I didn't really mean for this to turn into a fic; I was just writing down some random things inspired by my thoughts on Hiei/Botan stories. Ever notice that in almost every H/B fic, Koenma always rejected Botan for a ferry girl? But what if Botan rejects Koenma for someone? What would happen then? And what if that person was Hiei?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot.

Love Me, Hate Me, Just Don't Let Me Fall

Chapter 1: Poor Botan

"Argh, I HATE MY LIFE!" Botan screamed as she took out her oar and started hitting a tree with it. She was in a park in Ningenkai, and luckily there was nobody else around to witness this display of anger since it was already nighttime. Before coming to this park, she had been wandering around aimlessly for hours, having no place to go since she couldn't go back to Reikai.

She continued her assault on the poor defenseless tree until she hit it a bit too hard and her oar broke in half. Fuming, she flung it to the ground and screamed into the night sky - a heart-stopping, glass shattering scream of pure fury.

Suddenly, whatever strange force of energy that had surged through Botan's body, enabling her to take out all of this anger, left her completely, and she slumped to the ground. All of her rage turned into grief, and she sobbed uncontrollably.

"Why... why did this have to happen to ME! WHAT DID I EVER DO TO DESERVE THIS!" she shouted to the clear night sky.

"Hn, quit yelling, baka onna."

Surprised that someone had found her, she turned around to see Hiei standing with a scowl on his face. "Wh-what are you doing here?"

Hiei eyed her tear-stained face in disgust and replied, "That idiot Koenma forced everyone to search for you."

"He would do that, wouldn't he..." Botan said, looking down at her hands. The very person she had been running from had sent people looking for her. Just her luck.

"Get up already and go back to where you belong so I can leave, onna."

Botan looked up at Hiei with sorrowful eyes. "I belong nowhere."

The fire demon became curious at this cryptic response but didn't show it in his expression. He had wondered why Koenma was so anxious about his missing ferry girl; after all, members of Koenma's staff have gone missing before, yet this was the first time the godling had ever seemed genuinely concerned. Perhaps the fire demon would find out the reasons behind all of this from the ferry girl.

He waited for Botan to explain herself or at least get up off the ground, but she just went back to staring at her hands, purposely ignoring Hiei. Occasionally a tear would fall down her cheek, but she had stopped her sobbing.

"Are you going to get up, or am I going to have to force you?" Hiei threatened.

Shakily, the ferry girl stood up, leaning on a tree for support. She took a few steps before stumbling and falling, and would have hit the ground if Hiei hadn't caught her. He carried her to a nearby bench and set her down.

He waited for her to stand up again, but she didn't. Instead, she sat stared at the ground, as if she thought that Hiei would go away if she ignored him long enough. Unfortunately for her, Hiei was a stubborn fire demon, and he wasn't about to go away after searching for her for half the night.

"What the heck is wrong with you! Get up and go back to Reikai already!" Hiei said, staring at her with his unnerving crimson eyes. He had noticed something very strange about her appearance, and he finally realized what was missing: her smile. Botan always had a smile on her face, but not today. In its place was a sad, gloomy look that didn't suit the usually-cheerful girl at all.

Botan glared coldly at him as she answered, "You want to know what's wrong with me! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME! MY BEST FRIEND HAS JUST DECLARED HIS UNDYING LOVE FOR ME!"

Hiei remained silent as she continued ranting. "I knew I should have never trusted him to be nothing more than my friend! Just when I trust him enough to tell him one of my biggest secrets, he just has to tell me that he loves me! Argh, I HATE THAT JERK! He doesn't even realize I'm already in love with someone else..."

The fire demon let his curiosity get the best of him and asked, "What happened?"

Botan didn't reply, so Hiei sat down beside her on the bench. "Tell me what happened, onna."

She sighed and said, "You're not going to go away until I tell, are you?"

Taking his silence as a yes, she sighed and began explaining...

+Flashback+

A few weeks ago Botan had discovered that she was in love with someone. For days, she kept it a secret until she was dying to tell someone, so she wanted her best friend, Koenma, to be the first to know. She walked into his office, but before she could say a word, Koenma announced that he was in love with her and that his father had arranged for them to be married.

Speechless at this unexpected announcement, Botan couldn't do anything but stutter as Koenma started describing how absolutely wonderful this wedding would be. Finally gaining control of herself, she told Koenma that she didn't like him that way and that she was already in love with someone else. Enraged, Koenma fired her from her job as a ferry girl.

This made Botan furious; first, she loses her best friend and now she loses her job. She escaped to Ningenkai before Koenma could try to force her into marriage and had wandered around. Finally she ended up at this park, where Hiei found her.

+End Flashback+

Botan looked at Hiei, who hadn't replied yet, and said bitterly, "There, that's what happened. Now you can call me a baka and drag me back to Koenma so I can be forced into marrying that jerk."

Still, Hiei didn't respond. He simply continued to stare into her eyes until she couldn't take his gaze any longer and looked down at the ground. They sat there in a tense silence as Hiei thought about what Botan had said.

This made perfect sense. Koenma was much more anxious than he had been when other ferry girls or Reikai personal had gone missing. When Koenma had told the Spirit Detectives that she was gone, all he said to them was that she hadn't shown up for work and that nobody had seen her in Reikai for hours. Only one detail was missing in Botan's story, and Hiei finally broke the silence to ask the one question that had been on his mind.

"Who?"

Startled at the sudden outburst, Botan looked at Hiei and asked, "Nani?"

"Who? Who are you in love with?"

"Oh..." Botan stared once more at the ground and - was that a blush spreading across her face?

"Who, onna?"

Botan refused to look up as she continued to say nothing.

Hiei grew impatient quickly, wondering why she refused to answer such a simple question. Again, he asked, "Who, onna!"

The former ferry girl muttered something so quiet that not even Hiei with his superior demonic sense of hearing could understand her.

Annoyed that she wouldn't just answer the question already, Hiei asked, "Who?"

"...You," she finally answered, still refusing to look at him.