Recap: Realizing what Rin was, Komeko conducted her own investigation. Once she attacked Rin, Kurama intervened and Hiei came to the rescue.
Komeko’s head rested lightly on the back of the couch as they watched an old kung-fu movie. Her eye-lids were getting too heavy for her to keep open. She let out a breath and her eyes closed for her to fall asleep. She shivered in her sleep even though she had put on a comfortable baggy gray shirt before they sat down to watch the movie. Kurama looked at her and frowned, but perked up when he noticed a small blanket behind him that he could lay over her.
By the time the movie was finished, her head had fallen onto his shoulder. He placed his hand on her arm and shook her gently. She sat up quickly and blushed a few shades of red before standing, blanket fallen back on the couch. She was worried that she might have drooled on the poor guy, but was relieved when she felt that her mouth and chin were dry.
They stood at her door for a moment and she rubbed her injury a little because it was itchy beneath the bandages. They bid each other good night and she smiled while she watched him leave her yard. Thinking of what she’d do tomorrow, she got ready for sleep. She still had to bring Jorge those rice cakes!
Komeko sat down on her couch and stared blankly at her coffee table. She had just gotten the most insane news. The Toguro brothers weren’t dead. What’s worse, they invited Hiei, Kurama, Yusuke, and Kuwabara to be the guest fighters at the next Dark Tournament. They only had two months to prepare and there was no refusing invitations. Koenma had called her when he saw the rest of the recorded footage from the end of the fight with them.
Toguro got up like it was nothing and then beheaded a very hysterical Tarukane. Yusuke had been shopping with Keiko when he had been interrupted by Toguro. She chuckled at Yusuke’s description of him moving around the parking garage.
“He danced around like a fucking ballerina and leveled the parking garage. The bastard was fast and he told me he only used 60 percent of his power to do it too.”
The mental image of Toguro being a ballerina was her only saving grace right now. She was worried for the boys, immensely worried. The Dark Tournament was nothing to sneeze at. She had seen the last one and hoped to never go again. Sure, her inner demon was a little blood thirsty sometimes, but the tournament was not something to mess with. Tomorrow, the boys would start their training. Yusuke would go back to see Genkai while Kuwabara, Kurama, and Hiei would train together. She had agreed to do some stealth help with them as well, but that wasn’t until a few days from now.
Komeko was clad in dark clothing, face wrapped with cloth so only her eyes peeked through, and made herself as invisible as she could. She was stationed in a tree above Kuwabara, waiting for the right moment. Her arrow went sailing through the air a millisecond later and caught Kuwabara by his pant leg.
He made a loud noise of surprise and looked up into the branches. She was gone in a flash and fired at him again, ripping through the other pant leg.
“Agh!” Kuwabara grunted.
She was in another tree in a dash, notched another arrow, and fired. Kuwabara saw the speeding blur coming straight for his head and didn’t dodge in time. With a smacking sound, the suction-cup tipped arrow stuck to his head. He went cross eyed looking at it and Komeko jumped down from her position, ripping off her mask.
“If that was a real arrow, Kuwabara, you’d be dead. You need to learn to concentrate.”
She plucked the arrow from his forehead and it left a small hickey. Before she walked away, she gave him a smack upside the head for good measure.
“Hey! What was that for?!” He rubbed the back of his head.
Komeko rounded on him with a glare and he averted his eyes. Next, he would be training with Kurama and Hiei. Both of whom, Komeko thought, would be much tougher than she had. She would retest him in a month to see his progress and give him a few pointers.
Komeko returned to her position in the tree like she had with Kuwabara. Dressed the same, she waited patiently for Hiei to come by. She caught his scent, closely followed by his energy signature. Arrow already prepared, she fired at his figure. He was gone quickly and so was she. They raced through the trees until Hiei stopped on a branch. He smelled the air for her, but couldn’t catch her scent. He didn’t feel her energy either, so he relied on his sight and his hearing.
He moved just in time to avoid an arrow that hit the tree next to his ear. He was surprised when he felt something warm drip down his lobe and land on his shoulder. When he touched it, his fingers were tinged with red, but the minor wound healed quickly. His eyes widened when the realization hit him, then he growled. Another arrow whizzed by his body and he completely dodged it.
He was off in a flash after Komeko, who hopped from tree to tree to evade him. She stopped quickly when she almost ran into him and suicide jumped from the branch to catch the one below her, then took off again. Hiei growled into the air and resumed pursuit.
Komeko sat beneath a tree a few hours later, nursing a black eye with an ice pack. Hiei was off removing an arrow from his left arm from a time when he didn’t avoid it in time. She regretted nothing and honestly couldn’t wait to try to go against him again. She stiffened for a second and relaxed when she realized it was Kurama who was near her. His scent hit her and her unmarred eye drifted to a half open position. Kurama stared down at her and smiled when she looked up.
“I can see how things went with Hiei. I’m excited to try against you myself.”
Komeko smirked. “So am I, fox boy, so am I.”
Not even ten minutes later, Komeko had resumed her aerial position. Kurama was roughly thirty feet from her and she took her stance. His eyes turned to her immediately and she quickly dodged a vine that had come up to grab her leg. She cursed in her head when she realized this was more like his play ground than for any of the others. She was always used to her advantage in the trees or any high position, but his was with the plants. Stationed again, she shot her bow quickly. It pierced the tree next to Kurama and he ran up to where she was, ready to strike.
They attacked and dodged each other for nearly an hour when one of them slipped up. Komeko hung, upside down, from vine looped around a tree branch. Kurama smiled up at her and let out a chuckle that he tried to cover with his hand.
“Yeah, yeah, just let me down!”
“I don’t know, you look pretty good from down here.”
She bristled. “What do you mean?!”
He only smiled in reply. She gave him a very confused look, but focused completely on landing once the plant’s grip loosened. She stood on her feet and walked right up to Kurama and poked him in his chest, which was now glistened with sweat, and when did he even lose his shirt? Heat lit up Komeko’s cheeks and she stared for a millisecond too long before flitting away into the trees again, retort completely forgotten.
Today was the day of the boat ride to Hanging Neck Island. To say she was nervous was an understatement and she couldn’t imagine how the boys would be feeling. Currently though, she was facing the wrath of both Keiko and Shizuru with Botan beside her.
“Easy now, no need to get violent.” Botan chuckled nervously, crawling backwards on the wooden floor of Shizuru’s apartment.
“We know that you know, Botan, tell us where Yusuke is.” Keiko glared.
“And my baby brother too. He hasn’t come home for days.” Shizuru spoke between taking angry puffs from her cigarette.
“And neither of them even gave us a phone call.” Keiko claimed.
The girls started stepping closer to the two on the floor, who jumped up onto the bed and ducked down on the other side.
“Yes, I understand you’re worried, but boys will be boys.” Komeko shied away from both girls fierce glares.
“Mine won’t. Now, I want you to tell me exactly where Kazuma and Yusuke are.” Shizuru demanded, bringing her face closer to both Komeko’s and Botan’s as she kneeled on the mattress.
“Please, for our friendship.” Keiko begged.
“It’s just uh-” Komeko stuttered.
“Yes, but-” Botan struggled, and then gave up.
Komeko looked beside her at the deity and her eyes widened.
“Okay, but promise not to faint.”
Two minutes later, both girls were freaking out and then Keiko fainted; Botan caught her.
“I can’t believe they would be so reckless!”
“But they had to. Those in charge wouldn’t let them refuse.” Botan explained.
“The only way for them to live is to fight.” Komeko clarified.
“Now listen, you have to take me there.” Keiko said as she grabbed both girls’ arms.
“Yes, I’m going too.” Shizuru said with a determined look and her fists on her hips.
Komeko and Botan looked at each other helplessly and sighed.