Until I Met You

BY:Jaja


agaru@edsamail.com.ph 

Disclaimer: This fic is made by me, the webmistress herself, only for the joy of it, and because I'm stuck here, on duty in my summer job. I'm not saying the characters in here are mine. They're not. And I don't get any profit for this. My coin bank's a really convincing proof. The Yuyu Hakusho Characters belong to Yoshihiro Togashi. They belong to him. Whatever event you can associate to this is purely coincidental. Has little spoilers.

Creation Date: 052201
Date Finished: 052301

The earth is doing it's share of moving, best described as rumbling. Each step Yusuke and the others made led to either the gateway of death, or life. Hah! After I managed to avoid death a while ago, there again is another chance for me to see him! No way am I going to let him get me or my friends! No---not after I defeated Toguro.

Obviously, Toguro tried to take Yusuke's life at the Ankoku Bujutsukai.

They dashed frantically to the corridor leading to the entrance/exit of the arena. "Kami-sama! The entrance's blocked!" Kuwabara yelled in a panic-stricken voice.

Hell, not now! Yusuke thought, feeling dismayed. "Yokai. Rei...."

"Yusuke!"

That stopped him from firing whatever bit of energy he has to that enormous wall of rocks blocking their way. "Chuu!" he called out, feeling relieved.

Behind them stood Chuu, the famous drunkard, and the first opponent Yusuke faced in the tournament, and the others opponents they faced, and had become friends with. Grinning, Chuu patted him on the back, and assured him, "Leave this to us. You ain't got energy to do so."

"You owe this one, Yusuke," Jin chimed in, a fighter that uses the wind. With one strong surge of energy, which Yusuke and the others didn't have at the moment, the wall disappeared. Elated, they took off to freedom.

Ten seconds are left, and they dashed frantically to the forest. A loud sound came from the building they had just left, shattering their eardrums. But they were alive. Breathing heavily, but alive. All of them were thrilled to be outside, and not to have been buried underneath the heaps of rocks that now lay in front of them.

Sure they escaped. So did majority of the others. But some didn't. Botan sure will be busy these next few days.

And speaking of buried...

Sakyo.

The name rang the bell. It was something Shizuru just can't seem to forget. They are so alike---soulmates. He shared the same love for smoking just like she did. And even when she had just met him, something in him assured her that he's the ONE. All of their similarities, with one difference. She is so alive, while he is so dead. Hard to admit it, but true. She had fallen for him. Hard. Fallen in love.

Thinking that he chose to leave her for his ego was downright confusing---torturing, too. He tossed to her his own lighter, something she knew she'll treasure forever, even when it'll be empty. The little hill the rocks formed served as a monument and at the same time, a grave for the late businessman.

"Daijobu desu ka?" Yukina's voice penetrated through her thoughts.

"Uh...hai, hai." She faked a smile to convince Hiei's sister. She could she him eyeing her in a protective way. Shifting her gaze to Yukina, she nodded. "Daijobu desu, arigato, Yukina."

But she looked far from convinced. The young ice maiden's mouth slowly curved to a puzzled frown.

"Really! I'm fine." This time, her faking seemed to satisfy her, because she nodded in agreement. "Maybe I'm just a little over-fatigued," Shizuru added with a small laugh.

"Well, if anything's wrong, tell me, okay? I'll be at Genkai-sama's."

"Sure."

"You're staying over there? Kuwabara butted in, taking Yukina's attention, and Hiei's as well. Shizuru watched as the ruby eyes of the fire youkai got narrower and steelier. Dear brother will soon be dead, she thought.

But Hiei watched them carefully. No sudden attacks or slashes from this guy.

Shizuru rolled her eyes. Anything related to Yukina, trust my brother to listen to you with all his heart, possibly soul, too. Seeing Kuwabara in action (not only in his so-called fighting, but also his ways around girls) never failed to amuse her. Sakyo, and all he's done to her, quickly vanished in her mind.

"So," Kuwabara added loudly, "I wouldn't have a hard time visiting you."

"You don't have to, Kuwabara-kun." Yukina laughed a little. Both of them didn't notice Hiei gripping his sword. His eyes aid, "One move, and you're dead meat."

Despite her worries, Shizuru found herself smiling at the view. Forgetting Sakyo won't be too difficult if you have people like them around.

.|.|.

"Yeah, right," she said aloud sarcastically. "Guess I spoke too soon." Shizuru was fuming in the dark. Three days had passed since they came home from the tournament. It was now 4:00 and she still is wide awake. Outside, it was still dark. Heck. No sleeping for this girl!

So, forgetting Sakyo isn't as easy as I thought it would be, she told herself, as she descended from the stairs. I was wrong. I admit it. Too bad it didn't make sleeping one happy activity for me, either! She paused under the doorframe. I bet warm milk would do the trick! Or maybe hot chocolate. No, maybe coffee. She shook her head in disgust. "Naaahh. Coffee won't make me sleep. It'll just make my eyes pop wide open until the bags below them will be big enough to catch them. No, no!"

"Well, I wouldn't want that for you. After all, when I left, you look healthy and fit. No way am I letting you touch one cup of coffee. Especially at this hour! Tsk, tsk. You're not supposed to find me until seven in the morning. Something must've gone wrong. Anyway, I won't let you ruin yourself!"

She stood there, her feet rooted at the spot. It was him. She heard his oh-so-familiar voice. It stroked her to senseless. Mixture of happiness, of curiosity, of relief came flooding up to her. She can't speak, smile, do anything. Questions that came up to her, she couldn't bring to ask.

She knew well enough when to trust her instincts. She's pretty sure she knew the answer to each one of them, except for one.

Shizuru finally got hold of herself, and found herself saying his name out loud. "Sakyo?" her voice had uncertainty all over it.

"Ohayo! You look like you've seen a ghost." He approached her, his slightly callused hands caressing her trembling skin. "You're pale all over. Are you sure you're all right?"

"Hai..." she replied shakily, her eyes not meeting his. "Daijoubu."

Sakyo noticed, but didn't comment on it. He took back his hand, and smiled. "Good. I don't want any acquaintance of my not well enough to entertain me during my visit." Casually, he turned his back to her, and picked up his own steaming cup of whatever drink he had wanted.

A familiar wetness came surging from the corners of her eyes, the pools meeting at the center. Acquaintance? Not a friend--an acquaintance! She sighed. It came out shakily, just like she was. I'm going to cry, she ranted again and again in her mind. To keep him from not noticing it, she turned her back on him, abruptly, and faced the sink to set out the ingredients of her own drink. The kitchen was soon filled with noise---cabinet doors slamming, the spoon clinking, tossing the coffee in, the water, carelessly poured. All of this were done with her back turned towards him, so she can't figure out how he did know what was happening to her.

A sigh came up from her behind. "I thought you hate coffee?" Sakyo sighed again, and in an instant, he was behind her. "The coffee's going to taste bad if it's done that way." A piece of dry cloth was in his hand, and he quickly mopped the spilled water. He started to set up a new cup of coffee.

Dazed, Shizuru just stood there. For the second time, she froze on where she was standing. She just stood there, and watched while she racks her brain for reasons why he could be here.

"How did you get here?" she wanted to know.

"Hmm?" he responded listlessly. Sakyo didn't appear to be listening. Instead, he was continuously stirring her cup of coffee.

Won't talk to me, eh? Shizuru fumed. We'll see about that. It's time to change my strategy.

So she did.

"You're coffee's getting cold," she told him.

"I know." He's still stirring the cup! Then, he handed it to her. "Here," he offered.

Wordlessly, she accepted it. She may love Sakyo, but that doesn't mean she won't get annoyed with him!

He didn't budge an inch. Shizuru expected him to go on his way, but he didn't. Instead, he stood there, looking at her with his head tilted, as if thinking of something. He decided to lean his body on the sink, so to block her way. It's either I go talk to him, or stare at him all morning. Neither one pleased Shizuru.

"What?" she asked.

"I didn't say anything."

"On your face is a big question mark," she pointed out.

"That doesn't mean anything."

Shizuru finally lost it. She was beginning to see red. This man is purposely getting on her nerves! And she hates the fact that he actually succeeds. What in the world did I see in this guy? she wondered, giving him a long, dark look. Surveying his appearance, Shizuru can't deny that Sakyo's looks aren't appealing to ones eye---especially if it's his eyes we're talking about. His fleshy complexion matches his long dark hair, which today was pulled in a loose ponytail, having some loose strands dangle on his face. On his tall body is a white long-sleeved shirt, that even though it's loose, you can still see the muscles it cover. He wore a black slacks, and black shoes, leaving that same mysterious effect he had when she first met him.

"Did I pass your inspection?" he smiled, revealing the perfectly aligned white teeth. "What's the verdict?"

He knew I was checking him out! Funny, I didn't feel embarrassed about it. "I better go," she said icily, and tried to step away from him.

But Sakyo made sure that wasn't possible. He blocked her way, and asked, "No goodbyes?"

Which she didn't know whether to take him seriously or not. "I said goodbye days ago," came her curt reply. She didn't worry about hurting him---this guy's made of steel! Imagine her surprise when she saw him recoil and his face grimace in pain, as if she had spanked him on his cheek. Seeing this, Shizuru's mind went overdrive. Kami-sama, I've hurt him!

"Sakyo..." she whispered, wishing she could remove the hurt he had felt and take back the words she had said. Actions speak louder than words. His reaction to what she had said bounced back to her. It was she who was hurting more.

"No, no..." he murmured, waving his hands, shaking his head. This time, it was he whose eyes didn't met hers. "I've got fifteen minutes to go, so I better leave now," he added, his voice faltering. With that, he headed to the door, where he can make a clean exit, and shut Shizuru out of his life.

Feeling a mixture of guilt, sadness, disgust, and drained, Shizuru perched herself on the kitchen table. Here he was, waiting for her, and there she was, annoyed with him. Love means accepting all of him; love means giving up something for happiness.

That's what Yukina was doing to Kuwabara, right? She never really understood how Yukina can stand Kuwabara, but then, that's how. It's also the same with Keiko and Yusuke...

And now, she can't even be like Yukina or Keiko, and listen to her heart! The man she loves is now making his way outside her house.

No, don't go! she thought wildly, as she set her cup beside her. Don't leave me for the second time! I need...some answers.

Love means accepting all of him; love means giving up something for happiness.

"Demo!" she cried out.

Sakyo stopped in the middle of the half-open door. Cold air pierced her skin through the thin fabric of her nightgown. "Nani?"

"Please close the door," she pleaded, shivering slightly. For good measure, she added, "Onegai."

"Why?" He didn't move.

"I need you..."she whispered hoarsely. The tears are dangerously close towards falling.

"What?" he asked, straining to hear. He motioned for her to speak a little louder.

"I need you," she repeated, her voice getting edgy. "I need you..." she said again, clearly this time, "...to...to make me a cup of coffee."

Sakyo couldn't help it. A smile crept over his face. Shizuru didn't know it, but she has just made his day!

Slowly, he closed the door, then faced her. He could tell she knew that his mood's been lifted by that little statement of hers, but was sure that something is still up hidden under his sleeve.

She was right.

"Arigato, Shizuru," he said. "You know what? All that coffee-making has been exerting my muscles. I think a massage would help. Can you do it?"

Shizuru's mouth open. The nerve! If she hadn't known better, she'd think he was joking. "Are you serious?" she asked in a voice half-shocked, half-monotone.

His face softened. "Come on," he coaxed. "You can do it. Think of this as a return of my making you coffee." He stationed himself between her knees and leaned his body on the table's edges. Remembering something, he shifted so that he can look at her without difficulty. "I'm sure the coffee had awakened your senses," he told her, glancing at the wall clock.

Shizuru glances, too. The clock read 4:07 am. They had already wasted seven minutes because they were bickering like cats and dogs. And there are some questions he needed to answer before their time is up.

That left her again no choice.

"Okay," she agreed.

"Good." Sakyo removed his shirt, exposing his back, and giving her a view of the muscles rippling in it with every movement he makes. Her heart was pounding like crazy on her chest. Having him so near her was making her heart flutter, therefore, flustering her. He had probably gotten them from working out so much, she thought.

"How did you get here?" she wanted to know, running her fingers on his skin. She felt his sharp intake of breath.

"I walked," he answered simply.

"No, how, " she asked again, emphasizing the word how.

"Koenma had given me 72 hours to wander around, finish whatever business I had left, think about what I had done, reflect. Looking at it now made me regret whatever I had done---but then, it's too late." He tilted his head to the left. "But I'm glad I was given this second chance, even if it lasts for only three days. I'm satisfied, because I found out about it before I'm gone, and I haven't gone without knowing about it. Rei Kai works amazingly, right?" He chuckled.

"Hai," she whispered, seeing that there's no use to talk loudly because he was near him. Why now, when all he has left are ten minutes---ten precious minutes to which he spends with her.

"Shizuru?"

"Yes?" Her fingers began working furiously.

"Did you keep the lighter I gave you? The one before I...well, died?"

Did I ever? "Of course," she answered, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. Now her interest in him is out in the open! "I mean, yes...as a souvenir."

Her retort came too late, and they both know it. Sakyo sensed hope in this woman.

She had intentionally tried to hurt him, but he made sure she didn't succeed. In the world of business, you must learn to turn your opponent's strengths to your advantage. Sakyo decided to do that just now.

"Why do you keep on hurting me deliberately?" he asked, meeting her eyes.

Lowering her gaze, she dropped her hands to her side. "I don't know what you're talking about."

But they both know that she's lying.

"Do you love me?"

"WHAT?" she burst out, and looked up, her voice filled with denial. How in the world did he know? "Iie," she denied.

"Nine minutes are left in my life, and you won't be honest? For pete's sake, Shizuru, just this once. For me, can't you drop your pride? Can't you?" he demanded.

His voice shook with anger, and he was desperate. He's mad, she realized. He's mad at me.

He mistook her silence as defiance. Sighing, she knew he was about to give up. Sakyo leaned forward, bringing his face closer to her. His hands found hers and rested on them. "Shizuru, did you know why I came here?"

"You wanted to see me," she answered rationally. "Checking up on an old acquaintance."

Looking annoyed, he blew the loose strands of his hair. "Shizuru, just answer my question. Do you love me?"

She made a quick glance on the clock. Seven minutes left on his precious life. Releasing a heavy sigh, she admitted, "Yes, I do. But it won't make any difference, right? Can I go now? You've got what you've wanted."

He held her elbow, and leaned even nearer to her. The space between them was getting narrower and narrower by the second. "I did, but did you? And yes, it does make a difference," he murmured, his gaze traveling from her eyes to her lips, and back again. "Yes it does." Then his eyes met hers for a long lingering look. Sakyo is laughing softly. "You are so dense." he fingered a strand of her hair, and pushed it behind her ear. "It changes how I feel."

Shizuru looked puzzled.

"Shizuru Kuwabara," he began, still half-chuckling, "ever since I met you, you haven't left my mind. It had taken me hours thinking and changing my mind about whether I should drop by or not. On the last minute, I decided I have to. Otherwise, my list of the things I regretted doing would have an item added to it. There are some questions that I need to answer. Only, I had decided on the final minutes of my existence. It's too late now." he looked so sad, his eyes drooping. Desperately, he moaned, "Five minutes...all that I have left."

It was a good thing that she had recovered from her surprise. Her thinking is now clear. What Sakyo had said brought her happiness, and made her smile. Taking his hand, she said, "Five minutes? Then I guess we better make the best of it." She took a deep breath, and told him something she was longing to say a long time ago. "Sakyo, aishiteru."

"You do?" Grinning, she nodded. You should have seen him. His droopy eyes brightened up, looking alive, like he was some kid getting everything that was listed on his Christmas list.

"Arigato," he whispered, then took her to his arms, and kissed her in a way she never thought was possible. Rockets got launched in her head, and fireworks exploded. She was that happy.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, they let go of each other. Then she reached out, and hugged him. "I wish you didn't have to go."

"I know. So do I." His chest raised up and down. Then, he pulled her for another kiss.

"I wish we'd have more moments like this," she added, her voice trembly. Remembering that he'll be gone soon is painful. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She couldn't help it.

"Don't cry," he said softly, stroking her hair. "You're the best thing that has happened to me." He kissed her forehead. "Shizuru, don't cry."

"I can't help it," she admitted. "Before I met you, I haven't been crying like a baby. But now, look at me. Three days straight!"

"That's a record, even for Shizuru Kuwabara," he commented, laughing a little. "I'm going to miss you."

"Me, too."

"Say it."

"Oh, all right. I'll miss you, too."

"Sakyo," a third voice spoke up.

Even with her eyes closed, she knew who it was. The familiarity of his voice said it all.

On their kitchen stood the teenaged form of the crown prince of Rei Kai, Koenma Daioh. Beside him is his favorite ferry girl, Botan. Shizuru smiled at Botan, then glanced at the clock. 4:15. It's time. Koenma has never been late in his whole life. She noticed Botan weeping, and felt like breaking down again there and then.

"Shizuru," Koenma started to say, but was cut off with her nodding.

"Yes, I know," she informed him. She handed Sakyo his shirt. "I understand." Then, she glanced at Sakyo. "You be careful, okay?"

He looked at her, on his face was a faint smile. She returned it, and nodded, waving a little. He approached her for the last time, and gave her a small kiss on her cheek, then on her forehead. "Don't forget about me."

"Sayonara," was her reply.

Then, when Koenma Daioh and Botan took Sakyo away, she broke down to fresh tears. "Sayonara," she whispered to no one.

This time, it's forever.

.|.|. YYH Forever .|.|.

Author's Notes:

Hello, minna! Did you like it? This is a revised edition of the original untitled fic I wrote. It's not very good. Anyway, I chose the title because things that happened normally wouldn't if they hadn't met each other. That's it. Sorry for my Japanese, okay? I'm not even sure if I got the spelling right. I'll improve it. Promise! Tell me what you think. E-mail me!
*Inform me first before using the fic, okay?

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