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It was during Kurama's fight with Karasu that Sesshomaru knew that their time was up. He would not stand to the side as another demon whispered such tender words to his mate as he tried to kill him. Watching the battle brought out both his Jealous and Protective side at once. It was the conflict of two such strong emotions that made Sesshomaru act the way he did.

Kurama trembled from trying to withstand the vicious bombs that continuously sprang around him. He was grateful for the fact that he was able to remain on his feet at least in front of Sesshomaru. He hoped that if he died he would at least do so on his feet. He didn't want Sesshomaru to think he had been forced to take on a weak mate and have to suffer watching Kurama die for his own foolishness.

Kurama was excellent at games, but it seemed Karasu was better and his strength greater than Kurama when he was trapped in his human body. He closed his eyes as another blast ripped his world apart. He stumbled sure that he was going to fall on his knees in his final moments and shame not only himself but his mate as well. Instead he was cushioned in his fall by comforting familiar arms that wrapped tightly around him. Protecting him from the gaze of the blood thirsty demons that were watching as his mate's voice rang out with clarity "This match is over."

The announcer stared at the two men blankly for a moment saying "Interference of a teammate is not allowed. Team Urameshi is disqualified." The crowed gave lusty cheers of agreement before the familiar intercom system beeped overhead "Correction, this match is currently being suspended. The result will be a tie and after a ten minute break the teams will continue with their next fighters."

Both teams looked shocked at the announcement but Sesshomaru merely smirked as he picked up his mate and cradled him gently in his arms. He narrowed his eyes at Karasu; he could see that the other demon was furious that his little game had ended. Sesshomaru's protective urges started to settle knowing that the demon realized his play time was over. However his jealous emotions were still coursing through him. He looked Karasu directly in the eye and said "You will never touch him again." He smirked as he turned away walking past Yusuke he said "I will fight the next match. Kurama will have to rest for a little while." He would kill Karasu for what he had done.

Yusuke nodded, he usually didn't like being ordered around but he knew better than to argue in this situation. He looked back at the stage, wondering what leverage Sesshomaru could possibly hold that would let him get away with that stunt. He looked across the stage at his own opponent. He was glad that the hag had been able to given him her final gift before she had been murdered. He narrowed his eyes, the rage still hot in him. He would not back down, he was going to show Toguro exactly who he was dealing with.

Hiei raised his brow when he sensed the rising energy coming off of Yusuke but he could easily guess what had caused it and where it was directed. Yusuke was playing this game that She wasn't dead. However the three demons on the team had already figured it out. Only Kuwabara remained in the dark and Hiei was surprised that he felt pity for the foolish human. He took a last look at Yusuke; he had wanted to say that he was sorry for the Detective's loss. However things between them were strained at the moment and Hiei didn't want them to become so strained that they fragmented and broke apart.

Kurama blinked slowly as he looked up into the stern face of Sesshomaru. He gave a small smile that quickly turned into a wince of pain "I suppose that I lost…I'm sorry…" He closed his eyes waiting for Sesshomaru's harsh words, unexacting the gentle caress to the side of his face.

"It is I who should apologize…I could not watch any longer and interrupted your match. It resulted in a tie. The next match will be starting soon I merely wanted to get you settled before I went out and finished this."

Kurama said nothing for a moment as he looked up at Sesshomaru. Then he opened his mouth and said softly "I thought…only for a moment. That I might die out there…and when I thought that…I realized that things are still unfinished between us." Kurama closed his eyes and gathered strength "I have changed a lot since you won your right as my mate… I was different back then. Now that I have spent ten years in a human form I fear that the time apart has been worse on my insecurities. When I was still Yoko the thought of becoming the Mate to a Demon Lord terrified me. No more would I be able to do as I wanted. I would be in your castle, under guard night and day. I wanted to keep my freedom. Now because of the time I have spent in the human world I know what it is like to love someone, and that the act of loving itself, can be very freeing." Kurama knew he would not be able to say much more and finished "I do not like the idea of living the rest of my days trapped in a castle…"

Sesshomaru could see that speaking was bringing his Mate pain and so gently lay his finger on Kurama's lips "That is enough." He said sternly, looking down at Kurama and making sure that he understood now it was Sesshomaru's turn to talk. "I should have realized that my words to you about our living arrangements would have frightened you. I have also changed in the time we have been apart. I was angry back then about many things. Since then I have resolved that anger… This Sesshomaru swears… If you become my Mate in the full sense of the word, you have nothing to fear."

Kurama looked up at Sesshomaru silently, and for a moment it looked as though he wasn't going to believe the Demon Lord before he smiled peacefully "Thank you." He whispered before slipping off into sleep. Needing the time to heal his body and settle his mind.

Sesshomaru knew that he had sworn not to satisfy the Kitsune's need for touch until all secrets had been shared between them. However he could not resist leaning in and placing a tender kiss on Kurama's soft lips. It was foolish to think that a Kitsune would ever share all of their secrets. Sesshomaru was pleased he had gotten even one. He would finish this tournament and then they would be together.

Yusuke was getting nervous that Sesshomaru wouldn't return before the next fight started and was relieved to see the familiar regal shape coming out from the hall "Took you long enough…it's not like we have members to spare."

Sesshomaru said nothing in response and after a moment said "You need to fight Toguro…I will ensure that that happens." He smirked "I have other business to attend to and this tournament no longer amuses me."

Yusuke looked at Hiei out of the corner of his eye, he knew that things were still tense between them but he still trusted Hiei's observations. "What do you think happened?"

Hiei looked up, his crimson eyes wide in surprise that Yusuke was being so casual before he narrowed his eyes to their usual scowl and said "I would assume he and Kurama have settled their differences at last and now he wants to go home and make a life with his mate."

Yusuke looked back up at Sesshomaru who was quickly dealing with the next opponent in a most vicious manner. "They had sex!" He said incredulously, he hadn't thought that Kurama would be up to it so soon.

Hiei had almost been tempted to laugh at Yusuke's typical response "No you moron, I assume they settled their differences verbally, and will deal with the physical aspects later." He watched Sesshomaru fight with his graceful savagery and thought to himself 'no wonder he's in such a hurry.'

It was when the Tournament was over as they stood watching the ruin's crumble on the hillside that things changed for Hiei and Yusuke. Sesshomaru was standing off to the side, his arms protectively tight around Kurama's form. Kurama turned and looked at Sesshomaru over his shoulder giving a sideways glance at his teammates. Seeing they were not paying attention he leaned forward and placed a small teasing kiss on the corner of Sesshomaru's mouth.

The Demon Lord merely let out a low growl promising revenge later as he pulled Kurama closer to his body. His face remained stoic and only Kurama could feel the proof that he had Sesshomaru's undivided interest.

Hiei had been watching and felt a jolt of jealousy go through them. It seemed that their wish had come true and that 'the hag' would be alive for a little while longer. Hiei could see how much the sorrow of Genkai's death had affected Yusuke in the contrasting light of the smile on his face. Hiei wanted to say something, but there was nothing to say. They had said everything there was between them.

Kurama watched his friend sadly, knowing that he was partially to blame for the situation they were in. He narrowed his eyes and looked up at Sesshomaru "I think you have a mess to clean up."

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes at his mate and said "A Lord is not told what to do by his mate." Before he noticed the look in Kurama's eyes and he amended "But a Lord will take his mate's advice, I seem to have some business to settle before we leave."

He stood and walked over to Yusuke who had fallen behind the group as they walked back to the ship. He paused in his approach to Yusuke until the other looked up at him, his eyes narrowed as he crossed his arms defensively in front of him. Sesshomaru understood the response, even if he took offense to it being expressed towards him. "I will say this Detective, Mates are infinitely precious things even when they are being their most infuriating…to let one's mate go astray…would not be wise. Even if you decide things are done between the two of you, they never truly are."

Yusuke said nothing but gave a sharp nod of his head and Sesshomaru turned to go rejoin Kurama. Yusuke thought about Sesshomaru's words. He knew things weren't done between him and Hiei, in fact things had barely begun, and they couldn't be over. He shook his head and joined Hiei, unsurprised to find him alone.

Hiei turned when he sensed the Detective approaching him and said "What do you want?" His voice was little more than a low growl but it got the point across. He was not pleased to be disturbed in his moment of thought.

Yusuke just looked at Hiei for a minute before leaning in and saying softly "I like you as my mate." He didn't know what else to say before he finished with a kiss, knowing that it was the best way to get his point across.

Hiei was surprised to see the Detective taking the lead but consented to the kiss and responded. He smirked as he nipped the Detective's tongue before pulling away. "So you have decided have you?" He shook his head "Fool, as if a mere kiss will convince me." Hiei regretted those words when large arms wrapped around his smaller body and Yusuke whispered huskily into Hiei's ear "Than I will have to find better ways to convince you."

Yusuke slipped his hand into Hiei's cape and was surprised that one hand covered a lot of the other demon's chest. He smirked and as he pulled Hiei back against him said "I forget how small you are with that attitude of yours."

Hiei growled even as he arched into the touch and opened his eyes halfway to look directly at Yusuke as he said darkly "Don't push your luck." However any further protests were quieted with Yusuke's lips descending onto his own.

Kurama stood in front of Sesshomaru's castle. He could feel his familiar unease coming back to him. Their mating had been formally completed and with their joining and the help of the potion from the Tournament Kurama was back to his old form. He looked at Sesshomaru and said "We're home."

Sesshomaru looked at his mate and could clearly see in his eyes that while he was ready to face a life with his mate. He was not ready to face life at the castle. He cupped Yoko's chin and whispered "But there is no need for us to return yet." as he kissed his Kitsune firmly on the lips.

Hope you all have enjoyed the story! Thank you for reading!