by Rose Thorne

~Standard Disclaimers Apply~

Chapter One
Hiei watched with interest as the blood flowed down his hands from the slices in his wrists, pooling on the ground around him. He smiled. He had finally done it. He had finally gained the courage to end his pitiful and unwanted existance. The courage to die.

Just a couple quick slices with barely any pain, and he was on his way to death. To freedom. To his reincarnation. To a life that would, without a doubt, be better than the one he had been living for nearly two hundred years. He wondered why he had not done this before, then shook his head, amused. He had thought that life would get better; that someone would bother to care about him. I was so naive . . .

He wondered how the others would react to his death then chuckled derisively. They wouldn't care. His life had benefited no one, not even himself. His death would only please others.

Hiei leaned back against the tree, still watching the flow of blood. He felt at peace. Almost . . . happy . . .

The bushes rustled and the Jaganshi blinked. "Hiei? Are you okay? Your ki is low. Did you get into another fight?"

Kurama . . . Hiei cursed to himself as the fox stepped from the brush.

"Hiei?" The redhead noticed the blood and rushed over, grabbing Hiei's arms and staring in disbelief at the deep slices. Kurama looked at him, his green eyes filled with grief . . . and betrayal. "Why?"

". . ." Hiei didn't answer for a while, not bothering to fight as Kurama began to bind the wounds. "I just want it to end . . ." the fire demon whispered, his voice barely audible.

Kurama picked Hiei up and ran in the direction of Genkai's temple. "Why?" Why does he want to die?!

The fire demon didn't struggle. His body felt numb. His head ached strangely, making it hard to think. "Tired of life . . . of being unwanted . . ."

He really thinks . . .? Kurama's lips thinned. "You're not unwanted anymore, Hiei."

Hiei's eyes closed. "Liar," he accused softly, then passed out.

K'so! I won't let this happen! Kurama ran faster, reaching Genkai's temple quickly. He rushed up the stairs and checked for Yukina's ki, cursing as he found Kuwabara's and Yuusuke's as well. Genkai was there as well. It doesn't matter, Kurama told himself. We'll have to deal with this together. He rushed in. "Yukina-chan!"

The four looked looked up. Yukina rose, her face worried. "Is Hiei-san hurt?"

"Hai," Kurama whispered, setting the fire demon down and showing her his wrists.

The Koorime applied her healing power to the wounds and they closed immediately, leaving scars. Yukina frowned. Scars . . .That means . . . Did he . . .? Hiei-san . . . Tears threatened to spill over. "Why . . .?"

Those look like . . . Yuusuke shook his head in disbelief. "He didn't . . ."

Kurama swallowed hard. "He did."

Kuwabara looked confused. "What?"

"He slit his wrists," Kurama whispered. "He said he wanted it to end. That he's tired of life . . . tired of being unwanted. I was on my way here when I felt his ki drop. If I hadn't been around . . . how long would it have been before we'd found him . . .? We would have been way too late to save his life . . ."

Genkai watched, silent. Yuusuke slumped, shocked. Gods . . . He really wanted to die . . . "What're we going to do?"

Kurama looked at the new scars on Hiei's arms--scars that would never fade--and sighed. "I don't know, Yuusuke. I really don't."

*sigh* I did it again. I started a new fic. On a school night. At 2 am. *sigh* Another multi-chapter fic.

Note to all: On October 28, 2002, this fanfic was removed from for an unspecified guideline violation. This means I lost all of the 66 reviews that you all so wonderfully gave me, which is a shame. This fic's original publication date was February 24, 2002. I am reposting it with an R rating on November 4, 2002.