The Christmas Wish
Disclaimer: I do not own YYH.
AN: 'ello, all! I am here to bless you with yet another Christmas KB one-shot! I don't know. I haven't had my fill of them yet...
Have a Merry Christmas!
The chill breeze caressed her lithe, petite form and showered her with snowflakes as she raced through the air toward her destination. Joy registered on her face as she spotted her friends and loved ones.
"Botan!" Keiko and Yukina ran forward as she touched down. They embraced her, squeezing the life from her until she had to choke out that she couldn't breathe in between laughs. "We're so happy to see you, Botan-chan!"
"I could tell." Ever since the Dark Tournament incident, they had been very close. Shizuru and Kuwabara had yet to arrive, she noticed.
Then again, Shizuru-chan always does love to be fashionably late...
Yuusuke waved to her and gestured that she come closer. She did so and noticed that he was afraid of slipping on an icy patch on the roof. She summoned her oar again and floated up, helping him with the lights. Genkai's temple had a cheery air about it and she liked the feeling.
"Thanks, B. You're a real life-saver, y'know?" He laughed airily, grinning from ear-to-ear. She wasn't about to say anything about her job so she just remained quiet and smiled back at him. Then she gave him a ride down from the roof.
"It looks good, you guys." She said, her eyes sparkling with awe. This season and holiday always amazed her to no end.
"Thanks. Kurama, Hiei, and I worked on it all morning. Getting our koorime to help was a chore enough."
"But eventually, Yuusuke cheated and called in the reinforcement." Kurama chuckled and nodded his head toward Yukina.
"You're kidding!" Botan broke into a fit of laughter. "I always thought he wouldn't do it for anything or anyone!"
"Shut up, baka onna." Hiei growled, grabbing the front of her jacket and pulling her to his level. He narrowed his eyes murderously. "That's all I need is to hear your high-pitched, annoying voice-"
"Hiei, be nice." Yukina put her hands on her hips and frowned. "It's Christmas, you know. At least be civil." The little ice koorime had made a breakthrough with her timidness. She really frowned down on anyone being disrespectful in her presence. Hiei let out his infamous 'hn' and let go of the nervous ferry girl.
"Watch your back, onna." He spat out coldly as he left to find himself a tree to sit in. Botan straightened herself up and crossed her arms.
"Well, I think I know who is getting coal in their stocking." She mumbled, causing Yuusuke to chuckle.
"We missed you." He gave her a light punch on the shoulder. "What, with that disappearing act last week until now?" Botan's eyes went to the white, snow-covered ground.
"I'm sorry if I made you worry." She sighed. "But I had to get away from Ningenkai."
"Do you remember what happened that night, Botan?" Kurama asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.
"I-I'm not quite so sure if what I think happened really did happen..." She moved the snow around on the ground. "I am quite ashamed of myself."
"If you're not sure then what are you worried about?" Yukina asked, oblivious to the story. Keiko blinked. She wasn't so sure, either.
"I wonder what was in that fog at that place..."
"I-It was probably nothing." Botan looked up but wouldn't look at Kurama. The kitsune frowned at this. "Whatever happened to all of us could have been a dream and nothing more. How do we know it was real?"
"That fog was filled with a certain pollen from a plant that I know well." He said, taking in every one of them with his calm gaze. "It was a mission for fools and we should not have gone without the proper equipment."
"What was it, Kurama?" Botan asked, her small form trembling with fear.
"That plant is Makai's most desired ingredient in many things. Mostly, however, demons use it in courting rituals and mating stages. It is said to draw out your most deepest desires... and make you perform them. Naturally, if your desire is to rule the world, this would have no effect. It is only to draw out your desire for the person you love deeply." Her eyes widened and she stared at him in disbelief. "And it gives the female a higher chance of pregnancy."
N-No... T-This isn't right... I-I am not supposed to love anyone but... I broke Enma-sama's rules. Koenma-sama is coming later on! I-What am I going to do!?
She closed her eyes tightly then turned around and ran. Kurama chased her, giving the others a glance that made them stay where they were. He knew exactly where she was going. Through the woods and towards the tree on the hill beyond it.
He knew exactly what happened but he couldn't have stopped it if he'd wanted to. It was what he had wanted. But this was not how he wanted it to happen. He ran as fast as he could, eventually catching up to her. He ran up behind her and pulled her into his arms, running to the tree as fast as he was able. She clutched his shirt, her petite body trembling with silent sobs as she fought back tears. It was the day of Christmas Eve and they had all planned on waking up to Christmas Day together. They had it all planned out. They wanted to be happy. She wanted to be happy. Now, this mistake of falling in love with him could jeopardize her very existence. As soon as he got to the tree, he sat down with her still held tightly in his arms.
"Botan... I just wanted to-"
"No, Kurama... You don't understand!" She pulled away from him and kneeled just feet from him. "I would give anything..." His chest tightened. "I would give anything to be able to love you. But I can't. I am a ferry girl and you are a demon. I am a ningen spirit and you are a demon. Enma-sama strictly told me that he would banish me if I ever got attached to anyone romantically. He told it to all ferry girls. He would send me to where I would never be able to see you again." She was shaking violently now. Her amethyst eyes were dim and tear-filled. "I-I don't want that to happen. Never..." She reached out a small, delicate hand and cupped his cheek with it, her thumb running lightly across his lips. "I hate that look on your face. It is enough to be by your side, even as just a friend and to see you smile. I would never do anything to take that away."
"Botan, I-" She shook her head and removed her hand from his face.
"I don't want you to say anything. Kurama, if I am..." She could not speak the word and he knew what word she was talking about. She took a deep breath. "If I am pregnant, he will know. He will keep me in Reikai until the baby is born then kill it and banish me away."
"I do not want you banished. I will not allow you to be taken away."
"Do you think that will matter to Enma-sama? He will not care." She stood up with a little difficulty and steadied herself before taking a step down the hill. She paused but did not turn to look at him. "However, I will never be sorry for what did happen. It was all I had ever wanted." He stood up and felt himself begin to seethe with fury. No one would take her from him. Not now. Not ever. He went forward and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind, pulling her back into his chest.
"I will never be sorry, either." He whispered in her ear. Suddenly, he got an idea. He knew exactly what he wanted from Reikai for Christmas. And he had done more than enough to deserve it. He saved Koenma's ass enough to deserve it. Koenma had stated that everyone from the team would get one wish granted, some limits involved. He let go of her and took her hand in his. "At least let us enjoy this while we can." She smiled slightly and squeezed his hand. Then she nodded and they started off to join the others.
Yuusuke sat on the top step with his arms around Keiko's shoulders, who sat one step lower. She leaned back into his chest and sighed.
"What if... What would we tell them?"
"We're in our senior year, Keiko. Besides, is it really so bad? I'll just get a job to support you." He rested his chin in her hair. "Though, with my reputation, I doubt if anyone would hire me."
"My parents would. They need help with the shop, Yuusuke. They're getting old and they want me to take it over." She bit her lip. "They love you so they wouldn't be completely upset. It's just that we..." She trailed off. "We're not married."
"Big deal. It isn't like I'm going to ditch you and leave you to take care of it. And besides, we don't even know if you are pregnant." She felt glad to know that he would always be there for her, no matter what. "I don't even know why you insisted on going."
"Because..." She mumbled. "I feel left out when you leave."
"Well, you could have been killed. We're lucky that Hiei didn't have any desires. Kuwabara helped him out some because Yukina wasn't with us to distract him." She lifted her hand and held tightly onto one of his.
"What will your mother say?"
"She'll probably lecture me about getting a job. But we don't know for sure yet so don't say anything. We'll let it slide until you're certain."
"All right." Keiko felt Yuusuke stiffen and get up. She turned around and noticed Kurama and Botan walking silently side-by-side.
"What's going on, you guys?" He asked, causing Botan to flinch.
"I-I may be..." The ferry girl trailed off, looking up at him. The two had always been close. Yuusuke liked Botan and was very protective of her. The Spirit Detective's eyes grew wide. Keiko stood up and walked up next to Yuusuke, though slightly behind him. Unfortunately, at that moment, Koenma decided to arrive with George at his side. Botan's heart sank and she paled. Kurama frowned.
She knows something more that she has not told me.
Then again, she didn't need to tell him. He could sense it if he wished. He would need a moment to do it, however.
"Uh... Kurama, can you come with me to the kitchen to prepare hot cocoa?" She grabbed his arm and dashed inside, dragging him along. She closed the door behind them and then went to the cupboards.
"Botan, hold still for a moment." He turned her around and set one hand on her stomach, concentrating. She froze. His hand emitted a slight green glow and a small smile graced his lips. He could sense it even though it was quite small. "It seems that you are-"
"Don't say it out loud." She whispered, looking down. "Not while Koenma-sama is here." Then she turned around and began making the hot cocoa.
"You are not upset at me?" He asked quietly. She stopped and sighed.
"No, Kurama. Why would I be? It really wasn't... by choice." He frowned. She said nothing more but tried to gain her composure. She had to make her mask believable and she had to keep calm.
Botan laughed, blowing gently on her second cup of cocoa. She sat between Keiko and Yukina and Shizuru was right next to Keiko. The boys all lounged on the furniture.
"And then Kuwabara-kun fell in the river, dragging Yuu-kun with him!" Botan gasped for breath because she was laughing so hard.
"All over a few squirrels?" Koenma asked, covering his mouth, trying not to laugh. Everyone nodded. Keiko giggled and shook her head.
"And that isn't even the end of the chase!" Everyone tried their best to quiet down and hear the rest. "Yuusuke threw a rock at one and at least three of them attacked him."
"Dammit, they bite hard!" Yuusuke said, slouching and looking miffed.
"Well, duh, Yuusuke. Of course they bite hard when you run around flailing your arms around like an idiot. That makes them just hold on tighter." Botan rolled her eyes, which made Yuusuke stick his tongue out at her.
"Mmm... We should really be starting to put our things under the tree. C'mon." Shizuru stood up and began going upstairs.
"Ohmigosh!" Keiko cried, her eyes widening. "Y-You..." Botan bit her lip and put her finger over the brunette's mouth.
"Yes, Kurama confirmed it." She sighed and sat down, putting her face in her hands. "I don't know what to do."
"I understand what you're saying..." Keiko sat down next to her. "I could be in the same boat."
"No, Keiko." Botan looked over at the girl. "My child will not survive and I will be sent away. Enma-sama told all of the ferry girls that we can never love anyone."
"I-It's difficult to explain. You see, we are spirits, free to love and hate but we cannot act upon them or it shall be our doom. It is hopeless, just like love from someone alive for a ghost." Keiko frowned. She then sighed. But she knew that she couldn't simply continue talking about it.
"How do demons tell if women are pregnant?"
"Their spirit energy lets off a signal and babies have very faint spirit energy but it responds. All the demon has to do is touch your stomach for a moment and wait for it."
"But... do we all have spirit energy?"
"Yes, but the baby will have a mixed one. A demon can sense yours and if you are with child, there will be a different signature inside."
"Or, they could tell by scent. But not right in the beginning."
"Told me that it was certain."
"Can he tell me?"
"I-I suppose he would be able to." The door swung open and Shizuru and Yukina came in with the rest of the gang behind them.
"We've got popcorn, hot cocoa, enough Christmas movies to build the Eiffel Tower, and plenty of reasons to fall asleep." Botan and Keiko sweat-dropped and exchanged glances.
"Oh boy. I can hardly wait." Botan muttered, her voice low and her tone sarcastic.
"Those better not all be chick flicks, Shizuru." Yuusuke was still trying to wrestle the bag from her hands.
"Back off, kid!" She barked, growling challengingly at him. "Do you really believe that I would pick out chick flicks? That stuff's for Keiko." Keiko jumped up and hit Shizuru with the pillow she had grabbed.
"That is not fair! I do not get chick flicks... much!" Everyone laughed, watching as Shizuru blocked her face and hair from the offending pillow attack.
"Anyway... getting on with what I was saying, we've got plenty of movies so do your things while I get everything ready." The older brunette stated.
"Kurama? Can I talk to you?" Botan asked, pushing him out the door while gesturing to Keiko. "Yuusuke, you come too." They all went downstairs into the kitchen and looked at Botan. "We've established that I am with child." She said quietly to Yuusuke. "Keiko wants to know if she is and Kurama can tell." The kitsune nodded and looked at Keiko.
"Hold still a moment, if you would." He pressed his hand against her stomach and the same green glow appeared that Botan had seen before when he had checked with her. Then it faded.
"Kurama? Is..." Yuusuke asked, an anxious feeling in his stomach.
"Congratulations, you two." Keiko threw her arms around the kitsune and thanked him for letting them know. "It was no trouble, Keiko."
"Well... we had best get going upstairs before the others think we got lost, right, Yuusuke?" The brunette let go of Kurama and dragged Yuusuke out of the room. Botan felt tears sting her eyes. Envy and shame flooded her mind.
She gets to live with her child and her parents will not condemn her for what she has done. But how come ferry girls do?
She saw Kurama gaze at her with longing in his eyes. She knew that if she was not a ferry girl, they could be together. He walked toward her.
"I know what you're thinking. Are you just going to give up the fight?" She stared at him in shock.
"What fight, Kurama?" She narrowed her eyes at him. "There is no fight against the rules of Reikai." She knew he was upset, she knew he wanted to fight for it. It made her feel better. "I don't care if I am sent away. As long as I know that our child will be with you and not harmed. Fight for that." The anger in his eyes faded and he pulled her to him in a warm embrace.
"Be with me, if only for the months of your pregnancy." He whispered. She could not deny him that and she knew it. "I will care for you as best as I can." She looked up at him.
What should I do? I can't tell her now. She will find out my wish tomorrow.
He leaned down and kissed her quickly and softly. She closed her eyes tightly to prevent her tears from escaping.
I'm not supposed to cry on Christmas Eve.
She then pulled away from him and backed into the counter. Her hand flew to her mouth and she gingerly touched her lips. He smiled at her and walked out of the kitchen, whistling a Christmas tune. She stared after him. Someone entered and she saw Koenma stare at her with an odd look on his face.
"He seemed happy." He raised a brow at her and she relaxed. "Are you okay?" She allowed small smile to come to her face.
"I'm fine. It is Christmas Eve, after all."
"Come on, then. Let's get moving upst-"
"Botan, get your carcass up here!" Shizuru shouted. Botan started laughing and ran from the kitchen.
This is my last chance to be happy. I shouldn't be depressed right now. I shouldn't cry. Now it is time to laugh while I can.
"Wake up, dammit!" Yuusuke was standing in the middle of the room, a scowl on his face. Botan lifted her pillow and threw it at him.
"Shut up and go to sleep." She mumbled, pulling her blanket over her head. Keiko was asleep on her left, Yukina on her right, and Shizuru near her head. The guys were on the other side of the room. The only one awake was Yuusuke, whom was acting like a five year old.
"Come on! It's five in the morning, Yuusuke." Koenma complained.
"You little twerp! It's Christmas! Did you hear me!? It's Christmas!" The boy scowled. Hiei, who was asleep on the window sill, stood up and walked over to him.
"If you don't lay down and go back to sleep, I will tie you up and gag you then stuff you in the closet. And you had better hope that I remember you are in there."
"Well, someone's got coal in their stocking."
Botan poured the hot water in the cups on the tray and then added the cocoa mix to them and stirred. She smiled and took the bag of mini marshmallows and added a few to each cup. Then she lifted the tray and balanced it as she went out to the living room. Genkai had just arrived and was just taking off her coat.
"Genkai! Come join us, I've got hot cocoa!" She said cheerfully, setting it down on the coffee table.
"Thanks, Botan!" Yuusuke dove for it and was the first to get a cup. He put his arm around her shoulders after he took a sip. "Wonderful."
"Thanks, Yuu-kun." Her cheeks turned pink and she grinned. "What do you say that we open our gifts?"
"I like your thinking!" The Spirit Detective stated with a laugh. After about ten minutes, they were all smiling and hugging each other, thanking each profusely for the gifts.
"Now, it is time for Reikai's gifts. I promised you all that you would get one wish." Koenma smiled and looked at them. "Who's first?"
"May I?" Kurama asked, his eyes taking them in. Yuusuke, Kuwabara, Genkai, and Hiei all nodded. He then cleared his throat. "I know it may be against one of the rules of Reikai but I am willing to do anything for this wish." Koenma stared at him. "I wish that one certain ferry girl be granted her life. So that I may live and die with her." Botan stared at him in disbelief, her eyes wide.
"What ferry girl would this be?" Koenma raised a brow, knowing exactly who he was indicationg.
"Well... You are correct in assuming that it would break a rule. And also that your wishes were supposed to be within limits." Koenma closed his eyes. Yuusuke looked at the kitsune and Hiei did the same. They noticed a determination and longing in his eyes. Hiei smirked.
This is what the kitsune wants, this is what he gets. Besides, the ferry onna deserves to be happy just as much.
"Koenma, if I could have my wish?" The koorime stepped forward and looked at the prince.
"I wish for the same as the kitsune."
"Me too." Yuusuke smiled and put his hand on Kurama's shoulder. "He's saved your ass plenty. He deserves it more than anything. And so does Botan."
"I can't just-"
"So do I, Koenma." Kuwabara stated seriously. Genkai knew she had a wish coming, also. Koenma had told her. She had no idea what she wanted and she could see now that Botan meant a lot to them.
"As do I." The old woman stepped forward. "I am getting old now and I want another student to keep dimwit on his feet."
"But-" Botan walked forward and gripped Kurama's hand in her own.
"Koenma-sama, I broke two of Reikai's rules." She looked downright ashamed. "I fell in love when Enma-sama told me not to. And on the last mission... Koenma-sama, what I'm trying to say is that I'm pregnant... and the baby is Kurama's." Almost everyone's eyes widened dramatically. Kurama clutched her hand.
"I heard what happens to ferry girls who break those rules, Koenma. And I will not allow it to happen to her. You have a chance to save her and the unborn from their fate."
"What will happen?" Hiei asked, his eyes blazing.
"My child will be killed and I will be banished from the three worlds forever." The koorime felt an anger he had not felt in a long while.
"What kind of-"
"Hiei." Kurama sent him a sharp look. Yuusuke was trying his hardest not to kill Koenma, as well. Kuwabara frowned. Yukina gasped in horror and hid her face in Shizuru's shoulder. The older girl looked ready to murder everyone in Reikai.
"Who made up that stupid rule?" Yuusuke asked, his piercing gaze on his boss.
"My father's parents. That is why he warns the girls not to do such a-"
"Why does the child get killed?" Hiei asked, a bitter tone in his voice.
"Because it is to prove to others that we may not have children. It is punishment to the mother and father of the child for breaking a rule." Botan stated, hiding her eyes in her bangs.
"But the child didn't do anything!"
"If it were half ningen, it will not be killed, Yuusuke." She looked over at Hiei. "A child with any part of demon blood in her or him will be very powerful. Too powerful for anyone to control it. I am a ningen spirit and I am only spirit energy or Reiki. I am a pure soul which is power in itself. But the balance will be perfect if the child had any demon in him, which would cause its power to be greater than all of three worlds combined."
"Why would the balance matter?"
"Demon souls are either pure evil or pure good. But ningens can have both. If a ningen soul, such as what I am, is evil and the demon is evil, then the balance will be tipped to evil. If the demon was once evil, it will remain as such. So, our baby will be perfectly balanced between purity and evil." She leaned her head on Kurama's shoulder. "The soul is a powerful thing."
"But then how can you have the baby?" Keiko asked.
"If I were to become ningen, it would be just a normal half-demon." Botan looked up at Kurama. "I had no idea... that you had this in mind."
"What you said yesterday... I realized that I would do the same. Anything."
"Kurama..." She whispered. Koenma cleared his throat.
"I don't know if my father will approve. However, you all wished for it. I cannot refuse. Botan, you are sentenced to live out your punishment here on Ningenkai with Kurama. When he dies, so will you and vice versa. And, in becoming a ningen, your child will be spared of the fate it was originally intended." She stared at him as he smiled at her. "Be happy, all right?" He walked forward and put his hand over head. She closed her eyes and felt warmth spread through her body. Then Koenma stepped away. She opened her eyes and ran forward, embracing him.
"Thank you, Koenma-sama." He blinked rapidly and patted her back. Then he pulled away from her and looked at Kurama.
"You take good care of her." He looked at George and the two departed. Botan then looked at all of them.
"Thank all of you so much. You gave up your chances for something you probably wanted."
"Makai is not as important as I made it seem." Hiei stated coldly. "Besides, you accepted me, even when you knew that I could kill you or betray you at any given moment. That says something." He looked at Kurama. "And you are my friend and partner. I could not see your child getting killed and your mate-to-be banished."
"Thank you, Hiei." Kurama smiled. "And thank you guys, too."
"Well, I had nothing better to wish for, anyway." The three said in unison. Botan then ran into Kurama's warm embrace, which was where she would spend the rest of her life.
Christmas is not about the gifts, the money, nor the material possessions. It is about love, family, and life. It is meant to show others just how much they mean to you.
Merry Christmas to all of you! This is my second gift to you on this holiday, including Snowflakes. It is all I can give. I hope you like them!
-Jess a.k.a MysticBluAngel