This is a re-write of my first fanfic—Misplaced Fox. I stopped updating Misplaced Fox when I realized that a) it had a giant plot hole and b) my writing had significantly improved since I originally posted this fic.
The basic story is still the same, but I've made several changes. Most notably, the story is now compliant with Season 6 of Supernatural (What can I say? I love Crowley). I've shored up the plot hole and added a lot more detail and dialogue. Also, the story is now told from third person instead of first person narrative. To those of you familiar with Misplaced Fox, I suggest reading this new version before moving on to the new chapters.
So, without further ado…
Chapter One: Torn
Kurama tossed his backpack near the desk and collapsed onto the bed. Burying his face in the pillow, he silently wondered if he could sneak in a nap before his mother called him down for supper. The young university student generally did not sleep in the middle of the day, but today had been particularly trying.
'Sleep,' Youko silently commanded. 'Shiori will come up in an hour or so and wake you up.'
Kurama rolled onto his back and grumbled half to himself, "Can't, test."
The excuse earned him a mental snort from Youko, and Kurama supposed that the old kitsune had a point. After all, what were the ningens going to teach him that he didn't already know? The humans were still using leeches when he first began his studies.
'You're beginning to sound like Hiei,' Youko chuckled. 'If the ningens are such a bother, why do you persist?'
Kurama thought a moment before answering. He'd asked himself that same question many times. 'I need it to find a job. Jobs in the botany field generally require a degree.'
'Or you could simply go back to the Makai,' Youko suggested. 'No one would demand your credentials there.'
'You know I can't do that, Youko,' Kurama answered.
'Can't or won't?' Youko asked. 'What are you afraid of? You can still return to the human world to visit Mother. Is your concern for Mother or are you worried about running into Him?'
Silence was Youko's only answer as Kurama continued to sulk on the bed. Today had been bad enough already. The morning had started with crazed fan girls cornering him in the library. He had hoped the girls would thin out as he transitioned from high school to college, but now there were even more than before. Botan arrived during his last class of the day to elicit his help. A new demon lord had come through the barrier and was demanding that "Koenma's champions" come and face him. Turns out, the demon was a joke. Kuwabara could have handled him with one hand tied behind his back. The real problem was that the demon was openly using his powers in front of the humans. And then there was the pièce de résistance, Youko just had to bring up Him.
'I'm sorry, Kit,' Youko apologized. 'I miss him too.'
'It's not your fault. I'm the one who drove Hiei away,' Kurama answered.
It had been two years since Kurama had confessed his "inappropriate" feelings to his best friend. Since then, Kurama had only seen fleeting glimpses of the fire demon at Genkai's temple. At first, Kurama would make up excuses to see Yukina just to see his little fire demon. But after so many months without contact, Yukina became a painful reminder. Mostly, Kurama avoided the temple now.
'It wasn't your fault, Kit,' Youko reassured. 'You couldn't have known.'
'I should have,' Kurama replied angrily.
Unwillingly, Kurama's thoughts returned to Hiei. Hiei had laughed when Kurama confessed. When Kurama didn't laugh back, Hiei became angry. The fire demon had thought it was some kind of sick joke. Despite all of his accomplishments, Hiei still didn't believe anyone could love the "Forbidden Child". Youko's reputation certainly didn't help either. Ultimately, Kurama thought that it was what drove Hiei to Mukuro.
"I see that all this time spent among the ningens has dulled your senses Fox."
Kurama's head shot up from the pillow and he stared out the bedroom window. Kurama's heart skipped a beat as he spotted Hiei sitting in a tree branch just outside. Scrambling out of bed, Kurama's feet became tangled in the sheets. The normally graceful fox tripped and fell spread eagle on the floor. Trying to maintain some modicum of dignity, Kurama slowly stood, brushed himself off, and placed the sheets back on the bed. Kurama watched Hiei's reactions as he approached the window. If Kurama didn't know better, he would have sworn that Hiei looked nervous.
A small smile played on Hiei's lips. "Can I come in?" Hiei asked.
"It's never locked," Kurama replied with an unsteady voice.
Hiei climbed through the window and quietly surveyed the room. After a moment, he perched on the edge of Kurama's desk and looked at the fox expectantly.
"So?" Kurama asked.
"Hnnn," Hiei replied and for a moment Kurama was afraid that it was all he was going to get from the younger demon. "Mukuro said she was tired of my sulking. She threw me out and told me to come back when 'my attitude improved'."
Kurama's eyes widened. It seemed that he had gained a very unlikely ally in the form of Mukuro, but he couldn't get his hopes up just yet. Tentatively, Kurama asked, "So why did you come back here?"
Hurt showed in Hiei's eyes. "Please don't make me say it. You were my best friend and my partner. I couldn't think of a better person to turn to."
"I've missed you too, Hiei."
Hiei studied the fox for a moment. "I—"
"Shuichi dinner!" Shiori's voice carried up the stairs.
"Just a minute Mother," Kurama called back. He refocused his attention on Hiei, but whatever the fire demon was about to say was lost. Kurama placed a comforting hand on Hiei's shoulder and said, "Come on Hiei. Join us for dinner. Mother will be happy to see you again."
Hiei allowed himself to be led to the bedroom door, but they never made it. Halfway across the room, Kurama abruptly doubled over in pain. "Kurama, what is it?"
"It's Youko," Kurama gasped.
Crippling pain incapacitated Kurama. He felt like his soul was being torn in half. It felt like some unseen force was trying to separate the boy from the fox, but Kurama wasn't giving up without a fight. The last thing Kurama saw before he lost consciousness was Hiei standing over him protectively with his sword drawn.
So, love it or hate it? The first eleven chapters or so should come quickly since I already have a framework to start from. I'm going to try and finish chapter two today. The little button at the bottom makes updates come faster. As always, thanks for reading.