Title: The Pull
Author: Kristen Sharpe
Date: June 27, 2015
Rating: K
Warnings: None.
Continuity: Mangaverse with spoilers through the Inari Arc/chapter 64.
Disclaimer: “Ao no Exorcist/Blue Exorcist” belongs to Kazue Katou, Shueisha, Aniplex, and various other parties.


            Despite what his nagging little brother thought, Okumura Rin did read his cram school texts. Sometimes. And, sometimes, he even remembered what he read.

            Like the book that said demons could read human hearts. That they could sense weaknesses like fear and anger and doubt. Sense and use those weaknesses. Use them to tempt, to torment, to possess.

            ‘There is no way he would have allowed Satan to enter him... unless he were mortally wounded in his soul.

            He’d tossed the book across the room and tried to forget about it.

            Except, sometime after Kyoto when he had it together again, he started to notice that people pulled at him. Especially when they were upset.

            First, it was Yukio. Playing Mr. Professional Exorcist when he was scared to death and wouldn’t tell his big brother what was wrong.

            Then, it was Godaiin, sitting in class terrified of some stupid low level demon and pulling hard. And, when he tried to help, Godaiin ended up scared of him. Which pulled even more. But, it worked out somehow and, by the festival, the pull was gone.

            Until everything happened that night with Eyebrows and Shima, and Suguro started pulling. Always mad and sad and uncertain. Which wasn’t like Suguro at all.

            Thank goodness Rin had been able to kick it out of him. Suguro went back to normal, and it made that crazy pulling thing stop.

            It wasn’t until they got back from the trip to Inari – without Shima and with everyone pulling at him - that Rin had time to think about what the pull was.

            His gut? Instincts?

            Demons read human hearts.

            And, the son of Satan was probably supposed to be really good at it.

            Rin didn’t care. All he knew was that, if he could sense when his friends were upset, then he knew when they needed help. So, he’d help. He’d pick fights until Suguro forgot to brood. He’d smile and make stupid jokes until they laughed. Someday, he’d even annoy the truth out of Yukio.

            Maybe it took a demon to protect them from other demons.