Botan sighed. If she didn't know better she'd think she had a masochistic streak.

It had been bad enough when she'd had that crush on Yusuke (how embarrassing those weeks had been!) He was head over heels for Keiko, anyone could see that, and Botan knew for a fact the girl reciprocated in a big way; besides, she considered Keiko a friend, and even if she hadn't she would've liked her anyway: it was almost impossible not to, really, and with everything that Botan was privy to in her position as a ferrygirl of Reikai… well. It had been difficult.

But in some ways this was worse.

She'd known from the beginning that Yusuke was unavailable, and there was a certain distance that the knowledge brought, even if she hadn't been able to keep herself from thinking of him in a way she shouldn't. But him… she knew hardly anything about him at all.

Oh, Botan knew the basics, of course, and flattered herself that she knew more than most. She knew his past, and even if others had their doubts she knew that he regretted it (or at least some of it.) She knew that his heart had changed into something a bit warmer, even if she didn't know anything about his heart beyond that, much less what she was most interested in. And she knew that his friends meant more to him than perhaps even he knew.

But… she didn't know anything that mattered.

Hell, she mused ruefully, I'm not even entirely sure he's straight. The thought brought a blush to her face.

Besides, he was even less likely to be attracted to her than Yusuke, and that was saying something.

Botan had no problems with self- esteem, and actually rather liked herself as a person, but there was no denying that she was… well, ditzy was a kind enough term. And being the smartest person she knew (though she would never admit as much aloud, much less in front of Koenma- sama), he no doubt found her intellectually stagnant.

Besides, she was from Reikai. As much as they fought, as viciously as they hated each other at times, humans and demons were far more alike than either race was to those from the spirit realm. Botan did not age; her body was entirely different (whether or not it could even be called a body was debatable); and her profession didn't exactly lend itself to romance. Or relationships in general. Sometimes she wondered why Koenma- sama had assigned her to Yusuke. As ferrygirls one of the first things they were taught was not to get attached. But…

Who could help loving such a group?

Who could help loving such a demon?

Botan also hadn't been a spirit guide for all that long; she was still new enough to her job to make mistakes.

She wondered if Koenma- sama had done the same thing.

Oh well. It didn't really matter anyway.

But when he smiled… she couldn't help but hope.


A/N: Forgive me terms such as "Reikai," etc. Although the only subtitled Yu Yu Hakusho I've seen was the 2nd movie a year or so ago, a lot of the time the Japanese term for something sounds more fitting/ cooler than the English one, and I think as long as you don't go overboard with it, when it's used properly the juxtaposition of Japanese and English terms can be a nice touch.