Kurama Love Story - 002DISCLAIMER!!!!!!! I do not own this story....I found it on Fanfiction and thought that you guys should read it...it is so awesome!
Beth barely managed to stifle the scream as she sat up, sweat drenching her body. The nightmares she had been having since her father died were getting more frequent. She swung her legs off the bed and grabbed her glasses off the nightstand. She needed air.
She threw open the window and took a deep breath. Her hands were still shaking as she pushed one through her tangled hair. She looked up at the moon. It was still dark outside. A glance at the clock on the nightstand told her it was a little after four. There would not be any more sleep tonight. She gathered her things for a quick shower.
The Shop would open at eight and Beth figured she could help out to take her mind off things. Five o'clock saw Beth dressed and downstairs in the kitchen. Her aunt looked up as she walked in. "Beth, You should still be sleeping. You can't have gotten used to the time difference yet." She gave her aunt a small smile. "I'm fine. Couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd come help you."
"Your mother called last night to make sure you arrived safely. I told her you were sleeping." Beth tensed. Damn! She forgot to call her. She had insisted on hearing from her the moment her plane landed. "She said she understood. Please call her later. Be mindful of the time change." "Yes, ma'am" Now she felt guilty.
Between the grief and the nightmares, it was a wonder she remembered her name. She would need to get over that if she expected to get a job. She thought about her last job. She had taken a leave of absence after the accident. Then when she had begun to think of returning to work, her mother had sprung the move on her. She didn't make enough money to live on her own, and with her mother leaving the country for good, she had little choice but to move with her.
Beth washed and prepared vegetables for her aunt. Her uncle had left earlier to get the days fresh fish from the market. The smells unsettled her stomach. While her mother had made traditional dishes occasionally, her father preferred Texas cooking and that is what Beth was used to.
Keiko came downstairs a little after seven. "Mother, can you spare Beth and I today?" Her mother dried her hands and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Of course. Do you have plans?" Keiko smiled. "I thought I would take Beth to the temple and introduce her to some of my friends. Give her a chance to see some sights and make some friends." "That sounds like a good idea. Go on. I hear your father coming. We can manage today."
Beth had listened to this exchange without comment. She had not been asked if she would like to go. She had not been asked if she felt like mixing with strangers. She had not been asked if she wanted other people to control her life. But that is what was happening. Her mother was controlling where she would live. Now her aunt and cousin were controlling how she spent her days.
She brooded for most of the train trip required to get to the temple. Keiko's incessant chatter had managed to pull her out of her dark mood by the time the train pulled into the station. The walk to the temple from the station was pleasant and it helped to lighten her mood. She liked to walk.
It was early spring and the plants were coming to life. The colors were spectacular. She had to admit the scenery was nice. Someone had once joked that the trees in Texas only had two colors: green and dead. They halted before stone steps that seemed to go on forever. She knew before Keiko told her that this was the temple entrance. She took a deep breath and began the climb. This better be worth the effort.
When they got to the top, they were met by a young woman with green hair wearing a traditional kimono. Beth didn't know anyone still wore those. Green hair? She didn't look punk. Keiko gave the girl a hug. "This is my cousin Beth. She's from America. She's going to be living here now." "Hello, Beth san." "Beth this is Yukina. She lives here with Genkai" "Hello, Yukina san"
She had almost forgotten the polite suffix. While her mother made sure she was fluent in the language, she sometimes forgot the little differences in their social customs. She rubbed the spot just above her glasses. She had spoken Japanese exclusively since her arrival. It was giving her a headache.
Keiko frowned at her. "Are you alright, Beth?" "Just a headache. Probably time difference," she lied. The grounds were lush and green. It was a peaceful place. Perhaps the time spent here would not be a waste after all. They approached a large one story building that resembled the dojos in all those really bad martial arts flicks her father had loved. There was an elderly woman on the porch smoking a pipe.
She was really short. The girl, Yukina was really short. Good God! Paint me green and I can start doing frozen vegetable commercials. HO! HO! HO! Could this day get any worse?
Keiko introduced the short woman as 'Master' Genkai. The woman snorted. "Genkai will do. You are Keiko's cousin?" "Yes ma'am." She couldn't forget her manners, even though the woman was staring at her as if she'd grown two heads. She nodded. "You have suffered a traumatic loss. Your mind suffers still. It is just below the surface, but I sense it."
Beth backed up slowly. This woman was a little whacko. Maybe more than a little. Keiko put out a hand to steady her. "Beth. Master Genkai is a psychic. She can sense your feelings." "Ok. It's official. I'm spooked. Are you saying she's for real?" Keiko nodded. Genkai snorted. Considering what she had said, Beth had to believe. While Keiko could have told them about her father's death, there was no way she could have known the other. Beth had told no one. Not even her mother.
Her thoughts were interrupted by shouts from behind her. "Hey! Keiko! Grandma!" "Yukina, my love!" Beth turned around to see a group of young men climbing the last of the steps. Her eyes sought out the only tall person she had seen since leaving Texas. He was about six one she guessed. He had hair that was almost orange and a big goofy grin on his face. It would be nice to have to look up at someone for a change.
The other loud one, she vaguely remembered from years ago. He looked to be a good three inches shorter than Beth and had black hair slicked back. This one had to be Keiko's fiancé. Beside him was a man who looked almost pretty. He had long, thick red hair that most women would kill for.
As the group drew closer, she noticed that he possessed the clearest, most beautiful emerald eyes she had ever seen. He wasn't tall by her standards, but at least he wasn't short. She thought he was at least as tall as she. If not, then he was only shorter by an inch or so. She dismissed him almost immediately. Pretty boys never looked twice at her. They were too vain to be seen with someone like her. They wanted someone equally pretty as a trophy for their arm.
Beth thought she saw something black flit through the trees. A bird? She looked back to the group of men and now saw a fourth. He hadn't been there before, had he? He had spiked black hair with a starburst pattern of white in the front. He had a sour expression on his face as if he didn't want to be here. Man, could she relate. And he was short. Really short.
He was probably hidden by one of the others when they walked up. Wouldn't be hard. She smothered a giggle. Her mind, off on one of it's warped tangents again. She had a vivid image of a really rude cartoon about an overly large woman hanging lost dog posters and said dog's tail was wagging from behind the woman in a crease of her dress. He glared at her as if he knew her thoughts.
She struggled to breathe. Can't laugh. Can't laugh. Wouldn't be right. Can't help being short. Like I can't help being tall. She drew a long breath through her nose and let it out slowly through her mouth. In. Out. In. Out. Deep breaths. In. Out.
She regained control of her warped mind and banished the warped image. Then she pasted on her best false smile and stepped up to Keiko's side for the introductions.
Keiko introduced her to the group of men standing before her. "This is my cousin Beth from America. She is going to be living here from now on. She's staying with me until her mom gets here." She introduced each man to Beth. "This is Kuwabara Kazuma." "Hey, Beth san. Where in America are you from?" She was polite. "Hello Kuwabara san. I am from Texas." "Whoa, Texas? Like Dallas? Like J. R.? Coool."
She bristled. "Ok, ya'll. Let's get this straight. I'm not obscenely rich. I've never been on a horse. I don't own an oil well. Most people in Texas don't, by the way. And I don't change bed partners like yesterday's socks. Ok? Dallas is a stupid soap opera! Got it?" She took a breath. Ok. She'd lost it. Everyone was staring at her. When had she switched to English?
The redheaded pretty boy began to laugh. Keiko began to giggle. Kuwabara looked sheepish. "I didn't catch all that. I guess Texas English is a little different than what we study, but I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you." She sighed. "It's ok. I'm sorry I blew up at you. It just seems like everyone who sees that show thinks that's the way people in Texas live. We're just normal people like everybody else."
Keiko's fiancé said, "Well I didn't understand any of it." Keiko rolled her eyes. "That's because you always skipped English class. Beth this is Urameshi Yusuke, my fiancé." "Hello again Yusuke kun. Do you remember me?" He looked at her. She knew the moment he remembered her visits from years ago. His eyes lit up and he looked her up and down. "When did you turn into a freakin' amazon, Lizard?"
Keiko sucked in a breath and grabbed Kuwabara's arm to pull him away from them. Beth swung her right fist. It was aimed right at Yusuke's jaw. She connected and he fell backward onto his ass on the ground. He rubbed it and looked up at her. The others registered various degrees of shock or amusement. "You hit harder than you used to, Lizard." Beth clenched and unclenched her fists at her side.
She smiled and offered Yusuke a hand up. "No thanks. I remember that trick, too. I'm fine down here." She dropped the outstretched hand and began to grin. Keiko began to laugh. "I had forgotten that nickname. God I hated it."
"Yeah and I hated getting thrown every time I let you help me up. You were a ten year old terror. You still taking those Jiu Jitsu classes?" She shook her head. "No. I teach them now." She grinned. "No way. You got your black belt?" "Yeah. Five years ago." He jumped up and wrapped his arms around her. "Congratulations, Lizard."
Her moves were fast. She wrapped an arm about his waist and grabbed his shoulder. Her hip slid in front of him for leverage. She spun and dropped to her knee in one fluid motion as Yusuke's feet left the ground. He bounced off of same said ground with an "Ooof." He lay flat on his back looking up at her. She slapped his chest with her open palm and stood up. "I still hate that nickname." The entire group erupted in laughter, even the short man with the sour expression.
Kuwabara was still laughing as he helped Yusuke to his feet. "Man what I wouldn't give to have seen a girl put those moves on you back when we were at Sarayashiki." Yusuke brushed himself off. "If you're going to be living here now, do you think you might teach me some of that?" She arched a brow. "Perhaps. If you stop calling me Lizard." "Deal."
Keiko cleared her throat. "Beth, this is Minamino Shuichi." She indicated the red haired pretty boy. "It is nice to meet you Beth san." His voice was a smooth as his looks. This was the kind of guy that every girl in school wanted. "Hello Minamino san. Nice to meet you, too."
She turned back to Keiko for the introduction to the short man. She didn't notice the strange looks she got from Yusuke and Kuwabara. Kuwabara whispered to Yusuke. "Whoa. She didn't even give him a second look. All the girls drool over him. Is she? I mean… Does she…. You know. Like guys?" Yusuke shrugged. "Dunno. I haven't seen her in ten years."
"Beth this is Hiei." Beth arched her brow at the single name. "Hello Hiei san." His eyes met hers. They were the oddest shade of crimson. Almost the color of fire, but cold, like ice. "Hn." He nodded at her. She had the feeling that the small man was uncomfortable meeting new people. She also got the feeling that the man could be very dangerous. She had no desire to find out.
They ended up at the beach while Genkai and Yukina made lunch. Yusuke and Kuwabara had their pants legs rolled up and they were playing in the water. Beth laughed to watch them. She knew they were her age, but they acted like a couple of ten year olds. Yusuke had not changed much in ten years other than his looks.
He had gotten taller and his frame had filled out. He was muscled. She could tell he worked out. He was still the same goofy idiot she had known back then. Keiko spent just as much time mothering him as she had then. She frowned. Surely their relationship had to have changed if they were getting married.
She looked back to the water. The one called Shuichi was the first to notice when she turned ghost white. "Beth san? Are you alright?" He had the attention of the others now. "Beth?" Keiko took her hand. It was cold and trembling. "I've seen that boat before." Beth whispered. They looked out to the small pleasure craft on the lake. There was nothing unusual about it. Many such craft could be seen on the lake. While the temple grounds were private, the lake was not.
Shuichi supported her weight. She was shaking uncontrollably now. She closed her eyes. "Help them." "Help who?" Shuichi asked. "The two men. The two horribly burned men." Her knees buckled and Shuichi lowered her limp body to the sand. "What does she mean?" Keiko asked. Emerald eyes looked up. "I don't…"
He never got to finish the sentence. There was an explosion that shattered the peaceful afternoon. The boat in question was in flames and small pieces of it rained down on the water. Screams could be heard coming from what was left of the boat. Shoes and shirts were stripped off in a hurry as Yusuke and Kuwabara hit the water, swimming out to the boat. Shuichi shouted. "Hiei! Get Yukina and Genkai. Hurry!" The small man disappeared. Keiko pulled out her phone to call an ambulance.
To be continued….
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