Disclaimer: Yu Yu Hakusho is not mine, no matter how much I wish it were. I'm making no money off this. Don't sue me, because all you'll get is a few cats and my dingy computer. And a keychain. But I'll leave the country before I give up my Hiei keychain! So don't even think about it!


Chapter 3

As I walk slowly down the path toward home, I recall Hiei's words.

"I want you to go away and leave us alone. We have no need of a useless human boy. You're just in the way."

Why? Why did he have to say that? I know that I'm human with no special abilities at all… I know I'm of no use to them… But, they're all I have. They're my family and my only friends. Doesn't he realize that?

Probably not. After all, he is an emotionless demon bastard. He's rude, he's a murderer, he's self centered…!

I can't fool myself. I love him. I know he's none of those. I just wish he would understand. Heh, now that I think about it, I'm just being selfish. Why can't I think about others for once?

I sigh heavily as I slip into my house. No one else is home. I go straight to bed. Maybe I can rest my mind a bit…

I awake to a small noise. At first, I'm not quite sure what it is. I sit up and look around my room. It's a gentle tapping. Where is it coming from?

The room is dark and my hair is in my face. There is no light radiating from the moon. I look over to my window and my heart skips a beat. There's someone outside my window!

After the shock of seeing an unknown figure outside, my fear changes to hope. Could it be Hiei? I scramble out of bed. I can welcome him in and maybe even offer him a place to sleep!

I yank open the window and can't help but feel disappointed at what I see. Botan, floating on her oar, is covering a yawn. She nods in acknowledgement and pats an empty spot on her oar behind her.

"G'morning, Shuichi-san… Hop on," she says. She's adjusts her kimono slightly and rubs her eyes.

"What are you doing here?" I ask, confused. Why would Botan be coming to my window at two a.m. telling me to "hop on"?

"Koenma-sama wants to see you…," she said, "He said no one would notice if I picked you up this early…" Again, she patted her oar. "Get on."

"What for?" I asked.

"So I can take you to Reikai, obviously!" She growls angrily, giving me an evil glare.

"No, why does Koenma want to see me?" I clarify. I really don't want to test her patience, but I'm not about to fly that high with a half awake grim reaper at 2 am.

"I don't know!" Botan snapped. She reached forward and grabbed my collar, "But I suggest you get on now or I might accidentally drop you in hell for a few years…"

I quickly climbed on. I didn't like that look in her eyes. I don't think she was joking.

The ride to Reikai was terrifying. Not only did Botan almost fall off her own oar, but she just had to do a few flips, one which caused me to fall off completely. I think it was her way of getting revenge. I'm just glad she caught me…

Needless to say, by the time we arrived in Koenma's office, I was a little worse for wear. My eyes were wide and my hair windblown.

"Thank you for bringing him, Botan," Koenma said, "You may go now." Botan bowed and left the office.

"Follow me, if you will," the godling said.

He hopped out of his chair and led me through a door into a bigger room. There was a large amount of ogres, some at strange looking computers, some standing around holding clip boards, and all the others surrounding a large, stone chair in the middle of the room.

"Take a seat," Koenma says, gesturing to the chair. I look at him as if he were crazy.

"Why?" I ask, feeling tense. The chair didn't look at all appealing.

"We're just going to run a few tests on you. We have to make sure—"

"Warning! No specimen for memory replacement! Emergency shutdown! Repeating, Warning!"

A large flashing sign appeared on a screen above the largest computer. Koenma looked around and began yelling at a blue ogre.

"GEORGE!" He screeched, "What do you think you're doing!"

I tuned everything out and ran. I slipped through door leading to Koenma's office, out the door I entered to get there, down a long hall, past ogres, past filing cabinets, around desks, and out the big entrance doors.

I ran to a small staircase of stone leading down the large cliff the castle sat on. I ran as fast as I could.

How could they? They were going to erase my memories and replace them with fake ones! I know it was probably due to the law of no humans knowing of the supernatural, but still!

I gasp as I slip down the stairs and roll the rest of the way down. I land on the hard ground, screaming in pain. Something snapped. I didn't know what it was, and at that moment, I didn't care.

The rain began to pour as I got up and looked above me. Almost fifty oni were running down the stairs after me. I turned and ran faster. I didn't want to lose my memory. My memories are all I have.

I dart through trees on my left, hoping they wouldn't be able to follow my trail. The storm is ferocious, with thunder booming above me. The wind is blowing hard enough to knock me off my feet, and the lightning is eerily closer to the ground with each flash. I begin to zigzag around, turning at random. Over the wind, I hear the voices. The oni are drawing nearer. I have to get away.

I stop and look around me. A cave, off in the distance! I run toward it like mad. The oni are closer. I must hide. I must run. I must seek refuge. They can't find me. They can't!

Lightning strikes the tree just outside the cave. It begins to fall. I scream as I lung into the cave, out of the tree's way. The flaming tree is blocking the entrance, and a heavy limb is lying atop my leg. I breathe heavily as I hear the oni run past. I'm safe from them. I'll keep my memories!

My leg is becoming numb, I notice, and my arm is hurting. I was betrayed by them. Koenma and Botan betrayed me.

I think of Hiei to get my mind off my problems. The emotions are tearing at my insides, and I don't want to face reality.

The storm, night, and pain slowly fade away into darkness…