Yu Yu Hakusho © Shonen Jump.
It surprised Kurama that Hiei was willing to meet him at the hospital. He sat on the edge of his mother's bed, watching the monitors beep erratically. As much as the noise hurt his ears, he feared the silence even more. The silence meant his mother was gone, and Kurama wasn't sure how to handle that. The only one to ever get close to him was Hiei, and the mere thought of anyone killing the ornery fire apparition was enough to make Kurama laugh.
He turned to the door. Hiei stood there, his hands tucked into his pockets and his shoulders hunched, a sure sign of his discomfort. Kurama smiled. "Let's go to the roof." he said, standing up. "The smell is not as bad up there."
"I don't see how you stand it." Hiei muttered. "If I didn't know any better, I would say you've lost your sense of smell." He followed Kurama up to the roof. The fox demon was unusually subdued, and it made Hiei hunch his shoulders even more. "How much longer does she have?"
"Not long." Kurama sighed. "As much as I fear losing her, I fear what will happen to me after even more. Humans my age do not live on their own."
Hiei scowled. "You'd come with me back home."
Kurama nodded slowly, letting the wind play with his air. "The hospital has already called Social Services." he admitted. "If I were to disappear now, I would not have the luxury of time before someone reported me missing. We would never find a way back before someone caught us." He turned his back on the city and faced Hiei fully. "You wanted to meet me?"
Hiei offered a short nod. "I have a job for us."
"I am no longer a theif."
His companion smirked. "It must have been someone else I saw pilfering his breakfast from the market."
Kurama smiled. "Not professionally, at any rate." he amended.
Hiei chuckled before abruptly turning serious. "This isn't a professional job." he said. "It's personal. I found the Forlorn Hope."
Kurama froze. "You found it?"
"Yes." Hiei met Kurama's gaze evenly. "It, and the Shadow Sword and Soul Sphere. We'd have to take all three of them, just to make it look good."
Kurama couldn't help but smile at that. "Admit it, Hiei – you just want the Shadow Sword. You think it's funny to turn humans inot low-class demons."
Hiei conceded the point with a smirk. "So do you. You haven't changed as much as you'd like to think."
"That is true." Kurama said easily. He looked down at his hands, his eyes narrowing a bit as he concentrated. Hiei gave him the time he needed. He knew how this was going to play out anyway.
"Where is the mirror?"
"King Enmah's vault." Hiei said, hiding his smirk by looking the other way. He loved being right.
Kurama's smile twisted into something feral. "That's a true challenge, Hiei. Enmah will kill us for sure."
"Enmah's not home. Koenma is in charge for now."
Kurama could not help but laugh. "We'll need a third person." he mused.
"About htat." Hiei hesitated. "What do you know about Gouki?"
Kurama shrugged. "Not enough. He's a killer, and unlike us, he's not smart enough to not get caught." He pinned Hiei with a calculating look. "Why?"
"Gouki approached me about this." Hiei stuffed his hands in his pockets and hunched his shoulders. "I don't like him – would have told him where to go if he hadn't mentioned the mirror." He shrugged. "Your choice."
Kurama didn't hesitate. "I'm in. If Gouki gets us caught, we'll just have to kill him, won't we?"
Hiei smirked. "We'll hand him back to Spirit World in five or six pieces." he agreed. His smirk faded as he continued. "The full moon is in seven days. For your sake, I hope she lives that long." He touched Kurama's shoulder briefly; in a flash he was gone, leaving Kurama to stare into the night alone.
A small, sad smile twisted Kurama's lips. "If you only knew the price I'll have to pay, you would have never told me about this. You would have destroyed the mirror." He bowed his head, sensing Hiei's confusion clearly through their blood-bond. This wasn't how he wanted to say good-bye. He only hoped Hiei understood, if given enough time. A single tear trailed down his cheek.
"Please do not hate me for what I am about to do." he whispered to the wind, and began the process of closing himself off to Hiei. He didn't want this to hurt his blood brother any more than it absolutely had to.
End part one! Part two will occur after Kurama saves his mother and before Hiei's fight with Yusuke. Please review and tell me what you think.