AN: So sorry for the long wait. I'm even sorrier that this chapter couldn't be longer or better. I guess that I've just lost it while writing this. I know that it could be better, but I can't just find the time to properly fix it. I'll try and make this last chapter better on a later time because I really don't like how it came out. And the fact that it's the chapter kills me. Again, so sorry.

Fire Burning Brightly

Hiei stepped to the left so that he could avoid a skeleton that apparently been left there for some time as he made his way deeper in the forest. Hands in his pockets, his lips twitched in annoyance. How long has he waited? Two weeks? A month? Time seemed to go far too slow for him.

But yet, far too fast. He was no longer sure if he had waited enough. If he was tired of waiting.

And this was supposed to be the place, right?

Hiei cursed Koenma. The god didn't give him specific enough details on the timing of this thing because he didn't even know if this could work the way they had planned.

So Hiei just kept on walking slowly in the forest, hardly bothering to step aside for a large rock that came up to his knee. Instead he kicked it and paused to watch it shatter in all directions. He didn't know where this belligerent feeling came from. He supposed that it was from anticipation. Maybe time did go too slow for him.

Are you listening Hiei?

That was what Koenma had said after showing him the object that he helped steal with Kurama. He remembered hissing when he saw it. And staring and staring at it like it was going to steal his soul. Because isn't that what it does? Gets your soul?

I said that this is what I have in mind.

The Mirror of Forlorn Hope.

He remembered what Kurama had told him months later after meeting Yusuke. He had planned to exchange his life for his mother's by using the Mirror of Forlorn Hope, but Yusuke had intervened. So no life was taken to rescue his dieing mother.

Hiei voiced his thoughts about him, or Konema, doing the same. To whatever plan he had. Fear to a growing hope inside Hiei grew when he saw the ruler of Reikai look away from, shamed faced.

I'm doing this for a selfish reason, unlike what Yusuke did. And besides, this isn't like trying to save a life. This is changing it. Remaking it. Changing the laws that my father placed on her soul.

Hiei raised an eyebrow. Back then and in the present.

A spark appeared in the darkness of the forest. It was small, tiny. Then it began to grow. In the sky, a full moon shone down on the ever growing spark that turned out to be a fire. The moonlight seemed to be feeding the flame, so it grew and grew bigger and bigger.

There will be an exchange. The reason why I'm not doing this with her is because, like I said, I'm doing this for a selfish reason. Therefore, it would not work with her. And the reason why I'm not asking anyone else is because I don't want anyone to know that I'm doing this. It'll be frowned on. The you know, the whole, it's for looking and not using deal.

That and it's supposed to be dangerous.

The once small flame became a huge roaring fire that started to burn the surrounding tress in the immediate area. Other trees started to catch fire too. Hiei was surrounded by flames in seconds. It licked at his feet and clothes, but never burned. It was warm and not irritating.

And I wouldn't ask you.

A hard stare.

I still don't think that you're good enough for her. And, frankly, I don't really trust you enough to do this with her.

"An exchange of one life to another," Hiei said aloud, repeating what Koenma had told him that same day. "Are you almost here yet?"

The fire burned brighter in response. The whole forest was burning. It stood out in the dark night, and Hiei did not like that. He perferred if people didn't know that he was there, only if he wanted them to know. This sence made him feel more agitated by the second. The day seemed to be against him despite it being the day that he longed for.

Craved for to happen and wished it would just happen and end already. It would cease his nerves from running all over the place and rushing right back to him. He could barely keep a calm face for the past week and his concentration had been lacking. Once the day ended, it would all be over.

Lo and behold, his waiting had paid off. In the center of the fire, a body slowly grew from the flames. First the bones, then the nervers, fat, muscle, skin, and the detail colors and shapes that made a person recongizable from another.

She was born with fire, just like he was.

The flames that surrounded the newly formed body instantly surrounded him too. Both of them were engulfed in it. It burned into his very soul and it took everything in Hiei to not scream. Deeper and deeper it burned. Then a comforting feeling passed over him. It was like a cool hand to soothe his aches and pains.

It was a look into him that he couldn't fight no matter how much he tried. A latched was placed on him. Then the fire that held them, that burned the forest down until it was nothing but dust, made a large spiral that traveled to the sky and was gone.

She will be bound to you. You die, she dies. That's the deal. Her life as a ferry girl is forsaken and inturn, she will become a demon in your form. A life exchange.

Watching the female slowly leisurely rise from the ashes, Hiei remembered saying that that was no big deal. How dangerous was that?

Koenma's eyes stopped him from mocking him any further.

It's not just her life that will be bound to you, it's her soul. You go to hell, so does she. You leave her, she dies, and then she goes to hell.

Hiei froze. Something wasn't right.

She's trapped. She can't do anything about it. She can't even leave you if she wanted to. Even if she makes a vow to never kill or do anything evil, she goes where you go. The Mirror of Forlorn Hope cannot grant everything perfectly.

The female in front of him couldn't be her. Her long hair was black. With the moonlight, it looked to be midnight blue. Botan has sky blue hair. He took an involuntarily step backwards. This wasn't supposed to happen.

The movement caught the unknown woman's attention. Her eyes opened and Hiei looked at her pink orbs. At the same time, a breeze brought her scent to his nose. His nose twitched at the familiar scent.

Before he could say anything, she spoke. "What happened to the fire?"

Her voice was the same, but it croak for being used for the first time. Hiei also took a good look at her. She was naked. Her hair covered her breast and there was some ash on her. He didn't mind. They could clean that off later. Everything else seemed to be fine with her. There didn't seem to be anything out of place and she didn't seem to be in any pain.

He took off his cloak and stepped toward her in one swift motion that she took a step back away from him. She was rewarded with his cloak to cover herself in.


Hiei grabbed her chin and brought her head down closer to his. He twitched again. She was still taller than him.

"Onna, you caused me a lot of trouble for the past month."

Botan grinned. And it turned to a full smile. "Ah, sorry, but you could Koenma if you want."

He smirked. "I intend to."

Then he let hr go, grabbed her hand instead, and started walking. Botan blinked. She looked at their joint hands, at him, and blinked.

"That's it?" she asked incredulously.

"That's it what?" Hiei asked, never breaking his stride.

"You mean that you aren't…." Botan trailed off. She was too disappointed to continue and too understanding of his dislike of him showing affections so freely. But the next thing that she knew, she was spun into his arms and his lips met hers.

Once he pulled away, he started to lead her again to unknown destination. All the while she was smiling.

"So," she purred. "Where are we going?"

"Someplace where we won't be disturbed for some time."

Botan blushed fiercely. She placed her free hand on her collarbone where she knew that he would soon puncture to make her his. She blushed even more. "Oh. That's sounds nice."

She bounced happily along side of him and began chatting amiably. Hiei felt a tug on his lips to slightly smile. He was happy. Sure he knew that he would soon be annoyed by her endless chatter, by for now he would savor this feeling of everything just fitting together perfectly. Like their hands just fitting together.

In a few days, he'll make amends with the kitsune and then he'll resume training with the onna. She'll need to be stronger. He knew that he can't always be there to protect her so she would need to do that for herself. And Mukuro would pose a problem if she doesn't get stronger. But that could be a worry for another time.

"Hey Hiei. Isn't that my ribbon?" Botan asked.

He looked to where her finger point and saw that her red ribbon was there. Amongst the ashes of the trees and a few pebbles. He turned his direction to pick it up. Then he picked up Botan so that she could stop chiding him about how he must have lost it awhile she was away and ran off.

Miles away in Hiei's room, a crystal creaked and broke. In its place was a baby black dragon with red eyes. It chirped hungrily while looking for its parents. The door to the room opened and Yukina stepped inside with a platter of meat.

"Don't worry little one," she gave it a small piece of meat, "they're just making up now after a fight. They'll be home in a couple of days."