Disclaimer: I don’t own Yu Yu Hakusho or any characters you recognize. I do however own Teku Kerusa/Yoko Sakura. If anyone wishes to use her, please give credit.
The park was such a nice place to relax after school. The sakura blossoms were in full bloom, and the rose bushes had a lot of blooms as well as buds. A slight breeze rustled the sakura petals carrying some of the off to mix with the peach blossoms already riding the wind.
A sakura petal landed on a red rosebud, balancing perfectly on its tip. Before it could fly away again, it was gingerly picked up. The girl looked at the petal and then put it in a small pouch tied to her sash. She sighed. She was told, and had believed so ever since, that every time a sakura petal landed on a red rosebud her older brother would be thinking of her. But now, she was starting to doubt it.
Kurama was walking down the sidewalk, heading to the park. He had felt another kitsune’s presence and was anxious to find him or her. It was a younger kitsune for sure, but his fox senses were picking up slightly familiar scents and sounds. Even though he was supposed to meet Hiei elsewhere, the little fire demon could wait. Kurama made his way through the park letting his keen sense of smell lead him to the little fox demon.
There sitting on the bench was a girl younger in appearance than him. Even though her long white hair was easy to see, her white fox ears and tail were not. Kurama couldn’t see her fox features, Yoko could. While Yoko and Shuichi talked, Shuichi’s emerald eyes turned gold. It was this event which caught the little kitsune’s attention.
“Who are you?”
Kurama’s eyes reverted back to their original green color. “Minamino Shuichi.”
“I’m Teku Kerusa.”
Kurama sat down beside her. “Are you waiting for someone?”
Kerusa sighed. “No.”
Kurama leaned in closer and whispered, “Oh, but I think you are, kitsune.”
The girl pulled back. She was about to protest, but Kurama’s golf eyes stopped her. “Kurama? Yoko Kurama?”
“Konnichi wa, Yoko Sakura.”
“What’s with the human disguise, Kurama?”
“The same thing could be asked of you.”
Sakura briefly wrapped her arms around Kurama. “I’ve missed you, Onii-chan.”
“Hn. Who’s your friend, Shuichi?”
Kurama looked up. “Konnichi wa, Hiei.”
“You were supposed to meet me earlier. Kitsune no baka.”
“How dare you! My brother isn’t stupid!”
“Sakura, it is alright. Hiei is a friend.” An idea hit Kurama. He turned to the little fire demon, putting an arm around Sakura’s shoulders. “You know my sister, don’t you Hiei? Yoko Sakura.”
“How do you know she’s not some human kid playing pretend?”
Kurama’s eye color switched to Yoko’s gold and his voice was a little different, a bit deeper and harsher. “Believe me, Hiei. I would know.”
Hiei took a little step back from the kitsune. “All right, Yoko.”
Kurama’s eyes changed back to their normal green color. “Hiei, there’s a meeting at Kuwabara’s house in a few hours. Will you be there?”
“Hn. I have other things to attend to.”
“Yukina will be there.”
The little fire demon’s eyes widened at the mention of his younger sister. “Then, I’ll join you later. Kitsune no baka.”
And having said that, Hiei jumped out of sight. Sakura started pulling on her brother’s arm. “C’mon, Onii-chan. I want you to meet someone or rather re-meet him.”
“Re-meet who, Sakura?”
“Just follow me.” Sakura pulled Kurama off the path that led through the park. The gasses grew wilder as the park grew fainter. The park faded from view, and large tees surrounded the two demons. Mountains came into view. Embedded on the mountainside were small caves. Sakura led her older brother into one of the caves located at the base of the mountain.
Inside the cave, lying on a makeshift bed made out of leaves and petals and grass clippings, was a bat demon who seemed to be resting. His wings were lying out and his hair was splayed across the petals. His left ankle was wrapped in some bandages, indicating that it either had been injured recently or badly.
“Kuronue? It cannot be.” Kurama transformed into Yoko Kurama. “My old partner. I hoped we would meet again.” He took off a pendant and pressed it into Kuronue’s hand. “I have kept this as a reminder. It was my hope that I would be able to give this back to you.”
“Yoko Kurama?” A hand tightened around the pendant and Yoko Kurama’s hand.
“Kuronue.” Yoko Kurama knelt down next to his old partner.
Kuronue opened his eyes. “You’re a sight for sore eyes, Yoko.”
“As are you.”
Kuronue pulled himself into a sitting position. The raven-haired demon withdrew his hand from Yoko Kurama’s and opened it, revealing his pendant. “My pendant? Where did you find this, Yoko?”
“That day when we were split after that botched raid, I had gone back in hopes of finding a way to get you back. I did not find a way, but I did find your pendant.”
“You’ve kept it all this time when you could have forgotten me.”
“I could not have forgotten you, my partner. Never.”
Kuronue put his pendant where it belonged, around his neck. “Thank you, Yoko.”
“Onii-chan, didn’t you tell Hiei that there was a meeting later on?”
“Yes, Sakura, I did.” Yoko Kurama transformed back into Shuichi. “Make your wings disappear, Kuronue. I want you to come with me.”
“You want me back in your life?”
“Yes. I lost you once, and I do not want to lose you again.” Kuronue smiled slightly and made his wings disappear. “Let’s go.” Kurama put an arm around Sakura and Kuronue and led them toward the city.
Author Note: This was written before Bandits and Kings (volume 29) came out and I heard rumors that Kurama’s brother was named Shuicchi. So, just watch the spelling of the name to figure out who is being talked to.
AT KUWABARA’S HOUSE
“Hey, Urameshi, didn’t Kurama say he was coming?”
“Yeah, he did. Don’t worry about it. He’ll be here.”
“Hn. The kitsune isn’t here yet.”
Yusuke looked at the open window and saw the fire demon leaning against the window pane. “Hey, Hiei. I see Kurama found you.”
“Actually, I found him. The kitsune might be late.”
“Who might be late?” Botan poked her head in.
“About time you showed up, Botan. To answer your question, Kurama.”
“I’m going to ignore your first comment, Yusuke, but I found someone that should be here.”
A girl with turquoise-colored hair and dressed in a kimono stepped out from behind Botan. “Hello.”
Yusuke hit Kuwabara, who went over to Yukina and asked her to heal him. Botan materialized her oar and hit him so hard he was unconscious.
“Hn. At least this meeting will be quiet.”
“Yeah, so should we wait for Kurama?” Yusuke asked.
“There is no need for that, Yusuke,” Kurama called out. “I am here.”
“Hey, Kurama. We were getting kinda worried.”
“I apologize for making you worry. However, I had a couple acquaintances to meet up with. I would like to introduce my sister, Yoko Sakura, and my old partner, Kuronue.” Kurama moved from the doorway.
Yusuke looked at Sakura. ‘What a looker! Too bad I’ve got a thing for Keiko.’ He looked at Kuronue. ‘I’m happy for Kurama. He’s found his sister and his partner.’
Kuwabara (who had woken up in time to hear the introductions) looked at Kuronue suspiciously. “How do we know that’s really him?”
“Baka ningen. Do you honestly think that Yoko would be fooled?”
“Yes.” Kuwabara then noticed Kuronue’s murderous glare and Kurama’s gold eyes. The tall boy sweat dropped. “But I don’t think he’s being fooled now.”
Kuronue stopped glaring and Kurama’s eyes returned to normal. ‘I wish Yoko would stop taking over at a moment’s notice.’ Kurama turned to the Spirit Detective. “So, Yusuke, what’s the reason for the meeting?”
This time it was Yusuke’s turn to sweat drop. “No reason. I just wanted to hang out with you guys.”
Everyone face faulted.
“It’s getting late, Yusuke. I would like to try to get some of my homework done before dinner.”
“Hn. Didn’t you tell me that you’ve finished your homework for the rest of the week?”
Kurama blinked a couple of times. “Oh, that’s right. In any case, I am still going to head home.” Kurama left with Sakura and Kuronue following him.
“Kurama, I’m going to take a run around the park.”
“All right, Sakura. Be careful.”
Sakura nodded and left, heading toward the park.
“I’ll also take my leave, Yoko.”
“That is okay, Kuronue. Take care.”
Kuronue jumped into the nearest tee and disappeared from sight. Kurama sighed and continued walking home. He approached his front door and patted his pocket. ‘I do no have my keys! Maybe my window is open.’ Kurama walked to the side of his house. ‘Yes.” He glanced around, saw no one, and transformed into his fox form. He jumped from the ground into his room on the second floor. Kurama yawned, jumped on to his bed, curled up, and soon fell asleep.
A FEW HOURS LATER
Shiori, her husband, and Shuicchi entered their home. ‘Shuichi must still be at school.”
“I’m going to start my homework, Mom.”
“All right, Shuicchi.” Shiori received a kiss on her cheek from her husband before he went into his study. She headed upstairs to grab a novel from her room to get a little reading done before starting supper, but her trek was halted when she saw Shuichi’s door was open. ‘But he always closes it when he’s not here.” She cautiously entered her oldest son’s room, and what she saw surprised her.
There curled up on Shuichi’s bed was a silvery-white kitsune. One of its four tails was trapped under one of its front paws and one more was right on top of the paw. The third tail was curled around its body coming to rest across the nose. The last tail was out to the side, the tip of it tapping every so often. Shiori gasped softly. ‘What is this fox-like creature doing on Shuichi’s bed?’
The fox opened its eyes, yawned, and stretched. It shook its head and its crimson eyes landed on the woman at the foot of the bed.
‘Oh no! She’s seen me in my true form! I’ve got to stay calm. I’ve got to stay calm. I’ve got to – Ooo, that feels nice.’ Kurama’s thoughts interrupted themselves when his mother started stroking his fur.
“Hello, little fella. Where’d you come from?” Shiori cooed to Kurama who was lying on the bed, his tails stretched out. She then felt the breeze from the open window. ‘Oh, Shuichi must have left his window open. So, did you escape from a lab?”
Kurama cocked his head. “Lab? Why would she think I was in a lab?’
“I’ve never seen a fox with four tails before. Wait ‘till Shuichi sees you.”
‘If only she knew.’
“Mom!” Kurama heard his little brother call from downstairs.
“Shuicchi, come to your brother’s room,” Shiori called back in response.
Soon, Shuicchi’s brown hair came into view as he climbed the stairs. When he got to the doorway, he said, “Mom, where’s Shuichi? He’s got a phone call.”
“Oh, dear. He’s not here. I suppose he’s still at school.”
“Oh. What’s that?” Shuicchi pointed at Kurama.
“A fox which I believe escaped from a lab, judging by its four tails.”
“I’ll just go tell Kaitou that Shuichi will call him back.”
‘Kaitou? Why is Kaitou calling me?’
“All right. Is your homework done?”
“Almost. I was in the middle of my last math problem when the phone rang.”
“Finish it up after delivering the message.”
“Yes, Mom.” Shuicchi left. Shiori went back to stroking Kurama’s fur.
“I have to cook supper for my family, little fella. I wish I could keep you, but foxes like you belong in the wild.”
Kurama nuzzled his mother’s hand and gave her a lick. He sat up and watched Shiori leave. The second she left the kitsune jumped out the open window and landed gracefully two stories below.
A screeching sound caught his attention, causing him to look up. /Hello to you too, Kuronue./
The bat looked at him from his perch on one of the awnings. /How did you know it was me/
Kurama gave a mental smirk. /Your scent./
The bat took off and landed on Kurama’s head. /Always the fox./
/And you are always stating the obvious./ Kurama smirked again. /We should assume our human forms so we do not draw suspicion./
/Of course./ The bat took off and transformed into a raven-haired man with dark, tattered clothes and bat wings, while the fox transformed into a redheaded teenage boy in the traditional high school uniform. Kuronue smiled. “That really does not suit you, Kurama.”
‘That is because you are used to seeing Yoko Kurama and not Shuichi.”
“True. However, I know Yoko is in there.” Kuronue tapped his index finger against Kurama’s forehead. Kurama smiled at his old partner’s words.
“Yes. Yoko is here and actually he wants to talk to you.” Kurama closed his eyes and his hair turned silver and grew to his waist. A silver tail grew at the base of his spine. His clothes were replaced with a white tunic and matching leggings, both of which seemed to glow in the light of the full moon. When the youkai opened his eyes, their golden color complimented his hair. “Kuronue.” His fox ears twitched.
“Yoko. It has been awhile, my old partner.”
“Not really. However, I will not be put much because Shuichi has school projects to do.”
“You are going soft, Yoko. Actually caring about the ningen’s schooling and such.”
“It is necessary. If there is such a time I need something or there is something he cannot do, Shuichi will let me handle it.” Yoko Kurama’s fox ears twitched. “I will speak with you later, Kuronue. Shiori is coming.”
Kuronue nodded and dashed behind a tee while Yoko Kurama turned back into Shuichi. The redhead started walking to his front door, which Shiori had just opened. “Shuichi? You’re back.”
“Hello, Mother.” Kurama hugged her when he got inside.
“I saw the most amazing thing today, Shuichi. It was a silver fox lying on your bed and the most peculiar thing about it was that the fox had four tails. It might still be there.”
“Let us go see.”
Shiori nodded and led her son up the stairs toward his room. They peered inside.
“There, Shuichi,” she whispered.
Kurama gasped inaudibly. ‘Oh no! What is Sakura doing here?’
“Wait. That’s not the same one. This one’s smaller.”
“Are you sure, Mother? This one is silver and has four tails.”
“Yes. The other one took up half of your bed. As you can see, this one only takes up a third.”
“Wow. Two silver foxes with four tails each. What an odd occurrence.” Kurama feigned an air of innocent curiosity. He walked into his room and over to his bed. He cautiously reached out and stoked his sister’s fur. ‘Just as soft as I remember.’
/Sakura, what are you doing here/
/I came to see you./
/We will talk later./
“Mom! Is supper done yet?” Shuicchi’s voice called from down the stairs.
Shiori smiled. “I should finish preparing supper.”
“Go ahead, Mother. I will be down shortly.”
“All right, Shuichi, but supper is almost done,” Shiori said before she left.
/Yes. What is it/
/Would you spend tonight with me? Like old times/
/Sure and I know the perfect place. The park where we got re-acquainted./
/We can go after my human family goes to sleep. Until then just stay with me./ The fox nodded and sat up. “I will be right back, Sakura. I am going to get supper.”
The fox nodded again and Kurama left the room. He descended the stairs and entered the kitchen.
“Just in time, Shuichi,” Shiori said. “Supper’s done.”
“Shuichi!” Shuicchi wrapped his arms around his brother.
Kurama chuckled and ruffled his brother’s hair. “Hello to you too, Shuicchi.”
“Oh, you had a phone call from Kaitou.”
“Yeah, but he said he’d just tell you at school tomorrow.”
“All right.” ‘Must be something related to our science project.’ Kurama fixed a plate for himself, putting a little more of everything on there (for his sister).
When Kurama got back to his room, he saw his sister in her human form, sitting on his bed waiting for him. He sat down next to her and offered her his plate. Sakura smiled, and the two kitsunes enjoyed their dinner.
LATER THAT NIGHT
Shiori opened Kurama’s door. She saw her son sitting on his bed reading a book. “Shuichi, you should be getting ready for bed.”
“I will, Mother. I just wanted to finish this chapter.”
Shiori kissed the redhead’s forehead. “Where did the fox go?”
“It was gone when I returned with dinner.”
“Maybe one of them will show up later.”
“Perhaps.” Kurama smiled. Unbeknownst to his mother, his sister never left. In fact, she was hiding under his bed.
“Don’t stay up too late, Shuichi.”
“I won’t, Mother. Good night.”
“Good night.” Shiori left her eldest son’s bedroom. Kurama went back to reading. Then, something silver caught his eye. It was one of Sakura’s tails sticking out from under the bed. Kurama smirked, leaned over, and tugged playfully on the tail. The tail was pulled back under and her nose poked out.
/Is it safe/
/Yes. We are alone./
Sakura crawled out and sat on the bed next to her brother. /C’mon, Kurama. Let’s go./
/I need to finish this chapter./
There was no reply. Suddenly, a tail was flipped onto the page he was reading. Kurama brushed the tail off, reading all the while. Then, two tails were flipped onto the page.
/Are you trying to tell me something, Sakura/
/Yes, Onii-san. You can finish reading later./
/That is true, but I am almost done./
/All right./ Sakura curled up beside her older brother, waiting for him to finish.
Not four minutes later, Kurama closed the textbook. /All right, now we can go./ He closed his eyes and transformed into Yoko Kurama. Sakura looked at him expectantly.
/All the way, Kurama./
Yoko Kurama smirked and closed his eyes. He then transformed into his spirit fox form. Sakura yipped (which translated to “finally!”) and the two spirit foxes jumped gracefully out the window, not hearing the soft gasp that came from the other side of the door.
Shiori was walking back toward Shuichi’s room, intending on asking him if he’d pick up his brother after school. The door was open slightly so she peered in. Shuichi had just finished reading the chapter, judging by the fact that he had just closed his book, but there curled up next to him was the smaller silver fox! ‘It must have returned.’ Just then, before she could open the door further, Shuichi closed his eyes and his hair turned white. ‘No, I’d say more silver,’ Shiori thought despite her haze of disbelief. A silvery white fox tail grew at the base of his spine. His human ears disappeared and fox ears appeared on the top of his head. His school uniform was replaced with a white tunic and matching leggings, both of which seemed to glow in the steam of moonlight that came through the window. He opened his eyes and instead of being emerald green, they were a gold color. The fox looked at him expectantly, and the humanoid fox smirked and closed his eyes once more. A white mist surrounded him and once dispersed, revealed the larger fox. The smaller fox gave a little yip and both foxes jumped out the window. Shiori stared at the window in utter shock. A little gasp escaped her lips. ‘Shuichi’s not human? How can that be and why didn’t he tell me? I’m going to have to talk to him about this.’
AT THE PARK
Kurama and Sakura ran through the empty park, their tails bobbing in the wind. Sakura tackled Kurama and the two foxes rolled and tumbled through the soft grass. After about half an hour of this, both foxes flopped onto the grass panting.
/That was fun, Onii-san./
/Yes, it was. I had almost forgotten how much./
/How long can we stay out/
/Since tomorrow is Friday, we can stay out for a few more hours./
/All right./ Sakura tackled her brother again and using the element of surprise, managed to pin him.
Kurama pushed her off, nipped the tip of one of her tails, and took off running. The female fox gave chase but soon lost sight of her brother. She stopped running and all of her senses were alert. He was somewhere close-by. Suddenly, Kurama jumped down from a nearby tee and landed on top of Sakura. He playfully nipped at one of her ears. She used the tip of one of her tails to tickle his belly, which caused him to jump off of her.
/That was playing dirty, Sakura./
/And hiding in the trees wasn’t/
/No, it was sly./
/Nice./ Sakura yipped and ran off with her brother pursuing her.
A FEW HOURS LATER
Sakura and Kurama both jumped into the tree next to Kurama’s open window, but only Kurama jumped into his room. He turned back into Shuichi, collapsed onto his bed, and fell asleep.
THE NEXT DAY, AFTER SCHOOL
Kurama was walking home with his brother.
“Did you see mom’s look this morning?”
“Yes. It was confusion and … something else. I could not quite place it.”
The two brothers entered their home with the (unison) call of, “We’re home.”
“Shuichi, I need to talk to you about something.”
“Yes, Mother.” Kurama entered the living room where his mother was sitting. “What is it?”
“I saw you last night, Shuichi, when you became that human-fox and then the large fox soon after that.”
“Mother, I do not know what to say.”
“It’s all right, Shuichi. I had a feeling that there was something supernatural about you lately. I just want to know why you didn’t tell me earlier.”
“I did not know how to tell you. I was concerned how this news would affect you. Would you like me to start from the beginning, Mother?”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
“My truest name is Yoko. I am a fox. A spirit fox gaining the powers of a demon over the hundreds of years that I lived. In time, I became bored and passed my hours learning the art of breaking codes and seals. Ancient treasures were my favorite sport. But fifteen years ago, I made a careless mistake and was badly injured by a strong pursuer. With the last energy I had, I escaped to the living world and became Shuichi, knowing that if I could withstand humanity for ten years, my spirit energy would have time to safely recover. Then I would escape without a trace. Then you fell ill and I couldn’t leave you. I love you too much to ever leave you.”
Shiori walked over to Kurama and hugged him. “I love you too, Shuichi.”
After talking with his mother, Kurama felt a tremendous weight lift from his shoulders. He knew he could live the rest of his life in living world with no regrets.