A/N: In this setting, Yusuke is retired but is still taking up the occasional missions from Koenma. Assuming that our dear Yusuke can't stay away from adventure for too long ;P. Also, SPOILERS for... Well, pretty much the whole series, from beginning to end.

Disclaimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho. Otherwise this series would have never ended and the boys would have continued to go on their crazy bromantic adventures and went on to wreak more havoc... But that's for another time.

Enjoy!

...

Generally, he comes home still basking in the day's victories.

There's still that aura about him, that one that says-in typical Yusuke-fashion- goddamn, it's been a good day. The moment he steps over the threshold, the apartment fills with a medley of pride and exultation, exuberance and youth.

Keiko may not have spirit powers, but she has enough "woman's intuition" to sense it from the kitchen.

She comes out to greet him, and even though she already knows, she asks how his day was. His face stretches into a Cheshire grin, telling her in the most basic of terms that it was a good fight.

The conversation branches out to other subjects as she cleans the dishes, but somehow he turns it with a suggestive quip, waggling his eyebrows-she still doesn't know how he does it, the pervert- and suddenly she's thrown over his shoulder caveman-style, her infuriating husband making his way toward the bedroom. She tries to tell him (quite sternly) to put her down, but she eventually gives up, dissolving into helpless giggles until he kisses her senseless.

It's these nights she feels most warm.

...

There are nights when he comes home completely, utterly, and wholeheartedly exhausted.

Usually she is already in bed when it happens, and she can hear him talk with someone outside their apartment. She can picture it in her mind's eye: him (a little worse for wear) grinning and teasing whoever's with him that, really, he needs to stop getting his ass handed to him because this is just-well, this is no good. She hears the other's retort (Kuwabara's is always the loudest), but by that time Yusuke's already through the door, snickering and saying goodbye.

The instant the door closes, however, she can feel the whole atmosphere change.

She imagines his body slumping forward, suddenly very aware of the overwhelming weight gravity has upon his shoulders- a power not even he could battle. She then hears his footsteps, each resounding in a heavy thud as his legs threaten to collapse. There is a soft rustle as he discards his clothing in the journey: actions to which she exasperatingly rolls her eyes, tempted to call out that he needs to put them in the darn laundry basket- but she'll have to wait until morning. When he finally drops face-down into the mattress like lead, she can almost hear the Hallelujah going off in his hazy brain. A second later, Keiko feels herself being roughly pulled against his chest, and she laughs softly as he grumbles something about a demon taking too friggin' long to bring down.

Strangely, it's these nights that Keiko feels like they are an old married couple... Almost ordinary.

(... She finds it's not so bad.)

...

There are the nights that neither of them speak of, the nights that she has never once talked about with their close friends because it would be a complete betrayal of his trust.

The nights when he comes home haunted.

Often it's late at night, and she is always startled when a freezing body drifts to her back like a ghost, both heavy and oddly detached at the same time. Strange, she thinks as she begins to turn toward him. Usually she can hear the door shut, or at least him taking off his sho-

And then she notices his eyes.

They are dead, so lifeless that Keiko doesn't recognize her husband in them at all. She doesn't want to think about what they might have seen that day, because then she'll think back to that black tape business and when she thought she was losing Yusuke all over again, except that time physically and mentally-

Looking at him now makes her want to cry.

But she doesn't. Rather, she takes a shaky breath, gets out of bed, helps him gently out in turn, and leads him (hand in hand) to the bathroom.

The room is completely silent as she cleans his injuries. They both know that the process is hardly necessary, that Yusuke's demon blood will heal any minor cuts much quicker than a simple bandage would- but Keiko also knows that this is done to heal much more than physical wounds.

He never tells her what happened, and she never asks. Instead, when it's all over, he pulls her into a tight embrace.

As they stand there holding each other, Keiko understands that these are the nights when she is most needed.

...

On the most tense of nights, Yusuke doesn't have complete control of himself.

Keiko has long accepted his demon heritage because she knows this being is still the little boy she grew up with. He is still the man she knows she will love without question, no matter what he is.

... This doesn't mean she's comfortable with it.

That's why, on these evenings, the house is quiet and eery. She keeps herself busy in the next room from wherever he is, repeatedly dusting shelves that already shine with cleanliness. She's so fearful of what she'll see in that face: a wildness, an insane hunger that just isn't him. He knows this, and it's why he doesn't come closer.

Finally, she can hear him go to the front door, and his (strangely deeper) voice saying that he's going out for a few hours, getting some fresh air. She nods (mostly to herself), and the front door shuts with a harsh bang. She exhales breath she didn't know she was holding.

When he comes back, he doesn't join her in bed until he's absolutely certain it's safe. He doesn't allow himself to.

She is grateful, because as much as she hates, hates herself for it... These are the nights she feels most afraid.

...

And then there are the nights when he doesn't come home at all.

More often than not, it's because of a tedious mission or something to do with Makai, but the reasons can also vary: he's out doing God-knows-what, he's being Yusuke and not coming home when he's supposed to, they got in a huge argument...

No matter the explanation, her bed feels much too empty and cold.

She berates herself whenever this happens, tells herself that she knew this would happen, she knew what she was getting herself into with this relationship. This is Yusuke, the guy who could never sit still in class, the kid she always worried about throughout her childhood; what makes this time any different?

... Because this time she's worried for his life. She's worried about their relationship. She's worried that he'll never come back.

Suddenly she is so drained, so sick of thinking about this that there really is no other option but to sleep. On these nights, she allows her brain to just shut down, but just before her eyes drift shut she thinks that maybe...

Maybe she waited all this time for nothing after all.

...

Despite how different each of these nights were-or perhaps because of it- mornings with him are always the same.

As she wakes up, she doesn't even need to open blurry eyes to see him latched at her side, two arms circled and clasped tightly around her waist. He snores softly at her throat-his whole head nuzzled against her neck- and occasionally she feels a possessive leg thrown over her own twitch.

When she attempts to get up, his reaction never changes: he holds on tighter. "Where you goin'?" his voice rumbles into her nape. She sighs and explains that she needs to get up- to which he replies no, she doesn't, and comes up with a bogus excuse as to why not. She laughs or at least smiles, because it's here that she realizes that this is her Yusuke, and has always been regardless of any times (or nights) suggesting otherwise. They'll then talk about things that aren't really important... But both know it's not the subject, it's the communicating with each other that's vital. The discussion usually circles back to her groaning about what she has to do that day- leading to his eventually interrupting her tirade with a kiss. Slow and openmouthed, it's as lethargic as they are at the moment, but still passionate enough that Keiko wonders how he can always make her melt even this early in the morning.

When they part, she recovers and promptly complains about his nasty morning breath. He'll retort back that she needs to wear more chap stick, 'cuz God, he felt like he was kissing a ma-

No matter how groggy Keiko is, she can still bop him on the head something fierce.

He'll let out a hissed string of curses, and in pursuit of revenge he'll tickle her sides until she shrieks for him to stop.

Somehow (always), they end up on their sides, facing each other with loosely entwined fingers nestled safely between their chests. They stay like this for awhile, and Keiko considers briefly that this is the only occasion Yusuke is content with being still.

Eventually it'll break, usually by the automatic rice cooker buzzing or the phone ringing (or, later, a soft knock at the bedroom door and a voice asking if Mommy and Daddy are awake yet). She'll get up first, but not before he pulls her down one last time. As he kisses her forehead softly, she know that these mornings are the times she knows she is home.

.(End).

Oh, boy. I can't even believe it took me this long to remember how much I love this couple. I'm still a little unhappy with some of the scenes (particularly the "haunted" and "happy" ones), but I just had to get this idea onto paper because YuKei deserves infinitely more love. Hope you enjoyed, and please review! ;D