Disclaimer: I don't own YYH or the characters
Hello everyone, and welcome to what I'll be referring to as WTEWYE over the course of this story. I don't really know how to explain where the thought came from. To be honest, I was thinking about my other HXB fic that I just posted minutes before this one, The Catalyst, while waiting for someone late at night at the airport, and I had read MystiKoorime's newest chapter for her story, Home (you should check out her stories if you're as into the pairing as we are). I kind of always wanted to do a series related story with their characters since I've mostly been writing AUs, and well, this came up. I have to thank MystiKoorime for giving me feedback on both this story and The Catalyst. If any of you have any comments or critique for me, let me know. I like to take everything into consideration while I write.
I hope you enjoy!
Hiei didn't know how he let himself get talked into attending this mess.
He cringed at the volume of the loud music that blared and elevated as he entered his old comrade's wedding reception. Immediately, he knew he shouldn't have come. It had not been the first party he had allowed himself to be talked into attending since Hiei had started going between the two worlds to visit Yukina from time to time. The first had been the meeting/reunion which had been fine. He had made a late appearance, getting Yukina alone to return her hiruiseki stone and to tell her that her brother was dead. That was fine, but then the get-togethers started getting ridiculous such as the current celebration.
At each event, his friends usually drank and made fools of themselves. Between Yusuke's engagement party, Christmas parties, New Year's, and even Easter parties of all things, Hiei had wondered how he allowed himself to be talked into being a part of this wedding. Usually, it was directly or indirectly related to Yukina, for the fox usually brought her into the mix. This time was completely different entirely.
It had been three years since Hiei attended any event to which he had been invited. The last one had been a horrible experience for him. Blasting music was playing then too, and even Yukina had taken part in the human past time of "social drinking." He was used to Kuwabara acting off when he drank, wanting to kill the spirit swordsman for going after his sister, but that time he had been the "Dee Dee"…whatever that meant, and Yukina had been the one coming onto Kuwabara right in front of the fire demon. That was the time where Hiei learned that human alcohol could still affect a demon. He swore he'd never touch the stuff or come to another pointless gathering.
Hiei had rationalized that he would not attend another gathering, but that was until the end of the second Demon World Tournament. After Enki had won once again, the group had gone to a nearby bar to catch up, including Kuwabara who had surprisingly competed along with them. Kurama had started working a human job Hiei did not care to get details, and Yusuke had seemingly come a long way. He told his friends he'd be getting married within the year. His woman wanted a spring wedding, and so here Hiei was, in the middle of April, at their wedding.
The detective had wanted them all there to stand at his side during the ceremony. Though Hiei didn't know much about human customs, he knew that that was a big deal. Despite Hiei's disinterest with human customs and weddings, he felt compelled to honor the detective's request. He never had very many. It was out of respect and his duty towards a comrade in arms that led to this lapse in judgement.
It was small ceremony, and they had gone all out and been incredibly traditional. That was until they got to the reception. Tradition had been thrown to the wind there. First off, they were in this hall, and there were quite a bit of people including Yusuke's mother, who had to be the worst drinker out of them all, and Keiko's family and some friends of the girl from her time away at school. They had invited the Kuwabara's and Kurama's family, not to mention Yusuke's demons friends who were all pretending to be some sort of street performers to mislead the humans who knew nothing about them. Hiei figured that was Kurama's doing. Surprisingly enough, the redhead had already downed a bunch drinks, but he was still scarily observant in his drunken state.
There were many times where Yusuke had grabbed Keiko, kissing her in front of everyone. All but Hiei would cheer. He didn't understand these public displays of affection. Yukina was once again all over Kuwabara, and he had clearly had too many. Hiei spent most of the time glaring daggers at the redhead while holding himself back. If he made a scene here, his sister would wind up learning his identity, and he refused to let that happen. The music was getting louder, as was this rowdy crowd. Hiei was irate and needed to cool off.
Unlike Genkai's temple, he really didn't know where he could go. His first instinct was to leave the room, so he exited the hall inside some Human World hotel. It was much less vociferous and deafening out there, so Hiei decided to sit and let the peaceful silence wash over him.
The loud bass beat of the music struck him again as the doors opened and closed. "Hiei?"
He really couldn't catch a break, could he? The fire demon tilted his head only to see the blue-haired ferry girl approaching him. His lip curled up in a sneer, a growl rumbling lowly in his chest. She didn't seem to mind as she took a seat next to him. As Hiei looked at her, his eyes landed on the one thing he hadn't expected to see.
An empty wine glass. And she was usually the only one who remained sober at these events, and ironically the one he always ran into when they both tried to get away from their rambunctious colleagues. This time, they had gotten to her, too.
His eyes narrowed as he spoke one determined word. "Leave."
Botan was unfazed. In fact, she smiled and giggled. Crap, the alcohol had already taken its effect. "Oh, Hiei, you're so funny," the ferry girl chimed. "Come back inside and join the party. You don't want to sit alone out here. It's a happy day."
Hiei was by no means happy, and he truly did want to sit alone out there. He wanted to threaten her into leaving him be, but he knew she wouldn't take him seriously. "I don't deal with drunkards well. Apparently, you've fallen into that class."
Botan frowned slightly, but then smiled. "Oh, I'm not that drunk. I only had a couple. It just helped to take the edge off."
"Edge off of what?" Hiei questioned immediately, mentally cursing his own curious nature.
Botan then started to explain a series of events that made Hiei wonder why anyone ever went through with this wedding ceremony thing. Apparently, the dress had been lost for an hour, and then somehow the bakers had gone to the wrong hotel. In addition, Yusuke had been running late for one reason or another…the detective had said it was traffic, but the fear in Kuwabara's eyes when the girls looked at him told a different story. Then it turned out that the detective had never picked up the rings earlier in the week so Botan had to fly to the jeweler's and get back in time. Apparently, everyone's nerves had been high, and so the hotel had brought everyone glasses of complimentary champagne.
"So, I drank a couple of those," Botan explained, "though I'm a little drunk because I'm not used to drinking and I hadn't eaten much of anything until this last hour."
"Hn," Hiei grunted in acceptance, though far from understanding. "I don't see why anyone would go through the trouble of some grandiose ceremony to say that they're mates. In Demon World, you just are. No one needs a big production."
"Oh?" Botan asked, interested a little in his words. With her inhibitions lowered, she had no problem asking the most invasive questions. "If you know about it, does that mean you have a mate?"
Hiei's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing. The answer was a resounding "no." She should have assumed that. Why would she think otherwise? Hiei hated everyone on a good day. "You better get back inside. I have no intention of entertaining your drunken self."
"Wow," Botan murmured. "You really do need to loosen up." At Hiei's heated glare, Botan held her hands up. Good. At least she still had her self-preservation about her. She wasn't totally foolish. "Shizuru had said it when she saw you leave. I came to make sure you were okay."
"I am not a child," Hiei remarked angrily. "I can take care of myself."
"I know," Botan stated, her brows furrowing. "Just, well…we're friends. I wanted to make sure you were enjoying yourself."
That was a concept Hiei never understood, going out of his way to make sure anyone was enjoying themselves. He also had never seen the annoying woman as anything more than a Spirit World hindrance, and yet she considered them friends. Pathetic. "Go back inside. I do not need your company."
He could see hurt flash through the woman's eyes, but she quickly recovered and smiled at him. "I'll go back inside, if you go with me. You really could use a drink."
"You're an idiot," he spat as she tried to move him, weakly pulling at his arm. "Nothing you can say or do will make me drink that poison. I'd prefer not to become a senseless buffoon."
Botan only grinned. "I think you're scared to let go. I was too, but it's okay."
"You're only saying that now," Hiei grunted. "Leave me alone."
The ferry girl couldn't take the hint at all. She only smiled and giggled again. "You really are scared. Maybe I need to start speaking your language." Hiei rolled his eyes only to have the woman invade his personal space, her lips dangerously close to his ear. His stomach dropped inside of him. What the hell was she doing? Not even that. What the hell was he doing? How had he not dodged that? "We can go to the bar and have a drinking contest."
He regained his stoic composure. "What possible reason would I have to accept that?"
"If you don't, I'll just tell our friends you chickened out of a challenge," Botan grinned impishly.
Hiei's expression remained impassive as he said, "You've already had a few too many. You're at a disadvantage."
"Then the game would be over quicker, and you'd have the advantage," Botan remarked. "But I think I could take you. And if I win, you have to come back to the party."
Well, Hiei didn't really want to accept, but he had held his share of Demon World liquors in his day. They were much stronger than the ones of Human World, and Botan was already drunk. If he went along with it, she'd probably be passed out in moments and he could leave freely. Plus, he didn't like her threat of telling anyone he backed down. Hiei never backed down from anything, and he would defeat this weak ferry girl. "Fine," he relented.
Botan grabbed his arm, overly excited. "What do you want if you win?" she asked him.
Hiei figured she should know the answer, but in her stupor he'd need to be specific. "I have no desire to return to that blasted 'party,'" he told her forcefully. "If I win, I'm leaving."
"Well, that's fair," Botan replied, her smile softening. "Let's go."
Hiei didn't know where he was. The room was dark, yet totally unfamiliar. He was lying down on something soft and not in a tree as he was so accustomed. He was in a sea of white fluff, blankets if he remembered their texture correctly. Well, sheets to be more specific. He felt sweaty and hot, more so than usual. Had he been training? Was he back at Mukuro's, and if so, why couldn't he remember? He wouldn't have been in a bed either, unless he injured himself severely which rarely happened. The only time he had woken up in a bed was after she had him healed in that liquid chamber, and the bed was not this comfortable.
Where the hell was he?
A moan to the side of him made him freeze before he narrowed his eyes. There was someone in the room with him, and that person was going to die. He reached to the white blanket and pushed it off of him only to be met with a sight he hadn't been expecting. There was another person in the bed, a larger bed than he had ever seen, and that person had blue hair.
No, Hiei thought darkly to himself. No, no, no.There was no way he was in bed with the ferry girl. Unfortunately, he could never mistake that shade of blue. What was worse was that he knew himself to be naked, and her shoulder covered by the sheet was bare. His expression grew grim. How had that happened? After a moment of thought, he remembered that the previous night he had been at the detective's wedding and had nearly left it.
He had been alone and the annoying witch followed him out and harassed him trying to force him back only to challenge him to a drinking contest that Hiei knew he'd win. His mind started to clear and hazy memories returned of the two of them sitting at the bar with a bunch of drinks Hiei had thought to be weak. The ferry girl had done better than he expected, and he needed to up his game. He remembered a lot of laughing, strangely enough on both their parts, and then the woman's loss when she finally couldn't drink anymore. He had won, though Botan was far from disappointed. She had smiled at him, and for a moment his eyes had darted to her lips. When she expressed that he had beaten her and was free to leave, he remembered his own voice demanding that she was going with him.
He sat up and glared down at his hands. This whole mess was his own doing, from the moment he allowed her to speak to him to accepting her senseless challenge to initiating this event. His eyes landed on her sleeping form. She looked so peaceful, relaxed, and content, all things that Hiei was not. He was feeling perturbed, agitated, and angry with both the woman and himself. Had she not pursued him, this wouldn't have happened.
It really shouldn't have happened even though she had. Hiei never did anything he didn't want to do, and he definitely hadn't wanted to sleep with a Spirit World drone. He accepted his responsibility in accepting the contest, but she needed to take responsibility as well. She shouldn't have allowed herself to get that drunk around him. Weren't there laws in Spirit World against this? There had to be.
He wasn't going to get anywhere sitting there either scolding himself or debating Spirit World regulation. He needed to get out of there before the woman woke up and saw him in such a state of undress. Certainly she had seen more the night prior, however she most likely had no memory due to her alcohol consumption. He himself only remembered flashes, and those alone made him feel disgust.
The ferry girl stirred at the most inopportune moment and turned to see Hiei putting on his pants and grabbing the rest of his clothes. She blinked the bleariness of sleep from her eyes which eventually reflected her confusion. She opened her mouth to speak, but Hiei stopped her as he reached the door. "Don't," he commanded. She closed her mouth instantly. "You will speak of this to no one." And with that, he was gone, and the door to the hotel room slammed shut.
Botan blinked a few times in surprise, still trying to orient herself. Her head felt clouded and hazy still, and she could remember nothing after starting a drinking contest with Hiei. She blushed remembering the moments she had giggled like a maniac or invaded the fire demon's personal space. Her lips twitched upward when she realized that he couldn't have been too angry for he had remained with her instead of leaving. Her mind remembered nothing after that, though it was hard to when her head was spinning and ringing. Immediately, she made her way to the toilet and emptied the contents of her stomach. Huh…so that was the reason Kurama had told her not to drink much more than what she had.
Now, Botan was no fool. She knew that alcohol could have a bad effect on people. She had ferried souls of those who took it too far. It had been why she avoided it for so long. Still, she felt she should experience it once in this human body of hers, plus she really had been stressed and the man offering them the champagne said it would help get rid of that. It definitely had, and she then wondered why she hadn't tried it before. Her friends would never let her get to the point she feared. Besides, now her curiosity had been sated.
As a ferry girl, Botan never really got to feel the physical things others felt. She was basically a spirit. The only time she felt anything physical like a touch or hunger was when she was in this human form Koenma had given her. Botan liked experiencing new things in this human body. She remembered what it was like to feel rain on her skin for the first time, and the feeling of freshly cut grass in the spring. She also had the drawbacks where she felt pain here and there, especially when she had been involved in the boys' missions. Well, she couldn't really call them boys anymore. They had all grown up so much, strangely enough herself included.
Because she could feel more, it helped her to be more understanding in her job as ferry girl. It had been a blessing in disguise. Even now, this human body felt like a party of her. She was glad she got to visit her friends and experience in all their joys with them.
Of course, she was getting sidetracked. Hiei's behavior had certainly been strange when she left, and she was starting to wonder why, her brows furrowing again. She looked around the room, her eyes widening as she realized that she was in a hotel room and was in the bed. The spot next to her was unmade and tousled. Most of the room looked like a bomb had gone off too. She tried to make sense of Hiei's final words before his departure. "You will speak of this to no one."
Speak of what? she had to wonder. Why had he been so angry? Was it because they had shared a bed together? Slept together? And why wasn't she wearing any clothes? Botan's mind sparked at that. She had heard something like that the morning of Keiko's and Yusuke's wedding. Ever the traditionalist, Keiko had wanted Yusuke to stay at Kuwabara's while she stayed at home so that nothing would happen before their wedding night. Of course, Kuwabara still lived with Shizuru, so she noticed when Yusuke snuck out that night to be with Keiko. When she brought it up with the bride, Keiko had turned red and shouted that they hadn't slept together. She explained that Yusuke had come because he couldn't fall asleep, now so used to sleeping in the same bed as her. Shizuru had then said, "So you slept together in the literal sense, and not the figurative. Big deal."
Botan's eyes widened. Oh… Oh!
Had she slept with Hiei in both the literal and figurative sense?
If that were the case, she'd understand his abrupt departure. She couldn't remember it happening, but that didn't mean it hadn't. To be honest, she wouldn't mind if they had. Hiei was a swell guy, and it definitely could have been worse. At least she was with a friend drunk instead of a stranger. She didn't know what she'd do then. Sure, it might be embarrassing and awkward for the both of them, but since neither of them remembered it, they could move on and pretend it didn't happen. Botan knew it wasn't so cut and dry, but she was hopeful and optimistic, and she really didn't want hers and Hiei's acquaintance to be muddled by something they couldn't remember.
She'd have to talk to him about it next time she saw him. He was probably long gone by now. All she could do was honor his request and keep quiet about what she thought had happened between them. Maybe she was all wrong and something else had happened. It didn't really matter now, anyway. She needed to return to Spirit World right away after she said goodbye to the newlyweds. Though she would have loved to continue to stay in the bed, she really needed to wash up, so she covered herself with the sheet and kicked her legs over the edge and got up way too quickly.
Botan grabbed the bed, biting her lip as she felt discomfort. Her sides hurt slightly, and when she looked, she saw the bruises that formed, not to mention pain she couldn't describe which made it very difficult to walk. She shrugged it off, not really understanding why she felt that way. Though she didn't remember sleeping with Hiei, she knew it had to be related to that. She wondered if she could talk to someone about that, but she didn't want to trouble her friends with awkward questions and the other ferry girls wouldn't really know either. Besides, she had work to do.
Maybe after she took a hot shower, the pain would go away and she'd feel better.
A month had passed since Yusuke's and Keiko's wedding, and everyone had returned to their normal lives. Though Botan missed her friends dearly, she had been spending more time ferrying souls. She had been restless, which is something she normally only felt in her human body. She had even been feeling unusually moody. It was definitely strange, especially when she nearly bit poor George's head off for no reason. She really hadn't liked that.
Another week had passed, and Botan knew what that meant. Due to having a human body, she also had those pesky effects like the need to use the bathroom, and even worse the female monthly cycle. She kept excellent track during all the months where she was on missions with the boys so she would know when it would happen and would remain in her human body that whole week. If not, she'd get it the second she became human, and it would always make her feel sick.
Despite her excellent record keeping, it never came, though parts of her body, her chest for example, felt tender, and she felt nauseated from time to time. It was not pleasant, but there wasn't much she could do but wait. She knew that Keiko had said something once about hers being late because of stress one time after the Dark Tournament. Botan didn't really understand the whole process, but she did know that she had been stressed, for she took it out on poor George once again. She decided to remain in her human form for an extra week. Her period was sure to come eventually.
That had been a bad idea. The next week, she felt horribly bloated and sick, and she had to use the bathroom every five minutes! It made her even more moody because she couldn't get the sleep she needed because of it. In addition to feeling bloated, she was starting to get heartburn or indigestion whenever she ate something. She had to have caught something while being out and about, and now she'd have to wait out the sickness. She had had to do that for a cold before because Koenma warned her that if she returned to spirit form, the cold wouldn't go away. She needed to treat herself.
So she tried taking antacids, which helped only slightly, but the nausea would not leave her. No matter what she did, she couldn't shake it. In fact, shaking was a bad idea, and so she asked Koenma if she could take the week off to recover from this bug. Flying on her oar made her feel too sick and dizzy. Koenma agreed to let Botan rest and recover for the week, though she could tell her friend was concerned for her. Though she still felt restless, she tried to sleep as much as possible. She was feeling pretty tired, too, though she hated waking up in a puddle of her own drool. She never drooled in her sleep, ever, and now she seemed to be salivating all day long. What kind of virus was this, and why wasn't her body fighting it off? She was even eating fruits high in vitamin C. Nothing was working. Her incredibly sore breasts were not helping her either.
By the next week, Botan was feeling horrible. She had gotten so incredibly sick by the end of her vacation, throwing up horribly almost every night or when she smelled something unusually displeasing. One night it was so bad that Hinageshi stayed with her and watched her with wide eyes full of uncertainty. The redhead left her to get Koenma, the brunette nearly running in to see Botan hugging the toilet and looking up at him with teary eyes. His softened as he moved to help her up. "You must really be sick," he murmured softly. "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay," Botan weakly replied. "Sir, what are you doing in your teen form?"
Koenma merely smiled and chuckled quietly. "I could reach you quicker this way," he explained. "Botan, maybe you should see a doctor. Don't forget we have one here for when the guys came back from the really intensive missions."
"I know," Botan agreed. "Just, I had really hoped it would go away so I could just return to my spirit form. It's been very exhausting."
"I can imagine," Koenma stated. "Well, let's take you there now. Hopefully, they'll be able to determine what's wrong with you?"
Both Botan and Koenma gaped at the astonished doctor who had nary an explanation. "Yes, well," he coughed lightly. "Uh, Botan is pregnant, sir."
"Pregnant," the Reikai ruler breathed out. "Unbelievable. How is that possible? Ferry girls can't get pregnant."
"That is normally true," the doctor stated, "but Botan is not like the other ferry girls. Firstly, you allowed her to have this human body. You had to know that she could experience the same bodily functions. If not you, she had to know when she had a period."
Botan blushed as the male doctor and her friend and boss both looked at her expectantly. "I…I knew, but it never really occurred to me that I could-"
"Plus, she is practically given free rein in coming and going to Human World, so it's possible and more feasible for her to go against protocol and lay with a human."
"That will be all, doctor," Koenma immediately cut him off with a glare. The man bowed quickly and left the two alone to discuss what was happening. "You okay?"
"I…" Botan started before stopping herself and thinking it over. "I'm actually not very sure," she admitted. "I'm sorry, Koenma, sir… I didn't think this would happen."
"How did it happen?" Koenma asked, though his voice held much less judgment than the doctor. He, himself, was hardly a saint when it came to the other two worlds. He held leniency for his old team, and Botan was a part of it and a very good and loyal friend. She had even helped him when it came to wooing Ayame. The relationship between two spirits was much different from a relationship between individuals in the other two worlds that Botan had inadvertently become a part of. "I won't be angry, but we'll need to come up with a plan."
"You will speak of this to no one."
Botan bit her lip nervously. She knew Koenma wouldn't be angry with her, and even if Hiei was as wasted as she was he would give the fire demon grief. "I don't really remember," she lied. "I was really drunk at Yusuke's and Keiko's wedding. I probably should have cut myself off."
"Yeah, maybe," Koenma replied, smiling weakly. "Botan, this is serious…not because of my father's old laws, but because you're a ferry girl. I don't know what going between the two forms will do to the baby."
Botan's mouth fell open. She hadn't really thought of that. Pregnancy lasted nine months, and in that time the baby needed to grow and feed off of her. She was two months along, confirmed by the doctor diagnosing her morning sickness, meaning the baby had already been growing and hadn't waited to start growing before she returned to human form. That means it would grow in nine months whether she was a spirit or not, and that was terrifying. No, she needed to stay human for the length of it. Despite not being prepared, or knowing much about pregnancy, she wasn't going to let anything happen to a baby…her baby.
Her baby. Boy, did that sound strange, and even stranger still was that Hiei was the father. Now, more than ever, did she wish she remembered what exactly had happened between them. Unfortunately, she had little time to focus on that. She had bigger problems. "Oh…Koenma, what do I do?"
Kurama had returned home after a long day of teaching. He taught at a university. In fact, one of his mother's friends got him the job after she saw his beautiful plants. Apparently, the university was looking for a botany professor. Kurama thought that it would be a good way to fit into this human lifestyle he took. Besides, in a way he felt like he was giving back. He had all of this knowledge, and he had used it for thievery and violence. Here, he used it for the betterment of society and engaging individuals far, far younger than him. It was a great job, too, especially paired with his private floral business.
The house was empty. He still chose to live with his mother and her husband. Leaving had not appealed to him, especially after the months before the first demon world tournament. Yomi had threatened his family's safety, and despite the other demon accepting his choice to remain in Human World, Kurama was taking no chances. He had made many enemies in the past. Besides, he contributed and helped his mother around the house, and Shiori actually enjoyed his company. Their relationship had become much better the more he came to accept his human life as Shuichi Minamino.
A knock on the door the second he had settled down on the couch caused him to open his eyes and jump back up. That was an unusual occurrence. All in their family had keys, and every set was missing from the glass bowl on the small table by the door besides his that he had returned after he let himself in.
Kurama went to open the door and was surprised to see his blue-haired friend standing in front of him with a large suitcase and a sheepish smile. "Hello, Kurama," she chimed as normal. "Would you mind helping me? This is killing my back, and it can't be good for the baby." The normally impassive demon's green eyes were enlarged as his mouth dropped open. Botan blushed and moved one of her hands to her mouth. "Oopsie…I supposed I was supposed to be more delicate. Uh, can you-?"
Before Botan could ask or say anything else, Kurama grabbed the suitcase from her and then pulled her inside his home. He ignored Botan's yelp and brought her to the kitchen before placing her bag in the living room for now. The only thought running through his head was…
Well, this should be interesting.