A/N: Ok. Go back to chapter two. Now read the author's note. Now you have permission to hate me and I totally deserve it. I could explain my life and all that, but I really shouldn't force you to wait even longer reading this than you already have. I give you my sincerest apologies.

So, in the way of the story, things have been pretty hectic (chronologically and character-wise), but hopefully this chapter will start getting things a bit more normal. Two notes on the story. Gozo is Shima's brother who hasn't been introduced yet. Please note this was written before he had a character so if later chapters contradict this I'm sorry. Another thing to note: in this story, Shima has not dyed his hair.

Yukio looked at his desk, and sunk down into his chair with a deep sigh of contentment. The pile of paperwork had actually lessened significantly since he had last seen it, due to the demon fluctuations stopping after the events at the coronation. The demons appeared to have been preparing the kidnapping for some time. Unfortunately, a new pile of paperwork about that very subject was going to be arriving soon, but he wasn't going to worry about that until it came in.

For now, he had the actual aftermath to deal with. The Western Kingdom was without an heir, and an influx of complaints were flowing in from people who were suddenly able to see demons, though fortunately it was only the minor ones that usually floated around Assiah. Several people had been severely injured from the attack, including the boy he had shot. Because he hadn't been able to change the bullets in his gun before rushing in, they had unfortunately been set to do damage to anything they hit, including people.

Every time he closed his eyes, an image of the boy lying covered in blood appeared behind his eyelids. He didn't even remember seeing the boy, as he had been transfixed by the face of the demon he'd been shooting at. He needed to visit the hospital ward, if only to ensure the boy was okay and stop some of the guilt he was feeling.

As he walked into the hospital, Sakaki, one of the nurses, walked over to him. "Can I talk to you?" she asked quietly.

Yukio nodded and followed her as she led him to a spot in the hospital outside of the patients' hearing. "There's something strange about the patient in room 17. He knew what the True Cross Order was, and when he was first carried in, some of our... more disturbed patients began screaming."

"Screaming?" inquired Yukio softly.

"About demons," she clarified, almost too quietly for Yukio to catch.

"You know what you're implying, don't you?" he asked. If the boy was connected to the demons, and had led them to the Western Kingdom, he would be put to death or, if there wasn't enough immediate evidence, he'd be put in captivity and observed for six months. It was a serious accusation.

Uncertainty flickered in the nurse's eyes. Yukio waited silently for her to reply. Finally she dropped her gaze to the ground and spoke. "No. I'm just telling you to be careful. That's all."

Yukio put a hand on her shoulder and gave her a small smile. "Thank you, I will be. She gave him a small relieved smile in return before hurrying away through the hospital doors and into the winding halls of True Cross Academy. Yukio walked slowly to room 17. What the nurse said was worrying, and he was no longer sure how to treat the boy.

The door creaked when Yukio opened it and the figure on the bed turned sharply. He looked young, only 16 or 17, not that Yukio was much older. His dark hair was a tangled mess and in sharp contrast to his pale face. Yukio winced inwardly at the sight of the white bandages wrapped around his chest and the small chunk of bile on the floor.

Yukio cleared his throat. "Good afternoon..."

"Gozo. Shima Gozo," replied Shima.

"You're a Shima?" Yukio asked, startled. It certainly explained how the boy knew what the True Cross Order was, but none of the family had been scheduled to come. "I'll contact your family immediately so they can come see you."

"No!" Shima shouted. Yukio took a step back, surprised by the sudden outburst. "I mean, I ran away. Please don't tell them I'm here." He looked at Yukio with pleading eyes. "The others are all so set on becoming high level exorcists and everyone's so stressed about Renzo's death that the atmosphere there is suffocating."

Yukio nodded thoughtfully. He had heard about Renzo's disappearance. A body had never been found, but he'd been gone long enough to finally be declared dead and Yukio knew Juzo well enough to know what Gozo said about his attitude was true. He had heard a bit about Gozo, but not too much. He knew he was the third of the Shima brothers and did have a tendency to wander. Yukio was busy keeping the order together so he couldn't spend too much time talking to lower ranked exorcists on a personal level, especially if they where never in the same place. He made a mental note to check in with the Shimas about Gozo's location soon all the same.

"Won't your family be worried? Especially after what happened to Renzo?"

Shima shook his head. "I left a note saying everything was okay and that I'd rejoin them soon."

Yukio considered Shima's request. "I'll think about it. I won't have them contacted just yet. How are you feeling?"

Shima looked at him wryly. "Like I was shot."

"I'm sorry about that," Yukio said, once again feeling a prick of guilt. "However, I need to ask you what you remember about last night."

"Not much," Shima replied quickly. Too quickly.

Yukio kept his expression carefully neutral as he began probing deeper. "Do you remember where you were and why you were there?"

"Not really. I've been wandering for a long time and I think I must have hit my head when I fell." Shima looked at him earnestly. Maybe if I had a few days to rest I'd remember."

A sigh slipped out of Yukio's lips as he gave up. Shima wasn't going to give anything away today. "Alright. I'll come see you tomorrow as well. Have a nice rest." He felt Shima's eyes on his back until he shut the door behind him.


Ryuji nearly passed out when he felt the demon kiss him. He tried to shove at the demon's chest to push him away, but the demon held his arms firmly to his sides. It felt disgusting, kissing a demon, and a male one at that. Something slimy brushed at his lips. Ryuji shuddered at the feeling of the demon's tongue and kept his mouth firmly closed.

The demon growled low in his throat and the hands holding Ryuji's arms became unbearably hot. Ryuji opened his mouth slightly to cry out and the demon took advantage, thrusting his tongue into the small gap and sucking one of Ryuji's lips into his mouth before biting down hard. The indignant noise Ryuji made was abruptly cut off when he was suddenly filled with pain.

It was pain like he had never experienced before. One moment it felt like someone was ripping chunks out of his flesh and the next he could easily imagine that his bones were breaking into thousands of small splinters. The demon released his mouth and started biting other places—his neck, his arms, his hands—but the pain of the bites was minimal compared to what Ryuji's body was feeling at the same time. Each bite came with a new kind of pain. It felt like acid burns covered his skin and his lungs were filled with fire that spread to his blood, making it boil. An agonized scream filled the air and it took him a second to realize it was his own.

After what felt like an eternity, a cool and peaceful feeling started to flow through his body, starting with his mouth and gently spreading downward. His body sagged with relief and the screaming quieted. Ryuji started to open his eyes when a jolt of pain worse than the first hit him. All the damage that he had felt previously seemed to repair itself all at once, making every cell in his body hurt at once. It was over in seconds, but he was left gasping and sweating.

A blessedly cold hand brushed his forehead, and he felt a slight pull at his scalp, a feeling that he recognized as his wig being readjusted. He pressed his face into the hand and heard quiet mumbling.

"Wha-what?" he panted, still exhausted from feeling like he died several times over. His mind felt fried.

"You shouldn't have fought it so much. It would have gone faster if you had accepted me into your body thrashing didn't make things easy either."

Ryuji's eyes jolted open at that. "Accepted you into-?"

The demon cut him off. "You're mine now. It's all over for your dreams of escape. I am Rin. Now for the last time, tell me your name."

Ryuji's mouth opened without his consent and six syllables slipped out. "Suguro Ryji."

Rin smiled. "Finally."

"What the hell did you do to me?" Ryuji asked growled. "Why can you control me?!"

Rin held up one pale arm. Blood still trickled out of his wrist. "Isn't it obvious? I put my blood into you. Due to the nature of demonic kings and their consorts, I can now control you from the inside out." Ryuji looked down, sure enough, bites covered his body though most of them looked faded already and only one or two of them still bled slightly. He shifted to get a better look at the ones on his shoulder and the dress he was wearing started to slip off. All the laces had been undone.

Anger replaced surprise and Ryuji lunged at Rin. "You bastard!"

"Stop." Rin commanded, and Ryuji's body froze. His fist was stopped mid-swing along with the rest of him. "Calm down. I didn't do anything like that to you. Why would I?" He leaned close to Ryuji's ear and dropped his voice to a whisper. "Because after all, I know we're both male."

"And who's fault is that?" Ryuji shouted, or would have shouted, if he could have moved his mouth. Rin pulled his face away and stood up. "I'll let you cool down for a while. He walked out of the cell while Ryuji remained helplessly frozen on the floor.

Rin shut the door to the cell and locked it carefully, before turning away and walking down the hallway. Ryuji remained painfully crouched until finally, right before Rin walked out of sight, the demon king snapped his fingers and Ryuji toppled over.

Ryuji sat up and glared at the darkness until it was evident that nothing was coming back. Only then did he start investigating the bite marks to make sure none of them looked infected. "Filthy demon," he muttered. They all looked clean though, including the ones placed right below his hipbones. Ryuji's face flamed. He was going to kill Rin at the first chance he got.

He settled down to rest after he finished investigating the bites, wondering when, or if, Rin would think to bring him food. It wasn't until he was half asleep that he realized, when Rin asked his name, he had given a last name he didn't know he possessed.


Rin slowed once he had left Ryuji's sight. He needed food. The ritual was difficult for him too, though not as bad as it was for the human. He hadn't meant to cause the man so much pain, but he hadn't known what to do. He was new to being a demon king so he had no experience, and he hadn't thought to do certain things beforehand, like loosen the ties on the dress and corset and come up with how to leave the bites on Ryuji's chest and upper legs so Ryuji's gender wouldn't be shown to the coal tars.

Getting the blood to go in was another challenge. Ryuji had been fighting so it was hard for Rin to get enough in each bite and he'd felt guilty each time he added more. He hadn't expected Ryuji to be in that much pain. The stronger a human's willpower was, the harder it was for the blood to merge. He hadn't been able to keep in a quiet apology at the end, but fortunately Ryuji didn't appear to have heard it. Rin couldn't afford to appear weak in front of a human that mentally and physically strong, especially not if those traits were coupled with the rebelliousness he witnessed from Ryuji.

He did have to make sure Ryuji didn't get too badly damaged. The man probably needed food and a decent rest. The wounds would heal themselves within a day thanks to Rin's blood now flowing along with Ryuji's, but Ryuji would still be weak after having to endure the ritual and losing that much blood. He'd have to send some little demons down to check on him, and maybe move him out of the cell to a real bed once he was sleeping.

Ryuji didn't leave Rin's mind during the whole walk to his dining room, and the more Rin thought about Ryuji, the more his mind seemed to drift away from the ritual and to something else. Rin's face turned pink and he sped up again as he finally admitted to himself what it was. For a male, Ryuji sure did have an amazing body.