-Tricked-

Disclaimer: I do not own YYH.

A/N: You'll see.

-------------------------------------------------

Chapter 1: Only you

-------------------------------------------------

"Botan?" Koenma asked as he twitched. Botan looked so pissed off at him. "I- I didn't mean for it to go this far!" He covered his head with his hands for protection. George ran away scared.

"How dare you!?" Botan screamed. "You let them go there! You let them sign up for that tournament!"

"They insisted! .. and besides.. we could use the training!" She threw him a disgusted look and turned around.

"I'm leaving. You'd better find yourself another assistant, Koenma." She turned the doorknob and was about to walk out-

"Wait!" Koenma pleaded. "I-I don't want another assistant.." He looked up her with pleading brown eyes.

"I'll think it over. If they win, I'll stay."

"If not?"

"I quit." She stated bluntly, closing the door behind her. He could hear her footsteps fading down the hall.

-------------------------------------------------

Botan bit her nails and watched Kurama and Hiei train. She couldn't find Yusuke but she didn't want to bother him. Kuwabara was out of the question. That only left the two demons, yet she found comfort in being around them. Kurama stopped and stared at Hiei.

"You need rest, Hiei." He said calmly. "You're bleeding and sweating." The fire demon shook his head.

"I can't.. give up." He panted. "You may be strong, kitsune, but you are not invincible." Kurama shook his head and smiled.

"That I'm not." His emerald eyes flashed as he brought his rose whip down for another blow. Hiei raised his sword and blocked it. But not before he used the rest of his energy up. He collapsed onto the ground and Kurama put his whip away. "Rest, now, Hiei." He walked over to Botan and sat down next to her, his back to the tree.

"Training for the tournament, no doubt." Botan said quietly. Kurama looked at her and his eyes narrowed.

"Yes, but why are you against it? It may be one thing that we can be beaten or even killed, but a very different thing when you don't have faith in us." Botan glanced at him, surprised.

"Maybe so, Kurama, but I'm worried." She said slumping over. The kitsune smiled at her and wiped some sweat off his forehead.

"Being worried for Yusuke doesn't help him." He said closing his eyes and leaning back. "It only causes more problems for you." Botan straightened and looked at the calm kitsune.

"But-"

"There isn't anything to worry about. Yusuke can take care of himself."

"How can you remain so calm and serene when you know you could be killed?" Botan asked. Kurama didn't answer for a few moments before he opened one eye and stared at her.

"It all has to do with if you want to lose, or if you want to win. If your enemy knows you're nervous, then you automatically lose. They take advantage of it. Yusuke was saved by luck before and even he knows that it doesn't come often." He closed his eye again and sighed. "I may not seem nervous, but I am a little."

"You keep a mask up." Botan said thoughtfully. "Are all demons like that?" Kurama sat up and opened his eyes.

"No." There was a cold chill in his voice that made her shiver. "Haven't you learned that from all you've seen?"

"Yes, Kurama, I have. You know they also fool their enemies!" She frowned. He didn't answer. Lying back up against the tree, he reclosed his eyes.

"Not all the time. They can be scared witless." His voice was back to normal and Botan was glad of that. The kitsune would not make a nice enemy, that he wouldn't.

-------------------------------------------------

Botan walked by herself through the dark, silent streets. Maybe he is right.. She thought miserably. I'm just nervous and thats causing problems for me and the rest of the others.

"You shouldn't be out here alone." A voice said behind her. She whirled around and saw the calm face of Kurama staring back at her.

"Don't scare me like that!" She hissed. His emerald eyes danced with amusement.

"I wouldn't be the only one who'd scare you out here." He returned calmly. "You look tired. Perhaps you should get back to Reikai." She looked up at him with an irritable expression on her face.

"I'm not tired." Botan stated coldly. Seeing the amusement in his gaze rise, she sighed in defeat. "Maybe I am.."

"Genkai's temple isn't too far away." He said looking up at the sky. The moon was full and glowing beautifully, making the other stars seem like tiny particles of magical dust, like from a fairy or something. Botan followed his gaze and smiled in wonder.

"The moon looks so beautiful.." She breathed. Kurama chuckled and started walking ahead.

"You can watch it from your window, Botan-san." He said playfully. "Or perhaps you would like to-" Botan didn't let him finish. She ran up to him and clutched his arm in fear.

"I forgot this world was so.. cruel." She pouted.

"This whole world?" He asked. She looked up at him sheepishly.

"Not entirely." She started. "I suppose you aren't cruel.. but if you wanted to be.."

"I could." He finished for her. He smiled soothingly. "But I guess you're lucky that you're my friend, now aren't you?" She nodded and glanced behind them. No one. She sighed in relief.

"I don't think anyone wants to follow us tonight." Her voice cracked and she looked behind them again.

"Forgot I was a skilled fighter?" He asked sarcastically.

"No but.." She paused. DAMN! He's right again! She thought with a sheepish look. "I guess you're right." She twitched when he grinned.

"But I don't feel like fighting anymore tonight-" Her fear returned and she glanced behind them again. Chuckling, he directed her gaze back ahead. "I was kidding." She twitched again.

"Will you ever stop teasing me for this?" She was tempted to gaze behind them again, but she held back and sighed. She relaxed instantly when the temple's stairs came into view. "Thanks for walking me here.." Her nervousness was caused from what she said.

"You think I'm leaving you here?" He asked raising an eyebrow. "I wouldn't think of it." A light pink blush spread across her face. What if Yukina saw.. She slapped herself mentally. No, Yukina wouldn't think that.. She assured herself.

"Let's just get this over-with then." He looked at her and nodded. He had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. He glanced behind them when he thought he saw a movement.

"Kitsune." A calm voice said when the demon's gaze locked on his. "Escorting the lady home? How polite." A smirk lit the face of the shadow.

"Yes, but there is no need for sarcasm, Hiei." Botan relaxed when she saw the fire demon step into the moonlight. "You know what could have been out there."

"Of course." Hiei said with a simple nod of his head. "Danger is lurking in every shadow." The demon turned around and walked off. "See you bright and early for training, kitsune." He called over his shoulder.

"Is that all he thinks about?" Botan asked with a frustrated sigh.

"Of course. It is his life and his goal." Kurama replied grabbing her arm and starting up the stairs. "Come, we have many steps before you can find your rest."

"But he didn't even thank me for bandaging his wounds!" She said scornfully.

"You would expect that of Hiei?" He asked slightly amused.

"No, not really." They were silent the rest of the way until Botan got to the doors. She thanked Kurama kindly then ran inside and closed the door behind her.

-------------------------------------------------

Hiei smirked and slashed Kurama in the leg with his sword. Kurama didn't give him the satisfaction of crying out. Botan watched all of this with tired eyes. She dozed until she felt someone shaking her gingerly. She sat up and blinked away the tiredness.

"Didn't sleep well last night?" Kurama asked with a frown. She shook her head.

"No, not really." She answered leaning back against the tree. "It was nothing." She gave him a carefree smile. He limped to his spot next to her and his leg gave way. He didn't fall, but he landed hard. She frowned and glared at him.

"I'm fine." He said stubbornly. Shaking her head, Botan gingerly lifted his pant leg and examined the wound.

"It is somewhat deep." She said worriedly. "You're lucky I brought this along with me. That way it will stop some of the bleeding." She wrapped his wound in bandages tightly and securely.

"Thanks." He said softly, closing his eyes and leaning back. He was totally relaxed in a few minutes.

"Your turn, Hiei." Botan said sternly as she dragged the unwilling fire demon to a tree next to the one Kurama was leaning against. "I don't want to hear it!" She glared at him. "Now settle down and let me bandage that!" He gave her a withering glare and let her have her way, knowing that she would only do it anyway.

-------------------------------------------------

"Shut up!" Botan cried irritably. Yusuke and Kuwabara stopped fighting and looked at her in wonder. She had her hair up and it was braided. She was wearing normal clothing, jeans and a blue t-shirt.

"Sorry to irritate you, Botan. Are you stressed?" Kuwabara asked with concern. She glared at them a moment longer then shook her head.

"No, but I don't want to go to Reikai today. I yelled at Koenma and I'm not apologizing for it. He might expect me to.. and I might get fired." She explained hurriedly. Keiko tilted her head to the side and frowned.

"But Koenma wouldn't do that, would he?" She asked.

"I don't know. It was his fault that he got me pissed." Botan looked down at her hands until two people stood by her side. She looked up and saw Kurama and Hiei waiting patiently until she moved over. She blushed and moved quickly.

"Who got you pissed?" Kurama asked, interested. "I hope it wasn't me." She smiled and shook her head.

"No, it was Koenma." The kitsune frowned darkly.

"What'd he do?" Botan looked down and hesitated.

"Nothing really." She said closing her eyes. You could imagine the thoughts that were running through their heads. "I better go now, before I'm late." She got up and left quickly without so much a good-bye. She wouldn't tell them that she had a fit about his letting them sign up for the tournament.

"Something is going on." Kurama said softly after she left. "That was not normal Botan behavior." Yusuke nodded.

"But Koenma's scared of Botan. She's bigger than he is and could give him a nice lump on the head." He said with a grin.

"This is Botan we're worrying about. She can handle herself." Keiko said assuringly. "I doubt there is anything that she couldn't handle."

-------------------------------------------------

"Koenma, sir?" Botan asked when she walked into his office. "Koenma! Sleeping on the job, are you?" She glared at him when he jumped up.

"I-I didn't mean to!" He put his arms over his head. She laughed at him.

"Tired? Well go to bed earlier." She ordered, looking around the messy, paper-filled room. "You have tons to do today."

"So do you. Here's the list of people that are due to die today." He handed her a clip board. She stared at it.

"WHAT!?" This wasn't good. She had to ferry tons of people. "I can't do this much! I'll be exhausted!"

"No breaks today, Botan. I suppose we should both get ready to do some work. Until the first one dies in an hour.. will you help me?" He looked around sheepishly.

"No, Koenma. You chose to sleep on the job and I'm not helping you." She answered coldly. She walked out of his office and saw George running toward the room with more papers. She giggled and shook her head. Busy day, today was. Koto Horenai was the first to go in an hour.

-------------------------------------------------

"Only you can do this job and remain strong, Botan." Keiko shook her head and sighed. Her friend was dead on her feet.

"I see little stars and dots. Is that normal?" Botan asked and Shizuru laughed.

"No, it isn't, Botan." She said with a smile after she stopped laughing. Keiko glared at her and frowned at Botan.

"You should rest." Keiko said worriedly.

"You know, that sounds great right about now." Botan lied down on her blanket on the floor and covered herself. Within a few minutes, she was sound asleep.

-------------------------------------------------

The end of this chapter. I suppose poor Botan needs to stop pushing herself and worrying, like Kurama said.. oh well.

-Jess-