers. The older the kitsune, the more powerful they were, and from what Leo had been led to believe, Yuki was actually a fairly young fox spirit. He both did and didn’t want to know how powerful the old ones were.

One of the still living victims veered out of Cain’s direction and lurched towards Leo, but Yuki stilled the white eyed, foaming at the mouth human with a single hand to the forehead. “No,” Yuki said, and the ghostly blue flames seemed to erupt around his head. The spectral fire, especially harmful to anything mystical, ate the man up like he was made of flash paper. Leo had been sharing his body with Yuki for years, ever since they had saved his life, but he had never gotten used to the devastating effect of the fire.

As soon as the last body fell, Cain let out a breath, and sheathed his sword. “So what were the two of you doing here really? Since they were chasing you, I assume you did something to the Heart of Dagon.”

Yuki turned their gaze on Cain, and Leo mentally flinched. Cain played with fire – no pun intended – when he engaged with Yuki in any way. They gave Cain some leeway since Leo and Cain used to be – still were? That was unclear – boyfriends, but Yuki was very protective of Leo. Which was nice, because, from what little Leo understood about what happened the night Yuki possessed him and saved his life, Yuki couldn’t leave him without Leo dying on the spot. Apparently that was the thing with death curses.

But Cain didn’t mind risking the wrath of Yuki, because he could be a real arrogant bastard. “A collector had the Heart stolen from his collection, and hired us to retrieve it before someone was stupid enough to try and use it. We arrived too late to stop it, but I destroyed it.”

And we were hired to retrieve it, Leo said. Mr. Jensen is going to be pissed.

“There was no way to handle it safely after it’s been activated,” Yuki replied. “I don’t care how angry he’ll be. He can take it up with me.”

Cain smirked again. “Oh, so that’s what you were fighting about.”

Let me talk to this smug bastard, Leo said.

Yuki leaned forward, and Leo could almost feel the heat of the glare. Cain, despite his protective layer of smug, flinched and took a step back, reflexively grabbing the edge of his coat in preparation for fleeing back into the shadows. “He forgives. I do not.”

With that threat delivered, Yuki subsided, the warmth flowing out of his head and fingertips and pooling in his chest. Leo felt shunted back into the driver’s seat of himself again, but as always, he was sure it wasn’t an effort on his part. If Yuki wanted to be an ass, they could have controlled his body all the time, but they seemed to have no interest in that. It was all about consent, and Leo knew he’d lucked out. Most creatures that could possess a person weren’t so benevolent.

Leo knew from past experience his eyes glowed with the same spectral blue fire when Yuki took over, so Cain must have known immediately he was back. Still, he didn’t let go of his coat. “You know nothing happened with Casper, right? We just ended up in the Catacombs together. I think he was stalking me, and didn’t want to admit it.”

Leo shook his head. “I don’t care. I don’t even know what we’re doing. So go off to your gothy shadow lurking. I have an angry antiquarian to deal with.”

He started to turn away, but Cain grabbed his arm, pulled him back around, and planted a passionate kiss on him. Leo was actually caught off guard, too stunned to react, and never really had a chance to enjoy it. Cain pulled away, and gave him his nearly insufferable half grin. “Call me if you need help. Or get lonely.” He gave him a wink and stepped back into the shadows, pulling his coat around him and disappearing into the dark. Shadow walking was a neat trick, but the fact that you had to use blood magic to do it put Leo off from ever attempting it. That dark shit never ended well.

I still don’t trust him, Yuki said.

”Neither do I,” Leo admitted. “But he is kind of hot, if you go for goth guys. And I apparently do.”

How sad was it that he was fairly certain his on-again, off -again boyfriend was freelancing for the dark side, and yet he’d still hook up with him in a hot second?


“It’s a rhetorical question,” Leo said, scowling. Yuki couldn’t see it, but they got the feeling, and that was enough.

Sometimes he pined for a normal life. But, when Leo realized how boring that was, he changed his mind. Bring on the strange. At least he was used to it.

And powerful. Very powerful.

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