Author's notes: This story is told from Rin's point of view as true to character as I could get it. That being said, it's purposefully jumpy, has deliberate grammar mistakes (although I kept most spelling correct. I'm not sure any human could read Rin's attempts at writing English. Or Japanese, for that matter), and the dialogue is mostly written as it would be spoken, improper conjunctions and all. You've been warned.

Oh, ummm, manga-verse, since the anime seems to be veering off of this course, and probably will become pretty AU as the story progresses. Just so you know.

Enjoy!

HEYGUESSWHATI'MAPAGEBREAK

I'm not totally sure when it started, but maybe it was that day.

This one day, not too long after we finally got back from all the crazy stuff in Kyoto, Bon stops me after class. That stupid, spotty four-eyes told me to catch up and left me with him. For a second, Bon's serious face was kinda scary, but, y'know, that's his normal expression.

"Listen, Okumura." He finally started. His eyebrows got all wrinkly and his cheeks got all red. "I gotta tell you this. And it's real important, so listen close! From the bottom of my heart, got it?"

I nodded and waited for him to finish. His face got even redder, all the way up to his ears now.

"It's just that, y'know, I wanted you to know, um… I trust you."

"Is that all? I mean, I appreciate it, and it's cool and all, but…"

"No, that's not all. Um, y'see, that is…" He wouldn't meet my eyes anymore. He was nearly purple, he was so red, now. "I mean, even though you're a demon and all, and even though it's a demon thing, I think your tail's kinda… cute, y'know?" Then he mumbled something that I think was 'that's all' before walking off, hands in his pockets and still red like a beet. Or maybe a lobster. Maybe a tomato. I think I'll make pizza or pasta or something with tomato sauce for dinner tonight, I'm sure Ukobach won't mind too much. Maybe he can help out…

Ack! I'm getting off subject! Anyway, after Bon went off, face the color of some delicious dinner ingredient, I went back to me 'n' Yukio's dorm place. It's not much of a dorm, is it, if it's just us two and Ukobach, right? Whatever, I'm getting off topic again. I'm not so good at this storytelling thing. Shitty four-eyes says it's 'cause I have a short attention span and stuff, but I stopped paying attention and didn't quite get it.

Anyway, right, back to the story.

Yukio was waiting for me back at the not-really-a-dorm-but-we'll-still-call-it-that place. He made me start my homework right away! I was hungry, though, so I ate at the same time. He yelled at me for getting food everywhere.

But, y'know, that's not that important to the story. When I finally finished my homework, I was balancing my pen on my nose and watching Yukio finish grading papers. What caught my eye was Bon's name in that weird, super-neat writing that totally doesn't match his personality that he does. It reminded me about what happened earlier, so I told Yukio about it.

"Isn't that weird? 'Cute', y'know? I mean, it's not something guys use in the first place, and definitely not to other guys."

"Well, nii-san, he was referring to your tail, and not necessarily you."

"But still! The only time I've ever used 'cute' was about girls. And that one puppy that you found."

"Exactly."

"So, he thinks I'm a girl?"

"I was referring to the puppy, but if you prefer to be a girl, all the more power to you."

"Shitty four-eyes!"

"If you're seriously asking for my advice, I would suggest not insulting me. It's a good life lesson."

"Yeah, yeah." I muttered the name again, barely loud enough to hear, to see what he would do.

"Good night, nii-san."

"W-wait! I apologize! I'm super sorry! So, just gimme advice or whatever, alright?"

He sighed real loud in that 'I can't put up with much more of this' kinda way he has. "Don't worry about it too much. Between the ears, the fangs, and now that tail, you look a bit like some kind of fluffy animal. That's probably all there was to it."

"Like a puppy?"

He laughed, for once. "I'd say more like a kitten. A small, harmless one."

"With sharp claws!" I grinned back at him.

"Good night, nii-san."

"G'night, spotty four-eyes."

"Just go to sleep."

I pouted and walked as slow as possible to my bed. Not that it took very long, anyway, since the desks in our room are, like, two steps away, but I wanted to push his buttons.

Yukio's always been fun to mess with.

It took him forever to go to sleep. He had, like, a million things to grade on top of his regular homework. He's gotta be stupid, no matter what they say, if he ends up with that much work. But I don't think that's too important. The story I'm telling doesn't have much to do with my spotty brother.

The next thing that happened that's important was about a week and a half later. Most of our class was on little missions like 'clean out the Coal Tar in this place we never use because we need to give Esquires something to do'. Me 'n' Bon 'n' Izumo were done, so we were the only ones in class. Yukio, being the stupid, spotty, four-eyed slave-driver that he is, gave us 'independent study' stuff. The other two, being the crazy kinda people they are, finished super quick, like it was easy or something. I was trying as hard as I could, but I dunno if I even had the paper right-side-up, for all the sense it made.

Really cool thing happened, though. Seems like Bon is a lot more willing to drop his 'tough-guy' kinda attitude and be a cool kinda guy if no one's around to see, so he came over and offered to help. He was gettin' real frustrated by the time it made sense, but he was cool enough to keep helping out. He's got a lot more patience with me than my brother does, that's for sure. Yukio would have given up and called me a-um…. 'imbecile', or something by now. But Bon kept plodding through, and I kinda got it. I think. Anyway, we managed to get my paper done by the time the others got back, so that was great.

When I finished up the last problem, I dropped the pencil and did a Victory Stretch. Y'know, that one you have to do after trying real hard at some homework thing and need to pop out your back. It felt really good, too. Bon smiled, which threw me off a little, and told me 'good job'. That was really cool of him, too. I said 'thanks' and grinned back. Then I noticed he had a funny look on his face. He was looking right over my head or something, it wasn't quite at me, so that was weird, and his face was like he was trying not to smile, but he was turning red again.

"What?" I asked, trying to snap him out of it.

"Uh, it's, uh, y'know, the hairpin I gave you. It's great that you use it, and stuff. That it's not goin' to waste."

"Oh, yeah?" He was real red and looking away again, so I was pretty sure it wasn't just that. I didn't know what else it was, but I knew there was something.

"And, uh, well…" He cleared his throat and glanced back at me before turning away again. "It's cute on you…" I barely heard it. Maybe if I was a regular person I wouldn't have. Maybe he didn't want me to hear it. 'Cause he definitely said 'cute' again, and it wasn't about my tail this time. He directly said it about me. Which, by what Yukio said, makes it actually weird. Like, it wasn't the puppy thing this time. Maybe it was the girl thing? But that didn't make sense, either. So, I didn't push it, and he walked back to his seat. The others came in then, and he was back to acting like he was too cool or tough or whatever when Shima and Koneko went back.

Then there was a lot of boring class stuff, Yukio threw stuff at me to keep me awake, and Shiemi was being cute and trying to be helpful and stuff, like normal.

Did Bon mean 'cute' like that? Like the way I was thinking about Shiemi? I tried to remember to ask Yukio about that when I told him about everything later.

'Later' was a whole hell of a lot later, though, since there was another demon break-in thing, which happens real often for how perfect Mephisto says his barriers are. We had to do a lot of fighting, and then a lot of healing, and finally we could go back to our dorms and go to sleep.

It was so late, I forgot to ask Yukio about what Bon meant, and went straight to sleep, instead.

A few days later, when I was making breakfast and stuff, I suddenly remembered to ask him. It was so sudden, it was like lightning struck me. I dropped everything in my hands and ran out of the kitchen as fast as I could. I grabbed Yukio (he dropped the books and papers he was holding) and blurted out the story as fast as I could. He looked real surprised. When I finished, he did that glasses-fixing-to-cover-up-that-he-lost-his-composure thing and sighed. That frustrated one I hate.

"If you don't get it, I won't explain it to you."

"But shouldn't you explain things to me because I don't get 'em?" It makes sense, right?

"Not when it comes to this kind of thing, nii-san."

"What 'kind of thing' is this, then?"

"Something you need to figure out on your own. Did you do something in there? Ukobach doesn't sound happy."

"Oops."

It took hours to calm down the pissed off familiar, and I didn't end up with any breakfast, and we were late to our regular-school classes. At least I salvaged our bento, so we had lunch.

All the Esquires were sent on another stupid mission thing to reinforce some barrier or something. I mean, I guess it's kinda a change of pace or something, but it's still boring. So, after classes, we went back to the dorms to pack up real quick and then headed out.

Spotty four-eyes just so happened to have a key right to the place, this temple place, so we used that, which led me to wondering just how many keys he had, and how many places they led to, for him to just so happen to always have the right key. Unless, maybe he's issued a new set when he gets orders? Are they checked out or somethin'?

Someone elbowed me all of a sudden, I think it was Shima, 'cause some old man was tellin' us something that was supposedly important. I think it had to do with 'borrowing our spiritual energy' or somethin'. It didn't make too much sense. He had us all sit around what looked like a summon circle thingy. It was probably the center of the barrier. Somethin' like that. We just had to sit there all still and quiet while he chanted. All of a sudden, he starts flipping out, saying something about demonic energy, and pointed his gnarly finger in my face.

"This boy!" He shouted in his old man voice. "This boy is possessed by a powerful demon! I can feel its evil infecting the barrier!"

Yukio pulled me away and promised to exorcise me, or something. I thought that was really weird, but he told me that the 'evil power' that the old man sensed was really my powers, and that was messing up his chanting thing, so I had to stay out of the way. It made sense, so I sat and waited for everything to finish while Yukio took my place.

I think I'd almost fallen asleep when there was a big noise, like a thunderclap or an explosion or both. The old man was on the ground, and I don't think he was conscious. The rest of the group was running away from the circle, where a big snake-bird-thing had appeared. When it flapped its wings, that loud thundersplosion sound happened again. Four-eyes was shooting at it, Izumo had summoned those fox guys while running away, and no one else knew what to do. So, I did what I do best: I ran towards it and started fighting without any kind of plan whatsoever. Plans are for sissies, anyway.

Next thing I know, I was up in the air, wrapped up in the snake-thing's scaly tail, which was also its body, while it flew up, up, and away, Yukio's bullets whizzing past, totally not hitting it. Which isn't so weird, because even though he's an awesome shot, we were really far away and he was trying not to hit me. That would suck, because they were probably the holy water kind. He uses those a lot. I was trying to get my arms free, but I couldn't move 'em at all. My sword wasn't on me, so I guess it fell. Which sucks. I was real pissed at this stupid demon thing, and was about to let loose a little blue fury, if ya know what I mean, but the ground was real far away, and the landing would hurt. A whole hell of a lot. So I didn't do it. I just yelled at the snake-bird to let me go.

"You sure about that?" It cackled. I felt the tail loosen a little. I think it was trying to scare me, but what it did was let me free my arms. I grabbed on to its tail, and was about to climb up its back, when it started flying all crazy.

"You shouldn't've tried that!" The damn thing was trying to fling me off! I held on as tight as I could, but it was dead set on dropping me to my death. I couldn't hold on much longer, 'cause my arms were getting tired and the super loud noise its wings made was giving me a headache. Just when I thought I was for sure a goner, it dived. I heard what I think was Bon shouting some chant, but it was fuzzy. I think my hearing was going out 'cause of this stupid thing's stupidly loud wings. The demon leveled off for a second before freezing and 'poof'ing out of this world. It was pretty close to the ground, so I'd survive the landing, even if it would still hurt, so I braced for impact. All of a sudden, I felt something hit me from the other side, or really someone. The crash I expected never happened, and I slowly opened my eyes to figure out who caught me. Bon was looking down at me with this super-worried face and his mouth was moving, but his voice was a fuzzy again, like I was underwater or somethin'. I felt him start walking, and looked around us a little. We were in a forest for some reason, which I didn't know was anywhere near the temple we were at. I remember there being a lot of flat, grassy area and not a lot of trees. The snake-bird must've flown a lot further than I thought.

Four-eyes was running to meet us, and he looked all worried, too. I couldn't make out what he was saying, either. I tried to ask to be set down, but I couldn't even hear me. They didn't seem to hear me, either, because Bon kept carrying me all the way back to the temple, where everyone else was waiting.

They were all talking at the same time, so I could tell about when my hearing started coming back. Which was awesome, 'cause I was scared I'd never hear anything again. The first voice I made out was Shiemi, asking about if I was okay, and then Izumo, who was asking about the demon itself. I asked Bon to set me down again, and I know I said something, 'cause I heard myself. He ignored me at first, but Yukio stepped up and told him it was okay, so he put me back on my feet super carefully, but I wasn't hurt or nothin', so it wasn't necessary, and I told him so. He was definitely ignoring me, now, and it kinda pissed me off.

Yukio suddenly reminded us that our mission wasn't complete, and hopefully we'd packed enough for a few nights, because we had to wait for the old man to get better. Bon said he could take over, 'cause he'd memorized the chant (showoff), but Yukio said it was only part of it and one person had to do the whole thing, so we needed the old guy.

So we stayed in a couple rooms at the temple for the next few nights. Lucky for Shiemi and Izumo, they got a whole room to themselves, being the only girls. Bon, Koneko, Shima, that weird puppet kid, and me all had to be in one room. Shitty four-eyes got his own, because he's all important or something. There was barely enough room for all five futon! We were all squished up, and it sucked real bad when someone had to piss in the middle of the night. Not to mention, Koneko sleep-walks and Bon cuddles. That last one I found out the second night after Shima refused to sleep beside him again and wouldn't say why.

He, Bon, I mean, got all red again in the morning when he figured out he was cuddling me, and I asked Yukio about it. Stupid four-eyes said that he already told me it was something I had to figure out. I figured that meant it had something to do with the 'cute' thing, which made the whole thing even more confusing. So, I had all this boring free time at a temple with nothing to do, waiting for an old man to be able to do his ritual thing, and nothing to distract me from this whole mixed-up thing with Bon. So, I was pretty much forced to try and think it out.

I felt like I was right on the edge of a breakthrough when there was this crackley, boomey sound that shook the whole temple.

"The barrier's collapsing." Yukio said when everyone joined up. He was using that 'I'm forcing myself to be calm so no one else freaks out because this is bad' kinda tone. "We need to keep out any demons that try to attack. There's something here that they cannot acquire."

Well, that's not too bad, right? It was in the middle of the day, and they always said stuff about stronger demons coming out at night.

"They'll probably continue to attack until the barrier can be put up. If the priest's health doesn't improve quickly, we may have to fight through the night." Oh. That's why he's worried.

Uh-oh.

Suddenly, there was a lot of screeching and roaring and all kinds of other sounds pissed off demons make. We all ran outside of the temple, ready for battle. There were so many demons, it was like some colorful-but-mostly-black wall was coming down on us. But since it was during the day still, there was mostly coal tar and those little hobgoblin guys. A whole crapload of really weak demons. I took my sword out of its cloth carry-thingy and was about to take it out of the sheath, too, when Bon started chanting and most of the demons just 'poof'ed.

Show-off.

For the next few hours, the fight was really boring, 'cause Bon only needed two chants to kill most of 'em and Yukio shot the rest. I didn't get to do anything!

Then the sun started to set.

More demons, bigger, stronger, weirder demons, started coming out of nowhere. The Show-off didn't know enough chants to kill them all off, and it took Yukio a few hits to kill each one, so the rest of us got to have some fun. Usual battle things, the girls with their summons, Shima and Koneko with their staff and chant-y stuff, that puppet kid doing who-knows-what.

I whipped my sword out and ran for the biggest one.

It was kinda like some bull thing. I stabbed it right between the horns. Which was probably a bad thing, 'cause my sword got stuck in the bone. I tried as hard as I could to pull it out, but that didn't work, so I just tried to burn the damn thing. That just pissed it off.

So, here I was, hanging on to my sword like it was the only thing keeping me alive, while the sword itself was lodged into this bull demon. My grip started slipping. As completely unmanly as it is, I yelled out for help.

Bon's voice cut through the various yells, roars, and other battle noises, reciting what sounded like an entire book of the bible, probably trying to find the one verse that worked against a certain demon.

Suddenly, I was falling, sword still in my hand, demon completely gone.

Bon half-caught me, standing me up on my feet, and ran off shouting more chants. Every one killed at least one demon instantly, like he was only using ones he knew for sure would work. But that didn't match up with the verse-searching kinda thing he was doing earlier, so that made me think.

Did he mean to do that? Was he searching for the verse that would kill the demon I was fighting? Or was that a coincidence?

I was leaning towards it not being a total coincidence when a demon reminded me that I was still on a battlefield and shouldn't be standing there thinking.

So, I fought. I'm better at that, anyway.

I fought, and fought, and fought. For hours and hours. It seemed like every demon we killed had two more pop up in its place, stronger than the one before.

It was crazy late, or early, I'm gonna venture a wild guess and say it was three in the morning. That's when the old guy came back out, shouting 'Defend me!' and beginning to chant.

So, like, if I couldn't be in the circle because of 'demonic power' or something before, why could he do the thing now, with hundreds of demons swarming? It didn't make any sense at all, and I would have asked about it, but I wasn't about to complain when the demons started to run away. The old man gathered everyone up again into a circle (Yukio kept me away from it again) and finished the chant.

Y'know, saying 'finished' there is kinda not the right word. 'Finished' kinda says he was almost done, so it would have taken just a little longer. It didn't. It took hours and hours and it was partway through the morning by the time the others woke me up to tell me it was over.

That's when the weirdest thing ever happened. The old man finished chanting and went inside. Everyone else went to get their stuff, seeing as we were gonna leave soon. Bon hung back a little and asked Yukio something like, "What do you think of the situation?"

And Yukio said, "The barrier is complete and there's no risk of danger right now."

"Great." Bon turned to me then and grabbed me by the shoulders. I was about to ask what was up, when I realized I couldn't. Because there was something keeping my mouth shut. And that something was someone else's mouth.

It didn't make sense. Bon was kissing me. No matter how I looked at it. Bon was kissing me. More than any of the 'cute' comments, more than any of the stupid four-eyes's vague advice, this was freaking confusing. Bon was kissing me! Crazy! Absolutely crazy! Bon was kissing ME!

"Nii-san, snap out of it. We're going." So, yeah, it took me way longer to wrap my head around what had happened than it took to happen, and Bon was already heading back into the temple.

"B-but he-he just… what?"

"Nii-san. We're going." He dragged me along behind him, 'cause my brain was still burnt out and I couldn't figure out how to walk right.

I mean, a guy had just kissed me. Bon kissed me. Like, really. I had reason to be totally out of it.

HEYGUESSWHATI'MAPAGEBREAK

"Nii-san, really, this is ridiculous."

Somehow, we'd made it back to the dorms. And Yukio was upset with me. As usual.

"Come on, you need to at least attempt your homework." It sat, acting like it was harmless, on the desk. My bed was so, so, soooooo very close. But my stupid, spotty brother is a slave driver!

"Give me a break, shitty four-eyes! I'm emotionally distraught!"

"You should've seen it coming."

"How the hell could I have seen that coming? And besides, what do I do now?"

He sighed, all frustrated. "I've told you before. This isn't something I can simply explain to you."

"Why not?"

"Because, nii-san, I can explain all sorts of things which can't get through your thick head." He bopped me right on top of it, too! But, before I could manage a 'hey!', he kept talking.

"But this matter you have to figure out here." He poked me square in the chest.

"My heart?"

"Yes, nii-san, your heart."

"Huh."

"Now let's try to use that thick head of yours for something more important. Namely, that blank homework on your desk which is due tomorrow. And I will be collecting it."

"Aw, man!"

It took way too long to be legal. Stupid four-eyes shouldn't be allowed to assign so much homework.

I fell straight asleep when I hit the pillow. But I was totally refreshed when I woke up the next day, really, really late for school. Yukio had left a note telling me he was on a mission and left super early, so no one woke me up.

Great.

I managed to get ready in five minutes, grabbing some toast and lunch from Ukobach before sprinting out the door.

My second hour teacher wasn't very pleased when I tried to sneak in the door halfway through class. I went straight to my seat and tried not to be a-a… what does four-eyes call it? A nuisance, I think.

Anyway, classes were boring, lunch was normal, and I was in exorcist cram school before I knew it.

I saw Bon in the hall, heading towards the classroom.

Yukio said it was something I had to figure out with my heart, right? S'gotta be easier than using my brain. That hasn't gotten me anywhere.

So, first there was the 'cute' thing, then the red face, and then that. Since he did that, and that's something you only do with a girl, and since he called me 'cute', and that's something you only do with a girl, does that mean he thinks I'm a girl?

No, no, that's stupid. That wouldn't have anything to do with the heart, like Yukio said. And Yukio's smart. And Bon knows I'm not a girl.

With the heart, right.

Then, when you do that with a girl, what about your heart? It's usually your girlfriend, which means you like her. Then, Bon likes me?

Wait. That would make lots of sense.

That would be why he called me 'cute', and he turned red because he was blushing. And he… kissed me for the same reason.

So….

"Bon, do you like me?"

"O-okumura, wha-?"

"That's why you did all that weird stuff, right?"

He was all red again. Just a guess, but I think that meant I was totally right.

"Can we talk about this later? Class is about to start…"

So we stopped hanging in the doorway and actually went into the classroom.

Boring class stuff, boring class stuff, boring class stuff. I got yelled at a few times for not paying attention, as usual, and then more boring class stuff.

Then, we were finally dismissed (hooray!) and I went over to pester Bon again.

He wanted to 'talk somewhere more private', and so we went all the way up to the roof of the regular school building. It reminded me of something that would happen in one of those squishy romance manga that I totally don't read. Either way, he was being totally overdramatic and I didn't get it.

"Listen, Okumura…. Rin." He took a great big breath, red (blushing) again. "I was trying to be subtle about it, but you're just so incredibly thick." He ran his hand through that yellow stripe in his hair. "Somehow, you even make that cute…"

"M'not cute." I pouted. 'Cute' is for girls.

"You really are." His face was real close again, and I was scared he was gonna try to plant another one on me. "You're cute, and I like you. Will you…." He blushed again and turned away. "Shit, I can't say it…"

"Do you want to go out with me?" I tried.

His face went beyond Shima Pink and straight to Shura Red. "Well, uh, that is… yeah, I do."

"Well, then. I guess I'm okay with that." I smiled at him in-en… encorg-, no…. encouragingly! That's the word, right? Encouragingly. "I wouldn't mind giving you a chance."

He didn't know what to do for a second, but ended up deciding on giving me another kiss.

Huh.

It wasn't so bad, now that I was expecting it.

I could get used to it.

HEYGUESSWHATI'MAPAGEBREAK

Hope you enjoyed~

Even if I think it's total crap.

May or may not be continued. I like it to end here, but there's so much more I could do with them. Tell me what you think. Or don't. Whatever.

P.S.: If you're still wondering about the 'old guy's' chant and why the demonic power wouldn't influence it this time, it was a different chant to drive away the demons. Rin, unlike certain other characters who can memorize stuff instantly, wouldn't have noticed, and thought it was the same one. So, now you know.

And yes, I did make up that explanation after I wrote it. I need to plan stuff better. The Quetzalcoatl-type bird-snake demon was also thought out after, something about the demonic energy mixed with the decaying barrier.