Deadly Truth

      Notes: I had posted this one-shot before, but upon reviewing it, I realized it was much too shallow and sappy for my tastes. I've re-done it a bit, adding more plot depth and such to it. There's still the cute moments, of course, but they're more meaningful now, in my opinion.

      If you read it before, please re-read it and tell me how you like the new version as compared to the old. If you didn't read it before, please let me know what you think of the fic anyway.

      Thank you, and another thing. I'm going by what I've seen (up through episode 82) in the series. So there won't be any spoilers from episodes past that in this story.

      Deadly Truth

      The evening wind blew by, rustling the leaves in the trees and blowing bits of debris into the gutters by the streets. It was dark outside, the street lamps having been turned on nearly an hour ago, and most people were inside enjoying dinner with their families.

      Up in a tall tree, resting on a sturdy branch, a black-haired demon leaned against the trunk, sighing and closing his eyes, letting the wind blow by him. It wasn't the same as the wind he knew back home, but it didn't really matter to him at the time.

      Hiei looked out at the houses he could see from his tree branch, a family eating outside in the cool spring weather. A little girl and her puppy were racing around the backyard, a little boy running after her, laughing. The girl smiled as she giggled, tripping and falling onto the soft grass, letting her brother tackle her, the two adults sitting at a picnic table chuckling to themselves.

      The amber-eyed demon watched solemnly. They were playing foolish human games, yes, but that wasn't quite what got to him the most. The little children seemed so...happy and natural together.

      Sighing, Hiei narrowed his eyes. He certainly didn't care if he ever played tag with any young girl in a muddy backyard. It didn't bother him one bit, since he was above any kind of foolish waste of time.

      What did bother him was the fact that maybe, the one on the other end of such a game, DID care. Would she have ever wanted to play or have someone there like that?

      Hiei huffed, folding his arms across his chest and closing his eyes.

      "No, it really doesn't matter," he muttered to himself. "Under this circumstance, it would only be a burden given and not taken away."

      The wind blew by again, this time ruffling his black bangs that hung down over the white headband he tied around his Jagan eye. He was sure it didn't matter. It hadn't bothered her before, and it certainly wouldn't bother her now.

      A few days later, it was a golden afternoon, edging toward evening, as Yukina, the mint-green-haired ice apparition, walked slowly down the snowy paths in the demon world. She'd promised Kuwabara she'd meet him at the movie theater, whatever that was, in the human world that evening, so she had decided to get a head start on her journey, just in case she got lost.

      "I wonder what the movies are..." she said brightly to herself, her amber eyes wide and sparkling. "Oh well, I'm sure it will be fun anyway, no matter what they are."

      From a distance, a strange, brown-skinned demon watched the ice apparition as she walked along, spying on her out of a pair of binoculars. He pulled his binoculars down and raised an eyebrow, having overheard her conversation with herself.

      "So...she's on her way to the human world?" The brown-spotted demon muttered to himself, a sleek, blue demon beside him raising an eyebrow.

      "Yes," The sleek demon replied. "But that's no ordinary demon girl. She is the ice apparition, capable of making precious gems with her tears."

      The brownish one smirked.

      "I know," he replied, narrowing his eyes. "When I worked under that foolish doctor, Ichigaki, I saw her at the tournament. She was walking through the forests to get there, muttering something to herself the whole time.

      The sleek one shrugged, still watching the mint-haired girl out of the corner of his eye.

      "Be as that may, those jewels sound awfully enticing," he murmured. "She would be a great way for us to make our way up in the standings, if we were to have her and her jewel-making capabilities in our hands."

      M4, as he was known by his former teammates, raised an eyebrow.

      "She may be young and naïve, but there's no way we're going to be able to convince her to come with us," he pointed out to his brother. "Besides, she is friends what that Urameshi and his group. They defeated our whole team, and just two of their members took out Gatsubal, the formerly invincible robot, and myself."

      The sleeker demon shrugged.

      "What do you suggest then, M4?" he asked, feeling that his new acquaintance was leading into something larger.

      M4 smiled and evil grin, his tongue slithering out of his mouth in a sly why, the forked end twitching.

      "I told you, Saotai, that she was murmuring something to herself as she walked," he replied looking up at the gray sky.

      "Oh?" Saotai asked, raising an eyebrow and leaning toward M4. "Really? And what was she murmuring about?"

      M4 grinned.

      "That she was on a search for her long-lost brother," he replied. "And that may be just the information we need to put her right where we want her."

      A half an hour later, the pretty ice apparition stood outside the movie theater, looking around nervously at the people rushing by her. She'd used the entrance to the human world that Koenma had prepared for her. It was always a hassle when it came to transporting people or demons to and from different worlds.

      "This is the address Kuwabara told me to come to," she murmured, sitting down on a bench, feeling rather small. "I suppose I left a little early for an "evening" movie."

      "Now, now, everything happens for a reason, doesn't it?" Came a squeaky voice from behind her, and Yukina gasped, whirling around to see M4 standing behind her, his tail flicking openly, even though they were now in the human realm.

      "Oh! Hello, did you need to ask me something?" she asked good-naturedly.

      M4 chuckled, grinning.

      "You are Yukina, are you not?" he asked quietly, glancing left and right and then back at her again, as if no one were to be overhearing their conversation.

      Yukina nodded once, feeling a bit uneasy now that she knew this demon knew her name. What did he want from her...?

      "Yes, I am," she replied nervously, but politely, still smiling.

      The demon grinned.

      "I thought so," he replied sitting down beside her, Yukina blinking strangely at him. "And you've been looking for a long-lost brother, have you not?"

      Yukina's eyes widened, forgetting her worries about the strange demon.

      "Yes! I have," she said eagerly, looking at him with her large eyes. "Do you know anything about him?" she asked pleadingly.

      M4 smirked in a sly manner.

      "Well, I can't say that I do," he replied airily, looking up at the fluffy clouds in the evening sky. "But a good friend of mine is coming through the old passage from the ice world today on one of his journeys, and he says he knows quite a bit about this brother of yours."

      Yukina's eyes widened in shock and happiness. Would she finally be able to figure out who her brother was?!

      "Really?" she cried, standing up, her blue kimono flapping in the wind. "When will he be there?"

      M4 smiled with a shrug, standing up.

      "Pretty soon, actually," he replied, looking around, as if for the time. "In fact, I'd better get going or else I'll miss him. He's only going to be there for a little bit you know, him being so busy and all. Just thought I'd let you know."

      With that, the strange demon hurried casually off, snickering when he was out of earshot.

      "Hooked her," he grinned triumphantly. "Finally, I have a lead to get somewhere real in life. Now for step two."

      Yukina hurriedly pulled a marker out of her pocket, and flattened a movie theater flyer out on the bench. Smiling, she undid the cap and hovered over the piece of paper for a moment, debating on what exactly to say. She didn't like to leave Kuwabara hanging like this, but this was important! If the strange brown-skinned demon was telling the truth, she might actually be able to find out more about her brother!

      "I'm sorry, Kazuma," she thought to herself as she wrote hurriedly on the flyer in the purple marker. "But you will understand."

      As the mint-green-haired girl wrote out a quick message, a black-haired demon watched her from a tree branch, raising an eyebrow.

      "What was that all about...?" he muttered to himself, skeptically watching the younger girl. "What did he tell her...?"

      "You know that girl," Came a calm voice, and the short, black-haired demon looked down to see a red-haired boy leaning against the brick wall near the theater, calmly closing his eyes in thought. "She jumps whenever anyone mentions her brother."

      The black-haired demon bristled.

      "If that's what you're playing at, Kurama, then forget it," he snapped, narrowing his eyes as the green-haired girl smoothed out the flyer and left it on the bench, hurrying off in the direction that the demon had gone in. "I told you before, this is the way I want things."

      Kurama sighed, folding his arms across his chest and looking up at Hiei in partial frustration.

      "But why this secrecy, Hiei?" he asked, raising an eyebrow as the demon in the tree turned to watch the girl as she hurried along the sidewalks. "Surely you will want to tell her the truth eventually, and sooner than later is by far a better choice."

      Hiei huffed, crossing his arms.

      "That's what you think," he replied, jumping from the branch he was on into the tree a few feet away in one, smooth, blur.

      Kurama tilted his head to the side, his white outfit ruffling in the breeze.

      "Where are you going?" he asked, confused, as Hiei continued to jump from tree to tree in the same direction that Yukina had gone in.

      Upon receiving no answer from the black-haired demon, Kurama sighed, lowering his arms to his side.

      "Sometimes I think that if he just stopped to look at things, he might think differently," The red-haired demon murmured, walking down the street in that same direction. "But this is a suspicious situation, I admit."

      Putting one hand into his pocket, the boy broke into a sprint, following after the two demons.

      You will want to tell her the truth eventually, and sooner than later is by far the better choice.

      Hiei narrowed his eyes as he put a hand into the pocket of his black robe, thinking hard. He didn't want to tell Yukina, though. She was happy the way she was, except for this constant brother-chase. She didn't need to know.

      "She wouldn't want to know," he murmured, thinking about her sweet innocence. "We have nothing in common, and are not alike at all."

      A huge rock broke free from the wall and fell down toward Yukina, Kuwabara standing a few feet away, stunned.

      "Yukina!" he cried, running toward the shattered rock as the dust cleared, knowing that Yukina had most likely been crushed by the falling debris.

      However, as he approached further, he saw that Yukina was indeed not crushed, but kneeling on the stone floor beside Hiei, who had apparently whisked her away from the rocks just in time.

      "You're of no use," Hiei snapped at Kuwabara, who bristled angrily, clenching his fists.

      "Thank you very much, Hiei..." Yukina murmured, looking rather shyly up at him with her large, amber eyes.

      "She respects me out of fear, practically," Hiei thought to himself, raising his eyebrows. "A somewhat decent person but not someone you'd like to find you're related to. It doesn't matter what Kurama says; this is the best way for it to be."

      "Yukina's here, and she's looking for her long lost brother!" Kuwabara burst out excitedly to the other three. "And I'm going to help her look for him just as soon as we're finished with the tournament!"

      Hiei's eyes widened as Kurama smiled, leaning toward him.

      "Yukina's brother, that is a worthy cause, wouldn't you say, Hiei?" he asked rather pointedly.

      Yusuke laughed, forgetting about the annoying blue creature on his head.

      "Yeah! You could even lend an eye!" he cried, bursting into laughter.

      Kuwabara blinked, looking around as Hiei felt his temper rising.

      "Will you all shut up!?" he snapped angrily, as Kuwabara looked from Kurama, Hiei, and then to Yusuke.

      "Hey...am I missing something here?" he asked, totally confused.

      Hiei rolled his eyes, sighing.

      "I just pray that big-mouthed idiot never finds out," he muttered, continuing on his way.

      Nearly an hour later, Hiei looked around the flat tundra, narrowing his eyes as he spotted the small ice demon, walking along nervously through the narrow passageway down below, tall rock formations covered in ice and snow to her left and right.

      He glanced up at the top of the right rock formation, where the two demons were mumbling while preparing some sort of contraption. The black-haired demon narrowed his eyes in anger.

      "The only information they'll have for her is that she's walked right into a trap," Hiei thought to himself, jumping down the mountainous hill and into the snow-covered passageway. "I've got to get her out of there before they have time to carry out whatever plan they have for her."

      Saotai narrowed his eyes, looking down at a shiny piece of equipment that was sitting on the snow in front of he and his brother as the two stood on top of a large rock peak, Yukina walking right into their range of fire.

      "All right, so we aim for the rocks?" Saotai asked, raising an eyebrow. "But why bother with all this and not just go kidnap her right now?"

      M4 rolled his eyes, amazed at this demon's lack of tact.

      "We can't just go kidnap her because one, she's still an ice apparition with powers over ice, and two, we have to make it look like an accidental rock crumble, and when she's trapped and helpless, we can go and take advantage of her weakness," he replied seriously folding his arms across his chest. "Just remember; aim for the rocks and NOT her. If that thing hits her she's a goner, and then its no gems and no ice apparition."

      Saotai his hand casually, irritated that M4 continually acted as if he were an idiot. He looked down at the rocks below and took aim with the strange contraption, when suddenly something caught his eye.

      "Hey...there's something, or someone, else down there too," Saotai murmured, his skin shining in the sun like blue car wax as he watched a blur of black hurry toward their soon-to-be prey. "What should I do about that?"

      M4 pulled out his binoculars and glanced down at the figure moving rapidly toward Yukina.

      "Hm, just shoot the rocks," he replied breezily. "Hopefully whoever that is will get caved in too. He's too close to the ice apparition for you to shoot him without risking killing her anyway. Just don't mess this up, or you'll regret it," he snarled, holding up a hand of deadly-looking nails.

      Saotai gulped, nodding fervently, taking aim once more. He was about to press the "fire" button, but as he stepped back slightly he slipped on a patch of snow behind him, pressing the fire button and jerking the contraption downwards, right toward the two apparitions down below.

      M4's eyes widened as the demon stood back up, biting his lip.

      "Oops," he muttered apologetically, looking nervously over at the former member of the Ichigaki team, who looked furious.

      "You incompetent fool!!" he cried angrily, grabbing the blue demon by the collar. "If that hits our ice apparition I will again walk away empty handed from another glorious opportunity!"

      Saotai winced, jerking away from the brown-spotted demon, sweat sliding down his blue skin.

      "But...but...it was an accident! I didn't mean to aim at her!" he cried, hoping that for his sake Yukina wouldn't get hit.

      Down below, Yukina gasped, looking up and seeing a huge ball of yellow energy coming down toward her. Paralyzed by fear, she couldn't bring herself to move, and instead stayed where she was, staring up at the ball of destruction.

      But right before the ball was about to hit, she suddenly felt someone, or something, shove her forward, and she tripped over a piece of fallen rock, tumbling forward into the snow, and out of the way of the of the energy ball. Just as she fell, there was a huge sparking noise, and bright flash of yellow, sparks jolting out from everywhere, destroying the rock wall and sending a shower of stones down.

      Yukina put her hands over her head and squeezed her eyes shut, scared and wondering what had caused her to trip forward just in the nick of time. For a few moments, the lightning and sparks continued, the noise so loud nothing else was audible. Then, it died down, and the bits of falling rock seized, clouds of snow and dust from the rocks slowly clearing away.

      Cautiously, Yukina pulled herself up, her eyes wide as she looked around the now practically destroyed path, shaking as she coughed on dust.

      "Oh my..." she murmured, biting her lip as she squinted through the dust. "What in the world could have made that happen so suddenly?"

      As she stumbled forward, tripping on a piece of fallen stone, something suddenly caught her eye and she gasped.

      "Please don't! I can't take it!" Yukina cried out, grabbing the black-haired demon's arm and holding it tightly, tears falling down her cheeks and clinking against the floor as they turned into precious Ureseki stones.

      Hiei blinked, confused as to why she would want him to spare the life of the one that had tortured her with no remorse, but he sighed, smiling slightly.

      "All right," he replied calmly. "I won't make you cry. He's not worth it," he added, letting go of Tarukane's collar and letting him fall onto the desk behind him.

      Yukina looked up at Hiei, tilting her head to the side.

      "You seem...familiar," she murmured, Hiei's eyes widening as he turned to face her. "Who ARE you?"

      Hiei paused, looking down at the others below, Botan and Yusuke walking over to Kuwabara, who was panting on the floor.

      "I'm no one," he replied after a moment. "Just part of the...team."

      "Was it the right thing to do...? To not tell her...? Maybe it was...maybe it wasn't, though, it doesn't matter now..." Hiei thought to himself as the world around him changed from a sudden flash of yellow light, an exploding pain ripping through him as he heard the girl stumble to the ground a few feet away.

      A few feet out of harm's way, that was.

      The yellow faded into bright white as he felt cold touch against his skin. Wet coldness...and then everything was black.

      There was a lightning-fast slash up on the snow-covered rock, and suddenly, the whole contraption exploded right behind the two demons, sending bits and pieces of metal everywhere.

      "What?!" M4 demon cried, looking around angrily to see who ruined his machine. "What happened?"

      "What happened is that your scheme backfired on you," Came a calm but angry voice from in front of them, and both demons looked up to see Kurama, holding his thorn-covered rose whip in his hands, glaring at the two.

      M4 gasped, recognizing the boy.

      "It can't be...Kurama, the fox demon!" he cried, backing up slightly, the blue demon following his brother's lead. "You again, you devil!"

      Kurama narrowed his eyes icily at the two.

      "It is I indeed," he replied, two more lightning-fast lashes from his rose whip defeating the two weak demons with ease. "Your cruelty has cost you your life this time."

      Kurama caught his rose whip as it recoiled, having completed its duty for then. He transformed the whip back into its original form, a simple rose, and tucked it back into his pocket. Then, he walked over to the edge of snow-capped rock and looked down, hoping that the blast hadn't hit either of the two down there.

      Kurama scanned the wreckage and gritted his teeth as he watched Yukina bend down beside a limp, black figure lying in the snow. The green-haired demon looked horrified as she looked down at the fallen figure.

      Sighing, Kurama turned away, his eyes sad.

      "Hiei," he sighed sadly, his green eyes worried. "Why didn't you just tell her the truth when you had the chance? If you only had...this would not have had to happen..."

      Yukina's eyes watered as she looked nervously down at Hiei, who was lying still in the snow. The cold wind of the ice word blew by, ruffling her mint-green ponytails. Feeling awkward, she knelt down beside the demon and put a hand over his chest, sighing with relief as she realized he was still alive.

      "He must have been the one to push me out of the way..." The mint-haired girl thought out-loud. "But to save me, he...he got hit with whatever it was."

      Her eyes watered again and two tears fell from her amber eyes, turning into small, round jewels as they trickled off her cheeks. Hiei stirred slightly as the two jewels fell down onto his cheeks. Slowly, he opened his eyes and looked blearily upward at Yukina.

      Immediately, he realized where he was and tried to pull himself up, not wanting to look helpless in front of someone else, especially Yukina, but he found himself unable to. Every inch of him ached from the blast and his arms felt too heavy to lift.

      Hiei sighed, glad that at least Yukina appeared to be unharmed.

      "Please...don't cry..." he murmured, noticing the two tears.

      He hated to make Yukina cry, after what she'd been through for those tears. Yukina blinked and looked down at him.

      "It's...not worth it..." he added.

      Yukina blinked back a few tears, still feeling awkward at having been rescued by the demon boy, and worried for his sake.

      "You saved my life," she said softly, looking down at him. "But why...?"

      Hiei blinked, his eyes growing heavy. He hadn't told her before that he was really her brother...so why should he tell her now? Although...would she continually get herself into crazy situations like this one just to figure out the secret...? Although next time...he wouldn't be there to protect her...

      "Just...because..." Hiei replied, his eyes drifting shut again as he fell unconscious.

      Yukina let another tear slip down her cheek as she gently shook the boy.

      "Please wake up," she murmured, feeling horrible.

      It was all her fault that this had happened! If only she'd been more careful and not so eager to run off without first asking anyone else's advice. And now look what had happened because of it!

      Yukina shook her head slowly, as if to clear her thoughts. Hiei wasn't dead...yet, she thought to herself, looking down at him. And my healing techniques do work very well on Kazuma, although I've never had to use them in a situation like this. But...it's worth a try.

      A light snow began to fall as the mint-haired ice apparition placed her hand against Hiei's cheek, her eyes glowing slightly as she used the healing powers she'd learned so well, hoping they could help the black-haired demon.

      Sighing, Yukina sat back after a few moments, watching the boy as the snow continued to fall, hoping that he would awaken soon and be all right. It still didn't make much sense to her why he would go out of his way to help her like that, but she appreciated it.

      "I just wish things would turn out differently," she murmured, closing her eyes.

      After a while, Yukina had started to fall asleep, not bothered by the snow as she was quiet accustomed to cold weather. A slight crunching in the snow caused her to wake with a start and look up, afraid that whoever had attacked her and Hiei before had returned. She sighed with relief as she recognized the figure standing before her.

      "Oh...it's you..." Yukina murmured, looking up at Kurama, who smiled reassuringly down at her.

      "Are you alright?" The red-haired demon asked, kneeling down beside her as Yukina nodded, glancing back over at Hiei, who hadn't moved.

      "Yes..." she murmured softly. "But he...to save me, he..."

      Kurama nodded, sighing sadly.

      "Yes," he replied. "I know. It really is ironic though, because..."

      Hiei groaned, opening one eye, cutting off Kurama's sentence.

      "Don't...even think about...it, Kurama..." he mumbled, wincing as he tried to sit up again, to no avail.

      Kurama chuckled, Yukina's eyes lighting up in relief.

      "Really, Hiei," Kurama said casually, walking over to his friend. "You should learn to be more careful."

      Hiei narrowed his eyes.

      "I...WAS being careful," he growled, wishing the after-effects of the blast would wear off already so he could get back on his feet.

      Yukina smiled, feeling both sad and relieved at once.

      "It was my fault," she put in, standing up and brushing snow off of her kimono. "He saved my life from that blast and got hit himself instead."

      Kurama chuckled as Hiei felt himself growing sleepy again.

      "I know you were," he replied quietly. "Now just go back to sleep and recover your strength."

      As much as he didn't want to, Hiei found himself falling back to sleep once again. Kurama shook his head with a chuckled as he pulled his friend off of the snow and picked him up.

      "Shall we go back then?" Kurama asked Yukina, who nodded gladly. "I think you still have time to meet Kuwabara."

      "Yes, I suppose I should," she replied to Kurama, as the two walked back over the debris from the explosion. "Thank you for helping me...and the other boy too," she added, looking down at Hiei. "I hope...that when I find my brother, he will be just as wonderful as you two are."

      Kurama smiled, chuckling. If only his sleeping friend had heard his sister's comment, he thought to himself. Maybe he would think differently about telling her the truth.

      End of Story

      Okay, I think that way it's a lot better, but that's my own opinion. Review and let me know what you think of the story. I also have two chapter fics I'm working on right now as well, Attack of the Ninja in the YuGiOh genre, and Hikari no Tsuki in the YuYu Hakusho genre.

      Hope you enjoyed the fic and see you around.