Yello~

Just need to say that this is taking place AFTER the incident in Kyoto and everyone has gotten over the fact that Rin's Satan's son and all that. Because that's how I want it… (and this was published before their forgiveness.)

Disclaimer: I do not own Ao No Exorcist.

koNEKOmaru:

Everyone knew that Konekomaru had this thing for cats. Whenever he saw one on the street he'd stop and pull out a cat toy, laughing as he played with the animal until Bon or Shima told him to hurry up. In which he'd have to reluctantly say goodbye to his feline friend, stuff the cat toy back in his bag, and jog over to his friends. Sometimes a cat would watch him go with its tail standing stock straight and a longing look in its eye before taking off. It was in such situations where the bald monk would hesitate briefly to marvel at the wide eyes, flicking ears, and most of all, the long tail.

Konekomaru always loved how a cat's tail could convey its emotions; it was so much easier to read than a regular human being's facial features.

Recently he had met Rin's cat sith, Kuro, in his stay at what Bon deemed to be a haunted hotel but was really the Okumura twins' dorms. It was the same place where they had taken the exwire exam and he couldn't help but feel a tad bit nervous whenever he walked past the room where they had all been attacked. The door had already been replaced but bits of wood were still scattered over the floor. Konekomaru figured that Rin had managed to defeat the demon who he'd lured away with his flames that night (remembering how the boy had been reluctant to tell his friends just how he'd defeated the monstrous being).

He'd lured it away to protect them, putting his life on the line just as he had done a few days ago. Only this time Rin paid the price.

Two broken ribs, a ruptured lung, a hunk of flesh ripped from his left side, three silver-bullet wounds: one on his right arm and two in his shoulder. Even worse, Rin had overused his flames during his fight with the King of Decay and now had barely enough to heal himself with. Bon was furious, raging over the other's reckless abandon like a screeching and steaming kettle. His temper was suddenly quenched, however, when Yukio had told them with a straight, completely stoic expression that his elder brother had developed a fever and since his immune system had lost its flame there was a decent chance of Rin not making it. In that moment Konekomaru had never before regretted ever hating a person so much. He'd called Rin a monster, openly feared him and despised everything the blue haired demon was. The pain swirling in the sapphire depths that were Rin's eyes had been blatantly clear to the bald monk but he refused to acknowledge the so human reaction.

What was worse- if that was even possible at this point- was the hospital could not take Rin in as it was too full. There was simply no room in the large expanse that was True Cross Academy's resident medical center. They were completely filled with the casualties in Kyoto, something that Rin probably would feel to be his own fault as much as Bon did.

Quietly, Konekomaru tip-toed into the Okumura brother's room and the sound of a rhythmic heart monitor reached his large ears. Yukio hadn't wanted to put his elder brother into a different room, wishing to be nearby in case something happened. Currently Yukio was downstairs preparing a special IV with the other resident demon, Ukobach. Konekomaru still had intentions of asking the Okumura brothers about the odd demon and it's strange quirks for cooking but pushed that aside for later.

Taking a seat next to Rin he observed the struggling appearance of a teen who was fighting an intense number of wounds on a low immune system. Sweat fell down the elder Okumura's furrowed brow, crawling across his feverish blush. A breathing mask fed the pale youth much needed oxygen and bandages wrapped white arms around his bare torso. Not for the first time guilt tore through Konekomaru's heart and he found distraction in Rin's limp tail.

It was a beautiful dark blue-black that he had never seen in any of the cats he'd ever encountered. Not that he was comparing Rin to the felines he loved so much, of course. At the end of the long appendage dangled a tuft of silky-soft fur. Konekomaru recognized this point as the place where the blue-eyed teen's bright flames emanated from and curiosity gripped him. Placing a hesitant finger underneath the ball of fur he felt it twitch slightly and found himself admiring how sensitive Rin's tail was.

Gently he brought the appendage onto the bed and laid it down carefully. A strange ripple passed through it, however, when he slipped his finger out from under the beautiful tail. Wonderment speared through his eyes and traced a finger from the angel soft tip down to where it met the darker blue stalk. Due to his intense concentration on the mysterious cat-like limb Konekomaru missed the shudder that passed through the probably-older-teen. Rin's tail was so much like that of an everyday feline that one may find playing the part of a pet or wandering the streets of Tokyo. When the monk stroked the fur against its natural growth Rin let out an uncomfortable growl that whispered faintly past his lips and if Konekomaru's ears were any smaller he may not have heard it at all.

Needless to say he immediately found the direction of the tail's natural growth a second after. Running soft hands along it over and over he was slightly surprised when he received a barely audible purr. The surprise on his face turned into a soft smile full of dripping guilt and he stopped stroking Rin's tail to look at his face.

"I really am horrible, aren't I?" he murmured more so to himself than to Rin. "I came here to apologize to you for being such a coward and saying all those horrible things to you but I can't even do that much," the aria-in-training lowered his head in shame.

"No need," whispered a ragged voice, coarse from disuse. Konekomaru jumped and looked over to Rin who must have woken at the sound of his voice. There was weary understanding in those twin, blue pools of light but Konekomaru could not seem to get the startled look off his face at being caught red handed. At doing what even he wasn't quite sure but he felt as if he was a kid stealing from the cookie jar and his mother had found him in the middle of it.

"Don't apologize, did nothin' wrong," Rin rasped and Konekomaru could tell the words were hurting his friend.

"…Ok Okumura-san, thank you," Konekomaru bowed his head a little and then said, "You should rest, Okumura-san. Please, so you can get better." You look like you're going to die any second- with a quick shake of his head the bald boy dislodged any further thought than that.

Rin seemed to hear the unspoken words and managed a soft chuckle. "Same to you…" He wanted to tell the boy sitting at his side how ridiculous he looked with those big ears and matching blue-purple rings beneath his tired eyes but he found darkness licking at the corners of his vision and was consumed before he could say anything further.

Konekomaru stayed by his friend's side for a moment and it wasn't until Kuro moved from his curled position in the crook of Rin's arm to nudge his hand that he got up. As he left the room with quiet footsteps he recalled the second reason why he loved cats so much;

No matter what, they were always there to loyally wait for you.

To curl up on your lap.

To make you feel better.

Always.

*whistles* soooo, yeaaaah. I had no idea where I was going with this so I guess you could call it something of a sketch.

I am free to answer any questions. If you have any requests or ideas I am open to them. But please refrain from overloading me ^ ^; I have my own pile of ideas that I haven't actually gotten around to writing down. Anything you have that is based on Rin's tail and its awesome quirkiness (btw I will not, under ANY circumstances use it for anything perverted. It's a TAIL not a **** so get over yourself) then feel free to tell me. Next chapter I plan on explaining more about what I think a demon's tail is for in a class with Shura as the teacher.

Now remember: Critiques are valuable. Flames are hilarious.