Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho and I most definitely did not come up with the Christian religion. The ending is influenced by the "Lady and the Tiger" short story and I didn't write that either.
Story Information: This is an AU story which occurs right after the Dark Tournament. It presents an idea I got from one of Karasu's quotes from the Japanese version of the Tournament (translated into English by subtitles). The idea? That the Toguro team won the Dark Tournament... What would Karasu wish for? I believe this will stay a one-shot but you never know...
The Nightmare of Forever
"I wish I could place you at my side forever... As your reward, I will let your beautiful face remain just as pretty as it is."
-Karasu, Dark Tournament
Karasu was silent as the other members of Team Toguro made their wishes. Bui of course wished for strength just as had Toguro, but Kurasu's mind was on something else at the moment. After all, he had already stated his wish during his fight with Kurama. "I wish I could place you at my side forever..." He almost wanted to laugh. Poor Kurama. The fox would not be allowed peace, even in death, for his death would not be occurring any time soon.
The council turned to Karasu and waited for him to make his wish.
"But Lord Koenma, that just can't happen! We can't let them do this!" Boton cried, tears running down her cheeks.
"Yes it can happen Botan and we can't do a thing about it. The council has the power to grant Karasu's wish and they are choosing to do so. I must ask you to escort Kurama's spirit back from the spirit world, I'm afraid."
Botan sobbed, thinking of what would now befall her fallen friend. But orders were orders, no matter how awful they might be, and she had to follow them through.
As she left his office Koenma whispered, "At least he gets to live, unlike the others."
Pain. That was what Kurama remembered. Botan had arrived in spirit world to bring him back but from then on he could not remember what had happened. But he knew something was wrong. He should not be living right now, should not have the chance to live. His body had been thoroughly destroyed by Karasu, that he knew. So why could he breathe and why could he feel his heart beating? His senses were slowly returning to him, as if the nerves were being reattached. His fingers twitched. Silk? Slowly he opened his eyes.
Kurama was lying on a bed of silk, black silk... or some other dark color as there was barely enough light to see anything, but whatever the dark color was the room was covered in it.
The bed he lay on was a canopy bed draped in the same material as the rest of the room, with one side's curtains pulled back through which he could view the rest of the room.
No windows. The only way out of the room seemed to be one door, and the only light in the room came from one solitary candle.
Kurama tried to sit up, biting back a gasp of pain as he moved. But the pain was fleeting, as if he had just moved to fast and had all his blood rush to his head. Kurama's ears twitched as he heard flootseps, soft at first but gaining sound as the walker moved closer. The sound of footsteps on stone stopped outside of the door and it swung open soundlessly. The door had been unlocked.
Kurama was momentarily blinded, blinking as light flooded the chamber, throwing into sharp relief the contour of a figure in the doorway, a figure which Kurama recognized, especially when he began to speak.
"Ah, Kurama. I was wondering when you were going to wake."
Karasu. Kurama's eyes narrowed at the other man. He couldn't see Karasu's mouth through the mask the other man wore, but he could bet on the smile that would be there. Dread seemed to follow Karasu into the room as he closed the door easily behind him, but did not lock it.
"Poor Kurama," the name of the fox rolling off the Kurasu's tongue like molten chocolate. "You must be very confused, realizing that you are alive when you already went through death at my hands." Karasu paused walking towards Kurama. "But you shouldn't be to surprised really, now should you? Do you not remember what I told you?"
Kurama watched as Karasu placed a hand above the flame which had been the only light in the room. It went out. Now the room was completely black, and while Kurama knew Karasu could see him, he was lost in the dark. Still, he could come up with an answer that would not let anyone know his true emotions.
"I remember quite well you telling me that you would kill me."
"But I changed my mind, did I not?"
Then it hit him. The memory came rushing back to Kurama. Karasu's words. "I wish I could place you at my side forever..." If there had been light in the dark room one could have seen the color drain from Kurama's face. As it was, Karasu could only feel the fear begin to radiate off Kurama. The dark one basked in it as the fear increased with his next words. "You belong to me now Kurama."
Kurama flinched as fingers began to thread their way through his red silken hair. He wanted to shut out the voice as if it was a bad dream, but it would not be stopped.
"You are lucky you know. You get to live."
Kurama's eyes snapped open, looking to where Karasu's voice was originating from. He got to live? That meant the others were...
A sadistic smile found it's way onto Karasu's face as he saw the emerald eyes of his redhead cloud in an internal pain.
"What? Don't I get some gratitude?" Kurama could hear his voice murmur in his ear then all thoughts came to a halt as Karasu captured Kurama's lips with his own.
Now contrary to popular belief, Kurama was not a virgin to all matters of romance in his human form so needless to say this was not his "first" kiss, but there was a great difference between the butterfly kisses of humans in love and this. Karasu pillaged Kurama's mouth ruthlessly, as if drinking in the redhead. The kiss was forceful and Karasu didn't seem to mind that Kurama was most definitely not responding in a positive way. In fact Karasu might have like it better this way, but Kurama had no time to ponder the possibility.
"You taste so sweet, pet, like honey." his captor murmured in his ear before moving back to his mouth, one hand still intertwined in Kurama's red tresses.
A harsh knock on the door and Karasu broke away from Kurama, hissing softly. Kurama could hear Toguro's voice requesting that Karasu speak with him for a "moment or so". Kurama felt Karasu move away from him as the dark one moved towards the door. But hearing Toguro's voice, Kurama knew that at least Yusuke had died. Toguro would not have let him live. That was two. Their team would have needed three fights to win the tournament.
"Are they all...?" Kurama couldn't finish the sentence. But he wanted to know the fate of his friends even if he had to rely that the information he got was truthful, information from Karasu.
For a moment it seemed as if the dark one was not going to answer as he opened the door to be again silhouetted in light. But then he turned around to see Kurama and the redhead could see that Karasu's eyes held that deadly gleam that he had seen at his death. Again he could tell that under the now reattached mask, Karasu was smiling sadistically as he brought his index finger up to his temple, in the same gesture that he had at the start of their fight in the Dark Tournament. "Bang." his eyes glittered as saw the shock resister in Kurama's eyes. Then Karasu left Kurama in the darkness of the room.
Karasu joined Toguro on the outer walls of the fortress-like home that was their current residence. Of course his room was much darker than the rest of the rooms in the place, but that was Karasu for you. Only he would actually want the room without windows in a tower that was far away from any other part of the castle, and then only Karasu would light it with one or two candles, most of the time leaving the entire room in darkness.
"You left the door unlocked." he spoke as Karasu joined him. It wasn't a question, more of a statement of a fact that made no sense, which of course it didn't. "He will use this as an opportunity to escape."
"I know." Karasu's eyes glittered red and for a moment Toguro actually felt sorry for Kurama, but only for a moment. "I'm planning on it." As Toguro brought up the topic of conversation he wanted to talk to Karasu about, the dark one's thoughts remained on the redhead for a few moments longer. Yes, he would leave the doors open and unguarded if he had to. He would teach Kurama that he was not kidding when he had said Kurama was his, and Kurama would find that out before midnight.
Had Toguro and Karasu actually been looking down at the forest surrounding the fortress they might have glimpsed a flash of red as Kurama made his escape into the forest. It had been too easy. Heck Karasu had even left the door unlocked.
But a few minutes after Kurama had left the building he saw why the dark one was not worried that he might run off. The fortress (for that was the only word for it) was surrounded on three sides by mountains which had been created in such a way that climbing over them in one night would be impossible for Kurama to do. And the last remaining side was blocked by a river.
It was this river that he was now facing. To wide to jump across, to deep to walk across, to rapid to swim across really, but he would have to try something or else Karasu would surely find him. And of course Karasu had been thoughtful enough to remove any seeds from Kurama's hair. So he was stuck with purely human methods it seemed. Cautiously Kurama waded into the stream and he wasn't in five steps before the water level dropped to deeper than his height, but the current wasn't as strong as it had looked to be from shore, so he might have made it across, but as the full moon rose to it's full height in the sky and clocks began the twelve tolls to chime midnight, the pain hit.
Kurama's body convulsed as pain spread in little tendrils over his body unfurling as one of his plants would until Kurama started to loose all senses because of it. It did not help that that he had been half way across the river and was now being quickly carried downstream. But that did not occur to Kurama as he tried to stay out of the realms of unconsciousness. He was barely aware of the fact that he had been deposited on the bank of the river as it took a sharp turn, all he knew was the blackness that he was trying to keep at the corners of his vision instead of letting himself fall into the black abyss.
A scream pierced the night and Karasu's ears pricked at hearing it, a scream he knew very well. "That would be my cue." the dark one said simply, leaving Toguro's presence. Again, watching Karasu leave the room, the reddish gleam in his eyes, Toguro felt sorry for Kurama, but only for a moment.
As the pain had grown and blossomed inside Kurama so did it wilt and fade and as Kurama blinked he realized he had been washed ashore on one of the river's curves. His throat felt parched and sore so he could guess that he had been screaming and right now he didn't blame himself for that weakness. But why had the pain suddenly exploded inside him? He couldn't remember getting hurt while crossing the river-
"Wondering what just happened are you?" a silken voce spoke and Kurama managed to look up at the raven haired male who stood watching him. "It's a wonderful little trick the council thought of. You see, I didn't lie when I said you belong to me Kurama. If you get far enough away from me your body rebels against you until you either decide to come back or I find you."
Now it started to make sense to Kurama why Karasu had left the door unlocked and had not cared if Kurama escaped. Knowing the crow he probably planned on Kurama trying to escape in the first place. Kurama managed to get to his feat, wincing only slightly as he did so.
"You cannot die until I die Kurama," the silken voice continued. "And you cannot attack me either."
For the second time in his life Kurama was beginning to become scared of the creature in front of him. The first time had been before his fight with Karasu in the Dark Tournament, and now this. Whatever this spell or trick was, it didn't leave him any options unless Karasu decided to give them to him.
Karasu had approached Kurama while the exact situation had been sinking into the redhead's mind and now he leaned down to whisper in Kurama's ear. "But I'm going to make this more interesting, pet. I'll give you the choice. You can either accept your fate or you can run. I'll allow you to run. However, when I find you the punishment will be much more severe for you. It's your choice." Karasu then turned and walked away from Kurama, leaving the redhead to ponder his choice.
As Kurama watched
him go, the fox was reminded of the Christian belief of Lucifer, the
most beautiful angel of all God's angels, who had fallen to be the
most sinister of creatures. There had been many stories written of
humans who sold their souls to this creature, this devil, this demon
of hell, and Kurama couldn't help but see the connection to his
current situation. But that was what it came do to, wasn't it? His
soul had already been given to the Devil and Satan had come to
collect it. He could either come quietly to Hell now, or he could run
and hope the Devil never caught up with him.
Rio the FlowerofBlackFire