I found this old file floating around and figured it was about time I posted it. After yet another round of editing— this is about the third time I've found it, fixed some wording, and considered putting it on here— I finally uploaded it. I hope you enjoy this character piece based on my own observations of Hiei's actions. I've always had different thoughts about his character based on whether I'm watching the manga, the sub, or the dub, so, for the record, this piece was based off the manga.
Yusuke will teach Hiei to trust.
Six months ago, Hiei attempted world domination.
He stole an item of power from the vaults of Reikai, assisted in the robbery of two other objects, created a small zombie army, attempted to kill one Yusuke Urameshi with aforementioned zombie army, and nearly murdered the detective's closest friend. The fox betrayed him as soon as he found it convenient, yet offered him the one favour as an exchange for his life in their next confrontation. Charged on multiple serious felonies, he only found himself on community service because of Kurama.
Today, he stands two feet from Yusuke Urameshi, holding a huge rock ceiling that pushes them to their limits and threatens their lives.
And, immediately, Yusuke thinks of his super-speed and proposes a plan of action in which the lives of Yusuke and his friend, as well as Kurama— who Yusuke seems to like and Hiei has reason to hold a grudge against— in the hands of the demon who, six months ago, almost killed him.
The feeling his words give, Hiei cannot describe with any precision. He can recognize the surprise; earlier that same day, Hiei claimed he had a score to settle with Yusuke! Is he stupid? Hiei thinks. But somewhere deep down, his stomach jumps in a way he cannot name. His response catches in his throat, so he only stares.
"Are you crazy, Urameshi?" Yusuke's friend yells.
He manages to say, "The ugly one is right. Can you trust me?" The answer, Hiei knows, can be nothing except no. He does not want to die here and now, for people he dislikes, but the outcome of the situation is clear to him. They will not make it past the front door.
Yusuke responds, "Go, Hiei. I trust you." The strange feeling intensifies, and Hiei takes a moment to stare at Yusuke again. How can such a naïve person even exist? Why would he believe such things?
He reaches the lever and wants to pull it more than anything else he has wanted in a very long time. He cannot explain why he feels such. Sure, defeating the four Saints Beasts will be much easier with four others, but he cannot attribute his desire to help simply to that.
He wants to prove to Yusuke that he was right in trusting him, and that is why he does not pull. Because Yusuke is not right in trusting him. Nobody ever trusted Hiei for a good reason.
If Hiei does not pull the lever, Yusuke will die.
People are yelling. The one-eyed demon is offering him something, and Kuwabara is accusing him of betrayal.
He starts to chuckle, and snaps. He pulls the lever and he hates that he does. He yells threats; it is second nature for him to defend himself with them. After all, he does not want to feel such things he is feeling now, ever.
"Thanks for saving us, Hiei."
He is flustered. He scoffs and makes excuses, and marches away. He feels some sort of building loyalty to Yusuke and he does not know why.
He does not know it now, but by the end of the day, Hiei will be completely loyal to Yusuke. Within a month, he will owe Yusuke more than he could ever repay. In six months, he will be willing to die for him, though he will not realize it until he nearly does. Yusuke will take a place in Hiei's life that will leave a gaping hole when the human detective is gone. When Yusuke dies, Hiei's world will end and he will stop wanting to live. He will not regain the will to live until much later, because he will hate himself for becoming so dependent on one person's presence. And when he finally regains the will to live, he will find himself staying back with Yusuke as the once-human faces with a decision that could destroy Spirit World or his home or nothing at all. He stands just out of sight, ready to die just because he refuses to let Yusuke die alone. (Neither Puu nor Koenma count as company).
One day he will wonder how such a person as Yusuke Urameshi managed to worm his way into Hiei's heart— a heart that did not even exist until Yusuke decided to make it his home-away-from-home. He never had anybody he could call a friend— before Yusuke, he never wanted to consider anybody his friend. He only had allies he would betray in an instant and allies he knew would betray him in an instant. Yet, Yusuke will teach him to trust.
He will learn to trust Yusuke. He will become loyal to Yusuke.
Because, though he does not know it now, Yusuke is the type of person who draws people in. When Hiei finally reveals his thoughts to Kurama, Kurama will compare Yusuke to the sun. His bright smile and general demeanour draws people in, creating a sort of gravitational field. Without fail, anybody who comes across something with such a large source of gravity will have their trajectory altered— sometimes only by a little and sometimes, like in the case of Hiei, they will find themselves caught in his gravity and unable to escape, simply content to orbit him for the rest of their existence.
If somebody from that future would go back in time to today and tell Hiei about who he will become, he would laugh in their faces. Perhaps he would think it through and not give Yusuke the chance to become Hiei's first and best friend. Perhaps he would simply think he will always be above such things and not bother.
And if the Hiei of the future had to relive his life, he would do it all over again.
Because unbeknownst to the Hiei of the present, he needs a friend. He needs Yusuke like the way he needs air.