InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Phoenix Rising ❯ Chapter Five ( Chapter 5 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, etc., of Inuyasha or Yu Yu Hakusho. This story is for entertainment purposes only, and not for profit.PHOENIX RISING

Summary: Not everyone is happy when Enki wins the Demon World Tournament. A new darkness rises out of the east, threatening the fragile new kingdom, and our heroes find themselves thick in the fray.

A/N: A rather short chapter after so long a wait. More a chance to get my hand back in the story and stir things around. =)

Chapter Five

If there was one thing the new Queen of all Demon World knew how to do, it was throw a party. And what better way to commemorate her husband’s new regime than to throw open the doors to (former) King Yomi’s private stock, and let ’em have at it? Toss in some peanuts and pretzels, and voila! Instant popularity!

Being a past master of the finest vintage---heck, every vintage---Koku made sure to save the best for least. Or, rather, the “least” amount of guests invited to the semi-private party on what amounted to Gandara’s Nob Hill. Or “S’Nob” Hill, as she slurred it, having just finished off a few of her best friends---namely Jack, Morgan, and Mr. Hennessey.

Whatever makes you leg-less in the quickest time possible, was Koku’s staunch philosophy. Which was enthusiastically seconded by Chuu, already a good three jugs to the wind.
“Have to keep up with the ladies, bledger!” he cried, when young Rinku tried to temper him. “Can’t let the shielas have all the fun now, can we, mate?”

And maybe some of that liquid courage might finally kick in so Chuu could go over and talk to his sweet Natsume. Although he’d have to work on getting rid of her annoying twin brother, Kuju. The blue-haired demon hovered over the pretty demoness, still concerned that she hadn’t fully recovered from her epic fight with Mukuro two days before.

“That what be a challenge, eh, bledger?” the grizzled, seven-foot-plus man asked the boy at his side.

Having no clue what the big drunk was saying, the young demon only nodded, having learned early that was the easiest path to take. Rinku let out a sigh, bored with all the booze denied him by Chuu’s strict decree. The larger demon did take his guardianship seriously, when he remembered to. Sadly, this was one of those times.

Rinku glumly scanned the crowd gathered into knots here and there around the wide ballrooms thrown open for the Queen’s impromptu fête. The party was in full swing, and none of their friends had shown up yet. At least, none that Rinku cared to tag after. Shishi already held sway at one end of the room, a swooning mob of adoring fan girls gathered around him. On the outskirts of that group were some of the social snobs of Yomi’s former court, held together by Lord Tenga with his beloved Jueru by his side. The old farts had gathered in yet another corner to stare down their long noses at the antics of Koku and her friends in the middle of the room. The Queen was currently swinging from the chandelier (literally) as her poor husband tried to coax her down.

“Come now, my darling---”

“Ah, put a sock in it, you big brick!” Koku yelled, pumping her legs to gain altitude. “Don’t be such a party-pooper!”

That sally was met with laughter as the new King let out a long-suffering sigh. Clearly, connubial bliss was not something in store for the new regime. By the appalled looks on several of Yomi’s former courtiers, they thought little of what might lie in store.

“Ten bucks she clears the table!” A bystander shouted, pointing at the large banquet table Yomi had once held exclusive dinners at. The table was massive, and incredibly old. The intricate scrollwork along its edging had taken a blind master craftsman over forty years to etch out. Currently pushed to one side of the immense ballroom, it was laden with the finest creations Yomi’s former chefs could come up with on barely three hours’ notice.

“Ha! Fifty she breaks the table!” Another called out amid much laughter, and the wager was on as Koku enthusiastically pumped her legs. They were rather shapely legs, displayed to best advantage by the skin-tight leotard and tights she wore, circa 1982, in clashing magenta and electric blue. The new Queen was a huge fan of Jane Fonda.

“Let’s get physical!” she cried, game to try, as several of Yomi’s former servants paled and sweated over the china.

“Now, now, sweetie, I don’t think---” the King said, eying the choleric chefs.

A loud crash was his only answer, followed by the roaring approval of the Queen’s rowdy admirers. Glancing at the crestfallen servants, who had worked so hard on preparing the feast, the King looked pained.


“Now this is a party!” Yusuke said, surveying the chaos with his trademark smirk as he arrived on the scene of the King trying to pluck his arguing wife out of the litter of broken crockery and scattered kindling.

“Indeed,” Kurama said dryly at his side, casting a sidelong look at the dour frowns coming from the far corners of the room as several courtiers whispered behind their hands. Even Lord Tenga, usually so amused by the absurd, was looking a little dubious. Kurama sighed. It looked like his night was going to be spent trying to do some damage control. Having previously agreed to help smooth the transition of power when Yomi first abdicated his throne, it appeared the kitsune’s half-hearted promise was coming back to haunt him.

And just at the worst possible time. Kurama, ever conscious of his duty, found himself resenting it even as Sango sympathetically squeezed his hand. Kurama absently brought their joined fingers up for a kiss, looking down at her with regret. The taijiya was stunning tonight, even dressed in a simple black turtleneck and slacks. While not what he would have chosen, the garments were sturdy and allowed easy movement, which the ever-practical slayer counted more important than fashion.

But Kurama wasn’t one to give up easily. He found the challenge of getting the modest slayer into something more…revealing…a worthy enough endeavor. It might prove quite the test for his particular powers of persuasion. All it would take was patience, planning and persistence. Three things he excelled at, actually.

Considering the rewards---well. Kurama’s green eyes glinted, and then narrowed, as he saw stodgy Lord Aten gesturing wildly from across the room.

“Go,” Sango urged, seeing the panicked look in the usually phlegmatic lord. One of the three set up as an temporary triumvirate over Gandara---the others being Yomi’s former Spy Master, Lord Tenga, and the fussy Lord-Mayor of the city---she knew Kurama would have his hands full. From the fishy pallor of Lord Aten’s cheeks, it looked like the catfish demon’s ulcer was acting up.    

“Don’t worry.” Yusuke smirked, tossing an arm across Sango’s shoulders to haul her up against him. “I’ll take good care of her.”

Kurama’s eyes flashed, a hint of gold glittering across the verdant green depths. Sango poked Yusuke in the ribs, neatly extracting herself from the former Spirit Detective’s loose hold. Reassured his mate could take care of herself, even with the lascivious attentions of his friend, the tension across Kurama’s shoulders relaxed minutely.

“I won’t be long,” he told Sango quietly, although his eyes remained on Yusuke. The Mazoku raised both hands to show he meant no offense, grinning like a fool for the threat barely hidden in that too-green gaze.

Sango nodded, and made shooing motions towards Lord Aten, who was frantically waving now for the fox’s attention. As soon as Kurama reluctantly departed, she rounded on Yusuke with a scowl. The former Spirit Detective and half-human heir to the most powerful battle demon seen in more than two thousand years stepped back a pace, surprised by the anger in the slayer’s eyes.

“You shouldn’t tease him like that,” she admonished, hands on her hips. “It isn’t nice. Kurama’s still trying to come to terms with everything. We’re all new to this, you know.”

“I know,” Yusuke replied, unabashed.

“It isn’t nice, Yusuke. Kurama---he may seem unaffected, but he can be as sensitive as Hiei. Even more so, in some ways.”

She was deadly serious. Maybe that was why Yusuke liked her so much, that she cared so much, especially about those two knuckleheads, who should learn to trust her more. Those two were strung so tight around their mate it was a wonder they didn’t explode. It’d do them both good to be twitted now and then about it, just so they could finally relax and see what was right in front of them. Sango wasn’t going no damn where.

Chucking the taijiya under the chin, Yusuke grinned when she stiffened. “I know.”

Sango scowled. “Then quit needling them. It isn’t fair.”

“Hell, yes, it is,” Yusuke replied, nonchalantly throwing an arm back over her narrow shoulders and looking around for the little volcano, who shouldn’t be too far off.

“Unhand my mate.”

Feeling the cold kiss of steel at his neck, Yusuke raised his hands in mock surrender even as he said, “Hey, there, three eyes. Wondered where you’d gotten to.”

“Hiei!” Sango half-heartedly protested, shaking her head at the lethal menace fairly radiating off of the angry fire demon. His sword glittered in the candlelight, and they were attracting quite the interest in those nearby.

“Gonna use it or what?” Yusuke asked equitably, hands still raised.

“I’m still considering,” Hiei said flatly, blade unwavering.

Yusuke smirked. “Be a shame to get blood all over the floor.”


Hiei finally withdrew his sword, sheathing it. There were audible murmurs of disappointment from the audience. Demons did love a good fight. Yusuke grinned. “You sure like to make an entrance, don’t you, three eyes?”

“I find your irreverence annoying,” came the chilling reply as the short demon stared over at his mate, who was flushed, either by embarrassment at being the object of so much attention or angry at his antics, Yusuke couldn’t tell.

“I don’t like that shirt,” Hiei abruptly said, eyeing the close-fitting turtleneck. While modest by youkai standards---covering the slayer from neck to wrist to hip---the sturdy knit hugged her curves.

“What’s wrong with it?” the slayer asked, staring down in confusion. It seemed a practical choice, given the circumstances.


They turned as Jin bounced down behind them, Touya in tow. The wind demon nearly strangled the former Spirit Detective in an enthusiastic headlock, pounding him on the back hard enough to stagger. “Well, now, don’t you be looking a sight better nor yesterday!”

“Hey, there, Jin.” Yusuke grinned up at his former adversary and now close friend. “Looks like you came just in time.” He nodded towards the spectacle of the Queen picking bits of food out of her shapely ass while yelling for a drink. King Enki was half-heartedly trying to clear up the mess, much to the discomfiture of both servants and court.

“I’d say.” Jin grinned back, and then---with a broad wink at Yusuke---turned to Sango. “Lily, lass, you do look a fair sight for a poor lad. I do be saying, that I do, that what be a nice shirt on ye.”

“Mmf.” Startled, Sango was suddenly surrounded by darkness as the fire demon, red eyes scathing, abruptly stripped off his coat and dropped it over her head. “Hiei!”

Struggling with the bulky folds, Sango finally managed to thrust her arms through just as Hiei buttoned the thick white collar up to her nose. She glared daggers over the top of it as he finally stepped back, satisfied.

Elbowing each other over the taijiya’s predicament, Jin and Yusuke couldn’t contain their laughter any longer. The peals burst forth, drawing even more unwanted attention their way as Jin whooped and Yusuke chortled, clutching one another to hold themselves up as they wiped tears from their eyes at the matching glares sent their way.

Shaking his head, Touya neatly nipped a champagne glass from the nearest passing tray. Taking a needed drink, he knew this was going to be one long evening.


“Is that raspberry?” The new Queen eyed the sticky stain on her posterior with curiosity. She leaned on her husband’s arm to get a better look.

“Might be the crepes,” Enki absently replied as he kicked a table leg out of their way and tried to avoid looking at the cooks who had spent so much time creating the delicacies now decorating the floor.

Swiping at her ass, the Queen thoughtfully popped her finger in her mouth. “Nope, I think it’s cranberry. Want some?” She offered her sticky finger to her hulking mate.

“Ah, no, my darling, that’s all ri---”

“Ho, where’s my drink?” She looked around, discussion forgotten as she absently wiped her fingers on her pants.

“Right here, dearest---”

“Ah, finally! Gods, Enki, will you quit hovering? You’re driving me crazy---”

“He’s not the only one,” came the acidic whisper among titters hidden behind raised hands as the watching courtiers regarded their new King and Queen with withering disdain.

“Really, what have we come to?” An old lord complained, his fusty companion dolefully shaking his head.

“If Yomi could only see this…” Kurama caught the warning hiss as he approached the two youkai.

*Yomi would not care,* he thought, nodding politely as the nearest flushed, bowing stiffly. “Gomasuri.”

“Lord Kurama,” the other murmured, carefully avoiding his gaze and hastily backing away. Wherever the kitsune went, space cleared as others gave him a wide berth. It seemed Yusuke wasn’t the only one to gain a reputation thanks to the Great Tournament. News of the singular brutality of Shigure’s death had preceded the kitsune. An unexpected development, but one he should have anticipated.

But not something, actually, Kurama would go back and change, even with this unforeseen complication. Always chary of the half-human fox the old king had brought into his counsel less than a year ago, it seemed the upper echelons of Gandaran society now frankly feared him.

That proved a hindrance as Kurama made the rounds, nodding here and there, hoping to catch a stray word or two before the conversations abruptly died at his approach. Not that he needed to second-guess the patent disdain of most of Yomi’s court. Kurama had hoped to help soothe ruffled tempers by offering reassurance, but it seemed useless now if no one would even talk to him. He would have to leave the swaying of public opinion to Lord Tenga, who delighted in courtly intrigues.

Not everyone, however, appeared intimidated by his new reputation. Kurama’s skin prickled, and turning, he caught the steady gaze of a tall individual standing off by himself in one corner. Dressed plainly in a room of gaudy finery, the demon’s simple white vest was clasped with a gold medallion over a wrapped linen kilt that came to the knee. The slice of tanned chest visible was firmly muscled, and his only jewelry was a thick band of gold around his upper arm. His features were predatory, almost hawk-like, but Kurama could not read the demon’s nature, as he was carefully hiding his jyaki. Tall and lean, his head was shaved except for a long topknot of black hair that fell like a horse-tail down his back. Dark eyes, black as obsidian, regarded the kitsune coolly.

Curious, Kurama turned to the closest sycophant. “Lord Imgry, do you know who that is?”

“Who, my lord?” Imgry peered about in confusion, his owlish features made ridiculous by the gesture. Kurama half-raised his arm to point, but paused, abruptly realizing the demon had disappeared. Scanning the room carefully, he could not locate him anywhere. Dismissing Imgry with a banal excuse, the kitsune frowned.