Wow, I haven't updated anything in a while.
Well, I got this idea a long time ago. The prompt was, "How could Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei all end up in the same bed without the use of sexual tension?" The answer? Get t' readin'.
Disclaimer: I don't own YYH, otherwise there would be a lot for Kurama and a lot less Botan.
The Basket Case
"Sunuva-! You can't do that, Kuwabara!" Yusuke Urameshi threw down his single green card in frustration and glared hatefully over at his orange-haired friend. He'd lost the stupid card game at least five times that night, mostly to Hiei, who had surprisingly been convinced into playing said stupid card game when Kuwabara boasted that he could beat the 'sour-faced little shrimp'. Kuwabara had been beaten his fair share as well, though he'd made a sudden turn-around in this game of Uno.
"Actually, Yusuke, your 'Uno' was a bit slower than Kuwabara's," came Kurama's patient and slightly amused voice. The redhead was sitting crosslegged on the floor in front of the couch while Hiei was sprawled languidly on the cushions behind him.
"The hell it was! How can he call 'Uno' if I haven't even put my card down yet?"
"Well, I don't think it makes much of a difference, since Kuwabara has two cards left anyway," Kurama replied calmly, setting his Draw Two card down. Behind him, Hiei growled unhappily. "Hiei, you shouldn't have sat there, then. I had to get rid of my card."
"So give the thing to Yusuke."
"That would be against the rules."
All thoughts of Uno-related vengeance were obliterated as the door to the hotel room was suddenly forced open by a very irritable-looking little woman. Genkai strode across the room, her hands behind her back and her eyes boring holes into the team's heads.
"Perhaps you didn't hear me two hours ago when I told you all to hit the damn hay!" she said sharply, sending Yusuke and Kuwabara scrambling to pick up forgotten cards. Kurama got to his feet and bowed apologetically to Genkai before he left the room, followed by Hiei.
"Aw, hag, you always ruin stuff," Yusuke complained bitterly as he wrapped a rubberband around the deck of cards. He snatched the green card Kuwabara had forgotten about and brutally stuffed it into the pack as well.
"I'll be ruining something else of yours that rhymes with 'ace' if you don't hightail it into bed, Dimwit," the pink-haired woman grunted, ending the conversation and ensuring that two human boys were in their rooms for the rest of the night.
Yusuke rolled onto his side, and then to his other side. He squirmed about on the bed until he rested on his stomach. Then, he flopped onto his back. It was too cold. Whoever had designed the human hotel in Makai had done a poor job of fixing the climate. He could have sworn the goosebumps on his arms had frozen over fifteen minutes ago.
"This is no way to treat a VIP!" Yusuke grumbled to no one, pulling the thin blankets closer around his shoulders. At least the bed size was adequate. Four King Enmas could probably sleep comfortably on the mattress itself.
After a while, the black-haired detective gave up on sleep and remained curled up on his side with his knees under his chin, wondering if any of his other teammates were sleeping with frostbitten eyelids.
"Hiei prolly sleeps in a column of fire, the lucky son of a gun," Yusuke muttered sourly. "And Kurama's prolly in the same room. Hell, he's got fur as a fox or whatever. Why can't I have fur? Oh yeah, 'cause humans don't get fur. Lucky us. Superior race and all, I guess." He burrowed further into the pillow. "I wish Mom was here."
Sometime later, there was a firm knock on the door. Or rather, a firm banging. It sounded like someone was still asleep while slamming their face against the wall. Annoyed, Yusuke threw back the covers, gasped at the wave of chill that followed, and shuffled over to the door with his arms crossed over the fabric of his sweatshirt. Good thing he had packed one.
"What the-? Kuwabara?" he said through slightly chattering teeth as he opened the door. The orange-haired teen stood in front of him, goosebumps sprouting up on his arms as well. Kuwabara held a pillow in his arms, much in the way he used to hold... "Aw, c'mon, Kuwabara," Yusuke drawled, resting his head against the doorframe exasperatedly. "You can't possibly be all sissy about-"
"I miss Eikichi!" Kuwabara all but wailed, hugging the pillow tighter. It seemed ready to burst.
"Don't miss 'er too hard or you really will have to settle with a pillow instead of a damn cat. Why are you here, anyway?" Yusuke turned and went back to his bed, leaving the door open for his friend. Kuwabara entered hastily, holding his pillow under an arm.
"Don't be stupid, Urameshi. It's freezin' in this hellhole. I can't sleep."
"Join the club."
The two teens sat on either end of Yusuke's icebox.. erm... bed and sighed.
"So... you scared about tomorrow?" Yusuke asked. "The tournament's probably gonna be rougher than before."
"Ha, I'd be more worried about you, Snoozy Q. You slept through so many rounds, I thought you were gonna die. Maybe you should go to sleep." Kuwabara had begun stroking one end of his pillow with a look that made Yusuke's stomach turn.
"You don't think I've tried the whole sleeping thing already?"
"I'll bet you Hiei and Kurama sleep just fine. Demons and all," Kuwabara muttered. Yusuke smirked.
"You read minds way too easily."
Yusuke stared at Kuwabara in awe. How did the dolt end up falling asleep so easily? It was unbelievable. Here he was, wrapped up in a blanket shivering his assets off while the orange-haired dipstick snored himself stupid on the other side of the bed. Somewhere in the middle of their conversation, Kuwabara had laid down on his back and stared up at the ceiling. A few minutes later, he was dead asleep.
"Impossible," Yusuke grumbled angrily. "The nerve of some guys." He mentally slapped himself. Gods, he sounded like a miffed ex-girlfriend. "Well, at least one of us will have a pulse tomorrow morning," he muttered, leaning back against the headboard.
There was a knock at the door for the second time that night. This time, it was very soft, and then there came a sound against the wood as if someone had just leaned upon it. Confused, Yusuke slipped out of bed, taking the blanket with him.
As he opened the door, Kurama slumped into the room where Yusuke caught him before he could hit the floor.
"Hey! Kurama?" he hissed, shaking the redhead. "What's going on?" Kurama blinked up at him blearily.
"Oh. Hello, Yusuke," the redhead said with forced cheer. Yusuke frowned and slung his friend's arm over his shoulder so he could tug him over to the couch. "Do you have any stomach medicine?"
"For what?" Yusuke asked, going into the bathroom and returning with his duffel bag and a paper cup full of tap water. "You got the runs or something?"
"The what?" the fox demon asked.
"The ru-... nevermind. Look, what's wrong with you?" Yusuke asked, plopping down on the arm of the couch closet to Kurama. "Mom packed me Tums, Rolaids, and whatever the hell this is.." He read the top of the bottle. "'For relief from nausea and/or vomiting.'"
"The latter would be safest," Kurama murmured, leaning against the back of the couch and holding his stomach with one arm. "And quickly, otherwise I think this room might become dirtier than it is already."
"Excellent. Fox chunks everywhere," Yusuke said with a half-hearted grin as he pressed the pills and the cup of water into his friend's waiting hand. "How'd you get sick, anyway? Thought you were plantly-gifted."
"I used up the last of my de-nausea seeds on Hiei. He ate the same vegetables I did today at dinner. You remember."
Yusuke shuddered. "Yeah. Wasn't it some black jelly?" Kurama chuckled.
"Usually, that sap would fortify one's bones overnight, but I believe that the hotel cook was unaware of its dangerous raw properties.
"It's like pork?"
"It's like pork."
Yusuke grunted distastefully and shook his head. "Demons eat the weirdest things."
"Humans do as well. It took Hiei a while to get over the fact that humans drink the milk from other animals." Kurama smiled at the thought. "He stared at every female in my neighborhood for the longest time."
"Great to know that he's thinkin' about breastfeeding," Yusuke quipped and slid off the furniture to head towards the bedroom. "Kuwabara's in here if you'd like to say hello," came his sarcastic voice. Kurama got up and followed the detective, still holding his stomach lightly, though without the grimace.
Yusuke had flopped down onto the bed, curling his feet up inside of the blanket. Kurama eyed this curiously.
"Are you cold?"
"You're not?" Yusuke retorted with a sudden shiver. "I can barely feel my toes. Wanna check?"
"I'll pass. Perhaps you need another blanket," Kurama looked back towards the door. Yusuke shook his head roughly.
"I'm fine. I'll get over it. How come you're okay? You're human." There was a hint of bitterness in the detective's voice that made the redhead smile faintly. Kurama sat on the edge of the bed and held out his arm while pushing up his pajama sleeve.
"See for yourself," he invited. Yusuke squinted at Kurama's arm in the dim light of the moon beyond the fancy curtains.
Kurama had mildly transformed into Youko, only allowing his canines to lengthen and his body to be covered with a light sheen of nearly translucent fur. As Yusuke poked him, he found the redhead had downy skin. "Kurama, that's awesome."
"So I've heard. Are you going to sleep now?"
Yusuke shifted on the bed and frowned slightly. "Dunno. I'm too cold."
"I would help you, but I'm afraid you'll want your pride intact for tomorrow."
"Help?" Yusuke's expression was a cross between suspicion and eagerness. Kurama, being the vessel for a fox demon and all, had lived quite a long time as Yoko Kurama. Yusuke could only blatantly guess half of the things the redhead could have done in his past life to keep warm in a pack of thieves, and not too many of them required blankets.
"Yusuke, I'm not an animal," Kurama reminded him with a doubtful frown. "Sharing body heat does not require that either of us be naked or infatuated with each other."
"Was I thinking that?" Yusuke snipped, though his cheeks colored. "Well, get to warming, fox boy, before I die of frostbite."
Yusuke could have sworn the redhead had muttered 'Humans' as he crawled over him to lay in the middle of the bed. The sweatshirt Kurama wore as a pajama top had the sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
"Side by side," Kurama offered, tugging on Yusuke's blanket. Yusuke obliged and threw the blanket over them both. Somehow, a part of it managed to cover Kuwabara's face as well. With his cheek pillowed on the mattress and his hip touching Kurama's, Yusuke felt much warmer than before.
"This body heat idea beats everything else I've been thinking of, including the idea of me skinning you and turning your hide into a jacket."
"I hope that one was a joke," Kurama murmured, his eyes already closed. "Was that medicine you gave me non-drowsy?"
Kurama opened his eyes when a soft, hoarse voice said his name. He gazed groggily up at a shadowed form.
"Hiei? How'd you get in here?" Kurama murmured. "And why are you standing on my stomach? You'll make me vomit."
Hiei stepped off of the fox demon and sat on the bed with a light thump. His eyes were heavy-lidded and his face was flushed. Resting on his shoulder was his sword, and Kurama knew what that guarded behavior meant.
"I woke up and you weren't there. I picked the lock," Hiei explained shortly, glaring at Kurama while it seemed he was also trying not to tip over in sleep.
"Hiei, if you had a nightmare, why didn't you call me with the Jagan? I would've come back to the room," Kurama yawned, rubbing at his eye with the palm of his hand. Hiei looked, for once in his life, slightly embarrassed, and a bit irritated.
"The detective," Hiei said nodding at Yusuke. The black-haired teen had managed to squirm underneath Kurama's arm for more access to warmth. Kurama sighed drowsily and closed his eyes.
"He couldn't sleep because he was cold."
"If you had left him..." Hiei trailed off. The corner of Kurama's lips twitched.
"He would've woken up and been up for the rest of the night. You're welcome to stay here," Kurama replied faintly, already half-asleep. The small fire demon glanced over at the grey light trailing in between the curtains. The team only had a few hours until they had to be back in action.
"Hn." Hiei, somewhat irked that there was no window seat to lounge upon, curled up into a ball of black cloth and silver sword at the end of the bed. He felt Yusuke press his cold toes against his back, and he decided to stay where he was. His temperature would make sure that no limbs would drop off before the morning. It was the most comfort he was willing to offer.
8:30 am... sharp
Genkai unlocked Yusuke's hotel door, half expecting the group of knuckleheads to be up and playing Uno again. However, when all was silent in the room, she was surprised.
"Boys?" she called, looking around guardedly. Had demons gotten in and challenged them? Had Yusuke convinced them all to leave and wander about the hotel? Hell, the second idea seemed more believable. "Boys...?"
At the sound of a soft snore, Genkai's head snapped towards the bedroom door and she strode over to it with hardened curiosity on her face. Yusuke didn't snore... but Kuwabara did apparently.
How did they all end up in the same bed? she wondered to herself. Like a basket full of puppies... No matter. There was work to be done and fights to be fought and breakfast to be eaten. Stepping further into the room, the little old woman squared her stance, placed her hands neatly behind her back, and took a deep breath.
"Alright, ladies! Get the weights out of your eyelids!"
We've got a tournament to finish.