Disclaimer: I do not own YYH or "Graduation

== ======= === ======= ===== ====== =====

Graduation

===== ========= ========== ===== ===== ==

"He's really torn, Hiei, about leaving his body... and his mother. I wouldn't touch him..."

"Kuronue... There is a time to talk, and a time to be silent."

"I'm just advising you. He is my friend also," the black-haired, purple- eyed bat demon said.

It had been a week since Kurama had died. His restless spirit spent its time crying and sulking around, his once beautiful face now tear-stained and dull. There were no more shimmer-spots in his eyes. They were simply there to protect him from looking like an abnormal human.

They saw, but did not see.

=And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn twenty-five...=



Hiei and Kuronue often tried to comfort him, but they were cast away with ignorance.

Hiei, especially, grew worried. He knew that if Kurama weren't calmed before the burial, he would be turned into a poltergeist- or a demon. He hated the thought of the boy he had learned to love grow evil and be sent out to Ningenkai to assassinate humans.

=I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same...=

Kuronue wanted to see Youko again. His lover had been taken once, and he was trying to prevent it.

Kurama knew all of this, which was some part of why he cried. He was being used by his friends, there was all different parts of him which people wanted, not the whole him. Kuronue wanted Youko, and Hiei wanted his friend's happiness.

Which was NOT him.

And Shiori, he had left her all alone, besides Shuichi and the company president. Her only real family had left her, and he hated himself for that.

=But when we leave this year we won't be coming back
No more hanging out cause we're on a different track...=



He did not care if he turned into a demon, back to his original form, where he robbed and mercilessly killed. It would be ...interesting... to see how Kuronue and Hiei's spirits could see him then.

He began crying again. Shiori...Hiei...Youko...Kuronue...Yusuke...! He would be leaving Yusuke and Kuwabara and Keiko and Jin and Touya behind!! It was too much. He could've saved himself from dying, but he had played the idiot and never even thought of using some of Youko's life energy.

=And if you, got something that you need to say
You better say it right now 'cause you don't have another day...=



There was a time, he believed, that demons had to die.

He also believed he should have stayed alive to be with Shiori.

His family name was dead. After Shiori was gone, it would be, at least. He would never grow up to get married or have children or see that the world was at peace with demons. He would never see his grandchildren, or never go to college...

"I consider myself one of your friends...so will you listen?"

=We're moving on and we can't slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound...=

Hiei approached him, and kneeled down.

"You aren't alive anymore. I can hear whatever you think."

"..."

"You really wanted to protect Shiori, didn't you?"

"Hiei, not now..."

"Now, Kurama, yes. You've gotta snap out of this. Kuronue may want Youko, but I..." Hiei's low voice trailed off and he looked away.

=And I keep thinking of that night in June
I didn't know much of love but it came too soon...=


Kurama wrapped his arms around his knees and rested his head. "Why did it have to be me?" he asked, quietly. He buried his face down.

Hiei looked at him oddly. "Death happens to everyone, Kurama. It can't be stopped, only altered. ."

Kurama let out a sigh that always comes before an emotional breakdown. "Just leave me alone."

=And there was me and you and we got real blue
Staying home alone talking on the telephone with me,=

Kuronue came over and sat down. Seeing the situation, he patted Kurama, who had started crying, on the back. "Kurama, come on... You've gotta wake up."

BAM.

Kurama opened his eyes and was in another world.

=We'd get so excited and we'd get so scared
Laughing at each other saying life's not fair=



=And this is how it feels...=



=As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever=

"Shuichi! What are you doing?" Shiori asked.

"Don't worry, mother. I'm doing an experiment for science class. I'll need a D battery... some oranges... and a pickle. Oh, and do you have some latex gloves? I'm trying to make some kind of acid..."

"Umm, no latex gloves, sorry honey. We've got the rest, though. Why do you need a D battery?" asked the curious mother, concerned about the ingredients and her son's welfare.

"You're not going to like this, but it's actually a very dangerous experiment. You know how they store energy in a battery? There's also acid in it. I'm going to use the pickle juice and the orange juice to burn through the battery, and combine them," Kurama said, sighing. Nothing could go wrong, he predicted.

Except for his prediction.

=So if we get the big jobs and make the big money,
When we look back now will that joke still be funny?=

Kurama added all the ingredients, when something went terribly wrong.

The acid was clear, looking exactly like water. He poured it into a cup and put it in the fridge, ready for the next day in school.

However, Shiori didn't know what was in the cup.

"Shuichi, honey? Is this your water? I'm going to take a sip, ok?" she asked, and pulled the cup out. Kurama nodded, before realizing what was happening.

=Will we still remember everything we learned in school
Still be trying to break every single rule?=


"No! MOM!!" Kurama screamed, running into the kitchen. He pushed the cup away from her lips and clamped a hand over her mouth, to stop her from drinking any. The cup splashed the acid all over, and the kitsune threw himself over his beloved mother, protecting her.

There was a silence, broken by the cup clattering to the floor.

"Shuichi K. Minamino!! What in the name of" Shiori cried, and stopped, eyes wide, terrified. Kurama looked down and saw what she saw.

=Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
Will Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan?=


Kurama's hand, perfect and without a scar, was bleeding. And the scary thing was, the wound was getting wider and wider. It went from the size of a pinprick to the size a quarter and bigger within seconds. He screamed, but not because of the pain.

Acid.

"Call... 911..." Kurama whispered, between screams. His whole body was bleeding, he was burning.... He was dying. By saving his mother, he had 'killed' himself. There was no hope to say he would make it.

And he woke up.

=I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye,
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly=


Hiei and Kuronue leaned over him, their eyes wide. Hiei grinned as he saw Kurama wake. "Hn" he said. Kuronue sighed with relief.

Kurama felt the emotional weight come crashing down on him again. "I-I saw how I died..." he whispered. He shivered.

The human body was such a delicate thing. It was strong, but the inside was soft, could easily be destroyed by itself. The mind could push the self- destruct button and the body would die, driven mad by it's thoughts and feelings. Demons, who were emotionless, lasted much longer, and since they had no thoughts and feeling, could not, even if they tried, set off the self-destruct. The body knows long before the mind catches up, but the mind is always so cluttered, it was rarely possible to pick up the signals.

=And this is how it feels...=


=As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever=

Perhaps that was why Kurama did not pick up the signals when he was making his project. He had been so occupied with the project itself, he hadn't paid attention to... him.

=La, la, la, la...yeah, yeah...la, la, la, la,
We will still be
Friends Forever=


"Kurama, don't you realize it?! You just passed out!! You're starting to turn into a demon again! It's like pregnancy! You get signs before it happens!!" Kuronue cried. Hiei glared.

"Tell your mother you love her, and tell her goodbye!! You talk of getting married and having a family, but you've got to leave her behind! You can't live in her house forever!" he said, his voice rising.

There was a silence, and then, Kurama said, un-hopefully, "I can't."

= Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now
Will we survive it out there
Will we make it somehow? (Somehow...)=


Hiei grabbed Kurama, pulled him up, and kissed him.

=I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men=

Kurama pulled away. "Hiei... What're you...?"

Hiei looked away. "Haven't I made my point?" His face turned bright red.

Kurama stared, for a minute, and then flew off.

=Will the past be a shadow that will follow us round
Or will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly=




He floated down to his mother's house.

Shiori's eyes were wet with tears, and only minutes ago Kurama could've said the same. He, invisible, landed next to her, and sat.

"Mom...?" he asked. Shiori could not pick up his voice, but feel his presence. "Shuichi?" she asked, shaking and wiping a tear.

"Mom..."

"SHUICHI!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The body, like said before, could tell long before the mind. This time, Shiori's mind was filled with thoughts of her son, so being able to tune in to his spirit was easier.

"Shuichi...please...come back!!" Shiori cried.

=As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever=


She concentrated on the thought of her son and was able to see him.

"Shuichi!!!" she cried, tears of happiness streaming down her face. Kurama had a sad smile. He knew he would regret what he was about to tell her, but it had to said.

"I have to go... I wanted to tell you I love you and that I can't come to visit you after this."

"Oh, Shuichi... Please don't leave again!!!"

"Mother, please understand...If I don't go now, I can never see you again in death. I'll be sent to Hell. Just... let me go."

The words hit her like a smack in the face. Her son had never told her she was wrong. She felt like she was going crazy. She had seen her son's body being carried, she had seen the blood... and here he was again.

Flashbacks...

"SHUICHI!!!" Shiori screamed, watching in horror as her son's body was rushed to the hospital. She hopped out of the ambulance she had traveled in with him and ran.

=As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever=

Kurama's body was being wheeled away. Forced to sit in the waiting room, Shiori wrung out her hands. The nurse stepped in. "Mrs. Minamino?" she asked quietly. Shiori looked up.

"I'm sorry...he's gone," the nurse said, and even she started crying.

End Flashbacks...

"Shuichi...I love you. I-If you c-can visit, will you?" she sniffled. Kurama nodded. "Only if I can. I just wanted to say...goodbye, mom."

He left, the tears streaming down again.

=As we go on

He heard a sigh, and felt a warm hand on his shoulder.

We remember

He looked up at the caress.

All the times we


It was Hiei, smiling down at him.

Had together

He looked to his other side. Kuronue was hugging Youko, who, in death, had separated from him.

And as our lives change


The Youko waved, and Kuronue and him vanished. Kurama watched in awe as Hiei and him were traveling toward a light.

From whatever


"Hiei, where are we going...?" he asked, already knowing the answer. Hiei grinned. "Home."

We will still be

"You left your mother. You are at peace."

Friends Forever=

"You've graduated."

)---====END====---(


Me: Please R&R!!

Note: When Hiei said 'Graduated", he meant, "Changed from his current state", as in, "I've graduated to a new level of maturity"