Hello all! So, here is the sequel to Home! As you may (or may not recall), Kaori was rescued, everyone got home, Mayumi got told off, and Kurogane escaped from Spirit World!! I finally typed out the First Chapter!!! ...But then I changed my mind on how I want to write it...So, I'm gonna play with it a bit, and hopefully you'll like the outcome. If not, I'll scrap it and go back to my original plan.
This one should have some relationship bonding, some tension, a bit less action than the last, and possibly an opening for another sequel.
Ok, maybe not, but I like my characters, and maybe I'll have spin off stories.
"What's that smell?"
"Is that smoke?"
"It's coming from the chemistry labs. Is it another experiment?"
Moments later, the sound of a fire alarm cut through the air, followed closely by shrill screaming and running students. The door to the last chemistry lab door opened and smoke poured out as the sprinklers kicked in and flooded the experiment remains. A dozen students ran out, while the final three figures came out calmly, their white lab coats drenched and with a few chemical stains on them.
"Shuichi, I thought you were the smart one," the first figure said, coughing as it leaned against a wall.
"I told the teacher there was an error in the lab report," the second replied, coughing lightly. "She didn't believe me and told me to go on with the experiment."
"Remind me never to put that much potassium into anything ever again," the final figure said, trying to shake off the water. "The fire was a pretty color though, before it hit the walls and the cabinets and stuff."
"The Sprinkler system should control it," Shuichi said. "Ayame, are you alright?"
"Yeah, peachy," the girl coughed with a smile. "How about you Kaori?"
"Yeah," she said, making a small flame in her hand and igniting it quickly. "Not too wet, so I'll live. Now what?"
"We should evacuate the building for the firemen to come and clear the site," Shuichi said, turning and leading the way down the hall. The two girls followed behind, opening their lab coats and revealing the matching uniforms of Meiou Academy. As the three came outside, a group of girls sighed with relief that their beloved Shuichi was alive and well. Another group sighed in defeat as Kaori, too, emerged unharmed.
Kaori couldn't help but grin as she saw Mayumi, looking the most distraught of them all. Things had been rather quiet lately, and Kaori almost felt bad for her. Before she could dwell on it though, a figure with blue hair behind her caught her attention. Whether it was the blue hair or the jumping up and down, Kaori couldn't be sure, but she couldn't help but chuckle and wave.
Botan cut through the students and smiled at the three before looking more serious. "Well, I have some good news and some bad news," she said.
"Let's begin with the bad news," Kurama said.
"We can't track Kurogane any longer. It seems that somehow his energy is either being completely masked or he used it all. He hasn't used any since his escape, not even to heal himself."
"So he got away?" Ayame asked. "That does suck."
"Not entirely," Botan said with a finger up. "The portal he used to get out of Spirit World took him to the woods between here and Genkai's temple. There's no way he could get past there, because her wards would keep him from entering."
"So he's somewhere in the city, or the woods," Kaori said. Botan nodded. "What's the good news?"
"Well, because of the damages to the school, you'll be able to have a bit of a break to pan out and find him," Botan said, grin coming back again.
"Botan," Kurama interrupted. "I don't believe there is enough damage to warrant an extended absence."
"Nonsense!" Botan said with a larger smile. As if on cue, one of the science labs exploded. Students screamed and scattered, Botan leading Kaori, Kurama, and Ayame towards the park.
"Please tell me why Koenma felt the need to have an explosion at the school," Kurama asked, catching up to Botan as she ran ahead.
"Well, the more damage done, the longer absence you will be allotted," she said, turning a corner and dodging a mail box. "The small fire actually saved us the trouble of evacuating the school before the explosion."
Kaori chuckled as she and Ayame jogged behind the other two. "So what do we have to do?" she asked.
"Ayame will stay here and come up with an alibi for you and Kurama. She'll also be on the lookout for odd things in town while you two are searching for Kurogane."
"Wait, I'm alone?!" Ayame piped up from next to Kaori. "That's not fair!"
"Oh don't worry," Botan said, pausing at the park gate along with the other three. "Hiei's going to stay nearby with you. His eye should be able to watch most of the city, so you'll be perfectly safe."
"Not from him!" Ayame shouted. "He hates me!"
"Oh don't be silly," Kaori said with a wave of his hand. "He doesn't hate anyone. He's just a poor little puppy looking for attention."
"Is slitting your throat a cry for attention?"
Kaori and Ayame both screamed, turning to see Hiei standing behind them with a smirk. Kurama chuckled, while Botan looked confused. "Oh, come on Kurama, Kaori. Lord Koenma is waiting for you two."
"Yes, do run along. I can't cry for your attention if your still here," Hiei said, turning and walking off.
"Bye Aya!" Kaori called, following Botan and Kurama into a waiting portal. Ayame sighed, and turned to follow Hiei while the others went to their briefing with Koenma.
Upon entering his office, they saw him stamping away. "Hello Lord Koenma!" Kaori said with a small salute. He looked up and back down in a flash.
"Good, Kaori, Kurama," he said, almost to himself. The large doors opened again to reveal Yusuke and Kuwabara.
"Hey Koenma, mind explaining why the school got set on fire?" Yusuke asked with his arms crossed. Kuwabara waved to Kaori and Kurama, both of whom smiled in return.
"Yusuke, you're school is on fire because I needed to give you all an extended absence," Koenma said. He sat down his stamp and looked at the faces that watched him in return. After a sigh and folding his hands, he continued. "As you know, Kurogane has escaped the Spirit World. We have no fix on his energy, so he is either hiding it well, depleted it, or is dead."
"But then where's his soul?" Kaori asked. Koenma lifted a finger.
"That is why we doubt his passin," he explained. "There is a slim chance his soul would've gotten lost in the human world, since it is not where he belongs. However, one of the ferry girls would've sensed it and retrieved him."
"So you believe he is hiding," Kurama said. Koenma nodded.
"The four of you will pan out and search for him in the area between Genkai's land and the City. Hiei is in the city and will alert you if his energy turns up in the city."
"Do you have any idea how much land that is to cover?!" Yusuke asked. "How are we going to go through that without missing anything?"
"There are two kitsunes with you," Koenma said matter-of-factly. "They can use the plant life to search for him. You and Kuwabara will be paired with Kaori and Kurama as the search."
"Why do you even need us if the two of them are the ones sweeping the land?" Kuwabara asked. Kaori turned to him with a smile.
"Panning out our energy into every plant without actually using them as weapons takes quite a bit of energy," she explained. "If we do come across Kurogane, having you two as protection would be greatly appreciated." Kurama nodded in agreement.
"Body guards to the rescue," Yusuke sighed. "Alright, let's get this mission over with." He turned and led the group out of Koenma's office.
"Good luck you guys!" Botan called after them. As the door shut she sighed and turned back to Koenma who was rubbing his temples. "Don't worry so much, Lord Koenma. Kurogane did apologize for his participation in Kaori's case."
"He's not the one I'm worried about," Koenma sighed. Once again, he picked up his stamp and continued working on paperwork.
A man opened his eyes with a moan. At first he saw a dark wood ceiling above him, light throwing shadows up along the light walls. Turning his head to the side, he saw a screen door partially open that led to a bathroom and a chair holding a calm looking woman.
He blinked, looking at her again. She had long black hair, dark brown eyes that concealed emotion, and a smile that looked genuine, though it did not reach her eyes. "Glad to see you're awake," she said, her voice a soft alto. "I was a bit worried you wouldn't make it."
"You need not worry about me," he said, slowly sitting up. A blanket slid off his chest to reveal a well toned chest with a few bandages. He was relieved to see his pants were still on.
"Those wounds told another story," she said with a larger smile. Her eyes held a bit of humor, as if he was a child defending his courage. "So what is your name, sir?" He smiled at her, before looking around the room curiously. It was a bedroom with large windows allowing the evening light to shine in through the trees. A bookshelf sat in one corner overflowing with material.
"Hm?" Now her eyes looked slightly annoyed, and he couldn't help an apologetic smile.
"What is your name?" The thoughtful look returned to his eyes as he glanced back out the window.
"I don't know…"