[A⁄N: So this is the end kiddies. Hope you've enjoyed watching the dramatic improvement in my writing. I've already got the first 10 chapters of the Chapter Black arc written so it'll be up soon. No worries.]
It didn't take me long to pass out after we got back to the hotel. But I could tell when I woke up the next morning when I woke up that everyone had done a spectacular job of patching me up. The wound on my stomach was gone, not even a scar remained. I still had no Spirit Energy to speak of, which I expected after yesterday, and my ki was slowly returning although it was basically no existent as well. I was going to be out of commission for a while.
I sat up, running my fingers though my hair which felt spectacularly clean for me having been through an ordeal yesterday, and I even had on my proper pajamas.
"Your father and your brothers cleaned you up and changed your clothes." I looked over to the bed next to me where Hiei was closing his bag, having finished packing up for the day. "In case you were wondering."
"I was, actually," I said. I looked to the last bed in the room and it was empty and all of Kurama's things were gone. He must've been packed already. I turned my attention back to Hiei. "How are you?"
"I'm perfectly fine. Maybe you don't recall but I wasn't seriously injured yesterday," Hiei said.
I scoffed. "I'm almost angry with you for doing so well against Bui. It's just given you another excuse to be arrogant and unsociable. But you did level half the stadium and master a technique that was supposed to be impossible to master so I think I may just let it go, but you've got to tone it back a little."
"Tone what back?" he asked.
"The attitude," I said. "I bet people would like you more if you did."
"As I recall, Detective, you like me just fine don't you?" he asked.
I chuckled awkwardly and turned away from him, staring down at my feet. I couldn't believe he was the one who brought that up.
"Here I was stupidly hoping you'd forget about that," I said.
"Not likely," he said.
"I mean, I highly doubt it's the first time a girl has ever kissed you," I said. "I know that doesn't make it okay, like, I've been totally appalled every time someone has just up and kissed me out of the clear blue sky—I mean it was the same guy so it wasn't that surprising, but still. You don't strike me as the kind of person who feels victimized by that kind of thing."
"I never said I was," he said shaking his head. "I'd just like an explanation."
"Oh," I said. For some reason I hadn't been counting on that. I really thought I could artfully talk my way out of it, but here was, asking for one. I couldn't just come out and tell him I liked him. That would be absurd.
"Well, Detective," Hiei said.
"It's not a big deal," I said.
"Then you should have no problem telling me," he said. He seemed smug. Of course he was. Hiei wasn't an idiot. He may have had an asocial personality, but he knew just as well as Kurama and Yusuke that I liked him. The only person who didn't know I liked him was probably me. I was the dense one.
"I don't know why it matters," I said.
"It was an invasion of my personal space," he said.
"Well if it bothered you so much why did you kiss me back? Answer me that question," I said. Yeah, that was the ticket. I just had to flip this all around on him. Not that it wasn't a good question after all, I had expected him to just shove me away or ask what was wrong with me, but he didn't. He reciprocated.
"I was. . ." he started and to my shock the great stone faced Hiei was flustered. I had managed to embarrass Hiei. Suddenly this wasn't starting to feel so one sided anymore.
"You were what? Practicing your interpersonal communication skills?" I asked.
"Don't patronize me, Detective," he said.
"Then don't stand there and act like an idiot when you're one of the smartest people I know," I said. We were silent for a long moment, before I spoke again. "Evidently, I'm incredibly obvious, and we've already established that you can read me really well so. . ."
"What?" he asked.
"Am I really obvious?" I asked. "I mean, aside from the whole kissing you in the locker room thing because it doesn't get more obvious than that. Like. . ." I laid back on my pillow and took a deep breath. In hindsight I was very obvious, from the first round on. The way I talked to him, the way I was close with him, everything about the way I interacted with Hiei made it obvious "Did you know before?"
"What difference would it make to you if I did?" he asked.
"None. I'm just curious," I said.
"Well, I didn't know, not until yesterday, otherwise, in retrospect I wouldn't have indulged your ridiculous school girl crush," he said.
I sat up again and nodded. I felt a bit relieved that he hadn't known the whole time and that he hadn't been jerking me around.
"Then I guess it's all on you now isn't it, I mean, you still haven't answered my question as per the rules of interpersonal communication," I said
"What question?" he asked.
"Why did you kiss me back?" I asked.
Hiei didn't have the chance to answer because the door flew open and I was greeted by everyone with confetti and noise makers.
"Oh, good, you're already awake. I suspected you might be angry if you were woken up like that," Kurama said. "Happy birthday, by the way."
"Thanks," I said. I looked over to Hiei. We locked eyes briefly and then I looked away. It was unlikely that we were going to get another quiet moment alone to finish our conversation. I just had to accept that we were going to have to leave it like this.
"How are you recovering?" Gohan asked.
"Pretty good," I said poking at the spot on my abdomen when Toguro had stabbed me. "Whoever fixed me up did a pretty good job."
"It was all Yukina! Isn't she just the best?" Kuwabara exclaimed tossing his arm around her.
"Well, I did have a little help from Trunks. You had a very complicated injury," Yukina said.
"But Trunks said he's handled injuries like that lots of times before."
"My, Kairi, aren't you just lucky to have a guy like that around whenever you need him," Shizuru teased.
My eyes flickered to Hiei before flashing over to Trunks and then finally landing on my knees.
"Yeah, super lucky," I said.
Somehow, it felt wrong to be talking about Trunks like this with Hiei standing so close by. I knew he didn't care one way or the other if Trunks liked me or if I liked Trunks because Hiei seemed to really careless about the fact that I liked him at all, but that was just it. I liked Hiei and inside it felt wrong for me to like him while being in an ambiguously defined relationship with Trunks. I felt wrong for kissing him yesterday and knowing that I was never going to tell Trunks about it.
I knew I should've felt like I was in the wrong for feeling all of this without telling Trunks, but somehow I felt like I was wronging Hiei by even continuing to entertain the idea of being with Trunks.
I pushed all thoughts of Hiei and Trunks from my brain as Goten walked into the room carrying a plate of food.
"Do I smell pork?" I asked.
"Yes! I'm glad all of that exercise yesterday hasn't ruined your love of sausages," Goten said handing me the plate of food.
"You'd better get up and get dressed. The last boat leaves in two hours. I don't think you want to be stuck here anymore," Shizuru said.
I shook my head. He was right. I was ready to go home.
Everyone piled out of the room, save for Yusuke and Kurama.
"You eat like a garbage disposal," Yusuke said as I cleared the last of my food from my plate.
"So I've been told," I replied.
"I packed up your things last night while you were sleeping," Kurama said handing me my bag.
"Thanks," I said, rummaging through it for a clean outfit.
"So what were you and Hiei talking about?" Yusuke asked.
"What?" I asked.
"You both looked a bit startled when we can into the room and I doubt it had anything to do with the fuss we were making," Kurama said.
"Oh, it was nothing. I was just telling him that I thought he was going to be more arrogant and antisocial than ever now that he's mastered the dragon is all," I said.
"Got that right," Yusuke said. "He's the only one who never got knocked through a wall or stabbed or almost died. And you did all three of those."
"Cause I'm a triple threat," I said.
"In other news, we spoke to Vegeta last night after you were all taken care of and he seemed concerned about your energy," Kurama said.
"What for? It's not back at all yet, but I feel fine," I said.
"He said something about you being your father's child and not gradually getting stronger and bad timing," Yusuke said.
"He meant that your power level is going to be unstable when you fully regain your energy in a few days because of the injury you took," Kurama said.
"Oh, right, cause I'm a Saiyan. Zenkai power and all that," I said. "I think not becoming a Super Saiyan is a pipe dream for me now."
"He agrees. But usually under these circumstances where one of you has taken an injury and recovered from it quickly, it's usually in the heat of battle and you can use the untamed energy to your advantage, but considering that you managed to save everyone from certain death without the use of your new found energy it's all just bottling up inside of you," Kurama said. "And since, apparently, you've never taken an injury of the magnitude before the level of increase is going to be too much for you to handle all at once."
"That's what he said," Yusuke said.
"Well done," I said.
"Thank you," Yusuke replied.
"So what you're saying, Kurama, is that I can't use my energy?" I asked.
"Right," he said. "For your own safety and the safety of everyone around you," Kurama said. "At least not until your energy tapers off and gets used to be contained within your own body. Otherwise you're going to end up like Bui unable to control your energy all of the time which according to Vegeta-."
"Is unacceptable because I'm a Saiyan and we have to be able to control our powers because we're Saiyans and we run this shit," I said.
"Basically," Kurama said.
"Botan do we have to do this? I still look all pale and half alive and you want to capture that forever in a photograph?" I asked.
We were outside on the shore making our way to the dock to catch the boat home. Botan was still wearing her Team Urameshi pride and decided that she wanted a picture of all of us.
"Oh, come Kairi, it's your birthday and you managed to survive the Dark Tournament. A picture won't kill you," Kayko said as Yusuke and Kurama dragged an outraged Hiei over to be in the picture with us.
Botan stood behind the camera setting up the timer with Yukina.
"Yukina, come be in the picture!" Kuwabara said.
"Oh, but I can't Kazuma. I know that if I take a picture the photograph will steal my soul," Yukina said.
I'd never heard such a dead silence. I knew how isolated the Ice Village was and realized now that Yukina might be a bit of a sheltered rube.
"All right, everyone get ready!" Botan exclaimed pushing us all together in a group. We all posed appropriately and the picture snapped. Botan quickly jumped up to her feet to see how it turned out. "Oh, no!"
"What's wrong?" Kayko asked.
"Hiei's not smiling. He's ruined the picture," Botan said as Kayko came to investigate.
"Oh, Botan, that's just the way his face always looks. You don't want the picture to be fake do you? Besides, it'd look much weirder if he was smiling," Shizuru said.
"Yeah, and he only looks begrudged in this instead of like he hates everyone. You could almost consider it his version of smiling," Yukina said.
"All right," Botan said still sounding displeased. "Kairi, where have your people run off to?"
"My brothers, Trunks, and Vegeta already went to get on the boat, but my Dad disappeared somewhere with Koenma a while ago," I said. "I may've become Spirit Detective, but I definitely think it was because I was second bananas to my dad. I know he's Koenma's favorite."
"Considering how cool your dad is, I don't really think that's a bad thing," Yusuke said.
We heard the boat horn sound off in the distance.
"Looks like it's really time for us to go home now," Kayko said.
"Back to skipping detention!" Yusuke cheered.
"And video games!" Kuwabara said.
"My human mother," Kurama said.
"Various crimes," Hiei said.
"And Kayko being the only one who gets to see me naked on a semi-regular basis," I said high-fiving Kayko with a laugh.
"Well, excuse me if I'm a little insulted!"
We all froze. We'd all heard the voice behind us and turned slowly. Standing not too far off from us, waving like it was any other day, was Genkai.
"Are you just going to leave this old fossil behind?" she asked.
It didn't take more than a second for everyone to run up and smother her with hugs, but Yusuke and I just stood there, still slightly in shock.
Then I saw my dad walk up behind her, and he winked at me.
"Genkai! Come here you beautiful old, hag!" Yusuke exclaimed running up to her.
I walked up to her. Welcoming her back with a hug before walking over to my dad.
"You didn't really come here because mom sent you did you?" I asked.
Dad shrugged. "I may have misled your brothers and Trunks and Vegeta a little bit about why we were coming."
"How long have you known what Genkai was up to?" I asked.
He thought for a moment. "Well, Koenma told me a few months ago while you were with Vegeta that he might need help convincing King Yemma of bringing someone back to life later on. . ."
"So the three of you were in on it the whole time?" I asked.
"And not just that, but also making sure that Yusuke managed to unlock his true potential as well," Dad said.
"So, not only did you know about Genkai and Toguro, you also knew that when it came down to it I was going to have to throw my fight with Toguro to make sure that Yusuke could do it?" I asked.
He nodded. "Just like how I helped Gohan win against Cell, but I couldn't just let my daughter kill herself so I went to see Korin to make sure that you didn't."
I chuckled. "You know what, Dad, you're a lot smarter than you let people give you credit for. Even me. What's up with that?"
"I'm not really. I just know when you're getting into trouble and I try to keep you safe," he said, putting his arm around me. "Speaking of which, I have something to tell you that you're not going to like very much."
"What?" I asked.
"Well, since Vegeta said you can't use your energy for a while and because demons are always trying to kill you and kids in the city are always trying to beat you up we decided it's probably a good idea that you stay in West City when school starts," Dad said
I scoffed. "But, Dad-."
"I know, you could always just take the Nimbus cloud and be happy," Dad said, "but your mom would probably not like that."
I sighed. "Great. So now I need a babysitter."
"Kurama already said he'd keep an eye on you and he lives right by Kuwabara so he said he'd walk you to school every morning to make sure you didn't run into trouble," Dad said. "Besides, you need a break."
Hanging Neck Island sank slowly into the distance as we sailed away from it. I never wanted to see that place again if I could help it. I probably never would. The larger stadium was destroyed. Koenma informed us that the Tournament committee had been murdered and everyone in the Black Black Club, including Sakyo, was dead. I wasn't going to be hearing about the Dark Tournament for a long time.
Yusuke popped up and hoisted himself up to sit on the railing next to where I stood.
"So, I heard you're going to be living with Kurama now," Yusuke said.
"Only until I can use my energy. It's going to be weird though," I said. "Kurama's mother knows all about me getting into trouble and that her sister is married to some weird alien guy who's super strong, but apparently remains blissfully ignorant of Spirit World and the fact that her child is actually a demon who's several hundred years old."
"So, she knows enough to know that you don't have an energy and need to stay there to keep out of trouble, but not enough to know out of what trouble or why you don't have energy?" Yusuke asked.
"Exactly," I said. "It's probably better that way. Things would be different with Kurama and his mom if she knew the truth."
"Your family is complicated," Yusuke said. "And you were right, you really don't stay dead for very long do you?"
"Nope," I said looking over to Genkai who was happily in a conversation with Kayko and Botan. "You can handle things can't you?"
"Say what now?" he asked.
"I'm out of commission. I mean, demons are going to be pacified now that the tournament is over so we probably won't get another assignment for ages, but if something does happen, I can count on you to handle it solo, right?" I asked.
Yusuke smirked. "You've been doing it on your own since you were eight. Can't be that hard."
"Yeah, but the stronger you get the bigger your reputation gets. The weaker and stupider demons stay away. The stronger, smarter ones start to pop up," I said. "I mean, you're lucky Kurama wasn't actually evil because-."
"Yeah, he would've destroyed me. No offense but he's kind of crazy, and smart mixed with crazy just is scary," Yusuke said. "And now I've got his demon form to worry about–damn, I'm glad we're friends."
I laughed. "So I can count you?"
"Yeah, I guess, as long as those bozos are around to help me out," Yusuke said.
I looked around. Kuwabara was talking excitedly with Yukina, gesturing wildly as he went. Kurama was currently laughing with Goten and Trunks. Hiei stood off by himself staring out at the sea contemplative as always.
"Yeah, I think we'll be fine if trouble comes around," I said. "As long as you've got Team Urameshi to help you?"
Yusuke chuckled. "Nope. Team Spirit Detective."