Disclaimer: I don't own YYH nor do I make any profit from them. I do make profit and own my OC's.
Lynx: Another long chapter....Betas people! I need them! I might as well just go off into the beta reader thing and see which ones I can pester into doing this for me. Oh boy; someone's going to want to ask who wants me dead, or something XD. Anyway, enjoy the chapter. I tried editing as much as I could! For those that noticed the title change from A Look to A Kitsune's Past, you may recall that I mentioned way back in some weird chapter that I was going to split this into three groups...maybe four if I get enough people wanting to see Suuichi's past as well. So, yes...this is the first book. Soon enough I'll be making the second.
Chapter Twenty Five
"Youko." He felt someone shake his shoulder, trying to arouse him from his sleep, and it felt like a tremor in the dream. In the dream his father and a gang of other foxes that swore loyalty to him, were in the village seeking him out. Of course Youko was an idiot in thinking that he could run away without his father's knowing and got himself caught right in the building that protected his friends. Strawberry was next to him, holding his arm in fear. Hikari and Tomo had drawn their weapons just like Kali and Sora. Janice wasn't there, and why would she? Kuronue on the other hand didn't draw his weapons nor did he seem to care about the scene that was playing.
"Youko." Another shake and he felt chills go up and down his spine. The cold icy brown eyes that held no emotion worth mentioning was looking right at him. Right at him, and he felt scared. He felt like he was stuck between a battle.
Hikari was the first to move. She did a high swing with her leg and brought a dagger with her, but his father just laughed and froze her right when she touched him. He pushed the ice away, making it fall and nearly shatter. Tomo cried out in outrage, he was up against another fox demon and when he loked away, he accidently dropped his guard, an easy kill. Blood splashed over the floor, but for some reason Youko couldn't see the body.
"Youko, please." When would the shakes stop? He was trembling in fear and when he looked at Strawberry, her face was covered into his arm, frightened at the scene. He wanted to protect her, he wanted to protect everyone in the room. This was his fight, but clearly he was too weak.
"Stop....let them go....they don't belong in this." Youko pleaded, but his father wasn't listening and neither was anyone else. Sora and Kali jumped into action, they lasted longer than the twins. Fighting, swinging, yelling, cursing. Kali was the first to drop once Youko's father caught her neck and tossed her against the wall. Iced and shattered....
Just like a breaking heart that could be heard. It showed all over Kali's face, besides the rage she was obviously feeling for losing a lover. No matter how unfaithful he was.
"GET UP!" Youko screamed when he felt ice cold sweat against him, his father was standing so close. He was wearing a smile, a freaking scary smile, and water froze faster than demons did unless they bleed or something...oh god, he was going to go after Strawberry! He pushed Strawberry away from him and got up, but he couldn't feel his knees; he was trembling so badly. He had no idea if he was yelling at his father to leave Strawberry alone and take him on or what he was doing until he felt someone smack him across the face, making him jerk and opened his eyes. No one was around, yet he could feel two or more people near him. He looked around wildly. Sora's body wasn't dead...Kali's wasn't shattered....Strawberry was right next to him, just like in the dream...Kuronue was sitting in his lap, putting his hand down, obviously the one that smacked him. Tomo and Hikari was no where to be seen either.
"Nightmare?" Strawberry asked softly.
"Maybe." Youko bowed his head and took a deep breath. "Where is everyone?"
"Tomo and Hikari decided to play innocent and go mug a few people for pleasure while Kali and Sora are getting drunk at some bar, like usual. As for me I was trying to sleep when you started making all this racket. Screaming, muttering, calling our names in horror. What sort of sadist are you?" Kuronue asked with a raised eyebrow and an amused smile planted on his face.
Youko wished desperately that he could just wipe that smile off of his face, but knew that he wouldn't be able to. He sighed and shook his head, "It was nothing. It just made me remember that I don't have long."
"Three days." Strawberry stated. "Now four. You go soon. You won't come back. We miss you."
"I haven't left yet." Youko laughed weakly, "But I have a dreaded feeling that I'm going to have to leave way before the week is over."
"You won't survive." Strawberry frowned. "Will you risk?"
"I might not have a choice." Youko said with a sad smile. "My father could be looking for me any day now."
"The one that wanted to use you for his powers right?" Kuronue asked.
"Not....really. More like he wanted me to succeed him, but I couldn't because I'm not cold as ice." Youko rolled his eyes, "No pun included or intended."
"Fight helps." Strawberry told him, reaching up and gently caressed his cheek like a mother would to a frightened child. "We fight help too."
"It's a fight I think I'm better off being alone in." Youko replied with a smile. "But if you want to help, I can't stop you."
"Then you won't be alone." Strawberry said with a smile. "Outside. Fresh air. You will need." She stood up and pulled Youko up with her.
"Wait a minute!" Kuronue called out. "Whose going to teach him how to fight? He doesn't have any weapons!"
"Doesn't matter." Strawberry said stiffly as she dragged Youko out. The minute the door was shut, she ran and miraculously today Youko didn't run into any poles or people. A first in this time.
They got to the clearing that they first did the flower petal in. Something that didn't take to kindly to being torn from the plant or being used as a fire holder. Fortunately, Strawberry was going to guide him deeper into the forest to see if there was any more plants that would take his spiritual energy at this point in time.
"What dream about?" Strawberry asked as she lead him into the outskirts of the small forest. So far it was just trees and grass, but knowing Strawberry she knew there would be a garden somewhere.
"I don't honestly want to talk about it." Youko replied. He felt ashamed that something trivial as a dream scared him enough to have two people wake him up instead of the normal one.
The vixen looked over her shoulder to look at him and she shook her head, "Can't say that."
"Why not?" Youko asked wondering if she even knew what she was talking about. Sometimes he had to wonder.
"You want talk." Strawberry looked at him. "Don't you?"
Youko gave her a sad smile, "Subconsciously maybe."
"Will you talk?" Strawberry asked softly.
"No." Youko shook his head. "How far are we going to go in the forest?"
"Not far." Strawberry assured. The forest was thick and he had to hold onto the back of Strawberry's shirt to make sure he doesn't get lost. The trees were large and tall, blocking the sunlight. The shadows loomed over the ground, and he had a feeling that during the night would be a very scary time to try to saunter around. Even a go-in-go-out expedition wouldn't work either. The shadows would easily frightened someone off....anyone was scared of shadows...especially if they were being hunted down.
The whisperings in his head weren't helping either. He knew that he could understand Plant Colda, but he had to be touching the plant first to even attempt to know what they were saying. Maybe it wasn't the plants were speaking, maybe it was someone else.....someone else....
"Cling harder you tear shirt." Strawberry looked over her shoulder at him and stopped once more. "Scared?"
"No." Youko shook his head. The whispers disappeared once she spoke. Maybe that was a gift or something, that her speaking kept away all those voices....maybe there was someone in the forest, and they didn't know how loud they were. If there was one thing Youko learned from escaping his father, was not to alert the enemy of anything. "No, I'm not scared."
"....Boys." Strawberry sighed as she went back to walking.
Once more she was silent, and once more the voices started whispering again. He growled in frustration, wanting it to stop or he was going to go mad when she finally stopped. They were at another clearing once more, but this one had a small stream going by. There were a few bushes of roses and different flowers that were planted.
The grass was yellowish green, the shadows couldn't cast because the trees were in a large circle. The stream happened to be what the whispering was, it wasn't the plants at all. Streams didn't make much sound besides a whisper unless it was going down something and fast. A river was much more noticeable than a stream, if you weren't a fox.
"Flowers may help." Strawberry said as she went over to a large rock that sat in the middle of the clearing. The rock had carvings on it, though the language wasn't understandable to Youko at all. "They have petals, they hold more energy than a leaf."
"That's a good thing. So if I stick with flowers, maybe my energy won't explode them?" Youko asked.
Strawberry shrugged, "Don't know. Try." She waved her hand towards the flowers that were on the ground and in the bushes.
Youko walked over and watched them. Tulips, daises, lilies, roses, carnations littered the ground. There were more flowers than that obviously, but to list them all...
"How did you find this place?" Youko asked amazed.
Strawberry smiled, "Alone time. Wandering around."
She wanted to be alone, to wander around in the forest and stumbled across this. She must have memorized every path that lead to the clearing so that she could come back. This was her private place...and Youko felt like he was intruding. "I can't." He said.
She raised an eyebrow. "Why not?"
"It's your place....I bet you planted those flowers by yourself." Youko said with a shake of his head. "I can't take one and try."
"Yes, can." Strawberry jumped from the rock and went over to him. She took his hand into hers and guided it over to a red tulip. "Take, practice. I grow more." She let his hand go. "It's okay."
Youko sighed and decided that it was okay. If he was going to fight against his father, fighting and learning his element would do it. He gently took the tulip and snapped it away from the other's near down the root. The plant wasn't happy.
That was my family. The tulip whined. Why did you take me away?
I'm sorry, Youko frowned sadly. He didn't really know what it was like to be taken away from a family, but he did know what it was like to have a make-shift family be taken away. I need you.
What do you need me for? It's not like you care...The tulip obviously hated him with that tone.
Youko winced, Learning.
....Fine...but you better place me back when your done. The tulip warned.
Which was going to be the hard part. He turned around to Strawberry who smiled at him, "Steady stream in the flower. Imagine weapon or thing. Flick wrist."
He closed his eyes to concentrate. He pictured his energy to be a small stream like the one that was next to him, only smaller. When he felt like it was enough energy, he imagined something that would work against his father. Something that could break ice fast. He knew that there was something that could break it....he saw it in a picture once. Picturing it in his mind, he hoped that it would work.
He flicked his wrist and opened his eyes. A small ice pick was in his hands. The petals was the handle and the steam was the knife. Luckily the stem he had been holding was covered by the petals. With that conclusion in mind, it seemed that whatever he held and pictured right, he wouldn't be holding the sharpest part of the plant.
However, the ice pick wasn't going do to much in the battle, he realized. For one thing it was too short, and he'd have to really out muscle his father if he was going to attack. That part, wasn't going to be good. He was small, he could very easily get tossed around, and his father could freeze anything or anyone with a simple touch, or a ghost of air.
It's not like you imagined anything helpful, the tulip scowled.
That was true, Youko winced. Very true, he wasn't sure what could break ice besides an ice pick and fire, and he was pretty sure that plants couldn't turn into fire.
"Nice!" Strawberry clapped happily. "Now, turn it back!"
Turn it back? He was going to have to take away the energy he supposed and flick his wrist again? Maybe just imagining the flower the way it was and taking away his energy would work? He wasn't sure. He looked up at Strawberry and asked, "How?"
"Take away energy, but only yours." Strawberry said. "Imagine flower before transformation and you get the flower back!"
First guess was correct. To take away just his energy was going to be pretty hard. Didn't he read somewhere that the energy that he used will always melt against the natural energy something else would use? It didn't just apply to him, it applied to everyone that could use demonic force.
It couldn't hurt to try, he supposed and concentrated once more on taking the energy away. He remembered that it was a small stream, he didn't use too much he didn't think, and that the flower wanted him to somehow return it to the ground.
That wasn't going to be easy. He felt where his energy was going through and slowly drew it back into himself, carefully so that the energy didn't grab more than what was needed. He visualized what the tulip had looked like before he made it into a weapon or a tool.
Cut off slowly, you're taking away too much! It's okay to leave some energy you know, damn it. The tulip practically yelled in fear. Youko cut off slowly but speedily so that he wouldn't dry the tulip's energy. He opened his eyes and the red tulip was now a faint pink.
He could visualize the energy to make the flower turn back into it's normal self, he could also place it back. He doubted it would last long though, because the energy would fade or something, and the flower's energy was weak, from what it looked like. He didn't doubt that it couldn't hurt to do it anyway. He went back to where he grabbed the tulip before and placed it back on where the cut stem was. He licked his lips nervously as nothing happened. He concentrated a little bit more energy go up and down the stem, making the energy it already had seep faster and drain quicker.
What are you doing?! The flower sounded panicked and Youko bit his lip, unsure if he should ask what he was doing wrong or what. Wasn't this the right way? It seemed like it. Stop! Stop it hurts!
I'm sorry....but this is the only way I can get you back to your family. Youko frowned.
Screw that....it hurts too much.
"Doesn't want to grow anymore. Weak energy sucks it dry." Strawberry placed a hand on his shoulder. "Lay the flower underneath others. It'll be happier there."
Youko did as he was told and the flower didn't say anything, "I wonder if I can't heal the plants...I can turn them back, but I can't do anything else but that."
"It just means you're not a strong Plant Elemental yet." Strawberry stated. "Doesn't mean anything else but that. Pratice helps."
It still didn't matter, it hurt that he couldn't do what the tulip asked him to do before. At least lying it down underneath the family was better than ripping it away and never returning it. He wondered how the family felt when the tulip was taken away. Did they care? Did they shout and cry? Wish that the flower was back with them?
Would that be like his mother? Did his mother scream at his father or just allowed him to take him away from her? He wasn't sure. Why was his father so determined to have him be like him? Why was he desperate to get him back only to beat him up again?
"You're thinking again." Strawberry frowned. "Something's wrong."
"Just thinking about the nightmare that I don't want to talk about. Let's go back to the building. I might have to ask Kuronue to thieve without me tonight." Youko frowned.
"Why?" Strawberry wasn't surprised, some new thieves felt guilty after their first stealing and would regret for the rest of their lives. Some didn't care, it was a way of life, the first time was just the hardest part.
Youko shrugged, not giving a reasonable answer besides; "I don't feel like it tonight. Let's go back."
That's what concerned Strawberry, but she wisely kept her mouth shut and lead him back to the town.