Author's Notes: Konban wa, minna-san! Gomen nasai for keeping you waiting so long! cringes at the thought of what the readers probably want to do with her I'm genuinely sorry, but what can I say? Sometimes real life steals you away. However I must say I'm inspirated---this new chapter two took somewhere around an hour to write! You be the judge on how good it is. Enjoy. (reviewer thank you's at the end of the chapter!)
Disclaimer: This is based off of Hieiko's one-shot vignette, Two Children, and the link can be found in my bio. So Hieiko owns the first chapter. All characters and copyrights (and all that jazz) of Sailor Moon and Yu Yu Hakusho belong to Naoko Takeuchi and Yoshihiro Togashi respectively.
Chapter Two: A Boy and Girl
It was a crisp fall day when the senshi of silence settled herself under a tree to read. On the spur of the moment, she'd decided that she'd like to take a walk, so down to the park she went, dressed for the weather in comfortable black cotton pants and a large black sweater borrowed from Haruka.
The sun was bright and hit the leaves on the trees at such an angle that led one to believe the trees were aflame. Hotaru closed her eyes and smiled, face tilted to the sky, loving the feel of the warmth on her face. She treasured these little things now; the battle with Galaxia had by far been the worst in her life, and she still woke up at night thinking about it with horror. But Galaxia was normal now, reborn from the cauldron as her normal self, the Solar Princess, equal to Serenity in every way, shape, and form of power--but the Solar Princess Galaxia had bowed to the Lunar Princess Serenity and accepted that she would not rule Earth as one of the ones in her Solar System; instead, they would be seperate, but allies, and work together towards the peaceful future.
Hotaru thought of the future with longing. A pink-haired laughing figure danced behind her closed eyelids, and she sighed and opened her eyes. ChibiUsa. Her first friend. She had been old in years and young in mind when she'd come back to the 20th Century; ChibiUsa, what will it be like to see you being born? Growing up? Will I even be allowed? Questions that had plagued her mind for months. Oh, well, no use on pondering things now; reading would be a better option. Opening Homer's Odyssey, she began to read avidly, and was so absorbed in the pages that she would have been killed if not for a savior.
A porthole had opened not twenty feet away, and through it had come the spear. Before the spear, however, came a young man; a young man with a lithe, muscled body, noticeable because of the almost-not-there-anymore shredded black t-shirt he was wearing. However, Hotaru didn't notice that at the time the porthole opened--she only looked up in time to see a spear come flying out of the porthole. Not a milisecond later she was being scooped up and rushed out of the way; with a resounding thwang, the spear stuck into the tree just where her head had been. Her book lay abandoned on the ground. Her savior set her down behind a nearby tree, with it between them and the portal, and looked at what he had saved.
A white-skinned girl with short, glossy black hair looked up at him with quickly registering shock clear on her slender, spirited face. Her purple eyes were wide as she stared back at him.
The spiked black hair with the white star pattern, and his eyes...red as blood. It came to her quickly, this memory from her previous life-crying and running away, seeing a tractor trailer barrelling towards her, and someone scooping her up and rushing her back to the sidewalk. A boy with spiky black hair and blood red eyes. But the color of blood didn't scare her anymore, she was used to it. And look! He still had the white bandanna around his forehead.
They both heard another thwang, as another spear hit the tree they hid behind. The boy narrowed his eyes and disappeared in a blur, clutching a katana. Hotaru could only just see him leaping off of the trees, coming around behind the porthole. Another spear began to poke its way out, reminding her of a prairie dog, sticking its head out of its hole to see if it was safe to come out. Or in the spear's case, if it was populated and it could injure someone.
Hiei cursed in every language he knew. He couldn't become a youkai here, in Ningenkai; for one, Koenma would kill him (and he didn't really care) and for two, he would probably give that girl a heart attack. Which would get him in an equal amount of trouble. Seemingly realizing that Hiei had lost his hard concentration, the spear that had been coming out shot towards him. If not for the girl's little scream and his body's reflexes, that spear would have gone straight through his ribs. Instead, it made a long gash on his bicep, which burned for all the world like fire. Hiei struck the ground rolling, away from the porthole. Suddenly he heard a voice, one that he'd heard before, on a recording on a human--what were they called?--television.
Hotaru screamed for the boy, who just barely saved himself. She stood, ready to risk it all and transform, right now! Her henshin stick was in her hand. But then another figure landed in front of her and leapt to guard the boy; a girl with long blonde hair, and her hair in a red ribbon. "Venus!" Hotaru breathed. Sailor Venus's eyes were narrow, and she gripped her Venusian chain tightly. "It's not right to try to get into our world and kill people; what, too scared of being caught doing it in your own?" she taunted. As the spear shot out towards her, her chain whipped upwards to snatch it straight out of the air. With her free hand, Venus called out, "Crescent Beam!" The yellow energy hit the tip of a new spear, just coming out of the center of the porthole, which offset the energy it was pushing out, causing the hole to collapse on itself. There were no signs in the grass below that a swirling vortex of energy had hovered above the groud. Venus leapt to a point where both Hotaru and Hiei could see her. Her red mask was in place, and she smiled, flashed them the victory sign, and promptly disappeared. Hiei sat up, but the sudden flare of pain in his arm caused his head to spin, and he moaned.
At the boy's moan, Hotaru gasped and ran over to him, dropping to her knees at looking at him in sympathy. Close now, she could she his shirt was tattered where other spears must have skimmed him; some skin was just friction burnt, but he had a few small cuts that were turning black around the edges... that was not a good sign. Hotaru reached for his hand, and he growled, but then seemed to remember himself and look up at her. His eyes were bright with the haziness that sharp pain caused; he hissed his breath out through his teeth. "Don't worry, I'm going to help you," Hotaru said softly, talking in the same tone she did to stray animals, and reaching for his hand again. He let her pick up his hand, feel his pulse, then move her hands up to his most recent wound. It was beginning to turn black like the others, only worse, because this was deeper. Closing her eyes, Hotaru drew on every bit of strength she had and let it flow through her into this boy that had saved her life now twice. In her mind, she felt the poison's squeal as it was stopped in its tracks and scoured away, as flesh, vein, and muscle came together seamlessly.
Cool, soothing energy, violet-pink in color, flowed through his arm and across his chest, healing all the little spear wounds all over him. Hiei relaxed into this feeling of weightlessness, until he was brought back to reality when the girl reclaimed her energy, pulling almost all of it back out of his body and back into herself. She was trembling slightly, and hugged herself tightly for a moment before looking directly into his eyes. Wait, he knew this scene. The rescuing, the purple-eyed, short haired girl, the violet-pink healing energy.
"Daijobu?" he asked, a slight smile playing on his lips.
She looked startled that he was asking him, as if she should have spoken first. "Hai, daijobu desu. And you?"
He rolled his shoulder, and his injured arm didn't even throb. "Hai." He paused, and then added softly. "Domo."
Her eyes widened and she shook her head. "Demo, iie. I owe you my life twice now."
Hiei wondered what kind of mortal this was. Most were quick and rude, or slow and naive. But this girl was neither. He captured her eyes with his. It wounded his pride, but he would say it. "And you repaid me once by saving me now. I didn't know those spears were poisonous."
Hotaru just smiled slightly. "Then I still owe you."
He stood in a swift movement, and hesitantly lowered his hand to help her stand. Her slim pale hand slipped into him and he hauled her up easily- she was a slight little thing. "If I need a favor, I'll find you." He leapt into a tree and prepared to take off sprinting through the treetops.
"Matte!" Hotaru called, her hand on the tree trunk, looking up at him. "Hotaru."
"Hotaru--Watashi wa Hotaru."
Hiei gave her a smirk before disappearing. "Ja ne, Hotaru."
Hotaru stood silent, staring after the black blur. She couldn't forget the feel of her hand in his rough one, the way he pulled her up as if she were a feather when she stood almost eye level with him. Wondering who he was, and where that porthole had come from, she walked away to pick up her book and left the park, just another girl in the crowded streets. Only she knew he was out there somewhere--the red-eyed youkai who'd saved her life twice.
Hiei found himself at the fox's house; not necessarily by choice, but by habit. Standing effortlessly on the tree limb outside of Kurama's window, he knocked on it impatiently. Not a moment later the shade was pulled up and the red-haired fox was pushing up the window, allowing Hiei to slip through past him. Kurama closed the window behind him, because it was cold outside; the room was deliciously warm.
"Hiei. What on earth happened to you?"
Hiei realized his shirt was demolished, by all the thorns in his homeland, and during the battle with that damned youkai. "I was in a battle." He ripped the remainder of his shirt off of his head. Kurama shook his head and took the cloth from him, throwing it in his small garbage basket. "With who?" he asked as he opened a drawer.
Hiei grunted. "A damned low-ranking fool who decided his small territory was worth trying to open a porthole to get rid of me. Asshole."
Kurama handed him a white t-shirt, which Hiei accepted with a nod of thanks and pulled over his head. "Wait, so let me get this straight. Your shirt is torn to shreds and yet you're not scratched in the slightest?"
With small surprise, Hiei examined his own arms. All cuts left by the thorns had been healed--probably with that girl's, Hotaru's, energy. "I...had some help."
Kurama was sitting in his desk chair, looking at him confusedly even as he gestured that Hiei could sit on the bed. When the black-haired boy had settled himself cross-legged on the bed, Kurama asked another question. "Yusuke was with you?"
"Hell, no," Hiei responded, smirking.
"Then you had a healer! But where did you find one?? And waittaminute...you said this demon created a porthole, here?? However did you close that?"
Hiei almost wanted to roll his eyes at the fox. But the red-haired one had been taking care of him for a long time, so he figured he deserved some respect. Some. "The girl is none of your business. It's actually a coincidence I ever saw him go..." he trailed off, thinking of the first time he'd met the girl. Then he quickly picked up his sentence. "Yes, a porthole here, baka, where else? Rekai? And...I didn't close it. I was..." Another dent in his pride, second time in one day! "...injured. Do you know of the Sailor Senshi that are around Juuban especially?"
Kurama's brow furrowed. "Well of course, who doesn't, but what does that--oh. Oh! You've seen one!"
"Hai. It had to be one-she used magic. Real magic."
"Which one? I mean, which senshi?"
"How the bloody hell am I supposed to know?"
Kurama sighed and his green eyes pleaded Hiei to be patient. "What did she look like?"
"A ningen." A smirk appeared on his lips, and as he saw that Kurama was about to get mad, he continued. "A ningen with blonde hair, and an orange skirt."
Kurama let out the breath he was going to use to yell and relaxed into his hair, smiling and shaking his head. "You know how lucky you are? A Sailor Senshi appeared to destory the porthole for you, and a healer shows up to heal you." As a thought occured to him, he exclaimed, "Was the healer the senshi?"
Hiei shook his head. "Iie. I know for sure, so don't ask me again. The girl was there the whole time."
"She saw the whole battle?" Kurama sounded worried.
"Hai. Don't worry about it, she won't say anything. I know it."
"How are you always so sure in what you say?" Kurama asked admiringly.
"Well..." Hiei debated. Tell someone, don't tell anybody. He had two options. "We met before..." And with some prompting, started on a quick description on what had happened not soon after his first trip to Ningenkai.
Hotaru headed to the Outers' Mansion (as it had been dubbed by the Inners) and let herself in with her key. "Michi-mama, Tsuna-mama, Ruka-papa, I'm back," she called in her own sweet voice. The plaintive mourning of the violin floated down from the second floor, so Hotaru gathered that Michiru was upstairs practicing for her upcoming concert.
"Hotaru, you have a guest." Setsuna stood in the doorway to the kitchen, drying a plate. She tilted her head towards the living room door. "She's waiting in there. I'll be in in a moment with the tea." The garnet-eyed woman smiled kindly and disappeared into the kitchen. Hotaru, curious, set her book on the telephone stand in the hallway, and pulled off Haruka's huge sweatshirt and draped it over the bannister (she'd get it later), leaving her more presentable in a simple black shirt. Finger-combing her wind-blown hair before she opened the door, she was surprised and pleased to see a familiar blonde sitting gracefully on the coach. "Minako!"
"Hotaru-chan!" The blonde stood up to embrace her, which Hotaru returned. The sat down on either sides of the coffee table, Hotaru curled in a big armchair and Minako now lounging on the coach. Setsuna entered with a tray of tea and cookies, set it down with a smile, and left again silently. "Wow, she's really quiet," Minako remarked, sitting up to take a cookie.
"So, what brings you here, Minako?" Hotaru picked up a glass of tea and carefully took a sip. It wasn't scalding, and had just enough flavor--she loved Setsuna.
The senshi of beauty looked at her carefully. "What happened in the park- that wasn't normal. We have no major enemies at this time, so I don't know what that porthole was or where it led. What if that boy was in on it?"
Hotaru bristled. "He's not bad! He saved my life twice!"
Minako lightened up. "Ok, so I was jumping to conclusions. You have to admit the porthole thing is a little freaky. And the poisoned spears? Egh, not cool!" She paused, a gleam in her eye. "Twice, you say? That couldn't have happened just today."
Hotaru's cheeks became a light shade of pink. "Iie. I'd met him before."
Minako smiled widely. "I knew it! Out with it, then. Tell me all about it."
"Mi-na-ko..." Hotaru pleaded, but smiling and knowing that it was useless. "Hai, hai, I'll tell you. It was actually only my first life here..."
Domo arigato gozaimasu to everyone reading! An uber-special treat for my reviewers, fresh warm brownies! Come get your brownies! starts passing out a tray to each reviewer:
Firefly of Saturn
Hotaru Hope Maxwell
Titan of Saturn
Child of the Stars
::tears up:: I can't believe it! I need a tissue! So many people reviewed… I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thank you SO much for waiting SO long and I hope you can find it in your loveable hearts to forgive me!! ::runs away in search of Kleenex::