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 Seven: My Love~

The next day, Hotaru was sure to get ready early, since she didn't know when Hiei was supposed to arrive. She didn't dress too fancy, because, this WAS Hiei, after all.

At around eleven o'clock, a knock came on the door. Knowing that it must be Hiei, Hotaru answered it.

"So you've learned how to use the door now, have you?" Hotaru kidded.

"You humans and your jokes." Hiei replied, but he was smiling- it wasn't his usual smirk. "So where would you like to go?"

"Oh, I thought that you already had somewhere in mind... I honestly have no idea where we should go."

"Neither do I, so you decide."

"But I don't know where to go!"

"You pick."

"No, anywhere you want to go will be fine with me."

"You pick."

Hotaru sighed. There was no arguing with Hiei; he would never give in.

"Fine." Hotaru said, "How about the fair?"

*

(Hiei's point of view)

The fair!? Maybe I SHOULD have decided after all. Oh well... what's been done has been done. The fair it is...

"Alright." I agreed.

So that's where we went. The fair. But the next time we go somewhere together; it will be ME who makes this choice.

*

(Normal point of view)

They started on their way, talking, and soon they reached the fair.

"So, now what?" Hiei asked, looking around.

"You've never been to a fair before, have you?" Hotaru asked.

"Honestly, no."

First, they both got some tickets so that they could go on the rides and play the games. Then, after going on a few rides, they passed the 'Test Your Strength' game. The man in charge of it shouted to them as they passed.

"Hello, hello!" He said, "Step right up, would you care to test your strength? Either of you? Come now, step right up, what do you say, Little Guy?" The man looked at Hiei as he said this.

"'Little Guy', eh?" Hotaru heard Hiei mutter in an angry tone as he approached the man. After giving the man a ticket to play the game, Hiei was given a mallet. Hiei hit the lever and the bell rang. Hiei smirked as he looked at the man, who was obviously shocked.

"Well now." The man said, "THAT was incredible! You've won a prize! Take your pick!"

The prize was a choice of a gigantic stuffed panda bear, a stuffed tiger that was slightly larger, or a silver necklace with a small, sparkling, silver, star pendant. Hiei, not being one to like animals much, picked the necklace, and gave it to Hotaru.

"For you." He said.

"Thank you!" Hotaru answered, "I love it."

Hiei smiled, and helped Hotaru put it on. It matched her perfectly. After this, they moved on.

After a while, Hotaru noticed that Hiei didn't seem to be having a lot of fun.

*

(Hiei's point of view)

This was certainly not my idea of fun. It was loud, and crowded with hundreds of humans, all screaming and shouting in their excitement. But if Hotaru was having fun, then I would tolerate it for as long as I could.

"Hiei," Hotaru said, breaking the silence between us, "Would you like to go somewhere else? Maybe somewhere a little less crowded?"

It was as though she had read my mind.

"Are you sure?" I asked her, even though I badly wanted to leave.

"I'm positive."

I nodded, and we left immediately.

"You pick where we go this time." She told me.

"No, you." I said.

"But it's your turn!" She said playfully.

"Fine, then. How about the beach?"

"Good idea." She replied with a smile.

*

(Normal point of view)

When they got to the beach, there weren't many people there, since it was the middle of winter. Hiei and Hotaru decided that they'd go for a walk on the pier. When they got to the end, no one else was around, and they stared at the waves crashing against the pillars of the pier.

Hotaru stepped closer to the rail, and Hiei pulled her back.

"Careful-" he said in a joking tone, "Don't fall."

"Ha, ha." Hotaru answered in the same tone, "Very funny."

After that, they went and got some lunch.

The two of them spent the day together just talking and enjoying each other's company. When it started to get dark, they returned to the beach and went back onto the pier.

"I like this much better than the fair." Hotaru said.

"I agree." Hiei responded.

There was a moment of silence, and then Hiei spoke again.

"Hotaru, I could've lost you yesterday." He said, "You scared me."

"I'm sorry." Hotaru answered, "I really am. It scared me, too."

"Don't ever let something like that happen again."

Hotaru smiled.

"I won't." She said. "Hey, Hiei, I have a question for you. Did something happen to you while you were gone?"

"Why do you ask?" I questioned.

"Well, you just seem to be acting a little different than you did before you left, that's all."

I looked at her. She stared at me, waiting for me to answer.

"Nothing happened while I was gone." I told her, "It was what happened when I came back. You were almost killed."

"Oh, so that's it."

"Yes."

"Is that what you meant by saying, 'thank you for opening my eyes'?"

"Yes."

"Alright..." Hotaru said, "So I'm the one who made you 'open your eyes'. But, what is it that I made you 'open your eyes' to?"

"You." Hiei said simply, looking into her eyes. They stopped walking for a moment as Hotaru stared back at him.

"Wait, what?" Hotaru asked after a momentary silence, "Me? What do you mean?"

"After thinking about it, I realized that if you had fallen, and if you had died, then I would never have forgiven myself because I would've lost my chance to actually get to know you. Until that point, I didn't even completely realize that I wanted to. I was blinded by my pride and my attitude towards you humans. You opened my eyes."

Hotaru was stunned. Was Hiei- in his own, unique way- saying that he loved her?

"'You humans'?" Hotaru asked.

"I don't mean it that way. You aren't like all of the other humans; at least not the ones that I know of. You're different. That's why I like you."

"I'm flattered." Hotaru giggled, leaning on Hiei and closing her eyes.

Hiei stiffened and looked at her. He started to blush.

Again, he started to get that feeling. He liked her, but he still couldn't let himself believe that he loved her.

'What am I doing...?' Hiei thought, 'The plan was to come and make sure that she was all right, and she is. I don't need to stay any longer...'

But then, Hiei again remembered the incident that had happened at the cliff. He saw the terrified look on Hotaru's face in his memory, and reconsidered.

'No!' He thought, 'I can't and won't leave her. I don't think that I could bear it... '

"It's getting dark." Hotaru stated, lifting her head, "I think I should go home now."

So Hiei walked her home, and they said their goodbyes. Hotaru went inside, and Hiei watched her, secretly, until she fell asleep. Once he was sure that she was no longer awake, he left, a smile upon his face. He was happy- for once in his life, he was HAPPY. And even he had to admit that it was a wonderful feeling.

*

The next morning, Hotaru went to look for Hiei. She knew just where he would be, and she was right. He was at the usual tree, sitting on the usual branch leaning on the trunk of the tree with his eyes closed. She didn't want to wake him, so she decided to come back later.

But Hiei wasn't asleep.

As Hotaru turned to walk away, Hiei stopped her.

"Leaving so soon?" He asked, jumping down from the tree.

"I thought you were asleep." Hotaru said with a smile, "I didn't want to bother you."

"I wouldn't have minded." Hiei told her, and then added, "Much."

Hotaru giggled a little and then smiled mischievously at him.

*

(Hotaru's point of view)

Now for the real reason I was here.

"Hiei, we haven't had that rematch yet." I said, mimicking his smirk, which I had seen so many times.

Hiei smirked back, and put his hand on the hilt of his sword. He didn't say anything, but I knew that had been a yes.

"Good. Same rules as last time?" I asked him.

"Fine with me." He answered.

"Saturn Planet Power!"

*

(Hiei's point of view)

I loved seeing her transform. It was amazing. Yet, I loved her fighting abilities even more. Her skills are certainly excellent- but even so, this match would NOT end in a draw. I would be the victor.

She caught me off guard, and attacked instantly after her transformation was complete.

HOW DARE SHE!

I wasn't ready yet! She didn't say that the fight had started! Now my left shoulder had been slightly cut, and was bleeding a little.

"You didn't say we had started!" I shouted at her.

"So?" She replied, "In a real battle, do you think your opponent would fight fairly?"

She was right. But she won't take me by surprise again; now, the battle begins!

*

(Normal point of view)

Hiei returned Saturn's attack, and managed a decent blow. It would've been better if Saturn hadn't been ready to dodge. The fight went on, Saturn and Hiei both fighting with incredible skill.

"Hiei, you weren't this easy last time," Saturn said as she blocked Hiei's attack, "Why are you holding back? Is something wrong?"

"Holding back?" Hiei asked, vanishing and reappearing behind her. His sword came down on Saturn from behind, but Saturn whirled around and blocked with her glaive. "I'm not holding back!"

"I think you're lying." Saturn stated, blocking yet another of Hiei's attacks.

"Fine then, no more fooling around. Now it's for real!"

"Good."

Since Hiei was distracted, Saturn used this opportunity to attack. However, her glaive only sliced through his after-image. Hiei wasn't going to be easy anymore. Neither was she.

The fight continued for what seemed to be hours, with both adversaries seemingly equal in strength with the other. But again, Hiei's speed increased, and soon, Sailor Saturn couldn't follow him anymore. He attacked to quickly for her to even attempt to counter, and she was knocked down.

"Surrender?" Hiei asked her.

Hotaru looked up at him. Hiei was now standing next to her, looking down with a triumphant smirk.

"You know," Saturn said, "There are a few things that you'd never want to do in a battle. One of those things is dropping your guard!"

She used the same trick that Hiei had done to her in their last fight. She knocked his feet from under him, and he fell. She jumped up, and although Hiei had been expecting her to attack, she didn't. She only ran.

Hiei got up and laughed.

"Don't bother!" Hiei laughed, "You know that you can't outrun me."

In a flash, Hiei was in front of Sailor Saturn.

"Maybe not." Saturn said with a mischievous grin, "But obviously outsmarting you isn't that difficult!"

What Sailor Saturn had done was move into a more open area so that she could attack him easier. Before Hiei had the chance to respond to her last statement, Sailor Saturn attacked with fast, skillful, unremitting slashes with her glaive, and, although Hiei blocked most of them with his sword, he couldn't stop all of them. By the time her attack was through, he had taken quite a bit of damage.

"Impressive." Hiei stated, panting.

"Of course I am." Saturn answered, also panting.

Both of them were beginning to tire. But neither wanted to stop- not yet. This battle was NOT going to end in a draw.

"You're getting rather cocky." Hiei said with a smirk.

"You're right; you are." Saturn answered with the same grin.

"No more talk."

Hiei disappeared again, and Sailor Saturn prepared herself. She looked around the area, alert to even the slightest sound. But, apparently, not alert enough. Hiei attacked her from behind and cut her back.

So they continued trading blows, each seeming to be in the lead for a little while until the other pulled some new stunt. Needless to say, the two would've killed each other by now if they truly were enemies.

The battle ended abruptly. As Sailor Saturn had done in their last battle, she cornered Hiei and pinned him against a tree without his sword. Just as he had been in the battle before, he was defenseless, and could do nothing about it unless he broke the rules and used an attack other than with his sword. Actually, there was something that he could do. He wouldn't be breaking the rules if he punched or kicked Sailor Saturn, but he really couldn't bring himself to do so.

"So, Hiei, what now?" Sailor Saturn asked, "Or do you give up?"

"It's surprising that I actually lost to a human." Hiei said in defeat, "But there's nothing I can do about it now. At least I lost to you, and not someone like the big idiot. As if I ever would lose to someone like him."

Sailor Saturn stared at him in shock. She really hadn't expected him to give up, she didn't think that was like him. But he had. All the same, she had to be sure.

"So... you're... you're actually surrendering?"

"Did you not hear me?" Hiei questioned. "You've won."

Sailor Saturn lowered her glaive, still in a state of shock. Hiei, the most stubborn, arrogant person that she knew, had actually surrendered to her. Finally, she pushed away her amazement.

"That was fun." She said, "Hard, though." Hiei only nodded in agreement. Saturn changed back into Hotaru, and healed both of their wounds. Without a word, they both climbed up into Hiei's favorite tree again and sat on the usual branch to rest for a while.

"I can't believe I fell for the same trick twice." Hiei stated, his arms folded across his chest and his face emotionless. "Promise me you won't tell anyone?"

"I promise. Your secret is safe with me."

*

(Hiei's point of view)

Even though I didn't plan to say it out loud, I did know why I had lost. I was overconfident, just as I had been during my first battle with Yusuke. It was that same overconfidence that made me fall for her little trick again.

We both sat there in complete silence. Then I suddenly realized that we were holding hands, although I never recalled taking her hand... Hotaru must've noticed this at about the same time, because we both pulled away in the same instant. She was blushing. I smirked. At least I wasn't blushing.

*

(Hotaru's point of view)

Although I had seen him blush before, I knew that it was a rare occasion that he did such a thing. He was blushing now, and he was smiling too. I smiled as well, and turned to stare at the clouds. After a while I began to realize how long I had been gone. I didn't want anyone to worry about me, so I thought that I would head home.

"Hiei, I have to go now. I've been gone for a long time, I don't want anyone to worry about me." I told him.

"Can you come back here later tonight?" Hiei asked.

I didn't ask why, because I knew he had to have had a good reason.

"Sure, when?" I questioned.

"Six."

"Alright. I'll see you then."

Hiei nodded, and I left the park.

*

(Normal point of view)

Later that evening, Hotaru returned to the park just as she had promised. She still had no idea what Hiei was planning, but she was certain that it would be something good. Hiei was at the tree (of course), and when he saw Hotaru, he smiled and told her to follow him. She did so. He led her to a different tree, which he immediately jumped into. Hotaru did the same.

"So, Hiei, what is it?" Hotaru asked.

Hiei pointed a little to their right. Not to far off was a group of people sitting in chairs that were set up in a circle around a large gazebo. In the gazebo was a group of people with all kinds of musical instruments. Hotaru's eyes lit up. It was a concert.

"I saw a flier earlier, and I thought you'd like to see it." Hiei said with a smile.

"Wow, thank you!" Hotaru replied. "Are we going down there?"

"I'd rather not."

"Too many people?"

"Yes."

"Alright. I'm okay with that. We can stay here then."

The music began. The band played wonderfully. The strings, winds, brass, and percussions, were all playing wonderful classical music in perfect harmony with one another. Soon, Hotaru had a question that she just had to ask.

"Hiei, can we dance?" She asked hopefully.

"Dance?" Hiei responded with surprise, "But I don't dance."

"You have amazing footwork. I know, I've fought with you three times already. If you can move like that in a fight, dancing should be easy for you. Please?"

"But..."

"Hiei, I know you can dance."

Hiei still wouldn't agree. But Hotaru knew how to make him dance with her.

"You don't know how, do you?" She questioned.

"Of course I do."

"Oh, then you're just afraid to show me then, aren't you?"

"What? No!"

"Then, will you dance with me? Please?" Hotaru looked at him with sad little puppy-dog eyes.

"Fine." Hiei said, giving up, "But only to prove to you that I CAN dance."

They got down from the tree and danced to the slow music. Hiei had been telling the truth, he did know how to dance, and very well.

"So you can do it." Hotaru said, "Where'd you learn?"

"All that I had to do was watch others do it." Hiei said, and then added, "And... Kurama helped... a little."

Hotaru giggled and they continued dancing under the moonlight. Soon, the song ended. Sadly, it was the band's last song.

"You're good." Hotaru commented. "Thank you."

"I told you that the only reason I did it was to prove that I could." Hiei said arrogantly. "And you weren't bad either."

"Thank you."

*

(Hiei's point of view)

I can't believe what an embarrassing day this has been. First, I lost to her in a fight, and then I danced with her! But, then again, I enjoyed it.

Suddenly, I felt her lips brush my cheek.

"Goodnight, Hiei." She said, "It's getting late. I have to leave."

She turned her back to walk away, and I touched the place where she had just kissed me. She... kissed... me... No one has ever done that before...

"Wait," I called to her, "I'll walk you home."

"Okay." Hotaru answered me, smiling.

We didn't talk much on the way to her house. I was left speechless thanks to that kiss. And she obviously didn't have anything to say. But that was all right. I liked the silence. This silence felt warm; not like the kind of silence I was used to. That silence, as I was now beginning to realize, had been a lonely silence.

We made it to her house soon, and we were standing on her doorstep.

"Thanks again, Hiei." Hotaru said to me, "I had a lot of fun today."

I didn't have much to say for an answer. So I only nodded. And then, the craziest of thoughts came to me. Without waiting another moment, I returned the kiss that she had given me, only I didn't kiss her on the cheek. Our lips met and neither of us pulled away for a while. When it ended, I stared at her. She was blushing again. I smiled. I didn't smirk. For once, I smiled.

And then I realized what I had done, and I had to come up with something to cover it.

*

(Normal point of view)

"That will be our secret too." Hiei told Hotaru.

"Okay." Hotaru said, still blushing, "Goodnight, Hiei. I'll see you again."

"Goodnight."

Hotaru went inside, and Hiei left. Still stunned about what he had done.

'Well as long as she keeps it a secret...' Hiei thought, 'Then I suppose that it's okay.'

Hiei touched his lips lightly, and, without realizing it, began blushing. What a day he had had. And he knew that there would be many more like it to come.

(A/N: There you have it. That's where I'm going to leave it. I know that I never said what happened with Kurama and Trista, but my original intention was only to HINT on their relationship. Use your imaginations to try and... well... IMAGINE what happened with them. If you don't have an imagination... then... uh... you have quite a dilemma, don't you? Well that's it, the end of this story. I'm glad that so many people saw it through to the end and found so much enjoyment while reading it. Please leave me any comments or criticism, and I hope that you will read any future stories that I may or may not write. :P LoL. If you enjoyed reading this, I would appreciate it if you'd recommend my story(ies) to your friends. Heck, I'd even appreciate it if you'd recommend me to people that you don't know! Well, that is all for this story. Let me know what you think! ~Starflash)