No, your eyes are not deceiving you. At long last I have updated this story. ;o

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

DEDICATION: This is dedicated to my good friend who passed away. We all miss you so much Momo. Oct 22 2006


Chapter 34 of Define 'Normal'

Going Down

She sat with her back leaning against his chest and her head under his chin, she could feel him running his fingers through her hair while his other arm was wrapped securely around her waist. Every now and then she heard him mutter her name in an affectionate tone.

"Kokoro, I've waited so long for this..."

Her eyelids flickered at the sound of that name, her name. Even though he said it so lovingly it felt like poison was seeping into her body every time it was uttered. She felt as if Kokuei had something sinister in his nature, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it.

"Kokoro, Kokoro..."

She felt his warm breath against her neck. She craned her neck away from him, suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

He tightened his grip on her.

"Are you planning on leaving me all alone again?"

She sighed and leaned back up against him before shaking her head slowly.

"Good," he paused before brushing his lips lightly against her pale cheek, "because I can't stand being alone anymore."

She lowered her eyelids, unsure how to handle his display of affection. Even she knew there was something not right about this, but she was too tired and weak to protest.

"Okay, now that everyone has gathered together," Yusuke started with a fist raised midway in the air, "we can discuss how we're going to rescue the idiot, I mean, Kamiyama."

Hiei snorted, clearly displeased that they had bothered him about a matter he cared so little for. The teenage girl was annoying as hell and they were going to rescue her? It didn't make any sense to him, but he held his tongue and resisted saying anything antagonizing about the stupid girl out of respect for Kurama, who appeared to be the most disturbed by the whole issue. However, he was also silently fuming as the white haired, smitten demoness, Shirogane, clung to him adoringly. He had given up shaking her off hours ago, she was like a freaking leech to him.

"Now that the shrimp's here, can we finally go into that swirling mass of doom, I mean, the portal? Kuwabara asked, agitated. Yusuke had pulled him out of line for a concert he had been looking forward to for weeks so he was rightfully upset, but at the same time concerned for Kira's safety.

Kurama narrowed his eyes at his orange haired friend. He was getting the feeling that nobody was taking this too seriously for some reason. Perhaps it was because Kira had been kidnapped so many times that everyone failed to realize how much danger she could be in.

"This isn't a matter to be taken lightly," he warned them through gritted teeth. "Kira's been taken by Kokuei."

"Or at least, that's what we assume," Yusuke said with a nod. "Like I said earlier, he's the only one bold enough to pull a stunt like this." Even Yusuke had to admit that he wouldn't want to tempt Kurama's temper in the same manner Kokuei had a knack for. It was suicide to piss off Kurama, plain and simple.

"What's the plan then?" Hiei asked, a brow raised skeptically. He doubted that Yusuke had thought this far ahead. "We just hop on through this portal and beat the shit out of every demon we see until we find her?"

"You're making it sound too easy," Yusuke grumbled as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "But that is more or less the plan."

"Precisely the point, though," Hiei smirked, "we have to think of what he's capable of first before we do anything."

"Yeah, but Kamiyama could be in real trouble," Kuwabara muttered out of the corner of his mouth, finally grasping the urgency of the situation. "He's probably had her for a couple hours already, who knows what he's doing with her right now..."

"You don't think he's..." Yusuke's face paled whiter than a ghost's.

Kuwabara bobbed his head up and down and huddled closer to Yusuke. "You never know, he's always had that fetish for Kamiyama. They could be doing you-know-what right as we're speaking."

"Please refrain from suggesting such vulgarity," Hiei hissed, "even I don't want to think about that sort of thing." The places where teenaged boys minds went sometimes...the very thought made him want to gag. There wasn't enough soap in the human world to wash that mentally scarring image out of his mind.

Yusuke turned towards Kurama, who had been oddly silent. "What do you think? I know you're the type to want to think things through, but we might not have a lot of time on our hands..."

"I know," he sighed, his eyebrow slightly twitching as he tried to shrug off Yusuke and Kuwabara's lewd insinuations. He didn't like the thought of Kira being anywhere near that demonic bastard and the thought that he could be doing something, well, something like that with her made his temper flare dangerously. He could feel his emotions boiling within him, but he remained calm on the surface.

"Kurama?" Yusuke arched an eyebrow as he waited for a response. "Look, if you don't give us a straight answer within the next ten seconds we're going in there. The toddler will probably throw a fit if he finds out we were just standing outside here twiddling our thumbs while Kokuei makes off with Kamiyama."

"All of this hassle for a stupid girl," Shirogane mumbled quietly as she rolled her eyes, "it's so not worth it."

Hiei clenched his teeth and closed his eyes. "For once, I agree with you."

"Kokuei-sama, we have some intruders."

The dark haired demon looked up at his subordinates. The girl was fast asleep in his arms, he picked her up carefully and walked towards his three cloaked associates, his lips quirked up in a sadistic sneer.

"You will take care of them, I presume."

They bowed their heads respectfully.

"Yes, Kokuei-sama," their voices echoed off of the walls in the dark room.

"Good, I don't want to be disturbed." His gaze traveled down to the sleeping form of the girl in his arms. "I want them dead, especially that fox. I want him to suffer the most."

"It's a bit dark in here, yeah?" Yusuke said dryly as he surveyed the dark room. Not that surveying helped much because he couldn't see a damned thing!

"Just like the last time we were here," Kuwabara remarked in agreement. "However, that time we were falling towards the ground screaming like little girls."

Yusuke cringed inwardly as he recalled the pain of the impact against the stone cold ground. It had taken a few weeks for those bruises to heal. "Don't remind me about that painful experience, will ya?"

"My bad," Kuwabara said half heartedly. "So, where are the lights in this place?" He pressed his hands against the cold wall and groped aimlessly in the darkness.

Kurama dug his hand into his pocket, unlike the others, he had actually thought this far ahead. He pulled out a few seeds and scattered them in the dark room after putting a little bit of his demonic energy into each one. As soon as the seeds clattered against the floor they took root and grew into small lamp-shaped plants that emitted a hazy yellow glow.

"Nice one, Kurama," Yusuke grinned and gave the fox a thumbs up.

"Don't get too happy just yet," Hiei said irritably, "the real trouble is about to start."

Kuwabara stomped over to the vertically challenged demon. "What do you mean?"

A sudden chill enveloped the room and everyone went silent.

Without warning, the room began to shake violently and a deep rumbling sound thundered in their ears. Chunks of stone fell from the ceiling that came hurdling towards the floor as debris from the walls were sent flying in various directions.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?" Yusuke yelled as he punched a large rock that had been flying towards him, shattering it into hundreds of tiny pieces.

"I'm not too sure," Kurama replied as he skillfully dodged the debris.

Suddenly, it was as if everything seemed to stop. The noise, the flying chunks of rock, everything was frozen.

It was then that Yusuke took the time to look around and realize that there was no longer any floor beneath their feet anymore. In fact, what appeared to be the ground was now probably several hundred feet under them.

"Uh, guys," he gulped nervously, "am I the only one who thinks this is really, really going to hurt?"

"Just make sure you land on your feet, it would be bad to get injured before the fight actually begins," Kurama instructed sternly.

And, of course, everything that is up must come down.

"GODAAAMMMIIITTTTTT!" Yusuke sat up and rubbed his tender rear end only to realize that he had fallen on top of Kuwabara whose face was burning red as he glared daggers at his friend.

"Get off, Urameshii! I don't want your ass in my face!"

"But you're such a comfy landing cushion, Kuwabara..." Yusuke mocked in a sarcastic tone.

Hiei studied his surroundings with his sharp and well-trained eyes, he had been lucky enough to shake off Shirogane before going through the portal so he was less miffed now and able to focus without that added distraction glued to his side. There were dead trees everywhere, they looked more like menacing skeletons rather than something that used to be organic matter years ago. He tilted his head upwards and frowned. The sky was empty, no stars or moon could be seen.

"What do you make of this Kurama?" he inquired, looking over his shoulder at the red head.

"I think this is where they want to fight us." His tone was cold, distant. He had enough of all these charades, when was Kokuei going to come out and confront him himself?

"Ding, ding, ding! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!" A loud, crass male voice came from behind them. "Tell the lucky guys what they've won, Atsureki."

The two demons and two teenagers whirled instantly around at the sound of that voice to see three oddly familiar cloaked figures. Two of the figures had there arms folded across their chests while the one who had spoken was posing with one hand pumped high into the air and the other placed on his hip.

"Gladly," the female remarked icily as she sent Yusuke and Kuwabara rocketing backwards with a wave of her hand, "you've won a one way ticket to a world of pain."


Yeah, this story's been on the back burner for a apologies. Blah, I hate writing short chapters, but an update is an update, riiight? I will finish this eventually, though. And yeah, there's a fight coming up, or rather, there will be several going on at the same time. Yay, I haven't written fight scenes in ages! :D

Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who's stuck with this story for so long! You guys are awesome!

Rock on.