Yu Yu Hakusho © not mine. No suing – I am but a poor, bored college girl.

Part of the Blood Brothers AU. I believe the episode in reference here is The Power of Taboo, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Broken Souls

/This is foolishness, Hiei!/ Kurama snapped, trying hard to maintain his cool. Hiei could easily sense his agitation, but there was no point in alerting their human (well, semi-human if one included Botan) companions to it. There was nothing to be done.

Hiei merely glared at Kaito. /We need to know if his words are true./ he said softly.

/Then let Kuwabara slip up – or better yet, Botan./ Kurama growled. /There is no need for you to sacrifice yourself - /

/I'm useless without my weapon./ Hiei said flatly, almost calm.

/Your sword is broken!/ Now Kurama was practically begging. /Isn't that proof enough? If there can be no violence, then we must obey the rest of his taboos!/

Hiei glanced at him with an odd smirk. /You'll defeat him, Kurama. It has to be you. You always were the brains of our operation./ He stepped up, glaring at Kaito as if the very force of his gaze could set the man on fire. Kurama almost reached out to stop him. He bit his lip.

"No mere word can stop me!" Hiei challenged. "HOT!"

For a moment, nothing happened, and Kurama prayed to whomever would listen that Kaito was bluffing, that Hiei had just exposed him for the relatively powerless human that he was. Then –

The little fire apparition stiffened and turned grey as his soul separated from his body.

Kurama gasped. "Hiei!" /Hiei!/

There was no answer.

/-/

And so the 'game' continued.

"What do you think, Suiichi? Shall I darken my soul by harming one of these?" Kaito's hand came to rest dangerously close to Hiei's soul. Kurama's eyes narrowed. Kaito grinned. "Yes. Maybe I'll make just a little scratch."

"I'm warning you now, Kaito." Kurama's voice had not changed, but there was an element of danger to it that no one in this world had heard. "You so much as bruise what's in your hand, and I'll show you pain. The hue of your soul will cease to matter because you will not be judged when you die. You will cease to exist."

Kaito pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Oh, scary words. You'll have to teach me to talk like that."

He was sweating. Kurama almost grinned. Kaito would not harm the souls now.

/-/

"That was a foolish risk you took."

Hiei merely snorted. Kurama sat on the edge of his bed, practically glaring at the fire apparition who sat rather peacefully on his windowsill. Hiei cast him a glance. "It was nothing. I was in no danger." Hiei said dismissively.

"Your soul was separated from your body!" Kurama exploded. Luckily his mother was out for the day. He didn't want to explain this argument to her. "I couldn't even sense you anymore, and that's never happened before! What if I had failed? Where would you be then?"

Slowly, Hiei turned the full force of his gaze on Kurama. The fox demon bristled. "Don't give me that look, Hiei. That's your stop-being-stupid look. I'm not being stupid."

"Yes you are." Hiei closed his eyes and resumed relaxing in the sun. "As if some mere human could defeat Yoko Kurama. Heh. You really have been in world too long, fox. It's making you doubt yourself."

" . . . . I still say you were foolish." Kurama said finally, a small smile quirking his lips.

Hiei snickered. "Maybe. But at least this time it wasn't Yusuke I was depending on."

"Good point."

/-/

AN: Okay, not really happy with this one, but oh well. Drop me a review and tell me what you think.

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