To Be But A Dreamer
What is it like to dream a dreamer’s dream, I wonder? What would it be like to be part of a dream that is his? A dream of a life that was once a shared motivation, now seemingly so distant as his life changes, and he slips further away into a world that I may never understand. A world he wishes that I never come to understand.
Yet I wait, for it seems to be that there is more to our dream that yet remains to come true. I think in my mind I see him not what he has become, but what he has come to mean in my life. He was a gruff, blunt boy who always seemed to invite trouble. He could be infuriatingly stubborn and abrupt in his manner. He hated school and chose instead to cut classes, reveling in his freedom, making me wonder where he went, and what sort of mess he’d get involved into next. As we grew older, it always looked like he came to prefer the company of his boy pals to mine. He’d tell me girlish chatter tended to be boring. I’d hit him on the head sometimes when he made me mad enough. He’d glower at me, but I think it never occurred to him to hit back.
For all his faults, there has never been a boy whose company I preferred more than his. I still wonder at times what made me care for him so, that through all the trials in his life, I was there behind him, cheering him on. Refusing to believe that he could be defeated. Refusing to believe that perhaps one day, I would lose him and find him gone from my life forever, never to return.
Yet I think the answer comes to me the moment I stare into his eyes. He has such expressive chestnut eyes that I think each time we gaze on each other he allows me a small window into his soul. A window he has not opened to anyone else, nor likely will ever again. In each glance I see him as few would possibly ever perceive him to be – gentle, devoted, unwavering in his conviction to uphold the welfare of those he cared for. Oh, sometimes he is as gruff and stubborn as I’ll ever remember him to be. But underneath that tough exterior, there is gentleness, compassion and infinite sense of wistful sadness in him that makes me want to be with him even more.
We have always been dreamers, he and I, though at times he will probably appear the more pragmatic of us two. He has dreams of being the best fighter of all, fighting for the purpose of growing in strength and in the defense of his principles and idealism. He has often fought to save the world from destruction, from opponents who almost cost him his life. At one occasion he had lost his life, and had discovered his youkai heritage. Outwardly, he seemed unchanged, still the same Urameshi Yusuke he’d always been. But knowing him as well as I did, I noticed those subtle changes – the questioning eyes, the look of disquiet and confusion in them, and the new sense of resolve that had been born within him.
Then one day he took me for a stroll to a bluff not far from the city, overlooking the ocean beyond. He’d been silent for a while, letting the breeze swirl around us as he sat there with his knees clasped to his chest. I allowed the silence to linger; in truth I was afraid of what he might say. I was afraid that I knew what he would say. And when he finally heaved a sigh and told me that he’d be heading for Makai to find the peace he sought within himself, I could only bow in disappointment this feeling changed to irritation, then anger. He would be finally be leaving me to go to a place where I could not follow, dared not follow. To pursue dreams of his own.
This saddened me deeply, for I too had my dreams. I have always dreamt of him. Of being together with him – for always.
I recall now that I stood up and left him alone sitting on the grass, eager to be gone from that place. I heard his voice trailing after me. "Matte, Keiko!" He was asking me to wait. What for, I said within myself. Why should I have to wait any longer? It seemed to me that I have been waiting for him all my life.
That night, he came to the ramen house, with the usual cheerful expression on his face. I remained silent as I stared at him across the table. For the first time, I feared meeting his eyes. I did not really know what I was afraid of seeing there – pity, perhaps, now that he was about to leave. But I think what I feared the most was seeing elation and contentment in his eyes – for that would mean that he would be lost to me forever.
There was something about the way he said my name that made me look up. Immediately, deep brown eyes bore into mine. There was something there I never quite expected to see – I sensed sadness mingled with fear, hope mingled with faith, and resolve mingled with love.
"I’ll come back after three years. Then…we’ll get married."
There was nothing quite so complicated with the way he proposed, for Yusuke had always been straightforward in manner. Yet it seemed to me that in his promise, he gave me a reason to dream again. To hope for his return, and to place unerring belief in his promise. I nodded. He understood.
He has been gone for the whole of three years. During that time, I have not heard word from him, but I have waited. For that was perhaps the only thing I could have done in his absence. I have tried to live my life in the fullest way possible since he has been gone. I’ve made new friends in school. I’ve occasionally met Botan, Kurama and Kuwabara during that time. It may seem strange that I have not made many inquiries about Yusuke from them. I suppose I did not want to hear how he’d managed to endanger his life again. I chose instead to recall his words, to believe that he will be back after three years.
It was the new dream he had given me, you see. And I treasured this parting gift from him.
Then, one day, exactly three years after Yusuke had gone to Makai, we were summoned to Genkai’s temple for what seemed to be obaasan’s farewell tea ceremony. Though it seemed as if she knew her life was drawing to a close, there was such a look of peace and contentment in her face that we did not feel a deep melancholy at this. Instead we knew with pride and quiet certainty her legacy would live on in us. After which we all trooped down to the beach to watch the upcoming sunset and watch the rolling waves crashing on the shore.
There are times in my life when I have felt adrift amidst all the events that had taken place during the years before. When I could only watch and watch as the tide flows and bears us on with our lives. For the past three years I have often felt as if fate has simply taken me where it chose to, bereft of the man who had served as my friend and protector. He was the anchor in whom I believed would keep me safe through any storm that may come into my life.
Three years. I have been like a rudderless boat, it seems, for far too long now.
"Yusuke," I vowed, "if you don’t return, I swear I won’t wait for you any longer. I will not wait another three years!"
I turned, and there he was, striding up the beach with that cheerful expression on a face that I had missed so much. I examined him for a brief moment. He seemed relaxed, at ease, with a newfound sense of peace and purpose. For the first time in three years, my gaze met his eyes again. And there I saw a new promise – that, at least for now, he will stay. And make a common dream we shared come true.
I rushed down the beach to where he was. When I reached him, I threw my arms around him enthusiastically and did what I had never done before – I kissed him. I felt at peace myself, as I felt his presence so close once again, and his love seemed to envelop me and provide me with the assurance that he was indeed back by my side. It was definitely worth seeing the mixed astonishment and pleasure on his face.
I smiled. My dreams of him, after all, had finally come true.
This is my first Yusuke-Keiko fanfic and the product of a deranged mind formed out of hours of desperation stuck at work on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Feedback/comments will be greatly appreciated and flames dealt with accordingly. ^^ Please mail firstname.lastname@example.org for any comments or suggestions.
Yu Yu Hakusho is a copyright of Yoshihiro Togashi / Shue Isha Fuji TV, Studio Pierrot. This fanfic is for non-commercial, entertainment purposes only.