I don't know if anyone will ever read this, but I'm going to make a disclaimer for it, anyway. I'm fairly new to the world of Yuu Yuu Hakusho - in fact, I've only seen the first 12 episodes. *Grr!* But that scene between Yuusuke and Keiko when he was resurrected just grabbed me by the throat and shook me. I haven't cried so much during an anime scene since Nuriko's ***** in ep. 33 of Fushigi Yuugi! *sad smile* If you've seen FY, then you know what I'm talking about - if not, it's spoiler info. Thus the asterisks... ^_^ Anyway, I know that I haven't seen much YYH, and I'm far from an expert on the characters, but I figured that I'd try my hand at a fic anyway. This idea just wouldn't let me go until I wrote it down. I think it's a half-way decent fic, even though it is hands down the shortest one I've ever written.

As always, comments and criticisms would be greatly appreciated - and I mean that literally. This is a totally new area for me, so any helpful hints that people could give me would be very much appreciated. Thanks again!

Disclaimer: The characters in this fic do not belong to me, they belong to all those wonderful people who own/created Yuu Yuu Hakusho. Don't sue me, I have no money - it's all being spent on computer upgrades... ^_^ Enjoy!

Constant
by Renee-chan

Her mind was in turmoil. But you might not know it to look at her. On the outside, she was calm, cool, and collected - as usual. Her short, brown hair was neatly brushed behind her ears, and her blue school uniform was immaculate. The only signs of the stress she was under was in her eyes and hands. Her small fingers clutched so tightly at her bookbag that her knuckles were white, and her eyes were troubled, brown pools laced with anguish. Yukimaru Keiko was not a happy person.

Keiko let out a forlorn, little sigh as she turned her eyes towards the wan figure on the bed. Life just wasn't fair, sometimes. As if her life hadn't been hard enough lately - what with Yuusuke g-gone, and all. Now her beloved kaasan had fallen ill! Keiko rested her head on her bookbag. It just wasn't fair. She was only 14 years old - life wasn't supposed to be this complicated so soon! She was certain of it. And the year had been going so well until a few days ago...

She'd been elected class president this year - a position of which she was very proud - and she loved the responsibility that it brought. She'd even managed to keep Yuusuke in line! Well, sort of. That is, until he... Keiko shook her head. He promised that he was coming back. Urameshi Yuusuke was many things in life, but never a liar. Well, never to her anyway. Not that she knew of... Keiko sighed again. This wasn't doing her any good. She'd been so excited after that dream. She'd been certain that she was talking to Yuusuke, just like always. Then there was that incident with the arson fire - she'd felt sure that Yuusuke had been watching over her. But, now... With her kaasan so sick, it was hard to keep believing.

She almost hadn't believed it when she'd heard about the accident. She had thought, Surely if Urameshi Yuusuke was going to die, it wouldn't be because he was trying to save a child. But in her heart, Keiko knew that wasn't true. To save the life of a child is exactly the kind of reason that Yuusuke would have risked his own life. Deep down inside, he'd been a good person - when no one else could see. It was a side that didn't often show, not even to her. But she'd glimpsed it once in a while - when he hadn't seen her watching. Oh yes, Urameshi Yuusuke would have tried to save that little boy - and he had died for it.

She had never realized how much she cared for the young street tough before that moment. Once her mind had accepted his death, the tears had started - and they didn't seem to want to stop. She had gone to the funeral and collapsed on Atsuko-san's doorstep, screaming Yuusuke's name - an unforgivable display, in her eyes. Her friends had been stunned, that the infamous Urameshi had been the one to prompt such tears out of their collected class president. She'd even been angry at him for a time after that. After all, he'd always been there. He was one of the constants in her life. No matter what she did, or what she failed to do, Yuusuke would always be there, and he would always be Yuusuke. But now, he was gone - truly gone. Keiko rubbed her forehead, feeling a lump form in her throat. She wouldn't cry. Not now. There'd been enough tears. She turned her face back to her mother, watching intently for any sign of recovery.

Keiko's eyes narrowed - she'd seen Kaasan's eyes flutter. No, it hadn't been her imagination! Kaasan's lips were moving! Keiko leaned closer to her mother, trying to catch the muttered words. After a short time of listening, Keiko jerked to her feet, staring at her watch. She almost dropped her bag as her heart skipped a beat. 15 minutes until midnight! And with the turning of the day, Yuusuke's chance at resurrection would vanish! She clenched her fist as she ran from the room, clutching at her bookbag. She wouldn't let it happen - she couldn't! Yuusuke was her friend - had always been her friend! She couldn't let him down, not when he really needed her. And from the sound of it, it was all up to her.

Keiko raced down the stairs and out the door into the cool night air. She threw herself into the run, desperate to reach Atsuko-san's apartment in time. Her feet beat a steady rhythm on the pavement of the sidewalk. A rhythm that did nothing to soothe the ache in her chest - an ache that made the lump rise right back into her throat. They'd come this far - Keiko wasn't going to let that boy slip away now. Not after so many years together. She rounded the corner and found herself face to face with the apartment building. She rushed into the building, too busy noting the quickly ticking time on her watch to heed the tears running down her cheeks. She nearly crashed into the door of the apartment as she threw open her bag to search for the key.

Her watch read 11:58 and ticking. Keiko was ready to scream in frustration - where was that key?? Just as she was about to upend her bookbag in the middle of the hall, her searching fingers brushed metal. Keiko yanked the key out of her bookbag and jammed it into the lock, throwing open the door and dropping her bookbag. Some detached part of her mind reminded her to kick off her shoes as she dashed for Yuusuke's bed. The golden glow was starting to fade from his body as Keiko threw herself down next to him. She stared at him for a moment, almost forgetting what she had to do. Don't die, don't die - please don't die! Her eyes fell on Yuusuke's face, and her mind rescued her flailing heart with its calm facts - she had to kiss him!

For a moment, she hesitated - she'd never kissed a boy before - but only for a moment. She placed her hands on either side of Yuusuke's pale face and pressed her lips roughly to his. She tried to force all of her well-wishes for her friend into that chaste and innocent kiss. Her life had been somewhat empty without Urameshi Yuusuke and she was desperate to have him back. When her ears took note of the bells ominously tolling midnight, Keiko lifted her lips from her friend's. She stared down at his face. There had been no change. Not a twitch or a flutter. Not a single movement. The last of the glow faded, and Yuusuke looked as dead as he had right after the accident. Keiko stared for another few seconds before collapsing next to the bed and sobbing Yuusuke's name.

It wasn't fair! Not when she'd come so close! How could this happen? She'd done everything that Yuusuke had said to do - she'd kissed him, and she'd done it before midnight. Why hadn't it worked? Why was he still dead? Why?? Keiko's sobbing grew steadily louder as the full horror of the situation hit her - Yuusuke was dead. There was no more coming back. No more fooling herself. No more dreams. Why did the thought leave her so terrified? Why did her heart feel like it was shattering? For once, her oh-so-reliable mind had no easy answers.

A noise from above her made her sit up, abruptly. Yuusuke had sat up and was smiling down at her. His mouth opened and he grinned, "Ohayo!"

Keiko stared at him in shock. He was alive? He was alive? It had worked? She tried to make her vocal chords work, but no sound came out. For the second time that night, her mind failed to provide her with any answers that made sense. She stared at Yuusuke for a moment longer, trying to make some sort of intelligible response to his greeting. He looked down at her, dark eyes full of concern. That was all it took. Keiko finally got her voice to work. She threw herself into his arms, screaming his name with everything she had. "YUUSUKE!!!"

She wrapped her arms around his waist and sobbed into his stomach, the grief and pain of the last week finally catching up to her. Yuusuke wrapped his arms around her and slowly stroked her back as she cried. He was there for her - the way he'd always been, and always would be. And for once, it was her heart that made the observations - it felt so right to be in Yuusuke's arms. So safe. Keiko clung to her friend and let his presence calm her. Yuusuke was here, and he was Yuusuke - a constant as he'd always been. And this time, Keiko wasn't going to let go of him. And that was her final word on the matter.


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