A/N: No I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho
If you have not read Holding Still in Motion alot of this story will not make sense from the get go. This cannot be read as a stand alone story.
Appropriately so it was the dead of night.
A time that the entire world seemed wrapped in a gossamer state that bordered on that of the sweet or nightmarish.
It was cold, each breath hung in the air for a heartbeat. Faint passing reminders that it was still the middle of a harsh winter.
The barest hint of wind shifted the dust like snow at her feet in slow circles as she looked down at what lay in the alley way.
She should feel something.
The weight of the revolver in her hand did not feel as heavy as she had been told it would.
"We should go..."
She shook her head, bending down to crouch beside her handy work.
"Shizuru this is stupid."
She glanced up at Narumi's pale face, "Go ahead. I have to see this all the way."
Narumi snorted, "You're going to get us caught."
"Nobody cares." she murmured looking back down, "Not about this guy...hell I don't even care."
That was what held her in place.
What drew her attention to the proof of what she had done.
She should feel something...shouldn't she?
She felt nothing at all.
No panic over the idea of being caught.
Not even the satisfaction that might come from settling something.
There was only the absence of care. The cold that wafted around her. The sharp smell of gunpowder. The crunch of snow as Narumi shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot.
This isn't normal...is it?
"I think I'm going to hell..." she muttered running a hand through her hair.
"You don't believe in hell." Narumi scoffed kicking at the snow at her feet, "What does that have to do with anything?"
"That's..." she began then stopped herself.
There was no point in debating it with Narumi.
She did believe in hell as much as she believed there were places other than the human world. Places where the creatures she knew were not humans came from.
It was only a belief. She had no proof in the matter. She simply knew, just as she knew where to go and who to find in those moments she found herself needing to be somewhere else.
It had been a truly harrowing experience that had led to this moment. So many things had gone wrong. So many connections to the criminal undertones of the city used.
She had been extremely lucky but in the end it had been the distinct lack of emotions that had allowed her to finish the task as completely as she had.
She was not a fan of loose ends.
She could not afford to let even the smallest of them to remain, not in this situation.
She had given warning once the criminal had moved into her territory with his gang.
He had ignored the warning and done the one thing he should not have.
He had Kazuma kidnapped from daycare.
Not only Kazuma but other kids that should have been off limits just for the families they belonged to. Not that she had cared in particular about those kids, that was an obvious risk considering.
Her focus had been Kazuma and the in fighting that had occurred within the families rendering them near useless as they accused each other instead of acting.
More then a simple miscalculation on his part.
Borderline suicidal to begin with.
This was the only result possible.
"Did the kids get to the hospital?" she asked quietly.
"He'll be okay Shizuru." Narumi assured her, the normally angry tone in her friend's voice dropping away with sympathy, "He's real young. He probably won't remember any of it."
Her eyes narrowed as a flash of the rage that had fueled her previously coursed through her.
The crunch of snow again as Narumi stepped closer then crouched on the other side.
"Give it to me."
She picked up her eyes to find Narumi's hand extended to her. Without thought she relinquished the firearm to the other young woman.
"You know knifing the guy would have been a lot less noisy. You going to stare for the rest of the night?"
A dark smirk twisted the side of her mouth.
Narumi sounded impatient though she spoke with the same inflections as Shizuru. They were not two sides of the same coin. They were mirrors of each other. Once they had found common ground in their mutual rivalry they had become in many ways inseparable.
As proof they were having a relaxed conversation in the most absurd situation.
One of them should have been nervous.
One of them should have possibly attempted to find another way.
Instead Narumi had instantly become her partner in this without judgment and perhaps even with the same viewpoint of the end result.
Happenstance really that she had been the one holding the gun.
Narumi would have acted in the same way if she had been given the chance.
She forced herself to stand and busied her hands with lighting a cigarette.
"You didn't have to..." she began after her first drag.
"Shut the hell up." Narumi snapped conversationally as she tucked the gun into her jacket, "You think I'd let you do this shit on your own?"
"Would've been smarter." she responded flicking her cigarette.
Narumi chuckled, "And miss all the fun? Not likely, besides only I get to hurt you. Everyone knows that. Come on."
Her eyes fell to the ground, to the body of the criminal laying there.
She had known she was capable of it. That she did not have that specific morality in her that would have made this action impossible. She had simply never been put in the position to provide herself with proof of that until now.
A life had been taken.
She had watched the rise and fall of his final breaths.
She was going to walk away without a second thought on the matter.
It turned out that influx of compassion she had been subjected to when her spiritual awareness had truly awakened had not hampered her in any way...
Her eyes popped open the moment her exhausted mind recognized the smooth, soft tone of Kurama's voice.
For a heartbeat she had no clue as to where she was or why Kurama would be kneeling in
front of her with that concerned expression on his face.
Her eyes danced to her surroundings, taking in the slow bustle of the waiting room of a hospital before returning to the deep emerald pools.
Then came the memory of why she was there in the first place.
Narumi standing next to her at the bar of the restaurant talking in her slow, derisive manner.
It was an accidental meeting. A simple coincidence they had both come to that particular place. There had been no signs that it was anything other then a normal day.
The man that had stumbled into her back as she spoke quietly with the other woman.
Her own knee jerk reaction of grabbing the arm that had snaked around her side.
Her reaction had not been quick enough to prevent the gun in that hand from going off.
If only she had been just a second faster.
If only she had moved with just a bit more purpose.
Time had rushed forward creating chaos with her memories. There was a blank spot. A few moments where she had felt only a mad rush of something inside her. When the only sound in her ears had been Narumi's gasping breaths and her own savagely beating heart.
Something had happened in that moment but she could not remember exactly what it was that had.
In the end it had not mattered.
Narumi had been shot which was why she had been sitting in the hospital waiting room.
Why there was blood caked on her pants.
Why Kurama was here now with a change of clothing for her since she had not wanted to bother Kazuma who was studying for his finals.
She shifted in the chair she had been cat napping in, "Hey..."
"I brought what you asked for." Kurama said moving to take the seat beside her as he handed her a bag, "How is your...friend?"
She smirked at his uncertain tone as she leaned forward, "She's supposed to be out of surgery soon."
"Not likely. Besides only I get to hurt you. Everyone knows that."
It was mutual, that odd possessiveness between her and Narumi. The inverse was true, only she could hurt Narumi in this manner.
The dream could be directly linked to what had happened earlier.
Somewhere in the city someone that had tried to kill Narumi was walking around.
That someone she knew beyond a doubt had been hired to do so.
She also knew that person had not been human.
There were too many implications associated with what had happened.
She could not afford very many mistakes along this particular road. There were too many people who would be put instantly at risk.
"Wait for me." she said rising with the bag he had given her.
"If you wish." he responded agreeably.
Kurama watched as Shizuru spoke quietly with a young woman he assumed was a part of Narumi's gang with a growing sense of uneasiness.
They had stepped outside after Shizuru had changed clothing so that she could smoke. This was the second of such interruptions.
The image of her sitting propped up in the waiting room, her clothing stained with blood would not leave his mind.
At the time she had called him with her request of clothing he had not thought about the reason behind it. It was not so rare that she would contact him with an unusual request at a strange hour.
What she had said after their having witnessed her fighting Narumi still held true. Shizuru was adamant about their lack of involvement concerning certain aspects of her life.
He knew Hiei was subject to this restriction as well even after a year and a half of having begun a relationship with Shizuru.
"You three should keep your heads down for a little while. The only reason you haven't been involved in the stuff me and Shizuru do is because she's broken the bones of anyone who even mentions recruiting you. You should show her a little respect for her efforts."
Since hearing those near ominous words from Narumi he had attempted to ferret out the details concerning any interest. Suichi Minamino was not the guise that would have the contacts it seemed were required to find this information.
Whenever he had come close something would interfere in the process and he had come up short of any real information.
The closest he had come was the constant reconnection to Shizuru.
Though it was obvious she was at the heart of it all she had never bothered to reprimand him for his interest.
It had become one of those unique puzzles that he could not simply remove himself from. It was rare that anything in the Human World remained so outside of his grasp.
Shizuru finished her whispered conversation and rejoined him.
"I imagine you wished for me to wait for a specific reason?" he prompted raising an eyebrow.
She exhaled a plume of cigarette smoke into the night air not bothering to turn towards him.
"I have some things I'm going to have to do because of this. Think you could spend a few days at my place?" she asked quietly.
He felt his brow furrow, "Is there..."
"Last thing I need is that fireball overreacting to me not being there." she interrupted him finally casting a look at him.
Hiei divided time between the Human and Demon World. There was no real set time that he would return but it seemed he preferred to not spend longer than a month away from Shizuru.
While he had encouraged the pairing he wondered at the couple's strange ability to not implode.
He had observed that while Shizuru and Hiei singularly were powerful personalities once together they interacted without pause as if the time apart had not existed.
Neither could have been accused of being shrinking personalities. Either could and did exude an aura of unapproachable to a certain degree. Both had personality traits that should have caused the other to react in a negative fashion.
It was an intriguing phenomenon to say the least.
He understood her request instantly, "Hiei is due back soon."
From prior experience both of them knew if Hiei could not locate Shizuru in her normal haunts he did have a tendency to become somewhat insistent in his search for her.
That insistence had on at least one occasion brought him out of a sound sleep to find Hiei all but sitting on him with what could only be interpreted as murderous intent glowing in his crimson eyes.
He knew it was a reaction to the double life Shizuru led. Hiei had come to understand his life was not the only one spent with constant threat. In its own way Shizuru's mirrored Hiei's in the Demon World.
Though he would never admit it Hiei had developed a certain amount of anxiety that he would one day return and she would simply no longer be there.
Aside from being human Shizuru was in a constant state of dangerous situations that rivaled even Yusuke's ability to become involved in them. Added to that it was done purposefully through her spiritual awareness that had nothing to do with actual effort on Shizuru's part.
Watching her now he could not rid himself of the sense that there was something different about her. Some aspect that he had not previously been made aware of in her character. It communicated itself so subtly that he was hard pressed to give real definition to it. She was different but he had no idea why that was.
"Are you in danger Shizuru?" he asked point blank.
She took another drag from her cigarette seeming to consider his question for much longer then he was comfortable with.
"Don't ask stupid questions Red and I won't bother giving you half ass lies." She responded slowly.
"That's hardly reassuring." he censured carefully.
"Wasn't meant to be." she returned then cast a smirk in his direction, "To be honest I don't think so. Narumi's job isn't exactly the safest. And that's about all I'm telling you."
"He won't accept that as an explanation." he pointed out.
She chuckled darkly as she took another drag of her cigarette before flicking the remains off into the darkness of the parking lot.
"That's your problem." she said shrugging, "Balls in your court Kurama. Either you stay at my place and keep him solid or you end up with a really pissed off fire demon breaking your window in the middle of the night. We both know where he'll go if he can't find me."
"I see no reason for threats." he replied wishing he had anticipated her thoughts in this area, "You are becoming very adept in handling us."
"Like that's a new thing." she commented dryly.
Unfortunately he could not deny the comment. Shizuru had over time become the only human even he could not fully delve into the mind of. Even though he counted her as one of his closest friend he was unsure of what truly motivated her.
So what is it this time Shizuru? What is it that you intend to become involved in? Or is this something you have been involved in?
"If you wish to talk..." he began to offer.
His words caught in his throat as she fully turned to him.
It was nothing he could fully grasp yet it caused him to straighten.
It was in the way she held his eyes with her own. The darkened pools of shadowed topaz full of some unknown yet magnetic force.
He could not bring himself to look away.
For the briefest of moments he felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise.
She shifted as she dug into one of her pockets and produced her keys that she handed to him. He accepted the keys mindful of the hidden tension of her movements.
"If Kuza bugs you just tell him I'm at a hair convention or something." she said quietly.
He nodded still caught up in that unsettling regard.
Without another word Shizuru turned her back to him and strode towards the main doors of the hospital.
This does not feel right...
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