The next morning Yukio felt more drained than he ever had. For a moment he contemplated staying in bed and just sleeping the day through, when the memories of yesterday hit him. The next thing though was a decent lack of sounds. It was eerily quiet in the room, safe for his pounding heart as panic seized him. The chance was incredibly small, he'd told himself and believed it. But now he was afraid to look down to the lower cot. What if Rin was dead? What if all he'd find would be a stone cold corpse? Yukio felt himself starting to hyperventilate and tried to force himself to calm down. It didn't work.

Then he tried a new tactic; rational thinking. Maybe the cot was empty. Maybe Rin had needed a toilet. Reasonable. Or he was peacefully sleeping and just breathed so silently he didn't make a sound.

Yeah, right. As if.

Sighing the young half-demon picked up his glasses and put them on, only to flinch at how blurry everything became. Weirded out by that he took them off and who'd guessed; his sight was crisp and sharp, even at a distance. Frowning he first put the thing aside, then proceeded to climb down the ladder and face his fear with a heavy lump in his throat - and half closed eyes. As he inspected it, his heart made a jump; the cot was empty after all, the sheets a wild mess. No blood though. Only a smithereen of what looked like silver; a tiny, round bead.

His heart calmed down, resuming to beat in a more natural speed. Still Yukio felt kind of light-headed and sat on the bed, first staring into the empty room, then focusing on that silvery sphere, trying to figure out where it came from.

Until a knock on the door disturbed his train of thoughts, though whoever had made the noise made no attempt at entering. So a few seconds passed until Yukio had made up his fuzzy mind and grumbled a "come in", hand automatically wandering to his nose bridge to adjust glasses that weren't there anymore. Frowning he slowly lowered his hand and looked at who came in.

"Oi Yukio, you awake? Chow-time!", came a familiar voice and Yukio gaped like a carp - and knew he did, which further irritated him, as he watched his brother carry a tray, then close the door behind him with a swift kick and join him on the bed, shoving the tray into his hands. The food on it smelled delicious. Soup, some bread, a glass warm milk and two candy. When he didn't dig in, Yukio felt Rin's eyes on his person and tried not to look up. He couldn't. Everything would come back to him if he did. He knew he was being ridiculous there, childish, but he wasn't ready to face the stress. An arm was put over his shoulders and a strong hand held his left arm.

"You okay there, little brother?", Rin asked, gently squeezing the shivering shoulder of said younger twin. Yukio slowly shook his head and swallowed a few times before speaking up, trying to keep his voice steady - failing only a little.

"I.. I don't think I should be a teacher anymore.. or a doctor.."

"What are you talking about?"

"Last night.. I.. I just can't take that kind of stress. If a patient ever died on me, I would.."

"You knew that before, didn't ya... Still went that way."

"I underestimated it. When you lay there in pain and I couldn't help you, I realised that. If you had gotten worse, I would've been powerless to stop it. I can't save people. What am I a doctor for if I can't even do that?!"

Rin contemplated that in silence for a few moments in which Yukio felt his heart race again. For some reason, he needed his brother's opinion right now; be it good or bad. Someone needed to confirm or deny what he said. When Rin then spoke, Yukio actually flinched.

"You know.. If it hadn't been for you, I'd be dead now. Or do you think any of these old farts would've cared what happened to Satan's son?"

"If it hadn't been for me, you wouldn't have been shot..", Yukio reminded him, after which Rin just grinned, even if it was at least half painful.

"And Satan would've destroyed the world because nobody could stop him. We did this together. Get that in that brilliant head of yours, Yukio. You're more of a doctor than anyone else, a capable exorcist too. I still haven't surpassed you."

"Rin.."

"And also..", Rin went on, ignoring the interruption. ".. You're damn sane for what happened to you. So don't give me that 'I can't take stress' stuff."

Yukio snorted and smiled a little, shaking his head about his older twin's optimism. He took the spoon and started sipping that soup, much to Rin's relief. As he ate, Rin proceeded to tell him how the repairs were coming along, how Mephisto had gleefully restored the academy first thing in the morning, how Shima had protested about their short-cut vacation, how everyone wondered when school would resume (seeing Yukio hadn't appeared to the lessons). His words were processed between bites. Yukio, fully concentrating on eating (he'd rarely been this hungry), gave an occasional 'hm' and 'yes' or 'no', but otherwise dedicated himself to the food.

When everything was wolfed down, he had another realisation. He looked at Rin who just blinked in surprise at the sudden eye-contact and grinned.

"Is it.. a demon-thing too?", Yukio finally asked slowly.

"What is?"

"This hunger... I should be full, but I feel like I could eat a calf.."

"Ah.. yeh. Maybe. Never wondered about that.."

"I see it will double our food costs."

"If you can think about stuff like that, you're fine, little brother."

"I'm the one paying, remember?"


AUTHOR'S NOTE

Weird ending, I know. ;) Keep in mind this was supposed to be a one-shot. I only added a second chapter because the whole thing needed more fluff.