Disclaimer: I don't own Yuu Yuu Hakusho, or any of its characters. Those belong to Yoshihiro Togashi-sama, who made a lot more out of them than I ever could have. ^^;; I just do fanfiction for fun, and earn no monetary rewards for writing it. Reviews are, of course, worth as much as silver.
Title: Two Shots
Anime: Yuu Yuu Hakusho
Pairing: Slight KuramaxHiei, practically nonexistent HieixKurama, mentioned MayaxMinamino Suuichi
Warning: Faint whispers of shounen ai, and violence for cutting a monster into pieces
Author: Kita Kitsune
Date: Thursday(tree-day!) December 20, 2007
Miscellaneous Notes: This is based largely off the "Two Shots" extra at the end of Yuu Yuu Hakusho manga Volume Seven. Much of the conversation is directly quoted from the scanlated (scanned and translated) files of "Two Shots" that I have downloaded on my computer—but I'm not sure if it's exactly the same as the official one you can go down to the bookstore and buy. x.x I know it's close, but you should go check out that volume of the Yuu Yuu Hakusho manga if you want to read the entirety of "Two Shots" without the additions I'm putting in the fanfiction, here. :3 (Again, I have the 'official manga' of this, but it's at college, while I'm at home. x.x Saa… )
: : : : : : :
The embrace of fickleness, itself.
Ask a young girl with no worries what she thinks of love, and she'll give you a long list of adjectives to describe it.
Is that love?
Ask an old man with a full life behind him what he thinks of love, and he'll spout some endearing quote.
Is that love?
Ask someone who has been through endless pain, betrayal and lies what they think of love…
How will they answer?
Can they even comprehend the question—?
: : :
Sharp red optics slivered open, the eerie purple glow of the Jagan pulsing just above that dark gaze. There… an incredibly strong youki. The Jaganshi snorted.
It must be one of Yatsude's minions…
He smirked. No matter how strong that bastard might be—if Yatsude had taken Yukina… heads would roll. He sensed that the minion's presence was moving, though… ch'. He had a human with him, too? Well, who cared. What did the life of a single pathetic human compare against his only sister's well-being? Trained hearing attentively listened to the steps of the human and Yatsude's minion, and he waited for just the right moment—the demon seemed distracted… He moved as deadly as night, slashing at—
The air where they had been?
He spotted the pair a good ways away, crimson eyes narrowing—the demon had swept the girl off her feet and to the side in his arms, and the first thought burst past the Jaganshi's lips into an angry shout.
"You dodged?" They murmured something to each other, eyes on him—he didn't have time for this! He had to disarm that damn demon before his injury got any worse… A sudden flicker, and he attacked, again!
However, this time his katana was parried with… a grass-blade-sword?
"A plant weapon?" Ch'. Pretty original, for a minion… Pushing these thoughts from his mind (as well as the pain of his wound) the Jaganshi threw himself into the fight, not giving a chance for the demon to get away. His adversary shouted something at the girl sitting uselessly on the concrete behind him—before then leaping away! The youkai growled, following pursuit.
Did that stupid minion think he could escape so easily? If anything, he would lead him to Yatsude, the coward! Although… the demon was rather inventive. His foe managed to hold his own as the Jaganshi caught up with him, proving a worthy match—granted, he was fighting in an injured state… but it was surprising to find someone like this working for Yatsude, to say the least. The Jaganshi voiced this.
"Not bad! What's a guy like you doing with Yatsude?" The redhead's eyes widened, and for an instant there was a shocked pause—even as the Jaganshi kept pace with him, blows suspended from action for the moment as he sought an opening…
"What? Yatsude? He's in town?" At this point the youkai blinked in surprise, flitting back and skidding to a stop on the grassy ground they had somehow come to—katana yet held up to the side, as a precaution. Perhaps, he had…
"What? You're not with him?" Suddenly those green eyes—he hadn't bothered to notice, before—softened, and the demon across from him straightened, the slightest hint of an invisible smile tipping across his lips as the grass-bladed weapon 'shwipped' into nonexistence.
"I see… You can put away your weapon. I just live here." A raspy chuckle snuck out of the Jaganshi's throat as his own realization was confirmed, his sword disappearing into the sheath he kept tucked behind him as a matching mirthless smirk slipped onto his face-a hand moving to support his upper body by palming one of his own knees, as well. For some reason it was getting harder to stand up straight…
"I jumped to conclusions too quickly…" The world was beginning to fog… but at least he wasn't in the presence of a sworn enemy. If anything, the redheaded demon would leave him alone, now… he shouldn't have any reason to take revenge on a weakened youkai like himself.
But then the Jaganshi felt a sharp quake of pain run up his spine and his eyes widened, vaguely seeing-but-not-seeing the comprehension that snapped into the jade eyes across from him as he heard something dripping to the grass-"Urg—" His dark-clad form toppled forward—but the youkai's mind fell into the blackness of oblivion long before he hit the ground.
: : :
The youkai before him seemed so young… and the boy couldn't help the thought. Silently, the redhead went about pulling off the cloak wound about the injured youkai's upper torso, eyes falling upon on the wound before him—and narrowing, then. It was deep. It was rather amazing that the demon lying prone on the bed in front of him had managed to fight, with such an affliction…
Shaking his head, the boy reached back to his hair—only to remember that it had been literally years, since he had stored anything there. Frowning softly, he pushed himself to stand, walking over to the cluster of plants occupying the floor beside his desk. Emerald eyes scanned the unearthly florae, running their names and uses through in his mind.
Ah, there it was…
As he headed back over to the bed, a small flower in hand, he mused quietly to himself that, likely someday in the future, he would be needing to conform to his old habits. It was lucky, today, that he had been able to snag a blade of grass from the ground… but there would come a time when no plant would be available, and when that time came he had best be prepared with his own stock. A slow sigh filtered up to the room as he bit off the stem of the plant, grinding it between his teeth and using his saliva to mix it into a passable paste. The redhead didn't even have a simple pestle with which to grind things. It merely showed how unprepared he was, for such moments as this… he smiled, although it couldn't really be determined as to whether it was more a content or troubled expression.
At any rate, it appeared that his relatively boring days as a middle school student were about to end.
Whilst he chewed, the large light blue petals of the remains of the plant in his hand were plucked carefully off. They were the best way to seal that sort of injury off… and being of the same flower, tended not to stick horribly to the adhesive paste-and would even change to a purplish color when it was healed. It was rather convenient, and effective as well. Leaning forward over the ugly injury, the young teen let some of the chewed substance trail from his lips, dripping into the worst of it. The youkai beneath him shifted on the bed with a quiet mumble—but otherwise showed no adverse reaction. This was the gentlest healer he had on hand, at any rate… there was no telling how the youkai would take to waking in a human household, and the redhead didn't wish to take any chances. …Well. There was also the fact that the little demon would heal better, if he were sleeping.
Carefully, he dripped the mixture over other bad parts of the demon's affliction—until, a few minutes later, it was gone. Leaning back to survey his work… he had to blink. Already the first bit of mixture he had applied had been absorbed into the bloody mess that was the demon's upper torso. As he watched, he could also notice that the injury looked much better, already. If it kept up at this rate, in a few hours it would be closed. He didn't even need the petals, this time… the demon showed no signs of moving, or rolling onto his stomach, so it should be fine. At any rate, he would stay and watch him. There was no sense in leaving a stranger-nevermind a sleeping demon-alone in his house…
Another sigh graced the air, this time of relief. He cast a slight smile to the oblivious youkai—noting that his expression seemed less strained, now… as if he had retreated to sleep, instead of pain-induced unconsciousness. Now that the danger had passed… the redhead pushed himself up, taking hold of the chair at the demon's bedside and settling it to its original position in front of his desk. He glanced at the school bag that carried a few scratches and some dirt, from being so quickly tossed to the side as the youkai currently occupying his bed had attacked both him and his classmate.
But… something wasn't right. Slightly narrowed eyes slipped to the other bag leaning against the wall—an exact replica of his, but for the cute, girlish keychain hanging from the handle. Well… if Maya had run when he told her to, then she should be fine. He'd hand her the bag tomorrow in school—but, perhaps he should call now. She might have homework to finish, just as he did.
Quietly, the young teen headed out into the hall, and to the phone settled against one of the walls, there. The demon should be all right without supervision, for a few minutes. He dialed the number, held the corded phone up to his ear. It rang a few times, and when the answering machine picked up he left a brief message identifying himself, his reason for calling, and that he would give the bag to Maya at school the next day. Hanging up, the redhead made his way back to his room, casting a glance to the sleeping demon before moving to sit at his desk.
Pulling his notebook and a text from within the roughed-up kaban, the boy set to studying. After all, if he wanted to aptly repay his mother for her kindness and patience in raising him, he owed it to her to ace the entrance exams for the most prestigious high school in the area—well, the most prestigious one that was nearby, so he could continue to live at home. Green depths scanned over the requirements for the exam—yes, he wouldn't have to worry about the test for quite a few months, but it never hurt to be prepared.
In this way he passed two long hours. When the boy had finished studying, he turned to his homework, which took him around another hour. Just as he was finishing packing up his bag for the next day, he heard a rustling of sheets and cast a glance to the youkai that had not moved once in the past three hours-but for the steady deep breaths that lifted his chest. The demon's head had tossed itself to the other side on the pillow, revealing to the observer the source of the faint noise.
Shifting to stand, the redhead moved over to the bed, hands slipping to his pockets as he observed the youkai upon it. Emerald hues widened as he took in the wound—in another half-hour, if that, it would be completely closed. This demon healed fast… His eyes trailed over the muscular young body, and a slow whisper of interest began to boil beneath his waist. Frowning quietly, he averted his gaze. Now was not the time to give into such primitive urges, spurred on by his adolescent human body's hormones.
"Yukina—" Upon hearing a mumbling voice, the half-human boy blinked, his sight then settling once more upon the youkai. No… he wasn't awake-but at another vocalization of the name a single red brow raised itself, slightly.
Who was this… Yukina?
She must be someone rather important…
A purple pulse beneath the headband covering the demon's forehead piqued his curiosity, and the boy leaned forward, a hand withdrawing from a pocket as tips of fingers brushed over the glowing oval, trying to discern the nature of the energy without removing the ward-and then those knitted brows lifted in surprise.
A Jagan… ?
He couldn't have had it long… narrowing those emerald hues, once more, the redhead pulled back, quiet steps taking him to the window where he turned, settling upon the floor with his back rested against the wall. As it was, this position granted him an easily observant view of the youkai upon the bed directly across from him, without spooking the demon (once he woke) by being too close.
So… this humanoid creature was a Jagan-wielder. He was still young… and a slight wince marred the young teen's own expression, at that. This youkai couldn't be much older than his own human form… what had possessed him to go through so dangerous and painful a procedure? Emerald hues settled upon the sleeping face, the childish features… as well as that burst of white that cut a jagged circle just over his forehead, and the blue highlights that could be seen, if the light hit the ebony strands just right…
Running the characteristics through his mind, the boy's expression turned thoughtful.
That youkai's Jagan wasn't natural, at least. The compact, albeit muscular, form was not that of the bulky, stupid demons that so often carried the gene for a third eye… and this third eye was powerful, in its own right. Upon sensing a foreign youki, it had sent out a pulse to the area around, to be sure its host did not come to any danger.
The redhead narrowed his eyes.
That youkai had not been long, with it. Currently, the demon must be a low D-class, like himself… and he had not enough experience to control the implant entirely. In the future, it might take over his mind, causing the little demon to tread on a path he might not have otherwise taken. He had heard stories of those few that survived the Jagan implant succumbing to its insidious whispers… trying to take over the world, completely becoming slaves to the demonic Eye's desires and motives, and losing their own identities in the process…
He shook his head. You couldn't bribe him with enough ill-gotten treasure to take such a foolish risk.
But, this youkai had…
Said demon—Jagan-wielder, as it had been determined—had little to no ki to speak of, as well. Yes, he had that speed… but somehow, the boy suspected that that was a natural talent. However, his lack of ki made it hard to classify what sort of demon the other was. The blue and white of his hair, combined with the pale delicate features reminded the teen almost of the Koorime, the Ice Maidens who isolated themselves so far above Makai on their floating isle. But they weren't known for welcoming visitors, nor bearing male offspring…
A slight smile snuck onto his face, quietly.
This little youkai was turning out to be quite an enigma, indeed. The kind of puzzle he would want to piece together, slowly, until he could see the entire picture. He would almost be sorry to lose his company… This Jagan-wielder was, after all, the first demon in recent years that had not challenged him for control of the city, or threatened his family. The youkai seemed to be merely passing through-and also, the other had stopped attacking him, once he realized the redhead was not a minion of Yatsude's.
Idly, he wondered if the demon would tell him his name, if he asked…
He was not left to wonder, long. The redheaded boy sat in his taken spot, quietly running over these thoughts in his mind, and absently casting a glance to his watch. It had almost been…
: : :
The ebony-haired demon woke abruptly, immediately sitting straight up as his eyes darted around the room, quickly locating the other occupant. A few tense moments passed.
A soft voice at last escaped from the figure beneath the window, the redheaded boy's stance seeming to project that he had been sitting there, like that, for quite a while.
"You heal very quickly… just four hours." Red eyes slipped down to his own bared torso, noting the nasty—albeit bloodless—scratches that adorned his chest.
My wound closed…
"It was deep, I healed you… a Makai remedy…" The strangely demonic human had noticed his glance—but then the boy continued, even as the youkai rose to take his black cloak and fasten it securely over his shoulders—the human's lyrical voice slightly lit with an almost-teasing question, even as his tone was serious enough.
"You spoke in your sleep… Who is Yukina?" The youkai felt his insides freeze. Had he said anything else… ? It might be a side-effect of the implant…
"You haven't had the Jagan long… I can tell… " Ch'. Damn, but that bastard was perceptive…
"You must have a good reason to try that…" The shorter demon grit his teeth, casting a glare towards the redhead, who didn't even have the decency to stop his inquiries-a slightly smug smile almost toying at the corners of the green-eyed boy's mouth as he noted the Jaganshi's reaction.
"What's the connection between her and Yatsude?" The youkai hissed a response at the first chance he could get.
"You talk too much… I should've killed you." This annoying bastard… speaking like he knew everything. Ch'. He could have healed just fine on his own… he didn't need that stupid half-human's help… but—he owed a debt, now. Striding to the window, the dark demon's hands slid to his pockets, crimson optics focusing on the view outside, judging the distance to the next house… "In thanks, I'll tell you something. Your naiveté will be the end of you one day." This said, he started to climb onto the sill of the open window—but it seemed the redhead wasn't quite done speaking to him, yet.
"You still mean to fight? It's too soon." Stupid half-human creature. Was he referring to the injury? It had already sealed itself up…
"The more he eats, the stronger he gets." There was a pause, and then—
"What's your name?" The Jaganshi eyed the other from the corner of his vision, for a moment. …Hn. If anything, this would completely fulfill his debt, beyond any doubt, for the other healing him while he was unconscious. He shifted his feet upon the windowsill, in preparation.
"…Hiei." In another moment he was gone, a small dark figure leaping effortlessly off the rooftops and into the distance.
Alone in the room, the redhead blinked, again, sight slightly tipping out the window without actually moving to see out of it.
So… that was the infamous Hiei.
"He already has a great reputation as a thief… but he'll have trouble fighting Yatsude..."
The sudden ringing of the phone interrupted the young teen's train of thought, and he slipped out to the hall, picking up the loud device.
"Hello? Minamino speaking."
"It's me, Tasaka!" Came the frantic teenage girl on the other end of the line—wasn't she one of Maya's friends? This was quickly confirmed. "Maya never got home! Is she with you?"
The worst thing that could happen!
He quickly gathered himself, excusing himself from the conversation, hanging up the phone, and leaping out the still-open window. The redhead couldn't sense the other's ki, but… ah! There! A small black figure, just to the left! He hurriedly changed his direction, waiting until he was within earshot to call up to the darker demon.
"I'm coming with you!" The Jaganshi blinked, casting a surprised glance back to the teenaged demon behind him—who was catching up rather quickly, as well.
"Oh, really. Why?" Now they were in perfect stride, the redhead leading by a scant amount of space due to his longer legs.
"I have my reasons." The youkai smirked, to himself. Because of his Jagan—even though it had eaten all of his youki in the process of getting it implanted—the other's topmost, most vehement thoughts were oh so visible. This Eye was indeed a power to fear…
"Because of that girl, right?"
"Don't be smart." The shorter demon paused, slightly hesitating at the sudden quick reprimand. Apparently, the redhead was really worried… over a stupid human girl? Ch'.
…wait, reprimand? He? Be reprimanded? The effects of the prideful sting came out in a slightly hostile response, getting back at that damn—whatever-his-current-companion-was-for daring to scold the great Jaganshi Hiei!
"You still talk too much!" The youkai could almost taste the faint amusement lying under the other's tone.
"We'll see about that after Yatsude."
: : :
The pair ended up at a run-down old doll factory—the redhead knew the area, and Hiei could sense where that bastard demon Yatsude's ki lingered… although this old place was disturbing, to say the least. Now they were searching for the youkai, himself… but having little luck.
Most likely, the demon would try to surprise them… Hiei had no ki to speak of, to give away his presence, but his redheaded companion did.
"Ruins…" The Jaganshi quietly stated this, red eyes casting around the dark shadows. As the pair continued onward, his voice dropped with something almost akin to disgust. "This guy's twisted… he mixes his leftovers with the dolls…"
The tense silence that followed almost made him regret the statement of fact… but it was true. What kind of demon was this seeming boy, that he cared so for such weak, pathetic beings as the humans that were choking the life out of the world around them? Hiei was jarred out of his thoughts as a sudden surge of ki behind them rose up!
Both immediately leapt away from the spot they had occupied—the entire floor of that area now cracked and broken. It was a true monster, with two arms connected to each shoulder—and even a pair that sprouted from his head, where his ears should be! Around his waist was a belt of skulls—human, one could only guess—that held up the shaggiest, dirtiest animal skin to ever serve as a generous loin cloth. The demon was huge, muscular… and easily double the redhead's height. Deadly-looking claws sprouted from every fingertip—as thin as a cable, but notably sharper. All this was taken in in an instant, as the pair finished skidding to a safe distance, and turned to face this bastard. The monstrosity offered a comment, then.
"You two are tough." Hiei's crimson eyes narrowed along with the emerald depths of his companion's, the youkai's voice glib and emotionless, but not without a threat hidden under the surface.
"I'll only ask you once. Who was the Koorime you ate?"
Momentarily, those green eyes widened a fraction, shifting to his companion in a sudden moment of possible insight. Was… 'Yukina', then… a Koorime? But, Hiei must have been or be involved with the Koorime, to even ask such a thing—wait. A Koorime, down from her island… ?
It seemed, with this youkai, a hint only led to more questions… He nearly missed Yatsude's response before shaking himself out of it. There would be time for that vulpine curiosity, later.
"I don't remember~ Heh heh heh…" Now the half-human teen pressed his own inquiry, a slight tint of sweat collecting on his temple.
"You kidnapped a girl today. Where is she?" That grotesque, ugly face contorted in a smirk.
"You know her? I'll give you a clue." One of the arms sprouting from the side of his head lifted up a pale chunk of a dainty foot, and half of its still-connected shin, blood yet dripping sickeningly down from the disconnected appendage. Yatsude's voice taunted him. "What's this…~?"
The redhead's hair bristled, Hiei noted with some degree of amusement—and he could almost hear a canine-like growl emitting from the other. He didn't have much time to ponder this, however, as in the next instant the teen had rushed Yatsude, that grass-blade sword crackling into existence in a sudden burst of ki.
"BASTARD!" The Jaganshi wasted no time, zig-zagging to the side to attack Yatsude's other front, katana already drawn—they attacked the first of the two arms on either side of the monster's massive torso, but he blocked them with those dangerously long, needle-like nails. Then, the second ones came around and punched the attacking demons away easily, blood spraying into the air as the claws left cuts—the front of the half-human's middle school uniform even torn. That last attack had been close…
"You're pathetic!" They each landed some distance away, the same thought crossing both their minds.
Dispersing our attacks doesn't work!
In another instant they rushed at Yatsude, again—only this time, they both aimed straight-on to the demon's front, not bothering to attack the sides. Hiei managed to slice at the monster with his katana, while the redhead's grass-blade did its own damage. They both leapt back, then, the redhead running towards Hiei as Hiei ran towards him… and then, the Jaganshi had vanished behind his partner?
Disappeared? Behind the other one? It's a trick… He's above! Yatsude smirked to himself as the flowing black cape of his shorter foe could be seen coming towards him from overhead.
"Haaa!" The redhead's voice echoed out in his thrust, something Yatsude easily diverted with the long nails of one muscular arm.
"How naïve!" He drew back a fist on the other side of his body—
"Pathetic!"—and punched the youkai attacking from overhead right in the face, feeling his surge of victory!
"Much too easy!" Something was wrong. Yatsude knew it, the moment his knuckles connected with the pale face—for it was no real face, at all! Shards of porcelain and a plastic eye crumpled under the force of his blow, the pieces flying everywhere.
"A doll? A trap!" He realized it too late—he was overextended, unguarded, and there was a short demon with a sharp sword swinging the weapon down at him. "Shit…"
Hadn't Hiei said heads would roll? Yatsude's was cut clean off around the neck, and the half-human teen found his grass-blade slicing easily through the abdomen of the doomed monster. Their adversary had been cut twice—once, for his arrogance in assuming he knew their mid-air plan, and twice, for letting that arrogance draw his attention away from the threat on the ground.
"Not bad…" The severed head was still speaking, even as it flew through the air—
"As a reward… the girl is safe… I don't know any Koorime." Red started to leak from the neck, then.
"If I'd eaten her… I wouldn't have lost…" The massive body landed with a disgusting squelch, blood pouring from the fatal wounds. Hiei stood over this massacre that he had helped to create, expression quietly turned inward.
So it wasn't him…
: : :
A good while later, the three of them were walking—well, two of them were walking, and the third was carried by the redhead, piggy-back style, with his arms hooked under her thin legs to keep her from falling off. She was still unconscious as of yet, and green depths quietly turned to take in the companion at his side.
"Ch', baka. Our goals merely coincided." The boy almost smiled, at that—he shifted Maya, slightly hitching her up on his back to ensure she wasn't in any danger of sliding off, and leaning forward a bit to prevent that, as well.
"So… are you searching for someone?" Those crimson depths slipped to the side, quietly observing the redhead, seeming to gauge both the question, and whether or not he should answer—
"Hn." Already, the young teen was beginning to see how this darker youkai worked… and that tone of assent in the shorter demon's voice quite aptly answered his question.
"Is it Yukina?" Silence. It was then he noticed that Maya was beginning to stir, behind him, and soon the young girl's voice met the air, innocent and confused.
"Minamino-kun? What? I must have been dreaming…" The redheaded boy smiled, softly, offering a quiet nod and a soft comment.
"Yes, that's right…"
When you wake up, you'll have forgotten everything.
The girl shifted on his back, resting her cheek against the back of his hair with a mumble as she drifted off to sleep, lulled by the heavy scent that pervaded the air around her.
"You smell good…"
You'll have forgotten everything, including your love…
"The pollen of forgetfulness…" The quiet words startled the half-human out of his own thoughts, and emerald depths tipped towards the red-eyed Jagan-wielder. "Partial amnesia." The teenage boy smiled, slightly, despite the guilt he felt in the pit of his stomach, for putting a weak human girl like Maya into such a dangerous situation, after she had found out he was, indeed, a supernatural being. The kind of person she had 'always dreamed of meeting', she had said. Her 'first love'.
"It's for her own good…"
Here, he thought the conversation would end… but to his slight surprise, the youkai fixed him with an even stare, as they continued walking in the direction of the more populated areas of the city. No doubt the Jaganshi was planning to leave before they reached those areas.
"And you? What's your name? I'll try to remember it." There was a slight pause, here… but not hesitation, once the redhead admitted to it. Perhaps he would see this interesting little demon again, someday.
They continued on in silence for a good while, until the darkness of their surroundings began to be lit with streetlights overhead. The dull roar of traffic could be heard, and here the two demons paused, red eyes meeting green with a slight smile curling over the latter's expression. Kurama felt like… he'd almost found a friend, today.
A flicker of dark displaced air, and the short youkai was gone. A few moments passed, until a final utterance was quietly given to the abandoned dark street that showed no other signs of life…
"Good luck, in finding her."
The soft words found their way to the air in a slight statement which was nonetheless lost to the winds playing in the warm currents overhead that blanketed the human city.
: : :
Maya forgot Kurama… Hiei continued his quest to find Yukina.
One year later, Kurama and Hiei would have to fight Yuusuke…
~*~Continued in "Jagan"~*~