Botan had slipped on her nightgown and was padding lazily into the kitchen when the door to the suite burst open with a crash and Koenma ran in, brandishing a pitchfork.

"Hiei! If you've laid one hand on Botan, I swear I'll—"

"You'll what?" Botan interjected, her foot tapping impatiently as she slowly crossed her arms over her chest. Her pink eyes were narrowed.

"Botan!" he exclaimed. "I…who…what…where's Hiei?"

The question was answered by a growling yawn from the bed.

"Here, Toddler."

Koenma glared in his direction and saw that Hiei was shirtless. "What's been going on here?" he asked, wide-eyed.

Hiei flickered out of sight and into sight, this time with his arms wrapped around Botan's waist and his head on her shoulder. She squealed delightedly as he grabbed her.

"What do you think has been going on?" He smirked.


Koenma promptly passed out.

Botan disengaged herself from her lover's arms and walked over to Koenma's prone teenage form. She prodded his body with her foot.

"Are you sure that was the best way to handle this?"

"No, but it was the most effective," Hiei answered, without a blink.

"Isn't the most effective the best?"

"Not always."

Hiei took the death deity's hand and led the way out the door, into the currently almost empty hallways of Reikai palace. Hiei was still only wearing pants and Botan was in her nightgown, but Hiei didn't seem to mind. A blue ogre ran by suddenly, and stopped dead at the sight of them, one eye twitching. His mouth dropped open at their linked hands and he suddenly threw his papers up into a whirlwind of documents. When they settled, he was out cold on the floor.

Botan lifted an eyebrow and Hiei rolled his eyes very, very slowly. He was surrounded by idiots.

"Is passing out in a dead faint going to be the only reaction we get from everyone?" Botan wondered aloud.

"I'm going to assume that was a rhetorical question," Hiei said, looking at her from the corner of his eyes. Botan sighed.

"Let's go then."

Hiei nodded, then, on sudden impulse, scooped Botan up and sped down the hall, with her shrieking in surprise the whole time.


"Now, we have to approach this carefully, Hiei. You don't want Yusuke and Kuwabara jumping you. Do remember that they are very protective of me."

Hiei growled. "The fool will do nothing to harm me and the Detective knows better than to try anything. You are my mate, not theirs."

Botan rolled her eyes and knocked on the door to Genkai's dojo. They had flown by oar to reach Ningenkai. Yusuke and the others had most likely already sensed their arrival. The door opened on the third knock and Yukina ushered them in, a secretive smile on her pretty face as she glanced between the two in rapid succession. Botan figured that the ice maiden could sense the new bond between the fire youkai and the ferry girl.

"I see there have been some changes." Hiei nodded solemnly as they entered the sitting area.

Yusuke and Kuwabara were collapsed on the couch, heads rolled back and eye closed in exhaustion.

"What have you two been doing all this time?" Botan asked.

Genkai shot Botan a look from her place on a cushion on the floor. "I could ask you the same question," she hinted, smirking as she glanced in Hiei's direction. Botan flushed and Hiei scowled at the old woman.
"Not another word, old woman."

Yusuke's head rose slowly, and he blinked several times, as if to gain his bearings. "Not another word about what?" he asked slowly, suspiciously.

Botan cleared her throat, shuffling her feet a bit and drawing a circle with her toe. Hiei smirked. This gave Yusuke cause for alarm. "Wait…what are you smirking about? Hiei?"

Kuwabara had begun to look between the two of them suspiciously. Genkai sighed heavily. "Fine, I'll tell you since they are both reluctant to do so, it seems. Hiei and Botan seem to have…mated."

"WHAT!" the twin the shouts echoed about the dojo. Kuwabara and Yusuke stared.

"Well, at least they didn't faint," Botan said, smiling nervously.

"You…the shrimp…the dirty deed?" Kuwabara spluttered.

Yusuke seemed to stare for a moment more and then shrugged, letting his head fall back against the couch again. "Never knew you had it in you, Hiei. Gotta give ya props, man. I'm too tired to really care right now." Kuwabara just continued to stare.

Suddenly, something hit Botan. "Hey…where's Kurama?"

Yusuke, Yukina, Genkai, and Kuwabara shot each other looks in front of the diminutive demon and the not-so-grim reaper.

"Well…about that…" Yusuke began.


Botan whipped out her communicator and opened it up. She snapped it closed after examining it for a few moments. Hiei looked at her questioningly.

"Something I have to take care of. I'll see you in a bit."


Botan tilted the handle of her oar down, lowering toward the ground. It was a familiar spot. Haunting eyes greeted her from a corporeal form.

"I see you're ready to move on to the next life, then," Botan said to the soul of the teenaged girl. It was the soul. She nodded.

"You've settled everything you needed?"

"Yes. I wanted to…apologize for some of the things I said to you before."

"No need," Botan said. "It was true. But I know something now. I know what love is. And I know that without what I have now, I would be angry too."

The soul smiled at her, holding out a hand. Botan took it, intending to lead her to Reikai where she belonged.

After that, she would find out about this Kurama thing. Curious and curiouser.