# 13 – Unexpected

A/N: set right after Hiei's fight with Shigure. And I don't normally follow the fanon concept of claiming, but it was fun to d(r)abble in it.

Mukuro reclined on the cushions of her private audience chamber and regarded her visitor levelly. 'Why are you here?' she asked bluntly.

She had expected some sort of offer, a peace treaty perhaps – why else would Yomi's chief counsellor be here during a time of undeclared war?

'Hiei,' Kurama said simply. One hand clenched involuntarily at his side; quite a lapse, she thought, for one such as he.

'And what business do you have with my heir?'

'Three days ago,' Kurama said quietly, 'there was a violent surge of energy from him, followed by…nothing. I would know if he died, but…'

'And how did you know?' Mukuro reprimanded herself for that statement immediately. Kurama had worked wonders with Yomi's spy system, even though he was rarely in the Makai. She'd lost three informants just in the last week.

His answer, however, surprised her.

'Hiei and I are bonded,' Kurama said, wary eyes on her. 'I sensed it when he…his heart stopped for a moment, didn't it?'

'It did,' Mukuro admitted. 'He is recovering, however. He should be out of the tank by next week. He never mentioned being bonded.'

'He doesn't accept that we are,' Kurama shrugged.

'You've not claimed each other?'

'He's stubborn,' Kurama said simply. 'He needs more time before he can take that step, I think.'

'Why tell me this?' she asked, curious. This was a valuable bit of information.

'Because there was no other way you would let me see him when he was so vulnerable. And because,' his eyes glittered dangerously, 'I do not take kindly to thieves, despite being one.'

'Oh, please,' Mukuro sniffed.

Kurama smiled enigmatically and waited.

'All right,' she gave in gracefully. 'He's this way.'

Whatever doubts she'd had about Kurama's explanation were dismissed when they arrived at the regeneration tank. The look in his eyes, the way he leaned his forehead against the glass and laid gentle fingers against it was enough. He was silent for a long time, and she turned away to give him his privacy.

'You're going to tell me about this someday, you know, Hiei,' he said finally, wearily amused, 'and I'll finally get to hit you for doing this, you insufferable little idiot.'

He lingered there a moment longer, and then turned to Mukuro. 'Thank you.'

'You really are bonded,' she commented as they returned. Kurama never looked back, but the faint tension that had vibrated through him was gone.

He looked vaguely surprised. 'Of course.'

'He'll come back to you, you know,' she said. 'He couldn't make himself stay away. I can't think why I didn't guess earlier.'

'Moth to the flame,' Kurama murmured as they left her fortress. 'Drawn to the unattainable, even when it means death.'

'Yes, he is,' she agreed.

Kurama smiled, bittersweet. 'I wasn't referring to him.'

A/N: okay, having finished this set, I discovered that I had other drabbles. (bravo, my inner HK fangirl, for taking full advantage of the holidays.) There will be another set of thirteen following this - unless I should post it in a separate set. If you think so, please let me know in a review. Thanks to everyone who reviewed or put this on their alert or favourites list. Oh, and a reference to The Language of Flowers snuck in here. Big bonus points to anyone who finds it.