Disclaimer: I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho.
Author's Note: Take this piece any way you wish, I don't care. It was written for myself and I am only sharing my thoughts.
Her sobs tore through him like jagged shards of glass. Each soft tink of the hiruseki stones hitting the floor made his heart ache, his stomach twist, his head spin. Why? Why did he have to make her cry so?
He stood, bewildered and ashamed, looking at her heaving shoulders from behind. He stood no more then ten feet away, yet was unable to move away or towards her. The little pearls dropped rapidly, a storm of anguish that he could have prevented.
Her tears were bitter and heart wrenching, her quivering form looking so small and fragile before him. A snowflake beside a candle flame.
He could no longer stand the sound of her sadness, her lonely sobs. Striding forward, faster then the shadows, he wrapped his arms around her torso from behind, pressing her back against his chest tightly. She started, unprepared for the sudden sensation of being embraced.
"Yukina…" he whispered against her teal hair, shutting his ruby eyes that matched hers, and nestled against her in a rare embrace. Her shoulders drooped, her shaking easing slightly. She turned in his arms then, hugging him in return, burying her garnet hues against his shoulder, hiruseki stones still crashing to the floor from time to time as the siblings stood together as a single entangled form.
"Please don't cry any more… Your tears are worth far too much to be shed over someone like me," he muttered against her hair, clutching to her more tightly. His heart began to race as she returned the embrace with equal force.
"Never say such things! Please, I beg you, I couldn't stand it!" she cried softly, gripping his cloak tightly with her fists. "Please, don't leave, Hiei. I couldn't bare it," she pleaded, sounding so broken and lost as she clung to him.
He pushed her gently away to arms length, his hands gripping her shoulders gently. His red hues looked deep into hers, trying to understand how this angel of frost could possibly want a tainted demon of flames to stay anywhere near her.
"Why? Why would it make you so sad to see me go?" he asked, honestly confounded by her reaction. He'd left before, why was this time different?
The ice maiden sniffed a little before reaching forward to gently run her fingers against his cheek. He jerked a little, surprised by the contact, which made her smile gently through her tears. "Because you won't come back this time, will you? I know you won't and I just can't stand the thought of never seeing you again." She looked down to her feet, as though ashamed.
Hiei reached forward and tilted her chin up with his knuckle, searching within those beautiful cranberry eyes of hers for an explanation.
"I feel that, even if I never find my brother, I can be happy, as long as you are with me. You are so kind to me, so patient. You are always there when I'm in trouble, always there to protect me. You are everything I could ask for… I don't need a brother if I have you… I..I love you, Hiei."
His mouth went dry, his eyes wide in shock. How could she be saying such things? Was this some cruel dream he was having? His hands went slack and dropped to his sides as he continued to look at his unknowing sister. He forced himself to look away.
"How could you want a murderer and a thief? Someone as tainted and vicious as I am couldn't possibly make a suitable mate…" he snapped, stunned at the sudden turn of the conversation. He stood still, shutting his eyes tight. He would not let her see the shock, the pain in them. He felt her hand against his arm and couldn't help but glance back at her.
"Hiei… I don't know why, but I feel something between us. Fire and ice, my brother and I were, literally. When I lost him, I made myself a promise to find him, thinking I would know him by his spirit energy or by something twins share… But now, after all these years of searching, I realized something," explained the ice angel, looking up into his face with a gentle gaze.
"I may never find him, may never see my brother face to face, but I've found happiness, which is something I know he would have wanted." Her gentle smile was like a malicious whip to his turbulent mind. "I've found happiness here, with my friends, and with you," she stated softly, a few tears still glistening in those stunning red orbs. The smile faded after a moment and she turned her head away again, the tears welling in her eyes.
"That's why I can't help but cry now… I love you; I will surely die if I can not see you again… Perhaps this is how my mother felt…"
This couldn't be happening. When had he ever been anything but aloof and unsociable? He practically ignored her all together, hoping she would never figure out their connection. Now this… this terrible, unexpected mistake, this blade that would force him to either tear them apart, leaving them both shattered and heartbroken or would force him to come forward, exposing his lies and his secrets that might still leave them tore and heavy hearted. He sucked in a breath, looking back at his sister.
Reaching forward, he gently wiped away the moisture from her long lashes, flinging the tear aside where it shattered into shards of hiruseki. She looked up at him, sadness and hope emanating from her like an aura.
"Yukina…" he muttered, looking down upon her angelic face. Even through her tears, she was beautiful, more beautiful then anyone he'd ever known. What would she say? What would happen once she knew? The thoughts raced in his head, shredding it with countless horrible reactions his sister might. Sucking in a ragged breath, trying to think of the absolute way of telling her why he could not return her love, why he would leave her with a heavy heart.
He opened his arms, gesturing her to come to him. She did, most willingly, smiling brightly as his arms enveloped her once more. He savored it, shut his eyes and concentrated on the feel of her skin, the smell of her hair, the contact between them he had always craved, allowed himself the rare luxury of being so near his sister.
"Yukina…" he murmured against her ear. She clutched him tightly, smiling to herself in simple bliss. How she had dreamed of this day. Somehow, she had always known she would love a man of fire, just as her mother had. Though, she had always believed she would love a certain fire demon… His heat was addicting compared to her never-ending chill.
Beneath her hands, her felt his shoulders tremble. It was nothing she had ever known him to do before, though she knew it all too well from all the years of turmoil and despair she had known. It startled her so severely she pulled back to look into his face once more. His head was turned to the side, his eyes covered by the shadows formed by his hair.
"Hiei? Oh Hiei, are you alright?" she asked, quickly taking concern over the demons. He simply nodded, pulling away from her embrace slowly. He moved lethargically, moving around her, bending to pick something off the floor behind her. A hiruseki stone of hers? A memento?
He pulled in a deep breath before turning to face her once more. He looked different, somehow more vulnerable then before. She eyed him carefully, remaining silent as he brought his closed fist between them, looking down at it as though it contained the deadly fate of the world. She looked down as well, curious. Then he opened it.
At first, neither spoke. At first, neither breathed, moved, or made a sound. At first, neither could react in any way.
She moved first.
It was a slow and deliberate movement she made as she reached forward to grasp the little pearl in her delicate hand. She held it like the most fragile of things, as though it would turn to dust if she so much as breathed too heavily.
In her hands, it looked even more precious. A perfectly round, medium sized hiruseki stone lay in her hand, like hundreds she had shed herself. The only difference was that this one was the most contradicting object in existence. It was a deep garnet color, like his eyes, like her eyes. It was his. It had fallen from his eyes.
It all seemed to happen so slowly, so unendingly. He felt his heart fluttering with fear, felt the ache of rejection and regret twist his stomach as he watched her looking down upon the dark ice pearl in her perfect hands. Her expression was one of wonderment and utter amazement.
It seemed a long time before she looked back up to face him. When she did, her expression did not change as she stared him the way she had stared at the red hiruseki.
He tried to swallow, but his throat had gone dry, his breath ragged and anxious. Why wouldn't she speak? Why was she not screaming and cursing his name?
The tears came freely, quickly, and inevitably. They fell to the ground with a clatter, like a thousand shards of ice. He looked away, unable to watch. He'd expected her to react this way, expected to see disappointment and bitterness in her innocent eyes, along with a torrent of angry tears. He always made her cry.
The single red hiruseki was clutched between her delicate fingers, a symbol of his grief for his loss. A single tear shed for the night he would finally lose his sister for eternity. No longer would he walk beside her, watch over her, hear her laugh, see her smile, smell the sweet scent of her hair. How could he, when she would not want him?
"Brother…? You..You're my brother?"
Her voice sent shivers down his spine, but still, he refused to look at her, refused to speak. It was a rhetorical question, of course. Still, he could not figure out the emotion that colored her tone.
His heart nearly stopped as her arms slid around his waist, pressing herself against him with enough force to break the ribs of a human. The sobs racked her body vibrated through him, though it was her words that shook him the most deeply.
"After all this time, finally… How could I have been so blind?" she rasped softly, pressing her head against his chest, tightening her grip around his middle. "I can't believe you have been before me the entire time… My dearest brother…"
His throat closed completely, his garnet eyes wide, unable to comprehend what she was saying. He stood frozen, enveloped in an embrace from his angel of ice, fearing to move, fearing to even breathe, as he might shatter this wondrous dream the gods had bestowed on him.
Against his better judgment, he pulled back from her, gingerly unclenching her grip on his waist. She immediately turned up to look at him, questioningly. Lifting his hands to her face, he slid them over her cheeks and into her hair, lavishing in the feeling of her skin. He held her head gently, tilting it to stare into her glittering red orbs.
Leaning forward slowly, he pressed his lips to her forehead, then to her temple, then her other temple. He moved down her face slowly, planting soft kisses along her flawless skin with his fiery touch. He kissed her lips last, gingerly, and held them for a long while between his. It was a stranger's kiss, a friend's kiss, a lover's kiss, a brother's kiss all at once.
Interlocked, the pair dimly noticed their spirit energy rise, encasing them in a world all their own. Around them, woven from fire and snow, was a cage, an orb of energy that locked all other influences away. Together, they became a single entity and a force that neither human nor demon could match.