Warnings: Violence and scenes of extreme grossness. Blood abounding. Dismemberment. Demons (if this bothers you, you're probably in the wrong fandom...) Some coarse language.

Author's Notes: If you'veplayed Silent Hill you'll get the minor crossover. If you haven't, then you don't need to worry about it. I borrowed the setting from the game, but not the plot, or the characters.

This one's for Sonnet, who really knows how to pester a person until they give in. Hope you like it.


The Other Side of Reality

Dead or alive, Kurama had long since determined, everyone appreciated a hot shower. Well, amongst humans anyway, and the more discerning demons.

Kurama could admit that he tended to, well, primp a bit. He liked being clean, which was a trait he wished some of his colleagues would adopt for themselves. Sometimes working with Yuusuke and Kuwabara got terribly difficult on the senses. Nothing could offend quite as easily as teenaged boys, especially when they were sweating and covered in demon guts and gore.

He closed the bathroom door behind him quietly, biting back a yawn that was more psychological than anything else. They'd been working the last few days straight, with barely time to eat and grab a few naps. Kurama wasn't prone to exhaustion the way his human partner was – he didn't really sleep anymore anyway, though he had noticed a distinct decline in his ability to process things rationally if he didn't stop and meditate for a few hours every couple of days.

Amongst the many things he hadn't had time for in the last few days was a hot shower, and Kurama meant to remedy that immediately.

The house he and Kuwabara had "inherited" from Jiro was newer, with a Western style of architecture and design which was not displeasing. The lack of proper bathing facilities was disappointing, but in a pinch anything involving hot water would do.

Kurama reached up to pull back the shower curtain – where Shizuru had found a fox motif in bathroom décor, he couldn't image, but he was willing to believe she'd go so far as to have it specially made if she thought it'd get a reaction out of him – and set the water running.

The hiss of water through pipes, and the rain-like spatter of water over the basin of the shower was relaxing. Kurama turned the hot water all the way on, enjoying the feel of steam against his skin. He straightened up, reaching for the belt of his robe, and saw the writing on the wall.

Thick red marks had been drawn on the shower wall with what looked like paint – here and there the marks even dripped as if the painter had not bothered to remove the excess paint from his brush. A wide circle, easily four feet in radius, with another, smaller circle painted directly inside it. A third circle was painted inside that one, with space between the two for a collection of what looked like occult script.

Kurama turned the water off with a sigh.

The symbols were angular, almost runic, and they looked a little familiar. Kurama bit his lip as he leaned over the tub to examine the markings more closely. He couldn't place them, but he was willing to bet he'd seen something very much like it at some point in his career. It'd come to him. In the meantime, who was going around painting things on his bathroom wall?

His first impulse was to eliminate it. Strange occult symbols rarely meant anything good, and circular occult symbols often spoke of summoning circles or portals – neither of which Kurama wanted in his bathroom. He had a mental image of someone trying to summon him in the middle of a shower, or netherworld entities attacking while Kuwabara was brushing his teeth. Both were definitely scenarios to avoid, although the latter might be fun if he had a camera with him at the time.

He licked his index finger and rubbed at the marks on the outer circle. None of the paint came off on his finger, and the marks themselves didn't smudge. It had been there long enough to thoroughly dry then, and the water from the shower hadn't disturbed it at all. Well, a little industrial cleaner and a scouring pad should do the trick. Or to be on the safe side he could just knock out the wall. Not that they could really afford to fix it afterwards, but all things considered he was pretty sure Kuwabara would see things his way.

Behind him, the door clicked shut.

Kurama straightened, glancing over his shoulder at the door.

The bathroom door was crisscrossed with thick metal chains, bolted to the wall and connected to one another with padlocks. Thick metal plates had been drilled into the door and the chains hooked through these as well. The chains were thick, and solid-looking, not thin or delicate like regular chain-locks. These chains were the sort that would be used to hoist heavy machinery up a mountain. Or restrain a demon.

And Kurama was prepared to swear they hadn't been on the door just a few minutes ago. Someone had put those there after he entered the bathroom. It was so impossible it was laughable, but it had happened.

He eyed the small room warily, seeing nothing, sensing nothing except a growing sense of alarm. His senses told him he was alone in the room. Not that the knowledge made him feel any better.

With a wary glance at the markings on the shower wall, Kurama stepped over to the door, and reached for the doorknob. It was cold under his hand, and refused to turn. He shook the door, but it didn't even rattle.

Something groaned.

Kurama turned, eyes drawn to the cupboard beneath the sink. Something hissed, the sound growing slowly into a wild, guttural hacking.

The hell with this. He slammed his shoulder against the door, throwing all his demon strength into the action. The door didn't move, and he was pretty sure he'd bruised himself.

Whatever was under the sink was clawing at the wood now.

Kurama took a step back and kicked at the door, slamming his heal against the wood directly above the doorknob. His foot connected with a door that felt like solid concrete. Not even a rattle. The door didn't budge.

"This," Kurama said resignedly, "is exactly the sort of day I didn't want to have."

The cabinet door bumped open slightly, banging shut again instantly. It bumped again, harder this time, long enough for something to stick its head out. It was small, and a raw, bleeding, pink, chunks of fur still clinging to the flesh. It turned to look at him, a blank face with no eyes or nose, and when it bared its teeth in a sibilant hiss, the teeth were jagged and pointed. It climbed out of the cabinets, and Kurama resisted the urge to press back against the door.

It was the size of a small dog, with pointed ears like a wolf or fox. Its face was blank except for the mouth, and along its torso a pair of human arms extended, fingers grasping at the air. There was no tail, just a ragged wound where one seemed to have been cut off.

The mouth opened and a thick, forked tongue lashed at the air as the creature turned to face Kurama.

"Most people have roaches," he sighed, slipping his fingers through his hair and summoning the rosewhip to hand.

The creature turned toward the sound, panting slightly around the thick tongue, and Kurama could see flecks of white at the mouth. A rabid hellbeast. Even better.

He moved before it could, the rosewhip lashing out and catching the beast around the torso. With a flick of his wrist the whip cut through the bloody flesh, and the creature screamed as it was cut in half. With another abrupt movement, Kurama silenced it permanently.

Warily, he approached the creature, making sure it was dead before he risked opening the cabinets. It was empty now, but the inside was ruined. They didn't keep much there aside from a few basic toiletries and liquid plumber, but blood smears and chunks of matted fur decorated the inside of the cabinet. Everything in there would have to be thrown away – and the cabinet itself cleaned thoroughly.

Kurama crouched on the balls of his feet, arms resting on his knees, the rosewhip wrapped around his hands and studied the remains of the creature. "Where did you come from?" he asked. "Or should I be asking who put you here?"

He was starting to get a very bad feeling about the situation.

Then the wall began bleeding.

The red symbols on the shower wall were running. Red liquid dripped down the wall in a steadily growing flow, gathering in the shower basin and pooling. Copper tang struck his nose and he grimaced at the scent of blood.

That… was probably to be expected.

It was definitely time to call in the reinforcements. Passing the shower he slammed his hand against the bathroom door with every bit of strength he had at his command. The chains didn't even jingle. "Kuwabara! Kuwabara-kun!"

A clatter, like falling rocks. Or like plaster striking a shower basin.

He wrapped a chain around his hand and pulled experimentally, testing the strength of the bolts. By all rights he should have been able simply pull them out of the wall – the chains may have been strong, but the day he wasn't strong enough to splinter wood Kurama would retire – but nothing so much as budged. He kicked at the door again. "Kuwabara! Wake up!"

Unfortunately his partner wasn't the lightest sleeper. Kuwabara would probably sleep through an atomic bomb, or the demonic invasion of earth, assuming no one tried to grab his blankets. Assuming you could avoid triggering his sixth sense.

Behind him, a chunk of the wall fell into the shower basin with a splash.

Something was growling under the cabinet again.


tbc

c&c welcomed and appreciated.