Rowan wanted to write a Koenma/Yusuke one-shot, so this was born. She couldn't help it! She was inspired! The muses have been watching too much YYH lately…what can we say?
This story has no spoilers- completely AU! Enjoy!
It was at the end of another mission, the nine hundred and seventeenth, if Yusuke had counted right, and as the detective and his team returned to the Spirit World with the apprehended criminals in tow, Yusuke had decided it was high time he received some days off. It was only fair, he felt; after all, if Koenma could send the human around the three worlds chasing after wayward demons and crooked humans without pay, it was the least the immortal could do to compensate him for his pains. And it would be nice to get a break; he didn't like to admit it, but the job of Spirit Detective was taxing at the best of times and a downright pain in the ass at the worst of times. Though he'd be Spirit Detective and take down ten thousand demons daily rather than return to school.
They didn't waste much time dropping the rogue demons off with the ogres in the front lobby, and it wasn't long before Kuwabara, Kurama, Botan, and Hiei were heading out again. Yusuke hung back though, and Hiei threw a questioning glance at him as he walked passed. Yusuke smiled and shook his head, and Hiei nodded. Everything was all right, he knew. Hiei smiled minutely back, then turned and walked swiftly through the gates, quickly catching up with Kurama. Yusuke was content to see the fox reach down and take Hiei's hand in his own. Yusuke resolved that, if Koenma granted him time off, to get them a vacation as well.
Turning suddenly, Yusuke marched quickly down the hall, past the frantic ogres and their overflowing desks to the ornately decorated doors at the end. Pushing the doors open with little effort, Yusuke steadily approached Koenma's choice place of rule. The toddler looked up from some papers George had dumped on his desk, next to the other numerous piles swamping his desk and trickling to the floor. Koenma was more than happy for a distraction, albeit in the form of his stubborn, often reckless, Spirit Detective. "Hello Yusuke," he said. "What do you want?"
Yusuke was towering over the immortal, his face set and stern. "I want a vacation."
Koenma nearly choked on his pacifier. "Excuse me?" he asked.
Yusuke folded his arms across his chest and nodded. "I've been working for you non-stop, on more than nine hundred cases and you haven't paid me once. I figure the least I get is some days off," he reasoned.
Koenma smiled as he spoke. "I would think bringing you back to life is payment enough. Don't you think so Yusuke?"
He snorted. "You wouldn't have a Spirit Detective if you didn't bring me back," he pointed out. "Besides, even if that is the case and the cost of bringing me back to life is to be Spirit Detective for the rest of my life, the others at least deserve some kind of time off for their troubles."
"You seem to forget, Yusuke, that the only reason Kurama and Hiei are on your team at all is because they're on probation. They don't get vacation off of their sentences."
Yusuke frowned at the infant's logic. "Well Botan at least deserves some sort of pay!" he shouted.
Koenma smiled around his baby blue pacifier at the boy. "Yusuke, Botan has served the Spirit World for many millennia. She has never once had a vacation."
"All the more reason she should have one!" Yusuke argued back. He didn't doubt that Koenma would deny him his own vacation, as well as the two demons, but surely the toddler wasn't so cruel to deny Botan one as well?
Yusuke need not have worried; it was obvious that the immortal was simply pulling Yusuke's leg. But he conceded as Yusuke's voice rose to shrill and frantic volumes. "All right Yusuke, you may all have vacation, but on one condition."
Yusuke, surprised that Koenma had agreed, nodded eagerly, too shocked to speak.
"I shall accompany you on your vacation."
"No!" Yusuke said immediately, the hair on his neck raising as he denied Koenma's request. "You can't come with us; it wouldn't be a vacation with you there!"
Koenma looked down at his lap. "Oh," he said softly, and for the first time Yusuke saw the immortal as more than just his boss, the higher authority. There was human sadness and human hurt in Koenma's large golden eyes and Yusuke began to see him, not as Koenma, the son of Enma, King of the Spirit World, but simply as the toddler he was. He had never imagined that Koenma ever felt lonely or left out, but he could see now that he did, and it touched Yusuke.
"I- I didn't mean that, Koenma," he whispered, ashamed of his earlier immature reaction. "I think it'd be great if you joined us. After all, without your consent to it, there would be no vacation. I guess it's the least we can do to let you come with us," he said.
Koenma looked up, a kindling of happiness evident in his eyes, but there was a shield that he had unknowingly raised, veiling his eyes with guarded caution. It wasn't often that Koenma let himself care about a human being. He had made that mistake with Sensui; he didn't want to be disappointed by Yusuke as well.
"Thank you," he said, his voice quiet. Then, suddenly, his eyes cleared and the Koenma Yusuke knew, the one who really was just a miniature ruler who liked to suck on his pacifier, was back. "We'll leave in a week," he declared.
Yusuke told Hiei the news first. Because the fire demon was at Kurama's, the fox inadvertently found out as well. Hiei had been living with his fellow demon for a couple months now, ever since the two of them had become lovers. It still hurt a little for Yusuke to see the two of them together, especially when he didn't even have Keiko's shoulder to lean on anymore. Botan wasn't much help either, claiming it really was his entire fault. Kuwabara was still unaware of what happened between his teammates behind closed doors, and the three of them intended to keep it that way. Though, Yusuke supposed, it really was for the best.
Yusuke was not surprised when Hiei answered the door to Kurama's apartment, nor was he surprised to find him answering it naked, but then, he didn't surprise easily these days. Well, except for the strange conversation he had had with Koenma not hours before. However, after finding Keiko and Botan exchanging chaste kisses on the school rooftop, there wasn't much left in the world that Yusuke found unusual.
"Detective," Hiei said dryly, obviously not pleased at the interruption, especially not from his former lover.
Yusuke flinched. "Hello Hiei. Not interrupting anything, am I?"
"Not at all," Hiei said, standing to the side to let the boy in. "Kurama and I were just getting ready to clean the bathroom."
Yusuke raised an eyebrow as he stepped inside. "That dirty, eh? Listen, there's something I need to tell you."
"You found the key," Hiei said. Yusuke smirked but shook his head.
"No, unfortunately; that's lost for good, I think."
"Whatever will you tell people when they ask about the mutilated handcuffs." Hiei stated sardonically. He had led Yusuke further into the apartment and they were now standing in front of the room he and Kurama shared.
"The truth," Yusuke replied with a short laugh.
"And what is that?"
"That a friend and I got kinky one night and in our fun lost the key."
It was Hiei's turn to raise his eyebrows. "Oh? So I'm a friend."
"You always were, Hiei," Yusuke replied softly. "I didn't think things would change…after…"
Hiei shook his head. "Ch, I should have left you in those handcuffs if you were going to be this stupid."
Yusuke grinned. "Would have been hard to explain to Koenma and the others!"
Hiei smirked lightly as he pushed the bedroom door and walked inside. "I'd have thought of something." He then turned and slowly picked his way through clothes until he settled on his regular black garb. He walked slowly, not shy about Yusuke seeing him naked; he was comfortable in his skin. Yusuke remembered a time when Hiei would have been blushing if anyone saw him nude. Now, though, it was so natural for the demon, and Yusuke felt a pang of sadness at that. He had tried so hard to show Hiei just how sexy he really was, but it was Kurama that made him aware of that. Yusuke had always longed for him to flaunt it; now, he did.
"You came here for something," Hiei said once he was clothed. Yusuke nodded absently, following Hiei as he walked into the living room. Kurama was not around and Yusuke wondered where the fox had disappeared. As they passed the bathroom door, Yusuke saw the light on and thought that maybe Hiei hadn't been lying before. They continued back to the front of the apartment, Hiei taking a seat on the couch and Yusuke settling for the coffee table.
"Yes. I've been thinking for a while-"
Yusuke scowled. "Hey!" he laughed, only pretending to sound offended and knowing it only came out that more amused. "Well anyway, I realized that Koenma doesn't pay me to be Spirit Detective; that I never got a paycheck ever."
"Took you long enough."
Yusuke ignored his comment. "So I asked him for some days off."
Hiei blinked. "He said no."
Yusuke smiled. "Nope! He actually gave us all vacation time!"
Hiei's eyes narrowed. "That's not surprising, though there must be a catch." It took a moment more for Hiei to fully understand Yusuke's words, after which his eyes went wide with shock. "All of us?" he asked.
Yusuke nodded proudly. "Yup! We leave in a week!"
Hiei nodded sagely. "There is definitely a catch."
Yusuke looked down at his hands, cleared his throat, and nodded. "Uh, yeah, actually, there is."
Yusuke looked up. "Um…Koenma's coming with us."
Silence. A nod.
"Can't be helped," Hiei said at last, standing as he did so. Yusuke leaped to his feet as well.
"Hiei?" he said. "There was something else."
Hiei glanced up at the human and then sighed a little when he saw the reproachful look in his chocolate brown eyes. He sat down, Yusuke mirroring his movements.
"Hiei, I just want to know…why you left me," Yusuke whispered.
Hiei growled softly under his breath. "Yusuke, we discussed this already," he said.
Yusuke sighed. Yes, he knew why Hiei left him, but every opportunity he got he wanted to hear it again, to hear why once more. Hiei told him many times, just to humor the detective. They had been once friends and lovers at the same time; Yusuke thought for awhile that they could even be lifetime mates. That was hard to get over, the fact that they were never anything close.
Yusuke genuinely loved Hiei, who had been so vulnerable when he first spent the night with him. Hiei had needed someone to protect him, comfort him, and otherwise show affection. The demon had spent so much time taking care of himself, Yusuke was more than glad to take over for awhile and take on Hiei's emotional baggage. Over time, however, Yusuke knew things were changing- at the beginning, Yusuke nearly always topped, Hiei being too shy about sex then. Near the end of their relationship, though, Hiei became bold and rather kinky, much to his lover's surprise. Hiei was on top nearly all the time and Yusuke knew, then, that things were over between them. Not that he didn't like to submit to Hiei; Yusuke was holding the demon back.
Yusuke hadn't known about the handcuffs- the ones that now hung from his bed frame like mementos of a tumultuous battle- until the night things ended between them. That's when he found out about Hiei's secret stash of whips, chains…leather pants…and other toys as well. It came as no surprise when Kurama and Hiei became lovers.
Yes, Yusuke and Kurama had had something once. But their 'relationship' had been mostly centered around the fucking as opposed to anything else. Now Kurama was kinky, Yusuke found- not quite his taste, but it certainly was fun nonetheless. Yusuke imagined many times for his amusement the look on Ms. Minamino's face if she ever looked in her son's closet. And Yusuke still wondered how Kurama managed to fit the rest of his toys (not to mention his own- very extensive- leather wardrobe) inside his school locker. But then, the Youko was a thief once.
Speaking of the fox, at that moment of Yusuke's reflecting, he stuck his head into the living room. "Hiei, aren't you coming?" he asked impatiently, stepping into the room fully and approached his lover.
Yusuke couldn't help but laugh when he realized exactly what he had interrupted by coming over to their home. Hiei hadn't meant to clean the bathroom- from the suspicious white liquid smeared across Kurama's belly, Hiei planned to clean Kurama instead.
"Oh hello Yusuke, I didn't see you there," Kurama remarked, smiling at him. "I can see why my Hiei got distracted."
Yusuke grinned at the fox. "I actually came to tell you guys something."
Kurama sat down beside Hiei. They did not hold hands, but the fire demon inched closer to the other demon. Yusuke used to hold Hiei close when they sat together. Hiei didn't need that anymore. However, Yusuke felt the need to hold someone close again.
"Oh? Does this have something to do with your conversation with Koenma?"
"You knew I spoke to Koenma?" Kurama shot Yusuke a "you-know-I-know-everything" look. "Uh, right. Well, anyway, what I wanted to say was we're going on vacation!"
Kurama nodded. "Koenma's coming with us?" Yusuke blanched. "Oh, I overheard your conversation just now. I have very good hearing you know."
"Yeah, Koenma insisted on going." There was an inscrutable expression on Yusuke's face that neither of his ex-lovers had ever seen before, nor could they interpret at all what he was thinking at that moment the look passed over his face.
"So," Kurama spoke, "where are we going?"
Yusuke lifted his head and the look was gone. "I forgot to ask."
Kuwabara came by a few hours later, exhilarated about going overseas- apparently Koenma had informed Botan of this rare gift, as well as imparting the location of their vacation to her as well. She found Kuwabara at the Urameshi's apartment and told him the news. Naturally he insisted that Yukina come as well, arguing that she only ever came to the human world to find her brother and deserved to enjoy her time there for once. Koenma granted the ice maiden permission to do so, which meant booking three doubles and one single on the cruise ship they were taking to the Caribbean. Room assignments were simple enough- the two girls would share a room, Kurama and Hiei, for apparent reasons, shared a room where, the moment they arrived, they pushed the beds next to each other to make their activities easier to do, Yusuke and his classmate got the third double and Koenma, being the infant heir apparent of the Spirit World, got the only single. And so they sailed to the Caribbean.
The first day on the cruise ship, Yusuke discovered something new- sea sickness. It was hard getting to sleep, with Kuwabara retching in the toilet during half of the night. The second night it was barely tolerable and by the third Yusuke wanted to throw his comrade overboard. He refrained from doing so, but did not even attempt to fall asleep that night, walking aimlessly around the deck as he whiled away the hours until morning.
He never expected to meet anyone in his wandering that night, least of all Koenma.
And so ends Chapter One of Serenade. Anyone reading this is in luck, because Chapter Two is already written, which means no long waits! Chapter Three is almost done as well, and Chapter Four is already being laid out for writing. This story was actually originally supposed to be a one-shot, which explains so much already written. Anyway, please review!