Notes: This is just a random little fic that popped into my head…very pointless, very short, somewhat sappy, and a little Kurama torture.
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu Yu Hakusho, blah blah blah…MUST you remind me?~*~Thank You, Kurama~*~
Darkness, engulfing overhead. Unable to breathe, see. Cold…
Can't…breathe…suffocating darkness, freezing…
Yukina gasped as the freezing water hit her bare skin, but the Ice Maiden struggled on gamely with the unconscious demon in tow, dragging him up the nearly-frozen beach. His crimson hair was plastered to his face, lips tinged blue already. While she may be used to the icy temperature of the ice-covered lake, this demon obviously wasn't. It didn't help that he was obviously injured, blood staining previously white clothing.
Why am I helping him? Yukina thought bemusedly as she whistled urgently for Pelerin, brushing her snow-covered hair away from her eyes. Perhaps…he looks so familiar…
The white tiger bounded out of the woods suddenly, blue eyes glowing eerily through the blinding snow. He warily approached the fallen demon, growling softly.
"Pelerin, help me get him back to the house," Yukina ordered psychically, noticing that the demon was trembling violently. "Hurry!"
The ice tiger leaned down and allowed Yukina to sling the crimson-haired demon across his back and then mount as well, then rose to his feet.
"Please, Pelerin," Yukina whispered, leaning over the unconscious demon to stroke the tiger's icy fur. "Hurry."
Yukina looked up from the boiling water to see the half-frozen demon tossing and turning on her couch, shivering uncontrollably. He was still unconscious, merely muttering in his sleep. She had removed all but his pants—while he needed to be treated, modesty must be accounted for—and bandaged the many wounds, and now he lay under a heavy down comforter.
The Ice Maiden walked over to the demon and poured a glass of cool water onto a towel and began massaging the demon's tense muscles.
"Shouldn't that be hot water?" Pelerin asked languorously from his seat near the fire.
"No," Yukina replied aloud. "The skin needs to be heated up gradually, and right now his is colder than the water."
Pelerin cocked his head at her. "Why did you save it, anyways?"
Yukina shot the ice tiger a long-suffering glance at his reference to the demon as a mere object. Then she sighed. "I don't know, Pelerin…he seems familiar, but I can't put my finger on where I've seen him before."
Pelerin 'hmphed' noncommittally and rested his head on his paws with a yawn. "And if you're wrong, and I'm not around, then it could wake up and kill you."
Yukina smiled at the cynical tiger. "Then be around."
Pelerin merely yawned at that, closing his eyes. Yukina turned her attention back to the demon, prepared for a long night.
Kurama woke slowly, acutely aware that he was no longer cold, and that his injuries had been tended. He pried one eye open to come face-to-face with a white ice tiger. The youko immediately froze, his other eye snapping open. He subtly commanded the nearby presence of some sort of flower to come to his aid, still unaware of where, exactly, he was.
The tiger's head jerked up as a violet stem wound around its body, pulling it up and away from the hapless youko. Kurama watched, somewhat amused, as the former delicate flower held the struggling tiger at bay.
"What's going on?"
Kurama sat up on the…couch, startled at the familiarity of the voice. He looked over the back of the couch to see Yukina, Hiei's sister, watching in open delight as the tiger attempted to break free of the now-animated flower. Silently the youko cursed all that came to mind as he realized the cruel irony of this situation.
…Wordlessly Hiei tossed Kurama a small, glittering object, which the youko caught with ease. Looking down, he saw an Ice-Tear gem, the one Yukina had given Hiei.
Kurama looked up, the glint of humor in his eyes; he couldn't resist the urge to annoy his friend a little more. "Hiei, I appreciate it…but I'm really not interested in that sort of thing…"
Hiei gaped at him, then the fire demon's eyes narrowed in irritation. "Why you—Kurama! Damn it, you know that's not what I meant!"
Kurama chuckled at his friend's expense. "I was only joking. You want me to give it back to Yukina, right? Why not just do it yourself?"
Hiei looked away. "Just…tell her that her brother is dead; that she should stop looking."
"Another reason you should just give it to her yourself."
Hiei glared at him and took the gem back, muttering, "I knew you wouldn't help me…" …
Kurama attempted to get to his feet, but realized that his body still felt numb; a sensation soon to be replaced with pain, he knew grimly.
Yukina looked at him with thoughtful ruby eyes. "Can you put him down now?"
Kurama shook his head to clear it, dragging his mind back to the present. He nodded wordlessly and let the ki energy leave the flower, letting it revert back to a simple lilac. The tiger dropped to the floor, disgruntled, and padded across the room, then leapt through an open window. For his part, the youko leaned back on the couch again, waiting for sensation to return to his body.
Yukina walked around the couch carrying a small tray with two cups and a jar on it, setting it down on a close by table. She sat in a nearby chair and looked at Kurama curiously while deftly pouring a steaming liquid into the two cups.
"Why do I recognize you from somewhere?" she asked cautiously, picking up a cup and handing it to him.
Kurama had almost drowned after being attacked by a horde of demons. He was tired, injured and numb, and that was probably what affected his judgment and let his tongue slip. The youko never would forgive himself for it, though.
"I'm Kurama, one of your brother's friends."
Kurama flinched immediately after he said the words, almost dropping the cup. He hesitantly looked up to see Yukina's eyes wide with shock, her hands trembling.
"Y-You know m-my brother?" she whispered.
You idiot!! Kurama berated himself. Now look what you've gone and done!! But there's no help for it now…
"Yes," the youko managed.
"Do you know where he is? Can you take me to him? Is he hurt? Why has he never contacted me?"
The questions spilled from the Ice Maiden like a flood, her eyes alight. Kurama looked away.
Yukina paused, biting her lip. A simple, universal question escaped her lips.
Kurama dragged his gaze to meet hers. "I promised your brother…I wouldn't tell you who he was…"
"But why doesn't he want me to know? Why?"
Kurama sighed. "I don't think he believes himself to be good enough for you, Yukina. Your brother's had a hard life…he's been to the dark side of things and back. I don't think he wants you to have a brother like that."
"But I don't care, Kurama!" Yukina cried, tears forming in her eyes. Her hands clenched helplessly. "I don't care about all that! He's my brother!! I have to know him! You don't know what it's like, feeling like a part of you is missing!"
Kurama's mind flashed back uncomfortably to when he could still feel Youko's presence, tap into the fox demon's strength. He knew all too well what it felt like.
"Yukina," he said gently, "Once I've recovered I'll try and talk your brother into coming to you, alright? But…I can't guarantee he will…"
Yukina bit her lip and nodded slightly. Kurama sighed, setting the cup down and leaning back against the couch, letting the pain from his injuries, which he had been suppressing during his talk with Yukina, finally catch up with him. The Ice Maiden noticed and reached out in concern.
"Are you all right?"
Kurama held his breath, his chest tightening, and nodded slightly, grimacing. Yukina glowered at him.
"You can avoid the question of my brother all you want, Kurama," she declared, "But I know that you're in pain."
Kurama managed a small smile at that, but then a sharp pain stabbed through his chest, making him double over on the couch, whimpering softly. Yukina leapt to her feet and rested a hand on his back hesitantly, all thoughts of her brother gone from her mind for the moment.
"K-Kurama? What's wrong?"
It can't be the chill, Yukina thought to herself as she pulled away the comforter and began hurriedly checking over his various wounds. She found the problem in his right side: a small pinprick wound, barely noticeable at first sight. It was an ugly red, black around the cut edges. Kurama's entire body jerked even when she touched it lightly.
"…hurts…" Kurama whispered, curling up into a ball.
Yukina reached out with her healing power, cupping her palm over the wound. A soft glow grew around her hand…and Kurama screamed.
"Stop!" He cried in anguish, pulling away. "P-Please…stop…"
Yukina immediately pulled her hand away, a frown creasing her forehead. It seemed nothing would work…and she didn't want to cause any more pain to the demon.
"But how can I help?" she inquired tentatively.
Yukina gasped, looking up in startlement at the new voice. A small, black-clad figure stood in the middle of the room, having made no sound when entering. A katana was belted at his side, and a white headband wrapped around his forehead.
"Hiei!" Yukina cried, close to tears. She remembered the fire demon from that time long ago, noticing that her Ice-Tear gem still hung from his neck. The sight of it calmed her slightly.
Hiei knelt by the trembling youko and turned him so the wound was visible. He put his hands on either side of Kurama's head, making the demon look him in the eyes.
"Kurama. Kurama! Kurama, it's me. Do you recognize me? It's Hiei."
Kurama's emerald pain-glazed eyes slowly dragged to meet Hiei's intense ruby ones. His mouth opened but no words came out.
Hiei tore off a thick piece of the comforter, but then paused abruptly, glancing up at Yukina. "Sorry 'bout that."
Without waiting for an answer the fire demon folded the cloth up multiple times and had Kurama bite down on it. He drew his katana and held the youko down with his other hand. Yukina held her breath.
The katana flashed and Kurama screamed against the cloth, his body jerking upward. Hiei held him down grimly, looking away, his eyes tightening with pain for his friend. The open wound bled profusely, a darker liquid mixing with the crimson blood. Kurama's fingernails dug into his palms with the suppressed agony.
After a few moments Kurama went limp, trembling violently but no longer tense with pain. Hiei pulled the cloth from his mouth and tossed it away haphazardly. He jerked Kurama's head up again and glared into the pain-filled emeralds.
Hiei nodded and let the youko rest against the cushions, pulling the — torn — sheet over his friend. He looked up at Yukina.
"You're too softhearted," he said harshly, trying to keep all emotion out of his voice when facing his sister. "It needed to be cut out. Do you have any bandages?"
Yukina nodded mutely and went to go get the medical supplies. A few moments later she returned and handed them to Hiei.
Kurama opened his eyes abruptly and smirked at Hiei, a slow, mischievous smile making its way across the Kitsune's lips. Hiei gaped at him. Surely he wouldn't…?
"Yukina," Kurama whispered. "Hiei…is your brother…"
Hiei let out a strangled yelp and dropped the bandages on Kurama unintentionally, glowering at the fox demon, who had already fallen into unconsciousness. Slowly the fire demon dragged his gaze to meet Yukina's.
She was staring at him in astonishment, awe, and something close to hopefulness.
"It's true, isn't it, Hiei?" she asked quietly, tentatively. "I can tell by the look in your eyes."
"It's true," Hiei murmured, eyes downcast.
"W-Why didn't you tell me?" Yukina asked, stepping forward slightly.
"I'm not good enough for you, Yukina," Hiei replied, looking up. The fire demon was as close to tears as he had ever been in his life. "I've killed and stolen in the past, and I used to enjoy it. I have enemies that would want to hurt you just to get at me. You've been searching for your older brother for a long time…I never wanted to disappoint you…"
Yukina closed the distance between herself and Hiei in a heartbeat, wrapping her arms around the fire demon's chest. Hiei started, eyes wide.
"You're my brother, Hiei! I don't care about all that! You're who you are, and I couldn't care any less for you because of it!"
Hiei slowly sunk to his knees, his legs suddenly incredibly weak. Tears trickled silently down his cheeks at the simple statement his sister made, knowing now that she didn't care about what he had done in his past, that she wasn't ashamed of having him as a brother. He gently returned the embrace, a little confused as to this new 'hugging' thing.
The fire demon looked over Yukina's shoulder at Kurama and saw the Kitsune regarding them with one eye open. It snapped shut as soon as Hiei noticed, but a small smile played on Kurama's lips even as Hiei grinned at him.
Thank you, Kurama.
Yup…pretty pointless, ne? It was basically a fic to let me torment Kurama a bit and finally have Hiei tell Yukina he was her brother…
Anyways, tell me what you think…or not…whichever…