The creature swerved instantly, astonished. It was Yumiko all right. She tried to cover her bare chest with her arms, but her dark mane was more successful in doing so. "Hi --" she turned her back at Botan again, washing her eyes as if she doubted it.
"Botan," Botan supplied cordially,
sitting at the edge of the rock where Yumiko's clothes lay scattered. The
rock loomed just adjacent to the stream where Yumiko was bathing. Botan
was actually looking for Koenma as his father had ordered her to do so,
but as she rid on her oar, she spotted Yumiko soaking herself in the falls.
Botan watched Yumiko as she daintily raked her dark mane with her wet hands.
Even just some inches away, Botan still had to narrow her eyes just to
check what the color of Yumiko's hair was. It was dark, that's for sure.
Botan rubbed her eyes . The setting sun was unable to provide enough light
for her to detect the real color of the other girl's hair. She quickly
turned her head back as Yumiko spun around, smiling.
"Hi, Botan." She recognized the blue-haired girl immediately as the one who always hang around with Kurama and helped him in distracting Koenma away from her. But Yumiko resolved to remain kind to her. She knew it was Kurama who planned it all to hinder her in accomplishing her missions, not Botan. The cheerful girl obviously looked innocent and was only listening to whatever Kurama had to say. But she was thankful for the fox for not saying anything to the pleasing young lass. Botan seemed kind and would be nothing but a harmless good chum. Kurama might have been a good friend too, but her status prevented her from making friends. Real friends. Too bad. Humans appeared to be all nice and harmless. Unlike her.
Botan grinned at her, but questions began to jam in her head again. The day seemed so long and tiring, plus the fact that she had received disappointed looks form both Kurama and Koenma. She was tired, having ferried more than a dozen spirits, had tried to do her part in Kurama's golden plans and follow his golden rules into "saving" her Koenma-sama's life from Yumiko, but questions streamed to her, still.
What harm can this girl possibly do to Koenma?
More questions poured into her head. Sure, she was tired and had been blamed for her actions and 'neglects', but neither was valid enough to make her curiosity rest. Kurama was hiding something form her, and she knew it. She couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't understand why Kurama considered Yumiko "dangerous" and had not even bothered to explain why is who is what. And if in fact yumiko was dangerous, why was Kurama letting her stay in his house and put his family in peril? Her mind was getting tangled with puzzlement. She was getting irritated at the way Kurama was hiding everything from her, with his repeated excuse : A little learning is a dangerous thing. Botan snorted at the idea. As if I don't deserve anything!! After all, it depends upon the definition of "dangerous". And the way Kurama had used it to describe Yumiko, then "dangerous" may not be dangerous at all.
So, if Kurama won't tell me, I'd just have to find out for myself, in one way or another.
Koenma can wait, but her curiosity
couldn't. She held the opposite conviction of Kurama :
Not knowing can be a dangerous thing.
Another question whipped her head. Why is Yumiko taking a bath here? Here of all places? I thought she lives with Kurama. Doesn't Kurama let her use their bathroom? Hey, I didn't know Shuichi Minamino isn't hospitable!! Yet , Botan kept her mouth shut despite of the questions that fussed her, observing Yumiko as she pull her hair back shyly.
"I'll rub your back, Yumiko," volunteered
Botan favorably. Yumiko was going to turn down her offer, but Botan broke
in before she could even say anything. "Ah, c'mon, Yumiko. I don't mind
She finally agreed , giving in to Botan's insistence and turned her back at Botan. Maybe this is the right time to ask questions, the pink-eyed girl considered. "Uh, Yumiko, why are you taking a bath here?"
The other girl didn't say anything, and Botan thought of repeating the question, thinking she must not have heard. But before she had the chance to repeat it, she saw Yumiko shrug.
"I just got attracted to the falls. Don't you like it too, Botan?" She circled her head to face Botan. She hoped she looked sincere enough to convince her companion that was all there was to it.
"Uh, yes, right," the girl stammered ambiguously, hoping her doubt wouldn't show. It didn't. Yumiko gyrated her head away from her again.
"I want to ask you, Yumiko. Why does Ku- uh, um, Shuichi hates you?" Botan queried again. There was a lengthy interval of silence that followed. Botan concentrated on rubbing her back, trying to sneak at the dark-haired girl's reaction unsuccessfully. "I'm sorry if that's a personal question --"
"No, it's fine," stemmed in in an assuring tone. Her eyelids lowered and she was glad her back was on Botan. She already felt like telling the girl behind her what she really was and all her motives, but she couldn't. She knew her lord was just nearby, scrutinizing her every move and checking every word that stumbles from her lips. "I don't know, " she lied . She was still able to surprise herself with the way she had uttered her lies with such typical manners. Bravo!!! What an expert liar you are, Ayane!!!
"Would you mind if I ask you one more question, Yumiko?"
Yumiko chuckled. The girl was really inquisitive. "Iie, Botan-chan. Ask anything."
"Do you like Koenma-sama?"
The question seemed to paralyze Yumiko's whole body. Her face flushed timidly . She wished with all her heart that her lord wasn't watching. Her mouth may lie, but not her heart. She may have responded to her lord's fervent kisses with as the same passion, but her actions could palter her soul, especially when she was girdled with fear for her master. "Uh, yes of course." Now, she wasn't such a good liar.
"Do you love him?"
The question did paralyze Yumiko's entire body. She knew she didn't like Koenma. She loved Koenma. She was in love with Koenma. That was the main reason why she couldn't bring herself to hurt him.
Botan ceased in rubbing her back,
unable to contain herself. She didn't know how would she react to Yumiko's
answer, despite the fact the other girl had not yet answered . She felt
like she already knew what she was going to say, and the answer that would
blunder from the dark-eyed girl's lips stung at Botan's whole entity. She
was uncertain for herself if she was in love with Koenma, but the thought
of her master loving another girl certainly bruised her.
Yumiko looked up to the source of the voice.
Botan craned up her neck, puzzled. Who is Ayane?
Up on the cliff where the water originates was a man, clad with something dark. They were not able to see his face, for the setting sun contributed but such dim light that what can be seen was a silhouette of his gallant figure.
"Who is he?" Botan hissed at Yumiko, flustered.
Yumiko shook her head, her eyes narrowed. "I don't know." She crossed her arms over her naked chest. "Who are you?" she called out loud.
Botan handed Yumiko her clothes. "Dress up before he comes down." The other girl quickly put on her dark cloak .
The man didn't answer. "I came here to finish you off, Ayane."
Oh, shit, who is he ? Good timing, I'm taking a bath! Damn, that shit! What am I gonna do?
"Let's go, Yumiko," Botan offered,
still confused. She is Ayane?! She has two names? She helped the
other girl up, withdrawing to amuse the questions that badgered her. The
man looked too serious to be taken as a joke. He probably meant what he
said. And, boy! Now that's "dangerous"! She supported Yumiko as she climbed
up to the rock, her cloak drenched with water. The man leaped down and
he fell on the water with a loud splash, splattering on Botan's pink kimono.
Yumiko stood beside her companion protectively. "Go now, Botan." She pushed gently the pretty pink-eyed girl to leave, but the girl shook her head in refusal.
"I won't leave you, Yumiko. Let's go." She opened her palms and the oar promptly appeared. Ooooops. I can't use my oar here, baka. Fortunately, neither of the two noticed her oar. Yumiko was too occupied thinking of a wise move while the guy was walking toward them menacingly. She made the oar disappear again. Maybe they had to do everything the hard way.
The man was walking toward them, taking his sword off its sheath. His hateful beam spelled d-e-a-d as he strode savagely to the two girls.
"Go now!" Yumiko urged. She knew her lord wouldn't interfere if the charming lass was around and she couldn't go and battle the assailant without having to expose her real identity. Think, Ayane! What the hell am I going to do?
"No way, Yumiko. Let's go!!!!" Botan tugged at the wet sleeve of the girl's cloak. She met her companion's dark eyes and hoped she read what her pink eyes spelled : r-u-n.
Ugh. So there's no much of a choice but to do it her way. "Let's split up, Botan." The lass nodded obediently and ran to a different direction.
If a fight is what he wants, then
a fight will he get. But she knew she couldn't risk Botan's life, comprehending
it was her sole problem alone to battle . She gave the assailant a meaningful
gaze before heading to a different direction. It took a while before the
man could get to make his decision.
Botan ran breathlessly. Her pink kimono obstructed her from increasing her speed.
Who is Ayane?
She spun around to check if he was following her, and to much of her horror, indeed, he was right behind her. She went on with her strides, turning her head to concentrate on the crimped ground that was meaning to send her stumbling down. The path was dark with pointed branches sticking from here and there, most of the time snagging up her hair and clothes. She couldn't run off any faster. Maybe she better get the kimono off.
Why is he following me? I'm not that
Ayane he was referring to! He must be mistaken!!!!
She considered for a while, to stop and inform him he must be mistaken. She veered to look at the guy chasing her, and abruptly, her plan seemed all bad. The man resembled to be too barbarous to listen to any of her explanations. Besides, he appeared to know what he was doing and seemed determine to reach his aim. She tried to run faster, but it was clear that her feet was of no match to his remarkable velocity. And her kimono was clearly making things a lot more and more complicated.
That gave Botan one good reason valid enough for her to result to her oar. She halted in her strides , and opened her palm. Yet, as she called for her oar and before it could even appear in her hand, a metallic boomerang hit her hand. The pain diverted her attention from the oar to her wounded fingers. She held it as it bleed severely. Then, she looked up, realizing how much time she had consumed in her injury, seeing the man caught his boomerang. She skimmed at her surrounding quickly, trying to look for a plan or for some little whatever to help her defend herself, but to all in vain.
My other hand!!
She shut her eyes, concentrating in her other hand but all in waste. He stopped his hurrying strides and cantered to her with a sinister sneer, holding his sword. Botan opened her eyes, cornered and defenseless against him.
Maybe I should just run.
As though reading her mind, he raised his sword at her, his other hand fiddling with his a boomerang that rested by his waist. "Resistance is futile."
But I can't give up on that bastard!! I have work to do!!!!!
She stepped back. He gave a deprecating look, disappointed with her actions, then withdrawing his boomerang again, he aimed it at her feet. Before she could even shut her eyes, the boomerang hit her right ankle and her left foot. She fell on the ground, her head began to hurt.
Maybe he is right. Resistance is futile, ne?!
She tried to stand up, shaking her head, her hand and feet streaming with blood. She saw him knowing that inside the steel helmet was an arrogantly smirking face. She shut her eyes, clearing her head, cursing her attacker under her breath.
Resistance is futile.
The boomerang reached him and he caught it with an excellent gesture. "One move and I'll finish you off."
Botan struggled to her feet, opening her eyes. She knew another boomerang was going to hit her, but didn't know where and she couldn't risk to look. It was always better not to look, so she closed her eyes once more.
I'm dead. Dead meat. Now I need Kurama's
help, and where is he?
But as she prepared herself, a swift wind seemed to carry her, so brisk that she thought she had died. Again .
What is happening?
She opened her eyes to see the a familiar face that seemed to be kind to her. She blinked her eyes more than once to assure herself it was no illusion. "Hiei ?"
He didn't answer, cradling her in his strong arms as he jumped, almost flying, to miss her attacker's boomerang. He brought her down nearby, laying her gently on the ground behind one tree.
"Stay here," he ordered sternly, standing up. A spark of concern seemed to be visible in his eyes.
Is that really him?
More questions crammed in her head. She was no longer confused. She was bewildered.
I didn't know Hiei is a gentleman!
She tried to sit up and reach to him,
but Hiei objected by shaking his head disapprovingly.
"Why, we meet again!" the man boomed sarcastically at Hiei as he stepped out from the thicket. Hiei remained silent, snubbing to recognize the assailant's cynical ridicule.
"Hey, Tin man!!!!"
The mocking voice that broke in caught their attention. It was Yumiko, still on her drenched garments, barefoot. The man turned his head sharply at her, anger forming in his eyes.
"You want me??? Come and get me!!!" Yumiko gave out a wicked laugh, crossing her arms over her chest egoistically that was meant to annoy the man even more. He is wise. He decided to follow Botan instead of me! He must have read my mind, damn that asshole!!!!
"Yumiko, no!" Botan tried to stand up, but the koorime stopped her with his glare. He could see Yumiko was not who most people, including Botan, thought she was. He could feel it with his youki that she had such mighty power. Botan was probably unable to detect it since Yumiko might be hiding it before, but now, right in front of danger, she was letting it all out.
"Stay there!" demanded Hiei. The austerity in his voice told Botan to listen to him. Botan sank back down to her sitting position, her back leaning onto a tree. The pain was killing her.
"Sure we meet again," Hiei retorted sarcastically in his usual sedate voice.
The man veered his head to Yumiko, then to Hiei and back. "Why, two against one! I'm impressed!"
"Get lost, kido," Yumiko wheezed at Hiei, her eyes full of anger at the man. "I wanna fight him. Alone." But all she got was a mere 'hn' as a reply. She watched him irritably as he declined to leave, as though he did not hear her. That kid! I wanna have that booby alone!! I'm starving!!! Besides that, she wished to know who was the man behind that iron helmet who wanted her life. At the sight of so many flesh bearing whatever, her stomach began to rumble, not to mention the scent of blood that filled her lungs . Yet, her instincts told her the tin man was the tastiest of them all. And she longed to prove that. She scowled at the red-eyed nincompoop . "Pick somebody your own size!"
The man laughed disdainfully. "Don't shoo him away, Ayane. The more, the merrier."
Botan watched in dread as Yumiko geared
herself, Hiei remained unmoving and the guy began to titter. She is Ayane.Yumiko
is Ayane. She held her bleeding finger, powerless. Aaah! I still have to
go and find Koenma!!! The thought of Enma Daiou reached her mind, and instantly,
her pains seemed to disappear. Enma had commanded her to deliver a message
to Koenma about some important matters. She gritted her teeth in frustration.
I have to go. Sorry Hiei and Yumiko, but first things first.! I have work
to do!!! And with that, she shut her eyes, opened her bloody palm and the
oar appeared after heavy concentration as she fought the pain. She rode
off quickly, and hopefully, unnoticed by the three who were ready for battle.
Shiori Minamino looked up in hearing the door shut. She smiled knowingly, putting down her cup of tea. Shuichi. "Ah, Shu-chan! Good afternoon! " she greeted cheerfully at her son who came to kiss her cheek.
He grinned back. "Good afternoon, 'kasan," he greeted back.
Shiori patted his cheek lovingly. "You're home late. Must be tired. Like some tea?"
The lad shook his head politely at his mother. "So many stuffs to do at school, that was why I'm late," he explained affably before heading for his room.
Kurama spun to meet his mother's eyes. "Hai, 'kasan?"
His mother gave an playful smile. "A girl came here some time ago, looking for you. She said something about a farewell gathering or something like that for another girl named Michiko, and the girl was asking if you could come and asked you to inform Kazuma and ---" Shiori looked thoughtful, her eyebrows wrinkled. "I forgot the name, but it was a girl's name, I'm sure."
Kurama nodded. Miyuki. "What about them?"
Shiori retained her playful grin. "She asked you to tell the other two to go to the party too. Tonight at eight. Are you coming? I said I don't know, since I thought if you have many home works -" her statement was cut as she sipped her tea, turning her face from him. She heard Shuichi's footsteps as he went on walking for his bedroom. "Will you come, Shu-chan?" She heard a faint 'yes' as an answer. She sipped to her tea once more, then she looked up excitedly. "By the way, Shu-chan, who is that cute girl? You know, she has those red eyes and green -or was that blue - hair? You never introduced me to her before. Is she another of your girlfriend?" She chuckled at her question, knowing that her son was more likely to be flushing. He had never brought a girl for her to meet, except Yumiko and the idea of Shuichi dating many girls made her excited.
She was right. It didn't take a minute before Shuichi could deny it with a stammer.
"I-iie, 'kasan!!" she heard him shout defensively. His refusing tone widened her smile, but she didn't answer and went on sipping her tea.
Wonder what Yukina's up to, Kurama fumed to himself as he slump his school bag on his desk. Then, the jolly voice of his okasan painted smile on his face. She sounded eager to see a girl come over at their house, and was agitated at the thought of her son having "another" girlfriend. So bad he had to disappoint her. She was always yearning for the time when Shuichi will bring home a girl he would gladly take by the aisle. She'll be thrilled. And she was ovejoyed when he brought Yumiko to his house, strongly assuming that the boarding house story was a mere lie. Still, Shiori didn't seemto mind. The smile remained in his face, imagining the lively face of his mother on his wedding day. He remembered one time when Shiori had insisted he should have a girlfriend.
"I long for the time when I can play with my grandchildren, Shu-chan."
That made Kurama laugh as he sat on his bed, grabbing the phone. Then he cramped his eyes, considering Shiori's words as he dialed Kuwabara's number. Poor Okasan. That day may not come. But still, as he declared the words, a picture of his wedding day soared to his mind. Many people all dressed up as they waited meekly for the ceremony to begin, Shiori's face smiling in contentment ,his friends hugging him encouragingly, Hatanaka cheering supportively, ......then, at last, the bride came. She was clad in a beautiful kimono, her elegance surpassed all of the other ladies who were there, her head slightly bowed modestly.....Shuichi welcomed her, and finally, the ceremony began. Then, he held her chin and leaned forward to kiss her, when the time had come, lifting up her face.
Kurama's eyes widened. It was Yumiko.....
"BASTARDS!!! Who is this?"
Kurama blinked, then realized Kuwabara had already answered the phone. "Uh, sumimasen. It's me, Kazuma-"
"Oh, Kazuma isn't home, Shuichi," Shizuru's stiff voice came from the other end of the line. She still sounded irritated at Kurama probably for using up her patience in not answering her greeting immediately or when Kurama failed to distinguish her voice form her brother's. Or she could be irritated for both.
"S-sumimasen, Shizuru. Would you, uh, like to go to the gathering tonight over at Genkai's?" Gee, Kurama, nice job. Shizuru sounded very displeased at him and that was the only way to appease her anger. He realized he was grasping the phone, his voice was trembling and he was sweating very badly. The phantasm of Yumiko was bad for his health. In fact, it was dangerous for his health. Damn, I almost became her food!
"Shuichi? Are you ok? I said what time?" This time, the girl seemed very happy, her annoyance vaporized in the thin air.
Kurama exhaled, covering the receiver with his hand. "Hai, hai. About eight, "he answered after bringing the phone back to his lips.
"I'll be there. Should I bring beer?"
"Yeah, whatever. Oh, I'll just drop by. Listen, could you bring Kazuma too?"
Then she hung up after saying a little
good-bye to Kurama. Kurama looked at the phone. He threw it aside and collapsed
on his bed, sighing with relief.
Miyuki opened the door of her obasan's enormous house. She walked in, observing the house, before heading for the kitchen. Her obasan was home, perhaps sewing upstairs. Miyuki made a face, tiptoeing to the kitchen. Undoubtedly, she will embrace Miyuki with nothing but a long lecture. And when she sees her bandages, she will serve Miyuki with more sermons. And sermons. She gave out an exasperating sigh, peeping at the refrigerator for something to eat. Shit! Mushrooms again! There was nothing in there except mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms and mushrooms. Brrrrr. I HATE mushrooms! She looked around again, and a can of cookies above the microwave caught her attention. As she bounded it, the phone rang. She ignored it as she settled herself comfortably on one of the wooden chairs nearby. She munched on it, satisfying her hunger happily. Then she remembered her obasan was upstairs, and if she comes down to answer the phone, she'll see her niece in the kitchen, having a snack. Obasan will definitely scold her for not answering the phone and for eating a snack that'll spoil her appetite for dinner.
She quickly stood up, and headed for the phone. "Moshi moshi." She bit at the crunchy cookie, littering the polished floor with its crumbs.
"Konnichiwa. Is Miyuki there?" a polite voice asked.
Miyuki pooped the last fragment of the cookie to her mouth. "Who is this? If this is Kazukiyo, sorry, but she's not here and will never be here. If this is Junko, sorry she died yesterday and said she couldn't pay you back. If this is my prince, Hie--"
"Hey! It's me, Shuichi."
Miyuki choked. She almost said the name. Saved by the bell, Miyuki! She coughed, wishing Shuichi had not heard her clearly. Shuichi's worried voice came up again . "What's going on, Miyuki? You ok?"
She finally got her throat cleared.
"Sorry, Minamino. Yeah, of course, I'm fine. Why, what's up?"
Briskly, he dished her about a farewell gathering for Michiko to be held over at the temple. Miyuki was silent most of the time. Where is Michiko going? Why is she leaving? She suddenly felt her body sore, and her eyes lowering sadly. She was so silent that Shuichi called at her, "Miyuki, are you still there?"
"Yes, Shuichi. Why is she leaving? Where is she going? When is she going to come back?" she asked hopefully.
"I'm so sorry, Miyuki, but I don't know. Yukina just came over before I was even home -- "
"MIYUKI!!" her obasan thundered fiercely, catching her niece standing on the dirty floor. "Drop that phone right now!!" she boomed, crossing her arms over her chest bossily.
The phone slid from Miyuki's hand
and dangled down in its cord in spite of the fact that she had not heard
her obasan at all. Her face was pale, and she looked up at her aunt as
though she did not see her. She stepped back and intended the door, running.
Her obasan was left speechless, stunned.
Weird, thought Koenma to himself ,
shaking his head slightly, watching Yusuke leave. As much as he abhorred
to confess it, he was missing all the works in Reikai, and he realized
that seeing himself alone again. At least, back in Reikai, he was never
alone and always had the paper works to accompany him. I should quit trying
to fit in, he reflected, sighing dolefully . He drummed his fingers on
his knees in boredom and cupped his chin on his other hand, witnessing
Yusuke's figure go smaller and smaller by each second as he marched off.
The other two, Genkai and Yukina had left some minutes earlier. Genkai
had sensed a strong wave of energy radiating from the woods and Yukina
tried to trace that energy with the hope that it would lead her to her
Poor Yukina. Koenma remembered seeing the girl coming from Kurama's house, sinking wearily to the steps of the temple. Yet, a new glitter of hope sparked in her crimson eyes in hearing the older woman's assumption regarding the energy she was sensing. He was able to feel it too, but decided to ignore it. He was tired and he wanted , to much of his disbelief, to go home.
Koenma looked up, but did not lift his chin from his hand. It was Botan, flying from her oar hastily toward him. Good. I'll ask her to bring me back to Reikai. "Yes, Botan?" He stood up from his position, wiping his hands on the thighs of his black trousers. There was something wrong with Botan.
She was panting, and was ...dirty. Some leaves stuck at her disarranged blue hair , her face shading the color of cerise, and her kimono .......
She stepped down her oar, trembling as she walked nearer to him. She stumbled, and Koenma caught her by the elbow supportively.
"What happened, Botan?" he asked in aghast at her who clung her hand to his ample shoulders.
She let out an assuring smile. "Nothing --" \
He gave her a doubtful look. "Don't try it, Botan, 'coz you are not succeeding at all." Then, he took her hand and inspected it, noticing the mark of blood on his shirt. There were traces of blood all over, but it was not bleeding. Or at least, it perhaps stopped bleeding.
She bared an apologetic grin, pulling her hand away. "Sorry," she mumbled. Before he could say anything, she quickly reported, "Your father wants you back, Koenma-sama. Reikai can't survive the papers without you ."
He stared at her, in awe, but almost happily. "Honto ni ?"
She nodded, bewildered at her master's seemingly glad expression. I thought he wants a vacation. "Your father begs your pardon for not keeping his word about not bothering you in your vacation. He offers you a gift and pleads for you to return to Reikai soon. Will -- "
Koenma almost hugged her. " Sure, why not? "
"Wait , you don't know what the gift is yet ," she interrupted favorably. He gave her a questioning look , appealing for her to go on. She pulled away from him, but kept one steady hand on his shoulder to support herself. She drew her hand to the inside of the chest of her kimono and towed out a piece of paper. She handed it at him and Koenma observed it carefully, his brows wrinkled. I . O . U. Then he unfolded it once more but only to see a blank page.
"What is this?" He rolled the paper casually in his palm. It appeared to be but ordinary paper. "I don't think I need something in exchange for forgiveness."
Botan looked thoughtful. "Enma had said he'd be willing to grant you anything your heart desires, if you come back to Reikai now," she informed Koenma, who, in hearing it, just tossed the paper in the pocket of his trousers.
"Let's go, Botan."
Should I tell him about Yumiko and
what's going on? she asked herself pensively. A pang of guilt hit her,
but she concluded to shut her mouth anyway. Koenma would be really worried
and would more likely to refuse to go back, knowing Yumiko was back and
was in danger. I'd be endangering his life, too. I better not say anything.
But she knew, deep within that she would only be begrudge at the sight
of another girl in her master's arms, and that was the main reason she
did not want to inform him - to keep that from happening. She shrugged
of the thought and left with her revered master who appeared to so anxious
to go home.