How to Save a Life
A/N: Chapter 2! Yay. I wanted to concentrate more on Botan's life here so I can get the mundane out of the way quickly. Don't worry, there will probably be some plot development next chapter. So read on. :D
Disclaimer: Again, I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho, The Fray, Volkswagen, Coldstone Creamery, or any other companies/franchises/money-making endeavors that can get me sued.
"What?" she voiced, pink eyes wide with surprise.
He looked pensive for a moment, his face, tired, overworked, and…pleading?
The blue-haired girl blinked, and the doctor's visage had reverted back to its usual stoicism.
Shuuichi gave her a small smile, shaking his head of red locks, and mumbling a quick, "Never mind."
Her eyebrows screwed in confusion, as he turned his back on her, seating himself on a bench nearby. Without another word, he began his ritualistic staring off into space.
The young girl gawked a while, disbelieving of first his odd request, then his sudden lack of courteousness. She shrugged, picking up her forgotten shirt, about to make her leave, when a thought struck her.
She looked worriedly over to the distant physician, before stalking up to him.
She fiddled with the hem of her paper dress, as he turned cool emerald eyes upon her. His emotionless stare was unbelievably disconcerting.
Dr. Minamino raised a brow, what was this girl still doing here?
"Um…er…" she bent her head a little to avoid direct eye contact and to read the nametag pinned to his white lab coat. "Dr. Minamino…-san."
Again, she smiled sheepishly. "Um…so you promise not to tell on me, right? I'm just going to run a few errands and…stuff." She rubbed the back of her skull, looking nervously up at the noon sky. "I'll be right back—"
The doctor scoffed, his tone taking on annoyance. "You actually think I care enough to go 'tell on you'? You're cutting into my valuable break time, so please." He did a choppy hand motion that made it obvious that her presence was unwanted here.
She stared at him again.
No, the uncaring countenance was still fixed upon him. The doctor really had passed the point of civility.
Now, he was being downright mean.
"Look," she started, her eyes narrowing, "I didn't mean to bother you, Minamino-san. It's just that if you do decide to tell I'd be in big trouble—"
"Trouble?" He smirked bitterly, "You'd be in trouble, miss, if I decided to sue you for nearly breaking my spine." Her carnation eyes flared, and he continued, unfazed, "But then again, it's really none of my business."
"Sue me?" She hissed, waving her hands in the air, "It was an accident! It wasn't as if I was intentionally trying to fall on top of you—"
Again he cut her off, glancing quickly at his watch. "I don't have time for this." He muttered under his breath, more than a little irritated with his relax time having been thoroughly shortened by some bumbling girl who didn't know when to shut her mouth.
"Go as you wish. I have work to do."
He left with a whoosh of his white coat and not another word.
And she stared, angry pink irises glaring figurative holes in his back.
By the time she got into her yellow Volkswagen beetle, she had successfully wriggled into her shirt without her bra showing.
And as she started up her car, she still couldn't wipe the frown engraved on her face.
Ugh, that doctor had been such a jerk!!
She 'tch-ed' as she buckled her seatbelt. "Me? Break his spine? I should sue him for being such horrible fall-breaker!"
Botan drove out of the parking lot, her grip on the wheel tight with the image of Dr. Minamino's emotionless smirk. "He didn't even move out of the way when I audibly cursed!"
She exhaled, blowing a strand of sky blue bang out of her face. She turned on the radio, because she knew if she kept thinking about it, she'd just get angrier.
The girl relaxed as soft music filled the interior of her vehicle.
The hospital was big enough, she reminded herself.
So she drove on, comforted by the thought that they'd probably never meet again.
"I'll get it!"Ri—
"Hello, Urameshi household, Keiko speaking."
The brunette's eyes widened, because the voice had immediately clicked.
"Botan-chan?!" she whispered, shocked. "Why are you calling here?"
"Hey," she giggled across the line, "you haven't seen your best friend in weeks and that's all you have to say to me?"
Her brows furrowed in worry as she cradled the phone closer to her ear, "Are you at the hospital right now? Aren't you supposed to be resting?"
The blue-haired girl sighed into her cell, "I've been resting, Kei-chan. For days. I needed fresh air."
Keiko's tone became chiding, "Don't tell me you snuck out of the hospital and went to the city park or something."
"No…" She mumbled in reply.
Keiko sighed with relief, "Good. I know how you are Bot-chan. Your need for freedom and all that." She weaved a hand through her brown locks, "It's just that in your condition, I got really worried that you'd do something drastic…"
The sudden beeping of a car horn interrupted her. Brown eyes shot to the window to find a familiar yellow buggy parked in her driveway. Her smiling best friend waved to her through the windshield.
And then, as if she hadn't done anything wrong, she said into her phone, "I snuck out of the hospital and came to visit you!"
As they hung up, Keiko let out a tired little sigh and then shouted up the stairs, "Yusuke! Botan's here!"
"Botan!" Yusuke shouted happily, giving the girl a hug as if he hadn't seen her in years. "You're looking good!"
Keiko hit him over the head with a slipper.
"What?" Yusuke hissed rubbing the spot she'd smacked him in, "I meant healthy! Healthy."
Botan giggled, turning from the black haired Urameshi to the girl at his right, "Keiko-chan!"
She gave the brunette a generous hug, "I missed you guys so much!"
"Botan-chan…" Keiko muttered weakly. As happy as she was for the visit, she felt more worry than anything else, "…I can't believe you drove all the way out here!"
The blue-nette frowned slightly, feigning hurt, "You really need to work on your welcomes, Keiko-chan."
"Botan-chan…" she sighed, gesturing all of them to the living room so they could sit. "You know I'm just worried about you. I mean you just recently had surgery, didn't you?"
She smiled at her, "That was 3 weeks ago, Keiko-chan! I swear, I'm fine now. I was just feeling a little cooped up in that room…"
Just to make sure, Keiko put a hand to her forehead to check her temperature. It was relatively normal but… "Are you sure you're feeling alright? Do you want water or anything?"
"Yes, yes," she answered, waving her off, "But I'd like some tea if you have some…"
Keiko nodded, smiling a little at her friend before getting up to walk to the kitchen. "Is it okay for you to drink any kind of tea? Or would you like me to run to the store to—"
Yusuke groaned loudly at her, "Geez, Keiko, stop being such a worry wart. Botan's fine. I mean, she managed to sneak pass hospital security. And she came all the way from the city to visit us. So, would you just make the damn tea?"
Keiko glared at him, "I was just making sure, Yusuke! I'm worried about her, thankyouverymuch." With that, she stormed indignant into the kitchen.
And Botan laughed once more with her friends' antics. "You know, Yusuke," the blue-haired girl whispered over to him, "I heard that at this stage of marriage, newlyweds are supposed to be mushy and romantic."
She looked happily over to a photo at her right; one that she'd personally taken on their wedding day…Flash.
'There's Keiko-chan looking so pretty in her dress. And there's Yusuke…in his tux. Heh.'
Laugh. 'Shoot.' Not again, not again, not again
'Cake!' Ugh, I feel sick. Not here
Breathe. Just breathe. Ow, my che—Not now
'No, that's ok I'm…fi—'
Botan. Botan. Botan"BOTAN!!"
The black-haired young man's scoff interrupted her reverie, "Really. Well, me and Keiko are just special then." He looked away, lightly coloring, "But it's not as if we're never couple-y…or whatever."
"Oh?" Botan teased, her trademark cat-like grin fixed on her features, "So you two have been romantic then?"
Yusuke rolled his eyes but Botan knew him too well. He was embarrassed.
Keiko then walked in, holding a tray of two cups of tea and a soda for Yusuke. She looked over at her husband, an eyebrow raising, "What's got you so flustered?"
"Nothing. I'm not flustered." He muttered back, taking his soda can.
Botan chuckled, taking the china cup that held her tea. "Hm…Keiko-chan. I noticed you were wearing some silky nightgown thing when I waved at you through my windshield…" She took a calm sip, then asked innocently, "…I hope I wasn't…interrupting anything?"
The couple sputtered their drinks, blushing hot red.
"Botan!" Yusuke choked, trying to hide the pinking of his cheeks.
The blue-haired girl laughed once more, "Only kidding." Another sip, "I mean, you two wouldn't be getting it on in the middle of the afternoon, right?"
Keiko's turn to protest, "Botan-chan!"
And she giggled again, "Just joking, guys!" She dodged the throw pillow Keiko had thrown at her, "So how are things? How're the Kuwabaras?"
"We've been doing pretty good for ourselves. Me at the police station and Keiko teaching at the local middle school." Yusuke snorted, "It's that big idiot who's been doing crazy. Ex-thug he is, he's been doing volunteer work at the animal shelter. You know how he is with kittens."
"How cute." She smiled at the thought of her rather intimidating friend petting a number of baby cats.
"And Shizuru-san," Keiko said, tapping her chin in thought, "Actually, I think she went to the doctor today for her smoking problem…your hospital, I think."
Botan's eyed widened a bit, "Meiou Gen.? Really? …I'll have to go call her up then. So whenever I'm feeling bored, we can be bored together."
They all laughed, memories of the good old days filling them with nostalgia. "Would you like us to call them or something? So they can see you too?"
Botan half-smiled, "Nah. I've got to go now anyway. It's only a matter of time before my doc. goes crazy to find me missing. And I still have to go make a quick trip to Koenma's apartment."
They nodded in understanding, finishing up their drinks.
The Urameshi couple showed her to the door, and Keiko grew worried again, "You sure you don't want Yusuke to drive you there or something?"
"Yeah, I'm sure Keiko-chan." Botan sighed, giving each of her friends a hug. They all said their goodbyes and she got into her car. Before she drove off, Botan rolled down her window, shooting the couple a sly glance, "You two can start being mushy again cause' I'm expecting a godchild soon!"
She laughed as she drove away, leaving the blushing couple behind.
Despite the wind and the chill of January weather, they waved away the yellow buggy till it turned a corner along the suburban street side and disappeared. Their expressions turned solemn once she was out of sight. Keiko squeezed her husband's hand, sending him a nonverbal message.
Yusuke looked grimly down at her, "Yeah. I'm worried, too."
Minamino faintly muttered under his breath as he stalked through the halls of Meiou General. The red head had been ticked ever since that blue-haired girl had effectively wasted a period of his recreational time.
Okay, sure. So maybe he threw her off a little with the sudden crack in his façade.
"Take me with you." He had whispered to her, uncharacteristically.
It was just that, she'd been looking so…pure, somehow, right then. As if she could and would…help him if he asked…
Or something equally idiotic.
He'd returned to his senses shortly after, thank Kami, and after that, she continued to bother him with her silly notions.
Shuuichi sighed, forcing away contemplations of the 'Runaway Patient' and taking in the displeasing thought of having to go through another 4 hours of bothersome paperwork.
"Damn it." He cursed, walking through his office door. He tossed his coat upon a random chair and made himself comfortable at his seat. Just as he was about to begin weaving through the sea of contracts and agreements he had to sign, his door opened and another being came hurriedly into the room.
Green eyes looked up to find the frantic face of his colleague staring at him.
"Minamino-san." He mumbled, adjusting his glasses as they were slipping off the bridge of his nose. He was sweating quite profusely.
"Kaitou-san." Kurama nodded in greeting, raising a brow in curiosity.
"By any chance, have you seen a blue-haired girl walk by this afternoon?"
Inside, Shuuichi's inner self was answering with slight shock, that yes. Yes, he had seen a blue-haired girl walk by, or rather, fell down this afternoon. But his countenance feigned perfect ignorance to the matter.
"Well, her name is Daioh Botan and she's a patient of mine…" Kaitou fidgeted with his fingers, "She's gone missing."
Oh, really. Again, Inner-Kurama was smirking because he knew full well the circumstances at hand.
"She's one of my regulars and today, when I went in for her daily check up, she was gone." Again Kaitou's eyes revealed nervousness even from behind his spectacles.
After a small debate with himself on whether he should tell him or not, the part of him that was both empathetic and piteous towards the other doctor won out.
…It wasn't as if he was being petty by going out of his way to snitch on her.
The situation had presented itself and it was his job as a fellow doctor to inform him.
"She jumped out from her window on the second floor and escaped through the West Garden at around noon. She left in a yellow Volkswagen beetle, I believe."
Kaitou was, as always, suspicious of him, but relented a thank you nonetheless.
As he left, Kurama allowed himself a tiny smirk. Looks like you're in trouble now, Botan-san.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Koenma wrestled into a suitable sweatshirt before walking to the front door. He wondered faintly who could possibly be knocking at his apartment door in the middle of Monday afternoon.
Looking through the eyehole, he instinctively recognized the head of blue hair and swung open the front door.
"Botan?!" It was his sister, his head rationalized on its own through the shock. "What the heck are you doing here?"
She rolled her candy eyes, smiling, "Did I miss something? Or is that the new, hip way of greeting someone you hadn't seen in a while?"
Without a second thought, the brown-haired young man quickly gathered her into his arms, mumbling a soft, "I missed you" into her sweet-smelling cerulean locks.
She gently patted him on the back, returning the gesture, "Missed you too, bro."
They parted because he didn't want to put too much strain on her probably fatigued body. "Seriously, Botan." He mumbled, gripping her shoulders, "What are you doing out of the hospital?" His amber eyes widened a fraction, "Have you been released? Was the surgery a success?"
She shook her head lightly, "No, we don't know yet if the surgery's worked or not. We're just going to have to wait a few to see if symptoms arise and stuff." She grinned up at him, "Anyway, I just wanted to see what my big bro was up to!"
He gave her a deadpanned look, "You snuck out of the hospital, didn't you?"
Her brows rose with surprise and she playfully punched him, "I swear, Koenma. You and Keiko-chan are more brother and sister than you and I can ever be."
He smiled a small, almost serious smile, "…yeah."
"Soooo…" the chipper girl continued, making her way into his apartment, "Aren't you going to offer me a drink?"
Koenma's face turned semi-stoic. "Nope. Just before you came, I was actually on my way out to run a few errands." He grabbed her hand, forcing her back out of the apartment. "C'mon, I'm taking you back to the hospital."
Botan pouted, struggling in his grip, "No! I can't go back yet! I just got here!"
The brunette held his clutch on her, and his face turned serious, "Botan…you know dad spent a lot of money to get you into that place. It'll all go to waste if you die because you don't know how to take care of yourself."
"Wow." Botan muttered, sarcasm dripping from her tongue. "I'm so sorry. I wouldn't want my death to become a burden on your conscience."
A corner of Koenma's mouth twitched upward, "Forgiven."
The girl sighed, allowing the older man to drag her down the hall. "I swear, Koenma. You act more like a big brother than most blood brothers do."
"Yeah well," he replied, relenting, "I guess in this case, nurture prevails over nature, then."
Botan smiled slightly with the answer, because the look on his face spoke volumes of his sincerity; although she and Koenma were not related by blood, as she had been adopted into the Daioh family, they cared for each other as any 'normal' family would.
"How about calling up Hina-chan and Aya-chan? I'd love to see them too." She asked, referring to her other adopted sisters, Hinageshi and Ayame. (Apparently, Enma, their father, had really loved little girls).
Koenma shook his head, "Hina's still in school at the moment and Ayame's working."
Botan frowned up at him, "Why aren't you working right now?"
"I was feeling a little sick this morning," he replied, heading down the stairs, "So I took a day off to recuperate."
She grinned, teasingly elbowing his side, "Days off whenever you want. Must be some perk, being the only son of the great Enma Daioh, owner and president of Reikai Enterprises."
He scowled at her, waving to the cracking walls of the hallways, "About the only one. I still don't have a big enough annual to pay for a better place."
"Poor, poor Koenma-chan." She giggled, patting his head. "Having a roof over your head, clothes to wear, food to eat, and the best sister anyone could ever ask for, must be so troubling."
He grunted at her, giving her a small knock to the head. "Whatever, Bot-chan. Let's get you to the hospital."
Botan's face grew a little sad, her smile dimming.
Koenma sighed as they walked out the front door, "I'll remember to visit…hopefully with Dad, Hinageshi and Ayame, too."
She was grinning a little more, "You better."
He smiled back as they got to his car, knowing just the way to cheer her up, "C'mon, we'll pass by Coldstone. We can get, I don't know, maybe a Strawberry Banana Rendezvous?"
He blinked once and she was suddenly in the car, seatbelt fastened and smiling giddily at him through the passenger window.
"Oh damn." He muttered, pacing the walking space in his office. "Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. DAMN."
He slammed his hands upon his desk, his teeth grit hard, "My chance to impress the Admins and I lose the patient!" His grip turned his knuckles white, "Now, I'll never beat Minamino, that sorry bast—"
"Dr. Kaitou-san!" his personal assistant, Ms. Shinou, rushed in, "Ms. Daioh-san has returned!"
His dark eyes grew from behind his glasses and he ran out, down the right wing for Cardio patients and into room 102.
And there she was, in her wrinkled paper dress, reading a book with her sleepy eyes and looking as if she'd never even left her bed.
She turned innocent pink orbs upon him and smiled softly, "Dr. Kaitou-san. Good afternoon. I know we missed my appointment but I needed to take a short walk around." She grinned sheepishly, "My legs were falling asleep."
He raised a suspicious brow, "Oh, really."
She nodded, the enthusiasm radiating a little too thick.
"Oh well, then. So all my worrying has just been a big misunderstanding?" He asked.
"Yep!" She answered. He had to give her credit for being a pretty decent actress.
"Looks like your story checks out…" He mumbled glancing over at his clipboard. From the corner of his eyes, he saw her brighten, "…Except, for a pretty detailed eyewitness report from a certain Dr. Minamino."
Her smile dropped. He did, what? That jerk had actually told? Even when he had said--?!
"H-how can you be so sure that he's telling the truth?" she argued weakly, "What if he, uh, just has some strange personal vendetta against me?"
Kaitou gave her a look, "So tell me, what exactly did you do to cause the usually recluse Dr. Minamino to have such a vendetta against you?"
She sputtered with her reason, looking nervous.
"Or why there's a Coldstone cup in the trashcan?"
Her eyes shot to the nearby receptacle and sure enough there lay the crumpled paper cup she'd recently trashed. She looked anxiously up at her doctor and winced under his stern gaze.
She conceded to a punishment but with a bitter promise of payback to a certain red-headed doctor.
Step one you say we need to
He walks, you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through