-Life Without You-

READ THIS VERY STUPID AN - Sadly, this fic is coming to a close. This is the Epilogue. I promise you that this fic will go out with a bang! This chapter will take place months after the last chapter. Hmm.. about 3 months. *nods*

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Botan had her thieving outfit on. She secured her weapons and looked to Youko with a smirk. Kuronue whistled a tune as he tied sacks to his belt. Hiei stood at the entrance, waiting for the rest of them. Youko tied a sack to his belt and offered one to Botan, who did the same. They slipped out of the cave, ready for a night of thieving. No words were spoken as they sped quietly through the woods. The village was less than an hour away and it was a perfect night for thieving. The crescent moon was hidden behind clouds and only shone its silver radiance when a parting in the clouds unveiled its beauty. It was a star-less night, the sky filled with clouds. No light lit their way. Only their excellent vision and their instinct. The night cloaked them, as if shielding them from any sight. Hiei's dark form disappeared from their sight for a few minutes. He met them at the entrance of the village.

"There is one thing you must know. Guards line the inside of the wall. Stay in the shadows of the torches and do not go in the light." They all nodded, preparing to do their jobs. They paced the area on the wall and found a guard slumbering against the wall. Botan jumped down, crouching. She kept on her hands and knees until buildings and homes hid her. Without even looking, she pulled a lock-picking tool from her belt and slid it into the nearest door. She heard the familiar 'click' and opened the door, slipping in as though she was one with the shadows. Her feet made no sound as she walked on the wooden floors. She stopped, backing up against the wall and crouching down when the moon's silvery light poured in through the window. She darted through the light and let her eyes roam over the room she was in.

"As simple as usual." She said to herself as she crept up to the staircase. Her footsteps were filled with caution as she climbed the stairs. She smirked. A small hallway, consisting of two or three doors on each side and one at the end was all that rested before her. She stopped to listen. Nothing was heard. She closed her eyes, concentrating. Her fox ears twitched and rotated towards the light sounds of children's breathing. She could hear the heavier breathing of the adults at the end of the hallway. She felt almost linked to the sounds around her. Suddenly, a noise made her more aware that someone was waking. She looked around and found the perfect place to hide. She knew the sound came from the second door on the left. She quickly opened the first door on the right and closed it with a light 'click'. Then she crouched down in the shadows. She would wait until the child went back to the room. She listened once more. Only a few minutes later, the child returned to their bed and went back to sleep. She listened for another moment then exited the room. She made her way toward the back room. She opened the door with caution, using the darkness as a shield against anyone finding her. She slid in, barely making any noise. She tensed when she heard shouting outside. She didn't want to get caught again.

"Theif!" Botan gasped slightly. Not again.. Was it Kuronue or Youko? Probably Kuronue. She ran to the window and opened it, jumping out. She landed in the shadow of the house and peeked from the side. She could hear sounds of fighting. Sighing, she went in to rescue the boys. She climbed up a house and took out her throwing knives. She threw them. Youko jumped out of the way. He did a backflip, landing gracefully on top of a guy who was attacking Kuronue.

"Don't let them get away!" They raced away.

"I told you not to touch that!" Hiei said coldly.

"But it was so shiny!" Kuronue whined. "And you did NOT tell me not to touch it!"

"Shut up, you two. They're probably going to be after us and we don't need to be tracked down because of so much noise!" Youko said, sending a glare at both of them. Botan looked at his, fearing his life once again. She couldn't help but fear for him. He was the only way to her happiness and she was not going to let anyone take him from her.

"What are you thinking of, little fox? You look worried." Kuronue's indigo eyes met with her amber ones. She nearly bumped into him. "They don't have the guts to face us here."

"That comforts me." She said sarcastically. He pouted.

"That hurts." Then he grinned. "You shouldn't worry so much." His arm went around her. "You might get wrinkles."

"You might get a bruise if you don't let go of me and start running." He frowned and let her go, his ego bruised.

"Touchy." He started running, his eyes meeting Youko's.

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"Geez, we didn't get one little gem." Kuronue threw down his leather sack and plopped down on the ground.

"I wonder whose fault that is." Hiei said, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Shut up, Hiei." Kuronue's ego was stomped flat. "It wasn't entirely my fault.. you could have stopped me!" He snapped. Youko looked at Botan and heaved a sigh.

"Want to take a walk?"

"Sure." They left. Botan was silent for a while, looking around at her surroundings.

"What are you thinking about?"

"About what it will be like to live in the same lair as those two." She stated dryly. He smirked and ruffled her hair, taking care not to hurt her ears.

"I've done it for quite a while."

"No wonder there's something wrong with you." He gave her a look and she stuck her tongue out at him.

"Shut up." He wrapped an arm around her waist. She moved closer to him and put her own arm around him. "There will be little peace with those two, but it's fun to watch them bicker."

"Until you get a headache." He smiled and thought back to the first time he met her. He didn't think she was much. He was cold and heartless. He transformed quite fast and accepted her into his heart. It was a big step but it was one that he was thankful for.

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Kuronue pulled Hiei out of the cave.

"We volunteer to go hunting!" He said cheerfully.

"We do?" Hiei asked, blinking. Kuronue pulled him away before he had the chance to say anything else. Botan and Youko exchanged glances.

"What an easy way to get rid of them." She said, crossing her arms and gazing into the fire. Youko caught a scent and sensed something different about her. He moved closer to her and tried to figure out what it was. She looked at him like he was nuts. "Do you mind?"

"Something smells different.." He was curious. She blushed, looking away from him.

"It must be you.. Nothing is different about me." He pinned her against the wall, studying her. Then he let his gaze roam down and back up. He narrowed his amber eyes. Her eyes grew wide.

"You.." He concentrated hard, his ear twitching. She blinked. He let her go, still trying to figure it out. "What are you hiding? You're not in heat.." She shook her head.

"I'm not hiding anything. See? You must be losing it." She slid back down into her sitting position and kept an eye on him. He sat down across from her, dazed. Time passed so slowly that it was almost as if it were on slow motion. Kuronue and Hiei came back. Kuronue was a little puzzled as to why they were just sitting there.

"Honey, I'm home!" He called, his serious expression fading to be replaced by a grin. "What a catch Hiei got!"

"While you did nothing but-" Kuronue stuffed a handful of leaves into his mouth. Hiei spit them out, his face red from anger. "You little-"

"HELP!" Botan stood up, keeping her eyes on the ground. Everyone stopped and looked at her.

"I'm not very hungry. I'm gonna go lay down." She walked toward the next room of the lair. Kuronue sat down next to Youko.

"What did you say to her?" He asked, frowning. Youko looked over at him, his eyes shadowed.

"I don't know what I said that was wrong.. if anything." Hiei walked toward where she went.

"Hey.. where are you going?" Kuronue asked, blinking. "You'll only make things worse-" Hiei turned and glared at him.

"Shut up. I wish to say something to her." He left the two sitting there. Kuronue looked dumbfounded but Youko turned his eyes to the fire.

"Start dinner, would you? I think I'm going for a walk." The kistune got up and left. Kuronue watched him leave. Something had to happen. But what? He knew Hiei wouldn't tell him if he knew. Of course the koorime knew.. but what exactly did he know? He obviously knew what was wrong with Botan. What about Youko?

Botan sat near the small river, dipping her feet in and resting her hand on her slightly swelled stomach. She ran her finger over it, humming a soft tune.

"You have not told him yet." She continued humming, not surprised that Hiei had read her. She shook her head slowly. The koorime sat next to her. "Why? Did he sense it?" She finished humming and looked over at him.

"He sensed something but he didn't know what." She kicked the water lightly, watching as the droplets of water fell back into the water, causing ripples.

"Why didn't you tell him?" She didn't answer for a minute, wondering whether or not she should tell him. "It is your job to tell him, not mine."

"Well.. I got nervous when he told me that he sensed something." She answered. "I don't know what he'll think." Hiei stared at her, his eyes narrowed.

"I couldn't tell you how he'll react." She sighed and started humming again. "But you'd better tell him soon." He stood up and left, taking one last look back.

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Youko got back about an hour later. Botan was still in the other room. He went in, taking cautious steps as to not alert her of his presence. His ear twitched. A pretty sound hit him, urging him to go on. He saw her resting her back against the wall, her legs stretched out. A sweet smile rested upon her face and her eyes were shining. He grew attached to the look on her face. He felt paralyzed.

"I know you're there, Youko." She said, her voice soft. He slowly started to walk toward her. "Come and sit with me." He obeyed, not being able to do otherwise. He sat down and was surprised when she took his hand and lifted her shirt. She set his hand on her stomach. "You were right when you sensed something different.. I was sort of afraid of your reaction. We're going to have a family of our own soon." He looked up at her, his eyes wide. He was fascinated.

"A.. family?" She gave him that sweet smile of hers and nodded.

"And you're going to have to get used to being called otousan." She teased, poking him. His mouth was open in shock. She giggled and put her hand under his chin, closing his mouth for him. He was going to be a father and was going to have a family. He smiled. She hugged him, tears in her eyes.

"You'll have to get used to being called okaasan." He said softly. She pulled away from him, smiling.

"Yeah."

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"My little fox isn't so little anymore.." Kuronue said with a sniffle. He had a huge grin on his face.

"Hn." Hiei smirked at them, already knowing. Kuronue hugged the koorime.

"Don't be afraid to cry, Hiei." Hiei pushed him away and glared.

"I do not want to cry, moron." He stated coldly.

"You just don't want to admit it."

"Shut up."

"How cute! Hiei is in denial!" Kuronue danced around, repeating his 'cute' phrase over and over. Hiei twitched and chased after him, cursing him and trying to hit him with his katana. Botan and Youko sighed. Some things just never change.

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THE END!

^_^ Please review!

Besides, I'm sure you can guess what'll happen next anyway.

SPECIAL! PLEASE READ!

This is a survey. Just a little question. When I finish with a few more fics, I can write another Youko/Botan for you.

1.) YES! 2.) Sure, why not? 3.) NO! 4.) Are you nuts? No way.

^_^;

-Jessica a.k.a MysticBluAngel