Disclaimer: I own nothing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, nor any works by Yoshihiro Togashi.
Sorry for the delay everyone, but life got in the way.
Chapter 15 Finding a connection…
The wind blew hard, the low whistling sound it made going through the cracked rubble that which used to be leveled ground, echoed throughout the dead of the night, the noise fitting for such a pathetic sight. Nothing living, or dead, lingered nearby, keeping all very far away, as if nature itself knew better than to come to this place, for the sense of defeat remained, saturating the dirt below.
A ruby colored gaze sharpened on the crater below the demon’s feet, his lips curving slightly. The Hellmouth, one of the few palpable gateways to Hell, and really, it was such a disappointment. For such evil to exist, under the very noses of the silly humans that inhabitant the Earth, with power and resources unimaginable, and still, it to be defeated, as was The First Evil, by a band of females no less, it truly was a disgrace.
Without making a sound, his hand was on the hilt of his sword, the flat surface of the revealed steel reflecting with the light of the moon, and the edge of the blade was mere inches away from the throat of the demon, which had suddenly appeared at his side. He tilted his head slightly to the side, and his eyes narrowed to mere slits.
“What do you want?” Hiei wasted no time with useless questions.
“Ah”, the large figure smiled, and it was a gruesome sight. The four horns on his blue colored head were easily recognized from the pictures within Willow Rosenberg’s file. “You are just what the doctor ordered Hiei. How would you like to work for me once your contract with Spirit World is finally honored?”
Hiei cocked a brow. “D’Hoffryn”, he intoned with a bow of his head. This was the Ruler of the Hell Dimension Arashmahaar, the Master of Vengeance, and in the Hybrid’s eyes, a being of respect. “I am already a demon”, he pointed out dryly, and “also, it will be hundreds of years before the conditions of my contract is done”.
“Pfss”, D’Hoffryn dismissed with a wave of his hand, a crafty light brightening the depths of his coal black eyes. He leaned against the sword’s edge pressed against his skin, his smile all teeth and fang as he felt his flesh split under the blade. Pain was just another pleasure to him. “I can make it happen, Hiei. I can make it happen right now. No more troublesome toddler telling you what to do, no more having to hold back, just being yourself. Now, wouldn’t you like that?””
The Hybrid dropped his sword, his head back as he observed the demon before him. “What do you want?” He repeated his earlier question. There was always a price for freedom.
With a thoughtful look on his face, D’Hoffryn let out a sigh. He sensed nothing but getting straight to the point would work with Hiei. “I will give you power, a place of honor, I will make you the leader of my armies, and all will acknowledge you. You will be my third, under the direct command of my heir.”
The Master Demon Lord snorted in amusement. “Why else? You are ready now. Be assured I have always had an eye on you Hiei. You will be the ‘Sword’. As it was meant to be.”
“What do you mean,” the spiky haired demon wondered, voice cold, and eyes burning, “the ‘Sword’?”
D’Hoffryn smiled widely with satisfaction. There was the interest he was looking for. He gave a brief nod. “Think of my offer boy. We’ll talk again”, He assured before he disappeared in a blink of an eye, leaving behind a newly introspective demon, which was only slightly startled as D’Hoffryn popped back into existence once more."
The gaze of the Master of Arashmahaar narrowed. “By the way Hiei, my generous offer has a stipulation”, the red eyed demon kept his expression blank, his anger smothering under the surface. ‘Of course, the catch to the deal.’
“You make sure Willow Rosenberg stays well, happy and alive, and by that I mean, not harmed in anyway, her mind clear, and her powers intact. You will be her shadow, understand? Her protector, unseen.”
“Good, good. We’ll talk again, soon”, D’Hoffryn remarked with a pleased grin and a lofty wave of his hand, and then disappeared from sight for the second time.
Hiei spent a moment to contemplate D’Hoffryn’s words, before turning back to the large hole in the ground. His eyes narrowed once more. The malicious feeling he had sensed below his feet a few moments ago was fading, slowly, but surely. Within a few more years, the essence of the Hellmouth would be no more. The remaining ‘taint’ was enough of a hint to give him an idea of what living above the ‘Mouth of Hell’ must have felt like to any human even slightly sensitive to the supernatural world.
Evil such as this would have corrupted any low-class demon claiming the area as territory, let alone what it would have done to any human near-by. The ‘whispers’, the ‘dark urges’ to commit violence, would have driven most humans insane after a few years. Well, except for The Slayer and her friends, apparently. Hiei snorted at the thought.
He turned away, his grip tightening on the hilt of his sword, his gaze darkening with thought. He soon became a blur, and disappeared from the area, with only one thought burning in his mind.
What had made the White Witch and her old companions different from other humans?
Yusuke stepped out of the temple, his gaze searching. The young Demon Lord eyed the slightly order woman, his sight sharp as he leaned back against the doorframe, his arms crossing over his chest.
At this moment, he had no idea of what to say to Willow, what to make of her, or even what to think about the situation. His thoughts were a jumble inside his mind. Less than twelve hours ago, Yusuke knew his green-eyed friend, knew her like the back of his hand. To him, Willow was the most loyal, most considerate person he had even known. She was kind, though stubborn, was smart, had a slow burning temper, and was excessively good for the likes of him, but Willow was his ‘family’. In truth, Willow had been the standard he held others too. It unnerved him that he had not knows her as well as he thought he had.
“Hey”, the witch called out, a very timid smile pinching the corners of her mouth. She stood from her meditative pose on the grass, her hair of red, silver, and black glistening under the light of the full moon.
A slight frown pulled at her face at his lack of response. “Are you okay?”
Yusuke looked from her to the ground, his brow creased in thought. He straightened from the building structure, and moved forward away from the temple. He walked slowly past the witch, and then circled her, once, and then twice, before moving past her again. He sent her a side-glance, his arm brushing against her own as he shifted by. He came to a stop behind her.
There was a speculative gleam in his eyes, and it unsettled Willow. She spun around to face him.
“So”, he began, brow raised. Willow tilted her head, blinking in confusion. She watched as he leaned back against the trunk of the tree she had sat under moments ago. He stared back at her, eyes narrowing when she did not appear to understand him.
“So,” she repeated, unsure of what he wanted. He just shook his head, before trying another approach.
“You want to talk, maybe about what happened earlier?” He asked her with a straight look.
“Oh,” she replied with a pout as she glanced away. She jerked up, her resolve returning quickly. “There is nothing more to talk about,” she decided.
“Come on Wills! Don’t give me that shit,” Yusuke hissed down at her, his mouth thin as he glared at her. He wanted her to confide in him. “Talk to me!”
“You pretty much know everything about me now”, she shot back at him, her lips tight. She turned her face away, cheeks flushed.
His gaze widened at the sight. “Are you mad at me?”
Her head spun back, her jaw dropping. “Of course not Yus! Why would you think that?”
“Because you’re not talking to me!” he exploded, the frustration he felt rushing to the surface. He reached up to rub the back of his neck, looking away.
“You won’t look at me, you brush me off,” he then told her in a much softer tone. You haven’t touched me since we’ve been here!
He accused silently, more disturbed by that little fact then he was comfortable with, and he wondered at that.
Willow reached out and palmed his jaw with her hand. He jumped, startled by the touch. He turned back, staring deep into her damp eyes. He could see the regret there, and it eased him somewhat. Something other than her not wanting to be near him was causing the problem.
“It’s not you, well, not totally”, she assured him. Yusuke frowned at that. He watched as she nibbled at her bottom lip, and heard as she swallowed nervously.
“I’m sorry for this. I didn’t want this tension. I thought I would only have to be with you, and so I thought I could handle it”, she tried to explain, but her words were rushed. “…but, your friends, they’re very powerful. Strong. I have to block them all the time and it hurts.”
In a sudden move, he bushed away from the trunk of the tree before she had a chance to react, his hands taken hold of her shoulders. He gave her a firm shake, forcing her to look up at him. His eyes glowed. “What do you mean, it hurts? Where, why?”
Willow shook her head, turning away and not answering. Yusuke would not have it. He gave her another shake, bending down until their noses nearly touched. “Willow, if something”, he paused, jaw tightening. “…If something is causing you pain, I want to know about it, okay? I can’t help if you don’t talk to me.”
Her head bowed in defeat. There was no way to escape when Yusuke was in his Protector mode. “Your friends, blocking them from my aura hurts me”, she looked up into his gaze, her face sad. “I don’t know how long I can keep it up. Anybody else, I wouldn’t care, but,” she trailed off, biting her lip again.
“But?” He urged.
She took a deep breath, noting the tension growing in him. “They’re your friends, and I have to respect that.”
“Wills, I don’t understand what you’re saying”, he told her with a frown. “What’s them being my friends have to do with you being in pain?”
“What Miss. Rosenberg is trying to tell you Yusuke”, a voice interrupted the pair, and the two turned to face the auburn haired male as he stepped forward out of the shadows, their faces full of shock as they stared at Kurama. His gaze was intense as he stared back at the witch. “…is that her very presence is connected to all living things on this planet. She draws us to her, all of us, demons, and humans alike.”
“I’m sorry”, Willow spoke softly, full of quilt.
Kurama shook his head, his eyes flashing with his demon for a moment. “There is nothing to apologize for. You can not help what you are”, he shifted his gaze to his puzzled friend, a determined look on his face. “Yusuke, the shield she has placed around her aura blocks the influence she would otherwise have over Hiei, and on myself. Miss. Rosenberg is trying to be respectful, though the process is a painful and exhausting one.”
“Well then,” Yusuke nearly shouted. He did not understand what the problem was. “Take it down!”
“I can’t do that!” Willow cried, her hands fisting with anger. “It would be unfair…”
“I give you my permission.” Kurama remarked, his head cocking to the side. “You forget Miss; I’ve already felt your aura. I was not harmed.”
“…And your demon? What about him?” She questioned with a frown. “He should have a say too.” Ah, she cares about me!
Yoko cried happily from deep within Kurama. He could not wait to bask within Willow’s aura once again. Come on Red, tell her I agree!
Kurama grinned and his eyes burned yellow, startling the young witch. “Yoko says it is fine.”
“Really? Okay. Wow, that eye thing is pretty cool…” Willow mused, but shook her head when she heard the low growl coming form beside her.
“So, can’t you drop the shield now?” Yusuke wondered as he shot a glare at his fellow Spirit Detective. There was no way he was going to let Willow fall for Kurama’s charm.
The witch paused, searching the faces of the two Detectives. “What about Hiei?”
Hiei hid a smirk as the three jerked at his sudden presence at the temple. His ruby eyes fixed on the witch. She would need watching over if this little matter could cause such drama.
Yusuke cursed, pulling Willow to his side. “What the hell Hiei! What the crap is wrong with…”
“Drop the shield Witch,” Hiei stated, interrupting his fellow partner. “You endanger the mission with this foolishness.” With that he disappeared, leaving the others blinking in shook.
“Un…was that, did he give permission?” Willow wondered, a bemused look on her face.
Kurama rubbed his forehead, baffled by hybrids actions. “I believe so.” I wonder what Hiei’s up too. It sounded like he was almost worried for the girl,
Yoko remarked thoughtfully. It did.
Kurama returned silently, staring in the direction Hiei disappeared too. Yoko’s gaze narrowed in speculation. He knows something. We’ll worry about that later.
Kurama decided. For now, it was time for sleep. They had a long day tomorrow.
Hope you like,