Disclaimer: Unfortunately, still not mine.
A/N: Edited only by me. You have been warned.
Oh, The Places You'll be forced to Go!
There is fun to be done!
It was funny how children changed people. Keiko thought perhaps only herself and her immediate family would be so obviously affected by the life born from the love that she and her husband shared. But, oh, how wrong she had been.
She thought maybe it had something to do with Keiichi himself. He had a way about him, a smile about him, that made him completely irresistible. He was fearless, absolutely fearless, and even the most antisocial of demons would kowtow to him.
Keiko realized that none of their friends played with him the same as anyone else. She and Yusuke were one thing – the boy could get his parents to do his bidding with a simple point of his hand and a "baa!" and they'd go running, trying to do whatever they could to make him happy. But their friends, they all loved that little boy too, and they did what they could to make him happy in their own way.
Kuwabara would crawl along on the floor with Keiichi, making faces, rolling around, hitting himself in the head, and otherwise making an absolute fool of himself to see if Keiichi would find it funny. More often than not, the toddler would simply walk over to his Aunt Yukina.
Yukina had an entirely different approach with the boy. She spoke to him – often, and frequently. She asked questions, speaking to him like he was an adult who understood what was going on. She took his little movements and motions as answers and responses to her conversation, and would continue on from those prompts. Eventually, the sound of her voice would make him sleepy, and he'd hold up his arms in a signal to be held and fall asleep in her lap.
When Botan came, she'd try to play with his toys with Keiichi, often times sitting on the floor and trying to roll a ball back and forth with him. Most of the time she could get him to roll the ball back at least once before he'd pick it up and walk into another room, laughing like he was getting away with something dastardly. Botan would then, more often than not, make cat faces at him until he came back to her, proffering the stolen ball.
Koenma might have been the worst of all. He would come in his toddler form and play with Keiichi the way toddlers would play together: most of the time they'd got along, but sometimes they fought over toys, and though Keiko couldn't be certain, she was almost positive Koenma was a biter. Fortunately, he was the busiest of their friends and therefore he didn't play with Keiichi as much as the others.
Kurama was certainly the most dignified. He'd make himself comfortable on the couch with a toy car in his hand, showing the car to the boy from across the room and casually goad him into coming over. Every time, Keiichi took the bait, and he'd sit in Kurama's lap; the two of them would race the car up and down along the couch's armrest, over its back, and often times up and down Keiichi's legs and feet.
Shizuru was the ever constant big sister. She'd pick the boy up and take him outside, deciding that the confines of the Urameshi living room just weren't enough for a toddler, and let him get dirty in the mud. Frequently, she'd jump in the rain puddle first, before encourage the little one to take a leap and step in. Keiko didn't invite her over much.
But Hiei. Now, Hiei was interesting to watch. Not so much because of how Hiei played – if you could even call it playing – but because of how Keiichi responded to the fire demon. Ever since Keiichi was three months old and they had named their godfather (and Keiichi had shown a strange fondness for the demon) Hiei showed up a little more frequently. On the surface, it always seemed he was there to score free food or just piss of Yusuke. But Keiko didn't miss the way he seemed absolutely fascinated by the boy's mere existence, even if everyone else seemed too busy to notice.
He would sit on the floor, his back leaning against the couch, and just watch as Keiichi played.
At first, Keiko was startled. She had an unjustified fear that Hiei was plotting to kidnap her son and turn him into his minion (which, when she thought about it, wasn't so unjustified at all). But instead, he just came, and watched Keiichi play.
The surprising part happened when Keiichi stopped his playing, picked up a toy car, and waddled over to Hiei. When Hiei didn't take it from him, Keiichi bent forward and ran the car along the carpet. After a few awkward swipes and best attempts, he stood up straight, and held the car out. Hiei took it from him. And realization dawned on Keiko.
Her one year old son was showing Hiei how to play.
It was at that point she made herself scarce, hiding away in her bedroom but peeking out from the crack in the door – lest Hiei have a relapse and kidnap her son and turn him into a minion, of course. She loved watching them. Keiichi would demonstrate and would wait around for Hiei to show the boy that he could do whatever was taught. So, if Keiichi had rolled the car around, Hiei was expected to roll the car around. After he'd roll the car, Keiichi would fetch another toy and demonstrate that to Hiei before handing it over and waiting to see him copy the motions.
The most amazing part was that Hiei would indulge the boy. He'd copy the boy to the letter and then wait patiently for the next toy. It was only after hours of playing together that Keiichi would turn around, back up with his butt out in the general direction of Hiei, and stumble in his lap that they'd stop worrying about toys. Every time, Keiichi fell asleep in Hiei's lap. And often, instead of helping Hiei out and taking the boy from him, Keiko would jump in the bathroom as an opportunity to take a shower for longer than 27 seconds.
Hiei never complained. He'd wait until she was thoroughly cleaned and dressed before he would put the boy down in his crib. And then, he'd be gone.
So, it wasn't of great significance to her when added to Keiichi's vocabulary (which had so far consisted of: Papa, ball, Mama, uh oh, no, and yay) was 'hee-yay'.
To their other friends, however, it was the equivalent of the underworld freezing over. It was a monstrous blow to the ego that the little boy showed clear favoritism towards the anti social little fire demon. And to their friends (mostly Kuwbara) it meant war.
A/N: Ooooh war. What is it good for?