One Stormy Night by Shoujo's Revenge
Disclaimer: Yoshihiro Togashi owns Yu Yu Hakusho.
A/N: Not sure if people will come back to read this story which I have decided to continue. I thank Lathya, Crimsondrop7, Miranda Malice and cabbage. head for reviewing since the last update.
Chapter 13: This is How Much It Hurts
Mizuki brushed her bangs off her sweaty forehead, breathing heavily. She turned to her right where the telephone sat on top of her nightstand. For one wild minute, she snatched the receiver and dialed Shuichi Minamino's number. The blinking green numbers of the digital clock informed her that it was two in the morning. She slammed it down before it even rang, feeling embarrassed.
This is stupid. Shuichi-kun is obviously sleeping right now. Not to mention the fact, she was avoiding him for the moment.
Her bare feet landed on the plush carpet, the blanket draping over her shoulders. She went over to the window that a man had crashed into six weeks ago. Her finger traced the edge of the window; the glass had been replaced since then. Strange things had been happening since his appearance in her life. She found herself in strange places, not remembering what happened that brought her in that place. She found herself being targeted by a beautiful woman. She found herself having nightmares of people or things wanting to kill her. What did it all mean? Who was the strange man that Shuichi Minamino seemed to know? Why did she keep getting migraines lately?
Her family worried for her safety since all these strange things were happening. They even suspended her from school which kept her in the house for at least a week. There were times when she heard people at the front door try to visit her but her grandpa or her brother turned them away. She saw them from the top window, sometimes she waved at them if she caught their eyes. If it were Shuichi, she crouched down under the window.
She pressed her forehead against the cool glass, whispering to her reflection: "Please let me go back outside." Her eyes singled out the full moon, her hand pressed against the glass like she wished to obtain the silver orb. She pushed the window open, feeling the night breeze rush over her face, her hair flying back.
It's a beautiful night. Here's a great chance for me to escape. Her heart beat faster. Escape. The desire to be outside was strong, overtaking her senses. Even for one second, she wanted to experience the feeling of being outside, of being free while her family was still asleep. She quickly grabbed a jacket and slid into a pair of jeans. She silently padded to the door and listened in anticipation, her heart pounding in her ears.
Her brother's room was down the hallway by the staircase and her grandpa's room was on the lower level.
"Onni-chan," she whispered. No answer.
She pulled the hood of her dark jacket up, hoping that it would blend with the dark hallway. Her feet crossed the threshold when she decided to grab pepperspray just in case. There was a box of it in her closet courtesy of her overprotective family members. She test sprayed it once to make sure it worked then when satisfied, made her way out of her room. Once out in the hallway, the darkness calmed her down though it oddly made her feel like she was a burglar about to steal the family's jewelry. She shook her head to rid of the strange thought. She had to make sure she was extra quiet when she came close to the staircase.
Quiet, Mizuki, quiet. She gently allowed one foot on the staircase, it creaked ominously as soon as she settled her weight on it. She froze to listen to any indication of life, holding her breathe. It was all quiet except for the ticking of a clock. She braced herself and willed herself to go down further than that. She did just that occasionally stopping to check for any movement from either of her family members.
Made it. She grinned, holding the banister of the bottom staircase. Her grandpa's room was further back in the house so she easily slipped out the front door. Although, it did produce an irritating whine when it opened. The smallest of sounds seemed to amplify at night.
She peered at the moon from the porch, forming a circle with her thumb and index finger and fitted it perfectly to the moon. The sound of gently rustling leaves in the distance was like a whispering to her ears as if telling her that this was the magical outside world. She missed the outside world. The world where birds flew whenever wherever they pleased. She knew it wasn't a perfect world. The outside world was the place where her parents were taken from her.
Mizuki tore her attention away from the moon, making her way down the empty street.
Hiei was hidden among the trees that lined her property.
This girl carries Ayane's spirit. He thought. He could definitely another presence within her.
Mizuki hugged her jacket closer to herself. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take a nightly stroll after all. Against the full moon, a dark figure was crouched on the roof of a house across from Aoi residence. The figure and Hiei watched Mizuki stop in front of her neighbor's house, tilting her head up and reached out to the heavens. What they didn't know was that she was remembering back when she was a child perched on the shoulders of her father, her older brother holding his mother's hand. They were visiting her grandpa in the very same house she lived in now, the one she viewed as a prison. Her beloved grandpa and her sibling were now her wardens.
Moon-san, will you take me to my mommy and daddy one day? She reverted back to the thoughts she had as a six-year-old child. At that time she longed for piggyback rides her father used to give her but he was gone by then. Her grandpa was too old to be giving piggyback rides nor did her depressed brother pay attention to her. She had learned to confide in the silver disc in the dark sky, the strongest source of light at the darkest time in her life. The stars had blinked in unison, listening to her small voice laden with sadness tell the moon of her day.
Her fists clenched at her sides and the tips of her hair grew out slowly. She had this overwhelming feeling that there were two unseen presences spying on her. She closed her eyes tightly, unclenching her fists and let out a deep breathe. There was someone attempting to control her body. Her watchers felt a slight surge in reiki from Mizuki's body for a few fleeting seconds. A drop of sweat made its way down from her temple to her cheek. She swiveled around to catch a glimpse of anyone, anything.
This is stupid! She groaned in frustration, making her way back to her home. She didn't come out here to be spied on.
Mizuki was in a slightly bad mood the next morning, choosing to watch television when she first woke up.
"Hey, are you sure you're okay, imouto-chan?" Hiiro asked, pouring himself a glass of orange juice. "If you're feeling tired at all, go up to bed immediately, okay?"
Mizuki smiled from the couch, nodding. She turned back to switch the channel to something else, not feeling up to watching the slapstick comedy of a harem anime. She had been allowed to skip school by her grandpa for a whole week. He was worried about her since the strange happenings lately. She was sick of being stuck at home.
She wanted to be outside even if it meant enduring the continuous headaches. She looked at the direction of the front door and looked back to see if her brother was paying attention to her. He had his back to her, his head poking around in the refrigerator. Taking the blanket off her body, she tiptoed to the front door, hoping he would be distracted for a while. She silently locked the door behind her then broke into a run.
"Psst." Kurama took his eyes off the kids having fun in the playground and looked behind him to see a person dressed in an oversized hoody and jeans, fingers curled onto the iron fence. The person took off the hood to reveal herself to be Mizuki. She waved meekly to him, smiling. He got up but she just signaled for him to stay there while she walked over to him.
"Mizuki-chan, why are you dressed like that?" He asked as she took a seat at the opposite end of the bench.
"I was sick of being stuck in the house for a week so I just snuck out when my grandpa and brother were busy. Knowing them; they'll probably form search parties." Mizuki sighed. "Trying to catch my breathe whenever I can..." She placed her hands on her lap, watching the children on the swings.
"They won't even allow you to attend school?" She smiled bitterly, shaking her head.
"Have I ever told you they were overprotective of me? My brother was all for letting me out more until all these strange things started to happen. Now he wants me trapped in the house like grandpa. You're really lucky your parents are still alive..." Her voice trailed off. She didn't seem to notice what she said.
"Actually, my father died when I was still a child," Kurama whispered. Mizuki turned to him.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Shuuichi-kun." He smiled at her.
"It's fine. I was very young so I didn't know him very well."
"I see." Silence. The two of them were deep in thought then Mizuki shuffled her feet. "Um, if you don't mind, could you please tell me what homework I've been missing?" Kurama chuckled.
"You're a strange one, you know that?" He found himself facing a miffed teenage girl. She didn't get what was so funny about wanting to know the homework for last week. When one was missing from school for a week, the thing one dreaded when one came back was the homework he or she would make up. "Most people tend to avoid the subject of homework especially when they missed a week's worth of it." She had on an expression like she didn't understand a thing he was saying.
"But I don't want to fall behind when I go back..." Which prompted more chuckles from him. Some of the children peered their way to see what was so funny. Mizuki wondered if he got into some sugar earlier.
Why does he keep laughing at me? He's seriously starting to get me mad.
"Are you just going to laugh at me all day?" She asked defensively, balling up her hands.
"Sorry, sorry, Mizuki-chan. I've been feeling horrible all day and then you come along and cheer me up." He said, wiping away a tear caused by her simple comments.
I didn't do it intentionally you know. She stared at her shoes. "How come you're feeling horrible? Oh, I get it. Your fangirls have been bothering you again. I try to avoid them too." She laughed.
"Are they still bothering you even after I set them straight?" She cracked a small smile.
"Jealousy does crazy things to people. As long as I avoid them, I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me, Shuuichi-kun." Her bangs got in her eyes as her gaze swiveled to the playground. "I want to use the swing next..." She was unaware that he could hear her.
"They're getting ready to leave soon." He answered. A mother was telling her two children to retrieve their toys from the sandbox. In her excitement, Mizuki faced him and said: "Hey, wanna see who can swing the highest? I bet I win."
"Isn't that rather childish?" He asked, cocking an eyebrow. She hung her head, her oversized sleeves hiding her hands.
"I guess you're right. Hey! Shuui- Cheater!" She chased after the redhead who ran on ahead of her and claimed the same swing that Mizuki had her eye on. The children pointed to the pair and laughed at Mizuki trying to reclaim it. Even the stern mother stopped to smile. "If I win the contest, you have to tell me what homework I'm missing."
Kurama smirked. "That's hardly a good wager. I was going to tell you regardless. You need to get out more. Homework isn't everything. How about if you win: I'll do whatever you want and vice versa." She agreed to the wager.
"This is my swing, Shuuichi-kun!"
"No, this is my swing, Mizuki-chan. You were too slow to call it" he said calmly, amused. In all honesty, he didn't care which swing he used but it was a great opportunity to see her make that cute frustrated face.
"Liar, you tricked me!"
He let go of the swing, feigning defeat. Mizuki got on the swing as he untangled the chain of the swing next to hers. People had a bad habit of tangling at least one swing in public playgrounds. Mizuki privately hated those types of people. "Ready?" She pushed her body forward, the tips of her sneakers lightly touching the ground. Kurama nodded his affirmation to her question. "Go!" The two teenagers felt silly doing something as childish as this but the wind rushing past their body, hair and face felt so good that they forgot about everything. The rush of adrenaline was welcoming. She allowed herself a squeal of delight as she went higher and higher, reaching her hand out.
What are they doing? Hiei thought, watching his friend and the girl swinging back and forth like a pendulum, from a tree overlooking the playground. Kurama looks stupid. His crimson locks were swinging in motion to his body. How was he supposed to tell him that Koenma wanted to see him?
Mizuki wasn't very happy that her classmate was beating her. With each swing, he was soaring higher than her. She hoped he didn't ask her to do anything too embarrassing. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore and admitted defeat. She dug the back of her feet into the ground, taking a breather. Kurama did the same, looking over to her.
"Are you okay, Mizuki-chan?"
"Yeah," she said, smiling widely. "It's been a long time since I did anything that energetic. It was...awesome! I miss being a kid when everything was much more carefree, you know?" She got off the swing tripping a little in the process. Giggling nervously, she told him that he didn't see that.
"Yes, I did," he quipped, smiling behind his hand. And so did Hiei. "Well, I won the contest, Mizuki-chan." He gracefully got off the swing. She gulped.
"Ye-yeah. " She played with her fingers, looking coyly up at him. He wouldn't ask her for a kiss or anything like that, would he?
"Kurama," said a smooth voice, a manicured hand gripping his wrist. Amber eyes looked pitifully at him. It was the piercing eyes of the young woman that invaded the heart of his friend. "You have to forget about Mizuki Aoi." He snatched his arm back from her.
"Why are you possessing her body?" The black-haired teenage girl bowed her head, her eyelashes creating a shadow on her cheeks.
"I am not sure of the answer myself but I have to warn you about Mizuki Aoi. This girl will die if you don't leave her alone. My grandmother is still alive and if you engage in a relationship with Mizuki-san, she'll definitely track her down and kill her in order to uphold the unspoken decree of human/demon relationships. You know how persistent Lisa Anda is." Ayane said, looking him straight in the eyes.
The breath was knocked out of him. There were many questions swimming in his head like how did Ayane's spirit come to possess Mizuki's body? Why wasn't anybody able to track down her spirit when she died? Why was one of the most prolific demon huntresses still alive after the last war in Makai? Why was there yet another barrier holding him from being from Mizuki? Wasn't her refusal to love him enough to complicate things?
"Lisa wouldn't kill another human. Demon hunters are forbidden to kill their own. The decree states that human/demon relationships are possible as long as the demon sticks with the one human. As long as I stay with only her, there should be no problem." He reasoned. She sighed, closing her eyes, her fingers kneading the space between her eyes. These migraines of Mizuki's were powerful.
"I know it's hard, Kurama. Trust me, I know but if you truly love her, stay away from her. I'm not the only one who thinks so either." She closed her eyes. I can't tell him the other reason Mizuki could die. If he realizes the real reason why he's drawn to her...She sensed Hiei's yoki coming closer. I have to leave.
"Wait, Ayane-san! Hiei." Kurama was aware of the presence of the fire demon standing to his left. Ayane transformed back into Mizuki. She slowly opened her eyelids to reveal shocked green eyes.
"How did you get here? I don't remember you being here a second ago." Mizuki said, blinking at the man standing in front of her. "When did he get here, Shuuichi-kun?" Usually Kurama would've acted nervously in this situation and try to cover it up with some lie. However, the way that Hiei stood still, the way that he didn't say anything, the way that he stared at Mizuki was unnerving. She decided to break the silence. "Your name is Hiei-san? Nice to meet you again. Are you feeling better now? From when you know you crashed...through my window..." Kurama swung his head back and forth at the nervous Mizuki and the stoic Hiei.
Hiei remained quiet. He definitely sensed Ayane's spirit here two seconds ago. His silence unnerved Mizuki while Kurama was used to it. Hiei stared at her then with his hands in his pockets turned to Kurama.
"The Prince wants to speak to you on a private matter," he informed him, walking away.
Prince? Mizuki thought.
Kurama put his hand on her shoulder making her look up at him.
"You should go home immediately. We can settle the bet when you come back to school."
"Shuuichi-kun, don't forget about the homework assignments. I don't want to be fall behind. Stop laughing at me!" Mizuki flushed with anger. She didn't like being laughed at when she finally got a chance to go outside in the daytime.
"Sorry, sorry, Mizuki-chan. I'll be sure to call you later."
"Thank you." She said sincerely. Would she be able to go back to school again? The missed homework assignments would take her mind off the possibility of being locked in the house forever.
"You're welcome," he said, giving her shoulder a squeeze before joining Hiei.
I don't want to go home. She sat down on the swing she previously occupied, pushing herself gently forward. She finally found out the name of the man she had been taking care; his name was Hiei. Her lips curved up to a smile. Hiei-san.
Mizuki was in for a surprise when she came home and found her cousin seated at the kitchen table instead of her hysterical family. Naoko waved cheerfully to her and opened her arms wide. Mizuki ran to those inviting arms, hearing an 'oof' from her.
"You really missed me, huh? That was some hug," she chuckled. Her younger cousin responded by hugging her tighter, sniffling.
"Wh-what are you doing here? Where are onni-chan and grandpa?" Mizuki asked, pulling back a little. It was a relief to have a benevolent female presence in her life again.
"Well, after your little magic trick today, they thought maybe you needed someone besides them to spend them with. I won't lie." She chuckled again. "They sort of asked me to be your babysitter." Mizuki made a face. "It won't be so bad. I promise I won't be bossy. I was thinking of you a lot lately. The last time I saw you was-" She stopped, pursing her lips. The last time she had seen her cousin was at her aunt and uncle's funeral when Mizuki had zoned out for most of the somber service.
"They're not trying to find me, are they?" Mizuki asked, changing the subject.
"Oh, Hiiro and your grandpa are...looking for you." Naoko smiled an understanding smile. "Don't look so down. They only worry for you because they love you so much. Oh," She released Mizuki and gave her a gift bag.
She stared at it as if it was a bomb. Naoko laughed, telling her to open it. Mizuki wanted to say that her reassuring appearance was enough of a gift, that a physical gift was unnecessary but the enthusiastic look on Naoko's face was a comfort; she didn't want to upset her. She reached into the pink and white tissue paper.
"Perfume?" She turned the lavender diamond shaped bottle in the light.
"I saw it in the window of a department store and knew I had to get it for you. Mom misses you, too. Remember how you used to cling to her, smelling the lavender off her neck after she come back from the garden? They always used to joke how you liked my mom more than your own mo-" She caught herself again. "I'm sorry." Mizuki rubbed her burning eyes.
"It still hurts not having them here. I don't think I can ever get over their deaths. It happened eleven years ago yet I just can't...I can't." She squeaked, her hand over her mouth.
"Come here, Mizu," Naoko whispered, pulling her into a hug. She rubbed her back soothingly. "I miss them, too. We all miss them. You're not the only one."
Koenma pushed his chair back as the contents of his desk, mostly papers and the official stamp, was swept off his desk by, to the surprise of everyone in the office, Kurama. A flash of golden in his normally green eyes escaped everyone's notice. Botan's gaping mouth was hidden behind the sleeve of her kimono. Papers landed next to Yusuke's and Kuwabara's feet. They stared incredulously at him; this was the first time they ever saw him lose control of his temper against the Reikai Prince. That job was usually reserved for the Yusuke or Hiei. Yusuke and Kuwabara had only just arrived with no idea what happened between them. Hiei stood off to the side, his hands in his pockets.
"I apologize, Koenma but with all due respect, I don't think you should be able to dictate with whom I wish to associate with," he said calmly with a hint of irritation.
"Be reasonable, Kurama. Her life would get complicated if you were to get involved with her further. Look, I don't want to dictate on who you should or shouldn't date. I wish I could explain everything that's about to happen or will happen if you don't follow my advice. You will have to trust me," Koenma said.
"Trust me, I know but if you truly love her, stay away from her. I'm not the only one who thinks so either."He remembered Ayane's warning too well.
There was something about Mizuki being kept secret from him.
"What are you keeping from me?"
It was a perfect day to be outside despite the consistent storms. Another whole week had passed since her grandpa forbade her to step out of the house ever again without being accompanied by either him, her cousin or her brother. His declaration was followed by a clapping of thunder. She had wondered if it was a message from the heavens above to warn her to listen to her grandpa. It was only a vague thought. She never really trusted any gods or goddesses or deities or whatever anymore. She cursed whoever or whatever it was that took her parents away a long time ago. Whether or not her grandpa allowed her to do anything wasn't the issue anymore. Lately she hadn't been feeling her benign self. Anger came in waves whenever she encountered her brother or grandpa so she came out here to escape.
She tilted her head up to watch the raindrops come down like clear needles to disturb the surface of the lake where her dad used to point out all the wildlife to her and her brother. She remembered her mother was usually busy at the hospital.
"These little fishy looking things are tadpoles. See? They are what baby frogs are called. One day they will grow up to be a full grown frog like that one," Mizuki recited the words engraved in her memory, pointing out imaginary tadpoles in the water. "See those birds high up in the sky?"
"What birds are you talking about?" A voice said. Mizuki abruptly turned around and gasped at the cold steel pressed to her neck.
"Hasekawa-san...What are you doing?" Fumi pulled her head back by her hair.
"She is right. You should die..."
The first thing he saw was a flash of white in the darkness where the shrill scream came from. Mizuki rolled clumsily to the side, bumping painfully into a tree narrowly avoiding the knife Fumi hurtled down. She quickly pushed herself off the ground, dirt clinging to her clothes. Her heart pounding against her ribcage, she tried to take a breath but it hurt to move. Fumi stumbled to the slippery ground, causing her to embed the tip of her weapon into the tree trunk. Mizuki used this chance to push her to the ground while she slipped on a wet rock. The crashing of thunder rang in her ears. The two struggled to gain control of the situation. Mizuki was trying to subdue the hysterical girl while Fumi struck out with her fists, shrieking. She managed to punch Mizuki in the nose and pulled herself to her knees. Mizuki clutched her bloody nose, another hand pulling Fumi down by her skirt. If the deranged girl got the knife back Mizuki will surely be in trouble. She lost her grip on Fumi's skirt. She back kicked Mizuki in the face.
"I won't let you have him! I won't lose him to you! You don't love him the way I do!" Fumi screamed, her cries mingling with the freezing cold raindrops. Her would be victim was half-lying on the tree and on the ground, her vision swimming in and out.
"You're wrong, Hasekawa-san. I don't love him at all. I never had feelings for him." Mizuki breathed out. She titled her head up to the dark skies, the needles of rain washing the blood from her face. She was suddenly conscious of how alarmingly cold her entire body was. She could hear footsteps making their way to her. A sharp pain shot through her scalp as she saw Fumi's face glare down at her, the length of the knife pressed against her face.
"You won't get in my way anymore."
"You're doing this for him when he doesn't care for you," Mizuki's lips moved but the words coming out weren't her own words.
Hiei gasped, his heart jumping in his throat. Ayane's comments were always brutally honest.
"You're just one of his many fangirls, a nuisance." Mizuki's hand moved on its own accord, reaching out to grab Fumi's neck. Her free hand caught the knife that the gagging girl dropped by the blade. In a swift motion, she had it by the handle.
"No human being has the right to determine the end of another's life. You seem to think you are above human. It's clear that you cannot be saved if you think that way."
The affair ended in a matter of seconds. Mizuki regained control of her body, her hand opening. Gasping, she watched Fumi's body fall in slow motion, a dagger stuck out of her back. Her eyes registered the knife resting harmlessly in the sleek grass. Hiei had seen the dagger streaking across the dark night behind the Hasekawa girl.
So it's true. She really is still alive. He couldn't sense the culprit's presence anymore. She managed to escape.
"No," Mizuki repeated, rushing to Fumi's side. Her trembling fingers reached out to the gasping girl.
"I lost...I always lose...at everything. I love you, Shu-" Fumi wheezed, reaching out to her back. Mizuki grabbed her hands.
"Don't! You shouldn't move it or you'll bleed even more. I'll get you to a hospital." Fumi pushed her away with the last of her remaining strength.
"Get away from me, you bitch!"
"Stop being such an asshole! I need to get you to a hospital! Your family will be devastated if you don't...come home." She didn't want to say 'if you don't live.' She was all too clear of knowing the feeling of when a loved one would never come home alive.
Fumi dug her nails in the dirt, closing her eyes. "Shut up. You think you're better than me because-" Her breath shuddered. "Your family would care whether or not you came back."
"No, I don't" Mizuki answered firmly, pulling Fumi's arm over her shouler. "Up we go." She hoisted the injured girl to her feet, her own arm around Fumi's shoulder to better support her weight.
"You're incredibly stupid, you know that? First you don't love Shuichi and now you're helping me when I just tried to kill you."
"You can thank me later." She was vaguely amused.
If Fumi could still insult her with a dagger sticking out of her body, she will definitely be able to survive. That was the hope that Mizuki clung to anyway. Her enemy started to laugh, her sobs mixing in with the loud moans of the strong wind. She guessed whatever problems they had, the best thing these two little girls could do was cry but Mizuki swallowed her own oncoming sobs. The situation would've gotten worse if she didn't.
It'll be okay. The hospital's only a few miles away. I can hail a cab and we'll make it in time. Hasekawa-san will be all right. I'll make sure to get her parents to enroll her in therapy after tonight.
"Aah!" She slipped on another rock. Fumi landed beside her, groaning. How can I be so clumsy at a time like this? A pair of black shoes appeared in her line of vision. Whose...? The pair of feet walked towards her. Fumi's voice floated to her ears.
"Who are you?"
"Hn. Can you walk, Aoi?" A deep emotionless voice asked her amidst the loud pitter pittar of rain and the thunderous roaring from the skies.
"Yeah," she managed to choke out. She had a hunch that this man could be trusted.
"Good. Get up. I'll carry this girl. You will never make it in time in your condition."
"You can leave me here. Just make sure she lives. I don't want anymore people to die."
A part of her wouldn't mind laying on her stomach close to the place her family used to gather on the weekends. It seemed to be a proper place to nap or to die but she knew her bloody nose wouldn't kill her. Hiei gritted his teeth. He detached Fumi from the defeated girl, taking care not to place the injured one on her back. Mizuki felt herself being lifted by the front of her hooded sweatshirt and an angry crimson glare awakened her up from her dreamlike state.
"Are you a natural born idiot or are you an idiot by choice?" Hiei set her down to her feet. She wobbled, resting an elbow on the nearest tree. "Wipe your nose and follow me."
"Who are you? You keep appearing in my life ever since that day." She obeyed his abrupt instruction, using her sleeve to wipe the flowing blood from under her nose and from her cracked lips.
Hiei ignored her question. With a meaningful look at her, he bent to Fumi's thoroughly soaked body. Mizuki rushed behind him and helped him place Fumi gently on his back.
"Watch out for any rocks. I don't want to have to carry you, too," he told her. Mizuki flushed angrily, casting a quick look on Fumi then lowered her eyes.
The two of them made their way out of the park. Fumi didn't say anything but after checking her pulse, Mizuki calmed down.
"How do you know Shuichi-san? I saw you at his house that one time. Are you friends with him?" Mizuki asked timidly.
"Do you know that I hated you ever since I saw you? I didn't even know why until Shuichi-kun started to talk to you." Fumi whispered to her, opening one of her eyes.
"I never hated you until you jumped me with those fangirl bitches and when you accused me of beating you up to my family." Mizuki retorted.
"Did it hurt? Did your family look at you with disgust?" She asked through gritted teeth. "What does he see in you? Why won't he love me?"
"Have you ever tried talking to him normally like not just as the president of his fanclub? He's a normal person like everyone else. He doesn't want to be interviewed about his favorite color for the club's magazine. I don't know. Maybe I'm just being naive. Honestly, I have never fallen in love. I'm not exactly sure what the process is like."
Fumi laughed harshly. "Love is not a science. It just happens. It's a wonderful and a painful feeling at the same time." It was quiet.
"Relax. She's still alive. I can still feel her heart beating." He didn't deem it necessary to tell her it was slowing down.
"Thank you, Hiei-san. If you weren't in the park, I probably would've never- Hasekawa-san would've-Why would someone do this!" She couldn't contain herself anymore. She didn't understand why any of this had to happen.
"You know very well why she would do this, Ayane," Hiei said, waiting. Mizuki stared back at him.
"Is that your girlfriend's name? Do I remind you of her?" That was the same name he muttered before he kissed her for the first time. She absentmindedly touched her lips. "And who's this she? What were you doing in the park anyway?"
"For some reason, Ayane chooses to hide within Mizuki Aoi's body. She wouldn't tell me the reason why but there's been evidence of Lisa Anda's return." Koenma finished. Hiei sensed there was something else important he wasn't being told. Koenma had a look of something akin to pity. "I urge you to keep a strong watch on Mizuki Aoi. You are dismissed."
"Hn. What I was doing is none of your business."
"Hmph. I just thought it was strange you were there to help me. You don't seem like a dangerous person either."
He almost tripped. Nobody had ever said that to him before. Any normal person would've flinched at the sword he kept by his side. Maybe she was actually stupid like Fumi Hasekawa said. They trotted on in silence. Fumi's breathing was beginning to slow significantly along with her heart rate.
"Oi, do you think you can get home safely?" He turned to Mizuki, who nodded. He couldn't afford for her to see him move in a fast rate. Although if he didn't used his natural speed to get Fumi to the hospital, the girl would surely die.
Don't trust this girl. She's going to run away again. Hiei heard Ayane's voice in his mind.
Ayane, I know you're inside this girl. Why did you speak to Koenma but not me? I searched for you everywhere I could.
I'm sorry, Hiei. I was bound to this girl's body once it happened. Get the Hasekawa girl to the hospital now. I will lead Mizuki to Reikai. Whatever you do, do not allow Kurama to hear of tonight's incident. The telepathy end as quickly as it came.
Mizuki was running away in the opposite direction.
Mizuki was seriously starting to go crazy by the time she woke up to find herself standing on her feet. She swiveled her head from side to side, taking in the new surroundings. She appeared to be outside of an apartment. She stared at her raised fist.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming, I'm coming." A sleepy Kuwabara opened the door, rubbing his eyes. They opened wider when they took in Mizuki's blood stained clothes.
"Kazuma, who's that?" Shizuru's voice called from the living room.
"Kuwabara, would it be okay if this girl stayed here for a couple of days?" Koenma appeared out of nowhere in his teenage form. Kuwabara fell back in surprise. Shizuru stuck her head out to see what the noise was about.
"Who is she?" She questioned, indicating the frightened girl on the doorstep.
"She's Mizuki Aoi. Someone is after her. You would be doing her a big favor if you allow her to stay here," Koenma explained.
"I suppose she could crash on the couch."
"Well now that it's settled." He pulled Mizuki into the apartment by her arm. "Mizuki, your stuff has already been brought here. I had my assistant pack your belongings for your stay here." He assured her.
"Say you look familiar," Kuwabara said, his face screwed up in thought, peering closely at her. She backed away from him.
They steered her to Shizuru's bedroom where an overnight bag was sitting by the foot of the bed. Koenma left her with instructions of getting herself cleaned up.
"I know you." Mizuki whispered before he closed the door.
The Kuwabara siblings demanded an explanation for the stranger's appearance. He started from the beginning: the day when Ayane Anda was declared missing up to tonight's events.
"Fumi Hasekawa, the girl who tried to kill Mizuki Aoi will die by the stroke of midnight."
"What's all that got to do with her staying here?" Shizuru asked, stirring a steaming cup of tea.
"She has to stay somewhere where her enemy wouldn't suspect which is why she'll stay here for a couple of days then she'll switch at Yusuke's."
"Then she'll stay at Kurama's?" Koenma shook his head.
"If possible, she'll stay at Keiko's house if her parents permit."
"Why doesn't she stay at Genkai's? There are plenty of room there. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."
"That's not a good idea."
"I still don't get why she can't stay at Kurama's house. Ah, wait, I thought the girl looked familiar. Kurama has a drawing of her on his bedroom wall. I remember thinking it looked so lifelike." Kuwabara said.
"Speaking of him, it's imperative you don't tell Kurama about her staying at your house. If you ever come in any kind of contact with her, mask her scent with perfume or some other smell. If Kurama ever comes over, make sure to kick her out before he arrives and spray every room she's ever been in with perfume. If you ever come in any kind of contact with her, mask her scent with perfume or air freshener."
"Why are you determined to keep her away from Kurama? She didn't step on his rose garden, did she?" Shizuru asked.
Try his Youko pride. Koenma kept this thought to himself.
They turned simultaneously to her light footsteps. She appeared in the doorway, her wet clothes clinging to her body.
"You appeared on the day of my parents' funeral." She addressed Koenma.
Koenma got up from the kitchen table, nodding. In a fit of rage, Mizuki rushed to him, grasping the front of his shirt.
"You can't allow Hasekawa-san to die! Why are you taking people away from me? Why? I asked this question so many times yet no one ever gives me a satisfactory answer."
"Fumi Hasekawa brought it on herself," Koenma whispered solemnly. "You're not responsible for her death, Mizuki. You don't have to take on the guilt." Mizuki loosened her hold on his shirt, shaking her head.
"I was supposed to die tonight, not her. Whoever killed her wanted to kill me. I'm not supposed to be alive."
"It was Fumi's time to die just like it was your parents' time to die on that night. You will do well to remember that."
"Are you punishing me for something I did? Take it out on me, don't take it out on them." Her eyes misted over with tears. Shizuru interrupted the tense moment, swinging an arm around the girl to calm her down.
"Mizuki, is it? My name is Shizuru Kuwabara and this is my little brother, Kazuma. From what I heard from Koenma, you had a tough night so why don't you go take a shower and call it a day?" She led the defeated girl to the bathroom.
"Nee-san will calm her down." Kuwabara said, turning to Koenma who nodded approvingly.
"For now, she'll be under your care. Hiei will be stopping by a couple of times while she's here." This got Kuwabara's attention.
"Wh-what! Why will that shrimp be coming over!"
"So they can get better acquainted," Koenma said mysteriously, a glint in his eye before disappearing.
Mizuki pulled her legs to her body, her chin propped on her knees, her dull eyes bleary with unshed tears. The bathwater lost its heat ten minutes ago when the teenage girl, a year older than her, urged her to cleanse herself. Now she was wondering about the brown-haired teenage boy. He was back in her life again. Fumi Hasekawa was going to die. The same girl who tormented her since the first day of school was going to die. Mizuki rather take her place. She was the one who was supposed to die tonight, not Fumi Hasekawa. Whoever truly killed Fumi was a monster. How could the culprit use Fumi as a scapegoat?
"She is right. You should die."
She meaning it was the same person who tried to attack me at school! It has to be! She raised her head to the ceiling. But why? Why is she trying to kill me? The images of her recurrent nightmares returned to her. It dawned on her there was more than one person seeking to take her life. The shock of the revelation was numbing. Little pieces of this puzzle fitted one by one yet there were plenty of pieces missing. The outline of her body undulated in the water as she crawled to the edge of the tub and reached out to the towel hanging nearby.
Something terrible was going to happen. She could feel it.