Disclaimer: Do Not Own Yu Yu Hakusho

Wit and Courage

Genre: Romance/General/ActionAdventure/Humor/Drama

Rated: M

Pairings: Hiei/Oc, Kurama/Botan, Keiko/Yusuke, Yukina/Kuwabara, Shizuru/Koenma

(Full) Summary: Callie has now been accepted into the life of the Reikai Tantei and now has to deal with all the trials and consequences of such. Not only is she dealing with any hardships of regular life she has to face those problems the group has to deal with. And if facing this mysterious smuggling ring that she is connected with she has to come to an understanding of what exactly her feelings are for Hiei.

"Kidnapping ploys, murder schemes, terrifying demons hell bent on destroying the balance of the three worlds…this is our life, monkey, welcome to it."

Warnings: Oc romance, Keiko's last name will be spelled: Ukimura. Sexual tension, sexual humor, sex, dark/possessive moments.

And this is a sequel-you have to read Will and Determination to get where this story is starting from.

Note: This is probably better characterized and written then its prequel. I can be an incredibly sloppy writer and if a story starts off a sloppy then it will continue being sloppy. This will be better in most things.

This is semi-AU. I altered the King's Tournament-it was explained in Will and Determination in one of the author's notes. But I will try to add a detailed segment sometime here.

Chapter Twenty Six

Moving Forward

What is it like to die?

Was it as simple as a heart stopping and breath leaving your lungs completely? Could it be as gentle and swift as that? An instant of stillness before the soul has moved on?

"I'm…I'm so sorry."

Or was it crushing, brutal, harsh, and merciless…to have your heart ripped from your body, bones crunching to powder, and skin ripping as all your emotions and hopes ooze out of you along with your blood? To have a lonely cold sweep over your body as shock keeps your grounded to your heels before you look down…see what has become of you…and experience a hellish pain one thought could never exist?

Listening to that dead, drawn out hum echoing in the abyss of what was once Hiei's soul, he knew this was no gentle death for him. Never in his long life has he once felt such pain. Such brutal, miserable, suffering.

This was different from the agony of having her taken from him by those bastards. This wasn't a questioning agony…because hope came with that questioning. Hope gave him that little zone of comfort he could escape too. Hope was that light that made him feel things could get better.

Dead had no hope.

Dead was an empty future.

Dead was a world without sunshine.

Dead was never coming back.

"I," She gulped. "Don't think I can live without you. I-I…when I heard you were hurt I wanted to scream. Y-You shouldn't ever be hurt…I always want to protect you even if I can't. The thought of you dieing made me physically ill and I knew everything would just shatter…I love you. I love you so very much."

When someone is dead, they can't give you those sweet words you never knew you longed to hear. Or seeing a smile that you never knew actually brightened your day.


Who knew that having your name squealed out would make you feel more special then winning a battle. Something that was once his pride has become secondary to someone simply calling out his name. But when they are dead they can't say your name with that loving tone. No soft midnight talks over ice-cream, no shared laughter, no flirtatious spats.

She glared at him with moist eyes, "I know you aren't in love with anyone Hiei…but I hope you fall in love someday. And I hope that you don't have to feel the fucking pain at seeing that person in the arms of another." She choked. "And I hope that they don't say, "go away" or any of that shit and feel the heart-shredding pain that I FEEL!"

Messing up was apart of life-and so was apologizing. How could there be any make ups without her? How could he say "I'm sorry" when there was no one to say it too? He's been klutzy and cruel with her from the very beginning; toying with her emotions, pushing her around, insulting her, using her…because he knew that there would always be a tomorrow where he could just buy her a stupid ice-cream to make her feel better.

Where was tomorrow?

Where was his second chance to make up for all he has said and done to her? He always knew he would have another chance to make her smile for him again and to get her forgiveness. How was he to apologize for letting this happen to her if she doesn't wake up?

"I will never leave you behind…no matter what is happening, I will never leave you." Her eyes then looked at him and she grinned brightly at him, "You think it's pathetic? Maybe...but I would do anything for you because I love you and because you are my friend." She shuffled her feet a bit, a small blush on her face. "I was near tears cause I knew you were in pain. I want to take care of you…I love you so much, you know." That smile of hers grew all the more. "I just love Hiei the most!"

What about promises of always being together, looking out for each other, forever being together as friends and lovers? They were suppose to wake up together every day, bitch and sneer insults, then laugh over something, sharing a connection no one else could share, and taking in the same air.

Where had their future gone?

Where the hell had it gone? He had it in his hands, had it grasped firmly in his fingers once he realized what he wanted...how could he have let it be ripped from him?

"You p-promised…" He wheezed finally. It was so hard to breathe, his organs had frozen—this anguish had hit him hard physically, gripping all of him. Hiei could feel everything move painfully; it hurt. It hurt so much.

"Y-You promised me….t-that you w-would never leave me…y-you promised me…" Hiei could hear nothing of what was going on-there was no other person in the room except for him and the girl laying dead on the bed.

He stumbled past the crumbled Shiori, down on her knees, her face in her hands as she wailed to whatever there was above. He couldn't see his friends hug each other with the tears in their eyes as they struggled to not fall down besides the woman weakly.

The demon was at her side before he was aware of it and was staring down at her pale, skinny face with a numb shock as he whispered the words, "You promised me…"

"MY BABY!" The mourning mother shrieked out. "NO! NOOO! MY BABY!"

It wasn't suppose to be this way. This was the group that always got their way despite turmoil. Always won and reaped the rewards of victory and having everyone survive.

It wasn't fair that this was the time they met their match. Death wasn't suppose to catch up to them this time around. It was finally Hiei's turn to experience what everyone else felt. It was finally his turn…

"Why…?" He whimpered as the small black gems hit her face. "No…this…h-has t-to be a lie…a lie…no…" He gritted his teeth, a snake-like hiss passing them as the clouding blackness began to gather. It was buzzing in his head, forming a swarm of madness. Dark aura flickered around his body, nothing but a transparent mist that was gaining in power, like an unstoppable flame.

He glared down at her accusingly as the devastation began to pour forward. "NO! NO! NO! NOOOO!" He screamed, shaking his head in denial. "COME BACK! DAMN IT! YOU PROMISED ME! YOU SAID YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME!" Hiei began to shake her, aware of her fragility, but needing her to wake up and face him again. He needed his world to have a brightness to it. Frantic to do anything and everything, sell his soul, sell his power—just to get her back.

"PLEASE! PLEASE WAKE UP!" He was sobbing now as he screamed, pleaded for her or anyone else that could make this nightmare go away.

She was suppose to be by his side, he was suppose to finally be happy…

Why was it so impossible for him to get that happily ever after that the rest of the group seemed to always have in their hands? It was going to be his turn damn it! It was his damn turn!

But they took her away from him.

Snarling he turned and glared murderously at Myouga who was looking down, keeping his head bowed as guilt began to weigh on his shoulders.

It was HIS fault. It was all because of him

"YOU FUCKING BASTARD!" He roared, the room quivering under his power that was currently being fueled by his emotions. "YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO SAVE HER!"

Myouga winced, but held his ground, fighting back the tears and the nausea. It was true; he was suppose to save her, but now a little girl was dead. "I wanted to save her. I did all that I could."

"BULLSHIT!" He screamed, his muscles flexing and tensing, looking ready to pounce and kill.

"H-Hiei…" Kurama pleaded, cradling his heartbroken mother as he himself was unable to swallow back the tears. "Now isn't the time…" His voice cracked, "M-Myouga…he…he did…w-what he could…" He could only hiccup as he hugged his mother, no longer able to give comfort but wanting some in return as he faced the loss of someone he cared about-something he hadn't experienced since Kuroune…and due to his personality then, it didn't hurt near as bad as this.

"HE COULD'VE GIVEN HER MORE TIME! SHE NEEDED MORE TIME!" Hiei screamed to his best-friend.

"B-Buddy…" Yusuke sobbed as he held on to Keiko. Everyone always teased him he had a baby-face, and the tears in his eyes and the runny nose only made him look more like a lost little boy. "He g-gave her more time…s-she…s-she j-just…" He choked and buried his face into his mate's hair crying. That was a little sister to him there. That was the other idiot he liked to goof around with.


"No…Hiei…its not Myouga's fault…please…" Kuwabara tried to reason with him, but knew it was futile. He was mourning, he was no longer in his proper state of mind. The woman he cared about more then anything was never coming back. Just the thought of losing Yukina like that made him weak in the knees and his stomach quivered. "Please…d-don't…" He hiccuped, wishing that his friend would wake up and say everything was ok.

Hiei finally pulled himself away from the girl and descended upon the doctor, "You bastard…" He hissed, ignoring his friends. "Why couldn't you give her any more time? T-That was all she needed…I-I…I-I know she would've come back to me…she's strong and stubborn like that…." His red eyes took on a crazed glaze to them, "S-She w-would've c-come back to me…"

"Hiei, you can't believe that. You shouldn't force yourself to believe that. It will just hurt you in the end." Myouga whispered, knowing he was in grave danger. Licking his lips and taking a step back he through a small look of help towards the group, "I told you…if she couldn't make it now she never would've made it. You have to trust me…I have been a doctor for many generations…she wouldn't have made it no matter what if she didn't make it now. It…." He cleared his throat, feeling it begin to tighten. "It was not my fault…"

"He's right…it wasn't his fault Hiei." Yusuke tried again. "It…it was those damn doctors. It was because of THEM! Myouga tried to save her. He has been trying for months to save her. We can't put blame on him when he has do-done nothing but try and help us."

But Hiei couldn't hear any of it. His world and heart were shattered into pieces…and this time there was no brainless monkey who would be there to start picking them up and putting them back together. The world was no longer worth anything to him.

His already quivering psyche had snapped and delusions were now his reality.

"No, it is his fault." He hissed, his voiced stressed with madness. "Its his doing that my mate is dead…"

"Whoa there Hiei….god damn, I am so sorry 'bout all of this mate…but you can't go 'round placin the blame where it don't well belong." Chuu stepped in front of the good doctor, using his massive body as a shield. "Killin'in him won't do ya a spit worth of good….crickey mate, I know…this has to be tough…but don't hurt a friend…"

"SHUT UP!" The fire demon snarled as he held his ears, trying to bloke their reasoning like a hurt child. "JUST SHUT UP! SHUT UP! HE IS THE CAUSE OF IT! ITS BECAUSE OF HIM! I KNOW IT WAS HIM!" His blurry moist eyes glared at them all accusingly. None of them were offering him support. Why weren't they being his friend and seeing that he was right? He knew he was right! He knew that she could've been saved if she was given a better chance!

"Hiei…" Kurama wiped his eyes as he hugged his mother again before he gently moved her to his father and little brother and stood up. "Don't…don't do this." He clenched his fist, ready to call upon his rose to protect those around him from the distraught man. "You're my best friend…I want to be here for you. T-This is a time to be together and help each other and mourn together…don't….don't d-do something that will make us have to hurt you….p-please…" He prayed and prayed with all his might that Hiei would see they were all hurting and weren't turning against him.

Those watery eyes, brimming to the rims with agony, turned to him and an icy layer fell upon them. His chest was rising and falling in a rapid fashion and his once pale skin taking on a soft green tone. This was not their Hiei. This was someone new coming forth and it was not someone anybody within the room wished to face.

"You traitor…"

Kurama's face fell even more and he shook his head, "Hiei no. I am not betraying you or Callie. She was my little sister and I want revenge for her as well. But I won't take it out on a person who had no blame for it. Please…this is not the place for it. Callie just died. We s-should be t-together."

Hiei shook his head; it was impossible to reach him now.

"Damn it." Chuu gritted his teeth before he moved forward towards the distraught fire-demon. It would be unfair to ask help from Yusuke and the others, especially with how emotionally weak they were. Having one friend die and then having to possibly hurt another would be too much for them. He gave a nod to the rest of the ground, letting them know they would need to take it slow with getting to him. They all knew that one wrong move and Hiei they would lose their surprise attack and be unable to save their comrade.

Detaining him was their goal, but they had to ensure no one ELSE was harmed during this breakdown. The others had to come first at this point in time.

Killing him was a crushing blow the team simply did not, and could not, want to face. What were they to do if they were to lose two friends, and one of them had to be destroyed by their own hands?

Too much, it would be too much to bear.

Looks were shared amongst the group as they moved in closer to the man who was falling to pieces right in front of them. No opportunity for mercy. Tough love was the only step they could carry out.

"Sorry mate," Chuu whispered easing in closer, "But you 'ave to understand sumthin here...you are about ta hurt people...people you love. Lookit here," Pointed to Shiori who was quivering, wailing into her husband's shoulders. "This lass here needs you to help her...not hurt her or yourself." Another few inches closer, he steadied his bulky calves onto the ground when he began to feel a power push him back.

"Stay the fuck back," His voice was a hiss, the room was still quaking under his anguish.

"Hiei," Gentle Touya whispered, trying to soothe the distraught beast. "You must listen to us." A mist of cooling ice rose from his feet and wrapped around the room slowly, inching towards Hiei as a way to hopefully cool his temper. He continued to talk, using his hypnotic voice to keep the fire-demon's attention focused solely on him while the rest surrounded him.

"I said; stay the fuck back." The fight or flight mode was kicking in as he took a step back.

"We can't do that and you know it." His steel-green eyes noticed Shishi's petite demon form fluttering behind Hiei and Rinku staying along side the new powerful humans within the group, fingering his yo-yos in a nervous fashion. The big Chuu blocked the door and was protecting the distraught family, once again allowing his sheer size being used as a shield.

The ice-demon inched just a little closer, "We can't say we understand what you are going through. The majority of us have yet to find our mates. But we are all one pack—you are a family member we care about. We just want to be here for you."

A snarl escaped Hiei's throat, "I need my mate...not you."

Hell was about to break loose in the tiny hospital room...all it needed was one little break and everything would would be done for. And there would be many casualties once that happened.

Keiko clung to Yusuke's shirt, her nails beginning to pinch him through the fabric. Hiccuping, unable to catch her breath from crying so hard she buried her face in his shoulder. She kept her weak legs locked in place when she felt him begin to nudge her towards the door. The brunette tried to brace her legs to the floor; as expected herself and the other women and humans would be herded out for protection. But she didn't want to leave. Leaving now seemed wrong...

"P-Please...I-I w-want to stay." She pleaded with her mate, trying to fight against his strength.

"No. It is too dangerous." Yusuke whispered, "You need to leave. Its about to turn really bad...something...you shouldn't see might happen." The leader's throat tightened, his body trembling as he continued to try to move his stubborn mate and the rest of the weaker members of their pack out of the room and to somewhere they couldn't get hurt.

Or couldn't see any more death.

"N-No." She shook her head firmly, "I want to stay. Hiei needs all of us." She shrieked when Yusuke simply flipped her on his shoulder, still not making any rash movements that would shatter the tension in a bad way.

Their prayers had been answered in the sense that Hiei was still in his right mind to allow the girls to escape.

"Shut up Keiko. Now is not the time for your stubbornness." Yusuke's brown eyes narrowed at Hiei as he and Kuwabara began to help the family and the rest of the members slowly get to the door, they would come back for Myouga in a second. If they move him with the rest Hiei would go after him and the females would be in danger.

"I want to stay here! WE want to stay here!" She cried, knowing this was stupid and selfish, but at the same time it wasn't right to leave. Her and the females were needed to be in that spot. They can't be ushered away every time there is a serious and dangerous issue. If they were all going to be part of this world they will need to learn to face it. They need to stand in for once and do something. No longer were they wanting to just be pushed to the side while family members suffered.

No more damn sidelines.

Yukina inhaled and exhaled through her nose, clinging on to her own mate but understanding what her friend was saying. Though it was dangerous, though it might be a little on the selfish side, they needed to be together.

Closing her eyes she remembered the time when her brother had snapped within the forest of the temple...and she hadn't done it was time to redeem herself and be the the sister that Hiei truly needed.

"Kazuma...I'm with Keiko. I AM staying here." She said as strongly as she could. "We are needed here like the rest of you. Don't send us away. Please."

A shake of his head stopped her pleading, "Love, you can't stay here. We have a lucky opportunity right now we can't pass up to get you all out of here." The tall human glanced at Hiei who was still snarling at the demons who were keeping him pinned—but only for a few minutes. "If we wait he might hurt even you."

She shook her head in denial, "No. He wouldn't. Please...let us stay." It wasn't fair for them to have to leave, not when they were apart of this group.

"Honey, look. You guys need to get out of the way. I know that sounds very rude of me," Still polite despite the threat of mutilation. "But we would be more concerned in protecting you then protecting Hiei. That could lead to his death. Please...just listen to us and leave while you can ok?"

The guilt nearly got her but she shook her head, that would be the reason every time. It was not going to work this time.

"Yukina," Kuwabara groaned, the sweetheart of a demon could get stubborn at the most inappropriate times and when she gets stubborn its like trying to convince Hiei to do something. In short, impossible and it gave people headaches. "We don't' have time for this. We need to get you and Kurama's family out of here now." He was pleased to see that their human comrades were helping them up and trying to help them out. But it was a slow process. Not many had strength in their legs and if they moved to fast who knows how that will affect Hiei.

"No." Yukina said in a steely tone, much like her big brother. Not a good sign for someone who is trying to get her to listen.

"I am warning you," Keiko snapped, "I will NOT be taken away from here."

Yusuke walked backwards towards the door, still keeping his eyes locked on Hiei. Ignoring his mate. Which is a very bad idea, something he still has not learned.

"I warned you," She growled and then stayed true to her threat. Keiko kneed her mate hard between the legs, desperate times called for inhumane and merciless actions on where the sun don't shine after all, and managed to wiggle off his shoulder while he collapsed. Keiko's kicks were as brutal as her slaps, and due to her girlyness she could wear some of the most painful shoes. Ignoring the fact she might've ruined their chance for children the brunette scurried away from him and Hiei; though emotional, Keiko was not stupid. She knew not to get close. Instead she placed herself behind the incubator for the deceased dragon. She would NOT be taken away without a fight...or a very, very violent and ear-shattering tantrum.

"K-Keiko..." Yusuke wheezed, furious and worried. He gave a quick look to Hiei who was still glaring down a good portion of the group, he didn't even seem aware of the fact there was a human female who was having a "Women's Rights" moment. "Baby, you h-have to leave now! This is no time for you to act like a know-it-all stubborn brat!"

Her brown eyes narrowed dangerously at him, she would smack him for that at a more appropriate time. "Yusuke, Hiei is our family. I know it is a dangerous situation right now...I understand that. But I am wanting to be there for a family member who is really struggling right now. If you can't accept that, then you have NO idea what I feel!" She twitched, there was an annoying little buzzing noise that was hitting her ears, very soft but annoying little "hzzzt". Some weird combination of a gasp and a hiss. Probably some damn fly. Couldn't it shut up? She was having an emotional speech to win over these pig-headed males and let them see that she and the girls were right.

"Keiko, will you can your fucking trap for a second! This isn't you being Valedictorian! This is about your life! Hiei is, luckily, too distracted right now to care about you! We can ensure you don't get hurt!" He pleaded, should he make a frantic move to get her, Hiei would probably take it as a threat...she needed see that she and the other females were practically invisible to the distraught fire-demon!

"Holy gods, are you two really having one of your married-moments now!" Genkai snarled, "Keiko listen to him! For once in his dumbshit of a life he is actually right!"

"B-But..." Keiko begged, wanting to wave her hand to shoo the noise away. "Huh?" Such a weird noise, it wasn't coming from around her head...but from under her fingers. "W-Wha...what?" Her head snapped downwards to the glass that was protecting and warming nothing but a corpse...

"See? Even the shitty bat agrees with me! Now get your ass over here!" The leader commanded, leaving no room for any more argument.

However, Keiko did not move. She no longer seemed aware of anything in the room as she stared upon the tiny little brown dragon. Eyes narrowed and face set into a tight grim look. 'Please...please let it be right...let it...' Her heart was pounding in her ears and she found the room cold all over again. "Please..."

"Absolutely not Keiko! No more of this!"

"Shut up! All of you!" She shrieked, "Be quiet! I need to hear!" Keiko looked back down, ignoring the moment of confused silence. It would only last a second before the loudmouth began ranting once more and something would finally make Hiei snap...but she had to make sure. "P-Please..." She had no idea she was holding her breath till she let it out in a scream, "ITS BREATHING!"

"Huh?" The majority blinked, staring at the crazed woman.

"ITS BREATHING! HIEI!" Keiko nearly rushed for the man, only to have Yusuke grab her, preventing her death.

"What the fuck are you doing? What are you talking about?" He twitched, pulling her far away from the demon who was now practically salivating in his animalistic madness.

"Hiei! Hiei you bastard! Listen to me! Check Callie! Check her!" She was practically clawing at Yusuke. "The dragon is alive! That dragon can't be alive if she's dead! CHECK HER!"

Once more, the whole room was stunned into a silent stupor. As when the heart-monitor had stopped beeping everyone could only stare upon the pale unconscious figure on the bed. They had just lost her, they had just lost their first battle...it was a terrible blow to them all, and now all that strain and stress might have been a lie?

It was simply too good to be true.

Amazingly, Hiei seemed to grasp at the words being shrieked to him—his glazed eyes were able to witness Yusuke rushing to the incubator with his mate, looking carefully.

"Holy shit...holy shit..." His red eyes locked onto his leaders and Hiei knew it was the truth. The little dragon wasn't dead.

Unable to breathe the demon spun around and was back at his mate's side, stroking over her cheeks and then down to her neck and chest, pressing his ear against the ribcage, trembling. His eyes were wide when he felt the soft movements of breath. Hiei then brought his face back up to her own, leaning in to place his mouth tenderly over hers and waited again.

He nearly began to sob when a small bit of air washed over his lips.

She was alive.

His mate was alive.

"C-Callie," He whimpered, clinging to her. "C-Callie..."

"I-It...c-can't be..." Myouga had no idea what to say or think. He had been so sure she was dead. "How c-can she be alive? I-I t-thought..." He understood he was emotional and that perhaps he had overlooked something, but something as vital as her being alive? Seems a little far-fetched.

'Although...I never checked on her,' He thought, his mind dumbing with shock. 'True the heart-monitor went flat a little fast...but I had thought...' The doctor froze a moment, his mind replaying everything that had just happened a few minutes before and remembered his body flying and hitting...

"Oh good grief..." He brushed past the group to the machines, looking around at where he had been shoved before when Hiei was freaking out. Finding the adrenaline leaving him he was able to move his eyes a bit slower then before, going over all the details of the wires before he found what he was looking for. He looked back up at the group with his jaw hanging, "T-The...wire...it was pulled when I fell over here. T-This whole time...the wire was unplugged."

Myouga saw the rest of their jaws drop in disbelief. Of course they would have such a look, it was the most ridiculous thought in the world. This whole time through terrible sadness and anger she had been alive...it was a stupid wire that made them think she was dead.

The demon doctor couldn't help but laugh as the tears poured down his face, "The damn wire was unplugged this whole time." His shoulders shook a little, his legs felt weak and he had to slowly sit down before his legs completely lost all strength and he fell on the wires again—pulling out another crucial wire that could place them all on a spiral of misery and woe and lies.

"W-What...? Are you...shittin me?" The ever eloquent Chuu gaped. "All this fuckin' drama...for a wire?" He obviously was slow in finding the humor in all of this. "This whole time...all this friggin drama...Hiei coulda killed us all!" The burly man pointed to the demon who was leaning over the now-alive woman, stroking her tenderly. Though Hiei was no longer in a murderous rampage, it was obvious he was still very out of it mentally.

"I-I know...but...I dunno how...I guess it was such an i-intense, frantic, a-and emotional moment t-that...it didn't occur to me to check on her a-and claim that the heart-monitor wasn't lying." Myouga rubbed his shaky hands together, feeling foolish. Though he now understood the saying on how doctors should not work with someone they are close to. The emotions and connection really could blind them professionally. As he looked back he had to shake his head in shame at how un-doctorly he had behaved. "Callie has been alive the whole time."

"Holy hell on fucking toast." The former royal moaned, "I feel like an idiot now...I know I shouldn't...but damn...we all had such a fit...over a wire." Koenma sighed as he sat ungracefully on the floor, "I feel like I need to sit down too..."

His girlfriend sat down beside him, bringing out a cigarette, "No shit..." Handed him one, "Have I ever told you, you are sexy when you curse?"

The prince nudged her at the compliment, taking the cigarette and placed it in his mouth, "I'm not making this a habit you know." He muttered.

"Hey, its a hospital. I can't get you hooked right now anyway. Just seems like you need something in your mouth to comfort you. Since there is no pacifier here and it might be politically incorrect to make out after all of this, I came up with the next best thing," Shizuru shrugged in good humor, her eyes twinkling.

Soon everyone else who wasn't already on the floor joined them, sitting down and let their weak legs take a breather. They all were obviously winded from such an ordeal.

Yukina laughed a little, smiling, looking so happy, "I can't believe it though...she's alive! We can stay a family! We are going to stay together!" Her sister would remain with them! How could she not be ecstatic?

Kuwabara nodded and hugged her tightly to him, "Yes...yes we are..." Sighed a moment. "I feel like we should be jumping around and singing and dancing and doing the macarena."

"Later..." The usually perky Botan grumbled, "I'm too tired..." Fell back on the tile floor, her head smacking it. "Ow..."

Kurama laughed and checked on his mother who was sobbing once more, this time out of happiness It was going to take some time for her to find any humor in this as well. Crying seems to be all she could do at the moment. Handing her over to his emotional father and little brother he went to his mate and laid down beside her, "Well...this is disgusting. I feel like we will need to have a shower of alcohol to get clean from whatever is on this hospital floor." Smiled at her and rubbed her arm, sighing. His sister was going to pull through. She had overcome the biggest obstacle and was soon going to be on her road to recovery.

Like Kuwabara he felt like they all should be dancing around in happiness...but they would save that for when the brunette could join them. For now soaking up this moment of happiness and victory and time together sounded much more appealing.

And like the rest of them he felt to emotionally and physically weak and drained to do anything.

"It will be worth it. I can't move any part of my body. I'll gladly lay on disgusting vomit hospital floor to take a moment to rest." The bluenette muttered. Never has the adrenaline been zapped from her so fast and left her so exhausted. Especially outside a battle.

Yusuke looked to his unconscious, not dead!, little sister and then over at his woman, "Have I told you recently you are the sexiest thing around?" Smiled at her, "Your stubbornness just saved us all...if not for that no one would've noticed till it was too late."

Keiko grinned at him, "Never doubt my know-it-all abilities again. It saves lives."

"You should so make that your slogan." Botan cried from across the room. "Trademark and sell it."

"Will do." Keiko sighed leaning against Yusuke. "I don't think I have ever been to worn out to cry before...I think after I sleep some I will break down into that type of crying that makes you throw up." Looked up at him, "Will you be there to hold my hair back?"

"Thats what mates are for." Yusuke replied in all seriousness.

Keiko smiled then looked over at Myouga, "She is ok now...right? We all aren't having this tender moment for nothing?"

Myouga sighed, "I can't say she is ok. She will have a very long road ahead of her. It might take another week or two before she wakes up. But if you mean will she live? Yes. Since her lungs are strong enough to sustain her and the demon blood is reacting well...she will live."

"Blood 'ell that was such a scene there! What wit all tha screamin and tha cryin. Thought tha whole world was endin I thought." Jin said in a single breath. Apparently it takes a lot more then what happened to get him to slow down. His buddy Touya just shook his head, unable to find words for all that has occurred...and in less then twenty minutes at that.

Give him a life-or-death combat battle any day. It was so much more easier to deal with then this.

"I need a drink." Genkai grumbled.

"Here, here!" Chuu concurred. "I think we all could use one...there a bar in dis joint? I say we get our drink on then pass out pissin drunk."

"Hiei probably won't share her anyway...and honestly, I am just too stunned and numb to celebrate right now." Yusuke intruded. In truth the whole thing felt anti-climatic. The whole horrible scene was all due to a stupid wire after all...the rug had been completely pulled out from under their feet and just left them all to out of it. No words could describe how they felt. It wasn't that he wasn't happy, he was thrilled, beyond ecstatic. But damn, from going from tension, to misery, to fear and anger, to surprise, and to happiness...it took a lot out of a guy!

They needed time to step away for a moment and let it all sink in; their stupid monkey was alive.

"A drink is sounding better and better." The leader grinned, "Soon we will be dealing with her loud-ass whines." Now that got everyone laughing a bit, "And I think Hiei needs some alone time with her."

That was an understatement. The fire-demon didn't seem aware of anyone else in the room as he looked over his mate.

"Let my mother see her...then I think she needs to see a doctor and get some rest..." Kurama looked at his mother in worry who wasn't looking too good. This was too much stress for a pregnant woman. Picking himself up from the dirty floor he walked over to her and helped her up, keeping her steady on her feet to take her to see Callie.

"M-My baby..." She whispered, looking over her daughter once she was brought to her side. "M-My...babies..." She sniffled, before she reached over and touched her hand and then touched Hiei's sharing a weak smile with him, "We have her back...we have you both back."

Hiei looked a little confused at first before he looked down at her hand holding his. Maneuvering his hand he grasped hers back, "T-Thank you..."

Shiori smiled at him, happy to see his mind clearing up. He was still a broken man and would need as much time as her daughter to heal, but at least he was coming back to them. There would be no death tonight. "I suppose you will be here to look after her all night." She looked back over to the sleeping girl, "As a mother I feel I should be here to look over her...but...I have another child," She touched her pregnant stomach, "that is depending on me more then anyone at the moment...so... can I trust you with this?" Another smile went on her face, "Can I trust you to stay with her tonight? Look over her while I can't?"

The demon took a moment to stare at her, finally absorbing how wonderful a mother truly is—how she is suppose to be, before he nodded, "Y-You...you can trust me." His throat felt swollen. He'll place it on the fact he had been screaming a lot and not that he was emotional. Even now he would like to save face, though it was hard considering his eyes were misting again and there was proof of his crying throughout the room in the form of little black stones.

"Now, I will be co-coming back the mo-moment I wake up. S-So I will know if you f-failed..." She warned then leaned down and kissed her daughter's head and cheek. "You feel better and wake up soon for us, honey. We miss you a whole lot..." Shiori whimpered, her bottom lip trembling. "W-We...miss you so much. S-So w-wake up real soon."

Hiei watched as slowly she waddled out of the hospital room, then one by one the others left as well. Everything did feel other worldly. No one seemed to be able to grasp at what reality was any kept alternating between bad to good. It was becoming to much for them to handle. He understood why none of them were jumping around and leaving without much of a goodbye.

Hiei understood his family. They needed some time, this had been the most exhausting and draining few months of their lives. Now after this intense moment, and mind numbing relief, he figured they all needed at least a night to recuperate.

Sighing he flopped down weakly into a chair that one of the human allies had brought in for him, still clinging tightly to Callie's hand. Eventually he was going to have to face them and apologize. Though he had an excuse, it doesn't mean it was right of him to attack his family like that.

He had really been prepared to kill them.

"Don't think of it," He hissed to himself, looking over at his woman. "Don't...think of anything." The demon sighed as he reached over and kissed her, "Thank you...my sunshine...thank you for not leaving me." Clung to her hand, "Thank you."

"I can't believe you actually cried till you threw up." Yusuke muttered to his mate as they both went towards the cafeteria. "That was disgusting."

"Hey, I warned you." Keiko glared at him, "All I needed was a good night's sleep, the first one in months, so that I could then break down. It's healthy!"

"Its vile! Ick...don't you do that when we have kids. I can't take gagging noises." The oh so fearsome leader shuddered. Snakes and throwing up, it seems these were other weaknesses he could not handle.

"First off, don't you tell me what to do." She growled, "Second, I can't help it if I will have morning sickness or not. Its not gonna be my choice to puke. And third; Don't you tell me what to do." And then stomped off, huffing. Deep down she was thrilled things felt like they were going back to normal.

"You said that twice." Yusuke whined as they came over to the table that held a good portion of their other friends. "Hey Kurama, how is your mom?"

Kurama smiled at him, looking tired but happy. "She and the baby are doing well. However, she has been put through so much stressed. The doctor does not want her out of the bed nor off an IV for a week at the very least. We're all very lucky that there wasn't serious issues. But it was too close for comfort. If she is stressed out any more it can really hurt her and the baby."

Botan smiled at their worried faces, "She's fine. Don't worry about it. I saw her and she is both complaining about being trapped and demanding the best of the best room service." She shared a grin with Keiko, "The lady knows how to control a room. She is the master at getting what she wants."

"I would gladly have her as a teacher." Keiko smiled. "I need a Yoda to my Skywalker with dealing with this man." Elbowed Yusuke in good humor.

Yusuke glared at her, "Don't you dare! Hmph," Turned to his friend, "I am happy to hear she is alright. She's been the mom for pretty much everyone here for a while. We all want her and the baby to be well."

"Thank you," The red-head smiled before he looked over to Kuwabara and Yukina. "Seems like you two have made up."

Yukina blushed, "You heard of that?" An ashamed look crossed her features, "We have talked and I apologized to Kazuma for my selfish behavior."

Kuwabara beamed, happy to have made up with his wonderful snow-bunny. "Awww my sweet, you have nothin you need to apologize for! I know you were upset and just speaking out of that hurt. You were just being honest with me and I am so happy to know yo care so much about me."

The sweet ice-apparition smiled a little, seeming to now blush for a different reason. "T-Thank you Kazuma. You are far too kind for words."

Yusuke began to poke a finger down his own throat, looking ready to gag. "Ugh they are too fluffy! Faaaaar to fluffy."

"Oh go drown in the River Styx." Botan rolled her eyes, "You don't appreciate a good romance. That right there is beautiful poetry in relationship form. No wonder you get smacked by Keiko."

"Exactly! Now you see the torture and misery I have to go through when I put up with his insensitive and primitive ways." The brunette huffed.

"Hey!" The obvious insulted man gaped, "Who the hell got on his knees in public to ask you to get married?"

"I am so sorry for your suffering." Botan comforted her friend, ignoring the leader.

"Damn it! Don't gang up on me! Kurama, dude, you're a dude—right? You will back me up against their...their...woman gang of thugs and lies!"

The fox simply tilted a brow, "Yes, Yusuke. I am a "dude". And no, I don't think I will back you up against this gang of lies. I really like getting attention from my woman and would rather not risk being denied anything because I defended you." He smirked, "You're just not worth it. No offense."

Yusuke's jaw dropped, "You mean you are choosing boobs over me!" He was promptly smacked by both women.

Kurama sighed, "I wouldn't say it in such a crude manner." He leaned back into the chair comfortingly, his muscles almost melting against the formation of it. It felt good to finally relax after a couple of months of pure tension.

"Kurama...have you visited Hiei?" Yukina asked timidly.

"No, this is the first place I've come to since waking up. I want to go and see the both of them, yet at the same time I don't. Almost afraid to go in and find that it all had been a dream...or a nightmare." He sighed. "I thought after we all eat we go together. Just the gang. While I appreciate everyone else and they are apart of the pack...I think Hiei just needs a few people by him and it should be us."

Kuwabara had to nod at the logic of that, "Yeah...and lets bring pipsqueak some food. I don't think he has eaten anything in a few days." He winced a little at the thought, "Lets try to chunk him back up to normal size before the other runt wakes up. She will have a panic-attack if she sees he has suffered any."

"Uh-huh. Maybe we can go eat in there with him. Who knows, maybe the smell of food will wake the piglet up." Yusuke joked and was smacked again, "Ow! What? She is a piglet! OW! Damn you bitch." And for that Keiko kindly responded by slamming her heel onto his foot. The string of curses that came from his mouth was not for the faint of heart.

"I think Yusuke, surprisingly, has a pretty decent idea. We can get some food, and a whole lot of coffee, for everyone and eat with them. Though Hiei will probably be a bit pissy." Kuwabara grinned as he leaned against the chair much like Kurama, "I really like this..."

Yukina looked up at him in confusion, "Like what?"

"Just...this." He smiled and he knew they understood what he meant. And they agreed this feeling was great.

Things were finally, slowly, going back to the way they once were.

The week had passed by rather normally. The days didn't seem to drag or go fast. It was as if everything in the world was back to normal despite that their group was still incomplete.

But they hoped that would all be changing soon. Myouga had told them that Callie's vital signs were drastically improving and soon she would be strong enough to wake up. He had brought the group and family within the hospital room, warning them that though the signs were good not to get their hopes up too high. She was still very weak and sick and just might need a few more days till she could rest.

Those words did nothing for the group, especially Hiei who has not left her side for more then fifteen minutes. It was obvious in his eyes that he knew it was going to be today and no medical crap the doctor spews will change it.

Obviously, he was still as pig-headed as ever.

"Ok then, soooo, how do we know when this will work?" Yusuke asked, looking at the unconscious girl. "All Cinderella-ish or something?"

"FAIL!" The girls and Kuwabara cried out. "Its Snow White and Sleeping Beauty! Get it right!"

Yusuke sneered at his best friend, "I'm not even surprised with your gay actions any more, dude. I am seriously not one bit surprised."

"You just don't appreciate the awesomeness of fairy-tales and Disney." The orange-haired individual grumped and like that all the girls were fawning around him.

"THATS SICK AND WRONG!" The leader wailed in jealousy at the sight of all the girls, including his own woman, cuddling up next to Kuwabara. "Stop using him as your gay friend!"

"Oh shut up. We are in a serious situation here. And just because he understands and enjoys romantic movies doesn't make him gay. It makes him mega awesome." Keiko huffed before smiled at the doctor, "Please answer my moronic boyfriend's question please. We all are wondering what is going to happen to help wake her up."

Myouga chuckled, use to the antics of the group. "Skipping all the medical stuff. Pretty much I will be inserting this liquid," Held up a shot with some clear substance within it, "into her IV and it will go into her system. It will sorta give her a little jolt and help give her energy to wake up. We'll just say its like a shot of really caffeinated coffee in medicated form."

The collective "aahh" gave him indication he explained it well enough for the more slower individuals to grasp at the idea.

"So lets start here..." he grabbed the IV and inserted the needle into it, slowly pumping the liquid into it. "It might take some time for it to get into her bloodstream. At most an hour and a half. If she doesn't wake up then, don't worry." He smiled, "It would just be her way of telling us she needs a few more days. If she doesn't wake up today at the most she will need another week. The demon blood that Yusuke provided us has done exceptionally well. It is molding in with her own blood perfectly and helping her heal."

"See? I am awesome." The leader smirked, looking proud.

The group simply rolled their eyes. They are not very impressed with their leader.

"So...I guess we just wait now?" Shiori asked, looking a bit worried as she was forced to sit in one of the comfortable chairs brought in for her.

Myouga nodded, "Yes. There won't be too many obvious signs of her waking. Small noises and movements, however they could also just be her reacting to the medicine, but won't wake up. So really they only way we are gonna know is if she wakes up or two hours pass." He shrugged, "I can't do too much more yet. Basically every sign could be her waking up or just a reaction."

"It is a great step though. We understand that even if she doesn't wake up today we are just another step closer to her coming back. If we have to wait, we have to wait." Keiko said, looking very excited.

"Hn." Hiei grunted, still not believing he would have to wait another week. It will be today. Within the next few hours he will have his woman back. Soon they will be bickering just like before.

Now he just had to wait. He's become a master at waiting since this whole miserable thing started.

Leaning against the wall, he closed his eyes and opened up his mind to her own. Prepared to move the moment she began to twitch. He gently probed and searched, trying to find her subconscious to bring her back. He just needed to be patient and search for her...

He just need to wait a little bit more.

All of his searching helped pass the time. He became oblivious to the time. Roughly forty-five minutes have already passed in the outside world. The time limit was fast approaching and Hiei still could not find her within her mind. He could feel her. She was somewhere there, just hiding from him.

But he could find her. Unlike before, he knew he could find her this time.

"Hmm..." Myouga checked over the girl, "She's twitching a bit. But she has been for a few minutes now." He smiled at the group who looked a little down. "Hey, hey, there is still nearly an hour left. Don't fret so much. These are good signs. She is making a lot of movement, more so then usual. This is making me think today really will be the day."

"Really?" Yukina's eyes were much like her brother's; hopeful. "You really think it is gonna be the day?"

The doctor nodded as he fretted over her like any good doctor would, "Everything I am seeing here is pointing to it. But I still have to tell you to be prepared for it to be a false alarm. We can't make her wake up any faster then needed."

"Yeah, yeah, we got this lesson before." Yusuke grumped, sulking. He was all jittery. It was a struggle to sit still as the minutes ticked by. He already gave up on Go-Fish. Somehow it always seems like he lost at that game. How the hell did Yukina get such a great poker face? Now he had to be content to sulk like a sore loser in the corner as he watched the rest continue to try and beat the small demon.

No luck so far.

First Keiko beats him at video-games now meek, sweet Yukina beats him in cards. Where on earth could he keep his pride?

Hiei sighed, hearing them a little but retreated back deeper into the bond he shared with the unconscious girl. He was close now...any second now. The demon could feel that she was close, that any second he will hear that annoying voice whining for him to save her from the dark.

'Please...' He called out. 'I finally got you back physically. I need you back completely now. So please. Don't be a bitch and make me beg.' Of course it was too late for that. Like most of the men in the group, he lost his dignity and pride to a woman.

'Callie, damn it, get your scrawny ass out here now!' He commanded, his patience long gone.

'I knew you would find me.' A lovely voice bounced in his head, amused laughter following.

The man was on his feet and at her side before anyone could squeal, the squeal came from a few girls and Yusuke. "C-Callie?" He asked, looking down at her still features. All of his tough talk gone in an instant as he gently touched her and used a soft tone he didn't know he had in him.

'Give me a moment...its hard to open my eyes...' She pleaded, her voice still within his head.

The next few moments were hard and drawn out. His red eyes trained on her lids as he watched them twitch and jerk. It must've been near fifteen minutes before finally they began to open up and very sleepy brown eyes looked up at him.

It had to be the most cliché moment, but Hiei couldn't care. The moment her eyes locked on his everything stopped and his world emptied; everything became about her. "Callie..."

"H-Hiei..." She whispered, it was obvious not much liquid had touched her throat in a long time. She sounded raspy and rough. She took a moment to wheeze and cough weakly, but once she was able to stop she smiled at him. "Hi."

His heart stopped and instantly he was hugging and kissing her. He couldn't care if she hadn't been cleaned, that her lips were dry, her breath stale, and he was in front of everyone who would be more then willing to make fun of him till he had wished he had killed them all.

It was the best kiss he has ever had.

He was too happy and to in love to care about anything else within the world. He finally had her back. He just simply had to keep kissing this stupid monkey of his.

"H-Hiei!" Kurama laughed, trying to hold back any tears. "Give her some rom to breathe!"

Keiko, Botan, and Yukina were all holding each other, looking like nothing could wipe the grins from their faces. "She's talking! She's talking! We have her back!" They just continued to laugh, cheer, and cry.

"Knew she could do it!" Shizuru punched her boyfriend's arm. "You made the right choice your highness. You saved her damn life."

Koenma laughed awkwardly, rubbing his tender arm. "I happen to think this was really a team effort." He smiled, for once not being modest for the sake of looking good, but because he knew this happened because of all of them.

"YES!" Yusuke laughed, high-fiving his friend. "Our three musketeer formation is back!"

"Yeah man!" Kuwabara grinned, finally looking ready to do his jig he's been holding back for so long. "This is what I am talkin about! Ah Genkai! You should tell everyone she is awake. The rest is out there waiting for the news."

The elderly lady shook her head, "I have a feeling they heard all of the cheers. But I will go on and open the door for them to peek their heads in." And of course the moment she opened it a huge wave of people; human, demon, and spirits all tried to look in. And almost instantly they were all cheering in excitement.

Hiei finally pulled back from her, still oblivious to the obnoxious cheers of happiness. "You're awake." He smiled at her, finding his eyes getting wet once again. This whole crying business was getting really old, really fast. But he decided not to complain now. Hard to be irritable when he was so overwhelmingly happy.

"H-Hiei...?" He watched as her glazed eyes became a little clearer, though she certainly wasn't all there just yet. And since she wasn't all there from the get-go he was speaking to a very, very slow girl at the present time.

He had to take a moment to collect himself as he tried to prevent the tears from falling. Though it was proving useless as they fell and the smooth black stones fell on to her.

She looked confused at the sight of him crying, unable to reach up to stop the tears but could see the little black stones on her chest. "What is this...?"

Hiei looked a little embarrassed, but he knew that she would be understanding.

"It seems...when I cry, I produce black stones. Opposite of Yukina's." He smiled a little, he would only cry for her. But there was no way he would do this again, especially in front of everyone else. He still had some damn pride after all.

Her eyes narrowed a little as she looked at the shinny ball. "Ta-Tapioca?"

Hiei gave her a look ignoring the snort behind him. "Excuse me?"

"What...?" She blinked sleepily but smiled at him. Her poor lips looked so dry. Everyone suspected that her throat felt just as dry. "It looks like those little black balls in those drinks."

Screw her. He will never cry for her ever again. "No you moron."

"Pfffffft, Hiei's emotional breakdown looks like bobba! Little black tapioca balls!" Yusuke nearly choked on his spit as he laughed. "Oh my god! That is the best thing ever!"

And sadly, the rest of the group heard it too. And yes, they too were getting sick as they laughed at his expense.

Screw them all! He really should've dragoned-flamed their asses!

"Shut the hell up!" He roared to the group, feeling a blush of embarrassment and anger come up.

Callie just laughed a little though it ached slightly. It was so hard to move any part of her body. Talking and smiling was becoming too difficult. Never has she been this exhausted before, despite just waking up from an intense sleep. But she couldn't help but continued to talk and smile, listening to her family as they all at once rushed to her side and began to hug, kiss, and converse with her. It was so hard to keep up.

"I am very glad you guys found me." She beamed, "I knew you would. I held on as long as I could."

Kuwabara smiled, trying to shrug off the image of how she looked on the dirty ground. "We are so proud of you. You did more then most anyone could!" He squeezed her hand, "We're just...so sorry it took so long."

Kurama looked over her with worry, scared of seeing her haunted by the nightmare she had suffered through. He was relieved to see none of it yet. But he knew it was just a matter of time. No matter how positive, no one can handle all of that emotionally without plenty of help. They would all need to watch over her very closely to watch for signs of her suffering mentally.

Of course he hasn't forgotten about Hiei. Not only has everything that has happened to him really made him unstable, he also tortured himself by watching the videos of her being brutally experimented on. It would take a lot of convincing, but he needed to get some help along with her.

"My baby." Shiori squealed, nearly gagging on her tears as she hugged her daughter. Most everyone made room for the family to make their way over and look at their revived member. "Oh god..." She sobbed, "I am so happy...so very happy." She kept kissing at her face. "You're back. My baby is back."

"Sis, I thought you were gone." Shuichi hiccuped as he hugged on to his big sister. "Don't do that again!"

Callie began to cry like a baby the moment her mom hugged her. Clinging to her desperately. Besides Hiei, her mom was the one she called out for the most. "M-Mommy..." She cried, her nose running as she sobbed into her shoulder. So many nights she has wanted her mother's arms to be around her, comforting her and making all the monsters go away.

It felt so wonderful to be comforted by her. To be surrounded by her scent and warmth. And to have everyone else around her. It was the best security-blanket in the whole world. She didn't want this moment to ever end.

"Say ah," The doctor came into the group, forcing her mouth open, looking around. Of course he had to interrupt her amazing moment of tenderness and love. "Looks like the oral surgery went well. We had to pull a few teeth. We were able to replace them though, they will be substantial enough for you—but try to avoid using your teeth as weapons."

Myouga then pried her eyes wide open before she could retort, shining a flashlight in them. "Reaction time is good. You seem as aware as I could ever hope. Redness, the crust, and blotchiness is gone. We still will want to keep your eyes medicated for around three months. Maybe push it to four since eyes are so delicate." He went to her nose and ears, then finally to her head. "We had no choice but to shave most all of the hair off of you. There were some nasty creepy-crawlies in them." He massaged her scalp which was starting to sprout hair once more. "You are looking at quite a few months with a hat fashion. But all the scabs and bites are almost gone. And the dryness will pass within a day or two after some medicated shampoo is massaged on it."

The former brunette whimpered, feeling rather insecure without her hair, especially in front of Hiei. She has never been very girlish and she preferred short hair—but this was too short. She felt embarrassed being seen like this by Hiei.

What she didn't expect was for him to lean over and kiss the top of her head. "Don't worry over that. You look fine. And we are all just happy you are alive and awake."

The girl looked at him, stunned. Hiei has never shown her so much tenderness in public before. "O-Oh...ok..."

"Yeah, the hair is gonna grow back runt." Kuwabara grinned. "We can't grow you though."

She gave him a smile, looking pretty worn out but the fact that she was smiling up at them was more then they could ever want.

"Damn it..." Yusuke sniffed. "Damn it, damn it. Doc! Don't you clean up this place any? I got damn dust in my eyes!" He quickly wiped his eyes on his sleeve, trying to stop his sniffling.

"Yeah, we all believe you Yusuke." They teased.

"Be a man and admit you are crying. Jeeze...you are such a pussy when it concerns emotions." Kuwabara grunted with the roll of his eyes. "What a baby."

"Not a damn baby!" He snarled, his face showing otherwise.

"Suuuuure." They drawled.

"H-Hey...w-wait..." Callie looked at them in a small panic. "W-Where is everyone...e-everyone else? W-Who...w-who s-survived?"

"Shhh, honey don't stress yourself." Shiori soothed, stroking her face to try and not have her panic.

Koenma sighed, "We came too late for most. I am sorry we couldn't save al of your friends. But two boys, Terrance and Joshua, along with a young woman named Celeste are survivors. Everyone else died." He then smiled, "However this is the realm where the spirits of the dead come to. So though they are dead, you will be able to see their spirits one last time before they move on."

The girl blinked, sniffling, "M-Move on?"

"We can't bring them back to life. It is beyond our control to place them all back into physical bodies. They need to move on to Heaven and be able to be happy and rest." Botan smiled at her, wanting to comfort her as best as possible. "But when you see them, it will be like they are in their physical body. It's...all...mystical and complicated. Best not to question the way this stuff works dear." She laughed loudly, showing everyone she has never found out herself. "So don't be confused or freaked out when you see them later."

Holding on to her mom and to Hiei's hand she nodded, looking a bit depressed that so many of them died because of all of this. It was a crushing feeling to this happy moment.

"It won't be much longer till they will need to move on." Yukina explained to her friend. "They all decided to stay to see if you will make it." She smiled, "Once you are able to be moved some more you can see them off as they go to the other side."

Callie smiled weakly, "I see. I am happy that they waited." She sighed as she looked up at the ceiling. "I'm...a little numb. I dunno why..."

"I think you are overwhelmed sweetie." Botan soothed. "You have had a big struggle. It would make sense that you are a bit overwhelmed at the moment and that you just need to take the time to rest. Let this all absorb. It will probably take some time for that to happen."

"And as we wait for that to happen we will want you to just take it as easy." Myouga stated as he looked over her vitals to ensure that she was still stable. "We are going to make sure that you do not get stressed. The longer you stay in bed, the better it will be for you. Its been a long time since you last moved your muscles. While they are healing they have deteriorated quite a bit. So we are gonna wait for a little while till you start physical therapy."

She winced, "How long are we thinking till I ca-can...uhm...move on my own?"

"We will want to start physical therapy within this coming up week. The sooner the better. However for maybe...hmmm," He took off his glasses to clean them as he thought. "I say three days you will need to stay in bed. After that, you will be able to go around a bit in a wheelchair. After that, you are going to be in a lot of pain with the therapy. But it will be worth it. If all goes well, within about six months you should be able to run again. And maybe a year, you can start the training."

Her face paled a little, "T-That long? It has to be that long?"

"Well certainly nothing is set in stone. You and your friends have proved that multiple times. However, I think my guesstimate is going to be the most realistic. You have suffered a lot within these past few months. And it will take a lot of time for you to be able to get back to normal. But," He shrugged with a comforting smile, "You really never know."

Hiei looked back at his mate, "Don't worry about that time. Just take it one day at a time. You're alive." He smiled, "You are now a demon, you have a lot of time to begin training."

She looked back over at him, gaping, "I am a demon now? I got that transfusion thingy? Who gave me the blood?" Everyone pointed to Yusuke and she sulked, "Ew, him?"

"HEY! It was my awesome blood that saved your ass!"

Keiko rolled her eyes and smacked him, "First; you are too loud. This is a hospital and she is very weak. Don't you get her worked up. And second, stop saying awesome. You need new words. That one is officially stale."

"Why does my language and usage of "awesome" concern you so much? Ugh, you're so damn picky."

"And stop saying that word! Ugh, must you be so vulgar all the time?" When Keiko nagged, she nagged good.

"Yes. Fuck it." He said just be be a brat. Of course he was smacked hard by Keiko and scolded once more by Shiori. "Sorry! Sorry! Man..." He glared at Callie who was laughing at him, "Favorite child."

She just beamed, "I'm just too amazing."

"You are not! Hmph!" He continued to whine like a little boy. "I'm far more cooler." Yusuke was once again the entertainment for the night.

"Alright...if you all out there promise to be quiet as possible and come in slowly you all ca-" Sadly Myouga was unable to finish his sentence. The moment he made it out that everyone out in the hall could enter, they all entered. Loudly and clumsy at that. "Aww god..." He slapped his hand over his face, regretting his choice instantly.

"Alright Callie," Kurama smiled at his sister, "I think it is now time to introduce you to the rest of our family..."

Her eyes were wide at the sight of all the many demons and humans gathered around her grinning. "Wow...big family." She giggled, looking all excited, "This is going to be a long introduction."

"Indeed...well then...I suppose it is time to get started. And then, you will probably need to get some more rest. You are gonna need to be as rested as possible before you say good by to everyone." The red-head continued before he began to finally bring the whole family together.

It was as it was meant to be.

"Wow..." Callie grinned at Hiei, it was a weak smile but it was one he appreciated. "Who would've thought that when I woke up I would find myself with such a huge family."

The introduction had been long. Everyone had interrupted each other, brawls had broke out, insults roared at each other, over all it was a family Callie found herself really enjoying. Of course after the fifth brawl, Myouga lost all of his infamous patience and had thrown everyone out. Everyone had been quite insulted at being denied from seeing the girl, but after a look from the demon-doctor and the pregnant Shiori they all ran away as fast as possible.

Now, Hiei and Callie were finally allowed to be alone and just talk.

"Hn." He grunted, sitting by her side. "They are annoying."

She giggled, "You seem to really love them though." A relaxed sigh escaped her lips as she cuddled into the pillow. "It...seems sorta surreal."

"Hm?" The demon looked at his mate.

"Just...how this happened. The last memory I clearly have was being kicked. Being in that...t-that..." Her throat closed up a bit. It was hard to talk and think about. "R-Room..." She shuddered as she clung to his hand. She had been warned that panic attacks due to the trauma was expected but that she will just need to learn some mental exercises to help deal with the pain and terror.

"Try not to think about it." He comforted, "You will have to face it eventually...but it won't be tonight. You just woke up. You are not ready for it. Distraction is needed right now. Distraction and a lot of rest."

She looked at him with moist eyes, "I-I g-guess...u-uhm...c-can...c-can the lights s-stay on f-for now? I...don't want to be in the dark."

Hiei smiled at her, wanting to provide her all the comfort he could. It was a new job, and he was little awkward with it, but he could give her comfort. If it was for her, he knew he had the capability. "For now yes." He would comfort her, but he wouldn't support her fears. He was going to help her get through them, and overcome them like he knew she could.

She was a strong idiot. Much like Yusuke and Kuwabara. She could overcome anything.

"T-Thank you." Callie looked up at the lights before winced and looked away. "The lights aren't friendly reminders either."

"Monkey," He gave her a look. "I know it is hard. But you have to stop this thinking. All you are doing is hurting yourself. We will talk about it eventually, but if we do it now Myouga said that you could shut down and get worse. We just got you back. Don't hurt yourself."

Her brown eyes, haunted by what she experienced, looked at him, but she smiled back at him. "Yeah, yeah. I know Hiei. it...it is just really hard." She touched the hand that was holding hers. "I missed you."

He flinched back, "I-I...I missed you too. I missed you and your stupid whines." He picked up her hand and leaned against it, giving off a shaky breath. "I-I couldn't find you...I...went insane. Without you around. I went insane. Don't leave me again, ok? Please don't...I won't be able to handle it."

"I wouldn't dream of it." His monkey comforted. "As I told you, I love you. I always want to be around you." She clenched his hand back. "I am real sorry that I did leave. I guess I broke my promise."

The demon shook his head, "Don't be an idiot. You were kidnapped. You didn't leave."

"Still...I wish...I had put up more of a fight. I could've taken them. I could've given you more time."

Hiei rolled his eyes, "You, a sickly puny monkey, fight against four demons? All of which were able to produce a numbing gas. Took everyone by surprise. You could've fought and won? You couldn't even beat up a cardboard box."

"The box cheated and you know it!" She snapped, a bit sour about that memory. "I am all prepared for a rematch! I will win the next round."

Hiei smirked, "You're a weakling. The box is going to win every time."

"Who's side are you on?" She grumbled and sulked. "Hmph, damn cheating box."

"Hn, you are just a sore loser. You and Urameshi are so much alike. No wonder you got his blood."

"Don't remind me," She muttered, "I wanted Kurama's o-or Jin's! Wouldn't that be cool?"

"You do realize that our esteem leader is on his way to becoming the most powerful demon around? You have his blood now." He sneered, "You certainly don't seem to appreciate a kind action, one that saved your life and has given you good blood."

"You want his blood and be his brother?"

"Hell no."

"See!" She laughed, though it was in good fun. She couldn't tell Yusuke how much she appreciated what he has done. And that she was happy they were now related in some strange way. Even though she has been with this group for about a year, she was still getting use to the oddness that came with it.

"Ah...I can't believe I'm back." Callie stared at him a moment again. "How long was I there?"

Hiei closed his eyes a moment, "Over a month."

She winced, "Just that long...I was almost afraid it was longer. We had no windows, no clock. The timing of when they came in seemed to be completely random."

"Callie," He warned again. "Stop it. This is not good for you."

She looked a little sheepish, "S-Sorry. It seems that it is hard to stop. I just keep thinking about it. Or something is reminding me of what I have left. I promise, I will try my best to stop. Besides, I won't worry too much. I have you right now." She bit her lip, all of a sudden a pale and panicked look crossing her face. "R-Right?"

"Callie..." He sighed, "I am here. I will be here for you."

The girl gulped, "Y-Yeah...o-of course." She laughed a little, though it sounded very strained. "I-It...i-it is just t-that...t-they m-made me hallucinate a-a-about you...about all of you. A-And...a-and w-would t-then t-take you a-away..."

"Stop it!" He commanded, "Just stop it! You must think of other things now. Look at me, concentrate on me. I am real, I am here. You have nothing more to worry about. No more of that torture no more of those lies. You have to look at me."

"I-I'm t-trying..." She sobbed, "I-I'm t-trying. I-I'm just s-so s-scared t-this isn't real."

"It is real. You cannot become paranoid about this...it will make you sick, you will be unable to enjoy anything and move on. You have to concentrate on me right now. Please...do no think about anything else but me."

Callie whimpered, "I-I'll t-try..." She sniffled, wiping her eyes. "It's hard...not knowing if you are in reality anymore."

"Yeah...I can understand that feeling a bit." He confessed. "It is one of the hardest battles. But it is one that you can win against. You will just have to do what I say. I promise I am going to get you through this."

Nodding she continued to cling to him, "O-Ok..." She smiled, the tears still there. "T-Thank you."

Hiei leaned against her again, "I am just glad I have you back."

"Glad to be back...so glad to be back." She then looked a little impish and shy, "C-Can I have another kiss? That...that really made me feel...happy."

He chuckled, "Yeah...but don't get use to this spoiling. I don't behave like this normally. It is all due to lack of sleep."

"Yeah, and Yusuke really did have dust in his eyes." She laughed, teasing him a little as she moved up a little bit to meet his lips in a kiss. It made her feel so at home. And from the attention she got from him before, she had a feeling he felt the same way. He just had a hard time saying it. "I really missed this..."

"Pervert. I bet you were fantasizing about-"

"Are you really going to say that now! I was not fantasizing about your ass!" She gave him a glare, "Way to ruin a moment."

"Think of it like revenge. You said my tears looked like a damn food product."

"I was dazed and confused and it is not my fault that they looked like it." She huffed, "I was just being honest."

Hiei sneered, "More then likely you were just hungry, like usual. All that goes through that brain of yours is food."

"It does not." The now grumpy girl hissed as she slouched in her bed. "I think of other things."

"Molesting me does not count as a thought."

"Will you stop that?"

Hiei laughed, he has missed their bickering so much. "What? Besides food and myself, you don't have much room left in that shell. You need to save room to remember how to breathe."

"If I wasn't so weak right now I would bitch-slap you."

He smirked again, "Yeah, like I would be afraid of a girl who get's defeated by a box."

"It cheated, damn it!" She whined. "Stop bringing that up. It was an unfair fight and should be dismissed from history. It has been erased from history, it is gone forever. Bye, bye. So no you cannot bring it up ever again."

A black brow tilted, "I wasn't aware you had the ability to erase history."

"Hmph! Well now you know. And don't you forget it." Callie muttered as she snuggled deeper into the blanket. Blankets and warmth were things she will never take for granted ever again.

"I think you're done for the day." Hiei noted, "It looks like you are prepared to fall asleep. You have done a lot and been up for nearly three hours."

"I just woke up though...I want to stay awake. From the sound of it I have been asleep for weeks." She said, giving him a pleading look.

"Don't even try. I am not a pushover like the rest of these pathetic excuses of men. You are not going to get your way by a simple look." He covered her up to her chin. "You will need to rest for a bit, then remain awake for a while. We are going to have to retrain your body in staying awake. But Myouga said naps are going to be a normal part of your life for awhile."

"Yeah, along with hats."

"Stop worrying about your hair. It is already growing back." He rolled his eyes again. "Don't be vain. Koenma is giving you two days. After that, the spirits of the victims will be allowed to be judged and pass. You will need to recuperate as much strength as possible until then. That will be the day you will be taken out of bed for the first time and taken around the gate."

"Oh..." An unreadable look passed her features. "Two days...well I am thrilled they will all be moving on soon. It has been a hard time. I...I am just really down that they had to die."

"They seem happier now though. None of them seem ready to complain now that they are relieved of all that pain. Try not to think negatively about it." He stroked her cheek, trying to force her to fall asleep. "And you will be able to say good-bye to them. Just don't get all depressed. God I never thought that anything could be more annoying then you being hyper."

"Again, you ruined a tender moment. The first was revenge, now you are just being mean." She huffed, though was touched he preferred to see her happy then sad. To be kind, sometimes Hiei had to be a bit mean. It was just who he was and it was his comfort zone.

He simply shrugged to her whines. "Sleep now. You can bitch more when you wake up for some food."

"Oh fun...hospital food."

"My gods, do you ever stop whining? Just shut your mouth for a few seconds and go to sleep." He twitched, looking a little stressed. This woman, did she ever stop making him worry and stress? How could her family deal with her? How they hell has he dealt with her?

"Whaaaaat? Its gross! You, who, by the way are a huge pig as well, wouldn't eat it. Why make me eat it?"

Again, why was he in love with her? Anyone have the answer to this?

"Go. To. Sleep." He growled. Hiei already had white hair within his black, but that was natural and came from his mother. Not from feeling old! He wasn't even a hundred yet! Ugh, this bitch. And to think he was married to her now and would be spending the rest of his life with her loud shrieks and her constant wiggling.

Someone shot him.

"Don't wanna."

"Sleep or I will force you to." He warned, his jagan eye glowing behind his bandana.

"Hmph, bastard. I should be able to do what I want. You don't own me." She nagged, sounding suspiciously like another brunette who was the master at nags.

"That is it. I am knocking you out. I won't stand for any more whines."

"Oh bite me! You whine just as much as I do. In fact, after Yusuke, you whine the most." She challenged right back, smirking. Comparing him to Yusuke was a pretty low blow. "All everyone hears is how much you hate humans, how no one is strong, how I whine...blah, blah, blah."

Hiei twitched, "Bitch, I will give you three seconds to take it all back." Damn it, he couldn't rough her up like he usually did. She didn't have hair and he was afraid if he pinched her she would become bruised. That means he will have to be lenient for now.

Damn it.

"Hmph! But it is all true." She grinned at him playfully, starting to look a lot like her old self. She just needed to get a bit plumped up. She was so skinny...he hated seeing so many bones.

"I don't whine! Especially not to the level of you and Yusuke." He snapped, his tone sounding suspiciously like a whine. "Now sleep damn it."

She pouted but then laughed, "Ok, ok. Man is it just me or have you become all the easier to make fun of?" She laughed when he glared at her all the more. "I'm sorry...I must be grumpy. I will go on and try to sleep. If you will promise to stay...and keep the lights on."

Hiei nodded, "I won't. I don't want to leave. And I already promised you that the lights will be on."

"I know...I just wanted to remind you." She smiled, starting to feel the fog of sleep creep forward. "You know what is going to happen now?"

"Now, we just get you healed and get you back home."

"Hmm...I am looking forward to home." Callie smiled. "I've missed home."

Hiei smiled as he watched her talk as she began to fall asleep. She mentioned random thing as the dream world began to mesh with reality and then, finally, she was passed out. He had to admit, he was a little paranoid about her going back to sleep, afraid she wouldn't wake up again. But he pushed that down as, knowing she needed the rest so she will heal faster.

"It will be ok now..." He thought aloud as she stroked her face. "We are going to be ok."

The two days went well. With friends and family coming in and out to see her, giving her some special gifts, mostly hats, and words of encouragement. The other three survivors were even wheeled in to see her. It was an hour straight of heart-wrenching sobs, all relieved to be alive and to move on. But also depressed about the loss of so many.

But the ability to actually see, touch, and talk to them all before they left was a privilege they would not take for granted. Being able to connect with them in a proper fashion touched the four survivors. And seeing how pain-free and happy they were made the idea of them leaving all the easier.

But that didn't mean their eyes were dry when they were taken to the door they dead will be passing through. The two groups were staring each other down, the living facing the dead as they got ready for their goodbyes.

"Well...I have to say I am sorry once more for how your life and death turned out." Koenma stated as he looked at the group before him. This time it was much easier to face those who passed from this horrible ordeal. "But I have made arrangements for you. And your time has come." He smiled, "Through this door you will find a long hall way that is going to take you to your afterlife. I can't tell you to much about it. I don't know. But I can give you some comfort that it will be pleasant."

"Can't say its been fun...but...thank you." Maverick grabbed Koenma's hand and shook it. "Thank you for looking after all of us, finding us, and freeing us. Trust me...thats the most love a good portion of us has ever gotten. Its appreciated."

"You guys give us good words up there, 'right." Chuu joked, "I've done nasties and had drinks in this life-time."

Maverick grinned as he looked back at the large group of victims who were all heading to Heaven, "I'm sure all of them will be able to provide some good words."

Koenma stepped forward again with a smile, "I think you all should say your goodbyes now and then head on. We've kept you here long enough."

Many smiled back and headed over to the group, giving them their thanks for all their help and giving some goodbyes to the little brunette in the wheelchair and the other three who survived the ordeal. It was more sweet then bitter as all of them looked ready to finally move on and get some happiness in their hard lives.

"I hope you all are happy." Callie smiled, looking more like a kid with the hat with bunny ears Keiko bought for her. She would have a pretty big collection of hats going for a while till her hair grew back. "Too bad we couldn't hang out more."

"I'm sorry we didn't believe you." Rebecca said softly, "All your stories...were true. And we made fun of you for them." She looked down shamefully. "We all felt real bad about that."

Callie shrugged, "I still have a hard time believing it myself." She smiled up at Hiei, who smiled back at her. "But meh...I'll just go with this funky fantasy."

The child smiled back, "Sounds fun. But I really want to head on to whatever is behind this door. No offense...but I am too tired to be apart of any more funky fantasies."

The bald girl laughed, "Understandable."

Terrance came up and ruffled up the girls hair, "Hey no worries. We all are gonna be fine here. I'm gonna be a sexy demon now! Man, I can't wait to be cool! And have a friggen cheeseburger. I haven't clogged my arteries in forever." He groaned. "Healthy hospital food sucks."

Celeste huffed before she hugged the girl, "You try and act your age a little more now. We're all tired of you being the most mature."

Rebecca nodded with a sheepish giggle, "Ok." She hugged the shy Joshua and then hurried back to the large group who were prepared to move on.

"The doors are opening now," The prince smiled, "It's time for you all to head on now."

"Alright," Robert sighed, "Finally. Let's get going and get this all over with." A good amount gave some cheers to show they were ready for this as they headed into the door and hall.

"Well guys," Maverick grinned, remaining rooted in his spot, "This is where it stops for me."

The group turned and looked at him in confusion. Rebecca stepped forward a frown on her face, "What are you talking about? You're dead moron. We all need to go on to whatever is next."

The man chuckled and gave her a pat, ruffling up her hair, and then shook his head, "Not for me." He turned and smiled at Yusuke's group. "I'm staying here. Koenma here offered me a job. I'm going to learn to be a pilot like the blue-haired girl is."

Botan looked surprised, she hadn't heard of Koenma taking on a new recruit—especially one from this group.

Rebecca looked shocked and clung to his shirt, looking like the little girl she is, "W-What? W-Why...why would you do this! D-Don't you want to go on to Heaven?"

Maverick grinned at her and the others, "I do. But not now. I guess...I found my calling in the afterlife." He laughed at his own bad joke. "I saw what these guys do. I want to be apart of this world for a little while. True, if I choose this I have to remain here for 500 years, part of the job, but then we'll see...maybe afterwards I'll come up there and look for you guys."


He kneeled down to her height, "Terrance, Celeste, and Josh are all staying here too. I know they are alive...but they realized that this group is where they are meant to be." He smiled, "Time will pass fast up there. I am positive it will be perfect for all of you. But its just not my time. Besides, did you know the women-to-man ratio is 10 to 1 in this job? Can you say 'harem for Maverick'?"

"Pig." Rebecca hissed, sniffling.

"Hey, its an opportunity." He laughed and kissed the top of her head, "Sorry I couldn't be much of a big brother to you for long. But I tried to be there for you in that hell-hole. But I know you don't need me any more. You need to go."

"C-Can't I stay too?"

"No. This isn't for you." He beamed, "Its a long training process...and it deals with more death. I am training to be the Grim Reaper after all. I will be working with them," Nodded back to Callie and the others, "but also dealing with people who lose their lives in accidents, murders, and sickness. I really don't want you to see any more. You've seen far to much."

She whimpered, that really didn't sound like a life she wanted to be apart of. It sounded downright tiring and miserable. She has suffered so much in her short life and died young, and from a slow and painful torture and poison. Dealing with the world that brought that pain to her was not tempting in the least. "I-I g-guess..."

He smiled and hugged her to him tightly and then handed her over to Robert, "He will look after you as you head on. I bet you will be able to check up on me from where you are. In all our Christian stories we hear of loved-ones looking after us from beyond. So, I know you will be able watch me and see me being cool."

Rebecca cried a little as she hugged onto Robert's hand, "Y-You're n-never c-cool stupid."

Maverick sulked, "Psh you know I am." He grinned and gently pushed her towards the door. "Go on now." A soft smile went on his face as he watched them head after the larger group which had already begun to move on. "You take good care of my girl, Robert!" Maverick cried. "Make sure she is all happy!"

The other man saluted as he brought the little girl into the doors, not trying to rush her but urging her to move on from Maverick. It was hard for her to be separated from the tall male and it showed in her crying face as she kept looking back at him.

Finally the doors closed, separating Maverick from the little girl he adopted as his sister and his chance of moving on.

"Yo..." Yusuke gave a pat on his shoulder, "Are you really sure about this? I mean...while its not horrible, this is no Heaven. I mean you are dealing with demons, fights, sleepless nights, and school!"

Botan nodded, "Take it from me, it is a hard job. You can't ever get complete use to it. And its at least a fifty year long training period. As Yusuke said, you will be attending a school."

Maverick shrugged with that smile of his, "Yep. I am positive. I know I want to do this. You all seem like a fun crowd." He chuckled, "And...I dunno...when I was taken here...those deities...it just felt like it was meant for me. I messed up a hell of a lot in my life. I probably ruined some other people's lives too. Drugs, robbery, all of that crap. I guess this is going to be something for me and to make myself feel cleansed."

The deity smiled knowingly before nodded, "Alright. I guess you will be trained to be a replacement of mine. I will do my best to train you in this business. You have better be ready for some intense training. Koenma here demands only the best of the best in his division."

Koenma rolled his eyes, "Yet somehow I got stuck with you, a woman who has no sense of direction. Shutting up," He yelped and paled at her glare.

Maverick grinned, "I think I am gonna like it here a lot. Koenma even talked about a pay, room, and food. Since I will eventually be doing missions and services with you, I will need to look stylish. Not to mention," He ran a hand through his hair, "there are countless of ladies here that need some of my attention. How you doin sexy?" He purred to a passing girl.

"HMPH! Pig." And continued down her way, nose in the air.

"Oh yeah, I am gonna like it here."

Yusuke laughed, "Alright then! We got another winner in our team! Damn, it must be me. I have a magnetic personality that draws in awesomeness."

The group gave him a look, "You two are good for each other. You are both morons."

"Am not!" Yusuke huffed.

"A sexy moron." Maverick corrected, proving he wasn't going to be as fun to tease as Yusuke. Guess Yusuke will have to do with being the main punching-bag. "So then! What's on the agenda now?"

"I say lunch," The brunette sighed, "I'm starving again."

"Real nice to have our piglet back." Kurama grinned teasing his kid sister.

"Can it!" Callie cried from her wheelchair, looking prepared to get out and attack him. And had Hiei not place a warning hand on her head she just might've. "I am not some piglet. Hmph, I thought it was impolite to talk bad about someone who is ill."

"Who says we have manners?" Kurama grinned brightly.

"Ugh, you were corrupted by everyone." She grumbled, slouching in her chair.

"Hey don't slouch. You talk about bad manners, you have a bad posture." Shiori huffed, giving her a look before she beamed at the rest of the group. "Though this little one is pretty hungry too. I say we all go and get some food and welcome the new members."

"Ah sheela, you know how to make a man swoon there." Chuu grinned at the pregnant woman.

"A celebration sounds nice, if everyone isn't tired." Touya looked at the four who were still recuperating from their ordeal.

Hiei didn't look so sure. His mate just woke up from a coma only a few days ago and she had to use a wheelchair. She wasn't as lively as before, she was still weak from all the sedatives and medications. She's gone through tortures and operations when she was unconscious...overwhelming her made him very uneasy.

"How about just a lunch now and then do a big celebration when everyone is all better?" The wise Shiori said with a smile. "That way no one will be overwhelmed but we all can still eat."

Maverick beamed, "They were all right to say you are the mother of the group. It is very nice to have you...I've never had a mother before."

Shiori smiled, very flattered, "Thank you. I am happy to be a mother to you all. Now, first duty as the mother to you all I say you all need to eat! Everyone lost too much weight with all of this! We need to plump you all up."

"I learned my lesson already," ShiShi laughed, "Last time we fought against you, you nearly chewed us up." There was no way they would go against the woman who could be so evil.

The mother beamed, "Good. Glad to see that you all have understood how you are suppose to behave. You are fast learners. Now lets go." She turned and looked at her daughter, "Let us know if you are needing to head on back to bed. Myouga said that you will probably get worn out real easily."

"I'm fine mom. Hiei here won't let me do anything on my own. So you don't have to worry about me exerting myself at all." Gave the demon a pout. Sadly he only looked proud of himself and his great accomplishments. She swore to give him Hell for that later. Just because she was weak at the moment did not mean that she was going to be a push over. "Can I try to walk at least?"

"Absolutely not. You will NOT walk for about another week and only with the doctors around. You will stay on this thing and be carried for now." Hiei gave her a sharp glare. "Don't get stubborn. I am not allowing you to overexert yourself."

"Fine, fine!" She groaned, huffing, not super pleased with how protective Hiei was acting. It was getting a little old pretty fast. "Now can we pleaaaaase get some food? Please?"

He rolled his eyes, "Ok." He had to smile a little, feeling complete hearing her whine again. He's really missed her. He felt amazed how changed he was. Though he was trying his best to remain the same grumpy Hiei, he couldn't help but feel very relieved and uplifted. He really wanted to just hold her to him and smile. He wanted to smile and laugh and be close to her at all times.

All he could feel was pure and wonderful joy.

And damn it, this time he was not letting it be taken from him.

"Don't you start worrying and fretting again." She pouted as she gave him a small look, "I see that expression. Don't you start."

Hiei had to chuckle, "You've gotten rather sharp. How did that happen. It certainly couldn't be the blood. Yusuke is almost as dull as you and the baboon."

All three screamed, "HEY!" At his insults.

Ah, sweet normalcy. How it has been missed.

No one could say things were back to normal. It was doubtful this would ever be forgotten. Something had changed within them all in some way. They weren't as confident as before. They found that they could be touched and hurt. Their power alone wasn't enough. They needed to be prepared more. The loved ones being touched again was impossible. Never again would they let that happen.

The Reikai Tantei have learned their lesson well.

But now it was just focusing on moving forward and enjoying this second chance they all received.

Life was officially good again.

Callie sighed as she was placed back into the hospital bed, "I can't wait for me to be back home and to start walking on my own."

Hiei chuckled and shook his head, "That won't be for about a month now. Myouga says you have a ways to go before you are released."

"Hmph...well soon I will be learning to kick butt like you and the others." She grinned, all excited about that. "I'm gonna be able to go with you guys on missions a-and and be all super hero like!"

"Fuck. No. You are not doing anything like that. IF you must come it will just be as a bodyguard to the other girls" Hiei growled, "I would prefer you stay behind."

She gave him a glare back, "Absolutely not. Hmph!" She pulled at her hat grumpily. "Maybe I should get a tattoo up here since the hair will cover it up."

"You're insane. You're not getting a damn tattoo on your bald head." He pushed her back into the bed, trying to get her to rest. It was still like he was dealing with a child! Why did she have to be so rambunctious? "Stop wiggling, damn it! You have to sleep."

"I don't wanna. I'm not that tired. Its not like I have been doing too much anyway. I was wheeled around." The girl whined as she allowed him to get her back up against the pillow. "I hope they are all happy where they are going."

Hiei shrugged, "I've never thought about the life after this. It doesn't matter." Sighing at seeing her getting still he got in with her. "I am tired...you have this aggravating ability in wearing me out."

"It also seems I have an aggravating ability in making you cry." She grinned then yelped when he flicked at her head. "Sorry, sorry. It was a low blow." She giggled before she cuddled up next to him, "I'm happy to be back."

The fire demon gently stroked her arm, "Hn..." There wasn't much he could say. How could he put into words what he feels? Now that he has her back, that they were together and talking like they had before. Of course they still had a long way to go. Everyone agreed that therapy should be brought in, this time with a therapist that won't turn around and kidnap her. His mate suffered through a horrible hell and it must've affected her. He had her back, he couldn't stand to lose her to depression and paranoia. He really liked his mate as she is.

Hiei swore he would do anything and everything possible to ensure that she stays as she is, regardless of what she has suffered through and regardless of being a demon.

Callie sighed as she took off her hat, patting her head with a sigh. "I want my hair back. I feel...gross being weirdly fuzzy."

Red eyes rolled, "It's just hair."

"Let's shave your foot-tall hair and see how you like it."

"You do that and I kill you." He growled, not wanting to admit he could be a little vain. He blamed Kurama. His best friend was the most vain within the group after Shishiwakamaru and Suzaku.

"Ha. Victory for me." She laughed and grinned at him.

"Hn." He grunted, closing his eyes. Finally, he was getting his happy ending. He was finally calm and balanced. Finally happy.

It was perfect.

A smirk crossed his features as he remembered something. Now he would be the one who will have the last laugh.

"Oh and by the way, remember that time we got caught by Shiori?" At her growl of embarrassment and she nudged him. "That time we got married."

Silence filled the hospital room as everything absorbed into her mind and memory finally came back to her. She grabbed her neck, remembering the bite and her eyes went wide.


Author: Well it took forever, and I am sorry about that. There was just one issue after another in getting this thing updated. I was actually nearly done with the final chapter when my previous computer ate it. I mean I had to start from scratch on a chapter that had nearly 20 pages complete. It was aggravating. Then once I finally got a new computer (and it took a few months to get one) I was struck with one of the heaviest writer's block I've felt. A year long block, writing absolutely nothing fun except for stuff for school is a terrible stress. I tried numerous times to complete this chapter, stressing over it daily and never getting a single sentence completed. It was the worst. Especially seeing so many supportive reviews (also that I just had no time to get to) wanting updates, I just couldn't do anything. There were weeks I had this chapter up on my computer screen, staring at it...and did absolutely nothing with it. Then there was those horrible days when I actually think I could've written something...only to have two 10 page papers I had to do instead (cost of being a Literature major). Then there was a time I thought I could do it over Winter Break...yet I found myself, surprisingly, busy almost everyday! And the writer's block just would NOT leave me alone. I've cried over this friggen chapter cause it just simply would not get written. And no words can be said about how sorry I am for that. I did not want it to be this long to update it and I hope all the readers will come back to see this last chapter.

Now onto the chapter itself and happier notes;

At the end of Wit and Courage! I hope it was enjoyed and didn't disappoint!

I really hope that this chapter didn't disappoint. I am a little iffy on some parts of it, wishing I could do a little more or make it a little cleaner. But over all, with how long this took I am rather pleased with this. Besides a few items, which was rather intentional, it felt pretty wrapped up. And if you had wanted more Hiei/Callie, don't worry you will get more. I was a bit upset with how little there was as well. But it wasn't just about them. It was the family that suffered, so the family got more air-time now. And next story we will have more concentration on the couple. I just wish my time-transitions were a little smoother. But other then that, hopefully it was enjoyed!

I have to thank everyone who has read it and reviewed and stuck with me and it despite the constant lacking of dependable updates. It always means so much to receive all those heart-felt and supportive reviews. And if I have yet to return any reply to a review or message I am really so sorry and I will soon, I promise I won't leave anyone out if ever possible. I want to return every single thing I have been sent.

Second, I have to thank every person out there who has written a beautiful fic or has done a gorgeous pice of art-work or outstanding AMV based upon this story. It just blows me away to see how many of you are actually doing something inspired by this story. Every time I see something like that I am just stunned out of words and touched beyond anything I can say. I have to thank you all for your kindness. Thank you so very much!

The Fics

Grey Skies by Shadowess88

Ten Ways to Torture Someone You Hate by Aeir-Ravenia

Let Me Go Monkey! By SelenityHyperion

Bed Bugs? By FadedxEyes

Hiei's Monkey by Aimlessly Unknown

Dance of the Wind by Tenchi Heiyanna


Wit and Courage by KelseyWeeks00

The Artist (on deviantART)






Let me know if I somehow missed you! I will not go without placing everyone who has done something for me and this fic. Smack me on the head and put me in place if I skipped over someone!

Also, I know not everything has been answered, (like who all will be turned into demons and Shiori's baby, etc.) don't worry! I plan on making yet another sequel to this story lol. I don't think it will be as long. I believe I've mentioned it would be at most maybe 10 chapters. Just something to close things up and answer questions, etc. I doubt it will have a major plot—but you never know! Now that one won't be up till I have at least maybe two chapters done. And I plan on doing more YYH, Hiei/Callie stories, along with updating my other stories too. So be on the look at for those things!

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you all for sticking with me through this story and my inexcusable block! I hope to see you all again in the future! Love you all!

Wisdom and Patience:

Callie has been saved and brought back to from the brink of death. But though the poison is no longer in her system she has a whole new set of problems to face. From learning the ways of a demon, to catching up with school, and being a wife to grumpy Hiei. But these ordeals are not even the top of the ice-burg as there are rumors that the introduction of demons to the human world will be within the century and the whole group just might be exiled. How much can one girl take?

"So...what you're saying is I not only have to train daily, make porcupine over there happy, do friggen math homework...I also have to be prepared to pick up my whole life to move into empty area of woe and agony?" "My home isn't that desolate, monkey."