As per usual, I don't own Blue Exorcist.
Satan was a perfect being with many different powers, the textbooks all said. While Rin was, to say the least, still iffy about many aspects of his heritage, he didn't mind his powers anymore. He never did, really.
So, if Satan was like that, he thought, why should he be limited to using the blue flames? Maybe he had other powers that he didn't know about. What if those powers were super cool, too?
Without Yukio knowing, (his brother would just protest) Rin would train. He would think of powers and experiment.
A lot of things were a no-go. Disappointingly, Rin realized he could not teleport. One time he was able to knock something over with his mind, but any further attempts at telekinesis resulted in either nothing, or that particular object burning to cinders. Usually the latter.
Rather than trouble himself with that particularly unwieldy power, he tried new ones. He tried turning into Yukio, and nothing happened. He tried turning into Mephisto's dog form, and nothing happened. He tried turning into Kuro.
That ended, surprisingly, in success. Blue smoke surrounded him, his body was gripped and compressed by a powerful force, and when the cloud disappeared, everything around him was a lot larger.
"Coooooooool! Yes!" Rin skipped back to the roof door and tripped over himself.
He had four legs, he remembered. Not two. It took him a few seconds to adjust walking on all fours.
He went down to the 6th floor to find Kuro and freak him out. But first he inspected himself in one of the bathhouse mirrors.
A cat with gray-blue fur, black stripes, and unnaturally bright sapphire eyes stared back at him. His fully black tail whipped with irritation. He hadn't turned into Kuro at all, he thought. Just a random cat.
"How'd you get in here, kitty?" a voice came from behind him.
Rin looked back at and almost answered, but then he imagined Yukio's reaction if he told him.
"You shapeshifted?! On purpose?!" Yukio would yell.
His brother had only recently allowed him to use his flames and his sensory abilities. Adding another power would repeat their arguments all over again, and Yukio was already becoming more unwound by the day. So Rin played dumb and answered his question with a simple "meow."
"Well you can't be in here," Yukio told him. "We can keep cats, but Kuro might hate you."
No, Kuro would be fine with it if he knew it was Rin. But he wasn't about to tell Yukio that.
Rin walked along the ledge. Yukio followed him, grabbing at him. Rin jumped out of his hands and ran away. Yukio chased, yelling "Get back here kitty!"
Rin ran into their dorm room. Kuro, asleep on Rin's bed, opened one eye. He inspected the new arrival.
"H-" Rin started.
Yukio burst through the door. Rin fell silent.
((THIS IS MY TERRITORY!)) Kuro yelled as he hissed at Rin. He jumped off the bed and enlarged himself. From Rin's point of view, he was even more gigantic than usual. But Rin sat still, unintimidated.
Kuro growled deeply. Yukio grabbed Rin while he was distracted.
"Stupid cat!" Yukio said, cradling him. "Kuro, I'll lock him out, don't worry."
"Mrowwwwwwww" Rin moaned, displeased.
'Don't kick me out of my own house, moles!' Rin wanted to say.
Nah, he'd just re-enter and explain things to Kuro while Yukio wasn't around. No big deal.
Yukio plopped the cat down on the front porch and closed the door.
Rin sat in front of it. Then he realized he couldn't turn the doorknob. After a few moments trying, he realized he didn't know how to turn back to normal either.
'Dammit!' Rin thought.
He meowed loudly at the door.
Seconds later, Yukio reopened it. Rin tried to enter, but Yukio held him back.
"Kuro will be mad if I give you his food."
"Well, he never eats it himself." Yukio shrugged. He closed the door. Several minutes later, he returned with milk and a bowl of cat food.
"Here you go." Yukio patted the cat and scratched him under the chin. "I'm sorry we can't keep you." He smiled.
Rin, stunned by the moment of touch, and seeing his brother more relaxed than he had been in months, fell silent. Yukio patted him some more. Then his brother's hands fell to the side and he watched Rin with a smile on his face. The one he normally reserved for Shiemi.
Rin stared back.
'That smile's creeping me out, dude,' he thought.
"Aren't you hungry?" Yukio asked.
'No, I'm not,' Rin thought.
He looked down at the milk and cat kibble. Was he expected to eat this?! From then on, he'd feed Kuro at the table. This was humiliating.
"Meow," Rin looked expectantly up at Yukio.
"You can't go inside," Yukio sternly asserted, adjusting his glasses. "Anyway, it would be better if someone else took you in. Angeline-sensei might, although she also owns a cat already-"
'Angeline-sensei, isn't that cat scarf lady?! No! I'm not going to be her pet!' Rin ran off.
Yukio sighed and went back inside.
Rin ran up the hill, heading toward Mephisto's mansion. Mephisto would teach him how to transform back. He caught a trolley headed up the hill, and squeezed in before the door closed. People stared. He allowed them to reach out and pet him, enjoying the touch and basking in the attention.
"He's so friendly," a woman said as she scratched him behind the ears.
"Let me have a turn," a man beside her said.
All of them could have turns. He felt at peace like this. Right now, there was no distance between him and anyone else. He felt wanted, something that was still sorely lacking outside of cram school.
"Kitty!" he heard a little girl cry. "Kitty kitty, here kitty kitty!" she beckoned to him.
"Tsuku- Tsukiko, other people are petting the kitty," Rin heard Izumo say. There was the slightest bit of disappointment and self restraint in her voice, but Rin couldn't figure out why.
'Izumo!' He hadn't seen her since….that happened. Shortly after they saved her, she stopped coming to cram classes. Shiemi knew why, but the blonde had kept quiet about it. Rin wanted to bring her back to school. As soon as the other people let go of him, he jumped out of their laps and into Izumo's seat.
The other girl, Tsukiko, looked a lot like her, he realized.
He let Tsukiko coo and pet him. Izumo stared at him. She bit her lip, and her hands shook, crumpling a vertical envelope in her hands.
Did Izumo hate cats or something? Rin wondered as he wandered over into her lap.
"Heeeeeeee!" Izumo gulped and blushed as Rin sat down on her legs.
'Don't hate me, we're friends aren't we?' Rin thought with satisfaction. Unfortunately, he couldn't talk in a crowded place like this.
"Cu- Cu- Cu-" Izumo squealed before covering her mouth.
"Lad- Um, big sis-, can we keep her?!" Tsukiko asked.
"If-If your mom and dad let us." Izumo looked at her sister and gave off a goofy smile. "L-L-L-Let's take her back after I hand in my resignation letter to the headmaster, OK?"
'Resignation!?' Rin thought, gaping at Izumo. Then he gazed at the manila envelope. Why would she resign? He wouldn't let her resign.
The trolley stopped and Rin grabbed the envelope in his mouth. He leapt off her lap and dashed through the door and the Kamiki sisters rushed after him. He jumped on the wall and dropped it off the side. The smallest blue flare he could muster incinerated the contents, just to be safe.
Izumo peeked over and saw nothing. No flames, no letter either.
"The letter is gone. It'll take forever to find it again. This is annoying." Izumo sighed.
Rin jumped down from the railing and Izumo approached him. She looked around, confirming the area was deserted. Only Tsukiko was around.
"But it's okay because you're too cuuuuute! You're soo cuuuuuute!" Izumo blushed and held him in her arms.
Rin didn't try to resist as she picked him up and rubbed her cheek against his. Izumo constantly repeated the mantra of 'you're so pretty, you're so pretty' while she rubbed his other cheek with her finger. Rin was stuck between wondering just what had gotten into her, and enjoying all of the physical contact from a girl his age. He liked it so much he started purring. He didn't even began to realize how awkward it all was, because this was the first time he had ever been in such close contact with a girl.
"I'm gonna take you back home and introduce you to my new parents and then we'll write another resignation letter together, okay Lady?" Izumo cooed as she scratched his chin.
"That's not fair, I wanted to pick a name!" Tsukiko interrupted.
"Don't quit cram school!" Rin, as a cat, yelled.
"Eh?" Izumo's eyes were as wide as coke bottles. She cleaned out her ears.
"A talking kitty cat!" Tsukiko jumped up and down. "That's so cool!"
"This is a demon," Izumo sighed. "A cat sidhe," she continued as she started to scratch him behind the ears again.
"Yes, you're a cute widdle cat sidhe, yes you are-" Izumo sung.
"It's Rin! Rin Okumura!"
Izumo stopped coddling him immediately, her enthusiasm replaced with icy rage. "Oku..mura?" She held him over the ledge, holding him over by a single leg. Several hundred feet of empty space lay under them. "You made me do embarrassing things," she seethed.
"Izumo, stop! Stop!" Rin clawed into her arms, holding on for dear life.
"Ow!" she shrieked and put him down, on the safe side of the ledge.
"That was really scary!" Rin breathed heavily.
"You should have told me you could turn into animals!" Izumo shouted, frantic, and embarrassed. She held her injured arm close to her chest.
"I didn't know until today!"
"If you tell anyone what you just saw I'll kill you! I'll drop you over a ledge for real!"
"Tell them you actually like animals? Why would I make a point of talking about that?" Rin responded.
"Anyway change back! Stop taunting me!"
"Sorry, I don't know how!"
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"This is my first time doing this," Rin shrugged. "I was going to go ask the headmaster how to turn back…"
Izumo narrowed her eyes. "Why him?" she said skeptically.
"Don't be mean to Rinocat!" Tsukiko interrupted. "You were mean." Tsukiko picked him up.
"Don't worry. I'll be nice to you and protect you. They say she's my sister." Tsukiko reassured him.
"…Ah, Tsukiko. I'm sorry. I won't be mean to the kitty again." Izumo reassured her little sister. "As long as the kitty doesn't do something strange or gross to you…" she warned.
"What the hell kind of creep do you take me for?!" Rin shot back.
"A creep that lets people he doesn't know stroke and touch him everywhere."
"I'm a cat right now, I can't help it if people start touching me randomly! Anyway I need to go-"
"No!" Tsukiko insisted. "Live with us!"
"No, don't -keep- me!" Rin protested. "I'm not really a cat!"
"Please- Help me make Tsukiko happy…." Izumo said quietly. She picked Rin up again, and he tensed. "Or I will make your life a living hell."
Rin was about to argue with Izumo, but he stopped. Izumo had such a sad look in her eyes, despite being angry. "….You're…." Rin observed. She was willing to bend over backwards for her sister to accept her. What happened between the two of them?
The two of them managed to haul Rin back to their house, taking the tram back down to the foot of the hill. Curious to learn more about Izumo's current life, Rin stopped struggling. They caught another line toward East True Cross, took it for a few stops, and walked five blocks until they found a five story mansion, western style, and beige with a shaded front patio. Tsukiko dragged him in. Her mother was in the kitchen, and her father was sitting on the couch, reading a newspaper.
"Daddddddddyyy Mommyyyyyyyy we found a kitty!" Tsukiko said.
"No." Their answer was immediate.
"Tsukiko pouted her lip. "But… He talks, and stuff," she said as a few tears welled up in her eyes.
"Tsukiko, honey, cats don't talk." Their mother poured herself a glass of water.
"But he talks! He's super special!" Tsukumo protested.
"Dear, if you prove the cat can talk you can keep him, but until then-"
Rin looked back at Izumo, who shook her head. Then at the mother, who stared directly into his eyes.
"I can talk." Rin said.
Water splashed on the floor in the kitchen. Their mother's jaw must have fallen down too. She gaped, silently. Her husband wasn't handling it much better. Izumo was outraged.
"Well, don't! What happened to not telling normal people about these things?!" Izumo yelled.
"Well there's no point, right?" Rin replied. "Was I just not supposed to talk even though I can?"
He turned back to the mother, who hadn't moved an inch.
"Actually, can I borrow your clothes? Once I figure out how to change back, I'll need them. I'm not actually a cat." Rin said.
"Will you be…ah….staying?" Izumo's mother asked.
"Izumi, who is this? A new demon familiar of yours?" her father asked.
Izumo sighed. "He's a completely harmless, idiot demon." Then her voice softened. "I know him… He's…a friend."
The father sighed, before folding his newspaper, and putting it down on the coffee table. "You yourself know your situation better than any of us. It's fine if you trust him, but please be careful for your sister's sake too."
"I know. There are a lot of people out there that are dangerous traitors, but, he's… He's proven himself."
"Wait, Izumi?" Rin asked.
"My name is 'Izumi Takara' now."
"Eh." The same name as that puppet kid in their class? The same name as one of the monks that used to live with him? "Eh?!" Rin exclaimed. "Then we're going to have two Takaras in our class!"
"I'm not going back to cram school." Izumo insisted.
"Why not? What's going on with you?"
"Just entertain Tsukiko. I'm going to get you clothes."
"Of course! clothes!" The mother chimed in.
When Rin said "clothes," he HADN'T meant pink frilly cat dresses, necklaces, bow ties, party hats, or sunglasses. Tsukiko and her mother took them into Tsukiko's bedroom, fit him into her doll's clothes, and set him on her coffee table. They jumped at the chance to play dress-up with an unusually cooperative cat. Izumo and their father had joined them, watching. When Izumo's expression went from frustration, to relaxation, to utter laughter, Rin decided it wasn't so bad to let her family do what they wanted.
"Can you do anything else, Mr Demon?" their father asked. "Like turn people into toads?"
"Dunno. Never tried." Rin teased as he inspected himself in a mirror.
"I like this! This looks cute!" he declared as he waltzed around on the table. Now even their father was clutching his stomach with laughter.
"Hey, I want to try it! Turning things into frogs. Do you guys have anything I can practice on?"
The hint of nervousness that ran through the parents' faces told him he should stop flaunting his powers. Even if Izumo's new father seemed to know about demons, the existence of the supernatural still seemed to scare him. That was natural, Rin's powers did that to most people. Even Godaiin didn't know he had them, and he left it that way for a reason. The giddiness left him, instead, everything just became awkward.
"I need real clothes!" Rin said. "I can't play around forever. Yukio's going to notice."
"Hahahaha, yes!" Izumo's father laughed, from nervousness now, as he got up to fetch Rin a Hawaiian T-shirt and tan khakis. Tsukiko took the clothes off (not before their mother took a picture) and Izumo shoved Rin into the bathroom with her father's clothes.
Rin wanted to keep the sunglasses, so Izumo threw the sunglasses in with him. She sat down by the door, and talked to him through the thin barrier.
"Can't you just go home now?" she asked.
"Like I said, Yukio will get mad if he realizes I've transformed, and he kicked me out when he thought I was just a cat."
"Just tell him. He has no reason to be mad about something like that. Aren't you just imagining things? He at least knows you, he knows about you! You grew up together! You got the happy family! Can't you talk it out with him?!"
"No, I can't! Izumo, I don't know a lot about you right now. But there's also a lot you don't know about me, especially not about me and him." How was he supposed to explain all of his problems to her? Even though he trusted her, and she was the first person to talk to him, he never told her.
Izumo seemed surprised when she spoke again. "You were hiding things from the rest of us? You?"
"I don't like talking about it," Rin told her. It was no one else's business in the sense that he felt no one wanted to hear it, and on top of that, unpleasant for him to admit. "But I trust you."
Izumo shuffled on the other side of the door. She gripped her hands "You really can't go home like this, can you? I'll… listen, then."
"Yukio has always hated the fact I had Satan's flames. When he finally decided to be honest about that, we just yelled at each other, and I couldn't convince him to think anything differently. I need to accept them myself, but to him, that's just becoming 'more and more Satan's child,' and he's going to continue acting like it's dangerous. So if I go back home and admit I have a new power, he'll get irritated even more."
"So he has a problem with your powers. Maybe he'll just come around like everyone else in class did."
"No, he won't. He's always known what I am, and he was good to me, even though he hid everything. But that was before Satan possessed my dad." Should he really talk about this? Should he really tell her? Her mother died in the exact same way. But once he had started, he found it hard to stop. "Dad killed himself to drive him out. But Yukio doesn't know that, he thinks the flames killed him. That's where most of the problem is." He couldn't really blame Yukio, and he wanted a good relationship with his brother. It was the closest relationship he had for most of his life. "I'm happy for what I have, but my brother and I don't have the kind of loving relationship you see in stories anymore. Yukio's all I have left, and he's treated me better than anyone else. But I never had any friends before cram school. That's not hard to do. And now he's pulling away from me, and I don't know anything about him anymore. I don't know what his life was like, and I don't know what's bothering him right now. He's hiding things from me. And I hate it."
Izumo didn't answer.
Rin regretted it instantly. He shouldn't have told her any of that after all. Everything he said was just a harsh reminder to her. She didn't seem like the type to be interested in others. Was she even still there? "Izumo?" he pawed at the door.
"At least your brother remembers you," she muttered.
"Tsukumo barely knows who I am. I only get to see her because they adopted me too, I don't even understand why. It's so much extra effort for them. The headmaster must have said something. I'm nothing to them. When Tsukumo looks at me, all she sees is a stranger."
"So that's why you were bending over for her," Rin said. That was why Izumo was so determined to make a good impression on her.
"Isn't that natural? When I gave her back her doll, she didn't know who I was. After that, I should have moved on with my life." Izumo paused. "But I couldn't. I kept using the key to come to her house, and I'd watch her play from a distance. I'd sit by the shed while she'd water the flowers or play ball in her yard. It's dumb. Eventually she and her mother found me sitting by the shed. When that happened, I made such an embarrassing scene of myself. At first, Tsukumo's mother didn't like me very much, and Tsukumo got scared because I kept coming around. Scared, you get it?!"
"I understand, you know. I'm Satan's child. If Yukio hadn't know anything about this world, that could have happened to me."
Izumo huffed through the door. "But it didn't. It's not the same. To them, I was just some random stalker. A creep like him. But maybe it was because I looked so pathetic that she gave me a chance."
"I cried, okay?! If her dad hadn't come along and saw my key, I'd have never been able to see my little sister again!"
"I see… But it's good that he found you. Now you're part of the family too."
"Yeah," Izumo's voice on the other end was muffled. "That's true, isn't it," her voice trailed off. "It's been so long since I've had a family. I don't even know what to do."
The two of them didn't talk for several minutes after that. Izumo was left to gather her own thoughts. She had thought Okumura was the happy-go-lucky idiot in the class. That's how he always acted, and that's how he continued to act when everyone else realized who he was. What kind of idiot doesn't get phased by the fact that no one wants him around? That went for him, Moriyama too. He's just an idiot, he's unphasable, and something was wrong with his head. That's what she thought for the longest time. That's why she had always assumed both of them had some support or something in place. Moriyama, no Shiemi, at home, and Okumura with his brother.
She hugged her knees, listening to the sound of Okumura energetically cursing. His last attempt to change back ended in failure.
"How can you act like that, then? Your father died!" Izumo said.
"It wasn't anyone's business, right?" Rin echoed back.
True, it wasn't. He, like her, kept his business to himself. "Even so… You never kept your distance from everybody."
"It gets old- Crap, no go. People called me a monster for 15 years. I've had enough of that. So I wanted to try being nicer and making friends. When I released my powers, it was easier, like a lot of pent up aggression was let out. For dad's sake, it was easier. But I had to force myself for a while."
'Everyone's here for you, your friends too.' Izumo remembered her mother say. And for that reason, she had been trying harder to trust others.
Okumura wasn't like them. He was like her. But how could she even admit that? She was trying to be more honest, but even with Shiemi, it was hard to keep doing it. Like Okumura, she had partially done it for her mother's sake. Okumura was kind of admirable, with how convincingly he pulled it off. He was that sort of admirable person, she thought as a heat ran up her face. He was really stable, and even so she got close to him before. He didn't make fun of her for that, either. If that had happened while he was in human form…. As she imagined the things she did to him earlier that day, except with Rin in human form, she blushed harder and held her cheeks. Why was she imagining that? Why was she enjoying it? No she did not like- Did not want to- What she did want to do was go to the bathroom and splash some cold water on her face.
"Come on, work!" Rin complained.
The person whose face she feared seeing the most while in this state already occupied the bathroom.
A half hour later, Rin managed to turn back, and emerged from the bathroom, sunglasses on his head. He and Izumo shared an awkward stare. He could tell there were red circles under her eyes. She looked so down, but as soon as he made eye contact with her, she looked away angrily. At the same time, a blush crept up the corners of her cheeks.
Tsukiko came back into the room, and stared back into the bathroom, and concluded that Rin was formerly the cat. Her face fell when she figured out her "cat" was gone. Once she noticed Rin's tail, however, she shrieked with delight. "Oh wow! You have a tail!" she exclaimed.
Rin swished it around for her and she made noises of admiration.
"Cool, right?" he said.
"I want to hold it!"
"That would be weird, so no." Izumo interrupted. Her blush became redder and she covered her face, flailing around. While she did entertain fantasies of touching it herself. Of touching- No! she told herself. 'Stop thinking things like that!' What she had done to Okumura before was bad enough. She shook her head back and forth.
Rin wondered what her deal was. Maybe she was just embarrassed about what she said earlier. "Izumo," Rin kneeled down in front of her and grabbed her hands. "Don't quit cram school, please!"
Izumo screeched, took her hands away, and held them close to her chest. She breathed in and out, in, out, to regain her composure. "There is no point being there anymore." Izumo said flatly, once she had enough self-control to speak.
"Because I don't need to be an exorcist."
"Don't you want to?"
"I never did." She rose to her feet.
Rin grabbed her arm.
"Please!" he begged. "Shima's not here anymore! I don't want to lose you too! You're my friend! Without you, class will be so empty and I can't stand it."
"Why would I still go to school if I'm not part of the Illuminati anymore?!"
"Because… don't you have people you want to protect? Your sister, right? Something could happen to her!"
Izumo was struck speechless. "Fine!" Izumo said. "I won't quit. But only for Tsukumo's sake! It's not because I like you or anything!" she said as she looked away.
"Izumo….thank you so much!" Rin was about to cry tears of happiness. Though why did she say that, when she admitted they were friends before?
"Whatever…" She walked away from him. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Rin managed to sneak out of their house without alerting Izumo's parents to his presence. Was that another superpower? He'd rather not talk to them after what happened…
Dusk happened early in the winter, and it was nightfall by the time he reached home. Yukio was waiting by the door.
"You're late. What were you doing?" he asked.
"Just hanging out," Rin lied.
"You have homework to do."
"I can't concentrate on it, so there's no point."
"So you play around by roaming around the streets as a cat?"
"I couldn't turn-" Rin turned to look at Yukio.
His younger brother was -livid.- Rin gulped.
"If you had….uh…let me back in….then maybe…."
"DON'T JOKE! With every power you get, you become less and less human-"
"I get it, alright!"
"No you don't!"
"I get that you're not gonna budge! That's why I never said anything! You're being annoying recently, can't you drop whatever your issue is?"
"Maybe my -issue- is you, crazy or dead because you overused your powers!"
Rin stared back at him. He didn't get it, no matter how much Rin tried to explain. The more comfortable he was with -not- being human, the less likely that would happen. Frogs, huh? He pointed at Yukio.
"Bibbidy bobbidy boo," he said.