I'm back with the next and final chapter of this story. I hate to see it come to an end, but it must at some point. I hope all of you readers enjoyed Old Memories Relived as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to all my readers. Now, onto the chpt wrap up!
Discalimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho. Nor do I own the song thingie used at the end of this chapter. That belongs to Pinkwitch1 and I thank her for allowing me to use it.
Chapter 21: Goodbye and Hello
As soon as the bell rang, Yusuke and Kuwabara bolted out of the school. They stopped at the gate to allow Keiko to catch up. Earlier that day, they were visited by Botan with some good news. She had told them that Kurama and Hiei were coming back today. They were all going to meet at Kurenai's apartment. Once Keiko had joined them, they all left the school grounds.
Within minutes they had made it to the building. They quickly made their way up the stairs and knocked on the designated door. There was shuffling on the other side before the door opened. Botan ushered them in and to the living room. The teens were greeted by Hiei and Kurama, no longer in his demon form.
"How is she?" Yusuke asked. "Kurenai will be fine. She's changing right now." Keiko was startled by the man who spoke and stepped behind Yusuke. They all looked to the demon coming out of Kurenai's room. "I'm sorry if I frightened you." Kuronue apologized to the young woman. "Keiko, this is Kuronue, Kurenai's father." explained Kurama. Keiko managed a weak smile as greeting. "So, what happened?" Kuwabara asked. "We no longer have to concern ourelves with Rumaru or his undrling." stated Hiei.
A few minutes passed until the bedroom door opened. Kurenai came out in human form carrying her leather jacket. She had a simple pair of blue jeans and a tanktop on with her boots. There was a bandage around her arm to hide the bruised and punctured skin. A scarf covered the bruise across her throat. Her injuries would heal within a few days, but she couldn't wait that long to visit the hospital. She greeted the others and assured them she was fine. "Way to go killing Rumaru." Yusuke commented. He got a thanks in return. After that it was silent.
"Um," Botan began hesitantly. "I'm sorry, but I must take Kuronue back to Spirit World." The male koomori looked to Kurama and then Botan. "Could we have a moment?" he asked. The spirit guide nodded. Her and everyone else filed out of the room. Once they were alone, Kuronue turned to his daughter. "Well, you and HIei, huh? Just know that Kurama will be watching you. Plus you better keep up your grades in school, listen to Kurama and this Sanzo fellow, and..." "Dad, chill." Kurenai said stopping the man's rambling. Kuronue smiled at her. "I'm very proud of you, Kurenai. Your mother is, too. We may not reside in the living realm anymore, but we are always with you. And we will always love you." he told her. The younger bat demon hugged her father tightly. "I love you, too." she said.
As much as they didn't want to let go, they knew it had to be done. Kuronue pulled away and called for Botan. The others came back in along with the blue-haired woman. "I'm ready." Kuronue stated. "Very well." Botan walked to the center of the room and created the rift to Spirit World. Before he went to it, Kuronue gripped Kurama's shoulders. "Take care of yourself, and my daughter." he said looking the kitsune in the eye. "I will." This put a smile on the koomori's face. With one last look at Kurenai, he disappeared into the portal followed by Botan.
Kurenai turned to face her friends after the rift closed. Hiei walked over to her. "Will you be all right?" he asked sincerely. "Yes." she replied. "I appreciate your concern. Kurama," The fox gave her his attention. "Can we go to the hospital?" she asked. "Of course."
On their way to the hospital, Keiko said she had to get home and headed off in the opposite direction. Kurenai was quiet during the walk. Out of courtesy and sympathy the four guys kept quiet as well. Upon reaching the hospital , the boys remained by the door while Kurenai went up to the front desk. A pang of guilt welled up in Kurenai's stomach. It was her fault her guardian was in here anyway. "Excuse me." she said. The woman glanced up and a look of recognition was displayed on her face. "Kurenai, is it?" The koomori was surprised that the woman knew her name. "How did you know?" "Oh, Mr.Kishiro kept a picture of him and his band on his bedside table the whole time he was here. He would talk to me about all of you when I asked. Are you here to see him?" Kurenai nodded.
"I'm sorry, but he's not here anymore." the woman told her cheerfully. "What?" "He was discharged this morning." Kurenai sighed in relief. "Thank you." She turned around and bumped into someone. "Oh, sorry." She looked up to apologize to the man. "Are you sorry for bumping into me or disappearing for a month?" he said. Closing her eyes and swallowing her guilt, Kurenai prepared to explain the well thought out lie she had come up with.
"Just tell me this. Was it important?" Sanzo stated sternly. The child he was responsible for tensed and replied, "Yes." The hardcore look on the man's face faded, replaced by a gentle smile. "Then I trust you. You don't have to explain anything to me." he said. Kurenai was surprised at how he was acting about this whole thing. She had taken off without a word to anyone and was gone for more than a month. And yet Sanzo harbored no ill will towards her.
"How are you feeling?" Kurenai asked. "I'm all right. Still in a bit of pain and restricted from doing pretty much anything except lie in bed, but otherwise fine." he replied. "Good to hear it." Sanzo looked the girl over with a sharp eye. "Are you okay?" The koomori glanced over to her friends by the door and then back at Sanzo. "Never better."
The Underworld was bustling with laughter at the bar in celebration of Sanzo's restored health. The Black Hearts toasted with their beers and the other with their sodas, since Kurenai still refused to serve them alcohol. "For the man who knew better than to die on us." Iwasaki said as the cups clanked together. They all took a sip of their beverages, some gulping down the entire thing. "Well, time to start the show." Ryo stated, putting his drink down on the counter. "Let's go." Sanzo, Togusa, Ryo, and Iwasaki stood up to head to the stage. "Rei, you coming?" "In a sec."
Kurenai led the others to a table up front as she had done once before. Keiko dragged Yusuke onto the dance floor and were followed by Kuwabara. The other two sat down in the chairs. "Having fun?" asked Kurenai leaning on the table with her arms. "Indeed." replied Kurama. The girl threw him a smile then turned to Hiei. "What about you?" Hiei answered with his usual "Hn."
The koomori sighed. She walked behind his chair, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him on the cheek. "You're hopeless." she said. Hiei smirked, lightly squeezing Kurenai's arm in return. The kitsune smiled at the couple, silently agreeing with Kurenai. "You should be getting up there." he said. "You're right. I'll be back in a bit." She then walked off.
"She's changed." Hiei stated after the koomori left. "Yes, she has. But for the better." Kurama looked to where the girl was on stage. Clearly visible around Kurenai's neck was the red and silver pendant. It was then that Kurama remembered the dream he continuously had before he'd reunited with his goddaughter. Those nightly visions had ceased when they returned from Makai. Maybe this is what his conscious was trying to tell him. He never lost Kuronue. His partner's spirit lives on inside his daughter. Kurama sighed. His mind was now at peace. He was able to look at Kurenai and see an everlasting memory of joy.
"I'm the darkness of the moon,
I'm the darkness here for you.
Can't hide it, oh, you can't hide
What's inside your heart.
I'm your demon, I'm your love
And you know that you need me
To make your life complete.
Come and prove you love me, baby, please."
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