(AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'd just like to say that, while Kurama and Boton are paired in this fic, I am not normally a K&B pairing supporter. I simply needed a girl character to play the part, and Boton was the most available.)
I'll always remember,
It was late afternoon.
The tears poured down her face, hot, salty, and stinging. She growled to herself and wiped her hands across her face once more, but in less then five seconds, new tears ran down to replace the old. Feeling like a five-year-old who hadn't gotten her way, she let the tears go and they continued to run freely down her face in a torrent, ceaseless and grieving. Keiko looked over from her spot next to Boton and saw the tears present on her friend's face. Her own face slightly damp and shining, she put a comforting arm around the slender figure next to her and a blue head rested on her shoulder.
The man in black and white before them continued to drone on and on, his voice a monotone, his eyes dull, as if this were just routine and all he wanted was for it to be over. The open coffin in front of him was a polished silver color and the inside was lined with a smooth white cloth. The coffin itself was not the cause of everyone's misery, but the person inside it.
Long, red locks splayed out across a small white pillow, creating a stark contrast. Eyes that had once been a sparkling green, depthless, and full of life, were now closed, never to open again. The lean, muscled form lay stretched out, slender hands resting on a firm chest, folded over a single red rose. The pink and yellow school uniform was clean and pressed and around the body there were various items of meaning to those in his life. On top of the lid, unseen by the people around it, was a nameplate: Shuuichi Minamino.
The people in the room were crying for him, crying for his life lost, his life spent. Crying for themselves, bereft of their friend, their son, and in one person's case, something a little more. Boton's body shook with suppressed sobs and Keiko's arm tightened in a momentary hug. Yusuke stood next to her as always, her protecting shadow, and his eyes shimmered and brimmed. Next to him stood Kuwabara, his eyes red and his mouth turned down in a grimace. Hiei stood in front of all of them, his face turned away from them and towards Kurama. He had shown his face to no one since the moment they had walked in.
It lasted forever,
And ended so soon.
Boton sniffed loudly and shook herself free of Keiko's hold. She walked up to the coffin and knelt down in front of it, next to Kurama's or rather, Shuuichi's mother. The middle-aged woman looked over at her with red, sore eyes and a tiny, sad smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. She reached over to the purple-eyed Grim Reaper and the two women hugged each other tight, sharing the loss of the special person in their lives.
As she knelt there, comforted a little by the woman next to her, she looked back to the last few, precious months she had spent with her red-haired lover. They had been wonderful, and she had felt so free, so . . . alive. Kurama had been her comfort, her sole companion. No one knew it, but being the Grim Reaper was a lonely job. One could never make friends or fall in love with the ghosts, for they were gone within minutes, forever. She had often wistfully sat upon her oar and dreamed of someone special to share her life with.
Now she grimly smiled inwardly with the cruel irony of it all. She had only experienced pure joy for a few months, before it had been unjustfully torn away. She had lost the only meaning in her life. But she wouldn't change any of it, not for the world. Her memories were treasures to her; jewels, ageless and timeless, to be treasured forever and held close to her heart.
You were all by yourself,
Staring up at a dark gray sky.
I was changed.
When she had met Kurama, on that fateful day that would forever change her life, he had seemed just as lonely as her. A kitsune, trapped in the slow, clumsy body of a human, trapped for years, and bound by love. For she knew he would never leave his human mother's side, no matter what. But still, his eyes had seemed slightly empty, when you could catch him unguarded, no shields up. He put on a contented front for his mother and friends, but Boton knew that deep down inside, he was lonely for someone of his own kind, someone who could relate to him and his situation.
But if she had changed his life as much as he had changed her's, then Boton felt that their time together, however short, had been worth something. She had made a difference in someone's life, right up until the very end. She sighed a drew back from Kurama's mother, giving the older woman one last squeeze, before moving back to join her and Kurama's friends once more. She hoped that they had made some difference in his lonely life also, for he deserved better and more then she felt she could give.
In places no one would find,
All your feelings so deep inside.
Though Kurama had fought at first to keep his true feelings hidden from Boton, feeling the need to protect her and not burden her with his problems, she figured it out and he eventually opened up to her. When he found out that she felt the same, his heart felt like it would leap out of his chest and fly away. He had finally found that special someone, that one person he could relate to, and his life was looking up. She was his world now, his soul mate. Luckily for him, he had not the powers of foresight, for he could not see his seemingly unending happiness cut short.
The loneliness was accompanied by a mild depression, and Kurama felt the weight of it with each passing day. No one would understand, or so he thought, so he buried it deep inside him, where it festered and grew. He despaired when he turned and found no one to talk to, so it grew even more, rearing its ugly head deep inside of him, refusing to let go. Even Hiei could only relate to him so far; Hiei was withdrawn also, but to a more extreme degree then Kurama. And he hated talking about anything meaningful or personal, so Kurama found no solace there. The only person Hiei would open up even a little too, besides Kurama, was Yukina, and even she had trouble getting Hiei to talk.
It was then that I realized,
That forever was in your eyes,
The moment I saw you cry.
Thinking back, Boton sifted through her cherished memories, as she stood there with the rest of the Urameshi Team and friends. Her favorite times, favorite days, first kiss, the way he made her feel like she was the only one in his world . . . the list went on and on. But as she slowly rewinded through her treasured thoughts, she remembered one particular day; the day she finally realized just how much alike they were.
. . . He was gorgeous, that she knew. But there was something about him, something he kept hidden deep, deep inside, where no one would ever find it. He seemed alone, desperate, and afraid. She looked over at the kitsune boy sitting next to her on the grass by the river. He was leaning back on his elbows, eyes shut, face turned up to the sun. She smiled a small smile and reached over to brush a lock of his hair off his forehead. Feeling her touch he opened his eyes and Boton found herself swept off her feet. Depression, grief, anguish, loneliness, and anger swirled in those depthless emerald eyes, creating a whirlpool from which she could not escape. She lay down next to him and put her arm over his chest. He sighed and she tried to comfort him as best she could, without words, laying her head on his firm, slender chest also.
Looking up for a moment, she was surprised to find him staring off into space, twin tears rolling down his cheeks. She let out a small gasp and he turned back to her. Seeing her face he tried to turn away once more, but she took his face in her hands and gently wiped away his tears. He closed his eyes once more and sighed softly. Boton looked up at him sadly, her own eyes brimming with tears, wishing there was something she could do.
Then it hit her: this was her inner self, the self she could show to no one. It was as if she were looking in a mirror. Suddenly she could relate and gave him a harder squeeze as if to prove it to herself. Kurama cracked one slightly red eye and looked at her, slightly amused. She smiled tentatively back up at him and buried her face in his chest before her own eyes could spill over. Gently sitting up, Kurama cradled her in his arms and she looked up at him with the same look he had given her only moments before. He came to the exact same revelation: she was just like him. His heart felt lighter then it had in months. He smiled and hugged Boton tighter, resting his head on top of her hair . . .
Starting out of her trip down memory lane as Keiko nudged her, Boton wiped her eyes once more and looked around. The service was almost over. But she wasn't ready to let go. Her memories swamped her once more and she was carried away on the tide.
It was late in September,
And I'd seen you before.
Her mind wandered yet again and she drifted away to that special place where your dreams are your only reality and your problems all fall away.
. . . She had known him for as long as he had been part of the Urameshi team, but she had never really thought about liking him in that way. Sure, he was smart, kind, good-looking, and an excellent fighter, but she had never looked at him in that way. He was just another fighter, someone else she needed to care for, one of her team charges.
You were always the cold one,
But I was never that sure.
Sure, she had tried to befriend him, get closer to him, but he had always pushed her slightly away, telling her to help someone who needed it more. He had kept himself distant and aloof for the longest time, thinking it was better that way. He had always had somewhat of a mysterious air about him, had cloaked himself in the unknown, letting others make of him what they would. He didn't care.
But there had been one or two times when Boton had caught a glimpse of the real Kurama, someone who loved and cared and laughed. When he was with his mother, the real Kurama showed through, and that was when she knew there was more to him then met the eye. His eyes would sparkle and he seemed more energetic, like he had something to live for. Boton could see why even Youko Kurama would stay and protect such a human. Heck, she would too if a mere human could make her that happy . . .
You were all by yourself,
Staring up at a dark gray sky,
I was changed.
Sniffing, she looked up and found Hiei's face turned towards hers. The mask of grief and torture she saw on his face was unlike any she had seen before. The dark circles under his eyes and the hollows of his cheeks made his face seem gaunt and almost ghost-like. He held out his hand to her and she robotically held hers out in response. A handful of smooth round objects, feeling like pebbles dropped into her hand, and then he was gone, utilizing the blinding speed for which he was so famous. Boton opened to her hand and found it full of teargems, not unlike Yukina's.
She smothered a gasp. Keiko and Yusuke, startled, looked at her with puzzled looks. She looked up at them, disbelief mixed with a terrible aching splattered all over face. Holding out a trembling hand she let them see the proof of Hiei's grief. Yusuke's mouth dropped and he glanced towards the open window where Hiei was sure to have exited. Keiko touched on of the smooth, glittery gems and smothered one of her own gasps. Turning away, Boton slipped the gems into her pocket and tried to school her face into a calm, dry mask. She would have to talk to Hiei later.
The service was over, and those who were in the funeral procession lingered and said their good-byes to those who were going home. Ten minutes later Boton stood alone by the open casket. She reached out a trailed one finger gently along the delicate contours of her love's face. She brushed absent-mindedly at his bangs and smiled a soft, sad smile when she traced his lips. Bending, she gave him one final kiss and turned away, blinking rapidly to hold back the impending tears. She had never cried so much in her life.
I wanted to hold you,
I wanted to make it go away,
She walked out the door into the almost blinding sunlight. Her heart ached for him; for his perfect face, his soft laugh, his mouth, his scent; every part of her screamed for him. She had held him countless times, comforting him, easing his pain, and each time, she felt closer to him; each time was more special then the last. She had hated seeing him so upset and depressed, her heart had gone out to him the moment she realized his pain, and then, at the moment where they had finally healed each other's pain, he had been snatched away from her.
Cruel, yes. Unfair, yes. But the world was a cruel, unfair place.
I wanted to know you
I wanted to make your everything, all right...
They had just begun to know each other, just begun to enter that special realm reserved for lovers only, where, no matter what, the world seemed right. Where as long as your love was by your side, you could conquer the universe. But, now they would never be able to explore it together, never be able to learn and known each other so well, they could predict what the other would do. Taken away in his prime, Kurama was never coming back.
I'll always remember...
It was late afternoon...
Hours later, Boton said her goodbyes and floated upward gently on a drifting breeze. Though she weighed nothing, and floated like a feather, her heart was heavy and seemed to remain on the ground. She looked up at the golden skies and the pink clouds, painted by nature's paintbrush as the sunset fell. She continued to stare at the dying sun, until she was back in Spirit World, hovering in front of Koenma's palace.
It was then that I realized,
That forever was in your eyes,
The moment I saw you cry.
Sighing, she dropped lightly to the ground and was surprised when her feet didn't touch the ground. Gasping she fought for a moment against the lean, muscled arms that caught her and cradled her against a strong, rippling chest.
"Have you forgotten me already?" came a deep voice. Alarms went off in the Grim Reaper's head as she heard that voice. It sounded familiar, but how...
Trembling, she looked upwards and found herself face-to-face with a silver haired fox, his gorgeous face mere inches from hers. Her eyes widened in shock and the fox let out a deep, rumbling chuckle. Kurama, her brain screamed, but her mouth would not form that one simple word. To cover, she threw her arms around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder.
Finally she was able to murmur, "Kurama..."
In reply, Kurama buried his nose in her hair and said, "Yes, I'm here, and I always will be. I promise, I will never leave you."
Her tearstained face rose once more and she met a pair of gleaming golden eyes. "But...how?"
He smiled at her speech-impending shock. "My human body may have died, but that only released my true form. So in truth, I really didn't die, but just...changed forms, so to speak."
Her face lit up and she smiled, a real smile, one that sent light rays into her eyes and made her entire countenance light up. Tilting her head upward a little more, she met the pair of rosy-soft lips that sought hers and held them for many long moments. Sighing, when it ended, Kurama gently let her down, but they continued to stay in each other's embrace for the next couple minutes. Time slowed to a crawl and the minutes seemed to last forever.
But that didn't matter to the two lovers...For besides each other, forever was all they had.
DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own YYH or anything related to it. Characters, places, and all that junk belong to someone who is right now rolling in green. Also, the song "Cry" from the "A Walk To Remember" soundtrack does not belong it any way to me. ^_^