Thief of Fortune
Three Rei Kai detectives stood before Koenma. Koenma glared at them intently, scanning their faces. Yusuke grinned at him, looking slightly bored. Kuwabara stared back with a slight frown in his face, but was otherwise nonchalant. Hiei's face was blank, but his eyes were glinting with irritation. What a fine bunch I have here, about to face strange yet strong warriors from another dimension. Koenma, however, noted that Kurama's absence was rather conspicuous.
"We'll be facing a tough situation here," Koenma began glumly, his voice grim and foreboding. "Kurama, as I'm sure you've all noticed, is missing. Moreover, he is roaming free in Makai in youko form with seven balls of immense power."
"Balls?!" Yusuke exclaimed, shaking his head with a grin. "What's he got himself into this time?"
"Hn," Hiei grunted. "How could childhood playthings be important?"
"You don't understand," Koenma stated, sinking back in his chair. "I just learned that when one places the balls in the proper formation, they can summon a Dragon Lord--and grant any one wish to its caller. And knowing that Kurama's intelligent enough to learn the secret of the Dragon Balls soon, we have little time to act."
"That thief," Yusuke said, frowning. "Back to stealing again, I see. Demo…why is he in youko form? Doesn't he revert back after a while?"
"That's the mystery here," Koenma replied. "He doesn't revert back for some reason, and got caught in a strange dimension shift. He's gone to another world and back, and now…he's being pursued by warriors who'd like to recover the Dragon Balls."
"Stupid fox," muttered Hiei darkly. "Can't he fend them off himself? He's a good fighter, he can handle himself."
"Feh, against one maybe, two at most," Koenma said, fixing his gaze at the three who stood before him. "I'm taking strong warriors here, from an alien race called Saiyans. They're born fighters, of strong ki and possessing powerful fighting abilities.
"I'd like you all to go to Makai, find Kurama, and fight the Saiyans off. Then, take the Dragon Balls and give them to me--for safekeeping, you understand."
"Hai, hai," Yusuke mumbled. He turned and started for the door. "Ja mata, Koenma-sama!"
Kuwabara nodded and followed Yusuke. Hiei gazed thoughtfully at Koenma, then smiled enigmatically. Finally, he two turned and followed the two other Rei Kai Tantei out the door. Koenma was left alone with his ever-faithful servant, the horned George.
"You think the intruders can beat them, Koenma-sama?" George inquired, watching the fighters leave. Koenma merely frowned. "So you think we have a major battle in our hands, then?" Koenma merely grunted and did not reply. George was left shaking his head, and he sullenly watched his master as both lapsed into silence.
"Sugoi yo!" Gohan stated in awe, staring at the dark, swirling patterns in the sky. All around them, there were gigantic trees, some twisted in grotesque angles. The glade was quiet, except for an occasional piercing cry from birds circling in the air. "Where are we, otou-san?"
Gokou turned to regard his son, then shrugged. "I don't know, Gohan," Gokou replied, then smiled. "Wherever we are, this pursuit might be good training, ne?"
"Hmph," Vegeta glared dourly at Gokou. Kakarotto no baka. But then again, for all the fact that Gokou was the son of a low-class Saiyan warrior, he was incredibly strong and a canny fighter. Hn, two remnants of a mighty warrior race--a Saiyan prince and a kind-hearted idiot. What a laugh. He turned to regard his purple-haired son. "Trunks, any sign of the Dragon Balls?"
"None yet, otou-san…" Trunks murmured, staring at the Dragon Radar intently. Finally, he detected a faint beep from the north. He pointed at the direction the radar indicated. "There. It's a little far, though. The thief can move pretty fast."
"He can't be faster than us," Vegeta said loftily. Then, he glared at his companions. "Hayaku itte!" He swiftly launched himself into flight. The other tree followed him promptly. Vegeta glanced ahead, ignoring his companions, choosing to focus on the terrain below, his senses alert for danger. He saw some volcanic grounds to the west. But mostly, the land was grim and scarred, dry and dark.
"Ne, Trunks-san," Gohan remarked to the man who flew beside him. Trunks inclined his head with a smile. "Do you have any idea what the thief was like?"
"Well, not much," Trunks replied, musing. "But whatever the thief was like, he was quick, and apparently a tracker of sorts. He hid his tracks well. Appears to be human…at least the footprints would say he's a human male…but that's about it."
"Think he can fight well?" Gohan inquired, mounting excitement building within him. He'd been training hard over the past few months, and had reached Super Saiyan level then. His father had been proud. And he was eager for a chance to test his skills in combat aside from sparring with his father and friends.
"We can hope," Trunks smiled grimly, then shrugged. "But we're not to be taken lightly, Gohan. Not at all."
From then on, the four flew silently, observing the strange land they'd found themselves immersed in. They were not interrupted in their flight, but they could sense that they were being watched quietly. The quickened their pace, speeding for the direction the thief took, intent on recovering the Dragon Balls.
Kurama stared as the Dragon Balls lay before him in the cold, damp earth. He'd tried to figure out how to position them to call forth the awesome power he knew to be hidden within. He tried several formations, but hadn't been successful so far. He'd studied the way the light from the balls pulsed, tried to sense a rhythm in the pattern. So far, he'd been thwarted in his attempts, but he knew he wouldn't be for long. Such power, kept hidden in those depths… Kurama regarded the balls again. They were shiny and beautiful, certainly, a treasure by themselves alone. He did not know their history, but suspected they had many tales to tell, if only they could speak.
"Well, speak to me," he said in a whisper, eyeing the balls intently. "Tell me your secrets, and grant me your power…"
Kurama's ears twitched, and his eyes shone with a fervent light. It had been long since he'd felt this kind of excitement racing in his veins, and in his youko form, he was more removed from the guilt and feeling he felt more keenly as Shuichi Minamino. So I'm still basically a thief…I wonder if anything really changed. For an instant, those brown eyes softened, taking on a wistful sadness. No, I am different, but my youko spirit remains strong and enduring. For I will always be Youko Kurama.
Once again, Kurama took a deep breath and began rearranging the balls into a pattern. How about a circle, with one of the balls at the center? Hmm… For a moment, Kurama could have sworn the glow from the balls intensified a bit, and a grim smile appeared on his comely face. I may have something here… Kurama began to order the balls my number, and he'd almost been ready to pick up the seven-star Dragon Ball, when a katana whizzed above him, burying itself on the ground directly in front of him. Cursing silently, Kurama turned to find himself facing three glaring Rei Kai detectives.
"So, I have company," Kurama stated coolly, noting the glares on their faces and giving them one to match. "Koenma-sama decided I actually needed bodyguards?" His voice took on a faint mocking tone.
"Not at all," Yusuke said, turning his gaze to the seven small orange balls beside Kurama. "So, those are the Dragon Balls, eh? Funny, they don't look terribly scary."
"I see," Kurama stated, his eyes slanting. "You know about the hidden power. Well then…I suppose I can share with friends." Youko Kurama regarded his three companions and gave them a winsome little smile.
"Hn, still trying that trick, kitsune?" Hiei snorted, his red eyes glinting with amusement. "You can't trick me that easily…not anymore."
Kurama stared at them and burst into laughter. Finally, he gave each a genuine smile. He took the Dragon Balls and placed them in his pack carefully. The others gathered beside him and watched him intently. Kurama sighed and slumped down to the ground, his golden eyes still flashing with mirth. I am becoming more transparent to them, am I? Well, well…another ningen legacy.
"I suppose Koenma wants them," Kurama said, and he grinned as Yusuke nodded in admission. Kurama stood and shouldered the pack. "Hmm…I guess it would be better if we knew more about them before we summon the power hidden within."
"I hope this isn't one of your tricks, Kurama," Kuwabara stated, scowling at the youko.
"Trust me," Kurama replied simply, his eyes bright. The others looked a little uneasy, but nodded slowly. Not exactly trusting types, are they? But then again, makes sense when dealing with a famous kitsune thief. They all turned to proceed to Rei Kai, when four figures streaked down the sky and landed directly in front of them, grim expressions on their faces.
Kurama studied their "guests", and noted that they must be some sort of guardians to the Dragon Balls in the world he'd just visited. He examined them with his senses, and his eyes widened in surprise as he observed the strong ki emanating from each of the warriors. He considered each of them, trying to detect their strength and weaknesses. The youngest was a boy hardly more than thirteen, with unruly black hair and a stern expression on his young face. The man beside him appeared to be the boy's father, judging from the resemblance in their features, with the same unruly hair, and had a powerfully built body, well muscled and projecting a sense of stability and strength. The purple-haired youth next to the two somewhat reminded Kurama of Hiei, since they both had the same grim, impassive expression, and he wore a broadsword strapped to his back. He looked more like a ningen with his baggy pants and jacket. The last had a lean, whip-like body that seemed to have been crafted out of granite--solid, firm and unyielding. His head had a proud tilt to it, and he had a harsh lofty expression on his hard face. Kurama immediately knew that they were facing formidable fighters.
The purple-haired man held something that looked like a stopwatch, and he pointedly stared at Kurama, an austere smile of satisfaction appearing on his chiseled face. He whispered something to the man beside him, who nodded grimly and assumed a fighting stance, his body taunt with anticipation. The boy did the same, as his father stepped forward and swept his gaze over the four Rei Kai Tantei.
"You have the Dragon Balls," he stated bluntly, "and we want them back. Even if we have to fight you all for them."
"Che, not friendly types are you," Kuwabara shouted back, pointing at them arrogantly. "You think you can take us? I, Kazuma Kuwabara, will willingly fight!" He started to stride forward, but Hiei stuck out his boot and tripped Kuwabara.
"Hold it," Hiei stated with quiet certainty. "They're not ordinary opponents. They appear to be strong and able warriors. I wouldn't rush immediately into a fight if I were you."
Kuwabara stood immediately and shot heated glances at Hiei. "You could've told me without embarrassing me," he murmured darkly, before striding beside Yusuke. Kurama came forward to flank Hiei to the right.
"I see we'll have to fight for the Dragon Balls," the warrior with the proud face and cruel smile came forward. "Very well…"
"You seem confident in your skills," Kurama remarked, returning his grim smile. "Why don't we test them?"
"Then I hope you fight as well as you talk," the man strode forward, adjusting his gloves and setting his shoulders.
Hiei drew his katana, and the purple-haired youth did the same. Silently, they raised their swords in silent salute and turned to face each other.
The boy stared intently at Kuwabara, then nodded and assumed a fighting stance. Kuwabara frowned momentarily, not sure if he as up to fighting a young boy. Then, he shrugged. He'd fought one--or someone who looked like one--in the Ankoku Bujutsukai anyway. He stepped forward to face his opponent.
Which left Yusuke facing the man in orange and blue gi. Yusuke smiled and cocked his head, attempting to judge what sort of fighter he was facing. The man in orange did the same, a bleak smile lining his strong features. Then he walked forward to meet Yusuke.
And the battle for the Dragon Balls began.
The setting of this story is about at the time before Cell arrives in Dragon Ball Z, and a little after the Ankoku Bujutsukai in Yu Yu Hakusho. So how does Kurama get switched into his youko form at the time he arrives at chikyuu? I have no idea. ;) This story is speculation on my part. It's a "what-if" take on what will happen when two worlds collide and incredibly powerful warriors meet. How this develops from here, I'm still working out at the moment.
Dragon Ball Z is a copyright of Akira Toriyama, and Yu Yu Hakusho was created by Yoshihiro Togashi. <insert respected anime studios and manga publishers> This fanfic is for entertainment purposes only.
Ideas, comments, suggestions, and (heck) even flames are welcome. Just mail 'em in toryquest.