(This is your fluff warning... yes, this story contains fluff... for all you Kurama/Hiei fans. Or Hiei/Kurama... what's the difference? Only close relationships in this story are friendship ones... I think anyone who has read this far has figured that out.
Anyway... onto my babbling... prepare yourself... this could get frightening...
You people... are so great! We've managed to accumulate over 150 reviews. Out of the four stories I have posted at this point, this one has the most. All the others seem to be lacking... I don't think any of them have broken 10 reviews. Sheesh! I must have done something right with this one!
My editor even reviews my stories, which is scary...
That silly writing process I go through that works rather well. Write the story, edit story, edit story again, have editor edit story, edit story, post story, have editor edit story again, and read final draft. And I STILL go back and find a mistake or two that I missed! You think I should wear my glasses when I do the editing? Or perhaps read slower? Get a new editor? Uhhhh... Jay might not like it if I were to replace her. In fact, when she reads this, she'll probably make some comment on it in her next review... and then she'll throw a tissue box at me... *mutters* She was the one who started the entire 'tissue box' ordeal.
Anyone think I should write a Rurouni Kenshin fanfic? *Continues babbling as she walks off... voice gets quieter and quieter until everyone decides to ignore Wind Dasher and start the last and longest chapter.*)
Wind Master Jin of the Northern Breeze
"Urameshi!" Jin leapt onto Yusuke's back with a laugh and wrapped his arms around the teen's neck in a near crushing grip that could have easily knocked an ox off its hooves.
"Jin!" The black haired boy leaned to the side in an awkward and unbalanced stance, and promptly crashed to the floor with the playful demon. Jin laughed, Yusuke gave a sour expression, and Ven smiled sweetly.
With a yawn, Yusuke spoke, "You would think I could get some sleep around here..."
"Aw Urameshi, you've been a sleepin' for the past three days!" Jin poked the boy in the abdomen with a finger, but didn't seem to get a reaction. Yusuke muttered something incomprehensible.
"Hey, Alphabet, didn't see you there." The detective looked up at Ven, "What sort of torment has Koenma inflicted this time?" Jin dragged the reluctant teen to his feet as he stood.
"Torment?" Ven blinked in bewilderment.
"Stupid sleeping attack," Yusuke grumbled, yawning once more, "Yeah... torment."
"Its nowt tha' bad Urameshi!" Jin reminded him.
"Well how the hell do you expect me to remember? Whenever you tell me something I'm half asleep! I forgot what Koenma assigned him!" Yusuke sat down on his bed and looked about. Actually, he had even forgotten where he was.
Jin sweat-dropped, "He's a workin' as a new Spirit Detective! Nowt as many or as big cases as you, but enough."
"Oh well congratulations!" He blurted out sarcastically. Yusuke seemed to be in a moderately irritable mood.
"Down't be a givin' Ven your grump, he doesn't need it." Jin pulled him to his feet once more, "Now come on Urameshi, we're goin' outside today!"
"Where are we?" Yusuke looked around, brow furrowed, and frustrated at himself and Jin.
"Down't recognize it?" Jin smiled, "Same place we were before we went off to do all the fightin'."
After Jin had managed to stuff Yusuke full of coffee and other foods to wake him up, they were out the door. Jin was as merry as ever, nearly dancing about, yanking the teen around with him by the wrist every now and then. Yusuke was still wondering where they were going, but decided he'd find out once they arrived. Ven didn't accompany them, with his new job and life; he had many responsibilities to take care of before he had relaxation time.
They headed down the sidewalk, Yusuke in his usual bored stance; arms behind his head, and eyes off to the side. Jin was looking in store and restaurant windows, occasionally waving at people with a broad and cheesy grin on his face. The day was perfect; beautiful clear skies, and a fairly mild temperature. Despite Rico's death, Jin was happy. Yusuke had noticed Jin's new powers, and for some reason was determined to improve his own skills once he fully recovered from his sleeping phase.
With a bit of a start, Yusuke paused, looking down the road a bit. He had recognized that familiar power, no, those two familiar powers. Kurama and Hiei were standing in front of a shop window, apparently waiting for the teen and his lively friend Jin.
"Hey, Kurama, Hiei!" Yusuke waved and walked towards them.
"He acts as if we don't realize he's there." Hiei said in a broad manner.
"Here I thought you were used to humans by now Hiei," Kurama smiled, returning Yusuke's wave, "They're quite different from demons in many ways."
"Urameshi," Jin pulled on Yusuke's arm and drew him back a few paces, "I'm only remindin' you tha' you lost, and you 'ave to do it." Jin winked at him.
"Oh yeah..." Yusuke grinned, "I'll get to it." He shook the fluffy haired demon off and continued walking. Jin followed, humming as they stopped before the two demons.
"So, healed yet Kurama?" Yusuke asked, although he knew the emerald eyed teen had completely healed a few days back.
"Yes, I'm doing rather well now."
"Yusuke!" A feminine voice called out from above them. The small group turned their attention to the air, where Botan slowly drifted downwards toward them.
"Look who it is, haven't seen you in a while. Where you been?" Yusuke turned to face her.
"Well I was on vacation of course!" She chirped happily at him, "I see you've got Jin here with you. I heard all about your amazing battle with Rico, and Koenma even let me watch the tape! Anyway Yusuke, since I'm back on duty now I'll get right to the point. Koenma has requested to speak with all of you. Could you go get Kuwabara and meet him as soon as you can?"
No one said anything; Yusuke merely gave her a bitter scowl.
"What?" She looked down at him innocently, "Well what's wrong?"
"I just got up for the first time in three days and Baby-Breath is already asking to see me again?" He stepped towards her.
"Uh," Her eyes traveled up as she tried to figure it out, and soon the realization snapped into place, "Oh! No, Yusuke, it's not a case or anything like that! Koenma has what I guess you could call a surprise!" Her words were followed instinctively by a weak laughter of defense.
"Great, he's probably got some new trick up his sleeve to make me suffer."
"Don't be silly, Yusuke! I'm sure it's nothing bad!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard this before." Yusuke stuffed his hands in his pockets and kicked a rock.
"Oh please, Yusuke, I promise you won't be disappointed." Botan begged desperately.
"Alright fine!" Yusuke turned to the others, "Kurama, could you go find Kuwabara for me?" With a nod the fox agreed to the task.
"There you are, and what took you so long?" Koenma hopped up as they entered the room.
"I've been resting from that last case you gave me." Yusuke gave him a blank look.
"And what an amazing one it was! You and Jin fight like brothers, I was impressed! Jin, you did a great job!" Koenma exclaimed.
"Yes, not bad for someone who knew next to nothing of their opponents... at least... the opponents... that tried..." Kurama commented with a smile.
"Rico did point out some strange similarities between you two...perhaps you are brothers." Hiei looked at Yusuke with a smirk.
"You've got to be kidding." With a dull voice, Yusuke gave a bored and disbelieving look.
"Just think, Urameshi," Jin laughed and wrapped his arms around Yusuke's neck playfully, "You could be my little brother!" The sour look was now aimed at Jin as one of Yusuke's eyebrows twitched with slight annoyance.
"Well," Hiei gave a scoffing laugh, "If they are brothers they wouldn't possibly dare be lovers."
"...It must be Touya then." Kurama gave a thoughtful face. Hiei nodded in agreement.
"Wha!?!" Jin's jaw dropped. Yusuke gave a satisfied smirk, eye's draw to the side and looking at the Wind Master.
"Are we just going to stand here and listen to them?" George asked Koenma in a hushed tone.
"Of course not," Koenma said, nearly scolding him, and turned back to the fighters in front of his desk, "Hey! I'm sorry to interrupt your fun but you are here for a reason!"
Five faces turned to look at Koenma as if he had whistled to a group of Labrador Retrievers. Kuwabara had been strangely silent; he usually took part in the teasing.
"Yeah I suppose I am a little curious why I'm here." Yusuke crossed his arms as his full blooded demon friend stepped back to listen.
"Well, since you did such a great job taking out Rico, I decided all of you should take these and go see a movie." Koenma flashed out an entire hand full of movie passes for them to see. Yusuke smirked, almost dangerously.
"So you finally did something interesting for a change, can hardly believe the great Koenma has gotten soft!" The teen laughed. Hiei began to walk away after releasing a disgusted scoff.
"Alright, alright!" Yusuke snapped and ran over to stop in front of the short fire demon, "Come on Hiei, this'll be fun."
"Hn," His red eyes looked up at Yusuke as if asking him how stupid he looked, "Move aside."
"Hiei, I think you should join us. It would only seem right." Kurama gave his friend a charming smile. Hiei narrowed an eye; he hated when Kurama did that. That was a rare smile, but it was so convincing. There was hardly ever a time when Kurama used it on him, but whenever he did, Hiei found himself unable to say no to the fox, as if it were some spell the great bandit Youko Kurama had created. Oddly enough, Yusuke was wearing the same expression as Hiei, one eye quirked upward, and finding that smile a bit more convincing than one should allow. Hiei turned his head away and closed his eyes.
"Fine..." Was all he said.
"Great, now let's go before I fall asleep standing!" Yusuke smiled, as if congratulating himself.
"Eh," Jin smiled, "Your pretty fox seems to be one o' the only people tha' can talk you into somethin', Hiei." With his accent, Hiei's name came out at more of an 'Iei' than a 'Hiei'.
"Hm..." Hiei glared at Jin.
"Well I'm afraid I'm rather busy, so would you mind taking your fun outside?" Koenma requested, motioning towards the door.
"Alright my... pretty fox... we're leaving." Hiei said and began to walk towards the door.
"Yes, love." Kurama answered with a laughing smile and rolled his eyes up to the side and followed Hiei. Jin and Yusuke fell off their feet with laughter at the two demons and their short game.
Furrowing his brow, Kuwabara wasn't sure what to make of the strange behavior.
"Was that real or am I just imagining things?" Yusuke laughed, facing Jin and resting a hand on the demon's shoulder for support.
"If you're seein' things than I am too!" Jin held his stomach with both arms, laughing so hard and so long had finally gotten to him.
"So what are we going to see?" Yusuke stood in front of the new theater and pivoted on one heel to face the rest of his group.
"Something spooky!" Kuwabara suggested.
"I heard this is a great place to see a horror movie, completely dark inside to give that extra effect." Yusuke smirked, thinking about how he could get into a rated R movie since he was still under the age limit.
"Yeah, I've been told it's an awesome place to bring friends." Kuwabara said smiling.
Jin and Yusuke looked at one another, smirked, and turned to Kurama and Hiei. They had both been thinking the same and spoke simultaneously, "Or lovers!"
As both laughed in the background, Kurama sweat-dropped nervously and Hiei gave an unimpressed and irritated glower.
"You would think something like that would get old after awhile." Kurama said, still disbelieving they were keeping this up.
"Let's ignore the children." Hiei said and began to walk towards the ticket counter casually, hands in pockets to give him a carefree appearance.
"Agreed." Kurama walked beside him, both demons leaving the laughing twins behind until they calmed down.
"Are we getting paid for babysitting?" Hiei looked up at the poor selection of movies, at least what he thought were poor...
"Koenma merely said there would be a treat for the two of us for putting up with them once again." Kurama smiled, his sly fox smile. Hiei seemed not to notice this change in the fox's face.
"Which is?" The fire demon questioned.
At this point Hiei began to suspect something from the fox, Kurama rarely hesitated.
"Spit it out, fox."
"Oh," Kurama sighed, "A room tonight, all to ourselves so we can be alone."
"Kurama!" Hiei snapped, shoulders raised and eyes a bit wide.
"Sorry, I couldn't resist." The fox laughed softly as he began to skim through the movies listed.
"I can't believe they got us kicked out." Kuwabara grumbled.
"What I would like to know is who bought Jin that sugar infested item." Kurama looked over his shoulder at the two teens still laughing and making fun of the manager.
"I think he stole it." Hiei said as he watched their little game stretch on as the manager became even more flustered at their behavior. The man looked like a tomato his face was such a dark shade of red.
"Should we stop them?" Hiei asked, looking up to Kurama as if expecting his opinion and answer. There was a pause before Kurama answered.
"I say we run for it." The fox replied, his brow furrowed with concern. Hiei blinked, and commenced to laugh.
"Kurama!" The fire demon continued. The fox had spoke so seriously, and Hiei had never expected words quite like those to emerge from his mouth that it was humorous to him. Sure, Hiei had laughed before, but it was so rare to hear him let loose such as he was doing.
"Eee," Kuwabara backed up, "A laughing Hiei, now that's scary."
"Really, Hiei, I don't see what's so amusing. If my mother discovers I was kicked out of the new theater, she would be very upset."
"And so running will save you?" Hiei was still chuckling at the red haired fox and his choice of words as he turned away and stepped out the door shaking his head and smiling.
"Should we follow him?" Kuwabara looked to Kurama as he pointed toward Hiei.
"Hiei has had enough for tonight. I think it would be best if you get Yusuke and Jin home, and knowing them, it will certainly be a task." Kurama bowed his head, smiling, and began to walk off.
"Oh great, dump the job on me then." Grumbled Kazuma before he found the nerve to approach the two hysterical teens.
"Heh, Urameshi, tha' was a blast!" The Wind Master was still fighting for control over himself as they walked down the sidewalk in a line of three.
"Yeah and we didn't even see the entire movie. I can't believe that old geezer, he almost lost it!" The spirit detective snickered, not bothering to muffle himself.
"You guys are nuts..." Kuwabara sighed and stuffed his hands into the pockets of his blue jeans. They hadn't done much today, ate lunch, and then went to the theater. It was impressive that the team hadn't been thrown out sooner, and the fact they had an angry group of teenagers hurtling food at them when they were making too much noise, added to the strangeness of it all. Kurama had to contain Hiei from killing them all at several points during the night, and not just Yusuke or Jin, but everyone in the theater. Kuwabara had tried to ignore them and enjoy the film, but when you sit beside two hyper demons, it becomes a little complicated.
They continued walking and settled down due to the muggy night air, which Kazuma was thankful for and praised while he was at it.
"I'm going home; I'll see you two later." Yusuke grinned and waved before he turned and ran off. Jin returned the wave until the half demon was out of site and then lazily placed his arms behind his head.
"It's getting late; I might as well go too. Besides, my sister is probably going to kill me anyway once she finds out about this." With a sigh Kuwabara looked at Jin, "What about you? Are you going back to the spirit world?"
"Hm?" Jin blinked and his arms slowly lowered, "I down't know."
"You can stay at my place for the night."
It was a generous offer, but pictures of cats attacking him in his sleep turned Jin away. Raising his arms, a sweat-drop appeared at the side of Jin's face as he backed up.
"Thas' alright..." Jin laughed weakly.
"I can always take you to Koenma, I'm sure-"
"No! No! I'll be fine!" He waved his arms around, positive he didn't want to go there.
"Well where else can you go? I doubt you'd want to stay a night at Urameshi's place, and I'm sure you'd drive the neighborhood crazy if you did, but if you don't want to stay at my house, what's your other choice?" The tall teen wasn't sure what else he could do for the demon, but was determined to figure something out. Jin leaned back on his heels and closed his eyes, thinking deeply. As he came to a conclusion, he looked up at Kuwabara with a questioning face, and pointed a finger off into the distance as if he expected him to know what he was thinking.
Kurama rose from his warm seat before his desk and traveled down his stairs to answer the door. His mother wasn't home at the time; her work had led her away for a few days and she had left the boy to take care of himself. He had planned on spending his night studying for an upcoming test, but those plans would change soon enough.
"After eleven already." Kurama sighed and opened his door to set his eyes upon a peeved Kuwabara and a happy Jin.
"'Ello again pretty fox!" Jin lifted a hand, as a gesture of greeting.
"Eh..." The 'pretty fox' blinked in utter confusion, but managed to turn toward Kuwabara for the answer.
"Yeah I'm really sorry about this, Kurama, but would you mind if he slept here tonight?" He asked, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.
"Well, no, not at all I suppose." Kurama moved aside and allowed Jin to enter, which he did rather merrily, but contained his excitement to a certain level. New places always wound him up, and he struggled to hold back his insane snickering.
"Thanks, Kurama, I owe you one." Kuwabara released a deep sigh, more of frustration than relief.
"No trouble at all." He smiled to the teen and they exchanged goodbyes before Kurama closed the door and locked it securely. He wasn't afraid someone would get in, but his mother worried so often he had become used to locking the doors every night before he fell asleep.
"Can I get you anything, Jin?" Kurama asked as he led his guest to a couch and moved a few pillows to the side to create room to sit.
"Well I just 'ave one thin' to talk to you abouwt." He seated himself on the nice and clean sofa.
"Which is?" The fox relaxed into an armchair across from the Wind Master, and crossed his legs.
"Someone who's name is Kuronue." At the mention of the name, Kurama's emerald eyes widened for a moment, and then softened and lowered to the floor.
"Kuronue..." It was a faint whisper of a breath, but Jin picked it up.
"Was he a friend o' yours?" Jin's ears twitched once.
"Kuronue and I were both bandits, we worked together, but he was later killed. Where did you hear about him?" The bright green in his eyes became hard as his stare rose to meet the Wind Master's.
"Rico said she was sorry to 'ear o' his passin', and also tha' she would see you eventually, even though you escaped death once. Did you know her?" Jin blinked with curiosity, and tipped his head to one side to add to the effect.
"Yes, sounds like her. I met Rico in those very chambers you fought in, but was brought there against my will by some power that still remains a mystery to me. My eyes were shrouded in her massive Wind Power so I could not see, but... that is another story." His eyes brightened once more, "One question, if I may?"
"Hm?" Jin's eyebrows rose.
"You're staying here, why not Yusuke's, or even Kuwabara's home?" Kurama was good at changing the subject when he wanted, and Jin followed his lead perfectly.
"Urameshi went 'ome, and I didn't want no cat beatin' me up while I was sleepin'." He answered while scratching the red hair on the back of his neck nervously.
"I see..." Kurama smiled and rose to his feet to fetch the boy a blanket, "I hope you won't mind sleeping on the couch, it's about all I can do."
"Nowt at all, better than sleepin' on dirt." Jin settled into the couch, leaning his head back and sighing with content.
"Yes it is, isn't it?" Kurama threw a navy blue blanket over him and tossed an extra pillow beside him before he retired to his room. He shook his head as he gently pushed his bedroom door open and stepped into the cool room. His window was open, as always, and the night had finally cooled off enough to the point it was tolerable. He smiled, remembering the trouble he used to have with his mother. He had his window open every night, even when it was freezing outside, all in case Hiei showed up. This way the fire demon would have a way of entering his home without anyone knowing but the fox, yet than again, sometimes Kurama was even surprised with Hiei's visits. Kurama's mother came in a few months ago, asking why he kept the window wide open, and tried to shut it, but her son convinced her he liked it open and was used to it. The cold only bothered him on certain days, other than that, he didn't mind at all.
What a tiring week this had been, and he hadn't even participated in the actual fighting. Deciding to skip studying for tonight, Kurama pulled back the covers to his bed and slowly unwound into the soft mattress and let go a delicate sigh.
Rico had been strong when Youko met her, but her strength this time was extraordinary, it felt so unreal to him, but he knew it wasn't a dream. She had been kind then too, and it showed how much dedication she had to her code and family to be able to hold strong for so many years. He had respected her power when he met her... Rico had been one of the only creatures that had gained respect from the legendary bandit, and since respect was not easily given out in his old world, it was indeed a great gift to have. He had thought no one could captivate him so, he was a bandit, he should have bowed to no one, but even Kuronue found it hard to resist her power and sincerity.
"Hiei," Kurama smiled warmly, but his eyes remained shut, "I thought you'd be gone by now."
"Hn," Came the usual reply as Hiei approached the bedside, hands in pockets as his ruby eyes looked down at the tranquil fox, "You look satisfied with yourself."
"Hm?" Kurama rolled his head to the side and fixed his tired eyes on Hiei who stared back steadily, "Perhaps I am."
"Is that buffoon really staying?" Hiei asked, sounding less than impressed.
"For the night," Kurama chuckled, "You're welcomed to stay if you wish... you know that, Hiei. My window is always open."
"Hm," Hiei smirked, "Do you ever get sick of it?"
"What?" He asked in a slurred tone.
"The cold air... the outside..." Hiei looked to the open window that allowed the cold drafts to enter and leave freely.
Kurama shook his head with a slight and lazy motion, "No, I plan on keeping that window open every night." The fire demon had learned many interesting details about life and strength from his time with the fox, and never regretted befriending him. With silent steps, Hiei made his way over to the window, and closed it, only the sound of a latch was heard. He looked over his shoulder at the now peacefully sleeping fox, and decided to allow him rest.
He would stay awhile...
With a small stretch, Kurama stirred, and his green eyes opened and accepted the dimness the room contained. What time was it; he began pondering as he sat up, brushing a few strands of red hair away from his face and twisting his upper body around to peer over at his clock: 3:34 in the morning. What was this; Hiei was still here?
With a quick turn of his head, Kurama found the form of the fire demon standing in front of his window, looking out at the night, and blood red eyes reflecting in the glass. He had never left.
"Hiei, how long have you been standing there?" Kurama pulled the sheets away from his body, lifted himself to his feet, found his balance before he made his way to the window to stand behind the shorter male. Hiei shrugged, he hadn't been keeping track of how much time had passed.
Kuronue may have gone, and Rico recently left, but time continues on, and you make new enemies, but thankfully you also make friends along your road. Friends that will be there to look out for you, and friends that might not say it, but they care, and prove it through their actions.
Hiei didn't move, or resist, as Kurama wrapped his warm arms around his neck in a gentle, yet firm, embrace. He could sense Kurama's feelings and emotions, and wouldn't pull away from him. Kindness towards others wasn't a side of himself that Hiei enjoyed to show, but Kurama had been accepted over time, and was allowed an occasional glimpse at the demon's heart, despite the shields and boundaries of his code and way of life.
A strong hand was placed on Kurama's forearm, showing trust. It was such a rarity...
Hiei was there, one of the friends Kurama had made along his road, and he cherished that friendship with every ounce of heart he could spare.
"Thank you, Hiei..." Kurama whispered to him, still resting a portion of his weight against his temporary support. Red orbs flashed back to look at the fox, wondering what those words meant.
"For what, fox?" Hiei awaited the response, remaining where he was and had been for the last few hours.
"For," Kurama whispered, voice becoming filled with sleep once more, "Being a friend..." Softly exhaling, Kurama allowed his eyes to shut, and his arms to fall, but he drifted through sleep and reality long enough to feel Hiei turn and catch him with secure arms. Sleep had taken hold of Kurama, his exhaustion was too great.
"Kurama, you're getting soft," Hiei glared down at the sleeping Youko, his voice not the least bit soft, "And you're beginning to take me with you." As if the demon were nothing, Hiei lifted him up, and proceeded towards the bed to set him down. He could have sworn the fox was changing somehow... but he couldn't figure it out...
Jin crouched on the floor of his new home, smiling brightly at the tiny kitten wobbling towards him and calling out to him in a tiny yowl. The young feline was completely white in color, and her eyes were a brilliant gold and stood out so the world and everyone in it could see.
Jin laughed and picked her up carefully. He was in the middle of battling the razors his new friend had for claws when the doorbell rang. The first time the contraption had made that noise it had scared the poor demon half to death, but he quickly adjusted to it.
He hurried over to answer it, holding his kitten against his side, and opening the door with his free hand.
"Hello, Jin, so good to see you again, how are you?" Botan giggled and headed in without hearing his answer. He merely gave her a smile and turned back to the door. Kuwabara and Kurama were unloading a couch from the back of a borrowed truck while Yusuke watched from the side and told Kuwabara to hurry up.
"Come on, Kuwabara, not getting any younger here!" Yusuke yelled, watching them as he walked backwards up to Jin's apartment.
"Hey, just shut up, I don't see you doing any of the work!" Kazuma shot back, almost dropping the couch on Kurama in the process.
With a snicker, Yusuke turned around and walked up the steps. Opening his eyes, he came face to face with two golden orbs. He blinked, realizing it was a kitten once it cried out with greeting. Slowly the teen's eyes went up to Jin's grinning face.
"Oh great, another kitten lover... Still don't understand why people go for cats instead of dogs." He straightened out and sighed, "So, Jin, what's the rent?"
"There is no rent, Yusuke." Kurama said from behind, "Could you hold the door open please?"
"No rent?" Yusuke moved to the other side of the door with Jin and pressed it against the wall and the two entered with the item of furniture.
"Koenma was kind enough to take care of it for him, and we do have him to thank for allowing Jin to stay in the first place." Kurama said as he bent down to set the couch in an appropriate place.
"And don't forget he's also giving him all this cool stuff!" Kuwabara said, heading back out to grab something else.
"Oh wow, look, you've even got a nice kitchen!" Botan shouted with delight, and continued snooping around in the cupboards. Kurama headed out the door, and moved to the front of the truck, there, he opened the cab door and leaned in on his hands.
"Hiei," The fox smiled at the laid back figure, "Are you going to sit in here all day?"
"Hm," Hiei shifted his feet and removed them from the dash board, "What would you rather have me do?"
"Perhaps something that doesn't require glowering at the world."
"Is there such a thing?" Hiei smirked and decided to make eye contact with the fox to see his face. Bright emerald eyes flashed back into his and a gentle smile accompanied them. Hiei merely closed his eyes and continued smirking.
"So what are you going to call your kitten, Jin?" Kuwabara took a bite from his hamburger as he watched the Wind Master fiddle with his napkin. They had returned to the parlor they had eaten at the first day Jin greeted Yusuke and the others, and were currently sitting in a spot they could nearly call 'usual'.
"Eh?" His blue eyes looked up from the table, and his fingers stopped folding the white paper, "Oh, I aven't thowght o' a name yet."
"Why don't you call it 'Fluffy'?" Yusuke snickered, "Or is that your nickname?" To explain what he meant, the teen promptly ruffled Jin's red hair and watched it swish around before it fell back into place. Jin laughed light heartedly, and gave Yusuke the same treatment.
"Hey!" The teen objected, "I just combed that!"
Jin gave a broad and playful grin as he went to his food.
"How about you name her Bell?" Kuwabara suggested.
"Nah, what do you think, Kurama?" Yusuke turned to the fox who was seated in-between Kuwabara and Hiei, casually sipping his coffee and looking out the window. His head turned back to the conversation and his eyebrows rose.
"Well, I've never been good at this sort of thing, but... what about you, Hiei?" The fox set his cup down and looked to the fire demon. Hiei's red eyes opened slowly and he looked at Jin and Yusuke. Both boys were expecting him to say he wasn't interested or didn't care in 'Hiei style', but that wasn't the answer they received.
"Diamond, Cloud, Frost, Ivy, Pearl, Snow," Hiei named off, "But I would choose... Ally." Jin, Yusuke, and Kuwabara stared at him... He came up with all those names in five seconds?
"I think Ally is a beautiful name." Kurama smiled, bringing them all out of their stupor.
"Ally will be a great name!" Jin beamed with happiness.
"Yeah, and it's something you can pronounce without cutting it short with that accent of yours!" Yusuke teased, giving Jin a nudge in the rib cage.
The two went on through the day, teasing each other with little games, getting strange looks from people nearby, and once receiving a threat from a cop.
"Yeah, you know, I'm not really sure," Kuwabara blinked, "But I think... they just might be related... in some way or another." The three sideline viewers watched on as Jin and Yusuke shared laughs, exchanged friendly punches, and even put each other in headlocks. Well, Jin put Yusuke in headlocks, ever since he had gotten Rico's power, he kept gaining more and more strength as the days went on. After so long, Jin had to release his friend so he wouldn't choke the teen to death, but they both knew it was all fun and games.
"Down't be givin' me tha' bitter scowl, Urameshi, I was only playin'!" Jin flashed his fangs in a broad grin. Than again... not everyone could take a game as easily as others. Yusuke continued to glare. Jin stepped up to Yusuke and bent over slightly, resting one hand on his hip, and the other in front of his friend's face, pointer finger extended.
"Now, now, Urameshi, we can always spar later if it'll make you feel better."
"Get that finger out of my face or I swear I will bite it." The teen grumbled in an annoyed tone, teeth gritting together and eyes threatening. Jin blinked, and then laughed out loud.
"Per'aps next time I'll wake you up on the other side o' your bed, Yusuke Urameshi, and then maybe you won't be such a grump." Jin crossed his arms over his chest.
"I think they're loosing it..." Kuwabara said suddenly as the two boys continued to converse among themselves. Hiei raised an eyebrow and tipped his head up enough to glare at the teen.
"What do you mean they're 'loosing' it? I would have thought you'd known by now that they lost their sanity long ago." Hiei turned his attention back to the pair.
Kurama merely bit his lip to keep from laughing and speaking what was on his mind.
"Okay, Urameshi, you lost, an' I'm a gettin' tired o' waitin'! So go!" Jin shoved his friend a few yards, causing him to stagger before he caught himself on the counter top of a nearby booth. The two demons his attention was focused on were conversing near the door of the restaurants' gift shop, and it seemed the fox was laughing lightly about something. Hiei was also smiling, but it was more of a dangerous smirk than a smile. His ruby eyes were looking up at Kurama with the utmost smugness imaginable.
Apparently they were discussing a topic Hiei enjoyed, or an event he excelled in. Yet the fox was taking pleasure in the subject as well, either that or he was merely happy to speak with his good friend. Yusuke knew better, he was already aware Hiei was Kurama's closest friend by far; of course the fox would enjoy talking with him. The two moved to step into the other room of the restaurant, and Yusuke found his chance. He dashed in with great speed, and shoved Kurama, not being gentle in the least, and sent the tall red haired male flying forward. The fox turned his head part way around, startled at the sudden contact he wasn't expecting. Hiei turned at the last second, wondering what the pause in the fox's strides was about, and he was rewarded with a red haired Youkai falling right into his arms. Not expecting the gift, both demons descended and somehow or another fell to the side and against a closet door. A closet door which opened and allowed them to fall in with ease...
They landed with a crash, Hiei's back cracking audibly as it came in contact with a bucket of some sort, and having Kurama's weight slam into his front had not aided in reducing the amount of pressure upon him. Several objects toppled down upon them, broom and mop hands tilted over the two, as if they were bars to a cage.
As Hiei recovered, his pained expression dulled and soon turned into a rather annoyed glare that shot deadly daggers out. Yusuke peered in at them and began to laugh. The peeved fire demon, he had seen that expression before, but the look of utter confusion as well as innocence that was across Kurama's features was new. The demon's arms were up over Hiei's shoulders, bent slightly, and he was set between Hiei's lifted legs. Soon, Kurama sweat-dropped, looking up at Hiei and giving him a tense laugh...
Jin had arrived in time to catch a glace, and joined his friend in the amusement before the two had removed themselves from their positions.
"I thought bringing them out to a good quality restaurant would tone down their games, but I suppose I was wrong. All this gets us is more embarrassment."
"I say we tie them up and leave them in a ditch somewhere." Hiei suggested, as he and Kurama began brushing themselves off. The janitors' closet wasn't the cleanest place in the world.
"Sounds like it would be rather entertaining, but knowing Yusuke he would want revenge, we might not enjoy the outcome." Kurama aided Hiei in brushing off his back.
"I'd take my chances." Hiei said plainly, eyes taking in the sight of 'The Laughing Brothers' as he allowed Kurama's assistance.
Seagulls cried out as they drifted through the air, gliding with the slight breeze, and being pushed higher with a strong updraft of natural Wind. It was a beautiful day at the beach and a red haired Youkai was enjoying the Wind and waves splashing against his body with alternating force. His lips curved up into a playful smirk, his fangs glistening in the bright sunlight, and short hair floating gracefully. Yusuke stood a few yards from him, hands resting on his hips as he looked out across the ocean.
"Say now, Urameshi, why didn't you tell me there was such beauty so close to home?" Jin laughed softly in his throat. Yusuke smiled as he bent over and dipped his hand into the water.
"So it's a surprise then?" Yusuke splashed water at the demon, watching the drops sparkle as they flew through the air. Jin held up his arms, blocking the water. A Wind picked up, raising a small twister up from the water in front of Jin and he pushed it forward. The sprinkle of water the teen had brushed up was swallowed in the mini twister as it approached him.
Yusuke's eyes grew wider and he staggered backwards, but the twister rose higher and appeared to be... falling? That was exactly what it was doing, falling over on top of him. It covered Yusuke in a large wave, dropping him to his posterior in the shallowness of the water.
Jin threw back his head and laughed with triumph, pointing a finger at the fallen young man. Yusuke shot to his feet and charged the demon, the demon who cried out with surprise and began to run out of the water and across the beach as he was trailed by the quick teen. The Wind Master ran past a sun bathing Kuwabara, kicking up sand onto him, and then zoomed away.
"Hey!" Kazuma protested, "I'm going to get you for that you little Wind freak!"
It was then that Yusuke ran past Kuwabara, kicking up a larger amount of sand onto the already ranting teen. He growled and shook himself off before rising to his feet and dashing after both.
"I'm going to pay you back for that, Urameshi, you punk!" Kuwabara yelled after him, joining the chase.
Kurama laughed and shook his head, leaning back onto the palms of his hands and watching them. Jin was wearing a pair of fiery red trunks, Yusuke; light green, and Kuwabara; dark blue. Kurama had suggested they spend a day at the beach, he knew Jin would enjoy it, and even bought a pair of swimming shorts for the Wind Master. He, being himself, bought a dark green pair, matching his eyes.
The cunning fox relaxed as the sun beat down upon him. It was hard to sweat on a beach, with the cooling breeze of the Wind always pushing towards shore, one couldn't overheat. His mother had allowed him to borrow her new car, a bronze jeep, and it amazed Kurama that they all managed to fit in it without too much arguing on who got to sit where. He had driven a ways onto the beach, and unloaded the cooler. Kuwabara had been the only helpful one, but he could understand that... Jin had gotten excited about being in the area for the first time, and immediately grabbed Yusuke's wrist and ran off practically dragging the boy.
It was amusing to see someone besides Genkai that was able to order Yusuke around, but Jin did it in a much friendlier manner. Kurama didn't even think Yusuke was aware he was being ordered around, and Jin didn't realize he was doing the ordering. Jin was like an older brother to him, one a sibling could look up to and still have that feeling of great friendship.
He watched Yusuke gain on Jin, and heaved a sigh before leaning back on his elbows across the table he had brought. The white table wouldn't be used until they were ready for lunch, so for now he used it as more of the beach towel sort.
He heard a faint voice call out from behind him, and recognized it to be his mothers', Shiori. He turned, seeing his human mother holding a basket in front of her body, a long sky blue towel wrapped around her waist and her upper body wearing a navy blue swimsuit. He smiled: she had decided to come after all.
"Mother!" He called back, waving to her. She descended the steps slowly, wearing a pair of tan sandals to protect her delicate feet. Kurama rose, and began to speak, to warn his mother of the damaged areas of the concrete steps, but she tripped before he could say a word. He dashed forward, knowing he would never reach her in time, but he had to try. He skidded to a halt when he realized his mother had stopped.
"Hiei?" Kurama blinked, confused; he had no idea the fire demon had been anywhere near the area. Hiei had sprung in and caught Shiori, bringing great relief to the fox. She blinked, and looked up at her savior with her startled eyes. A doe; that would be the closest creature to resemble her at the moment she tripped, her eyes had been frightened and scared. Her face seemed surprised at the red eyes of the man that had caught her. At first glance she thought he was a young boy, but once her eyes focused, she discovered he was much older than she had thought. Older than her Shuuichi...
"T-Thank you," Shiori moved out of his support and found her balance, "But... where did you come from?" Hiei smirked, eyes closed as he bowed his head to the side.
"Hiei," Kurama ran to the bottom of the stairs and stopped, "I thought you weren't interested?"
"Oh," Shiori realized, "You know Shuuichi." Hiei blinked at her for a moment, before he remembered 'Shuuichi' was Kuramas' human name.
"Yes," Hiei made eye contact with her, "I'd say I know your son very well." He took one step down, and paused, looking back to her, next to the basket, and once more back to her face.
"Hm..." The fire demon reached out and took firm hold of the basket in her hands, and relieved her of the burden.
"Oh my, thank you again." She smiled, walking down the steps beside him. They reached the bottom, and were greeted with a relieved and friendly smile from Kurama.
"I'm glad you could make it, mother, but what did you bring?" The fox asked with curiosity filling his gaze. Hiei continued to walk over to the clear table as the two conversed.
"I had made a cake and a few pies the other day, and thought you and your friends might enjoy them." Ah yes, his mother was always kind and thoughtful, and he loved her for it.
"Thank you, mother, I'm sure everyone will enjoy them." Kurama turned part way before his mother stopped him.
"Shuuichi, how old is that man... exactly? I thought he was young at first, but now he appears older."
"Hiei?" Kurama questioned, looking over his shoulder at the Youkai now sitting in the open tail end of his mothers' jeep, "28."
"28, are you sure?" She asked bewilderedly.
"Yes, I'm sure, mother." Kurama laughed, turning around once more. Shiori followed him.
"I didn't know you had a friend that was so much older than you, how and when did you two meet?"
"It's a... long story, but Hiei and I have been friends for quite awhile now, he may seem a bit detached, but he is kind hearted underneath it all."
"He does seem nice." Shiori said, and watched as three beings ran by, kicking up dust storms behind themselves.
"Are those your friends, Shuuichi?" Considering they were the only other people occupying the beach, she had assumed they were.
"Strangely, yes, they are." The fox sweat-dropped, watching the three chase each other across the open beach. Kurama began to set up lunch, keeping the items covered if possible, all in case the crazy runners got too close. His mother assisted him, and Hiei stood and let the breeze hit him. His outfit consisted of his usual black pants, and his four belts that always seemed accompany him were locked firmly around his thin abdomen. His light blue tank top flapped gently in the current of air passing by, giving him a peaceful stance.
"Hey, Hiei!" Yusuke laughed, sliding to a halt, forgetting completely why he was chasing Jin, "Didn't think you'd show up here."
"Surprise, surprise..." Hiei said as his eyes rose to meet the mischievous pupil of Genkai. Kuwabara stopped behind Yusuke and put him in a headlock, one that was easily removed. With practiced accuracy, Yusuke flipped the taller teen over and onto his back. Kuwabara let out a yelp as he landed in the sand.
Jin had cautiously made his way over to Yusuke, sneaking up behind him. He wasn't planning an attack; he merely didn't want the younger male to know.
"Kurama has almost finished preparing your lunch, I suggest you end your game and come sit." Hiei turned and took a few steps, "And try to call him Shuuichi, his mother is here."
"Right, I'll tell Jin and Kuwabara." Yusuke said with a wave of his hand.
"Down't need to be tellin' me, Urameshi, I'm right 'ere." Jin said. Yusuke jumped and face-faulted, arms contorting in strange ways...
"Don't do that!" He said from the ground, scolding the demon. Jin laughed at his behavior.
"So his name is Shuuichi?" Jin held out a hand and Yusuke accepted it. He hauled the teen to his feet and began the walk to the table. Kazuma managed to pick himself up and cease his swirling eyes and mind. He 'hmphed' and joined them.
"Ah, she's a pretty one." Jin complemented Shiori's looks.
"You're kidding me." Yusuke snickered.
"Nay, nowt at all, Urameshi, I think she's a pretty human. I can see why he's such a pretty fox, with a mother like tha', of course he would turn out fine lookin'."
"Jin, sometimes you scare me." Yusuke shook his head.
"Hey now, what do you mean by that?"
"You said 'that'! With the 't' at the end! Ooohh!" Yusuke waved his hands around sarcastically and mysteriously. Jin scrunched his face up into a slightly annoyed scowl, and decked the teen on the back of the head, and promptly placed his hands into his pockets and walked up to the table. Yusuke's eyes rolled for a moment before he shook himself into awareness.
"Too bad this sand isn't snow, or I'd make a killer snowball to chuck at the back of his head." Yusuke Urameshi muttered through clenched teeth as he grinned with evil thoughts floating around in his mind.
They ate on the beach, playing music from the jeep, and surprised that Shiori enjoyed the same genre of music they did. Hiei was the exception, he didn't normally listen to music, but he found it peculiarly interesting. There was a vast amount of food, and Shiori knew there would be leftovers to take home, but it wouldn't be a problem as far as she was concerned.
Hiei found Shiori to be quite the intriguing woman, and Kurama wasn't sure if the black haired Youkai was trying to get on his mothers' good side, or what. Or what would be a good question, Kurama thought, smiling at his demon friend as he conversed with the woman next to him. They were discussing the weather, both sharing similarities in their preference for the warmer climates. The fox found it to be humorous, his best friend, a demon, and his mother, a human, conversing about the weather casually.
Jin and Yusuke appeared to be enjoying themselves, poking fun at Kuwabara and watching him try and keep his cool. The Spirit Sword wielder didn't feel like making a fool of himself in front of a woman. They were all unique in some way or another; one only had to find that quality that made them different...
Overall, Kurama found himself to be right at home with these beings.
It was all that seemed to matter...
Kurama inhaled, moving his head to the side. He had slept like a rock, no tossing, and no turning, completely still, all night. This was not his bed, he assessed quickly... it was a floor. He was on his living room floor, head resting on a firm pillow. Oh yes, he remembered now, those words last night, "Let's party and crash at Shuuichi's house!"
Who had said that? Was it Yusuke? He didn't think it could have been anyone else. His mother had agreed, for some reason thinking it would be a good idea. So, here they all were, scattered about Kurama's living room, miscellaneous bits of popcorn about the room, pop cans, movies, and blankets.
He furrowed his brow, he had quite the headache. It felt as though his mind had been read, considering the strong fingers that were brought to his temples and began massaging in circles. His foggy mind put together the facts; headache, firm pillow, mind reader, massage. That equaled only one demon he knew of... Hiei...
The fox inhaled, opening his eyes and gazing up at the dark haired fighter. As he thought, it was Hiei.
"Sleep well?" Hiei asked teasingly, knowing Kurama would have slept much better if they hadn't been up half the night.
"Good morning to you too, Hiei..." A smile snuck onto Kurama's lips, and he shut his eyes, enjoying the relieving feeling of Hiei's wonderful treatment.
Yusuke and Jin slept in the middle of the room; they had been fighting over a blanket in their sleep, Yusuke obviously being the victor due to his curled up form with the navy blue cover wrapped around his body. The Wind Master was lying out on his back, limbs thrown every which way, and eyes closed peacefully. Kuwabara had been wise enough to sleep on the couch; it was much more comfortable compared to the carpeted floor. Shiori had probably already gone to work; she was a busy woman with many responsibilities to attend to.
Perhaps Hiei was becoming closer to him, no, to all of them, but he only showed his care and affection to Kurama. This was proof enough that the fox had managed something no one else had; he cut through all those barriers, and found a heart. He had always known it to be there, but seeing it was a much more beautiful sight than merely knowing.
(Is that it?
Gods, I'm the author... I should know these things!!!
The world may be doomed yet!
Chances are I will be going back through all my chapters and changing them a bit. I'll probably add some detail, maybe change some lines.
Also, I would be very happy if you were to tell me if you found any mistakes so I can correct them as soon as possible. *Bows* Thank you so much for reading my story, and a big thank you to all of you kind people that reviewed. I never thought I would write a story that could accumulate over 100 reviews.
So... who's up for that Rurouni Kenshin fic?)