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Buried Alive

Chapter Text

The raven-haired man stood there, in the brightly lit bathroom of his home. Fresh, cooling blood covered his face and clothed torso-- such a thing would normally disgust him, but for some reason, he remained unaffected and calm. The same crimson red liquid was dripping off of the wielded knife, splashing onto the white bathtub, where a pool of the stuff had already collected and was slowly sliding down the metal drain. I can’t believe it, he thought excitedly, adrenaline pumping through his body. I killed him!

Before the knife-wielding fellow was a young man, lying limp in the bathtub-- his co-worker, to be specific. The blueish lips, accompanied by the pale face and soulless unblinking eyes, clearly indicated that he was dead.


For a while, he just stared at the corpse, letting the deed settle in. But once what he had just done had completely registered in his mind, Aoi’s smile suddenly turned into a horrified frown. I didn’t mean it, he quickly realized, a huge wave of panic setting in. Fuck. Why would he kill someone?! Why would he, Aoi, a man born into such a kind-hearted family, ever do such an awful and mean-spirited thing to someone?! He was so blinded by rage and hatred at the moment, it was as if these negative emotions took complete control over his body. The real, sane Aoi didn’t wake the hell up until now. When it was too late. When there was nothing left of his co-worker but a lifeless, vacant corpse. He was terrified.


What was he going to do now?! Uruha’s cadaver would surely start decaying and oozing even more bodily fluids if he just locked the room and left it here. That kind of stench would certainly alert anyone who entered his home. His mind completely froze with panic; all he could do was pathetically think about how all of this happened.

Aoi had never liked his co-worker, Uruha. The guy couldn’t care less about his job. All he ever did in his cubicle was play games on the computer, redirect any incoming call to another employee’s phone, and put stacks of his own paperwork on top of an unsuspecting co-worker’s desk when they were gone on their coffee break. Most of the time, that co-worker, unfortunately, was more often than not himself. And when Aoi would try giving that low-life his papers back, he’d just put it on someone else’s work desk.

Don’t even try to tell the boss, Kai, about Uruha. The young guy was such a suck-up to Kai. Always bringing him coffee in the morning when he could, always complimenting him, always praising him, and Aoi even suspected that he did certain “favours” for him. He shuddered at the nauseating flashback of when he saw the two walk into the office washroom together.

Uruha would never, ever get in trouble with the boss. Such a shame, because Aoi hated slackers. With a passion. The breaking point for his grudge, though, was when Uruha started to target him. Making up fake stories about him-- “Kai-senpai, you wouldn’t believe what I saw today! Aoi-san, the one in that cubicle over there, was watching inappropriate videos during his work hours!” Bullshit. Aoi knew that it was Uruha who did things like that, but Kai would never believe him over that huge suck-up. Perhaps Uruha held a grudge against Aoi after so many attempts at exposing his slacker ass-- yeah-- and that was why Uruha was always trying to get him fired. It was like a war.


Normally, Aoi was pretty level-headed. Sure, he hated the guy, but he’d never hit him, or even scream at him. But for some reason, today at work, he wasn’t like himself at all. He’d explode at the slightest thing going wrong, like the traffic being slow. Especially, though, at another attempt from the loser to try to get him in trouble with Kai. That really made something inside of Aoi’s head snap. He had a fire building inside of his stomach all day, and every glance at that co-worker of his only fed the flames.


By the end of the work day, Aoi was absolutely livid. When Uruha was outside in the dark of the night, having a quick smoke behind the building while waiting for his ride home, Aoi sneaked up behind him like a rogue. He quickly used a pressure point technique-- a knife hand between the neck and collar bone-- which he had learned back when he was in martial arts. The violent action successfully knocked the poor, unsuspecting Uruha out, making him drop his cigarette and collapse right into Aoi’s arms. He was quickly shoved into the trunk of Aoi’s car. The back of the office building was surprisingly pretty secluded, and so they were not very visible. If there was a god, Aoi would have had to thank him later.

Before driving back home, he forced some sleeping pills down Uruha’s throat-- perhaps more than he should of. Once used to cure his own insomnia, now used to facilitate a murder. By the time they were at Aoi’s house, Uruha was conscious, but barely, thanks to the powerful drugs. He dragged him inside, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and that was when the deed was finally done.


Aoi was driven insane. Completely, utterly insane. Just looking at that man, who had caused him so much trouble, made his blood boil. He was beautiful, though. Oh, such a beautiful thing, especially when he was all sedated like this. His jaw as sharp as a knife, his dyed brown hair full and voluminous, his skin flawless and untainted. Physically, he was the type of man that Aoi would jump onto in a heartbeat-- and for some reason, there was something inside of him telling him that it would be a great idea to do so when Uruha was so helpless. Too bad he was such a jerk, though. A jerk who didn’t deserve such pleasure, nor to live. What a waste of a pretty face.


The bathtub would definitely make the least mess. When he had the victim pinned to it with the weight of his own body, he pressed the knife up against his throat. Uruha looked up at him with the most pitiful eyes. Breathing very slowly yet noisily. Nothing but those intense eyeballs held any expression.


“Pl...ease…” he mumbled, slowly reaching for Aoi’s face, but missing, his vision obviously blurred. “A...oi…san...” That was all he could say in his drugged up state. And it sure as hell wasn’t enough to stop him. For some reason, it actually only angered him even more.


Only seconds after, the raven-haired had driven the kitchen knife right into the man’s stomach. He sadistically twisted it, but Uruha could only groan and shut his eyes in pain. Screaming was limited for those who were fighting consciousness like this. Aoi ripped the knife out and then stabbed him again, this time in the rib. And again. And again. And again! And again and again and again!! He stabbed the man relentlessly, feeling an overwhelming wave of rage push him way past the boundaries of sanity. With every impulsive wound, Uruha’s groans became louder, and his breath became heavier. He even started hacking a little, splattering warm blood all over Aoi’s face. But the murderer could only laugh. He was having fun, and the misery of the victim seemed to greatly relieve him of his chronically bottled up emotions.

Eventually, though, fun will have to end-- after the maybe 8th stab wound to his body, Uruha had fallen completely silent. Aoi had deeply enjoyed seeing the pain in the man’s eyes, but at that point, they were completely wiped of any expression. Though he was covered in blood, he had succeeded. He had stepped out of the bathtub, and that was where he was now.


Totally. Freaking. Out. But he had to do something with this corpse! Once someone was dead, it was too late to do anything else. It was still the quiet night. Might as well do the one thing that one could only really think of with a mind in shambles-- bury him.

***

Brushing off the dirt from his knees, Aoi looked down at his nearly completed project. A deep hole in his backyard, in which now laid a body wrapped in an opaque garbage bag. All that there was left to do now was to bury it. Grabbing his shovel for the last time, he started shoveling dirt into the hole, eventually covering up the awful mess. As he did so, and once the garbage bag was out of sight, he felt himself finally calm down. Maybe he could try to forget that this had ever happened. Yeah. Now that the corpse was gone, a heavy weight was lifted off of his shoulders, and nothing could bother him! Stripping off his gloves, and taking the shovel, Aoi went back inside. He felt so drained and exhausted, he went straight to bed.

He had nightmares that night. Nightmares that were plagued by Uruha’s booming voice.
“You’ll regret this, Aoi. You’ll regret this!”
As well as another male voice, one which he did not recognize at all.
“Feeble bastard. That was too easy!

Toss, and turn. Toss, and turn.

Chapter Text

The next day at work, Aoi felt like the life had been sucked out of him. Maybe it was the memory of what he did. He wanted to forget, but he just couldn’t. Sighing in front of his computer, he nervously looked at the clock beside him. 11:45AM. According to the schedule, Uruha would arrive for his shift in 15 minutes. He wondered how long it would take for them to realize that he never showed up for his shift. Aoi spent the next fifteen minutes worrying about that moment, trying to think of an excuse to why he wouldn’t show up today, nor tomorrow, nor after tomorrow.

He went on vacation? No, people eventually come back from vacations. He died in a car accident? No, officials would have a record for his death if that were the case. He was so busy wracking his brain for ideas, he almost didn’t notice Uruha entering the office, on time for his shift.

…. Uruha. Uruha... entering the office?? …. What?!

Aoi’s eyes widened, a shot of panic going up his chest and causing his heart to skip a beat. No! This wasn’t possible! He clearly remembered burying his remains yesterday. So, why was he back at work?! Was he delusional?! Was he imagining things?!

“Good day, Aoi,” Uruha politely greeted him as he passed him by on his way to his own cubicle. A lowkey but still noticeable mischievous smirk at the corner of his lips.

“I...I...” Aoi stuttered, following him to the cubicle like a duckling and hoping that no one notices.

Once there, Uruha took his seat, and Aoi poked his arm. Very much real. “You’re supposed to be dead…”

The brunette only laughed a little, “What kind of joke is that? I’m breathing, aren’t I? Silly.”

Silly. Had Uruha ever used that word before? Aoi was pretty sure that the man never greeted him on his way to work, either. It felt as if he was trying to get on Aoi’s nerves on purpose. But how could he when he was supposed to have died?

“Aoi-san! What are you doing bothering Uruha-san? Get back to work!” Kai’s authoritative voice exploded from behind, making the raven-haired man jump. He turned to see his glaring boss.

“I...I was just-” He was absolutely frozen and speechless, more so from Uruha’s mysterious appearance than Kai’s abrupt scolding. “I...am not feeling too well…”

Kai furrowed his eyebrows. “If you’re not feeling well, then go home. We can’t have you slacking off at work because of a cold.”

Aoi’s eye twitched at the two words he had never wanted to hear ever again. He started to laugh, a little bit crazily, and then simply walked out of the cubicle, not even glancing back once. He felt piercing eyes at the back of his head as he walked away. And he swore he saw, at the corner of his eye before leaving, another wretched smirk pasted on his co-worker’s lips.

***

His mind was spinning, spinning, spinning like a fucking merry-go-round. Once he was home from his “sick leave”, he immediately stormed to his backyard to look at the grave he swore he had dug yesterday. Only to find that yes, the hole was still there, but...it was empty. Completely empty and uncovered by dirt. It was as if Uruha somehow dug himself out. But he was dead, wasn’t he? Granted, Aoi had never actually checked his pulse, but he sure as hell looked dead. And no one would survive being wrapped in a garbage bag and then buried. Right? You would have such a limited time to get out before you suffocate to death. Right? The presence of the hole made it so that he wasn’t completely nuts. But the absence of the body made it so that maybe he was a little nuts. Maybe he dug a hole, but then never buried anyone. Maybe it was all just a delusion. But it all felt so real…

Thinking back to such a thing made the unwelcomed memory of the murder vividly pour into his brain. He screamed, and then ran back inside to collect his thoughts and make some warm tea. He should just...relax for now. Perhaps he was catching a bad cold, and that was all that this was. He could only hope.

***

The comedy movie he was watching on the TV he had turned on was thankfully quite distracting. On his couch, all wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of chamomile tea, he felt...quite normal and human. He had longed for that feeling again. He had to thank Kai for making him go home like this.

Normal couldn’t last very long with Aoi’s kind of luck. All of the sudden, while his eyes were glued to TV, the screen froze and then went blank.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Aoi exclaimed to himself, getting up, and then walking up to the TV. He went to go check the cables at the back, but as he was doing so, he heard what sounded like footsteps come up from behind him. He gasped, and then turned around to find that no one was there. No one but himself. How strange. He decided to brush it off as his imagination, going back to finding out why the TV stopped working. It took him a couple of minutes, but finally, he found out that one of the cords was cut. A rodent chewed on it? Probably. That’s what he wanted to believe. And that was what he did end up believing…… until all the curtains in the room suddenly closed.

His body jumped and then froze at the very sudden movement. Without the sunlight coming out of the windows, the room was suddenly so much darker. But he could still see that no one was there. So how could the curtains have possibly closed on their own? Aoi decided to try to open them back up, as the darkness was making him feel uneasy. Something stopped him, though. As hard as he tried tugging on the curtains, there was an invisible force that was tugging them back. His heart thumped against his ribcage, finding no sense in any of this.

“Aoi,” a voice whispered from beside him, right into his left ear. He yelped, pathetically falling backwards onto the wooden floor. Then he noticed that...the walls...there was thick, dark red blood running down them, and onto the ground. At this point he couldn’t help but scream, standing up and running away from the wall. Something tripped him back down before he could get far, though-- an unseen force. He realized then that his body was completely paralyzed. There was nowhere to escape at this point.

“Aoiiiiii!” the voice said again, this time louder. The room began to shake like an earthquake. As if that wasn’t enough, the invisible force suddenly went and pinned his back to the floor.

Feeling the unexplained weight on him, Aoi gasped, and then shut his eyes as tightly as he could, trying to get away from whatever was happening. Think of happy things. Think of puppies, rainbows... He opened his eyes back up to see an actual figure this time. Though it was dark, he could make it out as...Uruha?! It was most definitely Uruha! Staring right down at him with glowing eyes, irises as white as snow.

“How does it feel to be pinned down and paralyzed like this? How does it feel to be in the position you put me in?!” His voice was quite distorted, and hardly sounded anything like it should.

Uruha?! What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you supposed to be at work? Why are your eyes glowing white? How did you just suddenly appear out of nowhere? So many questions he wanted to ask, but none of them could escape his throat. He was absolutely speechless. It was as if someone had cut his vocal cords.

“I’m dead, and it’s all thanks to you! If I could in this form, I would make you feel the same physical pain that I felt. You had no good reason to kill me, did you?!”

“You....at work…” Aoi struggled to say, wanting to tell him that he thought he saw him at work today, perfectly alive.

“Bastard! Didn’t you stop to think what was going on in my life to make me act the way I did at work?! Work was the only place I could be to relax and have fun! Home was hell! Yeah, I tried to get you fired, but that’s because you were trying to get me fired! But now, you kill me?! That was crossing the line! I had so much more to live for; so much I wanted to do!”

All of the sudden, the figure on top of him disappears out of thin air.

“Shit, I only had a limited time to app-” Before he could finish his sentence, the distorted voice quiets.

Aoi was left alone, able to move now, but so terrified that he didn’t want to. The walls and flooring were cleaned, as if nothing happened.The room was stable. What just happened? That was Uruha as a ghost, wasn’t it? But Uruha’s living body was back at work today.

He knew he had to get to the bottom of this. But where should he start? For the moment, he just sat there, shaking like a leaf with overwhelming fear and worry.

Chapter Text

 

It wouldn’t stop. The haunting. The terrible, awful haunting ! Aoi never saw Uruha’s white-eyed ghost ever again, but he did feel the effects of his possible invisible haunting. Stoves turning off and on while he was cooking, lights flickering, his cell phone randomly dying, items falling onto the ground, random noises around the house. When he would try to fall asleep, something would always grab his leg or pull his blanket down. He would have nightmares every night. He began to feel like he was in some kind of danger. To his relief, though, these hauntings hadn’t happened at all today. It was nearing evening now, but Aoi was still wary. It’ll happen soon , he constantly, repeatedly thought.

 

Work wasn’t any good, either. A few days had passed since the murder, and he still saw Uruha, perfectly alive, in the office. But whatever happened to this Uruha was beyond him. Aoi refused to believe it was actually the co-worker he’d known for years. The guy was like a completely different person. He actually did work, and spoke to Aoi daily. But Aoi noticed that...although he was being all nice for once, there was something about him that was totally off . Something about his energy? His aura? It was eerie. Every time he was near Uruha, a chill would run down his spine, as if alerting him. The way he spoke his words, although kind, just slithered out of his mouth, like a snake. You could hardly believe any of the sweetness that accompanied his sentences. And those eyes...they held something different in them. He’d like to say they were tainted with...some kind of darkness. He clearly remembered Uruha’s pitiful eyes during the murder. These ones were quite divergent.

Or he was just imagining things. But at this point, how could he? Everything was right in front of him, tangible and completely unchanging.

 

With the haunting, and all the strange things happening to him, Aoi knew he had to get help from someone. He wasn’t crazy. But people would call him that. People would call anyone crazy if they were different. Especially someone like.... Yuuki .

...Wait, what?! Where did that name come from?

Funny how that name just popped up in his mind. He hadn’t seen Yuuki in literally ages . Since elementary school, to be specific. But, Aoi quickly realized that if anyone could be of any help in a situation like this, it was definitely going to be Yuuki. That one, really short kid at school that everyone would call a “psycho freak” . Aoi had to admit, he was a little strange. He normally wouldn’t hangout with the kid. No one would. He’d sit alone every lunch, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. He’d often be seen talking to himself, anyways, keeping himself company. And staring at the air. And running away from nothing. And having multiple emotional breakdowns in public. Yeah, that kid was kind of odd. But odd was Aoi’s current situation.

 

The internet seriously had the answers to everything. All Aoi had to do was use the search engine on his phone to look up Yuuki’s full name, and then POOF! Immediately, he gets an incredibly generous amount of useful information on the oddball.

The website was very dark and mysterious-looking. Dark purple and black background, decorated with skulls, candles and stars. And right on the main page read:

“Psychic medium”

Oh. Yuuki was a psychic medium-- a person whom could communicate with the dead. Duh! That explained a lot from his childhood. And he owned a small business, which offered many different spiritual services. Things such as psychic readings, channeling deceased loved ones, tarot card readings, psychic scrying, reiki treatments, personalized elixirs, and various professional rituals…The thing at the end of the list was what really piqued Aoi’s interest, though:

Complete removal of unwelcome entities”.

There was also, in bold letters on his website:

“Something unexplained and/or paranormal happening to you or your family? Don’t suffer alone. Yuuki promises that he can help.”

Perfect. This was so, utterly perfect! Not only did he have a haunting at home, but he also still couldn’t explain the fucking dumbass fact that he has seen the supposed-to-have-died Uruha as a ghost AND a living person at the same time.

 

Aoi’s entire face lit up, a wave of total excitement, hope, and happiness washing over him for the first time in a while. He had to visit Yuuki’s office as soon as possible!

 

***

 

It was dark-- human eyes were so weak. In the lobby of the small establishment, there were only lit candles scattered about for lighting, making it a little harder to see than modern lighting. Did a vampire live here? Aoi had to let his eyes adjust for a bit before walking up to the front desk. A desk, behind which stood an odd-looking man with curly, long red hair, and a top hat. He struggled a bit at first, but eventually read “Satoshi” on the nametag. He was stroking a black cat, which was purring happily on his lap. Its greenish eyes practically glowed in this kind of dim lighting.

The man smiled and tipped his hat at Aoi right upon seeing him. “Hello, sir. You are here to see Yuuki-sama?”

The raven-haired was taken aback by the fancy honorific attached to his childhood acquaintance’s name. Just how respected was that guy?

“Yes,” Aoi replied, scanning his surroundings a bit more. It looked like Halloween in here, even though it was currently nearing Christmas. The candles that lined the walls, the potion jars on the shelves, the dead miniature tree in the corner, the skull on the desk, a tall grandfather clock. The carpet he was standing on was deep crimson, and the walls were black.

“And your name?”

“Aoi.”

Satoshi typed some stuff on the computer monitor, and then looked up at Aoi with a look of concern.

“You’re the one with the rather urgent case, aren’t you? Yuuki-sama made sure that I scheduled you in for right away. He’s been waiting for your arrival, and now that you are here, I will promptly lead you to his office.”

The receptionist gently shooed the cat off of him. It meowed, and then jumped onto the desk instead. Satoshi then stood up, and began walking towards the hallway, gesturing for Aoi to follow him. Weights were pretty much bound to Aoi’s feet. He was so creeped by the whole spooky atmosphere of this place, it was a challenge to walk any further.

 

“Why is it so dark in here?” Aoi couldn’t help but ask the tall man, once he finally managed to move his stubborn legs.

“Natural lighting, such as candles and moonlight, is essential for spiritual growth. Too much artificial light will blind your psychic eye.” He answered immediately, and almost robotically, as if he was asked that question every single day. Probably was.

 

They stopped in front of a modern-looking door. Satoshi knocked exactly three times.

“Come in!” A male voice boomed from the other side of the entrance.

Satoshi opened the door, and then gestured Aoi inside. Aoi stepped inside the office, thinking he might regret this later.

The door shut behind him.

It was still kind of dark-- there were only candles in the room. But he could still see that directly in front of him behind a desk, sat a much shorter man. An attractive man. Hot damn! What happened to that nerdy loner kid he had last seen? Now he was a full grown adult, with the most interesting features. Bright red lipstick, vibrant medium-length pink hair, flawless pale skin, smoky eyes, a black lace form-fitting long-sleeved top. Good for you, that one weird kid at school. Good for you.

 

Anyways, back to the pressing situation on hand. The moment he stepped inside the office, Yuuki had rested his chin in his hand and leaned forwards over his desk, one eyebrow arched up, looking very intrigued by something.

“Aoi, hello. Take a seat, make yourself comfortable.” Aoi moved towards the chair that was in front of the desk, and then sat down onto it. “Now, I could go and ramble about how I haven’t seen you in forever, and blah blah blah, but let’s cut the small-talk crap and get straight to the point. There’s someone standing beside you.

“Huh?” Aoi gasped, quickly whipping his head towards both directions, but seeing nothing at all except vacant space in the end.

“Right, right. You can’t see him. Well, he says his name is Uruha. Tall, brown hair, quite handsome. Yeah. Don’t know if that rings a bell.”

Aoi’s eyebrows furrowed at the mention of his co-worker’s name. Uruha, Uruha, Uruha ! It seemed that he couldn’t spend even one second without that name or face barging into his life somehow! Just who did he think he was to be such a pest?!

“You don’t even need to tell me,” Yuuki promptly added, “That’s the ghost who was haunting you. Yeah. He told me he didn’t really mean any of it.”

Didn’t really mean any of it?! Aoi slammed his hand onto Yuuki’s desk, angrily.

“Bullshit!” The raven-haired couldn’t help but exclaim, “The day after he died, he appeared right in front of me as a ghost, scared me, and then told me the hell off! There’s no way he didn’t mean any of the haunting crap he did to me after that visit!”

Yuuki looked beside Aoi for an unnaturally long moment, as if listening to something, and then nodded.

“He says, with quite a lot of hesitation and stubbornness, that he is sorry. He was angry and confused about the suddenness and the physical agony of his death. But he got over the murder today. He promises that he’ll try his best not to haunt you anymore, although he is still a bit angry at you for being ‘such a stupid ass jerkface’ in life to him.” Yuuki pauses for a bit, listening some more. Suddenly, his facial expression turns into one of ominous concern. “He says he got over it so quickly because... he knows that it wasn’t truly you who killed him. No, it wasn’t your intentions at all. You were influenced , he says. It was…….” Yuuki looked up a bit, and then took a slow and deep breath, “....whatever foreign entity is in Uruha’s living body right now, controlling it. That’s who heavily influenced you and basically made you murder Uruha.”

 

A heavy feeling immediately set into Aoi’s stomach with the psychic medium’s words. He suddenly felt himself becoming a little dizzy, maybe a bit light-headed.

“You mean like…” Aoi gulped with fearful anxiety, “...a possession ?”

Yuuki nodded. “Unfortunately so. Whoever rose Uruha’s body from the dead is not Uruha. The real Uruha is...” he points to beside Aoi, “...that ghost over there. That’s the real one.”

 

Chapter Text

Aoi was anxiously playing with the black strands of his hair, nervously fidgeting his legs while staring at the dark, gloomy ceiling. He was lying down on the couch in Yuuki’s office, and just couldn't seem to stop moving.

“Stay still, fool, with your body and limbs as straight and uncrossed as can be,”  the psychic sternly ordered from above, “This is the best way for the energy in your body to smoothly flow from the Muladhara center to the Sahaswara center… or from Toe to Head in your common words.”

Earlier, Yuuki had decided that the only real way that they could get to the bottom of this mess-- who was in Uruha’s body, and how did they get into Uruha’s body? - - was to open Aoi’s third eye, which would make him become psychic. The pink-haired had explained the third eye as the main passageway to channeling psychic ability. It was one of the seven main energy centers in the human body. Traditionally named Ajna, this third eye resided between the eyebrows. Everyone is psychic, he said. However, in most people, this all-seeing “third eye” laid dormant; closed, and therefore blocking these psychic abilities from being fully accessed by the individual. But if this eye were opened, the individual would have total access to these abilities that were always inside of them, therefore becoming psychic in some way.

“Mine was always open, since I was a child,” Yuuki had explained, “That's why I am the way that I am. That's why I can see the real Uruha clear as day, whom by the way… ” he smiled, “... is pretty much pouting right now. Something about… Aoi being such a scaredy cat, like usual.”

It was true. As Yuuki had been talking about all this spooky psychic and ghost stuff, Aoi had been internally freaking out the whole time. He played with his hair so much, he probably ended up ripping out a wad. He hated this kind of stuff. Ghosts, ghouls, zombies, all of it! He was terrified of it all and wanted no part of it! But in a desperate situation like this, he knew he had to try to toughen up, at least a little. Yuuki knew what he was doing.

 ***

“I want you to begin by taking three deep breaths with me. Fill your stomach, your chest, with the element of air. Let it all go through your mouth.” Yuuki gently started the process with a voice like silk, lighting an indigo-coloured taper candle.

Aoi did as instructed, taking three of the deepest breaths he’d ever taken in his life. As he did so, the psychic knelt down beside him. Aoi couldn’t help but turn his head towards the man by reflex. This earned him a light slap on the arm.

“Are you deaf, or just dim-witted?!” Yuuki exclaimed out of the blue, making the raven-haired man’s eyes widen. “This has to work properly! I told you earlier to stay still. Don’t move your head if you want your energy to flow smoothly into a straight line. I know you’re not straight, but that doesn’t mean you can defy my orders to be straight.”

Aoi choked on the air he was trying to breathe deeply. He lifted his head off the ground. “Excuse me?!”

Yuuki chuckled evily, pushing the raven-haired’s head back down with his manicured hand, “Sorry not sorry. I can tell some things about people without even asking. Now, back to the serious task. It is you, and you only, who can truly solve this mystery, since you were the one who went through the murder. Even I can’t fully access that kind of information. I am but a guide. Relax.”

The sudden ring of a bell echoed throughout the small office, sending a tingle to the back of Aoi’s neck. Yuuki began to very softly repeat something in a completely unknown language:

“Shanti...shanti...shanti….”

Not Japanese, probably not even English. The bell rang once more, and then again as he repeated the same words, and with each lingering time, Aoi’s mind and body seemed to go into a more and more profound state of relaxation. For the first time in a while, he thought he could just float away.

In his heightened state of awareness, he could very clearly feel pinches of something light and dry drop onto his body, in a trail from his pelvis to his collarbone.

“May these lavender buds cover each of Aoi’s lower energy centers, with Ajna’s violet grace. May Ajna finally, truly shine and awaken.” He paused, and all Aoi could see anymore now was Yuuki’s dainty hand hovering above his face.

“Om...om...om…” He slowly circled his hovering hand.

As Yuuki chanted in a deep voice, the raven-haired man soon felt a couple of drops of something scorching hot and wet land onto his forehead. It should have startled him, but he was in such a trance-like state at this point, it seemed that nothing in the world could bother him. It didn’t take him long to realize that this was drops of hot wax, probably from the indigo-coloured candle that the psychic had lit and set his intention on.

“Thoh...thoh...thoh...”

Time had barely passed when Aoi finally felt a strange vibrating pressure between his two eyebrows, as if someone had pressed a vibrating cell phone onto his forehead. He closed his real eyes, and with this blackness and Yuuki’s constant “Thoh” chanting, the inexplicable vibration only grew stronger. Now, his ears started loudly ringing, as well. Now, his entire body felt like it was nothing but air. He could not think anymore. He could only feel, hear, and smell. Hear the smooth chanting, feel the strange vibrations, smell the calming lavender…

And then it happened.

The image of a purple lotus flower opening its thousand petals flashed as quick as lightning in Aoi’s mind. He felt one last rush between his eyebrows, the most intense one yet. At the same time, a jolt of intense physical pleasure shot up from the base of his spine to the top of his head. He gasped at the abrupt sensations, and then immediately bolted back up into a seated position on the couch. He felt… different. Like a changed man. He felt…awake. More awake than ever before, in a very unfamiliar way.

 

Aoi was so distracted by the new vibe, he didn't notice that Yuuki had left the office for a bit. The next thing he knew, a white bowl of water was set down onto the small coffee table in front of him. He looked up to see the psychic’s curious expression.

“How do you feel?”

Aoi had to think about it for a while before responding,

“Emotionless. Kind of… airy and disoriented. As if I had just woken up from spending over half a day asleep.”

Yuuki smiled, “Good. That's how you're supposed to feel. Quickly now, I want you to stare into the water that I filled this selenite crystal bowl with.”

“Why?”

“Because I said so, idiot!” Yuuki loudly snapped out of nowhere, making Aoi jump. He then took a deep breath before mumbling “Zen. I am zen. Zen. Zen. Like a bonsai tree.” and then turning back to Aoi. “I'm really sorry about that. I've got… issues.”

 

Aoi simply gazed at Yuuki for a moment with confusion. Soon, he realized something that kind of scared him. He could see a line of colour outlining the man’s whole body. It was a whole lot of deep red, laced with a bit of violet and… a considerable amount of black. He wanted to mention this new find, but something made him bite his tongue back. How would Yuuki react if he told him? Judging from Yuuki's previous reactions, not very well. 

Aoi didn't quite think that he knew what these colours were, but he remembered that he had heard about something like this before somewhere. It was an aura. A coloured energy that outlined every living thing. The colour represented the current emotions and personality traits of the indvidual, and was always changing, just like how a person inevitably changes throughout their life. He unfortunately did not know the meaning of each of the colours.

“Anyways, back to the bowl,” Yuuki started, clearing after his throat. “This is just to test if you have a strong clairvoyant psychic ability, which I hope you do, because we’ll need it to solve our mystery. It's called scrying. Just stare into the water, and if you're psychic, you should be able to eventually see something in the water. If you have the clairaudience ability too, you'll even hear what you are seeing, like a movie..”

Aoi nodded. He was honestly feeling super tense-- his back muscles were coiled really tightly. He was afraid of the unknown, and of mystical forces like this. He was afraid if he might actually see something, like he saw with Yuuki’s aura. But I have to do it, he thought. I feel like we're in danger.

And so he took a deep breath, and then stared into the pure, untouched water. For a while, he did not see anything. But as he let his gaze relax and blur, his heart skipped a beat with adrenaline. He actually started to see things in the water! Just like a reflection. There were multiple different scenes that he saw, all of which made his heart pound right up against his ribcage, but he couldn't make any sense of them.

The first scene made Aoi’s cheeks burn in complete embarrassment. It was basically a gay sex scene. He saw a blindfolded man, naked, panting, and letting out animalistic cries of pleasure as he was roughly impaling himself onto someone. Interestingly enough, this man’s entire body was splattered with fresh blood. He had scratches and puncture marks all over him, as well. Although blindfolded, the long hot pink hair and small build made it obvious that the identity of the blood-covered man was Yuuki. He felt a little nauseous, and a lot anxious. Especially since the real Yuuki was currently standing right in front of him. He couldn't see at all the face of the man whom the pink-haired psychic was tightly holding onto, for his entire face was for some reason blurred. The water in the bowl turned red for a bit, before clearing up and transitioning to the second scene.

The second scene was the face of a frightening man whom Aoi didn't know. Blonde medium-length hair, and what looked like a pair of goat horns on his head. He bared a fanged, mischievous smile as he looked into Aoi’s eyes and crazily exclaimed, “Kill the boy! Yes, kill him! You hate him, don't you? You despise him. Then kill him with that knife! And while you’re at it, why not jump his bones? What a pretty face. You claim you have morals towards such a thing, but I doubt you even do.”

The third and final scene made him feel the sickest. Aoi saw himself, clear as day, wielding a knife, and ramming it into poor Uruha’s body multiple times. It was basically the real-life memory he had of the murder, but this time, he saw someone standing there, right beside the bathtub. The same, small, horned man from the previous scene. He was smiling wide with his fangs, and hysterically laughing in complete insanity as he watched Aoi do the bloody deed.

 

When the water in the selenite bowl turned clear again, Aoi was left basically freaking the heck out. Eyes wide, his breathing quick and shallow out of his agape mouth, his heart running a marathon. What he saw was not good, and it gave him a heavy, dark, looming feeling that crushed all of his spirit.

Yuuki looked at him with concern and a bit of pity, “Aww, you poor, cute thing.” He took a seat next to Aoi, and honestly got a little too close to his personal space bubble. He held the raven-haired’s body, gently stroking his back, “Tell me. What did you see?”

Aoi had to collect his thoughts before finally answering. He decided not to mention the bloody sex scene, for fear of embarrassing himself and Yuuki. “A man was standing beside me while I was murdering Uruha. I had never seen him before, and I swear I didn't see him during the murder. He was telling me, over and over, to 'kill the boy'. He tried to completely override my morals towards everything. I... saw his face.”

He began describing the man that he saw, in more detail. The goat horns, the blonde hair, the short height, the long black fingernails, the spiky black tattoo that lined the top of his neck. As he was describing, Yuuki’s expression became more and more shocked.

He held his hand up, gesturing Aoi to stop talking. “Stop! Say no more, darling. I know exactly who we're dealing with here, and it isn't good. In fact, it's of evil nature.”

He suggestively stroked Aoi’s upper thigh before getting up from the couch, sending a nervous chill up the raven-haired’s spine. “I'm going to go get a certain book from Satoshi. I'll be back. Don't miss me, even though I know you will.” He winked, and with that, he left the office, leaving Aoi to himself.

 

And thank God. He needed to take a breather. He was pretty sure that this guy, who he knew since he was a child, was currently trying to seduce him. It was so obvious. But it wasn't going to work. He had no feelings towards this man. Though he was beautiful, he didn't know him at all. Aoi was ashamed about this part of himself, but he was an emotional man that had to really get to know and get to love a person before doing anything more with them. He couldn't just spontaneously dive in. There's the freaking moral part again...

 

As he began to feel shame from being the way that he is, something appeared at the corner of his eye. He turned his head to see none other than Uruha’s ghost. Or “the real Uruha”, to be more specific. He almost jumped out of his seat when he saw him. Shit, he could see ghosts now, for real, and forever?!

“Boo!”

Aoi jumped again, causing Uruha to laugh immaturely, “You know, it's too easy to scare you, Aoi. Good to know that you can see me now, though. I was actually starting to miss interacting with you.”

“Fuck you!” Aoi swore. He then asked where the Uruha has been. Obviously, he had left, or else he would have seen him the moment his third eye was opened.

“I was just in the lobby, hanging out with Yuuki’s black cat. Cats can see ghosts, so it was nice. It made me feel like I was still alive.”

Aoi couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness and remorse at those words.

“But why did you leave?”

Uruha shrugged. “Before your third eye ritual, Yuuki had telepathically ordered me to get the hell out of his office and leave you two some privacy. For what, I don't know.”

So that he could seduce me into having sex with him, Aoi said to himself in his mind. Honestly, what was the man’s deal? He had so many different sides to him-- was he fucking bipolar? Was he insane? He must have a good reason, or else he really did have issues.

Uruha approached Aoi a little more, and then sighed. “When Yuuki spoke for me earlier, I felt like it was insincere. And so I'm gonna say it straight to your face now.” he paused, collecting himself.. “Aoi, I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry that I haunted you these past few days. I feel bad, and I'm not just saying that. I’m sorry for being such an ass to you at work, too. I had problems, and I let them turn me into a real jerk. I had a little telepathic chat with Yuuki’s cat-- great girl, by the way-- and she made me realize the fact that everything that happened in my life should be far beyond me now that I am dead. And so, I can't be angry anymore. I can't hold grudges anymore. Everything that was my life, was left behind the moment I died...” he said his speech so gloomily. He obviously missed being alive.

Aoi averted Uruha’s upset eyes, for some reason unable to deal with seeing him this way, even though they were basically supposed to be enemies. He wanted to say it was okay, but part of him was stubborn. Sure, all the hurt in life was beyond Uruha because he was now dead. But Aoi was still alive. He was still bitter. But he realized that he didn't want to be.

“I want to start over with you,” Uruha admitted, “I feel like I lost the chance to get to know someone cool, just because I was a dick. Let's pretend that the person I was in life never existed.”

Aoi bit his lip. “I don't know, Uruha. I really don't know… “ he felt kinda, really bad right now.

 

The next moment, the door suddenly swung open, and Yuuki stumbled in with a massively huge book. Aoi took note of the fact that the psychic had slid his black lace shirt to expose one of his nice shoulders while he was gone. Again, it wasn't going to work for Aoi.

“I'm back! Naughty thing, I bet you were thinking of me while I was-” His confident gaze abruptly landed onto Uruha and turned into a death glare. “Uruha! What the hell are you doing in my office?! I thought I told you to leave, you stupid, deaf little shit!”

“I just wanted to say hi to Aoi!”

“Get out!”

“I refuse!”

Yuuki stomped over to the ghost, looking as if he wanted to hit him, if that was even possible. But Aoi stepped in before anything else could happen, beyond annoyed with Yuuki at the moment, “Yuuki, stop! He's not your pet! You were lucky that he listened to you the first time. Let him be, or I won't forgive you!”

Yuuki growled, balling his hands into tight fists, “Fine. You might as well stay for now, Uruha. After all, the information I'm about to share will probably pertain to you, too.”

Uruha looked at Aoi, and then smiled happily. The raven-haired found himself blushing, and then looked away, turning his focus to the book that Yuuki set down on his office desk. He read the title of it. “Demonology 2: The Complete Encyclopedia of Demons”. Immediately after reading the title, he felt his heart sink down to his stomach. He was sure that his face was as pale as Uruha’s at this point. Oh, shit, fuck. Demons. This was going to be worse than he ever imagined it could be.

 

Yuuki flipped to page 666 of the book, and took a deep breath before beginning, somewhat looking as if he did not want to do this at all.

 

Both Uruha and Aoi were hooked, listening very intently to all that came out of the pink-haired psychic’s mouth. The excerpt was read as so:

 

Demon’s name: Takanori

WARNING. Do not, ever call a demon by their name. If done so, the demon will have complete control over you. Please always refer to them by their nickname instead.

 

Demon’s nickname: Ruki

 

Gender: Male

 

Soulmate: Ruki is accompanied by his soulmate, another male demon named Reita. It is said that these two demons were created at the same exact time, and are bound together by a red string, to be lovers for eternity. They cannot be separated. To have a designated soulmate is very rare in the Underworld.

 

History: Ruki is a very powerful demon that has currently been sleeping for just over 100,000 years now. 100,000 years ago, when he was awake, the Earth found itself in shambles. Ruki had found a way to break the barrier that separated the Earth and the Underworld. If this barrier were to ever be broken, the Earth that we know would end. The Earth would basically become a second version of Hell. Demons would roam freely, and the Earth would look disastrous.

Nobody knows who did it or how they did it, but just before the chaotic Earth could fully cease to exist, Ruki was put back into an eternal sleep, which somehow fixed the barrier and ended all chaos.

 

Did you know?: From birth, humans and all other Earthly organisms have an invisible seal which prevents Demons from possessing and/or physically harming an Earthly being. When the barrier broke, nobody directly got killed by a demon. However, there is a glitch in which demons are still able to influence an Earthly being, especially if this Earthly being is already in a negative state of mind. For example, in extreme cases, they may cause a human to kill another.

 

Legend says: They are extremely rare, but there are humans that are never fully sealed. Nothing can be perfect. If a human is born from a massive amount of negativity, their seal would be cracked at birth. Fortunately, cracked seals are still very much protective. They can still protect an individual from physical harm. They can still protect a living body from being possessed. Unfortunately, a cracked seal makes the possession of a dead body possible. Only if an individual with a cracked seal dies, can their empty body be then taken over by a demon.

 

The theory: Many speculate that the barrier was broken by creating a dent in the way that things are supposed to be. Demons are not supposed to live a human life on the Earth. Therefore, if a human is possessed for exactly seven days, and that the possessor successfully lives as this human’s identity for exactly seven days, the barrier would experience a glitch, and then very soon break. Again, this is just a theory, but many say that it is the most plausible theory.

 

WARNING: Ruki is an extremely dangerous, extremely powerful, and extremely intelligent demon. To get past the barrier in general  is a difficult task for a demon to do. Never, ever summon him. Summoning him would result in an awakening. Ruki must never, ever be woken up from his sleep. For your safety, we have not included his summoning ritual in this book.”

 

By now, Uruha and Aoi’s minds were fried. So much information had been crammed into their minds. It was like being back in college. Oof, no thanks.

Yuuki quickly noticed their dumbness, and rolled his eyes. “Let me simplify the situation for you fucking morons.” He slammed the book shut in annoyance. “Ruki was summoned by someone, causing him wake up from his 100,000 year sleep.

Once awake, Ruki got past the barrier.

On Earth, Ruki found Uruha, who obviously has a fucking cracked seal.

Ruki took advantage of Aoi’s negative hatred for Uruha, and then successfully influenced Aoi to kill Uruha.

Ruki successfully possessed Uruha’s dead body, due to the cracked seal. He is now living as Uruha in his normal, boring work life. Waiting for the seven days to be over. And by the way, today is the seventh day, so the barrier will be broken by tomorrow. Good luck. There's nothing I can do to stop him this fast, and so I doubt you can stop him. See you guys in hell, I guess.”

 

Uruha and Aoi exchanged the same, horrified glances. They knew that there was probably no way to stop Ruki from wreaking havoc onto the Earth now. They were in some real, deep shit.

Chapter Text

The end was near. Uruha and Aoi were completely alone. The only two who knew of this, and one of them happened to be a nearly useless ghost. No one would lend an ear to an unknown man like Aoi, spewing out crazy end-of-the-world news to everyone. Nobody could do anything. Nobody but them.

And so they tried their damnedest to stop this mess. Together. Even though Aoi was still quite uncertain about Uruha’s sudden change of heart. Even though he was still a bit hurt by him. He knew that they had to do this together.

 

They had firstly tried to find Ruki in Uruha’s possessed body. They thought, maybe if Aoi could kill Uruha’s body again, things would reset. Ruki would no longer be in that human vessel, and the seven days of progress towards breaking the barrier would hopefully be erased. Unfortunately, they could not find Uruha’s body. At work, at home, in the streets. Nowhere. He must be hiding, they thought. That clever little bitch. Time was already going by way too fast, like in a broken hourglass. Searching for someone who obviously knew how to play hide-and-seek was turning out to be pretty hopeless. That realization was making Aoi feel sick, already. Uruha comforted him with kind words, as he couldn’t help but throw up in an alley at the mere thought of losing this battle.

“It’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. Strength, Aoi. Strength. You’ve got it, I know you do.”

That ghost just seemed to know his way with words.

 

They would have to try something else. There was only one place they could possibly think of, open twenty-four hours in this prefecture, that they could go to for help.

 

***

 

 

“Where do you think Yuuki went?” Uruha abruptly asked Aoi, as the raven-haired man was attempting to read a thick demonology book in the public library. Different to Yuuki’s demonology book, as this one contained mostly information about the Underworld. Hopefully enough to be able to stop this mess from happening.

The man turned his attention to the ghost, and then immediately slammed his hand on the table, alerting all of the other people in the room, “Forget about that guy, and keep reading the book I set down for you! We don't have any time to talk about these things! Keep reading until you find something useful!”

He was making a scene that made him appear to be insane to others-- yelling at the air --but he didn't care. What even mattered anymore? Was anything other than this collection of printed words worth caring about anymore?

Uruha frowned at Aoi’s uncalled for response. If he had a physical body, his eyes would be glossy with tears, “I'm sorry, Aoi. Turn the page, please… “ he said, weakly. Aoi sighed loudly, and did as so, immediately gluing his own eyes back onto his own book afterwards.

It was true, though. Yuuki had left them, and in a very strange and Ominous way. Shortly after reading the horrifying excerpt about Ruki, Uruha and Aoi had looked at each other for a second, wondering what the hell they were going to do. Right?

Well, when they turned their gazes back to Yuuki, he was…gone. Literally. Gone. Without a sound, not even footsteps. Without A Trace. And in only seconds.

The two frantically searched and searched the entire building, looking for the pink-haired psychic. The place was completely VACANT except for the red-headed receptionist, Satoshi.

With a bit of hesitation, since he felt a little uneasy around that guy, Aoi ended up asking Satoshi if he knew where Yuuki went. He just shrugged and said that he never thought a pleb like Aoi worthy enough to see “Yuuki-sama” anyways. Uruha noted afterwards that when he went to the lobby to talk to the kitty, Satoshi had been talking to himself. Every phrase that his ears picked up on included the word “Yuuki-sama”. Every, single phrase. The guy sounded like a real, obsessive PSYCHOPATH stalker. It was as if he was DRIPPING INSANITY. The amount of “Yuuki-sama” he heard had almost given him a HEADACHE, MAN.

Maybe Yuuki suddenly had some UNFINISHED business to tend to. But Aoi doubted that.

After all, the last thing Yuuki had said was, “See you guys in hell, I guess.” Which he now thought was a little odd. Especially with how quick he was to say that things were hopeless.

Was it wrong to say that Aoi was a little suspicious? Maybe he was overthinking it…

….

Tick-tock, tick-tock. The clock in the library would not shut up. Tick-tock, tick-tock. For hours straight.

 

Just a little more reading, Aoi. Just a little more, and then we’ll find the answer, Aoi was telling himself at one point. More reading. Yes, reading. Demon book club over here. With many phrases. Phrases, after phrases. Moon phases. Words, words, words. A word. Or two.  Letters? Letters and...alpha...bet. Font...ink. Japa knees… Dee man…?

 

Uruha waved his ghost hand in front of Aoi’s face, and that's when he realized that he had been staring at the same printed word for probably five minutes, now. There was a tiny bit of drool on his mouth.

“Aoi? AOI!”

Aoi blinked with his heavy eyelids, not even looking at whoever was calling him, “Huh?”

”I said, turn the page, please. I can't possibly do it myself anymore. I could only have physical interaction with the material plane when I was freshly dead. Remember?”

The raven-haired man just kind of stared emptily at the ghost for a bit, before finally slowly turning the page of the handicap’s book. He then yawned, his ears popping like popcorn.

“You getting tired? You’re starting to look like a visual kei makeup tutorial disaster, with your under eyes so blackened.”

“Wow, thanks for the compliment.” He yawned again, before suddenly throwing his head against Uruha’s shoulder. Too bad Uruha was a ghost. Aoi toppled right off the library chair like a domino, landing hard onto the thin carpet flooring. “Ow.”

He was in pain, but he was so tired, he couldn't care less.

“Friend!” Uruha immediately exclaimed at the sight, eyes widened. He tried to pick him back up, yet only uselessly passed right through him. He pouted at this. “Are you okay?”

There was pretty much nobody left in the library, since it was getting so late. How long had they been reading for? Time seemed to pass by so freaking fast.

“I’m…okay.” He got back up with some struggle, lazily plopping back onto the orange plastic chair. “Gotta keep reading. You too, Uru. There’s gotta be something in here about how to stop the barrier from breaking. Gotta be…”

He stared down at his book again. After a short while, the words began to jumble, and then blur. His mind began to drift...drifting off into space, like an astronaut. A sleepy astronaut. His eyes subconsciously closed. Without even trying to, his head tilted and then dropped right onto the wooden table with a loud thunk.

Uruha had been kind of just standing there in lala land, smiling stupidly at the fact that the human had just called him by a nickname. Uru. Heheh, he liked that. If he had a physical body, he'd be blushing like heck right now.

When he heard the thunk of Aoi’s head on the table, though, he jumped, rushing right back to reality. “Aoiii!!” He exclaimed, wanting to shake his shoulder, but not being able to. “Stop falling onto stuff, you doofus!! You're making me worry!”

The tired man groaned, his head so heavy that he could not lift it anymore, even if he tried. “So...sleepy…ughh…”

The ghost couldn’t do much at this point. Cursed, his very limited capability on the material plane! Yelling at him to wake up wouldn’t work, with how tired he was. He could only watch as Aoi fell asleep, with his head resting on his own folded arms.

The next moment, Uruha started to hear some soft snoring. He knew Aoi was gone at that point.

Great. Now, what? He couldn’t turn the page of his book, he couldn’t grab a new book. He couldn’t even fall asleep. Being a ghost absolutely sucked.

But at least he was by Aoi’s side. Admiring the way his silky hair draped over his shoulders so gracefully. He wanted to touch it, run his fingers through it. I bet it feels nice, he thought to himself. L'Oréal Paris kind of nice.

He would guard Aoi all night, make sure nothing bad happened to him. Funny how he felt this way, now. In life, Uruha would have done anything to cause this guy some trouble. But in death, he honestly didn't want to leave his side. He realized just how sad it was that he never actually took the chance to get to know what kind of person Aoi really was. He wasn't bad or evil-hearted-- he was just a normal guy. They got off on the wrong foot. He still wanted to know more about him. He was attracted to him, he realized. In which way, he didn't know.

Just like the tarot card suggested, Death really was a new beginning.

 

***

Being psychic, could either be a blessing or a curse. Right now, it was probably both. At one point during his deep sleep, Aoi entered the dream state, in which he had a psychic vision. A scary and disgusting, yet important one. Bittersweet to the bone.

~~~

 

In what looked like a large palace, Ruki sat on a gothic-looking throne. Back in his normal body, he looked just as terrifying as usual. Pointy goat horns on his head, sharp fangs sticking out of his mischievous smile, eyes red like hellish fire. He wore a deep purple, velvet suit.

Sitting on the throne next to him, was… Yuuki. Wearing the same exact outfit as when Aoi and Uruha had last seen him.

He was looking at Ruki, with an intense expression in his eyes, “Ruki, my one and only love. I am so, very happy to be by your side again. How was it, living in that disgusting human’s body?”

Ruki sneered, crinkling his nose. “Fucking trash. His work life is duller than dishwater. His social life is non-existent. The only thing I enjoyed was the utter Hell of his home life. That kind of chaos sits well with me, I just relished in it.”

Yuuki hungrily licked his lips, “Oh? Tell me more about this Hell.”

The demon grinned, his fangs poking out, “You’re a fucking sadistic bitch, aren't you?”

“You're no better, my one and only love. Or shall I call you my King? You're basically royalty now; other demons can't even begin to grasp your power. To break the barrier, especially more than once, is something not everyone can do. You're amazing.”

Ruki lifted his head up slightly, narrowing his eyes in obvious pride. “The time is nearly up. The end will very soon be here. I have lived just long enough in that human body to break the way that things are supposed to be.”

The pink-haired man’s gaze turned suddenly dark. He leaned over his own throne, grabbed Ruki’s chin, and then placed his lips onto the demon’s sinful ones. A quick, yet meaningful kiss.

“Shall we celebrate your success?” Slowly stroking Ruki’s thigh while twirling a pink strand of hair, his intentions were quite clear.

“Fucking whore! You can't ever seem to think of anything else. It's quite amusing, actually.”

“You're right. But I'm your whore. Only yours, and you love it. You're already hard, and I barely even did anything.”

Ruki could definitely feel that his pants were tighter than usual. “I can't refute that,” he surrendered.

Yuuki winked, and then stood up from his throne. So did Ruki stand up, who then tightly grabbed the psychic’s hand. He strongly yanked him to his bedroom, obviously eager. They locked the thick iron doors behind them.

 

Clothes were carelessly thrown around the place, before Yuuki suddenly pushed his so-called lover onto the comfortable bed.

Ruki opened his mouth to argue, when Yuuki shushed him with his finger, “Nope! Shut up. Tonight, I'm going to do all the work. Lay down, relax, and let me fuck myself on you. My King, you deserve it. And I want it. I want it more than anything in this world. I'm a sinner. I'm damned, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.”

The demon had raised an eyebrow at first, but then quickly changed his expression to a twisted smile, chuckling in amusement. He looked more than pleased with those words. “You’re human, Yuuki, but you truly do belong in the Underworld.” He then gladly opened his arms, allowing the psychic to gracefully slide onto his lap, straddling him.

Their lips quickly met once more. This time, though, it was a much more intimate kiss. They shared saliva as they eagerly explored each other's mouths with their tongues, desperately wrapping their arms around each other’s naked bodies in order to get even closer. A pro at multitasking, the psychic human reached for the lubricant on the nightstand beside the bed. He managed to grab it even while still making out. Double the points for being able to slick Ruki with it, and triple the points for being able to slick himself with it. He obviously knew what he was doing.

It wasn't very long until Yuuki eagerly pushed himself onto Ruki’s length, breaking the kiss to let out a short, loud moan. “Ohh, God!” He began to move his hips, “God, you already feel so fucking good inside of me! I've missed this!”

Ruki scratched the human’s back with his sharp, claw-like fingernails, creating a gash deep enough to begin to bleed, “Imbecile! There is no God,” he growled.

The pain from the scratch only seemed to edge the human on even more. He started riding Ruki much harder, and much faster. He parted his lips slightly, and let out a small, blissful cry.

With some time, the demon grunted, and soon began to noticeably breathe heavier.

“How do you feel? Good?” Yuuki breathlessly asked, having noticed a big change in Ruki’s whole demeanor. He let out another pleased sound as the other suddenly hit a sweet spot inside of him. He rode the demon even harder at this, trying to get himself to a perfect, nirvana-like high. He was panting so much already from all the physical exertion, his long pink hair sticking to his flushed face, “Ooh, fuck… yes! I'm such a stupid trashbag whore, and I love it!” OK, so apparently he also got off on insulting himself. Honestly, what didn't that guy get off on?

Ruki’s pupils suddenly dilated, making Yuuki slow down a bit from his quite frantic attempt to tear up his own insides. “It's just that… you smell so fucking delicious, Yuuki. Your blood. It's driving me mad! I can hear it rushing through your veins as your heart pumps so violently. I can't stop running my fingers over the gash I made…the warm stickiness of the blood dripping out of it… “

Yuuki tilted his head back, so that his neck was accessible. He started to very roughly impale himself onto Ruki, yet again. “Hurt me, bleed me, devour me, tear me apart! Do with me as you please! I deserve it!”

An answer didn't even matter. When Ruki desired something, he would always get it. And so, without any kind of hesitation, the demon sank his fanged teeth into the human's neck. Yuuki rolled his eyes up as Ruki sucked at the bleeding puncture wound, finding such pleasure in the pain. He was sick. So, very, sick. Twisted by the horrible world into something that would barely even be considered human.

Ruki was breathing heavily in passion, “So, fucking good!” After licking the wound a bit more, he brought one of his fingers to Yuuki’s throat. Without warning, he deeply slit the humans jugular with his fingernail, opening up a couple of his jugular veins in a long gash. A massive amount of blood came rushing out like a waterfall, which Ruki happily stuck his mouth onto, loudly moaning at the highly addictive taste.

Yuuki gasped at the sudden violent action, his eyes widened. Way to soon, though, he turned his attention back to Ruki’s length, and just went back to what he was doing with it. He didn't seem to mind too much about what had just happened. He just accepted it, and even seemed to begin to enjoy the exhilarating contrast of the agonizing pain in his throat versus the orgasmic pleasure in his lower body. The pleasant feeling of the warm, fresh blood running down his torso, down his stomach...

He was quite messed up in the head, long ago broken by society's constant, cruel rejection. He believed that he couldn't die-- not while in Ruki’s care, at least. The demon was a genius, after all. The only reason this violence could even happen was because some time ago, Ruki had figured out how to make his entire palace a violence-friendly zone. For the first time in history, humans could be physically hurt by demons… but only in this palace. How he did it, nobody but Ruki knows, not even Yuuki.

Damn, was Ruki glad that he went through all that work to do it, though. The taste of human blood was way beyond blissful to demons. Just to drink a drop of it, brought you to a state of pure ecstasy. But because of the stupid seals on humans, you could only get some if a human willingly bled themselves for you. Yuuki probably would have done so for Ruki, but getting it himself was way more satisfying.

As soon as Yuuki started to feel the effects of blood loss-- blurring vision, sudden weakness and wooziness, etc. - - Ruki licked all the wounds closed. Soon, these marks would disappear, as if nothing happened.

Yuuki’s face was looking really pale, like a geisha. Yet, he still smiled when Ruki looked at him.

Knowing that Yuuki was weak, Ruki roughly thrusted himself into the human instead, giving him a break. Yuuki let out animalistic cries of pleasure at this, still covered in his own drying blood. Ruki seemed to know exactly how to find Yuuki’s sweet spot, the one that made his back arch and his toes curl. He did his best to try to match with Ruki’s powerful and fast thrusts, but couldn't because of his lack of strength. He was completely orgasming at this point, and so was Ruki. It didn't take very much longer for them to both ejaculate, Yuuki needing to tug on his own length a bit beforehand.

When they were sprawled out in bed, still breathing heavily, Yuuki got one last kiss out of the demon. One that tasted a lot like blood, thanks to his blood-stained mouth. “I can't wait for that cruel planet Earth to end," he said.

“Dream of it, tonight. You need to rest, my fucking messed up human.”

 

***

 

That was the scene! The exact, same scene that Aoi had seen in the bowl of water. It didn't take long for Aoi to realize it.

So that's what it was trying to tell him-- that Yuuki was completely infatuated with the other, darker side. Not on the lighter side, on which Aoi and Uruha were. They weren't fighting for the same thing.

But, then...why did Yuuki help them in the first place? Why did he awaken Aoi’s psychic abilities, and why did he tell them about Ruki and the situation that the world was in? There must have been a good reason.

 

Wake up. Aoi just wanted to wake up, already. But instead, his mind went completely static. In almost no time, a second unwanted vision popped up in his mind. Or more like a nightmare.

 

Ruki was staring straight at him, as if he was standing right in front of him. Those inhumanly red eyes pierced him like a dagger, causing him instant anxiety.

“Hello, Aoi. You're quite the perverted bastard, aren't you?” he snarled his name out, “You were watching us fuck. I knew it. Did you like what you saw? I bet you did. I bet you're jealous.”

Aoi stirred a bit in his sleep, alerting Uruha, who had been calmly sitting next to him.  Laughing quite mockingly, the scene changed to the third person point of view, where Aoi saw himself being cornered by the demon in a completely grey room.

“This is what I plan to do to you, once you get inside my palace,” he boldly stated, pinning him right in the corner. The raven-haired man’s breath quickened in fear, feeling more than intimidated by this man.

Aoi tried to push Ruki’s hand away, but this was a nightmare, so it was futile. The hand slipped under his shirt. He felt Ruki’s long, sharp fingernail gently scraped along the soft expanse of his skin, before beginning to push. Breaking the skin, causing blood to begin to drip out. He pushed more and more, but then paused to stare right into Aoi’s fearful eyes.

Aoi screamed in complete horror, as Ruki horizontally slit his entire abdomen open. Thank God this was just a nightmare-- he couldn't feel any pain. But it still terrified him like no other to have this demon stick his hands into Aoi’s open abdomen, and then pull out his intestines. The entire length of it, dropping it into the pool of blood that began to form onto the ground. Aoi could not stop screaming. Crying, even. Absolutely hysterically. Shaking like an earthquake, feeling like this was the literal end of him. Everything that he ever was. His mouth was completely agape, his eyes were wet and opened as wide as they possibly could be.

There was no closing your eyes in a nightmare. He could only watch as Ruki reached in again with two hands, and pulled out both of his kidneys. He purposely dropped one onto the ground, but kept the other and...took a large bite out of it. He chewed, and chewed. Every chew sent Aoi spiraling into an even deeper abyss of absolute, nightmarish despair. He was beginning to lose his sanity, feeling completely powerless against this bloody man.

“You know, I never actually tasted human organs before…” Ruki admitted, after swallowing the bite. “....all because of those damn anti-demon seals that are active outside this palace. Unfortunately, since this is just a 'dream', I still don't know what any of them taste like. You'll be my little guinea pig. You must feel special, being my first human meal. And Uruha can watch. That's all he can do in the form that he's in. Just watch, in complete, utter horror as I devour the one person that he is undoubtedly falling in love with.” Ruki laughed maniacally, “How bittersweet. I could swim in that kind of pain all day. Just thinking about his traumatized face gives me great pleasure.”

....

“AOI! AOI! Wake up, wake up! You're having a nightmare!”

 

Ruki rolled his eyes in annoyance. “I guess this is goodbye for now. See you when the Earth has become a living hell. I'll be waiting.” He grinned maliciously with his bloody, sharp teeth, and then waved Aoi goodbye.

 

“AOI!”

 

The next moment, Aoi was back inside the normal, peaceful library. He let out the biggest sigh of relief he had ever taken in his entire life, lifting his head up from the table. He was shaking like a leaf.

 

When he told Uruha all about the first vision that he had just experienced, the ghost looked as if he wanted to die for a second time.

“I can't believe it! Yuuki betrayed us?! For a demon?! I am so freaking angry! How could he do that to us?! “

“He obviously wasn't ever on our side in the first place. There is nothing to betray.”

The explanation of the second nightmare, Uruha could barely take it. The gory, violent details were absolutely awful to hear. And to do such a thing to Aoi! Ruki and that fucking slut Yuuki deserved hell. The ghost was absolutely furious. So furious, that he needed to take a moment to himself to just breathe.

“Excuse me, Aoi. I need to use the washroom.” He said this in a tone that sounded as if he had clenched teeth.

Aoi looked up at him with a raised eyebrow. “I thought ghosts didn't need to ever go to the bathroom?”

“Well I'm different!” Uruha loudly exclaimed, feeling as if he was a time bomb that was about explode.

 

In the washroom, Uruha quickly figured out how to use the energy of his anger to manifest something into the physical world. It was just like when he had regretfully haunted Aoi. If he had enough energy of some kind, such as from strong emotions like anger, he could do so very much.

He decided to write a ranting letter to everyone, in pencil on the bathroom wall:

 

“To Yuuki:

 

You are the worst. The absolute worst. I thought you were a friend. I truly believed you were great. When you opened Aoi’s third eye, I was ecstatic, because he could finally see me. At that moment, you were a Saint, and a person that I looked up to. But I was wrong about you. Obviously, you are a sadistic and insane soul who I can't even consider human anymore. You are the lotus flower that never rose up from the mud.

I will never forgive you, you piece of trash. Keep sleeping with that demon of yours, because that's all you're good for. I hope you suffer.

 

To Ruki:

 

Fuck you. Honestly, what is your problem?! All you ever want to do is cause people pain. Fuck you. I hate you so much, and I have never even met you! Leave us alone. Leave the world alone. You don't belong here, and you have no right to mess with any of us humans.

 

And by the way, I will never, ever let you do anything to Aoi. You'll have to get rid of me before ever considering getting rid of him. So that gory vision he told me about-- forget about it. If I had a body, I'd let you rip my own insides out instead.

 

To Aoi:

 

I want to know more about you. Why won't you just trust me? So far, I'm ashamed that I didn't get to know what kind of person you are until now. You're not scum, like I had firstly thought of you in life. You're a great guy. I actually love your vibes. Being around you, I feel like I don't want to leave your side.

Can we at least be friends? I don't want to consider you a frenemy anymore. It hurts too much to think of that kind of past. I'm such a piece of shit, honestly.

Am I falling in love with you? If so, I'm scared. This has never happened to me before. I've never felt the way I feel with you now than with anyone else. Then again, I've never really had friends before. Not real ones, at least.

We've only truly known each other for a bit, but for some reason, it feels like years. We've already gone through hardship together. And already, you make me feel so alive and happy. We're going to go through so much more shit soon, but as long as I'm with you, i know I can get past it.

Please, I want to talk to you more. I want to know more about you. I really feel like you could be my first real friend.

Please keep calling me Uru. I like that. I hope it wasn't just a fluke because you were tired. I like it.”

 

Uruha stepped back a bit, so that he could get full view of the letter on the wall. Should he erase it, pretending to send it to its recipients? Or should he keep it, leaving it until the world decides to erase it?

Just as he was deciding, the bathroom door flung open with a creaking noise. Uruha whipped his head to see Aoi. Panic set in. The ghost immediately ran in front of the wall, hoping that Aoi doesn't see it.

“Uruha?” he asked, studying the ghost’s anxious facial expression, “I just wanted to check on you. You were in here for a while, and you had left looking like you were about to explode.”

Uruha faked a chuckle, and the fakeness in the tone was quite obvious, “I'm fine, really! I'm totally fine!”

How embarrassing it would be if-

“Hey, what are those words behind you?”

Shoot!  He had forgotten that to Aoi, he appeared slightly transparent. Still quite solid, but if you looked very closely, you could catch a glimpse of anything he was standing in front of. “Ahahah, you must be seeing things!” He nervously boomed, his eyes darting away.

“Move!” Aoi tried to swat him away with his hand, succeeding only because Uruha gave up.

The ghost hung his head down in shame as the raven-haired man began to read the whole thing. Right at the start, he laughed, “Well, I really can't argue with your feelings about those two bastards. You couldn't have written it any better!”

The laughter stopped as soon as he saw his own name being mentioned on the wall. Uruha couldn't help but peek an eye at the man's expression. It was neutral, but slowly yet surely, it became more and more concerned. Until there were tears in his eyes. When he soon finished the reading, he looked at Uruha, who couldn't help but avoid eye contact at this point. “I didn't realize that you actually felt that way about me…”

The ghost could only quietly stand there with his head down, wanting this embarrassing moment to end, yet being completely frozen in time.

“I'm sorry," Aoi choked, "I don't know what to say. Just know that...you are my friend, Uru.” With that, he quickly left the bathroom. Once outside, he pushed himself against a wall, and then slid his back down its surface, dropping onto the ground. He covered his face with his hands, and sobbed.

Oh, God. Oh, no. He was realizing something. When he was reading that letter, his cheeks started to warm up. A thousand butterflies started flapping their wings in his stomach. His heart suddenly got shot with pleasant yet anxious jolts of electricity. He realized, with fear, that he was definitely developing feelings towards Uruha. Part of him hoped it was just puppy love or some sort of explainable hormonal shit. Another part of him, though, was utterly excited about the possibility of being in love.

 

The moment Uruha finally stepped out of the bathroom, it happened. The ground underneath their feet suddenly began to shake. Violently. Books were fiercly thrown off their shelves, and some shelves even tipped over.

Aoi screamed in shock from the suddenness of it all, tears still streaking down his eyes. Uruha immediately ran up to him, and yelled, “Earthquake!! Quick, get under a table, Aoi!! Table! Table! I can't die, but you can!”

The sprinkler system in the library went off out of nowhere, instantly drenching the human in water. Meanwhile, the ghost ran towards the nearest table, watching intensely as the living man followed behind in a crawl, unable to get back up on his feet. Aoi almost fell over by the sheer force of the shaking, but eventually succeeded in getting under a wooden table. He immediately grabbed onto the table legs, holding on tightly. All stuff he learned at school, since earthquakes were not a rarity in Japan. But they'd usually be really small ones. This one was big.

Aoi didn't want to die. He didn't. He really, really didn't. He felt he had so much to live for. If he ever got out of this mess, he promised himself that he'd do all the things he wanted to do. He'd actually live life, for once. He wouldn't waste it in a cubicle anymore.

Uruha stayed with him, under the table, even if he didn't need to.

“It'll be okay,” he reassured Aoi.

Right after those words, something echoed from outside the building, even louder than the earthquake itself. Laughter. Evil, high-pitched, and quite inhumane laughter. Coming from every direction. It sounded like a bunch of witches. But Aoi knew it wasn't witches. It was demons.

“We’ll be okay,” Uruha said once more, scooting even closer to the living man, his own voice cracking a bit in fear.

Aoi covered his ears, finding the hundreds of high-pitched laughters to be unbearable. “No, nothing can be okay right now… ”  His heart was beating out of his freaking ribcage. “... The world is ending!”

 

Chapter Text

The once blue sky had turned crimson, as if it were bleeding. The moon accompanied it, despite being morning. It was abnormally large, like you'd see in movies, or when the moon first rises up in the sky. It was blood red, and shone brighter than ever.

The roads were not quite roads anymore. Cracked heavily from the earthquake, it was basically just rubble now. Some buildings fell apart, bless whoever was in them, leaving piles of dusty walls and scrap everywhere.

Many people in the streets were either moping around like zombies, or completely freaking out as if they had totally lost their sanity. Everyone seemed to be negatively affected in some way. Everyone except for the demons, whom were hollering joyfully in the streets, and trying to intimidate every single fragile-minded person they passed by. Some minds were just so easy to break, because they were already breaking. Leave them even more paranoid, delusional, psychotic, depressed than they were before. And then latch onto their free will, making them do things that they would have never done sane. That's how demons liked to have fun in this place. They owned this place. Unfortunately, though, they couldn't really harm anyone with a tough shell around their mind. The thick-skinned, hard to crack, nearly emotionless humans. Damn them to hell, the demons ironically thought.

 

Aoi wasn't tough. He was an emotional wreck; he always was. Tears were easily pulled out of his skull, and so was fiery anger from his stomach, and so was jealous frowns from his heart. But at least he wasn't alone. Uruha was here, with him. Despite being dead, he never left his side.

“But don't you ever see a light, or something?” Aoi had once asked him.

“I constantly see a floating ball of white light, and I know it wants me to follow it, but I don't want to leave you. I don't want you to be stuck here alone. What kind of person would I be if I did that to you? I care about you, Aoi. You already know how I feel about you.”

At this, a flame circled Aoi’s cheeks, making them burn. He hated himself even more for killing this kind, sweet man, even if it wasn't entirely his doing.

Now that the world went to shit, the two were basically inseparable. Relying on each other for company, and trying to create many failed plans to stop Ruki together.

 

Those who weren't affected by the demons yet went into hiding. They hoped to avoid the demons and the people in the streets who were quite literally driven insane by demonic influence. Aoi and Uruha were currently in an abandoned house, after the library had basically fallen apart. Aoi had escaped death by taking cover under that one table. A big chunk of the ceiling had fallen right onto the table, and everywhere else, like rain. Even the chandelier fell down. He would have definitely been hit hard, or buried alive in rubble and suffocating.

Who knows where the previous tenants of this abandoned house went. The wallpaper was ripped, and dried blood stained the once bright and cheery patterns. The two could only guess that a demon had influenced something violent to happen.

 

Earlier, before even finding this abandoned house, the two had been stealthily moving in the eternal night outside, searching for shelter to hide in. They quickly found out that Aoi’s apartment building had sadly collapsed due to the powerful earthquake, so there was no way he could go back to his home. This brought tears to his eyes, as he had many memories and precious items stored in that place.

“Maybe your house is still intact,” Aoi had suggested, after doing his best to wipe away his wet sadness.

Uruha immediately scoffed, “No way. I still live with my parents, and they are the worst people I know. I'd rather die a second time than to see them again.”

Aoi’s mouth went dry, suddenly being hit by a feeling of impending doom. “What happened?” He was almost afraid to ask.

At that time, they were behind a large trash bin in an alleyway, as this had been the only place they could find for a quick rest. They had kept their voice quiet, of course, so as to not be discovered.

Uruha had basically broken down at the thought of his parents. He did his best to do so quietly, as all demons could very easily hear and see ghosts. “They never let me do anything fun. No going out, no making friends, no playing, no nothing. I had no TV, no phone, no computer, no video games. All I was allowed to do while awake was practice the piano, work on my homeschool, clean the house, do the dishes, read informational books, and anything else they deemed productive. I hated that piano. I had always wanted to learn the electric guitar, but for some reason, they had in their minds that rock music was the devil’s music and lead to nowhere but drug addictions, rebellion, and alcoholism. When I was old enough to work, they made me work at our office building. Every day since then, they'd push me and wonder how much closer I was to becoming the head of the office. They put a tracker on me, so that they would know that I'm at work and not fooling around elsewhere. Basically, they were constantly trying to mold me into things that I wasn't. And o n top of all of that, they always beat me. Sometimes because I wasn't meeting their standards, sometimes because they'd catch me doing something they didn't agree with, and sometimes for no reason at all. I'd be forced to cover the bruises with my mom's concealer before going to work. They said that if I ever told anyone about these bruises, they would beat me until I couldn't walk ever again.”

Aoi was back to crying again. God, what a mess Uruha’s life had been. Alongside the tears, a fire ignited inside his stomach, the angry flames reaching all the way up to his head. Angry not only at the parents, but at himself, as well. Damn him , for knowing none of this. Fuck him , for treating Uruha so badly without even caring to ask about his situation.

“I'm sorry,” was all Aoi could choke out of his constricted throat, hating himself even more for not being able to say something better.

Uruha smiled, a smile that could brighten up anyone's day, and made Aoi somehow feel instantly better. “It's okay. I tried my best to stay positive. Positivity is the only way to go about life. I wasn't going to give up. But I wish I was brave enough to tell someone about it. I'm the type of person who just pushes through anything that is thrown at me, without looking back. I'm glad I'm finally out of that mess. And I'm grateful that I'm here with you right now. You remind me that forgiveness can only lead to happy things, and that life doesn’t have to be a shithole.”

Through these more positive words, Aoi noticed that he was feeling something in his heart. Warmth. Aoi realized how warm it felt to be around this man, and how much he cared for this man. Suddenly feeling overwhelmed by a lot of confusing emotions, Aoi went to impulsively wrap his arms around Uruha, but simply passed right through him.

He let out a quiet sob at the emptiness. Why were things this way?! he yelled in his mind. I just wanted to touch him. I had that impulse. Even though I should be angry at him...I think I love him. He has changed-- he isn't the person I always thought he was back at work. He's way better. He's so, freaking great. Damnit, This isn't just puppy love.

“Thanks, Aoi,” Uruha had smiled warmly, appreciating the attempt.

 

****

 

Currently, in real-time back at the abandoned house, Aoi was peeking through the blinds of the large window, with the lights off so that hopefully nobody could see them. His heart was heavy. Despair washed over his body, making him feel sick, weak and tired. Through the glass, he saw a human woman sprinting away from a human man wielding a knife. Watching them while laughing and clapping his hands was a male demon with long, purple hair in a ponytail. The curly, thick horns on his head resembled a sheep's. Aoi wanted to save the woman, he really did. But doing so would be a literal death sentence for himself. Was death really that bad, though? At this point in time…

 

Gentle footsteps sounded from behind him. He turned his head to see Uruha. His heart skipped a beat. The ghost was beautiful, as always. He saw a twinge of disappointment in his gaze, though.

“Aoi,” Uruha sighed, “Looking outside is no good. You'll only see chaos. That's why I stopped.”

“I know. But what else can I do? I already feel like I've been stuck in this box of a house for too long, and it's only been a few days. I think it's making me depressed. It doesn't help that the sun never comes out anymore.” Despite the gloomy lack of sun, it was hot. Very, very hot, like the usual summer heat in Japan. Even though it wasn't summer, not even close.

He peeked through again, but this time, he immediately fell backwards, letting out a startled yelp.

Uruha ran towards him, kneeling down beside him. “What is it? Did you see something?”

A rattling noise suddenly sounded. Their eyes darted towards the sound. It was the front door handle, which was being jiggled.

Aoi was absolutely terrified, his hands were starting to shake. “H-He saw me through the window! Th-The demon with the sheep horns! He was staring right at me, and now he's here! He's here, damnit!”

Uruha’s eyes widened, his mouth agape. This was not good. Not good at all.

“I can hear you guys! One of you has a very weak mind. Yes, very fragile, and currently depressed. If you don't let me in, I'll have to break the door open! Don't underestimate a demon’s strength, honey.”

What to do?! What to do?! On a whim, Aoi stood up, ran to the kitchen with wobbly legs, quickly found and grabbed a box of coarse white salt, and then lined under the door with it. Something he had read in a book at the library, he didn't remember which one.

Mocking laughter could be heard from the other side of the door. “Nice try, but a salt line is only active for thirty minutes, maximum. You'll have to do better than that.”

Right, he had forgotten the time limit part. Well, thirty minutes had to be enough to make a plan. He turned to Uruha, whom already looked as if he was in deep thought, racking his ghost brain for anything useful.

This house was small and only one story, but there was another window at the back. If they broke the window at the back, could they jump out of it and make a run for it in the opposite direction of the demon? No, that would be too noisy. Could one of them loudly distract the demon in some way, so that he maybe wouldn't hear the window shattering?

While the two were trying to think, the demon was beginning to have fun. “Aoiiii,” he sang.

Aoi tried to ignore it.

“Aoiiii.  You may not be in direct contact with me. That would have been more fun, but thankfully, I do specialize in influential singing. I've been told that I have a way with my voice.”

Uruha seemed to know exactly what the demon meant. He frantically gestured for Aoi to cover his ears. Confused, but trusting Uruha with all his heart, he covered his ears with his hands. Unfortunately, there was only so much sound that hands could block. And this demon was quite loud and obnoxious, especially when he began to sing:

“You're depressed. 

I know it, I know it

You're such a mess

Bit by bit,

More and more despair

Cracks the mask you wear

You're not okay

You know this”

Aoi felt the weight on his shoulders becoming heavier and heavier with each musical word. The weight of all the dark emotions he had been collecting over the past few, gloomy days of the world's end. He quickly decided to scream, hoping that it would block the sound of the demon even further. Uruha joined him, screaming as well.  Unfortunately, a lot of demons were telepathic. Aoi knew this, damnit! Ruki had spoken to him in his head many times without actually being there in person. Even through the loud screaming, the demon’s voice clearly pierced through his mind.

“Wouldn't it be best

To join your ghostly friend

This world has become nothing but a pest

He's obviously waiting for your end

Join him, join him”

Uruha had stopped screaming, after realizing that it wasn't working. Aoi had stopped a little sooner, and was sobbing hysterically instead, dropping onto his knees. His mind felt like putty. It could be easily played with, molded into anything that this demon desired. The voice was absolutely debilitating.

“Join him, join him

You want to be together

You want to be able to truly know each other

Then kill yourself

Kill yourself, kill yourself

And finally shatter your endless despair”

At this point, Aoi found that his body basically forced him to crawl over to the kitchen. Without even thinking, he opened one of the drawers, and then pulled out a big, sharp kitchen knife.

He could feel the demon smiling from the other side, and yet, he could do nothing to stop himself.

“Yes

The same way he died

You know you deserve it

Karma, karma

What comes around goes around”

“Aoi!!” Uruha’s panicked voice abruptly interrupted, rushing into the kitchen as if his ghost life depended on it. The sheer amount of sadness and fear he was feeling, seeing Aoi like this, was enough to trigger another energy surge that allowed him to manipulate certain material objects for a bit. With this, he successfully knocked the knife out of Aoi’s hand. It landed across from Aoi with a loud ting sound. It was out of his reach.

“Kill yourself

Kill yourself

Kill your-”

 

Suddenly, the singing voice cut off for a second, before picking back up in a normal talking voice. “You! What are you doing here, blondie?! And what the hell is that disgusting thing you're holding?” the demon yelled, as if addressing someone else.

“Takashi, you little sadistic, murderous, piece of shit whore! How many deaths have you already caused? I refuse to support Ruki on this!”

“Ruki banished you. Of course you'd be bitter. Why don't you just give in and join the rest of us? It's fun, and human blood is literally everywhere. That stuff is like a fucking drug, it gets you so high.”

“Fuck you.”

Beastly growls and snarls were soon heard, as well as some shuffling. Eventually, after some more shuffling noises and some added high-pitched yelps, something loudly thunked against the door, making Uruha and Aoi jump.

“Please…” the purple haired one weakly pleaded, “Show me mercy, I beg of you! I-I don't know where us demons go after death!”

“You aren't worth sparing. Just like I heard you sing-- what comes around goes around. The moment you caused a human to die, you gave up your own life.”

Gruesome choking noises soon ambushed Aoi and Uruha’s ears, making them both cringe. Something thrashed violently against the door for a while, before eventually going still. There was a certain heaviness in the air at that very moment. It was obvious that someone had just died.

 

“Let me in, guys! I've got something important to give to you, and it can't wait any longer!” this new, assertive voice was definitely not Takashi’s. It was slightly deeper.

Aoi and Uruha exchanged concerned glances. No time to celebrate the fact that Aoi just got cured from whatever the purple-haired demon was doing to him. They had to think, fast. Should they let this stranger in?

“Let's let him in,” Uruha concluded, after very quickly thinking this through.

“What?!” Aoi exclaimed, not so sure if this stranger danger case was a good idea.

“He saved you. Why would a demon save a human? Obviously, he's on our side. We've got nothing to lose.”

The raven-haired man sighed in defeat. There was no doubt about it, Uruha was right. Uruha was always right. He spoke the truth so well. Getting up from the ground, Aoi walked to the door, sweeped the salt away with his feet, and then unlocked the lock. He opened the door, very slowly, to reveal a…somewhat familiar man! Standing atop a pile of ashes, which could only be what remained of Takashi.

The short light blonde hair, which had a quite matted look to it. The deep brown eyes that held an air of mystery. A partial, black mask, which covered his whole nose. A black biker jacket, with faded, ripped jeans. Aoi gasped, the realization hitting him like a brick. This was Reita! The supposed soulmate of Ruki. No doubt about it-- Aoi had seen a drawing of him in one of the demonology books he had read in the library.

The raven-haired’s gaze trailed down to Reita’s arms. “What the hell?!” he immediately exclaimed, the moment he saw what the demon was holding. He wanted to say more, but he was made completely speechless. The demon only grinned.

Uruha ushered Aoi aside, as he was blocking the front door view. The moment he did so, he froze. He covered his mouth with his hands, letting out a loud gasp.

“Don't just stand there!” Reita desperately ordered, “Move, quickly, we don't have much time!”

Uruha’s legs were planted to the ground at first. Eventually, though, he managed to step back a bit to allow the demon inside, shutting the door behind him. Still staring at what was in his arms with wide eyes.

It was... Uruha’s body . His dead body. Lying limp in the demon’s hold, with its vacant, unblinking eyes open. It's caramel hair dangling, surprisingly still looking healthy. Now that he was inside, Reita very carefully set it on the nearest couch.

 

***

 

Getting back into one's body was easy. All Uruha had to do, Reita explained, was grab the thin spiritual cord that constantly hung out of his stomach area, and then connect it to the vacant body's stomach. 

The ghost was anxious, though. So, very anxious. He feared if this didn't work, or if his consciousness would never wake up ever again. But the demon assured him that it would work. Especially since, in his own words, “I took so much of my damn time caring for it, after that asshole Ruki trashed it to go back to the Underworld. I tried to keep it healthy enough to be able to be used again. But it'll just start to deteriorate if you stall like this!”

Knowing that time was pressing, Uruha took his own cord into his hands. He simply stared at it, though, biting his lip with uncertainty.

“Go!” Reita pressured him.

He darted his eyes, frozen in place. What would happen if he did this? Would he regret it? Would he be damned to something worse than his past life?

“Uru, you can do this.” The kindest, most gentlest, warmest voice, like cinnamon tea on a wintery cold night, suddenly assured him. Aoi-- that voice, he could recognize in an instant. “You've wanted this for a long time, Uru. This is your chance to be alive again. To do all the things you couldn't do because of a young death. To quit that job, to run away from home, to learn that guitar you've always wanted to play. To start all over, with me, for real.”

Uruha smiled, suddenly tingling with radiant excitement. Yes, the risk was worth it. So very worth it! If he could be alive again...he could do everything. He could laugh for real, cry for real, he could reach for the stars. But most importantly, he could touch Aoi. Be with him as not just a hologram...but as a real, emotional, fully tangible human being. This thought made him happy.

And so, he connected the cord.

 

Everything went black for a second. Images of his previous life quickly flashed before him, like a movie screen. Him crying himself to sleep as a child, staring at stacks of paperwork with dread, gliding his fingers over piano keys with uncertainty, looking into the mirror to find ugly bruises and a melancholic expression.

And then he saw an utterly normal ceiling. His lungs expanded as he took a breath-- his first one in a long while. His mind felt fuzzy and dizzy, as if he was high on marijuana. Everything felt so surreal at that point. Heaviness. Bodies were heavy like anvils; souls were light and floaty. Heartbeat. He could feel something thudding against his chest. He could…wiggle his toes. Real toes. But his eyes were dry. Dry as a desert. He slowly blinked them, with a bit of struggle, and decided to keep his eyelids closed for now.

“Uru, I can't believe it!” A voice cracked, through obvious tears. “You're alive again!”

After many attempts at figuring out how to move his major muscles again, Uruha slowly sat up. Immediately, he was bombarded by a frantic, yet warm hug. He opened his sandpaper eyes to see Aoi-- a literal angel. Wetness finally filled those eyes of his, for he began to cry, hugging the man back tightly. This was just as good as he had imagined it to be. Aoi’s body was warm, and thin. He smelled like smoky cedar wood with a hint of soothing eucalyptus. He liked that. They were both crying into each other's shoulders at this point, looking like a real, emotional mess.

“I've missed you, Uru. The alive you. I never thought I’d see this again.”

Uruha’s reply was weak, mostly because he had kind of forgotten how to talk. “Love…you…”

Aoi sobbed even more at these words. “I'm not gonna deny it anymore. I think I love you too. No, I know that I love you, too. Now that I can hug you for real, I know this. Seeing you alive again, I’ve never been happier. That just proves that my feelings are for real. I'm so sorry for…killing you.”

“It's…okay. Forget. It's…the past.”

After a bit longer, they got out of the hug, staring into each other's eyes lovingly. Aoi brushed his fingers over Uruha’s cheek, still unable to believe that this was really happening. That he was alive.

 

A frustrated, loud sigh from afar broke the intense atmosphere. The two turned their heads to see Reita, looking at them with a sour expression in his face, his lips tight.

“Happy reunion, I get it. But can you not be all lovey dovey in front of me?? My heart fucking hurts, as if someone stepped on it!” He said all of this through clenched teeth, growling angrily.

Uruha and Aoi just stared at him, with an apologetic yet slightly awkward expression. What exactly happened?? They both wondered this, but were too afraid to ask, for fear of stepping over a line they shouldn’t step over.

Reita sighed, knowing that they were as confused as an insect under glass. He was ready to do some serious explaining.

 

***

 

Love was a beautiful thing, Reita had thought. But now, he realized how painful and ugly it could be.

He was so in love, with Ruki. And Ruki was so in love with him. They were soulmates, after all. They'd do everything together. Drinking a giant plasma shake at the diner with two straws, and chuckling every time Ruki would “sneakily” try to steal a fried phoenix eyeball from Reita’s plate. He always got caught-- Reita was like a hawk. And every time Ruki got caught, Reita would playfully smack his hand, and then kiss it all better. This made Ruki giggle, as he was a bit ticklish.

They'd always go to the movies, watching horror films together. Ruki was always completely unphased by any of the scary parts. As for Reita, he didn't like to appear weak. He tried to keep his cool, but the demon hunters that were often portrayed in horror movies always got to him. He'd hold onto his lover without even thinking.

Ruki liked to go shopping at malls. Not as much Reita, but he gladly compromised for the other. He loved to see his lover smile, after all. And materialistic as he was, Ruki would always have the biggest smile on his face when he bought something new. He liked big brand name purses, and expensive jewelry, and getting his claws done. For their birthday (their souls were created at the same time. Unlike humans, demons are infertile and are spawned spontaneously. There is no such thing as family.), Reita got his lover a small-breed hellhound, which was later named Koron. Ruki loved that hellhound so much.

Reita and Ruki could talk about anything, and everything. They were so closely bonded, and totally understood each other.

They'd often make sweet love under the big red moon of the Underworld, Reita on top and Ruki gladly taking the bottom role. Since demons were infertile, sex pretty much only served as either a bonding activity, or done simply for pleasure. Either way, every time they made love, they felt their bond strengthen and solidify. Sweat-covered bodies glued together, as if they couldn't live without each other. Moaning and panting in unison, like a perfect musical harmony. They'd also gently bite and claw at each other, drinking each other's blood-- something that was completely normal and expected for closely bonded demons to do. Ruki’s always smelled so freaking good to him, perhaps because they were supposedly made for each other.

Oh, Reita had so many good memories with Ruki. Too many to recount. They must have lived over ten human life spans together. Reita believed he knew Ruki better than Ruki himself. And Ruki would always say the same thing about Reita.

Love can hurt like a bitch, though. People can change. Over the years, Reita found that Ruki was starting to become…bossier. Wanting to be in charge all the time. Craving power and authority. He refused to go to the cheap diner anymore, because he desired something fancier and more expensive. At the movies, he would always pick the film, telling Reita exactly which one they were going to watch. At the mall, Ruki was in the lead, deciding which stores they were visiting, and not settling for anything cheap anymore.

He started to do a lot of things on his own, without really telling Reita about it. One of these things was research. He'd have his face stuck in informational books all the time. At first, Reita wasn't sure what he was studying. But now, he knew it. Ruki had been studying the laws of the Underworld and planet Earth. He wanted to break one of these worlds, preferably Earth, so that he could basically become some sort of demonic God. And he did, that first time. Reita wasn’t very happy about it-- he thought that demons and humans should just stay out of each other’s business. He would constantly fight with Ruki about this, one time actually physically hurting each other. Nothing could change Ruki’s mind, though. And because of his horrible action, Ruki was damned to eternal sleep. Being his red string soulmate, Reita was condemned to the same exact fate. Eternal sleep…until someone summoned one of them, of course.

 

That damn person was Yuuki, a human psychic from Earth. That fucking piece of shit had found Reita’s summoning ritual, and then summoned him. Which in hand, also awoke Ruki.

 

***

 

“Welcome, Reita,” Yuuki had politely greeted the demon that he had just summoned onto a chalk-drawn circle, “I must say, I wasn't quite expecting to summon you. At first, I wanted to summon your soulmate, Ruki. He is very powerful, and could probably do more for me. His ritual was unfortunately lost with history, though. I couldn't find it. But at least I knew that by summoning you, it would also wake him up.”

Reita frowned. Who did this man think he was, spitting out things like that? “Well that's one way to make someone feel good about themselves. ‘I meant to summon your boyfriend, who is by the way, a lot better than you’. How rude and infuriating of you!” he growled and grumbled these words.

Yuuki fluttered his eyelashes playfully, smirking devilishly. This caused Reita to roll his eyes in annoyance, “As you must know, I can grant you whatever you desire in your life. But there is a catch. I have to take something from you, in return. That's just how demons work.” he said this through clenched teeth, already hating this guy.

“I'm fully aware of the consequences.”

“So what do you want?”

Yuuki took a deep breath of air, tilting his head up and narrowing his eyes. “I want to be irresistible. Beautiful, attractive, charming, to die for. Most importantly, though, I want a specific hex to be casted on myself. One that I wasn't powerful enough to cast on my own. It's the Divine Intercourse hex.”

Reita raised one of his eyebrows, “You mean the one that basically makes you a God to everyone you fuck? You've got to be kidding me…that hex was probably originally created as a joke...”

Yuuki flipped his hair confidently, “That's the one! I want everyone to worship me like a God. I want people falling onto their fucking knees for me. If it has to be done through sexual intercourse, so be it-- I haven't ever been able to get enough of that in my life, anyways.” He looked back down to Reita with an intense look. “That's all I want! To be loved, popular, worshipped, and appreciated like that, for once in my fucking life! I don't want to be the loner, weirdo outcast anymore! I've always hated that title, but it has followed me straight into adulthood!” he balled his hands tightly into a fist, breathing a little heavier. “I want people to be willing to die for me! Especially those who played part in ignoring me as a kid. It would be great to see them all pay attention to me for once.”

Oh, so he had an actual, valid reason for something so stupid. The typical society’s reject story. Not that Reita actually cared, though. He just had to do his job.

“Are you one hundred percent sure that is all you want in your life?” Truthfully, Reita couldn’t care less if Yuuki ever ended up regretting his decision. But as a demon that had been summoned, he was required to ask this question before making anything happen.

Yuuki was quick to reply, reeking of desperation, “Yes! That's what I want! Take anything from me!” He was so desperate and frantic, that he jumped onto Reita, hugging him tightly, "Please, please make this happen!"

Reita pushed the frenzied human away in disgust, as if the man was covered in mud. If that's what Yuuki wanted, so mote it be. He couldn't argue with him. Did he really have to take something from Yuuki, though? There was nothing Reita really wanted from that guy.

“Tell you what. I'll grant your wish without any catch. You already gave me something, after all. You awoke Ruki and I from a sleep that nobody thought we'd ever get out of. For that, I am grateful.”

 

***

 

That stupid whore. Yuuki. The name disgusts Reita. He would have never guessed what Yuuki would end up doing to him.

When he had summoned Reita, the psychic had secretly stolen one of his hair strands. How, Reita had no idea. Maybe it was when he hugged him. But he did. And with that strand of hair, Yuuki was able to summon Ruki using an unconventional, alternative way. It wasn't his original  summoning ritual, of course. But with something as powerful as a piece of Ruki’s soulmate’s DNA, he could create some kind of makeshift ritual himself, directing all the summoning energy to Ruki. 

***

 

“What do you desire? Surely something interesting, from the first person to be able to call me in years.” Ruki had asked Yuuki in the past, chuckling to himself afterwards. How amusing it was to have such a puny human figure out how to summon him.

Yuuki approached Ruki until he was real close, boldly gliding his fingers down his arm. “I want you, plain and simple. I want to be yours, and yours only. Forget about Reita. I know that you're not satisfied with him anymore-- I can feel your bitterness towards him. But I… “ he wrapped his arms around Ruki’s waist. “...I'll give you everything you want. I'll be your slave, even! Just let me be with you. I admire you so much.”

It was an interesting request, indeed. And Ruki couldn't deny that his relationship with Reita was becoming as sour as a lemon. After all, Ruki had realized how much he loved to have power, but Reita didn’t approve of this. He also never wanted to actually submit to anything, which drove Ruki absolutely mad. And so, to have another partner-- one that was so willing to do anything for him? To give him all he wanted? To approve of all of all of his chaotic desires and plans? It sounded almost too good to be true. But Yuuki looked like he was dead serious, especially with his arms wrapped around Ruki’s waist.

He smirked, stroking Yuuki’s back. Normally, he didn't like humans too much. But this one...this one had a chaotic, hellish, and evil aura to him. He liked that. He liked that very much. It made him realize how much he was more than ready to just forget about his so-called soulmate for once and for all. “Very well, if that's what you wish, I'll give you a shot. Is there anything else you wanted to add before I make this final?”

Yuuki was so delighted that his pupils dilated, barely able to contain himself, “Yes, indeed! I almost forgot to mention. I want to be able to easily teleport from the Underworld to the Earth. Earth is still my home, and I have a life here. I hope you understand. But I'll gladly spend days with you in the underworld. Any day you want, babe, I’ll make it.”

Ruki was quite pleased to hear this man being so compliant. He was already becoming fond of him. Yes, he was so done with Reita. He wanted Reita out of his life, officially.

“If this is what you want, so mote it be. I must say that I'm thrilled to have someone who would do anything I ask.”

“Most certainly,” Yuuki only hugged him tighter, “My one and only love.”

 

In his mind, Yuuki had been laughing and jumping all over the place. How wonderful, he thought. All I have to do is become his whore, and then I'll have all the luxury in the world!  What Ruki did before being put to eternal sleep gave him status, power, and money in the Underworld. Yuuki craved this, yes he did. He always wanted to live rich-- he always wanted to be beside someone of such high status. And to be alongside a demon, who could cause so much chaos? Even better! HIs evil heart loved it. And at the same time, Yuuki would get to build his own cult of select people who worship him, back on the Earth. It was the best of both worlds. Worshipping and being worshipped. Damn, and he finally gets to fuck as much as he wants to, what with his newfound irresistibility. He was a bit of a whore, he had to admit.

But of course, Yuuki will never let Ruki know of any of this. He'll never know that he's a gold digger. He'll never know that he’s slutting around with other people. It's the perfect plan to living the most perfect life!

 

***

 

Back in the abandoned house, Uruha and Aoi were completely shook after hearing what happened to Reita. His lover, leaving him for some random human, and banishing him from his life? How awful!

“And it gets worse,” Reita added, “I decided to watch him on earth. My strongest demonic ability is watching people without actually being there-- something called remote viewing. That's when I caught Yuuki having sex with a different man. Satoshi, was his name. I should have known, after he requested such a dirty hex from me. Anyways, the moment Yuuki got back to the Underworld, as he was making his way to Ruki’s palace, I confronted him about what I saw. He completely freaked out. He knew Ruki would be furious with him for this, would immediately hate him, and would do awful things to him.” Reita paused, suddenly flashing a proud smirk, “I could have easily told Ruki about what I saw. But I know that Ruki would never go back to me, anyways. And so, I decided to blackmail Yuuki. He will now do pretty much anything I ask of him, if that means keeping his relationship with Ruki healthy.”

Uruha quickly picked up the puzzle pieces in his mind, and then gasped, “No way! Is that why Yuuki helped Aoi and I? He was never on our side, and yet, he gave us information and made Aoi psychic.”

Reita nodded, basically patting himself on the back. Heck yeah, he did all of that. He was such a good guy, he thought. “Yep, that was all me. When I found out that both of you were dead set on stopping Ruki’s plans, I telepathically ordered Yuuki to help you guys. I want to team up with both of you. I want to take revenge on Ruki. I'm so hurt by him! And I was never fond of the idea of destroying someone else's planet in the first place. Not all demons are.”

Uruha and Aoi exchanged glances. It didn’t take long for them to come to a conclusion.

“Hell yeah, we're gonna team up! “ Aoi eagerly stated, pumping his fist in the air, “Let's get revenge on that motherfucking demon!”

Chapter Text

Aoi wasn't good enough. That's what Reita believed, boldly refusing to take Aoi to the Underworld with him and Uruha.

“But I thought we were supposed to be a team!” Uruha countered with arms crossed in a pout, stepping in for his new lover. “Didn't you say that you wanted to team up with the both of us?”

“I didn't fucking realize how weak Aoi’s mental health really was! Take him to Hell, and he'll get eaten alive!”

“What makes you think that?!”

“You saw it with your own eyes-- Takashi almost killed him! In the open field of the Underworld, there will be many more Takashis, some that are even more powerful mind-influencers than him!”

Aoi simply watched the two go back and forth, arguing like a bunch of children. Through all of it, he felt angry. He was tired of people stepping in for him, or thinking that he was too fragile to hold himself up. Sure, he was emotional. Maybe a bit impulsive, at times. But he wasn't a kid; he was a full-grown adult! This was the time for a change. This was the time where he'd grow a pair of fucking balls and finally stand up for himself. He was Aoi, for crying out loud!

Bolting up from the couch, he yelled with tight fists, “Hey! Stop arguing over me like stupid kids!”

The bickering fools both shut up, now turning their attention towards the raven-haired man.

“I'm tired of being looked at as weak! Reita, you fuck, I'm capable of more than you think! And I'm strong, I'm fucking strong for even just dealing with all the shit I've had to deal with so far! Take me to Hell, and if I don't come back, then you were right. You'll never know, though, unless you take me. And it's better for me to go than to not be there at all.”

Reita narrowed his eyes into a terrifying death glare, but nevertheless, Aoi stood his ground solidly.

“You don't get it, do you? This is for your own safety. I've been through Hell and back, and I know just how fucked up it can be over there. They'll tear your mind to pieces if you have any ounce of clear, mental distress!”

“They won't be able to! I'm tough as a nail!”

“Prove it.”

“Take me to Hell and I'll prove it!”

Reita bit his tongue. This conversation felt like it was going nowhere. It was probably going to continue going nowhere. He didn't have the time for this nonsense.

He clenched his teeth. “Fine. You can join in, you cocky bastard. But if you end up dead, it wasn't my fault. Just promise me that no matter what, you won't have any helplessly depressing thoughts out there. No bullshit!”

Aoi stood up taller, stomping his foot on the ground, “I promise! I'll be as happy as a fucking rainbow,” he quickly moved his hands in the curve shape of a rainbow, “and as tough as the shell of a bullet!” he knocked the side of his head lightly with his fist.

Well, if this human was so sure of himself. It was obvious he wouldn't take “no” for an answer. Maybe there was a spark of bold strength in there that Reita didn't get to see until now. To stand up to a demon like him took some guts, indeed.

“Alright, then, “ Reita surrendered, biting his cheek in slight annoyance. He pulled out a folded sheet of paper from his black leather jacket’s pocket, unfolded it, and then held it up for both humans to see. "I demanded that Yuuki give me the recipe to this. I have that twink wrapped around my fucking fingers."

 

“List of Ingredients for a Demonic Sleeping Potion:

 

~1 chimera tail

~1 teaspoon of sap from a bloodwood tree

~A handful of Hellshrooms

~1 lava flower

~2 tablespoons of somnious fluid

~⅓ cup of a virgin’s blood”

 

The two humans looked slightly confused while reading the list. Mostly because they didn't know what half these ingredients were.

“Most of these ingredients can only be found in Hell,” Reita explained, “That's why we have to go there so early in our fight against Ruki. Rumour says that this potion is what put Ruki to eternal sleep in the first place. If it can happen again, good riddance.”

“But wouldn't you be put to sleep too, if Ruki were to fall asleep? Isn't that how the soulmate thing works?” Uruha intelligently pointed out.

“Nope, not this time. This time, since I'm actually prepared for it, I'm going to completely block it by ingesting what you humans call an ‘energy drink’. In the Underworld, we know that 'energy drinks' are actually real potions that ward off sleep. In the human world, ya'll are too stupid to realize what it actually is.” he laughed, then murmured under his breath, “Humans are such dumb shits. I love them.”

“What was that?” Aoi quickly spoke up, thinking his ears picked up on those last few mumbled words.

Reita smiled innocently, “Nothing! Now, let's get the fuck out of here, after I do a bit of blending work on you two. The barrier is broken, so we can literally just walk right into Hell if we wanted to.”

 

--

 

The Underworld was even more breathtakingly chaotic than what the Earth had become. There were floating pieces of ground, like islands in the sky. The moon was large and blood red, the trees were unnatural colours such as dark purple. The coal path that the group had walked on was uneven and hot-- it would singe your feet if you walked around barefoot as a human. All around them, there were deep cracks in the ground. Almost like abysses, in which, you'd never want to look down into. Hot, bright orange lava filled them, just like the dip in a volcano. Demons roamed around the place nonchalantly-- they seemed almost less threatening here? Reita told them not to be fooled, though. Yes, there weren't as many demons here as usual because many decided to leave to go explore the Earth. But that didn't mean that they were all going to be any less evil. 

Uruha and Aoi did their best to blend in. Before they left the Earth, Reita had stuck some horns onto both of their heads. Uruha had a pair of antelope horns, and Aoi had curly sheep horns. From real animals, because they just couldn't risk getting caught. Demons would ambush them, if so. One demon sniffing them out was doable, but hundreds of demons trying to prod at their minds would be downright impossible to fight off unless you were some kind of God. The two also got some white eye contacts. It wasn't necessary, because some much rarer breeds of demons like Reita himself had human coloured eyes. They didn't want to draw any extra attention to themselves, though. There were potentially dangerous demons almost everywhere you looked, after all.

 

The first ingredient for the sleeping potion was a Chimera’s tail. These creatures were super nasty. A lion's head and torso, a goat head poking out of its back, and a snake head as a tail. Aoi and Uruha did their best to keep their mental cool while watching Reita in the distance slay the one that they had spotted in a field of tall, purple grass. It put up quite the fight, roaring, hissing, attempting to kick, bite, and scratch Reita. But the demon had mounted it, and solidly gripped onto the goat head's horns. Despite its efforts at bucking him off like a bull, he stayed on and cut off the goat head first, and then the lion head, and finally, the snake head with his shortsword. He had almost gotten bitten by the snake, but blocked the lunge attack just in time. He was lucky that he had attended plenty of self-defense and combat training in his long lifetime.

When Reita was finished, he was covered in black blood, and holding the snake head up. Panting in exhaustion, he looked at the two humans, and smiled, “You guys did a great job at not losing your minds, all while making sure that I didn't pass out or die.” He then walked up to Aoi, whom was daydreaming about everything happy he could possibly think of. Rainbows, unicorns, and…cuddling Uruha on a cozy day at home. The tap on his shoulder awoke him, as did Reita’s whisper, “Maybe I underestimated you.” Aoi could only smile at these words. He was totally worth something more than fragility.

 

The next couple of Ingredients-- bloodwood sap and hellshrooms-- were substantially easier to get. The group just had to search a small forest for what Reita described as “a thin dark red tree that has no leaves” and “red mushrooms that glow". Thankfully, Aoi proved to be quite talented at spotting things. He found both of these things in no time, taking doubtful Reita aback.

“I'm proud of you," was what Uruha said, kissing him lightly on the forehead. He then whispered, “I'd kiss your mouth, but Reita would probably drop-kick our asses back to Earth.” Aoi blushed, feeling himself get a little hot. Butterflies flapped in his stomach, as well, making him nervously laugh. It's been a while since he last had a romantic interest. He was back to being a teen again, and that was exciting him.

 

Next up was the lava flower. This one was a lot tougher to get because these plants grew on the sides of the huge, deep, wide, lava-filled cracks in the ground. It didn't take much walking for Aoi to spot one of these flowers growing out of the side of a giant, gaping hole in the ground. At the bottom of this hole was, of course, lava that made eerie sizzling sounds.

“One of you is going to have to reach into that hole and grab the flower,” Reita shakily stated to the wide-eyed humans. Aoi took deep, slow breaths in attempt to keep himself positive and calm. Uruha was doing the same thing, but seemed to keep his composure a little better.

“Why can't you do it? Don't you live here?” Aoi found himself questioning, his voice coming out as more of a squeak than anything.

Reita looked into the hole, and then gasped. His face looked as white as a ghost at that moment, and he quickly reverted his gaze. He was freaking the absolute heck out, “I’m terrified of lava! It's my biggest fear, aside from demon hunters!” he was trembling.

Uruha and Aoi both couldn't help but explode into childish laughter, at the same exact time. No. Way. This Reita guy had fears? That was hilarious, knowing how tough he had been acting all the time. He could beat up a fucking chimera, but he couldn't even look at lava? Ridiculous.

“Shut up! We all have fears!” Reita whined, pouting his lips and turning away from the humans in embarrassment.

Once the laughter died down, Uruha sighed, and held up his hand, his stomach hurting from laughing too much. “I'll do it. I'm the taller of us, and I have pretty long arms. I bet I could reach for that flower without any problem.”

Aoi stepped in, “Are you sure? I'm worried if you might…”

Reita shut Aoi up by putting his hand over his mouth. “Don't you dare have a negative thought like that! As a human in the Underworld, your negative thoughts will get noticed without a doubt! They'll toy with those kinds of thoughts!”

Aoi removed Reita’s hand from his mouth, feeling a little ashamed of himself. He thought he was better than this. “What if I turned away? I don't think I can watch this…”

“Do whatever you have to do to shut that stupid mind of yours up!” Reita snapped.

And so, Aoi turned his back to Uruha, doing his best to think of nice things again. Uruha kissing him…Uruha smiling… the moment when Uruha got his body back. Aoi smiled, letting himself get lost in these daydreams.

Meanwhile, Uruha was lying on his stomach in front of the giant, deep hole in the black coal ground. He was stretching his arm down into the hole, trying to pluck the yellow flower that was just above the hot lava. He was breathing a bit heavier, his heart beating fast. This required absolute precision and control. One wrong move, and you could set yourself on fire. He didn't want to be an arsenist today.

He had to slither a bit further towards the hole, but eventually succeeded in plucking the flower from its roots. As he did so, though, a drop of lava sparked up from the sizzling pool, landing onto his hand. Uruha yelped in pain, quickly removing his hand and retreating from the hole. He was terrified when he looked at his hand. Not only did he see an intense burn mark on it, but he also realized that his hold was completely empty. Fuck, fuck, fuck! Did he drop the flower amidst the sudden shock of being struck by lava?!

Familiar, warm arms suddenly wrapped around his body from behind, immediately soothing his frantic emotions, “Calm down, Uru. Calm down, calm down…you're okay! I caught the flower that you threw into the air, just before it could fall into the lava. See?”

A flower was held up to his face, the same exact one that he had been reaching for. He sobbed in relief, turning around to see Aoi. His heart melted. “I love you,” he frantically spat out without thinking, kissing Aoi hard on the lips. Aoi was surprised, but quickly returned the kiss. It felt good, to kiss Uruha…his lips were soft, and calming, and plump…he could get lost in this feeling.

“Alright, that's enough!” Reita snapped angrily, “Get a fucking room!” He then sighed, “But in a way, I have to thank you, Aoi. Not only for catching that flower, but also for calming Uruha down before his negative thoughts and emotions could go overboard. If you didn't do anything, we would have gotten caught by some unwanted demons. You're a lot more useful than I thought you would be.” He said the last phrase with a bit of hesitation, obviously struggling with the fact that he had judged Aoi wrong, and that Aoi was right, and that he was wrong.

“I'm just glad that I had turned back to watch Uruha. I couldn't just look away. I had to be there for him, in case something bad happened. And something bad did happen.”

He pet Uruha’s hair, whom smiled warmly at him. He then took his hand and very lightly kissed the black and red burn mark, which was probably still very painful. Good thing it was small. “We’ll put aloe on it when we're back home.”



There were only two ingredients left. Somnious fluid was next on the list. They were inside Reita’s house for this one, since there was no need to be outside for it. His house was small and run down…almost more like a shack. The walls wore ripped grey wallpaper, and the dark wooden flooring was beginning to splinter. To go from a palace to this, it must have been difficult for Reita. Being kicked out so suddenly by Ruki, he had to scramble to find somewhere to stay. Aoi was used to his shabby apartment, so it didn't bother him. Uruha, on the other hand, had a house that he had to keep absolutely pristine. He was trying to hide his discomfort in Reita’s home, but wasn't doing a very good job of it. He'd hopefully get used to it soon.

 

“What the heck is somnious fluid??” The two had asked Reita, not having heard of such a thing before. The demon could only laugh at how clueless they were. Dumb shit humans, indeed.

“At night, your body produces a fluid that makes you sleepy. This fluid stays in your body, slowly releasing until you wake up. I thought you'd at least know this.”

“Don't you mean…Melatonin? The sleep-wake cycle hormone?” Uruha inquired, somehow remembering this from all the freaking random knowledge books his parents had made him read in the past.

Reita looked more than confused for a second, but then suddenly lit up like a light bulb. “Oh! That's right. It's different for you humans. You guys have the melatonin hormone. Us demons, ours is in liquid form, and while we sleep, it's slowly released from our feet and palms. There isn't much of it. Less than a teaspoon is released in one night.”

The fuck?? That was really odd. Sounded like something out of a horror movie.

“Lucky for you guys, I already have a vial of this stuff on that shelf.” he pointed to one of the worn-down wooden shelves in the living room. Clearly, there was a vial of blue liquid sitting on the surface. “Somnious fluid was all over my resting place at the palace from when I was asleep all those years. Knowing that it was quite rare, I had decided to collect some right after I was summoned, and therefore, woken up.”

“Well, shit. That makes our life a lot easier.” Aoi stated, feeling relieved as heck that they didn't have to jump through a ring of fire to get this ingredient.

“You'll have to thank my past self for being that resourceful, ” Reita patted himself on the back.


--

“Hell yeah! We have one last ingredient,” Reita excitedly cheered, “And then we can brew our potion overnight, while we finally get some much-needed sleep before busting into Ruki’s palace the next day.”

“What is it?” Uruha asked, having forgotten what was on the list.

“A virgin’s blood, of course! Dumb shit, that's what every demonic potion in the Underworld requires. Duh.

“Where are we gonna get that…? I mean, I doubt any of us are virgins,” Uruha played along, trying to keep his cool. Aoi noticed him shifting a little. Fidgeting. Oddly enough, that's what Aoi did when he was nervous about something. Could Uruha be nervous?

Reita hummed in thought. “Yeah, I don't know. I can tell you all right now, though… I've fucked Ruki way too many times to be considered a virgin. So, forget about my impure blood. Anyone else?”

Uruha looked at Aoi, with an almost scared, intense look on his face. Aoi shook his head, sighing, “Honestly, I had a boyfriend back in high school. We did end up going that far, regretfully. I thought he was the one, but he backstabbed me in the end.”

Uruha looked disappointed. Or hurt. Aoi couldn't really tell, but his face held a frown and his eyes looked away shamefully.

“Uruha? What about you?” Reita prodded.

“U-Umm…” Uruha wanted to bail. He wanted to flee, being cornered like this. His feet were fidgeting around, finding it hard to stay grounded.

“I ...I...I'veneverhadsexwithanyonebefore-” he admitted it so quickly, his words came out almost too quiet and jumbled to make sense of it.

Aoi’s eyes widened. Meanwhile, Reita broke into laughter. “Oh, man! I'm so sorry for laughing, Uruha. That was rude of me! I just can't believe no one has tapped that yet!”

“Shut up!” Uruha exclaimed, his eyes watering in embarrassment, “I've lived a sheltered life! Can you really blame me?!”

“What about Kai?” Aoi couldn't help but spit out. Uruha winced at the name of his former boss. Aoi immediately wanted to slap himself as hard as he possibly could for asking that. Stuff like that was supposed to be left in the past, when they were still co-workers. But he couldn't help but wonder. Damn him to Hell! Wait, he was already there.

Uruha began to sniffle a bit, actually crying now. “I've only ever…sucked him off and jerked him off…and it was for that free pass at work. I don't think that counts, does it?”

“Nope! Your blood is still considered a virgin’s blood,” Reita sang with a small smile, greatly amused by all of this.

Uruha groaned in defeat. He felt like such a loser, and such a failure. But he wasn't-- not in Aoi’s eyes, at least. In fact, seeing Uruha in such distress, Aoi couldn't help but hug him. Uruha returned the hug, tightly. “Don't worry. As soon as we're alone, I'll take your virginity. Only if you want to, though.” Aoi quietly whispered, so that only Uruha could hear. The latter blushed deeply. “M-Maybe…”

 

“Okay!” Reita obnoxiously cut their loving moment off, unsheating an Athame blade from its holder. “Give me your arm, Uruha.”

The virgin hesitated at first, but eventually found himself walking up to Reita. He was unsure of himself right now; insecure. He just got a big blow to his self-esteem. But who said a mere label should be causing him such emotional turmoil? Was being a virgin so bad?

Still in thought, he held his arm out for the blonde demon. “Just get it over with, “ he said, gloomily.

Reita nodded, and then grabbed a shiny copper goblet from the shelf behind him. With one hand, he held the goblet under the virgin’s arm. The other hand held the Athame. Carefully, he sliced into Uruha’s arm with the blade, making sure not to cut too deeply, but enough to make him bleed.

Uruha scrunched up his face in pain. The wound was pulsating, pushing out fresh, warm blood. It was a weird feeling to just… sacrifice your blood like this. Slowly but surely, gravity made the blood trickle down into the goblet. He kept bleeding, and bleeding, until Reita decided that it was enough. He put the now filled goblet away, but was reluctant in closing up the wound. Aoi noticed that the demon was breathing heavily, with dilated pupils, and a war of an expression on his face.

“Your blood smells sooo fucking good,” the blonde demon groaned, inching his face closer towards the wound.

Uruha quickly retreated his arm in sudden fear, but that didn't stop Reita from tackling the human to the ground.

“Reita, stop! What are you doing?!”

Aoi immediately sprang into action, grabbing Reita, and trying to rip him off of his lover. He failed. Reita was strong. Reita was really, really, inhumanely strong.

“I just want a taste of it! Let me taste it! I want to taste it!” Reita was quite frankly losing his sanity. Human blood always did this to demons.

Aoi tried to charge at Reita, but the demon stopped him in his tracks by quickly putting a simple freezing hex on him. Reita was always abnormally good at harnessing his demonic powers, but especially so when he was in a frenzy like this. Most demons could hardly even use their powers unless summoned, but it often worked for Reita.

Aoi could do nothing but watch the scene, now. As much as he wanted to move, his body was basically paralyzed. Damnit! Why was he so powerless?!

Reita purred, holding a sharp gaze as he grabbed Uruha’s arm so tightly and strongly that he couldn't move it. He then put his mouth on the wound, sucking at it. He deeply moaned at the taste. It was like the most delicious dessert ever. Or that caramel popcorn that you just couldn't get yourself to stop eating until the bag was all gone. It was like a drug, making his mind buzz with ecstasy. They really weren't kidding when they said that human blood was the most intoxicating thing to a demon. It was so much better than Ruki’s, his own freaking soulmate!

Uruha groaned in pain. He was feeling a bit weak. “Reita, please stop! You've had enough! Don't you remember how much you've taken from me already for the blood sacrifice?!”

Reita whined, not wanting to stop. The demon inside of him said, “Keep going! This is in your nature!”  but the more rational side of him said, “What are you doing? Stop right now! He's your friend!” In the end, he listened to his rational side. He was no monster. In fact, he hated how many demons disregarded human life so easily. If he continued, he'd be just as horrible as everyone else.

He pulled away, although his body didn't want to. Because he technically created the wound, he could heal it. And so, he sealed the wound by hovering his hand over it. Uruha let out a big sigh of relief at this. He really thought for a second that the real, sane Reita wouldn't come back until he was bone dry and dead…again.

“I'm real sorry, Uruha! I don't know what came over me. I'm such a piece of shit. Maybe I'm no better than the other demons.” Reita looked sad, and super ashamed. His voice faltered a bit, and he couldn't hold his gaze.

He unfroze Aoi, whom collapsed right onto the ground with a thunk. “Ouch.” Did his legs just forget how to stand while he was frozen?

 

Uruha was quick to forgive Reita. He knew that wasn't the real him, and that he truly felt remorse towards what he did. He was just glad it was all over, now. No more Ingredients. They did it! But the blonde demon seemed completely not in a celebrating mood. He felt awful for what he just did. What was that? What came over him?

“Stop being depressed, Reita, and go start up that sleeping potion. We'll have a damn good rest and forget any of this happened. Tomorrow, we'll be fresh, and totally ready to fight.”

This guy really did know how to say the right words to cheer people up. Reita smiled, and then got up, slightly feeling better. "Thanks." Wasting no time, he started putting the ingredients they've gathered together.

“You both must be tired as hell. Go to sleep, I'll take care of the potion.”

Aoi yawned, “You're right about the tired part. Where do we sleep?”

Uruha was silently wondering that, too.

“It ain't much, but there's a tiny bedroom around the corner. You two can have it. I'll sleep on the couch tonight.”

Uruha and Aoi both felt super grateful to this demon. He wasn't a bad guy at all. Through his rough exterior, he was actually a real softie. Like a dark cake that, when you cut into it, reveals many colourful and bright layers.

--

The new lovers were so ready to jump into the small, shabby bed together, immediately holding onto each other's bodies. Aoi licked and kissed Uruha’s neck when he least expected it, making him let out a quiet, happy gasp. “Aoi. You're too sweet.”

He continued to kiss the man's slender neck for a while, enjoying the soft giggling, and breathy sounds coming from Uruha. It was turning him on. “And you're too sexy.”

That's when Aoi decided to climb on top of his lover, pinning him with his arms. He looked at Uruha with raised eyebrows, biting his lip, obviously hinting at something. “We're alone now, you know. Did you...want it?”

Uruha knew exactly what he was trying to say. To be honest, he loved Aoi. And yes, he did want it. He really did. The unexpected tightness in his pants wasn't lying. But…not tonight. It would be too fast; too sudden. Uruha wasn't prepared for this yet; to go all the way with someone. He wrapped his arms tightly around Aoi, “I can't go all the way tonight. I'm sorry, Aoi. I do want it, but I just can't…not tonight.”

Aoi quickly kissed Uruha, finding it difficult to leave his beautiful lips untouched. “It's okay, we won't do it tonight if you don't want to. But…you're hard. Did you want me to take care of that for you, or…?”

Uruha only tightened his grip on Aoi. “Is that even a question? I'm hard, and it's all your fault, so you better take responsibility for it.” He frowned playfully as he said this, pretending to be upset.

Aoi chuckled, thinking that Uruha’s pouty face was the cutest thing he'd ever seen. His main priority right now was to change that playful expression into one of total ecstasy. With a skilled hand, he unzipped and pulled down Uruha’s faded jeans. His thighs were now exposed, actually leaving Aoi speechless. They were the most perfect thighs ever. Thick and smooth, they looked undeniably irresistible. He couldn't help but slide his hands over them, feeling amazed at how soft the skin was. “Damn. I'm not even undressing you fully, and yet, you're already breathtaking. How could no one have wanted you?”

Uruha gasped when his lover’s hands slid up to his clothed erection. He looked into Aoi’s eyes with a quite desperate look, but nah, he was having too much fun with exploring Uruha’s body right now. He simply brushed his hand past it, causing Uruha to groan in disappointment.

“I thought you said you would take care of it!” he whined, while Aoi sneaked a hand under his shirt.

He traced the thin waist, hands moving upwards, until he reached Uruha’s chest. “You're so perfect. I could just worship you all night.”

Completely ignoring Uruha’s frustrated sounds, he pulled the shirt up, and then experimented by rubbing the two dark nipples that were now out in the open. He smirked when he heard a squeaky sound come from Uruha.

“Hey! Those are sensitive!” the cutie whined, fidgeting around a little on the bed.

“Even more of a reason to continue,” Aoi teased, this time leaning in and sealing his mouth onto one of them. He licked and sucked the bud, causing even more cute, heart-melting sounds to emerge from Uruha. He moved over to the other one, too, not wanting to neglect any part of him.

“Aoi! You're only making me even more hard! I can't take it anymore! Please…!”

“Please what?” Aoi devilishly toyed with him, continuing to circle the nipples now with his fingers.

Uruha groaned, “Touch me… I need release! Please, just make me cum..” he was a desperate mess.

Aoi was enjoying how straight-forward with his desires Uruha was. “You're not as much of an innocent angel as you seem. Especially not with those fake horns glued to your head,” Aoi joked, earning him a playful slap on the back. Who was he kidding? He couldn't say no to Uruha anymore. Not when he was acting so lustfully adorable like this.

Not wanting to waste any more time, Aoi’s hand dove right into his lover's underwear, and pulled out the lovely, hard length. Yes, it was lovely. Of course it was. It belonged to his official boyfriend, after all. What could be better than that?

He began to firmly stroke it, immediately getting a short, cute moan in response. Uruha sat up to get closer to his lover, now directly gluing their bodies together. He dug his face into Aoi’s neck as he was brought into a world of pleasure. He moaned again when the stroking got faster. He decided to nip at Aoi’s neck, letting him know how much he was enjoying this.

“I love your moans, Uru.”

Uruha ignored his comment, too focused on what he was currently feeling, “More. Give me more! I want need that release...”

Oh, I'll give you more, Aoi thought. Pushing him back down onto the bed, Aoi leaned over and stuffed his mouth with Uruha’s erection. Another high-pitched sound of approval, “Yes!”

as Aoi took him all in.

He was actually damn good at this. Not only sucking and licking him as if his life depended on it, but also adding a hand to stroke the very base. His lips stayed parted, panting. Uruha felt like he was in Heaven. Which was ironic, because he was being pleasured in literal Hell. No one had ever done this to Uruha before. No one had ever appreciated him like this, either. He felt very wanted and… happy. This was real. Real love. He was so glad he was alive to witness that. He started climaxing, his moans getting more frantic, his body writhing, his back arching. He gripped onto Aoi’s long hair, pulling on it hard as he uncontrollably thrusted into his mouth. Closing his eyes, he finally ejaculated with the loudest moan yet, releasing warm cum into Aoi’s mouth. He was left panting, his mouth agape as he rode out his orgasmic high as long as he could.

Aoi swallowed the cum, happy to see Uruha like this. His cheeks were absolutely flushed, his eyes were shut tight, and he just looked like the definition of bliss.

He ran his fingers through Uruha’s hair, whom finally opened his beautiful eyes.

“I love you," was all that Uruha could say. Obviously, he was feeling a little sleepy now.

“I love you too, Uru. I really do.”

He gently ran his fingers through Uruha’s hair until the cutie inevitably fell asleep. I’ll leave him be, he needs rest, Aoi thought. Especially after how much blood he lost. I'll take care of my own arousal myself.

 

In the kitchen, Reita let out a big sigh of defeat. He had heard everything. Yep. He heard the moans, and the panting, and the whispers. This was a shabby shack of a home, after all. The walls were quite thin and flimsy; they could probably hardly even hold themselves up.

The demon continued to stir the ingredients, feeling a tight heaviness in his heart. He was happy for them. He had to be. They were his friends, and they were happy. But...he missed Ruki. He was still hurting from what that daft backstabber did. Nevertheless, he couldn't get himself to hate him. He loved Ruki. It was in his nature to love that man. Why didn't he love Reita back…?

The demon couldn't hold back tears from spilling out of his eyes. He was glad that he was alone right now. He didn't want to look weak again. But he was the third-wheeler, the one who got abandoned. The one who just wasn't good enough. Fuck, he hated this feeling!

The potion was almost done. He wiped away his own tears with his thumbs, not wanting to soil the brew with his fleeting tears. They weren't worth much, anyways.

Chapter Text

“Do we really have to wear these? I don’t like it!” Aoi loudly whined, looking into the single, giant mirror in the staff dressing room with uncertainty.

“French fries!” Reita exclaimed from his dressing stall. This made the other, actually real, staff members turn their heads towards his stall in confusion.

Aoi bit his lip. French fries, the dumb code word that they had came up with before entering Ruki’s palace. It basically meant “Danger!” or “Watch yourself!”. Heck, he was right. Aoi realized that he shouldn't have complained like that. It might just raise suspicion that they truly weren't any of Ruki’s maids.

Soon enough, Reita stepped out of his changing stall.

Aoi immediately exploded into immature laughter upon seeing his friend. “Holy shit,” he mumbled under his breath, this time too quiet to be heard.

He never thought he'd see the day where Reita wore a maid dress. He looked...completely out of place. The dress was first of all a bit too small around the shoulders, so it fit really awkwardly. The knee- high stockings just looked completely wrong with his more masculine build. Aoi thought he looked kind of like a turkey wearing a dress.

At least Reita didn't look like himself, though. On top of the maid outfit, he had no nose band, wore purple colored eye contacts, and washed all the gel out of his cockatiel hair. Reita absolutely had to look like an entirely different person. If he didn't, he would surely get recognized by the others. He used to be next to this palace’s ruler, after all. A ruler who completely banished him, and put him on a watchlist.

As for Aoi and Uruha, they may not have been recognizable, but heck, no normal person could just walk into Ruki’s palace. That was roadkill. Let alone them being humans. It was a good thing they had fake horns on.

Speaking of Uruha, though, he hadn't come out of his stall yet.

Aoi knocked on his door, feeling a little concerned. “Uruha, are you alright in there?”

He heard Uruha shuffle around a bit. “No! It- It won't fit right! It's too…. short.” He said the last word as if he had seen something absolutely horrifying.

Many of the real staffers could be heard laughing, obviously eavesdropping on this scene. Aoi wanted to punt them for mocking his boyfriend like that.

“Um, they're supposed to be short,” Reita added in with a cocky know-it-all tone, “Ruki likes to emasculate his male employees.”

More shuffling could be heard from the changing stall.

“But...this is too short! Are there any other sizes??” he sounded like he was about to cry.

Unfortunately, what he was wearing was the biggest size. They were dresses that were originally made for women, after all, so they were in women's sizes. Too bad Uruha was the tallest out of all of them.

Aoi sighed, “I'm sorry, Uru, it looks like you'll have to just deal with it. How bad could it possibly be, anyways?”

They waited for what seemed like an eternity, until finally, the door handle turned, and Uruha stepped out. His face was flushed so red, he looked like a tomato. His eyes trailed to the ground, unable to look at anyone around him.

As for Aoi and Reita, their jaws dropped to the floor.

“Too short, that is!”

Uruha’s black lace briefs were almost completely exposed, and his chest was also way too bare. God, why did he have to wear the lace ones today?? This, along with the knee-high stockings, and tight waisted maid dress, made him look like some kind of cheap whore. Reita almost immediately looked away in politeness, but Aoi found that he just couldn't. Holyhotdamnshitjesussavemyimpuresoul! Uruha was HOT. He looked so sinful in this outfit, Aoi felt like needed to spray his eyes with holy water. This wasn't going to end well for himself or his dick if he didn't look away. But his eyes were glued to the man's sexy body. Those thighs! Once again, they are cursed! Holyfuckinghell. He wanted to see that beautiful man moan in bliss again.

Thankfully, a random male employee, whom squeaked at the sight, tossed over a pair of black shorts to Uruha.

“Here, you can borrow my shorts,” he was covering his eyes in respect, cringing, “Just don't let Ruki see them, or he'll flip.”

Well, that was awfully nice for a demon to do. Then again, Uruha looked just like any other demon. Why wouldn't they be nice to their own species? Couldn’t say the same for humanity, though.

With the shorts under his maid dress, Uruha could finally breathe. So could Aoi; he was so disappointed, and yet so glad at the same time. Uruha silently thanked the friendly demon, but honestly couldn't stand being in here anymore. Everyone basically just saw him looking like a prostitute. And damnit, those fucking lace briefs he just had to be wearing! Damn him to Hell! Wait, he was already there.

“Let's get to work,* Uruha frantically spat out, pulling his boyfriend and friend's arm out the dressing room, with the most uncomfortable expression on his face.

“At least you two look good in that dress,” Reita jealously added in, now in the palace hallway, “This is a disgrace to my masculinity!”

What masculinity? , Aoi wanted to ask as a joke, but decided that he'd rather not get his gay ass kicked out into space, where he'd die a gruesome death because he just didn't happen to be the kind of guy who owned any space suits.

--

 

Ruki’s room was way upstairs, on the fifth floor. The hallways were long, and the rooms were big. No more fooling around. The three were officially on dangerous grounds now. Ruki’s palace had a broken seal system, after all. It was kill or be killed. A free for all. This was scarier to think of than an Americanized Black Butler live action. Y'all better not ruin that one.

In their maid corsets, they hid small blades. They hoped that they wouldn't have to taint these sleek weapons with blood. Being so secretive was thrilling, yet so nerve wracking. They could get caught red-handed at any moment.

Every few minutes of traveling down the impossibly long hallways, the group would separate to start dusting things. Just to look a little more normal, and to not draw any extra attention.

Uruha didn't like dust, though. In fact, the guy had pretty bad dust allergies. He should have really taken an allergy pill beforehand. His eyes were already becoming a bit dry, painful, and red. By the time they reached the second floor, he felt sniffles coming in, too. Fuck-

Aaah….aaaah….achoo!!

The biggest, loudest, most obnoxious sneeze ever escaped his body, while dusting a piece of furniture. Reita’s eyes widened at this. Fuck, he didn't think of that one!!

Unfortunately, the loudness of the sneeze alerted a nearby staff member, whom immediately came rushing over to Uruha. The demonic employee, whom had light pink hair and a white eyepatch, put his cute, innocent-looking face real close to Uruha’s. An act of intimidation, or closer observation? Uruha didn't know, but it was uncomfortable. He had a personal space bubble.

“I'm sorry, but did I just hear you…sneeze?” the stranger asked, with a quiet yet intense voice. His eye twitched.

Uruha could feel Reita’s eyes piercing the back of his head. He took that as a signal, and just shook his head. “What are you talking about?” his heart was pounding. Was this demon onto him…?

“Hmm. Okay. Then at least tell me this. Why are your eyes red and puffy? Do you have...allergies?” the last word came out as a deadass, stone cold bitterness. His mouth twitched.

Uruha shook his head again, slowly rubbing his own arm in discomfort. Deny, deny, deny. But then, his body fucked himself over again. He tried to hold it in, and put his tongue to the roof of his mouth to try and stop it, but it was inevitable. He sneezed again, turning away from the demon.

It was clear enough, though. The demon’s suspicious expression instantly scrunched up into a snarl upon seeing it for himself. “I knew it!” He slowly backed Uruha into the mini coffee table he was dusting, “Demons don't sneeze, nor get allergies, nor colds of any kind! You're a human! Aren't you, now? I bet those horns are fake!”

Uruha yelped when the pink-haired demon reached above and ripped his antelope horns off. It was so abrupt and rough, it hurt like a bitch and ripped some of his caramel hair out in the process.

“How dare you have the audacity to roam around the great Ruki’s palace, pleb! The only human ever allowed in here is Yuuki. I'm gonna murder you, disgusting swine!”

This must be the end, the human thought helplessly, as the demon raised his hand. Claws sharp and looking deadly as ever. Uruha wanted to fight. He had a dagger hidden away in his costume. But he was so afraid, he just froze, closed his eyes, and waited for his inevitable end. All he could see now was blackness. How hopeless, he was.

Or not. Before the demon could do anything, Uruha heard a loud gasp. He opened his eyes to see the demon spewing out a light river of black blood from his mouth, eyes wide and frozen in shock. A knife was pulled out his back, having stabbed deep into his flesh.

“You messed with the wrong person!” Uruha couldn't help but smile when Aoi emerged from behind the demon, looking as furious as ever.

The pink-haired demon collapsed onto the ground, violently coughing up more black blood. Reita, who was quite impressed with Aoi’s sudden boldness, walked over to the scene.  He looked down to the poor, dying man on the floor. A man whom he once knew.

The dying demon looked Reita over for a bit, questionably, for he looked oddly familiar, yet different because of his disguise. Eventually, though, realization hit him like a brick. “Reita…? What are you doing here, helping these two obvious humans? I can’t believe it...”

“Well, believe it! I have zero respect for demons like you, Minpha,” he stated sternly and confidently, “Supporting the end of another's planet, and discriminating against a different species. I thought we would be friends forever, but now I know that you're nothing but garbage!”

One of the corners of Minpha’s lips curled up maliciously, “You're just bitter because your boyfriend is getting it on with someone else,”

Well, that was harsh. Way too harsh. All these years, he thought MInpha was his friend?? That asshole was a fake, and that really made Reita’s blood boil! He kicked Minpha’s side angrily, causing him to yelp in pain and cough up even more blood.

“Tresspasssseerrrrrrrrrs!!!!” The pink-haired abruptly screamed at the very top of his wounded lungs, hoping to alert the others nearby. He groaned unpleasantly afterwards. “You won't get away with this….you pieces of shit…” Finally, he went still, and then disappeared into a pile of ashes.

 

--

 

No time to think. Within just a few minutes of Minpha’s death, the three men were ambushed by a medium-sized group of vicious demons. Followers of Ruki, whom had heard Minpha’s cry for help, and were willing enough to sacrifice their lives for their ruler. Those who didn’t show up were either too afraid, not committed enough, or just plain faking their support to Ruki in order to avoid societal backlash.

Sharp teeth were revealed.  Blood was shed. Multiple snarls, cries, and growls echoed throughout the large space. Aoi and Uruha were lucky that Reita had given them demon-killing pointers prior to entering the palace, because they sure ended up needing it.

Were they afraid? They didn’t know. They couldn’t feel any emotion, for the situation was too dire. At this point, their instincts came in, and all they could do was kill, kill, and kill. Defend themselves. Feelings bared no fruit in a life-or-death scene.

Reita was an expert at this. Of course he was. Throwing demons off of him, biting whoever he could, clawing eyes out, cutting into flesh, and stabbing through too many bodies to count. He was relentless; merciless. The sound of death could be heard at every corner. He hated it-- the sound of death. It filled his mind with unpleasant, shameful thoughts. He wished there was another way.

Though Reita was skilled, that didn’t mean that he didn’t get hurt. Like everyone else, he had to slip up once in a while. Specifically, one demon in particular hurt him the worst. It was a slender female whom was very, very agile. So agile, she dodged pretty much every one of Reita’s attacks. He had tried to claw her, but she stopped him by grabbing his arm and forcing it towards himself. She basically made Reita claw himself, creating a very deep gash in his collarbone area. It bled really badly. She also swoop-kicked him, taking him off his feet. He landed hard on the floor, giving her an easy opportunity to break one of his ribs with a horrible cracking sound. He held back an agonized scream, and instead channeled it into getting the hell back up and quickly stabbing her legs right in an area that made her knees give out. He ended her by then slashing her throat open. Black blood gushed out, leaving her a convulsing mess of utter horror until she turned into ashes.

Aoi surprised himself. Maybe it was the martial arts courses he took in his past. Maybe it was the fact that he had regretfully kidnapped and murdered someone before. Maybe it was just an undiscovered, hidden talent. But there he was, expertly stabbing everyone he saw. He was good with knives, he realized. Like a rogue, he could end someone’s life in mere seconds with a simple stab. They were lucky they had brought real weapons. Aoi found that his long dagger was a lot more reliable than whatever the demons were using. Or maybe he just felt that way because he was good at it. He was also very observant. He had proven this earlier with searching for the ingredients. No one could sneak up on him. No one except... one male demon. He had come rushing into Aoi with his pointy horns when the raven-haired was busy fighting off another one. It was pretty bad, actually. It created two puncture wounds in his back. That didn’t stop him, though. Relying solely on his fight-or-flight instincts, he kneed the demon right in the stomach, making it wheeze. Took the short vulnerable moment to end his life with a stab to the heart. Aoi never knew he could do this. He was always so...self-conscious and weak. But this fight just proved to him that he wasn’t as weak as he thought he was. He was strong. And brave. A warrior. He made the decision at that very moment that he wasn’t going to ever think or act like he was anything less.

Uruha, on the other hand, wasn’t as skilled as the other two. Having lived such a sheltered life, he didn’t really have much experience under his belt. He completely failed at fighting off these demons. He got a couple of horns stuck into him, and a lot of bites, and a lot of cuts. The moment when he decided he couldn’t fight anymore was when a demon almost strangled him to death. It would have been an almost humorous death, actually. Someone had jumped on his back and tried to squeeze his throat with its thighs. Yep, that’s right. Death by thick thighs. Heck. He was just lucky that he was able to throw the demon off of him during his attempt to escape the war zone. Or more like, stab his blade right into their thighs multiple times, making their muscles give out. He found out that he was quite agile, for a tall and slender man like himself. After dealing with that strangulation demon, he managed to climb up a really tall bookshelf, and then hid on top of there for the remainder of the fight. Who would think to look that high up when they were in the middle of a battle?

Honestly, Uruha felt kind of bad for doing this. For hiding. For running away. But he shouldn’t. Because there was no way in hell he would have survived this fight otherwise. It was better he be alive at the end than dead. They’d forgive him, hopefully. God, all of his wounds fucking hurt…he tried not to look at Aoi amongst the remaining demons, because he knew that if he did, he would never forgive himself for fleeing. He was also terrified of the idea that maybe Aoi didn’t make it. Now that he was out of this dangerous battle, his emotions had a chance to come back in. And he began to cry. He hoped that his boyfriend was okay. Reita, too...he never knew he could have an actual, real friend like him.

In the end, the three men won. It was against all odds, really. But many of the demons had retreated when their wounds got bad enough, or when they saw that others were actually getting killed. It ended up being a fairer fight, too. Reita didn’t realize this until now, but the broken seal system that the palace had wasn’t entirely broken. Yes, the demons could physically hurt humans. But they weren’t as strong. Reita himself had felt a bit weaker. That was the only explanation why he saw both Uruha and Aoi still alive after the fight. And man, was he ever glad to see them alive.

Uruha was crying, though. He felt really bad for bailing. Aoi hugged him tightly and told him that he was just glad to see that he was okay. Honestly, that was all that mattered. Uruha whimpered in pain at the embrace, making Aoi immediately pull away, and realize just how badly hurt he was. Bleeding from his arms, his legs, his back. He had a cut on his eyebrow, too, and violent bite marks on his neck.

“Uruha...you’re badly hurt…” Aoi said, his throat getting tight with sadness. There was no reason why such a perfect human being should ever get hurt.

“You too...both of you are hurt. Are you okay?” Could Uruha not be so sweet, and think of himself for once? Aoi thought not. He was too pure for this place...

“But not as hurt as you. I’m so glad you managed to escape…my beautiful Houdini.

Uruha blushed at the nickname Aoi gave him. A bit in embarrassment for being reminded that he had fled, but also because he thought it was cute when Aoi gave him nicknames.

Nevertheless, Uruha was hurt, and it was agonizing. Fuck those demons. Fuck Ruki. Aoi couldn’t wait to get up to the fifth floor and end this once and for all. So that him and Uruha could live peacefully, for once!

Wow, Aoi was really starting to feel like a changed man….where did all this boldness come from? What happened to the Aoi who was emotionally unstable and sensitive? He wished he could stop and think more about it, or hangout with his boyfriend and friend. But honestly, they couldn’t stay here.

Quickly, they compressed their wounds with the bandages that Reita had intelligently brought from home, hoping that this would do for now. They'll have to clean it later, but right now, time was sensitive.

“We gotta get going,” Reita reminded them, “I wish we could stop and rest, but we gotta go before we start drawing any extra, unwanted attention.”

They had to move. Keep moving, until they reached the top floor, where Ruki was waiting.

 

They got to the top floor without any further problems. The rest of the followers were absolute cowards.

--

 

On a large throne, was a demon who Reita knew too well. Ruki. With his dark eye makeup, dramatically long claws, gold jewelry, and criticizing expression, he looked like he could outrank anyone. But in reality, he was just a simple, narcissistic demon. The blood that flowed through his veins was not royal, or godly, or anything.

Upon seeing his ex lover, Reita felt a sharp pain shoot through his chest. The blade of betrayal. It hurt like a bitch, especially when his eyes trailed over to the human that was seated next to him, on an equally exquisite-looking throne. The human, Yuuki, only smirked evilly, holding Ruki’s hand as if possessively telling him, “This man is all mine,”. Seeing that this subtle action got on Reita’s nerves, Yuuki leaned over and kissed Ruki, whom nonchalantly returned the open-mouthed kiss. Damnit, Reita really wanted to kill that freaking slut! Cut his head off, and stake it onto his wall! As Ruki's soulmate, he thought, no one should ever be allowed to touch him but me!

“I'm impressed that you all made it this far,” Ruki praised them all fakely after the kiss, now turning his gaze specifically to Reita, “Bastard…” Though his word was harsh, a twinge of hurt could be heard as he spat it out. Was he hurt? If so, then Reita was livid, because Ruki had no reason to be hurt. He was the reason why their relationship crumbled, not Reita!

“You’re the bastard!” Reita impulsively spat out, “You and your whore! Who, by the way, is completely cheating on you! I caught that piece of shit sleeping with other men! He doesn’t care about you at all!”

Yuuki gasped. At that very moment, the pink-haired man looked as if his heart just fell to his stomach. Eyes wide with dread and impending doom, his mouth agape.

“He’s lying!” Yuuki exclaimed, defensively, “I love you!” His body shrinked into itself as he said this. It was obvious that he was feeling insecure. 

“Am not!” Reita immediately retorted, just about ready to see what would happen if he tried to snap that little whore’s neck.

Ruki’s unamused expression turned a puzzled one. He looked over to his human lover, scanning him from head to toe with an intense gaze, “Tell me the truth.” He wouldn’t take any bullshit.

Yuuki balled his fists, and clenched his teeth, sending a death glare to Reita. He looked just about ready to explode. And much too soon, he did.

“Fuck you!” the pink-haired spat at Reita, jumping down from his tall throne, “We had a deal! You weren’t supposed to tell him anything, you sack of shit!” He let out a scream of pure anger, pulling at his hair, “My plan is now ruined, thanks to you! Aaaaaallll fucking ruiiiiinedddd!!!! Thanks to Reita, who thinks that ohhh he’s such a fucking boss!!” his eyes twitched, pleading insanity. He then laughed like an insane person, “You know what, pleb? I’m gonna fucking murder you!”

He impulsively lunged towards Reita, clearly not thinking properly about this. One, he didn’t have any weapon on him. Two, he didn’t create any strategy. Three, Ruki was too pissed at him now to stop his ass from being foolishly impulsive. Aoi and Uruha didn’t even bother to help out, because they knew what was going to happen. The moment Yuuki got close enough to Reita, the demon thrust his dagger forwards, and stabbed the human right through the chest. Multiple times.

Yuuki wheezed, frozen in place. Ruki simply arched his eyebrows, unmoving and uncaring. Stone cold. Very soon, Yuuki collapsed onto the ground in complete defeat. He held idly onto Reita's blade, which was stuck inside of him.

“I can’t believe it…” his wide eyes started tearing up. He looked like a ragdoll on the floor, “I’m going to lose everything I’ve ever worked for....my wealth…my followers…my dream...my...life...” he sobbed a bit before continuing, his chest feeling even more pained than before “...All because I was reckless…” He turned his head to look at Reita’s feet, “I’ll never forgive you...” he then looked over to Ruki with guilt, “Forgive me, my love…” the grip on the dagger inside of his chest loosened. His wet eyes closed, accepting his defeat. He should have seen it coming. But maybe death was what he truly needed. He could never seem to let go of his hurtful past. Maybe in the afterlife, he could finally let go. Maybe he could have everything he’d ever wanted. He could have his own palace, for heck’s sake! Right? Right…?
Ruki only kept a straight face. Even after he watched his so-called human lover finally wither away like a cut rose. To feel any kind of emotion for an unloyal brat was such a waste. Uruha frowned, admittedly feeling kind of bad for the pink-haired human. He deserved pain for sure, but maybe not death. Seeing death of someone you knew, even vaguely, was tough. Reita, on the other hand, couldn’t care less, and was frankly relieved at the sight of Yuuki’s lifeless cadaver. That guy was a pain in the ass right from the beginning. Good riddance!

Aoi, on the other hand, was too busy sneaking up on Ruki to pay any attention to what just happened. As much as he wouldn’t want to admit it, the dramatic scene had distracted Ruki. The moment Reita had realized this, he had given the raven-haired’s psychic eye a telepathic signal: NOW OR NEVER. He was behind Ruki now, with a needle in his hand. This needle was filled with the demonic sleeping potion. That’s because, unlike Yuuki, they had come in with an actual strategy. They had known that it would be next to impossible to give Ruki a dose orally. When push comes to shove, you could always inject a dose.

Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. Since Aoi was behind the throne, it would be more than easy to finally pierce Ruki’s arm with the needle, forcing the substance into his black veins. And so, he did.

He pierced through the flesh, and injected Ruki with the sleeping potion.

….

….

….

 

Was. It. Over? Did. They. Do it?

….

….

 

Ruki jumped, and pushed Aoi so hard, he fell onto the solid ground with a thud.

“Imbeciles!” He stood up from his throne with a loud stomping sound. Laughter escaped his now smiling lips, raising his arms up to the side as if he were a god, “Don’t you know I’m immune to this stuff?”

Aoi rubbed his left leg, having landed hard on it, “What?”’

Uruha and Reita exchanged confused glances, “What?” they said, harmoniously.

Ruki walked up to them, arms still raised in pride and power. He didn’t even bother to put up a fight right now. He was way too amused at their stupidity. “I’ve had it once already, when Reita and I were put to sleep. My body knows what it is, and how to fight it! Think of it as a... vaccine. Whatever you put in that needle is dead to me.”

F

U

C

K.

What were they going to do now? ? Abandon ship? ?

Chapter Text

Reita had known it all along. He didn ' t want to ever believe it, though. Not now, not later, not ever. Reality was such a bitch, though. Aoi and Uruha, two friends that he had started to really like, were now taken hostage by Ruki. The evil demon had taken advantage of their despair. That little gap of time when the group suddenly felt like they were helpless; when their brains ran around pointlessly like a hamster on a wheel, wondering what the hell they were going to do next. While the two lovers felt the heavy weight of impending doom, Ruki grabbed them both by the arm, so tightly that it left marks. He forced their arms behind their backs into a type of arm-lock-- he was a lot stronger than he appeared. He then told Reita that if he didn’t agree to leave this palace and leave his plan alone, within the next hour, that he would torture Uruha and Aoi mercilessly.

“Why don’t you just kill us all and get it over with? You’ve managed to get the upper hand…” Aoi muttered, perhaps not his greatest impulsive move. It made Uruha hold his breath.

“Shut up, fucking peasant!” Ruki exclaimed as loud as he could, making them all jump, “I realized that killing you all in an instant would be no fun. I want to see you...beg. Beg for the end of your worthless, pitiful lives!”

Ruki turned his attention to Reita, whom was standing still. Reita's palms were getting clammy with anxiety. A gaze so powerful, so narcissistic, and so intimidating. Ruki was staring right into his soul with eyes so dark, they could cover the Sun’s radiant rays in an instant. That man was scary.

“You have one hour. Don’t think I’m not serious about this. Leave my palace immediately, or face the consequences. I’ll bring your friends so much agony, they’ll wish they were in their graves.”

With that, he vanished into thin air, along with Uruha and Aoi. Hmph, teleportation. Ruki had always wanted that power, and I guess he fucking managed to get it, Reita hurtfully thought. Where they went? Probably in the dungeons, Reita guessed. That was where all prisoners went. There were some awful things in there, which were only ever used on those who made the worst, most awfully grave mistakes. Reita shuddered at the image of various torture tools, such as the rack that stretched the victim’s limbs until they dislocated, and thumbscrews that crushed your thumbs. Oh, hell, just the thought of these things being used on anyone made Reita’s stomach churn tightly. He didn’t want any of this to happen to anyone, let alone his friends! Though he may put on a tough exterior, Reita truly was...soft. For a demon, at least.

Reita had known it all along, though. How to defeat Ruki for good, without laying a single finger on him. How to end his plans, once and for all. How to save the Earth. He didn’t like it one bit, though.

 

“A hellish red string connects a demon so intensely to their soulmate,

That if one of these two demons were to die,

The other would perish, as well.”

 

Reita remembered reading this in a scroll somewhere, some short time after he and Ruki were created. He knew that Ruki was spewing out bullshit when he said that the reason he didn’t kill them all off was because it was “no fun”. The real truth was that he knew that killing Reita would only kill himself.

It scared Reita really bad...even just the thought of death. Nobody knew where demons went after they turned into ashes. He was lucky he’d lived as long as he did so far. But to be honest...what else could he do to stop Ruki from terrorizing the Earth? And to prevent him from doing any of this shit ever again. He didn’t want to believe it. Hopeful optimism made him think that there could be another way to stop his soulmate. But this wasn’t a fairy tale. This was real life. Real life, in the Underworld. How could he be so naive?

With a trembling hand, Reita pulled out of his tight corset...another hidden weapon. One that he had secretly packed, in case this would happen. He thought he’d never need it; he almost didn’t even bring it with him. In his hand, was a tiny, black bottle with a picture of ashes on it. Poison . Drink it, and you’d die instantly.

 

And that was exactly what Reita was going to do.

 

Poison himself.

 

….

 

His black, demon heart pounded against his ribcage like a drum. As he popped open the bottle and held it to his mouth, a chemical-like stench rose up into his nostrils. He gulped nervously. It took a lot of willpower to do this. Oh, fuck, did it ever. After holding the bottle a little longer, though, images came flooding into his mind. Images of him and Ruki. Cuddling, laughing together, kissing affectionately. Doing stupid childish shit together...making sweet love to each other. Angrily yelling at each other, disagreeing with each other, hitting each other. Feeling guilty, feeling unsatisfied...feeling so sad and angry, that he’d want to run away forever.

Tears flowed out of Reita’s eyes. He began to sob uncontrollably. His throat felt so tight, it was as if he was choking. His chest felt so pained, he thought somebody had plunged a knife into his heart. Fuck, what happened to him and Ruki? Why did this happen? Why did Ruki have to change so suddenly, for the worst? ...Was the man always unsatisfied with their relationship?

Nevertheless, these images only served as further motivation for Reita. To end it all. He knew he had to do this. He could finally banish this misery forever. Run away, like he’d always wanted to.

Though he was still sobbing, Reita finally tipped the bottle over. The nasty, thick, black liquid slithered down his throat. It tasted so damn horrible, he gagged and almost spat it out. But he was better than that. He swallowed it all. Muscles tight with stress, heart thumping hard, and body trembling with fear and anxiety...he waited for the poison to take effect. It wasn’t very long until the lethal substance finally disrupted the signaling between his nerve cells.

Reita’s face contorted. He collapsed onto the solid floor. His body started convulsing, as if he was having a seizure. His mouth started foaming like the sea. His limbs went numb, and his vision fuzzed up like dead pixels on a screen. He was in a shit ton of pain, he couldn’t even think anymore, his body felt so freaking hot, what was happening to him?... Soon enough, everything went blank. Reita was dead.

 

---

 

In the dark dungeons, Ruki had been impatiently waiting for Reita to come by and admit his defeat. He had Uruha and Aoi both chained to the walls from chain collars, with very little wiggle room. The two had decided to keep their mouths shut. They didn’t want to aggravate Ruki, after all. Fortunately, despite the type of situation they were in, they felt little fear. They completely trusted that Reita would arrive. He’d just give in, they thought. No use any of them getting tortured or killed. They’d regroup and come up with another, better plan. Little did they know, Reita already had a more effective plan.

It was a few boring minutes later, when it finally happened. Ruki suddenly gasped, very loudly, his eyes widening in complete shock. Uruha and Aoi turned their heads up to see him collapse onto the ground, just as Reita had done. Foam at the mouth like Reita. Convulse like Reita. Every single thing that Reita went through, Ruki went through. The ruler had no time to think about what was going on. The poison was fast-acting, and incredibly lethal. Just before his vision went blank, an image of him embracing Reita shot through his fuzzied, disrupted mind. Then, he finally went limp, and then turned into a pile of ashes. Ruki was dead.

Aoi and Uruha were kind of freaking out. No, a lot. They both screamed when they saw Ruki foam at the mouth. They both had the same, terrified facial expression, their hearts pounding hard. It was a terrible, awful sight. To see someone die like that. Even if this person was evil-hearted, it still shook them to the core. They were left trembling.

“What the hell just happened?!” Aoi exclaimed, shakily.

“Fuck, I don’t know!” Uruha replied, breathing a bit heavily.“Ruki is...dead! He’s literally dead! He just...died out of nowhere!!!” He was really freaking out.

“We gotta get the hell out of here and find Reita!”

“But where’s the key??” Uruha grabbed hold of his own chain collar, sliding his fingers over the cold, hard lock.

Aoi took a deep breath. No way was this emotional distress going to take over him like this. He had to think with a clear mind; look with clear eyes. Putting his hand over his chest, he surveyed the area. It wasn’t long at all before his observant eyes spotted a gold key, lying on the floor. Ruki had probably dropped it when he had collapsed onto the ground.

“Over there!” he pointed, so that Uruha could see.

Aoi wouldn’t even attempt to reach it. It was way closer to Uruha than to him.

Uruha narrowed his eyes confidently, “I’ve got this.”

He kind of blew Aoi’s mind. Was Uruha always this bendy and twisty?? He looked like a freaking contortionist, bending his body in ways that left Aoi completely agape. And for some reason, it was kind of turning him on?? He bit his lip, very glad that the dresses they were wearing were so tight. Damn him to Hell! Wait, he was already there.

Finally, Uruha managed to do something freaking weird with his foot and his toes while he was being all bendy with his back and hips. He managed to push the key much closer to him. Then, he gracefully snatched it with his hand, and swiftly unlocked his collar as if it were nothing. Next, he crawled over to Aoi, and unlocked his collar, letting it fall onto the solid ground with a clank.

God, what was that, Uru??” Aoi wondered, totally impressed, and taken aback, and honestly super attracted.

Uruha shrugged his shoulders humbly, “Dunno. Just have a hidden talent, I guess.”

“Well your ‘hidden talent’ really got to me!” he felt like he was going to explode. He never knew he was this much of a perv. This whole experience in the Underworld was a life-changing journey of self-discovery.

Uruha giggled, and then leaned in to kiss Aoi’s lips. Aoi gladly returned the kiss, wishing it could last forever. But it really couldn’t.

“We gotta get the fuck outta here,” Uruha hastily stated, after breaking the quick yet passionate kiss.

“I’m with you! Let’s go find Reita.”



The two were absolutely heartbroken when they returned to the top of the palace to find a pile of ashes. On top of the ashes was an empty bottle of poison, and Reita’s dagger.

“Oh, god…did he really…?” Aoi asked in a squeaky voice, finding it hard to swallow already. He couldn't believe it.

“Reita...poisoned himself…” Uruha finished with a tone of disbelief, looking very gloomy.

They both grieved, slumping to the floor, covering their faces, and bawling their fucking eyes out. They hugged each other at one point, crying over each other’s shoulders.

They’ve lost a friend. A really, damn good friend. Although they didn’t know Reita very long, he was such a good, reliable, and kind person. He showed them that not all demons were cold-hearted bastards. Don’t judge a book by its cover, is what he silently taught them. They both loved him like a brother. Respect.

Aoi and Uruha knew they didn’t have a lot of time. Grabbing the first clay pot that they spotted in the room, they collected Reita’s ashes, and took it with them. Wiping their own tears away, they zoomed out of that palace as fast as they could, and got past the still-broken barrier, where they stepped back onto Earthly plane.

 

---

 

Demons had an afterlife. Of course, they did. As long as they could freely let go of their life in the Underworld, they were granted such a place.

 

….

 

Reita found himself awake in an entirely different atmosphere. He was on the ground...a pure, white, solid ground. So white and bright, it almost hurt his eyes. With no difficulty at all, he was able to sit up. Again, everything was white-- he couldn’t help but squint. It was as if he was in an empty room that had never been painted. Where the hell was he? It all happened so fast, but didn’t he just die...?

After a litte scanning around the perimeter, Reita quickly realized that...the room wasn’t so empty, after all. Very soon, his eyes spotted a shadowed figure on the other side of the room. The figure was a bit fuzzy, covered in what looked like white fog. But he could still make out that it was definitely another person, just standing there. At some point, though, it started to walk forwards, slowly making its way towards Reita.

Reita felt his heart skip a beat. A heart…? So, he still had one of those.

Having a random ass person walk up to you was pretty nerve-wracking. Nevertheless, he felt his own feet eventually pick himself up off of the ground. He started to make his way towards the other person, as well. The shadow figure became clearer by the second. It had goat horns. It had thick, layered hair. Long claws, a rather short height, and a very familiar, confident way of walking. Reita knew it before they even met up in the middle of the place. The figure was Ruki.

The atmosphere suddenly became super sharp and intense, it could cut through anything. There they were, now standing right in front of each other, in an open field of whiteness. They stared at each other with what was at first, complete awe. But then, Reita felt tears well up into his eyes. His lips quivered. Ruki did the same, but he started actually wheezing. Reita couldn’t handle seeing his soulmate cry. Don’t cry, he automatically thought. Please don’t cry. Without even thinking, he wrapped his arms around Ruki’s body into an affectionate, soothing hug.

“I’m so, so sorry, Rei-Rei…” Ruki sniffled, now whimpering more than sobbing, “I’m such an asshole. I’m such a fucking asshole!” he yelled the last words so loudly, it echoed throughout the whole room.

Hearing Ruki use the nickname “Rei-Rei” again had Reita’s heart fluttering. His tight muscles became just a little looser in the heavy distress, “Shhh...it’s okay…you’re okay...” he gently said, unsure of where those calming, kind words came from....especially after having such a hard time with this man in Hell. He should be mad, but he just couldn't get himself to be mad. It felt as if his emotions were turned into a fresh, blank slate.

“It’s not okay! I hurt you! I hurt you so bad! I hurt everyone...!” Ruki was a complete mess of a person. He almost couldn’t even pronounce his words properly, through all the emotional pain he was feeling. It was unbelievably stuffy inside his chest.

Reita got out of the hug. He slightly cupped Ruki’s face, admiring the soft skin and familiar facial features, “I love you, Ruki,” as he said this, the conflicting emotions inside of him only grew in intensity, and he was left trembling, “I still loved you, even after you did those awful things. I always will love you. You are my soulmate.” he leaned in to Ruki, and their lips met into a passionate kiss.

Ruki held Reita tightly. Extremely tightly, as if he’d never ever let go. His kissing was impulsive, forcing their tongues to meet, and kissing Reita’s lips super roughly. He never thought Reita would ever forgive him. He never knew that Reita had still loved him, even through all the fighting. But most importantly, he never knew that he himself had still loved Reita. He kept denying it. Trying to replace him with Yuuki; trying to cover up all the pain, dissatisfaction, and anger with another man. But Yuuki was never as good to him. Yuuki just wasn’t the same. The euphoric feeling of being with Reita was emerging once again. It was amazing and completely unique. He loved this man. With all of his fucking heart, he realized. How could he have ever turned into such a jerk? He had gotten way too obsessed with power, and it ruined him and his relationship with Reita.

They finally broke the kiss, looking deeply into each other’s eyes. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. In fact, the two soulmates felt as if they really were looking into each other’s souls.

Ruki was still crying, but it wasn’t from sadness anymore. No, it was a better feeling. Once that burned at your cheeks, and gave your mind a pleasurable buzz. He was crying of joy. To be with Reita again, without any shit. He left all of that negativity in Hell, where it belonged. This was a new life.

“I love you, Rei-Rei...thank you for not giving up on me…”

“I’d never give up on you,” Reita replied warmly, causing Ruki to shine the biggest, whitest smile ever. “You look super beautiful in that dress, by the way, I could just eat you up.”

Ruki looked down. He was wearing a flowy, white, drapy toga-like dress that gracefully moved as if there was a constant gust of wind around them. Reita looked like himself again, and was wearing a traditional-style, male hakama that was almost purely white.

Smiling, Reita suddenly picked up Ruki bridal-style. This caused Ruki to laugh, “I’m not a girl, you know.”

“But you’re a diva. Don’t divas usually like overly dramatic stuff like this?”

“You know me too well, Rei-Rei,” Ruki was so happy, he thought he would explode into fireworks.

Reita began to walk aimlessly, still carrying Ruki. He didn’t really know where to go, but he felt his gut pull him in a specific direction. Eventually, an entrance came into view. It looked like a black hole, but in the shape of a rectangular door. When he stepped closer to it, something amazing happened. Giant, black feathery wings sprouted out of his back. It felt oddly natural to him, like it was supposed to happen, so he wasn’t too shocked. Ruki, on the other hand...it didn’t go so smoothly for him. Because his back was currently being supported by Reita’s arm, when his wings sprouted, it mercilessly sent him flying right onto the ground.

He expected to feel pain, after such a rough landing, but it seemed that pain didn’t exist in this place.

“Are you okay?” Reita asked his lover with concern,

“Yeah, I’m okay. I guess I’m the truest definition of a fallen angel now.”

They both laughed. That’s right. If humans supposedly became “angels” in their afterlife lore, didn’t that mean that demons became fallen angels? At least, that was what it looked like to the reunited soulmates. These wings were no joke.

Ruki stood back up, and dusted himself off. He reached over to Reita’s hand, and entwined their fingers together. “On the count of three,” he said, looking over to the black void of an entrance with a bit of uncertainty.

“One…” Ruki counted.

“Two…” Reita counted.

“Three!” They both counted, rushing straight into the black hole.

 

It led them to a new, better world. One where they could start over again. Fall in love again, even more deeply this time.

 

---

 

One month later…




When Ruki died, the Earth came back together. All demons had evacuated Earth, going back to the Underworld, where they truly belonged. Now that the atmosphere was back to normal, the humans were able to repair all of the damage caused to their cities, as well as plant new trees in their suffering forests.




Aoi and Uruha were happy. After a month of struggle for humanity to get their shit back together, they were now laying on the bed in Aoi’s newly rebuilt apartment. Completely comfortable, no worries in their minds.

 

On the large bed, Aoi turned over to face Uruha, and then booped his nose with his finger.

Uruha wrinkled his nose cutely, “Why?”

Aoi chuckled, “Because you're cute. Maybe I should start calling you Cutieha.”

Uruha visibly cringed at the idea, “No thanks. That sounds like some kind of kid show mascot.”

“I was just kidding!” Aoi defended, smirking playfully.

Uruha gently smacked Aoi. He then ran his fingers through Aoi’s silky hair. He always loved his hair. “You're cute, too, you know. Maybe I should start calling you Ao-dorable.”

This time, they both exploded into super childish, immature laughter.

“Damnit, that one was better than mine!” Aoi admitted, struggling to breathe from this dumb shit humour of theirs.

When the pair finally calmed down, they simply looked at each other for a moment. Just admiring one another in silence, and enjoying each other’s company. They were madly in love, that was for sure. Blushing like hell, hearts feeling so warm and fuzzy. It was so crazy, considering their past. They’ve both been through a lot. A soft, loving moment like this was to be cherished forever. And it was in this beautiful moment that they both decided that they wanted to be even closer to each other.

Desperately making the first move, Uruha crawled on top of Aoi, leaned over, and abruptly kissed those beautiful, pierced lips. “I love you, Aoi.” He really meant it, smiling warmly like an idiot, looking into those adoring eyes with pure euphoria. This man was his everything. His savior. His whole world. He left his old, stupid life, and stepped into Aoi’s, who gladly accepted him. He couldn’t be happier and more grateful about that.

“Aw, Uru.” He was smiling so much, it almost hurt, “I love you too, you have no idea how much,” Aoi wrapped his arms around Uruha’s body, and they kissed again. This time much longer, and much more passionately.

It basically turned into a full-on makeout session. They couldn’t get enough of each other. They wanted more of each other. They were so, very attracted to each other, it was as if they were magnetic. Aoi boldly sneaked a hand under Uruha’s shirt, appreciating the soft skin beneath. Uruha whimpered, pulling away from the kiss. He was completely, and totally aroused. His cheeks were on fire. No, actually, his whole body was on fire! Aoi was his weakness. Nobody else ever made him feel this way before.

“Aoi, I want you,” he whined, straddling his lover hard, and subconsciously grinding against him a little, “I need you. Closer to me! Inside of me... ”

Aoi raised an eyebrow. His interest was piqued. He was quite turned on by Uruha’s eagerness, yet he was also riddled with concern, “You sure you’re up for that? I don’t want to do anything to you that you’ll regret.”

“I’d gladly give my v-card away to you. I know you’ll take good care of it.” As Uruha said this, he looked kind of ashamed. His inexperience made him feel like such a dork, and he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed about that.

God, but to Aoi, Uruha wasn’t even close to a dork. Rather, he was put on a pedestal. Uruha was so perfect to him, in every way possible. “If you’re so certain, then okay. Let’s do it. I’ll do my damn best to make sure that you feel nothing but pleasure.”

Aoi was excited, he had to admit. And so was Uruha, though he was also a bit nervous. They’d both wanted to take it to the next level for a while now-- past simple foreplay -- but never really got to it. Until now.

 

Their clothes were shed, scattered about randomly on the bedroom floor. Aoi was the one to pin Uruha down on the bed now, thinking how damn lucky he was to have such a beautiful man like him. He made sure to prepare him well with lubricant and his fingers, until he was certain that Uruha would feel no pain. When the initial groans of discomfort from the fingering eventually turned into quiet moans of enjoyment, Aoi knew that his lover was ready. But just in case, he asked, “Do you think you're ready?”

Uruha nodded his head, “I’m as ready as I can be, Aoi.” His beaming smile, and sweet wholesome voice, was honestly melting his heart.

 

Uruha and Aoi finally made love that night. It was filled with nothing but genuine sweetness, lovingness, and purity. Uruha felt like he was in heaven the whole time-- taken to a place so pleasurable and warm, it made his eyes tear up with multiple positive feelings and emotions. He was finally intimately close to Aoi. His lover. His handsome, kind, and perfect lover. Bodies pressed together so passionately, they’d stay together forever. And it felt so, freaking good. Uruha couldn’t help but constantly let out ecstatic, pleasured noises that only spurred Aoi on even more. His body writhed uncontrollably, his back arching with the greatest sensations ever. He was having an orgasm, he realized. Aoi was thrusting right against his prostate, and it felt so fucking amazing,

“Oh, fuck, Aoi! Never stop!” Uruha was crying, actually crying because of how elated and euphoric he was.

They were in a rough frenzy near the end. One that included hasty, delightful kisses to the neck and lips, and the deepest thrusts yet. Reaching for release. When Aoi took Uruha’s erect length in his hand, and started pumping it, that was when Uruha lost it. He orgasmed so hard as he came, he swore he left the Earth and time ceased to exist.

Seeing Uruha’s blissful expression, and hearing his unbridled cry of pleasure...he couldn’t last any longer, either. Aoi pulled out just before he came all over Uruha’s flat stomach, letting out the sexiest moan Uruha had ever heard in his life.

They basically collapsed onto each other, exhausted. Cuddling each other tightly, never letting go. They were both panting hard, and yet, that didn’t stop them from sharing one last, beautiful kiss.

“So? How was it?” Aoi asked, as he slowly slid his hand along Uruha’s back, stroking it gently.

“Amazing. Absolutely amazing,” Uruha admitted, breathlessly, playing with Aoi’s soft hair. This was probably the best moment of his entire life. He’d never forget it, ever.

“I’m glad! I love you, Uruha. And I’m so happy and proud to call you mine.”

“I love you too, Aoi. We’re the closest peas in the pod...I’m overjoyed.”

 

All the shit they had went through together only strengthened their bond with each other. They were convinced that they were made for each other, and that fate was there all along. Even at work, fate had been at play. But relationships took a lot of effort to build. They weren’t instant. From enemies, to friends, to lovers...Uruha and Aoi truly earned the best side of this fate.  They couldn’t be happier. They were sure that their friend Reita-- whose ashes were respectfully kept in the apartment-- was in a happier and much better place, too.

Death was a new beginning, after all.