Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, don't own YYH.

Authors note: I know I should be trying to finish my freaking story that I haven't updated in over a year, but all these stupid ideas keep coming to my head! I have a Naruto one-shot in the works (possibly two), and maybe another YYH chapter story even though I said I wouldn't.

On the Subject of Time

Hiei grunted in the corner of the room that everyone was occupying, keeping away from the conversation but at the same time listening to it. His sister had asked him to come, so of course he had complied with her wishes. Otherwise, he would not have joined the group at the temple. He was slightly proud of his sister today; she had conned him into coming and hadn't mentioned that the Reikai Tantei and the rest of their merry band would be here. He found that he didn't mind that much though. He had unwillingly become attached to the rest of the idiots in the room over the past few years.

He felt somebody's attention on him, and turned to the source, only to find himself staring into pink eyes. Hiei glared slightly when she smiled at him and turned back to her conversation, successfully drawing his half-interest back into the chat. The detective and his idiot were laughing about something they did in school together years back. Everyone had been sharing one memorable story or another.

At last, the detective's woman's eyes landed on her as everyone stopped laughing and silence fell upon them. He was surprised to find himself slightly interested at the curious look in her eyes and he shifted against the wall as Keiko asked the blue-haired woman, "Botan, what was your life like?"

The group fell even more silent and all eyes rested on the ferry girl. Nobody had ever asked her that before. They had never even thought about it. She was the only one whose past was shrouded in mystery. Did she even have a past, Hiei wondered. If he had cared enough, perhaps he would have asked Kurama, because that damn fox knew everything. But he didn't care, really.

Botan, he observed, had frozen like a deer in the headlights. Finally after a few seconds she laughed nervously and waved them off, "Oh, silly. Ferry girls don't have pasts."

"Surely you do, Botan!" Keiko shook her head and exclaimed, "Everyone has a past."

Hiei grunted; the human was right. It was the one thing that connected all creatures – time. Past, present, and future. Every being has each, no matter how short or long. To not have a past is to not have an identity. Even he found the thought of not having an identity, not knowing who you are, unnerving. Maybe even slightly depressing. Now he was becoming curious. What did any of them really know about the ferry girl?

The woman in question just smiled, the way she always did, before answering, "No, Keiko, I don't."

What did the ferry girl even know about herself? Hiei wondered if she really didn't know or if she just didn't want to share. Botan was always an honest person, but at the same time she had always been devious when she wanted to be. She eavesdropped, she followed people, she kept secrets for the brat Koenma. But thinking about it, none of those things had ever been done in malice.

Turning his thoughts back to the conversation, Hiei watched as Yusuke put his two cents into the discussion, "Aw, Botan, just tell us! Even if you forgot or whatever, I know Koenma keeps all those records and crap around. Knowing you, you peeked through them all. He had to have a file on you somewhere!"

With her smile still in place, Botan shook her head, "No, Yusuke, I promise."

"Hmm. Tell us what you do know. I'm rather interested," Kurama stated with curiousness written all over his face. Of course he would be interested, Hiei sneered, he has to know everything. In a way, he was somewhat surprised all over again. Kurama didn't know something.

Hiei snorted; the world must be ending.

Botan tapped her chin, as if she were thinking, "Well, I'm telling you the truth when I say I don't remember anything. For all I know I could have been the Queen of England when I was alive. When you become a ferry girl, all of your memories are erased. For good reason, I believe. I think it's to keep us from longing for a human life. For love, and other things. If we remembered everything we had when we were alive, we would probably go crazy from the pain of all we had lost."

The group sat in silence as she told them, listening to her story. It made Hiei slightly uncomfortable. They had always seen Botan as their ditzy, cheery, sometimes annoying friend. None of them had ever bothered to think or even ask any more than that. There was a lot more to the damn woman than he thought, and for some reason he felt guilty. He had never felt guilty in his life until this moment and he had no idea why. Was it because she would never know who she was? Or was it because none of them had ever cared? And why did he even care?

"As for any records," Botan continued, "Lord Enma supposedly had them all destroyed. Though I know that's a lie, probably to keep us from looking. He would never destroy something like that. I don't know what happened when I was alive, and I don't plan on looking. I'm happy with who I am now, and I have the best friends a ferry girl could ever dream of having. Whoever I was before is gone and she'll stay that way."

His sister was crying, and he cursed the ferry girl for it. Yukina was too sensitive for these stories. Looking at everyone in the room, they all seemed to be in their own state of sorrow from her history. He narrowed his eyes at their stupidity. The woman had just told them she was happy, and did not want to know who she was.

Had it been him, he would have done everything in his power to find out who he had been. But Hiei and Botan were not the same person, and if she was happy not knowing, then good for her. Moving from his spot in the corner, and walking out the door unnoticed (except by the ferry girl, who glanced at him as he took his leave), he left them all to talk about whatever other frivolous things they always drone on about.

Passing from tree to tree, he found that he had come to an odd decision after listening to the woman speak. A decision that he himself did not understand and probably would not for a long time to come. Nevertheless, if the ferry girl didn't have a past, he would do everything in his power to damn well make sure she had a future.