Hey guys! First Ao no Exorcist fanfic, so let's see how this goes. Literally a spur-of-the-moment thing. :D That means please rate it / comment and let me know how the characters are coming along (if I get their profiles right) or whatever else. I want to nail this one before I start any new stories. Based off of this chapter, it might be longer than expected though. Oh well.
Enjoy the chapter! :D
Mephisto Pheles narrowed his eyes, his hands folded on the desk. He had this all planned from the very beginning, from the first day Shiro Fujimoto had discovered two of Satan's children. It seemed like a game back then, a delightful game to past the time. He had thought about it constantly. Obsessively. That seed of an idea grew into a vast forest, dominating his life. Every choice he made worked towards the final result.
It seemed so easy at first. Shiro trusted Mephisto to a fault, even enrolled Yukio into the school he had founded. Of course, many believed that it was because Shiro had been the Paladin. It was Mephisto who knew better, knew that Shiro had wanted to enroll his adopted and dangerous sons into a real school to learn math and reading instead of proper gun care. Mephisto had argued that Rin, the one who had been strong enough or perhaps unlucky enough to inherit the blue flames would need to be protected. After all, Shiro wouldn't be around forever, and the Paladin had agreed.
As expected, Rin soon grew out of the bubble of innocence and perceived safety that had been around him since birth. As expected, Shiro had been killed by Satan - though Mephisto hadn't thought that Rin would speed the process along. He had actually thought old age and the natural human weak mind would have done him in but, well, details weren't important.
Now the twins were going to be during sixteen Christmas day, exactly sixteen days after the planning all began. Mephisto had raised Rin into a weapon and Yukio into a deadly assassin, a magician with a gun.
But he didn't care about that. Yukio, the normal human boy, was none of his concern. It was Rin who had been the catalyst for all of the plans, the axel all of the scheming revolved about. Rin had been pampered at a young age compared to his brother and now, like a lamb, be sacrificed.
After all, Mephisto's time on Assaih was running out, and the greater demon didn't want to leave. Why should he, after all of these long years toiling in a world that didn't accept his kind? He was the king, and every king needed a kingdom . . . a kingdom not found in Gehena. Satan wasn't the type to share.
Mephisto grinned, a dangerous smile. Sixteen years of planning would be finalized tomorrow. Satan had agreed, in a roundabout way, that he would give Mephisto his freedom in place of Rin's. And why not? It wasn't like the king of Gehena had anything to lose while Mephisto had everything. As a traitor, he would have been killed the moment he stepped back in his demonic home. Here, he was treated like royalty.
Mephisto stood and walked to the window. Snow gently fell from the sky, coating the world in a thin layer of white. Pale stars flickered above the school - his school - like eyes winking to each other. Mephisto never liked the stars. They always seemed to secretive, as if they knew something he didn't. He also hated spiders. They waltzed around his office as if they paid rent.
Tomorrow, Mephisto decided. He lifted his tea to his lips; the exotic aroma filled his nostrils, but it seemed to him that his hand was shaking slightly. That wouldn't do. He gripped the cup a little tighter, taking care not to break the fragile ceramic. Tomorrow.
He would not let sixteen years of careful planning go to waste.
Rin Okumura stared at the ceiling. Tomorrow I'm going to be sixteen, he thought. Honestly, he didn't think that he would make it. There had been too many times he had nearly died, like the battle with the Impure King earlier in the year or the time when the crazy teacher what's-his-face stabbed him through the stomach, though it healed quickly.
There was one another time too, right before he enrolled in this school. But he tried not to think about.
Rin turned his head and grinned. Kuro, his demon cat familiar, bounded with him. Tomorrow! it said happily, bounding to land on his chest. It nuzzles its face against his cheek. Tomorrow you're gonna be so oooold and you're gonna eat a lot of caaaakeee! It perked its ears up. Are you gonna make cake, Rin?
Rin laughed and scratched Kuro right behind the ears, its favorite spot. Kuro purred from contentment. "Yeah," he whispered, taking care not to wake Yukio. He seemed really stressed lately and was passed out on his bed, but the poor guy always seemed stressed out. Once Shura Kirigakure, the crazy teacher that wore half of what she should, had swapped his water with vodka. Yukio figured it out pretty quickly and was ticked off the rest of the day. Rin thought it was pretty funny at the time.
Can you make some for me? Kuro asked, wagging both of its tails, sort of like a dog. Like, a really really really big piece?! With catnip wine?! The familiar's eyes widened as ideas popped in its mind.
Rin smiled. Kuro was extraordinarily talkative, though he seemed to be the only one who could hear it. His dad, Shiro, once had Kuro for a familiar too. Rin had really liked that when he found out; in a sense, it was like being close to his dad again.
"I'll see what I can do, all right?" he whispered.
Kuro seemed to smile. Or at least, tried to. It was a good effort. Yay! it said happily, then yawned and made a nest beside Rin's head, right on the good side of the pillow. Don't forget, it added, peering at Rin with one yellow eye.
Rin laughed again. "I won't," he promised.
Kuro watched Rin a bit longer before closing his eyes and falling asleep. Rin watched his familiar for a moment longer before turning his head back towards the ceiling.
Tomorrow, he thought, slowly nodding off, I'll go to dad's grave.
the next day
"Yukio, pass me the flour." Yukio obediently passed Rin the desired object, and Rin proceeded to measure it out and dump it into a bowl.
Cooking, Yukio thought, a bit begrudgingly, is probably the only thing Rin's good at. After all, his older brother (though he swore the hospital they were born at got it wrong) never paid attention in class, always screwed around on the missions, and had gotten them both killed numerous times. Rin insisted it was to make their lives interesting and had about a thousand different excused, but Yukio came up with one that seemed to sum it all up nicely : his older brother was an idiot.
Rin profusely denied it, though.
"Cinnamon," Rin ordered, holding out his hand without looking. Yukio glanced around the kitchen counter and found a red-looking container and handed it to him.
Rin glanced at it and wrinkled his nose. "I said cinnamon, not cyan pepper. Geez Yukio, are you trying to make a flaming cake?"
"No," Yukio replied grumpily, then found the correct item and handed it to his older brother. Like he said, Rin was the cook. Not him. He could live off of sandwiches and water for years and not get tired of it. Well, he added as an afterthought, maybe not years. Maybe weeks.
"But wait," Yukio frowned, "I thought cinnamon doesn't go in cake."
"This," Rin grinned, "is special. Because, you know, we're sixteen."
"Can't believe we made it," Yukio said with a thin smile. He didn't have enough fingers to count the many times he thought he died. Once from the Impure King and about a thousand times from Rin giving him near heart-attacks. His death sentence had nearly been the end of him but, against all odds, Rin had pulled through.
By sheer luck though, Yukio added with a scowl.
"I'm making it right now!"
Yukio glanced at his brother in surprise, but then realized that he was just talking to the cat. Kuro was sitting on the counter - something that it shouldn't be doing, now that he thought about it - was eyeing the cake batter with hungry eyes.
"I told you already, I'll make you something different," Rin frowned. "Yeah, I remember the promise. Yeah, I remember. No, you cannot lick the batter. Get yer paws outa the bowl."
Yukio rolled his eyes and, for the sake of his sanity, ignored his brother. Instead he focused on the world outside the window. The sky was stormy, with thick gray clouds covered the sky like a blanket. But, for some reason, the clouds seemed darker somehow, more ominous. Yukio shuddered.
See, he reprimanded himself, this is your problem. Stop thinking so much. Be more like Rin and stop thinking. He glanced at his brother, who was still talking to the cat, and made a look of distaste. Well, he thought, maybe that's a bit too far . . .
Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
"I got it!" Yukio called, though mostly out of habit. Though, when he opened the door, Mephisto was waiting on the other side. Yukio blinked in surprise.
"Bonjour," Mephisto smirked, bowing sarcastically. "Happy birthday."
Yukio flushed. "Thanks," he said, then scowled. Mephisto usually was bad news wherever he showed up. "Can I help you, sir?"
"Yes, actually," he said, looking around the shabby dorm. "Where is your brother?"
"In the kitchen," Yukio replied, feeling uneasy. "Is he in trouble?"
"Oh, no," Mephisto said a little too quickly. He furiously waved his hand, as if that would wipe away the guilt. Suspicious. "The . . . the Vatican would like a word with him."
Yukio's eyes widened. The Vatican? "Wait, but I thought you said - "
"Just a word, Yukio," Mephisto said, cutting him off. Impatience clipped his tone and annoyance flared in his eyes. "He will not be gone long."
Yukio's eyes narrowed. He didn't like this - didn't like this at all. Every nerve ending shrieked that this was bad, bad, bad. But instead he said, "I'll go get him," and walking inside, leaving Mephisto in the snow.
Rin glanced at him, spoon full of cake batter shoved in his mouth. Kuro had the same and looked quite happy about it. Yukio sighed - guess the cake is going to be a bit smaller this year - and said, "Mephisto is here."
Rin blinked his blue eyes and hurriedly swallowed the batter. "What does he want?" he asked.
Yukio shrugged. "I don't know, but he wants you."
His brother frowned. "Did you ask why?"
"The Vatican want to 'have a word with you.'"
The reaction was instantaneous. One second Rin was watching him casually, the next he had gone rigid. It was to be expected, though; the Vatican had tried to kill him more than once. Rin still had the scar on his ankle to prove it.
But then the moment passed and Rin was his usual casual self again, though there was a jerkiness to his movements that hadn't been there before. The cat cocked its head at him in a question.
"I'll be right back," Rin replied in an overly carefree voice, then glanced to Yukio with a guarded expression. "Don't eat any of it while I'm gone."
"Don't want to. You okay?" he added.
Rin smiled. "I'm fine," he said, then turned to the door with a wave. Yukio watched him leave with a blank expression.
He sucks at lying, Yukio thought, turning towards the sticky white cake batter. He stuck his finger in it and licked the stuff off; surprisingly, it was actually pretty good. Guess the only thing he's good at is cooking after all.
"What's this about?" Rin demanded the moment they were outside. Kurikara, his sword, was slung over his shoulder and his eyes flashed dangerously; no doubt from the demon inside of him. Mephisto couldn't help but smile; this past year, his powers had truly matured into something to be feared. One Kurikara had cracked, and Mephisto couldn't help but wonder: what would happen if it snapped in half?
The thought pestered him like an itch he couldn't scratch.
"Not the Vatican," Mephisto replied. "I lied."
Rin relaxed slightly, but not much. "Why?"
Mephisto grinned, though his hands trembled slightly so he shoved them the opposite sleeve. He told himself that it was from excitement, not from fear or any of those worthless emotions. "You will see when you get there."
Rin's eyes narrowed further but, like the trusting young man he was, didn't question further. Trust was one of Rin's best and worst traits. Trust in his comrades pulled him through in his weakest moments, but now his trust would be his own undoing.
Mephisto led Rin into the doors of the Vatican. They great circled room was empty now, the chandelier hanging from the ceiling dark and unlit. Rin got tense the moment they walked inside. But what Mephisto was looking for wasn't in this room; it was underground, directly beneath the protective circle drawn into the shiny tiles.
"What's this?" Rin asked when the stepped out of the dark staircase. Condensation had gathered on the old stone walls, making them slick and damp. Stone columns held the room together, though some had cracked. Others had broken completely and now lay crushed on the dirt ground. Empty prison cells lined the walls, their hinges rusty and kept the door open, as if the prisoner's spirits and pushed them there ages ago as a last-laugh. Musk hung in the air and water dripped from the high ceiling.
"This place is a forgotten layer of years past," Mephisto answered Rin with the wave of his hand. His boots crunched on the ground, kicking up old gravel.
"Why are we here?" Rin's tone was guarded. Now that Mephisto thought about it, the boy was on edge the moment they came here.
And it's only going to get worse.
Something stirred in the distance. Rin's head snapped to the sudden sound and his hand was already on his sword. His nerves were clearly doing him in, but now Mephisto thought that maybe - just maybe - he was nervous for a different reason, something entirely opposite of being in the Vatican.
Maybe he can sense it, Mephisto wondered, then stepped forward. "There is nothing to fear, Rin."
Rin glared at him. "I'm not afraid," he stated, and continued to follow Mephisto.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Mephisto continued further. The quality of air worsened and the dampness on the walls had created tiny puddles on the ground. Old torches, unable to bear another flame again, burst in a flurry of blue.
Rin flinched back, his eyes wide. Mephisto could only imagine what was going through his mind, but it was too late to turn back. Too late. Hands shaking, he grabbed Rin's wrist and dragged him forward.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
"Mephisto." A silky voice cut through the dank air, sharper than a blade and colder than glacier ice. "I didn't expect you would come."
"Would I ever break my promise, Father?" Mephisto asked haughtily, with more courage than he felt. Blue eyes peered back from the darkness and the King of Gehena smiled from the other side of the gate. Sixteen years of planning had gone into this gate, sixteen years for this single moment.
"Yes," Satan replied. His laugh turned Mephisto's blood to ice. Rin began to struggle more violently than before, now screaming for help. "Yes," Satan said again, "you would."
I figured that Satan would sound more, I don't know, beautiful (?) since he's an angel fallen from grace. And originally, I was going to start this entire fanfic the moment the turds hit the fan, so basically right at the end, but that seemed wrong. I like this way better. :)
Anyway, I don't mean to sound annoying, but please review and let me know how it's going. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing (except spelling mistakes. You might find a few of those haha) so I really want to get the character personalities right. Mephisto was definitely the hardest out of all of them. Satan? Heck, I don't even know. I'm going for the fallen angel thing. And the reason he can show up in Assaih will be in the next chapter, so to everyone who freaked out, don't even worry :) There's logic behind this haha
So, yeah. Have an amazing day! Or next day, if it's night time for you.