Title: Glad For You
Author: Celeste
Feedback: keviesprincess@netscape.net (flames welcome because they're funny)
Rating: PG for shonen-ai implications
Disclaimer: Not mine, otherwise there would have been gratuitous demon make out sessions between Hiei and Kurama in the anime.
Pairing: Hiei/Kurama (if you can really see it)
Summary: Short (really short) one-shot, Kurama and Hiei have a conversation after a tough mission. Kuwabara interrupts. A/N: Yeah, I wrote this a while ago, but I'm a feedback whore and I thought that it was weird for me to have posted Fruits Basket fic and no YYH when I like YYH so much more. *shrug* I'm strange. But here goes nothing, in any case. My first posted YYH fic, so forgive me if it's OOC or stupid, or pointless, or all of the above. Oh, and I realize the title sucks, but I've never been good at them anyway.
Dedication: To everyone in LA who worked so hard to show me how great yaoi is. It's light here, but this was one of my firsts, remember? :P
Distribution: Just ask and you'll probably get it.

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Kuwabara made a disgusted noise at the back of his throat and strode (limped) forward, an unconscious Yusuke slung over his shoulder. "Dumbasses," he muttered, throwing a backwards look at the two youkai before embarking upon the immense staircase that would lead them to Genkai's temple and the healing powers of both she and Yukina. His mood improved a bit at that. Yukina would see them, give a cute little start, and then rush to make some tea and gather salves and bandages while Genkai railed them on being idiots and bleeding all over her clean floors. Then the ice-maiden would fuss. If there was anything worth getting the ever-loving shit beat out of you, it was Yukina's fussing. He gave a dreamy sigh and trudged up the steps, ahead of Hiei and Kurama.

"What was that about?" Kurama asked wearily as Hiei supported him up the incline.

"Hn. That hulking baka has probably just taken too many blows to the head," the fire demon sniffed, in turn leaning against the fox to minimize the sharp pains that stabbed his bones every time he moved.

Kurama chuckled a little at Hiei's belligerent tone, and then stopped, wincing, when a cracked rib responded negatively to the stimulation. Hiei paused obediently, eyes skimming over his friend and the numerous injuries that resided there. Kurama hissed out a small apology and bade Hiei continue without him, moving his hand to brace his side and gingerly sitting down to await the pain to recede somewhat.

A mixture of concern and irritation spread over the fire youkai's features and obstinately he illustrated his refusal to leave the fox here alone by taking a seat beside him. "You should have been more careful," he stated flatly, eyes facing away to avoid having to see the redhead in so much pain. Human bodies were so very delicate.

Kurama only smiled a little at Hiei's condescending tone and breathed tiredly, leaning back against the stair above them. "We're all injured, you know," he pointed out, smirking a little as Hiei's eyes narrowed in annoyance.

"You know what I meant," the shorter demon growled, drawing his knees up and resting his forearms upon them.

Kurama said nothing.

Hiei gritted his teeth at this. "You really are an idiotic fox." Softer now, and red eyes drifted forward, into intense study the forest floor below them. "You should watch out for yourself more."

The gleam left the kitsune's eyes and melted into something sweet at his companion's attempt to hide his obvious concern. "Hiei, I will always protect you when I can."

Hiei scoffed in characteristic dismissal, but his countenance seemed troubled- as if Kurama's words had stirred something foreign and uncomfortable within him. "You are a stupid, stupid youkai," the fire demon whispered after a moment's pause, blinking.

Kurama smiled thoughtfully and allowed the sore muscles in his back and legs to relax a little more, like his friend, staring out across the mountain wilderness before them- all lush and tranquil in the verdant-rose hues of early springtime. "Perhaps it is the human part of me," the fox mused aloud, "that tells me you are my…" he hesitated, looking for the word that fit. What words really fit Hiei? After a moment's silence, he found the shorter demon's eyes upon him in irritation, and relinquished his search. "Hiei, you are my friend. I will protect you."

"I don't need…"

"Everyone does, sometimes."

For some reason, Hiei didn't feel like arguing. "Friend?" he asked, after a period of thoughtful silence.

"…Hai."

There was a softness in the fox's timbre that made something odd churn in the depths of Hiei's stomach, the kind of fluttering that made him forget the aches and pains of his battered body temporarily. Thoughtfully, he rolled this new feeling around in his head. It didn't seem to fit, not in his world, not with what he knew of it. It seemed too warm, too delicate for a forbidden child to be allowed. "Why?" he asked aloud, unable to make sense of it himself. He hated that his voice sounded strained.

Gentle fondness in the redhead's look now, and he slowly, sorely turned to face the other demon. "The same reason you are so angry at me now," he responded, slightly enigmatical, but in all reality, not so much.

The feeling sat oddly in Hiei's stomach again, spreading up into his limbs like you-ki as he looked into the green of Kurama's eyes. He quickly turned away.

That sat quietly for a time, and Hiei wondered why friendship with Kurama felt so unlike friendship with Yusuke and baka-Kuwabara.

"The weather has been good. The flowers bloom early this spring."

Hiei heard Kurama's voice break into the chaotic whirl of his thoughts once more, through the fog it sounded clear as song. A bit startled by the random change in subject, the koorime forced his gaze upward again, concerned. The fox had sounded a little dreamy…a little sad. "Kurama?"

"Hiei?"

"I…I can't protect you if you pull stupid stunts like today and try to get yourself killed for my sake," Hiei declared, on the fox's question. "That's what I'm supposed to do, right? Protect my… you." The words seemed hard for him to find, it all gave him the impression of a confession somehow. After a frustrated moment, he blew a drooping spike of hair from his eyes and put his hands into his pockets. "So…don't risk yourself for me anymore okay, you stupid fox?"

Kurama's eyes smiled brilliantly back at him. "Hiei, I'm glad for you."

Hiei scowled at that. "Are you listening to me?"

"OI!!!! Will you two idiots hurry up?!"

Startled flocks of birds flew from the trees as Kuwabara's irate scream echoed across the mountains.

The two youkai looked up to the top of the massive stairway, where the human boy stood, shirtless, but bandaged now, waving an annoyed fist in the air.

"Stop dancing around nothing and get on with it!!!" Kuwabara yelled, crossing his arms in front of him and spitting indelicately on the ground.

"What is that stupid human screaming about now?" Hiei muttered, rising slowly to his feet and regarding his sister's paramour with a look of pure loathing.

"Yukina was probably concerned for you," Kurama responded, glancing upward with some amusement at the impatient Kazuma, "and sent him to come fetch you before she would let them eat anything."

"Hn," Hiei grunted before perfunctorily offering Kurama a hand up, which the fox took without hesitation. Gingerly pulling the redhead to his feet, the fire demon braced his friend's arm around his shoulders and they proceeded to carry/drag each other up the flight, towards a scowling Kuwabara.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," Kurama offered a bit breathlessly once they'd reached the top. Ever the diplomat. Hiei said nothing.

Kuwabara shook his head and snorted. "Everyone else is waiting too. For demons, you two move unbelievably slow," the human patronized before turning around and marching back towards the temple.

Hiei glared daggers into the taller boy's back. "Baka."

Kurama smiled and gently pulled the fire demon after Kazuma. "We shouldn't keep them waiting."

"Hn."

END