V. His Oblivion
His family is, of course, the first group to visit him in the hospital. His little sister leaps onto him (probably cracking a couple more ribs in the process) and his mother grabs at his hand. His father pushes up his glasses and squeezes his son's shoulder, giving him a light ruffle.
"Well?" his father asks after the initial relief has worn off and everyone is filled with questions, questions, questions.
Furuichi laughs, still thrilled at having regained control - permanently.
Nothing much Dad, he hypothesizes saying, I just had my heart taken out by a demon then kidnapped by her slave, then dragged off to Hell where I learned that I was the host body for the demon of lust and that the whole of hell was preparing for another civil war. Oh, and I was having constant mindblowing sex with beauties I never would've dreamed of dating, and this was the key to saving our world. Oh, and the reason I'm in the hospital at all? Because my stupid best friend cracked two of my ribs in greeting!
Hey!, Oga's stupid face interrupts, I said I was sorry, what more do you want?
Shut up and get out of my monologue, Furuichi responds, closing the metaphorical trapdoor.
"Brother's been acting really weird..." Honoka murmurs, pulling him out of the reverie.
"Maybe it wasn't just his chest," his mother quibbles, hands reaching to feel around his skull despite having no medical knowledge whatsoever.
"Hey! Mo-om!" Furuichi whines, tugging the hand away. "I told you I'm fine. The doctor told you I'm fine. I just need rest," and some retrograde amnesia "that's all."
"Takayuki," his father starts, expression serious. "Think fast. Spandex!"
"Breasts!" both men triumphantly exclaim.
Honoka flushes; her mother facepalms.
"I'm glad to see that my son remembers the most important things!" his father declares, wiping a dramatic tear from his eye.
"How is that the most important thing?!"
"I told you I wasn't suffering from brain damage!"
"Like father like son..."
"Like I was saying," his father continues, clearing his throat and sitting down, "A fight every now and then is normal for a growing young man. You won't believe your old man, but let me tell you, I was involved in a couple exciting scuffles myself when I was your age."
Furuichi bites back a snicker at the idea of his balding father in the middle of a gang conflict.
"But if you ever feel it's too much... well, that's what we're here for." He smiles then, looking his son in the eye: "Takayuki, do you intend to continue at Ishiyama?"
This time, Furuichi actually does laugh.
"Of course!" he swiftly answers, giving a confident thumbs-up. "I may run away at every opportunity - "
"But always turn back," his father concludes, returning the thumbs-up.
"Gross," Honoka winces, stage-whispering to her mother, "What did you see in a man like this again?"
"Oh I don't know," the matriarch sighs, stage-whispering back. And then she giggles like a schoolgirl (and both children feel their skin crawl), "But Daddy can be pretty cool at times too, no?"
"What do you mean 'sometimes'?" his old man demands.
His family bicker and squabble for a bit more and Furuichi finds himself joining in soon enough. Then his father receives a call and everyone's hauled off. His mother leaves with a basket of treats, promising to visit the next day, and the nurse sighs and shakes her head at their noisy departure. Furuichi sighs too, shuffling through a couple snacks before resettling against the pillow.
It's been a long couple days.
"Wow ~ "
"Uh. I don't think that's going to fit through the doorway..."
"I know. That's why I called you peons along."
"Haah? Who the fuck are you calling a peon?!"
"Hey, hey, if we help, does that me we can get a piece of the pie?"
"Fuck the pie, I want to try some of that chocolate!"
Furuichi Takayuki cracks his eyes open to a golden gift basket attempting to wedge its considerable bulk through the hospital door. He promptly closes his eyes again, willing the alien monstrosity to go away.
"I'm telling you, it won't fit!"
"Pff - that's what she - "
There's the sound of cardboard hitting flesh. Furuichi winces.
"Hey! I think he's awake!"
NO I'M NOT.
"Man, I knew I should've hired other people for this job..."
I bet you're not even paying them."
"Hey! You're not even paying us!"
"New plan: everyone take what you can hold and... just... pile it around him, okay? Hey! Asshole! Stop eating the damn chocolate!"
"Shut up, pretty boy!"
"Both of you, shhh!"
Oh please, could you guys BE any more obvious?
"Okay, quietly... quietly..."
"C'mon, go on!"
"T-Takayuki-kun..." his ears prick up at that purity-filled voice, "Would you like a chocolate-dipped strawberry?"
He's up and at 'em in milliseconds.
"Kunieda-senpai!" he trills, arms outstretched, "Of course I would love a - "
"S-sorry, Furuichi-kun," Aoi flushes, smiling weakly while sitting to his left.
"Takayuki-sama...!" Alaindelon sobs into his hankerchief, neglected strawberry still perched atop his nose. "To think that you were so close...!"
"Hook, line, and sinker," Chiaki intones.
"Don't get the wrong idea, okay?" Nene insists, shoving the box of Godiva chocolates into his lap. "We didn't buy any of this!"
"Yeah, that would be Hime-chan," Natsume grins.
"Hey! Who're you calling '-chan'?!"
"This pie is really good though!" Paako remarks, licking the filling from her fingers. "Here, try some," she shoves a slice into Furuichi's mouth.
"Paako..." Kanzaki twitches. Nene elbows him and he grunts, crossing his arms. "Whatever."
"Here you go," Shiroyama grunts, heaving the perfectly-preserved display of fruits onto the bedside table.
"Now that's how all you guys should've been like," Himekawa sighs.
"Wait, wait, wait..." Furuichi starts, rubbing his temples. He pauses. "This is a really good pie though."
"I know, right?!" Paako cheers.
"But if you had him," he points to Alaindelon, "...why not just ask him to transfer that through the doorway?"
"That's our Tactician," Natsume laughs, prodding his cheek with a banana.
"So where'd you go?" Nene asks, "All he - " she jabs a thumb at Himekawa, "said was that you might be dead."
"So we busted our asses looking for those Akumano kids," Kanzaki continues, "No thanks to him, of course." He laughs then, "But Toujou, that flake, he wouldn't take no for an answer. I wouldn't be surprised if he managed to track them down for a fight."
"Oh," Alaindelon sighs, "If only they had asked me for help. I would've been happy to lead them to you, Takayuki-sama."
"What's done is done," Himekawa grunts.
"Don't say it like that," Aoi admonishes, turning back towards Furuichi. "We were all worried about you, you know?" she smiles and Furuichi hears the trumpets of heaven, "It's good to have you back."
"...Really?" Furuichi asks, genuinely surprised.
"Of course," Nene sniffs. "Like it or not, you're one of us."
He's one of us, Furuichi remembers saying. He laughs; figures those words would come back to bite him.
"General!" Kazuya exclaims, bursting through the doorway with Azusa and Miki in-tow, right as a dimensional portal opens up on the ceiling.
"Grandfather!" En screams, tackling the teenage boy, "Why didn't you come visit me?!"
"The Akumano founder?!"
"Eh? Ah... wait... no..." Furuichi blubbers, looking from one visitor to the next. Chiaki and Nene trade all-knowing glances. "Gaahhh, it's not like that," he tries.
"It never is, is it?" Nene asks, laughing softly.
"Master En," Yolda calls, gently disentangling the boy, "I've already told you, that's not your grandfather. It's just his empty shell."
"Couldn't you phrase that better?!" Furuichi demands.
"So what happened?" Kazuya asks, whipping out notebook and pen, "I've been having problems thinking up a cool enough plot for Mad Dog Oga and General Furuichi's Weekly Adventures, but I'm sure now - "
"We made you another omelette!" Azusa interrupts, presenting him with a plate. It still says 'Predator', of course, but now it's 'Predator Tactician'. Furuichi sighs and then laughs because, well, one step up is still a step up.
"You should visit more often," Miki mumbles, crossing his arms. "Otherwise we have to wait for the grapevine to relay information."
"No, he should visit me more often!" En insists, breaking away from Yolda and grabbing at Furuichi's arm, "Behemoth and Jabberwock really suck at playing video games!"
"I'm sure they would..."
"Did someone say video games?" Chiaki asks, a violent glint in her eyes.
"Oh? What's this? A party?" Toujou asks, making his grand appearance with Kaoru and Shoji. He manages to shove the rest of the gift basket through the door, edges of the wall notwithstanding.
"Took you long enough!" Kanzaki grunts.
"Whoops, my bad," Toujou laughs, "And it looks like Akumano's already here. Great." He pulls up his sleeves and turns to En. "Let's fight."
"Wait, you guys - "
"Yolda!" En calls, in the middle of a discussion with Himekawa and Chiaki of all people, "Can you take him?"
"It would be my pleasure young master!" the demon maid exclaims, pulling off her gloves with a flourish.
"Ah, hey, wait - "
A wad of chocolate frosting hits both combatants in the face. Yolda and Toujou turn to the unlikely culprit.
"Hey, um, you guys...!" Aoi starts, flushing wildly. "Ah... um... when you think of a fight in a party... d-don't you think of 'food fight' first?!" She laughs nervously at her own terrible joke.
Oh god just kill me now, she internally shrieks.
"Aw yeah!" Kazuya shouts, scooping up a slice of pie and lobbing it high.
It lands on Himekawa's pompadour.
"You brat..." the zaibutsu heir growls, bits of high-class crust and custard dripping onto his face.
On opposite sides of the small room, Kanzaki and Paako hit the floor laughing hysterically.
All hell breaks loose after that.
"They're impossible..." Furuichi grumbles, combing bits of cake from his hair.
At least the girls stayed behind to clean up... although his family had to stumble upon the scene and it was Alaindelon who needed to explain everything. Thankfully Miki had been included in the mix; he'd been grateful to have a more familiar (and sane) face to show to his parents.
The room smelled of sweets and fruit and the floor retained some of its previous stickiness. In short: it was thoroughly disgusting. He's only been ordered to remain in the hospital for a couple days however, and then it's home sweet home. Ishiyama's final exams are a joke after all.
"I thought they'd never leave," a voice drawls.
Furuichi nearly shits himself.
"L-L-Lucifer...!" he greets, forcing himself to smile. As expected, the Incarnation of the Sin of Pride stands before the doorway, perched on the shoulder of her spellmaster.
"And Takamiya," he quickly appends (it's a bit of a relief, he thinks, to have Takamiya there). "It's good to see you alive and well. I have to say, we were a bit surprised that you could walk after that."
"Hn." The other boy fiddles with his phone, not bothering to look.
"So?" Furuichi asks, turning to Lucifer. He has to fight to keep the blush down as, well, this was the girl... (No, his conscience is very adamant about, She is not a 'girl'. She is one of the great demons of hell. She is going to be a mother soon. She is older than humanity itself.)
"I do not remember needing to explain myself to insects," she casually replies.
"Why'd you come visit then?"
"Curiosity, I suppose." She floats up and leans over him, pressing their foreheads together and really looking into his eyes. A pity, they've lost that brilliant green hue. He flushes and makes an attempt to back away. She lets him.
"You... I..." he starts, and the slight raise of his brow tells her that he's skirting the truth.
"Be careful what you accuse me of," she murmurs, planting a kiss on his brow. Furuichi flushes deeper still.
Breasts, boy, breasts. Don't stray from the golden path, he remembers his father telling him. Truly, a man's man.
"So, uh... when the baby's born... am I supposed to be an uncle to him, or what?"
Lucifer actually laughs then. It's a deprecating laugh, of course, but a mark of good humor nonetheless.
"You can't be serious," she thinks about this, and laughs some more. "Oh - oh. I see. You're thinking of the energy level of Beelzebub's child." She pulls back and plants both palms on his chest, smiling wider still. "Didn't I tell you? Don't compare our power to insects, insect."
"I... wait... what - ?" he pauses, double-checking his chest. Gently, he prods at his ribs, surprised at the lack of pain. His glance passes from Lucifer, to Takamiya, and back to Lucifer. And then he breaks into a slow smile.
"You don't need a reason for him to visit, you know," he shrugs, stretching exultantly this way and that. "I'd like to see him, at least." And try to keep from screaming at the idea of having a son.
"Maybe," she says, moving to peer out the window. She waves her hand and the screen slides out of the way. "Don't forget your place, and we'll see." she adds before flitting out the window.
An inevitably awkward silence settles between Furuichi and Takamiya.
"So... are you feeling better?"
"Sorry about Asmodeus... you know... kicking your face in."
"What?" Furuichi parrots. "What? You mean you're not gonna tell me 'sorry about Lucifer pulling your heart out'?!"
Takamiya levels him with a perfectly flat stare. One that drips with 'I can't be bothered to reply'.
"If I had known you were going to be his ungrateful, I would've just left you underneath that rubble!"
"Why didn't you?"
There's another beat and while Furuichi isn't at a loss, he's at a loss for the right thing to say. In the end, he settles for repetition, shrugging nonchalantly.
"Because like it or not, you're still one of us."
"Yeah. Us. Ishiyama."
Takamiya mulls this over, laughing lightly.
"Don't group me with you guys. Not when I'm the Emperor of Daten."
"Shinobu," Lucifer calls, fluttering in from the window and returning to his shoulder. "We're leaving."
"Wait," Furuichi blurts out. Takamiya pauses and Lucifer looks back. "What about Fuji?"
"Oh, Satan?" Lucifer smiles, tilting her head. "You'll hear from him soon enough."
"But Asmodeus said he was one of your commanders!"
"Sure. And I could probably stop him too." She chuckles. "His host however... well, that's another story."
"But - "
"See ya," Takamiya says, closing the door with a click.
Furuichi isn't even given time to breathe.
"I thought they'd never leave," Oga grumbles, pulling himself up over the window, Baby Be'el in-tow. Furuichi stares, not even surprised when Hilda and Lamia pop through too.
"Furuichi! You dummy!" Lamia exclaims, running up and lightly bopping him on the head. "Why didn't you... why didn't you..."
"Lamia," Hilda warns, shaking her head.
"I know, I know!" the diminutive doctor admits. She flings herself at Furuichi anyways though, headbutting him in the stomach. "You did everything you could, and you didn't do anything wrong. Still... I was so scared for you!"
"Huh?" Furuichi asks, comically turning from Hilda to Oga.
"Unfortunately," Hilda sighs, "The young master is still very responsive to his contractor's emotions..."
"You should've seen her," Oga yawns, casually pulling Lamia off, "Her bawling would've given the brat's brother a run for his money."
"Like you're one to talk!" Lamia jibes, kicking his shin.
"Hahaha... En... right..." It probably wasn't the best time to bring up the kid's latest nickname. And speaking of changing the subject... "Lucifer said that Fuji'll probably make a move soon."
"Satan," Hilda corrects with a tell-tale terseness to her voice.
"Whatever. That shitty teacher said he'll train me seriously from now on," Oga grumbles. Be'el cheers. "Hey, that's more work on your side too."
"That's good to hear," Furuichi sighs, leaning back against the pillows. Lamia moves to fluff them.
"So you've settled everything, right?" Oga asks, motioning to the closed door.
"Yeah, pretty much."
Oga then turns to Hilda. Hilda who, Furuichi realizes, was holding something behind her arms.
"While there is a difference between contractor and host and spellmaster..." she starts.
"But more between those two groups and host, right?" Furuichi asks.
"...Yes." Hilda clears her throat, surprised at the interruption. "Although there are differences between the three of them, it seems like humans do have a hand in their actions." She clears her throat again, eyes darting here and there. "A-Anyways, the Great Demon Lord, in seeing that you had a part - "
"Had a large part in preventing an all-out civil war..."
Furuichi cannot believe his ears.
"...He would therefore like to present to you one of the most treasured artifacts of the royal family of hell. As a token of his thanks." Hilda's on the verge of tears, as she holds out a metallic rod a little skinnier than her wrist. It's curved on both ends and rimmed with little emerald-like jewels.
"Hilda. Wait. I-isn't that..."
"Oh, just take it!" the wet nurse sobs, thrusting it into his hands. "Young Master, I assure you, I have no idea why your father would give away such a valuable treasure, but... but... excuse me!"
She dashes out, slamming the door in her wake.
"W-Wait! Hey! Hilda-nee!" Lamia panics, giving chase.
"Hey," Oga says, scrutinizing the object. "Don't you think that looks like - "
"I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT."
"No, but seriously, doesn't it - "
"I REALLY DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT."
"Okay, okay." For once, Oga doesn't press the issue, crouching down and sniffing the floor.
"Geez, you really are like a dog..." Furuichi groans.
"...Is that chocolate?" Oga asks.
"Probably. The rest of them got it in their heads that a five-star dessert buffet was what I needed." He looks suspiciously at Oga. "I wonder who could've thought of such a stupid idea."
"Dabu!" Be'el blorbles, looking especially innocent.
"Dunno," his best friend shrugs, picking up something from under the bed before standing up. "I was going to, but it looks like that bastard Himekawa beat me to the chase."
"What? Giving me cavities?"
"No," he twirls the little plastic sign, tossing it to Furuichi.
Get well soon, it says.
"Furuichi!" Lamia calls, throwing open the door. "I've brought back Hilda-nee!"
"I apologize," Hilda sniffles, dabbing at the corner of her eyes. "It was rude of me to leave without instructing you how to - "
"Yeah, yeah, you can tell him once he's out of the hospital," Oga interrupts, steering her back out the door.
Furuichi gives a loud sigh of relief.
"Babububu!" Be'el insists, waving his hand.
"No, you don't understand, it's actually a little complicated - "
"LA LA LA LA LA!"
"Don't get kidnapped!" Lamia reminds, sticking out her tongue before closing the door.
"Geez, with friends like that..." Furuichi snorts, unplugging his ears. He gives the sacred object a quick twice-over before chucking it under the bed. He gives the little sign a wry smile before chucking that too under the bed.
I've had enough demon energy for one lifetime, thank you very much.
* What is up with the chapter titles?
The first reading is "His Areto", referring to the Amazons of ancient greece. They would continue their all-female society by forcing men (or, at times, a man) to impregnate the lot of them. The second reading is "His Erato", referring to a love song. Because, well, this story is about a love story... just one between two OC's (Asmodeus and Lucifer) and primarily concerned with a canon character (Furuichi) caught between them. The joke is that the first and third sections were reversed (in the initial plotting of this story), with flashbacks aplenty. The current order has better flow though. I didn't label it as romance because Furuichi doesn't have any romance... just lots of no-strings-attached sex and mass numbers (probably) of proxy children.
* You said you would only write one-shots!
Yeah, don't expect multi-chaptered works from me. They're way too difficult and if I don't update everyday, there's a huge chance of me giving up.
* What were your thoughts on 207?
It makes me really excited for 208. I wrote this fic to cope for the wait, nothing more and nothing less.
* Why did Lucifer want to overthrow the current king?
Because she can and because she'd make a much better ruler.
* How and when did Lucifer recognize Furuichi to be Asmodeus' container?
She suspected it after seeing him for the first time (because Furuichi actually looks like Lucifer, who is just a taller version of Furuichi with green eyes and horns/claws/talons), but only confirmed it when she tore out his heart and he was still alive. That's actually why it's become a habit of hers, to tear out opponents' hearts, so she can double-check for Asmodeus.
* How much time has passed between the conclusion and Babu207?
Time flows differently from the human world and the demon world. Furuichi was in hell for two weeks, but it looks like he was only gone for a week in the normal world, including the two nights spent recuperating at Takamiya's place.
* When you are going to post the side story?
* After his encounter with Takamiya in the hallway, what was said that allowed Furuichi to "connect the dots"?
It's not really said rather than did. Furuichi, being quite self-deprecating, immediately doubted Asmodeus' reasoning for beating up Takamiya ("He was going to torture you.") and, in connecting the dots, realizes it's jealousy. Asmodeus, unfortunately, can read his mind and so, although Furuichi was trying to do 'something drastic' (taking control of his body for a split second of time) with Lucifer all week, Asmodeus was carefully steering him away. This ended up backfiring though, hahaha.
* Was he sealed again?
Yes, no, maybe.
* Why was Lucifer so sad?
The thing is, Asmodeus is a special case because he's such a strong demon. No one actually knows what happens if he's sealed away inside a host (note that Satan has a spellmaster, not a host), but they just guess - judging from lesser sealed demons - that his personality will overwhelm that of his host's. Obviously, it doesn't actually happen in the story, and as that was one of the key assumptions about hosts... it pretty much throws everything else they know out the window. So Lucifer is crying because she 'loves' (well, as much as a demon can... she's not very caring, even when they're fucking...) Asmodeus and doesn't know when (or if) she'll see him again.
* Does the pregnancy period for a demon take a long time?
Again, no idea. The idea is that the more potential a demon has, the longer it'll gestate. The '3000 years is a long time to wait' refers to how long Lucifer had to wait to see Asmodeus again (assuming he was sealed during Solomon's time). Asmodeus is terrible with time so he says centuries and millennia but has no real idea since he was sleeping.
* When Furuichi says he wants to save Beel's dad, did he mean Beelzebub III or Oga?
Beelzebub III. Lucifer isn't targetting Oga; she just wants the throne of hell.
* The precarious position was him embracing Lucifer, right?
Nope, it was Lucifer being stark naked. Furuichi fishes for his loincloth after sex; Lucifer just mopes about on the edge of the bed.
So you know how FFN statistics now show hits-per-chapter? I was pleasantly surprised to see that the flow of readers from chapter-to-chapter (from chapter two onwards) was nearly 100%! I figured some of the weirder chapters would turn people (who liked chapter one) off, but I guess that's not the case. Well, either way, thanks for reading and I hope you liked it. Please continue to support Furuichi, especially if the manga-ka chooses not to immediately revive him!