The carefree high school girl had no idea what trouble she was in, floating in unconsciousness for reasons she could not remember. Every time she tried to recall what happened to induce her current state, all she could picture was Shikijima. His smile brought both joy and fear to her mind, thought she could not place why she could be frightened of the boy. Violent images swirled in her head, of beings and things she could not place or recognize. Their very existence in her mind brought her physical form to a cold sweat as she began to regain consciousness. A voice called out to her as she stirred, a strong, masculine tone that she recognized well.
"Kiri, Kiri are you alright? I'm right here, Kiri, don't worry. It's Shikijima, from school. Come on Kiri, wake up, please."
He's so wonderful, and yet I met him completely out of coincidence. Sure I knew him before hand, but I never thought I could know him like this. Still, why am I so utterly frightened when I think about him smiling at me? I always thought that smile was attractive, and yet now it makes me shiver too. Why?
Kiri could see the surface, and yet she could only gaze upon it, still buried beneath a torrent of illusionary water. The girl on the bench obviously felt suffocated, and cold. Unknowingly to Kiri, her body responded to everything she went through mentally. As she grew more distant, her figure curled up on the bare metal bench seat. When Shikijima tried to keep her warm, she grew more hesitant in breath, fearing a looming shadow in her mind's eye. Shikijima could tell that his forged feelings of concern obviously weren't helping, so he allowed the girl the time she needed to come back to the conscious world. After immense struggling, Kiri's arms finally broke the surface, swinging frantically in the hopes of finding a hold to pull herself up with. As her eye's fluttered slowly back to life, Shikijima ran his fingers over her temple, shooing the hair from her face. He made another attempt to verify whether or not Kiri had finally returned.
"Can you hear me Kiri? You can pull out of this, now take my hand and wake up. I know you can do it, Kiri."
Either out of desperation to get out of the cold frigid limbo she floated in, or out of lack of care for the consequences that might ensue, Kiri took his hand. Shikijima hoisted her from the abyss, cradling her in his arms as she finally came around with a timid sigh.
"I'm glad you're ok, Kiri. I was getting worried after you fainted on me back there. I didn't know quite what to do, so I started to carry you home. I only stopped once you started to stir. What happened?"
Kiri's throat was dry, and she had the pungent stench of sweat gripping her clothes. As her headache subsided, she spoke up in a meek voice.
"I…I guess I was just overwhelmed from the pressure at school. My instructors have been pressing me very hard since I made first chair. That must have been why I fainted like I did, I think…"
That's it my little morsel, make your own excuse for why you can't remember. Anything that makes my job easier is welcomed, with open arms.
Rising up from the bench, Shikijima took the girl's hand, and helped her up at a very slow pace, as not to rush her to anything. Arm in arm, the two walked the remaining half-mile to Kiri's apartment at a tepid speed, talking about the pressure that Kiri had talked about. Before long, she laughed, and carried on much like she had at the beginning of the date. A small frown crossed her lips as she found herself standing in front of her apartment door. Looking over to Shikijima, Kiri was shocked to see his arms slide around her, holding her tight against his firm chest. Shikijima whispered affectionately while holding her in his arms.
"This is your stop, Kiri. Don't hesitate to call me tonight if you feel the need to talk, and by all means, come see me whenever you like. I had a great night, and I hope you did too. Feel better, ok?"
With that, Shikijima kissed her forehead gently and walked down the hall to the stairs, a devilish grin on his face the whole way. The wicked boy couldn't help but laugh as he came upon a street lamp, under which stood the oddly familiar form of Haku. He grinned as he walked up to the silent figure, letting out some of his well-earned triumph on the boy.
"So then, I suppose you can run on home to Mommy Sea now. I'll be heading to the morgue since I'm still quite famished. Tell Sea that I'm sorry to have undermined her, as well as the division team of course. If you'll excuse me…"
As Shikijima started into his stride, Haku's lanky hand gripped his arm, yanking him back before the silent defender. His lone eye locked gazes with Shikijima, the two on one match not bothering Haku at all. After several moments, Shikijima wrought his arm free from the half demon's grip, walking off in an unusually victorious mood.
"If you've nothing to say to me, then don't touch me. You know as well as I do, that half-breeds are the lowest form of life, and you've no right to touch me. Hell, you don't even have the right to look at me eye to eye. Why would you bother doing so anyway? Are you in the hopes that looking at me eye to eye will put us on the same level?"
The demon boy gave off a frigged laughter as he disappeared into the night shadows. Not too far away Kiri stood at her apartment, still a bit dazed by all that had gone on. She fumbled around for her keys in various pockets of her purse, until finally she found them, entering her quaint little apartment. Flipping on several lights as she traversed her small home away from home, Kiri quickly made her way to towards her bedroom. She made her way into the bathroom, starting the water running, the sound of the water splattering against the tiles comforted her as she turn the shower head on. As she slipped out of her clothes, tossing the sweat-laden garments into the hamper at the door, a sudden rap on the door startled her. Kiri slipped on a robe and headed to the front, checking the peephole before ever thinking about opening the door at this hour. Fear gripped her chest as she looked down on a fairly bloodied figure, one she knew with some certainty. Unlatching the deadbolt, she pulled the door open, to see Shikijima sliding down and fall onto the carpeted floor. His clothes were torn and blood stained, his face massively disfigured with bruises and swelling, his breathing shallow and empty.
"Shikijima! Hold on Shikijima, I'll get the police, no, I'll call for an ambulance! Just don't move! I'll be right back!"
Kiri was firmly in the grip of the all-intrusive hand of terror, frantically pecking at the phone in the hopes she might hit the right numbers in sequence. While her hands quivered from the sheer fright of seeing Shikijima in such a condition, she could hardly notice him standing behind her fully upright. He put a blood stained hand around her shoulder, eliciting a loud screech from the frightened youth. His voice sounded oddly calm as he looked at her with his good eye, the other covered by swollen bruises.
"No, Kiri, don't bother. This is nothing, just a bit of blood. I'm fine, really. See? Everything is ok now, I just didn't think I could make it home in this condition."
Kiri shrugged herself free from Shikijima's rough hands, looking at him with uneasy eyes. As the boy advanced with a look of concern, Kiri matched him with an equal retreat of steps.
"Don't you come any closer Shikijima! I don't know what's going on, but there's something about this I don't like! There's something about you that I really don't like right now. You're different then earlier; stay back Shikijima!"
The boy's face shifted from concern to pain as he continued to advance, cornering Kiri near the fridge in the kitchen alcove. Kiri made any attempt she could to repel her classmate, but found them to be of no avail as she backed into the kitchen wall. When instinct took over, all Kiri could do was watch as her hand grabbed the nearest knife. Before she could realize what she was ultimately doing, the knife sand deep into Shikijima's shoulder. The boy cackled hysterically as a red stain trickle down his shoulder. Grasping the handle, Shikijima ripped the knife free from its fleshy scabbard, minor spatters falling onto Kiri's white robe. A lust-filled grin sprouted from the right side of Shikijima's mouth, eventually infecting the entirety of his lips. Erupting forth from the grin came a long, slender blue-green tongue, surrounded by rows of serrated teeth.
"I'm curious Kiri, what was it you were planning on doing after you stabbed me? You, above all, should be able to remember what I look like deep down. You remember, don't you? The images still float in your mind; you simply don't know why they're their, right? Let me help your memory out some."
Shikijima's body shuttered for a few moments, after which his body began to contort into a most devilish form. His flesh spread and thinned until it finally tore, much like the seam of clothing under too much stress. Deep Olive skin, tainted with pooling red blood, burst forth from the seemingly thin high school boy. Once the majority of the human flesh began to shred, Shikijo burst forth, his arms thrust upward, raking the ceiling with broad fingers. His broad shoulders crushed the hardwood cabinets to his left and right; his low set head hung just above the petrified girl.
"Now, I should hope this form rings some bells for you. Now, now, can't you look me in the eye now that you see me for who I really am? You humans are so quick to falter in your feelings. Enough chitchat though, I'm truly famished."
Towering muscles and glistening skin forced Kiri's mind into the deepest recesses of her primal instincts. She frantically scrambled under the demon's cumbersome figure, while avoiding his titanic hands. Kiri suttled up from her knelt position, easily out maneuvering the demon, she took off around the corner, and out the front door only to hear a loud clatter from the distant kitchen. As she made her way to the stairs, the hulking beast dropped down from the canopied ceiling, suspending by his immense arm.
"What the hell are you? Why can't you just leave me alone?"
Shikijo dropped down from his overhang, landing firmly on the concrete floor, and blocking the stairs that would have been Kiri's escape. Without even thinking, Kiri lunged back around, rhythmic patting chasing her shoeless heels with each new step. As she took a look over her shoulder, yet again, Kiri found herself greeting a hard surface. Shikijo chuckled heartily as Kiri sat up, terrified that her enemy somehow beat her down the hall. As Kiri scrambled to a running stance once more, a long, oily limb slicked it's way around the girl's ankle. The frantic girl took an unexpected tumble to the floor with a loud crack, instinctively cradling her head after the fall. Shikijo hoisted the girl up, waiting to see the disgusted fear in her eyes. As blood trickled down from Kiri's split lip and forehead, she quickly made out what the limb around her ankle actually was. The demon's bulbous belly wriggled with life as he laughed, his lengthy tongue easily suspending her form while still managing to snake it's way between his toothy grin. In Kiri's panic, she soon found that struggling aided her in no way. Her every movement pained her, growing sluggish and dizzy as the blood drained to her head.
"It's about time that I cut to the chase, my dear. If it is any consolation, you are truly beautiful in the moonlight, for a human anyway."
Pain meant nothing to Kiri, as she returned to her struggling state. Shikijo eased his meal down the hallway towards him, drooling hungrily at the thought that he had not only outsmarted division three, but would also be allowed to have a fresh human dinner. Shikijo thrust out an arm with the intensions of tearing one of the girl's arms off, only to turn to the night sky just in time to see the one figure he feared in mid flight, hands thrust before her with flames peeking around every fingertip.
"You traitorous bastard, I'm done trying to reason with you! Back to pits from whence you came! Salamandra's Flame Seal!"
Scorching hot flames burst forth from Sea's hands, tearing through the cold night air with unearthly speed. The demon dropped his meal before jumping clear through the roof above his head. Sea's flames roared against the concrete next to Kiri, leaving her alone while tearing through the concrete like rice paper. As the reptilian demon descended to the rooftop of the apartment, he bounded off quickly, from rooftop to rooftop. Shikijo quickly slid to a stop as he looked to the end of the next roof only to see the girl waiting there. Turning back, Shikijo found Haku and Gin blocking his exit. Frantically, the Demon leapt from the building top, in the hopes of hiding at ground level, only to discover Sea in mid spin right beside to him. Sea's foot would have ultimately pummeled the demon, had Shikijo not spat out a thick black tar that sent her reeling against an adjacent wall.
"Damn you! Haku, keep him busy while I work myself free, but don't you dare kill him! Understand?"
Haku slipped into the shadows below the roof, cackling just enough to send an echo about the area around his uneasy adversary. Shikijo scoured the area, frantically trying to locate the half-breed, growing more and more with his futile search.
"Where are you ya' bloody half breed? Show your face so I can demonstrate the differences between you and I!"
Sea snickered wildly while she struggled to free herself from the demon's tar-like bonds. Her voice wrought of struggle, an occasional grunt or groan slipping into her sentences.
"Shikijo are you really that blind? Haku could tear you apart without even breaking a sweat! You're nothing more than a piss-poor excuse for a demon. All the power in then world could be yours, but that means nothing if you can't find your enemy. He could slice that fat throat of yours and you'd never know till you hit the ground, you little maggot!"
Shikijo turned to face Sea, leaping forward with his fists hauled back and ready to pummel her; however, his efforts were cut short as Haku's boot lunged from the shadowy wall beside the heroine. Sea puckered up for a kiss, not even a foot from Shikijo's face, as the demon lizard's ribs cracked from the impact of the steel bottomed boot. The rest of Haku's form slowly crept from the shadow until left hand and foot were all the kept him suspended on the third story wall. His leg and thigh were all the supported the winded Shikijo as he patiently waited for Sea to pull her arm's free from the tar.
"Damn this tar, its really becoming nuisance. What the hell is this stuff made of anyway?"
Sea's attempts to free herself were amounting to nothing. With a thought in mind, she gathered some lower body momentum until she could successfully propel her lower body up and over her head. Planting her feet firmly on either side of her tarred hands, she pulled with everything she had until the tar gave way, allowing her to drop to the ground. Both of Sea's arms were still covered in tar as she landed on the ground, and a crash from above told the girl that things were not about to get easier. Sea turned and spun out of the way just in time to see the demonic reptile plant both feet firmly in the ground below where sea had just stood. Sea quickly made an attempt to assault the demon yet again, only to have more of the Shikijo's tar coughed her way. With great force, the sludge tacked her hands and feet separately, leaving her completely pinned. Shikijo lumbered over to the angry do-gooder, stopping several feet from her body. Her head hung low, as she struggled to free herself. Shikijo brought a scaly foot to Sea's chest without warning, bringing his foot down with sheer force as the concrete wall gave way behind the girl.
"How do you like that you little whelp of a mortal. You're nothing like your father, nor should you ever hope to surpass his skill and expertise as a purgatory commander. I'm going to enjoy crushing you like the pitiful human you are!"
Rearing back his foot, the demon proceeded to kick Sea several more times, blood and saliva sputtering from her lips with each weak breath. As he eased back, Sea's body hung simply from the tar he himself had put in place. Sea was lifeless and broken. Her arms were clearly mangled from the strain of supporting her body, and her ribs were undoubtedly splintered into hundreds upon hundreds of shards that would piercing each and every internal organ; the sheer thought brought a smirk to Shikijo's dastardly face.
Hey hey everybody, what did ya think? Questions? Comments? Rant or Rave? I'm open for all of it, flames are welcome since i know my grammer and sentence structure are horrid, and my plot can wear a bit thin. Anything would be appreciated. Laterdays.