Peneia Teke: Hey! This is my first attempt writing in the fandom of YuYu Hakusho, so I hope you like it!
Note: this story takes place before the Dark Tournament. Botan has her own apartment in Human World and her own human body, though she is unable to summon her oar when she's in this form.
The following quote inspired me to write this:
"Yes, tell them I'm her brother. I'll rather enjoy torturing you to death." –Hiei
Disclaimer: I don't own YuYu Hakusho.
Thinking or dream sequence
It was a cold, blustery evening in Human World, where the Spirit Detectives were having a get together at Genkai's shrine. Yusuke, Kuwabara, Keiko, and Kurama were sitting on the living room floor, playing cards; Botan and Shizuru were relaxing on the couch; and Genkai and Yukina were in the kitchen.
"Two aces," Kuwabara said, laying two of his cards down in a small pile in the middle of their living circle, doing his best to put on a poker face.
Yusuke studied him for a moment. "Bull shit."
"Aw, man!" Kuwabara exclaimed, throwing his hands up in exasperation, "That's like three times in a row!"
"Yeah, you really suck at this game," Yusuke grinned as he gathered up the cards and handed them to his orange haired friend; a Queen of hearts and seven of spades included. "One two."
"I'm afraid I'll have to call you on that one, Yusuke," Kurama said in mock seriousness, "Bs."
Yusuke groaned. "Yeah, yeah. Nothing gets pass you." He picked up his card and shoved it back into his hand. "At least I only have to take one," he said, raising a mocking eyebrow at Kuwabara.
"Whatever, Urameshi. I could beat you if I really wanted, but this game's stupid. Oh hey, Yukina!" Momentarily forgetting his grudge against the Spirit Detective, Kuwabara jumped up to meet the ice maiden.
"Hello, Kazuma," she smiled, "is your game going well?"
"Of course, my love!" he said, taking her hands in his. "And now that you're here, I'll win for sure!" Yukina gave him a shy smile, unsure of what to make of his antics.
"Yeah, if by winning you mean getting stuck with the entire deck," Shizuru muttered sarcastically.
Yukina looked slightly confused. "I thought the object of the game was to get rid of your cards."
Kuwabara chuckled and rubbed his neck nervously. "He he …. My sister's such a kidder! I only collected all the cards so I'd know if Urameshi was lying."
Yusuke rolled his eyes. "Riiiiiiiight. Keep tellin' yourself that, Kuwabara."
"If you morons are finished screwing around, we can start eating," Genkai said from the doorway; hands behind her back in her trademark posture. "I for one don't enjoy cold food."
"Oh, boy!" Kuwabara immediately abandoned his cards and headed in the direction of the kitchen. "I'm starving!"
"Heh. You just don't want to lose in front of Yukina," Yusuke replied.
"Shut it, Urameshi!"
"Yusuke, stop being such a jerk!" Keiko exclaimed at the same time, slapping said Spirit Detective upside the head.
"Ouch! Hey! What the heck was that for!" he demanded angrily, pulling himself off the floor. She glared at him.
"Wait," Yukina said softly. "Where's Hiei? Is he not coming?"
"Now that you mention it I haven't seen him all evening," Botan added.
"I wouldn't worry too much," Kurama replied. "He goes by his own agenda. He'll come if he thinks it's worth his while."
"Yeah, sure." Yusuke snorted. "My guess is he's probably asleep in a tree somewhere."
"Oh," Yukina murmured in slight disappointed. "I was hoping he'd join us for dinner."
Kuwabara looked cross. "Feh! He'd probably just insult us and act all moody like he always does. We're better off without him."
"Kuwabara!" Botan scolded with her hands on her hips. "That's not a very nice thing to say!"
"What? It's true!"
"Well, whether it's true or not, he's still your teammate, so you could at least try to get along with him, especially considering he's Yukina's bro-I mean…" Botan immediately clamped a hand over her mouth and made a few feeble attempts to cough. That was close!
"Huh? What was that, Botan?" Kuwabara asked suspiciously.
"Oh, nothing!" she said quickly. "Uh, why don't we eat? The food smells delicious!"
"Wait, what do you know that I don't?" he asked, a frown crossing his features.
"Would you just drop it, Kuwabara?" Yusuke intervened. "She didn't mean anything. Relax."
"I dunno…" he trailed off.
"Hey, um, Hiei isn't Yukina's brother or something, is he?" Keiko asked hesitantly.
Botan tripped over her feet and fell to the floor.
"Of course he's not," Shizuru said airily, covering for Botan and glaring at the brown haired girl, "What on earth would give you that idea?"
"Oh. I just thought…" Keiko looked around in confusion.
Everyone except Kuwabara and Keiko glanced over at Yukina. Her eyes were wide in shock and surprise. "Hiei?" she murmured quietly.
Shizuru was about to speak again, but Botan held up a hand to stop her. She let out a deep breath. "Yes, it's true. Hiei's your brother. Don't give me that look, Yusuke. She deserves to know the truth."
"….Hey, wait! Did everyone know about this except me?" Kuwabara blurted out suddenly. "Come on! I thought I told you I don't like being kept in the dark!"
"Why would Hiei want you to know, dufus?" Yusuke snapped. "Besides, the only way any of us found out was from the video that you didn't hang around long enough to see the end of."
"Oh." Kuwabara looked annoyed. "Well, excuse me for not wanting my beloved Yukina to suffer under the hands of those greedy demons. Maybe I should be more cold and unfeeling like you, Urameshi."
"Hey, it's a rep I've spent a long time building," Yusuke retorted.
While they glared daggers at each other, Botan and Yukina's conversation had picked up again. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way," the blue haired deity smiled apologetically at the ice maiden, "but Hiei didn't really want you to know…um, at all."
Botan's face fell slightly. "…I'm not sure. He said something about you hating him for being a criminal."
Yukina looked down at the floor. "…Oh, I see…" she said softly, "I know he's lived on his own for most of his life. It must have been hard, and it's probably my fault... I could never hate him for what he's been through."
"Oh, you mustn't blame yourself like that, Sweetie, Hiei really cares about you." Botan said encouragingly, "He wouldn't want you to feel guilty."
"…So… so, Hiei really is Yukina's brother?" Keiko asked slowly. "That's… hard to believe." She'd only been half serious when she'd asked the question the first time.
"I agree," Kurama answered, "Those two are so different it's hard to imagine they're of any relation at all." Then he added to no one in particular, "I wonder how Hiei will fare with his greatest secret out in the open. There's no doubt he'll discover the truth soon. I'd be surprised if he has not already."
At the last comment, Botan froze. There was a tingling at the back of her mind, and she was suddenly filled with an ominous feeling of dread. Crap. Hiei's going to kill me! For a moment she wondered if he'd been serious about all those death threats.
Kurama cocked his head and watched as Botan's faced contorted with worry; she began fidgeting nervously with her hands. Smiling, he put a comforting hand on her shoulder. He had a feeling he knew exactly what was going through her head. "Don't worry, Botan. It was an accident, nothing more."
She looked up startled. "Wha? How'd you…?"
"You're easy to read."
"Oh." There was a pause, and Botan looked down and bit her lip. "I can't believe how stupid I am. Hiei's going to be furious…" She glanced worriedly at Kurama. "…But… Yukina would have found out eventually, right?"
He nodded. "Yes, I believe in time she would have, though under slightly more favorable-conditions, I'm sure."
Instead of looking relieved, Botan put her head in her hands. "Uuuugh… Kurama, what am I going to do! You can't exactly say Hiei's the most understanding guy ever…"
Kurama chuckled softly. "True. I'll speak with him tomorrow on your behalf if it makes you feel better. I'm sure he'll just need some time to cool off."
The ferry girl smiled warmly at her friend and felt as if a weight had been lifted from her chest. "Could you do that, Kurama? I'd really appreciate it!"
The Kitsune nodded and gently squeezed her shoulder. "As you wish."
A few jokes and several attempts at urging Yukina into confronting her brother later, the incident died down and everyone went back to having fun. It was dark by the time the party had ended, and Botan made her way to her tiny apartment two blocks from Kurama's house.
The Kitsune had been kind enough to offer his services in helping Botan search for an apartment in Human World while Koenma had taken care of the costs, so Botan could enjoy her independence in her new human body. What a great bunch of friends she had!
She sighed as she dug around in her pockets for her key. The temperature had dropped several degrees, and a harsh wind whipped her blue hair back and forth. Her ears picked up the distant rumble of thunder, and a cold chill ran down her spine. Though she knew she should be in a good mood from the time she'd spent with her friends that evening, she couldn't help but feel a little uneasy. She'd felt as though she was being followed since leaving Genkai's Temple.
Finally finding her key, she quickly flung open the door and hurried into the small entrance room that also doubled as a kitchen. A bathroom was immediately to her left, and she could see her bedroom at the end of the hallway connecting to the entrance room. Two large windows overlooked the street. Botan sighed in relief as she shut the door and locked it behind her. Placing her keys on the kitchen table, she reached for the light switch and flipped it on. Nothing happened. She tried again only to receive the same effect.
Great, the electricity's out. Why does this have to happen, now? She was already jumpy from having to walk home by herself and from her overactive imagination playing tricks on her. A flash of lightening lit the sky and illuminated the tiny room for an instant before plunging it into total darkness.
Botan shivered as the shadows in the dark corners seemed to reach out for her and quickly made her way down the hallway to her bedroom. She closed the door and locked it with a satisfying click before releasing a deep breath. She'd never realized how creepy it was in the dark, in the middle of the night… during a thunder storm… She quickly brushed those thoughts away and went to her closet. I really need to lay off the horror movies.
She fished around in her closet for a pair of clean pajamas and changed out of her pink kimono. Then she crawled into bed and snuggled under her warm quilt. She let out a contented sigh and fell instantly asleep.
Smoke billowed around her in thick clouds like a blanket, suffocating her. She began to panic and coughed violently as the black fumes filled her lungs. Heat radiating from the fire burned her face as orange, yellow, and red flames danced merrily around her.
She wasn't sure where she was, but her instincts told her there was someone else trapped within the fire's interior as well, and she called out hoarsely. The smoke burned her eyes as she scanned the area for a way out, and for a moment, she thought she saw the silhouette of a figure walking away from her, hands in his pockets. He seemed absolutely unaffected by the fire.
Botan moved forward toward him, trying to get away from the smoke, but it seemed to close in on her, taking the shape of a dragon. It opened its mouth and engulfed her entirely. She couldn't breathe, and she was having trouble thinking straight. The room spun in circles and pain took control. Her pink eyes closed, and she began falling, a helpless desperation surging through her body. A final random thought surfaced before she plunged into darkness, and a smirking Hiei stood before her. She started violently as his snide laughter rang out from the depths of her mind, and he faded again into darkness, leaving her alone.
It's time to wake up.
Botan sat up and frantically glanced around her room, the feeling of Hiei's presence still surrounding her. She sighed in relief when she realized it had only been a nightmare and leaned back warily on her elbows. Something still wasn't right.
One of her windows was cracked open, and the cool breeze was making the room very cold. It had obviously been raining earlier as the floor near the window was wet. Reluctantly, she pulled herself from bed and stepped quietly onto the hard, wood floor. Chastising herself for being so reckless, Botan closed the window tightly, preparing to get some rags for the mess. However, she caught the movement of a shadow out of the corner of her eye and froze, too afraid to take another step.
A flash of lightening illuminated the room and revealed a figure clad in black, watching her calmly with narrowed red eyes. The same red eyes of a certain fire demon from her dream. "Oh, H-Hiei!" She put a hand to her chest and let out the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. "You scared the heck out of me!" She giggled; partly from nervousness and partly from relief while he continued to watch her, choosing not to reply. "Um, is everything ok? What are you doing here?"
"...We have… some unfinished business to attend to."
The answer was so quiet Botan barely heard him. "Uh, business? What are you talking about, Hiei?" she asked, a frown replacing her silly grin. She took a step back as the Koorime advanced toward her.
"I warned you about your large mouth, but you didn't listen." There was a large, mischievous smirk on his face, and his red eyes twinkled with amusement. "And that is unforgivable."
"H-Hiei? I'm not sure what you mean," Botan stuttered. "Is it about Yukina? I'm really sorry she found out. It was an accident, I swear."
"Hey, um, you should go talk to her! I'm sure you two have a lot of catching up to do. You know, all those years of being separated and all…"
Hiei closed his eyes, a smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth. "Nice try, but I don't distract as easily as the fool. You'll have to do better than that."
Botan let out a small squeak and backed up until she hit the wall. "Um, are you sure you're feeling ok, Hiei? You don't look quite like yourself."
"I'm fine, but I'm afraid you won't look anything like yourself once I'm finished with you." He unsheathed his sword and pointed it teasingly at her. Botan's eyes widened at the sight of the blade.
"Ack! Stop it, Hiei! That's not funny!"
As the short fire demon took another step closer his sensitive nose picked up the smell of fear. It pulsated from Botan like a heart beat and became stronger with every move until it was almost overpowering. The air stank with it. He hadn't realized until now just how frightened she was, and he inwardly grinned. "…Heh. You really are afraid of me. Good."
"W-why are you doing this?" she asked in a quivery voice. "If you hurt me, you'll get in trouble. Y-you'll go to jail!"
Hiei smirked and locked eyes with her. "I'm already a wanted convict, remember? One more felony won't make any difference."
Botan's face paled, and she pressed her body as close to the wall as she could. Her eyes darted from Hiei to his katana, and a bead of sweat ran slowly down the side of her face. "Please don't hurt me," she hissed softly. "I'll do whatever you want."
The Koorime smirked in amusement. Then he closed his eyes and removed his white headband. A third eye appeared on his forehead, glowing eerily yellow in the darkened room. Botan could feel his presence enter her mind, prodding and testing his boundaries within the deep crevices of her most guarded secrets, thoughts, and desires. She tried to push him out but only received a steadily increasing headache for her efforts.
"Hn. So, you've been harboring feelings for the fox all this time? Is that why you're so persistently adamant about living? Unfulfilled desires, perhaps?"
Botan's pink eyes searched his red ones, and her face flushed slightly in embarrassment. "You're scaring me, Hiei. Friends don't treat each other like this."
His face hardened. "I may have a certain respect for Yusuke and Kurama, but you, Botan, are worthless. We are not friends."
Botan looked shocked and slightly hurt. "What? But why? We were getting along so well…"
"Hn. A lot can change in a few hours." He roughly grabbed her arm and pulled her closer to him, his blade gleaming in the moonlight.
In a sudden act of panic, Botan kicked him in the shin with the ferocity of a cornered animal. The blow knocked him off balance, and she made a lunge for the hallway, racing for the door. Hiei regained his balance in a matter of seconds and darted ahead to intercept her escape path. She saw him almost too late, twisted sharply in a ninety degree angle and dove into her bathroom instead, locking the door swiftly behind her. Adrenaline surged through her body, and her heart was pounding rapidly in her chest. She sat down heavily on the toilet seat and took a few deep, calming breaths.
Hiei glared at the bathroom door for a moment, contemplating. "That wasn't very intelligent. You just backed yourself into a corner."
"At least I'm away from you!" Botan shouted back.
"Come out of there."
"Not if you're going to hurt me!"
"You're just stalling now. Why don't you surrender yourself to me and make this easier on both of us?"
"No! Now leave, or I'll call the police!" she threatened.
He snorted. "Don't insult my skills. Do you honestly believe those pathetic humans could stop me?"
"Fine, I'll call Yusuke, and he'll come down here!"
"That won't work either. I've already disabled your 'talker' devices or whatever the hell they're called, and you have no other way of reaching any of them from in there. It's just you and me."
A shiver ran down her spine, and for a fleeting moment she couldn't help thinking that his voice was very sexy. She nearly kicked herself. Here he was threatening her life, and all she could think about was how appealing he was. What was wrong with her?
Snapping out of her stupor, Botan realized how quiet it had gotten. There was absolutely no sound except for her labored breathing. However, she could see Hiei's shadow outside the door and knew he was still there. Waiting. It scared her to no end. "Go away, Hiei," she shouted, beginning to get desperate. "This has gone far enough!"
There was no reply. Silence rang in her ears for a full minute; a minute and a half; two minutes. Then there was a gritty sound like the scratching of metal against wood, and the door fell forward into the room, completely off its hinges. Botan's eyes shot to the doorway in panic, but the fire demon was nowhere in sight. Shit! Where is he? She normally didn't curse, even mentally, but she figured this was an appropriate occasion.
Very carefully she stepped out of the bathroom and peered around; still no sign of Hiei, though she could feel him watching her from somewhere in the darkness. Gathering up her courage, she bolted for the exit. She made it outside with the sound of Hiei's laughter filling the corners of her mind.
Yes, fool. Run if you think it'll do you any good. It'll make killing you that much more thrilling.
Botan panicked. For a moment she didn't know what to do. She didn't think she could make it all the way to Kurama's house, and she doubted anyone else would take her in at two in the morning. Without her oar to fly on this left only one option. Botan made a beeline and headed straight for the woods. Maybe it'll slow down his progress, she thought frantically, breathing hard.
That was a mistake. As her feet crashed through the underbrush, she began to sense waves of spirit energy coming up behind her and knew he wasn't far behind. However, she drove herself on regardless, waving her arms wildly before her to keep from running head on into any trees. Branches lashed at her face, but she was too scared to notice. Hiei snapped! He's going to kill me! Oh, Koenma sir, where are you when I need you!
The path was dark, and she lost her footing on an uneven patch of land, loosing her balance and falling heavily to the ground. She managed to struggle to a sitting position as Hiei appeared before her with a small fission of crackling air. He crossed his arms over his chest, sword still in hand, and leaned haughtily against a large tree. "Did you really think I'd let you get away that easily?" he asked mockingly.
Botan hurriedly stood up and backed away, realizing he'd merely been toying with her. "You're crazy." This was no longer about Yukina, and she knew it. He knew she knew.
"Hn. Maybe." He advanced upon her until their faces were only inches away and smirked. He could see the fear in her eyes.
"Please wait. I didn't mean any harm," she pleaded desperately. "Why don't we go back to my place and have some tea? I'll tell you my side of the story, and we can talk this out. W-we can even go wake up Kurama! How does that sound, Hiei? Is that ok?"
His face had darkened at the mention of Kurama. "Oh, I'm sure you'd love that," he said sarcastically. "Though how unfortunate the kitsune isn't here right now." Then, before Botan had a chance to react, he made three quick slashes with his sword across her neck, shoulder, and left thigh. She cried out and stumbled away from him, but he grabbed her and pushed her down, pinning her under his body.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as she lay beneath him, rigid in pain. She tried to hold in a sob but cried out again when Hiei touched the wound on her shoulder curiously. His red eyes found hers and held her gaze. "Hiei…" she sobbed quietly, "please…"
There was no emotion in his eyes as he ran a finger along her tear stained cheek and kissed her softly, almost tenderly, on her full, pink lips. The moment only lasted a few seconds before he broke away and leaned back to gauge her reaction. Confusion and bewilderment replaced the fear he had come to know, and Hiei didn't like it. He put his hand on her wounded shoulder and pressed down-hard. He smirked as she gasped in pain, her body immediately flinching under his touch. That was the way it should be.
"Do you fear me, Botan?" he murmured softly, sitting up. Her eyes widened, and she nodded her head. Hiei let out a soft chuckle as he slid his blade slowly along her stomach, cutting through the thin material of her pajamas. Blood spurted from her wound and ran thickly down her sides until it soaked the dirt around her. She rolled over when Hiei released her and curled into a fetal position as she nursed her wounded stomach with her hands. She closed her eyes and grimaced in pain. Hiei watched her for a moment. "Hn. I lied before. I'm actually quite fond of you, but you already made it obvious who you prefer. I won't put you through any more." Then he roughly pulled her head forward and captured her lips in his again, stifling her remaining cries.
That night the apartment remained as Botan had left it, and Hiei returned to the park under a pink and gold sunrise. He fell asleep to the alluring smell of blood on his cloak.
Some time later found the fire demon relaxing lazily in his usual tree while Kurama gazed up at him from below. "And you're sure you don't have any idea where she could be?" he asked in concern, green eyes searching withdrawn red ones. Botan hadn't been arriving for work lately, and no one had seen or spoken with her since their get together.
Hiei fingered the hilt of his sword in boredom. "Why should I, Fox? I'm not her personal caretaker."
Kurama sighed. A simple yes or no answer would have been sufficient. "Well, if you do happen to see her, tell her we've been worried. Everyone's out looking for her." He turned and walked slowly away from the tree.
Hiei watched him go with a half smirk. Let them try. He closed his eyes as a breeze picked up and playfully blew his bangs in his face. He loved days like these. The air was just the right temperature, and the sound of the wind blowing through leaves in the trees made him drowsy. He turned onto his side and prepared to fall into a light doze.
Kurama glanced back and shook his head at Hiei's carefree attitude. He didn't seem bothered by Botan's absence in the least. Sighing, Kurama shoved his hands in his pockets and started off for Yusuke's. He'd have to tell the Spirit Detective sooner or later that the koorime knew nothing more than they. He paused and snuck a suspicious glance over his shoulder. Or if he did, he wasn't about to talk.
Peneia Teke: I kind of like the way it turned out. There was a part I had in there where Hiei touches Botan's shoulder and then licks her blood off his finger, but I figured that would be a little too weird. I honestly don't think Hiei would be too keen on doing something like that.
Well, I hope I got all the characters in check. Feel free to scream at me if I didn't, so I'll improve, but I'd like a review a lot better!