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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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Legendary Thorn

by Scorose

Chapter Two: "Awknowledge"

She wasn't too happy or sad about the invitation, but she took it gladly.

As they arrived at Genkai's house, Raine bowed and greeted them. She was feeling nervous, since hanging out with people was always the last thing on her mind. She sucked at that point.

The cheerful Botan jumped to the new girl's side, only to lighten the air around them.

"Everyone! Let's play Truth or Dare; come on now, it's gonna be fun..." she chirped.

"Don't see any harm in it..."Raine managed to choke out somehow. She was a bit strartled by Botan's request, but agreed; she didn't know what she was supposed to do, so playing a game would just .. be okay.

They sat down in a circle, Yusuke, Raine, Kurama, Keiko, Botan, Yukina, Kuwabara and the others.

"Alright! Yusuke, you start." Botan said happily.

A silly grin already spread across the punk's featurs. "Raine, truth or dare?"

"Truth."

"Do you like roses?"

Raine was a abit surprised, but she hid it. "Yeah..." What was she supposed to say? And what kind of question was this anyway? "I adore them." Jackpot. Hust as the boys, including Kurama, expected. "Kurama, truth or dare?"

"Dare." He was jumping the edge a bit, but was curios of what she will say. Oh so curious..

"I dare you to tell me exactly what's on your mind when you're with me. For 2 months." Yikes. Where did that come from? Usualy she's not that .. flirty. If you could call it that way. But somewhat, she liked what she said. Not that she didn't what what she was saying, which in a way was true, nonetheless, she enjoyed this little torture Kurama was going for. Kurama nodded, and continued.

"Keiko."

"Truth,"

"Who's the most important person in your life?"

Keiko's cheeks gained a tint of pink. Everyone knows the answer. Why bother asking? Then again, why not. "Yusuke." She stated purely."Botan, truth or dare?"

"Dare."

"I dare you to ask Yukina about Kuwabara." Keiko smirked, this was her payback for all the times Botan dared her to do things with Yusuke. Not that she didn't enjoy them ..

Botan shifted uncomfortably. "Alright. Truth or dare?" she asked Yukina.

"Dare." The ice maiden smiled purely.

"Cuddle with Kuwabara until we leave." Botan wasn't happy about asking her to do such thing. She replayed the scence in her mind. Ok, now it's not a bad idea at all, she grinned.

Yukina did as she was told and layed next to Kuwabara, who was a bit blushing and had a silly grin on his face.

"Hiei," Kuwabara didn't even manage to think about what he was going to say, and the fire koorime already sent mental death glares that sent shivers down his spine. He cleared his throat and continued "... Truth or dare?"

"Truth."

"Which one do you prefer, mustard or ketchup?" A bean of sweat slid down everyone's head, even Kuwabara's.

Hiei growled and shrugged. Everyone got the idea, so Yusuke proceeded with the game. Botan and Keiko exited the game, since they had to go; Hiei wasn't playing anymore for obvious reasons so Yusuke, Yukina and Kuwabra were busy doing what they had to do; Kurama and Raine were the only ones left. Keiko and Botan said their goodbyes and so the game went on.

"Truth or dare?"

"Truth."

"How do you feel about Kurama?" the question was a bit blunt, he admitted, but he couldn't control himself from asking that.

Raine nearly turned blood-red from Yusuke's irrelevant question that, for now, she felt uncomfortable answering. She frowned and placed a streak of hair behind he ear. "I don't know. I feel what I feel and that's that." The girl felt like digging her way out of there, or just dissappear. Considering her social-traits, this was very uncomfortable.

"Well, it is getting late, I think that's enough fot today. Kurama, Yusuke, be sure to check back tomorrow as soon as you can. Goodnight everyone." Genkai finaly spoke wisely. She needed to talk to Kurama if they found out anything, and obviously they couldn't do it now.

"Yes..." Raine agreed. Kuwabara and Yusuke left, Yukina went to her room to get some sleep and Genkai did the same.

Raine walked out of the room they were in, halting when she was outside, sitting down the stairs, gazing the moon. Kurama sat beside her. She was shivering a bit. "Here." He offered her his orange jacket.

"Thanks," she smiled easily." It's beautiful isn' it? Some people are too busy to observe the natural beauties around them.." she wanted to say more, but it was enough, for now. She wasn't gonna open up suddenly to a person she's know for 3 years, yet only truly knowledged for a 2 weeks (2 weeks had passed since the gang had to find the heir of the densetsunians).

"I'm suprised. For all the time I've known you, though you've been out there, all along, now's the only time I actually got to know you."

Wrong. "You don't know me," Raine whispered softly. "... Kurama."

She had the saddest look in her eyes. It was dark, yet her face still kept it's angelic, porcelain state. The girl was gazing into his eyes, reading what's behind them. Both remained thoughtful for a few moments; then Raine softly broke the eye contact, only to look at the moon. She clutched at the orange material, breathing the scent of roses, which she didn't even know she was doing. After all, she adored roses, and always carried them with herself, so that would mean she's surrounded by atleast one or two all the time. Kurama also carried roses with him, which only added to the combination of the smell of roses.

"For now. Slowly, I want to know you better, Raine." He looked at the moon as well.

As Raine stood up, Kurama followed, she took the jacket off, placing it on Kurama and puting a finger to his lips to seal any demanding words for now.

"Goodnight."

--

A few weeks passed by again.

Kurama had been searching for Raine, but couldn't find her. Where could she be? It was break after all. Probably at the lockers. He headed that way, and found her violently shutting her locker. Why was she upset? Usualy she was silent and calm.

He noticed a letter in her hands, as she heavily gazed on the words written on it.

"Raine?"

She gasped. "Kurama..."

"What's with the letter?" he asked softly.

"N-nothing." She took the paper, bluntly resizing it by crushing it in her palms. "Coming?" she asked, receiving a nod from the redhead, as they walked together home.

Down the sidewalk, Raine was awfully quiet. It was a normal thing for her, but she was barely showing any emtions, except a endless frown.

"Raine."

"I'm sorry. It's really nothing." She reassured him by giving him the purest smile. He would have captured that smile and hid it away, just for him to keep, if he could have.

"I-"

Yusuke came running with his trademark grin on his boyish features. They were in front of a park; since Kurama stopped, to greet Yusuke, Raine stood down on a bench. They greeted eachother.

"Hey Kurama! We've decided to throw a party at the weekend." He put a finger to his cheek, thoughtfuly. "Ya know, popcorn, all night munching, watching a cool movie, sleeping on the top of the couch or on the floor, that stuff. You're coming right?"

Kurama's features formed a simple smile as he nodded.

"So, Friday night ?" Yusuke asked Raine.

She was a bit surprised. Usualy, she would pretend nothing's wrong, that she didn't hear, she's not interested, or that she doesn't care. Looks like this time it was different. She was actually invited. Not left out..

"Alright! I'm gonna talk to the others; I'll let you know what time exactly," Yusuke left, crazy thoughts forming in his mind about what movie to get. Him and his wack ideas.. Guess what movie he would choose. Not a very decent or boring one for sure.

Kurama sat down beside Raine and frowned.

"You haven't been invited too many times, have you?" He gave her a tender look that lightened her a bit. Kurama slowly grabbed her chin to get her full attention.

"True," she looked in his eyes; with that sad look again." It's just that, well. I make mistakes. Everyone does.. so .. I'm imperfectly perfect." Raine confessed. "Everyone is. Kurama." She was talking about him. - He knew that and was bit suprised to hear that from her, but it was a warm feeling to know someone thought that way about you...

A tiny pink color took over her usual paleness; as she tried to hid it by attempting to take his hand away from her chin, she failed, since he grabbed both her hands and stared at her eyes, making her lose contact with the world for a few seconds.

"Promise me something."

Wasn't he being sudden? Or was he?

"What?" Raine asked softly.

"You'll try to find your way back in this life."

He was acting as if they'd know each other for such a long time, yet Raine wasn't going to open up right now. She just needed a little more time .. to get to know him better. To trust him.

"I promise."

Raine lowered her gaze, returning to the ocean of thoughts that was starting to overwhelm her. That letter...

Raine didn't bother staying, so she wanted to just go home, but then he grabbed her by the arm ...


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