Rose woke up to an empty bed, and a wonderful smell coming from the kitchen. Her brain not functioning yet, she assumed Ame was making breakfast…until she realized Kurama's shirt was on her. She quickly pulled on cloth shorts and peeked around the hallway corner.

"Kitsune no yoo?" She purred.

"Hai, Rose. Did you sleep well? I hadn't realized I made you so tired." Kurama snickered and grabbed her in a possessive…butt squeeze.

"Pervert even in the morning…oh joy."

"It's noon, love." The fox began nipping her neck and attempting to tease her shirt off. "Ame left early so we have the apartment all to ourselves…"

"Kurama, I'm hungry. Wait until after I eat." Rose pulled him off and served herself. "Are you that much of a sex addict? You'll starve me to death."

"I would never!" Laughing, Kurama leaned over her from behind and rubbed her shoulders. "You try being celibate for 18 years…it isn't easy for a youko."

"Drop it." Rose muttered, finishing quickly. "I have to go to work. You have to go home."

"Come out with me again tonight?"

"I'm working all night this week."

"What about school? You've just started and you'll be ruining your record."

"What record? Besides, it was only a cover to kill you…so I don't need it. And I do need to clear things up with someone in Makai. I'll be back by next Sunday." She shoveled the food into her mouth and gulped down the juice, ignoring the milk. "Thanks for the meal. But I hate milk."

"Did you taste it?"

"Yes." She kissed him quickly and went down the hall. "I'll say bye before I leave, so sit in the living room."

Kurama shrugged and washed the dish before doing as asked. Rose was going to be very angry when he told her Koenma's news. He went back over the scene in his mind, very content with the outcome.

!!Flash Back!!

Koenma called Kurama to come into the living room of Rose's apartment early in the morning, before the sun had been close to making an appearance.

"Kurama, I'm sure you already know Rose is the Death Rose?" He asked. His thumbs twitching nervously in his clasped hands as he leaned forward in the armchair facing Kurama on the couch.

"Hai. My heartbeat apparently saved my life." Kurama chuckled, remembering Rose's "hidden" blush.

"How is yours different?"

"I have a small, almost impossible to detect murmur. The doctor only discovered it because my heart was racing. I had no idea what a doctor did at the time, and was anticipating something may be, discovered." The fox explained. "It's no threat as long as I'm healthy and don't force my heart more than my body can handle."

"I'm glad. Now, on the matter at hand. You must keep Rose under surveillance. Her next target is a ningen businessman with Makai dealings. He must be kept alive, and nothing stops the Death Rose," Kurama paused, a coy smile forming under his pacifier. "Except you, if Arzu is to be taken seriously."

"Who is 'Arzu'?" Kurama asked, raising an eyebrow and smirking suggestively.

"A goddess, more precisely the goddess of love. Aphrodite, Venus, whatever you wish to call her. This isn't the topic though. She only said you and Rose are meant to be together." Koenma sighed. "I'm not supposed to tell you."

"I'll never say a word about it. Though something about Rose makes me feel wild again…" A scary, feral smirk and dangerous glint in his eyes graced Kurama's features. "I'll keep her busy, I promise."

"Kurama, I could never doubt you." Koenma disappeared in the blink of an eye, and Kurama decided to sleep a little more before getting up for good.

!!End Flash Back!!

"Rose, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't go to Makai." Kurama stood in the doorway of his lover's bedroom, bracing for the worst.

"Why not? You'll survive a week of celibacy." Rose shrugged, pulling a pair of overalls on.

"No, Koenma has ordered you stay. You can't kill the business man or clear up any business in Makai." He moved to stand in front of her, grabbing her arms tightly. "And I'd like to remind you I marked you as my mate last night."

"So you think I have to do everything you say?" Rose growled; then yipped when Kurama's grip tightened.

"Rose, I have only known you two days but I know you are my only. I'm asking you to stay in respect of our mating, because you marked me too."

Rose glared, then shrugged and leaned on him. "Alright. But you owe me."

"That suits me just fine, my lovely little rose."

((Yusuke's P.O.V.))

"Urameshi…Urameshi?" Kuwabara's waving a hand in front of my face, and I smack it away. He was telling me something but going way around the forest to do it when I saw a girl I know with bright pink hair get off a bus. She ties a purple bandana over her hair and looks around.

"It's Bubble-Gum." I stand up, and run over to her. "Bubble-Gum!"

She turns, sees me, and smiles. I grab her and hug her as tight as I can without breaking any bones and we laugh.

"I can't believe you still have the balls to call me that!" She pulled away enough so we're still holding each other, but away enough to look into each other's eyes. They're still the same bright green. "My name is Midori, right?"

"I know. But you're still bubble-gum pink. I can't help it." I grinned, and then leaned my head down so our foreheads were touching. "I've missed you so much."

"Me too." That was it. We kissed and it felt just like it did when we were 13, but better because this time we'd stay together. "You're with Keiko." It wasn't a question.

"Used to be. She left me for someone else half a year after we married. She couldn't take me leaving all the time for….my job."

"That's such a lie. Gran told me you're a demon." Bubble-gum rolled her eyes and walked towards where Kuwabara was. "Hey, Kuwa. You and Yusuke playing nice now?"

"Yeah. Are you staying long?" I sat between them and wrapped my arm around her shoulders.

"Actually, I got a job here as a dojo instructor. I'm planning to stay in Tokyo permanently." I grinned and kissed her cheek.

"Do you have a place yet?" I asked. She shook her head no. "You're staying with me then."

"Yusuke! That's not right, you haven't seen each other in years!"

"So?" Bubble-gum shrugged. "He still owes me a year of servitude from our bet."

"True. So, you don't mind sharing a bed, do you?" I grin.

"Is it clean? As in, no hand job stains?" She frowned and Kuwa got up.

"Okay then, I'm gone." Kuwa grabbed his backpack and walked over to me. "I was trying to tell you I'm gay and if you don't like it stay the fuck away from me."

"WHAT?!?" I fell out of my chair and quickly jumped up to grab Kuwabara's retreating back. "Get back here and tell em why the fuck you're playing for the other team now!!"

"I got a boyfriend. Girls are irritating. Blame Kagami, that egotistical little kutabatchime." He sneered and pulled away. "Problem?"

"No. You're still my best friend as long as you never have a crush on me." I joked.

"You don't even have a good personality on your side Yusuke. No gay guy would ever want you." Kuwabara laughed, and I laughed too.

"That's good! Thanks for the compliment."

((Botan's P.O.V.))

I am soooo over reacting. I need to calm down and think it over. I need to calm down and think about this.

Jin asked me out on a ningen date. We changed it to a picnic in Makai. I bring some food, he brings some, we enjoy the day and…..

"And I reeeeeeally hopes he kisses me!" I sigh. I loved his bright red hair so much. And he cheerfulness, and the way his ears twitch, and we both love flying around.

"Botan! You're date is here!" One of the other ferry girls pokes her head in my room and laughs. "If things don't work out between you, can I date him?"

"That's a big if." I grab my picnic basket and head out. Jin grabs me around the waist and kisses me. Full…On…The…Lips.

"Let's go, then!" He starts flying though the halls and we end up in Makai at a really pretty field. He throws out a blanket and hands my a little bag. "Onigiri. I made 'em myself! Though Touya was awful eager ta make 'em hisself. Say I can't cook."

"I'm sure their fine, Jin." I smile and began placing out what I brought. "I have rice, some sushi, and sandwiches."

Half an hour later, we're laying back on the blanket and looking at the clouds, trying to see pictures in them. I spotted a cat and a flower, he pointed out a dragon and a ferry girl. I think he make the wind blow a cloud into that shape, because it had been my flower a moment ago.

"There's a heart." He tucked an arm around me and pulled me closer, and I put my head on his chest.

"You used the wind to make that, didn't you." I laughed and looked up at him. His ears twitched, so so so so so cute! And he blushed which was even cuter.

"Aye, I really like ya Botan." He pulled me up towards him and I couldn't think of anything to say. "Do you really like me?"

"Yes." I whispered.

"Can I kiss ya again then?"

I only nodded.

((Shiori's P.O.V.))

I was pacing in the living room, trying to think of what I could do. Shuuichi hadn't come home last night. He hadn't called or told me yesterday what he would do after his date. I was thrilled he had finally taken interest in a girl, but to be gone all night? That was so unlike him it unnerved me.

True, he had always been independent. He never cried, never whined or begged or asked for toys like any other children. I wanted him to need me, but he did everything on his own as soon as he could walk. Then when I fell and cut my arms……he started to need me. I think it's ironic, he never needed me before, but after that he pretended he needed me and began acting more like a child.

((Doorbell))

I jumped in my skin and sent a quick prayer to heaven it wasn't someone to tell me my son was dead. When I pulled open the door, Shuuichi in his clothes from last night and a young black haired girl in overalls and red t-shirt stepped in.

"Shuuichi! Where have you been! I was so worried about you." I scolded, pulling him into a hug. He hugged me back and I felt him smile.

"I'm sorry, Mother. I meant to call but Rose distracted me all night and this morning." He laughed and Rose glared.

"Is it my fault you're—" She stopped mid sentence and looked at her nails. They were long and sharp, polished to a crystal shine. Very much like Shuuichi's, which he kept well trimmed. "Never mind…I'm Rose Kasumi. Kur—Shuuichi's girlfriend."

"It's nice to meet you. I'm his mother, obviously. Would you like some tea with me?" I smiled and she did too. The same fake smile Shuuichi has when he dislikes something.

"I hate tea, actually. Could I just have water, Minamino-san?"

"Please, call me Shiori. Of course, come in the kitchen and I'd love to hear all about you."

Two hours later Rose left and I pulled my son onto the couch with me.

"Shuuichi, I'm thrilled your dating, but that girl is hiding a lot more than she admits. I don't know if you—"

"Mother, I appreciate your concern. But I love her. I know we are meant to be and I have every intention of marrying her by this time next year." He hugged me and rested his head on my shoulder. I held him back, stroking his hair. "Please believe me when I say Rose is the best woman I could hope for."

"I do. I do believe you, just please don't grow-up too fast on me. I'm losing you in a year already." I started to cry and he squeezed me tighter.

"I can live here when I go to University, so you'll have 5 more years with me around, I promise."

My independent little boy, why do you have to hide so much from me?