Actually with a route translation/summary this time so happy reading as hope people have a great start with the new year?
General plot: ”Many many years since Beniten, we join the adventures of Tengenjibashi Rei – an onmyouji working in Shinjuku that would gladly spend most of his days just lazying around in bed if not for the nagging of how much that is exactly the cause for the money problems they face daily from his devoted shikigami Basara.
It just so happens that for better or worse, the rate of incidents that would require the help of people like Rei would do a sharp increase in number lately as he finds himself at the center of the tensions rising between humans and the ayakashi…”
Yotsuya would like to inform you he’s too busy having a manicure that day to deal with trifle human problems.
Gameplay: Consists of the usual choices and a ‘Job requests’ system that functions as the core mechanic that will decide on which route you land in later.
Ideally you’d think the character commentary (that are voiced if you click there!) would be the one way to determine which character is involved with which job but…honestly? Often enough the comments are more on the unspecific side so you just look at who/if someone’s clearly saying ‘no’ and count down from there.
The life of Kamiohzaki Suguru is randomly visiting your childhood friend only to find him in the middle of facing a bedroom intrusion by the local Haori. Poor Suguru…
General Character/Routes impressions – Rei is really refreshing as a protagonist. For a genre that tends to handwave the topic of character sexuality, from the getgo Rei is very openly gay and aware of how he loves playing the receiving part of the bedroom tango.
Rather, seeking out one night stands to fulfill that thirst for the d is a hobby of his due to not really being inclined for an actual relationship where he’d have to deal with the bothersome emotional baggage. Combine that with an inclination to have nothing against pulling morally questionable shenanigans, and you’re in for a thing
Suguru’s a a giant goofball that really sold Kishio as a voiceactor to me. Ended up as the last route I played and I’m glad it was since it’s kinda a battle between him & Meguro on which was ultimately my favorite one.
Meguro, who managed to be the first route I played, really sold the game to me since it dealt with thematics I tend to enjoy a lot and the va himself I had only known as one other role before so it was interesting to hear them as something entirely different.
Yotsuya was fine as a character but kinda ended up suffering Koshiro’s fate where something about the story in his route really dragged with how much it just felt different from the rest of the game…in a bad way.
Basara was an okay support cast but since he’s more of a general ending having his quirk be perving on Rei, more so when human, would grate in time.
Suguru’s battle for Rei’s chastity as the other ponders the perks of pulling a 4p.
Overall impressions: TO was pretty fun. 2/3 routes were pretty engaging to read through and if I had to list faults it’d probably be divided between how the episodic formatting when doing the jobs might seem offputting at first since the scenes didn’t keep track of things too much unless it was a series type (so you could Rei introduce a character after a segment where they interacted already etc). That and just…whatever happened when writing Yotsuya. Would I recommend it to other people? Sure. Rei is a treat to watch and the overall post-midnight anime from the 90’s vibe it had before you get to the routes ended up part of the charm (as Twitter moments poking at some go here).
Route summary/translations go below here so warning on fullon spoilers!
Suguru demands an explanation on what is even going at the Tengenjibashi household.
Basara – probably the weakest of the characters…that fits for someone that’s kinda the normal ending? When most of the route is poking pervy jokes on how he’s one of the people Rei does the tango with on a regular basis, stuff is gonna grow stale fast. So even if I wanted to write a proper summary for the kid there just isn’t anything there aside from the segment where Rei punishes him by faxing Basara to Suguru being kinda funny? The route itself ends 5 min after the shared part is over where other routes would get focused chapters Basara just offers a choice between two humpscenes.
Extra scenario? Is even worse since hahaha ain’t it funny that Rei got signed up for a health checkup as an excuse for the shikigami to coerce Rei into using the theme as a kink after picklocking a closed office as a source for their outfits (…..) and forcing an aphrodisiac down his throat after getting high on some himself.
Imagine just casually taking a stroll around only to find you semi-boyfriend in a fight to the death with a cameo.
Yotsuya – After the mess that was Basara Mr snake Haori is like a balm for the soul. Introduced as a common surprise bedintruder, in general Yotsuya’s relationship with Rei is mostly business with benefits where Rei would put up his best pokerface while the two would flirt with each other. A matter that would frustrate Yotsuya’s subordinates, Ukyou&Sakyou, for all the worse when combined with the general rudeness Rei would display to both them and Yotsuya.
Naturally, there comes a time where things have to change and ever since the increase in job requests during one of the holidays Rei doesn’t really appreciate when Yotsuya starts poking at the hidden kindness he would rather pretend doesn’t exist by noting how the spirits Rei had entrusted to Yotsura are doing as well as they could so he can be more at ease re:their fate as part of their business-talk and can only repeat how much he hates him when left in private.
Then comes the day one of the jobs is a request to search for a missing ayakashi from Yotsuya’s clan that mr leader pops up to take part in seach for himself too. During the moment when the two consult a lead there is a surprise attack in the form of gunshots aimed at Yotsuya that reveals good ol’ Meguro being the source as he asks for Rei to leave due to only have business there with (killing) Yotsuya. Not taking too long to be on the losing end after going out of his way to taunt the other, Meguro responds to Yotsuya preparing the killing blow by noting how if he dies the answer to where the the person they’re looking for is will be gone with him.
Oh, but Meguro being Meguro the moment his story time begins he starts with adding extra salt on making comments on how much Yotsuya was at fault for creating the situation while explaining his encounter before killing Hanyuu…and how the ayakashi had went missing for the sake of creating a situation where Yotsuya would kill him due to figuring that if the person he loves won’t accept him, why not have stain their hands forever in your blood.
A matter that Meguro notes as pityful before laughing in Rei’s face when asked why he didn’t show mercy then, since to him pitying Hanyuu didn’t mean he had any inclinations to show understanding towards some lowly ayakashi when just hearing it talk about love disgusted him to the core.
Instead, with a look that show very much the amount of handred the man has for the species, Meguro would reveal how he went out of his way to make Hanyuu’s moments as miserable as possible before killing the guy so and Rei could only be stuck on how ‘broken’ even Meguro’s line of thinking was before doing his best to drag Yotsuya away from the situation to avoid the imminent bloodshed.
Sometimes even demonic snakes yearn for hugs.
Offering to serve a drink when they would reach as far back as Rei’s office, Yotsuya would ask for a cafiole. With the awkward silence being a clear giveaway on how much the encounter with Meguro would both Yoysuya, Rei reflexively reaches out to hug the other close to him with a note of ”this way I can’t see it” when Yotsuya notes as the reason he’d refuse to express his weaker side when offered being because of how on top of his role as a Haori he’d be showing that to Rei of all people.
The route itself diverges by Rei decising to walk up to Yotsuya to ask him to settle the conflict that was brewing between humans & ayakashi after seeing the other just intending to have his annual dose of popcorn. Ignoring the disbelief (hi Meguro) and concern (et tu Suguru) from the sidelines Rei goes as far as accepting the silent ‘price’ for Yotsuya fulfilling that favor.
Which comes with getting immediately brought to Yotsuya’s bedroom once stuff was over to have the most mixed feeling bedroom escapade of listening to the snake proclaim how Rei is such good endless entertainment to be around Yotsuya loves him now.
However, as nothing really changes much between them since naturally there has to be another trial to overcome that starts with Yotsuya popping up at Rei’s office one day while already having bribefood available to enlist the other into searching for the culprit behind a pretty powerful ayakashi getting very badly injured. That turns into this conga line of ecountering one attacker after another that would claim responsibility behind the deed, that include a distant relative of Rei’s called Aoyama that pisses of Yotsuya enough for the snake to go for a curse that would target a number of his family members too.
With the sidenote on going for the most recently ‘met’ ones first so the smug turns pretty quickly into dread when Rei confesses how the negative reaction to the news wasn’t based on pity as much as Rei himself fitting all of the qualifications to be among the guaranteed targets the curse would go for. Great.
So henceforth starts the quest of finding Aoyama again as the next day Yotsuya sends Rei to gather ingredients to make what’s needed to lift the curse once they find him. Among which includes special leafs known for being good matchmaking love charms so Rei can feel all the more akward when he runs into Suguru on his way back after taking some who offers a ride home on the occasion (while making some allusions to his own feelings) while Rei himself reminsces on things like the first time he slept with Yotsuya and the fact how he was the one to introduce having that type of relationships with people to Rei.
You ever have that day you walk into an abandoned building and it’s just filled with Tanuki statues? Yeah. Me neither.
Thankfully it doesn’t take too long to find Aoyama himself since there’d be this odd person buying a bunch of Tanuki statues suddenly so after arriving at the hideout Rei&Yotsuya can only facepalm and assume the matter as being some desperate effort to ward off Yotsuya and his curse due to him being a snake . If one that ends in vain since Yotsuya feels no issues in presence of the statues and instead makes his delight in making the fool suffer as much as possible throughout the ritual of transferring his curse to a lifeless doll. After watching for a while Rei himself chooses to speak up to prod about the actual reason Aoyama appeared and targetted Yotsuya since it was clear it was more the job he had tried to do instead of the claimed removal of nuisances that were in his way of fulfilling something else.
Before Aoyama can fully answer there is an obvious outside interference so instead the two can only be at a loss when the dude suddenly lying dead and disfigured while Rei notices a clear lack of bones in Aoyama’s body (a detail that Yotsuya clearly can associate with someone but chooses not to say anything about). Rei’s question of what it means re:the lifting of the curse doesn’t get a pleasant answer either since Yotsuya’s solution was based on using a different curse to erase the first one yet now both got stuck in the middle so Rei now is the gathering spot of this new curse-based kodoku where even if it’s not a week timelimit anymore Rei is still gonna die once things are done. GJ
Not really being the most pleasant of experiences, all Rei mostly does since is laze around in bed while sometimes having Yotsuya somewhat ease off the effects due to being the source of it. All while looking to keep the matter a secret from Basara until during a time the kid would insist for bedroom fun the argument between them when Rei rejects the matter ends with an open display of being in a way more bad condition than Basara was being told.
Becky Oh Becky, do not be misunderstand this as to being the thing called Pocky Okay?
And to make matters worse, Rei decides to seek out Yotsuya’s aid while avoiding having escorts both for the way to & back. Later resulting in an encounter with this weirdo, later known as Kyoukotsu, that’d go on about craving not-pocky before declaring Rei as the perfect sweets replacement. Later discussion with Yotsuya reveals that Kyougetsu is likely the one survivor of the kodoku that birthed him since Yotsuya had a human master that was responsible for his creation while involving a human clan as part of the process. And the news of the survivor wasn’t a surprise to Yotsuya either since he’d already guessed the ritual as being incomplete from his own state of not being able to fully control his own powers. He just never sought out the person by instead focusing on the purpose he believed he was created for by looking to become as strong as he can in different ways.
As both send out their servants to look into Kyokotsu, Yotsuya volunteers to stay by Rei’s side in th meantime only to get rejected since instead Rei volunteers to be active bait to lure Kyoukotsu into a trap. Which works but doesn’t really end too well when instead Yotsuya gets himself mindcontrolled for a bit while also taking giant hits in confidence after Kyoukotsu notes the actual reason (at least according to him) for the kodoku that created Yotsuya was personal revenge since he had been a very close person that had spent a lot of time with Yotsuya’s master way before the snake was born.
Letting the opponent escape to focus on Rei’s recovery after the other had passed out becomes the point when the two finally recognize that their relationship is way more than just business with benefits. A matter that Yotsuya includes confessing his real name by so it doesn’t take too long for Rei to find the matter fishy enough to realize that it wasn’t that Yotsuya didn’t know how to dispel the Kodoku curse Rei was the victim of. It was more that he had kept it secret because the answer was having to choose if either he or Rei dies and Yotsuya as the Haori carried way too much responsibility to use up his life like that. Rei immediately rejects the gesture of having the option by insisting that they would focus on an alternate path.
Days pass with not much results while Rei completely switches to hanging out at Yotsuya’s hq since it’d ease off the curse while he himself could skim through books focusing on the topic in hopes of clues. It’s Basara’s visit to see how his master is doing that cues up the next disaster since none would find anything fishy about the shikigami bringing in sweets he’d found delivered at their agency until Rei snacking on some would lead to suddenly losing control of his own body and attacking Yotsuya while hearing Kyoukotsu mocking him about it.
Thankfully summoning the foxes prevents things from getting too bad, if…at the price of Rei’s own shoulder getting dislocated. Kyoukotsu himself pops up for a bit to goad Yotsuya some more about the snake’s origins, if this time with less success since the topic gets switched over to what misdeeds did Kyokotsu & co do to earn such a curse. Answer is? Good ol’ extreme acts based on discrimination & prejudice where Kyoukotsu would still list the matter as a misplaced grudge due to the beliefs ingrained at the time.
After the talking time is clearly over, Kyoukotsu bids his farewell since the whole time he was just a transmitted illusion so Yotsuya&co get dropped back into continuing their search for him for the final confrontation tm while Rei just gradually grows weaker and during one of their private moments expresses his fear of dying to Yotsuya before requesting that he held his hand…and offering the idea of Yotsuya eating him for a power boost to win. The snake immediately rejects the offer and their moment gets ruined further by the foxes popping up to report on an increased amount of Shinjuku ayakashi being attacked where the culprit doesn’t take many guesses to figure out. Rei being Rei, he of course insists to tag along anyway to see how things end.
And with that is a chance Kyoukotsu doesn’t let slip by by immediately attacking Rei and taking the mirror that can display Yotsuya’s real name inside it which he immediately uses as a new way to issue commands on the snake to easily munch off Yotsuya’s arm…that transforms Kyoukotsu into a giant skelleton towering over Shinjuku.
Imagine waking up one night to this thing looming over your home as just one of those days living in Shinjuku.
Yotsuya’s new plan of action to fix things? He suggests that they take the option where he transfers the curse from Rei unto himself since that’d result in at least a temporary state of completion \o/
The plan ends up successful and there’s a somewhat solemn note during Kyokotsu’s last moments where he expresses relief at finally getting to rest while chiding for Yotsuya to eat his remains completely. Once the powerup ends though, comes Rei’s turn to take risks since Yotsuya would start going berserk from the power of the curses overwhelming him.
Like previously in the route Rei points the mirror at Yotsuya while being all ”didn’t you declare you’d still live even if this world was the unreasonable kind where you can’t have everything?” to echo the snakes earlier sentiments snaps the doofus back to his usual self. The whole act also breaks the mirror into performing a light show with the shards as Yotsuya’s first words in response is confusion on why Rei seemed to be close to crying where clearly this is the kind of moment he should be smiling by.
Right after it’s revealed that Koshiro&Kasane were observing matters from a distance in case there was a chance for their clans to profit from the situation. Since Yotsuya&co didn’t need their help, instead Koshiro appreciates the new material he can use to mess with Yotsuya now after getting to chew so much popcorn to his&Rei’s blooming romance.
Some more time skip happens, as Rei & Basara head out to visit Yotsuya’s place. After some idle chatter as Rei observes how much the foxes have accepted his presence (alongside adopting Basara as their friend), Yotsuya&Rei disappear to have some private time that they spend by talking about a lot of things in between skinship stuff (that includes a dose of assurance that Yotsuya wasn’t just created as a tool for a grudge). One topic brings back the plotthread from the beginning of the game with Rei directly asking about the reason why more&more people were becoming ayakashi lately that Yotsuya answers as to likely being the result of a certain large war from way back that messed with the order of things when someone in Japan sought power and went too far( aka a reference to another previous work maybe?). Then comes the token final bedhumping after Rei monologues the realization that lately he hadn’t slept around one bit due to the mess with Kyougotsu and how he didn’t feel inclined to go for anyone aside from Yotsuya anyway. The End
Afterstory isn’t that much either. Most it brings is the tidbit that Yotsuya regularly has Ukyou&Sakyou perform manicures for him though a segment where he asks for them to use a color that brings out desire before settling on pearl-tinted nails anyway as he visits Rei to bring back the matter on how he had promised a compensation and it’s about time Yotsuya fulfilled that with more bedroom shenanigans intended (while Basara was busy while baited away to play videogames with the two foxes).
Kamiohzaki Suguru – As the person closest to Rei, without any tango shenanigans involved, a lot of the tasks actually carry the tidbit of Suguru either being present to help our or being one of the main sources for Rei’s clients since the other does a lot of stuff on tv for the sake improving the general image people have on excorcists while coming from a highrank family line himself. In his freetime Suguru pretty often uses it to spend time with Rei while excusing the matter with his status of being ‘childhood friends’ (even if Rei himself notes that during the time they had been apart Suguru changed a lot as a person, so being greeted with a ”you still remember me? Huh. I completely forgot you even existed though” really didn’t help)
What if I implied about being in love with my childhood friend…and it wasn’t actually a joke. Maybe.
From the beginning Suguru himself isn’t that subtle on likely harboring feelings beyond friendship but it’s a subject Rei repeatedly denies on purpose through either ignoring the matter or making Suguru feel uncomfortable by acting extra ‘loose’. In general he behaves more like Rei’s doting mon though which gets emphasised all the more when in the first holiday Suguru literally sends Rei veggies and a fridge to out of concern if the other was eating well…so Rei can only facepalm before deciding that faxing in Basara for a quick thanks is a suitable response.
Ol’ Mc Suguru had a farm. E-I-E-I-O~
Then during on of the jobs soon after the two goofs end up hanging out in a love hotel…which is a place Rei expresses extreme familiarity with much to Suguru’s chagrin. The room itself does cause for Suguru to express delight at the new experience of just seeing what the place is like that Rei observes as seeming like he was at an amusement park. Then later on, as nothing would happen, Rei would decide to start using Suguru as his pastime by performing a massage that would hurt intentionally which cues in something finally happening in the form of a short poweroutage during which Suguru falls off the bed by. After the light turns on again Rei gets to be more confused at seeing Suguru feeze up when questioned if he was okay. Turns out it’s because the goof had recalled a memory from their shared highschool years that Rei himself doesn’t remember much to the others surprise.
Scandalized and in disbelief Suguru can only react in more dismay at seeing Rei asleep due to seemingly being too bored of the topic instead of actually listening to what he has to say about the shared memory he saw as important. Forcing Rei to be awake again Suguru’s attempt to use the timing to question something re:the memory gets derailed when Rei recognizes that something is clearly off with Suguru that earns him another rejection on even approaching the subject of his feelings for Rei as the two confront their target that had been influencing Suguru while peeping from the sidelines. Which turned out to be be an incubus based on a dude that died midhumping so he was looking to fix that by demanding the use of Suguru’s body to complete the act through Rei. A proposition Suguru rejects with an immedite no because everything about it goes against his standarts.
Then comes the 2nd holiday and Suguru pops up to visit Rei’s office under the goal of seeing how the fridge he gifted was doing. Sadly, as it was during the time Rei is still asleep, Suguru ends up having to deal with Basara instead who would repeatedly express hostile jabs in the place of any gratitude so after a point he just offers the shikigami 10k yen as his reply to being told that his gift didn’t include enough meat. A gesture to which Basara immediately departs to go shopping so Suguru gets left alone at the house with a sleeping Rei…that he pretty immediately decides to fix by waking the other up. Once awake Rei proceeds to gradually undress so Suguru can only respond in more disbelief when Rei goes as far as questioning his status as a guest when the other protests the lack of manners.
Suguru’s suffering for that day does not end there either, as later on Rei is pretty open at telling for the other to leave so he can sleep more until Suguru reveals the tidbit about having given money to Basara. That switches Rei’s tune for an 180 into a welcoming one, if the lack of Basara being around means Rei would offer serving water from the sink instead. Suguru just volunteers to make the tea for them himself so that leads to them finally bonding a bit under the idea of Suguru preparing good enough tea that Rei would be all for doing a repeat of the event in the future too (and going as far as telling Basara that night to stock up on tea leaves soonish since knowing Suguru the agreement wouldn’t take that long to happen either).
Jobs during the week later turn out less ‘cute’ as instead during one of them Suguru ends up exploding at Rei out of worry after seeing the other ignore his own injuries during a task they were working on together. The incident pushes Suguru far enough to plead at Rei to stop hiding things from him like that when it was already a big blow when he only learned of Rei’s family stuff recently. Sadly, he only receives silence in response so Suguru can only note that technically it’s that same trait that’s part of why he likes Rei (as a friend duh) so instead he’ll take pride in how being Rei’s childhood friend grants him the perk of having full rights to act like a worrywart towards the other which gains Rei’s amusement.
Pictured – Suguru just having one of the most fun weeks in his life.
Then at a different time Suguru encounters the ‘fun’ surprise of seeing Meguro at Rei’s office. A tidbit that gets Suguru to immediately act very overprotective of Rei at the mere though of him possibly being hurt again, if in this case his pleas end up not only verbal but also with the gesture of clinging to Rei through a hug while he’d express how much the idea of Rei disappearing or leaving him would frighten him. More so since it’s a matter that already ‘happened’ once before in their shared past yet as desperate as Suguru gets once again Rei doesn’t respond here either by instead pondering how much he naively let Suguru spoil him in the past without ever noticing how that would hurt the other, so now it was his turn to protect Suguru by becoming the only one that shoulders the pain instead.
3rd holiday begins with Rei actually doing some reading while Basara would nap beside him. Gradually he too would start falling asleep until the chime on the door signals that Suguru’s visiting again. This time for the sake of fulfilling the teadate promise while bringing various types of food he bought in the chinese district to serve with it. Basara is all to overjoyed to unpack the gift so Suguru can only amusedly chide how unlike his master Basara would have a lot more active social life since he’d comment on having heard about some of the stuff from the local housewives.
Noticing Rei’s book Suguru pretty quickly shows interest on the unusual occurence. Much to Rei’s horror, Suguru would go as far as asking for the title if it turned out really even after seeing the other blatantly hide the book….all because it was actually a romance novel that mentoned Suguru’s name in it’s promotion (so spotting it at the bookstore caught Rei’s curiosity). Feeling too embarassed to even think of an excuse thankfully Basara ends up saving his master by choosing the exact moment to serve their tea so they naturally switch topics to some other smalltalk.
Said talk includes Rei poking at any other reasons for Suguru’s visit since he’d feel something a tad too off for it to just be friendly teatime. When the purpose being work gets rejected, Rei hits the mark with his 2nd guess of Suguru’s cheerfull demeanor being a tad too forced so he was likely hiding that he was tired. In response Suguru would only sheepishly note how he thought he was doing a good at the pretense of being fine that Rei would only counter for the goof to stay away from jobs that involve acting in the future if that really was the case.
Rei’s next attempt at concern gets indirectly rejected with the chide on how usually Rei’s response would have been to tell Suguru to just go back home and sleep instead before switching the topic to be about worrying over Rei’s previous injury instead while apologizing on how he had failed to protect him (since he regretted on not saying that sooner due to panicking over Rei getting hurt at the time). Rei brushes off Suguru’s gesture by noting he’s fine now and instead is curious if the more potent healing effect from Suguru’s spell was because his seals were pricier to buy. With a ”maybe” Suguru still shows relief at the matter.
The topic then switches to the shared schoolyears when Rei would comment on how well Suguru would even remember things he’d noted during the time to which the other could only smile bitterly while pointing out how little Rei seemed to remember about them in return. Innerly Rei would admit that he’s actually been lying to Suguru and how instead he was reflexively avoiding the topic due to believing how his current self would sully and destroy even those beautififul moments.
Shrugging the matter off by ‘joking’ how the matter is pointless to dwell on when it’s just some short part of their long life, the two get stuck in an awkward silence before Suguru would sigh and agree that sure. It was a small part, but to him it was a really enjoyable one. Possibly even the best time he had in his life (which is a sentiment Rei would innerly agree with while staying silent). Vocally, Rei chooses to remark on isn’t it too early to declare that when there’s still a lot of time left? Suguru would only smile as his answer of ‘yes’.
That cues in a trip down memorylane by both that includes a whole flashback of when they hung out together after school as schoolkids and Suguru inviting Rei to join the tennis club so they could always be together that way. Rei would reject the offer by proposing he’d wait till Suguru was done with club activities instead while reading books he’d borrow from the library as his pasttime in between glancing at how the other was doing so instead it’d be nice if Suguru paused to wave at him from time to time (which Suguru promises to do immediately).
The trip ends with Suguru commenting how fun those times were, which Rei would agree while hiding how much the innocent brightness of the time would innerly stab at him. They banter some more on how Suguru saw Rei as secretive even back then, if now at least he knows the reason after things like Rei’s sudden dissapearance coming from his family dragging him back home to force him into being an excorcist (since Rei himself never had any rights to choose anything since birth). Rei still notes on how now, after times passed, he doesn’t dislike the way things turned out even if Suguru would question the ‘forced’ part in the whole deal.
…or at least, that’s what Rei presents verbally while admitting that regret is still the winning feeling since that’s the culprit behind why he had to abandon that part of his life. He just grew to appreciate the few moments in between that aren’t that bad. Whiich is where Rei questions Suguru’s answer to the same question, which gets noted as an answer that depends on what his future brings while pondering if he can stay without hating himself in the process when he is forced to make a choice. Rei naturally does not understand anything on what he’s talking about so Suguru simply apologizes for getting weird like that.
Rei dismisses the apology with the note that Suguru worries about too many things so thaat’s probably what tired him out to the point that Rei would include an offer how as long as Suguru wasn’t too noisy he could stay at the office as much as he liked. Too bad, that it’s on that cue that Suguru receives a call related to work so there went his chance for resting… (if once Suguru’s gone, Rei admits that he actually knew what the other was hinting at since it’s a choice he himself was likely to face too).
Welcome to Suguru’s sprite that I hereby dub the puppy look series.
Last round of oddjobs include a case of Suguru roping Rei into participating as extra security staff by a variety show that deals with the occult to prevent anything too bad from happening when the bunch would film at a spot that was known for being haunted (during which Suguru reacts as a loss when Rei switches to extreme politeness while adressing him as ”Kamiohzaki-san” to match how he had been doing the same by Rei…then later gets into a sulk to the point of dragging Rei to private corner to thow a tantrum when Rei doesn’t understand what got Suguru so miffed. Rei only offers a punch as his answer to the nonsense). During a part the two discovery a mystery man stealing something from Suguru’s case who can deflect Rei’s idea of using the nearby spirits for capture by showing they also have some skills as an excorcist so Suguru has some idea on the possible identity as the result but refuses to note it unless absolutely sure (so Rei decides not to pry either when both pretend to have seen nothing as a result).
The big ‘choice’ turnds out to be the good ol’ route split with the whole ayakashi vs humans conflict forming after Suguru does his token visit to bring up the rumors on how a bunch of ayakashi had been gathering in some rundown building in Kabukicho recently for unknown reasons that smelled of incoming trouble which later is revealed to be in response to some politicians running a recunstruction project to ‘improve the enviroment’ for the later generations that involves destroying a building that functions as an important seal. Since both Rei&Suguru were hired to solve the resulting mess the ‘solution’ presented this time is Meguro basically ruining everything by being a lot more active about his wish to eliminate every ayakashi he sees so Rei has to stop his shenanigans first. Once done, Rei’s own answer is to attempt to seal off the now berserk-ayakashi as the last option that would avoid elimination while Suguru would volunteer to be the one moral support that’d sympathize on the matter by smiling and gently stroking Rei’s hear to calm him down before noting that Rei’s solution gets his vote since he’d also rather stick with methods that leave the least bitter aftertaste. Meguro only facepalms at the display even further while noting how much the other two are way too big of dreamers…to which Rei thanks him and Meguro can only grumble out the ”not meant as a compliment”.
Pictured: Suguru losing a moral argument to an ayakashi wearing only a towel.
As Yotsuya declares that he’d join Meguro on only being there as an observer, Rei volunteers Suguru to help out at the sealing. The other does not object as instead Suguru lists his price as Rei being in charge of writing the large pile of charms needed for the process that Rei treats as a fair price. Just as both start performing the spell, the one spirit from the love hotel debacle does a surprise return and Rei can only innerly flinch when Suguru’s reaction includes debating how empty humping without any emotional attachments must feel vs the demon arguing on what alternatives would Suguru present then when it’s clear the object of your affection won’t return your feelings anyway so the body is the only connection you can form. Suguru…has no answer to that one since while the former was his personal belief, he culdn’t fully reject the later line of thinking either. The demon sees the reaction and declares that he’ll be henceforth munching popcorn while watching how long Suguru will stick to his part of the argument from the seal Rei puts him into again.
Time passes as Suguru would escort Rei home and be pretty blatant on having something to say to Rei since the above exchange. A detail Rei would intentionally ignore since bringing up the topic would lead to both parties saying stuff they never intended to so once farewells come they both go awkwardly silent for a moment (that Rei dubs feeling like an etertinity) before going back to the usual routine.
Suguru watches Rei leave before monologuing about feeling how alongside the relief from the tension the two shared, certain murky emotions Suguru had locked deep inside a cage are gradually flowing out and how he’s on the verge of his current self being burried underneath them while having no solid ‘thing’ to cling to for safety. Only a hollow and empty-feeling heart that he still looks to surpress in his own way by leaving.
And thus begins Suguru’s actual route where the intro speech talks about how unreliable memories are and how it can be the most tyniest things that makes you recall things you hoped to lock away forever. Things then switch back to Rei’s office on a different day as both Rei&Basara laze around eating the icecream Suguru brought them before thanks to how solving the conflict had apparently fixed the reason there had been so many incidents happening lately so now there’s a lot more freetime. Rei himself had stopped sleeping around since the whole matter started to feel too cheap and he lost the interest to bother with it thanks to how much Suguru’s argument with the incubus had hit the mark by Rei.
Suguru the puppy, example B.
It’s on that cue that Suguru pops up with a box filled with possible work for them both to sort through since he’d decided that from now on they’d cooperate on dealing with all of them in some form. They’d been randomly doing the same tasks from time to time anyway \o/
Basara calls him out on sounding like he was just seeking an excuse to visit Rei more often, that the person himself joins in to poke at when Suguru denies the idea. Suguru’s fumbling for an answer really doesn’t help there so Rei just ends up laughing when Basara escalates the spat by calling Suguru a loser who was so cowardly he hid behind work to justify his presence. The shenanigans are brought to a stop when Suguru comments on noticing what looks like a hickey on Rei and instead of the usual flustered reaction when Rei teases him about possibly being interested in his private like Suguru reacts very coldly to the subject so Rei can feel another silent stab in his heart while dismissing Suguru’s apology for sounding too harsh.
Suguru would like to object to being called a coward when he was only looking to increase their efficiency! The extra time with Rei is just a bonus…yeah.
Suguru switches to ask about if Rei had found any jobs they both shared clients by, which gets a yes so the next case gets to be about people disappearing by an elevator that they schedule to deal with on the next day. Once Rei chases Suguru out to deal with his own scheduled work in the meantime, Basara’s observation on how serious the other can act gets Rei to take another trip down memorylane where he realizes an odd contradiction on how they both had bonded on never wishing to go for their current professions so what’s the reason that changed Suguru from protesting to the idea to how he’d borderline overwork himself now with how he’d much juggle between the promotional/business stuff and onmyouji-related requests…?
That night Rei ends up facing the downside of all his flashbacks by having a nightmare about the time his family forced the ritual for becoming an onmyouji on him quite literally. Hearing the phone ringing from downstairs the situation becomes all the more pleasant when the number displayed was from his older brother. The reason for the call? An order to come back home to the main Tengenjibashi residence by tomorrow. With his demands for at least being told the reason falling on deaf ears Rei can only swallow his frustration since he’d already experienced how disobeing would only mean he’d get dragged back by force again like last time.
Packing his things early on in the morning, Rei dismisses Basara’s question on at least meeting Suguru before leaving by noting that the other will understand the situation since he’s leaving the shikigami at the office. Seeing a black cat run past upon exiting the building, Rei can only be confused when Suguru pops up to greet him right after. Turns out Basara had contacted Suguru so he’d arrive earler so Suguru treats Rei’s surprise to mean that the shikigami had confused something while inviting Rei to visit a cafe as their place to talk plans. And invitation Rei would gladly take yet…can’t so instead he refuses and seeing Rei’s demeanor has Suguru’s own mood visibly sink as he asks if the refusal includes canceling their cooperation plan. Rei just notes that he’ll be leaving the office empty for a while to which Suguru flinches before forcing a smile while saying that he gets why Rei had a suitcase with him now (if with Rei clearly noticing how the other was close to crying already).
Suguru resolves to at least question where Rei’s going for Basara to seek him out like that. Hearing the anser doesn’t easy any of Suguru’s worries since the only thing Rei can say is that the result would be something too dangerous for Suguru to get involved while apologizing and using that as his cue for leaving.
Time passes and Suguru is still left digesting that Rei couldn’t even promise that he’d be back soon nor expressed any of his worries and feelings before leaving either. The whole deja vu on how once again Rei refused to share anything to instead leave Suguru behind is where he takes his turn on taking a trip into memoryville on how they had promised to visit a museum and eat cake on the same night only for Rei to be suddenly gone the next day so Suguru was just stuck with the pile of promises that still remain unfulfilled since while feeling very conflicting emotions that would range from his heart hurting when thinking about the subject, jealousy over their past innocence and a tinge of resentment for getting abandoned. Then came the day he heard of how Rei had become an exorcist so he’d just silently wait for their fateful reunion only to feel miffed at how nonchalantly Rei acted so he pulled the whole ”I forgot you existed” shtick even though in reality it was the exact opposite.
The joy on getting to hang out with his lost friend didn’t last long either since Suguru would be confronted with how much Rei had changed while never getting an explanation longer than ”I became an exorcist after getting dragged back home” to go with how now the other avoided even talking about himself in detail. Having his thoughts reach the possibilities of having the same thing happen again, if not worse, is where Suguru resolves to take action on his own side by calling for a private helicopter.
Meanwhile Rei would be reminscing about his side of the story and how the promised museum had been intended as their way to celebrate Rei’s 17th birthday until his dad and brother popped up early in the morning to push him into their car without saying anything. All because his brother were having issues on having a kid so Rei was immediately deigned as the heir of the family to go through the tatoo ritual no matter how much Rei himself rebelled against it so after a point he just gave up and decided to use the chance to gain some power over his fate.
Then his brother managed to have a kid after all so suddenly Rei got kicked out of the house because he wasn’t needed to fill in the spot of the heir anymore. Feeling more dumbfounded than anything henceforth Rei embraced his newfound freedom, if now more cynical after the whole ordeal. Now back in reality Rei’s focus switches to pondering the identity behind the unpleasant gaze he’s kept feeling ever since his departure before dismissing it as something not to worry about while recalling his last exchange with Suguru and how as much as history repeated there at least this time they got to talk before Rei left.
Spotting the school they used to study in triggers another memory from when Rei went anemic during the school opening ceremony and Suguru chose to spend time taking care of him instead of participating in the event with the others (which was also the moment Rei first started noticing his own developing crush on the other that Rei had thought to slowly figure out with time…until they got forcefully seperated so Rei was still at a loss on his own feelings towards Suguru even now).
Suguru just casually noting how him chasing after Rei was a matter of course.
Upon exiting the train, Rei gets to face the fun surprise of a familiar voice calling out to him by noting how they had waited a long time for him to arrive. Stuck in disbelief, Rei can only ask if they shared trains while approaching the other only to get the revelation that Suguru not only used a private helicopter to get here, but also bought a car in advance so Rei’ll be in charge of navigating the directions \o/
The car is of course of the expensive type so Rei is even more fueled at rejecting the idea before recognizing that Suguru is serious about the matter so all he can really do is warn him of not experiencing anything pleasant if he really does come along. Suguru would just smile and gesture by opening the side of the car Rei is to sit in so he can only grumble about how he won’t provide any comforting later when Suguru regrets this decision. On the way the two add another promise to their pile to go on an actual trip to enjoy the scenery sometime later to make up for the missed school trip ones, if under the condition that Rei survives the current mess with still having the option available.
Suguru’s enjoyment on the new experiences gets short when instead of a friendly family meeting the reason Rei got summoned is revealed to be questioned about having slept with his brothers wife, Misato, thus being the true father of the child that gained him freedom years ago. Fully in disbelief at the nonsense Rei can only facepalm when the source turns out to be his grandfather leading the good ol’ squabble for who gets to be the rightful heir by stubbornly assuming Rei as Shouta’s father instead of Ichiya even after Rei himself declared on never having kids just to avoid the matter. Their proof? Shouta was not displaying any hints on having any natural-born talent for becoming an onmyouji so the only clear answer was that it’s a sign the kid was born of Ichiya’s wife cheating on him when the only other available candidate at the timeframe was Rei.
Disgusted at how the rest of the relatives would parrot the matter alongside Ichiya not even sounding like he was speaking about his own wife&kid, Rei can only turn silent when the 2nd big proof presented to him is just that the situation was very similar to how Rei only ‘awoke’ to his abilities later (if Rei’s part of the story was more that his powers were just weaker so no one cared to notice until they robbed him of his later freedom to forcefully pull out his latent abilities with the tatoo ritual even after Rei had rebelled by pretending he had none).
Once the topic switches to claiming that Shouta was instead either the result of a curse or some ayakashi being the father, something inside Rei’s snaps at the distasteful display of the accusations switching to everyone badmouthing Ichiya and his kid as if nothing had changed when Rei had been on the receiving end of the similar treatment. Utterly disgusted at how no one even considered how traumatic the experience would be for the kid, with even the parents doing nothing to protect Chisato, Suguru intervenes before Rei fully vent his anger by instead inviting Shouta out to play some games together (that Rei gets to be dumbfounded by when in return Shouta approaches him to offer an invitation to be part of it too as Shouta’s uncle).
Rei can only be blisfully ignorant when after their departure from the room the relatives continue the debate by including Suguru as one of the badmouthing targets while discussing how the Kamiohzaki family had an innerfeud over inheritance that went as far as poisoning someone to death six years ago while claiming it as proof that they’ve lost their right to be seen as anything more than some 3rd rate bunch of onmyouji who’ll do anything for money.
Meanwhile, as Suguru would be the more active party in entertaining Shouta, he and Rei have a moment to discuss their similar family situations that brings up the question why Suguru never attempted to run from his like Rei did. Suguru would only shrug and confess that he just gave up and accepted the ugly parts as part of having been born in that type of family ages ago. Getting angry at family disputes like the one Rei was facing he just considers a waste of time&effort now due to being too used to them. To Rei’s eyes the approach can seem both as mature in a type of vector different from Rei or just having grown really cold as a person. Suguru’s lack of even showing any signs of still being bothered by the subject from his own dose of experiences votes for the goof to have grown numb to even register the matter either way. Before the trip Rei had seen the subject as something too private to poke at, but now that Suguru got himself involved in Rei’s family drama he decides it might just right to return the favor later on by poking more at Suguru’s side of things once he’d find a proper timing.
Shouta may call the spell pretty but that’s just ignoring the big elephant in the room
The moment then gets interrupted by the return of the nasty feeling Rei is familiar with from his own childhood, that now seemed even more unpleasant, that was now targetting Shouta. The presence would disappear before Rei could force out the culprit so the only thing they can do is perform a cleansing spell by the area that Rei entrusts to Suguru since it’s the type of stuff his family specializes in. Seeing Shouta show interest after calling Suguru’s spell as ‘pretty’ gives him the idea on possibly teaching his methods to the kid after seeking permission from Rei…that’s granted, but under the rule of avoiding using the costly materials since Rei can’t cover the price for that.
Sadly Shouta’s moment of happiness is ruined when Ichiya pops up to scold him for even thinking to utter a spell that’s not of the Tengenjibashi style. Reading the silent gesture from Rei, Suguru invites Shouta to resume their games further away while Rei&Ichiya keep to a distance to talk things out. They go from from mutual animosity to somewhat friendly snarking before Ichiya reveals that the reason Rei was presented for his summon was likely just a pretext for something else. Said something? To have him marry and conceive children so Rei can be all the more bewildred as Ichiya notes that the alternative was him marrying Misato if he really had been the father. Instead, as Misato is too weak in constitution to bear another child and they’re treating Shouta as unqualified, the next plan of action by the family is to once again use Rei to produce new heir candidates. Ichiya’s proposed plan of action is to just tell for Rei to sit and do absolutely nothing while he finds a way for the bunch to accept Shouta instead of the current dismissal. Once that’s over, he’ll return Rei to Tokyo to be free again.
Rei can only stand silent as Ichiya leaves, then does his best to stop himself from just screaming to vent the frustration. Instead he just throws stones at the nearby river while once again concluding that his family is made of walking garbage before calling Suguru out on hiding in the nearby bush. The goof was once again worried so he thought to secretly check on how things were going while his shikigami would look after Shouta in the meantime. Now found out, Suguru denies Rei even the idea of keeping whatever is currently bothering him a secret so Rei just gives up and spills the news while being careful in his choice of words as he observes Suguru’s face grow from cheery to looking really tired.
Suguru’s face when learning his abandonment trauma wasn’t possibly caused by choice.
It’s when Rei comments on his housearrest starting once more that Suguru reacts in surprise while Rei himself just continues as he dismisses the matter as ”nothing surprising since it’s the type of house where alongside your profession and future, even your friendships would get taken”. After spilling some of his bitterness on how their parting was never something Rei had wished for, Rei’s stops midsentence when prying Suguru on his opinion for what would count as Shouta’s happy future has him notice that Suguru has a pretty dumbfounded look in response to his speech.
After a round of just blinking in silence, Suguru would approach him to pry if what he just confessed was true. Did he truly always wish to be back by Suguru’s side during the time they were apart? Rei would start with a ”no duh” before catching on to what got the other so surprised so now it was Rei’s turn to be flustered. Suguru’s attempt to seek a further explanation on what Rei meant by the confessed notion sadly gets interrupted by Shouta popping up so instead of answering Rei just shoos him to resume hanging out with the kid while ignoring the others last questioning glance.
While the others would have fun, Rei himself would assume a fetal position while drowning in selfhate for his blunder for a while before deciding to ‘forget’ and pretend none of that ever happened as his solution on how to face things as he himself joins the bunch as the sideline observer while Suguru&Shouta were spraying each other with water. As time would near dusk, Rei starts feeling another strike of unpleasantness in the air if oddly this time no one else does so he just dismisses the matter as false alarm while pondering how to take precautions when Suguru could be part of the trouble thanks to his high affinity for being a spiritual vessel. With his only idea being questioning if spirits can have alergies thanks to Suguru’s own case re:cats before dropping the subject as too silly.
When you thought your friend finally admitted to appreciating your presence only to be told to go home an hour later.
Treating that as his cue to summon the two ‘dogs’ from the river, Rei breaks the happy atmosphere by declaring that it’s about time Suguru left back for Tokyo since he’s had his introduction to the what the place is like so there’s no need for him to deal with the unpleasant bunch any further. More so when Rei would feel a bad premonition re:the gaze so he’d rather not drag Suguru into whatever happens. Wearing an expression that’s unsure if to be confused or angry, Suguru would just once again ask for the date of Rei’s return only for the other to shrug with a ”maybe tommorow or in a year”. When in response Suguru questions if Rei sees him as unneeded, Rei just cuts off the topic by declaring that Suguru can at least stay the night due to it being late but that’s about it and leaves.
Before Shouta joins the two he shows having found a pretty stone that the other two deduce as coming from a nearby Tengenjibashi shrine that leads to the three discussing the topic since Shouta would note being scared of the target the family worshipped (which Suguru only knew as Marici) until Rei explained the other ‘half‘ that they used for the curses )
Curious Suguru would ask if Rei knew who the Kamiohzaki’s worshipped, which receives confusion since he assumed they used their great ancestor Seimei so Suguru can only correct him that it’s just a convenient assumption the big families never deny while in reality they share no relations and the Kamiohzaki family instead uses their charms to borrow power from whomever was the local deity to appeal to the masses. The price for that would be that they instead would be very weak at handling curses while being hated by the more traditional families. Rei just adds in the whole irony like his own family rejecting the approach while at the same time doing basically the exact same thing anyway if just in different form.
Shouta interrupts their banter to protest how they’re nothing alike since the Tengenjibashi deity summons awful things so he just can’t see it as something good so Rei starts pondering if that might be the identity of what they felt since no matter how much cleansing would be done, the deity was also known for gathering misfortune. Shouta uses the moment to confess how much he does genuinely wish make his parents happy by becoming the heir nor does he genuinely hate learning excorcism, but everything involved when it comes to the Tengenjibashi just terrifies him too much (including the relatives themselves) to not echo the same sentiment the other two once had of rejecting becoming an onmyouji.
The speech lets Rei figure out that the likely issue Shouta was having not a lack of ability to use powers, but mental rejection out of fear in response to how the family was like as living examples. An issue that could be easily solveable if only the kid was given freedom on choosing what type of spells he learned. Feeling the tension at the two being silent, Shouta just apologizes for troubling the two by even suggesting he’d pick the option that’d lead to dooming Rei again. In return, Rei comforts the kid by rejecting the idea of Shouta sacrificing himself by offering to gradually think of a solution that turns out good for both of them together. Later that night, Rei has trouble sleeping thanks to being too fatigued so instead he ends up pondering how he was sharing rooms with Suguru who to contrast Rei was fast asleep. Feeling tinges of regret at the other leaving soon (even if it’s thanks to his own actions), Rei decides that he might as well excuse it as a ”just this last night” thing before seeking contact.
The shenanigans would naturally wake Suguru so the other could only be sleepy yet bewildered at the sudden situation. More so when Rei’s response to seeing him awake was to call it good timing while requesting ‘help’ providing a certain type of excercise that might help with his sleeping issue. Losing any remaining drowzyness he still had, Suguru immediately protests to the idea only to have Rei ignore him by instead offering that a certain ‘other’ place on Suguru was saying something completely diferent.
With no hopes to win this argument when Rei would repeat his request while having one hand by his lower region, Suguru’s weak struggles end when alongside asking for comfort Rei’s attempt at coercing includes using Suguru’s crush as one of the reasons he should go with the flow. Just those words would kill the mood as Suguru would forcefully push Rei away while repeating his earlier sentiment on how he really does hate that type of stuff afterall. Facing Rei’s confusion Suguru can only request that as much as he gets that the other was in a fragile situation, he’d rather Rei didn’t go as far as abusing his feelings like that. More so when Rei didn’t even bother to fake an ”I love you” before trampling on his pride with the question. Sadly, Rei does not get the issue and instead questions if Suguru hadn’t felt happy about the prospect before getting further confused on why Suguru was objecting when he himself admits on not being against the act itself. With a declaration that he just ‘doesn’t get it’ Rei rejects Suguru’s attempt at pacifying him by creating distance between them again while turning away to sulk. Suguru’s further attempt to reconcile gets a warning on not having the right to touch Rei after rejecting him like that so Suguru can only withdraw his hand while switching to stare into the deep darkness before dawn.
The next time Suguru wakes he finds Rei already absent from the room so he can only conclude that Rei’s being avoided him now. Feeling that simply apologizing would just further ruin the situation, Suguru instead ponders his own next actions since returning to Tokyo was out of the question when Suguru could tell how behind the command Rei wished for his presence to stay. Recalling why he even decided to chase after Rei Suguru notes how it would have served no purpose if he didn’t lick the plate after being served poison. If, as a result Suguru would die from it he’d still take comfort from the idea of Rei mourning his death as something that’d make him happy.
Meanwhile, Rei wasn’t actually avoiding Suguru as much suffering from bad timing after he encountered one of the relatives while seeking the bathroom who dragged him into their next ‘meeting’ to discuss Shouta. Just as Rei was giving in to the temptation of falling asleep the bunch would increase their volume on berating Ichiya for the situation, including his father directing the topic to seek his opinion even if the results turn useless thanks to the bunch start to act out some group hysterics while ranting about Maurici visiting them in their dreams to demand they solve the Shouta situation asap. Choosing not to deal with the masses any further Rei just excuses himself by noting he has mornings tasks he was told to fulfill and leaves the room. When he stops by their room to get his coat, discovering Suguru as ‘absent’ has Rei crumble to the ground from the shock…until muttering the other’s name has a familiar voice respond from behind him so the despair turns into confusion before Rei registers that Suguru had more luggage beside him than when he initially had. Turns out that the other had went to fetch the remaining stuff he still had in the car since he had prepared for a pretty long stay by bringing stuff like a tablet and a pc alongside the necessities to last him a month.
Too bad that Suguru’s plans didn’t account for not getting any signal to have internet available so he can only react in disbelief before dismissing the part where he’d still be working to let things proceed on their own when Rei attempts to use the matter as his reason for leaving. Instead Suguru twists the matter as motivation to solve things quicker by volunteering his help to Rei so the other can just sigh in defeat and go silent before offering for Suguru to join him in the morning tasks as a first step (an invitation that Rei wouldn’t even need to see the others face to tell how happy Suguru looked when volunteering his yes). The task turns out to be cleaning the shrine that the two deduce as the likely origin of the stone Shouta found on the previous day. Once they’re done Suguru pokes Rei about which deity the shrine is for that turns out to be Maurici so once he’s finished explaining Rei suggests that they include a wish alongside their prayer. Seeing Suguru put on a serious face after responding to the idea in a jokey fashion Rei can’t hold in his amusement at the contradiction so Suguru glares at him. Using that as his chance to voice his curiosity on the contents that got Suguru so serious, the other just ends the topic by telling for Rei to just start with his own while visibly still embarassed.
Doing as told, Rei wishes for Shouta’s situation to turn out well so hearing that Suguru immediately questions if he really didn’t have anything more personal that he secretly hoped to come true only to be miffed when Rei doesn’t hesitate in his affirmation. The topic switches to the earlier meeting and pondering if the family does fully intend to force Rei in to marriage while Rei covers up his thoughts trailing into how having to part with Suguru being the part that bothers him most by noting he’d have Suguru take part in it as the closest friend while innerly calling the matter as the worst joke to pull since he’d never agree to the matter.
Suguru just acting normal. Surely
Volunteering that as their timing to head back Rei gets confused when instead of following Suguru would stand still while having his expression hidden. Suguru would start slowly mumbling about how his heart was hurting as if in a trance while closing the distance between them as Rei himself would gradually feel frightened of his friend. Suguru’d suggest they stay there longer while gently caressing Rei’s hair as the other would be stuck at how off things felt so Rei was at a loss on how to react…before Suguru snickered and switched back to his usual demeanor so Rei would just scold him for the bad joke he pulled as he’d resume to head back.
It starts raining just as they arrive at the house so while drying off Rei notices Shouta looking at them from the distance. When instead of calling out to them Shouta just stands still while showing fear, Rei takes the initiative only to be further confused when seeing the other run away before he could even finish calling the kids name. Later that night Rei has issues sleeping again by repeatedly drifting between dreaming and being awake as at one point he’d sense something softly touching his lips then silently staring at him. Guessing the person as to being Suguru Rei repeats his question on what exactly had the other wished for if sadly the answer goes unheard thanks to the white noise of the rain Rei’d hear while drifting off again into seeing a nightmare of Suguru scolding him for stuff like being indirectly mean with how Suguru’s deepest feelings would never fully reach Rei’s heart so he’s grown tired of the chase and instead asks for Rei to finally become ‘his’ as he’d hold a knife and stab him before hearing an answer.
Dream-Suguru’s answer to emotional fatigue might be different from the average person.
Turns out Rei wasn’t the only with nighmares as Suguru would later wake up disturbed by what he had seen and how he could still ‘feel’ the sensation of strangling Rei by his own hands. Fully in denial of even having those type of thoughts, there’s deja vu when his inner turmoil is interrupted by the touch of a pale hand as Rei’d ask about having nightmares as the reason Suguru’s heart was racing while sharing close proximity again. Rei’d confess that he’d just woken up from one himself too while noting that close intimacy would help in relaxing after such things. Suguru can only remind that he already rejected the topic the previous day while feebly struggling against the situation. It proves not to be effective when Rei instead calls Suguru out on having called his name a lot in his dreams as the proof so what’s the point of surpressing his clear desire…as he sticks his hand by Suguru’s lower regions again.
Suguru confessing how deeply his devotion to Rei goes
Seeing Suguru frozen on the spot, Rei continues by bringing up his wish again while questioning why Suguru was relyng on a deity to ‘have’ Rei instead of saying anything to the person himself. Suguru confesses that the reason he keeps not confessing his feelings is the fear of rejection, since if that happens he knows he’ll ‘break’ as a person while thinking Rei as cruel for pushing the subject after he himself decided to be fine with just never wishing for anything while treating Rei’s company as all he needed to be happy. Rei just suggests he’d just say his confession in a way Rei can’t reject it since he’d never treat Suguru’s feelings lightly like that. Suguru just calls him a liar since Rei’s been repeatedly trampling on them since the whole trip home began by initially leaving by himself and just hours ago there was the marriage talk…
When Rei still claims he isn’t one, Suguru can only question if the whole thing was on purpose then with him repeatedly either ignoring Suguru’s feelings or pushing him away when he tried to understand the other better so he’d be constantly stuck in a loop of Rei always doing the exact thing that’d push him into a corner. Rei can only apologize while licking off the tears that had spilled alongside Suguru’s breakdown as he’d resume the foreplay by asking for assistance in fulfilling ‘Rei’s wish’. Suguru compares the whole thing to the numbness feeling like the effects of a poison so the last thing he sees is a twisted smile on Rei’s face as the answer when asking if going with the deed would finally make Rei his.
Time skips to next evening with Rei coming home after helping out with the preparations for the local festival as he’d grumble about the fatigue before pondering why Suguru hadn’t popped up even though it’s a subject that’d seem like something the other would at least come to observe later after Rei left him to sleep in the morning. He recalls the nightmare of Suguru killing him while dismissing it as just that. Reaching their shared room has Rei find Suguru missing while spotting his pc still on so he’d though to turn it off for him only to get startled by the sound of an email arriving. An email adressed ”to Tengenjibashi” that would ask for him to come to the shrine as the sender is waiting there to fulfill the wish…so obviously it’s Suguru and Rei’d have a bad feeling that’d motivate him to hurry there asap. On the way he spots Shouta again as he’d be practicing something so Rei’d debate on if it was worth calling out again. Going for the former he finds out that the kid was playing with his trading cards. During their small talk Shouta is surprised at hearing Rei had received a mail that gets Rei to recall that Suguru himself had been surprised at having no connection available so how did the message go though? Recognizing that that something is really fishy when adding the tidbit alongside the other stuff (ie the dream) Rei departs for the shrine.
Upon reaching his destination Rei’d find a silent Suguru in the midst of opening it a section of the shrine that for some reason terrifies Rei in every fiber of his being. Unable to stop Suguru in time Rei can only freeze at the sight of a black something escaping the shrine as the result. In contrast to his clear fear Suguru would just start maniacally laughing while staring at the ground without even doing as much as blinking his eyes.
Now featuring Suguru having the time of his life
Once he stops, Suguru turns to Rei with a deadpan question on if he fulfilled his part of the promise. To Rei’s confusion, he notes that he just finished granting Rei’s wish so noow it’s about time for Rei to fulfill his. When Rei notes not getting what Suguru’s talking about, the others tone changes as he ask if Rei seriously would claim on having made no promises to Suguru while accenting his confused headtilt with a glare so matters only get worse with Rei keeping to the claim so Suguru gets into a different kids of hysterics.
The promise Suguru claims is about the shenanigans of the previous night that confuses Rei even further since he doesn’t remember ever bringing up any kind of bedroom talk, much less promise Suguru ownership of him while confessing love. When Suguru’s deduction of Rei just still sulking over the 1st nights rejection is met with even more firm claims of Rei only guessing that Suguru confused dreams with reality Suguru completely flips out…until Rei’s attempt to calm him down is met with a broken ‘can’t’ since the situation was exactly the one he had warned Rei about on the previous night. Instead he pulls a knife that was hidden by the shrine while declaring that if Rei won’t accept him, he’ll just carve himself into the others heart through death while cutting at his own wrist.
”I told you I’d fall apart if you rejected me”
Looking near tears for a moment when Rei attempts to stop him, Rei’s hopes of the matter being a sign Suguru regained sanity are shattered when the next thing he utters is treating the gesture as Rei having accepted him as he places them in the exact situation as the dream. It’s finally at that point that Rei realizes that he had jinxed when pondering the dangers of Suguru getting posessed as one of them earlier on. Question now was when exactly did his friend go under the influence as Rei could only curse himself for not being more careful when encountering all the other oddities like the gaze.
As Suguru would tie his necktie around Rei’s neck while holding a knife, the other can only hope to find somekind of chance to prevent the situation from escalating further. More so after recognizing how much Suguru was reenacting their dream when a lot of things were too coveniently ‘ready’ for use and the other was never the type to go for any of these methods to convey himself. Absolutely positive that his deduction is right, Rei gives his all to perform a spell that wakes Suguru from his trance after passing out on top of Rei for a few seconds. Once the other is awake, Rei can only ponder if he either messed up the spell or was the power too weak when Suguru only resumes his assault by using his own hands to strangle Rei. With a look that’s mix of anger and tears Suguru would once again repeat the matter on how Rei rejected him afterall, if this this time the other doesn’t struggle but just silently asks what got Suguru to look like that as if Rei was facing a stranger while reaching out his hand for the other. Suguru in return would just reply that he’s no stranger but still the same Suguru that Rei always knew.
Rei continues by asking what expression he has on then, since he couldn’t see it due to a shadow from the tree. Suguru claims it’s the usual smile with a trembling voice since after all, his words would never reach Rei yet now he was close enough to finally be heard. Confessing that he had a lot of things he wished to say and talk about to Rei, Suguru proceeds to plead for the other to finally listen to him while drawing his face closer that Rei could see he was on the side of a tearful breakdown. Rei would keep his gaze locked with Suguru’s to show he meant it when he offers for Suguru to speak then. Initially silent Suguru would loosen his grip while confessing first how he never intended to become an onmyouji. To Rei’s ”I know” he continues by asking what did Rei assume was the reason he became one anyway? Why because he thought that way he’d reunite with Rei someday since after the other disappeared Suguru had heard of Rei having returned back home and immediately figured the others fate so he called his own father to declare he’d become on onmyouji afterall. However, to do that Suguru would have to become part of the Kamiohzaki group as part of his duties. Obvious thing that’d seem like matter of course right? Suguru questions if Rei could even guess how much resolve the matter required since becoming part of the company meant taking over tasks and jumping right in the line of fire of the whole inheritance war. To that note Rei recalls of hearing about a poisoning incident to which Suguru only adds that there were a lot more cases happening behind the scenes so the media only accidently found out about the one of m a n y.
Suguru continues by reminding of the one case where someone was messing with his suitcase by guessing someone was looking to frame him for drugs before getting found out. Rei can only conclude how being in different types of families really didn’t chage anything if the Kamiohzaki’s were pulling the same shady stuff as the Tengenjibashi. Drifting his thoughts back to Suguru Rei just ponders why Suguru has to risk so much just for his sake. As if hearing Rei’s silent question, Suguru resumes by noting how he was fine with being poisoned to death as long as he got to see Rei one more time. An idea that further confuses Rei since wasn’t he angry about the disappearance? Suguru admits that yes he indeed is still furious while balancing his weight to center on Rei’s neck again (if not as far as to cause too much harm). Not a day had passed without pondering why it had been just that. one day.
All this time there had been a promise aside from the full-day hangout that Suguru repeatedly stopped himself of asking if Rei still remembered. When Rei shows that he doesn’t Suguru reacts in full despair by making sounds that Rei wasn’t sure if they were his attempts at speaking or just breathing. With a hoarse voice you could easily tell he was in full breakdown, Suguru judges the answer to mean that he & their promises really did matter that little to Rei while forcing a laugh. The feeling around his neck would convey to Rei how vexed Suguru was about the whole thing so he offers an apology. The words only rile up Suguru as he’d tighten his grip while demanding Rei to remember since an apology would just end the topic instead of solving anything! Suguru never forgot their promise even for a minute, even after getting abandoned or when Rei pushed him away. He became an onmyouji just so he could fulfill it, so the time Suguru saw Rei again he had been so happy….
You thought this route’d be all cute and silly and then one side was strangling the other
Clearly losing himself to his emotions Suguru starts accusing Rei of just pretending not to remember since the other had known about his feelings so ultimately it all comes down to Rei indirectly rejecting him this whole time! And if that’s the case, Suguru can only follow what Rei himself had told him to create a situation he can’t be refused. As Suguru continues to strangle him, Rei deduces that Suguru had completely lost judgment on what had been a dream and what had been reality even though now had been the first time Rei heard of his feelings much less would he have any clues which of his actions Suguru saw as rejection. Seeing the blatant contradictions while unclear which parts were true and which just misunderstandings made Suguru seem all the more pityful so Rei focuses on the one thing that was certain by tring to recall the promise the other spoke of. Turns out Suguru had resolved to confess after accidently blurting the words out in Rei’s presence on their way home while being lucky the surroundings had muffled part of it for Rei to not hear. They went as far as making a pinky promise after Rei made sure he’d swore to repeat what he said on the next day.
Now more aware on what Sugure looked to say on that day Rei is mortified at himself for having forgotten something so important. Wavering on the brink of death now Rei sees the whole situation as karma for never noticing anything. Dazed he’d reach out to Suguru once more while slipping back into how he used to call the other. Surprised, Suguru would immediately freeze and let go when hearing Rei actually speak his name instead of the usual surname. When Suguru seems completely at a loss Rei questions if he was against the switch. Suru’d immediately deny the idea by confessing he had believed he’d never hear Rei say his name ever again. Rei chides him that Suguru had been doing the same so fair’s fair after all. Suguru objects that he actually had wished to be on first name basis but only switched to echo how Rei had adressed him by surname before promising to get off Rei immediately.
Still near tears, Suguru apologizes and asks if Rei is still okay while helping the other to stand. As Rei would express his relief at Suguru finally being back to normal, next step comes with having to stop the goof from his now guiltrip. Hearing Rei use his name again while at it just increases the incoming waterworks. When Rei looks to reach out to touch him, Suguru slaps his hand and runs so Rei’s grumbling ends in recognizing how he was given the taste of his own medicine thanks to being in too much pain to run after the other. Instead he spends a moment recalling episodes he’d shared with Suguru until now and how much the goof had been letting things slip that Rei never caught note of (like how he was looking to ask something during the love hotel escapade).
Rei observes, that while there was outside influence, Suguru’s outburst had been timebomb waiting to happen sooner or later since at the core it was just the goof falling apart thanks to all of his insecurities. Now that Rei understands what was going on, the realization on how much he had been continuously hurting the other while claiming the opposite is awful. More so since it wasn’t an issue of Suguru not trying to confess his feelings as much as Rei continuously denying hm the chance to even do so.
Hours would pass till Rei would decide he’s rested enough and noticing the shrine again would decide to fully see what was hidden in there. Or rather what wasn’t since the shintai (that had been a pair of mirrors until one went missing ages ago) was gone. Moreover, Suguru couldn’t be the culprit either since he never reached in to take anything. Hearing footsteps behind him, Rei’s hope of the owner being Suguru is dashed when instead it’s the grandfather who soon declares that the time has come for Shouta to be the ‘container’. The kid had apparently escaped for the mountain after it turned out that Suguru wasn’t the only victim of posession. Joining in on the search himself Rei just prays for both Suguru and Shouta to be safe until he finds both of them.
Suguru meanwhile was still wallowing in selfdisgust by a nearby river and getting as far as conteplating just drowning himself in it out of frustration. While gazing at the depths to further the point Suguru notices a light being reflected that turns out to be Shouta. In tears the kid would immediately tackle the surprised goof while seeking help so while still confused at the situation Suguru agrees as they change locations to hide better. Once Suguru manages to calm Shouta a bit he gets to join in learning about the situation. The Tengenjibashi had suddenly attacked the kid while ranting about making him a container so Ichiya and his wife had made sure at least Shouta could escape the initial assault. Suguru can only further innerly curse himself when asking about the timing makes it clear it was his own deeds that escalated the situation. Keeping a poker face he chooses to ask if Shouta could think of the reason so the kid confesses that he actually had powers and had seen something more unpleasant than Konjin attached to the bunch. While the attack earlier on had been the first time anything like that happened, Shouta had always seen it present by somebody’s side which was the root of his fear where he believed doing the pretense would make it disappear. The only exceptions had been his parents while Rei&Suguru still got it later on so once the kid apologies for his attitude Suguru just expressed that he was grateful since it reduced his victim count. Shouta had seen the shadow his whole life while hearing it whisper for him to become an onmyouji as it followed around after him. Suguru starts wondering if Rei is okay and starts sinking into selfdisgust again for only starting to show concern now before deciding apologies will have to wait till later since Suguru was still very aware what things take priority first. He suggests to Shouta to head for his car and maybe look for clues at the Kamiohzaki’s. Before they do actually head out there’s a sound of footsteps that turns out to be Rei expressed relief at them being okay.
The joy of reunion in shortlived when Rei begins echoing the same behavior as the other Tengenjibashi by demanding for Shouta to go home as that easy telling sign for Suguru to realize it’s a fake he is to chase away with his spells. As he’d scold the fake to think a bit more by the next time since Suguru has never seen a Rei that would go for such convenient solutions as the person himself would chime in amused on Suguru getting how he works allright.
”Suguru you really are a giant idiot” a statement that will never stop being revelant this path
After a moment of Suguru just staring into Rei’s eyes like a heroine at her prince charming, they exchange places with Rei finishing off the fake after he uses his own blood to make up for lacking spellcharms. Once that is done he turns to Suguru and starts calling him a giant idiot for making him worry like that as the other just smiles and accepts the remarks with a ‘sorry’. Rei calls for him to approach closer only to be rejected since apparently Suguru had decided keeping a certain distance from Rei as part of his punishment. Suguru switches their topic on what to do next that Rei ponders on what option would avoid the goof from making a disappearance act while at it. With a smile Rei echo’s his fake by suggesting the same destination of the Tengenjibashi house, if while asking for Suguru to come along. Seeing as how protesting would go nowhere Suguru can only show his agreement by joining Rei in the offered handshake while at the end of the others pointed gaze. During the gesture Suguru’s expression would let slip of his mask for a tiny sec before he’d present his usual smile, but that tiny moment is enough for Rei to notice how much the expression that was beneath that had been of someone embracing their imminent death (that Rei for some reason dismisses as thinking too much. Really dude?).
The teeheehee of ”I’m gonna waste hundreds of thousans of yen like it’s spare change again”
The spoken actual plan of action is Suguru grabbing his own charms that had been left at their room to do a spell while Rei and Suguru’s shikigami did their all to protect Shouta (all while hearing juat the amount of charms Suguru had brought along gets the two present Tengenjibashi to be overwhelmed at the amount of money that equaled as the goof himself just puffed his chest in pride to be all ”see how prepared I was just in case? heehee”). As the trio would walk towards their destination once Rei’s fully caught up on all the details from Suguru, they end up discussing Rei’s personality as Suguru admits how initially he had been surprised but started liking the current one too as Rei would freeze at the the words ”like” like a deer in headlights. To that reaction Suguru would just repeat his confession in an even simpler form so Rei’d be at a loss for words on suddenly having the topic dropped on him as if they were speaking about the local weather. Unsure of what was so funny Rei watches Suguru laugh before deciding that the other had deserved himself a kick as he questions if Suguru’s feelings weren’t more directed at the past him.
”I love you” the goof says as if he was speaking about the sky being blue
Suguru asks him to not speed into a weird direction as he admits that as weird as it sounded, the current him would never have fallen for the past Rei. To Rei seeking an explanation, Suguru notes how he had initially hesitated on acting out their reunion and thus delayed the matter due to fear of disillusionment. Then they met and yeah he annoyed at how Rei changed…but it was while using the judgment his younger self had. The adult Suguru has a different set of values that tell him the current Rei is ‘the one’ for him, not the past one.
Seeing Rei not fully understand Suguru simplifies his speech as just that he doesn’t crush on who Rei used to be it’s more that he likes the past one that’s in his memories because he’s fond of the current one instead of being still stuck in the younger years. Rei argues that with how Suguru had still listed their past as the best time in his life, so Suguru only corrects him how that’s more based on how that was when Rei was beside him the most yet then came the time he wasn’t. Now? Now they can be together again just like old times so…
Rei changed as a person? Doesn’t matter. To Suguru all of Rei, both the parts that changed and that didn’t, are a beloved treasure. And seeing Rei attempt to argue the matter again just gets Suguru to express his confusion on what the other is so afraid of when the one thing he can declare as absolutely sure is that no matter what happens between now and the future, it won’t affect their memories. Besides, if one of the fears Rei had was Suguru getting disgusted after knowing him more as a person, the pattern so far has been quite the opposite with Suguru falling just deeper&deeper in love with Rei since he sees him as such a charming person (and that’s coming someone working at the top of a company so his judgment on people is pretty precise! Clearly!)
Pictured: Suguru crashing the momeny by just one sentence
Rei silently questions if he’s really worth being on the receiving end of such adoration as a person while calling Suguru an idiot once more for picking someone like him. Their moment falls apart when Rei’s attempt to finally share his genuine feelings gets Suguru closing the topic by declaring that he has no regrets now that he’s confessed now his feelings and knows that the things Rei spoke as having abandoned were never ones he himself wished to (including Suguru himself). When Rei still asks if Suguru didn’t want to hear his answer, he can only get more annoyed when the other dismisses as an unneeded matter since he’s already figured he’d be rejected with how the other keeps people at distance so why make Rei say it. Before Rei can vent his annoyance there’s a light to signal that they reached the house so instead he sighs and laughs at the irony on how used he was to switching gears like this.
After Suguru&Rei make a deduction on what exactly they’re dealing with to know what counterspells to use (and Suguru displays that he had to be told about his affinity to even notice that was a thing) the trio sneak into the house and get the items they needed. Done with that the two go outside and start yelling taunts at the house to bait out the posessed Tengenjibashi into the mountain (that Suguru calls some ugly game of tag while Rei just grumbles on wishing to bathe and then sleep like a log asap while running). Upon reaching the shrine Rei&Suguru go for the last phase where the former just opens his suitcase while chanting so all the charms would rain on the crowd that chased them to purge the posession.
Upon spotting the ‘shadow’ looking to escape in reaction, Rei joins in the procedure by chanting one of his own spells that deals the final blow before it disappears. With the ordeal finally being over Rei ruins Suguru’s victory cheers by having a onesided talk towards something while gazing at the moon that he only explains by gesturing at the river with a ”we’ll welcome that tommorow”.
Once both had their good nights rest the answer turns out to be that Rei had figured the likely location of the missing shintai to be in there so the trio’s final final task got to be skimming the river till hitting jackpot. Carrying it back to the shrine, Rei expresses for the nth time his disbelief at the Tengenjibashi that Suguru attempts to pacify by reminding him that he already had a prolonged venting session in the ‘family meeting’ that morning. Rei would just argue that they still didn’t receive enough backlash for him to stop grumbling (more so since Rei knew the bunch enough to know they didn’t accept his speech out of regret but instead due to being vexed on ‘owing’ Suguru a favor). The atmosphere grows a bit tenser when Rei calls Suguru out on having this weird look on him…before the goof proceeds to apologize for having partly caused the whole mess thanks to acting selfish with how he made Rei take him along, if only to be countered that his presence was necessary to solve what would have happened sooner or later anyway so there’s no need for Suguru to feel responsible. Moreover, Shouta’s more like grateful to him since during the meeting Suguru had insisted that the kid gets the rights to decide his own future while alluding that he’d use his privileges as an Kamiohzaki if they don’t listen to his request. Suguru just notes it was another thing he had done as a selfish whim while thanking for the other two easing his guilt a tad.
On that cue Rei chimes that it’s about time he went back home to Tokyo so upon being instructed to get the car Suguru can only question if Rei really was fine with not saying his goodbyes to anyone aside from the amused Shouta. Rei dismisses his concern as unneeded since nothing had changed about his bitterness towards most of the family thanks to the shenanigans years ago even after learning they were being influenced by an outside source (well, with maybe Ichiya as an somewhat exception thanks to Shouta’s puppy eyes). Suguru’s next, if more awkward, question continues with asking if Rei wasn’t afraid of him after the one episode (that he at least hoped he wouldn’t ever repeat) only to not get an answer since Rei would instead sigh and be all ”that topic again? Fine we’ll discuss this after getting home” while chiming for them to just go. Seeing Rei not even wait for his reaction while chanting ”there’s no place like home” under his breath as he walks for the car, Suguru can only chase after him like a lost puppy.
At home, once the dealing with Basara’s intense welcome is done Suguru attempts to use that timing for his exit so Rei has to grab him at the sleeve of his suit to stop the goof through an invitation to join him on dinner where they can discuss things. Beginning his tale with noting how he’d be unsure on where to even begin, Rei confesses to Suguru all the things about his himself that he had kept hidden until now. His past, his thoughts and selfhate so Suguru’s feelings brought up the question on if it was ok to not give up on their possible shared ‘future’ this time…only to have Suguru call for a stop in his speech to declare that on his side it seemed like a good idea to spend some time apart instead. Understandably pissed at having his attempt at a confession be rejected once more, Rei gets to be at a loss for an argument when the reason Suguru presents is having grown afraid of himself and the chance of performing a repeat of turning extreme thanks to his actions while posessed all having been performed based on feelings that had always been inside him. Not handling the silence there after for too long, true to word Suguru volunteers that moment for leaving while saying goodbye. Left behind, in tears Rei would reflexively ponder once more about how much they weren’t fated after seeing Suguru not even respond to his calls…then cursing decides that enoughs enough, he’s not gonna let things ‘end’ like that this time. Rushing outside in hopes of still catching the other goof, Rei gets to deal with a case of further depression at finding no one…until he hears a familiar voice ring out further away from the office. Forcing his legs to continue the chase, Rei finds Suguru exasperated at apparently having parket his car at a spot where it had been forbidden.
”When being indirect fails, go for blunt” by Rei
Once more Rei grabs onto Suguru’s suit so as to let the other run away after seeing Suguru flinch at hearing his voice. The two would stand around in awkward silence at a loss on what to say before Rei would decide to tug at Suguru’s sleeve as the next step after having his presence seemingly ignored. Getting a cold ”what” at that encourages Rei to continue with the shenanigans where after more silence he’d strengthen his grip as he’d resolve to further confess his honest feelings re:why he casually slept with people and how he’s kiinda been not doing that for a while lately. Further encouraged when after showing surprise Suguru would question why Rei would share those tidbits with him, Rei later finishes his speech by asking for Suguru to pretty much date him. Suguru would completely freeze up at that so Rei’d read that as a sign for another rejection and begin retreating only to find himself in an embrace. It was Suguru’s turn this time to stop Rei from leaving as he’d frantically deny that his answer wasn’t a ”no” but just that he literally was that surprised his brain stopped working for a moment. Wiping away his tears, Rei just notes how the goof really never changes before leaning in for a kiss and holding back laughter when Suguru questions if he wasn’t dreaming again. Once finally convinced, Suguru picks up Rei like a princess while confessing his love once more (and how he had been waiting for Rei for so soo long).
Timeskip to a month later and Rei is still giddy at the change in their relationship. One morning Ichiya calls to report about Shouta not only having been finally accepted as the heir but also how he did get the rights Suguru had insisted for too. Rei just remarks in sacrasm how the later was kind of a natural thing to have in the first place so…
Turns out even when given the choice Shouta ended up curious enough on the subject to still be learning about becoming an onmyouji after getting impressed by the stuff Suguru&Rei pulled. They share some friendly-ish chatter (ie Rei offering for Shouta to visit Tokyo while joking that he’d guide him to ‘fun’ places) before Ichiya ends the call by asking Rei passes on his greeting to Suguru too. On that cue Basara reports on having finished packing Rei’s luggage for their trip that day (that apparently was the 3rd one since the hookup) since Suguru was keeping with the promise they made before any time he found openings in his schedule. Alas, some of the fun would in time turn to exasperation when throughout this whole time Suguru had yet to go for the more intimate stuff aside from kissing even when in private so Rei was stuck with the growing frustration. More so since Rei had been making all the moves he could think of to invite ‘that’ type of atmosphere yet Suguru would go for sleeping seperately with their backs turned. Was the issue how he lacked appeal in general? No that can’t be right.
Rei’s IQ has currently left the building so please come again later
Declaring determination that this time he’d go as far as push Suguru down to the bed and take control of the process himself if that’s what it takes to get some action, Rei ends up dying at the embarassment on Basara piping up on having heard everything. Then he opts it as a chance to ask the shikigami if lacking appeal is the issue and treating the reaction as further confirmation that the issiue isn’t with Rei. Maybe it’s with Suguru then? Well, that could be a large issue…or bonus depending on if it was healthbased or Suguru just lacking any kind of bedroom experience.
Upon Suguru’s arrival Rei switches to act all tsun on not being into the trip at all but at this point Suguru had mastered translating Reiese so it’d have no effect. When Suguru notes a hotel with nice nightview as their first destination Rei innerly smirks while plotting a plan of action to get laid after getting Suguru drunk enough! Before they can set out though, Suguru’s phone rings. The caller looks to be Suguru’s father (who’d Rei find contrasting in personality enough to state how Suguru being born from that parentage would feel like a complete mystery). The reason turns out to be the token surprise omiai that Suguru has to attend to the next day.
Rei’s life has switched to repeatedly facepalming at his dumb boyfriend
Watching Suguru stare at his phone would fill him with a sense of deja vu on having been in the same situation just a month ago. Completely zoned out Suguru would turn towards Rei while making awkward motions that’d make him seem like some rusted robot the goof is like ”I wonder what that was even about uhmm” only for Rei to go ”that’s more MY line” as the titlecard drops to signal the start of the 2nd half of Suguru’s route.
10 min later Basara would be stuck glancing from one corner to the other as Rei would vent his irritation through popping whrapping bubbles and Suguru himself would just sit frozen on the spot with his head down. Fed up with the silence Rei is the one to break it by initially questioning if Suguru really had no idea about the omiai. Suguru of course objects any implications of being unfaithfull by restating his feelings and how wouldn’t have planned the whole trip otherwise. Rei would dere for a second before continuing with the suggestion that he contacts his dad then…only to be told that Suguru had already attempted thrice without success so he was likely intentionally getting ignored. Annoyed, Suguru starts to suggest his own solution before Rei shuts him down midword to declare he’s not going anywhere, much less for things like openly declaring their relationship to Suguru’s dad. Getting more & more annoyed at Suguru being wishy-washy about his own fate, Rei says nothing when Suguru declares on leaving to meet with his dad personally to reject the omiai. Instead, as Basara would express concern on if the goof would be okay Rei just notes on how he’ll paitiently wait for Suguru to contact him like a good boy.
On that cue he hears noises from upstairs that Basara notes as construction work having finally started even though the building belonged to the Tengenjibashi so why…?
Meanwhile, while dealing with his father Suguru learns that he’s actually a replacement for his older brother Kouji who suddenly couldn’t be contacted. Since the other family is not exactly someone the Kamiohzaki’s can lightly cancel such plans with the dad decided that Suguru should act as his replacement until Kouji was done with his annual escapism trip. On his way out Suguru attempts to hypothetically ask what his father would do if Suguru was dating someone only to be told that the other doesn’t care since it’s a topic completely dependant on Suguru and he can marry whomever (so Suguru innerly sighs on just how far the prospect on ever marrying Rei is for the two).
Later Suguru reports to Rei on the situation so when the other is clearly not happy on the news on the omiai still being a thing Suguru attempts to pacify by promising he has a backup plan to solve things if the situation gets to the part of Suguru having to be the husband instead of Kouji. Afterwards they discuss more details about the poisoning incident that had been mentioned before as to actually having relation to Kouji as the likely original target that possibly was aware of the matter in some form to vanish then just like now. Rei calls Suguru out on how both Kamiohzaki’s would treat the disappearance oddly casually even though it could count among the fishy things at play alongside how a number of the things about the family the omiai was with seemed off. Rei decides he’ll look into finding Kouji for clues only to notice Suguru grow eerily silent. Asking what’s that about gets the goof to suddenly insist that the matter would be too risky fo Rei to facepalm on how that’s a complete opposite tune to how Suguru claimed Kouji was fine moments ago and get gradually annoyed since while pointing out how hey if Kouji doesn’t appear what will Suguru do? Just silently marry the girl?
Suguru would repeat how he did kinda…sorta…have a plan for that case. Yeah. Rei just tells him to just shove it if he won’t even explain what said plan is. As Suguru is taken aback at the crudeness, Rei continues by pointing out how the goof has a surprisingly large amount of secrets he keeps. Indignant, Suguru protests that he never intended to do that so Rei once more demands he explains his last resort.
Suguru just falls silent with the puppy eyes so Rei rolls his with a ”See? Here’s exactly what I had meant”. Suguru gives up and reveals that his big secret plan was that if he faced the situation where he had to marry…he’d just elope with Rei!
Yeah, me too Rei
Rei’s facepalming deepens. Suguru continues on how he’s fine with throwing away everything for Rei. Rei just questions if he’s stupid while sinking into the sofa. A moment of silence passes. Suguru decides to defend himself by noting this reaction was exactly why he was quiet about it. Rei points out it still counts as keeping secrets! Suguru offers to make up for it by answering any other things Rei wished to know about him. Forcing the immediate ”no bedroom action” issue that came to mind into the ignore corner Rei puts on his poker face to answer that as if he’d ever have any while ignoring Suguru’s blatant dissapointment at the answer. Rei tells for Suguru to go home already while he’ll just do as he likes. Not objecting this time Suguru repeats for Rei to be careful and to call if he finds his brother while promising to do the same after his omiai to Rei. With a last apology about the canceled trip Suguru leaves and Rei dwells on the unspoken question while muttering about how could he ever ask such a thing upfront. Telling himself to how he won’t care about the subject anymore, Rei grows annoyed again when his mind would do the exact opposite so he storms out of the office to buy the materials needed for finding Kouji. His pretense at being fine there gets ruined when Kingyo points out about his initial bad mood while offering an ear that’d listen. Deducing the other as likely just seeking amusement, Rei still accepts the offer by using the good ol’ ”this about a friend I have” (”Tengenjibashi-kun has friends?” ”it’s about a f r i e n d I have”) to see if he could get advise. Only thing Rei gets is the idea of the problem possibly being his nightlife history that he looks to immediately dismiss since Suguru claimed not to care about that. Kingyo would tease him about the 100 expressions he’d pull for a topic that’s supposed to be unrelated to Rei himself before noting to pass on that ”patience gives fruit”. Fed up Rei finishes purchasing his materials and declares that he already payed for them with the previous time he solved a case involving the store. Walking the streets now Rei ends up pondering love some more thanks to all the couples around and how would one attain relief&satisfaction by it before concluding it a mystery where he’d wish he at least had the option of seeking comfort through shared intimacy right now.
The next day Rei still is so gloomy it takes efforts for Basara to cheer him up just as the phone rings. The caller is of course Suguru who just wanted to restate one more time how much he loves Rei and to reasure that everything is gonna be fine…only for Rei to pull radiosilence so it’s like ”hey are you even listening?” ”I was so just get going instead of calling me when you’re already so busy as is you dummy”. Afterwards Rei innerly curses how much the whole thing was basically cheating after Basara points out how he was blushing from the exchange. Spotting the package Suguru brought before the omiai stuff began, he’s reminded that it was photos that turn out to be semi-creepy with how some of them were just of Rei only in situations where it’d be common to have at least one random person be part of the shot (or just gave off the vibes like they were taken secretly). After finally finding one where the picture included both of them together, Rei’s decision to place it in his bedroom is cut short by bad omens occuring like the Suguru in the photo getting covered by a red color that seemed like blood. Immediately worried, Rei sends out a familiar to protect the other goof as scenes switch to Suguru at the hotel. It doesn’t take long for his meeting with Shirogane Takako to go really sour when on top of the lady being accompanied by a literal skeleton floating behind her, Suguru’s attempts at prying at the reason she was so intent to marry asap was replied with getting attacked so he’d be confused when afterwards he’d find no scratch on himself. The dork would also stay oblivious when throughout his later phonecall with Rei, the other would suddenly drop the receiver while claiming ”it just slipped from my fingers” as the reason (when reality it had been from pain due to being injured). On Rei’s side Basara would express his worry while demanding Rei got treated by Suguru with no luck as instead Rei’d be pretty open on looking to keep the matter a secret while pushing his body even further by casting the spell for locating Kouji who turns out to be eerily close.
”What? You’re not actually dating my younger brother!?”
Right at the hotel Suguru had the omiai even, as Rei’s reunion with Kouji turns frustrating when the other would repeatedly joke about things like how he thought Rei was there to report about dating Suguru and the feigned surprise on the matter possibly not being true when he’d assumed that was the case from hearing reports on how happy Suguru was recently. About the point where Kouji goes as far as asking if they humped yet Rei has had about enough and notes that if he cared so much about Suguru’s lovelife Kouji should stop pushing the omiai on him and marry Takako himself. Kouji declines and excuses his initial acceptance as ”who’d say no to a cute girl” before noting he’d done the right choice when he decided to hide. Kouji hadn’t actually expected for Suguru to be the next in line so hearing his father did that seems seems quite the cruel move to him. Rei calls him out on that it’s no surprise but more like Kouji expected that to happen so that’s why he was hiding there (likely to peek on the omiai from afar). Amused, Kouji asks if Rei knows that much did he figure out the identity of the skeleton too? Rei avoids answering by instead proposing if Kouji hid because he was scared of it only to get a ”kinda yes, but there’s also other reasons”. Poking for an explanation switches Kouji into acting sleazy by suggesting Rei slept with him to get the answer. Rei reminding him on being a man just gets Kouji to note he swings both ways so it’s fine and he’ll even keep it a secret from Suguru.
Rei musters the chilliest glare he can put on while slapping away Kouji’s hand that had been holding his. When Kouji feigns hurt Rei notes that he was lucky that he was Suguru’s brother or else Rei’d have made his lowerhalf not function for life. Still with a smile, Kouji is just ”ooh scary. I’m so glad I’m Suguru’s brother then” before questioning how Rei wasn’t like this in the past. Did Suguru change him? Ignoring Rei’s protest of getting offtopic, Kouji continues by requesting that Rei treasures Suguru since stuff had been hell when the goof was rampaging after Rei’s dissapearance. Declaring he’s done with jokes after that, Kouji warns for how it’s a problem only Takako herself can solve so Rei shouldn’t meddle unless he wants to get hurt even worse as the price. Kouji himself will just go back to hiding since this meeting was more him showing mercy by offering a warning after he let Rei find him. Meanwhile, Suguru’d be bugged how he felt hostility from the skeleton (even though it’s supposed to not have any emotions) and decides to do some more research at the Kamiohzaki office into the Shirogane family to find clues and realizes that Kouji actually had been attending the same university as Takako so it’s all the weirder that he disappeared when initially things began with Kouji accepting the proposition after Takako had requested for the arrangment. As if on cue. Suguru’s phone would ring with Kouji as the stated source…
Time switches to Suguru storming into Rei’s later on out of worry while Rei’d be confused on why he was aware of him getting injured. Turns out Kouji had mailed him to inform of the matter so now Suguru was in full mom-mode by demanding Rei explains things while Basara would ruin any ettempts to shrug off the matter by adding fuel to the fire through calling out every lie too. After Suguru goes as far as to kneel in front of him just to lock gazes, Rei gives up and comes clean on how he basically took the remaining brunt since his familiar hadn’t been able to fully block the attack of Suguru. Initially perplexed at why he hadn’t realized the matter sooner, Suguru switches to being pissed off that Rei hadn’t contacted him for help and calling him selfish for doing something so dangerous. In response, Rei too would get ticked off too on getting backlash for things that Suguru himself would pull so how come he couldn’t worry and look to do things for the other yet he could? Was he supposed to act like some helpless wallflower that did nothing but wait?
The collective IQ inside the room has left the building
So on and so forth, their argument would keep heating up until Rei blurted out the question that had been bugging him for so long – what was Suguru’s damn problem that he wouldn’t lay a finger on Rei even though they were lovers!?
Suguru would go ”…eh?”. The room would fall silent as I facepalm. The giant goof would hesitantly ask for Rei to explain what he meant by the question and did he actually…
Too late to back down, Rei confirms how he’s been waiting to be held by the idiot for so long he’d feel stupid on always feeling nervouss during the trips in anticipation for the event to possibly occur this time. Except it wouldn’t.
Now more calm, Suguru would just call out his name again in response. Overcome with embarassment Rei would just flee to hide in his own bedroom while holding the door closed. The two would have this silly argument with Suguru demanding to be let in before he finds Rei hiding under the covers as his last attempt to escape the situation. Suguru would rest his head on the giant lump like a scolded puppy seeking forgiveness, as he’d apologize for getting angry. Suguru’d be fine with taking all the blame for the argument and apologize as many times as it takes so could they sit down to talk once more? And there’s also the injuries he’d hope to treat while at it…
Without saying anything in response, Rei silenty removes the cover to join Suguru by sitting on the bedside. Taking that as the sign for ”ok”, Suguru starts by taking Rei’s hand to lay kisses by the bloody bandages that’d melt Rei’s anger more as he quietly confesses how all this time Rei had questioned what was so wrong with him that Suguru wouldn’t touch him. Suguru would immediately deny Rei being the one at fault. It’s a problem on Suguru’s side that he delays explaining by focusing on Rei’s treatment as the 1st priority. Now thanking Rei for having protected him after he’s done, Suguru explains that as a man sure he’d feel desires like that when being with the person he loves. Countless times Suguru would think how he’d want to bed Rei during the trips so Rei can be even more perplexed on why he hadn’t then. Suguru confesses that he was afraid and Rei get’s why right?
R: I’m confident I could offer gentle guidance even to a virgin.
K: What are you…no, that’s not what I meant!
R: What, so you’re not one? …how disappointing. After all your lectures about chastity, I had such high expectations on you being one
K: I haven’t slept with anyone since our reunion
R: Oh really…?
Suguru continues how it all comes back to the time he was posessed and how he’s afraid of the chance he hurt Rei again. Even if he knows Rei has already accepted and forgiven the whole deal, Suguru still can’t forgive himself so everytime he thinks about how much he wants to treasure Rei he recalls the events and starts hesitating. If the only outcome is hurt, he’d rather not do it in the first place. More so when Suguru doesn’t see himself as an exception that would be immune to how much he’d loathe anyone that hurts Rei.
So tldr; Suguru just treasures Rei so much he’s afraid to lose him. Rei in return realizes how much the other really cares for him so his insecurities about it can finally be put to rest. Finishing hs speech, Suguru requests for Rei to wait a little longer…only to be met with a no. Instead Rei pushes Suguru down to the bed and casts a binding spell much to the others confusion. Now unable to move, Suguru can do absolutely nothing as Rei goes to town with having decided that he’ll just erase Suguru’s trauma through letting him experience what it’s like (while Rei himself gets his fill of action so win-win right?). Bedroom shenanigans ensue as Rei explains that any part that is kissed by him regains senses&movement while pulling down Suguru’s zipper to point at which part would get his attention first.
Suguru learns Rei does not take no for an answer…the hard way
As Rei is done milking his first dose (all while making a show to emphasize every detail), Suguru’s hopes for freedom are denied when Rei just announces a round 2 while asking him which places would he like to be kissed by. Offering examples like the hips when Suguru is confused by the question, the others answer ends up being ”anywhere Rei likes aside from the hands” that gets Rei miffed as he innerly calls Suguru a dummy for even openly affirming he really is fine without touching Rei when questioned. Obeying as told Rei initially teases Suguru by calling him ”weakling Suguru-kun” while asking for how things feel now that they’ve fully crossed the line. The banter doesn’t take long to go back to focusing on Suguru’s refusal to touch Rei where when being asked if he wasn’t afraid of Suguru hurting him Rei lists how having the person he loves continuously refuse to touch you is a lot worse in his eyes. Suguru bluescreens again like last time he heard Rei confess to him, while finally gradually getting the point when Rei continues his speech on how taking the risk is absolutely normal. Did Suguru feel hurt when Rei’s affections resulted in the current situation? No. Similarly Rei is fine with anything. He switches to demanding for Suguru to stop wussing out and touch him or else Rei starts feeling so unsure…he starts to cry. In full emotional breakdown he lists all the pent up things that were bothering him (ie the omiai) and how much Suguru selfishly pulling the decision to not even provide comfort through shared intimacy was not helping. That gets through to Suguru for him to recognize how much all his talk was resulting in the opposite. Reaching to nibble on Rei’s ear while asking for him to not run away Suguru requests for Rei to free his hands. Being questioned at the sudden change, Suguru admits that he kinda had a fire lit under his ass after experiencing how he was a lot more afraid of seeing Rei breakdown like that while being so helpless that he couldn’t even provide a hug of comfort (whiich he’d rather fix asap). When Rei asks if his hands hurt while untying him, Suguru just jokes that if any marks actually stay from that he’d treat it as nice reminders from their first humping that Rei had given him (to which the other calls him an an idiot for the nth time).
True to word Suguru immediatelly pulls Rei in for a hug as he ponders he had avoided the matter so much when it was something that felt so good and happy. Swearing that he won’t make Rei feel insecure ever again the mood lighters up as they tease each other and near the end of the 2nd round with Suguru pulling another love confession alongside an apology. Basking in the afterglow Suguru goes back to being a goof by apologizing for not having worn protection and shows concern how the whole ordeal might have ruined the bandages on Rei’s arm. Rei dismisses the concern to instead request a 3rd round that Suguru tries to decline but ends up accepting anyway under the rule that he treats the injury for a 2nd time. During the process Suguru decides to question if Rei had told the same stuff he told him to his previous partners that the other notes as being the part that worries Rei a lot more re:Suguru since he’d see the glint in his eyes and questions if the reason Suguru even tried refusing was due to how much the possible detail bothered him. Still, since Rei got permision to continue he decides it a waste to not enjoy things while laughing that things won’t stop at three.
3 hours later in the living room Basara is like ”do I even want to know what went on here” while observing how Rei looked visibly refreshed in contrast to Suguru’s blatant fatigue. Now in business mode Rei&Suguru discuss the clues they found only to not really get anywhere thanks to conflicting deductions past concluding that they need to bait out the skeleton into attacking again so they form a plan of Suguru acting as bait where he’d anger Takako again. So he arranges for another omiai meeting (and ignores Kouji’s call when he’s leaving for it) this time observing how the girl looks in even worse condition before volunteering sweettalk like how he’d protect her suggesting they kiss as part of how they’re engaged. Naturally the whole shift makes Takako uncomfortable so the skeleton attacks and Suguru signals for Rei to do his part on trapping the skeleton…only to find him fuming about as much as when seeking shared victory cheers at succesfully trapping it.
Rei demands an answer on what he was even thinking to even suggest kissing. Suguru is confused as he notes that getting approached by men they’re not in love with angers women right? Angry, Rei declares that holding hands would still have sufficed. Suguru had yet to even kiss Rei that often, the cheater!
As if on cue the skeleton starts breaking free with a howl as if to volunteer as the next target of Rei’s ire that gets a ”Shut up. You’re at fault for everything in the first place!”. Casting another spell where Basara takes part of keeping it still, Rei demands the skeleton explains himself while warning that he’s in a really bad mood right now.
R: If you don’t hurry and answer I might just as well erase you………….[let’s kiss]? How dare he, that idiot!
S: R-R-Rei!? You’re breaking character
R: I don’t care!
The situation is put to a halt when Takako yells for Rei to stop and begs to not hurt ‘Mikona’. As Suguru is confused at why she’d know the skeletons actual name, Kouji pops up to chime in his part on how it’s about time she explained things….like how she was mutually in love with Mikona. So she does and reveals how the omiai was a matter of timing of getting pressured by the family just as Mikona requested to be erased to avoid the danger with how he was gradually losing control of his powers. After listening to their story Rei asks what they actually want to do? (Well, aside from marrying Suguru since that’s clearly out of question ktxbye). Silence would ensue until Mikona would request Rei erases him while asking Takako finds normal happiness. Takako objects with how she still wishes to stay together so Rei offers the alternative of making Mikona an ayakashi. The process would be risky and take time yet would they still go for that even when the success would have lasting prices? Both answer yes and Rei turns to the Kamiohzaki brothers where Kouji would complain about how much Takako had made a fuss for something that could have been solved a lot quicker if she’d made this decision sooner. Suguru’s like ”Says the brother that went missing”. Rei chimes in how it’s probably best to be honest when dealing in things related to love to which Suguru trails off on the ‘honest’ part while agreeing. With a smirk Rei affirms that Suguru would cover all the costs for this debt right? Exasparated Suguru just answers ”yeah sure, as you wish” with a smile.
Grinning as he’d ponder getting all the missing amount of kisses he couldn’t get the previous day, Rei starts his chant…
Time skips to a week later as Suguru would suggest Disneyland as the destination they’d they visit in place of the canceled trip. Rei facepalms and calls that more like a horrorshow waiting to happen if the two of them went someplace like that. Suguru questions that since to him seeing Rei with the ears would be adorable. Rei sighs and protests that he’s so tired he’d rather visit some hotsprings where they could relax. Accepting the vote Suguru starts looking through the pamphlets for a good spot while asking how Rei’s drawing is doing. Rei notes it almost complete so Suguru chimes that he hopes Takako will be happy about it.
Rei ponders for a bit just how much the luck the decision the two made depends on. Mussing how Takako technically was hooking up not only with an ayakashi, but also the spirit that had killed a lot of her family members in the past, while concluding that love can be frightening. With a smirk Rei notes how he looks forward to seeking how things develop as Suguru sighs about how he phrased that pretty meanly. Rei suggests they stop the trip planning for a bit since Suguru’s visit that day was for repaying his debts right? Rei ponders in how many kisses he should collect them while leaning in only for the construction sounds to interrupt him. Once again, he ponders what’s up with that and is someone moving in? He did hear about a renovation happening.
With a bright smile Suguru is all ”Oh that? That’s me. I’m gonna live here”. Rei’s mind goes blank as he stares at Suguru in disbelief. I ponder how many screws could you hear if you shook that head of his that’s filled with a flowerfield.
The IQ has once again departed from the current area
R: Wh, since when?…you never told me anything about this!
S: I sure didn’t! I thought it’d be a nice way to surprise you, as I actually bought the right for this whole building from your family \o/
S: After all, isn’t it better for lovers to live near each other?
R: Y-your father didn’t say anything to you living a distance away from the Kamiohzaki?
S: Oh, I already told my father that we’re dating so you don’t need to worry about that
R: You. what
At this point Rei pulls a time out to process all of these news in his head juust as Suguru comments on how he even added security cameras so now the whole place is safer. Hearing about that Rei recalls the photos with a sense of dread as he asks if said cameras weren’t directly connected to Suguru’s room.
S: Ehehe, of course not~
R: (Doubting that so much!)
Suguru ignores Rei’s troubled looks to stand up and hug him from behind. Rei’d note how the hold would be stronger than usual as Suguru’d loom over him enough to block out the ceiling. Hesistant he asks if Suguru was still bothered by the joke when Rei claimed he brought men over to the office to sleep with them.
S: Of course…not?
Spotting a familiar shadow in the goofs eyes Rei’s face would twitch as he’d ask for Suguru to trust him. Once more with clear pauses Suguru claims that he does indeed trust Rei. Yeah.
Rei calls him out on it and exclaims how he’s had hid fill of being a caged bird to be fed up with it! Gently, Suguru chimes that it’s only a cage for someone that wishes escape. But if in turn, you wish to stay inside it’s the ultimate fortress! Moreover, since this cage is so sturdy no outside enemies could ever get in either…
Ending his speech with kisses Suguru concludes how Rei had been right. Love is frightening. He feels like he can do anything if it’s for the sake of keeping Rei in this cage of his forever…
Rei observes how genuinely happy Suguru looks after his speech, how sweetly his voice would ring with a gaze drunk on love juust as he declares how Suguru’s not letting Rei run away from him anymore. Completely at a loss at the dissonance on how childish Suguru’d seem by his smile thereafter he starts losing to the temptation of Suguru being willing to do anything for Rei before catching himself with the question on if he didn’t make a wrong choice somewhere for things to be like this…then dismisses it. Things are fine. This is how this were supposed to be, as long as he’s in the cage he’ll be both safe and happy.
As if to echo Rei’s thoughts Suguru once more chimes in on how they’ll always be together. Forever&ever
Rei hears the construction sounds in the distance and thinks about how he’s kinda looking forward things if it means he gets to repeatedly realize how he’s living together with the person he loves now…
Bonus omake is an initially silly scenario where you find Rei&Suguru dressing up to pretend a fake wedding to lure out an onmyouji that was stalking the bride they’re pretending to be. Rei had initially objected a lot but after facing the power of Suguru going full puppy at having wished to see Rei as a bride and learning that the person that volunteered him to dress up was Suguru’s dad he kinda couldn’t say no anymore. Once they’ve dealt with that Rei volunteers to lay down on the sofa the moment they’re home after throwing off the wig&veil. Suguru would exclaim disappointment on those being taken off already even though he thought Rei looked cute before noting how he’d join Rei on the sofa.
Welcome to understatements 101
Now with Rei literally lying on top of Suguru Rei musses how he never throught being a bride would contain such hardships before going back to venting on how he actually felt like murdering the stalker for his nonsense. Suguru would laugh weakly at that as Rei continues that he was serious about how thinking about how he crosdressed to stop the creep makes Rei feel like dying from shame. Suguru protests at Rei even mentioning the thought so to tease him Rei asks if it’s because he’d be lonely. Suguru goes ”no duh” since he’s had enough of suddenly losing Rei from the last time while gazing into the distance. Seeing him like that Rei asks what he’s looking at only to be told that ”nowhere”. Resolved, Suguru would close his eyes and confess that he can actually sympathize with the stalker. Suguru’s pretty sure that if Rei ever married he’d go crazy from the jealousy himself without ever being able to wish for the others happiness. Suguru admits how even while fully understanding how awful his actions were he’d still do things worse than the stalker to make Rei unable to leave him. With a shaky breath Suguru apologizes on how much falling more deeply in love with Rei would come with him starting to think very cruel things in the process.
Wile happy as Suguru’s honesty, Rei’d also feel it bittersweet. He’d get overtaken with the urge to comfort the other so Rei’d reach out to caress Suguru while innerly admitting that he was the same. Rei struggled just as much with how experiencing being happy with Suguru just made him get more&selfish and insecure over the little things so Rei having issues with even expressing his affections thanks to his childhood really didn’t help.
Rei’s thoughts would get interrupted by a sweet scent that turns out to be a bouquet of flowers Suguru claims he just found lying around as part of the props so he thought it’d be a waste to not pick it up. Sighing when Rei doesn’t get it, Suguru chimes about how every bride needs her flowers whiich finally has the other realize Suguru was just covering up how he had prepared the gift beforehand and was just using the fakewedding as an excuse. Suguru pokes Rei about if he knows about what meaning the bouquet has aside from the one re:bride. As Rei is surprised at there being one, Suguru explains how it’s the symbol of the grooms proposal.
Looking a bit embarassed he’d continue how it’s a custom to pick wildflowers that were growing on the way to the brides house to present them as a gift when asking for marriage. So that’s what the flowers in Rei’s hands are so…does he get why Suguru’s gifting them? Why it’s because he wishes for Rei to always be by his side. Flustered, Rei asks how he can even do something so embarassing. Suguru just counters how to him it’s not embarassing at all. To Rei questioning if he was serious, Suguru continues by noting again how he already said he’s not okay with Rei marrying someone else and neither does he intent to do a repeat of when they were younger by letting Rei ‘go’. He admits how pathetic he is for always being afraid of suddenly losing Rei but in return Suguru also feels like he can do anything just as long as Rei is by his side.
Silence would ensue as Rei would pull a petal from one of the flowers to place it on Suguru. Surprised Suguru asks if that’s Rei’s boutonniere only for Rei to immediately look away while claiming he was just following customs, that’s all. Instead of being annoyed at the response, Suguru tkes Rei’s hand to once more confess how he loves Rei. Rei responds with a silent ”I know” only for Suguru to prod further if Rei loved him or not instead of the usual silent communication. Losing to the puppy eyes when Suguru begs for Rei to pu it into words, Rei gradually forces out his own confession before initiating a kiss. Afterwards Rei’d muss on how both of them only saw the other and how he wishes to always stay together…and blurts out for Suguru to never leave him. As Rei thinks how that was words he’d refrained from saying ever since they met, Suguru promises a yes. Rei chimes how no stuff like Suguru suddenly hating later either! Suguru just deems it impossible while noting for them to always stay together (to which Rei agrees of course).
Meguro Masato – Introduced as this big bad morally corrupt rival/villain that works as an onmyouji without even having a license for it in the underground that’s known to be extra cruel towards ayakashi due to believing they all deserve going extinct.
The start of a beautiful relationship is clearly attacking each other
It doesn’t take too long for Rei to realize there is more than meets the eye when Meguro decides to reveal that he’s part-ayakashi himself while threatening non-con…only to back out at the last minute because it’s ‘boring’ when Rei is more turned on than intimated by that anyway. Suffice to say Rei spends the time after that stuck between his curiosity on finding out more on what makes Meguro tick while plotting some form of revenge for being as rude as to make someone horny only to abandon them with a ”hey, were both grown adults here so figure out how to solve that one on your own since clearly I was just messing around here”. Bonus points for leaving a whole bitemark that would constantly remind him of the whole escapade either way.
Then comes the day when Meguro just parades into Rei’s office to question his worth-ethic as being too goody two-shoes so the other can be even less sure if his biggest wish is to find out more about Meguro or to just remove the smug right off his face at learning that Meguro does have some ultimate goal of saving someone…if he still has the chance for it while clearly including himself among the targets he loathes. Too bad an interruption by Suguru rushing in out of concern for Rei being in danger ruins the chance to learn further either way. All he gets is a final declaration from Meguro on how he’s willing to go for any methods necessary to fulfill his goal, forcing the other to assist him in that included and the inner question on how willing Rei himself would be on granting the assistance if such a situation occured.
Then arrives a request from the ayakashi side to plead for Rei to forcefully stop Meguro and his ayakashi-hunting so now it’s his turn to just waltz in at his apartment (with the company of Suguru) only to be greeted by amusement at how much Rei has come to know the other to assume that Meguro would find the matter of the two just walking in the den of their supposed enemy by using the frontdoor too funny to scheme anything in response.
The amusement is gone when Meguro loses though and has to promise to stop with his shenanigans. Rei just basks in his turn to be the smug one this time and just adds insult to injury when Meguro gets caught offguard with his loss of cool including finally saying the others name in some form and how Rei would enjoy the look of bewilderment after he pointed that out. With nothing to do but to enjoy being stuck to the floor for some hours as his punishment, it’s that point where Meguro starts slipping on being a lot more than the antagonistic act he’s been pulling.
Rei just having one of those days you regret leaving your home
A matter that makes their next runin all the more silly since Meguro does actually keep his part of the deal of not being as triggerhappy anymore towards the ayakashi and now has visible injuries from being the target that’s hunted that Rei notices after being forced to hide from the latest batch of ayakashi out for his blood. Meguro just brushes it off as not needing actual concern for that since being mixedblood means he heals fast anyway…which serves as the cue for their next spitebattle/flirtargument when the concern includes Rei poking at the others motives and a warning that Meguro’s playing with a bigger fire than he’s aware of in the form of the local Haori Yotsuya.
It’s a later job of looking into a spirit that’s been kidnapping corpses from morgues alongside Suguru that leads Rei to finally learning Meguro’s big motivation tm. 5 Years ago a kasha had swalloped up his younger sister even though she was alive and ever since Meguro’s been hunting for the thing in hopes of rescuing her while repeatedly convincing himself she’s still alive….so Rei&Suguru find him hanging around the morgue in hopes of the culprit being just the thing he’s been looking for.
It is so Meguro gets to be all the more frustrated when the thing gets to escape once again. Not just once, but twice even thanks to the route divide including another confrontation where the kasha just enjoys Meguro’s added misery after taunting him with Asahi and Rei can only watch at a loss on how to respond when Meguro’s frustration includes the man punching the floor and breaking down crying from the sense of helplesness of having been so close yet so damn far.
A sight that won’t leave Rei’s head for days too…until Meguro pops up at the office to fulfill the claim he had noted earlier. He wants to hire Rei to assist him in looking for Asahi and Meguro is willing to reward every bit of money he had saved up in response. A matter that Rei finds immediately foreboding and fishy if he still accepts and tells for Meguro to sign an official contract after noting that he has the condition of Meguro not injuring any ayakashi as a whole in return. Which results in timing tm when on the same night Meguro gets surprise attacked and only is lucky to have woken up in time to avoid the first strike…just to get stuck on pondering if Rei would believe in him claiming selfdefense as a just reason to retaliate there.
Meguro as he sighs and goes ”yes princess” at being ordered to explain his injuries
Rei can only react with disbelief the next day when after forcing out an explanation on why Meguro has a new set of injuries the dork reveals his answer having been to let the ayakashi just do as they wish with him until satisfied after getting fed up with avoiding the attacks. Step 2 is a demand for Meguro to either just run away or never get injured if he ends up in the situation again where any objections of having rights to decide by himself on how to approach things is openly denied. Basara getting involved in their conversation gets to be the point where Meguro starts objecting to the shikigami not calling him by name when he has a fine one in the form of Meguro Masato.
Another situation that quickly enters his list of regrets when Rei just acts disappointed on how average Masato sounds and Basara just demands for him to do the same for the shikigami if he wants that to be a thing. With no chances to win when it’s 2 vs 1 Meguro coincedes and requests for Basara to bring him coffee while he does more businesstalk with Rei. Thaat includes exchanging phone adresses after Meguro does some teasing jabs at Rei confessing Basara is more in charge of theirs due to the other not handling technology too well. With a warning to absolutely do not delete the test mail Rei sends out at their parting, this time there is no lucky wakeup when Meguro is facing another sneakattack. Instead he gets forced awake when his phone pulls sheanigans of doing stuff like shining with a bright light that chases the attackers away and the only hint on what happened is the display showing Rei’s mail that had a weird attachment Meguro couldn’t open before.
Meguro experiencing the gapmoe of Rei actually being kinda cute when not snarky
Seeing Rei clearly sleep in late the next day when visiting again, Meguro experiences the realization on just how scary gap moe can be when during the short time he manages to get Rei halfawake the other presents the most pleasant of smiles instead of the usual sneers while noting relief on Meguro being safe. Being captivated enough to be tempted to pull sleeping beauty shenanigans in response…the moment naturally has to be ruined by Rei sleepmumbling about being hungry while pushing the other away. Reacting to the matter by bursting into laughter Meguro decides to grant Rei another few hours after ruffling his hair before leaving to report the matter to Basara. Using the chance to instead poke about clues on what fully happened the previous night from Basara, the revelation that Rei had been doing nightwatch awake until the attack happened just to make sure the safety spell over the phone worked makes Meguro just silently stare into the distance before deciding on a new ploy on how to respond to that while recruiting Basara’s assistance.
Said ploy? Have Basara hide him so he can pretend to be the shikigami for a moment to ask some questions when Rei pops up.
Whiich of course works since when Rei actually comes down the dude is still too sleepy to question anything until suddenly ‘Basara’ is Meguro who along with the revelation serves Rei a pretty rich meal he had cooked to enjoy his confusion on what even is going on.
Rei would appreciate if Meguro at least didn’t stare at him with the dumb smirk while he was eating
And the foods annoyingly good to boot so it just adds to another detail re:Meguro that contradicts his looks when reminded that once upon a time Meguro lived a regular life with a regular job and was more the type that enjoyed taking care of the people he cared for so cooking was just one of those things. Then he lost Asahi and Rei can only figure prodding at the suggestion for Meguro to cook a similar meal when she’s back as a way to dismiss the gloom the topic results in when the other confesses being very much to blame for Asahi’s fate with how many bad decisions he had made at the time (pretty literally too, since even as a regular citizen Meguro still parttimed excorcism on the weekends and posessed the young foolishness of dismissing properly learning the occupation by judging his improvisations to be enough…so he kinda stunk of ayakashi death that attracted the kasha due to missing the bit of needing to pull purifications on himself regularly). Meguro sees that act of kindness as his cue to go back to being more smug at Rei showing a dere like that. Any objections on how it was not actually a dere thankyouverymuch are met by more amusement as Meguro messes up Reis hair again while noting that as a display of his affection when Rei questions his intentions. Basara jumping to join in on the skinship ends up being the cue for a phonecall from Rei’s family who were the intended source for how they’d get a corpse with which to lure the kasha into a trap due to being a wellknown onmyouji family that specializes in the more shadier side of things (so Rei himself being on the morally twisted side was kinda to be expected).
Experiencing the blatant difference between the relationship with his own family while watching Meguro&Basara be like a kid having fun with his favorite uncle that came to visit can only make Rei smile at the irony when former had years to change while later took just a few hours while Rei was sleeping to develop. Post-phonecall the mussings are interrupted by Meguro noting that he’ll be serving a dessert too. Then he starts discussing about his cooking plans including stuff for the next day so Rei can only go back to being dumbfounded when the other asks about leaving his bycicle parked outside. Seeing that Meguro refuses to be shooed off back to his own apartment Rei can only give up when the arguments include noting awareness of the nightwatch stunt (that Meguro has to defend Basara on not being the source that fully confessed that by Rei).
Hours upon hours later Basara has to be carried to bed after Meguro really had gone full uncle by playing with the shikigami until exhaustion kicked in. Rei can’t blame the kid either since at that point he’s fully realized how Basara quickly adopting Meguro as a person was based on the shikigami sensing the inner kindness of being very accepting and full of care towards the people Meguro gets attached to and it’s just the extra irony of just how far he went astray in his pursuit of the kasha to match the negative image his looks gave off. Those thoughs however get interrupted when the man himself decides to use the more private moment to ask why Rei had attempted to keep the whole protection thing hidden from him only to get miffed when the answer is it being part of Rei’s job that’s even listed in the contract.
You ever had that time you pick up a phone thinking it’s yours yet then it wasn’t? Yeah…
Things can only grow all the more awkward when during the time Rei carries off Basara to bed Meguro accidentaly mistakes Rei’s phone as his own due to being similar models and can only ponder on what to do now that he’d seen a message that sounded a lot like a booty call from one of Rei’s bedbuddies as a result while holding it…only for Rei to pop up to ask if anythings wrong with it. Not one to hide things, Meguro immediatelly confesses his mistake and apologizes while feeling all the more at a loss when Rei instead of demanding for the phone to be handed over just lets the conversation to turn into one of their usual banters for a bit. Getting a tad annoyed Meguro would bluntly note the message while throwing the phone at Rei since clearly this was private stuff as he questions if it’s someone claiming issues after spotting Rei with Meguro during their shopping trip earlier as the cause. Getting a ”sorta” while seeing Rei delete the mail pushes Meguro back to being confused on Rei not even trying to clear up the misunderstanding so Rei instead has to bluntly ask him if he would go through that type of effort for a onenight relationship?
Answer is clearly a ”no” from both sides so Rei can only openly ask if the senders identity is something Meguro that curios of…which is where all the fun and jokes end since the message wasn’t actually a bootycall but one of the ayakashi out for Meguro’s head demanding for Rei to off him or be seen as the enemy while pretending to be a past case victim Rei would feel guilty by as the sender name. So of course Rei’s response was to immediately delete the message since it was just the type of underhanded method that disgusts him so he really doesn’t get it when Meguro notes the act as something to call him nice for just because he intends to fully do his job and keeping the other safe even at the risk of gaining more enemies is naturally part of that.
Hearing a loud noise in the distance as if on cue switches the two to be on guard as Rei volunteers to check if it isn’t just Basara falling out of bed or something. Meguro still tags along so both can just innerly facepalm when the source really is Basara and Rei can just watch another example of the others kindness when Meguro stops Rei from waking the shikigami up to instead carry the kid to bed himself while the gestures make Rei ponder just what Meguro will do after the stuff with Asahi is over.
Returning to the living room just results in some awkward silence before another spiteabattle begins when Meguro asks about the sleeping arrangments where neither side is willing to use the bed because Rei was planning to stay up again for another nightwatch no matter if they’re in the same house and after recognizing how it’s futile to argue Meguro would just stand up to make some coffee for himself while noting how he enjoys latenight infomercials anywaaays.
The next morning, Basara goes ”aww” at the sight of the two using each other as their pillows while finding the tv remote on the ground by Meguro’s feet (that and resolve to enjoy the popcorn sight when the two goofs wake up and realize the situation they landed themselves in).
Then the time comes for the plan to be put into action and suffice to say….it’s where the world decides to do a full reminder on how much it functions on Meguro suffering when the reunion with Asahi comes with the revelation that her being stuck in a different world meant that by her 30 years had passed so she has a whole family now after hooking up with an ayakashi that had emotionally supported her throughout it. Even if Meguro still invites her to come home there is nothing to keep him from innerly falling appart at losing the one motive he had for living when rejected and just how ironic her wishing him a happy life is when he’s been letting it rot for 5 years by massmurdering the same beings Asahi found happiness with.
It doesn’t take too long for Rei to notice somethings off too even through the fake cheer and nonchalance when reporting the matter. Something by Meguro had drastically changed inside as the man claims to be awful at lying while showing the exact habit that would signify he’s looking to do that right there.
A few days of rest pass and stuff just falls apart even further during Meguro’s visit to hand in the promised reward when Rei finds the answer on the change being that guy has gone suicidal…and laughs about it after Meguro’s attempt at sympathy because boy does the man not know true despair like Rei does. It’s so pathetic and laughable that Rei calls him a coward and other insults to get a rise out of the other that somehow results into angry humping where Rei returns the bite from the first mishap.
The universe just can’t allow for Meguro to not go though trainwrecks even by romance
More time passes after Meguro would disappear after those shenanigans, Rei is visited by a new client in the form of a kid named Hisato that requests for him to save Meguro since turns out the warning re:Yotsuya was a tad too late and Rei will be granted a new power if he accepts. Not seeing Rei agree has Hisato be surprised as he questions on why not when the two had been close enough to have had sex and all. Caught offguard Rei agrees to the task (while pondering some ulterior motives of his own) and chooses to visit Yotsuya first to negotiate a solution. Bemused when Rei points out Meguro getting killed would be doing the loser a favor that Rei would rather see him suffer instead as his motivation, Yotsuya offers the condition that he’ll drop his pursuit if Rei finds a way to remove the snake tatoo on him (that’s the source of his powers). A matter that’s still nigh impossible but a step up….if not for the way home including another Hisato encounter where the kid notes Meguro being in immediate danger before teleporting him to his apartment.
Much to the surprise of the man himself as the arrival of the attackers has the two teamup to chase them away after Rei chides for Meguro to not be dumb and put effort into surviving here. Once the battle is over Meguro can only stand lost on what even happened where Rei’s short explanation to catch him up didn’t explain anything when poor guy is still stuck at how much the appearance and departure was like a storm had visited him
Still, Meguro being Meguro, once he stops spacing out he resolves to solve the situation himself as the person that created it…by being a doofus once more of looking to visit Yotsuya himself only to get lost in the area the hq is supposed to be in. With no success at calling Rei for advice either it turns to be his turn at meeting Hisato now who notes how Yotsuya would obviously have an anti-intruder barrier that hides the place from people that aren’t welcomed.
Hisato does not mince words tm
The bonus callout on his deathwish and questioning why Rei wouldn’t suffice as a reason for Meguro to not go down that path would be very somber…if Meguro wouldn’t be greeted with his own versation of the bedroom shenanigan callout from the kid so he can only struggle for a retort while Hisato would muss further on how as twisted as Rei’s affection is, Meguro’s not gonna find someone else that easily who would care as much (for being frontrow seat to his suffering).
Finishing their little talk by noting an item for Meguro to look into as something to get for Rei Hisato leaves him to ponder how having someone call out things re:Rei in a very straightforward way would light a bit of a fire for actually looking into working out their relationship. So on the same night he pops up at Rei’s doorstep as a surprise visitor juust as he was on the receiving on getting teased by Basara&Hisato about having purchased a gift for Meguro during his trip to research for hints on how to fulfill Yotsuya’s task.
The attempt to summon Kudan for a prophecy that would include a way to avoid it gets interrupted by a 2nd attack attempt done by Yotsuya’s most loyal subjects, Ukyou&Sakyou. It’s when Meguro pulls a whole speech on being fine with dying after getting injured to protect Rei as his last deed enough is enough and Rei just snaps on how much he won’t be permitting that. Rei is willing to openly volunteer as the reason Meguro uses for living if needed as long as the other drops the nonsense of looking to perish after saddling Rei with so many unnecesary emotions towards the guy. The declaration is effective enough that Meguro forces himself to stand up to fight another round so it’s only after U&S flee that Rei sees Meguro passed out and bleeding from the injuries. Managing to hear the solution they were seeking before Rei himself passes out, he can only be frustrated himself at the lack of time to fulfill it since there’s a timelimit on the matter only being effective during the same day the Kudans were called and by the time Rei woke up there is like 5h left with Meguro still out cold. Without much options to pick from, Rei instructs for Hisato to mix Meguro’s blood from the bandages with ink as something he needs since the Kudan told to paint legs on the snake with that. Meanwhile Basara can only get increasingly horrified at how Rei intends to fix the mess they are in.
Aka literally forcing his way in at Yotsuya hq after doing things to be buffed up enough that the subordinates are too intimated to even get in Rei’s way when warned that if they do he will erase them. Meguro meanwhile can only wakeup to immediately notice things being off if doofus that he is he forces himself up to find out what’s going on so any protests on still being injured from Hisato get ignored. Basara’s attempts to stop him don’t last too long either when the shikigami has his own turn for a breakdown as he reveals that Rei’s buff is the type that uses lifeforce to activate that he’d already shown clear lothing for when being subjected to by his family as a kid so it would feel all the worse to see Rei go for a more intense version of that now for Meguro’s sake as the other comforts him on how he’ll make sure Rei comes back fine from this….and almost runs off to the rescue if Hisato didn’t remind him of the barrier still being an issue that the kid volunteers to help with as the dimensional taxi.
Good thing he does too since Meguro manages to arrive just in time to prevent Rei from getting hit by a lethal attack so the morale boost of seeing the goof be fully smug as his greeting is welcomed after the initial surprise on how Meguro even got there. More so when Rei innerly ponders how far things changed since the first meeting where he initially saw the same attitude as like the worst thing ever he wanted to erase from Meguro’s face. Now? Now anyone looking to wipe it off would have to go through Rei first since now seeing it more a comfort than anything.
Teaming up for a last time after one of their usual quip exchanges, every bit of seriousness TO had declares sudden holidays when after winning Meguro can only express pity towards Yotsuya at seeing just how much Rei would enjoy rubbing the whole situation in as he indeed paints the legs on the snake and the trio get to watch the now-lizard jump off Yotsuya to enjoy freedom. Hisato uses that cue to get involved as the person that catches it with now finally introducing his own identity…as Meguro’s nephew that had done his own share of worldhopping after his mom, Asahi, asked for her son to see if her brother/his uncle was doing okay.
A revelation that is too positive to not have any downsides, so every bit of sudden joy at the new info by Meguro is crushed once again when Hisato notes that it was a final request before Asahi herself died so when Yotsuya chooses that moment to ask more about his origins Rei just silently slides closer to the now Mr. deadstare into the distance. Promise is a promise though so once the topic of Hisato’s background is done with Yotsuya declares accepting his part of the deal on not pursuing Meguro for his past misdeeds anymore in exchange that if he learns of anything new the hunt will resume. Meguro doesn’t even get to say anything before Rei promises on never letting him get to that point anymore so instead Meguro can only freeze up from his innerbattle between surprise and embarassment at the display of ownership (that he never gets out of by the sequence).
All’s well ends well as Basara can only cry in happiness at seeing the others return while the sight of home makes Rei finally relax enough to start feeling the fatigue so he begins this secluded exchange between him & Meguro by noting how he had this whole plan to give Meguro a footjob as the reward if he chose Rei as the target to cling to for living after losing all purpose.
Meguro can only note how no, that logic does not make any sense even if by this point he’s accepted the other enough that Rei noting for him to be as miserable as he can in his struggles doesn’t bother Meguro in the least anymore. Instead he stops the ‘kids’ from assisting him in his job of carrying Rei in after the other passes out by rejecting the offer with a note that it’s his duty-only (as the boyfriend)….and it would have been finally his one big moment of regaining some of his lost dignit if Meguro didn’t proceed to immediately pass out too so instead he just made himself Rei’s cushion so he doesn’t hit concrete when both fell as a result. Good job.
After some time for recovery passed the day came for saying goodbye to Hisato since after seeing that things are fine the kid would need to recover in his original one for a while from the sideeffects of not being immune to negative effects the difference created. With Meguro being silent for the most part until approached, it’s Hisato asking permission on if he’d be accepted to meet them again after noting all his insecurities on Meguro hating him as the reason he looked to hide his identity that gets met with a hug after the initial awkward silence since of course he’d welcome Hisato the moment he learned he was Asahi’s son, thus also treasured family for Meguro himself…so Basara just joins in to make it a group hug while shedding tears of happiness for the two.
Once that is over, at a more private venue in the form of Rei visiting Meguro for a homedate it’s time for Rei to be the flustered one when seeing Meguro go for a smoke yet quit midway results in the excuse that he doesn’t have an ashtray due to the Rei’s giften one being something he’d rather treasure since it came from the person he loves that he uses that segway to continue into a full speech on just how grateful he felt for all the changes meeting Rei had resulted in. Now it’s time for him to be the one that provides support as the one Rei can cling to when in need
which gets Rei way too embarrased to respond so Meguro just chides with an ”you answer, my princess?”. Managing to force out a return for the confession has Rei deem it as worth it when seeing the look of pure joy on the others face at learning the feeling to be mutual. (which means it’s time to converse in the bedroom language too)
Which ends up as it’s own disaster when Rei keeps his word on actually having Meguro be at the receiving end of his foot only for the mood to go sour pretty soon when noted that the nails on Rei’s feet had grown waaay too long to not be in the way of things and leaving to clip them while Meguro just sat there with stuff still sticking out would just be a further turnoff in itself. So instead, to further poke at how he was calling Rei his princess, Meguro offers switching the situation to him being the servant that’s licking ‘her majesy’s feet as an alternative. Thus begins the next entry in their war of looking to be the one that dominates the situation where Meguro proposes the idea for Rei to quit seeking anyone else but him out when in need of that type of action…only to ruin the moment when instead of waiting for the answer after Rei would be done with the innertsun Meguro instead begins round 2.
So days since are spent by offering Rei bribes in the form of cake to stop the other from sulking. And a free meal at a restaurant. For a moment the offers work and Rei’s mood improves enough to start talking to Meguro again…until the topic heads back to the previous offer and it’s back to Rei sulking and Meguro calling him a dishonest princess when he pretends having no idea on what he meant due to still being peeved.
Too bad Basara popping up results in the shikigami revealing how much Rei’s been keeping to the idea anyway so Basara is one of the first victims that have been rejected since. Rei can only glance in Meguro’s direction mortified at the amount of smug directed at him from the new info as the other comments on being too overcome by how adorable the whole thing is so he’ll accept doing his own part of abstaining for a bit in return for the display so Rei can only react scandalized at the wordchoice while the narration goes for the extra silly note by including one final hijink in the form labeling Rei as Meguro’s beloved princess because that’s what the relationship turned into at the end. Tsunprincess Rei and his bemused servant-for-life Meguro.
Bonus scenario consists of Rei being on the way home from a request one day and noticing he forgot his wallet when thinking to visit a nearby cafe. Recalling incidentally that Meguro lives nearby Rei decides to stop by his place instead only to find things odd when no one responds when Rei rings the doorbell. As he’s about to leave things get weirder since touching the handle reveals that the door wasn’t even locked! Choosing to enter Rei grows gradually worried if maybe Meguro got attacked and he’s about to find him lying dead. After walking around in darkness Rei finally finds him and is relieved to see him just sleeping…then the relief turns to anger at seeing a 2nd head poke out below the covers. About to throw a fit demanding Meguro had some decency as a human as he pulls away the cover Rei gets his next surprise when the person that had been sleeping with Meguro turns out to be Hisato.
Later, now embarassed, Rei can only glare as Meguro laughs at his misunderstanding after which he’d explain that he didn’t intend the surprise but just ended up dozing off too deeply Rei just retorts that they’re not in the type of relationship where Merguro’d need to apologize for having other partners anyway while resolving to not mentioning about how much he had worried. Meguro’s like ”Yeah. Right” as Rei can just hear the silent ”you’re really not honest” from Meguro’s amused tone. Hisato pipes in to apologize misleading Rei like that so the other notes how Hisato has nothing to feel bad about since Rei just made the fuss on his own accord. Meguro chimes in by adding a ”out of jealousy right?”. Rei innnerly screams at him for even saying such things in front of a kid.
Hisato’s like ”Jealousy huh. But wouldn’t this make Tengenjibashi-san pretty cute for getting jelly over a small thing like this?” and Meguro almost spits out his cigarette. Hisato proceeds to ask permission to call Rei by name since his uncle was doing that anyway so why not him too? Meguro rejects the idea. Hisato asks for the reason why. Was there some deep reason that made it forbidden? Meguro answers not quite while even Rei himmself notes on not seeing any issues either. Firmer, Meguro still forbids the matter since even Hisato won’t get his permission for that while looking to excuse it by declaring it as something for when Hisato is older…that Rei said. Right? Right? Confused Rei doesn’t deny his claim.
The topic switches to discussing why Hisato’s even there as the kid reveals he’s there for a week to learn about the human world while asking if he could stay with Meguro. Meguro notes only if Hisato’s okay with how Meguro tends to be away and only come home late. Hisato immediately switches to pondering if to stay with Rei so once again Meguro rejects the idea by volunteering his place and that’s final (even using flimsy excuses like ”what if Rei taught Hisato something weird” as justification).
So next day comes, Hisato comments about Kamiohzaki being a pretty funny person (as I note ”big understatement” as I sip my drink) while watching tv before deciding to outside since he can defend himself fine if anything happens. Something happens indeed as after Hisato hangs out at the nearby park an ayakashi approaches him to invite him to play. For some reason Hisato agrees and hours later Meguro is visiting an abandoned building since he’d received a message about having a hostage captured since the ayakashi had been among the ones that deeply loathe him.
The situation escalates when Meguro in fear of traumatizing Hisato doesn’t fight back and becomes a sandbag for the culprit instead. Just as Rei’s had enough of watching and resolves to break the promise he made of not getting involved the ayakashi is suddenly slammed into the concrete…by Hisato himself. Declaring that a being belowlevel of a cocroach the ayakashi has no rights for receiving any mercy and further evaporates it.
Meguro&Rei are stuck staring at the kid as Hisato switches to smiling brightly while chiding his uncle on how being a sandbag like that would make him really uncool. Later at home Meguro, now at the mercy of Rei treating his wounds, asks if he couldn’t at least be a tad gentler about it. Rei tells him to suck it up since it’s not a subject he expertises in. Switching topics, Rei questions why Meguro hadn’t fought back to receive the excuse that it was just bad timing while noting that Rei being there was part of the reason too. Rei points out how that sounds like Meguro had relied on him from the start that the other corrects that ”it’s not just sounds like”. At that timing Hisato enters the room with the lacking gauzes so the conversation switches to ask the kid about his big display. Casually Hisato notes that he can deal with weaker ayakashi since he’d inherited his fathers powers. What, did the two assume the foresight and teleporting was all he had? pff. Rei would resume with the treatment while watching Hisato & Meguro bond after the kid apologizes for not informing his uncle. In return, after chiding Hisato on being aware that he broke the rules he was given, Meguro would apologize too for locking Hisato up in the appartment when clearly he can fend for himself. Deciding that as his timing to leave, Rei silently puts on his coat and exits.
On the street Rei starts pondering how he’ll make Meguro repay for worrying him so much with an evil grin. Deciding that he’d start with leaving the two alone for some time Rei turns to start walking only to hear a voice call out. It’s Meguro who chides him about leaving without a word. Did he thing he was pulling a cool act like that or something? As Rei’d stare at him Meguro explains how Hisato was already asleep so the kid was probably tired (and looked just like average kid while asleep). As there’s some rule that Meguro’s route needs suffering, the guy continues by explaining that Hisato was actually all alone thanks to how his ayakashi-dad had soon died after Asahi did. It had actually been pretty unusual since the dude had been on the young side as an ayakashi who also had the oddity of being a really doting parent for Hisato instead of the usual uninterest.
Rei comments how strong Hisato is, both in powers and mentally. Meguro agrees and notes how there’s no reason to worry there since Hisato inherited that from Asahi and she had saved Meguro a lot of times by being the more resilient one among them as kids. It was the reason why he had resolved so much to save her as a chance to return the favor. Yet as a result, Meguro may have been the one getting rescued until the very end…
To the more somber atmosphere Rei asks if Meguro will let Hisato stay with him. Meguro responds with a ”dunno” since he’s absent often. More firm, Rei suggests Meguro lets the kid stay so they can comfort each others loneliness while sharing memories about Asahi. With a distant look Meguro responds with just a ”maybe”. As Rei would further argue for the matter, Meguro gives in and declares that he’ll at least offer the idea by telling for Hisato to visit again since he’d be leaving soon. Pleased, Rei notes how it’s work for Meguro’s favor too. Amused Meguro goes ”Mine? Not yours?” as he reminds of the misunderstanding and jokes about how by having someone live with Meguro would erase any chances of Rei making a fuss about him cheating or somesuch. Again, Rei argues that he doesn’t care as Meguro notes that there’d still be times he comes home late so Rei can just have…a spare key to use then. Flustered Rei still objects with how even if Meguro gave him that, it’s not like Rei would always visit either to need it. Meguro just notes to come whenever Rei wants. Turns out Meguro had planned to pass the key to Rei for a while now, just lacked the timing and now Rei can only fume how the whole misunderstanding wouldn’t have happened if he did indeed get it sooner. Happines at the gesture would win over anger though so instead Rei’d tsun about expecting for Meguro to cooking if he’s gonna visit the place. Exasparated, Meguro initially tries to object before just sighing at Rei’s dishonesty and instead chimes for Rei to visit before the food he makes spoils then.
Rei’s next demand is for Meguro to lose the cigarettes since he hates the stench and it’d be bad for Hisato now too. He does so by literally taking the one Meguro was smoking while just meeting the others objections with ”it’s for your nephews sake”. Giving up Meguro comments how he’ll handle his mouth feeling lonely by making due with something else as he kisses Rei. Rei at first questions what if someone saw them before accepting Meguro’s argument that they’re in Shinjuku so no one cares. As Meguro’d show relief, Rei would tug at his sleeve to pull him closer to further their makeout session. During one of the pauses for breath Rei smirks as he asks if he passes as the replacement for Meguro’s cigs. Meguro answers that he could become his new ‘favorite’ before locking lips again. The End