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Teenage Love (It's Complicated)

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Akira’s not really sure where it all began.

It always used to be him and Ryo. Just him and Ryo. Then somehow, Miki wove her way into the picture.

Miki supposed Ryo was a nice person. He is an important person in Akira’s life. Miki's very friendly and sweet, meanwhile, Ryo is kind of the… opposite.

Akira was a little bit scared of introducing these two to each other because they were probably not going to get along at all.

From first glance, they didn't look like they had anything in common. Ryo expressed his displeasure for Miki multiple times. Miki's impression of Ryo was of a positive light.

Then they met each other, and surprisingly. It didn't turn out into a violent catfight between them.

They hit it off. Pretty well.

Miki's cheerful, onlooking demeanour is completely polar to Ryo’s pessimism. But Miki doesn't give up. Even if it appeared she did most of the talking. Ryo gradually warmed up to the other girl fairly quickly.

Not what Akira was expecting. Nonetheless, he's grateful Ryo didn't murder her while her back was turned.

It led to Miki asking to come over with Akira. The three of them with Miki's arms locked around their shoulders to keep them tightly huddled.

Then, Miki occasionally invited Miko over. Akira is aware she's on the track team and on top of that, a devilman, so he found what he had in common with Miko as an advantage to talk to her.

He doesn't regret that decision. Miko’s got a stoic face and was pretty fucking aggressive as Akira was. They immediately liked each other, after she beat his ass in a fight multiple times, and in an arm wrestling match.

Soon, it was just the four of them. Then Miko and Miki let their friends join their group. Koda a friend of Miko’s. On the other hand, Wamu was a friend of Miki's.

Akira’s never had a definitive group of friends before. Let alone people he was around so often to call his friends. Miki was family and Ryo was his only trusted friend. Everyone else he had known, but never considered them as friends until now.

It wasn't a while until they started crashing Ryo’s apartment to hang out or go out somewhere in the city. Having a few beers, marathoning through tv shows, movies, and sleeping over.

If it weren't for Miki and Akira Ryo wouldn't let the others step foot into his apartment, or bother to befriend them thanks to Miki's persuasion. Let alone absolutely trash the fucking place.

The truth that Ryo would rather pull his own teeth out to admit is that he grew to awfully care about the bunch and lets numerous things slide for the sake of them all being happy, and he always says it’s what you want, Akira. Yet they both knew.

(“Jenny cooks. She cleans. I help you idiots kill demons, come to my house and destroy my expensive furniture. Take shits in my fancy bathroom.” Ryo said while nursing a cup of coffee as if it were nothing. “You all take advantage of my kindness but I care less.”

“Did I mention you’re the best?” Akira marvelled. Ryo’s bitter expression doesn’t change in the slightest. Glaring sourly.)

Akira’s been noticing.

Up until now. How close Ryo and Miki have become. She's excited each time to see Ryo and perked up at the mentioning of his name. Wounding her arms tightly around the other and locking their arms together whenever they walked.

Summer heat was unbearable. Akira decided to get out of Ryo’s pool to take a break. Already missing the cool temperature of the water.

“Not coming back in? Fudo?” Koda hollered. Tossing a ball over to Wamu to pass onto Gabi.

“Nah, gonna take a break!” Akira said.

“You sure?” Mayuta asked.

“Yeah, keep going without me. Alright?”

Akira went inside briefly to grab a towel. Drying himself off, throwing on his t-shirt to come back outside and just a few inches away from the pool.

“Hey.”

Footsteps came to a halt beside Akira. Akira recognized that voice.

“Yo.” He's still wiping his neck with the towel, peering up to smile. Giving Miko a nod of acknowledgment.

“I got us beers.” Miko smiled. “Want one?”

“Yeah. Thanks.” Akira said. Miko tossed him one, she's still wearing her swimsuit, and Akira remained wearing his trunks. She sat down beside him. Akira cracked the can open, relieved to get some of the fresh liquid down his throat.

“Akira. We're cool right?” Miko wanted to clarify.

“Yeah. We are.” Akira replied.

“I can tell you anything.”

“Of course. I ain't gonna judge.”

Miko could come off as timid sometimes, but that was a rarity. Besides, it usually happened around Miki. Akira never questioned it too much, though. The fact that she was now was puzzling.

“What's up?” Akira lightly smacked Miko’s ankle. “You alright?”

“Okay.” Miko looked behind Akira. “Maybe it's just me. Don't you think it's weird?”

“What?” Akira asked.

Miko arched an eyebrow, cocking her head to the side, gesturing for Akira to know what she's talking about. She expected him to know. Akira took another sip, frowning.

“The fuck are you talking about?”

“You know!” She swatted him in the chest. “Miki and Ryo?”

Oh. Akira thinks. The both of them turned around, looking at said two sitting on the edge of the pool together. Conversing about something unbeknownst to Akira and Miko.

So he wasn't the only one who was highly aware of this. He noticed the way Miki laughed merrily about certain things Ryo said.

“Yeah. I mean, well. Kinda.” Akira said. “But it doesn't really bother me though.”

“It totally doesn't bother me.” Miko instantly agreed. “I just think that they've been a little friendly lately?”

Yeah. They're close.” Akira said. “...A little bit too close.”

“Too close.” Miko added. “What do they even have in common with each other? No disrespect to them both-”

“I never minded that they were friends and I don't think it's a bad idea that I let these two meet each other-”

“Yeah, I completely agree with you. And I don't mind either.”

They're both lying to themselves. Incredibly. Watching them both from afar.

“What do you think they talk about?”

“Cute guys, probably.”

Akira laughed. “No fucking way.”

“I can bet on it.” Miko narrowed her eyes. Observing, Akira can’t really imagine a conversation like that going on between those two.

“She makes him laugh.”

“He makes her laugh.”

“I don't know if I'm even capable of making him laugh like that.” Akira wasn't sulking. Definitely not.

Akira and Miko jump when the other two notice them staring. Miki doesn't seem to be fazed at all, waving at them with a warm smile on her face. Ryo has a smaller, more timid smile.

Akira and Miko blush deeply. They exchange glances, coughing and turning away to hide the red that tinted their cheeks. They both drink their beers, taking large gulps.

“They seem to be enjoying themselves.” Miko blurted.

Yeah.” Akira said, eyes flitting elsewhere. Trying not to think about how Ryo’s smile was directed towards him. Maybe it was towards them both.

“Out of all the people she could connect with, why does it have to be... you know?” Miko questioned. Akira takes another sip of his beer.

“What's wrong with Ryo?” Akira asked in defense. “I mean I could ask why of all people he's connected to her-”

Miko appeared offended. “Oh, okay- what's wrong with Miki-?”

Their conversation is interrupted by Wamu and Koda casually plopping down, water dripping from their swim trunks after just getting out of the pool. Gabi and Mayuta are still inside and they’ve yet to come out.

“Hey.” Koda said. “What're you two up to?”

“Nothing.” Akira lied. “Just me and Kuroda, havin’ a nice chat. Best bros being bros.”

Miko laughed forcibly, “Uh huh.”

“Sure you're not conspiring in how to kick our asses in Mario Kart?” Koda arched a brow, jokingly.

“What's it to you?” Miko shot back.

Akira might have been staring at Ryo and Miki for too long. Miki mentioned something that made Ryo blush, and she’s placing her hands on Ryo’s shoulders, shaking him slightly.

Ryo looked in Akira’s direction, before turning away.

Trying to comprehend what that was - he noticed Wamu frowned. Aware of how offput Akira and Miko appeared. He turned behind him, and Akira thinks he's going to break out into a sweat.

Wamu looked at Miko, then Akira. This guy catches on fast. Akira smiled along with Miko, hoping that Wamu doesn't know what's up.

“The fuck are you guys talking about?” He asked suspiciously.

Fuck.

“What do you mean?” Akira asked.

Wamu’s serious face turned into that of realization. He slightly gaped. “No shit. You two are checkin’ em out.”

What!” Akira and Miko exclaimed in union, “No!”

“Who?” Koda asked, completely unable to comprehend what was going on right now.

“Making eyes at Miki, huh?” Wamu wrapped an arm around Akira’s shoulder, shaking him. “Man, I got you. You want me to hook you up?”

“You making heart eyes over there at Ryo? Kuroda?” Wamu asked. Akira and Miko looked at each other, panicked. This is not how they wanted the others to find out. Somewhat.

“You got it all wrong! It's different-!” Akira explains, but Miko punches him in the arm. Her eyes widening at Akira, mouthing for him to shut the fuck up.

“Hey guys!” Miki’s voice is beaming, calling out to the others. “We’re gonna head inside to take a break!”

“You guys comin’ or what?” Gabi hollered.

Akira took that as an opportunity to duck out of Wamu’s arm. He stood up. “Yeah we’re coming.”

“You were staring at her.” Wamu prodded, “I saw you.”

“Nah. It ain’t like that.”

“If you want someone you gotta know how to get ‘em, you know?”

“Dude, lay off.” Miko intervened, “We were talking about something entirely different. We weren’t even checking them out in the first place.”

“Exactly!” Akira said, “Okay maybe I just stared once.”

She nudged him in the arm. Tugging him aside by harshly pulling him into a headlock. Akira knew he couldn’t fight back and Miko would knock him on his ass in a heartbeat. She’s done it in her devilman form and while human.

“Don’t push it.” Miko warned.

“I’m trying to cover for the both of us, too.” He hissed.

“Yeah but I don’t want him to think that I like you know who.” She whispered.

Miki and Koda announce a game of Mario Kart. In which, Koda was intent on beating Miko in. Leading to them crashing on the couch for the time being to engage in more than five intense rounds taking turns.

Rules were that if anyone needed anything, Ryo said to ask Jenny. Akira doesn’t blame everyone else upon the fact that she’s quite unsettling - but nonetheless, Ryo was generously doing them all a favor. They didn’t have to get up to get a single thing. Jenny gave them beers when they needed it and food when they craved it.

Anytime Akira was asked if Jenny was supposed to be Ryo’s mother he never knew the answer to that, so it’s best not to ask him. She’s a parental guardian - Ryo says, as if the fucking concept didn’t mean the same exact thing, but no one questioned it. He treated her more like an assistant than a parental figure. Akira devoured an entire bowl of cheese doodles in under a short, concerning amount of time. Gabi, Mayuta, Miko, and Koda angrily yelling at the screen in attempts to get in first place. Even if that meant using any item they had to keep the other from winning.

Akira timidly asked for more. All it took was a snap of Ryo’s fingers and Jenny was there to take it.

“Could you get oreos for me too?” Miki asked, stopping for a moment from cheering the four currently playing on, “A separate bowl for me, please because Akira’s a cookie monster.”

“Oreos for Miki, Jenny.” Ryo directed firmly.

“I am definitely not a cookie monster.” Akira gawked.

“Your appetite is abnormally large it’s very concerning.” Ryo added dully. “Makes us wonder if it is truly the demon in your stomach rather than your entire body.”

“You are a food monster. You finish all the damn snacks everytime we come over.” Miko agreed, Wamu curses and Akira knows that the game is now over. She hands the controller over to Miki. “You’re up, Makimura. Losers are supposed to give up the controller but I’m being merciful here.”

Yes!” Miki cheered.

Akira grumbled, capping open a bottle of beer. “If that’s the case then Gabi and Mayuta and play another round. Miki’s a fucking beast at this shit and I won’t play against her.”

“Nah. Ryo, you’re up. I’ll watch.” Mayuta tossed the controller Ryo’s way. “Champions can face off.”

“Splendid.” Ryo and Miki exchanged knowing glances, smiling deviously at each other. Akira snorted. Those two are unstoppable. He noticed Miko smiling fondly at the two. Sitting next to each other at the far end of the couch, blankets draped over their laps, fallen cheese doodles lying on the sheets and on the floor.

Jenny leaves a small bowl of oreos on the table.

Miki and Ryo are victors of the next game. It’s nearly impossible to break their winning streak, regardless, Gabi and Wamu continue to try.

Miko gets up from the couch at some point, avoiding being hit in the face by diving underneath the blankets - not wanting to disturb the violent game going on right now.

“Hey! Hey! Watch the fucking cheese doodles!” Akira barked, nearly getting elbowed in the face by Wamu.

“Throwing red shells are off limits!” Wamu yelled, ignoring Akira.

“Oops.” Ryo shrugged. “My finger slipped.”

Haha! First place again!” Miki jumped, “Come on, Ryo. Catch up to me. We need to one on one.”

“I thought we said we couldn’t use items to hit each other!” Gabi shouts.

“Jesus Christ.” Akira stood up, worming his way from the couch.

“Fudo!” Miko called from the kitchen. “Want another beer?”

Opening Ryo’s fridge, Akira’s eyes widened at the copious amounts stored inside. “How many fucking tons of these shits does Ryo have?”

“Enough to last us a lifetime, probably.” Miko snorted, handing Akira another.

For Akira he barely has the opportunity to get even remotely buzzed up because Miki had a no tolerance for many things. But the main two were alcohol and drugs, definitely. Which Wamu and the other guys brought stashes of without her knowing.

It was kind of hard for Akira to hide the fact that he’s high out of his mind as he usually blurts out to Miki soon enough he was on drugs and she’d flip out. (Which lead to bringing any of it into Miki and Akira’s house to discreetly snort in their bathroom has been strictly prohibited. They’ve done it, many times - due to Akira blowing their cover, privileges were taken away.

Ryo says they’re welcome to get high off amphetamines anytime at his home, because Jenny wouldn’t give two shits.)

“Does he drink?”

“Barely.” Akira snorted.

“Hey.” Miko said, her voice dropping an octave. She approached Akira, head nodding over to the others seated on the couch, seemed like they’re already playing another round. Watching as Ryo and Miki high fived each other - cheering in victory.

“You don’t think…?” Miko trailed off.

Akira didn’t have to mull on what Miko meant. “What? Miki, and Ryo?” He almost wanted to laugh. “No.

“No. Right?” Miko agreed, even if their voices both sounded tentative. “I mean like. Fuck no.”

“It can’t be.”

“Miki’s too good for him. She can do better.” Miko said. She quickly placed a hand on Akira’s shoulder. “No offense. I know Ryo’s like, your best friend.” She empathized.

“Kuroda.” Akira said warily. “Do you have a crush on Miki?”

Me?” Miko shakes her head. “No… fuck no it’s not like that. We too are just friends. We run track together in school and stuff. That’s it.”

Akira nodded slowly. Miko stared at him, leery.

“Do you have a crush on Ryo?”

Akira spit out his beer on the floor, sputtering out a laugh as he wipes his mouth. “What? No! Of course not. Ryo’s my best friend. That’s… uh, gross.”

“Nothing wrong with that.” Miko contended. “He’s weird. That it?”

“I mean, yeah, but he’s Ryo so - I kinda don’t mind that aspect.” Akira scratched his cheek, feeling the tip of his ears burn.

“Cool, I understand that.” Miko nodded. Silence falls between them. “Okay. I admit. She’s pretty.”

Akira hummed in agreement. “Ryo’s kinda cute.”

“Yeah.” Miko coughed. “It’s not that I wouldn’t… date, Miki. She’s nice, and friendly. I could see why Wamu had a thing for her.”

“If Miki’s not the one you have a crush on then, though.” Akira said. “Then does that mean-”

“No. God, no.” Miko laughed. “I like guys, yeah. But he’s not my type. You and the others ain’t bad though. You guys go to the gym, and know how to kick demon ass pretty good.” She smacked Akira’s chest, hard. Causing Akira to almost drop his beer.

“I dig girls more though.” Miko admitted. “I kinda dig Miki. I guess. A little bit.”

Akira froze. “No shit.”

“You tell a living soul about this I’ll rip your balls off.” Miko threatened, glaring deathly. “Not fucking around. Fudo.”

“Okay I won’t. But that means you can’t tell anyone that.” Akira’s voice fell into a mumble, Miko blinked - her eyes broadening.

“Oh!” She smirked, “No shit.

“Yeah, haha.” Akira deadpanned. “You can’t tell fucking no one.

“Lips are sealed, Fudo.”

"So..." Akira begins. "You like Miki, and I like Ryo."

"Yeah." Miko answered slowly. "But we think... they're dating each other."

Akira dared to comprehend those words. "This doesn't make any fucking sense."

“Maybe we’re thinking too much.” Miko dreaded.

We won!” Miki comes speeding into the kitchen, jumping in the air throwing her arms around either side of Akira and Miko’s shoulders. “First place, tied!”

“Congrats!” Miko smiled. Akira ruffled Miki’s hair, chuckling. Miki beamed, looking at the two of them.

“We’re gonna just sit on the floor and hang.” She said. “Am I interrupting something?”

“No.” Miko and Akira say in unison. “Uh-”

“Not at all!” Miko exclaimed. “We were just coming back to join you guys.”

Miko and Akira agreed to keep their conversation on the low, ignoring Wamu’s slight suspicions while they sit around on Ryo’s floor in front of the couch. Surrounded by more snacks and beer. They’re buzzed up after a game of Wii Sports as soon as it shifts into the night.

They get loud fairly quickly. A couple beers do a dangerous job of making everyone loosen up. Three rounds of Uno and chaos erupted because rules are forgotten and it turns into loud banter.

(“Rules are you pick up two cards for your mistakes.” Ryo announced.

“And who the fuck invented those rules?” Wamu asked, holding up his wad of cards - having one of the most compared to the others in the circle.

“Your mom did.” Akira teased. Everyone choked on air.

“It’s to prevent you cheaters from doing anything stupid.” Miki corrected. “Akira. I’m looking at you.”

“Why the fuck do you call it cheating, anyway? I call it a shortcut to win faster.”

“In other words, cheating.” Miko smacked Akira on the back. “Dicklord.”)

That’s a common thing among them. He apologized to Ryo for everyone destroying the place, since there are now pieces of chips and other junk everywhere. Ryo calmly says not to mention it. Again, if it weren’t for Akira and Miki both - he’d ask everyone to clean up their shit. But he’s playing nice. That made Akira smile, typical Ryo.

Someone throws out an idea for a game of Never Have I Ever, in which surprisingly some embarrassing confessions manage to slip out.

“How do you jerk off so hard you mess up your ceiling?” Wamu questioned, baffled.

“That’s… gross…” Koda frowned. “Not even that happens to me.”

Akira facepalmed, glaring deathly at Miko. “You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone.” Even worse. He was the only one who took a swig of his beer.

“I ran out of things to say.” Miko shrugged, “Sorry dude.”

“Akira, that is quite incredulous.” Ryo’s chuckling, and Akira blushed furiously. This wasn’t fair. This is not how he expected his crush to know.

“Wait. This was in the house. In your room?” Miki asked, bewildered, “Jesus, Akira. Where’s your decency?!”

“Sometimes a man’s gotta jerk his dick.” Wamu sympathized.

“That a demon thing?” Gabi asked.

“Depends on how much semen is stored in the balls when you get possessed.”

Everyone stared blankly at Akira. Silently observing him after Ryo’s analytic response. This felt incredibly uncomfortable.

“Alright. You wanna play that way.” Akira glared. “Never have I ever had a crush on someone in this room.” He stated specifically.

Tension in the room rose. Everyone picked up their beers, taking a sip.

“Well. This is interesting.” Koda said. “So we all had a crush on each other at some point?”

This is not the result Akira expected. Ryo took a sip. And so did Miki. Well fuck, actually.

“You have a crush on someone Miki?” Miko called out, there’s ire in her tone and it makes Miki’s eyes widened. Though she isn’t intimidated in the least.

“Am I not supposed to take a sip from my drink?” Miki asked. Blinking owlishly. Despite the growing blush on Miko’s face, she grits her teeth.

“Who do you have a crush on? Spill the beans, Makimura!”

“Don’t put pressure on her, chill out.” Wamu laughed, “You’re supposed to keep it a secret.”

“Who do you have a crush on, Akira?”

Akira jumped at the question directed towards him. Ryo resting a hand on his cheek. Merely raising his eyebrows, twice - in a suggestive manner.

“Uh…” Akira blanked, then he frowns. An eyebrow twitching. “Who do you have a crush on?!” He clamored.

Ryo huffed out a short laugh, “I believe I asked you first.”

“I asked you second! You gotta crush on someone too now huh?!”

“...Should we be spilling our secrets now?” Miki asked nervously. “Wamu? ...You also had a sip too.”

Wamu’s cheeks flared up instantly. Along with Akira’s, Miki’s, and Miko’s.

“I-I thought those weren’t the rules…”

“What the fuck is happening here?” Gabi questioned, arching a brow. “Aren’t we supposed to say if we’ve ever done shit and go onto the next person?”

“I’m just as confused as you are, bro.” Mayuta agreed. “It’s not a big deal.”

Is too!” Miko and Akira shouted in defense.

“Who wants to watch a movie?” Koda blurted aloud, making the attention in the circle turn to him. “The beers are getting to us. Who the fuck cares. I’m going.” He rose, making his way over to the living room couch.

They drop it, for the time being. Because everyone wanted to have a good time. No harm done. Akira supposes he could let it go. But the tension still lingered.

Back huddled up together on the couch, they go back to binging horror movies - Jenny makes them popcorn. There’s a scuffle war of who gets the portion of the large blankets since they kept on being yanked, nearly knocking the bowl of popcorn over at every jumpscare.

The night ends with them sprawled on the couch snoring away soundly. Snacks are left abandoned. It’s their usual routine when staying over at Ryo’s house, anyway.

 


 




When Akira wakes in the morning, every muscle in his body ached like hell.

He realized his head was resting on Ryo’s lap when he rose, wiping the drool hanging off the corner of his mouth. His hair is sticking in different directions, messy from his uncomfortable sleeping position with his legs draped onto Wamu and Gabi’s lap, Koda on the far end.

Akira carefully stepped over Mayuta passed out on the floor, blankets covering half his body. He noticed that Miko wasn’t around, and he peered at Ryo’s clear doors that are left open. He figured that’s where the breeze was coming from.

Akira quietly made his way over to the bathroom to take a piss. Then, he had to find some fucking Asprin. He didn’t know where Jenny went, nor did he want to be concerned about her whereabouts. Luckily, there were some stored in the cabinets. Visiting Ryo’s house often like a second home came in handy. He popped a few pills into his mouth and ran water in the sink to put an empty glass under the faucet.

Miko comes inside not a moment too long after. Akira enters the living room to see everyone sleeping peacefully on the couch. They used Ryo’s camera to take a ton of photos and videos yesterday, but this would make a perfect frame.

His eyes landed on Miki and Ryo. He leaned against the wall, immersed by the sight. Which was absolutely adorable.

“Hey!” Miko panted, “Sorry, I have the habit of going on jogs in the early mornings-”

“Shh, shh!” Akira pressed a finger to his lips, tugging Miko aside. “Shut the fuck up-” He hissed, “Look at ‘em.”

“What-” Miko turned, and her facial expression faltered, changing into something of awe. Miki curled up beside Ryo, who was snuggling the other girl. They were holding hands, fingers entwined with one another. Sleeping quietly.

“Huh.” Miko rested an elbow on Akira’s shoulder. “Would you look at that?”

Akira smiled warmly. “Yeah.”

Calm mornings like these were more beautiful, on spur of moment.



 

Jenny makes them all a breakfast gourmet, Ryo’s treat - and it’s a disaster fighting over who gets the most bacon and pancakes from what was provided on the kitchen table.

The boys argued they should get the most because they eat more. Miko and Miki vexingly disagreed. Ryo chooses to have no say in the matter. It’s either they eat or starve, any leftovers are going straight to Akira or dumped in the garbage.

Nonetheless, it’s nothing out of the ordinary on a typical morning after a sleepover. She stands there and watches in silence. Ryo calmly drinks coffee with his eyes closed, offering some of his bacon to Akira without a word because he was put on strict food limitations by everyone else. Traitorously.

“Have at it.”

“Fuck.” Akira drooled. “Can I marry you?”

“Please eat.” Ryo advised sternly. Jenny handed Ryo a newspaper, over the loud banter, laughter, and chatting. He ignores it, used to it. Akira noticed Miki patting Ryo on the arm, winking at him.

Ryo’s eyebrow twitched, hiding his blush behind the newspaper.


(Miki feeds Miko some of the strawberries on her waffles. Miko barks that she’s not a baby, and yet she takes a bite anyway when Miki cooed, here comes the train. Akira hid his snort.

“Something funny, Fudo?”

Akira shook his head “Not at all.”)



 

Akira asked Miki about the crush situation later on that day. It’s been a while since they’ve lied in the same bed just to talk.

Apparently, they both really do have crushes.

“What do you think of Ryo?”

“He’s a really compassionate person.” Miki said, “But do I see him in that way? Of course not. He’s more decent than I thought, and like second family at this point.”

“Ah, that so?” Akira scratched his cheek, “I thought otherwise.”

“No, if anyone Ryo would have a crush on, it’s not me.” Miki smacked Akira playfully on the shoulder. “What do you think of Miki?”

“Kuroda? She’s pretty fierce and could kick my ass.”

“Really?” There’s a tint of red on Miki’s cheeks when she smiles warmly at Akira at the mentioning of Miko’s name.

Akira smiled. “Yeah.”

Miki placed a hand on her cheek. “Could you tell me more about her? And maybe, I can tell you more about Ryo?”

Akira flushed a deep red at the mentioning of Ryo’s name, Miki giggled, knowingly.

He’s hopeless.



(“I think I’ve seen you tear an entire demon in half, once, and you’re nervous to talk to a boy? Actually. That’s kinda typical of you.”

He’s undoubtedly anxious as he was before he was dragged to a damn club to get possessed by Amon.

“It’s...more complicated than you think.” Akira said. “He’s always super busy. I doubt he ever thinks about that shit, it’s stupid.”

“If you think you don’t have a chance.” Miki winked, “Don’t worry. He’s all yours.”)



 

Akira doesn’t know when he started becoming nervous around Ryo. But he catches himself stammering more than he should, as so much to spill a glass of water he offered to Ryo just because their hands accidently touched.

Ryo excused his apologies, and he seemed a little frazzled as well. Quickly collecting himself before helping Akira clean it up. Waving it off with a small smile that makes Akira’s heart burst.

It started to interfere with demon hunting as well. And Miko would have to point out how obvious it was since it terribly showed.

Soon enough Wamu caught on. Akira somewhat expected him to judge - but in fact, it was actually the complete opposite.

If you really want someone, you gotta go for it. He’d said.

Only if he wasn’t a coward.

God damn it. He has to focus. Why was that so hard?

Ryo was a leader. He never would have time to think about little, unnecessary things such as crushes. Miko had it easier.



“Not that I’m not nervous either.” Miko claimed. “We go on runs together every now and then and I get sweaty palms when she hands me her bottle of water. You think dropping a glass is worse, I spilled it all over her and she has the nerve to say it’s okay.

“Ah, really? Shit.” Akira grimaced, “Did that make things awkward between you two?”

“Thankfully, not really.” Miko breathed out a sigh of relief. They went running on an empty bridge to and back to Akira’s neighborhood for exercise. It was time for a convenience store run.





It was like the moment Ryo announces there are demons swarming an area, all the fun and joy gets sucked right out of Akira.

There were numerous times where it wasn’t exactly official.

(“Everyone, my sincere apologies.” Ryo lamented. Everyone aside from Miki, who looked genuinely terrified and somewhat confused ducking her head and crouching on the ground - pulled out their weapons, guns, that is - or shifted into their devilman form at the first call of there being demons.

“False alarm.” Ryo corrected himself. “Looks like the demons have been exterminated by the authorities before we could get to them.”

The ground thuds vigorously, items having been knocked over from Koda, Akira, and Miko transforming. The three of them were baffled.

“Are you fucking serious?!” Akira asked, Wamu needing to duck at the clawed arm that spreads in the air, appalled.)

Now, when they were on the other hand - it’s straight back to business. Playing a vigilant role in keeping the town safe by killing any demons lurking in the area, Ryo was an efficient leader. Despite his lapses, he knew where to pinpoint their exact whereabouts - and they were on it.

Akira, Miko, and Koda were the brawns - using their ability to transform to their advantages in battle. Wamu and the others to back them up if a square off goes wrong. The extra hands and bigger group made them stronger and capable of fighting against the demons.

An unspoken rule specifically was that they had no right to whine and bitch about their duties.

(Akira complained about having back pains, and Ryo gives him a look. Akira knows The Lecture is incoming.

“I graduated high school early, and have my PhD. My occupation aside from being a professor is to exterminate demons for a living. I make sure you all don’t get killed and you have the nerve to complain to me about back problems. Grow testicles and come back to me when you’re in my position.”

“Uh oh.” Wamu grimaced. “Ouch. I think you made him pissed.”

Akira gave Wamu a look that told him he was absolutely not helping.)

As for Miki, she wanted to stay as far away as possible from any demon brawl the gang engages in. So Ryo considered Miki as a faith healer, despite the other girl opposing to it.

Today in particular, a chaotic scuffle that went about in an abandoned parking lot went a little bit overboard when Akira let himself get bitten in the arm by a demon.

At first, Akira thought he should be concerned. He managed to take it down before it could tear his arm off with it’s teeth, and he chose not to worry about it. Which was a bad idea.

“Dude.” Miko turns back to her human form shortly after, apprehensive. “The hell happened to your arm?”

“You alright, man?” Wamu asked.

“I think that’s the last of them.” Gabi said, scoping the area thoroughly.

Ryo approached them, his fast strides slowed. “What happened?”

“One of the fuckers bit me.” Akira grits.

When the fight was over Akira shifted back into his human form abruptly, and he had begun to experience immense pain in his arm where the bite mark appeared. Large dark circles, crimson blood turning into something murky and purple.

“That doesn’t even look like blood anymore.” Koda joined.

“Kinda looks like poison to me.” Mayuta said.

Poison?!” Akira screamed.

“Let me see.” Miko and Wamu stepped aside, for Ryo to examine the wound. From the look on Ryo’s face they both knew something was horribly wrong.

“This isn’t good.” Ryo said.

“What the fuck is happening to my arm?” Akira hissed, doubling over.

“Miki and Akira’s house is the closest to here, isn’t it?” Miko questioned frantically.

“Everyone get in the car.” Ryo demanded. “ Now.

It lead to this: Ryo driving over the speed limit, poorly parking in front of Akira and Miki’s home.

“Taro will probably let us in.” Akira winced, clutching his arm. “Miki’s at track practice.”

Everyone exchanged glances with each other. They didn’t have time for ringing the fucking doorbell. Barreling into the house - the door flying open, rushing to the kitchen table to lift Akira onto it.

Taro stood there, playing with Tako - who meowed at the uninvited guests that randomly barged into the home. Blinking owlishly.

“This is an emergency. Good thing I brought my first aid kit with me.” Ryo placed a heavy box onto the table, Akira’s eyes bulged.

The fuck is that?!”

“Hold him still.” Ryo ordered the boys and Miko. “We’re going to perform a small incision to get the poison out of your arm before it spreads and you die a painful death.”

“How much time do we have?” Koda asked.

“It shouldn’t take long.” Ryo answered, the most composed one in the entire situation compared to the rest of them. “Six minutes.”

“C-Could you give me a moment?!” Akira pleaded, tensing as Ryo took a hold of his arm. He flushed. Fucking hell now wasn’t the time to get shy! “I’m a little nervous.”

“What for? We don’t have time. ” Ryo chided, opening the first aid kit. “You are going to die from poisoning in approximately five minutes. All I’m going to do is cut open the wound and inject an antitoxin to stop the poisoning.”

Akira thought his life was going to flash before his eyes. “Are you sure this antidote of yours isn’t arsenic ?”

“Who has testicles, hm?” Ryo prepared the needle after retrieving the bottles of alcohol, cloths, and a scalpel. “You? Or Amon?”

Something in Akira’s head was screaming to stop being a little bitch and take it like a man. Thanks, Amon, for making me look like a pussy.

Wamu, Koda, Gabi, and Mayuta held him down. Miko held Akira’s other hand.

“What the fuck is he gonna do to me?” Akira asked.

“No idea, hang in there buddy.” Miko patted Akira on the shoulder.

“Performing emergency operation.” Ryo disclosed.

 

 

 

Akira’s piercing cries can be heard even from down the block.

“Stay with me, Akira! I’m injecting the antitoxin!”

“Come on, dude! Pull through!”

SON OF A BITCH!”

They don’t hear when Miki comes back into the home, her eyebrows furrowing - breathless, jogging all the way back home to figure out what the fuck was the commotion currently going on.

Her eyes widened the size of saucers at everyone holding Akira down on the table while Ryo has a small scalpel stuck into Akira’s arm. There’s blood, everywhere.

Whoa, whoa!” She shouted, “What is happening here?!”

Looking frantically at each other, Akira’s groaning in serious pain - completely helpless.

“Who gonna tell her?” Gabi asked in a low tone. “Cause it ain’t me.”

“Not it.” Mayuta and Wamu said simultaneously.

“Hi Miki!” Taro waved from the living room couch. She gawked at him, just sitting there unaware of the inconvenience going on at the moment.

Miko and Ryo looked at each other. Then Akira.

“I thought he said she was at track practice.” Miko whispered furiously.

“How did you guys even get into the house?!” Miki screeched. “I could hear Akira from down the block and I was positive he was getting murdered in our own home .”

“Medical procedure proven successful. Poison is removed.” Ryo let out a heavy exhale. “Clean up the blood. You know how to clean wounds. Make sure it’s bandaged and it doesn’t get infected.” He ordered everyone.

As someone who’s never gone through a medical procedure in his life, Akira would say this was the worst pain he’s ever experienced.

Ryo calmly explained to Miki the situation in the kitchen, and boy - was she livid.

They all had to endure through a lecture on not using their home for hospice purposes - but regardless, Ryo convinces her to help take care of Akira’s arm, and Akira couldn’t thank Ryo any more for not getting his head ripped off.

 

 

(He gives a bitter don’t mention it - with what seemed to be a faint blush dusting his cheeks. This might seem to be the second time Akira’s seen Ryo blush around him.

 

For lunch, they take a break by going to McDonalds. Because if Akira didn’t get his fill, according to Ryo, fighting a demon is something along the lines of trying to fuck a whore while having erectile dysfunction. )

 

 

 

Akira’s flipping through another magazine, munching on a bag of chips while Ryo was in the bathroom. Seemingly finishing washing his hair.

Akira tries to focus rather than stare. Suddenly, he forgot how to act when he’s alone in the house with Ryo.

“What?” Ryo glared from the mirror.

“Nothing.” Akira coughed. Acknowledging the robe, shirt, shorts - and fuzzy slippers Ryo wears for pajamas every other night.

“Akira.” He called.

“Yo.”

“Could you pass me my face lotion? It’s on my bedside.”

“Sure.” Akira looked to his side to grab it, “Catch.” He tossed it to Ryo recklessly. Ryo turned around in alarm, scrambling to catch it in his arms.

Akira bursted out laughing. “That was the worst catch I’ve ever seen in my fucking life.”

“I did not expect for you to hurl it at me without giving me a heads up beforehand, nitwit.”

Akira’s still snorting as he joins Ryo in the bathroom. Watching him lotion his face idly, leaning against the wall beside the sink.

“Have you ever played a game of football before?”

Ryo said nothing.

“Basketball?”

“I didn’t live the life like a brainless jock, unlike you, that thinks with their dick and not their head for every moral decision that they make.”

“I’m assuming you’ve never played a game of catch.

“I don’t require that skill to get my doctorate’s degree, do I?” Ryo said blankly, opening the mirror cabinet to start brushing his teeth. They were so used to each other’s presence that Ryo never cared when Akira watched him do nightly routines.

“Fuck does that mean?” Akira snorted, “I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t harm your degree in the slightest.” Let alone have to do with anything.

Ryo removed the toothbrush for a moment to look at Akira, miffed through the mirror. “Mock my skills for catching a bottle of lotion, and yet you scream like a baby when I put a needle in your arm.”

Akira sputtered. “ Okay- okay fair point.” He blushed.

“The time where I put your teddy bear in the blender and you cried for three days.”

Two days.

“Grow testicles.” Ryo ridiculed flatly. Akira chuckled, normally - he’d argue about it. But it’s come to a point where he could care less. Simply watching Ryo.

Now seemed like the best time to ask, because they were alone together again.

“What do you think of Miki?”

Ryo spit into the sink. “She’s pleasant.”

“Do you like her?” Akira pushed.

“Of course. She’s more than a fellow acquaintance.”

“How much do you like her?”

“Not anymore than you do. I suppose, family.” Ryo concluded, he pauses - as he rinsed. “Are you insinuating romantically ?”

“Well the two of you have been tied to the fucking hip ever since I said you two should meet!” Akira exclaimed, “It’s been buggin’ me ever since!”

Ryo chuckled, which was a rarity. “So that’s what this was about.”

“Am I right?”

Ryo huffed out a laugh. “Fool!” He chides, “I have no interest in women!” He flicked Akira’s forehead lightly.

Akira followed Ryo out of the bathroom. “...Wait, since when?”

“Perhaps since I was born.” Ryo shrugged his shoulders. “I have never, and I don’t think there is the slightest possibly that I ever will.”

Akira’s there gaping like an idiot, watching Ryo sit on the bed. “ Fuck. ” He said.

He joined Ryo on the bed. “You never told me this.”

“Shouldn’t it be obvious, pinhead?”

“I-I’m not sure…”

“Considering you have absolutely zero awareness of what is going on most of the time, I am not remotely surprised.” Ryo said. “Is this what you and Kuroda have been conspiring about?”

Akira laughed, sheepish. “We weren’t… necessarily, eavesdropping on what you and Miki talk about.”

Ryo sighed. “Do you really want to know?”

Yeah. ” Akira lied down on the bed, “I get if it ain’t any of my business, though.”

Ryo lied down beside Akira, shifting, as he hesitates. “She’s asked me strange questions such as who I find attractive, in other words, cute guys.”

Akira thinks he should owe Miko about a good five bucks. He didn’t think she was serious.

“Does that mean it’s true you have a crush on someone?”

“Maybe so.” Ryo said.

“Just wanted to make sure because I wouldn’t want anyone to know about the stupid crush I have on you only to find out that you have a crush on someone else. No one was supposed to know anyway. I just hope I didn’t make it to obvious.” Akira babbled. He paused.

Wait. Fuck. I just told you I had a crush on you. Not that I’m lying. I don’t take it back. Yeah the only person I told was Kuroda. And we kinda got the impression that you know .” He continued to ramble on, and all Ryo does is slowly smile, just a little. Eyes glimmering with half-surprise.

There’s silence before Ryo speaks. “To answer your question. Arguably, yes, there is one person I am terribly fond of.” Ryo admitted. “Unfortunately they are too dense to realize that.”

“Is it… is it not me?” Akira said. Realization dawns upon him. “No. It is me. You have a crush on me too.”

“Miki’s been asking me for advice on how to woo Kuroda for days, as if I am an expert.”

“So it’s not Miki? It’s really me?”

“I hope I didn’t make it too obvious.” Ryo mocked, jesting and suggestive.

“Prove it.” Akira demands.

“Do you want me to spell it out for you?” Ryo’s teasing him. Akira knows it.

Akira had an idea. He looked up at the ceiling, grinning.

“I have… a hypo, thesis.”

Hypothesis , yes. Go on.”

“That if you were to kiss me then my theory would be proven correct.”

“To be frank with you, I have never heard that concept before.”

“I’m trying to be professional and talk your language.” Akira jeered.

“You’re doing a terrible job at it.”

“I know.”

“Akira, look at me.” Ryo coaxed gently. Akira complied, turning his body so that he faced Ryo. He could map out the features of Ryo’s face, unable to comprehend anything so beautiful that he could keep locked away in his head for days on end.

“Close your eyes.” Ryo ordered. Doing so, it happens quickly. Feeling lips that met his own in a chaste and quick peck.

“How is that to prove your theory?” He played along, fingers brushing back Akira’s dark strands on his forehead. Akira felt like that wasn’t enough.

“Gonna need to conduct another experiment to see if I’m right.” Akira said smugly. Ryo doesn’t linger, moving forward to kiss Akira again.

Akira feels like they’re back in grade school, these things seem like what you would do in a tacky romance film - except, they aren’t under the classroom table or a basketball hoop wanting to know how kissing feels like. It isn’t all too different, either.

He’s content with just a tender peck on the lips and nothing more, definitely. “Proven true.”

“Dimwit.” Ryo scorned.

“Does this mean we’re kinda like, dating , now?”

“However you’d like to interpret it.”

“Kinda feels weird. We’re in a sorta… demon apocalypse right now.”

They both laugh merrily at those words.

“Lately, after the time I’ve spent with you all, feels less like it.” Ryo comments, and he’s looking up at the ceiling too, along with Akira.

Akira smiled. “I’m glad to hear that.”

Well, here goes nothing.

“You wanna try it out? The dating thing, I mean?”

“It cannot hurt to try.” Ryo agreed to it. “That would be pleasant.”

Akira beamed. “Fuck yeah it would.”

A million possibilities of what they could do together ran through Akira’s head. He’s smiling like an idiot when Ryo sits up to fetch his laptop, getting back to work - watching the other fondly.

He couldn’t believe that this could actually work.