BY：Keiko no Miko
"WHAT?!" Kurama asked Yusuke in exasperation, his green eyes of a wolf flashing. "You asked me to travel the ten miles from my home to yours so you could ask me for a gift?!"
Yusuke found himself swallowing. He couldn't stand to see one of Kurama's blood-sucking plants make their way through his body. Grinning foolishly, he made the V-sign with his fingers. "No, no. I mean, I praise your intelligence, you're the wisest man in Mushiyori City, and you have lots of girls following your trail, so surely you know what gift to give to a girl."
"YOU SET ME UP ON A BLIND DATE?!"
"Nooooo!" Even Yusuke himself was losing his patience. "I need advice!"
Kurama stared at Yusuke, searching his face. Finally, he nodded. "You want to give Keiko a gift," he stated serenely.
Yukimura Keiko. The face of Keiko flashed before Yusuke's eyes. That pretty, wide-eyed girlfriend of his. The thought of her sent chills throughout his body. "You got that right," he confirmed.
"And you couldn't think of a good gift by yourself alone?!" Kurama yelled once more.
Yusuke folded his arms across his chest. "Were you busy when I called? You sound so impatient today."
"Yeah, I was working," Kurama said. "It was a lot of work, full of bookkeeping. Then you called. I thought Master Koenma has a mission for us again. And for goodness' sake, I was extremely worried! Why didn't you just ask me for advice over the phone?"
"I don't know...maybe I was just anxious about it, too."
Kurama shook his head. He walked towards the sofa and sat down. Yusuke sat across him.
"What are you so anxious about, Yusuke?" Kurama asked, calming down at last.
Yusuke sighed. Kurama was very right, he knew. He could have thought of a gift on his own, but he loved Keiko so much...he wanted to give the best to her.
"Okay, so it's Keiko's birthday on Saturday, right?" Kurama continued to interrogate.
Yusuke nodded. It was a Thursday evening. He had one day left.
"Don't you at least have something in mind?"
"I'm the worst in giving gifts, Kurama," Yusuke admitted. "Sure, Kuwabara could give a cheesy poem and teddy bear to Yukina on her birthday, but that's Kuwabara. He doesn't know the difference between corny and cool."
Kurama widened his eyes.
Yusuke laughed. "Just kidding. But what I want is to give Keiko something she'll really like. Something that she'll want to treasure forever."
"You and Keiko are soul mates, Yusuke. You've been with her your whole life. And you're going to be with her until the end of time."
Despite Yusuke's beliefs on what is "corny and cool", he smiled. Keiko, his childhood friend, is going to be his forever. His face took a dreamy look.
"Yusuke, you're on cloud nine," Kurama noted.
Yusuke blinked. "Oh...right. What were you saying?"
"About Keiko. Let me ask you something, Yusuke. Do you love Keiko?"
That was the worst understatement Yusuke had ever heard. "Of course I love her! I love her to bits! Everyone knows that!"
Kurama waved his hands before him. "Now look here. You know, love is knowing. You should know what Keiko likes and what she doesn't. You should make the decision on what to give her on her birthday."
Yusuke was startled at Kurama' words. Love...knowing...I should know....His mind pondered deeply on what Kurama the Wise Wolf had said.
"I think that's the best advice I can give you right now, lover boy," Kurama concluded, standing up. "I'd better go home now."
"Kurama..." Yusuke smiled at him gratefully. "...you are the best."
"Okay, so how about this?" Keiko twirled around Yusuke like a fashion model the next morning, Friday. The balloon skirt she was wearing twirled around her slender legs. "What do you think?"
"Mm, you're lovely in that dress," Yusuke, sitting on one of the sofas in the Yukimuras' living room, told her, his mouth half full of corn chips. He slapped his forehead. "Oh, I forgot. You're always lovely."
Keiko rolled her eyes. "Stop your sarcasm, Yusuke."
"Hey, I'm being genuine! One hundred percent!"
"Yeah, right!" Keiko plopped down beside Yusuke.
Keiko smiled. "Okay. Let's stop." Keiko buried her hand inside Yusuke's bag of chips and got a fistful. She popped one chip in her mouth. "You shouldn't be eating this all the time. It's unhealthy."
"Look who's talking!"
"I hardly eat chips! I took this out of impulse!"
"Now that's worse!"
"Arrgh!" Keiko snapped her head back, giving in Yusuke's teasing. "I'm all yours now."
Yusuke straightened up and looked at her, surprised. "Really?"
Keiko turned his head towards him. Those brown eyes of hers reflected his image back. She had the most innocent look on her face. "Yeah, so?"
Yusuke couldn't resist anymore. He grabbed Keiko's head and kissed her on the lips passionately. Keiko was obviously caught off-guard, but Yusuke finally won her in. She returned his kiss.
Keiko embraced Yusuke. Her fist opened and her corn chips spilled on Yusuke's jacket. But he didn't seem to notice.
After a long, warm kiss, they broke apart. They sighed at the same time, as if both of them stayed underwater for too long.
"You told me you're all mine," Yusuke whispered huskily, still caressing her cheeks.
Keiko smiled, her eyes twinkling. Then she suddenly gasped. "Oh no, the corn chips!"
Yusuke's mouth hung open as he looked around him. The chips were scattered on the couch. "You'd have a hard time cleaning this up," he noticed.
"What do you mean, me? We are going to clean this up!"
"No, I'm not!" Yusuke argued.
Keiko glared at him. At that, Yusuke threw his hands up in defeat. He knew Keiko's slap too well.
Keiko went away to get a broom. Yusuke gazed at her disappearing figure, still wearing that fitted black dress. The feel of Keiko's lips still lingered on his. Yusuke shivered slightly. He had to shake himself to escape from the euphoria he was feeling. Keiko's kiss had sent his heart racing against time and space and his mind whirling crazily.
He started to rid the sofa of corn chips absently. The way Keiko made him feel was so...amazing...and strange...at the same time....
"Well, I'm glad you're learning how to clean." Keiko suddenly returned with a broomstick. "Maybe next time you'll learn how to clean your own room."
"Maybe I won't have to the moment you become my wife," Yusuke said solemnly.
Keiko blushed fiercely, her eyes widening even more. Yusuke had to smile. He loved making Keiko blush. Ever since they were kids, he would pull her skirt up or the sort. He was that naughty. Keiko, on the other hand, would just blush, and slap Yusuke on the face hard, if given the chance.
Yusuke trailed his gaze on Keiko's face a little while longer. He always thought Keiko looked cute when she flushed. But at that day, just sitting there in front of her, he found Keiko's face lovelier than he had previously thought. She looked so sweet, innocent...and at the same time alluring and intense....
"Your mouth is hanging open."
Yusuke closed his mouth. How embarrassing. Macho Yusuke, being hypnotized by his girlfriend.
Keiko was starting to sweep the floor. Yusuke watched her. "Hey, do you have to wear that dress all day? I thought you're going to wear that tomorrow."
Keiko rolled her eyes. "My dress shall be a surprise. Especially for you." She winked at him.
Yusuke whistled. "Really."
Keiko smiled explicitly.
Inside, Yusuke felt his stomach churn. The birthday. He still couldn't think of a good present. I'm so pathetic, he thought. Couldn't even think, even after Kurama's advice.
"So what are you going to do this afternoon?" Keiko asked Yusuke.
Yusuke shrugged. "I'll be hanging out with Kuwabara. You?"
"I'll be with my friends," Keiko responded. She glanced at her wristwatch. "Which reminds me, I'd better go now."
"Oh." Yusuke looked disappointed. After a while, he stood up. "Well, I guess this isn't my place any longer."
"But you'll come back later, wouldn't you?"
"Of course." He walked past Keiko, then stopped. He sauntered in front of her and kissed her again.
"Aishiteru, Keiko," he murmured.
Yusuke peered over the glass window of a flower shop. The sweet scent of the variety of flowers tickled his nose.
"Ah...ah...ACHOO!" Kuwabara had just released the loudest sneeze ever.
"I've got a cold, Yusuke," Kuwabara told him. "It's terrible. Everybody's getting it."
Yusuke turned away from the flower shop and continued walking down the sidewalk. Kuwabara followed him.
"Why does everybody get a cold these days?" Yusuke wondered aloud. "It's springtime! We're supposed to have fun!"
"It's the change in weather," Kuwabara told him matter-of-factly.
Yusuke rolled his eyes. "I'm not dumb, Kuwabara. I know it's because of the change in weather. But look at me - I'm still healthy!"
"Let's just wait until Keiko slaps your face when she realizes you wouldn't give her a present on her birthday," Kuwabara muttered under his breath.
"I heard that!"
"You're going to be feeling worse than those with a high fever!"
They walked in silence for a few more minutes. The cherry trees above them was full of pink cherry blossoms. As pink as Keiko's cheeks, Yusuke thought, staring at them. He saw Keiko's face among the blooms, that beautiful face. He inhaled deeply. He loved the smell of the blossoms. They were not very sweet nor odorous. The scent was so natural and clean.
A petal landed on the sleeve of Yusuke's denim jacket. He picked it up. It was so soft....
"...What do you think will you look like after Keiko's birthday tomorrow?"
Bam! Kuwabara received a hard punch on the face from Yusuke. He fell on the ground, feeling dizzy.
"For the last time, Kuwabara, stop being such a jerk."
"Okay, fine." Kuwabara stood up, rubbing his cheek.
Another cherry blossom petal landed on Yusuke's jacket. He brushed it off.
"Why don't you just give her that tree?" Kuwabara asked him.
Yusuke glanced at him. Kuwabara was pointing to a cherry tree.
Yusuke chuckled. "I'm seriously thinking about it," he joked.
"You were staring at them so intently, I almost thought you could see some bad spirits in them."
"Remember, Kuwabara, I'm not a spiritual detective any longer."
A few seconds passed before Kuwabara sighed. "It has been more than three years, huh?"
Yusuke kept quiet for a while. He envied Kuwabara at that moment. He had been living a normal life for the past three years, just studying. Now, he has a bright future ahead of him. Yusuke, on the other hand, had spent the three years fighting off evil spirits in another world. And now, his future looked blurred. The only thing he actually looked forward to was marrying Keiko and fulfilling his promise three years ago.
Yes, it had been a long time.
"So, what are you going to do with your life now?" he asked Kuwabara.
"I don't know. I just go with the flow."
"I do the same."
"But it's different for each of us, right?"
Yusuke nodded. "For once, Kuwabara, you strike me with powerful words."
"I've been studying, you know."
"Good for you, then." And he meant it.
It was already dusk. Yusuke had been searching for the gift high and low, and finally, just before the sun started to set, he found it. Now he looked silly walking around with a shopping bag.
Kuwabara had left him earlier in the afternoon, for he, too, had lost his patience.
Everybody seemed to be losing his patience on him. First, it was Kurama, then Kuwabara. Keiko...
Oh, no! Yusuke thought, alarmed. I'm supposed to go to Keiko's tonight!
Yusuke sprinted towards Keiko's house. He was two blocks away when he saw a tall, brown-haired guy standing in the middle of the street. He wore a red cape around his shoulders....
"Master Koenma!" Yusuke exclaimed. He hadn't seen him for a while. "What are you doing here?"
Yusuke failed to see the look of grief in Koenma's eyes. "Hah! So, what's up?" Yusuke asked, feeling giddy.
"Yusuke...I'm sorry..." Koenma started to say.
Yusuke stopped smiling. He raised an eyebrow. "What's the matter?"
Yusuke's heart suddenly pounded heavily behind his ribs. "W-What about her?"
What?! No. No. Koenma is lying. "That was not funny," Yusuke said. "Of all the jokes in the world -"
"I am not joking," Koenma insisted. "Please, Yusuke. This is hard for me to tell you."
Yusuke's head spun. Keiko...dead? But he was kissing her this morning!
"What happened?" Yusuke choked out.
"An accident," Koenma said. "She and her friends were walking in the mall. They passed by an area under construction. Then a beam fell on her head...she wasn't able to elude it...."
The scenario was pictured inside Yusuke's head. His body trembled. His mind became numb. All he could see was Keiko...her eyes closed...couldn't breathe...couldn't beat her own heart....
Yusuke suddenly tugged at Koenma's collar tensely. "You can cure her, can't you?"
Koenma swatted Yusuke's hand off his clothes. "You're hurting me!"
"But you can cure her, right?"
Koenma sighed heavily. He closed his eyes and shook his head.
Koenma hesitated before speaking. "...Her spirit is not here anymore, Yusuke."
A long, heavy, almost audible pause.
Then a thump. Yusuke unconsciously slumped on the ground with his head bowed. He clenched his fists so hard that they bled.
He squeezed his eyes shut as tears fell from his eyes and slid down the bridge of his nose. He wasn't even there for her during her last minute. A wave of grief, anger and worthlessness washed over him.
"Go to her house first," Koenma replied quietly, "and find the answer."
Yusuke wasn't able to walk properly, so Koenma helped him on the way.
Yusuke didn't even see all the crying people around the house. He passed by in a daze, entering the house without acknowledging anybody, and saw the den. The den that he and Keiko had earlier messed up. The den where he saw Keiko alive for the last time.
Now the couches were gone, and the only things left were flowers and Keiko's picture amongst them. It was so ironic - a few years back it was he Keiko was mourning for. Now it happened otherwise.
The tears fell continually from Yusuke's eyes as he knelt down. What had happened? Why did everything that mattered to him had to vanish away?
"You remember...Keiko..." Yusuke finally whispered, "...tomorrow's your birthday. I already have a gift for you...I promise I'll give it to you tomorrow...."
His eyes traveled on the flowers around Keiko's picture. One kind drew his attention - the cherry blossoms.
"Her father is not around," he heard Koenma mutter as he knelt beside Yusuke.
"She's really pretty, isn't she?" Yusuke murmured.
Koenma didn't say anything.
"You know, I'm supposed to give her cherry blossoms tomorrow on her birthday. Do you think it is a nice gift?"
Koenma looked at Yusuke. Tears stained his cheeks, but he spoke almost normally and flawlessly.
"I always thought her cheeks are the color of cherry blossoms...so pink and soft...beautiful..."
"I know she'll like them...."
They knelt there without moving or saying anything afterwards. Soon, Kurama, Kuwabara, and Hiei joined them.
"I'm sorry, Yusuke," Kurama told him in a low voice.
Yusuke turned around to face him slowly. His face was drained of color, his eyes tired and expressionless. "Sorry for what?" he asked, unconcernedly, as if nothing had happened.
This took Kurama by surprise. "You know..."
"For what?" Yusuke pressed, his voice impatient and demanding.
"Look - whatever you're thinking, there's nothing to be sorry about. You know I'm a good guy. I forgive people. And I won't hold a grudge against you for long, Kurama. So whatever you're sorry for -" Yusuke stood up at this point - "just forget it, okay?"
"Okay." Yusuke glanced at Koenma, and seeing him holding the shopping bag, snatched it from him. Then he ambled away.
The next morning, Yusuke, all dressed up and clean, passed by Keiko's house. The restaurant was empty since Keiko's father couldn't be seen anywhere since last night. The doors were locked.
"Hey, Keiko," he shouted as if he were actually talking to somebody. "Where are all your guests?"
No one answered him. The only thing he heard was the gust of the spring breeze.
"Keiko!" he yelled again, this time louder. He outspread his arms, and a bouquet of cherry blossoms was revealed. "I brought your gift! Hey, open the door!"
No answer. Just that annoying wind.
He angrily stomped towards their front door and knocked loudly. Soon he was slamming his fist against it. It was a wonder why he could finish a monster off with one punch when he couldn't destroy that stupid door.
It seemed all so suddenly that Yusuke finally realized what had been happening. His eyes were finally opened to that hurting, inevitable truth: Keiko is gone forever. And he could do nothing about it.
He began walking aimlessly. Then he ran. Before he knew it, he was by the seashore.
He wouldn't ever forget that moment when Keiko ran up to him after missing him for so long. It happened near the spot where he stood now.
He didn't feel himself release all of his spiritual energy. It flowed out of him freely. Yusuke wasn't able to control it or even think that it was coming out of him. The pain and anger he felt was too much...too much....
The wind began to pick up speed; the waves crashed wildly on the land. Yusuke didn't feel his rei gan go to work. His shaking index finger glowed, then the glow became bigger and brighter. It was then that Yusuke finally saw it.
Without thinking, he summoned more of his energy into his finger. And more...and more...and more, until every single bit of his spiritual power were concentrated on that finger. It was now more than twice the size of Yusuke himself.
Still he didn't seem to be satisfied. His eyes radiated light and his rei gan expanded. He used his soul to make that rei gan even more massive.
He aimed at the heavens. Then he fired.
A moment afterwards, he lay on the ground, feeling drained, yet satisfied. The last thing he saw was the blue spring sky before he closed his eyes.
Yusuke knocked on the massive door.
"Come in," was the small, faint reply.
Yusuke shoved his hands into his pockets as he let himself into the room.
Somebody was working behind big piles of paperwork stacked on the desk in the middle of the room. Yusuke looked around. It wasn't exactly his first time to be there in the Great Enma's temple in the Reikai, the astral world. Nothing seemed to change since then.
"Why did you do it?" came Koenma's voice.
"I don't know," Yusuke replied silently. "I just lost track of myself."
"I don't believe it."
"You don't have to," Yusuke said. "I just want to see her right now."
Koenma appeared behind the piles. He was no longer the handsome man he was on Ningenkai. Now he looked like a small, helpless kid.
"I'm not finished talking yet."
Yusuke shrugged. "What is it?"
"It's not your time yet," Koenma said matter-of-factly.
"Hah, yeah. Sure it's not."
"I'm serious, Yusuke. You have to go back to Ningenkai."
"I'll go wherever Keiko is."
"Is she the reason why you killed yourself?"
"There is no other reason."
Koenma shook his head in defeat and sighed. "Very well, then. I'll give you a few moments with her, but I'm warning you - there's an invisible barrier in there and you can't enter it in any way."
"But Keiko will be there...right?"
Yusuke started heading towards the door.
Yusuke stopped walking. "What is it again, Koenma?" he asked hastily without even turning around.
"She'll make you change your mind."
Yusuke closed his eyes and smiled. "Whatever."
A mist surrounded the path where Yusuke continued to travel. It was unaccustomed yet it seemed as if something was pulling him along that road.
He could barely see anything, but he rationalized that if he would bump on that barrier Koenma was talking about, he would finally stop. There was no sense of continuing anymore.
That voice. Yusuke looked around. Before him was a figure, so familiar and lovely.
Yusuke started running. He was only a few steps away from Keiko when his body collided with something that made him fall on the ground.
"Careful - you can't make it through that."
Yusuke stood up. "But you can, can't you?"
Instead of answering, Keiko turned her back on Yusuke.
"Hey, Keiko," Yusuke murmured. "Happy birthday."
He heard Keiko chuckle sweetly. "Thank you."
"Why were you late?"
Again, Keiko didn't answer his question. "Why did you do it?"
"You know what I mean."
Yusuke slowly walked towards her, this time aware of the barrier. When he felt it, he stopped.
"Why did you do it?" Keiko asked once more.
"I had to see you," Yusuke told her.
"And you'd kill yourself just to see me?"
"Aren't you the least bit flattered?"
"No," Keiko replied firmly, much to Yusuke's surprise. "I'm not at all flattered."
"So you don't want to see me."
"That's not true, either. I'm glad I've seen you again."
Yusuke pressed his palms against the barrier and looked at Keiko more intently. She was wearing a dark blue kimono. Asides from that, nothing changed. She was still the Keiko he had always known.
But she didn't want to look at him.
"If that's the case, then turn around."
"Before I do, I just want to make one thing clear."
Keiko shook her head sadly. "I hate you."
Yusuke stepped back. "What?!"
"I hate you because you killed yourself."
Yusuke shook his head vigorously. "I was not on my right mind then. I only realized it when I was in the middle..."
"But you didn't stop," Keiko finished for him. "I still can't believe you did it."
"I'm telling you, Keiko. I love you and I'd do anything to see you again."
"You should have known," Keiko said, "that I am against the idea of killing, especially yourself. Don't you see? You defeated Toguro, Sensui and all of the other monsters from whatever world. And after all of your exploits, you die by suicide."
"It's because I don't have a goal anymore. I'm finished with all my duties."
"What about your mother? What about your responsibility towards her? And what about my dad? I wanted you to take care of him, too."
Yusuke kept quiet.
"Fate wants it to happen this way," Keiko continued. "I have to die and I can do nothing about it. And neither can you. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you, so...go back. You do not belong here."
"And if I do," Yusuke said silently, "where would I go from there? I'm not finished with my schooling and I don't even have a future."
"Then find one," Keiko responded. "Finish your studies and find a...a girl you...you can raise a family with...." Keiko's voice had begun to crack.
Yusuke clenched his fists and rested his forehead on the invisible barrier. "Keiko..."
"I...I could never fall in love with another person. It has to be you...."
Keiko sniffed. "I fell in love with only one person, too, you know," she said, fighting back tears.
"I'm glad you know how I feel about you."
"Of course I do, Yusuke...don't you remember? The last words you told me before I died were 'aishiteru'."
Yusuke failed to think about it before, and now that he heard it from Keiko, he smiled, despite his sadness.
"I knew it...I knew...Yusuke, do you know that I love you too?"
"Of course. From the very beginning."
Keiko smiled through a sheen of tears.
Keiko stood stiffly.
"Could you not look at me for one last time?"
Keiko bowed her head and inhaled deeply. She turned around, slowly...and held her head up.
She was always smarter than he was. Yusuke knew at that point that Keiko and Koenma were right. He should wait until fate calls him.
But it seemed as if he wasn't ready to let go. Because with one look at her face...the face and the character behind...he knew that when he goes back to earth, nothing - nothing - would ever be the same again for him.
Tears started falling down Keiko's cheeks. Her sadness was mirrored on Yusuke's own face, when he, too, started to break down.
He seemed so dejected and vulnerable that Keiko's heart broke. She couldn't help but ran up to him. She slipped smoothly and easily against the barrier and threw her arms around Yusuke's neck. She buried her face on his chest and cried.
Yusuke embraced her tighter and pressed his cheek against her long and thick brown hair. The scent of her hair was so sweet, yet natural...so much like cherry blossoms.
"You know, I had gone crazy over what gift to give you on your birthday," Yusuke admitted finally. "I couldn't seem to find any."
"Well, have you decided until I...." Keiko let her voice trail off.
"I should have given you...a bunch of cherry blossoms."
Keiko smiled. "As cheesy as it may sound, this" - she hugged him steadily - "is the best gift ever."
Yusuke felt a tear course its way down his cheeks again. "Aishiteru, Keiko."
How Yusuke had managed to tear himself away from his loved one was still a mystery. He could still remember Kurama telling him that he and Keiko were soul mates. Perhaps he still believed it.
After all, he himself had already died two times - three times actually, including the recent one. So he held on to the hope that Koenma might give Keiko the permission to come back to earth again.
Nobody had found Yusuke's body lying on the seashore, although everybody else had searched for him. After three days since Keiko's death, he came back to his mother and tried to think about how he could glue the pieces of his life back together again. No one ever knew that he died. Keiko's body, on the other hand, wouldn't be buried yet until after five days.
Two days later, Yusuke found himself conversing with Kuwabara once more. They sat on the benches where they usually hung out with each other back when they were in high school.
"Well, guess what, Yusuke. I got rid of my cold."
"That's a good news," Yusuke replied, rather softly. Kuwabara had never heard him use that tone of voice before.
Kuwabara cleared his throat, wondering what the proper etiquette was for the mourning type. But as Kuwabara looked at him now, it seemed at if Yusuke wasn't mourning at all. Sure, he'd go to ridiculous stare-into-empty-space spells every now and then, but other than that, a serene smile curved on his lips. Clearly, he was still thinking about Keiko, but as alive, and not dead.
"Kuwabara, do you remember," Yusuke suddenly blurted out, "when you suddenly found yourself hugging Keiko, and when you hugged her tighter, she slapped you hard on the face?"
Kuwabara widened his eyes as he recalled the occasion. "Oh, yeah! You know, up to now, I still can't figure out what had happened. One minute, I was walking rather peacefully, and all of a sudden, I'm hugging her. Then I just found all these bruises all over my face."
Yusuke snickered. "You want to know what really happened?"
Kuwabara raised an eyebrow. "You mean, you know what happened back there?"
"Of course. My spirit entered your body."
"Well, I died because of that car accident, right? I had to talk to Keiko to keep my body from being buried because Koenma had told me that I can live again after...oh, it's a long story."
"Yeah, sure, but what happened to me?"
"I was getting to that. In order to talk to her, I entered your body. You suffered all those bruises because as I searched for her, lots of guys stopped me to fight with me - I mean you. I didn't know you had loads of enemies!"
The excitement in Yusuke's voice amused Kuwabara. Yusuke was finally returning to his old character. "Then?"
"So I found her. I told her not to bury my body. And you know what? She hugged me. We hugged each other. Then my allotted time for being inside you ended, so you returned to your usual self again. And that is why."
Kuwabara's jaw dropped. "I can't believe it!"
Yusuke simply shrugged.
"You know...she truly was a funny girl."
"Yes." Yusuke's voice was soft again. "Very smart, headstrong...yet sensitive and sweet."
Kuwabara smiled. "I'm sure she won't forget you."
"I know. She never will."
Yusuke kept his eyes glued onto the cherry tree above them.
Keiko, smiling, laid back on her bed happily. She couldn't believe it! She was back again!
Koenma had stopped her when she continued her journey after Yusuke had left the Reikai. He told her that she, too, had to go back to Ningenkai. Her business, whatever it was, was not over yet.
She opened her window and let the air come in her room. The wind felt so good on her face. The sunlight beat down carefully upon her pinkish cheeks. How wonderful it was to be alive once more! Everything she had taken for granted before seemed so alive, as if welcoming her.
Keiko sat up. "Come in, Dad," she said.
Her father opened the door and poked his head through the doorway. He had a very wide grin across his face. "I'm sorry, I don't want to intrude you, but I just want to give you something."
Keiko brushed her hair off her face. "What is it?"
He revealed a bouquet of flowers. "I found these a few days ago on the doorway. I think someone left it there."
Keiko stood up and took the flowers from him. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Now just lie in there and rest yourself."
Keiko followed her father's advice, but before that, she took a good look at the flowers. Pink. Cherry blossoms. "For Keiko" was written on a modest card stuck inside. She recognized the handwriting.
Her heart swelled. The petals were already brown at the edges. Yet she knew that the feelings of the one who gave them to her was as fresh as the blooms when they decided to open up.
She reminded herself to surprise Yusuke later on. He might die of shock, however! She almost couldn't wait to see him again.
Keiko smiled to herself and looked at the blossoms more carefully. Her eye caught something that glinted at the sunlight behind her window.
She dug for it. It was a heart-shaped locket.
She opened the locket. There was no picture whatsoever. Just a small, short inscription.
An inscription, which said, "Aishiteru until the end of forever."
Yusuke and Keiko are my favorite couple in Yu Yu Hakusho. This story, by the way, happens a few weeks after Yusuke's return from Makai after the Netherworld Tournament. (In case you haven't noticed...)
So you've noticed that Kuwabara always appears in the story. As you all know, Kuwabara is Yusuke's best friend, so since Keiko's not around (for a while), Yusuke needs someone to comfort him. I don't care if you hate Kuwabara because I like his silliness.
Cherry blossoms bloom in Japan during springtime...(yeah, right.)
(Note on January 31, 2000.) I know I didn't do everything right---this is my first fanfic and you know, starting out has its errors. I really thought Keiko's mom is dead. ^_^; Please don't sue me for any reason, forgive me, I'm just a poor high school student.
All Yu Yu Hakusho characters (c) Yoshihiro Togashi. (c)Ma. Filonila Alcaraz. No part of this work may be reproduced in any kind without permission from the author.