I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho.
Looking back, I'm shocked at how well the tantei are taking this. Obviously, I'm only narrating the events, so it's not up to me, but there is a part of me that says; this is a tad unrealistic.
I'm sorry that nothing much happens with Hiei in this chapter, but I promise there will be more Hiei-ness in later chapters. Just enjoy the cringiness of Kurama's predicament!
All in all, Kurama decided to regard the new circumstances as another experience to add to his expansive list (marry best friend's girlfriend-check!). He was currently at the alter end of the church aisle, awaiting his bride. Why he had decided to go through with the charade remained as much a mystery to Kurama as it does for us (or maybe this author just can't explain away the big loophole that is his stupidity). So, there he stood. Yuusuke looked as nervous as he felt. The alcohol Kurama had apparently consumed last night was definitely making itself known. He could still hardly stand up straight.
Kurama had since discovered that his Youkai powers had disappeared. He guessed that it was up to the Reikai to transport him quickly back to his own dimension since it was not his fault he'd found himself where he was. He wasn't going to waste his time with figuring out a way back. He was going to enjoy himself. He gave a subtle grin.
Keiko really was taking a long time. He glanced to his row of pews. It was, to say the least, much less populously inhabited than Keiko's side. He saw the Kuwabaras, Yukina and some people he didn't know. His family weren't even there. Oh well, at least this wasn't his reality, he mused. It struck him then that he may be living the most momentous day of this Shuichi's life for him. Oops. Oh well, no time to feel guilty. If he left now, he'd be walking out on the other Shuichi's bride, which would be even worse. What if the other Shuichi turned up now? How embarrassing. He was pretty sure Yuusuke had a clue that there was something odd going on after the way he had acted during the day. Just how uncouth was this other-dimensional Shuichi? Not that he judged himself to be the perfect rule, of course…
Yuusuke had taken him aside during the preparations and given him a grin.
"Let's put it behind us shall we?" He had said.
"Put what behind us?" Kurama had asked.
"You know, the whole thing where I said I wasn't okay with the match. I can see now that you're a great guy for Keiko. Hey! You're my best buddy! I wouldn't trust anyone else with her. She really loves you." He had given a smile. But there was something else in that smile. Was it…sadness? Kurama wasn't quite sure.
"Thanks, Yuusuke. You're a real friend."
"Think nothing of it. Hey, just think of the surprise on Keiko's face when she sees me!"
"Yeah, I…told her I wasn't going to be coming."
He turned back to face the alter. Just as he did so, the organ started. The wedding march. Oh, if his mother could see him now. Everyone stood as Keiko moved gracefully down the aisle. She was smiling, showering the world with the glorious light of her radiating love. She was clutching a bouquet of white roses. She was wearing a long gown of white silk. She was…staring at Yuusuke? Okay, that was unexpected. Maybe the veil was just making it look that way.
Nope, not the veil. As Keiko moved closer it became more obvious to him that there was definitely some Yuusuke-ogling going on. Kurama was getting a few smiles, sure, but Keiko's attention was definitely fixed on Yuusuke. That wasn't any made up emotion in her eyes. It was pure, shining love.
As Keiko reached the alter she gave Yuusuke another long smile. Kurama thought she whispered something to him, but without his Youkai senses, he really couldn't be sure.
The priest droned on and on. Kurama felt sweat bead on his forehead from the drink last night. The world seemed to tip slightly.
"If anyone knows of a just impediment why these two should not be wedded in holy matrimony, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace," The priest said.
Kurama thought about Yuusuke. About the sadness in his eyes. About Keiko and the love shining from hers. They had been the perfect couple in his dimension, that was actual proof that they belonged together. He knew then what he had to do.
"I believe I do." There was a hum of speech in the background as Kurama's words took their meaning in the congregation's minds. Keiko turned to him with shock written in her eyes. His eyes were tender in response. "Keiko, you don't have to marry me."
"What?" She whispered.
"I can see in your eyes who your true soul mate is."
"Who?" She whispered again, faintly. His eyes flickered to Yuusuke, and found him extremely surprised.
Oh, they were going to love him for doing this.
Complete and utter silence reigned heavy and thick on those gathered under the cross. Kurama fixed his eyes on Keiko's, trying to figure out which emotion was prevailing in their chocolate depths. To his surprise, he found it to be humiliation. Angry humiliation!
"What?" The colour that had drained from her face was now rushing back with full force. "What do you think I am!" Her voice echoed off the walls of the ancient structure. Kurama flinched.
"Uh…free?" He guessed hopefully.
"Argh!" She placed two hands on his chest and pushed. Hard. Boy, this body really wasn't good at handling drinks. He stumbled into Yuusuke. Upon studying said boy's face, Kurama found that there too was a good deal of angry humiliation. Along with something else. What was the expression? Oh yes, Murderous Intent.
"I don't know what I ever saw in you!" Keiko screamed. Wow, Kurama had never seen this side of Keiko before and he was not enjoying the experience. He backed away from the angry couple. "You and your stupid, tasteless jokes! I can't believe you would insinuate in front of my whole family that I am in love with my own brother! You sick, disgusting, infantile, worthless waste of my time!" She gave him a sharp slap with every adjective. Kurama's heart plummeted down to the region of his toes.
"Don't ever come back to me! Yuusuke was right, you're not mature enough to get married, and you're certainly not good enough for me! You never will be!"
Before Kurama could even say 'belly-up', a punch in the face from the other brown-haired sibling was the combination the alcohol and slaps needed to knock him out cold.
Kuwabara was extremely thankful that he had got out of the hospital before the real interrogating started. He shivered, remembering how close he had been to making the incision into the man's flesh. Was he really stupid enough to go that far? Well, desperate times…
The trouble now was where on Earth to go. Not that he was on Earth. He didn't recognise his surroundings. In his hurry to get away, the hapless Kuwabara had unfortunately stumbled into the 'bad' side of town. Some people were throwing him extremely dirty looks.
"Hey, Beetroot!" some genius shouted from the shadows. Kuwabara was not in the mood to fight these otherworldly people. It might get to the stage where he had to kill someone. So, he ducked his head and strode on faster. "Hey, you! I'm talking to you! Are you deaf!" Kuwabara sincerely wished he was. The shadow-hidden shouter was following him. Someone rushed past him, knocking him slightly sideways. It was a red-haired girl, running away from the direction from which the voice issued. "C'mon pretty! I just want to talk!" The voice went on. "Me and my friends are lost."
Kuwabara's initial relief that they were not talking to him was replaced with fear for the girl's safety. Wearing that short skirt wasn't exactly such a great idea amongst these surroundings. The shadow caller and his friends moved into the dim light, hurrying towards the red headed girl. Kuwabara made chase, hoping he could reach her before they did.
The girl's gasping breath could be heard as Kuwabara neared the chase. The men were making crude noises behind her, causing her to sob in her panic. Those lining the street knew that it was in their best interest to stay out, though together they could probably have overpowered the youths. Kuwabara silently damned them for their cowardice.
"Hey, miss!" He called while running. The girl made no sign that she had heard. Kuwabara picked up his pace, and soon passed the gang. He was on a level with the girl, who was making good speed. "Hey, miss!" He repeated. "I'll take them! You just keep running!"
The girl glanced at him quickly and nodded. At that moment, a stray dog decided to jump out of an alley in front of her path. She gasped and tripped over it, falling flat on her front.
"Hey! Thanks mate!" One of the men called out. Kuwabara turned and punched him in the face. He was out before he hit the ground. The others stopped and looked at Kuwabara with animal aggression.
"You stay out of this! You got a death wish?" They rolled up their sleeves. Kuwabara needed to stall the men so that the girl could get away. It didn't seem like she was the first thing on their minds anymore. They advanced from three sides. Kuwabara hardly had to move before all were lying flat out on the ground. Ch'. He had forgotten how pathetic most humans were. He silenced his thoughts before he could remind himself any more of Hiei.
A groan behind him caused Kuwabara to turn. The girl still lay on the ground, her hair splayed over her face like blood.
"Hey, you okay, miss?" He asked.
"I - I think so." She moved slightly. "It's just…my ankle." There was something soothing about the unaccountable familiarity of her voice.
"Here, let me help you home," Kuwabara insisted, and moved to pick up the fallen maiden.
The girl put up a light protest. Kuwabara lifted her into his arms and took his first look at her face. Thankfully for the girl, Kuwabara had impressive reflexes, or she would have ended up back on the ground.
Kurama gave an animal-like shriek as Kuwabara's drums kicked in, in a way that he must have believed was impressively rock-n-roll. Yuusuke gulped. The crowd had their drums. They had their…Kurama. They had little Hiei on the bass. But they didn't have their guitar. Yuusuke stood there feeling stupid (despite feeling that he was the only sane one in the room), as the band's noise petered out pathetically.
As one, twenty thousand and three heads turned to look at Yuusuke. They did not look pleased. Not one little bit.
If Yuusuke thought he could find any sympathy in his band's eyes, he was sadly mistaken. The drumming had stopped. The bass had stopped. The…Kurama had stopped. Now all that remained was the booing. And boy, could this crowd boo.
Yuusuke watched, shaking in his little leather boots, as Kurama walked towards him. Hunter and prey. Hiei was on the move, too. Kuwabara simply looked hurt at the crowd's noise.
"Yuusuke," Kurama said in a deathly silky voice, which somehow managed to drown out the melee of noise from the protesting crowd. "You are no longer a member of Reikai Tantei. You will personally cover the cost of hiring this venue, and then you can pay every single member of this crowd, our fans, the money they are owed for buying a ticket."
"Uh…What?" Yuusuke stuttered. This wasn't even real! It couldn't be! Why was it freaking him out so badly? Was Grandma recording this to use against him at a later date? He straightened up self-consciously.
"He's totally stoned." Hiei growled. "And that's if we're lucky. Is this what you meant when you talked about 'band spirit' when we started this thing up? It was your idea that we did this in the first place. You're pathetic Yuusuke Urameshi. You've ruined your own life. We can take another guitarist and hire someone to write our songs, but you're just going to be a wash out for the rest of your life." If Yuusuke wasn't taking drugs yet, he was definitely considering it now. Something to ease the biting pain of rejection by his friends. "Play now. Or we're going to make good on the promises."
A second chance! A last chance! Yuusuke took up the guitar. He could do this damnit! Fortunately, he had taken some lessons off an 'uncle' (His mother's boyfriend) a few years ago, so knew the very basics. His fingers found some strings. He wasn't sure if it was a chord, but he was about to find out. He moved to the centre stage and faced the crowd, who grew quiet, expectant. Taking a deep breath, Yuusuke strummed. And again.
Hey! Not bad! Now, Yuusuke isn't as stupid as he sometimes appears, as we have already discussed. So, even if he was the last of the Tantei to do so, we can give him a little credit for deciding (rightly) that this could be the dimension that he remembered. The strumming sounded a bit like an old track by Muse…Hopefully, they hadn't already heard this one in this other dimension. Kuwabara started up the beat. It wasn't the same as the original, but it was remarkably good.
"Alright!" Yuusuke cried, and nodded to Kurama. Hiei had reluctantly picked out a base line. Kurama was looking distinctly pouty, but he too drew the microphone to his lips and started improvising. Yuusuke felt the notes come to his fingers, like he had been born to do this! The crowd seemed to love it. They were jumping up and down like crazy.
Yuusuke did a few little leaps on the stage, really getting into the swing of things. The whole set was improvised, and Yuusuke was sure the melody from 'Barbie girl' had managed to crawl its way into one of the songs. Fortunately, Kurama had some wicked lyrics that would make any Barbie girl melt on the spot into a large plastic puddle.
Yuusuke had never had more fun in his life.
Hiei was currently contemplating how best to jump the security fence that surrounded the 'recreation time' area of the asylum. It looked very small to him, but he didn't know what his new limits were. He glanced around him, and shivered. He was being confused with one of these damn crazy ningen? The thought was insufferable. Crazy demons would never be able to survive in the Makai. Except power-crazy ones, which was most of them.
"Mr Jaganshi!" Called out a sing-song voice. It was that nurse. Miss 'Wantanabe'. She had been clinging to him like a gnat, going on about how pleased she was with something she called his 'progress'. The thought that there had been a mentally unstable version of himself in another dimension was humiliating enough, but Hiei dreaded to think what would happen to his reputation if this was not just a transferral for him, but an actual swap, whereby the other Hiei was now wondering around in his clothes, in his dimension.
"Mr Jaganshi! There you are! I've got a special appointment for you, scheduled with Dr Mitsubishi (Okay, I'm not very good with inventing Japanese names, so sue me)!" She called.
Hiei grimaced at her caterwauling and turned to give her a steady glare. So far, his decision to remain obstinately silent and cold seemed to be working.
"Everyone's so impressed with the progress you've made!" Her face was actually glowing with pride. 'guess they don't get many success stories in here'. "I think you'll be ready to be integrated back into society again within the year!"
"How ironic," Hiei droned.
Miss Wantanabe's smile wavered. "Ironic?"
"I believe I'll seriously go crazy if you lock me up in here for that long." His eyes glittered maliciously. "And then I simply won't be able to suppress my violent instincts." Maybe that hadn't been the best thing to say. Miss Wantanabe's shoulders slumped in disappointment at his 'relapse'. If only he still had the brawn to back up such a threat. At the moment he was at best a skinny, short ningen with an attitude problem.
"I know there's still a chance for you. Something's changed about you, I know it," The ningen said sadly. Her eyes pleaded with him.
"Hn. What do you want?"
"Just give us a chance to help you. That's why we're here." Hiei fought to stop himself from punching something very, very hard.
Miss Wantanabe sighed and moved off, letting him enjoy the rest of his recreation period (extended on account of good behaviour!) in peace.
This chapter is dedicated to Lanie N. (Thanks so much for two reviews!), Meri Kaisla (Same to you!) andHanna M. for their sweetreviews of chapter 2blushes, and also to Hikaru no Kyuutaru for her (not being too presumtuous in thinking you're female, am I?) review of chapter 1. Every review gives me a happy buzz. Way better than red bull for the spirit. Thanks for bothering!
If anyone wants to suggest something, please review. Or just if you want to make me happy.