Hiya everyone! Oneshot, AU, HieiKurama, KuwabaraYukina, YusukeKeiko... set after the events of my story, Silent Portrait!
For those of you who haven't read Silent Portrait, I doubt this story will interest you, but... oh well. If you are still interested, then here's a brief summary: in Silent Portrait, an AU, Kurama is an artist and Hiei is a multimillionaire. And the rest of them are in there somewhere. Kurama, however, is very ... unique...
For those of you who have, I hope you enjoy this! It's a taste of what's to come!
Silent Portrait : The Artist's Hands
Hiei paced back and forth outside the room, cursing the world five times everytime he passed the door, ignoring the rest of the people around him. It's so unfair, thought Hiei in anger, that the husband is the one who gets to go in...
"Hiei, calm down, will you?" said Shizuru irritably, her hands itching for a cigarette. No smoking in hospitals, as usual. That law ought to be banned.
"I will not calm down. I will kill your brother. Causing Yukina so much pain..."
A hand was put placatingly on his shoulder, in an attempt to calm him down. He knew who that was. He relaxed a bit; Kurama's artist's hands always had that kind of effect on him, whether a nice massage after a hard day at work or ... in the bath ... in bed...
Fuck it. He was not going to think about things like that in public. He turned around to glare at Kurama, who smiled and brushed it away like it was nothing.
It was nothing, after all. Hiei's glares did not work on Kurama, who was either immune or just ... well, immune. After all, as he couldn't speak, the only thing Kurama could do was either smile or glare back.
'She will be fine,' signed Kurama, gesturing gracefully with his hands, and then placed one over his lover's heart. 'She is strong, like you.'
Hiei grunted, and looked away. He was not one for public displays of affection, and he was especially uncomfortable with it as he wasn't... as he was, well, homosexual. And he had a reputation, a reputation that often took first priority. Sighing deeply, he crossed his arms and tapped his foot impatiently.
"How is it in any way his fault?" said Shizuru indignantly.
"He ... he ... impregnated her ..."
"Now, now, Hiei ... your sister consented to it..."
That burst the bubble.
"YUSUKE! YOU'RE MAKING THINGS WORSE!" shouted everyone in the room, save for Kurama, the only one brave and content enough to now restrain Hiei from throttling Yusuke. In fact, if the look on Hiei's face hadn't been so murderous, they might have simply been hugging normally like every other couple.
Kurama, holding his lover back from doing any lasting damage, tried to calm him down. Obviously he could not gesture, because gesturing would require use of his hands, and if he moved his hands, Hiei would be let free and if Hiei was let free Yusuke would be dead.
"I'm sorry, boss! But if you think about it, if she didn't consent to it, then it would have been rape!"
"Yusuke. Just. Shut. Up," hissed Keiko, wincing as the look on Hiei's face turned worse.
Just then, Kuwabara burst out of the room, prancing about like a pony, his heart in the heavens, high up in the clouds, thanking the gods for the safe delivery of his child. A loud wail could be heard from inside the room.
"It's a girl! It's a girl, Hiei, it's a girl!"
Hiei spluttered indignantly when Kuwabara swooped down to give him a hug, completely ignorant of the tense relationship between them previously. Kurama and the rest stifled a laugh, averting their eyes from the sight.
"Come in, come in and see ... quick, it's a girl! Oh boy, I mean girl, it's a girl!"
With that, he bounded back into the room, leaving everyone blinking in surprise.
Kurama gave Hiei a slight nudge toward the door, his hand in the small of his back. He looked back towards the redhead, suddenly so unsure. And yet, he thought, what is there to be unsure of? Wasn't I the one who wanted to ... to barge in there...?
"Shouldn't you go in, Shizuru? You're the baby's aunt after all."
"Yeah, I probably should. Come on, uncle, let's go."
"I'm not your uncle."
"I wouldn't want you to be. Stop being so sour."
"What about -"
"They'll come in later. Family first, Hiei-chan," said Shizuru, pushing the man through the doorway. He stumbled in, cursing the girl, and when he got pulled in by the hand by a very excited brother-in-law, he swore out loud again.
"Calm down, you big oaf!" snarled Hiei. "I'm coming!"
"Look, she's so beautiful," said Kuwabara, tears shining in his eyes. "My sweet, you and her... you're both beautiful. I love you."
Yukina was cradling the baby gently, softly, that made Hiei ache so badly in his heart. He knew what she felt, they both knew; an experience nothing could take away, nothing except the cruelty of the world which had torn the two siblings apart from their parents.
He watched Kuwabara pledge his love to his wife and daughter again, and again, and his inner mind calmed, reassured that his sister was loved not only by him.
"What shall we name her?" said Yukina, her voice weak. She looked pale, and Hiei tried his best to pass it off as nothing, of course, because giving birth was not exactly as smooth as butter.
"Oh, gee... I don't know, dear. It's up to you."
"Oniichan," said Yukina softly. "Hold her ... go on, you're her uncle..."
He hesitated, then took the bundle from her arms, crying loudly for the world to hear, that it was alive and kicking and crying, and Hiei felt that no amount of money in the world could match this. He swore, just like he'd sworn to protect Yukina ever since he found her... he swore to the little girl that he would protect her too, just like her mother, to the best of his capabilities.
He was so intent on looking at the tiny baby that he did not notice Kurama had entered the room. A hand came close to the baby suddenly, then he looked up into the green eyes of Kurama's. Kurama wore a very content smile, happy enough to share the happiness of a new life being born, and he prodded the bundle in Hiei's arms gently with a delicate finger, watching in awe as it cried loudly. His other hand came to rest unconsciously on his throat as he swallowed; burying down the emotion he felt at hearing this tiny being emit sounds like he could not.
Hiei gave the bundle to Kurama. "Don't drop her," he murmured as he squeezed his lover's hand, knowing the sadness and loneliness Kurama still often experienced around the rest, when his silence was more pronounced than ever.
"Kurama! You shouldn't be out of bed!"
Yusuke had come in with Keiko and Botan, excitement shining in his eyes. Kurama raised an eyebrow at him.
"You just gave birth! You should sit down! Let Hiei take care of the baby!" said Yusuke, pointing to the baby in his arms.
Yusuke was sure Keiko and Botan would hit him for that remark, and later he would soon get it from Hiei, but to his surprise, the two girls burst into laughter. Kurama narrowed his eyes, annoyed.
"Sorry, Kurama... but it really does look like you and Hiei were the ones who just... you know," said Keiko, giggling.
"Doesn't help that Kurama still looks like a girl," added Yusuke, snickering.
A glare from their boss shut them up.
"Kurama-kun," said Yukina, gesturing to him. Gently, he set the baby down in her arms.
"Kuwabara Kairi," said Kuwabara happily. "Isn't it a pretty name?"
"Kairi-chan," said Yusuke, testing the name out. "Yeah, it is."
"He wanted a name starting with 'K', just like his name, Kuwabara Kazuma," said Yukina, smiling.
"Hahahaha, Kuwabara Keiko!"
"YUSUKE!!" roared Keiko.
Kurama whacked him. Hard.
Little Kairi-chan grew up with the most amount of love a child could ever have. Her Hiei-jichan and Kurama-jichan doted on her so much Yukina was beginning to complain that she was being pampered very badly, and she had fast become a favourite among the gang.
Three years and already able to walk and talk. She still had not fully grasped the idea of how exactly Hiei, Kurama and Shizuru were related to her, even though she often saw them.
Kurama and Hiei had a soft spot for their little niece. Yukina had already considered Kurama as family; even though Hiei and Kurama did not get married in the open. She knew that it was impossible for Hiei to find another lover, because the bond they had with each other was so strong it awed her.
The doorbell rang.
Shaking her thoughts out of her head, she got up to answer it.
It was Kurama and Hiei, arriving early for Kuwabara's birthday party. Smiling, she welcomed them in, fussing about like the mother of them all.
"It's fine, Yukina, we're fine," insisted Hiei, sitting down in the living room. Kurama had already produced a toy out of his pocket, tempting it with the little girl hiding behind her mother's legs.
"Come now, Kairi, greet your ojichans," chided Yukina gently.
"Hi-jichan," said Kairi, and Kurama's face broke into a smirk at the nickname, "K'rama-jichan."
"Good girl," said Hiei approvingly, patting her head fondly. Kairi was the only one, besides Kurama and Yukina, who was able to make him smile.
Kairi looked to Kurama for approval too, and it came in the form of a smile. She liked the attention she got from these two uncles, but something was still confusing her young mind. Pushing it to the back of her mind, she took the toy, a small little doll he'd made for her, and toddled off.
"Cute," muttered Hiei. "But I still don't know how to behave around her."
"Oh no," said Yukina from the kitchen. "I forgot, I'm out of drinks..."
"What's wrong, Yukina?"
"I need to buy drinks, Oniichan, I forgot I've run out... It's not a party if I don't have drinks to serve."
"I'll go with you," said Hiei at once, standing up. "You can't carry all the drinks by yourself."
Kurama fought the urge to strangle his lover.
"Kurama can stay with her."
Kurama glared at Hiei, but quickly rearranged his face into a smile when Yukina's worried gaze turned to him.
"Are you sure, Kurama-kun? Can you look after her for a little while?"
He nodded, getting up to see them out and close the door. He pointedly ignored Hiei (who, upon realizing he was being ignored, ignored the fact that he was being ignored) as he ushered them out. Volunteering me just like that... all he cares about is his sister, and not whether his niece might not listen to me or misbehave because I can't talk... no, no problem, if something should happen, who will I contact? Honestly...
He hadn't realized he'd been standing at the door for so long, glaring at it with such force it could have burned a hole right through, until he felt a little tug.
"K'rama-jichan, play," said Kairi, looking up at him with bright eyes. He returned a smile of her own, crouching down to her level. Nodding at her, she led him to the nursery where she had all her toys kept neatly. He looked around at the walls, smiling as he remembered Yukina throwing her arms around him after he'd presented the finished room to her; he had done his best to paint it in the way a nursery should look like... Fairy tales and unicorns, because she was a little girl; princesses and other lands, treasure beneath the sea and trees high enough to touch the clouds.
Yukina had burst into tears, he remembered.
Kurama had gotten some punishment later on because of her that night, from no other than the overprotective brother... but no matter, that kind of punishment was always welcome, anytime...
"K'rama-jichan," and a particularly hard tug on his pants jolted him out of his naughty thoughts. He smiled and sat down on the carpet, watching as the little girl pulled out some small plates, chopsticks and bowls, and other assortment of plastic food, and began setting up her kitchen.
"Kairi-chan cook. Like Okachan. K'rama ji-chan eat? OK?" said Kairi, not looking up from where she was busy setting up her stuff. She did, however, expect a response. And it was a response Kurama couldn't give unless she was looking at him.
She looked at him when she didn't get her response. "OK?" she repeated. Kurama nodded and gave her his best smile.
Huffing, she resumed her kitchen setup. Once she was done laying out all the small pots and pans in a neat row, she went over to Kurama who sat waiting for his dinner.
"What do you want to eat?"
"K'rama-jichan, what do you want to eat?" Kairi-chan persisted.
The redhead began to panic. How could he answer the girl? She didn't know sign language. She couldn't even read yet. How could he explain to her that he couldn't talk to her?
Kurama shrugged and smiled, even though inside he was this close to pulling his hair. Hopefully the girl would interpret his action to mean 'anything', and just cook up something for him to pretend-eat.
Unfortunately for him, Kairi started to cry.
And that is what Yukina and Hiei found when they came back; little Kairi in the nursery crying, and Kurama nowhere to be found.
"What's wrong, Kairi-chan?" said Yukina in alarm, immediately picking her up.
"K'rama-jichan won't play with me," she sniffled, burying her head in her mother's shoulder.
"Oh, why not? K'rama jichan is a very good friend of mine, I know he isn't rude."
"K'rama-jichan just ... didn't say anything."
Her heart sinking, Yukina turned to look at Hiei, who sighed deeply. He left the two of them, calling out Kurama's name. The redhead finally emerged from the bathroom, his gaze stony as he stared back at Hiei.
Hiei reached out to touch him, but Kurama flinched and moved away.
"Kurama, don't take it to heart. She doesn't understand yet."
No response. Hiei hated it when bad things happen... just because Kurama couldn't talk, he abused it when they were both upset... using his disability as an excuse to not delve deeper into arguments. Determined, he stepped closer.
"Come on, Kurama. We'll explain it to her. She's just a child. She didn't know."
Kurama rounded on him angrily.
'I'm not blaming her!' he signed, hands moving through the air furiously.
"Then you are blaming yourself?" said Hiei quietly.
Kurama did not respond.
"Kurama, please. You are surrounded by people who love and understand you. You ... you have me. You know you do," said Hiei, biting his lip. "There is no reason to feel sad like this."
Sighing, Kurama conceded, all the tension in his body fading as Hiei moved to hug him awkwardly.
"We'll teach her sign language, Kurama," said Hiei, his voice slightly muffled. "She's surrounded by all of us. She'll learn eventually. Come on... let's start the party."
Nodding, Kurama planted a quick kiss on Hiei's cheek, his heart a little bit lighter, and they relocated to the living room, where the party would soon begin.
Back in the nursery, Yukina sighed as she tried to explain things to her daughter. Kurama...
"Kairi-chan, did you know Kurama-jichan painted this room for you?"
"He's a very talented artist, isn't he?"
"Kairi-chan," said Yukina when she had set Kairi down and she had stopped sniffling, "Kurama-jichan is ... special."
"Yes, dear. He ... cannot talk. Do you understand?"
Kairi shook her head.
"See, you can hear my voice, right?" A nod. "And Touchan's voice, right? And everyone else ... except Kurama-jichan. When you're older, I'll tell you why ... but now you should know that he just cannot talk like all of us."
"But... how does he talk?"
"He uses his hands, dear."
"That's silly. Hands don't talk."
Yukina wiped the tears from Kairi's cheeks and smiled. "I'll show you later, okay?"
Hiei was nursing an extremely bad headache. Yusuke and Kuwabara should never have met, he thought vehemently as he tried to block the noise from his head. A mock-scuffle was currently going on in the kitchen as they fought over the beer. Kurama had gone to break them up, even though by the looks of it there wasn't much he could do.
"Hi-jichan," said Kairi, who had painstakingly climbed up the sofa to sit next to him, "Okachan says K'rama-jichan can't talk."
Good, so she's finally told her, thought Hiei.
"Yes, Kairi-chan. Kurama can't talk."
"But how does he talk? Okachan says he uses hands, but that's silly, because hands don't talk."
Hiei bit back a laugh.
"You'll see. Just keep watching Kurama, and you'll understand."
"OI, HIEI! RESTRAIN YOUR GIRLFRIEND! HE'S DRINKING ALL THE BEER!"
Hiei facepalmed... and got up to break up the mess. Kairi followed meekly, if only to observe Kurama and the way he 'talked'. Kurama was not drinking the beer, in fact he was purposely hoarding the lot so that they wouldn't get drunk before dinner started.
"Get out of the kitchen, boys, it's time to serve dinner!" said Keiko irritably.
'Let me help,' signed Kurama, dumping the beer cans into Yusuke and Kuwabara's arms, pushing them lightly out of the way.
"No, Kurama, the kitchen isn't for guys! Get out!" scolded Botan playfully, shoving him.
'I think this is the first time I have been acknowledged as a guy,' signed Kurama, sighing dramatically. Botan laughed, and hit him.
"What? What did he say?" asked Keiko, turning to look at them.
"Kurama said it's the first time he's been acknowledged as a guy," said Botan, still giggling. Keiko laughed and the two girls pushed him out of the kitchen.
All this was witnessed by one very confused little girl, who had no idea how Botan was able to understand Kurama. All she knew was that Okachan was right, that he really couldn't talk, and somehow by moving his hands, people understood him.
Timidly, she approached him, standing at the corner drinking. She tugged on his pants leg again. Kurama looked down and gave a tentative smile.
"Okachan says you can't talk," she said softly. Swallowing, he nodded. At least she understood nods...
"I saw you talking to them just now. With your hands," she said, reaching up to touch his fingers. He bent down to her level, letting her examine his hands curiously.
"Obviously you need a translator," said Hiei, coming up to them. "Kairi-chan, if you want Kurama to talk to you, tell us, and we'll tell you what he means. Okay? He'll do the same if he wants to talk to you too."
Kurama stared at his lover. Then, all, of a sudden, he lifted his hands out of Kairi's little fingers. 'Ask her if she's angry at me.' Kairi watched in awe as his hands moved through the air, so gracefully and smoothly.
"Kairi-chan, Kurama wants to know: are you angry at him?"
"Not anymore. I didn't know you couldn't talk before. Now I do. So I'm not angry. I don't know how you talk with your hands though."
There was silence between them for awhile. Kairi noticed the slight tears in Kurama's eyes.
"I'm sorry," said Kairi, because it was only the right thing to say when you've made someone upset. "Don't cry. I like your hands."
And she took Kurama's hands, and enfolded them in her own.
Kurama blinked back his tears as he enveloped her in a hug, smiling happily at Hiei, who returned a smile of his own. Kurama's artist hands, thought Hiei, were special. They would always be, in replacement of the voice he had lost; the only way he would ever communicate with the rest of them.
Word Count : 3281 (w0000t!!)
Okachan - Mother.
Otouchan - Father
So how do you like it? I hope it was nice! I didn't want to explain how Kairi-chan looks like because to me all little girls are cute no matter how they look, and mostly because I don't want to decide if her hair should be blue or orange. Or orange-blue. Which is disastrous.
Oh, I'm pretty sure Ojisan or Ojichan means uncle. For aunt it should be Obasan, right? But how come a picture of GRANDMOTHER comes to mind when I see the word Obasan? lol.
Notice the switch from Oniisan to Oniichan. Lol.
... I'm not sure if three-year-olds can talk that much. Oh well.
Reviews!! Please! Thank you!