DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own any of the characters in this story. NONE. Do you understand that? I don't make any money off of this, either, I just find pleasure in writing fan fictions. Thank you.

~Chapter One: Can it Be Love?~

He walked slowly along the sidewalk, hoping to find something to amuse himself. For some reason, he didn't feel like doing anything today. He didn't even feel like standing on a building to watch the people around here from above. He couldn't think of anything to do.

He stared at his feet as he walked along the busy sidewalk, people passing him left and right, going this way and that. But there was someone who didn't pass him, but bumped right into him, head on. The girl who had bumped into him fell down, as did he. She hurried and got up, and held a hand out to him to help him up. He took it.

"I am so sorry!" The girl said, "I wasn't watching where I was going! Please forgive me..."

She gave a respectful nod, and then bent down to pick up the armful of books that she had been carrying before the collision, her shoulder-length black hair hiding most of her face.

He wasn't sure why, but he began helping her pick them up. He usually wasn't this considerate.

Once all of the books were off of the ground, he handed the books that he had picked up to the girl. Her innocent purple eyes met his ruby red ones, and she smiled sweetly.

"Thank you, um..."

"Hiei." He told her.

"Thank you, Hiei." She said.

Hiei nodded, and continued on his way.

'That was strange,' Hiei thought, glancing back, but the girl had already disappeared into the crowd. 'Why did I act so different just then? Hn. No matter. It isn't important... is it?' He looked back again, as if expecting to see her, but he did not.

*

"Hotaru, where have you been?" Michelle, one of Hotaru's adoptive 'parents,' questioned.

"I'm sorry, I was at the library." Hotaru answered, "And on the way home I ran into this... ah... never mind. Its nothing."

"The library?" Asked Amara, another of Hotaru's 'parents,' as she entered the room, "Why on earth where you at that boring place?"

"Amara, please." Michelle said in a scolding tone, "Hotaru loves to read, you know that."

"I don't see why."

"Um, I'm going to go to my room now, if that's alright?"

"Yes, go ahead Hotaru." Michelle said with a smile, "I'll call you when dinner is ready."

"Okay, thank you." Hotaru went to her room to begin reading her books.

"Amara, what do you think she was about to say?" Michelle asked Amara suspiciously.

"Hm?" Amara questioned.

"She said that she had run into something, but she didn't finish."

"Maybe she met someone. She's old enough to handle herself Michelle," Amara said, putting her arm around Michelle's shoulders, "I don't think we should worry too much about it. But, if anything strange starts going on with her, we'll worry then."

"You're right," Michelle said, returning the embrace. "She's fine."

The next day, Hotaru went to the park. She sat in the shade of a large tree, wondering what she should do today.

A figure dressed in black jumped down from the tree, and stood in front of her. It was the boy that she had met the other day.

"Aren't you the one that ran into me yesterday?" He asked.

"Yes." Hotaru answered. "I didn't realize this spot was taken. I'm sorry, I'll leave."

"You don't have to." Hiei said, "Just don't bother me." Hiei jumped back into the tree.

"Excuse me, Hiei, but..."

Hiei glanced down at her.

"What?" He asked.

"Would it be okay if we be friends? I don't have a lot of friends, and it would be nice to have someone to talk to once in a while."

"Friends?" Hiei jumped back down to her again. "You just ran into me yesterday, and you trust me enough to try and make friends with me? That's foolish."

"I know..." Hotaru sighed, "But all the same, when I meet someone, I like to try and make friends. See, most people are afraid of me. No one likes me."

"Then what makes you think that I will?"

"It's always worth a try."

"Hn. I don't have time for you, Girl."

Hotaru frowned. Hiei wasn't as nice as he had seemed yesterday.

"Hotaru." She said to him.

Hiei looked at her with a questioning stare.

"My name. It's Hotaru."

"Hn. So?"

"I thought that it would only be fair that I told you my name. You told me yours, after all."

"I also told you that you could stay if you didn't bother me." Hiei said, glaring at her. "But you're bothering me." Hiei sat on the branch, his back leaning against the tree. He shut his eyes, and Hotaru knew that he didn't plan on saying anything else.

Hotaru frowned again, and left.

As she left, a person with long red hair approached the tree.

"Hiei." He said, "You were being rude to that girl."

Without opening his eyes, Hiei answered him.

"Were you eavesdropping, Kurama?"

"I overheard the conversation. Forgive me. But Hiei, how can you be so rude to someone who wants to be friends with you?"

"She's a human."

"That's still no reason to take that tone." Kurama said in an irritated voice, "She was trying to be nice and make friends with you. But all that you could do was send her away."

"She's a human."

Kurama sighed. "Hiei, give the girl a chance. She said that she doesn't have many friends, did she not? Neither do you, am I correct?"

"I have friends."

"That is true. You and I are friends. Yusuke is your friend. Even Kuwabarra-."

"Don't go there, Kurama." Hiei interrupted. He opened his eyes and glared at Kurama.

"All that I'm saying is that being friends with her may benefit you both. Try to be a little more social, Hiei."

"Hn." Hiei looked away and closed his eyes again. "She's a human."

Kurama sighed.

"On any normal occasion, you would've sent a person away if they were anywhere near you. You told her that she could stay."

"I told her that she could stay if she didn't bother me. And she did, so she blew it."

"But you gave her a chance. That isn't like you, Hiei. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you do want to be friends with her, whether you admit it or not."

"I do not, Kurama!" Hiei glared at Kurama. "She's a human! I don't need to go around making human friends."

"Whatever you say, Hiei..."

Kurama realized that there was no way that he could change Hiei's mind right now. He'd have to try again some other time.

*

"Hotaru? Come out of there and tell us what's wrong!" Amara shouted to the locked door of Hotaru's bedroom.

"Hotaru, please unlock your door!" Michelle pleaded.

There was a sound of movement on the other side of the door, and then a click. Hotaru had finally unlocked the door.

Michelle went in first, and Amara followed. They walked over to Hotaru's bed, where Hotaru was sitting. She was obviously upset, and it looked as though she had been crying.

"Hotaru, what's the matter?" Michelle asked, placing a hand on Hotaru's shoulder.

"Why is it so hard for me to make friends?" Hotaru asked sadly, "No one will even give me a chance!"

"Oh, is that what this is about?" Amara sighed, "Look, Hotaru, some people are just better at making friends than others. You have plenty of friends, Hotaru."

"Yeah, Rini is my friend. Name another." Hotaru stared at Amara and Michelle as they stared at each other, trying to think of others.

"The Sailor Scouts are your friends." Said a voice. Trista, Hotaru's other adoptive 'parent' had been standing at the door, listening to the conversation.

"I guess you're right, Trista..." Hotaru said, still is a depressed tone.

"Hotaru, you need to realize that you have a lot of people who love you and care about you." Trista said, sitting down next to Hotaru. "Rini is your best friend. All of us will always be here too. Making friends is always nice, but it usually takes some time. Be patient."

"I've been patient. I can't make any friends."

"So you're not exactly a social butterfly." Amara said, "You'll make friends. Don't get so upset about it. Now, what is it that brought all of this up?"

"Yesterday on the way home from the library, I accidentally bumped into a boy. Even though he never said much to me, I thought that he was nice. But I met him again in the park today, and asked if he'd like to be my friend. He said no and made me leave."

"A boy?" Michelle asked.

"I think it's nice that Hotaru met a boy." Trista said.

"No it isn't!" Hotaru shouted, "He didn't want anything to do with me!"

"Just give it some time, you'll meet more people than this boy. And if he doesn't want to be your friend, then he doesn't know what he's missing." Trista said kindly. "Just remember that there are millions of people in this world, and not everyone will want to get to know you. But there are some who will, and even though it may take time to find them, you will. Don't be upset at someone because they don't like you."

Hotaru sighed.

"I'm sorry. I guess I didn't look at it that way. Thanks, you guys."

*

The next day, Hotaru, Trista, and Michelle decided to go to the mall. Amara absolutely refused to go with them. She didn't want to go shopping.

Hotaru wanted to go into the bookstore and afterwards go check around for decorative lamps. Michelle and Trista thought that was okay, even though they wanted to shop for other things. The two of them decided that they would do their shopping afterwards, and made Hotaru promise that she would be quick in the bookstore.

At the bookstore, Hotaru spotted Hiei with another boy with long red hair. Hiei didn't seem like he really wanted to be there. Michelle and Trista noticed that Hotaru was staring at him.

"Do you know them?" Trista asked.

"The one with black hair is the one I told you about." Hotaru said, "But I don't know the other one."

"Oh, so that's him, is it? He doesn't seem very happy." Michelle said.

"No he doesn't." Hotaru said, and then continued to look at the books.

"Hiei," Kurama said, only now noticing Hotaru and the others, "Isn't that the girl that you were talking to yesterday?"

Hiei looked over and realized that it was.

"Yes, so what?" Hiei answered.

"Go and apologize for the way you treated her." Kurama commanded.

"What?" Hiei questioned, "What for?"

"Hiei." Kurama said firmly.

"I won't apologize to a human." Hiei looked away.

"You are so stubborn... Go and apologize to her, Hiei. You don't have to do anything else, just be polite and apologize."

"No."

"Hiei! Go apologize to that girl!"

Hiei understood that Kurama wouldn't let it go until he apologized.

"Fine." Hiei said, walking over to Hotaru. Kurama followed to make sure that Hiei wasn't going to be rude again.

"Hotaru, look who's coming over here." Michele said quietly to Hotaru. Hotaru looked up and saw that Hiei was walking her way, but he still didn't look pleased.

"Hello again." Hotaru said, a forgiving smile on her face.

"Hn." Hiei groaned. Kurama answered this be jabbing him with his elbow. Hiei glared at Kurama and then looked at Hotaru. "I wanted to... apologize. For the way that I treated you yesterday."

"It's alright." Hotaru said, "I'm actually very used to it... as I said before, not a lot of people like me."

Kurama saw that Hiei was ready to leave, but he wanted to make sure that this girl and Hiei got to be friends. He could tell that Hiei liked her, but knew that Hiei wouldn't admit it on his own.

"Hello," Kurama greeted Hotaru, "I don't believe we've met. My name is Kurama, and I see that you've met Hiei." Kurama held out his hand, and Hotaru shook it.

"My name is Hotaru, and this is Michelle and Trista."

"Hello." Michele said politely.

"It's nice to meet you." Trista said kindly.

Hiei rolled his eyes. Kurama had told him that he didn't need to do anything else except apologize, so he was going to do nothing more.

"Hiei, say hello." Kurama ordered.

"Hn." Hiei grunted.

"Please excuse him, he's not in a good mood." Kurama explained, and then added sarcastically, "Come to think of it, he hardly ever is."

Hiei rolled his eyes in annoyance, but still remained silent.

"So, I assume that you like to read?" Kurama asked Hotaru.

"Very much." Hotaru answered with a nod, "Do you?"

Kurama nodded as well. "Yes, I do. What kind of stories are your favorite?"

"Well, I can't say, really. I like all sorts of books. I suppose mystery is a good genre."

"You have good taste."

"Thank you. What about you?"

"I personally enjoy romance stories. But I'll usually read anything."

"Well, we should be going. I promised Michelle and Trista that I wouldn't stay in here long."

"You also made that promise, Kurama." Hiei said, glancing at him.

"We should be going then too." Kurama said with a laugh.

"Maybe we'll see you again sometime." Michelle said.

"Yeah, I'll see you later Kurama." Hotaru said, and then looked at Hiei, "And you too, I hope, Hiei?"

"Hn." Hiei groaned again. But Kurama could see that Hiei was blushing slightly.

"Goodbye to you both." Trista said. And with that, the trio left.

"You like her, Hiei. Just admit it." Kurama said to Hiei.

"I do not like her, Kurama! What makes you think that I do?"

"Forgive me, Hiei, I must've been mistaken when I assumed that you were blushing."

Hiei shot a death-glare at Kurama.

"We can leave now, I suppose, Hiei."

"Good."

(A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed it. As you can see, this is going to be mainly a Hiei and Hotaru pairing. However, none of the other characters in this fic. have a pairing yet, so if you have a suggestion as to who should go with whom, be sure to let me know. Thanks again! ~Starflash)