Chapter One: The Inevitable
I don't own it. Joss and others own Angel. Kazue Kato and others own Blue Exorcist
It was just over two months after Yukio's awakening that things began to go down hill. Yukio had slowly begun to notice his colleagues shying away from him. They would cluster together during staff meetings, attempting to look like they were in important conversations, but Yukio could see the nervous glances out of the corners of their eyes.
Tails could be hidden under uniforms, but other changes were impossible to hide. Yukio knew his eyes had shifted towards Rin's fiery blue, obvious even through the lenses of his glasses. The pointed ears stuck out, despite the fact he had been growing his hair out slightly to try and mask the tips. He was glad he had perfected his stoic disposition, since a stern expression kept him from smiling too widely and exposing his elongated canines. Yukio felt the stares these physical changes elicited every day in the halls of the Order, and he knew he would never again be able to relate to his friends in colleagues in the same way.
He wondered if this was how his brother had felt growing up, ostracized as the 'demon' child by his peers and teachers. If it was, it was easy to understand why Rin had always been so surly. Having people who had once been his friends look at him with suspicion made him ache with sadness and burn with anger in turns. If these emotions were hard to master as an adult--and after all he'd been through Yukio refused to view himself as anything but an adult--they had to be nearly impossible to conquer for a child. Yukio gained a new found respect for his brother and how remarkably adjusted he was despite his fiery temper and churlish attitude.
He gained a new respect for his Father and the other brothers at the Monastery for helping to keep Rin that way, too.
After a few weeks of sidelong glances and conversations abruptly abandoned when he entered a room, Yukio finally had to acknowledge that something was being planned by the others. It was easy for him to guess what those plans would entail, but he needed a timetable. So he goaded Shura into another training 'rematch' and while they were both plugging away at the targets, he took his chance to question her.
"How long until they come for us?"
"Hmm?" Shura gave him an odd look before demolishing a volley of targets.
"I'm not an idiot, Shura. Nor am I the naive little boy you used to know," as he said this, Yukio continued to fire away at his targets. He didn't bother to look at the other exorcist. "I know the Order wants to come after Rin and myself. I also know that the resistance to that plan is rapidly waning. What I want to know is how long we have until the plan comes to fruition."
Shura pounded away at her targets without speaking. Yukio was almost ready to resign himself to the fact that she wouldn't answer when she finally spoke up.
"One month, tops," she replied, so quietly that if it weren't for his newly enhanced hearing, he wouldn't have heard her.
Both of them continued demolishing targets for a few minutes. Finally Yukio summoned up the courage to ask the next question.
"How many of the Exwires are involved?"
Yukio could almost feel her reluctance to answer that question, but Shura was never one to shy away from anything.
"All of them."
"Ah. I was afraid of that."
Yukio knew his brother would be crushed by this. Rin had tried so hard to make connections with his classmates. He had worked to show him that they could trust him, that he would never betray them, but after the incident with the Gate they had again become skittish around him. The sad thing was it was most likely the fact that Rin had destroyed the Gehenna Gate that made them shy away. The idea of someone, especially someone as brash and untrained as Rin, holding that kind of power made them afraid. By saving his friends, Rin had created a chasm between them and himself that he could not cross.
"I guess that settles it," he muttered aloud.
"What are you planning?" Shura's voice broke into his musing..
"I'd rather not say,"Yukio answered. "You've been loyal to Rin and I, as well as our Father before us. I don't want you to suffer for your loyalty. If you know nothing, then you can't be grouped as an accomplice."
"I'm not scared of anything they can do to me," Shura replied, her tone taking on a defiant edge.
"I know," Yukio said, glancing towards her while still demolishing his targets. "That's why Father asked you to help Rin and I. He knew the trust he placed in you would be rewarded."
Shura was now watching him, her reflexes and the barest sliver of attention she was paying them were the only thing keeping her from missing the targets. Her face was a mask of shock as Yukio continued to plug away at his own targets while his attention was focused on her. He expelled and switched cartridges without breaking the rhythm of his shots, but he wasn't really paying them much attention at all. He was focused on the woman in front of him.
"Rin and I became a part of the Order to become stronger, to protect those that we care about. However, it's clear now that our presence is actually posing a danger. By plotting against us, the Order is neglecting its other duties. Neither of us wants to risk someone getting hurt because of us."
Shura swung her attention towards Yukio, her anger making her neglect her targets.
"It's not for you to decide!" she shouted.
One by one the targets hurtling towards her burst into blue flames. Yukio's eyes widened as he turned towards the fence and saw Rin standing there, his fingers curled around the fence links so tightly that his knuckles were white.
"You're right, Shura," Rin said, still taking out the targets. "We can't decide your actions, but we can decide our own."
Shura's sword arm fell limply to her side, her face a portrait of shock at Rin's control. Her eyes widened further when she saw Yukio lower his gun and continue to take out targets with his own flames.
"We can't dictate others' actions, but we can take our own actions to keep others safe," Yukio said, his voice resolute.
"We will not do anything else to endanger anyone ever again," Rin continued. "If our presence is endangering others, then it's time for that presence to end."
Yukio calmly holstered his guns and attached the spare cartridges to his belt. The whole time he and Rin kept taking out the targets, the flames painting an eerie blue cast to the whole room. Shura just kept staring, for once stuck speechless. When he was finished gathering his things, he turned to Shura and gave a deep bow.
"Thank you Shura Kirigakure, for everything you have done for us. We will always be grateful to you."
On the other side of the fence, Rin also bowed.
"Thank you Professor, for everything you have taught me. I am stronger person because of your lessons."
Both boys straightened, and Yukio began heading for the exit, pausing to hit the shut off on the machine. Rin joined him as he stepped outside the fence, and they left side by side. Behind them, Shura was left staring, the ashes of the targets settling around her.
"How much did you hear?" Yukio asked his brother, as they crossed the campus heading towards their dorm.
"Enough," Rin answered, his voice somber. "But it wasn't anything I didn't already know was coming. I may be an idiot, Yukio, but I'm not stupid. I could see the others were unnerved by me."
"If it means anything, I'm sorry."
"Thanks, but I get where they're coming from, you know. If I was in their place, I'd probably be scared of me, too."
Yukio frowned at his brother.
"That doesn't make hearing that they are planning on moving against you any easier."
"No, but the only other alternative I have is to get pissed off, and I know that won't make it any easier," Rin gave him a sidelong glance. "What about you? I've only know the guys for a few months, but you've been training with the Order for years. It can't be as easy as you're acting like it is."
"Of course it isn't," Yukio answered, the barest hint of a growl in his voice. He took a deep breath. Rin wasn't the one he was angry at, and in his own hopelessly blunt way, his brother was trying to help. "But you're right, getting angry or upset won't make this any easier."
The brothers arrived at their dorm and quickly made their way up to their room. Tails unwound from torsos as each quickly changed into street clothes. Each brother grabbed a duffel and began methodically packing clothes and other important items into the bag. Books, spare ammo and a few keepsakes were tucked into the bags. Once they were finished, they began to methodically empty their belonging into boxes. Soon the room was empty, save the full boxes that were stacked along one wall, and the furniture that had been there in the first place.
As the brothers were checking the room for anything they had missed, Kuro walked in and blinked in surprise at the empty room.
"Rin, Yukio, what's going on? Why are you packing your things?"
"We need to leave, Kuro. This place isn't safe for us anymore," Rin answered, kneeling down and placing a hand on his familiar.
"Why? I thought this was your home?"
"It was," Rin answered, scratching the animal behind it's ears. A soft purr rumbled as a backdrop to his words. "Now, everyone is scared of us. They are afraid because we're the sons of Satan."
"They already knew that," Kuro said, the mental tone petulant despite the audible purr.
"Yes," Yukio said, kneeling down to offer his own comfort to the familiar. "However, now that they have seen the power we have, they are afraid of what we will do with it."
"You already showed them what you will do with it when you closed the Gehenna Gate," Kuro argued. "You want to fight evil. You want to help people like Shiro did."
"Yeah, we do," Rin agreed. "But people aren't as logical as cats. They are always going to be a little bit afraid of us, and that fear might make them do stupid things. Things that will get them hurt. That's why Yukio and I have to leave."
"Plus, before long, the demons will start trying to get to us again. That will put the humans here in even more danger. It's better if we leave before that starts to happen."
Kuro looked between the two brothers. A knowing look came over the familiar's face.
"I can't come with you, can I?"
"No," Rin answered sadly, cuddling the cat even more. "Yukio and I aren't sure where we will end up, and it is sure to be hard. It wouldn't be safe for you to come along."
"But if you want," Yukio added. "We can take you with us for the first part of the journey. We're going back to the Southern Cross Monastery were we grew up. Where Father raised us. If you want, you can come with us, and stay there. The brothers will take good care of you, I'm sure."
"And you can help them protect the people of the neighborhood," Rin added.
For a moment, Kuro looked like he was going to argue. Then he let out a sad meow and nuzzled up against both brothers.
"I want to come with you, but I know you're right. So I'll go to the place were Shiro lived. I'll help his friends keep people safe. But I'll miss you both."
"We'll miss you to, Kuro," Rin said, a suspicious shimmer in his eye.
Both boys took a few more minutes to cuddle with the feline before Rin abruptly stood, Yukio following suit a bit more slowly. Both boys grabbed their bags, then headed downstairs. Rin grabbed Kuro's carrier, and Yukio turned the lights off as they exited the room, leaving the door unlocked behind them.
Down in the kitchen Ukobach was busy making their supper. Yukio eyed his brother warily before they both entered the kitchen.
"Ukobach," Rin said. "Don't go to too much trouble with supper. Yukio and I don't have time for more than a snack."
The hearth demon made a questioning sound, although there was a hint of disappointment and anger in the noise as well.
"I understand, and we both appreciate the work you put into it, Ukobach. But Yukio and I promised we'd visit the monastery where we grew up and have dinner with the Brother's there."
The demon made another grumbling noise.
"Well what are you making?"
Rin listened to the answer.
"I'll tell you what, that shouldn't be too hard to turn into boxed dinners. I'll help, and then Yukio and I will take it with us. That way some new people will get to enjoy your cooking."
Ukobach made an affirmative noise, and soon the two began creating the meals to take with them. Yukio was a little perturbed about the delay, but he knew it would solve more problems than it caused in the long run. So he sat with Kuro on his lap, while he watched his brother and the demon cook up a storm. If Rin seemed to relish the cooking with a little more gusto than normal, Yukio knew the reason, he just pretended not to notice.
Soon, the boxes were packed and tied into manageable bundles for the brothers to carry. Bags slung over their shoulders, the brothers turned towards the hearth demon who was finishing it's cleanup.
"Thanks again for the meals Ukobach," Rin said. "I'm sure the guys will appreciate it a lot. We'll make sure your containers get back to you as soon as possible."
Yukio pulled out a small package and held it out to the demon.
"Ukobach, could you please take this to Mephisto? You don't have to bother him tonight. Tomorrow morning is fine."
The demon made an affirmative noise, nodding as it took the package.
"Thanks, Ukobach," Rin said, as he turned around. "For everything," he added in a much quieter tone.
As he turned to follow his brother, Yukio saw the demon give the both of them a look that was both curious and measuring. Then the two brothers were exiting the dorms and heading for the nearby train station. They were both quiet as they moved away from the campus leaving the True Cross Academy and everyone they had met there behind.