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One Million Miles From Home

By Korogi Nagisa

Part Four

"Eyes Love You, but my heart can’t love you so."
      - hide, "Eyes Love You"

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See specified disclaimers for this fan-fiction. WIRED: K&K are not responsible for this collection of text exported without permission and without its disclaimer
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     Yoshiki was roused suddenly from what had been a deep, comfortable sleep. He hadn't realized it but he had laid down on one of the beds in the back rooms and had fallen asleep. He was so exhausted as he sat up, distinctly remembering someone yelling his name. He groggily pulled himself up from the bed and opened the door to the hall.
      He met Hide just outside, the pink haired man screeching to a halt as if he had come face to face with the bane of his existence. Hide hung his head quickly under Yoshiki's presence, stepping past to peak around the corner of the hall at the commotion.
      "What's going on?" Yoshiki yawned, walking up behind Hide, laying a hand on his friends shoulder. He was so tired that he didn't register the fact that his friend was dead and he was standing with him in the underworld. Times seemed as normal as any other, Yoshiki gently beginning to massage the shoulder under his hand.
      Hide snapped back suddenly, ripping his shoulder from Yoshiki's grip, flattening against the wall, scarred green eyes staring over to Yoshiki.
      "Hide…" the other frowned. "You okay?" He made a move to wipe the sweat from Hide's forehead, surprised to see the other shying away from the touch. "What's wrong?"
      Yoshiki frowned and placed his hands in his pockets, turning from Hide to face the room beyond… and his double sitting in silent watch at the front door. "What the shit…"
      "You let yourself fall asleep," Hide whispered cautiously, careful green eyes watching every move made by Yoshiki. "You idiot," Hide whispered, almost cautiously, watching Yoshiki almost smile.
      Yoshiki turned his full attention forward before he saw Toshi laying passed out on the floor, the issue concerning his double instantly forgotten. "Toshi!" He pushed his tired body forward to the figure on the floor, kneeling quickly down beside his friend. A thin train of blood flowed from a small cut on Toshi's forehead as Yoshiki reached down to his friend. Toshi was still alive and breathing. "Wake up, Toshi," he whispered, watching out of the corner of his eye as his double rose slowly from the door. Yoshiki shook his friend roughly, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and lifting him into a sitting position. "Toshi… TOSHI!" he whispered shrilly. The other Yoshiki began forward out of the corner of his eye, walking calmly past him, seeming to ignore the original Yoshiki sitting on the floor with Toshi.
      A thin, eye fluttered open as Toshi groaned slightly, raising a hand to his head. "Man, I never knew Pata had it in him."
      "Daijoubu desu ka, Toshi?"
      Toshi smiled widely like a child and flicked Yoshiki in the nose as he righted himself. "Just fine. Bit of a headache though" he rubbed the gash on his forehead.
      Yoshiki frowned and wrinkled his nose as his friend rose slowly to his feet, chuckling to himself. "Toshi… I think that blow to the head affected your brain."
      "Ah, I'm fine, kiddo."
      "Kiddo!?" Yoshiki choked. "Toshi… are you sure you're okay?"
      Toshi smiled widely, a big, corny forced smile and pinched Yoshiki's cheek. Yoshiki frowned and looked his friend in the face… only to be rewarded with a brilliant green gaze like Hide's had become. Yoshiki frowned as Toshi straightened and stood up, rounding around the couch, forcing Yoshiki to follow him back into the living room. "Never been better."
      Kurama and Yo-mawari slid into the room in time to catch Pata as he stalked down Taiji and Heath. Kurama threw one of his Makai seeds at Pata's feet, the plant growing instantly to root the man to the floor, bringing him down to a sitting position in an instant. "What's going on here!" Yo-mawari yelled.
      Heath snorted and nudged Pata with his toe, watching the bound man snarl and practically bite his foot off. He stumbled backwards into Taiji and the two fell to the floor.
      Heath, being top most, was able to right himself before Taiji. "That dumb oaf fell asleep!" he pointed an accusing finger at Pata bound and hog-tied to the floor.
      Yo-mawari snarled to himself. "I knew this was a bad idea!"
      On the other side of the couch, Hide still hid against the hall, watching Yoshiki's double walk calmly forward, a glint in one of the unnaturally green eyes. "Hide…" the double whispered, placing a hand on the wall as he closed in on the pink haired young man, forestry green eyes piercing through Yoshiki's face like a knife. Hide tried to turn to flee back into the safety of the back room, Yoshiki's other arm cutting him off at the pass. Yoshiki had him pinned tightly to the wall, his body pressing in on him, unnatural green replacing the soft brown that Yoshiki's gaze had always met him with. Yoshiki held mass over Hide's smaller, slimmer body, having the upper body strength of men twice his size from his years of pounding endlessly on his drum sets. "Hide…" he whispered again, nose to nose with the other now, staring into the green eyes that replaced the familiar brown ones. "You have no idea how long I've been wanting to do this… but unfortunately, you've beat me to the punch."
      Hide swallowed hard and pressed pack into the wall remembering his dream, only to have Yoshiki compensate the distance with his body. "Wha… what do you mean?"
      Yoshiki's eyes thinned and he snarled. "I always thought it would be me who killed you. But it looks like I was wrong."

      Taiji tugged the sleeping Pata up from the couch and smacked him across the face. "Wake up, stupid!"
      Pata sputtered and popped open a groggy eye, raising a hand to his quickly reddening cheek. "What? What'd I do?"
      "You fell asleep, stupid!"
      Pata yawned slightly and shook his head slightly. "Gomen ne… " he straightened and tried to push past Taiji until he about had his leg chewed off by his double. Pata squealed and fell backwards on the couch in a heavy, boneless thump, eyes wide, instantly awake, swallowed in an instant by the couch. He stared at himself tied to the floor in a living net of plant roots before him. It was like a bad dream. "Nani…"
      The sound of a breaking glass drew all attention, a strangled squeak following. All eyes turned to see Yoshiki reeling Hide out from the hallway by his wild, pink hair, forcing him to his knees on the wooden floor. A shard of glass found the young man's neck quickly, Yoshiki quickly leaning down behind him. "Can I have your attention please," Yoshiki spoke as if announcing the beginning of a prestigious race.
      Pata blinked his eyes roughly. He knew he was looking at Yoshiki carefully checking over Toshi just across the living room from where he sat, but he knew that he ALSO saw Yoshiki by the far couch, hovering over Hide, a shard of glass threatening to decapitate the young man. "Two Yoshiki's…" he looked back and forth between Yoshiki and Yoshiki a few times before his attention centered on the one with Hide for a few moments. The build, the presence, the posture.. it was all Yoshiki as far as Pata could see. For all he knew, either one could be the real Yoshiki. Pata frowned lightly, letting his eyes fall from one of the Yoshiki's back to himself... his double... hog-tied double and he snorted "And two me's… what's going on here?"
      "It's because you fell asleep," Yo-mawari grumbled from behind them all.
      Everyone dared to turn their attention from the situation at present to listen to the black-haired WatchMan, centering as he and his brother graced the room. "You all have mortal, human souls. And Yomatsu is the land of souls. Human bodies don't belong in Yomatsu. Period," he stressed heavily. "When you came down into the lands with me, Meijin-san and my brother, your inner souls immediately went through turmoil, without your body ever knowing at all. Humans don't posses the rei-ki necessary to keep their souls from following the lure of the lands, so when you fell asleep, your mortal soul separates from your body, thinking that it's time to move on.
      "Normally," Yo-mawari continued, " your soul separating from your body is something that can be dealt with. But human souls don't belong in Yomatsu, it's a land of nightmares and demon powers… human souls belong in Reikai. So, human souls end up taking the form of the nightmares had by their human host. Personal nightmares. Things you've had nightmares about doing in your dreams. And green eyes are the only noticeable side effect", he pointed hap-hazardly to the bound Pata on the floor, pointing out his green eyes.
      Taiji frowned and looked at the bound Pata on the floor. "That explains Pata," he said, looking back up to the other Pata sitting on the couch.
      "Care to explain then?" Yo-mawari asked, crossing his arms over his chest, raising an eyebrow, Toshi chuckling beside him.
      Pata sighed lightly and yawned again, sliding down the couch, putting distance between himself and his bound double. "Well…back during the beginning years of X, I used to have my own share of nightmares," he leaned back on the couch, tucking a leg up under him. "In the nightmares, I would be talkin' with the guys and just snap. I'd kill them in any way I could…" Pata trailed off, tracing eyes down to his bound double. The other smiled widely at him, dark and evil, twisting in the roots that held him fast. "Any way I could," he finished, watching his double nod in approval.
      "I had a similar nightmare once," Yoshiki spoke up beside them all, watching his double carefully. "Since it sounds like it's time to bear all… I dreamed that I had gotten drunk, pulled out a knife and stabed Hide to death one night after a concert," he ran a hand up his arm a bit uncomfortably. "I watched him die. That's how I always thought it would end. Hide pissed me off so easily and so often…." All attention had turned to Yoshiki, Toshi backing away slowly, his fits of chuckling ending as light sparked on his now green eyes. "I've dreamed about killing you all numerous times after the Dissolution…" This time, everyone backed away. "All in the same way…"
      "Any thing ELSE you wanna tell us, Yo-chan," Toshi whispered shrilly, backing up another step to almost trample over Hiei.
      "I'd rather not," he said quietly, dropping his thin brown eyes to the floor. "Yo-mawari-san… can… can that other me hurt Hide since he's already dead?"
      "Possibly," Yo-mawari answered in a hushed tone, the six tiny living shuriken crawling up his clothing to sit comfortably on his shoulder. "Depending on what he does. Since Hide-san hasn't crossed over yet, his soul's still vulnerable. "
      "That won't happen," Yoshiki said.
      "And that's supposed to make us feel better??" Heath snarled at him, frowning. Heath took the defensive immediately, glaring across the room to where the other Yoshiki sat looming over Hide, whispering things to his captive. "I guess I'm not surprised."
      The other Yoshiki smiled slightly and moved the shard of glass down Hide's neck, tracing down the jugular vein on his throat to his chest. Yoshiki repositioned the shard of glass in his hand, perpendicular to Hide's heart. Hide squeaked like a small child as he felt the shard trace out a pattern just above his heart
      The others froze in place…
      A rush of air sent a figure sailing across the room, tackling the evil Yoshiki flat and out of harms way. The shard of glass clambered harmlessly to the floor and Hide sprawled forward on his hands. It was more of a programmed reaction to leap to his feet, Hide scrambling awkwardly to his feet to stumble across the room. The other Yoshiki pushed forwards and tugged Hide up as he sprawled forward, wrapping a protective arm around him to hoist the man back up on his feet, huddling him back into the safety of the group.
      From across the room, the others watched as a duplicate of Toshi got to his feet, pulling Yoshiki up with him in a single, fluid motion. Toshi had the other by the arms, had them secured behind Yoshiki's back rendering him almost helpless.
      Kurama was the next to react, reaching into the depths of his red hair. A seed clamored to the floor before the other Yoshiki and exploded in a flurry of plant roots that seemed to target Yoshiki singularly, pulling him down to secure him to the floor in the same manner and fashion as the other Pata had been secured.
      Both Toshi's locked eyes… blinked back and forth between each other.
      "This is getting weird," Taiji whispered. "Two Yoshiki's… two Toshi's... two Pata's…"
      "It's the law of human nature. You just don't know it," Yo-mawari whispered from behind him, the black eyes trained on the bound Yoshiki at the other end of the room. "You'd have to understand the human soul better than you already do. And being mortal… you can't."
      "I really don't care to hear your pointless explanations," Heath said, pacing in place. "How the hell do we get them back to normal?"
      "Koenma-sama can re-unite them," he said. "He's the gate keeper to the afterworld where all human souls belong. Where Hide is SUPPOSED to be"
      "Wait wait," Pata said, picking his way carefully around his viscous double, picking himself up from the couch. "Then why in the hell did Hide end up down here if he was supposed to go see this Koenma guy?"
      "That's what we're trying to figure out. Only those who possess certain levels of ki have to pass through Yomatsu before judgment… and those who pass are devils and demons. Not innocents. Never humans. The situations that brought Matsumoto-san here are still misunderstood. He possesses no ki, no distinguishing energies that would qualify him as an S or A class demon. He's no where NEAR the energy level needed to take the Straight Road to Yomi no Kuni. Even Yusuke-san would have to pass through Reikai's gates."
      "Okay, if you can't explain that, fine" Yoshiki said, looking sideways at Hide rather intently, an arm still wrapped about the other's shoulder. "Then explain this: Tell me why Hide's eyes are green and not brown."
      "The green is a consequence of his soul being in the wrong place, the same reason that my brother in his human form has green eyes where as I have black. Same reason why now the duplicates of Yoshiki, Pata and Toshi have green eyes. When my brother was shot as a Youko, his soul fled from Makai into Ningenkai to be re-born. It's nearly impossible, as you should know, for Japanese children to be born with green eyes naturally. The same reasons are why Matsumoto-san's eyes turned green. When his soul left his body, it somehow came to Yomatsu before Reikai. Being in the wrong place, his eyes lost their color and defaulted to green... green is the color of your mortal soul. Hide-san will be fine, regardless of the color of his eyes. Once he passes judgment in Reikai, his eyes will turn back to brown… everyone's eyes will turn back to their normal colors. But until then..."
      Hide frowned and looked down at his feet as the eyes of his friends began to turn to him. He normally loved the attention. Except for now. He followed the lines of the floor to where the other Yoshiki still sat tied firmly in plant roots and watched him for a while. He had never known Yoshiki to be nearly as violent as what his soul's body had just proved to be, or how the recent dream had made him out to be.
      Kurama exhaled deeply, standing over Hiei's short, compact body, long fingers curling gently into the black fabric of the fire demon's shirt. "We need to get the doubles to Reikai to get them rejoined."
      "… and Taiji-san and Heath-san need to go back to the Ningenkai," Yo-mawari finished.
      Heath snorted, followed by a slight chuckle from Taiji. "I for one am not going back," he grumbled. "I'm as much involved in this now as Pata, Toshi or Yoshiki."
      "Tough," Yo-mawari said, rounding out from the group. "I'm taking you two back now before things get even more out of hand."
      "You'll have to carry me then," Taiji sighed, slumping down on the couch next to Pata, a careful eye out for the viscous Pata double still tied to the floor.
      Hiei's red eyes narrowed as he watched Yo-mawari grumble to himself. Something was wrong here.
      Yoshiki heard the little fire demon growling beside him. He shuffled over slightly, closer to Hide and away from the demon, causing the other to look up. "Dou shita, Yo-chan?"
      Hiei reached out his katana to halt Yo-mawari's path as the tall black double began toward Heath and Taiji. "Wari… stop a minute."
      "Nan da, Meijin-san?"
      "The crows…" the fire demon whispered. "What happened to the crows?"
      The room fell quite to listen.
      There was nothing. No sound. No crows. The normally ever-present persistent cawing of the crows had stopped, filling the air around them in a thick, humid silence
      "The crows have stopped," Yo-mawari whispered as quietly as he could, his eyes flashing to gold, the silver ears of the Youko sprouting from his head to listen intently to the air around him.
      "Meaning…?" one of the Toshi's prompted equally as quiet, watching rather amazed as the once black haired, black eyed man beside him was replaced by a taller, thinner silver haired man, tall silvered, pointed ears sprouting from his head.
      "The yosei…" the silver youko whispered even quieter. "They've left their domain."
      "What the hell are yosei?" Pata commented quietly, poking his double with the end of his boot.
      "You don't want to know," the brothers rang out together, Kurama drawing up beside the figure that
replaced his brother. Youko Yo-mawari now stood a good foot taller than his brother, a long, bushy silver tail swishing nervously through the air.
      Yo-mawari called his shuriken up to rest on his shoulders again, instructing them with a flick of his finger "Damn. We can't leave with the yosei out there. We'd be taken captive before we even got past the front gate." He frowned and looked to Yoshiki, his silver features beginning to bleed out again in eerie black, his figure shrinking back down to the normal, familiar form. "This was a bad idea…"
      "You keep saying that," Pata countered quickly.
      "And it's true." Yo-mawari rounded through the room, raising a finger to both Toshi's, Taiji and Heath. "You four.. help me move this guy here…" he pointed to the tied Pata "over by that guy there," he pointed to the other Yoshiki. "We wait them out. Its our only choice."
      "Kyoudai-kun…" Kurama whispered. "It could be daybreak before they clear a path back to a portal. Those two can't stay awake that long, can they?" he pointed to Heath and Taiji.
      Yo-mawari thought to himself. "I'll make some tea. It looks like that's our only choice. We have to wait out the yosei or else none of us will ever make it to our afterlives. I'll take first watch."

      Yoshiki had passed out again in the room he had claimed as his own, along with the original Toshi and Pata. It seemed that the human bodies were not meant to function without their souls, and the original forms became quickly tired and worn down. Toshi and Pata had taken over one of the couches, Yoshiki being put down in one of the back rooms. Taiji and Heath sat on the other couch talking quietly, trying to keep the other awake. By their watches, it was nearing four in the morning. And both were getting rather tired.
      "… and she smacked you?" Taiji raised an eyebrow, rubbing a hand over one of the large tatoos that wound over his arms. He took a large gulp of Yo-mawari's fragrant herbal tea and sat back. So far, the tea was working. He was tired, but didn't need sleep.
      "More than that. She pegged me with the TV controller."
      Taiji burst out laughing, flinging his head back over the couch as he chuckled, clunking his head back on the wall. Hiei sat off in the corner of the room to watch the two humans, standing guard with the living shuriken as Kurama and Yo-mawari were asleep off in the back rooms.
      "Must have been pretty bad. What did you say to her?"
      "Nothing!" Heath almost chuckled. "Well… I told her... well, we'll just say that I compared her to my mother."
      "Oooh.. ouch," Taiji cringed. "Rule number one: NEVER compare them in ANY way to your mother unless it has to do with good cooking."
      "I definitely did NOT comment on her cooking."
      Hiei grumbled to himself and pulled his knees up under his chin. He'd much rather be back sleeping with Kurama right now. The fire demon caught himself almost smiling at the thought, but quickly fought it down. He concentrated on ignoring the humans and pulled out his katana, determined to shine it to the consistency of a mirror.

© 1998-1999 WIRED: K&K Inc.

On to Part 5