“There’s something I need to tell you before Hiei and I leave tonight, Yukina-san.”
The ice-haired koorime stood a tad bit away from Kurama, as it seemed, slightly intimidated. The fox, in his seductive young shape of Shuuichi Minamino, found this a little odd to see, but he knew that the evil energies he released in this moment were probably affecting Yukina against his own will. He couldn’t feel but sorry for her, but it had been too long for him, that he could stop himself. Long? At least it seemed so, no matter how old he really was.
“You are searching for your brother, right?” the fox said kindly.
“Yes. My twin,” she admitted, a hand grasping her chest where she should find a chain with her mother’s tear, but there was nothing to hold on to. She remembered giving the lace to Hiei to look for her brother in the Makai – if he should meet him.
“I know you are desperatre to find him. I also know, that your brother cares a lot for you, but he is hesitant to tell you,” Kurama replied solemnly.
“Kurama-san, you know him?” Yukina’s eyes widened with joy and hope, and she took a step towards Kurama. The red-head held out a cold hand to stop her from coming any closer.
“Yes, I know your onii-san,” he said much more kindly than his gesture indicated and displayed even a genuine smile. “He won’t tell you that he found you already, though.”
“But why?” she demanded.
“Your brother held a similar chrystal to the one you gave to Hiei – given by his mother – but he lost it in a fight in the demon world and ever since hasn’t regained it. A demon called Mukuro has gotten ahold of it and cannot easily be persuaded to give it back. She is of strong power. Your brother won’t face you without that chrystal, and maybe not even with it… He doesn’t think he is in any way worthy of you, no matter how powerful he is. And Yukina, your onii-san is very powerful, he has taken on a lot of suffering to find you and to gain the strength he has now. His purpose is to protect the few things he holds dear, especially you.”
“But then I don’t understand why he won’t reveal his identity to me… if he cares… if he knows how desperately I am searching…” There was no understanding in her big red eyes as she looked up to the fox, but before she could say anything, Kurama resumed.
“As I said, he doesn’t think much of himself. Think about it, Yukina: Your brother was supposed to die, he is a forbidden child of your family, he never grew up with anyone liking him.”
“But that is what I am here for..!” she cried, not shedding any of her precious tears, yet.
“…and that is how he feels,” Kurama resumed undisturbedly. “He doesn’t feel worth being liked, he doesn’t know friendship and much less sisterly love, although it is deep inside him and he should know what if feels like. He doesn’t feel on one level with a beautiful koorime like you are. With all his forces he tries to protect you from discovering his secret, and only a few he trusts or he couldn’t avoid from seeing, know of it ”
Yukina clasped her own little hands desparately, since the fox, although he spoke friendly, didn’t offer her any physical support.
“He even tries to hide your obvious similarities…” he concluded.
“You are one of the persons he trusts, Kurama, right?” she said sadly.
“Yes, I am.” And I am betraying that trust right now, he added mentally.
She nodded silently.
“Yukina-san. Can’t you think about anyone, who is a lot like you, and whom you trust already? Someone whose outsides partly match your own, and partly don’t,” he kneeled down, so he was slightly below her eyelevel. “You know that your mother was accused of having mated with a fire demon, something that is strictly forbidden in your tribe – much worse that the child turned out to be a boy. Can’t you imagine what physically would become of such a pairing … a fire demon, Yukina, a child like you…”
Yukina glared at Kurama, slowly taking his words, hint by hint, step by step, keeping her mind from tumbling over.
“It isn’t too hard to see for a smart mind on the outside, but you, Yukina, you don’t seem to look at yourself in comparison to others – well, you didn’t knew your brother is close, no need to blame you.”
“Do you mean… I saw him?” she held a hand to her beating heart, looking down at Kurama and hardly daring to breathe.
“Yes you do,” he replied calmly. “A small ice fairy and a strong fire demon… think Yukina. Look at yourself… you have dark red, big eyes, you are slender and quick, and also beautiful, yet you probably miss the demonic touch of your father and stick to ice rather than to fire.” Kurama was slowly pushing her nose to the solution.
Yukina staggered for a moment. She had never thought her brother would look much like herself, since she almost completely looked like an ordinary ice fairy and among them she would most likely have heard of any boy looking like them. The demon-aspect didn’t come through to her appearance and she knew it was senseless to try and picture her brother – especially because she didn’t know her father. However, she had never considered, that slight similarities could be the key to recognize him. But who’d have thought he wouldn’t tell her…? Who’d have thought he could be right there with her and not say a word – her mother had told him to find her and she had waited for the moment he would come to her and tell her, for she could surely not recognize him, unlike he could.
But now, taking the facts clear, moments came tumbling back at her. She stared at Kurama’s eyes with amazement and disbelief at the same time. She had a faint idea, but could she dare to grasp that…?
“Why didn’t he say anything?” she tried desperately, “Not even when I…” her hand grasped the empty spot on her chest.
“He was afraid you had discovered his secret when you did so, Yukina,” came the soft reply, “…and was only too glad when you found out you did not. But he was ovewhelmed by the fact that you would entrust him with your chrystal, and shocked by how easily you gave it away to someone like him. A worthless, unfriendly demon you might never in your life see again…”
“But I knew Hiei would come back! I knew it is only the one side of him that pretends not to care… and I knew he liked me… he has protected me numerous times…” she whispered.
“I told you, he doesn’t see all that… He doesn’t know how to worship his own achievements. It’s not like he thinks he owes you all that – he loves you in a way only he can, and he feels a responsibility for you and your safety. Protecting you is not anything glorious for him. You are the only reason why he still comes back.”
Her precious tears clattered to the floor. Still she was unable to really understand why Hiei had acted so cold on her when she had given her the chrystal to find her brother – how he could take it without moving an eyelash, as if he really did not have anything to do with her. It seemed, though, that Kurama understood her brother, and maybe it was beyond her horizon of understanding to really grope Hiei’s reasons.
“Yukina,” Kurama adressed her softly, after he had given her a while to collect her thoughts. “Do you know what it means to get a Jagan implanted?”
“It means a lot of courage in the first place, but also pain – a kind of pain even I cannot imagine, Yukina. It is a procedure, many demons do not survive – even those with the strongest will. You know Hiei, if he isn’t in rage, he endures silently – but he told me, Yukina. He told me, how he screamed that day, to endure the pain!”
Yukina kept weeping, the little pearls from her eyes spreading on the wooden floor of the temple.
“Do you know what the Jagan is good for, and why it is veiled?”
She shook her head silently.
“The power of the eye and the kukurohyu, the dragon, can live by itself – it can’t be fully controlled, and if Hiei dies, the Jagan might live on. It’s a strong, evil power. The Jagan can see beyond the borders of youkai eyes, any place – any place at all. The eye can spy through walls and on certain people, find them, wherever they are, when they are unshielded. And Hiei got it implanted to find her, to find that one and only sister. And he found her in her snow world, safe and protected, and that satisfied him and gave him time to work on his abilities and strength.”
Kurama got up from the floor again and walked over to the window in a moment of silence, looking out. Without turning around, he continued, torturing her with light cruelty.
“But some day, his precious sister vanished, and not even the Jagan could find her – she was shielded and caged with her birds. And she wept, and he knew that that was what had happened to her. We came to rescue you without him, because even Koenma feared Hiei might overdo it with his rage. He was desperate to find you, Yukina-san. He wanted to help you, he needed to help you. He never abandoned you, but he was outsmarted that time, and he suffered with you.”
Yukina still stood in her place, unable to move. Kurama turned around and looked at her.
“It’s all I have to tell,” he said after a while and silently shoveled the door next to the window aside. “It’s your deal what you make out of it, Yukina-san. He would never get around telling you, he cares just too much for you.” The fox left into the cold winter air.
“Hiei…” Yukina whispered.
Will you kill me now, Hiei? I am curious… Not that it would matter much, Fire Demon.. You are so much better than I am. You have honest aims, an you certainly don’t make the impression – and you have built yourself up to something I only achieved in a millenium. Yes, that feud should be substential and of my taste. It should be worthy of being my last. Hiei, will you come and kill me? [EEK! He sounds like Relena..!]
Kurama was long gone by nightfall and Hiei was heading for the gate that had been left open for him and the others. The sooner this was over, the better, he’d just make sure the fox did not encounter anything he couldn’t handle on his own. That seldomly happened, but it reasonably would be a disadvantage to loose him – who knows what the red- or silver-head might be useful for. There was no doubt there was sympathy between them, a light touch of friendship, and on Kurama, Hiei restrained from playing with such connections. He really was one of the few demons he could trust, and it was good that way. Trust… why exactly? He wasn’t able to tell.
“Hiei-san!” he was called by the light voice of a young ice fairy. Yukina came running up the empty field to wish him good luck. Hiei held back a smile.
“Hiei! Onii-san!” she called cheerfully. The youkai paled visibly hearing such words but kept his ice cold gaze as she came to a halt.
“Where do you come down calling me that?” he demanded, standing in his usual, appropriate distance to her.
“Hiei,” she said kindly. “Please… tell me this is true… Kurama told me. About the Jagan, about your search and the loss of the chrystal.”
“K-Kurama did…?” his dark voice trembled.
“Don’t blame him brother, please! He did the right thing! He did!” she stumbled a step forward and flung herself around his neck, catching him in a hearty embrace. “Nii-san!”
Hiei stood stiff, overwhelmed with her around his neck, with that affection flung towards him like a sharp knife. He could hardly bring himself to admit that it felt good to feel her not rejecting him, feeling that joyfulness of hers. He didn’t dare to embrace her, nor was he used enough to be comfortable with any exchange of affection of the kind she was offering him. So he kept his pose the way it was, unmoving, until she finally disengaged from him. His eyes were wide, still frozen with shock – of a kind not even he could hide anymore.
“Hie-san… I am so glad to have found you, I really am. You are special to me, with or without being my brother, Hiei, but knowing you belong to me… I am so glad, nii-san.”
Hiei frowned, a hand wandered to the chrystal on his neck. With a firm movement of his bandaged hand, the leather-lace snapped open and he held the chrystal in his hand, presenting it to her.
“Take it,” he said coldly. “I have no time to find your brother.”
She smiled with something that was partly pain, partly still the old happiness from having found him, finally.
“No Hiei… I see it clearly now, although I never guessed. Kurama was just reasonable enough – we have the same eyes, the same height, even, and you have control over the fire – incredible control… Fire Demon. Sometimes, you are so much like myself, that I tended to miss that. I am sorry to have been so stupid – if I had known my brother was around, I should have seen it was you… I should have given you the chrystal in another way.” She firmly pushed his hand back, rejecting to take the chrystal back again.
Hiei stared at the blue item in his hand, then dropped it into the grass. His dark countenance eased only a little, the anger still veiled the slight confusion. “He shouldn’t have said a word. It doesn’t serve you anything if you know, Yukina, and Kurama knows that.”
“But Hiei… I was so desperately wishing to find you…”
“Bakana. That prick knows my reasons for not telling you. Why does he play with something even his smart brain won’t comprehend?” His fist clenched and the expression of anger won and deeped. “Kitsune! He hasn’t changed one bit!” So much about trusting that foxy youko!
“Hiei…!” Yukina called, scared of what he might do to the youko, trying to ease his anger which she thought was unecessary.
Hiei, snorting with anger, abandoned his sister, thrwoing her a last pained, mild look, and leaped into the gate, his youki tensing and cracking with rage.
There was no need to watch out for Hiei – the evil wave of rage and anger could be felt over quite some distance – especially by Kurama who was familiar with the electrifying sparks he sent out, now matter how tightly he had wrapped the black dragon. It was a pleasure to face such a ball of power, a pleasure to feel all of what Hiei was capable of, if he just wanted.
“Kurama,” came the voice from behind, dark, threatening, like a huge black bell, sent with a wave of pure anger. The fox turned around, facing Hiei over the distance of the field, he had chosen to be their battleground. In the midth of flowers and plants – which he wasn’t going to use on the youkai.
“How dare you?!” Hiei yelled out, his anger palpable like a blow.
“Someone had to tell her. You weren’t going to do it,” he answered under a mask of friendliness, which he knew wouldn’t disturb the black Fire Demon. Hiei’s eyes were wide, filled with anger and hatred, partly also with disbelief how his friend Kurama could have done that to him.
“You knew what it meant to me. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself!?” He clenched his fists, grasping a spark in his hand, singeing the surface of the bandage on the palm of his hand with a dark black flame.
“No,” Kurama replied calmly, raising Hiei’s anger.
“Would you want me to tell Shiori you are a demon fox?” he huffed.
“I don’t care. She would still love me, just as Yukina loves you the same. It’s for her own good to not know about it. But it wouldn’t change all too much. Yes, go and tell her. I’ll make sure to protect her if that should cause consequences. It’s only a matter of good or better whether she knows or not.” The fox made himself invincible from that side.
“So it is for Yukina!”
“Yukina was very happy about it.”
Hiei gasped in pain and anger, not able to put it into words. Pain, because he had trusted Kurama, thought he was a friend, anger because Kurama didn’t seem to care about Hiei’s pain in the least. He should have known – who had ever trusted a youko? An angry growl emerged his throat telling Kurama clearly, how much rage there was inside of the little demon. With a yelp, Hiei mindlessly flung himself upon his friend, ready to beat him unconscious, if not even more.
“Rose whip!” came the familiar voice of the thief. It was the voice of the demon Kurama, trapped in the body of Shuuichi Minamino, with whmo he had shared many things he wouldn’t have given away to anyone else – a voice that had taught him a few things in life, even, a voice that always had a kind word for him. Now, it only increased his anger, as he mindlessly beat Kurama’s torso, sending him flying into the dust several times, and receiving his share by the insedious plants lingering from every side, and the thorns of the whip.
And while they were fighting, almost unaware of themselves, Hiei wondered indeed, why Kurama had done that – he should have known how much rage that would provoke in Hiei and that he undoubtedly would try and kill him for it.
“Jaou En Satsu Rengoku Shou!” The flame-loaded fists met with Kurama’s pretty face and torso, mindlessly. But Hiei was unable to break his neck, and not only because of the fox’s dodging qualities. Green ranks shot out from under Kurama’s sleeves, pierced him into his stomach like sharp knives, but within a blink, Hiei was away from the source of pain and behind Kurama.
The whip cracked and swept the youkai off his feet, followed by several kicks from deceivingly thin legs. Hiei gasped. There was no doubt, that Kurama’s strength matched his own, but not in the shape of Shuuichi Minamino! Within a second he was back to his feet, jumping towards Kurama. The red-head dodged, but the katana, Hiei had finally unsheathed, hit him across the chest and he went to his knees, holding his hand to the bleeding cut.
Hiei took a break, watching the insane creature before him – yes, Kurama must be insane if he was asking for such a challenge! The smile out of all sanity met his eyes as Hiei looked up – as if Kurama was satisfied beyond imagination – satisfied for fighting Hiei and getting wounded and beaten up. This was not the person, Hiei knew.
“What are you fighting for, Hiei,” he laughed. “She will never forget what I told her.”
The Jagan burned in anger, demanding to be freed. But Hiei couldn’t … it would kill Kurama, or at least Shuuichi, for sure and something blocked him from doing that.
“Are you giving up?” Kurama teased, “Is it so easy to betray you, Hiei?”
“JAOU EN SATSU KEN!!!” Hiei called up the sword of hell flames and with a yell tried to slash Kurama. But the blade did not meet the red-head, but the silver youko. Kurama, finally, had transformed to something that matched Hiei’s power. And the fight resumed. Golden eyes against red ones, muscle against muscle, blade against plant. Seldomly they left each other time to recover.
“Fight seriously, Kurama!” Hiei yelped after a light blow had hit his shoulder. He had finally realized, that the youko could fight much more seriously than he did – Kurama wasn’t giving himself into the fight, he was treating Hiei with too much care, no matter how hard the blows were, he received.
“I wouldn’t want that precious body of yours bruised,” came the dark voice, as Kurama licked blood from his hands. “You are just as pretty as Yukina.”
Hiei knew, he knew, that there was a hint of a sexist in every youko – jokingly, Kurama had admitted that to him himself, but in the current circumstances, Kurama’s suggestive voice was only enough to provoke Hiei into further action. An evil black wave cracked about him as he was facing the youko, he had thought he knew so well.
“If you weren’t constantly shielding her, I might have a try on your beautiful sis-”
“JAOU EN SATSU KOKURYU HA!!!” In rage and anger, Hiei called up the dragon without thinking. Youko Kurama’s eyes widened in shock as the black, snake-like figure disengaged from Hiei’s arm and rose above him with gleaming eyes and roaring sound. For a moment, the wave alone would have almost knocked Kurama over. Trees grew around him in a desperate try to defend himself from Hiei’s bundled forces in the black dragon. The beast smashed them, one after the other, searching, hungering for the silver fox. It was too late to call it back, once set free, the dragon was destroying, and Hiei could only stand and stare as it hunted down the beautiful fox. Drenched of his own powers, silver hair turned to red, triangular ears and tail disappeared, Kurama shrank slightly, until he was in his human aspect again. Twice he could dodge the huge creature by flinching himself aside, but he was visibly out of power, panting and bleeding too much to be able to hold up until the dragon was weakening.
Hiei could only stand and watch, different pains wrenching inside his body, unable to do anything now. He only felt his own powers sucked from him. Inevitably, the dragon snatched the fox and carried him into his air, his evil eyes fixing his victim with merciless anger. All tries to weaken the glowing black flame with the plants hidden in his body were nothing but useless and didn’t affect the dragon at all. Kurama was bound to give up.
The dragon carried him far beyond the field. Hiei followed in quick jumps, keeping up with him. Kurama was neither screaming or moaning, and if, it wasn’t audible over the roaring of the kokuryu. His ningen body was finally thrown into the trunk of a tree, a plant, probably older than Kurama himself was. The tree burst and exploded into a million pieces and Kurama remained at the trunk. The dragon took his flight.
Hiei came to a halt, kneeling next to the friend. What will she say when I tell her I killed Kurama? What will she think of her brother? he asked himself. Blood quickly drenched the dusty soil beneath, where a moment ago there had been grass and flowers. Hiei stood above Kurama and watched the miserable shape. Had he really done that? To Kurama? Images flashed past his vision, images of Kurama greeting him on his way to ningen school, of him fighting the sexist Karasu, him giving the last of his powers to survive or thinking about a problem before he made up a plan to act.
No! Kurama hadn’t meant to kill himself! He wa acting with calculation, and had he calculate on this, the kokuryu? Not even Kurama would have guessed Hiei was evil enough to do that! No, Kurama would never have done anything to physically or sexually really harm either him or Yukina, he had been teasing and provoking Hiei’s rage, not spoken truth! But why? What did make him so damn foolish, what did made him test Hiei’s border of tolerance, putting his own life into so much danger and eventually loosing it?
Hiei felt his powers fly away, his arm was stiff and pulsed with ache. A moment later his knees gave away and he slumped onto the bleeding body before him, sacking out to regain the powers, the black dragon had drenched.
Hiei awoke before Kurama, because the fox was sleeping the sleep on the border of death and life, not that of recovery. Yet, he was alive – Hiei could feel the light pulse of his ningen heart and the soft flow of the demon’s life. He picked himself up, wearily. He couldn’t move his arm, it was stiff with pain, the flash singed and the muscles cramped. There was no need to wrap it now. He dragged Kurama to a sheltered place with the other hand and then quickly abandoned the place, searching for the only person who might possibly be able to help him with knowledge and power.
Hours later, Kurama blinked his green eyes open, coughed and felt the thousand aches on his body. Amazing, that he wasn’t dead yet, he thought and tried to move himself into a sitting position.
“Stay,” came the low voice, which last time he had heard it, had called up the black dragon. He was much more calm now, much more thoughtful. Kurama obediently relaxed, unable to move himself anyway. The ceiling reminded him of Genki’s shrine, which was probably his current location. Hiei came into sight, standing next to the table-like bed, Kurama had been put upon. He was bandaged as properly and cleanly as Kurama himself was.
“What did you think you were doing?” he asked lowly.
Kurama didn’t answer at first. Then he looked into the soft face at his bedside. There were red streaks on Hiei’s cheeks, remains of the whip’s crackings. “Where is Yukina?”
“Hn. Home,” Hiei answered bluntly. “You baka!” he said loudly, clenching his left hand. “Were you trying to get me to kill you?”
“Yes,” Kurama answered solemnly. Hiei gasped and his eyes widened in shock. It wasn’t the answer he had expected.
“Why didn’t you?”
“You sruvived,” Hiei answered lowly. It was indeed incredible that Kurama, no matter how strong, had survived the black dragon – but aparently he had. Kurama wished he hadn’t, the pain which was hardly palpable while fighting, now stung like a thousand knifes in and on his body.
“Fuck you, kitsune, why were you trying to tempt me into killing you?”
Kurama produced a fake smile. “There are worse pains than dying. I wanted to die.”
“And load the guilt all on me? Why didn’t you just hang yourself, ningen?” Rage blazed again for that insedious fox, but Hiei contained to himself. He had done enough damage already.
Kurama reached out for the singed hand, a move that cost him a lot of strength now. He pulled stiff and cramped limb into the range of his vision. “No. There were two choices… Get killed by this hand… or be loved by it. It was easy to get you to kill me…” This time, the pained smile was for real, and so was the slight wetness in those green eyes. Only one who knew Kurama could see this wasn’t normal. Hiei pulled on his hand, and Kurama obediently let go. It was so shredded and numb, he had hardly felt Kurama’s soft touch. Within a moment, he had vanished from the bedside and sat on the window sill. The fox was insane…!
Kurama closed his burning eyes. Yet, he wasn’t back into life again. Slowly, he tried to let the threat flow, the threat which bound him to human life… a fading silver line to release his spirit and turn back to the ancient being that had learned to deal with pain. Maybe not this one, but pain nevertheless.
The lights flickered, catching Hiei’s attention. He extended his senses and felt Kurama easing in on himself, letting the hint of a human aura he had fade. Hiei abandoned his window sill and shot to Kurama’s side, shoveled him down from the bed and onto the floor with a thud. That effectively disturbed the fox’s concentration. Hiei knelt by his side, grabbed his head and held him up in his arms. That suicidal fox had become really mad lately.
“Kurama!” he called, banning those eyes onto him. “Stop trying to kill yourself!”
“You have no idea!” Kurama said weakly, but angrily. “I have dealt with pain before,” he breathed hard. “But never this! Never this! Yukina loves you Hiei, and you love her in return. It would make you both so much happier than… I am.”
“Kitsune – she must like me without knowing I am her brother,” he held him up, but it seemed, Kurama was already about to die.
“She does,” he croaked hoarsly. “And you could give her so much more. I wanted to make at least her happy…” His eyes fluttered shut, the old wounds had cracked open again and were soaking bandages and floor. Hiei’s stiff arm remained on Kurama’s chest. He shook him.
“Kitsune! Don’t die on me!” he yelped helplessly. Where the heck was Genkai?
“You’re calling me… fox…” he smiled mildly, as if in trnace, he wasn’t much aware of himself any longer.
“Kurama, you can’t! We need you! I need you, fox! DON’T! KURAMAA!” he shook him violently and pressed his elbow on the bleeding chest to stop the wound from leaking so much blood. He would have used his hand, but his hand was too numb to pressure the wound.
Dizziness and fog surrounded the fox and clouded his vision. At this moment, Genkai came bursting into the room, alarmed by Hiei’s yelling. She called a light strong enough to put him out of danger, not asking how he came to be on the floor or what had happened. Kurama was too weak to fight her off. Once again, he sacked into peaceful slumber.
The next time, voices woke him. This time he was covered. Currently it was Yukina talking. “Nii-san, I am so glad you saved him!” she said.
“Ba-bakana… I almost killed him!” Hiei gasped. He couldn’t believe she didn’t blame him. But she didn’t… she hadn’t even asked why he had kept himself from telling her.
“What makes him so – so desperate to kill himself?” Yukina asked carefully.
“Pain, he said. Something you and I have, something he can’t get. I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “He doesn’t make sense. The same thing that made him tell you about all this.” Kurama’s heart convulsed in pain. He shouldn’t have hoped Hiei could ever understand him. Yukina sensitively stretched out a hand towards Kurama.
“Something you and I have, Hiei? That sisterly and brotherly love? Does he envy us?”
“Hiei, what do you think about him? He is your friend after all.”
“I care about no one!” he replied dully, but added with a soft touch, “but you. And…” he hesitated, “..Kurama.” There was a pause for a moment. “But – he is not my brother!” He flushed from his own words – how dared he still care for him, who had angered him so much, when nothing at all was connecting him to the fox like to Yukina?! Hiei had gained a very good idea about that in the meantime. When he had called the dragon he had regretted it the same instant – he could imagine that handsome face smashed and splintered into pieces and it horrified him. Not because Kurama had been his friend – it was a terrible loss. All those kind words, lost, gone.
“Y-Yukina. I can’t love anyone besides you!” he protested, in debate with himself more than with her.
“That is not true, Hiei. I also love other people. Kuwabara-san is very nice, and Botan-chan is a good friend, even Yusuke and of course, Kurama…”
Hiei snorted at the mentioning of Kuwabara but didn’t say anything. “But I almost care for him in a way I care for you, and that isn’t right… it -” Hiei lost his words, as he stared at Kurama, whose eyes were wide open, eyeing him out of their green brightness. “Ku-Kurama!”
Yukina silently left the room. It wasn’t difficult to understand Hiei in moments, when he didn’t understand himself. Hiei gave away far too much than he knew under these circumstances and it was only the right moment to leave with a smile.
“Hiei,” Kurama said softly and held out a hand. Suddenly it was way different from before to be in the same room with him. Hiei hesitantly came closer and gave his left hand into Kurama’s. There was a moment of absoulte silence in which a stunned Hiei stared into those green orbs and waited. “You care for me?” Kurama looked at him calmly.
“I was lying when I said I was tempted to try on Yukina…”
“I know. You don’t feel for women,” he replied, trembling slightly.
“Hiei, trust me… I am tempted towards you, but I would never hurt you…”
“I know. My damages are nothing compared to yours. And I realized it too late.” He trustfully stood on Kurama’s bedside, grasping his hand. Kurama nodded silently. Hiei sighed, assembling courage. “But Kitsune, you wouldn’t hurt me, if you did that.”
“Hiei…” he protested, trying to reject the offer the youkai had suggested.
“Let me speak,” Hiei stopped him forcefully. “I’m a baka for all that’s worth to say that I only care for Yukina. And Yukina also told me, that she is not the only one liking me. I wouldn’t want to see you die, youko, not by my own hand or any other… or yours.”
“I won’t do that again.”
“Next to Yukina you are all,” he freed his hand, grasped Kurama’s shirt and leaned over him. Their eyes were only separated by a few centimeters, as Hiei half leaned upon him. The healthy hand dug into Kurama’s shirt as he added painfully. “I need you to stay, kitsune!”
Kurama patted the numb arm and nodded. He slid a little aside and grabbed Hiei around his waist, pulling him up next to himself onto the bed. “I’ll stay if you do,” he said. Then he closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep. Hiei laid his head on the chest of ‘his fox’ and closed his eyes as well.
“Oii! Nanda to? Kurama! Hiei!” Yusuke shouted after he had just walked into the room, finding both of them on the bed. Hiei fell off the bed, startled, and jumped to his feet, his hand on the katana.
“Hiei! What are you doing in Kurama’s bed?”
“Hn. Sleeping,” he replied calmly, the corner of his mouth twitching.
“Oh…” Botan gasped, “how come Kurama lets you stay in his bed like that?” She shivered at the thought of having a living death trap sleeping next to her in the room – much less in the same bed.
“Don’t you know how warm Fire Demons are?” came a voice from behind Hiei. Hiei jumped aside to reveal that Kurama was awake.
“Really?” Yusuke wondered and took a step towards Hiei. So did Botan and Kuwabara and suddenly Hiei had curious hands all over himself.
“URUSAI!!! YAMETE!!!” the youkai cried out, and every one backed away. “What do you think you are doing! K’ch! Get your dirty hands off me!”
They all stood quite intimidated, away from the fuming youkai. Nobody dared to move anywhere near Hiei anymore after this outburst and they were eyeing him carefully. Only Kurama lazily reached out a hand from his bed and grabbed Hiei by the hip, pulling him close. Kuwabara, Botan and Yusuke ducked, waiting for Hiei to call a mighty blow onto Kurama for that. Amazingly, though – when they dared to look at them again, Hiei was sitting on the bed, eye-locked with Kurama. Kurama was chuckling softly, almost seductively. Botan’s eyes bulged out.
“Oahh…! H-Hiei… K-Kurama. What happened?” she gasped. Yukina stole herself around the group and stood next to the bed. “Yes, really, nii-san, what happened?” she grinned, knowing only too well, what should have happened.
“Ohoaah! Nii-san?” Kuwabara repeated. “Hiei --- nii-san…?” He tried to put the meaning together in his mind. A second later he was unconscious on the floor, and Hiei was back on his seat, as if nothing had happened.
“Baka,” he chuckled, “Too much brainwork doesn’t do him good.”
“Right, Hiei,” Kurama smirked. “He can’t work brain and body together,” he smirked. “Only I can…!”
Hiei blushed intensely, so did Yukina.
“Ah? Oah! Kurama no… no… hentai!” Yusuke stuttered, holding a hand to his nose. Botan escorted him outside, throwing an innocent grin at Hiei. “I didn’t tell Yukina! No need to kill me, okay?” she said anxiously.
“Right, you didn’t…” Hiei smirked after the door had closed behind Yukina, who had followed, helping Kuwabara outside. “The kitsune did…,” he snarled
“I have a lot more to tell…!” Kurama let his hands crawl…