Sketch Me is a Yu Yu Hakusho fan-fiction that strays somewhat from the series. I suppose that it could be labeled as "AU", however, it is still my firm belief that all fan-fictions did not take place, and therefore all of them occur in an alternate reality and time. The idea for this work spawned from my other more humorous work, Mischief 101, in the sense that I threw in a hidden talent for art on Yusuke's behalf.

Yusuke is still a Spirit Detective. Hiei and Kurama are still demons. Botan is still the Grim Reaper, and Koenma is still the Prince of Hell. I am not rewriting their characters and keeping just their personalities. The setting is the same.

As with The Seibu Project, I am using this work to further my writing ability. Please make any and all necessary criticisms, and try your hardest to leave a review that at least tells me one thing you liked or disliked about each chapter. "Update soon, plz k thx" is okay, as it adds to my review count, but like most established authors, I could care less about that and would prefer to have something of content to read. Authors here do their work to give readers something to read and enjoy, and we expect just that kind of treatment in return! Thank you for understanding!

(I make mention of Yusuke being a human in here. He is a human. Deal with the fact that perhaps the Chapter Black Arc hasn't happened yet in this fiction. But if you feel the need to be infantile about it and dispute that fact – I love reviews that boost my review count!)

Disclaimer: Yu Yu Hakusho © Yoshihiro Togashi.

Sketch Me

By Zelia Theb

Act I: Allure

A light breeze caressed the black tips of his straight hair; threatening the careful gel-work performed by his hands earlier that day. It dipped below his feet and sent tiny blades of grass growing between the sidewalk stones into a light wave. The warm wind was but a compliment to the lovely spring weather, bringing in the blossoms of the sakura with every gentle gust.

The crimson pink petals waltzed around the teen, filling his minds with images of his friends; who all were connected in some way with the beautiful color of red. Red like the locks of his mysterious partial-demon friend Kurama. Crimson like the deep ambiguity of the short-tempered fire demon Hiei. Pink…just like the favored color of his childhood friend, the intelligent and ever-so innocent Keiko.

Red, just like his hands would be if he were to be discovered.

A fleeting moment of laughter struck him, its phrasing frozen by the feeling that someone was following him. He held no fear within, no. He held that determination to win close to him; waiting for whomever it may be to show themselves; waiting for that moment to fight. Soon that feeling had fluttered into footsteps that followed him; footsteps which made no effort to conceal themselves.

"What are you doing, Detective?" The voice was familiar, a revelation which had brought the familiarity of the footsteps' rhythm into his head. Eyes flashed at him, resembling the swirling sakura petals, encased in pale white flesh that contrasted striking midnight strands of hair.

"Stealing," the delinquent boy replied casually, a response that Hiei had expected from him.

"Hn," the demon grunted, his stride matching the boy's, "What do you intend on stealing is the question." Yusuke was most curious to him; an attention seeking loud-mouth who truly hooked Hiei's interest when he wasn't shooting his mouth off.

A smirk befitting of the Devil fell upon the boy's lips, vowing to reveal an obnoxiously obvious juvenile answer. They parted slightly, simply stating, "Pencils."

Hiei would have let loose a laugh if that was in his nature. The boy amused him to no end. Their likeness was astounding; Yusuke enjoyed causing trouble just because. Hiei, on the other hand, had enjoyed taunting the demon bandits that had taken him in as a child, just to see them become angry. There was not much of a difference.

Instead, he chose to maintain his resolve, suggesting a less criminal option to his pencil shortage against his better judgement; "You could ask the fox, Detective. Are those not the tools you humans use to complete your school work?" The urge to laugh coursed its way through his body once more. The thought of the infamous Kurama being bound to human regulations and society was unbearably droll, especially when compared to the carefree demeanor of Yusuke; a human who was meant to be a human.

He could contain it no longer. An inescapable 'Hah' spawned from his throat, contagiously making its way over to Yusuke, who also proceeded to chuckle.

"I'd rather not. These are special pencils. I don't think Kurama would have anything like the ones I need." Although the thought of absconding to the Minamino residence excited him; he had an itch that needed scratching.

"Alright, Yusuke," Hiei smiled in return, "My visit held no importance. I'll not impede your scheme." Just like the trailing breath of his words disappeared on the breeze, so did he, but not before leaving Yusuke with a portrait-like impression stamped into his brain, desiring to explode from him; threatening to abandon him with nothing but a fond memory of a shadow.

His promenade down the park road had invariably led him to Katie Gashitsu, an arts and crafts store chain with a small store front on that particular block. His task was minimal; steal the soft graphite pencils and leave unnoticed. Getting away with it had been easy; the clerk at the counter was undoubtedly a new hire, and was having difficulty helping a customer who spoke in broken Japanese. On his way home, he patted his pocket, keeping the two pencils close to his heart.

Upon arriving there, he found his mother propped sideways on the cushions of their sofa. She was lounging, smoking a cigarette with a clearly inobscure bottle of sake at her side. Their open apartment was surprisingly neat and tidy, if one were to disregard the empty pack of cigarettes that lay on the marbled counter of the kitchenette. The boy was pleased, to say the least.

He rather enjoyed the new apartment. The building itself was not as towering as the previous one, however, they were still on the third of five floors. The windows were fairly large, looming over each room, and each of them housing either an inlet balcony or a charmingly deep inset windowsill. His mother, through her yakuza connections, had found the mysterious money to decorate; adorning each balcony with vertical blinds, and every window with sleek white synthetic drapes. The rest of the interior had had become an amalgam of both Asia and Egypt; the walls resembling the creamy dark eggshell of adobe, but framed within wood and joined by tatami mats.

The slender young brunette at the couch gave her son a slight nod, acknowledging that he was home, and went back to her regularly scheduled program. She had neither the strength nor motivation to prod her spawn on the toils of his day, or whether or not he had gone to school or just put on his uniform for fun. So she let him pass on past her, watching his reflection on the screen stride behind the couch and on into the hallway of his bedroom.

Once there, he plopped his behind into the mattress; another new item that he felt no need to protest against. It was soft and conformed to his body, however still gave him the support he needed when he slept on his back. It made his alone time far more snug and cozy. He whipped off his green jacket, tossing it onto the floor below the window at the foot of his bed, then leaned back into his folded hands, recalling his previous but brief stroll with Hiei.

The brown mist of his eyes swirled upon itself, setting forth the steam powered clockwork of Yusuke's mind by laying sight upon a lone pencil sharpener; it's blade glistening at him from across the room; pressing him to whet its whistle with wood and imitation lead. He called back to it, pulling the ill-obtained drawing tools out of his pocket and tearing them from their cardboard and plastic jail. He teased the sharpener; waving the sticks back and forth until the blade was drooling. In a spastic embrace of fingers, plastic, and timber, a pencil twirled and twirled with the spinning cone of the sharpener; being devoured until its cool gray core was exposed.

The artist within him awakened. Hungrily, like a beast fresh from a long hibernation, he opened his closet. Hidden beneath the swaying clothes was a wooden crate, filled with a stack of sketch pads, some filled with pictures, and some not. He reached for his most recent book, however he was stopped still by the chill sent up his spine. A voice came from his beyond his door, endangering the sanctity of the works, and he dropped it out of fear, shutting the closet quickly.

Keiko was not to know about this if she were to come inside the room. He anticipated the consequences many times before. She would pester him to draw for her, or to take art classes and pursue a career after art college. After a predictable union between the two; most likely caused by the many journeys of guilt she insisted on taking Yusuke on; she would prod him to do something more than live off of the canvas; to draw architectural structures or something far more professional for an advertising company. He would of course, refuse to do such, in his head claiming that he had already married her against his own will, and that should be enough, and she would leave him

Of course, on his most immediate platter, would be her disapproval of his preferred subject genre. She would glance at his early works; mainly fan-art of various martial arts manga characters, with littered traces of her in full female bloom here and there; covered of course. She would move on through the dated works to find more of her, this time in much more explicit situations; as he was practicing female anatomy. His portraits would go on to convey the many personalities of their friend Botan; some of her partially dressed in her kimono; her hair falling out of it's violet ribbon and falling to her bare ivory shoulders, cascading into her fully developed bosoms. And then…

Then there would be the demons. It begun as a collection of homages to demons he had encountered and defeated; like paying respects. Suzaku had been his favorite; he enjoyed the tiny distinct lines of the feathers, and the explosion of color on his wardrobe that challenged his shading techniques. He had found the reason that many comic book artists enjoyed drawing their characters with wings and feathers falling around them; wings resembled a freedom, or an angelic, possibly even demonic personality. Feathers…they held something more morbid in his heart. Feathers plucked from dead foul, displayed in a shower of a grace and beauty, though the end of their empty shafts would be stained in blood.

However, something had changed…he became infatuated with his allies, who looked so human, but simply were not. They each held their own thrones in his soul, and it showed on the paper held in the metal spirals of his sketch books.

"Come on in, Keiko," Yusuke finally replied, greeting his childhood friend with nothing but the same look he had gotten from his mother when he returned home. She appeared to him, as innocent as usual, with that dull look in her eyes, scolding him for everything he has ever done and will do. He hadn't been too fond of her hair lately; it was now long enough to tie back again, but she insisted on keeping it down; as if her attempts to make her appear mature and womanly would really work.

"Yusuke…" the brunette trailed off, cueing his mind to shield itself from any impending criticisms, "I was hoping that you'd actually meet me for that foreign film after school. Where were you? I waited for an hour, and by then the film had already started!" It was agitating. His shield had been ready, but he had chosen to keep it at ease, instead allowing her to press all sorts of buttons; buttons brought up by his impatience.

"Fuck off, Keiko," he sneered; the snarl taking her back like he were a rabid dog, "We only ever do what you wanna do, and even then you never ask. All you try and do is change me; like you can just pick up some eraser and run over all the scribble lines and make me into your perfect man."

Denial and anger coursed through her; and she rose a perfect slender hand to slap him. She opened her mouth to try and stop him, but instead he stopped her by softly catching her wrist within his callused palm.

"Big deal. So I shoulda told you I was blowing you off," the boy admitted, letting her hand drop, "But you're expectin' too much, and won't even go to that next stage with me. You're stage skippin'."

"If what you mean by stage is that I should sleep with you," the girl flexed her sarcastic intonations, "Then no, I don't want to go to that next stage with you."

He growled, irate at the statement. She was not the beautiful flower that everyone had thought her to be; no, she was a flytrap. Her upbringing and exceptional grades was merely a cover for her loneliness; a hunger to have a friend that didn't care about those things. It drove her to devour them, digesting them into something palatable.

"That's what I mean. You thought of me as such a crude bastard that you figured I meant that. Well I didn't Keiko. What I meant was dating. You're so cold and controlling that you won't even let us officially be boyfriend and girlfriend. So how should I have any obligation to you?"

"Ugh," she uttered, disgusted that she couldn't get through to him. She slid his door open and quickly shut it behind her, storming out of the apartment. He heard his mother bid her farewell; much more of a gesture than what she really would give him on a daily basis. Thank goodness; his patience had been worn thinner than ice.

He took his pencil in hand once more, having retrieved that and his book from his closet. Dark gray lines streamed through his fingertips and into the delta of the pencil tip, creating circles, curves of collarbones, and firm, muscular arms. The background was minimal, squares representing a sidewalk, and random scribbles that would eventually become the brick of passing storefronts. Before long, he had represented two figures, one nearly a head shorter than the other, making their rounds down the park avenue. The nude outlines of the boys needed clothing, faces, and expressions. He could not place anything mischievous on his own face; no. He wanted something happy, something to take him away from Keiko's control. He needed his own eraser.

Rummaging through his belongings, he finally found it. Pink, soft, rubber darkened on the corners by its use over time; the once rectangular erased was now smooth and circular. He rubbed it gently along the paper, erasing the boys' hands. They were not happy; they were distant. The boys needed something to hold on to, someone to share their hearts with. They did not need the stares of the other street walkers beyond the pages.

Their fingers needed to intertwine. Like vines upon wire fencing; they needed support. The two turned their heads to each other, smiling, chatting, thinking about what they would do later that night when they were alone. Hair sprouted on their foreheads first, smoothing back on the taller boy, and flying every which way on the shorter. It had become too intense. Yusuke discovered himself aroused by his fantasy; unable to properly place clothing on the boys in the sketch. He had to settle down.

Fortunately for him and his rising erection, another friend of his stopped by, having been let in by his mother. It was Kazuma Kuwabara, classmate and ally; whose orange hair, brown eyes, and overall features reminded him of the deciduous trees in autumn more than those of spring. His knock was different from Keiko's; firm and impatient, but excited and not angry. Yusuke smiled; musing on whether or not to let his friend in or wait to see how long it would be before he let himself in.

It was only a moment. Yusuke laughed.

"Hey, Urameshi!" the tall burly tree exclaimed, still accustomed to addressing his ex- rival by his family name, "Wanna do somethin'?"

Thick ebon brows arched, showing interest in Kuwabara's question. He wanted to find a way to disassociate himself with the lust that threatened to ache in his pants, and get away from his sketch for at least a few hours. Night time would be a far better shawl to swathe himself up in, for not only his sketch, but much more erotic activities as well.

"Sure," he replied, setting the now closed pad down upon his blankets, "What's up?"

"Me an' the guys are goin' out for some karaoke. I'm gonna meet 'em there but I told them that I would stop here and ask ya first."

"Hah," the shorter burst out, "And they still went despite the fact that they're kinda scared of me?"

"Yeah man, they're cool now," his ally assured him, layering honor within his voice as usual, "They said it was kinda my fault for pickin' fights with ya all the time anyway."

"'Kay man," the tougher one flexed, "Just gimme a sec to brush my teeth and whatever. Be right back." He sauntered off out into the small corridor, and into the water closet to begin said brushing process.

Meanwhile, Kuwabara sat down on the bed, having to move the sketch book out of the way. He looked at it curiously, and wondered, Since when does Urameshi draw? He's not here now…should I look? What if he's makin' some sort cool action manga? No sooner had he picked it up and looked at the cover, did Yusuke re-enter, ready to roll with minty fresh breath, and agitated.

"Hey, don't look at that!" he demanded, reaching over and snatching the stolen sketch book from his friend.

"Sorry, man, I just got a little Botan in me and wanted to know what kinda manga you were makin'!"

"I'm not making a comic," he said sternly, brows furrowed into furious slopes.

"Aw, come on man. Can I see?" Kuwabara's words held a genuine interest; he actually wanted to be a true friend and give praise to whatever works may be inside. Yusuke, on the other hand, didn't want any sort of praise. He didn't want recognition, period.

"If I show you one picture, will you promise not to say anything about it, or bring this up again, or do anything else to piss me off?" His friend nodded, assuring him that it was a promise between men.

After an albeit annoyed sigh, the detective cautiously flipped through the pages, and was debating on whether to show his friend the portrait of Botan, or one of his many depictions of Suzaku. He sank upon the Saint Beast, figuring that showing a love-starved friend a picture of a female nipple would drive him to ask for more pictures.

"Fine," Yusuke stated, "Here." He produced the picture; the blonde demon was surrounded by brilliantly furled wings of all different shades, a malevolent look was plastered upon his face and an army of phoenixes swelling from a perspective point far behind him. It was; if anyone else were to see it to critique it; awe inspiring.

"Man…" the chiseled one uttered, stopping himself since he had promised not to say anything. He cradled the pages in his palms, wanting to tear it from Yusuke's tight grip in order to get a more personal and close view. It was then taken from him, closed, and tossed back into its dark home beneath the wardrobe; a great disappointment to Kuwabara.

He had a newfound reverence for his already well-respected team mate. He wished so dearly that he could request a print of the work, signed and framed for his bedroom. It was Yusuke's secret, nevertheless. The treasure was not his to share; and it was more lucid than crystal water as to why it had to remain that way.

The night had proved eventful. The girls had been plentiful that day; as one of them happened to be celebrating their birthday. So inevitably the boys had to show off, trying to sing all of the latest and greatest songs, with Kuwabara and Yusuke competing for who could sing the most foreign songs. That was an utter disaster. The ladies had found it adorable; so each boy had gone home with at least one number in their pocket; and in Yusuke's case; three. On a personal level, though, he had no intention on calling them. Kuwabara had tried his damnedest to decline the numerical writing spree, claiming that he had to be true to Yukina, but one feisty girl had still slipped a piece of paper into his pocket.

Yusuke had fallen fast asleep, wearing nothing but flannel pajama bottoms. It was a serene setting; he hadn't gotten that much sleep in days and the stress of Keiko, school, and his work had taken its toll on his body. His muscles felt like jello, and his mind was gray matter mousse that had been left out to melt into a puddle. They wanted to rest, recover, and rejuvenate themselves.

So his ears hadn't picked up on the slight sound of windows shifting, nor did he perceive the burning embers of energy emitted from the being who had entered his bedstead. The demon stared sensually at his companion, succumbing to the thought of surrendering to his emotions. The sojourns to his bedside had become more tempting over time, but he had absolved himself of the feeling each and every visit.

Hiei often struggled with this tumultuous storm within. Here he was; a demon previously in charge of a plot to enslave thousands upon thousands of humans, confined and restricted within the very cage he had wished to destroy. The thought of enduring emotion, the idea of acting remotely human; it was sickening, or so he told himself. In actuality, it was his shield; his personal protector. It enabled him to accept his past; to accept that he had lived through what he had lived through because he was meant to, not because he was a victim of ill-circumstance. To admit being a victim; that is like asking for help. And to ask for help; that is cowardly.

However, Yusuke broke this. After living for hundreds of years; after maturing into a hardened young demon, he had encountered a foe like no other. At first, after their first destined mission together; he had thought it to be respect for the victor in battle. It was an egotistical thing; if anyone could beat him than surely that person would deserve his respect.

But it was much more. The roots of acquaintanceship ran deep, blossoming into branches of friendship, and now…

Now there was this. The visits at night. The desire to figure out why he was so curious about the detective in the first place. In all honesty, he truly did know. It was that large portion of him that wanted to resist that gave him the ability to act indifferent, and remain that way. If he allowed his imagination to stray; if it strayed just once; that would be it.

He was met with the inability to stay awake, unfortunately. He felt the soft thud-thud of his mother's feet walk past the boy's door and on into her own room. It had allowed his eyes to maintain their composure momentarily. Then, he had jumped once when Yusuke turned over in his bed, shifting sheets and rustling blankets into the slick and unsteady rhythm of dissonance. Finally…finally…he had fallen into fantasy.

Yusuke had waken up refreshed, and ready to draw. He was astounded, and more importantly, excited to find that Hiei had fallen asleep in his room, back slump against the wall and butt on the floor. The sun permeated through his window, landing gracefully upon Hiei's porcelain features. Sometime during the morning, the petit demon let his face drop to his left, shying his eyes away from the light.

He was adorable. It was the perfect caption for the teen's newest hand-rendered photograph.

He worked fast, anxious to entrap his fascination within the pages of his art. Within minutes an hour passed; it was now nine fifteen. Yusuke had etched in everything aside from his signature, and was about to do so when Hiei had leapt to his feet and onto the windowsill, embarrassed.

He pouted, "What are you doing." It was the best way to divert attention from the fact that he had allowed himself to fall asleep on Yusuke's floor.

"Nothing!" Yusuke cried out, attempting to flip the book shut on its spirals, but accidentally holding the page with his pencil. Faster than Yusuke expected in the morning, Hiei jumped to the bed and obtained the book, opening to the page of…him. Sleeping.

Dust-colored lines. A boy. Gentle rays of sunlight highlighting his nose, tossed spikey haired spread into a star burst against the wall. It was him. He looked so…human. So much like Yukina. How had the detective done this?

"You can tear it up if ya want." Yusuke's words struck him…unusually. Like an arrow with a rubber suction head. He wanted to tear it up; there was no doubt about it. How could he be drawn as pure as Yukina? The sheer notion that he could even compare himself to an angel such as his sister disgusted him. He tore the page from its metal bindings, tossing the book into Yusuke's lap; for which the boy was happy, due to not wanting Hiei to see his other works; and then…

He did not destroy it. He stared at it, gazing into the pits of what he believed to be his blackened soul. It was not there; this dark eminence ceased to exist.

"I don't understand," was the simple yet blunt statement.

"Huh?" Yusuke quirked, "I don't understand you. It's a drawing. I drew it this morning when I found ya sleepin'. I was kinda expectin' you to either get really pissed or demand to know why I drew you."

"Fine," Hiei responded scathingly; hating that which he did not understand, "If it'll please you, then I demand to know why you've taken an artistic interest in me." An artistic interest in him. It sounded awkward in the air, and even more uneasy on his tongue.

"I just wanted some practice," Yusuke lied, for once thinking ahead and not leaping into action.

The idea of getting back at Keiko and being sinful, now that was tempting. Having something he desired; something away from the missions, or school, or homelife. That was salivating.

"If you don't want to tell me what made me so appealing to draw, then don't," Hiei caught him, "I'd rather just not ask any questions. I didn't take you as someone who had a talent for things other than fighting and a loud mouth."

"Well fine," Yusuke concurred, offering up an agreement, "Just don't say anything." He paused, knowing that it was stupid to suggest that Hiei was some sort of gossip; "I mean. If ya come around again, would you care if I practiced more?"

Smiles filled the rooms like gold would fill a pot at the unseen end of a rainbow. Hiei knew that he was going to comply with the request, and Yusuke knew that Hiei knew he was lying about the practice. It was yet another likeness between them.

"Hn," Hiei let out the last of his grin, "All right, Detective. But you'll not speak in that annoying tone when I feel like leaving." With that, rolled the sketch up into a scroll and held it like a sheathed katana. He wasn't exactly certain of where he would keep it, but inevitably, he would keep the work safe. It was comforting…to know that the brother Yukina deserved and wanted did exist; even if he were but an image on paper.

The boy was inwardly ecstatic. Sketching a live model was exciting and exotic. He felt like a camera earlier that morning. It was…exhilarating, guessing when Hiei would wake up and break the mood. He wondered then how he had been so fortunate to be blessed with such a marvelous statue of fragileness and beauty; thanking whatever forces created Enma for the sliver of an opportunity to see such. And now…now Hiei, one of his two desires, had given him full time permission to draw him whenever they were in the same room.

But how far could he push it? Just how long would Hiei fake-model for him, and how much would be model for him? After all, he hadn't agreed to posing, only to being drawn if he happened to be occupying Yusuke's eye space. There were many seconds to ponder the issue, however, now was a time to ease the grumble that stirred within his stomach.

"Want somethin' to eat?" he offered, figuring that he would be able to slip in and out of the kitchen before his mother had the ability to commit the energy to rise from bed. Even if such a slip would include the time it took to steam rice and roll omelettes. Still, he had confidence in his cooking abilities, and in the fact that Atsuko would not bother to wake up. The smell of food wasn't all that appetizing to one who was desperately trying to keep their alcohol within their body.

Hiei's eyes momentarily took the shape of slivered almonds; let the boy cook breakfast for him? Eat? These were all things that he had never considered as an option, mostly because to imagine such things would mean fantasizing about staying the night in Yusuke's bed. So he stayed silent, or tried to. The grumble living within his own stomach answered in his place, inciting giggles and an exit from the Spirit Detective.

Upon sliding the door behind him, the teen stretched his armspan fully, letting out a yawn of the ages, and then dropped his hands to rub his chest. The reason for such a morning routine was only known to men. The apartment was still clean, and luckily, so was the kitchen. Immediately he dove into the refrigerator, claiming milk, soy, and eggs, and then placing them next to the stove. After obtaining rice and mindlessly measuring it for the steamer, he went about making coffee.

The grinds smelled of caffeine and cafés. It was invigorating, and always reminded him of something sensual and calming, despite the known effects of the beverage. As he stirred, fried, and checked, he mused about how he had gotten so dexterous at the art of cooking. He recalled the first time he had tried his hand at making coffee.

His mother was horribly drunk, and had to sober up for some reason or another. He had, in haste, tried brewing coffee, adding too many scoops of the grinds for the amount of water. On one hand, it had invariably left the woman so gleeful that she overexpended her energy quickly and fell asleep. On the other, Yusuke was left so jittery that he could barely sleep for nearly forty hours. His stomach moved like a brick of gelatin, not only when he was walking, but when he was in bed laying as still as a predatory panther ready to strike. His heart thumped so rapidly that he was almost certain that he was going to have to chase it down the road if it were to escape.

Imagining Hiei in such a state caused laughter to roll out of his lungs and loudly into the air. He calmed himself, as he was not ready to drug Hiei just for giggles. Breakfast was ready, at any rate. He retrieved two trays, and readied them both, scooping two bowls full of rice, pouring two cups of coffee, and finding chopsticks fit enough for the Japanese eggs. He wished that he could have found much more to serve, and made a mental note to scold his mother later for neglecting to go food shopping.

Thankful for Genkai's training on balance, he gingerly picked up the two trays of steaming sustenance and made his way around the sofa and into the hallway, using his foot to slide his door open again. He called out to Hiei, "A little help?" to which Hiei replied by taking a tray and seating himself on the open windowsill.

"It ain't much," Yusuke defended, "My mom's not really the motherly type if you know what I mean."

"All too well," Hiei responded truthfully, eyeing the eggs and debating on whether or not use the sticks to poke at them or his hands. He caught Yusuke; who had caught him; propping the sticks in his hand and using them like extensions of his own fingers. Coyly, he tried to do the same, only to have one drop into his coffee.

Falsifying the intent that he had meant to do such, he set the tray down beside him on the ledge, picking up the stick from the brew and licking it, and then taking the rice bowl in hand and attempting to spoon it out like the boy was doing. The result was the consumption of only two to three grains of rice at a time. Once again noticing Hiei's struggle with the meal, Yusuke stood and retrieved a Western utensil; the almighty silver fork.

"Here," stated the boy, producing the four-pronged savior, "Just don't stab your tongue with it."

The rest of breakfast, and the day, had gone fairly well. Yusuke never fathomed the thought of spending the whole day with the demon that didn't include work from Koenma, but they had done so. Mainly they had trekked around the lesser dwelled but very beautiful parts of the city, both insisting on keeping their hands shoved into their pockets; as that was what they did. Conversation was minimal, but touched upon different anecdotes about their past.

Yusuke informed Hiei of the many fights that he and Kuwabara would get into, and even cited the quickest time that he had surmounted him. He could not recall hearing Hiei laugh more in his lifetime. It was deep yet beautifully tenor, a genuine tone of joy that suited him. His fair face fit well with his beaming expressions; there were no wrinkles or dimples to taint it because Hiei was not the type to be happy.

The fire-demon found his mind straining to contain his imagination. Enjoyment pushed the membrane walls contained within his cranium, weeping from his eyes and ears; dancing on the tip of his tongue. He wanted to do anything to keep himself miserable; to keep himself demonic and unmoved. He sensed the fox nearby. Kurama endlessly annoyed him with his on the fence attitude and calm demeanor, not to mention the constant insult to his intelligence that he posed. He was the perfect remedy to his headache.

The sun had given its warning, and painted the sky a bright gradient of apricot and plum. Hiei had insisted that they take the next corner instead of the previous one, putting his plan into action and causing them to change course toward Kurama.

The green-eyed redhead was dressed casually; in dark colored khakis and a light purple polo shirt. He had just come from a local bookstore, and was carrying a handled paper bag containing two textbooks on biology. He greeted his comrades with a smile, gently bowing and joining them on their stroll.

"What are you two doing out tonight?" the handsome and built boy inquired, "I didn't expect to see either of you on my trip to buy some school books."

"Hn. Boredom." The plan was already working, however…

"Yeah." Yusuke mildly slapped a hand around the smallest's shoulder, cupping the joint itself in his palm; "We were bored so we've been walkin' around the city stirring up trouble." It was an exaggeration, they all knew, but that was part of Yusuke's charm.

The demons did not disregard the gesture. In fact, it irritated them. Hiei was fast regretting the decision, while Kurama was horribly fascinated by the way in which Yusuke's thumb caressed their ally's shoulder. He found himself wondering, What is between them? How does Hiei not flinch? It was all part of his astute nature; and it killed him, inciting an arousing feeling of jealousy that woke the spirit within him; sending the silver fox hairs on the back of his neck into standing position.

"I'm surprised. I would have thought that you two would have received stares," Kurama stated in a mocking tone, "With Hiei dressed so dark, one might have mistaken you for a member of a gothic clique."

"You speak as if a white toga were something to brag about, Kurama," Hiei remarked heatedly.

An idea burst into Yusuke's head, born from the imminent spat between the two. He turned and stopped Hiei mid-stride, taking hold of the opposite shoulder, and staring at him with passionate and anxious eyes. He exclaimed, "I just got this great idea! You've gotta come back home with me!" The raven had no chance to answer affirmatively; he was seized at his left wrist and torn from his slower pace by the detective, bringing them into a full-fledged run home. Yusuke called back, not wanting to literally leave Kurama in their dust, and apologized, "Sorry Kurama! Nice seein' ya!"

Disappointed as he was, he waved politely, formulating a way to win Yusuke over that would not intrude on their partnership with Spirit World and Koenma.

The two ran to Yusuke's building swiftly, appearing as black blurs to those who would have seen them. The boy detested the thought of letting another muse get away from him; which often happened during class or cases. They would hide from him forever, leaving only traces of their presence but not enough for him to produce astonishing replicas of them.

Carelessly, they burst into his apartment, finding it dark and empty, and then carried on straight into his room; sweat rivuletting down their necks and backs, dampening their attire. Without so much as a word, Yusuke lifted Hiei up by the waist; a task not so arduous because of his small size and feather weight; and set him upon the windowsill, setting his skin on fire with the colors of the sunset.

In seconds the boy had removed his moist tee and uncovered a long lost set of colored pencils. Hiei watched as he worked fast on the heavy sketch paper; the process was intriguing. He became lost in the strokes of yellow, red, and ebon, upset at their sudden halt.


"Something's…" Yusuke let himself falter, and stood from the bed, setting his sketch pad down and wide open for anyone to see. The demon was warm; the sun was amplified and he was still covered in his perspiration soaked cloak. It intensified when Yusuke came all but too close him, and took hold of the white shawl round his neck.

The artist played with the fabric between his fingertips, taking the brief moment to understand the clothing that Hiei wore nearly every day of his life. It was soft, too soft for the picture. It made him sleepy; and he didn't want his subject too cozy and pure within the plush of the white. He muttered, "I don't want this…" before pulling it completely off of him, dropping it into a well coiled ivory snake on the floor. He found his way back to his work, acting as if this was normal and characteristic behavior.

Hiei had not agreed to be a poseable model, but he let it happen. His imagination was wandering, and never before had he the chance to study a human so intimately. He was preoccupied with the observation, and before long was caught off guard when Yusuke had meandered only inches away from his skin once more.

Masculine fingers wrapped around the closed edges of his cloak, tugging with the knowledge that it was easily removable, pleading with their brown eyes to aid him. Hiei sat forward only a mite, giving the cloak leeway to come off of his arms and body, and that too, fell upon the sleeping serpent on the floor. Yusuke desired to color the skin. He wanted so badly just to see how the light glistened through the sweat; to see how it illuminated the curves of Hiei's supple torso. But there was still a torn black tank in the way, and the sun was rapidly fading into moonlight.

The hand fell into the collar of the black top, tugging and tugging, feeling no resistance from one who should have resisted. A hormonal lust washed over them, bleaching out feelings of artistic intrigue and necessity, regurgitating the drive for sin, revenge, rebellion, imagination, fantasy, and appeasement of a now prominent ache.

They inched closer to each other, lips seeking the other's touch, desiring the continuation of the sensual strip-tease. But it never came; that magical moment where they let themselves go and become vulnerable never happened. It was interrupted by the loud entrance of Atsuko and her drunken yakuza friends, clamoring over various pieces of furniture and laughing loudly whenever one would unavoidably stumble.

Yusuke had stopped himself, allowing his hand to drag across the pink flesh underneath Hiei's shirt as he walked toward the sliding door to his bedroom, and locked it. Mechanically, the boy put away everything; his pencils, sketch pad, and clothing; then retrieved a clean shirt before shutting his closet as well. Fortunately, he had been rude enough to not kick off his shoes when they had entered the apartment, and he stated, "Let's go to Kuwabara's."

Curious as to the alternate reasons for Yusuke's change in behavior, he nodded in spite of his dislike for the oaf, and dressed himself, opening the window. It wasn't that much of task to scale the building for Yusuke, he had supernatural powers, but he didn't much feel the need to have a punch-out fight with the yakuza in order to escape his own house.

Author's Note

If anyone can provide me with corrections in grammar and spelling; please do! While running the computer through with a spellcheck, it found the following errors; Poseable, rivuletting, and omelettes. Now, I guess that the American spelling is omelet. My spelling must stem from my years of studying French. Rivuletting…I suspect that I invented this word, like many others that I haven't even listed. Poseable. Well, that word isn't invented, I don't think. So either it isn't in Microsoft Word's dictionary, or posable is right and it just looks funny to me (it found a correction for neither of them). For both spellings, it says that it was wrong, but yet when looked up with the thesaurus, it states that pose is a related word.

Again, I'm writing this for practice. I want to get out of my short story habit, and possibly make writing into a career. Please leave any and all valid criticisms.


(wow…25 pages in html format!)