Hell's Flame

Disclaimer

Sorry to say that I do not own YYH.

Summary

I was taught to hate and loathe demons. I did not fear them but I did feel that they were dangerous. I was a hunter, swift and silent. He was my target; he was my downfall.

HB

M for violence, language, and suggestive themes.

Hell's Flame

000

The office was cold; so cold that I could see my breath. I waited patiently until he walked inside, his hands holding fiercely onto something; a vanilla envelope.

"Are those the pictures?" I asked; keeping my shaking voice in check. It would do no good to show any weakness now. I heard about this demon when I first started. Now, I had to deal with him.

"Yes, they are." He responded hesitantly. He slapped it down on his desk without opening it. "Once you choose, you cannot back out. You know that he is tricky and very cruel." I nodded with a sigh. My breath came out as a puff of white. It was the middle of the harshest winter we had ever had. No amount of clothing could keep the chill from creeping into my body. But I could take the cold. I could handle the chill. It was heat that was my vulnerability.

"I know. I can't just let this continue, though." I reached for the envelope. My gloved fingers brushed over the clasp for a moment and lingered there. "He has to be stopped. At any cost." I heard him sigh. His light brown eyes were filled with worry.

"Just be careful. That is all I ask of you." I nodded once more before taking the envelope into my hands.

"I will." I smiled at him. "I promise."

No amount of faith nor my promise could have prepared me for what I was about to face.

000

I sat up and stretched. My eyes caught the time on the digital clock resting at my bedside. Six in the morning. Not bad for going to bed at ten. I went about my morning business, my mind returning to my newest mission.

He was called Hell's Flame among us because of his power and cold, devilish nature. He was the only one to escape the grasp of so many hunters. His hair was shaped like the flames he controlled and was just as black as his soul was said to be. His eyes were the color of blood, sometimes changing to flaming scarlet when he was angry.

A bitter smile passed my lips. The only reason that I worked to defeat these creatures was because I was one, long ago. But now, after all of my teachings of hatred for their kind, I have been a hunter. I was never afraid of any demon in my life.

"Just be careful. That is all I ask of you."

He knew that I was experienced in the field. He knew and still he cautioned me. I have not been working for him long but my single year there made me realize how dangerous even I seemed to these people. I had only just completed my training a year ago and began my life as an agent. My eyes landed on the envelope and I felt a shiver run down my spine. The pictures...of his latest victims. He had been killing ningens ever since he came here five years ago. I sat down and pulled the folder into my lap. I had yet to open it. For two days, I avoided it at all cost. The images were imprinted in my mind; images of burnt flesh and wounds so fatal, no one lived five minutes after they were made. I had seen it once before, two years ago. Though I was a hunter only one year, I had seen the horrible things he had done. I was there. I found them. Though I did not even catch a glimpse of his shadow, I now know who caused it. My hands shook as I opened the clasp and pulled the pictures from inside. My mouth dropped open in horror and I dropped them to the floor, tears beginning to course down my face. The images ran through my mind, played before me as they happened. I jumped when my cell phone on the table began ringing. I checked to see who it was before answering.

"Hello?" I asked; hesitant to really say anything in my current state.

"Botan? It's Koenma. I have new information that you might want to look at. Come down as quickly as possible." By the grim sound of his voice, I could tell that he was not looking forward to whatever was happening.

"I'll be down there in less than an hour." I replied quickly. I closed the phone and stood up, skirting the fallen pictures. I looked down at my attire. I wore form-fitting jeans, a white sweater, and black snow boots. Good enough for now. I grabbed my coat and my keys and rushed out.

000

I made it to the office in ten minutes. My head was spinning and the thoughts just would not stop running quickly through my mind. I flashed my ID at the person at the desk in the front and quickly boarded the elevator. Once I was on my department's floor, I got off and hurried down the hallway. I knocked before entering Koenma's office. He breathed a sigh of relief as he saw me enter.

"You need to change. We have a fire demon in the park." I froze.

"What? A fire demon?" For one split second, I forgot how to breathe.

"He is not the one. Just a low class. Still, you should be careful." I felt better, knowing that he was not Hell's Flame. I went to my office and changed into my outfit. It was black and sleek, fitting me like a second skin. It was designed for easy movement. I slid on the knee-high boots and pulled my gloves on. A sword, or katana, rested at my hip. Another, it being a long sword, was strapped to my back. I put my hair back into a ponytail before placing my communicator on my belt. I went back out to get the coordinates from Koenma.

"Which park is it?" I asked quietly. My hunter's expression, which showed nothing, was securely in place.

"I've set the coordinates in your communicator. Be cautious and do not underestimate this one." I nodded and left the office. I put my coat back on and placed my sunglasses over my eyes.

000

By the time I arrived at the park, six ningens were caught in a circle of flames. Three more were lying in puddles of water mixed with crimson; dead. The heat from the flames melted the snow, causing puddles of water to rest on the surface. I walked calmly toward the demon causing it all. He directed his gaze to me and I felt the heat from his Reiki, or spirit energy.

"Another of Koenma's, are you?" He asked coldly; his voice laced with venom. I smirked and removed my jacket, throwing it to the side. However, I kept my sunglasses in place. My eyes drew attention like a flame draws a moth. So did the odd coloring of my hair. A circle of flames surrounded me, the heat licking at my skin. My Reiki flared, overpowering his.

"Just give up and make this easy for yourself." I stated without any hint of emotion. I held out my hand, my palm facing him. "You do not want to fight me."

"On the contrary, fair one!" He cackled. "I would love to do battle with you." I sighed. Such idiocy. I released a warning shot of energy straight at him. He moved out of the way but it hit his arm, cutting into his skin. I could tell that he was getting irate. Demons, I knew, fed off of the fear their opponents or victims showed. However, I was not easily intimidated. He launched many twisting, spiraling streams of fire at me. I was now glowing white because of my increase in Reiki. I ran through his flames, protected by my small barrier. I threw countless blasts of energy at him, feeling the adrenaline flowing through my body. Running at him, I jumped up to dodge his attacks. Then I hit him with one large controlled blast. He fell unconscious and I flipped open my communicator.

"Koenma, he's down."

"Damage?" He asked wearily. I looked around.

"Three ningens are dead and six are injured with burns. The rest is basically to the park." I answered. He nodded and the connection closed. I replaced the communicator and walked toward the circle of flames that had yet to go out. Using a dose of my energy, I dissipated the fire. "How are your burns?" Two were mere children and the other four were adults. I looked back at the demon. He was a normal apparition, probably just fresh out of his first year of training. He had dark red hair and black eyes. I saw that he merely knew how to control fire but used flint to create a spark. "Half-year." I muttered with disgust. The victims tried to stand but their legs were shaky. I shook my head. "You shouldn't get up. You are injured." I saw three ferry girls come on their oars and take the three souls of the dead innocents. Then Koenma arrived with a healer.

"Is that all?" He asked me. I nodded and walked over to retrieve my wet coat. "If you wait-"

"I need to get back to my apartment. I have some things to think over." I cut him off, flashing him a reassuring smile.

"You are not injured?" I shook my head. Then, with a sigh, I began my journey back to my apartment.

000

The only reason that I lived in an apartment was because it would be not be suspicious if I just did not come back one day and people came for my things. It was less conspicuous. That and I was barely ever home. As soon as I walked inside, I shed my coat and sunglasses and went to my room to change. After donning a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt, I walked back out to the living room. The pictures on the floor caught my vision and I faltered. Somehow, I knew that fight had been too easy. My new mission did not have goons at his beck and call. He always did the dirty work himself. We never really questioned the reason why he was the way he was. We just assumed that he had been that way ever since he could hold a sword. I felt sick to my stomach as the images in the picture sunk into my mind.

He was not a normal demon. He was far more cutthroat than any other that I have ever heard of. That was why he had the name Hell's Flame. We didn't know his name so we always substituted it with that nickname. I bent and picked up the pile of pictures before flipping through them. I shook my head as I placed them back into the envelope. That was some sick imagery. I went to the kitchen and got myself a cup of coffee before sinking into the couch. I just wanted to push this out of my mind but it refused to go away.

It was two years ago...

I had lived in Ningenkai for only three years at that time. I had been dispatched here from Reikai. I had left my home in Makai long before that. I walked home from another day of lessons in fighting. I hardly needed them anymore but it was still good to learn new things. I looked up just in time to see innocents fall, the scent of burning flesh making me dizzy and nearly sick. Boiling puddles of blood bubbled on the sidewalk next to the faceless corpses. Fighting past the lump in my throat, I released the scream that had wanted to make its escape.

"NO!" I cried. I raced to them and stood over them. "Wake up!" They were nothing but burnt flesh and blood. I had been too late... I hadn't even sensed him. "Hell's Flame..." I whispered into the breeze as hot tears coursed down my face.

It was the first time that I had ever witnessed such brutality. Once more, the ringing of my cell phone broke my thoughts. I reached for it.

"Hello?" I asked dryly.

"Botan?" A hesitant feminine voice asked. "This is Ayame. I called by order of Koenma-sama, who is in Reikai now, dealing with business. We think that you should see something." I raised a brow.

"Just what is this something?" Maybe it was possible that they located my new mission. "It has to do with my mission?"

"Yes, it does. We have some new information. Our ningen spies have a certain report that we believe you should read." She sighed. "It is so hectic here. I would send it but we can take no chances at all of anyone seeing any traces of it."

"I'll come down in an hour. I have one errand to run first." I knew this had to be important. I knew that my life was about to turn around.

All would be made clear in time.

000

I stared through my sunglasses at the building before me. I only had a little time. Koenma knew this woman and so did I. She helped to train me. The ningen psychic, Genkai. I knew she might be able to tell me something. Walking up the few remaining steps, I knocked lightly on the door. It slid open to reveal a young girl with brown hair and honey brown eyes.

"May I help you?" She asked politely. I nodded.

"Is Genkai here? I need to speak with her." She smiled and opened the door wider, stepping to the side so that I could enter. Genkai was sitting with a few people, one other girl and two boys.

"Are you..." The old psychic stood on her feet and stared at me. I removed my sunglasses and my jacket. I smiled at her.

"It has been a while, Genkai." I said lightly, stepping fully into the temple. I saw the three on the floor tense but I ignored them. They were not why I was here.

"Come and sit with us." I frowned.

"Pardon my rudeness, Master, but I cannot stay for long. I have only a small amount of time." I knelt down next to her and the other girl that answered the door returned to her seat beside the raven haired teenage boy. "Is it all right for them..."

"You don't know about them?" I shook my head. My fighting master pointed to the boy closest to her. "This is Koenma's newest Spirit Detective and my successor, Urameshi Yuusuke. This is his girlfriend, Yukimura Keiko. That is Kuwabara Shizuru and Kuwabara Kazuma." I nodded to each of them. "This is Botan. She has been with Koenma for...how long now?" I sighed.

"We will just say longer than four years." I said softly.

"What are you?" Yuusuke asked. I turned to look at him.

"I was a demon who had the power of water. A water demon. But that time is come and gone. I am now one of Reikai's hunters, or, if you would, a detective like yourself. I am currently after a fire demon nicknamed Hell's Flame." I took out the envelope and handed it to Genkai. "I would not suggest allowing them to see the visuals." She nodded to me. "Now, he has been walking around Ningenkai, murdering innocents for fun. At least, that is the impression we get. I am on my way now to get more information from Ayame." Genkai handed it back to me when she was done.

"He seems like a powerful demon to be able to avoid Reikai's hunters for this long. Koenma has had this one on file for years." She stated. I bit my lip.

"He is now my problem. I am not going to fail like the others. He will be caught, whether he wants to or not." I looked at the others before taking out a piece of paper and a pen. When I finished writing, I handed the paper to Yuusuke. "If you ever need help on a mission, don't be afraid to call." Then I stood up and checked the time on my watch. "I have to go, Genkai." She looked at me and nodded.

"Do you need some help on this mission?" She asked. I thought for a moment. Then I took them all in with my eyes and could see some of their surprise.

"Just keep an eye out and contact me if you suspect anything."

"Gotcha." Yuusuke said with a smile. I smiled slightly back then turned around. I dialed Ayame's number and stood there a moment.

"Ayame? I am on my way."

000

Hey! How was chapter one? Betcha can't guess who Hell's Flame is! Dur!

Anyway, please review!

-Angel