Disclaimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho, only my OCs.

Afterglow: Of Spirits & Apparitions


Chapter 1: The Day That I Met You

Running has never been my forte…not that standing and fighting ever was either—to be fair. But, alas, you make do with what you have.

Boom!

I shielded my eyes as the tree next to me shattered, spraying bits of bark in a hailstorm around me. I hit the ground as I felt a large fragment cut into my shoulder. I'm too pumped up to feel the pain, but I know I'm bleeding. I know that as soon as I pick myself up, I'll have to run like a bat out of hell. This mother fucker can track me by the scent of my blood.

I can't have shit.

I scrambled to stand anyway, zigzagging through the trees around me like I was being chased by a bear instead of a minotaur looking bastard with the fangs of a tiger and the—

A hit the grass as a blood orange orb rushed past my head, wiping out the last of the trees before me. It was almost pretty, this monster's power. It spread like wildfire, zapping its target to bits. When the flurry of fragments cleared it was a pretty sight. It did me the honor of showing me that there was nothing left but empty space and…a fucking cliff. The skyline, of course, was tragically beautiful—purple and black blended neatly together with a sprinkling of glitter. Gorgeous really.

I bit my lip at some point so my mouth was slowly filling with the metallic taste of blood and the ringing in my ears grew louder by the second. I had half a mind to think the ringing was like the tolling of a bell—the death bell, but I shoved that thought away. I liked to be dramatic for dramatics' sake. At least, that's what my mom always said.

I shook, wobbling to my feet. I don't glance behind. I struggle to the edge for some godforsaken reason, probably because I'd rather look at something pretty than Ole Ugly back there. The breeze that picks up behind me forces me closer to the edge. There's nothing but rocks and grass that are too far away for me to see. Without the use of my energy, without Banryuu, Nike—without my Hydra, I know I'm dead.

I can either jump or let this freak eat me. Neither options sit well for me, but I turn around anyway. I don't feel fear exactly, just an emptiness. I'm tired. My heartbeat is in my throat, trying its best to reach into my brain. The ground actually shakes as he lumbers toward me. His thick tentacle like tongue peaking out of its jaws to lap at the saliva slipping through its fangs. He's wearing cargo shorts for some reason. I guess he'd be naked otherwise, but I wander then to his horns, rising up and curving. His three eyes are beady, but it's nothing I haven't seen before.

My shoulders slump and this strange wave of relaxation passes through me. MJ is nowhere to be found—faraway in Connecticut. My mother, my father, my cousin, Kyoko all out of range. Still, I am at ease. I accept this. My mom was right. I should have tried harder to get stronger. I should have improved without being forced to. I should have been less reliant on Hydra and Banryuu, on MJ. I should have done a lot of things.

Oh, well. I think, blinking back to the beast before me. Too late now.

The wind lifts again, the last one I'll ever feel. It carries with it the scent of…roses.

My eyes widened even before what comes next. The beast reaches out, but a lashing cuts through the air and the shaking starts again. I can't hold still as it weakens my legs.

The beast barely manages to scream before it tumbles to the ground in large chunks of bloody flesh. I barely glimpse the shiny crimson of his hair, the bright allure of his eyes—the secret wickedness I know is well hidden. I turn so fast it almost happens in slow motion.

"Aurora, wait!" that Shuichi-Mother-Fucking-Minamino calls my name, but I don't care. I'm already at the edge.

I hear his miniature friend curse me. I hear him mock my reaction. Although I want to, I waste no time throwing up my middle finger. I just throw myself off the edge without a second thought.


Two Months Prior: April

The first day of school went as expected. I was handed a lot of stares, a lot, but I usually got those anyway, but not by regular people.

I figured as much when I came. Being biracial, whenever my mom would come, she'd get a few stares too, but not as many as me I bet. She actually looked more Japanese, she and MJ. I took mostly from my father's side, the heart shaped face and dimples. My large, upturned hazel eyes and my long, thick brown hair (which was kind of reddish in the sunlight) were the second clue, along with my caramel skin color that I was different. Those that could, attempted to speak to me in broken English. I didn't mind, I liked the attention and most of all, I liked to surprise everyone by responding back in perfect Japanese.

Cue smugness here.

Nothing could ruin my day.

"Aurora," Tohru jogged toward me with Momo and Karin close behind her. She pulled a long strand of dark hair behind her ear as she smiled, "Would you like to join us for tea? There's a cute café not far from here, if you'd like to come?"

I clapped my hands together, "Oh, I'd love to. I left my book in Biology, though so give me a second."

"We'll wait outside the gates." She responded sweetly.

I have the best luck, I swear. I made three friends in one day! Honestly, who could claim the same? From homeschooled to home girl in seven hours: new record.

I grab my leather bag up from the linoleum and jog back to Hatake's. It sits on the third floor in the corner, the largest in the school, I swear. It also has the nicest view—

"Princess?"

"Shit!" I scream, and whip around, holding my hand to my chest. I glare at Banryuu, hovering just over my shoulder. He gives me a warm, sheepish smile. I grit my teeth. "Don't sneak up on my like that, Banryuu, Jesus." Spirits, you can't live with them, can't live without them.

I flip on the light. My eyes take a moment to adjust before I fly toward the middle table near the window. Bingo.

Clearly, exasperated, he sighed, "I've been here the whole time, Princess. Did you actually forget about me?"

Uh-oh. He's going to start crying again. "Course not," I said, throwing down my bag to stuff the book into it. "You were just so quiet, you know?"

"Well, of course! I couldn't have you distracted on your first day. You know how you are. Besides, a distracted child is not a studious one." Banryuu declared sagely, "This is a new environment for you and we must all take precautions to ensure that your schooling remains untampered. As your guardian and caretaker, it is my sworn duty to provide the best—Princess? Princess! Are you listening?"

Not sure how I noticed, just that I did. Like I said, luck and chance? They walked with me every day. By some strange urge, I pulled up the blinds to the window and then the glass, and leaned out. There, almost immediately, the pink and gold uniform stood out. A student? Apparently, whomever it was had taken it upon himself to climb out of a window and relax against the railing.

I watched for a moment, observing the way the wind weaved like fingers, caressing his long red locks. His arms were pressed against the metal, his eyes catching the light and changing before my eyes. With the sunlight falling directly onto his face, his gaze almost looked gold. His focus was almost frightening, if you could believe it. Had to be, otherwise, my pulse wouldn't be racing like it was.

He turned, giving me more of his profile, his eyes closing against the rays that fell on him.

It was cruel to be frank—both annoying and irritating that someone, anyone could be so leisurely beautiful. That anyone like this could walk the earth without a single care, that anyone could rival the actual sun in his beauty.

So, I knew what I had to do. The urge was too much to ignore. It burned my eyes, it sank its teeth into my veins! Something had to be done. The torture had to end. I cupped my hands over my mouth as I shouted, "Hey! HEY! WEIRDO! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO JUMP, ARE YOU?"

That, thankfully, seemed to wake him from his beautiful stupor. He blinked, all lashes and effortless prettiness, and directed this emerald serenity right at me. I fumbled for a moment, pushed back. I held my ground as his eyes brightened, his lips curled into a smirk. I needed no invitation. I closed my window abruptly and then proceeded to close the window he had apparently used, right beside it.

I watched myself do this like I was a separate entity. I had the clarity of mind to realize that what I was doing was ridiculous, horrible really. However, I literally could not stop myself. Something had grabbed a hold of my heartbeat and plunged it into my brain. The only way to end the ringing was to cut off its source. And…somehow…this made complete sense to me. Go figure.

As I closed the blinds, I managed to see his smirk blossom into a smile, I managed to hear the sound of a hearty chuckle, before I grabbed my bag and got out of there as fast as I could.


Author's Note: I decided to rewrite Of Spirits&Apparitions but follow the cannon story line this time around. I'm sorry for deleting the other one, but it was such a mess. Because of that, the writer's block that came with it would not allow me to continue. It actually stopped being fun for me (even if I couldn't stop updating). This one feels better to me. Again, for those who really loved the last one, I'm sorry. I may repost it with corrections one day. Who knows?

Aurora is younger here, so she's a little different from what you're used to. In the original story she'd already been through a lot of things to make her more hesitant to develop feelings. Seeing that we're starting with her at 15, that's not the case. She's also a bit more immature. So she's is going to be very extra and I'm excited for it.