Reliable, knowledgable,
"The fox" that's always there
To help with homework
Or perhaps defeating a youkai or two
And still comes home in time for dinner
Impeccable as always, the perfect son.
That's what they see -
That's what YOU see, isn't it?
You don't see _me_.
Even though everyone watches me
No one really sees me.
After all, I work very hard
To make sure of that.

Would it surprise you to know
That sometimes
Even I can't see myself?
When I look in the mirror
To comb my hair
It's not my reflection I see.
Not Minamino Shuuichi
And not Youko Kurama;
Not even the medley of both
That my heart has become
Through the years
It's not me I see.

It's you.

At first it was her reflection
On a much smaller mirror
As I called upon its deadly power
To reflect back my greatest desire.
Her life.
I touched the mirror
And waited to die
As the crackling energy pulled away my life
I didn't even know if the youko would survive
But by that stage I didn't care about that.
But you did.
Another hand joined mine
As your voice demanded
That the mirror accept your donation
And you screamed at me - at me! to think
To think of 'Kaasan and how she would feel
Upon learning of my death.
"She'll be miserable!" you yelled.
I hadn't even thought about it
And for one second
I stared at you
Unable to believe
That someone - my nemesis, the one seeking me out;
My Hunter in the Ningenkai, no less -
Would do this for me.
And then... there was no more time to think.

When I awoke,
Everything was as it had been
And my first coherent thoughts
Were for 'Kaasan.
To my later shame
I ran off to check on her
And left you lying there.
And when I returned, you were gone
How was I to thank you?

I was able to repay you soon enough -
Thank heavens for that.
Hiei really had no idea of the consequences
If he had succeeded in using the Ghostslayer sword on you
But I did.
It was just lucky I knew
Hiei was hiding out in that warehouse.
I won't lie and say I enjoyed
Being run through - it hurt much more than I let you know.
But I'd gladly do it again
For both of you.
My best friend
In a harsh Reikai prison, becoming even more bitter and hopeless -
No, I could not allow it.
And you, and you...
Death was not an option for you
I knew that even then
At the time I was trying to repay the debt
And thank you
For your help and your trust in me
But even then
I was becoming fascinated by you.

Only 'Kaasan had ever taken
Such painful risks for me before
And I am her son, not a stranger.
At least, that's what she thinks.
And I will be her son all her life
It's the least I can do
And she's truly my mother now, in all the ways that count
But you...
You had no reason to believe me
And yet you did.
I didn't understand it

If only there were more like you.

And you've never stopped being YOU.
Were you so surprised
At what I did in that warehouse that night?
And whenever I am hurt
You always notice
No matter how many enemies you're fighting yourself.
I hear you call my name
And for a moment, I can let myself believe...
Even when I failed you against Karasu
You weren't angry at me
But angry upon my behalf
And your hands and voice were gentle with me
As you helped me to a safe resting place.

Oh, Yuusuke
Sometimes I wish you weren't so kind
That way
My eyes and ears could not persist in seeing and hearing
What isn't there
My heart
Couldn't lie to me
And tell me that you care for me
The way I care for you.

You. Love. Keiko.
And you Don't. Love. Me.
There, I've said it
Not that it matters -
My heart refuses to listen to my head
Emotion refusing to bow to logic.
Oh, Yuusuke, 'Kaasan, look what you both have done to me -
I've become so very human.

And still, whenever I look into a mirror,
I see my reflection replaced
By the image of your hand
Your arm, your whole body
Leaning over towards me
Hand on the mirror frame
Eyes so alive, on fire
Burning into mine
Ordering me not to die.
And for you... I obeyed
And would obey again.

I can't see myself anymore, Yuusuke.