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1234

Kurama lazily opened his eyes, a blue sky gracing his vision. Had he fallen asleep? He hadn't meant to if he had…Kurama looked around trying to recall where he was and why he was outside lying in the grass. It was when he turned his head to the left he saw Kuwabara laying in the grass, abut a yard away from him, his head and shoulders cradled in tree roots. Kuwabara's face was turned away from Kurama, as if he was looking at something on the other side of the tree. And then Kurama remembered he had not fallen asleep.

He had been fighting.

Fighting what?

"A demon attacked us…" Kurama whispered suddenly.

"Be quiet," Hiei's voice caught Kurama's ear and he turned seeing Hiei sitting by him, red eyes glaring down hard at him. Hiei scolded Kurama with his gaze, and his frown told Kurama he'd done something wrong.

"What did I do?" Kurama found himself dumbly asking.

Hiei sighed annoyed and looked away from Kurama to Kuwabara who was a yard away. "You should have let Yusuke rescue the buffoon…you didn't need to grab onto that idiot like that. Yusuke would have rescued him in time."

This answer just further confused Kurama. Kurama looked back over at Kuwabara and realized that Kuwabara was lying so far away because Yusuke was talking privately with Kuwabara. Kurama had learned that whenever Kuwabara did something, "stupid," as Yusuke or Hiei called it, Yusuke would take Kuwabara away from the others and speak to Kuwabara in a low voice, which often led to the two former rivals, now best friends, hugging.

Kurama couldn't see Yusuke talking to Kuwabara, but Kurama knew that Yusuke didn't like his face to be seen by others when he had one of these talks with Kuwabara. This meant that Yusuke was probably hiding behind the very tree that Kuwabara was nestled against…and that was why Kuwabara's face was turned away. Why Yusuke didn't like to be seen was unknown to Kurama. He couldn't recall Yusuke doing anything weird when ever he talked with Kuwabara...but maybe it was just because Yusuke always got a little more honest with how he was really feeling when ever he lectured Kuwabara on not dying.

"Is Kuwabara alright?" Kurama finally asked Hiei as he slowly tried to recall his memories of what happened here.

"His soul would have gotten sucked out by that damned demon if it weren't for you…but still you didn't need to grab onto the buffoon like that," Hiei said in a low voice. "Kuwabara would have been fine, Yusuke would have rescued him in time."

It was then Kurama began to slowly remember…not everything. But he could still grasp onto some fine details of today's events…the four had been out looking for Koruku-a soul eater. This demon enjoyed stealing the souls of young spiritually aware humans and devouring them. The four friends had promised Koenma to capture this demon and it had been Kurama who came up with the idea to use Kuwabara as bait. Yusuke had argued that there must be some other way, but Kuwabara agreed to be bait. It would work, and Kuwabara claimed he had nothing to fear, especially since his friends would be around to stop the demon before anything went out of control. The plan had worked a little too well…

The demon had seized Kuwabara and began to steal the man's soul when Kurama jumped on the demon. The demon had easily flung him off and hand sunk into Kurama's chest…someone grabbed the demon before Koruku could tear out Kurama's heart…and Kurama passed out staring at the pale form of Kazuma Kuwabara, who was being fiercely protected by his best friend.

"I just…" Kurama whispered softly as his memories continued to fall into place, "I'm Kuwabara's friend too. I wanted to save Kuwabara too. It's not just Yusuke's job!" Kurama looked over at Hiei who was giving him a softer look. Hiei sighed and nodded.

"Yeah…I know fox," Hiei finally said glancing at Kuwabara who was now sitting up and leaning against Yusuke who was no longer hiding himself behind the tree. "I know…I wanted to rescue Kuwabara too…but I chose to rescue you," Hiei admitted, the red headed man looking over at Hiei with curious green eyes.

"Yusuke is no doubt giving Kuwabara one of those friendship speeches about how, Kuwabara is the first friend he's ever had, and how Yusuke doesn't want to lose him. Yusuke's also probably saying how we're all friends, but Kuwabara is his best friend…and that means he can't lose Kuwabara because it would destroy him," Hiei said sounding annoyed, but Kurama caught the double meaning. Just as Yusuke was in fact giving Kuwabara a speech about how Kuwabara had to be careful with his life, Hiei was relaying that message to Kurama.

Kurama smiled knowing how hard Hiei must have been trying not to sound embarrassed. Hiei did not openly admit how he felt, he was not a person that shared their feelings. But Kurama had known Hiei longer then anyone else, and there were times when Hiei could reveal a bit of a softer side to his friend. Especially if Hiei thought he had almost lost that friend.

"Yeah…Yusuke is probably giving Kuwabara that speech…" Kurama finally said looking back at the sky for a moment. After a long pause Kurama turned to look over at Hiei, "Sorry Hiei…I'll be more careful."

Hiei glanced at Kurama, and Kurama saw the relief in Hiei's eyes-though Hiei did his best to hide it.

"See that you do, Fox. I'm not your keeper; I can't watch your back all the time," Hiei growled annoyed, "I wasn't put on this Earth to watch over you and make sure you live to see tomorrow, you know."

Kurama smiled at his friend and then looked back over at Kuwabara and Yusuke who were sitting up and laughing now. Kurama sighed and looked back to the blue sky, "Yeah I know Hiei. Sorry for the trouble I'll be more careful from now on."

And with that Hiei and Kurama sat in silence and waited for Yusuke and Kuwabara to come over to check on their other injured friends.

End

Man challenge fics are fun. I'm not a very good at writing fics where the man focus isn't Kuwabara or Yusuke, or Kuwabara and Yusuke. So I hope this isn't so bad.