Yukina paused for a moment in her steps, clenching her fists tight into the smooth fabric at her thighs. What if she was wrong…what if she opened her mouth to ask the question, and found out she was completely wrong? She would be seen as a foolish child, desperately jumping at shadows, letting her hopes get the best of her.
A tightness welled in her chest, more painful than anything forced upon her by the evil ningen captors to get her tear gems. She couldn't bear that, not from them, not from the only people she ever truly considered friends. But…how could she not? How could she not at least try? It felt so right, so sure; she couldn't be mistaken…could she?
It was almost ironic, being a koorime her heart felt cold whenever her mind strayed to this line of thought, this package of hope and worry. It hurt her, deep inside. It hurt that she might be wrong; it hurt that she might be right. But she had to know; she couldn't take it much longer.
Determined, she forced her feet to continue the path they had been following.
Crystalline green eyes stared down into shining red, a hint of surprise and bewilderment and even concern flitting briefly through them. The petite koorime shifted weight and idly tugged at an aqua colored forelock, needing to do something with her hands or else end up fidgeting. "Ano, Kurama-san," she hesitated again but forced herself to speak, "can I…talk to you?" Without hesitation the youko in a ningen body smiled warmly and moved his arm in an invite to sit with him in the shade of a tree. She stepped forward and thankfully sank to the ground, though keeping a minor distance. They were silent for several moments before Yukina managed to work up her courage again to do what she came to do. Kurama waited patiently and expectantly. She kept her eyes downcast, her hands fisted in her lap.
"Kurama-san, I know you and Hiei-san are best friends, so if he would ever open up to tell anyone anything it would be you. So, maybe you know, maybe you can tell me…" her voice trailed off and she had to take another deep breath before she could continue, "Why won't he tell me?" Her voice was soft and for a moment she feared she would be forced to repeat herself. She didn't think she would be able to if he didn't hear her.
"Yukina-chan, I don't know what…" Kurama began, rather confused, but was abruptly cut off.
"Why won't he tell me he's my brother?!" She yelled, anger and fear causing her whole body to shake. The youko breathed a sharp intake of breath but remained silent. Yukina continued, her voice much softer and edged with pain. "I know it's true, I can feel it, sense it; I am a youkai. He's my brother, my twin! He means everything to me. How could I not know? But why won't he confirm the truth? Does he hate me so much, because I am a koorime…?" Yukina choked unable to continue. The thought was a bitter one. She could feel tears welling in her red eyes.
"Hiei truly wishes to reunite you with your brother…" She raised her head sharply to look at the red haired youko, disbelief emptying her until only one thought floated painfully through her head; she had been wrong. One solitary blue gem fell unheeded to her lap. Kurama sat with his hands clenched tightly into the grass at either side of him, his head turned slowly to stare back at her. Yukina was caught off-guard by the pained and pleading expression she saw in the emerald orbs. She finally realized what he was trying to do with that cryptic whispered remark; he wanted to help her, but he could not betray the trust of his dearest friend.
"He…made you promise, didn't he?" Realization temporarily replaced the pain in her voice. Kurama's head tilted ever so slightly; an almost imperceptible nod. She thought for a moment, her hands twisting knots into the fabric in her lap, trying to think of a way to get the answers she sought so desperately without asking him to betray a strong trust. She took a deep breath and forced herself to relax. "Kurama-san, you lived a long time in Makai before you came to Ningenkai, if my brother is alive and knows about me, why do you think he has not come to me yet?"
A small sigh escaped as the taut tenseness lessened and Kurama leaned back against a tree, obviously gratified she had caught on to the tactic he offered her. He pretended to think on her words and replied in a casual tone. "Assuming he is still alive and aware of your existence, I suppose there are any number of possible reasons. Perhaps he thought that you would see him as all the other Koorime did, as a forbidden child and would not wish to be reunited. Or maybe his hate for the Koorime that abandoned him was too much for him. Or perhaps, he did try to search for you, but was prevented by some outside force." Paying very close attention, Yukina noticed the way his voice changed slightly at the last option he presented.
So something else was stopping him. "And what kind of outside force do you think could be strong enough to keep a brother from his sister?" It took a lot of control, but Yukina managed to keep her voice calm and casual as well.
"Any number of things I suppose. A stronger demon, the spiritual barrier between the worlds, inability to find you, a reluctant promise…" Once again there was a hidden nuance in the statement.
"Perhaps, but why would he promise someone else not to reveal himself?"
"I guess the only people who would know that answer would be the promiser an the promised. Maybe he cared more about his sister's safety and happiness than his own." Kurama's voice was a bit quieter at the end and Yukina felt the pain returning to her chest, stabbing intensely with invisible knives.
She looked Kurama in the eyes again and managed to smile in genuine gratitude. "Arigatou gozaimasu Kurama-san. I think I understand why I have not found my brother yet." She moved to stand up and noticed the tear gem in her lap; she stared at it for a moment before closing her fist around it tightly and standing up. Before he could react Yukina wrapped her arms around Kurama's neck and hugged him. Gently, he returned the hug and whispered softly in her ear. Smiling, she turned and ran back down the path, in search of another familiar body.
"In all the three worlds I don't think your brother loves anyone or anything as much as he loves you."
She wasn't nearly as good as the others, but there was one particular youki that she always had little trouble locating. She followed her senses to a large oak in a park; a dark shadow was barely discernable in the thick foliage. Quickly, she climbed the large trunk to sit on a wide branch beside the black-clad shadow, staring out at the horizon. Hiei was sitting in his favorite position of one leg down and the other bent up with his arms around it. His head was turned to the other side, but she could feel him watching her and trying to hide it. Yukina crossed her legs at the ankles and swung them gently back and forth.
"I was thinking about my brother again today." She said as casually as possible into the silence, still looking at the sky instead of him.
Yukina dropped her hands in her lap and lowered her eyes to watch them. "I was trying to figure out why I haven't been able to find him yet. And I began thinking that maybe he didn't want me to, that he hated me for what the Koorime did to him…" She allowed her voice to trail off and noticed as Hiei shifted his position slightly, though remaining silent. "But then I realized that I must be wrong and maybe there was just something keeping us apart, keeping us from finding each other."
She turned and threw one of her legs around the wide branch while scooting closer to the silent youkai; she wanted to face him now. "Hiei-san, until whatever it is that is keeping us apart can be overcome and my brother can be by my side again…will you be my brother?" To say he was surprised would be the biggest understatement in the history of any world. His body went rigid and he stared at her wide eyes before turning away. She reached out and took his hand, placing her hiruiseki that she had cried earlier that day into his palm and closing his fingers around it. His fist tightened and fell.
"Yukina-san, I don't deserve to be your brother…" His voice was very soft, and if she didn't know better she'd think it almost sounded pained. She lunged forward and threw her arms around him, lying in an awkward position on the branch to have her arms tight around his waist and her face on his chest. He remained absolutely still and somewhat tense.
"Don't say that Hiei-san, anyone would be lucky to have you for a brother. It would be an honor." She spoke softly into the black cloth.
"Do you really want a murderer for a brother?" He asked the question as though he were pointing out a fact he was sure she hadn't thought of and would surely make her change her mind.
Instead, she nuzzled closer on his chest. "When my brother does make it back to me, I can only hope he is like you, Hiei-san." And she meant it; she loved Hiei and did not hate or blame him for anything he had done. Nothing mattered to her so much as him, not even Kuwabara could compare.
More silence, then she felt the body in her arms relax slightly. Strong arms snaked around her back slowly, returning the hug. "Hai, I will…Yukina-chan…" She could feel his breath as he whispered the words into her hair. Yukina smiled broadly in pure joy and she hugged Hiei tighter, a hug which he returned.
Now everything in her life was perfect, and no promises were broken to achieve it. She found her brother at last. They met each other again with the balance that was the best of both worlds.
* * * * *
Konpeitou : Well now.. that was pretty pointless, ne? I'm not even sure where/when this came from (I don't really remember writing it), I found it when I was cleaning my computer out o_O;; Review kudasai?