All characters © Ao no Exorcist

Fic for ThePinkRabbit: the day Mephisto leaves Gehenna for good. Little Amaimon.

Dilatory Departures

"You're leaving now?" Amaimon asked, incredulity flitting across his features. For a demon whose range of expressions spanned from indifferent to smugly amused, it was quite a sight to behold.

Mephisto Pheles sighed a sigh which clearly said we've been though this already. "Yes, I'm leaving."

"Isn't it too early? Wait," Amaimon scratched a horn, "what year is it over there?"

"The turn of the nineteenth century, I believe," Mephisto replied. "And you can never be too early, Amaimon. Trust is only gained in time."

Amaimon's shoulders slumped and he breathed out a jet of black, sulfurous Gehenna air. Most demons had a concept of the basic emotions, but most-well all, actually, got more amusement out of mocking them instead of trying to feel or understand them. However, anger, powerlust, greed—the sins— were all felt and understood quite well.

Most emotions could be replicated to blend in with the humans, but as far as genuinely feeling them...well, no one bothered with such trivial things anymore. Although magnanimosity or kinship among demons was common, especially amongst those who were related, it wasn't like it was with humans. There was little, if any actual affection involved.

As such, Amaimon didn't really know what to think. He could go centuries without seeing his other siblings, but he had always been the closest with Mephisto-aniki. Aniki, like him, had quite the playful side. They were always getting into trouble. Amaimon realized that, with Mephisto gone, he would have to play games all alone.

"Take me with you?"

Mephisto's eyebrows rose. "What's this, Amaimon?" he asked, a coy smile playing with the ends of his lips. "Feeling sentimental?"

"No, I'll just be bored," Amaimon said, pouting. A fang the size of a telephone pole jutted up over his upper lip. Mephisto laughed heartily at this, but Amaimon didn't join him.

"You're not ready yet," he replied. "Do you realize how many humans there are in Assiah? A lot more since the last time you were there. Billions. You wouldn't be able to control yourself, and I'd end up having to clean up your messes. Again."

"But I'd like to go to Assiah one day," Amaimon protested. "When can I come, aniki?"

"Ooohh, give it about... two hundred years, give or take," Mephisto answered trutfully. "By then I'll have the Vatican in my palm and father will believe that all my actions are in his name."

It was a fair enough deal. Amaimon busied himself with twirling the ends of his tail, knowing that his siblings would surely laugh at him if he acted too clingy. He was one of the "babies," after all. "Are you sure you have to go now?" he asked again. It couldn't hurt.

"I already have a human ready—wonderful genteel fellow in Germany—and quite rich, I might add. I chose well," Mephisto said, lost in his own thoughts. "Poor fellow doesn't even know he has until tomorrow to—" he broke off. "Oh don't look at me like that, Amaimon."

"I want to go," Amaimon repeated. "This world of ours is rotten."

"Yes," Mephisto replied mildly, "don't you just love it?"

Amaimon gestured one claw to the nothingness around them. "This is so boring. I want to see things. What sort of things are in Assiah, aniki? I never remember..."

"That's because you're too busy killing to take a good look around..."

"I haven't been to Assiah in five hundred years, and now I have to wait another two hundred. What's it like now?"

"You'd hardly recognize it. The humans keep making more toys to keep themselves busy," Mephisto answered. "But there are some interesting things. Buildings made of metal that touch the clouds. Mountains with faces carved into them. Waterfalls and steamboats and women in lace gowns. They even have shops filled with candy. I personally am going to enjoy those."

Amaimon's eyes went wide. All four of them. "Can you get me a human?"

Mephisto nodded. "Eventually. I'll be needing your help, so I'll call you when you're ready."

"And we can play then?"

"All the fun and games you want," Mephisto agreed, getting up from his haunches. It was almost time to go.

"And aniki...get some sleep, okay? You'll put bags under those human's eyes."

Mephisto paused, turning toward his little brother. He smiled, although it wasn't quite up to par with his usual feral grin. "Certainly," he said, and placed his own fur-covered claw on Amaimon's head briefly. What a silly kid. He almost felt bad that he had no intention of returning to Gehenna.

Before Amaimon could say anything more, his brother gave a funny little curtsy (funny in the fact that any being with more than four legs looked odd curtsying) and winked. "Until we meet again!" Mephisto exclaimed, and was gone.

Amaimon closed his mouth as the rush of dead air filled the empty space where his brother had been. His last thought lingered for a few minutes more, buzzing at the tip of his gray tongue, but it didn't really matter much now. Aniki was gone, and it would be some time before Amaimon could join in on wreaking antipodean havoc. There was something a little empty now, in the sulfurous, turgid umbra of Gehenna, and Amaimon closed his eyes.

I'll miss you, was what he had wanted to say.