Rose

The single dying flame of the burning light was flickering, swaying in the tense air of Genkai's temple. Everything was silent, as if in mourning a death, the death of Hime Sakura, Ouji Kyouji, and Sora-sama.

Not even the wind dare howl upon the stiff leaves in the towering trees. Not even the setting sun dared to smile upon the sleepy people. Even Hiei, the silent demon, was even quieter than usual.

It was if Botan's tale brought a cold grasp of grief and sorrow upon the world, so that everyone knew her pain. But no one felt more pain than the young deity herself, her heart shattering from the memories she had tried so hard to forget for so long ago.

And yet, after all those years, she had to dig them back up, just to suffer.

Kurama sighed heavily. He understood that pain, that pain of losing someone close to you.

He remembered the first time where his human mother was severely ill; the shock was even too much for Youko.

He was only glad she was safe but...

But Botan wasn't.

She was dying inside, like the last rays of the radiant sun in the horizon, her cheerful smile just disappearing.

How he wished that she would smile once again.

To him...

She was his entire world.

Yes, it was undeniable; he loved her the first time he laid eyes on her.

The first time he saw her smile as if the world revolved around her.

The first time he saw her in pain, where his anger was fueled by her pain.

The first time he saw her with Koenma, his jealousy seething with rage.

It was always her. He never believed in love, the fan girls at his school shoved him further and further away from believing in such a silly emotion yet...

Somehow, he fell in love.

Somehow, he fell in love with the blue-haired goddess.

But there was nothing he could do to stop her from crying, shedding her crystal tears. He didn't what to do.

Longing to hold her in his arms to comfort her, he could only sit and wish for the best. He wished he could be her savior, knight in shining armor.

But what could he do that would make a difference?

Yukina, Keiko, and Higanashi were on the verge of tears while all boys were silent as the deceased graves.

"So, what happened after the explosion?" Yusuke whispered. Botan forced a smile upon her pale lips as she returned her sad gaze to her friends.

"I found myself in a nearby hospital days later; a village lady had found me completely covered with injuries fifteen miles from the castle. Though I was no fully recovered, I went back to the battle sight, using the rest of my energy," she explained.

"The entire forest was in ruins, the explosion killing or wounding everything in its path," she sighed, her voice becoming weak and pained.

"I looked everywhere, from the corpses of the warriors outside to every corridor in the castle but... I found nothing...."

"In tears and mentally shattered, I returned back to the village, my wounds bleeding. It was no use... I couldn't find any of my family. And I lost all hope..."

"Did you ever find out what happened to them?" a broken voice said from the doorway. All eyes but Botan's met their visitor.

It was no other than Hiei, but it was Hiei that none of them had seen before. His voice was full of sorrow, his emotionless eyes full of despair and sadness.

"Yes, I do know what happened to them. Enma-sama visited me two nights later, his face full of wrinkles. He had a message for me, one that I dreaded. It was only then that my nightmares were confirmed. Kyouji-onii-chan, 'Kaa-chan, and 'Tou-chan were all dead, killed by the demon lords."

Everyone stiffened but Botan forced another smile, looking up. A tear fell, landing on her strained and shaking hands.

And another fell.

"They saved my life to protect me and the entire Reikai, Makai, and the Human World but they sacrificed themselves..." Botan shook her head in guilt. "I should have never left! I should have stayed and died with them!" Her voice quieted. And in the end, Yakumo still got away." Botan managed to say. "I should have died..."

"No."

Botan stopped, her heart skipping a beat, her tears ceasing.

That voice...

It reminded her of Kyouji, kind and loving.

'Why?'

"No, you shouldn't have died, and you didn't."

'But I failed them, so why?'

"If you died, then you wouldn't be here," Botan looked at the speaker, her candy eyes wide with confusion and lost hope. Kurama met her gaze with serene emerald eyes, full of comfort and love.

'I don't understand... I.... don't have anything left...'

"If you died, then you wouldn't be here... you wouldn't have met all of us."

"You wouldn't have met Yusuke the day he died and helped him get his body back. You wouldn't have met Keiko, your faithful and loyal friend. You wouldn't have met Kuwabara through Genkai's tournament. You wouldn't have met Genkai when trying to find Rando. Nor Hiei on Yusuke's mission. Nor Higanashi when ferrying people's souls. Nor Yukina on another one of Yusuke's mission." Kurama explained softly. Tears welled up in her eyes, almost overflowing.

He was right...

Kurama silenced for a moment, smiling at her elegant face, staring right at him...

'Oh Botan-chan...' he thought.

"And you wouldn't have met me, on another coincidence of life. So, no, Botan-san, we all want you here ... with us."

Botan's gaze met her friends, smiling at her with shining faces, and even Hiei made a small effort to show his comfort. She smiled as best as she could, and flung herself into Kurama's arms.

The kitsune looked surprised at the young ferry girl in his arms, who was weeping and sobbing to let out her contained torment. She buried her face into his chest, letting all of her suppressed tears and sorrows spill.

Inwardly, he smiled, stroking her long, baby blue hair, whispering comforting words into her ear, pulling her petite figure closer to him/

It would be alright...

He would be with her, always by her side.

Nothing would stand in his way, nothing...

He loved her, and would always love her.

Botan smiled in her lover's arms, enjoying his calming affection and she knew that no matter what happened, she was so glad that she had friends like them.

'Arigato... Kurama-kun...'


It was past midnight when Botan fell asleep in Kurama's arms, his warmth and scent lingering on her.

The sun had already went to sleep, the luminous silver moon smiling upon them, illuminating the night sky with twinkling, winking stars, as if pleased with the two lovers.

Since it was too late to return home and there was no school for a while (vacation), they decided to stay in the temple, together, bound by friendship.

Kurama lifted the sleeping beauty into his arms, bridal style, and carried the young girl as the others retired into their rooms. He walked slowly to her bedroom, placing her delicate body onto her soft bed and then covered her exhausted body with her silky covers.

As he brushed a hair away from her pale face, Kurama smiled, thinking how angelic and serene she looked as she slept, caressing her cheek with his gentle touch.

Placing a small peck on her forehead, the kitsune laid a single white rose upon her drawer, and with a final smile, he left.

'Sweet dreams, my rose...'


Outside, a figure of the shadows, leaped from her hiding place after hearing the deity's story, pleased with the information she gained.

Gracefully, she ran from tree to tree, in the darkness, hardly making a sound.

Misaki grinned from ear to ear, extremely happy with her sly work. Her master would be quite impressed with her new information.

The full moon's silvery rays shimmered upon her lavender long hair, pulled up in a high ponytail, cascading down her back like a rushing waterfall.

Her almost emotionless amber eyes were full of serious business and yet a small playful expression shone in the orbs.

An ancient chest plate and a small silver skirt served as her battle uniform, a single katana hanging at her waist, with a small crimson flower placed near her ear.

Yet she was no ordinary girl; she served her master well as a top warrior and a secret spy, her skills and strength very hand with her work.

It was an endless forest, Masaki thought. Like her, it was no ordinary forest, the towering tress filled with ancient power, used with an unknown purpose, its secrets lying dormant.

In no time, her strange eyes caught glimpse of a solitary castle, its large stone walls secluding it from the forest surrounding it.

No one would even think of coming close to the castle; it was as if a strange and powerful evil presence inhabited it, and it was so evil, all life drew away from it, fog covering the air around it.

But Misaki walked on without any hesitation, right up the large, oak door gate, waiting patiently for it to open.

As if it knew her arrival, the door immediately opened, its hinges creaking with old age but it didn't shake the young demon.

Casually and with great serene expression, she strolled into the eerie and dark hallway that awaited her, its arms wrapping themselves around her petite figure.

Still, she walked, the heels of her small shoes clicking upon the cold tiles of the hall, making a mechanical tune as she progressed onward.

Another door awaited her at the end of the hall, automatically swinging open when Misaki drew near, a radiant light shining at her.

Squinting, the young demon continued further, well aware who was at the end of the hallway, and what the person expected.

Her master was awaiting her arrival.

Lord Kazuya himself was waiting upon her return.

Kazuya looked amused into the glossy mirror before him, his head lying contently upon his right upright arm placed upon his throne.

His familiar ivory white hair was spiked, his pitch black eyes full of amusement and sinister evil, and a single smile had its share of secrets.

Upon his body was a warrior uniform, very elegant and princely, and beside his waist were two swords, sheathed, just waiting taste the flesh of his opponents.

The room itself was enough for the young lord, cold, eerie, dreary, mysterious, secluded, and full of surprises, just like himself.

Even his throne, made of dead corpses of those he slaughtered, their heads upon his arm rests, was taken great pride in.

But the demon lord was not the only one in the room; beside the opening doors were two guards, buff and powerful, but dumb.

Also, hidden in the shadows of his castle, were his loyal spies and warriors, ready for any surprise attack.

Kazuya continued to stare with an entertained expression as one of his top fighters, Misaki, entered his throne room.

The young girl slowly walked before his throne, kneeling, her head lowering before his presence, waiting for his attention with great patience.

"Kazuya-sama," Misaki said. Kazuya looked away from his mirror, smiling again at his favorite spy with lazy eyes.

"Why, Misaki, you have returned so soon. Is there something you wish to tell me?" the demon lord stated richly.

Misaki nodded her head, still kneeling. "They have found out about the past; they are most definitely going to investigate on it."

"Was my theory correct?"

"It was, my Lord."

"Did they see you?"

"No, Milord."

Kazuya's smile widened in delight. "Well done Misaki. You may now prepare for phase two," he said with a flick of his gloved hand.

"Hai, Kazuya-sama," and with her final words, the young demon warrior disappeared before her lord, leaving nothing behind.

Kazuya looked back at his mirror, keeping his eye on a young girl, her blue hair and lavender eyes mesmerizing his mind.

He watched her at all times.

Her smiling radiant grins...Her crystal tears pouring down her pale pink cheeks... Her mad yet playful expressions... Her hidden power only he knew about...Her friendship that held together all she met...

Her beauty was as delicate as her favorite white rose...

And he had to have her.

As his wife to resurrect the Underworld, just as his Father had failed to do.

"Botan, my dear koishii, it is only a matter of time." He whispered into the mirror.

An unsuspected figure entered the mirror, a red headed kitsune and when the figure appeared, an unsuspected attack shattered the mirror, its pieces breaking upon the tiles.

Kazuya's lazy look turned into hatred, his hand lifted outward, still glowing black.

He would kill that boy!

No matter what it took...

"Kazuya-sama," a voice hissed with respect. Kazuya's eyes became normal, his hand stopped glowing.

"What is it, Haku?" he demanded, clearly annoyed.

"I am ready to follow out with the mission..."

"Very well..."


Botan abruptly awoke, panting and sweating, clutching her throbbing head with her shaking hands. Her heart pounded against her chest, her mind feelings dizzy.

It was terrible... She could remember it so well.

'What a horrible dream...' she thought, recalling what visions she saw.


"What do you want with me?" Botan screamed at the figure.

"Don't be frightened, Botan-chan," it whispered. Botan backed away.

"Don't' call me that! I'm not your girlfriend!" The figure seemed to smile, sending a pack of chills down the young deity's spine. She knew she was in danger...

"Come koishii. Leave your friends and come." its arms wrapped itself around her.

And she did the only thing she could.

She screamed.



Botan looked out her window, the moon illuminating her pale face full of worry and concern.

Something was wrong.

Very wrong.

She could feel it.


How was it? Sorry I haven't updated but I'm busy!

Gomen!

Please review!

JA!!!

Love,

Your Wolf Princess Aya