Summary: In which Keima and Elsee were going out. Sort of. "Isn't that incest?" Chihiro said.
Disclaimer: I do not own.
Notes: TWGOK has its own anime! Pretty good quality, that.
Elsee was going out with Keima. Well, kind of, not really.
It really started when a gap appeared in Elsee's heart, and a runaway spirit decided to occupy that space. It wasn't as big as the monster that had taken residence in Hinoki—in fact, it was tame in comparison—but it was still a pain to get out.
(Read: Keima had to kiss Elsee. And Haqua, after capturing the spirit, gave his skull quite a rap with her scythe before storming off huffily.
Keima didn't understand real women, and it was now a fact that he did not understand female demons either.)
Of course, the school didn't know that, and neither did they know the effort Keima had put into formulating a last-minute plan to capture Elsee's heart because although the spirit was still small enough to be contained in a regular sealing container, Keima wasn't willing to stick around and wait for it to get bigger. Elsee herself had cried her eyes out when she found out she had a runaway spirit, although Keima hadn't known why. Still, a target was a target, and Keima was forced to utilize all of his stealth and creativity to make Elsee fall for him but without her knowing.
It was less elegant and logical than he would have liked, but at least the spirit got out and the target was safe, so there really wasn't anything to complain about. Except—
No, the school didn't known any of that. The school did, however, see Keima kiss Elsee.
And of course, the rumors flew like the wind after that.
"I don't know why she was crying before!" Keima snapped at his mother. He was tired and grouchy, and it didn't feel like eight hours ago this morning when Elsee's sensor had gone off, and they had discovered that she harbored a runaway spirit. The spirit was out, but Keima's mood had taken a turn for the worse.
"You must had said something mean to your sister!" Keima's mother scolded angrily. Her hair was falling dangerously loose, an indication that she was losing her temper. "Why else would she bawl like that?"
"I don't know, maybe it's because she didn't get that toy firetruck she wanted!"
"Shut up, shut up!" Keima roared, his glasses slipping down his nose as his voice rose. "I'm going to my room, I'm going to play my games, and don't talk to me!"
He stomped all the way to his room, his PFP clutched in one hand. Keima's mother shouted at his back, "At least tell me why Elsee didn't come home with you! Where is she? Keima, she had better be okay, you stupid son of mine!"
Keima slammed his door to make a point, locked it, and then gave it a kick.
Stupid Elsee. Stupid mother. Stupid world.
He hadn't accounted for this to happen, hadn't predicted it, hadn't seen it coming at all. It was a failure on his part, but at the same time, nothing he could have changed. Keima glared at nothing in particular before striding over to his desk and turning on all six screens.
Where some people had road rage, Keima had game rage. And he was generally better at converting that negative energy into work.
Most of the time, anyway.
Like he knew Elsee had cried. Besides, that wasn't the issue—the question was why Elsee had a gap in her heart in the first place. No matter how Keima had schemed and tried to get the answer from her, she wouldn't tell him. Although he had exasperatedly reminded her that they couldn't get the spirit out if he didn't know, she refused. Refused.
Even when he threatened to make her help him with another game that had bugs (which was a lie, but Elsee didn't needed to know that), Elsee wouldn't tell him anything.
It had been a miracle that he had captured her heart in the end. It hadn't too been difficult in the end, seeing that it was Elsee. He spotted her dazing in the middle of class, staring out the window with a wistful expression on her face. Several times, she caught him observing her, but she never brought it up. Instead, she would hold his gaze intently, searchingly—imploringly?
He had judged, based from the way she was more absent-minded than usual and seemed to retain a hint of pink on her cheeks (at least whenever he looked over at her), that Elsee had a crush on someone.
He attempted a recon mission of sorts, trying to eavesdrop on conversations in the girls' bathroom and locker rooms. It failed.
He asked Ayumi. She just blinked at him.
He asked Haqua. She scowled and conked him with her scythe again, calling him an "oblivious, womanizing idiot." Then she had flown away, looking upset but determined at the same time, which was kind of a default look on Haqua whenever they talked.
Then he asked Chihiro.
"If you ask me," Chihiro said, "it's the guy she's always watching and blushes around."
Keima frowned. "I've never seen Elsee near other guys."
Chihiro paused slowly, and then stared at Keima, as in really stared at him. "Well, she does spend a lot of time with you," she began. Her eyes darkened slightly, and Keima's frown was soon mirrored on her face. "You two are always running around together, now that I think about it."
Chihiro was being observant. Keima wondered if he should acknowledge this fact, but desisted. It wouldn't do to stroke her ego. "That's only because we're siblings," he answered smoothly.
"Isn't that incest?" Chihiro said.
The Capturing God choked. "What."
"You're the only guy Ellie hangs around with."
"That is not—she doesn't blush around me—we're siblings."
"Which is why it's called incest."
"Elsee doesn't love me," Keima argued, his voice getting louder and his eyes widening by the second as he tried to not panic. "Your conclusion doesn't have enough evidence. In a game, the girl would respond more—"
"Oh, shut up about your stupid games." Chihiro looked and sounded frustrated. "I'm just calling it what it looks like, okay? I don't really believe that she likes you anyway. Besides, incest is creepy even for you."
Keima would later blame it on the shock he still felt after the initial incest comment that he let Chihiro get away with the last word.
"Why did you cry?" Tenri asked gently.
Elsee tightened her hands on her knees, staring down at the floor and ignoring the tea and cookies Tenri had offered.
Tenri hesitated, and then tried another question. "Why did you have a gap in your heart?"
Elsee made no reply.
Timid dark eyes sharpened, and Diana's smooth voice finally penetrated Elsee's unnerving silence. "I can go and throttle Keima for answers; I was going to do that anyway, seeing how he cheated on Tenri." The goddness fumed for a moment, her halo trembling. "Again. And with you. And in front of the whole school, too. Does that man have no shame?" Her voice rose. "Shameless! What is Tenri to him?"
And here, Elsee's head snapped up, her celestial robe fluttering as she scrambled to say, "I—I didn't mean to—I'm sorry." She was close to tears. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Diana. I'm sorry."
Diana leaned back, considering the shaking demon before her. She suddenly felt tired, feeling the weight of the entire situation on her now mortal shoulders. "I know it's not your fault. It was a runaway spirit, and Katsuragi had to get it out. But I don't understand why you had a spirit there in the first place."
The demon flinched. "I don't need to t-tell you why."
"Katsuragi came to me for help," Dianna replied tonelessly. "He didn't know either. He still doesn't know, I bet. That's worrisome."
"The only thing you have to be sorry for," the goddess interrupted, her eyes flashing, "is you not telling Katsuragi why you had a gap in your heart, and why he had to fill it by seducing you, his alleged sister!"
The pair of teacups and the plate of cookies had started to rise as Diana's anger got the best of her. Elsee watched all of this, petrified, but she said nothing in her defense. Instead, she whispered, "It's so scary...it's so scary..."
Abruptly, Tenri came back into control. She gasped. "Diana!" When the goddness didn't speak, either through the mirror reflection on the other side of the room or through the reflection on the teacups, Tenri edged toward Elsee. "Elsee. Elsee. You don't—you don't have to be scared." She crouched next to the demon and tentatively reached out a hand. Tenri wasn't someone who usually initiated contact; no, she usually left the initiating to Diana because people, people were scary.
And of all the people she knew, Katsuragi Keima was the scariest.
And Tenri knew. She knew.
She touched Elsee's hand. "It's okay," she murmured, even as her chest tightened. Lucky Elsee, being so close to Keima. "It's okay to love him."
Elsee jerked away and stared at Tenri with wide eyes.
They sat there, staring at each other for a long moment, before Elsee got up and said that she had to go, sorry that she couldn't stay any longer, maybe they could have tea and cookies some other time, and really, she had to go, take care Tenri, farewell, farewell.
"Don't tell Keima," she pleaded. "Don't tell him."
And Tenri noted how she hadn't referred to Keima as her brother. No more, no more.
After catching Tenri's nod, Elsee fled. And Tenri sat in her room with cold tea and uneaten cookies, thinking about Keima, thinking about Elsee, thinking about love and how it could fill in the in-betweens of a person's life, and how it could also hurt someone so very badly. And not for the first time, Tenri had to remind herself that Keima was not hers and not something she could claim because Keima was Keima, and how could he ever be tied down to one human girl?
"But," Tenri sighed to Diana, who was making sulky faces in the mirror, "Elsee is not a human."
Capturing them, sealing them in containers, watching Keima perform endless miracles because how else could he charm so many girls? How could he have that kind of confidence and knowledge and instinct if he were anything but a god?
Kissing so many girls; not Elsee, but Keima. Watching it, not watching it, waiting for the signal, waiting with the container, thinking about how Keima would pull this one off, when he would do that final decisive move. Fearing that it might not work this time, fearing that she'll miss something, fearing that a single mistake might—
Playing a guitar—who knew it could be so fun to pluck at the strings of a human instrument? Sometimes Elsee thought that she should have been born human, but if she had been born human, maybe she wouldn't have met Ayumi and Chihiro and Yui and everyone else. She couldn't imagine meeting Keima any other way either...but if she had been born human, maybe then he would have looked twice at her.
But no, he never would have looked twice at her. So many beautiful girls, so many of them, but Elsee knew that no matter how strong their feelings were, they would never reach Keima, never truly reach him. Keima with his black collar (my fault, my fault, my fault), Keima accepting her as a sister, Keima refusing to eat her meals.
So strong. So beautiful. So kind.
Elsee looked up at the sky and felt like a failure. What would her sister say to her now? What would the other demons say? What would Haqua say?
"There you are."
She squeaked, and almost twisted her celestial robe around the chains of the swing as she tried to turn around. "Ke—brother?"
Keima ran a hand through his hair. He looked tired as he shuffled across the park, to the swings where Elsee was at. "There is a moment in many games with many girls," he began to say, and Elsee's heart sank. Games, always the games. But when she looked down, Keima said sharply, "Look at me," and what else could she do but obey?
"Brother?" she asked uncertainly.
With a soft huff, Keima reached her, and sat down on the adjacent swing. He rested his elbows on his knees, leaning forward. Quiet for a moment. "In games," he continued, "there's a moment when the girl goes to a park or somewhere by herself, so that she can think about her growing feelings. This is one of the perfect scenes to have a loving talk." He looked at her then, his eyes uncharacteristically mellow in the dark night. "The empty park is a lovers' playground," he said, and Elsee imagined a dramatic setting and background music, with a signature in the corner somewhere.
She smiled weakly. "Brother, I don't have a runaway spirit anymore." She ducked her head, praying that he would not make her look at him again.
"I know you don't," he said. "The gap in your heart... It's been filled a bit, but not completely."
Stiffening, Elsee turned her head away. "You said some gaps can't be filled so easily."
"What I said about Airi's grandmother?" He passed a hand over his face. "Yes. But a gap can't be filled if you don't know what's wrong...or if you don't want to fill that gap."
"Nothing's wrong, brother." She forced a smile. "C-come now, let's go home. I still need to help Mother with the cleaning, and I need to make you lunch t-tomorrow." Here, she faltered. "T-tomorrow, at school."
Keima's gaze was hard. "Elsee, who is it?"
"The person that will become your lover." He stood up. "I need to know because I need to help you. If I can help you and him, then I can completely fill the gap in your heart and end those rumors at school. Elsee, it'll fix everything, so tell me."
"No!" Elsee shook her head frantically.
"Why not?" he asked, exasperated.
She was crying openly now, and that was nothing new. Elsee the crybaby, Elsee the weak little demon. But Elsee was crying because of a pain from the gap in her heart, Keima knew this, and he should have done something more to prevent this lest the gap grow and another runaway spirit come along at the wrong time. And why was she crying? Why was she crying? Was it so futile, was it so hopeless, that she didn't even dare speak the name of the boy she liked so much?
But that was why Keima was here. He knew a bit about capturing boys, as much as he cringed at the memories that came along with it, what with Yui and that strange experience. He could help Elsee, fill the gap in her heart, and make her stop crying now.
"Why not?" he asked again, softer this time. It wouldn't do to set her off even more.
But she looked at him, wept even harder, and—
"Hey! Elsee! Elsee! You can't just fly away if you don't want to talk! Elsee! Come back here!"
The gossip at school the next day was dreadful. People had cast Keima plenty of dirty looks and hurled plenty of insults before, but now they were just downright crude. "Hey, Katsuragi!" they called. "You horndog! You couldn't keep your hands off your cute little sister, huh? You're a pervert, you know that? You should be expelled! Jailed! Executed!"
"He's the worse," the girls muttered. "The worse, the worse, the worse."
"Preying on his sister," the teachers fretted. "Whatever will we do?"
Keima knew that he had to keep his head down. Defending himself would only convince the other students that he was a dirty incestuous pervert. And although he couldn't care less, the abuse was taking a bit of a toll on him, and it became so very difficult to escape to an isolated bench between classes so that he could play his games in peace. His teachers, too, were assigning him more work than usual; he had no doubt that they had caught wind of the rumors and were secretly crucifying him in their minds.
But Elsee—oh Elsee. Elsee defended him when he didn't. Elsee went to anyone who spoke too loudly about Katsuragi and told them off, eyes watering and hands fisted by her side. Elsee glared and yelled and argued, clutching her broom and whacking anyone who eyed her for too long.
"The rumors will die down," Keima told himself. "They'll die down, and Elsee will be fine after a while, and then I can play my games without all of this chaos."
He just had to keep telling himself that.
It wasn't going to be different from any other capture. Everything would be fine in the end. And Elsee wouldn't change in the end either. She was strange now, secretive and moody, but she was Elsee, and she was his fake little sister; and that would never change.
She was Elsee, and she would be the closest girl to him, and also the farthest.
"You won't tell him?" Haqua asked.
They were sitting on a rooftop. Elsee didn't normally sit on rooftops. Flying was more of a way to get around, not a means to clamber onto higher planes. But it was nice, sitting with Haqua, and feeling the world pull away from her. Everything looked so much smaller, even her problems.
And—just a small point—she could see the firetrucks from the fire station on this rooftop.
"No," she replied. She smiled a sad little smile. "There's no point."
Haqua's red eyes slid to the side. "You never know," the other demon answered, only a tinge of jealousy in her words. She could never really resent Elsee. "With you, he might..."
But Elsee shook her head. "Not Keima. Not when I'm his sister."
"But you're not his sister."
"I am right now."
"But if you weren't his sister."
"But, but, but," Elsee said. "Keima is the Capturing God. He cannot be captured by anyone else." Again, the sad smile. "And I'm the lowliest of demons."
"It's okay, Haqua. I know you...with him. But for me, it's enough. I can cook for him, I can clean, I can help. I can be a real demon with him. And it's enough."
Haqua sighed. "Except it isn't. And it isn't fair."
"No," Elsee said softly. "No, it isn't."
A week later, a runaway spirit was found in one of Keima's classmates.
A week later, the student body all but forgot about Keima and Elsee's kiss as Keima had to pursue the new girl in public.
A week later, Keima captured another girl's heart, and Elsee caught the spirit.
A week later, Elsee was smiling again.
A/N: I, silvercopycat, wrote half of this a while ago. Then I forgot about it. Then I remembered it. Then I wrote the other half, even though it turned out differently than I had imagined.
Elsee is awesome. So is Keima. I ship, and I ship, and I ship.
Reviews are always appreciated.