notes – I adore all the girls (and Yukio) and Rin, honestly. The fic is broken up into parts that are 100, 150, 200 and 250 words in total. And Rin/Shiemi bias, oops!

The Thing about Girls

The thing about Shura is that she's one hell of a fighter.

She can pull heavy duty weapons out of the tattoos that ink her stomach and drink enough packs of beer to stack a sturdy tin pyramid. She can do one-hand stands and wield her blade with graceful ease. She can jump and dodge and perform intricate dancing sword styles, and still keep her bikini in place.

Most of all, even though she's a nagging harpy, she bites her lip and pull out all stops, just to rescue him from his own stupidity. He appreciates it, but doesn't say.

The thing about Kamiki is that she's a living contradiction.

The stronger she pretends to be, the weaker she actually is. The more she talks, the less he listens. And just when he doesn't expect anything out of her, she proves him wrong. She's got a fierce temper and an unrivalled pride. She argues and insults more than she actually talks, but two beautiful foxes with pristine fur coats still find something to respect in her. Rin understands, sometimes, when Kamiki concentrates. Her hair frames her face in the right ways and all that's left in her eyes is the fire to fight.

Despite only knowing her for four months, he's already seen her fierce tears and genuine laugh and bright red underwear.

"Look, I'm not scared of you or anything."

And even though she's got one of the sharpest tongues, she's one of the kindest girls he's ever met.

The thing about Yukio is…

Well Yukio isn't exactly a girl, but he sort of acts like one.

His desk is impossibly organized – pencils sharpened perfectly, color-coded files keeping documents in check. Yukio enforces his masculinity by reading shounen manga, but when Rin rummages through the collection, he finds poorly-hidden volumes of some shoujo about fruits and baskets. Rin considers teasing him – but he decides to give Yukio a break, if only because they are brothers with enough issues already.

Sure, they have a little tiff and Yukio aims the warm muzzle of a gun right between Rin's eyes, but when Rin approaches him about the matter later on, in the sanctity of their new room, Yukio is back to his earnest self. Rin can tell when his brother lies and when his brother can't swallow the truth. (You just know, after long fifteen years.)

"I'm different, aren't I?" Rin comments blankly as he prods his ears and flicks a finger at his tail.

His brother walks over, clenching his hands. Rin winces for a punch that never comes.

Yukio irons a fist over the left pocket of Rin's shirt, and they both feel the slow and steady thrum of his heart. "We're still the same in here," Yukio concludes with that same tone of voice he uses in class – methodical, factual, an answer that is only sure and precise.

A wide smile bursts onto Rin's face. He forgets about hiding the sharpness of his canines, just for that moment.

The thing about Shiemi is that she constantly smells of the earth. She has leaves in her hair and dirt under her fingernails and soil on the soles of her shoes. She cries too much and smiles a lot and she talks on and on in the language of flowers. She's slow and gullible and has to stop being so nice to everything with a pulse because that's not very smart. But it's her nature and Rin has learned to handle the way she is happy about the littlest things.

She doesn't mind his pointed ears or his unpredictable tail, or the way he raises his voice when he doesn't comprehend things (which happens a lot, he must confess, but it's not like he's doing it on purpose or anything). She learns that the blueness of his flames are warm but not hot, that when he stares at her it's not because she's bothering him or that there's something stuck on her face.

She still smiles with all her teeth and talks with all her heart; and maybe she's more special than she seems, because she makes him feel less like Satan's son and more like an awkward teenage boy.