Wish You Were Here~ Part 2
Author: japancat
Content Rating: T-13
Published: 2012-08-30 23:01:43
Tags: Yu yu Hakusho, Yukina



Summary:
Yukina's journey from her homeland of Hyouga and the slime and cockroach plagued paths that she crosses in its duration.

Author´s Notes and Disclaimers:
The names make more sense if thought of in the context of being in Japan. And what I mean is that it might sound cool to these people when in reality it just sounds ridiculous…. I feel like that sounds like I'm being racist… If it helps you any, I really wanna call a dog Chetiri. (which is four in Russian. Sounds cool in English though…) PS, kind of a mythology gag hidden in here. It relates to Hiei in here. And no, I'm not talking about someone appearing, who isn't Hiei at all, I'm discussing food here. Inquire in a comment or something if you don't get it. And I can't stress enough that the man in here is not Hiei. He makes no appearance in this story at all.
Chapter 2
First Chapter | Previous Chapter


"This city desert makes you feel so cold.
It's got so many people but it's got no soul
And it's taking you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it had everything
You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're tryin'
You're tryin' now

Another year and then you'll be happy
Just one more year and then you'll be happy
But you're cryin'
You're cryin' now"

-Gerry Rafferty ("Baker Street")

-X-

Yukina sat on the bed, legs folded up against her chest, arms wrapped tightly around her knees- an uncomfortable position to be sitting in considering the kimono in which she was dressed- and her head was leaning against the wall, the old plaster chipping into her hair. It was completely silent except for the occasional sound of a toilet flushing or a door opening and closing somewhere in the building. No contact except for the officer who brought in her meals. It reminded her of one of the times she had accidentally fallen asleep in one of her classes back in Hyouga. The teacher became enraged with Yukina, calling it an "open statement of disrespect" and disregarded any excuse (mainly and especially the one how Yukina had spent the night studying for a test in another class) that was given. Of course, her main cause for concern was the supposed mentioning of a "male sister" (brother, so that Kirin called it) in her sleep. And so Yukina was sent to stay in isolation in her home- only given the sacred texts to read and her only contact with Rui at home when she was given her one meal, rather than three, a day. (Though, Rui was a little more lax when the teacher left their home, and allowed Yukina some snacks to hide when needed.) At the time, it seemed like such a harsh punishment, not being able to see her friends for a week or to think about anything but the sacred texts, on top of catching up with what was discussed in her classes.

But now… Now I was spoiled in comparison to how I'm living now. At least I knew I had a time period of when I can leave. Now I don't know that or where I am or where I should be going. She smiled at the irony. Funny, I wanted to run away from home and now I kind of miss it. Though, if I could just see Rui one more time… I would be happy. And she thought back to Kirin's words- "People like you always make me regret that you're going to be put to death."

Death.

She was going to die. Granted, she was sure she would die in the near future one way or another. If she met her brother, there might be a good chance he would kill her since it was supposedly his nature (not that she ever bought that, thinking children were born blank slates) or he would have a grudge- even if they were bonded by blood. When she comes back- if she comes back without her brother in the off chance she finds the search futile or if her brother refuses to come back to destroy the village and all the women with it- she would be punished by the women, usually the punishment was being pushed off the island, so Rui once whispered. (One push from each woman, lined up side by side starting from the Holy Mountain of the High Goddess, Oyuki, and down to the edge of the High Goddess's daughter, the Goddess Shirahime, where their ties could no longer be burdened by her weight. YOUR weight, Yu- STOP!) There was the even worse possibility that became more and more of a reality, that she would be killed by the so-called Devil-man that lurks in the World Below. Maybe she could find a way to talk the punishers out of the deed. She didn't do anything wrong, and maybe she could stop someone from making the first one, as it was always thought in Koorime morality. Why not? I've talked people out of having a horrible fight when they've held grudges against each other…

Except… Except this isn't some schoolyard feud. This is like a grudge between two village elders. Bigger than that, even. What could a girl like me do? I don't know their ways…. Still, what is the difference between Sad Eyes King Mukuro and the lands of his enemies?

You know what they say, "The Devil-man creates separations between the people so he could feed on their blood and chaos."

ENOUGH! She stood up. She'll break out of this prison. She just needs to find a way out. Her best friend Fubuki said the best place to go was somewhere obvious because when someone looks for you they think you're sneaky and look for a hidey-hole. "The obvious," she says, "is the real secrecy." Looking around she only found the window and the door. She walked towards the window, and stood on the tips of her toes. No good. She was too small and couldn't reach. She tried jumping in a sorry attempt to reach but it was still too high. She supposed she could move the bed over. Looking at it at the moment, she didn't think she had the strength to push that what with the metal frame- assuming it could at all- and even still she had to consider making a sound too early in the game. She knew she couldn't open the door since it was locked from the outside.

Her only possibilities- gone. Unless she can get an officer to help her out, but she would have to get their attention first. Even then, she knew she had to be able to really read people well if she could snare one into her favors. She wasn't confident she could do that anymore, seeing how everyone down here seemed so dreary. It didn't look very promising at all. She sighed and remembered the legend of the Saint Yukina, of which was her namesake…

"It was during the Devil-man's Reign of Terror when the people in the world were beginning to become corrupted as they were won over by his deceit. But there was one young woman who was a close follower of the High Goddess. When she prayed and burned incense for the goddess, the other villagers would come to her and say, 'Yukina, why do you waste your time praying to that bothersome goddess? Come out and join us. Don't be such a hermit for your young age.'

"The woman refused their offer. When the villagers were going to the forests to hunt a sacrifice, she would sit on a stone near the High Goddess's temple and tell all who listened the teachings of the Goddess. The villagers would sometimes come and disrupt her preachings, calling her a heathen in the face of the Devil-man.

"One day the men who pursued the virtue of all the villager women met Yukina. He asked for her hand in marriage. She refused because it would interfere with her loyalty to the High Goddess and hurried away. He continued to ask her everyday until she ran away in the middle of the night behind a waterfall so that when the wicked man searched her house he did not find her. A child in the village told him he heard of a person leaving in the middle of the night. The man gathered a group and they rode to the waterfall, where the wicked man found her. She once again refused to be his wife and the wicked man did what men do to women and killed her.

"She cried as she was breathing her last breath for her salvation and the goddess burned her body with purifying flames, and on the day of judgment she took the woman's ashes to the heavens and made her a saint. She scattered the ashes throughout the island to make that protective mist that surrounds Hyouga to this day."

Would I be able to suffer the same fate as the Saint Yukina? But then again, I was never as devout as she was and I committed the ultimate offense by leaving my home. And even if that wasn't the case, where would my ashes be sent…?

She slumped at the thought. She knew that just sharing a name with someone didn't necessarily mean that they would also share the same fate. She was lucky if she was able to live even after all this. She slid her legs down with the intention of going down to the floor and pray but she thought better of it. So she reached down her kimono and pulled out her mother's tear, stopping once to listen if anyone was coming that way. She stared at the stone, trying to look passed her own miniature reflection.

Rui said that her brother also had a stone, and Yukina knew it was her best chance of finding him. Somehow leaving it out for all to see didn't sit right with her. No, she knew why she didn't think it was a good idea. But still… What if her brother didn't know that?

What if he has one even now? Is he looking at it right now, too? Is he thinking of her? Of their mother? Does he know about either one?

Is he still alive? No…. No. He'll come back.

Please… Let me see my brother just one time in my life. I'd do anything…

She laid her head on the musty pillow, the stench of dirt and oil making her fate solid. She thought of the smell of her pillows at home. The soft smell of pine needles. She never thought she would miss it. She never thought she would miss the hymns of her homeland. Rui's voice telling her to get up in the morning.

This place is so hot… I hate it. Please, please, please, don't let me die here.

-X-

There was a sound of keys in the door. Yukina perked up at the sound, then slumped against the wall, assuming that these were the people coming to execute her. Instead it was only the single officer that often entered her cell.

"A letter for you." She held it out. A white envelope that has been torn open with unskilled hands, the paper inside sticking out bent and crinkled. "Contents state it's from your brother. He is asking to stand trial right now."

"My brother?" Yukina's face lit up. "Could I see the letter?" She was standing now. She was feeling so tempted to just grab the letter from her hands and read every word and stare at every speck of dust that could have landed upon its pages. She held her fingers inside the sleeves of her kimono to hold back the temptation.

"Of course. I must remain here until you finish it."

"I can't keep it?"

"Against regulations."

"W-what do you mean? I can't possibly harm myself using that paper. Or not… Badly at least."

"Don't question the system, lady. That's just the way things are and you best accept them or thing'll get real ugly for you. And hell if I'm gonna let myself have my first fifty-two-fifty be a little girl in outdated clothes."

Yukina bit her lip to try and not call the guard out on her rudeness, not really ever being one that would let such a thing slide, even if people thought she was too nice to say such things. But she remembered, she was a prisoner, a stranger in a strange land, both of which meant she had little, if any, rights to even be treated with the respect she deserves. Instead she nodded. "Well, thank you for giving me this letter."

She opened it, taking care not to give herself a paper cut. (And really, that anyone should cause a great deal of harm with a paper cut!) And read the letter,

"Hello my dear sister. I have gotten word from some friends that you got yourself in to some trouble. Sending for you soon to help smooth down any feathers ruffled. Going to court in the next couple of days. Been busy. Don't let anyone be too mean to you. Don't worry. All will be well soon enough. See you then. Big bro."

Yukina's hands started shaking, tears welling in her eyes. Her brother found out. Somehow, he found out. Maybe he was friends with that Al Capone and Mr. Slick guy and they told him about her. Oh, that her brother was still caring as she knew he would be in her dreams. Fate brought them together. He'll work everything up. And he knows about me! He remembers me even after all this time and after we were separated at birth! He remembers me. On my brother… My wonderful, amazing… brother!

With deep regret, she handed the letter back to the guard, who walked out. Yukina sat on the bed, and then stood as her legs were too restless to take sitting anymore. Instead, she danced in the room to the sound of the drippy sink, the rocks hitting the window, and the words of the hymns from her homeland. Nothing would ruin her mood.

Her brother found her. And he was going to save her. Then- everyone else.

…Wait, what rocks hitting the window?

-X-

So the two days had passed. Yukina spent the day on her feet, waiting for the door to open. At what appeared to be midday, judging by the sunlight through the window, the door opened and a small male guard walked in.

"I'm taking you to your brother. He has the court order and everything. Sorry about the mix-up, miss. Hope you get better. Say, I know some really good natural remedies you can use if you're interested. Lemme tell your brother about it first, since he'll really know," the man said.

Yukina brought her fists to her face to hide her shock. What is that supposed to mean? Natural remedies? Then again, maybe my brother told them I was sick. Oh, brother, you're so clever!

They reached the front desk and there was a man standing. His hair was the same shade of green as Yukina's and eyes the same red color. He was much taller than Yukina but seemed to have half of her weight. He was dressed in an odd purple suit with new-pine colored shoes. He smiled and rushed to Yukina.

"There's my little Kotori! Oh, mother was so worried about you!" the man said.

"K-Kotori…? Wait, I don't…" Yukina stammered. The man with the green hair discreetly nudged her in the gut. She understood immediately. She also wished she was the great actress her best friends were. She clutched her head. "Oh, sorry. My headache's been getting to me."

"Poor thing. So stressed out." The man with the green hair turned to the guard. "She always does this when she's away from our mother. Real sheltered kid. Real handful, too. Hasn't been the same since we heard dad died. But it's all the best if we're to show that asshole Yomi a thing or two, right?

"Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Mr. Takahashi. But you're right, for the good of the state!" He did his strange hand gesture.

"I would very much be like my father, but Kotori's so fragile. It would break her heart if we were separated again."

"I know just the thing to help with her sickness. See, my aunt is a healer. Here's her card. She'll do just the right thing. I shouldn't keep you too long. So long you two. And my apologies once more, Miss Takahashi. I'm glad you're away from those dreadful junkies."

"Really. They put them in the clinker yet?"

"I wish."

"What a shame. Let's go, Kotori. I'll make you your favorites. Anything you want, babe." He grabbed her by the shoulder, practically dragging her out. They came to a metal carriage and they both went to the back seat. "Okay, Slick, drive us home."

Wait, what? Yukina leaned over and sure enough, Mr. Slick was sitting in the front seat giving her the brightest smile. She turned to the man with the green hair, gasping as the hair grew longer and greasier, turning darker and darker. His ears lengthened and pointed. His eyes turned a pale blue and his skin changed color. The eyes sunk in and a tail poked out of the seat of his pants. Her "brother" had become Al Capone.

He turned to Yukina. "Sweet power, you think? I'm great at parties, I swear. I can turn in to some scary ass animals, too. You wanna see my take on Youko Kurama?"

"B-but, my brother… Where's… How?" Yukina asked.

"Oh that? We needed a story that would break you out. We all know what they do with foreigners around here. Take a left Slick. Think someone's tailing us. Anyway… What? No shit, I know there's no one behind us! I know these kinds of things, okay, dick head? As I was saying. We knew you were gonna die so we try thinking of a way to get you out. Slick was the one who thought of the whole big bro thing and I saw you enough to think of what he would look like. I couldn't tell you the plan since they look at the notes but I tried to give you something to let you know what's goin on. Foraged the papers and everything. So you thank Mr. Slick up here. And gimme some credit, too, will ya? Shape-shiftin hurts like a mother, ya know?"

"So there's no brother?"

Slick looked at her in the mirror. "Sorry."

"…But why would you do this?" Yukina asked. She caught herself before adding, Because you're a man. Take me back if you want to do the evil thing to me!

"Hey, we promised you a tour of the capital, right?" Slick's smile made her a bit nervous.

-X-

They finished the brief tour of the capital, most of which seemed to be the same street repeated over and over. Normally a person might find this distressing or depressing, but Yukina remembered her homeland was set up in much the same way, with the next village over being exactly the same. She supposed that's why some of the other village elders tended to go insane after a certain amount of time- the real reason why Ice Maidens die. Old age leads to confusion, which in turn leads to some mercy killing. Oh goddess, why does her homeland seem to be so obsessed with death? She shook her head and followed Al Capone in to their home.

It was a small building with very few windows, with a strange smoky scent constantly wafting through the air. There was trash everywhere, mainly crumpled papers and a few discarded rotting foods of a stock Yukina couldn't recognize both because of the foreignness of it and because its state of decomposition. Slick immediately started clearing some of the mess off the long chair that they called a couch.

"Hey, Al, get me a bag. We gotta clean this shit up," Slick said.

"I ain't your maid, dick face. Why don't you make the girl do it? That's why they put them on the planet for," Al said as he took another one of his smoking sticks from his pocket. "I'm tired as shit. You know how hard it is for me to keep changing shapes like that? Oh wait, no, cause you're not able to."

"Shut your ass up and get it."

He rolled his eyes and took him a bag, then continued down the hall and slammed a door. Yukina looked up at Slick who shrugged. They cleaned up the front room together, without speaking, without taking more than a second glance at each other as they picked up the strange things they came across. The deflated clear balloons. The needles with blood on them. The strange powder that Slick insisted was not sugar and that Yukina shouldn't then set it up so she could use it in cooking for god's sake. The strange smelling leaves that Slick also said was not for tea and if she finds any more she should turn it in to home. Slick told her to wait in the room before coming back with a blanket and a pillow that he showed her how to clean and settled them on the couch so Yukina could sleep there.

"You're sure that you wanna sleep here?" Slick asked. Once he was done with straightening the blankets out with the utmost care that Yukina insisted she didn't need.

"Well, I can't be so rude as to take you from your bed. I'm still a guest, remember? I just want to go out and find my brother. Until then, I really don't want to be a burden," Yukina replied. "I would sleep on the floor if I need to."

"You don't want to sleep on the floor. You don't know what's down there. You know, rats and all that." She took a mental note to ask what a rat was and what made them so fearsome. She assumed it was a great beast for the large Slick to be worried. "But… It's not just that."

"What do you mean?"

"It's just that… How do I explain this…? Al isn't what you'd say is always right in the head. So sometimes he does things he normally wouldn't. So if he comes and tries to hurt you in the middle of the night, then you'd be vulnerable. I guess if he comes here, you can just scream and I'll get things fixed for you. How does that sound? And if you need to go out or someone comes in and asks who you are, Al told me that you're supposed to tell them that you're Alice in Wonderland."

"O… Okay." Yukina paused. "Um, Mr. Slick, why do you do all these things for me?"

"I had a little sister. Died a long time ago. Was real ugly. You remind me of what she used to be like…" He gave her a wry smile before retreating to his own room.

There was some banging on the walls coming from Al Capone's room. But he never came out. Slick was also coughing all night, the strange smoke slipping in to the air. It made it harder to sleep. But she reminded herself that she was only a guest in this house.

-X-

The next few weeks passed in much of the same way. Occasionally Mr. Slick would walk with Yukina if Al was too busy with customers, but most of the time she was allowed to go out by herself. She suspected that they expected her to leave them without saying a word. Something told her it would be better to do so than stay with these men, considering their shady backgrounds. She was starting to have more trouble trusting anyone here.

If she ever really trusted anyone to begin with.

-X-

There was a knock on the door just as Yukina walked in the kitchen to start making dinner- Al Capone's favorite monjyayaki, which Slick apparently thought was disgusting. She stood in the kitchen, a pan in her hand. She looked around. No one was coming. She shrugged and walked to the door, unlatching it and looking throw the crack just as she had been shown. There was a man there wearing strange black clothes that concealed his features while at the same time hanging off his body like the ghost hags of the legends. His eyes were the same reddish hue as Al Capone's with the sunken in, dark circles under them. His face was pale, even paler than her own. When he spoke, she saw he was missing a few teeth and he smelled like strange medicine.

He looked in a daze as the door opened, reached out to grab it, nearly missing touching Yukina's face. He looked down at her and shrieked, then started pacing back and forth across the door.

"H-hey, this is where Al Capone and Slick Joneston are right? Gimme them, okay? Hey you got any water, been dry as fuck," he spoke with an odd cadence. A bit of slurring, though she suspected it was because of his loss of teeth.

She was more than a little horrified. She hadn't seen it, though she knew some of the women in her home had gotten to this stage if they took too much of their arthritis medicine at one time. Horror stories. Somehow, she also found herself more than a little curious. Then she remembered herself and ran to Al Capone's room and tapped on the door.

"Whaddya want?" he asked. He was half dressed, hair thrown about.

"There's a man…" She felt eyes behind her. "This man wants to see you."

"Who…?" He immediately noticed the man and his demeanor changed. (Oh, good, they're friends. Yukina thought.) Al also noticed that the man in the black clothes was staring at Yukina. "You like her? Cause I tell you up front that's how you scare the broads away. She ain't for sale either. I ain't no pimp,"

"She looks like that girl…" the man replied.

"Oh that? Shit, you think everyone's that damn girl. Frickin actin like you popped your cherry on her. What was her name again?"

"Told me her name was Yoshiko. Fuck it, just give me the stuff and I'll get the hell outta here." Al shrugged and walked back in to his room.

The man in the black clothes turned to her. "Water? Please, some water…" She hurried in to the kitchen and got a glass of water. He took it in one gulp and asked for more. As she walked back to him, he grabbed her by the wrist with his hand shaking. Her heart started pounding in her chest. "What's your name?"

"Please let me go." She was surprised that he did as soon as she asked him to. She could run now and hide, hopefully Slick was asleep too so she could have him help her. Then again…

"Damn you, don't let your curiosity get the best of you, think of your mother, Yukina!"

My mother wasn't a bad person! She was just… Curious. Sure, she could tell this man about her home. He would most likely just scoff at her like the others have in the past. And she was finding she was perfectly okay with telling outsiders her homeland's secrets, not just because there was no consequence as of yet, but also because she just wanted to show those horrible women what they deserve. You know, in a cosmic sort of way. She knew the man in the black clothes was staring at her, as though she was the only focus and the rest was nothing more than peripheral vision.

Well, might as well. "My name is Yukina. I am from a place called Hyouga. It's the truth."

"Took you that long to answer me? Shit and here I was thinking I wasn't really saying it. You ever think so loud you think other people hear you but they don't and then you realize that you weren't thinking at all and then you're all thinking what the fuck was that about but then that's super loud too? And where do I find this place on a map?"

"I don't think you can find it on a map." A voice in the back of her head reminded her that the Devil-man spreads stupidity, which was why no one ever sees it on the maps. "And I've been gone for some time so I couldn't tell you where it is. It travels a lot, you see, and even if I could tell you, you can't go there because… because…" She drawled on the last syllable, trying to find the most blatant lie to give him.

"Because I'm a man. I know. I remember. She told me. I was hoping to find her at some point but you're the closest I've ever gotten."

"How long ago was that?"

"Dunno. I can't remember. When'd I say that?"

What? "Do you know if you had a child with her?"

"I know I don't have any. What's it to you?"

"Because… Because my mother came here and that's how I got my brother. Do you happen to know anyone that doesn't have a mother?"

"Lots of people don't have mothers or fathers. That's just how things are around here. Don't act like it doesn't happen. And no, I don't know anyone that could be your brother. I could be your brother the way you say it. And goddamn you, you look just like her. I almost forgot about her and you reminded me." He jumped to his feet, shrieking again. "She said she hates me. She says I hurt her and I think I did cause I don't think she wanted it but I did anyway and she hates me but then she said she loved me and fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!"

Yukina took some steps back, but still remained in the room. "Um, could I help you? You have a head ache?"

"Look, bitch, I came here because I need my fix and if I don't get my fix, then I do some bad shit. You're… Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! fuckfuckfuckfuck…" He sat back in the chair, shaking. "I wanna get off this shit. Help me get off this shit. I need some water."

Al waked out. "What the hell you doin' out there? I had to refill the bag every time you started screaming."

The man in the black clothes stared at the bag. For the first time he was coherent. "I don't want it anymore, Al."

"Going cold turkey on me? Shit, you won't last."

"Not if I leave."

"Yeah, keep telling yourself that. Pay up, fucker." The man in the black clothes threw the chair at Al and walked out. Yukina offered to take the bag but Al shook his head. "He'll be back. Don't worry."

Yukina walked out anyway. "Hey! Your medicine! You need it!"

"I fucking don't." the man in the black clothes said. "Look, if you want you can find me at the interworld station all week. Gonna try and get clean in human world. If you're looking for someone they'd be there probably. That's where everything really is." He walked away. Then started running when he heard Yukina with the bag. She would have run after him but his speed was too great. Al Capone was the one who pulled her back in to the house.

After he was done scolding her for taking the medicine outside, Yukina asked, "What is Human World?"

"Why you wanna know?" Al asked.

"He told me."

"Fucking Ji- Why you wanna go? Do you eat people or something?"

"He said my brother would be there. Didn't I tell you I was looking for him? And you said that I'd be able to leave whenever I want so I will."

Al stared at her, then looked at the medicine, stuck a finger in it and licked it off. "Fine. Go. No skin off my nose. Then I'll get Slick off my damn back for five seconds." He opened the door. "So go."

"Can you show me how to get there?"

"Why? It's not my problem." He slammed the door. She was about to knock on it but then she sighed and decided to stand in the sidewalk, hoping someone would tell her where to go. It took forty-five minutes for her feet to start hurting from standing so long. She decided she would sit in front of the doorway She heard the sound of someone coming. She turned towards the footsteps and saw Slick.

"What'd you do?" he asked, a wry smile on his face.

"I decided I wanted to leave so he told me to get out. I know where I want to go but I don't know where I go to go there," she replied. "Could you tell me how to get to Human World?"

"What brought this on?"

"One of Al Capone's patients came and told me about it."

"Patients?"

"He was wearing black clothes and has headaches."

"Oh god, that guy. He's gone now, right?" She nodded. "So… You really want to go there, don't you?" He sighed, scratching at one of the horns on the top of his head. "I guess I'll take you. I don't think he'll miss me. Say, would you mind if I just tag along with you? Can't have a little girl walking around by herself."

Yukina stared at him in shock. "Um… Okay. Sure."

Through her anxiety, she couldn't help but feel as though she made her first friend in the Hell Below.

-X-

"We are always running
For the thrill of it, thrill of it
Always pushing up the hill
Searching for the thrill of it

On and on and on
We are calling out and out again
Never looking down
I'm just in awe of what's in front of me

[…]Don't stop, just keep going on
I'm your shoulder, lean upon
So come on, deliver from inside
All we got is tonight
That is right 'til first light"

-Empire of the Sun, "Walking on a Dream"

Score It:

(1 = lowest, 5= highest)
Chapter 2
First Chapter | Previous Chapter
Report Abuse