Title: Monster

Rating: PG-13, T

Summary: "She thinks that the shadows can hide her, hide the marks of tears upon her face and the way her shoulders tremble, but darkness hides nothing from him now." Toushin Yuusuke fic. Oneshot.

Pairings: Yuusuke x Keiko (though it really could be Yuusuke x Random-Female-Of-One's-Choice, really)

Warnings: Slightly dark. Roundabout mention of sex. Nothing graphic.

Author Notes: This is a plot bunny that refused to let go of my brain. Written in about fifteen minutes. Hopefully this will act as therapy to get the 'fanfiction' section of my brain up and running again.

I like to delve into the darker side of Yuusuke's becoming a demon, and here it is. Hope you enjoy.

At night, she smells of fear.

She thinks that the shadows can hide her, hide the marks of tears upon her face and the way her shoulders tremble, but darkness hides nothing from him now, and he watches her in silence as she curls away from him and releases her fear and loathing in small puffs of silent sobs. Part of him, that new part, the dark being that lurks always now just behind his thoughts, ponders that humans truly are weak if they shed tears for nothing more than this. After all, he has not given her reason to fear.

When in the morning she will berate him for being a lazy sluggard for sleeping past the sun's rise, he will not punish her for her insolence.

When she next makes a meal and he cannot stomach the scent or taste of the 'healthy' tofu she insists upon using, she will yell and call him ungrateful, but he will not discipline her and tell her the true meat for which this new him, this new primal being coiling within him, craves.

When next they quarrel, and she slaps him in her fury, he will not strike her.

The new him is infuriated by this. She does not behave the way a proper mate should. She shows him no deference. At every turn she complains and yells, and even though the few blows she lands do not hurt –or even bruise—it is not for the submissive mate to ever strike the dominant.

Strength rules weakness. Her weakness is to be sheltered by his strength; it is the way things are done.

But though the dark one demands she be disciplined, made to see her place, it will not be allowed.

The dark one stands at the back of his mind, always at the back, because he fights forever to keep it there. He is always between them, between her fragile, simple incomprehension and the wild creature that lurks within him.

When he and she coil together, flesh upon flesh, in heat and sweat, instincts always reach the fore, and it is then that streaks of black ink trace his skin and his breath quickens, and their forms are highlighted by flickers of blue and white that coil over them and around them like ocean waves. This frightens her, and he can feel her heart fluttering within her chest, a frightened bird attempting escape, and the blue and white light shines on her eyes, the eyes of a doe that finds itself pinned by a wolf, and when his mouth finds her neck he cannot help the possessive bite that pierces her pale flesh and releases the sweet fires of her blood into his mouth, and he is lost as the dark one lurches to the fore.

She cries afterward, holding her shoulder where trickles of black still press through her fingers, and she pulls away from his touch, hissing in loathing.

'Monster,' she manages to say. 'Nothing but a monster.'

The dark one is confused and annoyed.

He apologizes, soft whispers of remorse and worry and love, and he is allowed at last to slip an arm around her waist and draw her close, and the scent of her blood excites the dark one even as he promises her over and over, 'never again, never again.'

Never again.

But there is no such thing.

The dark one is always there, always waiting, and when thought and humanity fail, it is always ready to leap forward, eager for a taste of freedom, and now she will not allow him to hold her at night. There is talk of buying another bed, of another apartment even, and this infuriates the dark one like nothing has before, but the smell of fear and the sound of sobs in the night's lonely embrace help to press him back, and he agrees.

His strength is meant to be her shelter. She is his to protect.

Even if he must protect her from himself.


Note: Since Yuusuke is descended from the battle demon clan, human-eating demons, the mention of the meat that the dark one truly 'craves' is meant to refer to human flesh.

Please tell me what you think.