Lirael: nope, sorry, this ficcy isn't going to (intentionally) be yaoi. Kurama/Hiei is one of my fave YYH pairings, but I've seen it so much in fanfics I decided to try just a friendship one. Try.

Lynne: *looks at Lynne suspiciously* Are you old enough to read Wounded Desire? Heh, just kidding. Besides, I'm not really one to talk. Anyways, it's finished, but I haven't typed it up yet, so I'll send it to you when I get that done...

Fushigi Tenshi: Oy, where is this fic 'Silent and Still' hosted—or, was hosted? I looked around for it, but didn't come up with anything. It sounds intriguing, though. I sort of have an unhealthy addiction to those 'mess with the mind' type fics, heh. But this is my first fic where I try and go really deep into the character's mind, so we'll see how it turns out.

Disclaimer and Warnings: In chapter one!! I'm too damn lazy to put them again! Well, not really, but whatever…

A/N: Right. This was originally the lemon-rape scene, but I changed it 'cause of the stupid, stupid NC-17 ban. I couldn't bear editing, so I just rewrote all of it…so, my apologies if it's rather brief. I was kinda irritated at having to redo it completely.

The rape scene, while important, wasn't really the focus of the story anyways, so I guess I'll live without it…but it did have a nice insight into what Kurama was thinking at the time…

*mutters a few more curses at the NC-17 ban for the millionth time*

Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, the song 'Angel', by Amanda Perez, is annoyingly addicting…

~*~Broken Rose~*~

Chapter 2: Of Foxes and Fire

"Where is he?" Botan demanded furiously, pacing the room as the rest of the Urameshi team ate dinner. "He should have been back hours ago!"

"Well, this is Kurama we're talking about," Koenma said, continuing to nibble at a piece of pie.  "I'm sure he has a good reason for being gone so long. He'll turn up eventually."

Hiei stared out the window, glaring at the waves breaking on the cliffs and trying to conceal the rising concern he had for his friend.

Yes. Eventually.

Kurama awoke weak and dizzy, his head pounding. The first thing he noticed was the lack of Youko's presence. The second was that he was bound to a rather uncomfortable bed, bereft of his shirt. The third, that it was sometime after midnight. The fourth, that he wasn't alone.

"Finally, up, I see."

Kurama brought his gaze to the youkai sitting in a chair in the corner of the small, nondescript room. He was slimly muscled, hidden strength rippling beneath the skin-tight black clothing. He watched Kurama in a way that made the youko want to squirm.

'I recognize him from somewhere…but…where?'

Forcefully ignoring his captor, Kurama turned his attention to more important things—such as escape. And why the Fuuka Enbujin wouldn't work for him.

"Roto was a fool," the youkai said suddenly, dragging Kurama's unwilling attention back to him. "He did not know what he had with you under his control."

Kurama's eyes tightened as it firmly took hold what the youkai planned to do with him. He had suspected it before, but had not wanted to believe it.

K-Kurama…

Kurama forced his expression not to change as he heard Youko's weak voice, once again sensing the fox demon's presence. Youko sounded drained, exhausted.

And worried.

Let me…take over…

'No.'

Kurama felt Youko's surprise at the simple statement.

'You're even more weakened than me, Youko,' Kurama said before the demon could ask. 'And what happens will happen.'

There was a brief silence from the demon. Then, You're a fool, Kurama.

Kurama didn't reply, for then the youkai stood up and, with a small smirk at Kurama, walked into an adjoining room—apparently a bathroom.

'I wonder why he seems so familiar…where have I seen him before…'

You're letting your mind wander.

'Well, what else am I supposed to do?!' Think over all of what is going to happen?!'

Bah. Fool.

Kurama felt Youko send out a burst of energy from the fox demon's own ki reserves, aimed to find either Hiei, Koenma, or Botan. How long it would take to locate them was another matter.

There. I've done…what I can…

Kurama felt a brief moment of terror as Youko's presence slipped away again, the demon fox exhausted and unable to keep consciousness. Then the youkai came back, a small bottle in his hand and a smirk on his lips.

And Kurama was alone.

Hiei jerked out of a light slumber with a strangled cry, sweat dripping from his forehead, the Jagan blazing painfully.

Kurama!

The fire demon scrambled out of bed, grabbing his katana as he headed for the door, slipping on various articles of clothing as he did so.

That blast…so powerful…the idiot Fox is in trouble…

"Hiei!"

Hiei slammed his door shut as he went out, looking up to see Botan and Koenma—now in his older form—also wide awake and worried.

"You felt it too, didn't you?" Botan asked as she wrung her hands helplessly.

"Obviously," Hiei bit out.

"Mhrm…what's going on?" Kuwabara was standing in the doorway to his room, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

Hiei ignored the bumbling fool, tearing off his headband and stretching out mentally with the Jagan, trying to locate where Kurama was.

"We're not certain," Botan explained as Yusuke stumbled out of his room as well, having heard Hiei's door slam. "We think Kurama may be in trouble."

"How?" Yusuke asked immediately, suddenly wide-awake. "Why? What happened?"

Botan shook her head silently, chewing on her lip anxiously. She was watching Hiei as the fire demon attempted to find Kurama with the Jagan. All—three—of Hiei's eyes were closed, his charred hand outstretched.

"We felt a blast of ki energy from Kurama," Koenma explained, also waiting for Hiei. "He wouldn't do something like that unless he was in trouble."

"Oh, so that was what it was," Kuwabara muttered. Hiei's third eye snapped open to fix the human with an angry glare. Kuwabara shifted uncomfortably, attempting to get the violet orb's attention somewhere else.

"It didn't feel all that like Kurama, though," Kuwabara said. "It was him, but…different."

Koenma frowned and opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off abruptly as Hiei's sword flashed from its sheath, startling them all, and the fire demon darted out of the room in a black blur.

Hiei sped down the hallway as a dark flash, sword drawn and the Jagan exposed, having been too rushed to remember the headband. He felt Kurama's ki energy pulse from somewhere at the other side of the castle, and raced towards it.

Anger. I feel anger…why? Not since that bastard Tarukane captured Yukina, have I been this angry…

Because Kurama is your friend.

Hiei shook his head, trying to clear the thought from his mind. Friends were weaknesses, and he was not weak.

The fire demon slid to a stop in front of a plain ironbound door, feeling Kurama's ki energy the strongest within. The door was locked, so Hiei shifted his katana to his charred right hand and called Jao Ensatsu Rengokushou around his left, then quite literally punched the door down.

Kurama was leaning against the far wall, attempting to pull on the pristine white coat he had been wearing lately. Hiei saw that the normally composed youko was trembling violently, his fingers shaking as he tried to button up the silk, emerald eyes haunted.

"Kurama?" Hiei asked hesitantly as he approached, eyes searching the room for a sign of Kurama's attacker.

"He's gone," Kurama said softly, knowing what Hiei was looking for. He also knew what the fire demon would look for next, and was unable to stop himself from flinching slightly as Hiei's gaze flickered to the bloodstained bedding.

Hiei bit back a snarl of anger as he realized what had happened, instead focusing on helping Kurama. He sheathed the katana and walked to Kurama's side, letting the shivering youko lean on him as he helped him back towards their quarters, for once cursing his small size.

The fire demon knew how dangerous it was for them to be walking around the Dark Tournament castle at this time of night, especially with Kurama wounded, but it wasn't really as if he had a choice. Of course, Hiei was in just the mood to kill a few random demons.

Who could have done this? Why would someone do this? Doesn't matter, anyways. I'm still going to kill them.

They eventually made it back to their quarters, with few incidents along the way. Everyone was up and anxious when they entered the room.

"Kurama!" Botan cried, starting forward. Hiei stopped her with an icy glare that clearly meant, 'Leave him alone.'

"I'm…fine," Kurama murmured, eyes downcast. Hiei rolled his eyes openly at the lie, not caring who saw, because they all knew that the youko wasn't telling the truth. But every one of them respected Kurama's privacy.

Hiei helped Kurama collapse in his bed, the youko asleep within seconds. Hiei shook his head, then turned and walked out of the room, determined to find out who had done this to his friend.

And then, to kill them.

~Owari~

Alright, it is becoming very hard to not turn this into a yaoi. I just…automatically have a tendency to make it like that…

*shakes head*

And although it seems like it's going to follow Hiei more, it's not, really…

And, I didn't really know how to refer to Karasu in this, so I settled on 'youkai', which means 'demon' in Japanese, last time I checked.

Jao Ensatsu Rengokushou: Err…Fists of the Mortal Flame…I think that's the translation….

Next chapter deals with the aftermath of Kurama's rape…and I'll find somewhere to upload the original version of this chapter.