Chapter 01: Family Reunion Pt. 1
Rin Okumura hated very few things.
She hated color coordinating outfits. She hated her old man's insistence on replacing every pair of pants she owned with skirts at least once a year. She hated it when her brother got hurt.
And she hated Reiji Shiratori.
She didn't know his name when she first saw him, and didn't care. All she saw when she first laid eyes on Reiji, dragging her feet from the local Job Centre, was some asshole torturing birds. There were at least a dozen feathered bodies on the black top around him and his gang. Some were missing legs, others wings, and at least two were decapitated. The albino had a bloodied knife in his hand, and was stepping on the mangled wing of one pigeon still alive. It was letting out these pitiful…defeated…sounds that made something in Rin boil over- a sensation she was all too familiar with.
He didn't even see her until she landed her first punch.
His gang didn't know how to react- they were either too stunned by seeing their leader hit the concrete, or too stupid to know how do anything without his direction. Either way, Rin was thankful for the opening, and followed up her first swing with another to his face. Reiji's nose cracked pleasantly under her fist, and his right eye immediately began to swell.
"You sick bastards," she spat, not even noticing how his numerous facial piercings had torn open the skin on her knuckles. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
One of his friends went to help Reiji up, who was busy holding his nose and grunting in pain. Another looked between Rin and his boss, before scowling and charging toward her.
Rin managed to get out of the way of his first punch, but then the fourth member of the gang followed it up with a swing of his own, hitting her face. She stumbled back a few feet and blood immediately started dripping from her nose- but she had been hit enough in her life to know it wasn't quite broken. She steeled herself and knocked the same guy off his feet when he tried to get another cheap shot off at her.
Reiji, leaning with one arm on one of his gang members and using a different one to hold his face, called to them.
"This isn't worth our time. Let's get out of here! Now!" he said, but Rin could hear the silent promise in his voice that she'd be seeing them again, sooner or later. The fight sure as hell hadn't been her first, so the implication didn't even make her flinch.
The group began to retreat, but not before one got off, "Bitch probably broke my nose! Like some sort of demon!"
The comment made something old and worn sting in the teen's chest, but she ignored it in favor of checking on the remaining bird. It twitched when she got close, then flew up and away in a flurry of feathers, seemingly no worse for wear.
Rin allowed herself to calm down, and watched it until it was out of sight, before brushing away blood from her upper lip with the back of her hand. Her split knuckles stung at the contact with the crimson substance, and she hissed. A few drips had managed to spill onto her sweatshirt, no doubt staining it for good.
"Great," she sighed, and then remembered her failed job excursion from earlier in the day. "Just…great."
Drip, drip, drip.
She couldn't let him see her cry, so she furiously wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve. She handed her brother his glasses with her left hand, because her right was weirdly twisted and she couldn't feel it.
"I got em back for you," she said.
"Rin!" Yukio threw his arms around his big sister, tears in his eyes. "You're bleeding!"
Rin smiled softly. "I'm okay. Jeeze, I got em back so you wouldn't cry. Now my shoulder's all wet…"
The playground was buzzing. Bystanders were a gasp in horror. Two boys, no more than six or seven, where on the ground nearby, wailing and sobbing in pain. Their parents had already called an ambulance. Rin could feel blood dripping down her face, and her right wrist throbbed numbly. She couldn't move any of the fingers.
One of the injured boy's fathers reeled around and locked eyes on her tiny form, ablaze with anger. He marched up to her and painfully grabbed her injured hand, making her yelp in agony. Yukio fell to the ground in the sudden motion, and the father began shaking the girl in fury.
"What the hell did you do to my son?!" he asked. He pulled her up so her tips of her toes just grazed the ground. "He can't even move! What the hell are you?! You- You little-!"
He pulled a hand back to strike her, and Rin shut her eyes-
Rin fell to the ground as her hand was abruptly released. She looked up, half-dazed from the pain.
Father Fujimoto of Southern Cross Monastery was there, holding back the angry parent's arm.
"Your son needs you now," he said, evenly, like a calm before a storm. "You should go to him."
The father stared at the priest, adrenalin and rage draining from his form. He slouched, didn't spare Rin a second glance, and went back to where his son was being loaded into an ambulance. Rin wanted to run up to him, hug him, and ask him to take them home, when a sudden bout of nausea and dizziness hit her. The six year old didn't remember falling, but felt the cool ground against her cheek, and saw nothing but darkness.
"…not pressing charges. No one knows what really happened. I mean, who's going to believe that a little girl managed to shatter a boy's collar bone and break his shoulder blade with a single punch?"
There was a pause.
"They only ask that she never set foot in the school again. I'd advise you to comply, for everyone's sake."
"Good. Thank you for your time."
Rin overheard the entire conversation from just outside the room. It was dark out, nearing nine o'clock, and she looked down at her bandaged and splinted hand.
Something was wrong with her. She hadn't meant to hit the bully at school so hard; just enough to push him away. To get Yukio's glasses. To make sure they never bullied him again. And…now he was hurt. Really, badly, hurt.
She sank down and curled her knees up to her chest. Her body shook and her eyes stung, but she refused to cry. She was normal. There was nothing wrong with her.
Something wet ran down her cheek and hit the floor. She hugged her legs tighter.
A blanket was draped over her shaking shoulders. She didn't look up, but knew who was there. Her father had crouched down to her level and said, softly,
"Rin," he began. "Rin, look at me."
She didn't want to. She was weird and wrong and some kind of monster-
"Rin," he said again, now sterner, and she did, tear streaked cheeks gleaming under the low lights. He looked at her and sighed, before brushing a bit of hair from her face. "Why are you crying?"
"I'm some sort of freak," she spat, angry at herself.
Fugimoto sat down beside her. "No, you're not."
"Yes I am!" She almost shouted, now angry at him for lying. "I can't-!"
The priest pulled the girl to his chest, silencing any further protests. "You're a perfectly normal, adorable girl, and my daughter. You're Yukio's big sister. Don't let anyone ever tell you anything different."
Southern Cross Monastery.
Rin tried to straighten her jeans and sweatshirt the best she could before setting foot inside. The aroma of whatever had been made for dinner wafted toward her. It sounded like they'd already started eating without her- not that she could get mad at them. She may have purposely taken the longest route home.
Rin was not looking forward to her old man's latest lecture about getting a job, and find a place in the world, and taking on responsibilities and- ugh.
It wasn't like she didn't want to do those things. She just…she thought…
Rin sighed and opened the door. No use worrying about that now.
Yukio was there instantly, eyes honing in on her injuries and narrowing. For a guy who needed glasses to see three feet in front of his face, her brother was somehow able to spot the smallest of small scratches no matter how hard Rin tried to hide them.
"I'm ho-me~!" she called out, deliberately ignoring Yukio for the moment, and put on her best I-don't-know-what-you're-looking-at face.
"Welcome back," Yukio said as neutrally as possible.
Rin nodded absently, and made her way to where everyone from the monastery was gathered around the dinner table. She took her seat across from the Old Man himself, trying to simultaneously act as normal as possible while avoiding eye contact. Not an easy feat. Especially when the guy starts off dinner conversation with:
"You leave for the Job Centre and don't come back until dinner…" he began, pointing his chop sticks at her, a satisfied smile on his lips. "Now that's diligence. You found yourself some work, didn't you?"
Rin looked down at her red knuckles. "I…well, I uh-"
"She was out fighting again, of course," Yukio supplied. "She's injured."
You traitor! Rin thought as she had to dodge the resulting onslaught of chopsticks that came her way from across the table.
"What?!" the older priest practically yelled at her. "Why do you keep getting in these fights?! How many times have I told you to think with your head, not your fists? You idiot!"
"Like you're one to talk," Rin rebutted halfheartedly, covering her head from the barrage of eating utensils. "I can handle myself, you know."
The old man shook his head and sat back down, withdrew a slip of paper from his pocket, and passed it down to her. Rin almost didn't want to open it, but did, and groaned at what it said.
"…the heck is this?"
She dodged another chopstick. "A friend of mine who owns a traditional restaurant is looking for a new hand in the kitchen. You have an interview tomorrow afternoon."
If her jaw was long enough, it would have hit the table. "What? Seriously? Me, in a kitchen? You know I-"
"I know that cooking is one for your stronger points. It's perfect."
A sense of foreboding swelled in her stomach. She did like cooking- she knew she could do it right. But in a restaurant? She…would just screw it up somehow. Things always went wrong, no matter how good they seemed at first. There was always something that would get her fired. She'd see something weird out of the corner of her eye and let something burn, or get in a fight with an obnoxious customer, or end up breaking something on accident.
"I can't handle a respectable job like that…" Rin looked away. "…I know myself too well…"
"Idiot!" Rin jumped in her chair. "You have almost no qualifications- you can't sit around picking and choosing! As your legal guardian, I have the responsibility to raise you into responsible adults! Do you really not understand? You can't stay here forever, coming home beat up and expecting a hot meal. Some day, you'll have to go out on your own-!"
"You think I don't know that…?" Something in Rin sparked- both physically and metaphorically. Anger creased her brow- and she stood up, slammed her hands down on the table, and replied, "'Course I know that!"
The nearby stove exploded in a sudden surge of flames, knocking it over. Fortunately, nothing caught fire, but that didn't stop it from scaring the crap out of her. No one else seemed nearly as surprised, but if she had been paying closer attention, she would have seen her "legal guardian's" eyes harden.
Amongst the not-too rushed-rush to clean things up, one of the younger priests said to her old man, "Father Fujimoto. Someone's at the door to see you."
He nodded, stood and began walking off, but not before saying, "Yukio! Treat Rin's injuries for her, won't you?"
"…right," Yukio replied lamely, having just watched the scene play out before him in silence. The same hardness had appeared in eyes at the same time as Fujimoto's, along with an ample about of cautious concern.
Once everything was cleaned, Rin found herself sitting on the table, and Yukio in a chair beside her, applying an alcohol swab to her hands. She still winched at the unpleasant feeling of the disinfectant, even though she should have been more than used to the treatment.
She tried not to sigh. What a mess.
Rin hated seeing the old man like that. She wished she was some ignorant jerkoff that lacked any empathy, because then she wouldn't know that when he yelled at her, it was really out of concern. Concern that she wouldn't amount to anything. Concern that she would one day pick a fight with the wrong person and end up in the hospital or a body bag. Concern that she would never be able to support herself once he was gone.
The latter of which was far off, Rin mused with a tiny smile. The old man was so stubborn he'd probably live until she was fifty and then nag her as a ghost about her bad habits still.
And it wasn't like she didn't want to try to get a job- but it was better for everyone if she didn't. Less property damage that way. Less angry people that way. Less people seeing her as something…horrible. Bad. A…demon.
Yukio finished putting a bandage on a cut below her eye she hadn't noticed before. "Who did this to you?"
Rin shrugged. "Just some assholes who deserved what was coming."
Yukio looked like he was going to get upset at her nonchalant attitude, but then seemed to think better of it, and simply lowered her head. "You can't keep doing this."
"I gave better than I got," she said, and tried to give him a reassuring smile. Rin didn't understand Yukio's frustration- he knew she could give a lot in fight. She defended him always. She was his older sister, after all.
Rin decided not to let the subject weigh down their conversation any more than it already had.
"So…when do you start at True Cross again?"
"True Cross Academy…" Rin whistled. "That place is supposed to be super elite. I always knew you were awesome, Yukio, but it looks like you're better than even I thought!" She smiled. "I'm proud to call you my brother. I know you can do it."
Yukio smiled warmly at her. "…I'll try my best."
Rin liked these kinds of moments; where she got to actually act like the older sibling she was. She held up her expertly bandaged hand. "And look! You're already great at all this medical stuff!"
Yukio faltered. "Only because you're so good at getting in fights…"
Rin chuckled nervously at that but Yukio continued. "Are you going to that interview tomorrow?"
"I…I don't know. It's not like I don't care. I do. But…I just don't want to mess things up again," she sighed. "I'm just one big screw-up, remember?"
"You know that's not true. I'm just concerned. So is father." Yukio looked her in the eyes, and Rin couldn't help but feel like she had to do something.
"Yeah…" Rin got off the table and straightened herself up. "I…I'll go. I'll go to the interview. Who knows? Maybe I'll win them over with the good ol' feminine charms?"
Yukio did something between a laugh, a choking sound, and a snort, and then tried to cover it all up under a cough. Rin laughed and went to bed shortly after, the memory of her fight with the albino and his gang all but gone, replaced with the thoughts of her interview swimming around in her head.
Rin hated dresses. They were inconvenient to move in and made her legs itch.
But she also wanted to give this interview her best shot- and someone had none-too-subtlety dropped the hint that she should wear one by hanging one on her doorknob over night, complete with matching earrings and flats.
Deciding not to do things halfway, Rin tried her best to do her hair. Her hair was long, having grown out past her shoulders over the summer, and tended to tangle and matt easily. After an epic battle between her bedhead and a steel comb brush that lasted half an hour, her hair was smooth enough to run fingers through. The dress was simple, casual, and black. As were the flats.
Unfortunately, the back zipper just wouldn't stay up.
She stood outside the monastery, her interview time drawing closer and closer, as she kept trying to reach her zipper and failing. Miserably.
"This is stupid. I'm grabbing a jacket-"
"Thank you very much, Father."
Rin stopped short of the door when she heard voices from the monastery's entrance. She turned the corner and stopped at seeing Fujimoto giving a little girl and her family a charm in a bottle.
"It's no problem," he replied, patting the girl on the head. "It's a four leaved clover charm. Keep it close, and it should ward off demons."
While she watched the old man send the family off with a wave, something buzzed in the corner of her vision. She turned, and just managed to see it before it blinked out of existence: a black, flying…thing. It looking like a bug, but was too big to be anything normal. She stared at the space where it had been for a second, but got distracted when her dress began to slip.
She strode toward her guardian, shaking her head. "You can't ward off things that don't exist. What you're doing is basically just counseling, right?"
"Of course demons exist. They're in our hearts." Fujimoto glanced at her, and smiled. "Ah, I see you got the outfit we picked for you!"
"Shut it, old man. The stupid thing won't even stay up right." Rin blushed. "I mean…I'm supposed to look more respectable in these sort of clothes or whatever. I guess."
"You look beautiful," he said warmly. "Want some help?"
She looked away and blushed harder, before turning around so he could zip her up correctly. He pushed her hair over her shoulder and in a single tug snapped the zipper into place.
"You might look grown up, but you're still a little girl on the inside."
If anyone else had called her that, they'd be missing a few teeth. When her old man said it, she just felt more blood creep into her cheeks. It was basically a parent- no, a guardian's job to embarrass their kids.
The priest continued, a strange smile on his lips. "I remember when you wore dresses every day to school. You'd rip them and get them dirty, but still managed to look cute no matter what. That was way back when you'd call me "Daddy!" every time you saw me…"
"What are you talking about? I'm not cute!" Rin turned back around, and tried her best to cover her face with one hand. "I'm fifteen now, you old geezer. I'm almost an adult."
"An adult?! Where? I don't see any adults around here!"
Rin's brow twitched. "Oh, like you're any better!"
Fujimoto laughed and ruffled her hair. "Why don't you show me just how adult you can be then?"
"I-I'll show you! You just watch, I'm going to nail this stupid interview so all of you will get off my back!"
"Just be back before it get's dark this time, alright?"
"Yeah, yeah," Rin hummed, huffing away, her beat red face obscured by her hair, and her steps looking a little awkward in her flats. "Stupid shoes…stupid dress…who chooses to wear these things …?"
Fujimoto watched her go, but all amusement in his features dropped as he snatched what looked like a large, black bug from the air, his eyes widening in recognition.
Have I gone crazy?
Rin knew she had to be seeing things.
The little black bug things were swarming the air, but no one seemed to even notice them. Had she missed something? People were just going about their business, not even giving the things a second glance. Rin was about halfway to her interview, trying to ignore the crazy looks she was getting when she started waving the things away from her face, when a familiar voice reached her years.
"Haha, look who it is! Okumura-chan~!"
Okumura-what? Rin turned to see the albino and his gang from the pervious day, all bandaged up, and their leader smirking like a-
She nearly fell over at the sight of the guy. His head had…horns. Freaking…horns. And little black bugs seemed to be circling around his head, almost like they were coming off him, and his ears were…she blinked. His ears were pointed. Rin didn't know what to think.
Is he cosplaying? It looks really…real. That was the only explanation that made any sense.
He smirked. "Sorry about yesterday, yeah? You weren't hurt or anything, were you?"
Rin didn't know why, but she scowled. Why was he being so nice? She reached up to the cut Yukio had bandaged under her eye. "No."
"Good. Good, you see, we weren't really thinking straight yesterday. We wanted to apologize," his voice had a weird…filthy quality to it that Rin couldn't place, but it made her skin want to crawl. It seemed familiar, even though she was sure she hadn't heard it before. "So…do you have a moment to talk?"
"I guess…" she replied cautiously. She wrapped her hands around her bare arms and followed them into a wide alley. She wasn't nervous. No. Of course not. She could beat them up again if they tried anything.
"So, Okumura-chan…" Reiji began. "How much do you want?"
He rolled his eyes. "I know you're not stupid. Do I have to spell it out for you? My parents are kinda important, and if word got out about what I was doing yesterday…you can imagine what would happen, right? I'm going to be attending True Cross Academy soon, and rumors like that wouldn't do either of us any good."
"You're going to the same school as Yukio? Oh. Oh, I see," Rin gave him a level look. "Nobody would want to take in a much of idiots who think its fun to torture birds."
Something in Reiji's face twitched. "Yeah, so how much do you want? I'm going to pay you to keep this to your pretty little self."
"I don't want your money," she scowled. "I don't plan to tell anyone. If that's all you had to say, I have someplace to get to-"
"Hey, hey, hey! What's with the tough girl act?" he called after her. "Ha! I get it. There's no need to hide it. You're too poor to even afford a proper education, arent'cha?"
Rin stopped dead in her tracks.
"Just take the money! I mean, your bother Yukio," he pressed, waving yen in the air. "I know him. He had to work his ass off just to get a scholarship, didn't he, Rin-chan? You're entire family is, like, in complete debt! You can put this toward those fees-"
The same spark in her chest flared to life, but ten times stronger. She couldn't even remember moving- just her fist connecting with Reiji's jaw, not even bothering to hold back her strength. He hit the floor and skid for a least a yard.
"Don't you ever," she hissed. "Say anything about my brother, asshole. You can say whatever you want about me, but don't you dare insult Yukio!"
"That…that hurt," Reiji stood, grasping his face. "Don't get cocky, you filthy little peasant! Get her! Now!"
Before she could even react, three of the gang members had a hold of her arms and forced her to the ground. Her dress slipped and snagged on the concrete, revealing more skin than it should have.
"Be careful, you idiots!" Reiji snapped, and picked up a piece of paper from the ground that she had dropped. "Oh, a job interview? That's why you're all dressed up? Ha! Looking like that, I can think of a few jobs you could be good at."
Rin wanted to snap back, but was too stunned at the look in the albino's eye. The guy was crazy- and really, really dangerous. He wasn't just some rich punk. The filthy quality to his voice was even more pronounced, and Rin suddenly felt very trapped.
Reiji grasped her chin so she looked him in the eye, dragging another hand through her hair. "I don't think I like that pretty face. When you get down to it, peasants like you are just the scum of the earth, and you should look the part!"
Rin saw a gleam of metal and suddenly there was a knife very close to her face. He yanked back on her hair hard enough to make her yelp, and he chuckled darkly at her, eyes gleaming.
One of the gang members spoke up. "Uh, boss? I don't think we should-"
"Shut up!" Reiji didn't even look at the guy before slashing the member across his face. He let out a cry of pain and fell over in tears.
"Now, don't get too upset if I make too many cuts! After all, I'm just an amateur!"
Rin couldn't think. She was going to- she was actually going to get killed. The guy was insane. He was going to kill her.
She couldn't die. She couldn't, not now, not by this bastard-!
Everything erupted in blue flame.
The weight on her body disappeared as the guys holding her were flung against the alley walls with enough force to knock them out. Flames covered her hands, but they weren't burning her like normal fire. Rin stared, scared, dumbstruck, and very confused at herself.
What the hell just happened?
"Heh…heh…heh..ahahaAHAHAH!" Reiji's laugh echoed around her. "I knew I was right about you! Finally!"
Rin sat up and covered herself, holding herself tightly. Reiji knelt down directly in front of her, his finger nails were now long and pointed, the horns on his head were more sharp and dark, and the black bugs in the air around him had quadrupled in number.
"Those blue flames are the real thing," he grinned at her. "They're His flames. Oh, how I've waited for this day! Everyone had been searching, but none longer than I. It's an honor to meet you, milady."
He bowed low, one hand across his chest, and another outstretched toward her. "Let us set forth, Satan-sama awaits us!"
Reiji reached out to grab her, but stopped dead at the sound of approaching footsteps.
"…evil dwells within this heart," Rin recognized the voice instantly. "Oh Lord, let each be judge according to his deeds. Let sinful conduct beget retribution. Let each pay for that which he has taken…"
Rin looked over her shoulder, and Reiji looked murderous.
"And exorcist? Here?! Now?!"
"Bring down thy justice upon them," Fujimoto continued, undeterred. "Smite them that they never rise again. Blessed be the Lord!"
"Damnit!" Reiji charged toward the priest in a rage. "I won't let you stop me, exorcist! She is mine to take! I'll rip that mouth off your face, you accursed bastard!"
Rin watched, awestruck, as he old man not only dodged the blow, but grabbed the teen's arm and swung him to the ground. "My prayer has been answered. The Lord is my helper, and he is my shield! Demon- perish where you stand!"
Black bugs erupted from the albino's mouth, disintegrating into the air in an instant. All traces of demonic features on the guy were instantly gone, leaving him unconscious on the ground.
Rin didn't know what to do. Her mind couldn't keep up with what was happening. Fujimoto looked at her, and asked, very evenly, "Have you calmed down?"
She looked down at herself. The blue flames were gone. "Is he…is he going to be alright?"
Fujimoto looked at the unconscious gang leader. "He's fine. I exorcised the demon out of him. It appears he was only recently processed." He frowned. "However, demons only possess those most similar to them. If this boy does not change, it is likely he'll be used again."
"Demons?" Rin said, shakily standing.
Fujimoto sighed. "It appears your powers cannot be entirely suppressed any longer by Kurikara. I was afraid of this," he waved his hand toward remaining black bugs in the sky. "I suppose you can see them now?"
"These things are demons?!"
"Small ones," Fujimoto went on to briefly explain something about two worlds, one where mortals lived and another with demons. Rin was too confused to make much sense of any of it. All she knew was that suddenly there were people after her with weird powers, and she was some kind of…kind of…
"That doesn't matter right know. We need to get you somewhere safe- no doubt they'll know where you are after your awakening. Come on!" He grabbed Rin by the arm and tugged her forward, but she defiantly dug her heels into the ground.
"Wait! Hiding? From more of those things? What-?" She shook her head, hair falling to her shoulders. "What am I?"
"You…" Fugimoto couldn't look at her. "You are the daughter of Satan himself, born from a human, and cursed with his powers."
(A/N): Dear God, this took forever. Part 2 will be up soon, I promise. Also, I'm following the manga canon here, so you might want to read that before we get too into this.
And yes, I'm going to be writing slight Yukio/Rin undertones in this, but it will be nothing overt (unless you guys want to see it- there may be a poll in the future) and Rin will have a very close platonic relationship with Shiemi. There might be Bon/Rin. I don't know yet.
If you liked this, drop me a line! I really want to see if anyone is interested in me continuing this, and what you want to see happen in this story. SO REVIEW.