This just popped into my head while I was watching the episode where Genkai starts giving Yusuke the Spirit Wave Orb. Right before she does that, she tells him that she just 'had a need' that her 'power would always exist'. It made me wonder if Yusuke would carry that on. Then I wondered, if he did carry it on, who too? And from those various wonderings came…this. Kinda cool, huh?
Disclaimer:I don't own any of the original Yu Yu Hakusho characters. There's a whole bunch of legal stuff to go in with that and its all very confusing, so I won't go into it. It is only the prologue, after all, people.
Yu Yu Hakusho - Blossom
Prologue: Grandpa Fox
Kurama glance out the window at the sunlight filtering inward onto the stark white sheets of his bed. He gently touched a glossy green leaf of one of the many plants sitting around him, then ran his fingers ran calmly through his hair. The long mane was nowhere near as thick as it once was, it had thinned considerably and now contained only a few paling red streaks in a sea of white.
He smiled sleepily at the yellowing photograph by his bed. It was well over sixty years old. His fifteen-year-old self was standing at the far left, eyes shining in a way they hadn't for years. Kuwabara was beside him with one arm raised in a fighting stance, Hiei in front of him with both hands stuffed in his pockets and usual smirk-like smile on his face. Yusuke was in the direct center, hair down in his face, with Keiko's arm around his waist. Botan was beside Keiko and Koenma, as a teenager, was behind Botan.
His smile widened a bit. Shizuru had taken that picture just after the first match of the Dark Tournament. It reminded him of times long gone past. It didn't seam quite that long, somehow…Sixty years…
"Hn. Going down memory lane again, fox?"
At the familiar voice, Kurama's eyes turned towards the window. Hiei sat silently on the sill, legs dangling over the side. His old friend hadn't aged a bit, and neither his power or his dislike of other creatures hadn't faded in the decades since their fighting days. It was just like him to appear unannounced, without informing the staff downstairs.
Kurama smiled wearily, sitting up to greet him. "Good day, Hiei." he whispered, the voice of a tired old man escaping his lips.
"Don't push yourself." Hiei stepped down from the window, stopping next to his partner's bedside. His voice had taken on the calm, caring tone he only used with his aging partner, or Yukina. "From the looks of it, you need your rest."
"I'm not worried." Kurama sighed, leaning back against the not-very-reclined hospital bed. "You feel it as well as I do, this body can't last much longer. I might as well get it over with as soon as possible."
"Fine. Be stubborn." Hiei sighed. He sounded a bit worried, slightly unnatural for him. "…… It's just like you not to be afraid."
"I've died before." Kurama sighed. "It's not as hard as it looks. Besides…it won't be the end of Kurama. Just of Shuuichi."
The green eyes widened a bit, then his voice dropped to a whisper. "You better go. My family's coming."
"How do you know that?" Hiei asked, surprised. The fox's enhanced senses had dulled as he grew older, and there was never anything distinct to feel from any of his human offspring. His daughter had always been purely human, with enhanced sixth sense, yes, but pure human.
"Kura's telling me." Kurama smiled. "She says they're almost through talking to the nurses and should be up in a couple of minutes."
Hiei blinked a moment before realizing he was talking about Sakura. Kurama's granddaughter. But that was impossible, the girl was barely nine!
"She's already mastered her psychic abilities better than Shiori was ever able too." Kurama's daughter was named, naturally, after his own mother. "She can send telepathic messages better than any I've ever seen. It's possible the demon blood has seeped into her, rather than her mother."
"Fine then." Hiei shrugged, swinging his leg back outside the window. He paused a moment, then turned back to his old partner. "How long…?"
"…Tonight, at the most." the tired voice came. Hiei nodded, then jumped from the window to a near-by tree branch just as the door began to open.
"Grampa!" an excited voice came from it.
Kurama looked down, smiling at the little girl as she scrambled, smiling, to his bedside. She had two vibrant red pigtails and large, dark eyes that were more yellow-jade green than the pure forest of his own. She really was a beautiful child.
"Hi-hi grampa!" she laughed, bouncing up on the balls of her feet.
"Now Sakura." her mother chastised. Her dark red hair was bound up in a bun. "Remember what we talked about? Grandpa needs his rest."
Sakura dropped back down, groaning a bit in disappointment. Kurama smiled a bit, then leaned down and scooped the child up, off her feet, and onto the bed with him.
"How's my Kura-chan?" he asked with a laugh, tickling the already giggling girl under the chin. He pulled a rose out of a near-by bouquet and handed it to her.
"Fine, Grampa." she smiled, tucking the flower into her belt.
"Oh, dad." Shiori sighed, putting down her bag. She leaned over and kissed her father on the cheek. "Don't you ever know when to take it easy?"
"No, as a matter of fact, I don't." Kurama grinned at his daughter.
A white-coated doctor came in and tapped Shiori on the shoulder. As they exited the room, Sakura tugged on her grandfather's sleeve. "Grampa, can you tell me a story?" she begged.
Kurama smiled. His 'stories' were mostly tales of the Spirit World an his days in the Reikai Taneti. Of course, he had changed a few things. It wasn't actually him doing all these things, it was a character he'd called Kori, a word for foxes, and had changed the other's names as well. He'd hidden his demon identify from his human family too long to reveal it now. If Sakura became involved with it all, she'd find out soon enough…
"Alright then, Kura." he patted her on the head, using her old baby-nickname. "Which one do you wanna hear?"
"The first one!" Sakura urged. "You know, when Ura-chan's trying to get the treasures back, the first time he meet Kori face-to-face!"
"Okay then…" Kurama leaned back against the bed in thought, pulling Kura closer. "You must know it better than I do by now…Kori, little fox, was an ancient fox-spirit known as a youko…Now youkos were special, because…"
"'Cause only foxes who lived a full century could become 'em." Sakura repeated by heart.
Shiori looked into her father's room as the little girl laughed along with the story. Smiling quietly, she turned back to the doctor, who was examining a clipboard. "Well, Ms. Koubai…" he sighed, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "He's actually doing quite well for his age…"
"That's good." Shiori sighed.
"However…A seventy-five year old man is still unpredictable, even in the best of conditions." he continued. "I suggest we keep him here another day or two, to make sure he doesn't have another attack, then he should be free to go home."
"Two days…" Shiori muttered, looking in again. "I wonder if it's wise…to take him out of here, even then…"
~ * ~ * ~
Sakura woke that night to a cold chill. The girl sat up, rubbing her eyes sleepily. "Why…is my window open?" she wondered out loud, getting up to close it.
Just as her hand touched the latch, she stopped. She took a step back, eyes widening in shock. Stepping smoothly and easily through the open window came a sleek, silver fox.
It was easily the most gorgeous thing Sakura had ever seen. Unusually large, it came up to her waist when it sat straight up. Its eyes were a beautiful, deep gold and its fur was thick and shiny silver.
She was not frightened by it, rather, somehow, it filled her with a strange, fulfilling clam. She crouched down to look at it closely, holding her hand out. The fox leaned forward and pressed its warm, wet nose to her palm. Gently, very gently, it rubbed up against her so that her hand ran through its thick, warm fur.
"Who are you?" Sakura asked quietly, petting it gently. "You feel…familiar…"
She closed her eyes a moment. When she opened them again, the fox had disappeared out of her grasp. But she knew what it meant now.
Shiori looked up from her book. Sakura was standing in front of her, eyes filled with tears and hiccupping with sobs. "Sakura, what's wrong?" the mother gasped, setting down her book as the telephone rang. "Come here, honey, what's the matter?"
"Grampa's gone." Sakura sobbed, letting herself be folded into her mother's arms. "Grampa's gone…he's dead!"
Shiori gasped, pulling her daughter close. "Oh, no honey…" she whispered soothingly, running her hands through the girl's hair. "It was just a dream, dear…a nightmare. Grampa's fine, he just needs to rest…"
"No…He's dead!" Sakura cried wildly. "He's gone, I know, he's…"
"Shiori." she looked up. It was Minoru, her husband, eyes wide and the phone in one hand. "The hospital just called. Your father…he had a heart attack a couple of hours ago. They couldn't stop it…Shiori, he's dead."
Sakura hiccupped again, burying her face in her mother's shirt. Shiori gaped a moment, staring at her daughter in wonder. "How…How did she know? …How?"
Prologue ends. It'll pick up a bit more in the next chapter, I was just setting the scene, okay? And, in case you're wondering, Koubai would be Sakura's father's last name, so Kurama's daughter Shiori Minamino would become Mrs. Shiori Koubai. Next chapter should be up soon…