Disclaimer: I don't own anything; I only own this fic and the OC's (original characters)! Flames R encouraged. If you have to flame I would like a reason as to why you don't like a particular chapter or portion so I can fix it if necessary.
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Jin led the pair to the main doors. He pushed the huge wooden doors aside and entered the building. He did this cautiously hoping that the chambers had been aired out by now. "But just incase," he thought to himself as he summoned up one of his mini tornadoes. It went rampaging down the hallway and disappeared. "Alright," he said, motioning for the two to follow him.
"What if Touya's still here?" Botan asked. "What will we do?"
"We'll just kill that bloody bastard is all!" Jin growled. He slammed his fist into his palm. "I'll rip 'is arms off and shove 'em in 'is—"
"I think we've got the picture," the deity interrupted before the threats became too much to visualize.
"But 'ee deserves it!"
"I agree, but I don't want to think about it!"
They walked down the corridors, pausing at each corner to check for any form of danger.
"I know a short cut," Botan announced at last, getting tired of almost having a heart attack before rounding every corner. She tugged at Jin's muscled arm and pointed out a wall hanging. "I used this to sneak out and feed the prisoners."
"So ye didn't risk yer life to feed the fox just because you cared for 'im? It was just an habit, eh?"
Botan avoided the question she felt hanging in the air. She pushed aside the tapestry and entered a small hallway. "I don't know why nobody has seen or used this."
Jin sniffed the musty air in this corridor. Mixed with the dust and Botan's scent, he could smell the odd cologne Risho used to wear. "Risho used this. I'm thinkin' he knew you went through this to feed the prisoner's 'n all."
"Perhaps he was amused at the prospect of you feeding the scum and believing you were doing it behind his back."
Botan and Jin looked at him in surprise. Their eyes asked the same thing. "Does he remember Risho?"
"No, I don't remember who this person is. I have just seen people like him." He offered a shrug to dismiss the conversation.
"Where's the best place to look for Touya?" Botan asked Jin.
"Yer room," he answered faintly.
The deity shivered. She didn't want to think about what Touya would do if she met up with him. Or Youko for that matter. She was sure Youko could still win, but what if Touya pulled out another cowardly trick? Maybe Youko would then go beyond healing. And…what would she do then? Youko was her life!
Jin busted through Botan's old room door. Touya fell off of the four-poster bed in surprise. "Where's the damn antidote?" the red-headed demon demanded.
The ice blue eyes snapped from one edge of the room to another. "I haven't a clue," he stammered.
"Ye better find it. I'm not going to hold back on ya. I know yer tricks."
The ice demon peered behind his fellow shinobi, seeing both Youko and Botan. His heart thudded painfully. "I'll give it to you," he began slowly. "But it comes with a price."
Youko slid past his deity, past the wind master and grabbed a handful of Touya's shirt. He easily lifted the slender ice master off of the ground and growled. "I have a price for it as well. Give it to me now or I'll cleave bits of your body off until you do. If all your appendages of been torn off, I'll have my pets eat you alive while you watch." His vines came out of nowhere and wrapped around Youko's arm, leading up to Touya's face.
Touya laughed dryly. "Do you think I care?" he asked quietly. "You took away the one thing that made me feel alive. I have nothing now. Go ahead and kill me. But you won't get the antidote that way. If you take up my offer, then I'll give it to you."
Youko narrowed his eyes and studied his face, reveling in the fear he could smell emanating off of him. "And if I disagree with your price?"
"T-then you can kill me." The ice blue eyes flickered momentarily to look at Botan.
The fox demon cocked his head at Botan. "Would you like me to do?"
"I…I guess we could hear what he wants for it." She wanted more than anything to have Youko have his memory back. Then the two of them would have the memory of all the struggles they went through. That would keep their bond strong, right?
"This is the fool that has caused you so much unhappiness," the kitsune reminded. "You would feel relieved if he died would you not?"
"I suppose, but he's right. He's the only one who knows where the antidote is. And how to make it. If he dies, what will we do then?"
"We would continue to live on. We can forget about all this."
"Yes, but…" she trailed off. She wanted to forget about this. But the things she had to go through to make it this far…some of it would scar her for the rest of her life. She didn't want to tell them to Youko who had been there through all of it. She didn't want to feel like she was hiding something just because the demon couldn't remember. She chewed on her lip, close to tears.
Youko dropped Touya unceremoniously to the floor and cupped Botan's chin. He peered into her eyes, seeing the tears that had yet to come. "Why…are you crying?" he asked slowly. "Is it something I have done?"
"We'll do this your way then. Would that please you?" He wasn't going to be the reason for her tears. He smiled at her before turning to the ice demon.
"Is that the way you want to live?" Touya asked, sniggering at what Youko had said to Botan.
"For the rest of your life, do you want to have her consent before you kill? Before you go out to hunt, do you have to give her what she wants first? Will her happiness come before your fun?"
The kitsune wrinkled his nose. What did he care if it was true? "What business of it is yours?"
"I suppose it isn't."
"Don't change the subject. What is your price?"
"Isn't it obvious?" He let his eyes meet Botan's form and smiled. "Give me what I want and you'll get your precious antidote."
Youko growled and drew Botan closer to him. "You—"
"Wait!" Jin exclaimed. He clapped a hand on the taller demon's shoulder. "Think this over." He looked down at Botan. "First, are ya willin' to give yerself to the bastard to get yer mate's memories back?" he asked in quietly so Touya wouldn't hear.
"Yes," she answered firmly. "Even though I'll hate it, I'll do it for Youko."
The fox demon flinched at the comment.
"So here's my idea. If we give her over to him you'll get your antidote. Then with yer memories back, ye'll be able ta come and carry out yer revenge." Jin winked. "How's that sound?"
"But," Youko sputtered. He looked at Botan, silently telling her that she didn't need to sacrifice herself just for him.
"Let's go with Jin's idea," she said softly. "After your memories are back, come back and kill him. You'll save me from him, right?"
Touya narrowed his eyes at the smile on Botan's face. "Have you came to a conclusion yet?" he spat.
"Where's the antidote first of all?"
"I have to make it first."
"I don't like the sound of it," Youko growled.
"I'll make sure he makes it. If not, then I'll just threaten to leave him. If that doesn't work…don't worry. I'll get him to make it," the deity assured.
"How long do you need to make this?" the kitsune asked Touya.
"In a week," he announced, calculating things. "It takes a few days to dry the herbs and a few more days to brew the things."
"Hand me the girl."
Youko held Botan hesitantly as a growl raised in his throat. Botan kissed him tenderly. "We'll do our sides of the bargain and I'll be back."
The demon brushed his lips across hers and came to her neck. "I can't let you go," he mumbled into her skin. He ran his fingers across her face, sighing. How could he bear to let Touya even look at her?
Jin rolled his eyes, a mix of amusement and frustration at the same time. "Ger yer asses moving. I ain't got the patience to watch you two do this. And neither does 'ee for that matter."
Youko kissed her once more. "Go before I change my mind." He let go and nudged her towards the ice demon.
Touya smiled, proud of his accomplishment. "I promise to give you your antidote. I just want you to know that she's all mine."
"We'll see," Youko spat at him. "A week and no more. Just know that if you hurt Botan or invade her privacy without her consent, I'll know. I'll be upon you in a moment and I'll kill you."
The ice demon forced a smile. He wasn't going to show how relieved he was that this went through. Youko could kill him instantly in this weakened state. He moved his ice blue gaze onto the deity. Luckily Botan was blinded by her love for the fox demon. She couldn't see that there was much more involved in this deal.
'I know you're going to come after me eventually,' the shinobi thought. 'But it'll be a week before you dare come and get her back. When that day comes, I'll be ready.'
Touya took Botan back to the yakuza's hideout. He took her arm with a firm but gentle grip.
"We're going to have fun together, aren't we my sweet?" he asked jovially.
The deity studied him carefully. She knew that Touya couldn't possibly be so cheerful after Youko had threatened him. What demon in their right mind would be so joyful after a death threat had been placed on them—especially one from Youko Kurama himself. Any demon with sense would either commit suicide, or offer their lives and souls to powerful demon overlord to protect them from the kitsune. Then again, this was Touya. He seemed to have broken the fine link between sanity and insanity.
"Fun?" she repeated slowly.
"Yes," he agreed. "In time you'll come to forget that damned fox and you'll remember that I am better for you."
She knew better than to argue. Weak or not, he could still kill her if he wanted to. She wasn't sure if he would risk killing her…but while he seemed to weave in and out of sanity, she wasn't going to put herself and Youko in danger.
Touya smiled at her silence. To him, it was answer enough. Lovingly, he ran a hand through her azure bangs. It took a lot of self-control to keep from shuddering at his icy touch. "I wish I didn't let you go. I do love you, you know?"
Botan shook her head. "No, I don't. How could you say such things if you loved me?"
"I was blinded. Risho has corrupted my mind. It wasn't until Risho was dead that his power over me broke," he said. It was partially true. It wasn't until Risho's death that he realized this. As for Risho corrupting him or why he only now discovered this was beyond him.
"Can't you learn to love me again? I'll behave. I'll treat you the way you deserve to be treated," Touya begged now. "It'll be just like old times. I'll buy you those silk dressed you look so beautiful in. You'll eat good food."
"And then I'll be a slave again, doing whatever you tell me to because I didn't know any better," she finished. Her lavender eyes glittered with hatred at the memory. "Isn't that what you're planning to do again?"
"No. Not this time. I'm going to treat you so well that you'll forget about Youko." He shuddered at the cursed name. "Give me a chance."
Botan opened her mouth to tell him that her heart would belong to Youko for the rest of her life. Touya stopped her with a gentle finger before the words passed her lips.
"I know what you're thinking. But by the time I get done making an antidote, you don't have a choice but to stay with me. I'll still treat you the way you should be treated. And if you can't learn to love me… there are other things in life to achieve."
This remark touched her. She was almost flattered that he would still treat her well even though he knew that Youko would always be there. "I guess I don't have a choice," she sighed. "Fine. But I want you to start making the antidote pronto."
"I'll do that and much more." He wrapped his arms around her, burying his face into her hair. Her scent was so familiar. A sigh escaped his lips. 'I'll find a way,' he promised himself. 'You'll love and adore me the way you used to.'
Youko paced angrily back and forth. His silver tail swished. "I can't wait a week," he growled at Jin.
Jin lounged in a chair. He had allowed Youko to live in his house away from the hideout. "Relax. 'ee won't dare to do anythin' to 'er."
"It's not harming her that disturbs me. It's the fact that his worthless hands are most likely to be on her body now." His golden gaze darkened. "It will give me much pleasure to rip his offending limbs off his body…to hear his screams…to watch his blood stain the stone floor…"
Jim smirked. "Calm it down. Ye don't want te get riled up so soon. Ye've got a while to go. Keep yer trousers on and wait it out. Botan's a feisty girl when it comes ta her personal space. If somethin' bother's her, she's not gonna let it go to far."
"Hmph," the fox snorted.
"Trust me. I know 'er longer than you have. She can take care of herself."
"I know she could." Youko growled again. "But I don't want her to have to take care of herself. It's my duty to protect her from anything that disturbs her." He began his angry pacing once again.
Jin's smirk widened. He folded his arms behind his head and relaxed.
Touya sat on his haunches before a pot bubbling contentedly over a roar of flames. His blue eyes gazed intently at it. Every so often he stirred the concoction in the pot or sprinkled a fine powder into it. It would be a few days before the main ingredients could be added. He heaved a heavy sigh. Making antidotes was a highly monotonous job. He was already getting sick of the smell of the stewing ingredients. No wonder the hideout rarely had a stock of the antidotes. He had forgotten how boring it was to make it.
But this time, it was a good thing that there was no antidote available. It was buying him time to set his mind straight. He needed these extra days to figure out how to win Botan back and rub it into Youko's face without getting killed.
He chewed nervously at his thumb. He didn't want to admit it, but Youko frightened him. He didn't like knowing that the legendary Youko Kurama would kill him without so much as a flinch. He hated knowing that he had an extremely slim chance of surviving against Youko.
He snuck a glance over his shoulder at Botan who had sworn to herself to keep an eye on Touya's actions. At the moment, she appeared to be dozing off. The warm, heavy fumes and the late hour was making her sleepy.
Touya got to his feet and went to Botan. "You should go to bed."
Botan shook herself firmly to try and fight off the sleep. "No," she said stubbornly. "I'm going to make sure you do this right."
The ice demon fought back the impulse to scowl at her loyalty to the filthy fox demon. "I'm not going to ruin what little chances I have at getting you back," he said simply. "Just go to bed. The antidote is at a very picky stage and I'll be up for a while."
Botan tried to fight Touya as he gently scooped her into his arms, but the bed's call to her was overpowering. She gave up and allowed Touya to take her to her bedroom.
"Why are you doing this?" she asked in a slightly slurred voice.
"Going to all this trouble to be with me. Am I really worth fighting over?"
Touya gazed thoughtfully at her. "If you weren't, Youko wouldn't be so eager to rip my face off for you and I wouldn't be going crazy at the thought of him taking you away from me." He fought to offer a smile that wouldn't illustrate his jealousy.
Sorry for taking so long to update! My computer refused to read my floppy disks for a couple months and then I had to study for my ACT/SATs and my finals. I'm sorry if I disappoint people with this chapter. :gets down on knees and begs for forgiveness: I'm so sorry! I barely even have time to go online anymore, but I'll try to finish this. I promise. It'll take a while for me to get back on track, but it'll get done.
Here's the people who reviewed last chapter in their respective orders:
Horse-crazy-girl: Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed the last chapter. :bows:
JDFielding: Once again I'm honored to have you reading my fic. And yes, Touya is a tough bastard… but I suppose obsession can make you endure a lot of things. And he'll get his just desserts eventually.
Volpone: Your dirty mind amuses me. I'd write some scenes in 'detail' shall we say, but I'm not good at writing things like that. Plus I get embarrassed doing it for some reason. So hints will be as far as I can go. And I'm glad you enjoyed the fluffyness!
Tyedye/Rin: You WANT Touya to die? Well that may be arranged eventually. But for right now, there are other things that he needs to accomplish. Because if he dies now, Youko won't get his fluffy memories with Botan back.
Slow Motion Runner: Aw, it's fine if you reviewed late. I enjoy getting feedback, no matter how late it is. And loosing your memory would suck, huh? I like Touya too! And I'm not sure what made me turn him into a villain… I thought it'd be interesting. Thanks for your review!
Mourning Fox: S'ok. I need to remember to update and make time to even write more. You reviewers can be so demanding sometimes. But that's ok.
Bluangel205: That's an interesting suggestion… but powerful fighter isn't Botan's thing in this story. Maybe I could write one like that eventually. Thanks for your review!
Yasashisa Ryuu Yeah, I know what you mean… but sometimes I start writing and get off track and can't remember why I wrote a certain thing… and I DO have to thank my lovely reviewers. And for me, it can be a strain on the eyes trying to read a really really long story on the computer. When I get done with this story, will you tell me how many pages it actually is? I'm really interested in knowing.
Crimson Breeze: That's ok. I didn't have my disks for a while. But I guess it'll be better now.
KuramaandHieiever: Thanks! I'm trying to keep it interesting, but this chapter might be really boring because I'm trying to remember what I was planning to do since I last updated. I've been really busy. :sweat drops:
Kahel09: How nice of you! Thank you so much!
Heartluv: I guess he is nice, huh? I wanted him to be nice… but still demonish. I don't think I quite achieved that though, but it'll work out eventually. I hope.
Licensed to Kill: Another person whom I'm honored to have read this. I think I tried reviewing something of mine just to see if it worked… I guess it does. But who'd really want to review their own fics on purpose? Glad you like my fic! Thank you!
My Asssassin, My Dark Angel: Your name sounds oddly familiar… lol! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And I know I might have made people mad because Touya isn't in character, but I did it for a reason. And your reasons are exactly why Botan and Kurama/Youko make such a good pairing!
Word Dreamer 999: Thanks! I usually don't like romance myself…. It was Volpone that got me into the KuramaxBotan Pairing and made me see that romance isn't all that bad. And JD Fielding is also someone I admire a great deal.
Shenshi's Tenshi: Thanks! Did I really have that much twists? I like writing twists! There might even be more to come, but maybe the reader will be more aware instead of taken aback… unless they enjoy being taken aback. Glad you enjoy!
I know what you mean. I'm eager to write the end, but at the same time, I enjoy writing this so much that I almost don't want it to end! Thanks for your review!
SheaRaye:Thanks for your review! Glad you're enjoying this!
Firefox: Don't worry. I hadn't been good in updating lately. :sobs dramatically: so I can't hate you for not reviewing. Plus it's the reader's choice. I'm glad you did review though, because it inflates my ego knowing that people like my story!
White Artemis: Well… I didn't really STOP writing it. I've just been so busy, you see that I hadn't had time to even glance at it… and I've been working on this other story on fictionpress that my creative writing teacher said he'd help get published. But I promise to get this done.
Black and Red Candles: It made sense. :laughs: Thanks! And you can have a cookie. This story will end on a good note, so don't worry about that.
CrescentMoon-Cat: Here's a really really late review. :sweatdrops: Once again, I'm extremely sorry for how late it is.
Anonymous: It's ok. I don't mind anonymous reviews. It's just that a few people have taken to flame my stories anonymously because they can't come out and do it through a normal review. As long as you enjoyed, I'm fine.
The darkest light 17: Glad you enjoy. I updated!
Hiei obsessor: Glad you're enjoying it so far and find it interesting.
Renyun: I didn't give up… though it did look like it. But with this many people liking my story, I feel that I have to update or I'll get my head bitten off.
Firey Phoenix: It has been a long time, huh? Thanks for leaving me a review!
Royal bluekitsune: How I came up with the title? Well, I was reading this book about a dark angel and I thought a dark angel would be cool… and then I thought about how I could incorporate that into a story. So I thought up the idea for this and thought I would call it "My Dark Angel" or something like that. But I like the word assassin for some reason so I put that in it. And it turned out to be very fitting. Thank you for liking my title. I like it too!
Botan and Kurama lover: Yes, I'm really sorry. And I haven't died, which is good. I'll try to work on this some more since my tests will be over soon.
Like I said, thanks for reviewing and your name will be up again next time if you review this time!