Lynx Tiger: Thank you Trapped In Reality for betaing the chapter. I hope those of you that thought Hiei was stalking her is ready for a plot twist XD.

Chapter Six: Noticing

He hung close by the temple in a tree, his leg swinging down. Most nights he spent at Kurama's apartment, since the fox never used it. Hiei wasn't sure why Shizuru wouldn't just move in with Kurama. They were in love for one thing, and second it wouldn't be a waste of an space. However, the fire apparition didn't have money to keep it going. It was most likely the reason why Kurama stayed close to it, so that he had a shelter. What Kurama failed to notice was the temple was also a place to stay.

His little sister, Yukina, was inside preparing tea. Kuwabara was trying to do homework in the living room, his eyes downwards and focused unless Yukina said something. Only then would the oaf look up, adoration in his eyes. Hiei would never question Kuwabara's honor, nor would he ever think anything close to trying to tarnish that pride. His stupidity and his idiotic tendencies were all Hiei would make fun of. How he treated his sister was nothing more than simple and pure love. Hiei wasn't blind enough to think that his sister was in any sort of danger or trouble.

Shizuru and Kurama. Yusuke and Keiko. Kuwabara and his sister. It was obvious everyone fell for the human emotion called love. It was something Hiei didn't believe in. Didn't want to believe in. He wasn't ludicrous enough to say that he didn't know that he admired Maya Kitajima. The young woman that once held Suuichi Minamono's attention.

Of course, she wasn't strong like a demon. Hell, she barely could protect herself. However, her determination to find her memories and solve once and for all about what happened was something to be admired. He knew that most humans, not all, would be curious to know about the big blank spot. The brain was the only thing to take and give memories. The ones that were taken were normally too traumatizing for the body to handle. The ones given were memories, both good and bad, that shaped the person to who they were. Her body knew her memories were good ones, the ones Kurama took away with good reason.

He didn't hold any promises to Kurama. He knew that the pollen would work for only until her sixth sense came back. He wasn't hopeful like the fox had been about her. He knew that she was going to do what she always going to do, be herself. She wasn't the type that would suddenly change because of a memory. However, he didn't know her back then, certainly didn't want to know her.

Now he didn't have a choice. Orders from Mukuro told him to find a certain shadow demon. He found him alright, looking out at Maya's window. Damn. He just had to be caught. The minute the shadow demon sensed him and Hiei already had made his move, the demon disappeared, leaving Hiei foolishly on the branch he was standing it. He was just thankful the trees hid his image.

She had grown. She wasn't beautiful. Hell, he doubted any of these human girls could call themselves that. But she wasn't ugly, he'd grudgingly admit. It made him wonder why the demon was watching her. He was quite certain that it's been a while. Maya had walked out, most likely to talk to the shadow, not knowing that she was talking to someone that once-a-upon-a-time tried to hurt her.

He closed his eyes. It wasn't his problem if she didn't notice anything.

The river roared as the currents flooded passed her. Each lap of the waves sounded like a slap across the face. Her hands were on her cheeks, her eyes staring at the murky brown. No river was ever clean. She had seen rivers blue and perfect, but she was quite sure that it was only because the temple made sure the water was kept fresh and safe. The territory everyone inherited from Genkai's death was theirs, and their responsibility was to make sure that the mountain, that the area remained pure.

Hiei had warned them to watch out for a shadow demon. He wasn't sure of the powers, but if Mukuro was sending him to ningenkai to roam around stupid, filthy humans, then it had to be powerful. Shizuru already had a feeling that the shadow knew how to escape the eyes of the royalty. Hell, she wondered how long it was going to take until Koenma called in Special Forces, since the Spirit Detective quit. Well, quit wasn't really what had happened. He merely refused to help anymore. It made sense—he was a demon awakened.

As she watched the river, she began to think. Yusuke seemed to keep up training. His energy was still on high, his awareness didn't dwindle, and he was focused. Perhaps the ramen stand gave him reasons that even she didn't understand. Besides being able to slack off and not study anything. She chuckled. Genkai had a way with that idiot. A way that no one else really could understand unless they were fighters.

She stood up and brushed herself off. The river was giving her melancholic thoughts. She didn't need those. What she did need was something to do. Drinking would be something, but unlike Atsuko, she didn't want a hang over. She really should check on Keiko and Yukina. They could go out for a girls' day…unless Keiko had studying to do. The poor girl really wanted to be a teacher really bad. She made the list and everything with her determination. Shizuru didn't want to ruin that streak.

It made her think that she should go back to school. College had been very difficult, and it discouraged and ruined her self-esteem. She dropped out, considering that a break and some time away would give her insight on what she wanted to do. Seeing how motivated Keiko was and how happy that she was trying to get a job she wanted, made Shizuru think.

She walked up the hill, finished off the cigarette that she had lit and snubbed it out. She turned her head to see the girl that had been at Yusuke's ramen stand a few weeks ago. She looked like something was bothering her. Her eyes were dark but had a light. Her hair was tied up professionally in a bun. Her grey skirt and her blouse looked ironed and pressed. However, in the outfit, Shizuru measured her to be forty even though the girl was most likely in her late or middle twenties.

The girl stopped and stared, obviously recognizing her. "Hello."

"Hey." Shizuru responded.

Awkward silence followed. The girl placed a finger to her chin and paused, "We've met before."

"At the ramen stand." Shizuru replied. Something about this girl just echoed that she needed someone to talk to. Her troubles were radiating from her in waves. "I know we don't know each other, but you seem like you're upset about something."

"Not surprising you know." The girl gave a weary grin.

"I'm Shizuru Kuwabara."

"Maya Kitajima." Maya replied. "Pleased to meet you." She gave a small bow. "You wouldn't want to hear what's bothering a stranger though."

"Who said you were a stranger? You did introduce yourself." Shizuru pointed out to Maya. She had to wonder though, was this the same Maya that Kurama was fussing about? If that was the case, she bet she could guess what was wrong with the girl. "What keeps you down?"

"Just a stalker." Maya replied. "Who seems to know a lot more than he should. Maybe that's good. Maybe that's bad. I don't know honestly."

A stalker? Shizuru frowned. Maya didn't seem to take it like normal people. Most would be freaking out, calling the cops, and being paranoid. She took it as if it was a normal, everyday occurrence. "That's a bit frightening."

"Is it?" Maya asked as if she was talking to air. She didn't seem interested about whether it was strange not to freak out. "I don't know if it's frightening that he knows about-" She broke off and gave a sheepish smile. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be telling you this."

That was the answer. Kurama was worried about the same Maya. Shizuru sighed as she rubbed the back of her head. It looked like she was getting her memories back. Who was the stalker then? "Let me guess, you lost your memories, and you have to figure out how that happened, and who did it?"

The young woman wasn't at all shocked. Instead, she gave a smile. "You know about it?"

"It was in the papers." Shizuru lied.

Maya nodded, "I suppose it would be. A girl faints on her own doorstep. Loss of memory is concern. I bet whoever did the memory erasing was surprised to know the press got a hold of it." She paused. "Of course, I already know that it wasn't in the papers. I'm merely kidding around. It doesn't really matter; I bet this Suuichi Minamono told you."

"…Yes…he did."

"I thought so. It seems like he's the center of it all, but every time I want to talk to him…I hate him so much." Maya folded her arms around her waist. "I don't know where I get these feelings, but I guess everything tells me to stay away."

"Yet you're searching for answers." Shizuru pointed out.

"He would lie." Maya didn't seem to register that Shizuru already had spoken a sentence. "For some reason, I bet he'd pat my head and lie about it. I feel like…he'd just do it again."

"You think so?"

"I know." Maya replied. Her eyes glanced down at her arms, her body froze, and her mouth went agape. "Oh gosh, I'm late for a meeting! Why did I decide to go on a stroll? I'm sorry Ms. Kuwabara, I have to leave. It was nice meeting you!" She dashed off in the same direction that she came from.

Shizuru also had to wonder why the young woman came so far away from town, just to sit by the river. What made her decide to do something like that?