Disclaimer: Yu Yu Hakusho © not me.

AN: There is absolutely no point to this story other than to amuse you. I had time before class started and I got bored. Plus, the Watson Center has no internet access, so consider this a treat. Hope you enjoy reading this.

Stars

Sometimes Hiei enjoyed watching Yusuke and Kuwabara 'train'. It always started off with insults, usually escalated with a punch, and degenerated from there. Kuwabara's fighting skills always left something to be desired (and it was beyond Hiei how the boy's punch-and-slash method kept him alive this long) but Yusuke was never much help. He was usually too busy goading Kuwabara into careless actions that wound up with him eating dirt while Yusuke celebrated. This was what qualified as training for those two.

Every now and again Kurama would come out with them and give them some proper training. This was what Hiei actually looked forward to. Kurama was merciless and had no sense of honor when it came to completely crushing a defenseless opponent – and compared to Kurama, they were both very defenseless.

Hiei never participated in these training sessions. He preferred to wait until later, when the sun set and Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Genkai were sound asleep. That was when he and Kurama would spar, if one wanted to call it that.

It was more like a dance.

Tonight was no exception. The full moon gave the world a silver glow, highlighting Kurama's hair and Hiei's eyes as they stared at each other. "No weapons." Kurama reminded him. Hiei snorted, but nodded. That rule – the only stipulation Kurama placed on their sessions – wouldn't last very long. It was a game with Hiei, to see just how far he had to go to force Kurama to draw his weapon first. Of course, he usually regretted it later. Kurama's first strike with that whip always took him by surprise, even when he was expecting it. After that, however, Kurama came out with just as many bruises and scrapes as Hiei.

"No weapons." Hiei agreed. "For now."

Kurama made a show of sighing, but his eyes were sparkling. Kurama lived for these sessions as much as Hiei did. The chance to pit finely honed skills against a worthy opponent was more than either of them could pass up.

Hiei took a deep breath and completely dropped the barriers around his end of their blood bond, feeling Kurama do the same. Hiei grinned wolfishly.

The first strike was Kurama's. Hiei knew it was coming – the nature of blood-brothers wouldn't allow anything but – yet he refused to move until the last second. He twisted casually to the side, letting Kurama's punch barely scrape his ribs. He slid back, crouching down and launching into an attack before Kurama had the chance to regain his footing. The fox didn't hesitate, though, and threw himself to the left just in time for Hiei to go flying by. Kurama didn't give him a chance to recover, and like Kurama, he didn't need it. In a flash they were back together, punching and kicking, evading, twisting. None of their blows did serious damage – they were intentionally holding back.

Hiei grinned. Kurama smirked back. The battle continued.

No words were spoken between them. They never had to be. Hiei could feel Kurama's elation just as surely as Kurama could feel Hiei's near-sadistic joy. Kurama feinted to the left and quickly lashed out with his right fist, catching Hiei slightly off-guard. The hook glanced off Hiei's shoulder, sending him twisting to the left in an effort to catch his footing. Kurama was practically on top of him the entire time, landing a series of rapid-fast punches to his chest to keep him on the move. Hiei growled, about the only warning Kurama had before the fire apparition simply vanished.

Kurama was not so easily fooled. He spun around and to the right, but this time Hiei matched him step for step. Now Kurama was on the move, struggling to get out from under Hiei's dangerous barrage.

Hiei was fast. Kurama was crafty. He lashed out, a half-hearted attack that forced Hiei to back up a pace despite everything. Kurama launched into the air, backflipping over Hiei and landing facing the fire apparition's back. For a moment, neither of them moved.

Kurama laughed. "That ended quickly enough." he said, his tone light and even despite the tremors that raced through him. Adrenaline. He felt like he could go a thousand more rounds if his body could just keep up.

Hiei snickered. "You're getting old, fox." he said blandly, turning around. Only Kurama would have been able to hear the tease in his voice or see the way his eyes were lit from within. He was practically vibrating with energy. "Or maybe just better." he finally relented.

Kurama smiled. "I never could beat you, Hiei." he pointed out. "Even before we became blood-brothers."

"I know." Hiei watched as Kurama flopped back in the grass, content to watch the sky. Still, Hiei couldn't help himself. "Another round, old fox?"

Kurama casually reached up, grabbed Hiei's ankle, and jerked him to the ground. Hiei's yelp of indignation made Kurama chuckle. "In a bit, dragon." he said calmly. "Let's watched the stars for a moment."

Hiei shook his head, but stretched out next to Kurama anyway. "Demon world doesn't have any stars." he pointed out.

Kurama shrugged. "That doesn't mean they aren't worth studying."

"That's not what I meant." At Kurama's look, he elaborated, "With your oh-look-it-sparkles attitude, I'll bet your mother had a hard time getting you inside at night as a child."

Kurama laughed outright at that. "I have a oh-look-it-sparkles attitude?"

"Yes you do. That's why you steal things."

"I steal things because I want them." Kurama corrected him, still grinning.

"You want them because they sparkle." Hiei deadpanned. Kurama cracked up laughing again. Hiei made a show of looking indignant. "What is your problem?"

"Sparkly things, apparently." Kurama chuckled, unable to keep a straight face. "One would think it would be the dragon who liked the sparkly things."

Hiei couldn't help a small grin. "You have all the sparkly things. Why do you think I partnered with you?"

That was too much for Kurama. He dissolved into snickers again. "That's rich, Hiei." he choked out. "You partnered with me because I have the sparklies. Yes, that makes complete and total sense. Good job."

Hiei glared at him. "That's my excuse. What's yours?"

That sobered Kurama. "Say what?"

"I told you why I partnered with you. Why did you partner with me?"

For a brief moment, Kurama considered telling the truth – that from the start, Hiei had been the only demon that Kurama could honestly trust since Kuronoe died. That Hiei was a decent conversationalist and even better company. He dismissed the thought as soon as it occurred to him.

Besides, Hiei had partnered with him for a lot more than the sparklies.

"As a fox . . . "

Hiei rolled his eyes. "Yes?"

"I have backup."

He flashed Hiei a grin and went back to studying the stars. Hiei frowned for a second, then started sputtering. Kurama couldn't help but snicker.

"You kept me around for my intimidation?" he demanded. "You kept me for that, when all you had to do was glare at whoever had pissed you off and they'd wet their pants?" He snorted. "Yes, and you are making so much more sense."

"Yes, I was intimidating, but not as intimidating as the two-foot-tall fire apparition who could cut a demon in half without them ever seeing you move."

Hiei considered. "You have a point."

"You just let me call you short!"

"It was in a complimentary way."

Now it was Kurama's turn to sputter. Hiei just grinned and stared at the sky. It wasn't very often he could shock Kurama.

From a safe distance away, Genkai watched them with a smile. It was nice to know that those two were about more than just fighting.