FANFIC: Rose Red

Padawan
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FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

This story was posted on http://www.fanfiction.net under the pseudonym Anomura. Please don't flame me, unless your name is Silver Fox (who I have given permission to beat the living daylights out of this story).

Part One, Scene I

The streets of the city were jarred with the traffic of late evening, and nighttime pedestrians crowded onto and flowed off of the sidewalk, unconcernedly jostling each other as they tried to get wherever they were going. Neon lights were flickering with advertisements for restaurants and such, and the florescent light fixtures of the department stores illuminated the area.

Supporting himself with a knobbly walking stick, Urameshi Yuusuke staggered through the disorganized mess that had fondly been dubbed Tokyo. The hustle and bustle of partying teenagers and night shift employees pressed in on him from all directions, but he limped steadfastly onward, pretending that he didn't notice the curious and horrified looks he was drawing.

In all honesty, he looked like the sole surviving character of a slasher film - which, in a manner of speaking, he was. Before he'd managed to defeat Gouki and take the treasure which the soul-sucking ogre had stolen, Yuusuke had been on the receiving end of a brutal stomping. His junior high school uniform was torn to little more than rags, his spine felt ready to snap in two, and one of his dark brown eyes was swollen halfway shut. And it was all in the name of reclaiming some treasure for the Underworld.

Yuusuke shoved his hand into the pocket of his ruined trousers, withdrawing the first of the three treasures he was to recover. It was a sphere, approximately the size and weight of a baseball, fashioned of what seemed to be green tainted glass. Sickly light emanated from somewhere inside the orb, and veins the color of oil split the sphere into large sections, pulsing like something alive. The Rapacious Orb was nearly as hideous as the thief who had stolen it, Yuusuke noted with a grimace.

He had almost gotten himself killed - again - during his second attempt to bring Gouki in, and the ogre was supposed to be the weakest of the three demons. Somewhere in Tokyo, there were still two more thieves for Yuusuke to track down. The odds of completing the mission in the allotted time were slim to none. How did Koenma expect him to arrest two more demons in less than a week?

"I'm a complete wreck," Yuusuke muttered to himself tiredly, replacing the orb into his trousers for safekeeping. "I'm going home and getting some rest. I'll find Kurama and Hiei later..."

Just then, a shrill beeping sounded. Yuusuke glanced down at his Aura Meter, stricken with panic. The little device was picking up a demon from two-hundred meters away. One-hundred fifty meters... With a shudder of terror, it dawned on him.

It was coming closer.

Was the demon searching for him? Perhaps it wouldn't strike at him in the middle of such a cluttered street, but if it did, Yuusuke was in no shape to tangle with it. There was nowhere to run; even if there was, he could barely walk straight, much less pull off a decent escape. He had the devil's luck, sometimes...

When the aura-seeking compass read two meters, the crowds seemed to part. Yuusuke narrowed his unswollen eye at the male who stood before him.

The demon - Kurama, he remembered vaguely - was several centimeters taller than him, but his appearance was hardly daunting. He was built gracefully, with long legs and a slim waist. Deep burgundy hair swirled and draped over slender shoulders, each curl and strand gleaming brilliantly in the streetlights, and his eyes were dark green, solemn and strangely dull. There was an air of such maturity about this demon that Yuusuke wasn't sure what to make of him.

The detective tensed, waiting.

"No need to bristle like that, Urameshi Yuusuke," the demon said in a calm voice. "I'm not here to fight...or run. In point of fact, I'm here to ask a favor."

Yuusuke frowned at him, suspicious. "What sort of favor?"

Kurama's eyes glimmered faintly.

"Give me three days. After that, I will gladly return the Mirror of Darkness."

Silver Fox
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

Wow. That was great Padawan. You seem to be very intelligent. It was very discriptive. When I was reading through it I could actually picture the scene when it happened in the anime. That is a great talent to write so well. I should definetely be more discriptive in my writtings. Thanks for the advice.

Padawan
Visitor

re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

Here's another part of my fanfic. Thanks to everyone who has read so far!

Part One, Scene Two

At the Urameshi residence, Yuusuke's assistant rubbed a bit of alcohol into his wounds. He hissed sharply in pain, muttering a few choice curses and blowing on the stinging scrapes.

"Kurama is a wanted criminal," Botan said severely as she peeled the wrapper from a bandage. She pressed it onto Yuusuke's forearm, ignoring his annoyed scowl as she continued. "It has to be a trick. I mean, think about this... You do realize that the full moon is in three days, don't you?"

Yuusuke's brow creased. "Yeah. So what?"

Botan rose to her feet, flipping her ponytail over one shoulder.

"The full moon is when the Mirror of Darkness will reach its full potential. Whoever looks in the mirror will see their deepest desire revealed. The mirror will then grant that desire if something is offered in return, though very few people know what that something is." She raised one finger matter-of-factly. "I'll bet that's what Kurama aims to find out in the next three days."

Yuusuke glanced at her doubtfully, then focused his eyes on the floor again. "Why'd he come to me, then? I'm in no shape to stop him."

"Hmm..." Botan scratched her cheek thoughtfully. "Good question."

"Talking to him, I got this feeling that..." Yuusuke's tongue brushed over his lips, moistening them, and his eyebrows lowered in a frown. "I should trust him."

"What?!" Botan screeched, disbelieving. "What are you saying?! His friend nearly killed you -"

"They aren't friends anymore," Yuusuke interrupted. "When I found them in the forest yesterday, Kurama was having some sort of argument with the other two. He said he didn't want to be a part of their scheme anymore. Hiei sounded like he didn't really care if he left, but Gouki wanted him to hand over the Mirror of Darkness. He refused...he said he needed the mirror for something."

Her hands were restless after the unconscious use of spirit-healing, and Botan let them hold her arms as she stared down at Yuusuke uncertainly. She was saved the trouble of replying when Urameshi Atsuko suddenly barged into the room.

"Yuusuke! I've made us some dinner!" she chirped - for once, it seemed she was actually sober. Atsuko offered a pleasant smile to Yuusuke's new friend, not noticing the exasperation on both of the teens' faces. "Will you be eating with us, Botan? We have plenty of food!"

"Oh...yes, that would be lovely... Thank you..." Botan laughed weakly, a bead of sweat rolling down the side of her head.

Yuusuke leapt to his feet. "Can't you knock?! We're having a serious discussion here!"

Atsuko grabbed her son by the collar, good mood evaporating in less than a second. "Hey! What kind of conversation can't be held around your own mother?!" she snarled. The woman flicked a sideways glance at Botan, who was watching curiously, and lowered her voice. "This new friend of yours is quite pretty, you know. If you're two-timing Keiko..."

"I'm not two-timing anybody!"


Unknown to Yuusuke, a figure with deep burgundy hair stood on the rooftop of a neighboring apartment building. As he balanced on the cold metal of the railing, he could see right through the detective's bedroom window. The demon buried his hands in his pockets, silently watching the argument between mother and son.

Silver Fox
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

Good Job Padawan! That was great once again! :D

Guest
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Re: re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Guest »

whatever! :roll:

Padawan
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

Not that anyone's reading this garbage, but I was on vacation and didn't have access to a workable computer. Here's the next part as an apology for the delay, though you might not like it too much... Nobody complained on FF.net, but I thought Kurama sounded a leeetle bit like an uke in this story (which wasn't my intention - I'm trying to cut back on the shounen-ai). Sorry.

Part One, Scene Three

Three days later, Yuusuke wandered through the courtyard of his middle school. Sulking, he kicked a pebble out of his path and ignored the way his classmates scattered when they saw him approach. How boring. His reputation as the number one fighter of Sarayashiki Junior High was well respected, but no one except his rival and his best friend was brave enough to talk to him.

One student, a timid-looking seventh grader with thick glasses, followed after him hesitantly. The underclassman cleared his throat, and a drop of perspiration rolled down his cheek. He cursed his luck in having to deliver a message to the most dangerous delinquent in Sarayashiki Junior High, then said in an unusually high voice, "Mr. Urameshi, sir...?"

"What?" Yuusuke grunted, turning around to look at the boy. The student let out a terrified squeak.

"Th-there's somebody at the front gate who wants to see you!"

"All right! Maybe someone's calling me out!" Yuusuke cheered at this fortunate turn of events. Punching one fist into the air victoriously, he grinned to himself, and without another word to his frightened schoolmate, Yuusuke bolted for the front gates. When he got to the tall pillars, there was no one waiting for him. He slowed to a careful walk and glanced around warily.

Then he caught sight of the demon, who was standing in the shadows of an enormous cherry tree.

"What - ? Oh!"

"Hi," Kurama greeted, inclining his head slightly in an informal bow. Yuusuke walked toward him, and he smiled warmly. "I don't suppose you'd mind getting out of class early? I'd like to talk with you for a while."

Yuusuke smirked.



Kamiya Park was an attractive place during late spring. In the south side of the park, the grass was soft, emerald green, and perfectly trimmed. The north side was thickly wooded. Cherry trees lined a set of paths, which were fashioned of shiny white pebbles, and those paths led to a small playground near the woods, where a few young children were playing under the watchful eyes of their parents.

The pair of them walked along one of the paths, Yuusuke watching the demon with a growing sense of curiosity. Kurama was admiring the trees, hands clasped behind his back, face bright and mirthful. Yuusuke had been wondering about this for a while, now. Were demons really capable of pure happiness, or was this some sort of charade Kurama had cooked up to confuse him?

"Um..." Yuusuke hesitated for a moment. He wasn't really sure how to address the demon, or how to word his question without offending him, so he said simply, "Kurama?"

"Hm?" The demon turned his head to look at him.

"Can I ask you something?" Kurama nodded, honest curiosity passing over his face. Yuusuke unconsciously noticed that the expression made him look that much less like a demon. He almost resembled a human girl, and a pretty one at that. The detective felt very uncomfortable with that last thought. "Eh... How'd you get mixed up with Gouki and Hiei?"

The question was answered with a sigh. "You wouldn't want to hear it."

"Sure I would," Yuusuke said automatically. Kurama smiled, suddenly looking shy.

"Then you should sit down," he murmured, motioning to the unoccupied swingsets. "It's a long story."


(Next part: Kurama gets into the specifics about how he met Hiei and Gouki, and shows Yuusuke his interesting abilities with plants. Depending on how you interpret it, there's either some really strong friendship with Kurama and Hiei or some very minor attraction. Take your pick.)

Silver Fox
Visitor

re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

Your stories aren't garbage Padawan. I was waiting forever for you to post the next part! Please post the next story soon!!!!

Kenshin
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Kenshin »

it wasnt that bad :mrgreen:

Padawan
Visitor

re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

If you watched the episode where Kurama first regains his demon form, Hiei has a flashback of introducing Gouki to Kurama, and the stupid lughead made some...ah, "interesting" comments. I'm playing off that, so be warned of some unavoidable boy-boy content.

Part One, Scene Four

A few moments later, the detective and the demon were settled on the flat metal seats of the swingsets. They were a bit uncomfortable, since they were obviously built to carry kindergartners instead of high school students, but neither of them really minded too much. Kurama leaned forward a little, his hair spilling over his shoulders like blood.

"To be honest, I knew Hiei long before the three treasures came into the picture," Kurama began quietly. "I met him almost one year ago. He attacked me because he thought I was in the service of his enemy, a flesh-eating demon named Yatsude. But Hiei was already badly injured when he went after me, and fell unconscious shortly after our fight. Realizing the misunderstanding, I took him to my house and tended to his wounds. He talked during his sleep - he cried a name aloud. As soon as he woke up, I repeated what he had said...

"And he was furious. Hiei doesn't like revealing weakness to anyone, and since I was a complete stranger to him, he feared that I might try to use this knowledge against him." Kurama exhaled softly, as though he was in pain. "I promised him that I would never tell anyone about what I'd heard him say that night. I'm breaking that promise right now by talking to you, but I feel... I feel as though I'll go mad if I don't tell someone. Have you ever felt like that, Yuusuke?"

Yuusuke nodded dumbly, not sure how else to respond.

"We worked together to defeat Yatsude," Kurama continued, "and I think that is how I truly earned Hiei's respect. He hung around for the months that followed. There's a tree outside my bedroom window that he used to sleep in." He chuckled quietly. "And when the weather was poor, he would even come in through the window and sleep in my bed. We were...very close. I think so, anyway, but he would never admit it. He didn't like the weakness that friendship brought."

Green eyes darkened in remembrance. "It was six months ago, when we started plotting to steal the treasures from the Underworld. Hiei introduced me to Gouki. He was an incompetent moron who wanted to gain power, much like any other demon. Hiei chose him to be the scapegoat if anything went wrong." Kurama's nose wrinkled distastefully. "The disgusting pig..."

"I'm guessing you didn't like him very much?" Yuusuke prompted. Kurama sneered.

"That's an understatement. When Hiei -" Kurama suddenly bit his lip, bowing his head shamefully so that his bangs cast a hood of shadows over his eyes. "When Hiei told him that I was a powerful demon, Gouki laughed, thinking it was a joke. He said that I was nothing more than a pretty human, and asked Hiei if he had brought me for...entertainment."

Kurama clenched his hands around the metal links of the swing, trembling with anger. "I hated him so badly. I sometimes wanted to strike at him, but Hiei wouldn't allow it. He said Gouki was the only demon thick enough to team up with us without suspecting his true purpose. But I know he didn't like the way Gouki talked to me that day." His head lifted again, and dark green eyes softened just a little. "As strange as it may sound, I'd almost say Hiei was protective of me."

"Protective of you?"

"Yes," Kurama said, smiling faintly. He shifted in his swing a little so he could see Yuusuke. "I told you it sounds strange, but Hiei did have a very fierce sense of honor once." The light in his eyes faded again, and he turned, face forward once more. "But now he's lost that. He's just like every other nameless, faceless, heartless demon. And I knew it would happen. I'm to blame for this..."

Yuusuke opened his mouth, about to ask what he meant by that, but his attention was drawn by a sandy-haired man's calling to his young daughter.

"Kyoko! It's time to go home!"

A little girl came running up to the man. She was an adorable child, with big brown eyes and a pair of black pigtails. Her dress was made of plaid lavender-and-white material, with a cheery pattern of pink and white carnations printed all over it. But the look on her face was anything but cheery.

"Daddy, I can't find any flowers for Mommy. They cut them all!"

The man kneeled next to the little girl. "Sweetie, we can buy some nice flowers for her at the florist's."

The girl looked downcast. "But I wanted to pick them myself. Can't I look a little longer?"

The man softened a little at the sight of his unhappy daughter, and checked his wristwatch. "Ten minutes, Kyoko. Then we need to leave, or we'll be late to your mother's birthday party."

Detective and demon alike watched the exchange in silence. The little girl, Kyoko, toddled off toward the wooded area of the park, watched from a distance by the sandy-haired man.

Kurama hummed thoughtfully. He slid gracefully off his swing and onto his feet, walking away from the playground. Yuusuke observed as the demon stepped onto the grass, knelt down, and placed his left palm to the earth. Dark green eyes closed gently, and a soft exhalation was heard while he concentrated. Slowly, a fuchsia glow spread from Kurama's hand and moved through the grass like a snake, heading in the direction the little girl had run off to.



Near the woods, Kyoko peered around, searching for some pretty flowers to pick for her mother. She didn't notice the glow that launched itself toward the woods, but her eyes caught on a glint from the trees mere seconds later.

Kyoko blinked wonderingly, approaching the source of that odd glimmer, and gasped in delight. Hidden behind one of the trees, dewy petals glistening in the sunlight, lay a patch of ethereally beautiful tiger lilies.



At the sound of the little girl's cry of happiness, Kurama's lips curved upward, and he rose to his full height, eyes opening once more. Yuusuke watched in visible surprise as Kyoko marched purposefully toward her father, a large bundle of freshly-plucked flowers in her arms.

The man was just as astonished as his daughter, but he hid it well. "Those are some very pretty flowers, Kyoko. Where did you find them?"

"They were over there, near that tree. There was a whole bunch of them!"

Kyoko's father smiled. "Well, I'm sure your mother will love them."

"I hope so!" The girl giggled.

As the father and his child walked down the path, Yuusuke turned his questioning eyes on Kurama. The demon wasn't looking at him; rather, he was watching as the pair disappeared out of sight.

"My gift. I can use my demonic energy to grow seedlings into fully-grown plants in a matter of seconds." The demon glanced over his shoulder at Yuusuke. "I know plants may not sound very intimidating, but you'd be surprised at how much rose thorns hurt. And even in the human world, there are many plants useful in the healing arts..."

Kurama glanced toward the sky, eyes narrowing.

"It will be nighttime soon. My time runs short," he murmured, mostly to himself. He folded his arms over his chest, contemplating. Then Kurama turned suddenly to face Yuusuke. "Before I return the mirror, I have one more thing I'd like to share with you. Will you come with me?"

Yuusuke hesitated for a moment, then nodded mutely. Spending the afternoon with the mysterious demon had made him even more of a puzzle...


(Aww... I'm sorry, but I thought that little detour up there with Kyoko was a good way to introduce Kurama's ability. I did that because I thought it was really weird that they never mentioned that little bit of information until he was fighting Genbuu.)
Last edited by Padawan on Apr 10, 2005 9:57am, edited 1 time in total.

Silver Fox
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

Good Job once again Padawan!! :D

Padawan
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

This one's pretty much filler space, but you finally get to meet Shiori. Yuusuke and Kurama's adventures in the hospital elevator! Okay, why does that sound like the nonexistent plot of a PWP??? Gah!

Part Two, Scene One

When they walked through the glass doors of Nakayama General Hospital, Yuusuke waited for his eyes to adjust to the lighting before taking in his surroundings. It was a fairly plain lobby, all white marble floor covered by grey carpeting and uncomfortable-looking couches with dark blue upholstery. A few darkly stained tables stood next to the seats, with some sunflowers - judging by the slight wrinkling of Kurama's nose, he was willing to bet they were fake - set up in blue glazed pottery.

A pretty woman sat behind the desk, typing away on her computer. She glanced up when the doors slid apart.

"Can I help you?" the receptionist called over to them as they walked toward the desk.

"Good afternoon, miss," Kurama said, bowing politely. "I'd like to see Minamino Shiori, please."

"Sure thing." The receptionist swiveled in her chair to face the computer again, fingers punching at the keys on the board, and new windows popped up all over the screen. She glanced at one of the windows, then up at the two boys. "Minamino should be in Room 501. Would you like an escort, or can you find it yourself?"

"Thank you, miss. We can manage on our own." Kurama flashed her a smile, then turned to Yuusuke, clapping a hand on the puzzled detective's shoulder. "Let's go, Yuusuke."

Kurama physically steered him out of the lobby and along several brightly lit corridors. Eventually they stepped into an elevator, which was already occupied by a pepper-bearded doctor, two dark-haired young nurses, and a teenage boy with headphones and a bouquet of drooping carnations.

Yuusuke folded his arms over his chest, tapping his foot against the floor impatiently as the doors closed and the contraption slowly began to move up the floors. He hated elevators.

The pepper-bearded doctor got off on the second story, while another doctor and a pink-haired assistant took his place. Okay, this is boring, Yuusuke thought, glancing at Kurama. He frowned at the demon's downcast eyes. That odd dullness had returned to them, making Kurama seem far too mature for his own good.

"Hey, you okay?" Yuusuke asked impulsively.

"What? Fine! I'm fine."

Yuusuke blinked.

Ding! The pair of nurses left; no one came to replace them.

Yuusuke was feeling impatient again, so he glanced around the elevator for something of interest. Grey carpet, metal railing, somber-looking doctors, a bunch of pretty carnations - hey, hadn't those been drooping a few minutes ago? He glanced suspiciously at Kurama, who offered him a wry smile in return. Yuusuke shook his head, though he felt a niggle of humor pull at his lips.

The doctor and assistant got off on the fourth floor. Kurama shoved his hands in his pockets.



The fifth floor hallway was more a corridor than anything else. The floors were sparkling white, the walls painted a shade of pale mint, and the entire place smelled strongly of disinfectant. Framed paintings depicting bowls of fruit hung on the walls, dotting the spaces between the closed doors. The lens of a security camera had been strategically focused on the elevator, so when the 'ding!' of the elevator sounded and those metal doors slid open, the film captured two boys exiting the car.

Their destination was the first room on the right. A small whiteboard hung on the door, with a name and room number scrawled across it in green marker, and Kurama reached for the doorknob...but he paused with one hand barely an inch away, glancing at Yuusuke with an expression the detective clearly recognized. Yuusuke blinked. What in the world could possibly frighten a demon?

Dark green eyes hardened with determination, and Kurama pushed the door open.

This room seemed unusually bright, with pale curtains fluttering in a breeze from the open window. There was a respirator and an IV and several other machines Yuusuke couldn't name, along with a small table and a bed. And in that bed, beneath the white sheets, lay a middle-aged woman wearing some hospital pajamas - evidently, the one named Minamino Shiori.

The woman's hair was a fading black, pulled back in a low ponytail at the nape of her neck, and thick lashes hid her eyes from view. Shiori had probably been a very beautiful girl during her youth, but in her advancing age, a few wrinkles were beginning to form around her mouth and eyes. There were also a set of jagged scars along her arms, which Yuusuke noticed with silent curiosity.

Shiori began to sit up when she heard Yuusuke and Kurama approach the bed. "Hey there," she murmured, smiling faintly at the two boys. "Who have you brought with you?"

The demon rushed to her side.

"Easy now, Mother. You don't have to get up." Kurama smiled gently at the woman and motioned with one hand toward Yuusuke, who was desperately trying to hide his shock, confusion, and sudden discomfort. "Mother, this is a good friend of mine. His name is Urameshi Yuusuke."

"Ah! Hello, Yuusuke. It's nice to meet you," Shiori greeted him.

"Um... Hi, ma'am," Yuusuke said uncertainly. This whole scene - Kurama leaning slightly over the bed, one hand resting lightly on the woman's shoulder, a tender and almost pained look on his face - this was wrong. This wasn't what demons were supposed to act like.

"Shall I peel an apple for you?" Kurama asked. Shiori shook her head.

"No. I'm not very hungry."

Kurama gave her an almost disapproving look. "You haven't eaten anything today, have you? You need to keep up your strength, or you'll never get better. Please eat."

Shiori sighed. "Yes, of course. It's just difficult to remember all these things, Shuuichi."

Kurama's eyes softened. "Try hard, Mother. I need you to get well quickly!"

Shuuichi? Yuusuke asked himself mentally, watching as Kurama sat on the edge of the woman's bed with a soft smile. I thought his name was Kurama. Scratch that thought, isn't he supposed to be a demon?


(Kurama gets a little weepy next part. But he fully intends to commit suicide for his mom, so can you blame the guy for being a little upset? Um, yeah... Beware, Yuusuke ends up being a helpless bystander to Kurama's somewhat OOC and stereotypically feminine crying. As I've said before, no one on FF.net complained, and when I thought of what I would do in Kurama's situation, I know for a fact that I would have been bawling my eyes out. That's good enough for me.)

Silver Fox
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

*** claps hands outloud***


Good Job once again!!! Keep it up, I look forward to reading your story!!!

Padawan
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Padawan »

Here it is, the infamous scene that I absolutely HATED when writing it. Enjoy.

Part Two, Scene Two

Considering the hour of the day, it was very warm. Fuchsia clouds drifted across a pale blue and bright golden sky, and the sun, dark orange and beautiful, was fading into the horizon. From the roof of the hospital, the detective and the so-called demon had a breathtaking view of the dusk.

"To her, I'm Minamino Shuuichi," Kurama said quietly, "and she did give birth to me, in a sense."

Yuusuke buried his hands in his pockets. "How could she do that?"

"It's complicated. I'm actually a youko - a demonic breed of fox." Kurama's eyes were unfocused, seemingly lost in his own memories. "I fit the stereotypes...cunning, ambitious, and beautiful. After mastering the art of combining my bodily and spiritual energies with plants, I had nothing else to do, and learning how to undo seals and break codes helped me pass the time. I made a career out of stealing treasures from the vaults I broke into.

"Fifteen years ago, a bounty hunter injured me very badly. I left my demon form and escaped into this world, entering the body of a human embryo before it..." Kurama paused for a moment, glancing at Yuusuke and blushing. "Before she acquired a proper soul. As you might have guessed, I tinkered with the child's genetics, changing her gender before her body began to develop. The thought of being born female was...humiliating.

"And so the innocent, human daughter Shiori should have had was born a son, with the body of an infant human and the mind of a thousand-year-old demon. I didn't care, though, because I knew that within ten years my demonic aura would return. I'd leave the human world, and on my sixteenth birthday I would -"

Kurama faltered for a moment and closed his eyes tightly, clenching his fists. Yuusuke blinked.

"What? What would happen?" he prodded. It was obvious that this subject was one Kurama was particularly sensitive toward, and Yuusuke hoped he wasn't forcing him to say anything he didn't want to share. The human-youko turned around to face him.

"My sixteenth birthday would hail my full passage into demonhood. My body would become fully inhuman, and I would stop aging almost entirely." He shivered with the same fear Yuusuke had seen outside Shiori's room. "Fifty years could pass, all the people I know today could grow old and feeble, and I'd still look like a teenager. My lifespan is fifteen times longer than the average human's. At this point, I have only ten months left before my body changes."

"But - I don't get it... Shouldn't you be happy that you'll become fully demon?"

Yuusuke realized instantly, by Kurama's expression, that this was the wrong thing to say.

"No!" the human-youko moaned, covering his face with one hand and digging his fingers into his scalp. "I don't want to spend the next seven centuries of my life alone!"

A violent shudder ran through Kurama's body as he planted his elbows on the metal railing for support. Yuusuke took a quick step forward, one hand reaching toward him worriedly. He was awash with guilt.

"I... You -" Yuusuke faltered for a moment. "You've still got Hiei."

"He doesn't understand," Kurama said miserably. "He's never been human. Demons never let anyone into their hearts; the concept of having to watch his loved ones slowly age and die means absolutely nothing to him. In fact, a few weeks ago I tried to explain to him, and he just -" A pale face glittered with silvery lines of water. "He locked down. I honestly thought he would understand... He seemed different from other demons. Oh gods...!"

Kurama's voice broke on the last word, and he brought his hand down, intending to hide the quiet sobbing. But Yuusuke quickly caught the hand in question with his own still-raised one.

"Kurama, if you need to cry, you shouldn't hold back," Yuusuke said, the gentle tone taking even himself by surprise. Kurama blinked hazy green eyes at him as he continued, feeling a bit awkward. "If you bottle all that crap up, you're bound to have a breakdown. Better to get it out of your systems."

"I kn-know," Kurama said softly, warm water flowing down his cheeks. "Th-that's why I told Hiei about...all this."

"But did you let yourself cry in front of him? That's what you really need, a shoulder to cry on," Yuusuke stated bluntly as he brought his hand, still firmly grasping Kurama's so that he wouldn't run away or something, down to a more normal level. He smiled. "I'll even let you get my jacket wet, okay?"

Kurama let out a soft laugh, despite his tears. "Are you serious or not?"

Yuusuke's response was to wrap his arms loosely around Kurama's waist and pull the other boy gently against his chest. A moment passed as Kurama stood very still, seemingly shocked into silence. He slowly reached upward to clutch at the front of Yuusuke's jacket, and buried his face against the detective's neck, tears rolling freely down his cheeks.

Moments passed, a silence broken only by Kurama's gasps of despair. Finally, he spoke again.

"He was so cold," Kurama whispered faintly, almost to himself. "He didn't want to work with someone who feels human emotions, and the way he looked at me when I told him... Gods, I actually thought a year in the human world might have gotten through to him. But no, he thinks I've become too soft...too vulnerable. And perhaps I have... I don't know anymore..."

Yuusuke patted him on the back lightly, patches of red appearing on his cheeks. This was kind of embarrassing, but he wanted to help. He just hoped Keiko and Kuwabara never found out he'd gotten so touchy-feely with another guy...

"This never would have happened if I hadn't been raised by Shiori!" Kurama cried still harder. "If she hadn't shown me compassion, I would still be ignorant! I would never have cared for her, or for Hiei! Gods, I could have kept my wickedness... I never cried when I was a demon, not once in a thousand years..."

"Are you serious?" Yuusuke asked, taken aback. Kurama nodded.

"B-but...I was never happy as a demon, either. Not really." A slight pause. "I had a best friend in my past life, though I didn't appreciate how much he cared for me. He died... All he was concerned with was that I was still breathing, but I never mourned his death until a few years ago. Why did he bother caring about me when I was such a heartless creature?"

"'Cause he couldn't help it," Yuusuke answered before he could stop himself. Kurama tensed, eyes snapping wide, but Yuusuke continued. "I'm guessing it's something like what you're feeling for Hiei. He probably thought that he could show you how good it feels to be cared for, just like what you want to do now. Besides, I don't think he could help liking you. Even in your past life, I'll bet you were one of those guys that everyone liked."

Kurama raised his head a little, dewy lashes fluttering in a mixture of confusion and surprise. Since he had curved his back slightly to lean against Yuusuke, they were now at eye-level, faces only an inch apart.

"That's very kind of you to say," Kurama murmured, slowly breaking away from Yuusuke's embrace. He took a few steps backward, so they were at a more respectable distance. "I don't understand why humans are like that. One minute they're more harsh than a demon in bloodlust, the next they're as sweet and innocent as kits. Always changing... It perplexes me."

"Yeah, well..." Yuusuke scratched the back of his neck. "I guess nobody really knows for sure how someone else's mind works."

"Demons are easy to understand. They're always out for themselves." Kurama wiped one of his eyes with the back of his hand. "Very few possess feelings as deep as friendship, and far fewer are capable of love."

"But you think Hiei is one of the rare ones?"

"Yes," Kurama said, voice soft. "I do think so. And that is one of the reasons that I wanted to talk to you." His eyes hardened, just slightly. "Yuusuke, when Hiei finds out that he's the only one of us who hasn't been arrested, he will challenge you. And while there is kindness buried in him somewhere, you shouldn't expect a fair fight."

Kurama reached into an inner pocket of his school jacket, and finally, the stolen treasure was drawn into plain view. It was a round mirror, slightly larger than the palm of his hand, and a thin braid of rope trailed from it elegantly with a dark red bead strung along its tail. Tiny glass spheres were set in the black framework, gleaming in the bright light from the newly risen moon.

"Each treasure has a deep psychological impact on the person who wields it. The Conjuring Blade develops bloodlust, and takes away any honor or mercy the user may have once possessed." His eyes darkened. "I knew of these effects, and what the consequences of stealing the treasures would be. Hiei has become a frigid monster, and it's my fault... I dragged him into this so the mirror could cure Shiori."

"Kurama?" Yuusuke asked, eyes a bit wider than usual. "Kurama, are you sure you're okay?"

Soft lips curved into a small smile, and he turned his head to look at Yuusuke.

"Everything will be all right. Gouki was already hopeless; even without the Rapacious Orb to fuel his appetite for souls, he wasn't worth sparing. But Hiei... I'm sure he's a good person, deep down. If you defeat him and separate him from the blade for a while, its influence will weaken. You can repair the damage I've done." Kurama's smile brightened. "I have faith in you, Yuusuke. I - I know you can beat him."

"Kura -"

"Shuuichi!" Yuusuke and Kurama turned, startled, as a nurse with curly brown hair flung the door to the roof open wide. She looked at Kurama helplessly. "Your mother - she's taken a sudden turn for the worse!"


Yeah, laugh it up (or vomit it up, whichever you prefer). I just made Kurama look like a girl. Kurama's human body originally being female wasn't my idea - I read it in a story years ago, and thought it was a good explanation for Kurama's...um...interesting appearance. But Kurama becoming fully demon on his sixteenth birthday is my own idea - feel free to steal it, I don't care.
Last edited by Padawan on Apr 10, 2005 9:59am, edited 1 time in total.

Silver Fox
Visitor

re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by Silver Fox »

Mmmmm. Yeah, about Kurama being a girl. I fully believe that as well, and I did remember somewhere that when he reached a certain age that he'd become a full demon again. I forget what the age was though.

Good Job!!!

blackrose_r7
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re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by blackrose_r7 »

When he turned ten he wa fully healed.
Someday... No matter how cold it is now... ...The snow will melt. Without fail. Whithout fail.-Hatori

leena
Visitor

re: FANFIC: Rose Red

Post by leena »

no, his reiki turned to youki when he was ten, but his body was still human

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