A/N: So, I was bored and I decided to watch Yu Yu Hakusho, to try and understand it. It was an old anime and well, I didn't really understand it when I was a kid. So... yeah... Anyways, I thought I'd make a one-shot about these two! Hope you like it!
Coming Home Drunk
It was already one o'clock in the morning.
A little boy who looked no older than eight years old looked up at the clock that hung from the wall for the umpteenth time that night. He kept clutching at the small blanket he had brought with him to the table. He was very sleepy but he fought hard to stay awake.
His mother had gone out hours before and the babysitter she hired left him as soon as his mother was out of sight, claiming that she had a date, whatever that was.
The boy sighed and rested his head on the table. "Kaa-san... when are you coming home?"
He pulled the blankets up to his face and sniffled into them. He could feel tears prickling at the corners of his eyes. He couldn't help it. He was all alone in a dark, run-down apartment. His mother wasn't here. He didn't have anyone. But even if that was the case, he couldn't allow himself to cry. He was Urameshi Yusuke! He had to be tough! His mother told him so!
Yusuke glanced up at the clock again. Barely three minutes had passed. "Kaa-san..."
This was the third time it happened now. The first was when he was a little over five years old. Fortunately, his mother hired a good sitter and he was able to fall asleep, despite his mother's absence. The second one was when he was seven. His mother never came to pick him up from school. He met a girl from school earlier that day. Her name was Keiko and she offered to let him wait for his mother at her house. Her parents were nice, unlike those grown-ups at the upper part of their house. They always whisper mean things when he passed by. He waited all afternoon for his mother to arrive but when it became late in the evening, he figured that she wasn't coming.
At first, he felt like crying, but Mr. Yukimura offered to walk him home. Luckily, his mother was sober enough to write his address on his belongings so they were able to get him back home. However, she wasn't home, although she left their apartment open.
Even though Atsuko, his mother, drank a lot, she seldom went out just for it. She usually just buys bottles of liquor and drink herself to death at home.
Yusuke buried his face under the blanket and he felt his head come in contact with the smooth wood of the table's surface. He could hear his stomach grumbling from underneath him. He hadn't had any dinner. His mother left at five and the fridge only held empty sake bottles and half-eaten chips. He had gone through the chips earlier but he couldn't stomach it.
He really wanted to sleep right now but he wanted his mother to rub his back soothingly, as she always did.
"Kaa-san... come back..."
As though his pleas had been answered, the door suddenly swung open and it clicked close a minute later. A loud groan was heard moments later and then, a bottle rolled down the floor. Yusuke sat up immediately and ran towards the door.
Sure enough, Atsuko stood there, leaning on the wall for support. Her face looked red and she looked very disheveled. Small hiccoughing sounds were heard every now and then as she struggled to keep herself up.
"Damn... Where's that bottle? I'm not finished yet..." Atsuko said as she started searching the ground for it.
Despite her drunken state, Yusuke smiled brightly as he walked up to her. His mother was back, that was all that mattered to him.
"Kaa-san! Kaa-san! You're back! You're back!" Yusuke said brightly as he started to hop up and down.
Atsuko cringed and clutched her head. Yusuke's voice multiplied ten times over in her head, making it pound painfully. "Gaahh! Shut up!"
Yusuke immediately ceased his actions and looked at her. "Are you alright, Kaa-san?"
Atsuko winced as her son's voice boomed inside her head. Her headache was becoming worse and she was starting to see double. She stumbled forward, wanting to get to her fuuton as quick as possible. Everything was starting to spin. Without even thinking, she pushed her son away. "Shut up, will you?! My head hurts, dammit! God, what does it take to get rid of you?!" she said angrily as she walked past him.
Yusuke hit his head on the floor and he could feel a bump forming there. "Ow..."
It really hurt. His head hurt. He tried to sit up but he felt himself becoming dizzy all of a sudden.
He wanted to cry. He wanted to let it all out. He wanted to cry so bad. The tears were already coming. He whimpered pitifully as he placed a hand on his head. He immediately withdrew it though, after feeling a stinging pain from the lump on it.
"What're you whimpering about, you good-for-nothing brat?! Shut up!" said Atsuko's voice from the other room.
Yusuke immediately clamped a hand on his mouth. The last thing he wanted to do was to anger his mother further. He had never seen her like this. Even when she gets herself drunk in the house, she never acted like this. She never hit him. She would never hurt him. Sure, she grumbled but those were usually about bills.
Hearing her talk to him like that hurt so much. Yusuke wiped away his tears, not wanting his mother to see it when he would enter the room. He pulled back the sliding door and crept inside.
Atsuko was desperately trying to block out the sounds so she placed her pillow over her head and clamped it down with her hands. Upon seeing his mother in that state, Yusuke clamped a hand over his mouth to muffle his whimpers and proceeded to his own fuuton lying not far away from his mother's. He could still hear her mumbling underneath the pillow.
With unusual silent steps that the eight-year old possessed, Yusuke slowly made his way to his fuuton. Just as he was about to slip inside, his mother removed the pillow from her head and sat up so fast that Yusuke lost his balance and fell backwards with a loud thump.
"THAT'S IT!" Atsuko yelled, raising her hands to the air. She was dizzy and her body was groaning in protest at her every move but her son was being so damn loud. How was she going to get any sleep? She stood up as best as she could, without falling over, and picked up Yusuke by his shirt collar. He protested and called for her to stop but her drunk mind just wanted to have some peace and QUIET.
She pulled back the doors and roughly shoved Yusuke outside. "Stay out there, dammit! Try and make another sound and I'll kick you out of the house!"
Yusuke backed away quickly, scared of his mother's fearsome drunk personality. He had truly never saw her like this and it terrified the small boy. He no longer had access to the bedroom and he was all alone out here.
Trying to stifle his sobs and wiping his tears away, he made his way into the kitchen. It was winter and thankfully, their table had been turned into a kotatsu. If it hadn't, he would have been frozen solid.
Yusuke slid under the kotatsu's thick covers and tried to get rid of his tears before falling asleep.
Atsuko had woken up to one hell of a hangover. Her head was pounding fiercely and everything seemed to be spinning and her throat felt so dry... overall, she just felt really horrible. Like really, really, REALLY horrible. Still, she struggled to sit up and tried to rub her eyes drowsily as her hands slowly searched the floor for some cigarettes. She wanted to drink something... but really, she didn't have it in her to get up.
Maybe she'd ask Yusuke. As she recalled, he was tall enough to reach the kitchen counters now.
With a slight groan, Atsuko turned her head towards the fuuton that lay next to hers and her heart stopped momentarily when she saw it empty and unused. Her headache was still agonizingly painful and she was still dizzy, but she immediately got up. She had to find out where that boy was. Geez, giving her a heart attack this early in the morning...
She slid the door open and stumbled into the small kitchen area. She had the urge to puke but she held it down. finding Yusuke was her main priority right now. Although, getting a glass of water on the way wouldn't hurt.
She was about to move towards the sink when her feet caught in something and she stumbled forwards. Luckily, she was able to grab the surface of the kitchen counter so she was able to prevent her fall. She immediately glared at the kotatsu and grumbled under her breath.
As soon as her grumbles left her lips, she heard a whimper from underneath the table.
'Well, that was unusual...' Atsuko thought as she stepped closer towards it. She may be hungover but that small sound couldn't escape her ears even if she tried. "Yusuke? Is that you under there?"
She heard the whimper again and the thick covers of the kotatsu began trembling. Well, at least the small mound that was protruding from it was.
Atsuko stepped closer and she slowly pulled back the covers to see her only child whimpering as he slowly slid away from her. The sight was heartbreaking. What exactly happened last night?
"Yusuke? Yusuke, honey, it's alright. I'm not going to hurt you." she said. She extended her arms out to him, letting him know that it was okay to come out. But instead, Yusuke only seemed to tremble and whimper more, still trying to distance himself from her.
Atsuko wasn't going to lie, she was tired, her head felt like it was about to explode, everything around her was loud and annoying and she desperately needed some water, but seeing her son in that state made her forget about those things. Yes, she felt like crap but Yusuke was more important right now.
"Yusuke?" she called and winced at the loudness of her voice in her head as it made it throb painfully. "Yusuke, please come out. Look, I'm not gonna hurt you. See?" She extended her arms out as if to hug him and gave a small, slightly forced smile. Damn, she really wasn't going to last much longer. This hangover had to be the worst one in a really long time.
Yusuke didn't seem to show any signs of moving. Atsuko sighed and tried again. "Yusuke, please? Kaa-san's not feeling so good right now. Please come out."
Instead of crawling out of the kotatsu, Yusuke answered in a small, trembling voice. "Y-You weren't feeling g-good last night, t-too... r-right?"
Atsuko's eyes widened. She never saw Yusuke like this before. She'd gotten herself drunk countless of times before but everything was fine the morning after. She could only imagine what happened last night. But it would be better to find out from someone who actually remembered what happened. "Yusuke? What exactly happened last night? Did I do something?"
Yusuke winced after he heard that. He knew his mother wouldn't remember but those things that she said... Sniffling a bit, he answered, "N-Nothing happened... r-really."
Atsuko didn't believe that. It was all too clear in his voice. But her facial expression softened as she asked him. "Yusuke, please, just tell me. I won't get mad, promise. What happened last night?"
At his mother's soft, soothing voice, Yusuke looked up and stared at her with tear-filled eyes for a moment before he broke down. He shot out of the kotatsu and ran into her arms, sobbing loudly as he held on to her tightly. He was a bit tentative at first, but he relaxed in her arms moments later. Atsuko was a bit surprised at her son's sudden movements but she held him close, nonetheless, as she whispered comforting words to him while rubbing circles on his back.
They stayed like that for a few minutes until Yusuke's sobs gradually died down. Atsuko decided to try asking again. "Yusuke, please, tell me what happened last night."
Yusuke shook his head, denying his mother her request. He couldn't tell her.
"Yusuke... please. I just want to know. I promise, I won't do what I did last night." 'Whatever that might be' Atsuko added inside her head. It was just a simple question. Why wouldn't Yusuke just answer her? Did she do something like... traumatize him or something?
"Yusuke, please." she was getting desperate and she wanted answers. Whatever she did, she wanted to punish herself a hundred times for causing Yusuke to act like this. However, she just wasn't fully prepared to accept his answer.
"Kaa-san... l-last night... y-you acted like you d-didn't... like... like y-you hate me s-so much... Y-You wanted m-me out of the way..."
Atsuko's eyes widened at that. How could she... how could she possibly... She looked at the child in her arms, trembling as he recalled the events from last night. Did she really say those kinds of things? Sure she was so young and so unprepared when he came into her life but she wouldn't change it for anything. She loved him so much. Why would she say those kinds of things to him?!
She gripped Yusuke's shoulders and had him look into her eyes with a serious expression. Hangover forgotten and momentarily discarded, she said, "Yusuke, those things I said last night... I..." she swallowed. She thought she had the nerve to do this moments ago. But she had to do this. "Those... those things I said last night, you know I didn't mean it right?"
Yusuke only looked away.
"Listen, I..." she placed a hand on his chin and had him look into her eyes. "I love you... more than you could ever know Yusuke. If you hear someone say otherwise, even if it comes from me, don't listen. Don't listen to them because you know that that isn't true. I would say it again and again, and every single time, you know that I really mean it..." She moved to wrap her arms around him. "I really, really do..."
Yusuke buried his face into her shoulders and cried. "S-So you don't hate m-me?"
Atsuko let out a slightly forced laugh as she pulled away from the hug. "I'd never hate you, Yusuke. Ever. You know why?"
Yusuke looked up at her. "W-Why?"
Atsuko sniffed and wiped the tears that had streamed down her face. "Because I just love you so much. There... I said it again and I won't hesitate to do it over and over."
Yusuke finally gave her a smile. It didn't matter if it was small, Atsuko knew that he was already feeling okay and that was good enough for her. Unfortunately, the returning feeling of her hangover said so otherwise. Oh well...
As Yusuke turned around to get her a glass of water to drink, she noticed the slightly visibly bump on his head. It looked like he hit it on something. Worried, Atsuko immediately asked. "Yusuke, what happened to your head?"
Yusuke stopped his actions and touched the bump on his head. "Oh, this?" he said, remembering the events last night. He didn't really need to sadden his mother even more. With a smile, Yusuke said, "I was clumsy last night. I accidentally hit my head. Hahahaha"
A/N: Okay... that's it for this one-shot. So... what do you guys think?