Newsflash(Exclaimation mark...for some reason, it won't let me put one here): Changed my name from Sukini to Inikus, because I felt like it.
It's been a while since I last updated. Sorry!This chapter is set in the Reikai Tantei's world with their otherworldly replacements. Please enjoy, and don't forget to review!
In which Kagome makes a random guest appearance
Shuichi Minamino decided that the wish he had made six years ago on his sixteenth birthday had finally come true. His mother was packing his bento box at the counter. He had a dad, and a little brother. He had been a little shocked when the pair had stepped into the room that morning, but passed it off as just another temporary treat. How long would this blissful dream last? He remembered everything familiar about his mother. The smile crinkles. The warmth and security of her embrace. The smell of baking and flowers that she emanated. He had a little grin on his face until his mother told him to go upstairs and dress for school.
"Honestly Shuichi, you're old enough for me not to have to tell you any more," She had chided teasingly.
"Yes Mother," Shuichi'd replied, rolling his eyes in the same teasing manner as if put upon. Just saying her name sent a small spark of pleasure through him. School hadn't been part of the wish, but maybe he was getting a small portion of his childhood returned to him. School was just another of those things associated with growing up.
Upstairs, it was easy enough to find his school uniform. It was displayed neatly on a coat hanger at the front of his closet. So useful, having the wish fairy (spirit, he reminded himself) tidy his room for him. He assumed that Botan was such a creature, being sure that she had set up the whole thing. He didn't see any other blue-haired girls floating around the place, so she was a very credible creature to lay the cause to. He certainly hadn't been the one to tidy his room before he had left it all those years ago.
The colour wasn't as he would have chosen it, but who was he to complain? He put on the clothes and admired his reflection. Oh yes, Shuichi was willing to admit he was quite the lady-killer. He gave a charming smile to the red head in his mirror, imagining a hoard of adoring females.
"Don't worry Keiko, I've got eyes only for you." he told the reflection. "But I'm still a man, I can't exactly blind myself to pretty things," he admitted.
"Shuichi! The bus is going to be here in five minutes!" His mother called up the stairs.
"Coming mother!" Shuichi replied. He saw a book bag lying beside the desk, upon which was a neat pile of homework. He grinned and sent his silent thanks to the wish fairy, stuffing the homework into the bag as he did so.
He gave his mother a kiss on the cheek as he left with his brother. He took her appearance in, making sure to remember every detail in case the dream ended too soon.
As soon as the pair were off down the street, Shuichi tuned to the brown-haired boy beside him. "So. What's your name?"
The boy regarded him with wide, worried eyes. "I'm...Shuichi. Um, you've been acting off all morning, there's nothing wrong, is there?"
Shuichi chuckled. "Your name is Shuichi?" He shook his head. "I guess I'm just not that imaginative." his brother raised his eyebrows but made no comment. "Maybe I was imagination-ed out when I thought of you, eh?"
Shuichi remained silent for the rest of the short distance, casting worried glances at his brother every so often.
The bus rounded the corner, and the two brothers hurried to the bus stop.
Shuichi climbed aboard and found the bus filled with empty single seats. Didn't school children usually want to sit next to their friends? The answer to this philosophical question was answered immediately by a girl with brown pigtails.
"Oh, Shuichi! I've saved you a place!" Obviously, not when you wanted to bag the school hottie. Honestly, he should set up some sort of shrine to the mysterious wish fairy. He gave her a charming smile whilst searching for the most…advantageous seat with his eyes. They settled on a raven-haired beauty sitting alone beside the window, reading.
He politely declined pigtail-girl's offer as well as many others. He swung down next to the girl, who jumped slightly and lost her line in the book.
"Sorry," Shuichi whispered to her, causing her to blush prettily. This girl wasn't oblivious to his masculine allure, then? He thought smugly.
The girl attempted to read again, but obviously could not concentrate.
"What're you reading?" The redhead asked.
"Um, set text." The girl mumbled. She flapped the cover up for him. "Cold Mountain."
Shuichi nodded. Things really needed to liven up. This was his dream after all. "I'm Shuichi." He said suddenly. The girl looked up but didn't quite make it to his eyes, settling on his lips instead.
"I know- I'm Higurashi." She replied, and went back to her reading. She knew, eh? His lady-skills be infamous around here.
Shuichi tapped out a rhythm on his school bag. After about a minute, Higurashi turned to him abruptly.
"Could you please…stop tapping," She asked stiffly.
"Only if you stop reading," He replied with a wink. Higurashi quickly turned away. A couple more minutes passed.
"Please, stop tapping," Higurashi reiterated. From her tone of voice, this was obviously getting to her in a big way.
"What did I say?" This time there was a charming little grin on his face.
"Okay, okay. I'll stop reading if you stop tapping." She slipped the book back into her bag. "I think you of all people should be encouraging reading."
"Me of all people?"
Higurashi blushed again. "Well, you are the school's Book Club President."
"What!" Shuichi cried, nearly jumping out of his seat. "You think I'm some kind of nerd!"
"No! No! I didn't say that! I was merely stating a fact!" the poor brunette yelped.
"Yeah, but am I?" This couldn't be! Famous not for his way with the females, but for nerdiness!
"Wha- I don't know!" She spluttered. "Uh…Define nerd,"
Shuichi didn't bother. He just sat there, sulking and silently cursing the damn wish fairy.
Kuwabara sat in Koenma's reception, flicking calmly through 'Oni Beautiful' (feeling stressed? Discover 100 ways to avoid getting buried in Koenma's paperwork). He had just reached a rather interesting advertisement for skin wax (red, blue, green, yellow - feel beautiful in your own skin!) when the door to Koenma's personal office swung open.
'About time! Now I know how my patients must feel,' Kuwabara thought.
Koenma's toddler form drifted from the open door, and Kuwabara stifled a snort of incredulity. No wonder the world was on its head with that little guy in charge.
"Ah! Kuwabara. Botan said it was urgent." The little ruler began.
'Three hours ago?' "How kind of you to take time out of your busy schedule to undo your mistakes," Kuwabara parried evenly.
"No problem." There was no remorse in Koenma's voice. "Now, perhaps you can tell me what exactly the dilemma is."
"Can I come in?" He gestured to the office. Koenma shrugged
"Fine." He looked a little confused at the formality but didn't protest it. Kuwabara sat in front of Koenma's desk and crossed his legs.
"I'm not Kuwabara."
"What!" Koenma squeaked and pressed a big red button on the side of his desk. "Security! Get me security!"
Kuwabara held up his hands in a submissive gesture. "Well, I am, but not as you know him. Did you not notice the change in my appearance?"
Koenma squinted at him. "You look just the same. Orange hair. Eyes. Nose. Mouth below. Quite tall. Panic over," he smoothly informed two scrawny looking onis who had jumped to the rescue at the call of the panic button.
Kuwabara frowned. "Yes, but I am also thirty two years old! According to my - to Shizuru, the Kuwabara you know is fifteen!"
Koenma brought the tips of his fingers together with an indifferent look on his face. "Mm-hmm. Anyway, you think you don't belong here. Alright, that's something to go on, I suppose. Do you know when this feeling of inadequacy started?" He leaned back in the chair. Kuwabara brought a hand to his face.
"This isn't my world. How can I make myself any clearer to you?"
"Wait a minute, wasn't Botan supposed to be assembling you all? There's been some demon activity in Osaka I need you guys to sort out. It's very urgent, apparently they're trying to rear test-tube babies for tender human meat to sell back in the Makai. Stealing eggs from human women."
"What!" Kuwabara yelled, jumping in his seat. "I knew I wasn't crazy! There are such things as demons! Stealing eggs from human women! That's repulsive! No need to fear, Lord Koenma, I will do whatever I can to rectify this problem." Kuwabara was standing by this point, in this world's Kuwabara's patented heroic pose. All thought of the dimension mix-up was forgotten.
"Excellent! As soon as we have the more competent…the other members of the Tantei gathered, we can commence with the operation." He nodded in satisfaction. "Ogre!" He yelled, and the blue assistant came rushing through the door. "Get me Botan. We need Kuwabara returned to the demon site, and I want to know what's going on here."
"Yuusuke! Please come out now!" Keiko called for the thousandth time, desperately trying to keep her voice sweet and enticing despite her irritation. "You know you're being no good to anyone in there. Botan's here; she says that Koenma's got a really important job for you. Everyone's counting on you Yuusuke."
The only time that Yuusuke had opened the door was to give the girls the finger after they had been knocking and calling for ten minutes.
"Right. I'm going in." Botan slammed her oar into the door, which sprang open at the impact. "Yuusuke Urameshi! I hope you have an apology ready for your abysmal behaviour this morning!" Yuusuke had crawled back into bed, and only a mop of messy black hair was visible over the top of his duvet. "Keiko! Back me up here!"
Keiko strode into the room behind her blue-haired friend. "She's right, Yuusuke. You'd better have a good excuse. I need you to get back to normal, the world needs you! Please?" She sat down on the edge of the bed and laid a hand on Yuusuke's shoulder.
Botan was huffing. "Cut the crap!" She grabbed the duvet and yanked. Duvet, clothes, Keiko and all fell to the floor. "Alright, mister! I've been up since midnight searching for you and the others! So, I don't care that you think you're too good for saving the world, it needs you! And I want to sleep!"
Yuusuke lay there in a pair of boxers, looking bewildered and very pissed. Keiko jumped up off the floor.
"Alright Keiko, I'll need your help." Botan rolled up her sleeves and got into a ready stance. "On the count of two, we're going to dress the lazy git and by the count of three, we ought to have him on my oar and half way to the site of the demon activities."
Botan was right. Before Yuusuke could count to three, Keiko had forced some jeans on him and Botan had pulled him up and onto the oar.
"Three. Bye Keiko, thanks for your help!"
Keiko waved as Botan flew off with Yuusuke, who looked to be in a state of shock.
"Bring him back safely!"
Yuusuke didn't know what he had taken, but he was seriously never doing it again. The cold air whipped against his bare chest as he clung to Botan for dear life. The ground was a mere memory as they sped across forests and mountains, far away from the strange brown-haired girl who had seemed to care about him so much. He remembered her face as she had leaned out of his bedroom window, turned up to the sunlight and watching him speed away to the east. She had looked…radiant. Maybe the drug hadn't been such a bad thing after all…
"Uh…where are we going?"
"It's at a factory a couple of miles outside of Osaka. Koenma says you just have to go in there and destroy the demons' whole operation, so it shouldn't require any big thinking. Just blow stuff up, I guess. You'll shine at it."
Yuusuke turned his head sharply to her, and got a mouthful of blue hair for his troubles. "Pah!" He spat it out as best he could whilst gripping firmly to her pink kimono. "Blow stuff up! How the hell am I supposed to do that!"
Botan sighed. "Don't try and be sarcastic Yuusuke, you're not very good at it." Ignoring any other spluttering she heard from behind her, Botan continued. "You might have a bit of a wait when I drop you just outside. Just hold your own until I can pick up Kurama from his house and Kuwabara from the Reikai. And actually find Hiei. Okay? Oh! There it is!"
Yuusuke's heart rocketed into his mouth as they dropped faster than they could have fallen down to where the grey roof a factory was visible among some trees. Botan landed such a distance from the building that they would be inconspicuous. "Koenma didn't tell me much. All I know is that human women keep disappearing from within the vicinity of the factory, then turning up later with no recollection of what happened."
"Whatever you think I'm going to do, I can't do it!"
"What are you talking about? You're the Reikai Tantei. You are the only one who can do it! It's easier than some of the stuff you've done before." Yuusuke had to admit, he had done some pretty impressive stuff in his life, and he was the Reikai Tantei. Try telling that to Kurama and Hiei though, he thought. Without him, the band would be nothing.
"Just go in there and destroy stuff then arrest the enemy, blah blah blah. I've got to go now, good luck! Before Yuusuke could protest at being left hundreds of miles from home next to a dangerous factory, Botan took off into the air. Not to mention the fact that he was half-naked.
It was at that moment that the Yuusuke from another dimension decided to have a big think. Stretching back to as far as he could remember, he tried to remember what could have brought him to the situation he was currently facing. Maybe sometime in a drug/alcohol induced state of half-awareness he had made a stupid promise to the weird blue-haired girl that he had never intended to follow through. Hadn't he fallen asleep just before he was about to go on stage in Tokyo? His biggest concert in Japan ever? The rest of the Reikai Tantei were going to be sooo pissed when they saw that he was missing. And he hadn't lived at home for three years. Heck, he hadn't even talked to his mum in three years.
Unfortunately, being deep in thought may have been the reason that three guards from the factory had time to fetch their Big Guns and run back to point them in his face. They had sensed a huge and unmasked ki and come running.
"Hands above your head!" Yuusuke jumped, and caught sight of the Big Guns pointed in his face. And added it to the list of 'Things That I Really Don't Deserve'. The brutes with the guns were green and muscular and - was that a tail? Yuusuke lifted his hands slowly above his head. The guards approached with caution, which somewhat confused the rock star.
"Don't try anything!" Yuusuke nodded quickly. Gaining confidence, the guards strode forward and grabbed his wrists, tying them behind his back with something that felt like hot rope.
"Ow! What is this stuff?" Yuusuke demanded, trying to escape the bindings.
The guard who was in front of him grinned, displaying a mouth of rotting teeth. "It's ki restraining rope. Try as hard as you want, Reikai Tantei, you won't be able to escape." His grin widened at Yuusuke's surprise. Even the green-skinned monster knew of his band? Wow, now that was popularity. Before he had a chance to bathe in the compliment, the guards grabbed various parts of his arms and torso and dragged him off in the direction of the factory.
Hiei was having great fun. He was currently being chased by several people in dark blue suits. Everyone else was making way for the chase, some even screaming him on! Well, screaming about something. His speed seemed to have increased greatly since he had last checked, which had been in that white walled place with the kind lady. He had the idea that he could go even faster than this, too. He tried it.
The world became a blur, colours and shapes speeding past. As objects approached, he could sense and avoid them! He had to stop very shortly because of an itch in his arm. He wasn't in the park anymore, but in a crowded pedestrian street. Several people were staring at him as if he had appeared out of thin air. He glared at them.
There were many colourful shops lining the street, humming with noises and activity. He sighed and rubbed the irritating bandage on his arm as he felt another itch. As if something was trying to escape. This thought was forgotten when one particular store caught his eye. Hiei decided that he had found a good use for the speedy thing he could now do. So, he zipped across the street and into the shop, right to the counter.
"I want that one."
The cashier looked down in shock at the little man's sudden appearance. "The…the blackcurrant ice cream?" He asked.
"No. I want that one. Now." Hiei got out his new katana and pointed to the mint choc chip ice cream, just to clear up any misunderstanding.
"N-now, there's no need for that!" The cashier scooped the ice cream out of its tub with shaking hands. "Single or d-double cone, s-sir?"
"That one." The cashier yelped as the sword whipped through the air above his head to point to the double cone.
"V-very well," the man stuttered. He loosened his collar. "Will that be card or cash?" Hiei scowled. "N-never mind!" He practically threw the ice cream at Hiei.
"Hn." Hiei smiled, a little bright one that might have almost looked cute to the cashier if the little man's sword wasn't still being twirled around absently as said little man devoured the ice cream.
Hiei ignored the cashier and made his way back into the sunshine, then disappeared. The cashier fainted.
Meanwhile, Botan was flying from Kurama's house (where he hadn't been, damnit!) to his school to find him. To her surprise and delight, she spotted Hiei materialising out of thin air just below her, and she stopped.
'Yes! Just the good luck I need right now!' She thought naively as she pointed her oar downwards to descend.
Hiei was feeling a little queasy from his speeding after eating. He was definitely going to take that bandage off now, it was beginning to itch like mad!
Before his mind had time to react, his body had sensed the approach of a large airborne missile, and pointed his sword at it before impact. Impact never came, as the flying missile stopped skilfully three centimetres from it's tip.
Botan looked at the gleaming object with wide eyes. "Hiei, it's only me!" Hiei's eyes held no recognition. "I'm so glad I found you!" She dismounted and pushed the sword aside, apparently oblivious to the look of outrage that he gave her at her boldness. "Koenma's got a new mission for you. There's a demon organisation near Osaka where they're stealing human eggs for baby meat to sell over in the Makai!" She said. There was a patient wait before Hiei slowly brought his sword back up to point at the ferry girl. His eyes narrowed.
"What have you been doing lately?" 'Oh dear, the lights are on but nobody's home' The blank look told Botan that there was obviously something mentally wrong with the fire demon, so she would treat him with caution.
"Hn." He glowered.
"Were you eating yoghurt?" Well, there was a smudge of something beside his little mouth. Hiei's frown only deepened. "Um…cream?" Nope. "Ice cream?"
A light seemed to go on in Hiei's head. "Where?" He demanded.
Botan thanked all the Gods for this stroke of good luck. "Just a small distance away. Sit up here, and I'll take you to it!" She brought the oar out and Hiei looked at it cautiously. "It's melting as we speak!" Botan said desperately. This seemed to decide the matter. He hopped onto the oar.
'No sudden movements' Botan told herself. She really didn't need to be scaring Hiei away while he was in such a delicate state. She manoeuvred the oar off the ground and to the Reikai, where her little cargo would certainly be less dangerous to humans.
Hiei moved so that he was looking backwards off the oar as it travelled. He swung his legs carelessly and took out his sword to inspect it. Botan looked back and barely repressed a maternal 'aw!'
Chapter dedicated to all my lovely reviewers of Chapter Three; Hikaru (first name terms, eh?), Hanna M, Lanie N (creepily similar names...), Meri Kaisla and Criptic Kitsune! You're all fantastic.