I rarely write fluff but it's nice to mix things up once in a while.
I love you Minerva. You really do have excellent taste in giving prompts. It needed to be fluffy and you knew that Yamato and Alcor have it out for each other.
Characters: Yamato Hotsuin (Youngmato), and the Anguished One
I don't own Devil Survivor 2.
Comments and criticisms are welcomed.
It smells musky in the grand library of the Hotsuin home. This room is filled with thousands of books collected from the ages. Handwritten scrolls and books were kept in mint condition but were unable to withstand time's everlasting power. Paper has become light shades of yellow and obsidian ink is fading to grey, threatening to disappear out of existence. These books are kept in the innermost confines of the library, under heavily restricted environments. Sunlight can never reach this room for there are no windows; dainty chandeliers hang here.
Recent books are kept on the shelves and open for any family member to read at any time.
Shelves are lined up in perfect rows, and the library becomes a maze of sorts. It is a perfect place to let your mind wander.
A lone boy hides between these towering shelves, reading a book that does not reach the standards of those shelved. It is childish and filled with colourful pictures but the boy doesn't mind. This book is more magnificent than the complex works he is used to.
Each word is terribly simple and decades behind his superior vocabulary that surpasses even adults. Yet this boy continues on reading the book with great fascination.
His small hands trace the expressions of the people in that book. Though poorly drawn (to his standards anyway), their expressions are far warmer than he can ever imagine. Smiles are large and natural. He mimics each one but… it feels off, not genuine in the least.
The story, though completely unoriginal, piques his interest. It was something that is apparently normal for a child of his age, to ride a bike. He has never ridden one before and can only wish he had the chance.
When the book is done, he gently closes it and places it under the shelf. He isn't supposed to be wasting his time like this so he has to hide to do such things. The library proved best for this place as very few workers of the house have access to this room.
He gets up from the hard wooden floors and makes his way to the door, freezing when the French-styled doors open.
A young boy is dressed in a shirt alternating between red and black strips with similar styled shoes. Black shorts with high cut white socks match the ensemble. He has curly white hair and his skin was far whiter than his own. He looks frail and weak but the atmosphere surrounding him suggests otherwise.
The boy clicks his tongue and coldly states, "And just who are you? This is the esteemed Hotsuin family's private library. People from the outer families have no business here!"
The boy is unfazed and brings his hand to his mouth, "I'm sorry. I never meant to intrude but the door was unlocked and I felt a strange presence emanating from here. I believe that you might be the source as you shine brighter than others."
The boy's eyes widen by the other's statement. This person has far more secrets than meets the surface and he could not help but be captivated. Never has he met someone that could pique his interest and perhaps he could be- if even possible- friends.
"Who are you?" The question is more of a demand but he doesn't know how to ask these things nicely.
"My name? Hmm… I suppose I could- Ah yes! My name is Alcor. And you are?"
The boy quirks his brow at the other's fumbling but is reassured by his ethereal smile.
"My name is Yamato Hotsuin, future head of the Hotsuin family."
"What a name indeed, fleeting yet powerful. I'm sure you will achieve great things if you are willing to put your heart and mind towards it."
"I… I don't need silly things like that. My talent and skill alone shall be used to serve my family and all of Japan. That is the Hotsuin way. Now, if you have no business here then be gone!"
The boy smirks and flutters by him, walking away.
"You! Stop walking through here this instance or I will personally make you leave."
He doesn't listen to Yamato's threats.
Yamato follows him, his pace even. He isn't desperate and can handle this. He was taught how to by his father.
The fragile boy continues to move forward despite Yamato trailing him and only ceases to walk as he takes a turn to a shelf.
By the time Yamato arrives at the scene, he can only bashfully look away.
The silly book has been found and the boy has a devious smirk to his lips.
'Perhaps,' Yamato thinks to himself, 'that this is all a scheme to cause a schism. This boy must have been from the outer families, desiring a way back into the main clan.'
"Humans are interesting."
The phrase, though horribly wrong as the common folk are useless, makes Yamato put his guard up. No normal person would dare speak like this. This being must have been a demon and he had let his guard down all too quickly.
He focuses his energy, even though any carrier is far away, he can still access the Dragon Stream. Yamato knew this was dangerous but he has no alternative as he cannot use ancient scripture to summon demons now. There is no time.
He begins to glow gold and pain seeps through his body for he is too young and inexperienced. It shows and he grunts as the sensation gets stronger.
Alcor's eyes flicker for but a moment and he snaps his fingers, dissipating the energy.
Yamato looks at Alcor, eyes filled with shock.
"You… saved me? Why would you do such a thing when you are-"
"Don't be confused, young Hotsuin. I merely stopped the flow of the Dragon Stream as it would do great harm to you. You have yet to obtain the prowess to control such a power with that calibre of possibility."
"How do you know about the existence of the Dragon Stream when you are-"
"I'm not well rehearsed in the art of conversations but is this how people talk when they become acquaintances? That's fascinating."
The bronze knob on the door clicks as someone is turning it.
He couldn't explain why he is here or the reasons why the boy Alcor is there either. He still has the book in his hands and does not seem affected by the turn of events.
Before he can hiss to tell Alcor to hide, a voice calls and shifts his gaze to the butler, weathered with age.
"Master Hotsuin, I was informed that you were in the library. Your tutor is here so you must postpone browsing through the library for a different time."
It feels off and so Yamato looks past his shoulder, the mysterious boy, Alcor, has vanished with the book. His presence is gone. It's as if the being had never existed in the first place.
Yamato leaves the library and returns at the cusp of midnight, searching for any place the boy may have hidden. He calls his name over and over but to no avail. It seems like everything that happened that room was nothing more than a day dream, far more realistic than he would like.
That was what he would like to say until Alcor magically reappears in front of him days later.
Though late, the orchids on the apple tree still bloom and pale pink petals flutter in the soft breeze.
The boy nonchalantly sits there, eating an apple, while flipping through the pages of the book.
When he is done, he lets the core fall from his hands.
Yamato silently stands there with a face filled of confusions. He could not comprehend why the boy is doing that but supposes that this is normal for him.
Their eyes meet and Yamato flinches. Alcor gracefully descends from the tree and walks to Yamato.
With both hands on the book, he outstretches his arms to offer Yamato to take it back.
"I have learned much about humans from this book and I apologise for taking it without your permission. I wish to return this to you."
Hesitation stills Yamato's hand as he tries to reach the booking. Taking it back, he can only look at the cover and then immediately throws it back in the other's face.
He bares his fangs and hisses, "I don't need your sympathy, monster!"
Alcor takes the book to his face and a bright red mark ruins his perfect marble-white face. He reluctantly brings his hand to his face and rubs the spot. He makes no sound and Yamato looks at his own hands then back to Alcor's face.
The bruise he left is a disgusting green colour and will soon turn purple.
Alcor has no emotion on his face and so Yamato feels remorse. He wavers as he reaches out his hand. Before he can even do so, winds rage and petals furiously dance, taking his vision for a moment.
The boy is no longer there.
The book remains.
He picks it up and runs away to the safe haven that is called the library. He places the book under the shelf and waits at the door, hoping.
It becomes a habit and whenever he is sure that he is alone, Yamato calls for Alcor. Each time results in failure. He does this for days.
The beautiful apple tree's petals are now replaced by vibrant greens.
It's too tiring to wish for something to this extent and so he mumbles to the tree, "I'm sorry."
He no longer waits for Alcor.
Weeks past and the tree loses its verdant greens and slowly morphs into beautiful reds and oranges. Autumn is approaching.
Scent of change does not affect Yamato in the old library.
He remains stagnant, reading War and Peace. His tutor is a great fan of Tolstoy so reading his works is advantageous. He will no longer be demeaned by the other's flamboyant and annoying praise towards this work.
It is comfortably silent, no nuisance distracting him in this small world until the sound of bells permeate the room.
He closes the book and walks past the rows of shelves to the door where the sound is loudest.
"How dare someone interrupt me in my free time," he curses to himself.
He reaches out to grab the handle of the intricate door but the door quickly opens in a flight, nearly hitting his hand.
No one is present through the frame and he wonders if any of the staff were playing tricks.
The situation would demand for punishment.
Bells continue to ring and from the corner appears a bike with a pattern similar to that being's.
He doesn't know how the bike got there and reaches his hands to grab the bike. If he was caught with such a thing, it would be impossible to explain its presence.
Yamato stares at the bike then places a hand on the handle bar and the other on the seat. Temptation strikes him and he tries to resist the urge of riding on the bike. He stares at the seat for a few moments and succumbs. It is far too late now as he fumbles while getting on the bike.
Carefully, he places his feet on the pedals and before he can even turn them, a snap echoes in a distant hallway. The bike is surrounded by a blue aura and the pedals begin to turn on their own. Yamato clicks his tongue. If he screams, the staff will hear and this incident will be reported to his father. Everything blurs on by but the path straight ahead is clear. Each swerve and turn is exhilarating.
Yamato chokes. What awaits him now in this hall is nothing but the door. He presses onto the brakes but they are stuck in place. Desperate, he places feet to the ground to only have them skid. It does absolutely nothing.
He clenches his eyes shut. Only metres away and he'll alert everyone of this spectacle. Before he meets his doom, he opens his left eye by a bit and the doors begin opening.
He flies through the doors but the bike continues to move, albeit at a slower pace, until it comes to a complete halt under the apple tree.
Yamato wobbles as he gets off the bike and falls to the ground. He did not expect that to occur and sighs, thankful that the trip is over.
The grass crunches and Yamato sees shoes with black and red streaks. He gasps then looks up, seeing warm eyes.
"Good afternoon, Yamato. I have acquired a bike."
Yamato gets up and brushes the dirt off his knees. With his nose in the air, he replies, "I can see that. I don't know why you got it or how. Now, leave me be!"
Mentally, he scolds himself for not being honest. He didn't care about any of the things he just mentioned; he is happy to just see his… acquaintance once more.
"Humans really aren't honest with themselves, are they?"
"I-I… don't need you charity! Or this bike!"
Yamato quickly tries to kick it but the bike moves and he falls back.
Alcor softly chuckles, "You did spend a few good moments trying to resist going on this bike. Why don't I teach you how to ride it?"
Yamato becomes skeptical.
"Can you even ride one yourself?"
"No. It can't be too hard though."
Yamato starts rubbing his temples and sighs. This being doesn't seem too bright and relying off of him wouldn't be a good investment of his trust.
"Do you have a helmet so we don't get hurt?"
Alcor fades and immediately returns with one that bears the same resemblance as his clothes.
"You have a… strange obsession with stripes," he says while taking the helmet and strapping it on. Once more, he gets on the bike then looks to Alcor, "It would be most favourable if you do not use your magic on this bike. I prefer having control over my movements."
Alcor takes a step back and watches with interest as Yamato begins pedaling the bike but sways from side to side. He leans too far to the right and falls, scraping his leg. He has only moved a few metres at most.
Yamato bites his tongue. Of course the fall stings and he dare not look at his leg. He gets up, picking the bike up with him and turns to the other whose eyes are fixated on the scene before him. It isn't fair.
"You said this shouldn't be too hard yet I fell!"
"I never guaranteed you could do it right the first time. The book even stated that the child could not do it for days."
"I'm not like any normal child! I expect perfection the moment I started."
Alcor sighs, "This is your first time. You lack patience and balance."
"Then you try."
Alcor snaps his fingers and the bike moves towards him.
"No magic either."
"As you request."
He gets on, refusing the helmet and perfectly circles around Yamato. Alcor continues riding throughout the yard where the other can see him then stops as soon as he is content.
Yamato narrows his eyes. The fact this being could master riding a bike faster than he is almost infuriating.
"It's your turn now, Yamato."
Yamato snatches one side of the bike and impatiently begins riding to only fall again. It becomes an endless cycle with no signs of improvement until…
"Why don't I help you?"
Yamato crosses his arms and promptly refuses.
"No, I can do this on my own. I don't need your help."
"You are rejecting necessary assistance, leading to conflict. It would be desirable for you to accept my help in order to achieve your goal."
Yamato looks down at the bicycle. He recalls scenes from the book.
An adult helps their child to learn, guiding them and giving them a push to start. The child would keep falling and crying but relinquished in happiness once they could do it by themselves.
"I… suppose I could take your offer but it's not because I want you to teach me. I'll figure this out on my own so you just need to guide me!"
Alcor smiles and helps Yamato just like in the book.
The afternoon recedes to evening and improvement is most definitely seen.
Yamato rides across the yard and minutes without fail. He stops in front on Alcor, a modest smile on his face.
"That was spectacular."
"Yes, it was."
They both look to the sky. Their faces are a lively red due to exercise and can barely stand due to feeling tired. Yamato looks at himself and cringes. His body is covered in scrapes, bruises, scabs and dirt but laughs it off. This is the first time in aeons he has ever gotten to freely enjoy himself. It is all thanks to this strange being Alcor.
Alcor shifts his gaze to only see Yamato staring at him. Though odd, this boy is definitely enjoyable to talk to. He closes his eyes and smiles. This child is definitely something to him now.
"Do you… wish to become friends?"
Yamato flinches and quickly nods. He has never had a friend before and perhaps, he can finally enjoy being in the presence of someone for they are equal. His modest smile becomes more natural and he blurts out without thought, "Of course! We'll be friends forever."