Morning Bus
fluorescentpinkfairies

Rating: K+
Warnings: One canon pairing. Alternate pairing, alternate universe. Some swearing. Shower scene! No, no, not what you're thinking. Really. Um. Not a terribly happy ending.
Spoilers: Not really...
Disclaimer: I claim absolutely no ownership of Yu Yu Hakusho. Dammit, too.

--

He saw her every day on the morning bus.

She had short-ish hair, brown, and pretty brown eyes that sparkled in the rising sun's light.

It hadn't been love at first sight. It hadn't been a crush at first sight. Hell, at first sight, he hadn't even paid attention to her. She was just another commuter, just like himself. So he saw her everyday. So what? He saw Rinku and Amanuma everyday, too. Or, well, every three days, at the very least.

He was a teacher. She was a businesswoman. Big deal. They probably had next to nothing in common.

But he saw her every day on the morning bus.

And gradually, his fascination with her grew. One day he would see her talking to a cotton-candy-blue-haired woman who wore a business suit, just like she did. They laughed and chattered and occasionally the blue-haired one would say something to make the other girl blush and laugh uneasily.

Another day, there was a girl with sea green hair, quieter than the previous girl, who obviously didn't work at the same place. But the two of them giggled together like high school girls.

A third day, she sat next to an elderly woman who obviously smoked a lot and who seemed gruff but who gave her younger companion a tender smile once. He came to the conclusion that they must be grandmother and granddaughter, or something else to that effect.

Twice, he saw her with a tall man with bright orange-red hair. They sat together, talking in hushed tones that only gave way to laughter once. But the rest of the time they spent pulling things—papers, in fact—out of their respective briefcases and comparing them.

She got on the bus before he did, and stayed on after he left. Obviously, he had the shorter trip. When the interest first began to blossom in his heart, it bothered him immensely, because it meant that he had less time to study his subject. But gradually, he came to terms with the simple facts of life.

--

It was April by now, and he'd been watching her for close to eight months. It disturbed him slightly that she still held his attention after all this time.

As the months progressed, it seemed, the fewer friends seemed to commute with her. So, every morning, he saw her sitting by the window, her forehead pressed against the plexiglass as the sun rose,beautiful and bright. She seemed almost lonely at times, her eyes staring out at nothing...

By this time, he had begun to realize something rather peculiar. For one thing, there was that strange feeling of excitement as he left for work each moment. He'd mentioned this to Kuronue in jest one morning, and Kuronue had told him that it was either something about his mode of transportation or else he'd completely gone off his rocker. He agreed.

So maybe it was her. Maybe this fascination wasn't just a fascination with some woman he saw on the morning bus every day. Maybe it was a crush.

Could that really be possible? To form a crush on someone he barely knew at all? Was that really the case? Because despite the overall thrill that this gave him, he was severely worried that this was unhealthy, unreasonable, and completely stupid.

Kuronue agreed.

"However."

No. Whenever Kuronue added a 'however', it was most definitely something that he did not want to hear.

"You should go for her."

"No."

"Why not? I mean, it's got to be, what? Three hundred years since you last got laid?" he teased.

"Shut up. Now."

Kuronue pouted, twisting his fingers in the chain of his beloved pendant.

"But it's simple..."

So he took Kuronue's advice.

And he listened to Kuronue's plan.

And he modified it quite a lot.

--

The morning bus wasn't all that crowded this particular morning, but he could see that he would have to stand. Not all that big of a deal. It was good, actually, because she was standing, too, which meant that his job was just a little bit easier.

Just a little bit.

"Sorry," he murmured as he pushed through the people crowding the aisle between the rows of seats. "Sorry," he murmured to her, before moving to stand by the exit.

--

All throughout the day, he was jittery and overly serious. Kuronue kept laughing at him during their lunch break.

"I've never seen you worked up over some girl before," he said, and shoved a forkful of egg salad into his mouth. As he chewed, the fingers of his left hand twisted themselves around the silver chain hanging around his neck.

"Will you stop doing that?" was the irritable response.

"What?"

"Twisting your necklace. It's making me increasingly jittery. And what are you going to do if the chain breaks?"

Kuronue's answer was simple.

"Steal a new one."

--

At home, it was no better. Hiei stayed on the Internet for about three hours, supposedly doing work.

A lie. He knew his roommate was e-mailing the sister he hadn't seen in ages and playing that space invaders game that he'd gotten Hiei hooked on a while back.

"I'm offline, I'm offline. Happy, you jackass?" Hiei muttered, obviously annoyed at his roommate's hovering. He lit a cigarette. "Where's Kuronue?"

"I don't know," was the truthful answer. The shorter man rolled his eyes.

After a short silence: "How was your sister?"

"I was working."

"Really."

"Hn."

--

Another two hours later and the phone had only rung once (Kuronue, telling him to order pizza and quit hovering around the phone).

He was beginning to give up hope. And so, he went to take a shower.

A good ten minutes into it, the phone rang.

As he scrambled to get out, shampoo slipped into his eyes, producing a terrible burning sensationthat caused him to trip over the side of the tub, fall, and hit his head on the tile floor.

Why was he only clumsy when it actually mattered?

--

When he came to, Kuronue was staring down at him and laughing. Hiei, who seemed a bit more concerned (a bit) about the state of his health, threw a towel at him before ordering the tallest of the three to go get the antiseptic and cotton balls.

"Hold on, I've still got shampoo in my hair," he mumbled.

Hiei was thoroughly exasperated and muttered, "Idiot," to the air, as well as something about a concussion.

"Ow!"

He had just discovered the part of his head that he'd fallen on.

He hurried up with the rinsing, came out, and sat on the toilet cover as Hiei patched his forehead up. He hissed when the antiseptic touched the wound, and Hieipunched him on the shoulder.

"Stop being such a baby." The shorter man frowned. "Some girl called for you."

Kuronue began to snicker again.

"I asked if she wanted to leave a message. She asked if you were the redhead she saw on the bus in the mornings. That one-" he motioned to Kuronue, "-told me to say yes. She said she'd meet you at 12:00 in front of the pizza parlour two stops before you get off."

"She knows what stop you get off on." And Kuronue leered, fingering his pendant.

A thought occurred to the redhead.

"Did she say what her name was?"

The other two stared at him. Then at each other. And back to him.

"You don't know her name?"

--

He woke up at 5:15 in the morning, mostly out of habit, though somewhat out of nervousness.

"Go the fuck back to sleep!" Hiei yelled at him from where he was sleeping (or trying to) on the pull-out couch. He just kept rummaging around in the kitchen, looking for the eggs that Kuronue played Easter Bunny with and hid in the oddest places. There was also the matter of the milk, which had long since expired, but that no one had remembered to throw out or get a new carton of.

"I'm going to the supermarket!" he called to Hiei as he slipped on his sneakers.

"And stay there, jackass. It's too early..." was the responding moan.

Naturally, he didn't stay in the supermarket, mainlybecause the managers kept scanning the aisles and watching him as though he would try to steal something.

He'd only done it once. Did they have to keep grudges?

--

So he made himself breakfast after convincing Hiei that he could stay in his room for the remainder of the morning. Naturally, the smell only woke Hiei up even more, because who could resist the scent of pancakes and a bacon-ham-cheese omelet with a side of sausages and toast?

"Damn you... I was trying to go vegetarian," the shorter man muttered, shoving a sausage into his mouth.

"Compliment?" he mumbled around a mouthful of omelet.

"Like hell."

Eventually, Kuronue woke up, as well, and feasted on whatever his two roommates had left behind before going back to sleep.

By 10:45, Hiei was asleep, as well, and he was all alone, jittery, and not knowing exactly what to wear to his rendezvous with the woman on the bus.

Jeans. A T-shirt. And a pair of sneakers. That was what he finally decided on. It was simple, it was easy, and it was comfortable.

It took him an hour to pick it out.

So at 11:45, he was running out the door, grabbing his wallet, watch, and keys as he sprinted to the bus stop four blocks down.

Luckily for him, there was traffic due to a car accident, so he arrived at the stop two stops before the pizza parlour at about 12:05. He decided to run the next few blocks. It would certainly be faster.

At 12:15, he arrived at the block, breathless, sweating, and exhilarated in only a way that nervousness and a good run could ever make him.

There she was, standing in front of the pizza place, glancing at her watch and looking around.

Apologize to her. He would apologize to her for being so late, before they went into the pizza parlour and had a slice or two, got to know each other and-

A young man with dark brown hair, slicked back, came up to her, smiling. She smiled, too, shy but bright and filled with familiarity.

"Hey, Keiko!" he heard the man exclaim. "What're you doing here?"

"Oh, I was waiting for a friend but I guess he's not coming..." she replied, a bit of disappointment creeping into her voice.

"'He'?"

"Oh, don't worry, silly. You know I love you."

The man smiled, wrapping arms around her and pulling her into a kiss.

"Yeah, I know."

And as her arms moved around his neck, the glint of a diamond caught the sun.

--

"What happened?" Kuronue asked animatedly as he turned away from the Saturday afternoon cartoons that he was watching.

"Nothing."

"What the hell do you mean, 'Nothing'?"

He took in a deep breath.

"I mean that she's happily engaged."

"What? Did you even talk to her?"

"No. I think I'm just going to go to sleep."

Kuronue was silent.

"You're really bummed out, aren't you? Well, Hiei's still sleeping. Use my room."

He smiled wanly at his friend.

"Thanks."

--

Monday morning came, and he stumbled out of the house and to the bus stop.

She was there, sitting with her head against the plexiglass and her handbag in the seat next to her. When she caught sight of him, she waved him over. He almost didn't comply.

"You stood me up," she accused. He tried to control his pounding heart.

"I'm sorry about that. My roommate didn't get your number. I had a previous engagement to attend on Saturday."

"Ah. I guess I forgot about that. Well... Hi. I'm Keiko Yukimura." She stretched out her hand to him and he took it, feeling the press of the engagement band into his palm. "Soon to be Keiko Urameshi."

"Congratulations. I'm Shuuichi Minamino. I prefer Kurama."

"Thank you. Kurama, huh? Interesting name."

"Thank you."

"Now let me ask you: When you slipped your number into my pocket, was that some sort of pick-up type of thing?"

"Not really," he lied. "It was just… interesting. I've seen you every work day for eight months and I didn't even know your name."

She smiled brightly at him.

"I agree. So, Kurama, what do you do for a living?"

--

Author's Space

I wanted to see how long I could go without saying his name, even though the entire narrative was about him.

Because I'm currently obsessed with KuramaKeiko stories, but happy endings suck. They don't happen.

Inspiration: The last track on the ATeens' Teen Spirit CD. I don't know the name because someone threw out my CD case. Damn pop group.

This is a one-shot. Please don't tell me to update it or add anything to it.

Thank you so much for reading. Review, critique, rant, flame. If you put it into a C2, please tell me.

Love,

fluorescent

(Revised 10/5/05)