Author's Note: Here's a short story offering for the holiday season! While searching for new mangas to read, I stumbled upon Ai No Tame Ni byKazune Kawahara, the same manga artist who brought us Koukou Debut (one of my favorite mangas, by the way). It contains a series of one shots, and the first story,Everything for the Sake of Love, really perked my interest. After reading it, I just saw Botan and Kurama in the place of the lead characters. Inspired, I immediately rushed to the nearest computer and typed away! And here it is, a new KB fic.
So the general idea of this fic comes from that manga, but I did some tweaking and added some scenes. I also stuck with Fukuyama as Botan's last name, from my other fic, The Ghost of You.
Okay, better stop babbling now and let you read the fic.
If you don't understand some of the terms, there is a Definition of Terms at the end of the page.
Standard Disclaimer Applies here!
Match Number 1
Botan woke up with the beeping sound of her alarm clock. The cold weather brought about by the coming holiday season did not, in any way, make it easy for her to brush away the lingering drowsiness. In times like these, all you would want to do is curl up in the bed and sleep more. The fact that her muscles were aching from exhaustion and her throat was sore from singing too much during last night's goukondidn't help much either.
As the blaring sound intensified, the blue-haired girl finally decided to get up, though unwilling, and prepare for school, "Yeah, yeah. I'm awake." She blindly reached for the source of such noise and turned it off. As if on cue, as soon as the beeping sound went off, the ringing sound of her cell phone invaded her senses. Apparently, this was the only sound that seemed to wake her up entirely.
She dug for her phone that was trapped under the voluminous sheets. Finally, she felt for its smooth surface and then took one look at the small monitor to find out that Keiko Yukimura was the caller. Flipping the phone open, she placed it by her ear and greeted, "Keiko-chan! Good morning."
"Good morning to you, too!" Keiko greeted and then continued, "Botan-chan, thank you so much for setting up that wonderful goukonlast night! I just want you to know that after last night, I and Yuusuke Urameshi from Class-D hooked up!"
"Oh, that's great! I knew it from the beginning that you guys were meant for each other!" Botan giggled uncontrollably, unable to control the exhilaration of creating another perfect match.
"I know! And it's all thanks to you," Keiko meant to say more but her mother's voice was urging her to hang-up now and prepare for school. Keiko just sighed in defeat, "Hey, Botan-chan, I need to go for now. Mom's orders. See you later at school!"
"Right, Keiko-chan! I want the juicy details later!" Botan said on the other line in a cheerful voice, "See you!" With those final words, both girls hung up. Before Botan went out of bed, she grabbed that little green notebook on her bedside table and scribbled something in it.
"Success! Another perfect match," Botan exclaimed, all the drowsiness she felt earlier gone.
And that's how you energize Botan Fukuyama, the Matchmaking Queen.
Botan rushed down the stairs, cheerful and bouncy. She entered the kitchen to see her brother preparing breakfast for both of them.
"Good mornig, onii-chan!" Botan greeted as she sat down the chair, ready to eat. Ryo Fukuyama, her brother, walked towards the opposite chair and laid down a plate of freshly cooked bacons. "Good morning to you to," he served her three bacon strips and scrambled eggs while his dutiful sister poured orange juice on two glasses, one for her and the other for her brother.
As they started eating, Ryo couldn't help but notice Botan's cheery aura and simply smiled. "My, you seem more cheerful today than your usual self," he commented before devouring a spoonful of scrambled eggs.
Botan nodded furiously, chewing her food before swallowing. "Uh-huh, I just received a call earlier today. And guess what," Botan paused, sipping her juice before continuing, "I made another match! That's the 287th match since entering high school."
"And who's the lucky couple this time?"
"You wouldn't believe it! Keiko-chan finally hooked up with someone! I always told her that she needed to relax a bit, get away from books for a while – that she needed to enjoy high school life and get herself a guy."
"And who did you pair her up with?"
"Yuusuke Urameshi. He has a crush on her for the longest time, and Kami-sama knows the things he did just to get her attention. I'm so glad they can both be happy now."
Ryo simply smiled as Botan wolfed down her breakfast. Seeing his sister happy was enough for him. When their parents died when they were younger, he thought Botan would detach herself from people and blame the whole world for taking their parents away so early. But instead, she turned out to be a very cheerful and positive person who is bent on making all those around her happy and alive. Her capacity to love is extraordinary given the awful things that had happened to them.
"What? Is that the time?" Botan gasped as she stared at her watch, "And I promised Keiko-chan to be early today." Wiping her mouth with a napkin, she stood up and scurried towards her brother. She kissed him in the cheek and said her goodbyes.
"Don't forget your obento!" he called out before Botan could leave the kitchen.
"Thanks, onii-chan!" he heard her call out as she walked towards the door, "I'll be sure to make you a delicious dinner later, so be good at work!"
With that, Ryo heard the front door close and then silence ensued.
The said blue-haired girl turned to the person who had just called her.
"Suki-chan, how are you today?" Botan replied, lively as ever.
"I just want to thank you for introducing Kawari-kun. We celebrated our four months of blissful relationship yesterday. We had a wonderful time!"
"Botan-chan!" another one called out, "Do you have Suzuki-chan's number? I had so much fun with her during the last goukon that I forgot to ask for her number. So stupid of me, I know."
"Yeah, Tama-kun, here's her number," she said as she flipped her phone to show him the sought after contact details, "You better call her fast, she's been complaining to me because you didn't call her."
"Sure will!" he said as he walked off, "Thanks a bunch, Botan-chan!"
"No problem!" she called out.
As soon as Botan entered into the hallowed halls of Saryashiki High School, she was greeted by friends and acquaintances, either thanking her for setting them up with a perfect person or asking her to hook them up with someone. And because of the high success rate of her matchmaking, she was dubbed as the Matchmaking Queen. Her reputation even reaches the nearby districts.
However, even if she did gain tons of friends, both male and female, by being the Matchmaking Queen, no guy ever approached her to ask her to be his girlfriend. None of the guys was interested in her; they just sought her for her matchmaking skills.
"Hey, Botan-chan, I'm so glad I caught you before school starts," a young man approached her with a number of other boys in tow, "Yamada-kun here had just broken up with his girlfriend. Can you introduce him to someone?"
"Leave it to me," she said with a smile as she grabbed that little green notebook from her bag, "So what's your type?"
"Um, I prefer girls who are beautiful, have a great body, and have an outgoing personality, the kind who won't bore me easily," he said, Botan just scribbled in her notebook as he talked, "Oh, and being intelligent would be a plus!"
'Basically the perfect woman, why am I not surprised,' Botan thought.
"Okay, let's see what I can do," she said as she flipped through the other pages of her notebook, "Aha! Here you go. Asuka-chan would be perfect. She's one year our junior, studies in an all-girls school, member of the softball team, and one of the top 20 performers in her class. I'll give her a call later to ask when she'd be free for a date. I'll be updating you soon."
"Sure, that would be great!" Yamada said enthusiastically, "Here's my number, just contact me okay? Thank you very much, Botan-chan! You really are the Matchmaking Queen!"
On the other side of Saryashiki High School grounds, under the shade of a sakura tree next to the sports field to be exact, one high school boy bawled in an exaggerated manner as his friends tried to ignore him.
"Are you even listening to me?" Kazuma Kuwabara yelled out of frustration, "I said I need a girlfriend! Now that Urameshi finally had the guts to ask Keiko-san out, it's like losing to him on the heart department. And you do know I intend to beat him ineverything!"
"Do I really need to listen to this?" Hiei Jaganshi asked, obviously annoyed, "I don't hate being the one to tell you this, but with that face of yours, you're bound to scare any woman within a ten feet radius."
"Hey, look who's talking, midget?!" Kuwabara spat, "No one asked you." At this, Kuwabara continued throwing tantrums.
Hiei stood up from his sitting position on the ground, brushed off the minuscule dust on his black uniform and started to walk off, "He's just hopeless, I tried to tell him, but he just won't listen. Good luck handling the cry baby, Kurama. See you in class later."
"I don't even know why I attempt to put up with the guy," Shuuichi Minamino, who goes by the pseudo name Kurama, heard Hiei mutter to himself as he closed the door. He returned to the book in his hand and continued reading.
"Kurama, you gotta help me," Kurama begged as he crawled over to his friend, "You know, introduce me to one of your girl friends."
Kurama twitched at Kuwabara's last comment, "Excuse me, but I do not have a girlfriend and I do not intend creating a harem of girls.
"No, no, no," Kuwabara said, shaking his head furiously. Kurama was really scary when he gets mad. "Not girlfriend, I meant girl friends, you know, friends who are girls?" Kurama merely rolled his eyes, not intending on commenting.
"But everyday I see those pink scented thingies pouring out of your locker!" Kuwabara exclaimed, "I'm quite sure that those come from girls, so I guess they count as your friends."
"Kuwabara, don't assume too much," Kurama said, flipping another page of his book, "Some of those don't even come from females."
"Okay, that's just sick. You shouldn't have mentioned that. Now I think I feel my breakfast going up my throat."
Kurama simply let an amused laugh, 'That would get his mind off getting a girlfriend.'
Apparently, Kuwabara was intent on the topic and continued begging, "Oh, please, Kurama! You gotta help me out; you're the only one who can."
"I'm not listening," Kurama taunted as he flipped another page.
"But you owe me!" Kuwabara said, desperate enough to resort to blackmail.
"I don't rememb –," before he could even finish his sentence, Kuwabara said, "Oh, yes you do! I helped your mother on an errand last week, remember? I could have gone on with my own thing, but no. Kind ol' Kuwabara jumped in and helped her."
Kurama thought for a minute, obviously not liking where this conversation was going. 'I should have gone with Hiei when he left,' he thought. But this is the best reading spot in school, minus the noisy Kuwabara, that is.
"That's one dirty move, Kuwabara."
"Well, I gotta do what I gotta do," he said as he crossed his arms, "So, what do you say?"
Heaving a defeated sigh, he said, "Alright."
Hearing those words, Kuwabara literally jumped for joy and shouted to the sky, "Just you wait and see, Urameshi. Soon, I'll be having a girlfriend and I will definitely beat you!"
Kurama sighed again, 'I don't even know if having a girlfriend counts as a competition.' His thoughts were interrupted with Kuwabara's giddy voice, "So, when are you going to introduce me to those females? Do you think they'll like me?"
Honestly, Kurama didn't want to answer the last question. Even with his charm and good looks, Kurama doubted he could convince any of those girls infatuated with him go out with Kuwabara. And then, an idea hit him.
"I have a better idea," Kurama said as he shut his book close, Kuwabara getting interested with the knowing tone of his friend's voice.
"Let's hear it."
"Why not pay a visit to Saryashiki High's Matchmaking Queen?" before Kuwabara could reply, the first period bell rang.
"Bye Botan-chan, see you tomorrow," Rika waved at her as she got out of the classroom to join her other friends.
"Bye, Rika-chan! Don't forget the goukonon the 10th," Botan reminded her friend.
"Yeah, I won't forget that! Thanks for the reminder," she replied as she walked out together with the rest of the girls.
Botan stood up from her chair, fixed her things and set off for home. Usually, Keiko walked with her home, but now that she has a boyfriend, it is only proper to have Yuusuke walk Keiko home.
As she walked out of the room, before she could take another turn, someone called out, "Fukuyama." In response, she turned to face the owner of the cool and calm voice.
"Huh?" she blinked as the image of two guys crossed her vision. One had red hair with bottle green eyes while the other, a little taller than the former, had orange hair and had a striking resemblance with a horse, not that she'd tell him that anyway.
"You're the Matchmaking Queen, correct?" the red-head man asked.
"Matchmaking Queen?" Botan thought for a minute, registering the question in her mind, "Oh yeah, that's me! Sorry, I'm still not used to people calling me that, silly me." She gave a sheepish smile as her free hand lightly bonked her head as if reprimanding her momentary stupidity.
Kurama felt something inside stir as soon as the blue-haired schoolmate turned around. She had been one of the very few women who did not go heart-eyed with just looking at him. He did not know if it was a good or a bad thing. And the way she laughed off her simple mistake was something he rarely saw for most women he met were vain and self-absorbed. Just seeing the oblivious look on her face as she waited for his response, made him want to laugh. And that he did, covering his mouth with the back of his hand as he tried to contain himself.
Kuwabara elbowed him, "Hey, I think you should stop that, it's kinda rude, ya' know."
'What the? Is he laughing at me?' Botan thought.
Clearing his throat, he continued the conversation as he pointed at Kuwabara with his thumb, "My friend here, Kuwabara, is in desperate need of a girlfriend."
"Hey, I'm not that desperate."
"Looks like you were when you begged me earlier to hook you up with some random girl," Kurama retorted before turning back to Botan, "Can you do something about that?"
Forgetting the initial reaction the red-head had towards her, her ears perked as soon as she heard the words 'girlfriend' and 'hook-up', "Sure, I could do that." In a flash, she took out that green little notebook of hers and started scribbling something.
"So, what is your ideal girl?" Botan immediately asked, ready to scribble away all information about Kuwabara's desired girlfriend.
Almost disgustingly, Kuwabara transformed into a sheepish love-sick guy with a blush starting to form on his cheeks. Kurama tried to inconspicuously inch away from him, obviously bothered by the change. "She has to be kind, sweet and gentle. Like the damsel-in-distress type, so I can protect her always," Kuwabara said with dreamy eyes, "She has to be cute, too."
"Hm, I think I know just the right person for you," Botan said, tapping the end of her pen to her lower lip.
"You do?" Kuwabara asked, excited about this great news, "That's great!"
"So, would you prefer having a one-on-one date or a group kind of thing?" she asked, the tip of her pen already on the notebook, ready to write.
"I think I would like a group date," Kuwabara said as he scratched his head, now reverting back to his shy side.
"Okay," with a dot, Botan grabbed her phone and punched in a few numbers, "Yuki-chan! How are you?" Botan walked off to a more private place.
When Botan was off into a distance, Kuwabara turned to his friend, "Kurama, this was a really great idea! I'm so glad you're the one I asked to help me."
'More like blackmailed me to help you,' Kurama thought.
Botan walked back to the pair with a beautiful smile on her face, "Good news, Kuwabara-kun! She agreed to meet with you. Is this upcoming Saturday okay with you?"
"Yeah, that would be great!"
"She'll be bringing three more girls with her, so I suggest you bring along at least four guys to go with you, is that okay?"
"Sure, that's okay."
"If you don't mind, can you give me your contact number so we could keep in touch?"
"Yeah, here it is," Kuwabara agreed and gave her his number.
"Okay then, see you on the 15th at the Greenwood Park Circle. The girls will be there by one in the afternoon. See you then!" with that, she started to walk off. But even before she could take another step, that cool voice had once again called out her attention.
"Fukuyama, you sure are bubbly," Kurama said.
"Yeah, people say that to me, too, most of the time."
"That's good. I guess it does suit your future career."
"What do you mean?"
"I can almost see it. Years from now, you'll most likely end up as aMiu Pao," Kurama said, with a sly smile on his face.
Botan stood there, shocked with his words. That really hit a nerve.
"Kurama, would you quit that?" Kuwabara nervously said as he grabbed Kurama by his uniform sleeve and then turned to leave, "Ah, we'll be leaving now, Botan-chan! Thanks again for everything."
"A-aMiu Pao?!" Botan whispered silently. Slowly, her face contorted into pure rage as veins started popping out of her head.
When she saw both men about to turn into the corner, she roared, "MINAMINO SHUUICHI!"
Obviously taken aback by her violent reaction, both friends looked back, "How'd you know my name? I'm quite sure I haven't met or even spoken to you before."
"Remembering names is my talent, but that's beside the point," she said as she marched to where both guys stopped.
When she was close enough, she glared at the read-head boy and said, "Who are you calling a Miu Pao?! Don't come crawling to me if you need help getting a girlfriend, you jerk! Even if you beg, I will most definitely not help you!"
Kurama merely chuckled at her childish display, "Don't worry, Miss Miu Pao, I'm sure I won't be needing your help anyway," he started walking off, Kuwabara giving him a nervous look, "Besides, you probably won't be able to find one for me." With that, he stopped and then turned back to Botan who was now shaking violently.
"I have high standards," he simply said with an almost arrogant grin. With that, he was gone.
Seconds later, the word 'jerk' was heard along the corridors of Saryashiki High School.
A/N: Whacha think? Boring? Interesting? Crappy? Or something worth reading? I really would like to know!
Personally, I think it is a breath of fresh air, away from the gloomy mood of my other fic, which by the way, I intend to finish. This fic won't probably as long as TGOY, just about three chapters or so.
Sorry if Kurama was a little bit out of character, but I was thinking, for the sake of this fic, he'll be acting more like his Youko side rather that his Shuuichi side. Okay, maybe a mix of those two personalities.
Also, for the sake of this fic, I had the gang study at one school, Saryashiki High School.
Definition of Terms:
Goukon– Japanese term for group date. (I guess most anime aficionados out there know this)
Obento– Lunch box
Miu Pao – (Definition from the manga) Chinese term for a middle-aged woman who match-makes people for a living.