Category: Anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, Yaoi, Alternate Universe (AU)
Warnings: none
Pairings: will be KuramaxHiei
Author: Arigatomina
Complete Archive:

In Our Nature

Part 1

It was a well-respected establishment. Remembering the wonderful recommendations he'd received for the place, the youko smirked. Such a strange country he'd moved to, where whore-houses were 'well-respected.' But it wasn't the house he was visiting so much as the owner. One of the reasons he'd come to Velda was to meet with the infamous Yomi. The man was rumored to be able to find anything a person wanted, even if the person didn't know exactly what that was. Kurama knew *what* he wanted, he just didn't know who matched those specifics. Yomi was the one who would find that for him.

The young female who showed him to the man's office was interesting and he looked her over, ignoring her coy smiles. She wasn't beautiful with her complete lack of body hair, but the silvery-blue scales were unique, her similar-colored eyes almost intriguing. To think that such an exotic creature worked as a secretary. It was more proof that Yomi knew how to find them. Although, from the looks the girl was giving him, she probably doubled in the other areas of the house. That, or she was free to interact with the visitors as she saw fit. But it didn't matter to Kurama, he wasn't after a female. Females were easily obtainable without the use of an expert like Yomi. The man met them at the door before the girl had a chance to knock and Kurama smirked again, waiting as those eyes swept over him. He had complete confidence in himself and Kurama didn't doubt the man was judging him the same way he would anyone seeking to work in the establishment. But he'd sent a message ahead of him so Yomi knew better than that.

"Welcome," Yomi drawled, stepping aside to let the youko into his office. His eyes dropped to the sweeping tail and his lips twitched before he closed the door behind them. He'd wondered what sort of person this Kurama was, but he hadn't imagined such a tantalizing one. It was almost enough to make him question his own availability. The youko brushed his tail to the side as he sat down in the offered seat and Yomi took his place behind the desk. "I understand you're looking for a mate."

"Little reason I would be here otherwise," Kurama said, matching the man's drawl with a lazy smile. "I don't frequent such places."

"Oh, now don't be so quick to judge," Yomi smiled. "My house is different from any others, I can guarantee that. I have drawn my people from the thirty kingdoms and beyond. And not one of them has ever received a complaint from my customers."

"I don't doubt that, but I'm not here for a casual encounter." The man nodded sharply, long black hair falling over his shoulder and Kurama leaned back in the chair.

"You're looking for a mate," Yomi nodded. "Before I start looking, I require specifics on both your target individual, and the living conditions. I take it you will want this person to live with you, here?"

"I may move in the future," Kurama said, crossing a leg over his knee and propping his elbow on it. "I want the freedom to be mobile as I choose. As for income, that's taken care of. I don't care if my mate chooses to work, but I require complete monogamy." The man's eyebrow twitched and Kurama smirked. "I wouldn't choose someone who works in a place like this, you understand."

"Of course. Not to be forward, but what bodily requirements are you asking?" The youko's smirk widened and Yomi smiled. It was so interesting when he had requests like this one, especially when the individual seemed to be enjoying himself so much.

"I'm a youko," Kurama shrugged, tossing a bit of hair off his shoulder. "One of the reasons I came here rather than looking myself is because of that. If I were to take a female, she would have respite from me during pregnancy." The man nodded and he shook his head. "But I have no interest in females. The male I seek must be young enough to withstand me. I'm not unreasonable," Kurama added, inclining his head. "If he wants to set some sort of pattern, I am willing to negotiate. But I would prefer to have a mate who can match me and my...needs." With a quick flash of teeth, Kurama grinned for a second before growing serious again. Yomi seemed to be having trouble keeping his straight face. "I am very selective, though. He must be healthy and young."

"And attractive," Yomi put in, raising an eyebrow.

"Of course." He hadn't paid attention before, but Kurama was pleased to see that the man was making notes. "You said you had a collection here. I would prefer someone exotic if possible." Bright eyes flashed up and he nodded toward the door. "I've never seen a species such as your secretary and while that isn't my taste, I would enjoy someone unique."

"It's quite a request," Yomi warned, holding the sheet he'd written on. "I have connections, but it may take time to find candidates for this list. When I do this, there are certain agreements. First, I receive payment after your candidate reaches the destination." The youko nodded but he raised a hand, forestalling him. "That holds even if by some chance the mating does not take place. My role is to find the person and get him to you, after that it's between you and him. Any disagreements are not my problem. And shipping is up to you. Some of the best youkai are in the most remote of locations."

"Don't worry about the money," Kurama smiled, his pale golden eyes narrowing a bit. "Complete this task and you'll receive more than my payment, you'll have my respect." The man didn't know him, but Kurama was certain it would only be a matter of time before he became well known in the area. He stood slowly, letting Yomi open the door for him.

"I'll contact you as soon as I have information," Yomi said, nodding to his secretary who met them at the door. The youko paused and he smirked, glancing at the female. "If you change your mind in the meantime, you are more than welcome to take advantage of the house. You do realize what we have to offer?"

Blinking slowly, Kurama gave the man a lazy smile. "Of course, I am a youko."

* * *

His cloak was damp from the snow that covered the ledge, but Hiei wasn't cold. He wore the clothing more as a covering than protection since he was impervious to the inhospitable weather. He'd learned early to keep cloth over as much of his skin as possible and his hands curled over the bandages wrapped about them. Soft steps were muffled by the snow and he glanced over his shoulder, red eyes flicking to the package the girl carried. Yukina's eyes were sad but he ignored them, taking the paper-wrapped rectangle without so much as brushing her hand. "Thank you."

"Are you really leaving?" Yukina dropped her eyes when he turned without answering and her arms curved around her waist.

"They were going to send me away, anyway," Hiei reminded her, his low voice hard. It wasn't that he was angry about it, he'd known for years that his presence wouldn't be tolerated long. He was an outcast, and the elders saw him as a danger to all of them. He didn't even blame them. Leaving was his only choice.

"They're wrong," Yukina said sharply, glaring at the black-clothed back. "There's no reason why you should have to leave."

"The females don't mate," Hiei answered, his eyes on the package as he unwrapped it quickly. "For very good reason, if you'll remember. And you know my time is short." His body had reached the point where he couldn't fight any longer. Even the smallest contact made him strum with a need to bond with the person and his previously self-induced isolation had turned into a mandate from the elders. They were afraid he would attach himself to one of their own and he knew very well that it was a distinct possibility. As far as bonding was concerned, his body ruled that, not his mind. "My only choice is to leave."

"Why should you have to go so far to mate with someone you've never even met? There are plenty of girls here who would mate with you." Red eyes snapped back to her, but she only gave a slight blush. "It's true. The elders are the only ones who think it's evil to mate with a male. The younger ones know it's a natural need."

"It's *not* the same," Hiei said sharply, turning away again. He was aware that the girls she spoke of found him interesting. He was the odd one, the result of a mating that the elders had tried so hard to prevent. But their interest was fueled from curiosity, not the inherent need his drive to mate came from. And even if it had been an option, he'd never have mated with any of them. The very thought repulsed him. If truth were told, he was almost glad to have a way off the mountain, even if it were to go to a complete stranger. His eyes moved to the package again and he finished opening it, reading over the papers inside.

It had been a whimsical notion, applying to the service. While he'd never been farther than the outpost at the foot of the mountain, he knew the matching had connections in all kingdoms. His thought was that maybe, somewhere, there was a person who would be interested in an outcast like him. It wasn't that he didn't have confidence in his appearance, but any mate of his would have to deal with problems. The largest of which was being addressed in the papers he held and his eyes widened a bit as he read quickly. He'd received an immediate response from his application, but he hadn't hoped for more than a bit of attention. He expected to be rejected once the person learned about his periodic change.

Koorime's were usually a quiet, peaceful species. Their nature was unchanging. But he was different. Similar to some other species he'd heard of, Hiei changed when the moon was full. It wasn't that his appearance altered, but that his mind suffered some sort of lock-down. During that time, he was unable to feel anything. Oh, he rarely showed his emotions, but when the moon was full, it wasn't a matter of hiding his emotions. At that time, he had none except a cold, methodical anger. Even when he had nothing to direct the anger at, he felt the same. During those times, he left the mountain, staying at the foot of it so he had no contact with anyone. Ironically, though, that was the only time when he could have touched the koorimes without worrying that his body might try and bond with them. When the moon was full, his body was as quiet as his emotions. And that was not something to tell a potential mate. He'd expected to be dismissed when he'd explained in the application that there would be no touching during the full moon. Such was his surprise to read that his exception would not cause any problems. It made him wonder if the rumors about youkos were wrong.

From what little he'd heard, youkos mated for life. They were said to be very dedicated to their mates and that was what Hiei wanted. Although he was the first of his kind, he knew when he bonded it would be until death. If he had a choice, he would want to mate with someone who would return that dedication. The fact that the person corresponding with him understood his nature and didn't mind only made him more eager. From the paper, he knew he would have to sign a contract before he would be brought to the country the youko was living in, but he was willing to take that risk. And he had no reason to wait for the koorimes to throw him out. Thinking of them, he glanced back to where Yukina was still standing quietly. The girl flushed when his eyes fell on her and he raised an eyebrow, wondering if she were reading over his shoulder. Not that he cared. With a small smirk, he offered her the papers, nodding when she took a step back. He hadn't expected her to read them, it wasn't in her to intrude like that. "I will miss you," he said quickly, the smirk leaving his face as he stood. The girl's eyes widened at the admission, but he didn't wait, hopping off the ledge and walking away.

* * *

The picture was hand-painted, something Kurama had rarely seen. From what he'd heard from Yomi, though, the mountain was isolated with minimum technology. Still, it was an excellent picture and if the details were accurate, then his future mate was lovely. The boy was shorter than he'd had in mind, his height not shown very well since he was seated on a snowy ledge. The expression was blank, but Kurama appreciated the male's features, especially the wide eyes, small red pupils giving them an exotic look that was perfect. There wasn't much else to say for the picture except that he would have preferred if the boy weren't wearing a black cloak that hid his form. But Yomi had assured him there were no imperfections. A scrawl was written on the bottom corner of the picture and Kurama brushed his thumb over the visible Y before glancing up at Yomi. The man blinked and Kurama raised an eyebrow at the odd expression.

"He'll arrive in two weeks," Yomi said quickly, keeping his gaze away from the picture. His tone was neutral, hiding his own eagerness. "You understand that he's had little contact with males?"

"You said that wouldn't be a problem," Kurama shrugged, "and I have no complaints if I'm his first and last. In fact, I should have asked for that in the beginning."

"Of course."

The black-haired man wasn't looking at him and Kurama frowned again, slipping the picture back into the envelope. Yomi had been acting strangely during the last month, not the outgoing man he'd first met. "Is there a problem?"

"No, not at all." With a quick smile, Yomi laid a hand on the youko's shoulder. "It's been a pleasure doing business with you, and I'll see to it that he's delivered to your doorstep. After that, it's up to you."

With a long look at the man's face, Kurama finally shrugged, standing casually. "Two weeks."

"Exactly fourteen days," Yomi murmured, his eyes glinting as he turned back to the desk. "I've made certain there will be no delays. He should be here sometime in the evening. You know," he said slowly, glancing back to the youko, "there's a full moon that night." Kurama blinked at him and he turned back to the desk, hiding his smirk.

"Really? I hadn't thought about it," Kurama admitted.

"Yes," Yomi nodded, his hands moving slowly to rearrange the papers on his desk. "It's said to be the harbinger of new beginnings."

"How appropriate."

* * *