Choices

Summary: Set after the Suzaku-arc-thingy. Kurama reflects on the choices he's made so far, and the people those choices affect. Who is he thinking about, you ask? Well.....this is a Mother's Day fic, y'know....Very short, but sweet

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own anything.

A/N: I went to about 10 different YYH websites trying to find info about Kurama's mom, his stepfather, and stepbrother, and then I went, "Aw screw it." Mainly because apparently Kurama and his stepbrother are both called Shuuichi. Oo So yeah. For once I decided not to try and be anally perfect about it. Because I'm just writing this for the cuteness. Don't choke on the fluff, 'kay?

This is my first YYH fic, let alone my first Kurama-POV fic.....be nice, please?

The stuff with Kurama's mommy and the Forlorn Hope is different from the stuff in the anime, because I'm using the stuff in the manga....just thought it was a lot cuter.

Oh, and no, when Kurama's all thankful to Yusuke I'm not trying to hint at Yusuke/Kurama, nor am I trying to hint at Hiei/Kurama during all their conversations. This particular fic ain't a shounen-ai. (But....I am a Hiei/Kurama fan all the way XD)

When there's a flashback, it switches to third-person POV. Just felt like doing it that way. I think it works better.

Review, onegai? Today also happens to be my birthday, y'know.....


The bus slowed to a stop at the mall, and, shouldering my backpack, I stepped off.

I wish I could've gotten here sooner, but the Four Saint Beasts didn't exactly give us time for shopping.....

I've been hoping that I will not be roped into another of Yusuke's assignments for a few days. We need these few days, she and I....

It's only been a few weeks since I met Yusuke, but I already owe him so much. I almost made the biggest mistake in my whole life, but he stopped me.

Shiori – my mother – she's taught me about things I never even knew existed.

She taught me love.

I remember how strange it was, being 'born', in this human world. The other mothers always said I had such a sweet disposition, because I never cried. I had no need to. There were a lot of things I already understood, but then I had to learn to speak just like any other human – I couldn't speak their languages.

One thing I didn't understand was why my mother cried over my 'father's' death. I didn't understand why you could cry when someone died. I didn't get it. People died all the time.

Flashback

Kurama, his sharp hearing picking up a sound, sat up in bed. He'd been living in the human world for five years, and teachers and other mothers alike called him very precocious for his age.

He rubbed at his eyes and looked over at the clock. 1:30 in the morning. Was his mother up at this hour?

She was, as Kurama soon found out.

He found her at the kitchen table, crying softly to herself. "Mommy?" he asked. 'Mommy' – he supposed it was a human thing. He heard the other children call their mothers that all the time.

"Shuuichi?" She whirled around, wiping at her eyes. "What are you doing up, sweetheart?"

"I heard you," Kurama answered simply. "Are you okay?"

She smiled at his seriousness. "I'm fine," she told him, coming over and scooping him into her arms. "Just got to thinking about your Daddy, that's all...."

End Flashback

But then I started realizing that the way she'd tuck me in at night, the way she'd kiss me when I'd had a bad day.....I realized there was something more to humans than meets the eye.

I started changing.

Flashback

It was a year after the night that Kurama woke up to the sounds of his mother crying that Kurama had another late-night experience with love.

He'd been dreaming.

He sat bolt upright in bed, staring around the room with wide eyes, making sure he was still safe. He was so vulnerable and there were demons everywhere......like the demons he'd been dreaming of......

His ears picked up a sound, and he jumped, before realizing it was only the door creaking open.

"Shuuichi?"

His mother entered the room, looking at him with concerned eyes.

"I....I had a bad dream," Kurama mumbled.

"I see," she said softly, smiling slightly and coming to sit on the bed with him. She held out her arms, and without even realizing what he was doing, Kurama scrambled gratefully into them. She ran her fingers through his tousled hair, and Kurama found himself dropping off to sleep.

The next morning he'd wake up, confused, wondering why he'd hugged her like that, why he'd felt so safe in her arms.

End Flashback

And then there was the time that I was only 8 years old. The time I was helping her with dinner. She asked me to get that plate from the top shelf of the cabinet, and, obliging her, I dragged a chair over. I'd finally grabbed the plate, but somehow I lost my footing.

What happened next happened so fast.

I remember my heart skip a beat as I fell, and I heard Mother calling my name, and suddenly I felt her arms close around me. I landed hard on the floor, unscathed, but blood was running from her arms.

In order to keep me from cutting myself on the breaking glass, she'd grabbed me, cutting herself in the process.

While she was in the hospital, getting her arms bandaged, I remember turning the incident over in my mind a thousand times.

And then I realized that was love.

And I realized I loved her back.

When she got sick, I felt helpless. This was one enemy I couldn't fight – this was something inside of her.

I turned to the one person I knew who could possibly help me help her – Hiei.

I'd met him about a year before, and there was something about him that made him different from other demons. He was aloof, cold, unfeeling, but something told me that there was something else to him, something inside him.

When Hiei told me about the Jagan Eye and it's purpose, I was shocked. I couldn't imagine being thrown out by your own kin, no matter how different you are from them. I voiced my surprise, and Hiei told me to shut up.

But I could sympathize with his feelings of loneliness. I too often found myself feeling like there was nowhere I truly belonged.

Hiei obliged and told me of the Mirror of Darkness, but he didn't understand just what she means to me, at first, so I had to show him.

He was gruff and rude, but I suppose I can't blame him. What thoughts were going through his mind, I don't know. But I wonder if he was thinking about the mother he never knew.

Mother loved Hiei. She said, "Oh, I love when Shuuichi brings friends," and then proceeded to quiz him on where he went to school, whether his mother expected him home before dinner, and questions of the sort. Poor Hiei....he looked so lost I spent the whole time biting my cheek to keep from laughing out loud.

As the sun was sinking below the horizon, he and I left the hospital.

Flashback

"How did she get the scars on her arms?" Hiei asked Kurama suddenly. Kurama had to smile despite himself. Kurama told him the story, and the two walked on in silence. Hiei looked deep in thought.

"Kurama......the price you must pay the Mirror of Darkness is your life."

Kurama froze in his tracks.

"So be it," he replied softly, walking on. He would give his life for her. He knew if she were faced with the same decision, she'd do the same for him.

"And you know if we get caught we'll be killed," Hiei spoke up. It was a statement, not a question. Kurama said nothing. Hiei looked up at Kurama, trying to figure out what was on his friend's mind.

"You don't have to go through with this if you don't want to...." Hiei mumbled.

"I will. I have to," Kurama said fiercely. "We won't get caught, with your speed and my stealth."

"Well....there is one part missing from your equation," Hiei informed Kurama. "Brute strength. And that's where Gouki comes in."

End flashback

Then came that night of the full moon, and I found myself on the hospital's roof, pouring out my troubles to the one person who I needed to believe me – Yusuke.

He saw the scars on her arms, the desperation in my face. And so he understood.

He did more than that; he offered to sacrifice himself in my place.

But Yusuke was right. If I wanted her to be happy, I couldn't die, could I?

Maybe that was why our lives weren't taking. Maybe it was so that she could truly live in peace. Or maybe...maybe it's because of what I used to be. Despite the demon I used to be, I was willing to give my life to another. Was that it?

I don't know. I never will know.

When they called me back in and told me she'd make a full recovery....She said my name, and I took her hand.....I was crying. Crying because I'd been afraid, confused, happy, and relieved all at once.

I quite honestly didn't know I was even capable of crying.

The mall was quite packed the day I went shopping. I had to finally bring myself away from the past and concentrate on the task at hand.

As I passed a department store, I heard a woman's voice calling out at me. "Oi, you want to sign up for the raffle?"

I turned and saw two women sitting at a plastic table, a raffle set up.

"The drawing's tomorrow," she informed me as I came closer. "If we draw your name, you get this gift basket." She gestured to a basket overflowing with gifts – flowers, perfumes, chocolates.

I shrugged. What did I have to lose? I took the pen from her and filled out my name.

But then suddenly I froze. 'Shuuichi Minamino.'

Who is that?

I dropped my entry form and walked away, smiling wryly.

It was a game I'd played with myself many times before. Who am I?

Is that me?

No, he is the human boy who never existed.

What would've happened if I hadn't taken this body from the human who never had a chance to live? I often wonder who Shuuichi Minamino would've been, if he would've known how blessed he was to have Mother.

But then who am I? I'm Youko Kurama, the heartless youkai bandit.

But I can't be him. Youko Kurama wouldn't be willing to sacrifice himself in order to save the life of a human woman.

And my newfound friends – Yusuke, Hiei, Kuwabara – they call me Kurama. Who is Kurama?

I like to think of Kurama as a mix of Shuuichi and Youko Kurama. Is that who I am?

Who am I?

Feeling lonely and desperate, I once confessed my feelings of isolation to Mother, omitting everything about Youko Kurama, of course.

I asked her if she ever regretted having me.

She lifted my face to her, and our eyes met. And she told me no. She told me she could never regret that.

"Shuuichi, you've blessed my life in more ways than I could ever imagine," she'd said. "Back when I was sick, there were times when I wished I could give up, give in, but I knew I couldn't. Because I have you. I could never leave you. All I've ever wanted is the best for you, Shuuichi. From the day you were born, I've just wanted to watch you grow and learn. Shuuichi, I can't tell you who are. But I can tell you that you will be alright. I have faith in you."

You know.....I just wish I could tell her how much she's blessed my life. I wish I could tell her how she taught an emotionless, cruel thief how to love.

Thank you, Mother. Thank you for everything.


A/N: ......awww......

WHOOt! My birthday is today! I got presents. I got a Chii plushie from my little sister. And I got more YGO DVDs. It's taken me a year, but I've collected episodes 1-163 of the Japanese series.

Now then, if you'll excuse me, I have like a million scenes to go SCREENCAP.....