Why I Love Mondays
We all love Mondays. The thought of school. The promise of a good, wholesome day's hard work. Unfortunately for these four boys, their Monday morning was spoilt by an unfortnate circumstace that swapped them with their equals in strange new dimensions.
The minute Kurama woke up, it was obvious to him that something was definitely not right. The light of early morning streamed in, hitting him on the left side of his face. 'Okay, that's a little strange', he admitted. Didn't the light usually stream in from his right? His highly attuned Youkai senses told him to 'GET UP'. His eyes opened, and he had to use all of his restraint not to cry out loud. As clever as our fox is, he was able to come to the conclusion that a) His family and friends thought it would be a hilarious and intelligent prank to move all his furniture around and toss his clothes to the floor or b) This wasn't his room. Indeed, it could not even be his house, it smelt completely different. And that conclusion could be drawn without the use of his foxy senses. It stank.
For some reason, his head felt like it had been given a good kick around a football pitch. Almost as if he had recently been under the influence of a large amount of alcoholic beverage. But that was impossible. After all, Kurama didn't even drink.
Expecting the worst, Kurama slipped cautiously from under the covers and searched about for some clothes to swap for the dirty outdoor clothes he had woken up in, and which were definitely not his. The thought of someone undressing and redressing him during his sleep was perhaps the most disturbing of all. Unfortunately, the only ones available seemed to be sweaters, hoodies, t-shirts and grubby jeans. More Yuusuke's style. The door swung open as he was in the act of fitting one leg into a pair of such jeans. He yelped and jumped around clumsily before collapsing into a pile on the floor. Why hadn't he sensed that coming? His Youkai senses usually forewarned him of a visitor.
"Oh, sorry man, never knew you were so modest."
Kurama looked up to find Yuusuke grinning down at him. A black something was draped over one of his arms.
"Quite alright Yuusuke." Manners first. "Maybe you could knock next time?" Yuusuke looked slightly confused.
"What, not going to beat me up? God, I miss the good old days. Keiko's changed you more than you know."
"Keiko?" Kurama spluttered. "Yuusuke, please tell me what's going on. If it's a joke, I think it's gone quite far enough." Yuusuke merely sat down on the bed and regarded his friend with a look of smugness.
"Shuichi, Shuichi, Shuichi. Always so cool. Never thought you'd fall prey to pre-wedding jitters."
"Pre-wedding?" Kurama's mind was a foggy and blank place at that moment. His voice came out in a sort of strangled squeak. Was Yuusuke being mocking when he didn't use Kurama's demon name?
"Maybe it's temporary amnesia. Wouldn't count that out. We did have a wild night last night, after all."
He stroked his chin contemplatively before an evil grin spread across his face. "You know, I've got some pretty suspect photos for you if you really don't want to go through with this. One look at them, and Keiko'll call the whole thing off."
With hindsight, Kurama reflected that never before in his thousand years of existence had he looked so ridiculous. He was pretty sure he could fit his whole foot into his mouth with how wide his jaw had dropped.
"Just put these on and we'll take it one step at a time 'kay?" Yuusuke threw him the pile of clothes that had been draped over his arm, winked conspiringly and chuckled before backing out of the room.
Kurama's head dropped to his lap, and he inspected the clothes. A smart black suit (well, it must have been prior to being thrown at him), a pressed white shirt and a bow tie. Deciding that wearing the suit had to be better than any of these tatty garments scattered around him, Kurama changed into them, feeling dazed and a little removed from reality. As you and I know, Kurama is not stupid. So, as you have likely done (If the summary wasn't any indication), he had figured out that he was a long way from home as he knew it. Being the smart Kitsune that he was, Kurama knew that his best option was to see where this strange turn of events took him.
Meanwhile (if you can make comparisons of time between separate Universes) Kazuma Kuwabara woke with a jolt, having just fallen from his chair to the floor. Wait a minute, hadn't he gone to sleep in a bed? (He took a look around) In his room? In his house? The room Kuwabara now stood in was square and bare apart from a desk, a filing cabinet, several certificates mounted on the walls and (obviously) a chair. He immediately found his defensive stance, forming his trusty spirit sword with little thought. Just as he did so, Botan walked in through the door. If Kuwabara was more observant he might have noticed that she was wearing blue scrubs, but he didn't because he wasn't. Botan, however, did not fail to notice the glowing sword. Her eyes widened as soon as she saw him.
"Good Lord!" She cried, dropping her clipboard and bringing her hands to her heart.
"What? What is it Botan!" Kuwabara demanded, fearing massive demon attacks and evil anti-human schemers. There was obviously something very wrong, and it was up to him, the great Kuwabara, protector of girls and other weak creatures, to sort it out. Botan was a white as a sheet when she replied.
"Just…came to say, they're waiting…waiting for you…" She looked as if she might faint on the spot.
"Right! Don't worry Botan! Where are they?" Botan swayed on her feet.
"Theatre 2B…" Kuwabara nodded smartly at her before pushing past and dashing off down the corridor.
The passage he passed down was white walled and sparklingly clean. Probably some sick dirt-phobic demon, he mused.
"2B eh! Not to be today, I'm afraid my demon frien-" Kuwabara's speech stopped shot when he reached theatre 2B. Inside were several people dressed in white aprons, holding their gloved hands in the air as he had seen doctors on 'ER' do just before they operated. Definitely human. Kuwabara hurriedly obliterated his spirit sword. Fortunately, only one of the nurses had seen him enter. She now stared at him as Botan had done. "Excuse me, ma'am," Kuwabara began, "Have you seen anything strange around here recently?" He certainly wasn't picking up any bad vibes (apart from the normal ones you get when you've just rushed into an operating theatre when expecting to find a crowd of battle-ready demons), which was odd, come to think of it.
"Well…for a moment there, I could swear you were holding a sword of glowing yellow…" She shook her head. "Work's really getting to me." Before Kuwabara could react (I.e. dash off to find the real danger), the door to the theatre clattered open, admitting a man on a bed pushed by two nurses. A woman and child walked next to him, looking extremely nervous.
The bed was set up in the middle of the theatre, and Kuwabara decided that it was time to slip out, whilst wondering why it was he hadn't been sent out before. Unfortunately, the woman caught his sleeve before he could escape. The little girl at her elbow looked up at Kuwabara with wide, wet eyes.
"Sir, it's an honour to meet you," The woman began. Kuwabara nodded his head uncertainly. Well, why wouldn't it be an honour? "I've heard that you're the most successful neurosurgeon that Japan has seen in years." She smiled. "I trust you with my husband. Please take care of him, I know you will, but I just don't know what I'd do if anything happened to him…"
Kuwabara's mouth was working, but no words were coming out.
"Please, mister," Oh no, it was the little girl. How was he to dash her hopes? "Make my daddy better?"
"Uh…He's a very…strong individual…I'm sure he'll be fine…" Kuwabara edged around the pair and towards the door again. Halfway there, he was caught with an apron around his middle.
"Please, doctor. Hold still," someone behind him demanded. Kuwabara whimpered. She had just called him…doctor?
"We're going to have to have you out of here now, Mrs. Stone." One of the male nurses asked. Mrs. Stone nodded and led her daughter out by the hand. Everyone turned to Kuwabara expectantly, who searched desperately through the episodes of ER he could remember in his mind. Luckily Shizuru had been quite a fan.
"Ah…yes. Mr Stone, we're going to put you over now," he said.
Mr Stone gave him a look of incredulity. "Don't you mean…put me…under?"
Kuwabara chuckled. "You've been watching too many hospital dramas, Mr Stone. No, the technical term is to 'put you over'." Kuwabara congratulated himself on his inventiveness. Kurama would be proud of this kind of quick thinking. Scratch that, Kurama would have enough sense to have got out of here ten minutes ago. The nurses around the bed looked at each other with widened eyes.
"Right, nurse, please use the antiseptic now," he commanded. The anaesthetist looked at the others again, as if very worried.
"You mean the…anaesthetic?"
The nurse got to work, fitting the mask of knock-out gas to Mr Stone's mouth. After Mr Stone was definitely under, the others turned again to Kuwabara.
"Mr Kuwabara? Are you alright?" The first nurse inquired. Kuwabara was sweating and shaking, and only the image of that hopeful family waiting for Mr Stone was enough to keep him in the room. 'What the hell am I thinking? He's going to be much better off if I don't go anywhere near him!' One side of his brain protested, while the other argued, 'Yeah, but what if I really am a good surgeon, and I've just forgotten all the time between when I fell asleep about ten years ago and now?' 'If that's true, then I've forgotten all of my training and previous surgery, and are counting on other peoples' testimony! How is that any better!'
"Hm? I, I can't do this!" Kuwabara cried. The nurses looked quite taken aback.
"What's the matter? When you came in just now, I said to Grace that you were looking very well. Almost younger. Didn't I Grace?" Grace nodded.
"It'll be fine."
"No! You don't understand! I'm not Dr Kuwabara!" There were more nervous glances. "I'm his son! Yes! That's right!" He threw off his apron. "His son!" and ran out of the theatre.
The original Yuusuke Urameshi (as we know him) was in a state of sheer confusion. When Yuusuke gets confused, he also tends to become violent. Right now, he was ready to vaporise the nearest demon, no questions asked. And the likelihood that it was going to be Kurama was increasing with each minute of all walking and no talking. Usually, Yuusuke didn't mind skipping the speech and jumping right into the action, but today was not a day for usual circumstances.
Less than five minutes ago, Yuusuke had woken up to his reflection staring back at him. Also reflected in said mirror had been a clothes rack, a fruit bowl and what looked like makeup on the surface in front of him. Before he could assess the situation, the door to his left had swung open and Kurama's peroxide blond head poked through. Kurama had died his hair. It was at that moment that Yuusuke had decided that something was very, very wrong.
"Yuusuke! What the hell are you thinking!" Yuusuke, who was about to yell exactly the same thing at Kurama, had clamped his mouth shut. Kurama had frowned, sworn and shouted at him for the first time since Yuusuke had known him in the space of one sentence. And was it just Yuusuke's imagination, or was Kurama wearing makeup?
"We have two minutes 'til we're on, and you're just lazing around and sleeping?" His friend had huffed.
"On where?" Yuusuke had had the idea that he had somehow missed something very important. "Was this Grandma's idea?" He'd demanded with narrowed eyes. It was the kind of weird-ass thing that old hag would set him up to. "Some kind of surprise endurance training?"
Kurama had set a hand on his hip and glared. "What have you been taking? We really haven't got time to deal with another of your eccentric addictions."
Yuusuke's look of confusion had seemed only to add fuel to Kurama's irritation. "Huh?" Kurama rolled his eyes.
"Look, just come on. Hiei and Kazuma agree with me, you're really pushing our patience. Another incidence like this and you can count yourself out of the Reikai Tantei." He had grabbed onto Yuusuke's arm and hauled him up. Did the rest of the Tantei really want him out? Yuusuke had never felt more dejected in his whole life. Kurama had led him out of the room and down a busy corridor.
"But…I've always led you right! I mean, we've all made mistakes, but that's no reason to gang up on me! Hey, I practically am the Reikai Tantei!"
Kurama had tightened his grip on Yuusuke's arm. Should the pain really have been that intense? "Well, if that's how you feel, maybe you can see just how well you do without us. See what everyone else thinks, hm?"
And that was how Yuusuke found himself in front of a black door. Behind it, a huge roaring noise issued. Kurama turned to him.
"How do I look?"
Yuusuke gave Kurama the once over and took in the leather jacket, boots and belt, black t-shirt and jeans. "I dunno, like some Goth wearing makeup I guess," he replied. Kurama's eyes narrowed. "C'mon man, it was just a joke! You should really take a chill pill."
"Oh really? Is that what you're on?" Yuusuke blanched.
"No! I mean-"
"Just do me a favour and don't speak again until we're off."
"You could at least tell me what I'm in for!" Yuusuke protested. He did not like to be left in the dark.
Kurama turned to him, frown still in place. "About twenty thousand, maybe more." Before Yuusuke could ask 'twenty thousand what?', Kurama had held a finger to his lips. 'Oh, right. No talking.' "Let's go in there and knock them dead."
Yuusuke allowed himself a grin. Knock them dead. At least that much he could understand.
"Now, take this." Kurama forced a guitar into Yuusuke's hands. Okay, a little weird, but maybe explainable. What confused him was the 'Reikai Tantei' emblem on the front. Since when were there Reikai brand guitars? Well, Koenma had been known to dabble. "And get in there!"
Yuusuke was given a sharp push from behind, courtesy of Kurama. He stumbled out into blinding lights, and was met with a wall of sound. In front of him were twenty thousand people. 'Well, that answers that question'. Twenty thousand black-clad, jumping, screaming people. And he was standing on a stage before them holding a guitar. If Yuusuke wasn't mistaken, this set-up looked suspiciously like something you would see at a rock concert.
"Hellllooo Tokyo!" Kurama's voice boomed around the arena, and the crowd's volume increased tenfold. He was standing at the front of the stage in front of a microphone. Yuusuke squinted through the lights and made out Hiei's diminutive form on the other side of the stage. He was holding another guitar. Whether it was a bass or not, Yuusuke seriously didn't care. It may as well be a triangle for all the music this band would be making. Oh yes, Yuusuke wasn't stupid. He knew he was definitely in a band, though quite how he was in a band remained a mystery. Was he on drugs? Kuwabara was sitting relaxed at a drum kit behind them.
"We're going to be playing Faith in Death for you people!" Kurama yelled. The crowd screamed in pleasure. What an apt title, Yuusuke mused.
"Two! Three! Four!" Yuusuke's attention was caught by Kuwabara's voice over the numbing noise. 'Oh shit.'
Hiei did not like being tied down. He did not like it one bit, and made sure that all within hearing range knew this too.
"You pathetic ningen! Let me the hell out of this damn thing!" Hiei screamed, practically combusting with the effort of getting out of the 'damn thing'. His face was red and his clothes twisted, and this was not a state in which he wished any ningen to catch him.
When Hiei had woken, he had found himself in a bare, white room with padded walls on a bed attached to the floor. 'Has Kurama redecorated?' had been his first thought as he opened his eyes. When he had tried the door and found himself locked in, Hiei decided to cause a bit of havoc. For some reason, his superhuman abilities were broken. The greatest feat he could manage was throwing himself against the door in an attempt to break it down. A face had appeared on the other side of the reinforced glass at the top, and worried shouting could be heard.
A ningen woman had entered before a small army of similarly white-clad re-enforcers. She had muttered something to the nearest, and they'd caught Hiei before he could make his escape, sensing freedom.
"Good morning, Mr Jaganshi." The ningen woman had said in an exasperated tone of voice. Then, she had nodded to his captors and they had dragged him off to the 'damn thing', where he had been forcibly restrained, despite the barrage of abuse he had been throwing at them.
The ningen woman came in and sat beside Hiei. She sighed and smiled wearily. "We've been over this Hiei, we can't let you out until you've calmed down." Hiei hissed at her. "We can't have you hurting yourself. That wouldn't get anyone anywhere, would it now?"
"Look, you damn ningen, I don't need your pity! Just let me the hell out of this and you'll never have to worry about who I hurt again!" Hiei growled through bared teeth.
"Have you calmed down?" She cooed, eyebrows raised.
"Yes!" Hiei spat.
"Well, when I've seen a bit of proof of that, you can have your breakfast." The lady said, and stood.
"Wait!" Hiei cried. What was worse? Submitting to this ningen's will or remaining in the restraints? He lowered his voice. "Wait…please." Was that word always so painful? If so, why did the ningen insist on using it so often?
"Oh!" The ningen woman turned. "That wasn't too hard now, was it?" She was smiling now. 'Yes, it was, you ignorant ningen bitch!'
"No." Who said he couldn't act! This was almost believable.
"Once I let you out of the restraints, I want you to make your way over to the communal cafeteria and ask for some food. I'll be right beside you, so don't worry about getting lost, okay?" She gave him a sickly sweet grin and started undoing the buckles that held together the straps on Hiei's torso. Hiei nearly jumped out of the contraption, but remembered in time that his speeding abilities had disappeared for some reason, and he could therefore be easily recaptured by the meddling ningen.
"Let's go, Hiei," The ningen said, and took his hand. Took his hand.
'-Don't freak out, don't freak out-' Hiei warned himself. Seriously, Mukuro's training had nothing on this. The mental torture could simply not compare to the humiliation he was feeling at the moment. The corridor they walked down was squeaky clean and populated by slobbering, grunting ningen. The walk of shame. The only respect Hiei had ever put any trust in was self-respect, and I'm sorry to say that he was consequently lacking in this. A male ningen walking the other way stopped when he saw Hiei and the his captor.
"Miss. Wantanabe! I'm glad to see the progress you're making with Hiei! I heard he had quite an outburst this morning, didn't you Mr Jaganshi?"
Hiei growled. "Don't patronise me, ningen," he spat, before remembering the act he was supposed to be putting on. The female ningen beside him squealed as he applied more pressure to the grip he had on her hand.
The other ningen looked quite shocked. "Oh, yes. Terribly sorry, Mr Jaganshi."
"Hiei, why don't we go and have some yummy food now, hey?" The female asked as a distraction. Hiei composed his face into one of complete indifference. 'This is a way to survive until someone comes to save me…Lock up my emotions. Never fails.' So, Hiei clammed up.