Recap: Yusuke and Kurama interrogated Mitarai and were under attack by Sensui and Sniper. Everyone became discombobulated as they were attacked from multiple sides. Kuwabara was kidnapped.
Kurama and Komeko approached the apartment, but Komeko stopped when she smelled Shizuru – specifically her blood. They rounded the corner and came across Shizuru with Keiko sitting next to her, crying silently.
“Keiko, what happened?” Kurama asked.
“Yeah, I thought we agreed that you’d go back up to the apartment.” Komeko added.
“Shizuru didn’t want to go without her brother and I didn’t want her to go on her own. I can’t get her to wake up though and I can’t move her.” Keiko responded, sniffling.
“I never should have left you two.” Komeko said quietly before starting to pick up Shizuru.
Her arm throbbed from where the marble was lodged and Kurama interrupted her. “Perhaps I should do it. You’re hurt.”
“No, I’ve got her.” Komeko said stubbornly as she picked the girl up and brought her to the stairs into Yusuke’s apartment.
Kurama walked behind her until he opened the door for her. They walked in to see Genkai with Botan on the floor. Apparently, she had just been healed too. Komeko felt a wave of self-loathing hit her for her earlier choices to leave them alone.
“Put her down on the bed.” Genkai instructed.
“I’m up! Hey, when did you guys get here?” Botan said and laughed off her condition while Genkai healed Shizuru.
Mitarai became frantic in the corner of the room, unbelieving about the kindness shown towards him. Botan laughed it off, but Mitarai did not feel any better.
“Anyone seen Yusuke?” Koenma asked everyone.
“He went chasing off after Sensui. They got Kuwabara.” Komeko said quietly.
“Dimwit.” Genkai commented.
“We have to get back to them. I smelled something awful familiar on that truck. Did you see those ropes around Kuwabara? They looked like…” Komeko trailed off before holding her head in frustration. “Shit. I can’t wrap my mind around anything right now.”
She walked out of the room and settled on the rubble just outside the walkway. She had let her mind get clouded on making her decisions and she regretted it. She should have stayed with the girls. Hindsight was always twenty-twenty. Her mind went off on more tangents of a similar manner before she perked up when she sensed Kurama.
“Shizuru is awake.” He said as he sat down besides her.
He reached out to put a comforting hand on her shoulder, but she pulled away. He gave her a confused look, but she kept her gaze on the rubble around them. There was so much destruction from that one blast.
Komeko sighed tiredly.
“Besides keeping my grades up, I’ve had only one real mission while I’ve been here. Koenma assigned me to take care of your loved ones. That’s the entire reason I distanced myself from you and the others before. I was mean to you with the intention of staying out of your worry radar. I’m protective of them more by choice now, but it still doesn’t excuse my careless actions today. I never should have left them alone.”
Tears built up in Komeko’s eyes and her fingers gripped the rock underneath her harshly, cracking it with her anger. Kurama placed his hand beneath her chin and brought her up to face him. He held her swimming blue eyes with his focused green ones.
“You can’t blame yourself for this. There is only so much a person can do. They are capable of making their own choices, even if they’re not always the brightest. You cannot spread yourself so thin and expect to be in so many places at once. It’s illogical.” Kurama told her.
“I know it’s illogical, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling this way.” She heaved a sigh and her eyes transformed into a thousand yard stare. “I’ve seen so much death and so much destruction in my life. I’ve grown far more attached to all of you than I’d ever care to admit and I’m determined to keep everyone safe, especially when they’re left to the odds against beings more powerful than them. Shizuru may get her feelings, but those won’t always save her ass.”
“Is your mission the reason you saved my mother at the Dark Tournament?” Kurama asked her as he let go of her chin.
“Part of it. I also care for your mother a great deal.” Komeko responded.
He let his hand rest on her right shoulder this time, but pulled back when he felt the dried blood there. “Your wound.”
Komeko eyed her shoulder before looking at the healed flesh. The marble had stayed in while the skin closed on top of it. She pulled out her knife and handed it to Kurama.
“Would you mind? I’m not good as a lefty.” She asked.
“Do you want something to numb it?”
“Nope, just go for it.”
Kurama cut open the small lump and retrieved the marble with deft fingers. Komeko groaned as the wound healed quickly. She held her hand out for her knife back.
“And the marble, please. I’m going to find that guy and shove it down his throat.” Komeko grumbled.
“I do admire the way you’ve protected them so valiantly, you know. I’m forever indebted to you for saving my mother as well.” Kurama said from his position beside her.
“Don’t worry about it. Like I said, I like Shiori a lot. She kind of reminds me of my own mom a little bit. I won’t bore you with the details, but she was quite protective of me and my sister growing up.” Komeko said as she pushed some hair behind her ear. “Before they were killed, she was the most engaging woman I had ever met. Truthfully, until I was assigned to your group, I really hadn’t interacted with women much since she died. Botan and I got close when I came here, but there was nothing in between.”
A slight smile graced her face. “I’d like to go see Shizuru now. I appreciate your help, Kurama.” She placed a quick kiss on his cheek.
He caught her hand as she went to go and pulled her into a hug. Komeko was surprised, but returned the gesture and felt his lips on her forehead. She smiled into the embrace and they pulled apart. “I appreciate your help and admire you a lot, Komeko.”
The group, sans the kidnapped Kazuma, worked their way into the mountains to find the cave that would hold their friend. Picture painted by Mitarai, they had come to a horrible conclusion about Kuwabara. His new sword could break down territories. This made him valuable to Sensui since it would be possible that they could break the Kekkai barrier. It was obvious that Kuwabara would never willingly aid in the apocalyptic action, but Mitarai revealed that one of the empowered humans with them, Gourmet, would take care of it by consuming Kuwabara and using his power.
They also knew that they now faced four people, since Hiei had killed Sniper - to Komeko’s simultaneous pleasure and chagrin, Mitarai had joined the group, and Yusuke had taken care of the Doctor. Not to mention, due to the extensive efforts of their enemies, the tunnel was supposed to open in only two days or less. Genkai had suggested that a small group go forward to scout out the tunnel before everyone just jumped in all unprepared.
With a few parting words, Kurama, Hiei, Yusuke, and Mitarai left. The remaining of the group, namely Genkai, Botan, Kaito, Yanagisawa, and Komeko, had watched them leave with the sun setting brightly. Unfortunately, it was only a few hours later that they returned and needed precisely three more players for a territory they had entered on the way. That left Komeko and Botan out when the others decided to go.
“We don’t need ‘em anyways, B.” Komeko said, slightly insulted.
“Yeah, we’ll find another way to help. We’re not hapless cheerleaders. We’re awesome, powerful, intelligent females who can figure this out, right?” Botan questioned, full of pride.
“Hell yeah.” Komeko gave her a high-five. “Now, we just have to surmise how to do it from a distance.”
Both girls sweat-dropped in exasperation.