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Chapter Text

It’s something most definitely dead.

How it got to be lying in the middle of the hallway at Salt Middle School, Ritsu doesn’t think he’ll ever know.

There’s blood splattered across the hall, trailing down from the open window that thing must have crawled through. It shines iridescently on the floor and upon the fleshy gross mass of the thing.

Every single student in the hall is simply walking through and around it as if it isn’t even there though, and that, possibly, is the most horrifying part of this to Ritsu. One girl’s shoe comes down on a grotesque lump that is stretched out, and Ritsu winces, but her heels simply go through it. They don’t even make a ripple on the blood.

So he tries his best to ignore it, to pretend like he’s just another powerless non-psychic human walking through the halls who can’t see the absolute gorey bloody mess, when really all he wants to do is turn and run the other way. He keeps his breathing even and measured, and presses himself to the opposite wall when passing by the thing.

Of course, it all goes wrong. Someone bumps into him from behind, moving fast. Ritsu stumbles and, before he can catch himself, steps down on a bit of meat.

The thing squelches beneath his foot, and it echoes in an otherworldly way, as if there is a human scream layered behind the wetness of the blood and fluids. It’s a terrible sound that no human should ever have to hear. Ritsu feels like he’s going to be sick if he ever has to hear it again. He freezes up, terrified, and then the thing begins to move.

It stretches its flesh upwards and tries to wrap a grip around his ankle. Ritsu screams a bit inside his mouth, and backs up at a rapid pace. People are stopping in the hallway now, staring at him, whispering, but Ritsu could care less for his reputation in that moment. The thing is reaching out to him again, slowly, beckoning.

Ritsu turns and runs. He takes another route to the class he had in that hallway, but when he arrives and risks a glance down the hall, the thing and all of its bloody mess are gone.

 

something in the hall

Chapter Text

The sky is dark, which is ridiculous, because the weather had forecasted a nice bright sun that would last throughout the day.

Ritsu squints up at the clouds, and holds a hand up above his eyes as if blocking the invisible sun. Shigeo comes over and stands beside him and, upon seeing what Ritsu is doing, looks up as well.

“Oh, so it’s that time of year again.” Shigeo says simply, unsurprised.

Ritsu glances at him, an eyebrow raised, not sure what his brother is talking about, “Uhm, I guess?”

Shigeo, oblivious to Ritsu’s confusion, simply nods, “Yes, every year around this time those spirits all migrate. I’ve never learned what they are, or where they’re going, but there’s always a lot.” Shigeo squints a bit at the sky, like Ritsu had been doing before, “It seems like there are more this year than last, too.”

Slowly, horrified, Ritsu turns his face to look back up at the darkened sky again. What previously had looked like dark clouds rolling overhead he now sees for what they are - large wings. They’re black as anything, in fact, they don’t seem to reflect any light at all. The wings are attached to thin, barely visible bodies, and Ritsu isn’t sure if any of them have eyes or any other limbs to speak of.

“I’m… going back inside.” Ritsu says to his brother, backing up towards the door of their house.

Shigeo nods, humming his acknowledgement. He seems to be fine with being outside while thousands upon thousands of spirits fly overhead and completely blot out the sun.

Ritsu, though, is definitely not.

the sky is dark

 

Chapter Text

The underground train station is cold and dark. Ritsu much prefers being outside, in the warmth.

Outside also doesn’t have huge faces that sit in dark doorways across the tunnel and tracks that whisper to him.

“Psychic, I know you can see me.” The thing hisses, through its grinning clacking teeth. It licks its dry lips with a twisting even drier tongue. Only half of the face is able to squish into the doorway, the other half hidden, but one bulging eye is enough. “Don’t ignore me, Psychic. Don’t ignore me.”

Ritsu, of course, ignores it. That, for now, is his go-to tactic for dealing with spirits. If he doesn’t react, he doesn’t give them power over him. If he doesn’t react, if he bottles up his fear, he’ll be alright.

“Psychic! I know you can hear me! Help me, Psychic. I can’t fit through this door!”

Ritsu is sweating as the face's volume increases. He’s having a hard time remembering why he even needs to take the train. Was there an event across town that he’d been interested in? Had Shou wanted to meet him for something? Had his brother needed something?

Ritsu can’t remember. He should leave. He should go.

“Psychic! Let me out! I’ll eat you if you don’t! I’ll eat you!”

Ritsu turns and, as calmly as he can, pushes his way through the crowd of people waiting for the train. Nevermind that he’s already bought a ticket. Nevermind that he has somewhere to be that he can’t remember. Nevermind all that.

The huge face’s screams of “Psychic! Psychic!” follow him up the cold stone stairs. He’s never going to try to take the train ever again.

a giant face

Chapter Text

Every so often, as he walks down the path by the canal near to school, Ritsu will see a docile little spirit that never does anything more than wave.

It lives there, in the water. He sees it sometimes when he’s walking away from school while his brother is running with the Body Improvement Club. The little spirit will rise up, just enough for its shy beady eyes and hazy blobbish form to be above the water, and then, it’ll raise its hands and cheer Shigeo on.

It’s actually pretty cute.

Ritsu goes down there to the edge of the water one day out of curiosity, trying to see if the spirit will show itself to him and be friendly with him too. He sits there, bag set on the ground at his side, and taps the tips of his fingers against the water casually so that he doesn’t look too weird just sitting there doing nothing. If he happens to imbue those taps with small tendrils of psychic power that fizzle out into the water to lure the spirit to the surface too, well, then that’s just an added bonus of the action.

Time passes slowly as Ritsu sits there. It’s quiet out, and the sun begins to go down, bathing the world in soft oranges and fading reds.

Ritsu can feel his patience wearing thin the longer he sits.

He gives the water a single harsh slap, and it’s then that the spirit finally pops its head up. They stare at each other for a moment; Ritsu wide eyed at the spirit’s sudden appearance, and the spirit’s tiny little eyes giving away nothing.

Then, the spirit spits a stream of water right into Ritsu's face.

“Whfghk-” Ritsu splutters and topples backwards, feet going out from under him and hands going up in front of him to try and block the wet attack. The tiny spirit keeps it up for another couple of seconds, thoroughly soaking Ritsu’s head and shoulders before he finally realizes he can put up a barrier.

The tiny thing cackles, victorious, when it's done, showing a thin little white mouth and with its little eyes curving into crescents. Then, it ducks quickly back beneath the water as Ritsu gapes after it. He's left sitting there on the edge, alone and dripping wet. 

But the next time Ritsu walks by that canal, the little spirit raises its hand and waves to him too.

little spirit in the water

Chapter Text

Sometimes, something shifts inside his brother.

Ritsu tries not to look too closely at it when it’s there. It’s a shadow, or an extra layer, an outline of his brother that overlays Shigeo and sits slightly to the left or right or above or below. It lets off a gentle throbbing hum, like a heartbeat, and looks like a pale iridescent ghost.

Ritsu hadn’t been able to see it before he’d gotten his powers, and even immediately after he’d gotten them he hadn’t seen it. It seems to be a new development, starting up only after a large job at some mansion that Shigeo and Reigen had gone to take care of and come back from with no money. And Ritsu is now seeing the odd outline far more often than he’d like.

Shigeo, as always, is unbothered. Either he doesn’t notice this ghostly clone of his, or he’s seen it so much that he just doesn’t care that it’s there. Shigeo ignores it to the degree that Ritsu begins to think he may actually just be seeing things this time, and that it’s all in just his head. It stresses him out.

He desperately needs to confirm with another esper that he’s not just going crazy, and finally gets his chance to when Hanazawa ends up in their house for some reason or another. Ritsu doesn’t exactly care for the specifics.

Hanazawa is easily cornered. He raises an eyebrow when Ritsu stops him in the hall outside his bedroom, and watches silently as Ritsu then fights against his own words, trying to decide how to ask the pressing question.

“Can you see the,” Ritsu begins, whispering so as to not attract Shigeo’s attention, pausing a bit as he’s unsure how to describe the unnatural extra layer of Shigeo that he sees, “The thing-” He draws a crude invisible outline around himself with pointed fingers, “The thing around my brother. Can you see it?”

Hanazawa doesn’t seem to process the question at first, but then his eyes widen a bit in understanding, and he nods.

Ritsu lets out a breath, relieved that it’s not just him, and then jumps to his next question, “Do you know what it is?”

Hanazawa nods again, “I was worried about it, when I first started seeing it, so I did what research I could.” He says, whispering as well, hunched like he’s conspiring with Ritsu about something. Like he’s telling Ritsu a secret.

“And?” Ritsu presses.

Mouth opened, ready to respond, Hanazawa suddenly snaps his mouth shut and pulls away a bit. His eyes scan over Ritsu, evaluating him, as if judging if he’s capable of handling whatever the truth is.

Ritsu does his best to seem prepared, to seem ready.

“It’s…” Hanazawa begins, he moves his hands a bit in loose gestures as he tries to find the words, “Well, in my research, I only could find a little bit of information. It’s nothing bad. It’s not painful for Kageyama. I don’t even think he knows it’s there.”

Ritsu feels something in his chest loosen in relief. As long as it isn’t bad and his brother isn’t in pain.

“But, uh, it’s kind of a sign, or really, a side effect, that happens after an esper… has their soul separated from their body. Their soul never really settles fully back in, and kinda can, slip around sometimes I guess.”

Whatever had loosened tightens right back up. “What.” Ritsu hears himself say, suddenly feeling very light and far away, but also very heavy and full of dread.

Soul separated from his body?

What on earth had happened to his brother?

Hanazawa’s expression twists a bit. In pity or sympathy, Ritsu doesn’t know, “It’s a side effect of-”

“I heard you the first time.” Ritsu hisses a bit rudely, coming back to himself with a jolt. Hanazawa glares at him for the interruption, but Ritsu ignores it. “Do you know when he- what happened to cause-?”

Hanazawa shakes his head, lips pressed tight together in a stiff line.

“So you weren’t with him…?”

Another shake of the head in the negative.

He can’t ask another question, because it’s then that Shigeo notices both of their absences, and steps into the hallway looking for them.

“Oh,” Shigeo says, blinking the way he does when surprised, as Ritsu and Hanazawa straighten their backs and both smile so fakely at him, “Did... I interrupt an important conversation?”

It hurts Ritsu to smile like this, to lie to his brother, but this feels like something Shigeo doesn't need to know about right now, not if he doesn't already know that his soul is a bit loose in his body, “No, I was just asking Hanazawa to pass on a message to Kurosaki next time he’s at the Awakening Lab.” He lies easily.

“Mhm.” Hanazawa backs him up, “And I’ll make sure to tell her, thank you Little Brother.”

They separate. It’s not the resolution or closure that Ritsu had been seeking, but he lets it happen. He takes a few steps backwards in the direction of his room, and Hanazawa goes down the hall to Shigeo. Ritsu stands there for another moment longer, watching as they both turn the corner to the main room of the house. 

Watching the hazy ghostly soul of his brother lag only a few seconds behind Shigeo with each step.

a ghostly layer

Chapter Text

He remembers the first time he saw a spirit.

He had thought it was just a weird old dog. As a child, the sickly neon yellow eyes and exposed rib-cage meant nothing to him. He’d reached out slowly, so it could sniff his hand, like his mother had told him to do when meeting a new dog.

In response to his kindness, it had bitten him, sharp teeth slicing through the soft flesh of his hand and drawing blood instantly. It hung on when he tried to pull away, and had shaken him back and forth ruthlessly, its jaw like a steel trap. He hadn’t been able to get free, and he had thought the dog would kill him. He’d been so scared.

So he had shut his eyes, screamed at the top of his lungs, and in one last desperate attempt, put his free hand against the dog’s nose and pushed .

When he had opened his eyes, the dog was gone, but his hand was still covered in blood, still chewed up and messy.

He had stumbled back home, and his mother had held him close while his energy dropped and the pain faded to a numb, dull throb. He can still remember the way her voice, in panic, had gone high and shrill when talking over the phone to the emergency service.

His father hadn’t been panicked though. His father had stared at him and his mother, and then had kneeled down in front of him. His father had asked him what had bitten him.

“A dog.” He had replied.

“What kind of dog?”

“One with funny eyes.”

“A living dog?”

“It looked like a zombie.”

“How did you get away, Shou?”

“I dunno. Pushed it and it disappeared.”

What he can’t remember is why that made his father smile, or why it made his mother begin to cry.

But, now that he’s older, he can guess.

He still has scars from that bite on his hand, they were the first of many scars that he’d acquire during his life; a ragged curve of smooth, indented flesh, given to him by a dead dog that he’ll never forget.   

sickly yellow eyes and exposed rib-cage

Chapter Text

“Hold still.” Shigeo whispers, looking up at a seemingly empty tree, “I can’t draw you all if you keep moving around so much.”

To his eyes, the tree isn’t empty. White blob-like spirits, with little empty round eyes, populate the branches. They peak out from behind the trunk to wave at him, and giggle whenever they move to another spot.

Shigeo frowns, “Please, I want to draw you.” He motions to the pad of paper and the colored pencils that he’d brought with him to the park that day, intent on drawing his new friends.

The milky white spirits keep giggling at him, tricksters at heart, and another one slides down the trunk to rest on the grassy ground. It glides over to him and peers over his shoulder at what he’s drawn so far.

Only the tree is there on the paper, outlined with a wobbly dark line and colored in with rusty red. The spirit reaches out a hand and taps the paper on a branch. Then, when Shigeo doesn’t do anything, it taps the same spot more insistently.

“You… want me to draw you there?” Shigeo asks slowly, and then when the spirit nods, he carefully draws in a rounded shape and gives it two little eyes. The spirit bubbles and bounces in delight when he’s done. Shigeo doesn’t have the heart to tell it that all the spirits look the same, and that he doesn’t know how to tell them apart enough for that one asking to be drawn specifically to matter.

The spirit slinks back to the tree, and makes a couple of echoing, soft sounds to its family. They all seem to agree to whatever the spirit tells them, and a moment later, they all take up spots on the tree branches and then finally, thankfully, hold still for the little psychic trying to draw them.

Shigeo smiles, and his eyes light up, “Thank you!” He says, and then gets to work immediately on drawing the rest of the spirits. At some point, his tongue gets caught between his teeth and lips, and sticks out of his mouth in focus.

When he’s done, he holds it up to show the spirits that sit in the tree. They jiggle and bounce and express their pleasure with his good job through waves of pride and happiness that pass from them and into Shigeo.

“Shige, what are you smiling at?”

Shigeo turns away from the spirits to see his mom walking over, a pleasant smile on her face. In his youngness, he can’t see the tightness around the edges, like she’s smiling just for appearances, just to keep him from thinking anything is wrong.

“My new friends.” Shigeo says, with a small smile of his own, as his mom kneels down beside him and pulls him by his thin little shoulders into her arms.

“Your new friends, huh?” She says, tenderly patting down a chunk of his hair that was sticking up. Then, she notices the drawing in his hands, “Oh! What did you draw, Shige? Let me see.”

He holds up the paper for her to see, and she takes it into her own lap. “Look at you, my little artist! What are these though?” She asks, pointing at one of the white spirits Shigeo had drawn.

“My friends!”

With a hum, his mom looks from the drawing up to the tree. The little spirits up there wave at her. They’re very clearly waving, but his mom squints and can’t seem to see what Shigeo can. “Imaginary friends?”

Insistently, Shigeo points to the tree, “No, they’re real.”

His mom’s smile is a bit tight at the edges again. She changes the subject, “How about we go over towards where everyone else is, and you play with some of the other kids? Ritsu’s having fun over there.”

Shigeo frowns. He doesn’t really want to go play with the other kids. He never seems to be able to laugh at the things they all laugh at, and is too slow and quiet to be included in the more fast paced games. Nonetheless, he lets his mom pull him to his feet and dust off the knees of his pants. She holds his drawing pad under her arm, and takes his hand in her free hand. “And I think I’m going to frame this drawing you did, it’s really good! You better not get embarrassed of it when you’re older, because it’s going to be on the wall forever.”

Shigeo doesn’t really hear her say this though. He’s too busy looking back at all the spirits in the tree and watching them wave a sad farewell at him, their little playmate. Shigeo waves back, of course he does. He knows they’re real, even if his mom can’t see them, and everyone real deserves a polite goodbye.

Chapter Text

Teruki can see it from his bedroom window.

It hangs in the air, just beyond the property line, a dark stain on the horizon whenever Teruki dares to look out the window. He can’t really describe it. It seems incomprehensible, a worm-like creature that somehow wraps around itself. It looks as if it has a mask perched where a face should be. Multiple eyes, all pinned upon Teruki’s humble apartment, bulge from the top half of the mask in a rainbow of colors.

Teruki knows what it’s there for, why it lingers. It wants his power, and why wouldn’t it? He has more power than anything else in the world. Even more than the grown up espers who had come after him.

He’ll have to teach it a lesson, show it who’s boss. He can’t have it thinking it can just hang around all the time. Then, other spirits might get the same idea, and this is his apartment, his space just for him. He won’t share it with any nasty spirits.

So he puts on his slippers and drags his puffiest coat from his closet. It’s not winter yet, but it’s still chilly out, and he doesn’t want to get sick. The coat fits easily over his pajamas.

The rest of the building is quiet when Teruki peaks his head out of his apartment and into the hallway to scope it out. The hall is dark, and he tip toes down its length with one hand brushing the wall, as quietly as he can. He hobbles down the stairs, pushes his way out the main door. The security guard at the front desk is tilting in sleep against his desk, and doesn’t notice Teruki leave.

At the end of the walkway, against the street, the spirit waits. It moved from the side of the building where Teruki’s window was to the front, and is shifting quickly in anticipation. Teruki shuts the door behind him and then squares his shoulders, standing tall as he begins to stomp towards the spirit that dares to stalk him.

“Go away!” He hisses, making a flicking shooing motion at the thing. In childish ignorance, he thinks that that will be enough, “Go away!”

The mask tilts down to face him, and the eyes all stare at him for a chilled, silent moment. Teruki tries not to tremble or bend under the stare. He stares right on back.

With a sound like cracking wood, a smile breaks through the mask; frightening, curved, and dark. Horror washes through Teruki’s tiny body, paralyzing him, as the smile widens and widens until sharp needle teeth poke from the dark and extend slowly outwards.

Teruki doesn’t scream. He’s never been one to scream. He will shriek and make loud sounds of effort when he’s trying hard at something, but he never screams. Despite this, even if he had been someone prone to screaming, he would not have had the breath with which to do it.

The spirit leans over him, its branch-like fingers tapping at his frozen shoulders. Its needle teeth come dreadfully close to his eyes.

Then, the spirit is gone, slipping and sliding away in arches and curves through the night. It laughs as it goes, a sound like metal on bones that will haunt Teruki forever.

It seems that the spirit hadn’t wanted Teruki’s power, it had only wanted to frighten him simply because it could .

Slowly, Teruki sinks down, scraping the knees of his pajama pants on the sidewalk. He stares vacantly in front of him at the ground, and his small body shudders with each too-fast breath he manages to pull in.

No one comes out of the apartment building to pick him up, to tell him it’s okay, to hold him close and rub warmth back into his body.

So Teruki has to pick himself up, has to tell himself it’s okay, has to rub his hands up and down his own arms to try and chase away the chill the spirit left deep in his bones.

As the fear begins to fade, anger, small but hot, is ignited in his chest where the fear had once held tight. He fails to notice that it’s not just anger heating his body, but a small fever as well, sparked into existence by his fear and defeat. He ended up getting sick after all.

Tears are dripping down his face, but no one is around to see them as he hobbles back into the building and takes the elevator up to his floor, and they continue to drip over the scowl that carves its way across Teruki’s lips.

He’ll destroy that spirit the next time he sees it hanging around his territory. He’ll tear it from existence. All its bulging eyes and needle teeth will be nothing to him next time.

With a clenched but still shaking fist, covered in a yellow oil-spill aura, Teruki swears it.

Chapter Text

The ramen stand isn’t crowded. With people, that is.

Ritsu eyes a spirit warily as he slides into the seat a few seats down from it. It’s soft violet in color, and formless, but somehow it still has a shape - although its shape seems to be always shifting. Soft looking tendrils stick out from where a mouth might be placed, and tangled trembling arms rest upon the counter of the bar, layered over top of themselves. Beside that spirit sits a tiny little thing, with what seems to be at least 20 wings sticking out of its back. Ritsu’s mind actually can’t seem to comprehend how many wings there are, or how they all fit onto the spirit, so he looks away. Another spirit sits at the other end of the line of seats in the corner. It’s hot pink in color, and looks like a skeleton that still has some of its meat and flesh stuck to its bones. A glass of something alcoholic wouldn’t look out of place in front of the skeleton’s somber empty expression.

This is Shigeo and Reigen’s favorite ramen stand, and Ritsu can’t really understand why so many spirits are hanging around. Wouldn’t Shigeo have exorcised them? Wouldn’t Shigeo’s aura - that Ritsu can feel stuck into the floorboards, can feel dripping from the counter - have driven them away by now?

“Oi, earth to Ritsu, you in there?” Reigen says, tapping his knuckles against Ritsu’s shoulder. Ritsu blinks and looks away from the spirits so he can turn a glare in the con-man’s direction.

“Yes.” He grumbles, “And I want to reiterate that I didn’t agree to this.”

Reigen smiles, as if Ritsu isn’t trying to burn a hole through his head, “Yes you did. You said that whenever Mob couldn’t handle something, you’d do it.”

“I thought you meant with exorcisms.” Ritsu grits out through his teeth, “Not with eating ramen.

With a shrug, Reigen takes the seat next to Ritsu, and beckons the man behind the counter over. “Can’t back out now. Mob couldn’t handle this, the kid like, never eats so I guess he’s not used to such big portions, so you’ve got to handle it in his stead.”

Ritsu crosses his arms, taking care that his elbow doesn’t hit one of the violet spirit’s lazily waving tendrils. Or is that one of its fingers? He can't really tell. “You just wanted a ramen buddy since you got my brother sick.”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not." Reigen dodges the accusation, "Now gosh, stop being so grouchy. Are all thirteen year olds this way, or just the gloomy psychic ones? Just be glad I’m buying you food.” Reigen ends by flipping his hand in a circle-like motion.

Ritsu huffs. He could say something about how transparent Reigen is, but he decides to go quiet, and settles in to wait for the ramen that Reigen orders them both.

When the bowls come, there’s a spirit sitting in Reigen’s. It’s round and orange, and looks almost like a giant bubble of jello. Reigen obviously doesn’t see the spirit - or if he does, he's ignoring it - and if Ritsu hadn’t already known he was a fraud then the man would have been exposed right then and there.

Ritsu wonders if he should tell Reigen that the spirit is there, but he doesn’t get a chance to before the man is sticking his chopsticks through the spirit, pinning some noodles between them, and lifting them to his mouth. The spirit jiggles uncomfortably, and pulls itself out of Reigen’s bowl right before Reigen drops his chopsticks into the bowl with a clatter in shock, slapping his hands to his mouth and wheezing “Hot hot hot! ” Through his fingers.

With a snicker, Ritsu watches Reigen, then he turns his eyes to the spirit. It rolls across the counter, back towards the kitchen, and disappears when it drops over the edge. It must like the warmth.

Now he understands why Shigeo lets the spirits stay. They’re harmless, and they have a right to exist just like anything else.

Ritsu brings his own chopsticks full of noodles to his lips, blows on it to cool the food down, and then takes a bite.

Chapter Text

He doesn’t realize until he’s witnessing it, but Ritsu is suddenly struck with the fact that he’s never actually seen someone get possessed.

His brother’s voice sounds like water in his ears; distant, garbled, and layerless, that he barely hears as he stares at the man in front of him. He knows he should probably step back and give the spirit space, but he’s far too captivated, in a weird morbid way, by the inhuman ways the man is moving.

A head tilting awkwardly, elbows and other joints creaking and cracking like a wooden puppet’s, jaw opening and closing and fingers flexing as the spirit works itself into every little inch of their host… It’s like a car accident; terrible, and yet Ritsu can’t seem to look away.

Then, the man opens his mouth and says, “This guy’s just as bad off as he was last time I possessed him, ugh. We should get Reigen to give him a massage or something, this entire body’s shot to hell.” while pulling at and poking his own red spotted cheeks, and the supernatural mystique is wiped away.

“I don’t think it’s nice of you to insult him when he’s willingly letting you use his body like this.” Shigeo says, stepping up beside Ritsu, frowning in disapproval.

Dimple waves off Shigeo’s comment, “Eh, it’s not like he can hear me anyways. I mean, I could let him hear, if I wanted to, but I don’t.”

“Could you have done the same to me?” Ritsu asks impulsively, “Blocked out my senses and taken complete control while you were possessing me?”

Silence meets his question, as if he’d spoken and his words had run up against an icy wall. Dimple’s new face rapidly pales, and his eyes shift sideways with the slowness of hunted prey until they’re focused on Shigeo. Shigeo, who stands perfectly still.

Ritsu hadn’t known that Shigeo was never filled in on the details of his and Dimple’s agreement.

“Dimple.” Shigeo says, flat and serious.

Dimple instantly splutters and scrambles to defend himself, “Listen Shigeo, it’s not like how you think, let me just-”

Ritsu tries to amend the situation as well, “Brother really it’s fine I could’ve taken care of him if he had tried anything-”

Their voices and explanations get tangled up, until Shigeo is left standing there with wide eyes, slightly confused, no longer exuding a dangerous aura.

“I didn’t have enough power to do anything even if I had wanted to-”

“He helped me awaken my powers and begin to learn how to use them and even though he’s kinda a scummy guy I don’t think-”

“Hey wait you brat! I am not a scummy guy! You should respect me! I helped you out of the goodness of my dead heart and-”

“We all know you were using me though it’s really not a mystery so why don’t you just be quiet and let me-”

Shigeo may be bad at reading the atmosphere, but he knows how to tell when he’s been cut out of a conversation. “Uhm. Well. Alright?” He mumbles, turning and beginning to walk away, “I’m going to go meet up with Shishou. You both can catch up when you want to.”

He leaves them there, bickering, for however long it lasts before Dimple’s control slips and the man he’s possessing kicks him out. Ritsu considers this as a sign of his victory.