It’s midnight when Botan taps on her window, peering through the branches like some fey thing, hair shimmering over her shoulders. Keiko flings open the glass and she slides inside, shucking her shoes and dropping them on the windowsill and Keiko pulls it safely shut.
“Demons,” she says quietly as Keiko doctors a scratch on her forehead. “I’m afraid I’m not quite as resilient as-ow-Yusuke.”
“Not many people are.” Keiko reminds her a little dryly, voice husky with sleep. She sponges the disinfectant and blood from Botan’s slender, arched violet brows and neatly taped a patch over the cut. Scalp wounds bled no matter how shallow; Keiko wasn’t worried.
“Does it bother you?” Botan asks as the human girl turns to tuck her kit away-it’s alarming, the amount of medicine she’s had to learn slipshod and piecemeal. Keiko pauses and turns, surprised.
“What?” She asks.
“Being human.” Botan touches the white over her eyes and beams, pleased. “Thank you.”
“No problem.” Keiko finishes pushing it under her dresser and rises to her feet, going to sit down beside her. The simple question pushes strongly home the fact that Botan isn’t really human herself, and somewhat inured to human frailties. It isn’t malice, it’s open curiosity, so Keiko makes herself really think about the question.
“I don’t know.” She says finally. “Does it matter? I’ll never fit into the demon world-not the way Yusuke does-but I can’t say I’m unhappy where I am.” They smile at each other, and Keiko touches Botan’s fingers. “Sort of half and half.”
That makes the ferry girl laugh a little, soft and breathy. “I like you where you are, too.” She replies simply, twining their fingers together. Her fingers are cool and dry, pressed against Keiko’s palm and lifeline.
Keiko’s smile opens, peaceful, and Botan’s eyes widen again with that same sweet, unguarded curiosity.
Death’s mouth tastes like sweet lavender and cool moonlight, but her skin is a girl’s; chilled by night air, warmed by breath.