A Snowball's Chance
Yuu Yuu Hakusho

by Tenshi

Keiko's door slammed shut in Yusuke's face with a long-familiar finality, and the Reikai's number one detective slumped his shoulders in defeat. A labyrinth of ferocious demons would be less daunting to him than a teenage girl's heart, and easier to navigate. For one thing, Yuusuke was pretty certain he could punch his way through the demons. Keiko, however, got the better of him with astonishing regularity.

Okay, so he'd missed her birthday. For a few years. In a row. And he couldn't make those up with one Christmas. Still, it wasn't like he hadn't tried. He just wasn't very good at... well. All the things Keiko deserved to have someone be good at for her. Like chocolates. And presents. And Christmas. Yuusuke thrust his hands in his jacket pockets and began the long walk home through the picture-perfect snowfall, the only part of the evening that had gone as intended. Home would be dark and cold. His mom was out partying with her friends. Kuwabara had wrangled a date with Yukina, or as least as much of a date as it could be with Hiei and Kurama along to chaperone. Yuusuke shuddered. There were worse ways to spend the night than getting a face-full of Keiko's door.

"Not very merry, are we?"

He didn't jump--at least not very far. But he couldn't help the yelp of surprise. How long Koenma had been there, floating idly alongside him, he had no idea.

"Could you...not?" He burst out. His first thought was to say knock, but that was hardly something Koenma could do in the middle of the dark, snow-filled street. But it didn't stop Koenma from popping in and out on Yuusuke at the worst possible times. When he was asleep. On the school roof when he was trying to sneak a cigarette and ten minutes of peace. In the fucking shower. Face scrunched up in annoyance, Yuusuke trudged on, ignoring the demigod toddler bobbing along in the air beside him like some errant shopping bag caught by the wind. "I'm having a bad night."

A footstep crunched beside him in the snow, and another, and Koenma was walking along beside Yuusuke in his older form, his crimson scarf flapping in the wind, fluffy snow caching in the ends of his hair. "I thought this was festive romance present night for mortals," Koenma said, in a voice only a little deeper for coming out of a different body. "Or whatever it's called. It's not really my area."

"Really." Yuusuke shot him a sideways glance. "Well, that makes two of us."

"Want to talk about it?"

"With you?" Yuusuke came to a skidding halt in the gathering snow, and gestured at the empty street. "Here?"

"Well unless you wanted to go out for coffee or--"

"No," Yuusuke said, in something akin to horror. He didn't like the idea of going out alone on Christmas eve, much less with a supernatural date only he could see and hear. "That would be... What are you doing?"

Koenma had taken his deadly bauble out of his mouth, and stood with his face turned up to the sky, mouth open, trying to catch a snowflake. "It doesn't snow in hell. Not pretty snow like this, anyway. It's more of a--aw, I almost had that one."

Yuusuke watched Koenma bobbing and weaving in the snowfall like a drunk man trying to hail an invisible taxi, and felt something like a laugh rise up in his chest. It came out as more of a choked noise, but Koenma balled his fists on his hips and scowled at him.

"Don't laugh at me! Show me how. I could use magic, I suppose, but that's cheating--"

"Well for starters," Yuusuke said, reaching out to steady Koenma's shoulders, "hold still. Now find a good fat one about three feet up and--" He caught one neatly and it melted into a cold kiss on the tip of his tongue. "The'ah. Y'thee?"

Koenma looked dubious, but tried. His first attempted quarry landed in his eye. "I think you were cheating," he said, but gamely tried again. That one fell against the mark on his forehead and stuck there.

"Are you really that bad at this?" Yuusuke caught three snowflakes without even trying.

"Maybe," Koenma missed the same amount in twice the time. "Are you really that bad at Christmas romance?"

"Who said I was--" Yuusuke began, and then realized he was bad at it. If he'd been any good at Christmas romance he would have known this was a setup from a mile off, long before he and Koenma moved in after the same snowflake, missed it, and caught each other instead.

Of course Koenma wasn't that bad at catching snowflakes, because his mouth tasted like them, and like some honeyed otherworldly something whose name only a prince of hell would know. Yuusuke's hands folded in the soft fabric of Koenma's tunic and he sank into his warmth, his solid reassurance and his utter lack of any expectation.

"Well," Koenma said, in a little smile against his detective's lips, "I seem to have caught something."

"Yeah," Yuusuke's unsteady breath came between them in a visible plume of warmth, his eyes were on Koenma's lower lip, his throat. "But can you keep it?"

"Oh," Koenma leaned down--that scant inch or so he had on Yuusuke in this form--and his gold eyes were hot enough to melt the snow falling between their faces. "I believe I can."

And then he proved it.


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