"In this life, we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices."
James E. Faust
Kurama didn't have a clear memory of his original mother. The demon world was never a kind place, but during his childhood, it had been in utter turmoil. The spirit world had once again stuck their noses where they didn't belong and were forcing demons back into the borders of the demon realm. All in the name of safety for the humans, though everyone knew the spirit realm didn't care much for the mortals themselves despite their fancy words.
The demons saw it for what it was; a direct attack on them in order to control and regulate them. Thus a long and bloody war broke out as demons tried to prevent their ultimate seclusion from the three worlds. However demons, although violent by nature, were never truly made for war. Organization was a weakness, one that cost them their freedom. The armies of the spirit realm descended and the demons were forced into their realm and kept there by a barrier.
Being stuck in a place by force, no matter how vast that place was, angered them into a frenzy. Even some of the more 'docile' of the demon species were stirring up trouble. There were battles left and right for scraps of land, food, females and general dominance. It was during this time that weakness was not tolerated in any way, shape, or form.
Needless to say, when one lone fox demon gave birth to a kit with hair and skin as pale as the moon she abandoned it immediately. Such coloring would only attract trouble within the greens and browns of the forest she called home. This was not a unique occurrence. After all, most fox demons had a plant affinity which was only useful for healing and hiding. They, unlike their non-magical counterparts in the human realm, were cowardly and selfish creatures who regularly ran abandoning their own kind to save themselves.
He was no exception.
However, he was strong unlike the rest of his weak-willed kind. He was smart. He survived where others would have died. Surrounded by the constant fear of death he watched. He learned. He was smaller and his coloring made him stand out too much to hide properly, so he learned to be fast, to be smart, and to be completely and utterly ruthless.
For a long time, he slipped through the cracks, stealing the bare minimum to live and avoiding battling. He perfected the art of bluffing and ran to avoid fights he knew he couldn't win. For a long time, he didn't think of anything more than living to see the next day. But, even as a child, he was greedy. He could have lived like that the rest of his life, but he wanted more. He wanted the kind of confidence he saw in the powerful demons.
He wanted the ability to cause others fear the way they did him.
So, he did what no other fox demon had considered. He used his plant affinity to fight. It was unconventional and difficult to control, but he had always been smart. He beat the more violent plant species into submission and experimented on different battle tactics with weak opponents. He developed his own fighting style through trial and error. After years of dedication, he managed to turn an affinity that had been used mostly for healing into a dangerous weapon. He made demons fear the subtle sway of the trees and the brush of falling leafs.
He gained the strength he had always envied and it pulled demons to his side, both the strong and the weak.
As his reputation grew, more and more demons flocked to his side. Some tried to defeat him to gain fame. Others tried to seduce him for bragging points and others still tried to make connections with him for their own protection. Kurama never knew his mother's face or her voice and though many had tried to claim him as their own after his rise to infamy, he never bothered caring. He may very well have killed his mother if she had been among the desperate female demons to try and use him as a shield by pulling on nonexistent family ties. He took great joy in beating those weaklings into the ground, after all, he had never resorted to such pathetic methods even as a young child with no power.
He didn't care about their pathetic lives.
He had grown up alone. Fought alone. Succeeded alone. It was his sheer will to live that pushed him through his childhood and it taught him complete self-reliance. Even after he formed his own group and rose higher in power and fame he never fully relied on any one of his bandits, much to the distaste of his second in command. Yomi would complain endlessly over Kurama's lack of trust. However, Kurama knew that any demon could and would stab you in the back as soon as you put an ounce of trust in them. Other people would only let you down in the end.
(Kuronue thought he was silly, but his death proved Kurama right.)
The bat demon was probably the closest thing Kurama had to a friend, not that he would ever admit it. The annoying demon wasn't as strong as Kurama, but he clung to him like a limpet and wouldn't let go regardless of the many, many times Kurama attacked him or attempted to kill him. Despite not being particularly powerfully, the bat was tenacious. He was fast and he was smart.
He was very, very stubborn.
He never officially joined Kurama's group but danced through their camp like he owned the place amusing everyone with his antics, much to the ire of Yomi. His second in command complained and whined over Kurama's lack of action almost as much has he complained about his lack of trust.
When Kurama organized Yomi's murder and left his group to fend for themselves, the bat demon followed him. Clinging to him even stronger despite Kurama's threats to his life on a regular basis.
("You'd do something stupid if I left you alone.")
He was right.
Kurama bit off more than he could chew when he slipped into the spirit realm to wreak some havoc after Kuronue's death. In his denial over his own grief, he pushed himself to the limit hoping to reach higher infamy by being the first to steal from the Spirit King himself. He nearly paid the ultimate price for fame and a mere babble he would grow bored of in a few years' time.
Through the delirious haze of pain, he had thought himself a genius when he came upon the pregnant woman after he had fled to the human realm in hopes of escaping his pursuers and would be executioners. The child within her womb was already dead. The soul was gone. Being in spirit form himself and on the precipice of death, he was able to slip right into the empty body. The last of his power strengthened the woman enough to allow his birth at a healthy time for his newly human body.
Eminent death avoided and sudden mortality achieved, he fell into a much-needed sleep for the remainder of pregnancy not even giving himself a chance to fully understand what he just did to himself.
Kurama gazed silently up at the pale human women holding him close. He would have sighed if he could. He had thought himself so smart, but he now recognized that he had been more delirious from pain than he realized. A human mother. Human parents, if that blond kicking up a fuss in the corner was his father.
Who would have thought he'd fall so low?
Yomi would be sneering at him if he knew. Kuronue, on the other hand, would most likely start laughing hysterically.
However, he did what he had to in order to survive. Like he had always done. As much as he was disgusted by his current state he was also proud that he managed to survive what others, even the highest ranking demons, would consider a death sentence. No one had escaped the Spirit World's Elite Soldiers, until now.
Then again, it wasn't as though anyone would know about it until he managed to get his full powers back and figure out a way to shed this mortal body.
He blinked slowly as the nurse fussed over him; worried over his silence.
His new mother ignored the other woman as she continued to hold him tightly, despite her obvious exhaustion. The woman was smiling so brightly while cooing breathlessly. He could hear his new human father making a fool of himself in the background, though he could only catch snippets of the conversation. Between his weak newborn senses and his lack of understanding of the language he could comprehend very little. He turned his eye toward his new 'mother' as she sighed and opened her mouth to speak.
"You'll be Shuichi. Sawada Shuichi."
It was hell.
Though only a few days had passed he was already sick of his new reality. His limited vision and mobility enraged him. The humans who only seemed able to fuss and coo disgusted him. He wished he could expressed his utter disdain for these weak mortals, but alas he couldn't speak and was too proud to scream at them with his shrill infant voice.
He settled for glaring, as much as a baby could, at everything and everyone.
Unfortunately, even that did not stop the cooing and coddling he was subjected to by various friends and associates of the Sawada family. Kurama filed them all under unobservant idiots. His 'parents' being at the top of the list. Eventually, thankfully, his strange behavior did cut through the euphoria of new parenthood.
His human 'father' was the first to noticed or at the very least the first to react to his 'son's' odd behavior. Kurama took vindictive pleasure in the man's confusion and fear. It started off as quick glances and a hesitance to hold him. Fear slowly seeped into the confusion as the man began to realize that his 'son' was more aware than a baby had any right to be. Kurama assumed that he would snap at some point. Or at least, he hoped the man would snap at some point if only to give him some joy in this endless hell.
Kurama didn't, however, expect to be taken silently to an unknown place where he was examined and prodded by some rather strange people, for humans that is. He was not especially fond of the elderly human who tapped him lightly with a strange orange flame.
What shocked him to the core, however, was the appearance of another child. A baby that had more control and power than should be possible for such a small body. Kurama didn't know what he was, but envy coursed through him violently whenever the other child entered his line of sight.
He didn't catch much of the conversation due to his limited senses and lack of understand of their language, which was different than the one his 'parents' spoke to each other with, but they seemed to decide that he was, in fact, the idiot blonde's 'son' and not an imposter of all things. He would have smirked if he could. He was the idiots' child by blood, but his soul was another matter. Their limited human knowledge and power couldn't recognize the signs. They focused too much on their sciences and technology. Had they brought in a more spiritually aware human, he would have been slightly worried given his vulnerable state, but the humans had proven themselves fools once again.
He was returned to his 'mother' and his 'father' left for work a week later, unable to look at Kurama for more than a few seconds. He would have laughed if it didn't come out as a tiny gurgle rather than the derogatory sound he aimed for.
Left alone with the woman he learned very quickly that she had noticed his difference, however, unlike her husband she seemed to fully accept it. It was frustrating and confusing. She seemed to fully realize his hatred for being treated like the infant he was and from that point on the cooing and snuggling stopped completely. Along with the baby talk, toys and obnoxious clothing.
Instead, she spoke and generally treated him like an adult. She still took care of him like the infant he was, but the core interactions were worlds different. His every sign of annoyance and hatred was met with blinding smiles and sparkly eyes, while his discomforts were addressed as soon as he expressed them.
It was very annoying.
He wanted her to get angry or upset. He wanted her to act like his 'father' did when he began to notice his differences. He wanted her to fear him and treat him with the respect he deserved. But, most of all, he simply wanted her to leave him alone.
But she didn't.
There was a softness in her gaze when she looked at him. A gentleness in her touch.
She loved him dearly even after recognizing he wasn't normal.
It was very frustrating.
It was confusing.
When he had more control of his movements he would hit her whenever she came close enough. When he gain more strength, he would throw things at her. He turned up his nose at every little thing she bought for him. Showing his disdain for her in his acid green eyes. He expected her to break.
She never did.
She continued to smile.
She continued to love him absolutely.
It was tiresome.
His only amusement came from his 'fathers' visits and the human's attempts at ignoring him. The man seemed to be completely terrified of him.
Eventually, he grew tired of their interactions and started ignoring her completely. Instead, he began working on trying to adjust to a human body with human needs. Despite his numerous attempts, he could not reach the level of mobility the other infant had and that irritated him to no end.
Nearly two years passed without much improvement.
Then his annoying human 'mother' got pregnant again. The amount of fawning and general attention his 'father' gave her was entertaining at first, but very quickly became tiresome. Especially after his realization that he would have to deal with another human on a regular basis. A human child.
He cursed his abysmal luck.
Ok, so here's the first chapter of the full story. Basically, for this chapter and the next one I used the drabbles as a base and expanded from there, but that format will change starting chapter 3 when I get into the stuff the drabble hasn't touched just yet. As much as I love the drabble, I wanted to challenge myself with a full story. I also knew some of you guys wanted more content and a more steady timeline, instead of snippets of characters and stories jumbled up like the drabble. So! Here is my solution. I'll still continue to drabble, but I'm also going to work on this.
As far as this chapter goes, I think I made Yomi a bit too irritating, but I guess this is from Kurama's pov, so it's alright. I like him as a character and I think it's especially interesting how he went from an angry, irrational guy to a suave and thoughtful leader. Maybe, I'll write a story on that progression at a later date. I also messed up the timeline a bit, though that was on purpose. Technically Kurama met Kuronue after he left his group, but I wanted to introduce him earlier. Thought, it fit a little better for this story.
Please review and let me know what you guys think! The second chapter will be up later today after I work on this annoying section I can't seem to get right.