You know, I never felt any particular enmity towards the sun until Hiei started spending his nights in my arms. It's a well-known, well-researched fact that one gets the best sleep in their lover's arms, and Hiei and I were never any exception. That's pretty much why I dislike the sun now, because my little koi likes to sleep in a certain way in which the sun's first rays nail me right in my left eye. I would say something, but this is Hiei we're talking about. If he wants to sleep in a certain way, I'm gonna sleep like that without putting up much of a fight.

Anyway, I have a routine that I go through when I wake up every morning. Before I even open my emerald eyes, I take a nice, deep breath through my fox-heightened nose. My mind runs through a checklist to see if everything's okay, judging by the smells. Roses? Check. Open window? Check. Hiei? Check. Yeah, I love to smell Hiei next to me every morning. He's got this smell like... Like... How can I put this...

Hiei smells like snow.

Does that even make sense? I suppose not, but it makes about as much sense as Hiei himself does. He always tells me my voice sounds like rain. Rain? Honestly, Hiei.

So yeah, snow. The thing about snow is, it's got so many sides. Like it's beautiful, for one. Now, if you look at Hiei and tell me he's not beautiful, you've gotta go to confession and teach yourself to quite lying. Because Hiei is everything that puts a smile onto someone's face combined into one neat little youkai package. His eyes even sparkle in the sun, just like snow. But snow is also pretty dangerous. Now, now, hear me out on this one. See, if your driving (finally applies to me, being eighteen certainly has its advantages!) or walking or something when it's snowing, it's gonna be slippery. You could be killed, and many people have been. But I never cared about that. I only ever smell the good part of Hiei's snow.

This morning, however, I notice another smell in my room. What is that? It's so familiar...

I decide to ignore it and move on. The next step in my routine is to hug Hiei really close. As soon as I'm certain he's there, I pull him right up close to my chest and bury my face in his spiky hair. What this accomplishes, I'll never know, but Hiei sure seems to like it. He always tightens his grip around my waist and his fingers tangle themselves in my hair. God, I love it when he does that. I sigh into his mane. How could such a perfect being exist? And even if he does, how is it that he somehow ended up with me? Me, the thousand-year-old fox who was so cold and heartless until being born into some human body eighteen years ago. Without my consent, a smile makes its way across my lips.

After that, it's finally time to open my eyes. And what I see makes my whole body stiffen in surprise and fear.

My mother is sitting on my desk, arms folded in her lap, expression quite conflicted.

We look at each other for a while, her eyes a little watery, probably more out of confusion than anything else. I know my companion is still sleeping, or at least dozing. He usually wakes up when I do. I guess now I know what that scent was, huh? It's not every day that my human mother is in my room at seven in the morning when Hiei and I are just waking up. What the hell was she doing in there, anyway?

"O-ohayoo, 'Kaasan," I state hesitantly. She smiles at me just a little. She seems... Genuinely disappointed.

"Ohayoo, Shuuichi-kun." She nods at the boy still in my arms. "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?"

I blink, then look down at Hiei. Then back at her, to nod a little bit, just a slight inclination of my head. I use my left hand to push Hiei's bangs back from the band on his forehead, then gently run my fingers down his cheek. I figure, why act different than I normally do with him? We're already busted.

He doesn't wake up right away. He sort of mumbles my name, Kurama, that is, and snuggles closer to me. I find this agonizingly cute, but I doubt my mother thinks so. So I just lean down and kiss him, real lightly, right on his lips. I hear my mother's breath hitch; I know she wasn't expecting this. Or, if she was, she was hoping it wouldn't happen. Hiei finally opens his eyes as I pull away, and like snow, his eyes sparkle in the morning sunlight. He's annoyed to be awake, though, I can tell. He notices my mother sooner than I did, stiffening and sitting up. Which isn't necessarily a good thing, because now my mother can tell that he's not wearing a shirt. Come to think of it, neither am I. I love to feel Hiei's skin against mine. He radiates this warmth and it drives me nuts if I can't have it right up against me. Luckily, though, we're both wearing pajama pants. I let him borrow some of mine because he doesn't own any. He looks adorable in them because he has to tie them with a rope around his slim little waist and roll up the legs because otherwise he trips over them.

Come to think of it, he looks adorable in anything he wears.

Wait, wait, not a good thing to be thinking about right now. I sit up, too, not even running my hand through my hair like I usually do. Mother looks at us, and I realize she's waiting for me to say something. "Uh, 'Kaasan, this is my... uhh... Uh, Hiei. Hiei, this is my mother." Kuso! I didn't know what to call him! I almost said "boyfriend," but that would have been weird, for all three of us! I slap myself inwardly. Where's my fox mind when I need it? Oh, right, it's on what Hiei looks like in those pajama pants. I'm a lost cause.

Anyway, my mother looks at us and kind of smiles and says, nice as anything, "What would you boys like for breakfast? We can talk over a nice stack of pancakes." I nod, and Hiei glares, trying not to sound interested at the idea of food. She gets up. "They'll be ready in fifteen minutes." Then she leaves.

We sit like that for a long time. Almost five minutes. "I hope 'Tousan already left. I doubt he'll take this as lightly as 'Kaasan did," I mutter. Hiei looks at me. Then he reaches out a hand and smoothes back my hair. I smile at him. Boy, his little actions are enough to make nothing else matter. I can hardly resist myself as I reach out and hug him, inhaling the scent of his hair and running a finger down his spine. He shivers. You can probably tell just by looking at him that Hiei's not really the ticklish type, but does he ever love to be tickled. Sometimes when I read a book or something, I'll sit on my bed and he'll lay out and put his legs in my lap and I'll tickle his feet. For some reason, he loves that. But if any part of his body is anywhere close to being ticklish in the conventional way, it's his back. And his stomach. But he still loves to be tickled there. I think he takes it as a challenge, to see how much he can take before he attacks and tackles me. Unlike him, I'm quite ticklish. Heightened fox senses'll do that to a person, I guess.

He pulls back from me, hands still on my shoulders. He smiles, just a tiny little bit, one that's far more visible in his eyes than on his lips, and glances down at himself. "I don't think that your mother wants us to be half-naked when we speak with her," he points out, deep voice containing the littlest bit of amusement.

I can't begin to tell you how happy it made me feel to hear him say that! I was scared to death that he was just going to leave me to deal with my mother alone, but he said "we!" I ruffle his hair, smiling. "I agree," I reply.

It usually takes us, like, a half an hour to get ready because we distract each other so much. There's usually a lot of loafing, kissing, and hugging going on. There'd be a lot more going on if I didn't have school and Hiei didn't have Yukina-san. (He seems to firmly believe that the girl needs constant looking after, whether it be from him or, unfortunately, Kuwabara-kun.). But today was different. We got up, got dressed, and headed downstairs. My stepfather had already left, and Shuuichi-kun was just about ready to go. He raised an eyebrow when he saw Hiei.

"Oniisan, I didn't know you had a friend over," he said questioningly.

"Hai, this is my friend Hiei. I met him at that overseas camp last summer, so he's staying here while he visits his family." I have got to give myself props for that one. I sure am a good liar. Not that I like to do it or anything. I looked down at Hiei. "Hiei, this is the little brother I told you about. The one with the same name as me." I kind of put that comment on the end so that he would remember to call me "Shuuichi," but I doubt that he will. My little brother made his introductions with a bow, and Hiei nodded once at him. Then Shuuichi-kun left for school, and we were alone in the living room.

Absent-mindedly, I reach out and fix the tie on Hiei's band. Sometimes it's hard for me to keep my hands off him. I always want to make sure he's there, or just see if he really doesn't mind my being there. Even though he constantly tells me that he loves me, and he always shows it in his actions. It's just that I've never felt like this before, not in my entire existence, and I know that if anything were to change for the worse, or if I were to lose him, I would go insane. I mean, he's my main reason for coming home after school, or for waking up in the morning, or anything at all. My entire being, everything I do or see or give, it's all for him. With one word, he could make or break my soul. It's just like when Kaito had Botan-san, Kuwabara-kun, and Hiei's souls. It would have been so easy for him to crush them. Well, Hiei doesn't even have to move his pinky finger to destroy mine.

I'm making sure that the band on his arm is tied real tight when my mother calls from the kitchen. I fumble with my actions, and he takes this opportunity to slip his arm around my neck and kiss me lightly. Suddenly I don't feel so bad anymore. When he pulls back, I brush my hand down his left arm and take his hand. It's time to face the firing squad.

Mother lets us eat before she starts asking questions. I don't eat much, but Hiei eats five gigantic pancakes, each smoldered with syrup. I swear, he'd drink that crap if I just let him. It's bad enough that I spend most of my money on his "sweet snow." But you know, I really don't mind spending money on him. In fact, I kinda like it.

We can tell he's finished when he sets his fork down. He lifts up his arm to wipe off his mouth, but I nudge him with my foot. With a glance, he knows that I want him to use a napkin. So he does. I smile at him, just real quickly though. Mother clears her throat.

"So, Shuuichi-kun, Hiei-san, how long have you known each other?" she starts off with. I guess that's an okay place to start, considering the size of the topic.

I had pretty much figured that Hiei wouldn't be talking much, so I took that job. "About four years, I'd say," I told her. Now, I hadn't meant to offend her or anything, but she did indeed seem offended that I hadn't introduced her to my koi sooner. Oh well.

"Four years, huh? Amazing." She shook her head once. "Where did you meet?" She seemed to understand that the short one wouldn't be saying much, if anything at all. It occurred to me that she hadn't really heard him talk, other than the murmur of my name in bed that morning, but I doubt she had caught that.

"It was under some odd circumstances, actually. I had gotten a bit lost in some woods, and Hiei happened to be there. He had a twisted ankle, you see, so I took care of him for a bit." Whoops, hadn't meant to lie that much. It was partially true, he had been injured when I met him, but he had wanted to fight me. We kissed then, but that was about it, and later we had decided that it was just Hiei's loss of blood and my discontentment over my friend Maya having been kidnapped. It was only about two years later, a year after meeting Yuusuke-tachi, that we had become more than friends. It kills me to think of all that wasted time.

But Mother didn't need to know that.

"Four years... that means you were fourteen?" I nodded. She seems to be alluding to something, but I'd much rather have her come out and ask it than play some silly guessing game. No matter how much I love games, this is one I would not enjoy. "So you've been... Intimate... for that long?"

I felt a blush rise above the bridge of my nose, but I quickly got it under control. "No, 'Kaasan, actually, we were just friends for two of those years. And Hiei's only been sleeping in my bed for about three months."

Stupid, stupid, STUPID! WHY did I say that?! What exactly was I trying to achieve by telling her that? Comfort? Reassurance? Kuso, I could have at least told a white lie and said that it had only been a week or something! But no, baka old me had to go and tell her the cold hard truth.

Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty self-loathingly right about now.

Mother seems to be pretty surprised. Hell, I would be too. She doesn't say anything for a long time. I glance at the clock. I only have five minutes until the first bell rings. But my mother catches my glance and says, "I called you out sick." I raise an eyebrow at her but nod anyway. Hiei actually looks pretty anxious to go, but I'm not about to say anything, and I know he isn't, either. More silence follows. I would already have been late by the time Mother states her thoughts. "I just don't know what to think. I mean, I find out in quite an undesirable way that my son, who for the greater part of his life didn't have a father figure, is gay--"

I had to stop her right there. "'Kaasan, if you're blaming yourself, don't. It's not your fault. It's no one's fault! It's not something that needs to have blame placed. And also, I'm not gay. I don't prefer men over women. I suppose if anything I'm bisexual. What I mean is that if Hiei was female, I still would have fallen in love with him." It sounded kind of weird, but I knew it was true. Even in my youko days I was attracted to both sexes. So in the human world, I could be called bisexual.

"Love? Since when are we talking about love here?" Mother questioned, and immediately I realized my mistake. The conversation has progressed to the level, people. "Shuuichi-kun, you're eighteen! How could you know what love is?"

"I could ask you the same, 'Kaasan. How did you know that 'Tousan was the one for you?" I counter.

"That's completely different--" she started.

"No. That is where you are wrong, Minamino-san." Both of us jumped and looked at Hiei. He's got his eyebrows furrowed and is giving my mother the most intense off-glare I've ever seen. "It makes no difference what age you are. Love is the same whether you're one or one thousand. When one finds it, it is immediately understood what it is."

Did I ever feel like hugging him right then! Instead, I just smile and nod at him ever so slightly. Then I turn to mother. "So how did you know, 'Kaasan? What made you realize that he was the one?"

She sighs, and I know I have won. I'll have to remember to thank Hiei later...

"Well, I suppose it was the feeling I got from him. As if everything was okay, and everything was going to be okay. And I felt like I had a purpose in life, and that it was him."

"Everything you did was for him," I finish quietly. She looks at me. "'Kaasan, everything I do, every movement of my muscles, every inhale of my lungs, every blink of my eyes, it's all for Hiei. I would have no reason to be here if not for him. For the feeling he gives me, I'd give my life." At this point I look over at Hiei. He's looking right at me with the strangest look in his eye. As if he's in complete disbelief as to what I'm saying. As silence falls in the room, he decides to speak once more.

"Kurama holds my soul in his hands." I almost fall off my chair. Incredible! I can't even believe such words are hitting my ears! "I despise it, yet love it at the same time. Never in my life has such a person existed. Only my sister has such a reign over my heart."

I can tell that my mother is on the verge of tears. She won't be able to say much more, I know. She does, however, manage to say, "Kurama?" It sure sounds weird coming from her.

"It's sort of a nickname. My closest friends call me that because of the legend of a silver kitsune. Supposedly this fox is very wily, and so they like to call me by the name Kurama," I explain. Obviously, it's an outright lie.

"I see." She stands. Hiei and I follow suit. "I have nothing else to say." I look at my koiboto. "Except..." We look back at her. She's wiping her eyes with a napkin. When she puts it down, she's got the most dazzling smile on her face. "...Would you boys like to rent a movie?"

Our trip to the video store is quite humorous. We decide right off that a fighting movie would be best, as that's all Hiei would like to watch. It's quite a sight to see the little fire demon trying to pick out a movie. As you may have guessed, the store's pretty deserted since it's a Wednesday afternoon, so I get pretty affectionate with the little guy. I've got my arm around him, sort of playing with his hair, while he looks at the back of one of the videos. Every once in a while he'll ask me something, but for the most part he's pretty quiet. My mother comes back from the grocery store next door with three cartons of ice cream (I've tipped her off on Hiei's tastes) and some popcorn. She looks little uncomfortable with the way that my koi and I are acting, but she gets over it pretty quick.

We finally decide on "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," subtitled version, and head home. Recently, my father got this big ole leather couch from his company, and I love it. There's enough room for my mother to stretch out and still have enough space for me and Hiei, if we cuddled pretty close. But you know what? We would have done that anyway.

Mother pops the tape in, opens her carton of ice cream, and lays back. One thing that amazed me, Hiei finished his "sweet snow" within five minutes. Five! How that little youkai does not get brain freeze will always be a mystery to me. I didn't really have a problem with it, though, 'cause as soon as he was done, he put his head on my shoulder and started to tangle his fingers in my hair. And like I said before, I absolutely love it when he does that. So I wrap an arm around his shoulders and take his free hand with mine, intertwining our fingers. You really wouldn't guess from looking at him, but Hiei loves to hold hands. Anyway, we watch the movie pretty much in silence, except for when Hiei would scoff at how "slow those baka ningens move." I don't really remember much about the movie because I kinda loved watching it reflected in those red eyes of his. I know he knew I was watching him pretty much the whole time, but something tells me he didn't care too much.

We spent the rest of the day together, 'Kaasan, Hiei and I. We had fun, too. We really did. The youkai really hit it off with my mother, once she got used to our constant flirting. I think it was a little weird for her, so I tried not to kiss him too much. But sometimes it wasn't even me who initiated it, and in those cases, there was nothing I could do about it. Oh well.

Later that night, as we got comfortable in bed, we got to talking a little bit more privately. "I'm sorry you didn't visit Yukina-san today," I told him.

"It's okay, but if something happened to her I'm going to hunt you down and kill you," he muttered sleepily. You know, his threats sound really pathetic when he's on the verge of passing out. He's just too cute.

"Won't be much of a hunt. I'd be right here waiting for you." I stroked his hair, causing a soft smile to grace his lips. I swear my stomach did a flip-flop. "You seemed to get along with my mother pretty well, koi," I pointed out.

I received a soft "Hn," in reply.

After watching him for a second, I grinned and chuckled, "Maybe you'll enter my house from the front door from now on?"

"Don't count on it, fox," he drawled. Then he opened his eyes and looked at me, and I mean right into my eyes. When he does that, it makes my breath catch in my throat. "I meant what I said to your mother, Kurama. You've broken through my defenses, whether I like it or not." He frowned and ran his hand along the side of my face. "That's not to say I don't like it, though, my fox."

I don't even think I could breath any more at this point. I just pulled him to me and pressed my lips to his, skin still tingling where he had touched me. Before I deepened it, I said against him, "I love you so much, my Hiei." I felt him smile and resumed the kiss.

Yeah, I definitely don't know how someone this wonderful exists in a world such as this, and even more perplexing is how he came to be mine. But you know what? Sometimes it's best not to wonder about such things.

And you know what else? I don't think I hate the sun any more. Because I'd give my life to wake up and smell the snow.


Author's Notes: I own nothin', dawg. Not Yu Yu Hakusho, not Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, I don't even have any ice cream right now.
Five dollars goes to whoever can guess what my favourite book is. It's pretty easy to tell from my style of writing. ^^;;