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Prayer Beads?

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“Uhhhhhhggggg. This is so boring, why does Yukio have to assign so much work?” Rin leaned back in his chair, shoving his half-completed assignment away. His navy tail drooped sadly on the ground.

 

The others looked up from their work, Konekomaru startling at the sudden noise in the otherwise quiet room.

 

Suguro, who organized the study session at the dorms, scowled at the half-demon. “It wouldn't be so bad if you actually paid attention instead of sleeping in class like some delinquent!” He pointed accusingly at the boy.

 

Rin glared and sat up, putting a hand on the table. “I'm the delinquent? Yer the one with piercings and dyed hair, not to mention that angry face!” His pointy ears turned red, causing Shiemi to giggle silently from behind him.

 

Shima snorted, giving Ryuuji a lazy finger gun. “He's got a point, ya know.”

 

Pointedly ignoring his friend, Bon waved a hand at Rin. “You carry a sword on your back, skip class, fail your work and get fired up so quickly! How could you be any more of a delinquent?”

 

“Not to mention your heritage.” Shima muttered. Koneko elbowed him in the side.

 

“You've even got a chain on your pants, Okumura.” Izumo piped up, pointing at the offending accessory.

 

Her words caused the boy to hesitate. Rin blinked, looked down at his waist, looked up at her, blinked again. “That's not a chain.”

 

That made all the others pause, Yukio finally looking up from grading papers, Shiemi joining from where she had been following Rin’s tail with her eyes.

 

“Yes, it is.” Bon rolled his eyes, as though Rin said something exeptionally stupid. 

 

“No, it's not!” Rin ground out, glaring daggers at the boy. His tail wagged dangerously.

 

“Then what the hell is it?!”

 

“Prayer beads!”

 

The whole rook stopped. Bon, Koneko, Shima and Shiemi looked shocked. Izumo just watched on with boredom, and Yukio shot his brother a sympathetic look. Rin just glared, tail almost hitting the girl behind him as it flipped around angrily.

 

Konekomaru paused. “Like, a rosary?” He furrowed his brow.

 

Rin crossed his arms defensively, tail wrapping around Shiemi's arm as she reached out for the appendage to stop its assault. “Yea, like a rosary. What about it?”

 

Shima made a noise somewhere between fear and a giggle. “It's just- who'd have thought? The son of Satan wearing prayer beads.” He brought a hand up to his mouth to stifle laughter.

 

While Rin scowled as the others nodded, Yukio cleared his throat. “Well, we were raised in a monastery. It's just natural we would have them. I always keep a rosary in my pocket.”

 

They all shifted a bit awkwardly, embarrassed for forgetting the boys’ past. “Well, that makes sense, doesn't it?” Konekomaru spoke up. “Lots of exorcists do, for reciting and such, so it makes sense you’d have them.” Yukio nodded.

 

“But rin isn't really the type, is he?” Shima paused, looking at the older twin. “I mean, besides his strange personality and heritage, wouldn't that hurt him? Being a demon and all?”

 

Yukio frowned at that, turning to Rin, a question in his eyes. 

 

The half-demon shrugged. “I mean, i dont think it's ever bothered me. A bit hard to tell sometimes.” His tail flicked in Shiemi’s lap.

 

That made Bon frown. “What do you mean, ‘hard to tell?’ Wouldn't you know if it was hurting you?” The others nodded in agreement.

 

Rin scratched his cheek, thinking for a moment. “I mean, yea i can tell if it hurts. Like when i got hit with holy water, that hurt like a bi-“

 

“You got hit by holy water???!!?” 

 

“Yes! Don't interrupt, Shima!”

 

“When?!”

 

“Ah- when i was fighting Neuhaus, but it's fine, Shiemi!”

 

“You fought Mr. Neuhaus???”

 

“YES! LET ME FINISH TALKING!”

 

Konekomaru blushed sheepishly at his outburst, while the others gestured for him to continue.

 

Rin cleared his throat and settled back, Shiemi continuing to stroke his tail despite her worried expression. “Like i said, holy water hurts lots, but only for a bit. Other stuff is more subtle, like being around a cross too long makes me itchy, and sometimes i get headaches when you guys recite holy verses, so maybe the rosary is like that?”

 

They gaped at him, and he frowned. “What? Do I have something on my face?” He checked his reflection in the window.

 

Bon growled, looking ready to punch the boy in the face. “That stuff hurt you all this time and you never said shit?” His hand curled into a fist on the table.

 

Rin made a face. “Why should I have?”

 

Izumo rolled her eyes. “We could have made stuff better for you, idiot. We don't want you hurting constantly because you’re too stubborn to say anything.”

 

The half demon frowned, looking away at that. “Sure, but that wasn't always true.”

 

It was spoken quietly, like they weren't supposed to hear it. But they did. Yukio watched his brother sadly while the students surveyed with confusion. Shiemi made a noise when rins tail flicked out of her lap, wrapping itself around his waist.

 

“Rin? What do you mean?” She spoke softly to him and he shrugged, fidgeting with his hands.

 

“You guys didn't even know I was a demon for a while, and when you did-“ he looked up for a moment before gazing back down at his lap, “and when you did, it's not like you would have cared how I felt either way.” He said it factually, like it was just something he knew.

 

A stunned silence hung in the room, surrounding the teens, weighing heavy on them. Rin just stared down at his hands, fidgeting, Shiemi looking close to tears behind him. Bon was looking gobsmacked, Shima not far from it, while Konekomaru had a guilty expression. Kamiki and Yukio watched on wearily, slight sadness showing through their usual masks.

 

“Rin…” Shiemi sniffled, before bursting into tears. She launched herself at him, and he yelped, turning as she clung to him, face buried in his chest. 

 

“Sh-shiemi, what-“ he cautiously put his arms around her, one hand on her head. “Its okay, i'm alright now, ya know-“

 

“I'm sorry!” Konekomaru shouted. Rin jumped, looking around to see the boy with his head bowed. “Its my fault i- if i weren't so afraid, you shouldn't have been treated that way!”

 

Rin shook his head. “No, it made sense, ya know. I don't blame ya.”

 

Bon clenched his fist, face tinged red. “Don't be so forgiving, dammit. We were awful to you, we didn't deserve you being kind to us so quickly after.”

 

Rin scratched his face. “Well, you punching me did hurt, but well. We were friends before, and even if you didn't feel the same for a bit, you were still my friends. I wasn't so quick to throw ya out.”

 

That caused a fresh wave of guilt to go through the teens, but Rin was oblivious, seemingly just happy to have his friends around him, from the way he smiled at a no-longer crying Shiemi. Shima put a hand on the boy's shoulder and he looked at him with a questioning smile. “Still, there's gotta be something we can do to make it up, right?”

 

“Uhhh…” Rin rubbed his chin, as if he had facial hair, nose scrunched up. “Not really? I mean i've already forgiven you guys.” He gave a half-shrug and leaned back against the table. Yukio shook his head, smiling at his brother's words.

 

Bon scoffed. “Well, how about we start by helping you not fail your classes? You still have a buncha  homework to do, delinquent.”

 

“I'm not a delinquent!”