Botan had been wondering on the streets for some time now. It was a warm day of spring, the time when cherry trees blossom. She loved this time of the year.
Even though being a grim reaper meant that she spent most of the time traveling between the two worlds, Botan had never been happier than now.
Being Yusuke's secretary had brought her both the action and the friends she needed so much. Being cheerful and all made her liked by everyone around her, except for one person: Hiei.
Kurama lived a few blocks away, and she still had time to walk around. Holding the tape she usually carried to Yusuke, she was now heading towards Kurama and possibly Hiei too. She hadn't seen those two boys for a long time; Yusuke and Keiko were getting ready for the wedding, Kuwabara and Yukina too (double wedding) and even Shizuru had found someone, a former customer of hers.
Botan sighed and smiled – it was the season of love. And who knows? Maybe love will come her way too.
Minamino Shiori, her husband and little Shuuichi had gone to visit the man's parents in Okinawa. Kurama stayed at home alone.
Botan walked past the gate and stopped for a moment to admire the cherry tree from the courtyard. It was superb. She could see some tiny black spots between the flowers and approached. A sleeping form.
"Hiei!" she shouted happily. Hiei fell from the tree.
"Onna no kono baka!" he yelled angry, marching towards her.
"Glad to see you too" she continued throwing herself in his arms and hugging him.
Hiei shriveled, then blushed at the display of affection and pushed her away. Botan fell on the ground. Her face darkened for a second, but then lit up again.
"Is Kurama home?"
"How should I know about the Fox?"
"Well, you were sleeping in a tree in front of his house, weren't you?"
"Hn. He's not at home" Hiei answered looking somewhere else.
Botan looked at Hiei dissapointed.
"When is he coming back?"
"Sure you do!"
"No, I don't"
Hiei lost his patience and again and removed his katana. Before Botan could notice, she was pinned against the tree with the sword at her throat (Hiei is in a bad mood today, isn't he? hehe, poor Botan).
"Stop asking questions, onna"
"The name is Botan" she said baldly. She knew Hiei wouldn't kill her and she felt like teasing him a bit.
"Onna, don't press your luck"
"Well, I have nothing better to do" she said.
"Then go die somewhere" he said quickly, removing the katana.
Botan's face dropped again. She lowered her head and took a few steps towards the house, put the tape on the steps in front of the door and retreated.
"Make sure Kurama gets it"
Hiei could see a glimpse of tears in her eyes, as Botan ran off past him with an incredible speed. He had seen it all: Botan stupid, Botan laughing, Botan frightened, Botan cat…but nothing compared to this. Making Botan cry made him sad. And…when had Botan become so beautiful?
Kurama came home the next minute, carrying groceries. He saw the tape.
"Hiei? What is that?"
"From Reikai" Hiei answered quickly.
"Oh, who brought it?"
"Botan? Where is she?" Kurama asked picking it up.
"Ran off. Crying" Hiei couldn't lie to Kurama.
Hiei lowered his head.
"I told her to go die somewhere"
"What? Hiei!" Kurama said revolted. "How can you say something like that?"
"I don't know! It just came out!" Hiei defended himself.
"Go apologize at once!" Kurama said, indicating the gate.
Hiei obeyed. In the mean time, Kurama put the tape in his video.
"Another mission" he said to himself.
But, to his surprise, it was not. Koenma gave him instructions for…a secret party? In Reikai? Koenma told him make sure Hiei didn't see it, and then winked. Kurama sweatdropped. With everything so quiet, no missions to go on, Reikai now organized parties?
Botan continued to run, crying. She had tried her best to make a beautiful party for Hiei and Yukina's birthday. Yes, it had been her idea. And he treated her like this…maybe he won't even like it at all!
She threw herself at a tree root on the park. Surprisingly, no one else was there.
"Why does he hate me so much?"
Hiei jumped from a tree branch and landed in front of her.
"I'm sorry for what I said, it was stupid of me"
Hiei bit her lower lip and looked up at Hiei. He was serious, he was really apologizing. Well, that a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and she tried to smile at him.
Hiei placed his arms around her and pulled her in a hug, as he had seen Yusuke do to Keiko when she was crying.
'Thank god for the Detective' he thought as he felt Botan relax in his arms.
She was paralyzed by his behavior and began to wonder if the fire demon hugging her was really Hiei.
"Yes, it is me" he said. "Never question that"
"Why not? It's unlike you to do such a thing" she said
"So you're saying that I'm incapable to care about my friends?"
"Are we friends?"
Botan released herself from his embrace and jumped into the air.
"What?" he asked.
"You just said my name for the first time in this life!"
Botan approached to him and placed a hand on his forehead.
"You don't seem to have fever"
"I didn't say you're incapable to care, but this is too much"
"You're a fire demon, and a Koorime, you don't just…hug people"
"I can hug people I care about, no?"
"You don't care about me!"
"Sure I do! A lot, actually"
"Really?" Botan's eyes lit up. "Prove it!"
Hiei smiled at himself, and Botan blinked. The next second, Hiei was gone.
"Um, Hiei? Aagh!"
Suddenly, she felt like she was taken in someone's arms and that someone ran with the speed of light. She clanged to him and closed her eyes. Soon, everything stopped.
They were back at Kurama's place, both sitting on a branch of the old and big cheery tree, hidden by anyone else's sight.
Hiei sat on the branch, his back against the wood, with her still in his arms. Botan opened her eyes and saw something she had never seen before in him. She blushed.
"When did you become so beautiful?" he whispered at her.
Hiei pulled her closer to him and she had no choice but to wrap her arms around his neck.
"That's better" he said. "You are beautiful and you are only mine now"
He placed a hand on her cheek and caressed it.
Botan shriveled at the touch and closed her eyes, enjoying it.
'Unbelievable how good that makes me feel' she thought.
Hiei then quickly placed his lips on hers, claiming her as his own; her eyes shot open in surprise. Hesitatingly at first, Botan closed her eyes and abandoned herself to that first kiss that took her mind away and ravished her emotions as never before. Hiei understood that she was accepting him, and went on; the pressure grew harder, and Botan felt his tongue lick at her bottom lip, asking for permission to enter. She granted it, and they kissed each other passionately until he gently broke it. Looking up, he saw her blushing, speechless for the first time in her life.
"I love you" he whispered.
"Since when?" she asked surprised.
"Since I made you cry…you were so beautiful…and it broke my heart to see you cry…"
Hiei closed his eyes and pulled her in another hug, now holding her in a secure and comfortable position for the both of them.
"Hiei, I think I love you too" she whipered.