Disclaimer: I do not own Ushio and Tora. Will be yaoi. Tora x Ushio. Nagatobimaru x Ushio… what’s the difference? You’ll see!
Chapter 2: Changing the Rules
Tora blinked open his eyes and yawned, ready to stretch his body and rise to greet the dawn. That is, he would have, if a certain boy hunter wasn’t laying on him. The tiger beast growled low in his throat when he turned his head to see the youth nestled against his stomach, his head pillowed on the monster’s bright orange fur.
Black orbs blinked open, the boy snuggling closer before sitting up slowly and stretching his arms wide. Tora moved his head back to avoid being smacked in the face by the youth’s flailing arms. Annoyed, he pushed himself to his feet, hunched low on all fours from his sore muscles.
Looking up, Tora found the boy studying him intently. ‘What the hell do you want, brat?’ the monster growled. ‘You are back to normal. Good. I was worr… er, I mean, you weren’t acting like yourself yesterday, so…uh. Whatever,’ the teen fled into the forest, leaving the beast blinking in surprise.
~Worried? That boy is a strange human.~
Tora found it wasn’t good to hover on thoughts of the boy for very long, because if he did, he started to feel things. Things he couldn’t truly understand.
A dark shadow passed over the beast lord just as Ushio walked back into the clearing.
‘Tora. Are you up to flying yet? We’ve already been here for three days. Well, you were unconscious for the first two. Anyway, I thought we should get started home if you are. Blah, blah, blah."
The boy was talking again. Nagatobimaru frowned in annoyance at the human child standing with his back towards him.
‘And then we’ll go to Asako’s for dinner, blah, blah, blah,’ the boy continued.
~Dinner. Yes. I am hungry.~ The monster lord smirked as he prowled forward, raising a clawed hand to slash the boy down.
‘Ah! Tora, what are you doing standing so close? Honestly. Were you trying to eat me again? You baka. I can’t believe you’re trying to eat me after I just saved your life,’ the boy lectured, watching the beast rub his sore head.
~What the hell? Who is this kid?~
‘Toono-sama, and Shinno-nisan want us to meet with them in a week to talk over the whole WhiteFace issue,’ the boy continued on, not even noticing the beast’s suddenly surprised round eyes.
~Damn it! I can’t kill him now. Shinno-nisan? Is that kid actually related to one of the two most powerful monsters in Japan? No way. He’s just a human… I think.~
Nagatobimaru sniffed at the teen, wondering if he was indeed not as human as he looked.
‘Damn it! Stupid Tora. Stop doing that!’
Nagatobimaru all but leapt back, ignoring the whack on his head in the appearance of this new enemy. The Beast Spear. It was right there, in "HIS" hands. The brat looked just like… like… But, the monster could not remember. Something was missing.
Surely, that something he could not remember would explain who and what this boy really was.
~The Beast Spear. A hunter’s weapon. Wait a second!~
‘Who are you calling a Tora, you little brat?!’ the monster lord growled loudly, sparks shooting from his hair at the insulting name. ‘Because you look like a tiger, you baka monster. We’ve been over this. Don’t make me smack you again,’ the boy hunter announced. ‘Why you little… grrr…’ the monster lord growled low in his throat, claws flexing. He wanted to gut the little brat, tear him apart and eat his spleen… ok, maybe not the spleen. But, any other nice white meat would do nicely. And he was so hungry.
However, there was a problem… a big problem. And that problem was called the Beast Spear. Damn.
‘So, can you fly or not?’ the boy demanded, stomping his foot in annoyance. Nagatobimaru grunted in response, claws digging into the soil to stop himself from attacking the upstart human brat.
~Beast Spear or no Beast Spear. Lord Toono and Lord Shinno, it doesn’t matter who. One day I will kill this child.~
Deeply in his thoughts of death and destruction, the monster barely noticed the boy climbing onto his back effortlessly until a foot prodded him to go. ~Do I look like a horse?~ The beast snarled under his breath, still quite aware of the dangerous weapon the youth carried. Snapping his teeth in frustration, the tiger lord rose into the air.
‘Dad, we’re home!’ Ushio yelled as he came through the back door. It had been an interesting flight back. The peaceful silence during the beginning of the journey hadn’t lasted long. Arguments began to fly with such intensity that Ushio nearly got dropped into a river they had been flying over. Of course, a few sharp jabs had straightened the monster out, and Ushio was sure the beast was off sulking on the roof again.
‘Tora sure was acting weird today. I wonder if that monk’s spell did something to him,’ the teen thought aloud as he walked into the kitchen. Spying a note on the table, he picked it up and frowned. ‘Well, that just figures. That stupid old man always goes on a trip at times like this,’ Ushio growled, crushing the note into a ball and tossing it into the garbage can.
Just as he was taking out a bowl of dried ramen (store bought, of course), the phone rang.
"Aah,’ the 17 year old held the phone away from his ear at the familiar voice. Geesh, she may be his best friend, but it doesn’t mean she had to scream at him all the time. Ushio made a face as he listened to Asako gabber on about how he had promised to help out at her family’s shop today and didn’t show up.
‘Asako… I had more important things to do. Tora and I… No. We were really busy. There was this crazy monk… er, Yes. I know it’s important, but… No. Asako… Fine, I’ll be right over,’ Ushio sighed as he hung up the phone.
Giving the appliance a dirty look, he ran outside and yelled up the monster that was, as usual, sitting on the roof. ~Yep, he’s still sulking.~
‘Hey, Tora! I’m going over to the restaurant to help Asako. Are you coming? She’s gonna give us free dinner afterwards!’ Ushio yelled up, waiting for a response. The only thing he got was a butt pointed towards his face when Tora decided to turn around and ignore him.
Growling under his breath, he yelled, "Fine! See if I care!’ In a bad mood again, the boy stormed away, not noticing two white eyes that turned to watch him leave the temple grounds.
Nagatobimaru shifted on the roof as he watched the boy. He was very young for a hunter, especially one that could wield the mighty beast spear. Still, there was something about the boy that drew his attention. No other human had ever caused him a second glance, yet this child…
The monster lord grumbled quietly to himself as he laid his head down once more. The boy was gone now, so it didn’t matter. There would be time to decide the next course of action later. For now, he was just feeling so sleepy…
‘Man, I’m bushed. That Asako is such a slave driver,’ Ushio grumbled as he pushed open the front door. A storm had started just as he was reaching the gates, the rain so heavy that he was soaked to the bone just from the race to the doorway.
‘Oh well. At least she gave me free dinner. And Mayuko even showed up to convince her to pack Tora some dinner too. What she sees in that big furball is beyond me,’ Ushio announced, flicking on the hallway light switch. Well, trying to anyway.
‘Damn. Don’t tell me that the light is burnt out,’ Ushio moaned, wanting nothing more than a hot bath and a warm bed for the night. He slipped into the kitchen and left the beast’s dinner on the table as he headed upstairs to get a change of clothes.
White eyes opened to see a petite figure slip into the house. ~So, that brat is finally back.~ The monster smirked, wondering if he’d have a chance to see the boy’s other form soon. After all, the Master of the Beast Spear must be very… interesting.
The tiger lord gigantic form disappeared just as the light turned on in the boy’s bedroom.
‘I forgot to do laundry again. Shit. Oh well, guess I’ll have to wear this old T-shirt,’ Ushio said to himself, holding the oversized white shirt out in front of him. Sighing once more, he turned off the light and stepped into the hallway, beginning to pull the door shut behind him.
The hallway light flickered into darkness, the teen suddenly on alert. A second bulb burning out couldn’t be a coincidence. Clenching the beast spear in his hand, he let its power flow into him. The change was getting easier now, the energy flowing through his body like an ocean wave surging back into the sea where it belonged.
Yes, the spear was a part of him now. He could no longer cast it aside, for his soul was bound with it until death. His fate and his curse was to be the Master of the Beast Spear, never able to completely join the human world normally again. That was why he could never love. He’d had a crush on Asako once, but it was not to be. She had never quite accepted his new life, had never accepted Tora.
Mayuko understood, and yet even she could not handle the darkness that existed in the world of monsters and hunters. A world that was within the normal human world, yet was so primaly different that the two could never truly coexist. Monsters and humans could never peacefully live side by side, though it didn’t stop Ushio from wishing it.
The young man felt his hair grow down to his feet, though it was more like thick fur than human hair. His muscles tightened, his fingernails sharpening into small claws. Even his teeth lengthened into short fangs (well, short compared to Tora’s). The very existence of the beast spear was part of him, the spear itself simply an extension of his own body. One being in two forms. Master and weapon. The most powerful hunter in the world. The Master of the Beast Spear.
A crack of lightning slipped through the doorway, lighting upon a pair of white eyes looming over him in the dark. A huge shape hidden in the shadows, breathing deeply as it stared at the boy hunter emotionlessly.
‘Tora! Why are you sneaking up on me? You’ve been acting weird all day,’ Ushio announced with annoyance. To think he’d actually transformed because of the stupid tiger playing hide and seek.
The beast stepped towards him, aware of the exact instant that the boy let his guard down. Shocked, Ushio found he had only enough time to raise the spear before the monster pinned it and his arm against the wall. The monster’s form pressed closer, his head lowering until violet eyes were captured by white.
The room seemed to spin as the beast and hunter remained at a standstill. Lightning crashed, driving the beast closer until they were only a breath away. Ushio opened his mouth to speak, but it was too late for words.
A mouth pressed against his own with such ferocity that it took his breath away. All the youth could see was white eyes filling his vision, a hard firm body pressing against his own, and a kiss that sent shivers down his spine. Moments later, a hot tongue was tangling with his own, sending a fire racing through him. Ushio could barely form the words in his head, much less put up any kind of resistance towards this sudden onslaught of feelings and sensations.
A kiss that seemed to last all night was over in moments, their lips parting gently. Ushio blinked, looking away from eyes that seemed to see into his very soul. Snapping back into reality, the boy pushed the beast sharply away, escaping down the stairs without looking back.
Intense white eyes watched the teen run, and an all knowing smirk came to the beast’s face before he turned and walked through the wall.
Author’s Note : Ok, I decided to leave it there. This fic is actually not going to be as long as I had planned. Nagatobimaru was suppose to evaluate his feelings over the course of a few chapters, but he just couldn’t help himself once he saw demon hunter Ushio.