Painful Memories V. 2 by Shoujo's Revenge
A/N: Gasp! I actually updated this story after four years! Sorry this chapter isn't quite as angsty as the previous entries nor does it focus much on Hiei and Ayane though there is one scene where they fight after something happens... I was re-watching the third season of Yu Yu Hakusho and got ideas for this chapter. There's more humor than usual in this story but I can't help it. Hope you enjoy it all the same.
To set up this chapter so nobody is confused, this is before Miru is born and before Kurama and Mizuki got married. Ayane and Hiei refuses to acknowledge their feelings for each other. There had been a war between demons and human specifically demon hunters led by Ayane's powerful grandmother. Near the end of the war before she disappeared, she made up these decrees regarding demon/human interaction such as anybody crossbreeding has to be killed by demon hunters or by the demon leaders. Since Ayane was in charge of the human race as the strongest demon hunter (after her grandmother), she had to attend frequent meetings with the Makai leaders in case they had any complaints but she is lax about demon/human relationships, not wishing to govern over individuals' relationships.
Disclaimer: Yoshihiro Togashi owns the series Yu Yu Hakusho.
Chapter 4: Of The Reasons Why
Mizuki and Ayane: Abnormal Girl Talk
"He's angry at me." Mizuki informed Ayane, wringing the dish rag.
"Heaven forbid, Mr. Prince Charming is angry at you of all people? What did you do?" She asked, moving a stool to the counter. Mizuki was quiet, absentmindedly wiping the already clean table. "Mizu?"
"He asked me to marry him." She muttered, her back to Ayane.
"...And you turned him down?"
"Well, kinda...But that's not why he's mad at me. It's what happened the next day that made things worse between us." Ayane was afraid to ask but she did anyway.
"It was last week when he was helping me study for the college entrance exams when I asked him why he didn't want to go to college. It'd be a waste for him not to go to college with his high IQ. He told me he wasn't interested in attending college. I asked him what would he like to do after graduation. He said something I didn't expect." It got quiet.
"He asked you to marry him." Ayane prompted, leaning on the counter. "Go on."
"Not exactly. He just kind of casually mentioned that part. I panicked and told him all these excuses: My grandpa and my onni-chan doesn't even know about him. I'll be starting college if I manage to get accepted anyway; I can't think about marriage."
"They all sound like legit excuses to me. Besides, he's already over three centuries old and you're only a eighteen-years-old human girl. Of course, he doesn't need college like you do. He already knows everything. What does he need college for?" Ayane shrugged. Mizuki pressed the tips of her fingers together.
"The other excuse I gave him is that I haven't seen his true form yet. How could I marry someone I don't even know that well?"
"That's a legit point, too. Then what happened next."
"He dropped the subject. We went back to studying but I couldn't focus anymore so I faked a headache and went home."
"Of course like the gentleman that he is, he walked you home." Ayane said teasingly though secretly she approved.
"Right. The next day was Saturday and his family were going to be out for the rest of the day. He invited me to his house to study a bit more." Her companion rolled her eyes. Whenever Mizuki was invited to his home, it usually meant they did more than study but not more than kiss. Even after three years, they were still at the level of a newly dating couple. "Then we got bored with studying so I suggested watching a movie."
"Did he break out his hentai collection?"
"No, we watched a TV mov-" Then she finally registered the perverted comment, her cheeks flushing. "AYA-CHAN! He is not that kind of a person."
"Sure. Uh-huh. In legends, you always hear of foxes having an insatiable sex drive." The anxious look on her friend's face made her retract her statement. "Uh, sorry! It was just a joke you know! So what did you do to make him angry?"
"Here's how I know he was being serious about the whole marriage thing. I drank too much tea when we were studying so I excused myself to go to the bathroom. After I finished using the bathroom, I opened the door. I was drying my hands with my handkerchief when I saw something in the mirror which horrified me."
Ayane straightened up in her seat. Had it possibly been an enemy?
"It was this incredibly beautiful man staring at me. His hair was silver white. He was dressed in white. There were sharp white ears on each side of his head. I thought it was a pervert so I screamed 'Kurama, there's a pervert in the bathroom!' Then I grabbed the closest thing nearby to hit him with but he grabbed the plunger from me. He told me that he didn't mean to scare me. I realized it was actually Kurama."
"Yup, that's Youko Kurama. I saw his true form once. He's quite beautiful. Lucky you, Mizu." Although, beautiful men weren't Ayane's type.
"Did I mention he has a long tail?"
"Uh-huh. That makes sense." She took a sip of lemonade.
"Did I mention I accidentally stepped on it causing him to yelp in pain?" The statement was enough to make Ayane spit out her lemonade. She gaped at her friend's back then closed her trembling lips. She will not laugh at her plight. She will not laugh at her plight. It wasn't funny. Okay, yeah it was but Ayane was too good of a friend to laugh. Apparently, she wasn't. She burst out laughing trying to imagine Kurama yelping in pain like a dog. He was always calm and collected. Sometimes she respected him for that instead of his loud teammates such as Kuwabara or Yusuke.
"It's not funny! He hasn't spoken to me for two weeks. He won't even answer the phone when I call him. His family always tells me he's busy. He won't even see me when I go to his classroom."
"You probably hurt his foxy pride. The great Youko Kurama gets his tail stepped on. I don't think he would appreciate everybody in Makai finding out. Can I please tell-Never mind." Mizuki's glare shut her up. "Look, he probably has an assignment from Koenma. Don't get all worried about it. Just worry about your exams."
Ayane hadn't spoken to Yusuke or his friends for the last month. She wouldn't know if they were on a new case. There hadn't been much conflict between the humans and youkai. If there were, she, a representative of demon hunters and of Ningenkai in general, would know of it. She should really be out patrolling for any demons running amok in this world yet she was here listening to Mizuki's woes about her love life. What an irony, Ayane thought. Although, she would rather relax than save the human world. She had been fighting nonstop for the last three months, leaving her little time to study for her own exams. That was one of the negatives of being a representative of the human world; no matter if you saved their sorry asses, the teachers will still mercilessly give you homework. Although, she was able to catch up with the schoolwork unlike Yusuke.
"I guess. Thanks a lot, Aya-chan. I feel better now. Want to have a slice of the cake I made yesterday? It's the first time I attempted cheesecake. Onni-chan and grandpa likes it. Tell me what you think." Mizuki took out a large cake out of the refrigerator. Ayane eagerly rubbed her hands together.
"Don't worry. Mizu-chan's cooking is always awesome. I didn't know you liked cheesecake." She smiled at the slice of cheesecake placed in front of her.
"I don't. I just tried out the recipe Kurama's mom-Ah..." The smile slid off Mizuki's face.
Uh-oh. Please don't cry.
"Would you excuse me, Aya-chan? I have something I need to do upstairs." Ayane nodded. Mizuki was so distraught that she went to the living room instead of covering up her lie.
Ayane looked from to the cake to the kitchen entryway, sighing. She got up to find the plastic to wrap up her cake; a long journey awaited her. Her mission: find a certain fox youkai and yell at him for making her bestfriend cry. She winced when she heard a muffled sob from the other room. It was surprising that he would even leave her like this. Was having your tail stepped on really worth making your girlfriend worry? She was going to have to find out.
After trying all the places she guessed he would be, Ayane finally went to see Yusuke three hours later. To his knowledge, Koenma hadn't asked Kurama on any missions. She was tempted to tell the Spirit Detective about what happened between Kurama and Mizuki. An image of Mizuki crying entered her mind stopped her from divulging the embarrassing information.
"Why do you want to see him so badly?" He asked her. "Did something happen to Mizu?"
She pointed a finger at him. "I'll be frank with you, Urameshi. I wasn't happy when I found out my bestfriend was dating a fox demon especially him." For people as knowledgeable as her, his past sexual escapades were widely known.
"Oh, really?" Yusuke said sarcastically. On the day Ayane saw Kurama hugging Mizuki at her house, she had launched an attack on the redhead right in front of everyone, resulting in various knickknacks to break into a million pieces. It was lucky that Mizuki's family wasn't home. Yusuke intercepted the fight before it got any worse. Only the figurines got any of the damage. Kurama had been able to dodge all her blows.
Ayane chose to ignore his comment. "I expected him to take care of her like he promised to do. I don't appreciate him telling her something important then traipsing off to lord knows where. Mizu is at home crying because of him! All because she stepped on his tail, too! What a baby!" Her hands flew to her mouth. It was too late. They had heard everything.
Crap. Mizuki's gonna kill me!
Kurama and Mizu: Foxwhore
It was understandable to Ayane why Mizuki would pretend to like roses when she was actually allergic to them; it was to ease Kurama into thinking that it was no problem to bring his prized possession: his roses to her. Red roses meant deep love for her. She loved that until she secretly broke out in hives, quickly running up to her room to take her shot. Ayane was the one who had to lie to him that she was just having feminine problems. Mizuki would've liked her to come up with a better explanation, she would later complain. Their relationship was still kind of awkward in that way; she still couldn't tell him truths on certain things. Like how she couldn't stand that he was so much prettier than her; sometimes guys hit on him more than they pay attention to her. Ayane made matters worse by saying that Kurama liked her for her personality. It was supposed to cheer her up. After all, wasn't that the message people are always spouting: your inner beauty is more important than your outer beauty? Mizuki didn't quite take it to mean it that way. She looked through her closet, groaning. No matter what she wore, she could never outshine Kurama.
"Hmm?" Ayane was going through her homework from all of her classes for any mistakes.
"Are you applying for any colleges?"
"No. I'll be too busy with my legacy: you know being the next leader of the demon hunters. My grandma isn't dead. She'll come back one day to recruit me back to their side. The day will come soon enough." Ayane leaned back in Mizuki's chair. Mizuki frowned from across the room.
"When that time comes, you'll have to fight with everybody again. Aren't you sick of the fighting?" She carefully plucked a blue dress from the hill of clothes on the closet floor.
"What can I do about it? My people have loathed youkai since the beginning of time. My grandma is too stubborn to let her hatred go. She was the one who raised me when my parents were murdered. How can I betray her?" Ayane whispered. "Anyway, it's not like youkai are innocent themselves. They've been causing chaos in our world knowing of our hatred. It's as if they want to stir things up."
"I don't want you to get hurt anymore. You're already hurting. Hiei-san is-" Ayane turned away.
"I rather you not talk about him!" She walked over to the window, leaning the windowsill. Her hair flowed across her back in the refreshing wind. Mizuki hung her head, pulling the sleeve of the blue dress.
"I'm sorry. I have to say it. I hate seeing you two like this. Please can you just go see him? For once in your life, just forget about what you are to each other and live out your true desires." Ayane sharply turned around.
"I don't think you're in a position to say such things to me." Ayane bit her bottomlip, clenching her fists. "Things aren't easy for me as it is for you." She tipped her head up. Their little argument was coming to an end. "Your precious youkai is here." She left Mizuki's room without a look back.
I'm sorry, Aya-chan. I just wanted you to be truly happy for once. You shouldn't have to carry the responsibility of an entire race by yourself. I wish your grandma could see that.
Ayane opened the door to let the redhead into the house, noting that he was carrying roses again. Mizuki would have to break into hives today. One part of her maliciously relished in the thought of her being itchy for the day but another part of her reminded that they had been friends since they were in elementary school.
"Kurama, I think you should know something about Mizuki. You see-" Ayane told him as she walked him to the living room.
The youkai huntress went back to headquarters by the time Mizuki ran downstairs, panting and clutching the railing. Kurama smiled patiently at her from the couch. She broke into a teary smile. This was the first time in weeks since they saw each other. The first thing she cried out was: "I'm sorry I stepped on your tail! I didn't mean to do it! Please forgive me."
Kurama chuckled. "It's okay. I didn't appreciate Anda-san telling everybody but other than that, I'm fine."
"What? Ayane promised she wouldn't tell anybody. I'll have to talk to her later about that. And you! Why have you been avoiding me for the last three weeks?"
Kurama nervously scratched at a spot on his face, avoiding her eyes. She couldn't possibly understand that his Youko form liked it rough. Her stepping on his tail had aroused him which didn't bode well for him; he had been thinking about her inappropriately nonstop. Mizuki wasn't the type to date Youko Kurama; she was the type to date his goody two shoes human form: Shuuichi Minamino, the gentleman.
"Kurama! Shuuichi! Did you hear what I said?" He looked down at her.
"Well, you see...There was something I wanted-" He couldn't bring himself to say that he wanted to touch her farther then just her face, her hair and her arms. He wanted more than just kisses and hugs from her. As he looked into her green eyes, he couldn't pull himself together enough to say these things. He wished this was as simple as Kuwabara frequently confessing his love for Yukina. Kurama couldn't see himself confessing to Mizuki that he wanted "to jump her bones" as Yusuke brusquely put it.
"Why didn't you bring roses like you usually do? Are you still mad at me?"
Kurama was amused. These little misunderstandings came about because they were too scared to tell each other the truth.
"I did bring you roses. I threw them out in the back while you were still getting ready. The last thing I wanted to do was make you itch." He stopped. The last comment definitely didn't sound right. "I mean, I found out that you're allergic to roses. Why didn't you just tell me? I would've given you another flower."
"The truth is I'm allergic to all flowers except the fake ones. I'm okay with those. I take it that blabbermouth told you."
"Anda-san was only looking out for you."
"Still. You still haven't told me what you were doing for the past three weeks? Another week and it would've been a whole month before we see each other. There are still a lot of problems I still don't understand in the study guide, you know!"
"Is that your way of telling me you missed me?" Mizuki countered his playful question with a serious question of her own.
"Is it true that fox demons have insatiable sex drives? Was that why you've been avoiding me for that long?" He stiffened. She hit the nail on the head. She covered her mouth, backing away.
"Were you with a beautiful fox demoness?" She wailed. "You went to be with someone else. You didn't have to treat me this way just because I'm not as good looking!"
"Wait! That's not- I was with Hiei the entire time. I thought about you everyday-" She interrupted him, pointing a finger at him.
"Ah, you even prefer men over me and you thought about how sad I would be while you were with Hiei-san! Was I just some stupid human girl to you? Aya-chan was right! Foxes really do seduce people. To think I was actually thinking about marrying a foxwhore." She muttered.
He was shocked. She was willing to marry him. That was all he heard. And the part where Ayane told his girlfriend that he seduces people. He resented that comment though he could hardly look anyone in the eyes and deny it. His past had nothing to do with their relationship. Or the part where she called him a foxwhore. Or the part that he preferred men over her. It simply wasn't true. He wasn't picky about the gender though he didn't want to tell her that either. His sexual orientation wasn't the important thing right now. The most important thing was that she understood he loved her, only her.
"When you showed me your true form, I thought that meant you were sincere about marriage. You just wanted to show off how pretty you are, didn't you?" She pouted, her arms crossed.
In a way, he was happy that she was ripping into him like this. This was their first fight. No posing. Just her frustrated emotions being released. She was jealous of his feminine appearance. She was worried that he was cheating on her, that he was possibly seducing random people, that he was a foxwhore. Of all the years I've been alive, I've never heard anyone calling me a foxwhore.
Mizuki stormed angrily upstairs. Kurama immediately followed her. There were a lot of things he needed to explain. First things first, he didn't appreciate being called a , he wasn't with with Hiei. He had merely wanted someone to tell that his problems to like Hiei, who kept telling him he was not interested in his problems. Except that when he reached the landing, he was faced with the closed door. Sighing, he made a note to just tell her things directly for future references.
"Mizuki?" He knocked. No answer. He tried the doorknob. Locked. Knock. Knock. Knock.
"I'm sorry. I'm busy studying. Please leave before my family comes home." Mizuki said airily.
He sighed. He would let her cool down until her family come back anyway. Five hours later, her older brother and grandpa came home to see an attractive redheaded girl on their couch. Mizuki woke up from her nap to greet her family and panicked when she saw Kurama still there. It took the two men a while to realize the strange girl on their couch was actually a boy. The same boy bowed respectfully at the two gaping men. He wanted to ask them if they would consider letting him marry Mizuki after graduation. That's when the two men craned their necks in Mizuki's direction. She wasn't supposed to be dating in the first place.
Ayane and Hiei: "I'm gonna kick your ass all the way back to Makai!"
Today was supposed to be a day off. Ayane had planned to sleep the day away. She had a hard night of patrolling, running to every place where loose youkai were causing mayhem. Her partner, Karena, an underling of hers, also an aspiring demon huntress was wreaking her own havoc. Ayane had to stop her from attacking innocent bystanders several times. Only her grandma could control the troublemaker. Tired of her bullshit, Ayane finally knocked her out and allowed one of the lower hunters to carry her home. Now it was ten in the morning and she was helping Mizuki pack. She was way too nice for her own good. Ayane taped the top box flaps together. Then she saw the bubblewrap next to her feet. She groaned, she completely forgot to put it in the box marked profanity under her breathe, she procceeded to rip the tape off and carefully wrapped the bubblewrap around each porcelain dish.
She could sense a presence behind her.
"What is it, youkai?" She asked flatly without turning back.
"Mukuro asked me to pass on a message to you." Hiei said.
"Great. What is it now? Another meeting about how this or that decree is unfair to your kind?"
"After the last war, your people insisted on these meetings. If your grandma hadn't demanded ridiculous decrees, we wouldn't have to speak at all. Here." He used the rolled up scroll to bat away a fly buzzing around him. She stood up, taking the note from him. She was right. There was a meeting with the three Makai kings scheduled for next week. She had her final exams on the same week.
"Whatever it is that's bugging them, just tell them to fix it themselves. I might be a demon huntress but I'm also a high school student. Frankly, I would like to pass my exams. I'm not going to blow them off just so I could hear complains about how unfair my grandma's decrees are. Go away!" She waved off the fly that landed on the rim of her mug.
"Is it wise to ignore it? You don't know what they want to discuss."
"As long as it doesn't lead to another war, I'm fine with whatever they want." Ayane went to grab the curtains from the window. "Can you believe the foxwhore proposed to Mizuki? They intend to marry after graduation." She turned to catch Hiei's confused expression. "Foxwhore is Mizuki's new nickname for dear Kurama." She tsked, backhanding her hand against the wall. The fly flew off before it was squished. "It seems in his absence she thought he was cheating on her with another one like him or...with you."
Hiei was displeased with her mirthful smile.
"He was with me. That damned kitsune. He kept telling me how he was aroused by her. Tsk. That's the last thing I wanted to hear about. What are you doing anyway? You should be protecting humans, shouldn't you?"
Ayane huffed. "You're not my grandma! Don't tell me what to do! It's my day off if you must know. Mizuki's family is moving to closer to the hospital. Her grandpa's heart condition worsened. I'm helping her pack, nosy." Her eyes followed the flight of the annoying insect. It landed on Hiei's shoulder blending in with his black cloak. She made a move to strike. "I'm just aiming for the fly. It's nothing on you, youkai."
"Don't touch me, human," he warned. Ayane lowered her hand, turning her back on him. She held one corner of the curtain. He watched her examine it for a few seconds then she started to scrunch it up into a ball and threw it unceremoniously in an empty box. He was sure that you were supposed to fold it neatly into a square or rectangle. He had watched Kurama fold his bedsheets like that once. "Why are you looking at me like that? Shouldn't you be sleeping in a tree?"
"Hn. Don't tell me what to do, human."
"You did that to me just five minutes ago! I'm just returning the favor."
"You're doing that wrong. You'll wrinkle the curtains."
"Since when are you such an expert on packing curtains?"
"You're the prime example of why humans aren't any better than my kind. Even that fox whore knows you're supposed to fold it up. That girl will be upset if you don't fold her curtains."
"That girl is Mizuki and she won't cry over some wrinkled curtains. She can iron them."
"I never thought the great demon huntress could lack common sense. You're supposed to be the leader of your race. Pitiful."
Ayane gritted her teeth. She would like nothing more than to punch his smug face in. If Yukina were here, she would've screamed the truth to her just to see his shocked face. Or maybe if she could find a suitable weapon, she wouldn't hesitate rushing at him. He'd probably just dodge each thrust, she thought ruefully. Truthfully, she had been slacking off in her training; her skills were good enough to beat lower-ranked youkai. Hiei was of another class. She calmed herself down, clenching her fists. She concentrated on taking down the framed photographs off the wall.
Hn. What a waste of time. I'm leaving. Hiei thought, noticing the fly making its way to Ayane's back. It landed on her upper pant area. Die already you annoyance!
She froze when she felt a hard tap on her behind. She whipped around, veins popping out on her forehead. Hiei was irritated that the fly managed to escape again. He didn't notice that Ayane was giving out a black aura. "You-you damned fire youkai! I'm gonna kick your ass all the way back to Makai! How dare you touch my butt!" The next thing he knew, he was dodging at least four framed photographs. Ayane picked up a chair next.
"Mizuki-chan, how are you doing in the kitchen?" Her grandpa asked her. "If you need some help, Hiiro's in the next room."
"No, we're almost finished packing everything. If you need anything, just tell me." Her grandpa chuckled.
"Oh, no, no. You're much too busy packing to help this old coot. Your friends are so nice helping us out like this. Why don't you go serve them lemonade? I made a whole pitcher just this morning." He slowly made his way to the refrigerator when a large piece of plaster fell on his head. Two loud crashes followed after causing plaster to fall down on Kurama and Mizuki's head.
"Earthquake!" Botan cried, running in the kitchen.
"Calm down, Hiei, Ayane!" Yusuke yelled from upstairs. Yukina's voice could also be heard trying to coax the two hotheads. Kurama brushed the plaster off. It seemed as though his dear friend was playing with Ayane. Loud voices blended into one. Crashes, bumps and the sounds of running footsteps made them wince.
"What is going up on there?" Her grandpa asked, looking up.
"I'll make you regret you ever touched me, you dirty youkai!" Ayane shrieked.
"Youkai?" Her grandpa asked.
"Grandpa, you're starting to imagine things! Let's go outside for some fresh air." Mizuki quickly accompanied him to the backyard.
Botan and Kurama went to check out the damage upstairs. From the sounds of a chair being knocked over, they deduced that the two were battling in the master bedroom. The elderly man's belongings were either scattered about the floor or smashed into a million pieces. Flames snaked up the curtains. Yusuke stood in between Hiei and Ayane, his arms spread out. They were on the old man's bed, Hiei standing near the headboard and Ayane standing on the end. Scorch marks blemished the bed and parts of the wall. How was Kurama supposed to explain this to his future grandpa-in-law?
"I understand not being to resist a good fight but you didn't have to do it in someone else's house. What are you even doing here, Hiei?" Yusuke asked. Ayane attempted to hit Hiei with the handle of a broom.
"This pervert came to take advantage of me! Don't you think you can escape me!" Ayane jumped over Yusuke, aiming her feet at the fire youkai. Hiei dodged. Kurama sighed, extinguishing the flames by beating at it with a pillow.
"Rose whip!" He shouted, brandishing his weapon. Ayane and Hiei blinked; they were stuck back to back by the makeshift thorny rope.
"Don't you dare use your flames," Ayane warned. She wasn't in the mood to get burns.
"Now calmly tell me how did this fight come about?" Kurama surveyed the stubborn individuals. Ayane had a black eye on her left eye and at least three open gashes on her legs, her arms and on her cheek. Hiei's right bare shoulder had a long stratch mark stretching to his elbow and marks where he suspected Ayane hit him with the broom handle. Yukina and Botan set about to heal their injuries. Hiei and Ayane glared at opposite directions. "Ayane-san?"
"He sexually harrassed me! I'm going to report this thing to Mukuro!"
"Say that again, human!" He growled, struggling to free himself. Ayane headbutted him back of his head. He reciprocated the gesture.
Ow. "Thing! Thing! I'm gonna tell on you, thing! I don't think she'll appreciate the report."
"We'll see if you'll live long enough to say anything, stinky human. If you didn't smell in the first place, that fly wouldn't land on you."
"It was on you first. It was attracted to your dirt, thing. I'd like to see you try to kill me, you... Yukina, Yukina, I have something I have to tell-" Yusuke quickly stuck a paperball in her mouth. Hiei's your brother!
Everybody in the room could sense Hiei's anger reaching boiling point. Botan whispered something to Yukina. The ice maiden was confused. Why did she have to pretend to cry? She didn't have to pretend to cry when Mizuki shot into the room, gasping. She took in every detail especially the broken knickknacks, her deceased parents' knickknacks. A whimper escaped her lips. She grabbed the nearest figurine of a headless ballerina and walked over to Hiei and Ayane. With one grasp, she had both of their scruffs in her hand.
"You two are PAYING FOR THIS! YOU HEAR THAT?"
"Get your hand off me, human girl."
"SHUT UP! Oh!" Emotion overcame her. She dropped the figurine, running out of the room. Muffled by the paper ball, Ayane attempted to scream out: I'm sorry, Mizuki! It was this thing's fault!
"This just isn't your day, is it, Hiei? You get beaten up by one girl and make another one cry." Yusuke commented.
Kurama freed Hiei and Ayane to run after the distraught girl. Ayane spat out the paperball. Before she could run after them, she thought she would do more damage to him. She grabbed Yukina on the way, quickly whispering something to her. Botan gasped; she was within earshot. Hiei's eyes widened. She didn't do what he thought, did she? Ayane threw a smirk his way before disappearing down the hall. Yukina looked in his direction, hands to her mouth.
"Hi-hiei-san fell in love with me at first sight?"
"If only Kuwabara were here to hear this," Yusuke wisely commented.
"Why is it that ever since Mizu met you and your friends she's been crying more than usual?" Hiiro, Mizuki's older brother whispered to Kurama as he passed by him in the kitchen. He was carrying a pitcher of lemonade and empty glasses to the living room.
"Whatever my onni-chan said, just ignore him," Mizuki said lowly, wiping away her tears. "Grandpa taught him to hate all boys who come near me. He'll learn to like you one day."
Kurama seriously doubted it. "Are you all right, Mizu?" She turned around, smiling through her sadness.
"I'm fine. I've just been stressed with everything lately. You know with grandpa's heart acting up and the exams." He nodded understandably. "Kurama." She buried her face in his shirt. He put his arms around her.
"Is it okay...if you beat up Hiei-san for me?" Complete silence. She started to shake with laughter. "I was just kidding! I'm sorry. I just wanted to cheer myself up. I'm still mad at him and Aya-chan. I guess they're wrapped up with their own problems that they don't care...Well, it can't be helped. Could you bring these sandwiches to everybody? Grandpa will catch cold if he stays out there any longer." Mizuki went out the sliding door. Kurama was worried about her though he was sure a few moments with her grandpa would do the trick. The old man always managed to make her smile.
Defeated, he picked up the tray of sandwiches. There was nothing more he could do for Mizuki. He entered the living room amidst cheers from the hungry Yusuke and Kuwabara. Almost everybody was in the living room except Hiei and Yukina.
"Is Mizu-chan still in the kitchen? My little granddaughter works too hard. She needs to learn how to relax more." Her grandpa said, sitting in the living room couch. Kurama set down the tray on the table.
"She told me she was going to get you, oji-san." He told him.
"Hmm? But she already led me back here five minutes ago. Oh, that Mizuki. She's getting so forgetful at her age." He chuckled. Ayane and Hiiro looked at each other, alarm in their eyes. Clearly, they knew something that Kurama didn't. The both of them raced towards the kitchen.
"She couldn't have gotten far," Ayane muttered.
A/N: Another gasp moment: I will be updating the original Painful Memories after I finish typing the twelfth chapter. Please review whether or not you liked this chapter.