Her hands were shaking.
They had been since she left the arena after letting the medics there tend to her injuries.
What ever it was she had almost done to Miyake seemed to still be affecting her. She had thought when Chu stopped her the weakness she had felt had been due to shock.
Instead of slowly wearing off the physical weakness was lasting though it did not seem to bring with it any type of exhaustion.
Which in and of itself was aggravating.
She would have much rather slept off the feeling, even if where she was happened to be a very secure place she could not stand the sensation of being vulnerable to anything that might come along.
She took a drag of her cigarette, pointedly ignoring the tremor that made the action something she had to concentrate on.
Her eyes narrowed as she stared at the large house in the distance.
Making a habit of this crap...
She was not hiding.
She did not come here very much.
There were certain layers to the types of seclusion she was comfortable with.
She was not like Hiei.
There was not just being there and being away for her.
In truth she was not just concerned with having to deal with Kazuma, which was more than enough reason for her to not go running back to Narumi's safe house.
She had hit some kind of wall internally.
It was as if she had been swept up in something very similar to the sensations she associated with being under the influence of demonic energies without the pain involved.
She could not seem to entrench herself in her typical mode of disinterest, to pull away from the more immediate feelings of loneliness and abstract horror.
She could not get the image of Miyake's terror filled expression out of her mind.
She was use to seeing fear on the face of some of the people she fought, there was a point when they realized they had bitten off more than they could chew when facing off with her.
What Miyake had expressed was a level she had never associated with herself.
She did not want to dwell on the fact that while she had held him lost in the thoughts of his soul there had been an odd sort of hunger coursing through her.
Here, in the dark quiet of the night that sensation caused a deep revulsion even if she did not understand all of what those earlier feelings meant.
Her perceptions at the time had shifted without her want, without warning.
What seemed like a simple accidental wisp of confusion had been the only thing that brought her back from that mindset that she did not recognize as herself in any way.
How was she supposed to trust herself, her reactions in any given situation when there was no possible way for her to know she was crossing some internal line that more or less turned her into a psychopath?
What other description could she give that difference when not twenty minutes before that she had thought something very similar in regards to Botan who was someone she cared about?
Wasn't fighting her either...
She had made a huge miscalculation by allowing Takahashi to have his way.
Chancer had warned her he did not recognize what was inside her and she seriously doubted that at this point the kid could reverse what he had done by unlocking her access to them.
Which meant those instances were probably going to become more common and she had no real way to guard against them.
That was a sobering thought that sent a wave of nausea through her and made her eyes sting with tears.
At what point would she have to disregard what she was involved in to protect the people that she called family?
When would she become too dangerous?
Her options were not really options to begin with.
There was talking it over with the boys which she was predisposed to not consider an option to begin with.
Kurama had lost access to his demonic energies. Even though the red-head talked about not being bothered by the absence of them it was obvious that he was distracted by the loss.
Yusuke and Kazuma were not the brightest tools in the shed. Going to them was the same as talking to a wall since they had no clue about energies to begin with.
Genkai was gone.
Yukina was an option but she did not want to involve the young woman in anything that might endanger her.
Botan had very few answers and that book had only basic information to go on.
The knife of loneliness and indecision twisted inside her sharply.
Though Hiei might be the first person her mind supplied when the want to discuss something came up she tended to shove the thought aside.
Her inclinations were towards dealing with problems on her own, not going to others unless absolutely necessary.
Besides that how exactly was she supposed to tell him of all people about what was happening to her?
How could she without mentioning things she didn't want him to know?
The last thing she wanted to be responsible for was teaching Hiei anything close to the concept of guilt.
She jerked in surprise, looking up from her contemplation of the porch wood to find Hiro standing over her.
For a heartbeat she was simply confused by his sudden appearance, as if he had gained some magical ability until she realized she had been too distracted by her thoughts to notice anything.
Out of habit she stared at him just as he would have expected hoping he did not notice the moment of being startled.
Hiro was much too good at ferreting out weaknesses and using it against others.
"My father wanted someone to come out and check on you." Hiro offered smoothly.
Her back straightened at the soft tone he used. Hiro was not typically a decent person, it was always suspect when he was being nice.
"I'm fine." she assured him, reaching for another cigarette, "Tell your dad to stop being nosy."
Hiro chuckled then sat beside her as if it were normal for them to spend time alone together.
She noted he sat closer than she was comfortable with but there was not much she could do about that.
She was more or less trapped by the railing of the porch and the fact that her body did not feel as if it were capable of her moving without giving away her physical weakness.
Another thing she could not let him know.
"You can tell him that." Hiro suggested, "I try not to piss the old man off. It tends to get ugly."
She nodded noncommittal as if she were not hyper-aware of him in that moment.
Takeo's retirement from the yakuza had done very little to soften the ex boss. There were not that many including his own family that did not still tread lightly with him.
Hiro was actually terrified of his father but pretended it was nothing more than respect.
That did not mean that she could relax on the property when Hiro was there.
"I didn't come here looking for company." she said focusing for a moment to light her cigarette with as little shaking as possible, "What do you want Hiro?"
"You were messed up last time I saw you. I didn't just come out here because my dad wanted it." Hiro confessed, "Where's your friend? Shouldn't he be..."
"I don't see that as any of your business." she half snapped flicking her ash, "Why were you at the fights?"
Distraction was better than dealing with the jealousy in Hiro's voice.
It had been awhile since she had been so extremely aware of being vulnerable. Of course that knowledge was enough for her to wish for Hiei's presence, to wish they were that type of couple that spent times like these together.
She knew it was something she had helped create but that did not mean in that moment she was not susceptible to the want of what she could have counted on with him there.
"You're the one that suggested I put money in there." Hiro reminded her, moving closer, "I usually enjoy watching you fight but to be honest that really sucked Zuru."
She tensed internally drawing back a little as he used the old nickname. They had still been teenagers the last time he had used it with her though Narumi still used it when she was angry or upset.
"He should be here you know." Hiro insisted frowning as he turned more towards her, "You deserve better than someone who doesn't give a damn that you were hurt."
"I can take care of myself." she replied cautiously, "Hiei cares. He just shows it differently."
"You don't have to defend him." Hiro said scowling, "I would never do that to you. If you were mine you wouldn't ever have to worry about..."
"You should probably shut up." she interrupted with annoyance, "What are you trying to do? I've never acted like you have a chance with me."
"That can change." Hiro responded lifting a hand and reaching out towards her, "I know you don't really like being alone..."
She felt her eyes widened as Hiro's fingers touched her cheek, the caress shocking her enough to cause her to freeze.
Her heart began to race as she realized not only was he touching her in a way she only let Hiei, he was also moving forward with obvious intentions.
It was not just the shock that held her in place, the pervading weakness held her there and the thought that if she was not strong enough to fend him off things could go from bad to worse very easily.
Abruptly Hiro froze himself.
"If we were in my world you would be dead." Hiei informed Hiro darkly, appearing over his shoulder, "She is joined to me."
Profound relief flooded through her as she noted that Hiei's sword blade rested against Hiro's throat.
She was not quite able to identify the expression on Hiei's face, there was anger but there was more being displayed that she did not have much experience with from him.
In all honesty she had never been so intensely glad to see him in any mood before, it almost stole the breath from her.
Hiei pulled back drawing Hiro further away from her.
"You should inform your boyfriend what it means to threaten me Shizuru." Hiro growled.
She could not contain a short, breathy laugh, "You think I've kept him from the yakuza to protect him from you Hiro?"
That gained a small, momentary lift to one of the corners of Hiei's mouth.
Can't be to worked up if he can do that...
Hiro's eyes narrowed, "You..."
The blade at his throat shifted causing a small scraping sound effectively silencing Hiro.
"Your presence is no longer wanted. If you touch her again I will forget which world I am in." Hiei promised blackly.
Hiei removed the sword, straightening as he did so.
Hiro shook his head then without comment stood up and stalked away.
"That...was a little understated for you." She commented drily.
Hiei did not look at her, his eyes focused on the quickly diminishing figure moving towards the main house.
"Why are you not with the others?"
Abruptly she was aware of the fact that Hiei was right in front of her and not in the Demon World as she had only just began to accept.
That she was not in the right frame of mind to be dealing with him since his sudden appearance had created a new, more intense maelström inside of her already overwhelming emotional thoughts.
That as much as she had been yearning for him to be there only seconds before she very much wanted him to be anywhere else.
"What are you doing here?" she returned belatedly realizing she had dropped her lit cigarette into the grass.
The last thing she needed was to deal with the overzealous gardener over a patch of burnt grass.
She located it easily enough, bending to retrieve the remains that thankfully had put itself out at some point.
Unfortunately she underestimated her balance in the hurried movements.
Hiei's steadying hand on her shoulder saved her from a fairly embarrassing moment of hitting the ground head first.
"Our definitions are not the same." Hiei said as she straightened, "Otherwise you would not bother to ask such a foolish question."
Their eyes locked for a second.
"Don't do that to me." she snapped forcing herself to her feet, "I'm fine so you can..."
"Do not expect me to ignore the obvious." Hiei snapped back at her, "You are in no state to be alone and I will not leave you to fend off that human's attentions!"
"You're kidding right?" she asked stopping at the doorway to turn back towards him, "He won't come back out. Hiro's an idiot but he isn't suicidal."
"He has already shown a distinct lack of self-preservation." Hiei stated firmly.
She laughed, smirking slightly, "Yeah well I don't think anyone lives up to your standards in that area."
He was actually making her uncomfortable with the way he was staring at her.
As strange as it was the air between them was slowly becoming imbued with a manic, nervous energy that she had only associated with him when they were just beginning this relationship. As if suddenly there was something unknown and vibrant drifting in the surroundings.
Her insides squeezed with tension.
"Is there a reason you need encouragement to not collapse on the floor?" Hiei asked raising an eyebrow.
Of course he would notice the slight tremor that had traveled through her that she had tried to suppress.
She turned without comment to enter the single room house and sat on the edge of the bed.
She really needed him to leave but she could not think much beyond that odd shiver in the air. In some small way she was holding her breath, waiting for what it was going to produce. In another she was against the idea of discovering just what it meant.
"Hiei..." she began uncertainly.
"Your scent is heavy here." Hiei interrupted stepping into the house and sliding the door shut behind himself as his eyes roamed over the room, "Why?"
She glanced around the room, "I don't think Takeo lets anyone else use it but me. I come here when you aren't around..."
She frowned, "To be alone."
"Enough." Hiei insisted drawing her attention to him, "That is enough of this foolishness. If there are things to be said then do so. I do not enjoy the strain between us. At what point did you stop being the one to speak?"
"Since when are you the one who wants to?" she countered annoyance flaring, "All I want is one night to be left alone. You don't want to keep pushing me right now."
His eyes narrowed slightly, "It is not as if I fear you."
She could only stare at him in shock.
It was a rarity for him to take something she said as a threat when she did not mean for it to be taken in that way.
Then anger took the place of shock.
"I'm trying to be nice here." she forced out through grit teeth, "I'm trying to not be...too much for you. If you keep pushing I don't know that I can keep it in."
His head tilted as he studied her again, "In what way am I to take that? It makes no sense."
Stupid...arrogant...pain in the ass...
There were not enough words to describe the frustration that coursed through her, that caused her eyes to sting forcing her to avert her eyes again.
"I come here to think. I don't remember asking you to come along." she finally said.
If she kept her focus away from him she had slightly more control over her emotions, maybe enough to convince him to leave before anything truly horrifying happened.
"You ask nothing of me."
"Most guys would like that." she tossed back without thinking.
What was it that he wanted from her?
"You are being purposefully difficult." Hiei accused.
She sighed internally, "So go and hang out with..."
"I do not come to this world for them!" Hiei snarled, his voice full of frustration.
Surprised she finally turned to look at him.
She was use to a modicum of tension in his voice, it was normal for his tone to be mildly insulting but the frustration he had just expressed was not normal.
It was an exceptional gift to glare with the intensity he possessed.
Her brow furrowed as he looked away from her, another unusual happenstance.
That unnerving tension in the space between them seemed to double.
"I'm asking you to go." she told him quietly, "If you don't I'm going to be very...human in front of you."
Again came that heated attention as his eyes fully focused on her.
Those eyes that were slightly widened which was for him a sure sign she had shocked him with her words.
Was it really that shocking?
"I am to believe you accept my demonic aspects while you hide your human ones from me?"
She had always been well aware of the double standard reflected in the way she viewed these particular subjects. Hearing him voice it so clearly with obvious annoyance made it something worth defending.
"So sue me if I don't want you seeing me as weak." she grumbled looking down at the bed, "I didn't say it made sense okay."
There was the sound of cloth shifting.
She automatically looked up, confused by the sound to find what was probably the strangest reaction she had ever seen from him.
Hiei had removed his cloak and sword, she had caught him in the act of putting both on the floor. His movements were not the normal almost seductive grace she was use to from him. There was a sort of hesitancy in them as if he were talking himself into whatever it was he planned.
Despite the chaos inside her when his hands went to remove his shirt her usual humor asserted itself.
"It's not my birthday."
Hiei paused in his action, casting a decidedly annoyed glance at her before finishing the removal of his shirt.
He cast that to the ground before removing the cloth that hid the Jagan.
"I only require that you watch." He informed her turning more fully towards her then paused, "I will change."
His tone only confirmed that he was not fully comfortable with what he was doing. That to a certain degree he was doing something he did not fully want to do.
She was not certain what to expect but his obvious reluctance caused her to tense as she felt a surge in the demonic energies that surrounded him.
He was not certain what had decided him on this particular course of action.
He had not come to this place with any fully formed intentions.
He had wanted only to confront her, to rid the both of them of the uneasiness that resided between them that he had attributed more to the situation than anything else.
He had not been prepared for the concept that she had been hiding herself from him in this manner.
As usual she made no sense to him.
She was human.
That was undeniable.
It was one thing to control his strength when touching her but he had never viewed his dealings with her as lacking when it came to his expression of self.
She was privy to more than he allowed the others to see.
After hearing she was purposefully denying her own nature he realized the space between them was as much his lack of experience in these areas as it was her inclination to care too much for others.
They were the same in many ways but the differences that existed still held a somewhat mystic quality to them, a haze that he did not readily understand.
Granted her admission that she did not want him to view her as weak had caused a flurry of strange fluttering in his core. He had no true idea what she was withholding in order to appear strong to him but in the end it had been a sort of catalyst.
He was unwilling to allow the pretense of hiding to continue.
Despite his decision as his demonic form settled into place he found himself hesitant to meet her eyes.
Would this be what finally caused fear to be in her?
It was not often he bothered with the form and never under circumstances such as these.
He blamed the concept entirely on her.
If she were not so stubbornly refusing to be human he would not have entertained the idea of forcing the issue that he was a demon.
In this form there was no denying what he was.
And in truth he had never been so fully aware of her eyes on him, of the strange tension that ate at him as he waited for her response what ever it might be.
There was only silence from her which made the tension inside grow tighter.
Then she shifted as if she were moving towards him and his eyes automatically sought out the source of the sound.
Her eyes were centered on his body, her brow furrowed slightly.
His assumption had been correct, yet again Shizuru was reaching for him without preamble.
He had to force himself to remain still, this form was in some ways more sensitive than his other. It was more attuned to the sense of strength inherent in the slightly larger size. His perceptions slightly altered to take in more scents and awareness of energies due to the Jagan being fully opened.
This form was also attuned to perceiving threat and though she was not moving in a way that could be seen as such he still had to concentrate to not shy away from the light, cool touch of her fingertips as they came into contact with his chest.
Just as it had the first time she had reached out to him there was a sense of disbelief in witnessing the action.
He doubted he would ever become fully use to her doing so.
Her fingers traced closer to one of the eyes that lay on his chest but paused near the edge as if she were uncertain.
He reached up to lightly guide her hand over it.
"It isn't...real?" Shizuru questioned softly.
"The addition of the Jagan caused these to appear." He informed her ignoring the slight pull of reaction due to the changed tenor of his voice, "In some part they amplify it but they do not exist in a physical sense."
"You thought I'd be scared huh."
"I think you cannot accept something you have never seen." He returned finally looking at her, "This is the form in my mind when you mention demonic. This that you have never seen of me."
It was not fear he saw in her steady gaze, and to his horror those topaz orbs began to fill with tears.
The shock of seeing the water in her eyes broke the build of energies he used to maintain his demonic form. He felt it slip away as he stared at her.
While he did not equate tears with weakness he did associate them with pain, both physical and emotional, something to be avoided at all costs from those close to him.
He had found that as he aged he seemed to have a strong, natural aversion to them. He hid the reaction under the layers of self-protection he had built. If anything he blamed it on the familial link to the Ice Maidens.
He was not even certain he held the physical attributes needed to produce tears.
It was yet another reason for him to distance himself, why he only had sought out momentary bouts of female company.
Yukina had broken through those layers with disgusting ease even if she was his sister.
Shizuru's tears, that show of what had to be a deep agony, caused a sense of confusion and helplessness.
"Damn..." Shizuru whispered harshly turning away from him as she swiped at her eyes, "I told you to get out of here."
He realized belatedly that in his shock he had released her hand and stepped back as if he were rejecting what he was seeing.
That was not the case, he merely was at a loss.
The only thought prevalent in his mind was how to make her stop which he had no idea how to go about doing.
He was not all that certain what had caused those tears in the first place.
"Not so easy to deal with when it's in your face huh?" Shizuru commented.
There was a note of resignation in her voice that disturbed him.
He could have left, it was always an option. To simply not deal with anything so intrinsically full of the unknown.
What he did know was that if he decided to leave there would be no return from it.
It would be seen as outright rejection and rightly so since he would have perceived it in the same way.
That knowledge invaded the space between them, something almost tangible in its undeniable reality. A sense of something bent to the point of breaking. The question held in that quality was if that fragile concept would be snapped in a manner that chased them from each other or brought them closer together.
He could see she was aware of it as well. It was in the manner that she had brought her knees up to her chest, causing that unsettling illusion that she had suddenly become smaller.
As confused and unnerved as he was by her tears it was nothing in comparison to the deep-rooted denial that coursed through him at the thought of leaving.
Instead of attempting to speak to her he snatched his shirt from the floor and settled onto the bed careful to not move too quickly.
He also purposefully kept space between them, a border that allowed the both of them space to breathe.
"You don't have to force yourself." Shizuru offered in a dull, lifeless tone.
It grated instantly on his nerves.
Her expectations of him were decidedly low as they always had been. For a time that might have been acceptable but now it was only too apparent it caused more harm than good.
"You forget...I do nothing I do not wish to do." He replied tensely.
Shizuru sighed heavily moving farther away from him so she could lean her back against the wall before curling back into that detested ball of insecurity and painful emotion.
He did not like to think he was the cause of this reaction, "This is not..."
"It's normal I guess." Shizuru said interrupting him though she did not look at him as she spoke, "It messes me up when you leave. I know you have to but it doesn't mean I have to like it."
Being required to leave was a relative concept. He tended to if only out of curiosity or a deeper desire for conflict but he did not consider it as something he had to do. It was just what he did.
That particular thought was something he had never considered before. There was a time his ambition had pulled him back to the Demon World, a time where it had been all that swayed him.
He had spent the last year and a half chasing after dual ambitions without realizing it.
Demon World, his appointment as Mukuro's heir, and Shizuru.
Both held almost equal pulls though he had never once asked Shizuru how much time he had spent in her company. He could admit he tended to ignore the flow of time around her.
He had only asked that of Mukuro when he lost time within the healing tanks and then his mind was full of Shizuru not the outcome of whatever battle he had been injured in.
But he was well aware that Shizuru was not so easily swayed by her emotions.
That those tears would not have been shed for that singular reason.
There was more to this then she was admitting to, more that caused her normally sardonic nature to be completely subverted.
The only other time something similar had happened was during her time in Demon World, when she had discovered that her spiritual energies no longer worked in the way they had previously.
Her energies now flowed as he expected them to.
They surrounded her in a translucent bloom that shifted and swayed in an almost hypnotic manner. This was a sure sign of their strength and passivity.
Kuwabara's only flared when he purposefully used them, otherwise they were all but a second skin, tucked tightly against the giant's body.
In the arena Shizuru's energies had changed becoming that strange, undulating mirage that both surrounded her tightly and radiated outward in waves that had touched the edges of the daïs.
It had been only the second time he had witnessed it but he was certain it had increased in both intensity and size.
He had also witnessed the momentary horror that had crossed her features for that split second though he had been certain she meant to end the life of the human.
"You know...I can feel it when you do that." Shizuru informed him.
He tilted his head in confusion, "I have no idea what you mean."
"You just used your Jagan on me." Shizuru explained raising her head to meet his eyes, "I can feel when you do that."
He snorted indelicately, unwilling to admit he had done so without much thought. He had neglected to fully close the Jagan due to forgetting to cover it again.
"Does it make you uncomfortable?" he asked suddenly curious.
Her mouth quirked on one side, "The third eye staring at me? It's weird cause it doesn't blink but it's not like I didn't know it was there. I did go to the Dark Tournament and you weren't exactly shy about using it."
"How is it you are so accepting of these...things?" he questioned though he did close the Jagan entirely to put her more at ease.
"I'm not." Shizuru denied running a shaking hand through her hair, "I accept you. Pretty much any other demon creeps me out. I'm just a hell of a lot better at hiding it then most people bother being. At the Dark Tournament Keiko went stupid and ran away from me. I kinda got myself chased by a group of them looking for her. Trust me I was scared at the time."
"Is that when you met Sakyo?" he half growled.
Her eyebrow lifted, "Yeah he saved me from them. Who...nevermind I smell a red-headed rat..."
She studied him for a moment and abruptly he was uncomfortable with the scrutiny.
He had not meant to ask the question. Being in her company somehow turned his ability to think before speaking off. He did not appreciate that fact in the least.
"You know the best thing about him?" Shizuru asked slowly as if she were being cautious with her words.
"I have no interest in knowing anything about your past relationships." He snapped.
Shizuru chuckled, "It wasn't even one. Still you should probably get that jealousy thing checked so I'm going to tell you anyway."
He scowled hoping that would be enough to quell the moment of sharing, knowing it would have no affect.
"He would've followed the rules." Shizuru went on, "Being with Sakyo would've been like not being with anyone. He never would've cared about me. I don't think he had it in him to care about anything but himself."
"It is a rule to...not...care for you?" He asked knowing his absolute confusion was obvious.
"Yeah...you broke it by the way." Shizuru replied moving enough to retrieve something from her pocket.
The black and gold lighter glinted as she shifted it in her hand.
He barely held himself back from snatching it from her and destroying it once and for all.
The strength of the hate he felt for the object was a bit surprising.
"I don't keep this because it was his anymore." Shizuru said reaching for a pack of cigarettes that sat on the small table beside her, "I don't even keep it because it means anything. I haven't even thought about it being his since we started this."
She lit the cigarette she had just pulled out then flipped the lighter at him.
He automatically caught it, torn between using his flame to destroy it and grasping how little it meant to her.
It was a lighter, nothing more.
He tossed the thing back at her without commenting feeling slightly foolish for that surge of black hate he had felt only seconds before.
"I appreciate you not killing Hiro."
"That is not necessarily decided yet." He insisted gruffly, "At the very least if he touches you again I will remove his hand."
"Then I get to go punch Mukuro?"
It had to be the least expected thing she could have said. The result was that he simply stared at her again, his mind a total blank.
"I can now." Shizuru assured him conversationally, "I'm a lot stronger than I use to be."
How had the conversation turned into absolute madness?!
"I suppose that passes as a real threat." He replied scathingly, "What purpose would that serve?"
"Personal satisfaction." Shizuru answered with a dark smirk, "Hitting her would go a long way to making me feel alright about how possessive she is about you."
No it had not just become madness but a form of insanity that was beyond his understanding.
"Mukuro has no interest in me." He scoffed.
"I didn't say that she did or she didn't." Shizuru returned, "She's just really possessive when it comes to you. I don't like it. If you get to take off Hiro's hand it's only fair that I get at least one good shot at Mukuro."
"That would be suicide." He pointed out scowling at her, "Your energies are not on par with her's."
The smirk drifted from Shizuru's face as she looked away from him and took a drag from her cigarette.
He waited for her to speak since he was uncertain what it was that had caused the reaction.
Internally he tensed against the thought of her actually seeking out Mukuro in the Demon World. There had been a certain amount of steely resolve to her tone. He did not want to contemplate the outcome of a meeting such as that between the two females.
"You know...sometimes it's like I'm trying to do something someone else was suppose to do." Shizuru said quietly then shrugged, "It's hard to explain."
"Attempt to." He insisted moving a few inches closer to her, "I tire of hearing of you from others."
It was not that she had changed the subject so suddenly that had drawn his attention.
He had become adept at noting the change in qualities to her voice, there was a certain distance to it when she spoke of things pertaining to her energies.
"Hiei..." Shizuru began hesitantly.
"If I took issue with your humanity or in any aspect about you I would have never associated with you." He asserted tightly, "As I said before our definitions are different. When I say you are necessary to me that means not even Koenma could hope to separate me from you."
He could only tolerate so much hesitation, entertain so much need for patience.
He allowed for doubt but was unwilling to tolerate any more concerning that particular fact.
Shizuru studied him for a long moment then put out her cigarette in an ashtray beside the bed.
"It's like I ended up with a job I'm not ready to do." Shizuru began frowning as she spoke, "Like that someone else knew what had to be done and it would've gone good for them but they just didn't show up so I'm stuck with it. Everything is hard. Nothing is going to go the right way. And I can't even be sure what ends up happening is what is suppose to happen."
His brow furrowed, "Are you certain?"
He could not say he understood everything she had just spoken of but he did know that it was again against what was normal for her. There was no sense of control in her words, as if her perceptions had abandoned her.
"I think I...I messed up." Shizuru admitted quietly, "I thought I had it under control but today..."
"Your energies were not controlled." He supplied.
A short, harsh bark of mirth escaped her, "No I wasn't in control."
The hairs on the back of his neck stirred as she put a hand to her forehead.
"Explain," He demanded heatedly as his core went cold.
He forced himself not to glance down towards the sealed wrapping on his arm. There was no conceivable way for there to be a repeat of previous events.
He had been cautious despite her insistence in the past that nothing remained behind.
The seal he had set on the dragon was twice the strength needed for him to hold it where it lay on his arm.
He never attempted to invade her mind.
Even the lingering memories had faded to nothing more than an occasional dream sequence that could at times awaken him but no longer affected his physical form.
He had known she had done something to affect her energies, had attempted to discover what she was hiding about it but in truth there had been a part of him that wanted to ignore it. To deny that it was not a natural step in the function of her normal energies.
"I was exaggerating a little before when I said I didn't care when I was in the ring." Shizuru offered drawing her knees closer to rest her chin on them, "I would've cared if I had to fight one of you. I still would've but not to kill you. I would've found a way out of that."
"And now?" He prompted sharply.
Her brow furrowed slightly, "Now I think...whatever Chancer let out of me is taking over."
The same human that had stolen Kurama's demonic energies was responsible for allowing Shizuru access to these unknown ones.
It explained many things, including that passing look of revulsion in the ring.
"It is not you that fights?"
Kurama was much more adept at asking questions, of knowing the right way to lead someone towards important information.
His was a much more direct route, one he would not employ when dealing with Shizuru.
"No its me...just not." Shizuru replied apparently frustrating herself since she made a small sound of disgust, "I see things differently like that. It's like I shut down and all I care about is the pain and terror I'm causing. I want my energies to take it all in and...I think maybe it makes me hungry."
As furious as he was with her for withholding this outpouring of information he could not hold too tightly to it.
Not with that lost expression on her face that only served to add to the entire impression of her occupying as little space as possible.
It did not help that her voice had dipped as if she were ashamed of herself.
He wanted to be angry.
His hands ached to smash something.
His own energies pulsed in mesmeric waves that crashed against his control, struggling to find an outlet that he was denying it.
What held him back was he finally realized exactly what Shizuru was trying so desperately to hide.
"You are afraid." He stated out loud for both of their benefit since it was a difficult concept for him realize, "And did not wish for me to know."
Her eyes on him again, that almost insulting expectation.
She had no true concept of what that knowledge did to him internally.
Her fear wrapped him instantly into a state of protectiveness that for a moment seemed strong enough to choke him.
He slowly approached her, having noted earlier how she shook from time to time.
She was on the verge of running herself, uncertainty in every movement of her eyes.
He reached out a hand and caressed her cheek, "There will be no more separation. If you must do this to its end then I will be at your side at all times."
"And if it gets worse?" Shizuru asked meeting his eyes.
Once again he was struck by the openness of her gaze.
Only he was privy to what danced in those topaz orbs.
Only he was given the gift of her vulnerability.
"I am here." He assured her before bending forward to capture her lips.
I know this took me a bit but I hope you enjoyed it enough to REVIEW! THANKS XD!