Summary: Among the riches and spoils, a true thief knows the best jewel is the one treasured the most.
Warnings: Intense swearing. Seriously, even I wouldn't go so far with Kuronue's swearing streak... xP
Kuronue sighed as he was hunched over a booth with the rest of the drunk youkai, drinking Bankou to his heart's content.
He was pissed. No, he was passed pissed and was near the brink of permanent insanity.
After a near brush experience with death, the bat youkai would've thought that Kurama could have least consoled him? Yelled at him? Anything that would be evident that Kurama had actually cared that his ass was almost handed on a platter to King Yakumo of the Netherworld tonight. But nope, not even that.
Kurama was somewhere in the hotel, flaunting the newest treasure that almost killed him to the hookers and sluts praying for the chance to bed the famous thief at last.
"Hey, fella. Do you need a healer for that wound?" The bartender, midway through drying a glass, pointed at Kuronue's recent wound that started to bleed through his half-assed attempt to wrap it with his leather armbands. "You don't look like the weak type for that wound to keep bleeding like that, it could be cursed."
"You don't say..." Kuronue mumbled slovenly, the drink kicking in. "Figures it'd be cursed. Stupid fox."
The bartender shook his head. "Listen, I've got a nephew who's a healer. He's good at curses and shit like that. If you want, I'll call him over."
Kuronue merely nodded and stood up, a little unsteady on his feet. "I...I need to find my partner...um..." Damned Yakumo he forgot his partner's name! "He's...uh...this tall...?" He raised a hand a little over his head, despite the fact that Kurama was well over four feet past his six foot, six inches height. "And he's got ears and a tail."
"Kid, you're describing every idiot in this bar," the bartender chuckled as some of his customers raised their heads from the remark. "Anything striking in his features?"
Kuronue thought about it and remembered a color of silver from his partner's tail. "Yeah, he has silver hair that like...shines in the moonlight sometimes and..." He began remembering the vividness of his partner's eyes when he would playfully give him chaste kisses or beat him at some sort of game. "He's got these golden eyes, right? They're really sharp but thick...well, something like that. You get sucked in them when he looks at you and you can't look away until he does--and it really sucks you know?"
"Sounds like you're in love with him or something..." The bartender was surprised at the dark glare the bat youkai was giving him. "I'm just kidding kid. Anywho, I know where your partner is. Yeah, he went upstairs to the lounge with a couple of hookers, ready to bury the hatchet I bet."
"Well, that's just fucking great. It's just fucking wonderful!" Kuronue threw his hands up in the air in drunken exasperation. "Here I am drowning myself in fucking liquor, almost fucking killed myself and my partner's up there fucking until the sun don't shine and he doesn't fucking care at all!" He gave a great breath of air and stumbled toward the stairs, about to give Kurama a piece of his mind.
"My nephew will be here in a bit!" the bartender called up as Kuronue made his way up the stairs. Kuronue merely waved sluggishly as an affirmative.
"Oh, Lord Kurama! How did you get such a beautiful necklace?" A busty hawk youkai dangled the teardrop-styled silver necklace into the light to see the blood-red pummel stone unnaturally sparkle. "What kind of stone is it?"
Kurama merely smiled slyly as a blond tigress youkai rubbed his chest sensually, her lips descending upon his neck while a brunette snake youkai practically slithered against him, rubbing her hands through his fine, silver locks.
"If you can guess it, you can have it and me tonight," Kurama grinned lecherously. "Thieves' promise."
"I think the stone's a Seiryoku Isshi," the tigress proclaimed excitedly. "It shines like the one my twin brother has on his dagger!"
The snake youkai rolled her eyes. "Idiot, the Influence Stone doesn't have the same color as this one. It must be the Akai Suishou, the Red Crystal."
"You must realize that the great Lord Kurama doesn't do business with common stones, ladies!" the hawk youkai glared at the women primly. "I know what it is."
Kurama looked at her with hidden interest in his eyes. "Oh? Do share."
"It's the Takara Motomeru," She answered confidently. "The infamous treasure seeker."
"Wrong." Came a rather livid voice from across the room. Kurama blinked at the sight.
Kuronue looked like shit. His hair cascaded about on his ponytail and his eyes deeply inhibited with alcohol. There was blood oozing from his wound and Kurama raised an eyebrow.
"We stole the Takara Motomeru last week...and it's the size of your ass," Kuronue glanced slightly to the side at the demoness' enlarged backside for elaboration. "For your slight advancement in Makai education, it's the Tamotsu Kusari..." Kuronue glared hotly at the necklace in the woman's hand. "The treasure that almost fucking killed me."
A couple of the girls glared at the offending youkai whereas Kurama merely clapped his hands.
"Congrats, Kuronue. You win."
"Not fair!! He's your partner!" Was the chorus of the trio of women as Kurama arose to his feet and lifted his drunken partner's bleeding arm. "It's still bleeding?"
Kuronue wrenched his arm away. "What do you fucking care, you cunt fucking horndog?!"
"Quite a mouth on you," Kurama whispered dangerously as he waved the now nervous women out of the room. "For someone who nearly got killed by his own doing."
"Yeah, because protecting your stupid ass isn't important at all," Kuronue growled back as he stumbled back onto the wall. He slapped Kurama's offering hand away. "Don't fucking touch me!"
Kurama shook his head. "I see you're a mean drunk. Remind me not to have you drink again."
"There won't be an again," Kuronue muttered bitterly. "Because I'm leaving you."
"You're drunk," the fox demon repeated seriously. "You'll regret what you said tomorrow."
"No I won't," the raven haired demon struggled to stand. "I can't hang with someone who'll throw their life away for the rush of a stupid necklace. Not when you have somebody who would mourn for you if you die."
"And who would mourn for me?" Kurama gently coaxed.
"I would, stupid." Kuronue shook his head. "You're my friend."
"But you also agreed to be my thieving partner, Kuronue, remember that," Kurama steadied the dangerously swerving bat demon. "We steal not just for the thrill, but to survive."
The fox demon, for the first time in his life, was stunned by the crushed look his partner was giving him.
And nearly dropped dead when Kuronue reached up to kiss him full on the lips, into which Kurama automatically responded to until the bat demon withdrew to take full deep breaths against his partner's neck after the long kiss.
He looked him dead on in the eyes and Kurama could see an impending anguish in those indigo irises.
"You'll be the death of me, Youko Kurama."
Kurama called out his name in shock as Kuronue retreated back down the stairs to throw up the alcohol out of his system.
Every second seemed to make his head worse as he laid his heated forehead against the toilet seat after his third and succeeded attempt at heaving the contents in his stomach out of his body.
"Hey there," said a soothing voice behind him. "My name's Daidenji. My uncle said you might have a bad curse in your wound?"
Kuronue lifted his head weakly. "Oh, yeah, yeah," He lifted his arm for the healer to see. "Just don't like...spin me around or something."
Daidenji examined it before smiling. "Ah, it's a curse alright. But because the wound is minor, the curse won't kill you." Kuronue could feel the healer's youki pouring into him and felt his wound and even his aching head feel better. When he looked again, the cut felt lighter than before.
"Thanks," Kuronue mumbled. "How much do you want?"
Daidenji smiled handsomely which caught the bat demon's attention. "How about a date?"
Kuronue raised an eyebrow and then gave a short chuckle. "I don't know what that bartender told you, but I'm not into men."
"Yes, now if you don't mind," A low tenor growled. "Your services are over and I need to take my drunken partner home to lick his wounds."
Kuronue groaned at the sound. "I'm fine right here where the room doesn't spin, thank you very much, your majesty." He moaned in agony when Kurama abruptly lifted him to his feet and proceeded out the hotel. "Why don't you ever listen to me?!"
"Because your sense of judgment is terrible when you're drunk as hell," Kurama scolded half-heartedly as he picked up speed to head to their secret hovel in the forest. "And you don't get the privilege for the simple fact that you ruined my night."
"I'm so sorry I ruined your evening with missing your chance to catch something with those flea-bitten hoebags you call females," Kuronue muttered darkly as they reached the cave and he was gratefully sent onto the warm fur pile they called a bed.
His breath hitched in his throat when his partner placed his silk-like lips against the still open, but curse-free wound and gave a rather throaty gasp when he felt something warm and slippery slide along the wound, sucking the blood and sealing it with an intimate gesture meant for mates, not partners in arms.
"What the hell are you doing?" Kuronue demanded breathlessly as he felt the healing saliva of the fox demon course from inside his newly sealed cut and flowing into the bloodstream, slowly bringing him to a sober fashion.
"Don't you know...?" Kurama whispered softly as he dangled the prized necklace above Kuronue's face, his lips ghosting over the trembling ones belonging to the bat demon. "I made a Thieves' Promise that whoever could guess the stone on this necklace that I would give it and myself to that person for tonight. Can you guess who answered correctly...?"
Kuronue rolled his eyes as it dawned on him. "Oh, crap..."
Kurama's happy-go-lucky smile could kill. Kuronue wished it did. "I'm yours for tonight, bats. Or, in your case since you're way too out of it to do anything to me...you are mine for tonight."
"Hey, now wait just a minute, Kurama!" Kuronue groaned in aggravation as Kurama kissed him and proceeded to kiss lower and lower down his body.
"You can't say differently now that you kissed me before, bats!" Kurama smirked around his collarbone as he proceeded to untie his shirt. "I've always had that inkling feeling that you wanted me."
The fox let Kuronue beg and bitch for a bit before he laughed it off and climbed off of the still drunk bat demon, looking satisfied. "Kuronue. Relax. I'm not going to fuck you crazy...yet. It's not in my code to have someone while drunk."
"Aren't I the lucky bastard," Kuronue's voice trembled on relief, disappointment and sarcasm at the same time, twisting to his side to see his partner's grinning facade. "On second thought, you're the bastard. Not me."
Kurama chuckled and reached to run his fingers through Kuronue's silky, soft hair and watched as his normally sarcastic indigo eyes soften as he settled himself comfortably into the fox's touch.
It wasn't that Kurama didn't care about Kuronue's near brush with death, he just didn't want to lament on the fact that his batty partner can leave this twisted world in a blink of an eye and he would never see his dark, brooding face ever again.
He might never admit it out loud, but Kuronue meant more to him than he possibly ever could care about someone in this evil, cold world of demons. His mother merely an abandoning bitch and his father a wandering bastard in his eyes. But Kuronue--
He was someone he was willing to share his treasure with, laugh with, eat with, fight with...he's the only person he could trust to look after him if he had fallen ill, or sleep with during the long hibernation months without wondering if he was to be stabbed in the back later.
Kuronue was everything and yet nothing at the same time.
"Stop thinking, you're scaring the shit out of me when you look like that," Kuronue muttered sluggishly but alertly when he felt Kurama's fingers begin to caress his face almost lovingly. "Planning to strangle me now that I seem to want to defect from you?"
Kurama smirked as he rested his fingers around Kuronue's neck at the remark and squeezed lightly, earning a small moan from the bat. "But that would be too easy. You know how I enjoy playing with my food before I devour it whole," He whispered huskily as Kuronue's eyes were growing alight at the double innuendos. "I won't let you get away from me so easily. You know too much of my secrets."
Kuronue smirked, but faltered quickly as sleep was slowly robbing him of his senses.
"Kuronue," Kurama whispered him back to the temporary waking world. "Before you go comatose, answer me this. After all of the near deaths we've went through as thieves, this one bothers you the most," He shifted almost uncomfortably. "Why?"
The bat youkai merely looked directly into Youko's eyes and for once, couldn't come up with an answer. "I don't know." Kuronue blinked as the realization dawned on him. "Kurama...we've been partners for so long. I guess I couldn't let you take the fall because of my mistakes. Strange..." He looked up at Kurama, as if shocked. "I know it doesn't seem like what a youkai might say, but I didn't want to lose you. Against better judgment, I suppose, I acted out of instinct to protect you."
"Sounds like a human," Kurama furrowed his eyebrows in contemplation. Was this why humans were so complex? "Well, if in any situation, I guess I'd do the same for you."
Kuronue raised an eyebrow. "You guess?" He sighed. "Inari..." He then shrugged. "Well, considering it's a fox youkai were talking about, I'd say that'd suffice..."
"Ha ha," Kurama grumbled as he embraced Kuronue, an instinctual desire to be close to his dark companion. And then thought of something. "Here."
Kuronue looked up when his partner raised the necklace in the dim cave, the red gem sparkling quietly in the silent space. He blinked when Kurama watched the gentle swaying of the pendant and slowly placed it gently against his lips, the most sweetest kiss he had ever seen the Youko give upon something.
"Kuronue," Kurama glanced at the bat youkai's profile, a smile playing on his lips. "Do you know the Makai translation of this necklace?"
The bat youkai eyed it warily. "The Tamotsu Kusari? No. Is there an important ability to it or something?"
"Actually, it does," the fox youkai murmured as he dangled it once again to Kuronue's face. This time, Kuronue watched in fascination as he realized some Kurama's youki was radiating from the gem. "Kuronue. Kiss me."
He was a taken back. "What?"
"Kiss me, bats," Kurama whispered back huskily. "And hurry before this infernal gem sucks all the youki from me."
"The hell?!" Kuronue panicked as the gem in Kurama's hand pulsed brighter, indicating his partner's sincerity and did as he was ordered, firmly locking his mouth against the fox's in a desperate attempt at a kiss.
He could feel nothing accept the warmth of Kurama's lips and the feel some of his youki being drained and nearly blacked out from the pulsing brightness of the gem had it not been for Kurama's arms and the soft fur of the bed.
"Kurama?" Kuronue whispered in fear as Kurama collapsed on top him, breathing sharply.
"Thanks for the boost," Kurama breathed into his partner's chest. "Would've been knocked out cold."
"What the hell did you do?!" the bat youkai demanded in worry. "I thought we agreed against using strange objects we steal if we don't know how it works!"
"This pendant, Kuronue, means 'Soul Chain'," Kurama went on, ignoring the beginning Kuronue's rant. "Once someone's youki is poured into the pendant and is worn by the wearer, they will always find each other no matter how separated they are from each other. I thought it would calm your fears if you have it on you." He gently clasped the chain around Kuronue's neck and kissed it's base. "As long as it touches your skin, you will always feel me, no matter how far we are from each other. You will always have me with you so long as you have it. Part of our souls are chained together in this stone."
Kuronue watched in silence as Kurama's breathing even out and touched the still warm pendant, feeling his partner's youki reverberating throughout his body, as if he was being caressed by Kurama himself.
"I can feel him burning into my youki..." Kuronue groaned at the heated feeling coursing through his veins. "Kurama..." He sighed and then slowly, but surely, wrapped his arms around the fox youkai, allowing him into his space without restraint.
I'll never lose this pendant, Kuronue thought deeply as he sat in post-meditation, allowing his youki to become dimmed for the next theft heist. The pendant was what reassured Kuronue that Kurama was alive and well. It was now a part of his being.
Kurama was a part of his being.
"Kuronue, it's time to move out," Kurama called from a clearing, his face an utmost look of inhibited excitement. The fox found treasure--the exciting kind. "This time I told Yomi and the others to stand down. This one's ours."
This interested the bat youkai. "How's so?"
"They'll get too greedy with this treasure," Kurama smirked cryptically. "The golden Kagami Nozomi."
"A mirror?" Kuronue raised an eyebrow. "That's what you're excited about?" He fingered his pendant out of habit. "Doesn't sound so special."
"It's not just any mirror, bats," Kurama grinned coyly. "This mirror will grant the user one wish, no strings attached. Any worldly possession in the world we could have!"
Kuronue looked at his fox partner with suspicion. "I don't know. I have a feeling this won't turn out so well."
"No point of living if we don't take the risk, Kuronue," Kurama pulled the reluctant bat youkai into his arms and nuzzled cheek to cheek. "Admit it, you want to feel the rush of thieving run through your veins."
He did have a point as Kuronue rolled his eyes. It did sound enticing. "Where is it?"
Kurama smirked, obvious that he won. "The Bamboo Kingdom." And with that, he stalked forward to inform Yomi that he was reluctantly in charge of the group for tonight.
Kuronue followed him moodily. "You'd think that they'd pick an original name for a place merely surrounded by bamboo stalks...and honestly, I don't understand how you always place Yomi as second-in-command to lead the group. I'll bet you myself that we'll find some of them missing by morning."
"I hope you keep that to heart," Kurama turned to smile lustfully at his partner. "I find it sexy that you'd bet your body on my account." When Kuronue glared at him he continued. "The brat has potential, bats, and I see it. He'll grow up someday."
"You talk like he's your son," Kuronue grumbled. "How un-Youko of you."
Nevertheless, he was happy to see Kurama so excited about the newest robbery in their plates, and couldn't help but willingly follow his partner to whatever life took them.
I think I care about him...Kuronue could only realize as they begin on their journey to raid the Kingdom of Bamboo. I'll always be there for him.
The pendant was proof of that. The bond he and Kurama shared was deeper than any partnership, any friendship, any relationship. It was the symbol of entwining their lives with each other for the rest of their lives and maybe even further on towards the Netherworld.
I'll die first before I lose this pendant.
"I need it!!"
"Forget about me Kurama! Go! Run now!"
If he lost the pendant, he would lose him. He would lose the one thing that kept him and Kurama together in spirit. The one thing Kurama gave him that meant everything to the both of them.
He would rather die than lose the one thing Kurama poured his heart into.
That was a promise.