13 drabbles Delta Theme;
#1: First time
It was as important to Hiei know his allies as his enemies, and Hiei was thus well aware of Kurama's unpleasantly wide suicidal streak. It caused him some annoyance – he had neither the time or the patience to find or train another partner who suited him as well as Kurama did – but after a while he dismissed it as just another quirk the kitsune displayed, especially since Kurama's stubborn pride rarely permitted him to lose a fight.
It was, however, even more important to know himself, and Hiei knew he was not one given to fear – no fear that had not haunted his dreams from his birth, at any rate. Fear of abandonment warred with fear of affection; fear of rejection coexisted, illogically but unquestionably, along with fear of acceptance. He knew his fears, knew their darkest and simplest forms, and while he had never faced his fears, he was able to avoid them.
Now he watched a match – a deathmatch – between a treacherous friend and his equally dangerous opponent; watched, calmly, as explosions ripped flesh and exposed bone and the icy green
eyes never displayed fear, or sorrow, or anything except fiery arrogance, steely determination and a kind of relieved resignation beneath it all. He watched as the fight changed direction again and again, first the dark-clad crow hunting his redheaded prey, and then the silver kitsune attacking his enemy, until no one, even the fighters, was sure how it would all end.
Watched, as a crimson aura flared, as Kurama's body seemed to explode with plants, screaming down at Karasu as he expended every last drop of his life energy to kill, to die.
Hiei had often heard the phrase "his heart stopped dead", but this was the first time he had ever experienced such a thing. The first time fear had dried his mouth and trapped his limbs so unexpectedly at the thought of Kurama, dead; at the idea of a reality where–
And then he watched as Kurama stirred, half-rose weakly, and the crushing pressure on his chest was removed, and he could breathe again – frozen in place, unable to move, watching still as Yusuke ran to support his exhausted friend, horror stealing over him.
It was most important of all to Hiei to know his fears, for he could then avoid facing them, but for the first time, he was afraid of something he could not run away from, and the very knowledge was terrifying.