Title: Love is Bubble 愛は泡沫
A/N: Inspired by Denkousenka's 'Kemono Michi'
The title is based on a doujinshi I REALLY, REALLY want to buy. It's a doujinshi of Tanakaippachi / Trois / "3" (pixiv id 3700417), my favourite Rin/Yukio doujinka, for the Winter 2015 comiket (C89). I so regret having missed it…at that time I was busy with my audit peak, and was crazy with Haikyu fandom; it slipped my mind to check her pixiv for releases in January 2016. If anyone of you readers know where I can get it, please, please tell me.
The story of Tanakaippachi's doujinshi is similar to the premise of this story.
The first time was a coincidence.
"Huh?" Yukio looked up in puzzlement.
The man who talked to him was dressed like the masses of salarymen one can see anywhere in Tokyo; polyester dark suit and striped ties, collared white shirt slightly damp with sweat due to the humidity of the stifling summer evening, so dense it could choke one's breath.
But he had long brown hair with blonde highlights, tied to a low ponytail, and Yukio did not think that was a common salarymen trait.
And his eyes – intense, slanted, foxlike eyes – were eyeing Yukio in a way that made him shudder.
"How much?" The man repeated. "10,000 yen?"
Yukio rose to his feet slowly to make himself feel taller; the downward glance was affecting him more than he'd expected. "I don't think I understand what you're asking."
The man blinked. And took a step back. "Ah, so, you aren't selling? You're just, resting here?"
The bespectacled student nodded hesitantly.
Let's backtrack a bit.
"…Nii-san is not home yet!?"
"…Yes," Nagatomo confirmed regretfully, his gaze downcast. "He's not in school either."
"Of course he isn't!" Yukio remembered clearly the view of his brother's retreating back from the school gates. "He had skipped lessons from lunch break!"
"Don't be so worried, Yukio-kun," the gentle tamer placed one hand on the bespectacled teen's shoulder. "Father Fujimoto, Maruta and Izumi are out there looking for him. They'll find him soon."
"Tou-san is-" Yukio's eyes widened. No wonder they had not been around since dinner. "How long have they been searching?"
Nagatomo's silence was damning.
"Yukio!" the priest called after him as Yukio grabbed the first jacket from the coat hanger near the porch and dashed out, "it's too dangerous for someone your age to be out there by yourself this late!"
"I have my guns with me!" the dragoon managed through his gritted teeth before he disappeared in the darkness.
That was a couple of hours ago.
Apparently, Yukio did not know his Nii-san as well as he'd thought.
(Despite having been in love with him for years.)
And now, here Yukio was, standing in front of the salaryman who was scratching his head as he apologized profusely. "I'm sorry, I just assumed. I did think you look a bit too young, but since you're here-"
Yukio began to look around the park he'd carelessly crashed at, after hours of running around. There were six other men, in groups of two. Each pair was…negotiating, judging by the fingers they were showing each other. One of them was dressed particularly…provocatively, in tight skinny jeans and black wire mesh t-shirt that left nothing to imagination. The slender teen who caught Yukio staring smirked at him, tiny pink tongue flicking the piercing on his bottom lip.
Yukio's face turned bright red.
"Uh, it's, my bad for now being aware of my surroundings," Yukio cleared his throat and hid his face with his hand as he pretended to fix his glasses.
Those foxlike eyes softened. "Let's get you away from here soon then."
Not long after the salaryman said that, it began raining cats and dogs.
"Wah!" The man exclaimed in shock. "Let me lend you an umbrella! My place is nearby. Where do you live?" He guided the teen away with a hand on his lower back.
Yukio was quiet for a while, before deciding that despite the rocky start, this man didn't seem evil. "…Southern Cross Boys' Monastery."
"Oh," something dawned on the salaryman's expression. Some kind of comprehension.
It was gone in the blink of an eye, though. "Thankfully, it's not too far from here. I think the last train has departed."
The building the salaryman was staying in was an old five-storey apartment five minutes' walk away. He didn't insist that Yukio enter his place.
"Here," the man handed Yukio the handle of a transparent umbrella amicably. "Take care."
"Thank you, mister…" Yukio replied, asking for his name so he could return the umbrella.
"I'm Komaeda," his smile widened. "About the umbrella, you don't need to return it."
"But-" Yukio tried to argue. He had been raised to be better. But he was interrupted by a sneeze.
Komaeda laughed good-naturedly. "Go home before you catch a cold." He rubbed Yukio's head, despite being the same height.
"Besides," suddenly, all warmth left those slanted eyes. His dark irises looked as cold as ice. "I have the feeling I'll see you around here again."
"You have this look in your eyes."
Yukio froze, feeling chilled to the bone. "What do you me-"
Komaeda shooed him. "Go, boy."
Yukio obeyed numbly.
Don't let it get into you.
It's just the rambling of someone who knew no better.
(Later, that night as he landed his eyes on his older brother, Yukio threw a punch on Rin's cheek. And chewed him out for making everyone worry about him.
Tou-san didn't scold Yukio for having roamed the streets at night looking for Rin after having been specifically told not to.
But Yukio could feel his gaze burning the back of his neck.)
Yukio's fingers trembled as his eyes traced the kanji on the letter.
Demand for Compensation for Damages
"What is it, Yukio?" Tou-san greeted cheerfully Yukio as he entered the kitchen, "What's with your ashen fa…?"
His eyes fell on the letter.
A tiny frown appeared in his brows, but they disappeared as Yukio slid his gaze to his foster father's face. "Don't worry, Yukio," the tall, skinny bespectacled gun-wielder grinned at the teen, one calloused hand ruffling the brown locks. "The monastery makes enough money from our counselling and exorcism services. Besides, True Cross Order doesn't pay its Paladins pittance, you know!" He pointed at himself with his thumb.
Yukio only smiled weakly.
He knew whenever the adult priests held meetings in the crack of dawn, fingers pressed on pulsing temples as they pored over the books laid all over the dining table, red ink dominating the pages. Yukio knew for a fact that Izumi, Maruta, Nagatomo and Kyodo had not bought new boots in years, and Yukio himself had been mending the wear and tear in his cardigans and shirts and wearing them for as long as they could hold.
Raising two children in Tokyo wasn't cheap.
Raising a demon child who had too much strength than he knew what to do with wasn't cheap.
That day, Yukio only had half a mind on his classes. The other half was mulling over Komaeda's words.
The day after, Yukio left the monastery with the transparent umbrella in his hand, despite weather forecast announcer happily telling the audience that the day would be sunny. When asked, Yukio only smiled politely and answered, "I'm returning an umbrella I'd borrowed in the past. It's long overdue."
Yukio waited in the park he'd stumbled upon a night from forever ago, cold sweat coating his clammy hands as he held the umbrella in a deathly grip. The twink with the pierced lip recognized him, but Yukio ignored his leering. Yukio wasn't even sure if he would see Komaeda. It didn't matter. He would let other men preposition him.
"Well, well," Yukio was lucky (or unlucky) to hear that familiar voice.
"I did say you do not have to return the umbrella, boy," Komaeda looked pleased to see him.
Yukio stood up and held his ground. "Okumura," he looked straight into the older man's eyes as he handed him the umbrella. "Pleased to meet you."
Komaeda's foxlike dark eyes curled into crescent moons. "And me, you."
It was the first night of many.
SO SORRY for my 8-month absence!
M interest in Blue Exorcist is rekindled because I was lucky enough to watch the stage play of the Kyoto Arc. Kitamura Ryo was so good! His Rin was, I daresay, almost perfect (not that I have watched the other 2 stage plays of Blue Exorcist). Kitamura is so pretty, but his Rin is also brash, so endearing and so heart-wrenching in low self-esteem moments. The Shima family was also acted on very well! Miyazaki Shuuto is a great actor, but I...didn't really like his Yukio. His voice isn't Fukuyama Jun's. Fukuyama Jun can manage aggressive and calm at the same time. Miyazaki growled too much. And I didn't quite feel Yukio's emotional struggles as he was facing Saburouta Toudou. May be because the flashbacks in the comic wasn't portrayed on stage. Overall his action scenes were commendable and his limbs are so goddamned wonderfully long haha.
Enough rambling. I don't know how regularly I can write, still, but I'll try updating 'Wired Life' and 'In the Coolness, Gods and Buddha...' as well.