Okay everyone, here we go again. If you read my work then you know I've been trying to be more creative in my storylines without straying too far from the YYH path. In this one Kurama's going to be very out of character for a while but just wait, Shiori's secret will explain his behavior eventually. I don't think I've ever read a story like this (you'll have to wait for Shiori's secret to know what I mean) so I hope you like it. Please leave me a review and let me know what you think.

I do not own YuYu Hakusho. Full disclosure in my profile.

SHIORI'S SECRET

Chapter 1

Kurama looked around the battle field frantically. "Hiei!"

Rushing to where Yusuke and Kuwabara were sitting in the grass catching their breath Kurama was quickly losing it. He barely noticed that they were alright. "Where's Hiei? I can't find him!"

Giving each other a 'here we go again' look Yusuke and Kuwabara rose to help their friend search. Even though Hiei was not among the bloody remains of the demons they had just defeated, Kurama was still nearly hysterical. "Hiei! Damn it, I'm his partner, I'm supposed to be covering his back but we got separated! Hiei!"

They all turned when they heard a voice coming from the trees. "Stupid Fox. You're wailing like a damn female…"

"Hiei!" The fire demon didn't get to finish his sentence as he was pounced by an excited redhead. Though Hiei had grown almost as tall as Kurama, momentum was in the fox's favor and Hiei was tumbled to the ground. Hiei was now flat on his back with Kurama straddling his waist.

"You're not hurt are you? Oh Hiei, I was so worried." Gentle hands ghosted up his bare chest checking for injuries. Finally satisfied that Hiei was relatively uninjured Kurama swooped down to claim his lips.

Kurama had only a brief moment to savor the warm mouth beneath his before Hiei shoved him away. Landing on his behind Kurama watched Hiei jump up and wiped the back of his hand across his lips. "Damn it Kurama, you know I hate it when you do that!"

Hanging his head Kurama hugged his knees to his chest, his voice trembled slightly when he spoke. "I'm sorry Hiei. I couldn't help it. I was just so relieved that you were alright."

Still annoyed, Hiei half turned away. "All you had to do was ask me! I just went after the little one that tried to get away! When the hell are you going to get it through your head that I don't want you touching me like that? Aw hell, I'm out of here!"

Embarrassed, Kurama rose as Hiei walked away. With his head still down he whispered and turned in the opposite direction. "I'm sorry."

Watching their friends leave Yusuke gave a heavy sigh and nodded in Kurama's direction. "You got him?"

When Kuwabara nodded solemnly Yusuke jerked a thumb in Hiei's direction. "Then I've got that one."

After only a short sprint Kuwabara caught up with Kurama. "Hey Kurama, wait up, I'll walk with you."

Even though Kurama's hair blocked his view Kuwabara knew his friend was close to tears. "That runt should be shot for hurting you the way he does. How long are you going to let him do this to you Kurama? After all these years isn't it time you gave up on him and moved on? There are so many people out there, human and demon, that would love to be with you."

Kurama drew several deep breaths in an attempted to calm himself. "I love him Kuwa. That's not something I can just stop doing because he doesn't love me back. I can't really explain it. I've always cared for him, even been a little in love with him, ever since we first met. Something changed though after the dark tournament. It's like I began craving him. At first just to be with him, then I began to need to touch him, now…"

Kurama didn't need to finish, they had all seen how things had progressed. Kurama and Hiei had always been close but like he said, after the dark tournament things began to change. Kurama would became very excited whenever Hiei came around. After a while he started touching Hiei when he didn't think anyone would notice. It was hard not to notice Hiei's reaction though. The more affectionate Kurama became the more vocal and physical Hiei became. Somehow though, it never seemed to effect their friendship or their being fighting partners.

After the Makai tournament, when Hiei stayed in Makai, Kurama worried about Hiei constantly but resigned himself to what he called a temporary separation. When Hiei's three years on patrol ended he returned to the Ningenkai but not for Kurama. Genkai and Yukina had been having trouble with some more aggressive demons that crossed the barrier so Hiei stayed as security in order to protect his sister. Of course after word of this got around Genkai had very little trouble.

That was two years ago and Kurama had only become more affectionate towards Hiei as time passed. It had reached the point now where Kurama would try to hug or kiss Hiei whenever he could. Even though Hiei rejected him at every turn Kurama never gave up and Hiei never left.

When Koenma called them in for an occasional assignment Kurama fought beside Hiei just as he always had but if anything happened to Hiei, whether he was in danger or wounded, Kurama would change to his demon form and fight like the vicious demon he was legend to be in order to protect Hiei. Then there were times like today when Kurama couldn't find him the fox would become frantic for Hiei's safety.

Through all of this Yusuke and Kuwabara had stood by their friends, to calm Hiei when he was mad and to comfort Kurama when he was hurting. With a sigh Kuwabara put a friendly arm around Kurama's shoulders. "I know it's hard Kurama. You said that things changed after the dark tournament. Do you think something could have happened to you while you were there to make this happen? I mean that was the first time you used the fruit of the past life. Maybe that woke some demon thing inside you."

Leaning slightly into Kuwabara's strength Kurama sighed. "I considered that, along with the possibility of some sort of spell but so far I haven't come up with any answers. There are several species of demons that have a physical need to take a mate when reaching adulthood but Youkos are not one of them. Youkos are very… sensual creatures. Since using the juice the only Youko trait I've noticed is been particularly… horny."

Kurama laughed when Kuwabara jumped away from him nervously. "Relax Kuwa, whatever is going on with me makes me want only Hiei. That is decidedly not a Youko trait."

Kuwabara sighed. "That's a relief."

XXXXXXX

Yusuke could always tell when Hiei regretted being harsh on Kurama because he didn't flit off like he usually did but allowed the detective to catch up with him as if he wanted to be told off. "Damn it Hiei, how can you hurt him like that? And why, because he loves you? You of all people should know how much rejection hurts. He's your best friend and your partner! What the hell's the matter with you?"

Without looking at him, Hiei continued walking. "He shouldn't love me."

Hiei's voice was so low and calm Yusuke wasn't sure he heard correctly. "He shouldn't love you? What the hell does that mean? I'm not blind, I know you're attracted to him so what's the problem?"

When Hiei didn't answer Yusuke got mad. "Damn it Hiei, how can you turn a blind eye to Kurama's needs! You have three of them after all!"

Hiei growled. "I thought you were a detective not a pimp. I refuse to be the fox's sex toy just to satisfy his needs."

After a moment Yusuke chuckled. "Damn Hiei when did you get a sense of humor? Too bad this isn't funny. Having sex isn't what I meant. If sex were all he wanted Kurama would have had you long ago. He is a Youko after all. No, this is different. It's like a physical and emotional need for you and only you Hiei. Kuwabara and I have tried to help him by touching and holding him, I even tried kissing him but none of it helped."

When he heard Hiei growl Yusuke smirked as he continued. "Hiei, even if you don't want to be his lover you could still help him. Think about it, the hug he stole earlier was enough to calm him so he could fight. By the end of the fight he was frantic though and had to touch and kiss you. That little contact will calm for a while but soon he'll be a wreck again. Open your eyes Hiei, he's freaky unless he's with you then he calms until he's been away from you a while then he becomes almost physically ill."

Stopping Hiei's eyes widened. "What the hell am I supposed to do? We don't even know what's wrong with him."

Yusuke shrugged. "Maybe if you'd spend some time with him, let him hold your hand or something, maybe he'd get better. It sure as hell wouldn't hurt."

Hiei considered Yusuke's words a moment before flitting away. As soon as Hiei was out of sight Yusuke dialed Kuwabara on his cell phone. "He Kuwa, how's our fox?"

"The usual. Torn up at being rejected for the millionth time, embarrassed and ready to break down again the minute I left. How's the shrimp?"

Yusuke sighed. "Worried about Kurama even if he won't admit it. Let's just hope he listens to reason and tries to help Kurama. Talk to you later."

Ending the call Yusuke headed home.

XXXXXXXX

Hiei wandered the streets for hours as he thought about Yusuke's words. He'd known something was wrong with Kurama for a while now but hadn't considered it might be making him ill. Every time the redhead or the Youko came on to him Hiei had thought it was just that, a come on. Yusuke had been right, he had been turning a blind eye to what was happening to Kurama. He was also right when he said Hiei was attracted to his best friend though he had no intention of allowing anything other than friendship happen between them.

It was after two in the morning when Hiei finally made a decision and flitted in the direction of Kurama's apartment.