Yeah! I love this show almost as much as I love Digimon, so it seamed only appropriate to do at least one fic on it! This is my first Yu Yu Hakusho fic so…please be gentle, and no flames, got it? Also, I don't know how strong/weak they all are after the Dark Tournament, so this is set with their powers just about even with when they started it, okay? Okay…
Disclaimer:I don't own Digi…uh, Yu Yu Hakusho. But Noriko belongs to me, so please don't use her!
Lilies and Roses
Chapter 1: Femme Fatale
Kurama stood on the roof of Sarayashiki Junior High. There wasn't any particular reason to be on the school, just that it was high enough for him to look over the schoolyard and the park that lay nearby.
He was restless. It was an odd feeling to him, especially since he didn't know what he was restless about. He only very rarely felt this way, and then only before certain fights. But now he just had an odd sensation that something was going to happen sometime very soon…
Yusuke came out of the stairwell, stretching so high that he almost hit his hand on the top of the door and yawning a loud, wide yawn.
"Man, gym sucks…" he was muttering to himself, already half-asleep. "It's time for a much-needed nap…"
He stopped, spotting his red-haired ally leaning over the end of the roof, gazing over this side of the city, eyes slightly out of focus. Yusuke was curious, and immediately strolled over to see what was wrong.
"Hey Kurama." he said, leaning back on the wall next to him.
"Oh…" Kurama looked up, a bit startled, and the fog was lifted from his emerald green eyes. "Hello, Yusuke."
There was a slightly awkward silence, then Yusuke turned to his friend. "What's with you?" he finally asked. "What're you doin' up here?"
"Nothing, really…" Kurama sighed, staring back over the schoolyard. "I'm just a little preoccupied, that's all."
"Preoccupied? You?" Yusuke blinked. "That's a new one. What's up?"
"Like I said, it's nothing." Kurama wasn't really paying attention to his friend. "Just an odd feeling I've been having lately."
"Odd feelings are never good." Yusuke rolled his eyes. "It usually means we're about to be called up for something…"
"You got it."
Both boys looked up in surprise. Botan was hovering above them on her oar, although she was dressed in her blue schoolgirl sailor uniform instead of the pink flowered kimono.
"Thanks for making this part of my job tons easier." she giggled, landing. Her oar disappeared into thin air. "Hiei's already been notified, so after we're done here, Kuwabara's the only one left."
"Left for what?" Yusuke demanded, straight-forward as always.
"Our newest assignment, no doubt." Kurama nodded.
"Right on the button, as always, Kurama!" Botan cheered. "But this time it's very pressing. Their first targets are you four."
"Who, us?" Yusuke blinked.
"Yes." Botan was serious now. "This morning, Koenma received a message from a powerful Yokai name Mizu-Matan. He's the spirit of a great waterfall, but he's never fully obeyed the orders of the Spirit World and has locked himself away for the past several years."
"So why is he writing now?" Kurama asked curiously.
"He's after a good fight." Botan sighed. "Your team's reputation has spread. He wants to take on at least one of you at a time, in rapid succession. And if you don't agree to this challenge, he can make his whole river overflow, enough to drown the whole country, if necessary!"
"That's not good." Yusuke muttered. "So where can we find this guy?"
"It's not that simple." Botan sighed. "He wants to judge your strength first. So he's sending a couple of goons along first."
"What kind of goons?"
"I'm not sure. They could be anything. But one do know one thing." she raised one finger to make her point come across. "The first one will be waiting for you in the park. Tonight."
~ * ~ * ~
It was 10 o'clock that night when the four of them met in the park. Hiei had his sword in sheaf and looked annoyed, as always, and Kurama came at the same time. Yusuke was next, looking determined, and Kuwabara was about ten minutes late, having fallen asleep and not quite awake yet.
"Well?" he yawned, stretching. "Where's this fighter we're supposed to meet?"
"You will not have to worry about that." Hiei growled lowly. "I'll be glad to take care of anything that comes near. You'll just get in the way."
"Watch it, shrimp!" Kuwabara yelled. "I can still take you-"
"Would you two cut it out?" Yusuke yawned. "It's too late to argue. I just wanna know, what kinda fight takes place in the middle of the park?"
He glanced to the side. Kurama was gazing out into the trees, and his eyes were out-of-focus again, like they had been that afternoon. Yusuke waved his hand in front of the kitsune's eyes. "Would you snap out of it already? You're giving me the creeps!"
"You have been acting rather strange tonight." Hiei looked up at their red-haired team member. "Do you feel this fighter coming?"
"Huh?" Kuwabara wondered out loud, looking this way and that. "I don't feel anything."
"No…" Kurama muttered, half to the others and half to himself. "It's just that… There's an odd smell in the air."
"A smell?" Kuwabara raised an eyebrow.
"What kinda smell?" Yusuke asked.
"Hanging lilies…" Kurama muttered. "But they usually don't grow around here, so I'm not sure…"
A high-pitched laugh suddenly filled the air. The team's mussels tensed as all four of them started inspecting the greenery around them for any kind of shadow or motion that would lead them to their opponent. "Something tells me they're here." Yusuke muttered.
"Alright!" Kuwabara cheered, calling up his Spirit Sword. "This should be a piece of cake!"
He started to plunge forward into the trees, hadn't taken two steps before he was splayed out flat on his face. Two green vines had risen out of the ground and bound around his ankles, tripping him when he tried to run.
"What the…?" Yusuke looked down. The vines had bound around his ankles too, and were holding fast.
"How annoying." Hiei muttered, looking down at the greenery around his own ankles. He pulled his sword out to cut it away, but it was snatched from his hands by another vine from the trees.
The laughter around them grew louder. "Well well well." the voice chuckled. "Now that you're not going anywhere, we can begin…"
A girl stepped out from the trees in front of them. She had long, pale blonde hair that was almost white, tied in a ponytail at the very back of her head and hung down her back to her waist. Her eyes were an icy and enchanting blue, like pools of water. She looked about their age and was about the height of Botan or Keiko, with the same kind of build. She was dressed in a navy blue kimono that had full-length sleeves but a skirt that only reached to her knees. She was barefoot, and the look on her face was one of entertainment.
"I'll take that." she giggled, motioning with one of her hands. The vine holding Hiei's sword pulled it away and into her hand. "Wouldn't want you making a mess out of my pretty lilies, now would we?"
"Lilies?" Yusuke wondered.
"These vines are the hanging lilies Kurama mentioned earlier." Hiei's eyes were narrowed in a bit of concern. "That girl must be some sort of animal spirit to wield plant weapons like this."
"Smart." the girl said gaily. She was walking slowly around them, hands behind her back. "You're a lot weaker-looking than I thought you'd be."
"Weak, huh?" Yusuke growled. The blue glow of a Spirit Gun blast started to shine on his finger. Before anyone could do anything, he'd taken careful aim and fired his first shot of the day. "Two hours left, can't let these things go to waste."
A tree just behind Kuwabara split in the center and fell apart. The girl was now standing just behind Yusuke, laughing. "That's a neat trick." she giggled. "Almost hit me, that did. Just for that I'll have to make sure you die first."
Yusuke spun around, throwing the hardest punch he could muster, but in the blink of an eye the girl was gone again. She reappeared on the branch of a tree on the opposite side of the clearing, still laughing. "Oh, so close!" she snickered. "But not quite close enough…"
There was the crack of a whip and the branch she was sitting on snapped off and fell. The girl was taken off-guard, but managed to land on her feet. "That attack…"
"Kurama!" Kuwabara cried.
"When'd you get free?!" Yusuke demanded.
"I was never caught." Kurama said simply, rolling up his rose whip calmly. It was true, the vines had obviously never been near him. In fact, they curved away once they got within a six-inch radius!
"Impossible!" the girl exclaimed. "My vines only do what I command them too!"
"But you did commanded them to do this, Noriko." Kurama was smiling strangely. "It was your own spell, wasn't it, that made sure they could never touch me?"
"Noriko?" Yusuke whispered.
"You know this creature?" Hiei muttered.
"Rubbish!" the girl, now seemingly identified as Noriko exclaimed. "I don't know how you know my name, but there's only one person that my vines can never…"
She stopped, suddenly confused. Her mind started talking to herself in her head. "It couldn't be…There's no way…" she kept insisting. "But…But that attack…Only Yoko could ever wield the Rose Whip so well. And he…he holds himself the same way…very strong but modest at the same time. But it couldn't be…It just couldn't be…"
"It has been a while, hasn't it, Noriko?" Kurama continued, eyes sparkling in a way the others had never seen them shine before. "I thought I felt your energy…it's easy to see your skills haven't lacked any, they've improved greatly. And you're as cleaver as always, leading us out here where your roots could take hold easier."
"Are they just ignoring us?" Kuwabara asked.
"Kurama seams to have a strange connection with this apparition." Hiei muttered quietly.
"Kurama…?" that sunk it. The vines shriveled away and disappeared as the girl's eyes widened in shock. "Yoko…Is it really?"
Kurama smiled just a little wider, nodding. Noriko took a cautious step forward, then dropped back, shaking her head. "I've gotta get out of here." was the last thing she whispered before disappearing into the night.
"Noriko…" Kurama looked as though he was about to stop her, then decided not too.
"Hey, wait a minute!" Kuwabara shouted. "What about our fight?!"
"She's obviously not coming back." Hiei muttered, picking his sword back up. "The fight was sucked out of her when she heard Kurama's name."
"Yeah, what's the deal with that, anyway?" Yusuke asked. "Do you know that chick, Kurama?"
"Her name is Kumi Noriko." Kurama sighed quietly. "She's a swan demon, and mainly uses hanging lilies in her attacks."
"Yeah, but how do you know her?" Yusuke asked again. "She called you 'Yoko'. Was it when you were still in that full demon body?"
"We were partners." Kurama turned his back to the others, eyes closed. "A long time ago."
With that he, too, disappeared from the group and into the dark of night.