Well, here is Part I of my first Yu Yu Hakusho fic, and I don't think I can really express how much this kicked my ass. I'm serious, I've never written anything like this before in my whole life and I knocked this puppy out in a single long flight. Maybe it's the jet lag, though honestly I think it might just be the material. I was kind of high on fluffy goodness after going to the wedding of two my oldest and best friends and I think it might show in the amount of syrupy sweetness present in this thing. I thought my teeth would fall out just writing this.

I tried very hard to keep everyone in character (though whether I did or not will probably be more obvious in Part II...) but considering that Hiei is...well Hiei and insanely impossible to write in conjunction with any sort of romance, I have no doubt there are issues and would greatly appreciate any thoughts you guys have on the matter. Constructive Criticism is pretty much my crack, so please, be kind and serve as my enabler of my addiction and let me know what you guys think. If anyone flames, please be aware that I'm insanely fond of Barbeques and smores and large cozy bonfires. Your attack will only bring me a deep sense of contentment and delicious food, so please, for your own blood pressure don't put too much effort into it.

Also, if you have not heard the song "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes I highly recommend going on youtube and looking up the video. Not only is a really touching song with a really sweet music video, it was also what I listened to for the entire plane ride in which this was written.

I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho, Botan, Hiei or - most unfortunate of all - adorable little Puu. Also, I'm living off of ramen and the quarters I find in my couch, so - dear lawyers - know that your spoils will be meager.

- Sin


Contentment

Part I of II


Yours was the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go

So I thought I'd let you know
That these things take forever, I especially am slow
But I realized how I need you
And I wondered if I could come home

- "First Day of My Life" by Bright Eyes


There were wards surrounding the building and surrounding land, discouraging any wayward hikers, decimating any willing intruders. He felt the subtle shift of their power as he stepped forward, a spider web's touch against his skin that slid away easily as he passed through the invisible barrier. The sensation was felt with a sense of quiet pride at the intricacy of the wards, at the certainty that this space was protected. Not even the perceptive Kurama would be able to sense their power until he had stepped into the snare, trapped in a net of unimaginable pain until he was either dead or released. Hiei imagined it would be the former, as he had no sympathy for intruders – even those he considered friends. He had claimed no care for her when it had all started; but he had never said anything about claiming possession.

It was perhaps for the best that he was the only one she had invited to her secluded home. He would have killed anyone else otherwise.

All the doors and windows of the house were locked to the outside world, indifferent to the distance between her plot in the forest and the far off city. She was foolishly optimistic and unaccountably cheerful, but she was not - as he often accused - stupid. The only exception to the rule she enforced upon her home was a single large window at the back of the house, leading to her bedroom. This she kept unlatched and permanently settled in a partially open position regardless of the state of the weather. A small gift, an offering made for him alone. He had never mentioned the window, nor did he ever plan on doing so in the future. The open invitation intrinsic in such an action was as unspoken as his acceptance of it. Acknowledging it would force both of them to acknowledge the larger things as well, the ones neither of them had the strength or courage to admit to. They had made an agreement after all, when the whole mess had started; they had made a pact between themselves.

No promises. No expectations. Either one could turn their back and walk away at any time without explanation or regret.

Except...the situation had changed. Walking away was not so simple anymore, not for him.

Certainly not for her.

He slipped into the awaiting room like a shadow, never even hesitating as he left the stillness of the forest behind for the stillness of her home. Once inside he paused, briefly, turning to shut the window to the chill and snow he had just left behind. Shutting it to the rest of the world. Outside the moon shone silver and blue from its lofty place in the dark sky. Its light creeping into her room like a thief, splayed across her bed like a lover. She slept peacefully, pale skin caressed by soft fingers of moonlight, shadows winding around the curve of her cheek, delicately sweeping across parted lips and dark lashes. Her breathing was even, her eyes fluttering lightly as she dreamed her innocent dreams, unaware of the unreal intruder tracing her slim form.

He'd kill the moon if he could, for resting against her so intimately in her bed.

His cloak and shirt came away with ease, tossed carelessly onto the comfortable chair she had placed by the window he had just entered through, more content to know the scent of lemongrass – the scent of her – would wind its way into the fabric by morning then he ever should be. His sword was removed next, rested carefully against the nightstand where it would wait, easily within his reach should the wards not be enough. The bandages upon his arm came loose with scarcly a touch and he dropped them in a heap upon the short table, the white cloth wrapped around his forehead landing nearby shortly after. His boots soon rested at the foot of the bed with a uniform precision, his belt tossed with less care next to them. He could feel The Dragon shuttered beneath his skin, though not in the mad shrieking rage of the captured as it usually would. The furious beast seemed almost...contented, made languid by the tranquility of the room and the calm of its host. He found himself standing by the bed, not quite willing to move, staring at the slim creature that rested so easily upon the mattress. She looked impossibly fragile, easily broken in careless hands.

He didn't bother attempting to crawl beneath the sheets as he eased himself down onto the soft surface. He didn't need them and detaching her iron grip from the fabric would be an exercise in both futility and frustration. Instead, he merely lay atop the covers, ignoring the second pillow waiting for him altogether and resting his head on the empty space beside hers. Her nose twitched, body shifting closer slightly at the unconscious awareness she had of him and with a flare of power and the glow of his Jagan he ushered her back into a deep sleep.

There were things he couldn't share with anyone, and this quiet moment was one of them.

His Jagan closed; he pressed his forehead against hers lightly. Closing his eyes for the briefest of moments as he let the quiet of the house and the peacefulness of the woman beside him wash over him. Cleansing him, however temporarily, of the blood and violence that perpetually stained his soul. The calm he felt was only possible there – with her, though that was something that could not be said - and it was something he would never admit to even under the threat of death. His left hand reached up and tangled in long blue hair, wrapping wayward curls around a finger, as his right slipped under her side to cradle her body closer to his. Her breath was warm where it mingled with his, her breathing deep and steady as she slept. Even with the push towards sleep, her body shifted subtly closer, a hand falling to his side as she moved, curling around the curve of his back. An unconscious action that spoke louder than anything she could ever say while awake. With the stillness of the house and the closeness of her body he could hear the rythmic beat of her heart, feel the soothing steadiness of her pulse beneath his hand where it rested against the column of her neck. And, so soft even his sharp hearing could just perceive it, the small flutter of a second heart beating healthily between their two bodies.

He opened his eyes, finding her serene face in the dark, and slowly angled his face away. He detangled his clawed fingers carefully from her hair, moving so that his hand came to rest gently over the large swell of her stomach. Cradling the growing life against his palm with the utmost care, his head turned so that he could stare down at where his hand was splayed, connected in the simplest way with the life within. From the cradle of its mother's womb, his child kicked an excited greeting.

His child.

The thought was…foreign, though it had been months since he had come to apply the term to the life growing in the woman beside him's womb. He had never definitively decided to not have children; it was more that he had never bothered giving the concept any thought. The idea of being a father was entirely alien to him; and the idea of parenthood was so far beyond his comprehension that it had taken weeks for his mind to wrap around it all. Discovering that The Woman was carrying his child had been almost…shattering in a way. An event so unexpected he could not fully grasp the full meaning of it, couldn't comprehend how such a thing was possible in his dark little world.

He had known before she had, though he had been - he hated to admit - too much of a coward to say. The change in her aura, the subtle shift that spoke of a second life within her, was apparent long before she has known anything. And her scent, the smell of lemongrass and dust in sunlight, shifted to include something else, a soft undercurrent of his scent mingling with hers. It had jarred him, badly. He had kept away from her for weeks, disappearing from her bed without a word the very morning he had realized what the oddness he had sensed meant. He wondered if it was his sudden absence that alerted her to the pregnancy, or if perhaps on some level she had suspected even before he had. He had never asked her, though he knew she would tell him openly if he did. They had never bothered to lie to one another, what was the point? They had shared a bed and shared the secret of that fact, what were a few questions asked in the dark? But he hadn't asked, instead he had slotted the question away into the void where all the things they didn't discuss were inevitably sent. The fear of breaking the fragile, nameless affair they shared stronger than either wanted to admit.

She had been happy though, when she had found out. That, above everything, was what surprised him the most. She was carrying the spawn of the Forbidden Child, a creature that would undoubtedly bring ridicule and persecution to her from the realm to which she belonged…and she was happy. He had watched from the shadows of leaves and the curves of branches in amazement as joyful tears fell down her cheeks; a broad smile on her face as she set uncertain hands upon a then-flat stomach. Her eyes had been bright and shinning, dancing in the light of the summer sun that drifted into her little home. She'd looked…stunning, in that moment. Untouchably beautiful.

The resolution he came to in that instant was unshakable, even months later.

He removed his hand just long enough to slip it beneath the fabric of her shirt, pressing bare skin against bare skin, needing the connection the contact brought. She murmured in her sleep, forcing his eyes up to her face in apprehension that his movements had woken her, and found a small smile playing at her lips. She moved in her sleep, curling even closer to him, the hand that had fallen to his waist shifting to rest atop his, trapping it upon her round belly. Her nose was buried in his hair, her own blue locks falling over her face and spilling across his. He could feel the whisper of her breath as her lips moved, her voice coming out as little more than a sigh, so soft he might have missed it if he was anyone else.

"Hiei."

His hand curled beneath hers, claws gently dragging across the skin of her stomach as her voice drifted through the quiet room. The child beneath his palm seemed to come to life in response to his parents' movements, spastically kicking out at his hand in excitement of its father's proximity and its mother's sleepy shifting. He could hear the little heart beating just a little faster, could feel a little spark of joy funneled out into his body from the unborn infant. Between the two, sleeping mother and active child, he found himself unable to hold back the upward turn of his lips. A soft smile, just for the two of them.

The events that had brought him there, to her bed in her house with their unborn child, were scrambled and distorted. A love affair intended to be void of love, a complex relationship hidden within a guise of emotionally barren sex. Connection made in the darkest part of the night, out of sight of the eyes of the three worlds, secret to all but each other. They had made an agreement, both fully intending to keep what they had simple and unattached. He supposed neither of them had realized how impossible such a thing really would be until it was too late. Until he found the thought of even Kurama – his oldest and most trusted companion – so much as looking at her made a rush of something dark and possessive claw at him, the dragon screaming for death and blood. Until she whispered to him the dark secrets of her death and the life she lived before that, things not even Koenma knew entrusted to him.

His child – he wondered whether in the month to come he would be looking down upon a son or a daughter – bit at him with a sharp little surge of power, eager to catch its father's wandering attention. The smile that played at his lips warmed just that much more, his thumb moving in slow circles over The Woman's stomach as his other hand pulled her just that much closer to him, protective, possessive. A sense of contentment he thought he would never know in his wretched life warmed him, making him feel heavy with sleep and serenity. He buried his nose in the neck of the sleeping deity in his arms, a pulse of power forming in the palm of his hand just over the excited child.

Contentment, joy, warmth, belonging, the sense of lemongrass and dust, the dance of blue in the wind, smiles saved for those cherished most, the first step home, stillness so peaceful it could shatter a lesser being, love. Love so pure and untainted it scared him. All condensed and woven together, guided with quietly glowing Jagan into the excitable infant's little body. His control tight over his implanted eye as not to injure the life he was offering so much of himself to. A wordless, voiceless lullaby for a restless child eager to join the world. A silent promise soothing both mother and infant into a deep, protected sleep, their protector following quietly soon after.

In the morning there would be changes, but for the night he would rest in the comfort of those he loved most.