a/n- Inspired by episode nineteen of the anime.


Bonded at Birth
The Okumura twins are more similar than you think.


"What's wrong with it? Looks like a perfectly good birthday cake to me."

"Say, teach," started Renzou Shima from a mouthful of cake, "About what you and Rin said earlier; how come you didn't know the difference between a Christmas cake and a birthday cake?" Upon hearing the question, several pairs of eyes turned to the direction of the Okumura siblings who were sitting next to each other. Rin set down his plate of cake. Shiemi gave a little giggle.

"Well," he shifted, sharing a glance with Yukio, "Our birthday is on December twenty seven, which is real close to Christmas. Back at the monastery, we didn't have enough to celebrate twice, so every year we celebrated Christmas and our birthdays together." He stopped, looking thoughtful. "Looking back on it...didn't really feel much like a birthday, did it, Yukio?"

"Not really," the blue-green eyed twin admitted, "I liked them anyway. It was fun."

"Oh." Bon said, looking back and forth between them two. "You know, you two are so different, it's hard to remember that you guys are actually twins." The thought that they were the sons of Satan were left behind; no need to damper the party spirit. Izumo nodded in agreement, as did everyone else.

No one noticed Rin's face twisting in a sort of weird gesture, him trying to hold in something until it was too late. Suddenly he began to snicker. Yukio looked at him curiously, a brow raised. "Nii-san?"

He burst out in full, rambunctious laughter. "Oh, sorry, I was just remembering our seventh birthday—" To everyone else's surprise, Rin collapsed in a fit of laughter. And, another surprise—Yukio's face, usually emotionless and confident, had slowly turned pale, his eyes wide behind his glasses. He jerked and put his hand around Rin's mouth, stifling his laughter and whatever else he was trying to say. His cheeks were slowly flushing darker and darker with embarrassment.

"Nii-san! Rin! You swore you wouldn't tell anybody!" His voice had gone up an octave, and he sounded remotely childish. "C'mon! You promised!" Rin batted away Yukio's hand.

"I know, I'm not going to tell anyone," he snickered, "But you were so...ahahaha!" Rin reached over and ruffled Yukio's hair in a adoring fashion; it was the first sign of brotherly affection he had ever shown, highlighted even more so with Yukio's red face and childish scowl.

Bon stared at them, baffled, for a moment before commenting, "You know, I never noticed, but you guys really do act like brothers...sometimes." He looked between them two. "By the way, you never said who was older."

"Rin." Yukio stated.

Rin, in response, shrugged in a 'what-can-you-do' sort of way.

Konekomaru spoke up from his hesitant corner, a thoughtful look on his face. "Rin doesn't really act like the older brother."

Yukio shrugged. "You should have seen it when we were younger." There was a small, nostalgic smile on his face, one that his students didn't know Yukio was capable of. "Nii-san would keep beating up anyone who kept insulting me or bullying me in any way." he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "He got in so much trouble for that, but he didn't care."

"Because they were arses," Rin protested with a dark scowl, to the surprise of his friends. Rin wasn't usually one to be mad—like, truly mad, like what he looked like right now. "They deserved whatever they got to them. And besides, I don't think a five-minute time out was all that bad from what they got." He let a small, victorious look flash across his face. Yukio sighed again.

"Nii-san, it's not like I never did anything wrong in my life," he said patiently. "Other people aren't always the wrong ones."

"Oh, I know," Rin said, raising an eyebrow pointedly. "I still didn't forget what happened back in June all those years ago." This time, Rin frowned, looking uncharacteristically mature. "I'm still disappointed in you, Yukio."

Yukio, in response to this, blushed again and stiffened up. "I-it was an accident!" he choked out, his voice cracking a bit. "I said I was sorry, didn't I...?" The dark haired twin trailed off, looking faintly ashamed of himself.

"You know, you guys have a lot of stories between you two." Izumo said, pushing away her plate of cake. "You seem more like brothers when you do that. Y'know, going down memory lane, and all..."

"Hey, hey!" Shima perked up, looking between them two mischievously. "Can you do all those things twins are rumored to do? Like read each others' minds, know where the other one is or if he's in trouble, finish each others' sentences?"

The Okumura twins shared a glance.

"Well," started Yukio conversationally, "We can't read each others' minds or anything—"

"—and I don't think knowing when someone is in trouble is just for twins—"

"—because ordinary people have this instinct to know when—"

"—someone else is in trouble, but we can—"

"—finish each others' sentences, definitely." they said together. Rin was wearing a small smirk, and even though Yukio didn't show signs of emotion, there was an amused light in his eyes.

"Whoa," Shima breathed, looking back and forth between them. "That's so cool! Why don't you do that more often?"

They shrugged simultaneously. "We used to do it—"

"—all the time as kids—"

"—but then some people said—"

"that it started to get annoying—"

"—so we just sort of...stopped," Rin shrugged. He gave Yukio a meaningful look. "I forgot how much fun that was."

The side of Yukio's lips twitched up, like he was trying to smile but was refraining himself from doing so. "Yeah. Remember our old teacher always having to call on both of us because we would always say the answer together?" Rin nodded enthusiastically, a smile growing on his face. "We were inseparable back then."

There was a haunting silence that followed, Rin flinching when he thought of Father and what happened. Then, he cleared his throat and said, "The reason why we don't do it all the time," he directed to Shima, "is because we think too much alike when we do that. We already have a lot of similarities, so it's kinda weird...plus, like we said earlier—"

"—people find it annoying after a while," the dark haired twin finished.

"You guys are alike?" Shiemi spoke up, the first thing she had said throughout the whole conversation. "Ooh, like what?"

Rin shrugged, looking a little lost. "Well, we both like cream cookies with peanut butter," he said, ignoring his friends' looks of incredulity and a bit of disgust. "And the tea cup ride at the amusement park when we were five."

"Chocolate cereal and stamp posts," Yukio started thoughtfully. "Um...snowy days and sunny days and...what else? There's too many to pick from, I guess..." he trailed off, looking sheepish. "Painting and gardening...we always liked playing board games and cards with Father, but he always used to cheat..." Yukio's nose wrinkled slightly.

"Cheat?" Rin snorted. "More like sabotage. He'd take your cards when you were never looking," he added, pointing at Yukio. "That's why you always lost."

Yukio's eyebrow twitched. "And to think, I always thought I was bad at go fish."

It was an odd sight, watching those two go back and forth about their childhood. There was an almost nostalgic feeling in the air as Rin laughed at Yukio's red, embarrassed face—apparently, there was more on Yukio than Rin—and how they talked about their childhood days with a sort of wistful look.

Bon looked toward his classmates and nodded. With a small, insightful grin, he said, "Those two are brothers after all."