Title: Dark Hours
Author: Hieiko
Fandom: Yu Yu Hakusho
Characters: Yusuke, Kuwabara, Hiei, Kurama
Disclaimer: I don't own YYH.
Notes: Written for the 31days' November 3 theme, "The story of a flower that has made men mad".
Summary: Set during the 2nd YYH movie. The boys think about Botan and the coming battle.

It didn't occur to Yusuke why he was more furious by Yakumo kidnapping Botan, than by hurting Keiko. Or maybe it did. At least Keiko was still safe inside the temple. A little hurt, sure, but he knew she'd be fine. Keiko was tougher than most people realized.

But Botan... who knew what was happening to her right that moment? Yusuke had seen first-hand that Yakumo would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. And Botan would be fighting back with everything she had, until it killed her.

He wouldn't let that happen. Not on his watch.

xxxxx

Botan had been taken by those monsters, yet here he was, feeling sorry for himself. Though he had already defeated one of the demons from Meikai, Kuwabara feared the cost may have been too much. Without his spiritual energy, he doubted he could even get close enough to the enemy to fight with his fists. How would he avenge Yukina? Or help rescue Botan?

Did it really matter?

No. Weak, useless, or whatever else anyone could call him, Kuwabara Kazuma stood by his friends. He wasn't staying behind while everyone else risked their lives. This battle was his, too.

xxxxx

She meant nothing to him. Who was Botan, anyway, but just another Reikai ferrygirl? To say she was an annoyance was a kindness. Hiei had always said that she was a liability. Yet at the same time he respected her courage for joining them on their missions. But he'd cut off his own tongue before admitting such a thing.

Still, that shred of respect didn't mean Hiei was going to fight on her behalf; he was no hero. But his innocent sister had gotten hurt during Botan's abduction. After that, Hiei had only one thing on his mind: vengeance.

xxxxx

Her name meant "peony". Kurama remembered Botan's blush when he complimented her name one time. He felt sure that they would get her back, somehow. The question that remained was in what condition they would find her in... he really should stop being pessimistic. Better to focus on healing his injuries, if he wanted to be any good in the upcoming battle.

Easier said than done. Things had never been simple for Kurama. Betrayal had always lurked around the corner.

But he would fight, and he would win. Any enemy should know better than to try and deceive a fox.