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!

Serenade

Chapter 5

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After dinner that evening- Koenma did not join them again and Yusuke, who was obviously irritated by this, did his best to pretend he did not care- they went for a walk on the beach. Kuwabara and Yukina were linked arm in arm, as were Hiei and Kurama, and that left Botan with Yusuke. Botan, who still felt guilty about stealing Yusuke's girlfriend from him- not that Yusuke cared much, being too distracted by his boyfriend to really notice- had been delighted when she learned that Yusuke was homosexual and not interested the least in Keiko. But ever since he and Hiei broke up, she had tried desperately to "pair him up" with someone and took the time on the beach to renew her lately neglected efforts.

"So, Yusuke, fancy anyone lately?" she asked casually as they watched the sun set along the shore's horizon.

Yusuke smiled at the oarswoman. "Funny you should ask, Botan. As a matter of fact, I think I do."

Botan's pink eyes lit up with curiosity. "You don't say? Who is he?"

"Who said it was a he?" Yusuke jibed with a grin on his face.

Botan sighed. "Alright then, who do you like?"

Yusuke didn't speak for a stretched out moment. He was watching the seagulls flirt with the wind. When the birds flew back towards the land, he sighed and faced the oarswoman. "Botan, have you and Keiko ever made love?" Yusuke asked instead of answering Botan's question. His face was solemn; she knew he wasn't kidding around.

Botan raised her eyes towards the beach, as if expecting to see the girl behind her. "No, Yusuke, we haven't. You know Keiko." She looked back at the detective. "Why do you ask?"

Yusuke shrugged, then turned his back on the sunset, turning his eyes towards the hotel. "Just curious. I've never had a relationship that didn't involve sex before."

Botan's mouth fell open in surprise. "Yusuke," she whispered.

The sun's fading rays painted the hotel stucco a deep and vibrant red. The wind was picking up from behind him, as if chasing after the seagulls. Yusuke shivered and wrapped his arms around his chest. "I don't want to lose him, Botan," Yusuke said softly.

"Lose who?" Botan asked as she walked up beside Yusuke, reaching her arm out slowly. She too felt the cold, but she was wearing a lengthy kimono, so her arms were covered in sakura pink cloth.

Yusuke shook his head slightly and turned away from the heart of the island, a smile spread across his face. "What?" he asked frivolously. "I'm sorry Botan, I wasn't paying attention. What did you say?"

"Yusuke," Botan urged gently, "tell me who he is. Please."

Yusuke shook his head. "Nah, that's okay." Botan's eyes were filled with reproach, so Yusuke softly grabbed her hand and squeezed it reassuringly. "Don't want to get my hopes up, you see."

Botan sighed. "Oh Yusuke, I'm sure, whomever he is…how could he not love you?"

Yusuke just smiled sadly at his friend, then walked away, back up the beach and back to the hotel.

---

The song lyrics were still in his pocket as he returned to the hotel and he reminiscently pulled the paper out of his pocket again. Coincidentally, the old man Yusuke asked the song from happened to speak Yusuke's native language, a convenient trait when it came to translating the words. They were pretty lyrics and for a brief moment, the words reminded Yusuke of Hiei, but he shook that feeling off. He hadn't learned the song for Hiei; not necessarily saying he learned it for Koenma either, and yet…yes, he learned the song, in part, for his employer.

Yusuke cringed at the thought. Damn…he was in love with his boss; he, Yusuke Urameshi who defied authority! The irony of that was immense and Yusuke began to chuckle under his breath. Suddenly he saw movement to his right and, looking over, saw Hiei and Kurama walking towards him. They were holding hands again.

"Yusuke," Kurama said with a smile. "Going back to the hotel?"

Yusuke nodded. "And you both, I suppose?"

Kurama looked down at Hiei, who slowly licked his lips.

"Oh yes, I think so," he said with a slight laugh. "Hiei mentioned something about the romance being better there."

Hiei scowled reprovingly. "I said no such thing. I said the low pants are there; it's too warm to wear them outside, that's all." Kurama laughed and hugged Hiei affectionately.

Yusuke smiled as Kurama pulled Hiei eagerly back up the beach, but then he sighed. Maybe the whole attraction was just so many months of not having sex after all; Yusuke was feeling hornier than usual and hadn't gotten any in quite a while. Seeing his former lovers, he doubted his own feelings for Koenma. Maybe the words he held in his hand were fake; maybe they didn't mean anything at all.

Yusuke sighed in frustration and shoved the lyrics back in his pocket. Turning one last time, he saw Kuwabara and Yukina standing knee deep in the ocean, Botan some ways away from the pair. How did they do it? Yusuke wondered. Yusuke knew Kuwabara's sometimes foolish morals; how did Kuwabara manage to love Yukina without acting on his lust? How was their love any different from the one between Kurama and Hiei?

Was sharing someone's bed that important? Yusuke, thinking about it for what was not the first time, knew that all his relationships failed because of sex- most of them had started that way.

So why should Koenma's bed be any different?

Yusuke snorted in aggravation and turned away from the beach and the setting sun. He was getting ahead of himself. Koenma wasn't even his yet.

An amusing but frightening thought crossed Yusuke's mind as he trekked across the sand towards the hotel. What if all his thinking had jinxed everything? But Yusuke was not superstitious, so all he did was laugh.

---

Yusuke had already gone to bed and the lights were all out when Kuwabara finally returned to their room, creeping softly across the room to his bed so as not to disturb his slumbering colleague and friend. But he need not have bothered; Yusuke was not asleep as the other teen thought.

"Kuwabara," Yusuke whispered into the darkness just as Kuwabara had taken off his shirt.

"Urameshi!" he exclaimed in a loud hush of a voice. "Don't scare me like that!" His eyes were wide, gazing into the blinding darkness. A small sliver of moonlight crept under the drawn shades onto the carpeted floor and across the foot of Yusuke's bed. The covers shifted, and Kuwabara turned his back to Yusuke. "I thought you were asleep," he said as he reached for his nightshirt hanging on the bed's post.

"Can't sleep," Yusuke muttered into his pillow, his eyes staring half-lidded into the dark. "What kept you?"

Kuwabara smiled as he slipped the nightshirt over his head. "Heh, Yukina and I stayed out on the beach to watch the stars." Kuwabara's eyes glowed as his head slipped through. Turning, Yusuke caught the glittering of pure happiness in his friend's eyes. "Hey Urameshi, did you know the stars are much brighter here than back home? It's because there's no ambient light."

"You actually paid attention in class?" Yusuke asked with a laugh in his weary voice.

"Well, no," Kuwabara said, his head hanging down a little with embarrassment. "Yukina actually told me that. She's very smart."

Yusuke smiled at him. "I guess all you need is Yukina to be your tutor and you'd be a genius, huh?" he joked.

"Yeah, that would be nice," Kuwabara mused as he kicked his shoes off and sat on the edge of his bed.

Yusuke was quiet as he stared at the discarded shoes, waiting until Kuwabara had slipped under his bed covers to speak again. "Was it nice, watching the stars?"

Kuwabara sighed in contentment. "Yeah, it was nice. Yukina and I were lying on the beach under a blanket and I got to put my arm around her shoulders! She told me a lot of the stars' names and I was even able to point out a few! And then we told stories about the stars…" He sighed again as his narrative trailed off into silence.

Yusuke smiled weakly through the darkness and Kuwabara couldn't see it. Exhaling loudly, Yusuke turned onto his back. "Sounds wonderful."

"The best part," Kuwabara said a moment later, "was walking her back to the hotel. Her hand fit so well and it sounded so wonderful when she said she looked forward to seeing me in the morning. That was the best part, leaving her by her room door with the promise of tomorrow."

Neither spoke after that and, a quarter of an hour later, Yusuke heard Kuwabara's snoring from the opposite side of the room. Knowing he would not get any sleep now, Yusuke lifted the covers off him and he stealthily snuck out of the room and out into the hall.

The corridor was dimmed but Yusuke was able to find his way to Koenma's room easy enough- if nothing else, the sounds coming from Kurama and Hiei's room guided him in the right direction. Knocking softly on the wood door, Yusuke swore softly when he got no answer. 'I guess he's asleep,' Yusuke thought to himself and turned away from the room when the door opened and a sliver of light fell out into the hallway.

"Yusuke?" Koenma whispered. The detective spun around.

"Yeah. Can I come in?"

Koenma nodded and stepped back from the door to let Yusuke in. The boy stepped into the room, lit by a small lamp by the side of Koenma's bed. The covers had been pulled back and the sheets were wrinkled. Yusuke sat at the end of the bed and Koenma returned to his position at the head.

"I didn't wake you, did I?" Yusuke asked quietly once they were both seated.

Koenma shook his head. "No. I-I couldn't sleep."

Yusuke leaned forward in concern, laying a hand unconsciously on Koenma's knee. "Even now? But I thought-"

Koenma shifted his leg and Yusuke's hand fell off onto the covers. "Nightmares," he said dismissively.

"The same as on the boat?"

Koenma nodded. "Yes, the same," he said.

Yusuke pulled his legs onto the bed and under him. Lifting the corner of the bedcovers near him, his fingers idly played with the fabric as he spoke, hesitant but needing to get the words out. "You promised to tell me about it later. This is later."

There was a silence and Yusuke, his eyes focused on his fingers, did not dare look up. He hoped he had not prodded too far and offended Koenma in any way. After a moment, Koenma had not spoken and Yusuke looked up. Koenma frowned at him. "Why are you here, Yusuke?"

Yusuke mirrored Koenma's frown. "I'm sick and tired of you changing the subject, Koenma!" he cried.

"So go to sleep," was Koenma's calm reply.

Yusuke's eyes fell back to his hands. "I…can't," he confessed.

"Oh-?"

Yusuke did not reply, instead dropping the corner in his hands and letting his legs fall off the side of the bed. Standing, he walked over to the window, the shades open and opened just enough for him to hear the faint sound of a song. It was the same serenade from the other night. Yusuke smiled wistfully, to the consternation of Koenma. "You know, Koenma, this island has a song," Yusuke said conversationally, leaning comfortably against the windowsill. "Have you heard it?"

Koenma closed his eyes. "…Yes, I have."

"Isn't it pretty?"

Koenma nodded slowly, his eyes still closed. "It's…beautiful, Yusuke."

Yusuke abandoned the windowsill and walked back over to the bed, sitting down beside Koenma, a little closer than before. "Y'know," he said lightly, "you ought to see the beach just as the sun is setting. It'll take your breath away."

Koenma sighed, then opened his eyes, finding Yusuke's lively brown eyes closer than he expected. He leaned against the bed frame. "Why are you here?" he asked again, his voice a whisper now.

"I told you," Yusuke said firmly. Koenma turned his eyes down. "I want you to be happy; I want to be your friend."

"Do you expect me to believe that Yusuke?" he murmured. "That you honestly want to be my friend?"

"Of course I do," Yusuke frowned, reaching his hand out to the immortal. He laid it on Koenma's shoulder, forcing Koenma to turn his eyes back to Yusuke. "I care about you Koenma."

"You don't mean that, you know," Koenma said woefully, but so matter-of-factly that Yusuke's hand dropped in surprise.

"Yes, I do," Yusuke said softly.

"But caring leads to pain;" Koenma said with conviction. "I can't care about you Yusuke."

Yusuke's face was twisted with confusion and helpless sorrow. "Where's the harm in being friends?" he asked.

Koenma didn't look up, but shifted away until he was nearly turned away from Yusuke, his back to the window. "Right here," Koenma muttered, lifting a pale hand and clutching his chest right above his heart. Yusuke inched closer still, his hand raised and hovering over Koenma's shoulder again. "I don't want you to be my friend-"

"Koenma-" Yusuke whispered, placing his hand down on the immortal's shoulder.

"-I want more," Koenma said so softly Yusuke nearly thought he imagined it. But he could not have imagined the betrayer of a tear that fell down Koenma's face and stained his clothes.

"Is that why you can't sleep?" Yusuke mumbled in Koenma's ear. Koenma turned his face reluctantly to Yusuke's when the boy cupped his chin and turned his head. Yusuke smiled tenderly. "It's not really nightmares, is it?"

"…No."

Yusuke leaned a little closer again, until his lips nearly grazed Koenma's ear. "So how many have you loved?" he breathed.

"Two."

Yusuke moved his head back. "Sensui and…?"

Koenma leaned his head down, avoiding Yusuke's eyes again. "…you, Yusuke. I…love you."

Suddenly Yusuke's hands and warm breath was gone and Koenma was too afraid to see where they had gone. Yusuke's voice came from not too far away; there was no movement or shifting of weight on the bed so Koenma knew Yusuke was still beside him. "I met this old man who taught me the words to the song," Yusuke said, then laughed. There was the sound of crinkled paper and Yusuke still laughing quietly to himself. "I was, heh, going to serenade you but…the words don't really have anything to do with us," Yusuke continued, and suddenly the paper was tossed to the side and Yusuke's hands were back, lifting Koenma's face back up. Yusuke was no longer smiling, his face serious, but the laughter had not escaped from his eyes yet. Yusuke cupped the sides of Koenma's face warmly, and his mouth was unbearably close to Koenma's mouth. "I can think of a much better way of serenading."

Then Yusuke kissed Koenma. They were sitting on the bed so the height didn't matter; later on, Yusuke would find that Koenma was just a little taller than him. But now, in this kiss, height was the last thing on either of their minds, Yusuke's hands and lips and heart working more than his mind. Koenma was frozen by the warmth moving gently against his lips, dazed as Yusuke's hands moved from his cheeks to his shoulders, fingers gripping his shirt softly. His own hands acted where his brain did not, clutching tenderly to Yusuke's neck and weaving gently into his hair, causing Yusuke to smile into the kiss. Then they had to breathe and so they reluctantly parted.

Yusuke grinned at the hazy look in Koenma's golden eyes. Koenma smiled back. "Yusuke…"

Yusuke stopped the immortal by moving close again, his breath stealing away from him. "Koenma?" Yusuke whispered. "Can I…hold you?" Koenma nodded and Yusuke moved his arms around Koenma's shoulders, Koenma's hands falling to Yusuke's waist. The boy rested his head on Koenma's hair, two shades of brown blending on Yusuke's shoulder. Yusuke sighed contently. "I…don't feel empty anymore," he muttered in Koenma's ear. "You fit."

From Koenma's place in Yusuke's arms, he could see the moon shining behind the window and, below, could see a young lover with a guitar, staring up at his unreachable sweetheart. Koenma snuggled closer into Yusuke, happy to be so close. "Yusuke, do you think the moon on the ocean is as mesmerizing as it was on the boat?" he spoke suddenly.

Yusuke leaned up and Koenma raised his head as well. Yusuke smirked. "We could find out."

Koenma traced a hand up to Yusuke's face, his fingers curiously caressing the smooth skin. "Would you like that?"

Yusuke nodded. "…Yeah."

End…for now

Naturally, I loved this chapter, but surprisingly my favorite part was the conversation between Yusuke and Kuwabara…Kuwabara, how did you get so lucky? It seems he got all the best lines in this thing…

Okay, that is the end of Serenade! However, there will be a sequel. You noticed…I did not have Yusuke sing. And I thought about it, and he won't be singing. I will be using the serenade that I wrote for this story in the sequel, so look for that too! Anyway, that will probably be up around September, because I have to get started on it and I want to have at least three chapters written before I post it. So until then, please review! I hope you enjoyed this story and I hope you all watch for the sequel! Thank you so much everyone who put this story on their favorites list and for all the wonderful reviews. Until then…peace!

P.S. For those who asked for more action with Hiei and Kurama, I promise there will be some in the sequel! I swear! Alright, bye!