Disclaimer: YuYu Hakusho belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi.

I apologize for the complete misinterpretation of Matthew 13: 45-46 and Matthew 6: 19-21. Creative liberty…?

Author's Note: This is a one-shot!

(To Make a Request)

Reikai- Spirit world
Enma Daiou- Great King Enma
youko- demonic fox
kitsune- fox, also fox demon

She slammed her hands on the top of the desk, sending the precarious piles of papers cascading to the floor. "Lord Koenma, this is ridiculous! He's being completely unreasonable, and you know it!"

The junior ruler of hell calmly pushed the shower of reports back to the edges of his desk. "My father allowed that he might have a valid claim." He wouldn't meet the eyes of the furious ferry girl before him. "You know as well as I do that it is our job to judge such things objectively."

"Objectively!" She huffed and began to tick a list off her fingers. "Murder—bad. Threatening those associated with the Reikai—bad. Intentionally, maliciously torturing a person with twisted mind games—also bad—"

"Botan, I don't like this any more than you do!" he snapped, amber eyes blazing with the fire of a man cornered.

The silence stretched on awkwardly until the blue-haired deity spoke up again, timid and helplessly. "Surely we already know what it is he's after. And we won't—" she shook her head resolutely, "can't—give it to him. So what can we do, Koenma?"

"The only thing that we can do." Botan could see the muscles in his face working as he chewed on his pacifier agitatedly. "Judge him objectively, and still find some way to deny his request."

A weary sigh. "Botan… bring in Karasu."

The palace was built on an excessively large scale. He supposed that it was meant to make him feel small and insignificant. But although Enma Daiou was passably imposing, Enma Jr. would be purely laughable. He had seen the little god at the tournament, and that had been hilarious enough, but now he would be in the form of a toddler, so said the rumors. Somehow, the crow could not find it in himself to be humbled.

The ferry girl walking in front of him—she had been at the tournament as well—kept her hand in a tight grip upon her oar. The glimpse he had seen of her face showed that she was half trying to control frustrated tears, and half resisting the temptation to give him a good beating with her make-shift weapon. Rather spirited for one known as death, he thought.

Then again, he had misjudged the redhead, too. He ought to have realized that the feisty spirit he wanted to capture all for himself would not be so easily defeated. It only made him more tempting, more priceless.

His guide halted before a door and spoke, her voice strained. "We've arrived… Karasu."

She bowed and backed away, but managed to transform even that humble, respectful gesture into something hostile. Intrigued, he followed the retreat of the pink kimono out of the corner of his eye. There was only one thing he valued as precious above all else, however, and that deity was not it.

And the only way to attain it would be to open the grand doors and enter. So he did.

Koenma sat behind his desk, report in hand and pacifier in mouth. Karasu smirked behind the cover of his mask, resentful that he had been brought low enough to have his fate decided by this.

"It has come to my attention that you have a request that prevents you from continuing to your final destination." The words were delivered with formality and politeness, but underlined with the same miffed and menacing tone that his servant had used. Karasu could not fault them—after all, he was planning to retrieve a treasure on which they had already attempted to stake a claim.

"I have been separated from something that belongs to me, and I cannot rest until it is returned."

Koenma leveled him a dry glance. "Would you care to elaborate? You ought to know that material possessions cannot be taken with you."

"Just because it cannot be taken along does not mean death causes me to forfeit my right of ownership," Karasu replied lightly. "Besides, it isn't a material possession. It should be coming here on its own soon enough."

"You still haven't told me what it is you want."

A glint of frozen amethyst. "Oh, you are familiar enough with it. The youko, Kurama."

He ducked his head, smiling secretly behind a curtain of hair as dark and glossy as a raven's wing, knowing that Koenma was glaring at him furiously now. The little prince simply could not, or would not, understand. He had had his eyes on the fox since the first time he had watched him fight in the tournament. Something about him had deeply intrigued Karasu, calling to his soul. And his hair, like blood-red silk, has caught the eyes of the crow, a creature of passionate collecting of the finest treasures.

A crow might try at first to assuage his hunger, his lust for beauty, with small trinkets of gaudy, bright, colorful, and shiny. But once he finds the one thing he truly wants, he will stop at nothing to possess it, like a man who spots a fine pearl and will sell all he owns in order to acquire it.

Enma Daiou, he was certain, had seen that spark in his eyes and had understood, and that was the sole reason he had gotten this far. Even a god of hell could not fight the power of this passionate obsession.

"Ever since I first saw him, I have wanted Kurama. It isn't logical, but then, he is too precious to let rational thought interfere with my attaining of him."

Fury smoldered in Koenma's eyes. "Just because you would like to have him, Karasu, does not mean Kurama is your possession."

"I gave up my life to make him mine. Do not slight the lengths I have gone to in order to gain him a place by my side, forever."

The idea of keeping Kurama in an earthly hoard had been unpleasant. The kitsune could easily be stolen away or damaged. The passing of time would sap away the loveliness of his face and the vitality of his soul. It was so much better to store the demon in an eternal place, a heaven.

So Karasu had intended to send him to the Reikai ahead of himself, eager to watch in satisfaction as time slowed and stopped with the beating of his heart. Death would glaze over his brilliant emerald eyes, preserving the youthful beauty forever in a sleeping, frozen moment.

Soon enough the crow would have followed him, coming to claim his most exquisite prize.

"I do realize that I cannot take the acquisitions I made in life with me. So I tried to send the fox here before me, to wait until I came to collect him. That was the reasoning behind killing him during the tournament. Unfortunately, it failed, so I am now waiting for him to arrive. Can you, the lord of the dead, truly deny me the one thing that will make me complete and enable me to finally pass on?"


-Windswift Shinju