Chapter 4: Just Maybe
"Wow, Teach. What happened to you?"
"I didn't get much sleep last night." Yukio put his case down on the table, rubbing his eye. Classes had been hard enough. He was a teacher, but he was also a student here. He'd nearly fallen asleep during his first lesson and hadn't retained anything he'd learned from the others.
What he thought he could teach in this condition when he couldn't do more than stand and at least half the time keep his eyes open, he didn't know. He wasn't a shirker though. "I haven't given you an assignment in a while and, since we're all busy in a way, I'll hold off on that for now. We'll take a pop quiz to see how much everyone has retained over the past month. Please ignored question 8, 9, 16, and 22." He had written this test up for next week. The lesson plan he had for today would wait for tomorrow.
"Shiemi would you please pass these out?" She was the only one in the front of the class now that Rin wasn't here, so she was the one he called out.
Shiemi came up and took the papers from him. She walked off a few steps before turning back. "Did something happen last night?"
Yukio moved his glasses up with his fingers as he rubbed his eyes. "We're in class right now. When class is over we can talk about outside issues."
"I don't really think it's an outside issue." Izumo stood up. "This is an exorcism class, right? So we should be doing all we can to learn about demons, even those that have non-demon parents. So that makes this a lesson plan too. I'd like to know what happened last night as well. You've never come to class like this before."
She had many points that Yukio couldn't entirely shoot down. Class was a place for learning, even if it had on the field training too. "Very well. Rin was sick again last night a few hours after we parted ways. He fell asleep some time this morning, about an hour before I left for classes myself. I didn't notice anything strange aside from what went on the previous times he was ill."
Shiemi held the papers closer to herself. She looked around at the others but no one said anything. A few it seemed even looked away.
Yukio took in and let out a breath. "Shiemi, please hand those out. After the test we'll see about some 'on site' observations. You're right, Kamiki, this class is about learning of all kinds of demons."
It was almost as if the whole class relaxed and Yukio had to wonder how much sleep the others had gotten as well. They weren't family, but friends could be just as close and he knew worry for other's had kept him up more than once.
Yukio saved the bandaging and didn't use any water to try and gauge Rin's fever when he was back in front of the bed. He hadn't even unfurled himself from that cramped position he was in last night. He was hot, but that's all he could tell as Yukio drew his hand away.
"We'll split up and ask around. Whatever teachers or faculty members who weren't questioned yesterday should be questioned today. Anyone who finds any information, contact the others."
Bon stopped him with a hand on his chest when Yukio moved to go out the door.
"Sorry. I know you're my teacher and all, but you're dead on your feet. If you expect to be of any help yourself, you need to get some rest. We'll take care of the questioning and wake you when we get back."
"But…" But Yukio had no way of fighting back on that. He was exhausted. "Fine, but be sure to wake me. I still need to look into anyone outside the school that might know what's going on."
"I said we would." Bon moved his hand, backing off with the other. "Tsh. And you're supposed to be the teacher."
Yukio didn't like that at all. Suguro never spoke back to him like that when they were in class and he didn't want it to start now. "While I may not be at my best at the moment, I still am you're teacher and I don't appreciate being spoken to like that."
Bon turned and kind of smiled. Yukio was surprised. "Start acting like it then and get some sleep." They left the room and Yukio was left there, feeling really confused and wondering what all of that was about.
"You do it."
"I don't want to."
"Maybe we should just forget it."
The talking was annoying and Yukio rubbed on of his eyes, half sitting up. "What's going on?"
"Oh look, he's awake. You can both shut up now."
"And what gives you any right to tell me to do anything? You didn't even help us."
"Sure I did."
"Oh really, how so? By vanishing the second none of us were looking? I bet you went off to do you're nails or something."
"Excuse me," Yukio addressed the blurs of color in his vision. He could still make them out but not very well and not without starting on a headache from trying to do so without his glasses. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing. These boys, or should I say girls, didn't want to wake you up."
"Hey! That's not how it is and you know it."
Yukio cleared his throat. "I'll ask again. What's going on?"
"Nothing much." Shima's blob moved forward. Yukio moved to get his glasses while they finally started to settle down and put them in place. "We asked around the school but no one knows. One of- Never mind. It was really stupid."
"What was it?" Any possible clue could help them and Yukio wasn't willing to overlook anything.
"Well, me and Konekomaru spoke with Mr. Tsubaki since he's like, everywhere when he wants to be. We wanted to see if he knew anything and we were just joking around when he said so it doesn't matter."
"Are we going to sit here all day and debate what 'doesn't matter'? Even if it was joking around, you brought it up, which means it struck something with you. What was it?"
Shima and Konekomaru were suddenly very uneasy, though it didn't seem the rest of the group understood why any better than he did. Finally Bon hit him up the backside of the head. "Just spit it out Shima."
"Ouch. Well… Okumura was just fine with us the other day… and you had us do that barrier thing. He only seems to get sick when he's alone with you, that's all. It was a joke and it wasn't very funny. Don't worry Teach, we know you're not the one doing it."
Yukio could see why he hadn't said anything now. How could they even say it as a joke? It was strange that Rin was only getting sick around him but that was because he was the only one here at night. And why was it always at night? "Fine then. Just to make sure none of you feel that way, the majority of the illness comes on at night so why not sleep over here tonight? There are more than enough rooms."
"I said we know it's not you."
"That's not the issue. It happens at night. I was sleeping every time it started. Rin likely has been too. Maybe something is getting him in his sleep."
They all went silent. It really wasn't a bad idea and as long as they took shifts, everyone could rest here tonight and still be ready for school in the morning. It would also take some of the pressure off him as well.
"That's not a bad idea." Bon leaned against the wall. "I don't think any of us are really going to be able to fall asleep for a while though, so you take first shift. I'll take the next one. We can do it with just you, me and Shima."
"Because I said you, you idiot. Just make sure you don't fall asleep."
Shima sighed. "You're too cruel."
"And you're all really loud."
Everyone turned towards Rin who was sitting up on the bed though he still didn't look any better. His eyes were dark as if he hadn't slept when Yukio knew he'd rested since he'd left this morning- or at least he hoped he had.
"You're an idiot too. Get back in bed!"
"Why should I? I'm awake now."
"And you look like crap. I said get back to bed."
"Please, stop fighting." Yukio got out of bed because he needed to eat something. They did too since they weren't going back to their own dorms. "Rin, how are you feeling?"
Rin looked like he was about to say fine but stopped. It was a few seconds before he said, "I don't know yet. Sick I guess but not like I'm going to be sick. Just that weak feeling I used to get when I was little after I was getting over the stomach flu or something."
"I wonder if you allergic to something."
They all turned on Shiemi who quickly covered her face with her hands. "I mean, I know some people are allergic to certain things. And I though- maybe- if he was allergic to something he ate that it might be doing something."
Yukio shook his head. He'd never heard of demon having an allergy. If they did, it would have to be different from humans, as there was no way an allergy would be like this in someone normal unless they'd eaten something. Rin had only… eaten what was here. He was sure Sir Pheles wouldn't have brought in anything for him that would have harmed him. There was something there though, something that made sense, he just couldn't figure out what it was.
"I don't think it's an allergy." Shima put his hands behind his head and walked over towards Rin. "It's not like it's his first time at the academy. It would have happened before now."
It could have been something newly introduced but Yukio would have noticed something like that and looked into it right away if that were the case. He wasn't careless and he didn't ignore something that could be a threat.
"So he's newly allergic to the moon or something?"
That made a few of them laugh and Rin shook his head.
"I have no idea what you guys are talking about but you sound like idiots."
"Well you look like an idiot. Get under the covers and get back to bed before I make you!"
"I told you to shut up and stop telling me what to do! You're not my mom!"
How could those two fight when Rin was sick and this was serious? Yukio put himself between them when Bon's fist was just a little too close and he couldn't really be sure if he wouldn't hit him. "It's fine. Let's do what we were planning after we get something to eat again. I guess…"
Rin huffed. "I can make dinner again. If I let you, we're going to eat all the wonderful flavors of noodles and burn."
"Are you sure?" Rin had only just woken and he still looked pretty back. It was almost as if, each time, it was getting worse and he didn't kick back like he usually did.
"I'm sure. I'm starving." Rin took the blanket off of himself and, if not for Yukio knowing he was in his way, Bon would have pushed him right back down.
"You're not the only one that can cook! Lay down. It might not taste as good as yours but I've made meals before and I'm sure at least one of the girls can cook."
"Look, I'm faster and I can guarantee you I'm not gonna sit here and eat in the bedroom anyway." Rin went to the door but his eyes never fully opened, and they were dark, as if bruised. The image of him hit Yukio with a strong case of déjà vu. He'd seen his brother like this, more than once, sore from getting into a fight with one too many guys who were out of his weight class. He'd still won those fights. This one he looked like he lost, and in a way, it seemed he was still losing.
"Rin, he's right. You should really lay down." Yukio didn't know what else to say. He wasn't used to treating him like the younger brother he wasn't. He hadn't been weak in so long that it just was never necessary. He wasn't dad either.
Rin leaned against the door frame with a leg up and gave them all that look like he wanted to punch them in the face.
"Look, think of it this way, if you get sick again we're going to need to care for you anyway. Better to sit down and rest and heal up than have someone carry you back in here."
Rin looked thoughtful for a second. There was some strange expression there, and a smile, then he held his chin as if happy with himself and whatever thought was in his head. The conversation in his brother's head stayed one sided before he half shrugged, looking very happy with himself. "Okay then, but I'm gonna eat in the kitchen with you guys."
"Fair enough." Yukio pushed his glasses up, turning and fixing his bed as best he could while the others followed Rin out of the room, suddenly on a happier conversation topic. Once it was made, Yukio sat down on it with his hands in his lap as he let out a breath, still very tired from only his few hours of sleep. "Rin, one way or another, you really are one pain in the ass."
Rin ate and fell asleep fairly quickly, which was all the better since no one had spoke about the little sleepover tonight. Given that Yukio had the first shift, he'd told the others to find whatever rooms they wanted and he'd find them if need be. Odds were they were one side or the other, or across the hall, for easy access.
They'd put on a nice show of leaving before doubling back. Yukio had to admit, they had 'covert' down pretty well. Rin himself was none the wiser, knocked out with his arm and what looked like part of his tail hanging off the bed, the pillow trying very heart to escape to the floor from under the few strands of dark hair that were hanging onto it in messy fashion.
It was like the world was trying to lull him into a false sense of security. Everything was fine and perfect and just great right now. He didn't know what the next hour or so would be like.
Yukio also found he was very bored with nothing to do while he stayed up and watched Rin. Sleep tugged at him but he fought it back with as much energy he could muster, raging against that annoying voice in his head that said nothing could attack him past the school's barrier- not this time.
An hour or so past, and it felt like five. Yukio put his watch down, trying hard not to look at it. He started talking to himself in his head, trying to figure out what was wrong over and over even though he'd already gone over everything he could. Because he was so tired, he was running himself into the same brick walls each time, but at least it was something to do to keep him up.
His eyes were half closed and his head starting to fall around the two and a half hour mark when Rin started to get fidgety.
Yukio looked around but he saw nothing, getting up off the bed and checking the window before lifting the covers to see if there was anything that could have crawled into the bed.
Rin must have felt the temperature difference, as he curled up on himself. Only a few seconds later did Yukio notice it was in pain, and that Rin's face in the low light of the moon was, again, too white.
"Rin!" He went to put his hand on his forehead before hesitating, knowing better than to do that a second time. He went to the bathroom and got the cloth as well as wetting it before coming back and placing it on his brother's forehead, watching the steam come up. Rin bared his teeth in his sleep, or at least, Yukio hoped he was still asleep.
"Rin, are you awake?"
More teeth were flashed at him and he saw a fang but it could have easily been associated with pain and not a response, seeing as Rin had his eyes sealed shut and was starting to make a low noise in the back of his throat. Yukio suddenly wasn't so tired anymore.
"It's okay. You have a fever again. Can you tell me where it hurts?"
Rin shook his head, just slightly, which pretty much told him he was awake.
"Okay then, I'll be right back. Just keep calm and don't move." Yukio stood up, bunching the bandages and using them as a cloth to put across his forehead.
Yukio went to the empty room next door, and the one after that just be sure before going to the other side and finding all three of the guys there, one on the floor on a futon. He flipped on the light, suddenly not sure if he should be relying on them. They were young. They didn't really know what they were doing and they were good in any average fight, but this wasn't a fight and they weren't more than observers at the moment. Why hadn't he gone to the head master or another teacher? Was he really that tired?
"Wake up. Something's wrong." They were better than nothing right now though.
Bon was the first one up, throwing the covers off himself and at the door faster than Yukio though someone could blink. Shima and Konekomaru were slower but not by much. He didn't have to wait more than a minute for the smaller to shake the other and both to be on their feet and ready.
Bon didn't even wait that long and Yukio followed him, with the other two tailing him, back to the bedroom.
Bon was on the floor by Rin before he stood up and blocked the way, Yukio trying to look over his shoulder to see what was wrong that he didn't want them in the room. "Come on! We have to help him."
"Sorry. I know Shima said it like he was kidding, but I'm not. This is every time on your watch that he's gotten sick, and we all know it's getting worse. It's just a test, okay? But stay away from him. If Rin still gets sick, it was worth trying, but right now I'm not letting you near him."
Yukio was more than a little surprised, blinking at him for a few moments before trying to push past him. "Knock the crap off. You know I wouldn't hurt Rin."
"I know you and him fight an awful lot and I sure as hell can say that I know he's gotten you mad a lot. I know him, but I don't really know you. Right now, I'm not letting you in." Bon blocked him. Yukio knew he could fight but with his guns. He hadn't ever relied on his physical abilities past more than running and jumping and reaction time.
"I said if he still gets sick, I'll let you back in. Shima, think you can carry him?"
"What? Me? Where would I carry him?"
"I mean the idiot in bed, you idiot, if you thought I was talking about the teach." Bon left a little opening for Shima to get past and Yukio went to take it before the taller, stronger teen grabbed the front of his shirt and shoved him back until he met with the wall.
"I really am sorry."
"I'm not doing this to him! You think I would have told you all to come here if I was?"
Bon was quiet but Yukio saw Shima walk into the room, following his orders. Konekomaru even bowed to him before following Shima inside.
Did- did they really think he was the one responsible for this?