Disclaimer: Kenshin does not own the Yuu Yuu Hakusho characters (they are the property of Togashi Yoshihiro et al), and does not make any money from said characters.
What Kenshin does own, however, are all the original characters in this work. Any attempt to "borrow" these characters will be met with the katana, or worse.
Idiot Beloved takes place shortly after the Dark Tournament; Firebird Sweet directly follows that timeline. For reference, I use a combination of the subtitled YYH anime and the American manga, plus some of the CD dramas.
Have you ever wondered what happened to Kitajima Maya, who appeared in the YYH manga extra and CD drama, "Two Shots?" Here is her story.
The action takes place right after the long story arc of The Book of Cat With Moon.
Title: Maya's Tale (C1: Prologue)
Genre: Action/Adventure, General
Summary: On a lonely street in a derelict neighborhood, two sisters huddle in fear of a mysterious man.
A/N: As always, thank you for reading this, and I appreciate your reviews!
Maya's Tale (1: Prologue)
Though elderly, the Kawasaki sisters were neither cowards nor fools.
"Come away from the window, Ruth," called Olivia. "It's past midnight."
"He's out again," murmured Ruth.
"Oh, dear. Well, all the more reason to come away." Nevertheless, Olivia joined her sister to peer out the parlor's long lace curtains.
Their mother had been British; their father Japanese. Being of an industrious nature, dealing in antiquities, both parents had left their daughters not only a business and a tidy inheritance, but a Victorian house in a then-fashionable neighborhood.
In its heyday some 50 years ago, the street had been alive with the bustle of familiies: mothers pushing their little ones in strollers, students peddling off to school, fathers returning home from work.
Today, over half the houses were unoccupied.
The parlor was illuminated by a single brass lamp on the drum table in the far corner. It cast a warm, dim circle of light on the wing chair next to it, and was only meant to read by. But when Olivia glanced out the window, she fought the urge to turn it off altogether.
A street lamp bathed the sidewalk with furtive, icy light. Across the street, a rambling single-story house crouched like a sleeping beast, lightless and ominous.
"I can't see him."
"The streetlight," said Ruth. "He's behind it."
Having enjoyed the benefit of a pleasant, peaceful, family, both sisters were eager to re-create this in their own lives. It was not to be.
Younger than Ruth by some three years, Olivia had married three times, and each time the marriage had ended without the comfort of children, until she realized the fault lay with her.
Ruth had remained single. Both sister's generous mothering instincts were poured out onto every living soul lucky enough to cross their paths.
"There," whispered Ruth. "He just stepped out. Can he see us, do you think?"
"The way you carry on, you'd think he could hear us."
Sometimes, Olivia and Ruth spoke of selling the house, moving to a high-rise in a busier section of town.
But in the first place, the market being what it was, the street being what it was, who would buy?
In the second, this was their home. They were too stubborn to leave.
Ruth pointed. "He's got that camera, again."
Olivia lowered her voice to a whisper as well. "He gives me the shakes."
Strolling down the street was a tall man, of European descent, dressed in a long, fur-collared overcoat, as though for a Russian winter, with gloves red as blood and a fur hat, for all that it was April.
Judging by the loose skin of his jowls, he was in his 60s, and no one could say whether the neat moustache and goatee were an attempt to disguise or to emphasize that age.
The overall effect would be considered charming, or even comical, if not for his sinister aura.
"I can hear his footsteps," fretted Ruth. "I swear it."
Though not as susceptible to flights of fancy as dear Ruth, Olivia thought she could hear them, too: slow, measured, tolling out like a bell, doom, doom.
As if he knows, as if he is putting on a display.
"It's so cold," sighed Ruth.
"And getting dark so early."
"As though spring is afraid to come."
"Just like it was fifty years ago."
They looked at one another then, a hard measuring look. Had the time come to open the Vault?
What does he do with that camera?" fretted Ruth.
"Perhaps he photographs the moon," said Olivia, seeking to reassure her sister. "Or the clouds. Or houses."
"Don't say that, Olivia. Don't even think it!"
He stopped then, swiveling his head toward the house.
Olivia's mouth went dry. "That sweet little girl," she whispered. "You don't suppose-"
Ruth made no reply, but in the cold, dimly-lit parlor, she clutched at her sister's hand.
(To be continued: Early-morning television fare: alien abductions, Bigfoot, and ghosts)
The whole story is