Attempted to capture demon!drama in some way but all that came out was llama!drama, it was originally meant to show a kind of parallel similarity (or something) with demonism and puberty.

She's very delicate.

Rin is aware of this. He is extremely, consciously aware of this. He doesn't exactly know why he knows (except that he does, and the knowledge as to why he's so very aware of her is just a little terrifying) but every time Shiemi comes in with a bruise shining out against her pale milk skin, or there's a cut on her finger, every nerve in Rin's body twitches to life. It's as though someone has flipped his ON switch.

The first time that it becomes clear leaves a mark on him, it happens after a fight with a chimera that breathed ice and fire. Shiemi is slammed against a wall and a jagged spike at the end of the demon's tail manages to nick a long, thin trail from shoulder to the middle of her collarbone. Rin tears the creature apart with sword and flames where he takes some satisfaction in listening to its keening wails. When he turns to see Shiemi – pink kimono wearing, blond haired and blue eyed Shiemi crumpled against the wall moaning a little from the pain, his heart goes to his throat and he moves to her, arm stretching out and then he sees the red darkening the pink.

His nostrils flare – like a bloodhound setting up to put its nose to the ground – and unconsciously his eyes hone in on her, pupils contracting. Later on, he will remember this with shame, the way his throat works as if he's craving a tall cold glass of water as he stares at her. He doesn't move to her for all that his tail thrashes behind him. He's terrified of moving closer to her. He's terrified of the way she weakly moans softly, chest rising. He's even terrified of the slim trail of blood bleeding into her kimono collar.

He's terrified of what he may do if he dares move closer.

Everything is wrong in his body while he stares at her – but it feels so good and so, so bad – as if something in him is changing. Rin feels like he could climb up a wall and tear his skin off and become a whole new creature that will howl at the moon.

He's able to stay still, tail curling and uncurling behind him, his pointed ears twitching and his throat working for something he doesn't have.

Then Shiemi lifts her head to look at him with half-lidded eyes.


He jolts and automatically goes to her because if she calls to him, he can't say no – Go back go back go back stay away from her you might hurt her - was she always so helpless and lovely? – and soon enough he towers over her. He stares down at her and his heart aches for her, as it has since he saw her in her garden, but now, his teeth and tongue and throat ache for her too. "Oi, Shiemi, you okay?" he doesn't want to touch her because then he may not stop.

Her head drops and his eyes bob with the movement. "Mmm," it's a soft whine.

Rin's throat goes dry when he hears it, because it's a kind of pained, feminine fatigue.

His claws scrape against his now sweaty palms and his body feels heavy and weighed down. Unbidden, he shuffles closer and the tip of his tail flutters at the back of her knee when he doesn't mean for it to. Shiemi doesn't notice, and this inattention causes Rin to feel guilty and deviant. Just as long as he doesn't touch her, doesn't lean in to smell her, nothing will happen –

"Want me ta carry ya?" his voice sounds rougher and Rin is taken aback that he spoke at all. He hadn't meant to. He hadn't meant to invite himself upon her.

But Shiemi is already nodding and holding her arms out. Rin reaches out claws first to grab onto her arms and haul her up, turn her around and fit her in a piggyback behind him. He bites his tongue. Shiemi sighs against one long ear. Rin swallows and tastes his own blood. Shiemi's front is warmly pressed against his back and she smells like the shaded undersides of green ferns and rich soil. Her lips are barely touching his ear. He can feel the heat and the impression her lips could leave but don't.

His hands tighten on her thighs but he remains mindful of his claws.

"Thank you Rin," Shiemi murmurs, the imprint of what she says has left a hot spot on his ear.

"'Welcome," he mumbles and tries to not focus on her at all while he piggybacks her to the rest of the group.

The back of his throat itches.