A/N: This is my first multi-chapter YuYu Hakusho fanfic. I am a Hiei/Botan fan so this will be a romance/humor/action/adventure/suspense story starring the fan-made couple. I hope you'll enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I do not own YuYu Hakusho or any of the original characters from the show or manga. All I own is this story and any characters not mentioned in the series or manga (ex: Fisara, Botan's family, Nara, etc.).
Dark & Light: Her Night, His Day
Chapter One: The End is Just the Beginning
It was a typically brisk morning on a bright summer day. The air was warm below while high into the sky it was slightly chilly and a bit harsh when rushing against a bare human face. Bangs of baby blue whipped about the head ferry woman's visage as she soared across the sky on her oar. The puffy white clouds were blown in every direction by the strong gusts of wind that followed the twisting and turning figure flying above the unknowing mortals of the human world.
Sighing to herself Botan continued on her way towards Genkai's temple. However, she couldn't resist the temptation to glide down to the park as it came into view. She cautiously flew straight towards a tall tree that she knew all too well. Only this time, as she hovered amidst its many sturdy branches, she was disheartened to find that not a single one supported a certain reclusive fire demon.
"Hiei..." Botan murmured to herself. It had been a long time, a little over 3 years, since the shortest, possibly most violent member of the Spirit Detectives had left to fulfill his new post in the Demon World.
Mukuro was his boss now, not Koenma. Hiei had served enough 'community service' in his time with the Spirit Detectives to wipe his record clean. Now he was Mukuro's heir and a protector of humans who unknowingly stumbled into the treacherous Demon World. The ferry girl smiled to herself despite her somber mood. It was no secret that Hiei hated humans-or at least claimed to-calling them weak and inferior to his species. And the sheer irony of the fact that he was now helping them to evade his kind and return to their own realm, well...it was enough to bring a smile to Botan's face despite any melancholy mood she might be experiencing.
Sighing in the realization that she still had a job to do she lifted herself on her oar and continued on her way. After all, Hiei or no Hiei, life went on and so must she.
The old fighter's temple lay in the midst of a beautiful patch of land. The stairs leading up to it seemed endless, unless you had no intention of using them. Botan flew straight up to the temple doors. No sooner had her feet hit the wooden floor than the doors slid open revealing the smiling face of Yukina.
Hiei's sister...Botan thought with a sad smile...not that she'll ever know.
"Hello Botan," the ice maiden chirped, "please come in. The others haven't arrived yet I'm afraid. But Shizuru and Keiko are here. I'm sure it won't take the boys long."
The blue haired ferry girl nodded, spinning her oar out of existence, "Thank you Yukina, I'm sure you're right."
The two women entered the temple which was cheerily lit with beams of sunlight filtering through every opening. It was a short walk to the main room where Keiko sat on the floor stroking Puu who was lying just behind her with his head resting in her lap. Yusuke's spirit beast had come a long way from being an adorable little blue monster to a fully grown phoenix-like creature.
"It seems like just yesterday when Keiko was carrying him around." Botan laughed to Yukina.
Yukina laughed too and went to sit by Keiko.
"So, you've finally shown up." a familiar voice called.
Botan perked up and turned around to see Kazuma's older sister leaning with her hand propped against the far wall.
"You're late you know...what kept you?" the brunette inquired as if she already knew the answer.
"I...uh..." Botan's fuchsia eyes danced with the glimmer of unshed tears, "...I stopped by the park."
The elder Kuwabara's face took on a softer countenance, "Oh, I see. Well I'm sure Hiei has good reason for not dropping by in so long. I mean, he does still have the Jagan Eye, it's not like he can't check in on us if he wants to."
The spirit in the pink kimono nodded.
An awkward silence followed which was thankfully interrupted by the sounds of two males bickering coming from the hall just outside the room.
"Bring it on Urameshi!" a voice which was unmistakably Kuwabara shouted, "Any day, any time, any place!"
"Aw you're just sore because you lost the race up here." the challenge-loving Yusuke responded coolly.
Botan spun around just in time to see the two enter, "Hello Yusuke, Kuwabara, long time no see!"
"Hey Botan." Yusuke replied casually casting a glance in her direction.
"So what's the deal this time?" Kuwabara demanded.
Shizuru frowned, "Baby bro, for once in your life try exercising a little patience huh?"
"Yes Kuwabara, you see Kurama isn't here yet so it would be rude to start without him-" Botan stopped short when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Aaahh!!!"
"So sorry," a red haired man smiled from behind her, "didn't mean to startle you."
"Oh Kurama, there you are!" Botan chuckled at her own reaction, Sometimes I think he does this sort of thing just to get a rise out of people.
"Ok he's here, can we start now?!" Kuwabara folded his arms stubbornly before laying eyes on the koorime sitting next to Keiko, so quiet that one would hardly notice her there. "Y-YUKINA?!"
"Hello Kuwabara." the ice maiden greeted him with her trademark beaming smile.
In a flash the love struck fighter was kneeling by her side, clutching her soft hands firmly in his own. "Yukina my love, my darling, my-"
"My stomach," Shizuru rolled her eyes at her brother's shameless flirting. She didn't know which was more pathetic: the fact that Kazuma insisted on being so overly flirtatious or the complete naivety of sweet little Yukina towards his infatuation with her.
Some things never change, Kurama thought with a grin as he watched Kuwabara lavish more affection upon Yukina. Then again...he trailed off, feeling the absence of the final member of the Spirit Detective team...some things one hoped wouldn't, do.
"Ahem," Botan cleared her throat, effectively getting everyone's attention, "now that we're all here, let's begin shall we?"
She received a collective nod from around the room. Pulling a scroll from within the sleeve of her kimono she unraveled it revealing an ancient sketching and some text to the others eagerly awaiting an explanation.
"This is a scroll from the great library with Spirit World's castle. Lord Koenma has sent me to reassemble the Spirit Detectives in order to retrieve the item depicted here." she pointed to the enchanted artifact drawn upon the scroll.
"What?!" Yusuke and Kuwabara gasped.
"That toddler's got some nerve summoning me here to go on ANOTHER mission for him!" Yusuke yelled, "I'm out of the spirit detective business now. Retired! I've run enough errands, handled more than my share of cases, now I'm supposed to be able to live a normal life...no strings attached!"
"Shut up dimwit," an old and somewhat peeved voice ordered from the entrance.
"Grandma now is not the time to start with me." Yusuke warned.
Genkai merely cocked an eyebrow at her most recent pupil, "Don't get smart with me Yusuke, even now I can knock you down to size in an instant." The raven-haired fighter seemed to yield at these words (more so out of respect than fear). "Now listen to what she has to say. And know this...regardless of what you may want out of life, there's no greater honor than doing what's right, fighting for what you believe in and those you dare to care about. So never think you're too good to do that, or that you've given all you're obligated to. Only a fool would be so selfish when given such abilities."
Temporarily defeated by his teacher's noble words Yusuke turned back towards the ferry girl, "Alright Botan, you've got my attention. What's up with this item? Has it been stolen?"
"No." Botan answered flatly, "But we fear it's being targeted for theft. You see, recently a new fire demon has taken to terrorizing certain 'hot spots' of Makai."
"Fire demon?" Kurama inquired.
"Hot spots?" Keiko added.
Drawing in a deep breath Botan prepared to explain, "Yes this demon is quite an illusive criminal. He's wanted for several major violations including murder, arson, and thievery. This one's very ruthless you guys. Not much is known about him, only that he is centuries old, prefers to work alone or dispose minion class demons, and that his shady crimes have reached nearly every part of the Demon World. The 'hot spots' he's been targeting are believed to be sites concealing illegal portals to the spirit and human worlds."
"So this maniac's trying to take over all three worlds then?" Kuwabara asked.
"Well obviously," Yusuke snapped, "it's nothing new. We just find him, pound his face in, and turn the creep over to the Spirit World authorities."
"Don't get cocky Yusuke." Genkai scolded, "Or have you forgotten that you're out of practice?"
"Genkai's right Yusuke," Keiko spoke up, "maybe you should train a little while before going on this mission?"
"Keiko!" Yusuke snapped, "You're my fiancée for crying out loud! Shouldn't you be on my side here?!"
Clutching her hands into fist on the hem of her skirt she stood up and stalked over to the smug fighter. With a lightning fast movement she'd managed to slap him face-first to the floor. "I'm just worried about you, you BIG JERK! In case you've forgotten you've already died twice! So excuse me for not wanting to lose you again!"
"She's got a point Yusuke," a very amused Kurama stated.
The fallen 'hero' just muttered curses from his stance on the floor while Kuwabara laughed at his humiliation.
"Serves ya right Urameshi, what an ego!"
"Oh Kazuma," Yukina said softly giving Kuwabara teary eyes of concern, "you weren't planning to go on this case without training first too...were you?"
"Uh, well, I...uh..." the orange haired clod stuttered, he just couldn't disappoint kind hearted Yukina, "Of course not Yukina my sweet! Your Kuwabara will train hard before marching off to face certain danger again! And with my newly honed skills, not to mention the invincible power of our undying love, I will return victorious!!!"
"Yes it's going to be an exceptionally more difficult a task now that we're shy a member." Kurama mumbled to himself.
Overhearing this murmured contemplation Botan's cheery façade dropped and she found herself hastily walking towards the door.
"Botan, where are you going?" Keiko called after her.
"Oh nowhere," the ferry girl lied forcing a grin, "just stepping out for some fresh air is all. It's getting a bit stuffy with so many of us all gathered in one room."
"Oh, okay." Keiko nodded, half accepting her excuse. It's so strange, Botan really hasn't been herself...not since, well...the team split up.
Outside the sun was slowly descending behind the tops of the trees that surrounded the temple of Genkai. Birds sang, crickets chirped, brooks babbled, and all around there was the serene peace of nature. As Botan stood at the edge of the shrine looking out onto the calming scene she could not relax, couldn't become enveloped in the tranquility encompassing her.
"Wow..." a level yet sturdy comment pulled her from her thoughts, "...you must really miss him."
Startled Botan jerked around to lock eyes with the woman watching her with deep concern, "Shizuru, what do you mean? Miss who?"
Not fooled for an instant by the blue-haired woman's feigned innocence Shizuru shook her head, "It's Hiei, Botan. I never even thought he meant that much to you. Or is it that you just don't like the gang being separated now? You had to know it was coming, once all the tournaments and missions were over."
"But they're not over!" Botan found herself protesting. "Yes, I did know the team wouldn't last forever but I never expected them to split up so soon! And now that they're back together I just...I just..."
"...want things to go back to the way they were before." Shizuru finished for her.
Botan nodded, her head low so as to hide her tear-filled eyes from the Kuwabara sister's sight. She was ashamed to be crying, even in front of someone she trusted as much as Shizuru. She just kept hearing Hiei's voice inside her mind, scolding her for showing weakness. "You humans and your pitiful emotions. You allow yourselves to be dominated by heartache, always afraid to lose...never accepting the inevitable, pathetic."
With a heavy sigh Shizuru took a cigarette from the pack stuffed inside her pants' pocket and lit it after walking about three yards or so from the temple. "You know Botan," she called over her shoulder to the sniffling ferry girl, "Hiei had a choice to make: come back to the team, or stay in Makai with Mukuro. And he chose Makai and Mukuro. It's harsh to say, but all the crying in the world won't change that."
"I know," Botan choked out, "but...as much as I hate to admit it, I really miss that obnoxious little fire youkai."
"Hmph, me too." the brunette smiled to herself, gazing off into the picturesque sunset, "We all do."
From a short distance away a solitary figure stood unnoticed amidst the lush greenery of the forest. He had followed the two ladies outside sensing the turmoil in the assistant's heart. Try as she might, her emotions were hard to mask. Just as her happiness and bubbly nature were contagious to those around her, so were her sorrows and uneasiness. The wind picked up, perhaps a storm would sweep through the area before the night was spent? His red bangs were blown across his emerald eyes as he watched the two, hearing their conversation but choosing not to interfere.
Hiei, Kurama pondered sadly as the two females finally retreated back into the temple, it seems as though your departure has left a more notable impression than you could've ever anticipated.
Meanwhile, in Spirit World...
"Lord Koenma," a large blue ogre rapped on the doorframe to the ruler of Rekai's office.
"Yes yes what is it now George?" a blue-clad toddler griped from behind a mound of important documents and files piled upon his desk, "Can't you see I'm busy here?!"
"Um, well Sir, it's just that there's a ferry girl here to see you and-" the ogre babbled.
"What's that? A ferry girl? Is she another new recruit? Well Botan's a bit busy now in Ningekai so she'll just have to wait for training. Oh I know, send her down to Ayame, she'll know what to do." Koenma interrupted while stamping what seemed like the millionth form in the last hour and slinging it in his out box.
"Uh, but Sir, the ferry girl IS Ayame." George mumbled.
"What?!" Koenma's head shot up from behind the mound of paperwork. "Why didn't you say so George?! Send her in immediately!"
Honestly how was he supposed keep the entire Spirit World functioning properly with ogres like George bumbling things up...well, it wasn't like Koenma was going to take fault for such matters. He obviously couldn't look like an amateur after training so long as Prince of Reikai.
A soft spoken woman with a pale complexion, dark hair, and gentle eyes full of wisdom and understanding entered the office offering Koenma a comforting smile. "Hello Lord Koenma sir, thank you for seeing me on such short notice."
"Ayame," Koenma fought back a blush, rulers of Reikai did not blush, it was simply unbecoming...not to mention really really embarrassing! "What brings you here?"
"Well sir I was doing research on the fire demon menace as you requested when I came upon a most interesting piece of information that I thought you should be made aware of." Ayame explained, Koenma (wishing he'd had time to change into his more dashing teenager form) signaled for her to continue, "It seems that this particular demon has ties to one of the Spirit Detectives."
Koenma arched an eyebrow, he didn't like where this was going. "R-really? Need I ask which one?"
"Hiei." Ayame stated bluntly, "The criminal is indeed the Forbidden Child's father."
The young ruler's brow furrowed as he digested this new piece of disturbing information, "Oh no, I'd better contact Botan, the Spirit Detectives are definitely going to want to know about this news."
With a slight bow Ayame turned and was about to leave when she stopped in her tracks, she seemed undecided about whether or not to speak her mind. Koenma made the decision for her, "Was there something else?"
"Lord Koenma sir, I-" her usually calm features were etched in worry, "-I assume you'll be informing Hiei Jaganeshi about this?"
"Of course," Koenma stated, "I think he certainly has a right to know."
"And you don't think this will complicate matters? What if the elder fire youkai seeks out his son...and the twin koorime?" the ferry girl inquired warily.
"Complications are forever arising in these missions Ayame," Koenma responded seriously, "it's best to have everyone prepared to deal with them. Yukina is not a direct descendant of the fire demon, more a traditional offspring of Hina alone because of the koorimes' single-parent reproduction abilities. I see no reason to involve her; still I'm sure Hiei will take such risks into consideration."
"There's one other possible victim to consider," Ayame cautioned, "when I was flipping through the records I came across a recently documented account of the Forbidden Child's , Hina's closest friend and guardian to Yukina, is still alive."
"Yes well there's another reason to fear for her safety." Koenma frowned.
"What's that sir?" Ayame asked, hoping she wasn't prying too much.
Koenma opened a file and pulled a copied image from amongst the documents. "I sent Botan out with a scroll depicting an item which can only be found on the Island of the Koorime." Ayame's eyes widened, this was unexpected, "This artifact is actually a jewel in the shape of an orb, it has the power to grant one complete mastery of their spirit energy. Even when the levels become too extreme for even the highest class fighters to manage the holder of this gem will retain full dominance."
"Let me guess," Ayame sighed, "the koorime are the keepers of this jewel."
Koenma nodded, "The Spirit Detectives have been sent to retrieve it. We believe that the fire youkai will be searching for it, it'll be the second time he's tried."
The ferry girl stared at Koenma in shock, grasping what happened the 'first time', nearly a century ago. "The jewel, it's still amidst the ruins of the floating island?"
Koenma nodded, "Yes, a long time ago a young ice maiden was entrusted with guarding the item. The isolation of the koorimes made it an ideal location for hiding the jewel. You can just imagine what would happen if it were ever to fall into the wrong hands."
"Yes," Ayame agreed grimly, "a virtually unstoppable evil."
Koenma's look was dead serious, "Exactly."
That's the first chapter, there'll be plenty of plot twists throughout. It's sort of my version of what happened after the series ended. Please take time to review, no flames though. Thanks for reading!