Standard Disclaimers Apply.
A/N: Yay! My first Yu Yu Hakusho fic! Heads up Kurama/Botan fans, this is for you guys! And brace yourselves…it's kinda long. XD.
Minamino Shuuichi, more familiarly referred to as Kurama by close friends, had attained what most were sure was absolute perfection.
He was smart. Ranked #1 in his class, an exceptionally high IQ, with top-notch scores that could land him in any prestigious university in the entire world, as far as anyone knew, he could've skipped high school all together.
He was attractive. Undoubtedly, so. His unruly fiery tresses, glinting jade eyes, and leanly muscular physique gave even the most gorgeous of actors on television a run for their money.
He was strong. Though his total strength he only revealed while amongst his fellow Rekai Tentei and other otherworldly figures, he was recognized for his remarkable achievements in the world of athletics. A track star due to his unfathomable speed (Though he commented constantly on how a certain friend could always outrun him). A master of martial arts warned people that he was one not to be taken lightly.
He was kind and respectful. He cared much for his friends and family (especially his 'kaa-san), offering any help he was capable of providing, doing all he could for the better of things. He was one who still believed strongly in the principles of chivalry, a characteristic that made girls swoon.
Kurama was the personification of what it meant to be faultless. He had a rabid fan club, not to mention some eccentric stalkers, to prove it.
So, when the Minamino Shuuichi, decided one day, to work at the local flower shop to help out with his family's minor financial problems, the Sakura Blossom Flower Shop became a popular hangout for Meiou's female population.
"Shuuichi-kuuuunnnnn!" called an irritatingly high-pitched voice. Kurama turned around from his place, watering a few chrysanthemums near the shop window, and walked towards the young woman who had just called his name. He plastered on a fake smile as he usually did with these kinds of customers.
"What can I help you with, Oniwa-san?" Kurama asked, voice gentle and calm as always. The Oniwa girl blushed hot red letting out an eardrum-breaking squeal. "Oh, Shuuchi-kun, you're SO polite!"
Kurama fought hard to keep from rolling his eyes. Under that handsome façade, the personalities of these fan girls, annoyed the HELL out of him. If not for his love of Botany, he would've quit a long, LONG while ago.
"I just needed you to get me that lovely rose on the top-shelf there!" She pointed to the flower she was referring to and he sighed inwardly. He knew all she wanted to do was watch him reach for things…
When he brought it down for her, she squealed yet again and Kurama desperately fisted his palms as not to reach for his ears. "Thank you, thank you, Shuu-kun! Roses are my absolute favorite flowers, you know!" Kurama expelled a breath or exasperation, 'yeah right.', he thought, 'you say that merely because I like roses…'
Kurama fixed his false grin on his countenance. "You're welcome, Oniwa-san."
Kurama returned to his former task of watering the flowers. He lazily looked around, emerald irises scanning the customers. Namely, his irritating fan girls. Wasn't there anyone of substance around here?
As if heaven itself had answered his question, in walked a familiar face sporting candy eyes and a head of cerulean locks. 'Botan?' Kurama thought, curious. 'Is she here to inform me about another mission?'
Instead of walking to her, Kurama patiently waited at his station for her to come and deliver the message. Perhaps she could also offer some healthy conversation. So he waited, and waited…and waited. Why wasn't she coming?
The red-haired young man looked towards the smiling deity again to find…she was looking through the selection of plants.
For what, Kurama didn't know, but he sincerely smiled anyway. It was nice to know that some girls came in here for the flowers instead of to gaze infatuated at the so-called 'Meiou's #1 bachelor.'
He casually walked over to her as she gazed at the store's number of white lilies. Botan felt a presence beside her and looked up to see a recognizable face grinning down at her.
"Kur—" she remembered they were in the Human World, "Shuuichi-kun! Hi!" Surprise turned quickly to a brightening delight, "What are you doing here?" Her amethyst eyes caught the green vest he sported. "Do you work here?"
"Yes I do." He answered, inside, finding it strange how he couldn't keep from smiling while now in her company. "What, may I ask, are you doing here, Botan-san?"
"Ah! It's Rekai, Shuuichi-kun!" She hushed her voice remembering how they were among mortals, "There's a flu going around and Ayame-chan's contracted it."
"Really?" Kurama questioned, surprised. He didn't know spirit folk could catch illnesses.
"Yep! I'm here to get her some flowers…" She drifted her eyes back to the white lilies on the table beside them, and somehow it warmed Kurama's heart at her…sweetness.
"Lilies, I assume?" He asked.
She nodded her head, "Hai!"
"It somehow…matches her personality," she continued, "White lilies are simple, and pure, and beautiful. Just like Ayame-chan." Kurama thought about it and she was right. He hadn't known she could be so expressive.
"Do you like flowers, Botan-san?"
"Yes, of course! They're pretty, sweet-smelling and can help people express their feelings!"
She nodded again, "See? By giving these to Ayame-chan, I'm telling her that I hope she'd 'get well soon.'
Kurama nodded his head, being a plant expert himself and knowing exactly what she meant.
"Well, I'm just going to purchase two of these." She picked up two of the nicest lilies and tied them together with a piece of ribbon. "I'm guessing you should get back to work, Shuuichi-kun. I don't want you fired because of me!" She smiled apologetically.
"Botan-san, you're not intru—"
She hinted over to a few of the customers currently glaring at the bluette deity. "I don't think they like me very much." Kurama looked to the "who" she'd been referring to, noticing that it was practically every girl in the room was staring infuriated at the pink-eyed new comer. Who was she to take all of Shuuichi-kun's attention!
Kurama nodded sadly as she departed.
He swallowed the urge to glower at every female customer in the store.
Botan was his ticket away from these vain women and towards nice company.
And these girls had just chased her away with their insufferable jealousy.
"Oh, Shuuichi-kuuuuunnnn!" screeched another voice, no doubt of a fan girl wanting his attention.
'You're doing this for the cash and so you can interact with plants again.' He told himself, putting on the fake 'May I help you,' smile. 'Remember, money and botany.'
Money and Botany.
Since Kurama had made the connection, he couldn't seem to forget their meeting at the flower shop. They'd had an easy-going conversation, despite the fact that they didn't see each other out of work. He'd been oddly relaxed while talking with her and found her honesty about flowers and feelings refreshing.
Too bad she wasn't going to come to the shop today. If he was lucky, ever. He sighed. Damn fan girls.
He was assigned cash register duty today and he was thankful. Working the cash register meant he couldn't 'help' the annoying female customers that came in to see him on the job. That meant, not many fan girl customers today. Which ultimately meant, not many customers in general.
Bored, Kurama took out a book he'd rented at the library the other day titled, (What else?), "Botany". He'd gotten this job for the principal reason of this subject. To further increase his study, and in secret, his powers over plants.
The bell that hung over the door, jingled, signaling a new customer. Green eyes looked to see, only to widen as a certain deity walked in, sporting the same smile she had yesterday. Not noticing him behind his book, she walked over to an aisle and Kurama, without thinking, got up to follow her.
He found her among the daisies, currently inspecting a couple of red ones. He smiled instinctively.
"Back again, Botan-san?"
She looked up to find, "Shuuichi-kun! Hi!" She grinned up at him sheepishly, "I didn't see you there."
He chuckled slightly, "Hmmm, red daisies today? Interesting choice."
"Yeah." She responded, "The flower reminds me of the person I'm giving this to. Sweet, cute, not to mention, red. Care to guess who?"
Kurama smiled, in thought. He knew only a few Spirit people apart from Botan. Let's see…there was Ayame-san, which couldn't be because Botan had already gotten her the white lilies from yesterday. Koenma-san, whom Kurama knew (or hoped), Botan wouldn't refer to as "sweet and cute." George-san, the ogre? Kurama almost laughed at the incredulity. Then there was also…
"Hai!" She nodded enthusiastically. Then, she saw the book he was holding and her carnation eyes widened. "W-what are you reading about…Shuuichi-kun?"
Confused at her reaction to a book, he looked down to see that his fingers were covering the "Y" part of the title so now it simply read, "Botan."
No wonder she was…he looked to her face to find her blushing slightly…which caused the heat to unconsciously form on his cheeks.
To redeem himself from embarrassment, Kurama held up the book to her. "Just…Botany." He flipped open to pages of various exotic flowers, explaining, "The study of plants."
"Oh." Botan smiled again as she relaxed. "I should've known that…um, Botany…would be your expertise."
He grinned gently at her, knowing she had known a long time ago of the fact that he was once a vicious, thieving fox demon from Makai who's specialty was his control over plants and nature. It gave him a sense of happiness knowing that she had so easily came to terms with that truth and accepted him.
"Oh!" interrupted Kurama's thoughts, "Look at the time! I must be going back to Rekai! Those souls don't guide themselves, y'know?"
He smiled saying, "I'll get those for you." At the cash register, he put her two crimson daisies in a bag and handed it to her.
Before she walked out, he asked suddenly, "Will I see you tomorrow?"
She gazed back at him smiling, "Maybe."
He grinned. Kurama found himself anticipating tomorrow.
And she'd come back, everyday, for the next 2 weeks, buying a different type of flower for each of her friends in Rekai.
Not that Kurama minded, of course.
Botan offered something Kurama couldn't find in any other girl who walked in. Actually, in any other girl, period.
The pink-eyed bluette was sweet and pleasant, supplying a smile when the days seemed glum. She was a natural at being social and knew what it meant to be a good friend. Kurama could almost swear that the store brightened when she walked in, though he wasn't about to admit that of course.
She had a tough streak in her though so she could defend herself. Her fighting skills weren't nearly as good as his (you vain fox!) of course, but she could pack a punch when needed.
She was articulate, most evidently when she talked about her interests such as flowers and music and books. The deity was also very helpful during missions, Kurama now noticed, as she often helped planning operations.
Her personality was what Kurama, or Shuuichi, found most appealing about her as a friend.
It was the fox inside of him that made him notice other things. Her appearance, for instance, was something that couldn't pass Kurama's notice. Her sky blue tresses, sparkling candy eyes, her smiling pink lips…
'Sexy figure.' Youko offered, deviously. Kurama reddened visibly. 'Youko!'
It was really strange how Youko seemed to be cutting his thoughts more often these days. Usually, he'd act just as his battle instincts, but with Botan around Youko could be heard always adding his two-cents in.
'Perhaps, because we've become close friends?' Kurama pondered the possibility. It was the truth. In the past two weeks, he'd gotten to know her quite well and it was so vice-versa as he discovered that he opened up while in her presence.
Currently, Kurama was talking to another one of his talkative fan girls, bored and falsely happy.
"You'd NEVER guess what my favorite flower is, Shuuichi-kun!" She screeched loudly, as he searched for the plant seeds she'd requested.
"Let me guess," the red head said offhandedly. He'd heard this WAY too many times before, "Red roses?"
"YEAH!" She squealed, giggling, "How'd you know, Shuuichi-kun? Isn't it, like, SO WEIRD how we have the SAME favorite flower?"
"Why…yes it is, Modoka-san." He muttered. The girl continued, "The rose is like the absolute PERFECT flower, huh? It's so pretty and nice and attractive and beautiful and sweet…" She ranted on and on about the loveliness of the rose as it was the definitive treasure on Earth.
Then, in walked Botan, carrying what looked like heavy bags filled with…books?
Kurama brightened noticeably. "Excuse me…" He said quickly over to Modoka as he hurried over to the deity staggering with the weight of her things.
"Botan-chan!" He greeted happily. The shop erupted in whispers as they had obviously discerned the suffix of this girl's name. He had changed her name's suffix 3 days back when she'd said, "Don't be so formal, Kurama-kun!" and he'd responded with a grin, "All right, Botan-chan."
The only other person Kurama had ever called "–chan" was his little brother Suuichi-chan. Botan deserved it though as she was like a little sister to him…or so he kept telling himself.
'Do you have…dreams…about your brother in this manner?' The color rushed to Kurama's face. Thankfully, Botan hadn't seen it as she'd busied herself with her bags. 'SHUT UP, YOUKO.'
"Hi, Shuuichi-kun!" The deity greeted cheerfully. She could feel the glares on her back as she walked towards the green eyed boy, but having gotten used to them, she quietly disregarded them all.
"Botan-chan," He helped her with her bags, a question in his bottle green eyes, "What's all this?"
"For you." She answered simply. He took books out with titles like, "Growing Gardens", "The Study of a Plant's Life", "The Green Thumb". He looked to her seeing a blush spread across her cheeks. Cute. "I thought that…when you get bored here at work and had nothing to do…you could…um, well…read these old books I got from Rekai's old library."
"Don't worry," She joked, the pink still evident on her cheeks, "I didn't steal them or anything. I know that you like Botany so I got them for you…"
And then, Kurama, the Minamino Shuuichi, did something he'd never done to any girl outside his family. He brought her close and hugged her.
"Thank you." He whispered coolly in her ear. They stayed there a few more moments and Kurama reveled in the feeling of her warmth. Why did this feel so…right?
They parted and the world was again cold and the fan girls alive and annoying.
She blushed prettily letting out a soft, "You're welcome." He smiled at her embarrassment.
"So…" Kurama interjected, finally. "You came here for more flowers?"
"Oh!" Botan smiled, relaxing again, "That's right. I'm looking for some sunflowers…"
"Sunflowers? Right this way…" He bowed gentleman-like and she giggled lightly. As they came to the aisle he contemplated her choice, "Sunflowers? What do you think the characteristics of sunflowers are, Bot-chan?"
"Well, they're sunny…and tall." She said sheepishly. She looked through the red, orange, and yellow selection of tall sunflowers. 'Tall?' Maybe it was…
"Do you have any in blue?" She asked hinting his identity. It confirmed his beliefs.
"George-san has caught it too then?" Kurama smirked.
"Yep! Poor Koenma-sama has no one to yell at now…" She said, kidding. They shared a small, comfortable laugh.
"Anyway, I'm sure George-kun will be happy with these though," She stated, "He said they were his favorite Ningenkai flowers."
A question suddenly hit Kurama, "Hey, Botan-chan…I've been wondering."
"You seem to know everyone's particular interest in plants," He said jokingly, "What's your favorite, exactly?"
She grinned cheerily. "Guess."
"Don't tell me…" He smiled softly back, "Roses right?"
"Nope!" She giggled at Kurama's slightly surprised (though pleased) expression, "Guess again."
He thought it over. Hmmm…What could Botan like for a favorite flower? Botan…Botan…
"A…peony?" He asked.
"Right!" She smiled up at him, "And it's not just because of my namesake, too."
She explained, "Peonies are bright…" 'Like you.' Kurama thought.
"They are sweet smelling…"
Youko smirked, 'Like you.'
"And they bloom in the spring and summer, my favorite seasons!" She said as enthusiastically as always.
"You forgot…" Kurama cut in, a sincere look in his jade pools, "Peonies are very beautiful too."
Botan blushed yet again, not knowing whether to agree which was telling the truth but being conceited or not. So instead she said rather nervously, "Oh look! I got to run! George-kun will be waiting for these." She rushed to the cashier and paid for her sunflowers.
"Thanks again, Shuuichi-kun!" She said as she was about to head out. Before reaching for the door she saw that he'd already opened the door for her, always the gentleman. Without thinking, she gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then blushed hard without looking back.
Surprised, Kurama put to fingers on the place where Botan had just kissed him. Something no non-relative had ever done. He grinned.
"I'll see you tomorrow," he called, smiling for like the 1000th time these past few weeks.
The shocked fan girls around him looked to each other. Some fainted. Other bawled. They're worst nightmare had been practically proved right at that moment. Minamino Shuuichi had a girlfriend.
Though not true, Kurama somehow found himself…extremely okay with that.
A/N: Okay? What do you guys think? REVIEW! XD.