Chapter 12

"I am truly grateful for the aid the angels provided for my school." Mephisto bowed his head in thanks but his eyes were cold. Some things never change. Animosity between demons and angels is one of those. Even though they were united by a common enemy and basically fought together, they didn't trust each other. The chairman had his private reasons as well, ancient history of his own duel. The one he had actually lost and was lucky his existence continued. He was a person who understood how important an ally angels were, so he acted pleasantly enough. Gabriel's calm aura helped a little to put aside dark emotions.

Archangels were the only ones among creatures of Heaven which demons could tolerate or even like. Their power was said to be enormous – something to admire and fear. Peaceful atmosphere surrounded them because of their own, unique magic – it calmed demons down. Thanks to that effect a conversation with an archangel was a completely different experience than with a common angel. Usually they didn't look down on demons thinking they were better than everyone around them.

"I'm glad we could help. I believe it is time to finally let go of old grudges and become more friendly. I am sure that we could coexist without war, like we did before. Balance is what we seek for and with a blessing of our Lord I believe we will establish it again." Gabriel's gentle eyes made Mephisto shiver slightly. He wasn't one to lose composure but inside he felt uneasy. Confused. Like he wasn't totally in control of himself and that was making him angry. He clearly remembered feeling that way before. He kept his jovial exterior though.

"I agree. My dearest father went too far this time. We need to keep the balance of souls in each dimension or the consequences will be dire." Silence fell for a moment and Mephisto took it to study the archangel. He hadn't changed one bit from the time they've seen each other before.

He was young and curious. Finally getting away from his father's merciless clutches he managed to appear in Assiah. It wasn't a first time he got there but he still wasn't used to traveling between worlds. The archangel happened to see his ungraceful landing. His laugher didn't offend the young demon. It should as he was really proud and touchy if anyone made fun of him. Having enough power to show them their place, he never hesitated to attack. But this laugh was captivating. A clear, beautiful sound, luring the demon in even better than begging cries of his victims. And those eyes. So gentle they should repulse but somehow instead they calmed him. Or maybe it was his aura. Mephisto never felt such warm emotions before.

Heart beating faster he tried to attract the angel's attention. He got a name: Gabriel and a smile. But the more he spoke with this strange creature, the more frustrated he got. He felt uncontrolled. He was always most proud of his acting skills but now… now his mask was slipping, he got nervous, feeling that the angel saw through him… and didn't particularly like the truth. Gabriel was too cold, too indifferent. Mephisto knew deep down inside… he was hurt. Even though he couldn't even admit that to himself.

Being a young demon means you don't control your emotions fully. You can hide them if you are strong willed enough but you can't get rid of them so easily. And they pile up. One more thing and you suddenly blow up. No logic, just fury. Getting a "I am a creature of God. I cannot defile his Light with a fallen angel's power." as an answer to his confession was enough. His heart crushed, he has charged without second thought.

Gabriel spared his life. "May the mercy of our Lord make thee see the Light." What was worse, his voice was still beautiful. His eyes gentle. His face bore a kind smile…

He shook his head to get rid of this old memory. He wasn't a young demon anymore. Cooling down his emotions, he got straight to the point.

"I have some important news for you. I believe now will be a good time to get Rin in Gehenna. My spies uncovered that Satan has ordered all of his loyal demons to gather near his palace. If we want to attack him, we need to act quickly. Before his army is ready to flood Assiah. He would need an enormous Gehenna gate to move them all. I'm sure he plans to use Rin to open it. We have no more than a few days before the demons move."

"I see." Gabriel's voice was worried. "I will inform him immediately." He stood up, thanked Mephisto with a negligent nod and rushed out of the office.

Mephisto sighed watching him go. He sure didn't change one bit.

"Amaimon, go with Rin. He'd need your help." With a puff small, green hamster changed back into the Earth King. He grinned at the new challenge.

"It'll be fun! But are we really going against father?" His expression quickly changed to one of worry. He bit his long nail slightly.

"Yes. Enough is enough. I won't tolerate him destroying this world completely. I like it here too much. Gehenna is boring, I won't come back there. The only way to keep my playground intact is to fight Satan. So go. Don't make me angry by dying!" He scowled but his eyes shown a little concern.

"Fine, fine, don't fret. Me and otouto will kick their asses!" Grinning once again, he left the office.

Situation outlined, Rin's mood darkened a little. He wasn't expecting the battle so soon. He just got back after a long time of training. He hoped to have at least a few days to catch up with everyone. Being told he'd have to leave at dawn wasn't in his plans.

"I don't get it. Why should I leave now that the army is concentrating around Satan? Shouldn't I wait for them to attack here and then sneak in? I won't be able to fight an army!" Rin's panicked eyes met Gabriel's. The angel sighed but explained patiently

"As I told you before, Satan will want you to open the Gehenna gate. Here, you are more exposed to his mental attack. You were not trained enough for that eventuality. If he tried to take over your body, you'd be able to keep him away but not forever. It would tire you out and I'm sure he won't give up this time. Besides, now is the best time to move as his forces are in chaos. Demons aren't an organized army. They would need to see a personal gain in this, to decide if they wanted to obey or not. Also Satan would have to show them his anger for disobeying. Either way, his and his demons' attention will be elsewhere. You'd be able to move more freely."

Resigned, Rin nodded and agreed to go. Amaimon promised they'd be having fun fighting together. It didn't lift his dark mood.

"As for the army, I managed to gather a few souls to aid you." Gabriel reassured him with a smile. Rin opened his mouth in surprise and everyone chuckled at his expression. "You didn't think I'd send you completely alone there, did you?"

"I, uh… Thank you." He smiled apologetically in embarrassment. He should have had more faith in the archangel.

Gabriel explained all the details, where to meet and how to recognize his supporters. Angels couldn't enter Gehenna but those souls like Shin sure could. They weren't ready to move yet but would join Rin as soon as possible.

After Rin understood the most important parts of the explanation, his eyes focused on the other side of the room. Yukio got Gabriel's attention with his precise questions, so Rin used this to his advantage. Moving slowly, not to arouse suspicions, he inched towards Bon. Grabbing his hand, they disappeared through slightly ajar doors. No one noticed their departure, too involved with lively discussion.

Bon took the lead and turned into corridor. After a short walk in silence, they stopped in front of some doors. He took out a key.

"Normally I wouldn't have this but times are hard." He said, turning the Exorcists' special key in the lock. The doors opened, showing a different room, probably in some far away place.

"Sugoi! What is this place?" Rin moved to get a better look but Bon grabbed him and pinned to the closed doors. Before Rin could react in any way, he was being kissed. Forgetting the elegant furniture, he melted into the kiss. Hard wood of oak doors bit into his back but he didn't pay it any mind. His senses were overheated, focusing his whole attention on the warm, muscular body in front of him. He couldn't get enough. Bon moaned feeling hot tongue dominating an inside of his mouth. Rin's hand grabbed his hair while the other squeezed his butt. Temperature rose instantly.

Separating their lips for breath, Bon opened his glazed eyes. His pupils got wide in shock when he noticed he was surrounded by blue flames. Seeing his panic, Rin gently stroked his cheek.

"Don't be afraid of me, please… I control those fully. This is who I am." He whispered, soothingly. Movement took Bon's attention away from the deadly flames. Wings spread around them, hugging him closer to Rin's chest. He sighed, relaxing again. Somehow those wings along with his boyfriend gentle expression made him feel safe again.

"Sorry… It's just… hard to get used to." He hesitantly leaned back in and felt the warmth of the flames on his face. Electric blue eyes held him captivated. This kiss was much gentler than a previous one. They stayed leaning on those doors for a long while, relearning each other's body.

Good thing about having Exorcists' key is that no one would find out where you went to. A bad side is that when you are actually needed to be found… Well, enough said Yukio was pissed, running around the place searching for his irresponsible twin. Gabriel wasn't concerned, only smiled mysteriously and said he believed Rin understood all the important details and shouldn't be bothered now. Yukio went to look for him anyway.

Much later, when Rin and Bon finally decided to join the rest of the world, Yukio tired himself out already. He only scolded Rin for disappearing without a word and decided to let him be. He looked too happy holding Bon's hand to be shouted at. Such a content expression was rare to see on their faces.

"I hope for the sake of all of us you do know the plan, Nii-san." With that said, he turned around and hastily walked away. Rin sighed. His brother didn't change one bit. Still taking everything too seriously. He knew what he was doing and didn't need some elaborate, detailed plan of action. In real fight those never work out anyway.

The morning came all too soon. He had to leave Bon again and this time… there wasn't a guarantee he'd come back. Bon knew this too and held him tightly.

"Bon…" He whispered, trying to get up.

"Rin."

"You know I can't stay any longer." The embrace tightened.

"…"

With a sigh he gave up on struggling and hugged him back. They stayed in silence for a few minutes.

"I want to go with you."

"Bon, we've been over this… You can't!" Rin moved his face from the crook of his neck to look into his eyes. They expressed anger mixed with concern.

"Yea, yea I know. I still want to go. You think that waiting here for you is easy?! I knew you were safe but I still got pissed because you weren't here! And now? I will go crazy imagining the worst! You idiot, I don't know why I let you agree to do this!" He was shouting but it was obvious he wasn't really angry. He only wanted to hide the fact he was so worried.

Rin rolled them over in one quick move, pinning him to the bed. Feathers fluttered above them.

"I will come back. There is no other option so don't even think about it. I'm not asking you to wait for me this time." The last statement made Bon scowl. Rin didn't let him speak.

"Don't wait, just act. I am going there to fight but I am sure the attacks won't stop. Once Satan realizes I've disappeared again, he will change his plans. So instead of worrying about me, fight those bastards here. Take care of yourself and I will do the same."

"You are still an idiot." Bon said but his voice admitted defeat. He knew Rin was right, they will do what they have to do and survive to see each other again.

"Maybe but I'm your idiot." Grinning, he gave him a peck on the lips. Bon was obviously dissatisfied with that and grabbed his head for a proper kiss. Eventually though they had to separate.

"I really need to go. Amaimon is waiting for me. He will get me there as no one taught me yet how to travel my myself."

"Fine, fine, let's go."

Dressed and halfway presentable Rin got out of their room. Bon embraced him one last time.

"You know, I still believe you are so stupid you would forget to die if you got killed." Bon whispered sweetly and laughed at Rin's angry expression. He jumped out of the way of his fist. "Keep it up!" Shouting, he run with Rin hot on his heels. No matter how much they've changed, they actually stayed the same.


Author's Note:

What do you think of Mephisto's past meetings with Gabriel? I had a lot of fun writing that part ^^

Next, finally we will move to Gehenna!

Review please :)