Dark. It was too dark. If Rin waved his hand in front of his face, he wouldn't have been able to see it. Usually, he would have just pulled his sword out and used the blue flames as his light, but for some reason he didn't have his sword.
Why didn't he have his sword?
Panic clawed at him as he struggled to remember. Had Amaimon showed up again and taken it? He was supposed to protect his sword, not let anyone have it! Where was it?
Suddenly, the room he was in seemed to lighten around him just enough that he could make out shapes. Tables with benches. He was in one of the cram school classrooms. There-he saw the big desk in the front of the room where Yukio usually sat.
Alarm shot through him, replacing his panic.
Where was his brother?
Realizing he was on his knees in between two rows of desks, Rin flailed his hand about for a moment until it connected with the bench from the table beside him. Pulling himself up, he realized he was shaking.
"Yukio?" he called softly. He didn't know why, but for some reason his instincts were screaming at him to be quiet.
Rin took a few steps forward, and instantly tripped. Biting his lip to keep from crying out as his cheek hit another bench, he quickly scrambled back to his knees, twisting his head around to see what he had tripped on.
There was something there...he couldn't see it very well. But reaching out, he finally touched what felt like-
His blood froze.
It was a body.
Snatching his hand back, stifling his cry if terror, Rin tried to breath calmly. But it was a little hard to do.
He was sitting in the dark with a body.
Swallowing back nausea, Rin reached out again, not wanting to know but at the same time needing to know, who it was.
The skin was cold. Whoever it was, they had been dead for a while. Why couldn't he remember anything? There was thin material that felt like it was maybe a dress shirt of sorts, but it was finer than the ones he wore for his uniform. He felt some more, not wanting to go further, but forcing himself to. There was a-
Caution aside, he reached out for where the person's face would have been, trying to see, or in this case, feel.
Was the hair long or short?
Some selfish part of his brain wanted it to be long.
Please, please not-
It was short. And then the room seemed to get lighter still-like the moon had come out and was shining through the windows at the top of the room.
It was Sheimi.
Rin stared in horror, shock, and grief.
Her eyes were open, the last thing she had seen probably horrifying, the terror still clear on her face.
There was blood everywhere.
Rin was surprised that he hadn't noticed it before. Her white blouse was almost completely covered, and most of her pink skirt was now crimson with it. One of her legs was twisted at an odd angle, as was one of her arms. There was blood in a huge puddle around her, and again, a small part of Rin's brain wondered how he hadn't noticed the blood before.
Finally recovering enough to move, Rin quickly scooted back and immediately threw up. Even after there was nothing to bring up from his empty stomach. He was aware of tears streaming down his face, and broken sobs escaping through his trembling lips.
A sudden scream tore through the dark.
Alarm shooting through him like electricity, he wiped at his face and jumped to his feet. Blinking a little, Rin ran to the door, which he could see much clearer now.
"Izumo!" he cried.
The hallway was dimly lit, the lights along the sides not as bright as normal. But Rin still could see the figure huddled against the wall several yards away.
Running forward, not stopping to see if there was any danger, Rin fell to his knees in front of the dark haired girl.
"Izumo?" he asked, voice trembling.
There were wet sounding gasps coming from her. She was shaking. Her dark hair was covering her face up, and Rin couldn't see it. Reaching out his own shaking hand, he brushed a few of the dark locks aside. Izumo flinched back with a short cry.
"Is okay! It's just me Izumo! It's Rin!"
A shuddering gasp. "Rin?" she whispered.
She turned toward him, her face streaked with tears.
"What's wrong? What's happening? Are you hurt?"
Izumo's face contorted in pain, and she coughed. Rin stared in horror at the blood that was now streaming down her chin. "Izumo!" he cried, hands flailing, trying to do something, but not sure what.
"It's too late," she whispered. Looking down at her front, she moved her hands from where they'd been held close, and Rin nearly threw up again at the sight of a bloody wound.
"You can't save me. But the others-Rin, the boys! You have to help them!"
"What, Izumo, no!"
Izumo coughed again, and this time she couldn't draw another breath. Her eyes widened in panic, and she clutched at Rin's shirt with her bloody hands. Tears streaming down his face again, all Rin could do was hold the dying girl as she struggled.
When Izumo was finally still, Rin let out another choked sob. Reaching up, he closed her lifeless eyes, and then gently laid her out on the floor of he hallway.
Then he remembered what she had said.
The others...whatever was doing this, the others were in danger too! He had to get to them!
Unsure of where he was going, but letting the panic guide him, he ran down the hall.
A crash sounded to his left, and he skidded to a stop. There was another hallway, and another body.
"No!" he wailed.
Konekomaru was sprawled out in the hallway, eyes glassy. There was no blood this time, but Rin could easily see the cause of death at the unnatural twist of the small boy's neck.
Another crash, and a cry of pain.
Rin, stuffing his grief to a far corner of his mind, ran to the room that had the door wide open. It was another classroom, and the lights in here were on. Therefore, Rin could see everything in terrifying clarity.
Bon was standing in the middle of the room, his hand grasping a broom handle, the end of it bloody and broken. But as Ron watched, it fell from limp fingers.
It took Rin a moment to realize that he wasn't the one who had screamed.
Sitting up against the wall in the back of the room, holding his hand over a bloody wound in his leg, was Shima. He was staring at his friend, the horror that Rin was feeling mirrored on his face.
Bon let out a choked cough, and the figure in front of him withdrew his fist from the boy's torso.
"Bon!" Rin screamed, but the boy fell limply to the ground.
He was dead.
Just like Shiemi.
Just like Izumo.
Just like Koneko.
They were all dead.
Knowing there was nothing he could do about Bon and realizing he didn't have a weapon to use against...whatever this thing was, Rin ran to the back of the classroom and knelt beside Shima.
"Bon..." the pink haired boy whispered. He was still staring at his friends body.
"How badly are you hurt?" Rin asked. They had to hurry. The thing that had killed Bon would be on them in a moment.
Shima didn't respond, still staring over Rin's shoulder.
Gritting his teeth, Rin just decided to get them out if there and worry about injury later. He grabbed Shima's arm, and pulled the other teen to his feet. Finally seeming to snap out of it as his leg was jostled, Shima let out a cry of pain.
"You have to hurry! We need to find the girls!"
Rin swallowed. "They're dead," he choked out.
Shima gasped, and let out a small, terrified sob.
And then Rin turned around.
He could see the thing now.
It wasn't a thing though. It was a who.
Blood still covered the man's face from where he'd bled before he'd outwitted Satan. There was still blood soaking into his shirt from where he'd stabbed himself to protect Rin. But the eyes were white. The glasses were broken. There was an awful stench of rotten flesh.
"F-father Fujimoto?" Rin gasped out.
"We need to get out! Rin!"
Shima's yell brought him out of his daze, and he moved. Hurrying back to the door, he was going as fast as he could while dragging Shima with him.
It took a moment longer to realize that it wasn't really Shiro Fujimoto in there. It was a ghoul.
Breathing heavily, horrified at what he's seen, Rin avoided the body of Koneko, and dragged Shima further down the hallway. It wasn't until Shima's pained whimpers escalated that Rin finally stopped.
Looking behind him, making sure that the ghoul wasn't following, Rin lowered Shima onto the floor. They were in an open area now, a grand staircase in front of him. Shima sighed, and leaned his back against the large round pillar that started the railing off.
"How bad is it?" Rin asked, looking down at the bloody leg.
Shima sniffed, and said, "Broken. I think the bone's poking out."
Trying not to think about his dead friends and the fact that they had died because the old geezer had been turned into a ghoul, Rin swallowed and pulled back the fabric from Shima's pant leg. The pink haired boy stiffened and let out a pained moan, and Rin apologized quickly.
If only Yukio were here. He'd know what to do. He always knew what to do.
The break was a few inches below Shima's left knee, and the white of the bone was showing. The edge was sharp where it had been brutally snapped, and Rin winced in sympathy.
Shima was breathing heavily, and looking at the other boy's face, he realized just how pale he was and a voice in his head was saying "shock."
"What are we supposed to do?"
Rin swallowed. He didn't know. Where was everyone? Where were the teachers? Dammit, where was Mephisto? How could that clown let a ghoul loose in the school? Why wasn't he here to stop it?
Shima let out another whimper. "Are you okay?" Rin asked. Shima shook his head, a few tears falling. "It hurts. And Bon is gone, and so is Koneko, and you said the girls too-" Shima sobbed, and Rin was on the verge of joining, when suddenly there were footsteps echoing through the room.
Jumping up, unsure of how he could defend himself, Rin placed himself between Shima and whoever was coming.
Rin nearly cried in relief.
The next moment was all a blur. One minute, his brother's face was lighting up with the realization that he'd found Rin, and the next, it had turned to horror.
There was a low moan, and a horrible squelching noise.
"NOOOO!" Rin screamed, feeling as though the whole world had ended.
There, behind his twin, was the ghoul wearing Fujimoto's body.
His fist was coming out Yukio's front.
"NOOO!" he screamed again, running forward just in time to catch Yukio as he sank to his knees.
"Nii-san," Yukio choked out, and then went limp.
"No, no, no, no, no, no!" Rin chanted, hugging his brother's body. They were both still on their knees, and for a moment Ron hoped that maybe Yukio had just fallen unconscious.
But the gaping hole in his back said otherwise.
There was a sudden cry behind him, and Rin whipped his head around.
The ghoul had made it over to Shima, and it looked as though Shima had tried to scoot away if the blood smear on the ground was anything to go by. But instead of just punching a hole into the boy like it had done to almost everyone else, it was now holding Shima up by the throat.
Fighting a losing battle with his tears, Rin laid Yukio's body on the floor and jumped up.
"C'mon old man, come after me!"
And why hadn't it? He'd been closer, but the ghoul had just skipped him and gone for Shima.
Shima choked, his good leg kicking out, his hands scrabbling over the iron grip the ghoul had over his throat. He was being held a good two feet from the ground.
"C'mon you bastard! Leave him and fight me!"
He wished more than anything now that he had paid more attention to fatal verses. Without his sword, he was useless.
The ghoul turned white eyes to him, and without even looking, threw Shima at the stairs. The other boy let out a grunt, and then there was a sickening crack as his head connected with one of the steps. Rin watched in horror as Shima rolled down the few steps and came to a stop at the bottom, unmoving.
Breathing shakily, knees wobbling, Rin held up his hands in a defensive gesture. How was he supposed to fight this?
Then, it was as if the ghoul weren't a ghoul anymore. Instead of lifeless white eyes, he was looking into the tortured gaze of the real Shiro Fujimoto.
"Rin," he gasped. "You deserve this. You killed me, and now I've killed your friends."
"No," Rin gasped out. But the ghoul turned away, and started to walk into the darkness.
"You coward!" he screamed.
But he was gone.
Sobbing, Rin ran over to Shima's limp form. There was a pool of blood around his head, his pink hair dyed crimson, just like Shiemi's pink skirt had been.
Shima's eyes groggily opened, and Rin winced at the pain and confusion in the uneven irises. Shima tried to say something, but no sound came.
"Sh," Rin said, holding the other boy close. His eyes were involuntarily drawn to Yukio's body. Another sob tore through him. Shima's eyes were clouding over, and one of his hands flailed about for a moment. Rin caught it in his own, dispair washing over him.
He couldn't save them. None of them.
Rin, wake up!
Shima let out as gasp, and his eyelids fluttered once, and then his eyes dimmed. Rin sniffed, letting out a wail. He reached up and closed the dull eyes, and gently laid Shima's body on the ground like he'd done with Izumo. Then, his sobbing reaching a hysterical note, he scooted over to Yukio. There was so much blood.
C'mon you idiot, snap out of it!
Rin removed the glasses that still sat on his twin's face and gently closed his eyes as well. Then, choking out a "Moley four eyes", he put the glasses back on.
Suddenly, a sharp pain spread across his face, over he cheek he'd bruised before.
This was it. The ghoul was back for him.
He thrashed, fear and panic commanding his actions.
Rin sat up with a gasp.
"Oh, thank goodness!"
Still breathing frantically, looking for the ghoul, Rin was immediately confused when he looked down and realized he was sitting up inside of a-
Then, the voice he'd heard...
Snapping his gaze up, Rin was met with the concerned look of one Renzo Shima. Without even thinking, Rin threw himself forward, and wrapped his arms around the other boy. Said boy let out a squawk of surprise, and nearly fell over, but all Rin could think was that he was alive. Alive and warm, and talking!
"Rin? What the matter? Are you okay?"
Rin froze, and let his grip on Shima loosen a bit until he could twist around and see behind him.
"B-Bon?" he asked, his voice trembling.
The tough teen huffed and crossed his arms. "That must've been some nightmare! You were thrashing and yelling and then screaming for a good five minutes before Shima and I could wake you up."
"Um, Rin? Could you let go of me?" Shima asked.
Rin did so reluctantly, and then he finally observed their surroundings.
Shima, Bon and he were all dressed in their pajamas, and there were two empty sleeping bags on either side of Rin. They were laid out in front of a TV, and there was still a bowl with a few pieces of popcorn in it at the foot of the TV stand.
It all came back to him.
"Yukio and Shura had to stay at the Vatican branch overnight," he said. "Koneko was sick, but you and Shima came over to spend the night."
"Yeah," Bon said, looking at him with concern. Rin sniffed, and then realized he was crying. Quickly wiping at his eyes, he tried to quell the feeling of relief that made him want to continue crying.
"I guess maybe we shouldn't have stayed up and watched that zombie film, huh?" Shima said, looking sheepish and rubbing the back of his head.
His pink hair. No blood.
Rin trembled, and he let out a sob.
Shima immediately looked alarmed, and he and Bon traded glances.
"Hey," Bon said, reaching out to put a hand on Rin's shoulder. Rin gave a small cry, and threw his arms around the other boy. Bon was stiff for a moment, but then slowly reciprocated the hug.
"Whatever you were dreaming about, it wasn't real. You're okay."
Rin felt another hand on his shoulder, and through tear blurred eyes, he saw that Shima was hovering close by.
Rin sniffed again, and, knowing he was probably going to regret it for the rest of his life, he pulled Shima into the hug, ignoring yet another squawk of protest.
They were alive. It was just a dream.
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