Chapter Seven: You Will Fly
A/N: This is the end, folks! Hope you enjoyed it.
Kurama walked quietly up to the place where Hiei stood, looking at the retreating island from the rear of the boat; but as quiet as he was, the fire demon heard him. He made no sign of recognition as Kurama came to lean against the boat's railing next to him. They stood in silence for a while, almost but not quite at peace with each other, watching a dramatic portion of their lives slip behind the horizon.
When the island was nearly out of sight, Kurama spoke. "I dearly hope never to see that island again."
"Hn. As do I, fox."
After a moment, Kurama said, "I don't think it's over, Hiei."
"Don't think what's over?"
"What I got you into all that time ago. Helping Yusuke. Killing Toguro won't stop demons from coming after him, and we may not always have a choice about helping him, like we didn't last time."
"Why are you saying all this."
"I guess I feel guilty," Kurama said softly. "We all came so close to dying in this tournament, it's a miracle we didn't lose anybody. I should have known that helping Yusuke would eventually--"
"Spare me." Hiei kept his eyes on the island. "I knew what I was getting into. And it was that or rot in a jail cell, Kurama." Unspoken thanks hung in the air.
They stood and watched longer, until the island dwindled to a speck and was gone completely. There was a heaviness in the air, a tension that hadn't quite cleared up between them.
Hiei spoke suddenly. His voice was low and serious, and his eyes didn't flicker from the horizon as he spoke. "I want you to know," he said slowly, "that if you wish, I will never speak of this again. But I need to speak to you."
"I am listening," Kurama replied.
Hiei kept his eyes trained far away. "About the other night," he began. He waited to feel an answering surge of tension from Kurama's body, but there was none. "I realized something. I guess we both knew it wasn't a safe thing to do, but..."
When it became clear he couldn't continue without help, Kurama spoke softly. "What did you realize, Hiei?"
Hiei closed his eyes. "That I never stopped loving you," he admitted, just as softly. "And if you wish, I'll pretend it isn't so. But I can't help thinking that it isn't fair that we lost each other. I'll admit I was wrong, Kurama, if that's what it takes. I don't want to force you to try anything. But I've changed a great deal since then... I guess I've learned a great deal. And if you would be willing, to try again..."
"We would have to tell the others."
Hiei opened his eyes in mild surprise. Kurama sounded perfectly calm. He turned to face him, and he looked serious, but unconcerned, unsurprised even. "Yes," he said cautiously.
"I won't hide it from Yusuke and Kuwabara."
"No. I would never want to hide you."
Kurama watched him for a few moments, head tilted slightly to one side. Hiei watched him back, breathing deeply. "Yes," Kurama said softly.
"Yes." Kurama took a step closer. "It was cruel that we had so little time together. I--I don't think I've stopped loving you either, Hiei. That's why I came to you. I needed the touch of someone I loved." Another step. "And I was wrong, too. I didn't approve of what you were doing, back then, and I should have spoken my mind. I was just so afraid of losing you." Another step, and a hand delicately touching the side of Hiei's face, questioning. "Have I lost you?"
"No," Hiei replied, shortening the remaining space between them. "I'm right here."
Kurama leaned down and kissed Hiei, almost wary in the lightness of his touch. Hiei covered the hand on his cheek with his own, preventing it from moving, and deepened the kiss. His other arm wrapped around Kurama's waist, and Kurama sighed, falling into the kiss.
It would have been a very romantic moment if Yusuke hadn't taken that moment to scream, "Hey guys! Kurama and Hiei are kissing!"
Hiei growled at the many speechless faces that turned towards them. "And your point is?"
"Er--nothing," Yusuke stammered, seeing Hiei's right arm begin to twitch.
Kurama was barely able to restrain his laughter. "I think we should perhaps take this inside, love," he murmured to Hiei.
"Why? They can get used to it." And to prove his point, Hiei tilted his face up and kissed a happy Kurama thoroughly, amid the cheers of their teammates.