Special Author's Note thingy!!!!!
My beta, who is the most awesome person ever nominated the 'Our Roots Run Deep' series over at the White Knight awards. o^^o And now I have fics nominated from this series in several categories. Weee!
Word count: 4642
Disclaimer: Buffy belongs to Joss, and YuYu Hakusho belongs to Togashi. No money is being made from this, no copyright infringement was intended. I just like to write fanfiction, especially crossover fics.
A/N: So this takes place in season 1 of Buffy (after the hyena possession) and after the end of YuYu. Yusuke is about 2-3 years older than Xander. So there ya go. Also in my little world Yusuke went ahead and stayed in Makai till his 18th birthday. Don't know why he just did. XD
Warnings: Couples are as follows; Yusuke/Keiko, Hiei/Kuwabara, Mukuro/Botan (Third couple only mentioned. Please don't give me grief about it, Mukuro and Botan don't last any way. As for Hiei/Kuwabara, I've been writing YYH fics much longer than I've been writing Buffy fics and I pretty much always pair them together. That pairing is not changing.)
A month, he’d been back for a month and life was great...well, almost great. As he'd promised he had returned to Keiko on his eighteenth birthday. He had planned to come back to her sooner, but a few things in Makai had needed his attention. Things such as a few diehard followers of Raizen not wanting to go by the new rules that had been set up. Normally it wouldn't have been much of a problem, but they'd banded together with a few old followers of Mukuro and Yomi as well. They were traditionalists that didn't like change. Luckily Enki, the first King of the new era was swift to quell any unrest. The traditionalists now thought long and hard before causing trouble. The strongest of them were now training for the next Makai tournament in hopes of winning and being crowned King of Makai.
Even now though, a handful of his ancestor's followers hoped that he would one day become King. Being King really wasn't his style, which was why he'd dissolved Raizen's country to begin with and come up with the idea of a tournament. That way there would be peace throughout the entire demon realm. Ruling a country or a world wasn't in him, no matter how many still considered him royalty. He had more important things on his mind, like his life with Keiko. Speaking of which...
He and Keiko were closer than ever before and wedding plans were under way. But something had been bothering him …and it wasn’t the weird and bizarre thing that was evidently Kuwabara and Hiei’s relationship. No that was a whole big separate thing that he still couldn’t wrap his mind around. Evidently after losing his final round in the last tournament Hiei had returned to the human realm...and had begun his courtship of Kuwabara.
Funnily enough Kuwabara had refused to be courted; at least until some ground rules had been set. The first being that Hiei had to come clean about his identity to Yukina. None of them had given Kuwabara enough credit; they should have realized that as strong as his psychic abilities were, Kuwabara would have sensed the similarities between the twins. So after Hiei had revealed himself to his sister, she'd simply smiled, called him a fool and said she'd known all along who he was. Why else would she have come back to the human realm other than to be close to her twin? Moving on though, the relationship between his best friend and the fire apparition was strange to him and he wasn’t going to try to understand it. He was just going to let them be, but so help him, if Hiei broke his best friend's heart he was going to pound the midget into the ground. Or die trying.
Back on track Yusuke. No, what was bothering him, and making life a bit difficult was...well...he was hearing a voice that would occasionally ghost across his mind. It had only happened a few times and only within the time he’d been back but he didn’t know what to think. It wasn’t Raizen thank Enma, the old man had moved on, but it wasn’t his own voice either. The fact that someone he didn’t know could call out to him like that bothered him on so many levels that he couldn’t begin to count them all. What he couldn’t put his finger on was how such a thing was possible. Which is where he came full circle, in other words Koenma’s help was needed so here he was, back in the Prince’s office after nearly four years since his first death.
He shook himself back into the present and blinked at Botan who was gazing at him curiously. She wore her usual pink kimono, you'd think after more than a thousand years as a grim reaper that Spirit Realm would have changed their employee’s uniforms. Come to think of it he wasn't sure why Koenma needed her here anyway. He wasn't working as a Spirit Detective anymore so he didn't need her as a guide or Special Assistant. A sense of foreboding settled over him.
Yusuke managed to smile at her. “I’m fine.” Or so he hoped anyway.
Koenma, looking tired and somehow old, leaned back in his chair in his adult form; strangely enough he no longer kept his pacifier clenched between his teeth. Now he wore it around his neck...you could almost see the constant current of energy traveling down the chain into the object that the Prince was constantly feeding into it. Koenma cleared his throat and Yusuke met his eyes. “You may be fine now, but I suggest you sit down.”
“Why, am I dying or something?”
Koenma's eyes bugged for a second. “No, no, nothing like that. Keiko would kill us all if your number came up now. She’s waited a long time for you…but this is rather big Yusuke.” Koenma sighed and Yusuke sat down, the sense of foreboding growing worse every moment. Botan moved to stand beside the chair he now occupied, a silent show of support for whatever Koenma was going to break to him.
Might as well face it head on, it wasn't his style to just sit and take the punches. “So? What’s so big? What’s with the voice in my head, and if you say it’s because I’m crazy I’ll knock your teeth out.”
“If only. No it’s—here.” Koenma handed a folder to him. “This is Reikai’s file on a human named Harris, Alexander.”
Yusuke opened the folder and stared at the picture of a boy about fifteen or sixteen. There was a familiarity about the kid that he couldn't quite place. He had dark brown hair that was close to black and deep brown eyes that looked like they had seen more they should have, but he still had a smile on his face. His gaze moved from the photo to the information sheet, he frowned as he realized something. “There’s not much here Koenma, hardly enough for Reikai to have a file on the kid.”
Botan waved her hand and murmured something in a language Yusuke had never heard before. He felt a pulse of energy flicker from her hands and a second chair appeared. He gaped at her as she casually sat down and addressed him. “Actually Yusuke, Reikai has a file on everyone.” Botan smiled sadly. “That boy, he lives in California, in a town called Sunnydale.”
“Botan, how the hell did you do that?”
“Focus Yusuke, Botan's tricks are not what you're here to talk about.” Koenma glared at the former detective before turning a rather grim expression to his top Guide. “You remember him then?” She nodded.
“Yeah, yeah. What, did the kid die…oh geeze, is he haunting me or something?” Yusuke frowned as he looked at the report again. “It says here he’s not dead.”
“Botan knows him because she escorted a friend of his here, a friend he killed.” When Yusuke’s eyes started to grow cold Koenma hurried to explain. “Alexander’s friend, a boy named Jesse, was already dead.”
Now Yusuke just felt confused, and just the beginnings of a headache. “Come again? I don't think I heard that right.”
Koenma gave him a mild glare, which lessened when Botan gave him a sort of warning look. So the prince shook his head with a sigh. “I guess you wouldn't know about things like this. Jesse had been bitten and turned into a vampire; basically vampires are soulless demon possessed corpses.” Yusuke shook his head, yep; he was definitely getting a headache.
“I've never heard about anything like that. I mean yeah I've stories and seen movies about them...so they're real? And they're demons?”
Botan sighed. “I had already collected Jesse’s soul, well most of it.” At Yusuke’s pointed look she continued. “When a person becomes a vampire they lose their soul and a demon from a Hell Dimension takes its place. But something of the victim survives a very tiny piece of what made them who they were. So I stuck around, more people were going to die, and I had a feeling Jesse wouldn’t be a vampire for long.”
“And you were right?” Yusuke asked.
Sorrow ghosted over Botan's normally cheerful face. “Unfortunately yes. There was a bit of a skirmish, some deaths, and a victory for the good guys. Alexander stopped Jesse from feeding on a classmate, so Jesse turned on him, was even going to kill him. They’d been friends for so long, but without his soul it all meant nothing to Jesse. And Alexander couldn’t do it; he couldn’t put the wooden stake through his best friend’s heart. But then someone who was escaping bumped into Jesse and he fell forward onto the stake, and turned to dust.” Botan shuddered and he couldn't blame her, he couldn't imagine having to kill one of his friends...or even something that was indistinguishable from them. Hitting them when one of them was being stupid was no problem, but killing them? Not a chance.
“That sucks, and I feel for the kid, I really do.” He tried not to wince as he made the understatement of the century. “Watching your best friend die is one the worst things you can see. But what does all this have to do with me and the voice in my head?” Yusuke asked as he closed the folder with a sense of finality and pushed it toward Koenma.
“That’s something that vampires and other demons have in common Yusuke, blood calls to blood.” Koenma pushed the folder back toward the former detective and opened it again. Damn. “Do you know the name of your biological father?”
Alarm bells started going off in his head, and he could almost see how all the pieces were going to fit together. “Kinda, his given name was Tony; he was an American or something. I saw a picture of him once, right before Mom burned it. Do I even want to know where you’re going with this?”
Koenma sifted through the papers until he found what he was after. He grimly held up another photograph. “Here is a picture of Alexander’s father; his name is Harris, Tony.”
Yusuke felt the blood drain from his face, and knew he was as white as a sheet. He stared at the face that sneered out at him from the picture. The man had dark brown hair that was starting to go grey, brown eyes that were bloodshot from too many years of drinking, and a cruel expression surrounded by unattractive stubble. He reached out with a shaky hand to bring it closer, and a laugh that shook just as much as his hand escaped him. “For a long time I wondered why my hair was darker than Mom’s. Then one day I found his picture...she snatched it before I ever got a good look at it, he didn't look like hell, like he does now...but this is him.”
“Yusuke?” Botan leaned over and put a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m okay…so…I have a little brother.” He was silent for a moment, letting it all sink it before giving the Prince of the Spirit Realm his best glare. “Damn it Koenma that is just too much. After all I've been through, everything that I've done...I’m a reformed delinquent and a full blooded demon and you’re telling me that I have a little brother out there!” He threw the photo of Tony at the Prince and stomped across the room, fists clenched. After a moment of deep breathing he turned back to his friends. “Is Alexander a demon? Does he need help dealing with the change?”
Botan shook her head. “He was human when I was there.”
“That’s something at least. I don't think it would be a good thing to bring in another of Raizen's descendants to Makai. There are still a few that would want to crown him King.” A bitter laugh erupted from him, if the kid was human than Koenma's dad wouldn't put a bounty on him. Hopefully Alexander would stay human...at least now King Enma no longer wanted him put down. “I have a little brother, that’s just too scary for words.”
Koenma shifted in his chair and looked tiredly at him. “Can you continue this?”
He put a hand to his forehead in a weary gesture. “You’re kidding. There’s more?” Brown eyes closed and a sigh was heard before Yusuke made his way back to his seat and sat back down. “Hit me with it.”
“Alexander may not stay a human.” Damn, figures. “The town he lives in, Sunnydale, sits on top of a Hellmouth.” Koenma rubbed his eyes tiredly.
Nothing was ever simple anymore. “Why doesn’t that sound good?” Yusuke grumbled. “Go on.”
Botan picked it up. “A Hellmouth is where the walls between dimensions are thinner and demons can cross over into the human realm.”
That made him stare at her in confusion as it didn't make sense. “Botan, there’s no real barrier between our realms now, you know that. Humans are wandering into the Makai all the time, that's why there are patrols to bring them back.”
She shook her head, almost as if she were disappointed that he wasn't keeping up. “There are more than just three realms Yusuke. There are so many dimensions, realities and universes that no one can count them all. Our three realms just ran so close together that they became one many eons ago, there was only a thin barrier between them until recently. They’ve always been connected, but a Hellmouth is different. It leads to a Hell Dimension that makes the Makai look like a big bowl of fluffy cotton candy!”
“Well fuck.” There was really no other comment to make. The Makai had some pretty rough territory to it that not even he dared go...well...not yet anyway.
“Exactly! It’s that bad, and nearly everything around the Hellmouth is tainted, and vampires and demons flock there, it’s like a drug to them.”
Yusuke looked at Koenma. “Where are the demons coming from? The Makai?”
Koenma shook his head. “They aren’t Makai demons, luckily, some are from other dimensions, but most are actually native to the human realm and because of that we usually can’t interfere.”
“What do you mean by luckily? And since when are there demons native to the human realm?”
“Eons ago the human realm was in fact a demon realm. Gradually that realm began to change, to evolve and the more powerful demons were pushed out by the change. Eventually all of the old ones, the purest of demons, were banished, whether it was humans, sorcerers or the gods is unclear even according to our information. However the weaker subspecies of demons survived and live in the shadows. What's lucky is that most of them are only as strong as D or E class. And a few might qualify as C class.” Koenma sighed. “But none of that is why you’re here.”
“Whoa. Thanks for history lesson that I didn't want.” He rolled his eyes at the glares both Botan and Koenma were giving him. “Right, so who is the voice in my head?”
Botan smiled gently, if a touch exasperated at him, the glare all but gone. “It’s Alexander. We have a theory as to how he's made contact with you. We're not one hundred percent certain about it, but it’s all we've got.”
“So what does this Hellmouth have to do with it?”
Koenma held up his hand, almost as if he could physically stop Yusuke's train of thought. “The Hellmouth isn’t for you to worry about, there’s already a champion there…although your brother can tell you more about the Hellmouth. He knows about demons and the like.” Koenma took a breath and plunged further, not sure Yusuke would want to do what he suggested. “If you want to go see him Botan can take you.”
“Seriously?” Yusuke looked thoughtful and sifted through the papers till he was looking the photo of his...brother, once more. “The kid looks like he’s been through a lot. I recognize the look in his eyes…bet living under the old man's roof isn't a lot of fun.” His own eyes shadowed before he could blink the darkness away. “Yeah, I’d like to meet him. Just let me talk to Keiko first. Gotta let her know I’ll be back, and that I’m not skipping out on her.” He tried not to shudder at that horrible thought.
Koenma nodded. “Of course, Botan?”
“I’ll be ready whenever you need me, just say the word Yusuke.”
Yusuke nodded. “Thanks.” Life just kept throwing him curve-balls, and he wasn't sure how to deal with this newest pitch. Guess he'd just have to roll with it.
“So that’s what’s going on.” Yusuke held his breath and tensed up; waiting for Keiko’s infamous and painful slap to make contact with his face. When nothing happened he dared to look at his fiancée, only to find her smirking at him.
“You’re not gonna hit me?” He blinked at her in confusion and just a touch of hope in his voice.
Her smirk changed to a knowing smile. “Do you want me to?”
“No, not really, but this is a complication and we have a wedding to plan and...I never saw this coming Keiko.”
“You’re an idiot, you know that right.”
He grinned at her. “So you’ve told me. Guilty as always.”
Keiko rolled her eyes at him before leaning forward to place a small kiss on his lips. She pulled away again and looked him in the eye. “It’s not a huge complication Yusuke; we have plenty of time to do what we want. You however need to go meet your little brother. I understand that, and I’ll stand by your decision to do this.” Her eyes sparkled. “Be sure to invite him to the wedding.”
Yusuke chuckled. “You sure? For all we know he could be just like me.”
There was a chiming noise as the door to the shop opened. “Who could be just like you?” Kuwabara asked as he entered the Yukimura store. “Surely not sweet Keiko-san.”
Hiei appeared from behind his lover. “Let’s hope not, she’s much more intelligent than the detective.”
“Indeed, Keiko is a wonderful conversationalist.” A third voice added as Kurama came in behind them and the three settled at the counter. Hiei actually curled up in Kuwabara’s lap, though he glared at Yusuke’s open mouth stare.
“Hoping to catch your dinner?”
Yusuke closed his mouth and snorted. “Whatever Hiei, just not used to seeing you act…like that.” Hiei made a rude gesture and Kuwabara snickered.
Kurama sighed and turned back to Keiko and Yusuke. “Who were you talking about, if you don’t mind my asking?”
Keiko smiled, and it was a tad mischievous. “Yusuke’s little brother.”
First there was silence, and then Kuwabara groaned. “Oh gods, there are two of Urameshi! The world is gonna end.”
“I doubt there being two Yusuke’s would actually cause an Apocalypse. No matter how terrifying the concept might seem.” Kurama smiled gently at Yusuke’s scowl, though his amusement was clear.
“Just what this realm needs another idiot.” That shot came from Hiei, who aimed a toothy grin at Yusuke.
“Ha ha, very funny. The kid’s name is actually Harris, Alexander. He lives in America; evidently with our dad, poor kid.” Yusuke grimaced. “Can’t imagine havin’ to put up with a guy that skipped out on one family and then made another.”
“So are you going to go meet him?” Kuwabara asked, wrapping an arm around Hiei’s narrow waist.
“Yeah, Botan’s gonna take me when I’m ready to go.” He laughed. “Keiko’s already decided he needs to come to the wedding.”
Keiko elbowed him. “Family is important Yusuke; don’t be so grim about it.”
He smiled at her. “I’ll try.”
“That’s the spirit Urameshi!”
“Where does your brother live exactly?” Kurama asked politely.
“Some small town in California called Sunnydale.” The wide-eyed stares he received from his three friends were almost enough to make him cackle. “Heard of it?”
“Boca del Inferno.” Kurama whispered. “Has he always lived there?”
“According to his file he has, in fact he’s already into the demon fighting gig, faced down a few vampires and everything.” Yusuke replied dryly.
“He’s human?” Hiei asked.
“Yeah.” Yusuke looked at Kuwabara who was pale and keeping a shaky grip on Hiei. “Kuwabara?”
“Sorry Urameshi. I’ve heard stories from other psychics. A Hellmouth is not a friendly place, just imagining a kid growing up there…well I can’t, not really. It kinda makes my brain hurt.” Hiei placed a chaste kiss on Kuwabara’s chin before glancing at Yusuke.
“He’s right; such a place is dark and filled with evil.”
“So I’ve been told.”
Keiko looked at him. “If it’s so dangerous, you could bring him back with you.”
Yusuke stared at her. “Keiko, you’re smarter than that, I can’t just take the kid. He has parents…and I haven’t even met him yet.”
“If one of those parents is the same man that left your mother to raise you alone…a man like that isn’t fit to raise a child.” Her eyes were filled with righteous anger that slowly bled out and she gripped his hand. “It’s just something to think about.”
He grinned and kissed the back of her hand. “I get it.”
Yusuke looked at the two story house that had definitely seen better days, and to think, this was only the outside. What could have once been white paint was gray and cracked; you could actually see it flaking off in the breeze. The grass in the yard was long in some places, short and mangled in others and half dead. There was a small concrete path that led to the front door, it too was cracked and eroding, in a few more years it would be nothing but gravel. He could already tell that he wasn’t going to like meeting Tony.
“Do you want me to stay?” Botan asked from behind him.
“Nah, it could get ugly. It would be better if you weren’t here to watch me kill dear old dad.” He’d meant it as a joke but Botan gave him a serious expression.
“I can help you hide the body; no one would ever find it.” A chill went through him.
“You’re scary sometimes Botan.” And then she was all smiles again.
“That’s what Mukuro tells me.”
He blinked at her. “I’m thinking that I don’t want to ask why you and Mukuro are hanging out.”
Another scary grin. “We’ve been involved for a while now.”
Yusuke gaped at his friend. “I so did not need to know that. I mean come on Botan; I’m still recovering from walking in on Kuwabara and Hiei at the Temple!”
“Oh hush, it wasn’t that traumatizing.” She snapped her fingers. “I forgot to get those pictures developed.”
“Okay, that’s it. This conversation is over, in fact it never happened. You need to leave so I can meet my little brother and possibly kill our old man.” Yusuke tried to push her back down the eroded concrete path.
Botan giggled. “I’m going, I’m going.” And with a swift step she was on her oar and in the air. “I’ll make a few rounds; see if anyone needs directions to Reikai.”
“Yeah, you do that.” He watched to make sure she was actually leaving before walking back to the house and finally knocking on the door.
“Wonder if school’s out yet?” He muttered to himself just before the door opened to reveal a rather plain woman in what looked like a nurse’s uniform.
“Yes?” She asked...in English which amazingly, he understood.
He'd have to thank Koenma for the translator that even now was in his ear. Wonderful bit of Reikai technology, even if he was a little worried about suddenly being able to understand and speak another language. Focus Yusuke, the lady is starting to freak.
“Um, I’m looking for Alexander. Is he home? It’s really important that I see him.”
Her tired green eyes narrowed at him warily. “Who are you?”
“It’s a long story Mrs. Harris.” He tried to smile at her. “My name is Yusuke Urameshi and I—“
Mrs. Harris gasped and covered her mouth, her eyes were wide and she looked like she was about to cry. After a second she lowered her hand and reached out to Yusuke and pulled him into a brief hug. Being pretty much shocked dumb he let her and managed to pat her shoulder. After a shuddered sob she pulled back and motioned him inside. It wasn’t a verbal invitation but it looked like it was all she could do at the moment.
He stepped inside and waited for his eyes to adjust to the dimness after she closed the door. The woman again motioned him to follow her and she led him to the living room and an old worn out couch.
They sat there in the musty room in silence for several moments before she spoke.
“You’re Tony’s first son.” She stated tiredly. “The one he left in Japan when he was kicked out of the Navy.”
“He used to brag about it when he was drunk. How he had your mother wrapped around his finger like a piece of string. I know he left her with a child to raise on her own at sixteen of all things!” She faltered. “But…you may have lucked out on that. Tony isn't an easy man to live with.” Her eyes seemed to take him in, every detail and she nodded to herself. “You look so much like my Xander.” She gave him smile. “That’s how I knew you hadn’t met him. No one calls him Alexander. It’s always been Xander for him.” She looked closer at him. “There’s some differences, but the eyes, they’re the same.” Her voice changed, became softer, weary. “They’re the eyes of little boys who have seen too much.”
Yusuke frowned. “The booze never really makes things go away.”
She nodded. “But sometimes I just need to be numb.” A blush crept up her face suddenly. “Oh goodness, I haven’t even introduced myself!” A large smile graced her plain face and suddenly she was beautiful. “I’m Jessica. It’s nice to meet you Yusuke.”
Yusuke smiled. “Likewise Jessica.” He gave her a small bow and she giggled.
“Xander should be home early tonight. Tony is staying at his brother’s place, they’re probably still unconscious somewhere…but Xander should be home soon, unless he’s staying after with his friends.”
Yusuke held back a grimace and hoped that his brother wasn’t a nerd who was obsessed with grades. “Do you mind if I wait?”
“Not at all, in fact you can help me get started on dinner. And you can tell me all about Japan.”
“I’d like that.”