Reviews for Xenos
Tenshi-no-Aku chapter 1 . 3/3/2008
Unh... I would say it was amazingly perfect except one thing that really bothered me, Hiei was incredibly out of character. I could understand him saying that if it were Kuwabara but never about Kurama.
Storming Lilacs chapter 1 . 7/14/2007
This shift in perspective is amazing, oh my god. The biggest thing that hit me is how focus was given all along on how Kurama's always "been like this" instead of simply memory loss alone. I didn't see that until the last line.
Kals chapter 1 . 7/2/2007
No, you can't let the story end like this. Please update, please. Or write a sequence. You can't just let him be in that state and suffer. I know you love him as much as I do, and maybe much much more than I do. Please...
Adi88 chapter 1 . 6/12/2007
And this is another one I absolutely couldn’t wait on and had to go through and read all the way, and then come back and review. [Also, you got your X… what does “xenos” mean, anyway? That’s Greek, innit? Or Latin. Something about outside? Outsider? …Oh, that would make perfect sense. Grah. Evil Shinju… But I still want confirmation or denial on that interpretation.]

[And, upon having a Connection and checking, “Foreign.” Yeah, that’s a no-brainer. Wow. How do you do stuff like this? I mean, were you looking for words that started with X and found this and thought ‘Ooh Kurama’, or did you think of the story and there just happened to be a word that started with X and fit like a glove…?]

And I shall now proceed to drag out my lines and comment on them, possibly a little bit because this fic is completely ruddy terrifying and just now looking at the individual bars allows me to stop thinking about the cage for a while. This has seriously messed with my head.

“But since it wasn’t morning, he realized, the why could not possibly be very important.”

- There is man after my own heart of late. If the sun ain’t high in the sky, everything up to life and death can just go to the back burner. Plus… mm. Just the Kuwabara groove.

“He waited until it stopped and sighed blissfully in relief, until the ringing started again.”

- If anyone ever questions Kurama’s evilness, this would be proof. Forget killing numerous small boys, forget lying to his mother, forget leaving Kuronue to die and giving Yomi the Sink-or-Swim mode of instruction, forget going through Botan’s underwear drawer… Calling right back at this hour is pure, unadulterated Cruelty.

“Hello. Is this Kuwabara?”

- Because I didn’t think anything of it the first time around, but by the third time this story pulled me back in with all its watch-a-car-crash appeal, I realized how odd the question was and commenced to be vastly creeped out. Because… you really can’t mistake Kuwabara’s voice if you’ve ever heard it before.

“…the sort of thing someone practical like Kurama would have lying by the phone.”

- Because it’s cute and charming and accurate and… “someone like Kurama”, only the point is they don’t really know, no one really knows, what “like Kurama” means exactly, when you get right down to it.

Kuwabara still reciting his phone number because he’s proud equals muy love. And plot devices become art. Evil master talent at work.

“Kurama sat across the table from him, his face fixed into a cold, unyielding stare.”

- Because I keep picturing his face right before he launched that last plant at Karasu, for some reason, and cringing. Rather extreme, too hot-angry for this frigid kind of thing, but… just what comes to mind.

“I just wanted to finish making our plans for this weekend,”

- Because I cling to my last bits of comfort, and this is one of them. They have Plans for Weekend together, as friends should in a safe place where they know each other and never let each other down and ‘the bad guys are easily distinguished by their black hats or horns, we always save the day, and everyone lives happily ever after.’

“You’re human.” and “I would not have taken a human on as a partner in any venture. Is this a trap? You’ve failed miserably in gaining the upper hand.”

- And right here would be about where my world falls apart because WHAT? and also DUH.

“Kurama had never had such icy eyes—or maybe they had never seemed cold because his face had always been so warm.”

- Oh, the layers of Kurama so aptly summarized. I love the juxtaposition of that image so much.

The skip from the here-and-now to the phone is sheer brilliance. The phone thing, and then Kurama’s house, and then back to the phone. Tapestries, always tapestries.

“Why are you acting like Youko?”

“Is there a reason I shouldn’t?”

- Tummy turnover.

“The possibilities of why he might have said such a thing revealed more than anything he had said all evening. It was like Kurama was searching blindly for his own answers, and realized he had to sacrifice to get ahead in the game of give-and-take.”

- Just for being beautifully written, and because… well, it kind of captures Kurama, inna way… the game thing. It’s always a war, always give and take and calculations and manipulations.

“Are you my partner in a heist?”

- Which drives it home in such a more personal way. I mean it’s KUWABARA.

“He had never been so suddenly, painfully aware that Kurama’s kitchen chairs were wood, as in trees, and might be inclined to eat him or something.”

- Mnn, just… love.

Ze, Yuusuke working for the Yukimuras. Is that how he is, really, by the end? It feels right.

“Kuwabara, having kinky phone sex all night long is no excuse for someone like you to skip school.”

- Kikikiki. I cling to these as bits of wood in a maelstrom…

“While it had been ages since he had last gone to personally visit the fox, it didn’t mean he did not worry about him.”

- Things drift apart when they don’t fall.

The entire conversation Yuusuke and Kuwabara have about what’s going on, with all the witties to hide behind and how… Damn, I mean, Kurama is… one fourth of their history, all the things only he knew, all the private jokes, just… gone.

“When isn’t he acting all weird and cryptic?”

- One might well ask.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m done being an ass whenever you’re ready to continue.”

- Pure Yuusuke.

“Kurama was Kurama, and Kurama was his friend, but Youko Kurama was something he’d never quite grasped completely.”

- Because it’s beautiful and sad and set against Yuusuke’s epiphany that Youko was never really separate, it’s… even more interesting.

Them visiting every day like that, the funniness and sadness of it… and later, when it’s just Yuusuke, him confiding all his woes to Kurama the living journal. And Kurama, the whole time, sitting on the other side plotting and planning and nothing making sense, not even his own body. I don’t know.

“And the best way to cheer himself up—he could feel the smile float onto his face at the merest thought—was a visit to his lovely Yukina.”

- And then all about “my love” and how kind and wise and beautiful she is… and Kuwabara vs. Hiei: The Ultimate Showdown. “You’re silly, Kazuma, but you’re sweet.” Hellz ya.

“The shrimp always seemed to be looking for chances to point out that he knew the fox better than any of them.”

- So true, so true.

“…so he expounded, ‘Idiots. You’ve just told me Kurama has no memory of his human life, and has locked himself in his apartment in paranoia. Do you really think he’s going to take it well if I stroll up to his door and explain to him that he nearly died and decided to become a human?’ ”

and

“I’m not going to talk to him. Let him go back to the demon world, if that’s what he wants. It is where he belongs, after all.”

- I don’t know what it is about Hiei refusing to even try to help, whether in the end it would be for Kurama or for Yuusuke and Kuwabara, that makes sort of a lynchpin for me. Makes the thing, in a way, and I can’t for the life of me figure why. Because it’s realistic, in keeping with what Hiei would do more often if he didn’t have to cater to the needs of a TV show. Because it’s just what friends do sometimes. Because he’s got to be getting such a kick out of the thought of Youko Kurama back, judging from what I understand his reactions are to that incarnation throughout the series [ooh the Real Thing], but that he’d give up THIS Kurama for it, let down Yuusuke and Kuwabara over it… even if that isn’t entirely what he’s doing… I don’t know. It just fits inside.

Plus, calling it expounding and starting with an insult is funny.

And then Yuusuke kind of subconsciously agreeing that if he wants to leave, he should, and Kuwabara being mad. Because I’m with Kuwabara even knowing he’s wrong. OUR Kurama is THE Kurama and the other one is separate and if they just keep him there long enough he’ll get used to it and everything will go back to normal.

His rooms. All the notes and evidence. The Kurama who’s spent years with Shiori and Yuusuke and everyone… his life spread out as evidence.

“A human life isn’t what I want. I’m sure it wasn’t what I wanted when I made the decision. I should have left. I’ve studied everything; I’m positive I wanted to leave. Even now, there isn’t anything holding me back with the barrier between worlds gone.”

“So why don’t you leave?”

“Because I didn’t leave… because I haven’t left yet.”

- Everything. This would the real Thing, aside from my obsession with enigmatic!Hiei. Kurama’s life. Aside from being subjected to analyzation by his own self… the fact that even to himself it doesn’t make sense. That plaintive repetition of “there has to be a reason.” There are always reasons, always rules, and they’re not helping, I… argh, you are the single most frustrating author in existence. In a good way. But.

“Things just always… worked out. No one questioned.”

- Mnah.

“You were always holding back. I guess you always thought you were protecting yourself, but maybe it’s really hurt you in the long run.”

- You THINK? …You know, overall, by about the fifth time reading this… I love Kurama more than ever before because abruptly he is in with Buffy. She’s isn’t… she doesn’t do it deliberately and with malice of forethought, doesn’t plan things out anywhere near like this, but she has the same… ‘Being the Slayer made me alone, but I made me stay that way.’ Being surrounded by people who would be there for them if they were just allowed. Superiority complexes and inferiority complexes about it, because they’re better than their friends and because they think that they don’t deserve those same friends. Kind of thing.

“He slowly realized, as he spoke of Shiori and sacrifices and hospital stays, that Youko Kurama was not some unfathomable demonic presence that just happened to be associated with the Kurama they knew and loved.

They had never truly known or understood Kurama. And his fooling them into believing they had was just another part of his exotic charm.”

- …Just yes.

“Kurama would always be like he had been these past weeks. Unapproachably foreign and alone.”

- At which point I dissolve into tears and throw things at you. You have… a knack for endings.
lotus head chapter 1 . 6/8/2007
WHY IS THIS OVER! Oh well. It was really great. Full of supspense! It kept me guessing.
kitsunelover chapter 1 . 6/7/2007
This was beautifully written, and above all, ORIGINAL. I'm very glad that you ended without really resolving Kurama's problem; it leaves the reader unsatisfied, but in a way that she mulls over the issues you've presented for a while afterwards, instead of just going "Oh, that was nice." You are one of my favorite YYH authors (if I haven't told you so already), and it's always a pleasure to read your stuff. :)
GunsxRoses chapter 1 . 6/7/2007
This is so gorgeous on so many levels. Heartbreaking, poignant, and so wonderfully structured. Off to pimp this now, I hope you keep posting YYH fics!
Katia-chan chapter 1 . 6/7/2007
This is so beautifully written...and surreal...and just generally disconcerting. From beginning to end, you got me going off balance.

He visibly stiffened. As if ashamed of the display, he lowered his head, hiding green eyes behind his bangs. “Is there a reason I shouldn’t?” he murmured.

That, right there...it was the subtle shift from pissed-off Kurama to confused...beautifully subtle, but the tone his character took on after that was much more...lost, rather than hostile.

It was perfect.

Also am liking the way the time sequence doesn't go straight through. It adds to the unsettledness, makes sure we keep thinking, and just adds something very cool, not to know right away what's happening when.

Ok...and the end. That was a perfect place to cut it off, though I'll admit that I kept staring at it and going "...isn't there more? Please?" It was great, the little mixes of humor at the beginning, (by the by, Yusuke falling backwards into the apartment, fantastic.) And then the way it descended, and the tention was so...there. It made me want to get up and pace.

And, it may have just been me, but your descriptions of how haunted he was...not really intending this to sound fangirlish, but I very much wanted to hug him. You write a very wonderfully confused,Kurama, and I just felt sad for him...

Ok, and it's late...I'm venturing a guess that half of this didn't make that much sense, but I will say that I am really incredibly impressed. It was a tricky plunny, and you pulled it off really well.

Kinda wanna go weep for poor Youko now though...

Beautiful fic, through and through. :)

TTFN

Katia-chan