If there's any troubling discrepancies between this story and the actual story line, please bring it to my attention so I can fix it.

Chapter 1




It had been only two days since we'd destroyed the gate, thwarted our so called grandfather's plans to destroy Gehenna, and saved this side of reality. Two days since my brilliance had nearly gotten Rin sacrificed to death, I'd been possessed by the king of demons, and True Cross Academy had been half demolished.

It had only taken two days for emergency contingency plans to be put into action. The school was quickly being rebuilt, overseen by newly-reinstated Paladin. The Grigori were back in power, supposedly making sure whoever was responsible for the catastrophe was punished. But then, how could they, when most of those involved were burned to death by my own demonic flames?

It had only taken two days for everything to begin resembling a state of normalcy.

It had only taken two days for everything to spiral completely and irreversibly out of control. Again.

If only Dad were there…

He would know what to do. He would know how to fix it.




It was the day of the first exorcist cram class since the incident. The halls that generally housed the classes were miraculously mostly intact and suitable for exorcist usage. All the normal students had been sent home with the exception of if they had received mashous from the attacking demons. A fairly sizable number of new students had been enrolled in the cram school as a result.

The new students hadn't been given very much information–any, really–about what, exactly, they would be learning about in this special cram school, but I doubt anything could have truly prepared them. The lifestyle of an exorcist wasn't something to be desired unless absolutely necessary. Half of the new recruits would drop out by the end of the week, if not after the first day, being thoroughly traumatized by the sight of Rin.

My own features had changed to match his, with these pointy elf-like ears and sharpened canines. My tail is hidden by my long exorcist coat–Rin is right, it is more comfortable, if considerably more dangerous, to keep it out rather than confined around my midsection–and even though my facial features were enough to alert anyone with half a brain that I wasn't quite normal, I was high enough up on the Exorcist food chain that most wouldn't dream of questioning my appearance.

Rin on the other hand…well. Three new kids ran out of the classroom as soon as they saw him, and another tried to stab him with a sharpened pencil. I thanked whatever benevolent deity that didn't condemn my existence that Rin had somehow matured in the past months and didn't attempt to maim an innocent human.

Some time after the class was spent consoling a crying Shiemi, as she'd gotten such a basic answer wrong during class that even the newbies were laughing at her; however, shortly after that everything began to go horribly wrong. Yes, again.




Rin was so understanding, too understanding. Or maybe it was just the stupid in his brain reminding us that I'd definitely been the only one born with a sense of self preservation. How could he not blame me? Only two days had passed since I had all but offered him bound and gagged on a silver platter to be sacrificed to an inane cause that ended up biting us all in the ass anyway; I'd tried to fucking kill him, saw my own hand pull the trigger on him, and the only thing that pissed him off was the fact that I didn't tell him anything beforehand. I guess Rin had always been, well, special.

But it was more than that. Oh, I knew. I knew that, although he could be the biggest moron this side of reality, he was smart in a way that could never be attained by studying. His faith and loyalty, so different from mine, would never falter.

"Rely on me too sometimes! You always forget that I'm the older one," he'd said while nursing a still sore bruise suspiciously close to where my bullet had pierced his flesh. As if neglecting to talk to him was the most heinous deed I'd committed in my whole lifetime. As if I hadn't just lost control of the blue flames and killed a dozen misguided exorcists.

Later on I asked him why he didn't seem to mind that his brother was a murderer of both demons and humans. His response was to grab me in an unrelenting hug and plant an unprecedented rough kiss on my lips.

"What, I can't give my little brother a kiss?" He laughed at my stuttered astonishment before abruptly becoming serious. "We're brothers. Brothers. We're all we have left, really. And that's my fault, I know, I know, dammit, but I'm not letting you go, ever."

And he childishly linked his arms behind my neck so I couldn't escape, and I childishly linked my arms behind his back because I didn't want to let him go either, ever.




It had started with only one demon. High ranking and powerful, as he referred to us as 'little brothers', he probably wouldn't have lasted too long against the two of us. There was no time to call for backup; as soon as the rest of them were spotted, we'd been fighting for our lives.

"Father is angry," one of them stated, simultaneously whacking the gun from my left hand and knocking me down before I could draw one of my spares.

"That only means more fun for us!" Another one tongued his fangs before rushing towards Rin, held back by the blue flames that burst from his body and sword.

We struggled with the demons until I was dangerously close to depleting my bountiful supply of bullets, but there were at least six of them and only two of us. Not even our flames could save us this time.

They eventually had us cornered, bloody and weary, and they eagerly stalked in on us, closing off any hope for escape.

If I was thinking clearly, I could possibly admit to myself that there were no other feasible options. There was no way out, no one to come and rescue us, nothing to explain how the fuck half a dozen extremely powerful demons had broken past the barriers in the school in the first place.

There was nothing I could have done to produce a different outcome but dammit it wasn't supposed to be like that! I had worked hard, so hard, for the better part of my short life. I should have been able to do something. Only a few days before I had bared the title of Paladin, albeit in somewhat shameful and immoral circumstances, but what good was being called a genius exorcist if I couldn't even save us from a few deranged demons? What was the point of any of my goals, dreams, prior to that point if I couldn't even protect my own brother?

I felt the claws of one of the demons as he ripped through the flesh of the back of my neck. The last thing I was aware of before I was consumed by the dark void was Rin screaming my name as another demon descended on him from above.

When I awoke, Rin was nowhere to be found; only the hilted half of a broken Kurikara served as evidence that he was there at all.