Dangerous Beauty

BY : kurashin
Category: Rurouni Kenshin > Crossovers
Dragon prints: 2585
Disclaimer: I do not own this anime/manga, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

This is really all Kagome's fault...all of it. ^_______^ 

I did research
for this, granted it was quick since I don't have much time these days...it
appears Youko Kurama is old enough to have been around in this time frame. ^-^; Lucky! I
just had to make sure, even though I had suspected it, I wanted to be positive.
He should be two hundred to a thousand years old, according to the sources I've
looked at. None of them have agreed as of yet. -____-; If it's wrong, I'll
shoot someone, and I really don't care, as it's a pain in the ass to find
specifics of that nature. Meiji Era begins = 1868, when Kenshin is 18. Meaning
our favourite chibi red-head was born in 1850.... He would be 13 in 1863...I
think you get the picture.

How everything else works? Well, Kurama is seen in Reikai a few times, and it
seems he's able to be there, so why not in the actual section where the spirits
are? I think it
works...probably because he is Youko? Can't say just how, but if he can be in Reikai in the anime, he can be in
"Heaven" in my fanfic. Got it? Good.
^___________________^

I know I don't follow perfect canon. Get over it.

Warnings: FEH! >D! What should you always expect from me? Shounen-ai.
Sadly, pedophilia, at that. _^_! Sorry, I just like how it worked out. I'm not
one for pedophilia, but when it works, it works. With that in mind, statutory
rape.... Yaoi...lemon....yes,yes, and this isn't what I would call a serious
piece. This is more humour intended.... Well, sorta.... Oh yes, cross-over
coupling...*AND* It. Is. All. Kagome_angel's. Fault. I swear it is!!! I had
nothing to do with it...well, except maybe that.... NO! I had nothing to do with
it! I think I will call it Shishi.... Because that sounds just as disgustingly
cute as these two are.

In other words, it's a typical Neko-does-fanservice fanfic. Enjoy.

One more thing...now that I think about it.... Hiei, Yusuke, Kuronue, Karasu,
Youko Kurama, Botan, Shizuru...endless Mary Sues.... Shuichi-luv is such a slut. _^_! And I
suppose I'm not making it any better. =P! Ah yes...and for some reason, after
reading several fics of the same vein, I've adapted to Youko Kurama being a separate
but connected entity to Kurama-Shuichi. Kinda like how I always envisioned Piccolo
Daimaou to Piccolo Ma Jr. A part of, but still separate in his own way, though I
view as it they also completely merge later. This means some of Youko's past is
a little fuzzy to Kurama, but Youko can't hide it forever.

Dangerous Beauty

(started: 12-9-03)

In the year 1863, early in the cold winter months, a silver-haired fox-demon materialized in the woods of Japan with the evanescent moonlight shimmering off
his aura, creating a surreal image as the elegant being walked through the
trees. His long, flowing hair whipped around in the chilly wind, caressing his
tail, while his sharp, intense golden eyes scanned the land for anything worth
his attention.

He was a thief. A quiet one that took what he wanted, and not always
trinkets. Nefarious he was for taking hearts--and leaving them shattered.
Anything shiny. He loved things to shine, and once they stopped glistening,
he would leave them.

It was how he kept things interesting.

But now he thirst, and he was tired of demons. They were no longer satisfying
him, or entertaining to him. He sought for something...different. Something that
could sparkle even through the darkest night, with unadulterated
purity--gentle...innocent....

A thirsty grin cut through the suave, satin flesh as a young, red-haired boy
was spotted, even through rows of trees.

He shined with an aura that threatened to spill over into the forest and
capture it, swallowing it whole as it dragged the spirit of the trees in. This
small child seemed to radiate with a fierce ki, one that had great, frightening
potential.

Neither knew it, but this boy was on the verge of a great life change. A
change that would alter his life path forever, and while they did not know it,
the fox-demon could sense it. He smirked, and slowly, approached the
young boy while he practiced with a sword.

The young child's sensitive ears picked up the soft sounds of fabric rubbed
with leaves and vines. Quickly, the red-head spun around, pointed his sword in
the direction of the light noise, and firmly asked, with a small voice,
"Who is there?"

"I am not there, I am here," a teasing voice whispered in the boy's
right ear.

Shocked, the child turned again, and put his sword between him and the much
taller figure before him.

"How did you do that?"

Taunting, the fox-demon smiled and sa&quo"Now...I don't give away
secrets."

"Fine...who are you?"

A chuckle sounded, then, "You can call me Kurama. Now what's your name?
Fair is fair, after all."

Uncertain, the boy narrowed his eyes at Kurama, but agreed, "Hai, it is.
You can call me Kenshin."

"Oh, we like to be very fair, I see," Kurama said with amusement,
as the parallel was not lost on him; in fact, he rather liked Kenshin's wit. It
was sharp for such a young mortal. "But you are rather feminine for such a
name...." a meaningful grin filled Kurama's face as he tried to inch closer
to the alert boy.

"It matters not. State your reason for being here," said Kenshin,
sternly as he backed away. He was not about to trust someone who appeared from
the woods, at least, not with a storm-filled aura like that. It was incredible,
and impressive, like wind rising wite ape approach of rain and thunder. But
while he was intrigued by it, Kenshin knew it could mean danger...and Hiko would
hardly like it if his pupil let his guard down.

"My reason?" Kurama asked, clearly prepared to patronize the boy if
he felt frustrated by his inquiries, but for now, willing to play.

"Yes, your reason. What do you want?"

"Want? Why, dear Kenshin, what makes you think I want anything?"

t;Itt;It's quite obvious. The look in your eyes says it."


Kurama chuckled to himself. So the boy had incredible observation skills, and
an ability to read the unspoken. This would be more pleasurable than he first presumed. 


"Not bad insight.... But the question is, Little One," Kurama said
as he walked closer, his deep golden eyes mesmerizing the perplexed red-head,
"the real question is, what is it I am after?"


Alarmed by this, Kenshin tried to step back again, but vines sprang from the
ground and wrapped themselves around his ankles...and his wrists.


"It's obviously not money...as you have none on you. No...what I want
shines more than that.... And it's obviously not your sword, as I have no need
for such things. As you see, I can handle myself just fine without," Kurama
said as the vines on Kenshin's wrists wrenched his sword from his desperate hands,
and sent the sword flying. Shocked, Kenshin stood still as stone, while Kurama
inched closer.


Right in Kenshin's face, Kurama breathed softly on the boy's lips as he bent
forward to stare into those wide, indigo eyes. Fascinated, Kurama's fingers
played with a few strands of Kenshin's deep red hair, and amused he said,
"Hmm, not often you find red hair in Japan. I like it."


Kenshin flinched back and tried to pull away, but part of him resisted, much
to his disgust. The vines held fast to his ankles, and now Kurama's hands were
on the boy's wrists instead of the eager plant. Kurama held tightly, then the
vines left Kenshin's ankles as Kurama smelled the thick red locks. "Like
the trees, like the forest...you smell like all I love. My only true-love."


"And that is...?"


"Nature, of course."


Entranced, Kenshin fell into Kurama's arms, limp as the fox-demon softly
pressed his lips to Kenshin's forehead, then his lips, and continued moving
down. The warmth on his neck, under the music of rustling leaves, left Kenshin
weak as he berated himself for not attacking with his sword when he had the
chance. Yet at the same time...it was not as though he was unhappy.


Kenshin's eyes glazed over with calm and pleasure as he watched Kurama
through half-open lids. His mouth remained open a little as short, shallow
breaths escaped him, and Kurama grinned as he gently lay the boy on the ground,
slowly.


"Too much for you?"


As though insulted, Kenshin's eyes flashed with anger as he replied,
"Hardly," secretly fearing he would regret those words.


But at the same time, Kurama's arms around him felt wonderful. It was
affection he craved and not had for years. So many, he had not known the entire
time he needed it, but he knew now. So strong was the urge to beg for more, in
Youko Kurama's arms, falling into ecstasy, it was undeniable.


With a smirk, Kurama said, breathlessly, "Good." Then he watched,
with gleeful satisfaction, as Kenshin's cheeks burned bright red, and the young
one tried to pull away as the night air brushed against his lower back. Kurama
grinned as his hands slipped down with ease, taking Kenshin's pants with them.


Greedily, he brushed against the soft, light skin that had been protected
seconds before, and watched as Kenshin's entire face flushed the colour of his
hair.


"No need to be bashful."


Kenshin had no words in return, he merely sucked in air while his face felt
about to blister. The small red-head whimpered as Kurama's sleek hands glided
easily over his legs, then in between. They snaked up his thighs, and Kenshin's
cheeks just glowed brighter.


"Can you get any redder?" Kurama asked, enjoying every moment. Then
next to Kenshin's ear, he whispered, "I want to see," just as his hand
lifted higher and teased with the boys undeveloped organs.


Another soft whimper left Kenshin's mouth as he winced, unsure if he wanted
this. Second thoughts filled his mind as he realised he barely knew what this
newcomer was doing. No...he knew.... Too many slave owners had their way with
the boy, once upon a time, but Hiko had never done such a thing to him. He
considered Kenshin far too precious. Yet, no one who had taken advantage of him
had been gentle.


No one had done anything like Kurama was doing--so it was safe? Right?


Kenshin flushed with shame as a pained whimper escaped his throat. Pain shot
up up his spine and Kurama further investigated with one finger that became far
more intimate by breaking through two rounded walls of flesh. The small red head
folded in Kurama's arms, desperately trying to adjust, and embarrassed at how
pathetic it made him feel. 

"I had forgotten how fragile you humans can be," Kurama breathed in
Kenshin's ear while the red head further blushed with mortification. "But
if you must, go ahead, whimper, cry out loud. I might enjoy that."

Worried about what he had involved himself in, Kenshin gulped as another
finger joined the first, and pain jolthe the lithe body. Tears formed at the
corners of Kenshin's eyes, and Kurama grinned as he licked Kenshin's cheek. The
small red-head winced as the fingers finally left, and relief filled him;
however, before he could ask what Kurama was doing a much larger appendage
violated the same ground. 

With his eyes large, Kenshin whimpered and grabbed onto Kurama's silver hair.
He wrenched it tightly in his hands as he bit his bottom lip to refrain from
yelling out. Tears fell freely now while Kurama tried to adjust to the small
area unaccustomed to such large intrusions. It was violent, yet Kurama was far
more gentle on the human than he had ever been. He watched the red hair whip
around as Kenshin shook his head and cried out. Greedily, he drank in the
sparkle of tears further faceting the indigo eyes. Kenshin's red-flushed cheeks
screamed of his innocence, both of what it was, and its loss.

Softly, Kurama continued to penetrate while Kenshin pulled on Kurama's silver
strands and sobbed into the fox-demon's chest.

Not long after, Kurama pulled out from the child and allowed Kenshin to rest
on his chest while Kenshin realised what had happened. It took time for
everything to register, as well as the fact it was over, but it soon did.

Confused, and worried, Kenshin held tight to Kurama, still remembering how
careful he had been with him in the beginning. And the soft lips grazing his
forehead were not lost on him, though they felt as from a dream.

Surreal as it was, it ended, like any dream or fantasy, but there was no
waking from it.

Before he took his leave, Youko Kurama leaned into Kenshin's ear one last
time and whispered, "For being so courageous and staying with me, I will do
you a favour. Whenever you need it, the power of nature will be by your side. Be
brave; be strong; don't fail me."

His last parting gift was another kiss on the foreheand and when he was gone,
Kenshin slumped onto the ground and stared at the winter night sky in complete
awe. He knew, without a doubt, those golden eyes would haunt his dreams for
years to come. And he was right....

Over a hundred years later, Youko Kurama found himself inside a young boy
named Shuichi. Further more, he found a deep connection with the boy's mother,
Shiori, who he had inhabited the womb of to escape death. It was strange, in a way,
but everyday Shuichi's body looked in the mirror, Youko Kurama would stare at the long
locks of red hair on the boy's head, and he would smile to himself, for he
recognised that look, that style, and most of all, that vibrant, unmistakable
colour.

He just never told the other side of his mind, Shuichi, though he feared the other already knew. In a
way, Shuichi could still access his memories, which Youko Kurama was starting to
find as a nuisance. He feared, before too much longer, Shuichi and he would be
less separate. 

As an attempt to retain more of himself in the bound to be single entity,
Kurama could not pass up a chance to rob reikai of it's utmost prized positions
when a fire-demon requested his services. However, it seemed Shuichi was more in
control of the choice, and Youko Kurama knew the two were no longer really two.
Especially when the fire-demon kept calling the red-head Kurama. Every time it
only vexed the fox-demon inside, and reminded him of what he had been no longer
was, by choice.

Their robbery went off rather well, though Shuichi was inwardly cringing at
needless death, and they were later tracked down by a young boy known as Yusuke.
As it turned out, Yusuke ended up helping Kurama when the red-head utilised one
of the items for the sake of his mother.

(What happened to Shuichi?! See, now, even the narrator is doing it!)

Afthis,his, Kurama wisely turned himself in, and faced a rather soft penance
for his efforts; however, the penance Hiei gave him for twice betrayal was far
more harsh. A cold shoulder, silence, and threats of death. Now, how did he make
those threats if he was being silent? With his eyes, of course. Those fiery
depths bore into Kurama's soul, and he slightly regretted the other had been deceived
about Kurama's intentions.

Either way, it made for a very lonely Kurama, who served his penance of
personally helping Koenma in reikai with willingness, if not a sealed mouth.

One boring day, Koenma decided he wanted a little fun in his life, for
shifting through papers on a sore bottom was only fun...well, never. It was
*NOT* fun. Koenma was simply longing for entertainment, and he needed to get a
paper to someone in deep in reikai's spirit inhabited field of clouds, and there
was only one person he really wanted to handle the job, for a reason. Of course,
Koenma usually does something with hidden agendas...how else could he be a wise
toddler? See why he needs a babysitter?

Koenma ordered (read as: requested of the lovely fox-boy) Kurama to deliver a
message to a certain spirit. Kurama's reply was an insightful, "Ano.... How
do I do that? All of the spirits look the same to me...."

"Oh, that's easy," Koenma responded, "you can't miss this one
because she'll be with two guys. One has spiky brown hair, resembling a rooster,
with a red bandana and a shirt that says 'bad' on his back, and the
other has brilliant red hair and is wearing bright fuscha, of all things! Can't
miss them."

For a moment, Kurama stared questioningly at Koenma as he considering this,
then agreed to take the message.

When he left, Jorge quietly inquired of Koenma, "Ano.... Koenma-sama,
isn't red hair a little uncommon for the Japanese?"

"Yes...very observant of you, jorge. It is. Makes you wonder about
Kurama and his genes, ne?"

"What do you think?"

With a Cheshire-cat grin, Koenma replied, "Youko Kurama was very
influenced by outside sources."

His words meant very little to jorge, but the oni could tell it meant
interesting things for Kurama, if nothing else.

Just as Koenma said, there was a downcast spirit next to the two males
described, and when the red-head turned at Kurama's approach, the once fox-demon
froze as deep indigo eyes met his with a soft smile.

"Hello there. You don't look dead, that you don't. What brings you
here?"

The name stumbled on Kurama's tongue, and fiercely, the green-eyed boy pushed
it back, far back into his throat and tried to just concentrate on his delivery.
He smiled weakly for the beaming welcome, but quickly addressed the distressed
spirit and handed her the letter.

"Here. This is from Koenma-sama and Enma daiou-sama."

The spirit seemed to pause for a moment, then she took the paper and read it.
Soon after she was growling, huffing, and pouncing around in a rage. Concerned,
Kurama looked at the other two and asked, "What seems to the be the
problem?"

Uncertain himself, the spikey-haired male grabbed for the paper as it floated
in the air.

After he read it, he nudged the red-head and said, "Hey, Kenshin, you
should take a look at this."

At the name, Kurama almost reacted again, but Kenshin saved him by chiding
the male, softly.

"Sanosuke, try Shinta. It's this one's actual name, and this one would rather you,
Yahiko, Kaoru-dono, and everyone else, really, get used to using it, that I
would."

"Uhh...sorry then, Shinta.... That just sounds so weird...."

"I know," Kenshin...uhh...I mean, Shinta sighed. "You will get
accustomed to it eventually, that you will. Don't worry too much."

I hope I get accustomed to it too. -_______-; I wish you and Kurama/Shuichi
would each pick a name and stick with it! This is getting as bad as those
fanfics where the character names are misspelled differently every
other paragraph! >O!

"Now let me read this." Shinta scanned the letter, and with his
eyes full of empathy he pat the little spirit and said, "Gomen, Kaoru-dono.
This one has no idea of what to tell you, that this one does not."

Curious, and eager to help for the sake of being involved longer, Kurama asked, "What
seems to be the matter?"

With another sigh, Shinta explained it to him. "Ah, well, Kaoru-dono has
been wanting her body back, since Sano, Yahiko, Saitou, Aoshi, Misao-dono and
myself all have our bodies. She feels slighted and wishes to be with us.
However, Enma daiou-sama has consistently turned her down for the past fifty
years, that he has."

"Perhaps I could assist you then," Kurama offered. "See, I am
currently working for Koenma-sama and Enma daiou-sama, and I could easily ask
either one of them to consider the request, granted with a compromise."

The little spirit seemed to perk up at this and floated around, happy for the
time being, and Kurama smiled to see her more joyful. He definitely wanted to
help her.

"Eh...but why are you go helping us? It's not like you know us, or
anything," the one referred to as Sanosuke said, eyes slanted with
suspicion.

"Ano...." Kurama stared at him for a moment and wondered where his
distrust sprang from, and he decided he should quail it as soon as possible, so
he said, "It's not like that. I really don't deliver messages like
these.... In , I, I've never encountered such a situation before, so why should
I not help? I have little else to do, to be honest. It's not really going out of
my way, either."

Still, Sanosuke continued to question, but Shinta quickly gave out a peaceful
smile and forcefully, but still with a grin, said, "Don't mind Sano-kun. He
tends to get like that.... If you're willing to help, then that would be
appreciated, that it would. After all, it will at least make Kaoru-dono happy.
But you don't have to go out of your way, or cause any trouble, that you don't.
Understand?"

Beaming in return, Kurama nodded his head and answered,
"Understood," with conviction. He was going to help them, regardless,
and he was shocked to see the fox-demon in him was determined to help as
well...now, that was odd....

Unsure of what he was really involving himself in, Kurama returned to the
main office and approached Koenma with caution.

"Koenma-sama...."

"Yes, Kurama, what is it?" the busy toddler asked, never looking up
from his current stack of papers as he went through and stamped them.

"Ano.... This spirit you asked me to give the message to, she was rather
distraught-"

"Well, yes, that is what rejection does, Kurama."

"-and I was thinking that if a compromise could be made, perhaps you
could give her the request after all, considering her other friends have their
bodies. It hardly seems fair she should be the only one without, ne?"

Now that his attention had been clasped in a glass jar, Koenma looked up and
smiled at Kurama. Cautiously, he said, "That sounds rather intriguing.... A
compromise.... And you have a point...her other friends have their bodies.... I
will talk it over with my father and see what compromise can be reached."

Kurama returned a warm smile to the young deity, then started to ask if there
was another task for him to complete, just as Koenma spoke first.

"You're done for the day, Kurama. Go home, and just come back tomorrow
after school."

"Thank-you, Koenma-sama," Kurama saider per polite, then left,
hoping he would have a more positive note for Kaoru soon.

It was not until four days later that Koenma handed Kurama another message
and directions to hand it over to Kaoru's spirit. With a large grin, and a
strange rush of joy Kurama felt was uncalled for, Kurama headed back into the
peaceful section of reikai. He returned to the spot he had found the group at
before, and sure enough, all three of them were there, including a new face, but
the only one Kurama concentrated on was Shinta's.

Slyly, a small voice whispered in Kurama's mind, 'He's gorgeous, is he not?'

The other side of Kurama swallowed hard at those words, then shook himself
out of a daze and walked forward.

"Kaoru-san?"

The spirit floated up to Kurama upon hearing her name, and gently Kurama
handed over the message.

For a moment, silence fell upon the group as they waited with baited breath
for the verdict. It seemed that so far it was going in Kaoru's favour, for she
was twittering about in happy spurts, but suddenly she stopped and made an irate
sputter. Concerned, Kurama started to lean forward to ask her what was wrong,
but stepped back when she seemed to howl with fury.

"Ara.... What could have caused that reaction out of her?" Kurama
asked as he watched the spunky spirit dance about in an angry waltz as she
screamed her frustrations in high pitched twitters. Curious of the same, Kenshin
picked up the paper and read it.

As he read, his eyes got big, then a small, "Oro?" indicated
something was quite amiss.

"Ano...did they reject her again?" asked Kurama, concerned and
afraid his efforts were for naught.

However, Kenshin informed him of the opposite. "No.... They decided to
give her back her body, that they did.... But their compromise...."

"Ke-Shinta...what is it?" Sanosuke asked, now worried himself.
Kenshin...Shinta--whatever! That blasted rurouni!--looked shocked, and was
shaking a slight bit as he turned, slowly, to answer Sanosuke's question.

"T-the...compromise...."

"Aw, come on, Kenshin. Spit it out. It can't be that bad," said the
other male, which, now that he had Kurama's attention, Kurama noticed he shared
looks with Sanosuke, colouring as well. He had spiky brown hair, but he was
shorter than Sanosuke, however taller than Kenshin.

"Yes...it can be...Yahiko...." Kenshin said as he stared at the
paper. To himself wondered, 'How much will this change? What will *THIS* do?'

At that moment, Kaoru's part of the deal was delivered, and her body was
returned. Now before them stood a fuming, raven-haired female who looked ready
to kill.

Wise, and reminded oddly of Keiko, Kurama took a quick step back as the
female continued to rant and rave. While she now had an understandable voice,
Kurama was amused to find she was still quite incoherent as she raged about.

"Orororororo??"

"Damn it, Kenshin?! What the hell is it that has you and the little miss so
spooked! Let me read that thing!!" Sanosuke said, finally impatient. He
grabbed the paper from Kenshin's hands and read.

"Okay...so the fox-lady is coming back too.... So what? She's nothing to
worry about."

"Sano...keep reading...."

"Who is Tomoe?"

Kenshin would not answer that question, but instead looked at the ground with
his bangs covering his face. In the silence, Kaoru stopped flailing about and
asked as well, "Yeah...who is she?"

Yahiko nearly face faulted with a sweat drop on the side of his head as he
muttered to Kaoru, "You mean you were making all of that fuss just because
of Megumi?"

"Well...yes. I can't stand how she always flirts with Kenshin and-"

Annoyed, Sanosuke broke in and said, "Little miss...don't you think you should
have out grown that nonsense a lot time ago. Considering you had a child with
Kenshin. Quit worrying about that," then he turned to Kenshin and asked
again, "but Kenshin, who is Tomoe?"

"...."

Kenshin seemed unwilling to answer, and before the question could be
presented yet again, two women approached the group, and one was in a hurry as
she yelled, "KENSHIN!!! What is this I hear about you getting
married?!"

With a shudder, Kenshin froze as hclaiclaimed, "Oro?! Tomoe...."

"Hey! There's Megumi," Sanosuke said with a large grin as the once
doctor followed behind the other female. For once Megumi's slyness seemed to not
have been the cause for the other woman's distraught, as Megumi looked
disgruntled. Or maybe just seeing Sanosuke did that.

Kenshin started to back away from the approaching women, but he backed right
into Kurama, who shook his head and smiled at the other as Kenshin stepped
forward again with an apology.

"Gomen...."

"Don't worry about it...."

Tomoe and Megumi reached the group, Tomoe far before Megumi, and Tomoe
immediately rushed to Kenshin's side, angry.

"You got married and had a kid? No consideration and second thought for
me at all? How could you even think of doing such a thing after what you did to
me?!"

"Ororororororo??? You were never like this in life, that you were
not...."

"Kenshin! Are you even listening to me?!"

Frustrated, Kaoru pushed Tomoe out of Kenshin's sight and calmly (by Kaoru's
definition of calmly in said situation, we mean she was yelling, fuming out of
her ears, and waving her hands around like crazy,) said, "KENSHIN! Who is
this woman?! And why does it matter if you married me?!"

"THIS IS HER?!" Tomoe squeaked out as she turned to Kaoru.
"This skinny, raccoon?!"

With a mischievous smirk Yahiko quickly stated his opinion, "Well,
Megumi and I have been asking those questions ourselves, but Kaoru has never
been one to handle the truth about herself."

"How dare you say such things about me! I don't even know you!"
Kaoru shouted back in Tomoe's face. "And who the hell are you
anyway?!"

As they exchanged further information on who was what, (meaning they screamed
and hurled insults) Kenshin seemed to cower away from them, afraid of what would
happen when they both realised it would be easier to just get upset at Kenshin,
though he had done nothing wrong. It was not his fault Tomoe...well...to be
insensitive, died. And it was not his fault Kaoru fell in love with him. But
that would matter not to either woman, and he could already see it.

Nervous of what might happen to Kenshin, Megumi looked at the other red-head,
someone she had never seen before, and smiled at him as she asked, "And you
are?"

"A-ano...I'm Shuichi."

(Neko: SHUICHI?! What the hell am I supposed to call you?!!

Kurama: Kurama....

Neko: AUGHHH!!!!! *BOOM*)

"Ah, well, Shuichi, could you do us a favour?"

Kurama nodded his head, and Megumi said, "Since none of us know you, and
you're shorter than Sanosuke and Yahiko, it will be easier for you to run with
him. Get Ken-san out of here before those two turn around and tear him up.
Go."

With another nod of confirmation, Kurama grabbed Kenshin and ran off, while
Sanosuke glared suspiciously at Megumi.

"Do you have any idea of what you just did? We don't even know that
kid," said Sanosuke with a frustrated tone in his voice.

"Sano...you idiot, quit being stupid and trust woman's intuition. Any
woman would have known that helpful look in his eyes. He's a mama's boy,
Sano...he wouldn't hurt a fly. Assuming, that is, that fly was not out to hurt
Ken-san whi which case, I think Kenshin is in the best hands possible," now
that she had Sanosuke thoroughly insulted, as well as slightly confused
("women have intuition?") she gestured toward Tomoe and Kaoru and
added, "We have to keep these two distracted, just help me with that."

When they were far away from the group containing the enraged and
disorientated women, Kurama slowed down and pulled Kenshin behind a wall.
Staying close to the edge, Kurama continued to check if anyone was following
them, and after twenty minutes passed and no one appeared, Kurama gestured for
Kenshin to follow him further.

Together, they took a peaceful walk as Kurama tried to think of what to say
to the other.

"Ano...Shuichi-dono, ne? Forgive me...that's the only name you gave back
there."

Mentally, Kurama slapped himself for being too panicked to add his last name
as well. When Megumi had asked his name he swallowed hard when he almost said
Kurama. He could only grab bits and pieces of his memory as Youko Kurama dealing
with the man beside him, but he knew
Kenshin had been a part of it, and even if he had not been, his name was still
Shuichi. For some reason, though, seeing Kenshin caused the boy to want to say
Kurama. That scared him. Part of the time he seemed to be not acting of his own
accord.

"Hai.... Just call meichiichi...that is fine...ahh...Shinta-san?"

"You could call me that...I suppose.... It is my actual name, that it
is," Kenshin said with a beaming smile as he continued what he wanted to
say before, "Shuichi-dono, thank-you for helping me back there."

"You are more than welcome. Demo...could you explain to me what that was
about...or is that too personal of a question?"

For a moment Kenshin was quiet as he once again thought of Tomoe. From that,
Kurama deduced it was too intimate of a subject to pursue, so quickly he changed
the subject.

"Ano...never mind that. On second thought, what do you do up here all
day? I mean...I've never been dead, so I'm unsure of what it is like to be here
all of the time.... What is it like?"

A smile haunted Kenshin's lips once more as he turned, red hair glowing in
the after world sun while his eyes glittered. Softly, he said,ot;Wot;We mostly
talk about times past, or we have places we can go up here. There are restaurants
around if you know where to find them; however, they all have a nasty habit of
moving around, that they do. If not that, we just enjoy each other's company.
Depends...."

"Sounds peaceful," Kurama said as he watched his feet move
gracefully over the flower covered ground. He could feel each petal softly
caress him as he passed, and as respect, he tried his best not to step directly
on one of the beautiful, stunning ethereal plants.  

"That it is...very peaceful. And you, might I inquire, Shuchi-dono, what
do you do?"

Kurama paused for a moment as he realised those intense eyes were staring at
him with great curiosity, and he could feel Youko Kurama stir.

"Ano.... Well...I just have school.... And home.... Not much else,
really. I suppose I will have things to do for Koenma-sama from now on, but it
is worth it," said Kurama gently as his eyes returned to the ground. It was
becoming difficult to even look at the other.

"The people on earth currently call this a normal life, is that
so?" Kenshin asked.

In return, Kurama gave a smile as he ironically thought of how abnormal his life
really was, but answered out loud, "Yes...normal life...."

"Is that not peaceful?"

&;Oh.;Oh...no.... It's peaceful," forcefully said Kurama, while mentally
saying to himself, 'For people who don't have ancient demons somewhere inside of
them, and don't have a demon and a demon fighter for "possible
friends." Granted the demon wants to kill me half the time. Sure...I'm sure
someone down there has a "normal" life, but I'm certain I'm not one of
those people.'

A strange rustling in the bushes beside them caught Kurama's attention.
Kenshin blushed and started to look at the ground when he noticed Kurama heading
towards the bush to inspect it. Kenshin blushed worse as a warning began on his
mouth, but it died as Kurama pulled the bush open.

"What the fuck?!"

"Oh...look, 'Geta, red-heads!"

"Kakarotto, not now!"

"But their hair looks so nice...."

"KAKAROTTO!! Enough with the red-head and fuck me!"

"Okay, 'Geta.... 'Scuse me, pretty red-head, close our bush again, okay?
Thanks!"

With a blush of his own, Kurama replaced the bush, closing off the two
black-haired, connected males, and Kurama stepped back.

"I was about to warn you.... Looking in bushes around here is not
generally wise," Kenshin informed, after the fact.

All Kurama could say was, "I see.... I just thought someone might be
spying behind there...."

"Spying? The girls would hardly bother with spying on us-"

"That, I understand, but there are still people around who might spy on
me, that they would--" catching himself, Kurama looked down, then looked at
Kenshin accusingly, "--you know...now you have me doing it...."

"Doing what?"

"Ano...." said Kurama with a sweat drop as he blushed once more and
looked away. "Ahhh, never mind that.... Let us just continue walking."

Seeing the sidewalk on the other side of the bush trail, Kurama added,
"Would you care to walk there instead of on the flowers?"

"Why not. We should walk there, that we should."

"Yes...."

They left the flowered ground for the sidewalk and continued on, at first in
silence.

"So, is there anything around here you and I could do?" Kurama
asked with curiosity and growing boredom.

Kenshin thought for a moment, and was about to ask when a large red demon
went running by.

Kurama looked twice, making sure he was seeing right, and yes, it was a
demon, and he watched as the demon approached a short red head a little ways
down the sidewalk. Curious, Kenshin looked as well, while the red demon got down
on one knee.

The female red-head turned slowly to the demon and asked, "What the hell
do you want, Dabura?! You are getting on my nerves!"

"Lina," Dabura said, "I only want to profess my undying love
for your beauty and incredible abilities. Please...make me your slave!"

It only took three seconds for the demon to be sent flying down, back past
Kenshin and Kurama who looked away, quickly as the red-head stormed off, yelling
all the way about badgering demons constantly harassing her.

Clearing his throat with a slight cough, Kenshin started again, "Ano...if
you would like, I know a quiet place around here we go to."

"That would be most appreciated," Kurama said, discontent and
slightly bewildered by the activity of the place.

Following Kenshin, Kurama continued down the path, until it branched off. The
took a right turn and walked up to a swing-set. In awe, Kurama looked at the
swings, then smiled a little as he asked, "Are we not a little old for such
childish things?"

Almost hurt, Kenshin looked back, then he put himself on a swing and folded
his arms around the chain, lost in thought. Then he said, "Not really....
Think about it...should we not be able to do in the afterlife those things we
were denied on Earth? Like having a normal 'childhood.' Is there really
something wrong with that, or wanting that?"

Kurama smiled, a sincere one now, as he gently approached Kenshin, leaned
down to look in those deep indigo eyes, and with his voice low and soft he said,
"I apologise. You have a point. Would you like me to push you then?"

Stunned, Kenshin's eyes blinked for a moment, but then he grinned as well and
answered back, "Yes, this one would like that, that I would."

"Good."

Kurama pushed Kenshin in the swing for a little while, but soon he realised
it was getting late by his time, and he bid the other good night. Before he
left, though, he asked, "Are you sure you will be okay here by yourself?
You wouldn't like me to go find Sanosuke-san, or Megumi-san for you?"

"No...it is fine. This one just wishes to look at the sky for a moment,"
said Kenshin quietly as he peered up at the clouds.

With a sigh, Kurama looked at the clouds, knowing back on Earth the sky would
actually be filled with stars instead, and reluctantly, he turned and walked
away from the captivating red-head, barely.



nbspnbsp;

When he reached home, it was dark, as was the house. He entered quietly, and
then looked at the floor with disappointment when he realised his mother was
already gone for the night. Alone, he sat at the kitchen table and noticed a
little note she left for him.

'Shuichi-chan, I left dinner on the stove; I hope it is still warm for you
when you return.

'I don't know where you've been, but next time could you please tell me where
you will be if you plan to be this late. I do worry....

'I will be home in the morning, and I'm off tomorrow night, so let us spend
some time together, please?'

Guilt ridden, Kurama placed the note back and silently chided himself. 'What
the hell is wrong with me? I forgot to tell her I would be with a study group
tonight.... I swear...my memory is loosing...badly....'

He stared at the table trying to recall when it was he started to forget
certain things, like telling his mother he would be late for one reason or
another. As he tried to think, a pair of sparkling indigo eyes flashed before
his sight, and he groaned. That was it.... For whatever reason, Kenshin had a
strong grip on the other, and while he tried to focus on daily life, it was
becoming hard. It had not even be wee week since they first met, and still,
Kurama was constantly wondering about the other. He wondered where he had known
him from as Youko Kurama, what they did, and how Kenshin was currently doing back in the
afterlife.

It was unceasing.

'Can't forget him, can you?' Youko's voice once again filled Kurama's mind
and the boy shook his head, trying to be rid of it.

"That matters not. I have a great many things out here I need to worry
about, such as my homework. I can't be thinking of him constantly l thi this."

'Awww.... Come now. Your homework will take but ten minutes or less, and your
mother is not home, therefore you have time to go back and see him.'

"You must be joking. I was just there!"

'You know you want to.... Those pretty eyes, boring into your soul, that luxurious
red hair, that soft face, and I bet you could get those clothes off of him. He
probably has perfectly sculpted, small body that would fit over yours so
wonderfully-'

Promptly, to purge all images from his mind, and to shush Youko, Kurama
smashed his head against the table, repeatedly.

'Don't do that!' Youko scolded, bringing Kurama's intent to a stop. 'You'll
ruin that perfect body I helped make for you.'

Kurama groaned, and Youko continued.

'Besides, if you wanted physical punishment, you should have just said so and
I would have given you a spanking,' Youko Kurama purred while Kurama groaned
again, threw his head back in the chair, stared at the wall and muttered,
"Why me?"

The next day Kurama spent a limited time in Koenma's office and rushed home
so he could spend the evening with his mother. Only, the entire he spent talking
with her was hard on him. He had to avoid any mention of Koenma's office and the
afterlife. And most of all, Kenshin was always just around the corner of his
mind.


He was all to happy to retreat to bed for the evening, where, to his chagrin,
he spent all night thinking of the other red-head and wondered how he had
managed against the women.


Restless, he twisted in his sheets desperately trying to find comfort and
peace in the arms of sleep, but it was near impossible, especially with Youko continuously
whispering to Kurama of what Kenshin looked like naked, and how the little body
felt so perfect in his arms. Now he remembered what Youko Kurama had done with
Kenshin, and not the man he had met in the afterlife, but the boy.... Part of
Kurama was uncertain if he could face Kenshin again, and the other part of him
ached with longing to see him.

The next day Kurama explained to his mother that he would be "helping at
the library until very late" and she should not worry about him. She had
work again that night, so she agreed to leave him food once more, then they
parted ways as Kurama headed off to school.


After school, Kurama found himself in Koenma's office once again, yet with no
new assignments. Slightly bored, and still fixated on Kenshin, Kurama headed
into the older file section of the office. It was a place he was not really
supposed to know about, but like Botan, who also was not supposed to know about
it, he had found it anyway. Perhaps it was the fact he was not supposed to know
about it that caused for the office to nearly fall in his lap. Either way, even
subconsciously Youko Kurama dared anything to hide from him.


Kurama looked around until he found more older files. He was uncertain of the
exact date to search for, but he knew from Kenshin's clothing it was quite a
ways back, but within a two hundred year span. Curious, he started in the early
eighteen hundreds and worked his way up until he stumbled on a folder that read
"Himura Kenshin (Shinta)."


Eyes wide, Kurama muttered, "I should have asked his last name, but
Shinta.... That's it."


He grabbed the file and noticed a silver star on the cover. "Hmmm.... A
special case...why is that?"


Curious, Kurama started reading through the file, and was horrified to read
what Kenshin's childhood was like. Losing his family at a young age, being
handled by slave traders, then ultimately watching three women protect him, and
dying in front of his eyes at age eight.


Aghast, Kurama stared at the first few pages and growled. He was glad Hiko
was there to save the young child, but a part of him still wished he could have
been there instead.... What he would give....


As he continued on, he was shocked further when the child built graves for
the men that had intended to hurt him, and told Hiko it was because they were
still people, regardless of what they did.


He also learned exactly what Youko Kurama had done with the boy, and while
horrified, he understood better why Youko kept whispering when Kenshin was
around.


His heart was touched by this soft-hearted, yet strong child, and the more he
read, the more Kenshin's soft smile continued to shine in his mind. He read
through Kenshin's time as the Battousai, and the men he had killed, and how
confused he was...as just a young teenage boy. it appalled Kurama that a young
boy...not even much older than himself, would be caught up in such things.


But he could see those indigo eyes, full of strength and power, yet still
with that kindness shining behind them. Tomoe's secret betrayal, and her death
at Kenshin's hands tore Kurama. While he now felt bitter towards Tomoe, he knew
it must have killed the soft hearted warrior to find his one beloved dying in
his arms. To hold her, as she breathed her last breath.... No matter what she
did to him, he still loved her....


Kurama felt he better understood the other red-head, and tired of the angst,
he left the folder at that, not willing to read anymore. So much pain...in just
a few eighteen years. It was exhausting for Kurama, and he only read the
file--he did not live it.


More than ever, he wanted to see Kenshin again.


When he went back out into office, Koenma was there, watching him carefully.


"You got lucky. I need you to do something for me again."


"With what this time?" Kurama politely asked.


"Well...Tomoe and Kaoru are getting a bit violent in the afterlife.
They've been at it for a sometime.... It should calm down after a few more days,
butthe the meantime, Kenshin really needs someone to help guard him from them.
The others can keep Tomoe and Kaoru entertained in the meantime, but I want you
to keep Kenshin from them at all costs. And I'm choosing you for the obvious.
You've already met them, so Kenshin will most likely trust you more over some
random oni. And, while Kenshin can take of himself, there is no way in a million
years he would raise a hand to either girl if they approach him, and you have
o, no, non-harsh physical ways of dealing with people."


Kurama nodded his head to the toddler ruler, and left once more to the
flowery grounds.

He was unsure if he would find the group in the same plabut but nonetheless
they were, this time the yelling was much louder, and this time Megumi was
involved. Kurama wondered if this was because she was hoping to calm them down,
or maybe she just caught up in something that was said. Or, considering the woman's
sly demeanor, perhaps she just thought it would be more fun to join the other
two. Megumi had actually near lied to Sanosuke.... Woman's intuition told her
very little about Kurama, but the connection between spirits, in this case,
fox-spirits, told her a good deal. Well, and maybe woman's intuition gave her a bit of
an indication.


Quietly, Kurama walked to the group, then hid behind Sanosuke, who stared at
the flurry of shouting women with great fear. Shishio he would face with only
his bare hands, but these three, fighting, he would run from. He never
understood how Kenshin could be so patient with Kaoru.


"Ano...what are you doing behind me?"


"I'm waiting for the right moment to grab Kenshin--err--Shinta, and get
out of here."


"Oh...are you? You're going to help again?"


"Hai...."


Sanosuke shook his head, baffled as to why he was now trusting the other
red-head. Part of it was because Kenshin trusted him, and nothing had happened
to the former rurouni the first time, so everything should be fine. That is what
Sanosuke thought, at least.


Quickly, Sanosuke picked up a flower and tore off the blossom. Kurama sighed
as thtalstals fell free and floated around, while Sanosuke put the stem in hiouthouth, aimed carefully through the group, and shot the stem.


It soared between the group and caught Kaoru and Tomoe's attention long
enough for Kurama to grab him again and run off, while Megumi slyly smiled.
Well, her fun for the day was over.... Now she just had to continue arguing with
the other two women to keep them from taking off after the two red-heads.

Once again, Kurama ran until they were a safe distance, then stopped and
waited. When no one seemed to be following them, Kurama and Kenshin headed back
to the swing-set they had been at a couple of days ago.


For a while, they both just sat on the swings and swayed to and fro while
Kenshin thought of everything that had happened. Kenshin tried to start up a
conversation every now and then, but his dark thoughts prevented anything from
sounding decent enough to say to the other he he would stop and go silent once
more.


Kurama on the other hand was worried the other was upset.


"Are you okay?" Kurama softly asked, and was relieved to see
Kenshin smile at the question and say, "Oro?"


"Ahh...well...it's just that you seem so downcast now. Did they say
something to you?"


"Ano.... Maybe we should talk about something else, Shuichi-dono....
It's not so much that they said anything, but they remind me of things...things
I would rather not talk about. And I do not like seeing them fight, that I
don't...." Kenshin said as he trailed off and stared at the ground as it
moved beneath him.


"Perhaps you are right.... Speaking of them might not be wise now. You
just need to concentrate on something else...that's all," Kurama said as he
rose from his swing and turned to stand in front of the other. He lowered down
to speak on Kenshin's eye level, just as Kenshin barely realised Kurama was
standing before him. He started to stop the swing, but was too late. It swung
up, and he lifted; his lips touched Kurama's.


A dark blush covered the faces of both males while Kenshin stuttered out,
"Gomen nasai.... I didn't realise what you were doing."


"That's okay.... I forgot what I was going to say...." Kurama said
wa rea reassuring smile.


Kenshin chuckled in return as Kurama bent low again and leaned forward, this
time intentionally. Wide eyed, Kenshin stared at Kuram the the other locked his
lips over Kenshin's. Kenshin started to protest, but quickly succumbed to the
soft petals caressing his mouth, and the gentle tongue barely parting through
his lips. Pure shock mixed with the beginnings of pleasure, and before Kenshin
could do anything more, it was over.


"Okay...now I'm sorry.... That was rather impulsive of me. I'll go
now," Kurama said, looking down as he felt disgust at himself. Guilt and
regret started to fhim,him, but as he walked off, a light tug on his shirt made
him stop. Surprised, he turned to find Kenshin also looking down, but holding
onto his sleeve.


"Don't go."


"Ano-"


"Don't regret that. Please...."


Kurama went silent as he heard Kenshin's plea, and to his surprise, he
stayed.




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