I was not responsible for the creation of these characters, nor in the publishing of the original works. I am responsible for the fanfiction created based on the canon, so this manipulation of someone's genius is all my own! *evil laugh* I just don't make any money off of it. XD
It was a drowsy Kurama that was pulled from his nap in the warm confines of a blanket in front a nice fire and dragged to his feet and out the door. It was only the reassuring pulse of a friendly and familiar soul beside him that kept him from going AWOL and returning to said nap, but he managed to catch some trace of the urgent energy around him and struggled to awake instead of struggling against his captor.
He stumbled into the presence of the rest of his team, briefly nodding to a grumpy and tired Yusuke and the equally groggy and confused Kuwabara. And he was instantly awake upon entering his boss' office.
Hiei stiffened beside him, and Kurama felt any wisps of sleep and the sandman leaving him as he stepped into chaos. The small ogre-like demons were running about, with no papers or shouts and no phones or orders; instead they were cowering into various huddles and whispering furiously with wide eyes.
George, Koenma's ever present attendant was hovering worriedly beside Koenma himself, who was not in his comfy chair of office but in his teenage form and frantically trying to placate the weeping figure of a woman on his guest chair.
Kurama winced as he understood the sentiment of Koenma's helpers, all too easily sympathizing now that he saw that.
How come crying women could make you feel bad even when they had nothing to do with you?
He heard some more mutterings the closer he got, finding every vestige of courage in him to not pull against the tug of Botan's grip on his wrist.
'We'll find…it'll be alright…just calm down…'
'I will not CALM!!!!'
Kurama found himself confused though, for usually they were sent on their jobs with a general overview, and it appeared that their job had come to Koenma this time…
She was small, hunched over as she was, and her dark hair fanned over her and hid her from view but did not do a very good job of concealing her shaking shoulders or covering her weeping gasps.
Koenma frantically looked around him, his face lighting up with a palpable relief when he spotted his team sleepily making their way, warily also- now that most of them had seen the woman (though Kuwabara looked like he was gearing up for one of his rants about females and morals and the like).
A confidence back in Koenma's stance, he turned back to the woman. "Higurashi-sama you really need to calm down. My team will…"
A muffled wail rose up cutting off the prince's words. "That's what you said when I came here!" Her face rose up to glare pitifully at their boss, hair obscuring most of it but one glistening blue eye. "But he's gone!!!!" And she fell back into her weeping.
George gave them a frustrated and worried look, head faintly gesturing to the woman before rolling his eyes at their mutual boss.
Koenma hesitated; "Yes he's gone, and you need to calm down so we can find him."
The air seemed to still about her person. Finally she stood up slowly, the whole room watching her…and she spoke in a chilling voice. "Find him…you were supposed to be watching over him!" She advanced on their boss, her back to them as they felt her power rise. "You were supposed to have a guard at the shrine so they wouldn't take him!"
Koenma laughed nervously as he waved his hands pleadingly. "Please Higurashi-sama, we need more information."
With that she spun to turn her back to the reikai prince in disdain, her hair fanning out around her like a storm as Kurama detachedly noted the odd length…most were keeping their hair short now days…all those fads and the like.
And then he saw her full on, stunned but absently (and thankfully) realizing not only he was affected.
Kuwabara was blatantly drooling at the petite beauty. That raven hair settled like silk around her, and the tear tracks sparkled on her cheeks and emphasized her pale unblemished skin.
"You should already have the information you need." It was practically a hiss from her red lips, and Kurama stood up straighter as he felt the flare of her power fighting to reach out and strangle the reikai prince.
Kuwabara took a hesitant step forward before he struck a valiant pose… "Fear not fair lady! Just tell us what needs to be done and it shall be accomplished."
There was a brief pause in the aura of the room, as if the power of the woman couldn't decide whether to be offended by his frivolity or thankful for his enthusiasm.
The woman smiled.
She took one step to their tall teammate with a small sniffle, and she tilted her head as she regarded him with battling eyes. The blue was shiny from tears, and a hope was blossoming in them like sun streaked dark clouds against the rainy anguish still present.
"I don't believe we've met." She swiftly brushed away the tear tracks from her cheeks, thought some salty drops were clinging to her lashes and making the dark fan glisten with the threat of more tears.
Although he expected Kuwabara to bow up and proclaim his status, Kurama was surprised by the restraint he showed and his empathy for this situation. He spoke in a soft voice and gently took one of her hands between his. "My name is Kazuma Kuwabara, it is a pleasure to meet you despite the circumstance."
And Kurama could have sworn his aura radiated warmth with his voice.
'When do you think he learned that?'
"The name is Higurashi Kagome, strong one."
'It might be instinct…you never really know with the big lug.'
Kuwabara did have the strongest sixth sense of them all, and he was prone to his occasional bouts of empathy so it was not an uneducated guess to infer that he knew a little more of what was going on than most in the room.
'Thank Inari for that.'
So the other manly cowards inched around the woman lest they set off her waterworks again, and vaguely listened to Kuwabara murmuring soothing promises to her as he rubbed her small hands. Kurama tilted his head as he caught this action, wondering if her hands were really cold or if the encompassing size of Kuwabara's was more a comfort due to its larger size that suggested protection.
It didn't help that she was so small in the first place.
Koenma cleared his throat once they were all settled closer and calmed (on account of the woman) and directed their attention to him. He shifted nervously as the woman's tears threatened to become angry raging- "Ah, I called you for an assignment."
Yusuke sneered, ready for some expletive filled and witty remark but refrained and Kurama caught him looking at the female before he shook his head and scowled at their boss. "Exactly what did you screw up now?"
The female let out a muffled sniffle.
Koenma fidgeted around with the papers on his desk as his whole team gave him displeased and even hostile looks. Even George himself sniffed at him with particular distaste.
Kuwabara gave a particularly spectacular glower when the female hiccupped and turned into his chest.
Koenma sighed before he interlaced his fingers and leaned his chin upon them, elbows resting over stacks of paperwork- ignored for the time being. "There was a youkai outbreak and measures were put into place once it was discovered that they were after something belonging to Higurashi-san."
Higurashi-san whimpered and Kuwabara rubbed a hand along her shoulder soothingly while his face grew pensive.
Kurama tilted his head and spoke up. "I am under the impression that what was stolen is not what they were after…?"
The woman let out a chocked growl, waterlogged and quiet but there.
Koenma fluttered his hands about nervously. "Yes, that would be the case." Kagome snuffled and Kuwabara and Koenma sighed as he watched. "Kagome-sama was called into Reikai due to some political matters." There was a vague curse from the woman. Before a watery glare was thrown over her shoulder at the prince- he cleared his throat and tugged at the collar of his dress robes. "We were alerted by the alarms going off that her shrine had been vandalized and her son stolen."
The woman let out a quiet wail before she spun and pointed a wavering, accusing finger at Koenma with her watery glare. "You dim-witted babe! You said you'd increased the security for my leave!" She sniffled, glare wavering before she burst into outright tears again and the little ogres started their frantic running about in panic once again.
Koenma stood up in haste, hands waving about as if they could somehow placate the despairing mother.
"If we had the jewel and could propose a trade…" The sly and desperate tone of Koenma drew Kurama up short, and the female reared back in cold seething outrage.
"I have told you time and again - Koenma - it is out of my reach. The jewel no longer exists to be had by the power hungry, prestige seeking, and weak minded beings." Kurama felt his brows lift and his lips twist into a small smile as he caught the answering riddle in her words. Certainly they were true, oh yes, but Kurama was a kitsune. He just knew that this female worded that just so…so that weak minded beings (as she said) couldn't quite pick out her subterfuge.
He tilted his head and regarded her strongly with his eyes, watching her gesture miserably but angrily and the young prince rose to his own miserable defense. "Yes, and our vaults would have kept it away from them and kept your adopted son out of danger."
Kurama's eyes narrowed.
The female hissed, her form rising and tensing with her magic as she leaned over Koenma's desk threateningly. "Don't you ever…" came the hiss from snarling lips, "Ever, ever, ever again imply that my son is expendable because he is not of my blood."
Koenma leaned back in his chair, practically falling out of his station's comfort as the woman seemed to swell even more in her power. "That was not how I meant it Higurashi-sama!" He waved his hands about frantically and pleadingly. "It is rather unfortunate that my workers were not able to subdue the perpetrator but I assure you I would never purposefully use this to draw out the jewel!"
Her power flared; a funnel of energy that lifted her hair up and pushed her kimono to her body. Blue eyes flashed and the power pulsed in the room.
It abruptly snapped back to her person, sending all stumbling in their places at the abrupt rush of feeling normal, what now felt like nothing compared to her power- her everything. Kurama gaped at the petite female, wondering partly where she stored all that force in such a small body and what made her power naturally react so favorably to demons…he'd actually been calmed by it!
He looked uneasily at his teammates, only to find that they weren't affected to the extent he was. Yusuke was scratching his head in confusion and patting his stomach where a bruise should be, and Kuwabara was blinking rapidly and shaking his head to clear it, while Hiei glared in stunned amusement at the rest of the room (although his hand was curiously absent from its usual place on the hilt of his sword).
He looked at his hands in bemusement, wondering why it was only he who felt that he could curl up and sleep as long as he had his head in her lap. A frightening thought for a centuries old kitsune when said female was a miko who could probably purify him straight through the gates to his fate for simply thinking such a thing.
Especially considering how powerful she actually was.
He almost let out the low whistle as he contemplated the ramifications of her potential.
He bit his tongue to keep from grinning, wondering if she would bother for a friendly spar with one of his race to placate his curiosity.
Kagome sniffed, then crossed her arms and glared at a blank wall as Kuwabara huphed and then stepped forward. "We'll go start combing the area he was last seen in."
Yusuke snorted and cracked his knuckles. "Anything we can look for?"
Koenma growled out, "the perpetrator …" a glare from the woman, "The kidnapper is only a hanyou," another glare from the woman and Koenma quailed and held up his hands in surrender.
She smiled wryly at Kuwabara and Yusuke. "My son has fire red hair," her chin gestured to Kurama. "And the baka who took him will feel oily."
Hiei deadpanned. "Oily?"
She blushed and frowned. "That's the only thing I could feel, I don't have super evil eyes implanted in my forehead to see events of the past." She gestured to Hiei with her chin and crossed her arms over her chest ashamedly.
'Ho, caught that in one…she must be talking of their aura.'
Hiei growled out in their link. 'She senses too much to have been raised in nigenkai.'
Kurama smiled. 'She's completely too powerful tohave not been in contact with powerful demons- which aren't in ningenkai at all.'
Hiei glanced at him as Kuwabara conversed about the senses he and the miko could equivocate about- sensing auras, the feel of the tainted, her son's soul…
'Careful fox, some puzzles were meant to hide a curse.'
Kurama only smirked and let his eyes gleam in the plain view of the hybrid.
... … …
They caught the target, watched as he cuffed a young child and roughly threw him on his shoulder with haste. He had caught their scent.
The child itself was stunned by the rash blow, and his head lolled oddly on his neck for a moment before he righted himself. Kurama snarled, speeding up and preparing his rose whip, bouncing off a wall to hug a corner and continue the chase as he felt this teammates powering up their own attacks.
But just as his eyesight honed in on the alley they had entered he had to pull himself to a stop, skidding on his heels. His teammates stumbled, apart from their usual honed grace, with the abruptness of their halt.
There in front of them stood the young child, hands in front of his face in defense and form roughed up. Kurama's whip was swiftly transformed back into an innocuous rose and he placed it back in its hiding place before slowly approaching the kid.
Kurama quietly crouched in front of the boy, his eyebrows furrowing as he felt his aura (and the irregularities) and tried to calm him down. The zap of energy that attacked him for going about it this way was startling, and he sent a glance back at his intrigued comrades before he reached out a hand.
The sniffling gasped to a stop, and the young child stopped scrubbing at his eyes as the hand was placed in front of him. Kurama found himself staring into eyes as green as his, and the jolt of surprise that rushed along his senses screamed kitsune.
That would probably explain the power reacting to his kitsune soul as it had…
The little child rubbed his small fists in his eyes again, and he sniffled as he looked up to him from his shorter height.
"Hey…what's your name?" He asked in a gentle voice, hoping that the previous circumstance hadn't made the child prone to any hysterics upon more strange circumstances.
There was a vague mumble that could briefly be determined as 'My name's Shippou' but the little boy had resorted to staring at the ground and scuffing his toe in the dirt and although his tears had been wiped away his whole body was shivering and shaking. Kurama heard a strangled whimper for his mother…
Kurama felt himself softening and cautiously approaching the child to lift him into his arms. He was grateful that the kit only clutched at the neck of his shirt and offered no other protests, but he became alarmed when the child refused to look up at anything they passed as they made their way back to reikai and the despairing mother.
It was a general consensus among them that they would see the healers first; Kurama smirked slightly as he imagined the woman going after Koenma for her son's state, but he supposed they should spare her the fright of seeing her son so beaten.
It was a silent procession that took them to the healing ward, and the subdued child was placed upon a raised hospital bed in the glaring white room with the strange healers.
Kurama found he himself got overprotective when the brisk paced healers used unfamiliar hands to prod the child for abrasions and bumps, to hold open his eye and shine in the light to check for a concussion, and to wiggle his joints while Shippou whimpered from the strange and impersonal feel of it all.
The attendants conversed in reikai doctorate jargon, and Kurama watched Shippou look betwixt all of them with large frantic eyes that were starting to tear. He growled, stepped to the kit, and snapped his maw at the doctors as he settled Shippou on his hip.
He was very satisfied (and a little bemused) by the way the healers hastily backed away and left with a backwards murmur of the kit's release from their ward. He pasted an innocent expression on his face when he noticed Hiei's amused smirk and the happy sneers upon his two human comrades as they leered in the direction of the fleeing healers.
The child murmured against his neck with a sniffle. "They have cold hands."
Kurama felt his face slacken in surprise before it softened with a much different emotion and he smiled, though the child snuggled into his neck couldn't see.
He absently rubbed the back of the child while he gestured for his comrades to lead the way.
They must have made quite a sight.
They Spirit Detectives employed by Koenma had built up their reputation amongst the other Reikai employees. They were powerful warriors and excellent teammates, they endured, but they were men who didn't send off the aura of fatherly-or brotherly- or cuddly.
Other Reikai employees had stopped their tasks to blatantly gape, staring at the redheaded fox comforting a child while Yusuke and Kuwabara glowered at all who stepped into their path.
Hiei gave a snort when whispers erupted behind them.
Kurama shifted the child's weight and shushed him when he whimpered from all the attention and felt his eyes flash when some ignorant few disregarded his teammates' warnings against approaching to inquire about the child- they took his at face value and scattered.
They stepped into the office of Koenma to the sight of Kagome throwing the paperweight at the prince who was cowering in a corner. With her face incensed and her hair rising with her power she looked every bit the rightfully affronted goddess.
Yusuke startled out, "WOah! What the fuck is going on?!"
Kagome drew herself together, a veneer of calm coming over her face before she hugged her arms and looked away with a sniffle.
George spoke up in a hard voice they had previously thought the gentle giant incapable of. "There has been some disagreement on the blame for this ordeal."
Koenma was opening his mouth for some, no doubt, imperial response but was cut off by a sharp cry from the kit in Kurama's arms when the female muttered something about 'osuwari'.
Kagome spun with a happy surprise spread across her face, arms already open and accepting her son while her eyes told of how shocked and deliriously happy she was that she had him still- though the truth was still settling in.
They embraced tightly, the child gathered up and hiding in her neck while the female placed kisses to his crown and slowly sunk to her knees in relief.
There were whispered endearments and sighs and worried/relieved eyes and tears of 'what-could-have-been'.
Kurama watched this with the type of wonder one felt at an unexpected glimpse of the true glory of god's creation, when a truly inspiring scene captured your whole attention and riveted your soul- the flare of a hawk's wings against the rising sun, the blooming flowers rare for the moon, dew on the morning grass that sparkled like diamonds but couldn't be stolen so easily…a mother embracing her child with her soul…
Kurama tilted his head to let his dark red bangs hide the flash of his eyes, let his body shift into shadows to hide the smirk of his lips and the predatory tensing of his body preparing for the thrilling hunt.
He watched the proud and glorified woman hold her head high and leave with Botan for assistance to her home, watched her glare with promised retribution to the ruler, watched her run fingers in her son's tail and sniffle and smile…
His face flashed with predatory enthusiasm.
'One day, that woman is going to be the mother of my children.'
And that was a kitsune promise.
Kitsune are renowned for many things in the Japanese culture, one of them being their desire for keeping promises. That said the reference will make more sense.