Doubt~ Chapter 11: Ending of a Horror Story
Author: japancat
Content Rating: T-13
Published: 2012-07-08 01:55:43
Tags: Yu Yu Hakusho, Kurama, Hiei, Mukuro, Jersey Devil, Natsume, Kujou



Summary:
Closing the Jersey Devil case.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
Okay so... Learned helplessness is a theory on the development of Depression. Basically someone who repeatedly meets with rejection or failure will become depressed. Oedipus complex refers to a Freudian theory that children basically lust after the parent of the opposite sex, while competing with the parent of the same sex for the other's attention. On the other parts of the story: Mukuro's from eastern Ontario, Kurama's hair is black, Shura's not his real name, Kuwabara's not six feet, and no one wants to make a porn video game as far as I know. (Guess who gets mentioned in the next chapter... :D) Also... I took the idea of the Colt from Supernatural, thinking it was an actual thing. Looks like it wasn't. Whoops. Well, then, sorry, it wasn't my idea. Eek.
Chapter 11
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Chapter 11 Ending of a Horror Story

It was about six o clock PM. Downtown Abescon. Natsume happened to be walking through the arcade, occasionally looking around as if she were expecting some axe murder to come and attack her. She was technically off duty, but she really didn't want to be seen wandering around such a place. But damn it, she really wanted to kill some stress. She practically tripped over some twelve year old boy playing a zombie shooter game when she saw a familiar face. She did a double take to make sure her eyes didn't deceive her. Then again, how many Russians are even in this state?

Hiei was standing in front of a videogame, obviously lost in his own world. "Look at that fat pie. It can't eat all those balls and that fruit. Stupid fat ass pie... Oh shit, that ghost's going to eat it? How do I run again?" He started frantically mashing buttons. "You dumb ass pie, run!" Unfortunately, Pac Man did not seem to be as tuned in to the survival of the fittest and died. "...Times like this I really do believe Darwin." He started to look for more quarters.

"You!" She advanced on him and grabbed him by the arm. He stared at his arm until she let go. "And just what are you doing in a place like this and at this hour? Shouldn't you be working on your investigation right now? Where's your partner? Does he know you're over here?"

"Depends..." He turned his back to the game and pretended to be mildly interested in a couple of guys tripping over each other while playing DDR. He sighed and pushed a couple more quarters in the game. "What are YOU doing here at this hour? Shouldn't YOU be working instead of playing video games? Considering that you're severely undermanned, I'm pretty sure you have little space to be lecturing me on focusing on duty."

"True... Very true."

"That being said... This conversation never happened. We never saw each other tonight."

"No, it did not. But do make sure you finish your investigation. I wouldn't want Reeve to be frustrated with us for not keeping you two in line. Well, maybe not frustrated..." She shrugged and walked away.

He turned back to the game. She killed me. Damn ghosts. Why can't they make their own pies and eat that instead of eating one that's happy and cleaning their homes for...? Dammit, think. Get it straight. He smacked himself on the forehead lightly to avoid hurting his Jagan. He did an about face and walked out. How's she expecting me to finish this when I don't even know where the hell he is? He doesn't look like it, but he can move pretty fast. Hell, he could of already gone to the river and... I... Failed. He swallowed a lump in his throat but smacked himself on the forehead a couple more times. No. I didn't. I can't fail. That's not an option. I'll go and drag that asshole out of hell if that's what it takes to get this thing closed. So that settles it, I'm jumping in the river and... His phone rang.

"Hey, it's Kujou. I was trying to find that river and couldn't find it. It's like a crack in the wall or something."

"Get directions off the internet or something. I found it easy and I'm not even from this state," Hiei replied. He leaned against a wall, which happened to have a large sign screaming Do Not Loiter.

"Yeah well, I couldn't find it. Who cares? We don't have to worry about that. I found our lost boy even without going to all that trouble. He was passed out on the side of the road. He's lucky that I saw him first. I'm pretty sure the real cops would pick him up on suspicion of being drunk and I don't even want to think about what kind of trouble that'll stir up. Got him locked in the backseat right now, but he doesn't look like he's gonna be waking up any time soon. And when I saw his shoes, they were pretty muddy so I'm assuming he made it there. The guy's dry so I don't think he actually went in. Might've finally snapped out of it. I hope so. Or maybe he's just too damn lucky for his own good. Should have him buy my lotto tickets, before he goes. I dunno about you, but this is getting too weird for me. If you deal with this stuff like this on a daily basis, you people in California are crazy."

"What, you don't?"

"I thought so. Listen, meet me at the station in about half an hour. We'll figure out what to do about Minamino. I would actually prefer that we keep him at our place so we can all keep an eye on him if he starts up again. But that all depends on how he feels. Can't force it on him to, you know..."

"Yeah, you do that." His mind turned to the Colt. "If we go with your plan, I'll keep an eye on him since I'm his partner. I never sleep at night anyway. You guys don't have enough men to take care of it anyway."

"Fine by me. You should have some warm milk before bed if you can't sleep. Kind of have the same problem, believe it or not and it knocks me out. I saw this thing on the internet that says it relaxes you system or something..."

"That's really disgusting." He hung up. He looked from one side of the street to the other in thought. He shrugged and decided to make the first stop the hotel for the Colt.

-:-:-

Kurama was sitting on the bench when Hiei came in. He looked completely worn down- his eyes had dark circles under them as if he hadn't slept in days, the whites of his eyes were covered with veinlike red lines rapping around his irises like spiderwebs. His face, though already pale, was white as a sheet of paper. Though his lids seemed to droop, he managed sounded extremely alert. He picked a few leaves and twigs that got on his clothes and in his hair as they spoke to him, crunching each one with the curling of his shaky hands. Looking down at his shoes and the hem of his pants, Hiei saw that there was a thick layer of mud, which broke off as he got to the bench he was sitting. Out of habit, Hiei pushed the bits of mud to the side as though sweeping with his shoes. When Kurama noticed that his partner was walking toward him, he turned to him and smiled meekly.

"Looks like I was gone a while. I thought I was only under for a few minutes, but the next thing I knew I was being told I was found lying on the side of the highway," Kurama said. He turned back to Kujou. "About that... The last thing I remember was walking into the river and being pulled under. If I did anything else, I don't remember. It might come to me later." He mumbled to himself, "It usually does."

"Nothing? Not even something pointless like if you ate something?" Hiei asked.

"No. Like I said... Actually, now that you mention food... This kind of thing happens to me every once in a while. Unless you can tell me anything else, I won't be able to tell you if I even walked into a tree a few times. Just getting pulled under the river when we went to investigate."

"The only stuff I can tell you is that you were knocked out when you came to the surface. When I drove you over here, you started doing weird stuff like you were trying to get out of the car. Actually you did manage to get away when I got you here. Your dumb ass conveniently remembered how to break open a window and how to run once our backs were turned. We don't know what the hell you were doing. Just figured that damn thing was trying to take you away for some reason. I called up Mukuro and she couldn't give me a straight answer either."

"Why would it try to take me away though? Why not you as well?"

"Remember that thing I mentioned on the way there?"

"But that can't be right. There have to be people in this place that are a better choice than I am." He looked at Hiei up and down and shrugged. "I'm no judge in that sort of thing, honestly. But let's say that's the case, my next question is- why now and why just me and not a local?"

"That we don't know. But I'm guessing that you might have a nice presence. Part human but part demon. It's like trying to bring in one of your own. Or close enough." Hiei paused. "Unless..." He sighed and mumbled, "Unless you had a traumatic experience with your mother. It just wants to take advantage of that and promise to make it better through and through. Not to worry about that sort of thing. That stuff is their specialty if we're gonna have to believe Goethe."

"Hate to break it to you, but I love my mother a lot, and she's doing really good. She accidentally- er, maybe not... She has scars on her arms from a long time ago... I caused that when I tried to get something that was out of my reach. I broke a lot of glass, but she happened to fall in to protect me. And when I was fifteen, I almost lost her to cancer. But really there isn't anything that bad... But the way you're saying it, it might make sense for it to be you. Especially if that's what it's over. Or... Ah. No, forget I said that. Let's think of something else."

"No, it's alright, didn't know her well, but I know her voice and such. Just kind of... Oh, fuck it. I don't know. I'm going outside for some seconds." He walked out, slamming the door behind him.

"That was awkward. Actually, I like the track you're on with this one. Because it's that Mother Leed lady, right? It has to have something to do with mothers and sons so your looks have nothing to do with it. Nicely done," Kujou replied.

Nastume said, "The idea that the devil's attacking someone who had a traumatic experience with their mother, while it is a valid point, it still doesn't make much sense. Don't you think there have been more children who had traumatic experiences in this town as well? Unless you want to take on a case of learned helplessness or Oedipus Complex. But even then that doesn't add up. What I know from the legends, I think it involves someone who has a deep relationship with their mother, and that's something you've managed to achieve, Minamino, and from what I'm guessing, that's what Zamyatin lacks. I'm not sure whether your appearance has anything to do with this either." She noticed Hiei slipped in at that moment.

"Okay, other than that, how're you expecting to close this case?"

"If it can be closed at all." The other two jumped at the sound of Hiei's voice. "So what're we doing with you, Kurama? We have to make sure it doesn't get you for real this time."

"I don't think I can stay here all night. I'll just go back with you. If you don't want me disappearing, I guess you could lock me up somewhere."

"I just went through telling this guy that I'll keep and eye on you if you think you should stay here. Like I said, I don't really sleep."

"Yeah, you sure you don't want to stay here? We can keep someone over here if..." Kujou asked.

"No, it's alright. I doubt I'd have another problem."

"Okay. But if something else happens to come up, don't hesitate to tell us. Can't afford to act like we can't pull it together because we're still new here and we have enough problems keeping up with the other departments in the country. That and Reeve'll slaughter us if her men end up missing." He shrugged. "So I'm locking up. You got my number so call if you need something. Don't worry about the time, either, Zamyatin. I know this is some serious stuff we're dealing with here, and I already said I'm pretty much an insomniac. I got all the supplies you could need sitting at the house." They nodded and parted ways.

Kurama followed behind Hiei, and they walked into the car. After sitting for a few moments in silence, Kurama turned to Hiei, "Hey, are you feeling okay?"

"Yeah. Perfect. Just perfect. What's got you asking?"

"Well, you usually shove the key in like you're in a hurry. You haven't even taken out the key. ...And I know this is a bad time to ask but... Can... Can you even see the road?"

"What the...? What kind of question is that? You know, people don't think so because you just smile like you're a pretty person or something, but you're a dick."

"Now, are you saying that because I always am or because I asked?"

Hiei shoved the key and turned it so hard, he thought he bent the key for a few seconds. (Of course, he didn't check. If he bent the damn thing, the people at the rental would have to deal with it. How's that for having a nice goddamn day?) They started driving to nowhere in particular- anywhere was fine, just as long as it was away from the river. Hiei started tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, tapping a toe as he habitually did. He turned on the radio, leaving it at the last set station, which was playing nothing more than static.

Through the static, a voice said, "We will soon have you. You will soon be at peace." Kurama turned to Hiei, who didn't seem to have heard anything. He looked back out the window after switching the station to some top forties hit station. (It was the first one that came out loud and clear, though Kurama wasn't sure he was up to hearing an incomprehensible rap song.) He looked out the windshield before something skinny and tall stood in the middle of the road. Hiei slammed on the break but they still hit it. Hiei pulled off the road, turned off the engine but left the lights on. He looked under the car, but there was nothing.

As soon as Kurama stepped out, Hiei indicated for him to get back in the car, mouthing the word Cat. As soon as he got back in the seat, he started to feeling a sting in his back, in random scratches it felt like. Beginning light, then getting stronger, feeling more and more like someone was ripping the muscle and tendons apart with a small razor blade worked by slow hands. The tips of his fingers started throbbing, pounding, and his wrist felt like someone sliced it with a knife. He could even feel the blood running on his skin, though when he touched it there wasn't any there. The voice said, again, in the voice of Nickleback, You feel the pain of the empty. You understand what others lack... The pain in his back started to intensify more and the throbbing in the tips of his fingers started spreading under his nails. It felt like it was thousands of times the pain he got that time he lifted his nail a bit lifting a biology book that slipped out his hand. He looked down at his hand and saw the nails starting to lift and go down like a opening and closing beak, his wrist pulling apart horizontally. He put a hand on it to make sure it was an illusion.

"Hey... Where are we going anyway?" Hiei suddenly asked, breaking his mumbling in his native tongue.

"I don't know. You're the one driving," Kurama replied. They passed under a streetlight and Kurama caught a glimpse of Hiei's hand, still tapping on the steering wheel. "You have no nails."

"No, I don't." Flatly. "Why'd you mention it all of a sudden? Thought if anyone was any good in making conversation, it would be you."

"I just noticed and was curious."

"Just noticed? Are you kidding me? People shake my hand, and then they don't shut the hell up about it." In a perfect American accent, he mocked the common response, "'Oh, does it hurt? You poor man. Those Soviet bastards must have done it. I hate those assholes. They should nuke themselves and destroy socialism while they're at it. My pity will make it ALL better.'" He grumbled under his breath in his native tongue again. "You know, you go without nails for so many years and you stop noticing how painful it is. All I had to deal with was not being able to scratch someone's eyes out. Really, why do we need nails other than for that?"

"How'd you lose them?"

"They tore 'em out. Took a pliers and put 'em on the edge of my finger- got a bit of skin sometimes- and then they just pulled and tore them out from the root. Burned the wound to make sure that it wouldn't grow back. Could've sworn that I could see my bones sometimes. That's what you get for being a private... That and I refused to give information about that damn Sergeant Keren- No, that's not important at all. Why am I telling you this? The point is that they tore 'em out and it hurt like a bitch."

"Just wondered. God..." Hiei looked at him like he was crazy and then went back to focusing on the road, looking even more melancholic than before. Kurama glanced at his fingertips and only saw the shining of a dark liquid. He put on in his mouth and tasted the saltiness of blood. I didn't cut my hand on anything. I would have noticed before... "What else did they do? Do you have anymore wounds?"

"Tell me how many of those weird dark spots whatever they call 'em you have and how many birthmarks that are the shape of countries first. Why do you want to know? You're asking too many weird questions. What's bringing this all on? I thought we had this talk in the beginning that we're not gonna learn each other's life stories. No point in it. Unless..." He turned to him, looking a bit worried. "You're not coming on to me, are you?"

"God no. I just wanted to know more about what it was like. I secretly always had a fascination with the military, and if we're not gonna talk, might as well feed that curiosity."

"Yeah, World War IV and V were all fun and games. If you think so, well, screw you. Go read a damn book, call Mukuro up if you want, I don't care. She fought in both world wars and the Korean war, so she has plenty of things to tell her. Just don't cry when you find out your people made her do some crazy shit when she was a POW." Kurama fell silent. "And tell me what you wanna eat."

"Wait, wait, wait, you're at four and five already? We haven't gotten to three here, as far as we know. Not that I ever kept track either way." He took a tissue from his pocket and wrapped his fingers in it. That should keep the bleeding down. So, it looks like it's trying to torture me somehow. But why does it have to be...?

"Hurry up and decide. I'm getting hungry."

"...I'm not hungry. Not anymore."

"Too bad. You're eating something since you didn't eat all day apparently, and you said something about wanting food a few minutes ago." No answer. "Don't tell me that hitting that- that thing was enough to kill your appetite. I didn't eat either I was..." He suddenly remembered the videogame. "I was busy all day so I didn't eat. And that won't do anything to me."

"I don't care. Doesn't matter to me. I'm just worn out from whatever happened right now. It just hit me" He heard some words in the back of his mind- not so much heard, but more of sensing it. There was fear in it, pleading for something... But what? It was fading out at this point. It doesn't look like Panic! At the Disco was going to be possessed, either. He refused to think more about it. He managed to hide the blood on his hands, wrists, and back (so he suspected) because Hiei was to preoccupied with other things to even notice. They came back and he wrapped his fingers in some toilet paper and wrapped his hands and wrists in a shirt. He rolled over and went to sleep his back aching.

A few hours later, Hiei looked at the clock. It was midnight. He turned to Kurama. I wonder what his problem is. Kept asking about my hands... He rubbed his thumb where a nail used to be, shuddering at the raw, sensitive feeling that remained there, and walked to Kurama. He took one of his hands and unwrapped it carefully. There was blood gushing out of his fingers and his wrist. But there were no wounds.

He wrapped it up and went back to his corner. What the hell is going on? I'm... This is what happens when I'm sober and not getting sleep.

He shook his head and walked to the dresser. He pulled out a pen and started writing his report. His mind slowly began to turn away from the writing. The pen was kind of heavy. Black inked. Or maybe a dark blue. Yeah, could be a dark blue. A really dark shade of violet actually. Can't tell the difference between purple and red and yellow and orange and blue and green and twelve o clock becomes one a clock in a minute and five in four not five in five. The last thing that was on the paper was whatever happened to drip from the pen what kind of name was Jersey anyway it's like where the salmon play in the oat fields and the cat playing the fiddle and the sea and the spork and the peanuts and sometimes it makes no goddamn sense and

"Kid. How old are you? You're thirteen, I bet. Where's your mother?"

"Where's your mother right now, Lvov?"

"I don't know. She's out there somewhere I guess." The tips of his hands were throbbing. There was blood splurting from his cuticles. The sergeant was putting his lighter to his fingers. He grit his teeth to keep himself from being weak and screaming. Didn't want to lose now. If he screams, then they'll start taking the whole finger. He'll be beaten. He'd even heard of them taking poles and ramming it inside. He saw the pictures of those whose intestines leaked out their anuses because of such treatment. He lived long enough. He lived through THEM. He can survive this. He can fucking survive this.

"Well that's just fine, boy. Now she won't have to find out she wasted her time on a failure like you. Spent nine months with a piece of shit like you inside her. But you got that from your piece of shit father. Lazy ass like him. You have any sisters?"

"That I do not know... SIR. But if they were here, they would be as disappointed as you, but not as much as my mother. I never knew my father but if I did I think..."

"So you understand? Failure is not an option. Next time you fail a mission don't even bother coming back and don't even think about letting anyone see you again. You drink some cyanide. Take your rifle and get yourself in the face. Take a knife and slit your throat. You get my drift, if that German blood didn't make you completely brain dead. You get me, PRIVATE? You better. Or do I have to pound it into your head? Eh, PRIVATE, speak up you mutt!"

"Hina... Oh no, you're in pain. That's a bad sign. It must be a boy! No one feels pain until they give birth. Oh, please. We have to do something about it!"
"No. I think you're wrong. Maybe he'll be a nice boy if he is one at all. He won't be trouble. Maybe he's just excited and wants to come out and see the world as soon as possible."
"Sure, but that's not how it really is."

"The only way you can get away from anything is to keep them quiet..." Splitting of the mind. Being trapped staring at the bright light. Blood running across his face. Mother. Sister. "Please don't! We can leave! Please don't do this! That's my baby!"
"You know our laws, Hina. And you broke one of them and the most important one at that. You have to pay. Baby girls are our sisterhood. But boys... Abominations! And you know what we do to boys? Remember what nasty, horrible little boys are made of...?" "No! No! No! Please don't! Don't do it! No!"

The dogs the dogs the dogs the dogs the"You done good, Private. Guess losing all those nails and getting all those beatings finally got into that thick head of yours. But then again a sorry ass mutt like you would never understand, right, PRIVATE?" Stupid son of a bitch. they're here the dogs the dogs at your

Listening to a lullaby. Sister there. Splitting pain in his head. That mourning's first drill and the deep wound... hitting the bottom of the river. Free falling. "What's with the kid? He's so..." d"Some guy's kid. Can't remember his name but the thing looks just like him, don't he? Aren't you glad we didn't kill him? He's our little cash cow here. Give him over to the Germans but for something a little extra. And they'd want his eyes..." "Nice eyes I guess. Don't have judgement. And I think his name was something like Heinrich Reinhard. Some translator." o"Real important my ass." "Apparently he's that other guy's assistant. That one guy. With the same name... Can't remember." "All their names sound the same to me." "Where'd you find this kid? They'd probably ask us a bunch of questions to make sure we didn't steal him from anyone." "Why would you steal a kid? That's so...!" "Found him in that river." g"I saw the thing hit the water. Sittin' there for a few minutes and damn near shit my pants right then and there. Looked at it. Was THAT." "Fall? From what? Nothing's over here that can be dropped." "Wasn't there a plane or something in the sky? There was something like that..."sssssssssssssssss

"Yes sir, you're right, sir." She was screaming. She sounded like her voice was cracking. It was like nails on a chalk board. And there were several women pinning her down. Watching her baby die somewhere in Poland. Just bombed the place. Walked over to a corner where his platoon wasn't at and puked. Probably should kill her and take her out of her misery. His sister was in Rui's arms for a moment before she was given to a reluctant woman. She cried and the sound of her mother's hysterical cries. I'll kill them all... I'll kill them all if she's not there. I'm burn their whole goddamn city and rip open that cunt for what she did...

AND THEN WHAT? What else then? If she's not there... "Hey. You've been sitting in that spot since the last time I was here. That was yesterday..."

...

"You know if you have no where to go I can take you to California with me. You can go on your own when we get there." ...She had the same look on her face, didn't she?

Shit! Hiei sat up, his eyes wide open. By habit, he jumped to his feet and went straight to attention. When he loosened his stance, he saw his paper was drenched with spit and the ink from the pen was smeared (though he could clearly see at what point he fell asleep by where a long line scored the paper). He did an about face and looked at the bed. The sheets were practically torn right off and Kurama was gone. He cursed under his breath and took the Colt from under the bed. His clutched it in his hands. They started shaking. He opened his mouth and pointed the barrel in... How long was he gone? What am I doing? His threw it on the ground, picked it back up again, shoved it back in the briefcase and shoved the whole thing under the desk. Sergeant Kerensky isn't here anymore. And thankfully he isn't. That asshole blowing himself up was the best thing he ever did in his useless life. And if he didn't, I made sure that he wouldn't be able to show his face anymore. This isn't the mission I can't fail. This isn't over. I know where this thing is taking him now. For sure.

He fished the briefcase out from under the desk and ran out. He bumped into the maid and was still there long enough to hear her scream and faint at the sight of blood. No time. He ran to the river and waited for a while. He walked around for a while, looking for any signs that someone had been there recently and, unsurprisingly, found none. He could run faster than a car, and Kurama was nothing, considering his human body. He sniffed the air and got a huge whiff of sulfur. So she wasn't kidding. Then that must mean I can't take care of it myself. Might as well get the Colt ready.

He felt some warm breath on the back of his neck as he took the Colt out. He turned around as he loaded it, only to be kicked in the face. He clutched his nose as it started leaking blood and he looked at the face of the devil. The horse faced thing, just as it was said to be in the file. It jumped on his chest and again on his solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him. He curled over for a few moments. The world started spinning. Shit... This is the last time and place for me to start having an attack like this... He started searching for the bullet again in between heaving. His hand closed over something and he heard a low sizzling sound. The hoof slammed on his hand.

He looked up at it again, and the devil looked down at him. The horse-like features were fading slowly. It was starting to look more like a man. A man with deformed features, an eye larger than the other, one sticking out bug-like and the other sinking in the socket. The cooked mouth and mismatched ears. He was nude, his foot now on Hiei's hand. There was a rustle in the bushes. Kurama. Bastard moves fast when he wants to. Kurama's glassy eyes turned to him. The nude man looked at him and smiled. Hiei pulled his hand towards the gun and quickly shoved the bullet in, trying his hardest to repress the pain. He knew his hand was bleeding.

The nude man looked down at Hiei. "Hey mister." He had a child's voice. "Mister... You wanna play with me and mama, too? I brought a little brother home. Mama's gonna like him. You wanna be my friend? Be my first friend either?"

What in the hell? His hand didn't leave the trigger. "Depends. What kinds of games you wanna play?"

"I dunno. No one ever played with me in the hundreds of years I've been helping mama find a boy to be her son, but she didn't like the others. Hey, mister. You wanna be my brother, too? We can play. Forever and ever and ever."

"What...?"

"We can be friends and brothers. I can see it. I see everything. Your mama tossed you, too. And all you want..."

"Shut the fuck up!"

"Mister, don't say things like that. I'm a little boy. Come on. Play with me."

"Hm... I'll take your offer, kid. But I can't wait to see your mother. Let's say we play a game now. You ever play... Cowboy and Indians?" He raised the gun. The man stared at it, confused and intrigued. "Or Cops and Robbers, they call it now?"

"Oh boy... I've never heard of that. How do you play?"

"Easy. I'll be the cop. And you be the robber. And here's the part when we..." He pulled the trigger and shot the man. He looked down at the wound.

"Mister... What'd you do that for... Oh it hurts... Mister, why'd you do it, it hurts, it hurts, OH MY GOD IT HURTS!" He shrieked, clutching the wound. The area was filled with blinding light. Hiei shut his eyes, tried to pug his ears, but even that wasn't enough. The man had his hands on Hiei's neck, cutting off the airway. He felt himself drop on his face to the ground. Oh god...

-:-:-

He woke up in the same position the next day. Kurama was laying face down at the edge of the river, his lower body in the water. The phone rang one more time. He took it out of his pocket on the final ring. God, his head was pounding. "30 missed calls," it said. Damn it, he wasn't feeling up to it. It rang again and he answered wearily, "What?"

"I called you twenty times already. Why didn't you pick up? I just got the weirdest feeling probably twelve, fifteen hours ago and I got some reports of some strange sounds, strange lights or something out by the river. Haven't had time to investigate, but I was sure you were on the scene. I wanted to make sure you didn't do anything crazy. I wouldn't be able to face Reeve if her ex-partner got himself killed along with his new one. And on top of that I might lose my job if they care about you guys."

"You know they don't, Aono. This case is pretty much done. Minamino got himself lured..." He glanced at him. He was still knocked out. Hiei pulled himself up, grabbed Kurama by the arm and pulled him away from the water. "But I made sure that he won't get lured away again. Case is closed."

"Wow. Been about three days since you started work and you're done. I'm really impressed... Especially since you tended to slack off, I've heard from several sources. Wish our guys were as good as yours. But they got Reeve around and I heard she got to be lieutenant or something three times in a row and she was supposed to be a different person every time. So I'm sure she can whip anyone into shape if they need it." There was a long pause. "So you closed it, eh? What was the verdict then? Hoax? Animal? Demon?"

"Human."

"Hoax, then? Hate it when people..."

"No. He was a human. Emphasis on the 'was.' He was a devil, but... It was a human rejected from his mother. And all he wanted... All he wanted was her love, took it to the extent of going to hell and trying to keep people there. From what it told me, this really wasn't the first time it happened. But that's it. He's been banished from this world. For better."

"What a world we live in, Zamyatin. Can't really love your own mother until you see someone else who's got it worse. The things we do for love, it's insane. Can even drive us insane. In the end, we just have to look elsewhere until we get what we can get for what we need." There was a long silence. "Guess it's time you go on your way. I won't have to see you off. I'll put in a good word for the both of you. You'll never know when you need it. Best wishes. Minamino's good, right?"

"Perfect."

"Take care of your rookie, man. Later."

He glanced at Kurama who was starting to stir. "I'll report back to you in about an hour. You still want that lotto ticket?" He hung up once Kujou was done cracking up, and turned to Kurama. "Hey. You up?"

"I guess... I feel like I've got a hang over though... Ugh. It did it again..." He sat up and rubbed a temple. "What time is it?"

"Don't feel too bad. I got it taken care of. No thanks to you. Told you you're a liability. Don't you remember what I said the first mission we did? I won't cover for you if you're doing something stupid. You're lucky I was feeling generous." He found the Colt and put it back in the briefcase. "We're done here. I gotta report back to those guys and then we're getting the hell out of here."

"Were you right all along?" Hiei stared at him. Then he nodded. Kurama stood up and put a hand on his shoulder. "You don't happen to have Tylenol, do you?"

"I live with Mukuro. She doesn't believe in it, remember? And get your hand off me. I told you I'm not gay."

-:-:-

He flipped open the notebook and turned several pages, which curled over from all the writing on them. He wrote, "835 PM oct 5 08 I'm awake" He shook his head and crossed it out. I didn't write that. Someone else had to. He then glanced at the clock. "945 am oct 6 08 AWAKE details follow:"

He didn't know what else to put. Kurama sighed and put the notebook back in its drawer. He got his clothes together to get in the shower. For the slightest moment, he could have sworn he saw the silver haired man in the mirror. One day, the silver haired man would confront him.

/And there was none.

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Chapter 11
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