Opposites Always Attract sidefic. "If you think ferrying souls is just a walk in the breeze then why don't you try it for a day?" Botan challenged. Who thought the Koorime would actually take her up on that offer? Hiei x Botan oneshot
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho- sadly.
This takes place in the aftermath of Opposites Always Attract, so Hiei and Botan are together. You don't necessarily have to read O.O.A to understand the oneshot, that's why I didn't put it together with the other story. OK, read on!
"Botan wake up," Hiei shook her. Usually he would be the first to wake up and when he was finished getting ready, Botan would be up. It's been an hour since he woke up, and the said deity was still fast asleep.
She groaned, cuddling up into the covers and burying her head in her pillow. Hiei rolled his eyes, yanking the covers away from her petite form.
Losing the feeling of warmth that once surrounded her, Botan woke up shivering. Drowsily she sat up on the bed, rubbing her eyes and watching Hiei as he left the room in search of something.
Botan blinked a few times, tying to shake the drowsy feeling off. She attempted to get up, but ended up sitting down on the bed again. "Stupid headache..."
Re-entering the room with a spoon and a tub of ice-cream in his hand Hiei turned to her. "Don't you have work?" Taking a closer look at the woman, he noticed she looked different today. Her skin was much paler, her cheeks were tinted an unhealthy shade of pink, and her usually vibrant eyes were dull and red.
Botan groaned, letting herself fall back onto the bed. "I know, I'll be ready in a minute."
Her voice was nasally as well. "You're sick." Hiei concluded as she nodded wearily. "Then don't go. It's as simple as that." Hiei never did understand why ningens made things so complicated sometimes. Especially when most of them didn't have the brain capacity to comprehend the situations they got themselves into.
Botan let out a smile at Hiei's small concern. "I wish I didn't have to go, but Hiei, I've got so much work to do. If I don't go today, I'll never be able to catch up."
Hiei shrugged, setting the ice cream down. "Then get some other baka to do it."
"Out of the question!" Botan shook her head painfully as she got up from the bed, walking towards the threshold of the door- where Hiei was currently residing. "Everybody else has their own work to do, I couldn't possibly ask them to take my shift. I just can't." Her head was pounding now, but she wouldn't let that stop her.
Crossing his arms, the koorime stood there, intent on keeping Botan home. "Human body's are too frail, you shouldn't try and push yours so hard," Hiei scolded, his eyes narrowing at the stubborn woman before him.
She pouted, trying to put on her best pleading face. "I can't stay home, I've got too much work to finish." She pouted, and clasped her hands together, her weary eyes boring into Hiei's crimson ones.
Hiei turned his head to the side, effectively getting Botan and her pout out of his line of vision. It didn't help that he felt a slight blush creeping its way onto his cheeks. Resisting any small of feelings in the pit of his stomach, Hiei kept his resolve. "Ferrying souls isn't hard work, onna. You'll be able to catch up tomorrow."
"But, Hiei I-" Botan tried to get past him, only to end up collapsing on the temperamental demon. Hiei picked her up and set her down on the bed. "You're not going to work."
The blue-haired girl crossed her arms over her chest stubbornly. Why is he being so difficult!? I'm already up to my neck in paperwork and soul-ferrying. Taking off a full day will cause more harm than this stupid fever... but if that's how he wants to play... "Okay, but only if you go to Reikai as my replacement."
Hiei raised a brow incredulously. "What?"
"You heard me Hiei," A wicked smile graced her face. "If you think ferrying souls is just a walk in the breeze then why don't you try it for a day?" Botan challenged fully well knowing that Hiei would never agree to it. If he couldn't meet her demands, then she wouldn't meet his.
Realizing where Botan was going with this, Hiei sighed.
Her smile widened, thinking she finally got Hiei to let her leave. There was no way he was going to go around ferrying souls all day! She fully well knew that he had planned on training with Kurama today, and nothing could stop him from discontinuing that, nothing.
Training, or carrying sentimental souls to Reikai? The answer seemed so simple: training of course! Then again Botan did need her rest, and sending her to Reikai would cause her condition to become worse. Hiei glared at the smiling girl. Botan sure knew how to be sneaky when she wanted to, but she needed to recuperate, even if that meant he had to play the role of Grim Reaper for a day. He certainly fit the part better than Botan did, if anything. Plus, Kurama wouldn't care if they had to reschedule their training session.
"I've got nothing better to do." Her eyes widened upon hearing Hiei's declaration.
Botan shook her head rapidly, a few loose blue strands brushing against her face. "No, you can't!"
"I can and I will. Without the stupid oar." Hiei added, a determined look set in his eyes. What did she think he was, some kind of incompetent? It wasn't that hard to ferry some souls, and Hiei was damn well going to prove to her that he could do it with ease.
"Fine." Botan sighed, knowing that look in his eyes meant you couldn't change his opinion. "Just try to be a little sensitive okay? I mean these spirits did just die and all." She coaxed, her amethyst eyes set upon him.
Hiei glanced at her, giving her a sort of 'what are you crazy?' kind of look. After all, this was Hiei she was talking to.
Giving him a sheepish smile, she laughed nervously. She should've known not to advise someone like Hiei to be sensitive. Honestly, he was the most blunt person she'd ever met, and here she was telling him to be sensitive.
Then again... he was being sensitive to the fact that she was sick, and he was trying to help. He'd even agreed to take over her job for a day. That was very sensitive of him, now that she thought about it. He'd take care of everything while she got some rest, Botan was sure of it now. She giggled a little, earning a confused look from the koorime.
"Thank you, Hiei. You don't know how much this means to me! You know, you really are a kind-hearted person despite that cold exterior you have and I'd kiss you right now but I wouldn't want to get you sick t-" She was cut off as Hiei kissed her hastily.
"Just get better." Was all he said as in the blink of an eye he disappeared. Letting out a breath that she didn't even know she was holding, Botan flopped back onto the bed, content with the fact that Hiei would make sure everything was alright.
"You're WHAT!?" Koenma yelled, his Mafukan nearly falling out of his mouth.
Hiei turned his head to the side, clearly annoyed. "You damn well heard what I said, just give me the death list." Hiei held his hand out impatiently, eager to get the job over with.
"Is Botan out of her mind? She knows I can't possibly let you ferry souls! You don't know the first thing about it, you don't have any training, and... and..." Koenma seemed to be at a loss for words as he racked his mind for them, dumbfounded. Maybe they were under his eternal pile of sheets on his desk?
"You don't have an oar!" Koenma blurted out.
Hiei refrained from acquainting Koenma with his katana. "I don't need a fucking splinter to get around with." What was it with everyone today? Did they think Hiei was some kind of invalid?
"But the spirits do." Koenma retorted, stamping some papers.
"Then make a portal," Hiei directed through gritted teeth.
Koenma sighed, throwing an item Hiei's way and setting a list on his desk. "Oh alright, just press this whenever you need a portal and it'll inform me. I'll get a ferry girl to make one for you." Finally giving Hiei what he wanted Koenma began to read through the never-ending pile of shit- I mean sheets on his desk. There was just too much to do in Reikai, and he didn't have time to be arguing with Hiei. Plus, he didn't have to be worried about Hiei causing bodily harm to the spirits. It's impossible to harm the dead.
Hiei looked down at the device and shoved it in his pocket, picking up the sheet on Koenma's desk. He left as soon as he glanced at the name and location of the first soul on the list.
Reconsidering what he had just done, Koenma slapped a hand against his forhead. While it was impossible to harm the dead, scarring them for their after-lives was a whole other story. "Daddy's gonna kill me, those spirit-psychiatrists cost a fortune!" Koenma whined.
...Thirty minutes later...
Koenma was still stamping papers furiously as a gust of wind scattered nearly all the papers on his desk. Hiei stood in front of him putting the list back on his desk. "This time, assign me souls that I can actually understand."
Just then an apprentice ferry-girl stumbled into Koenma's office, carrying a fresh new stack of papers for the prince. "Aha! You, over here!" Koenma motioned for the girl to come to him and she put the papers on his desk. "Y-yes?" Her feeble voice sounded as if it would crack with nervousness.
"Take this list, you begin ferrying today."
"Really?" The girl's big brown eyes brightened, and her face lit up considerably. "Thanks sir, I won't let you down!" She bowed humbly, brushing a few honey-colored strands out of her face, and left. As she rounded the corner a loud squeal of excitement was heard.
Koenma looked up at Hiei sheepishly from his seated position and handed the koorime a new list. "Sorry about that, Hiei. Now you've got souls that are in Japan, but you see this is what I was talking about. You don't have the proper qualifications to be-" Hiei left hurriedly, not listening to a word Koenma was saying. "-Ferrying souls," Koenma breathed out, cursing his tiresome job. Hiei's temporary hiring was definitely going to be kept out of today's reports.
It was almost night now, and Hiei was exhausted. Spirits were so hard to deal with. If they weren't angry, they were hysterical and if they weren't hysterical, they were unbelieving. What the hell is wrong with ningens these days? Can't they just accept the fact that they are dead and get on with their afterlives?
Hiei had already encountered numerous people. Among the plethora of souls Hiei had ferried, he distinctly remembered an old man, a hysterical young woman, a disbelieving teenage boy, and a middle-aged tycoon.
At least the old man had went without a fight. He accepted his death with ease, and allowed Hiei to take him peacefully. The woman on the other hand was in tears during the whole ordeal. She went mad at the thought of not being able to live anymore and lashed out at Hiei. She tried to slap him, but her hand went right through the demon's smirking face. This only caused more tears to sprout from her already red eyes. Finally accepting her death, she allowed Hiei to request a portal, and the woman walked in hesitantly after giving him a small thanks.
The teenage boy, who reminded Hiei of Yusuke somewhat, was just a baka. He didn't believe all the talk about Reikai, or an afterlife. He just tried to go on with his life, ignoring the oddities that surrounded him. When no one acknowledged him, he simply shrugged it off, figuring they were upset with him. Finally after Hiei led the boy to his corpse, he gave in.
The middle aged tycoon was a laugh. He kept on making bribes in exchange for his life. The man desperately kept on shouting out prices and Hiei kept on refusing. He stood his ground for a good two hours until Hiei finally threatened the 'foolish ningen,' into walking into the portal.
Looking down at the last name on the list again, Hiei ended up in a hospital on the outskirts of Japan. He burst through the door, only to be greeted by a sobbing man. At the sound of the door being thrown open he turned his head. Not saying a word, Hiei looked down on the bed at a young child laying motionless on the bed. Hiei sensed a faint trace of an apparition, and noting the man's dispostion, he came to one conclusion. The girl must have left. "Wrong room." Hiei muttered to the crestfallen man as he left.
Searching for the familiar spirit energy he felt lingering in the room, Hiei was led to the front desk. A small girl with mint-green hair in pigtails, and deep blue eyes was trying to catch the attention of the receptionist. She reminded him of Yukina, and he felt a small stab of pain in his heart. "Hello?" She waved her small hands in front of the woman. "My Dad- he can't see me, can you help, please?" The girl was in tears now, in shock at the state she was in. The woman who was sitting at the desk got up from her seat and left the hospital, claiming it was her lunch break.
"Hey kid." Hiei called out to her and she whipped her head to the side, looking up at the man. "Y-you can see me?" The girl sniffed as she walked towards Hiei. He nodded.
She rubbed her tear-stained eyes. "What's wrong with me?"
"You're dead." Hiei told her bluntly.
"Dead?" She repeated, not understanding what death fully was. "Does that mean I have to stay here even longer?"
Hiei shook his head at the girl. "I've got to take you to Reikai."
"Reikai..." The child repeated hesitantly. "Will I get to see my Daddy there?"
Hiei looked down at the feeble girl. "No. Perhaps in the future you will."
She blinked back a few tears. "Is that why no one can see me?" At Hiei's nod, she continued speaking, "Then how come you can see me?"
Hiei opened his mouth to speak, but closed it. What was he going to say? That he was a demon filling in for a ferry-onna because she was sick? Too complicated for a being that didn't even realize what death was. "That's none of your concern."
"Oh." The little girl looked down at the floor. "Well, I'm Sakura... what's your name?" She looked back up at him, a small smile on her tear-stained face.
Hiei looked down at her, amazed that she was smiling even after she heard she wouldn't be in contact with her parent for a while. She really did remind him of Yukina, always thinking positive. She was like Botan in that aspect as well. "It's Hiei."
"Hiei-san, what am I going to do now?" Fear suddenly replaced the curiosity that once danced in her eyes.
Hiei pulled the object out of his pocket and pressed the button. Moments later a portal appeared. Sakura's eyes widened in fascination as she looked at the swirling mass of colors. "Go to Reikai and they'll explain everything there."
"Will I ever see you again?" Sakura hoped she would, after all Hiei was the first person she'd encountered all day that acknowledged her. Hiei made a small frown. "No."
She pouted, looking up at him sadly. Hiei gave in, answering the same way he did before with her parents. "Perhaps in the future."
Sakura smiled. "Hiei-san?" She cocked her head to the side, curiously. Surprisingly, Hiei wasn't even close to becoming irritated at the young girl. Normally he'd be frustrated that she could be so curious. Maybe he felt some pity for her, seeing as she was dead. Or maybe it was the uncanny resemblance to Botan and Yukina that she held. Whatever it is, Hiei didn't like it.
"Are the people in Reikai as nice as you?"
Hiei smirked. She thought he was nice? This girl definitely still has a lot to learn. "I suppose."
Nodding, she tried to erase the apprehension held in her heart. It was futile, after all she was only a child and all this talk of Reikai and death was utterly scary. "I don't want to leave..." She whispered softly with sadness in her voice. The small child began to cry. Not knowing what to do Hiei stood there watching as the tears spilled from her eyes.
"Where is your mother." He blurted out on accident, his thoughts spilling out of his mouth without his consent.
Sakura sniffed. "D-daddy said she's up in the sky with the- the angels."
"Then stop your foolish crying," Hiei told her a bit harshly; more harsh than he intended to. She shook upon hearing the tone of his voice, but instantly stopped her sobbing. "You're going to be with her, as soon as you enter the portal. Now go."
Breathing deeply, she stepped forward eying the foreign mass of colors. Putting on a brave face, she walked into it reluctantly. Her mother was waiting for her, and she would meet up with her father and Hiei eventually. "Goodbye Hiei-san, and thank you!"
Hiei nodded at her, a ghost of a smile appearing on his face as she disappeared. Incinerating the death-list that was once in his hand with a proud smirk, Hiei made his way back to Botan's apartment.
The onna better be resting and not cleaning. Hiei entered the apartment, taking not e of the horrid smell. It smelt oddly like those cleaning products Botan was so found of using, scented with flowers and such. Hiei hated those with a passion.
Walking inside the kitchen, he found Botan cooking instead of resting. Botan turned around and caught sight of Hiei. Throwing her arms around him she squeezed him tight, attempting to make him forget about their agreement. "You're back!"
"Hn. What happened to rest?" Hiei forced himself not to concentrate on the girl that was hugging him and focus on the agreement. She was supposed to rest, in exchange for Hiei filling in for her.
"I slept for most of the day!" Botan retorted defensively, releasing him from her grasp.
Should have known. Hiei mentally sighed. At least she looked much better. The color returned to her face, and her eyes held exuberance once more. He couldn't say much for her voice though, it was still as airy as ever.
"So how was your day?" The ferry-girl was anxious to see how Hiei liked walking in her shoes for the past hours.
It was a mentally (and physically for those who weren't as fit as him) straining task for anyone to do. Hiei would never admit that it put a strain on him though. Hiei had his death-list cut, and he didn't even have to go through all the paper work yet it was still a trying job for him. "Hn. Ningens have too many emotional fits."
"You can't blame them Hiei, how would you act if you just died and knew nothing about Reikai?" She countered crossing her arms over her chest.
Hiei looked back at her, unwavering. "Not like them that's for sure."
"Well anyway, thanks again for taking over for me." Botan smiled. She was glad that Hiei was changing for the better. Not that he became a totally different person or anything, it's just that... now Botan knew he cared. He often restrained himself from calling her 'onna,' unless he was frustrated, or trying to get a response out of her. He certainly didn't insult her like he used to before, and the small things he did for her could keep her smiling for a lifetime. He did have his frustrating moments of course, but in her eyes, she saw Hiei as something most others didn't. Botan figured he'd never change, but here he was with her.
Sometimes she'd wake up and think everything was just a wonderful dream. Hiei being assigned to protect her, their eventual falling for each other, and life after the threat. Thankfully it wasn't. She was glad he was here with her.
Hiei just nodded in response.
"At least this was a good experience. I mean how many people can honestly say they've ever helped the dead? You were practically an angel to all those people!" Botan joked shrugging her shoulders. "Who knows maybe you could take my place as Koenma's top ferry-man... er-demon."
No Botan, the one person that could've done it all better was you. Hiei looked back at the deity, her words triggering a memory with Sakura.
Upon stepping into the portal Sakura glanced back at Hiei. "Are you an angel?" She questioned one last time, her blue eyes twinkling.
Hiei shook his head. "No. I'm just filling in for one."
How'd you like it? Yeah it was short, but it was just an idea that popped into my head out of nowhere so I figured what the heck I might as well! Anyway, thanks so much for reading and I hope it was to your liking. Leave a review, please! -insert smiley here-