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The Devil of the Church

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu sits outside the church. It’s raining and even though he wouldn’t get sick from the cold rain he has an umbrella anyways. He sits curled up, knees to his chest as he watches the shitty priest in his stupid church. He is sitting a bit away from it on a hill, more out in the open then he would have dared to be any other day. But with the darkening sky, clouds and rain, Ichimatsu is sure no one would see him.

The priest sees the last people out of the church, smile on his face as he wishes them well. Ichimatsu scowls. It’s stupid. He isn’t sure why he continues to watch the priest, or well, he is but Ichi won’t ever admit it. There’s no way he could become enamored with a shitty human anyways, let alone a priest.

Still he watches the priest day after day and it’s probably been half a year now. Demons like him had no need for sleep nor did he ever have to leave to eat. So instead he just always sat, watching the church from afar.

Originally he was on Earth to make a mess of things. He had planned to burn down the church with all the church goers in it however when he saw the priest he stopped. Not ‘cause he was a handsome man with kind eyes, no - although Ichimatsu did kinda notice that too- but he stopped because the priest’s soul shined with a light pure blue unlike any he had seen before. He worried that the priest might have secretly been an angel at first. So Ichimatsu decided to observe him so he could know what he would be up against. Ichi watched the priest everyday, rain, shine or snow. The priest always smiled and was kind. He fed the stray animals of the area and got free food from the locals. He never spent the church’s donations on himself as Ichimatsu had seen countless others do. Instead he spent it on repairs for the church and the local orphaned children. Giving them gifts and sweets, giving them kind words and comfort.

It was sickening. But for some reason it also made Ichimatsu feel weird. Sometimes he even thought about giving the priest a gift as he never seemed to get any from the town even though he gave so much to them. Ichimatsu always just scolded himself for those thoughts, what kind of demon was he? A pretty shitty one probably he thought as he continued watching the priest. He did the same things everyday so Ichi knew that in a few minutes the priest would sit in front of the large cross and pray for a whole hour. He always wondered how much the shitty priest had to say to the Gods if he could sit there for an hour every single day. Did he say the same things everyday or different?

Ichimatsu would probably never know since he would never approach the priest to ask. He let out a wistful sigh watching the priest kneel bathed in the soft candle light as the rain pattered out where he was.

A low chuckle brought him out of his thoughts, “Wow, Ichimatsu. You have got it bad huh?”
Ichimatsu turned to see none other than his self appointed “big brother” Osomatsu. Who like always was dressed in a tacky amount of bright red.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” He mumbled in reply getting another laugh out of Oso.

“Is that so~? Well then you wouldn’t mind if I went down and slaughtered the priest right?” He turned to go only to be stopped by a grip on his sleeve and a growl. Osomatsu of course turned back with his normal grin, “Younger brothers really are the cutest you know. However you know you won’t get him just by sitting here, right?”

Ichi looked at him a bit confused. “Get him?”

“Well, you’ve been watching him so long so I just figured you had planned to corrupt him and take him down to hell to be a slave demon, wrapped around your finger, yeah?” There was a pause. “Wait, you aren't? Why else would you be staring at a human for so long?” Silence took over and Ichimatsu glanced back down at the church and Oso moved to stand in front of him to get his attention again. “What else could you want with a human it's not like you-” A smirk crossed his face, “Say Ichimatsu~ Are you in love with the priest?”

Ichi looked away. “Tch, who would fall in love with a human, let alone a shitty priest.” It came out rushed and he felt his face heat up. Osomatsu lazily floated in front of him grinning wider when he saw Ichi’s face.

“Well I suppose it makes a lot more sense when I think about it. You’ve been here so long and scared away and demons that tried to come at the church claiming it as yours. But really little bro, if you like him so much why don’t you talk to him?”

Ichi scoffed at his brother’s idea. It was pretty obvious why he didn’t,they were demons after all. The priest would more likely try to kill him then say hello. He guessed he was just lucky that demons didn’t really have rules like angels did. If so he probably wouldn’t be tried for treason over technically protecting the shitty priest for so long. Demons didn’t care what you did as long as you met your quota for death and corruption, which he had already done within the first month of the year. Anything else at this point was just bonus.

They sat in silence for a while, Ichimatsu occasionally glancing at Osomatsu nervously. it wasn’t like him to be quiet for so long. It could only mean something bad would happen soon like-

His thoughts were cut off as Osomatsu spoke, sounding triumphant.

“I got an idea!”

Oh no, Ichi scowled at Oso, the other didn’t seem to care. “Don’t worry Ichimatsu, big bro is gonna help you get your priest! What kinda brother would I be if I didn’t help out after all!”

“Liar, you just want to cause trouble and see if something entertaining comes out of this.”

“Aw, you know me so well Ichimatsu. I’m embarrassed,” He said acting bashful before a dark smirk took over his features. “Besides if I have my fun and you get your priest then what’s the harm?”

“Osomatsu I swear you better not-”

He was cut off as Osomatsu pressed their lips together, taking the opportunity of surprise to bite his lip and lick up some of the blood. He started murmuring a spell and Ichimatsu tried to push him away quickly realizing what he was trying to do. Of course it was too late.

He felt his chest tighten as if he was suffocating and the body burning as Oso finished the spell. Ichi’s wings and horns felt like there were going to fall off. He curled up and whimpered, dropping his umbrella and feeling the cold rain fall against his burning skin.

“You b-bastard,” He let out through grit teeth. “What are you planning?” Oso had sucked out most of his demonic energy. His body hurt, it felt heavy. To save energy his wings horns and tail had disappeared leaving him looking human, minus his purple irises. Hell, he was probably about as strong as a human now. Granted his energy would come back after a few months but he was basically defenseless now and Ichi sure didn’t trust the look his brother was giving him.

“Ichimatsu,” Oso said. “you better run to your priest for protection or else this big scary demon might just kill you.”

“You can’t be serious.” Ichi’s voice had a tone of disbelief as he looked up at Oso who was looming over him smirking. He didn’t even have to reply because Ichi was already off and running down the hill and to the church.

Oso followed lazily, enjoying the little chase and the rare look of fear on his brother’s face and well he didn’t really want to kill him, he would if he had to.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Ichi’s body felt like it was failing if he was being honest. It all hurt from his lack of energy and burned from the feeling of using his legs without the help of magic. In human standards he was kinda out of shape.

It was no surprise that Oso was easily gaining on him. Ichi didn’t think he would make it to the church before he was slaughtered. So, for the first time in his life he screamed for help.
If he was being honest he was terrified and he was sure his screams echoed that feeling as he heard his brother laughing behind him. Asshole. Luckily the priest heard him too and opened the door just in time to see Osomatsu tackle him down and claw at Ichimatsu who curled up in a ball as his skin was torn open. For just scratches they felt like they were burning his body and he whimpered.

It went by in a blur, Osomatsu hissing and running off as the priest yelled bible quotes and waved a cross. The fool probably never seen a demon before since he knew Osomatsu was definitely acting, no demon ever hissed in pain. That was just a stupid thing humans thought.

The priest’s hand touched his shoulder and Ichi flinched, he could tell that the man was saying something but he just felt to dizzy and tired to focus. He tried to get up and stumbled into the priest's arms and passed out before they even entered the church.

Chapter Text

When Ichi reopened his eyes he was confused. He could see cream color walls and soft light drifting into the room. He slowly sat up with a wince, the claw marks on his body stung a bit and his whole body felt like it was aching. Probably from the running and lack of demonic energy Ichi thought with a sigh.

He looked around the room. It was pretty plain, the furniture decorating the room was mainly wooden. There was a desk with a chair as well as some book shelves that were covered in papers and heavy tomes. The small table next to the bed that he sat on had some water and food he noted. Well he didn’t really need it, Ichi supposed it would be suspicious if he never ate or drank anything. He would even have to remember to fake having to go to the bathroom throughout the day, what a hassle.

Ichi sat up and had a bite of the pastry that was left on the plate. He recognized the fruit filling as blueberry and continued to absentmindedly eat it. It didn’t taste bad he guessed, slightly sour which he thought seemed a bit odd. Perhaps they had poison in them? He wasn’t sure why the priest would save and bandage him only to poison him though. Maybe he didn’t know they had poison in them or maybe they just tasted weird. He was brought out of his thoughts as the priest entered and looked a bit surprised to see him up and about.

“Why good morning! I’m surprised to see you up so soon after being attacked as you were.” He put down a tray of more small snacks that he had brought with him onto the table.”How are you feeling by the way?”

“‘M fine.” Ichi mumbled looking away and taking another bite, finishing off the pastry.

“I bought a bunch of things since I wasn’t sure what you might want to eat when you woke up,” the priest said. “I hope you can find something to your liking.” He smiled at the demon. Ichi picked up something else and ate it without really paying attention to the taste. He was mainly distracted by the priest’s warm smile. He never thought it would be directed at him and he felt his cheeks get hot and looked down at the plate of snacks as a distraction.

“Ah! Where are my manners. I am father Karamatsu, who might you be?”

Ichi debated giving a fake name but unlike myths claim, knowing a demon's ‘true name’ doesn't actually give you any power over them and it wasn’t like he was well known to priests. He was only formed less than five hundred years ago so his name wasn’t in the bible or anything.

“Ichimatsu,” he finally said after a long silence.

The priest looked ecstatic just to know his name. “Well, Ichimatsu! I have to prepare the church for a service. However I will check up on you once an hour to see if you need anything. Is that okay?” After the priest received a nod, he continued, “Great! Do you need anything before I go?”

Ichi looked at the table of food and then at himself. He was bandaged but he just noticed his shirt was gone, probably too torn up to wear anymore. He felt like his face was burning and stared at the floor.

“Um. . . Something to wear?”

“Of course! I’ll be back with something in a little bit!” The priest left and Ichi looked across the room, catching a glance of himself in a small mirror on the desk. His face was quite red.

“Ah, what’s wrong with me!” He mumbled to himself. “I need to get out of here. . .” But without his powers he was quite helpless and he didn’t know if Osomatsu was still around, it was quite likely he was. He loved seeing how his plans worked out, Ichi scowled.

“You know think of the devil and he shall appear, little brother.” Ichi turned his head quickly to see Osomatsu floating in a corner of the room.

“What do you want?!” He hoped the priest would take his time with the clothes so he didn’t walk in on him talking to a demon.

“To lay down some rules. First, you cannot flee from the church before your powers have returned fully or I will kill you.” Oso smirked and Ichi felt his blood run cold. He couldn’t believe Oso was taking this so seriously or rather he could considering how childish the other was. “Second, either the priest falls in love with you, you kill him or I kill him. Those are the only outcomes I am allowing. You have until your powers are back to either kill him or make him fall for you, if not I kill him. Also, your powers should take about one human year to fully return. Try not to blow your cover little bro!” With that he winked and disappeared in a small puff of smoke.

“Not even a goodbye huh?” Ichi paused. “Rules. So then this is another one of Osomatsu’s ‘games’. What fun.” He had heard of the last game Oso played. It was with Todomatsu, an incubus they had both come to know, he had been upset because he lost and Osomatsu killed his close friend. The situation was the same, Todomatsu had had a crush on his friend and even though it was a fellow demon, Osomatsu had no difficulty killing them when Todomatsu’s time was up.

Ichi sighed, this definitely won’t be fun for anyone other than Osomatsu. He was sure the other was just waiting for him to fail, after all he couldn’t force the priest to fall in love with him and even if he did manage to make the man even vaguely like him he was a man of God and Ichimatsu was, well, a demon. It was obvious how this would turn out. After all, Osomatsu only played games to win.

The door opened, startling Ichi out of his thoughts and he let out a small scream, which in turn startled the priest. He jumped a bit clutching the clothing he had brought with him to his chest.

“Ah, sorry. . .” Ichimatsu looked down, embarrassed.

Luckily the priest bounced back quickly, “Ah, no problem! I should have knocked first anyways. Here are some clothes you can wear! Sorry, I don't have many casual clothes so I hope these work.” He handed Ichi pretty plain clothes, sweat pants, a shirt and a sweater. He was glad it was the 21 century. If this had happened a few hundred years back then he might have had to wear nun’s garbs or something.

“Thanks. . .” Ichi took the clothes from him and got dressed once the priest left again. The clothes were a bit baggy on him and not as stylish as the dress clothes he had been wearing before. But he didn't really care, they were soft and warm and smelled a bit like lavender. He wondered for a second if the priest smelt of lavender too. Ichi shook himself out of his thoughts and wondered what he would do for the next year. Should he even bother? He supposed it would be too tiring to try and seduce the priest so for the next year he would just live here and hope for the best.

Like that would ever happen, Ichi thought with a scowl. He looked back over to the table of food. A normal person would probably eat a bit more and drink the water so he set to that. Sipping water and looking over at the fruit, bread rolls and some last thing he couldn't identify. So naturally he grabbed the thing he couldn't identify and he smelt it. it seemed to smell sweet so, he took a bite. It was softer than he thought it would be. He found it to be and sweet and creamy. Ichimatsu ended up eating it all quickly and wondering if the priest had more of it.

He sat in the bed for a while, snacking and after eating about half he figured that it was a normal amount a person might eat and slowly got out of the bed with a bit of a wobble.

Ichi’s legs felt painful and his back burned a bit when he moved. The majority of the claw marks were on his back after all. It didn’t matter much though as they would be healed within a week or less. Regardless he stumbled slowly to the door and peeked out the room. the church halls were empty in this area and he assumed he was in the priest and nun’s living areas. He slowly stepped out into the hallway closing the door silently behind him. Ichimatsu wandered down the hall towards where he heard muffled voices.

He kept walking until he found a door. Putting his ear against it he could hear the priest talking to people, verses of the bible among other things. Ichi guessed a mass was going on. So, he walked farther down the hall, passing a small kitchen and a bathroom along the way. The last door he found led to the outside and he took a step out into the warm spring air, the ground was still damp with the rain from last night and he took a slow walk around the church. The outside of the church was nice, flowers planted around it and a small walkway circled around the building. Ichi walked to the front and peeked in through a window to see the priest, if he remembered correctly he said his name was Karamatsu. He watched Karamatsu talk in front of people the sun shining in from the stained glass casting blue and purple light on him.

He looked beautiful in the lighting, a calm and friendly smile on his face as he spoke. Ichimatsu felt his face heat up again.

“Remember what I told you yesterday?” He turned quickly to see Osomatsu was back again smirking at him. “You won't get him just by watching.”

“Tch, are you going to keep interrupting me? How am I supposed to try winning if you're always popping up?” He asked in an annoyed tone, “It’s not like I broke any of your rules.”

“I know, I know. I'm just here to help out my little bro.” He smiled deviously at Ichimatsu.

“Oh shi-” He was cut off as Osomatsu grabbed him by the throat and hit him hard against the church doors, choking him.

He felt the fingers curl around his throat tighter and clawed and his brothers hands. Gasps sounded from inside the church as people had turned to see what the noise had been, only to begin screaming as they seen the demon attacking Ichimatsu.

“You see if a demon keeps attacking you then that little priest will keep very close to protect you. Otherwise he might just let you go after a month or two and it wouldn't be any fun if the game ended early right?” He laughed and Ichi could see black spots entering his vision, all he could let out was weak croaks as he felt his body getting heavier and tears drip out of his eyes.

The second church door burst open next to them and out came Karamatsu. Ichi could see his mouth open but he couldn't hear anything, his vision went completely back for a few seconds before he felt himself fall and air enter his lungs again.

Gasping he blinked quickly to clear his vision and looked up, Osomatsu was gone and Karamatsu was crouched in front of him. Ichimatsu tried to focus on him, body trembling.
“-matsu are you okay? Can you breathe?” He slowly nodded and Kara gave him a soft smile, helping him to his feet and leading him into the church. The people watched as Karamatsu helped him to sit at one of the pews. The priest went to go make sure the demon was off the premises and the people gathered around Ichimatsu asking if he was okay, one gave him water.

It made him nervous, if any of them knew what he really was they would be trying to finish the job. He drank the water, it helped make his throat feel a bit better but he wished the people would leave him alone as he felt a small panic as more gathered around closer.

“Please give him some room everyone, the demon has left and I think it's best if we ended the mass early so I could tend to his wounds. Please pray when you get home for the town's safety, may the Gods watch over you all.” They all begun to gather their things and leave to Ichimatsu’s relief.

Karamatsu watched them go before turning back to him, “How are you doing?” He asked, fingers bushing softly against his jaw, pushing his face up softly to look at his neck.

Ichi felt his face heat up, his voice coming out in a dry whisper, “I'm f-fine. He didn't choke me f-for long.” The priest's eyebrows furrowed with worry and he helped Ichimatsu up again.

“Let's ice your neck a bit okay?” He nods and lets Kara help him up, they walk slowly as Karamatsu helps him over to the kitchen, sitting him down at the small wooden table as he checks the fridge for an ice pack.

With a sigh Ichi looks around, when he passed by it before he didn't really look at the kitchen in much detail. Soft yellow walls with light blue cupboards and white appliances. Karamatsu pulls out a ice pack triumphantly and brings it over to where Ichi sits. Kara holds it to Ichimatsu’s neck looking at him with concern, “Are you sure you're alright?”

“Yeah. . .” His voice sounds more steady and the priest gives him a warm smile. Ichi stares at him for a minute then looks away, moving his hand to hold the ice pack on his own. Kara pulls away, watching him as if unsure what to do now.

The priest clears his throat loudly making Ichimatsu look over, “Well seeing as though you were attacked again by that fiendish demon I would like to suggest maybe that you should live here in the church for a bit. I would like to ensure your protection even if it might cost me my life!” He looks proud and Ichi just smiles bittersweetly, fiendish demon, of course.

He has no real choice though Osomatsu would kill him if he left and Karamatsu would try and kill him if he knew he was a demon. The lesser of two evils, it almost made him want to laugh. Still he replies, trying to sound as though he really believes the priest could protect him. “Ah, thank you. How can I ever repay you for your kindness?” He hoped it didn't sound as bitter as he felt. As much as he liked Karamatsu he also realized that the priest was as kind as he was a fool.

Of course Karamatsu simply smiled at him with a pat to Ichimatsu’s head, “Well I'm glad to be able to help! Now you stay here and keep taking care of your neck and I will go set up a room for you.” With that the priest rushed off leaving Ichi alone in the kitchen.

He wasn’t alone for that long however, “My, my it's working out just how I told you it would right?” Osomatsu, he looked at his brother boredly. “Aw come on Ichimatsu don't make that face at me! I'm just trying to help you out. It's what you want isn't it? To have some time with the little priest? Who cares if I have a little fun too!” His smirk was an annoyance and Ichi scowled.

“What do you want this time?”

“Don't be like that! It's no fun unless everyone plays a game right? I'm just doing my part,” he pinched Ichimatsu’s cheek teasingly, “It's not like I really hurt you, I'm just looking out for you little bro!”

Ichi sighed, “Yeah well, even if you are you should probably go before Karamatsu comes back.”

This only caused Osomatsu to smile more, “Oh~ On a first name basis already? You should be thankful of my help really! You wouldn't even know his name, if not for me. You would probably still be sitting on the hillside watching over the church, just watching until the fool kicked the bucket!” A growl from Ichimatsu as he lunged to grab Osomatsu but he had already disappeared only a small bit of smoke to show he was even there at all.

“Asshole.” He angrily tossed the ice pack on the table and paced in the kitchen, fuming but not able to leave. As pissed as he was he didn't want to worry the priest by walking off.

Sure enough Karamatsu came back within minutes, he seemed a bit shocked that Ichi was up and about already.

“Ichimatsu? Is everything alright?”

He turned to the priest with a scowl, “ ‘m fine.” Who looked back at him a bit surprised and definitely not convinced.

Stepping a bit closer he put his hand on Ichi’s shoulder, “Well I'm not sure what has upset you well I was gone but I'm sure some well deserved rest will make you feel better dear Ichimatsu!” Ichi only grumbled as a reply but the priest guided him down the hallway anyways. They were back to the room he had been before but instead of stopping at it he brought him to the one next to it.

It was similar to the room he had woke up in the only differences being the placement of furniture and the walls were a soft lavender as opposed to the cream from before.

“I hope you like it, I put down fresh bed sheets and if there's anything else you might need don't hesitate to ask of course!”

“Yeah, thank you.” A pause as Ichimatsu stared at him, “I. . . Don't have any clothes. . .” He looked away with a slight blush feeling a bit embarrassed he was still in Karamatsu's clothes.

“Of course! I will let you borrow something else tomorrow and then we can walk to town and get you some new clothes and we could even get whatever you wish for dinner my treat!”

He felt weird, like something was running loops in his stomach, nervous he realized but more nervous than he probably ever felt. “Y-you don't need to do something like that!” His voice rushed out almost making it all one word. The priest just laughed happily with a smile.

“It's no trouble. Think nothing of it, I just want to make sure your stay here is pleasant!” He nodded in a reply and Karamatsu seemed to notice his nervous behavior and without warning pulled him into a hug.

At first he stiffened, surprised and a bit flustered over being pulled close. But he started to relax as he the priest spoke, voice soft as he held Ichi gently. “Do not worry Ichimatsu, you're safe in this church and if you ever need me I'll only be a room over. You may visit me anytime even if it's early morning or late night. I'm here for you.” Before he knew it he had sunken into Karamatsu's hold almost as if he was melting, clinging softly to the front of the priest's robe.

A calming voice kept whispering words of comfort and the priest had a soft smell of oranges and lavender. He closed his eyes and let himself enjoy it.

Perhaps he enjoyed it a little too much because next thing Karamatsu knew he was holding a very much asleep Ichimatsu.

He smiled down as his guest and moved him to the bed, tucking him under the soft blue blankets.

‘What a mysterious man, I wonder why that demon keeps coming after him.’

He posed toughly, regardless I will keep him safe for as long as he needs it! With that he brushed Ichimatsu’s bangs out of his face and made sure he was comfortable before leaving to do the rest of his duties for the day.

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu looked around, confused at first. He was back in hell and everything seemed normal, well for hell at least. Demons laughing, souls screaming in pain. The norm.

Osomatsu flew up to him, “Welcome back little bro~” He drifted in front of him with a lazy grin, “I can't believe you managed to best me, well in a way.” He let out a snicker at Ichimatsu’s confused face.

“Don't you remember? You couldn't get the idiotic priest to love you but you found another way to win. What a tricky little brother I have.” To his horror he turned to see the priest chained by his feet, staring up at him with a look of hate.

“How could you do this to me, I trusted you... “ Karamatsu looks away bitterly, “But then again what would one expect from a demon.”

He wanted to yell, scream even that this wasn't what he intended but he couldn't seem to open his mouth. It just kept repeating, Osomatsu teasing and tormenting him well Karamatsu angrily claimed to hate him.

___

He sat up quickly, gripping the sheets that he was tangled in. Panting, he looked around the lavender room. Just a dream, rather a nightmare.

The room was dark, moonlight shining through the window. Ichi looked to the desk clock, four am too early to expect anyone to be up but he got up regardless.

Slipping out of the bed he shivered, the air was freezing and he could see his breath. He slowly opened the door and stepped into the hallway.

Ichimatsu looked at the door beside his, Karamatsu had said it was his room but he probably wouldn't be awake right now. For some reason however Ichi lightly knocked on the door anyways and stood staring at a door he was pretty sure wouldn't open.

To his surprise he heard a sleepy, “Ichimatsu? Is that you? Do you need something?”

He paused not sure what to say and stepped a bit away from the door. It opened seconds later and he was greeted by a half awake Karamatsu.

“Are you okay Ichimatsu?”

He looked away, mumbling his reply. “. . . Nightmare.” He looked back at the priest to see him giving a reassuring smile.

“I see, why don't you come in and relax then? I'm sure it has you a bit upset.” His voice took on a joking tone, “If you want you could even sleep next to me.”

It didn't seem right how much Karamatsu trusted him even if he wasn't a demon but instead just a stranger, he could still be dangerous. This priest is an idiot. He thinks bitterly, his gaze going to the floor as it started to blur.

A warm hand touched to his face, gently rubbing his cheek. “It's okay Ichimatsu it was just a nightmare, it can't hurt you.” He was confused at first until he realized that he was crying. Kara gently pulled him into the room and closed the door behind them.

Karamatsu guided him over to the bed and gestured for him to lay down. He did, the sheets still warm from the priest having been sleeping in them moments before. He flushed a bit, pulling the blankets a bit over his face. Kara sat on the bed a bit away from him, looking down with a smile.

“Just relax, I will watch over you and keep you safe. Do you need anything maybe a story or a lullaby?” He scowled a bit and the priest laughed softly.

His hand softly ruffled Ichimatsu’s hair, it was nice and he let his eyes close as Kara continued. Soft humming filled the room, a slightly sad sounding tune Ichi had never heard before but he found comfort in it. He drifted off again to Karamatsu's soothing voice singing a wordless song.

Morning came too soon for Ichimatsu’s liking. He slowly blinked his eyes open, looking up at the soft light drifting into the window.

It's warm. He let a small smile find its way onto his face and looked beside him, Karamatsu was sleeping, tangled in the sheets next to him. He found himself blushing as he realized that in his sleep he had hugged himself to the priest but instead of letting go he just closed his eyes and enjoyed the soft sounds of breathing and the soft chirps of birds from outside.

If he was human he might have thought that he had died and gone to heaven. Earth truly is nice, he thought almost wishing that time could stop and he could be in this short moment of peace forever.

Of course he knew it wouldn't really last so he let himself enjoy it, his mind drifted as he felt the slow rise and fall of Karamatsu's chest. Ichimatsu opened his eyes a bit and looked at Kara’s face, peaceful and relaxed. Even though he wasn't smiling he still had a friendly feeling to him.

Ichi closed his eyes again relaxing. He wasn't sure how long it lasted but after a while he felt Kara stur under him.

There was a small noise of surprise as he felt the priest move to get up, “Ichimatsu are you asleep?” When he got no response he slowly slipped out of Ichi’s grasp and stood up out of the bed. A pause of silence and Ichimatsu wondered if he had been caught but instead he just felt a soft pat on his head, “Sleep well Ichimatsu. I'm going to make some breakfast.” He heard Karamatsu walk off, the door open and shut behind him.

Slowly he opened his eyes, he was now alone in the room. He smiled dreamily snuggling into the blankets with a content sigh. Sheets still warm and they had the usual smell of citrus and lavender. He wondered what made everything of Karamatsu's smell that way. Soft and inviting just like the priest himself.

He felt his face heat up as he smiled a bit more, still half asleep he closed his eyes. ‘Perhaps today will be a good day.’

“I didn't think you two would be sleeping together already~ Consider me impressed little brother!”

‘Or not.’

“Shut up Osomatsu.” He grumbled hiding himself under the covers.
Oso just snickers at him, “What do you want today?”

“Nothing at all! Can't I just check on my cute brother. I am a little disappointed though Ichimatsu. If you're going to sleep with him wouldn't it be better if you guys had your clothes off?”

He sat up with a scowl, “Fuck off.”

“So grumpy, well you never were a morning person.”

“If you have nothing more to say you might want to leave. If the priest walked in it would ruin your game right?”

Oso simply shrugged, floating above the bed as he stared at Ichimatsu. “I suppose. I will be keeping my eye on you though~ Tootles!” With a small puff of smoke he was gone again and as much as Ichimatsu wanted to go back to enjoying the warm bed he felt it was a bit ruined now.

Chapter Text

He stepped out of Kara’s bed and onto the cold floor. Now that he was out of bed he noticed that it was a bit on the cold side this morning.

He stretched and looked lazily around the room it seemed the same as it had the day before, maybe just a bit messier. He headed out into the hallway, humming could be heard coming from the kitchen and Ichimatsu slowly made his way over.

He peeked into the kitchen to see Karamatsu putting food on some plates. Ichi took a step into the room and Kara looked up at him with a smile.

“Good morning Ichimatsu! I hope you slept well.”

“Yeah. . . Thanks.” He mumbled well looking down a bit embarrassed.

“Of course! Happy to help, I hope you like eggs.” Ichi wasn’t sure how he felt about eggs but he nodded anyways.

Karamatsu placed a plate onto the table and pulled out the chair for him, he sat looking down at the plate of steaming food. Eggs, sunny-side up, bacon, toast and slices of apple. It looked pretty good for human food he supposed. He could feel Karamatsu watching him as he took a bite.

It was. . .

Really good actually. Probably some of the best food he's ever had from earth. Ichi felt himself flush as he eagerly took another bite. A quick glance up from his plate showed Karamatsu's radiant smile as he watched Ichimatsu eat.

“So I guess it's good huh?” He said with a laugh, Ichi just nodded since his mouth was too full to speak.

Kara seemed pleased and they ate in a comfortable silence for a while. Ichi finished first because he had scarfed down his food as if he was starving. Karamatsu ate a bit slower so he was only half done by the time Ichimatsu finished.

It became a bit awkward as Ichi just sat and watched Kara eat or at least he felt it was awkward, the priest didn't seem bothered at all. Luckily after a little while Karamatsu too had finished eating and stood up, taking the dishes with him to the sink.

Well he rinsed them he spoke, “Well you were sleeping I finished all my duties of the day, I believe I mentioned yesterday that we would need to go get you some clothing to wear well you stay here with me. Would you be comfortable going now? I also have to get some other things from town when we go so it might be a bit of a long trip.”

The town, Ichimatsu really hated it there but there was really no avoiding it today he supposed. He nodded in reply then spoke as he realized Kara wasn’t looking at him. “Yeah, I’m fine with that.” Karamatsu turned with a smile after placing the now clean dishes in the drainboard.

“Great! Let’s find you a coat to wear then, it’s a bit cold out today. I wouldn’t want you to get sick.”

Without warning he grabbed Ichimatsu’s hand and pulled him through the hallway and into a storage room. He shuffled through a wardrobe, occasionally looking over at Ichi. Finally he pulled out a long coat, “This should fit I think!” Kara handed it to him and Ichimatsu looked down at it. It was a light lavender, like the walls in his room. When he put it on he was sure he probably looked a bit funny, it was a bit large on him but comfortable. The bottom of the coat reached his knees and he watched Karamatsu put his own coat on. Well it had a similar style, Kara’s coat was obviously the right size for him, it was well fitted to his body and Ichimatsu quickly looked away with a flush before he was caught staring.

The priest didn’t notice anything or if he did he made no comment about it. Instead he grabbed Ichimatsu’s hand again and walked him outside. Ichi noted again that the area around the church was pretty, a slightly forest feel to it. The church itself was a bit away from the town, surrounded by trees and wildlife. He looked at Karamatsu who was leading him without a word towards the path that lead to town. For a while as they walked down the path it was silent, nothing but the sounds of the gravel crunching under their steps and the softer sound of breathing paired with the small clouds of steam in the cold air.

If he couldn’t see his own breath he might not have even thought it was cold as demons had high body temperatures naturally, Osomatsu had once claimed it was hell fire running through their veins or something but Ichimatsu wasn’t sure if he had been telling the truth. He scowled to himself, deciding not to think of his ‘older brother’ anymore that day.

After a bit of walking down the path Karamatsu spoke up, “You know, this is the coldest it’s been all month. I think we might get one more snowfall before the summer comes this year.” He sounded happy, Ichimatsu wasn’t really sure why.

“Don’t hu- people normally dislike snow?” He personally had no preference but he did enjoy seeing how earth changed throughout the year, every season seemed like a different planet. Especially when compared to hell, the place never changed at all.

Karamatsu let out a content sigh, “Some do but I really like it. It’s very beautiful.” Ichi supposed he could agree with that and nodded in response. Silence settled over them again as they continued to walk, Karamatsu’s hands in his pockets well Ichimatsu’s hung at his sides.

“Ichimatsu? Aren't your hands cold?” Kara said, staring at the other.

“N-not really, it really isn’t that cold out.” His tone was dismissive but he shoved his hands into his pockets anyways and Karamatsu smiled at that.

As they got farther down the path it became more lush with plants, flowers and bushes with small buds on them. He stared, wondering what the small buds would open up to look like later, the plant life always seemed to surprise him. Once he had seen a flower become a fruit, it confused him to no end since not all flowers became fruits, only some. Karamatsu must have caught him staring at the plants as they walked, “It’s lovely isn’t it? All these plants are native to the area so a sight like this can’t really be found anywhere else.” Ichimatsu nods, looking over at him with a slight flush. He just hopes that Kara just assumes it’s the cold air causing his red face. A comfortable silence took over as they walked the rest of the way to town.

 

When Ichimatsu seen the town he felt himself get a bit nervous, technically by human standards it was a small town but it felt huge to Ichimatsu. He had once heard Osomatsu say there was at least thirty-thousand people living here, he shook his head. Stop thinking about Osomatsu, he scolded himself. It’s not really like he could help it, most of what he knew had been told to him by Osomatsu. Still he didn’t want to be reminded that the demon could pop up at anytime and ruin the day for him.

On the outskirts however, Ichimatsu didn’t see any people and he was glad for it. Karamatsu led him into town, taking him to wherever the people of the town shopped. They made some idle chatter for a bit before Karamatsu’s voice took on a bit more of a serious tone.
“Are you by any chance from this town Ichimatsu?” After a reply of a shake of Ichi’s head he continued, “There aren’t many other towns near here though. . . Were you on the run from that demon for a while?”

Ichimatsu looked down, he didn’t really want to lie to Kara so he just muttered. “I would rather not talk about that. . .”

“Of course, I’m sorry for prying.” He looked up to see the priest smiling at him like normal. He felt guilt rise in his chest and said nothing as they continued forward.

When they arrived at the shopping district he could swear he felt his heart stop. There were people everywhere, crowding the streets. It was a real surprised compared to the basically empty areas they walked in before. There was a constant chatter filling the street, he felt his stomach twist as they stepped into the crowd, he tried to follow Karamatsu closely.

It took everything in his power not to run out of that street as fast as he could. As much as he was supposed to be a scary demon he was weak right now. Not to mention the amount of people, even at full power a hoard this big could probably take him down. There had to be thousands here. He felt overwhelmed as he reminded himself, ‘they don’t know I’m a demon. It will be fine. . . No one will do anything. . . I think.’

Ichi knew he would be finished if they did know, he glanced around nervously but no one seemed to be paying attention to them. He felt like any second someone would point to him with a yell, as if one of them could see his tail or horns or even his wings. He knew they couldn’t but still he felt as though the whole street was watching him, waiting for a reason to attack.

His body feels rigid as he walks, breathing quickly and eyes continuously darting around in a nervous panic.

He's sure it's obvious that he's freaking out, he's sure this will only cause more people to look at him and then they'll notice-

“Is everything okay my dear Ichimatsu?” His voice barely above a whisper as he looked at Ichi, concern on his face.

"A-a lot of people. . ." He murmured, looking to the ground. How pathetic he must seem, cowering in the middle of the crowd of humans. If his brothers seen him they would have a real laugh.

He wondered if the priest might laugh at him as well but instead he felt a hand take his own.
“Ichimatsu do not worry! No matter what it is, people or demons, I will protect you!”

He nods and looks up at Karamatsu feeling his face flush at the warm smile Kara gave him. He felt as himself be pulled along by Karamatsu, feeling a bit in a daze so Ichi gripped his hand tighter.

The people thinned out as they entered a clothing shop, he was grateful that even in the store Kara didn’t let go of his hand. He was pulled around the store Karamatsu making suggestions, grabbing the occasional thing.

He tried on a few things and ended up getting a lot of clothing. At first he had insisted that Karamatsu didn't have to. That he could deal with just a few outfits but Kara insisted and basically bought him a wardrobe's worth. He only felt a bit better about it when the store owner gave Karamatsu a discount. Seems they knew each other, something about Karamatsu having helped her family before.

Walking with bags on his arms, Ichimatsu still held to Karamatsu's hand. Wondering what else Kara had to do in town.

In the end they arrived at a fairly large grocery store and Kara explained that he wanted to make a special meal for them both to enjoy tonight.

"We can have whatever you want, what kind of food do you like Ichimatsu?" He wasn't sure since he never ate a lot of human food before, so Karamatsu suggested lasagna. Ichi didn't quite know what that was but agreed anyways, they walked through the store picking out all the ingredients.

Ichimatsu stopped as he seen something odd, "What's this?" A small cat shaped thing on a stick, it shined like honey but it was solid.

"Ah that's a maple lollipop, they're very sweet would you like one?"

"S-sweet?" His eyes seem to light up, the one thing he loved about the human world, sweets, they didn't have anything like them in hell. Kara lets out a pleasant chuckle and grabs one for him, putting it in their basket.

"Since you like sweets so much why don't we pick up a cake for dessert?"

 

"R-really?!" He flushes from his outburst, "I would like that . . . but you don't have to waste money on me or anything."

 

"Non-sense! I would love to spend my money on you, besides I'll eat some of the cake too." He laughed, Ichi nodded and they went over to the bakery section. In the end they chose a simple vanilla cake and made their way out of the store with new bags on their arms.

Chapter Text

The walk home was better than the walk there was because it was later so there was less people around and it even warmed up a little.

They talked softly about sweets and the weather among other things as they walked back to the church, hand in hand.

Unknown to either of them Osomatsu watched from a distance scowling from the tree he sat in.

“This seems a bit too easy for him if you ask me and what's a game without a little difficulty after all!” With a dark chuckle he flies off to make some trouble.

When Ichi and Kara arrived at the church they split up for a little bit, Karamatsu went to start on supper and Ichimatsu went to put the new clothes away. Upon entering the small lavender room he was staying in, the small smile on Ichi’s face turned to a scowl.

“What do you want?”

“Now, now is that anyway to greet your older brother? I just came to tell you that I would be out of town for a little bit. I wouldn’t want to worry my cute little brother.” As he said that he floated over to Ichimatsu and ruffled his hair. “Besides I don’t want you to get any ideas in that little head of yours. The second you try and run away the priest will die. Remember that.” The fun teasing tone had left his voice and all that was left was ice.

A feeling of dread fell over Ichi, “I know. I’m not going anywhere.”

The mood cleared a bit as Osomatsu let out a light laugh, “I know~ But be careful, you should have enough power to do some magic now, yes? I know you use your magic all the time without thinking so I just thought I should remind you, if he finds out what you are then he’ll definitely kill you.”

“I know that, you don’t have to remind me.”

Osomatsu let out a snicker before speaking, “Is that so? You looked pretty carefree earlier well clinging to that priest. I thought you might have forgotten that the two of you are technically enemies.” Ichimatsu’s scowl only deepened and he set to putting the clothes he had gotten away as Oso continued to float at his side.

“Oh my, did he get you all these? How nice of him, perhaps I should go thank him for being so nice to my little brother.” Ichimatsu grabbed his collar roughly slamming him against the wall.

His voice came through gritted teeth, he was pissed. “I thought you were leaving Osomatsu-niisan.”

A carefree laugh came from Osomatsu, “Of course how could I forget? Well I must be going now but you two have fun~” Once again he disappeared into a puff of smoke. Ichimatsu stood there hands clenched at his side, trembling a bit, from what though he wasn’t sure. Was it anger? Fear? Maybe something else.Regardless he stood in the room for a few minutes to calm himself.

‘Osomatsu loves to ruin people’s good times, doesn’t he?’

He sighed and stepped out of the room and into the hallway. Off to the kitchen he went.

When he stepped into the kitchen he stopped, Karamatsu was making the lasagna but at some point he had put on a frilly white apron over his clothes. Ichi felt his face heat up a bit unable to keep from thinking of how cute he looked in the apron. He looked up as Ichimatsu entered, “Hello Ichimatsu! I’m almost done I just have to put this in the oven! Did you manage to find room for all the clothes?”

His bad mood had pretty much disappeared and he watched Karamatsu put the tray in the oven then look up at him waiting for an answer, “Y-yes I did. The food looks good,” He paused getting a better look at Kara, “You however look a bit like a mess.” Karamatsu looked at him confused and Ichi just sighed and grabbed a towel well walking towards him. Without thinking he started wiping Kara’s face clean of flour and a bit of tomato sauce. When he pulled away Karamatsu was just staring at him, face a bit redder than before.

‘I wonder if it’s cold in here?’ He still couldn’t feel the temperature one way or another so he supposed Kara was probably just cold.

After a moment of silence Karamatsu smiled at him, “Thank you Ichimatsu, that’s very kind of you. Would you like a snack while we wait for dinner to cook?”

Ichi paused in thought for a few seconds before nodding, Karamatsu pulled out some weird red things he had never seen before but they did look like food.

“Do you like strawberries?” He assumed the priest was referring to what he was holding and decided to be honest.

“Never had ‘em before.” Karamatsu looked a bit surprised as he washed and put the strawberries into a bowl, cutting off the stems as he went. He sat down next to Ichi at the table and picked one up, half jokingly bringing it to Ichimatsu’s face. Kara looked a little surprised when Ichi just ate it, lips softly brushing against Karamatsu’s fingers as he took the strawberry from him.

Kara could feel his face heating up but just moved the bowl closer to Ichimatsu and gave a small laugh, “Do you like them?” A nod with a slight smile in reply and Kara picked up another and ate it himself, he thought for a fraction of a second Ichi looked a bit disappointed but he probably imagined it.

So they sat there enjoying the delicious berries occasionally one of them would feed the other one, Ichi always with a small smirk on his face.

Before they knew it the lasagna was done and Karamatsu told Ichimatsu to pull it out of the oven well he went to grab something. He did so without oven mitts but hot things didn’t burn him or well to him the temperature wasn’t even hot. He did however think afterwards that if he had done that well Karamatsu was in the room he would have been busted and mentally scolded himself. Luckily when Kara came back later it seemed he was none the wiser and they ate together without incident.

“That was amazing Karamatsu,” He mumbled, staring down at his empty plate,”Everything you cook is really good. . . better than anything I ever had before.” Kara flushed a bit and smiled, seeming proud of himself.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it. Let’s stretch our legs a bit before we have dessert though, Would you like to take another walk outside?”

A small “Mhm,” came from Ichimatsu and they both went to get their coats again. Stepping outside first Ichi let out a “Woah.” and Karamatsu followed him out, a small bit of amazement showing on his face. Ichi watched the sky with a small smile on his face, it was snowing.

He had seen the aftermath of snow before, mainly snowstorms that buried everything and iced over the roads causing destruction but this was different. The snow he was seeing drifted slowly from the sky, softly sticking to the things it landed on. He stared at the soft flakes, entranced as one landed on his face then melted and he smiled.

Karamatsu had originally been looking at the snow as well but once he seen Ichimatsu’s face, seen him smiling, he couldn’t help but stare. The slight flush on Ichi’s face, the way he closed his eyes when a snowflake landed on his face and the small yet beautiful smile he had on his face. Kara could feel his heart racing just a bit.

“Karamatsu, you were right. The snow is lovely.” Ichimatsu looked up higher in the sky as he spoke, Karamatsu never looked away from his face.

“Yeah, lovely. . .” After the initial wonder wore off a little Ichi noticed that the ground was now covered in a small layer of snow. He felt excited and turned to Kara.

“Do you want to walk through the path well it snows? I want to see how it looks!” This was possibly the most excited he had felt in a long while and Karamatsu felt a bit trapped by the sparking eyes he was staring into.

“O-of course! We came out for a walk after all!”

Ichi grabbed Kara’s hand and pulled him towards the path, they walked down it for a while. Ichimatsu staring at the plants that shimmered with the snow, the trees. Everything shined in the moonlight, snow truly was amazing.

Karamatsu couldn’t look away, despite the beautiful sights which he only gave quick glances to, he kept his eyes mainly trained on Ichi. The smile from before not leaving his face, his hand surprisingly warm and holding Kara’s own. His face felt flushed and he wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or not.

They stayed out for a while, walking around well Ichimatsu looked at everything. Only stopping when he noticed Karamatsu’s teeth chattering and without thinking he gave the priest a hug as his body was really warm naturally. Kara hugged back, sinking into the warmth with a content sigh. After a minute or two they headed back inside, Karamatsu happy to be back in the church and out of the cold.

After warming up a bit Kara lead Ichimatsu back to the kitchen for cake. He cut and served it, not eating his own at first in favor of watching Ichi’s reaction.

It was sweet, really sweet. That’s what he loved about it, he took another bite with a small happy noise, smiling to himself. After a minute Karamatsu also began to eat and they enjoyed their cake slices in a comfortable silence. Once they finished they wrapped the rest of the cake up to eat later, despite Ichimatsu’s protests for another piece.

After that was done Karamatsu suggested they go sit by the fireplace and enjoy the evening together. Ichimatsu ended up sitting next to Kara on the couch by the fireplace. They sat mainly in silence, only the occasional sound of rustling paper as Karamatsu was reading.

Ichimatsu had been content watching the fire dance for a while but overtime he found himself sneaking more glances at the pages of Kara’s book. It seemed interesting, apparently some story about detectives. He wondered if the priest liked mystery books or if this was just something he had found to read.

Karamatsu looks up at him as Ichi had glanced at the pages again, “Would you like to read with me Ichimatsu?” He nodded, excited to read the book with him but unsure as to how it would work. His question was answered as Kara opened up the blanket he was in and patted at his lap.

Ichi could feel his face flush a bit but sat in the priest’s lap anyways and Karamatsu wrapped the blanket around both of them. It was almost laughable, a demon and a priest basically cuddling. Regardless Kara held the book out in front of them both and continued to read. After a bit of trial and error they figured out a system that Ichimatsu would nod whenever he had finished the pages so Kara could know whether or not to turn to the next page. It didn’t last too long however as they both had begun to get tired, Ichi even managed to fall asleep on Karamatsu’s lap.

Putting the book aside Kara let out a yawn, Ichimatsu was so warm, he wondered how Ichi was always so warm. He kind of wanted to ask but right now the heat was so comforting that he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer and soon fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The next morning Ichimatsu was the first to awake, he was snuggled against the priests chest and let out small noise of joy. He closed his eyes again and felt the slow rise and fall of Karamatsu's chest. It was wonderful to wake up to this feeling of comfort and warmth. He felt himself sigh, he knew this wouldn't last. Ichi supposed he should just enjoy it well he could.

When Karamatsu finally awoke Ichimatsu had drifted back to sleep, face pressed against his chest. Kara felt himself flush he could only think of how cute Ichi looked like this. Still he thought should wake him up so they could get on with the day. Yet he found himself softly petting Ichimatsu’s head, his hair soft against Kara’s fingers. A noise akin to purring could be heard as Karamatsu continued to stroke his hair, a small smile on his face.

As Ichimatsu awoke he felt fingers softly run through his hair and found himself sleepily nuzzling against the hand with a tired smile. After a few minutes of this he opened his eyes to see Karamatsu looking down at him with a soft smile.

It was embarrassing and he was sure his face was turning red, “Mornin’.”

“Good morning dear Ichimatsu. I hope you slept well.” He pulled himself off Karamatsu's lap, causing the blanket that had covered them to fall to the ground.

“Yeah. I slept fine.” He noticed Kara shivered a bit, ‘it must be cold in here.’

Sure enough Karamatsu spoke up soon about it, “I better turn up the heater, It's colder than yesterday.” Ichi looked around the room as Kara wrapped the blanket around himself.

He walked towards the window with a small gasp, “Karamatsu, the snow.” Kara joined him by the window with a slight frown.

“Well I didn’t think it would snow that much.” The snow covered half the window at least, completely solid by the looks of it. “I hope the town will be okay, If this lasts too long some of the townspeople might run out of food or something,” Karamatsu mumbled to himself, “Ah, well I should turn the heater up.” He said a bit louder and walked off.

Ichimatsu just stared at the snow, it seemed a bit unnatural he thought. The snow last night was falling quite slowly and when they went in there was probably only an inch of it on the ground. He scowled a bit, he was sure Osomatsu and his ‘out of town business’ had something to do with this. Which also explained why Oso had reminded him not to use his powers, he could easily melt most of the snow in the area but the priest would definitely think something was up and if he used magic his more demonic traits would come out again. It was a huge risk just for some snow but if it really was caused by Osomatsu there was no telling how long it would last, there was even the chance it would snow more.

When Kara finally came back he had a bunch of blankets in his arms which he plopped on the couch. “Well since we won’t be able to leave the church for now, I brought some blankets and we can continue reading if you want?”

He nodded and decided it was okay if the snow stayed for a bit. Getting into the same arrangement as yesterday they continued the book.

It wasn’t that bad a situation really, they had food, heat and company. Though Ichimatsu felt a bit on edge after being cooped up in the church for hours on end. He had half a mind to just open the door and walk into a pile of snow just to get out. However it would probably melt after being in contact with him for a bit and he wasn’t sure he could explain that in a way that didn’t give himself away.

The snow was really lasting though, as if it was testing his patience or something. Counting today they had been snowed in for four days now and well they still had plenty of food the water pipes had frozen and the power cables would probably also freeze soon Kara had told him. Without the heat he was sure Karamatsu would probably get sick or worse. Sure enough as he woke up the next morning he could see his own breath and the lights wouldn’t turn on.

‘Great no power or water. The two things humans normally need in this day and age.’ He knew power by itself wasn’t required for humans but all the things it allowed them to do, heat their homes and cook their meals for example, were pretty necessary. At first Kara just stayed under a pile of blankets, trying to still do his duties of cleaning, praying and even making meals, all well wrapped up in blankets as he walked. Ichimatsu had offered to help and ended up cleaning the church and cooking for them, he had wanted to give Karamatsu a warm meal but there wasn’t anyway he could heat things up without magic and that to would probably give him away.

The only thing Karamatsu had left to do after that was prayer, which lasted an hour or so. At one point well Ichimatsu was cleaning he had looked over at Kara and thought he was sleeping well sitting up and he would have believed that he was sleeping too, if not for the slow moving of his lips as he prayed. He wondered what Karamatsu prayed about, he hoped he might mention the snow. The Gods might want to know about the unnatural snowfall then they could do something about it before all the people of the town became icicles.

Once night had fallen it had gotten even colder, Karamatsu’s teeth chattered as he hid in his pile of blankets. Ichimatsu was fine even without a blanket but he had a few because it would seem odd otherwise. In the end he decided to take a bit of a risk, “Karamatsu, do you think I could come into your blankets with you. I’m sure it would be warmer that way.” Kara nodded and opened the blankets for him. Once in Karamatsu hugged himself to Ichi with a content sigh.

“You’re warm Ichimatsu, it’s so nice.” He felt his face flush as he wrapped his arms around Kara who closed his eyes with a small smile on his face. Eventually he fell asleep well Ichimatsu just nervously watched him, putting a hand to Karamatsu’s face. He was freezing. With a sigh he made sure Kara was sleeping and used his magic just a little to make sure Karamatsu would he completely warm the whole night.

As to be expected his wings came out as did his horns and tail. He felt himself groan a bit, it felt good to finally be able to stretch his wings. Even if they weren’t visible or tangible on Earth well they had been hidden he still had them and keeping them closed for basically a whole week had been hell.

Slowly he let himself out of the blankets and wrapped them back around Kara, careful not to wake him. He smiled at the soft sleeping face of the priest before setting off, he took a step outside, closing the door behind him as the snow he walked by melted. He flapped his wings and shot up into the sky, flying around a bit before getting to work. He slowly went around melting the snow down from seven feet to one. The humans could manage a foot of snow or at least he assumed they could.

Luckily with him melting all the snow he also unfroze the pipes and electrical and he noticed as he entered the church. A light was on. He felt a small bit of panic as he hid his demonic extras and luckily for him it was only a light they had left on when the power had gone out and it had turned on once the cables had unfrozen. He let out a sigh of relief and checked to make sure the heater was running. It was, it seemed everything was running smoothly, he could have gone to sleep to pass the hours but instead he cleaned up the church so the priest could rest tomorrow and once he was done that decided to start on a soup for breakfast.

Once it was simmering he checked the time, four am. He decided to borrow the book Karamatsu had been reading and took it with him to the kitchen to read. A few hours later he heard Kara shuffling around and went to go check on him.

“Ah, g-good morning Ichimatsu.” His voice sounded funny and Ichi frowned at him, “It seems even with the snow now mostly melted I still managed to get a cold.” He laughed softly.

Ichimatsu had heard about human illnesses before, some were harmless and some were deadly. He wasn’t sure which a ‘cold’ counted under though. He figured most humans would know so he didn’t ask and just hoped that the light hearted laugh that Karamatsu had made was a sign it was nothing major.

He wondered if food would help and if Kara had any medicine for the cold thing. Humans had medicine for everything it seemed. “I made soup.” He mumbled, starting to walk back to the kitchen.

Karamatsu followed him with a smile, a blanket still draped over his shoulders as he walked. He sat down and Ichimatsu served them, it was the only human food he had know how to make mainly because it was just throwing stuff in a pot and letting it sit.

Kara seemed to enjoy it though, telling him it was really good in a slightly raspy voice. Afterwards he checked the bathroom for cold medicine but found none.

“Do you think you could go get some?” He asked, offering Ichimatsu his wallet, “I’m sure the shops are open today after all.” He just nodded, a bit nervous to go into town on his own but Karamatsu probably needed the medicine so he would do it.

Chapter Text

After making sure Karamatsu was laying down all wrapped and warm he set out for the town. He doubled checked himself before exiting the door, he had a coat on so he would appear normal. There was a pretty high chance that it was still cold out after all.

He started to trudge down the forest path to town when he heard a voice, “Where are you going?” He turned to see Osomatsu sitting in a tree, who he honestly hadn’t missed at all during the five days of being snowed in.

“To town.”

“And why’s that?”

He paused, should he tell Oso the priest was sick? Chances are he already knew and just wanted Ichi to tell him.

“Going to buy something.” He said with an aggressive tone, continuing his walking.

“What are you gonna buy~?” Ichimatsu sighed, he probably wasn’t going to leave him alone.

“Medicine, Karamatsu is sick. I’m assuming it was technically your fault.” Osomatsu floated in front of him with an over the top expression of shock.

“Ichimatsu! Now why would I do something like that.” His fake shock quickly turned into another smirk as he laughed.

“Tch, do you need something or are you just here to ask things you already know?”

Osomatsu moved to stand in front of him, stopping him. “I just wanted to see you Ichimatsu, we haven’t talked in almost a week after all! However I must wonder how are you going to handle yourself in the human town, after all if things go bad then for once you can’t just destroy it and fly off right?”

“I’m just going to buy something, it’s not that hard.” He mumbled, not wanting to look at Oso as Ichi knew he would probably just try to make things hard for him.

“Well if it’s not hard that’s no fun!” He put his hand to his chin as if thinking, “Ichimatsu why don’t I make it a bit harder for you~”

“Can’t I just have an easy day for once?”

Osomatsu just laughed at him, “Haven’t the past few days been easy?” He grinned, “So here’s the game! You’re gonna go into town and get that medicine however you have to have your tail, horns and wings out well you do it.”

“You gotta be kidding me! The second the humans see me they’ll probably all try to kill me, how is that fair?”

Osomatsu simply pulled out a full body dark purple cloak, “Because I’ll let you wear this, it should hide everything right? Or at least mostly everything! That’s the challenge you can take it or you can walk back to the church without the medicine.”

Ichimatsu felt himself sigh, Osomatsu could never not tamper in things. It’s why his games were impossible to win because there was always more you had to do during them. With a grunt he took the cloak from his brother and stretched out his wings before putting it on.

“Also! If at any point you try and cheat and hide any of your features then I will kill the priest, have fun now Ichimatsu!” With that he laughed and disappeared. He really was an asshole. Regardless Ichimatsu pulled the hood over his head and continued on to the town. There wasn’t much he could do other than just go along with Osomatsu’s stupid games.

Arriving at the town it looked about the same as before except with a small layer of snow. He could once again see his breath and hoped the cold weather would keep the humans in their homes. Of course as he stepped a bit farther into the city he noticed it did the exact opposite.

Parents sat on porches and children played in the streets, building things out of the snow as well as throwing it at each other. To his surprise however no one paid him any mind because of the amount of people that were around. He let out a small sigh of relief and hoped it might stay this way.

A bit farther in he was walking down a street practically filled with children laughing and playing all of them had wide smiles on their faces. ‘It was a bit odd that something that could make them sick was also so much fun to them’, he thought as he walked. Not paying much attention and falling back as a slightly older child bumped into him. He stood up quickly, nervously pulling his hood back into place, it hadn’t fallen off but he didn’t want to risk it.

The kid ran off after an apology but his heart was now pounding and he walked a bit faster towards the store. He was sure Osomatsu was laughing from wherever he was watching.

When he finally made it into the store he counted himself lucky that aisles were labeled in this day and age and quickly made his way to the medicine. What he didn’t count himself lucky for was that there were so many different types of things that all called themselves cold medicines.

‘Tch, what’s the difference between any of these? Does one work better than the other? Should I get the cheapest or most expensive?’

There were too many choices, he could just grab one but what if it was shitty? He could ask someone but that felt a bit too abnormal to him, humans would know what kind of medication they needed, probably. In the end he grabbed the one with the nicest box and went to the check-out. Where of course he had to interact with some human to pay for it.

This whole shopping trip really sucked but he gave his item to the lady at the counter and she scanned it as she greeted him. Ichi could only stutter out replies, to nervous to sound really friendly. If the lady minded she sure didn’t show it and he didn’t talk for the rest of the transaction, just paid in silence and walked off with his things.

Once out of the store he noticed the wind had picked up making the cloak flutter around him dangerously. He had a feeling that Osomatsu had caused this too, or if not he was still going to blame him for it.

He made his way back through the town gripping his hood tightly, feeling like the wind might rip his cloak off any second. Luckily he made it through town without any incidents because it was later and less people were around.

As he neared the path to the church again he was stopped by a lady with pigtails.

“Excuse me, do you know where the church is?”

He turned to her still gripping his hood, and with his other hand pointed to the path, “It's just down there.”

“Ah thank you.”

“It's not open today though. The priest is sick.”

He wasn't sure if it actually worked that way but he figured the girl visiting would just make Karamatsu get sicker or something.

“Oh is that so. I see.” He turned to go and she grabbed his cloak and started to say something but the wind blew harsh at the same time, drowning out her words but also ripping the cloak off of him.

Shit. She gasped and he did the only thing he could think of, fly off as fast as he could and dive into the forest at a random spot. He wasn’t sure if she had seen his face nor did he know if she would tell the townspeople or Kara what she had seen. Some of the townspeople might dismiss her but Karamatsu knew that demons existed for sure and so did anyone that went to the church he supposed.

However Osomatsu was mainly red in his features well Ichimatsu was based around purple and if she had seen his face then he was undoubtedly fucked. He trudged through the forest, medication still in hand as he made his way to the church.

When he arrived Osomatsu was waiting just in front of the doors for him, smirking as he approached.

“Sure is windy today huh?” A teasing tone to his voice.

“Fuck you. Are we done now?”

“So grumpy! But yes we are done now and you can go back to living your lie. I can kind of see why you wanted to watch the priest so much though, he sure is cute when he sleeps~”

“Stay away from him Osomatsu. Don't you dare even touch him.”

“I won't, I won't,” He laughed, “Well have a good day little bro. I'll be back tomorrow~” With that he poofed out of there as Ichi scowled.

He hid his demonic features and entered the church, walking to where he left Karamatsu.

He let out a sigh of relief as he seen Kara sleeping on the couch. He double checked in the mirror to make sure he looked normal then gave Karamatsu a soft nudge.

“Mmhh? Ichimatsu?”

“I got the cold medicine, you should take it and go back to sleep.” Kara sat up slowly and took the medication from him.

He blinked sleepily, staring at Ichi, “Ichimatsu can you stay with me for a bit?” His voice had a slight whine to it and Ichi sat down next to him without protest.

Kara sleepily nuzzled to him and within minutes was asleep again. Ichimatsu felt his face flush a bit and he sat there for hours as Karamatsu slept away.

He eventually decided to sleep as well and the next morning woke up to Kara draped over his lap and a smirking demon watching them from the armchair.

“Good morning Ichimatsu~ I see you're doing well.”

“Osomatsu.” He replied coldly, the next few days well he was taking care of Karamatsu were a lot like this. He would feed Karamatsu, clean the church and sometime well Kara was sleeping Osomatsu would always show up and bother Ichimatsu.

Chapter Text

Within a few days Karamatsu was feeling better and insisted on walking around and feeding himself but still slept a decent amount.

Ichimatsu was cleaning up the hallway windows when Osomatsu bothered him again. However unknown to Oso, Kara was awake and walking around as he teased Ichi.

Karamatsu walked passed the hall only stopping as he heard a voice he didn’t recognize.

“It's nice to see you again Ichimatsu~” Kara peaked his head around the corner, eyes widening a bit as he seen the demon standing or rather floating next to Ichi, “Are you having fun taking care of the priest?”

“Please leave me alone.” Ichimatsu didn't sound scared but Karamatsu did see him looking around a bit nervously. Karamatsu snuck around the church, grabbing holy water as he went. Even if he was sick he would protect Ichimatsu!

In the meantime Ichimatsu listened to Osomatsu drone on and on about something only cut off as something was splashed on him from behind. A drop of it landed on Ichi’s hand and it burned. His eyes widened in surprise for a second and Osomatsu screamed out in pain and disappeared.

“Are you okay Ichimatsu? Did it hurt you?” Karamatsu stepped towards him reaching a hand out nervously. Ichi stepped back a bit.

“I'm fine!” ‘His hands are covered in holy water. I'm busted if he touches me.’ He let out a nervous laugh, “Thank you Karamatsu, I hope you don't mind b-but I would like to be alone for a minute.” With that he darted off to the bathroom, leaving Karamatsu behind with a concerned look on his face.

Once inside the bathroom he let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. Ichi looked down at his hand, the burn from the holy water an angry looking red and still felt as if it was burning.

He rinsed water over his hand, normal water. It was cold and he let out a soft content sigh. He would probably have to clean up the holy water later but luckily he could use a mop for that.

When he left the bathroom he didn't see Kara in the hallway anymore and the holy water was cleaned up already.

‘I hope I didn't offend him or anything by running off when he was just trying to help.’

He walked back to the living room area where he found Karamatsu sitting.

“Uh, hey Karamatsu. Are you feeling better by the way?”

Kara looked up at him with a slight smile, “Yes I'm feeling much better today thank you. Are you okay Ichimatsu? I'm sure it's a bit scary to be attacked so often, if you need anything I'm here for you of course.”

“I'm fine really,” his hand still stung but he definitely couldn't mention that to the priest. “Just a bit tired maybe.” He said with a sigh, a blatant lie but it was better than admitting he wasn't scared because he too was a demon.

Karamatsu patted the spot next to him on the couch and Ichimatsu took a seat next to him. Before he knew it he was pulled into a hug by Kara and after a moment he returned the hug.

He really didn't deserve to be treated nicely, especially considering he was basically only tricking the priest even if it wasn’t technically his choice. Regardless he felt himself relaxing into the hug and closing his eyes with a content sigh. It was really nice and it didn't surprise Karamatsu that after a few minutes Ichi’s breathing softened and a soft snoring came from him.

Slowly Kara moved so they were both laying and softly ran his fingers through Ichimatsu’s hair. Slowly petting him as he hummed and read his book, he had slept enough the past few days but he didn't remember seeing Ichimatsu sleep once well he was taking care of him.

He eventually fell asleep as well, book in hand.

The next morning Ichi untangled himself from Karamatsu and went to go clean up the church. He had gotten in habit of doing it by now as well as cooking breakfast. Which he set to doing afterwards, Karamatsu woke up shortly after and thanked him for his hard work. It was back to work again as Karamatsu had to hold a mass today and left after breakfast to go set up the actual church area of the building.

In the meantime Ichimatsu went for a walk through the back forest, the ground crunching under foot with every step. He spent a few hours enjoying the solitude of the woods, Osomatsu was probably still recovering or else he would probably be bothering him right now. As he walked back he seen something sitting near the church as he approached closer he recognized the animal, a cat.

He felt himself smile as he walked towards it. The cat meowed at him and he took a seat next to it.
“Hello.” Another meow and it jumped on his lap, he pet it slowly. The purring was adorable and it curled up on him.

“Ah, you sure are friendly. Do you live around here?” After a moment the cat meowed again, he wondered briefly if humans talked to cats or if he looked weird.

“Are you hungry? I think we have some fish, I'm sure Karamatsu probably wouldn't mind.” The next meow sounded more excited, or did he imagine that? Ichi slowly stood up and the cat jumped off his lap and followed behind him as he walked to the side door.

Surprisingly the cat followed him in without a care in the world, walking behind him all the way to the kitchen. After a little bit of hunting he found a can of tuna and opened it, putting it into a bowl for the cat.

He placed the bowl down by the cat who after a sniff began to eat. Ichi took a seat and watched the small cat eat, absently talking to it.

“Do you have a home or are you a stray cat? You don't have a collar so I guess that makes you a stray. . . Does that mean you don't have a name either?” Ichimatsu sat in thought for a second and the cat payed him no mind, just enjoying its tuna. “Would you mind if I named you? After all I don't really want to call you cat all the time. . .” He got a small meow as a reply which he assumed could be a yes.

“What's a good name though. . . Ah I once knew someone named Emerson, any chance you would like that as a name?” The cat now finished it's food slowly walked over to where he sat and nuzzled his hand.

“I suppose you're okay with it then.”

They sat there in the kitchen for a while, Ichimatsu talking about various random things well the cat purred and listened, enjoying the attention and pets.

After a while of that Karamatsu walked in on them.
“Ah hello Ichimatsu, who is your friend?”

“Emerson, I found ‘em outside. Seemed hungry, I hope you don't mind.” He said gesturing towards the empty can of tuna.

“It's no problem. It was very kind of you to feed Emerson,” he picked up the can and put it in the recycle, “You're very kind Ichimatsu. Which reminds me we have a nun coming over today, she lives in town but will be coming by to help out with masses. She's just coming to introduce herself today I was wondering if you wanted to meet her.”

“Ah, sure I guess. . .” If she was going to be coming over often, saying hello couldn't hurt. . . Probably.

When she arrived his first thought was to scream and run the other way, it was the girl that had stopped him in town a few days ago and had seen that he was a demon.

‘Great. Just fucking great. I'm screwed.’

Her eyes widened in surprise for a second, she obviously recognized him and he was just waiting for her to say something. Karamatsu however spoke first.

“Hello sister Totoko! I welcome you to this humble church. I understand you just moved in a few weeks ago. I'm father Karamatsu, we spoke on the phone.” He smiled at her and Ichimatsu looked over at him nervously.

‘Fuck. Just a few minutes and it will all be over huh? Nice well it lasted I suppose.’

At her silence Karamatsu continued, “Ah and this is Ichimatsu,” He waved a hand in Ichi’s direction, “He's been staying at the church for the past month or so. He's been a big help around here and took care of me when I got sick last week. I hope you two will get along.” She opened her mouth to speak but closed it as a meow interrupted her.

“Ah! The cat, right. This is Emerson I guess she lives nearby, Ichimatsu was just feeding her shortly before you arrived and she hasn't stopped following him around since.” He laughed softly, smiling more than before as the cat nuzzled against Ichi’s legs.

Needless to say it was quite a scene Totoko had before her. A demon, a priest and a cat. She decided to act as if she didn't know anything and would ask the demon in private some questions despite the possible risk.

“Night to meet you in person father Karamatsu. I wasn't aware you had someone living here.”

“It's a bit of a long story, Ichimatsu be polite and say hello to sister Totoko.”

“Ah. . . H-hello.” He avoided looking at her, staring down at the cat instead.

‘She didn't say anything? What the hell? Why wouldn't she tell him I'm a demon?’

As much as he wanted to ask he sure wasn't going to create a scene in front of Karamatsu.

“Well sister Totoko, would you like me to show you around? Ichimatsu was just about to start lunch so we can eat after you've seen everything.”

“Sure. That sounds fine, thank you.” They walked away talking as Ichimatsu retreated to the kitchen. Feeling a bit dazed by the strange turn of events he started working on making lunch.

‘Just my luck, the new nun would be the one person who seen me as a demon. Why didn't she say anything? She definitely recognized me.’

He thought to himself, preparing a salad then afterwards starting on making sandwiches. Ichi supposed it was lucky that he could make basic food and for anything else the church had cookbooks.

‘Maybe she wants to blackmail me. Then again she's a nun, she's supposed to be a good person. Wouldn’t be the first time someone like her was corrupt though.’

The food was done but he just stood, trapped in his thoughts. The nun was a mystery and he would just have to wait for her to make the first move.

A hand touched his back and he jumped, turning around quickly. He let out a sigh when it was just Karamatsu.

“I'm sorry for startling you Ichimatsu. Are you okay?” He nodded not wanting to speak with the nun standing in the doorway, watching them. “That's good. Is lunch ready?” Another nod and then Ichi started to serve all of them.

They all sat down at the table, Ichimatsu and Totoko across from each other and Karamatsu in the middle. For a bit they ate in silence until Totoko spoke, “If you don't mind me asking Father, why is Ichimatsu staying with you?”

There was a pause and Karamatsu looked a bit surprised at the question.
“Ichimatsu, is it okay if I tell her?” Kara asked looking at him with an expression of concern.

“Sure. I don't care.” He muttered, thinking that things probably couldn't get worse at this point or rather they could, much worse in fact but Ichimatsu really couldn't stop it.

Karamatsu paused for a bit, looking like he was trying to think of the best way to explain the situation. “Well, Ichimatsu is kind of being followed around and attacked a lot by a demon so he's living here for protection really.”

Totoko looked a bit amused that that explanation, a demon hiding from another demon in a church, it did sound pretty laughable Ichi supposed.

“I see.” Was all she said out loud however and they all went back to eating.

After the meal Karamatsu had to clean up from the mass that had happened today and Totoko was going to go back to town.

“Ichimatsu, It’s kind of dark out already do you think you could walk sister Totoko to town? I wouldn’t want her to get lost on the forest path.”

He could see Totoko looked a bit nervous at that idea but agreed anyways, he knew that nothing would happen anyways. It was more likely she would attack him then the other way around at this point.

Chapter Text

Off they went, down the church steps in silence and towards the forest path. Once they were a ways away from the church Totoko spoke up.

“Why are you really at that church demon?” She sounded a lot more confident than she probably was.

“Exactly the reason Karamatsu said. I keep getting attacked and I have no other choice.” He couldn’t tell her about Osomatsu’s game if he did Oso would probably kill him when he got back. He was enjoying knowing that Osomatsu would be gone for a bit though, the holy water would keep him out of commission for at least a week or two.

“Does he know that you’re a demon?”

“. . . No. Why didn’t you tell him?”

“He seems to trust you. I’m not sure he would believe me. Besides why haven’t you killed him? Or me for that matter?”

Ichimatsu paused, It’s true he could kill the girl before she said anything to Karamatsu but he didn’t really feel there was a point to doing that. They walked in silence for a bit, “I don’t feel like it I suppose.”

She seemed a bit surprised at that, “So you’re a demon living with the priest because you were attacked by other demons and you won’t kill the person that knows what you really are?” She scoffs, “The world surely is something.”

He said nothing to her and after a while they arrived at town, the sun almost set.

“I’m going to be keeping my eye on you demon, I can’t believe you aren't plotting something.”

“Sure, do whatever you want.” He trudged off back down the path. This town was really full of odd people and he supposed he was one as well in a way.

The days passed pretty uneventfully as things fell into a rhythm, Karamatsu would wake up to Ichimatsu making breakfast they would eat together and shortly after the nun would arrive to help out Karamatsu. Ichimatsu would leave the church as they worked together, planning and holding masses for the townsfolk. Normally well he was out he would come across Emerson and the cat would follow him back to the church for lunch.

Either he or Kara would make lunch and they would all eat together. A priest, a nun, a demon and a cat all eating lunch together. What a life. Karamatsu would always insist that Ichimatsu should make sure Totoko got home okay and the walks were spent in a tense silence. By the time Ichimatsu got back to the church Emerson had disappeared off somewhere and Kara was reading a new book. Sometimes he would join him other times he might start dinner early. It was a comfortable routine.

Today was a bit different however, the morning had started the same however during lunch Karamatsu mentioned that they would have to go into town for some shopping and Totoko had some business there as well so they would go together. Ichimatsu just hoped nothing would happen.

They walked down the peaceful forest path, it was a bit earlier than normal and sunset wouldn’t be for at least a few hours but within the path there was only a bit of sun shining through the leaves of the trees. They walked with Karamatsu in the middle between them, who was talking excitedly about something or another. Ichi had kind of zoned out as he walked. He dreaded going into town again, it always sucked.

Still he walked on, Totoko would probably have been suspicious if he had said no and Karamatsu would need help carrying the groceries. They arrived to the outskirts and Ichimatsu felt a bit nervous as he noticed there were a lot more people out then there had been the other two times he had gone into town.

Karamatsu looked over at him, “Ichimatsu will you be alright or?”

He didn’t want to seem pathetic even if he was just as nervous or perhaps more nervous than the first time. He forced a smile, “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.” He kept his tone level and Kara seemed to accept his answer. He got a puzzled look from Totoko as if she was trying to tell what they were talking about. He said nothing to her however and they continued walking into town.

Karamatsu went off talking about what they would need to buy and what shops they would stop at and Ichimatsu only paid half attention as he was a bit more focused on the people walking around them. A few looked in their direction but they never looked for more than a few seconds.

‘It’s going to be fine, probably. Osomatsu is still gone for now and as long as I stick with Karamatsu everything will be okay.’

He tried to convince himself but he kept getting weird glances from Totoko, he wasn’t sure if she was checking to see how he was doing or what he was doing. Surely she probably thought he was going to cause an issue in town. Still they arrived at the shop without incident. The first stop was the bakery, Ichimatsu didn’t like bread one way or another but he did think the fresh smelling of new bread was nice. The shopping was done quickly in the bakery and soon they moved to the normal grocery store, it was just as big and crowded as he remembered it being. There almost seemed like there was more people in the shop then on the streets.

He followed behind Karamatsu as they went through the shop, nervously glancing around every once and awhile stopping dead in his tracks as he seen a boy dressed in pink, walking with a coy smile on his face as he held some man’s hand.

‘Shit Todomatsu.’ He ducked into the nearest aisle, separating himself from Karamatsu and Totoko but also remaining unseen by Todomatsu.

‘I can’t risk staying in this store, I hope Karamatsu won’t worry too much but it’ll be worse if I stay with them and get spotted.’

So he darted out of the store and back into the street, people walking around him like a current and he tried to push through and get away. However without Karamatsu nearby he felt like they could see that he was a demon again, it was irrational he knew. His wings weren’t out, no human would know. But still his breathing went shaky and he felt like the crowd was swallowing him. Eventually he pushed through and hid in an alleyway near the shop. He crouched and felt himself trembling a bit, ‘Pathetic. What kind of demon can’t even handle a crowd of humans?’ He wasn’t sure what was wrong with him, he had destroyed cities before, every demon probably has. So why was he panicking from being in a group of humans?

‘It’s because I’m weak. With my power as it is now I could probably only take out a couple of dozen of them.’ Not to mention the longer he spent by Karamatsu the less he wanted to destroy this town, it would only upset the priest and if he couldn’t kill the townsfolk then they could easily kill him if they knew he was a demon.

His breathing came out in short huffs and he sat down not caring about what filth might be under him. ‘Shit.’ He was glad Osomatsu wouldn’t see him like this, terrified hiding in an alleyway from humans. He truly was trash, even as a demon he was garbage. His face felt hot and he watched as tears hit the pavement. He curled up into a ball, hiding his head between his knees.

That’s how they found him, hiding in the alleyway, curled up like a scared child. He was sure the nun thought he was pathetic. Who wouldn’t? Still Karamatsu crouched next to him talking softly, asking if he was okay and if he needed a minute.

He felt a hand slowly rub his back, “We finished all the shopping, no need to worry. We can go back to the church now. Do you want to do that Ichimatsu?”

He looked up at Karamatsu, face covered in concern for him. He nodded and the priest helped him up. Kara even took out a handkerchief and wiped the tears from his face with a gentle smile then took his hand. They walked in silence, through the crowd and Karamatsu led them through less busy streets. Totoko just watched, following along without a word.

When they were in the store Karamatsu had looked so panicked when he realized Ichimatsu was gone, at first she had thought something bad would happen. Like the store catching fire but she seen Ichi run out the front after a few minutes and told Karamatsu. He calmed down a bit as they paid but his look of concern never wavered. She was sure this had to do something with Karamatsu asking Ichimatsu if he would be fine in town.

She hadn’t expected them to find Ichimatsu was he was, curled up in the alley. Nor had she expected to see that he had been crying. She didn’t know that demons even could cry. Still she said nothing and simply walked with the two back to the church, helping carry the groceries.

The whole walk back down the forest path Ichi continued to cling to Kara’s hand as if it was a lifeline and Karamatsu continued to talk softly to him. By the time they reached the church he had calmed down. In the end even if he did look pathetic he supposed it was better than being seen by Todomatsu.

Karamatsu sat him down at the couch, “I’m going to go start on supper Ichimatsu, are you okay to stay here?” He nodded and watched the priest go. Soon after he layed back on the couch and fell asleep.

Totoko was in the kitchen with Karamatsu, she had offered to help with making dinner. However she also hoped she would learn more about Ichimatsu from Kara.

“Is he alright?” She asked, well starting on peeling potatoes. She didn’t look over at Karamatsu so he couldn’t see her face but the concern in her voice was real.

“Yes, I believe he has calmed down now. He should be fine.” Kara sounded relieved and for a while the only sounds that could be heard in the kitchen was the preparation of vegetables.

“Does this happen often?”

Karamatsu stopped cutting the carrots for a second, a bit surprised at being asked about Ichimatsu. Before today he wasn’t even sure if they had talked about Ichi, other than the introductions. “Not really, it’s only happened once before.”

She was silent for a bit as if in thought, “Do you know what causes Ichimatsu to panic like that?”

Kara wasn’t sure if he should be giving away information about Ichimatsu, he might not want people to know things about him but sister Totoko would be working here for a while and they might go in town together again at some point so it might be good for her to know.

“Crowds he said. He seems to get nervous around a lot of people. It’s one of the reasons he leaves the church when there's a mass going on I believe. ”

“Oh I see.” ‘Why would a demon be afraid of people? It’s not like he was faking it. What an odd thing’, she thought to herself. Regardless dinner had to be made and they finished the rest in silence.

Karamatsu was finishing up and started to serve the food, “Could you go get Ichimatsu for supper?” She nodded and walked to the living room where she had seen Kara leave him, she was a bit surprised he was sleeping and a bit nervous to wake him.

Chapter Text

A soft nudge to his arm was what woke him up. He sat up and blinked the blur of sleep off.

“Totoko?” Why would she wake him up, ‘more importantly what time is it?’ He thought to himself.

“Dinner is ready, Karamatsu asked me to fetch you.”

“Ah, okay.” He stood and went to move but she blocked his path.

“Why did you run away well we were shopping, I’m sure if you were freaked out you could have just stayed near Father Karamatsu and been fine.”

‘She sure is observant.’ He decided to tell half the truth, it was more believable than a lie. “I seen something and ran, sorta.” Cryptic at best but she seemed to accept it and let him through.

Dinner was quiet, they ate in a peaceful silence and Ichimatsu felt himself feeling a bit grateful for the nun’s presence. As much as it was a nuisance that she knew his secret she was also nice to be around. They never talked much but she would sometimes come around well he was sitting outside with Emerson and just pet the cat and sit next to him. He wondered if she would count their relationship as friendship. Probably not though, she was a nun after all. Perhaps she was just studying to see when he let his guard down so she could douse him in holy water. Regardless he decided to just let himself enjoy it, if she attacked him one day then so be it.

The sun had already set by the time Totoko was due to leave, Karamatsu said he would walk her to town and be back in a bit and suggested Ichimatsu rest well he was out. Instead he took advantage of the chance to do something he hadn’t done in a while, sit on the church’s roof. Before he would just fly onto it, normally in the middle of the night after Karamatsu had fallen asleep. This time he wanted to see if he could climb up like a human might.

After a bit of searching he found a tall tree by the back of the church that could probably get him to the roof. He found it a lot harder to climb than he would have thought, lifting your own body weight wasn’t exactly easy. Still with a few breaks he managed to make it high up into the tree and slowly shimmied along a branch to the roof. Once on the roof he let out a sigh, he should probably exercise using his body instead of magic incase someone steals his powers in the future. He could at least get away from them then and it was better safe than sorry.

The view was better than he remembered it being, the city lit up in the darkness with the trees being softly lit until they faded to dark shadows. It was nice to relax this way, the gentle breeze, the night sky and Emerson who seemed to have followed him up. She curled up on his lap, a soft meowing until he pet her. He closed his eyes and wondered if he would have another chance to come up here later.

“Ichimatsu? What are you doing on the roof, are you okay?” He opened his eyes, Karamatsu was back looking up at him with concern. Had he really been up here that long?

“I’m fine Karamatsu. I just wanted to see the view, I guess.” Kara smiled a bit glancing towards the lit up city.

“It is very pretty but why don’t you come down so we can get ready for bed?”

“Sure.” He stood up and walked back towards the tree, Karamatsu following from the ground with a worried look. Emerson went down first, a few hops and to the ground she was. Ichimatsu wished he could be so graceful as he clung to the branches, slowly making his way down. When he got to the trunk he realized there was nowhere to grab onto and he would have to jump the rest of the way, Karamatsu must have realized this as well because he extended his arms to help Ichimatsu down.

He jumped from the tree, Kara catching him on the way and they both tumbled to the ground. After a second of laying there Ichimatsu sat up and looked over to Karamatsu who just laughed. Ichi could feel himself smile and he stood up and then helped Kara up as well.

“Next time you want to go on the roof maybe just ask, we do have a ladder.”

He felt a bit breathless and let out a soft cheerful laugh, “It’s a bit more fun to have you catch me though.” Karamatsu just chuckled and walked back to the church with him. In the silence of the walk he felt himself flush, perhaps what he said had sounded a bit weird but in the moment he hadn’t thought much about it. Kara was still smiling though so he supposed it was fine.

They cleaned up and got ready for bed once they were back inside. The two met up in their pajamas by the fireplace as they did many nights. Karamatsu had gotten a new book for them to ready and Ichi felt excited. This was by far his favorite part of the day, reading in silence with Karamatsu. The crackle of the fire the only noise to accompany the occasional page turn. It was so peaceful and lasted for a few hours.

He never lasts the full time and always falls asleep at some point, which seemed odd to him. Demons don’t need sleep but somehow living with Karamatsu he had fallen into the habit of sleeping when it was late and just the two of them were around. He often woke up like that too, still lying with Karamatsu who at some point had also fallen asleep. The book they had been reading on the side table by the couch.

That night was no different however the morning was different. Totoko had arrived early, she had been given a gift of a blueberry pie by one of her neighbours and had decided they could all have it for breakfast well it was still warm. She hadn’t expected them to be up when she arrived sure but she also hadn’t expected them to be sleeping on the couch together. She sighed and wrapped up the pie to keep it warm, ‘they should be waking up soon so I’ll just wait. It sure is odd how close they seem to be though.’

So she took a seat in the armchair by the couch and picked up the book on the end table. Some fantasy tale about a man that could never die, not exactly her type of book but she could use it to pass the time. She opened the book and read for a while, eventually someone on the couch moved.

Ichimatsu opened his eyes and gave a quick glance around the room, someone was sitting in the arm chair, at first he worried Osomatsu might finally be back but after a few blinks he recognized the shape to be Totoko.

“Good morning Ichimatsu.”

“Mornin’.”

“Do you two often sleep like that? Together I mean?”

He looked down where Karamatsu lay and smiles slightly, “Yeah, pretty often I guess.” After a moment he flushes and scurries out of the blanket, luckily not disturbing Karamatsu.

“S-so what are you doing here so early in the morning?”

“I brought a pie for breakfast, I thought we could all eat it well it was still hot.” She smiled at him softly, possibly the first time he ever seen her smile.

“Ah, okay. Thanks,” He mumbled, then spoke a bit louder,“You wake Karamatsu and I’ll start to serve it.” She nodded and he hurried off to the kitchen.

He found the pie wrapped on the counter, still quite warm. It smelt amazing and he set to cutting it and placing pieces on a plate, quickly wrapping it back up afterwards. As he brought the pie to the table Karamatsu arrived and sat down.

“Good morning Ichimatsu, did you sleep well?”

“Y-yes, I did. Good morning.” He felt himself flush as he looked at Karamatsu who had quite the bed head this morning.

‘He looks cute like that.’

Totoko giggled and he looked over at her, did he speak out loud?

Karamatsu didn't react though so he just took his seat between Totoko and Kara. The nun smiled and whispered to him, “Is part of the reason you stay here him? You could easily escape the demon that's after you I'm sure.”

He didn't reply simply stared at her, but his face slowly turning red was more than enough of an answer for her.

She simply smiled at him and went back to eating her slice of pie. They ate in silence mainly, the occasional topic coming up. Karamatsu had said something about thanking Totoko’s neighbor who made the pie and they made plans to visit the town later that day.

After breakfast Ichimatsu set off to change the bedsheets. Walking down the hallway with a basket full of dirty sheets and blankets. He was perhaps a bit too focused on his task and dropped the basket as he heard an unfortunately familiar voice behind him.

“Ichimatsu~ How have you been little brother?” He scowls picking back up the basket and shoving the sheets that had fallen out of it back in.

“Osomatsu. It sure has been a while. How have you been?” His voice was dripping with aggression.

Totoko had heard the basket fall and went to investigate, holding back as gasp and staying hidden behind the corner. It was dangerous to eavesdrop on demons but she would do it anyways.

“I've been just fine Ichimatsu, holy water doesn't even bother me but you know what does bother me dear brother? Surprises. Who's the girl you were eating breakfast with?” His voice had lost all of its joking tone, it was now just cold and Ichimatsu nervously took a step back. He was now pressed against the hallway wall.

“S-she's just a nun that works at the church. It's no big deal Osomatsu.”

Oso smirks at him, floating closer, faces only a foot apart. “Is that so? I don't really like her that much myself, perhaps it's better if she has a little accident and goes to meet the angels early.” Totoko’s eyes widen a bit as she peeks around the corner, Osomatsu turned to go and Ichimatsu grabbed his arm to stop him.

“Don't.”

“Now, now, is that anyway to ask for a favor?”

He looked down a bit ashamed, “Please don't kill her Osomatsu-niisan.”

Osomatsu smiled at him, gripping his chin and making Ichi look up at him.

“I suppose that works but in return I want to play another game with you~”

Ichimatsu sighed, pulling himself away from Oso. “What kind of game is it this time?”

“Oh don't worry it's nothing complex. Just a simple game of tag really. Just how we started all this, you run to the priest for safety but if I catch you first then you lose and have to pay the price. If you use any magic though the nun will still have to die.”

“F-fine, I'll do it. . .” Osomatsu smiled at him, eyes cold causing the smile to look devious. It was easy for Totoko to tell that he was the kind of demon that you didn't want to deal with. She decided she had heard enough and snuck off to warn Karamatsu of the demon called Osomatsu.

“I'll give you a three second head start to make things fair. . . One~”

“Shit.” Ichimatsu was sure fear was in his eyes as he dropped the laundry basket again and took off running.

His mind raced, where did Karamatsu say he would be? ‘Shit. I don't think he said where he would be at all. Maybe outside, maybe I'll get lucky. . .’

He pushed out into the yard as he heard the most sinister “Three~”

Chapter Text

Before he could think he heard himself yelling for Karamatsu, feet pounding against the grass as he made his way to the front of the church.

Totoko had never seen someone run so fast before. Karamatsu sprinted out of the church the second she said she seen a demon near Ichimatsu. She tried her hardest to keep up, looking for Ichi as she went.

They both froze for a second when they heard Ichimatsu yell for Karamatsu, then they turned to run to the sound. Of course they were too late, when they could see Ichi they could also see the demon float in front of him with a lazy grin ash he grabbed Ichimatsu’s hand.

“Got yoooou~ Ichimatsu you lose this game!”

“S-shit.” What else was there to say really? He could see Karamatsu running towards him as Osomatsu grabbed his face.

“Punishment time~ You get to pick, everyone in the town dies or,” He held up a small vial of murky liquid, “You can drink this.”

Ichi struggled to speak, his stomach felt like it was full of creatures wiggling around.

“If the priest gets too close I'll make your choice for you~”

“I'll drink it! The vial!” Osomatsu laughed and forced it to his mouth.

He whispered, “Drink up little brother, I made it just for you.” Ichimatsu felt it pour into his mouth, it burned like lava and he felt his eyes begin to water. Everything inside him told him to spit it out but it was too late, Osomatsu had one hand on his mouth and another holding his nose closed. His body swallowed on reflex and he felt it spread through his body like fire.

“I hope you have fun tonight, see you tomorrow Ichimatsu~” He laughed and disappeared into a cloud of smoke as Karamatsu made it into range.

He felt his knees give out under him as his throat and body felt like they were on fire. Karamatsu stopped him from falling and his skin felt cool against Ichimatsu’s own.

“Ichimatsu? Ichimatsu are you okay? What did he do?” Kara sounded frantic.

The world felt like it was spinning and he clung to Karamatsu for support. "H-he made me drink something." Kara had a worried look on his face and picked him up, rushing ichi inside the church and setting him down onto the couch.

“Describe how you feel Ichimatsu, the best you can.”

“It’s really hot. . . I feel like I’m burning alive, dizzy and everything hurts. . .” Sure enough when Karamatsu touched his forehead it was burning hot he looked worriedly at Ichi.

“Totoko go get some ice water and a cloth, Ichimatsu just stay awake okay?” Totoko ran off, she looked as worried as Karamatsu.

His head felt stuffy, he was holding Karmatsu’s hand. He felt like he would pass out any minute, “D-don’t worry Karamatsu, he wouldn’t kill me. . . not yet anyways. He like playing his stupid games too much. . .” He was aware he was giving away secrets in his fevered haze but he didn’t want Karamatsu to look at him like he was dying.

The last thing he saw was Kara look both worried and confused before he passed out.

Karamatsu and Totoko took turns watching over him during the night, they took it as a good sign when his fever started to go down.

“He wouldn’t have just given him a fever potion though, so we need to be careful.” Said Totoko as they were switching shifts.

“Ichimatsu said something about how this was a game to the demon. So I’m guessing it will cause some kind of issue.”

Totoko recalled what she had overheard Osomatsu say to Ichi, “When that demon was bugging him earlier, he said he would kill me and when Ichimatsu told him not to the demon said he would have to play ‘another’ game with him then. I wonder if this sort of thing happens to Ichimatsu a lot.” She also wondered why a demon would be so interested in playing a game with another demon, she couldn’t say that outloud though.

When morning had come they both were awake and watching over Ichi. His fever had completely disappeared and they were hoping for the best. It wasn’t quite what they got when Ichimatsu woke up however.

He slowly opened his eyes, took a look around the room and when his eyes landed on Karamatsu he screamed and cowered. Seconds later Osomatsu appeared with a laugh and Kara was going to douse him in holy water until he seen Ichimatsu’s reaction. He was smiling, he hurried over to the demon and hugged him.

“My my. Ichimatsu sure is affectionate today.” Oso gave him a pat on the head, Karamatsu and Totoko just watched in surprise. “Ah, do you not believe me? Ichimatsu~ Who do you love the most out of people in this room?”

“Osomatsu-niisan!” He said hugging himself closer to the demon, his voice sounded a bit chirpy.

“Good. Now who do you hate the most?”

Ichi looked over at Karamatsu and Totoko, his face becoming a scowl and his tone becoming more aggressive, “Shitty priest.”

Even if he was under some kind of spell Kara couldn’t help but feel a bit hurt by that. He knew Ichimatsu and him were close though, weren’t they?

“What did you do to him?” Totoko asked with a slight hostility, she was nervous of what might happen if she let this continue.

“Nothing at all. He’s just being his true self. I’m sure you know what I mean nun.” He smirked at her and swished his tail. He had been a bit surprised to learn that the only girl that had seen his brother during the last game had also came here to be a nun. He was more surprised that she hadn’t given him away either. With all these interesting characters in the game he decided he wanted to play for a bit with them too. Just for a little bit, but they didn’t need to know that.

“So, I’m guessing you guys want to ‘fix’ him right? I could tell you however I really enjoy having my cute little brother fawn all over me so maybe later.” Karamatsu looked ready to attack, “However if you hurt me at any point I will make sure he stays like this forever.” Kara looked a bit defeated at that.

“This is so much fun already isn’t it Ichimatsu?” He got an eager nod, the potion had eventually turned him into a puppy thought Oso with a laugh. “I seen you make breakfast for these humans a lot why don’t you go make me something hm?”

“Of course Niisan.” He smiled at Osomatsu then left for the kitchen.

“Now that he’s busy for a bit let’s go over some rules shall we?”

“So, this is a game then?” Asked Karamatsu wearily.

“Of course! If you win you’ll get him back if you lose, well then you die. It’s a lot of fun yeah?” He didn’t wait for a reply, “Anyways like I said, you can’t attack me well I’m here, that’s an auto-lose. You can’t make Ichimatsu do anything he says no to and to win you have to break the spell. That’s about it, any questions?”

“How do we break the spell?” Totoko asks and Oso’s face lights up.

“I’m glad you asked! Another rule now that I thought of it. I’m only going to tell the nun how to break the spell if she tells the priest or Ichimatsu what it is then it’s another auto-lose.” He floated towards Totoko and whispered in her ear, “To break it he needs a kiss from someone he loves, I’m sure you know who that is already.” He laughed and floated back away from her.

“But that’s- Impossible. That would never happen as things are right now!” Osomatsu was snickering.

“I know. Didn’t Ichimatsu ever tell you? I only play games to win but you guys don’t have a choice really so good luck!” With that he flew over to the kitchen, smirking the whole way.

‘This will be so much fun.’

Chapter Text

Totoko sighed, with all the rules Osomatsu had made there was slim chance they could win. Still she turned to Karamatsu trying to look determined, “Well for now the best thing we should do is get Ichimatsu to trust us again, I suppose.”

Karamatsu agreed, “But how? He seems terrified of me now.” He sounded a bit like he was ready to give up.

“Well think of stuff you two did together and maybe try some of those things? Maybe if we take him into town, he would probably freak out but it might make him trust you if you helped him well he was panicking or something,” She took a breath, trying to come up with ideas, “Maybe try to think of the first days you knew him, I’m sure he wasn’t as open as he’s been recently. I mean I’m sure something will work.”

As hopeless as it seemed Karamatsu thought it was worth a shot, with a small game plan they decided to go to the kitchen and check on ichimatsu.

He had made waffles for Osomatsu and was feeding him, cutting it and bringing the fork with food on it to his mouth. Oso would eat it but not say anything, Ichimatsu on the other hand seemed a bit chattery in comparison to his normal more silent self.

“Osomatsu-niisan, I hope you like it. Sweets are really good right?” He was smiling but he also looked a bit nervous as if Oso disliking it would ruin him.

“Yeah, the human world has a lot of tastes you can never find. I always come to earth for sweets so this is perfect. Thanks Ichimatsu~” Ichimatsu flushed a bit and smiled more, Karamatsu felt his gut twist and he scowled slightly at the display.

‘Foul, taking advantage of Ichimatsu like this. This demon really is disgusting, playing with people.’

He noticed Ichimatsu was looking at him, not scowling like he had before but instead looked concerned. Osomatsu glanced over, “That’s an interesting look on your face priest, what has you so upset?” His voice had a tone of laughter to it.

Ichimatsu continued to look at him almost as if confused.

“Regardless, Ichimatsu I have some business I have to do so you'll have to stay here for just a little bit with these people.” He smirked, eyes watching Karamatsu the whole time, “I know how hard it will be to have to deal with them but if you're good then when I come back we can go to hell together and live there okay?”

Ichi turned his attention back to Osomatsu, “Really Osomatsu-niisan? Okay I'll wait for you to come back.”

Karamatsu watched in horrified awe as Ichimatsu literally agrees to go to hell with a demon.

Osomatsu whispered to Ichi, “Just make sure the priest or other humans don't find out you're a demon well I'm gone. It's a rule okay?”

“Okay.” He said cheerfully, he would do anything Osomatsu asked right now. Oso could probably tell him to rip out and eat Karamatsu's heart and he would do it with the same smile he has on his face as now.

Which was terrifying to think about it, Ichimatsu just killing people at Oso’s order.

“Give niisan a goodbye kiss, I won't see you for a bit after all.” Ichimatsu kissed Osomatsu on the cheek and Oso ruffled his hair, still smirking in the priest's direction.

A second later he was gone and Ichimatsu looked disappointed, glancing nervously at Karamatsu every once and awhile.

“Ichimatsu are you hungry do you want some breakfast?” He shook his head, “Well do you want to read or maybe go outside?”

He was staring at Karamatsu and without a word he walked out of the kitchen, Kara and Totoko followed him. He went outside and looked around, Ichi felt a weird sense of deja vu but he hadn't been here before had he?

A meow could be heard and tiny paws pattering on the ground. He looked down at the tiny cat that meowed at him. Osomatsu had never known about the cat probably since he could remember it.

“Emerson.” He crouched and pet her with a soft smile.

Karamatsu felt a bit of hope surge through him. ‘Surely if Ichimatsu remembers Emerson perfectly than we can use her a bit to jog his memory in the right direction.’ It seemed almost as if the cat was thinking the same thing as she patted away from Ichimatsu and towards the church. He followed her and opened the door as she meowed at it.

She lead him to the kitchen and sat in the middle of the room with an impatient meow. He stared at her and opened the cupboard containing the tuna, Ichi looked at the can in surprise. How would he have known where the tuna would be? He shook his head dismissively and went to feeding that cat.

Watching her he felt odd and he decided to sit on the floor near her. She just purred as she ate and Karamatsu stood a few feet away watching.

He was still a bit nervous around the priest, ‘why would Osomatsu leave him here? Surely it was dangerous to hide right under a priest’s nose if he was a demon.’ Everything just felt confusing, the cat however was the only thing he remembered clearly. All his other memories felt fuzzy and out of focus.

He spent the day walking around the church, feeling like he had been there before but also feeling that he hadn't. Karamatsu followed him around at times or checked up on him.

He walked through the pews and took a seat randomly. Sitting there for a while in thought as the light shown through the stained glass, painting the white walls with color. Something about it seemed familiar but he couldn't tell what, something was missing.

Karamatsu walked in to check on him, standing up at the front, bathed in the purple and blue lighting and Ichimatsu felt a bit funny. He knew he had seen this before and for some reason he couldn’t stop himself from staring at the priest.

“Karamatsu.” It was but a whisper but Kara’s eyes widened a bit as he heard it, Ichimatsu looked confused.

‘How did I know his name? Osomatsu only called him priest after all. . .’

He frowned looking away finally, ‘something doesn't add up. I got to find out why everything's so weird.’ He contemplated asking but he didn't trust the priest not to lie.

He stood up to leave, stepping towards the front doors of the church. Emerson was sitting outside when he opened the door and when she mewed and ran off he followed after her.

He wished the cat could talk, she was the one thing he trusted here. She led him to a large tree behind the church. The sun was beginning to set and she jumped into the tree. With another meow Emerson hopped up it and onto the roof of the building. Totoko watched, she had been tending to the garden when she seen the cat and Ichimatsu pass her. She watched curiously as Ichimatsu followed the cat up the tree. Jumping to the roof with much less grace than Emerson. It was suspicious and she decided to go tell Karamatsu.

Ichimatsu watched the sun set with Emerson curled up in his lap. The sight looked like something he had seen before but he had been to earth before. He had seen a sunset before so that was probably what he was thinking of, right?

“Ichimatsu? Are you okay?” He looked down to see Karamatsu and he felt his chest tighten at bit as he seen Kara’s worried expression.

He didn't say anything, just stared. Emerson meowed and ran off, leaving Ichimatsu alone. Had the cat wanted this to happen or was it all coincidence? Ichi felt a bit dazed and decided to get off the roof.

Going down the tree was easier then up and Karamatsu was watching him from the ground. Unfortunately because he kept glancing at Kara he slipped and tumbled out of the tree.

He closed his eyes tightly waiting to hit the ground but instead felt hands holding him. He slowly opened his eyes to see Karamatsu looking at him with concern, the soft lighting of the sunset glowing against his skin.

He felt his heart pounding but quickly blamed it on falling out of the tree. Karamatsu softly put him to the ground, “Are you okay? Did you get hurt anywhere?” He shook his head in reply, his throat feeling too dry to speak.

He stood up holding to Karamatsu, feeling like his legs were made of jelly. Totoko watched from around a corner as Ichimatsu and Karamatsu’s faces both flushed a bit and they stepped away from each other. Ichi looked confused, she hoped everything would turn out okay.

“Hmm you sure work fast.” She gasped and turned to see Osomatsu floating beside her, “Ah he looks so cute when he's confused right? But I think I'll have to up the difficulty a bit. An easy game is no fun after all.” With that he disappeared and poofed in between Karamatsu and Ichimatsu.

Ichi noticed first, “Osomatsu-niisan!” He went to hug him but Oso moved out of the way and Kara watched confused.

Osomatsu moved close and whispered so only Ichimatsu could hear, “I see you and him, clinging to him like that. I don't want you if you like someone else you know.” He smirked as Ichimatsu’s face turned to upset.

Ichimatsu’s voice came out in a bit of a whine, “I swear I don't, please niisan don't hate me. . .”

“Hmm I'm not sure I believe you Ichimatsu.”

“Please Osomatsu-niisan I'll do anything!”

“Anything~?” Both Totoko and Karamatsu looked worried at that, Ichimatsu just nodded looking nervous.

“Go slap him then. Prove that you don't like him.” Osomatsu’s voice was cold and he looked boredly at Ichimatsu, slow smirk growing on his face as Ichi fidgeted nervously. “Are you going to do it or what?”

“Of course!” Karamatsu and Totoko watched confused, wondering what Ichimatsu had been told to do.

He walked up to Karamatsu, looking anywhere but his face. It was over in an instant and Kara looked up in shock at Ichi who looked a bit horrified. Osomatsu was laughing and floated over to them, “Okay Ichimatsu I believe you. But be more careful in the future okay~?” He nodded quickly trying to hide the guilt he was feeling.

‘It's just some shitty priest anyways, I shouldn't care.’ But the expression Karamatsu had made was burned into his mind.

“Well it’s been fun but I have to go again~” Ichimatsu turned to him looking dejected.

“P-please don’t go Osomatsu-niisan.” He stepped closer to Oso, grabbing at his shirt softly.

“Oh ho? I didn’t expect you to be so bold little brother. Well if you insist I can stay a little bit longer.” He looked smug and Totoko just sighed helping Karamatsu up. She had a feeling it was going to be a tiring week.

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu held to Osomatsu’s hand and followed him around for the next hour or so. Whenever they passed by Karamatsu Ichi would look a bit guilty and Osomatsu would flash a conceited smile.

Karamatsu had to hold a mass today and he found it interesting that after he mentioned this Osomatsu had just sat in the living room with Ichimatsu laying across his lap like a cat. Almost as if he didn’t want to be seen by all the church goers. Of course Karamatsu could never endanger the people to test this idea and after the mass he said due to an emergency the church would be closed for a week. He encouraged everyone to pray at home as he seen them out.

Karamatsu entered the living room only to sigh, Ichimatsu was sitting on Osomatsu’s lap and clinging to him. He felt himself scowl again but that only made Oso look more amused. He stuck around for a bit longer before standing up, startling Ichi who had still been on his lap and was now fallen onto the floor.

“Well I’m really leaving now. I have some business with your other brother to attend to but I’ll see you again tomorrow!”

“W-wait niisan-” But he had already poofed off and Ichimatsu just sat on the floor with a frown. He drew his knees up to his chest and just sat there. Totoko had already left to her home and so it was just him and Karamatsu in the church.

“Ichimatsu?” He looked up at Kara who had a look of concern on his face.

“What do you want shitty priest?!” He said in a pissed tone, looking away with a scowl. He didn’t want Osomatsu to be mad at him again.

“Oh. I just wanted to say I’m not upset at you for hitting me earlier. I don’t want you to feel guilty about it or anything.”

‘Where does this guy get off trying to be all nice and shit. Tch.’

“Who would ever feel bad about hitting a shitty guy like you. Hmph.” He glanced over and wished he hadn’t. Karamatsu looked like he was in pain but when he noticed Ichimatsu look over he forced a smile.

“Of course. I’m sorry for bothering you Ichimatsu.” He felt like slamming his head into a wall as he heard the strained tone of voice Kara was using.

‘Why does this bother me, it shouldn’t. I have to do something about this.’ He thought for a second about running off and leaving the church but some part of him made him stop. He felt something bad would happen if he left. He wanted to scream, his head hurt the more he tried to think of certain things. He decided to take a risk, he made sure the priest was asleep and snuck into his room next to his sleeping body.

He took a breath and focused, ‘I just need to know a bit. Hopefully this won’t wake him.’ His demonic features popped out and he started to shift through the priest’s memories. He seen the ones from today in rewind he seen himself waking up and screaming he went a bit farther back. Osomatsu saying something to him, Karamatsu had been to far away to hear but he seen Oso disappear and himself collapse.

That’s all he needed to know and he left the room, storming out into the night. He could tell by the looks between her and Osomatsu that the nun knew more then the priest would.

He flew off into the night and arrived in town within minutes, for some reason he found his way to the nuns house without issue. Ichimatsu landed on her balcony and knocked on the window.

Totoko was still awake and at first had thought the knocking was her imagination but when she heard it a second time she went and peeked out the curtains. A small gasp and she opened the balcony sliding door. “Ichimatsu?” It perhaps wasn’t the smartest thing she could do but she let him in anyways.

He looked to be in thought for a second, “So you did know. Hmm. Tell me what happened.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean my wings are out and you don’t look surprised at all and I know Osomatsu did something, for some reason I can’t feel mad at him right now or else I would be so. What did he do? Did I lose at some point?”

“Ah, the games. Right. Well, yeah you did.” He scowled.

“That explains a lot. Do you know how to fix this?”

She sighed, taking a seat by the door. “Yes but I can’t tell you. It’s a rule.”

“Tch. Of course.” He thought for a second about how things have been over the past day or so. “I talk, you listen. If you say nothing then you aren't telling got it?” She nodded and he continued, “Considering how it all is I guess it has something to do with Karamatsu.” Her eyes widened a bit, he would take that as a yes. “He would pick something that’s unlikely to happen but I can’t think of what it could be.” He frowned.

“I’m guessing Karamatsu doesn’t know either. Is it something you think would happen?” She frowned a bit and he crossed his arms with a “Tch.”

“Well still. Thanks I’ll try and figure it out.” He went to leave and she grabbed his arm.

“Ichimatsu, do you trust me?” ‘Right now not really.’ He nodded anyways. “Okay, you need to go into town with Karamatsu tomorrow. Shopping, I think it will help. Be careful though, last time we went you ran out of the store after you said you saw something. Regardless Osomatsu probably won’t follow you into town he seems to be avoiding large groups of people.”

“You really think it will help?” She nodded, in truth she wasn’t sure but it was one of the only things she knew that Ichimatsu and Karamatsu had done before she had come to the church. She wasn’t sure how it all started even but as long as they wouldn’t be interrupted by Osomatsu then she was sure they could at least make some kind of progress.

He left back into the sky, gliding slowly to the church, hopefully Osomatsu was too busy with Todomatsu and wouldn’t know of any of this. He felt weirdly compelled to tell Oso though and he quickly pushed that feeling away. If he wanted to be free from this shitty spell as fast as he could.

With that he flew back to the church and went back to looking like a human.

Chapter Text

Even with his determination to be pissed at Osomatsu he just felt he couldn’t and the second Oso returned he found himself clinging and fawning over him. It was sickening really. Osomatsu just laughed as he trailed around after him. Totoko watched with a frown and whenever Ichimatsu seen her he would return the look before turning back to Oso.

Totoko finally spoke up after lunch, “Karamatsu, we need to go into town for some stuff. Ichimatsu I’ll need your help with things too.”

Osomatsu was watching him curiously, “Okay.” He muttered looking anywhere but at Oso. If Ichi looked at him, he would lose his resolve and back out.

“Hmm Okay then Ichimatsu, have fun I’ll be here.” He sounded relaxed but Ichimatsu could feel a chill go down his spine. He knew something was up but he probably wanted to see what would happen. After all this game was just a mini-game at best he wanted it to end eventually so they could continue the original game.

So off he went with Totoko and Karamatsu to town. He was worried Osomatsu might have followed them but surprisingly he didn’t, his demonic energy stayed at the church even as they reached town.

Ichimatsu felt himself sigh, he felt a bit more like himself being away from Oso but Kara hadn’t said a word to him all day.

“Ichimatsu?” Totoko looked at him concerned, he had stopped walking well he was thinking.

“Oh. I just, you were right.” She gave a questioning look, “He’s not following us.” She smiled a bit at that.

“Ah good, do you think he caught on to the plan or?”

“He definitely knows something is up.” Karamatsu had been watching confused this whole time.

“What are you two talking about?” Ichimatsu felt to nervous to say anything so Totoko spoke.

“I had an idea, because Osomatsu hid from the people that came to mass I figured he might not follow us into town where all the people are. With Osomatsu around Ichimatsu doesn’t really think straight, some effect of the potion I believe. So if we’re gonna win this game we need to keep Osomatsu away from Ichimatsu.”

Karamatsu’s eyes widened in realization, “I see, good thinking Totoko. But, he still doesn’t remember much does he?” She shook her head and Ichi looked away a bit ashamed.

‘This is all my fault if I hadn’t-’ He frowned- ‘What did I do again?’ He knew in some way he had started all this as they walked into town he thought to himself about Todomatsu’s game. There was no parts where he had lost his memories or anything but he was sure they related in some way. Todomatsu really liked a guy and Osomatsu made the rule that if he didn’t get liked back then the guy would die. Which of course he lost and the guy died.

Was this similar? His head hurt just thinking about and he gave up for the time being.

Walking through the town was something he was sure he had done before, as they got to more populated areas he started to feel nervous and focused mainly on the ground as they walked. Totoko left them saying she had something to do and he just felt worse, Karamatsu probably didn’t like him much after he had been an ass yesterday. His hands were shaking as they entered a larger crowd and suddenly a hand touched his own. He looked up to see Karamatsu smiling at him. Recollection flashed in his eyes, “This happened before didn’t it?”

Karamatsu smiled a bit more and nodded, pulling him out of the busy streets and into a not as crowded side street. Ichimatsu continued, “The roof too, that happened before too right?”

“Yeah, though the original was slightly different, you didn’t fall out of the tree.” They continued to walk hand and hand for a bit. Ichimatsu stopped and turned to him, “Totoko knows the way to fix this but can’t tell us right?” He got a nod as a reply, “But have you had any thoughts as to what it might be? If Osomatsu told Totoko then it’s something she can’t do right?”

“I suppose that’s true. I don’t really have any ideas though.” Ichimatsu turned to walk and slammed directly into someone, making them fall to the ground.

“What the fuck man?” Said the person that had fallen, the man stood up and looked at Ichimatsu who looked a bit bored. ‘I don’t have time for this.’

“Sorry about that.” He moved to go but the guy grabbed his arm.

“Sorry ain’t gonna cut it!” Ichimatsu sighed, it was one of these types of guys huh? He just hoped Karamatsu wouldn’t try and get involved.

“Sorry is all I have, I don’t have any money on me.”

“Wise ass are you?” He moved to punch Ichimatsu who just scowled as the man’s fist connected with his cheek. ‘This human is kinda weak. We should get out of here before Karamatsu does something stupid and gets hit though.’ The man pulled back his hand with a look of shock on his face.

“Okay, cool. Are we done here?” He really didn’t have the energy to deal with this right now nor did he want to deal with it. He pulled Karamatsu along and they walked away from the stunned stranger.

“Ichimatsu,” Kara said once they were a few streets away from the guy, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine don’t worry.” He was just glad the guy hadn’t followed them. Karamatsu didn’t seem convinced and stopped him, pulling his hand away from Ichi’s and putting it to his face. Holding him so he could get a good look at his cheek, Karamatsu’s face was close to his own. Ichi felt himself flush a bit.

Maybe they shouldn’t have stopped on such a busy street however because Ichimatsu was hit from behind crashing him forward and onto Kara, for a brief second he felt something soft against his lips and then they both hit the ground with a thud. For a few seconds he felt like he had been hit by a truck and laid on the ground dazed. He doubted that feeling was from some human knocking into him and quickly stood up. He felt a bit dizzy and after a minute or so Karamatsu stood as well, “Are you okay Ichimatsu?”

He stared at Karamatsu for a few minutes in silence, his mind racing. He remembered everything so what had caused the spell to wear off? He tried to think back, their faces had been close and then- Oh.

“Oh.”

“Ichimatsu?” He felt his face heating up but he also felt pissed, pissed at Osomatsu.

“I remember.” He scowled, “Tch, Osomatsu better not be at the church anymore.” He started to storm off and Kara grabbed his hand.

“Ichimatsu. . ?” He turned to Karamatsu who looked concerned, his anger faded a bit.

“Ah right. Sorry. I just-” He laughed awkwardly, hoping Karamatsu wouldn’t figure out that the technical kiss they shared was what brought his memories back. “I got my memory back is all. So I just, got a bit mad.”

Karamatsu’s face turned to a small bit of surprise and then he smiled and hugged Ichi. “I’m glad you’re okay now Ichimatsu!” He felt his face turning redder as Kara hugged him in the busy street.

“Y-yeah let’s go back to the church though.” They walked back quickly, as they got closer Ichimatsu felt himself getting irritated again, ‘Osomatsu better not be there when I get back or else.’ He wasn’t really even sure what he was going to do all he knew was that he was pissed.

Chapter Text

Karamatsu had tried to stop him, telling it would be dangerous to go in and yell at a demon but he really didn’t care and busted the door open with a slam. Osomatsu looked up at him surprised as he stomped over and grabbed him by the collar, pulling him off the couch and slamming him against the wall.

“Hey little brother! Back so soon huh?” He still had a smirk on his face as Ichimatsu looked furious.

“What the hell Osomatsu! Were you just going to leave me like that you bastard?!” Karamatsu watched worried from the doorway, not sure what to do.

“Chill out Ichimatsu, It was just a game after all. I just wanted to scare your new friends a bit,” Oso’s voice became lower so only Ichi could hear, “Besides you got to kiss the priest right? Big bro is just looking out for you!” He spoke louder again, “Anyways before you overreact I’m gonna go but I’ll see you again soon.”

“Osomatsu don’t you fucking-” He poofed out and Ichimatsu was only holding air.

‘That fucking-’ He was absolutely livid, “I’m going for a walk. Do not follow me.” He stormed out in a huff leaving behind a very concerned Karamatsu.

He stomped out into the forest, he felt like screaming. “That dick! How fucking dare he use on of Todomatsu’s disgusting potions on me! I’m going to kill him!” He couldn’t hold back his anger and his demonic traits came out. Ichimatsu indignantly punched the nearest tree, knocking it over with a growl. He darted into the sky with a huff, flying around for a bit before settling on a familiar hill.

He looked at the church, Karamatsu was inside making dinner but he looked worried. Ichimatsu sighed, he should go back soon. He supposed the day hadn’t completely sucked, he was back to normal for one thing. Also, he brought his hand to his mouth, running a finger against his lips. They had technically kissed. Even if it was an accident, Ichi had a small smile on his face now. He quickly make himself look normal again and walked back to the church. No need to worry Karamatsu further.

When he got back in Karamatsu smiled at him, “Sorry for being out so long.” He wasn’t actually sure if he had been gone for a while, when he left he was in a blind rage and wasn’t sure how much time had passed.

“It’s okay, you feeling better?” He nodded, feeling a bit embarrassed that Karamatsu had to see that. “I’m glad. I made some dinner are you hungry?”

“Yeah, thanks.” They sat down to eat, silent for the first bit but Ichimatsu spoke after a few minutes.

“I’m sorry.” Karamatsu looked up at him, a mixture of surprise and confusion on his face, “I. . . was really rude and slapped you. Even if it was cause of some potion I’m sure it still hurt you so I’m sorry.”

Karamatsu gave him a warm smile, “That’s very kind of you Ichimatsu. I appreciate it but I’m fine really.” He remembered the face Kara had made when he slapped him and felt guilty but didn’t argue with him.

After they ate Ichimatsu retreated to the bathroom to think a bit. Technically to Karamatsu he was just using the bathroom but demons didn’t need to so he just sat on the closed toilet with a sigh. He sat there for a few minutes, worrying over how the next few months might go summer was just about to end now and he didn’t have that much time left to ‘win’. Not to mention if things like this kept happening he would be fucked.

He stood up and went to walk out only to be slammed against the wall, his head hit against the wall with a dull thud.

“Ichimatsu! I said I would be back soon but I’m sure you didn’t expect this soon. Sorry to surprise you but I couldn’t have you getting all violent again. I want to talk without the priest watching.”

 

He groaned softly, looking at Osomatsu with annoyance on his face. “What do you want?”

“Well you see Ichimatsu I just wanted to clear up a few things, I wouldn’t want you to hate your big bro or think of me as a cheater.”

‘Oh so that’s what this is about.’ Cheater. Osomatsu’s games were played by a lot of people, mainly unwilling people. However the head ups allow him to keep playing them as even though his games are unfair he doesn’t cheat to win them. ‘So he just came to cover his own ass.’

“How isn’t it cheating if you made me hate Karamatsu and made me cling to you? If I was stuck like that for the whole game then I wouldn’t have any chance of winning.”

“That’s the thing! That game was a joke. I just wanted to see the humans panic a little, I made sure Todomatsu made the potion to wear off in a month anyways. You still had a chance and stuff! It was just a little punishment, no problem right?”

He scowled, “Fine, I won’t tell anyone that you cheated. If that’s all you wanted then you can go now.”

“One more thing actually!” Ichimatsu groaned, it was never just one thing with Osomatsu. “I didn’t get to see it so I want to know how you two kissed. Come on tell your big bro all about it.” He smiled at Ichimatsu who had started to blush.

“I’m not telling you that! Fuck off Osomatsu!”

“Come on~ Was it a long kiss? Just a brush of the lips? Did you get tongue~?”

“You’re disgusting.” Oso just smirked.

“I know but tell me what happened.” He probably wouldn’t leave until he found out but Ichimatsu didn’t really want to tell him. Maybe he could get something out of this though.

“I’ll tell you if you agree to something.”

“Hmm, maybe, what is it?”

“You have to never enter town or harm a townsfolk. Not even as punishment. The game doesn’t include them.”

“Fair enough, but what about the nun, the priest and the cat?”

“The cat’s just an animal, leave her out of it too. I know you wouldn’t agree to leaving Karamatsu or Totoko out of this.”

“Yeah, they are both main characters in the game after all. But I will leave the cat out of this and the townsfolk. Deal?”

“Yes, deal.” He said with a sigh, it was better than nothing.

“Now~ Tell me what happened!”

“Well, some guy in town punched me so Karamatsu was looking at my face and someone knocked into me and we fell. Well we fell our lips just happened to touch, it was really just an accident.”

Osomatsu’s voice came out in a whine, “That’s so lame! Here I thought the two of you were closer but the priest probably didn’t even notice huh?” Ichimatsu nodded. “Man that sucks. Can’t believe I wasted a deal to know that.”

“No taking back your deal though.”

Osomatsu suddenly smiled at him, “You know little brother it was really cute having you cling to me for a few days we should do it again sometime!”

“Don’t you dare-”

There was a knock on the bathroom door.

“Ichimatsu are you okay? You’ve been in the bathroom for fifteen minutes at least.”

“Ichimatsu is just fine~ No worries priest!” Ichi scowled at him and wasn’t surprised when Karamatsu opened the door. Osomatsu laughed and poofed off, leaving Ichi and Kara standing in the bathroom.

Surprisingly Karamatsu hugged him tightly, “I’m glad you’re okay Ichimatsu, did he do anything to you?”

“Ah, no. I’m fine. He just talked a lot really.” Karamatsu let out a heavy sigh and pulled him into a hug.

“Maybe this seems a bit selfish of me but can you sleep in my room tonight Ichimatsu? I don’t want to risk him attacking you again tonight.”

Ichimatsu felt his face heat up and he pulled out of the hug, “S-sure I don’t mind.”

Karamatsu led him back to his room holding his hand as they walked. Ichimatsu could feel his heart pounding, it's not like they were going to do anything. It was just sleeping but for some reason he felt flustered and nervous. It was probably that stupid kiss’ fault and it wasn’t even a real kiss. ‘I'm just being stupid now. Stop overthinking things.’

Karamatsu opened the door and they went in. He hoped his face wasn’t too red as he sat on the bed. He glanced at the clock, it was pretty early to sleep.

“Are we going to read anything today?” Karamatsu smiled as he picked up a book.

“Yes, it’s a new one I picked up from town. It sounds really interesting.” Ichimatsu scooted into the bed and waited as Karamatsu laid down. Ichimatsu nuzzled closer to Kara, who put an arm around him as he held up the book.

As they read Ichimatsu could feel the rise and fall of Karamatsu's chest as well as his heart beating. A few hours later and Kara had put the book down.

“Goodnight Ichimatsu. We can finish the rest tomorrow okay?”

“Yeah goodnight Karamatsu.” He hadn't moved his head from Kara’s chest and his arm was now wrapped softly around Karamatsu’s waist.

With the small lamp next to them turned off the only light that entered the room was from the moon. It cast a soft light onto Karamatsu's sleeping face and Ichimatsu couldn’t help but stare a bit. He was so handsome, Ichi wanted to kiss him for real now but he felt the other would never want to do that.

He felt himself sigh, If he didn't win someone would die. Most likely Karamatsu but if need be he would fight Osomatsu to the death. In a way he wasn’t sure why he would go so far for a human but Karamatsu was extraordinary. He was kind and caring and sometimes Ichimatsu thought that maybe just maybe he would be okay with Ichi being a demon.

But as he watched him pray during the evenings he felt those thoughts crush themselves under the reminder that Karamatsu was a man of the Gods. That's why he was kind. That's why he protected and took care of Ichimatsu.

He felt a bit like crying, ‘this is all idiotic.’ He forced himself to sleep, closing his eyes and drifting off with the thoughts of kissing Karamatsu still in mind.

Chapter Text

When Kara awoke he felt at ease. He could see Ichimatsu curled up against him. He was glad Ichi was okay and that things were back to normal but he also wondered what made everything go back to normal.

They had fallen and Ichimatsu remembered everything after but nothing had really happened that Kara could think would have caused the spell to be broken.

Then again the only thing he knew about breaking spells were from fairytales and they normally only had spells break from stuff like a kiss- He paused for a second looking down at Ichi. Did they kiss?

The fall was pretty quick and had disoriented him but their faces had been pretty close before falling so he assumed it was possible.

Should he ask Ichimatsu? It would sound weird to just ask ‘Hey did we kiss?’ though. He had to think of a different way to say it.

He didn't have much time to think though as Ichimatsu sat up with a yawn, “Morning Karamatsu.”

“Good morning Ichimatsu. I had a question.”

“Hmm? What is it?” Ichimatsu rubbed his eyes a bit looking at him half asleep.

“I forgot to ask yesterday but, what broke the spell?” Ichi’s eyes widened a bit and he looked away cheeks flushing.

“Ah, I d-don’t know. Could have been anything I guess.” Ichimatsu glanced at his eyes then down to his lips and away again flushing redder.

Well that was one way to get an answer, Karamatsu wondered why Ichimatsu was so embarrassed though? If it was just a kiss that broke the spell surely anyone- He paused again rethinking.

Osomatsu had told Totoko hadn’t he? But it was something she couldn’t do, why might that be unless… He looked at Ichi again, he looked nervous.

Karamatsu smiled at him and he watched Ichimatsu’s face relax a bit. Was it really possible that Ichimatsu was in love with him? Perhaps there was a different answer though. Something he couldn’t see right now.

He would think more about this later. For now they should probably eat breakfast.

He slowly got out of bed and grabbed some clothes to take to the shower with him, “Are you okay with making breakfast well I shower? Anything’s fine.”

“Sure I'll find something to make.” Ichimatsu made his way to his own room first to change then hurried to the kitchen trying to think of something to make. He stared into the fridge with a scowl they only had ingredients to make-

“Waffles. You should make waffles. I quite liked them when you made them for me after all.” He closed the door with a sigh.

“Osomatsu to what do I owe this pleasure?” His voice dripping in sarcasm.

“Now, now. Don't be so grumpy. I wanted to see how you were doing or rather I wanted to see how the game was going. I think the priest knows you two kissed, isn't it just a matter of time before he knows the rest? Perhaps you should give up before it gets worse.”

Osomatsu smirked as he glanced over and made eye contact with Karamatsu who was peeking in from the doorway, eavesdropping.

‘Does he not care if I hear this?’ Ichimatsu on the other hand was oblivious to Kara’s presence.

“Well are you going to tell him? Cause I'm not. Wouldn’t it ruin your game anyways if he found out? Besides if I give up you’re just going to kill him!” Osomatsu snickered and Karamatsu’s eyes widened.

‘I'm the collateral if Ichimatsu doesn't win whatever they're talking about?’

“Besides! I didn't even agree to this! You just told me to run or else you would kill me and then later said if I left the church you would kill me as well and if I lose you kill him. What's with you and killing?”

Osomatsu gave a fake pout, “Aw Ichimatsu. I'm a demon, you of all people should understand that.”

Ichimatsu scowled, “Whatever Osomatsu-niisan, just fuck off I have to make breakfast.”

“I don't get why after all you don't need to-”

“Just leave me alone.”

“Fine, fine. Always so pissy in the morning little brother.” He winked at Karamatsu and poofed off.

‘There’s a lot I don't know about Ichimatsu it seems.’ He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. After all he was sure everyone had secrets but Ichi’s seemed a bit more important to him than others.

Chapter Text

He waited a few minutes before entering the kitchen, by then Ichimatsu had started on making waffles for breakfast well angrily whispering to himself.

“How is breakfast coming along Ichimatsu?” Kara felt bad about having eavesdropped on him, he decided he would include eavesdropping into his next confession.

“Ah, Karamatsu.” His tone had become softer in comparison to his angry mutters of before. “It will be done soon enough. Could you grab some syrup and stuff out of the fridge?”

“Of course.”

The day after that was pretty plain when they considered the week they had just had. Still it was nice to relax and clean the church again. Everything felt normal and Totoko was happy to learn that Ichimatsu was back to normal.

She pulled Ichimatsu aside well they were outside, “Ichimatsu, how did you. . . Um. You know?”

“If you mean k-kiss him it was an accident.” Ichi still flushed as he thought of it though. “Some people bumped us in the street and o-our faces kinda hit together.”

“Really?” The disbelief in her tone was obvious.

“Really. I swear.”

“Huh.” They went back to what they were doing after that and the day continued till night with no visits from Osomatsu. Even for the rest of the week he was scarce at best. Not that Ichimatsu minded.

Oso had achieved what he wanted so he just wanted to sit back and watch it progress. Sure enough like he thought, since the priest had overheard them he looked over at Ichimatsu more. Curiously but also sometimes suspiciously.

A small doubt was stuck in the priest’s mind and that was exactly that Osomatsu had intended.

By the end of the week Karamatsu had decided he should probably just ask. They would need to go in town the next day for food among other things so Kara would probably ask after that. Maybe on the way back or something.

The morning was spent in a bit of a tense silence, normally Karamatsu would smile a bit more and say a few things at least but he had been quiet and in thought all morning which had worried Ichimatsu a bit. Hopefully it wasn’t anything big… Osomatsu hadn’t been around so it would be something small he assumed.

It was better as they walked to town for the day, Totoko had called saying she wouldn't be over today as she had plans in another city that might take a day or two. So it was just the two of them.

Like normal Ichimatsu held to Karamatsu's hand as they entered the city streets. It wasn’t that busy today but he didn't want to risk getting separated from Kara. It’s not like he enjoyed it… Totally.

The trees in the city had started to turn orange and there was a slight breeze but it wasn't cold. It was a perfect day really. A small overcast making the sky filled with pretty white clouds and the slight wind made the leaves dance.

So of course something had to ruin it.

As they walked through the streets Ichimatsu turned his head to see Todomatsu standing nearby talking to some people. He wanted to run but since they were so close he couldn’t risk it. He just hoped Todomatsu wouldn’t-

“Oh! Ichimatsu is that you?” ‘Shit.’ Todo walked slowly over to them smiling his coy smile. To others it might look innocent maybe but Ichimatsu knew that was the face he made when plotting something.

“How have you been Ichimatsu? I haven't seen you in a while and who's your friend here?”

“I'm fine Todomatsu. This is Karamatsu.” He said with a sigh, at this point trying to withhold information was useless. Chances are Osomatsu had already told him and he was just talking for the sake of talking.

Karamatsu watched the interaction with a bit of a confused face, wondering who this person might be.

“Ah I forgot to introduce myself! I'm Todomatsu,” He said shaking Kara’s free hand, “Thanks for looking after my big brother!” Hi gaze seemed to linger a second too long on Kara and Ichi’s hands intertwined.

“Oh. Of course. Nice to meet you.” He wondered if there was a chance this was another demon after all Osomatsu had referred to Ichimatsu as ‘little brother’ still he hoped not.

Todo turned back to Ichi, “You know Niisan said he was worried about you. Why don't you ever give us a call huh? We always have to contact you first. It's like you don't like us or something.”

Ichimatsu scowled a bit but kept his tone level, “It's nothing like that I'm just busy.”

“Oh I know. But we really need to catch up, all three of us. Maybe I should call Niisan and tell him to get over here.”

“Don't do this Todomatsu. I know you're bitter about-”

“I'm not bitter at all Ichimatsu.” His voice went lighter and sweeter, which was a bad sign. “It just isn't fair though.” His eyes narrowed and his smile looked a bit more aggressive. “I mean you can't get everything in life easily. But if you don't want to see Osomatsu-niisan I guess we could just play together.” Karamatsu’s eyes widened and Ichimatsu nervously tightened his hold on Kara’s hand.

“Shit.”

“I'll give you a ten second head start, hurry to the church now or else~”

Without another word Ichimatsu ran tugging Karamatsu with him.

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.’ He really had no luck lately.

“Ichimatsu?”

“Please just run Karamatsu we can talk later.” They picked up speed as they got to the forest path, without people around they could just run forward and they could see the church in sight by the time they heard Todomatsu cackling.

“Shit.” He pulled Karamatsu to the front door then quickly towards the side door as Todomatsu landed by the front. For a few seconds Karamatsu got a good look at the new demon. He looked a lot like Osomatsu but pink if he was being honest.

They ran around the side but instead of going to the side door Ichi pulled him into a bush for a moment to hide, waiting.

“Ichi-”

“Shh...”

Todomatsu looked around stopping at the side door now, looking for them and Ichi quietly pulled Kara to follow him back around front waiting till the doors were in sight before rushing forward and slamming the doors open. They were in.

Stopping and panting, Ichimatsu didn't feel as tired as the first time he had to run away, that time it was from Oso. Which he supposed was good sign his powers were a fair bit back by now.

“Not fair!” Todomatsu floated by the church entrance looking pissed as he whined. “I want to win a game for once and I can't even beat shitty Ichimatsu! You know what! New game, live or die. I'll just kill your priest or you'll kill me make your choice niisan.”

Ichimatsu jumped in front of Karamatsu, just barely blocking Todo’s swipe and leaving blood dripping down his arm. He only really had two choices. Fight Todo and reveal that he was a demon to Kara or…

“Osomatsu-niisan!” He called, Oso was of course nearby watching. He appeared and grabbed Todo’s hand before he could hit Ichi again.

“My, my Totty. Cheating~?” He said with a small smirk.

“N-no I-”

“What would people say if I let my little brother go around cheating? They might start thinking that I cheat too~ We can’t have that can we?” Todomatsu pulled his hand away from Oso and took a step back. His hands shook slightly, perhaps in rage or maybe fear. Ichi couldn’t be sure.

“No niisan I… It’s not fair. Ichimatsu-niisan you’re a snitch!”

Kara came over as Osomatsu and Todo argued in hushed tones, wrapping a cloth around Ichi’s bleeding arm to take care of it with a worried expression.

“Does it hurt? I’m sorry You had to defend me Ichimatsu.” He said softly. Ichi glanced at Kara and smiled slightly, honestly it felt nice to be cared for.

“I’m fine Karamatsu, thanks.”

Oso cleared his throat, getting their attention, “I’ll handle this from here Ichimatsu but you owe me you know~.” Ichi felt a chill go down his spine at that.

“I know…” He muttered. It was a dangerous thing really, to owe Osomatsu a favor mid game but it might be better than Kara finding out the truth.

“Bye bye for now little brother~ I’ll deal with this for you.” He dragged totty off with a sinister smile.

Kara and Ichi stood there watching the empty doorway for a bit before Karamatsu closed it. “What did he mean by that Ichimatsu?”

“I owe him a favor now. It’s not ideal but its not to big a deal.” He explained trying to push the topic aside.

“That’s a very big deal Ichi! He’s a demon… He won’t take your soul will he?”

Ichi almost wanted to laugh at that, he didn’t have a soul for the taking after all. “Nothing like that. Though I don’t know what he’ll ask. Whatever it is I don’t have a choice.”

Karamatsu went silent for now, a look of thoughtful worry on his face.

“Why don’t we get you cleaned up for now?” He said softly, letting the topic drop for now.

“Sure.”

Chapter Text

“Ow!” Ichi whined as Kara disinfected the wound, luckily it wasn’t holy water or he would be screaming and burning.

“Ah I’m sorry but if I don’t do this it might get worse.”

Luckily the cuts were shallow but Karamatsu wouldn’t let him ‘just walk it off’ as they say. He would heal soon enough after all so it wasn’t that big a deal but he supposed the bandages would hide that he healed suspiciously fast. Soon enough Kara was done.

“Once again I apologize that you got hurt for my sake Ichimatsu.” He muttered worriedly.

“It’s fine Karamatsu, things like this aren't uncommon for me. I’m glad you aren't hurt.”

Karamatsu was silent a moment before pulling away to clean up the medical supplies. “Are you followed around by those two demons often?” Ichimatsu hadn’t ever talked much about their connection, Kara would be lying if he said he wasn’t curious by now.

“Ah well… Sorta. It’s not super often.” He muttered, Sometimes he didn’t see them for centuries at a time but being a demon that gap of time was like a year to them at times.

“Are there… uh. More than just those two?”

Ichi shook his head, “I basically only know those two.” He didn’t interact with other demons really. He didn’t have a reason to. Most demons were pretty independant, Osomatsu was the odd one and forced them all in some weird fake family. Osomatsu also seemed to rather to fuck around with demons then he did humans when causing trouble. He supposed it might be cause humans died too easily for it to interest Oso anymore.

“I see… Do you know what Osomatsu meant when he said he was going to ‘deal’ with Todomatsu?”

“Likely punishment for cheating, demons seem pretty bond by agreements or self set rules I guess.” He wasn’t super sure why Oso was so strict about not cheating really, it was normal for demons to betray, backstab and cheat. However he hadn’t seen any demons come after Oso after losing a game because the rules were never broken. Losing fairly seemed to stop grudges mostly, or at least retaliation somehow. He didn’t really get why though.

“Well… Okay. I suppose we won’t be seeing Todomatsu for a bit.”

Ichi nodded “Yeah-”

“Yeah~ He’ll be gone for a little bit, hehe~” They both turned surprised to see Osomatsu in the room as well.

“Osomatsu.” Ichi said with a glare, he was hoping it would be a bit longer before Oso was back honestly.

“Now, now~ That’s no way to talk to your kind older brother that saved you earlier~” He smiled as he spoke but it was a cruel one for sure. “Would you rather I ask you of that favor already Ichimatsu~?”

“I’m sorry Osomatsu-niisan.” He muttered begrudgingly. Oso only smiled more.

“Good boy~” He patted Ichi on the head like a pet, glancing at . “Oh my priest, a glare doesn't suit you~ Besides I’m not even doing anything bad… Yet.”

Kara forced his face to relax, “My apologies. I’m on edge from all the action lately.” He commented, trying to keep issues to a minimum.

“Why don’t we play a little game then to lighten the mood~?”

Kara and Ichi glanced at each other, clearly this wasn’t actually a choice.

“What did you have in mind niisan?” Ichi sighed. Oso plopped himself on the couch next to Ichimatsu, letting out a hum in thought.

“I haven’t decided yet~ Something simple though. Any suggestions?”

Ichi looked a bit confused, this was rare. Suggestions… Oso had never asked for them for a game before. What was he plotting?

Kara paused a moment before muttering. “The only simple game I know is rock, paper, scissors.”

“Perfect~ Let’s play just me and you then Karamatsu. Would you like to hear the rules~?”

“Rules..? Of rock, paper, scissors?”

Ichi paused, a nervous expression passing on his face. “Niisan-”

“Shhh~ I’m playing with Karamatsu right now Ichimatsu~” Oso gave a smirk at Ichi. Ichimatsu sure hoped Kara would catch on that word play mattered in games with Oso.

“I already know the rules of the game…” Said Kara and Ichi internally cursed. It wasn’t the rules of rock, paper, scissors that Oso was asking about obviously. It was the rules of Oso’s game and the punishment that came from playing it.

“Perfect then~ I won’t explain them if you already know~ We’ll do first to three.”

“...Okay.” Kara seemed a bit puzzled clearly trying to figure out what the demon gained from this encounter.

They started to play, Ichi watching nervously.

One, two, three and shoot. Kara’s point.

 

Oso’s point. Tie. Oso’s point. Tie. Tie. Kara’s point. The final go… Oso’s point.

“It seems I win~”

Ichi was quiet a moment, “What’s the losers punishment then.”

Kara looked a bit surprised, clearly realising finally that this was more than just a simple game.

“Well Karamatsu should know since he said he knew the rules~ It’s this!” Osomatsu jabbed his claws into Ichi’s bandaged arm, Ichimatsu jolted and pulled back quickly only for Oso to tackle him to the ground. The claws digging slowly more and more into the already made wound.

Kara was shouting something but Ichi couldn’t hear it over Oso’s laughing. Ichi squirmed under him feeling tears at his eyes. He felt the claws scrap lightly against his bone and finally he let out a scream. Oso finally pulled away snickering. Ichi sat up clutching a hand to his arm and scooting back away until his back hit the wall. The pain made him want to run away, it also made him feel sick with how much it hurt. He likely wasn't helping with how aggressively he clung to his arm but he wasn’t totally thinking straight.

Karamatsu rushed over hesitating as Ichimatsu flitched away from him.

“Next time learn all the rules Karamatsu~” Teased Oso, “Or it could be his life you lose~” And poof he was gone with only his laughs echo remaining.

Ichimatsu was sobbing. Clinging to his arm still. “Ichimatsu… Please let me see what he did.. So I can help.” Ichi shook his head. It took a bit more coaxing from Kara before he calmed down enough to listen.

It wasn’t pretty. Oso’s claws had stabbed down to the bone. Ichi refused to go to the doctor however, only allowing Kara to rebandage it at most. Kara was worried, it looked like Ichi needed stitches to him but… He couldn’t really force Ichi to the doctors. He had tried a little but Ichi was firmly planned in his seat.

He decided to busy himself well he kept an eye on Ichimatsu. Cleaning up the supplies as well as the blood that got on the floor. Making sure Ichi was awake and alert as he worked. Ichi didn’t seem to be passing out from blood loss though not even after an hour… Part of him found it kinda suspicious actually. But he wasn’t a doctor, maybe it had looked worse than it was… Then again he had seen bone or maybe that wasn’t bone. He sighed, worried.

“Ichimatsu? Are you sure you won’t see the doctor?”

“I’m sure… I’ll be fine. Trust me, I don’t want to worry you. I mean it I’m fine.”

“... Alright, I trust you.” Kara’s tone soft. He sat next to Ichi, softly taking his hand and squeezing it softly with a worried expression.

Ichi felt his face flush slightly at that, squeezing softly back in response. Even though it had been painful in a way it was worth it… Ichi leaned on Kara closing his eyes and relaxing.

Oso scowled from his watching place. This wasn’t meant to turn out into a touching moment. He had wanted Kara to blame himself for Ichi’s suffering and for them to grow apart a bit more. What a pain in the ass.

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu at some point after all that mess had fallen asleep. Karamatsu watched over him worried but the bleeding seemed to have stopped already even without stitches, so he must have been wrong about how bad it was. Kara decided it might be best if he changed the bandage since the last was covered in old blood and moved to take the old one off of Ichi. He paused when he did. The wound really didn’t look bad… like at all. Weird. Maybe in his panic he had really over assumed but… That must have been it. There was no way anyone could heal this quickly after all. There was blood and panic he was bound to have made a mistake.

Though Ichi had seemed weirdly sure he didn’t need a doctor… but. Maybe. He paused. He didn’t really know how to explain it. It was kinda odd he supposed. He bandaged the arm in a fresh one regardless in case he was wrong. It might just be luck. Or maybe a curse from the demons since they attacked Ichimatsu so often? They let him heal quicker so they can hurt him more? That… might make sense… Yeah.

He sighed and sat back beside Ichimatsu and leaned a lil against him. Surely it was something easy to explain… He was overthinking it. He was tired and stressed and thinking too much. That’s all. He just needed to sleep a bit. His eyes felt tired anyways and he let them close. Passing out almost instantly.

Hours later Ichimatsu woke up. His arm already felt better luckily. The searing pain was just a dull throbbing now. It would likely be fully better within 48 hours. He glanced at . Sleeping peacefully beside him. It must be exhausting for a human to go through all this. It was tiring even as a demon after all… He scooted himself a bit closer to Kara.

The comfort of being close to Kara was nice. Really nice. He didn’t think much as he just hugged to Kara. Pressing his face to his chest. He really shouldn’t be doing this… but it was nice. He sat there clinging to Karamatsu, nuzzling his face a bit to him even and just enjoying basically cuddling to him as he slept.

Of course nuzzling to Kara like this woke him up a bit and he opened his sleepy eyes to Ichimatsu basically sitting in his lap and clinging to him. Ichi seemed to be awake as well…

“Ichimatsu? Are you okay?” Ichi seemed to jump a bit pulling away quickly as if he was caught doing something bad.

“Yeah I’m fine. I was just uh…” He didn’t really have an excuse…

“Did you have a nightmare or something?”

“Not exactly… Just. Felt like a hug. Sorry.” He muttered embarrassed.

Karamatsu gave him a small kind smile and pulled him into a gentle hug. What was he thinking suspecting Ichimatsu? Honestly he wasn’t sure of much but he knew Ichi was a good person after all. He felt Ichimatsu sink into the hug relaxing and letting out a sigh. He might have secrets, everyone did but he would open up eventually on his own. Karamatsu shouldn’t pry or try to figure it out on his own it will only lead to misunderstandings.

Ichimatsu felt his face flushing a bit as he lay in Kara’s arms. It was nice. So nice. He was surprised Osomatsu wasn’t here ruining it for him actually. He supposed he was busy with Todo’s punishment. Lucky him.

“... Karamatsu?” He muttered after a bit of laying there.

“Yes Ichimatsu?” He softly pat Ichi’s head as they lay there.

“With all that's happened would you like to hear what the game is between me and Osomatsu currently?” He muttered, it wasn’t against the rules to tell Karamatsu after all about the game. Perhaps an oversight on Oso’s part really.

“If you are comfortable with sharing then of course. I do wish to help you in anyway I can.”

Ichi nuzzled him and let out a sigh, he wondered how much of the truth he should tell. He couldn’t tell Kara he was a demon. But admitting the rules of the game was also basically a confession of his feelings… Jeez. Still it might be an advantage for Kara to at least know about the time limit… But of course if Kara didn’t like him back it meant one of them had to die for the game to end and Ichimatsu of course didn’t want Karamatsu to die.

“Well… I. I’ve been in this area for a while. It might be kinda creepy but I was watching you.” He muttered, pulling back from the comforting hug for now. As nervous as he was he didn’t want to hide himself well kinda confessing.

“Watching me? Why?”

“I… At first I was curious I suppose. I had seen many priests before but none like you.” He felt his face flush a bit. “One day well I was watching you Osomatsu came by. He decided on a game because of it.”

“Only because you were watching me?” Kara sounded a bit confused.

“Not exactly… It was because I had.. Um..” He felt his face start to flush more, he was sure it was damn obvious what he was about to say but he forced the words out anyways. “Because I had fallen for y-you.”

“Oh.” There was a pause between them, Karamatsu flushed after a moment. Ichimatsu was pretty cute as he said such a thing- Oh what was he thinking. He wondered if it was a sin to fall in love as a priest. Or at least to have such thoughts… He would include impure thoughts in his next confession.

“A-Anyways!” Continued Ichi, “It’s really stupid! But like he gave me a time limit of a year… After that well.” His gaze went to the floor. “He’ll kill you but I won’t let that happen.” He’ll kill Osomatsu even if it means his own death.

“I see…” Karamatsu scooted closer and put a hand on Ichi’s cheek softly, “You’ve had it hard this past while haven’t you Ichimatsu? I didn’t even notice you worrying for my well being.” Ichimatsu felt his face flush, was this a dream or something? “I apologize for not being able to be there for you more.”

“D-don’t worry about it… Really.” He leaned into Kara‘s touch a bit as he spoke. Of course such a nice moment had to get a bit ruined.

“My, my~ You two are getting close~ I wish I had head what lead up to this moment~”

Ichimatsu jumped a bit away from Kara feeling his face flush more. Well fuck. “Osomatsu-niisan, what great timing.” He muttered.

“Sorry to interrupt just when it’s getting hot little bro~” Oso teased, “I just came to check on you~ I was worried about your arm~”

“Like Hell you were.” Ichi scowled, what a pain Oso was.

“You don’t believe niisan Ichi? I’m hurt~ Anyways~ I came for the next round of games.”

“Already?” Ichi let out an annoyed sigh.

“Yeah but it’s for only you Ichi~” Oso grabbed him by the arm and yanked him to his feet. “Lets go over the rules in private~” Ichi winced a bit as he was pulled up but moved to follow Oso without protest. Kara could only watch with a worried look. There wasn’t much he could do about this it was a demon they were against after all…

In the hallway out of Kara’s sight Oso pinned Ichi to the wall. “This next game is very simple~ We see how long it takes the priest to come rescue you from the demon~ and based on how long it takes you either get a reward or punishment.”

“Am I allowed to scream for help?”

“Nope~ I want to see how long it takes him to come on his own after seeing me take you away.”

“I see. So what are the punishments. What’s the reward?”

“Well if he comes within 3 minutes after we start then you get the reward, I’ll leave you two alone for 48 hours~ But if 3 minutes passes then the punishments start. They’ll stack until he comes to get you~ None of them are too bad for you but if he takes more than 15 minutes you’ll have to go without speaking for 48 hours~”

“You’re going to take my voice?”

“Yes~ And no cheating by writing things if you lose! I’ll be watching.”

“What are the in between punishments then?”

“Just a bit of fun~ I miss affection from my cute little brother Ichi~”

“Gross.”

“I knew you’d say that~ That’s why it’s a punishment~” Ichimatsu let out a sigh and waited as Osomatsu softly counted. Of course three minutes passed without Kara coming it was such a short amount of time. Surely Kara would come before 15 minutes though… Surely he was getting worried.

Oso snickered and moved closer to Ichi, hugging him a bit. “Are you happy to get a little hug from niisan~?”

“Ecstatic.” His tone making it obvious he wasn’t. He didn’t like how Oso’s hands had a habit to wander either. Still he could wait this out Karamatsu would come soon… Right?

More time passed and he felt his face going red from Oso’s actions. It was nothing really, just a hand resting on his ass. Overtop of his clothes even. It was actually pretty mild considering it was Osomatsu.

“It’s been 12 minutes already~ It seems he isn’t that concerned about you Ichimatsu~” Oso teased.

“You just want him to catch you doing something weird.” Ichi muttered, embarrassed.

“Correct~” And with that Oso pulled him into a rough kiss. It was rather aggressive, there was tongue even and Ichi felt his face flush more. He just waited through it counting. As it turned 15 minutes he could feel Oso smirk into it. He loved to win his stupid games after all.

Ichi felt like his breath was taken away, as if Oso sucked it right out. It was only within the next minute that Kara came out and found them.

“Hey! Get off of him!” Oso pulled back and Ichi just glanced down at the floor, both embarrassed and a bit ashamed to be caught in such a state.

“He was enjoying it right Ichi~?”

Ichi opened his mouth but nothing came out. He just sighed without noise.

Osomatsu laughed at that, “I’ll be watching make sure to follow the rules Ichi~”

“Wait!” But it was too late Osomatsu was gone. Karamatsu hurried over to check on Ichi.

“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

Ichi paused shaking his head before mouthing ‘I’m fine.’

“... Can you not speak?”

Ichi shook his head again. Pausing and thinking on how to explain it. He pointed to a nearby clock.

“Time?” A nod, before putting up his fingers. “Four… Eight.” Kara looked a bit confused at that. “Why don’t you write down what you mean? I’ll get some paper...” Ichi shook his head, making an ‘x’ with his arms. “Are you not allowed?” A nod. “Is this temporary?” Another nod. “Well… I’m glad it won’t last, I suppose. I’ll work on making some lunch okay? Is there any more rules to this?”

Ichi shook his head ‘none.’ Kara looked a bit relieved and started to the kitchen. Ichi following after him.

Ichi sat in the kitchen watching Karamatsu cook. He had hoped Kara would come before the time was up… It wasn’t like he had known about the game that was happening though. It wasn’t Kara’s fault, it was Oso’s.

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu supposed life wasn’t too hard temporarily without a voice. He could nod or shake his head. Thumbs up or thumbs down. It wasn’t ideal but it wasn’t permanent either. He noticed Kara was acting more overprotective than before now. Perhaps he felt guilty? That made the most sense to him really.

Kara made sure he was comfortable and happy. Staying by his side for hours and glancing around occasionally as if checking for Osomatsu. Ichimatsu didn’t mind it really it was nice to spend time with him. He leaned against Kara as he read a book. Relaxed and peaceful.

Honestly it wasn’t much of a punishment to him. Perhaps more of a punishment to Kara. Since he seemed worried and on edge, wondering to himself if he could have prevented this somehow. Ichi tried to comfort him but he couldn’t speak so he couldn’t really come up with a way to convey to Kara not to worry about it.

After a bit longer of the silence he put the book down. “Ichimatsu? Everything okay?” He had been asked that so much today since Oso had left and for the first time he shook his head. Kara almost seemed to panic in reply, “Are you hurt at all? Do you need something? Are you-” Ichi put a hand over Kara’s mouth and let out a silent sigh.

‘You.’ He mouthed.

“Me?” Came Kara’s muffled reply. Ichi nodded. “I’m what is not okay?” Another nod. “I apologize I’m not sure what you mean…”

Ichi moved to sit on Kara’s lap, hugging him. He softly pet his head, obviously trying to comfort him. He pulled back and poked Kara’s cheek after a bit, ‘panicking.’

“I’m panicking? Well… I suppose so but…”

Ichi smiled at him, glad that he could kinda make conversation. ‘I’m fine, stop panicking.’

Kara didn’t quite get what Ichi said there but he supposed he got the jist. Ichi’s fine.

“Well, even if you are fine. If I had come earlier you might be more than just fine.”

‘Temporary.’

“Yes but still. I don’t want you to have to struggle for however long it lasts.” Ichi pat his head with a silent chuckle.

‘Stupid.’ It was nice to have Kara worried about him of course. But he didn’t need it like this.

“S-stupid? Ah but-” Ichi hugged him tightly. Nuzzling to him. Somehow it was less embarrassing knowing he wouldn’t have to explain himself with words for doing such things since he couldn’t right now. That kind of freedom was nice, so nice that he acted like an idiot perhaps. Pulling back a little bit and kissing Kara’s cheek. He felt his face flush the second he did it and he pulled away.

‘Sorry!’ He got up and just hurried off to the bathroom to hide.

“Ah Ichi wait-” Kara followed him a bit until the bathroom door closed and then he sat in the hallway a bit confused and worried.

A kiss… It was only on the cheek but… He supposed Ichimatsu was just being affectionate, swept up in the moment maybe even. It made his own heart race a little and he could feel his face burning right now. Giving them both a moment to cool off would probably be good…

Ichimatsu silently sighed and splashed some water on his face from within the bathroom. Heck he was an idiot really. When he looked back up at his face he jumped, Osomatsu had been right behind him.

“How’s it going Ichi~?” His voice a whisper so Karamatsu wouldn’t hear he was there.

‘Fuck you.’ Ichi scowled.

“Wow right here well Karamatsu’s just in the hallway? Surely he’d hear us Ichi~”

‘You know what I meant.’

“Mm~ Do I~?” He snickered, “I do but it's more fun not to.” Ichi rolled his eyes at him. “I just came to check on how you’re doing~ Considering that you acted pretty boldly just now. Kissing his cheek Ichimatsu, you dog~” Ichimatsu felt his face flush at that comment but he scowled anyways.

“Why not just go for it Ichimatsu~ He feels guilty right now so he’ll probably go along with it and you can finally get laid. It’s been a while since you’ve got any action right?”

‘I don’t want him to go along cause he feels guilty. I want him to want me instead.’

Oso watched him a moment silent, he didn’t seem to like that reply much. “Do you really think he’d ever love you Ichimatsu? Need I remind you you’re a demon as well… I bet you he can’t even tell you apart from any other demon.”

‘He could!’

Oso smirked at that, “So it’s a bet then~”

Ichi scowled, ‘Fuck.’ He had fallen right into that trap. He wasn’t thinking.

“Here’s the game then. You go invisible, and I’ll pretend to be you~ I have your voice after all he won’t be able to tell the difference.”

‘Do I have a choice?’

“Nope~! You already made the bet after all~” Osomatsu transformed to look just like Ichimatsu, clothes and all. “I’ll of course pretend not to have my voice for a bit~”

Ichimatsu sighed turning invisible. Resigned to his fate. ‘What’s the time limit?’

“24 hours or if he fucks me~”

Ichi scowls, ‘Prize and punishment?’

“Punishment? If I fool him you owe me a fuck. If you win you can have your voice back early.”

‘You’re all about fucking lately arn’t you?’

“What can I say~ One track mind.” He snickered.

Osomatsu now looking like Ichi made his way out of the bathroom. He gave a fake shy smile to Karamatsu. ‘Sorry…’ Ichi watched from behind him, invisible. He sure hoped Kara would be able to tell them apart…

Chapter Text

Karamatsu got up from where he sat on the ground, “It’s okay Ichimatsu. Really don’t worry about it.” Ichi silently sighed from behind Oso. Well of course he wouldn’t know just on sight it wasn’t him. Oso looked identical to him right now. Still he would be able to tell via actions right?

Osomatsu made his way over to Kara and grabbed his hand. ‘You sure?’ Ichi had to admit, his acting wasn’t half bad… He tried not to get discouraged though, it was only the first couple of minutes. Kara would notice… He had to.

“Of course I’m sure Ichimatsu. It’s okay, let’s have some dinner okay?” Kara turned to go only for Oso to stop him with a soft tug on the arm. “Ichi?” Asked Kara turning to look at him.

‘It’s…’ Oso pretended to be shy, Ichi was starting to wonder if Todo gave him lessons. ‘Karamatsu…’ Oso stepped closer to Kara. What he was doing was obvious to Ichi but Kara looked confused. Ichi wanted to scream but of course nothing would come out not to mention he wasn’t visible.

“Ichimatsu what is it?” Asked Kara, stepping back only for Oso to step closer again. “Um.. Are you okay? You’re acting a bit odd-” Kara stepped back again and his back hit the wall. Oso kind of pinned him there.

‘Odd. No.’ Oso shook his head. ‘I just want a kiss… Is that so wrong?’

“I’m sorry I don’t understand what you’re trying to say Ichi. Can you please back up?”

Oso huffed a bit, this priest sure was dense. He didn’t even understand pinning! Then again idiots made the best sheep for the angels he supposed.

 

‘Kiss.’

“Kiss? As I said about the kiss earlier-” Oso shook his head at that.

‘Another.’

“A-another? K-kiss? I-i apologize but that’s a bit…” Oso silently sighed and pulled away acting hurt by Kara’s words.

‘Okay…’

Ichi silently cursed as he watched, Oso was pretty good at this. He could see the guilt and mild panic in Kara’s eyes. He wouldn’t act like this though. He wished Kara would notice. He supposed Kara had no real reason to question it though… Instead of sitting around watching he had to figure out some not noticeable way to help Kara notice.

Emerson! The cat… Surely it would know the difference in subtle ways. Cats could recognize people based on the sounds of footsteps after all. It would know that this was Oso. It always came for a snack at dinner so surely if they went to the kitchen the cat would come… He just had to figure out how.

He silently crept towards the kitchen, he noticed Oso’s eyes glance at him a second before back to Kara. Of course Oso being a demon could see him still but Kara couldn’t and unless Oso wanted to blow his cover he couldn’t comment on it. Finally a good loophole!

Off to the kitchen he went. Hoping Oso wouldn’t make much progress well he was gone. Once there, he looked around for some easy way to attract either the cat or Kara. Opening a can of fish would attract the cat but… A random open can would be too suspicious to Kara or Oso most likely. So second best would be to get Kara in here. For that it was simple.

He pushed a glass on the counter off the counter. A loud smash of glass sounded and soon Kara worriedly followed. Kara bent down near it getting the pieces swept up. “Oh dear, I must have left it too close to the edge of the counter…” He muttered.

Oso watched Ichi with a glare. How annoying Ichi was interfering but he didn’t make a rule against this kinda thing. An oversight on his part he supposed but he had been in a rush to get to playing. Besides Ichi normally didn’t look for ways to interfere before, interesting.

Kara finished up cleaning the glass and glanced at Oso… How odd normally Ichi would have helped him clean up glass like this… Instead he had watched without even checking to see if he needed help. Still maybe Ichimatsu just didn’t think of it today? Should he ask about it? Surely that would be rude… “Ah, Ichimatsu can you start on dinner? I just want to wash up a moment.”

Oso looked a bit surprised but nodded… Make dinner? He had never cooked a human meal in his life he assumed Kara was going to cook! Besides what would he even make. He didn’t know human food… As Kara left the room he looked to Ichi who just smirked at him and shook his head. ‘Figure something out niisan~ It’s your game.”

Oso scowled at that. Looking around the kitchen for things to make into something. He didn’t know what humans made for food but he could do this… Ichi did it before so how hard could it be right?

Meanwhile Ichimatsu snuck off to check up on Kara who was talking to himself in the washroom.

“Ichimatsu is acting a bit odd.. But perhaps he’s just stressed…” Ichi smiled at that. So Kara could tell, of course he wouldn’t assume it was Oso pretending to be him right away. Kara wasn’t so suspicious after all. Could he help Kara assume that though? Especially with this rare moment alone, he had to think of some hint to give Kara. But he still wasn’t able to speak or write anything and he was stuck invisible. He might as well have not existed right now for the amount of ways he could communicate. The glass of the mirror was a bit foggy from the water having run so long well Kara had been thinking to himself…

Ichimatsu hesitated before pressing his hand to it. Leaving a mark. Kara paused as he noticed, “Did I touch the mirror? Well… Of course not. So how…” He looked confused before glancing around. No one there. Of course not. He was in the bathroom alone after all. “Osomatsu?” He muttered confused.

Ichimatsu drew a ‘x’ on the mirror with his finger. “Then who?” Kara couldn’t believe he was talking to a mirror right now. “Can you not speak?” A check mark appeared this time. “Can you write it?” Another x. “Weird… Just like. Ichimatsu?” No reply. He wasn’t sure if confirming that would count as cheating to Osomatsu but he didn’t want to risk it. This was a risk as is.

Ichimatsu wiped the mirror completely so it was blank and turned the tap off before leaving to let Kara ponder that. He made his way back to the kitchen to check on Oso and his attempt at cooking.

He had made something but it looked bad and Oso looked frustrated. Ichi silently snickered and Oso turned to look at him with a glare.

‘Make it for me!’ Complained Oso.

‘That’s not a rule in the game~’ Teased Ichimatsu, ‘You’re me. You should be able to do something as simple as this.’

Oso silently cursed and turned back to the mess with a sigh.

Kara came in a bit after that and looked at Oso with surprise. “Ah Ichi? What are you doing?” Whatever it was it looked bad… and smelt bad. He assumed Ichi would likely just heat up some leftovers actually.

‘Oh. Hi Kara.’ Oso looked in a bad mood. How he was acting seemed kinda. Not Ichi, Kara thought. He wondered about the bathroom thing again. Whoever that was couldn’t speak or write who they were… Could that have really been Ichi? If so who was this? It was an odd mystery for sure.

“Why don’t you sit down and I’ll handle dinner?”

‘Fine.’ Oso went to a chair plunking his ass down in a seat with a frustrated sigh. Cooking was such a pain!

Kara watched him a moment. Even if Ichi was having trouble cooking it was a bit odd he didn’t at least try to help clean up after making such a mess.

Ichi was glad, Kara seemed to be a bit suspicious of Oso now for sure. He watched as Kara started to clean up the mess Oso made and started on dinner. Surely the cat would be along soon too and his plan to out Oso as being Oso would be done.

After cleaning up Kara just made a couple sandwiches and let out a sigh. Jeez that was a mess. As if he had let a child try to cook honestly.

He turned to check on Oso just as the cat jumped in through the window. Kara moved to get some food for it. Oso didn’t do more than just glance at it. After setting down the food and giving the cat a pat on the head he looked up at Oso. “Ichimatsu? Are you feeling okay?”

‘Yeah? Why.’ Ichi smiled at Oso’s reply. It would probably have fooled Kara now to say he was feeling sick or something honestly but Oso didn’t seem to notice the suspicion yet.

“Well. You’re acting kind of odd. I hate to ask as it probably sounds rude but are you really Ichimatsu?”

Oso’s eyes widened a bit. ‘What? Of course I am!’ He looked distraught, mainly cause so little time had passed and he was already almost caught. How? Ichimatsu must have done something!

“Well… Your cooking was such a mess, you haven’t offered to help me at all and you didn’t even pet the cat..” Kara looked a bit worried. “That isn’t really like you.”

Oso tried to hide his frustration, he hadn’t thought twice about not helping Kara. After all why would he help out some stupid human? But Ichimatsu would apparently.

‘...’ He tried to keep calm, He hadn’t lost yet. Kara still wasn’t completely sure. ‘I’m sorry…’ He turned his gaze to the floor, pretending to be apologetic. ‘Truthfully I feel a bit sick… My arm still hurts a lot.’ He silently muttered and Kara looked more worried.

“Oh of course… I’m sorry for making you do anything when you’re still in pain. I suppose I forgot in all the commotion.”

 

Ichi silently huffed, of course it wouldn’t be this easy. Oso was a tricky one.

Chapter Text

After dinner Ichimatsu could only watch as Oso dragged Kara off to the couch to ‘read’ of course this was likely a lie. Oso was going to trick Kara somehow, Ichi just knew it.

They sat there for nearly an hour without any action. Ichi was getting a bit bored considering he couldn’t even read over Kara’s shoulder. Besides watching Oso cuddling up to Kara was kinda pissing him off…

‘Kara?’

“Oh yes Ichi what is it?”

‘I love you.’ Oso lied, Ichi damn near threw a fit.

‘Don’t confess for me you shitlord!’ He seen the slightest smirk on Oso’s lips as he did a quick side glance to Ichi.

Kara flushed a bit, “I-i’m not sure if I heard you right Ichimatsu.” It was kinda a lie but he was sure Ichi wouldn’t just say that randomly right?

‘I. Love. You.’ Oso repeated.

“I-is that so? U-um…” Kara wasn’t sure what to do they were fairly close and he wondered if it might be rude to push Ichimatsu away right now or not. Oso took advantage of his indecisiveness, moving in for a kiss.

Ichimatsu couldn’t take it, he sure didn’t want Kara’s first kiss to go to a total sleazebag like Oso! He picked up a vase and chucked it at Osomatsu, it only fell to the floor though with a smash. Oso watching him smirking.

“Oh my what was that-” Kara was cut off by Oso forcing a kiss. Karamatsu pushed him away in surprise and Ichimatsu was steaming by now.

‘Piece of shit!’ Ichi silently cried. Oso gave him a look of warning that sent a chill down his spine. He knew what it meant. ‘No cheating.’ Ichi let out a frustrated but nervous sigh. Fuck. He was really pushing his luck today he supposed.

“Karamatsu?” Ichi’s voice came out of Osomatsu’s mouth.

“Ah? Ichimatsu your voice!”

“It seems your kiss brought it back…”

“R-really? But how- I mean didn’t you tell me that-”

Oso cut him off with another kiss and Kara went to push him away again. “Please… Kara. Don’t hurt me like this…” Muttered Oso pouting.

“I-i um… I cannot do this Ichi- I apologize. I’m a man of God after all-”

Oso looked down with a frown. “I understand…”

Ichi watched shocked as tears dropped down Oso’s face. He would go as far to fake cry?! Ichimatsu had never seen Oso cry, fake or not before. Todomatsu must have taught him this! Damn it. Ichimatsu huffed, being able to do nothing now other then watch in pissed off horror.

“I-ichimatsu?! I’m sorry! Please don’t cry!” Kara felt totally panicked, and really guilty… To make Ichimatsu cry well he was already suffering… How terrible he was. But also… Something nagged at the back of his mind. A small bit of suspicion. The vase had dropped for no reason, Ichi’s odd behaviour, the thing in the bathroom and Ichi’s voice coming back from a kiss. Nothing really added up. Something was wrong but he couldn’t figure out what…

“Please Kara… Just a bit more… For me?” Oso sniffled acting pathetic. Kara wondered if Ichimatsu would really pressure him like this even after a no. Despite Ichimatsu saying he liked him he had seemed content for months to just be by his side. What would cause such a sudden change?

“Ichimatsu I…” He wasn’t sure how to answer. He didn’t well… dislike Ichi after all but also his duty to refrain from this kind of thing. Not to mention something didn’t sit right with him right now. He didn’t want to hurt Ichimatsu’s feelings in the end though.

Osomatsu moved closer, a soft, “Please…” As he moved closer to Kara. Kara didn’t move towards him but didn’t pull away either. Paralized by indecision and a bit of a guilty feeling. That’s what Oso was hoping for, of course.

Oso kissed him again, moving to sit on Kara’s lap. He was a bit impatient of course, Ichi had kept getting in the way or else he would be fucking this stupid naive idiot of a priest already. In his hurry he made quite the mistake.

Kara felt a hand touch him as ‘Ichi’ smirked in that kiss. He pushed Oso off in an instant, Oso cried out in surprise as his ass hit the floor.

“Ow… Kara what-”

“You aren't Ichimatsu! Who are you?!” Ichimatsu would never touch him like that without even asking!

Osomatsu scowled. “Are you fucking serious?! Come on I was just about to win!” He whined.

‘What a baby. Sore loser.’

“Shut up Ichi! I’m not a sore loser!” Oso poofed back into himself and with that Ichimatsu became visible again.

‘You are~ Loser. You seem to be on a losing streak lately niisan~’ Ichi teased.

Oso got to his feet and glared, “Are you trying to piss me off Ichimatsu? Don’t forget you still owe me a favor!” He grabbed Ichi’s shirt collar as he spoke roughly jerking him around a bit.

‘Are you about to cheat cause you lost? Give me my voice already.’ Ichi was scared of course, Oso’s threats weren’t a joke but as long as he kept calm he could probably keep Oso from freaking totally out.

Kara just watched them confused. He couldn’t read Ichi’s lips as he spoke too quickly so he wasn’t sure what was going on anymore…

“Fine you can have your stupid voice back!” Oso huffed.

It came back in a rush and left Ichi coughing as Oso let go of him.

“...Finally.” Muttered Ichi.

“Don’t forget Ichimatsu. You owe me. I don’t appreciate you disrespecting me so much lately. Your attitude is going to land you in trouble.” None of the normally playful tone in Oso’s voice.

Kara could see the fear in Ichi’s eyes at that… He didn’t interrupt as he didn’t want to make things worse for Ichimatsu though.

“I-i understand niisan… I’m sorry.” Ichi muttered.

“Good. We’ll play more tomorrow then Ichi~” Oso snickered and disappeared with a poof.

Ichimatsu let out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. His legs gave out under him and he just stayed there sat on the floor. That had been stressful to say the least… Oso seemed to be coming at him day after day with games without rest…

Kara moved over, “Ichimatsu… Um… I hate to ask but you’re really Ichimatsu right?”

Ichi let out a slight laugh. “Yeah I am. Sorry about all that Karamatsu.”

“How long had you two uh… Swapped for?”

“Since I ran off to the washroom. The one that came out was Osomatsu.”

“I see… I’m sorry for not noticing sooner.”

“It’s not your fault Kara. It’s not something someone would expect to happen after all.” Ichimatsu let out a sigh.

Kara moved closer sitting next to him and pulling Ichimatsu into a hug. Ichimatsu hesitated but hugged back. He felt… guilty. He just stood by and let Osomatsu do whatever he wanted with Kara under the pretense of a stupid game. He should have tried harder! He should have stopped Oso before he kissed him… He didn’t want to hurt Kara like that.

He felt too guilty to ever try and make any kinda move on Kara now. He supposed Oso technically won this game in that way.

Chapter Text

Karamatsu stayed hugged to Ichimatsu for a while. He didn’t want to let go. Almost worried that he would lose him honestly. Osomatsu’s aggressive, endangering games lately had just made him feel more protective of Ichimatsu.

“....” Ichimatsu wanted to say something. Anything really but despite getting his voice back words wouldn’t come right. He felt like such a mess. Unsure what to say. Mostly he just wanted to say…

“I’m sorry.” He hadn’t said it yet himself. Kara had apologized, for something that wasn’t even his damn fault. It was his own fault. For dragging a human into this, a stupid too trusting human.

“Ichimatsu? There’s nothing for you to-”

“There is.” He sighed, frustrated. Mainly with Osomatsu but also with himself. “I’m sorry you have to go through this Karamatsu.”

“It’s not your fault that Osomatsu-”

“I could have left before he took notice in me watching you though. I could have… There are a lot of choices I could have made that I didn’t.”

“So what?”

“Huh?”

“So what if you didn’t leave before Osomatsu decided to meddle? Because of that I got to meet you Ichimatsu and I’m glad we met. Very glad. Having you in my life makes every day much brighter.”

Ichimatsu felt his face flush a bit and he scolded himself internally. Karamatsu didn’t mean it in any special way of course… He was just being nice. “... If you had never met me you wouldn’t have known you were missing out. All I’ve done is make things harder on you.” He muttered.

“Ichi…” Karamatsu moved to softly put a hand on his cheek, “It’s not like that. Just because things are a bit rough now doesn’t mean they always will be. In the long run you’ve made my life a lot better. It’s so amazing to get to have someone to say goodnight and goodmorning to every day. To see the rare times you smile, to sit silently and read with you. Those are things I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

If only it were so easy, if only he wasn’t a stupid demon. If only they had met differently. Somehow this was getting harder then it was when he had just watched Kara from afar.

“Ichimatsu? Do you really wish we hadn’t met?”

The words just slipped out, “Of course not! I love being around you!” He felt his face burning a moment later when he realized what he said. “Shut up for a moment…” He muttered flustered. Hiding his face a bit in looking away.

Kara smiled, laughing slightly. “Look at me Ichi, please.” Kara supposed he hadn’t realized it despite spending all this time with Ichi but…

Ichi glanced at him, flustered but curious to what he had to say. “You said earlier you love being around me right?” Ichi nodded, “I feel the same way.” Kara smiled. He pulled Ichi into a tight hug.

Ichi hugged back, embarrassed but smiling. He wondered if this was a dream. It couldn’t be, the hug felt too real. So did the warmth in his chest. Love.

How long did they stay like that? Ichimatsu wasn’t sure. So long Kara let out a yawn after a bit.

“I suppose we should get to bed.” Muttered Ichi contently.

“Yeah… Sleep in my room tonight? I don’t want you to be alone anywhere for a bit.”

Ichi nodded, more then happy for the offer. They got up from the floor and made their way to Kara’s room. Slipping under the sheets and nuzzling close. Comfortable. Kara seemed to pass out soon after. He was probably exhausted from the chaos of late.

“Goodnight Kara… I love you.” Mumbled Ichi. Closing his eyes as well. Even if not romantically necessarily, Kara loved him. Just knowing that made him really happy right now.

The two had a very peaceful sleep.

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In the morning Kara woke up first. Ichimatsu was asleep, clung to him. He smiled to himself. Moving a hand he softly brushed Ichi’s hair from his face. Originally he might have thought Ichi and Oso looked alike honestly. But there was a lot of differences close up really.

Ichi’s skin was a bit paler, he had a small scar on his lip and he had really thin eyebrows. He was just Ichimatsu. That's all.

He stayed there, watching Ichi sleep for a bit. Until Ichimatsu stirred and sleepily blinked his eyes open.

“... Is it morning?” He mumbled. Nuzzling to Kara contently, only half awake.

“Seems so. Will you help me clean up and start on breakfast?”

“Mm… Of course.” He sat up rubbing his eyes. “You start on breakfast, I’ll clean up a bit and then help you finish it.”

Kara smiled and sat up as well. “Sounds like a plan. Why don’t you shower first to wake up a bit though?”

Ichi nodded and the two went their separate ways for now.

Ichimatsu let the water pour over him as he fought off his sleepiness. Only for a rather rude wake up call.

“Wow lucky me I came at such a great time~ Don’t mind me, keep showering.”

“... Osomatsu. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“None if you’re offering~ I wouldn’t mind a morning quickie in the shower~”

“No.” Ichi scowled, hiding behind the curtain a bit. “Now what do you want?”

“Just came to check in~ Don’t be so prude. I can’t help it if I came at such a nice time~”

“Pervert.”

“Yep~ So what are you up to today, little brother? Seducing the priest? The clock is ticking after all, Tick, Tock~”

“No. I’ll just be doing what I always do.”

“Even though there’s ‘bout 3 months left?”

“Yes.”

“Why? Do you want him to die?”

“No. You can just kill me instead. That’s one of the endings you allowed.”

“W-what..? Surely you’re joking Ichi~ Dying for a human? What a kidder you really had me there.”

“I’m serious.”

Osomatsu went silent for once. Seeming to think about things. Ichimatsu decided to just focus on finishing his shower. Once he got out wrapped in a towel Oso spoke again.

“What if I kill him first?”

“I’d call you a cheater niisan. You can’t end your own game before the deadline just cause you don’t like the outcome.”

“...” Oso scowled, “You’re really no fun Ichi. What happened that made you this way?”

“Your fault~” Ichi teased, “Kara said some great things after you left.”

“But enough that you would die for just some human? Come on we both know you wouldn’t~”

“I love him.” Ichimatsu didn’t have any shame about it now it seemed.

“L-love. Ha. Sure. You won’t even let him know you’re a demon. Do you really love him? Or just the kindness he shows? The attention he gives you~?”

“Hmph. Think whatever you want, I don’t have to prove anything to you niisan.”

“Niisan could give you that attention and more, you know Ichi~”

“Gross.” Ichi moved to get dressed but Oso grabbed his hand to stop him.

“Let me show you~”

“You lost the last game, you don’t get to fuck me niisan.”

“And I won’t~ Not unless you beg for it I promise~”

“I’m. Not. Interested.” Ichi moved to grab his clothes and Oso stopped him again.

“Come on Ichi~ Give me five minutes and I’ll leave you alone.”

“Is this another game?”

“No, just an experiment~”

Ichi sighed, Oso would probably harass him all day over this at this rate… It’s not like Oso could trick him by whatever his plan is anyways.

“Fine. But you only get three minutes. Starting now.”

Oso smirked and Ichi wondered if he made a bad choice.

---------[Hi, hi. Just a warning for mild smut! My first time writing it really tbh if you want to skip it just go down until the next bracket! Thanks~]---------

Osomatsu gently pushed Ichi to the floor, it was weird Osomatsu being gentle really. Surely this was part of his trick.

Ichi felt Oso’s lips against his own and Oso’s hands begin to slowly search his body.

“We arn’t going to fuck-”

“Of course not. But you didn’t say we can’t have some foreplay~”

Ichimatsu made a tiny annoyed noise, he should have been more careful with his wording he supposed. Still, three minutes and then Oso should leave him alone.

Ichi felt Oso’s hand going lower and lower. Honestly the perv probably just wanted an excuse to feel him up. The hands slid to his thighs, softly squeezing them. One moved from his thigh to his ass, squeezing it and letting his claws scratch against it a bit. His other moved to Ichi’s dick.

Ichi wished he was wearing pants or something and not naked right now. He counted the seconds in his head. But this felt like the second time he counted the same number… He reminded himself not to get distracted just as Oso’s hand wrapped around him and gave a couple light strokes.

‘What number was I at again?’ He supposed he would just have to start over… But he would be more careful in counting this time.

Oso kissed him again, stroking and squeezing. It really had been a while since he had any action.

‘40… 41… 42…’ Oso pulled away from the kiss watching Ichi a moment.

“What number are you at~?” He teased.

“No talking.” Ichi muttered, annoyed.

“Of course not~ There’s better things I could do with my mouth right~?”

Ichi felt his face flush but didn’t comment. He almost fell behind on his counting after all.

Oso moved his head down and gave the tip a little lick as he stroked.

‘116… 117… 118…’ Time was so slow…

Ichi tried to ignore his dick and just count. It wasn’t exactly easy considering what Oso was doing with his tongue. It must have been something Todo taught him, cursed succubus.

A small whine escaped Ichi as Oso took the tip into his mouth. “One more minute..” He muttered to himself.

Osomatsu took more in, starting to bob his head a bit and watching Ichi as he did. Ichi found himself having to mutter under his breath the numbers so he didn’t lose track.

“135… 136… Fu-fuck… 137..” He muttered. Just a bit longer, though he found himself wishing a bit that he had agreed to the five minutes…

 

Though it was a slow blowie it was a pretty good one. Ichimatsu bit his lip trying not to give Oso the satisfaction of any noises. However some noises couldn’t be avoided. Like the whimper that came out as Oso pushed Ichi’s dick far enough into his mouth to make it a deep throat at that point. Ichi squirmed under Oso as he slowly pulled off only to do it again.

“....” Fuck what number was he at… He’d have to pick one he already said for sure.. “ 1-142…” He hated himself for wanting more than just a slow blowie. But he couldn’t give in. For his own sake. For Kara’s.

Though that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy the time he had left he supposed.

He focused slowly on counting as Oso kept up his slow, almost teasing deepthroats. Ichi now pressing a hand over his mouth to stop any noises from sneaking out other then the numbers. Of course a few made it out anyways.

“156… 157…. 1-158…” Twenty-two seconds left. He wondered if he could finish before then… At this rate probably. Of course knowing Oso he would probably stop just before that to make him want to ask for more. He supposed if he wanted to ‘win’ this he just had to pretend he wasn’t close and give Oso a little… Surprise.

“Man… Niisan. You’re bad at this.” He muttered between numbers. Hoping that would edge Oso on to go a bit faster. Luckily it worked. Osomatsu figured he could just get Ichi to beg before the timer was up anyways he didn’t really need to make him after the timer anyways.

He started to kinda slam his mouth down on Ichi’s dick. Ichi had to press his hands hard over his mouth to keep from being noisy. It was really good… So good that he came all up in Oso’s mouth without warning and just in time too~ “... 180.” He muttered contently before pushing Oso off of him.

-------[For any that wanted to skip the smut it ends here, thank you]-----------

“Thanks but no thanks niisan, still not interested.” Muttered Ichi.

“You tricked me!” Oso complained with a whine, “I totally had you!”

“Nope. This was just an experiment you said it yourself. Not like this had any real rules after all.”

Oso scowled, “Fine. Whatever. I’ll be back with another game soon.” He complained and poofed outta there.

Ichimatsu cleaned himself up with a sigh. He did feel a bit guilty for doing that all even if it was just cause Oso harassed him into it. It’s not like he hated it but… It didn’t really mean anything to him either after all. It’s not like Kara and him were together that way after all so it’s not like he cheated.

He wondered if Kara would be jealous. For once he didn’t assume no though.

Chapter Text

Kara was a bit worried that Ichi wasn’t out of the bathroom yet. He hoped Osomatsu wasn’t harassing him again. Still Ichi had a voice again and he could call for help if he needed it… Right? Maybe he should go check on Ichi…

Ichimatsu entered the kitchen just then all cleaned up and in a decent mood it seemed. Kara smiled, it seemed he was just overthinking it. Ichi was fine.

Ichimatsu decided to be kind of honest about what happened. “Osomatsu peeked on me in the bathroom.” He muttered. He wanted to see how Kara would react honestly...

“He what?! Did he hurt you at all Ichi?”

“No. Just touched me a bit.”

A rare scowl from Kara, was he jealous? Or just over protective? Ichi couldn’t tell.

“That’s terrible! Do you feel okay?”

“Yeah I’m fine, he’s done this kind of thing before after all.”

Kara frowned, “Still that doesn’t make it okay… Next time you shower I’ll sit in the room with you so he can’t do anything. I-i won’t look of course!”

Ichi decided not to mention that he would rather Kara did look. “Okay… Thanks Kara.” He smiled softly. Even if being naughty with Oso was kinda fun… It was nothing like being with Kara.

“Of course Ichimatsu. Now why don’t we have breakfast?”

The day was peaceful. It was only until it was around noon that Kara seemed a bit bothered by something.

 

“You okay Kara? You look worried.” Asked Ichi.

“Well it’s… I might be getting the date wrong but I do believe Totoko was supposed to be back from her trip to another city… I hope she’s doing okay.”

“Ah your right that was today…” Muttered Ichi. Could Oso have done something? He did say he would have another game soon.

“... Osomatsu is this your doing?”

“Speak of the devil and he will appear~ Now is what my doing? I’m not spying on you two every day~”

“Totoko’s not back yet.” Muttered Ichi.

“OH that~ That is my doing~ Correct!”

“What did you do to her?” Ichi scowled.

“Well wouldn’t you like to know~? It’s not time for that game quite yet though~”

“Osomatsu.” Ichi glared. She could be in danger he didn’t have time to fool around like this if so.

“Such a mean face considering I had you whimpering earlier~” Teased Oso.

Ichi felt his face flush a bit, how embarrassing. Still if this was Oso’s plan he was glad he told Kara already.

“Osomatsu you’re truly disgusting.” Commented Kara not surprised that he would bring it up just to bug Ichimatsu. Oso really was the worst.

“Oh? Did you already know?” Oso looked between them, “You told him about that Ichi? Really~? Interesting~” They might be closer then he had thought… Time to split them up then.

“I suppose we can start the next game now~ Ichimatsu. The rules are for your ears only.”

“Fine.” Ichimatsu stood, moving to stand beside Oso so he could be told the stupid rules.

“It’s a simple game~” Whispered Oso, “Hide and seek. Totoko’s hiding, you seek her.”

“What’s the catch?”

“If you use any of your demon powers well looking you have to stay in demon form for 24 hours from the time you use them. No hiding behind a tree, using them and going back to normal.”

Ichi’s eyes widened. She was probably somewhere he would have to use his powers to get to then… Meaning… It was either her life or his secret. He scowled at Oso.

“Fine.”

“Fine~? You sure~?”

“You heard me.”

“Alright~ Good~ Get going before it’s too late.”

Ichimatsu sighed, frustrated and annoyed. He grabbed Kara’s hand and lead him to go outside. “We have to go find Totoko.” He muttered. “Hide and seek he says, and there’s a rule I can’t talk about.”

“I see… It sounds like she’s in danger. Where should we start?”

“I wish I knew.” He muttered unsure. It’s not like he could track humans with his powers at all so to start they were kinda on their own. But if she was somewhere he would have to use powers to get to… “Is there somewhere like a cave or somewhere really high around here?” She had to be somewhere humans couldn’t get to.

“A cave… I don’t know about that. As for high up there’s trees I suppose. And the town has a clock tower.”

“I got Osomatsu to promise he would leave the town out of his games so she likely isn’t there. I suppose checking the forest around here works.” Ichi let out a nervous sigh. Someone’s life was at sake and for once it wasn’t his. Somehow that made him more anxious than normal though not less.

“Alright… Should we split up to cover more ground in the forest?”

“Sure. Sounds good. We’ll meet up in front of the church in an hour if we don’t find her okay?” He was lucky Kara suggested that actually. He could just use his demon powers to find her and then hide for 24 hours or something. Easy.

“Are you sure you want to split up~? The forest is pretty dangerous for humans~” Teased Oso.

Ichi hesitated. Kara would be alone with wild animals or even Oso if they split up… Of course they would be in the forest longer if they had to go together since Ichi wouldn’t be able to use his powers. Then again maybe… “Kara why don’t you stay here then?”

“What? Ichimatsu I don’t want you going alone. It would be faster to look both of us at least..”

Ichi let out a frustrated sigh, it really wouldn’t be but he could he explain that to Kara?

“Take Kara with you or else I might be tempted to play well you’re away~” Said Oso with a smirk.

Ichi muttered a curse and grabbed Kara’s hand. Pulling him along towards the forest. Oso was really backing him into a corner. It was very likely he would get found out today.

As he entered the forest he glanced around. Hmm, It didn’t look much different then normal.

“Totoko?” He called but with no reply. Ichi looked up into the trees as they walked. Keeping an eye out for her.

“Totoko?!” Tried Kara with equal results. He frowned glancing around. Hopefully she would be okay. He was also worried about Ichimatsu though. The part of the games rules he couldn’t tell Kara… They seemed to be bugging Ichi in some way but he couldn’t imagine what they were.

“Ichimatsu, this rule you can’t tell me… It’s not like you owing Osomatsu anything with your body is it?”

Ichi paused before sighing, “If only it were that simple. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you it because of my own selfishness. I’m not banned from talking about it. I could but I won’t.”

“I see…” Something Ichi just didn’t want to mention? He wasn’t sure what kind of thing that might be but he was glad Ichimatsu wasn’t betting his body. “I apologize for asking then.”

“It’s fine. You have a right to want to know all the rules of Oso’s sick games. It’s normally dangerous not to. But this rule only affects me. I would tell you if it endangered you.”

“Of course Ichimatsu. You can have private things, it’s okay. Everyone does.” Kara gave him a small smile, even though he did seem curious about it.

“You’ll probably find out before this game ends… Osomatsu isn’t giving me much choice.” He muttered, mainly to himself.

Kara didn’t know what that meant but he was worried for Ichi.

They went back to wandering and calling for Totoko. She never replied though. Ichi wasn’t sure if she just wasn't here or if she just couldn’t hear them or if she couldn’t speak right now. If he could just transform into his true form for a bit this would be damn easy.

“... I’m being selfish.” He muttered.

“Huh? Ichimatsu what makes you say that?”

“Related to that rule, there is something I could do to find her faster but if I do it probably won’t go well for me. I won’t be harmed or anything, I won’t be in danger. It’s nothing as serious as what is likely happening to Totoko but I won't do it anyways because I’m selfish.” He just didn’t want Kara to look at him badly. He didn’t want Kara to feel betrayed just cause he was a demon. He didn’t want Kara to doubt his feelings just because he was a demon.

“Ichimatsu. We’ll find her you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. It’ll be okay.” Kara reassured, giving his hand a soft squeeze. Ichi sighed, would Kara still treat him this way if he knew?

“Alright. Let’s keep looking for a little bit. If we don’t find her in 30 minutes though… I’ll do it. Just to make sure she doesn’t die.” Kara looked worried but smiled at him.

“Okay Ichimatsu.”

They wandered the forest some more. Leaves and grass squishing under their steps.

“Totoko? Totoko!” They kept calling. Unsure where she might be. Ichimatsu paused as he seen a weirdly big tree. It kind of stood out actually.

“Hey Kara? This one goes up really high. Maybe she’s in this one?” He walked over to it with Kara in tow. Looking up into the branches.

He felt his stomach twist as he saw her. She was just slung over one of the highest branches, arms and legs tied. “Totoko!” He called, “We’re here to get you down!” He wasn’t sure if she heard him.

“I’ll go climb up and get her down Kara.” After all if he fell he could just stop his own fall with his wings if it came down to it. Kara would just splat.

“Are you sure..? It’s very high up…” Clearly he was worried Ichi would well die.

“Trust me. I’ll be fine.” Even if he did splat it wouldn’t be fatal for him at least.

Ichimatsu started to climb up. Glancing down occasionally both to reassure Kara and to check on him to make sure he was safe alone. He didn’t trust Oso to not interfere with this. It was going too well after all.

He was lucky, being that he flown often as a demon he wasn't scared of heights. He imagined Totoko was probably really scared by now. Though maybe if she was lucky she was passed out and didn’t know what had happened yet? She didn’t reply after all.

Climbing the tree took a few minutes but he was soon high up to Totoko’s branch. Her eyes were open. “Totoko?” He muttered, worried but also a bit suspicious of if it was her honestly.

“I-i-i-ichi?” Her voice a whisper, he supposed she was too scared to speak earlier.

“Yeah. I’m going to get you down okay?”

“O-okay..”

Ichimatsu scooted on the branch forward. Slow and careful. He didn’t have a knife to cut her ropes though. The knot seemed kind of lazy though so he went to pulling at it carefully to undo it. He supposed Oso didn’t care if she had wiggled more and it came undone and she fell after all. Once it was undone he helped her move to be sitting up. She was shaking.

“Focus on me okay?” He wasn’t going to tell her not to look down since he knew that would more likely cause her to do just that. “We’re going to move to the trunk and you can just hold onto me as I make my way down.” She nodded, her legs to shakey to make it down the tree on her own at this point.

Just as he moved to start towards the trunk he heard Karamatsu scream and he looked down. A bear. There was a damn bear! It didn’t look happy to see anyone in the forest either. He was sure Oso likely aggravated it to make things harder.

“Ah fuck it!” Ichi muttered. “I won’t drop you so don’t scream!” He scooped Totoko up and just jumped from the tree. There wasn’t enough time to take his time getting down with her after all. She clung to him clawing into him as they went down so suddenly. Closing her eyes tightly.

Of course they landed without issue. Well one issue. Ichimatsu looked like a demon, he was resigned to his fate now though. He put her on the ground and hurried over to Karamatsu.

The bear was moving to swipe at him just as Ichi got close, he really didn’t have a second to spare so he just slammed his body into the bear. They both crashed backwards, hitting into a tree with a thud. The bear now unconscious it seemed from such a wack. Ichi sighed untangling himself from the stupid grizzly.

“... Ichimatsu?” Called Kara. He had only seen a flash of someone and a crash… Could it really have been him?

Totoko was there as well now on the ground, Kara helped he stand and looked around. The bear lay motionless and next to it… He gasped.

Ichi let out a sigh and just stared at the ground.

He wanted to explain himself but. “Nice one little bro~ You saved both of them~” Osomatsu.

“Niisan.” He muttered, annoyed.

“Oh Ichi if only you could have saved them both without your little secret coming out~ You really should have just left the girl to die and this wouldn’t have happened~” Oso teased, floating next to him. “It’s all your fault~” Osomatsu whispered. “You should have just been selfish like a demon is meant to be.”

Ichi scowled only feeling bitter… Still.. No one died. He supposed that was the important part. If Kara hated him now then.. He supposed he could deal with it even if it felt like his heart was breaking just thinking about it.

“Ichimatsu? Is that really you?” Kara’s voice soft and unsure.

“...” Ichi felt his voice stuck in his throat. Osomatsu smirked.

“Of course it’s him~ He’s my little brother just like Totty after all. You’re so dense to not realize we were all demons~” Osomatsu hugged Ichi from behind and grinned at Kara.

“Ichi~ Tell him.”

“... I..”

“So shy little brother~”

Kara felt conflicted, on the one hand he felt a bit hurt. Ichimatsu had lied to him, of course his lie made sense. There would have never been a good time to tell Kara the truth but… Had he been fooled all along? Was Ichi a bad person? He couldn’t be. He saved Totoko and Kara at the cost of his secret… Perhaps Kara was just gullible or maybe it was just that little weird feeling he got when seeing Osomatsu cling to Ichi like that. Especially knowing how Osomatsu was like.

“I’m sorry Kara.” Ichi muttered.

“...” Kara didn’t know what to say. How was he supposed to react right now?

“I. I already knew.” Muttered Totoko.

“What?” Kara looked at her surprised.

“I already knew he was a demon. A long time ago on my first day in town I seen him and he looked like this. Horns, tail, wings and you know what he was doing? Getting you medicine from town.”

Kara paused, remembering how worried Ichi had gotten when he got a fever. How he went to town alone despite how anxious he got in crowds. But why would he have to do all that well as a demon? Unless… “Then did Osomatsu make him go like that?”

“Probably. He risked a lot to get you medicine. He was worried about you. He’s a demon but… Honestly so what?”

Oso scowled, what a nuisance this girl was. He could see the humans weren’t quite as fazed by this as he had hoped.

“Ichimatsu.” Ichi stiffened and glanced at Oso. He knew that tone of voice. Oso was not happy.

“Y-yes niisan?”

“You still owe me that favor.”

“Y-yes?” He didn’t like the sound of this.

“Kill her.”

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu froze. “What…”

“You heard me. Kill the nun.”

Ichi stepped back a bit from Oso, “But-”

“You owe me Ichimatsu. Are you going to try and get out of that?”

“But she’s important to your game right, why would you-”

“She’s a pain in the ass. But if you care that much about her life then kill the priest.”

Ichimatsu glanced at the two, he didn’t want to kill either of them… Saying no right now though would be bad. He could try to talk Osomatsu out of it but he assumed Oso wouldn’t budge on this.

“I… can’t.”

“Then kill her.”

“It’s okay Ichimatsu.” Ichi glanced at Totoko as she spoke, “I-i don’t want to die but… It’s okay.” She tried.

“... No..” He whispered.

“... What did you say Ichimatsu.” He had heard Ichi of course, his tone of voice confirmed that much.

“I said no niisan!”

“That’s what I thought you said but surely you wouldn’t be that stupid. Right Ichimatsu? I’ll give you one chance to change your answer.”

Ichi felt his hands shaking a bit, saying no to an owed favor was asking to die… Or worse.

“I won’t kill either of them.”

Osomatsu’s face turned to a scowl. “I see. These two humans are worth such a thing to you?”

“T-they are…” Totoko was his friend… She wanted him to be happy. She would sacrifice herself for him after all.

“It seems you have to learn your place Ichimatsu.”

Osomatsu grabbed him by the arm and tossed him. Ichi tried to stop his fall only to feel all his breath leave him as he hit into a tree. He felt the wood crack and splinter behind him. He let out a pained gasp, trying to blink away the pain and get up only for Oso to pin him to the tree by his throat.

He could hear Kara and Totoko yelling from far away. How far had Oso thrown him? They probably wouldn’t catch up in time and even if they did… They would only put themselves in danger.

“This is going to hurt a lot Ichimatsu.”

‘This is what I get for caring for humans but… I can’t hate them. Osomatsu wouldn’t ever understand what it’s like.’

He weakly struggled, feeling Oso’s hand tighten around his throat. He watched Oso pull out a vial of something. The liquid was clear… Oso smiled sadistically as he let a drop fall on Ichi’s arm.

It burned. It burned like Hell. Holy water. Just a drop was so painful.

Osomatsu could see the fear in Ichi’s eyes. “Just remember, this is your fault.”

He forced the bottle opening to Ichi’s mouth as Ichi struggled forcing it in. He felt the water flow into his mouth. It felt like magma on his tongue. He tried to force the bottle out but he was powerless. He felt himself swallow some and it felt like his insides started to melt. They probably were considering it was holy water.

Osomatsu pulled back and laughed as Ichi collapsed. He felt himself hit the grass. Every part of him hurt. It only got worse as Oso poured the rest of the bottle onto his body.

Ichi could only let out a weak sob before vomiting up blood. His body trying to get the holy water out. He would be lucky if he lived through this… But more likely a slow and painful death awaited.

Kara and Totoko finally got close enough and a noise of pure horror escaped them.

“I-ichi…” Came softly from Kara.

“What did you do to him!” Came from Totoko.

“I just gave him a sip and a bath of holy water~ You humans should thank me. After all demons are only trouble. Enjoy watching him die for your sake~” Oso crackled and disappeared.

They two hurried to Ichi’s side. He seemed barely conscious. The pain wouldn’t let him pass out though.

“I-ichimatsu…” Kara felt tears come to his eyes.

“Let’s get him back to the church Kara. It might help to rinse the holy water off of him!”

“O-of course..”

Totoko could tell Kara wasn’t in much of a state to make choices so she would do her best to help. They scooped up Ichi and hurried back with him.

The only thing he did was lay limply and let out soft broken sobs.

Kara kinda blamed himself. He wasn’t sure why. There was no reason to it really. It was just his fault is all he could think. The tears wouldn’t stop. He was useless.

Totoko shooed Kara out after they got Ichi into the bathroom. “You won’t want to see this Karamatsu. I’ve worked as a nurse before. I can handle it.” Kara just did as he was told. Leaving Totoko to care for Ichi.

He walked, letting his feet just carry him. Before he knew it he was in the church’s mass room. He kneeled in front of the cross. “Please… Help…” He whispered. Feeling the tears still run down his face. “I… I love him. Please save him.”

Chapter Text

Osomatsu laughed at his brother “Loser~”

“No fair niisan!” Whined Totty, throwing his cards up in the air. “So lame, You should let your cute little brother win sometime!”

“You should know to just not play Osomatsu. He hates losing.” Muttered Ichi boredly.

“Ichi~ Why don’t you play a round with me?”

“No thanks, I don’t feel like losing.”

“It’s just cards~ It’s totally luck based.”

“And I have horrible luck. You win niisan so let’s just skip the game.”

“Fine, fine~” Oso pat Ichi on the head, “Maybe one day you’ll win a game with me though~” He laughed.

“You’re just saying that Niisan.”

Totty pouted, “Niisan! Come on..”

“Right, right~ Such cute little brothers I have.” He pat Totty on the head too.

“We aren't even related though.” Muttered Ichi.

“But we look alike~ We might be related you never know.” Said Oso contently.

“If that’s true then why are you the eldest again?” Complained Totty.

“Well, I won the title after all~ So I'm the eldest.”

“Well. It’s probably better Todo didn’t win anyways.”

“Ichimatsu-niisan! So rude!”

“It’s true, you’re a baby.”

“And Osomatsu-niisan Isn't?” Todo whined.

“He’s slightly less of one.”

“Awww Ichi~” Oso hugged him from behind and Ichi tried to push him off with an annoyed sigh. “I didn’t know you thought so highly of me~”

“Shut up, I don’t.”

“What about you Ichimatsu-niisan? Why don’t you try to be eldest?” Totty asked completely ignoring Oso.

“It’s not for me. Could you really imagine someone like me as eldest? It’s stupid.”

“Well. I guess that’s kinda true.”

“You two are so mean~ Ichi makes a great older brother to you Totty~”

“Weirdo~” Todo teased Oso. “Your family kink is so weird~”

“It’s not a kink!” Oso pouted playfully.

“Sure, sure Niisan.” Muttered Ichi, “That’s why you like to do nasty stuff with us yeah? Bet you couldn’t even be away from us for a day.”

“It’s a bet then! I’ll show you two and you’ll come crawling back to hang out with your niisan~”

“Ah fuck really? It was a joke bet…” Muttered Ichi.

“You miss me already Ichi~? I’m so touched~”

“I do not! Leave if you want, jeez…”

“Here are the rules then~ I’ll leave until you two come to find me~ then you two can beg niisan to come back and play more~”

“See you never again then niisan~” Teased Totty.

“Hmph~ I know you two will come~ See you two soon enough, we can have reunion sex too~”

“Ew.” Muttered Ichi.

“Whatever~” Called Totty as Oso took off.

Surely Oso would be back in a day or two anyways, right?

Oso stretched, it had been a while since he wasn’t in hell~ His cute little brothers took up most of his time. ‘I wonder how the world has changed since I was last here. What’s it been? 80 years maybe?’

He supposed he would look for the nearest town and cause a little trouble till those two came looking for him~

He assumed a human form after flying around for a bit and finding a small town. A farming community. He walked around the dirt path crunching under foot. This seemed like a great town to play a few games in~ First he had to find a simpleton human to play around with~

The town was probably full of them but playing around with old farmer men didn’t totally appeal to him. After all they were old~ He ain’t into that. He looked around for a bit before finding a kinda cute girl to bug.

“Hey there~?”

“Ah… Yes hello traveler?” She said, her tone of voice wry. This town likely didn’t see many fresh faces.

“I was wondering if you might like to play a game~? If you win something good will happen.”

He watched her glance him over, he make sure to watch for what she was checking him for… Money? By the look in her eyes that was likely it. He smirked. “Don’t believe me? If you win, I'll give you all the cash I have on me.”

“It’s probably like two coins.” She muttered rolling her eyes a bit.

“What if it was 1,000?” He watched her expression change as she thought of that amount. Gotcha~ That’s what she wanted for sure. He held out a bag, hexing it to look like it had money in it and handed it to her. “Take a look if you don’t believe me.”

She peeked in and gasped before he pulled it out of her sight and back to his pocket. “So what do you say~ A game?”

She hesitated, it seemed a bit too good to be true.

“You can even pick what we play~?”

“Fine. Archery.”

He smirked, “Sure~” Hook, line and sinker. “But~ What can I have if I win?”

“I..” She hadn’t thought of her side of the deal.

“How about your body~ Seems like a fair deal, doesn't it? It’s a lot of money~”

“Fine! I won’t lose.”

Oso smirked~ Seems like he’ll get an easy game today. Of course he won~ Cause she never said in the rules he couldn’t use his powers to get bullseyes and to make her’s go just slightly off course~

“Seems like this is my win cutie~”

“Ah wait, no one more time…”

“Not interested~ It’s time for you to pay up.”

She backed up a bit, thinking of trying to run.

“No running. That’s cheating. No one needs to find out that this happened after all~ How would your family react after all~”

Oso pushed her up against a tree, hand going up her skirt-

“Hey sleazebag! Off of her!” A rock hit the back of his head, just a small one but annoying nonetheless.

He turned to whoever it was with a scowl before pausing. Oh~

A guy in his twenties approached with a scowl on his face. At least he wasn’t some old dusty bag.

“Sorry~ But me and her have a deal and she owes me~” Oso explained contently.

“Deal or no deal, it doesn’t matter. You will not be touching her.”

“Why~? She yours?”

The guy seemed a bit embarrassed by that idea, “What? No! But that doesn’t make her yours!”

“Interesting~! Well then why don’t you take her place? I wouldn’t mind, you’re cute in your own way~”

“What?”

Oso stepped closer to the dude with a smirk, “You heard me~ I’ll take your body in exchange if you want to protect her so badly~”

“No way! You can’t have either.” The guy looked flustered but stood his ground anyways. So very interesting~

“Well then. Let’s play a game to decide it~ If you win her debt is erased. If I win I get both her body and yours~”

“...” The guy sighed, he assumed Oso wouldn’t take any other answer. “Fine but I pick the game then.”

“Sure~”

“We’ll play…” He paused thinking it over. “Cards. But no cheating, no hidden anything just normal cards.”

Oso raised an eyebrow, smart one this guy~ Seemes he’s at lady luck’s whim for once with this game. “Fine, but first tell me your name.”

“Choromatsu and you sleazebag?”

“Ouch~ I’m Osomatsu. Seems our names match~” He teased before holding out a hand, “Let’s shake on it then.”

“Fine” Choro shook his hand with a scowl. Oso smirked and sat down afterwards pulling a deck of cards from his pocket. “Here~ You can inspect the deck and deal to make sure I don’t cheat~”

Choro took it and sat across from him. Looking through the deck for cheat cards or anything odd. It seemed like a normal deck. He stuffled and their game soon started.

Oso watched in horror as he totally lost for once. “No way!” He whined like a sore loser. “This sucks!” He pouted making a big fuss. Choro let out an annoyed sigh. Jeez this guy was a pain.

“Whatever, we’re done here.” The girl ran off now, and Choro moved to get up from his seat with a stressed sigh.

“Not yet!”

“You’re not going to try and go back on your word are you? You lost.” He scowled.

“No! I’m not but I want a rematch! We can bet something else!”

“I don’t want anything of yours nor do I want to bet my body. Pervert.”

“Surely something would tempt you! Money? Sex? Fame?”

“No thanks. I can do stuff on my own without you and your weird bets.”

“Whaaat? You’re serious? No way!” There wasn’t even a hint that this guy would cave. What the Hell? How annoying! But also… How interesting~

“Well… if thats the case then. I’ll just follow you around~”

“What the heck? No!”

“Play me in a game then and I won’t~”

“No way!”

“Well then~! Seems you’re stuck with me.”

Choro scowled, what was this guy’s deal? “I’ll just tell the town and they’ll have you run out.”

“They can’t run me out if they can’t see me~”

“Why wouldn’t they-”

Poof~ Oso disappeared only to snicker, “I don’t mind you knowing since you’re interesting~” He reappeared, tail and all out.

Choro gasp.

“I’m a demon~” Oso snickered. “And I’m going to follow you around till we have another game~

Chapter Text

Choro wasn’t sure if he should scream or run or what. A demon? “...You’re kinda lame for a demon.” Was all that ended up coming out.

“What? RUDE! I’m super cool!” Oso pouted, this human should be shaking in his boots!

“I mean the way you act… You’re just an immature brat.” He assumed demons would be more… Like beheading and like fireballs.

“You’re so mean Choro~ Maybe that’s just how you show affection though~!” He tackled Choro a bit with a hug and Choro stumbled with a cry.

“What? No get off me!” He tried to push Oso off with no luck.

“You’re just like my cute little brother Ichimatsu that way~”

“Brother? Do demons have such things?”

“Well, we look alike so I claimed him as my little brother~”

“That’s not- Anyways get off me.”

“Aww, but I don’t want to Choro~” Oso teased with a snicker, “If I do you’ll run off~”

Choro sighed, “I won’t so let go.”

“Promise~?”

“...Yes.” Oso let go and smirked at him.

“Just admit you want to hang out with me~” He teased.

“I do not.”

“Say, say. Let’s play another card game.”

“I already told you-”

“No stakes this time~ I promise~ Just for fun.”

“...Ugh. Fine.”
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They played for a couple hours. The sky started to darken. “I have to go home now.” Muttered Choro standing up.

“Okay~ I’ll follow then. No one can see me no worries~”

“Uh no. Don’t follow me to my house. You can just see me tomorrow anyways.”

“Oh~? So you want to see me again~ So bold Choro.”

“Oh shut up! I just meant I live in this town I’m not leaving.” He huffed.

Oso snickered, “Fine~ Go to bed and we can play more tomorrow~” His tone teasing. Choro huffed and left for home. Oso watched him go, smiling. Only once alone did he wonder how his little brothers were doing without him. Surely they already missed him a bit. They might even come around tomorrow to find him~ Though he wouldn’t mind too much if they didn’t right now since he wanted to play around more first.

Days with Choro turned into a week and despite his protests and claims to not like seeing Oso he still came to hang out. Maybe he was a loser with no friends? Oso didn’t care either way it was fun.

“You lose~” He laughed, teasing Choro.

“It’s not like I care. I win most of the time.”

“You totally care~ You’re pouting~” He snickered, “We should play with something at stake next~”

“I already said I’m not going to bet anything with you. I’m not going to give you my body-”

“Not your body. Just your lips~ Just one little kiss if I win~”

“I don’t have anything I want from you.” Huffed Choro, face flushed a little.

“I’ll stop trying to make bets with you if you win~” Pretty big risk for a small reward for Oso. But it was a decent deal for Choro~

“...And it’s just one kiss if I lose?”

“Unless you want another after it~?”

“Fine. It’s a bet.” Choro sighed annoyed.

“Good~ Now the game is simple. Rock, paper, scissors.”

“That’s all?”

“That’s all~”

“...Fine.”

1, 2, 3, Shoot.

Oso smirked, “Loser~ Time for that kiss.”

Choro blushed a fair bit with a pout. “Fine. Whatever make it quick.”

“Is this your first kiss Choro~? I want to know~” Surely even a loser like Choro had been kissed before.

“... It is.” He muttered, embarrassed.

“No way, seriously? I was joking!” Choro’s first kiss huh~? “I’ll be gentle~”

“Just shut up and get it over with Oso.”

“Yes, yes~” Oso moved closer, watching Choro squirm embarrassed as he waited. “Close your eyes~”

Choro did as asked, the anticipation was killing him. Oso softly pressed his lips to Choro’s. He promised to be gentle after all~ He didn’t promise to make it short though and Choro didn't seem to protest. Oso finally pulled away with a tiny smirk.

“You seemed to enjoy that a lot Choro~”

“S-shut up!”

“Do you want another?” He jokingly teased. Choro hesitated on his answer and Oso’s eyes widened a bit. “You do, don’t you~?”

“N-No!” Choro’s face was so red.

 

“I don’t mind~ I’ll kiss you again if you want~” Choro clearly thought of it so Oso tried his luck moving in for another one. Choro pushed him away slightly but there was no real force behind it.

It was one kiss after another and it started to get a little out of hand which is when Choro really pushed him away. “We aren't going to do anything like that.” He muttered, flustered.

“But you aren't against kissing, right~?”

“I-i guess not.”

“Good to know~”

“S-shut up!”
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It was peaceful. Every day hanging out with Choro. A couple kisses, a couple games and a whole lot of Choro being flustered.

Oso started to realize it was a bit different than being with his brothers… He wasn’t sure in what way though.

Chapter Text

Oso had been gone for over a month when his brothers finally came to find him. They found quite the sight.

Osomatsu was laying with Choro relaxed. It was really weird to see Oso just laying around with a human, constantly chattering about something mundane.

“Osomatsu-niisan?” Ichi questioned not totally believing it was him.

Oso glanced over and smiled springing up “Aww my cute little brothers~! You missed me didn’t you~?” His tone teasing.

“Not at all.” Claimed Totty, “We just wondered if you died or something since you didn’t come back.”

Choro looked at the other demons, they did look alike like Oso had said how odd. “So these are your brothers Osomatsu?” He asked sitting up.

“Yep~” He slung an arm over Ichi and Todo pulling them close, “Look just like me right~?” Ichi and Todo pushed him away, Ichi letting out an annoyed sigh.

“They do.” Confirmed Choro.

“What are you doing hanging out with a human Niisan~?” Asked Totty a bit curious.

“Oh nothing really. Just hanging out~”

“... So it’s not some game with him, you two are hanging out willingly?” Muttered Ichi.

“Of course we are, right Choro~?”

“Well. Yes. Though he sure has tried to make me play such games.”

“Why are you hanging out with him then if you don’t have to? He’s super annoying~” Chimed Todo.

“So mean to niisan Totty~ Even though you two came cause you missed me!” Oso pouted slightly, his tone playful. Todo rolled his eyes in reply.

“... Dunno? I’m bored I guess.” Answered Choro, he supposed it was a bit weird he was just hanging out with a demon everyday but it’s not like this town had much to offer after all.

“Speaking of bored, you two want fuck at all?” Asked Oso.

Todo rolled his eyes, “What’s that have to do with being bored?”

“Well I haven’t fucked in a while.” Oso said in a bored tone, “I miss it~”

“... Wait are you not fucking the human?” Asked Ichi a bit curiously, that wasn’t much like Oso.

“No he won’t fuck me! It’s super lame.”

“So you’re just hanging out with him for the sake of it? That’s not much like you niisan.” Ichi glanced at the human then back at Oso. Weird, this was all kinda weird.

“W-what do you mean Ichi I hang out with you and Totty all the time for fun~”

“Yeah but you fuck us at the end of it?” Todo said tilting his head a bit in thought.

“Not always~!” Well probably, it’s not like he was keeping track.

“Uh… Basically every time without fail niisan. The fact that you’ve been here a month without fucking is kinda weird.” Muttered Ichi.

“I-i’ve been fucking other humans!” Oso answered in a bit of a rush. His brothers weren’t sure that was the truth. Choro on the other hand knew it wasn’t. There wasn’t a single rumor going around town about a demon and Oso spent every waking moment around him. Not to mention he was always waiting at the same spot for Choro never late for it. He wondered what was such a big deal about it though… Was this odd for Oso?

Choro just watched the demons bicker curiously… They much like Oso just seemed like normal people in how they acted. It was weird but kind of funny. Though it was safe to assume they were more likely outliers when it came to demon behaviour.

“Anyways, since you two are here why don’t we play some cards or something?” Asked Oso happily.

“I don’t really feel like playing one of your games right now niisan-”

“No, no~ Just a regular card game~ Otherwise Choro will refuse anyways.”

“Sure I guess then.” All four of them settled down to a peaceful game of cards. Or however peaceful a card game with three demons could be.

Chapter Text

All three had played well into the evening, it was a lot of fun. But Choro had to leave eventually of course.

He walked home alone, pebbles crunching underfoot. It was really fun to play with all of them… Part of him wished it would last forever but surely Oso would get bored soon enough and go home. Especially since his brothers had come to get him. He let out a sigh opening the door to his home and stepping in.

“I’m home-” He paused, guards were in his house talking to his father. “Um… Did something happen?” He muttered… Hopefully no one was hurt but it was probably just a theft or a lost sheep or something. That’s what it normally was after all.

“... The butcher's daughter said she seen you playing with demons.” Said his father, tone grim.

Choro’s eyes widened, he had saved that girl why would she report him… But if it had taken this long for her to report it maybe she noticed he kept hanging out with Oso and…

“N-no of course I haven’t.. She’s a liar.” He claimed, of course he was the liar in this case.

“She’s got a witness today. You talking to not one but three demons.”

Choro felt his blood run cold… No way… No way! He turned grabbing the handle and throwing the door open. Running out of the house, he could hear the guards chasing after him soon after.

What should he do? Should he go to Oso? Would Oso care? He didn’t have time to decide as the guards caught up and tackled him down. He struggled and tried to scream but they tied him up and gagged him. Dragging him off. He felt tears in his eyes… He was an idiot.. He knew this could happen but… So many days had passed without anyone noticing he figured it was in the clear. It’s not like Oso posed any threat! It wasn’t fair…

He was thrown in the dungeon and left tied for the night. He tried to struggle out of his bonds but that only caused him rope burn on his wrists… He was fucked wasn’t he? He would cry himself to sleep that night.
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Morning came and Oso started to worry… Choro was late. He was never late. Something felt wrong. He got up from his spot taking on a human guise and starting into town. His brothers had left last night so it was up to him and him alone.

The town wasn’t all that big but there were a lot of people in the streets. Was an event happening? In a small town like this where nothing ever happened he figured Choro might have mentioned in something was going on though. He glanced around and paused as he overheard something he instantly wished he hadn’t.

“The trial and execution are happening soon aren't they? Why are we even having a trial when that boy was caught fraternizing with demons?”

“It’s just a formality obviously. Heretics are always executed after all.”

Surely it wasn’t Choro they meant? It couldn’t be… No this wasn’t happening.. Oso quickened his pace towards the mass of humans. Of course it was happening.

Town square. Crowded with humans excited to watch the death of one of their own.

Choro sat up on the stage, hands tied and looking down at the ground as the humans all called him names. Oso could see the tears in his eyes…

“CHORO!” He yelled, Choro looking up in surprise feeling his stomach twist at the sight of Oso in that crowd. The worry on his face. His voice wouldn’t come. He felt frozen..

The crowd turned to look at the one that had yelled and the Butcher’s daughter gasped, “That’s the demon!” She screamed. Chaos erupted and Oso didn’t care his cover was blown, He assumed his normal form and jumped at the stage. He needed to hurry! He would kill any human that got in his way.

He made his way towards Choro getting on stage and ripping his ties and scooping Choro up to fly off with him out of town and far into the forest. Choro clung to him eyes closed tightly as he trembled. Scared. What would he do? Where would he go? He was glad he had Oso with him at least… As they flew the sounds of yelling villagers got distant until it disappeared. All was quiet and Oso set him down gently.

“A-are you okay Choro?!” Oso said worried, he felt panicked… Choro about to be murdered by those humans. Over just being around him…

“O-Oso…” Choro’s voice coming out a sob. “I-I’m fine.. Just freaked out.” He muttered. Oso hugged tight to him.

“... I’m so glad you’re okay… When you didn’t come I got worried..”

“... Thank you Osomatsu..” He hugged back tightly. Just wanting to stay like that. It felt so nice to be safe in Oso’s arms… They did stay like that for a while maybe too long since the sounds of villagers started to approach.

“They’re looking for me Oso.. We should move.”

“Yeah…” Oso got up helping Choro to his feet and off they walked deeper and deeper into the forest until it was too dark to see anything much.

“They shouldn’t come this far… We should rest for the night and then we’ll move on in the morning.” Muttered Oso.

“... Oso I… Are you really willing to run away with me? I’m just some human.”

“Of course I am! I care about you!”

Choro paused feeling himself flush a bit. Oso cared about him… “I care for you as well..” He mumbled with a small smile. Today sure had been a whirlwind.

“Stay here a moment Choro. I’m going to fly above and scout out above the trees okay?”

“Okay Oso.” He watched him fly off and up before glancing around… He hoped no bears lived around here or something.

What came wasn’t a bear but instead a familiar voice.

“Choromatsu?”

“... Father..?” Choro hesitated, should he hide? His father made his way towards his voice lantern in hand… Surely his father wouldn’t hurt him.

“Father you shouldn’t be out this far into the woods..” He muttered unsure.

“Neither should you. It isn’t safe.” His father stepped closer. “Come closer Choro. I’ll help you back to the path so you can get out.”

“I-I can’t… They’ll kill me if I go out that way… Oso is helping me get out it’s okay.”

“The demon? Choro surely you don’t think he’ll actually help you… Do you?”

“I know it’s hard to believe father but Osomatsu cares about me I’ll be okay.”

“I see…” His father stood a few feet from him. “I suppose this is goodbye then Choro.” His father stepped closer…

Choro spotted it at the last moment but it was too late. He pulled back gasping. “F-father you…” He pressed his hand to his stomach. Hot and wet… Blood. “Y-you stabbed me?” His voice trembled and tears came to his eyes.

“... You trust a demon Choro.. You’re beyond saving in this life.”

How deep was he stabbed? He wasn’t sure all he knew was there was… So much blood.

“O…. OSOMATSU!” He yelled stepping back more as his father tried to stop him from yelling. The fear in his voice was obvious and Oso came flying back down. He could smell the blood. He tore the human that wasn’t Choro apart.

Choro sat his back against a tree… He felt weak.. Too weak to stand now. “...Oso.. Please.. Come over here he’s dead..” His father lay as a mess of… He looked away. The emotional pain comparable to the physical right now.

Oso came over, he was crying. He sat by Choro. “Please… You don’t have to die right Choro it’s minor right?”

“...Hold me in your arms please Oso..” He mumbled and Oso did as he asked. “... I’m sorry.. There’s not a chance I’ll make it..”

Oso let out a sob clinging to him. “N-no… That’s not true you’ll be fine..”

Choro felt cold already. He knew there was no chance. “Oso… Please it’s okay..” He took Oso’s hand softly with one of his own. “... I’m dying… It’s scary honestly…” He mumbled, “... But I’m glad you’re here with me…” Choro winced as he moved and kissed Oso on the lips softly. “...I don’t know how long demons live but… Please don’t forget about me.” He muttered softly.

“I won’t… I won’t ever…” Oso sobbed, “Please don’t go..” He nuzzled softly to Choamatsu, this was all his fault…

 

“... I can’t promise that Oso.. But I promise I won’t forget you ever either… I… I love you.” He mumbled. His body felt so heavy… The pain was starting to go numb.

“I… I love you too..” Muttered Oso.

Choro gave a weak smile, “I’m glad… The past month was one of the best of my life.. I’m so glad I met you… I… I’m getting really tired Oso..” His eyelids felt heavy… It was hard to keep them open.

“..Please..” Oso sobbed. “Not yet..”

“Oso…” It was hard to focus.. “....Oso….” His eyes closed… He could hear Oso sobbing but he couldn’t find the strength to say anything else… Soon enough his consciousness faded. His body stopped breathing.

Oso stayed there with his body for a while. Just crying.

A week later he was back home with his brothers. They didn’t notice a difference. He was all jokes and smiles… But he started to take games a lot more seriously as time passed and the rest is history.

Chapter Text

Ichimatsu woke up to searing pain. He didn’t even notice he had passed out. His whole body hurt.. He opened his eyes. Karamatsu was there at his bedside. Fallen asleep. He couldn’t move his body wouldn’t let him. The burns were bad, really damn bad.. Whatever had happened after he had fallen asleep had lessen the pain but it probably only delayed his death from a few hours to maybe a day… He supposed it was okay. One last day with Karamatsu… It could be worse. Kara didn’t… Didn’t hate him. Somehow.

Totoko came in a moment later and paused. “You’re awake..” She said softly. “How are you feeling… better?” She assumed he wasn’t it looked horribly painful.

Ichi glanced away a bit “...One…… day.” His voice came out raspy.

She paused stepping closer. “One day… until..?”

“....Death... Probably.”

She frowned, “You’ll be okay… I washed it off I think..” She wasn’t too sure though.

“... It’s still burning me. Inside.”

“... I see.. Should I wake Kara? He’ll want to.. S-say goodbye at least..” She looked rightfully upset.

He hesitated on an answer. Kara did deserve a goodbye at least but… He also didn’t want Kara to have to see him like this. “... Do what you think is best.” He muttered. Unsure himself. She moved over to Kara’s side, gently shaking his shoulder.

Kara stirred, opening his eyes and sitting up. He blinked. “Ichi? You’re awake…” He sounded a bit hopeful.

“...I’m sorry.” Is all Ichi could mutter, getting Karamatsu’s hopes up made him feel terrible.

“Why-” Kara stopped as Totoko put a hand on his shoulder softly.

“... Ichimatsu says he doesn’t think he’s going to last after today.” She said softly. “I’m sorry Kara, I thought you would like to spend this time with him.”

Kara didn’t reply right away, tears came to his eyes. Ichimatsu was… Dying? He hesitated but grabbed Ichi’s bandaged hand softly. “... I’ll be with you Ichi. But I’m not giving up on you.. Somehow you’ll pull through..” His smile soft and worried.

Ichi knew it would take a miracle to make it through this and demons didn’t get such things. “... Okay… Thank you Kara..” He mumbled. He would enjoy his remaining time and the fact that if he died at least Kara wouldn’t be in danger anymore. “Promise me something you two..” He muttered. “... No matter what don’t make a deal with Oso over my condition.”

“What? But Ichi..” Muttered Kara, if it could save Ichi…

“He’s counting on it… I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to kill me off. He’s likely nearby waiting for a chance to offer some cure at a hefty price. You cannot accept it. No matter what.”

“But Ichimatsu it’s your life..” Muttered Totoko. “If he can fix you…”

“If I die, his game is over. He won’t be able to kill either of you. His goal in all this is mainly Kara to die. He’s more likely to cave and use it on me anyways instead of letting me die..” At least he hoped he was right… Osomatsu didn’t call him a brother for nothing. Probably.

“...” Kara was quiet thinking it over. “Alright. We won’t make any deals Ichimatsu..” He agreed voice soft. He really hoped Ichi lived…

Totoko frowned but she understood. A deal with Oso at this point was likely a life for a life style sacrifice and if Oso would heal Ichi regardless then it was basically a trap. “I’ll make something for us to eat for now Kara.”

She stepped away and made her way to the kitchen. Leaving them to talk. She was sure they had a lot to discuss right now.

 

She jumped as she turned the corner into the kitchen, Osomatsu stood there smirking.

“Hi there nun~” He greeted.

She scowled moving to make some food and just ignoring him.

“So cold~ I’m just saying hello~” He teased watching her, “Are you really gonna be so mean when I came to help you out~?” He said, baiting her.

“I’m not interested in a deal.” She muttered outright.

“Oh? So after he saved your life you’d just let him die then? Cold~” He watched her a bit suspiciously as he ignored her… Odd that she wouldn’t even consider his deal. Ichi was in rough shape wasn’t he?

“He told us not to make a deal with you so we won’t. Sorry to disappoint you.”

Oso’s eyes widened. “S-so what? He’s just going to die then?” He tried to keep his tone casual.

“... Sorry but it’s not happening Oso. He told us he’s okay with it. He and Karamatsu are saying goodbye to each other.” She didn’t think Oso would hand it over without a deal after all. So as much as she wished it wasn’t the case she assumed Ichi really was on his last day.

“I see…” He scowled… This was the second time Ichi had claimed he was okay dying for these humans sake. He wouldn’t let that happen. He would tempt that damn priest into a deal. He poofed away and Totoko let out a sigh. Back to cooking for her.

Ichimatsu peacefully listened to Kara talk about all sorts of stuff. It was nice as long as he ignored the pain… Holding hands, talking… Lovely. “... Kara..?” He muttered.

“Ah yes?”

“... I have a bit of a selfish request.”

“What is it Ichimatsu?”

“A kiss.. I know I look kinda gross right now and maybe you aren't even into me that way but…”

Kara paused and flushed slightly, a soft smile coming to his face. “I don’t mind Ichi. You’re still lovely.” Kara moved closer and softly kissed him on his lips before pulling back. “Was that okay?”

“...Yes thank you..” He sounded embarrassed. “Sorry for asking..”

“It’s okay Ichimatsu… I like kissing you.” Both of them had a bit of an embarrassed silence after that.

Kara stood up from his seat and let go of Ichi’s hand after a while, “I’m just going to use the washroom a moment. I’ll be right back Ichi.”

“Sure..” Ichi watched him go.

Kara sighed looking in the bathroom mirror at himself. It was such a mix of emotions today… His love for Ichimatsu… His worry, his grief…

“You want to help him right~?”

Kara turned around quickly, “Osomatsu.”

Chapter Text

“The one and only~” Said Oso with a smile, “Now onto business. This,” He took out a vial of murky liquid, “Will fix him up. All you have to do is say yes~”

“...There’s a catch isn’t there?” If it was just a ‘yes’ and Ichi was cured he would take it in a heartbeat. But if it was a deal he had to refuse no matter what. Ichimatsu had told him to after all.

“You’ll owe me a little favor but in the scheme of things that’s nothing compared to his life, right~?”

Kara looked obviously skeptical, “Your last favor ended in trying to force Ichimatsu to kill someone. So I’ll have to say no.” Muttered Kara.

“How’s this then, a favor and I promise you won’t have to kill someone~”

“Then you could just as for the favor of, ‘let me kill you.’ Right? No thanks Osomatsu. I will not be taking any deals but if you wish to help Ichimatsu and just hand over the cure then I will gladly take it and help him.”

“Why would I do such a thing?”

“You care about your brother do you not? You don’t want him to die even Ichimatsu thinks so.”

Oso paused and scowled, “So that’s why he’s having you all refuse! He thinks I’ll go easy on him.” Of course Ichi didn’t plan on dying for stupid humans, he was just playing Oso! So simple. “Well I’m not giving him this unless I get a deal out of it!” Oso huffed.

Kara frowned, “... I see.” He mumbled softly. Worry in his voice clear. “I don’t wish for him to die but I also cannot go against his wishes Osomatsu. I apologize if this makes things hard for you.” He knew Osomatsu was a bad person but perhaps if he just showed compassion he would come around and help them...

 

“W-why would this be hard on me? What do I care if he dies! Just make a damn deal with me you shit priest, I know you want to!”

Kara’s look was one of pity directed at Oso and he hated it. “Fuck you. Don’t make that face at me. You want him to die do you? Fine I’ll go make it happen sooner!”

Kara looked surprised as Oso moved to walk passed him and presumably go to attack Ichi. “No! You won’t touch him.” Kara tried to get in his way to stop him and the next thing he knew they tumbled to the ground.

Smash. The sound of glass breaking. Kara felt himself freeze… it couldn’t be was it-

Both boys looked at the floor where the vial lay broken the contents on the floor.

Oso felt frozen, no fucking way. No fucking way!

“You fucking idiot!” He yelled Kara, “Are you fucking dense! You know how long it takes to make one of those potions?!”

“... I-I apologize … I didn’t mean to break it.. I just didn’t want you to hurt Ichimatsu.” He muttered… He felt tears come to his eyes, Ichimatsu’s cure. It was broken…

“I won’t be able to get another one for a damn week.” Oso cursed standing up and staring at it. I-Ichi could last a week right?

“...N-no way… I-ichimatsu said he would die within the day…” Kara felt a sob come up… No… Was he being punished for caring for a demon? He had made a mistake that would cost Ichi’s life. “I-Ichimatsu…” He muttered to himself just sitting on the bathroom floor staring at the broken glass.

Oso stormed off, Kara wasn’t sure if he was mad or just trying to hide sadness but he didn't really care right now… Ichi… He got up, his chest ached in a hollow feeling. How could this have happened. He walked slowly to Ichi’s room, hesitating at the door.

Ichimatsu heard Kara sob, “... Kara..? Please come in..” He said softly. Kara stepped in, tears in his eyes.

“I’m so sorry Ichimatsu…” His voice cracked, Ichi had never seen him so upset.

“... Come sit down Kara, tell me what happened.”

Kara made his way over sitting on Ichi’s beside. “...I messed it all up… You’re going to die cause of me..” He sobbed.

Ichi winced but moved his hand to hold Kara’s softly. “...What happened?”

“...Osomatsu tried to make a deal… I refused like you asked but he got upset and said he would finish you off… I moved to stop him and the cure he had on him broke… He… He doesn’t have a way to save you anymore. I’m so sorry Ichimatsu… I’m s-so sorry…” Kara sobbed, curling up on himself a bit.

Ichimatsu paused… So.. He was going to die? “... I see… It’s okay Kara.”

“It’s not Ichimatsu… You deserve to live.. I’m so sorry..”

“... Karamatsu. Look at me.” Kara glanced, tears covered his face. “I love you. It’s okay… Let’s not think about what will happen okay? Let’s just spend this time together. Lay with me… Let’s read, we haven’t finished our book yet.”

“...Okay…” Kara mumbled softly, crawling onto the bed to lay by Ichi, Grabbing the book off the bedside table. “... I love you too..” He said softly, opening it.

It was all scary and maybe he would die but Ichi wanted Kara to forgive himself no matter what the outcome was… But maybe a miracle would happen, not for him but for Kara’s sake.

Chapter Text

They read well into the night, Ichimatsu was glad they were able to finish the book honestly. Not knowing the ending before he died would have sucked.

“... Did you enjoy it Ichi?” Mumbled Kara, he had stopped crying at least.

“Yes, I thought it was really nice… Did you enjoy it?”

“... Yeah.. I just wish it didn’t have to end.”

Ichi had a feeling Kara didn’t mean the book. “... Well, it’s not over really unless you forget about it.”

“...True.” He nuzzled gently to Ichimatsu with a soft sniffle.

“...Kara, what do you find comforting during sad times?” He wanted to help Karamatsu feel better.

“...Prayer I suppose.”

“Well, it might be a bit silly in a way but. We can pray together if you want?”

“...Will that hurt you?”

“No, it won’t. It’s just not something demons normally do. It won’t hurt me.”

“Okay. I would like that.”

Ichi gave him a small smile, they closed their eyes. Kara praying. Ichimatsu hesitated a moment… He had never done this before. He supposed it was like leaving a message for the Gods or whatever.

‘Uh… Hey Gods? I guess. Goddess too.’ He wondered if demon prayers were even delivered… ‘I’m praying for the first time ever cause I’m a demon. That’s weird right? But I’m dying so why not I guess. Karamatsu is really upset over it and to be honest I don’t want to die either… So. I guess I’m asking for help. A miracle? For Karamatsu’s sake. I want him to not have to cry anymore. If that were possible, I would really appreciate it. I love Karamatsu a lot… So… Thanks? Uh Amen.’

He opened his eyes to see Kara watching him. “... Ah did I take too long?”

“No, Sorry for staring Ichi… I was just thinking it’s a little bit funny of a sight.” He smiled slightly but it still looked sad.

“It’s okay, it is a weird thing. Still… It was kinda nice. I don’t know if they could even hear a demon pray though. I honestly don’t know how prayers work.”

“Really? I think they would take anyone's prayers… Especially yours.” Kara nuzzled to him softly. “You’re a good person Ichi.”

“... Thanks Kara.” He leaned on Kara a bit. His body felt even heavier than it did when he woke up… He assumed it wasn’t long now… Still he didn’t want to leave this behind. “... Can you kiss me again?”

“...Of course Ichimatsu.” Kara moved to gently kiss him on the lips, longer than the last one.

“... I.. I’ll really miss you Karamatsu..” Ichi felt tears come to his eyes. He knew he shouldn’t have said it, it would only make Kara cry again but it was true.

“... I’ll miss you as well Ichimatsu. I wish you didn’t have to die..” Sure enough tears came to Kara’s eyes as well.

They clung to each other both crying for a while… Ichi wondered if this really was the end. He wanted to spend so much more time with Kara.

“... He doesn’t have to die then.”

Came an unfamiliar voice, both of them looked up to see a stranger in the room. A worried smile on his face. Ichi’s eyes widened.

“A Goddess…” He muttered.

Kara looked at Ichi and then to the Goddess. “Do you mean it? Please help him.” He sounded desperate.

The Goddess stepped closer and put a hand softly on Ichi.

The touch was warm, not like burning but instead like a blanket fresh out of the dryer. It was warm, comforting and relaxing. He closed his eyes and felt himself healing.

Kara watched in awe, Ichimatsu… saved. A miracle… Really a miracle. He was crying all over again, in relief and in happiness.

The Goddess pulled his hand away and Ichi opened his eyes to look at himself. It looked as if nothing had happened and felt like it too.

“Ichi your cheek..” Where the Goddess had touched it had left a small mark maybe an inch in size. The skin a soft brown in the shape of almost a kiss.

“They call that mark an angel’s kiss. It’s a side effect of healing.”

Ichi didn’t really care one way or another. “I suppose it’s an easy way to tell me and my brothers apart..” He half joked.

The Goddess tilted his head slightly at that comment but Kara just smiled and hugged tightly to Ichi.

“I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“... Me too.” He wondered how Oso would react to his good luck? He supposed that would be answered later, whenever Oso came back.

Chapter Text

Surprisingly the Goddess was hanging around a bit, he was here to help them or so he said. Ichi couldn’t help but be a little suspicious, Goddess’ normally don’t hang around on earth much unless they're the ones that manage shrines after all. He wondered if there was an ulterior motive for him? Though he had no clue what that might be.

The Goddess stepped out of the room to go look around the Church a bit and Ichi wondered if maybe he just wanted some time away from boring old Heaven? Earth was a lot more interesting than Hell after all it was likely also more interesting than Heaven as well. Regardless, it didn’t matter too much to him. He wasn’t going to die, he could spend a lot longer with Kara.

Kara clung to him not letting go as he feared it might be a dream. He supposed for now it would be fine to just stay like this.

Totoko was cleaning the Church a bit in her spare time, worried still about Ichi as she didn’t know he was better yet. She sighed, sitting on a pew. Just then the Goddess walked in and she froze.

“Oh hello.” He said pretty casually, “Do you work here with Karamatsu?”

“Yes I do… Why are you here?”

“I came to help. Ichimatsu is healed now.”

“Really?” She smiled softly, “What a relief…” Ichimatsu didn’t have to die. “I would feel terrible if he didn’t make it… He got hurt protecting me.” She said, feeling a bit guilty.

“... I see. So he cares a lot about you and Karamatsu then. I’m glad I came down.”

“I was starting to worry we might have to make a deal with Osomatsu so Ichi wouldn’t die. It’s a relief really.”

“Osomatsu..?”

“Yeah, Ichimatsu’s demon brother, he caused all this. He really is terrible..” She muttered, “He’s been trying to scare Ichimatsu and Kara to keep them apart. I don’t know what he has against love though.”

“I see. Is he still around then?”

“I’m not sure? He could be but I haven’t seen him.”

“Well, let me know if you do.”

“Ah of course…” She watched the Goddess curiously, wondering what he might do when Oso comes around. Would they fight? She assumed so.
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Some time passed with them just laying there, it was peaceful.

“What the fuck!” Osomatsu exclaimed as he poof in, “How the fuck are you better?!”

“Oh. Hi Osomatsu-niisan.” Ichi sat up, “I got lucky I guess..?” He said sheepishly.

“Lucky? You were dying it would take a miracle to-” He paused looking over Ichi who glanced away slightly. “You’re kidding me. You had an actual miracle didn’t you?”

“Well.. Sorta.” Muttered Ichi, It’s not like he planned this.

“What’s wrong with that Osomatsu?” Asked Kara, “You wanted him better as well didn’t you? A Goddess came and saved his life, isn’t that a good thing?”

“A Goddess?” Oso’s tone went cold, “Those useless fucks helped you?”

Ichi flinched, “Niisan I know you hate Goddess’ but… It’s not that big a deal.. And the game is over as well so please just calm down.”

“The game is over??”

“Well… I mean. Kara said he loves me back. So I win?”

Osomatsu was silent a moment, “Are you serious?”

“Yes, I love Ichimatsu.” Kara said without hesitation.

“Bullshit.”

Ichi hesitated, why was Osomatsu so upset? It was just a game… Sure he didn’t like losing but normally he didn’t freak out like this. “... Niisan?”

“Humans don’t love demons! They just damn don’t!” He huffed. “He’s lying, simple as that. He wouldn’t even trade his life for yours so how could he love you?”

“... He doesn’t have to do that niisan. I want him to live so I’m not going to let him do such a thing.”

“Well even if you want him to live it doesn’t mean he is!” Oso snarled, jumping at Kara in a fit.

Ichi scrambled to try and get Oso off of Kara as Kara screamed.

“Niisan, niisan stop please! Stop Oso! Stop!” He cried frantically pulling Oso away from Kara. He paused at the sight of blood, his eyes widening. “Ka-Kara?” He moved closer to Kara and Oso just watched them now.

“...Ichi?” Muttered Kara.

“Kara… Are you okay?” There was blood… A lot of blood already. How could Oso have done this?

“I don’t… I don’t know..” Muttered Kara softly. He felt cold.

Ichi hugged to Kara, a soft sob coming out. “Please Kara, don’t die… We have so much more we have to do together.”

“... I love you Ichi.”

“Kara… No..” He sobbed. “I love you too but no.. You can’t..” He sobbed harder.

Oso just watched them, staring… It looked just like... What had he done? He backed up from the sight until his back hit the wall.

“... Ichi..” Kara went silent. He was gone.

Ichimatsu sobbed clinging to him. “Niisan… Why? Why?!”

Before Oso could answer the door opened. The Goddess entered and Oso felt his stomach twist at the sight.

No way…

The Goddess went over to Ichi and Kara.

“He’s dead… It’s too late…” Ichi sobbed, looking at the Goddess.

“Yes… It is too late to heal him. But it will be okay. He is a pure soul and for that he is able to come back, the same but different.” He touched the top of Kara’s head softly and he started to glow softly.

Ichi watched, tears in his eyes as Kara’s body healed and changed… Small soft wings.

Kara slowly opened his eyes. Blinking, confused and Ichi hugged tightly to him. Sobbing. “Kara… Oh thank God.”

The Goddess gave a small smile, “You’re an angel now Kara, but you can continue your work at the church if you wish.”

“...Thank you… Truely.” He said softly, hugging back to Ichi now.

“As for you…” The Goddess turned to face Oso, “Osomatsu…”

Oso just stared, he couldn’t believe his eyes. “...C-choro..” He was… Alive? Well sort of.

“... Why would you do something like this Oso?” Choro frowned, he stepped closer.

“I… I… I was upset.” He muttered.

“You almost hurt your brother the same way you were hurt. Do you really want him to feel that way?”

“...No I just…” Oso trailed off looking down at the ground. “..How are you… Alive?”

“Similar to how Kara was made an angel, I was also made one… I looked for you Oso but I couldn’t find you.”

Oso frowned, Of course Choro wouldn’t find him. He hid in Hell for over 100 years, avoiding humans…

“We have a lot to talk about Osomatsu. Why don’t you follow me.”

“...Alright.”
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They sat above the church on it’s roof. Looking over at the sky. Silent for a while.

“... I assume this all was your way of grieving Oso? Not letting your brother love a human?”

“... I guess so. I didn’t think they would care about each other.. Like for real..” He figured he was teaching Ichi a lesson before he got hurt more so.

“It was selfish of you Osomatsu. To try and ruin his life.”

Oso glanced away a bit. “A demons goal is to be selfish and evil~” He said deflecting his feelings.

“You aren't though. Not evil at least. You’re misguided and emotional.”

“Wow rude.”

Choro laughed softly, “Is it? But it’s true. You should try and be a better person, you can move past your grief can’t you now?”

“... Are you going to leave again?”

“I don’t plan on it. I’ve just found you again after all. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Oso scooted a bit closer, “We do…” He could think of something he really missed doing with Choro that he would love to catch up on~

Choro glanced at him flushing a bit, “Even now that stuffs the only thing on your mind, huh?”

“You know me too well Choro~” He smiled, it felt like no time had passed. He grabbed Choros hand softly and moved closer to kiss him gently.