What Was Not Said
"Say that again, you little punk!"
"I don't believe I have to."
"Why I oughta–"
"You're so slow, you shouldn't even try."
"Ha! Got you to say it."
"Well, you were asking for it."
Kuwabara grinned and picked up Hiei's sword. As much as Hiei hated (or at least, he would always tell himself so) to admit it, he might have to heighten the speed he was using in this spar. Ever closer and closer to his natural speed. The Human was improving.
He was very close to telling Kurama he could stuff it when the fox brought up the idea. Hiei could have cared less about Kuwabara's training. Especially since that sister of his, who could glare almost as well as a demon, glared at him when he came around. Certainly, for whatever reason, Shizuru wanted Kuwabara to stop fighting so much, but even if the Human did not go out looking for trouble...
He needed to know how to defend himself from the few demons who wanted to cause trouble in this world.
Surprisingly, Kuwabara jumped at the opportunity.
"You do realize you have brought yourself into a world of pain," Hiei mentioned as casually as he could.
"Yeah, but at least you give me a chance," Kuwabara grinned sheepishly. "Kurama brutally slaughters me each time and Urameshi..."
He did not say it. He did not need to. Kurama could only derive so much. It was hard for him to decide how much energy he should not use in order to not kill someone. And as for Yusuke...
Hiei certainly had the most control out of the three. So he did not take insult from Kuwabara's words. He pretended to, so that the other would easily be riled up into a fight. If Kuwabara knew Hiei understood him, if even a little, Hiei would never hear the end of it. The other was young and Human. Hiei had no patience for either trait.
"I must say, Kuwabara has improved immensely," Kurama told him one day. "Though I take it that it must be his solo training, unless you have spent more time with him then I thought?"
Kurama thought he had Hiei pinned down. And he had, for Hiei had a certain pattern about him that someone of Kurama's mental caliber was easily able to distinguish. That did not mean Hiei could not, or would not, break from that pattern on a few occasions.
"I really thought you would turn this opportunity down."
That occasion was Yukina. He could stop by and see her and she would never know. To make sure she was all right. To make sure she was happy. He did not say anything to her because he did not want her to know how often he was there. She did not need to know about him more then she already did.
Unfortunately, Hiei was certain even Kuwabara was beginning to notice Hiei's protectiveness over her, even when he never came near her. For a little while longer it would remain secret. Giving Hiei time to think about what he would do – what he would say – when the fool found out and told her. There was no reason to keep risking it.
Still, he found himself making the event a routine.
Kuwabara threw back his sword and Hiei caught it. Certainly Kuwabara would never catch up to him, but there was unlikely to be a Human stronger. The fact Hiei had a hand in that fact was more intriguing to him then Kurama would have thought. Training him was more than an excuse.
Hiei raised his sword. It was the only warning he ever gave. Any more would be an insult to himself and pointless to Kuwabara's training. The thought of going all out was tempting, however. Maybe this time he would...
Kuwabara fell over and Hiei stopped in mid swing, arms falling to his sides as he watched his sparring partner's sibling run towards them.
"We'll work on halting next," Hiei mentioned.
"Shut up!" Kuwabara retorted, sitting up and rubbing the back of his head. What was it with Kuwabara and Yusuke and not knowing when to stop? "What is it?" he shouted back at Shizuru, annoyed as much as Hiei by the interruption, but easily showing it.
"This, you knucklehead!" she held out a note as she reached them. "It's a ransom note. They took Yukina."
They took her?
Hiei did not hear exactly what was said next, unless it pertained exactly to information. He would find them now. Get her back. They would never be allowed to –
All eyes turned to the red head. It was strange that the subject was Yukina and Kuwabara was capable of looking serious. Hiei often wanted to sever that head from its shoulders when the expression turned to one which disgusted him in reference to his sister.
"You can't run off now." This oaf dared tell him what to do? "We need to get Kurama and Yusuke."
"Fool, by then it could be too late! Ransomers are not patient. Take too long and they think they will never be payed. They will run, like the cowards they are," Hiei spat those words out. Always taking her. They would pay for using her against him.
"But you can't do it on your own!"
Hiei barely heard Shizuru inhaling quietly. Kuwabara stopped in spot. Apparently he was not the only one who knew Kuwabara said the wrong thing to the wrong person. No one told Hiei he could not take care of a coward on his own.
"Do you take me for the fool?"
He was gone before either Kuwabara could say another word.
Hiei was not an idiot. If they were too powerful, or had something else up their sleeve which he did not know about, he was not like Yusuke or Kuwabara to rush in headlong without a second thought. Not with Yukina on the line. He would stop and see Kurama, if only to inform him. Although informing them fell short when Kurama already seemed to know what was going on.
"You've seen them, then?" Hiei questioned, the look on Kurama's face giving it all away.
"Yes. They wanted to fight Yusuke, so he obliged. The aftermath is obvious."
There was never even smoking piles of ruin where Yusuke had been. He had become more thorough over the years.
"How many escaped?" he questioned, wondering how Yusuke could immediately go into battle. Did Kurama interrogate any of them?
"Too many. Enough that I believe they wanted to see his power first hand. They must have another card in their hand they have yet to reveal. Something feels wrong."
"What is it, Hiei?"
He did not know about Yukina? Maybe, without that hold on them, Kurama and Yusuke would be able to do what Hiei might not. And he did not want to hear their pity. He did not want to hear their comfort towards him. These demons were picking a fight with the Reikai Tantei. They were asking for retribution no matter what. Who ever they involved. It did not matter. At least, it should not.
"Hiei? Where are you going? Hiei!" Kurama called after him, but he did not turn back.
Hiei could not stand the thought of her being in captivity longer then she had to. Which should not have been at all. If she was not safe around the spiritually aware, maybe there would be a way to...
Take her where? Where would she be safe? Not that any of these thoughts did any good when she was gone.
"We've been waiting –"
Hiei did not bother to hear the rest, he did not need to. His sword was at the demon's throat. He had seen them coming and was now watching their configuration. He could kill them all in a heartbeat.
"But you don't want to risk it, eh?"
It was always the one who looked the most Humanoid that was in control. The demon leaned back against a tree, a finger near his ear for a reason Hiei could not tell.
"What do you want?" Hiei questioned, killing the minion he had under his sword. The other did not bother condemning him for it. Which meant he meant business. Hiei did his best not to rise and give into the pressure to kill them all now. They were here to give their ultimatum. Which meant they could tell him where Yukina was.
"Your... assistance." The word was drawn and oily. It was disgusting. Even from the lack of verbal context, Hiei knew what was going to be asked.
"You cannot recruit me. If you lack the power to take care of your own problems, get stronger." The response was automatic, something he was used to saying something he thought he would always say. With no regard for anyone else.
"Then I suppose you don't care what happens to your sister?" Hiei growled, a very thin response considering he really just wanted to rip the other apart. Not even with his fire, or his sword, but with his own bare hands. Pulling the skin off his face, starting at the nostrils... The green maned demon smirked, knowing he had won this round. But only this round, Hiei was going to make certain. He stayed quiet, his silence his agreement to listen and give a chance for compliance. Hiei would never vocalize that.
It was only for Yukina. To be sure she was not harmed. Hiei was not a puppet yet.
"We require help in the matter of the Spirit Detective, Yusuke Urameshi," came the words Hiei should have seen coming.
"I will not kill him. I cannot. But I will not stop you." That was the only consolation he could give both of them. Yukina's safety for the fact that he would serve them in their own goal. A goal he would not be the one furthering, but now he was the catalyst to make it possible for them. They would take the words 'not stop' and replace them with 'help'.
Hiei decided he should not worry. He would help them – Yusuke was too strong for them to kill. Plus, Kuwabara's ever heightening spirit awareness... Hiei was not worried about Yusuke having to fight on his own, if that even turned out to be a problem. There was Kurama and Kuwabara. Yusuke was never alone.
The thought somewhat hurt him.
"If we return the ice maiden to you, correct?" the demon mentioned, that smile still ever present on his face. Hiei imagined how it would be to burn off his face. Just his face. Let him scream in agony, the face contortions giving him even more pain. The thought amused him enough to respond. A simple nod, returned by the same action. "You show me the places to find him which give another a clear advantage and you will have her. Do you wish to see her first?"
Hiei shook his head. Mentioning it meant that there was no need. And he did not want Yukina knowing what he was doing. She would tell him no, tell him to stop, and gods he would want to listen. But then he would remember and he would have lied to her.
The mere presence of the other sickened him. Hiei hated himself that he could stand right besides him and do nothing. But his revenge would come. It would come after he had Yukina back. Then he would slaughter them all. Slaughter them and leave their dying bodies to suffer through their last breaths and Hiei would laugh at what they had sewn...
Hiei had no idea the greatest advantage this demon would have would be himself. He had been about ready to curse himself as Yusuke somehow noticed him while he was hiding from the other. How had Yusuke managed to see him?
"Hey, Hiei! Kurama said you had–"
That was all the other had needed. A sword Hiei had not even seen him carrying in his hands, point suddenly showing through the other's chest. Yusuke still had that smile.
Hiei's first reaction was to kill the agent. Somehow he was slow, Yusuke had more then the one wound. Hiei was about to stab the demon when the words were spoken.
"You don't know where she is!"
And Hiei stopped. Stopped and stared down at the unconscious body on the ground. Hiei choked on something. The demon smiled.
How was Hiei to know it was simply him standing there that would distract the Spirit Detective enough for this to occur?
"Time to return. See if this transgression gives you the right to see your sister."
To see her?
He was led away from the body and Hiei bid the emotions stay away from him. He was weak. But he had tried to stay strong. How did something go so fast he had missed it? So fast, he had not comprehended with his eye until it had happened. He should not have been there. How had Yusuke fallen for such a simple trick? It was unlike him. There was something wrong with the Spirit Detective. Other then his dying state.
If there was something else wrong with Yusuke, then it could not be Hiei's fault. Hiei could not understand.
He had told them nothing and now he realized he knew even less. This was not like before, Yukina was there simply for the fact she could be killed. She was only being kept alive for...
For him to be their puppet. Hiei cursed himself again.
"I'm... sorry, Yusuke."
For you were someone I never wanted to betray. Even for...
No. He would rescue her. With or without anyone else's help.