Warnings: References to spousal abuse, teenage angst, original character death, familial disputes
Summary: BeyondMyReach (5/11/12): "Post manga- A family moment between Yusuke, his real father and mother."
Disclaimer: Yuu Yuu Hakusho and all its characters belong to Yoshihiro Togashi. The plot of this work of fiction was given to me via review from BeyondMyReach; all credit for it goes to them.
Yuusuke regretted not visiting more often, but who didn't have regrets after the death of a family member?
While it was true that Yuusuke hardly had any family to actually call family, he was close to the recently departed. Closer than he wanted to admit to himself. Urameshi Yuina, his grandmother, had lived a long, full life, but that small comfort hardly comforted Yuusuke at all. Neither did the thought that Yuina was finally with her beloved husband, a man she had sorely missed since his departing years before, nor the fact that she had passed very peacefully, no pain and no suffering.
Being at her wake now was almost surreal, but the company there was a swift kick in the ass.
It was a well-known fact that Yuusuke and Atsuko were the black sheep in the Urameshi clan, and the rest were doing their best to make them feel unwelcome. Dick move, he thought dimly, why were they even invited if they weren't wanted?
Yuusuke guessed he had his father to thank for that. Ren and Ayumu were the only children of Urameshi Naoki and Yuina, so, naturally, the brothers were left in charge of their mother's funeral arrangements. Ayumu, being the elder and also the more dominate of the two, took control and sent out invitations to whomever he saw fit. He probably saw it as an olive branch to him and his mother; Yuusuke saw his father's invite as an act of spite.
After all, why did he think that they would be, you know, wanted? He didn't even fucking want them. Right after his mother was done, Ayumu immediately found himself a new bitch, another after that one, and yet another after that one and popped out a few replacement children, which, much to Yuusuke's dismay, kept shooting looks at him. Yuusuke liked kids on most occasions, as long as they weren't brats and didn't try to outdo him in smartass-ery. He was pretty positive Tarou and Katsuo would try.
They had that gleam in their eye, that I-can-and-will-exploit-any-possible-opening look, shifty something or anothers. Yuusuke wished he could be proud of them. They were his half-brothers, but them being ten and twelve respectfully put a damper on any relationship he could have struck up with them. Even if he could have seen them regularly, Fumi, his father's current, most long-lasting arm decoration, wouldn't allow the seasoned street punk, the rotten fruit, the mistake of Ayumu's past, to ruin her precious little darlings (precocious, horrible, spoiled hellions).
God forbid, he show them how to not get caught in their escapades.
As disrespectful as it would come off, Yuusuke left the somber sanctity in favor of a smoke break. He felt the calming effects of being alone immediately after he stepped outside. There was no one here to glare, to whisper, to scoff, or hell, even smile at him. The effect only intensified when the wonderful burn of cigarette smoke filled his lungs.
"Smoking's bad," A coo-like voice startled him. Him, Urameshi Yuusuke, Ex-Spirit Mother Fucking Detective.
He looked down and was immediately greeted by a bright-eyed little girl. Ah, the third replacement kid, Mai. How she sneaked away from her mother was an astounding miracle. Fumi had had such a tight grip on her rugrats, but, Yuusuke supposed, Mai could easily slip away being as tiny as she was. Guess there was perks to being the youngest.
And the only girl to boot.
"Oh yeah? Says who?"
"Moms can be wrong."
"My mama is never wrong."
"Must be nice," Yuusuke snickered. Wonder just how much brainwashing Fumi crammed into their heads. Yuusuke would give up his trigger finger to see it all unravel the moment they realized she was full of shit.
"She says smoking rots your insides."
"I'm already rotten on the inside. So I guess it's okay then."
Mai stopped to consider this for a moment. Her cherub face screwed up, and her tiny, rounded arms crossed over her chest. A smile passed over Yuusuke's features. He knew that look. He had worn it many times before, all the way down to the slight protruding of her bottom lip. Fumi could try to distance his siblings from him, but it looked like some things you just can't separate them from.
"You think Katsuo can get away with smoking then?"
"I think he's rotten on the inside too," Yuusuke laughed, and Mai's confused giggle followed. "What? What's so funny?"
"Nothing," Yuusuke tittered. "Just Katsuo? What about Tarou?"
Mai shook her head, tousling about her springy, black curls, "Nii-chan's really nice! He lets me play with his toys and wants to play hide-and-seek and teaches me how to play video games! Katsuo's a brat! He's really mean and teases me. Says I can't play because I'm a girl and I'm annoying. He's annoying!"
"Sounds like it."
Yuusuke took a seat and let the six-year-old babble on. Even though their conversation was mostly one-sided, Yuusuke enjoyed it. Mai rambled on about anything and everything: school, her dog, playing games, and especially princesses. The moment she mentioned princesses and princes, the subject could not be dropped and, quite honestly, she was finding more and more things to talk about when it came to it. Did it matter that most of those facts and opinions were repeated fifty times or more?
No, of course not.
"I'm gonna tell you a secret," Mai whispered to him.
"I'm a princess."
"Oh really?" Yuusuke whispered back to her, succeeding in faking his shock, "Well, what a coincidence. I'm a prince."
The amount of amazement radiated from the little girl was immeasurable. Her jaw dropped open as she gasped and a tiny hand went up to cover her mouth. Yuusuke snickered at the reaction. Kids were so easy to impress.
"That cool, huh?"
"I didn't think I'd ever meet a real prince. Tarou plays a prince all the time, but he's not a real one."
"Oh, I can assure you that I'm a bonafide prince."
Both Yuusuke and Mai looked up and saw Atsuko leaning out of the doorway. Quickly, Mai scrambled to her feet and took off back inside. A pang of sadness hit Yuusuke harder than he expected. Hell, he hadn't even expected to be sad that the young girl had run off.
"Whatchu want Ma?" asked Yuusuke, trying to hide the dejected tone of his voice.
"You should come back in. People are starting to wonder if you're off stealing something or TPing a house."
"How fucking old do they think I am?"
"Doesn't matter. Come back inside and clear your name."
Flicking the now spent cigarette off into the grass, Yuusuke rose slowly and followed his mother back inside. Sure enough, all eyes were turned to him and conversations ceased. Whispers replaced the silence soon enough, and Yuusuke couldn't help but smirk. He should have been pissed, but he couldn't get over all the attention. Negative or not, Yuusuke would take it. It was funny just how they thought they were separate from him.
Breaking news, they were related! Shocker of the century!
"Your grandmother left you something, by the way. Her lawyer wants you to meet him after the festivities," Atsuko whispered.
"Just me? What about you?"
"Why would she leave me anything? I'm just the bitch that divorced her son. You were her favorite grandchild."
Yuusuke couldn't even muster a laugh at the statement, "God, I hope it's not money."
"Like we need any more money,"
"More can't hurt."
He threw a flat look at his mother, who just shrugged, "Anyway, if it is, you know damn well everyone's going to know about it. All these people will come out of the shittin' woodworks to kiss my ass. Look at them now. They're forced to see me once every fifteen or so years and they look like some back alley dentist is about to operate on them. I can only imagine what they'll look like when they have to see me and be nice."
"Well, when you put it that way, I really hope it's money."
This time, he couldn't suppress the bubble of laughter, "You're a sick woman."
"Aw, thanks. I love you too."
All too quickly he found himself shuffled into another room with a select few. Gazing about, he recognized most: Ren and his heavily pregnant wife, his grandmother's nephew, his grandmother's nurse, Fumi, and of course, Ayumu. He felt the muscle in his jaw tick as he looked his father over and folded his arms. Not that it quelled any of the rage and murderous intent slowly coming to a boil inside him, but it gave the illusion of distance. At least, that saved Ayumu's life for now.
How perfect he looked hooking his arm with Fumi's, how pristine in his pressed suit and tie, how very fake. Yuusuke wondered if Fumi had seen the dark side of his father or if it was just his mother that had experienced the back of his hand. Once a wife-beater, always a wife-beater in Yuusuke's mind.
"Now we all know why we are here," The lawyer, a graying, grandfatherly-like man, said in a soothing baritone, "I want to express my sorrow. Yuina was a respected client and a greater friend. It eases my heart to know she did not suffer," Yuusuke didn't feel the need to roll his eyes. Had any other person said this, he would have called them on their bullshit, but the redness of his eyes and slightest quiver of his lips said more than what he could ever express in words. He cleared his throat, "Urameshi Yuina had come to me weeks past and revised her will. She was under the distinct impression that her end was near. I am here merely as a vessel to convey her wishes after her death."
Warning, Yuusuke mentally translated, some of this shit you're not going to agree with.
"'To my sons," The attorney read, "'I leave my home and the belongings within to do with as they please. Know that certain items have been removed and will be presented to those I have deemed worthy of possessing them by Fukui-san in due course. My hope is to bring unity to you both and not encourage in-fighting. I plead with you, Ren and Ayumu; get along, if only for my sake.
"'To my daughters-in-law, Fumi and Satomi, I bequeath two sets of matching jewelry as presented by Fukui-san. I will leave it up to you both to decide which will go to whom,'" This wearily long list and dialogue seemed to go on forever in Yuusuke's mind. He didn't dare rub at his temples or make any noise. He knew what would come of such 'disrespect' and he would really appreciate being able to leave without any more pissy hisses and nasty glares than he was already going to receive.
"'And to my grandson, Urameshi Yuusuke,'" Yuusuke perked up at the sound of his name, and, to his dismay, his palms began to sweat. "'I leave behind my immediate fortunes and give joint control of your grandfather's business with your father and uncle."
Yuusuke felt as if a rock had fallen into his stomach. He was sure his face had turned as white as a sheet. This was exactly what he was afraid of. God damn it. Fukui finished reading the will and immediately went to rise from his seat. A few boxes were near him with names, but he was stopped before he could give them to their proper owners.
"I want to read the will for myself!" Fumi screeched.
Oh, shit. Yuusuke shook his head and sighed heavily through his nose. Why did his grandmother do this to him?
"There is no way she would leave so much to him and nothing to her other grandchildren!"
"Urameshi-san, please," Fukui tried.
"I demand to see it!"
"Fumi," Ayumu spoke, but even he couldn't pierce the rage surrounding his wife.
"What is he going to do with all that? Buy drugs and booze for his mother and those hoodlums they run around with?"
Yuusuke gritted his teeth. He never hit a woman, and he wasn't about to start now, but he would sure as hell give her an earful if she deserved it, "Look, lady! I don't even need that money and I damn sure don't spend anything I have on drugs! My mother isn't some junkie!"
"You heard him! He doesn't even need anything he's getting! How is this fair?!"
"Fumi-san, I did not write the will. You are more than welcome to look it over, but it is a legal document dictated by Urameshi Yuina. There is nothing I can do. These were her wishes," Fumi snatched the paper from Fukui and read it over at least three times. Her rage did not settle and only intensified with each read. "Now, if we could continue?"
Yuusuke didn't stick around afterwards. He slammed the door behind him and made a beeline outside to smoke. He should have just turned down the invitation, should have just waited for Fukui to come to his house to give him the news in private, should have just showed up at his grandmother's grave when no one else was around to pay his respects. He let out a particularly conflicted puff of smoke as he ran his hand down his face and flung himself a little too hard into the wall and slid down it.
Why the fuck would she do that? You weren't supposed to play favorites with your children, second generation children or not, and yet, Yuina had latched onto him the moment he was set into her arms at the hospital.
And he had latched onto her. There were moments in his life when she was the only thing there to keep him alive. His mother and father fought constantly. They were so young when he was born, children raising children, and as children do, they squabbled. Yuina took pity on him and showed him peace, as fleeting as it was, and showed him love, played with him, rocked him to sleep, gave him medicine and new clothes.
"Urameshi-san," Fukui's shadow encased him as he looked up. A box was thrust toward his face, "Yuina left something extra for you."
"You've got to be shitting me."
"It's true. This had your name on it."
Grudgingly, Yuusuke took it and watched as he walked away. Now just what else could she be leaving him to ruin his shit? He flicked the lid off with little grace and pulled out what was inside. He stopped and stared at the thick cardboard between his fingers. A sharply drawn and colorful ninja looked up at him from its card prison.
Menko cards. He almost laughed. He loved the game when he was little, and the fact that they had ninjas on them made them all the better in his childish mind. Yuina taught him how to play, and, being a simple game, he caught on very well.
"I remember you used to play with those all the time."
Yuusuke's gaze snapped up at the newest guest and narrowed at him. Ayumu smiled down at his son, and the gesture wasn't returned. He expected as much of course.
"Come to kick my ass for yelling at your wife?"
"She was out of line."
"And I'm sure you took care of that," Yuusuke snidely replied.
"No," Ayumu fiercely hissed.
Yeah, right. "What the fuck do you want, Ayumu?"
"I just wanted to say hi to my boy."
"I'm not 'your boy.' You said so yourself when we last saw each other."
"That was a stupid mistake. I'm sorry."
"Little late for that. Well, it's been fun being the brunt of all this happiness, but I think me and Ma will be going back to our filthy hovel in the ghetto now."
"Why don't we play a game before you get going?"
Ayumu simply gestured toward the cards in his hands, and Yuusuke threw him a look. He couldn't be serious. After all this time, he thought he could win him over with a stupid game of Menko?
And here Yuusuke thought he got his smarts from his mother. Still, the prospect snagged him like a fish on a hook.
"Fine," Yuusuke consented and set up the cards.
Tension and silence ruled them. Yuusuke refused to say a word to his father. Why should he? The bastard didn't try to strike up any sort of relationship with him for the past decade and a half, why the hell should he be the one to reach out? It wasn't like he was craving his father's attentions, and he damn sure didn't give a shit about the man. This game was a formality at best, and the only one he was willing to give.
Being a politician in Makai had given him some valuable experience after all, as much as he loathed admitting it.
"You've gotten better at this," Ayumu murmured, seeming genuinely surprised.
"Did you think I'd get worse?"
His father laughed slightly, "On some level," Yuusuke rolled his eyes and made his move. "How is your mother?"
"Why don't you ask her?"
"I did. She said she was fine, but people tend to lie."
"You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?"
"Yuusuke, I am trying-"
"Trying to what? Strike up a conversation with your twenty-year-old son? Now that I don't cry and shit my pants when I'm unhappy, it must be so much easier for you. Why the fuck did you invite us here? You know damn well no one in your family likes me and Ma."
"They are your family too!"
"No, the last of my family on this side is in an urn buried next to my grandfather!"
Ayumu fell silent. What else could he say? He couldn't in all honesty tell Yuusuke how wrong he was because he knew he was right. Ayumu was just the other half of Yuusuke's DNA and he had let them leave when Yuusuke was five. He had had plenty of time to pursue a relationship with his eldest, but he didn't.
Yuusuke made a move to collect the cards but was stopped by a firm hand on his wrist and another Menko card being thrown down with enough force to flip the one nearest to where it landed.
"Still got it," Atsuko said, squatting next to Yuusuke. She collected both cards and handed them to Ayumu. "Here. I'll be on your team. Your turn, Yuusuke."
"We're going home."
"You go home then. I'm gonna stay here and win this game," Yuusuke clicked his teeth, and Atsuko smirked. "Chicken shit."
A fine eyebrow rose on Yuusuke's forehead, and immediately he took his turn, successfully flipping a card and earning them both. He got comfortable again and the game resumed, ending in a stunning loss on Yuusuke's part.
"That's not fair! There's two of you."
Atsuko pouted for him, "Aww, looks like someone caught a case of the mulligrubs. Are you going to sulk? Wah, wah. I'll give you a chance to redeem yourself, you big baby. You two against me."
"What?" Both men said.
"Deaf bastards. I said, You. Two. Against. Me," At their hesitance, Atsuko smirked again. "We'll put money on it."
"You're gonna lose," Ayumu stated, looking to Yuusuke. "What do you say?"
A moment's delay, but soon Yuusuke replied, "Bring it on, old woman."
The next game wasn't filled with tension or silence, but instead with laughter and yelling, play fighting and shouts of victory. Yuusuke went to give his father a high-five, but stopped mid-movement in realization. Just what was he doing? Quickly enough, he righted himself and let Atsuko make her move. He'd forgotten his anger, his hatred, his sadness, and his rejection all because of Menko.
And, he was okay with that.
Sitting between his father and mother now felt right. For once, Yuusuke felt absolutely complete and almost sentimental, like he had been stricken with a severe case of déjà vu. It took him back to the happy times, when his mother and father got along, when they would sit and play with him, when they all laughed. It brought a smile to his face.
"It's alright, Atsuko, I won't hold this bet against you."
"I will," Yuusuke snickered. "You're putting gas in my car."
All three rose to their feet. Yuusuke replaced the cards back into the box and sighed. He could do without the share and the money, but he was eternally happy that his grandmother left the little piece of his past to him. Atsuko gave her goodbye to Ayumu and wandered off. Before Yuusuke could follow, a hand on his shoulder stopped him from walking away.
"Yuusuke, I don't want you to be a stranger. Call or visit anytime."
Yuusuke chewed on his lip, but finally looked his father in the eyes, "The phone works two ways, tou-san."
-From what I've gathered, Menko is a Japanese card game played by two or more people. The object of the game is to use your Menko cards (made from either thick paper or cardboard) to flip your opponent's card, which is placed on a hardwood or concrete floor, over either by a gust of wind created by dropping your own card or striking the other with enough force to flip it using only your card. Succeed and you win both played cards. The one who has all the cards or wins the most by the end of the game, wins.
-The more you know! *star*
Author's Note: First, I would really like to thank everyone that took time to put in ideas for me, and I would like to apologize for not getting to them sooner. I'm handcrafting all my Christmas gifts this year so I literally have not had any time on my computer to write until very recently.
Second, this will, unfortunately, only be a one-shot, and will remain as such.
Thirdly, I would particularly like to thank BeyondMyReach from the bottom of my heart for not only this idea, but also the preciseness, yet openness of your ideas. (I may also take you up on your humorish idea as well if I ever get my ass into gear.) It's not often you see Yuusuke's father in fanfictions, let alone even have him mentioned. I really tried (and failed miserably) to steer away from the hostility shown in the manga (and even the teeny tiny bit in the anime) because the brief scene Yuusuke's father actually shows up in, he almost immediately refers to his rather abusive relationship with Atsuko (and I mean, it's kinda hard not to hate a wife-beater), but since this was post-manga and Yuusuke's a little older, I figured, maybe they can be some semblance of civil. Maybe.
Lastly, my offer for fic ideas still stands. I'm sorry if I don't get around to them immediately. Please remember, keep the plot ideas brief and hazy enough that I can make a one- or two-shot out of them. And, as always, just to keep it easy, I really like to operate within the Yuu Yuu Hakusho, Katekyo Hitman Reborn, or Naruto universes, but I'd be willing to branch out depending on the anime or game. I'm not very anime-savvy, as sad as it is to mention.
Yuusuke and Hiei, lost together in Makai for X amount of days.
Naruto and Sasuke, older and stuck together like in that one filler episode.
Tsuna and Gokudera, actually having a quiet evening watching mind-numbing television.
I do really enjoy working with Yuusuke, Tsuna, and Naruto, so any suggestions with them would be greatly received. However, as mentioned before I'm willing to work with others depending. Of course, all credit to the prompt will be mentioned in the story itself.
Thank you all for being patient, and thank you very, very, very much for taking the time to read this!