Chapter 3

Hiei was slowly waking from one of his favorite dreams. Enjoying the sweet smell of his lover laying nestled in his arms. Warm breath caressed his chest as his love snuggled further into his warmth. He squeezed his eyes shut and tightened his arms as he tried to hold on to the sweet dream a little longer. It had been years since he had had this particular dream and almost half a century since it was a reality. His chest hurt as he realized that in a few short moments the dream would fade and he would once again be alone. Eyes still closed, he turned his head to kiss his love's forehead. As sleep slowly escaped him he realized this dream was different. This morning, dreams do come true.

Kurama snuggled further into the warmth that surrounded him. He felt strong arms tighten their hold and smiled at the pleasure this wonderful dream was creating. He knew it must be a dream, for the thought of the cold little koorime he had gone to bed with snuggling was ridiculous…wasn't it? Warm lips caressed his forehead. Dare he hope that on this special morning, dreams do come true?

The sound of the alarm buzzing stirred two very disappointed demons from their dreams. Reluctantly, pulling himself away from Kurama, Hiei dressed quickly and prepared to leave. 'He's leaving? Without a word about last night, about that kiss, about this morning?' Kurama's thoughts raced through his mind. He had to know.

"Will you be back tonight?"

"Don't know."

"We need to talk about what happened Hiei."

"Nothing happened Fox and nothing more will ever happen. It was only a kiss goodnight. You're going to be late for school." With that Hiei was gone.

'So much for dreams' Kurama mused as he got ready for school.

Kurama spent the next few days in a haze. It was awful. He couldn't concentrate on his class lectures, finally having to borrow notes from a classmate. He messed up an easy lab in chemistry and got a B- on a quiz in Japanamation. A class he took because it sounded fun and easy. What was wrong with him? He knew the answer… 'Hiei and that kiss. Where in the three worlds had he learned to kiss like that?' That kiss was so sensual, like being kissed by Yoko, Kurama's demon form. Hiei didn't just kiss with his mouth. He kissed with his lips and tongue. He kissed with his hands and body. He was getting turned on just thinking about it. Where was Hiei? 'Concentrate Kurama, homework first, fantasies later.'

'Why did I do it? Why did I let that stupid fox kiss me? That damn fox. My beautiful, sexy, redheaded fox.' That's all Hiei could think about. That kiss. It was distracting him and today it had almost gotten him killed. Well, it had to stop. He had to talk to his fox, convince him that nothing more would come from that kiss. Problem was, how was he going to convince himself.

Within seconds of Hiei landing at Kurama's window the fox was at his side, stripping away his cloak to check the severity of his injuries.

"HIEI?" the fox asks urgently.

"Got careless Fox. It's nothing. Don't fuss." Came the curt reply.

Kurama lost it. "NOTHING HUH? If it was nothing, Hiei, you wouldn't be here! Because you sure as hell wouldn't come here to see me! What's the matter Hiei, Yukina not home? She's better at this than I am you know!" Kurama's bitter tirade was abruptly cut off when Hiei's hand snapped out, firmly grabbing the hair at the back of the fox's head, and pulled him in for a punishing kiss.

Kurama's head spun. 'How can he do this? One minute I'm yelling, the next I'm jelly.' The kiss only lasted a few moments but when Hiei finally released him, Kurama was speechless. "Get the first-aid kit Fox before I bleed on the carpet." Stunned, Kurama did as he was told, then silently treated Hiei's injuries. None of them were very serious and Kurama finished quickly.

When Kurama finished, Hiei sat patiently on the windowsill, waiting for him put away the first-aid kit and face him.

"Sit down Kurama, we need to talk."

Irritated, Kurama sat on the edge of his bed. "Talk? That's an understatement. Fine, talk, but when you're done I have some questions, and I want answers."

"We're friends Kurama and as far as I'm concerned we can never be anything more. The kiss was just that, a kiss, and nothing more. Now ask your questions but I promise no answers." Hiei sat solemnly, awaiting Kurama's questions.

Frustrated, the fox rose from the bed and locked the window before turning back to Hiei. "I said I wanted answers and I intend to get them. First, if it was just a kiss, why did you do it again?"

"To shut you up."

Thinking carefully about his next question the fox returned to sit on the bed. "Are you a virgin?"

"Wha… No."

Amazed at the answer, questions race from his lips, "How can I know so much about you and not know you've had a lover? Or is it lovers? And who taught you how to kiss like that?"

Silence. Sadly, Hiei replied, not able to meet his fox's eyes. "There has been only one. It was a long time ago. Fifty years before I met you. That person was not only my lover Kurama, but also my mate. And yes, that's who taught me how to kiss."

Kurama was stunned into a momentary silence, almost too numb to ask the next question. "M.m.mate? Don't Koorime mate for life Hiei? Were you in love? Who is it and where is this mate now?"

Hiei almost didn't answer. This hurt too much. But he had come this far, and if the answers convinced his stubborn fox that they had no future beyond friendship then his suffering would be worth it. Slowly he answered in a low voice, "Yes, Kurama, Koorime mate for life. Yes, we were in love, I still am. It's none of your business who it was. As to where my mate is now, my mate is dead Kurama."

Hiei reached up, unlocked the window and left without another word. Kurama sat there stunned. After a few minuets the fox curled up on the bed, hugged his pillow, quiet tears running down his face.