Boeton, and Koenma stepped out of the room looking up at everyone, eyes eager for news. "It's time," Boeton whispered, "It's time." Kurama looked at the ground, Hiei turning away, and Yusuke staring blankly at them. "How can it be time? He's...he's not old enough!" Everyone looked at him, "Yusuke he's 93 years old...it's time."
Yusuke lowered his eyes to the floor, and walked into the room where a withered old man lay. He was the fourth member of their group. Kazuma Kuwabara was now a very old man, and the same pale blue eyes looked up at Yusuke. "Hello...are you my grandson?"
Yusuke snorted, "Kuwabara don't give me that crap!" The old man smiled, and laughed weakly, "You never let me have any fun Urameshi."
"DamX strait. You're too old for jokes."
"Watch it sonny."
/Sailing out into the sea of twilight,
The two of us shall never cross paths again.../
Kuwabara and Yusuke sat in silence, and Yusuke sighed, "Yukina, and the kids can't make it, this storm is keeping them." Kuwabara smiled, his wrinkled face stretching, "Oh that's okay, I wouldn't want them to see me like this anyway...where are Hiei and Kurama? Are they going to sit with me?"
Yusuke nodded, "I just want...a little more time...to..." Yusuke turned away, and Kuwabara's hand reached out taking his. "Were you happy to be my friend Urameshi...even when my body started failing, and I got arthritis in my hands, and knees, and when I was reduced to having to wear dippers, and use a crutch?"
Yusuke smiled putting his hand over Kuwabara's.
"Of course you weirdo...the only thing I'm not happy about is you didn't take Koenma's offer...why couldn't you have become a demon? If not for me, your wife?" Kuwabara sighed at Yusuke's question, and smiled, "Because I'm tired. And I knew I wanted to die, to live out my life as a human. I love you all...but I'm tired, and I didn't mind. This feeling...is almost thrilling. The feeling of knowing I'm going to be leaving, and I'll be allowed to leave and go to another place."
/A golden light falls into the sea, the wind has paused The two of us, frightened, hear only the light crashing of water/
Yusuke sighed closing his eyes. "You won't believe all the memories that keep coming back to me Urameshi," Kuwabara sighed closing eyes. "That boat ride to the Dark Tournament, Sensui kidnapping me...I wish I had my cane then...I could have beat him down." Yusuke laughed looking at his best friend who still glowed with such spirit. "I bet you could have...I bet you could have."
Kuwabara turned his head looking at his best friend's youthful face. "You look so young...It's almost scary. Heheheheh...Creepy." Yusuke reached over ruffling Kuwabara's snow white hair. "Yeah, yeah you lil' baXtard. I've heard you a thousand times about that already!"
Kuwabara began to cough, and Yusuke snatched a cup of water of the desk table. He lifted Kuwabara gently giving him a sip, "Rest Kuwabara," Yusuke whispered, "Why don't you rest."
/I've forgotten my path completely, what I believed in to make it this far Leaving in me only enough kindness to say goodbye/
"Hey Kuwabara." Yusuke and Kuwabara's head swiveled, and they smiled at Hiei and Kurama. "Oh Good, talkign to this guy was getting boring." Kuwabara said with a delighted smile, and smiling wider as Yusuke growled in annoyance. "There's one good thing about being old," Kuwabara said with a laugh, "I can get away with anything, because none of you will hit me."
Kurama smiled sitting next to him, Hiei deciding to stand at the foot of the bed. Kuwabara smiled at Hiei. "Come on my dear brother get closer." Hiei glared at the elderly man, he hated it when the man brought up the fact that they were now family.
"You're such an aXs."
Kuwabara laughed, and closed his eyes in a dream like manner. "I'm so tired now...so very tired." Kuwabara whispered as Hiei took bold steps over to him, and seized one of his hands. "You're cold." Hiei said blandly, Kuwabara staring at him with a gentle expression. "I remember when you confessed we were now related. That was terrifying." He laughed, and Yusuke smiled shaking his head, as Hiei growled in annoyance.
"Come on Kazuma, can't you see Hiei is trying to have a sentimental moment with you?" Kurama said laughing at Kuwabara, and then tried stifling them as Hiei glared daggers at him. "Baxtard!" Hiei hissed in Kurama's direction. Kuwabara smiled, turning to look at Yusuke, "Urameshi...how did we meet...I can't really seem to remember."
Yusuke smiled painfully, "What's the last thing you remember?"
Kuwabara smiled, "Your funeral. It was such a sad day...I went home and cried my eyes out."
Stunned silence filled the room.
/No matter how many waves crash down as I cry out to my memories I can't ever return to the shore you were on/
"You cried for me?" Yusuke whispered, "I new you shed a tear at my funeral, but you really cried for me? Kuwabara nodded, eyes closed, "Of course...I was sad...I threw up outside my house. I wonder when I ate the carrots," Kuwabara said dreamily trailing off.
Yusuke smiled, shaking his head. "It was the beginning of our 8th grade year, and you saw me beating up one of your friends. You were so pissed, and I was almost pleasantly surprised when you punched me. No one had ever caused my pain before, but your punch hurt."
Kuwabara smiled smugly, "Because I'm the man."
Kurama, and Yusuke laughed, and Hiei shook his head.
"It's times like these when I wished I wasn't human so much..." Kuwabara whispered with a yawn. He blinked suddenly, and sighed, "Give me a hug everyone...it's time." All his friend's faces paled, and Kurama leaned down hugging him. "Kazuma...I...I feel so privileged being your friend." Kurama released him standing hastily. Hiei glared at Kuwabara, flatly declaring, "No."
"Come on...please...as a dying man's request?" Kuwabara said with a devilishly smile. Hiei glared, and leaned down hugging the older man, the old man's arms draping loosely around him. Yusuke and Kurama were both surprised that Hiei held on to Kuwabara for a long moment, before releasing him, and leaving quickly, Kurama following him.
Yusuke and Kuwabara looked at each other, and Yusuke took his best friend in his arms. He hugged the man, pulling him up, and not wanting to let go. "Oh Kuwabara...please...don't die!" Yusuke suddenly burst into loud agonizing tears, and Kuwabara smiled kindly stroking his best friend's head, "I don't think I have a choice in the matter now."
The two held onto each other, crying and sniffing good-byes, before Yusuke finally released him miserably, knowing they'd never see each other again.
/only the twilight in their embrace,
The waves of days past are already deep at the ocean's bottom/
Yusuke exited the room, sniffing, and sitting down next to Koenma, who looked quite sick. Exactly three minutes went by, when something passed through the door. "Kuwabara..." Boeton whispered staring at the specter before them. Kuwabara smiled at his friends, his youth restored.
"Oh Kuwabara..." Boeton ran over to him, tears dropping down her face. "Are you ready to be judged?" Boeton asked, looking at the man, who gazed at his friends. He stared at Yusuke the longest, who refused to look at him.
That night Yusuke trudged home, kicked off his shoes, and crawled into the guest bedroom, feeling unwilling to look into his wife's eyes, knowing he break down then and there. He lay still, eyes shut tight for a good three hours, He sighed, rolled over, and nearly jumped out of his skin at the pale blue eyes staring at him.
The specter smiled, shaking his head, "You little baxtard...I wanted you to look me in the eyes before I left. Yusuke burst out crying, and cursed the ghost for making him a wimp. Kuwabara hugged him, holding his arms so that they wouldn't pass through Yusuke. Yusuke looked at his friend's youthful face, smiling, "You look just like I remember." Kuwabara smiled, and looked at his best friend. "I'm going to miss you, but I gotta go...I just wanted to say good-bye and to let you know...things will get better."
Yusuke sighed, his eyes filled with loneliness already. "Okay Kuwabara...go...go on...get going. Have a great afterlife." Kuwabara smiled his goofy grin, and vanished. Yusuke stayed still on his bed, staring at the spot Kuwabara had been, and stayed that way for the rest of the night.
/The two of us shall never meet again And the nights of falling asleep looking into your lonesome eyes will disappear/