Apologies for the delay of the chapter. My writing got delayed for several reasons, including wanting to get the next couple of chapters just right. Also I had to try and get a better idea of where the story will head from here on out. Most specifically whether to follow closer to the manga or the anime. So I'll take people's opinions into consideration too because I haven't gotten that far ahead in my thought process.
Also thanks for the lovely reviews that I've received!
Dare Mo: Thank you very much for your review! An you might be right, maybe Saika did slash Shiemi an maybe Rin wasn't aware. Who knows?
Unknown Being: There are a couple of reasons for the story's title. One, it is the name of the second ending in the anime which I love (its actually my phone ringtone). Its not actually referencing Rin, at least not at the moment. Its partly from a scene I've had in my head for a long time that might never make into the story because I can't find a good place for it to fit. And the simplest reason is that I really could not think of a better title. ^_^; I'm good at coming up with names for other people's stories, just not names for my own stories.
Rin sat in class, expertly tuning Yukio with the ease of long practice. He wasn't sure what his brother was droning on about, but he had a hard time concentrating on lectures on the best days. At the moment all of his mind was taken up with thoughts of what he had seen in the hallway before class.
He'd been walking along, minding his own business, until he heard the distinctive sound of someone falling. Hurrying up he'd stopped when he saw Shiemi sprawled on the ground while the other girls in their class walked away. It had annoyed him really, to see them just leave Shiemi behind like that.
Rin had hurried over to help Shiemi gather her stuff. She hadn't looked at him, just giving a quick nod when he asked if she was alright. It was a lie though, even someone like him could realize that. Rin had no idea what to say in the situation, so he hadn't said anything, he'd just walked the petite blonde to their class. Who knew having friends was so complicated?
"Summer break is a month away, before then though you will all be taking the Esquire Authorization Exam." Rin perked up at that, focusing on his brother fully for the first time. "After becoming Esquires your training will become more specialized. Neither the test nor the training will be easy, so there will be a week long camp to help prepare you. This isn't mandatory, so you will all have to fill out a form to participate. Please be sure to include the Meister specialization you wish to receive."
Rin looked at his sheet of paper blankly for a minute. "Meister... meister..." He waited until Yukio was done passing out the forms before he walked over to where Bon, Shima and Konekomaru were sitting.
"Hey, what types of meisters are there?" Rin sat down, not really waiting for them to invite him.
"Geez, I can't believe you don't even know that. Unbelievable, how clueless you are." Bon's griping was expected and Rin pushed it aside the same way he pushed aside all the similar comments he'd received.
"I'm asking because I don't know so that I won't stay ignorant."
Shima gave that good natured smile of his that Rin had come to really appreciate. "Well they say the worst crime is remaining ignorant."
"Meisters are the qualifications that exorcists have to achieve to even be considered exorcists." Konekomaru spoke up, which Rin was glad for. The little monk just seemed to know how to explain things so Rin would understand. "There are five classes of meisters, Knight, Dragoon, Aria, Tamer and Doctor. Of course each one has it's own fighting style. You have to achieve a title in at least one of those to be considered an exorcist."
"Oh, I get it now. So what meister are you going for?"
Konekomaru looked down at his paper. "Shima and I are trying for Aria. Aria's recite sacred texts and scriptures." The little bit of extra explanation was offered on the assumption (and a correct assumption too) that Rin didn't know how an Aria fought.
"Bon of course has to be the over achiever and go for both Aria and Dragoon." Shima offered, ignoring the glare his friend was sending him.
"Mr Okumura is a meister in both Doctor and Dragoon." Konekomaru offered brightly. "And they say that the Paladin has at least three meister titles!"
Rin smirked a little to himself, looking down at the page. "Makes sense..." He tapped his pen on the sheet of paper before filling out his form. "Not like I have a lot of options, so I'm going to be a Knight. They specialize in swords right? That's pretty much my only talent." Rin sighed, putting his chin in his palm and scanning the room.
I couldn't be an Aria, the last thing I want to do is accidentally kill myself by reading the wrong verse.
Saika also does not want to die by having Rin say the wrong verse. Now Rin can show everyone the talent that Saika has taught him.
The wandering gaze landed on Shiemi, who was still sitting at the desk staring at the sheet of paper. Now that he thought about it, Rin had kind of abandoned her to go sit with the guys. "Hey Shiemi! Come on over here!" He waved to get her attention, gesturing to the seat next to him.
Poor Shiemi looked nervous when she came over, so Rin smiled to try and relax her. "What meister are you thinking of Shiemi?"
"I'm not sure... I'm not certain I'm really suited to any of them..." Watching Shiemi fidget like that was rather painful for Rin to see. He didn't really understand her uncertainty.
"Well you could always be a Doctor. I mean your family are pharmacists, so you already have a lot of knowledge about it."
Shiemi's head jerked up, green eyes impossibly round. "You... you really think I could do that?"
Rin nodded, smiling. "Don't sell yourself short. You know all the stuff they teach in the pharmaceutical class, you just don't keep the names straight." Rin looked over at the others, trying to get them to help him.
"Rin's right Miss Moriyama, you really do know a lot about plants. I'm sure you'd be a great Doctor." Konekomaru easily jumped in, smiling slightly at her.
"Man, if I had a doctor like you Moriyama, I wouldn't mind being in the hospital..." Shima's voice was dreamy, and Rin didn't even want to contemplate what dirty thoughts were going through his mind. Thankfully Bon saved Rin the trouble, and hit Shima upside the head for him.
In their next class they had a new teacher coming in. Well not new exactly, he'd taught a couple of classes already, mostly on types of demons but nothing very in depth. Now though he said that since they were eligible for the esquire exam that they were going to have a test. Professor Neuhaus then gave them all little squares of paper with designs on them. Then he proceeded to go to the middle of the class and began to draw an elaborate design with a giant chalk pointer.
While doing that Rin watched Professor Neuhaus. The man was tall, sturdily built with an eye patch covering his right eye. His Japanese had a strong accent, but it was definitely understandable. Still, there was just something about him that put Rin on edge. It was the way that his one working eye blankly stared at all of them but always seemed to linger on Rin.
"We'll be going over demon summoning today. In order to summon a demon, you must have the magic circle, a drop of your blood, and most importantly, the proper invocation." He loosened some bandages around his hand, flexing it slightly until several drops of blood splattered onto the circle. "Son of Typheous and Echidna, hear my call!"
Rin watched in shock as the floor seemed to bubble upwards until suddenly there was something that looked like a reject from a horror movie standing in front of them. He heard Konekomaru saying something about a naberius, whatever that meant. To Rin it looked like the world's ugliest dog.
Such an unsightly demon to summon. Demon summoning, enslaving others... Its repulsive. Saika sounded upset, and Rin realized that the entire time they had been in the room with Professor Neuhaus, Saika had been rather subdued.
"Few people can summon and control demons. You must have a strong, unbreakable will in order to do so. Also you must possess a talent for it as well. That's what we're going to test today. Take out the papers I handed you. They have a copy of the circle on it, simply place a drop of blood on it and recite whatever invocation comes to mind. If you have the talent, something will answer your call."
Everyone in the class stared at their papers, except for Kamiki. Rin watched as she immediately pulled out a pin, pricked her finger and swiped the blood over two pieces of paper. "I humble call upon the Gods of the Harvest, follow my wishes. Leave none unfulfilled!" Two white foxes immediately burst out of the brandished paper and settled beside her.
Rin watched the rest of the class gasp in astonishment and the teacher rumble about how impressive it was. No way that's her first time doing something like that. Rin watched as Kamiki preened at the attention.
Old power there, not the first time dealing with foxes that one. Will Rin try to summon a demon to serve him?
Rin listened as everyone else grumbled about not being able to summon anything. He personally wasn't going to try doing it, mostly because he wasn't sure what exactly might come if he did. No I won't. I mean who knows that might come out? Besides if working with a demon is all it takes to be a tamer, then don't you count?
Saika is partner to Rin, not Rin's servant. Rin did not tame Saika, Saika chose Rin. The chastisement was clear but it did nothing to stop his smirk.
"I'm going to give it a try!" Shiemi's voice broke through Rin's thoughts, making him turn. He watched as she smeared a little blood on the paper she held. "Here boy, here... or something..." Certainly not a fearsome incantation to be sure.
Rin could tell Shiemi was just about to give up when suddenly there came a popping sound and a little green moss creature was floating down to her. It was so cute that Rin could almost feel his blood sugar spiking as he watched it.
"A baby Green Man spirit, most impressive Miss Moriyama." Professor Neuhaus said, nodding a bit.
Rin let out a sigh, glad that Shiemi had found something else she was good at. It was obvious the spirit fit her, given the way it was happily climbing her hair. His burgeoning good mood was dashed though, when Shiemi called out to Kamiki. The sarcasm in the other girl's response flew right over Shiemi's head, but it frustrated Rin to no end.
Professor Neuhaus pulled their attention back to himself quickly enough. "Looks like we have the Tamer candidates for this class. Tamers are very useful in battle, they're rare and highly valued. However keep this in mind, demons do not obey those viewed as weaker than they are. If you loose confidence they attack. If you ever feel endangered from your familiar, simply destroy the circle and the demon will be released." He demonstrated by scuffing his foot over his own circle, making the weird dog-thing disappear.
Class was dismissed soon after and Rin watched Shiemi run after Kamiki, barely controlling his own irritation. He wasn't going to stop Shiemi if she wanted to try and be friends with the other girls. Rin just hated the fact that Shiemi was so naïve about things. It meant she would get taken advantage of. Kamiki wasn't an awful person, but she wasn't exactly nice either.
His worst fears were confirmed when he stepped out of the class with Bon and the others to see Shiemi trailing after Kamiki and Paku, carrying Kamiki's bag like a maid. Rin felt his hands twitch, so he quickly stuffed them into his pockets before turning and walking away.
Later that night in his room, Rin continued to stew over it. The whole situation was just going to keep getting worse. Their personalities were complete opposites, and Rin knew that Kamiki would entirely take advantage of that. Even thinking about it filled him with frustration.
Without realizing it, Rin had crushed the pencil he was holding, the sharp edges of it jabbing into his palm. Letting out a hiss as the pain broke him from his thoughts, Rin immediately searched his pockets for a tissue. When he thought he found one, he wiped the blood off before checking to be sure he didn't have any pieces stuck in his finger.
"Man, I got to get my mind off of this." He grumbled, setting the tissue aside. Since Yukio wasn't around, Rin got up and went over to the computer that was idling on his twin's desk. Rin needed to cheer up and there was only one sure way he knew to do that. A quick search revealed what he wanted and he quickly hit play.
The rather energetic sounds of the Nyan Cat song soon filled the dorm, easing the tension from Rin's frame. He bopped his head along and he even tried to sing a little bit. "Nyan nyan nyan, nyanynanyan."
From the desk came a whooshing sound and suddenly Rin was knocked off of the chair and onto the floor by... a black cat with two tales? He stared dumbfounded at the cat, who was staring back at him with equal perplexity. "Where did you come from?"
'I don't know, suddenly something summoned me here and I appeared. Who are you?'
Rin was struck with an intense feeling of dejavu at the moment. He was sitting here talking to, and understanding, a cat. The last time something like this had happened was when he met Saika for the first time.
"You were summoned? But how...?" Looking around Rin's eyes landed on the tissue that had fallen to the floor. Only now he could tell it was no tissue but that paper that Neuhaus had given them in class. "Oh shit, I think I summoned you." But how in the world do you summon something with the Nyan Cat song?!
The cat jumped off of Rin, twin tails swishing behind it. 'So you summoned a great Cat Sith like me without knowing it? You must be something special.'
Rubbing his head Rin let out a long breath. "I get that a lot." He smiled a bit, watching at the little demon investigated. "Still, I always wanted a cat, so I guess I could have accidentally summoned something worse."
There was a glare from the cat who suddenly stalked over, swiping Rin with its claws. 'Accidentally you say! That doesn't matter, you summoned me so you have to take responsibility! I'm not just going to let you get away with this without taking responsibility for it.' The entire tirade was angry, but Rin thought he could sense something underneath it all, a feeling he was familiar with. The intense desire to not be left behind.
It was a familiar feeling, something he'd had every time Yukio and the Old Man had left. When he and Yukio had been put in different classes, when his brother had started to go away for school. There was always the feeling that the people he loved were leaving him behind, and he always despised it.
"Don't worry, I promise to take full responsibility. You'll be my familiar ok? My name is Rin, Okumura Rin. Do you have a name?" The black cat regarded him warily for a minute before shaking it's head. "Well, since you're black how about I call you Kuro?" Rin smiled, watching the cat sith's expressive eyes as it lit up at the name. "Now that you have a name there is no way I can leave you behind."
Reaching over, Rin picked Kuro up and held him in his lap. "Now then, I just have to figure out how exactly I'm going to explain you to Yukio..."
"So tell me again, how did you accidentally summon a cat sith?" Yukio asked again, standing in front of their dorm with his arms crossed.
Rin rolled his eyes, reaching up to his shoulder and scratching Kuro's head. "Really, you want me to go over it again? Its done with Yukio, just accept it." Rin grinned at his new familiar. "Besides, I always kind of wanted a kitten." Kuro let out a happy meow, not moving from the spot on Rin's shoulder. "What I want to know it why this training camp has to be in our dorm."
Yukio sighed, pushing his glasses up his nose. "Because there's no one to be bothered if we get loud here. We're the only ones in the building and its well isolated from everyone else on campus." Yukio looked at the road leading to their dorm. "It's just practical."
There wasn't any chance to respond because the rest of their class was suddenly walking towards them. Their reaction would have been more amusing, if Rin wasn't already annoyed at the idea of having them all invading his home.
"Its like a haunted hotel." Bon stated, eyes raking over the slightly run down building.
"This place feels completely creepy. Wasn't there anywhere else we could have had this?" Kamiki's voice complaining cut through Rin, making him grit his teeth. It was even worse when he watched her turn and hand her bag off to Shiemi.
It had driven him to distraction the past few days, watching Kamiki order Shiemi around like she was some kind of servant. He wanted to do something about that, to make Shiemi see she was just being used and that the other girl wasn't really her friend. Rin held himself back though, mostly because he knew that the little blonde wouldn't really listen to him. Though when Paku spoke up Rin was glad someone else was willing to try and get Shiemi to see reason.
"Everyone please step inside. I'll show you to the rooms you'll be using for the training camp and then we have a test to take." Yukio said it all in a placid voice with a smile on his face. Rin wondered again which of them was really supposed to be the demon.
Even though the test was not as bad as he had been expecting, Rin was still exhausted by the time it finished. It certainly seemed like he wasn't the only one who felt that way, given the way everyone else let out groans. Making some kind of excuse Rin slipped away, stepping out of the dorm.
"Man, this feels so good..." Rin muttered, walking into the wind. He'd felt so uncomfortable in there, like he was going to crawl out of his skin. Rin wasn't used to having so many people be so close to him. Rin was a definite believer in personal space, probably because for so many years the only people that got very close to him were Yukio and his dad. Even in the monastery, he only had to be close to everyone at dinner and after that he was left on his own. So when he had everyone around him, he felt smothered.
He stayed outside until he felt like he could stand to go back in. Upon stepping back into the dorm, Rin decided to get some juice before heading to his room. As he was walking down the hall, happily slurping his juice box, he almost bumped into Shiemi turning away from the bath. "Shiemi? What are you doing out here?"
"Nothing... I have to go buy some fruit milk..." Her voice was quiet and subdued, intentionally not looking at him as she started to walk by.
Without thinking Rin reached out and grabbed Shiemi's wrist. He just couldn't take this anymore. "Stop doing that. You don't have to do everything she tells you to do."
There was a moment of silence before Shiemi rounded on him, green eyes glaring hotly at him. "She's my friend and I'm just helping her. You're supposed to help you friends!"
Rin frowned, staring right back at her. "We're friends, and I don't make you do any of the things she does." He fought against the urge to put command behind his words. "Friends help each other, I don't see her doing a lot of things for you."
There was a long pause, and Rin could feel some tension leave Shiemi, only to be replaced by a new kind of tension. "I want to become strong enough to help others. I don't want to always have to rely on you or Yuki or one of the others to come help me."
The more Shiemi spoke, the most hysterical she seemed to get. Rin didn't understand what she was thinking at all, but it was irritating him. Ugh, why can't she understand that Kamiki's just using her! She doesn't view her as a friend at all.
Show Shiemi our love. It will make her understand. Saika and Rin love Shiemi, make her understand through love...
It was tempting, extremely tempting to reach for the power Saika offered. It wouldn't take much to do it, then he wouldn't have to see Shiemi following and getting stepped on by Kamiki. What held him back though was the fact that if he did that, would he really be any better than Kamiki? He'd still be using Shiemi. Only this time she wouldn't have be able to say no.
"You wouldn't understand! You're strong and confident, its easy for you to make friends!" Shiemi practically screamed those words at him before jerking away and running down the hall.
Rin could only stare gobsmacked after the retreating blonde. The words definitely drove home fact that Shiemi hadn't gotten to know him very well yet. It had never been easy for Rin to make friends, in fact he was pretty certain he had told Shiemi that she was the first friend he'd ever had, outside of his family.
He scoffed before chasing after Shiemi. She'd gotten a pretty good lead on him, but Rin was certain he'd be able to catch up. It was impossible to run quickly in those wooden sandals of hers after all. Right when he caught up to her though, there came a loud scream from the girl's bathroom.
"Kamiki and Paku!" Shiemi gasped, turning down the hall.
"Go get Yukio! Hurry!" Rin ordered, pushing her forward before he turned and ran back towards the bath. He couldn't imagine what might be going on, but it sounded bad. Plus he could feel something, like an icy tickle on the back of his neck.
He reached the bath just in time to see Kamiki's white foxes moving to attack her. Rin quickly jumped in front of her, punching both of them. Turning he saw Kamiki collapsed on her knees, staring blankly at her familiars. A distant part noted that Kamiki was in her underwear, but the rest of him was too focused on what was going on. "Tear up the paper!"
Rin was relieved when she did that, making the foxes disappear. That was one issue resolved, now he had to deal with the giant, ugly, two-headed zombie... thing in front of them. With Kamiki here, I can't pull either of my swords. I'm not very good in hand to hand, especially not with something this big...And there's Paku to think about too.
The other girl was unconscious at the monster's feet, right between the two of them. Which was just causing even more complications with figuring out how to fight with this thing. He hoped that Yukio got here soon to help, because he seriously didn't think he could do this on his own.
"Rin! Paku!" Shiemi ran into the room, eyes widening. "Rin, distract the demon while I treat Paku's injuries!"
Rin growled, grabbing Kurikara in its wrapping and pulling it forward. Easier said than done! He darted forward, swinging the wrapped sword into a downward strike. It crashed into the demon, knocking it back enough that Shiemi could get to Paku.
As it recovered though, it said something that Rin had only heard one other time. 'Young Master.'
Rin's moment of surprise was all that the demon needed to grab his head and throw him through the glass door into the bath itself. He managed to stop Shiemi from coming in, but it was the last thing he had breath for before the demon put its hand on his throat. The demon was too heavy for Rin to push off, especially with it cutting off his airways like this.
'Forgive me. This is the order of a certain person.' The pressure increased, Rin's airway completely cut off. He tried to shift his arm into a position where he could let Saika slip free. Better to reveal the demon sword than to die of asphyxiation.
'Rin!' The newly familiar cry was a welcome sound, but even more welcome was the feeling of the demon being knocked off his chest. Opening his eyes , Rin saw Kuro standing there, much larger than normal and baring his fangs at the demon. This was quickly followed up the the rapid report of Yukio's gun.
The demon broke away, jumping up the walls towards the windows. 'You're not getting away with hurting Rin!' Kuro snarled, chasing after the demon and trying to follow it out the window.
"Kuro, come back. There's no way you can catch it now." Rin slowly pushed himself up, massaging his throat. "Yukio! You're late."
Yukio smiled a bit, lowering his gun. "Not too late though. How are you?"
"I'll be fine..." Rin placed a hand on Kuro's back, pulling himself up. "How's Paku?"
There was his brother's infamously calm smile. "Shiemi gave some excellent first aid, I'm sure she'll make a full recovery."
Rin nodded, walking over towards the lockers where he had last seen Kamiki. The girl was sitting behind the lockers with her knees pulled up to her chest. "Are you ok?" He might not be fond of her, but he wasn't entirely callous.
"Don't look at me!" The watery shout caused the exact opposite of what she wanted though. Rin turned all of his attention to her. She was crying, the tears forming silver waterfalls on her pale cheeks. "I don't want anyone to see me. I couldn't help my only friend. I couldn't do anything! She must hate me, and I hate myself!"
Staring at her, Rin wondered if he was seeing the true Kamiki for the first time. Not just the tough and condescending girl, but the person that had wanted to help her friend and couldn't. It was strange, to suddenly think of her as a person after spending so much time disliking her.
With a sigh, Rin stripped off his shirt, putting it over her. "Put that on and leave ok? It'll be ok." It wasn't much, but it was as comforting as he could get at the moment.
"Uhm... Rin?" Turning around Rin found himself facing all of his other classmates staring at him, including his brother. "Why is your shirt off?"
Rin gulped, glad that his tail was still hidden. He'd forgotten that he couldn't really get naked in front of people anymore because of his... additions. Thankfully he was wearing a muscle shirt underneath his t-shirt so he wasn't completely naked on his upper half. "Ah... it got wet, so I took it off." He shifted a bit. "That's hardly the point now! We need to get Paku somewhere she can rest!"
Thankfully that snapped everyone out of their daze of staring at him. Rin followed behind until they got to the hallway leading to the room. "I'm, uh, just going to go and get a new shirt." Rin didn't wait for a response, quickly heading to the room. He'd had enough mingling for one day, now he just wanted to shut himself into his room away from everyone for awhile.
The demon climbed up the side of a nearby building, heading to where its master waited. When it arrived, it groveled in front of the tall figure, letting out a keening sound.
The man reached out, placing a hand on its head. "Did you fail? Or are you laughing at how far your master has fallen, becoming a demon's dog." Neuhaus stared at his demon before turning towards the distant lights of the dorm.
"We're not finished yet, Okumura Rin."
So here we have the end of the chapter. I did change the introduction of Kuro, mostly because I couldn't figure out how else to do it with Shiro still being alive. Also the way in which he was summoned was just a bit of fun. It was Nyan Cat or the Meow Mix jingle. Let me know what you think of the chapter and the stories direction, all reviews gratefully appreciated!