FieryIceKitsune: Hey, here's my new ficcy. It's a Botan/Hiei thing so enjoy. Also, I intend to have other pairings: Yukina/Touya and Kurama/Shizuru. I believe Yusuke/Keiko is a no brainer.
Hiei: People don't need brains to know that? How... intriguing...
FIK: (knocks him out) (thinks) (draws squiggles and hearts on face) that's better.
No… Not again…
The fool, what is he thinking?
I must stop him… If I don't…
NO!! I WILL NOT LOSE ANOTHER FRIEND!!'
Botan raced perilously through turbulent skies, tears blurring her vision. Racing… she was racing against everything: time, fate and even herself: Death. She could feel his soul crying in anguish, trying to release itself from its physical bond, from the pain tormenting him. If she got there too late… he would die.
Howling inside herself, she urged her oar to go faster. Winds ripped past her face, ripping at her hair and jamming into her eyes. Her pink kimono whipped around her, tearing on thorny tree branches, but this did little to slow her. She must get there before it was too late, if she didn't… She couldn't think about the consequences.
"BOTAN!! IN HERE NOW!! EMERGENCY!!!"
Botan raced into Koenma's office two seconds later, worry plastered on her face, her oar thumping to the ground where she had dropped it. Breathing hard, she bowed hastily, noticing a moment later that Koenma wasn't looking at her. Instead, he was scrutinizing the screen behind him, which showed…
"Koenma!! What is that!!??" She half screamed, terror riding like ice water in her veins.
He shot around, finally becoming aware of her presence.
"I need you to get down to Ningenkai now!! What you are seeing is Hiei's Darkness Flame; it is out of control!! If it keeps up much longer, it will destroy him!!"
Botan gasped, her lilac eyes widening to size of saucers. Koenma, noticing her hesitation, slammed his teenaged fist onto his desk.
"Damn it Botan, now is not the time for that!! I'm sending everyone else down there as soon as you get going! He could die Botan, so get moving!!"
Horror spurred her into action, adrenaline rushing through her. She moved like lightening out of Reikai, not caring for the people she shoved out of the way in her haste. Her only constant thought was the picture of flames enveloping the body of the icy-hearted koorime, his arm charred, Jagan and eyes blazing with pain and rage.
She was almost there, the burning trees and smoldering smoke around her a definite sign. Coming upon a clearing, she nearly fell backwards, halting her oar forcefully in order to not soar into a pillar of black flames. Throwing it to the ground, she squinted into the hellhole of fire, trying to find Hiei amongst the swirling aura.
He kneeled not fifteen feet away, the only feature visible on his face being the Jagan, which was glowing a vivid yellow. She could see his once bandaged arm now flaring with the power of the Darkness Flame, his other hand clenching onto the arm just below the elbow.
"Hiei!!" She screamed, hoping her voice would reach him over the ferocity of the flames. For a moment he did nothing, but after a second, he wrenched his face around, his crimson eyes burning with shock and anger.
'Leave me!!' He yelled at her telepathically.
Botan froze. 'Leave you?'
'Yes, baka onna, get away from me!! Let me depart from this world without your abhorrent sorrow blemishing my defeat!!'
'NO!! I will not let you die, Hiei!! Please, stop this madness!!'
'Why should I? I have no reason to be part of this world any longer! My debts are paid and I have no standing with the Reikai Tentai, so why waste my powers living in this wretched humanity!?!' He shot back, twisting his smoldering body away from her.
Botan could feel his soul weakening under the intense stress of the Flame. She had to stop this now, or he would surely perish.
'What about Yukina? Do you not owe her the truth? Or will she die never knowing her brother?! Hiei, you are more than a part of the Tentai: you are our friend!! We care for you, does that mean nothing!?!'
'No… I do not have friends, nor do I need them! Yukina does not need the shame of knowing a creature like me is of her blood. She will be happier without the truth...'
'That's not true, Hiei!! Yukina loves her brother; she loves you!! She does not care for your past, as long as you are alive and well! She will die slowly each day without knowing her brother. She will be in pain everyday until she dies! Do you want her to suffer like that!? I cannot let you put her into such pain… put all of us into such pain!! Please, Hiei-sama, consider this, will you let your baby sister suffer??'
Silence endured for a few moments, Botan clenching her hands tightly as tears streamed down her cheeks, the fire heating her face. Hiei's form twitched, his Jagan dimming for a second as her words sunk into his unstable thoughts. A small sigh came from him, his eyes softening ever so slightly as he looked at her, crimson eyes piercing her amethyst pools.
'Why do you try so hard to save me? I have brought you naught but misery since the beginning. You should hate me, but instead I see none of this within your soul. Your words confuse me, but they are true. I shall die knowing that there was one person still pure of heart. Ja ne, onna.'
"NOOO!!!!!" Botan screamed, watching as Hiei's eyes closed with defeat, his body going limp as the blaze began engulfing his form.
"PLEASE, DON'T GO HIEI!! WE CARE ABOUT YOU… I-I CARE ABOUT YOU!! DON'T LEAVE ME, PLEASE!!!"
Sinking to her knees, she wailed forcefully, her body convulsing with passion and despair. She chocked on the tears, covering her ears as the snapping and hissing of flames drew near to her grief-stricken body.
"No…" She whispered, hugging herself as if her own soul was departing.
Botan sobbed quietly, allowing her desolation take her into the back of her mind.
'Girl… Do you wish my master not to die?'
'W-What? Who are y-you?'
'I am the Jagan, second keeper of the Forbidden Child's soul. Would you do anything to let my master live?'
'I'd die to see that he lived… So that the others don't have to live in torment over his demise…'
'Very well, I can see to it that he lives, but it comes at a dear price, young one.'
Botan shivered despite the heat of the inferno at her back.
'... As you wish…'
A retching force sprung Botan to her knees, pulling her into the firestorm. She cried out in fear, but no harm came to her as she was pulled closer to the still body of Hiei. Upon reaching him, a light enveloped them, thrusting the black dragon back into Hiei's arm. He convulsed, but no sound escaped his ashen lips, his face pallid with the imminent death of his body. Being the Grim Reaper, she saw all the signs of a deceased being, but was silenced by the sudden humming surrounding them. She yelled as the force moved inside her chest, an invisible cold hand gripping her heart. Somewhere in the distant forest, she could hear the shouts of the other members of the Tentai, but it was too late to turn back from her promise.
As if someone had ripped out her soul, she was lifted into the air, shaking with the effort not to faint from the hellish torture within her. Minutes past, and finally she felt a ghostly soul pass by her face, cooling her hot cheeks as it moved pass her and into the koorime below her. As the aching of her body became unbearable, she sensed her body be lowered from the air, gently being placed besides Hiei. With one last effort, she turned her head, and as blackness overrode her vision, saw him gulp in a breath of air as life was restored to him, and then... nothing.
Air rushed into his lungs, making him shoot up in alarm. His heart beat rapidly, showing no signs that he had been dead minutes before.
'What the hell…'
His head shot up, watching guardedly as Kurama, Yusuke and Shizuru emerged from the, literally, roasting forest around him. Kurama and Yusuke's faces looked relieved upon seeing him alive, but clouded when they reached him.
"What the fuck were you thinking Hiei!!?" Yusuke roared; his face was lit with both worry and anger. Hiei ignored him, noticing that Kurama and Shizuru were both staring at him.
"What?" He spat at them.
Kurama approached slowly, Shizuru biting her lip uncharacteristically.
"Hiei, what happened?"
"I tried to die, that's what happened fox." Hiei snorted. "Though it appears it didn't work, now did it?"
Kurama nodded, but his eyes weren't on him.
"I didn't mean you Hiei; we all know what you were attempting minutes ago. I meant… what happened to Botan?"
"The onna? She wasn't-" He stopped, his face paling slightly as he remembered something. Botan had been here, before they had showed up. He recalled his conversation with her, the tears streaming down her face, amethyst eyes glowing with sorrow as she yelled at him when he finally let go of the Dragon. Then… nothing. He just… woke up.
"She was here. That foolish onna tried to stop me." He murmured.
"And succeeded apparently." Shizuru said softly, coming around to his other side. Following her gaze, Hiei looked besides him.
Botan lay besides him, unconscious, but alive. Her clothes were burnt and torn to shreds, her azure tresses in complete disarray. Cheeks, sticky with previous tears, were pale with exhaustion, her form limp and spirit nearly vanished. It was the expression on her face that shocked him the most: relief and acceptance.
"Do you remember what happened, Hiei?" Kurama asked, gently brushing a stray hair from her face.
"Lie." (No) He said, but before he could say anything else, his Jagan began to glow a dark blue, without him telling it to do anything. Inside everyone's head, an image played, beginning with the arrival of Botan, fast forwarding to the conversation she held with his Jagan, then ending with her lowering to the ground as he breathed once again. Shock held the four beings where they were, three pairs of eyes turning to the thunderstruck koorime. Kurama's eyes burned with anger as he rounded on him, pulling him to his feet with a force uncommon to the gentle human side of the kitsune.
"Do you know what the hell you've done to her!?! Damn it all, Hiei, do you understand what happened when she did that!?!"
Hiei glared at the kitsune, but was brought up short when he Kurama growled at him with enough icy fury to stop an army of A-class demons in their tracks.
"No." Hiei muttered, a small amount of shame hanging in the word.
Kurama nearly snarled in irritation, his eyes now gleaming gold, red hair becoming streaked with silver as Youko became dominant in the human's spirit and mind.
"Hiei… let me explain this to you so that you realize what the heck she's done to save you. Your Jagan let her sacrifice herself to keep you alive, so that we wouldn't have to suffer because of your death. The type of sacrifice that she made is completely different from an exchange of life, so that is why she is still among us. Instead, she gave up everything else. Are you getting what I am saying?"
Hiei nodded, his face darkening as realization began to dawn on him.
"So… What did she forego so that Hiei wouldn't die?" Yusuke asked hesitantly from behind them.
This did make Youko snarl, punching his fist into a nearby pine, knocking it to the ground. Shizuru gently touched his shoulder, calming him slightly.
"Her freedom… She gave up her humanity and her freedom Hiei. For you. All of that… for you. She is no longer mortal because of her sacrifice. She has bonded her soul to yours, making her yours and you hers. She will inherit some of your powers, as you will hers. Her life, her wish to become human, is gone. That is what she gave up for you Hiei… You two are now bonded for the rest of your lives."
Hiei stared at the now silent kitsune, a sinking feeling flooding inside of him. He turned to the sleeping Deity, a mutual amount of hesitation and admiration flashing briefly in his ruby tinted eyes. For the first time in his life, Hiei felt something other than gruff respect or annoyance for another person. This girl, this… woman, had done all that… for him? It didn't make sense, why would she do that?
He felt a hand lay on his shoulder, Yusuke's voice calling him from his thoughts.
"What Urameshi?" He grumbled, his face holding a look of complete lost as he looked at Spirit Detective. Yusuke nearly jumped at the look, but felt that this was the only time that the stubborn fire koorime had let his feelings become visible, having had his barriers broken with the one act of friendship. His friend was confused, so he said what he hoped would help.
"Don't hate her for what she did; she didn't do it out of revenge. Damn, Hiei, try
to understand that she did it because she cared, because all she does is worry for everyone, but herself. Please, take care of her. She deserves something other than hatred for caring about you, don't you think?"
Hiei nodded, his arrogance completely vanished, leaving a broken, disorientated and rather human looking demon in his place.
Shizuru looked up from where she was examining Botan, startled that Hiei had spoken to her.
"Do you know where... where the onna lives?"
She nodded, standing. Hiei hesitated for a moment, and then delicately picked up the slumbering Reaper, shifting her physique gently until she rested comfortably in the crook his left arm; his other arm hid beneath his cloak, its burned form still hot from the extreme release of fire. He gazed down at her pale features emotionlessly for a moment and then nodded at Shizuru to show him the way.
As the two left, Yusuke strode over to where Kurama was resting against the burnt trunk of maple, his human side now back in control.
"What do you think, Kurama? I don't know how to react to all this. I mean, Botan and Hiei, bonded? It's just a bit strange."
Kurama shifted his lean figure, his emerald eyes coming to meet Yusuke's cinnamon ones.
"I suppose that there are going to be many changes, especially concerning Hiei's outlook on emotions and attachment to others. As for Botan… I think she'll be the one to help him the most. You heard what she had yelled, yes?"
"Yeah… It was kind of fuzzy, but it sounded sorta like: don't leave… I care… don't leave…"
"Yes, that is what I heard. I believe that our cheerful assistant was harboring more than just respect and friendship for Hiei now that I think about it."
Yusuke kicked at a clump of ashes, his gaze turning towards the stormy skies. The clouds were twisting in shrouds of grays and violets, stretching out across the vast heavens. As a wind picked up, he spotted a hole forming, a ray of moonlight beaming through it. He would have bet that if he was with Hiei now, the beam of light would be descending down onto a sleeping beauty and a not-so-sure-of-himself-anymore koorime. With a smile, he jogged off after the departing Kurama.
As the clearing was deserted, a small shimmer gleamed in the dim light. Right where the pair had been lying laid a small jewel, black as night, but gleaming with a vivid shade blue deep in its core. It glittered innocently in the changing night, twilight's angry skies deepening its color to a midnight shade.
It was a single tear gem… Botan's.
FIK: So... whadya tink?? (big puppy eyes)
FIK: You better hope that was just me hearing you practice your animal noises. (GLARE)
Hiei: (whimpers) (waits until she turns away) (Snorts)
FIK: (glare glare glare GLARE GLARE GLARE!!!!)
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