It was raining, and Okumura Rin was okay with that. The rain soaked into his hair and ran down his face, forming the tears he couldn’t seem to make himself. Not since that night two days ago. Because he wasn’t sad. He was empty. Wrung dry and numb.
He could only distantly feel the rain running over his skin, seeping through his clothes. Could distantly hear the priest, reciting familiar and not Latin words in a voice that barely carried over the steady patter. Could distantly sense his brother, Yukio, standing beside him with an umbrella Rin had refused. Close enough to touch and miles away all at once.
If only he could tell Yukio the truth. Tell him what really happened. Why the Old Man was gone. But, that was selfish. Yukio didn’t need to know about the monstrous secret he’d learned. About the monster he was.
Beneath his dress shirt, the long, black tail wrapped around his torso tightened. Fur tickled over his ribs. It felt so wrong. Everything was wrong. Like a nightmare that wouldn’t end.
The priest raised his voice, and Rin looked up. An urn was being settled into the ground. The ashes of the only father he had ever known.
There was a murmur at his side. “May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace,” Yukio whispered, translating the final blessing for him.
Rin nodded his thanks, but his eyes never left the small grave. Around him, people began to move, walking toward the shelter of the abbey, talking in hushed voices. Yukio too began to shift beside him, but Rin stayed where he was, a cold knot twisting his gut.
Father Fujimoto… the Old Man… was gone. He’d never see him again, never hear him...
“I'm looking for a Rin and Yukio Okumura? Er… Excuse me. Okumura Rin and Okumura Yukio.”
The words were spoken in a clear but accented Japanese. Spoken like a foreigner. But, when Rin turned around, he was almost expecting…
The face was too young, the hair too dark, the glasses too square. But, something about the man’s smile, the tilt of his head, the understanding in his dark eyes. They were all achingly familiar.
“Maes Hughes,” the dark-haired man introduced himself. Like everyone else, he was dressed in a suit and carrying an umbrella. An umbrella he shuffled to his left hand to hesitantly extend his right.
“Hughes....?” murmured Yukio as he reached to shake the man’s hand. Then, louder, “I’m Okumura Yukio. Mr. Hughes… you knew Father?”
“You might say that.” Hughes’ smile was a too-familiar twist of lips. "He was my older brother. Half-brother, really."