pt 2

Kurama was not surprised to find Hiei waiting for him outside of his bedroom window. He quickly walked over and pushed the glass up, taking a step back so Hiei could get inside out of the rain without bowling him over. Kurama was fully expecting Hiei to take at least a minute to steam his clothes dry, giving Kurama the chance to explain himself.

He was not exepcting the soaking wet fire apparition to pin him against the far wall with the flat of his sword pressed against his throat. Kurama held very still. He knew Hiei had no intention of hurting him, but it paid to be careful anyway. "Hiei – "

"What were you thinking?" Hiei's voice was quiet, emotionless, and it was worse than a punch to the gut for Kurama. "Do you love the humans so much you would throw away your life for them?"

"Only for her." Kurama said quietly, still pinned against the wall. "It was no more than I would have done for you, or that you would have done for Yukina."

Hiei sighed, withdrawing his sword. He did not back away, but Kurama relaxed a bit anyway. "I knew I should have killed Gouki when I had the chance." he muttered. "Damn it, fox, do you think I want you to just kill yourself for anyone?" Kurama slowly shook his head. The unspoken words hung so thick in the air the fox could practically taste them. They had never been able to fully express themselves, but actions always spoke louder than words. Hiei was trembling – Kurama would never have noticed if he wasn't standing so close. Kurama reached out and touched Hiei's shoulder, and Hiei realized Kurama was shaking as well.

"It was a risk I had to take." Kurama said, his voice surprisingly steady.

A slow smirk crossed Hiei's face. "You knew the detective would interfere."

"I suspected as much." Kurama agreed, still gripping Hiei's shoulder. "Although now he'll come after you. The mirror didn't kill him like I had hoped."

Hiei chuckled. "It seems that years in the human world has not harmed you at all." he said approvingly. "So how do we handle the human detective?"

Kurama smiled that cold, calculating smile of his, the one that always let Hiei know something sometimes-crazy was going on in that head of his, even before they had blood-bonded. "He'll come after you, and I'll come and save him from you. When we're punished, we should reform rather nicely, wouldn't you say?"

"You'll reform." Hiei said with a smirk, picking up on the plan. "I'll still be the stubborn, dangerous demon that only you can control."

"Exactly. Therefore, we will have to be put together, otherwise we'll never amount to anything." Kurama concluded.

"This is assuming Koenma follows your plan." Hiei pointed out.

"He will. If he doesn't, we'll break free." Kurama said easily. "And we'll return to the demon world."

"You'd abandon Shiori?"

"She's a human. As much as I love her, she cannot compare to my demon brother." Kurama smiled. "I would like to put it off until college, though. That way it won't hurt her nearly as badly." Hiei chuckled. Before he could retort, Kurama continued. "You're still wet, by the way." He took a step back, allowing Hiei to quickly steam his clothes without scalding Kurama in the process.

"Brothers are a distraction." Hiei grumbled.

Kurama smirked. "I think that's a universal fact, Hiei."

Hiei glared up at Kurama, and the effect seemed multiplied by the steam rising from his clothing. "If you ever do anything that stupid again, I will kill you myself and be done with it." he growled.

Kurama smiled and saluted him. "You have my word – I may not."

"I hate you."

/----/

Hiei watched Kurama that night.

He would not freely admit to fear. Fear got demons killed. It made them hesitate, made them second-guess their instincts. However, nothing short of fear could describe the feeling that shot through Hiei when he realized Kurama was slowly fading away from him.

It relieved Hiei to know that Kurama hadn't gone in with the suicidal notion of killing himself for his human mother. He was still entitled to his paranoia. So he slept that night on the windowsill in Kurama's bedroom. It wasn't the first time he had done it – after all, he had spent most of Kurama's childhood sitting on this very windowsill, making sure none of the demons that had hunted them in their world had followed them here.

Still . . . .

Hiei sighed and shifted on the windowsill. He should have been annoyed when he woke in the middle of a battlefield and realized what Kurama had done to save him, but he hadn't been. It had been rather heartening to realize that someone in this forsaken world thought that he was worth saving. So Hiei had not said a word, none of the anger that Kurama had been expecting. He had simply accepted it and let the bond grow.

Hiei scowled. With that blood-bond had come a promise, a promise that Hiei had every intention of keeping no matter what the consequences were.

Koenma had better follow Kurama's predictions. Because if he didn't, and he separated them, then Hiei would be forced to kill the Spirit Realm prince.

They were brothers. They protected each other – even from themselves.

/----/

AN: Well, this was supposed to be the end, but I'm thinking of adding a part two – set during the fight between Hiei and Yusuke. If you'd like to see it, review and tell me what you think of things so far. If I get three reviews asking for a part three, I'll post one up.