Author's Notes: Inspired by one too many Mary Sue fics, and a desire to see a long HakkaixGojyo fic (not the other way around). This can also be attributed to rewatching the first episodes of the Makai arc and my sudden urge to mess with Hiei.

Category: Saiyuki/YYH Crossover, TWT, Yaoi, partial AU

Warnings: shonen ai, slight humor, will have lemon content

Pairings: Gojyo+Hiei, Bui+Hiei, Kurama+Hiei, will be KuramaxHiei, HakkaixGojyo

Author: Arigatomina

Website/Complete Archive: http://www.geocities.com/arigatomina

Email: arigatoumina@hotmail.com

Middlemen

Part 1: Reunion

Kurama sniffed as something brushed his face, tickling the tip of his nose. Without fully waking, he knew it was too early to get up. He hadn't even set the alarm. Scrunching his face, he yawned and dug deeper into the covers. And that soft tickling ghosted over his exposed cheek, edging on his ear and sending a shiver down his back. His brows drew togethr and he sniffed again, sleepy anger etching his face. That fly was going to die. A moment later his hand shot out, closing in a tight fist over the source of that slight annoyance. And his fingers met with soft cloth, his eyes snapping open.

"Ohayo, Kurama-kun!"

Wide blue eyes sparkled at him from a few feet above his bed, and Kurama rolled away in simple shock. He had just enough rational thought to take his blanket with him and spare possible embarassment at his bare state. The edge of the bed greeted him a few seconds before the hard floor. "Itai..."

"Ah, I startled you!" Wincing, Botan floated over to the other side of the bed to peer down at the ruffled redhead. Dazed green eyes blinked up at her and she gave a weak smile. "I was afraid I would. I thought maybe if I tickled you, you'd just...wake up. Sorry about that."

"No," Kurama managed, rubbing the back of his head. "It's all right." He pushed himself up, taking the blanket with him and regretting his choice to sleep in the nude. But then, it wasn't as if he'd known the ferry girl would be waking him up. "Why are you here? I haven't seen you in a while."

"You missed me, didn't you? I thought it would be a nice surprise."

Kurama smiled, running a hand through his bangs. "It was a surprise, and it's nice to see you, but next time maybe you could knock first." The cheerful blue-haired girl pouted from her sidesaddle position on her oar. "I take it this isn't a social call?"

"I'm social," Botan winked, giggling when he smirked at her. "But you're right, Koenma-sama has a job for you. Actually he wanted Yusuke, too, but he said Keiko wouldn't like that. Since you're on vacation anyway, it's not so-"

"How did you know I was taking a vacation?" Kurama interrupted, frowning as he sat on the edge of the bed. "Don't tell me Koenma is still keeping an eye on me. I'd think he would have relaxed by now. It's not like I'm going to cause any sort of trouble."

"Oh, he's not spying on you. He just looked in and saw that you were taking some time off. And since it's a great coincidence, it makes things easier."

"I supposed. But I was looking forward to some rest," Kurama said slowly, frowning at the girl. "I'm not at the Reikai's beck and call now, if you'll remember."

"But...you don't even know what he wants you to do..." Botan's eyes widened and she sniffed at him, hurt written across her face. "Are you mad about something...?"

With a sigh, Kurama shook his head. "Not really. It's just been so long since I've heard from you."

"It's been really busy lately," Botan offered, trying a tentative smile on him. "If you want to wait a little bit, I can tell Koenma-sama something. He'd probably come himself if you want..."

"I'm not going to be difficult. I suppose you want to take me to the Reikai now?" The girl gave a slight nod, and he sighed. "All right. Let me get dressed and I'll meet you outside."

Pale blue eyes suddenly flicked down to a pale chest, pink rushing over her face. "Oh!" Lifting her hand so the baggy blue sleeve partially hid her face, Botan floated back. "Eh...I didn't realize. Ano...I'll just - yeah, I'll wait outside."

The girl made a quick exit out the window and Kurama smirked after her, dropping the blanket. He was put out that Koenma planned to ruin what was supposed to be a few quiet weeks, but part of him was relieved. As much as he'd looked forward to spending time to himself, he didn't like to be bored. And sitting around his house for weeks on end would get boring very quickly. The thought of seeing Yusuke and Kuwabara was another perk.

He'd seen Kuwabara a few months ago, up at Genkai's temple. But it just wasn't the same. Yusuke hadn't been there, and Kuwa-kun had been far too busy fawning over Yukina to pay him much mind. He didn't blame the young man, but the trip had been a disappointment. He'd only admit it to himself, but Kurama had felt lonely next to the two of them, even more lonely than he was in his own solitary home. Yes, seeing the others would be very nice. Even if it was tainted by a mission.

Botan was pacing when the redhead left his house, and she grinned at him, her eyes flicking over his bright blue jeans and white button-up. "You're casual! Heh, I thought you might wear one of your pretty outfits."

"I packed a few," Kurama smiled, tilting his head to the bag on his shoulder. "You didn't say what I'd be doing."

"Mm, that's because Koenma-sama wants to explain it. He probably thinks I'd just mess it up or something. He's been like that a lot lately. I know he's worried about the debates, but he shouldn't be taking it out on me and the girls. I've had so many complaints from the ferry girls that it isn't even funny anymore."

Not bothering to interrupt her with questions, Kurama merely listened with a small smile. He'd missed her as much as the others. And even the familiar trip to the Reikai made him feel nostalgic. It really had been a long time. They reached the main gates in the usual 'record' time, and Kurama found himself really smiling when they moved inside. Just the sight of the demons hustling about was too much. It reminded him that some things didn't change, and years were mere minutes to the life of the Reikai. A few of the demons waved at him as they went to Koenma's office, and Kurama was in a genial mood by the time they entered.

"Hn."

The redhead jerked, turning to stare at the figure leaning against the wall, and Koenma smirked. "I told you, Hiei. Nearly a foot longer."

"So much for ningen rules." Red eyes glinted at the startled fox, and Hiei smirked. "You should cut that before you trip over it."

"Maa, maa," Botan said quickly, waving a hand at him. "I think Kurama's hair is pretty. And it looks so nice pulled back like that."

"It's still a foot longer," Koenma said, wagging a finger at Hiei. "I told you it was. Next time you'll believe me."

"Hn."

It took a long moment for Kurama to calm down, and he shook his head, still staring at Hiei. "You're doing a mission for the Reikai?"

"Of course not," Hiei sniffed, rolling his eyes and leaning harder on the wall.

"No," Koenma said, his smile fading into scowl. "Mukuro sent him with the request." Red eyes sparked at him, and he glowered at the knowing smirk. "You may be an emissary, but that doesn't mean much here. I can't believe she'd send *you* to ask for favors."

"Who asks favors?" Hiei glared, his tone dropping. "If you don't want to be involved, that's fine by me." He gave a slight glance at Kurama, just a hint of a nod, before turning to the door. Two steps later and Koenma broke.

"Fine-fine! Get back here! Why do you have to be so difficult?" Frowning at the demon's smirk, Koenma sighed. "Kurama. There are going to be some talks in the Makai about the new leader's laws. As you probably know, the last tournament left a new ruler, and he's decided to try some different methods for the rules this time. Something about voting to determine his underlings. I don't see why he'd bother, but he's requested some middlemen to keep the peace during the talks. You, Yusuke and Hiei, to be exact. Now, I don't see much point in bothering Yusuke over this-"

"Keiko already told him no," Botan whispered to Kurama, half hidden behind him. "He was really disappointed."

"Anyway," Keonma scowled, his eyes locking on the girl and making her flush. "Having Yomi and Mukuro in the same place is just too dangerous, but their commanders will suffice. At least, that's the plan."

"But I'm not Yomi's commander," Kurama reminded him.

"He never replaced you," Hiei said. He nodded when the kitsune looked over at him. "As far as the Makai is concerned, Youko Kurama is the heir to Yomi's territory. Even Shura can't displace you until Yomi makes it official."

"I resigned." Frowning when the demon shrugged, Kurama sighed. "So you want me to go to the Makai and keep the peace while they negotiate new laws? Is there really a need for that?"

Keonma shook his head. "We're hoping no one will actually start a fight, but having Yomi and Mukuro's support should keep potential enemies at bay. Your presence will be for show more than anything - you just have to go there and be seen until the talks are over. You were planning for a vacation anyway, right? This way you can get away for a while."

The demi-god was smiling at him, and Kurama raised an eyebrow. "This doesn't sound like my idea of a vacation."

"No one's forcing you to come."

Turning, Kurama stared at Hiei's downcast eyes. The demon wasn't looking any higher than his folded arms, and Kurama felt a wash of anger. He'd imagined seeing Hiei again, but this wasn't how he'd seen it. The demon acted as if they were mere acquaintances rather than friends who'd once risked their lives together. The thought of spending a week or more in the company of *him* wasn't very encouraging. Not if the demon really planned to ignore him the entire time. "If you don't want me to go, then I won't."

The soft tone made Hiei blink, and he frowned at Kurama's blank epxression. "I didn't say that. You're the one crying because you won't have some vacation. I told you the Ningenkai would make you soft."

There was a hint of something in the demon's tone, and Kurama slowly relaxed, a slight smile curving his lips. "I take it you aren't exactly looking forward to this either?"

"Hn. I'd rather clean the Baka's shoes."

A real smile broke across Kurama's face and he shook his head. "I should have known. Mukuro's orders?"

"Who else? A perfect waste of time."

"Ah."

Koenma smiled, leaning on his desk. "Then you'll go?" The redhead shrugged and he sighed. "Good. Since Yusuke won't be gong, Touga has two men who'll be joining as mediators. They'll meet you once you reach the Makai and explain the details. But really, all you have to do is be there where people can see you, and the accomodations should be comfortable." He smiled at Kurama's raised eyebrow. "Touga likes things comfortable. From what I hear, his fortress is as nice as Yomi's."

"Waste of wealth," Hiei sniffed. "He's too soft."

"You know him?" Kurama asked.

"Of course. I fought in the last tournament." Green eyes widened at him, and Hiei scowled, dropping his gaze again. "They rigged the drawing. Twice in a row? Ridiculous."

"Oh no..." Hiding his smile behind his hand, Kurama gazed at the dark tone. "Mukuro again?"

"Hn."

"Next time she should have one of you fight so you don't cancel each other out." The demon didn't respond, but Kurama let out a silent laugh. He could just imagine how Hiei would feel having been elminated once again by his own teammate.

"Well," Koenma commented, smiling brightly at the two. "Whenever you're ready, Botan will show you to the portal. The emissaries should be there. They're camping out, waiting for your arrival."

"Let's not keep them waiting, then," Kurama said. Hiei pushed away from the wall, and he smiled as the demon passed him. Maybe this would be a nice vacation. He was disappointed that Yusuke wouldn't be going, but spending a week with Hiei...that could be enjoyable. So long as he kept the demon from secluding himself in a corner somewhere. Besides which, Kurama hadn't been to the Makai in years. He hadn't even shifted to Youko since his last time there. It would be nice to loosen up and let his demon side roam for a change. After years in an office, a week or so in the Makai was starting to sound great. And if the accomodations really were nice, then it could easily be as nice as the dark tournament was - aside from the nearly dying part.

* * *

TBC