Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho, and this chapter is the only one I'm saying it in, because this is also a disclaimer for all the others.
I had this idea before I came onto fanfiction, so it's about time I got around to doing it. And, this fic is strictly for times when I have writers block.
Kurama sat at his desk with a pencil in his hand, twirling around and around in an attempt to get his thoughts working in much the same way. It was late, and usually by this time his homework was already finished, but his mother had wanted the whole family to go out to eat, thus leaving many things unfinished, one being the homework previously mentioned.
Outside a stillness was in the air, like the calm before a storm. That was impossible, though, because no clouds were massing in the distance, and the smell of rain was not in the air. The sickle moon shone through his drapes, only to be stopped by the lamplight bouncing through the room.
His potted plants rose up slightly, stiffer, somehow, as though waiting for something to happen. He took this in and stiffened before continuing on the math problem.
As he wrote down the answer his pencil broke. Its tip flew off and landed neatly with a flourish and a flip in the wastepaper basket. Kurama blinked, then sighed and reached for his exacto knife to sharpen the pencil.
The window opened in a gush of wind, and two seconds later there was Botan, her pink kimono slightly off center and amethyst eyes blazing. "Kurama," she yelled practically in his ears.
He signaled her frantically to be quiet, before checking if his mother was going to come to see what the racket was. You see, the only reason his mother had wanted to go, and asked him, was she thought he was done with his homework.
The coast seemed to be clear, and his body sagged slightly with relief. "Please, Botan, try to be more quiet," he said, softly.
"Sorry," she whispered. "I wasn't thinking. But this is important."
Kurama frowned. "Something stolen, or someone killed?"
"Killed," she said firmly. "A demon by the name of Lichen is killing some, I mean, many humans. At least, we think so." She hesitated here. "They just disappeared, and we don't know where they are!" She wailed while Kurama tried to be sympathetic and shut her up at the same time.
"It's okay, but wouldn't you know if they were to die? He's not a soul eating demon, is he?"
"It's a her," Botan mumbled, "But that's another problem!" Her voice started rising again as Kurama waved his hands frantically. "We don't have any record of her, not even of her being born," she whispered. "So we can't be sure what is done with them, only that it's best to assume the worst."
"You should go get Yusuke," his calm voice broke through her thoughts of an unpleasant and gruesome death. Meanwhile he was thinking Do we ever have much (if any) information on these people?
"Oh yeah!" She yelled before summoning her oar (that had somehow disappeared during this brief monologue and the author hadn't deemed it worthy enough to write that little fact down) and flying away before Kurama could do more than give a halfhearted glare that nobody saw.
There was the muffled pitter-patter of feet and then a knock at his door. "Kurama, is everything all right?" his mother called softly through the door.
"Yes, everything is okay," he answered truthfully, for things weren't all right, but they could be worse.
His mother went back to bed, her footsteps retreating into the hallway where she so often walked. Kurama cast a glance at his unfinished homework. True, he only had seven problems left, but as there were considerably less than seventy problems he could expect at least a C.
With that thought in mind he turned off his light and opened the door warily to the hall. His mother's soft breathing could be heard through the door. Kurama walked down the stairs to get his shoes to go to the Makai.
Hiei sagged against the tree in a rare show of tiredness. It had been a boring day for him, but the lack of activity itself was tiring. His mind was in a more sluggish stage, and drowsy. As no one was around, however, he didn't really care.
He blinked, and Kurama was in the clearing. He had a brief shiver, then it subsided.
"Yusuke and Kuwabara aren't here yet?"
Hiei glared before pointing out the obvious. "No."
"Well, I suppose we could wait," said Kurama while leaning against the same tree. Hiei ignored him but kept his eyes open, albeit halfway.
Hiei and Kurama looked over at the two humans, Kuwabara twitching on the ground.
"Hello Yusuke . . . Kuwabara. . . ."
"Yoh! S'up?" Yusuke stretched his arms above his head. There was a pause, then, "How are you here?"
"What?" Kurama looked startled.
"Well, when Botan came to get me she was all worried because she realized she hadn't told you where to meet us." Hiei turned to stare as Kuwabara got up shakily. "So, how'd you get here?"
". . . I don't know. . . ."
Hiei rolled his eyes. "Lets just go." He glared at Kuwabara who took no notice.
"Where?" Kuwabara looked confused.
Hiei's eyebrows disappeared under his headband in a mocking way. He flickered down in a moment and pulled away a bush. On the other side a cave was carved into a hillside (as beyond the forest was a field) just five feet away.
". . ."
"That was easy," Yusuke smiled, strolling towards the cave with mutterings along the lines of, "Hope she's strong . . . so boring . . . no way this should take less than two minutes. . . ."
Kuwabara walked over to Kurama, thinking him the least likely to laugh at him. "Hey, who are we fighting again?"
Kurama sighed inwardly. "A female demon named Lichen-"
"I will NOT fight a girl!" Kurama rubbed his ears.
"Think of it this way: Yukina won't get hurt as long as you kill this demon." He glanced over to find Kuwabara's gaze was starry eyed in wonder.
I better finish this quick. Maybe, when I get back, I can finish a few more problems. Kurama nodded to himself. That was a good plan.
They came upon Yusuke looking at the split cave and Hiei leaning against a wall, bored expression on his face. Even so, there was a slight glow behind the white headband.
"The right," he muttered to himself, but Yusuke heard.
"Hurry up!" he yelled back from his position ahead, disappearing around the corner. The other people watched that blank space for a moment before hearing cursing.
Kurama jogged over. Yusuke was looking at another division with a full hearted glare. Kurama took the right one, as Hiei said.
They kept going the correct direction with Hiei, who had flickered over because he didn't want to be associated with the "baka."
When they finally entered a room of sorts it was dark, dank, and all other creepy words starting with the letter 'D'. There was even the feel of death there, and why was apparent immediately.
Bodies littered the floor, bloody and dry. Heads were cut off, and on every one there was a hole in suspiciously the same place as the heart. Men, women, and children's heads were stacked up in three different piles in the far corner, blank eyes staring, some glossed over with pain. The glassy gaze was disconcerting, but not unheard of to any of the detectives.
Kuwabara caught up, gasping for breath. He stopped dead (forgive the pun) once he saw the ruination. There seemed to be nothing he could do, except mutter, "Damn."
"Quite," Kurama agreed. He didn't like Yusuke's reaction, though. The bad boy/gangster looked heart broken almost, and his aura climbed to great heights, like the time when he'd thought Kuwabara was dead.
"I'll kill her," he said with rage.
In a blur Hiei moved to the side to avoid the roof from crashing down on him. Kurama didn't have to, as only sections of the roof came down. The dust settled after rising, and he coughed a little.
The granite like rock was smooth, with no footholds for a fly. He looked to the left at the passage that twisted out of sight. Oh . . . a maze.
Isn't life wonderful sometimes? They'd just gotten out of one to be stuck in another. How original.
Kurama made the safe choice to go all left after moving all right. It was dizzying, to be sure, but effective . . . until he came to a four way intersection. There hadn't been anything like this in the other maze. Now, with two left choices, he had to stop and ponder. Which way, which way?
"The middle," came a murmur from behind. He whirled to face glaring red eyes like a monster children had in nightmares.
"Thank you, Hiei." Hiei 'hn'd, walking past without another word.
Yusuke blinked at the slab in front of him, anger dwindling away. That wasn't there before. . . .
Kurama sighed lightly, pushing open the great doors before him with Hiei's help. Getting to the end of the maze wasn't hard, but opening the door was.
"I don't think we're welcome here," Kurama panted.
Hiei gave an animalistic growl, his arm covered in a black fire in preparation for the Black Dragon.
The doors creaked open, their redwood surface gleaming duly.
The two demons stared.
Kuwabara was walking around. There was nothing peculiar in walking, but the place he was walking in was. The slimy walls dripping of perspiration with spiders clinging onto any dry place, snails oozing along without a care.
He walked with an air of being-afraid, Kuwabara's footsteps echoing against the walls of his entrapment. His nose banged against something rather hard and he fell backward onto his butt.
He cursed at the wall, but it was quite used to this behavior and didn't deem it necessary to move, not even when the male punched it, falling backwards again and coming up with quite a few original things to call it.
Oh, how the wall loved its life. Though it grew a little worried when a glowing sword appeared in the boy's hands.
Hiei and Kurama watched as a lady with green hair was looking at a mirror doing her best imitation of a scary laugh . . . that wasn't very good.
"Bwuahahahahahah-" choke, gag! "Oh, damn!" She seemed to realize she wasn't alone for at that moment she turned around. She looked at them with dull green eyes, blinking for a moment. "Aaaaaaaaah! You're you! And you!" She pointed to each of them in turn, eyes wide.
Hiei and Kurama simultaneously blinked.
"But you will not get me!" Hiei made the guess that she had mental issues. "I will devour your souls! And then, I will put a curse on Yusuke and Kuwabara!" Unstable, too. "And, I will keep your heads on a podium to worship!" Really unstable. "Bwuahahahahahahah-"
Kurama whipped out his rose whip, slicing through the demon that had Koenma so worried. As the body fell, he noticed that Lichen still seemed to be alive, a horrified and angry expression changing to one that wanted revenge.
Then it was gone. The look was dull, and couldn't be more dead. Still, Kurama felt a shiver go through him for no apparent reason.
"Thank you," Hiei said, sounding relieved. But only slightly. In fact, it's better to just say he sounded normal . . . and that he didn't actually say thank you at all, and that Kurama only imagined him saying it because he could read the ever-so-subtle shifts in body language. "Hn."
That made Kurama smile. "Maybe next time," he chuckled.
There was a brief burning sensation in the back of his mind. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, then nothing. A darkness so profound it would have scared him if he had realized what was happening.