Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho.
Note: For the purposes of the plot, Hiei and Botan will already somewhat care about the other. By no means do they have any romantic feelings yet, but it would have somewhat of an impact on the other if something happened to them. Also, Yukina and Botan are just friends. Hence this story is Hiei/Botan.
This first chapter is going to move a little fast, but that's how I want it. It's to make it seem like everything is kind of happening so quickly and it's kind of a blur, so I hope none of you mind. One more thing, Hiei won't be coming in until the next chapter.
Summary: An attack on the temple has landed Botan and Yukina in Makai, lost and alone. Will Hiei's wild goose chase to find them ever end? (HB)
Wild Goose Chase
Chapter One: Through The Portal
Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival. -Hannah Arendt
Botan stared warily at the dark clouds outside from her seat in front of the window. A storm was brewing, she could just tell. Goosebumps crept up her arms and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. Something bad was going to happen; there was no doubt in her mind.
Up until this point, she'd been enjoying her short vacation at the temple, occasionally seeing the Reikai Tantei when they stopped by for a visit. She and Yukina often did something together for amusement, such as going to the mall, watching movies together, and always having tea in the afternoon.
The latter being exactly what they were currently doing, she took a shaky sip of mint tea from her cup, sitting in silence with her koorime friend. Botan wasn't the only one on edge, Yukina was also taking quick glances at the grey clouds, hoping not to catch the attention of her friend.
It wasn't the storm that was scaring them, it was that feeling they got while watching horror movies when the girl was running blindly to the killer and they were just tempted to scream at the screen and tell her to go the other way; apprehension. The air was thick and something was hinted in it, not enough to know exactly what it was, but enough to know that it was there and that it wasn't safe.
Botan took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. Normally she wouldn't feel so terrified when Genkai was there, but the tough old woman was soaking in the sun on an island in the pacific, deciding to get away for a week or two. That left her and Yukina vulnerable to anything that could get past the wards around the temple.
At the sound of her friend's worried voice Botan's head snapped away from the window with a slight jump, "Yes, Yukina?"
Yukina seemed to falter before gaining back her composure, "…You feel it too, right?"
Usually she wouldn't share her fears with her companion, but she didn't think now was a good time to lie. Obviously something was going on if Yukina was as nervous as her, "I do."
"What do you think it is?"
Instead of voicing her thoughts she gave her a small smile and took another sip of her tea which was getting cold, "I don't know."
Yukina shifted in her cushioned seat, making sure not to look out the window and to keep her eyes on the pot of tea on the table in front of her. The whole room was fatally quiet, which made the already chilling situation even creepier.
She moved her gaze back up to Botan and the two stayed silent for a moment, their hearts racing with fear, "What is it?"
"Yukina, please keep calm, but… I saw something moving in the trees. Something that's not supposed to be there," Botan whispered, her hands shaking, making some of the tea in her cup spill over.
At that moment, the perfect moment, they heard plates in the kitchen crash and shatter on the floor, harsh voices, and loud footsteps already making their way to the hallway. Botan was right, something bad happened.
Yukina quickly set down her tea, careful not to make noise and attract attention to themselves, and Botan grabbed her hand, quickly pulling the two out the shoji door.
How did they get through the wards?
Rain started pouring down on them, soaking their kimonos, making it harder to run. The water dripped down their cheeks as the two women ran through the woods with labored breathing, looking for any type of escape.
Botan tripped, pulling Yukina down with her. She let out a sharp cry as her knee dug into a particularly sharp rock. Botan ignored the blood running down her leg and pulled the two of them to their feet. Running again, Yukina looked back to see a demon rushing after them. The smell of Botan's blood must have led it to them, "Botan! Where are we going? They're right behind us!" she basically had to scream over the thunder and crashing rain.
Botan glanced back and started running as fast as she could, forgetting all about the gash in her leg, "The portal, Yukina! The portal! It's in the clearing up ahead!"
Yukina's eyes widened, but she stayed silent. It was either the portal or the demons that want them dead.
The portal leads to Makai…
Using the portal would be like going from the frying pan and into the fire, but it was their only means of current survival. But the demon wouldn't be able to get through once Botan closed it. They would deal with Makai when they got there; right now all that mattered was getting out of direct danger.
Yukina winced as she felt sharp claws digging into her back, pulling her away from Botan. The demon had finally caught them, and she struggled to get away. Unable to release herself, that left Botan to hit the demon over the head with her oar and then pull Yukina away from him, again dashing to the portal.
They had just about reached the clearing with the portal and Botan had already started opening it when the demon was behind them again. Botan looked back to see him right behind Yukina, who had her eyes shut tightly. She grabbed her hand to keep their momentum going, only to hear the sickening slicing of skin and cracking of bones.
Stopping in her tracks, Botan turned around and stared silently at Yukina. There was a large spear of ice sticking out of the ground, protruding through the demon's body. The two stood there awkwardly before Yukina nodded towards the open portal. They scampered towards it, hearing more demons behind them in the forest.
When Botan and Yukina reached the portal they jumped through, Botan closing it behind her as she felt her insides churning and she was thrown through the dark hole. When she felt the ground hit her back, she slowly opened her eyes, her lashes thick with water. She weakly wiped the water from her eyes, her vision not blurry anymore. Blinking, she nudged Yukina next to her and whispered hoarsely, "We made it."
Yukina kept her eyes shut and nodded, taking a shallow breath. The brisk air brushed against their wet clothes, making Botan cold, but not bothering Yukina in the slightest. Botan shivered and took in their surroundings. The trees seemed dead, yet had leaves on them. They had landed on a dirt path, and the sky was a deep orange. She couldn't sense any demons around them, which was a good thing at the moment. Looking to her left there was a log along the side of the path, serving as a bench.
Botan rose, giving her hand out to Yukina, who'd finally opened her eyes. Yukina grabbed her hand and was pulled up by her friend. They sat on the bench silently before Botan glimpsed at the tears forming Yukina's eyes, "Hey, are you alright?"
Yukina shook her head, letting the tears fall from her eyes and turn to hiruseki stones before they hit the ground, "Botan, I've never taken a life before."
Her eyes widened and Botan wrapped her arm around Yukina's shoulder, "Don't blame yourself, okay? We were in danger, you were just trying to protect yourself!"
Yukina shook her head, "That doesn't make it right!"
Botan decided to stay silent and let her friend weep. Killing for the first time was hard for anyone, and depending on whom you are and your intentions, it gets easier each time going. But this was Yukina, who was sheltered from anything of the likes, and wouldn't be doing it a second time. Innocent Yukina who cried when birds died and never wronged anyone she'd ever met on purpose. Botan figured it would be better to give Yukina time to let the pain out, and eventually over time she'd accept killing something for her own safety.
But they couldn't sit there and wait long enough for that to happen, they had to get somewhere safe. They didn't even know where they were! So with much regret, Botan picked the hiruseki stones up off the ground and tucked them in her obi, and gave Yukina a slight shake. Softly she told her friend they needed to heal and then find the nearest town.
Yukina nodded and wiped her eyes, pulling herself together, "Let me heal your knee, Botan."
Botan nodded and smiled at her, "And then I'll see what I can do with those scratches on your back," she said and winced as she stuck her leg out for Yukina to heal. Within seconds the wound had closed up and was no longer there. Motioning for Yukina to turn around, Botan started using her white magic to close the scratches on Yukina's back.
Ouch, they look like they really sting.
When they finished that, Botan sighed and patted her pocket. Her face instantly brightened and she pulled the communicator out, "Look, Yukina! We can contact somebody to help us!"
Yukina giggled and wiped her forehead of the dirt that had gathered when they hit the ground, only succeeding in smudging it across because of the water.
Botan didn't have the heart to tell her what she just did and instead pressed the button on the communicator that connected to each of the Reikai Tantei. She frowned when nobody answered but left an urgent message anyway, "Guys we were attacked at the temple and went through the portal in the clearing, we're in Makai and we're lost! I don't know how long we'll be able to last here, please come find us. Right now we're," She didn't finish before she saw something move out of the corner of her eye, "Yukina! Look out!"
Dropping the communicator, she pushed Yukina down onto the ground as some sort of bird swooped down towards them, its claws outstretched. It landed in a tree and turned around, swooping back down at them. That thing could have taken their heads off with how sharp its talons were.
Botan crawled away from Yukina and summoned her oar, swinging at the bird when it passed. She missed, and the bird was able to leave a long scratch on her arm. She winced, but swung again, this time hitting the bird. It cawed loudly and finally flew away, the wing where she hit it slightly off balance.
Botan groaned, looking over at the broken communicator, the pieces and gadgets scattered all across the path.
Just great! How are we supposed to contact anybody now?
"Botan, are you okay?" Yukina asked, slowly getting up off the ground and walking over to her friend, wondering what she was staring at.
Botan shook her head, droplets of water flying, "I broke the communicator."
Yukina looked down at the broken contraption worriedly, "Do you think we should find that town then? And get some new clothes? I know it's not a good idea for you to be recognized in Makai," she said, smiling tiredly.
She's right, we need to blend in.
"Yeah," Botan sighed before tearing her gaze away from her communicator, "But we need money for clothes… and food too."
Yukina frowned, they didn't have money, they obviously had no time to think about it before they left the temple. And most ways of making money in Makai weren't what would be called moral. Things weren't exactly looking up for them.
Botan bit her lip, trying to think of someway to get money. But she kept getting distracted by the stupid stones in her obi!
…Stones in my obi?
Botan jumped up in excitement and cheered, grabbing Yukina's hands and doing a little victory dance. Yukina went along, extremely confused, "Botan-chan, what's going on?"
Botan giggled, letting go of Yukina and pulling the hiruseki stones out of her obi, "Your hiruseki stones, Yukina! You know how expensive they are, we can sell them or trade them for food, clothes, and money!"
The smile that formed on Yukina's face lifted each of their spirits, "Do we want to go north?"
Yukina may not have known where they were, but after living in Makai for most of her life, she knew which direction she was going in and how to get around.
"You lead the way!" Botan giggled merrily, following behind Yukina, who had already set up the path they'd landed on. As they moved along, her thoughts drifted from a cheery mindset to their chances of survival.
Okay, so we were only here for about ten minutes before we were attacked, which means another could come at any time. We need to be as alert as possible. And we only have ourselves for protection, no Reikai Tantei to help. Let's see then… Yukina has her ice powers, not the most advanced, but useful. We both have healing powers, and I have my oar and white magic. I don't know how much good the oar will do, but the white magic can come in handy as long as I'm not up against brute force. Not the best of odds, but we can work with that.
Yukina, not used to Botan being so quiet, spoke up, "Are you sure there's nothing wrong?"
"No, no! I'm perfectly fine, Yukina-chan! I'm just wondering how long it's going to take us to find that town," She answered, marching ahead.
Genkai sighed, walking up the steps of her temple. Her vacation was wonderful, but she just go so bored that she decided to come back early. Now that she had, she completely regretted her decision.
What the hell was I thinking? I'll have that idiot student of mine annoying me when I could be on the island, all by myself with peace and quiet.
Reaching the top of the steps, she noticed something was off. Her wards were sizzling, the ashes of the paper still hot on the ground. Running to the shoji and throwing it open, she noticed all of her furniture was tipped over, glass was shattered on the floor, and nobody was there.
"What the hell happened here?"
Now I know it was short, but all of the first chapters in my stories are short. Oh, I've decided to delete Shadows of Fate, it's a dead story and my inspiration for it has gone down the drain, so this will be its replacement. I hope you liked it, review, ne?