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Neko

Disclaimer: I donít own Yu Yu Hakusho. Only Daerou is mine. I read a story on Fanfiction.net about Kuwabara being a reincarnated demon. I toyed with the idea that became the story below. Enjoy.

Chapter One- The Wish

The tall teen stared moodily at the starry sky. He was thinking about his fellow Spirit Detectives. He felt as if his friends didn't think he could handle himself when they went on missions. It bugged him that they felt that way. Sure, they never showed it, but he knew they were thinking it.

'Maybe if I was a demon too, they wouldn't treat me this way. Heck, even being a half-demon like Urameshi would be fine.' He sighed as his eyes stared at the sky. Suddenly, a star streaked across the sky.

Closing his eyes, Kuwabara decided to have some fun and make a wish. "I wish I was a demon. I don't care what kind. I just want to be a demon."

Kuwabara smiled as he opened his eyes. It felt good to say that out loud. Now, he didn't feel nearly as gloomy as he did earlier when he came outside. Standing up, the teen stretched before heading inside to go to sleep.

&&&&

Ring. Ring

. "Hello?"

"Hi, Shizuru. It's Yusuke. Is your brother up?"

"Not yet. Can I take a message?"

"Yeah. Tell him to meet me and the guys at Genkai's temple in about an hour."

"Can do. Bye." Hanging up the phone, Shizuru headed up the stairs toward Kuwabara's room. Easing open the door, she started to say, "Kaz-" when she got a premonition. Her gaze landed on her brother's bed where a pair of large rounded cat ears poked out from under the covers. A small patch of sandy-colored hair also peeked out of the covers.

'I know that's not my brother's cat. Those ears are more suited for a jungle cat.'

"Kazuma, are you awake?"

The bed sheets rustled as Kuwabara sat up, stretching and rubbing his eyes. Shizuru's mouth fell open. The figure in the bed was her brother in the way that he moved, but his looks were those of a cat demon. A leopard, to be precise.

In addition to the ears and different-colored hair, a trail of spots ran from both temples, down the sides of the cheeks, and stopped at the base of his neck. Claws topped his fingers. A tail hanging over the bed's edge completed the image.

"Yeah, I'm up," Kuwabara yawned, fangs glittering in the sunlight. He looked at the door and saw his sister staring open-mouthed at him. "What's the matter, sis?"

"Kazuma..."

"What? You're scaring me."

"You're the one scaring me."

"Huh?" Kuwabara reached up to scratch his head and felt the soft ears on his head. "What?" He brought his hand down and stared at it in shock when he saw the claws. Getting up, he ran over to the full-length mirror and stared at his reflection.

"Whoa! I'm a demon!"

"You are? But how?"

Kuwabara thought for a moment. "Last night, I saw a shooting star. I wished on it that I was a demon. And it worked."

Shizuru couldn't believe what she was hearing. Why would Kazuma wish to be a demon? What made him decide to do this?

"Why?" she cried. "Why would you make such a wish?"

"So I can be more useful on missions. I was the only full human and my teammates probably viewed me as useless. Well not anymore." Planting his hands on his hips, Kuwabara threw back his head and laughed. This scene scared Shizuru more than ever.

"Stop it, brother! You're acting weird. Stop it."

"I've gotta show the guys! I'll call them and tell them to meet me at Genkai's."

"Uh, actually they're already there."

"Great. Then, I'm going to get dressed and head over there."

"Do you really want to go outside looking like that?" Shizuru pointed at his new form.

"I'm not dumb, sis. I plan on concealing myself so I look human enough to get to the temple safely."

'Whoa. My brother used a synonym for disguise. His mind is already being affected by his demon form.'

"Can you leave so I get dressed, sis?"

"Huh? Oh, sure." Closing the door behind her, she wondered what it would be like living with a demon brother.

Chapter Two- Acceptance?

Kuwabara bounded up the temple steps, pleased with his newfound agility and speed. True, his speed was nowhere near the shrimp's, but it certainly better than Urameshi's. Being a cat demon was an improvement over being human, despite having to conceal himself.

To hide his ears, he had grabbed a hooded sweatshirt on the way out. His tail was a bit more problematic. He decided to hide it in his jeans until he was ready to reveal it. He kept his hands in his pockets. He was confident that his team members wouldn't be able to tell he was different.

Throwing open the door, he placed his hand back in his pockets before giving a small smile. "Hey, guys," he greeted before taking a seat next to Yusuke.

Yusuke looked at his friend with undisguised astonishment. Kuwabara seemed unusually enthusiastic about a simple get-together.

"You okay, Kuwabara?" the spirit detective asked.

"Yeah, I'm just great."

Yusuke raised his eyebrows as he looked across the table at Kurama and Hiei. They, in turn, looked at their tall friend. Kurama knew there was something different about Kuwabara. His scent was proof of that.

"Kuwabara," his soft voice spoke up. "why do you have the scent of a demon?"

Kuwabara chuckled nervously. "What are you talking about?"

"Do not act dumb."

"Hn," Hiei scoffed. "He can't act any other way."

Kuwabara almost snapped at the short demon, but he refrained himself. He reflected on a promise he had made to himself before he left the house that morning. He remembered how he aspired to be calm no matter what the situation, just like Kurama and Hiei. So, instead, he took in a deep calming breath before saying, "You were right about my scent, Kurama."

Reaching up, he undid the sweatshirt ties and swept back the hood, revealing his ears and spots. Relaxing his tense tail, he allowed it to punch a hole in his jeans. Then, his eyes swept around the room, gauging his friends' reactions.

Yusuke's eyes were wider than normal and his mouth was hanging open. Kurama raised an eyebrow and Hiei was deadpanned as usual. Kuwabara waited for a verbal reaction from any of them.

He got one from Yusuke. The detective sputtered, "B-but, h-h-how?"

"I made a wish on a shooting star last night. When I woke up, well, you know."

'He made a wish. A stupid ningen belief and it worked.' Hiei smirked.

"Why in the world would you wish to be a demon?" Yusuke demanded. "I don't get it."

"I was tired of all of you treating me like I was useless. Don't deny it. I saw how you guys looked at me when we're fighting. So, I decided to do something about it, even if the way I did it seemed impossible."

Yusuke was amazed at how much Kuwabara's vocabulary had improved so quickly. But, by the same token, he felt guilty about how he treated his former human friend. Rubbing the back of his head, he said, "Okay. I'll admit to the way I looked at you during our missions. I'm sorry. But, hey, look at you now. I think your speech has improved too."

"That's right. Who's the idiot now?"

"Clearly no one in this room," Kurama stated.

Kuwabara was overjoyed. He had made a wish that came true and his friends had accepted his change. Or had they? Kuwabara saw Hiei glaring at him. There was an emotion in those red eyes he couldn't quite identify. But, he was certain it wasn't acceptance. So, what was it?

Chapter Three- Heated Debates

The advantages of being a demon, though outweighed by the disadvantages, made Kuwabara very pleased. For one thing, he didn't have to go to school. His intelligence had greatly increased since his transformation. A fact that took the others some time to adjust to.

The fact that he was stronger and faster now pretty much went without saying. The former human loved to run in those secluded areas of the park and sleep in the highest tree branches he could find. The park and the woods surrounding Genkai's home were Kuwabara's two favorite places and could be found at either of them.

&&&&

"Has Kuwabara been acting strange lately or is it just me, Kurama?"

"I believe he is still going through a transitional phase, Yusuke. You recall how you felt when you learned you were half-demon?"

"Yeah, Yeah, I do. But I got over it fast."

"Yes. But Kuwabara underwent a physical transformation more extreme than your own. Such a change could take longer to adjust to."

"Speaking of adjusting, I don't think Hiei's taking it well."

"You have seen this, too?"

"Yeah. I knew Hiei disliked Kuwabara from the day they met, but now it seems like Hiei really hates him."

"Give him time. Hiei probably needs time to adjust as does Kuwabara."

&&&&

Hiei enjoyed the peace and quiet that reigned in his favorite area of park. It had been two days since Kuwabara joined the demon race and he still didn't like it. Insulting the former human was always a kick to the Jaganshi. Now, he couldn't properly insult him without inadvertently insulting the demon race as a whole.

The branch Hiei was resting on suddenly shook, causing the fire demon to grab hold of the trunk behind him. Annoyed, he looked down to see Kuwabara climbing up toward him, a cat-like grin on his face.

"Hey, Hiei," the neko youkai said as he settled himself onto the branch.

Examining the cat demon before him, Hiei smirked before saying, "You know, you may be a demon, but you look more like a half-demon to me."

"You're a fine one to talk."

Hiei flinched inwardly. He had just insulted himself. Angry at his momentary lapse, he blurted, "You're no demon."

"Of course I'm a demon."

"No. You may look like one, but your mind is still human."

"I prefer to think of myself as a demon with a different perspective on humans."

"Hn. Neko no baka."

Kuwabara's eyes narrowed in anger at Hiei's comment. "Better a cat than a Forbidden Child," he spat before leaping away.

Hiei stared after the demon,, his mouth hanging open. 'What did he say!? Who told him?'

&&&&

Kurama flipped his bedroom light on and set his bag beside his desk when he heard a tapping sound. Turning to the window, he saw an angry-looking Hiei crouched on a nearby branch.

Fighting back a gulp, the kitsune put on a friendly smile and opened the window. "Hiei, what brings-"

"Cut the crap, kitsune," Hiei snapped. "Why did you tell him?"

"What?"

"I trusted you! I told you in secrecy and you betrayed me!"

"Calm down Hiei. What are you talking about?"

Hiei leaned toward the redhead, almost touching noses. "You told Kuwabaka that I'm a Forbidden Child."

Kurama blinked. "I never told Kuwabara."

"You didn't?"

"No."

"Oh. Well then-"

"I told Yusuke."

"You told Yusuke? That blabbermouth?"

Kurama snickered and Hiei frowned. "What's so funny Kurama?"

"The fact that you said blabbermouth."

"Hn." With a shrug, Hiei jumped out of the tree and sped toward Yusuke's apartment.

&&&&

Hiei pounded his fist on Yusuke's door, demanding an immediate response.

"Open the door Yusuke Urameshi!" the half-Koorime roared.

The door opened a crack and Yusuke stuck his head, a fake smile pasted on his face. "Hiei, what a surprise," the detective said in an equally cheerful voice.

The fire demon glared at him before hissing, "How dare you tell that idiot my secret?"

"Which secret?"

"The one I told Kurama who told you."

"Oh! That one."

"Yes. That one."

"Hey, relax. So he knows. At least he doesn't know you're related to Yukina."

At Yusuke's mention of the ice apparition, Hiei's face softened and he nodded.

'Yes. At least he doesn't know I'm Yukina's brother.'

Chapter Four-Yukina

Then, Hiei's features hardened. "Still, how could you tell that moron MY secret?"

"Hey, I'm sorry! It-it just slipped out."

"Just slipped?" Hiei's voice was eerily calm. "Just like if my sword were to slip while at your throat?"

"Uh, something like that."

"Hn." Hiei turned to leave. "Oh and detective?"

"Yeah?"

"If you tell that neko that I'm Yukina's brother, I'll be sure my sword "slips" on your throat." The demon's eyes glared at Yusuke for a moment before he left, leaving Yusuke to chuckle nervously.

&&&&

Kuwabara bounded through the trees surrounding Genkai's place, growling to himself. That shrimp had the nerve to call him stupid! He was far from stupid. Yes, he wasn't nearly as intelligent as the other two, but that was because one, they were far older and two, they were born demons. He had been a demon for only two days.

Kuwabara's growls became more intense and louder when he thought of Hiei. Shortly after his change, he decided to call the fire demon by name only. But, when Hiei called him stupid, his resolution broke and he was back to his name calling.

The neko youkai smirked. He was glad that Yusuke accidentally mentioned Hiei's name that other demons would call him by. He didn't know why Hiei was called The Forbidden Child, but it shook Hiei up, so he used it.

A scent tickled his nose, causing him to freeze in his tracks. The scent hinted of familiarity, but he couldn't place it. Suddenly, the image of an aqua-haired girl appeared in his mind. That's who the scent belonged to.

"Yukina!" Kuwabara exclaimed happily. Forgetting he was a demon, he leaped down to the ground and raced toward the temple's gardens.

&&&&

The sister of the Jaganshi warrior tended the beautiful gardens in the back of Genkai's home. Her thoughts were on her male friends. Kurama and Hiei were friendly enough for demons and Yusuke was a nice young man. But, Kuwabara was another story. The human was overly friendly in a loving way, it seemed. She was flattered by his words and the attention he lavished on her. But...did she love him? She certainly cared a great deal for him.

"Yukina!" The voice of the human she had been thinking about called out from the woods. With a kind caring smile on her face, Yukina turned to greet her friend...

And saw a leopard cat demon running toward her! With a scream, Yukina turned to flee into the temple.

"Yukina, my love. What's wrong?"

Kuwabara's voice caused the ice maiden to pause. Whirling around, she saw only the cat demon. Yet, the look on his face (assuming it was male) was similar to Kuwabara's. As was the hairstyle. "K-Kazuma?"

"Of course, it's me." Kuwabara looked down briefly and blushed. "Oops. I forgot I looked different since you last saw me."

"When did you become a demon? And how?"

"Two days ago, I wished on a shooting star to be a demon so I can be more useful on missions."

Cautiously, Yukina ran a hand along one of Kuwabara's spot trails. She felt a hint of fur fuzz on his cheek and thought that cat suited him well. To her, he seemed even more handsome this way.

"Do the others know?"

"Yeah, they know."

"How did they react?"

"Urameshi was flat-out shocked. Kurama was mildly surprised, and Hiei...he didn't care one way or the other."

'Didn't care is an understatement,' the neko thought. 'He absolutely can't stand me.'

"Well, I think you look very handsome."

Kuwabara blushed at the koorime's comment. Even Yukina accepted his change. And she accepted more readily than the others. "I'm glad you think so. That means a lot to me."

"But, wouldn't it have been better if you had wished to be more like Kurama?"

"I suppose so. I clearly didn't consider that an option."

Yukina blink for a second. Kuwabara's speech was different and made him sound quite intelligent. "Kazuma?"

"Yeah?"

"Maybe, cat demons have the ability to appear human. You could try to find out."

Kuwabara tilted his head as he considered this possibility. "I could do that. Thanks Yukina!" Giving the maiden a kiss on the cheek, the neko dashed into the woods to focus on his new task.

&&&&

There was a rapping at his apartment door. Nervous that it was Hiei again, Yusuke opened the door enough to peer outside. His mouth fell open as he opened the door fully

Standing before him was his best friend exactly as he was two days ago. "What happened Kuwabara? Did your wish wear off?"

"I met up with Yukina at Genkai's. She suggested that I might possess the ability to appear human."

"Well, you definitely look normal. Normal for humans."

'He's definitely the same demon he's been recently.' the detective added silently. 'The words he's using is proof of that.'

"Urameshi, do you think I should go give Shorty a shock?"

"If you think he won't hurt you."

"He might. But, he deserves it for calling me stupid."

Yusuke flinched at the harsh tone Kuwabara used on the word "stupid". His friend was far from the "stupid" way he used to talk. Kuwabara's stupidity was often Hiei's way of getting a rise out of the taller man. And he enjoyed every opportunity he got, even if he didnít show it.

"Well, see ya Urameshi."

Yusuke came back to earth at his friend's voice. "Yeah, see ya," he replied as Kuwabara walked away.

Chapter Five- Kuwabara

As the disguised neko headed for the park, he imagined how his next conversation with the Jaganshi would go:

K: Hey, Hiei

H: Hn. does a double take. Give up on being a demon, baka?

K: (smirks) Hardly. Sheds disguise.

H: (falls out of tree) swirly eyes as Kuwabara walks away laughing.

&&&&

Kuwabara found Hiei in that same secluded section he last saw him in. "Hey, Hiei."

Hiei barely glanced down at him from the tree. "If you're going to conceal your demon form, you could try not looking so repulsive."

Kuwabara nearly fell over out of shock. "H-how could you tell?" he gasped.

Hiei smirked. "You have a lot to learn about masking your youki. You can fool humans, but demons will see through it because you haven't concealed yourself completely."

Kuwabara was surprised. Hiei sounded almost...nice. Was it possible that the fire demon was accepting him at last? On second thought, Hiei's tone sounded mocking. He may have gotten used to Kuwabara being a demon, but that didn't mean he liked it.

"Hey, Kuwabara!"

Turning his eyes skyward, he saw Botan flying toward him. "What's up Botan?"

"Kurama asked to see you immediately."

"Why?"

"He has his reasons."

"You didn't ask, huh?"

"Why should I? He's over a thousand years old. You don't question someone that old."

"Alright." Shedding his human look (Yusuke told Botan what happened), he climbed onto Botan's oar and the two of them headed for Kurama's.

&&&&

"Ah, good. You're here."

"So, what do you want with me?"

"I was researching cat demons so you are better prepared in knowing enemies you might now have."

"Enemies? What enemies?"

"One such enemy is the inuyoukai, or dog demon. I suppose that's a natural enemy, though."

"Dog demons. Yeah, makes perfect sense. What else?"

"Well, there are illnesses that only infect your kind. All of them are of Demon World origin-"

"Ah, don't bother with that Kurama. We're not in Demon World. So, if that's all, I'll be heading home."

"Yes. That's all I have discovered thus far."

"Okay. Night Kurama."

"Goodnight."

As Kuwabara assumed his human form and headed for home, he was unaware of a pair of yellow eyes watching him with intense hatred.

Chapter Six- Inuyoukai

One Week Later

The spirit detective team was assembled in Koenma's office, waiting to receive their new mission. Kuwabara shifted from one foot to the other anxiously as Koenma shuffled through the papers on his desk.

"Okay," the prince began. "This is going to be a simple stop and destroy mission. We've learned of an inuyoukai that is attempting to conquer a large piece of territory. If he succeeds, the results will be horrible. The demons that live in those areas will either be enslaved or killed."

"So, we bust in on him and stop him," Yusuke cut in.

"Yes. Try to arrest him. If he refuses or becomes violent, then you have my orders to kill him. It is important that he fails in his conquest. Here is a picture of the demon." Koenma pushed a button on his remote and a picture appeared on the screen.

The demon had blue hair that was spiked in all directions, bright yellow eyes, and a pair of light blue dog ears atop his head.

"You have your mission. Botan is waiting outside to point you in the right direction to his territory. Good luck."

&&&&

'This is unbelievable,' Kuwabara thought. 'A week ago Kurama brings up dog demons and now we get a mission to stop and possibly kill one.'

The area the inu was rumored to be in was a dense forest. Kuwabara knew he would love this area as well, being a cat demon. No reason a dog wouldn't. And speaking of dogs, the former human wondered what kind of threat this...Daerou, as Koenma called him, presented. He didn't know anything about dog demons beside the fact that cat demons were their natural enemies. Kuwabara wasn't worried. Cats were more agile and graceful than dogs.

"There he is!" Yusuke exclaimed, snapping the teen out of his thoughts. Looking forward, he saw the youkai that he had seen on Koenma's office screen. Daerou stood before a cave, his eyes blazing with fury as he looked past Yusuke and the others to focus on Kuwabara.

"Okay, Daerou, you're under arrest for taking over land that doesn't belong to you," Yusuke declared.

Daerou stared at the detective for a moment before he began to laugh. "Fools," he said in a low and throaty voice. "I'm not conquering territory. It was a ploy to lure the neko to me."

"What?"

"And now that I've done that, he will die!" Daerou leaped toward the group, fangs and claws bared.

The team stood their ground and attempted to subdue the demon. Kurama unleashed his rose whip, but Daerou easily slashed it before sending the kitsune flying with a well-placed kick. Hiei, concerned with Kurama's well-being, abandoned the fight and rushed to his friend's side.

Yusuke took up his trademark attack pose. "Spirit Gun!" he cried as he fired. Daerou smirked as he dodged to the side and delivered a punch to the cheek, sending Yusuke flying. With those three injured or otherwise occupied, the inuyoukai turned his attention to Kuwabara.

&&&&

The neko stood in stunned silence as his teammates were taken down. Well, Hiei wasn't hurt, but he was occupied. He turned his attention to Daerou who was advancing on him. He figured he'd let the youkai get real close before he unleashed his spirit sword. At close range, it would go through his opponent's stomach and Daerou would eventually die from the wound.

Daerou howled as he leaped, claws fully extended. Kuwabara extended his hands, focusing on summoning his sword. Energy shimmered between his palms before winking out. Feeling slightly panicky, he focused even harder, but got the same result. 'Uh-oh! I don't have spirit energy now that I'm a demon. I can't form my spirit sword,' the neko thought as the inu's claws lanced out and left four diagonal claw marks across his chest.

Kuwabara sank to his knees, his arms holding his chest, and his eyes squeezed tightly in pain. He sensed Daerou beside him before hearing him say, "Did you like that? My claws have a deadly virus specifically to target neko youkai. Within hours or days, you'll die, depending on the strength of your energy. No neko has ever survived."

Gasping from the pain, he bent in toward himself. He heard Yusuke cry something before sensing Daerou's energy disappear. Apparently, Yusuke killed him through the element of surprise.

"Kuwabara!" the detective cried, placing a hand on his friend's shoulder. "Come on pal, let's go."

"Hurts," the neko groaned.

"What?"

"Daerou scratched me. He said his claws contain a virus that kills cat demons. I'll die within hours or days."

"You can't die. We'll find a cure."

&&&&

Hours later, the team was back at Genkai's. Kuwabara laid on a futon, sweating from the illness. Yusuke cast several concerned looks as his friend. 'He has to live. He can't die.' At that point, Botan walked in.

"Well Botan? Find anything?"

"If Kuwabara had been born a cat demon, there wouldn't be a cure. Luckily, he wasn't. All he has to do is focus on being human again."

"That's all?"

"Bingo."

"Hey, Kuwabara! Did you hear that?"

"I heard, Urameshi. I'm not doing it."

"What?"

"I'm not going to be human again."

"You want to die?"

"Of course not. It's just that I love being a demon. I don't want to give it up just to be alive and human."

Hiei understood what he was saying. The neko had had a taste of demon power and he loved it. Giving it up to survive didn't sit well with him. 'Maybe he was suited to be a demon at that.'

"We need you Kuwabara," Yusuke said. "You're too important to us to go."

"You don't need me."

"But we do," Kurama interjected. "There's bound to be a mission that neither a demon nor a half-demon can do. That would be where you would come in."

"You really believe that?"

"Of course."

Kuwabara snorted and turned his back on his friends. Who were they kidding? They expected him to believe them?

Yusuke flipped the demon over and pulled him closer to him by the shirt. "Damn it Kuwabara, listen! We don't want you to die! Your sister doesn't want you to die! Hell, Yukina doesn't want you to die!"

The teen demon's eyes widened at the ice maiden's name. His heart jerked. Whether it was from his illness or the thought of him leaving Yukina alive without him, he couldn't tell. A tear escaped his eye. "Yukina," he whispered.

"That's right. You don't want to make her sad, do you?"

"No." Kuwabara took a deep breath. "Well, here I go." Closing his eyes, he focused hard on how he was a little more than a week ago.

&&&&

One Week Later

"Rose Whip!"

The demon whirled around, grabbed the whip, and mimicked Hiei's Fist of the Mortal Flame to burn it. He then punched Kurama with that flaming fist.

Team Urameshi was having a tough fight. It was a typical demon-trying-to-conquer-Human-World mission, but the demon had the ability to mimic the attacks of a demon or half-demon. Needless to say, the demon was winning.

Yusuke charged the enemy as Kurama went down. His opponent imitated Kurama's Rose Whip and successfully snagged Yusuke's legs, causing him to land face-first.

Hiei whipped out his katana, intent on killing his opponent. The demon unleashed another Rose Whip, but Hiei had been expecting it and used his speed to evade it. His sword flashed forward and met air. The demon had just copied the fire demon's speed.

The evil demon smiled as he prepared to hit him with a fiery fist.

"Spirit Sword!" a voice cried. The demon gasped as his body stiffened. A second later, the tip of an orange energy sword emerged from his chest, where the heart was.

Kuwabara yanked his sword out before returning it to thin air. He went to help Yusuke get free from his bonds while Hiei went to check on the kitsune. "Yeah. Didn't know you cared."

"I don't. I want to make sure you're in good shape when I beat you in a fight."

Yusuke chuckled. Kuwabara had made a complete recovery when he became human again. The only thing different was his intelligence was still the same like when he was a demon. But, at least, he was alive.

As the team left for Human World, Hiei looked at Kuwabara. "Hn. You fought well...for a human."

"Thanks. I couldn't have pulled that surprise attack without your help, though."

Yusuke exchanged surprised looks with Kurama. Their two friends actually had a civilized, albeit, short conversation. Perhaps there was hope that they could be good friends.

"But, you're still an oaf."

"And you're still a stuck-up jerk."

Or maybe not.

The End