Yu Yu Hakusho Fan Fiction / Witch Hunter Robin Fan Fiction / InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Disease ❯ Chapter 2

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

I know I need to update more often, but with my grades, I need to study Physics and Calculus more than usual. A couple things still elude me, but I'm working on it. Christmas is just around the corner, which means more rest time and more study time!
Serena SilverMoon: My inspiration! My light in a sea of darkness! I haven't decided who Koenma's going to marry yet. I'll think of someone eventually…possibly…I don't know. Enjoy the chapter; I don't know when I'll be able to update again, though the weekend, with nothing to do, looks promising.
Koenma glowered at them. “What do you think you're doing?” he shouted. “You know other people can't know about Reikai! How could you be so irresponsible?”
“Relax,” Yusuke said. “It's not like they're demons who'll turn and kill us.”
“How do you know?” Koenma shrieked. “They could be taken over with demons that have psychic power. They could be your downfall.”
“You're just being paranoid,” Kuwabara said dismissively. “They won't turn into weapons that'll kill us all of a sudden.”
“There's actually a good chance that they could, if demons figure out that you're friends with them,” Koenma said seriously. “They could end up getting hurt, and I don't think any of you would want that to happen. Except for you, of course, Hiei,” he addressed the short fire demon. “You don't really care if someone gets hurt as long as it's not Yukina.”
“This may come as a surprise to you, but I do care about other people than Yukina,” Hiei growled.
Koenma looked shocked. “You? Care about someone other than"?” He looked speculative. “I was wondering why you were there. Normally you don't have anything to do with ningens.”
“In case you forgot, you assigned me to watch them,” Hiei reminded him. “It is possible for people to grow on me. I might not care as much as if they were my friends, but I would notice if something happened to them.”
“Oh, that reminds me.” He snapped his fingers. “Did you ever find out where that energy was coming from?”
“I'm getting there,” was his evasive reply. “So far, I've found that the residents are mikos, or at least one is. They know we're demons, but as long as we stay on our best behavior, then she won't do anything.”
“Just an ordinary miko is making all that?” Koenma asked incredulously. “You'd think there is an army of priestesses, with all those power outbursts. That must be one heck of a miko.”
“Mikos and priests have been living there for a long time,” Hiei said smoothly. “What we're feeling is her power, yes, but also the power of all the people who lived there. The whole area soaks up their power, and it leaves an imprint. It's almost like the area fossilized a part of their power, and it aids the current residents.”
Koenma whistled. “I didn't know that could happen.” He started pacing, and everyone knew he was focused on his earlier problem. “I don't know how I can get any work done if I have this marriage fiasco hanging around my head?” he groaned. “It's hard enough trying to get through all that paperwork without making too many mistakes, and now he adds another weight to it!” He looked hopefully at them. “Any suggestions?”
“I think you should stay in Reikai for now,” Kurama suggested. “Like Robin said, anything you do will affect us somehow. Don't forget, King Yama did destroy lots of areas on Ningenkai a long time ago. Think of what he'll do if he's furious, and he's looking for you.”
Koenma gulped. “I guess you're right,” he reluctantly admitted. “That was really bad. I can't remember what upset him, but it probably isn't even close to what mood he'd be in if he found out that I was hiding somewhere in Ningenkai.”
“Exactly,” Yusuke said triumphantly. “So why don't you go back to Reikai, do whatever you do, and worry only after you know for certain you're marrying some old hag like Genkai.”
Kurama and Koenma looked at him reprovingly. “That isn't nice,” they said at the same time. “She's a very powerful woman,” Kurama continued.
“And she can still beat you, even though she already transferred the bulk of her power to you,” Koenma added. “I wouldn't say that marrying someone like that is a bad thing.”
Yusuke held up his hands. “That wasn't what I was talking about,” he said hastily. “I meant someone as sarcastic and insulting and old as she is.”
They all shuddered at that. Not at the age, but the small lady could be very sarcastic and insulting. They had all felt her sharp tongue at least once, Yusuke more than anyone else since he was her apprentice. They all loved her, true, but she could be hard to get along with when she was in one of her moods. Yukina was the only one she didn't snap at, but that was just how Yukina was; everyone loved the little ice-blue-haired Koorime.
Koenma resignedly set his shoulders. “I guess I'd better get back, then,” he sighed. “It's been nice knowing you guys.”
“It's not like the marriage will be soon,” Kurama soothed him. “You still have some time.”
“Maybe.” The ruler of Reikai dragged his feet away from them and back to Spirit World.
Yusuke sighed. “Now that that's taken care of, what do you guys want to do?”
They shrugged. “I'm going to Genkai's Temple,” Hiei stated. “It's been far too long since I've been there.”
“Good idea,” Kuwabara agreed readily. “I need to see my lovely Yukina again.”
Hiei growled at this, but, as usual, the big ningen didn't hear him. Kurama, however, did. “Why don't you tell him?” he asked as Kuwabara walked ahead of them with Yusuke.
“Hn. That buffoon? I'd rather kill him than tell him,” Hiei retorted.
“He probably wouldn't do that quite so much if he knew,” Kurama persisted.
“No. The fewer people that know, the better,” Hiei said simply. “That means there's less of a chance that someone will…” he trailed off.
“There's less chance of someone going after her, but that wasn't what you were going to say,” Kurama finished for him. “I still don't understand why you don't tell her. You didn't tell us, but doesn't she have a right to know?”
“I have my reasons,” he stated. I promised Sigure I wouldn't tell her, and I intend to keep that promise.
Kurama sighed. “You know that you're causing her much distress, Hiei. Here she is, wondering where her older brother could be, and you're here standing right in front of her, yet saying nothing. She even left the land of the Ice Maidens to find you.”
“I'm aware of this, fox,” Hiei replied, outwardly calm, but pained on the inside. Oh, yes, he knew how it hurt her, but it also killed him. He wished he could, but Sigure… No, he had to keep her in the dark, as well as the baka, who would most assuredly blab what he knew.
“She'll eventually find out.” Kurama shut up. Finally. Hiei tired of constantly badgered about why he withheld the information from Yukina, but he could never tell her. Not until he was either dying or Sigure released him from his promise, which would probably be never. He could just imagine what his reaction would be if he asked. He shuddered at the thought; yes, he, a hardened criminal, was shaking at the mere thought of asking for permission. Maybe he wouldn't say it exactly like his imagination made him sound, but it would be fairly close.
Hiei was so lost in his thoughts that he ran right into Yusuke's back. Annoyed, he looked up to see why the ningen stopped so suddenly, and realized that they were standing right outside Genkai's Temple.
Yusuke glared over his shoulder at Hiei's spikes, since Hiei was too short for him to see his face. “Watch where you're going, Hiei.”
Hiei mumbled something unintelligible and moved around the taller boy to see what was so interesting. Genkai was walking sedately down the stairs, and Yukina was already chatting with Kuwabara, who was being a baka, as usual, and trying to show off. When she saw Hiei, though, she apologized to Kuwabara, who looked crestfallen, and ran to Hiei.
“Have you found my brother?” she asked him, her beautiful eyes full of hope. Hope that he would shortly dash.
“No,” he said, once again, and her eyes dulled as she looked down. It appeared that she was close to tears. Again. Hiei hated himself for doing this to her, but a promise was a promise, and there's no changing that. “I will keep looking,” he added, as always.
She smiled, albeit sadly, at him. She always believed him. “Thank you, Hiei,” she said, hugging him. He returned her hug, causing Kuwabara to go entirely red with rage and jealousy. Her hope was still there, but it would be dashed next time she asked, and he would falsely raise them again, just to dash them again. He was stuck in a circle where he would always hurt the one person he cared about most. Well, except for those people at the Higurashi Shrine and those beneath the well.
“I've been expecting you for some time, Dimwit,” Genkai was addressing Yusuke.
“Well, I've been busy,” he said to aged psychic. “So, how've things been?”
“Not quite as exciting as some people think, but exciting enough. Have you heard of an organization called the `STN-J'?”
He frowned. “Yeah, actually, I've met a couple of them. Why?”
“They make me nervous. Just the other day, they came and took someone I knew, a fellow psychic. All she was doing was defending herself against a demon, and they took her just for using her powers.” The old hag's fists were clenched together and she looked furious. “Sometimes they take innocent humans, because a demon was in their area and used its power, and that unfortunate human was the only one who could've done it, in their eyes.” At Yusuke's confused look, she chuckled darkly. “Ordinary humans can't see demons. Only those who spend an extended amount of time with them can.”
That seemed to clear things up for the Spirit Detective. “So what do you want me to do about it?” he asked casually.
“Find out what's happening to them!” Genkai barked. “If you can, get them out of there. They even give me the creeps. What they're doing isn't helping the humans they've captured.”
“What makes you think I can do anything?” he asked.
“You said you know some people who work there. Find out what's going on.”
Yusuke backed up. “Whoa, slow down. They used to work there. They don't anymore. Besides, even if they did, it's too late for those humans now.”
“What do you mean?” she asked sharply.
“From what Robin saw, the witches they catch are as good as dead. She doesn't know what is done with them, but they're sent to a place called the `Factory', and that's all I need to know.”
“Then I guess I'll have to find out what's over there myself,” Genkai stated, turning her back on Yusuke and climbing back up the stairs.
“Not by yourself, you aren't,” Yusuke protested, tripping over his own feet to get in front of her.
“So you're volunteering yourself?” she asked quickly.
“You bet I am!” he declared, then thought about it for a second. “Hey!”
The old psychic only laughed. “You knew that your big mouth would get you into trouble someday,” she reprimanded him. “Now you're going to help me find out what's going on in there.”
“Don't you think you should maybe take someone along that actually knows the area?” Hiei jumped in, not like his usual introverted self.
They turned to look at him in surprise. “Well, the silent shorty finally asserts himself,” Genkai said sardonically. “Who did you have in mind?”
“Either Michael or Robin,” he replied. “Robin would probably be best, since she knows where they are kept. Michael was always forced to stay in the compound, but Robin knows what's in the Factory. Just make sure you don't get caught.” He glared fiercely at them. Yusuke seemed to get the hint. Don't let them catch Robin, or you'll find yourself being roasted over a bonfire the size of Ningenkai for the next million years. Of course, knowing Yusuke, he probably thought he had feelings for the girl. He did have feelings for her, just not the ones Yusuke was thinking of.
“Anything you say, Hiei,” Yusuke said cheerfully.
“Hn.” Now Hiei was done listening to that conversation, and turned his ears elsewhere. Kuwabaka was still trying to show off for Yukina, and Kurama was watching them with a wistful smile. He needs to be distracted, or he'll go off into another depression thinking about the what-ifs of himself and Jordan. He wandered over and stood next to the redhead. “Yusuke and the hag are going to try and break into the Factory compound. Sound interesting?”
“Mildly,” he replied in a distant tone. “How would they propose to do that?”
“Using Robin as a guide,” he said. “I think I'd like to be there when they do. It won't be boring, at least.”
“True,” Kurama agreed. “I might just join you three.”
“Then I'll just go tell them.” Once again crossing over to Yusuke arguing with his former mentor about something, Hiei informed them that the two demons would be joining them. Yusuke gaped at him, while Genkai said, “How am I not surprised? Just be ready to go. We won't wait for stragglers.”
I feel like an errand boy, he grumbled to himself as he told Kurama not to be late. Looking at the shadows around them, he realized that it was getting late, and if they were going tonight, it might be a good idea to let their guide know that she was guiding them. I really am an errand boy. He bounded through the trees, and landed outside the Higurashi Shrine just as the sunset turned a brilliant shade of red.
“Robin?” he called, entering the house.
“I'm in the kitchen,” she answered.
“You're always in the kitchen,” he retorted.
“I know. So why did you call me?”
“Just in case you were in a different room.” Now came the bad news. “Genkai, Yusuke's former teacher, Yusuke himself, Kurama, and I are going to the Factory, and we need a guide.”
She froze. Fear was radiating off her in waves. He didn't want to do this, but she was the only one who had ever been in the Factory before, so they had no choice.
“I wouldn't ask you if I thought that we could do this without you,” he said, “but we don't know what's in there.”
She gulped and visibly steeled herself. “A-a-all right,” she stammered, trying to pull herself together. With shaking hands, she steadied herself and used the wall to support her as she made her way to the stairway. “Just let me change,” she squeaked.
Waiting downstairs, he tapped his foot until she reappeared in her usual black Victorian dress and a firmer grip on her emotions. She was still terrified, but she wasn't being overcome by it. He could still see her shaking, but it had gone down some.
“Ready?” he asked. Judging from the look on her face, she wasn't, but she nodded anyway. She held onto him while he used his speed to get them to the Factory, taking the directions from her mind. They arrived to find Kurama, Yusuke, and Genkai already waiting for them as well as Kuwabara, which was an unpleasant surprise, in Hiei's opinion. “What's he doing here?” he demanded.
“He volunteered to come along,” Genkai answered. “Now you can either whine and stay here or shut up and be good.” Turning to Robin she said, “So, you're the girl who knows this place. We don't have all day; let's get going!”
Startled, Robin stared at the old woman before cautiously walking up the steps leading to the Factory. The rest of them followed her into the dark building.
“At this rate, I'll be well over a thousand years old by the time we get anywhere,” Genkai complained. “I'm a strong believer in caution, but this is ridiculous.”
“We have to be careful that no one sees us,” Hiei informed her. “Robin is a hunted witch, and they'll shoot her if they catch her. They'll shoot us, too, as a matter of fact,” he added as an afterthought.
“But still, we can go faster,” Genkai argued. “We can sense if someone's close, so if we speed things up we'll get done faster.
“Robin? Can we go faster?” Kurama asked, wanting to head off the argument before it got too heated. “We can still move discreetly, but I agree with Genkai in this; the pace is quite slow.”
She sighed, but quickened her pace. Hiei shot death glares at the redheaded fox, but was ignored. They hurried past many corridors and doors, or as fast as they dared. Everyone kept their senses stretched for other people wandering the halls, but came across no one. It could have been that everyone was in the downstairs region, but that wasn't likely. Climbing staircase after staircase wasn't as big a problem for any of them as it would have been a year ago, since Genkai climbed stairs ever to day to get to her home, and everyone else had to face the steps of the Higurashi Shrine. Still, it didn't stop them from complaining.
“Did they have to put so many stairs in?” Yusuke panted as they ascended yet another set of stairs.
“Seriously, haven't these people heard of escalators or elevators?” Kuwabara agreed with his friend. “No wonder you and Michael don't work here anymore,” he said to Robin.
“We didn't work here,” she corrected him. “We worked in a different stop, and it had elevators. If it didn't, I don't know if anyone would still work there.” She stopped in the middle of stepping onto the next step, causing Yusuke to run into her.
“Hey, why'd you stop?” he asked as he helped her back up under the baleful eye of Hiei. “Sense something?”
She nodded. “We've been going the wrong way,” she said softly.
“What?!” they all asked incredulously.
She smiled sheepishly and put one hand behind her head. “The holding place for the witches is downstairs,” she said.
Everyone facevaulted. “Do you mean to say that we've been heading in the wrong direction the entire time?” Yusuke asked in a dangerous voice.
“They're doing something that has the witches' aura upstairs, and I just realized that it was just the energy, and not the witch,” she explained, heading back down the stairs. “I think they're making the Orbo.”
“This is going to take forever, and we won't learn anything from this trip if we don't pick up the pace,” Genkai stated. “Hiei, do you think you can run ahead and check if anyone's within hearing distance on the way down so we can move faster?”
He nodded. “I'll be right back.” In a black blur, he sped down the stairs and returned. “There's no one around. It's safe enough to run.” He picked up Robin, leaving the others in the dust. When they finally caught up with him and Robin, they were all panting and afire with curiosity why he carried her down.
“Hey, Shrimp, why'd you carry Robin down?” Kuwabara blurted out, voicing the question on everyone's mind.
The short demon looked away. “She's the slowest, so taking her saved time. Now we can keep going down.” He turned on them and started strolling down the stairway leading down deep under the ground.
Behind him, he heard Robin being bombarded with questions. Why can't they believe that I would do something like that? He wondered irritably.
Because normally you don't do things like that, his annoying conscience said. They don't know what she is to you.
Apparently, he wryly agreed as he heard Kuwabara ask her if there was anything going on between them.