Chapter Three: "The Calm Before the Storm"
“AAAAIIIII!” A loud cry echoed through the building.
“Botan!” Kurama cried as he spun around. He was expecting to see the figure he had encountered once before, constructing the blue haired ferry girl, ready to kill her at any moment. Instead, he saw the girl at the bottom of the staircase, massaging her bottom.
“Um…Botan…?” Kurama questioned very confused, sweat dropping.
“Ow…” the girl winded, a tear in her eye.
“OH!” Keiko cried, “Botan! Are you alright?!” the brown haired girl ran over to her friend. She leaned over her, peering down at the girl, a worried expression on her face.
“I’m fine,” Botan answered reassuring the girl, putting on a smile. Keiko held out her hand to help the bright-eyed Botan up. Botan accepted it and Keiko pulled her back up to her feet.
“You’re the number one klutz today, huh?” Yusuke told the blue haired girl.
“That’s mean, Yusuke,” Keiko said anger in her voice. “How can you say things like that?”
“Well, tell her to keep her feet glued to the ground!”
“It was an accident!”
Other people in the theater shot angry and confused looks at the quarreling pair. They were being awfully loud, and obliviously disturbing everyone else in the building. Families whispered things to each other and pointed to the group of teenagers.
Botan snuck over to the two red heads, trying to evade the argument.
“Just like those two,” Kuwabara stated, talking to Kurama and Botan, “ have to make a scene where ever we go.”
“You know what they say,” Botan began, “the more you fight the deeper your love for another.”
“Who ever made that up must have been blind or something…” Kuwabara commented. “Those two must love each other a lot.”
“But I don’t understand,” the boy continued, “what was the big deal anyway? Nothing to get all upset about. Is he PMSing or something…?”
“The things that run through your mind…” Kurama said eyeing the boy. Botan muttered something that sounded like, ‘discussing.’
“Just pretend we don’t know them,” Kurama said. He and the others left the theater and walked outside to wait for their fighting friends.
“How long do you think they’ll be in there?” the purple eyed girl asked.
“Until security comes and gets them,” Kuwabara said.
Just then Keiko existed the theater, followed by Yusuke. Two security guards accompanied them. “Don’t touch me!” Yusuke cried, “I’m going!” the boy slapped one of the guards hands away from him. Yusuke’s cheek had an odd red tinge to it. The others knew immediately that the delinquent had done something to upset Keiko, managing to get slapped by the girl’s hand.
Keiko walked over to the others, rejoining the group. An angry expression plastered her face. She had her hands in tight fist and her eyebrows were glued pointing down at her eyes.
“So…someone called security?” Questioned Kuwabara.
“Yes,” Keiko replied, “I did.” An eerie silence was shared between the four. You could of heard a pen drop. The two red heads and the blue haired girl stared at Keiko in awe, disbelieving.
“WHAT!!!” Kuwabara cried, “You did that to Urameshi!?
“Humph,” was all she replied. Then she added, “Tell Yusuke I’m going home! And tell him he‘s a sick prevented stupid idiotic jerk!!”
“Sure,” Kuwabara said. He also muttered. “We might not add the last part…though…”
“I’ll see you at school on Monday.” The brown haired girl stormed off, hands in fist, stumping the ground with her feet.
“Wonder what he did…?” Kuwabara thought out loud.
“Maybe, it is best if we do not find out..” Kurama stated.
“Yeah...” Kuwabara and Botan murmured.
“Hey!” Yusuke yelled. The security guards had gone back inside by now. “Is she gone, yet?” the boy asked looking around, he looked a little stared.
“Yes,” Botan answered, “she went home.”
“Great. So what do you guys want to do next?”
They all thought for a few minutes. Then Botan clapped her hands together and said cheerfully, “Why don’t we go to the park!?”
“No way!” Kuwabara said, “I don’t want to look at a bunch of smelly flowers. You and Kurama can go.”
“I think your confusing park and garden, Kuwabara,” Yusuke muttered.
“Real men don’t like flowers! Isn’t that right, Urameshi!?”
“Real men also don’t cuddle with kittens.” Yusuke said sarcastically defending Kurama.
“Hey! Leave Eikichi out of this!!”
Kurama chuckled slightly while Botan giggled.
“How ‘bout we shoot some hoops or something?” Yusuke suggested.
“You're on, Urameshi! You wish you never skipped gym, now!” Kuwabara cried as he pointed a finger at the boy.
“The park it is,” Kurama said.
When the group of teenagers reached the park they were surrounded by the lovely fragrant of delicate flowers. Small birds flew over head than dived to the ground to pick up whatever food they could fine. Children ran after each other playing tag and other games. Others played on the swings and a slide.
Yusuke, Kurama, Kuwabara, and Botan spotted a basketball court and walked over to it.
“Don’t we need a ball?” Kuwabara asked.
“I’ll handle it,” Yusuke said as he spotted some children playing together in the next court over.
Botan followed the boy’s gaze and gasped. “You're not going to steal their ball, are you?”
“What do you think? We need a ball, don’t we?”
“Urameshi, I can’t believe you’ll stoop so low.” Kuwabara said while eyeing the boy.
“Why don’t you go out and buy one?” the blue haired girl suggested.
“I don’t have any money.” Yusuke said in a carefree tone.
“Here,” Kurama said handing Yusuke a 10 dollar bill. “Now go to that sport store down the street, that we passed on a way here, and buy a ball.” Kurama pointed to the road. “It’s over there.”
“Why do I have to do it?” the boy questioned a little annoyed.
“I’ll do it,” Kuwabara said. “But I’m paying for it myself. Not going to make Kurama pay. It’s part of my code, all men have to fend for themselves.” Kuwabara took the money from Yusuke and handed it back to Kurama.
“I’ll be back in a flash,” Kuwabara said as he ran across the grass in the direction Kurama had been pointing too.
The wind picked up slightly as they waited. Kurama’s hair swiftly lifted up and blew elegantly. Botan’s ponytail flew hitting Yusuke in the eye.
“OW!” the boy cried, “ Watch where you’re aiming that thing!”
“Oh, dear…” Botan muttered. “I’m sorry.” she told the brown eyed boy.
“Oh, my!” A girl said as she and her friend jogged pass the three. “That man…he’s gorgeous!” She blushed slightly. The girl gazed at Kurama as her heart floated.
Her friend followed her gaze. “He is, isn’t he?”
“He looks so romantic, standing there with his hair blowing in the wind.” Her blush deepen.
“But he looks like he already has a girlfriend.” Her friend pointed to the blue haired girl standing next to him, chatting with him and Yusuke.
“You're right…” she sighed still looking at the beautiful man behind her, as she jogged.. “But still…”
“Um…Yuki,” her friend said sweat dropping, “maybe you should---” Just then Yuki, without realizing the danger in front of her, ran head first into a huge oak tree.
“…watch out where you are going…” The girl finished sweat dropping. “Come on, let’s go.” She grabbed her friend and dragged her away. Yuki, all the while stared at the emerald eyed boy, still muttering things like, “such beautiful emerald eyes and gorgeous flowing rose red hair,” as her friend took her away.
A few minutes later Kuwabara came running back, laughing. He spun a basketball on his index finger. “I’m back!” he laughed with glee.
“Why are you so happy?” Yusuke asked raising an eyebrow.
“Because,” the big boy began, “Today’s the day I’ll finally beat you at something! Your going down, punk!”
“Right,” the boy with slicked back black said in a ‘as if’ tone.
“Well,” Kurama said, “who’s on who’s team?”
“I’m not going to be on Urameshi’s team!” Kuwabara announced, “This is man versus man!”
“Come on, Kuwabara, you’ll need all the help you can get to beat me,” the boy said half laughing.
“Hey, Kurama!” Yusuke called to the fox boy. “You okay with being on my team?”
The red headed boy nodded and walked over to the other boy.
“Then Botan’s on my team,” Kuwabara explained.
“Right,” Botan said. “So…um…how do you play this game…?” she asked, a questioning expression plastered on her face.
“What!” Kuwabara cried, “You don’t even know how to play!?”
“Well, being a Guild to the Spirit World doesn’t let you enjoy sports and other activities like humans.” She raised a finger.
“It’s really quite simply,” Kurama explained. “you dribble the ball down the court to your team’s basket. The other team will try to steal the ball from you. When you stop dribbling, you are not allowed to move. You have to quietly pass the ball to your teammate or try to shoot the ball into the basket. The goal of the game is to score more points then your opponent by making baskets.”
“If you make an out; let’s say you drop the ball or miss the basket, the other team gets the ball. If you hit your opponent any place other than the hand it’s a foul. On the first foul you give the ball to the other team which they throw to a teammate. Any other foul after that lets the other team have a free shot.” Kurama pointed to the free shot line.
“A free shot is one point. Most other shots are worth two points. If you make a shoot from the three point line it’s three points.” Kurama pointed to a line a few feet behind the free shot.
“You also can’t double dribble,” Kuwabara interrupted. “You can only dribble with one hand. Oh, and make sure to pass the ball; no one likes a ball hog.”
“Alright,” Botan said, “I think I got it.”
The group walked out to the center of the court. “Okay Botan,” Yusuke said, “the game starts off with a jump. The tallest person on each team jumps to get the ball. You have to try to slap it with your hand so your teammate gets it. Which ever way the jumper’s facing is your hoop. That is where you make your points. You should also try to protect the other basket so the other team doesn’t score.”
The blue haired girl nodded, “I think I got it.”
“Okay, then, which way do you want to go?” Yusuke asked Kurama.
“I don’t want to be facing the sun, Urameshi!” Kuwabara yelled.
“Don’t worry,” Kurama said, “the sun isn’t very bright today. Either direction your basket is facing will have about the same amount of sunlight.”
“Okay, then I want the hoop by that tree over there!” Kuwabara said, pointing to the basketball hoop to their right. A large tree was a few feet behind it, giving it some shade.
“Fine with me,” Yusuke said, “That okay with you, Botan?”
“Yes, that’s fine,” she answered.
“All right! Who’s jumping?”
“I am!” Kuwabara cried. “I’m the tallest anyway.”
“I’ll jump,” the red headed fox demon offered.
“Okay,” Yusuke replied.
Kurama and Kuwabara stood in the middle of the court facing each other. Kurama faced to the left and Kuwabara to the right. Botan placed herself behind Kurama, ready to intercept the ball. Yusuke stood in the middle of the two boys slightly off to the side. He held the basketball in-between them. The two red heads gently tapped the ball Yusuke held, with their fingers. Then the boy with slicked back hair threw the ball straight up into the air, above the two’s heads. The boy fell back down and the boy’s both jumped and brought their hands up, trying to strike the basketball. Yusuke quickly backed up and ran behind Kuwabara. The ball fell into reach, the two boys tried to slap the ball with their hands; only one made contact.
Kurama stroke the ball making it soar towards Yusuke. Yusuke caught it, barely, he almost had dropped it, from the sudden force coming at him. The boy also had not expected the fox demon to hit the ball, knowing the height difference between him and Kuwabara. Yusuke turned around and started dribbling the ball down the court to his basket, running as he did. Botan and Kuwabara ran after him, trying to steal the ball from him. Kurama jogged closely behind after them.
Yusuke jumped and throw the ball at the hoop. It hit the back board and fell through the netting that hung from the hoop. The ball fell to the ground and rowed down the court next to theirs‘. “Alright!” Yusuke cried, “TWO to ZIP!”
“That’s just luck, Urameshi!” Kuwabara yelled. The taller boy ran after the ball, picked it up, and brought it back to the others.
“No, it’s skill,” Yusuke said grinning.
“I’ll show you skill!” Kuwabara threw Botan the ball. “Throw it in to me.”
“Huh?” she asked surprised, then nodded, “Um…right.” The girl walked out of the court and threw the ball back to Kuwabara. Kuwabara caught it and ran down the court to his side, dribbling.
Kurama and Yusuke ran after him. Yusuke stole the ball from the buggy eyed boy and began to run, in the direction in which he had came, to his basket. Yusuke stopped at the three pointer line. He jumped and throw the ball upward towards the hoop. The ball hit the back board and bounced back at him. Botan nervously got in front of him and caught the ball. She quickly threw it to Kuwabara, who ran to his hoop and made a lay up, scoring two points. A smile spread on the ferry girl’s lips. A giggle escaped her as happiness enveloped her.
The game continued for several hours. The four stopped playing when they no longer could move, their breathe heavy, muscles aching, exhaustion overwhelming them. Botan slumped against a tree. Kuwabara and Yusuke collapsed in the grass, breathing fast. Kurama leaned against a tree near the one Botan was by and slide down it, trying to regain a steady breathing pattern. The ferry girl fell to the ground next to the red headed boy, hitting the ball, which was on the ground. It rolled pass them a little. Kuwabara and Yusuke crawled over to their friends.
“How ‘bout one more round…” Yusuke said between gasps.
“You’re…on…U…ra…me…shi…” Kuwabara wheezed. The boy rested his head on the grass and closed his closed.
The four Spirit Detectives rested for a moment, they all closed their eyes and caught their breath. Kurama leaned back against the tree, a small smile spread across his lips. He soon fell into a light sleep.
“Hey, Urameshi,” Kuwabara whispered lifting his head slightly, “We did it.”
“Yeah, fox boy’s back to his usually self,” Yusuke said.
“That’s good…” Kuwabara’s head collapsed back on to the grass.
A few feet away a bunch of girls noticed the four, who had now fallen asleep. “Hey, isn’t that Shuichi?” A young girl asked, pointing to the scarlet haired boy pressed against the tree.
The two other girls turned to the direction she was pointing to, “Um…I…um …think it…um…is…” Said a girl with black hair.
“Yeah, it totally is!” another girl said. She had long brownish black hair and brown eyes. “Isn’t he totally dreamy?!” She squealed.
“Well, it looks like he’s totally dreaming right now.”
“Come on let’s go say, ‘Hi.’ ”
“NO! You know what happened yesterday, with Mizuki and him.”
“That was totally not his fault, Kiki,” the girl with long hair said, “Mizuki just totally chickened out.”
“How can you say that, Kimiko?” Kiki argued.
“Whatever, let’s go over there.” Kimiko walked over to the sleeping boy, she knew as Shuichi.
“Um…wait…” Mizuki said running after her friend. Kiki followed.
“Hey, Shuichi,” Kimiko said, hovering over the boy. The boy slowly opened his eyes in response to his name. His long eyelashes fluttered slightly. The fox boy looked up at the girl, half dazed.
Yusuke and Botan awoke from the hearing the girl‘s voice. Botan rubbed her eyes, and sleepily got up to her feet. The girl clumsily tripped and fell down onto the dazed scarlet haired boy below her. Her sudden weight falling on him caused him to come fully to his senses. He stared down at the girl in his lap, than up at the girl’s looking down at him. Two of the girls shot an angry glare at the blue haired girl. Kimiko just raised an eyebrow.
“What the hell are you doing to, Shuichi!?” Kiki cried.
Yusuke rose to his feet, and glanced down at Botan lying in Kurama’s lap. “Yes, I can see where you can get the “wrong” impression,” the boy snickered.
Botan quickly jolted up to her feet, blushing heavily. “Um, it was an accident,” she said, her cheeks turning redder.
Kurama stood up and brushed the grass off of him. “Your in my class, correct? I believe your name’s Kimiko Suzushii.” he said turning to Kimiko.
“AH!” Kimiko said blushing, “You totally remembered me!”
“Yes,” Kurama smiled.
“Oh, this is Kiki and Mizuki,” Kimiko introduced her friends.
“Hi,” Kiki said. Mizuki stood there, silent, looking down at her feet.
“You’re the girl from before,” Kurama said. “I’m sorry if I did something to offend you in anyway.” An apologetic expression washed over his face.
“It’s…um…okay…” Mizuki said still staring down at her feet.
“So, Shuichi, who’s your friends?” Kimiko asked.
“I’m Yusuke,” Yusuke said before Kurama could answer. “That idiot on the ground is Kuwabara, and the girl you showed your ugly side to earlier is, Botan. Now unlike Ku-err-Shuichi here, I don’t tolerant any crap. So if you don’t have anything important to say then get lost. We don’t want to listen to your bullshit.”
“Who do you think you are?” Kimiko questioned. “This is none of your business.”
Kimiko turned to Kiki and Mizuki. “He’s like totally a jerk. How’s Shuichi stand him?”
“Totoally,” Kiki answered.
Yusuke glared at the three girls. Kimiko looked at her watch, which was dangling on her slim wrist. She gasped, “Oh, man, is it that time already…?!” She glanced at Kurama. “Well, I totally got to run, see you at school, Shuichi.” She waved a goodbye and left with her friends.
“Jeeze, can’t take you anywhere,” Yusuke said scolding Kurama, when the girls were completely out of sight. “You’re like a celebrity or something.”
Kurama smiled sleeplessly at Yusuke.“ Well, we better be off. It‘s rather late.”
Kuwabara awoke and got to his feet. He looked at the two boy’s in front of him and then turned around, glancing around the area. “Hey,” the red headed boy asked, “Where’s Botan?”
“What!?” Kurama and Yusuke yelled in unison. They frantically searched for her, their eyes surveying the park.
Botan! Kurama thought, Where is she?!
“Looking for something, Kurama…?” An eerie voice asked.
Kurama froze, fear surged through his body. It’s him! He’s back! The fox demon with long scarlet hair shakily turned to face the source of the voice.
His emerald green eyes went into horror at what he sow. The eerie figure from before stared back at the boy with a smirk, that could only be described as pure evil, printed upon his face. The evil man held Botan’s limb body from around her wrist. Her lifeless image brought fear to the fox. Botan! No…!
To be continued…
Yu Yu Hakusho and all associated characters are copyright of Togashi Yoshihiro, Studio Pierrot, Fuji TV, Shounen Jump Weekly, and Shueisha. It's licensed by FUNimation Productions, Ltd. This is simply a fan site to it.