Life Is Too Short Without Love
"I'm so bored!" groaned Irina as she turned another corner, a grandfather clock that she passed told her that it was only ten past five in the morning.
"And so that's how wireless internet was made"
Irina's head whipped towards a room with the door slightly ajar, she could hear a giggle and decided to take a peak.
She saw Asia sitting on her bed listening to one of the new members of the household: Death himself.
"Wow, you've got so many cool stories! What was god actually like?" asked Asia as he eyes glowed with wonder.
"I think Miss. Shidou would like to know that as well" said Ryan as he clicked his fingers and the door opened wide causing Irina to fall through in surprise.
"Irina? What are you doing up so early?" asked Asia in surprise.
"Well, I woke up earlier and couldn't get back to sleep, where's Xenovia?" asked the angel as she scanned the room trying to locate the other Christian.
"She went to the gym to train, I was on my way back from the bathroom when I bumped into Ryan, he's been telling me fantastic stories since" explained Asia as she patted to a spot next to her and Irina sat down.
"So you want to know more about god?" asked Ryan as he sat on an office spinney chair.
"I would also like to know, if you don't mind another" said Xenovia as she walked in with a towel wrapped around her, her hair was still wet from the shower she had just taken.
"The more the merrier" said Ryan as he gestured to the bed and Xenovia took a seat, "Do know that god may not be what you picture him as"
"As long as you speak the truth, we will accept it. Besides, it's not every day you get to talk to someone who knew god first hand" said Irina with a small squeal.
"Very well… God was; how do I say this? He was an awesome dude, when we weren't trying to destroy each other, we would hang out and play chess most of the time. He got into gambling a lot, always playing cards, mainly poker. He always wore robes and refused to shave his beard or get a haircut, eventually it turned pure white and he resembled your basic picture of god. He would always sit on clouds and would occasionally walk around on earth and just talk to people at random. He was kind and caring and one of the best people you could be around if you were feeling sad, he always knew what to say and even if you just wanted to be left alone, he would always make sure you got better" said Ryan as he closed his eyes and reminisced on the past.
"He sounds… almost human?" said Xenovia.
"Well he did create them… he simply based them off of himself. It was the other entities that came along and made them act like dicks" explained Ryan as he lent back in his chair.
"How many are there again?" asked Asia politely.
"There are eight endless: Life and death; time and space; love and rage; fear and knowledge. They all form pairs which work together if necessary" said Ryan with a smile.
"That's pretty cool, but there's one thing that's bothering me" said Irina with a frown.
"Oh? And what might that be?" asked Ryan as he sat up.
"When you spoke of god before, you said it with so little emotion, it was so withdrawn… almost like you'd never actually meet him, but were just reading from a book… correct me if I'm wrong though" said Irina as she raised her hands.
"Well, caught out already. It seems angels are quite bright, never would have guessed" muttered Ryan out loud.
"So you're not death?" asked Xenovia who was thoroughly confused.
"Of course I am, but the way death works is that a human becomes a reaper under their service and when death dies from complete obliteration the human reaper takes their place and gains all their memories. When my master died I took their place and gained the memories of all the deaths that had come before her. So this body never actually met god, but I myself have… does that make sense?" asked Ryan as he watched the three girls process everything.
"So you're like me? Reincarnated as the next Lord Death?" guessed Irina.
"I wouldn't say lord, but yeah. Although don't take that as a proposal that I'm not as powerful, in fact I'm probably the most powerful save for the original creator since I have the knowledge of all my predecessors" said Ryan with a glint in his eyes.
"So what does that…?" Asia began before the door was promptly blown off its hinges.
WELSH DRAGON! BALANCE BREAKER!
Issei dashed over to Ryan and pinned him to the bedroom wall by the blade of Ascalon.
"You lied!" roared Issei through the scale mail.
"Use your words Issei" said Ryan calmly as he was lifted off of his feet.
"When I was bitten by Fenrir I was killed and it took phoenix tears to bring me back… but before I died, it wasn't you or any of your reapers I saw it was…"
"Me…" came a soft voice from behind him.
Issei turned swiftly and saw a teenage girl with long flowing black hair, almond shaped eyes that shone like emeralds and a soft smile. She was wearing a simply black dress that went to her knees and you could see straight through her.
"Master…" said Ryan as he bowed before the figure.
"Oh come now Ryan, I haven't been your master for close to six years now" said the girl with a giggle getting Ryan to go red in the face.
"That may be true… but you'll always be my master, regardless of the time" said Ryan without looking at her.
"Maybe…" she said softly to herself.
"Who the hell is this?" asked Issei, still clad in his scale mail.
"This is my best friend and the former entity known as death: Ariana Everton" said Ryan as he gestured to the ghost.
"Greetings red dragon emperor, the ace of Archangel Michael, wielder of Twilight Healing and the wielder of the holy sword Durandal" said Ariana as she bowed to the four in question.
"This still doesn't explain why I saw her and not you" said Issei as he released his scale mail.
"Well, like I said. The reapers and I take care of problems that require physical fighting to solve, there are currently millions of people around the world dying right now… did you think that eight people could send millions of people to the grave?" said Ryan with a raised eyebrow.
"Well… no, but" he began before Ariana raised her hand.
"Every time death dies, their reaper becomes their replacement and the death that died becomes the new force that sends normal people to the next world, if Ryan were to die; I could finally move on and he would take my place; but until then I appear before all those who are on the verge of death… hence why you saw me Issei" explained Ariana, her smile never leaving her face.
"Oh… my bad, sorry about that Ryan" said Issei sheepishly before picking up the door and putting it roughly back into place.
"Hmm… not that I don't love our get togethers Ari, but why are you here?" asked Ryan as he turned to the spirit.
"Have you forgotten what's in only two days?" she said with a thin smile.
"Two da… fucking son of a bitch" groaned Ryan as he remembered and promptly slumped against a wall.
"Well, I'll leave you alone with your thoughts, remember, she has the advantage on the day. So watch your back" reminded Ariana before she faded into nothing.
"Like you have to remind me… how could I have forgotten?" said Ryan as he rubbed his temples.
"What's wrong?" asked Irina as she crouched down next to him.
"What's the date today" said Ryan without looking up.
"It's… February the twelfth isn't?" she said after a moment of thought.
"And what fake holiday takes place two days from now?" said Ryan as he got to his feet.
"Valentine's day, but what does that have to do with anything?" she asked, her brain trying to figure it out.
"I'll explain at school, I need to go and tell my reapers about this" he said as he left the room.
"He's an odd ball" said Xenovia once he had left.
"Well I like him. He's a lot nicer than I thought he would be and he's got so much cool stuff to say" said Asia as she got changed, "What do you think Irina?"
"Hmm… he's alright I guess, don't really know him that well so can't really say" was the quick response.
"So that's the deal guys, in two days make sure you're nowhere near any other person on this planet. I would hate for her to influence you guys even for a day" said Ryan as he spoke to seven holograms and one figure who was eating a piece of pie.
"Really? Oh god! Everyone ready?" said Johnathan before his image faded, the six other reapers simply nodded before fading, leaving Ryan and Lime alone with each other.
"Is it really that big of a deal master?" said Lime as she took another bite of her pie.
"It is now… she's never been able to nab me in the past but then again I've never had a household of devils, an angel, a nekomata, a Valkyrie and the spirit of a dragon around before. She might get them to aid her in getting to me" growled Ryan as he paced around the room.
"Well you've got two days to worry your cute little face over it until it actually happens. Till then, have some breakfast and lets go to school" said Lime as she swallowed her mouthful and walked out.
"Fantastic… two days till I face hell"
Occult Research Club (ORC)
"Love… what do you know about it?" asked Ryan as he looked out the window with his back to the members, Azazel and Rossweisse were also present.
"It's a completely ridiculous process produced by a chemical reaction in your brain" said Azazel with crossed arms.
"Exactly what I thought… however, it is also apparently powerful enough to become its own entity" explained Ryan as he raised his hand and a hologram of a girl of about 20 years appeared. She had tied up shoulder length violet hair with pink stripes in it, she was wearing a very revealing tank top and daisy duke shorts. In her left hand was a high tech compound bow and she had a quiver of violet arrows on her back, however the most noticeable feature was a split colored heart under her left eye, one half was pink and the other was violet.
"Wow… she can give me some love any time" said Issei, his tongue almost on the ground.
"I wouldn't be so willing there Issei, Love isn't called love because she makes you fall for the one you want. She's called love because she induces incredible feelings of lust and desire, if you're hit, no; scratched by one of her arrows, you will proceed to make intercourse with the nearest living being you lay eyes on of the same species. This means that devils will go for humans, angel and fallen angels alike" explained Ryan with a grim expression.
Everyone mouths hung wide open as they processed this.
"So… she'll make a giant… orgy?" guessed Rossweisse with a red face.
"Pretty much… the only reason no one knows about this is because Paradox wipes the memories of anyone who came into contact with her for that day. Except for fellow endless of course, and I think he'll make an exception for any holy or demonic involved if I ask" he said more to himself than anyone else.
"Forgive me for asking but… it's a big world, why would she come here?" asked Rias with a frown.
"Most entities; by nature, cannot feel emotion. The only reason I can is because over the billions of years that I've been alive and then reborn, the previous deaths have gotten more and more relaxed. I've become the latest death that has been able to feel more than just stone cold nothingness. However, even though I can feel emotion, I'm the only endless to have never been hit by one of 'cupids' love arrows since it's the only thing powerful enough to make my heart fall for someone… and let me tell you, when you're the literal embodiment of death, there is not a lot of time for love" explained Ryan as he let the hologram fade.
"So you've never felt love?" said Akeno in a shocked voice.
"Maybe… I can't say for sure. I might have as a human but when a reaper becomes a grim reaper, every trace of their previous lives as a human is erased to take away the risk having emotions brings" said Ryan with a straight face.
"But all those excited outbursts you've done…" said Asia in shock.
"I simply fake them based on what I've seen people do, some of its genuine but most of it's just to make me look normal… it's kinda likes second nature now" said Ryan casually as if it were completely normal.
"That's awful… so you're just destined to never feel emotion for the rest of your life?" asked Irina in a horrified tone.
"More or less… however if I'm shot by one of her arrows it could be quite bad" he said with his back once again turned.
"Umm… Mister Ryan Death Sir" said Gasper quietly.
"Please Gasper, call me Ryan…" said Ryan as he appeared next to him in a burst of shadows.
"Umm… I just wanted to know why you're wearing those gloves when you weren't yesterday" asked Gasper as he gestured to Ryan's hands.
"Because their fashionable of course… just joking, you ever heard of the death touch?" asked Ryan, the question was directed at Gasper but open to the entire room.
"No… but it sounds scary" answered Gasper honestly.
"It's very scary… I handcrafted these gloves to contain a horrible power that comes with being who I am. If any being, even an endless came into contact with the flesh of my hands… they would die the most horrible death imaginable. It's a power reserved only for the most wicked of souls and it hasn't been used for about six regeneration's" explained Ryan with glowing smile.
"B… but… yesterday you didn't have them on?" said Gasper in a frightened voice.
"Because I can make them clear and change the color of them" said Ryan as they promptly faded and his tanned skin appeared.
"They're still there though… right?" asked Gasper with wide eyes.
"Yup… but I like to keep them as just gloves since it takes the smallest amount of magic to activate the color change and most times I'm just too lazy to do it" said Ryan with a chuckle.
"Was that a real chuckle?" asked Akeno instantly.
"Hmm… I dunno, what does a real chuckle feel like and I'll tell you" said Ryan just as quickly.
Akeno simply shook her head and sighed sadly.
"Worry not thou for those far gone. The birds sing of thy sadness filled hearts. Worry not thou for those far gone; for thou shan't help, those far gone" sang Ryan softly causing everyone to look at him.
"Wow… what a song" said Kiba.
"It's a little something I tell all my reapers to memorize when they become my servants. I always prepare them for the fact that one of them could become the next death and be forced to live without love or any other emotion for that matter. They remember that so when a mortal being like yourselves ask, they can repeat it and possibly ease their hearts" explained Ryan with a small smile, "And this smile Akeno, is a genuine one"
Akeno gave her own small smile before letting out a small laugh.
"I think it's time for class now master" said Lime as she crunched the rest of the lollipop she had gotten from Koneko's snack box.
Ryan didn't move though, he was simply spinning on the balls of his feet slowly.
"Ry…" began Rias before he told them to stay quiet.
His head flicked towards the door and his eyes shot open. Lime got to her feet and drew the sword from within her parasol and readied her shield.
Ryan gestured for everyone to move from the door as he approached silently. His hands were clenched into balls as he got closer.
He rested one hand on the handle and took a deep breath before pushing it open.
"Hey Death! Been a while hasn't it?"
"Couldn't wait two days huh?"
"You know me… always trying to find that one special man"
"You're an idiot you know that…"
"You love me…"
"I really don't…"
"Aww…. Can I at least have a hug?"
"I'll make you give me one…"
The two embraced quickly before releasing each other and turning to the room of (still) shocked magical species.
"Everyone… this is Love; two days earlier than expected it seems"
"Hi everybody! I'm totally gonna turn this room of people into a literal cluster fuck!"
"And after that we made love all night and have been boyfriend and girlfriend ever since" exclaimed Love loudly as she gave Ryan a peck on the cheek.
If looks could kill, then Love would have been disintegrated on the spot by both Lime and Ryan. Why they weren't doing anything was a story best told after school however.
"Is that true Ryan?" asked Issei with a shocked face.
Ryan gritted his teeth and returned the kiss with his own one before grimacing afterwards.
"Sure is…" he said with a completely red face.
"He's just the best in bed as well… excellent stamina and best of all…" began Love before Ryan got to his feet abruptly.
"FUCK THIS SHIT! I'M OUT!" he yelled and then walked straight out of the cafeteria.
"Hmm… well, I guess that leaves you guys for me to play with?" suggested Love as she scooted over to Lime and proceeded to grope her smallish breasts.
Lime let out a squeak before her eyes rolled back and she promptly blacked out…
Love got a glint in her eyes before she turned to the rest of the girls present.
"So… who's next?"
"Wow… Love is really seductive" said Rias as she rubbed her breasts.
"You're telling me" said Akeno as she mimicked the action.
After having shocked everyone with her sudden appearance at the club room doors; Love decided to attend a day of classes at Kuoh academy just to piss Ryan off. And since the endless have to be extremely polite to all the other endless save for their paired endless (which is life in Ryan's terms) he could do nothing about it when she acted like his girlfriend, groped the majority of the girls, seduced most of the boys and made out with Irina against her will which caused her wings to flicker black.
Needless to say, she has a very good groping technique and the girls breasts were still tingling with the phantom sensation.
"Love is a different kettle of fish. She can be making out with you one minute and pinning you to a wall with arrows the next" said Ryan as carried Lime bridal style, for the young girl to have been groped by 'the' master of groping was completely overwhelming and she had passed out.
Issei had also almost passed out from blood loss through his nose…
"Well… I learnt tons from her and have heaps of things I need to try out later" said Issei with wicked grin before he was punched in the side by Koneko.
"You're the worst" she said with a sigh, she had almost no chest so the effects of Love's groping had worn off quite quickly.
"Anyway… do you have any sort of plan for dealing with her?" asked Rias with a frown.
"Maybe… but it's barely an idea, much less a plan" said Ryan in an honest voice.
"Well can't you bring in some of your endless friends?" suggested Issei.
"If I had to bring in another endless to deal with my situation with love; I would be kicked out of the endless for the rest of time" said Ryan with a smirk, "I can deal with her, it's whether or not I can deal with her without getting an arrow embedded in me"
"Are they really that powerful?" asked Kiba with a worried look.
"Like a reapers chop" muttered Ryan.
Valentine's Day (Kuoh Academy)
Today was the day…
Ryan stood alone at the gates of Kuoh academy. He had arrived an hour ahead of everyone for one last confrontation before shit went down. Love was standing at the front door to the main school building.
"Any chance you'll just let me be this year?" asked Ryan as he casually strolled up to her.
"Maybe… you might be a bit more trouble than your worth; but then again, I love the thrill of the hunt" said Love with a smirk.
"I'm ready when you're ready my dear" said Ryan with a bow.
"Don't be so hasty Grim… we've still got the rest of the day to go yet. I want an audience this year, and the members of the ORC seem to be the best thus far" said Love as she turned her back and walked into the building.
"Let the hunt begin then" muttered Ryan as he set off towards the clubrooms.
It was small at first.
A few of the boys giving cards to the girls, some hugs here, a kiss or two there.
Ryan was aware of it at all times; he knew the ORC were too. They had managed to get out of all classes for the day, Azazel and Rossweisse had covered for them and they were now inside the club room.
"This is so scary" whined Gasper from inside his box.
"I know Gaspy, but you've got to be brave" assured Koneko as she slipped him a bag of candy.
"I'm going out"
Everyone's eyes turned to face Ryan who was staring out the window and towards the forest.
"But if you leave… she'll come for us" said Rias with a worried look.
"No… she wants me; if I go and confront her than she'll leave you all alone" explained Ryan as he clicked his neck and walked towards the door.
His uniform faded into shadows as his grim reaper clothes appeared.
"Master… I'm coming with you" said Lime as she got to her feet.
"No Lime, you're going to stay here until I return" ordered Ryan, his voice wasn't loud or forceful, but it conveyed power and Lime instantly sat back down.
"How will we know you won?" asked Azazel to the boy.
"If I'm not back in an hour, get out of this country as fast as possible" said Ryan with a dead serious face.
He then opened the doors and left without another word.
Of course Ryan wasn't going to face Love in the school itself, he decided to walk into the forest until he came to a wide, open clearing.
Love was waiting for him in the center of it, bow drawn and one arrow already loaded, but Ryan expected nothing less of her.
"Happy Valentine's day! Wanna be my valentine?" she asked as he walked towards her.
"Sure I'll be your valentine, as long as you don't shoot me with an arrow" said Ryan.
"Really? Well, I don't believe you… you're going to be like every other man and break my heart. So I'm going to make sure you never can!" said Love dramatically as she raised her bow and fired the arrow.
Ryan didn't move as the arrow made a thin cut in his cheek.
"Your aims a little off today, feeling alright?" asked Ryan as the cut healed, he could feel a minor pulse in his chest but the love poison from the arrow scratch was not enough to conquer an endless.
A direct shot to the heart was the only way.
"I just wanted to give you one last real chance to accept this Ryan" said Love seriously as she closed the distance between them.
They were less than a meter away before she finally stopped.
"You already know my answer Love; I cannot be allowed to feel like you do" he said with a genuine hint of sadness.
"But why? I'm allowed to die, so why can't you love?" she said with a tear in her eye.
"Because things like me, do not deserve the honor of feeling love like you" said Ryan before turning his back and walking away.
Two tears hit the ground before she raised her bow and fired three arrows at his back. All three were directly aimed for his heart.
The sound of steel against steel filled Ryan's ears.
"Cut that a bit close didn't you Alexander?"
You see, Ryan had been planning a counter attack ever since last year's Valentine's day, when you're death, you don't just forget things like that. He simply pretended to forget to lull Love into a false sense that she had the upper hand. He knew she would be listening in on his conversation with the reapers but secretly he had been conveying the plan via sign language to them. If Love had been paying closer attention to Johnathan's words before he signed off, she would have noticed that he said: "Really? Oh god! Everyone Ready?" which actually was code for ROGER, one of many that were used during the conversation.
Love felt herself grow weak as tendrils of pink light were sucked out of her, she went to draw another arrow before her bow was shot out of her hand but a snipers bullet.
She turned quickly but had her legs promptly swept out from under her by a cane, before her wrists were pinned to the earth by two boomerangs and her torso was crushed by a rather large hammer. All the while, her magic was getting sucked out of her.
"That's enough Bobby" said Ryan and the bear wearing figure stopped their draining effect.
"You cheater!" yelled Love as she tried to move.
"I wouldn't do that, you see Mary's hammer has a rather peculiar device in it that is made from a shard of a neutron star. It can be set to weigh the same amount as a small planet, or be as light as a feather depending on the situation" explained Ryan as he knelt down next to her.
Love sighed and let her body relax.
"Fine… you win this year" she said with a red face.
"Very well, reapers disengage; thanks for your help and take the day off" said Ryan, the reapers bowed before fading into shadows.
Love sat up and Ryan took a seat next to her.
"That was a sly move…" she said with a chuckle.
Ryan didn't respond; he simply sat there, picking at the grass beneath him.
"I'm sorry Love…" he said after another minute of silence.
"What for?" she asked, genuinely confused.
"For not being able to feel love…" he said with a sigh as he turned to face her.
"Hey… I was just joking before, sure everyone dies but not everyone has to feel love" she said once she saw his pained expression.
"I know… so, wanna go get ice-cream?" asked Ryan as he got over himself in less than a second (guilt is never an emotion death has to live with for very long) and got to his feet.
"Ice-cream?" asked Love as Ryan helped her too her feet.
"Yeah, you are my valentine this year and we still have a got portion of the day to go, so why not?" asked Ryan with a wink.
Love was at a loss for words, her cheeks burned red and she simply nodded before Ryan took her hand in his and lead the way towards the town.
"He won" stated Lime suddenly, causing everyone to jump in fright.
"How can you tell?" asked Rias.
"Call it a reapers intuition" she said sadly as she walked over to the window and gazed out longingly.
She knew Ryan had won, but why was he still with Love then?
It made her chest hurt every time another girl got friendly with him, even more so when he acted friendly back…
Was this… no; that's against the laws.
But deep down, lime knew; she couldn't keep this feeling hidden forever.
Later that evening
"Wow… I can't believe he set an entire forest on fire" laughed Love as the two endless walked along a dirt path.
"And he wasn't even that angry at the time" said Ryan with a genuine smile.
The two had been wandering around town all day, enjoying each others company, eating ice-cream, trying on clothes and acting like any real couple would on Valentine's Day.
Ryan was a little bit worried when he began to enjoy it.
They soon came to a bench that overlooked the town; they took a seat and simply sat in silence for a while, hand in hand.
"For someone who doesn't feel emotion, you sure know how to show a girl a good time" said Love, breaking the silence.
"I'm not as heartless as everyone believes me to be, I know how to comfort and imitate love" said Ryan wistfully.
"That's true… Ryan; can I ask you a question?" asked Love suddenly.
"Depends on the question" said Ryan without a thought.
"Will you be my first?"
"Hey guys" said Ryan as he walked into the lounge.
Everyone instantly got to their feet and drew their weapons.
"HOW DO WE KNOW YOU'RE NOT MIND CONTROLLED?!" yelled Issei from within his scale mail.
Ryan simply rolled his eyes and clicked his fingers.
Issei's armor fell to pieces around him as Ryan walked over and flicked him in the forehead.
"Because I'm not you idiot" he said with a sigh.
"Where have you been then?" asked Rias as everyone calmed down.
"I've been on a date with Love" he said simply as he opened the fridge and grabbed a can of soda, he popped the tab and took a long swig.
"So… she's gone?" asked Akeno.
"Yup, she left about a half hour ago" said Ryan as he finished the can and crushed it between his hands.
"You're a virgin?" asked Ryan in surprise.
"I sure am! The entity of love can only reproduce through intercourse, however their partner has to be their true love or else they will die during the intercourse, I want to be the first to find my true partner and lose my virginity to them on the first go" explained Love with a smile.
"I see… but I'm also a virgin so I dunno if I can give you my first time" said Ryan honestly.
"Don't worry, I can be your second then" said Love.
"Really?" asked Ryan with a raised eyebrow.
"Of course, but you have to swear it" she said seriously as she stuck her head forward.
"Very well… I; the living embodiment of death swear to the living embodiment of love that she may be my second lover if she so chooses"
And with those words, Ryan put his left hand to Love's left hand, his hand pulsing black and hers pulsing violet.
"Well, I'll see you then!" said Love as two violet wings appeared from her back.
"Oh… and Love, any idea on who might be my first?" asked Ryan.
"Hmm… I think it could be someone really close to you" she said with a giggle before she was gone in an explosion of violet light.
"Fantastic, it could be anyone in this room for all I know" thought Ryan as he rubbed his temples.
"Well, I'm glad that's over. One entity is hard enough to deal with" said Issei as he clicked his back.
Ryan simply smirked and looked out the window at the stars.
Two of them drew his attention.
One glowed neon blue; the other, a bright purple.
"You guys might be meeting some others sooner than you think"