Yay! Chapta three finally here. :D The beginning snippet in italics, Hiei's dream, is not written by me. I borrowed this wonderful, moving piece from an artist on Deviantart, celyne. And of course, her emotional fanart of Yukina and Hiei inspired me to write this chap. :3 Enjoys.

Celyne, this is for you! :D And thank you for all who reviewed!


Your Hand in Mine

{Hiei x Yukina}

Chapter 3

Maybe he had been dreaming...

Maybe it was just his imagination...

As the demon retracted its claws from his flesh he thought he heard her call his name... no, it wasn't his name that she cried out.

Did she just say... "oniisan"?

The world spun. The ground raced toward him.

He paid no heed of the pain from the wound. Nor was he concerned of the blood pooling around his body.

He only tried to remember what he heard.

Only when he opened his eyes did he realize... he was not dreaming.

She smiled, and whispered:

"...daijobu, oniisan."

"Yukina..."

The dryness in his throat can rival sandpaper, rendering him further speechless. The Makai sky retreats behind the splash of bright and blinding colors, and the silhouette of Yukina's face. Her bowed head emits a sunlit glow. Aqua tresses frame her serene face, her solemn smile, melding with the stark blue of the cloudless atmosphere. Soft hands cradle his face, cold and soothing, wine colored eyes regarding the weary boy with tender love and concern.

Imouto. He relishes the title of absolute endearment, the one word that lays claim to the ice maiden. His ice maiden. His sister. Mine.

It whispers across the wasteland of disorientation, nourishes the drought within his mind, condenses thoughts lost in evaporation, rejuvenates his soul with cosmic energy, sparks love in his veins, jump-starting his heart, reanimating his body beyond comprehension.

Hiei reaches up to touch her face, his knuckles and the coarse material of the bandages grazing her cheek. This causes her smile to stretch, face tilting, and liquid warmth churns inside twin biological gems.

"Hello, Hiei."

She said his name. His name. Not 'oniisan'. She said my name, not 'brother'... my name...? How cruel the dream was, mocking Hiei and his decision of secrecy. The vestiges of dream-like anesthesia drains from his system, welcoming pain and shocking clarity. Hiei shoots from his lying position on her lap, bristling at the fact Yukina found him so disgustingly exposed. Alert eyes scan his surroundings for any sign of danger, to ignore the bemused look on her face.

"Where am I?"

"We're in the forest outside Genkai's temple."

Memories drag themselves from the darkness, reminding Hiei how he ended up here in the first place. In one of his escapades to escort humans that have accidently wandered into the Demon Realm back into the Human World, several high class demons were terrorizing them. Killing for the sake of killing, spilling blood for the fun of it; a pathetic, morbid way of passing time in their miserably long life-spans.

Hiei had made the mistake of underestimating them. Slightly distracted, unenthusiastic, not in the least bit motivated, he'd rather spend every waking hour looking after his sister than protect some humans he hardly gave a damn about. His carelessness had been his downfall. He believed this grave blow would be the end of him, he couldn't think straight through the haze of pain, and so departed from this bloody scene where none had survived except himself, with only instinct and desire driving him to the Human World.

He had wanted to see her one last time... at least once... and collapsed right outside the temple mere hours away from dawn. And Yukina, the product of his dreams, must have found him in the morning, sensing the faint remnants of his ki or happened to cross him during one of her daily strolls. Her inquiring voice snaps him back to the present.

"Do you hurt anywhere?"

Hiei frowns deep, self-conscious of her tone. "It's none of your concern."

Reaching out to him, concerned for his well-being, she murmurs, "You are injured..."

Painful pressure immediately seizes her hand, intercepting her advance, and she flinches at his defensive, stubborn glare. "It's nothing." Yukina frowns at his white lie.

"Are you sure?"

He purses his mouth, a severe scowl twisting his lips, as he resists the impulse to crush the bones of her fingers; instead, settles for cutting the circulation off. The blood will flow back eventually, in several prolonged moments at best. Despite the restraint he struggled with in exuding brute force, Yukina hasn't given up, yet, and will not bend under his intimidation. Her fellow Koorime back home had more daunting approaches to oppression than that of a snappy fire demon.

"You should freshen up then, but first let me..."

Yukina inches closer, switching glances between the wounds and his face, expecting a hostile reaction. All he does is stare, finally relenting to her fussing– those large doleful eyes of hers will be the end of me someday– and rolls his eyes. The guilt of damaging any fragile part of her being soon sinks in and he briskly relinquishes his steely grip on her squashed fingers. Massaging her sore hand at her chest, Yukina sighs inwardly in relief, perceiving his mute passivity as permission, and immediately begins her ministrations.

Her hands hover over his stomach on the blood-mottled tear in his shirt and emits white healing light. Hiei does not shiver when Yukina's ki seeps into his flushed wound, stitching the muscle with magic threads, nor does he flinch when her hands reach his arms, groping the muscles in search of blood-crusted cuts. Yukina is too deep in concentration, eyes drooping in genuine care, holding his gaze firm and soft with an air of mutual reverence. Feeling the cool energy sealing the superficial splits on his face, his eyes close, a tad lethargic, and leans into her touch. This exalting sensation of pure energy flooding in his body, it swathes him, restoring peace and calm in his tumultuous mind.

Due to their proximity, Yukina can count every single eyelash that outlines each eye socket, she can hear the breeze of his calm, quiet breaths disappearing in the wind, and she can feel the tendrils of his bangs tickling her eyebrows. She fondly gazes upon his dirt-marred cheeks, blood-painted lips–

"Yukina!"

–his rapidly blinking red eyes.

The moment is ruined; Hiei scoots away, scowling, directing his glare to the idiotic fool standing beside the paper sliding door, waving wildly like a lovesick gorilla.

"Yukina, my love! Gewd mooooorninggggggg~."

Yusuke bumps his shoulder, jabbing an elbow into Kuwabara's stomach, practically shoving him aside with belligerent care. "It's afternoon, not morning, you moron." The brazen smirk soon morphs into a cordial grin at the sight of the twins. "Hey, Hiei. Hi, Yukina. It's been awhile." On cue, the brunette girl, Keiko, is by the grease-haired boy's side, smiling wide, waving hello, accompanied by Kurama who pulls the door open wider, stepping out into the yard, long magenta hair billowing in the light breeze.

"It's about time for lunch, wouldn't you say?"

Disgruntled by the noisiness of their visit and Kurama's knowing smile, Hiei leans back with his hands propped on the dirt, grumbling, "Another picnic?"

Apparently Kuwabara regains his bearings, stomping over and towering over the short demon, sneering. "You got a problem with that, shrimp?"

"The world better explode before I'll have to hold hands and share food with you."

"What, scared of getting cooties?" Oh, how Hiei aches to slice his sword clean through his intestines, splitting the human's body in half from the spine up and across, if only to wipe the obnoxious grin on his rugged face. Regardless, the demon arches an eyebrow at the bizarre term. 'Cooties'? Humans have strange words.

"I don't want to be infected by your stupidity."

"Grr, what'd you say?!" Before either Kuwabara and Hiei can throw more complaints, ignite hotter sparks, and exchange bone-cracking punches, dragging each other in a serious squabble again, Kuwabara's esteemed older sister, Shizuru, takes the liberty of bonking Kuwabara over the head, not too lightly, literally knocking some sense into him.

"Kazuma. What have I told you about picking fights you won't win?"

Cradling his bump-laden head, Kuwabara whimpers, cowering under his sister's nonchalant stare, at the same time growling like a beaten bulldog. "But sis..."

This is a common occurrence, Kuwabara being 'bullied' on a group-length scale, yet it amuses Yukina nonetheless, the eccentric nature of humans and their bizarre display of affection.

Hiei stares at the company, silent now that they're no longer focused on him, and wonders when exactly did he start calling these people 'companions'. Before he had no one close, amidst the long and hard years of violence, survival, and murder, but now he has them. The young human-demon hybrid spirit detective, Yusuke; the strongest spiritual human on Earth, Kuwabara; the infamous demon-fox, Kurama, and his human counterpart, the mommy's boy, Shuichi; and of course, Yukina, his beloved twin half-sibling.

I wouldn't trade these fools for the world, but Yukina– I can't imagine living this universe without her.