A/N: Most of the events that take place in this chapter occur around the same time. Since everyone is kind of spread out, remember that almost everything is happening simultaneously. WARNING: kinda dark..

Su da 'mazin bannana eater: horny emo kid or horny sex machine? what have you been reading? lol i'm glad you like my story.

birth stained scarlet: i guess you're a kuwabara fan? me too! well, not as much as hieixkurama but... almost.

lazy fat kitsune: sorry i've taken a while to update...

red kitsune flames: thank you. :)

shuuichikitsune: sad? well, it gets worse in this chapter. don't hate me!

dark-kitsune-dreams: wow. :blush: so much praise. i think it's only a 'breath of fresh air' cuz it's an AU.

gray wings: with a kurama on top? hmm... that's a nice image...

katsume18: hope you like the chapter. i wrote as fast as my inspiration came to me.

serenity of paradise: you wonder who? you should be able to figure out who's behind shuichi. well, you'll find out soon enough.

crimson fox: super hot? aww, all they did was kiss...

tbiris: yes, karasu

roy mustang-chan: i like fma too! wow, you were referred to this?

fayeheart: thanks.

liz: here's the next chapter! it's rather... dark.

X X X X X X X X X X

Shuichi struggled against his captor, fighting for air as the cold hand closed around his larynx. Small gagging sounds escaped his mouth as he started to lose consciousness and the will to fight back. His captor pulled him back against him as fading green eyes met excited violet ones. Karasu held the human against his chest as he watched Shuichi's face struggle to stay awake. 'Hiei. Hiei just left. Maybe I can still...' Shuichi thought as his thoughts trailed off and a darkness started to overtake his senses. The human's body ceased movement as it went limp in the crow's grasp.

Karasu smiled behind his mask and stroked the teen's ruby hair. He intensely enjoyed watching the blood tint the human's face a soft red as his prey fought for freedom. Shuichi's eyes had also started to turn red as the tiny veins in his eyeballs yearned for oxygen. Karasu traced the youth's lips with his finger, remembering the sweet taste of blood on those lips. He now watched in fascination as a calmness returned to the teen's face and his skin started to return to its pale complexion. He started to breathe normally after a few minutes. Karasu smiled as the human's body returned to normal. That was good, he wanted Shuichi fully alert of everything that went on when Karasu finally got him in more... appropriate surroundings. The crow only wanted to scare him and see the fear in his face when he realized that he was caught again and this time, Karasu was going to make sure no one interrupted them. Shuichi looked so beautiful and innocent laying there in his arms, well, not for long. Most of Karasu's prey never leave him alive and not scarred. The demon lifted his prey gently, not wanting to spoil him before he arrived at a more private environment.

X X X X

In an old Japanese shrine lived two Reikai detectives and housed a petite ice maiden. The other few koorime that were saved were sent back to the floating island in the sky in the Makai. Yukina didn't want to return, to Kuwabara's delight. She had left her home in search for her brother but was caught and sold to Tarukane. Now that she was freed, she wanted to continue her search for her brother. A barrier was placed around the shrine so that Tarukane couldn't locate the ice maiden, nor could any other demon.

"Wh-what do you mean you want to leave?" a heartbroken Kuwabara asked.

"I hope you understand, I've been locked away for almost four years now and I have to continue my search for my brother," Yukina gently explained.

"But, you just left that hellhole! I can't have a young lady like you wandering around this dangerous world all alone! What if something happens to you again? I won't be able to live knowing that you are in danger," Kuwabara exclaimed.

"Please, Kazuma-san. I would just like to see him at least once. I hope you understand, he is the only family I have left."

"What kind of a brother is he, to just leave you like that? Isn't it his responsibility to protect his little sister?" Kuwabara asked. Yukina seemed to be depressed after hearing this.

"Uh... um, I mean, maybe he was looking for you while you were imprisoned. I'm sure he wouldn't leave you there if he knew where you were. He wouldn't just forget about you like that!" Kuwabara reasoned.

"Maybe. But, I'm not sure he even knows he has a sister. We were separated at birth and I have no idea what he looks like. I only recently discovered that I had a brother. Maybe no one ever told him," Yukina said.

"S-so what are you going to do once you find him?" Kuwabara asked. Yukina was surprised at this question.

"I don't really know. I've spent a lot of time looking for him but I guess... I don't really know what I'm going to do. I just want to see him and let him know that he has a sister that loves him," Yukina said. Kuwabara was near tears.

"T-that's so beautiful, Yukina-san. Your brother is lucky to have such a kind, gentle, and beautiful sister like you!" he cried. Yukina smiled kindly at her savior.

"Thank you, Kazuma-san. However, I do have one request before I leave," Yukina said.

"Anything at all!" Kuwabara exclaimed.

"The other koorime that are still back there... I was hoping that you and Yusuke-san could rescue them too. It just wouldn't feel right looking for my brother when my other people are still imprisoned," Yukina said.

"Of course we will go back. How can we leave Yukina-san's friends in a place like that?" Kuwabara asked. A knock disturbed their concentration as they looked over to the door to see Yusuke beckoning Kuwabara. The detective had been waiting outside for a while, giving the two privacy, but he couldn't wait any longer. Kuwabara sensed his urgency and turned to Yukina. He grasped both her small hands in his bigger ones and held them to his chest.

"Please, Yukina-san, do not leave this place. I don't want you feeling imprisoned again but we've put up a barrier around this place so Tarukane can't find you. You can walk anywhere around the shrine as long as you don't leave the entrance to this temple. I will come back for you when all your friends are saved and Tarukane is taken care of. After that, we can look for your brother together. A-and m-maybe later we c-can" a swift blow to the head put a stop to Kuwabara's words as Yusuke smiled sheepishly at Yukina and dragged his friend outside. The teenager dragged his friend all the way until they reached the pond and thrust his friend into it. Frantic movements broke the serenity of the water as the orange headed youth awoke and flailed around like a fish caught on a hook.

"Ack! H-help, Urameshi! I can't swim!" Kuwabara cried out. Yusuke couldn't believe it as he watched dumbfounded on land.

"It's a fuckin' pond! Just stand up!" Yusuke screamed. The jerking arms stopped moving as Kuwabara let his feet touch the bottom of the lake and he realized that he was only chest deep in water. He blushed at his own stupidity and then turned hostile at his friend.

"You idiot! What were you trying to do?" Kuwabara screamed as he ran as fast as he could to hit Yusuke. The other teen playfully dodged the blows as his comrade tried to take his head off. Kuwabara finally got one good hit in and sent the other teen flying a good ten feet back.

"Hah! Serves you right for interrupting me and Yukina-san!" Kuwabara said. He was answered with a blow to his face. He stumbled back as Yusuke got back on his feet.

"I had to do something to get you away from her. From the way you were acting, I thought you wanted to marry her or something," Yusuke said. Kuwabara had gotten back up and wanted to say something back but Yusuke hit it right on the head. He blushed a little when he realized how transparent his actions have been. What if Yukina noticed too and said no?

"Oh my god! You were going to propose to her!" Yusuke realized. He went over to his friend and slapped him playfully on the back.

"Wow! I guess this is what they call love at first sight, right? I mean, you've only known her for a couple of day and you want to marry her already? You better hope that brother of hers she wants to find so badly likes you as well," Yusuke said.

"W-we'll get to know each other better when we're off finding her brother. I'm sure he's probably just like Yukina-san. He'll be calling me big bro soon enough!" Kuwabara beamed. Yusuke wished his friend all the happiness as he teased him some more before getting down to business.

"So what was so important that you had to pull me away from her?" Kuwabara asked. Yusuke turned serious as all the playfulness left him.

"Yukina wants us to go back to that city, right? I wanted to go back anyway to pay those demons back for ambushing us. That last youki we sensed before we left worried me. We didn't get to see him, but from his power level, we know that he's pretty strong. It's our duty as Reikai detectives to take him out," Yusuke said. Kuwabara agreed as he thought back to the demon that stabbed him in the back. His pride wouldn't let it go that he was attacked and couldn't sense it coming. He also didn't like getting hit from behind.

"When do you want to go back?" Kuwabara asked.

"As soon as we can. Yukina will be safe here but we need to train some more if we want to protect her from that demon. We should take him out as soon as we're strong enough to do so," Yusuke said. Kuwabara nodded.

"Where do we train? I sensed some demons in this forest approaching the shrine. Maybe we can fight with them," Kuwabara suggested.

"No. They're too weak. We'll have to train ourselves as we head back to the city. It's takes about three days to travel, so that's all the time we have," Yusuke said.

"What? Why do we have to get ready by then?" Kuwabara wondered.

"Those demons you sensed were probably sent by Tarukane. It's been a while since we rescued Yukina and the other maidens. I'm sure it'll only be a few days before we're discovered and that demon is sent after us. Instead, let's take the offensive and attack them," Yusuke explained. Kuwabara agreed and they packed a few belongings. He said a tearful goodbye to Yukina before Yusuke dragged him out and they headed back into hell.

X X X X

Hiei's legs carried him as fast as they could as he stormed into the city that housed the sadistic and cruel demons. His jagan burned furiously as he anxiously looked over the city to find his sister. He could feel his body change from his human form to his angrier, more violent, destructive demonic form. The demon's breathing hitched as he started to snarl and his youki exploded from his body. The occupants of this city would soon feel his wrath.

The jaganshi tried to control his anger. He couldn't destroy the place now in case his sister would get caught in the rubble. However, he grew frustrated when he couldn't find her or any other ice maiden. As curious onlookers tried to locate the source of the malevolent youki, they were met with fingernails through their heads and necks. He needed blood. The petty demons' blood wasn't enough to sate his lust. He had tried to control himself ever since Shuichi told him where Yukina was being held. Hiei held back his power until Shuichi was in no danger. But now, now there was nothing to stop his carnal lust. The city that fed off that brackish, viscous, crimson liquid would soon be drowned in it.

The fire demon was now growling and killing any demon in his sight. The ones that were strong enough to survive any physical blows were mangled and scalded by his intense black flames. He wanted every creature in that hell to experience the pain Yukina had endured. Soon, demons were fleeing the city by the hundreds, only to be devoured by Hiei's youki as he went on a rampage and started to destroy the edifices that housed the torturers. It was like watching roaches leaving their homes after being exposed to light. Hiei killed them all with one shot of his youki. There was nothing that could calm his rage now. It didn't even register in his head that his sister could be trapped by the mess he was making now.

It took an hour for Hiei's wrath to calm down. He was standing on a pile of debris where the city used to stand. He breathed heavily, trying to calm himself. He scanned the area again with is jagan and was disappointed when he couldn't sense the ice maidens. He slumped down and he wondered if Shuichi was wrong. There weren't even dead koorime. He destroyed the city, so shouldn't something have been uncovered? The wards should be destroyed with his level of youki emanating throughout the city.

Just as the little demon was going to leave, he heard a pained moan. But this cry was strange, almost calling out to him. He followed the distressed call until he realized it was coming from underground. He easily dug through the ground and reached a huge cavern. He was surprised with what he found. It wasn't the ice maidens but something even more rare. Right before his eyes was an old dragon. It was laying on its side with chains and other binds holding it down. It looked tired and very sick. Its wings were torn out and its claws and been pulled out. The dragon's wounds were healed. It seemed like the dragon had been down in this hell for too long. No doubt Tarukane was keeping him here and profiting off him. With the pallid sun rays shining down from the hole in the ceiling, Hiei could see that the creature's scales had dulled and lost its metallic luster.

Although the creature couldn't speak, Hiei understood what it was telling him. It wanted to be put out of its misery. Hiei had no problem granting his wish but there was something he wanted to know first. The demon asked if he knew where the ice maidens were. The dragon took a while before answering. It couldn't speak but gave its answer through his mind. He told Hiei that the maidens were held underground. Even if Hiei destroyed the city above, the wards would still be in place underground. The jaganshi bowed slightly as thanks and quickly and as painlessly as possible, killed the ancient dragon.

Without further delay, the little demon dug through the ground with his youki in hopes that he would find the underground tunnels that hid his sister from him. After a couple of minutes, he broke through to a passageway. It was very dark and dry down there. He was amazed that with all the damage he wreaked on the city, this hidden place was practically untouched. Even without light, Hiei could easily navigate the tunnels with his demon senses. Although his jagan couldn't see the koorime, he could smell them, and blood as well. He grew furious again at the thought of what had happened to his kin.

When he approached the prison cells, the maidens shrunk away from him. He called out for Yukina but none of the maidens would answer him. He called for her again but there was no response. The girls crouched away from him and one easily broke into tears. Hiei could smell blood stained on her kimono. He approached her and tore off her prison door. As he moved closer toward her, she lowered the temperature around them and tried to freeze him. Hiei tried to reach out to her but she rushed toward him and stabbed him in the arm with an icicle. It stung, but Hiei made no effort to push her away from her. She seemed shaken after attacking him and backed off when she saw the look on his face. No doubt he was angry and she thought he was going to punish her. She was ready to die already. There was no way she could stand the torture for another day. Before she knew it, she started to cry and the tears hit the floor with a soft 'clink.' The maiden wanted him to take the gems and leave already. They didn't have to torture her anymore.

Hiei felt a pang of pity for the young maiden. She was probably Yukina's age, if not younger. Although Hiei couldn't remember exactly what his sister looked like, he knew the young girl in front of him was not her. The jaganshi removed the icicle in his arm and threw it aside. She cowered when he reached out for her again. He tilted her head to look at him.

"Stop crying," Hiei ordered. Her body automatically stopped, learning long ago to listen to whatever the demons demanded. She stifled her last sobs and looked imploringly into his ruby eyes. Hiei tried to be as gentle as he could, knowing that her psyche was damaged.

"I'm looking for an ice maiden. Her name is Yukina and she..." Hiei stopped when he realized he couldn't describe her at all. A fear grew in him when he discovered he had no idea what she looked like at all. How was he supposed to find her? Hiei was lost in thought when the maiden spoke up.

"Yukina..." she said slowly. She looked at his face and she seemed to stabilize. Her small hands held his face in between them.

"She has the same eyes you do," the small maiden said.

"Where is she?" Hiei asked a little desperately. He was so close to her. Maybe she was in another cell just a few yards away. He listened intently, waiting for her response.

"I'm sorry, but she was taken away from her a while ago. I don't know how long it's been because we don't see the days change but it couldn't have been long ago."

"Who were they?" Hiei asked.

"I-I don't know, but they were human," she said. Hiei let this sink in and felt cheated. He was so sure he would finally see her again. It was fine though. If they were humans, he could deal with them easily. Now there was something else he wanted to know.

"Have you ever seen another human around here before? His name is Tarukane. He has a couple of demon bodyguards too. They are called Toguro and Karasu."

"I don't know their names but I've never seen a human here before the ones that took Yukina. Other than the usual demons that come to torture us, there was only one demon that stood out. He was the first to make Yukina cry. He had a silver mask and long black hair. He was..." she stopped as her body started to shake involuntarily.

"Karasu," Hiei snarled. He would definitely make that crow pay. He had heard everything he needed and turned to leave. The girl grabbed him and her eyes begged for him to save her. He gently removed his arm from hers and he left her cell. He tore off all the doors and created a tunnel directly from their prison to the rubble above ground. They were finally free.

Hiei stayed until all the maidens were free and then left. He had no time to escort them back to the Makai. Right now, he was only concerned with finding Karasu and ripping his flesh from his bone. He knew he hadn't killed Karasu when he destroyed the city. The crow had to be around somewhere though. The fire demon scouted the areas that surrounded the city and his eyes fell upon the area where he and Shuichi parted ways. His heart beat faster as he neared the area . He saw marks on the ground that indicated a struggle. It was faint, but he smelled Karasu's scent tied in with the human's. He grew alarmed because he knew what it meant. Karasu now had Shuichi in his grasp.

"SHUICHI!" Hiei cried.

X X X X

The crimson haired youth opened his eyes and saw a bright light shining above him. He lifted his hand to shield his eyes and moaned. 'Was someone calling me?' he wondered. For a moment, he felt lost and confused. Where was he? He didn't remember falling asleep. The teen was on a bed and grew even more puzzled. When did he check into a hotel with Hiei?

"Shuichi, Shuichi..." came the soft voice again. Was that Hiei calling him? It sounded nothing like him though. He felt a ghostly hand settled around his neck and a mouth near his ear. Was Hiei nibbling on his ear now? 'Another dream?' Shuichi thought. The mouth grew even more aggressive and was sucking on his earlobe and then darted a tongue into his ear. Shuichi moaned and closed his eyes again. Oh well, it was a nice dream. The mouth them bit down on his ear and drew blood. Shuichi felt a sharp pain. 'Pain? Then this isn't a dream...' Shuichi concluded. The hand around his neck tightened and Shuichi's pulse quickened. 'I didn't k now Hiei was into this kind of stuff.' The hand closed around even tighter and the body atop his pressed down against him. 'It's fine if he's into this, but he should know when to stop...' Shuichi thought. He started to panic when he could no longer breathe. 'Hiei, stop. I'm suffocating.' The mouth removed itself from his ear and Shuichi wanted to stop. 'Something's wrong. This doesn't feel right. I can't breathe. Hiei, help me. Help me, please. Karasu. Karasu is here and...'

The human's eyes shot open and everything came back to him. It wasn't Hiei that was with him but Karasu instead. He fought for air again and struggled against his captor. Karasu was straddling him and dug his nails into the youth's neck. Shuichi felt faint and thought he was going to lose consciousness again. Mentally, he cried out for Hiei again. To his surprise, Karasu let him go. Shuichi inhaled sharply and coughed as the air found its way into his lungs again. Karasu was licking the blood off his fingers as he watched the boy under him breathe again.

"Don't worry, I need you alive and aware for what's going to happen next..." Karasu said. Shuichi froze at these words as he realized they were both naked, and he was straddled by Karasu on a bed. Naturally, he tried to break free, but the crow easily caught his hands and pinned them above his head. The demon licked the blood on the youth's neck again as Shuichi tried to squirm out of his hold.

"Ah. You taste so sweet, Shuichi-kun. Just like strawberries..." Karasu smiled. He bent down to land a kiss on his lips, but Shuichi moved his head aside so that the crow kissed his cheek. He chuckled and then grabbed the human's head. He turned it so that Shuichi faced him and then kissed him. Shuichi made sounds of protest but Karasu paid it no mind.

"There, was that so hard?" Karasu asked when he finally released his lips. Shuichi spit at him. The demon wiped the substance off his face. He didn't mind the defiance. The more feisty, the more fun he would have, and the more satisfying it would be when he finally broke him. Karasu traced his finger down his side and stopped just below his ribs. He gently stroked his skin before slicing him open with his nail. Shuichi wailed at the first cut. Karasu smiled. So the human didn't have as much endurance as he thought. It wouldn't be so fun if he snapped too easily. Tears were gathering in his eyes and Karasu kissed him on the forehead, as if apologizing for the pain. He was having a hard time breathing again. 'Oh no. Did I get him in the lung?' Karasu thought. As his eyes were distracted by the vast amount of blood streaming from the cut, a fist caught him in the cheek. He was more shocked than hurt that the human would still defy him after crying out so quickly.

Shuichi got away while Karasu was temporarily stunned by his attack. He made a dash for the door but wasn't quick enough as he felt strong cold hands grabbed him and throw him back onto the bed. Shuichi got back up and his eyes darted around the room. There were no windows he could escape from. Where did Karasu bring him?

"Now that's troublesome," Karasu chastised. He straddled the human's legs as he grabbed Shuichi's left arm and Shuichi heard some chains rattle. His suspicions were confirmed when he felt a cold metal cuff close around his left wrist. Shuichi tugged against the restraint and his spirit dampened when he realized he couldn't break it. Karasu chuckled as he brought Shuichi's right wrist to his mouth.

"I can't have you hitting me and trying to escape when I'm trying to have some fun," Karasu admonished. Shuichi gritted his teeth and promised himself that he couldn't cry this time. He prepared himself for pain as the crow bit down and tore off some skin with his teeth. The demon was drinking his blood and smiled when he saw the youth close his eyes. He would get him to make some noise. Karasu licked the wound and then trailed up onto his palm and traced circles around, leaving a red circles on his palm before licking his fingers. Shuichi's breathing grew unsteady as Karasu played with his right hand. How could someone as sadistic as Karasu make this so erotic? Shuichi gasped when Karasu's free hand pinched his nipple. He rolled it until it turned into a hard nub, and in the meantime managed to find all the sensitive areas of his hand. Shuichi grew confused, not knowing whether to feel afraid or to just give in. He never felt anything like this before. Was there such a fine line between pleasure and pain?

Karasu was watching Shuichi's face, amused as he tried to fight the reactions Karasu illicit from his body. The crow watched as his face changed from an expression of pain to one of mixed pleasure. He almost wasn't sure which expression he liked better. Almost. He enjoyed the look of fear and hopelessness on his victims more than anything else. He was going to snap him back into reality soon enough. Karasu lowered his hand from Shuichi's nipple to trace the wound he made below his ribs earlier. Shuichi was still delirious from the loss of blood and the pleasure. The crow entwined his hand with Shuichi's and kissed Shuichi's knuckles. Karasu dug his nail below his skin and watched as Shuichi's face grimaced. The demon dug his finger along his skin and stopped when he could feel the bone. Without any warning, Karasu broke Shuichi's ribs as he pulled the lower most left rib from his body. Shuichi cried loudly but fought to keep the scream under control. The human clenched his hand around Karasu's in an attempt to lessen his pain. Karasu laughed as Shuichi futilely tried to keep Karasu from sensing his fear and pain. The demon kissed his hand again before putting another chained cuff onto his right wrist.

"S-stop it. Just get it over with and... kill me," Shuichi choked. He was lost in the pain and wanted it all to end. He didn't know how much more he could put up with.

"Kill you? Not yet. I still haven't had my fun..." Karasu said as he slid is hands down the youth's body, leaving crimson trails along his sides.

"I see you've healed beautifully since our last encounter," the crow said as his eyes inspected his skin.

"Did Kurama finally find you?" Karasu asked sadistically. Shuichi gritted his teeth and didn't respond. He hoped that he would lose consciousness soon. He couldn't deal with questions about Kurama now. 'Oh gods, why did I ever leave him?' Shuichi desperately wondered.

Karasu knew he hit a sore spot when Shuichi didn't answer.

"You loved him didn't you? Your lovely, beautiful, virile, sensual guardian? Would you like me to tell you what we did?" Karasu offered. Shuichi glared at him and fought violently to get away from the demon. He didn't care that he was losing blood at a dangerous rate. He needed to get away. Karasu held the youth down. It would be bad if Shuichi passed out now, Karasu was too aroused.

"Alright. I guess you can figure out what we did," Karasu chuckled. "It's a shame though, that you'll never find out what a great lay your guardian was," Karasu said. Shuichi didn't reply.

"And he'll never know how sweet the fruit he let go tasted like," Karasu said. Shuichi shot him a hateful look, knowing full well what Karasu planned to do with him. However, Shuichi realized that he didn't care that he never slept with Kurama. He was sure that being with Kurama would be nothing new and exciting for the youko. Only demons like the one on top of him would excite Kurama. The only one Shuichi felt like betraying was Hiei. He regretted not going all the way with Hiei when he had the chance and regretted not confessing his feelings to him.

The crow demon saw the solemn look on the youth's face and decided that he should make Shuichi his already. He shouldn't be thinking of anyone else but him. Karasu bent down to lap up the blood on Shuichi's torso with his tongue. Shuichi winced when the demon licked the wound but didn't make a sound.

Karasu went further down and managed to arouse Shuichi against his will. The teen clenched his hands and tried to kick his captor but it was all useless since Karasu was infinitely stronger than he was. Karasu bent Shuichi's left knee and licked the inside of his thigh. He traced a trail from his pelvis to the inside of his knee and played some more with Shuichi's sensitive skin. After a couple of minutes, Karasu pinned Shuichi's left leg down to his side so that Shuichi was exposed to him. Shuichi tried to kick him with his right leg, but Karasu easily caught it. Karasu held his right leg down with his left leg and smiled down at Shuichi. 'He'll belong to no one but me,' Karasu thought. He stroked Shuichi's right thigh and then carved his name into his flesh with his hand. Shuichi held back a cry every time a new incision was placed into his thigh. Karasu licked the blood again and cruelly kissed the cuts. After he was finished, he decided that he played with him enough.

The demon positioned them so that Shuichi was almost bent in half, with his legs sandwiched between the two torsos. Shuichi could almost hear his muscles protesting. Karasu brought his hand through Shuichi's hair and inhaled his scent. He played with Shuichi's hair. 'Just like silk,' the demon thought. He let the last strands escape his fingers before he focused on Shuichi's face. The human was hatefully glaring at him. His pretty emerald eyes had lost their shine and dulled, no doubt due to the pain and loss of blood. He gritted his teeth, preparing himself for penetration. Karasu wouldn't disappoint him as he entered him. The demon happily enjoyed fucking the resistant youth beneath him as he watched the shame and agony wash across his face.

Shuichi kept his cries to a minimum as he tried to ignore the pain coming from his broken ribs and from his rape. He didn't know how, but he started to feel a strength vibrate throughout his body. Maybe it was his anger fueling his strength. Just as Karasu released his fluid inside Shuichi, the teen felt something hot flow through his veins.

Before Karasu could react, a huge plant pierced his heart and was feeding off his blood. The demon made a move to rip the plant from his chest, but it was useless. He tried to get away but he was being held down to the body beneath him. The plant quickly drained him of his blood and the demon collapsed on top of Shuichi.

The teen didn't understand how a plant came out of his body, but he didn't complain as it drained the life out of Karasu. As the demon got weaker and tried to get away, the plant pulled him closer to Shuichi and the human could feel strength returning to him. When Karasu collapsed on him, the plant retreated back into his body. It took him a few minutes before his brain could register everything. He didn't understand what went on but he knew that he had to get out of the room. He removed himself from Karasu and slowly made his way to the door. He was surprised when it opened easily and wasn't locked. He didn't care as he forced his legs to carry him away from the demon on the bed. The tunnel didn't seem to end and after a couple of minutes, he felt weak again and leaned against the wall. Breathing grew harder again and he slid to the floor. 'No, I can't die like this... Someone, anyone, help me' Shuichi thought. He couldn't stay awake any longer and he felt light headed. Before he knew it, he was unconscious.

X X X X

"What the fuck happened here?" Yusuke asked as the two detectives made it back into the city; well, what was left of the city. The tall skyscrapers and buildings were reduced to rubble and dust on the cracked ground. The two walked around the city, trying to find any survivors to tell them what happened. They only found burnt corpses. Kuwabara suggested going under the city to see what happened to the rest of the maidens. Cautiously, the duo found their way into the tunnels. It was so dark and dusty, they could barely see or breathe. Yusuke provided them with light with his spirit bullet.

They made their way through the tunnels, trying to sense any demons. There weren't any demons above ground, so maybe they all went under to hide. The detectives finally found their destination after an hour. Kuwabara was disappointed when they didn't find any koorime in their cells. He was hoping to play the gallant hero, but it seems someone has taken Yukina's friends away from here. From the fact that the doors were ripped open, Yusuke concluded that someone probably rescued the maidens already. Either that, or one of Tarukane's rivals had stolen the maidens from him.

Kuwabara suggested searching the other tunnels to see if there were any... corpses of the ice maidens. They started down a humid tunnel with many twists and turns. It descended down further into the Earth and had a steep incline. Yusuke was getting frustrated when the tunnel didn't seem to end. He was about to give up when Kuwabara sensed a dying demon youki. They got excited, hoping that they would find whoever destroyed the city. However, once they made it to the demon, he was already dead on the bed. They wondered if whoever killed him was still around. Kuwabara walked deeper into the tunnel to find a naked teen on the ground. Although he couldn't see very clearly, he could smell the blood on the human and knew that he needed help quickly. He took off his jacket and covered the youth with it. He called Yusuke and they carried him out of the tunnel.

It took them longer to get out of the tunnel than it took for them to find the human. By the time they made it back to the prison cells, both were breathing heavily. They put down the injured teen and decided to take a rest. It was so hard to breathe in that tunnel. After a couple of minutes, they decided to move again. Kuwabara started to lift the other teen, when he sensed danger from behind. He dodged it in time. The two detectives looked to see who attacked them.

"It's that freak from before," Kuwabara said. He had scraggly hair and wild eyes.

"How rude. I have a name. It's Toguro Ani. You should at least know the name of the person who sends you to your grave."

"Whoever you are, you can't take both of us at once. We might be humans, but we can kick your ass," Yusuke said. He got ready to fight when Kuwabara put a hand to stop him.

"Take him back to Yukina-san. I don't think he has very long," Kuwabara said as he gestured toward the injured human.

"What? Why can't you take him? This guy might be too strong for you to handle on your own," Yusuke said.

"T-too strong? What the hell are you talking about, I'm just as strong as you! And besides, I have to pay this coward back for stabbing me in the back last time," Kuwabara said. Toguro Ani didn't care to hear them talk anymore and extended his fingers to try and slice the two open. They both evaded him but Shuichi's body weakened by the minute.

"Come on, Urameshi, you have to take him back before it's too late," Kuwabara said. Yusuke wanted to argue, fearing that Kuwabara wouldn't make it on his own. However, he knew that Kuwabara would never let Toguro Ani go, after being attacked from behind. He reluctantly took Shuichi and left Kuwabara to fight the demon on his own.

"You better come back alive or I'll kick your ass," Yusuke said before leaving. Kuwabara nodded to Yusuke and formed his sword.

"A sword? Your friend would have better luck against me. He could shoot me away with a powerful blast but you... all you have is a sword that slices in one direction. This almost might be too easy for me," Toguro Ani said.

"Shut up!" Kuwabara yelled as he charged at the demon. As the demon predicted, he easily dodged all of Kuwabara's blows, even when he curved the sword to attack him in a different direction. All Kuwabara managed to do was slice off a few strands of the demon's hair and a finger. Toguro Ani effortlessly healed himself and went on the offensive this time. He dug his fingers into the ground and attacked Kuwabara from below, managing to slice open his torso and legs. He screamed as he fell to the ground, unable to run anymore. The demon laughed at him and approached.

'M-maybe Yusuke was right but... if I die, I'm going to take him with me!' Kuwabara thought. As Toguro Ani lifted up his hand to deal the last blow, Kuwabara mimicked the demon and send his spirit energy into the earth and attacked the demon from below. Toguro wasn't injured but moved away from Kuwabara, which was all the human needed to move away and come up with a plan. From his attacks, Kuwabara could see that his sword would be useless because the demon could morph his body so that his vital organs were never hurt. Well then, he just needed to pin him down. Just from observing the demon, he could start to predict his motions. The demon mostly moved his organs left or right to avoid an attack.

Toguro Ani was laughing maniacally, knowing that Kuwabara's attacks could never seriously injure him. While he was having fun with him, he would need to end this and squeeze information out of the human. He needed to know where the ice maidens were taken to.

Kuwabara could tell that the demon was dropping his guard, underestimating him. That was fine since he could just take advantage of his pride. Kuwabara charged straight at the demon with his sword pointed right at the demon. The demon started to move his organs again. Kuwabara then split his sword so that it exploded into several swords and the blades managed to pin down the demon's limbs to the wall. Kuwabara was still charging at him with a sword in his hand, ready to take the demon's head off. Toguro Ani wanted to deflect the attack, so he extended his fingers. If Kuwabara dodged the demon's attack, Toguro Ani would then be able to remove himself from the blades. The detective charged on, impaled by the fingers. Kuwbara extended his sword to reach the demon's neck. As predicted, the demon was going to move his head. Kuwabara split his sword in two and one blade sliced into Toguro Ani's neck.

Both were shocked when the battle came to an end. Kuwabara removed himself from the protruding fingers and slumped to the ground. Toguro Ani's head fell to the floor and rolled around. His body fell to the ground with a sickening thud. Kuwabara poked the body with his foot and gave a sigh of relief when nothing happened. He stayed for a couple of minutes before getting up to leave. Now he had another heroic story to tell Yukina-san.

X X X X

Another demon strolled the tunnels that lied beneath the city. Unlike the demons before him, he gracefully walked through, not the least bit troubled by the arid environment. The tunnels moved in different directions and most people would get lost down there, but not him. This demon loved puzzles. He would have loved at one time to seek out the treasures that lie hidden within this maze, but he currently had a mission.

He was worried when one of his plants had activated without his command. He had first thought there was another controller of plants around, but then realized that the plant that activated was one that he gave to his beloved human. He quickly followed the scent that led deeper into the tunnels. He stopped by a room with prison cells when he saw the decapitated demon on the floor. The body was trying to put the head back on.

"You must be one of those immortal kinds," the youko said. The body managed to finally put the head back on properly and the scraggly demon looked at him.

Kurama had a plant ready in his hand. If this demon was here, then he must have something to do with this place, something to do with Shuichi. The other demon lunged at him, but Kurama was ready. He threw the plant at him and it dug itself deep into Toguro Ani's body. It planted itself into the ground and held the demon immobile within its grasp.

"You might be immortal, but tell me, what is immortality lived in a world of illusions?" Kurama asked rhetorically. There was no way the other demon could answer him now.

He made his way into the room where he sensed his plant awaken. He was surprised to find Karasu dead on top of a bed. He moved closer to the corpse, noting the handiwork of his plant. He also didn't fail to observe the other blood on the sheets and smell of sex on the bed. He grew angry with himself for ever letting Shuichi go and failing to seek out Karasu and kill him once Shuichi told him what he did. If only he forced Shuichi to come back with him, none of this would have happened. As he fought with himself, another demon entered the room. Kurama turned around to see a short raven clad demon glare at him. He looked at Karasu on the bed and then at him.

"Who are you?" they both asked.

X X X X X X X X X X

A/N: Yay! The story's almost at an end! Just one more chapter to go...