Burden of Sin

Disclaimer: I don't own anything and I don't have anything. So don't sue me!

Please excuse my poor English. ^-^

Reviews are most welcomed!!

Enjoy!!

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It's me again! Thank you so much to all of you who gave me valuable reviews and comments on the story.

Just a reference to my previous note (18 Aug 03), I have posted the sequel of this fic with FF.net. It is called "Dragon of Fire and Ice". Please feel free to read it and give comments. ^-^

Gozilla (23 August 2003)

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Hi there! I have made some minor changes and correction to the fic.

Also, as a pre-announcement, I have drafted another story following this fic. It is, again, a Hiei and Yukina-centred fic. I will post it very soon. So, Stay tune!

Gozilla (18 Aug 2003)

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Just want to thank all of you who have read the story and gave me very encouraging reviews. I have not mentioned it before but it is the very first fanfic I have ever wrote. I would like to thank you all again for being so tolerate to my poor writing and I hope you enjoyed (or will enjoy) the fic.

Gozilla (2 Aug 2003)

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*crap* - thoughts

"crap" - said

(crap) - author's note

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~Present~

"I can't believe this. How could this happen? What should we do?"

This question raced in everyone's mind from the very second they arrived at the scene.

The scene which Yukina was crying helplessly in front of a frozen dead human body.

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~12 hours ago~

~In front of Genkai's temple~

"WHAT? Is he out of his mind? We have just completed the last mission and returned from Makai!! I haven't even have time to take a shower!!" yelled Yusuke at the usual innocent face of Botan.

"Please don't yell at me. I am just a small, insignificant, innocent messager of Koenma-sama. I am sure that it must be a very important mission. Otherwise, Koenma-sama would not call for you guys in such urgency." said Botan.

The four members of the Reikai Tantei, Yusuke, Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei, were gathered in Genkai's temple, all battered and exhausted from the last mission assigned by Reikai (well, Koenma, of course!) to capture a gang of demon thieves in Makai.

"That infant Koenma is getting more and more demanding. I can't even find the time to accompany my Yukina-san!" said Kuwabara, not noticing a death glare darted at him from Hiei, "Botan, tell that infant I have decided to quit and stop bothering me!"

"I think it is a bit out of hand too." said Kurama, keeping his polite manner, "We do need time to rest and treat our wounds before going after another mission."

There was a moment of embarrassing silence before Yusuke, Kuwabara and Botan started debating again.

Kurama watched the others arguing with a gentle smile on his face. He suddenly noticed that Hiei was unusually silent and standing away from the crowd, seemingly in deep thoughts. Kurama walked to Hiei and asked, "Hiei, are you alright?" Hiei turned sharply to Kurama as if he was taken by surprise. His look was blanked and confused. Kurama's smile faded as he got worried about his friend and asked again, "Hiei, you alright? Are the wounds affecting you?"

Hiei's eyes finally came back to focus and realised Kurama's questions. "Hn, I am fine." came his usual short answer.

Kurama was not convinced. "What's going on? You look aweful." *Actually Hiei looks . terrified . but I am sure that he won't like being described as that .* "Tell me what's wrong. You know you can trust me."

Hiei looked at his best friend for a moment. "You should get rid of this fox-like curiosity soon. Otherwise, you will get killed one day for this." said Hiei.

However, knowing his friend well, Kurama did not give up. He looked at Hiei and waited for his answer.

Hiei signed and gave up to his friend's persistence. Hesitantly, he looked down to the ground and said, "I don't know. I am not sure what does it mean. I just . I just have a very bad feeling and I don't want to leave the temple."

"Is it something about Yukina?" said Kurama, knowing that there was nothing apart from Hiei's sister that can bother the fire demon so much.

"Hn. I am not sure but I believe so." said Hiei.

Suddenly, Koenma appeared out of thin air and stood in front of the three arguing people (well, while Kurama and Hiei were talking, Yusuke, Kuwabara and Botan did not stop arguing ^-^;).

"Guys! I need you all immediately!! It is very urgent! A convicted murder demon had escaped the Reikai prison, killing everyone on his way! I need you all to stop this demon NOW!" yelled Koenma at the top of his voice.

Everyone was shocked at the news and rushed to the nearest portal to Reikai, except for Hiei. He stood at the same spot, tore between his worst- ever urge to stay with his twin sister and the request from Koenma.

Kurama sensed his friend's confusion and turned from his run. "Koenma, can we go to the rescue without Hiei? He is not in his top condition. Perhaps the three of us can handle it ourselves."

Koenma yelled, "NO, not this time. The demon is one of the most powerful youkai I have even encountered. I need every single strength from all four of you to do this job. Come on, Hiei! Let's move!"

Kurama looked at the confused fire demon, "Hiei, I don't think we have a choice."

Hiei stared at the ground, then very reluctantly, he moved and catch up with the rest of the Reikai Tantei. *I don't like this. I really don't like this feeling. Something's wrong and I don't know what is it.* He looked at Yukina from a distance, who was watching the team ran for their next mission with concerned eyes and hands holding upon her chest. *Please be safe . I will come back as soon as possible. Please be safe .*

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~2 hours ago~

~Somewhere in Reikai~

"That infant was not kidding when he said he needs every single strength of us to restraint this damned demon! It is really strong!!" yelled Kuwabara while barely dodged a blow of energy threw at him by the youkai.

"Shut up and get me out of here!" yelled Yusuke. He was lying on an imprint of his own body on the ground using all his energy to push away the gigantic foot of the youkai from crushing his ribs.

"Yusuke, hang on!" yelled Kurama, in his youko form, while trying to using his rose wipe to distract the demon from putting all his weight onto the half-youkai under his foot.

"Stupid ningen." murmured Hiei.

It turned out the demon was a gigantic upper-S class youkai with the determination to kill every living thing came to his sight. The Reikai Tantei was having a hard time fighting it.

Hiei was using his lightning speed to put wounds everywhere onto the youkai with his katana and fire, weakening the youkai. He knew very well that none of them can serious injure the youkai in any single blow. Their only chance was to weaken the youkai and gave it a damned good blow to finish the job. It was easier said than done. The youkai was fast and strong. Hiei was the only one who can outrun the youkai and put some more-like-it injuries onto its body.

Things seemed to be going according to plan. The youkai was getting weaker and slower. Kurama had succeed in putting a few deep wounds on the youkai's foot stepping on Yusuke with his rose wipe. The youkai yelled in pain and removed his foot from Yusuke, who immediately rolled away gasping.

Hiei saw the opportunity and closed in to the youkai for some more serious damages. Just before he could dig his katana into the torso of youkai, something struck his as if he was struck by a lightning bolt.

*Yukina*

Then an excruciating pain from his back snapped him back to reality. The youkai took advantage of the split second shock struck Hiei and dug his claws deeply across Hiei's back, leaving him a bone-deep wound from the right shoulder to the left waist.

Hiei fell to the ground wincing for the pain. "Hiei!" cried Kurama, Yusuke and Kuwabara in unison. They shot to the youkai, attacking it furiously. With the wounds all over its body inflicted by Hiei and Kurama earlier in the fight, the youkai couldn't stand the fierce attacks from the three angry Reikai Tantei for long.

"Rei Gun!!!!!" A super-large bright blue energy ball hit directly at the youkai, knocking it unconscious, smoking.

Instead of celebrating over the hard-earned victory, the three of them rushed to Hiei to check on his injury. Hiei was curling on the ground shivering from the pain. "This is bad ." said Kurama, looking at the wound and the blood pouring out if it. "We have to get you to treat the wound immediately."

To everyone's surprise, "No." said Hiei weakly, opening his crimson eyes. "We have to go. We need to return to the Ningenkai right now." he said as he struggled to stand up.

"You shouldn't move, Hiei. The wound on your back is large and deep. You will bleed to death before you even got to the Ningenkai." said Yusuke.

"Yeah, don't be stupid, shrimp. There is no rush to get back." said Kuwabara.

Hiei stared blankly to the way to the Ningenkai. "No." he insisted, "We have to leave now. Yukina. Yukina's in trouble."

"WHAT do you mean? What's happening to my lovely Yukina-san? And how would you know?" yelled Kuwabara, while Kurama and Yusuke frowned.

"I don't know. I can just . feeling it." said Hiei. In a split second, he ran off in lightning speed towards the nearest portal to the Ningenkai despite of his wound, leaving behind a trail of blood on the ground along the way.

"What . what is happening? What was the shrimp talking about?" asked the all-confused Kuwabara, looking at Kurama and Yusuke.

Kurama and Yusuke looked at each other, knowing that it must be something about the ever mystery-connection between twins. Without a word, they nodded to each other and ran, following the blood trail left by Hiei.

"Hey, wait up!!" yelled Kuwabara while started running as well, leaving the other Reikai security guards blinking in confusion.

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~Present~

~In the forest in front of Genkai's temple~

Hiei felt that his blood froze with the sight of the scene in front of him. *The feeling was right. I shouldn't have left Yukina. I knew it but still I have abandoned her.*

When the others finally arrived, they had the very same facial expression as the stunned fire demon - eye-widened, mouth-opened - shocked.

"I can't believe this. How could this happen? What should we do?" This question raced in everyone's mind.

Yukina was crying helplessly in front of a frozen dead human body.

"Yukina-san!!!!!!!" Kuwabara was the first one who got over the shock and yelled, "What happened? Are you alright? Are you hurt?" He lightly put a hand on her shoulder trying to comfort her.

Silence fell, except for the weak sob of Yukina and, without anyone noticing, very soft dripping sound of Hiei's blood, from the wound on his back, hitting the ground.

"Yukina-san, please calm down and tell us what happened." said Kurama, putting an assuring hand on her shoulder.

Yukina looked up, with fear in her eyes, and meet the eyes of her trusted friends and . Hiei's. She felt comfortable looking at those crimson eyes, same as her own's.

Finally she put herself together, "Gom . gomen, I didn't mean it. I really didn't mean to kill him. I was sweeping in front of the temple when this man suddenly jumped out of nowhere and threatened me with a knife asking for money. I gave him all the money I had but he was not satisfied. He grapped me to the forest and started tearing my clothes. I was scared and I tried to stop him but failed. The next thing I knew was that huge amount of energy escaped from my body, freezing him and the surrounding trees into ice. Please trust me, I didn't mean it." She buried her face in her hands and tear gems started falling from the gaps of her fingers.

"We trust you, Yukina-san. We all trust you. The only problem is Reikai. They have this stupid law giving death sentence to any demon killing a human, regardless of the reason ." said Yusuke, scratching the back of his head. He could barely finish the sentence before a team of Reikai police appeared before them.

The captain of the team scanned through the scene and stationed his eyes onto Yukina. "Ms. Koorime, we are afraid that we have to arrest you for killing a ningen." Two of the Reikai police stepped out and took out a pair of handcraft. They walked towards Yukina preparing for the arrest. Fear reappeared in Yukina's eyes while the others could do nothing but watch.

"She didn't do it." came a deep voice, "I did it. I killed that ningen."

Everyone turned to the origin of the voice. There was no one but a small fire demon. Hiei looked very pale due to the massive blood loss and struggled to stand on his feet.

"Hiei-san ." murmured Yukina, not knowing how the response to the sudden change of the whole situation. Kurama and Yusuke exchanged looks with anxiety while Kuwabara's month hanged open.

The captain scanned through the small fire demon before speaking again, "Sir, are you serious? If I am not mistaken, you are a fire demon." He pointed to the corpse and said, "This human was frozen to death. Could you please explain how you did it."

Hiei looked down to the ground, fists tightened. Silence.

The captain said, "Sir, if you can't prove that you have the power to control ice, we are afraid that we have to arrest the only one in the scene who have." He looked at Yukina, who was under the protective arms of Kuwabara, fear filled her eyes.

Hiei's head shot up and looked straight to the captain's eyes, decision made, "Don't you even think about touching her." Hiei said in his deep voice dangerously, "I can do it. I can control ice. Because I am a half- koorime."

Yukina's eyes wide opened in shock and hands cupped her mouth. Kurama and Yusuke looked away, unbelieving what was happening. Kuwabara's jaw simply dropped to the ground.

"You can check this and my identity with your boss Koenma." said Hiei, turning to face the shocked koorime, "I am sorry, Yukina. I am sorry for lying to you ." before his body finally gave up to his injury and collapsed to the ground, unconscious.

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Hiei slowly opened his eyes, seeing nothing but darkness. He waited for his eyes to adjust and eventually he could see the surroundings. It was a small room surrounded by stone walls with a small window and an iron door. *The Reikai prison* Hiei recognized it as he had been imprisoned in one of the similar rooms before.

He tried to sit up but the pain on his back stopped him. *Hn. I almost forgot that I got hurt by that damned demon in the last mission.*

His upper torso was completely wrapped by bandages. He noticed a familiar smell of herbal medicine. *Kurama . * He knew that it was Kurama who treated his wound.

He laid back on the bed and re-ran the whole incidence in his mind. *Things can't get worse than this.* He signed. He could no longer keep his eyes open as his body dragged him into dreamless sleep again.

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~Meanwhile, in Koenma's office~

"What do you mean you can't do anything? We all know that he was lying! We all know that he didn't commit the murder! How can you convict an innocent man like this!!" yelled Yusuke at the face of the infant Koenma.

Kurama, Yusuke and Kuwabara gathered in Koenma's office after watching the Reikai police took the unconscious Hiei away.

"How's Yukina?" asked Koenma, avoiding the questions thrown at his face by Yusuke.

"She is fine." said Kuwabara, "She is staying in Genkai's temple with Keiko and Boton. She is very upset. Especially that she found out that shrimp is her twin brother and he is taking all the consequences of what she had done. Kurama gave her some sleeping herbs and she is resting now. I still can't believe that shrimp is actually her twin brother. They are the exact opposite of each other!"

"I hope she is not going to do anything silly ." said Koenma.

"Hey! Don't avoid my question! There must be something you can do about this! You can't just let Hiei die like this!" yelled Yusuke, grabbing Koenma's collar.

Koenma looked at Yusuke's eye, seeing fire burning inside the black eyes. "What do you expect me to do? I can't change the law. Or do you want to tell the Reikai police that Hiei was lying and Yukina is the true murderer? Do you think this is what Hiei wants?"

Yusuke slowly let go of Koenma. He lowered his head and said, "I know. But we can't let him die like that. He has done so much for Reikai and us. He doesn't deserve an ending like this."

"If this is what Hiei wants, we can't do anything about it." said Kurama, "He wouldn't be able to forgive himself if anything happen to Yukina."

"There will a trial on the case 2 days later." said Koenma, "That will be the last chance for Hiei to defend himself, if he would ever do it."

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~In Genkai's temple~

"How is Yukina?" asked Keiko outside of Yukina's room.

Botan replied, "She is sleeping. She is exhausted after the whole incidence and all the crying. It must be devastating to her for killing a person and letting her just-known twin brother to be taken away by the police for a crime committed by herself."

In the room, Yukina slowly opened her eyes in the darkness. She couldn't stop thinking about the incidence and the hard-hit news of the identity of her twin brother. She had always suspected that Hiei was her brother. But since he never admitted it, she didn't push for it. However, breaking the news like that was the least expected way she could imagine. It was far too much for her to comprehend all the facts. She did not recover from the shock until she discovered herself being placed in the futon in her own room by her friends. That was then she realized the situation and that her twin brother was already taken away from her, again.

"What will happen to Hiei?" asked Keiko, catching full attention of Yukina.

"I don't know what to say." said Botan, "The Reikai law states clearly that any demon killing a human will be sentenced to death, regardless of the reason. I understand that a trial will be held in the Reikai court in 2 days' time which the final judgment will be made."

Botan and Keiko stood silently, not knowing what to say. They left and headed off towards their bedrooms without saying a word.

Yukina looked at the ceiling for long while. Sadness and confusion in her eyes slowly turned into determination. *I am sorry, my brother. I will not letting you doing this to yourself. This is my own responsibility.*

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~Two days later, noon~

~In the Reikai Courtroom~

"All rise." said the court guard.

Everyone inside the courtroom stood, including Kurama, Yusuke, Kuwabara and Koenma. They watched the judge entered and sat down.

Koenma asked in a whisper, "How's Yukina? Did you make sure that she will stay in the Ningenkai?"

Kuwabara replied, "She is fine. Botan and Keiko are watching over her."

Kurama said, "That's good. Hiei would not be pleased to see her here."

Yusuke murmured, "What's so good about it? Hiei is going to receive a death sentence soon. There is nothing 'good' about it!"

The judge read through the paper placed in front of him. "Bring in the defendant."

They watched as the court guards opened a door, bringing a heavily bandaged fire demon to the courtroom. Hiei did not look up but quietly sat as instructed.

The judge began to speak, "Hiei, you are being charged with the murder of a human. You can now defend yourself. Is there anything you would like to say?"

Silence filled the courtroom. Everyone turned and waited. Nothing came from the small fire demon, as if he had not heard anything.

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~Inside Genkai's temple~

Botan peeked into Yukina's room, seeing a still figure under the futon.

Relieved, Botan crept away from the room and went to the dining room, where Keiko sat waiting.

"How's Yukina?" asked Keiko. "She is still sleeping. I am glad that she did not argued at all when we asked her to take some rest." replied Botan, "We will stay here and keep an eye on her as Kurama has told us. There is nothing else we can do for Hiei."

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~The Reikai Courtroom~

"No." said a deep voice.

Hiei did not even look up. Emotionless, he sat as still as a status.

The judge looked at him in surprise and said, "Hiei, this is the final chance for you to defend yourself. Are you sure you don't have anything to say?"

"No." came the same answer.

The judge signed, "Then I have no choice but to read the sentence. Hiei, guilty of the murder of a human, is sentenced to ."

"WAIT!!" came a small voice from the door.

"Nani?" Hiei looked at the origin of the voice in shock, "No, please, not her."

Yukina stood at the doorway, panting heavily. Her crimson eyes shone with determination.

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~Inside Genkai's temple~

Botan held a tray of food and stood in front of Yukina's room. "Yukina, wake-up. Time for lunch."

Silence.

Keiko opened the door slowly. "Yukina? Are you awake?"

The figure in the futon showed no movement.

"Yukina? Are you alright?" said Keiko, carefully removing the sheet.

"What??????" yelled Botan and Keiko in unison. There were pillows under the sheet, creating a figure of a body.

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~The Riekai Courtroom~

"Yukina-san??!!!" yelled Kuwabara.

Kurama couldn't believe his eyes. Koenma slapped his forehead, "Botan, you owe me a big explanation."

Yusuke just sat there with his eyes wide open and jaw dropped.

Yukina looked at her twin brother and ran in front of the judge, "Your honor, my bro . Hiei-san did not murder the human. I was the one who did it."

There was a roar from the audience. Everyone started murmuring at the unexpected change of the situation.

The judge scanned the koorime stood in front of him, totally confused, "Excuse me ma'am, what did you say?"

Before Yukina could respond, Hiei shot up, wincing at the pain from his back, and said, "Don't listen to her! She is irrelevant of the case! Yukina, don't say anything!"

Yukina looked into the identical crimson eyes of her twin brother. She smiled and said, "Thank you, my brother. But I can't just let you do this."

Yukina turned to the judge, "Your honor, I was the one who killed the human. Hiei is just trying to cover up for me. Please punish me, not him."

He looked at the two "suspects" stood in front of him. He said to Yukina, "Ma'am, unless you can provide me with some evidence. Otherwise, I have to judge based on the existing evidence presented to me."

Yukina hesitated, "Evidence. That's right! Kuwabara-san, Kurama-san, Yusuke-san, you all know the truth! Please tell the judge!"

The three looked at Yukina, then turned to Hiei. Rather than the usual death glare, they saw a pleading look on Hiei's face. A message flashed through their minds *I have never begged anyone for anything. But this time, please, don't .* Hiei's jagan glowed in purple light through the bandana tied around his forehead, sending the message to his three friends.

The three lowered their heads, avoiding Yukina's tearful eyes. Silence.

"Please, say something!" urged Yukina, tear gems started falling from her eyes.

"Sorry, Yukina." was all the three could say to the crying koorime.

The judge scanned the three human sitting in the audience bench and turned to Yukina, "Ma'am, as there is no new evidence available to me, I am afraid that I have to continue to announce the judgment."

He turned to face the anxious fire demon, "Hiei, guilty of the murder of a human, is sentenced to death by injection. The execution will be carried out at 10am tomorrow."

Hiei sat down heavily, tore between the relief of saving his twin sister from death and the fear of facing death himself. He smiled bitterly to himself, "I must be the first-ever person in history of the three worlds who actually feels happy upon the announcement of his own death sentence ."

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~2 hour later, in Genkai's temple~

Kurama, Yusuke, Koenma and Genkai sat in the middle of the living room, heads lowered in deep thoughts. No one said a word.

Sound of steps emerged and someone slide-opened the door. It was Kuwabara, Keiko and Botan. Sadness over their faces.

"How's Yukina?" asked Genkai.

Keiko replied, "She wouldn't stop crying. It must be the most heart- breaking event in her life."

Kuwabara said sadly, "She did nothing but crying since we left the courtroom. She wouldn't even talk to me. I guess she must be very mad at me for not telling the truth in the courtroom."

"Nobody could," said Kurama, "there was only one way or the other. And I am sure that it was the last thing we could do for Hiei."

Yusuke shot up and yelled, "I can't just sit here and wait for Hiei's execution! I am going to the prison tonight and get him out of there, no matter how! Anyone coming with me?"

"Count me in!" yelled Kuwabara, "I can't stand seeing my lovely Yukina-san being sad!"

Kurama's eyes shone with hesitation. The proposal was very tempting. For the last 2 days, his mind went through millions of plans to get his best friend out of this deadlock situation, but no avail. It seemed that Yusuke's plan was the very last resort. However, it was definitely not a good solution to the situation.

Finally, Kurama inhaled deeply and spoke, "Yusuke, Kuwabara, I can understand your frustration. But even if you can managed to get to the prison, do you think Hiei will go with you?"

Yusuke and Kuwabara looked at Kurama in shock. The question rang through their minds again and agin, "Will he?"

Kurama closed his eyes, "I believe that Hiei just wanted the whole thing to end. He doesn't want any more harm done to his sister, though we all know that severe harm is already been done. I doubt very much that he would prolong the case by escaping the prison. Don't forget, he is already a S- class demon. Though he was badly hurt in the last mission, do you think that little Reikai prison can really hold him?"

Koenma said, "I agree with Kurama. I can tell you that the defense of the Reikai prison is not strong enough to hold a S-class demon. If Hiei wanted to leave, he can surely do it with ease. Besides, I am sure that Hiei does not want you guys to take the risk."

Yusuke and Kuwabara looked at Kurama and Koenma, defeated. They sat down heavily on the floor, sighing.

"So there is really nothing we can do for him?" asked Yusuke.

"There is," said Genkai, "look after her sister."

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~Inside Yukina's room~

Numerous beautiful tear gems scattered across the ground of the room, reflecting the light of the full moon from the window. The sound of the newly-generated precious gems hitting the ground filled the room.

The little koorime buried her face with her hands. She could not stop her tears running. Her heart was broken into thousands of pieces.

"Why are you doing this to yourself? How can you just take away my sin like this? How am I suppose to live without you?" her mind screamed.

The light of the full moon shone gently over the crying figure but could do nothing to comfort the broken-heart.

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~In the Reikai prison, 4pm~

The iron cell door opened.

The shadow of a tall figure appeared at the door as the light in the corridor flooded into the tiny cell. A black clad demon sat in a corner of the cell, head resting on his arms, facing the ground.

"They said that you refused to eat or drink anything for the last two days. And you did not allow anyone to check on the wound on your back or change the bandages. What do you think you are doing? Trying to kill yourself?" asked the tall figure through a suckle in his mouth.

"Hn. It is none of your business. Why let anyone waste his time on someone who is going to die in a few hours?" murmured the dark figure, unmoved.

*The usual harsh tone, at least he is being himself again.* thought Koenma, "It's your choice. I am just trying to make you more comfortable."

"Yeah, right." said the fire demon, finally looking up.

Koenma was surprised to see a very calm face, as if there was nothing happening.

Hiei continued, "So, what brings you here? If you just want to say hi, say it and get out of here. I want to be left alone."

Koenma sighed, "I know you are not very happy at the moment. I just come to ask you one question. According to the Reikai law, you can meet one person, any person, tonight for 10 minutes. I want to know your choice so that I can arrange."

"Any person?" murmured Hiei.

*Who I want to meet?* thought Hiei, *Yusuke? Noap. I may want to have a good fight with him before I leave. But not for a conversation.*

*Kurama? That stupid fox. I really want to have a good talk with him. He has always been the one who can understand me. I am sure he helped a lot in restraining those guys from doing stupid things. He can understand me even if no word is exchanged. But. Kurama, I don't think I will choose you this time. I am sure you will understand, as usual.*

*Yukina? I am sorry, my sister. I don't think I can face you. There are too many sins in me. I don't worth to be your brother. All I can do now is to take away your sin with my death.*

Hiei made his decision and said a name which was least expected by the whole three world, "Kuwabara."

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~Inside Genkai's temple~

"WHAAAAT???!!!" screamed Yusuke, unbelieving his own ears, "Hiei wants to see that stupid head as his last wish?"

"Not his last wish," corrected Koenma, "it is the last 'outside' person he wishes to meet."

Yukina's tears started to fall again, "He doesn't want to see me even at this stage ." She fell to her knees, crying.

"Yukina-san." said Kuwabara, trying to comfort the crying koorime. He turned and looked at Koenma, "Koenma, can I swap with Yukina so that she can meet Hiei?"

"No." said Koenma, "Hiei has made the decision and nobody is allowed to change it without his consent. If you don't want to meet him, then the deal is off."

"No, wait." said Kurama, understanding his best friend's intention. Although he wished in the depth of his heart that Hiei would choose him as the last person to meet, he understood that there were something more important to the fire demon at his final moments. "Kuwabara, I think you should go and meet Hiei. I am sure he has something to talk to you."

"But." the orange-headed hesitated.

"Please," said the little koorime, who had stopped crying and wiped her tears, "go and meet my brother. Please tell him that I love him. though I really want to tell him this myself."

"OK then."

Koenma walked towards the door, "Let's go. We don't have much time left."

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~A meeting room in the Reikai prison~

"Here we are." said Koenma, opening a metal door.

The room was small and dark. A long table in the middle with two chairs placed in the opposite sides of the table. The chair at the far end was already occupied by a small figure. Arms crossed upon his chest, head slightly lowered, eyes closed.

The door closed heavily behind Kuwabara, sending an eerily feeling throughout his spine. He approached the small figure with caution, as if it might suddenly jump on him and bite his head off.

"Hiei?" said Kuwabara with hesitation, "You requested to see me, right? I am here now. What do you want to talk about?"

The small fire demon slowly opened his eyes. He scanned the ningen standing in front of him, from head to toe. His crimson eyes finally met those black ones of Kuwabara's.

"Sit down." said the fire demon.

Kuwabara obeyed. He found it very uncomfortable being alone with the fire demon. Those crimson eyes seemed to have penetrated his mind and searched for his thoughts.

A few uneasy silence moments passed. It was the fire demon who broke the silence.

"Do you love Yukina?" asked Hiei.

Kuwabara was taken aback, confused, "What?"

"You heard the question. Now answer it."

Kuwabara flushed, the colour of his face matched the one of his hair, "Of course I do. I love her with all my heart. She is the most important person in my life."

"Hn."

"What do you mean by 'hn'?" yelled Kuwabara angrily, jumping to his feet, "You doubt my love towards Yukina-san?? I can sacrifice my life for hers! Unlike some evil rotten head, who is arrogant enough to lie to his own sister for all these years, leaving her sad and disappointed!"

Hiei stared coldly at the angry orange-head stood in front of him, a ripple spread across his long-still emotion.

"Have you finished yelling?" said Hiei calmly, "If you have, sit down."

Kuwabara was about to explode. He swallowed hard his roar, suppressing his anger, held back his fists from hitting the fire demon, before he sat down heavily on the chair. Death glares threw from his eyes towards the fire demon.

Hiei ignored the death glares threw at him, "I just want to make sure you truly love her." He sighed, "I just want to make sure that you are worthy for me to give my only sister to you and you will love her and protect her when I am not around." Sadness suddenly filled his eyes.

Kuwabara sensed the sadness in the fire demon's eye and in his statement. He relaxed and lowered his voice, "Hiei."

Hiei continued, "OK. Enough silly talks." Sadness in his eyes replaced by determination, "I want you to promise me one thing."

Kuwabara straightened his body, ready, "What is it?"

"I want you to swear in the name of the three worlds that you will take good care of Yukina in your lifetime and you will protect her at all costs." Hiei looked straight to the eyes of the ningen.

Kuwabara held up his hand, face serious, "I, Kuwabara, swear in the name of the three worlds, and to you," he said as he looked at Hiei, "that I will take good care of Yukina in my lifetime and I will protect her at all costs."

Hiei closed his eyes, satisfied, "Good. One more thing."

His hands reached behind his neck, untying the two necklaces, one belonged to him while the other belonged to his sister, each with a tear gems on them. He gave the necklaces to the ningen, "Give these to Yukina."

Hiei stood and walked towards another door on his side.

Kuwabara looked at the necklaces for a moment and looked up, "Wait."

Hiei stopped but didn't turn, listening.

The ningen continued, "Yukina told me to tell you that she loves you."

Hiei half-turned, "Tell her that I don't deserve her love."

The fire demon then disappeared behind the metal door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~8:40 am, outside the Reikai prison~

The 3 Reikai Tantei arrived at the prison door, behind them a koorime, a Reikai messager and a ningen. They all had deep black half-circles beneath their eyes as none of them could sleep in the night before. The worst among them was the koorime, her eyes were swollen due to the whole-night crying.

The Reikai Tantei tried to persuade the koorime from coming as it would be too much for her to witness her brother's execution. But, in contrast to her usual gentle nature, she insisted vigorously. The three gave up and asked Botan and Keiko to accompany Yukina, just in case if anything happen.

They met Koenma outside the Reikai prison, who led them to the waiting room. They were on the way to the waiting room when they saw their friend, heavily guarded by prison guards, walked pass the other end of the corridor. Hiei seemed shocked when he saw the group's presence.

Yukina rushed towards the fire demon, "Hiei-san!" But she was stopped by the prison guards. She could do nothing but watched the fire demon continued to walk and disappeared from the sight of the group.

"Let's go." said Koenma, knowing the group's disappointment. He led them to the waiting room. "You guys wait here." said Koenma and headed to the execution room next door.

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~Inside the execution room~

"Why the hell did you bring them here!" groaned Hiei, sparks of black fire started leaking from his bandaged right arm. The prison guards retreated to the corners of the room with fear.

Koenma stepped back with a sweatdrop, "I didn't bring them here. They requested me to do so. Yusuke even gave me death threats for that."

"I don't want they here." said Hiei, sadness now filled his crimson eyes, "I don't want them to witness my . death. I don't want to hurt them any more."

Koenma relaxed, "OK, if you so wish. I will keep them away from seeing the . hm, procedure. But as the case involved the three worlds, it is our practice to invite a representative from each world to witness the procedure. I have volunteered to be the one from Reikai. The representatives from the Ningenkai and Makai are ." Koenma turned to the door behind him.

An old lady with curly pink hair appeared at the door, closely followed by a lady with half her face revealed and the other half hidden by a cloth.

Hiei was surprised, "Genkai, Mukuro ."

Koenma continued, "We know that you don't like strangers. So we have decided to invite someone you know."

Genkai looked at the fire demon, emotionless.

Mukuro looked at her army's chief-commander, a smile appeared on her face, "I have never expect you to do something this foolish. Seems that I have to look for another heir of mine."

"Chi." came the response from the fire demon, though, deep inside his heart, he appreciated Koenma's arrangement. He really didn't like some strangers to witness his death.

Koenma looked at the clock hanging on the wall, "The procedure will start in 10 minutes' time. I will tell the group of the arrangement and will be back right away."

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~Inside the waiting room~

Silence among the group.

Kurama had expected the result, he knew very well that Hiei would not allow them to see his death. But it still hurt to hear the rejection.

Yusuke and Kuwabara were cursing furiously under their noses. They knew that the fire demon was stubborn and there was nothing they could do.

Surprisingly, Yukina was very calm at the news. She seemed to have expected it too, as Kurama. No protest, no crying, just sat there, staring at the emptiness. Botan and Keiko tried to comfort her but received no response.

Koenma sighed and left the room, "I will be back in . 15 minutes."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Inside the execution room~

The prison guards were busy with the preparation work.

Hiei sat on a chair located in the middle of the room, arms and legs restrained by the specially designed belts fixed to the chair.

*Stupid people. Do they think they can really restrain me with these things? I can burn down the whole prison to ashes in a split second.* thought Hiei. But he knew very well that he would not do it this time.

Genkai and Mukuro stood, watching the preparation in silence. Though they didn't admit it, this witnessing job was giving them a heartache.

Koenma returned to the room with a box in his hand.

He put the box on the table in front of Hiei and opened it. Inside the box, there was a needle and a bottle of transparent liquid, labeled "Caution: Extreme Poison".

Koenma struck the needle into the bottle, withdrawing the liquid to the needle. He looked at the needle, now filled with liquid, with a sad look.

Hesitantly, he pressed his left hand on Hiei's left arm, his right hand struck the needle deep into Hiei's forearm.

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~Hiei's POV~

I feel my heart sinks. Numbness starts to spread across my left arm as the liquid is pressed into my body, moving to the other parts of my body, fast.

I am surprised that I found no fear or anger, but a strange, yet comfortable feeling . almost like, happy.

I have never imagined in my whole life that a pathetic needle and a tiny bottle of liquid would be the means to my final destination. It is not that I have not faced death. There were times that I was severely injured and came close to death. I fought back and I am proud that I am still alive.

But this is different. I will not fight this time. Not this time, for the sake and the very life of my twin sister.

Yukina, my sister, my twin. You are so pure, so innocent. You do not deserve to face such horrible consequences, especially after living through the terrifying experience with that damned ningen. Unlike me, as the infamous murderer and thief in the three worlds, every inch of my heart is tainted with blood and sin. An end like this is most natural and expected.

My sister, do you know how much I wanted to tell you that I am your brother? I love you so much that it hurts. But I can't imagine how you could handle a brother with such a heavy burden of sin on his shoulders. I am glad that I can go away with a bit of your sin, together with mine.

The numbness now conquered most of my body. I can't feel my body below the chest already. It continues to creep upward, threatening to overcome my whole body.

My sister, please don't cry for me. You have a wonderful life lies in front of you. You deserve happiness.

I know you will be safe with the others. Kurama, Yusuke, and that big carrot-head will take care of you, during my absence. I wish I could say "Thanks." to them, my friends.

My neck can no longer hold my head upright, weakened by the numbness. My head lowered, looking at the floor.

I feel so tired. I just want to sleep.

All of a sudden, I feel like the ever-existed heavy burden of sin has lifted from my shoulders. It's like my sins, committed since my birth 200 years ago, are washed away by the liquid injected into me. Never been felt in my whole life, I feel . peaceful.

This is the only moment in my whole life that I feel I am worthy to be a brother.

Yukina, my sister, my twin, do you know how much I wish I could hold your hands right at this moment and tell you I am your brother? Do you know how happy I would be to be able to tell you that you have a sin-free brother?

Yukina, my sister, my twin, I am sorry that I can do nothing of these anymore. I am sorry that I have to leave you. I am sorry for lying to you. I am sorry for bringing all the misery in your life. I am sorry to be your brother at all.

I feel a weird sensation within my eyes. A pearl suddenly appeared in front of my eyes, dropping to the floor and hitting it with a 'cling' sound. I can barely managed to focus on the pearl.

A bright blue tear gem, identical to Yukina's. No, something's different. There is a flash of black fire burning inside the tear gem.

My tear gem! My own tear gem! I have never shed a single drop of tear since my birth. This is the very first, and the very last tear, I have ever produced.

So the koorime elders were wrong. I am not the exact replica of my father, whoever he was. I did inherited something from my mother, the ability to produce tear gem, something Yukina and I shared.

I looked at the tear gem and the black fire burning inside it. I wish so much that someone, anyone, will give this tear gem to you, my sister. This is the only thing that belongs to me I can ever give you.

~End of Hiei's POV~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Inside the Reikai prison~

Koenma, Genkai and Mukuro watched the limped body of the small fire demon in silence.

"Yukina." was Hiei's last word before he closed his eyes.

A few seconds later, he stopped breathing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Present~

Hiei slowly opened his eyes.

He was laying on a futon, neatly covered by a sheet.

He scanned the surroundings, it was a small room with Japanese decoration.

"Am I dead? Where am I? It is not right. I should have been sent straight to the lowest level of hell for eternal punishment. Not inside a nice room sleeping." he thought.

He tried to get up but failed as his body was too weak to support him. He could only managed to sit up.

"K'so" he cursed beneath his breath.

The door slide open, a small figure appeared at the door, gasping.

"Oniisan!"

"Yukina?" Hiei said in shock, "Why are you here? Not that you are dead too!! Please, no ." he mourned. He felt totally defeated as he had failed to protect his sister from death.

"Oniisan." said Yukina, gently hugged the sad fire demon, "No, I am not dead. You are not dead as well."

"Nani?" Hiei said softly, confused.

Kurama, Yusuke, Kuwabara, Koenma, Genkai and Mukuro appeared at the door, all with a smile, greeting the fire demon.

Hiei was even more confused, "What is going on?"

Kurama knelt beside Hiei and put an assuring hand on the fire demon's shoulder, "Welcome back, my friend." his green eyes filled with happiness, "Your death was out of Reikai's expectation, just like Yusuke's years ago, if not even more surprising. No one has expected that you will sacrifice yourself for another."

"Hn."

Kurama smiled and continued, "Your case is different from Yusuke's as it involved all the three worlds. Koenma managed to get the approval from the authorities of the three worlds." he threw thankful glare towards Koenma, Genkai and Mukuro, ".to grant a new life to you."

"A new life?" asked the still confused fire demon.

Koenma stepped forward, "Yes, a new life. Your old 'files' in the three worlds have been closed upon your death. You are all clean from now on."

Hiei looked at the people standing in front of him, digesting all the facts thrown at him. He turned to look at the koorime as she released him from her hug.

In her hands were two necklaces, the ones Hiei gave Kuwabara in their meeting. She took one of them, "This is the one our mother gave you." She put it around her brother's neck.

She took the other one, "This is mine from mother." She put it around her neck.

Hiei looked at his necklace. He sensed the peacefulness the tear gem had given him for all these years.

"This." the little koorime opened her palm. Hiei turned and looked in shock. ".is your tear gem." The fire tear gem laid on Yukina's palm, attached to a necklace. Without a word, she put it around her neck. She held the two tear gems hanging on her neck, looking at them with satisfaction, "These will be my most precious treasure for the rest of my life."

"Yukina." said the fire demon, holding back tears from his eyes, ". Thanks for accepting me."

She looked at her brother, a smile spread across her face, "And this." she held out an exceptionally large and beautiful tear gem, almost twice the size of a normal tear gem. Again, it was attached to a necklace, ". is the tear I shed at the very moment I sensed your death."

Hiei took the necklace, also without a word, he put it around his neck. His crimson eyes met the identical ones of his twin, all four filled with emotions.

"My brother."

"My sister."

They hugged as if they would melt into one, just like at the very beginning, when they were the one cell hidden in their mother's womb.

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The End

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