Title: Like Father, Like Son
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: December 12, 2011
Rating: K
Warnings: None.
Continuity More or less mangaverse, but future chapters will likely make this scenario impossible.
Disclaimer: "Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist" belongs to Kazue Katou, Shueisha, A-1 Pictures, Aniplex, and various other parties.
Author's Note: My first real fanfic for this fandom, and I had to make it a sort of experimental writing style. Ah well. Please feel free to tell me if it's confusing or if there's anything I can do better. Thanks to Sage SK for the beta and CrimsonQueen24 for catching a blooper of mine.

It was when he caught himself telling the kid that he found him inside a watermelon that he realized he was turning into his father. Which was both heartening and mortifying at the same time.

Still, he thought the true story was a bit much for a five year old, no matter how smart the kid was. The discussion on why he was "Nii-san" at home but always "Tou-san" in public had been enough of a nightmare. Even worse than explaining that, if anyone from the Order or the Vatican asked, there was no relation between them at all.

(Necessary because no less than four Popes had now forbidden him from procreating.)

"Babies come from their mother's womb, Nii-san."

"Well, maybe you did, but that's not where I found you."

That wasn't a lie. The dark-haired boy giving him a frown too old for his small face had been "found" in a hospital bed. His own deathbed, in fact. A bed charred beyond recognition by the hungry, blue flames that had consumed his former, aged body and somehow left behind a tiny, healthy infant.

At least he knew how to explain that much. It was a miracle. There was no other word for it. A real miracle, and, yes, he did know what the word meant, thank you very much.

He was the Paladin, and the Knights of the True Cross made sure one knew these things.

Hmm... Now that he thought about it, maybe becoming Paladin was when he started turning into his father. Or when he moved back into the old monastery to raise a demon baby in secret.

He had not, however, taken up duties as the priest. No one had even suggested it.

Except Mephisto, who thought it was the second funniest idea he had ever heard.

Anyway, he had quite enough work to do between his exorcist duties and looking after little Yukio. Not that the latter was ever difficult aside from the awkward questions. And, the former paid well.

He felt an uncharacteristic lump rise in his throat. He had learned too late exactly why the Vatican agreed to pay him. To treat him like a real exorcist and not a trained attack dog.

Because his brother had spent his life working for it.

Okumura Yukio had been the perfect exorcist. Efficient, obedient, ruthless. If it was the Vatican's orders, Yukio wouldn't even raise a hand to defend his own kin. His brother was a demon, after all. It couldn't be helped. And, if the perfect exorcist happened to suggest that their tame demon might work more effectively with some small concessions, all anyone saw was brutal efficiency, never compassion.

Even he hadn't realized how much compassion his brother was capable of until Yukio had been dying. Old and frail and human while his demon twin never seemed to age past his early twenties. Old and scarred by decades fighting demons and smiling.

"I think they finally trust you, Nii-san," he had said. "You convinced them. I just won you the chance."

Then, the smile had slid from Yukio's face and his cloudy blue eyes had lost their focus, and there might have been screaming or crying or both. All that was certain were the flames that had suddenly burst from Yukio's body and the baby they left behind.

Like a phoenix. A phoenix with bright blue eyes and a short, fur-tufted tail.

"Nii-san, you're not paying attention to the eggs."

"Huh?" He looked down at the tamago slowly browning in the pan. Oops. "Ha! Just the way I like it!" he declared. "Just a minute and I'll start on yours."

Because the least he could do was make sure his brother got a proper breakfast every morning. And, a proper dinner and school and training so someday he wouldn't hurt himself or anyone else with his own flames. And, when he was old enough, he could attend any high school he wanted, any college he wanted, and choose any job he wanted. Because Yukio was smart enough to do anything.

And, he would give up anything to insure that Yukio had that chance.

He sort of hoped he was a little like his father in that too.