Hello, I'm back. THANKS FOR ALL THE REVIEWS! Anyways, I wasn't going to continue this story, since I considered the last chapter the ending chapter... (it was sooo good! cough cough) But, since I'm nice, I decided to add a small ending chapter to wrap things up all little more. Actually, I wanted to hook up Shizuru and Kurama more too. LOL. Here's the final, though short, ending of Sacrifice! YEAH!
It was ten past midnight, Christmas Day.
The party, while a load of fun and jolly conversations, had finally begun to quiet down; actually, half of the guests were either sound asleep in some random corner or had decided to party hop. In all, the celebration had been a wonderful success… that is, if it wasn't for the deepening worry filtering into each Detective and friend's gut.
"You don't suppose she went home without telling anyone?" Shizuru murmured, plucking absently at a strand of tinsel. She sat in the green room, lounging on a loveseat half populated by forgotten wrapping paper. Kurama, who stood leaning against a wall, frowned while detaching a piece of tape from his hair; how it got there he'll never know.
"She's not the one to run off from a party. But, in these circumstances, that could be a possibility," he said distractedly. He tugged at the tape frustrated; should he cut it out? Before he could even begin imaging the horrid result of should an act, slender fingers threaded their way through his red locks, combing away loose strands to get to the heart of the problem. He stiffened only slightly, the touch strange to him. Shizuru leaned in closer, inspecting the damage.
"For a man with such nice hair, it's funny how little you can handle it," she murmured teasingly, pulling and then tugging at the tape. Kurama didn't answer. His nose was suddenly invaded by a cloud of a tangy, vibrant scent, distracting him. Silently, he inhaled it, detecting a slight aroma of maple leaves. He was dimly aware of Shizuru's apology as she swiftly pulled the tape out in one good yank, leaving most of his hair intact. She tossed the tape into a bin absently.
"Arigato, Kazuma-san, that was kind of you," he said quickly.
She quirked a half-smile, standing to look at the giant Christmas tree glistening in the corner. Ornaments and lights glittered at her happily, candy canes and gingerbread littered about its long branches. A slight frown came to her face, spotting the drop and deadening of a few branches.
"Didn't anyone water it?" She said to herself, glancing into the trunk holder. One look told her the negative answer.
A warm body pressed up against her back, hazel eyes widening as two arms wrapped languidly around her shoulders. In the person's hands was a seed, now being pressed into her own palm.
"It's not water it needs," Kurama said calmly into her ear. She nodded dazedly as he continued, "A little bit of care perhaps…"
He motioned her to put the seed into the water holder. She did so, unable to move away from him. The human kitsune muttered something under his breath, puffs of breath tickling her ear. She shivered, watching wordlessly. A yellow radiance grew steadily as he continued, a foreign feeling washing over her and down her spine as his calm voice drifted through her like hot sake. Before her eyes, the branches flourished outwards, becoming green again, and moisture froze prettily on the boughs ends.
"Better, don't you think?" Kurama said a few moments later. His arms remained wrapped about her shoulders, his hands now clasped together at her stomach. Shizuru couldn't remember a time where she had been so nervous, so…
His voice changed. It was now low, thick and sharper. Shizuru turned promptly, coming face to face with glittering gold and soft silver. Her heart missed a beat, two, and then became a rapid pattering.
"Youko Kurama…" She muttered, her shock wearing off.
The now kitsune Kurama smirked at her, white ears flicking.
"Hai. I decided to come out and meet the one my human half has come to love. You are quite beautiful after all," he said as his gaze glimmered with satisfaction. Shizuru felt her face light up with a blush, her breath now becoming a silent pant.
"Yes, you are suitable. Indeed, he has a first-rate eye for treasure after all. And intelligent on top of that. Hmm…" Youko went on, humor now changing his stoic exterior into a genuine smile. Before Shizuru could do little but gasp, Youko leaned down and placed a kiss on her lips. Her eyes slid closed in that second, and when he pulled away they fluttered open again. Kurama looked down at her cautiously, the last traces of silver fading from his scarlet locks.
His voice was troubled when he spoke, "I must apologize, Kazuma-san. Youko caught me off guard. He was curious, I—"
Shizuru swooped on him before he could continue; she was finishing what his other half had started, locking her arms around his neck. His surprise was openly felt by the both of them, and then slowly he relaxed and responded to her with a searing flare of eagerness.
She released her grip on his neck slightly, resting her chin on his chest to stare up at him. Kurama's face was relaxed, happy even, emerald jewels shining with unrestrained affection.
"Kurama, do me a favor," she said sternly, twisting out of his hold and taking his hand into her own. His fingers automatically entwined with hers, clasping gently.
"What is that?"
"Don't call me Kazuma-san. I hate being called that."
She led him towards the outside, catching a low chuckle from the kitsune.
"As you wish, Madame. Where are we going?" He asked curiously.
An amused smile flashed back at him, "I just had a feeling. And it has to do with one blue haired deity and one black haired koorime."
From out a door up the corridor, Yusuke and Keiko walked wordlessly, spotting them and hurrying over quickly.
"Yo, Kurama, you seen Botan anywhere? Keiko here won't stop nagging." Yusuke said impatiently.
"That's what we're investigating right now. Shizuru says that both of them are outside somewhere," Kurama answered hurriedly, continuing down the hallway.
Yusuke and Keiko exchanged a worried look, "Both of them? You mean that he is—"
Nobody bothered to answer his question. They had reached the door leading to the outside; Shizuru signaled to all of them to remain silent and then quietly slid open the door.
The fusion of Reason and Time is not cleanly accomplished. Even the most intuitive of political scholars cannot put together the two ubiquities of literature and life, for they stand on their own and rarely stand equally. There is no Reason to why Time cannot be adjusted to the will of humanity; there is no Time to understand all Reason of humankind. They just are; they are obstinate and yet complaint. From the beginning of Time, there has been Reason, not understood, but investigated nonetheless. If a human came to be enlightened with the knowledge of the all Reason, Time would not end, just speed up and continue its undeniable course of beginnings and ends.
There was no Reason, there was no Time. They did not know how, when, why or who, but they did comprehend and were gifted with relief. Relief for what they were witnessing, relief for the future, relief for one another.
It was snowing, lightly, gently, softly snowing. Feathers of ice brushed against warm skin and gave a watery kiss, slowly soaking into winter clothing and hair. The atmosphere, for once so calm, so right, so warm. Despite the late hour, the night sky was ablaze with dark, inexplicable colors: magenta, azure, burgundy, ebony, cobalt, violet. Small puffs of clouds splayed across it, painted by Nature's hand, complimented by the steely blue and green of a woodland backdrop. A perfect picture of harmony, of trust, of reliance, of love sprinkled with forgiveness.
In the midst of it all were two solitary figures, utterly unique by their own standings, different in nearly every way plausible, but joined as one to form a bond eternal. They weren't moving, breathing, but still and soundless. Upon a snow-layered bench laid a deity partly turned youkai; supporting her in a sitting position was a dark koorime now half good. She was lying comfortably across his chest in a trench coat; long legs sprawled out upon frozen metal, tendrils of downy cerulean/black hair fluttering besides her. He sat, leaning back against the seat, arms locked snugly about her waist, the wind playing with spiked ebony, azure, white hair and matching attire.
Their eyes were closed, as if asleep. The four exchanged unexplainable looks, confounded, mystified and bamboozled to no end. As they stared, one crimson eye slid half open, flashed silver, and then gazing at them without irritation. Following it, the other one also opened with the same languid rate. Below him, two brightly lit heliotrope orbs fluttered briefly and then widened once spotting them. Kurama, Shizuru, Keiko and Yusuke uttered nary one word, too busy gawking really. The lounging pair gave one another similar glances, a sly smile spreading upon the koorime's mouth, a grin twinkling on the deity's.
Slowly, emotionlessly, both stood next to one another, looking at their friends questioningly. Yusuke twitched as his mouth opened and closed fish-like; Keiko nudged him. If there were words to explain what was happening, it would be something close to surreal, unexplainable and fantasy. What had happened? Why were those two looking at them like that, at each other for that matter? Kurama made to say something, paused, and then shook his head as a small smirk perched on the ends of his lips.
Botan finally couldn't stand the silence any longer and before she knew it, she was laughing. Her laugh rang throughout the darkened forestry, shivering richly in the air and ricocheting beyond their hearing. The four figures at the door stared for a moment and then Shizuru's chin quivered, shook, and a quiet laugh escaped her. Soon her laughter joined Botan's; Kurama gave in suddenly with a low chuckle. Yusuke and Keiko glanced at one another, gave a pair of silly grins and then they too were laughing heartily. They laughed and laughed, long and healthy chortles of an inexplicable nature. They knew not why they were laughing; there was no reason other than the fact they were and they were happy. Yes, happiness, joy for the season, a new beginning, being together; maybe those were the reasons for their laughter.
Hiei watched them all silently, something glowing softly in his eyes quite unlike anything that had ever been there. Gentle warmth filled his chest, startling him. He gazed down at his hands for a moment, fisting and un-fisting them curiously. Then he looked to the deity besides him, watching her blue, blue hair rain down around a creamy face radiant with delight. For a split second her eyes met his, locking briefly. She smiled, smiled ever so brilliantly she shone even brighter. And at him, of all people, she was smiling at him: with love, with tenderness, with gratitude. It was probably in that moment that the dark koorime, isolated for so long, truly understood and appreciated the meaning of companionship, of friendship and belonging, and love. Love which he had tossed aside uncaringly for so long.
And then he laughed.
No one stopped to marvel at this phenomenon, the strangeness of it all. No one stared or speculated. They accepted, they understood, they were glad. For a long time after that day, they would look back and smile at the sound of him laughing.
All too soon, they calmed, their faces still gleaming and cheery and warm. It was then that Kurama spoke,
"So, Hiei, you have returned to stay?"
The smaller youkai gave him a smirk, "Why do you ask, Fox?"
Before Kurama could give him a reason, Botan playfully batted his shoulder, her face portraying fake anger.
"Oh, don't be difficult for once in your life. Can't you just answer yes?"
He rolled his eyes, "No, I can't. It's not my style," he said turning back to Kurama, "But since you asked me to… Yeah, you could call it that, Fox."
Kurama nodded. Shizuru gave a devious grin and asked, "So when's the marriage you two?"
Botan turned bright red at this, Hiei remaining indifferent, despite the small spark of amusement in his eyes. Yusuke, now confused since he is sometimes quite stupid, butted in,
"You two are… together? Again? I mean, after all that has happened and all."
All of them expected for Botan to answer this question, but to their surprise it was Hiei, who spoke,
"Hn. What do you think, Detective?"
Yusuke grinned, "I take that as a yes then."
Both Botan and Hiei nodded, producing a squeal from Keiko who dashed forwards and hugged Botan,
"Oh! That's so great! I'm so happy for you two!" She cried, dancing around with Botan who abashedly smiled and giggled nervously. Shizuru came over with her own congratulations, declaring that once Keiko was old enough that they celebrate at the nearest bar. Yusuke, Kurama and Hiei watched them, each shaking their heads: 'Women.'
Hiei felt a tap at his shoulder. He turned slightly, finding Yukina and Touya standing behind him, both smiling gently.
"Onii-san, you have come back to us."
Hiei couldn't help but smile a little at her obvious gratefulness, "Hai, I have."
She smiled even more and hugged him suddenly, to Hiei's great shock. Pulling away, she reached into the front of her festive kimono, pulling out a small bundle and placing it into his hand. He glanced at it and looked at her, confused. Opening it, he discovered two rings, one black as night, the other a shining white, each with a space for a jewel to be placed.
"They're for you. Mother wanted you to have them when you finally found someone. I hope Onii-san that you will one day forgive her. She loved you then as much as I do now."
His eyes darkened, silver infusing briefly with the red. Slipping the white colored of the rings into his pocket, he took out Botan's midnight tear gem. Carefully, he placed it in the opening and used a bit of his energy to seal it. Yukina watched quietly, her breath held in her throat. Hiei looked back to her, turned, and as he started to walk away, said,
"Don't worry, Yukina, I have forgiven her."
Yukina suppressed her shout of glee, feeling Touya standing behind her. She turned to him, and giggled as he gave her a small peck on the forehead.
Botan twirled around when she sensed Hiei's presence behind her, smiling tenderly. Keiko and Shizuru chattered behind them, Yusuke and Kurama watching from afar. She observed as he pulled out a ring from his pocket, white as fresh snow. He reached, pulling at the chain about her wrist and took it off. As she remained silent, he placed the jewel into an opening and fused the metal and red tear gem together, removing the other chain when finished. Without another word, he took up her hand and slid the ring onto her finger. Her eyes went wide and sought his immediately. Hiei gave her a smirk and held up his own hand. She gasped at the sight of her own tear gem and quivered.
"Oh… oh Hiei."
Those were the only words she spoke as she flung her arms around his neck, kissing him. Forgetting the presence of the others, Hiei grinned and kissed her back. They pulled away a moment later, staring at one another.
"Hn. Merry Christmas, my ferry girl."
FIK: SOOOO! WHAT DO YOU THINK? Please tell me I did alright, since this chapter was uber shorter than the other ones. Do you all like the ending?
Botan: Do I need to get out 'the whistle'
Hiei: (immediately runs away)
FIK: Please, pretty please review! Guess what! I'm writing another fic! Yeah!
FIK: Stuff it. Anyways, it's a Inuyasha Yu Yu Hakasho crossover, but Hiei/Botan is a definate. Yeah! Lots of fun. It should be longer than this one though. All well. Please tell me if you liked it or not.
REVIEW! Thank you my wonderful reviewers! Flames are welcome. They just end up as foder for the fire in my SOUL! MWA HAHA AHAAHAH!