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Doves Come in Pairs

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The God of Love, Eros, had a secret child who was half demon. His son ended up becoming the Demigod of Love, but was soon deemed the Demon of Heartbreak. He once loved a beautiful mortal human that lived upon the Earth. He loved her so much and watched her from afar, never leaving the realms above for her. But one day, he gathered the courage and rocketed down to the planet she called home. He stripped himself of his beautiful wings gifted by Aphrodite, went into human form, and confessed his love…but she left him heartbroken.

     My grandfather is from a beautiful island, where its native people are powerful and warrior-like in nature. My great grandfather five generations back was next in line to become king. He was set to marry another woman of high nobility and status on the island, but fell in love with a commoner from another island. He had decided he wanted to make the trip again across the sea, but the tides were too violent to let any life forms cross. The Demon of Heartbreak came out from the shadows and presented himself to my great grandfather to make a deal.

     He told him, “ I will grant you way across the stormy seas to get to your lover. I will bind your heart and soul to hers, so you can forever love and protect her. I will give you the ability to connect with her on a whole other level, one you could never imagine. However, if she does not accept your proposal or reciprocate the same feelings you have unto her, then you shall die a slow and painful death; from heartbreak. If this unfortunate event were to happen, you would be of no use to me. So before your heart turns black, I shall devour it to keep me well and thriving, and to ultimately save you from it all. ” The demon held out his hand for him to shake.

     He thought about this for a while. He was sure he shouldn’t trust this man from the sky, adorned with beautiful white wings and dark eyes. However, he wanted to marry her . He knew that to get to her, things had to be sacrificed.

     Before taking his hand, he asked, “Is there anything else I should know? There must be more to this deal.

     The beautiful demon laughed and looked at my great grandfather with sharp devious eyes. “Usually people don’t ask about the fine print…”

     “What?”

     “Oh nothing, it’s a western reference.”

      The demon cleared his voice and rubbed his hands together. He could tell the demon didn’t want to say, and was hesitant to say a word.

      “ This curse shall pass down through your blood line until the end of time.”

      “I don’t want my children and my children’s children to know the wrath of you.”

     “ Well, if you stay here, you’ll die from heartbreak anyway. If you don’t marry the one you seek, you won’t marry anyone, and shall die young. Your bloodline will die, along with you .”

     “How would you know that?”

     “ Well how do you explain I knew about your little love situation.

     He thought about it for a while. Although sketchy, the demons words made sense, and if he could be with the woman he was so desperately in love with, he was fine with it. He was sure his future ancestors could manage.

     “Deal.”

     The two of them shook hands and the sky above began to rumble with lightning. Big bolt came down as rain poured from the heavens. “ I gift thee with wings that shall sore above the highest of seas. These wings are yours now, my dove. They shall take you to the one you so love dearly. Blessed may your wings not fall away from the break of your heart. ” The demon said, taking out the most beautifully intricate looking dagger from his pocket. He turned my great grandfather around and began slicing two long lines on my great grandfather’s back along both his shoulder blades. He groaned from immense pain, but it was completely soothed as big and beautiful white wings sprouted from his back. They extended many feet out from his sides and when they stretched to their fullest length, he gasped. He started laughing hysterically, being so surprised by such a miraculous moment. He looked at the demon with big bright eyes. “Thank you,” he smiled. He had emotional tears in his eyes. Before long, he took off, soaring into the sky. The clouds parted for him and he flew so high, he felt as though he was above the sun. When he made it to the native island of his lover, they married, and lived a long and happy life. When he returned years later with his bride and many beautiful children, another family had taken the throne. He gave up his children’s futures and the throne for love.

      So now, because of the curse from many generations ago, we are called Doves. When we fall in love, we partner up with the one we have those beautiful feelings for. However, just like actual doves, we can die from heartbreak.

Chapter Text

     I moved to Japan half a year ago. The other exwires have been trying to recoup after Yukio’s departure. I don’t know much about him, other than he’s Rin’s brother, an exorcist, was a teacher, and is now an affiliate of the Illuminati. Ever since I’ve gotten here, things have been kinda tense.

     To catch up with the other exwires I took tests and exams and now I’m up to speed with everyone else. Based on my abilities, I’ve decided to go with Tamer and Knight.

     We’ve got new teachers and teacher assistants who were put in place after Yukio left, and they forced us all to do dumbass icebreakers, even though everyone knew each other except for me. Things ended up going really well to my surprise over these last couple of months, and I ended up getting invited to a sleepover party at the temple Ryūji, Shima, and Konekomaru grew up at. Shima thought it would be a good idea to try convince Shura to buy us some beers. Long story short…

      We ended up getting the beers .

     Back home my friends used to sneak me into their houses because their parents were loaded and didn’t care if we drank as long as we stayed in the house. Those were probably the best memories I have of my friends back home. We’d do so much shit but it was the best time ever.

     “Okay guys,” Shura began, “stay inside, make sure no one wanders off and keep a bin next to you at all times because no one wants to wake up to the smell and presence of vomit.”

     Rin laughed. “Why so overprotective?”

     Shura scratches my back of her neck and laughed nervously. “I just don’t want anyone else to find out I have you alcohol.”

     We all nodded our heads with small smiles and the next thing we knew, she was off.

     “Holy shit,” Shima laughed mischievously. “Dude, she bought us four twelve packs!”

     “Shima,” Ryūji scolded, putting a finger up to his lips, signaling for him to be quiet. “We have to move everything to the other side of the temple and out the back so no one will hear us. The walls are pretty thin.” He added.

     We picked up the paper bags full of delicious alcohol and let Ryūji lead the way.

     “I don’t think this is a good idea (Y/N),” said Konekomaru. He looked up at me with concerned eyes.

     “You don’t have to drink if you don’t want to. Don’t feel obligated just because everyone else is.” I told him, using my free hand to pay him on the shoulder.

     “Don’t worry,” Izumo began, “I won’t be getting drunk tonight. I’m only planning on one beer. We’ve got a test on Monday.”

     We all did, but it was Friday night and getting drunk a couple days before the test wasn’t gonna affect our chances at passing. By Saturday afternoon we should be fine and sobered up.

     “All I know is, is that I’m gonna get fucked up,” Rin said in a harsh whisper. If allowed he would’ve definitely screamed it.

   “I don’t even know how long I can stay. Lightning could call me at any moment,” Ryūji said. He was Lightning’s apprentice, but most of the job was cleaning. Everyone groaned in annoyance at his statement. Ryūji was obviously not planning on getting drunk, like Shima and Rin has intended. They want him to loosen up a bit and have fun because he’s been so busy. “It’s not my fault,” he said.

     Shima turned around from where he was, which was right behind Ryūji and in front of Rin. He called out to me, “Hey (Y/N).”

     I looked up to meet his eyes. “Hm?” I hummed.

     “You planning on getting fucked up with me and Rin?” He asked with the slyest smirk on his face. When he asked this, everyone turned to look at me. Rin looked at me with the same expression Shima wore but when I met eyes with Ryūji… he looked at me with his eyes, and as he did this, it was like they were asking, “ Are you? .” I was afraid that if I said, “Hell yeah,” then he would be disappointed in me. When it came to how people viewed me, I could barely give to fucks, if I happened to be confident that day. But there’s a select few of people that I never truly felt confident around. When around those people, I’m always aware of what I’m wearing, what I say, how I talk, etc. And one of those people was Ryūji. He didn’t make me feel bad about myself, I just…want to impress him.

     I hesitated for a split second before answering. “Hehe maybe, maybe not, we’ll see,” I said, with a small smirk on my face. I wanted my answer to be playful so it seemed like I did want to get shitfaced, but also present the possibility of a twist ending that at the end of the night, I would end up not being drunk.

     They all let my answer be and laughed quiet laughs as we finally made our way to our spot. We decided to sit outside near the back so no accidents would happen inside.

     “Okay,” Rin said, rubbing his two hands together. His tail wagged excitedly behind him as he pulled out the pack from the brown bag he carried out. He latched a can of aluminum out from the plastic and cracked the lid back. The outside of the Can was black silver and gold and read “True Cross Beer”. A crisp pop came from the beverage, and soon enough, he was downing the intoxicating liquid. Suddenly he choked and spat it everywhere. “Jesus Christ what the hell is this?” He stuck his tongue out and looked at the almost empty van in disgust. Everyone laughed and I belted .

     “Fuck,” I laughed, “have you never had a beer before?”

     He scratched the back of his neck and his cheeks turned a light pink that was semi noticeable underneath the light of the moon. “No,” he said, embarrassed.

     We laughed and laughed until our guts hurt and our faces were sore from smiling. “Well what did you expect?” Shima laughed, patting him on the back.

     After the funny little charade, Shima passed me and Izumo a beer, and was now holding one out to Ryūji. He looked at it for a long second. “Aw come on Bon, just one,” Shima said. He wagged the beer in his face with his eyebrows up, as if trying to persuade Ryūji with his eyes.

     “You shouldn’t peer pressure,” I told Shima, trying to act serious, even though I had a small smile peeking out upon my lips. “Yeah Shima if he doesn’t want one that’s fine. After all, I’m not having any,” Konekomaru added.

     “Oh yeah, we’ll see about that,” he said to Konekomaru, flashing him a smirk.

     Bon sat there with his arms folded across his chest. He contemplated for a moment. “One,” he said. We all looked at him for a second not knowing what he meant, even though it was pretty obvious as to what he was saying. “I’ll only have one. Can’t get drunk. Like I said, Lightning could call at any moment.”

     “Oh my God , fuck off with that shit,” Rin said. We all looked over and realized that he was sipping on some fruity alcoholic beverage that Shura bought for herself and accidentally left along with the beer. I guess we didn’t notice because you screw the cap off of the bottle, and not pop it.

     “Rin!” Ryūji scolded hushly. He looked at him with scrunched eyebrows.

     “You got more laxed for a while but then as soon as he suddenly appears,” he was referring to Lightning, “you wanna hop on his dick . Like, I know you wanna learn from him, but chill the fuck out . I’m so tired of listening to you talk about Lightning . Lightning this , and Lightning that . Ugh!” He groaned, slightly slurring his words and burping in between sentences. ‘ Jesus…’ I thought to myself.

     “Rin I think you’ve had enou-” Konekomaru was cut off by Rin falling back and yelling out into the void which was the sky. Ryūji grabbed a branch that was on the ground near by and reached over to hit Rin over the head.

     “Shut up you drunk bastard,” Ryūji whispered aggressively. “Your dumbass is gonna get us caught!”

     Rin groaned and rubbed his head.

     “Ehh…”

     “Although he’s acting very stupid,” Konekomaru began, “he has a point.”

     Everyone except me and Rin looked at him in surprise, even Shima. “Huh?!”

     “Bon, you aren’t spending enough time to do things to relax. Although drinking isn’t the only way to relax, just having one won’t hurt. And I don’t think you should be limiting yourself because you’re an apprentice. Lightning has already said multiple times that if you need time for yourself, you need to set up those boundaries,” he explained.

     Everyone say there and blinked.

     Ryūji sighed and finally gave in. He gave a small smile and took the beer from Shima. “Alright, I think about a second one.” Rin rolled his eyes in annoyance.

     “We want you to relax and have fun but if you don’t want to drink the beer just ‘cause, don’t force yourself,” I added.

     “Yeah,” Konekomaru agreed. Ryūji looked at me and gave a small smile. He grabbed a can from the plastic incasing and handed it to me. When handing it over, our fingertips brushed ever so slightly against each other, and I felt a sparkling tingling feeling within myself. I got goosebumps but reframed from shivering because that would’ve been weird . I gripped onto it and pulled back the tab, a crisp pop sound eliciting from it. A bunch of other pops went off but I paid them no mind.

     I looked back up at him and noticed he was still looking at me. My eyes faltered to the ground but they made their way back up to him. I looked around and noticed they were all looking at me, and were waiting for me to finish opening my beer. I laughed nervously and looked back at him. He raised his glass to me and said with a small smile, “To new friends.”

      And everyone cheered in a hushed tone, “To new friends.”

 

Thirty Minutes Later…

 

     I groaned, “Ugh…” I was resting up against a wooden pillar on the porch and was right in between Izumo and Ryūji. Konekomaru finally decided to try one about ten minutes in and ended up drinking five in the span of thirty. Turns out he’s a lightweight, considering he’s now blacked out in the middle of the lawn. Shima and Rin are going absolutely nuts , and have decided to fight each other with some sticks they found on the ground.

      Izumo yawned and rested her head on my shoulder. She ultimately chose to drink one beer tonight along with Ryūji, but she didn’t end up keeping her word. She’s three and a half cans in and is pretty buzzed. “Ya know,” she began to speak. Me and Ryūji looked over to our left to pay attention, “you’re really cool.” She looked up at me through starry eyes and gave me a drunken smile that I knew was genuine. I smiled back, “Thanks Kamiki-chan.”

     She got up from her place of rest and sat up. She wagged her head and finger in unison. “No no, you can call me Izumo.”

Both Ryūji and I’s eyes widened.

      Yobisute .

     While studying Japanese I had learned that someone allowing you to call them by their first name without an honorific was a big deal. Holy shit .

     “Wait seriously?”

     “Yeah,” she said. She lied back down on my shoulder and said no more.

     “Wow,” Ryūji began, “that’s impressive. For her to drop an honorific this early is a big deal.”

     “Is six months of hanging out really too early?” I asked playfully.

     He took a small sip from his beer and laughed. “For her it is, yeah.”

     “Hm,” I hummed taking another sip from my drink. We sat in silence for a bit, both of us staring up at the moon. I could feel the alcohol making minor changes in how my body was feeling.

     We didn’t say anything for a while and I couldn’t tell if it was awkward or not because I could start to feel the alcohol kicking in even more as I drank. I suddenly began to over think and become more self conscious because it was now just us sitting here. My face got warmer and I could feel wetness on the back of my neck.

     Rin and Shima are in the grass now by Konekomaru pointing up at the sky drunkenly trying to make the stars in the night sky. There was no more loud noises.

     Just quiet humming and little chitters from the bugs out tonight.

     And I decided to break it.

     I mean, I couldn’t help it. It was eating away at me.

     “Hey,” I said. He looked at me, which felt like it went through my soul. My eyes lingered too long but I finally managed to speak. “Can you grab me another beer?” I asked. He nodded and turned to the right to grab a bag of unopened beer. He pulled one out from the plastic casing and pulled back over to his spot beside me. After he settled the wind blew and I caught I deep whiff of his cologne. He smelled of musk and alcohol and I loved it. ‘ Jesus (Y/N), calm yourself,’ I thought, reaching out for the beer. Our fingertips brushed against each other again and I felt the tips of my ears get hot. The sound of my heart beating was suddenly a pounding beat in my head and I began to feel nervous. I breathed in deep and smelt his scent. Ugh, why do I get flustered so easily?

     I really hope my slight feelings for him don’t get too serious. That’s what I’m most afraid about .

     “Thanks.”

     “No problem.”

     I cracked the top open and dipped some more, getting even more buzzed than before. We both just chilled and stared off into the distance. His shoulders were relaxed against the strong wooden pillar and everything was serene. Five minutes goes by and suddenly his phone buzzes. Izumo fidgets and raises her head a little from her place on my side. Shima and Rin, more dazed now, sit up a bit and look at Ryūji. Konekomaru… is still out for the count.

     “Bon,” Rin said, his voice soft and cracking.

     “Don’t yo-” Shima started, but was interrupted by Ryūji pulling out his phone and answering.

     “Hello?”

     “Hey-” the person on the other end said, but I saw from his screen that it was Lightning. On some dumbass instinct I grabbed his phone.

     “Uh what do you think you’re doing?” He said, looking at me in confusion. “Give it back.”

     I smiled at him and put to phone up to my ear. He tried grabbing it from me so I moved to to my left ear and pushed his hands away from me with my right one. His skin touching mine felt like little carbonate bubbles were resurfacing on my skin, but I continued because I enjoyed it.

     “No no, (L/N)-san give it ba-”

     I laughed but a thought ran through my head. ‘ Please…please, just call me (Y/N) Ryūji…’

     But I had to complete a mission .

     “Hello,” I said, trying to sound serious through my words, which were now somewhat slurred.

     “...”

     “Who is this?” I asked, waiting for a response.

     “...may I ask to whom I’m speaking to?” Lightning asked, which was surprisingly in English.

     “Who wants to know?”

    ‘ God, how dumb can I be?

     “I’m pretty sure you already know,” the voice said, sounding intrigued yet annoyed.

     I laughed. “Yeah,” a smile spilled from my lips. “Anyway, Suguro-kun is busy and can’t make it to the phone right now-”

     “Wasn’t he ju-”

     “Oop!” I cut him off. “Would you like to leave a message mister?”

     A heavy sigh was heard from the other end. “Eh, forget it. Ryūji,” He said, knowing Ryūji could hear him even though it wasn’t on speaker. I mean come on, it was dead silent out. “I’ve got tomorrow covered. Just have fun.”

     “But are you su-”

     “Yeah kid, it’s alright. Remember, you gotta let me know when I need to draw the line. You’re allowed to have your own life too.”

     Ryūji sighed. “Yeah… alright. Talk to you later.” I handed him back his phone this time.

     “Alright, bye.”

     “Bye.”

     Everyone was still watching, more alert. Konekomaru’s eyes were lidded but still slightly open.

     “What just happened?” Konekomaru asked in an ever so soft whispered.

     Shima laughed a hearty laugh and lied back down on his back along with Rin. “She just got Bon a fast pass to getting shit faced tonight.”

     Konekomaru smiled, so obviously drunk. “Hehe,” is all he lightly chuckled before his head fell to the ground and once again, he was out like a light. Izumo rested her head back on my shoulder and closed her eyes.

     I looked at Ryūji to see him looking at me once more. He gave me a small smile and clinked his can to mine. He looked out to the sky. “Well, since I’ve got nothing to do tomorrow…” he reached over to the pack again and pulled three and out. ‘ Oh shit .’

     He chugged the one he was currently drinking, and burped allowed. I began to laugh. “Oh my God hahaha!” He laughed along with me and cracked open another. “How about we celebrate with some jams?”

     “Jams?”

     “Yeah, like music.”

     “That’s what you call it in America?” He asked me, leaning in a little bit closer. My face felt a little warmer than before.

     “No,” I laughed, “I’m just calling it that.”

     “Oh,” he laughed, taking another sip. I pulled my phone out and went to my playlists on Spotify. I clicked on “ Ultimate Playlist ” and pressed “ Shuffle ”. The first song that began playing was Redbone by Childish Gambino. The beginning melody played out before the lyrics began. The beat got me in a groovy mood and I bounced my head a little, snapping along to it..

Daylight
I wake up feeling like you won't play right
I used to know, but now that shit don't feel right
It made me put away my pride
So long
You made a ***** wait for some, so long
You make it hard for boy like that to go on
I'm wishing I could make this mine, oh
If you want it, yeah
You can have it, oh, oh, oh
If you need it, ooh
We can make it, oh
If you want it
You can have it
But stay woke
****** creepin'
They gon' find you
Gon' catch you sleepin' (oh)
Now stay woke
***** creepin'
Now don't you close your eyes
Too late
You wanna make it right, but now it's too late
My peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid
I'm trying not to waste my time
If you want it, oh
You can have it (you can have it)
If you need it (you better believe in something)
We can make it, oh
If you want it
You can have it, ah!
But stay woke (stay woke)
****** creepin' (they be creepin')
They gon' find you (they gon' find you)
Gon' catch you sleepin' (gon' catch you sleepin', put your hands up on me)
Now stay woke
****** creepin'
Now don't you close your eyes
But stay woke (ooh, ah)
****** creepin'
They gon' find you (they gon' find you)
Gon' catch you sleepin' (gon' catch you, gon' catch you, ooh)
Now stay woke
****** creepin'
Now don't you close your eyes
How'd it get so scandalous?
Oh, how'd it get so scandalous?
Oh, oh, how'd it get, how'd it get
How'd it get so scandalous?
How'd it get so scandalous?
How'd it get so scandalous?
But stay woke
But stay woke

     When the song finished he asked, “Who was that?”

     “That was Childish Gambino. The song is called Redbone.”

     “Oh,” he said, “well I like it a lot. I’ve listened to old western music and it gives me those vibes.”

     “Huh? Old western?” I laughed. Did he mean old southern counters type music?

     “By ‘western’ I mean America in general. It gives me eighties vibes.”

     “Oh!” I laughed. I scratched the back of my neck in embarrassment. ‘ Oh shit mthere I go, fucking things up.

     “Yeah. I really liked that. I’ll download that later.”

     “Glad I could introduce you to it.” I smiled. My heart felt warm. It was quiet for a moment. The awkwardness was engulfing me but thank God Ryūji pulled us out of it.

     “What genre of music do you listen to?”

     “I really like (list of your favorite types of music). How about you?”

    “I really like Rock, Western or European, and Japanese.”

     I smiled. This was the first time I got to sit next to him alone and actually get to know him. I felt so fuzzy inside, which could’ve just been the alcohol. Like, my heart and soul turned into mushy goo and was escaping me through my attentive eyes and shy smile.

     “What do you like to do during your free time?” I asked.

     He sat there for a second to ponder before answering. “I kinda like things to be clean and tidy so I’ll usually be cleaning something. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t mind cleaning up after Lightning. Um…I mean, I like working out, so there’s that.”

     Hm, okay. I guess my room should probably be moved around a bit now that I know he doesn’t like things messy. I mean, I haven’t unpacked everything and it all has to be moved anyway . I guess the thought of him will be extra motivation.

     “Favorite word?”

     “Oh, I know mine,” he said, “it’s ‘karma’.”

     “Karma?”

     “Mhm. Karma.”

     “I like that. I believe in Karma.”

     “Me too, it’s one of the reasons I like it so much.”

     “Hm…” I pointed my index finger to the bottom of chin trying to think of another question.

     “Can I ask you a question?” He asked.

     I took another long chug of my beer until I emptied it. It was warm and in result I cringed.

     “Yeah go ahead.”

     Before asking he tried downing some more of his drink. After every last drop was down his throat he wiped his mouth off on his sleeve. He was adorable. Absolutely stunning in the moonlight. I could almost feel his soul radiate off his body and tickle my skin.

     “Do you…Are you scared of dying?”

     “Dying?” The question hadn’t really processed because… alcohol. I grabbed one of the beer Ryūjihad beside him for himself and popped the top open. I sipped some more before asking, “What do you mean? Why would I die?”

     He drank some more and explained, “You can die while being an exorcist. You know that, don’t you?”

     My eyes felt heavy, but not in the ‘I’m tired way’, by in the ‘I’m sad and drunk’ way. I looked up at the moon, my eyes beginning to weld up with tears. I angled my head up a little more so they’d seep back down into my skull. I’d normally never get emotional in front of someone, especially someone I kinda have a ‘ thing ’ for, but tipsy me? Oh sis, she didn’t care as much as sober me did. “There… are many other ways one could die…I rather die as an exorcist than as a result of anything else…” All I could ever think about was the curse. And it’s not just some fairytale .

     This is shit was and still is so very fucking real .

     My cousin Oketa died from it a year and a half ago. We all watched it take her.

      Ever so slowly…and painfully .

     I’d rather die fighting than lose my mind as my body drowns in sorrow.

   “But why?” He pressed. He seemed to not understand why I’d wanna go through all of this and still not be afraid, but then again…does that mean he is?

     “Some things are much worse.” I made eye contact with him and didn’t look away. I just, closed my eyes. My mind was fuzzy as fuck and for some reason my mind was wanting to shut off instead of do weird shit like I’d normally do while drunk. I felt so… calm .

     “(Y/N)?”

     “Hm?” I hummed softly, almost so soft that it could barely be heard. He said something but his words were blurred out by my intoxication. Silence surrounded us as if we were underwater. Rin and Shima finally fell asleep on their sides, which saved them from the possibility of choking on their own vomit in their sleep. Konekomaru still hadn’t moved from his tiny spot in the grass but was still breathing. Izumo was still on my shoulder, and Ryūji was still by my side. The moonlight shone on all of us, keeping us company. I exhaled and I felt myself drifting away.

     Before slipping deep into sleep and breathing…taking Ryūji all in, for a split second, I thought my heart had a little murmur. A little skip of a beat. A flat line. A spark. An ignition. A little tremor of sorts. A thump that was a little too hard.

      A change in rhythm.

 

Chapter Text

      My eyes were heavy and from the overindulgence in beer, my head had a soft but annoying throbbing pain. The sun was just beginning to rise, and from the leaking light upon the horizon my mind came finally to. I had been asleep for a while but for the last minute or so my mind’s just been a little fuzzy. The soft light outlined the trees in front of me, the shadows of the cascading all along the ground.

     My eyes opened ever so slightly. Rin and Shima were passed out next to Konekomaru, but where was Izumo and (Y/N)? It took me a while, but I had finally realized a weight on my left shoulder. I looked to find (Y/N) nuzzled into me, face covered by her (H/L) (H/C) locks. Now resting on (Y/N)’s lap, lied Izumo. Her hair askew and no longer bound by her hair ties.

     I looked to my right and only reached a little to pick up some rocks nearby. I didn’t want to move too much in fear of waking (Y/N). I grabbed a couple of tiny pebbles and began throwing them at Rin, Shima, and Konekomaru. The first one to react was Shima. He squirmed and guarded his face with his arms. I threw some more and Rin groaned, “Eh stop doing that.” Konekomaru moved suddenly, flinching in place, but didn’t wake. I threw another at the right lense of his glasses and he bolted up straight, his eyes wide in shock. They all sat up and looked at me with tired annoyed expressions.

     “Time to get up. Help me out with our trash and the girls,” I told them, my eyes squinting. The painful throbbing in my head was getting stronger now. Rin and Shima grunted but made their way on their feet. Konekomaru pushes himself up and rubbed the back of his neck.

     “Hey Rin,” I said quietly. He looked at me with exhausted eyes.

     “What do you want?”

     “You’re gonna have to carry Izumo,” I told him. Shima looked at me as if I had just betrayed him with the worst crime.

     “Why can’t I carry her?!” Shima cried, his slight anger taking his mind off his hard hangover. He crossed his arms over his chest and pouted like a little boy who wasn’t allowed to get the candy he wanted.

     “I don’t trust you, and she certainly doesn’t trust you with carrying her inside.”

     “How do you know? She’s not even awake to say.” He said.

     “ Exactly ,” I replied, looking him deep in his eyes.

     “Why do we have to carry them inside when we can just wake them? I don’t wanna carry her but Shima wants to, so just let him.” Rin said, his tail drooping down with much movement. “Eh, maybe that’s not such a good idea,” Rin added, rethinking what he had said.

     I pinched the bridge of my nose. Konekomaru could see I was upset and said, “I’ll get the trash.” He began putting the empty cans in one brown paper bag and shoved the unopened ones onto another.

     “Just do what I’m telling you to do Rin,” I demanded, now annoyed as ever. My patience was thinning from the obvious fact that a migraine was coming on. His shoulders dropped and he sighed.

     “Ugh…fine.” He walked over to Izumo’s body and scooped both his arms from underneath her. Shima was just not having it.

     “No fair,” Shima mumbled, still pouting like a child. I scoffed at him and he looked at me with upset eyes.

     Rin finally got a good grip around Izumo and lifted her up. He shifted her in his arms a bit before he began to walk towards the doors to inside. I looked at (Y/N) and thought about how I should approach carrying her. I decided to lower head onto my lap and then grab her from underneath her shoulders and her knees. I began to lower her gently but before I could position her fully on her back, Shima said, “I don’t think getting blown by an unconscious girl is any fun.” He said it to piss me off because he knew that’s not what I was doing. Konekomaru looked my way from his place near the bags in confusion.

     “Oh shut up Shima. You know that’s not what I’m trying to do here,” I growled through gritted teeth. After positioning her correctly I picked her up while trying to get up on my feet. For a split second she almost slipped through my arms but I caught her well enough and it was like it never happened.

     Konekomaru grabbed up the bags and went in front of me. As we walked inside, Shima turned around to close the door behind us. The sun shone through the long curtain-like cloths hanging in front of the windows. The hallway floors were painted in long rectangles of sunlight. (Y/N) made little mumbles here and there as we made our way towards my room. She squirmed only a little bit and while trying to turn her whole body while in the midst of holding her, her hair whipped me in the face and I was met by the smell of beer and vanilla. ‘Nice,’ I thought.

     I looked down at her and took the image of her in my arms in. Her head was once again nuzzled into me but the light from outside cascaded upon her hair and skin and she truly looked alive . She looked so peaceful. ‘What an interesting girl.’

     When she first came I never really paid her any mind. She ultimately had the same goal as us, but I couldn’t help but be suspicious. Ever since Shima let Yukio get away I haven’t been able to see him the same. Who was to say she wouldn’t be any different? What if she got close to us, but became two faced like my childhood friend? She seemed not shy, but intimidatingly stand-offish at first. She didn’t talk to anyone for the first two weeks, but when we were forced into a group activity, she finally opened up a little. I don’t know much about her. We don’t know much about her…and I guess we all kinda wanna know who she is. The rest of my friends and I have been together for a while but she’s new . So we have absolutely no clue who she truly is. I was surprised that she wanted to drink last night. Never would’ve pegged her for a girl that would want to, but I’m not judging. I’ve had a couple of drinks here and there every so often, but I’ve never gotten shitfaced at a party or something along those lines before so…

     ‘ Shit !’ I just realized something.

     I fucking missed my morning run. I sighed aloud. ‘I’ll just make it up later…’

      From observing her a little bit, I’ve noticed that she’s a good listener. Konekomaru was telling her a story about how much he loved listening to mantras and chants and how he hopes to become a powerful Aria someday. She listened in and spoke to him with words of encouragement, showing her interest in what he was talking about. That’s something I can appreciate.

     I really hope she’s not like Shima. That’d be a shame. A real shame.

     “Shima open my door,” I whispered. Konekomaru had already shuffled away to the other side of the temple, away from everyone else to throw out the trash. I was left with Rin, Shima, and two sleepy girls.

     “Yeah hurry up dude she’s getting heavy,” Rin said, the veins in his neck popping out just ever so slightly, indicating that Izumo’s body was causing strain to Rin’s. He’s very strong but it seems the hangover made him more weak.

     “Well I could hold her all day long,” Shima retorted, once again like a dumbass, getting pouty and crossing his arms across his chest.

     “Shima open the damn door.”

     He rolled his eyes and opened it. I stepped in first while Rin followed. My bed was already made and in the corner.

     It should be big enough for the both of them.

     I walked to my bed and lied (Y/N) down. I kept her close to my chest before her back hit the bed. As I pulled up, my face passed hers by an inch. As I did so, I met her eyes that were just fluttering ever so softly open. Her right arm was draped across her stomach and her left hand rested upon my right shoulder.

     Her fingertips seemed to burn through my clothes. But that was once for a split second. Suddenly like a flash of lightning, she was back into a deep sleep. Her shoulders once tense for a brief moment, slugged and sunk back down into my sheets.

     My face felt warm.

     “What’s about to happen right now?” Shima chuckled. “Are we about to see some hot lesbian action?” He was referring to (Y/N) and Izumo sleeping next to each other. I looked back at him with wide eyes and disgust. I had nothing against that kind of stuff, it’s just him making jokes like that were fucking gross. He’s always had a nasty ass mind.

     “Oh my God you’re so fucking disgusting,” Rin spat out.

     I didn’t answer add anything to Rin’s comment other than give Shima a mean look. His face turned pale and he put his hands up.

     “Okay okay, I’m sorry. It was just a joke.”

     “Yeah, a fucked up one,” Rin added.

     I moved her a little more to the left side of the bed to make room for Izumo. “Alright Rin, bring her over.” Rin made his way over to the bed and dropped her rather carelessly next to (Y/N). She bounced but didn’t wake from her slumber. “Dude,” I looked at him disappointedly, “be more considerate.” I scoffed in annoyance.

     “Ugh whatever. I’m gonna go shower up. Shima come on, let’s go.” Rin said, leaving the room, passing Shima.

     “Okay pal, whatever you say ,” Shima replied from the doorway. He then faced me and said,“Just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

     “Which is what exactly?”

     He gave me a small laugh that was surprisingly sinister. “I’m just playin’ with ya,” he answered, walking out into the hallway, away from where I stood. I shook my head and dismissed him. I shook some painkillers out my medicine bottle that was on the bedside table and scarfed them down without any water in hopes of it calming the raging throbbing going on in my head. I looked at the girls one last time before turning out and closing my door behind me.

Chapter Text

      We were all currently back at the True Cross Academy. Cram school just ended and we were all discussing on where we were gonna study for the next test coming up. Because Shiemi was no longer in the Cram school, she met up with us afterwards so we could all walk together.

     “I feel like I failed that test,” Izumo sighed. I patted her on the back, trying to reassure her.

     “I’m sure you did fine.” The test was kinda hard, but Izumo is smart and works hard, just like the rest of them. I personally don’t think I did well because I didn’t study. While we were testing my eyes kept being drawn to him. I sat a little bit behind him on the opposite side of the room, so I could stare all I wanted. My heart thumped a little harder than usual. I felt fuzzy.

     “Guys, we can all go to my place and hang out in the garden outside the shop! My mom has something going on inside with customers, but it’s nice outside, so we should be fine,” Shiemi suggested. We all nodded our heads and agreed that a change of scenery would be nice.

     On our walk there, Ryūji, Shima, and Izumo led the way. She was to the middle with Ryūji to left and Shima to the right of her. Izumo was paying more attention to Ryūji than Shima. Shima kept trying to butt in but his attempts failed and after a while it just looked pathetic. And although I should’ve been fine, I wasn’t. These past few minutes Ryūji seems to be more light, rather than sporting the stone cold and determined demeanor he usually upheld. Izumo and him talked and discussed an inaudible topic as they continued walking. They both seemed to be serious and slightly secretive. I looked away from the view of the in front of me and watched people along the sidewalks go about their day.

     It wasn’t before long that we arrived. Shiemi pushed open a set of gate doors and I was greeted by the beautiful sight of green plants. They decorated the soil all over and even reached for the sky. It was absolutely stunning. A smile creeped up my face and my eyes began to sparkle in wonder. I looked around and, might I just say, it is truly amazing.

     “Guys come over here!” Izumo called out. Her and Shiemi found a tree we could all sit under. Everyone parked their butts underneath before I could, and the only place to sit near them was around the other side of the tree. The amount of plants in the area made it hard to just sit anywhere near where they were located.

     “Um,” Shiemi said, looking for any possible place I could sit that was close.

     “It’s okay, I’m actually gonna look around first.” Everyone looked up at me from their places.

     “Oh really?” Shiemi asked.

     I shot her a smile and nodded, “Mhm.”

I passed them by and walked further on, looking and touching the plants as I continued down a dirt path. They were all so beautiful and different. I guess I got distracted as I was walking, because I bumped into someone and fell to the ground. I looked up to see who it was and it was a boy I’ve never seen before. He sucked on a cherry lollipop and and stared down at me. His nails were long and claw like, and his ears pointed out far, almost the same as Rin’s. ‘Who is this guy?’ I thought to myself. He looked at me, almost examining me. I winced in slight pain as my body hit the ground from the not-so dramatic encounter. “Sorry,” I finally said, not sure what else to say. He bent down and met my eyes more closely now. He took the lollipop out of his mouth and point to me.

     “What’s your name?” He asked, a blank expression on his face. He was cute but seemed sketchy, like a pretty ornament you can admire but can’t touch. I scrunch my eyebrows together in confusion. I was a little frightened and hesitant to answer.

     “(L/N) (F/N),” I said, looking up at him.

     He reached his hand out and pushed a strand of my (H/C) hair behind me ear. His finger traveled from behind my ear and down my jawline. With the way he looked at me and how his finger and elongated nail felt on my skin, my face got warm. He finally retracted his hand.

     “My name’s Amaimon,” said the boy, continuing to look down at me. He now offered me his hand to shake, but I didn’t accept it right away.

     “Nice to meet you…Amaimon,” I replied hesitantly, shaking his hand. When I went to let go, he didn’t, and instead yanked me up to my feet. And that startled me. He looked me in the eyes for a while, just staring into my soul. “Um…do you need something?” I asked. He leaned forward and looked me up and down some more. A chill traveled through my body. I felt so vulnerable and naked under the gaze of his dead and cold eyes.

     He put the lollipop back in his mouth. “If you want to live, follow me.”

     Confusion and fear took over and now I was beginning to sweat. “Wait what?” I asked. He was already beginning to walk away.

     He looked back at me, licking his lollipop quite sensually, eyeing me some more with the eyes of a lifeless doll. “Follow me,” He said in a monotone voice, yet somehow it seemed demanding. I reached into my bag and grabbed my pair of scissors from a separate compartment inside. I held them secretly behind my back. If something bad we’re to happen, I’d just poke him in the neck and run. I obediently followed and as I walked behind him in this maze of a garden, I noticed he had a tail,  just like Rin’s , except…it was reptilian in nature. He couldn’t be a human. He had to be some sort of demon or...creature.

      ‘What in the hell is actually going on here?’ I asked myself. He came to a stop at a brown wooden bench. He walked over to it and sat down. He over stretched his arms across the back a signaled for me to sit next to him with the flick of his neck. When I didn’t move, he got annoyed. “Come sit down. And put those scissors away. They won’t do help you.”

      ‘How the heck did he about the scissors?’

     Afraid of making him mad, I put the scissors back in my bag and walked over to the bench to sit. Once seated, he moved to angle his body towards me. He looked at me and said, “You’re interesting.”

     “What’s that supposed to mean?”

     “You’re different, just like my queen,” he replied.

     “Your queen?” I was confused as to whether I should be flattered or terrified.

     “She goes by Shiemi Moriyama.”

     “Shiemi?!”

     He didn’t answer me but I knew that’s who he was talking about.

     “I thought Rin was the only one who liked her,” I said.

     “Little brother and I like her. Not just Rin.” He licked and sucked on my lollipop some more.

     “Wait there’s three guys that like her?!” He only nodded in response. “Wait, who is your little brother?”

     “Yukio.”

     My eyes widened to the fucking max and I literally thought my head was about to fucking explode all over Amaimon.

     “Okumura?!” All he did was nod.

     “He’s Rin’s twin brother! Wait, and Yukio’s your little brother which means Rin is your brother too?!” My mind was spiraling and suddenly I felt a little nauseous. Why the fuck does Rin have such an odd and creepy brother. But how can he be older? They look the same age. The most important was this: he too, was the son of Satan. Yukio and Rin’s mother had only been with one man, meaning that Amaimon would have to be connected through Satan, their father.

     He looked at me more with curiosity and said, “We should get to know each other.”

      I looked at him with confusion. “Why?”

      He simply shrugged his shoulders. “Because I said so,” He told me. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I laughed so hard that a tear ran down my face. To think he had the balls to talk to someone like that was so hilarious. He had to be joking. ‘Who does he think he is?’

     “I’m sorry, I’m not quite understanding why this is all happening.”

     He tilted his head and leaned in close to my face to get my attention. He took the lollipop out of his mouth and motioned to a bush that was in front of us. I turned to look at it. It looked mediocre, nothing too exciting. But with the snap of his fingers it grew and grew and grew , to an enormous size. White flowers sprouted from all over and as the petals opened, from the flower buds little creatures came jumping out. They were tiny little green people-like thingies. My eyes were wide in shock. As they fell from this now giant ass plant, they all rushed over to Amaimon’s feet. When they all finished gathering, they bowed. They bowed . They bowed at his feet. Who the is this kid and why am I sitting here letting this happen?!

     I looked up and noticed that the other plants around us all leaned downward in a bowing motion. Amaimon leaned down from his place next to me and picked up a little green creature. As he pulled it, I saw it in a bowing position in his hands. He rested his free arm behind me on the back to the bench and leaned into my ear, bringing the little green man over to me. “I’m a king… their king,” he said rather softly, too close to my ear for comfort. I had to admit that they were really cute though. They were tiny little green people that just sprouted from flowers! But his words confused me.

     He leans back a bit and hands me the little green thing. I looked at it in the palms of my hands. It peered up at me and smiled. “Hello!” I said to it, caressing it’s little plant-like face. “You are so cute!” I’ve done some research on demonology lately, but I’m not a wise owl who knows everything about it. Seeing these demons for the first time was a really cool experience.

     “This,” Amaimon said, pointing at the creature in my hands, “is what my queen’s familiar is.”

     “Shiemi has a familiar?” I asked him, now really intrigued. Maybe he wasn’t so bad?

     “Yes. She was planning on becoming an exorcist like you. A tamer. But not anymore. These are called baby green men. They can enlarge and sprout different plants that may be needed by their tamer.”

     “That’s cool but, why is she no longer planning to become an exorcist?” He didn’t answer me. In fact, he quite literally ignored the question all together. “Um okay…well you say your their king. Your the king of little green men? Plants?”

     “Earth. I’m the Demon King of Earth.”

      I was speechless. I’m sitting with a demon king and he’s showing me his little green people. My face flushed a red color. I feel so rude being so informal and nonchalant with a demon king. They were powerful and almighty. I immediately got up and dropped to my knees next to the rest of the green little guys. I set the one I had in my hands down and bowed to him. I knows he’s a demon, but he’s a demon king. King . And although he’s a demon king, it doesn’t change the fact he has a high royal position. So, I wanted to bow to him. ‘Never would’ve thought I’d be bowing to the kid that I was contemplating on stabbing with my scissors.’

     When I bowed, he sat up from his pose of leaning. When I looked up, our eyes met. “Thank you. I appreciate the gesture.” I nodded and stood. He got up, knelt, and took my hand. He kissed the back of it and said, “It is my pleasure too, your royal highness.” I looked at him confused. ‘Wait…’ . He stood.

     “Of course. You’re one of Jahath’s Doves.” The blood left my face and I stood there in complete shock.

     “W-what did you j-just say?” I asked softly, surprised at what he just said.

     “She was the demon that cursed your bloodline. The reason you’re a Dove.” My stomach had dropped and my skin began to feel hot.

     “She?”

     “Jahath can change her biology or the body she takes her form in. She’s a demigod after all. I’m assuming that you knew her as he .” I nodded. A million thoughts were passing through my head all a once. I couldn’t help but ask more questions.

     “How do you know this?”

     “Well, I am a demon king after all, (Y/N). I have connections. Not to mention your bloodline was the first to be cursed.” My heart stopped for a moment.

     “A-Are you saying that t-there are more families that share the same curse as my own?” I inquired.

      He further explained it to me. “Of course. Jahath couldn’t just have one set of victims.” I looked down, disappointed. “But your very interesting,” he added, looking at me, his lollipop moving around in his mouth.

     “You keep saying that but what do you mean? How am I ‘interesting’ compared to the others?”

     “Because you don’t know the full story. But that is for another time,” he answered, rising up from his place. “I’ll be going now. I’ll be keeping in touch.” He turned to walk away but I grabbed his arm.

     “Wait,” I said. He stopped in his tracks and looked at my hand that gripped his arm. I let go. “Sorry, but…why can’t you tell me now?”

     “It’s not time. That’s what Jahath told me.”

     “And how do you know her?”

     “She’s met me many times before.”

     “Well then why you? Why did she send you to talk to me?”

     “Because I’ve been watching you for some time now.” My eyes faltered and I felt vulnerable under his eyes again. ‘What the hell does he mean by that? If he’s been watching me then he would’ve known my name. If so, then what the hell was the point of asking me my name in the first place?! I’m so confused right now…’

     He caressed my cheek and turned to leave. I shuddered underneath his touch. He walked away. And this time, I didn’t stop him.

     It took me a while to find where everyone was again because Amaimon took me pretty deep into the garden. When I found them, all their heads turned and Izumo got up.

     “Where have you been?! We’ve been calling you for fifteen minutes!” She was mad, but I knew she was mad because she was worried. I walked over and rubbed the sides of her arms with my hands.

     “I’m fine,” I reassured her. I turned to everyone, “I’m fine. I was meditating. I found a nice spot and thought some alone time would be good,” I lied. It made more sense to use that as an excuse than say, “Oh hey by the way, Amaimon showed up and knows about my family’s curse!”. Did they even know about Amaimon’s existence? Did Rin? My eyes were locked to hers and she held a gaze for a moment before sighing.

     “Well at least check your phone next time,” She pouted. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and pressed the home button but it didn’t show my lock screen. I pressed the ON/OFF button and then a red battery symbol popped up. I showed her.

     “It was dead,” I explained. Shiemi came over and gave me a hug from behind. When I turned around she looked up at me.

    “Well at least you’re okay.” I smiled and ruffled her hair. She giggled and I looked around for a spot. Seeing there was none, I began to make my way around the other side of the tree.

     “Hey,” A familiar voice called out to me. I turned to find it was Ryūji.

     “Yes Suguro-kun,” I replied. My cheeks began to warm up as my eyes laid themselves on his own. He moved over a little, shoving Konekomaru to the side and patted a space in between them both. I could tell he was trying to be respectful. I smiled and plopped down right next to him. Our knees and shoulders touched and I felt little butterflies soar in my stomach. A spark that felt like a sting sparked across the skin that had made contact with his, even though we were both wearing long sleeves.

     “So,” he began, “you meditate?” I smiled up at him.

      I suddenly became nervous. “Yeah,” I lied. Maybe it was something I should take up.

     He nodded and gave me the smallest smile I’ve ever seen and replied,“Yeah, me too.” He returned his gaze to his work and began writing down things in his notes. I had felt guilty yet giddy at the same time. I felt like I was not being genuine, yet it made me feel warm inside for him to notice me. My eyes lingered just a little bit longer on him before I pulled my own work out from my bag.

      ‘So beautiful.’

Chapter Text

      It’s been three weeks since I met Amaimon for the first time. Since then I’ve been more aware of Ryūji’s presence. We don’t talk like casual friends. In fact, we don’t really associate as much out of school, one on one. I spent most of my time with Rin, Shiemi, and Izumo than any other person in our Exorcist class. If needed be, we would make conversation about a class topic or project, but casual conversation was never really made. I hated to admit it, but I craved his attention, even if it was just a simple hello.

      Something that I’ve noticed is that he’s smart and hard working. Juggling his meisters: Dragoon and Aria, school work, Exorcist class work, his apprenticeship with Lightning, and his future responsibility of being the heir to a venerable temple in Kyoto was a lot. But see, he did it all, and that amazed me.

      When I got the chance I’d ask Konekomaru to tell me childhood stories about their trio. Other times I’d ask him more things about Buddhism, the temple, and their families within it. I knew that Ryūji’s temple meant and still means a lot to him. I wanted to learn more so I could understand him better; get to know who he is on all levels.

     Spring break was in two days and I was planning on going to the U.S. and staying at a rental apartment with (BFF/N). They’ve been my friend since forever, and I wouldn’t give them up for anything in the world. They told me they got a whole bunch of tickets to Disney in this raffle they had entered at their work. They want to keep two tickets for us, and is thinking about selling the rest. When I told everyone this while hanging outside the True Cross steps eating snacks after the bell, they all turned to me like I was crazy.

     “Dude, take us !” Rin said, throwing his hands up in the air. My eyebrows came together on my face in confusion.

     “Huh?”

     “Yeah, you can take us! How many tickets does your friend have?” Shima inquired. Everyone was turned facing me now. I kinda felt a little overwhelmed.

     “W-well I…I don’t kn-“

     “Guys leave her alone,” Ryūji butted in, casually taking a sip of his drink. I looked at him and he nodded, as if saying “I’ve got you.”

     “Oh come on!” Both Rin and Shima said.

     Izumo looked at Ryūji and then at me. “Yeah guys it’s something her and her friend were gonna do. We shouldn’t butt in unless we’re invited directly.” She said. The two boys got quiet with disappointment.

     I waved them both off and said, “Oh no really, it’s alright. I’ll ask. But you’ll have to pay for your own plane tickets there.”

     “Why take a plane when you have a magic key?” I voice asked from behind us. We all turned to find Shura standing before us, wearing her usual revealing attire. She waved an intricate looking key in front of us.

     “I thought those could only take us to places within a certain distance of where we are now,” said Rin. I looked between Rin and Shura confused.

     “Wait what now?” I asked. They looked back and realized that I didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Shura laughed at me.

     “There are magic keys that can teleport you to wherever you want to go. It can get you through any door. It’s basically the master key of the universe,” explained Konekomaru. I looked up to Shura for confirmation and she nodded her head with big bright smile on her face, still somewhat giggling.

     “Well let’s go!” exclaimed Shura.

     “We can’t go yet! We still haven’t packed! Plus, it’s during spring break and we don’t even know if we can go yet,” exclaimed Izumo.

     “No need to yell Kamiki-san,” Shura said. Izumo scoffed and went back to snacking.

     “Have you ordered your plane ticket yet (L/N)-san?” Konekomaru asked me. I shook my head no and he respond with a nod of his own.

     Shura rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment. “Well then,” she chuckled. It was breathy and forced and most definitely slightly nervous but it was fine. She purses her lips and then returned to her normal bad bitch self. “Well, just let me know when y’all are ready.” She wandered off back to the academy and all we were left with were each other and our own thoughts.

 

Later That Night (7:54 p.m.)…

 

     I decided to call (BFF/N) and asked how many tickets they had won to see if for starters, I could even bring everyone.

     “Hey (BFF/N),” I said through the phone, a big smile plastered on my face. I heard a gasp from the other side of the phone. They were surprised I had called, because we promised not to have any contact for the two weeks before meeting up, so it would be like we really hadn’t seen each other in person in almost a year.

     “Oh my God, (Y/N)?” They were acting so shocked, but I could tell through this side of the phone they were just fibbing.

     I chuckled, “Hey.”

     “I thought we were gonna keep our promise,” they said with a sigh. I could make out the disappointment in her voice. I sighed aloud.

     “I’m sorry it’s just-”

     “Just what? Did something happen?” They interrupted. The question sounded more worried than I had anticipated.

     “No no, it’s all good over here. I just wanted to ask…how many tickets did you get in that raffle?” I could hear the shuffling of papers and little clinks here and there from things on their end.

     “Lemme see…Oh! I got twelve.”

     “Jesus, twelve tickets to Disney?”

     They laughed at my reaction. “Yeah dude, and they’re eligible for fast passes.” I practically passed out from the overflow of joy.

     “Oh and another thing: have you sold any yet?”

     “No.”

     “Can I use some of them?” I pursed my lips in anticipation. There was a long pause before they answered.

     “What’s do you mean?”

     “Well some friends I made over here heard about extra tickets and I was wondering if some of them could come?”

     “How many of them are there?” They asked.

     “Well there’s…ten. Which also includes me and you.”

     “Ten?! Jesus (Y/N),” (BFF/N) laughed. “Looks like you don’t need me anymore.”

     “No, don’t say that. The reason it’s ten altogether is because we need to bring adults from here. They’ll be flying out of the country. Is anyone else coming or not.”

     “Not that I know of, no.”

     “So how many people would that be in total? Is it just ten?”

     “I think,” I replied weakly.

      Shura said that both her and Lightning would be chaperoning us while taking care of business in California. (BFF/N) laughed at my pathetic statement. There was a silence that took ahold of both of us on each end. I knew that they were still debating it.

     “Please?” I pleaded desperately.

     They sighed, and a moment passed before they opened their mouth again. “Okay. I’ll let them come. I’ll do it for you.”

     I sighed with relief. “Oh my God thank you so much, you have no idea what this means to me! I’ll let them all know!”

     “Of course dude,” (BFF/N) laughed, “but that little boy of yours better be coming.” They were referring to Ryūji. I told them about him the same day we studied in the garden together. I said that I “may or may not have a crush on this one guy”. I just filled them in about me having a small and continuously growing crush on him. Me and (BFF/N) don’t keep secrets from each other. They’re the only person that knows about the curse other than my family members, who aren’t basically born knowing.

     “Just…don’t go falling for him. Like, falling for him falling for him. Don’t do that unless he truly loves you back.” They warned.

     “(BFF/N) I-”

     “I mean it (Y/N). I can’t have you dying on me. Not over some boy.” My heart sank. “But I still wanna meet him though. Just to see what you’re working with,” they laughed. I rolled my eyes and smiled.

      “I’m sure that it’ll just stay a small and mediocre crush, just like my past ones. I don’t think I’ll actually like, fall in love.” I explained.

      “You never know,” they said.

     I sighed in slight annoyance. I wish they wouldn’t doubt me. “Alright alright, geez. But I mean hey, dying doesn’t sound too bad right now to be honest.”

     “(Y/N),” (BFF/N) said, trying to act serious.

     “Yeah yeah, I won’t,” I promised. But we all knew I could resist myself. “Well I love you. See ya in seven days!”

     “Love you too dude. Bye!”

     “Bye!”

Chapter Text

Six Days Later - Four Days Into Spring Break At a Local Park. One Day Before Disneyland…

 

     Rin and Shima were currently wrestling in the grass field as Konekomaru took on the job of referee. Izumo and Shiemi were off to the left of them picking pink flowers that fell from the cherry blossom trees that surrounded the park. Shiemi was trying to teach Izumo how to make a flower crown but the beginning was a little rough.

     “It’s not working!” Izumo complained, throwing down her failed attempt. She crossed her arms over her chest in defiance and turned her head away.

     Shiemi set her own down nervously and frantically tried to pick up and fix Izumo’s. “C-come on, just keep trying. I-it’s n-not always e-easy the first time,” she stuttered. Izumo turned to look at her. She knew she she shouldn’t treat Shiemi that way and had began to feel bad. She looked to me across the field, and meet my eyes. She knew I was well aware of the interaction taking place and seemed embarrassed of being caught in the act of having an attitude. I gave her a small nod, an indicator to follow through with letting Shiemi help her. She turned around back to Shiemi and sighed.

     “Okay, I’ll try again.”

     “Yay! This’ll be fun, I promise! It just takes practice,” Shiemi exclaimed, happiness beaming from her soul. They continued their little art and crafts scheme and laughed with each other.

     I sat with Ryūji underneath a big cherry blossom tree. The flowers bloomed so beautifully over us, and to fortunate events, we both sat close to each other to get a better look. The wind passed and I could smell a slight scent of him. It was a smell I only knew faintly, yet appreciated every time it was within my presence. It was soft yet musky; very many and thick like in nature. A small smile perch itself on my lips as o breathed in cool air. My hair blew in the wind as my cheeks warmed up a bit from my mind casually lingering on his presence next to me a little longer. My heart was doing a light but noticeable pitter patter inside my chest, like a little girl leaving around and clicky shoes on hard concrete pavement. I felt so light, so breezy. Not only was I being blown by the wind, but I was the wind. It almost seemed to move right through me. It was wrapping and intwining itself around us, both in contentment and harmonious ease. For a while we sat there in silence, and to be truthful, I liked it that way. Both our souls lingered a bit in the atmosphere we shared. I felt warm. So close. So soft and glittery like a buttery finally finding peace with it no longer being a caterpillar. However, I’m sure that if you were to subtract my new attraction and curiosity towards him, you’d realize that the environment of us two was somewhat awkward with silence. He had finally turned to me caught my attention. “(L/N)-chan, do you want to listen to music?” I smiled up at him and nodded.

     “Sure. What kind?” I asked, my voice softer than it usually was.

     In this moment I wasn’t as afraid to let my eyes linger than I usually was; to look through his own eyes and peer into the depths of his soul. I internally laughed at myself. I was so dramatic.

      I began to drift off into my thoughts for a brief moment.What was he thinking? What did he want from life? Where did he see himself years from now? Children? Traveling? Marriage? The single life? Moving? Staying here? Deep down I knew that I couldn’t let him know my feelings. I knew that he probably one hundred percent didn’t look at me like that, and even if he did, he doesn’t know me that well. Why would he? What made me special? I was insecure. I seemed to be the one slice of cake no one wanted to have, and ended being left to dry up and become inedible.

     He almost seemed to look into my soul too, yet he casually shrugged and said, “It’s up to you. I’m fine with whatever.” His eyes were soft as they seemed to seep down into mine. He looked extra mesmerizing with the cheery blossoms falling behind him, accentuating his sharp outline.

      “Your music or mine?” I asked.

      “Yours I guess. My iPod’s about to die.”

      I nodded and turned to pull out my phone, trying to hide the light and subtle creeping blush that was trying to make its way up my face.

     “Okay,” I smiled, unlocking my phone. I opened my music app that I have all my music downloaded on. I pulled out my pair of earbuds and plugged the end into the phone jack. I handed him one bud and popped the other into my ear. To make sure they didn’t fall out of one of our ears, he leaned and scooted over closer. Our shoulders were pressing more prominently up against each other now.

     I scrolled and couldn’t decide on a song so I just pressed SHUFFLE for my romance playlist. I knew that if this were any other moment it would’ve been awkward, but the mood was set right, and although I was usually insecure, I felt more courageous than normal. The melody began and I closed my eyes smiling. Creep by Radiohead.

     Ryūji noticed my expression change after I had set my phone down. “What?” He asked, a light expression on his face. I turned to him.

     “This is a good song,” I explained. He nodded, as if he was saying, “Cool.”

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fuckin' special But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here                  I don't care if it hurts
I wanna have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special

     I stayed up one night thinking about Ryūji’s type. Ya know, the type of person he’s into. What if I wasn’t the type of person he found beautiful? ‘What if I was just some girl that was sitting next to him underneath a cherry blossom, giving herself false hope?

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here She's running out the door
She's running out
She run, run, run, run
Run
Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special
But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
I don't belong here

     The music trailed off and we sat there in silence. If I wanted to widen my chances of living, maybe I could try and get him to fall in love with me, even though deep down I know you can’t force something like that. The next song played which was this: Sideline by mxmtoon.

I can't seem to share my
feelings with you
I try but it's just way too hard
to go and tell the truth
I don't seem to have the guts
I'm just sitting on the side
people try to help me out
but I insist that I'm fine

     “Hey,” I said. I caught his attention, which was drawn to somewhere across the field, “Wanna play a game?” I asked.

But I'm not
Cus you're here
And my face is red from ear to ear
And I can't
And I won't
Tell you what you might not want to hear
Though I never know what may have happened
between the two of us
I'd rather not go ruin what we have by making
a big old fuss
So I'll just wait on the sideline
I'll just wait on the sideline
I'll just wait on the sideline

     He looked down at me and replied, “Sure.” He stared at me waiting.

     “Okay. Let’s play Two Truths and a Lie.” His eyebrows furrowed at me. He seemed to not know what I was talking about.

I'm just a friend to you
Even if you think I'm cute
I'll never be more to you
The idea is not moot
So I guess I'll just keep hoping on the unimaginable
The likelihood of me being with you
is so unfathomable, oh
it's also unimaginable, oh
it's also unfathomable
I don't have the courage
to lose you
or maybe I'm just not brave enough
to keep you
these thoughts they fill my mind
but the truth is that I still can't help to think
I'd be declined
I can't seem to share my
feelings with you
I try but it's just way too hard
to go and tell the truth
I don't seem to have the guts
I'm just sitting on the side
people try to help me out
but I insist that I'm just fine

     “You don’t know what Two Truths and a Lie is?” His face say still as he shook his head no. “Okay well it’s pretty simple. All you do is list two truths and one lie. The other person has to guess which ones the lie.”

He just simply nodded and turned his body so it had faced me more.

     “Okay. You go first.”

But I'm not
Cus you're here
And my face is red from ear to ear
But I can't
And I won't
Tell you what you I think you might not want to hear

     “Me?” I was surprised. He gave me a tsk of his tongue.

     “Yeah, go ahead.” His arms were crossed over his chest but he was leaning down, showing he was paying attention to me.

     “Alright let’s see…”

Chapter Text

     Last night I set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. Even though we were gonna take some stupid magical key to California, I still wanted to get there early enough so me and Amelia could hang. Plus, the earlier we got to Disney, the more time we could spend there. I haven’t packed yet so that’s exactly what my lazy ass was trying to do. I walked to the bathroom I shared with my roommate and grabbed my toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, floss, deodorant, razor, and hair ties. I wasn’t worried about soap or shampoo because Amelia always had extra bottles at her place. She said it was best to have something than not.

     I grabbed everything and bunched things up within ziplock bags so they wouldn’t get dirty in my suitcase. I decided I wanted to pack some cute clothes because we were going to Disneyland ! It’s whimsical and awesome, why not dress cute for the day?

     I rummaged through my closet and picked out five tops and five pairs of bottoms, a bunch of underwear, socks, bras, bralettes, and accessories to pair with each outfit. I packed some sleep-wear and placed everything in my big (F/C) suitcase. I zipped it all up and plopped it upright on the floor. I moved it around to make sure the wheels at the bottom could work and then I was ready to get dressed. I put on my favorite outfit which is (F/O).

     Before going I looked at myself one more time in the mirror. I had slight bags from staying up all night, admittedly from thinking about Disney…and Ryūji . Other than that my hair was good, my skin didn’t look oily or too dry, so I was pretty much ready to go. I pulled out my phone to text the group chat Shura made, which basically contained everyone that was going on the trip.

     (Y/N): Hey guys I’m ready

     (Konekomaru): Yeah me too:)

     (Y/N): Is everyone else good?

     (Konekomaru): Bon is already finished but Shima is taking his sweet time:/

     (Shima): Hey I’m in the bathroom getting dressed but I’m still in the group chat Σ(-᷅_-᷄๑)

     (Izumo): I’m ready. With Shiemi downstairs outside rn (=^ェ^=)

     (Shima): (⁎⁍̴̆Ɛ⁍̴̆⁎)

     (Izumo): (¬_¬)

     (Shiemi): Hi guys!!!( ´ ▽ ` )

     I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at how adorable Shiemi’s text sounded.

     (Y/N): Hello!ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

     (Unknown Number): who made this chat?

     I stopped and looked at the number. It was unfamiliar.

     (Y/N): Wait who are you?

     (Unknown Number): do you not know who i am?

     No one responded. I want sure if I was the only one who saw him in the chat but I was a little confused. I closed my phone and Put it in my pocket, but it buzzed before I could. When I checked it, it said New Text Message From ♡♡♡. My heart dropped and and I frantically unlocked my phone. I clicked on the group chat and read the new message.

     (♡♡♡): It’s Lightning. He’s coming with.

     The blood rushed from my face and my skin went cold. ‘Hopefully he isn’t mad at me for what happened last time that one night…’

     Yikes.

 

In front of Some Door…

 

     Shura held a ring of keys in her hand and was currently trying each key because her late ass thought it would be smart to put the key on a ring with a shit ton of others ones and not find it until the last minute . Her hands fumbled but she showed no sign of nervousness. Based on the beer she brought with her, we were unsure whether or not she was drunk or just buzzed. Lightning stepped in and put his hand on her shoulder. He signaled for her to hand him the keys and he began working even faster than she did. When we all met up he apparently didn’t remember me so that’s good. ‘I mean how could he? He only knew my voice.’ I’m all in the clear.

     Everyone dressed casually today and I enjoyed looking at what everyone wore. I was surprised to find Ryūji in a black hat and simple t-shirt, paired up with dark cargo pants and some tennis shoes. I smiled at him when we were occupied trying to convince Shima not to wander off and follow foreign girls. Ryūji looked really good. My eyes glowed and I couldn’t help but let them take a dive into him. ‘He’s so cute…’

     Before he could see me, I looked down, trying to not seem suspicious. My ear buds were in and I was just listening to some soft jams, something I could still hear his sweet deep voice over. Its a song called Falling for U by mxmtoon .

I was hanging with you
And then I realized
I didn't think it was true
I was surprised
When I found out I'd fallen for you
I didn't wanna believe
My feelings for you
I didn't wanna believe
That I could lose you
If I told you just how I felt

But I can't help it
I'm falling for you
And I can't quit it
'Cause I'm stuck on you
And it might be pathetic
And you might be skeptical
But I just want to be with you
Please tell me boy can you
Get a clue or come through
'Cause I just want to be with you

I'm scared...
Of telling you how I feel
Maybe
It's better
If I just try to conceal
The truth
For me
And for you

But I'm still stuck on you
I
I'm still falling for you
...for you

     Lightning finally got the door unlocked and we cheered aloud.

     “Finally!” Rin said.

     We laughed and proceeded to walk through the door. We didn’t exactly end up in Disney. Rather, we needed up coming out of a bathroom stall at a coffee shop in downtown Los Angeles. The park was in Anaheim.

     As well walked out of the bathroom and then out the front door, we got suspicious and confused stares, but I pushed everyone along. “Just ignore them, come on guys.”

     I checked the street names and discovered that Amelia didn’t live far from here. I could call her but she only had a car that could fit two at most. It was a pick-up truck of all things.

     “Okay. I’m gonna order an Uber Black and hopefully we can all fit.” I told them. When it came, we found out it could only sit five people including the driver.

     It made me made mad because we ordered an Uber black to fit all our ourselves in but I guess the guy had two seats missing from an unknown incident. I was considering on ordering another but it said the wait time was two hours and I did not have that kind of time.

      We all couldn’t fucking fit. But I paid for it so we were gonna take it anyway.

     “The only way this is gonna work is if we sit on each others laps,” Lightning said. “If we do that everyone will fit and only one person will be left without someone sitting on them.”

     “That’s not legal here. You should know,” I told him. And he should’ve known that. He’s from Texas.

     “I know but it’s the only way this is gonna happen,” he told me, his hair and bucket hat in the way of me seeing his hair in full view. Shima smirk slyly.

     “We could sit on the floor,” Rin’s suggested.

     I laughed and shook my head. “That’s even more illegal. Gotta be wearing a seat belt.

     “I don’t wanna sit on anyone’s lap!” screamed Izumo. “This is too weird! Too weird !”

     “You can sit in my lap,” Shiemi suggested. Izumo thought about it for a moment with pouty lips and crossed arms.

     Izumo sighed, “As long as it doesn’t have to be Shima, I’m fine.”

     “Hey!” Shima said, insulted. He crossed his arms over his chest and pouted.

     Maybe they were more similar than I thought.

     “Okay. I don’t think anyone should sit in either mine or Shura’s lap so we’ll pair up, and-” continued Lightning, but Shura interrupted with a shriek.

     “Ohhh, Lewin,” she grinned, “what’re you trying to say?” She leaned up against him with her hand pressing up against his chest. He pushed her off, unfazed.

     “I’m saying it would be more appropriate for you to sit in my lap than for let’s say (Y/N) to sit in my lap. It looks wrong and inappropriate with me being of my age and position.”

     “Yeah,” I said butting in. Everyone looked at me and nodded, then looked back to Lightning.

     “Okay so Kamiki-san and Moriyama-san, me and Shura…Konekomaru and Shima, and then (Y/N) and Suguro-san.”

     Wait what.

     What.

       What???!!!

     ‘Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God okay okay what’s happening right now holy shit-‘

     He looked between me and Ryūji and said, “I know y’all are both boy and girl and you guys got raging hormones and stuff-” My heart was beginning to pound and sweat was beginning to form on my forehead. ‘Shit no this can’t be happening. I don’t know whether or not I should be happy or anxious fuuuuuuuuuuuuck-’

     “Okay,” I said, trying to disguise my voice with disgust.

     He continued. “But this is just how it’s gonna have to work.” Me and Ryūji looked at each other and then awkwardly looked away. I couldn’t tell from the brief moment we looked at each other whether or not he was dreading our interaction. From what I think , he most likely does, and that put a little pang through my chest.

     Of course it was something to ponder on and think about when a girl sat in a boy’s lap. Usually people thought of it in a romantic and or sexual way but in our circumstances is was not . I’m not saying I didn’t want it to be in his lap , ‘cause I kinda did. I’m just saying that it’s awkward and totally not fucking sexual .

     But I really hope that he doesn’t mind and isn’t disturbed by me. I’m really fucking spooked, and I feel like my body could collapse at any moment now. My lungs felt like they were beginning to close in on themselves ever so slowly. I sighed heavily and walked away from the group to find somewhere to sit. After failing to find anywhere I just took a seat on the concrete sidewalk a little far off from where the others were with my suitcase dragging beside me. Izumo walked towards me..

     “That’s really dirty ya know,” Izumo said, looking down at me. She was referring to me sitting on the sidewalk. I squinted up at her.

     “I know. I just needed to sit.”

     “Well you can sit in the car because the Uber just arrived,” Lightning said abruptly, looking over at me. I peered over to find everyone piling into a big black van, bringing their backpacks full of necessities with them. I sighed.

     “Come on. I’ll help you with your suitcase,” Izumo said, pulling it towards the car. I followed and Lightning came around the back to help. He lifted the trunk up as me and Izumo shoved my suitcase back there. I noticed that in the very last row two seats were missing, meaning that the main median row in the car was perfectly intact. Shiemi was already sitting in the lonely abdomen and very odd single chair.

     Lightning closed the trunk and then we made our way back around.

     Shura called out, “You better got over here before you have to sit in my lap!” Lightning just chuckled and nudged for her to move to let him in. The back sliding door was open and when I looked inside, Ryūji was in the nearest seat in front of me, waiting for my arrival.

     “Let me go in first,” Izumo said from behind me. I turned around and moved to the side to let her crawl over the boys. “Jesus, just wait for me to get in next time,” she told the boys. Shima was awfully close to her and his hair brushed up against her outer thigh halfway through her attempt to climb over the middle seats to get to the back. He was trying to stare up the skirt she was wearing. I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at him with anger and disappointment. Just as his eyes met mine, Izumo stopped in her tracks and said, “Shima, if you touch me, I’ll take a finger.”

     “Wha-?”

     She peered back at him. “You touch me, and I’ll chop your finger off. It’ll make a nice trinket to keep on my key chain.” He just turned and faced forward with pure fear in his eyes, but it slowly changed to an admiring smirk. He mouthed, “So cute”, and I cringed. She finally go over and sat in Shiemi’s lap.

     Shura laughed from her place on Lightning’s lap, “Okay now get your ass in (Y/N)-chan.” Ryūji looked at me and scooted back in his seat as if he was saying “Go ahead.”

     I climbed in and sat in his lap.

     I am now sitting in his lap.

     I am in his lap.

      ‘Holy shit I’m sitting in Suguro fucking Ryūji’s lap.’

     Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

      Panic.

     Panic.

     Panic.

      Panic.

     Panic

      Panic.

 

From Ryūji’s Eyes…

 

     I was uncomfortable to say the least. After I had closed the door, (Y/N) wiggled a bit to get comfortable and she rubbed up against my crotch region. An electric feeling crept up through my, you-know-what , and traveled up my lower stomach at the speed of light. I reached over to buckle us in and accidentally skimmed my forearm over her beasts in the process. She leaned as forward as possible, as if she didn’t even want to be touching me in the first place. It’s not that I had some prejudice against her or anything, it’s just that she was a girl and her ass was on my dick . I kept trying to think of old people naked to try and subdue the possibility of popping an awkward boner.

     Every time we would do a sharp turn, her back side would slightly slide to the left or the right and rub up against me. And of course every time we hit a nic, hole, or bump in the road, she involuntarily bounced. I was feeling slight arousal and I can’t tell you how much I’m praying in this moment to not pop one. ‘Her back and underside feels so warm.’

     My mind was then reluctantly focused on the feeling of it. The feeling of a girl on me. The sensuality of it, even though in this case, it wasn’t meant to be sensual. It was lustful in a way. But I knew I couldn’t let those urges get to me in this moment in time . She turned back to look at me. Her face seemed awfully pale.

     “Are you alright? Just wanna make sure I’m not too heavy,” (Y/N) asked softly, almost in a whisper. Her words came out delicately and very shy, almost as if she was afraid her own words could pierce my skin; afraid to hurt me.

     It was nice of her to think of me but…I couldn’t just tell a girl that was in my lap that the presence of her body moving in my groin region made me slightly aroused. Of course nothing has grown in my pants , but it could happen at any moment now.

     A random person began crossing the street even though the light was red and our Uber driver swerved aggressively to prevent us from hitting the pedestrian. Everyone shouted and screamed in fear within the car. My heart began pounding harder than before and fear seeped up through my skin as fast as lightning striking land. As it was happening, (Y/N) was jerked and in fear of her being hurt I grabbed her and held her close to my chest. My heart pounded at her back and my arms tightened around her abdomen and her upper shoulder area. My body went completely cold, all thoughts about my current situation left my mind. When the car straightened out we all had to have a moment of silence to come back to the reality that we were still alive. I let go of her but my mind was still… off . Everything was going so well between us yesterday and now it’s gotta be awkward.

     “Holy shit,” Shura said. In the back, Izumo groaned as she rubbed the side of her head.

     “Kamiki-chan are you okay?” Shiemi asked frantically. She was checking Izumo all over to make sure she was okay. Shima turned around quickly to see what the commotion was about.

     “Is she okay?” Shima asked Shiemi. Izumo gave him the dirtiest glare.

     “Yeah wouldn’t you like to know,” she said. She peered down at Shiemi. “I’m okay. Just hit my head.” I was looking at her with my eyes. They questioned her if she was really okay, and not just saying it so the rest of us didn’t worry. She saw me staring and met my eyes. She mouthed, “I’m fine.”

     Shura and Lightning looked back at us. “Everyone okay?”

     We all said “yeah” in unison and went back to what we were doing. It wasn’t until about three minutes after us swerving that I had realized that my hands were gripping her hips, holding them in place. Once I saw what I was unintentionally doing, I immediately release and held my hands up. My face got hot and I was so embarrassed. She was still facing forward and hadn’t said anything about it. I decided to keep my arms and hands firmly to my sides and just not bring it up. I sighed aloud.

     I just want to get to Disney already.

 

My Eyes…

 

     When Ryūji grabbed and pulled me close when we swerved I thought I had a heart attack. Not because we swerved , but because of him .

     I was so close. So close. So close to him .

     And just when I thought things were going to go back to normal so I’d stop have heart palpitations, he grabbed and gripped my hips firmly. It took me by surprise but I could feel all the blood within my body rush to my face. My face was, within seconds, boiling hot and I didn’t want to turn around to ask him why he was doing what he was doing so I just sat there. I was sweating profusely and I was fighting the strongest urge to fan myself. My clothes were sticking to my skin and I began having flashbacks to the morning after I got drunk at the temple. I knew that if I did fan myself I’d get looked at and questioned by the others with me in the car as to why I was feeling overheated.

     Long story short: I was feeling hot, tingly, and very much uncomfortable. I flung back my hair to get some air circulating my way instead of being blocked by my (H/C) locks.

     I decided to pull out my phone and text Amelia we were on our way instead of ambush her with a shit ton of random people. I tried keeping my cool while sending her the first message, which showed no signs of distress.

     (Y/N): Hey ;)

     (Amelia): Oh hello beautiful♡Hru?

     (Y/N): Oh I’m good ya know, just totally NOT on my way to your place hehehe( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

     (Amelia): WHAT

                      WHAT

                      WHAT

                      WHHHAAATTTTT??!!!

     (Y/N): ٩( ᐛ )و

     (Amelia): Wait really??????

     (Y/N): Yeah huunnyyyy

     (Amelia): Yay omg!!! I thought you guys were coming tomorrow?

     (Y/N): We were but the tickets are good for three days starting today. Thought I’d just come today so we don’t lose time :)

     (Amelia): You’re so smart dude lmao hahaha. Anyway since you’re coming rn I’m gonna go ahead and go to clean the house up a bit. Will the others be staying here as well or…?

     (Y/N): I don’t know yet ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ

     (Amelia): Well if they do just let them know I have like, four blow up beds.

     (Y/N): Yeah and we all know why.

     (Amelia): Noooooo you don’t lol. People can’t figure out the reason that easily.

     (Y/N): I think it’s fucked up how you’d let guests sleep on those (^○^) They’re so dirty it’s not even funny

     (Amelia): No one will notice if I put sheets on them ╰(*´︶`*)╯

     (Y/N): Ahhhh that doesn’t make it better ughhhhhh (>人<;)

     (Amelia): They’ll be fine.

     (Y/N): (*_*)

     (Amelia): Welp gtg! bye! luv u! ♡

     (Y/N): k love you bye (⁎⁍̴̆Ɛ⁍̴̆⁎)

Chapter Text

     As soon as we got inside, Amelia had a whirlwind. She jumped on me in absolute delight and couldn’t contain her happiness. She was extremely friendly to everyone who came with me even though she didn’t know the Japanese language. Lightning, thankfully, helped translate a lot of the dialogue going on back and forth between everyone. We had all of our bags and settled them into a spot right next to the front door. Everyone’s shoes were already outside and all that was left was deciding the plan for today. While everyone conversated, Amelia looked at me with urgent eyes. She beckoned me to the kitchen so we could talk in private. I followed her and let the others find their spots on the couch in the living room. Once we put ourselves in a far off nook in her kitchen, hidden off from everyone one else, she began to whisper.

     “So which one is it?” She asked softly, a quiet whisper. I looked at her in confusion.

     “What?” I asked, not caring if I was hurried. She shushed me while ducking her head, as if she was trying to hide.

     “Dude what the fuck are you doing? Why are you acting so secretive?” I questioned.

     “I’m asking,” she began,”which one is Ryūji ?” My eyes clicked and I mouthed “oh” before laughing. She nudged me and suppressed a laugh. “Dude,” She choked. “Dude stop laughing it’s not funny.”

     “You’re such a fucking dork Amelia,” I laughed. I clenched my stomach. Amelia always made such a big deal when all she could’ve done was just slyly ask what he looked like looked like , and we wouldn’t be in the kitchen whispering to each other like we were on some top secret mission for the CIA. “Also you need to call him Suguro-kun,” I told her.

    “Why?”

     “Because,” was all I said. She looked at me for a moment and then tried stifling a giggle, my own following.

     After our giggles subsided she shushed me again while trying to not laugh. “Is it,” she struggled to get the words out,”is it the tall one?”

    “Tall one?” I asked with a smirk. She hated it when I teased and acted like I didn’t know what she was talking about. She scoffed and her head and eyes rolled together in unison.

     “You know which one one I’m talking  about. Ya know, the with the…” she trailed off while lagging her finger at her ears, insinuating that the boy she was talking about had something that had to do with his ears.

     I stared at her waiting for her to finished her sentence, but I just ended up finishing it for her. “Piercings?” I said, sounding out the word clearly syllable by syllable. She nodded out of annoyance.

M      “Yeah that.”

     “Yeah, him .” She gasped and became wide eyed.

     “Wait really ?” She asked, obviously surprised when she shouldn’t have been. I mean come on, ‘ he’s cute ’. “Holy shit I thought it would’ve been the one with the white hair.”

     “Rin?”

     “Yeah whatever his name is,” she said. I laughed.

     “Why would you think that?” I questioned her.

     “Well you literally only gave me little details like ‘he’s tall’ and ‘he’s cute’. Using that as a description isn’t really that helpful. Plus, you only really told me about your guys’ interactions together,” she explained. I nodded. She was right, I didn’t really go into details about what exactly he looked like.

     I sighed. “You’re right.”

     She put both hands on her hips and sighed along with me. “Welp,” she scratched her head as she thought for a moment. “He’s cute I guess.” My heart flowed with delight. It was such a relief to know she approved. “But,” she put a finger up,”let’s see what he’s like .”

     I groaned. “Alright. Well, let’s head back.” She nodded and we made our way out of the kitchen. The group had already turned on the T.V. and was currently watching a rerun of the tenth season of Hell’s Kitchen staring Gordon Ramsay.

     Rin sat in awe looking up at the T.V. As beautiful cuisine was being shown. Shima and Konekomaru were distracted as well. Shura and Lightning were searching through their bags for something, and Izumo and Shiemi were whispering to each other about something. Ryūji sat off to the end of the sofa with his ear bunds in. He rested his head up on his raised arm looking down and to the left, his eyes filled with boredom. I looked at him with solemn eyes even though he didn’t notice me. I wanted him to be enjoying himself.

     “Hey everyone,” Amelia said, trying to get everyone attention. Everyone peeled their eyes away from what they were doing and focused in on me and Amelia.

     I proceeded to finish talking. “We’re gonna leaves our stuff here and make our way to the park now.” Everyone stood and gathered themselves. Ryūji couldn’t hear me over the sound of his music and both Konekomaru and Shima had to signal to him that we were leaving. “I guess we’ll pack ourselves into another Uber,” I smiled nervously,”hopefully it can hold us all.”

Chapter Text

     After getting in we had decided to start at the Disney park and then make our way back around to the California Adventure side. After stopping at a small vendure for some churros, Bret, Amelia’s boyfriend, came up from behind her. She gasped and turned around, wrapping her arms around his neck. They kissed and held each other close as we all just kinda stood there awkwardly munching on our sugary sticks. I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of jealousy. I didn’t like Bret, at all . That’s not why I was jealous. I was jealous because Amelia was a really pretty girl and had no problem with guys, while I on the other hand couldn’t handle being around them sometimes. Even if I didn’t think the guy was cute, I’d still get nervous around him, whoever he was. It took me a couple of weeks to not wanna freak out a little while being around the boys in cram school…but of course my nervousness around Ryūji never really seemed to go away. I’m surprised I took me so long to admit I have feelings for him. And although I desired to be close to him I could tell he’s a lot more distant then let’s say Shima or Rin. It was very much obviously harder to get to know him. While Amelia and Beet embraces each other I couldn’t help but look at Ryūji. I only glanced before I looked down and away, trying to hide the blush that was now beginning to creep up my cheeks. I wonder what it would be like for him to hold me, for him to look at me like I was one and true love. ‘But I’m not in love and he’s definitely not in love so everything’s fine!!!’ My heart pounded a little hard than normal.

     Amelia’s giggles and smiles died down and she was left with the expression of contentment as she looked up at him. Bret still gazed down at her with love in his eyes and it took awhile for him to realize we were all staring at them. When he did, he was very much embarrassed, and Amelia just giggled some more at the sight.

     “Babe, this is (Y/N)’s friends that she brought from Japan. They all go to this nice elite school over there.” His eyebrows raised and scanned everyone around me.

     “Oh cool,” he smiled. Everyone seemed to just be happy with the small acknowledgement and then move on. They all waved hi and went back to wat they were doing: eating. Amelia and Bret held each other close and talked about what they wanted to do and I suddenly realized that they were probably gonna wind up going off by themselves, ultimately leaving me. Usually when Bret was involved I became the third wheel, which is not fun whatsoever . That’s why if I knew he was coming to something where it was just me and Amelia, I’d have to bring someone else. It’s one of the things I considered when inviting everyone.

     “Alright guys let’s gather around!” Shura called out with a half eaten churro in one hand and an unfolded map of the park in the other. We all gathered around her and began to discuss where we wanted to go.

 

4 Hours Later…

 

     Four hours later, we were currently all strapped across park benches and concrete steps within the same area munching down on some food. It was a little past lunch but we had decided to grab some quick snacks for day 1 so we could save our money for a nice dinner on night 3. We began to attempt to ride every ride in sight as if on a quest, but that quickly ended after Rin puked up his churro from when we first got to the park. He held it in his throat all throughout the last ride as we all sat anxiously around him, strapped into our own seats. Once we got off he dumped the contents that were once in his mouth all over into a nearby trash can. Even though we couldn’t bare to look and think about the vomit, our stomachs told us that we needed to refuel. So that’s exactly what we did.

     While everyone ate, I contemplated on whether I should ask if we could go to Ship to Shore Marketplace or not. They sold amazing turkey legs there and I was that bitch who bought turkey legs at theme parks and fairs . It was almost like tradition.

     I eyed everyone eating and Shima looked over at me with a sly smirk. “(Y/N), you’re lookin’ a little hungry. Wanna bite?” He asked, swinging his long churro in my face, the tip of it just about touching my lip. I leaned back with a disgusted look but laughed it off. He was such a try hard, but because of it, he was so funny. He leaned back and brought the sweet stick back to his mouth, wrapping his lips around it. He took a big bite out of it while his eyes still lingered on my own. I just shook my head with a small smile to play it off. His gaze made me feel exponentially uncomfortable but I knew he was a player so it took some of the edge off. I looked away off into the distance and watch people pass by with their children. They were so innocent and sweet, just like how I used to be. Used to be .

     Like I had predicted, Amelia left early on in our adventure to ride every single ride to go ahead and be with Bret. She apologized and whispered about how I needed to find time talk to Ryūji, just us two , and then scurried off, which left me to fend for myself.

     “(Y/N),” Lightning called out. I turned my head swiftly to him.

     “Hm?” I hummed, my eyebrows up, showing attentiveness. He took another big bite of a burger he had somehow got ahold of during our time riding roller coasters. As long as he was spending his own money and not using the cash for the groups food, I was fine with it. We had a budget for how much money we were gonna spend on food because the food here is definitely not cheap.

     “Do you wanna eat?” He asked me, unapologetically eating with his mouth full.

     “Yeah,” I replied.

     “Well where?”

     I looked down. I didn’t wanna say it and then be denied access to some juicy thicc turkey legs . But I guess it’s worth a try. I didn’t want to be a burden and have everyone walk all over the place just so I could get a meat stick.“Well, there is one place.”

     “Mhm,” he hummed, waiting for me to proceed.

     “It’s this place that sells one of my favorite foods,”

     “Uh huh, yeah,”

     “And it’s kinda expensive, but I’ll pay with my own money and I-“

     “(Y/N), what’s the place called. I’ll look for it on the map,” He interrupted, chuckling a bit. “We’ll all go if that’s what you wanna eat. We already have our food so it doesn’t matter.”

     “It’s called the Ship to Shore Marketplace. They have turkey legs there,” I told him. The last sentence made me smile a little. As a kid my mother would buy me and her one each. It brought back good memories.

     “Alrighty kid,” he said, giving a small smirk my way, eyes hidden from his long messy hair. Even at a theme park meant to bring children’s dreams come true, he still wore his same attire. “Suguro-kun,” he called out. Ryūji whipped his head around and pulled out an earbud that was stuffed into the side of his head.

     “Huh?” was the sound that came from Ryūji’s mouth. When it came to Lightning, Ryūji was extremely attentive, always jumping the gun at the thought of Lightning needing anything from him.

     “Find out where the uh, what was it called again?”

     “The Ship to Shore Marketplace-” I added in.

     “The Ship to Shore Marketplace! Yeah right, that place. Find out where it is,” he told Ryūji, taking another bite out of his disappearing burger.

     “On it Lighting-sensei,” Ryūji said, immediately shoving the contents of his phone and earbuds into his pocket, getting right down to investigating the location I so desired to go to.

     “Oh no wait-” I interrupted. Everyone turned to me as I held out a hand in front of Ryūji as if saying “wait”. I cleared my throat. My face felt warm from Ryūji’s eyes burning small and light holes into my face, but I held a neutral facial expression. “I already know where it is. I can just go myself,” I finished.

     “We don’t want you getting lost. The casualties and consequences that’d come from you going missing are-” Lighting said, but I cut myself a word in before he could go on.

     “It’s alright, I can go by myself,” I told him. I’m a young girl but definitely old enough to take care of myself in a theme park. I’m not here for any fuckery with kidnappers. Just here to have fun and eat my fuckin’ turkey leg. But it bothered me though, that he insisted on everyone getting up and following me to somewhere just so I could get a twenty dollar turkey leg. I could do it myself! ‘Who the hell said I was incapable of doing something as simple as buying my own food by myself?’ But then again the chances of something happening to me even with it bein day time and there being plenty of people around, I couldn’t help but think about the worst case scenario. ‘If something were to happen, I’d never get to experience my life ahead of me.’

     “Yeah Lightning-sensei, just let her go on her own,” Rin said, obviously annoyed. Shima and Rin proceeded to whine about how sore their feet were, while Rin also added in the fact he threw up.

     “I’ll go,” announced Izumo. She stood up and looked at me. She only gave a little smile, something that I’ve come to realize that was rare to get from her.

     “Oh, I’m not tired anymore!” Shima declared, jumping to his feet.

     “Tch, sit down Shima. You’re not going with them.” Shura said, her face showing no amusement. It seemed everyone wasn’t really enjoying their time at this point from all the walking and jerking of our bodies on rides. “Suguro-kun, since you already have your map out, go with them.”

     “Yes Shura-sensei.” He got up from his spot and adjusted his hat the slightest bit, then stared down at me and Izumo from where we were. I let out a soft sigh and got up as I looked at the ground, but quickly pulled myself together, trying to ignore the fact that my heart beat felt more prominent than normal. He walked up to us from his spot near Rin, and said, “After you.” Me and Izumo looked at each other and she grabbed my hand and then proceeded to walk me.

     “Where do we go (Y/N)?” She asked me.

     “This way,” I pointed down a street area where people decorated the intersection and the buildings around alike with their children and happy faces. We passed by people waiting in line outside of shops and stands; enjoying themselves, making memories. We walked and walked and walked without saying a word. We were in the middle of passing my other favorite place, The Golden Horseshoe, a mass of people moved in front of us and a girl with blonde hair bumped into me. Like a domino affect, I fell backwards in result of her falling into me. I was a little disoriented from all the commotion and large amount of people around us. My back hit someone’s chest, and when I went to turn to apologize, my eyes met Ryūji’s. ‘Oh shit.’ My face felt warm again and for a split second I couldn’t speak, but I had finally managed to get out a “sorry”, which ultimately saved my ass. After my eyes locked with his, I looked down and away during my short winded apology because I couldn’t look at him straight. My heart skipped a beat and thumped a little harder.

     I had turned back around to face the crowd. Izumo was in front of me and said, “Hey (Y/N), grab my hand and hold onto Ryūji. We’re gonna have to power through everyone.” She told me. People suddenly multiplied around us and I felt as though I was being engulfed by everyone and everything . I turned back around, even though my anxiety levels were telling me to do otherwise. I looked up at Ryūji again, and tried so desperately to look casual and not anxious outta my damn mind.

     “Hey,” I said, trying to get his attention.

    “What?” He couldn’t hear me all that well with it being so loud, so he leaned down. I moved my mouth near the nook of his neck, right next to his ear. I felt fuzzy being so near him. I could smell his scent. ‘Mmmm…’

     “Hold onto me, Izumo is gonna drag us through everyone,” He leant back and stood up straight. He looked at me and nodded. When I turned around I could feel him tugging on the back of my shirt. The tips of my ears burned at the thought of him touching something so near to me. Izumo tugged us through the crowd and we ended up at the other end of the mass. We all released each other and I gave out a nervous chuckle after we finally stood in front of our destination. “Haha, who would’ve thought it’d take so much effort just to get a turkey leg.”

     “Turkey leg?” Izumo asked.

     “Mhm. The leg of a turkey,” I said with a smile.

     “Does it taste good?”

     “Very,” I chuckled. While in the process of waiting for what I ordered, Izumo and Ryūji made conversation behind me. The noise from other people around us drowned out my chances of understanding the conversation. The only noises that came up for air from the sea of people talking were little giggles and excited shouts here and there from Izumo. Recently I’ve notice they’ve been getting along a little too well for comfort. They’d chat to themselves quietly enough so no one else could hear which left me feeling left out and suspicious. When they’d talk, it was sly and sneaky and very at ease. It wasn’t extravagant or extreme; it was calm and attentive and curious. Ryūji usually talks to Konekomaru and Shima, yet he’s been opening conversation up more to Izumo. The only time we’ve really had a one on one was when we all got wasted, and to be honest, I wanna be able to talk to him without getting him tipsy first. It was weird with him. There were times where he seemed more relaxed with me, and then he’d switch to being serious, stiff, and cold out of nowhere. I couldn’t get anything stable with him. It’s like he was hesitant. Like I was a chance he was unwilling to take out of uncertainty. Or perhaps I’m merely just boring, uneventful, ugly, and maybe even too foreign for his comfort. I know from personal experience that just having some random newcomer barge in can make it hard to adjust, and getting to know said person can be tricky. But I still wanted to feel welcome. After this year of being here and becoming a certified exorcist along with everyone else, I desperately wanted the approval of all of them. I wanted them to like me. They have been with each other from the beginning. I came in at some random point in time while they were bonding and making memories. And although I wanted that same experience with them as they had with each other without my presence, who was I to desire that? I did nothing to earn it. I’ve tried so hard these past couple of weeks to do something that would make them trust me, and all of them seem to, except for the one person I want trust from the most.

     I didn’t want to entertain the idea of Izumo and Ryūji being a possible thing or even the possibility of them liking each other in general, yet my anxious mind wouldn’t allow that. The exact thought is what crowded my mind most of the time. It was like a little voice that picked and picked at the back of my head. Slowly over time it created a sore, and then cut, and now an open wound. I’ve been trying to drown my doubts and negative thoughts with positive ones while also doing meditations regularly. Many people don’t understand the art of meditation, however, when one learns it, it makes all the difference in the world. It was the thing that kept my mind clear when it got to overheated and set ablaze by demons within my own mind.

     What was I supposed to do if they did end up together? How was I to live ? I mean, the smallest, faint, yet very obvious signs are right there in front of my eyes. And although they were apparent, the two bulbous spheres within my head don’t want to see. I don’t want them to be together for the obvious reason: I like Ryūji and I want to be with him. I want to learn more about him. Explore him. Dive into the pool that is his soul. But at this moment there was a sign outside of himself that said “sorry, only V.I.P. personnel!”. Everyone was swimming and here I was, watching from outside the fence, only feeling little splashes of water hit my feet from behind the line once in a blue moon. The thought of him just made my heart warm, but the more my mind lingered, the more I realized my heart was beginning to turn cold with jealousy and sadness. I wanted him for myself. And I like Izumo; she’s who I consider a friend. I can’t help but think how resentful I’d feel towards her though, if she were to make him her’s. If I hadn’t liked him, I guess they’d make a cute couple. They both have very honorable families, they’re both similar in nature, and they share experiences and memories. But I hate thinking about them being together and how cute they’d be. It hurts. It really fucking hurts. ‘I’ll never get to see him blossom in front of me, will I? I’ll never get to love him they way love is desired: reciprocated. I want him, yet he seems to be within the grasp of another.’

     Izumo was a very beautiful girl. She was fair and her features are small and dainty. Knowing that she was desirable, made me even more self conscious and insecure.

     A small accumulation of tears gathered in my eyes and I quickly wiped them away casually. “Here ya go!” The cashier said to me, handing me my big ass turkey leg. I thanked him, and exchanged the money for my food. I turned around and I could tell, now paying full attention to them, that my eyes gazing upon both of them interrupted their conversation.

     “I’m all set,” I told them. Izumo nodded at me, and both him and her turned around and began walking. As we continued back to where we came from, I gnawed at the meaty stick I held while observing their conversation. I could see her eyes look at him with want; a desire to know what he thought about the current topic or situation in discussion. I could tell he paid close attention to her. And when they came together, they debated and worked through the ideas that they bounced off each other.

     I asked Konekomaru more about how they used to be with each other not too long ago, and I guess they used to fight. It wasn’t until later that they began to see their similarities.

     “She was in an incident with the Illuminati,” he told me in a very hushed voice.

     “Why? What happened?” I inquired. My curiosity and interest in the subject peeked.

     “I can’t really say,” he replied nervously, “but I do know that it changed her. It had something to do with her sister…I don’t know. With Bon, he sort of came to realize that his ambition for becoming of an exorcist, which was defeating Satan, no longer motivated him. He’s trying to find a new purpose for becoming an exorcist and he’s now under Lightning’s wing. I guess they’ve come to the conclusion that they’re both much more alike than they are different, and I guess they’ve sort of… bonded , over that.” I stared at him, then at the ground. I thought for a moment to dwell on what he just told me. After some time of me not responding, he asked, “Why did you wanna know?” He looked at me with soft curious eyes, that begged a question, but didn’t pressure me into answering.

     I became nervous, my heart beating out of tune. My sweat glands all over my body began to contract as a reaction to those five simple words in the form of a question. “Well, I was just wondering. He only seems to talk to certain people. I know he talks to you and Shima-kun because y’all are all childhood friends from the same temple. I was just wondering what was up with them two,” I responded. That lie sounded so casual and real that even I for a split second believed my own self.

   “Oh!” He chuckled, scratching the back of his neck nervously.

   And here I was…watching them bond as I stood in the background, blurring in with the strangers and the nobody’s of the universe.

      ‘Jesus (Y/N), stop spiraling. Pull your shit together. All y’all did was go out to get a damn turkey leg and here you are getting all depressed ‘n’ shit like usual.’ I thought to myself.

     We had finally made it back and I was already a third of the way done with my turkey leg. Rin looked at me and laughed. “Didn’t you just get that?”

     I gave a small laugh in return. “Hahaha yeah.”

     “Okay, well let’s keep moving,” said Lightning. We all stood and began the rest of our journey.

     I played my music after putting my earbuds in my ears.

Chapter Text

      8:28 p.m. Disneyland Park Anaheim, California…

 

      “You’re so mean!” Whined Rin. He was upset at Shura because she wouldn’t let him buy a big Cheshire Cat plushie that was $80. “It reminds me of Kiro!” He exclaimed. I chuckled a bit. ‘Kiro doesn’t look like Cheshire at all.’

     “For the hundredth time Rin, if you wanted to buy things that expensive here you should’ve saved up your money.”

      “We didn’t know about this trip until last minute!”

      “Still! You should be saving your money anyway,” she crossed her arms over her chest. Surprisingly she didn’t wear her usual attire. Well, not completely . Security came up to us around 5:00 p.m. and told her she couldn’t have her tits out and the gave her a cheap Disney shirt to wear. Ever since then she’s been grumpy.

     “Come on just buy it for him,” Shima pressed. I thought it was pretty ballsy of him to demand something like that of a superior. Shura turned and gave Shima a death glare that made him shiver.

     We were outside the Cinema near the back of the park. The movie Beauty and the Beast was playing and we had just scanned our tickets to go in but weren’t inside yet.

     “This is pretty cool,” Izumo said. “What is The Beauty and the Beast?”

     “Well for starters, it’s a romance.” I told her. When those six words left my mouth her eyes brightened immensely. A smile formed on her face and she beamed.

     “Oh god,” Rin groaned. He looked absolutely miserable at the sound of what I had said. “First I can’t buy the cat thingy , and now I’ve gotta see a chick flick?”

     “Technically it’s not a chick flick, and two; a lot of Disney movies have romance involved,” Konekomaru butted in. We all looked at him in surprise for knowing that. To my knowledge, this was all of their first times here and I honestly didn’t expect them to know much about it. “I did some research while we went on our bathroom break.”

     “Ohhhh,” the rest of us said in unison.

     “Let’s go in already,” Shima said. I sighed in annoyance and took the lead. Izumo latched onto my arm and held on tight. I smiled and looked at her. Shiemi hung onto my other side and giggled.

     “What’s it about?” Izumo asked me.

     “You’ll have to find out,” I smiled.

More Than an Hour Into the Movie…

 

     Izumo is fully invested and engrossed in this movie which doesn’t surprise me because I know she’s a sucker for romantic movies. The whole premise behind the tale is that once the rose loses all its petals, the Beast will forever stay a beast. In order to get the rose to stop shedding petals, he has to get someone to fall in love with him, but must also love someone as well. As a kid, this movie scared me. From a young age, I saw the similarities between this fictional love story and the reality of my own. It wasn’t entirely the same, but very similar. He was a beast that wanted but also had to learn how to love, and if he loved no one and was loved by no one by the time all the petals fell, he’d stay a horrid beast forever. In my case: if a fall for a boy, and he doesn’t love me back, then I die. Both the Beast and I would have permanent fates.

     Because of the curse, I shied away from investing time into a boy. Yes, I had crushes on them, and yes, I wanted to be with them. But falling in love ? No. No . No . Ohhhhh no . My entire life I’ve looked from afar, never getting too close. I’d stop talking to them in hopes of my feelings goin away, which didn’t always work one-hundred percent of the time .

     But I wanted to talk to Ryūji. I’m not saying I’m trying to fall in love with him. I’m simply saying that he’s intriguing enough for me to want to take a small risk. And who knows, perhaps I’ll lose feelings for him. With everything I know about him I admire him a lot, but what if together we just don’t connect. Vibe .

     As the movie played I watched Izumo carefully. Her eyes fixated on every move of each character, her face depicted every thought she had as the plot progressed. She was so involved in it that she didn’t notice me staring at her.

     If he liked her, was this someone he found beautiful? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she’s ugly or distasteful. She really is beautiful and sweet, which you find out after you get past her hard shell . I just…wish I could be enough for him. Not just in the sense of me being beautiful enough for him to desire me, but for me to be interesting or intriguing enough for him to want to talk to me. I remember how Shima, Rin, and Konekomaru all told me how Ryūji practically fell in love with Lightning because of his abilities and power as an arc knight. Was she as interesting to him? I thought she was great but, did he see her in a higher light than the others? Than me?

     Ugh, what am I even saying? I’m over here making such a fuss when he doesn’t even know me. How can he admire something he knows nothing about? But then again, to admire something, something must catch your eye for you to even acknowledge it; in order to admire something, it first must be admirable, which I think I’m certainly not . I felt a little mad at Izumo for being so pretty and well put together, which was purely out of jealousy. She’s a strong, independent, beautiful honorable woman. What was not to love?

     My eyes made their way back to the screen. I sighed aloud which caught Izumo’s attention. She leaned over to me and whispered, “You alright?” I only nodded in response, not looking to her as I did so. “Uhh-um okay,” She stuttered our softly. I could see out of the corner of my eye that she hesitantly looked back at the screen. I mentally yelled at myself. ‘I shouldn’t take out my anger and doubt and sadness on her. I’m making her the villain in m own head. She’s done nothing wrong and here I am giving her a passive attitude.’ I turned to her and sighed.

     “Hey,” I whispered to her. She turned to look at me. She raised the little eyebrows she had.

     “Hm?”

     “Hey I’m sorry for being so passive. I’ve just got a lot on my mind,” I explained.

     “Like what?” She questioned.

     I looked around for a bit and thought. Should I tell her that I like a boy and I’m currently having problems? What if she catches on to who it is, or pressures me into saying who it is? What if her and Ryūji really were gonna end up together and me telling her leads to her finding out, which then just impedes our friendship? I finally answered her. “It’s just some home stuff,” She looked at me with confusion, so then I therefore further explained myself. “Just missing my family, that’s all.” It was a lie, but it could be believable.

     She nodded at me and I thought I was dismissed, but I was wrong . While my eyes darted back to the big screen she spoke in a whisper again. “Are you sure that’s all?” My stomach dropped. Suddenly I thought of the worst. ‘She can’t know can she? Can she? Can she ? Am I that obvious? Oh fuck.’

     I gulped. “Yeah,” I whispered. She looked at me with squinted eyes suspiciously. I made a nervous expression and she leaned over to me, she lied her hand on my thigh in a consoling way.

    “I know something’s been bothering you,” she said softly. “There are little moments here and there were you don’t look like your there . Like, in the present moment. You’re in your own head thinking about something.” Here, I had a choice to make. I could either tell her I was having boy problems, or I could stick with the answer I presented to her before. Before I could even answer, she interrupted me and my thoughts. “Okay you definitely have something else on your mind.” I let out a big sigh and my shoulders shrugged forward in defeat. ‘Fuck.’ She looked deep into my eyes. They shone with curiosity, but the flames of that began to be overwashed with concern the longer I didn’t answer her. I closed my eyes. I was mentally preparing to tell my friend that the boy who she might end up with is the one I’ve fallen for. ‘But who’s to say they do like each other? But who’s to say they don’t? But first, I had to assess who was closest to us. I didn’t want Shima hearing and then just blasting on about how I like a boy, or god forbid Ryūji hears about me taking an interest in someone and then somehow miraculously finding out it was him the entire time. From left to right, this is how we were seated: Shura, me, Izumo, Shiemi, Rin, Konekomaru, Shima, Ryūji, Lightning. Realistically I’d have to be loud for most of them to hear. Truthfully, the only one I was really worried about based on where we were seated was Shura. I loved her and all; she was a great teacher, but I knew she could have a big mouth with certain things. I think if she knew, she’d tease me to no end and pressure me every second to know who my crush was. She was a teacher that seemed to interest herself in students personal affairs, kinda like Mephisto. Even now, with me wanting to open up, well, me entertaining the idea of wanting to open up, I know I can’t. It’s too risky. The more people that know, the more real it becomes. The more serious it becomes. The more deadly it becomes .

     I didn’t want to lie so I simply said something that would curb her curiosity and hope without completely destroying it. “I’ll tell you when the time’s right.” She had a small pout and frowned.

     “Okay,” she said sadly, and focused her attention back on the movie. We were now at the part where the last petal on the rose was about to drop, and the Beast was on the roof of his castle about to be shot. Tears began to form in my eyes. Watching such a fatal event brought sadness and salty water to my eyes. I knew there was a happy ending, I knew it . But in the moment my heart ached and I can’t help but cry over Beast, as if he were me . I leaned forward and watched the movie further as darkness rolled across the screen. My eyes were hot and so were my tears. My cheeks were damp and pathetic. ‘ I knew there was a happy ending. I know it. I know it. I know it.’

     

Chapter Text

      From the Eyes of Beauty…

     Lightning was surprisingly focused on the big screen. The Beast was atop his own castle being attacked by a gaggle of men. The scene was hectic and tragic. I was never into movies like these. I always thought they were meant for smaller and younger children. But this part of the movie was so intense. ‘Kids in America watch this stuff?’ I asked myself. I turned to my left to ask Shima something but another sight caught my eye. It was (Y/N), leaned over in her seat… crying .

     My eyebrows furrowed at the sight. I was confused. But then I thought, ‘Girls, so immensely emotional.’ To me, it was the only explanation that could resolve my own confusion. However, when I looked at her closely, there seemed to be a darker deepness in her eyes. Her lip quivered and her eyes squinted, pouring out tears as if they were pent up for centuries. She seemed so genuinely upset, that an unsettling feeling rested in the pit of my stomach as I watched.

     She bit her lip hard, seemingly to prevent any sobs or whimpers from escaping her mouth. She held the tips of her fingers softly to her chin as she watched the screen tentatively. Her eyes seemed so desperate for something, something . The color and movement on the screen danced upon her now damp skin, her sad eyes, and abused lips. And then suddenly the color reflected on to her face from the screen changed red. Her face seemed to relax, and with her expression, so did her body. She shrunk back into her seat to where I could no longer see her.

     Out of the entire movie experience, I noticed no distress in her whatsoever. Yet it seemed that only that part made her feel some type of way. Why that part? Perhaps it was normal for girls or young kids to get worked up over the sad and intense parts in movies. Maybe that’s why she cried. But the way she looked up at what was happening, they way her eyes shone with pain and not sympathy, made me think otherwise.

      ‘Why are you crying like that (Y/N)?’

Chapter Text

     After the movie we walked the walk way streets for the fun of it. We were all wanting to go home now but just wanted to walk around a little bit to take in the view while it was night. Through the Frontierland, the street lights cascaded downward and made interested oblong shapes. The banners hanging from the balconies drifted and lifted in the wind, their color appearing much dark than before. The night sky was prominent with barley no stars to see, but all in all it was a beautiful night. The street wasn’t as littered with children as before, but it was still relatively busy.

     I sighed aloud. It was 11:30 p.m. and they were now kicking everyone out.

     We made it back around to the front and found a little shop. Shura brought us inside and I looked at her with confusion. “What are you doing?” I asked her. She looked at me and chuckled.

     “I’m getting us to a door with a lock so I can get us back to your friend’s house,” she said. ‘Oh shit. I’ve completely forgotten about Amelia.’ I pulled out my phone in a haste and saw that I had 4 messages from “ Melia Me Amour ”.

     Amelia: Where are you? (8:36 p.m.)

                   Me and Bret are at the gate

                   waiting:/ (9:42 p.m.)

                   I’m gonna go ahead and go.

                   Hope you’re having fun!!!

                   I’m sorry we didn’t get to

                   spend that much time today:(

                   Tomorrow I’ll make it up to

                   you. (10:01 p.m.)

                   I’ll meet you at the house. ily

                   gn *'ω'* (10:26 p.m.)

     I just realized that she was probably not gonna be home until around midnight. I wish I could’ve called her or looked at my phone sooner so we all could’ve used the key to get back to her place. ‘Fuck…’

     “Well there’s nothing we can do about it now,” I mumbled to myself.

     “Do what now?” Rin asked. I looked up at him and pointed to my phone. H read the messages but squinted his eyes. “Sorry, my English isn’t very good,” he chuckled nervously.

     I have him a small smile. “It’s alright I-“

     “Okumura-kun, I’ve told you to keep studying,” Ryūji scolded from behind.

     Rin whipped his head around and whines out, “I know!!!” I sighs and looks back at me. In a whisper he asks, “can you just tell me what it says?” I laughed.

     “Yeah dude, don’t worry about it,” I told him in a hushed tone. I explained in simple terms that I felt bad for not responding. Why? Because if I had, then she would’ve been able to use the magical key and not driven 40 minutes home, when it would’ve taken a couple of seconds instead.

     “Dang,” he said, his tail idly wagging behind him. “That sucks.”

     “Yeah.”

     “But don’t worry about it,” Ryūji surprisingly cut in. I guess he could hear our whole ordeal. Yikes, okay. And although he was technically eavesdropping, I still appreciated the sentiment. I just nodded my head in response and looked a forward. We were in front of a “Employees Only” marked door, but she plunged the key in anyway. When she opened the door, miraculously enough, I saw the living room of Amelia’s place. I marveled for a moment before I stepped in. Air mattress were already blown up and laid out across the living room floor, and both the mattress and the sofa were decorated in blankets, covers, and pillows of sorts. I smiled a weak and sad smile. ‘She’s such a good friend.’ Knowing the current time, she’d probably be asleep right now. I stepped inside and set my little carry on bag down next to the left arm of the sofa. Everyone piled in and Shura closed the door behind us before anyone else could see what we were doing from the other side.

     We had all settled in on where we wanted to be 20 minutes later and everyone seemed to have fallen asleep pretty quickly. I lied on the couch by myself, because everyone wanted the blow up mattress. I was facing the back rest, just thoughtlessly staring. I went on my phone a bit, reading some fandom fan fiction here and there but I couldn’t really focus. My mind was still stuck on Ryūji, Izumo, and the curse. My heart ached a little bit. I sighed, pressing the ON/OFF button on my phone to close it. I pulled my blanket off in one swift motion and turned my body so my legs were hanging off the edge. I popped my back and stood up. Before I went to go towards the kitchen, I noticed Ryūji was still on his phone. His eyebrows were furrowed at something. He seemed to be confused or disturbed…? I was honestly really unsure. ‘He’s so cute,’ I thought to myself. I turned towards my desired destination quickly in fear of him noticing me staring. I walked to the fridge and squinted my eyes at the surprisingly bright light. I scanned the shelves and decided to grab a water bottle because there was nothing exciting inside. I let the door shut with the power or it’s suction and made my way back to the couch. I sat back down and twisted the cap off the water bottle with a click . I gulped a mouth full, twisted the cap back on, and lied propped up against the arm rest. My body was draped across the piece of furniture, wrapped up in a warm multi-colored cover. I looked at Ryūji, who’s eyes hadn’t left his phone. His facial expression was different but still didn’t change the fact that he didn’t acknowledge me. I was tired and my eyes were starting to get dry but I didn’t care. With everyone asleep and just us two being awake, I saw this as an opportunity. I didn’t want to make it obvious that I liked him, but I did want him to notice and acknowledge me more than he did already on a daily basis. I bit my lip while in thought. I didn’t wanna make conversation per se, I just wanted to get his attention somehow in a non-creepy type of way. I unlocked my phone and looked around for a bit. I went to my messages and opened the group chat we had. It would be weird for me to text him directly only using his number. Maybe I could use the group chat? I don’t know. This is all a little too weird for me. I’m not usually straightforward and when it comes to romance I’m so awkward it’s not even funny. I renamed the chat I’m Bored and then proceeded to find some memes and GIFS.

      Group Chat - I’m Bored

     (Me): *GIF of cat waving ‘hello’*

     I waited for a bit, hoping it would catch his attention. ‘Ugh, this is useless.’

However, to my surprise, I got a notification through MESSAGES. It was a text that was sent through the group chat.

     (♡♡♡): *GIF of a cartoon character waving ‘hello’*

     I looked over at Ryūji, who was already staring at me. The light from his phone shone up onto his face ominously in the almost pitch black room. I felt a block creep up my skin so I looked back at my phone and sent another GIF.

     (Me): *GIF of bunny hopping around with the phrase ‘cute bunnies’ at the bottom*

     (♡♡♡): cool *GIF of puppies running around*

     (Me): fav animal?

     (♡♡♡): dragon

     (Me): cool *thumbs up emoji*

     I paused for a moment and looked over at him. Within two seconds he looked up at me, and I swear I saw him give a small smile before his eyes glued themselves back to his phone’s screen. ‘Oh god where do I take this conversation now?’

     (Me): dragons are cool ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ

     (♡♡♡): lol

     (♡♡♡): what’s your favorite?

     (Me): mine is a (*FAV ANIMAL*)

     (♡♡♡): that’s cool *GIF of my favorite animal*

     (Me): *edgy meme*

     (♡♡♡): ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

     (♡♡♡): *funnier edgy meme*

     I giggled out loud and I looked over to him with his eyes still glued to his screen. However, he had a smile on his face; the type of smile you have when you’re on the verge of laughing. ‘Hm.’

     For the next following half hour we sent memes to each other back and forth and just goofed off even though we were less than ten feet apart. My heart grew warm at the small but fun interaction we were sharing. Everytime my phone would buzz with a new notification, I’d get this subtle but obvious fuzzy feeling down in the pit of my soul. I felt whole. After about forty-five minutes I grew tired and began dozing off. I guess Ryūji could notice this because before my eyes glued themselves shut, I saw one last notification from him, it was another GIF.

     (♡♡♡): *GIF of monkey waving goodbye with the phrase ‘goodnight’ at the bottom’*

     I laughed quietly and gave a weak smile.

     (Me): *GIF of the moon smiling with the phrase ‘night!’ being flashed over and over again*

     I closed my eyes, drifted off to sleep, and dreamed a really good dream.

     As I dreamt, I felt oddly calm. Like the feeling of floating on water and then realizing it’s almost like levitating above air. Suddenly I was in a dream. There was no beginning to it really, it just… happened . I was standing in a field with flowers blanketing the blades of grass beneath me. This massive area was Incase’s in a circles of trees that ten made a forest. The sky was blue and clouds moved along slowly. It was as if I teleported to somewhere serene.

    My body felt like it was being taken deeper and deeper and deeper I…

      I still stood among the flowers and trees. The soft wind swayed the nature that surrounded me and I closed my eyes to enjoy the realistic feeling. I felt fuzzy and somewhat disconnected to my physical body. I looked down to find that my feet were touching the ground, yet they weren’t. The pads of my feet felt no grass, no wind, no life. Stale.

     “Mommy!” A high and light voice called out from behind me. It seems so far away. I tried turning around but my feet couldn’t move. My head couldn’t move.

     I couldn’t move at all.

     I was stuck staring at the ground. I began to feel panicked, my breathing and heart rate becoming quicker as each second passed. The voice behind me was getting closer. I didn’t understand why couldn’t move my head, nor could I understand why this voice was calling out for their mother.

     “Mommy! Mommy! You’re scaring me! Turn around!” What seemed to be a child was behind me now. This child seemed so close yet so far. It was an odd feeling. I felt myself disassociating yet being fully aware of my existence at the same time. I felt small finger tips brush up against the inside of my palm. They wrapped themselves around my fingers as much as they could, and tugged. Then another hand clamped around my hand and tugged along with the first one. I could now see a small pair of feet next to my own, but I couldn’t see their face. “Mommy what’s wrong? Are you sad? Daddy’s coming soon I promise, I promise!” From what I could, see the child was wearing a dress that hit their ankles. A young girl, perhaps at the age of five. Five seems to be the age where a child is old enough to speak yet still young enough to have significantly small hands. And even though I wanted to see her face, I couldn’t. I could only see some of her hair now, along with the bottom half of her dress and her feet.

     She held my hand and rested her head on my side. I felt her hair brush up against my bare arm. Her skin was so soft and smooth that the feeling made me smile.

     I heard the ruffling of grass. It sounded as if something was fast and swiftly approaching. I felt the girl unclench a hand. She stood up straight and shifted herself. “Oh Mommy! Look! It’s…they’re coming too!” I was confused. Who was she talking about. They . She said they . It seemed like her voice cut off where their names would be. Suddenly two small bodies collided into my back. Giggles flourished from their mouths. They also seemed to be young children like the girl hanging off my arm. They grabbed and tugged at the back of a gown I was wearing. ‘Oh...I’m wearing a gown? How did I miss that?’. Subtracting the confusion of my attire in this situation, everything seemed…abnormally normal. I felt like I understood, yet didn’t. The two small children in back of me heaved and sighed, their light little lungs trying to catch up. “Mommy,” one said,”why aren’t you turning around?” I couldn’t answer. For some reason I was unable to. But my heart wanted to ask them so many questions. Why were they here? Why was I here? Am I their mommy? Who’s daddy? What does this all mean? The second one replies to the other for me.

     “Mommy can’t see us until daddy comes.”

     “Why?”

     The girl to my side said, “Because.” The three of them giggled, and that brought a smile to my lips. I heard the movement of grass again. This time I could feel the children delatch and move. The next person got closer and closer until I could actually feel them behind me.

     All at the same time the children screamed, “Daddy!”. Two hands landed on my shoulders. The feeling of their palm was warm and might I say, very nice. I closed my eyes, and magically, I raised my head. My face faced towards the sky, and the person behind me, who was “Daddy”, kissed the back of my head. I felt goosebumps sore through my body, which was then followed by a wholesome warm feeling.

     They pulled away and an all too familiar voice spoke, “I’ll keep you safe from Him, I promise.” The man behind me pulled me in for an embrace. I tried turning around but before I could, I somehow ended up in a room, decorated lightly with bright decor and open windows.

     I’m on the bed, being swaddled by a body larger than mine. It’s warm and full of life, their heart pounding loud enough for me to hear. They kiss me on the back of the head in admiration and I smile. I feel so warm and fuzzy again. Their skin grazed against mine and chills went down my spine. But the feeling was soon overcome by comfort and a slight vibe of sensuality. Their hands rubbed the side of my thigh up and down in a loving way. They kissed the back of my shoulder and I held a firm grip of their large hand. Their hand traveled up my abdomen and in response my muscles clenched. I heard a small deep chuckle from the person behind me. A man, age unknown.

     His hand traveled up and around me. His hand took a good grasp at my breast and I bit my lip. I turn around so that I face him, but I don’t look up. We rubbed our bodies together, creating a warm and sweet friction. We tangled ourselves up in each other and just felt each other up. Electric vibrations pounded through us as we got lost in the feeling of one another. I laid my head upon their body with theirs on mine and we held each other. I buried my face in their neck and sniffed.

     It smelled of Ryūji’s cologne.

     I blush and tighten my fingers around a handful of his shirt. It’s him. It’s Ryūji. I smiled against his skin as he finally rested his hand on my hips, our legs tangled together in a big pile of bare limbs and sun kissed skin. I couldn’t quite look at his face though. But I felt his body. I felt his breath. And when he raised his hands to brush strands of hair out of my face, I saw a familiar string of beads wrapped around his wrist. I smiled.

     The sound of a door opening was followed by a parade of feet running toward the bed. Things were climbing into the bed and I had realized it was those kids. They were my kids. I was Mommy. Ryūji was Daddy. I felt so happy. So happy so happy so happy. I felt radiant and bright and beautiful. I felt him. I felt everything.

     The man…it was him. His face was blurry but I knew it was him. That in and of itself, will always be comforting enough

Chapter Text

      Day two came around and was going by very quickly.

     “Guess what,” Amelia said. I smiled at her in anticipation.

     “What?”

     “Tomorrow they’re setting off fireworks,” she replied excitedly. Everyone around clamored out with joy. Today has been going by pretty well, well at least way better than yesterday. I’ve gotten to spend more time with Amelia than I did on day one. Bret said he had to work today but would be back tomorrow, so I at least had her all to myself for now.

     It was getting closer to the late afternoon. Today we spent time looking at historical memorabilia and behind the scenes things that all relate to Disney. It was really cool and eye opening. These were the parts I had never got to see as a kid.

     Ryūji and I talked for a good twenty minutes on different movies that Disney made. Surprisingly, he was the one who started the conversation. I couldn’t help but feel a little proud of myself for talking to him last night, as that could’ve been the reason he talked to me today. We basically carried on with the conversation about random and dumb things, but mostly talked about being exorcists and our plans moving forward. I had told him I wanted to be an Arc Knight, because my dad had always wanted to be one. He would talk about the title, and soon I feel in love with the idea.

     I knew that the whole ordeal seemed a bit stupid; talking about nonsense and serious topics at the same time. However, I didn’t care. I was spending time with him, and that’s what matters.

     Afterwards we walked back and just did some window shopping. Rin dragged us all to the plushie store where he saw Cheshire the cat, and continued to bug Shura about it. Thirteen minutes later, and she gave in. We all laughed at him for being so stubborn, and looked around in more stores. There was another shop that sold Mickey Mouse ear headbands. The rack and shelves full of them caught everyone’s attention after I had walked over to preview them myself.

     “Oooh! I want this one!” Izumo exclaimed, pointing out a pair. They were a light periwinkle and had lace around the tips of the ears. A strip of mesh material hung from either side. It was almost princess-like in nature. She picked it up and placed it on her head. She twirled around and Amelia and Shiemi complimented her on how cute she looked. I simply smiled and looked around for my own pair. ‘She really is pretty.’

     And although I thought that to myself, there was no heart ache to that statement. Soon enough, everyone was trying on ears, except Lightning. He stood off to the side just smirking as he watched us make a mess over who got to have what.

     Izumo got the pair she had really wanted. She danced around all happy. It was the first time she outwardly displayed that emotion so intensely but I didn’t mind at all. It was quite refreshing. Shiemi got on that was pink, sparkley, and floral. Rin got a white pair, and the Myodha trio all got simple black ones. I realized that I forgot my money at the house, so I stood in the back of the group with my head hanging low. ‘Melia must’ve noticed my sad face and took it upon herself to buy me one. The one she picked out for me was (F/C) and looked absolutely cute, I almost died. I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed it before. I beamed and smiled at her with glee. “Thank you ‘Melia!” I exclaimed, wrapping my arms around her, pulling her into a deep hug. Amelia could notice the little things. I thought I could hide my emotions pretty well, ‘cause it’s something I’ve been practicing after all, but Amelia could see right through me. She understood my personality on a whole other level; knew my strengths, weaknesses, flaws, and perfections. After leaving the shop I smiled to myself. I was so glad to have her.

     The clock struck seven when we finished getting off the Teapot ride for the fifth time.The sun was beginning to set. The orange flames of our mother star bled into the peaking night sky above. Amelia has left after the third time to go to the bathroom and hasn’t come back since. I was concerned, but now I was in pain. I felt nauseous and dizzy; my vision blurry and footing offset. I could hear someone ask if I was okay, but I didn’t know who exactly it was. They came around to face me. They bent down a little to look at me because I was hunched over. It was Izumo. Suddenly a hand made its way to my back, and Shiemi creeped to the other side of me, also looking very concerned. I couldn’t speak. Words came out as garbled speech and I kept my eyes squinted, never opening them to their fullest potential. They both held me up and tried talking to me, but it wasn’t computing. My stomach felt like a wild ocean, waves diving into themselves and causing chaos on the surface. I could feel each current making movement within me, and I had the strong urge to vomit everywhere. “Are you okay? (Y/N), are you okay?” Someone asked, which I presumed to be Izumo. I didn’t respond. My mouth, tongue, and lips wouldn’t let me.

     Unbeknownst to me, Ryūji has draped himself on a park bench, face pale and eyes sick. Shima and Konekomaru were hovering him, asking him if he was alright. But like me, he was unable to speak. He too, had tides within himself that were going wild like the big blue ocean on the night of a full moon. His mind swirled in slight insanity, and couldn’t get out a word the other boys could understand. He sat there, hands clenched and eyebrows furrowed. He was frustrated and in pain. He very much disliked not being able to feel normal in the moment. Lighting had came and sat next to him to make sure that he was okay. Lewin has grown attached to him but, once again, he could not experience sympathy or empathy. He merely sat there to make sure he wasn’t liable for any sickness that we would bring back to Japan.

     I had fallen to my knees and began to feel things move within me. I prayed that I wouldn’t vomit up whatever I had eaten beforehand. Shiemi called out to Shura and Lightning. “(Y/N) is sick! We need to do something!”

     “Oh shi-,” Shura stopped herself before she finished. “Bring her over here to the bench next to Suguro-kun. Here, I’ll help you.” Shura made her way over to me and supported my back. With the help of the girls, she lifted me up bridal style. When she swung me around to put me in the position, and the waves churned more, becoming sharper and more violent. I groaned out. ‘Fuck...I never knew a ride could do this to a human being.’

     She carried me and placed me as gently as she could onto the bench next to Ryūji. I actually couldn’t comprehend the fact I was sitting next to him. There was no time to think about my crush on him. No time to think about how much I liked him, how he smelled of sensual musk, how he was beautiful in every way. You know what there was time for? Dying.

     “Oh, what do we have here?” A sinister voice called out excitedly from behind the group. Neither I nor Ryūji lifted our heads, because the nausea was the only thing important on our minds. The words the person spoke weren’t completely understood, so we didn’t bother. We simply groaned and moaned in pain. The group turned around, and to their surprise, saw Mephisto Pheles. He wore his usual unusual attire. His hat bore on his head as his hand held his umbrella, which never left his side during his arrivals. “What’re you doing here?” Shura questioned, obviously annoyed. Mephisto was currently not on good terms with everyone because of the fact he let Yukio escape without telling him and his brother the history behind how they were born. He had been watching the plot of their lives for his own pure enjoyment and entertainment. Rin crossed his arms over his chest.

     “Mephisto, just leave,” he said.

     Mephisto looked at the group in faux sadness. He whined out, “You guys didn’t invite me! I sat in my office all day yesterday, thinking I would’ve gotten a ticket, but I didn’t receive one! After finishing up some business from this morning, I thought I would come down and enjoy your company.” The group groaned in unison and in response, Mephisto’s face grew sour. And although the group thought he was done, he continued. “But unfortunately I won’t be able to stay or attend tomorrow, nor today. My little brother has been following you, but I’m busy with other matters. He plans on coming tomorrow to the park, so be ready,” he looked around with a devious smirk on his face, “it’s your job to find him.”

     “Okay, this is not fair!” cried out Rin. “We are on break. You should not even be allowed to give us missions while on vacation!” Shura placed her hand on his shoulder as a if signaling him to shut up. She gave him the side eye and stepped forward to have a word with Mephisto. Her facial expression was serious and stern. Lightning stood up from his place next to Ryūji and walked over to the side, closer to Mephisto, looking to Shura as to what her response would be. She looked downward for a moment before ever so slightly nodding her head in small bounces.

     “Okay.”

     “What? ‘Okay’?! No no no, we are here to have fun , not chase after Umuimon!” Rin retorted. Shura smacked him upside the head in irritation.

     “It’s Amaimon,” Lighting butted in.

     “And don’t be so selfish. There are other people here too. Amaimon can cause damage ya know,” Izumo added. The rest of the group looked at each other and nodded to Mephisto. Rin still pouted and in the back, Shima grinned. Him and Mephisto locked eyes. Mephisto grinned a sinister grin, and poofed away.

     Lighting clicked his watch to start a timer. He rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. He looked towards Shura. “He didn’t even give us coordinates or where he last was. All we know is that he’s coming tomorrow.” She nodded. In a instant of knowing what tomorrow’s day would be like, her mood had switched.

     Izumo looked back at me and Ryūji lying on each other while sitting on the bench. Everyone was looking at us now, but we were fast asleep. The pain had knocked us out for the count, and yet coincidentally while sleeping, we both dreamt of nothing but holding a hand.

Chapter Text

So in about three to five weeks I’ll be deleting and editing chapters to the MAX cuz I’m honestly not happy with this 100%. I’ve gotta ending planned that changed from the original one so I’ll be working on that.