One Second Too Late

By: Hokata Yuy

~~~~~

            "This is it, last stop," Botan announced once they stopped over the ramen shop Keiko's family owned.  "Hmm.. looks like you only have 15 minutes left," she noted, looking at a large clock over the street.

            "Yeah yeah… don't remind me," he muttered and made his way down to Keiko's room.  He looked around inside, taking in the little things, since this would be the last time he'll see it for a long time.  "It still looks too girly," he muttered and stood next to her bed.  Her hair was a mess and it looked like she hadn't left her room all day.  With a sigh he put his hand to her forehead…

~~~

            The first thing he realized was someone was crying.  He looked around and saw he was in a grassy field, every few seconds a cold wind pasted over him, ruffling his clothes.  After a walking up a hill he saw where the crying was coming from, Keiko was slumped in front of a lone gravestone.  As he got closer he could make out what the grave said, "Here lies Yusuke Urameshi, who nearly came back to life until Keiko screwed it up and killed him (again)."

            "Ouch, that's a bit harsh don't you think," he smirked.  Slowly she looked up at him wiping the tears from her eyes, "Y-yusuke..?  Is that you?"

            "Of course it's me, who'd you expect Kuwabara?" he said, putting his hands on his hips… hoping she didn't actually have the oaf in her dreams.  Before he could think about that anymore she suddenly wrapped her arms around him with surprising strength.  "I'm sorry!  I'm so sorry Yusuke!  I messed up and now you really ARE dead!" she wailed against his shoulder.

            "Hey hey, I'm not dead… yet," he said reassuringly, slowly putting his arms around her, which was a very new thing for him.  "You'll just have to try again later," he smiled, deciding to hold off the bad news for a while.

            "You… you mean that wasn't the final time!?" she gasped, looking up at him, then suddenly roughly pushed herself away from him.  "You jerk!  You made me worry for nothing!" she yelled, her hands balling into fists at her sides.

            Waving his hands in front of himself in a calming motion, he continued, "Yeah it's not the last chance… but the next time is."

            "What do you mean?  When is it?" she asked, her fists unclenching as she calmed down a bit.

            "…That's just it, we've got to wait 55 years before I get a second chance," he said calmly, then scratched the back of his head jokingly, "And if we miss next time, I don't' think either of us will be alive for another 55 years don't you?"

            "F-fifty five years..?  Are you sure?" she asked in a stunned voice, putting one hand on the gravestone to keep her balance a bit.  "I'll be an old lady by then… I mean I could have –grandkids- by then-" she stopped herself and looked over at Yusuke, embarrassed.

            "Honestly, I won't know about anything you do until I'm back in the living world again.  I'm going to heaven, can you believe that?" he said with a laugh, mentally adding, 'Might as well just say heaven then explain the whole Spirit World thing again…'

            "Funny, I thought you'd go to hell as an ogre or something," she smiled, trying to hide her sadness.

            "Oh yeah, I'm dying of laughter," he grumbled and stuck his hands in his pockets.  "I just came by to tell you that I'd be back and mark your calendar, 'cuz I'm coming back.  So…" he paused and turned away, looking over his shoulder, "I'll see ya then, make sure to take care of yourself."

            "Yusuke wait!" she shouted and ran towards him.  As he turned around she leaned up and kissed him, catching him by surprise, which quickly wore off and he returned it.  After a minute she slowly pulled away, "I just… um.." she tried to say, blushing furiously.

            Yusuke just smirked and looked at her, "You'd –better- give me a kiss that good when I come back."  He looked at his wrist as if he had a watch there, "Well… I think I'm almost out of time, so I'll see ya around," he smiled and started walking away.  "Oh one more thing…" he called without looking.

            "Y-yes?" she asked, looking up at him.

            "Don't let anyone sneak a peek at your panties, only –I- can do that," he said with a laugh.

            "….Yusuke you pervert!" she screamed and somehow slapped him from where she was standing.

~~~

            The 'real' Yusuke went flying across her room and flew out the window, clutching his cheek.  "Ow!  Damnit how'd that happen!?" he yelled to no-one in particular. 

            "It's –her- dream," Botan called out from above him, "No-one can really explain it."  As he got closer she could see why he was holding his face and started laughing.  "I see that went well, she must have taken it well," she said between fits of laughter.

            "Shut up!  She always does this-" he stopped, realizing his mistake when Botan started laughing harder, clenching her sides.  Crossing his arms and looking to the side he chose to grumble and wait for her to stop.

            After composing herself, she looked at the clock from before then back to him, "Your time's up Yusuke…"

            "I know," he sighed and looked towards the city, "Well, it's been fun but I'm moving on to better things!" he yelled giving the horizon the finger.

            Botan just put her head in her hand and sighed, shaking her head, "Is that really mature?"

            "So what?  Not like anyone can hear me," he smirked and floated up to her.

            "Ahem.." she cleared her throat and pulled out a scroll from her kimono.

            "What's that thing?" he asked, point at the paper.

            "Regulations," she simply answered and opened the scroll and started reading, "Do you Yusuke Urameshi, hereby accept that you are, for all intents and purposes, dead?  That you may not return to this world as a roaming spirit for the next 54 years and 363 days?  Any violations of this agreement will result in punishment determined by either King Yama or Koenma?"

            "Um…  yeah I guess so?" he answered, slightly confused.

            "Good, that's all settled then," she said happily, throwing the paper over her shoulder disappearing in a puff of smoke.  "We all have to make sure that spirits know they can't come back to this world.  It's really a pain," she sighed with a shrug.

            "Um… what was that part about punishment by King Yama?" he asked with a bit of fear in his voice.

            "Oh nevermind that now!" she giggled and slid further up her oar, "have a seat, I don't want you falling off now, that would look bad on my record."

            "At least I get a little more respect than last time," he muttered and sat on the wide end of the oar. He had to put one hand on her shoulder for balance when they started flying through the air, rapidly speeding up.

            "Oh do shut up Yusuke, I –can- have you hang off from one hand again," she smirked evilly over her shoulder at him.  His grip on her increased from that memory, making her laugh.

            "Not funny.  I'll get you back for this Botan," he growled just before they hit the swirling portal to Spirit World in the sky.

~~~

Yeah yeah, I know you Yusuke/Keiko lovers are going to complain about it being so short.  I honestly don't know how to re-do the same basic thing 3 times in a row without reusing ideas, that and I don't read Y/K fics so I don't know how to make them act towards each other ^^

But now, enough of the sad stuff!  Now I get to have fun! :D

And now lets see if any of you can guess what job Yusuke's going to be stuck with the next 55 years… good luck ;)