THE FIRST AND ONLY AUTHOR'S NOTE. READ THIS. PLEASE.
SERIOUSLY. READ THIS.
You're clicking this fic link why? Stop and ponder on why you're going to read a fic that was written five years ago, when the author was thirteen and in the seventh grade. Don't do it. Don't put yourself through that pain.
And if you ARE going to attempt that pain, then please, don't be a douche. I know this fic is not necessarily the best. I wrote it. I improved. I'm STILL improving. I know enough to recognize that this fic is a piece of out-of-character, shoddily written tripe. Don't read it. I'm warning you. Don't read it. Instead, go read the work of some other Yu Yu Hakusho writer that does a better job than me, like, say Mission X. Now that's a good fanfic. This is not.
In fact, the only reason this exists is because it was popular in its time, and I worked very hard on it, and it was the first fic I ever finished. It's like a macabre, rotting trophy that I still keep up. Like how some people keep their Pokemon cards, y'know? Just because it's still up doesn't mean I want constructive criticism on it.
If you're going to help me and give me con-crit, read something that was written in at LEAST the last two years. I love con-crit. On stuff that matters.
EDIT AS OF JUNE 16, 2011: To those of you who have protested my own violent self-criticism at the suck-level of this story, thank you. I want you to know that I appreciate your sentiments a great deal. I also want you to know: if you have read and enjoyed this story, I appreciate you and mean no disrespect toward you as I belittle my own thirteen-year-old lack of powess. Thank you so much for your love and support over the years; I always, always cherish all of you. Love you, readers.
Botan threw back the covers to her large violet bed groggily and rubbed her eyes, digging her toes into the soft, plush carpet that covered her bedroom floor. The smells of juniper and rosemary wafted about, softly fragrancing the room and giving Botan her own unique smell. Her pink eyes were glazed with sleep as she slipped out of bed and down the hall into the bathroom.
The hot shower was glorious on her bed-warmed skin. It made it flush a pink to match her eyes. She stepped out, whipping her cerulean locks to the back of her, linging water in the process. The fluffy blue towel on her skin made her yawn with comfort and she quickly dressed in the previously chosen blue kimono with pink obi to bring out her eyes.
Again, she drifted down the hallway, trailing one lazy hand along the wall as she went, currently lost in the confines of her mind. Coffee was definitely in order. She came into the kitchen and switched on the coffee maker, the mixings having been prepared the night before and set into place. The scent of her hazelnut coffee met her eager nose and she inhaled deeply. She grabbed a cup and poured some milk in, mixing it absent-mindedly. It was this coffee that gave her the jumpstart that got her going in the mornings. Without it, she realized that she would be absolutely and completely lost. She sighed. And it's off to work we go. Hi-ho! Hi-wait...wrong story.
So, with her crazy thoughts about a certain group of dwarves, Botan grabbed her trusty oar and leapt on, knowing that she needed to get out before Koenma decided that he needed her assistance. That, and she could sense lost souls in the area.
She flew through the air, loving the sensation of cool air on her face, hair whipping furiously. No naked eye could see her, not unless she willed it, that was. The ground below her grew smaller and smaller and she flew along, higher and higher. It was a fabulous thing, flying, and Botan did not envy anyone that did not have the gift. She could sense the lost souls nearing and she descended slowly, reveling in the way that her blue kimono sleeves billowed. It seemed to have a magnificently fantastical effect on any of the souls that she encountered.
This time, it was the soul of a teenage girl. The girl watched her with disturbingly empty eyes. Botan resisted the urge to shiver, knowing that spirits were very observant from having heightened senses. Losing the ability to feel generally made everything else sharper. The girl continues to watch, even when Botan bowed and flashed her one of her patented one-hundred watt smiles.
"Hello, there!" Botan greeted the still emotionless spirit. "I am Botan, Guide to the River Styx. I will be helping you crossover into the realm of the spirits on this very fine day. Death is only the beginning, I dare say!" Botan chuckled at her unintentional rhyme.
The spirit watched her listlessly. "Please," it suddenly said, its face darkening with sorrow. "Please, don't take me away from my family. They need me. I need them."
Botan frowned. This would be a hard case and she did not like having to deal with angry or sad souls. It was a very depressing thing. This looked to be a particularly harsh case.
"Oh, dear. Please, do not feel this way. I know that it is hard, but everyone has a time to go, be it soon or be it late. I know that it is hard." Botan's candy eyes were clouded. No matter what, dealing with the lost souls was always a hard thing.
The girl's eyes suddenly hardened. "How would you know? You don't know anything! You are just a ferrier, a guide, a thief! You steal souls like me away from what we love! You have never had nything to love, so you would never ever be able to say to me that you know about it! Never, do you hear me? Never!"
Botan's sighed and shook her head. "It seems to me, dearheart, that you have some unfinished business to take care of in the world of the living. Do not tarry, for with each passing day, your life energy grows weaker, being given back to the world that it was drawn from. To properly rest in peace, you must learn to accept. I will be there when you are ready."
The girl's glare intensified and she was gone, off to some unknown task, to do something equally as unknown. Botan's heart was aching. Something about what that girl had said rang true. She didn't have any experience with love. Or she could not remember it. Her past life was a blur to her. Over the years, it had gradually faded, leaving only brief glimpses of what it had been. Koenma had immediately seen her potential in comforting those that were lost and also her potential in the healing arts and ferrying. Therefore, the job had been offered and accepted. Oh, well, that did not matter now, she was with the Reikai Tantei and she was happy with her position.
Still, though, her heart felt strangely forlorn. She needed time to think. It was not to be though, as a tiny beeping was heard from her waist and she hastily grasped what looked to be a compaq mirror. She flipped it open, to gaze into the face of a chocolate-eyed toddler. His blue pacifier wobbled comically as he spoke to her.
"Botan, I need you to round up all of the Tantei, except for Kuwabara, and bring them to my office. There is a matter that is to be discussed."
"Hai, Koenma-sama. I am on it!" Botan saluted and the image of Koenma disappeared, leaving an ordinary mirror in its wake. Well, there was a couple of places that she knew to look. Kurama would definitely be in school, under the alias of Shuuichi. If Yusuke was not in the arcade, then he would be in school, Keiko having forced him to go. Hiei, well...all she had to do was find Yusuke and have him blow her demon whistle.
She mounted her oar and sped off toward Saryashiki High School. There, she found a red-haired emerald-eyed youth by the name of Minamino Shuuchi, better known by Botan and the Tantei as Kurama and better known to those of demon world as the legendary fox thief, Youko Kurama.
He quickly agreed to go with her, it being his school's luch break and it being that Koenma was his boss. He climbed on the oar behind her and they went to the next place they knew of, the arcade, since Yusuke was not at school. Kurama had to dodge the stinging fury of Botan's powder blue hair as they flew along at breakneck speeds.
The arcade was glowing and full of students that were obviously skipping classes. In the far corner a flash was seen and a glimpse of green could be caught. Botan and Kurama made their way to teh corner. The flash had been light reflecting off of a meticulously gelled head. The green was that of his uniform, one that was actually the wrong color for his school. Oh, well. Upon seeing Botan and Kurama, no words were needed and they left the arcade, making their merry little way to the park in the middle of the city.
"So, Botan, good to see you, again. What's happened in the past twelve hours that we haven't spoken?" The latter part was laced with sarcasm directed at a certain toddler. "I have recently found that I am clairvoyant. So, I'm gonna make a prediction. Let's see..." He closed his eyes and raised his hands, waving them about. "Koenma has a mission!" He declared dramamtically.
Botan laughed cheerily. "Well, actually...Never mind. Let's get Hiei here and I'll tell you what I know so far." She handed Yusuke the demon whistle.
"Okey dokey. No, Kuwabara, though?"
Botan shook her head and shrugged. "Koenma said to just get you three." He nodded and placed the shiny silver whistle to his lips. He blew hard, no sound seeming to come out. Kurama immediately covered his ears, however, as if there was something that only he could hear.
Soon enough, a flash of light on metal caught the group's eyes and the whistle in Yusuke's mouthfell to the ground in two pieces. They looked up to see Hiei rubbing his ears.
"That thing is highly annoying," he remarked dryly at their stares. Yusuke burst into laughter. It was a little funny, but Yusuke being himself, laughed at just about everything. So, it didn't really matter.
Hiei rolled his eyes and Kurama just smiled warmly. Botan brought her hand down in a sweeping gesture and a portal appeared, the colors swirling ominously. The portals always did look a little twisted and Botan preferred her oar, even if the portals were highly convenient. They all stepped in, one after the other, Botan and Hiei last. Hiei just because he hated being first, and Botan just because she liked to make sure that everyone got in safely.
Then, they were in Koenma's office. Koenma was busily stamping papers. Botan sighed and cleared her throat loudly, several times.
"Koenma," she said. No answer. "Koenma!" she cried. "KOENMA!" she bellowed in his ear, causing the other occupants in the room to wince. He still didn't look up, too engrossed in his work.
"Okay, sir, you've forced me into this!" she said sternly. Botan reached down slowly and planted her hands firmly on the little blue pacifier in his mouth. She tugged and out it came with a pop. He looked up suddenly, eyes watering.
"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! BOTAN! GIVE IT BACK! GIVE IT BACK!" He was jumping up and down for the pacifier and Botan held it above his head.
"Koenma, be quiet! Sit down and listen and maybe I'll give it to you!" she snapped. "I've had a trying day and I AM NOT IN THE MOOD!" Yusuke and Kurama gaped while Hiei's eyes widened fractionally. They had never really seen Botan angry before. She had been angry, but only playfully. This was rather strange. Koenma immediately quieted and sat back in his chair, looking at her warily. She handed him the pacifier and he sucked on it noisily.
"Well, since I need a nap and some me-time and I really don't care what this new, inane, undoubtedly life-threatening mission will be, I am going to go to my room in this castle. If you need me, please hesitate to ask." She stalked off, eyebrow twitching irritably. They all stared.
"What the heck's gotten into her?" Koenma muttered.
Yusuke looked scared. "Sheesh, she's worse than Keiko and I didn't think that was even possible." He thrust his hands into his pockets and continued to mumble to himself. Koenma cleared his throat.
"Well, the reason that I have called you here is probably easy to guess. What officially starts tonight at midnight?"
Yusuke shrugged. "Keep Planet Earth Clean Week?"
Koenma rolled his eyes. "No, you idiot. It's-"
"-Demon mating season," Kurama interjected. Yusuke stared.
"Eh...and this is relevant, why?"
"Normally, it wouldn't be, Yusuke. But," Koenma lifted an eyebrow. "This season, the full moon coincides with it."
"Point, please, toddler." Yusuke was getting impatient.
"My point is," Koenma shot Yusuke a glare. "That because of the full moon, this year demon mating season will be very, er...how shall I say this...a bit wild."
Yusuke burst into laughter, but then quitened at Koenma's glare. Koenma continued. "Instincts will be...harder to ignore. Normally, Hiei and Kurama an easily overcome these urges. But, becasue if the full moon, I think that it would be best if we contained you until the week of demon mating season ends."
Hiei and Kurama both looked displeased. Hiei was the one to speak up. "Koenma, do you honestly take us to be that weak? I think that we are more than capable of handling demon mating season."
Kurama slowly shook his head. "No, Hiei. I don't like this, either, but Youko has just informed me that the last time this happened, he was only eighteen and it was harder than anything. Let's just say that some human and demon girls alike better be glad that they did not come across his path."
"So," Yusuke asked hesitantly. "What's gonna happen to me?"
Koenma looked a little relieved. "Well, because you are only a tenth demon, you will only seem a little more perverted than usual. So, it is yours and Kuwabara's job to make sure that no one gets taken by weaker demons. I realize that you may not be able to prevent all of the...assaults...but, do your best. Hiei and Kurama, we have arranged rooms for you. They will be locked at midnight. You will find your accomodations...strange, but they will be good. JORGE!"
A blue ogre bustled into the room, bowing low to Koenma. Koenma nodded in acknowledgement. "Jorge, take Hiei and Kurama to their rooms. I will see Yusuke out." The ogre nodded and scurried out the door, Hiei and Kurama following. They sensed a portal open in the office that they were leaving and knew that Yusuke was being sent home. They traveled down many winding corridors, until they came to one. At the end were two doors, directly across the hall from each other. One door was deep midnight-blue and the other door was ivy-green. Hiei took the blue one and Kurama took the green one. It was going to be a long week.
Botan woke with a start. She had been dreaming about the spirit from earlier that day. For some reason, this bothered her immensely. What that girl had said, it was nagging at her mind. That was not why she had awakened. She had awakened because...she really had to go to the bathroom. She jumped up. Of all the things that Koenma had thought of for her room, a bathroom had not been one of them. She could never seem to find the blasted thing.
She ran out the door and through endless hallways. Her glowing digital watch told her that it was 11:45 P.M. Almost midnight. She ran for about ten minutes until coming to the hallway that resembled that of the bathroom. She saw the blue door and rushed to it, hopping through. It was, to her dismay, not the bathroom. It was a room, alright. But it wasn't the bathroom. It was really dark and her eyes were having trouble adjusting. She knew that this was not the bathroom though, because of dim shapes that she could make out. Her watch now read 11: 58 P.M. She jumped as a gleam caught her eye.
Botan turned slowly and saw that there were two red eyes staring at her from the darkness. She screamed and backed up toward the door, only to hear it a lock click behind her. She screamed again and beat upon the door.
"Dammit, onna! Will you be quiet!" A light came on and she whirled to see Hiei, perched on a large, soft-looking bed, in a far corner of the room. She let out a breath of relief.
"Oh, it's only you, Hiei. Sorry, your eyes scared the heck out of me. They are pretty eerie in the dark."
"Thanks," he replied dryly. "Now, get out of my room."
She looked at him and then turned around and twisted the doorknob in her hands. "Well...you see...the problem is...I can't."