All You Had To Do Was Ask

A/N: This one's been hanging off my arm for six months, folks. I just had to write it.


The small mixed crowd of demons, humans, and spirit world denizens faltered in their small talk, turning towards the front of the room. "Yusuke," Keiko gently reprimanded her groom, "usually at a wedding if you want to get people's attention you tap a champagne glass."

"Nah, I'd break it. Alright, listen up, everybody. In human world this would be the point where Keiko would throw her bouquet and all the girls would squabble over it, but I heard about this variation on it that we like better, so all you people listen up so you understand the rules. Keiko throws one of the flowers from her bouquet over her shoulder and the girls try to catch it, and whoever does gets to pick a kiss from anyone in the room, bride and groom included. Then I do the same thing for the boys. Everyone get it?"

"Got it mate!" an inebriated Chuu called from the back of the room.

The girls grouped up, tittering and jostling slightly for position, as Keiko climbed with some difficulty, owing to her wedding dress, onto a small chair. The boys hung back, looking mostly amused. A few were already bragging about how they would catch the rose; Chuu, of course, was game for a kiss "off a good looking sheela" and Kuwabara was talking Kurama's ear off about how he would win a kiss from Yukina. Hiei sulked in a windowsill in the corner. "Ready?" Keiko called over her shoulder.

"Ready!" the girls chorused.

Keiko selected a white rose from her bouquet and tossed it high in the air. There was a flurry of arms reaching and a few excited squeals, and then the girls pulled back to reveal Botan clutching the prize, looking almost surprised.

"Alright, Botan. And I don't want to see any pecks on the cheek, either. Let's have a real kiss," Yusuke demanded.

"But I don't know who to pick!" Botan squeaked.

"Then you shouldn't have gone for the damned thing!"

"Yusuke!" Keiko reprimanded again. "Let Botan take her time."

Botan did take her time, turning in a circle and nervously eyeing the eligible bachelors. Finally, for lack of someone she knew better, "Koenma," she said, blushing bright pink.

Everyone took a moment to reflect on how glad they were Koenma was in his teenage form as he stepped forward to accept Botan's choice. When they kissed it was with some embarrassment, and they pulled back quickly. But then Botan pecked his lips again, and Koenma flushed.

Everyone laughed and cheered and made a few obscene hollers, seeing as there was a larger demon-to-human ratio and the demons were mostly into the champagne but good. The two broke apart, both blushing now, but also holding hands.

"Okay, my turn," Yusuke declared, stepping onto the same chair. There was an immediate clamor as the males jostled to get up front. Jin stepped on Touya's foot, Chuu pushed Rinku down, Kuwabara jumped in front of everybody. Without warning, Yusuke tossed the rose into the air.

There was a black blur, and the next thing anybody knew the rose had disappeared in midair. It took the bewildered guests a few minutes to locate it: sitting in Hiei's hand, where he was back in his windowsill. By the time most people turned to that corner Hiei had tossed it into the air again, eyes locked with his target.

Kurama had lingered at the back of the crowd. He now caught the rose neatly out of the air, not breaking off his eye contact with Hiei. An excited hush fell over the hall as Hiei grinned lazily, challengingly, at his longtime partner.

Kurama calmly placed the rose behind his ear before walking with dignity up to Hiei. Hiei leaned forward to meet him. This time there was no shyness, no peck of the lips. Kurama met Hiei's mouth with confidence and a lack of restraint, and Hiei met his, and the kiss went on... and on...

The catcalls started up long before the kiss was broken. The two demons raised their eyebrows at each other, smirking. "Challenge accepted," Kurama said quietly.


"And may I say," Yusuke announced from the front of the room, over the babble, "that it's about damned time!" A round of affirmative cheering followed.

Then the music started back up, and the motley group went back to drinking and dancing and chatting with one another, and Kurama and Hiei remained ensconced in the quiet corner, watching the parade, and their fingers had somehow become lightly entwined. "You know something, Hiei?" Kurama asked quietly, watching the dancers.


Kurama turned and kissed his cheek. "If you wanted a kiss, all you had to do was ask."