denotaros (denotaros) wrote in 3751_musebox,

[Den-O & Yuri]

Ryoutarou skidded to a halt in the doorway of the hospital room just in time to see the last of the shining green light fade as the two halves of the man in the bed rejoined. The Imagin's contract holder lay stunned and gasping, and the heart monitor was going wild.

*Aaargh, crap! It already flew!*

*Ryoutarou, hurry, the nurses will be here any moment to check on him with the way that alarm is going off. As much as I'd love to stay and sink my hooks...*

*Never mind that, perverted turtle! If you don't go now I think that old bastard's gonna die!*

It was true, the man in the bed was in very poor health. He was so elderly his skin was a translucent mass of age-spotted wrinkles, and his silver hair so thin Ryoutarou could see his scalp. As he hurried to the bed and held out a blank ticket, the stranger opened shockingly blue eyes. Startled, Ryoutarou realized the man wasn't Japanese at all.

The ticket flashed and writing formed on it, showing the date of the memory the Imagin had flown to. "Do you remember anything about this... eh?" Ryoutarou broke off in the middle of his usual question, staring at the numbers on the card. 1914/08/23. "So long ago?"

"That day..." the man's voice was hardly more than a whisper, cracked and wavering, his eyes distant as he remembered. "That day, I saw the demon of Domremy. We were supposed to invade the town, but when I saw that monster flying over the church, I turned and ran. I have been running ever since, but by God's grace I had never seen another demon - until today."

*How strange. He ran away from an Imagin? But it can't be the one that just went back, that doesn't make any sense.*

*Either way, it is our duty to stop all the Imagin from rampaging!*

"We'll worry about this one first, and then check and make sure there isn't another one hanging around," Ryoutarou declared. He slipped the ticket into his Rider Pass and flipped it closed. With a roar the DenLiner sped past in the hallway, and Ryoutarou turned and threw himself back through the hospital room's door.

When he emerged he was standing in a forest of unfamiliar trees, on the edge of a valley were a small Western town was nestled. Rising above the rest of the buildings on a hill was a church - and soaring above it there was indeed a massive black winged monster, completely unlike the red-armoured crab Imagin he'd been chasing.

Speaking of which - screams sounded from nearby in the forest, and a moment later an explosion rocked the earth. More screams followed, and Ryoutarou ran towards the sound of the fight. In a clearing nearby he found the Imagin, and a troop of terrified German soldiers. Presumably one of them was the contract holder whose memory they were in.

Never mind that, now. If he didn't stop the two Imagin from rampaging, it would be a disaster. This far back in time, they could potentially do a lot more damage than just destroying a few buildings or causing some people to disappear.
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Ryoutarou went flying, stunned silly by the force of the blow. The momentary shock gave his Imagin an opening. In midair he suddenly twisted like a cat, landing on one hand and rolling down onto his back, ending up smoothly back on his feet.

This time his face was still fuller, but instead of an aggressive look his eyes were half closed and a tiny smirk flirted with his lips. He pushed up the glasses that hadn't been there a moment before, then smoothed back the lock of blue hair that now grew behind his left ear. "That wasn't very polite," Urataros scolded the stranger mockingly. "Striking someone who's apologizing to you is as rude as sinking your hook into someone else's catch."
Yuri stared, flabbergasted. Okay, the hair could have been a trick of the light or something, but this time the guy had suddenly grown glasses.

"Attacking someone who hasn't done anything to you is rude, too," Yuri said stubbornly, folding his arms and tilting his head to one side. "And stopping in the middle of an attack to apologize is just fuckin' confusing. It's not my fault he ran into my fist."

He glared at the guy. "You ready to tell me what the fuck is going on now?"
"I'd stopped moving, so it's difficult to say I ran into you," Urataros chided. He tilted his head a bit and regarded Yuri curiously. The man seemed to be uninclined to continue to fight, at least as long as he wasn't provoked. Momotaros undoubtedly would have continued to pick a fight just for the sake of the challenge, but Urataros only liked getting his feet wet on his own terms.

Fighting without the Rider Pass would be quite literally like fishing without a rod, for him. No, best to see if diplomacy could solve the problem, which was why he'd taken control.

"As for 'what the fuck is going on'," he repeated the profanity in a tone of utter disdain, "I assure you it's quite simple. I was chasing the Imagin that you just destroyed. While I'm entirely grateful that you've saved me the trouble of fighting it, I can't in good conscience leave the village unprotected again until I understand just what exactly you are, and what your purpose here is." He gave Yuri a cool smile. "I'm sure you understand."
Yuri's eyes narrowed. "What the hell is an Imagin?" he asked, gesturing towards the creature. "So far as I can tell, that was just a plain old demon."

He folded his arms and gave the other man a cocky smirk. "And you wouldn't be leaving the town unprotected." He thumped himself in the chest. "I'm the Demon of Domremy. I keep it safe, and I don't need some weirdo with multiple personalities horning in on my town."
"And yet you are self-admittedly a demon yourself," Urataros said, pushing up his glasses. "You don't see why this might make me reluctant to leave the town under your protection?" Never mind that he and the others were 'demons' by that standard as well. That was different, because Ryoutarou was a Singularity Point.

"Besides which," he continued, "the DenLiner hasn't returned for me yet, which means there is still an Imagin somewhere in this time."

*Fuck me, you're right.*

*We can't leave until they're all taken care of."

"Either the crab split and there's a second one running about, hiding from us - or you're the other Imagin I'm supposed to take care of," Urataros concluded. "Until I know which is true, I'm afraid you're stuck with me."
Yuri rolled his eyes and glowered at the bespectacled idiot.

"I'm not a demon. And I'm not an Imagin, whatever the fuck that is," he growled. "I'm a Harmonixer. I can absorb the souls of the demons I kill, and take on their power."

He gestured towards the crab again. "That's all. That was me inside the demon. It was just a form I use." Well, not just, but he thought discretion was probably a good idea at this point. "I'm as human as you are!"

Then he frowned. "Maybe more human," he added pointedly.
"How rude," Urataros sniffed, tossing his hair out of his eyes. "And how very inconsistent of you. First you call yourself the Demon of Domremy, then chide me for calling you a demon. Do make up your mind."

*So, wait. He said he absorbs the demons and takes on their power... does that mean he's a Singularity Point too?*

*He also said he kills the demons he absorbs, idiot!*

*Which does not mean he is not like Ryoutarou. Perhaps he is simply not as forgiving.*

*Haha, nobody's as forgiving as Ryou-chan.*

"In any case," Urataros said, raising his voice slightly to hear himself over the chatter in his head. "I'm not leaving until I'm certain all the Imagin in this time have been dealt with. Allowing them to rampage this far in the past would have far too many consequences. So for now, you'll simply have to accept my presence."

There was a flash of blue light and an afterimage like an armoured ghost that parted from Ryoutarou and vanished. Then Yuri was facing the same wide-eyed boy that had first tumbled from behind the bushes. "U-um... I'm sorry for the misunderstanding," Ryoutarou apologized, bowing deeply. "I think... you and I... might be the same."
Yuri tensed at the flash of blue light, but when he looked into the wide eyes he relaxed again. He lifted a gloved hand to scratch at the back of his neck. Then he registered the boy's words.

"The same?" he repeated stupidly, boggling at Ryoutarou. "You mean...I was just talkin' to one of your demons just now?"

Most human-looking demon he'd ever seen, and that included Nox.

What the hell, man... He sagged, and turned back towards the rundown church where he lived. "Come on... Let's talk somewhere more comfortable, at least."
"Um, well... Urataros-tachi aren't demons, exactly," Ryoutarou said, struggling to try to find words to explain something he wasn't entirely clear on himself. "They're Imagin, which are kind of like demons, but really they're from the future. I'm a Singularity Point, so when they tried to possess me... they got stuck, instead, because I can keep them from taking over completely."

That was the short version, anyway. The long one could wait until they were somewhere more comfortable, as the man had said. But first... Ryoutarou took a quick detour to one side, and quickly dug through the fallen leaves until he found the Rider Pass. With it back in his hands, he - and the Taros - felt much more secure. Now if the stranger transformed again, he'd have a chance of beating it.

"I'm Nogami Ryoutarou," he said as he came back to Yuri's side, and bowed. "Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!"
"My name's Yuri Hyuuga," Yuri said, bowing a little awkwardly. His father had been Japanese, but he hadn't really been schooled in Japanese culture. At least he spoke the language.

"What's that thing, anyway?" he asked, gesturing to the little object Ryoutarou had been careful to pick up off the ground. The whole issue of Imagin, demons, and the future could be talked over when they got back to the church.
"Yuri Hyuuga?" Ryoutarou repeated, a little surprised. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Why would the man introduce himself like a Westerner?

Speaking of which, if this was 1914, and a Western village of some kind... what was a Japanese man doing here at all?

He shook his head and returned to the issue at hand. "This is my Rider Pass," he explained a little shyly. "It lets me tr..."

*Oi, Ryou-chan, best not to give away our weaknesses, don't you think?*

"Um." Ryoutarou blinked, momentarily sidetracked by Urataros, then he tried again. "It lets me ride the DenLiner, so I can go back and defeat the Imagin that come to destroy the past," he said instead. Urataros had a point. They didn't know that this man was an ally, not really. Telling him that he couldn't transform without the Pass was probably not smart.
Yuri blinked at him when he seemed to stumble and change what he said halfway through. "Yeah?" he said. "Wow, that's pretty cool. So you go back and forth from the future to the past to stop time-travelling demon...Imagin...thingies?"

The hill heading up to the church was fairly steep and Yuri lengthened his stride as he headed for it. Normally he didn't walk, but he thought the guy might piss himself if he transformed into Amon and carried him up to the belltower.
"Mm." Ryoutarou nodded, and moved a little faster to try to keep up. The guy had long legs! And this hill was really steep. He was rapidly getting out of breath, which made it harder to keep explaining. "Imagin want to... change the future by... destroying the past. So they make... a contract with someone... and in return, they can travel... to that person's most important memory."

He stopped halfway up, leaning over with his hands braced on his knees, panting.

*Oi, Ryoutarou! Why are you such a wimp, anyway?*

*Truly, you need to train harder. Here, let me!*

*Kintaros, no!*

Too late. When Ryoutarou straightened again, his hair came to halfway down his back and had a gold streak in it to match the gold colour of Kintaros' eyes. He put a thumb on his chin and cracked his neck with a grunt, then started trotting up the hill.
Yuri was about to pause and give the kid a break, when suddenly he looked different again. This time it was pretty damn obvious to anyone that he'd changed, and Yuri looked at this new person with interest. But he tried to take it in stride.

"I get it. So the demon - ah, Imagin - make a contract with someone and go back and possess them. And you just use this train thing to travel back and kick them back out again."

He frowned. "Wait, does that mean that when I killed that crab thing I fucked up the future?"
Kintaros showed no evidence of the breathlessness that had plague Ryoutarou's earlier attempt at explaining. "Just the opposite," he said, nodding. "You stopped it before it had a chance to do much damage. Your strength is truly enough to make one cry. Ryoutarou would do well to follow your example."

*But it does mean there's something here and now important enough for the Imagin to want to destroy. If there is a second one out there, we'll need to be on our guard.*

"Something in this place is important to the future," Kintaros repeated for Yuri's sake. "Something, or most likely someone. I will protect it to my dying breath!"
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