MY FAVORITE YYH AND CCS QUOTES

YYH _"Immortal"

1.

The drive back to Tokyo took a lot less time now than the night before. Part of it was that they were going downhill, and part was that Yusuke seemed intent on cheating death at every corner, guiding the car down steep, slim roads at a speed even demons would feel uncomfortable with.

Kuronue, being a demon, was mighty uncomfortable.

He'd learned the way to survive each stomach-churning turn was to grab onto what Yusuke called the 'oh shit bar,' a little handle above the window. It was a small comfort that he'd have something to hold on to if the doors suddenly fell off and he found himself dangling over a bottomless pit.

It was a combination of that and the music that had him more panicky than he allowed himself to be.

"HOW FAR DO WE HAVE TO GO?" He shouted, clutching the 'oh shit bar' and his seatbelt as they took another dangerous curve. Yusuke glanced over like he just remembered Kuronue was there, and hit a button on the car's panel, cutting off the music. Kuronue silently sent a fervent prayer of thanks to whatever God was near.

"We've got about an hour of driving, so you might as well sit back and relax. Here, hold the wheel." To Kuronue' s horror, he let go of the steering wheel and started rummaging behind the seat, leaving Kuronue to guide the rapidly accelerating car down the slick mountain roads.

"Are you insane?"

"God, you're such a whiner," Yusuke grumbled, taking a black case from the garbage-strewn back seat and flipping through it. The little round things inside flashed by in a parade of color and shine until he chose one, replacing it with another that had been in the car. Then he took the wheel, shoved Kuronue back into his seat, and hit the noise button again. "RELAX," he shouted, grinning madly, "AND ENJOY THE CULTURE!"

2.

It took every single ounce of effort Kuronue possessed not to fall to his knees and kiss the ground when Yusuke finally stopped and parked the car. He did stumble out with numb legs, ringing ears, and the unsettling feeling of being pursued by a persistent and eager Shinigami, but managed not to prostrate himself before a jizo statue in thanks.

3.

"It's like with Itsuki," Yusuke said. "He was a demon that could pull people into his own little pocket dimension. But in there it was all just space and junk. Here, it's feeding off memories, like dreams do."

Kuronue stared at him blankly, feeling the creeping need to have a lie down and a whole pack of cigarettes whisper seductively into his ear. "And how do you figure that?"

Yusuke beamed at him. "Because I used to have a dream where an old naked lady was chasing me through the building we were just in!"

4.

Kuronue sighed. "I supposed it worked, considering we're..." He stopped, and his gaze snapped back to Yusuke. "Do you mean to tell me," he said, voice low, "That we fell asleep while you were driving?"

Yusuke's grin faded, face following as the color drained from his skin. "Oh. Oh fuck."

"Oh fuck is right," Kuronue grumbled, standing up and brushing himself off. He peered at Yusuke, sure the boy wasn't telling him everything, but unwilling to make a judgment right then. The whole situation was much too bizarre for his liking. "Or maybe we're lucky, and that whole ride was a dream. It certainly seemed nightmarish enough."

"Hey!" Yusuke jabbed a finger at him. "My driving isn't that bad, you ungrateful-" He stopped, his eye catching something over Kuronue' s shoulder. Kuronue turned abruptly, but saw nothing. Before he could ask, Yusuke shoved past him, stuck his face up to one of the mirror/windows, and shouted, "MARCO!"

It was right at the point where Kuronue had decided maybe Yusuke was a little too insane for his liking when Kurama' s voice echoed in a bemused way from the mirror, "Polo?"

YYH _"It's Complicated"

5.

"Yomi? Yomi? Dude, you with us?" Yusuke was waving his hand in front of his face. He leaned in and whispered. "Look horns, if I can't sleep in this meeting than neither can you."

Yomi chuckled. "Of course. I apologize, you were saying Mukuro?"

"I was saying that you needn't get involved on the border issue," Mukuro said, rolling her eyes.

"Why so hostile Mukuro? I was only offering my assistance."

"It is not needed."

"I have reports of such chaos on the borders," Yomi sighed dramatically, deliberately irking his fellow Lord. "I only had the concern of the ningenkai in mind."

"Is that a fact?" Mukuro eyed him closely. "Not too long ago you were determined to bring the ningenkai under your control with your unification project."

"I have already stated that I no longer have those ambitions," Yomi replied, a tad annoyed. "Do you think me false?"

"Of course."

"Aw c'mon," Yusuke whined. "Do you two always have to argue? Can't you just bury the hatchet?"

"No," they replied in unison.

"OK, friends! Why don't we take a break while I think it over?" Enki cut in. His attention span was even shorter than Yusuke's, if that was possible, and he wasn't up for another round of bickering between his late friend's greatest adversaries. Yomi got up and stretched his legs, walking outside.

6.

"Enough! I'm sick of your fucking head games! Guards! Lock him up!"

"You will not touch me," Kurama warned, in a tone more severe than he himself had ever used. The guards froze on the spot.

"What the hell are you standing there for? I said arrest him!" Nobuo shrieked.

Kurama withdrew a rose from his hair. "If you value your lives you will not comply with that order." The guards stepped back.

"Arrest him now," Nobuo said through clenched teeth. "Or I will have you arrested instead!"

The guards didn't budge. Apparently prison was more enticing than facing the fox with the flower.

7.

"What're you doing here?" asked Yusuke.

"Relaxing," Yomi replied. "Am I not allowed?"

"Yeah, but there's like a war going on in your castle man," Yusuke pointed out.

"I am aware," Yomi replied.

CCS _"Like fine wine"

8.

He was Yue's older brother; therefore he was under the unwritten law that he must protect Yue from ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged…sorcerers?

9.

"You spent 32 minutes on your hair!" he whined long-sufferingly. "While I sat and waited! You're SO going to go downstairs!"

Yue could only fidget with his obi, running his fingertips over the smooth silk.

"Oi! Pay attention!" his older brother barked, causing the boy to jerk up sharply, a few more strands coming undone from his knot.

He may have taken a half hour to play like a chick and do his hair, but it looked worth it.

10.

Damn straight he was going to get attention; he could walk downstairs right now in a gunnysack and still have at least 5 guests having impure thoughts involving molestation.

And that's what protective older brothers were for, especially brothers with sharp canines.

11.

"Do…do you really think I don't look like I'm trying too hard?" he worried, his paranoia showing through.

With a dramatic roll of his eyes, Kero sighed. "For the last time, you look like a damned angel! You could wear the tablecloth and look fine, now let's GO! You don't want Yuko getting to Clow first, do you?"

And a fire was lit. He darted to his feet as though bitten, nearly tripping over the hem of his kimono as he ran to the door.

"What the bloody hell are you waiting for?" he demanded of Kero, the older, protective, and now, much abused and much ignored older brother.

12.

Clow was by the fireplace when he caught site of him, clear across the room from the main staircase. He heard the murmurs before he saw the object of them, and when he did, he spit red wine right back into the glass he was currently sipping from.

"Oh dear God…" he breathed, handing his glass absently to Yuko, who had one eyebrow raised in mild interest, as he swiped his glasses from his nose to polish. Scrub, scrub, scrub…no better. Worse, in fact, as Yue got closer…

"What in the blazes is he wearing?" Clow asked out loud, neither to himself nor to Yuko.

13.

"Clow, whatever have you done to that poor boy?" she asked sarcastically, raising Clow's glass to her own lips to taste. Once lowered, she continued, "I mean, I know he's awful pretty, but to dress him as a woman-?"

"I didn't do that!" he defended, and began to notice that his young creation was making quite a scene; everyone with eyesight reaching farther than 3 feet had their attention on him, murmurs running through the crowd like wildfire, but Yue seemed to not notice a sound…

Yuko was right; he was dressed like a woman, like a lovely young geisha, with his hair drawn up in pins and everything. He held the clumsily folded robe up off the floor with one hand, the folds creating shimmers in the candlelight of the room.

But somehow, after a moment, it wasn't the fact of Yue wearing a girl's kimono that startled him; instead, it was the appearance of the boy IN the garment.

14.

If the two weren't constantly bickering at one another (for God knows what reason, Clow thought…it all started 6 years ago, and it somehow involved a Pekingese.) he would have picked up on the subtle allusion to the bizarre nature of his garb. Instead, he merely narrowed his cat-like eyes at her.

"I could say the same for you, Yuko," he sneered, still not gracing her with even a derogatory honorific. But his malice was short-lived, and he soon turned back to Clow, admiration and hope shining in his eyes.

15.

Clow could only nod, pulling nonchalantly at his collar, deft fingers undoing the top button. "No, no, it's fine. I just…you…" aren't a little boy anymore…He wanted to say, but couldn't trust his own tongue. "You look beautiful," he said instead, feeling like a damned pervert.

And Yue beamed with the small praise, his eyes alight and immediately reversing the image he had until now portrayed, his cheeks pulling up in such a childlike smile before blushing crimson and turning away, pretending to be interested in the party, and showing his bare neck to Clow, the pale skin reflecting silver and gold from the flames, shadows running down the middle, tendrils of platinum hair falling loose around his shoulders, curving against the bones…

"Here," he felt something cool being pushed in to his hands, and he tore his eyes away long enough to notice a glass of wine being pushed into his hands. No, not wine, bourbon. Good old English bourbon.

Yuko raised one strongly arched eyebrow at him, looking from him to Yue and back to him before raising her own glass, filled with what looked like sake.

"Bottoms up, you old pedophile."

YYH _"Kurama's secret"

16.

"No, I'm sending her on a three month vacation get away. I just need you to check in on Yusuke and the others from time to time. Make sure that they're not doing anything stupid."

"With Jin here?" Touya scoffed. "That battle's lost before it even begins." Everyone knows that when you get those two together then there was guaranteed to be fireworks and property damage.

YYH&HP _"an interesting year"

17.

"Ah, yes, these must be your students."

The Professor smiled absentmindedly.

"All Youkai, I presume?"

"Yes, yes, though the dimwit is only half." She waved in the general direction of the student with the blue phoenix.

"Oi! You damn old hag! I'm not a dimwit, dammit!" the punkish-looking student yelled back, but with no real anger in his voice.

The fox chuckled, a low, melodic sound, as the others hid smirks.

"Oh shut up, you damn fox!"

"Stop it, dimwit."

As the "dimwit" huffed, Genkai addressed Dumbledore, and mildly cast an eye over the students of the three schools.

18.

"Hiei your doomed! What 'cha think Kurama will do to 'em? Think he'll make their deaths quick and merciful? "

They looked at each other, then burst out laughing

"Nahhh!"

"It can't be that bad. He wouldn't kill them, would he?"

"Err.. no, probably not, I don't think so…."

They looked at each other nervously.

"Err maybe…"

19.

" Nahhh, when Kurama dyed old goat face's hair pink ruled!"

Kurama smirked roguishly when everyone turned to the demure red head with questioning eyes.

"I was board," he said simply, with a shrug. "Besides, you really shouldn't refer to Yomi as 'old goat face'. Don't forget that he's a Lord of Makai Yusuke. "

"So, the reason you died his hair pink?"

Kurama pouted slightly earning swoons from half the female population.

" Keep in mind that Yomi and I have been friends for longer than you could speak Yusuke. That and he replaced all my Yukata with Kimono!"

Kurama smiled serenely

"What was worse is that we had a gala that evening and he would not give them back." Every one laughed.

20.

"The Yukata is worn by males to festival's and events where as the kimono's are-"

Kurama blushed demurely.

"-Worn by females! " Yusuke grinned slyly. "You looked very pretty Kurama." He battered his eyelashes at him.

Kurama glared. Hiei chuckled evilly. "You shouldn't do that detective, our dear Lord Yomi wouldn't be too happy if you courted his beloved fox."

Yusuke snickered and Kurama screeched indignantly, blushing furiously.

"Oh" said Jin mock wide eyed "so that's why he always whisks you away to his palace" (Harry noticed that for a Japanese student he had an Irish accent)

"JIN!" Kurama looked mortified, whilst the table chorused with laughter at poor Kurama's expense.

21.

Kurama had a look of tired annoyance and resolution to his face.

Yusuke laughed

"And you thought you'd have a quite year away from fan girls!"

"Perhaps detective, but it seems, you feature in this one-"

"- And they seem to be convinced that you have kidnapped the fox and offer to pay large sums of human money to get him back, I will never understand human females…"

Neville gave Yusuke a wired look "why would they think that?"

Yusuke looked a little uncomfortable and Jin snickered "err…."

Kurama saved him, " When we were younger and before Yusuke became a Youkai, Yusuke and I had the relation ship of parolee and parole officer."

Hermione inhaled, shocked, attracting the attention of the hall "You were Yusuke's parole officer! "

Kurama smirked roguishly, eyes glinting gold and hair spilling over one shoulder.

"What ever gave you the idea that I was the parole officer?"

He rested his chin on his hand lightly, and his smirk grew.

22.

Moody grumbled and took a swig of his hip flask, "Right then! The reason the irritating pretty boy is standing at the front of yer classroom is 'cause he's the most useful subject fer yer to learn from!"

"That and you can't stand Hiei, or Jin, or Yusuke"

Moody growled out " That too. Now yer going to be useful? "

"Of course"

"Right, so as some of ye know, Kurama here is a fox Youkai." He thumbed to Kurama

"But I'm bettin' none of ye haven't the foggiest as to what a Youkai is. So this is why Dumbledore has asked me te' tell ye all. Well let's get down to business, we'll be goin' out side fer starters, move it!"

When they were all out side, he pointed to Kurama who was standing in front of them.

"This is a Youkai, now listen as it's complicated and I don't want to repeat it"

He glared at them for a moment.

23.

"Yomi is coming to watch the first task, as is Koenma it seems"

Yusuke choked on his pumpkin juice and squeaked in an odd tone:

"The old goat's coming here? As in here where we are? Pacifier breath too?"

Kurama sighed, "Yes Yusuke 'LORD Yomi' and 'KOENMA – SAMA' are both coming. You really must stop calling them those nick names."

"So when is his illustrious six-eared-pain-in-the-ass-ed-ness arriving then?" was Jin's contribution, not noticing the approaching figure behind him, that was gaining open mouth stairs.

"Illustrious six-eared-pain-in-the-ass-ed-ness? I never new you thought so highly of me, Jin of the wind Shinobi."

A calm and cool, deep voice said smoothly from directly behind Jin (who was sitting next to Kurama.).

Jin's back straightened and his faced paled so considerably Harry wondered vaguely, if he had died and become a ghost, as he mouthed a curse, Harry decided that he was still with the living, but barely.

Kurama leaned back and smiled warmly up at the figure,

"Hello Yomi, it has been far too long"

Yomi was a tall, a decent amount taller than Kurama, and had long raven black hair that fell perfectly straight to his waist. His face was chiseled and it was obvious he was well built, but wasn't bulky like Yusuke or Jin, nor as slim as Kurama or Touya.

But what caught most peoples attention was that his eyes where closed and he had three pairs of ears and curling horns on his forehead and another set behind his ears, another man was talking quietly to Genkai, he was dressed in blue and red and had Jr. tattooed on his forehead.

Yomi smiled down at Kurama never once opening his eyes.

"Hello to you too Kurama, it has been far too long, indeed, my dear friend."

"Alright, You dammed goat, move it, you're not supposed to be here till tomorrow, and I was looking forward to another day of demon lord free time!"

Genkai's rough tone interrupted their conversation; as soon as she had stopped talking to the man in blue, whispers broke out of "Demon lord" and "my dear friend" as soon as she had finished talking.

"Well I had to be here Master Genkai, though Koenma-sama did not have to accompany me, after all my intended is fighting the day after tomorrow, is he not?"

Kurama spluttered and blushed profusely, but before he could protest, Hiei had stood, angered and said,

"You are not courting him, you haven't challenged him yet therefore he is not your intended."

He spoke with malice towards the afore mentioned lord. The man in blue protested sensing his ill intent.

"Now Hiei, don't do anything rash! Mukuro's heir or not, you can not attack a lord of Makai!"

Hiei snarled and the man in blue recoiled slightly "keep out of this Koenma –sama", sarcasm and mocking respect evident in his voice. Yomi merely smirked unperturbed.

"You are correct Hiei, but you'd need not be so protective. I will take good care of your Hahaue."

24.

Yusuke Yelled at the top of his voice, the ear splitting tones forcefully ripping the student's from their beds.

Harry mutinously wondering why in hell the exchange students couldn't stay with the Sixth or Seventh Years, but no, they happened to have only one free bed which was instantly claimed by Kurama, having the fore sight to avoid sleeping in the same room as Yusuke.

Out of all the boys, Ron's reaction was the most comical to being woken up suddenly. Shooting upright he said,

"It wasn't me Mum, honest!"

Attempting to stand, his feet caught in the tangle of blankets and he pitched forward onto the cold, hard wood floor before blinking blearily up at Yusuke and asking a muddled,

" Mum?"

It was at that point the other residents burst out laughing. Hysterical laughter and ruches guffaws filling Gryffindors tower as the boys tore at the brightly colored rapping paper to uncover there presents.

25.

Soon after, the boys had felt the effects of the cold so they went indoors. They shared Butter beers in front of the fire before realizing that it was time to get ready. They went upstairs to get ready but not before Yusuke had grumbled loudly,

"Why the hell do I have to go? I hate formal shindigs and formal Yukata are a pain!"

He was dragged away upstairs- by his ear- by Touya, who by this point had had enough. You could see the vein throbbing in his forehead.

26.

Yomi and Kurama were dancing gracefully, they looked completely at home. Kurama's golden eyes were sparkling in the soft light, a broad smile on his face, Whereas Yomi held him close, with a small smile. No words were spoken between the two, it wasn't needed.

Harry's attention was soon drawn to a less graceful pair; Touya was dancing with Jin, who was grinning goofily at Touya who was scowling fiercely, though it was betrayed by the slight blush across his nose.

As the night drew on, Ron and surprisingly Yomi joined him in his watching as Hiei had shyly plucked up the nerve to ask his Hahaue to dance. Kurama was leading and Hiei looked slightly disgruntled, but Yomi pointed it out as a mixture of embarrassment and happiness.

27.

"Shiori has wanted grandchildren from you for years Kurama. That and Shiori is a kind and open-minded woman, besides I wouldn't be surprised if she knows of this already. She has a far sharper mind and instincts than many Youkai!"

Kurama chuckled, "And she has Shuuichi to spy on me, I can't believe he was a Psychic! Gah, that little brat!"

Kurama pouted at the memory of when his little brother had followed him to Genkai's shrine.

Yomi smiled a genuine smile, and asked almost tentatively

"You except my claim, then? You will let me court you?"

Kurama smiled up at him, eyes shining,

"Yes Yomi, I except your claim. You may challenge me for the right, but your telling Hiei."

28.

The days flew by as spring began to take over the castle grounds and it was late January when a large crash and mild cursing disturbed Harry's pleasant Saturday lunch as Hiei burst through the doors shouting,

"Detective! Get your ass out side! God damn it! Kurama accepted that damned Nue's challenge!"

Yusuke promptly chocked, "What the hell! He challenged him here? Gah that old goat, he always was impatient!" He said before running out.

The golden trio looked at each other, and then ran outside themselves.

29.

"Oh… Should I start referring to you as Onee-san?" Shuuichi grinned cheekily.

Kurama grinned down at him having a few inches height advantage, " Not unless you want me to refer to you as Imoutou in front of your friends."

When the two got home, Kurama was met with the sight of Shiori patting Kasuyu's back sympathetically. Before he spotted Kurama and threw him self at him, blubbering about how he had always wanted a daughter!

To which Shuuichi-Chan snickered at Kurama and said, "Trust me, you think its bad now? Wait till its new years! You'll be in kimono's at every opportunity he gets!"

Kurama smiled and patted Kasuyu on the back, sweat drop in place but secretly thankful that he was surrounded by accepting people that had accepted him for who he was, and as family.

CCS _"Cards of destiny"

30.

"Come back here!" she insisted beginning to lose patience. She cornered it and held it with a greater exertion of will. As

she approached it to examine it acutely, for the first time it did not evade or retreat in the face of her attention. "Finally". She thought in relief. She regarded it carefully only to find her mental self forcefully repelled. She took a moment to recover from the psychic whiplash then turned once more to the

source of her latest frustration. "Why, Onii-chan?" she thought sullenly. "He's my responsibility. I'm worried."

The only answer was a vague image which made itself manifest in her emotion filled brain. A large wooden sign that said "Keep Out. Kaijuu not allowed."

CCS_ "guardian beast of the seal, wimpy, scaredy cat"

31.

The four looked at each other, then Touya's, Sakura's and Syaoran's eyes settled on Yukito as he appeared to be listening to Yue. Yukito winced, "Yue's not any help, mentally . . ." Yukito strained for the right metaphor, "Mentally; he's effectively buried his head under a pillow . . ." Yuki listened some more to his other half, "And he's swearing his head off . . . he's not making much sense . . ."

"Aside from swearing," Touya pressed the heel of his palm against his head, "What is he saying?"

"Something about a stupid cow . . . Doesn't realize that we're too tired to cope with . . . Bloody bright aura . . ."

"Can we talk to him quickly?" Asked Sakura, when Yuki gingerly nodded; she commanded, "Yue, I wish to speak with thou."

Yukito grimaced, and then his face cleared briefly as Yue's personality asserted it's self, Yukito's eyes narrowed into a deep frown as Yue stared at his mistress. He was about to ask her what she wanted when a tapping caught Yue's attention, he looked up and stare at the window. Yukito's amber eyes narrowed even more. "Bollocks!" He swore.

"Hey!" Chastised Touya, he didn't want his sister to hear such language.

Syaoran ignored Touya and looked out the window, "Oh, Bloody Hell!" He groaned.

"What is it with you two?" Touya growled as he turned to look out the window. He rolled his eyes and sighed sharply, "Oh shit!"

Sakura shook her head slightly at the language, and went to open the patio door, "Konbanwa Eriol-kun . . .

Oh! You brought ruby moon and Spinnel with you!"

CCS_ "Kept away from prying eyes"

32.

"Though the Earth is mighty and powerful and full of the wonders of life, it is the Sun whose heart burns the brightest. It is the mighty Sun which provides the light and warmth of the world to the Earth and the glow to the Moon, for the Moon is everything the Sun and Earth are not. The Moon, beautiful maiden, holds tightly to the Earth, clinging desperately to it, lest she should be wisped away into the vast void beyond. The Moon, enchanting orb, shines only when the Sun should take upon itself to make it so. Where the Sun shines brightly, the Moon only shines when the all powerful Sun allows it. Where the Earth is steady and provides the water the air and the life for all upon its face, the Moon provides nothing for itself, surviving purely on the good humor of the dominant Earth and the fiery Sun…"

Touya listened to the beautifully quoted words, hearing the emotionless tone of Yue's voice quiver with feelings he couldn't articulate in any other way. Distant longing, hopelessness and even a distant spite…

"I…I don't think I really understand," Touya said finally, admitting it a little ashamedly. It was obvious that poem meant something, a great something to Yue, and he felt terrible that he couldn't see it himself.

And Yue smiled sadly.

"It is a poem Clow-Sama use to recite to my brother and I," he explained in the lowest whisper, his mouth smiling but his eyes sorrowful, as though he couldn't decide if his master reading that poem to him should be a joyful or mournful memory. "He created Cerberus and I after the description in that poem." Briefly, a genuine, if not wry smile flashed across his face. "I don't know which line to be more offended about; 'clinging desperately' or 'beautiful maiden.'"

Touya chuckled; trying to imagine the look in Yue's eyes when he realized his Master had considered making him female.

"He dismissed that idea, thankfully," Yue continued, and Touya noted his smile was fading. "But he kept all the others. 'The Moon is everything the Sun and Earth are not.' Do you know what is meant by that, Touya-Sama?"

Touya studied Yue's profile, pale, porcelain skin framed by long silver strands of hair, as delicate as spider's silk, and thought.

"It means…that the Earth and the Sun can support themselves, but…"

"But the Moon depends on the larger satellites for its existence." Yue finished for him. Touya had never heard Yue speak with such passionate distaste, as though speaking such words left a bitter tinge on his tongue. "The moon needs the earth to keep it in orbit and the sun to give it light. And so I was made."

33.

It hardly seemed fair to Touya; no wonder Yue was so silent, so emotionless. He would be too, he thought. And it seemed almost selfish of Clow, to create his Guardian to be entirely dependent on him, on his magic…not that he would dare say such a thing to Yue. He would probably clam up for another few centuries if he said such a thing, though, by the pain in his voice, Touya suspected that he felt the same way, on some level.

34.

Perhaps it was nice to have someone else know him that well, besides an overgrown lion-beast with a pudding addiction.

35.

He didn't expect to feel the hand of his Mistress's brother grab a hold of his cloak, tugging sharply. He didn't expect that a mortal boy with human strength could overpower his wings and his magic, pulling him back down to he earth with much more force than wretched gravity would have done on its own.

"Aia!"

"Oof!"

The two were, for a moment, a tangle of limbs and silk and feathers as they found themselves in a knotted heap on the mossy grass. Hands were caught and pinned under struggling feet, elbows found their ways into stomachs and ribs and the bottom tie in Yue's hair had snagged, making their task next to impossible, having to pull aside and untwist more than 2 yards of fine, silvery strands. Touya, though he couldn't see the angel through his own sweater having somehow migrated from his chest to over his head, could hear him swearing rapidly in English. Neither really knew which way was up anymore; the air was thick with downy fluff and fuzz from Touya's wool sweater.

"Go-go men nesai!" Yue moaned pitifully, either to having just knocked his new dance partner upside the mouth with the large sapphire on his cuffs or to the situation in general.

Touya was too preoccupied with un-snaking Yue's hair from his sleeve to do more than mumble a dismissive "s'ok."

"I'm sorry for being so clumsy Touya!" he apologized profusely, blushing furiously in shame. With his eyes clenched shut, the thought of looking Touya in the eyes enough to end his immortal life he failed to notice that Touya, who'd ended up atop the angel in their bedlam, was nearly through unwinding Yue's cloak from around his throat but had yet made a move to stand. "I-I'm sorry for saying something so disrespectful!"

"Yue," Touya tried to get his attention. Unlike the guardian, HE noticed the somewhat odd position they had ended up in. Yue's wings were spread to their full span, feathers stretching out as far as they could reach, and his now loose hair fanned out around him from the one inadequate tie still in place, completely obscuring the grass below him. Touya's legs akimbo on either side of Yue's, his chest hovering just an inch above the lark's.

Yue refused to listen, or didn't hear. "I promise it won't happen again, Touya-Sama. I was not thinking properly-"

"Yue!" Touya raised his voice, dipping his head lower, closer to his ear, the one adorned with the icy blue gem. He had one arm holding him up at the elbow as he brought the other up, almost unconsciously to wrap around Yue's wrist.

Touya didn't think he'd ever heard such a tone from Yue; in the hour he'd spent with him that evening, he'd heard monotonous narration fade into hesitant admittance, melancholy remembrance and passionate admittance. But never had he heard the pleading, the desperate edge of humiliation. Such overwhelming panic didn't suit him…

He couldn't understand a word Yue said now, as he was rambling in Chinese with intermittent English. The knotted platinum eyebrows and pained expression marring his placid features indicated, better than a neon sign, that he was still begging the Kinomoto boy to forgive him.

Words weren't going to get through to him; it was like he'd been stocking up on emotion for a couple centuries before deciding he couldn't fit anymore in that queer little head of his and it was all spouting out at once.

But Touya knew one way to shut him up…

He leaned forward, pressing his broad chest against the more slender of the two, cool satin chilling the skin were his sweater STILL hadn't found it's way back to. The warm and sudden weight stopped Yue mid sentence (one which sounded vaguely Spanish) and his lavender eyes shot open, his pupils thinning to thread-width.

"Touya! I-"

But whatever words were on the tip of his tongue were lost as Touya sealed his lips over the moon angel's. He felt every muscle in Yue's body coil, could feel the slightest intake of breath stealing the air from his own lungs and he prayed Yue didn't act on the impulse to shove him off him and take flight.

36.

In fact, at the moment, Yue was doing good to remember his own name. He was a little distracted, after all.

37.

He looked as if you could tell him Kero was watching and laughing his yellow tail off and he wouldn't give a care at all.

38.

"Yue, you baka, you ARE Yuki." He murmured affectionately, a tone that sounded so foreign to Yue. Smiling softly he leaned on one arm and used the other to gently brush back the moon angel's pale hair, which hid his face so well. "Or at least, a part of him. Or he's a part of you…or something…"

"It is complicated." Yue sighed wearily, as though trying to sort through his multiple personalities was giving him a headache.

39.

"You're being contradictory again, Touya," Yue mumbled, though not coldly. To-ya had the infuriating habit of not following the same train of though everyone else was on. "I've loved Yukito for years," he tried to explain, thinking only briefly of how odd it was, having this conversation lying atop a surly angel. "I loved everything about Yuki; his smile, his optimism, his contagious cheerfulness. And I loved something else about him, something I could never put a name to. This calm, quiet side of Yukito. No one else ever really seemed to notice it; Yuki was always the happy-go-lucky guy without a care in the world. And he never acted any differently. But…"

"But you could see a part of Yukito that no one else could." Yue whispered breathily. "You could see me."

Touya nodded slowly, and swallowed thickly. "I could see you, Yue. When it was you shining through Yuki, I could never picture what it was. It was like describing color to a man born blind, or teaching a deaf man to sing. I would almost have it, and then…you'd disappear."

Yue had all but abandoned trying to keep his face impassive. It did no good around this Kinomoto; what good was it to construct a steel wall when one could walk right through the door, easy as anything?

Yue opened his mouth to speak, his mind struggling to make words, noises, anything.

"T-Touya, I…I am not Yukito. You say that Yukito and I…you say our hearts are not so far apart but you are wrong. You know of me, but you don't know me. You know my presence, my demeanor, my aura. But I've been breathing for 250 years, Touya. You cannot know who I have been for those centuries."

"Perhaps not," Touya purred in his ear, sending a brilliant scarlet to Yue's cheeks. "But I'd like to learn."

He'd like to…he'd like to learn? Learn about Yue? About him, the surly, intimidating Moon Guardian with an unhealthy obsession for the past? To whom laughter was antiquity, who rarely spoke…

40.

Yue surprised himself as well; creatures of submission don't often make such bold moves, after all, and he was taken aback by his own actions. It wasn't in his nature to…

'I'm a 250 year old angel. Screw nature,' he found himself thinking in an inner voice that hadn't spoken to him in decades.

Despite his brash advances, this kiss was softer, just the faintest brush of lips as Yue rested his hand fondly at Touya's neck, feeling his partners own hand on his chest, fingertips catching in the soft fabric of his robes.

When Yue pulled away finally he was, well, Touya wouldn't call it smiling. More like a teasing pout, pink lips parted ever so slightly and Touya felt himself cursing Clow, deceitful, batty old magician. Create the perfect image of purity and innocence, dress him in the most modest robes, keep his hair plaited demurely and make him a frickin' tease!

CCS_ "Liquorice Allsorts"

41.

I had happened to glance down at Li-kun's back-pack and had noticed something stuck on the front of it. "Li-kun, what's that?"

He flipped his bag around…then went very red in the face.

I blinked as I saw just exactly what was stuck to his bag. Now I'm a very composed person, but even I had to bite down hard on my lip to stop from laughing.

Most people were quick to jump to assumptions, because most people know that Li-kun is pretty damn perceptive of his surroundings.

For someone to do what they did, they would either have to be very stealthy, smart or as everyone was quick to believe, a ghost.

There, stuck on the front of Li-kun's backpack, for the entire world to see, was a bumper sticker that read 'Hooker for hire. Just honk, I'm cheap.'

I on the other hand carry the belief that everyone can have a bad day, and that Li-kun was just a little off today. And there are a number of people that I am aware of that are quite capable of being a reverse pickpocket.

I crossed my arms and using the hand covered by my arm, pinched my side because my lip had gone numb.

"Well Li-kun," I started, my face starting to twitch in the effort not to laugh, "Though I respect your individuality, I would strongly suggest taking that off before you go anywhere near Touya-kun."

What? I was just trying to lighten the mood…

He scowled, muttered something in Mandarin that I was quite glad I couldn't understand, then switched to something that sounded English as he tore the offending sticker off. It, of course, as stickers do, refused to come off cleanly. It now read, 'Hooker for Hire, Just honk.' He switched between Mandarin and English three more times before the offending sticker was completely removed, and with the vain hope that people would forget it, he paused, took a deep breath and followed me to class.

42.

"Hey Li-kun! How cheap is cheap?"

"Li-Kun! My friend wants to know if you wear fishnets or thigh-highs!"

"Syaoran-"

"NO! YOU CANNOT BORROW MY GARTERBELT!"

Sakura-chan, her hair still damp from the showers, took a step back and blinked. "Okay…I was just saying good morning…" Her taken aback look was momentarily replaced with an odd, almost wry expression. "You have a garter belt?"

Li-kun squeaked, literally squeaked, in a dog-chew toy sense, went red, then white, and then fainted.

43.

I tried to convince Kero-chan and Suppi-chan to be my mummified pet cats, as was the in thing to do in ancient Egypt; they were basically cat shaped anyway, and the bandages would have covered up the wings and the few little oddities they had compared to your domestic cat, but Suppi-chan just gave me a look which clearly said that 'things like this are beneath me and don't-you-dare-mention-a-word-of-this-idea-of-yours-to-Eriol-because-you-know-he'll-make-me-do-it-anyway', and Kero-chan merely said he had better things to do, which I'm sure I can hazard a guess at what he means by that. How playing video games for hours on end and consuming 10 times your own body weight in junk food constitutes as 'better things to do with ones time' is beyond me.

44.

I turned and looked pointedly at the screened off area. It was suspiciously quiet. It also seemed to be emitting an aura of fuming embarrassment I'm sure people on the floor above us could feel.

"Li-kun?" I queried. "Are you okay in there? You don't need Sakura-chan to come give you a hand do you?"

Smiling slightly at the embarrassed squawk (both from him and Sakura-chan), I pointed the camera at the screen blocking Li-kun from view. "You have to come out sometime…"

There was a pause, then a mumble. Using a dangling bit of bandage (I had already changed) I wiped a bit of dust of the lens of my camera and replied sweetly, "Sorry, I didn't quite catch that. What did you say?"

"I said," Li-kun replied, a bite of impatience in his tone, "I can't get it on, it's too tight…"

"It's supposed to be tight, it wouldn't look right otherwise. And besides, you got it on the other day when I was fitting it for you. Don't tell me you've been into the chocolates again..."

My remark was rewarded with a characteristic growl as Sakura-chan smacked me lightly on the arm. "Don't say things like that to him Tomoyo-chan!", Sakura-chan hissed, "He'll probably go anorexic now just to prove a point!"

"Oh, don't be ridiculous, he knows I was only joking…don't you Li-kun?" I called out to him.

There was a pause and then he replied in a slightly hurt voice. "I have not put on weight…"

45.

Well, Chiharu-chan said that. Yamazaki-kun kept saying that the voices where telling him to give up his life as a human and go start life anew as the Pink Cow of Surprises."

46.

"Li-kun, please tell me you've been saying that with a bit more enthusiasm for the visitors. And mermaids don't read paperback novels!"

A pair of mildly smoldering brown eyes glanced up at me from the tops of a thick novel. "This one does."

I frowned from behind my camera, as I scolded, "Mermaids are supposed to be cheerful and lively, not surly and monotonous, and don't even get me started on the book…"

"Okay then, I won't…"

I let out an exasperated sigh. "Oh, you deal with him, Sakura-chan. He'll listen to you…"

47.

And bumper stickers where still appearing about Li-kun's person, somehow without his knowledge. The newest one had been placed on his board shorts, right across his derriere. The newest one had said 'Call me for a good time. 1800 THONG. Ask for Princess Jiggly.' He had gotten most of it off, although you could still make out a bit of the word 'thong'.

48.

"Who cares about them? They've probably been dissected by the raincoat man by now, and I for one don't want to join them."

"I thought you were brave Li-kun. You're not going chicken on us, are you?"

"I am not chicken! It's been a very long night!"

"Look, would you two stop bickering?" I took a deep breath. "Chiharu-chan is right. We need to keep going."

Li-kun's mouth snapped shut as he brooded.

"And you are being chicken…"

49.

My life was flashing before my eyes when a figured jumped out between us and the approaching figure, "YOU ARE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!", and promptly kicked the raincoat man in the shins.

Hard.

The raincoat man yelped and clutched his leg, his hook dropping to the ground to reveal a normal human hand.

"Dammit Sakura-chan, that hurt…" The voice, though in pain, sounded amused.

Sakura-chan, our savior put her hands on her hips and gave the hopping raincoat man a very livid glare. "Good! It was supposed to!"

"Uhh, Sakura-chan…you know him?" I ventured.

Sakura-chan turned, her expression dark, and helped us to our feet. "Of course I know him," She turned and gave the silently chuckling man a smoldering glare. "He's my brother…"

"…"

"WHAT?"

Chuckling, the man pulled back his hood to reveal that it was indeed Sakura-chan's brother. He grinned at our dumbstruck expressions. "Happy Halloween!"

50.

"Well, it all depends…"

"On what?" They both asked.

I beckoned them both closer with a finger. They glanced at each other first, then inched closer, to hear my whisper.

"On whether you got it all on tape, because if I find that I have something I know was missed I will personally dress you both up in pink taffeta party dresses, have Sakura-chan's five-year old neighbor to do your make-up, tie you to the school flag pole and charge people to get their pictures taken with you."

Eriol-kun and Kero-chan went pale.

I sat back and smiled, as the dulcet tones of Li-kun, Touya-kun and Sakura-chan all tried to get the other to either shut up, grow-up or go jump off something tall (preferably with pointy sharp things below) echoed through the classroom.

Ahh, Halloween, a time for everyone, even those with a charming and passive disposition, such as myself, can put on a costume, pretend they are someone or something else, and scare the living daylights out of people who expect it from you the least.

Trick or treat

CCS_ "Shut up Kero!"

51.

Yue quietly read in Clow's library. It was a very nice library. It was full of very interesting books and stories from all over the world.

Cerberus pawed into the library, looking for something to play with. He was extremely bored, so picked up a page of paper with his paw and batted it across the floor.

Yue heard the paper flitting around, but paid it no mind. He heard the rain outside. It pattered against the windows pleasantly.

Then, Cerberus found something new to play with. It was long and silvery and banded together with a slip of purple cloth. It was Yue's ponytail.

Cerberus pounced on Yue, and accidentally flung him outside in the rain. Cerberus stared into the rain. "Hey! Are you alright?"

There came a grumbling sound. Suddenly, Cerberus ducked to avoid being skewered by icicles. "Oops…"

Yue pounced on Cerberus and they rolled on the floor, shooting various spells at the bookshelves.

Clow Reed sat in his living room. He suddenly heard a crash coming from the library. He walked up the stairs and he heard more sounds of a struggle.

He walked in and before his eyes; he saw books on the floor that were burnt to a crisp. He also saw various rare copies frozen solid. "Yue! Cerberus!"

"What!" Cerberus started. He was a few feet from Yue, who was still soaking wet.

"He started it!" growled Yue.

Cerberus turned into his energy saving form, Kero. "Hello master…."

Clow instantly smiled and patted Kero on his head. "You are so cute!"

"Cer…ber…us…." Came the extremely quiet warning tone of Yue.

Both Clow and Kero went sort of rigid and white. "Uh…." They started scooting for the door.

"What are you doing! Save me! You're the master!" cried Kero when He realized that Yue had somehow managed to close the door behind them.

"Let me get the cards!" Clow said frantically.

He pulled out the cards and held them out in front of him. "Please, for the love of me, save me!"

The cards gave him a blank stare and then turned their backs on him. "You made him, you deal with him!"

Yue glared at them both. "I'm wet…." He grumbled.

He dragged his hair behind him across the ground. Clow raised an eyebrow at him. "Maybe it's time you get a haircut, Yue…" he said with a nervous grin.

"No! I like my hair! Besides! It has its uses!" Yue cried, then he slapped Kero with it as Kero started laughing at Yue. "Shut up, Kero!" he snapped.

"And that's why Yue likes to keep his hair long…." said Kero to Sakura as he finished his story.

Suddenly, Kero was flung across the room by a slap on his face. Sakura looked up and saw Yue standing over her. He turned to Kero and snapped at him. "SHUT UP, KERO!"

CCS_ "Weekend bliss"

52.

Any passing cars would see a silver haired woman, talking stuffed animal, teenage boy arguing with the stuffed animal, and teenage girl trying to stop them. (AN: Yes, most people I've shown Yue to say he is a woman... -' Yue: Joy... -holds gun at head-)

CCS_ "Lost in Hong Kong"

53.

Why don't you go wake up Yue? He can do his chores while you and the children eat." "Oh-ho no. I am NOT going down there to wake that thing up! Do you remember what happened last time!" Clow smiled. "I'm sure Yue won't have a Huns standing guard in his room this time. Just go wake him up and tell him to do the chores. Once he finishes he can do what he wishes." He stated calmly. "No way!" Kero shouted sticking his nose in the air. Clow put another waffle on his plate. Kero looked down. "Oh alright. But you owe me and I don't mean an extra waffle."

54.

"Huh that girl's getting kidnapped…" Yue said zoning out as Kero was thrashing about under him. "SAVE HER YOU NIMROD!" Yue got up and shot his Ice blades at the man and he dropped the girl and fell to the ground. "Is he dead?" Kero asked looking up. "Yes I used the solid ones so they would cut through his body…" Yue replied. "IDIOT!" Kero shouted. Yue looked down in confusion. "You can't use your magic in public like that! Plus you just killed a man in front of a little girl! She's gonna have delusions!" "Well what did you expect me to do? He was running off with her!" Yue argued back. "Chase him down and Kung Fu his ass! Not KILL him!" "Well sorry I didn't give a-" Yue stopped after noticing the girl was staring at him and Kero.

55.

Yue sighed. "Alright all we have to do is ask people where the market is. After that we ask her mother where the North side is and it's simple from there." "You really think so?" Kero asked cheerfully. "Actually no I believe we're gonna either die or end up in prison but it never hurts to try." Yue uttered still staring at the busy streets of Hong Kong.

56.

"No sir I won't! All my life I've been pushed around by tall people with Black hair!" Yue thought of Master Clow. "Well now I'M the one who is telling YOU people off! All I do every day is sit up against a wall with a plane expression on my face saying nothing and only doing what I'm told!" Kero looked around. People were starting to stare. "Ummm Yue?" He whispered. The guardian was going nuts!

"Good god did you pick the wrong day to mess with this guardian!" Yue put Xing down and grabbed the now scared stiff stranger by the shirt. "Time to show you humans the Yue you DON'T know!" Yue carried him off in an alley and everyone went back to their business. "Don't worry Xing…Yue acts like this all the time!" Screams could be heard from the alley. "Maybe we should go get something to eat…" Kero said and Xing nodded.

57.

"There he is!" Yue sighed. "Damn it…"he mumbled. " He uses the forbidden art against the great Jan Bata! Bow before those who serve the god of ….I…Forgot…But you're still gonna die!"

58.

Yue stood up and looking like he was about to say something, fell into the shore water. "YUE!" Both Xing and the Lion cried once more. They pulled Yue out of the water enough to get his face out from drowning. He opened his eyes and sat up and looked at Xing. "…I'm sorry" He whispered. "I put you in danger as well as Cerberus…" Xing shook her head. "No! It wasn't your fault! You didn't know better!" She said. Yue stood up and twisted the water out of his hair. "What now? We've been exposed…I bet those men will go and tell their leader about us…and we have no idea where Home is OR Xing's mother…" Cerberus said looking down. Yue looked at him and then took in a breath of air and sighed. He bent down and picked up Xing. "No we don't…But you know what? We're going to keep trying until we do. And who cares if we're attacked more. Who cares if nobody will listen to us…Hong Kong is and Island…so we know where we stand…" Kero looked up at Yue and smiled. "Yep! In deep shit!" Kero alleged proudly. Yue nodded and smirked. "So what are we waiting for?" They headed away from the shore to continue their search for Xing's mother and home.

59.

"Do you…. Have any idea…. What hell I have been through? I had to take care of this stupid little child, as WELL as protecting Xing! I had to travel into Hong Kong's Underground and fight for money! I had to take on an anti-magic group of angry soldiers! AND EVEN WORSE I GOT MY HAIR WET!

60.

"God that has got to be one of the cheesiest moments in our lives." Yue nodded. "Psh, the sun and moon will always protect you? What the heck? That line sucked." Kero nodded.

"So it was all just another test thingy?" Kero said as he popped one of the bubbles that the bubble card had made. Yue stood there with his arms crossed and his eyes closed as he normally would. Clow smiled and nodded. "Did you learn your lesson?" He asked.

Kero looked up in thought. "…. Things always happen for a reason?" Yue shook his head. He already knew what the lesson was. He had seen it coming when he fought the soldiers. "Try again Cerberus…" Clow advised. "Hmmm…have faith?" Clow shook his head. "Good one but no." Kero had a light bulb flash. "OH! The purpose was to save the girl! Ha HA!" Clow shook his head. "That and more. Yue want to take a guess?" Yue opened his eyes. "…. Never read notes that you find in someone else's laundry…." Clow nodded. "There you go!"

CCS_ "Guardian Of The Sake Jar"

61.

Yue sat up uncertainly, holding his head. The guardian's large white wings flapped in an almost ridiculous manner as he hauled himself off the ground. He stood swaying slightly before taking a step forward, only to trip over his own hair and almost end up kissing the concrete again. Yue sighed in a rather long suffering way and said sternly to himself,

"I'm fine, Yukito's intoxicated state cannot effect me, I can fly home and put him to bed and everything will be alright in the morning."

Yue took off and glided the few short yards to Yukito's house. It would have been excellent progress if Yue had remembered to allow for the tree in Yukito's front yard.

Yue opened one eye cautiously and then both eyes so that he could glare at the tree with his most effective glare. His purple catlike eyes narrowed and he spat a curse at the offending arbourial object. Struggling to his feet again, Yue leaned on the tree and rubbed the top of his head, wincing at the bump that was quickly emerging.

"Why me?" Yue said to the tree

"Of all the false forms to get stuck with... what a... *sigh* You know what he's doing now?"

The tree didn't reply

"He's in the back of my mind...singing show tunes."

Yue started up the steps to the house, fumbling awkwardly with the door before finally making it to the safety of the house.

"Nobody understands what I go through, the strain, the humiliation.." he muttered as he staggered down the hallway.

Yue caught sight of his reflection in the hallway mirror, he narrowed his eyes and peered at himself wondering at the redness across his white cheeks.

"And Kero thinks he's the more handsome guardian...humph"

Yue laughed derisively and flicked a stray strand of silvery hair back over his white-clothed shoulder. He smiled at his reflection and tipped an imaginary hat over his eyes.

"Here'sh lookin' at you Kid."

Yue suddenly realized what he was doing and came to the conclusion that he'd been watching too many old movies with Kero lately.

YYH_ "The crime lord and I"

62.

The desire to own a flamethrower had never been higher in Hiei's life. Sure, he'd wished for one a couple of times before, naturally along with unlimited ammo for the thing to burn all of his enemies alive and then sit back and watch with satisfaction as they ran around screaming in agony before collapsing, but now the desire was almost overwhelming. Largely because the fucking tree right the fuck outside his window had become the city for birds. Mating birds. That sang, all damn day long. Hacking the tree down would take too long, and he just didn't have the patience for that kind of grueling physical labor. No, a flamethrower would be much quicker, not to mention much more satisfying. Get all the little tweeting fuckers at once. Bwa ha ha ha.

But I really like that tree...

Hm. New plan. ...Okay scratch that, time to think of a new plan, because he didn't exactly have one (or a basis for one) to fall back on. It wasn't like he spent much of his time thinking about birds. Though with how this was turning out, he might have to dedicate some of his brain power to it until something more interesting came along.

63.

~And now back to your regularly scheduled bastard.~

64.

"If you stop complaining I won't put any restrictions on how much you can spend on Kurama. Or yourselves." He glanced over and grinned internally at the looks on their faces. It wasn't that they were so shallow they could be bribed with clothes; it was that all three worked difficult jobs where they were subjected to sexual harassment on a daily basis and they rarely got days where they could go out together and have fun. He was well aware the bill would probably include things like manicures and hair salons, but considering how much income he had, it was a small price to pay for getting someone to agree to spending the day with Karasu.

"Okay fine," Ruka finally agreed. "But he has to listen to whatever we say or I'm using some of the money to buy a tazer."

"Fine, whatever. If he disobeys you, all three of you can tazer him and I'll just send someone to pick up his unconscious body."

65.

"Don't make me hurt you." Shishi was forbidden from upscale parties, permanently. It was considered extremely rude to flirt with the host's wife, even if the married couple wasn't getting along. It was considered taboo to sleep with her. And it was considered a death sentence to do it at the party.

Shishi was lucky he was perma-banned instead of decapitated.

66.

He finished his coffee quickly, standing. "Shigure, go get Karasu. You can leave whenever you want. Toguro and I will be heading out as soon as he-"

"Morning boss."

Shows up right behind me like a fucking ghost shit shit shit that scared the fucking daylights out of me fuck fuck fuck what the hell- "We're leaving," he said shortly, trying to cover up his immediate reaction of seizing up as someone he hadn't known was there spoke up.

"Right." Toguro seemed to have no idea he had nearly given his boss a heart attack, something that made Hiei's eye twitch. Damn big scary man with fucking silent footsteps. "Just so you know, Karasu's been standing out here eavesdropping and is now trying to tell me through improvised sign language to shut up." That was almost enough to make Hiei smirk, but he was too annoyed by his heart trying to leap out of his chest.

67.

"Have fun Kura-kun," he said in a quiet, almost mocking tone as he moved away, heading outside with Shigure. Ruka waited for them to leave and shut the door before leaning back.

"Next stop, we're getting tazer guns," she declared. Koto and Juri nodded in agreement, Juri leaning forward to look at Kurama.

68.

"How much longer are we going to be stuck escorting them around?", he asked, hoping to throw the man off his game. Shigure shrugged, rearranging his hand.

"Until seven. That's when Hiei wants them all back. It's only..." He paused to check his watch. "One. We still have six hours before we have to be back." Karasu making a face was largely hidden due to his mask.

"Dante should have put shopping as one of the nine levels of hell. Who can shop for nine hours anyway?" Shigure just leveled him with a look, jerking his thumb towards the three girls.

"Who do you think?"

"Women are useless," Karasu muttered under his breath.

69.

"So, so many things I could say to that that I'm just not going to."

"What, gay? You think I haven't heard that before?"

"No, I think you've heard that plenty. I think Hiei called you that once."

"He called me a 'prancing homicidal terrorist fairy'," he recalled flatly.

"Your parents were rich, right?" Karasu narrowed his eyes.

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Probably everything. Royal flush."

"I hate you."

"I know. Pay up."

70.

"So did they get to tazer him like they wanted to?", he asked Shigure.

"No, but they really wanted to. Kurama has a tazer now, just so you know." He eyed the redhead warily; relaxing a bit when he decided the other was too tired to use it on him.

"Thanks for the heads up. Go put those in my room and then you're free to do whatever you want."

YYH_ "Waltz"

71.

"Kurama!," Kuronue said. Rather loudly. Sometimes Kurama would stay quiet for weeks without a word spoke. Sometimes he was like this. Loquacious and completely unaware that he was talking to an actual person.

"Well Kuronue, if you wanted me to shut up you could have asked," Kurama said in a mock hurt tone. Kuronue sighed.

"I meant to ask. What are you doing with those," Kuronue pointed to the silky red garter the fox was wearing, along with the daggers he was trying to fasten along the garters.

"Well, you never know what can happen at those fancy dinner parties," Kurama chuckled.

Kuronue found his mouth gaping, wide open. Kurama's already slender figure was even thinner, with an undeniable hourglass shape. His red heels matched his silky red velvet dress, exposing the shoulders and pinned up enough to look like he had a bosom. He wore ruby earrings and a simple pearl necklace to top off his whole look. Did I mention the lipstick? Well, it was a devilish shade of red.

The thought that disturbed Kuronue the most was that Kurama didn't look half bad. He didn't look horrible at all. Kurama looked like a streetwalker. A streetwalker Kuronue would certainly pay for.

Kurama looked at Kuronue nonchalantly before deciding to grab his red purse, stuffing a silver pistol inside it.

Kurama squirmed. The whalebone digging into his back was killing him.

"How did you get an invitation to one of these things anyway," Kuronue asked curiously.

"If you must know, I borrowed it from a friend of mine," the fox said, obviously uncomfortable with his flattering but annoying corset.

"You have no friends besides me. Have you actually stooped so low you've decided to steal invitations?" Kuronue asked. Trying to make a joke out of this whole situation.

"Your cruel Kuronue. You do know that, don't you? If it makes you feel any happier, I found it. Laying on the floor. Right after I knocked it out of that lady's hand. Accidentally of course."

"And why can't we both dress up as men?"

"You don't think I look pretty?"

"That's besides the point-"

"Hardly, if I'm an eyesore I can certainly-"

"Never mind Kurama. Just shut up."

"No."

"..."

"..."

"..."

"Tell me I'm pretty."

"No."

"Then I won't shut up"

"Your beautiful, now shut up."

"Oh stop it, your making me blush."

"Your making me vomit."

72.

"Why am I your partner again."

"Because you love me."

"... I don't..."

"Humph. Whatever you say. By the way, you're acting as my fiancé for the evening."

"Wait. What?"

73.

"Obviously you haven't learned anything, since my foot is now sore because of your constant weight being pressed onto it."

"Are you calling me fat?"

"Yes."

"Well your heels look trampy."

Kurama roughly stepped on Kuronue's shoe, earning him a cry of pain. And then, Kuronue was left to wait.

74.

"It's not a stupid necklace. And I maybe I just want to party once in a while."

"You hate parties. And you hate crowds."

"... So."

"Was the dress and corset really necessary?"

"You really don't think I look pretty? I've been getting a lot of stares from the men around here. Some people even offered to pay to be my escort. Of course, being a faithful fiancé, I said no," he said haughtily.

"No you look. It's just that-"

Kuronue felt awkward. Kurama sensed this, and smiled.

"I wanted to get you the best. The unattainable. Something priceless. Something that.. suits you. To show, that your not just my sidekick. That if I ever go down in history, I'll be sure your name will be written right next to mine."

He was speechless. Even in a dress, Kurama was always the dominant one in their less than normal friendship. Kuronue never gotten used to the fact that Kurama was sometimes very straightforward.

The young bat found himself blushing.

"Kurama I-"

"I expect you to never take that necklace off. The lengths I had to go through to snatch the amulet from the pompous harlot. I even had to dance with the most unimaginable cheeky bastard just to get close to the girl. All I heard for a good thirty minutes was him droning on and on about how he had gotten his suit tailored at this fine shop in Italy."

75.

"Kuronue wake up, put on your best suit. I expect you to be ready by the time I figure out how to get this stupid corset on me," Kurama said, while vigorously shaking Kuronue's shoulder.

"Hmm.. w-hat, where are we going," Kuronue replied groggily. It was around four in the afternoon, clearly a bat's proper bedtime. Maybe if Kurama would let me get some beauty sleep once in a while, he'd stop complaining how much of a mess I look like.

Kuronue was about ready to crawl out of his comfy warm bed when a thought suddenly struck him. Corset?

"Why in the world would Kurama need a corset?"

Kuronue shrugged the ridiculous thought off and preceded to take a very long shower. Maybe sleeping under the lukewarm water for a good hour.

Kuronue came out of the shower to find a rather.. awkward situation awaiting him in his room.

"What the hell are you doing?"

YYH_ "Watching You"

76.

Eventually, Kurama managed to destroy the rest of the insects. Having just killed the last one, Kurama fell to his knees again, panting. Shakily, he stood up and went to look for his communication mirror. He staggered as he walked, leaning against trees for support. He held his shoulder tightly as he stopped to catch his breath. Just that little walk made him feel like he had done a lap around Spirit World.

'What's wrong with me? I feel so dizzy…' Kurama thought.

His head was spinning and his vision began to blur. He then started to cough violently. He winced as his head began to pound. The fox covered his mouth as he was sent into another fit of coughing. Once his coughing began to lessen, he detected a certain metallic taste in his mouth. He looked down at the hand that covered his mouth and was shocked at what he saw…blood.

'Blood? But what could have…?' he thought, but then the answer hit him. 'The stinger! It…must have been…' he didn't get to finish his thought, for a sharp pain shot through his chest. His thoughts had indeed been correct. The stinger was poisoned. He gasped as he sat down on the ground. The hand that once clutched his shoulder was now gripping his chest.

He was now having trouble breathing and his lungs felt as though they were caving in. He hacked up more blood as he collapsed onto the ground. He gasped softly for breath as his vision faded more and more. He cursed himself for not realizing the stinger's poison before. Now he was really in trouble.

As his eyes began to close, Kurama felt strong arms lift him off the ground, holding him bridal style. Kurama glanced up, straining his eyes to see. To his shock, it was the stranger. He had once again come to Kurama's aid. The kitsune rested his head against the stranger's chest, as the stranger darted away quickly.

"Hold on, Fox. I've got you," the stranger said, looking down at the weakened fox in his arms. Kurama eyes widened slightly as he heard the stranger's voice for the first time.

'That voice…' Kurama thought as he started to lose consciousness. 'It can't be…right?' That was his last thought before everything went black.

YYH_ "Tree in the river"

77.

"Poor Kuronue. Still getting rejected by the most lustful creatures,"

"Excuse you!" Youko glowered at him. "That is not true! We may be vain but we are not sluts!"

"Could have fooled me…" Hiei mumbled. Youko growled but Kuronue placed a hand on Youko's shoulder.

"Hiei, stop taunting my partner," Kuronue snickered. "He's already irritated enough." Youko growled and brushed Kuronue's hand off his shoulder.

"Bastards!" He huffed and walked out the room.

"Someone needs to get fucked…" Hiei grumbled as he held out his hand. "What did you need again?"

"That's true on so many levels! He's still a virgin…. Been trying to solve that for years now!' Kuronue chuckled and Hiei smirked. Kuronue handed Hiei the cracked ruby pendant. "This,"

"Stupid bat….stupid fire demon….stupid city…stupid stereotypes!" Youko growled as he walked aimlessly around the city.

YYH_ "Restless"

78.

"As much as I love your presence, I am curious as to why you're here and at such an ungodly hour." Kurama changed the subject.

"Being in the same domicile as a woman with mood swings or whatever the hell it is, and then taking it out on me because I'm the only one who will not die because I can handle it, is not a place I would want to be especially knowing I can come here and get teased by a vein fox who still lives with his mother and loves pink." He grinned in the end.

"It is you who are doing the teasing, 'Mr. I'm too sexy for clothes other than black'." Kurama grinned as he retaliated.

"I wear blue and red but you're so blinded by your pink that you can't see that." He smirked as the match was on.

"I abhor pink as much as you abhor tourists, but you may have a secret love considering what you're saying about me and pink." He felt proud.

"So you think I'm sexy. Now the truth comes out." He grinned and Kurama glared at him.

"Don't flatter yourself." Kurama said as he scooted closer until they were an inch away from the other. "I'm a bit cold." He commented softly as he shivered a bit as the wind continued to blow. Breaking away from their routine bickering, Hiei inched himself closer as well and increased his core temperature and then they went back to their previous session.

"You can't flatter me. I know how I look and I care less about what others think of it but I must say I would feel jealous and insecure if I didn't possess this physique. I understand Kurama." He grinned and Kurama slapped his leg. "Now look at who's abusive." He pointed out without any ill feelings.

"Yes Hiei, go run to Mukuro and let her know that your little redheaded Kurama is abusing her S class general." He laughed.

"Maybe I should make her kiss it to make it all better." He smirked.

"If that's what's sates you, go ahead. My mother use to do that… Oh now I get it." He said as he rose up his head and looked at Hiei, the close proximity not a bother.

"What." His voice demanded an explanation.

"You and Mukuro, she is just like your messed up parent who will abuse her child because she can't fully control her emotions as well as she would like. You understand each other due to both your different but equally dark past. You understand her more than anyone might, but there is nothing romantic about it, is there." Kurama smiled as he finally put it together.

"And finally having someone close to her, allows others to misinterpret it and her being a female, allows the notion to seem plausible for outsiders." Hiei confirmed.

YYH_ "Better than sweet snow"

79.

Kurama had simply been shocked that she had taken Hiei, Yusuke, and himself being demons in stride, merely demanding to see his Yoko form. Even Hiei had laughed when she had made him stoop to her height, and then promptly pulled his ears just to "see if they were attached." Yusuke and Kuwabara had taken off running when Kurama had leveled them with a glare, albeit an embarrassed, withering glare.

80.

"So Keiko asked me to tutor Yusuke since he refuses to pay attention to his classes," Kurama started, successful dragging his mother's attention away from poor Hiei. "She's giving up after all?" Shiori mused, looking mildly amused at the thought of her son trying to tutor Yusuke, in culinary arts of all subjects. "That seems to be the case, he doesn't understand why he can't simply use his spirit gun to cook raw meat," Kurama explained, turning to Hiei when the other started coughing, apparently having come close to choking on his food.

81.

"Why don't you teach him the way you and Hiei had to learn in Makai?" It was Kurama's turn to nearly choke on his food this time, looking incredulously at his mother. "What?" Shiori grinned, Hiei starting to believe Kurama got the fox grin from his human mother, not because he really is a fox, "So what if he has all of those monks to serve him, take him somewhere he won't be pampered. You'd just be watching over him, not helping him. Let him learn the hard way if he doesn't want to listen." Hiei's eye twitched slightly as he stared at Shiori, "Fox, I think she's more insane than you." "Oh course, I'm his mother," Shiori grinned, getting up to clean up all of the plates, "Don't worry, I'll rub off on you too." And for the first time after meeting Kuwabara, Hiei was worried for the little sanity he still had left…

82.

"Hiei!" Yukina squeaked as she opened the door, quickly hugging her brother as if he'd vanish in a heartbeat. He grunted lightly, gingerly hugging her back while keeping the present safe at his side. Her eyes gleamed as she saw the brightly colored box, Kuwabara and Yusuke walking out just in time to see the two siblings in a game of "keep away."

Kurama hid his grin behind his hand and he shook with silent laughter, Yusuke and Kuwabara quickly collapsing against each other in uncontrolled laughter. Hiei growled as he glared at the three of them, Yukina stealing the present from him while he wasn't looking-though they both knew he let her have it. Botan peeked around the corner to see what the commotion was, attempting to run when she saw Kurama in his Youko form until he stopped her, "Ah Botan, I need you to deliver a letter." "A letter?" she squeaked, "To who?" "An old stalker," Kurama snorted, handing Botan an envelope, "This should make sure he gives up, and do try not to snoop." Botan's eyes widened as she quickly took the letter, nodding and hiding the letter in her pocket. She didn't want to relive what had happened when she had accidentally told Yukina that her brother was Hiei; a very angry Yoko Kurama had gotten to her long before Hiei ever had the chance. She shivered at the thought; she still had nightmares of being chased like a rabbit by Kurama when he was in a torturous mood.

YYH_ "One does experiment"

83.

On the contrary: he had actually selected this shirt with its high collar for very practical reasons. Weather had not been one of them; he would just have to deal with it. Better that than Kuwabara catching on to what he was wearing under the collar.

When he made no reply Kuwabara switched subjects. "So, since you're doing school now, are you going to go to Makai less?"

He considered and then consumed the last of his burger, took a drink from his shake. "I'm unsure at the moment," he answered. Yomi had made no comment when he mentioned enrolling in school. Of course, it'd been later in the night, and probably not the best time to bring anything substantial to mind and expect his companion to keep it in mind. No need to share with Kuwabara all those unnecessary details, though.

Even without said details, Kuwabara gave him an odd look. "Just don't overdo it. I don't want Makai to go to war or you to flunk out by accident because you spread yourself too thin and messed up."

A slender red brow rose ever so slightly. "How kind of you," he said uncertainly. His concentration as work hadn't lessened that drastically after accepting Yomi's offer of a position in the cabinet of the recently reunified province of Gandhara. "Besides, even if I 'messed up,' Yomi didn't attain position as king—well, governor now, I suppose—by following stupid advice. Which I wouldn't be giving him to begin with; this is merely a hypothetical situation. And if you're concerned about anyone causing a Makai war, I would keep eyes on Yusuke instead, were I you."

"Nah," Kuwabara dismissed casually. "Urameshi dumps all his policy stuff on that bald monk guy—Uh, I forget which one right now…"

84.

Kuwabara returned the Bird. "And Kurama—or, 'Shuichi,' at school—doesn't pay as much attention as he probably should—"

"Wait, you're trying to say Kurama's the slacker?"

"Quit interrupting me, it's rude! And no, I'm not saying he's a slacker…" He paused, smirked a little, and threw the brunet a pointed look. Yusuke made a face and gestured for the psychic to hurry up. "I just think he's distracted. It's been that way since before he left his job."

"Go yell at Yomi about it, then—Shit!" Small eruptions of flames had just danced up on the stove. Hastily he rescued his food with one hand while the other groped for, found and poured out the contents of a box of baking soda until the fire smothered. Inspecting the remains of his lunch, he frowned down at the charred surface, shrugged, and busting open the crisp dark outside took a steaming, wincing bite of the still intact inside. He stuck out his tongue and ran the burnt part under his front teeth. "Seriously, though, I think he was fine until he accepted that job offer in Gandhara. It gets hard trying to do shit here while you're thinking on shit there. That's why I dump my stuff on Hokushin whenever I'm here."

Rolling his eyes, Kuwabara said, "Don't burn my lunch. Or his." Earlier Kurama had called him up, sounding flustered and explaining that he'd left things sort of a mess on Friday; could Kuwabara please bring him some food? "Oh hey!" Speaking of cleaning. "Could you have something ready for me to pick up on my way back? Shizuru said to empty out the fridge and I really want to spare Yukina."

"You're so chivalrous."

"Since when the hell do you use words like 'chivalrous'?"

"Shaddup. Pay me now or if you're not back before I get hungry it's my dinner." Kuwabara tossed some money on the table. "'Sides, Keiko likes it when I use words like 'chivalrous.'"

"Ah—Yeah, you'd better do all you can to keep the one girl who's interested in you, interested."

"Better the one girl interested in me than the one girl I'm interested in."

Kuwabara shot a look, but it quickly evaporated. While he hadn't always been a ladies' man, Urameshi never had been. So there. "Go fuck a toaster, Urameshi," he retorted cheerfully, taking his and Kurama's lunches, now boxed-up and (surprisingly) un-burnt.

"'Kay, and afterwards you can eat the toaster strudel with the special creamy icing." He grinned while Kuwabara gave him a disturbed look.

And returned the Bird, again. "You'd better not sexually harass all your customers."

Yusuke put on a horrified widening of the eyes. "How dare you imply I cheat on you?"

Maybe the heat of the kitchen was going to his head. "See you later, Urameshi," Kuwabara muttered, shaking his head while the potentially mad cook laughed after his exit.

85.

Kuwabara's worries had been fulfilled: Kaito was in the same lecture class and the same lab as the pair of former tantei. Although the orange-haired psychic really hadn't much right to moan about the situation, reflected the brunet one. It was an interdivision class, but the majority were brand new incoming students, not all of whom Kaito found wholly convincing in regards to competence. Could have been the odd one out in a gaggle of those instead; he considered the three of them fortunate enough that they'd come out of the group assignment in lecture (he didn't even want to think about the lab) with just one such companion: Takara, one of those Ganguro girls (1) with carrot-orange skin and hair that'd been tortured with chemicals until it'd blanched an almost-white light yellow, and the "Daddy's little girl" attitude to match. Since their group's formation she'd had the thought to appoint herself Madame Foreman, Kuwabara the Porter ("Go get that book" and other such orders), Kaito the Brain ("What does that mean?"), and Shuichi the Eye-Candy ("What are you doing this weekend?").

The Porter would roll his eyes and open the fetched book and try to grasp the assignment as best he could on his own. The Brain would follow suit, and wonder why he hadn't taken this class the semester before and gotten it over with.

The Eye-Candy would suffer gracefully, treating his tormentor politely and trying often to direct the flow of conversation back to an academic current. Often he failed.

YYH_ "Requests"

86.

"Who do you think he is?"

"He's too ugly to be hanging around my Shuichi."

"He's not yours Minaiko, he's mine!"

"He is nor yours bitch!"

"Girls! Enough arguing, we're here on a mission."

"Right!", They both said.

The three girls leaned nervously around the corner, watching two boys eating. One, with red hair in a pink uniform was leaning across to write notes in the other's notebook. The latter, with reddish hair and a blue uniform, was staring, pencil in hand and nodding occasionally as the other talked.

"What do you think they're doing?" Minaiko squealed, ducking back behind the corner. "Definitely homework. The other one looks dumb!" Kairi screeched, stomping her foot. "Look, we need to save Shuichi from association with people who are beneath him. That's our job!" Ichigo cut into their whining. 'We can't let Shuichi fall into a bad crowd. Our delicate flower is far too innocent to understand the dangers of life.' Ichigo though, picking up her things.

"Look! They're leaving!" Kairi hissed, and all the girls snapped to attention. "Follow them!" Ichigo instructed, and the other two girls nodded. They went to the arcade next, where they met up with a black haired boy with a green uniform. "Who is that?" Minaiko glared, trying to get a better look.

"He must be friend with the orange haired creep! He looks like too much of a ruffian for darling Shuichi to normally associate himself with. All three focused, watching as the group stood around. "Okay, it's time to take things into our own hands!" Ichigo decided, and the three crept into the arcade. The next few hours were spent attempting to injure the orange haired boy.

Every attempt failed miserably. "He moves, every time! It's like he can sense the danger coming or something!" Kairi whined, falling into a seat and sipping the soda she'd been drinking. "Oh, come on Kairi. We can't give up. Who would protect Shuichi?" Minaiko cried, standing up to look around. "Hey, where did they go?"

The group rushed outside, following the boys down the street from a distance. Luckily, the shock of bright red hair against the pink uniform was easy enough to keep track of. "Oh my god! He's going into Shuichi's house! That's not allowed even for us fan club members!" Ichigo hissed, glaring balefully at the window they knew to be Shuichi's room. They couldn't see much, just occasional movement as they moved into the space the curtain didn't cover.

"What are they doing up there! This is so not fair!" Minaiko whined, kicking at a rock on the sidewalk. "That's it! When he leaves we're confronting him. No one gets away with being that friendly with Shuichi unless they're worthy!" Ichigo decided, and the two girls with her nodded. They turned back, waiting around one of the corners.

It was dark when the girl's finally heard the door open and Shuichi's voice bidding the other boy farewell. "Now, get ready girls!" Ichigo whispered, forming a fist.

"What are you pretty ladies doing out here tonight?" Two greasy men were standing behind them on the sidewalk. "We've got a job to do, now get out of here creep!" Minaiko hissed, glaring. "Aw, come on babe, we just wanna have some fun." One of the men laughed, approaching the girl and putting a hand on Kairi's arm. "Let go of me you pervert! I'm in junior high!" She yelled, trying to pull back. "I like 'em young and pretty. Come on now, we just wanna have some fun." His grip tightened, and all three girl looked around worriedly.

"Hey! I think the lady said to let her go." The voice came from behind them, and all five people turned around. 'Orange head?' Ichigo blinked, staring at the man. "Look kid, we're having some fun, so why don't you run home." Kuwabara just grinned, taking a few steps forward and smashing the man who had grabbed Kairi in the face. The man fell in one hit, smashing into the concrete hard.

He didn't get back up, and the other man took off. "Um. Thank you." Ichigo spoke for the group, shifting awkwardly. "No problem ladies, you should get home quick, okay? It's not good dangerous for pretty girls to be out so late by themselves." Kuwabara grinned, turning to walk away.

"Wait!" Kairi called, and he turned back. "Do you need me to walk you home?" He asked, confused. "No, we live close. Just. What's your name?" Ichigo answered again for the other two. "Kazuma Kuwabara!" He called back proudly, and the girls nodded.

"Well thank you Kuwabara-san." Minaiko bowed, and he just nodded, walking off. Ichigo sighed. "Remember the name girl's. I guess we'll have to tell the other club members that he's okay." The other two girls nodded, before they all rushed home as a group. (Chapter 18)

87.

'Great. I'm going to die in some weird area in the Makai, all because I tried to go to school today.

88.

"You are truly an idiot Yusuke. How did he lure you into his trap. Offer you candy?" Kurama stood in front of him, leaving the cuffs.

"Haha. You are so funny fox. He actually offered me a cigarette. I wasn't expecting that damn cat to be so quick. Or a cat, really. He looked human before. Anyways, he cuffed me before I could blink. I don't know why the fuck I can't break these damn cuffs either." He tugged as if to prove his point.

"These are cuffs designed by an ex-Shinobi thousands of years ago. Laholis was his name, and they were named Laholis cuffs after him. They're simple to get off really. Simply pour more spirit energy into them than the person who put them on you but into them." Yusuke's face lit up.

"Damn! I've been trying' to pull them apart for hours. Ha. Spirit energy. Who woulda guessed brute force would fail me." Yusuke obeyed the instruction and the cuffs fell away easily. "Thanks foxy. So. Kitty over there said you love me." The grin on his face had the fox glaring at him.

"Cats may be smart, but it doesn't mean they are always right. That right is reserved for foxes." Yusuke just raised an eyebrow and started to sing random love song lyrics. Kurama sighed, grabbing the ex-toushin's face and pulling it into a bruising kiss. "Let's get you home." He pulled the dark haired boy up, and Yusuke's chocolate eyes twinkled.

"Taking me to bed so soon after my ordeal. Foxes move fast." Yusuke avoided the hand that nearly collided with the back of his head, throwing an arm around the ridiculously tall fox's waist as they made their way back through the swamp.

89.

"Nah. They'll figure it out. Besides, they do fine without me. Don't know what you'd do though." He teased, laying back and running a hand along the soft material beneath him.

"Find a second in command who didn't nearly get himself killed on every mission." Youko answered dryly, laying down and stretching elegantly next to the other man.

"You couldn't replace me too easily. After all, who would ya cuddle with then boss?" The raven teased, flipping himself over to straddle the other. Youko growled, rolling his eyes and reaching up to grab the dark haired male by the shirt and pull him down. Their lips crashed together fiercely, with no hint of sweetness. It wasn't really in either of their personalities. Their relationship was one of convenience and passion, but both knew there were feelings deep behind it. Sweetness was completely unnecessary though. As claws tore the shirt away from the raven's body, neither was bothered by the lack of sweetness anyways.

90.

"This is all your fault shrimp!" Kuwabara snapped, glaring down at the fire demon.

"Yes, it must be my fault you're too stupid to watch your own back." Hiei snorted, glaring right back at the taller man.

"Shut up! I woulda handled that stupid demon on my own. How the fuck are we gonna find Urameshi and Kurama now?" He yelled, and Hiei just glared harder.

"Stop screaming you idiot. In case you've forgotten, I do have my jagan. I wish I could lose you, but the detective would probably notice the lack of irritating human with me." He snapped, pulling the bandana off of his glowed for a moment before his eyes snapped open. "Lets go." With that, he disappeared.

91.

"Dragon. We don't want to fight one here in their territory. More will show up, and you do not want to get caught by a group of them." Hiei answered, and both cast a look over their shoulders as the giant green, scaly creature broke through the tree line with a loud roar.

"Shit. I thought dragons were just legends." Kuwabara couldn't help but sneak another few glances at the creature. It wasn't what he was expecting. Instead of the large, majestic creature he was expecting, it looked more like Godzilla. It was extremely tall, but it's wings were surprisingly small, as were it's legs and arms. It's body was wide, almost fat looking, and it's tail was fairly short and fat, ending in a dull-looking tip.

"You were wrong about something? How shocking." Hiei answered dryly, speeding up a little bit. They tore up the ground as they ran quickly, scattering flowers around them.

The dragon sucked in a breath before shooting a short stream of fire, burning patches of the ground and sending petals flying around the two running men.

"Holy fuck." Kuwabara yelled, waving petals out of his face. Hiei ignored him, and continued running towards the other side of the field. The dragon would probably not follow them there, since they rarely left their own territory.

Yusuke stood just behind the other tree line, laughing. "Don't you think we should maybe help them?" Kurama asked, raising an eyebrow. He couldn't help but smile as well.

"No way. This is too great. They'll be fine. Please tell me you have a camera though. I want a picture of those two running through the flowers together on the wall at the temple." He answered, wiping tears out of his eyes. Kurama sighed, grabbing the rectangular object out of his bag.

"When they try to kill you, I am not admitting to any part in this." Kurama warned, staring back at the two running towards them.

"Yeah, yeah. Just shut up for a minute while I try to get a good shot with the petals flying everywhere. Yusuke kneeled, his body still shaking with laughter as he attempted to steady the camera.

92.

Raizen stared at the other, eyes narrowed and a smile pulling at his lips. "What?" Yusuke snapped blackly, sweat dripping from his body. He was breathing heavily, blood from a gash on his head slightly obscuring his vision on the left side. He hastily wiped the blood away from his eye, mumbling something in annoyance.

"I didn't say anything." Raizen answered, smiling slightly now.

"Great. Now stop fucking smiling." Yusuke groused, stomping his way towards the castle. Raizen couldn't resist a small chuckle, ignoring the rude human hand gesture Yusuke have him.

"Language." He called out, and didn't receive an answer. Yusuke disappeared in the doors, and Hokushin cleared his throat from behind Raizen.

"My lord, don't you think you are being a little lenient with him?" Raizen turned, raising an eyebrow.

"Lenient? If I remember correctly, on the rare occasion you and me sparred I was careful and rarely even spilled your blood. I think I was much less merciful with Yusuke." He answered, sitting down on one of the rocks and removing his shirt.

Hokushin nodded. "Yes sir, but that was not what I was referring to. You've allowed him to talk to you like - like some kind of equal. He needs to be taken care of." Hokushin struggled to keep his voice level and calm.

Raizen sighed as he stood. "He is quite powerful, despite his lack of training and control for his demon powers. I assume Genkai has helped a great deal with that. Either way, if you can manage to land a hit on me in face-to-face combat as he has and walk away alive, I will allow you to speak the same way. So, if it's so important to you I wish you luck. I strongly advise you to leave him be, in your best interest." He answered, disappearing as he ran towards the hot springs to bathe.

He sighed as he lowered himself into the water, staring up at the night sky. The Makai was much darker in tone that the human world, and the night was no exception. In contrast to the navy and bright whitish yellow look to the human night sky and stars, the demon world was nearly pitch black, with the stars attempting to shine through looked to be a dull purple. The only bright color in the sky was the silver of the moon shining down.

He remained at the springs until sitting in one spot became so uncomfortable he felt he had to move. He stood, drying himself off and dressing himself. He waited for a moment before heading back to the castle. He could, in part, understand Hokushin's irritation earlier in the day. He was, technically, supposed to be the second in command and take over when Raizen passed. In addition, many of his top men were monks, and they supported Hokushin fully as the next leader. Yusuke was a threat to that.

Raizen's thoughts were interrupted when arrived at the castle, and several of his men were lying on the ground, some dead, some injured. Yusuke sat idly by the window, not even glancing over as Raizen walked in. "Don't even yell at me old man. They attacked me." Raizen chuckled, pride swelling in his chest as he looked around the room.

"I wasn't going to say anything. You've done better than I would have expected."

"So you knew they were gonna attack me? Thanks for the warning. Bastard." He mumbled, standing up and taking a few steps towards his ancestor.

Raizen just snorted. "I didn't know, but I'm unsurprised. If you used your brain occasionally you probably wouldn't be surprised at it either." Yusuke glared, walking out of the castle. Raizen turned o his heel and followed the young boy, silent for a moment.

"Why did you bring me here?" Yusuke asked, turning. All traces of anger were gone from his face, and he was back to grinning like usual.

"You are my only heir. That, and you have no idea how to control your powers. I would have for you to be an embarrassment after I'm gone." Yusuke laughed, punching the older man in the arm lightly.

"Whatever. I woulda figured it out. Look at how far I got without you." He pointed out, flexing a muscle. Raizen resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

"I never met my son." Yusuke stared at him blankly for a minute.

"Huh?"

"I never met my son or his daughter; or her children. I never met any of those generations. Eventually, I lost track of the bloodline as they moved throughout the human world and barriers were erected separating it from the Makai. Thanks to your demon heritage resurfacing, you are the first of my descendants I've been able to find in over one hundred years." Raizen answered, glancing upwards as though he was remembering something.

Yusuke paused, running a hand through his short hair. "I never knew my dad. My mom insists she knew who he was, and that it was his choice to have nothing to do with me, but sometimes I think she was just so drunk she can't even remember who he really is." Yusuke answered, and Raizen let out a soft laugh.

"It's odd. You never knew your ancestors, and I never knew my descendants. Until now, I suppose." He mused, and Yusuke nodded. They were silent again for a moment, before Yusuke's voice broke into the quiet.

"So. One of Hokushin's little buddies was around when everyone else attacked me. When I turned to him he sneered at me. Said something about not touching the 'precious prodigy.' Sarcastic little bitch kind of reminded me of Hiei... Anyways, you got anything to do with that?" He asked, and Raizen felt a smile tugging at his lips again.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He turned and wandered into the forest again, leaving the ex-spirit detective by himself.

"Hey! Come back here! You know, I'm really glad I'm not actually you're kid, cause you can be a real jackass!" Yusuke yelled, scaring some of the resting birds in the nearby trees. Raizen just chuckled, ignoring him completely. At some point, he would have to teach that child the benefit of patience.

93.

"Hog all the heat if you can Botan, the rest of us are fine." Yusuke drawled sarcastically, taking a sip out of his beer can.

"You wouldn't be cold if you weren't wearing a tank top in December Yusuke." Keiko pointed out, rolling her eyes as she leaned back against the edge of the mantle around the fireplace. Yusuke gave her the finger and muttered something, and she returned the gesture.

"You know Keiko, I think we've corrupted you. Kurama voiced from the window seat near Hiei, and she just laughed.

"I doubt you corrupted me. Although I suppose Youko grabbing my ass every day for the two weeks you let him out may have helped to corrupt me..." She shuddered at the memory, and Yukina couldn't stop a small giggle from escaping. She was leaning against Kurama's knees, and he was running a hand softly through her hair.

Touya leaned over, dropping an arm around Keiko's shoulders softly, and Jin cleared his throat to interrupt the argument. "Tell me again the point o' tha' tree." He called out, pointing at the large Christmas tree in the dojo.

"And what of the little bobbles all over it. Seems a right waste of time to me. Although this little sheila has some nice tits." Chuu mumbled, staring closely at one of the ornament. Shizuru reached out to smack him.

"We keep telling you guys that it's a tradition. We all decorate the tree together every year." She answered, blowing out smoke.

Kuwabara and Genkai came back into the room, each carrying a tray of tea. "You idiots better not have had any fun without me!" Kuwabara announced, settling on the couch.

"It's not like we could have any fun with you." Shish muttered, filing his nails. Kuwabara glared, purposely knocking his feet off the coffee table as he walked by. "Passive aggressive bitch." Shishi mumbled, and Keiko sighed. Some things would never change.

"Alright guys! We got a couple hours before Christmas dinner will be ready, so lets all get started with the gift giving." Yusuke announced, standing up.

"At least humans got something right. Although I deserve gifts every day of the year." Shishi announced, rushing for the tree. Botan and Shizuru blocked his way, reaching under to hand out gifts. Kurama wandered over to help, and Keiko gave Touya a small smile before moving to sit at Hiei's feet next to Yukina. Hiei gave her a small nod, and she smiled brightly at him, patting his knee.

94.

"Yeah! I have to admit I'm excited to start seeing little team Urameshi's popping out." He announced, folding his arms behind his head.

"Little team Urameshi's? Way to make everything about you Urameshi. Pompous ass." Kuwabara announced, shoving him lightly. He got up right away, standing over Kuwabara.

"You wanna get your ass kicked on Christmas? Really?" He yelled, and Keiko grabbed a magazine, rolling it up and smacking him.

"Break it up boys. One more announcement before dinner."

"Oh yeah? You finally decided to tie the knot?" Keiko rolled her eyes.

"We aren't having a human wedding, period. That was decided a long time ago. What I was going to say, is that Touya and I have some news for you all. We may be getting a little member to our family sooner rather than later." Touya came to stand next to her, and for a moment there was silence.

"Wait... You're pregnant?" Yusuke asked, staring.

"Only two months along, but yes. Since it's a demon pregnancy, there's less of a chance of me losing it, so we wanted to announce it sooner rather than later." She smiled, lacing her fingers with Touya.

Jin giggled coming to float next to Keiko and stare at her stomach. "It'll be like a lil' Shinobi!" He chirped, leaning towards Keiko. "I 'ope i's more like ye then Toy, cause 'e was a brat when we were younger." He stage whispered, and Touya glared at him. Jin just smiled innocently.

"So... You're having a kid."

"Yes Kuwabara, that is what being pregnant implies." Touya answered, raising an eyebrow at him.

There was more silence for a while, before Rinku stood up excitedly. "You're really gonna have a baby. I bet it'll be so cute!" He yelled, jumping up and rushing over to touch Keiko's stomach softly.

"Careful." Touya warned, and Rinku just nodded.

"I can't wait. I'm real excited for you guys. Congratulations!" Rinku yelled, sitting down on Keiko's lap after she sat down, staring down at her stomach.

"I don't see why you're so excited. You do realize that when she has a real baby, she's not going to be able to baby you all the time right?" Shishi snapped, and Rinku glared back.

"Nuh-uh! Keiko, you're not gonna abandon me cause of the baby, right?" He cried, and Chuu rolled his eyes, taking a swig out of his bottle.

"Of course not. I might not have as much time, because I will have a baby, but you know you're always welcome." She answered, and Touya sighed.

"I wish you would stop telling everyone they're always welcome. They take advantage of it you know." He leaned against her shoulder, looking pointedly at Jin and Rinku. She just laughed, patting him lightly on the head.

"Damn. A little runt, huh? You guys make me feel like I need to get a girlfriend. Or at least a boyfriend; or something." Yusuke whined, and Botan laughed.

"You do. You've got to find someone to keep you in line." She told him, and he threw one of the pillows at her.

"Dinners ready morons." Genkai called out, and they all stood.

"A toast then! To little blighters and Yusuke finding some poor bloke or sheila to kick 'is ass!" Chuu announced, and everyone raised his or her glasses, laughing. Yusuke mumbled something rude, but raised his glass anyways.

"Merry Christmas!" Rinku, Jin, and Botan all yelled together, prompting the whole group to toast again.

95.

"I don't have to listen to you. Your an idiot, and father knows it."

"Wha- Listen you little brat, Yomi left me in charge, and the only instruction he gave was for me not to kill you. Don't think I won't kick your ass!"

"Very mature. Why don't you resort to threats? Better yet, why don't you try some reverse psychology." Shura huffed sarcastically. "I'm not as much of a simpleton as you, so don't think your idiotic tactics will make me anymore likely to listen to you."

"Have you two killed each other yet?" Yomi called out, shutting the door. He hovered in the doorway, staring at his son and his mate. Neither seemed to even notice his presence.

"You little- ah! You drive me nuts. What is your problem with me?" Yusuke snapped, leaning down towards Shura.

"Are you deaf as well as dumb? You're a simpleton. I don't know why my father keeps you around, but I'm sure it's nothing more than amusement." Shura answered dryly.

"You know, you really remind me of Hiei. He's an insufferable bitch too."

"ooh. Insufferable. Big word from someone with such a small mind."

"You two, we should probably-" Yomi was cut off again as Shura turned and walked out the doorway on the opposite side of the room. Still, no one took notice of him.

"Stop following me!"

"I am supposed to take care of you! Like I'm going to let you wander off on your own and get killed. Yomi would kill me for that."

"Whatever." Shura snorted, speeding. up.

Yusuke stopped, folding his arms and leaning against a tree. "I am not gonna come after you! Get back here." He remained by the tree stubbornly, waiting for the youth to turn around and come back. Shura continued on, ignoring him completely. He disappeared after a moment, although is Yusuke strained he could still hear the angry footsteps.

He waited for a moment, and the footsteps stopped. 'I knew he would come back. Stupid kid.' There was more silence, and then a small curse followed by a few snapping branches. He paused for a moment, thinking the child had fallen, before he sensed the other demon energies. "Aw damn." He hissed, taking off in Shura's direction.

The child was defending himself well, but he wasn't doing much to deter the attackers. Yusuke jumped in, easily taking out the two behind Shura. Shura turned at the sudden surge of power, leaving himself open to his attacker, who took advantage.

Yusuke shot forward, covering the child's body and taking the hit. The demon was weak, and it barely cut through the skin of his arms, leaving a few bleeding cuts that would be healed in a couple days. Yusuke turned, firing one spirit gun blast and effectively destroying the last demon, before grabbing Shura's arm and tugging him towards home.

"Wh- why did you do that? Hey!" Shura yelled, stumbling along.

"Shut up! You okay?" He asked, still pulling the younger boy along.

"O-of course I'm fine. When did you get so strong? Dad beat you last time I saw you fight, but you were not nearly that strong." He asked, his eyes wide in something akin to admiration.

"Psh. Maybe I let your dad win."

"We both know that's a lie." Shura mocked, but pulled his arm away to link their hands.

"Whatever. Let's go, I'm starving." Yusuke tugged harder, but didn't pull his hand away. He threw open the doors, stomping towards the table, where Yomi was already eating.

"What happened to you two?" Yomi raised an eyebrow as his eyes traveled up from their linked hands to the blood running down Yusuke's arm.

"Nothing'. Shut up and eat old man." Yusuke snapped, falling into a seat. Yomi just chuckled, choosing to stay silent. Shura ate quietly, staring at Yusuke.

'Maybe my father does see something in that idiot...'

96.

"I feel sick. We should do this another day." Yusuke turned on his heel, and Kurama grasped his arm tightly.

"Yusuke, we bailed last week using that excuse. How is it that you can face Toguro, Sensui, and Yomi without flinching, but your afraid of my mother? Besides, we had lunch with my brother just last week. " Kurama sighed, keeping a tight grasp on the others arm.

"I didn't care if any of those guys liked me. The worse they could do was kill me; your parents can hate me forever. I already know your brother likes me, so that's not so bad!" Yusuke whined, tugging lightly against Kurama's hold.

Kurama sighed, pulling the shorter boy towards his home. "Yusuke, my mother won't dislike you. She loves Hiei, and he sits in a corner of my house in silence when he is over. Besides, my father won't even be there today. Just come on, my mother will probably be offended if we cancel again." Yusuke finally relented, allowing himself to be tugged along.

"Man, why do you have to be so good at getting what you want. Kurama, I can't do this." He tried whining again, but continued to walk along behind Kurama.

"I don't see what your so worried about. Everything is going to be fine. She did meet you once already you know." Yusuke sighed.

"I know, but... but... that wasn't the same! I just sort of said hi and bye. What if she hates me?" He pouted, and Kurama put an arm around his shoulders.

"She won't, but if she does then we won't be back here for dinner. She isn't going to hate you though Yusuke. I don't think my mother is capable of hating people." He paused as they came to the walkway leading up to his front door. "Are you ready?"

Yusuke was silent, staring at the ground.

"Yusuke? Are you alright?" Kurama sounded immediately concerned, bending down to look the other in the face. "You actually do look a little sick..." He placed a hand on Yusuke's forehead, and it was quickly swiped away.

"I'm just nervous. Let's just go." He murmured, flushing. Kurama chuckled, pulling him in for a quick hug.

"Don't be so nervous. I'll be with you the whole time." The red head promised, taking Yusuke's hand as they made their way up to the door.

Kurama opened it, and Shuiichi immediately came running up to them. "Yusuke! I'm so glad that you're here. Mom said you got sick last week after I had lunch with you." Yusuke swallowed nervously.

"Ah. Yeah, I wasn't feeling very well. Thanks for having me over." He smiled nervously, and Shuiichi grinned.

"Of course! Come on, let's go have dinner." He chirped excitedly, and Yusuke nodded. Shiori was waiting when they approached the kitchen, and she immediately embraced Yusuke.

"Oh hello dears." She embraced Kurama next, smiling. "Shuiichi has just been so excited you two were coming here for dinner, and I'm so glad your feeling better Yusuke." Her soft smile made it hard to be tense of nervous around her, and Yusuke felt himself relaxing.

"Thank you very much, and thank you for having us." He answered, a soft smile slipping onto his face.

"No problem. I love having the family together. Sit and I'll get the food on the table." She smiled again, turning to grab the food. Yusuke sat, unable to really feel uncomfortable anymore. Kurama kept a hold on his hand the whole time.

"She called me family." Yusuke whispered softly, and Kurama chuckled.

"I told you she would love you." Kurama answered, squeezing his hand lightly. (Chapter 41)

97.

Kuwabara paused, staring defiantly at the dark haired boy in front of him. "Give it back Urameshi." He lisped, and Yusuke just smirked.

"No." He answered simply, taking a step back. Kuwabara stood, irritated. "I said give it back." Yusuke turned, ignoring him completely. Kuwabara ground his teeth together, and then Yusuke turned back, taking a bite out of the cookie.

"Ah!" Kuwabara yelled, jumping forward and tackling the other boy. Yusuke growled, pushing the redhead off of him. Kuwabara raised a fist, but teachers quickly separated the two.

"Again? Detention for you both." The two grumbled, heading back to their seats. Yusuke slept for the rest of class, ignoring Kuwabara's eyes which were boring into him from across the room.

Detention was awkward as always. The two spent the entire hour glaring at each other, and then stormed off to their individual homes, ignoring each other completely.

/

"I swear mom, you should have seen it. He brings these great cookies every day, and I always snatch one, and wait until he's done with the rest of them to show it so he knows he misses out on the last one." Yusuke was chuckling as he sat on the couch, staring over at his mother who was slouching in one of the chairs, her fifth beer in her hand.

She chuckled, reaching out a hand like she was patting him on the head despite the fact that he was really across the room. "Tha's my boy. S'meones gonna beat yer ass someday, but still." She slurred, a grin on her face. Yusuke just scoffed.

"Yeah right. Ain't anybody beating me up." He defended, puffing out his chest.

/

"Every day. Every day he takes my damn cookie. Tomorrow, I'm gonna kick his ass sis, I swear." Kuwabara yelled, his tiny fists banging down on the table. Shizuru just raised an eyebrow at him, exhaling smoke.

"Whatever baby bro. Just try not to come home all bloody, I cleaned the floors and everything." She answered, turning to the television, no longer interested in their conversation.

"I'm not gonna be the one bloody, he is! Stupid Urameshi." Kuwabara mumbled, heading off to bed. He wasn't going to take it anymore. This time, he was going to kick some ass.

/

"Urameshi..." He hissed, and Yusuke smirked.

"What. Let's just skip all the boring bits. I'll start to walk away, turn back, take a bite of the cookie, and then you can tackle me like a wi-" He was interrupted by a first flying at his face. he dodged, and this time he dropped the cookie, eyes narrowed.

He caught Kuwabara's fist on the next swing, pushing him down. There was no way he was going to let this fly. He quickly kicked the red head away, and then jumped forward, punching him in the face on knocking him down. The scuffle continued until the teachers pried them apart, as usual.

As they walked to detention, Kuwabara turned to Yusuke. "I'll keep fighting until I beat your ass! That's a promise."

/

"Our whole rivalry really started over you stealing my cookies?" Kuwabara asked, blinking.

"Yup. Just proves how much of a moron you are."

"Shut up Urameshi! I'll kill you!" He yelled, glaring. (Chapter 42)

98.

"I'm not sick fox." He snapped, although the threatening affect was ruined by a few coughs and a sniffle.

"Hiei, it's not like it's something to be ashamed of. You're living in the human world, it's not that surprising that you would eventually catch a virus here." He answered, and Hiei simply sneered at him.

"Shuichi honey, did you and Hiei need anything?"

"No, thank you mother. He's resting now. Have a good trip this weekend, and tell Aunt Mitsuko that I said hello." He called down, and she bid both he and Hiei goodbye before disappearing.

"I'm leaving as well." Hiei stood from the bed, and Kurama's firm hand stopped him.

"You are not. There's not even anyone else here, and you will stay until you've recovered from your sickness." Kurama answered, and Hiei attempted a growl.

".." He insisted, and Kurama rolled his eyes.

"You know, an inability to realize one's own situation is a form of weakness." It was a low blow, and Kurama knew it, but he really didn't know what else to do with the sick, irate fire demon. Why Hiei was being so stubborn he would never know. It wasn't like he hadn't spent the night here before when he wasn't ill, so it was obvious he was only being hostile because he was angry at catching a human sickness.

However, Hiei did at least listen. He sat at the top of Kurama's bed for a moment, watching the red head do his homework before he smirked. "Kurama, I'm thirsty." Kurama looked up with a small smile.

"Alright. I'll get some tea. It should help with the sore throat I know you won't admit you have." Kurama set down his pencil and went to get the tea. He returned and gave Hiei the drink, sitting down to go back to his homework.

"I'm hungry fox." It was only a few minutes after the drink, and Kurama had a feeling the normally silent fire demon was attempting to get on his nerves. He wasn't going to give him the satisfaction.

"Of course, one moment." He made some soup and returned.

"I don't want this. I want cold snow."

"You hate cold snow Hiei. You are a fire demon." He sighed.

"I want the melted chocolate drink."

"You said you were hungry, I'll get you something else to drink after you eat. Soup is good, especially for someone that has a cold."

"I don't want it."

"You're acting like a child." There was finally silence as Hiei ate, his smirk still in place.

Kurama finished his homework, waiting for something else from Hiei.

"I'm done. I want something else to drink." Kurama sighed, but stood anyway. If Hiei thought he was going to win this, he was sorely mistaken. He went downstairs to make the hot chocolate, putting extra chocolate in to cover up the flavor of the herbs he was putting in there as well.

He brought it back up, a smile on his face. "Here you are. Let me know if you need anything else." Hiei snatched the glass.

"I will fox." He took a few drinks, and Kurama sat back down, watching him. It only took about ten minutes for his herbs to take effect, and the fire demon was asleep.

"Thank god." Kurama felt a little bad for spiking the others drink, but it worked. Hiei was probably going to kill him when he awoke, but Kurama just couldn't bring himself to care. (Chapter 43)

99.

"Hey Kazuma is here. Nice surprise." Kano smiled brightly.

"Hey!" Mina called out, waving.

"Oh yeah, hey ladies. What's up?" Kuwabara turned, taking a drink out of his soda can.

"Where ya headed to?" Mina asked, clasping her hands behind her back.

"Nowhere, you know." He mumbled noncommittally.

"So... guess that's your girlfriend there?" Kano asked, leaning forward slightly in curiosity.

"Are you going to a motel?" Mina chirped, resisting the urge to giggle. Kuwabara choked on his drink, and he was sure that he heard Kurama chuckle quietly, but it stopped before he could be sure.

"He's a man, okay? And a tough one!" Kuwabara yelled, and Kano stepped back slightly.

"What no way?" "Come on, are you sure?" Kano and Mina spoke at the same time, glancing at Kurama as they stood close to each other.

"I know, maybe he's a-" Kano trailed off.

"No one told me you swung that way." Kano finished, watching as Mina started to walk past Kuwabara to bend over and look Kurama in the eye.

"Hey, I like girls okay, and he's just got delicate features!" Kuwabara defended. Mina backed away, and the two stepped onto the train.

"You got to hang with us Kazuma; the word is your cool." Kano called back, hands in her jacket pocket.

"See ya boys!" Mina waved as the doors slid shut. Mina turned, nearly screaming as a girl leaned into her face right away. "Uh... Can I help you?" Minaiko leaned in to Mina's face, glaring.

"What the hell did you think you were doing, getting into our Shuichi's face." She snapped, and Mina raised an eyebrow.

"Shuichi, the girly boy with the red hair? Even his name is girly Kano..." She trailed off with a giggly.

"Girly? Girly? Shuichi is delicate, pretty, and refined!" Ichigo corrected loudly, drawing stares from some of the other passengers.

"God, chill out. It's not worth getting upset over. After all, I still don't think either of them like girls." Kano sighed, a little disappointed. She had thought she would have a chance with Kuwabara, but she seriously doubted that now.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean? Our Shuichi is a prince, and he's just waiting for the right princess." Kairi answered frostily.

"I think he is the princess in his relationship hun." Mina answered, rolling her eyes. Minaiko yelled, once again prompting everyone on the train to stare at them.

"Whatever ladies, this has been fun, but we're gonna get away from the crazy now." Kano stepped of the train at its stop, pulling Mina with her.

They walked down the street towards their home, and Mina turned to Kano. "Do you really think Kazuma is gay?" She asked thoughtfully, and Kano sighed.

"I really hope not." She answered, shaking her head. (Chapter 45)

YYH_ "Mother nature meddles with love"

100.

This tree was not comfortable. Not in the least! In fact it was so uncomfortable I though about setting it on fire.

...But then again where else could I sit outside Kurama's window? Seeing as he never left it open anymore and that I don't actually have a house in the human world this is pretty much the only place I have to go.

I don't even know why I come back anymore, the stupid fox clearly doesn't want me around anymore, and can't say I blame him though. Maybe I could go visit that fool, to make sure he isn't more than ten feet from my sister.

I love the look on his face when he sees me coming.

I sighed and looked up at the sky, it looked like rain. Great, fucking great. I growled lowly under my breath, taking one last look at Kurama's closed window in the vain hopes that it was open, it wasn't, and I was off to the detective's house.

It could be worse. He could be Kuwabara. Just the though of someone as dumb as that filthy human made me flinch. Honestly I don't see what she sees in him.

With my fast footwork I made it to the detectives house within minute. I thought about going through his window, but seeing as the last time I did that he kicked me out yelling some nonsense about using the god damn door like a normal person, I rethought that destination, choosing instead to knock on the front door.

CCS_ "Four Months Before the Golden Rooster"

101.

"What about Cerberus?" he asked quietly, gesturing to the still-collapsed ball of orange fur lying in the dirt.

Clow ran a hand through his hair, shaking his head down at the young lion that, at almost two years of age, was far too heavy for one man to lift. "I hate to leave him here," he mused aloud, "but there's no way I can carry him back myself—and I can't let you help, you're far too weak…I suppose," he chided a mite uncomfortably, "we have no choice but to just…let him lie."

"Will he be all right if we do that?" The mage asked, tossing a concerned look at Clow—at least, he hoped it appeared concerned: he suspected he still wasn't in full control of his mind and body.

"Oh," Clow stammered, biting his lip, "he should wake up soon anyway… if he has any backbone at all."

Yue threw him a markedly skeptical expression.

"You're right of course," the wizard admitted, once more scratching his head, "Cerberus is, I'm afraid, an insufferable pansy. God, sometimes I wonder if he isn't actually a maid under all that fur."

"Trust me," Yue growled, look of utter distaste playing about his features, "He isn't."

"Yes…" Clow muttered, staring down at the beast, "I suppose not." And with not a further word on the matter, he turned, Yue at his side, and began making back up the lawn.

102.

Yue in particular needed it much more than Cerberus (perhaps, Clow thought grudgingly, because of all the other forms of sustenance the beast was constantly indulging in)

103.

"Cerberus, have you seen Yue?" Clow asked as he came bouncing upon the young lion lying on the floor of one of the downstairs hallways.

Cerberus glanced up from his picture book, "Oh," he replied smartly, "you mean our own little princess?"

"Pardon?" Clow exclaimed, flushing vividly. What on Earth could the little beast possibly be getting at with all that feminine, preferential terminology? He couldn't know exactly what kind of proposition his master was about to make to the boy! Calling him princess of all things!

Cerberus merely rolled his eyes. "Easy there, stag," he sneered with mild amusement, "I only mean he's acting like a vain little brat at the moment."

Clow raised an eyebrow. "Yue? Acting shallow? Now that's not usually like him."

Cerberus snorted loudly and murmured something which sounded very much like "you don't live with the guy." Clow Reed sighed. He hadn't signed up for this. He hadn't spent all that time digging up his nerve just to be stagnated here by this little beast and whatever bee in his bonnet he had about his little brother at the moment. "Look, do you know where he is?" he finally managed to spit out with only a slight edge of exasperation.

The lion threw him an odd sort of look—it he had been human, Clow suspected he might have been raising one of his eyebrows (but it was impossible to tell on a cat, of course). "Yeah…" he replied slowly, as if studying the agitated wizard before him with curious scrutiny, "he's poking around down in some of the old, sealed-off bedchambers down here on the ground floor."

104.

The beast's face reached its most contorted look yet. Indeed, the way he was looking at his master, Clow might well have been speaking a foreign language. "Uh," he replied in a frank sort of tone, "Xavier's bed suite."

Clow looked even more confused. Cerberus sighed, and flipped his book closed with one paw so that he could face his companion properly. "Honestly, Clow, do you just live in four or five rooms of the house and rotate through them every day?" he mimed the motion with a twirl of a clawed finger. Clow flushed—while a bit of an exaggeration, his son's joking statement did have a grain of truth in it; Clow would be the first one to admit that. Cerberus sighed even more heavily. "Okay, you seriously need to get a life.

"Xavier Reed—the last master of this house—lived down here on the ground floor at least at some point during his life. Yue and I discovered that months ago. He had a whole suite down here filled with all his useless stuff, and the man apparently had more different articles of clothing than the Queen of England."

Clow blinked rather stupidly a few times—either his brain wasn't working properly at the moment, or there was a great deal he was missing about this conversation. "Xavier Reed, my father?" he asked for a start.

Cerberus nodded pointedly. "The very same."

"But I still don't understand," Clow continued, scratching his head, "What exactly does that have to do with Yue?"

The little lion buried his face in his paws. "Oh my god, Clow!" he shouted from beneath them in clear frustration, "do you just sit up in your room daydreaming all afternoon or what? He's pillaging, of course!"

"He's… what now?" the magician bumbled back.

Cerberus smacked himself in the face again and mumbled something under his breath in a language that Clow couldn't understand. "All right," he whispered, taking a slow, steadying breath, "Yue is a big boy now, Clow. He's several inches taller than he was last year and a hell of a lot… bulkier."

Clow continued to stare at him blankly. Agitation clearly rising, Cerberus continued:

"He's been bitching up a storm these past several weeks about how none of his clothes fit any more! Surely you've heard him? For crying out loud, half of Light water probably heard him crying about it!"

"So," Clow prompted gently, hoping the creature would just hurry up and make his final point.

"So," the lion replied forcefully, "your father was apparently a bit shorter and ganglier than you are, and he was alive up until about fifteen or twenty years ago! According to Yue, fashion's changed since then, but it hasn't changed that much. He's going through all the old tosser's stuff to see if there's anything he can use himself.

"And he's being a right little cunt about it too, if you ask me." Cerberus finished, flipping his book back open.

Clow stood there for a moment longer, letting all the data process. "All right," he said slowly after a minute or so had gone by, "I suppose I'll go and find him then…"

"Down the hall, first right and then the first set of fancy doors on your left," Cerberus rattled off automatically, pointing a claw in all the appropriate directions without even looking up from his book.

Clow blinked once more. Clearly more had changed here at the manor than he had thought… "All right, then, he said again, walking past the little beast in the direction he had indicated. "Oh, and Cerberus," he added over his shoulder with a laugh, "you really should clean up your language."

Cerberus snorted over his book. "Yeah, yeah," he sniggered back, "And what 'ya gonna do, flog me?"

Clow chuckled in reply. "Sic your brother on you," he answered slyly. Then, enjoying the unconceivable laugh echoing up the corridor behind him, he made his way onward toward Xavier's chambers.

105.

Yue laughed again, sending another lightning bolt down Clow's spine. "What's the matter?" he pressed coyly, completing his circle around his prey so that he now faced the wizard directly, their noses inches apart. "Don't you want to play barley-break with me?"

"Yue!" Clow exclaimed, surprising even himself. Judging by the sudden surge of heat that had just shot up into his face, he imagined that he had just turned a rather impressive shade of vermilion.

The boy smirked, and chuckled more genuinely, taking a step back from his flustered father. "I'm just kidding," he sniggered, "wanted to see just what kind of a rise I could get out of you."

"Do-do you even realize what you're saying?" Clow stammered in reply, entire body still in a kind of shock over this whole predicament. His son had just made a blatant joke about—! Well, about—!

"I read," Yue responded with a sly smile, giving his hair a smart sort of toss over his shoulder.

After a moment of blank staring and heavy breathing, the magician heard himself mutter back something about "What on Earth are you reading?"

Whatever he had said precisely, Yue seemed to find it even further amusing, for he threw a teasing look at his companion and replied: "Well, Shakespeare for one thing. Perhaps a bit of Chaucer on the side…"

Clow could only make a faint whimpering noise in response. "I think I need a stiff tonic…" he muttered more to himself than anyone else. Giving up on his trembling knees, he sunk weakly into an old wooden chair behind him. "And will you please put a shirt on?" he pleaded faintly in Yue's direction.

At first, the boy nodded, seeming to have decided that he'd had his fun, and had started flitting away to comply. After a moment, however, he paused. For a second, a devious look flickered across his eyes, and he took one last, devilish glance at Clow. "Yes, Master," he purred with purposeful sensuality.

"YUE!" Clow shouted, flailing his arms so hard in protest that he nearly fell out of his chair.

"Sorry," the boy giggled genuinely, "I'll stop. You're just so easy today; I couldn't resist."

Clow sighed, "I know," he whined, "it's been an interesting morning. But please never call me that again."

Yue paused half-way through pulling an old smock-like shirt over his shoulders. "Yes, Master?" he offered with an impish smile.

Clow dropped his head into his hands and whimpered faintly into his palms. Oh, this was turning out to be far more difficult than he had prepared for. Perhaps it would be best to just cut his losses now and write this whole deal off as a bad job? But just as he was thinking quite seriously about finding a dark corner somewhere and curling up in his own self-pity, the sorcerer felt something soft and cool brush his skin. Glancing between his fingers, his eyes met with the clear, pale violet of his younger son's.

"I am sorry," Yue whispered, tone soft and sincere, "I'll stop now, I swear."

Clow smiled slightly and with great effort, forced himself upright again. Exhaling slowly and forcefully to calm his nerves, he turned to Yue, who was now at least fully covered and curled at his feet. He sighed once more: how was he supposed to go about this? He had finally gathered up the courage to come down here and take a stand—to do something about this affection he had for the boy instead of sitting alone in his room and trying to deny its existence. And now… now he was completely perturbed again. He hadn't had any idea what to do with himself. What could he do? What could he say? Yue had apparently taken several key steps towards mature, adult life, and Clow hadn't the foggiest! It seemed that already this boy was spiraling towards his own happy future with or without his father. He had grown, he had changed, he had become so confident while Clow had been locked away in his bedroom contemplating his navel. Perhaps this was a sign: perhaps this was the universe telling him what he already feared—what Cerberus had told him, what his visions had all but showed him! This girl, this Sakura! This child yet unborn: he had seen her with Cerberus and with Yue… but not with himself. Was this the sign he had been waiting for, to tell him that this was not his destiny?

"Clow," a soft voice whispered from what felt like many miles away, "Clow, come back to me." Numbly, he felt ice-cold fingers lace in with his own, and a gentle grip clasping at his hand. "Please, come back to me," the voice in his ear cooed. It was full with concern, and no matter what his internal conflicts, the sorcerer could not abandon someone so concerned for him—not even into the recesses of his own mind. He blinked, suddenly feeling much more sober again—as if someone had just doused him in cold water. His eyes meandered down the pale hand that was now intertwined in his; he followed it all the way up to the shoulder until, at last, he was gazing into the worried eyes of a young Yue Reed. He smiled, and gave the boy's hand a reassuring squeeze. With all the appearance of relief, the mage returned the gesture. "So," he said quietly after a moment's pause, "Why were you looking for me?"

CCS_ "Blood and Duty"

106.

"I guess after something like that, anyone would turn into a gaki."

Yue opened the cupboard. "I wish you would stop calling him that," He said flatly, "It took a long time for him to get use to being with other people at all, let alone this hostile tall teenage boy whose name meant 'peach flower'."

"Oi," Touya exclaimed, "At least it's not as bad as some other names I've come across. Like 'snow bunny'."

There was a long pause where the two actually froze at this.

"Actually 'snow bunny' is probably less gay than 'peach flower'." Touya conceded. "Problem is, I can't change my name without hurting Otou-san's feelings because Okaa-san isn't really here to tell him that she didn't mind."

"She's the one that named you?" Yue asked, retrieving the bowls for porridge.

"She named both me and Sakura," The youth replied. "I don't think she really understood how much bullying I was in danger of."

"You seemed to have held your own," Yue shut the cupboard.

"I was always tall for my age. Made schoolyard fights a walk in the park."

Yue stirred the porridge in the pot. Syaoran was still sleeping when he woke, and as far as he could hear, everyone else besides Touya was also still sleeping. It was actually unusual, given that while Touya did better during mornings than Yue, it was still six-thirty and the teenager was hardly in love with early hours.

107.

"I guess when people slaughter your entire family and hunt you for a year, you tend to overreact to things, or react poorly," Touya relented. "Come to think of it, I'm surprised he functions as well as he does. Not exactly Mr. Sunshine, but he doesn't look very post-traumatic-stress-disorder to me."

"It took some time," Yue murmured, thinking about all the tears and weeping, the need for reassurances. "Actually, when he's at ease with everything, he's even more chipper than Sakura."

"Is he?" Touya stared flatly. "I find that hard to believe. The kaijuu acts like she's on crack."

The porridge was simmering, so Yue turned the flame off on the stove. "You haven't seen a kid on drugs until you've seen Syaoran decorating this place for Chinese New Year." Syaoran was going to kill him for what he was about to do next. "Look, I have some pictures, actually."

"Oh snap," Touya set his mug of tea down, "Alright, we're totally doing this. Where are they? Do it. Leave the porridge you lunatic! I don't care about breakfast, I want to see the brat's pictures."

"For the record," Yue warned him, "I didn't show you these; you found them because you're a jerk."

"I don't care, I want to see them."

"Right," Syaoran glared at him with the cutest scowl Yue had ever seen this year, which was saying something because Syaoran had sported quite a few cute scowls in Tomoeda, "I believe you. Kinomoto just magically knew where to look. I suppose the ghost of his mother directed him to the cabinet of all the other stuff and pointed out the photo album at six in the morning."

"Six-thirty," Touya corrected while showing one photo of Syaoran when he was seven years old drinking a mug of flu medicine to a delighted Sakura and Tomoyo, "Look at that! That's the exact same scowl, face for face! I didn't think you were a photo-type of person, Yue-san, but this is just awesome."

Syaoran looked so betrayed that Yue almost felt sorry, but he could not quite bring himself to feel real remorse because the photos Syaoran was so embarrassed by happened to capture the very moments Yue cherished.

"I can't believe you took that photo," The boy grouched, "How did you manage to take it? I didn't remember seeing you with a camera."

"That's what a fever does to you," The guardian replied unapologetically. "You were pretty preoccupied with the medicine, anyway."

"And look at that! Which birthday was that?" Touya was still laughing uproariously.

"Can we stop?" Syaoran pleaded.

"That was his eighth birthday," Said Yue, hiding a smirk at the photo of little Syaoran blowing out candles.

"He looks constipated! Hahaha!" Kero rolled over in laughter.

108.

"Oh Kami-sama—you're like a mother, Yue-san, did you force the kid to dress up in these in order to take a picture?"

"Hai," Syaoran remarked loudly, eager to express his indignation, "There was one time when he bought this new outfit for me and then took me out to the park where the flowers were blooming and he wouldn't stop taking photos, seriously, we were there for a whole hour! And then he made me come home and change into another outfit so that we could take those photos all over again!" Sure enough, as Touya flipped there were the pictures Syaoran had complained about.

"You were allowed four big slices of chocolate cake afterwards," Yue mused.

"Right, and gave myself a hernia," Syaoran grumbled.

"What's a hernia?" Sakura asked.

"He didn't actually have a hernia," Yue folded his arms, "He just overate. It's not my fault you had no self control when it comes to anything related to chocolate."

"Self control?" Syaoran looked up and seemed to suddenly forget that they had an audience, because he then grinned a Cheshire grin and his eyes sparkled brightly with inner laughter, "What's self control? I have no idea what you're talking about."

"It's like how dogs will constantly eat chocolate even though it poisons them," Yue shook his head as he tried to drag this out for as long as possible, since there was no telling when Syaoran would drop his mask in front of others like this again, "You're about as brainless as one. It's worse than having a pet, because at least pets don't talk back."

"I'm not a dog, I'm a wolf. I'm way smarter," Syaoran grinned goofily as he poked Yue on the side, causing the guardian to twist his waist away. At this point, even Sakura, who was normally quite dense about these sort of dynamics, seemed utterly astonished at the discourse and stared in bewilderment. "And chocolate is worth getting poisoned, because it's just that good."

Unfortunately, Syaoran then seemed to remember they had company, and the boy instantly targeted the photos.

"Give me that!" He snatched the album from Touya's hands. Touya was so stunned he did not even have the wits to react, even as Syaoran scampered away with it to Yue's room.

After a moment of hesitation, Sakura and Tomoyo suddenly decided they were not done with all the photos and wanted to finish, so they ran after Syaoran, calling to him. Touya leaned over to Yue.

"So how do you get that kid to come back again?" He asked.

Yue smiled a little at him. "It's not that hard, actually," He said.