AUTHORS NOTE: My first attempt at one of these!
Prompt #1: Ice Cream
It was a well-kept secret that Hiei had a sweet tooth. A ruthless demon, second in command of a vast army had to keep up appearances, after all. Half the time he refused to admit a thing such as hunger but in the eyes of his mate. And Kurama kept him well fed with his favorite foods, which always included a vast amount of assorted ice creams in the freezer. Kurama had yet to discover where Hiei was putting it all, as the little demon went through at least a carton of the sweet stuff a day. Fortunately for the both of them, the fox had a large amount of wealth at his disposal. Now, if only he could stop the strange looks he got at the check out line when he bought eleven cartons of ice cream...
Prompt #2: Face-Hiei POV
Without being asked, I watched him. After the fights where he'd been shredded to ribbons, I kept an eye on him throughout the night, to make sure the rise and fall of his chest remained steady. After making love, when his head was resting on my shoulder and my hands were tangled in blood-red curls, I stroked his cheek and saw the way his lips parted gently, the little murmurs he made when he curled closer to me if I tried to move. I studied the gentle curve of his mouth, his long black eyelashes and red brows. I memorized the scar he had next to his eye. I knew the face of Suichi Minamino well. Behind him, there sat an enigma of Yoko Kurama I had yet to begin to understand.
Prompt #3: Chocolate
"Human tradition," Kurama mumbled, flipping through a rather hefty textbook at his desk and not raising his eyes to meet the curious little fire demon. Said demon's eyes were focused on the huge amount of chocolate wrapped in red cellophane, boxes shaped like hearts and cardboard cards still sealed in pink envelopes.
"Help yourself, love." Kurama just turned and smiled over his shoulder before returning to his work. Hiei watched him, licking melted chocolate off his fingertips. Maybe human traditions weren't so bad.
Prompt #4: Roses
Roses weren't Hiei's favorite flower. He didn't hate them by any stretch of the word, but he didn't necessarily understand the humans, or his fox's, love for them either. They were sold at the market by bundles, found in greenhouses and stores and given to loved ones for seemingly every occasion. He found them in red, yellow, white, and he couldn't stop laughing when he saw a dozen of them dyed an unusual shade of blue either.
Hiei certainly didn't expect to find one on his desk when he arrived at his office either. "Mukuro," he growled, "what is this nonsense?" The woman just smirked, "They're not from anyone here," and walked away, laughing to herself.
Hiei snorted and peered at the blood-red flowers. He felt a blush spread across his cheeks when, upon further inspection, he saw a delicate black dragon nestled in the center of each rose. The card attached held only a sketch of a kitsune, with the words "I love you. Come home soon."
Hiei found himself thankful that the roses never wilted.
Kurama had never told him he could sing.
Hiei felt his eyebrows raise when he saw his fox in the garden, all white shadows and grace. Yoko sang quietly to himself as he manipulated the vines into intricate twists and patterns, flowers growing beyond their expected sizes. He smiled when he twisted several more vines into a sort of swinging chair, large enough for three people with little multicolored flowers woven into the spaces there. The fire demon watched as Kurama lay in the grass, stroking white petals, smooth baritone and foreign tongue. Hiei couldn't bring himself to interrupt, so he just listened.
Kurama never told Hiei he could sing. But that didn't mean he never sang to him when his eyes were closed and breathing steady. He often sang him lullabyes that his demon mother had put him to sleep with, all those thousands of years ago. Kurama sang when no one but Hiei was listening, and each lyric was just for them.
"Winter's here," Hiei murmured from his place at the windowsill. Kurama looked up from his book, smiling softly at the snowflakes drifting from the concrete sky. "Seems it is," he sighed, "It's always a little sad for me, the seasons changing so quickly in this world." In Makai, one could travel to one area and the season it was when you arrived was simply the climate. You could pick and choose from seasons. But not here. Here, just when you got used to one season, the weather changed its mind. Hiei hated the rain, particularly.
"When is spring, again?" The little fire demon pouted. Kurama just smiled, "In six months, Hiei." Hiei walked over to the calender, and, with a large, red marker, wrote in angry letters upon the face of October: "Six months to spring."
#7: Post Its
When Hiei saw the little yellow paper on the fridge, he stared. Then he opened his mouth, shut it, and stared some more. "Um...fox," he finally called, choking on the laughter he was trying to keep in, "I think your mother was here."
"Why would you say that, love?" Kurama walked into the kitchen and pulled his hair from his pony tail. His face drained of color immediately when he saw the 4-by-three inch post it note stuck to his fridge.
There, in angry purple letters, was a reminder of his mother's birthday. For the first time in his 28 years of human life, he'd forgotten. And for the first time, through a small, sticky note, his mother expressed disappointment.
When he stuttered through an apology on the phone, Hiei cackled in the background, gluing the post it into the photo album as a reminder of the first time Kurama was in trouble with his mom.
"Kurama," Hiei sighed for the third time, "You've got to be kidding me..."
'Nope.' His mate spoke telepathically, for at the moment, he was incapable of speech. Hiei found it a little bit bizarre to have his mate crawling around the house in his kitsune-form, seven tails waving behind him as he crouched around the corner from the kitchen.
"Fox, we could just call an exterminator to-"
'Nope.' Once again, he was interrupted and all he could do was sit cross-legged in the living room, resting his chin in his palm and shaking his head as Kurama waited patiently for his prey.
Ten minutes later, the sound of pots and pans crashing onto the floor and an unsuspecting rodent squealing in pain reached Hiei's ears. He peeked in through the doorway to see a white fox with a mouse caught in its jaws, golden eyes shining with pride at his new kill.
'If you tell anyone, and I do mean *anyone* about this, Hiei, I will eviscerate you.'
Hiei just sighed, rubbing his temples as he looked at all the furniture shoved out of place by a fox that refused to stop playing with his prey.
In a way, Hiei was glad he'd been the one to answer the phone. Kurama had been busy doing dishes when they got the call. He'd dropped the plate he'd been drying when Hiei told him.
Hiei just stood there quietly, with the receiver to his ear, "Yes. Okay. I'll tell him." Hooking the phone back in its cradle, Hiei took a deep breath and, through the lump in his own throat, told Kurama that after seventy two years, his mother had died, peacefully in her sleep.
The Urameshi team, as they'd become used to being called, had spent the day on the beach. They'd watched the sunset and now sat in a circle around a blazing fire, laughing and drinking beer and generally having a good time. Many years had passed since they'd disbanded as spirit detectives, and each had changed in his own way. Kuwabarra had grown more mature, and held a steady job to support his wife, Yukina. He'd finally gotten rid of his ugly hairstyle after much prompting from his sister. Yusuke was taller and slimmer, having long since packed up his work-out days in favor of keeping up his wife's ramen shop and the two year old who soaked up nearly all his energy. They couldn't really stop glancing at their two demon friends, who, in perfect opposition from each other were synonymous with black and white, Kurama long since become permanently a Yoko. The two had been married for almost seven years, and while they mostly stayed in Makai, they occasionally came back to human world to sit by a roaring fire by the beach, drinking and catching up. Kuwabarra found it a little unnerving how both the Yoko and the little koorime were physically unchanged after all the years that had passed, but couldn't really think of a way to say it. Kurama tossed a few seeds into the bonfire out of boredom, and his three companions stared, dumbfounded, as the flames faded in and out of different colors, from blue to green to black. "To make it unique," he shrugged in explanation, "Goddess knows when we'll get to see each other like this again." They exchanged sad smiles and passed the whiskey, words they didn't care to say stuck in their throats.
Hiei found human contraptions to be obnoxious. Especially the one he was crammed into with the oaf at the wheel, Yusuke in the passenger seat grinning like an idiot. The only thing salvagable from the box of hell he was in was the fact that Kurama was next to him, smiling gently with his hand on his thigh while the speaker behind him made his brains rattle in his skull. 'Hiei' Kurama said into his mind 'Promise you won't slash Kuwabarra's new speakers. He's very proud of this purchase.' Hiei just snarled and slumped into his seat, cursing the thing humans called 'Rap Music'.
Hiei sniffed the stuff suspiciously. He knew what cheese was...he knew what cake was...and this strange dessert looked like neither. Honestly, the combination of the two sounded terrible, but Kurama insisted he try it because it was his mother's specialty.
It had strawberries on it, the fruit swimming in blood-colored syrup. With a small sigh, he scrunched his face up and shoved the fork into his mouth, waiting for the vomit which would surely come from mixing tangy cheese with sugar and fruit. Shiori laughed when he scarfed the rest of it down and cleared his throat. "It was alright," he mumbled. Shiori gave them the rest to take home, and Kurama never got any.
Hiei stood back, unsure of what to say as his mate knelt by the grey headstone, eyes hidden behind white bangs. The fox had lit incense by the grave and was offering his prayers to a goddess that Hiei was unfamiliar with. Kurama's human mother had passed and they were there, when all the humans had gone to bed, to pay their respects to the only mother either of them had ever known. Kurama looked up in surprise when Hiei took his hand and laid white lillies upon the grave. When he reached up to wipe the tears from Hiei's face, the little fire demon cleared his throat and looked away, insisting that it must have been raining. No one but Kurama knew who replaced the lillies every year on Shiori's birthday. But he had a feeling that the loss was just as detrimental to Hiei as it was to his own heart.
Kurama refused to tell anyone that he was in his school's band. After all, his teammates saw enough of his "nerdy" habits and he certainly didn't need Yusuke teasing him about yet another one of his human-like extracurricular activities. He shook his head at the thought of the endless mocking he would receieve when his teammates found out that he played the flute, of all things. So when he saw a grinning Hiei in the back row of one of his performances, he'd tied the little demon up and threatened to shove the instrument up his ass if he ever told anyone.
Hiei really didn't understand what the fox was so pissed off about. How was he supposed to know that the equation written across the white board would come off with water?
"Do you know why I chose Kurama to be my partner? To avoid fighting him myself."-Hiei
Yusuke had his doubts about how supposedly ruthless Kurama was. Until he'd challenged the guy to a sparring match and couldn't get a fist in edgewise. "Too slow," the fox smirked and ducked smoothly out of the way, leaping several feet in the air to land in a tree branch, tail curling around his legs. "You done yet?" he called down with a grin. "Not a chance, fox-boy," Yusuke aimed his spirit gun directly into Kurama's line. He felt a triumphant pride when the branch exploded in a blue light, splinters flying everywhere. His enthusiasm was short lived when a pale arm wrapped around his shoulders and a cold knife was pressed against his throat. He hadn't even seen or heard Yoko move but...one wrong move and he was dead.
"So," Kurama purred into his ear, "Have we decided on a victor?" Yusuke gulped and nodded, finally breathing when the fox backed up, the white haired man smirking and tucking the blade back into the hidden place within his robe. "Never forget Yusuke," he said smugly, "By the time you think you have me, I've already come up with four different ways to get myself out of it. Food for thought." He threw his arm over Yusuke's shoulders, "Now, about my half of the bet..."
Yusuke never did come up with an explanation for half his month's paycheck going missing.
Kurama had a smart mouth. And it needed to be fixed. So when Hiei came home one night with a smirk and a ball-gag, Kurama was, for once, rendered speechless.
Kurama only tried once to teach Hiei to play chess. But when he stole Hiei's queen from the board, he found all his pieces melted into unrecognizable shapes and a very smug fire demon declaring his indisputable victory.
Hiei claimed to find the notion of human fairy tales to be ridiculous. Kurama couldn't stop laughing when he finally got Hiei to read Lewis Carrol's book and the little fire demon set the whole thing ablaze, declaring the idea of white rabbits and tea parties to be the result of stupid humans frying their brains on drugs. Kurama couldn't stop laughing long enough to tell Hiei how very correct he was.
Angry sex was, in Yoko's opinion, the best that one could have. Because when Hiei's teeth drew blood and sharp nails tore the flesh on his back to ribbons, he felt deliciously alive and completely without boundary.
Hiei was convinced that his lover's demon half was insane. After all, why else would he be bounding through the snow, seven tails fanned out behind him as he chased a rabbit for fun?
"Fox...that's not a word," Hiei declared as he glared down at the scrabble board. The fox raised a red brow and looked down at the tiles, "Yes it is. It's a human animal." "Bullshit!" Hiei flicked the tiles back onto Kurama's side. "I win." "No," Kurama laughed, "I swear, it's a desert animal here in Ningen-" "Nope." "But Hiei, you're-" "Nope. I win." Kurama just sighed and stood up, knowing he'd lost this round, and would have to make dinner tonight for losing the bet.
Kurama didn't know his lover had a taste for origami. But one night he came home from work to find intricately folded cranes and foxes across his work desk, each done with a different pattern of paper and size. Hiei just shrugged, and declared he'd been bored.
#24: Love Notes
It was not unusual for Suichi Minamino to find valentines in his locker. What was unusual, however, was finding a note pinned to his locker from his fire demon. Apparently, anyone daring to mess with Hiei's chosen mate would find themselves with a sword in the chest. Needless to say, he did not receive any love notes that Valentines Day.
He didn't expect Yukina to laugh when he told her that he was, indeed, the brother that she had been searching for. He looked away, hurt and embarassed that she was laughing at him. Perhaps she was ashamed? Just as he turned to declare he would not bother her again, the little ice maiden pounced on him, sending them both rolling down the hill in the snow. "Hiei," she giggled, "I knew already." "...You did?" "Yes. Kurama told me a while ago." Yukina barely had time to call out a warning to the laughing fox before Hiei was after him, threatening to set his hair aflame.
Keiko knew that he was cheating. What she didn't know was that his affair was held with a certain red-headed fox who knew exactly what parts to scrape to make him scream.
Kuronue was offended. Yoko was *his* mate, and everyone knew it. He sat back, half fuming and half amused as the fox denied the offer to go to bed with a young water demoness. "I really can't," Yoko said politely, "I'm afraid I don't swing that way." The woman could only blush when she realized she had been flirting with the famously gay Yoko Kurama. Now, Kuronue was just laughing as she stood there, opening and closing her mouth like a fish.
It is said that a red thread connects you to everyone you are destined to meet. It can never be severed, only changing in lengths by events in your life that can change the time in which you are to meet them. Hiei didn't really believe in that sort of thing. But somehow, he felt a strange tugging sensation whenever he tried to stay an extra week in Makai. Somehow, the red thread always led him back to his human lover.
"Shut up, fox."
Kurama obediently shut his mouth as he looked at the present Hiei had brought him. It was close to 4:00 in the morning and technically his human birthday. But he hadn't expected his lover, who found human traditions to be a waste of time, to show up with a cupcake. Nor did he expect for the cupcake to have a lit candle sticking out if it.
"You're supposed to make a wish, or something. I don't know. You're the one who associates with humans, so you would know." Hiei blushed and looked away as Kurama gave him a warm smile. The fox grinned and kissed his lover on the cheek, "Thank you, love," he whispered into black hair that smelled of pine, "But I already got my wish this year." At the questioning look, Kurama just laughed and kissed him again, on the mouth and with vigor, "I wanted you to come home and see me...and you have. Why don't you make a wish on my behalf?"
Hiei wished to have the fox with him on all of his human birthdays. When he blew the candle out, Kurama put a finger to his lips, "You're not supposed to tell, or it won't come true."
Fortunately for the two, it did, for on every one of Kurama's human birthdays, before anyone else could tell him, Hiei would come into his room with a candle. And every year, they would blow the candle out and wish to spend the next year together.
"Are you serious?" Hiei quirked a dark brow at the huge pile of papers on Kurama's desk. The fox just nodded, flipping through the paperwork, "It has to be completed by tomorrow or I'll lose my job. And yes, I know it's ridiculous, but it can't be helped that all the computers crashed last night. Everyone's in the same boat." Hiei cocked his head and took a packet, plopping on the bed and setting the papers on his lap to study. "Hiei, what are you-" "Shut up fox," Hiei mumbled, grabbing a pen and quickly forging his husband's signature, "You said it had to be done. No one said you couldn't cheat."
Hiei hated the prison Kurama went to every day. Everything smelled like chemicals and chalk. Everyone was in uniform, and no one wanted to break out of the routine that they did every weekday, from 7 to 4, every damn day. It was a wonder the fox hadn't gone crazy, in Hiei's opinion, from the monotony of it all. Until Kurama explained to him that the reason he went to school was not so he could learn, but because the endless naievety of human teenagers never ceased to amuse him, and it was always infinately more fun to correct a teacher, or silently laugh at a historical inaccuracy when they studied demons in Liturature class. After he'd put it like that, Hiei found himself eavesdropping on Kurama's classes with the Jagan, and laughing at the notion that all demons only lived 100 years.
It was a well known fact that Kurama was not the strongest fighter, physically. In fact, Yusuke was embarrassed to watch Kurama try hand-to-hand combat because he usually couldn't even land a punch. But somehow he always won by staying two steps ahead of his opponent, and having a hundred different scenarios playing out in his head during any given battle. And that, the team concluded after a short conversation, made Kurama the deadliest member of the group by far.
Kuwabarra was afraid of demons at a young age, when he found out that he was the only one in his class that could see the shadows following him home. So even when Hiei and Kurama proved themselves to be trustworthy and strong team mates, he couldn't bring himself to relax around them. After all, if you let the walls down, that's exactly when a demon would attack you, mind and body. And he found himself petrified at the idea that he would be impaled by Hiei's impatient sword one of these days.
And without anyone ever stating it, Hiei had been adopted into the family. More times than not, when he came into Kurama's home, there was a place at the table set for him, a plate of food with a kind note from Shiori stating she hope he liked the dinner he made for him. He always washed the plate when he was done, and put it away with the others. And every night, without fail, he would find the same plate waiting in the same spot.
Before they got married, Kurama had written a will. Hiei found it a year after his husbands death, when after going through some paperwork, he found that the fox had left him a map to where he'd stored his treasures throughout Makai. Silently, a tear fell down his face, and his heart ached to find that when Kurama found out he was sick, he made sure that the fire demon would never have to be without a home again.
Hiei wasn't one to be tied down, and everyone knew it. The teasing from the group was relentless when he and Kurama came back from Makai with wedding rings on their fingers.
Shiori couldn't stop looking at the clock. She didn't understand why her son went from being home at 4:00 every day from school to disappearing for days at a time, without any reasonable explanation.
After the dark tournament, Kurama had nightmares. Hiei would sit at the windowsill, helpless in watching the fox toss and turn under his covers, whimpering and reliving the moment when Karasu had torn him apart. Eventually, the hiyoukai would find himself slipping his fingers through Kurama's whispering small words of comfort, wondering when the bad dreams would come to pass.
#39: Horror Movies
It took one movie night for the Urameshi team to discover that Hiei watching SAW truly was disturbing. He spent half the movie laughing, and the other half criticizing the antagonists techniques. Hiei turned to find his teammates staring at him, wide eyed and confused. "What?" he snorted, blushing and turning back to the screen, "All I said was I've come up with much more painful interrogation techniques."
Yusuke came to the realization after his 8th night in a row at the bar that alcoholism really did run in the family.
Hiei blushed, but did not pull away, when Shiori pulled him into her arms and kissed his forehead, "Goodnight, son," she whispered, and turned off the TV to head to bed. He sat there, dumbfounded, for a moment, before smiling softly to himself. "Goodnight...Kasaan."
Kurama wouldn't admit out loud how hilarious it was that Yusuke's broken ankle had been caused by yet another car wreck, when he'd faced the strongest demon known in Makai with scarcely a fractured bone.
Shizuru found it terribly sad that her little brother wouldn't admit his talent for art. After all, tough guys didn't paint pictures of kittens. It didn't stop her from hanging them in the hallway though.
#44: Opening Night
Theater was a guilty pleasure for Kurama. More often than not, he snuck in through the windows to watch the opera, remembering a time in his demon years when his pack would sing around the fire light.
Kurama was awkwardly surprised when his mother gave him a car for his 21st birthday. He didn't know how to tell her that he and Hiei ran faster than any human automobile could ever hope to go. So he smiled, and threatened to kill Hiei for laughing when he pulled into the driveway driving a black truck.
Keiko finally understood the pain of military wives when she jumped up every time the phone rang, praying it wasn't one of her husband's teammates calling to tell her that Yusuke had finally gotten himself killed in the line of battle. She hated the pain of sitting alone at night, watching the TV on mute, and waiting for the sound of the front door opening.
"...Seriously, fox?!" Kurama sighed and rested his head on the steering wheel, tilting his wrist so he could check the time on his watch. They were late for dinner with his mother. "You do realize I could *run* and get there in two minutes flat, right?" Kurama thumped his head, laughing, "Yes, love," he sighed, "But then what would we do when we had to come back for the car tomorrow morning, what with it lying in the middle of the freeway?" Hiei groaned and turned the radio up, cursing rush hour.
Hiei blushed when his sister cooled his burns with her breath, sending frost onto the windows. "Yukina," he stammered, "It's not necessary." The young ice maiden smiled and sat back on her heels, "Yes, I know, brother," she unrolled an ace bandage, "But what good is it being an ice apparition if I can't treat a little burn." He sighed as she bandaged his arm, shaking his head and mumbling about overbearing sisters. He received an ice cube down his shirt for his smart mouth. "Cold, cold!" he yelped.
Kurama found it terribly amusing to see old paintings and ink drawings of kitsune. They appeared in white clouds of smoke, which was not too far from the truth. What bothered him, though, was the assumption that they all came in the form of seductive women. While he considered himself to be attractive, he certainly didn't find the artwork depicting kitsune as large-breasted women very flattering. He only prayed that none of his teammates would stop by the museum...
#50: The End
"Fox...you okay?" Yoko Kurama looked up from his place at the grave, sending a sad smile over his shoulder, "I'm fine, Hiei," he whispered, "Just...in shock, I suppose. I knew that their lives would be over eventually but, it seemed to come so soon..." Hiei nodded, taking his mate's hand and stroking the back of it with his calloused thumb. Before them lay the headstones of the humans they had come to know and love over their years between Ningenkai and Makai. Among them was Shiori, Yusuke, Keiko, and Kuwabarra. The white haired fox sighed, feeling empty, as he grew several white lillies to mark their resting places. Hiei reached out to touch the delicate petals, and though he was normally not one for prayers, sent a silent message that they were in happy places now. They were the only ones left, except for Yukina. It was a chilling fact, and he still wasn't used to the lonely ache he got when he remembered their faces. They sat quietly, fingers entwined, needing no words. Just remembering.