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"Hey, you with the big fish ears, I got a bone to pick with you. How does a dead guy win!?"
--Yusuke

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Here to Eternity

by Cody

Chapter V

If you had the time to lose.
An open mind and time to choose.
Would you care to take a look,
or can you read me like a book?
Time it’s always on my side.
Time it’s always on my side-

“Caught Somewhere in Time”-Iron Maiden

Kayko rapped on the Kuwabara front door and the male voice on the other side said, “Don’t worry Sis, I’ve got it.” Kuwabara gasped when he opened the front door to reveal Yusuke on the other side.

Yusuke smiled. “Hey Kuwabara, long time no…”

Yusuke’s greeting was immediately cut short by Kuwabara’s right-fist. Kayko gasped as she watched Kuwabara lift Yusuke off the ground by his shirt.

“The hell did you think you were doing running off to Demon World like that?! You caused Kayko and all of us to worry about you for the last three years! How stupid can you be?!”

Yusuke pushed himself away from Kuwabara’s grasp and chuckled. “Not any stupider than you. And I must say that it feels good to be back at home. I really missed your weak-ass punches.”

“Damn it, you take that back Urameshi!”

Yusuke continued to chuckle.

Kayko started to giggle and she grabbed Yusuke by the arm. “It’s all right Kuwabara. I’ve already given Yusuke a good slap for his trouble, but…”

“Hey, what’s going on out there?” Shizuru Kuwabara exclaimed, while she approached the front door. “Kayko! …Yusuke!”

“Hey Shizuru, long time no see,” smiled Yusuke.

“Get your ass in here! I want to hear everything that happened to you.”

Yusuke and Kayko walked arm-in-arm into the Kuwabara living room. Shizuru prepared drinks and Yusuke retold his story from Demon World.

Shizuru lit a cigarette and asked, “So Yusuke, what brought you back?”

“Show them your finger, Kayko.”

Kayko flashed her engagement ring and Shizuru and Kuwabara gasped before Shizuru hugged her.

“Congratulations girl! Do you have a date set yet?”

“Umm…”

“I just proposed today. But I’m sure it’ll be sometime after Kayko finishes high school. But on a different subject, I want to thank both of you. I learned about Mom’s death today from Kayko and I understand that both of you helped with her funeral. I want to thank you again for that.”

“You’re welcome, Urameshi; but I’m still sorry about your mom.”

“Toguro was right about one thing, this is a cruel world; but with Kayko beside me I’ll get through. The only thing I hope for is that if I ever have a child they won’t become an alcoholic.”

“I think we’re all with you on that,” added Kuwabara. “Umm, Urameshi? Whatever became of Kurama and Hiei? I know that they went to Demon World as well.”

“That they did. Hiei chose to stay in Demon World. I kind of understand why, but at the same time I’m surprised. I thought that he might return due to his sister.”

“Oh, that’s right. I remember when we were in that weird mansion I learned that Shortie had a sister. I guess he never found her huh? Probably just as well. I’d hate to find out I was related to that obnoxious bastard.”

Yusuke smiled. “I wonder what he’s going to say when he learns the truth? Yeah, I guess you’re right. By the way, how’re you and Yukina doing? You guys going out yet?”

Kuwabara chuckled—his way at laughing at his failures. “Oh, you know, it’s going well…”

“If it’s going so well then why aren’t you actually dating her?” his sister interjected.

“Shut up, Sis! We’re just taking it slow that’s all.”

“Hmph,” Shizuru replied as she took another puff of her cigarette.

“Besides I do have a date with her tomorrow.”

“What’re you two doing?” asked Yusuke.

“I’m taking her to see Iron Maiden. Yukina’s never been to a metal concert before, and Maiden’s coming to Japan so it’s perfect.”

“Whatever happened to that stupid pop band Metallica that you used to listen to?”

“Metallica’s not a pop band! They’re one of the best metal bands in the world! Although, I must admit, they’re not putting out the same kind of stuff that they did in the eighties; but so goes the world.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“You know what, Urameshi? You should try to take Kayko to see Iron Maiden. I’m sure there’re some scalpers selling tickets.”

“And pay twice as much as you did? No way, I think I’ll pass!”

“Well, to change the subject a bit. What can you tell me about Kurama?”

“He came home. The human Shuichi Minamino has a strong love for his mother.”

“Maybe we should invite him over for a drink. This is almost like a reunion for us.”

“That sounds good, Kazuma,” Shizuru replied, “why don’t you give him a call?”

“Okay, will do.”

Kuwabara called Kurama and he agreed to stop by since he had just finished celebrating his return home with his mother Shiori. After Kurama arrived the atmosphere at the Kuwabara home continued with everybody laughing, telling stories, and drinking brandy.

“So Kurama, what’s your future plans now that you’re back?” asked Kuwabara.

“I really don’t know. I’ve been gone from the Human World for three years, which means that I only have an 8th grade education. But on the positive side I informed my teachers how I’d be leaving school for a while and I left with ‘As’ in all my classes. I’m sure that I could probably take some General Education and try to enter college.”

“Well, that’s more than what I can say,” Yusuke said. “I skipped school more than anything else, and if I ever made an ‘A’ it was because God decided to have a sense of humor. I only have an 8th grade education, but unlike Kurama’s, mine’s worthless.”

“Well, maybe you can find a good job Urameshi.”

Yusuke chuckled. “That makes me think of my mom when you say that. Mom always told me that if I hated school so much why didn’t I go and find a good job. Of course, I don’t know exactly what kind of job I could find?”

“Why can’t you receive money from your work as a spirit detective?” asked Kayko.

Yusuke gave everyone in the room a look. He did not want them to tell Kayko the true events that led to him no longer being a spirit detective.

“Well, they fired me Kayko.”

“Huh? Why?”

“Well…let’s just say I pissed off King Yama.”

The rest of party chuckled at Yusuke’s comment.

“Oh, I see. Well…at least I won’t have to worry about you taking off for some case.”

Yusuke wrapped his arm around her and smiled. “Yeah, at least that’s true.”

“Yusuke,” began Kurama, “how good is your English?”

“My English? Well, I guess it’s all right. I was actually in school long enough to learn it.”

“Then perhaps you could go to America.”

“America!?”

“Yes, as much as we would miss you over here, in America you might be able to find a job teaching Japanese to Americans.”

“With what qualifications? I have none. No, Kayko’ll be the smartest one in our family. I suppose my fate’ll probably be some good paying manual labor job.”

“At any rate,” Kayko began, as she lifted Yusuke up by the hand; “I should probably get home.”

“Oh, okay,” responded Yusuke. “Do you want me to walk you?”

"Yes, of course!” Yusuke and Kayko gestured goodbye to everyone before they left the Kuwabara home.

When Yusuke and Kayko approached the Yukimura restaurant Yusuke informed Kayko, “I want to tell your dad the good news and hope that I receive his blessing…but even if I don’t, I still want to thank him for what he did for my mom.”

Mr. Yukimura was busy cleaning his restaurant when Yusuke and Kayko entered.

“Hi, Dad.”

“Kayko, where’ve you…well, I’ll be damned, if it isn’t Yusuke Urameshi! Where’ve you been the last three years?”

“Well…that’s a really hard question for me to answer sir. I just had some very important business to take care of.”

“Well, there wasn’t a day I don’t think that Kayko wasn’t thinking about you.”

“Well, there wasn’t a day when I was thinking about her as well, which is why I had to come home and keep my promise to her.”

“And what promise was that?”

“The one I made three years ago. Before I left I promised Kayko that when I returned I’d ask for her hand in marriage…and I kept that promise.”

Kayko showed her father her engagement ring and her father gasped.

“May I have your blessing sir?”

“…of course! Although, you should’ve known that I gave it to you years ago. I always knew that one day you’d be the one to marry my little girl. Perhaps it was destiny from the first time Kayko brought you home to play when you were both six-years-old.”

Yusuke chuckled. “Thank you, sir. And Mr. Yukimura?”

“Yes, Yusuke?”

“Thank you for helping with my mother’s funeral. Kayko and I visited her grave today. She told me everything that had happened to her. I wish I could’ve been here. Perhaps I could’ve saved her. But Kayko’s told me that I probably couldn’t have helped her.”

“Don’t blame yourself, Yusuke. It’s not your fault. Your mom simply had a drinking problem that she couldn’t control. I doubt you could’ve stopped it. But where’re you staying now?”

“Wow…never really thought about that question. I guess I really don’t have a place to stay until I make me some money and find myself a place.”

“Well, why don’t you stay with us.”

Kayko gasped. “Really Dad?”

Mr. Yukimura laughed. “Of course! We’ve got some extra room. However, just because the two of you are engaged doesn’t mean that you can have sex.”

Yusuke laughed, but Kayko was almost offended.

“Dad!”

“I’m serious. You can cuddle all you want to, but no sex; and don’t even think about trying it behind my back!”

Yusuke continued to laugh. “Don’t worry Mr. Yukimura. I’ll take good care of your daughter.”

“Of course you will Yusuke. That’s why you received my blessing.”

After Kayko showed Yusuke his room Yusuke asked her, “Kayko, can I see that note that you told me my mom left me?”

“Of course!”

Kayko returned a few minutes later with Atsuko’s letter. She handed it to Yusuke and the two of them sat on Yusuke’s bed while he read the letter:

Hi Yusuke,

It has been a very long time and I’m still waiting for you to come home with that six-pack I asked you about J I guess you weren’t kidding when you said it was going to be a while. Perhaps I should’ve paid more attention on where you were going, but the fact that you’re not here is what made me decide to write a letter to you, even if you never read it.

On a serious note, I’ve started to feel weaker each day. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t have the energy that I used to. Perhaps my drinking’s finally catching up with me?

Yusuke, although I was never the best at saying it, I want you to know that I love you. Some might’ve looked at me as your mother and you as my son and thought that I was too young to have a child, and perhaps they were right. Obviously I was too young to have had a child, but I’ve never regretted your birth Yusuke. You’ll always be my baby boy, and know that I’ll always love you!

MOM

Yusuke folded the letter and placed it close to his heart before he stood up to stare at the night sky. “And you’ll always be my mom, and I’ll always love you!”


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