"It smells worse than Jin's feet after a hard training session." Touya inwardly gagged as the vial of antidote was passed his way, "And looks the way I'd expect Shishiwakamaru's brain to…if he had one I mean."

With a shudder and a pinch of his nose to quash the taste, Touya downed the last of the antidote…and it was every bit as disgusting as he thought it would be.

It took all of his will power to keep for spitting it on the floor, and he had to dig deep to find the strength of mind to swallow the vile gunk.

"We know man." Yusuke gagged, toothbrush in one hand, half used tube of toothpaste in the other, "Gross doesn't even begin to cover it."

That having been said, Yusuke went back to frantically scrubbing at his tongue with far more toothpaste than any human being needed, causing large amounts of foam to drop to the floor.

Kurama would have complained, but he was currently hogging the mouthwash, forgoing all niceties and splashing it all over himself in his efforts to rid his mouth of the vile taste.

Jin and Chuu had taken to the kitchen, Jin currently eating Kurama's mother out of house and home and Chuu downing every last ounce of liquor in the house in hopes that alcohol would somehow neutralize the taste.

Suzuki and Shishiwakamaru hadn't been able to handle the awful flavor. Keiko had been in the same boat; all three had ended up somehow knocking each other unconscious, and mercifully so.

Hiei's poor tongue had been in such agony, it had sent him running blind in search of relief. Yukina, very worried about the well being of the fire imp, followed close behind.

Shizuru had forced the potion down her baby brother's throat just as he was regaining consciousness…the end result was the taste sent him back INTO unconsciousness.

All and all, not good.

"Really Suzuki. Couldn't you do anything about the flavor of that disgusting brew?" Touya asked severely after the party reassembled…for the most part: Chuu's in a happy drunken stupor, Keiko's still out of it and I'm pretty sure Kuwabara's in a coma.

"No, actually." Suzuki replied snappishly, rubbing the spot where his head had collided with the table, "Don't you think I tried? Something in artificial flavoring counteracted the potions original effect. It made it into an entirely different formula."

"An' what did tha' formula do?" Jin asked irritably, almost too full to down the Alka-Seltzer Yusuke passed him, "Turn ya inta a pritteh poneh?"

"No, it made the hair under your arms grow long enough to be used as jump ropes." Suzuki replied.

"I might have enjoyed that y'know." Yusuke smirked, "Freak Keiko out and wouldn't have to buy a new jump rope ever again."

"You really are disgusting at times, you know that?" Shishiwakamaru said dully, head resting against a pillow as the narcissist insisted on taking up the entire sofa.

"And you really are a couch hog, you know that?" Kurama retorted blandly, flopping down on Shishi's calves.

"What do you think you're doing?" Shishiwakamaru spat, eyes glinting viciously, "Get off of me."

"Well by all appearances, it didn't appear that you would be moving in the next century." Touya said mildly, "Keiko's in the recliner, Kuwabara's in the easy chair and Hiei's in the window set. You're taking up the rest of the available seating. It was the only natural thing to d-!"

"You've made your point, Touya." Suzuki snickered as Shishi yanked his legs out from under Kurama and whipped them around in front of himself.

"Besides, I think its about time you stopped cowering in the shadows." Hiei drawled, "Come out Botan, it's no use hiding the fact that you're there."

All heads turned to the doorway as three pairs of feet made their way into the room.

Ayame, Koenma, and Botan, who looked rather sheepish and guilty at having been the only one detected, joined the assembled party, Ayame and Koenma looking very serious.

"We have problems." Koenma sighed.

"When do we not." Yusuke said dully, rolling his eyes, causing Botan to shoot across the room and smack him across the back of the head with her oar.

"Show some respect!" She cried indignantly.

"This is no laughing matter Tantei." Ayame said coolly, "This case is one of the more significant you've had to deal with, on par with the tear between the Makai and Ningenkai."

"That bad?" Kurama remarked, looking mildly surprised as he scooched over to make room for Yusuke, "What's happened Koenma-san?"

"A human has released the twelve ghosts of the Black Zodiac." Botan replied, looking very, very grim for someone as bubbly as herself.

"So some ghosts got loose, big whoop." Yusuke said in an I-So-Don't-Care tone of voice, "It's not as though they can hurt anybody."

"That is where you are wrong, Yusuke." Hiei interrupted, switching himself around appearing very startled, "I've heard of the Black Zodiac Ghosts."

"As have I." Suzuki muttered, visibly paling, "They were humans who's deaths were so violent, so untimely, so…so wrong, that their anger is made tangible. They can make contact with the living and do so…to great effect."

"You know your history." Koenma nodded, retrieving a scroll from inside his sleeve, "These are the Blue Books on all twelve ghosts."

"Once Kuwabara wakes up we'll-" Yusuke began, only to be silenced by a single look from Shizuru.

"Let. Him. Alone." She said shrewdly, exhaling smoke as she spoke making her appear that much more imposing, "He's retired. My baby bro has to focus on his school work now. No more paranormal crap."

"But without him-" Yusuke sputtered, interrupted by Koenma this time.

"It doesn't really matter. We already have another psychic in mind. The problem at hand is convincing her to help." He sighed.

"What? I'm sure it wouldn't take much to convince Genkai." Shishiwakamaru said, cocking an eyebrow.

"No, not Genkai." Botan said, shaking her head fervently, "Think…younger. Think around Keiko's age."

"Shizuru then?" Suzuki asked, turning his gaze on the elder Kuwabara sibling, who shrugged her shoulders.

"She's already donated what power she had to Botan." Ayame said blandly, "Remember the puffer fish incident three months ago?"

"Oh yes…and I was trying so hard to forget." Hiei muttered, resting his head in his hand.

"Then who is it?" Kurama asked, "It couldn't be Keiko. Genkai's already tested her and she's only slightly empathic. And empathy has no place on this type of assignment."

"And Yukina, while gifted in healing, wouldn't be much use unless helping us after a capture." Suzuki said bemusedly.

"Oh, OH! Ah know!" Jin cried triumphantly, "Ah know oo it is! It's th' wee lass! It's thah' Yoru lass, init it?"

"I'm surprised." Koenma blinked, staring at the wind imp, "I was certain that Kurama or Touya would be the ones to figure it out."

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me." Yusuke cried, throwing up his hands, "Yoru? I mean…c'mon! I woulda sensed if she had any kind of spiritual prowess!"

"Did you sense if Kuwabara had any kind of spiritual prowess in your early days?" Botan asked offhandedly, making Yusuke color and Shizuru snicker.

"She's had the potential all along, Yusuke, and prolonged exposure to your spiritual energy has only increased it." Ayame said calmly, "The only real problem is that is completely sealed off. Like a cork stopping up a sake' bottle."

"Genkai can free this psychic strength…but only if Yaminade-san is willing." Koanma sighed.

"I'm getting the feeling there's more you aren't telling us." Touya said warily, "What else is going on?"

"Well, we weren't going to bother you all with this assignment, so we sent one of our Shinigami agents." Botan said awkwardly, pressing her index fingers together, "But…that was over six month ago."

"And you waited this long because why?" Suzuki asked blandly.

"Well, he always was a bit on the flaky side, so we figured he'd turn up eventually." Koenma said with a shrug.

"At any rate, we believe that he may have been abducted by the human responsible for freeing the Black Zodiac ghosts." Ayame said calmly, withdrawing a photograph from her kimono sleeve, "Here is a photograph of him."

"Oh…my god." Shishiwakamaru gawked as The Blue Books were placed in Yusuke's lap, "There is just no way."

"Track him down." Koenma said calmly, "Enlist Yaminade Yoru's help. Capture the twelve. Until you complete your mission, no one, living or otherwise, is safe."



"I said no. No, no, no."

Yusuke currently stood outside Yoru's apartment, Yoru herself leaning on the doorframe. The Reikai Tantei was trying his best to convince Yoru to help…and was thus far unsuccessful.

"Why not?" he asked in frustration, stamping his foot the way he did when he was little and she was withholding a toy from him, "We're talking about the lives of millions of people here!"

"And we're also talking about me going well outside my comfort zone, to help a group of people I not only don't particularly like, but never once got off their asses to help my mother and brother." Yoru retorted.

"So you're willing to let all these people die because of one isolated incident?" Yusuke cried in frustration.

"HEY! Those hussies calling my mom a slut at the grocery store was NOT an isolated incident, Yusuke." Yoru shot back, "Those little brats calling Yuhi a sissy wasn't an isolated incident."

"Those were a few jackholes out of millions of people!" Yusuke shouted, "You've always been the nurturing protective figure to those kids at Sakuranbo."

Noting her horrified expression at the name of her workplace leaving his lips, he pressed forward.

"Yes, I know all about it. I spied on Touya when he was still an ankle biter." He said dismissively, "But are you really gonna let all those kids be in harm's way because you're being so selfish?"

Yoru's face contorted in pain.

"…fine." she whispered harshly, not looking at Yuske bitterness filling her voice, "I'll…I'll do it."

A door five doors down and to the left opened and Kamiyama Kouta exited it and seeing the two together, approached them.

"Everything alright?" he asked, noting Yoru near tears and how angry Yusuke appeared.

"Just peachy." Yoru spat.

"We just finished up here." Yusuke drawled, opening up the back pack he carried and retrieving the photograph given to him by Ayame, "However…we've only just begun."

Kamiyama Kouta stared at the face in the photograph, dumbfounded: massive black feathered wings, black hakama pants, a cold smirk, long, dark brown hair, white blue eyes.

His own face stared back at him.

"I have a few questions for you, Shinosuke." Yusuke said severely.

(Shinosuke) when broken down it reads death, assistant; a pun as the names of both reapers Botan and Ayame refer to flowers used in Japanese funerals.

(A/N: Yoru's power is uncapped. The search begins. Ghost one? The First Born Son. R&R!)