An AU Hiei x Kurama love story! My very first! Don't read if you're not into this couple/yaoi.
Chapter 1 : Silent Portrait
Hiei Jaganshi sat back on his chair, rubbing his forehead wearily. How long has it been? Working without rest? He glanced at the clock on his messy table. It blinked at him glaringly, as it stated proudly the numbers '5:02'. Hiei groaned. Twenty-six hours ... I think I have broken my own record. He swore colourfully, enough to scare demons away, as he absorbed the amount of paperwork and other things he still had to do. Sure, he was the mega-boss of well-known and influential Hiruiseki Corp., he didn't have to do all the grungy work but he did it anyway. Until his assistant Urameshi Yusuke found him another personal secretary, his current two would break under the strain of work.
Yukimura and Shinime were fairly good, but the amount of work was overwhelming. He glanced over at the two of them, who looked even more weary than him. He sighed.
"You can pack up and leave. The faster the better, since Yusuke can fetch you home and my office will be quiet again," he snapped irritably, taking a random eraser and throwing it at his assistant who was snoring on his sofa. It bounced off Yusuke's forehead. He stirred, mumbled something inaudibly, then flopped onto his side. He dated Yukimura Keiko, and he had stayed to help with the work but inevitably fell asleep. Too tired to scold him, Hiei had ignored him and his deafening snores, because his snoring was what kept the rest of them awake. Which was sort of a good thing.
The two girls nodded quickly, eager for some good rest. They packed up, and Keiko shook Yusuke roughly.
"You can take half the day off tomorrow. Make sure you're here and present after lunch," said Hiei.
"What about you, Jaganshi-san?" she inquired politely, while trying unsuccessfully to wake her boyfriend up.
"I'll be here in the morning of course."
"Let's go," Yukimura said to Yusuke, and Yusuke complied sleepily. He had hired Keiko after he hired Yusuke, and he was a little grateful to have employed her. Not only did she follow her orders well, she also kept Yusuke in line when he didn't.
"I'm driving," chirped Botan, Hiei's overly cheerful secretary who sometimes got on his nerves but was otherwise pleasant to have around.
Yusuke's eyes shot open then as they walked out the door. He glared.
"No way in hell am I letting you drive. I want to get home in one piece," retorted Yusuke.
"But you're sleepy. It's dangerous."
"Dangerous?! And you driving isn't? I'll never forget the last time you did..." Yusuke's voice trailed off as Keiko bade Mr Jaganshi good night and closed the door behind her. Hiei got some coffee and after staring at his desk till he drained the cup, he found he had no mood to continue at all. I'll bring some home to do. I can't sleep here, even if I could.
"Home," breathed Hiei as he staggered out the door of his office. He made his way through the building, waiting impatiently as the lift brought him twenty stories down. He stopped, and breathed in the morning air. The streets were quiet, and snow was falling. He looked up into the night sky and savoured the scenery of the pale moon, and for a moment he felt ... weird. Melancholy. Hiei shook his head of all nice and peaceful thoughts and began to walk, not concentrating on where he was going, allowing his legs to automatically lead him home.
As he walked on, he became vaguely aware of the headache banging his brain in his head, and also of the numbness in his limbs. Succumbing to unconsciousness, he fell sideways, still clutching his briefcase with important documents, into the snowy ground. He wasn't even halfway home yet, and it was already half past six in the morning.
And what a beautiful morning it was.
He dreamt of Yukina. He dreamt of sakura petals floating gently down in winter. He dreamt of snow in spring. He dreamt of a green meadow, grasslands, and the beautiful sun that set. He dreamt of someone by his side, but he couldn't picture the face. Was it female? Male? He dreamt of a farm and mountains and hills, and trees. He dreamt of the autumn leaves on the ground, as he kicked them up again and again, making it scatter and fly everywhere.
Fitful dreams, thought Kurama absently as he stared at the twitching figure on his bed. He chanced a glance out the window; people were already up and about. Would today make a difference? I am running out of cash, and it will soon be the end of the month. He sighed. Perhaps it won't. No one is interested in buying paintings.
He casted an amused look back to the bed. Hiei Jaganshi, corporate millionaire, collapsed in the streets and in the home of a shabby artist. Kurama chuckled. He was lucky to have found the man, and he was also kind hearted enough to take him in for the night ...morning. Kurama inched closer; taking in the ever-constant frown on the man's face, with his spiky black hair fluffed up and messy around him. Everyone knew who this man was, this orphan who single handedly built one of the biggest international software company ever ...
But the man recognized no one except for his personal secretaries and business associates. No one.
What a lonely life to lead ... thought Kurama, closing his eyes. He knew, once more, that today would have absolutely no business at all, and he would have to move out soon.
What a lonely life I lead.
Hiei jerked awake, sitting upright, effectively startling the young man beside him. He rubbed his forehead unconsciously, it had become a habit nowadays. Grunting, he turned questioningly to the man. At first glance, he looked like a woman, but Hiei wasn't fooled. The red hair was striking, or perhaps a more accurate term in describing it would be downright blinding, and he wore it long. Long and proud, hiding the emerald eyes from view. Said emerald eyes were wide opened, and Hiei was notably uncomfortable with that.
He stared at the man.
Kurama stared back.
Kurama blinked, and cocked his head to a side, a questioning look on his face.
Hiei grunted and glared.
Kurama shrank back, not knowing what he did to be on the receiving end of that glare, but maintained eye contact anyway, just to see what he would say.
I'm not going to be the one to start a dumb conversation, thought Hiei, annoyed. He got out of the bed, and looked at his watch.
"Shit!" he cursed, it was already half past one in the afternoon. He grabbed his suitcase, lying innocently beside the bed, and rushed out of the door before Kurama could even blink. He sighed, and rested his head on the bed where the warmth and scent from the multimillionaire still remained, lingering, for some unknown reason, that made Kurama feel ... weird.
He sighed again. So much for being kind. He got up and gathered his paintings and some stands, and walked out to meet the day. The life of an undiscovered artist, making money off the streets.
He couldn't help but notice that Jaganshi's scent somehow seemed to cling to him.
And what a beautiful afternoon it was...
Hiei rushed back to the office, dully aware that he was horribly, unforgivably late. Maintaining his composure, he pushed his way through the crowd toward the building he came from three hours earlier. As he burst in through the doors, a visible rain cloud over his head and expression dark and stormy, everyone else dodged the death glare he was giving off. Immense heat seemed to trail along behind him, and everyone felt it. Even Yusuke knew not to kid around, and Botan shut up immediately halfway through her story.
The door slammed.
Everyone else exhaled sharply, releasing a breath they had been holding.
Then the snickers started, coming from Yusuke first. Soon the realization that their boss was about five hours late for work sunk in, and the giggling ensued. Nobody could scold the boss, of course, but everyone sure could gossip. No harm done, right?
The door flew open.
"URAMESHI. GET. IN. HERE. NOW."
The tone of his voice promised death if he did not comply. Yusuke gulped, mustered a smile, and sauntered in. Everyone else said a silent prayer.
"I don't suppose you'd like to explain this," said Hiei icily. Yusuke could only gape around in the room.
His boss's desk was usually messier than his apartment, but this was a disaster of papers. Everything was ... well, to put it simply, everywhere. He chanced a glance at the window... nope, locked shut. He raised his eyes to his employer, who seemed to be visibly smoldering and demanded an explanation.
"Nobody came in here since you left," Yusuke said boldly. It was the truth, after all. His boss did not seem to believe him, however.
"Are you suspecting me?" he added incredulously. "You gave me half a day off. I only just got in before you." He strode over to the door, and yelled out to the rest of the people present, "Anybody stepped in here this morning?"
Everyone shook their heads, bewildered. No one had a death wish. Entering the boss's office without being called in was definitely one.
"Who was the first person to arrive in the morning?" demanded Hiei.
"Me, sir," said a tiny voice, from the far end of the room. Hiei beckoned.
"Did you do this?"
"Then who did?"
"I don't know."
"Yukimura, Shinime, pick up all the papers and put it on my desk. It doesn't have to be in order yet. Urameshi, do a check, see if anything's missing," said Hiei. Suddenly the phone rang, and he cursed a blue streak as he marched over to it to pick it up.
"Yes?" he barked.
"Oniisan...?" came a timid voice. Hiei's expression immediately softened. The other three in the room brightened as they went about their work. Only one person could calm their ever-angry boss like that.
"Yukina. What is it?"
"Why didn't you come home? You stayed the whole night in the office?"
"I did... I left the office at about six thirty..." By this time, everyone was clearly eavesdropping, though with their backs toward Hiei.
"I'll tell you later. Sorry Yukina, I'm very busy now. Someone came in and now my office is a mess. I don't know who did it."
"Oh, that must be horrible ... will you be back for dinner?"
"I will. I promise. Bye."
She hung up, and Hiei exhaled sharply.
"Aw, why didn't you finish the story?"
"Shut up and get to work," growled Hiei, as he joined his assistant in doing the check.
The papers had all been neatly stacked on the desk fifteen minutes later. Yusuke announced that nothing was lost. With a grunt, Hiei nodded in the direction of the two girls, and pushed Yusuke out.
The door slammed shut again. Everyone else went back to work, just like any other normal day.
Outside on the streets, a few blocks away and a corner, a young man with fiery red hair set up his stands and began to paint, while passer-bys looked on and faded away. Business, it seemed, would be zero that day.
And if anybody saw the person in the painting he was currently drawing resembled a certain multimillionaire, nobody said a thing.
Even if artists pour their expressions and emotions into a painting, who could suspect a lone painter connected to Hiei Jaganshi? At the moment though, Kurama painted the backdrop of a snowy white mountain exotic against the sunset and a man leaning back on a chair to watch it, through the windows of a building. Locked forever, as though waiting for someone to take him through.
How do you like it? Lol. Review please