Sparks Fly: Sudden Realizations
Kurama smiled as he headed to his next class. A familiar burst of youki energy sailed over the roof of the science building. The redhead had gotten so busy with moving across town and beginning the process of getting his botany degree, that he'd lost track of the last time Hiei had entered his mind.
He slid into his chair in the biology lab and smiled at his lab partner. This young woman was one of the few friends that Kurama had in this city for a very good reason.
Every female who walked into the lab, stopped to greet and flirt with Kurama. It was the same in all his other classes as well. It got old. But Reiuka Yamauchi, his bio lab partner, did not participate in that ridiculousness.
"Good afternoon, Reiuka," Kurama greeted.
"Hey, Shuichi. Fan club as lively as ever, I see."
"Please. Do not remind me."
"Plans for the weekend?" Reiuka wanted to know.
"An old friend of mine has just come to visit, so I will be preoccupied with him."
"Oooh! How preoccupied, exactly? Is this 'friend' the reason you won't give the girls here the time of day?"
Kurama laughed. "Hardly. Although I would much rather deal with this friend than these young women. Which is saying something."
"Yeah, it's saying that you loooove him," Reiuka fairly sang.
The kitsune shook his head and turned to pay attention to the professor. He found it hard to focus on the lecture that day, which was fine since they were covering photosynthesis and he could recite that process in every language he knew (thirteen at last count).
His mind kept wandering to the spark of power that he could still feel in the area. It was strange that Reiuka had made accusations about his feelings for Hiei. He had spent so much time not thinking about the fire demon, that now that he had returned, it was hard to think about anything else.
Now that it had been brought to his attention, Kurama allowed himself to think about the last time he had seen Hiei.
"I value our friendship, and all we've been through... But I'm not interested in you that way."
"You fool! I'm not giving my stone to you.
"Relax. It's a joke."
Hiei scowled at the masses of ningen that passed under the tree he was perched in. He didn't understand how the kitsune could stand a place like this. But then, it was some kind of school, and Kurama loved learning.
The familiar wash of power that always felt so alive, came toward him, and Hiei was suddenly sorry that he had been gone so long. He looked down and nearly smiled at the bright green eyes that blinked up at him.
"Hello, Hiei," Kurama said softly.
"Fox," the jaganshi replied. He dropped down from his branch to land in front of the redhead. "I see you're still doing this school thing." He could also see that the kitsune had gotten taller and that his fiery crimson hair had gotten longer.
"You know my penchant for learning, old friend. I'm surprised to see you here."
Hiei shrugged. "Mukuro was getting tiresome. Are we just going to stand here like idiots?"
Kurama knew there had to be more to it than that, but pressing Hiei for information never went anywhere, so he just smiled. "Not at all. Come, I'll take you to my home."
They stared walking. "Do you no longer live with that human woman?"
"You mean my mother?"
Hiei gave him a look that clearly said he didn't care about the specifics.
"I moved out last year when I started university. I now live in a small apartment not far from here."
"Of course. I am a solitary creature by nature, as you know. Though I do make certain exceptions. Which you also know." He smiled fondly at the demon beside him.
The two of them walked along in silence for a while. Kurama's brow was furrowed as he took stock of his emotions. While he enjoyed being in school, he was usually not this pleased after a day of classes. Logically, it meant that these feelings had something to do with Hiei's unexpected appearance. It hit the kitsune then that he was so surprised about his feelings for Hiei, because he hadn't been allowing himself to feel anything about him at all since they'd parted.
If he were being honest with himself, and he tried to be, he was a little hurt by the fact that he hadn't seen Hiei in over a year. The moment that Hiei got packed into a box and shoved into the dark recesses of the kitsune's complex mind (perhaps next to a similar box labeled 'Youko') was easy to pinpoint. When Yusuke returned, but Hiei did not, it became clear to Kurama that it was time to move on with his life like everyone else. Unlike the boxing away of his vulpine other half, shoving Hiei out of his thoughts had not been done with any ceremony. In fact, it had happened without his notice, almost instinctually.
'Now why is that?' Kurama wondered. He came back to reality in time to turn down his street.
Hiei narrowed his eyes at his companion. The normally calm and indifferent fox had his tail in a twist about something. "You think too much," was all he said aloud.
Kurama smiled. "Guilty. It is perhaps my one flaw."
"Vanity," Hiei muttered.
"Vanity. Another flaw."
The fox laughed. "Perhaps. Though can it still be called vanity if it's all true?"
"But it isn't. I could recite a list of your many imperfections if you'd like," Hiei offered.
"While it would no doubt be amusing to hear you say more than five words a day, I'm going to politely decline."
"Afraid?" the smaller demon taunted.
"Of many things, Hiei," was the soft reply.
The jaganshi wasn't sure when they had crossed from their usual playful banter to a serious talk, and he wasn't sure he liked the difference. So he did as he was wont to, and stopped talking.
Kurama led them to a fairly large apartment building and used a key to open the front door.
Hiei shot the fox an amused smirk when he saw that the flora all around the building was bursting with life.
Kurama smiled sheepishly in response. "They were sad, so I helped."
"Mm. Or neglected, I suppose, though they were certainly not happy about it."
"They have feelings?"
The redhead glanced at Hiei in surprise. "Of course they do. Plants are alive, aren't they? All living things feel, Hiei, and they express their feelings, if you know how to listen."
And there it was again. That serious edge to what Kurama was saying. No more was said as they walked into the building and headed up to Kurama's apartment. Hiei took off the moment they were inside. Knowing the fire demon as he did, Kurama could hazard a guess as to what he was doing.
He was partly right. Hiei was checking. He was checking the inevitable window in Kurama's bedroom and the distance from it to the nearest tree. But he was also checking that the Kurama he had dropped in on was the same fox he had left. He checked to make sure there were still a ridiculous amount of books in his possession, each containing a mind-boggling number of pages; that there were girly smelling potions in the bathroom and plants on every windowsill. Only when he was assured that the only thing missing from this version of Kurama's home was his mother, did he return to the living room.
Kurama had dropped his school bag next to the couch and was eyeing a miniature rose plant carefully. "Find what you were looking for?" he asked without looking up. He was pruning the plant by merely pointing at the foliage that he wanted to take off.
Hiei didn't deign to respond since he knew that Kurama already had worked out the answer for himself. Instead he settled himself on the couch. "What's that?" he asked, pointing at the plant the fox was manipulating.
"Elegant Parade," was the reply.
"That is the name of the rose."
"It's smaller than the others you use," Hiei noted.
Hiei scowled at the non-answer, but continued to watch the redhead work. He raised an eyebrow as Kurama looked up from his current project and walked over to another plant. The fox tilted his head and then smiled brilliantly, reaching underneath the end table that the plant rested on to grab a watering can.
The fire demon had the distinct feeling that he was missing something. "What are you doing?" he finally asked.
"Plants need water, Hiei."
"But why this plant? You were just working on the other one."
Kurama nodded in understanding. "This one was thirsty," he said with a shrug. "But it's learned to be so much more polite when it asks for water. It used to be all demands and whining with this one."
Hiei didn't respond. He knew better than to be surprised that Kurama could understand what the plants were saying.
"How long will you be staying?" The fox asked abruptly.
"Haven't decided," Hiei replied slowly. "I thought I'd look in on Yukina before I go…"
"Ah. That is a good idea. I only ask because after all this time not seeing you, it seems strange that you would come back just because Mukuro was getting tiresome. I imagine this is not the first time in almost two years that you have felt this way about her."
Damn it. Hiei had been so sure that Kurama had decided not to poke at that one. "Just wanted a break," he answered quickly.
"So you came here? You hate it here."
"I wanted to see Yukina."
"Which of course is why you went to the trouble of tracking me down at the school you didn't even know I went to instead going to see Yukina who has been in the same place since before you left."
Kurama had him there.
"I don't have to explain my actions to you," Hiei muttered viciously.
"No, you don't," Kurama agreed amiably. "I'm going to make dinner; I assume you'll be eating?"
Hiei nodded wordlessly, confused about what had just happened. He hated being put on the spot like that. It unsettled him. Though, it helped just a little that Kurama seemed to be just as unsure as he was about what was going on.
A/N: Hi guys! So it's me. Again. With another story. This one is going to be action packed from the get go as Kurama tries to win Hiei's affection. Expect jokes, fights, and banter aplenty from these two. In fact, the first fight rolls around next chapter. See you then!