Friendly Competition

Disclaimer: YYH is the creation of Togashi Yoshihiro, and I'm definitely not a penny the richer for this.

A/N: Beware of OOC-ness, extreme silliness, and very sad, unrequited shonen-ai.  And do enjoy.  ^_^

Summary: Hiei, Karasu, and Yomi show up on Kurama's doorstep, to profess their undying love for everyone's favorite bishounen.  None of them are happy the others are there.  Who will Kurama choose?  Madness, hilarity, and heartbreak ensue.

"What the hell are you doing here?!"

Three voices were raised in consternation, horror, and irritation, just as three fingers were pointed accusingly.

Three dark-haired youkai stood glaring at each other on the doorstep in front of the house occupied by Shuiichi Minamino – or, as he was better known to these three, Kurama.

Hiei snarled, "I have a right to be here!  I'm actually Kurama's teammate."  And friend, he added mentally.

"The lord of Gandara has a right to be wherever he pleases," Yomi sniffed.

"Well, since you both have such excellent excuses," said Karasu sarcastically, "I'll be frank, then.  I'm here to confess my unconditional love to Kurama."

Yomi and Hiei's eyes, which had already been wide with anger and astonishment, practically bulged out of their sockets.

"You too?!"

All three gaped at each other.

Recovering his wits first, Hiei glared at Karasu.

"You should be dead."

"I survived.  Get over it."

"Neither of you has a chance anyway," Yomi proclaimed superciliously.  "Why would he pick you when he could have me?  Think about what I have to offer him.  I rule the most superior kingdom in Makai," here he glanced very pointedly at Hiei, who seethed, "and I can lay countless riches and immense power at his feet.  Furthermore, he and I go waaay back.  We were comrades before either of you were even born."

"First of all," Hiei retorted, "Mukuro's realm – I'm her heir," he explained in an aside to Karasu, who was looking confused and impatient.  "Mukuro's realm is definitely not inferior to Gandara, and he likes me for who I am."  He smirked.

"I don't have to buy his love," he told Yomi smugly.  "Plus, you're stuck in the past.  The Kurama you knew was Youko.  That's all behind him.  It's time to move on, Yomi-sama."

"This pissing contest might be interesting to you two, but the day's growing old."  Karasu yawned exaggeratedly.

"Oh yeah?  What kind of claims do you have on Kurama's affections, then?"

"Only that I am willing to give myself to him; body, mind, and soul," Karasu said in a dignified tone.

"Yeah, right," Hiei scoffed.  "The last time you saw each other – which was almost the first time you saw each other – you were both trying to kill each other!  And face it, he hated you."

"It seems to me you have the least justification to be here," Yomi observed, looking at Karasu.  "If what he says is true," Yomi jerked his head at Hiei, "you ought to be killed for your impertinence.  And even if it isn't, you don't have the last third of Makai to proffer to Kurama."

"That's right," Hiei agreed, although it seemed to be distasteful for him to do so.  "You've known him the shortest amount of time, he doesn't even have mildly positive feelings towards you – to put it lightly – and you're dirt poor."

"That may be so," said Karasu, smiling twistedly, "but one, I'm not blind; and two, I'm not a dwarf."

Yomi stiffened and his face became livid.  Hiei seemed like he was about to start foaming at the mouth.

"What – what did you -?"

Almost as an afterthought, Karasu added, "And my hair is prettier than yours.  I'd make a cuter couple with Kurama.  We both have gorgeous hair."

He tossed his silky black tresses to illustrate his point.

"You're going to die!" Hiei growled, baring his fangs.  He dove for his katana.

"Oh my!" squeaked an elderly human woman on the street, who was carrying grocery bags and staring at the three of them.  Her hand was clapped over her mouth.

Yomi smacked Hiei discreetly. 

"Just playing around," he said loudly in a falsely bright tone.  He forced his features into a toothy smile.

Still looking scandalized, the old woman tottered past slowly, throwing them petrified looks.

Hiei glowered at Yomi.  "Hn.  We could have killed her."

"It's best not to attract attention here, Hiei-san," Yomi explained as if he were talking to a two year-old.

"I can't believe I'm standing here with you two psychos."

"That's rich, coming from you!" Hiei snapped.  "That's from the person who slaughters everything he loves and doesn't know his purpose in life."

"Kurama told you I said that?"  Karasu seemed to be pleasantly surprised.

"At any rate, you ought to die for your attempts on Kurama's life," Yomi declared.  "I'll bring you back to Gandara and have you properly executed."

"Oh, spare me your dramatics," Karasu snorted.  "As for my past . . . emotional issues, shall we say – I've gotten over them.  Therapy with a professional psychiatrist really works wonders.  I highly recommend it to both of you."

"Shut up.  I can't believe that out of all the things in the world, all three of us have come to the same place for the same thing at exactly the same time.  What are the odds of this?"  Hiei was furious.

"It's definitely a cruel trick of fate."  Yomi looked equally irate.

"How did you two find out where he lives?"

"We could ask the same of you."  Yomi resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at Hiei, whose arm was twitching as if longing to reach for his katana again.

"I've always known where Kurama lives.  He happens to trust me."

Yomi shrugged.  "Myself, well, I'm the lord of Gandara.  What do you think minions are for?"

Hiei and Yomi turned to look questioningly at Karasu.

"Oh . . . I'd rather not say how I found out."  Karasu smiled mysteriously.

"Okay . . ."

Hiei and Yomi decided they really didn't need to know.

"This sucks," Hiei grumbled.

"It could have been worse . . ."

"Excuse me?"  Hiei stared balefully up at Karasu, who looked down at him for an extra long while before answering. 

When he felt that Hiei's shortness had been emphasized well enough, Karasu smirked and said, "On my way here, I met a youkai named Kuronue who had the same idea as all of us."

"Kuronue?"  Yomi frowned.  "He's dead, you idiot."

"You imbeciles seemed to think I was dead, and here I am.  Anyway, I decided there wasn't room enough for two crow youkai in Kurama's life, so I . . . disposed of him."

"One thing you've done right in your whole life," Hiei muttered.

"Why, thank you."

"Even if you've decreased the competition somewhat, there are still three of us," Yomi pointed out.

"You're right, and as I don't want to displease Kurama by brawling like some common thug on his doorstep, why don't the two of you go home?"  Karasu addressed Yomi.

"Kurama is staying in his human form, and I prefer him that way.  You are in love with Youko, who is dead to the world.  Get yourself a new lover."

Turning to Hiei, he stated, "You are far too ugly to be Kurama's significant other.  And short.  Find someone your own size."

Spluttering, Hiei yelled, "Unfortunately for you, Kurama hates you!  You don't seem to understand that after molesting and trying to kill him, Kurama would like nothing better than to see your head on a stick!"

"Something I'll only be too happy to present him," muttered Yomi, rolling up his sleeves.  Karasu's insinuation that Yomi was suffering under a delusion of the past seemed to have struck deeply.

"I'm with you," Hiei said viciously, drawing his katana.  "But be warned that after I've done with him, I'm getting rid of you."

"If you can, my short man," hissed Yomi.

"Now, children!" admonished Karasu calmly, though his hand went to his mask as if to take it off.

Suddenly, a burst of laughter reached all three pairs of ears (actually, five, if you counted all of Yomi's ears), and they turned to notice Kurama's door had opened.

The heartbreakingly beautiful object of all the prior debate was bent over with mirth, clutching his sides.  He was laughing so hard that tears streamed from his eyes.

"K-K-," Hiei stammered.

"-urama," Yomi finished for him, just as shocked.

"Itoshii!" Karasu cried flamboyantly, his expression lighting up.

"Aha – I – hahaha – sorry – ehehehe," guffawed Kurama.  He was leaning on the door, which swung further inward, causing him to collapse in a shaking heap on the ground.

"I'm – ahh – hehehehehe," Kurama chuckled, wiping his eyes.  Taking several deep breaths, he appeared to calm himself, and he stood up.  As he rose, he straightened his indigo dress shirt and dusted off his pristine jeans.

"Sorry," he repeated, still smiling widely.  "I heard all of it."

Karasu, Hiei, and Yomi's eyes all went round.

"I've never been so flattered in my life," he went on, "and, um, thank you all for your devotion to me."

Hiei appeared ready to faint, while Yomi seemed about to throw up.  Karasu alone was relatively composed.

"Hiei," he said to his friend, clasping his hand, "you're my best friend, and you always will be.  However – my love for you is from the neck up."  He smiled and squeezed Hiei's hand reassuringly.

"Eh . . . hn," said Hiei, in an attempt to look unhurt.  He resolved to go home and kill things to work off his fury.

"Hah!" Karasu laughed.  "I told you that you were too ugly and undesirable to inspire passion in Kurama's heart."

"And Karasu," said Kurama, letting go of Hiei's hand.  "I think it's great you've had successful therapy.  I'm happy for you.  The improvement is obvious."

"Thanks," Karasu beamed.

"The thing is, I can't love you.  How to put this . . . I need someone I can feel more secure with."  Kurama looked beseechingly at Karasu.  "Do you understand?"

Those huge green eyes melted Karasu.  "Yes," he whimpered.

"Good.  I'd like to keep in touch with you though.  I love your hair – you need to give me some tips.  Call me sometime."  Karasu feebly returned Kurama's dazzling grin.

Last, Kurama turned to Yomi. 

"Yomi," he said, laying a comradely hand on his shoulder.  "Yomi, Yomi.  Long time, no see.  How are you?  How's Shura?"

"Uh . . . we're fine, thanks."

"That's wonderful.  We were very good friends, long ago, weren't we?"

"Once we were more than good friends," Yomi ventured boldly.  Hiei and Karasu looked like they wanted to strangle him.

"Oh, that's right," said Kurama, smiling at the memory.  "But those times are over, and right now I think we're just good friends.  Don't you?"

"Ah -," Yomi started.  Kurama put on his most charming smile.

"If you say so," Yomi conceded grudgingly.

"I'm glad we agree.  When you go back to Makai we can still write each other, though.  Anyway, you ought to take Karasu's advice – get a new lover.  You've got a whole country to choose from."  Kurama winked.

"Sure . . .."  Yomi told himself that he certainly didn't feel like clawing his heart out.

"Now . . . as much as I'd like to stay and chat with you guys for a while longer, a very important woman is waiting for me.  I'll see you later, okay?"

"A woman?"  Hiei's voice was incredulous.

"Who?" Karasu demanded.

"My kaasan," Kurama said cheerfully.  "It's her birthday today, and I'm taking her out for lunch.  Bye!"

With that, he got in his car and drove off, leaving the three very forlorn youkai staring at each other on his doorstep.

"Someone kill me," Yomi muttered.  "Just kill me."

"Gladly," said Hiei, who was looking murderous.

Karasu burst into tears.

Finis

A/N: Kurama's such a heartbreaker!  Ah, how I love him.  *hugs*  And I feel so sorry for Hiei, Karasu, and Yomi.  Poor babies.

Review?  It would make Yomi, Hiei, and Karasu feel better.  ^_^

P.S. For those who are wondering about Karasu's wondering about his purpose in life, it is mentioned in the manga.  He's talking to Kurama about how he gets depressed when he kills someone he likes, just like how he gets depressed when he wonders about his purpose in life.  I once read a scanslation online where Karasu said, "I get the blues when I kill someone I like."  I don't want to laugh at someone who isn't a native English speaker, but this interesting translation really cracked me up.