Hiei's Three Easy Steps for a Perfect Date

Ok, this will be my first attempt at a real multi-chapter story, and romantic comedy. So many firsts in one step!

As usual, criticism will be accepted and appreciated as long as it's constructive. Just reiterate, Hiei is going to obviously OOC throughout pretty much the whole thing, as well as both Yusuke and Kuwabara in at least this first chapter, so if you have a problem with that, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the fanfiction.

Otherwise, sit back, enjoy the ride, and give me your ideas.

Hiei growled lowly as he leaned against a marble wall, and then growled a little louder when he felt his back slide down slightly. Today had not been a good day for the quick-tempered fire demon.

They had just returned from a mission that had indeed been a success, but definitely could have gone better; the green and purple slime oozing down his back and seeping through his clothes was a testament to that.

The putrid smell that currently hung around him was sour and acidic, burning his nose whenever he inhaled. But there wasn't much he could do about it until the Spirit World Handy Man managed to get the massive doors open. Although Hiei personally felt it would be easier to just 'blow the damn doors off their hinges and put them back together later', and Koenma was actually inclined to agree, King Enma was somewhat attached to the red and gold stone doorway and would be quite…upset…if this particular home-improvement plan was implemented.

So the frustrated fire demon was left to rage silently, glaring dangerously at anything that happened to cross his line of vision and ignoring whatever argument Yusuke and Kuwabara had chosen to entertain themselves with, while the elderly spirit tried to find out why exactly the enormous, heavy doors were sticking. Coincidently, Hiei, Yusuke, and Kuwabara all felt the process would go a little smoother if he would stop trying to push them open and look at mechanics that ran them. (Koenma was currently looking to employ a new handy man. The pay's not bad, including room and board, meals are provided at reasonable rates, and could even be negotiated down. Hell, he'd even throw in TOOLS if it means he can get rid of this guy.) Hiei closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose as the handy man mumbled incoherently to himself and his teammates moved onto another topic that sounded equally pointless, wondering if he could bang his head off the wall behind him hard enough to lose consciousness. When is Kurama getting back from his family reunion?

Suddenly his sensitive nose detected a soft, sweet scent just under the pungent odor that clogged the hallway. The fragrance was familiar, vanilla complimented by wild honey, just barely touched by jasmine, and maybe a hint of fresh rain. Botan…

She was walking beside another ferry girl, the one with the dark hair whom he'd seen once or twice but never actually met, arms laden with manila folders that would need to be sorted and filed away, but this didn't seem to bother her. In fact, she was smiling cheerfully as she chattered on about something Hiei couldn't quite catch with the dark haired women beside her. She interrupted herself with a quick, "Hi boys!" as she hurried past, eager to get the papers filed and put away.

Hiei didn't return her greeting as both Yusuke and Kuwabara had, but his garnet eyes followed her down the hall until she rounded the corner, disappearing from his sight.

"So, you gonna ask her out?"

The fire demon turned sharply, eyes blazing, to see both Yusuke and Kuwabara watching him with interest. Yusuke's chocolate eyes swam with mischief, while Kuwabara looked bored and hopeful that whatever his friend was getting at would provide some sort of entertainment.

"What?" His deep voice was calm and flat, though inwardly he wanted jump the smirking spirit detective and rip that amused, smug look right off his skull.

"Are you gonna ask her out?" Yusuke repeated, fighting to keep the laughter out of his voice. "Botan. We both saw you staring at her."

"I wasn't staring," he denied lowly, also fighting with his own voice, trying to force away the edge that would prove his teammate right. Oh sure, demons walk right past you and you barely blink. That you notice.

"Well, then you were watching her walk away. Don't worry, I'm not that desperate for entertainment. I won't tell her you like her."

"I don't like her," he retorted, a little too quickly for his 'bored and uninterested' appearance. Mentally he slapped himself; that was a dead giveaway.

"Really?" Yusuke said turning slightly. He ran a hand through his slicked back hair and sighed somewhat disappointedly. "That's too bad because there's all kinds of guys at school chasing after her, eh Kuwabara?"

"Um, I don-" Kuwabara stuttered for a second before catching Yusuke's reprimanding glare. He wasn't sure where Yusuke was going with this, but he'd play along for the time being. "Oh, yeah. Tons."

"What?!" That got his attention. He hadn't even noticed his own unusually emotional outburst.

Yusuke had turned around and was now facing Kuwabara who was simply watching to see what would happen next. Hopefully Hiei would be satisfied with talking to his back because he just couldn't keep the smug smirk off his face. "Yeah, they're always starin' at her when she's 'undercover'. Gets a little unnerving sometimes."

Well, that much is true, Kuwabara thought with a mental shrug. The dull grey- blue of the school uniforms complimented her long silky hair and brought out the purple in her amethyst eyes. Her skin was creamy and pale, like porcelain, and she almost sparkled even under the dull fluorescent lights in the halls and classrooms. She had a dazzling smile that lit up the room and matched her sweet, caring personality. Her soft blue hair and pale pink eyes gave her an exotic but innocent appearance that made her coveted by most of the male population of the school.

The false part of the story was that none of them were actually brave enough to chase her. When posing as a student, the ferry girl spent most of her time with either Yusuke or Kuwabara, and that was enough to scare the bravest guy off, leaving Botan blissfully unaware of the appreciative glances of her admirers as well as the angry leers dripping with jealousy from those left ignored.

"Yep," Yusuke continued with his 'little white lie'. "I'd much rather see her with you than one of those weaklings. None of them'd ever be able to protect her on missions or between worlds. Hell, might even try to lock her up if she ever tried to share that part of herself with one of them. Buuuut" he drew out the word for emphasis, "if you're not interested…"

He let the sentence hang with a disappointed shrug and was deeply satisfied when he heard a rough wind in the hall and a chorus of heartbroken ogers who would now have to re-file the day's records because they were unprepared for the semi-panicked fire demon as he desperately began tearing through Spirit World in search of their top ferry girl.

Yusuke chuckled lightly, pleased his plan had worked so easily. "See, Kuwabara, I told you we could get him to open up. He just needed a little motivation!"

The carrot top gave him a bland look. "Well, don't cha thing ya should've 'motivated' him to take a shower first? He's covered in demon guts."

Yusuke's triumphant look gave way to one of modest concern. "Maybe Botan won't notice?"

It didn't take long for Hiei to catch up to Botan. His unnatural speed made locating the right corridor simple; it was the daily life of Spirit World that slowed him down. The impatient fire demon solved this problem by simply removing the obstacles from his path. He'd left a messy trail of dust, papers, pencils, several chairs, one broken desk, twelve ogres of various colors, only three of which were injured, and a lamp shade that no one seemed certain of where it had come from.

"Botan," he called, skidding to a stop behind her.

She turned around, vague confusion evident on her face. "Yes, Hiei?"

And then his mind went blank. Any coherent thought or idea he may have had for this moment had suddenly fled. Idiot! He screamed at himself as he watched her waiting patiently for him to continue. Don't just stand there! Say SOMETHING!

"Would you like to come out tonight?" he blurted out. "…With me?" he added as an afterthought.

Botan's expression was a combination of blank wide-eyed confusion, "You mean like a date?"

"Um…yes. A date," he answered fairly certain of the meaning of the word.

Suddenly the ferry girl broke into dazzling, thrilled smile. "Sure, Hiei!" she responded ecstatically. "I'd love to go out with you!"

Hiei released a mental breath, a sudden feeling of peacefulness falling over him. The tension in his shoulders subsided and his hand, which had been clenched into a tight fist since Yusuke began talking, relaxed, his fingers only slightly numb. His face was covered by the blank, but calm expression he wore when the surrounding environment did nothing to deserve his anger. But his usually dark garnet eyes, the color of slowly drying blood, had lightened to a deep crimson only several shades darker than his sister's forever rubies.

Giving a brief nod to the glowing ferry girl, he turned to leave. "Um, hold still a minute." The stoic fire demon froze, his feet feeling like lead as he felt her small, delicate fingers pull something slimy and soft from his currently slick black hair. He was suddenly left very aware of his earlier irritation in the poorly ventilated hallway and the uncomfortably slick, sticky slim still coating most of his body. "Demon entrails, ew," she muttered absently, shaking her hand and slinging the slimy substance onto the wall with a wet sounding 'plop'.

Turning back she smiled sweetly, "See you tonight, Hiei!" For the second time that day, Hiei watched her walk away, his eyes watching intently as her long blue ponytail swayed with her movements. He glared and smirked contentedly at the same time. It was teasing him.

"Uh…door's open." Hiei turned to see Yusuke and Kuwabara surveying the trail he'd left behind him. Kuwabara whistled loudly, and Hiei almost groaned. Koenma was going to have a field day with this. He could already hear the nasally voice whining as it prolonged his probation.

"I thought you didn't like her," Yusuke replied in a teasing note ringing loudly in his voice. Hiei valiantly resisted the urge to growl and set the far too pleased detective aflame, choosing instead to toss his head moodily and not grace him with so much as a glare.

For once, Hiei was pleased the 'oaf' was around when Kuwabara, self-proclaimed Warrior of Love, silenced his friends teasing laughter with a well-placed jab to the back of his head. "Ignored piece of advice, take a shower." Hiei said nothing to the admittedly somewhat dense spirit swordsman as he walked nonchalantly back to the apparently now working doors, deciding that silence would be passable act of thanks.

Instead of following him, like Hiei thought he would, Yusuke pulled something out of his pocket, grinning embarrassedly. "Here," he said thrusting it into the shorter demon's hands. "It helped a lot with Keiko. Just don't tell Kuwabara I used it."

As the detective walked away, Hiei examined the small book he now held. Quietly, he read the title to himself, "Three Easy Steps for a Perfect Date."