I feel like an ass since I had intended to update more often, but then my weekend comes around and I get to writing for another series or something. Bad authoress, me. Anyway, here is the fifth chapter of Others. It has been beta-ed by the lovely Risque Tendencies. Thanks so much. Also, thank you to everyone who drops by to read and a special thanks to people who let me know what they think.
What About the Others
Part: The Fifth
One Month Later
True to his word, Onodera had learned to live with his new sight. No, the living with it didn't really make him happy, but it did make seeing demons everywhere that much more bearable. He'd continue on with his normal schedule; get up, go to work, work, do some more work, and then head home. At the subway, usually waiting near the exact spot where they'd first met, stood Rin. The school boy would never miss meeting up with Ritsu and he was glad for that.
Rin-kun had become a staple in his life and Onodera found himself enjoying the time he spent with the youth, even if most of it was spent talking about things in the kid's life that he himself would never experience. The boy would tell him of the most recent demons fought, or his jealousy over how popular his brother was with the ladies. All in all, he found it nice to have someone to talk to.
Okumura actually felt the same way, though he'd never admit it. Originally he'd intended to spend a few days with the older man and then get back to his life, but he found it nice to have someone who would actually listen when he just needed to complain about life. Onodera-san was perfect for the job because he was more than willing to listen and then discuss with an open mind. Once he'd gotten used to the demons his personality became a little more laid-back.
The normal meeting place and time was the same every day. Ritsu tried to get Rin to stay away on the weekends just so the boy could be with his friends. In that month though he never once missed meeting up with the older man. Every time he showed up at that subway, even when he said he wouldn't, Onodera would feel happy that Rin was waiting there.
"You're late, Onodera-san," Rin said with a grin when Ritsu finally stepped off the subway.
"It's hardly my fault when the car stops because of a malfunction," Onodera snapped. The kid could be a pain in the ass sometimes.
"Whatever, let's go talk about that demon there," Rin said as he pointed toward a normal looking lady.
Ritsu eyed her slightly before raising his brow. "How can you tell she's a demon?"
Okumura helped Ritsu focus his gaze on the lower part of the woman's body, namely the legs, or where the legs and ankles should have been. There were shoes on the ground, but no body part in the shoes. They moved on their own and the 'lady' moved with them. A few weeks prior a sight like this would have had Ritsu fainting or all but freaking out, but now it was commonplace.
"This is a demon pretending to be human. Occasionally you'll find a demon who's possessed a human's body. Those are hard to differentiate between a normal human."
"Can you?" Onodera asked. "Differentiate I mean, is that some power to being Satan's son?"
Rin laughed. "No, I can't just automatically tell, though it would be nice if I could. I can sense things though, which makes it easier for me. It's a skill you learn to hone at the exorcist trainings I attend."
The editor recalled the conversation a while back where Rin-kun had decided he wasn't going to attend classes until the older man was situated with his newfound ability. Onodera had insisted Okumura attend school, no matter what. After the first few days he hadn't been on the verge of jumping out of his skin anymore, and that made it all the better. After some prodding, Rin had agreed, but only because Onodera had threatened to ignore him whenever he showed up.
"Is it necessary to take these trainings?" Onodera asked as the demon stepped onto the train and disappeared into the crowd of people.
"Only those who want to, I guess. It's not something regulated," Rin replied thoughtfully. "Maybe it should be though."
In truth, to regulate the whole of everyone who had accidentally ended up with the sight would require the whole world to agree and thus start training. There was no telling who did or didn't have the sight at all times, so to cover all bases it would have had to have been a worldwide distribution. Rin knew that such an option wasn't really feasible.
Beep, beep, beep. Rin looked at Ritsu as the older man pulled his phone from his pocket.
"It's from my mother," he said, blandly. "She wants me to help An-chan move some furniture."
"That's the fiancé, right?"
"No!" Ritsu snapped, then immediately felt remorse for taking it out on the kid. "I mean, we were, but I don't love her that way. I've told her no and I told my mother no too. They don't seem to want to listen."
"Is it a bad thing to have someone who cares about you like that though? My father used to go out of his way to make sure I didn't feel like an outcast, even though I was."
Over the course of the month Ritsu had learned almost everything there was to know about the son of Satan. How he was ostracized as a kid because of his behavior, which eventually brought about his understanding of his true form. On a personal level he could empathize with the kid since people thought someone who was the devil's spawn would be evil, just like everyone thought that the son of the publishing company would be brilliant. Then there were those few who thought differently. In Rin's case it had been people who believed that genetics had nothing to do with it. For Ritsu it had been that people thought he was only riding his father's brilliance and he had none of his own. Yes, they were different, but there was a certain kinship that had blossomed over the course of the few weeks.
"I'll come and help you move the furniture. We'll get done faster."
"Don't you have something better to do, like study?"
Rin grinned. Of course he should be studying, but that would mean having to face his brother and a whole barrage of questions. That was not something he wanted to do since he had been sneaking off a lot lately. He was sure his brother would try and follow him, but that hadn't happened yet. If such an occurrence did happen, then his key would be taken away.
"Right now I have nothing better to do than follow an old man around as he helps his apparently incapable girlfriend," he sing-songed, which earned him a glare.
"You are an ass," Ritsu snarled, but motioned for the next subway car. It wouldn't have done any good to get rid of the punk; he was as stubborn as his mom and An-chan put together.
The smile on An-chan's face was quickly extinguished when Ritsu noticed her gaze fall on Okumura's form. He knew his friend didn't approve of him keeping company with kids, but it wasn't as if it wasn't warranted. He knew the minute they finished with the furniture he'd get a call from his mom demanding to know why he was still letting the kid hang around.
His mind suddenly floated to Saga-senpai. An-chan hadn't been particularly happy with him wanting to spend so much time with someone she didn't know. His parents hadn't quite figured things out, which was probably why An-chan had become a sort of spy into Ritsu's life. Whenever something new happened, or Onodera met someone else, his mother was almost instantly informed. While his time with senpai had been brief, it had made an everlasting impression on his life.
"Hey, you awake in there, Onodera-san?" Rin was waving his hand in front of the older man's face. Ritsu had zoned out for a spell and even missed the greeting the girl had given them.
"Sorry," Ritsu mumbled his apology before nodding to An-chan.
"Ri-chan, I didn't know you were with someone else," she stated politely. "Sorry to be a bother."
"It's okay," Ritsu said was a smile. "Okumura-kun was working on something with me and offered to help so we could get done faster."
Her face visibly fell with those words. He knew that she had wanted him to stay longer.
"I was hoping we could get dinner after we moved the dresser," An-chan said, words thick with hope.
Onodera felt his heart beat faster as he looked from her face to Rin's. On the one hand, he'd been spending quite a bit of time with the kid lately and he didn't want to neglect his other friends. Contrary-wise, he had told Okumura that he'd meet up with him as often as possible for the first few months to ensure he didn't start to have any 'issues' with the changes that had occurred. Three months was hardly a long time in the grand scheme of things.
Rin could see the stress in Onodera-san's features as he seemed to be weighing the options. "I can leave after we finish this if you want to get a bite to eat with her, Onodera-san. We can meet up later."
Ritsu felt both grateful and a little depressed at the offer. He couldn't turn An-chan down with that on the table, but by kicking Rin out of the group he was treating him rather poorly in her stead.
"It's okay, I have homework that I could be doing, remember?" Rin winked at him with a smile. "So, let's get this dresser moved, shall we?"
Once the dresser had been moved, Rin took his leave. In truth, he'd been a little disappointed that Onodera hadn't offered to take him along, but he also knew that if it had been him in the other man's place he'd have not wanted to offend the girl either. It was clear to Rin that Onodera was not in love with An-chan, yet she seemed to be head-over-heels for him. He wondered if the editor could even see how much she adored him.
Not much had been given to the half demon with regards to Onodera's past. He knew that the man was working as a literature editor and that he'd spent some time abroad. He deduced that at some point Ritsu had been in some sort of brief love affair which hadn't ended well, because the man was not willing to talk about what his life was like as a teenager. Obviously that was when whatever had happened had taken place.
Rin wasn't what anyone would call a patient individual. He was curious to know more about this other man, so, in order to get him to open up more, he'd been willing to share every detail about his personal life. It wasn't that he liked talking about himself; it was to help the two communicate freely with one another. Helping someone like Onodera was new to him, so he didn't quite know the proper way of handling things. And it wasn't as if anyone in his world was willing to help. Whenever he casually brought up the idea of helping one of the people, the kind he'd labeled others, with the new sight, his friends all laughed. It was like they lived in their own little world and no one else on Earth existed.
He wasn't even sure he was helping the man, but Onodera had been taking things in stride. Rin had commented that he should just ignore the demons and not draw attention to himself. Onodera had listened and it seemed to work just fine. The literature editor knew that the demons were there, but he went about his life as if nothing had changed. Okumura considered the thought that it would have been similar to someone who had seen aliens, or had been given top-secret information regarding the government. Instead of dwelling on it, they went about their lives as if nothing had changed.
So lost in thought was he that Rin didn't realize he wandered back to their meeting place at the subway. What surprised him more was that Onodera had just stepped off the train and run smack into him.
"Rin-kun! I thought you were going to do your homework?" Onodera asked, in a rushed tone.
The boy shook his head. "I must have lost track of time," he answered with a yawn. "What time is it, anyway?"
Ritsu held out his phone; it said 11:03.
"I really did lose track of time," he stated. "Did you have fun on your date?"
"It wasn't a date," Ritsu said with a blush. "Please, stop calling her that. I really don't have that feeling in my head for her. I want at least one person I know to see that and acknowledge it."
Rin could hardly deny the man who looked rather broken up about being teased regarding the situation. So, he decided to relent and let the matter go.
"Let me give you some more information on demonic possession as we walk to your place and I'll use your door to go home."
Ritsu nodded and asked a question immediately. "What happens if I get possessed?"
"Hopefully nothing and you don't remember anything after the fact. I can only imagine what it must be like to have that sort of evil take over your body."
"Then how do we remove that evil?"
"Either it leaves on its own or it needs to be exorcised. I did some checking and there are some legitimate exorcists near the Catholic Church a few blocks from your apartment. I've already made them aware that you are able to see demons, so if I am not around you can get help from them."
Just the idea that the kid had taken so much time to help him made Ritsu feel important. The young man was going out of his way to help and Ritsu knew there'd be no way he could possibly pay the youth back for everything he'd done.
The two continued to banter until they reached Onodera's apartment. Ritsu opened the door and they stepped over the threshold. He knew that once he shut his door Rin could use his key and open the door to his home. The idea fascinated him and he actually enjoyed watching it.
"Thanks for your help today, Rin-kun. I know I kind of left you out when An-chan wanted me to eat with her."
Rin nodded. "It's okay, Onodera-san. I know that you need your other friends, too."
Ritsu leaned down to untie his shoes. Once the kid left he had every intention in getting into the bath and then falling asleep for as long as he could. One foot free, he placed it onto his floor, but lost his footing and fell backward. At some point he'd reached out and grabbed hold of Rin and pulled the boy down with him.
Once his eyes settled he noticed that he was lying on his back on the floor and Rin was half lying on top of him. The younger man pushed himself up and looked at Onodera with wide eyes. The editor didn't know what came over him, but in that moment he felt a need he hadn't felt in years.
"Are you o..?"
Rin couldn't get the last word out as he felt Ritsu's hand shoot up and pull his face down to his own. When his lips were claimed, he stopped being able to form a coherent sentence, and, the next thing he knew, he was snaking his hands behind his elder and deepening the kiss. The feel of the other man beneath him had awakened something he hadn't even known existed.
Ritsu wasn't aware of how, or why, but eventually their forms were moving to the bedroom.