Title: Salvation
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: May 14, 2012
Rating: K+
Warnings: None.
Pairings: None. Only friendship... of an odd sort, is intended.
Continuity: Any.
Disclaimer: "Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist" belongs to Kazue Katou, Shueisha, Aniplex, and various other parties.

It had been an exciting – and productive – afternoon. But, now, it was quiet. His newest little brother had made his absurd declaration, glared as ferociously as a sodden, surly teenager could, and left, hopefully to pack. The exorcists who had come to slay a demon had instead been bound to keep his secret and dispersed. And, Mephisto Pheles at last turned his attention to the headstone he had been ignoring.

"Stop laughing."

There was, of course, no answer.

"Don't think that just because I can't hear you I don't know you're laughing, Shiro," Mephisto scolded, wagging a gloved finger.

Silence followed, broken only by the soft patter of rain. But, it seemed to be all the answer the demon needed.

"Don't expect me to say I'll dote on the boy." He adjusted the angle of his umbrella to block a sudden gust of wind. "It would be a waste for him to die before reaching his true potential, so I won't be careless, if that's what you're asking."

Water dripped steadily from the corners of the umbrella and darkened the tips of his pointed boots.

"Ah, and the young professor is interesting in his own right. You know, I still wonder about that one…" A twitch of his wrist flicked water to the side. "Well, time will tell."

The silence was longer this time.

"Do you remember those first missions I accompanied you on? The battles, the bars, the ladies." Mephisto let a leer creep into his voice as he leaned toward the headstone. "I'm certain you remember the lovely ladies. Ahhh…" Mephisto rocked back. "I thought you had such potential in those days, Shiro. So many wonderful little vices, but not quite a slave to any of them. And, so delightfully ruthless too." His lips quirked. "But, ruthless as you were, you didn't have it in you to kill children. I counted on that."

The smile slipped away slowly, and Mephisto stared into the middle distance.

"They changed you, Shiro. Those children. You started listening to your own sermons."

He laughed suddenly then. "It's the ultimate irony! The sons of Satan redeeming a worthless priest!"

It should have been as hilarious as the idea that the sole heir of Satan's flames wanted to become an exorcist. But, the laughter was a bitter sound that died quickly.

"Thanks to that, we'll never meet again, you know."

The rain was starting to taper off now, light peeking through the heavy clouds.

"It's beautiful, isn't it, Shiro?" Mephisto lowered his umbrella and planted it by his feet before looking toward the sky. "Don't think I don't remember." A thin smile lifted his lips. "I'm jealous. You have all that while I'm still clinging to this pale shadow."

As he watched in silence, the sun broke through at last. Mephisto seemed to take that as a cue and dropped his gaze back to carved stone.

"That's why I'm going to use your son to stay here as long as I can."

Sunlight fell across the grave in that moment, and Mephisto couldn't stop the bark of true laughter that escaped him.

"Another part of His plan? Will the twins be my salvation as well?" Smirking suddenly, he spun away, twirling his umbrella carelessly. "Well then! I shall be eager to see what awaits."