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Greatest Stuntman Found to be the Son of Satan (Or when Messing with the Gate has Consequences)

Chapter Text

Okumura Rin is 15 years old when his world was blazing by blue fire. His birth father, Satan, possessed the only person he would call a father figure, Fujimoto Shiro, just to try and take him to Gehenna. The world of demons. Which is a thing, apparently. Demons, who knew?

Looking at his real father (not Satan, never Satan)’s body Rin remembers the most horrifying event he has experienced so far in his life.


 

It was supposed to be a normal day. Go to his new job to support the monastery for Yukio’s schooling and take the leftover money for himself, wander around town and beat up some thugs for harassing his town, maybe even find out what to do now that he isn’t going to high school.

But instead, he got fired from his new job because of a monkey. A stupidass monkey that no one else can see and sets off his honed instincts of unnatural. Unnatural. Not a monkey. That wasn’t the best part of it though.

Almost got killed by that stupid rich kid with an iron pipe on fire. Danger, unnatural, run, fight back. RUN! Only to be saved by his dad, who then gives the most shocking news of his life.

Rin Okumura is a demon, half-demon, and is the son of Satan. SATAN. Shiro why? I trust you. Did you betray me? What about Yukio? Why wasn’t he told earlier? He could have handled the news. Right?

The two ran back to the monastery where Rin is told to run away if he doesn’t want to be taken away to Gehenna, home of the demons, or killed by the Vatican, a secret organization that hunts demons. They fought about the revelation, of what is the biggest betrayal has done to Rin in his 15 years of life.

Next thing Rin knows is that his father is taken over by Satan and stabs himself to save Rin.


 

The blue flames give off the only source of light in the holy monastery, giving it a more serene feel to it now that their original master is not on this planes of existence anymore. But all Rin cares about at the moment is that he and his father (dead, not dead. Dying, yes. But not dead) are getting eaten up by this wretched portal called the Gehenna Gate. So Rin does the one thing that Shiro told him not to do and draw the sword he was given from his sheath.

Shking

His world turned blue like the flames Satan possessed, but Rin ignored it to slam the sharp end of the blade against the rim of the gate that he could barely reach with his arms. Blue flames responded with his strike, burning at the monstrosity in the church. Flaring with the pure raw emotions in response to their wielder trying to fulfill the subconscious commands.

Get out. Burn. Never come here again, you are unneeded. Burn BUrn BURn BURN BURN!

Never harm this place even if I die.

Please, save my father.

There was a distorted cry of anguish somewhere, it was white noise to Rin as his world that was burning in blue suddenly turned red. Red for Shiro’s blood getting caught in the flames. Start to light up the priest’s body in the blue fire like mere minutes before. Red for color that soaks the priest’s clothing and beyond. Red from the small nick Rin inflicted onto himself from hastily pulling out his sword at an awkward angle. If one looks close enough, it would be noted that the fire is not burning Shiro to death but keeping him alive as best as they can.

“Jii-san!”

Rin does not see the miracle his flames are attempting to do. Instead, he sees half of his world on fire, sinking into the tar from the still burning Gate. He reaches out to hold onto the one man he respects with all his life in an attempt to save that person himself. His own blood burning with blue fire falls down as a small stream into the Gehenna Gate. Making it flash an ominous purple before changing into a bright red light, giving it a more demonic feeling than before if it was possible.

Rin’s own fire flares in response to the new Gate flashing blue, then red.

Blue. Red. Blue. Red. Blue. RedBlue.

Shifting in a never-ending cycle until the two flames merge together to a vibrant violet color, brighter than both of the flames combined.

The sword in Rin’s hand glows bright orange, summoning a strange heart that is pulsing orange as the glow from the sword. It thumps once orange, once blue, once violet in the continuous pattern while floating towards Rin.

It stops for a brief moment in front of the chest on the other side of the heart and merges into there. Thumping once orange to synchronize with the human heart. Thumping once blue to introduce the rest of the forgotten heritage to the body. Thumping once violet to make a new system of veins into the body that is only known to demons. Then thumping in a combination of orange and blue one last time before shining violet.

It is all unnoticed to the patrons in the room however for they have fallen unconscious ever since the Gate shined a purple light. Once the two were swallowed up, the new Gate flashes a rainbow of colors one last time as it shimmers out of existence. Giving out a backlash of power all over the world, yet only those who have a special sight would feel it.

All over, exorcist felt the backlash and trembled in fear. The ones who lived through the Blue Night cry out in fear of the similar feeling it gives, while the younger generations shiver at the ominous feeling.

High in the snowy mountains, a decaying figure surrounded by machinery opens his eyes from his nap and stares in the direction of Japan.

In a certain school in Japan, one figure stops reading his manga to look outside of his window with a look between glee and frustration as his plans turn sideways.

“Oh my, well this is certainly a surprise.”

In Gehenna, demons scream in agony of the power from the unknown Prince of Satan. Lower level demons run into hiding from the unknown predator, while higher level demons turn still as a statue. The Princes of Satan that have decided to stay in Gehenna all pause for a moment and express various degrees of glee. Satan himself cries out in rage from the backlash of his Gate turning on him and the failure of bringing Yuri’s child to here.

“No! Curses. I will bring you here my son if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

On a train heading to Southcross, a boy with glasses and moles suddenly turns his head to the direction of the church, unconsciously releases a soft gasp. “Nii-san. Tou-san.”

Back at the church, a single piece of bloody paper floats down to the ground. An animal’s cry could be heard in the void as it leaps into the Gate before it disappears from that spot for good.


 

Rin regains some conscious to a night sky with a full moon and his father by his side still bleeding. Above him, an outline of the person is seen talking to him, but no words can be processed. With the feeling of unconsciousness creeping upon him again, Rin makes one last request.

“Please, save him.”

A flash of something that looks like a yellow fire is the last thing Rin sees before falling unconscious for the second time. He failed to notice himself catching on fire in a deep violet with remnants of orange and blue.

Chapter Text

Elliot Girardot, an acrobat that specializes in Chinese Pole Acts and a small amount of Russian Bar Acts, is on patrol for the Circus. The Circus is not officially named that, but everyone on the staff calls it that and rolls with it. Those that try to say the Circus’ actual name outside of performances usually find themselves on animal poop cleaning duty the next day. Yet this Circus has a secret.


It was a quarter past 12 or so when Elliot caught a glimpse light in the nearby woods that the Circus set up for this month’s show.

‘That is strange, I was sure that there was no one there previously,’ the acrobat thought moving towards the source of light while moving the flashlight in hand for a better look. “What the hell?”

Laying on the ground is a man, a kid that is probably his son, and a cat. It would have been fine if they were just camping out, however the man is bleeding from the chest judging by the blood on the ground and they are all on fire. Not a fire like one created by flint and wood, but set alight by Dying Will Flames.

The kid, mid-teens probably, is wearing a blue hoodie with a light red shirt peeking out from underneath, black pants, and white sneakers. His hair seems to be black, but that is harder to distinguish because of his Cloud Flames outlining him in a beautiful violet like the plastic wrapping on a Ken doll at the toy store.

The man nearby him, clearly around his 50s, spots a goatee on with short grey hair and a pair of tinted glasses with some charm of the cross hanging it. A black trenchcoat with a white belt covers most of his body with black pants and shoes to complete the entire. If Elliot couldn’t tell that he is a priest, that man would have been mistaken to being a hitman from the bloodstains and Cloud Flames protecting his body.

Finally, the cat seems to be a tuxedo cat, if the Animal Tamer’s rambling is anything to go by that one time the Circus saw a small family of them when they were in England, with a possible red collar and a blue and red charm on it. Damn, those Cloud Flames are even on the cat.

Elliot ran over towards them and proceeds to check on the boy. “Hey, are you alright? Please tell me you are alive,” Any attempts are failing to rouse the boy. Another flashlight is shined down around them. “Thank god. Phile, please tell me that these people are alive. Cause I don’t know jackshit about medical stuff and I don’t want the Vindice to come here”

Phile Sanson, a 40-year-old man who is the oldest Animal Tamer in the Circus, sits down next to the acrobat and coats his hand in the bright Sun Flames after checking the boy’s pulse. He slicks back his pepper hair while removing his green sweater to reveal a black t-shirt and a pair of gray sweats. Brown loafers crunching the ground while he crouches down to place his folded sweater underneath the boy’s head.

“You are lucky Elliot, this boy is alright. Just Flame Exhausted combined with overall exhaustion and some minor scrapes and bruises. Though the man next to him seems to be in worse shape, I wouldn’t be surprised if that man over there is dead considering the stab wound on his chest,” Phile gets up to check on the man, “Ah before I forget. Elliot, don’t forget to control yourself. We don’t want anything shocking to happen if you get my drift.”

‘Huh? What does he mean by shocking- oh’ “Fuck.” Elliot hears the familiar crackle of Lightning Flames before barking another curse and turning off the Flames.

How embarrassing. Even though the Circus took Elliot in a few years ago and taught all that needs to be known about Dying Will Flames, especially Lightning Flames. It is still hard to not release the protective shield around the body in fits of panic like in the past on the streets trying to survive another night and protect one’s self from the vicious cold. If it wasn’t for the Circus, Elliot might have been captured by some random Italian mafia family like how some kids Elliot knew of have been.

A groan that escaped from the boy’s mouth pulled Elliot out of reminiscing about the past, his own Flames finally turned off after being subconsciously active for who knows how long.

Elliot exhales, “Kid I don’t know what messed up situation you wind yourself into, but thank god you are alright. Though I don’t know about that man with you, or the cat come to think of it. Still, you have to have better control of your Flames. You and your companions could start a forest fire if I haven’t found you all-”

The rambling was put to a halt when the kid spoke again. It was so soft that Elliot would have missed it otherwise.

“Please, save him.”

Promptly passing out again afterward and lighting himself on fire again, though Elliot thought there was a flash of orange in the mass of violet.

“God fucking damn it. Phile, the kid passed out again. What do I do?” Elliot hollered to Phile hoping he had some answers when the suddenly catches on fire. Not the previous Cloud Flames that were surrounding it before, but some of the most messed up Sun Flames that is on any animal. “What the hell?”

Elliot should know from the multiple times regular circus animals suddenly produce Dying Will Flames from continuous exposure from all of the Flame Active people that it is possible. But having the cat not become coated in the Sun Flames, but make it produce a couple of horns on its head is just plain weird as the second tail of Sun Flames it has.

The cat then proceeds to pounce on the man Phile is attempting to treat with his own Sun Flames. The surprise attack from the cat makes Phile bark out profanities about healing with Flames being a delicate process and demon cats. Which isn’t wrong as the cat seems to be healing whatever is wrong with the man faster than even the Circus’ strongest Sun user, if the sudden light show the cat starts is anything to go by.  

Elliot blocks the light as best as possible and tries to process what happened in the last few minutes, “Phile, do you know what is just happened?”

Phile moves towards where Elliot and the kid are as best as possible while staring at the obvious light show that most likely woke up the entire Circus. “No, but one thing for sure is that we are going to be in so much trouble with the Ringmaster. Or worse if the Vindice decides to come.”

Well, that is one statement that Elliot does not have a comeback to. If there is a choice between getting a punishment from the Ringmaster or the Vindice, it would be the Vindice hands down. However, if it was both of them? Hell on earth that is a big fat N-O. There is no one sane enough who would want to deal with that.

Phile lets out a sigh at Elliot’s lack of response to reach into his pocket for a cigarette and lights it with his Flame. He takes a long drag as the light show dies down and the man with the cat on top of him flickers indigo, a Mist fucking hell, for a few seconds. Once the light dies down, Phile goes back to the man and brings him closer to the boy with the cat on the man’s chest.

Properly staring at the two people and the cat creates an illusion of a mundane father-son outing with them sleeping on the ground. If it wasn’t for the kid still burning Cloud Flames onto his body.

“Phile?”

“Hm?”

“Do you have any idea what we should do with these guys? Because I don’t know what to explain to the Ringmaster.”

Phile stares at the group on the ground with an unreadable expression, promptly finish his cigarette and hoist up the man from the ground with the cat on his head.

Elliot stares at him in shock, “Phile!? What the fu-”

Phile readjusted his grip, “Come on and bring the boy with, we are going to explain things to the Ringmaster hopefully we can get more help for these people,” Then heads back to the Circus leaving Elliot behind with the kid.

A moment passes, and another. Then Elliot tries to pick up the kid in a mad scramble to catch up with Phile, but gives a sharp intake of breath instead, “Ow!”

“Use your Flames! Honestly, what have we been teaching that person the past few years?” Phile hollers behind him and the telltale sound of Lightning Flames is enough of an indication for Phile to slow down his pace for his companion to catch up.

Elliot dashes up to the Animal Tamer as best as possible while piggybacking an unconscious kid, “Hey, what if these people have nowhere to go?” Are we going to leave them? Is the unspoken question between the two.

“Haha ha. If anything, I think the Ringmaster would like to take them in. Especially that boy since he can’t go back to a normal life if he ever had one. Those Cloud Flames would make him an easy target to more unsavory people.”

“Hehe, I think you are right. Cause if this Circus is good for one thing, it knows how to pick up those that are strays in our world.”


The Circus is just your everyday traveling circus. The shows are not that spectacular and the overall condition of it isn’t anything flashy. But they do leave a lasting impression on some people. Sure it has some secrets, don’t all establishments have some skeletons in the closet that they don’t want to touch.

Yet the main secret of here is that the Circus takes in those who want to leave their current life for something outside of the constant bloodshed of the Underworld. Sure there are some shady dealings here and there, but the Circus does have its own rules that people oblige to for everyone’s safety.

The main reason for these rules is because the Circus crew is full of Dying Will Flame users that don’t want to be chained to a Sky or famiglia that they don’t want. It was because of these rules and string of coincidences that guided Elliot to becoming a member of this traveling circus for Flame users. It was the best decision that makes Elliot feels like the Circus is a big family.

Chapter Text

A sea of blue fire that is vast and wide as the ocean is what Rin sees with the feeling of floating on a cloud in the sky. The fire does not burn him, it feels warm and safe like when Rin was younger and he is with Yukio again. The two of them in the same room doing their own things, uncaring of the world outside of them until their father comes to get them for a meal.

Rin liked those times, it felt like nothing in the world mattered outside of being with Yukio. Yet, as the grew older they gradually stopped having those peaceful days until the only time Rin could possible see his twin brother is during meals and the brief moment when Yukio is on a break from studying

While Rin reminiscence the past in this strange flaming landscape, or firescape, - Haha, firescape - he feels as though something is off about this unnaturally calm place. The firescape is not quiet by any means, there is actually a sound of fire crackling that fills the silence. But the unnatural feeling is nagging in the back of his mind that he should remember something. But what?

Some time passes as Rin mulls over what he is forgetting when he thinks he hears a voice. Rin thinks he imagined it and tries to remember what he forgot when he heard it again ever so briefly.

“-in the-”

That voice, it sounds like.

“Sho-   be -sble.    -y vanish- “

“Yukio.”

An orange flame flared in front of Rin, surprising him. “What the hell! Where did that come from?”

“ Isn’t t-re   - bly an-thin-  tha- d- e?”

It really is Yukio’s voice I hear from there!” Rin happily exclaims and promptly sticks his head into the orange flame. “Hey, Yukio! Can you hear me? It’s me, Rin your big brother...Yukio?”

The sight that greets Rin from the other side of the fire is the monastery in the evening light. It wasn’t the wreckage that looked like a hurricane swept through there, nor scorch marks on the ground, or even the flood of unknown people in black coats with the same charm as his father’s necklace running around the monastery like headless chickens.

No, what made Rin freeze is the sight of Yukio crying sitting on one of the unscratched pews. He looked so miserable, like the time when they were kids and Yukio won a goldfish that died three weeks after but so much worse at the same time.

“Yukio? Why are you crying? Is it because you found out I broke the private project you worked on for months a couple of days ago? That was an accident though, so what’s wrong?” Rin questions his brother, who hasn’t reacted once to his twin’s voice. “Hey, can you hear me? Yukio?” Rin own voice wavered.

A man in a white suit that looks like it was made by clown waltz up next to Yukio - Rin realized that he couldn’t move his vision away from Yukio, not that it mattered - and sits down in the row of pews behind him. The strange man opens his mouth,

“----”

Only for nothing to come out of his mouth.

What the hell? Rin stares in shock for what seems to be an eternity, then checks to see if any noise can be heard at all. Only to find out that nothing can be heard in the monastery, except for one voice.

“-ssibly able to do that, then I would be in your debt. However, as I exorcize demons for a living, I don’t think taking a deal from my sworn enemy is advisable. Especially from a demon on a high of a caliber as you are, Sir P---.”

Yukio Okumura, Rin’s younger twin brother.


How could have things gone so wrong?

Yukio Okumura, 15-year-old Middle-First Class Exorcist, sitting on a row of pews in the ruined monastery is grieving for the loss of not just his father (not Satan), but also for the loss of his older twin Rin. Of everything his training to become an Exorcist, it could have not prepared him for the possible death of his only brother. His father is different because Yukio knows that in their line of work, it’s a possibility. Yet even knowing that Rin could possibly turn into a demon in the future, Yukio though he would have more time to prepare himself for the inevitable.

“Nii-san.” Yukio feels his eyes sting as he clenched his hands over his jeans. God, he just wishes that this day could be a nightmare instead of the reality it is. If only he was there with them, things might have gone differently.

“Okumura-san, we found something that might help with the investigation. Please take a look,” a Lower-Class Exorcist marches up to Yukio to present a bloody piece of paper with strange and obscure symbols on it, “We believe this is a summoning paper that belonged to the Paladin Fujimoto, but we would like you to verify it to be sure.” The person places the piece of paper next to Yukio and walks off to join the others after noticing the lack of response from the usually attentive Middle-First Class Exorcist.

Picking up the small paper, Yukio feels the cardstock material - tou-san couldn’t find anything else besides it for his summons after that mission in Yokohama - and looks at how the blood soaks through the material to make it hard to see who’s summoning circle it was. After staring at it for a while in the morning sun, he sucked in a breath of air. It can’t be.

The glasses almost slip off his face when he shot up from his spot. Pushing them up on the bridge of his nose and brushing off invisible dirt from his teal sweater, Yukio goes to the nearest Exorcist. “Excuse me, can you check the South Rear Entrance of True Cross Academy to see if the Familiar posted there is still on duty?”

The man gives an affirmation and leaves to contact True Cross. Yukio is still at the same spot when the man arrives and tells Yukio that the Familiar posted at the South Rear Entrance has been missing since last night.

Yukio doesn’t remember reporting back to the exorcist who gave him the summoning paper, nor being told he could keep it, or even sitting back down in the same row of pews as before. All he could stare at is the bloody summoning circle in his hand that belongs to Kuro, the Cat Sith Familiar of his father, while hunching over his spot.

What in the world is going on? Not only Nii-san and Tou-san are missing, but also Kuro too. In light of the new information, Yukio reviews what he knows again along with what he has just learned and doesn’t like the possible conclusions he is forming, yet the most obscure one that can make the most amount of sense is.

Nii-san and Tou-san have been kidnapped by a demon. It’s impossible that they vanish without a word. However considering what happened last night, it is in the realm of possibility. Especially since the seal on sword holding Rin’s Demon Heart has been weakening, but Yukio doesn’t want to think of the implications that could bring if the seal did break last night. Or the sting in his eyes growing worse.

He can’t accept the truth that -

"Yukio? Why are you crying?”

Yukio burst into silent sobs at the sound of his brother's voice in his mind. Great, it hasn’t been a day and Nii-san’s voice can be heard inside my head.

“Yukio?”

“My, my it is quite the situation that your brother and Father Fujimoto have ended up in. Wouldn’t you say so Okumura-san?”

Yukio straightens his posture and turns his head over his shoulders to the sound of the voice.

“Sir Pheles. What are you doing here?”

“With all of the events that have happened these past couple of days,” The man continues on ignoring Yukio’s question, “I would have never imagined the disappearance of not just Rin Okumura and Shirou Fujimoto, but also one of Paladin Fujimoto’s familiars to be one of them. It would be nice if they can be found soon so that things could move forward, wouldn’t they Yukio Okumura?”

Mephisto Pheles, the Principle of True Cross Academy, a man in a white suit with a cape, puffy pants, and pointed boots. Sitting a couple of rows behind Yukio waving his white top hat around and plops it onto his head of purple hair. Adjusts it and gives a narcissist look to the younger Okumura twin.

Yukio stands and glares at the Principle. “I don’t know what game you are playing at, but if Nii-san, Tou-san, and Kuro are alive and you can find them. If you are possibly able to do that, then I would be in your debt. However, as I exorcize demons for a living, I don’t think taking a deal from my sworn enemy is advisable. Especially from a demon on a high of a caliber as you are, Sir Pheles.”

Is also known as the Second Strongest Demon King in Gehenna, King of Time.

The grin on the demon stretches wider if possible. “We both know that with the Vatican running around this place, they will surely find out about that . Then everyone here will be charged as being associates to Satan and face possible execution, or worse. I, myself don’t like that. So how about we make a bet? If the missing three turns out to be alive, then I will do everything in my power to make sure everyone related to that will be fine.”

“And if it turns out that they are dead?”

“Why Okumura-san, I didn’t know you had such little faith in the Paladin like that.” Mephisto mocks.

“...”

“*Sigh* Well, as for your question. You’ll find out soon enough.”

Yukio seriously thought about the deal. On one hand, he knows that his father and Kuro are most likely alive in terms of skills. On the other hand, they might not be. Then there is the fact that his brother has probably awakened his demon powers last night, and it would be catastrophic for the Vatican if they found out about him. The bet that Sir Pheles has going on is very tempting to ease Yukio’s mind, however.

“Change it to ‘if you can find them’, then I would consider your bet. However, I have two rules. One, if it turns out you can’t find them, I want my end of the bet to be something not too drastic that I am able to do and within reason. Two, if it turns out that Rin has awakened that, I want you to help him so that he can’t be killed by the Vatican. Because as much as I exorcize demons for a living, I don’t think I am willingly capable of doing that deed to my own brother.”

A manic gleam shines in Mephisto’s eyes. “Then let’s bet on it Okumura-san.” And promptly vanishes from the area.


The orange fire spits out a shocked Rin and vanishes from wherever it came from.

What was that? Rin slowly pulls himself out of his shock while reeling over the facts that he learned. From the fancy title of Shirou’s and that he can summon demons, that the principle of Yukio’s school is a demon, among other things. Yet the one that stands out the most is.

“Yukio is an exorcist? He knew about our heritage.” Rin croaks out in a broken voice. “Why was I kept in the dark? I didn’t know, or did I?”

As though a magic spell was broken, the dam of memories he didn’t know he forgot suddenly fills Rin’s mind. From the start of that day with the rich punk kid - Shiratori - and his gang, to that guy being possessed by a demon - Astaroth: King of Rot - only for his father to exorcize him and to tell Rin. “Rin, you are the Son of Satan.”

Glimpse of the sequential events flashed in Rin’s mind like a broken record from the race back to the monastery followed by the growing sense of betrayal, Shirou handing Rin a sword - kurikara - and a phone, Astaroth coming back for Rin, the sheer shock of seeing Shirou move like he is in his 30s and not 50s, until they all stop at the moment where a Satan-possessed-Shirou stabs himself in the chest in hopes to save Rin.

Mixed feeling flowing into Rin’s chest following after that, confusing him until he draws the sword and blue fire explodes around Rin. Then Rin couldn’t remember any events, just fire and colors. Such beautiful colors too. Blue like Satan’s Fire was the most prominent one, followed by flashes of red blood , until the two mixes into a beautiful violet like an amethyst, a brief flash of orange, to finally going back to the beautiful violet and staying there.

As Rin remembers the latest events, the flaming room changes color from the blue it was before, to orange, then violet. Stopping at the final color with occasional jerks of blue fire with a small orange outline in between them.

It suddenly feels too hot in the firescape for Rin. He feels his heart beat rapidly, more so than ever before. Suddenly everything seems to be too much for Rin to take. He couldn’t breathe or even croak out a sound. His body doesn’t want to move like how he wants it to and he thinks he feels something moving on his lower body, but doesn’t know what.

Rin feels like he wants to check up on someone. Anyone he considers to trust. That are his.

Yukio is stuck all alone back at home, while Rin doesn’t know how to get to him. Yukio is probably fine, the monks can take care of him if needed. Not good enough. Should be there for twin.

Shirou is - right. Shirou came with him, but where is he? Rin feels a sudden urge to seek out Shirou. To know that he is okay, that he isn’t dying. It is a strange feeling in his chest that is like a dragon wanting to curl around its treasure from a manga Rin read.

I need to check up on Shirou. To see that he is alive.

He wants to know. Needs to know. Needs to know extremely bad. 

Needsneedsneedsneeds

Then he woke up.

“TOU-SAN!”

Chapter Text

“TOU-SAN!”

“RIN!” Shirou barges into the room, skidding to a stop in front of cot Rin was sleeping in. “How are you feeling?”

“...” Rin is staring at Shirou.

“Are you still tired? It’s alright if you are. The kind people that saved us told me that you would still be exhausted after you woke up.”

“...”

Shirou is met with silence and it concerns him that his own son might be in shock of what happened. He would be too if he found out that he was a half-demon.

“You know, you had your old man worried when you were not awake when I was. According to the doctor this circus has, I should have been the one unconscious longer than you because of my wounds,” Shirou was prepared to shield Rin away from demons and let him live a normal life, even if it would kill him. He forgot that being the son of Satan isn’t just like being the son of any demon, the sealing is just not enough to make Rin safe. That was his first mistake in the long list of things he will do to fix things for Rin so that the two (three, don’t forget Kuro) of them can get back home to everyone at the monastery and Yukio.

Rin is still unresponsive to anything he is saying. “Though one of the members here did say that you were awake briefly when we were found. You made sure that I could get medical attention before passing out again. What a good kid you are to make sure I will be alright. I am proud, you know? Of both you and Yukio to being able to look after this old man. But don’t forget to take care of yourself first and foremost, capisce?”

Yukio. How is he dealing with the fact that his own brother and Shirou disappeared from the monastery? Not good probably. With the wreckage that Shirou knows is there, Yukio or one of the monks called for an investigation and Yukio thought the worst happened. Shirou should probably have a long family talk with the two boys about their true nature to prevent problems in the future.

But first taking care of Rin. Speaking of that boy, he has been quiet for quite some time already. Shirou opens his mouth to continue when Rin starts crying.


 

Shirou. Where is Shirou? Is he alright? Shirou SHirou SHIrou SHI-

“RIN!” Shirou barges into the room. The voice inside of him stops.

Rin stares at Shirou as he stops in front of the uncomfy bed Rin finds himself awake in. It is a cot, he concludes as his body is becoming more self-aware. ‘What am I doing on a cot?’

“Are you still tired? It’s alright if you are. The group of people that saved us told me that you would still be exhausted after you woke up.” Shirou continues on his tirade of concern to Rin but is tuned out.

Rin dumbfoundedly stares at Shirou. Static noise fills his ears. He can see his mouth moving and knows that he is saying something, but Rin can’t comprehend what he is saying. Slowly remembering what happened yesterday, - was it yesterday? - he is coming to realize that all of it is real. Demons, Satan, Rin’s own heritage, feelings of betrayal and hope are all true.

For a brief moment, the image of Shirou sacrificing himself for Rin overlays the image of the priest in front of him before going back to normal. He is oblivious to the tears that stream down his face as he realizes he could have lost his father figure thanks to his own mistakes. He suddenly coughs, feeling how dry his throat is. “Jii-*cough* -san? Y-ou’re alright? *cough*”

As Rin is hiccuping coughs, Rin’s father-figure hasty gives him a cup of water by the cot, missing the flicker of something sad over the priest’s face.“Here, drink this. You have been unconscious for quite some time. I was getting pretty worried that we had to take you to the hospital if you couldn’t wake up by the end of today.”

Shirou pats Rin’s back as the boy greedily drinks the whole cup and places it back where it originally was. Safe. Comfort. Warmth. Rin temporarily basks in the warmth of the small parental gesture that his adoptive father gives before realizing something. “What do you mean by ‘we’?”

The priest flinches for a second. “Well about that-”

WHOOSH

“OOOF!”

“SHIROU!”

‘What was that? Who said that?’

“Kuro!”

Shirou is knocked out of his seat by a black blur ramming into him, following it are two people. One is a person of androgynous appearance with a scold on their face, sandy blonde hair in a bun, wearing black overalls over a white t-shirt and a flannel over it to complete the entire. Their companion is a guy around Shirou’s age with a bigger build in a black t-shirt and gray pants bemoaning at something.

“What the hell?” Rin mumbles to himself.

The androgynous person starts to move to the fallen Shirou, “Ah, Mr. Fujimoto, sorry about that. We didn’t mean for your cat to make the jump on us and leave.” They made the move to pick up the cat when Shirou stopped them.

‘What language was that?’ Rin is starting to get confused.

“Haha, it’s fine Elliot,” Shirou sits back on the chair with the cat on his lap and pets it, “Kuro here just got excited and wanted to see me again. Isn’t that right?”

It sounds like...English?

The cat looks up to reply to Shirou, “Right”

“Gaah! It talked!” Rin fell back and hit his head on the wall behind him and sat back up. Why is a cat talking? That shouldn’t be at all possible because Rin remembers that cats can’t talk. Unless it’s another secret Rin wasn’t told about until it rammed into him like his ‘demonic heritage’.

‘Elliot’ gave Rin a mischievous look. “Well seems like the little shit here is afraid of cats? What’s the matter? Can’t be near one of these furballs?”

‘Little shit!’ Rin doesn’t know much English, but the main phrases he heard in and outside of school were swears and insults. He knows an insult when he hears, “What did you call me?” Blue flames flare up in response briefly to the glare he gives.

“I said I called you a-” A big hand was placed on ‘Elliot’s’ shoulder.

“Now that is enough Elliot. I don’t want you to provoke anyone, especially my patients,” the big man from before gives Elliot a stern look.

“Aww, but you mainly handle animals. How is this different?”

“Elliot.” Phile stressed out the name before relaxing his face, “Why don’t you go and bring Rin here some food. I’m sure he will need it considering how long he has been passed out.”

‘Elliot’ opens their mouth to make a comeback, but decides against it and leaves mumbling something that sounds like ‘protective suns’ to Rin or something like that.

The man turns towards Rin. “I’m sorry about Elliot there. I told that person to behave, but sometimes someone with a sparkling personality like that tends to be defensive against strangers.”

‘What did he say?’ Rin looks at Shirou with a pleading look in his eyes. Shirou got the message and gives Rin a reassuring smile.

“Thank you, Phile. We are grateful for that,” Shirou thanked, “Rin, this is Phile Sanson. He and Elliot, the person from earlier, found us a few days ago out in the woods.” Huh?

“He-herrow” Rin awkwardly stutters out in broken English. He was not prepared to introduce himself, okay. He gets a warm smile in return.

“Meow~” “And this is my cat, Kuro. Don’t freak out, okay?” What? Why would Rin freak out?

“...Why would I freak out?”

Hi Rin. It’s finally good to meet youThe cat greeted.

“Ahh! Geez.” Rin jumps.

“Mreow?”

“Ah, what a lively son you have there Shirou, though his aversion towards cats is quite amusing to watch.” Phile grins while the priest sighs in exasperation. The man moves to stand closer to Rin, “Now boy, I need to do a quick examination if that’s alright?”

“...Hahh?” Rin looks at Shirou for help and is given a nod that he copies. Phile takes that as consent and starts his check-up by putting on his stethoscope. Rin panics as Phile’s hands move to examine him.

“It’s fine. Phile-san here is just going to do a quick check-up like Yukio normally does to you back at the monastery.” Shirou reassures Rin. Phile gives Shirou a confused look that he notices. “Ah, Rin doesn’t understand English that well, so I act as an interpreter for him.”

Rin is confused. Why does this person need to give him a checkup? It has only been a day since he has passed out.

Phile’s eyes light up in understanding, “I see. Must be hard on the boy with all of the traveling that he hasn’t had much time to learn English properly. He motions for Rin to bring his legs out. Rin complies. “No worries. If you guys are planning on staying with us for a while as you said, I’m sure we can help Rin learn English in no time.” Phile takes out a tiny rubber hammer and hits them lightly on Rin’s knees for a reaction. Rin's legs give the appropriate response.

Wait. Shirou said ‘a few days ago’, does that mean he was out longer than he thought? It would explain as to why his body is feeling more sluggish though, and why his throat was parched when he woke up.

“Though we will need you two to learn Italian as well because not everyone here can speak English or Japanese. Got it?”

Shirou gives a nod with a serious look on his face. “I am fine in Italian, just need to get a refresher course. Though for Rin, I don’t know if he can do it considering his brother, Yukio, is the smarter twin.” The two share a jolly laugh as Phile wraps up his examination.

But what about Yukio then? Has he been informed? If not, Yukio must be worried sick about them right now. Rin hopes that it won’t distract him from his studies at True Cross though. Because if it has been a few days, then Yukio already started high school at True Cross not too long ago. ‘I missed seeing him off’

That is a shocking thought. Rin remembers doing almost everything with Yukio since they were kids. Sure they start to drift from each other, but that is how it is growing up. He just thought he had more time to see Yukio off as his big brother and give him love and support that can only be given from a twin.

Rin feels his body heating up in response to his distress. It feels like it’s warm but restless. Needing to find someone to ground it or else Rin will bolt out of this room to who knows where.

Phile moves his arm to get Rin’s attention when a sound stops him.

“Meow.” Kuro jumps from Shirou’s lap towards the boy and snuggles up against his hand. “Mrrrooow~” Hey, calm down.”

The restless sensation is fading as Kuro nudges against Rin’s hand and he pets the cat back. The Son of Satan feel stares on him and looked up to see both men gaping at him. Why was that? “Why are you guys staring at me?”

Elliot clears his throat, “Boy, calm down or else your Flames will burn.”

Flames ’? Hm, flames. Isn’t that associated with ‘fire’ in English? So that means there is a “Fire! Where?” Rin looks down towards his hands in his panic. His hands are on fire. A violet and blue fire. Rin feels his body heat up in response and the fire grows in his hands. “Ahh!”

“Rin, he said to calm down,” Shirou places a hand on Rin’s shoulder. Calm down? How could he? His hands are on fire. He doesn’t want these people to get hurt, “Come on Rin. Let’s do those breathing exercises that Yukio made us do that one day. Inhale, two, three, four. Exhale, two, three, four. Inhale-” The two repeat this exercise a few more times until Rin isn’t on fire anymore. Phile exhales a breath he was holding and silently packs up his stuff.

“Better?”

Rin nods in response. What was that? It didn’t look exactly like Satan’s flames but had an almost uncanny appearance to them. There is also the violet fire that dominated the two flames that were on his hands.

“Control yourself next time. We don’t need an untrained Cloud going on a rampage when his instincts go haywire.”

“Of course” Shirou translates what Phile said to Rin. Rin nods as Elliot gets up to leave. ‘Wait, does that mean he saw both colored flames or one?’

“Elliot should be coming back soon with food. When you are finished with that the Ringmaster would like to see the two of you. Shirou, you remember how to get there?”

Shirou smiles, “I do. Now go on, I’m sure the elephants are waiting for you.” Phile nods and leaves.

“Hello, I brought food for the little shit!” Elliot barges in with a tray of food as soon as Phile leaves, “I also got some for Mr. Fujimoto and Kuro”  Elliot hands the tray to Shirou, who places it carefully on the cot Rin is in.

“Thank you, Elliot.”

Elliot smiles at Shirou, “No problem. I have to leave now for practice, but holler if you need anything alright?” Elliot moves to leave the room, “Oh, the little shit also needs to learn how to control his Flame better. I almost got burn from those Cloud Flames, those are powerful things” Elliot exits, leaving a confused priest and kid.

Kuro meows “Shirou food” Shirou grabs the dish meant for Kuro and grabs his dish as he translates what Elliot says to Rin. “Ittadakimasu” He then proceeds to start eating the soup while indicating that Rin should eat

A thoughtful look dawns upon Rin’s face, “So they can only see one of the fires. Hey Shirou, why is it that they can’t see the blue fire?”

Shirou pauses mid-bit and places his bowl on his lap, “That’s because this place has its own special rules allows them to produce the fire. However, as that ‘blue fire’ as you call it is actually your own demonic flames. Only people who have ‘mashou’, or commonly known as a ‘temptaint’ can see anything related to demons because they have been injured by demons through wounds, illness, or other means. Because none of these people have a temptaint, they can’t see your demonic flames.” The priest goes back to eating as soon as he was done with his explanation.

Rin slowly starts to eat as well. As he ingests the food, he is processing what Shirou has explained and comes up with his own theories.

These people can’t see demonic flames but knows about a different kind of fire that relates to the violet flames Rin produced. It makes sense in Rin’s head, except that everyone knows of that the violet fire exists, except for Rin. For such a flashy thing, Rin feels like more people should know about it. Unless they do and Rin has been ignorant of them for all of his life. Though this talking about fire is making Rin remember something else, something important. Ah, “Kurikara!” That’s right, the kurikara. Shirou has asked him to protect it with his life, but he doesn’t have it on him.

“Calm down. Before you go on a rampage for that sword, it’s right here,” Shirou pulls the red bag up from the wall it was leaning on, “ I found it a day after I woke up. It was not too far from where those people found us.”

“Mreow” “Shirou, can I have more food?” Kuro jumps on the cot.

Shirou pets the cat on the head, “Hehe, what is it that you want Kuro? If you want to play, I can do it later.”

Rin is confused, “Wait, so you can’t understand him?”

Shirou stops petting and looks at Rin in confusion, “Can’t understand who Rin?”

“The cat.”

“The cat,” Shirou deadpans, “Rin, you do know Kuro is a demon right? He is a Cat Sith.”

“No way! Then why is it that I can understand him?”

“Shirou. I want more food. Gimme. ” Kuro moves to lay on his back and meows. As Rin looks more closely to Kuro, he notices that the cat has two tails and two small yellow horns on him.

“See, there he goes again asking you for more food” Rin exclaims as he points to the now discovered Cat Sith.

Shirou has a thoughtful look on his face, “Hm, it probably has something to do with your demonic heritage that you awakened when Satan came to attack. Because you awakened, it allows you new abilities that you couldn’t access before.” He tears some of his bread and gives it to an excited Kuro.

“Gah! You knew I drew the kurikara?” Rin feels disappointment flow into him for breaking the promise. He felt a hand rub his head and looks to see that the hand belongs to Shirou.

“Of course I knew. You make it so obvious with your change in appearances and the tail that you fail at hiding.”

Rin’s eyes widen, “I have a tail?!” Now that Rin thought about it, if he focuses enough, he can feel something swaying where his tailbone is. Lo and behold, it’s a tail that is attached to him. Rin groans in exaggeration. “Great, what am I’m suppose to do with this?”

“It’s fine. I’m sure things will turn out good for you. But back to the main topic, I’m sure you drew the sword for a good reason. I know you wouldn’t just draw it unless if you had to.” Shirou comforts Rin as Rin’s tail sways back and forth. The priest then places his empty dish on the tray and grabs Kuro. “Now, I think some proper introductions are needed. Kuro, this is one of my sons, Rin. Rin, this is my Cat Sith familiar, Kuro”

“Um, what? Familiar?” What is Shirou? Is he secretly a summoner that uses the title of a ‘priest’ as a cover? Or is he actually a priest that made a contract with the demon Kuro. Rin bets the latter idea as it makes more sense.

“Oi, that is no way to introduce yourself, do it properly. Honestly, how did you end up like this?” Shirou criticized Rin. “Kuro you do it and show a good example to Rin.”

“Hello, I’m a Cat Sith named Kuro. My favorite human is Shirou because he makes delicious silvervine sake. Hope we can get along in the future”  Kuro meows with a big smile on his face.

Is this what Rin’s life going to end up as? Talking with cats and weird fires. Well, at least he isn’t doing this alone. He wishes Yukio was here with him, but he has his father and his father’s familiar with him. So that is a good compromise. Where was Rin going with this? Right introductions to please Shirou.

“Hello, my name is Rin Okumura. I have a younger brother named Yukio and we are both Shirou’s sons. I have recently learned that my birth father is Satan, the King of Hell, and that I’m half-demon. I hope we can get along in the future as well.” Rin smiles at Kuro and Shirou. The two smiles back.

“Now Rin, you should hurry up and finish eating. We need to see the Ringmaster as soon as possible and you know how rude it is to keep him waiting.” Shirou lightly scolds the half-demon.

Rin gives Shirou a big smile with his tail wagging excitingly, “Right,” and eats his food with more gusto than before.

Unknown to Rin, his actions cause a stressed Shirou to relax at how carefree Rin is acting. ‘Though he won’t be as carefree when he finds out about the truth later.’

Chapter Text

Clink

“Ah, that was a good meal,” Rin exclaimed. He moved into a thinking pose after placing the dishes down. “Though there are some things that could be better with it though. I should talk to the cook later to give some pointers.”

“I couldn’t agree more, ” The Cat Sith curls up into a ball and starts to doze off.

Shirou sighs knowing that Rin can and will do that, the priest decides to intervene before Rin can think of criticizing the cook, “Rin,” Rin jolted out of thought, “You can do that later. Come on, we have to meet the Ringmaster as we promised.” Shirou gathered his and Kuro’s dishes and placed them on the tray. He then grabs the tray with one hand and reaches with his other. Only to be stopped by Rin who takes the tray out of his hand.

“Which way to the kitchen?” Rin wobbles out while trying his best to not look at his father’s left hand. What a sight it is with only the pointer and thumb the only ones fully attached, while the others are halfway healed to where the first joint of where the fingers would be. If only Rin hasn’t said those things, if only Rin could read the situation he put himself in, then maybe Shirou wouldn’t have lost half of his fingers. Maybe they would have been eating a special meal he made as the last meal with Yukio until who knows when. Rin feels his eyes water up and tries his best to prevent himself from crying.

“I’ll show you the way,” Shirou silently stares at Rin with concern lacing his face after his son missed his initial reply. He thought he saw some tears running down Rin’s face “Rin.”

Rin turns to grab the bag containing the sword and turns to leave the room, but he was stopped by Shirou placing a hand onto his arm. It was the broken hand. Rin flinches, which Shirou takes notice of. “What is the matter, Rin?” He asks.

“...”

“Rin. What is bothering you? Come on and tell your old man” Shirou lightheartedly asks.

Rin growls in frustration and turns towards Shirou, “Everything. Everything is the matter alright! I am mad at everything. I’m mad at Satan for possessing and hurting you. I’m mad at you for not being mad at me. I’m mad that I went against my word to you and drew the sword. I’m especially mad at myself for getting us into that situation,” He slams the tray onto the table with a bang, “Hell, if it wasn’t for this place finding us, you could have died and I would have been all alone here. Do you know how mad I am right now for *hic* being so confused at everything that I don’t know what to do. *sob* Or even, who am I?” As Rin explains, his face turns from a scowl to anger and by the end, tears are flowing down his face.

Shirou sees this and pulls Rin into a hug. After holding his son for a few minutes, Shirou pulls him away at arm’s length with his hands gripping onto his son’s arms. “Rin, listen to me. You are not a demon. This has happened not because of you, but because of Satan. Did you feel concern for me when I got hurt?”

Rin nods.

Shirou continues, “Do you think I will cast you aside and never speak to you again for trying to do the right thing?”

“But it isn’t -”

“It is”, Shirou interrupts Rin, “You went against my word to try and protect me and the monks back at the monastery. You were trying to protect your home, the things dear to your heart. So that’s why I’m saying that you did the right thing at that time. I’m not mad at you, I’m actually very proud of you.”

Rin feels his eyes water, “But-but, I’m still a demon.”

“Half-demon,” Shirou corrects, “You are still human. But I don’t care if you are a human, demon, or something in between. To me, you are my son that I love and nothing will change that for a long time.” Shirou pulls Rin into an embrace to make his son realize that he means it.

The tears held within Rin’s eyes finally released as he realizes that Shirou will always love him as his son, “I love you too, tou-san”.

The two stay in each other’s embrace until Rin calms down. Kuro decides to squeeze himself in between the two, “ Hey Shirou, I thought we were going. Is it still not time yet?

The two look at the Cat Sith in surprise, “Kuro, when did you get up?”

“Meow mew” When Rin banged the tray. It startled me awake,” the Cat Sith turns to Rin, “Can you make the pretty fire again? What?

Shirou shrugs at Kuro’s meowing, giving up in trying to understand his familiar, “Ah, it doesn’t matter. But we do need to get going now. You coming Rin?” Shirou gets out of the embrace and heads towards the exit. Kuro follows behind shortly after.

Rin snaps out of his stupor state, grabs the tray and heads out of the room. As Rin walks past Shirou and Kuro, a smile spreads across his face.

Shirou watches his son leaves the room with a grin of his own, “Honestly, that boy. He needs to learn how to communicate with people better.” He scratches his beard and looks at Kuro.

“Mew?” Kuro mumbles as Shirou picks him up.

He pretends he can understand the Cat Sith like his half-demon son. “It’s nothing you need to worry about Kuro. I’m just worried about Rin that’s all. I need to talk to him later about things, especially about our situation. He isn’t Yukio, but he is far from stupid. He will figure it out soon, but I want to properly explain it to him.” He exits the room and finds Rin looking around.

“Come on, it’s this way.” Shirou motions for Rin to follow as the three leave to do their tasks.


 

After dropping off the dishes the three are heading towards the Ringmaster’s tent. On the way Kuro falls asleep again, leaving the two to laps in a comfortable silence until they reach their destination.

It would have been comfortable if it wasn’t for Rin trying to remember what he dreamed about when he was unconscious. He remembers a warm fire that varied in three different colors making him feel safe and whole. Then he remembers jumping head first into some orange fire that appeared before him. He saw Yukio crying at the monastery, but couldn’t remember anything after that clown guy appeared except for the feeling of wanting to see Shirou when he awoke. The older twin knows he subconsciously felt something when seeing Yukio speak to that clown guy, but doesn’t know what. If he focuses hard enough he thinks he remembers-

“So, ready to meet the Ringmaster?” Shirou asks with a grin on his face, breaking Rin out of thought.

Rin perks up, “Wait, Ringmaster?” A Ringmaster. Does that mean...

“Yes,” Shirou stops in front of a red wooden carriage with yellow stars on it, “Now before we enter. Rin how good is your English?

“Um, decent I guess? Why do you ask?” Rin confusingly responded.

Shirou walks up the steps, “Try to keep up then.” and knocks on the door. What? A muffled voice yelled “ ENTER! ” and the three proceeded to do so.

Colorful. Is the first thing that Rin can describe about the room. A wooden floor with a rainbow circle rug covers most of the floor as well as some paperwork littering on top of it. Shelves on the side of the room filled with books, trinkets, ornaments, among other things fill a part of the room. On the other side, there is a cot with a big quilt covering it and pooling onto the floor a bit. In the front, there is a man writing on a wooden desk and a young woman juggling some balls on one of the chairs behind the desk. The man puts down his pen, gets up and walks around his desk to greet them with a smile. The young woman doesn’t move, but Rin feels that her attention is onto them. His tail that was moving freely stiffens suddenly.

Hello again Shirou, it’s good to see you again!” The man loudly exclaims while giving Shirou a firm handshake.

It is good to see you again too Nario.” Shirou shakes back.

The man lets go of the hand and turns towards Rin, “ And you must be Shirou’s son, Rin. It’s a pleasure to meet you, ” He holds out his hand for Rin to shake and is confused as to why Rin isn't returning the gesture immediately, “ Ah, how rude of me. My name is Liborio i, but everyone here at the Circus calls me Nario. And hello to you too Kuro ” He greets the sleeping Kuro on Rin’s shoulder.

Oh, this is what Shirou means by, “keep up”? Making him speak English to this man, Liborio - or was it Nario? Eh, Rin decides to call the man the latter name. Damn it, Rin can barely do Elementary level English and that shitty priest wants him to have a full blown conversation. Curse you Shirou! Rin awkwardly stutters out one of the few perfected English phrases he knows and his tail feels like it is reflecting back on that nervousness.  “ He-hello, my name is Oku-” “ *cough*” “Rin. My name is Rin Okumura. It is nice to meet you, ” Then copies the gesture Shirou did to Nario.

Looking at the Nario, Rin notices that he is a portly middle-aged man with dark brown hair and emerald green eyes in an unbuttoned maroon suit with a black bow-tie and a top hat in the same color scheme that surprisingly fits him. The only odd thing about him is the orange flower on the side of his top hat.

Nario smiles and pulls his hand back. “Strong grip your boy has Shirou.”

Is this really a Cerkasu (Circus)?” Rin questions suddenly.

If this is a Circus, then Rin can’t wait to go back home to Yukio and rub it in his face. The two haven’t gone to a circus since they were six years old. Rin’s tail wags in anticipation.

The bearded man gives a hearty laugh, “ Why yes indeed, it is a circus. Colorful bunch aren’t we?

“Woohoo!” Rin perks up at the confirmation. Even though he could only understand ‘yes’.

Looking at the joy in the boy, Nario couldn’t help but question something from Rin’s introduction. “ Hang on, I thought you both shared the last name ‘Fo-jee-mo-to’ or was I wrong? ” Nario keeps a blank face when questioning Shirou.

Shirou hastily gives him a reply for some strange reason to Rin, “It’s Fujimoto. Rin takes in his mother’s maiden name when introducing himself. Otherwise, he is officially known as Rin Fujimoto.” Shirou is given a stare from both Nario and the woman at his reply, but Nario decides to drop the topic in favor of more introductions and jesters for the two to sit at the chairs.

After everyone is seated, Kuro wakes up from his nap. “*Meow* Is it morning already?

“Good morning Kuro”. Rin greets the awake Cat Sith and places him on his lap.

“Ah, Kuro. Good morning.”

Kuro perks up at the other voice beside Rin and pounces at the source. “*MEOW!* SHIROU!” Kuro notices the atmosphere of the room and calmly sits on Shirou’s lap.

Nario clears his throat. “Now before we begin does anyone have any questions? Like ‘why are you here?’ ‘What is this place’ Or how about, ‘Where is this place’?

We haven’t even started and you forgot to introduce me, Ringmaster? How rude of you. I thought you treat ladies with more respect than that .” The woman places down her juggling balls on the chair and waltz up to the men at the table.

“Ah yes, how could I have forgotten about our star performer Ming-Yue Wang? Rin, this is Ming-Yue. Ming-Yue, Rin. ” Nario introduces the two to each other.

Ming-Yue scrunches her face at the bland introduction. She seems to be younger than the monks back at the monastery with black hair in a high ponytail and dark brown eyes, wearing a white button up shirt with some beige pants held together by a red belt with a blue streak running through the middle. Even with her face scrunched up, she looks beautiful.

Rin, the kind person that he is, introduces himself first with a smile, “Hello. It’s nice to meet you.”

Ming-Yue’s face relaxes, “ Well, at least this guy has some better manners than you, Jiǎozi de rén .” She goes back to the chair she previously sat at and picks up her juggling balls. After making sure she has all of them, she heads for the exit. Before she leaves, she turns towards the group at the other side of the room with a smile on her face. “ Bye Rin, it was nice meeting you. ” Then promptly slams the door shut with a noticeable bang. Rin feels his face heat up a bit, his tail is probably doing something stupid.

The Ringmaster sighs, “Honestly, what does that word even mean?” he mumbles under his breath referring to the phrase the star performer mentioned earlier. He then focuses his attention towards the people in front of him, “ Pardon the interruption, where were we? Ah right, plans. Ever since the Circus found you two, we are really curious where you came from. No documentations of any visas and the only identification on you is written in Japanese. -Which are the worst fake IDs ever made. Get the date right.- Since no one has any idea who you are except for what you tell them. What are you two going to do? Hmm?” Nario leans forward with his eyes intensely looking at the two in front of him.

Shirou leans over and translates whatever Rin can’t understand from Nario’s speech, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the Ringmaster. “ Your son doesn’t understand English? But he could reply Ming-Yue with such fluency .”

Shirou was going to reply, but Rin beat him to it, “ I know little English,” Rin stumbles out in poorly phrased English, “ English not good, but can understood. Sorry .” Rin slouches a bit in embarrassment.

Nario nods in understanding, “It’s fine son. More importantly, what are your plans? ” He asks the two, “As we discussed earlier Shirou, depending on where you two go the boy will most likely be forced into recruitment. Otherwise, you might be picked up by some shady people. Which we don’t think you want. You could seek sanctuary in a country, but they might not accept you with that war going on and all. Hell, even this Circus is avoiding the war-torn areas to not get pulled into unnecessary crossfire. Or we can allow you temporary sanctuary, but that is whether or not you have any talents that will benefit here.” He pulls out a cigar, lights it and takes a long drag from it, “So, what’s it going to be ?” Some of the smoke from his mouth goes towards the people in front of him.

Kuro is hissing at the smoke that gets into his face, Rin tries his best to fan away it, while Shirou translates with his glasses covering his emotions. The two then go into a conversation of their own to decide.

As they discuss their options, Rin feels scared. He doesn’t that there is a war going on, or that people (except Satan) are already hunting him. Is the outside world harder than what Rin originally thought? Even though he has done a multitude of jobs in the past, he is still a minor. Maybe the world excludes some harsh facts because of that, but now is he considered an adult? Is that safety gone? He doesn’t know.

Yet, here is one thing he does know. He wants to get back to Yukio and not be separated from tou-Shirou. It is his goal to return back to his brother that could be suffering from their disappearance for all he knows. At the thought of returning to his brother, Rin’s own fear disappears and he knows what his decision is. “I want to stay with the circus.” As Rin says that, he doesn’t know that his eyes glow violet briefly.

Shirou and Kuro miss it, but they both take note of how fast a decision Rin makes, “Rin.”

Nario sees it and silently stares at the boy while taking another drag from his cigar. The bearded man sees the glow fade and Rin’s own body language change from one full of confidence to a humble one that looks like it fits the boy all too well.

I mean it makes the most amount of sense and all. You said there was a war and I don’t want to get involved with it and possibly hurt my family because I die. Besides, I have someone waiting for me that I want to return to .”

There is a tense silence Rin feels in the room while waiting for an answer.

“. ..Alright then. Welcome aboard to our Circus! ” The Ringmaster joyously declares, “ I don’t know what you said, but I see the conviction in your eyes that about half of our staff has shown me. It made me convinced to let you join.”

“Huh?” Rin is lost.

Shirou tells Rin the most important part of what Nario said at the same time as Kuro, “He said you can join.” “ He said you can join the circus.

“What. No way.” It can’t be that easy. He knows from past job hunting of out hard it is to get a position in anything.

Taking a look at Rin’s confused face, Nario explains, “ You see, I already talked with Mr. Fujeemonto” - “Fujimoto” - “about your situation and made a decision to let you two join. But, I wanted to meet you to see if the man’s words are true. Upon seeing your own resolve with my own two eyes, I now know what Mr. Fujimoto means about you. ” He takes another drag from his cigar after explaining.

Shirou refrains from translating to Rin to ask his own question, “ Then what about questioning Rin?

Oh, that was a test. From what you told me, it fits most of the cases of people who joined this Circus. But sometimes there are gaps that let me know if those people want to start a new life, running away from something, or they just want to join a circus. We mainly take in people from the first option but have started to take in some of the second option if they were able to get away as they said. I just want to make sure what your son says matches what you told me earlier Mr. Fujimoto.

And if it didn’t?

“Jii-san?” Rin is getting a headache from all of the English that is being spoken. It’s like four months of English at school is being spoken in one day.

The two men temporarily pause to look at the third person in the room that was almost forgotten.

Nario spoke first, “Your son can leave if he wants to. I’m done talking with him for today.

Shirou is skeptical about that but also doesn’t want Rin in the room when if things go south. Shirou gives a look to Rin that is softer than the one he gives to Yukio during the end of missions. “Rin, you are free to go. I still need to talk with Cabrini-san about some other things.”

Rin hesitantly nods and proceeds to leave the room.

“Kuro, why don’t you go out and play with Rin?”

“Mew” “ Alright Kuro leaps from Shirou’s lap and slips out of the room as the door closes.


 Taking a drag from the cigar and a stream of smoke blown from the side of Nario’s mouth, “ You don’t have to worry about the consequences. I didn’t understand what your son said, but I saw the pure power from his resolve. Not many have that type of inner strength that can possibly move mountains if they want to. You are very lucky to have a son with such a strong inner Flame that allowed you to be found by us instead of some more...unsavory people

“I certainly am. He does have some extraordinary resolve in him when he wants to,” Shirou can neither deny or confirm that he knows what the Ringmaster means by ‘inner Flame’. It can’t be those Blue Flames that Satan can produce because he spoke of it the first time Shirou met him and the Paladin just went along neither confirming or denying he knows what the Ringmaster is talking about and lets him draw conclusions to himself. It is probably something besides demons that Shirou doesn’t know of. He has to do research on it later.

Nario chuckles at Shirou’s answer, “Enough talk about that, let’s move on to other things.”

Shirou grimace at the thought of talking about that. “If that’s the case, then can you led me one of those cigars?”

He is rewarded with a hearty laugh and a cigarette. Damn it, Shirou wanted a cigar.


Rin wanders around with Kuro until they sit down at the same place where they were found a few days ago apparently. He doesn’t know what happened in that time but is grateful that they were able to save Shirou from death. But he knows from him limited medical knowledge that he obtained from reading one of his twin’s medical books out of boredom that Shirou shouldn’t be able to move around. His father stabbed himself in the chest, he shouldn’t be able to move at all. They stayed together in silence for some time.

Hey Rin, how are you feeling? Kuro breaks the silence and moves to sit in Rin’s lap.

A hand moves to pet the Cat Sith and continues to do so while answering, “Confused I guess. I’m glad that we aren’t going to be separated, but I’m confused as to how we were able to join. Shouldn’t there be an entire process for things like that?”

Kuro shrugs, I don’t know much about it. Shirou talked with that smelly man while you were asleep and it would go on for hours sometimes. When that happened, I would bother that person who likes to swear.

Rin tries to remember who Kuro is talking about and realizes it is that person who called Rin ‘Little Shit’, “You mean Elliot?!” Rin feels his tail bristle in thinking about that person.

“Yeah! Kuro jumps up in joy at the mention of the name.

“I see.” He feels his body relax, “Speaking of Jii-san, how was he able to heal so fast? He shouldn’t be able to move around, or be awake before me.”

“That’s because I healed him with my powers .” Kuro puffs up his chest in pride.

“...Kuro, I don’t know much about demon powers, but think that is how it - Woah!” Rin leans back as Kuro gains a demonic edge and lights up in a yellow fire, “Ku-Kuro! You’re on fire.” He pauses, “What the fuck.”

The yellow fired Kuro doesn’t seem to be hurting from the fire and proves it by talking, See. I used this pretty yellow light to heal Shirou and then he got better. The Cat Sith then proceeds to turn off the fire. Rin leans forward and pets Kuro to feel that his fur isn’t singed, “ Those colorful people say that I have strong ‘Sun Flames’ to be able to heal Shirou. They say it was also because of your ‘Cloud Flames’ that made it possible to speed up the healing.”

“What about flames?” Is it like that fire that Sanson-sensei was talking about earlier?

I don’t know, maybe Shirou can tell help us?

“Hello. How are you two doing??”

“Gah!” Rin falls back in surprise at Shirou’s sudden appearance.

Shirou “MEOW!” Kuro gets up and pounces onto Shirou who sat down when the Cat Sith moves. The Paladin pets Kuro and is rewarded with purrs from him.

Rin gets back up, “Jii-san, how did it go after I left?”

Shirou pauses briefly, “Well, nothing that you should be worried about happened after you left. Mainly the Ringmaster and I discussed the best way how to contribute to the

Circus since we will be traveling with them for some time.”

Rin lights up, “I could perform in the circus?” A secret childhood dream of Rin’s was to perform at a circus, yet it got ruined when he was outcasted from his class because of his tantrum.

“That is an option,” Shirou answers and continues to pet Kuro, “Or you could do what I am and help with general maintenance and work in the background during performances.” Though by the look of Rin’s face, it most likely not an option.

“I want to perform at the circus so that when we go back to the monastery I can show off to Yukio how awesome I am. The crowd will be cheering my name and Yukio would be in so much shock.” Rin beams in arrogant pride of possibly being more popular than Yukio. Shirou pauses in petting Kuro, the Cat Sith takes notice but doesn’t say anything.

Shirou resists the urge to pop the bubble of Rin’s childhood dream, so instead, he decides to tell his son one important thing that he forgot to mention earlier. “I don’t know when we can go back to Yukio and everyone at the monastery, Rin.”

Rin calms down at Shirou’s words, “What do you mean by that Jii-san?” Rin doesn’t like the uneasiness growing inside of him. It’s like whatever Shirou says next will change Rin’s world more than finding out about his other heritage.

Shirou takes a deep breath and looks at Rin with eyes full of sadness, “I don’t know how but when you hit the Gehenna Gate, instead of making it disappear like I thought you would. You did something that somehow made it into a portal that teleported us to the past from what I could tell.” Shirou doesn’t have all of the details of what happened after Satan possessed him, but he didn’t become the Paladin from sheer force alone. He saw the evidence and drawn out the most likely conclusion from it.

Rin is in denial, “Then if we are in the past, when are we? Are we even in Japan?”

Shirou takes a breath, “Rin, we somehow time traveled to the 1950s near Switzerland. Over 40 years until you and Yukio are born.”

Rin feels his world shatter again once Shirou mentioned those two sentences.


In Italy, a woman wakes up from a nap. Not much can be seen from her appearance, but she has a distinguishing birthmark on her face.

“May you not get caught in things until the time comes, Demonic Cloud”

She gets up and walks to her office. She has a letter to write after all. 


EXTRA:

Deleted Other Scene of Rin getting the Kurikara

 

“Also, don’t forget your sword Rin.” Shirou reminded.

Rin stops at the reminder and hurries back in to grab it. He yells one last thing as he heads back to the room. “Ah, shit. Can you wait for me, jii-san? I’ll be back real soon!”

Sending a silent prayer to God for strength in dealing with his son in the future, Shirou replies back. “Alright. Can you grab Kuro as well?” ‘Seeing as he didn’t follow us for some reason.’ Shirou thought he heard a faint reply and sighs. “Honestly, that boy.”


Rin barges back into the room towards where he left the kurikara. He slings the sword over his shoulder after placing the tray down, then picks up the tray again while his tail sags in relief. “Come on Rin, focus,” he mumbles to himself and notices Kuro doing something on the cot.

The Cat Sith moves like he is dancing on his back, wiggling from one side to the other with the most ridiculous look on his face. The Son of Satan laughs at Kuro’s antics, “Ahaha. Kuro, what are you doing? Come on, we have to get going.”

But Rin, my back itches~ Kuro continues to rub his back on the cot.

Smiling, Rin places the tray down again. “Alright, turn over and let me take care of it.” Kuro complies and lets Rin’s hand scratch his back. Rin was not expecting for Kuro to have such soft fur. At first glance, Rin was expecting something more coarse and firm that was similar to something like the hair from a brush. But as he continues to scratch it, the scratching slowly turns into an impromptu petting session.

The two sat alone embracing the silent comfort the other gives. For Kuro, it is the rejuvenating feeling Rin gives to his itchy body by getting the hard to reach places. For Rin, the relaxing and meditative action allows him to calm down his unknowingly tense nerves.

“Ah, this is nice.”

Mgh! Isn’t it! I feel like I could be like this all day.

“Yeah,” Rin says, but he feels like he is forgetting something important. Something that has to do with Shirou’s request for him...shit! “Hey, Kuro! Let’s go already. We have been making Shirou wait for us long enough.”

But Rin, I don’t want to move.” Rin ignores Kuro’s latest comment in favor of checking that he still has his sword and then grabs the tray. After making sure he has everything, he picks up the cat and places him on his shoulder.

“If you are still tired you can rest on my shoulder, but we really need to go”

“*Yawn* Alright. Kuro falls asleep while Rin meets up with Shirou again.

Chapter Text

Rin is not having as good of a day as he thought. After getting one of his dream jobs, Rin doesn’t think he will have another bad day to worry about for a while. He was wrong.

Time travel.

‘What the fuck,’ runs through Rin’s mind as he stares at the ground. Reeling in shock from that tiny, tiny, but major piece of information. It is different than finding out about Shirou’s secret and Rin’s own heritage. Learning about this makes him feel like his life is turning into anime, which is fine with him as Rin would totally sign up for his life to become an anime for part of his life.

Rin’s body starts to heat up, his tail straightens, and the barest signs of flames are visible. Unknown to him, his eyes gain a violet shade to them as well as shifting to become more demonic. Kuro takes note of the shift in Rin. He transforms and moves to guard his owner in case if things go wrong, “Stay back Shirou.” Shirou doesn’t understand Kuro but moves past his familiar to get closer to his son.

However, this is the real world and time travel is impossible, but somehow Rin did it. Can he retur-

“Rin, is everything okay?” Shirou looks at his son in concern from how long Rin has been quiet, “I know it is a lot to take in, but we don’t have to do it alone. I think I have a friend that might help. But considering the time period we are in, I don’t know if he is willing to answer,” He mumbles the last part to himself.

Right, he isn’t alone. There are others with him.

The flames die down around his body as the Son of Satan raises his head to look at Shirou, giving the priest a full view of violet demonic eyes slowly morphing back to sea-blue human eyes. “Yeah, I’m fine jii-san. Just,” He takes a deep breath and his tail relaxes, “just a lot to take in at the moment.”

He has gotten mad at Shirou more than enough. Satan has taught him that. Haha, there is something good about his birth father after all.

Seeing his father giving him a relaxed smile, made Rin relax as well.

Huh? How long has Rin not been referring to ‘Jii-san’ as ‘Jii-san’ in his head? The last time Rin did that, was when Shirou at Rin’s favorite pudding he saved for when he completed his exams. He got really mad then, but that can’t be right. The only thing that could complete the pudding incident would be like that night-oh.

Yeah, Rin already forgave Shiou when he saw him awake again. So, there shouldn’t any reason that ‘Shirou’ should stop being called ‘Jii-san’ anymore.

“Hahaha, good. You had your old man worried you know? I thought you were going to light up in flames again,” the old man rubs his son’s head, “If you keep it up though, I think I’ll have to start calling you ‘Combusto-Boy’ in the future.”

Rin looks at his Jii-san in shock, “Huh? No way! If anything, call me ‘Explodo-Man’.”

“Oh really? Does that mean you will be a ‘flaming man’ in the future?”

“Obviously it does. I’ll have such great looks in the future that people will swoon whenever they see me.”

Jii-san smirks, “Then I guess we will be needing to carry a fire extinguisher nearby in case, ‘“Explodo-Man”.”

Rin’s tail makes a question mark pose as he pauses to mull over what his Jii-san just said, “Hey! I didn’t mean it like that.” He bristles.

Shirou laughs as his son finally gets his joke, “Gotcha.”

“Jii-san!”

Kuro walks up to the two and lays down on his stomach, Does this mean that things are fine now?

Rin automatically answers then looks at the gigantic demonically changed Cat Sith in surprise, “Woah, is that Kuro?”

Shirou chuckles, “He sure is. You can change back now Kuro,”

Poof!

The now shrunk Cat Sith lays on the ground between the two and looks at Rin, “You are weird. One moment you are all angry and sprouting those ‘Flames’ that smelly person was talking about earlier in addition to the Blue Flames, now you are laughing with Shirou like nothing is wrong.

Rin stares at Kuro in awe until he realizes what the Cat Sith said, “Hey! I am not weird. I’m just expressing my emotions as anyone else would,” He pouts when seeing his Jii-san laughing at him.

“I don’t know what Kuro said, but judging by your reaction it seems like he got you good.” The priest and familiar laugh at Rin’s plight of distress.

The half-demon tries to redirect the conversation to stop being picked on, “Shut up! And what do you mean by those ‘Flames’ that Sanson-sensei was talking about earlier Kuro? You mentioned them before Jii-san came here as well!”

The two stop laughing as Kuro jumps up in surprise, I don’t know?

Shirou brings his attention back to what Rin mentioned, “Flames? Do you mean about the special fire that Sanson-sensei told you to control earlier? How did you come across that name?”

“I don’t know. How do you know about them?” Rin mocks Shirou. Which doesn’t appear to make the priest any happier.

“Rin. I’m serious. Where did you hear about it?”

Rin feels a shift in the atmosphere.

Don’t lie. Trust person. Trust sou-

He knows that. What is up with those feelings? It makes it difficult to do his own decisions, “I heard about the Flames from Kuro and he heard about them from Sanson-sensei. Right Kuro?”

Kuro meows in agreement, “Yeah, that smelly man was talking with the loud guy about them while you were still unconscious and Shirou was asleep. They were talking in hushed voices like how the Exorcist at True Cross talks about ‘secret missions’. They also smelt scared. Like there is a demon hunting them or something.”

The half-demon looks at the Cat Sith demon in surprise, “Really? Is that so?” Kuro meows confirmation while Shirou looks confused at what the two demons were talking about. Rin sees this and explains, “Jii-san, Kuro said that Sanson-sensei and Nario-san?” “ Uh-huh “Nario-san knows about the Flames. However, they are avoiding to talk about it with us awake like they are scared. Kuro thinks that they act like Exorcist when they talk about ‘secret missions’ in public.” Shirou takes a breath and feels different as he exhales. He doesn’t look like Rin’s father, but looks like someone different. A stranger in a familiar body.

Trust.

That voice won’t shut up.

“I see. That is concerning. It might be a good idea to learn about Flames. If Sanson-sensei and the Ringmaster talk about them like Exorcist and Demons, who knows, it could be good information to learn about. For all we know, these Flames could be part of something dangerous considering they haven’t been heard of by the Vatican or the general public in the present.

Surprise grows in the 15-year-old’s eyes, “Like how the public doesn’t know about the true nature of Exorcist?” He feels his tail wiggle in anticipation.

Shirou nods in agreement, “Exactly like that. We don’t know what we are getting involved in, so I think we should try to find out as much as we can about these Flames without getting caught. And by we, I mean Kuro and I. Rin, you stay out of it” Shirou clarifies before Rin could get any bright ideas.

Rin’s entire body deflates, “Aw, but why?”

“We don’t know how dangerous this is going to be, so leave the information gathering to the professionals,” the strange feeling fades from Shirou, “Besides, I want you to enjoy yourself. Act like your age and try new things.”

“But Jii-san, I want to help you. I can prove myself, just give me a chance,” Rin interrupts.

“And you will,” Shirou goes on as if Rin’s interruption didn’t make him lose track of what he’s saying, “but for now I want you to focus on yourself. You have much to learn about you and your heritage. A great way to help with that is to seriously commit to your promise with the Ringmaster and help around the Circus. Didn’t you say to your old man that you wanted to become a cool and famous person one day?”

“Th-that was when I was like five!”

“Even better. You can achieve your childhood dream by performing at the Circus, the building your reputation till you are famous.”

“But what about keeping ourselves hidden? We don’t want to be found before we are born yet,” Rin rebuttals.

Shirou smiles, “Then make a Stage Name for yourself. Rin, no matter what you do, your old man will be proud. Don’t worry about me, that’s my job. Alright?”

The Son of Satan feels uneasy at the fact that his Jii-san is basically making him do other things besides helping, but he feels worse if he can’t reassure his father that he will listen to what the older man says, “Alright. I’ll find something to do and become the greatest performer known to history underneath a hidden name. I’ll become someone so awesome that younger me and Yukio will look up to me as they grow up like a superhero to them,” Rin promises.

“Excellent.” Shirou gives a smile that seems bigger than before knowing that Rin will possibly not get involved in harm's way. The father stands up and places Kuro on his shoulder, “What do you say we look around the Circus?”

“Sure,” Rin stands up and brush off any grass that stuck to him, then follows his Jii-san back to the Circus.

Unknown to the two of them, a stray Coal-Tar floats around the spot the group of three were not too long ago. It moves towards the same direction as the group when all of a sudden it catches on fire. The small black creature burns in place until nothing remains beside some burning embers of a colorful flame.


 

Deep within the forest, a pair of glowing eyes glare at the Circus.

Stupid Flame users. Why must you defy death with your Life-Flames and prevent us from devouring you! Mark my word, I shall enjoy feasting on every last one of you one day. For now, enjoy your peace. Ehehe,

The glowing eyes disappear back within the forest, leaving behind a deep chuckle echoing in the area.


 

Miles away, a certain Son of Satan looks back towards the forest area he was at before.

His father’s familiar notice this and gets his owner’s attention.

“Hm, Kuro what’s wrong?” The man sees Rin staring at the distance, “Hey Rin, hurry up. We don’t want you to be left behind,”

The Son of Satan snaps out of his daze and moves towards the direction of the two waiting for him, “Coming,” Once he caught up, the three starts to resume their walk back to their destination.

“What made you pause like that earlier Rin?”

“...I don’t know. But whatever it is, something inside of me tells me we need to keep our guard up.”

“Alright.”

Once that is resolved, the father and son talk about mindless banter with inputs from their Cat Sith friend every now and then. Unknown that every step they take changes their fate to something that neither of them would expect.

Chapter Text

A few days after Rin woke up, the half-demon is seen running around the Circus area doing a variety of tasks. From carrying heavy boxes from one place to another, assisting performers as a background person, or even doing odd tasks for someone that he hasn’t done back at his original time. It helps him get to know other people in the Circus and diverge his thoughts from worrying about Jii-san.


Hey kid, can you help carry this to the main tent for me?” A burly man asks Rin while motioning to the three heavy boxes and then the big circus tent.

“Sure!” He replies and proceeds to carry all of them to the indicated direction. Everyone either stares at him or glances at the 15-year-old carrying heavy equipment boxes with ease.

Ming-Yue notices this and frowns, “Get back to work you lazy Báichī!” Everyone jolts in surprise and proceeds to pretend to not notice Rin doing the impossible. The star-performer watches Rin enter the main tent and sighs, “Stupid Clouds and their impossible strength.”


During his spare time, Rin tries his best to improve his English. He didn’t want to do it at first but then gains great motivation because of Elliot. He wants to punch that person in the face because of the lack of comeback he can do to Elliot whenever they bicker. Snarky responses and swears can only take him so far when he can’t even understand what Elliot is saying back at him.

Ming-Yue takes it upon herself to help Rin with his English lessons by correcting him. Everyone is lucky that she knows some Japanese.


Elliot swings and grabs on the awaiting arms of Ming-Yue. Rin is in the stands reading a book out loud, “The bushy tail moves as the - What is that word?   S-su-ku-wa-ru. Squall!” Rin looks up at the two acrobatics practicing for a confirmation. Ming-Yue moves arms in circles and then Rin continues to read, “The bushy tail moves as the squall jumps up and glides from one branch to another.”

As soon as Rin finishes reading, Elliot loses focus and falls onto the safety net below. Everyone present looks at the fallen acrobatic in concern, but goes back to what they were doing previously when the sound of laughter is heard.

Oh-oh my god. I don’t know why, but that made my day! ‘The bushy tail moves as the squall-*snort* Squall!,” Elliot laughs again. Rin looks at the brown hair person in concern as Ming-Yue meets the two of them on the ground.

Rin looks at Ming-Yue, “Umm. Was it something I said?”

Ming-Yue just giggles.

Elliot calms down and turns towards Rin, “It is ‘squirrel’, not ‘squall’ you little shit. S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L. Squirrel.”

S-squirrel... What! It’s not ‘ squall’, but ‘squirrel ’?” Rin drops his book in surprise, “Ming-Yue, you said that I said it right.” He questions in Japanese

Ming-Yue is full-blown laughing at Rin’s peril, “Rin, I didn’t say whether you were correct. I was just signaling Elliot for practice.”

“Oh, come on,” Rin deflates more while the two people laugh amusingly. They laugh for a while until Rin speaks up again, “Wha- What is ‘squirrel’?”

The two stop laughing and stare at the Japanese kid like he lost his mind. Elliot speaks up, “You don’t know what a squirrel is? Aren’t there squirrels in Japan?” Rin stares at Elliot cluelessly, “Come on little shit. You know, the ‘bushy tail’ critters that feast on nuts?” Rin makes no motion that he knows what Elliot is talking about.

A squirrel enters the tent and the trio stares as it eats some popcorn from the weekend show.

Oh hey look a ri-su .”

The two circus members look at Rin dumbfounded. “That’s a -fucking- squirrel!” They yell at Rin.

Really!” The blue eye guy looks at the squirrel in shock as he connects the Japanese word to the English word and the creature in front of him.

The squirrel dashes away from the loud voices only to encounter a cat.

Yum.”

A special cat.


Rin has also learned the proper pronunciation of the place as ‘Circus’, not ‘circus’ in the first week of his English lessons.


Rin and Ming-Yue are sitting on some crates for vocational practice, “This place is called the circus.” Rin articulates.

Ming-Yue shakes her head, “No, no. This place is called the Circus. Capital 'C',”

“The Circus?”

“Right.” Ming-Yue brightens at Rin’s correct pronunciation. The half-demon feels his face heat up and tail wag in response at Ming-Yue's smile.

“So what is the Circus’ actual name? ” Rin asks suddenly.

Son,” Nario announces from out of nowhere, “Don’t ask.

But I just wanted to-

A hand grasps firmly on his shoulder, “Rin, why don’t you clean the elephant cage for the rest of the day-”

“Alright, I’ll just ask-”

“All by yourself.”

Fuck.


He learned two things that day. One is that he has heightened senses because of his demonic awakening. He just wished he didn’t learn that through shoveling animal waste while said animals were screeching his ears off in the same room. The smell wouldn’t leave him for a week after he was done…

The second one is that no one asks what the Circus’ name is unless if they want to be on clean-up duty for the animals. If only Jii-san told Rin that sooner, then that mess would have been avoided.


It was lucky that Rin, Shirou, and Kuro were found after the Circus’ last performance in this area. Rin wouldn’t have felt confident performing if they made him do it after he agreed. But he still has the task of finding out what he wants to do as a performance for the Circus.

As soon as Ming-Yue says he is fluent enough in English to hold a standard conversation, he goes around asking various of circus members to let him shadow them so that he can discover his own entertainment talent.

Every week since then, it feels as though this half-demon entered a new world. He thought he would just be observing them, not learn the basics of almost every performance that can be done at the circus and participate in the practices. His entire being feels exhausted and he is pretty sure that he could do everything he learned with his eyes closed from the body movements to the memorization of certain calculations needed or words.


 When Rin isn’t doing stuff for the Circus, he is seen practicing control over his demonic heritage with the help of Shirou and Kuro.


It is another clear day as the three sit in their small clearing. Shirou and Rin are in meditative poses while Kuro sits to the sidelines watching them.

“Now I know this is different what you’ve done before, but I want to remind you we are learning how to tame and control your flames so that they won’t make you suddenly combust in stressful situations as you have done before,” Shirou explains, “We don’t need you to suddenly light up in the blue fire and accidentally give someone a temptaint because of your lack of control. Even though I haven’t seen any demons besides you and Kuro so far, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any demons here got it?”

“...”

“Rin?”

“*snores*”

Kuro walks up to Rin and steps on the sleeping half-demon’s tail with no remorse.

“GAHHHHHH!!!” The kid releases a loud scream that echoes throughout the forest, followed by a bright blue fire. Once he calms down he sees that Kuro and Shirou covered in soot and blue fire, “Hehe, whoops?”

Shirou coughs some smoke and gestures to their surrounding area before cleaning his glasses. The small clearing looks like someone released a fireball where they are at with trees charred and some branches covered in flames.

Rin winces and subconsciously grips his tail, “My bad. At least you aren’t hurt?” A tree branch falls in the background.

“You are lucky I had the foresight to douse my clothing in holy water before we started,”

Shirou bluntly states, “Go and meditate until you can produce a small fire in the palms of your hand,”

“...yeah”

Unknown to the three, far above the treelines, coal tars and small demons try to gather around the blue fire. Before they see the Circus, half of the group is burnt by a colorful fire and the other half scamper away before they end up like their comrades.

Life-Flames! Run, don’t let them touch or else burn.


Practices have gotten better where Rin can produce Satan’s fire, but he lacks the fineness in controlling the output. It gets bad where those violet flames come out whenever Rin has a particularly bad day before practice and makes it harder to control his demonic flames. The orange fire hasn’t come out yet, but Rin fears the day when they do with his other two colorful fires and loses control over all of them.


Sometimes when Rin feels stressed or agitated, he would cook to take his mind off of things. It was more frequent growing up as school work left Rin confused about work, but as the years go on, he didn’t need to cook as frequent because of the lack of people in the monastery.


Thump!

A sack of flour is thrown onto the floor by a Circus member and leaves a small cloud of powder.

Is that the last of them ?” Shirou asks as he tries to regain his breath. Rin follows behind him with two crates of fruit. The two of them have been tasked to help in the kitchen for the day. Which means carrying heavy bags of ingredients and being dishwashers while the kitchen staff members focus on the meals.

A person wearing khakis and a black shirt under a white apron reads over the list at hand, “Yep, that’s the last of them,” the list goes back into an open pocket, “You can go now, I need to take these to the storage,” The person lifts up the crate of fruit and leaves as Shirou starts to head off somewhere.

Rin bids his father a farewell, “See you. I have something I want to do. Come back here after dinner if I’m not there,”

Shirou nods in acknowledgment as he leaves the area. Once he is out of sight, Rin enters the kitchen with an excited look in his eyes.


He lasted a week at the Circus before he felt the long-forgotten stress relief habit come back at him in full force. The kitchen staff was nice enough to allow Rin to cook with them as soon as he explained. Holding a pan again made Rin feel close to home in a way he hasn’t felt since the whole mess of a situation started.

Once the group left, Rin began to work with the leftover ingredients for something special.


Dinner was just about to be done soon when Shirou entered the kitchen. The first thing he sees is Rin putting away some pots and pans, then the next thing is Kuro laying by the portable stove as it cools off. The Cat Sith looks up to see who enters and greets the priest’s presence to the world.

Shirou, you’re here! Rin. Shirou is-

“I know,” The 15-year-old interrupts Kuro and hugs his father, “I’m glad you came Jii-san. We can start celebrating now that you are here,” At Shirou’s confused look, Rin gestures to the table where there are different dishes ranging from Japanese street food to Western deserts, and fusion dishes. The perfect amount for a small group of people.

Shirou looked perplexed at what Rin meant until he remembered what week it was at this time, “Is this for Obon?” Rin nods as his tail moves nervously, “You know that it is normally a festival, not a party right?”

“I know,” Rin complains as his tail straightens, “I was getting stressed with multiple things flooding my mind and I started to get homesick. So I asked the kitchen staff if I could use their kitchen, then the next thing I know I’m helping them out until the end of dinner” ‘And I had a strange feeling’. Rin keeps to himself. Home, where home?

“Is that so? Ittadakimasu.” Shirou asks while he starts to eat a bowl of oden.

“Yes, it is- hey! Who said you could start eating?” Rin cries out.

The exorcist swallows his bite, “Sorry I couldn’t wait. It has been a while since I last had your cooking. Good job on the oden. Even though you don’t have the proper ingredients, it still tastes good,” he apologizes sheepishly.

“That is still no excuse. And for that, no dessert for you,” Rin picks up Kuro and places him on the table with a smaller plate of food while ignoring the priest’s cry of shock, “Here you go Kuro. Once we’re both done we can have dessert. I made cookies,”

Really? Thank you Rin, Kuro takes an experimental bite of the food after seeing both Rin and Shirou gesturing him to eat, “ Ittadakimasu. It’s really good. The Cat Sith exclaims in between bites of eating his plate with gusto.

What is will all of the racket? I thought everyone left already,” A person yells as they enter the kitchen.

Rin and Shirou look at the entrance to see who it is while Kuro is oblivious to his surroundings.

I swear Sandra if that’s you sneaking cake again, you know how the Ringmaster feels when that starts to-” Elliot enters and sees the small feast the three are eating, “ Shirou, little shit. What are you doing here?”

Celebrating,” Rin answers in accented English while trying his best to ignore Elliot's apparent nickname for him.

Do you want to join us, Elliot?” Shirou asks and holds up an empty plate.

Elliot gives the group a stern look then takes the plate out of Shirou’s hand, “So what are you celebrating? ” Elliot takes a bite of a fusion dish, “Oh my god, this is so good. Who made it?”

A devious smirk grows on Shirou’s face as he answers Elliot, “Rin made the food”

Elliot does a spit take, “What. No fuc-”

“Yes, I made food for obon. ” Rin unknowingly interrupts Elliot. At the perplex face Elliot makes, Rin decides to elaborate, “Obon is a festival in Japan. Happens in summer. Family and friends have fun.” He smiles and his tail wags at his own success.

The two Japanese men go back to eat while Elliot thinks about what Rin said.

Works for me I guess. Good food like this is hard to come by. Besides, I didn’t really eat dinner today,” Elliot picks up the plate again and piles it high with food.

The small group of four spend the rest of the night having their own special celebration of obon.

Chapter Text

It is a cloudy night where the moonlight comes and goes in a sporadic pattern. On a night like this, no one would venture the forest except for the nocturnal creatures. However, three people have been sent here to gather some wood for a long journey. Friends that consist of a woman and two men make ideal chatter while gathering wood this night. Some jokes and innuendos are thrown around to keep each other entertained through the night. The three split up with two going in similar directions and their friend in the other direction. Unknown to the two, their third friend has wandered beyond the Circus’ invisible protection and into the unseen terrors that no one knows about.


“Hey Samel, we got enough wood. Come on, let’s head back to the Circus.” Karash shouts for the two friend’s companion but is given no reply. The two friends look at each other when Ada decided to try.

“Samel! It’s time to go. Samel!” Ada is met with the same results. Just as the two were about to go to their friend’s last location, they heard a scream.

Karash’s eyes widen at the familiar voice, “Samel! Ada, go back to the Circus and get help. I’m going to find Samel.”

Ada shakes her head, “No, I’ll try and find Samel, you warn the others as you are the faster runner between the two of us.” Without waiting for a reply Ada runs to where her friend was last heard. Karash sighs and goes back to the Circus.

Halfway to her destination, Ada stops when she thinks she hears something. She scans her surroundings and does a double take when she sees the familiar clothing of Samel. She runs over to her fallen friend, “Samel! Can you hear me? Samel!” Ada flips Samel over onto his back and gasps at the sight she saw.

Samel, oh sweet and bright guy who feels like the sun when he smiles around Ada and Karash, is staring blankly in front of him with a twisted look of fear on his face with blank eyes. His body is covered in blood with torn flesh and bitemarks wounds littering his body. He is not breathing.

“Sa-Samel?” Ada chokes out in a quiet voice. She runs her hand to her friend’s neck and finds no pulse. Her eyes water at the sight her friend makes. She forces herself to only look at everything above the chest of her friend.

She doesn’t want to see how much pain he must be in when he-

Snap.

Ada whips her head to the noise and only sees some leaves falling towards the ground. The woman feels her heartbeat race as paranoia makes her hyper-aware of everything around her. Frantically looking around her surroundings she feels like she is being stared at, but can’t find the source.

Not wanting to stay any longer, Ada grabs her friend’s necklace runs back to the Circus.

Ada must have had a lapse in memory. Because one moment she is running blindly through the forest and the next she is in Karash’s arms crying her heart out and blabbering about Samel. She almost went into hysteria if it wasn’t for the next person to approach the two.


Fujimoto Shirou, or Shirou Fujimoto in this part of the world, is taking an afternoon walk when he sees some commotion happening in the distance. Wanting to understand the problem better, he walks towards the source. He sees two people sitting on the ground and holding each other in a desperate embrace while the Ringmaster and Ming-Yue are talking amongst themselves while being near the pair.

Ming-Yue must have seen him because she is waving at his general direction. Caught off guard, Shirou looks around to see if the Star Performer means anyone else. Finding no one else, the priest walks over to get a better look at the problem.

What greets him isn’t a pretty sight.

The Ringmaster and Ming-Yue have a mournful look into their eyes while staring at the two on the ground.

The woman is crying and is saying something in Italian too fast for Shirou to decipher properly. Her clothes are a mess with blood and dirt staining them, her knuckles white as she clenches the object they are holding like her life depends on it. The man she is hugging looks better than the woman, but they both have the look in their eyes that they have lost someone precious to them.

It breaks Shirou’s heart when seeing that look as it always reminds him of everyone that came to the Church after their loved one passed.

Once Shirou is next to the Ringmaster and Ming-Yue, the Star Performer informs him of the situation in a quiet voice, “They just lost their special buddy while getting some firewood for the next couple of days. Poor Ada is the one who found the body came back here like something is haunting her. She has been like this for the past hour.”

Shirou springs into action doing what he does best besides exorcising demons. Being a priest to help those who need it, but more importantly, being a person who can hear a stranger’s problems and help them any way he can. But before he can move, he is stopped by the Ringmaster who shakes his head as if he knows what Shirou is going to do.

“We can handle this. This type of thing,” the Ringmaster pauses a bit with a pained expression on his face, “has happened before. What we need you to do is find the body and tell us where it is so that a team of us get it later.”

Shirou is confused and voices it, “But wouldn’t it be easier to deal with the person that killed their friend first in case it is still out there?”

Ming-Yue sighs as the Ringmaster explains, “You haven’t heard what Ada said, but the thing that killed her friend is not human or animal. Nothing we have encountered before would leave bite marks like that. If someone else finds the body and thinks that the Circus has killed it, what do you think will happen here? We will be out of business! So what I need you to do is get the body back to the Circus before anyone finds out.” By the end, Nario seems to move in a very animated way that gives an indication that there is something more to this task than meets the eye.

Shirou thought about what the Ringmaster means by “strange bite marks” and not liking the conclusion. Mentally sighs as he guesses that’s why he was the only one nearby and the only one who might know who the culprit is, “Alright.” He agrees. Besides if he doesn’t, the priest doesn’t know what will happen to the other poor guy who might get caught up into the task.

When Shirou leaves, the Ringmaster and Ming-Yue keep chatting for a bit as Ada and Karash grieve.

“If anyone else dies, we will have to abruptly move again before we are finished packing. We don’t need everyone to fear us if they find out about our constant death rates. It would bring in some unwanted visitors.”

“*Huff* And to think that you plan on coming back here in a couple of years if we are here. Let’s just hope that they won’t come here again. It took me months before I could perform again after the last time they came here.”

“Let’s just pray that there won’t be a next time. We are close to being chained up after all.”


When Shirou gets close to the spot he was told where Samel’s body is, he notices that he can barely see the Circus. A few feet later, the priest feels like he walked through a strange barrier. Turning back, he sees an orange colored wall that stretches what seems to be a dome.

“What the heck is this? Why haven’t I seen this before?” Shirou questions himself as he stares at the dome that is slowly fading from plain-sight. Gapping at the mysterious dome for a while, the priest almost forgot why he is out here in the first place. Though he didn’t have to wait for too long as his instincts react then his mind catches up to the fact that he has his gun out and some smoke emanates from the barrel.

Shocked, Shirou looks at what he shot to see the remains of what seems to be a ghoul demon disintegrating. In his panicked state, the Paladin ran towards his destination while batting Coal Tars swarming his face.

When he finally arrived to the corpse, Shirou’s eyes widen at the sight, “That is not normal.”

Coal Tars swarm the corpse while hobgoblins and ghoul demons surround like a mob of fangirls. The concerning thing is that Shirou sees the abnormal amount of demons surrounding one body. It was the same amount as a mission in Australia.

‘Why so many demons for one body?’ Shirou thought as he threw one of his few holy water grenades at the horde. Upon impact all of the demons disintegrated, leaving behind a partially eaten corpse instead of a mostly consumed one.

Shirou moves to the dead body and offers a silent prayer before picking it up in the tarp he was given to drag back to the Circus.

When he arrived back with the body, Samel’s friends weep over the loss. A few hours later a small burial is held for the man. Because Shirou is the only known priest in the Circus, he was chosen to be the designated priest for it. During this time, one thought lingers on to Shirou’s mind.

‘The body was barely eaten with the number of demons hoarding it. Where have they come from and why haven’t I’ve seen more demons beforehand?’


A day has passed since then. An announcement has been spread throughout the Circus that everyone should be on high alert when going into the forest and that they shouldn’t travel alone. The news of Samel’s death spreads like wildfire throughout the Circus. Two distinct figures are talking with each other behind a tent.

“Jii-san what are we going to do? The Circus can’t disband, we haven’t even found a solution yet.” Rin cries out.

Shirou pats his son’s head, “Don’t worry about it. Everything will sort itself out soon. Just promise me that you won’t go into the forest at night?”

“Alright, I guess.” Rin pouts, ‘But why night?’ he questioned as an afterthought.

“That’s my boy,” Shirou smiles, “Now if you would excuse me, I have something I need to take care off,” The priest walks back towards the living quarters leaving behind a sulking Rin sitting on the grass.

Sometime later Rin abruptly stands up and grabs Kurikara before searching for Kuro.

‘If we leave, then we will have to start from square one again. I can’t let that happen.’ he thought with a determined look in his eyes.


The half-demon finds Kuro laying on a crate that is close to the Circus tent.

“Kuro, there you are,” Rin walks over to the Cat Sith and pets him, “Come on, it’s time to wake up.”

A yawn escapes the Cat Sith’s mouth as he stretches his lithe body to awareness, Rin? What are you doing here?”

Rin has a mischievous smile on his face, “I'm here to pick you up. We are going to explore the forest today.”

The drowsiness leaves Kuro at Rin’s confession, “No, you can’t go in there Rin. I promised Shirou to make sure you don’t go in there.”

Rin’s smile drops “Aw, but I really want to go.”

Kuro feverishly shakes his head, “No Rin. I promised Shirou to make you not go. It’s too dangerous.”

The half-demon puts, “It can’t be too bad.”

As Kuro was going to argue another reason to make the two demons stay at the Circus, Rin interrupts.

“If you come with me into the forest to play, I’ll make sure to cook you something special.”

As Kuro’s whole body jolts up in shock about the offer, Rin knew he had the Cat Sith right where he wanted him.

“F-fine. But make sure there is some good raw fish.” The Cat Sith stumbles out like a stubborn kid.

Rin nods and grabs the Kuro. The two journey into the forest until they end up in a small clearing that is the same one used for Rin’s training. At first, they played in there for a while, then Rin subconsciously leads them deeper into the forest and away from the Circus. He forgot his original task after having fun with Kuro for a couple of hours.

Before he knew it, it became sunset.


 

“Hey, Kuro! Can you put me down already?” Rin asks flailing his sword bag in hopes of getting the demon’s attention, “Come on. I need to do something”

“No, Rin. I promised Shirou that I would protect you and that’s what I’m doing” Kuro answers while keeping Rin in a tight hold in his mouth.

As soon as Rin remembered his original task, he attempted to make Kuro help him sniff out the killers. When the Cat Sith declined, Rin attempted to hunt down the perpetrators himself. He just didn’t account for Kuro being able to shift into a gigantic cat or the fact that said gigantic cat can carry Rin by the back of the teen’s shirt in the maw of his mouth with practical ease.

The two continued their banter of releasing Rin into unknown danger or not when they heard a noise.

Snap!

“Ahhh!” Rin gives a startled cry as Kuro releases him from his maw to the ground, face first. Rin stands up and brushes the dirt off of him as Kuro looks around their surrounding area. Pupils dilate and a growl is released as the Cat Sith senses someone approaching the two. Rin takes his sword out of the bag and grasps the handle as Kuro crouches low in a pouncing position.

A tense atmosphere fills the area as Rin and Kuro get in position to strike. The mysterious figure steps out to reveal Shirou. Upon sight, the two demons relax their guards at the sight of the priest.

“Oh, it’s just Jii-san huh?”

Poof!

The Cat Sith turns back to his smaller feline form and runs up to greet Shirou. The father of two picks up his familiar to hold into his arms as he addresses his son, “Rin, what are you doing here? You heard the announcement this morning and yet I find you out here in the forest basically alone.”

“Ah, no it’s not like that,” Rin defends, “I wasn’t exploring the forest alone or anything I had Kuro with me just in case. It wasn’t like we were going to get lost or anything, the Circus is still in sight. It just so happens that the next thing both of us know is that we wounded up here,” The embarrassing blush on Rin’s face starts to grow and he subconsciously plays with his tail, “Besides even if we were to get into trouble, I have the Kurikara with me and-.

“That is enough,” Shirou cuts off his son, “As much as it’s fun seeing you flounder like a fish out of water, you should go back to the Circus for your own safety with how paranoid everyone is becoming. Did you even tell anyone where you were going?”

Rin lets his eyes wander towards anywhere besides his Jii-san, “Well, about that... I’m pretty sure some people saw us leaving.”

“Seriously Rin?” Shirou sighs, “Next time tell someone before you go anywhere. This is not Japan and your not a little kid anymore, remember? There is a possibility that you could have gotten hurt or worse.”

At the reminder, Rin flinches and tries to redirect the conversation from him in hopes of not getting too much of a scolding. “Sorry about that. But what about you? Why are you here?”

“That is none of your concern,” Shirou answers a bit too quickly for Rin’s liking.

Running on his immaturity, Rin presses on. “I call bullshit”

“Rin, language,” the priest reprimands his son, “And like I said, it’s none of your concern.”

“Is this about the strange cases of deaths that’s been happening around the Circus?” Rin gasps at a sudden idea, “Does this has to do with a demon that you are going to exorcise? Can I come?" Rin sparkles in excitement and anticipation.

Shirou starts to gain an irritated look on his face, “No.”

The half-demon visibly deflates and starts to sulk, “Fine, be that way then. It’s not like Mr. Cool-and-Hairy Exorcist of a father won’t even want some bonding time,” he pouts, “I bet it isn’t even that cool. Just something lame like reading some boring verses.”

At Rin’s complaints, Shirou is seen to visibly deflate a bit, “Alright. You can come along,” Rin brightens up in victory, but Shirou continues, “But promise me you will do exactly as I say. Got it?”

“Got it.” Shirou’s son turns towards Kuro and picks the Cat Sith up, “Did you hear that Kuro? I get to see what you and Jii-san do as Exorcist. Oh, do you think he will teach me how to be an Exorcist in the future? That way, someone can watch his back while we find a way back home.”

“I don’t know Rin. Shirou is a really strong Exorcist. You might not be able to handle it.”

As Shirou watches his son and his familiar go into a debate of whether or not Rin can become an Exorcist trained under him of all things. He has a thought that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. ‘I wasn’t planning on showing this at all. But I guess I’ll have to work hard to make sure everything will be fine.’

Chapter Text

A black portal opens up in a forest clearing at night. Two people in black cloaks and top hats step out. They have white bandages covering up what the coats can’t hide.

“What happened here?” One asks.

“Does it matter?” The other replies, “We have a job to do. There have been sightings of Flame activity close to a civilian area and we are suppose to capture them before they break the Omerta.”

“Right.” 

The two seem to be observing the area again.

The trees of the clearing are battered or chipped. There are even some that look like they have been scorched by fire even though there is not a lick of fire to be seen. It would have been normally overlooked in the dark night, but the smokey embers glow like a soft beacon.

As the two search the perimeter, it can’t be helped to speculate what has happened. 

 


 

Earlier in the Night

 

Shirou, Rin, and Kuro are walking deep into the forest at night. The father and son are walking side by side while the Cat Sith is resting on his Tamer’s shoulder. They only have one flashlight to illuminate their path as Shirou was the only one to be prepared. However, luck is on their side tonight with the full moon illuminating over their surroundings.

Normally the twilight would give off a serene feel to it, however, tonight is a different case. There is no nocturnal animal prowling around tonight as the forest gives off a warning of the dangers lurking ahead.

The priest stops walking in front of the thick foliage covered in shadows.

“We’re here.” He said. Rin stops and peers into the forest while Kuro jumps down. 

The half-demon doesn’t see anything from the light of the flashlight. He was about to voice out his concern when his father turned off his flashlight.

At first, there was nothing, but then an undefinable buzzing sound started. It grew louder to something that Rin heard of before, but can’t remember where. Kuro crouches down into a pouncing position. Lost in thought, the half-demon almost missed what happened next if it wasn’t for his father standing in front of him suddenly.

SKREECH!

A wall of yellow eyes appeared from the treelines. They head straight for the three at a frightening speed.

KREEE!

There is a hissing sound as well as the smell of something burning. As Rin’s eyes adjust to the darkness, they bulge in surprise as the creatures that are really attacking them are, “Demons.” 

“Indeed,” Shirou agrees. He steps away from Rin and puts something inside of his long black trench coat.

Rin stares at the demons in surprise. It has been over a month since he has seen any besides Kuro, and now that they are here, the half-demon doesn’t know what to do. He could fight them, yet there are too many and Shirou would not be pleased. Running isn’t an option either because something could happen to his father. Though, scaring them off. Maybe.

Before a decision could be made, the demons charge at their possible new prey again, only to collide into something and burn away in a colorful fire. An orange barrier lights up upon each impact and fades away as each charred body of a demon hits the ground into ash.

The fifteen-year-old stands dumbfounded at what is happening. 

“Hey, Jii-san. Is this normal for them to be...burning like this?” Rin tentatively asks.

“No. It’s not,” Shirou moves to touch the strange barrier and suddenly jerked his hand back before a demon bites it. Yet he didn’t have to as the demon starts to burn away an inch before chomping off the priest’s hand. He tries again and doesn’t feel anything when his hand touches where the barrier is suppose to be. “Interesting.” He steps back.

“Well?” Rin asks, “What are we going to do?” He might have added a bit of unneeded aggression, but in his defence, he is getting jumpy with how close the demons are.

Shirou looks at the demons crashing into the barrier one more time and turns towards Rin, “Nothing.”

What?

“We are going to do nothing about this. There are strong wards here that have taken care of the demons for who knows how long and will continue to do so.” Shirou continues. He starts to walk back towards the direction of the Circus with Kuro in tow.

Rin can’t believe what he is hearing. Isn’t it Jii-san’s job to take care of demons. Why is he backing out now? That isn’t like him.

“Rin, are you coming?” Shirou asks when he notices Rin isn’t following him. He notices that his son is still staring at the invisible barrier, “If you are worried about the demons, then the Exorcist of this era will take care of it.”

“But what if they haven’t heard about the demons?” Rin questions. He turns to face his father, “What if we are the only ones who know about them while the others are ignorant of their existence. Shouldn’t we take care of them now before it becomes a greater problem in the future?”

Shirou raises an eyebrow, “Oh, and why should we deal with it. I’m sure that the other Exorcist will take care of it soon. Besides, you don’t seem to be experienced enough to deal with demons.”

Rin bristles, “Of course I’m not! But you are. You can give me a crash course while we deal with them. We should take care of the demons now before another person from the Circus gets attacked by them.”

“Then shouldn’t that be more of a reason that we should leave here?” Shirou challenges, “The Circus is leaving this place tomorrow to go onto their next location. I think it’s better if we go back with them now so we can ensure their safety.” 

“What if someone else gets hurt? I don’t want someone else to possibly die because I didn’t do anything.” Rin briefly combusts in anger. He doesn’t know why he is debating this with Shirou when earlier the priest was all for dealing with the problem. It isn’t right. They should be dealing with the demons now instead of fighting so that no one else would get hurt. 

“Then what will you do if I say ‘no’?” Shirou asks with a smirk and a look that he knows something.

Instead of answering right away, Rin takes out the sword from his bag with a scold. He packs away the bag, “If you won’t do anything, then I’ll take care of them myself to keep them safe.” the half-demon boldly exclaims as he starts to run towards the demons that are on the other side of the invisible barrier. He grabs the hilt of the sword and is about to draw it when a familiar hand on his shoulder stops him.

“Then I will make sure my idiotic son doesn’t get hurt.”

HISS!

SKREECH!

Demons cry out in agony as a fine mist explodes around them. Rin breaths in some of it and coughs as it burns his lungs.

What is this?

“Sorry, Holy Water Grenade. I didn’t know it would affect you as well.” Shirou says as he pats his son’s back in comfort. The priest might have said something about preventing Coal Tars from growing however, that is not Rin’s concern because he hears a few things that some particularly loud demons yell as he is hacking his lungs out.

“Exorcists are here!”

“There shouldn’t be any here!” 

“How did they find us?!”

“RUN BACK TO THE NEST!”

The demons start to flee at the last statement.

“They- they have a n-ne-nest.” Rin coughs out as the last of the Holy Water stops affecting his lungs, “A demon said that they have a nest and all of them are going back to it now.”

“Well, that changes things then,” Shirou exclaims, “Kuro, we have some mice to chase.”

“Yay! We haven’t done that in a long time. I love chasing mice.”   Kuro jumps up and down in excitement. The Cat Sith then transforms into his bigger version that held Rin by his hoodie earlier. Kuro crouches down and Shirou climbs on. The half-demon follows by a gesture from his father. Once everyone is on board, they chase after the demons.

 

 


 

The three moves left, right, through trees, foliage, among other obstacles that Rin can’t make out in the night. Much less remember how to get back. He thinks he almost swallowed a bug but doesn’t want to check if he did. 

“So you mentioned a nest?” Shirou yells.

“Yeah,” He replies, “Why are you asking?”

“We might be facing more demons than we can handle. Are you ready?” ‘Are you ready to possibly die’ is what his father, no the strong Exorcist Kuro spoke fondly of, asks.

Rin gulps and hardens his determination, “As long as we can still find a way back home, I think we can handle it.”

Shirou turns his head to smile at Rin. The teen brightens and gives his own in return. 

 


 

A long time has passed since they started the chase and Rin’s legs are starting to feel numb from sitting for so long.

“Ugh, how much longer until they lead us to their nest?” Rin complains. 

“Shouldn’t be much longer,” Shirou says, “They seem to be slowing down. I believe they think they lost us. Do you hear anything”

“Let me see,” Rin closes his eyes and scrunches his face in concentration and tries to focus on the group of demons in front of them. There is a small chirping noise and he thinks he can hear something. 

“So what do you think boss will make us eat?”

“I don’t know. Twigs maybe.”

“Aw, fuck that. I’m sick of eating twigs. If I have to eat another twig again I will remove myself back to Gehenna.”

“Come on, don’t be like that. Assiah is great. We even got to eat a-”

Nope. Rin does not want to know what a demons diet consist of. Twigs are weird, but a safe weird. The other option is way above Rin’s sanity at the moment.

“Rin/ Rin?  two voices speak up.

Shit. Right. He has a job to do.

“I got nothing.” He quickly said. He feels furry slap him on the back of his head. 

Okay, maybe too quickly.

The half-demon uses his tail to hit Kuro in retaliation.

Before anything could be said further, Kuro abruptly stops. Rin crashes into Shirou’s back with a yelp.

“We’re here,”   Kuro growls as the two people dismount.

He can’t tell the difference. Everything looks the same as there is nothing distinctive that would point out to Rin that this is a demon’s nest like he though. He hopes that this will be easy for everyone’s sake.

 


 

The three of them decided to walk the rest of the way to their destination so that they can have a jump on them. It was Shirou’s idea and Rin agrees based on his own experience with street fighting. A good ambush will lead to a few good hits in. 

At least that is what Rin has experienced in the past.

Rin yelps as a bright light blinded him. Once his eyes adjust, he realizes that the light is actually a dim purple light. The other thing is that this is definitely the demon’s nest going by the multitude of demons present. 

Shirou pulls him into some bushes for cover and covers his mouth before he can protest. The priest raises one finger to his lips then towards the small opening he has. Rin parts some leaves away to see that a majority of the demons looks similar to the ones from the day he awakened his powers and a portion of them he doesn’t recognize. All of them seems to be circling around what seems to be the source of the purple light.

“There is a lot more than I expected.” Shirou remarks in a quiet voice. Kuro nods in agreement from his spot in between the two humans

“What are we going to do?” Rin asks in an equally quiet voice.

I am going to exorcise these demons with Kuro while you are going to stay here where it’s safe,” Came the stern response. The half-demon opens his mouth to protest, “You promised remember.” he closes it.

Rin is about to give another reason as to why he should fight when Shirou and Kuro move out of the hiding spot and jumps at the demons from a different area. 

BANG!

Some attacked the spot where they emerged from while the rest tries to attack the duo. Tried is the keyword. The human and demon work hand in hand flawlessly than no demon could touch them while they are decimated by the two.

Rin is rooted in his spot awestruck by teamwork. It’s nothing like the streetfights he has done or what was seen during that night. The movements and seamless teamwork is like what Ming-Yue and Elliot did during practice or when he and Yukio used to have- 

Rin cut off that thought before it got worse. 

He doesn’t need that distraction now, not that it doesn’t hurt any less. Instead, he needs to focus on what is in front of him.

Which should be easy, but he is still angry that Shirou doesn’t want him to fight. As Rin is about to do something childish, he sees a demon heading for Shirou’s blindspot. 

“Shirou is a really strong Exorcist.”

Shirou is occupied with other demons in front of him while Kuro is too far away to see. He is the only one to see it.

“Promise me you will do exactly as I say.”

He jumps out of his hiding spot.

KREEH!

The monkey-like demon slams into Shirou and the priest is sent flying.

He is a second too late.

The priest regains his composure as he lands into a drop roll, yet the damage is done. The demons notice a helpless human and moves in to devour him.

Rin doesn’t flatter as he lands and runs towards the demons charging at Shirou. He unsheaths his sword to strike but instead unleashes a crescent of fire at the demons. Rin immediately stops in place to stare at the crescent soar through everything in its path to only explode as it impacts the trees, scorching them. 

He looks at the explosion, then his sword with smoke and wisps of blue fire, and the explosion again.

“Huh. Would you look at that” Rin states, “Hey, Jii-san. Look at what I just did,” he exclaims. He doesn’t see Shirou’s reaction as Kuro slams into Rin and the half-demon blacks out on impact with the ground.


 

“Oh shit,” Shirou knew he messed up when the demon slammed into him. 

He could have exorcised it in the past, yet now it’s harder for him with old age. The other reason is that he only has a limited supply of holy water bullets that needs to last him for an indefinite amount of time. It’s why every shot is precise with deadly accuracy.

So when he got hit and sees the other demons about to kill him, he is prepared to go down fighting.

The attack doesn’t come.

Instead, a blue fire is heading for him and the demons. His body buckles unconsciously and closes his eyes at the sight of it in anticipation of the pain it will bring him. Yet a warm sensation passes through him instead of the burning sensation he was expecting. Shirou opens his eyes out of confusion to see that the demons are burning away while he is unharmed. As the fire passes through him, he turns to find the source of the fire and sees Rin standing there with his sword unsheathed.

His son is standing there and waving at him with the sword at hand. It would have been normal if it wasn’t for the fact that because the sword is unsheathed Rin is in his more demonic form and lighting up in blue flames like a beacon. However, his son isn’t on fire like the priest vaguely remembers during the initial awakening. If he looks close enough, Rin’s blue eyes seem to be more demonic than normal and have an unnatural glow to it.

Shirou would have more commentary if it wasn’t for Kuro suddenly slamming into Rin and knocking the poor child unconscious.

“Hey Kuro, what did you do that for? There is no need to suddenly- hey Kuro! What are you doing?” Shirou is suddenly dragged by the maw of his familiar towards the bushes they were hiding in earlier. He was then flung into the greenery and a second later his son follows. Shirou cushions his son’s descend as best as he can. Kuro comes soon after.

The Cat Sith changes into his human form and pushes down Shirou to the priest’s stomach. He then covers Shirou’s mouth with his hand before any words can get out. Kuro puts one finger to his mouth and parts some leaves away to show the scorched field from before. 

Now that the demons are gone, it is easier to see the purple light from earlier. When looking closer at it from a distance, it actually looks familiar. But before it could be recognized, a black portal appears out of nowhere and two people in black trench coats step out of it. The purple light dies down as the temperature becomes colder.

 


 

Present

 

Once the perimeter has been checked, the two Vindice convene back to their starting location.

“Did you find anything?”

“Nothing. You?”

“Negative.”

“...That’s troublesome.” 

The two stand together in silence. One of them starts to walk around the area again when he steps on something.

“Oh, what’s this?” He bends down to grab it when a bush shakes. A chain pierces into it and a squirrel sprints out of there. The Vindice stands up holding a broken shard that is a gold color on the edge in his hand and the rest is a surface of dark purple gemstones attached together. When the Vindice tries to touch the gemstone part the shard lights up briefly, “Interesting.”

“Should we take it back?” The other Vindince inquires. 

“Yes. It might give us some assistance in finding the perpetrators.”

“You think it’s more than one person?” The Vindice opens up the portal of Night Flames.

“With going by the area, it’s most likely is.” The other Vindice nods.

The two Vindice leaves through the portal, cutting off the rest of the conversation.

 


 

The temperature returns to normal as soon as the two people in trench coats leave.

Shirou comes out of the bushes he was hiding in with Kuro following soon after him with an unconscious Rin in his arms. The two that are conscious have a haunted look in their eyes.

“Hey Kuro, was that-” Shirou starts.

“A piece of the Gehenna Gate?” Kuro finishes the rest of his master’s thought, “Yeah it was.”

‘Why is it here’ is the common question among the two of them. Yet they decide to think about why another time.

Shirou asks a different question instead, “Can you sense any more of them?” 

Kuro closes his eyes as his hair briefly floats as if defying the laws of gravity, “No.” He opens his eyes and his hair drops back down, “I think that is the only one.”

“That’s good.” The priest says out loud. He then mumbles, “What is going on?” while deep in thought.

Kuro looks at Shirou in concern then shifts his focus towards Rin briefly before going back to the priest. “Shirou” the Cat Sith calls out.

The priest is brought out of his own musings, “Oh, sorry. We should head back,” He looks at their surrounding again, “Kuro, do you know how to get back?”

Kuro sighs, “Really. You are such an old man.” Kuro places Rin down and changes into his giant cat form. The Cat Sith then crouches down and signals Shirou to get on.

“Hey. Only my kids can call me an old man. Last I checked, you are not one of my kids,” The priest grumbles out as he places Rin on Kuro’s back. Once Rin is secured Shirou climbs on and the three are running back to the Circus.
 


 

The sun is barely out when the three of them get back to the Circus. Rin is carried towards the medical bay with Kuro while Shirou gets an earful from the Ringmaster. 

A day after getting bombarded with questions from the other member of the Circus, Shirou notices that the two people that were friends with the dead man are not here. Phile informs the priest that they left while Shirou was checking up on Rin.

The priest can only pray that those two find happiness again as he stares at his own son and familiar asleep.