More Than Partners
YYH - One Shot Epic

by Bane Huntress [Sarah B]
Inspiration and then some by Lady Tia

Synopsis: Hiei and Kurama have been "partners" for years, Then Yusuke finds out just what that word means to two youkai. This is just an epic on how strange 'domestic' can be to the ex-team. So, how do two male youkai have kids? read and find out. All toped off with a tournament and some Kurama whumping!

 

Fandom: Yu Yu Hakusho

Pairing: Hiei/Kurama

Set: After the series (Anime based only)

Cert: 13 (language and ideas)

Word count: 73000

Keywords: HC emotional/physical, MPreg, Established relationship, M/M, Slash, Angst, Marriage, Bonding, Kids, Family, Drama, Tournaments, Fights, Sexy bits, Romance?,

 

Prompt: Hiei to Yusuke: “Obviously you are underestimating Kurama, Do you know why I chose him to be my partner? To avoid fighting him myself.”

 

Download Print Friendly Version .rtf

 

Authors Notes, The Kids, Appendix, Authors Rant

Main Story:   End Side Bonus Stories:
Chapter 1 - Bonding & Marriage   Side 1 - Hiei takes his Silver Fox
Chapter 2 - First Born   Side 2 - How to groom a Kitsune
Chapter 3 - Domestic Dealings   Side 3 - The Kits want a puppy
Chapter 4 - The Tournament   Side 4 - Inari Shrine? (How they got one)
Epilogue - The Endish   Side 5 - The 'little chat' about the kids

More Than Partners
by Bane Huntress [Sarah B]
Inspiration and then some by Lady Tia

Chapter 1 – Bonding & Marriage

Something had woken Yusuke, he couldn’t feel anything but still the sound had disturbed him enough he couldn’t fall back to sleep. He was sure it had a moan of pain, a short gasp that had been chocked off.

Quietly he left Keiko still asleep as he sneaked into the corridor. They were all currently staying at Genkai’s temple and nothing seemed out of place in the darkness.

He was just about to go back to bed when he heard it again, coming from the room at the end of the hallway where most of the guest rooms were.

He quickly stealthed to the end of the hall.

“Urameshi?”

Yusuke plastered himself against the wall in shock as Kuwabara came out of his own room that he shared with his wife, Yukina.

“God damn it Kuwabara! You almost gave me a heart attack!” he hissed quietly at his huge friend. “I heard something coming from Kurama’s room… did you hear anything?” he asked quickly.

“Err, no.” Kuwabara answered as he moved to stand against the wall besides him. “Is there trouble? I can’t sense anything.”

“Me either but…”

There was a rustle from the room in front of them, then a low throaty growl.

As one, Yusuke and Kuwabara jumped forwards and threw open the door, weapons at the ready.

Then they stopped dead.

Kurama was on his back on his futon, one fist clenched between his teeth, his eyes tightly closed. He looked to be in considerable pain. His other arm was out stretched above him, as if trying to push away his attacker.

His attacker just happened to be Hiei, who was holding himself above Kurama by his arms, his hips rhythmically moving between Kurama’s legs below a thin sheet barely covering Hiei’s backside.

Yusuke heard Kuwabara make a strangled cry then run away.

Yusuke couldn’t seem to move, the shock was just too much. Two of his best friends were having sex in front of him.

He took a step forwards as anger began to take over the shock as Kurama gave another bitten off sob. Hiei was hurting the Kitsune and he needed to stop this now.

Suddenly Hiei turned his head to glair at him over his shoulder, then the fire youkai gave a smug smile before he mouthed ‘Get out’.

Yusuke clenched his fists.

“Hi… Hiei…?” Kurama  questioned in a soft groan.

“Shut up Fox” Hiei growled as he moved his glair away from Yusuke to the Kitsune beneath him. “What did I say about keeping quiet!” then Hiei was kissing a very willing Kurama, who wrapped his arms and legs around him, making the sheet over Hiei’s ass slip a bit more.

Yusuke quickly stepped back and out of the room. Closing the door as quietly as he could, then with a deep exhalation of breath he wandered towards the kitchen, and hopefully some beers with something stronger for chasers.

+ + + + +

Kurama snuggled against his warm lover, it wasn’t like he ever had much of a choice, Hiei always had to keep some kind of physical contact with him for a few hours after they made love, usually taking the forum of possessive, dominant, manly snuggling, as Kurama liked to think of it, Hiei would pull him close like an octopus, making sure he was between any window or door and Kurama, like he needed protecting.

Kurama had tried being annoyed about it. In his Youko day’s he had always had a love um and leave um attitude. But with Hiei he didn’t have much of a choice. Kurama could brake free if he wanted too, but the Shuichi part of his soul actually liked it, it gave Kurama a kind of peace he had never really known. Being protected by someone else sometimes was actually quite nice.

Hiei was currently nuzzling into his hair, his hands creeping down to Kurama’s backside where they were destined to start exploring Kurama’s abused flesh, slipping inside the stretched ring for more exploration that would inevitably lead to more mind blowing sex.

On any other night, Kurama would encourage his lover.

“Hiei…?” he questioned softly, knowing his stoic lover would heed the warning in his tone.

Hiei sighed and stopped his nuzzling and moved his hands to a more appropriate place on his back.

“I really should go talk to them.” Kurama said softly.

“Hn…” Hiei grunted and hugged him a little tighter. “They are both married, if they don’t know what we were doing by now, you need to have a talk with Keiko and my sister… actually, no, I’ll just castrati Kuwabara.”

Kurama couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped at the absurd thought. He felt Hiei tremble beneath him as he uncharacteristically joined in.

“Anyhow, I told them ages ago that we were Partners.” Hiei stated.

Kurama moved and blinked up at his lover, resting his chin on Hiei’s well defined chest. “When?”

“On our first mission as Spirit Detective, they thought you wouldn’t be able to defeat Genbu, I told them I chose you as my partner…” Hiei paused as a wicked smile appeared on his lips. “To avoid fighting you myself.”

Kurama smiled happily, trying not to let his smugness show.

Hiei bumped their foreheads together a little painfully. “I might be rash, I’m not stupid.” Then he took Kurama’s face in his hands and licked the sore on Kurama’s head, then kissed it better.

Kurama couldn’t help feeling a little mushy at the affection, or that little affirmation that Hiei had been impressed with him even back then, when he was stuck in his human body, bereft of the energy Youko held.

“I should still go talk to them.” Kurama sighed as he reached up and began pulling on stranded of Hiei’s white hair.

“Hn, I’m not prepared to let you out of my sight just yet Fox.” Hiei growled making his hold painfully tight.

Kurama just sighed as he made himself comfortable, another half hour wouldn’t hurt.

+ + + + +

Yusuke chugged some more beer as he sat on the porch looking up at the stars. Kuwabara had run away ages ago, screaming he didn’t want to talk about it as he ran back to his wife.

He still couldn’t believe what he had seen.

He just thought Kurama was a little strange never having a girlfriend, eventually just putting it down to what the hell would an ancient fox want with some giggly human girl? It would be like literally robbing the cradle. Yusuke shivered at that. And as far as Hiei went, Yusuke couldn’t imagine any woman putting up with Hiei’s crappy superior attitude for long.

But this?

He tipped his head back and drank the last of his beer as he felt Kurama sit down besides him softly, but Yusuke didn’t know what to say, he couldn’t even look at the guy.

“I expect you would like an explanation?” Kurama said quietly.

Yusuke grit his teeth letting the anger flow for a moment. “Why didn’t you tell me?” somehow, it seemed like a huge betrayal. He wasn’t a bastard, he would have accepted them being an item… Gay… God it was so fucked up. He thought they were team mates, partners… friends. You told this kinda crap to friends.

He heard Kurama take a deep breath. “Sometimes I forget you were not brought up in the Makai and that things can be lost in translation.”

Yusuke felt Kurama shift at his side on the bench but he still didn’t look at the Kitsune. “Hiei just told me he told you we were Partners from the very first time we worked together.”

“Partners don’t fuck each other!” Yusuke snapped spinning on his friend. But Kurama just gave him a knowing smile but his eyes looked sad.

“Hiei’s understanding of ‘Partners’ is in the sexual sense.” Kurama said, his large green eyes searching.

“Oh…” Yusuke said awkwardly. “You still could have told me! If you guys, err, love each other it’s fine!”

Kurama closed his eyes as he shook his head. “We didn’t love each other back then… When Hiei wanted me as a partner, yes we were kind of friends already… but he wanted true partnership, He had to take me by force.”

Yusuke blinked as he took that in. “So… So Hiei raped you?” he gasped out in horror.

Kurama smiled again giving a little shrug of his shoulders. He was about to say something when suddenly Hiei had Yusuke by the front of his shirt pulling him half off the bench.

“I did not rape him.” Hiei growled into his face with deadly calm, his other fist clenched to punch him.

“Hiei.” Kurama said calmly. “He doesn’t understand.”

“Then explain it to him before I kill him.” Hiei snarled but didn’t move or let go.

Yusuke chuckled nervously as crimson eyes burned into his own.

“Sometimes, when Youkai need to work together, or trust one another to a degree, one will dominate the other. Usually it’s through fighting, the winner taking claim on the others life. But on rare occasions, when neither want to fight, one will submit to the other… Sexually.” Yusuke heard Kurama give a little cough. “At the time, I thought it would save time and effort to submit.”

Yusuke watched as Hiei’s eyes softened around the edges, then they moved from Yusuke to look at Kurama. “You like it that way Fox.”

Yusuke moved his eyes so he could see the redhead actually blush.

“I don’t think he needs to know all the in’s and out’s Hiei.” Then Kurama was looking at Yusuke again. “We just never got around to breaking our contract.”

Yusuke’s eye widened at the slight resignation in his friends voice. “Maybe you guys should just get married then?” Yusuke chucked apprehensively, trying to lighten the mood, and hopefully stop Hiei knocking his block off.

He watched as Kurama glanced at Hiei, then looked away. “I’m not in the position to ask.” Kurama whispered.

Yusuke frowned. He had meant it as a joke, or at least to lessen the death grip Hiei had on him. But Kurama looked almost regretful, if not sad. Then he got mad at Hiei again. The little snot might be stubborn. But even Yusuke knew the two were the best of friends. And that even just a little think about it, they were meant for each other.

“Hiei! You little punk! Why don’t you be a man and…” Yusuke suddenly found himself being flung from the bench, over the railing of the porch to the grass in front, landing painfully on his ass. “HIEI!” he screamed as he got to his feet rubbing his behind.

“You want that Fox?” Hiei was asked as he now stood in front of Kurama. “You want to Bond with me or Mate?”

Yusuke could see Kurama’s eyes had gone huge, then he looked almost bashful as he looked away and down as he gave a little nod. “Bond” he uttered.

“All of you?” Hiei persisted.

Even in the dim light of breaking dawn, Yusuke saw a flash of gold enter Kurama’s eyes as he nodded again.

Yusuke watched as Hiei took both of Kurama’s hands in his own.

“Then I give you my Bond promise.” Hiei whispered lifting Kurama’s right wrist to his mouth turning it just so, then bit down hard enough to make Kurama wince. When Hiei brought the wrist away, Kurama was bleeding where Hiei had bitten him. Perfect little teeth marks from the back to the underside of Kurama’s wrist on the inside. “And I stake my claim.” Hiei then did the same to Kurama’s left wrist. Finaly he began to lick the wounds alternately.

Through the whole ordeal, their eyes were locked on each other.

Kurama looked a little shell shocked, but there was a smile on his lips.

Yusuke didn’t know what to do, he was still mad at Hiei, he had just watched the little punk hurt one of his friends. But Kurama seemed happy about it, then there was the embarrassment at seeing something that was so intimate between the two, making him feel like an interloper on a private moment.

Then Hiei was plastered to Kurama as the two began kissing, and that’s when Yusuke sighed and walked back inside, leaving the two to do what ever the hell they wanted.

He had seen way too much tonight. And all he wanted to do was curled up around Keiko and maybe wake her up for some of their own kinda fun.

+ + + + +

Kurama couldn’t seem to loose the smile that threatened to make his cheeks ache, as he walked into the kitchen for breakfast with everyone else already there. Hiei’s hand still clutching his own.

He still couldn’t believe it was happening, after Hiei had marked his Bond claim on his flesh, the forbidden child had not let go of him physically since, nor would he until he had fully marked Kurama, which would be in another six or nine day’s.

Hiei had made it quite clear he was going to be very traditional about the Mate Bonding. It wasn’t like it was something simple like hand binding or marriage. This was something so much deeper. This would take them both beyond words and promises.

“We take this slow Fox.” Hiei had growled into his ear as he thrust into him that morning for the second time. “I’m sure you want your human mother to know you’re going to be mine totally. Especially the way she goes on at you.”

Kurama had been a little shocked at Hiei’s thoughtfulness, but it had warmed him inside non the less.

Now, Kurama took the spare seat next to Yukina at the kitchen table as Hiei pulled his own chair closer and sat down, his thigh plastered to Kurama’s own so he could free their hands to eat.

Kurama was just about to reach for some toast, when there was a low grumble from his side and he pulled his hand back with a sigh. Letting Hiei fill his plate for him.

To cover the act of Hiei deciding what he would be eating, he turned to Yukina. “How are you this morning?” he asked.

The little koorime looked up at him. “I’m doing fine.” She smiled softly. “The babies actually let me sleep last night, not one kick.”

Kurama looked down at her baby bump, she was almost ready to give birth to her and Kuwabara’s children and she glowed with it.

“Until this morning.” She carried on, putting one hand on her belly. “Now I think the little ones are hungry, they won’t stop moving.”

“Can I feel?” he asked, something he had done before. It felt odd, but pleasant to feeling the life inside her body move.

She nodded and mover her own hand away to let him.

“No.” Hiei growled and Kurama felt a hand grip his other arm.

Kurama smiled at Yukina, “Maybe later.” He said as he moved to begin eating the toast and fried egg’s Hiei had put on his plat, But Yukina gasped at his other side.

“Kurama! Your wrist, what happened?” She then grabbed his wrist and began healing the bite mark. Before Kurama could even think of pulling his hand away, Hiei was between them, pushing Yukina’s hands away.

Yukina cried out in pain as Hiei almost threw her off her chair.

Kuwabara was shouting as he grabbed his wife and held her safe in his arms.

Everyone else also get to their feet in the sudden turn of events, no doubt shocked at his almost violence towards his beloved sister.

Hiei ignored all the shouting as he spun on Kurama, lifting his hand to his mouth and sank his teeth once again into the half healed wounds.

Kurama bit back his groan of pain, knowing at this moment it would be very bad to pull away.

Then Hiei was licking the little puncture marks, laid perfectly in their original marks, Kurama felt the burning heat that would deepen the scaring with every lap of Hiei’s tong.

“What the hell are you doing you little vampire brat!” Kuwabara was closing in on them. “How dare you try and shove Yukina like that, and what the hell are you doing to Kurama?”

Kurama found himself being yanked off his chair and shoved behind Hiei as he turned on the larger man. “Stay away from him.” Hiei growled menacingly. “No one get’s to touch him!”

The room went silent as all eyes looked to Kurama for an explanation.

Kurama chuckled nervously as he held up his wrists to show them the marks on both. “It’s an old Youkai costume,” he explained hurriedly, Hiei still trying to push him away from everyone else. “It’s kind of like an engagement ring, only a little more permanent.”

“You’ve started a Mating Ritual?” Boton blurted out.

“What the hells a mating ritual?” Kuwabara asked as he retreated to put an arm around his wife’s shoulders.

“It’s a lot like human marriage, or hand binding.” Boton answered.

“You’re wrong!” Hiei snapped angrily. “I wouldn’t disgrace Kurama with something so common and meaningless!”

The room blinked at them.

“We have started a Mate Bonding.” Kurama whispered softly.

“A what?” Yusuke asked.

“Oh…” Boton said in surprised before she smiles. “I haven’t seen that in years.”

“So what is that?” Kuwabara growled, giving Hiei another glair.

“It’s when two Youkai enter into a contract to mate for life.” Boton started to explain in her teachers tone, one finger in the air. “Unlike marriages in the human world, or any world really, there is no such thing as infidelity or divorce in a Mate Bonded pair. So it’s no light thing to enter into, once the ritual is completed the two will live their entire lives together, they will also be bound together to their very soul, so if one dies, so will the other… It’s never easy taking away mates to the other side.” She sighed deeply. “But they are usually quite nice about it.” She mused.

Silence descended on the room again. As all eyes once again turned to Kurama.

Then finally Keiko spoke up. “So you guys are getting married?”

“Kind of.” Kurama answered. “This part of the Mate Bonding normally takes six to nine day’s. Depending on...”

“So we have… nine day’s to prepare for a wedding?” Keiko asked. “I didn’t even know you guys were together… But still… Wedding!” She grinned.

All the woman in the room looked at one another and Kurama knew that it wasn’t going to be a quiet affair were Hiei would claim him and mark him again on either side of his neck.

He could see the woman already plotting a big celebration.

“Hey guys!” Yusuke finally spoke up. “Might help if you ask them IF they want some big assed wedding BEFORE you go and plan it all out already!” He got glared at from all sides. “Erk.” He squeaked, before he looked over to Kurama. “Sorry man, I tried to help.”

“There wont be any stupid human wedding!” Hiei barked. “This has nothing to do with you idiots! But if any of you dare to touch what’s mine again I’ll not hesitate to kill you all!”

“Yukina’s not an idiot!” Kuwabara raged.

“I’m sorry, But Hiei is quite series.” Kurama said with a wry smile, as he ignored Kuwabars. “As for a wedding? I’m not sure it’s such a good idea, it’s usually a privet thi...”

“But what about your Mother, Kurama?” Yukina looked at him with her large red eyes, so much like Hiei’s. “I thought she always wanted to see you get married and be happy.”

Kurama felt a stab of guilt. Yukina was right. His mother would never forgive him if he didn’t tell her this. When he had finally told her about his life and who he was before she gave birth to him. She had been more disappointed that he hadn’t told her sooner, she had been more upset that she didn’t understood him more growing up, to help him.

That had all been Hiei’s fault as he stuffed his mouth full of Shiori’s homemade cookies. ‘Good job Kurama saved you’re life years ago when you were dying, now make more of these, I like them.’ Hiei had said in his usually tactful manner. Kurama had tried to gloss over the comments. But his mother had been persistent that day and with Hiei answering almost all his mother’s questions as she began making more cookies. Kurama finally shut up and let Hiei carry on until Kurama had just apologised to her profusely, trying to explain himself as much as he could. At the end of the night, Kurama was sat on the sofa in his mother’s arms as she hugged him, promising him that she would always love him, no matter what. At the same time Hiei was eating cookies directly from the oven with relish.

Kurama sighed as he closed his eyes trying to collect his thoughts. He knew Yukina was right, but he really didn’t think he could convince Hiei to do anything so public as a wedding, especially when it didn’t involve a fight.

“Fox?” Hiei said softly, trying to capture his attention.

Kurama opened his eyes to see Hiei looking at him over his shoulder, his eyes intense.

“Do you want this?” Hiei persisted.

Kurama smiles as he moved a little closer to Hiei’s back, touched by the fire youkais concern. “Can we ask my Mother?” Kurama knew he was pushing their bonding by even asking, He was meant to be submissive, to let Hiei do everything for him.

“Will it make you happy?” Hiei whispered as he reached back to take one of Kurama’s hands.

Kurama nodded, even if their Bonding worked, his mother would still be a huge part of his life.

“Hn.” Hiei grunted.

Then Kurama found himself being pulled towards the table again. This time Hiei pushed him into the chair Hiei had been in earlier at the end of the table away, from everyone else. Then he picked up the plate he had made for Kurama and put it down in front of him. “Eat.”

Kurama just complied without another word.

“Phone your mother after we have eaten.” Hiei said sitting down, their legs plastered together again. “Make sure she’s baking before we get their.”

Kurama smiled to himself as everyone else causally got back to eating, even if the atmosphere was a little more subdued.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke yawned loudly, he was still tired after the little sleep he got that night. And now he sat with the others as they talked excitedly about Kurama and Hiei.

The topic of the conversation had left only a few minutes ago to go to Kurama’s mother house, where Kurama still lived when he wasn’t at the temple, she was alone today, her new husband and his son had gone out for the day somewhere or other.

“Why did Hiei insist on making Kurama a fresh pot of tea?” Keiko was saying, she sounded annoyed. “There was nothing wrong with the one already on the table.”

Yusuke could tell Boton was trembling with excitement to fill them in on something she knew as she fidgeted about in her chair. “It was because until they… err… fully consummate their Mate Bondin Hiei will not want Kurama to consume or drink anything he hasn’t tasted first, or prepared. It actually shows great trust that he let Kurama eat the food you prepared, which shows he at least trust you with that.”

“But he doesn’t trust me to make tea?” Keiko seethed, crossing her arms over her chest.

Boton waved her hands at Keiko, trying to calm her.

“My brother used Kurama’s favourite tea, it’s his special blend.” Yukina said softly.

“Oh.” Keiko deflated, but only a little bit. “Okay, so I still don’t understand how this works… I never thought Kurama was the kind of person to ever let someone, umm, dominate him completely. I always thought he would be too proud for that.”

Yusuke rolled his eyes. “That’s the whole point.” He piped in. “I imagine Kurama’s finding it very hard to let Hiei be completely in control. After all he’s practically an old geezer who’s used to doing everything for himself and always being in control. So letting the little squirt be in control is some kind of weird trust thing. As for Hiei, that bastard just does what he likes so long as it gets him power. So actually being analy protective over Kurama, again is some kind of trust thing, cos Hiei has to think about something other than himself for once.” Yusuke sipped at his tea as he looked at all the eyes riveted on him with mouths open.

“Surprisingly astute.” Boton sounded impressed.

“What?” he asked the room at large. “Look, I had a lot of time this morning to think about it.” He grumbled sullenly into his teacup.

“Yusuke is right as far as our friends go.” Boton carried on. “But on a general note, the Dominant has to prove they can care, protect and provide for the Submissive, to make sure they want for nothing and that they are kept happy and content is their highest priority. Where as the Submissive has to give their complete faith to the Dominant, letting the Dominant take control of ever aspect of their life in a show of trust that the Dominant will not abuse them.” Boton smiled. “Any break in trust from either side at this point and the Mate Bonding will not work.”

“Nine day’s seems a bit short for them to work that out.” Keiko said sceptically. “I mean, I didn’t even know they were an item… Well, I suspected, but still.”

Boton waved her hand again, “Now I actually think about it, Hiei and Kurama have been skipping around each other ever since I can remember, to be perfectly honest I think they have been together before they stole the artefacts from the spirit world.”

“No way!” Kuwabara finally yelled. “We would have known!”

“I think she’s right.” Yusuke said as he remembered all the times Kurama would look to Hiei before doing something, like he was asking for permission, or the way Hiei got emotional if Kurama was in series danger, or couldn’t defend himself. “After all, I think Kurama is the only being Hiei has never attacked and still gives a crap about… I just need to scrub my eyes or something after last night.” He shivered.

Kuwabara was making strangled noises, so no doubt he was wishing the same.

“Why?” Keiko asked at his side.

Yusuke sighed as he began to explain what he had witnessed that night, in as little detail as he could manage.

+ + + + + +

Kurama couldn’t help but be amused as Hiei dragged him through the door of his mothers home.

“We’re Home! Where are the cookies!” Hiei called as he led Kurama into the kitchen where his mother was just getting the first batch out of the over.

“Oh, my! Welcome home” Shiori laughed as she saw them. “I didn’t think you would be over so quick! Let me get the next batch in.” she quickly did as she said before walking over to them both. “Hello Hiei.” She greeted the fire youkai with a smile, then held her hands out to give Kurama a hug. “It’s been to long Shuichi!”

Kurama was just about to take a step back when Hiei grabbed one of Shiori’s hands and pushed Kurama’s into to it. “Don’t let go.” Hiei growled at Kurama before he went over to the tray full of hot cookies.

“Umm, Hello Mother. But it’s not even been a month.” Kurama said as she gave him a hug, then pulled him into the sitting room.

Kurama gave Hiei a look over his shoulder, not understanding how or why Hiei was able to give him over to Shiori so easily, especially with the way he reacted to his own pregnant sister this morning. He got nothing from his lover as he was pulled out of sight.

“So I take it you have something to tell me?” His mother said as she poured some tea already on the table. “It’s a little cool, but it should be alright.” She said as she handed him a cup.

Kurama took a sip, his mother always made good tea.

“So, what is it that you wanted to tell me?” she asked, her kind eyes looking at him with encouragement.

Kurama paused, taking a deep breath he thought it best just to get it over with.

“Well… It would seem I’m getting married in nine days…”

His mother blinked in shock at him. “So quick?”

Kurama saw the look of disappointment in her eyes and it hurt him all over again, like he was lying to her.  “It was only decided last night.” He tried to reassure her as he took both her hands in his own. “The ritual for Mating takes six to nine day’s and our friends are planning a wedding nine day’s from now… I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner, but there was no sooner.”

His mother looked away and Kurama’s heart missed a beat. He still wasn’t ready for his mothers rejection of him.

“Who’s the lucky woman?” His mother asked softly.

Kurama’s hopes sank lower as he looked away too.

“She’s playing with you Fox.” Hiei suddenly said from his other side. Kurama looked up to see Hiei holding out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk towards him. “Eat.” He said.

Kurama took the offered food numbly as he watched his lover sit crossed legged on the chair opposite.

Hiei snorted as a half smile appeared on his face, “For a greatest tactician who can think rings around anyone and an old geezer to boot, you sure are dumb sometimes.”

Kurama gorped at the amused fire youkai.

“I’m sorry Shuichi.” His mother said as she put her arm around him. “I couldn’t resist, you looked like you were about to faint.”

“Mother!” He couldn’t believe she would do such a thing.

“I’m not innocent, Shuichi.” She smiled at him.

“That and she’s seen me in your bed a few times. Eat.”

Automatically Kurama lifted a cookie to his mouth and nibbled at it.

“You really should shut your door at night when you have guests.” His mother said softly. “Also when Hiei stayed over, the guest room was never used, I stopped going in to change the sheets eventually.” She hugged him a little tighter. Her free hand moving his hair away from his eyes lovingly. “Also, you’ve always been a pretty boy but you never brought even a friend home, never mind a girlfriend. So when Hiei began hanging out here now and again, and once I realised he wasn’t a child.” She grinned at the fire youkai who snorted and looked away. “I was happy for you, you always seemed more content when he was about.” She cupped his cheek with the hand that had been playing with his hair, so he would look at her. “And as I’ve told you always, I love you no matter what.”

Kurama felt tears sting his eyes as he smiled at her. Loving her all over again.

Once again she proved what a wonderful woman she truly was, after all she had even melted Youko’s hardened soul.

“Mother…” he whispered as she pulled him in for a tight hug that he returned as tightly as he dared.

Eventually she pulled away a little. “So I take it you wont be wanting my wedding dress?” she grinned.

Hiei snorted and began to laugh from the other side of the room and Kurama tried not to blush.

Shiori laughed along with Hiei until she calmed a little. “So, a white suit or one of your other pretty Chinese outfits?”

+ + + + + +

Kurama was still a little stunned as Hiei all but dragged him at top speed towards Genkai’s temple and grounds.

They had talked a little more with his mother, before she promised to be over the following day to help the other women with the preparation for the wedding in nine day’s.

Kurama had just supposed it would be a small affair with close friends and relatives, but as his mother was speaking he knew that the others would be planning something big as well. He still wasn’t sure on how Hiei was going to feel about that, or if he had any idea at all about the enormity of what they were letting themselves into.

He half wanted to get back to the temple to try and do some damage control, this was out of his experience and it left him feeling a little edgy.

But as always Hiei had different plans for the rest of the day.

“That den you made? Is it still habitable?” Hiei asked as he ran into Genkia’s forest.

“Should be.” Kurama answered as Hiei took them into the thickest and darkest part of the forest where Kurama had found a little cave and grown enough vines and trees around to make the snug little hole big enough for the both of them.

Hiei found it easily and all but threw Kurama inside.

“You’re wearing too many clothes.” Hiei growled as he began tugging at Kurama’s coat.

Kurama sighed as he helped, while Hiei used some of his power to warm the cosy little space up.

Kurama’s questions could wait as he grinned at his lover.

--

A few hours later the questions couldn’t wait.

“Hiei?” he asked softly as Hiei was gently licking at the marks on his left wrist, burning the marks deeper.

“Hn?” Hiei answered distractedly.

“Why did you let me go, into my mother care?” It still puzzled him. He knew he really didn’t want Hiei to let go of him, and knew Hiei was being over possessive right now. So why Hiei would just let him go to his mother was baffling.

“Did you mind?” Hiei asked as he took Kurama’s right wrist and began licking the marks there.

“No…” Kurama answered thoughtfully. “But still…”

Hiei made an annoyed sound as he paused in what he was doing. “She makes you happy, and I’ll have you to myself soon enough.”

Kurama lay his head down on the fire youkais bare chest again with a sigh, he really didn’t want to think of loosing her again, and Hiei was right, even though she was promised to have a long life, it would still be too short for him.

“She’s no threat to me Fox.” Hiei sighed as he pulled him closer. “She gave you life and she loves you, I know I can trust her with your care.”

Kurama was shocked by Hiei’s honestly. “Thank you.” He whispered truly touched.

“Will you shut up about it now?” Hiei asked once again licking at his wrist.

Kurama chuckled. “Maybe.” He uttered as he began licking at his lovers belly.

+ + + + + +

Six day’s later, Kurama was beginning to think this whole wedding idea was just an exercise in endurance and stress.

All the woman at the temple thought it was all great fun, he was ready to scream and kick them all out, or run away somewhere.

Only Hiei had been his saving grace.

The fire youkai seem to know just when Kurama had had enough and without a word would drag him away to a quiet place where they would have sex until Kurama couldn’t give a damn about anything other than snuggling or sleeping.

“Your mother wanted an hour alone with you later.” Hiei yawned sleepily. “What for?”

Kurama stretched loving the feel of Hiei spooned up behind him, they didn’t really fit, but Hiei had a death grip on him. “It’s bad luck for the groom to see the wedding dre… Outfit before the wedding day… She wants me to try it on.”

“Hn, more stupid superstitions.” Hiei growled.

Kurama was just about to agree when he was suddenly on his back, Hiei looming over him, his crimson eyes narrowed with amusement and a danger that sent a thrilling shiver down Kurama’s spin.

“Maybe I should just claim you now, and put a stop to all this.” Hiei’s voice was all but a hiss as he leaned closer.

Kurama sighed contentedly as he moved his head back and to the side, exposing his throat to his lover. It had been six day’s and Kurama was more than ready. “As you wish.” He uttered closing his eyes in anticipation.

He could feel Hiei’s warm breath on his throat, felt the lap of his tong as it swept the place he would be marked, then the sharp drag of teeth, teasing over his sensitive flesh.

“HEY!” Came Yusuke’s voice from the other side of the door. “If you guys can get OUT of each other for a sec, Kurama your mum is asking for you!”

Kurama froze in shock, then he felt Hiei suddenly move away and Kurama’s world seemed to crumble apart.

He sat up, clutching the forgotten sheets to him like an innocent virgin as his whole body began to shake uncontrollably.

Hiei had let him go…

And the world turned to ice, cutting and sharp edged.

He tried to speak but his teeth were chattering too much as stabs of fear kept taking his breath away.

In all his years he had never experience such panic, something was wrong, very wrong and he couldn’t think, couldn’t figure out how to make it stop. All his logic and reasoning were being ripped to shreds as his mind delved into a maelstrom of confusion.

He could feel his Youko self trying to brake free and take control, but in the turbulence of horror even the Kitsune had no power.

The world was going dark as he tried to get up, he had always faced danger on his feet, but he couldn’t breath, couldn’t find his strength.

He could hear someone, someone calling his name, but it seemed so far away.

There was a sharp pain on the side of his face and the world seemed to focuses a little.

“Kurama! Breath damn it!”

“Hie… H…” he tried to make his mouth work; the paralysing panic was easing slowly.

“I’m sorry.”

Hiei apologising? Kurama blinked, the absurdity of it pulling him back to reality.

“What the fuck Hiei!” Yusuke sounded pissed. “Is he all right?”

“Come any closer and I’ll kill you.” Hiei snarled menacingly, meaning every word.

Kurama managed to focus on two concerned red eyes burning into his own.

“You there Fox?” Hiei asked, demanding an answere.

Kurama could feel one of Hiei’s hands on his arm, his warmth seeping into him and taking the freezing agony away. Kurama nodded to the question as Hiei’s other hand began running through his hair, soothing him even more. Then Hiei was pulling him against his chest and began rocking him a little.

Kurama felt himself relax as the embrace began to seep the cold pain out of him and he found he couldn’t let go of his Mate.

“Don’t do that again.” He managed to gasp out as he calmed down. He felt like he had gone ten rounds in a tournament.

“Kurama, what’s happening?” He hared Yukina as she ran into their room. “All the plants and trees are dyeing around the temple… Oh my.” She finished on a shocked gasp.

“Stay BACK!” Hiei roared at his sister.

Kurama heard her squeak as he could feel more people running towards them down the hall. He buried his face into Hiei shoulder, not ready right now to face everyone in his moment of weakness. He had to trust Hiei to deal with this, he still felt to shaken and unsure of what had just happened to him.

Then he gasped, blinked in a sudden understanding. That was the whole point of this Mate Bonding, he had to trust his mate unconditionally, that maybe sometimes it was all right to let someone else take control, to protect him… To let go and just trust… This had never been a joke… but now it had become very serious.

“Shuichi!” His mother had obviously arrived, then he felt her hands on him, one soothing his back the other stroking his hair with Hiei’s. He felt his Mate tense, but didn’t force his mother away.

He felt tears curse down his cheeks, something he hadn’t experienced in a very long time.

To have the two people he loved the most surrounding him let him relax so he could let go and slipped into unconsciousness, knowing he would be safe.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke held his arm up, trying to prevent anyone else coming into the room Kurama and Hiei shared.

It had been quite obvious that Hiei actually meant his threats to kill them all if they got any closer. The little basted had made that quite clear over the last week as he dragged Kurama around like a doll, never once leaving his side and growling at anyone that got closer than the range of one of Hiei’s kicks.

The only person allowed to get close had been Shiori-san, but Yusuke never missed the way Hiei would tense a little before backing off, letting Mother and son be together.

He had practicly crapped himself when the blade of Hiei’s katana had come through the door in front of him, almost taking his ear off.

He had flung open the door in anger, it could have been anyone on the other side, Keiko had offered to go check on them originally.

But as he had entered he could feel the spirit energy coming off Kurama like sharp confused waves as it seemed to leach the heat out of the room.

When he had laid eyes on Kurama he took a step back in surprise. The red head was sat up, clutching the sheets to himself and shaking like he was freezing.

Kurama was pale on a good day, but he had been deathly white, his green eyes wide and unseeing.

Hiei had Kurama’s face in his hand’s shouting at him, then the little fire youkai slapped the kitsune across the check with almost vicious force.

Even though Yusuke had protested, it seemed to do the trick as Kurama’s spirit energy seemed to reseed and he began breathing again.

Now Shiori was with Hiei, easing an unconscious Kurama down onto the futon.

“Is he all right?” Shiori was asking Hiei, her hand still carding though her son’s hair.

Hiei gave a short nod, before he looked up to glare accusingly  at Yusuke. “I let go of him, he’s just in shock.” Hiei growled in reply to Shiori. “It will take him a while to recover.”

“All right. Oh, what are these…” Yusuke saw her reach out to pick something small and round off the sheet covering Kurama’s modesty. Before she could touch them Hiei had scooped up three small deep red stones.

“Something I dropped.” Hiei said more calmly as he hid the stones away. Which Yusuke thought was a rather neat trick seen as the fire youkai was completely naked.

“All right guys, panic over, let’s go back to the kitchen, I could do with some tea,” Yusuke actually thought cracking out the whisky might be a better idea. He had seen Hiei half naked a lot, but seeing him in all his compact glory was enough to make him want to scrub his eyes out again.

“But Kurama…” Yukina sounded upset as she waddled back out the room.

“Hiei’s with him, he’ll be fine I’m sure.” He said as he managed to push them all back and close the door.

“But all that Spirit Energy…?” Kuwabara said in awe, “I’ve never felt anything like that before. It was so cold.”

“I know.” Yusuke muttered. It had been disturbing. “Still, I need some tea… let’s go.”

+ + + + + +

Hiei sat with Kurama’s head on his lap, the Kitsune was sleeping peacefully now, much to his own relief.

He had been rash, going after Yusuke to give him a warning.

Being disturbed as he was about to claim Kurama, had pushed him past his control. But soon as Kurama’s stress and despair had slammed into him he had almost collapsed with the force of it.

There had been something so painful and miserable in Kurama energy that it had almost made Hiei loose his own control and flatten the whole damn temple, anything to take that depression and rejection away, especially when the Youko side tried to take over and failed.

Kurama’s sudden vulnerability had been shocking, like a bucket of ice water it had brought Hiei back to his wits.

Hiei was playing this whole mating thing by instinct alone, trusting his own senses as what to do and when.

He had been so ready to mark his lover a few hours ago, but now he had had time to relax, as much as he could. He was glad that he hadn’t. Kurama had been holding back on him a little, still not letting go fully of his control. Hiei didn’t mind so much, the kitsune was much older than him, had to live centuries on his own wit, one faultier, one laps in concentration and he would have been killed a thousand times over.

Hiei understood that his lover would be having trouble totally submitting to him. If their roles were reversed Hiei doubted he would have found it so easy.

As he thought about it he was still humbled by Kurama’s sacrifice and trust in him.

He found himself looking once again at the three tear gems he held in his hand. They were the size of his mothers and sisters, but instead of being a cool ice blue, they were different shades of red, swirling just under the surface. Two were very similar with an equal amount of red and black; the third was almost all black.

He had no idea when he had made them, he had never cried before. But here they were.

He closed his hand around them as he reached under the side of the futon mattress, where he had stashed a little box Keiko had given him, inside where two plain silver rings. Another human custom he didn’t agree with. But there would be just enough metal there to work with later, once he gave Kurama into his mothers keeping for a short time 

+ + + + + +

Kurama was still feeling a little uncharacteristic shaky as he let Hiei feed him his supper that night by hand.

His own hands were latched onto Hiei’s black shirt like his life depended on it. At the  moments, he thought it just might.

Once he had woken up Hiei had been surprisingly gentle. Dressing him slowly like he was made of glass, every movement sure and easy, not like previously in the last six day’s where the fire youkai seemed a little impatient while performing the same act.

Then Hiei had pulled him to his feet and waited, like Kurama might topple over at any second. And to be truthful Kurama thought it might be a possibility.

When Hiei had led him from their room, everyone kept looking at him with concern, it was Keiko who finally asked him if he was okay.

She had gotten a glair from Hiei and Kurama had just been able to give her a smile.

From then on the conversation had been muted and quiet, something that his fragile state appreciated, even if it was a little uncomfortable.

It wasn’t often he felt this vulnerable, it wasn’t pleasant, but he knew that so long as he kept his hands on Hiei that his Mate would keep him safe.

Hiei held up the last of his tea to drink, and Kurama accepted it willingly. “Your mother still wants a moment with you….” Hiei said looking directly into his eyes, letting Kurama know he could refuse if he wanted to. “Do you think you can do that?”

Kurama looked at his mother who flanked his other side, she smiled at him. “It wont take long.” She reassured him.

Kurama looked back at his Mate.

“You will be alone with her in my old room, it should still smell of me.” Hiei said as he got up, pulling Kurama with him. “There is something I need to do, it shouldn’t take to long, then I’ll be back.” Hiei was smiling, his eyes warm.

Kurama just followed as Hiei led him back down the hall to his old room, then pulled him inside. His mother closed the door behind them.

Hiei took Shiori’s hand then placed Kurama’s into it.

Kurama didn’t want Hiei to let go, but the Koorime pulled him down and kissed him deeply. “Don’t leave this room.” Hiei whispered before he was gone.

Kurama couldn’t help but gasp at the pain of separation, and for a few moments he folded himself against his mother’s chest, the first place he had ever felt truly safe. She always smelled of comfort and home, her smell mixed with Hiei’s warm musk helped him calm a little.

His mother didn’t say anything as she held him tightly, just running her hands down his back and through his hair that she loved so much.

“I’m sorry mother.” He said as he finally pulled away a little. He hated to make her so worried.

“Don’t worry.” She smiled up at him. “Boton told me what it would be like for you both, this is no little thing for you. But I’m sure you know what you’re doing.”

Kurama smiled back as he nodded. “Shell we try on my outfit?” he asked, feeling more at ease. Being alone with his mother was helping his nerves, especially when the room they were in still smelled of Hiei and more recently his mother.

Taking his hand she went to the wardrobe and opened it up, pulling out two hangers. Then she helped him into soft white silk pants and a shirt. They fit perfectly as she buttoned up the bottom of the trousers so they fit snugly against his ankles.

“You always did suit white.” She said as she stood, “Now for the tunic… I hope you like it.” She produced a white tunic, with a silver border, down one side from hip to hem was the outline of a black dragon intertwined around it were vines and leaves in a vivid green.

Kurama gasped as he took it into his free hand, feeling the hand stitching.

“Everyone helped with the design and Yukina helped with the embroidery.” His mother smiled happily as he ran his hand over it. “Let’s try it on.” She said as they awkwardly put it on, fastening it at the shoulder, letting it fall loosely to above his calves. Then his mother wound a sash of silver around his waist, knotting it to the right. Then pulling the tunic into a more fitted position as he kept his hand on her shoulder.

“Let’s look at you.” She said, moving him to stand in front of the full length mirror inside the wardrobe door, as she stood just behind him. “You look stunning.” She said and Kurama could see the tears in her eyes. “I cant believe my little Shuichi is all grown up and getting married.”

“Don’t cry mother.” Kurama said a little alarmed. “You know I will always love you.”

His mother grinned then slapped the back of his head lightly. “I know that.” She assured him. “I’m just happy for you.” She smoothed down his hair. “And I’ve always like Hiei, he’s good for you.”

Kurama felt himself blush as his mother laughed softly. “Come on, let’s get you changed before Hiei get’s back.”

+ + + + + +

“There’s nothing for it.” Yusuke told Kuwabara and Genkai as they stood looking at the mess of dead plants and tree’s that still surrounded the temple in a perfect circle.

“Kurama made this bloody mess, he can clean it up.” Genkai growled, as ever her cheery self.

“Keiko also wants him to sort out the flowers for the decorations.” Kuwabara said with a sigh, “You really think he’s up to it?... he and Hiei have been acting weird these last few days.”

Genkai snorted, “If they want to keep living here, mooching off me, then he better do it fast… I go away for two weeks and you damn kids turn my temple and home into a bloody wedding venue!”

Yusuke tried not to laugh.

“Hey, Genkai… you ever been to a Mate Bonding before?” Kuwabara asked.

The old hag snorted again as she produced a cup of tea from nowhere and started sipping it. “You don’t GO to a Mate Bonding, they are private, what you idiots are doing is getting the two morons married while they are at it.” She said. “But I have only ever encountered two Bonded Mate couples before…”

Yusuke noticed the pause and the dark look that crossed her eyes. “Something bad?” he questioned.

She shrugged. “The second pair I met were nice enough, as far as youkai’s go… The first, well I didn’t know… I wandered into their territory and was attacked, I couldn’t even get a hit in he was so fast. Then a youkai woman appeared shouting that he or I should stop or something, but in my youth I thought her just a weak target and I struck her down without thinking, when I turned to face the male, he dropped out of the air dead at my feet, not a scratch on him.”

“Wow…” Kuwabara uttered a little shocked.

“You couldn’t have known.” Yusuke said trying to reassure her.

She just glared at him. “You can tell.” She said, “You can feel it, you will feel it when those two fools have finished this.” An amused smile twisted her wrinkles. “That’s IF they finish it…” she said cryptically.

“How do you mean?” Kuwabara asked. “Boton said they had started it already.”

“Started but not finished… Why the hell do you think my garden is such a bloody mess… I assume they already tried, but failed.”

Yusuke scratched the back of his head. “Err… Think that was my fault, I disturbed them.”

Genkai blinked up at him a little surprised. “And you’re still alive?”

Yusuke rubbed his ear, “Only barely, Hiei stuck his sword through the door right where my head was.” He indicated the garden. “Hiei had let go of Kurama to kill me, and this is the result.”

“Ah…” she said, once again looking at the dead plants. “Maybe they might actually succeed in this then.”

“Hu… What will happen if they don’t?” Kuwabara questioned as he kicked some dead grass.

“Then we will be preparing for a funeral or two.” She took another sip of her tea at their stunned silence. “And if you lover birds would get down here and fix my damn lawn!” she called over her shoulder.

“Shut up hag, we were just coming to do it.” Hiei growled as Kurama looked amused.

“My apologise Genkai, it shouldn’t take long.” Kurama said as Hiei led him to join them.

“Can you do it from here, or do you need to move.” Hiei asked Kurama.

Kurama crouched down, “Here is fine.” He said and he reached out with his free hand to touch the brittle yellow dried grass.

Yusuke watched as he felt Kurama use his spirit energy as the grass slowly began to fill out and turn green around Kurama’s hand, at first it was slow then the ring of green sped up and out in a circle around them until it touched the dead trees bringing them back to full green life.

Yusuke was always impressed with the way Kurama could so easily bring life as much as he could ruthlessly take it away.

As they watched suddenly the trees began to turn pink as the sakura tree’s suddenly bloomed into flower turning their surrounding’s soft pink.

“Stop showing off Fox.” Hiei sighed.

“I thought it would be nice for the wedding tomorrow.” Kurama said as he stood. “The tree’s said they wouldn’t mind.”

Hiei snorted. “You shouldn’t give your power away needlessly.”

Kurama chuckled before he addressed Genkai. “Welcome home Genkai, sorry we seem to have taken over a little, was your trip nice?”

“As well as a hot spring can be.” She answered, but her tone was less harsh as she actually smiled up at Kurama. “I see congratulations are in order.”

Kurama’s smile got wider as he looked at Hiei.

“Thanks.” Hiei answered. Before turning away, “Come, lets get the rest of the stupid flowers sorted before they start crying.”

They watched as the couple wandered to the side of the temple where the chairs for tomorrows ceremony where already arranged.

“Watch it grandma.” Yusuke grinned, “You almost looked pleased for them.” The next thing Yusuke knew he was on his back.

“Ah nice to see something’s don’t change.” Koenma suddenly said as he and Boton came up the temple steps. “Are we early?”

“By a day.” Yusuke said getting up, rubbing his backside. “But I don’t think it matters, Shizuru is in the kitchen if you want to get a drink, she’s also sorting out rooms.”

“Yes, well, I hope there is enough room for everyone, Boton saw to most of the invites herself.” Koenma said, “Even George is coming tomorrow, thought he wont be staying, he’s got work to do.”

“How many damn people DID you invite?” Genkai barked.

“Oh, everyone that I could think of!” Boton said happily, “I’m not sure how many will come, I didn’t have time to wait for RSVP’s”

“God damn it.” Genkai bit out as she went towards the temple.

“Thanks Boton.” Yusuke grinned. He had personal seen to everyone on earth getting an invite too. So no doubt it was going to be a blast!

+ + + + + +

Kurama couldn’t sleep as he lay next to his mother on Hiei’s old futon.

That night had been an experience… a lot of their friends from the Makai and spirit world had shown up. Even Yomi and his son, Shura.

All the youkai seemed to know to keep their distance while also being very curios. Parents and human friends were told at the door not, under any circumstance, to touch Kurama, as well as some of the visitors from the spirit world.

Hiei had been a ball of fury and agitation the whole evening as everyone celebrated. And Kurama couldn’t blame him. It was all proving rather stressful.

Then Keiko had cornered them as they tried to at least get some peace and go to their room. But she had stood her ground, demanding that Hiei couldn’t see Kurama for the rest of the night, and they would see each other soon enough tomorrow.

Even Yusuke had tried to dissuade her, but she was having non of it as the rest of the women piled in and worriedly Shiori had stepped in and taken Kurama into her room.

Hiei had been pissed. But with a quick snarl of ‘I’ll see you later.’ He had flitted out the temple.

Kurama could feel the temple start to quieten down as people started to seek their own beds, tired from travailing or needing to be up early the next morning.

Kurama sighed as he turned onto his side away from his mother, when he saw the door open slowly, and Hiei was in front of him, his hand outstretched.

Kurama didn’t hesitate as he took it. “But mother?” he whispered.

“Go.” Shiori said from behind him. “Just get him back before the rest wake up.” She told Hiei.

Kurama didn’t have time to answer before Hiei had pulled him from the room and out of the temple.

After about ten minutes Kurama could see a soft glow coming through the trees ahead.

Then they were standing in a small clearing surrounded by trees making a small grove of seclusion half way up a mountain.

There were candle lamps everywhere, lighting up a small hot springs pool, at the side were blankets set on soft loam.

“Hiei…” Kurama gasped as the plants around him burst into bloom, adding a soft floral sent to the air. “This is…” he was speechless at the beauty.

“Hn… thought you might like it.” Hiei grinned up at him, then the fire youkai began to pull his pyjamas off impatiently. “I need to get everyone’s stink off you.” He growled as Kurama lost his shirt, then his pants.

Kurama chuckled as Hiei quickly took his own clothes off, then was pushing Kurama towards the hot springs.

Kurama sank down into the warm water with a sigh; it was just the right temperature to start relaxing him. He felt Hiei move in behind him as the fire youkai rested his chin on Kurama’s shoulder. They stayed like that for some time, just enjoying the peace and quiet in each others company.

Kurama could feel himself slipping into sleep as he rested against his mate.

“Not right now Fox.” Hiei whispered into his ear and when Kurama turned his head he found Hiei’s lips on his own, then a tong demanding access and with a contented sigh he allowed it, letting Hiei take all he wanted.

He let Hiei move him as he chose as they floated in the water, the fire youkai hand’s roamed all over him, moving him this way and that as his mouth followed the line of Kurama’s jaw.

Kurama knew this wasn’t his game to lead as he submitted to anything his mate wanted, all he could do was anchor his hand’s in Hiei’s black spiky hair and enjoy the ride.

Kurama was moaning with need as Hiei mapped out his whole body, there wasn’t a bit of Kurama that Hiei hadn’t touched, licked, caressed or kissed, and it was driving the kitsune crazy.

“Hiei…” He begged, he was so hard it was growing painful as he tried to find some friction and was denied.

Hiei grinned wolfishly as he pushed Kurama half out of the water so he was sitting on the side of the pool, without a word he was between Kurama’s thigh’s, his mouth engulfed Kurama’s erection from head to root with one powerful suck.

Kurama cried out at the sudden sensation as lightening shot up his spine then pooled in his belly.

Hiei’s fingers were around him, in him, stretching and pinching.

Kurama could feel his release coming on all too quick as he mewled Hiei’s name like a lament. The pressure building up in his groin was so intense it was almost like pain.

Suddenly the powerful sucking pressure was gone and he sobbed at its loss.

Then Hiei was there, kissing his tears of frustration away, Kurama was just about to say something when Hiei moved his limbs about and Kurama cried out as Hiei entered him forcefully with his compact thick cock.

Kurama’s world descended into a maelstrom of colour and sensation, all the time Hiei had his head in his hands, their eyes locked as Hiei moved above him, each thrust sharp and deep, each stroke hitting Kurama’s sweet spot, making him gasp out with each accurately aimed hit.

Kurama desperately wanted to reach for his own erection, but he knew Hiei would never allow it. So he fisted his hands more firmly into the soft loam. Finally he relaxed into the sensation, letting Hiei do what he liked as he just road the waves of sensation and pleasure as they swept through him mercilessly.

The world seemed to disappear until there was nothing but the two of them.

Hiei smiled slowly and Kurama knew it was time; he once again tilted his head back and to the side, exposing his throat.

There was no teasing this time as Hiei bit down on the junction between his left shoulder and neck.

He cried out as his spirit energy suddenly flared up, to surround them both, then Hiei’s was encircling them, their energies began to swirl, colliding in a rainbow of colour and sparks as they fought and danced with each other, the black dragon flying through it all screaming out it’s anger as a deafening roar.

Kurama grit his teeth as burning heat kept lapping at his skin. He felt his Youko side trying to surface, to fight the danger and protect his more fragile human side, but Kurama fought that too. In his panic he looked to the one thing that could help him.

“Hiei….” He breathed, looking up into intense crimson eyes above him, a tickle of his own blood falling down Hiei’s chin. “I… Cant…” he begged.

“Accept it.” Hiei whispered with a wince of his own.

“Too much.” Kurama sobbed as he reached up to his Mate, as Hiei held him close in return.

“We have to accept this… Control it.” Hiei growled into his ear.

Kurama bit his lip as he understood Hiei’s words.

He first fought to control his own raging spirit energy, feeling Hiei inside his head, watching and learning how it was done, until they both mastered Kurama’s spirit energy, then Kurama was inside Hiei’s mind doing the same with his fire energy until only the black dragon was free.

Kurama felt the ruthless mastery his Mate had over the dragon and joined his will with Hiei’s to subdue it.

The dragon screached with resentment as they fought it back into submission as it wound it’s self around Hiei’s arm once again, burning and fighting as it did so. He could feel Hiei’s reassurance that this was normal.

Finally they both lay together panting, drenched in sweat from their efforts.

Kurama couldn’t help chuckling, he felt totally exhausted.

“What’s so funny?” Hiei asked, but Kurama could hear the amusement in it.

“It feels like we just had our very first real battle.” Kurama panted with a grin. “Also, All that…” He sighed deeply as  he looked down his Mate’s body. “And we didn’t come yet.”

Hiei looked down between their bodies. “You’re still hard Fox.” Hiei leered. Then thrust his hip forwards.

Kurama tightened his thighs around the fire youkai as he arched back, groaning feeling his passion instantly ignite.

He felt Hiei’s mouth on the right side of his neck, then with one powerful thrust of Hiei’s hips Kurama felt himself come with a cry of Hiei’s name as his Mate once again bit his mark into Kurama’s flesh on the right side of his neck, sealing their Mating Bond.

Kurama wasn’t really sure what happened after that, he was sure he must have blacked out. Because when he could see again Hiei was grinning down at him, while stroking his hair.

Kurama smiled up at him, feeling very smug with himself.

“Mine.” Hiei growled out contentedly as he leaned down to capture Kurama’s lips.

“Mine too.” Kurama answered breathlessly when they parted.

“Possessive Fox, think everything is your.” Hiei said playfully as he pulled a lock of Kurama’s hair before lifting it to his mouth and running it across his lips still stained with a little blood.

“That’s because it is.” Kurama grinned back. “It’s not my fault if people just don’t know that yet.”

Hiei laughed out loud as he pulled them both back into the water of the hot springs.

+ + + + + +

“What the hell is that!” Yusuke shouted at they all felt and watched the huge battle going off in the distance.

“Kurama and Hiei are fighting!” Kuwabara said in confusion at his side. “We should stop them!”

Yusuke was hesitant, even since the tournament for the control of the Makai, he had not felt such powerful energy. This went beyond anything that he had ever experienced. But these were his friends, he couldn’t just leave them to try and kill each other. “Let’s go.” He said.

“Stay where you are!” Genkai was suddenly in front of them on the temple porch.

“But…” Yusuke protested.

“You can go if you want to see your friends fucking each others brains out… and you want to die!” she growled out as she turned to watch the light show. They could hear Hiei’s black dragon’s roar from where they stood. “This is part of the stupid bonding they entered into. I’m glad you disturbed them when you did, or I would have come home to find my home flattened and everybody dead.” She groused.

“I don’t get it!” Yusaka growled.

“At the moment they have to learn to control each others energy, so they never recognise each other as a threat.” Yomi was suddenly behind them with his son, Yusuke turned to see everyone else that could sense this was also there, even Mukuro who must have turned up during the night. “If they don’t manage it, then they will both be consumed by it.”

“He’s right.” Mukuro said, her eyes fixed on the distant battle. “It’s why bonding in such a way is rare; those few foolish enough to even attempt it are usually killed by its conclusion.”

“I’m sorry Mukuro.” Yomi said with a smile on his face. “I know you had your eye on that rare fire koorime, looks like you will be looking for another successor.”

She snorted, “And you will be loosing your greatest tactician. You think Hiei will let you anywhere need Kurama now?”

“Look.”  Koenma said, stepping forwards. “It’s only the dragon left.”

They all turned to watch as the dragon swirled around in a tight ball of black fire.

“Is Kurama strong enough to actually do this?” Boton asked softly as she clutched Koenma’s arm.

They all watched in pensive silence.

As suddenly as it started, the black dragon dissipated and was gone as the forest returned to darkness.

“Well.” Gankai said as she began to walk back inside her home. “Guess we still have a wedding tomorrow.”

They all parted to let her pass.

“That it?” Yusuke asked, his whole body still battle ready.

“For tonight.” Yomi answered, “But I don’t know about you Mukuro, but I wont be entering any tournament if those two get it into their heads to enter.”

Mukuro actually grunted her agreement. “But I can imagine some fools will want to copy them, which will cut down on our competition.”

Both youkai laughed cruelly at their shared joke.

“I can take them on!” Shura spoke up enthusiastically. “Oof! What was that for!” he rubbed the back of his head where Yomi had just slapped him.

“Kurama and Hiei were formidable alone, together they will be unstoppable.” Yomi growled at his son.

“He’s right kid.” Mukuro grinned. “I’ve seen footage of the way they have fought together in the past, always in synch. A little training and they WILL be unstoppable.”

“What are you two muttering about!” Yusuke demanded angrily. “I thought this was just some strange kind of youkai marriage thing!”

Yomi smiled at him, then patted him on the head like he was a child. “Ah the ignorance of youth.” He said patronisingly. “Your two friends just entered into a bond stronger than death. I must admit, even I never thought Kurama would trust anyone enough to even consider a Mating Ritual, never mind a Mate Bonding…”

“That’s because you have always underestimating him.” Koenma said past his pacifier. “But I think we all underestimated their friendship… They have hidden it very well.”

“Probably they did not want anyone to know they had such blinding weakness?” Yomi mused.

Mukuro scoffed, “I knew… Hiei’s attachment to that half human Kitsune was always obverse to me. You just have to know what to look for.”

“Because Hiei didn’t jump into your bed?” Yomi asked softly.

“And Kurama wouldn’t get into yours.” Mukuro bit back. “Leaving you to make that.” She gestured at Shura.

Shura was about to snap something back, but Yomi put his hand on his son’s shoulder.

“Well played madam.” He smiled at her, “But it’s late, so I think we will go back to our room. Come Shura”

That seemed the queue for everyone to start going back inside.

But Yusuke collared Boton.

“Why didn’t you tell us at the start of all this that Kurama and Hiei could have killed each other?” he demanded.

She looked him directly in the eyes, “Because it made no difference, there was no stopping it once they started it.”

“You could have warned us.” Kuwabara growled, “Yukina could have been hurt if they did that here.”

She looked away helplessly. “I thought Kurama would have known what he was doing. I guess I was wrong… Still.” She grinned up at him. “No harm done and we get a wedding to go to in the morning!” she said brightly as she skipped back inside the temple after Koenma.

“Well… Shit.” Yusuke said to the world in general.

“To right.” Kuwabara sighed. “Mukuro’s right thought… They’ve always fought well together; I wouldn’t want to face them, ever.”

“Yeah.” Yusuke agreed, “And I always thought Hiei was a little over protective over Kurama in the first place, he always gave me this creepy feeling when Kurama got hurt.”

Kuwabara shivered. “Me too… but I’m not gonna think about anymore of this, I’m gonna go back to bed.”

Yusuke looked once more off into the forest before he followed his friend.

+ + + + + +

Hiei found himself playing with the fingers of one of Kurama’s hands as his Kitsune still slept at his side.

He had fucked his Mate into exhaustion and couldn’t help but feel smug about it.

When Hiei had first met this mysteries creature, he couldn’t help but be captivated by him. He peeked Hiei’s interest and curiosity like nothing before or since.

He had never asked for someone’s name before, but he had wanted to know Kurama’s.

The Kitsune was much older than himself, even if this body was younger, Kurama’s soul was ancient. And at first Hiei had wanted to capture that knowledge and power,  but when they had fought together at each others side, at first, it had been so natural as they moved together to defeat their foe that it hadn’t even crossed his mind it was something exceptional.

But as time passed, and Kurama would leave his window open on cold and wet nights, accepting him into his home, where Kurama’s mother also resided. It had taken him a while to realise this was a huge trust on Kurama’s part. And Hiei found he never wanted to break that trust.

There was something deep and painful inside Kurama that captivated him, some darkness that Hiei couldn’t understand but spoke to his own tortured soul.

When he had first taken Kurama, Hiei had been surprised his partner had given in so easily to his dominance and had been even more shocked he had been Kurama’s first in his human form.

He grinned at the memory, Kurama had been so tight and unashamed it was hard not to want to go back for more.

And from that moment on, Kurama had belonged to him, even if at the time he had had no notion of what that would come to mean.

At first he just knew he didn’t want to fight this creature who smiled at him and made him felt a little happy inside, he just wanted to possess him.

So when Kurama had battered his eyelashes at Hiei’s suggestion of a partnership, it had been the headiest thrill he had ever experienced.

Hiei the tamer of the legendary thief Youko Kurama.

After all, no one had ever managed that before, though he was sure many tried. Youko was a stunning creature after all.

At that thought though he sobered. Kurama hadn’t let his Youko side out for years now, and Hiei couldn’t help but wonder how this bonding affected Youko, whether the bond would extend that far.

“Why the frown?” Kurama asked sleepily, his fingers flexing in Hiei’s.

“I was just thinking…” he admitted, then paused. He knew Kurama didn’t want to depend on his Youko side anymore. But…

Kurama made some sleepy noise as he stretched a little. “You want to know if Youko is in on this too?” he smiled.

Hiei just nodded, not surprised anymore by Kurama’s ability to read his mind without actually doing it.

Kurama’s hair began to bleed white as his eyes turned from green to yellow and his ears moved and lengthened, his body also changing shape a little, getting taller and broader at the shoulders.

“Will this satisfy you my little forbidden Koorime?” Youko purred, then reached up to his own pale throat. “Your mark is soul deep after all. Youko, Shuichi… Who ever I will be in the future…” He touched the identical bite marks that were still raw on either side of his neck, and Hiei could see the one’s on his wrists as well. Then Youko was sitting up a bit, so their faces were an inch apart. “Maybe I should mark you too.” He uttered in a deep sultry tone. “Or would you just like the powerful thrill of taking me in this form too?” He started to nibble along Hiei’s jaw. “I’ll lift my tail just for you… You can hold on to it as you take me. Would you like that?”

Hiei watched as Youko’s other hand slid down his own body to disappear under the silver hair of his tail that was protruding from between his pale thighs to cover his not-so modesty.

Hiei found himself swallowing hard as he watched Youko’s tail twitch, the hand beneath obviously stroking his erection languidly.

“You know something else?” Youko’s purr low as he whispered in his deeper tone.

Hiei nodded his head. “What?” he managed not to sound so shaken.

Youko got closer to his ear, “If you take me now…” he nibbled at Hiei’s ear lobe. “You will also be my first.”

Hiei grunted and almost chocked as Youko chuckled low into his ear as he lay back down again, his gold eyes sparkling as he wet his lips like an invitation.

“You think I would let just anyone mount me?” Youko questioned.

Hiei growled as he pushed the silver tail aside then pulled Youko’s hand from his erection. “Then let’s set some ground rules.” He grinned into stunned golden eyes as he griped Youko’s larger cock in his own fist, putting enough pressure around it to be almost painful. “This is mine, no touching.”

Youko grinned wolfishly as he squirmed a little. “Yes master.” He purred throatily.

Hiei felt his chest swell as he mirrored Youko’s grin. “Get on you your knees Fox.” Hiei growled with lust.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke stood at the entrance to the temple, directing the newest guests where to go, he still couldn’t believe the amount of people and youkai that had shown up.

But finally he saw the people he had been specifically waiting for. Kurama’s step farther and brother were coming up the temple steps.

He greeted them then led them towards the temple and inside.

“There are a lot of people here.” Kazuya Hatanaka said looking around.

Yusuke thought there were too many, but he just nodded. “We weren’t really expecting this many.” Sure the invites had been plentiful, but he was starting to suspect word had got out and no one wanted to miss this.

“Shuichi is very popular.” Suichi said adamantly.

“Yeah.” Yusuke smiled at the kid who idolised his older step brother.

“Farther! Suichi!”

Yusuke turned to see Kurama enter the room. He hadn’t seen his friend since the night before, and he could tell something had changed, even if it wasn’t something obvious, there seemed a lightness to his step and shadows gone from his eyes.

Yusuke wasn’t fast enough to grab Suichi’s arm as he ran towards his brother and threw his arms around him.

Kurama hugged his brother tightly. “I’m glad you made it. Mother was getting worried.”

“Dad said you were getting married today?” Suichi said, his eyes wide.

Yusuke figured that if Hiei let Kurama’s mother touch him, maybe it applied to all his family, even if they weren’t blood.

“Yes, I am… Sorry it’s such short notice.” Kurama said as he kept his arm around his brother and went to meet his step farther. “Did you have a safe trip?”

Kurama’s farther reached out and laid his hand on Kurama’s shoulder. “There was a bit of a traffic jam, but nothing more… You’re looking good.”

Yusuke actually saw Kurama blush, which was a shock in it’s self.

Kurama was about to reply when Shiori came running in. “Oh, thank heavens you’re here!” she said, giving her husband a hug and a kiss, before doing the same to her step son.

Yusuke sidled over to Kurama while the rest of his family were caught in conversation. “What’s going on?” he asked to Kurama’s look of confusion. “How come you’re wandering around alone?”

Kurama blinked at him, then smiled in recognition. He reached up to move the high collar of his shirt aside. Yusuke could see red raw bite marks before Kurama covered them again. “Because of this I no longer need a chaperone.” He smiled. “And as best man, shouldn’t you be with Hiei?”

Yusuke cringed as he patted his friend on the shoulder. “See you later!” he said as he rushed off to find the groom.

He found him in Kurama’s room. Luckily the door was slightly ajar, so there was not going to a repeat of last time when he had a sword flying through the door.

“Hey man, how’s it going?”

Hiei was stood in front of a mirror, adjusting the navy blue scarf around his neck. He was already fully dressed in what Yukina and Keiko had made for him. He had watched as they embroidered the tunic, much like Kurama’s only black with red trim, down the left side were green vies and leaves with the dragon picked out in red instead of black. Beneath he was wearing a loose fitting navy blue shirt and pants, a red sash around his waist, even his typical bandana over his Jagan was deep red.

Yusuke couldn’t believe it, but it actually made the little guy look taller, not like he hadn’t gained a few inches since they first met, but he was still the shortest in the group.

“When will this idiocy start?” Hiei groused out.

“I don’t know.” He grinned. “I guess when they come to collect us.”

+ + + + + +

Kurama felt a little awkward as the women fussed about him, making sure his clothes were not creased, his hair brushed for the hundredth time.

“Kurama… Can you make some flowers for your hair?” Yukina asked softly, “White ones would look pretty.”

Kurama resisted sighing as he picked up one of the white roses he had bloomed earlier, with a little flex of his energy a vine creped up his arm, he let it thread through his hair before making them bloom in a loose garland of white.

There were gasps of wonder all round as his mother, Yukina, Keiko and Shizuru descended on him again.

He had given in earlier that morning, resigned to the fact that this wedding was for everyone’s else’s enjoyment.

“Now you need a bouquet.” Shiori clapped her hands together excitedly, she loved seeing him use his powers to make things grow. He never had the heart to tell her that the same hands that brought life to her garden were stained with blood.

Kurama let the rose he still held to flourish and grow, mixing in his favourite red one’s too. Until his hand was covered in them, a few hanging down. “Will that do?” he asked. “It’s not normally something I’m accustomed to making.” He apolagised.

There was silence, when he looked up, all the woman, including Boton who had come in, had tears in their eyes as they looked at him.

“So pretty…” Boton whispered and all the other women nodded in agreement.

“Umm… Thank you.” He said awkwardly. “Boton? Is everyone ready?”

She shook herself. “Yes, I came to collect you! Everyone is waiting!”

“Oh my!” Yukina said as she turned to pick up a basket of petals.

Yukina, Keiko, Shizuru and Boton were acting as his brides maids. They were dressed in their best white clothes, not having time to get matching ones.

“Ok, Lets go!” Boton skipped out the room with Yukina and Keiko following her Shizuru Bringing up the rear.

“You look nerves.” His mother said, taking his free hand in her own.

Kurama smiled. “It’s all been a bit sudden.” He admitted.

She reached up smoothing a strand of hair behind his ear. “You’ve known Hiei for years, and he makes you happy… Will this change anything? You can always back out now.”

“It already has.” He smiled, “We finished our bonding last night… So there is no backing out now.”

She patted his check. “I mean from the wedding… I can go tell Hiei you need to see him, then you can go hide somewhere for a bit.” She grinned up at him a cheeky sparkle in her kind brown eyes.

“I’m tempted.” He smiled back; if it was possible he loved her even more at that moment. “But I don’t think I would ever be forgiven if I didn’t do this.”

His mother nodded decisively, then once again he found himself being pulled about by his hand.

--

Kurama blinked at the bright day as he went outside following his mother.

There was a quick bout of conversation around the side of the temple when the wedding march music began to play.

Kurama rolled his eyes at the absurdity of it all. Then he turned the corner and gasped.

All the seat’s where full, then past that stood what looked like hundreds of people, spirits, humans and youkai. And all eyes turned on him.

The crowed parted a little as he followed his mother slowly to the music, letting her pick their pace.

He had the urge to just run away until he laid eyes on Hiei, who stood at the front of the crowd with Yusuke and Kuwabara at his back and Koenma ready to perform the ceremony.

Kurama found he couldn’t take his eyes off his Mate. Hiei looked so fine dressed in navy blue, black and red that it took his breath away and he couldn’t help but smile, proud that Hiei was his Mate.

Hiei gave off the feeling he wanted to run too, but his eyes were intense and fixed on his own.

It seemed to take forever till Hiei was within reaching distance.

He was momentarily distracted by Keiko jumping forwards to take his bouquet, then his mother was taking his right hand and holding it out for Hiei to take.

When Hiei took his hand he felt slightly more comfortable and reassured.

“My baby.” His mother said in his ear as she stepped away and Kurama saw the tears in her eyes. He looked after her as she went to stand with his step farther and brother, he never liked seeing her cry.

Then Hiei was squeezing his hand and he turned back to his Mate.

“You ok?” Hiei rumbled out.

Kurama nodded with a smile, returning the squeeze. “I am now.”

Hiei gave him a rare half cocked grin before turning to Koenma. “You going to get this started?”

“Ah… Yes.” Koenma said as he looked down at a book he held in his hand. “We are gathered here today…”

Kurama tuned Koenma out as he just looked at his proud Mate.

He had always thought he would be alone, as Youko he had thought he never needed anyone like this, he considered it a flaw, relying on anyone was a weakness he could never afford. He used others as he saw fit, yes he had had friends, but life went on if they left or died.

He couldn’t remember his Kitsune mother, but the blind love his human mother had always shown him, had invaded his jaded soul. He knew she was a weakness, but for some reason he couldn’t just let her go.

So here he stood.

A Bond Mate at his side, a mother who loved him unconditionally at his back with friends who would fight to the death for him all around them both.

He felt a little unsteady on his feet for a moment at the realization.

Another squeeze from Hiei’s hand then a warmth seeped into him from their hands and bond, Hiei was giving him his energy.

‘Don’t pass out and shame us Fox.’ Hiei’s voice came into his head through their bond, and he could feel the smirk in it.

‘I love you.’ Kurama blurted out, realizing he couldn’t lie or hide his thoughts from the fire youkai.

Hiei rolled his large crimson eyes. ‘I know that.’ Then with a hint of shyness. ‘I love you too.’

Kurama grinned a happy doting smile.

“Err guys?” Koenma suddenly said crossly.

“What?” Hiei growled at the god.

“You have to repeat what I just said to each other.” Koemna said looking at his book again.

“Go on.” Kurama encouraged.

“Do you Hiei take Shuichi Minamino, Youko Kurama, to be your lawfully wedded… err… husband, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shell live?” Koenma asked.

“I already have.” Hiei growled as he looked at Kurama intensely.

“I guess that will do… ow damn… you were meant to put a ring on his finger at this point!” Koenma said as he looked into his book.

“I gave you rings!” Keiko hissed at Hiei, much to Kurama’s surprise. “What have you done with them?”

Hiei bared his teeth at her. “Rings are useless.” Then he was pulling something from around his neck that had been under his clothes.

Kurama blinked as he saw three black and red tear gems, one slightly darker then the others, secured with small silver hoops to a silver necklace, much like the one Hiei wore with his mother tear gem on it.

Hiei unclasped it form around his own neck then held it out to Kurama. “These are the first and only ones in existence.” He said.

Without a word Kurama bent down, holding up his hair as Hiei fastened the necklace and their rare precious gems around his neck.

As Hiei took his hand again, Kurama couldn’t help but put his free hand over the gems on his chest, feeling the strange warmth they gave off.

“Ok, well.” Koenma seemed flustered as he carried on. “Do you Shuichi Minamino, Youko Kurama, take Hiei to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health for as long as you both shell live?” Koenma said loudly.

Kurama smiled at his Bond Mate. “Forever.” Then he had to let go of Hiei to reach into his breast pocket to pull out another silver chain, this time it held a tiny silver cadge, inside was a small dull green seed.

Hiei frowned at him as Kurama fastened the chain around the fire youko’s neck.

“It’s a life seed.” Kurama explained in a whisper, so only Hiei could here. “It’s unbelievably rare… I found it a long time ago, but never thought I would have use for it…” then more loudly. “With this I give you my body.” He smiled. Then right into Hiei’s mind. ‘I’ll tell you later.’

Hiei gave him a curt nod. ‘You will…’

“Right… now…” Koenma looked in his book again. “I now pronounce you man and, err… Kitsune!... you may now kiss the bride!” Koenma grinned passed his pacifier.

“Bout time.” Hiei grumbled as he reached up, one hand going around the back of Kurama’s neck, the other around his waist, then Kurama was being pulled down to meet Hiei’s lips.

Kurama hardly even heard the roar of cheers and clapping going on behind them as Hiei tried to lick the back of his throat and Kurama could do nothing but hold on to his Mate and take it with pleasure.

He felt Hiei fumbling with his collar as they pulled apart and grinned at each other. Then he felt Hiei undo the top few buttons of his shirt and realized what he was doing, with a bit of help he folded his collar down exposing the marks on his throat, then Hiei was also folding the cuffs of his shirt up to expose his wrists as well for all to see.

Finally Hiei was turning him to face the crowd.

The clapping ran into sporadic silence as everyone saw the still raw symmetrical bite marks on Kurama’s neck.

Half the crowd were shocked to see such new wounds, the other half actually knew what it meant and were in more shock.

Kurama closed his eyes as he felt Hiei’s hand on his shoulder, exerting a little pressure and Kurama sank to his knees besides his Mate. He felt Hiei press his thigh into his side as he stood over him. It was a very primitive form of dominance, but Kurama was happy to let everyone know how their dynamic worked.

He couldn’t help but wonder how those who had known him as Youko were taking this, it was so out of character.

“Change.” Hiei ordered, so everyone could hear.

Kurama wanted to refuse for a second before the Kitsune side of himself took his form and changed it into his older Youko self.

He heard his step farther and brother gasp in shock; he had never shown them this part of himself before. He was just about to open his eyes and look at them when Hiei’s hand was fisted into his hair.

‘Don’t… They are shocked but not afraid.’ Hiei whispered into his mind. ‘Just a little longer.’ He promised.

Kurama instantly settled as he moved to rest against Hiei’s side as his Mate pulled his head back gently but firmly, showing off the mark’s even more.

“We are successful Bond Mates.” Hiei growled out to the crowd. “You treat us as one from this day forth… Threaten us or ours at you own death!”

Kurama groaned silently, but couldn’t help but be amused, trust Hiei to make their mating as a threat to the three worlds.

‘Hn… some of the idiots are bowing down to us.’ Hiei gloated into his mind.

‘Nice to know you mated with me just to gain power.’ Kurama chuckled into the bond that was proving rather addictive.

‘I would have mated with you even if it meant loosing it all…’ Hiei said gravely and Kurama could feel the bare honesty in every word.

He opened his eyes to look directly up into Hiei’s who was staring down at him seriously.

‘I did it to find my sister with the Jagan… Just think of what I would do for you…’

Kurama didn’t have too, he could feel it all and it humbled him. He never even thought about it, but he would give up everything for the being stood at his side… even his Mo…

‘DON’T even think that Fox!’ Hiei hissed angrily. ‘I will keep her as safe as I will keep you until the day she is gone.’ He suddenly smiled. ‘She is my mother now too after all.’

Kurama felt his heart swell in his chest as tears stung his eyes.

Hiei stepped in front of him, leaning down. At first Kurama though they were going to kiss again, but the Koorime rested their check’s together instead while holding him tight.

‘I never would have guessed you were such a romantic.’ Kurama closed his eyes as he held desperately to his Mate.

‘Shut up.’ Hiei said in embarrassment. ‘Dry your tears then get to your feet.’

Kurama dried his damp eyes on Hiei’s shoulder before pulling away a little to stand.

‘Change back too, you prefer it that way.’

Kurama couldn’t keep the smile off his face; Hiei had always liked his stronger Youko form, so even this was a little show of affection, letting him be in his now preferred human guise.

So he changed as he stood with Hiei’s help.

He finally looked at the crowd in front of him. Some youkai were still on their knees, others with their heads bowed to them, all surprised apart from Mukuro and Yomi who looked disappointed.

He finally looked over at his human family. His mother still had tears in her eyes but a smile on her lips as she looked at him. His farther looked shocked, but not discussed. When he looked at Suichi he was surprised to see his brother’s eyes wide but curios. No doubt Youko would have some ear tugging and tail pulling in his immediate future.

He gave them all a big smile as he followed Hiei towards the temple and food.

+ + + + + +

Kurama was exhausted.

He was laying against Hiei’s side; the fire youkai had one arm around him as he talked softly with his sister.

The rest of the day had gone smoothly, the food had been plentiful with Yusuke and Kuwabara manning the barbeques, Keiko and her family sorting out the Raman stand, Boton had sorting out the salads and other cold platters. Even his mother had baked a wedding cake big enough for everyone to have a slice.

A lot of the initial crowd had finally gone home as the night drew in, shaking both his and Hiei’s hands wishing them all the happiness as they departed.

The only people really left where those who were still staying at the temple for the night.

“Hiei,” Shiori suddenly appeared at their side. “Can I borrow Shuichi for a bit?”

“Don’t tier him.” Hiei said, removing his arm and pushing Kurama away a little.

Kurama gave his Mate a peck on the cheek then followed his mother a little way away to where his step family sat.

“I told them about you.” Shiori said as they sat down together.

“Ah.” Kurama said a little anxious as he looked at the man his mother loved and his son. “As you can imagine, it’s not something one just goes around telling people.”

“No.” Kazuya said softly. “I never would have guessed you had such an interesting double life.” He was smiling, so at least that was a good sign.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Suichi asked, sounding a little hurt.

Kurama sighed, but it was his mother who answered. “He didn’t tell me until he was seventeen.” She squeezed Kurama’s hand. “He thinks that if the people he love know, they won’t love him anymore.”

Kurama looked down at the hand his mother held, a little ashamed.

‘Fox?’ Hiei questioned.

‘It’s all right’ he answered to Hiei’s concern.

This new telepathic ability was a little invasive, but comforting all the same.

“Well that’s just stupid.” Kazuya said adamantly. “You’re still the same man we know… right?”

Kurama nodded, “Yes, always.” He felt guilty for the little lie, he had always been more Jaded as Youko.

“So…” Suichi said suddenly, sitting forwards eagerly. “Can you change again?”

Kurama sighed softly as he nodded. With a thought he changed into Youko. He saw his younger brothers hands twitch in his lap. So slowly as not to spook them, he slid from his chair to kneel before his brother, angling his head down and twitching his ears. “You can touch if you like.” He said in his deeper voice.

Suichi reached out nervously till his fingers touched the soft hair that covered his ear, then his brother got bold and before too long he was petting Kurama like a cat. Then he felt another hand on his ear.

“Oh my.” His mother gushed, “So soft, and your hair…” she started running her fingers through his thick silver hair. “It’s as soft as fur.”

Kurama grinned up at his mother’s pleasure, realising that she had never touched him as Youko before. And it felt surprisingly natural for her to do so now.

“I’ll let you groom him one day at home.” Hiei was suddenly in the chair Kurama had been in, his arms crossed as he looked smugly at Kurama.

Shiori laughed, “I would love that.” She admitted. “I always loved your hair, but this is even softer.”

They stayed like that, talking a little more before Hiei got up and stretched. “It’s been a long day, we should go to sleep.”

‘Not so long.’ Kurama said, knowing that they both could go day’s and weeks without sleep if need be.

‘Long enough…’ Hiei answered back with a subtle undertone that he wanted to be alone together.

“You’re right.” Shiori said also standing.

Kurama blinked up at his step farther as he stood too, then held his hand out to help him up. Kurama took it, then found himself in his fathers arms as he hugged him.

“We love you.” Kazuya said in his ear. “So come home soon, I don’t like your mother to worry.”

Kurama hugged his step farther a little tighter for a moment. “We will.” He promised.

Then his brother was hugging him. “Will you be home soon?” He asked.

“I will be home in a few weeks.” He also promised his little brother.

Finally he turned to see his mother hugging Hiei, who looked a little awkward, but he was returning the hug.

Kurama found it strange when he could hear what his mother was whispering into Hiei’s ear. ‘You’re my son too now’ she said. ‘And your welcome home any time.’

Hiei nodded and Kurama could feel how happy he was.

When she hugged Kurama he thanked her as he kissed her goodnight.

+ + + + + +

Kurama was a little relieved when Hiei undressed them both then put them both to bed, pulling up the covers and just snuggling together.

“You’re tired.” Hiei snorted at him. “There is enough time for sex later.”

“The rest of our lives.” Kurama grinned as he reached up to play with the tear gem’s around his throat.

“So what seed is this?” Hiei asked as he looked down at his own necklace. “It isn’t going to burst out and eat me is it?”

“No, but I’m sure I could find something like that if you liked?” Kurama chuckled before he sobered up and looked up at his Mate. “It’s a Life seed.” He said again, but Hiei just looked at him blankly.

“When I said I give you my body I actually meant it literally.” Kurama carried on seriously. “I’ll leave it for you to use as and when you wish. If you wish of course…”

“Get on with it Fox.” Hiei grumbled good naturedly.

“You have to plant that seed inside me.” Kurama gestured to his nether regions. “Then fertilise it with your seed and I should hopefully bare us a child.”

Kurama was expecting to feel horror from his Mate, or revulsion. What he was not expecting was the disbelief tinged with a spattering of a strange hope, that made his guts tighten.

“You would do that?” Hiei whispered in awe. “For me?”

Kurama relaxed a little more into the futon as he stared up at his Mate. “It’s a little selfish of me too.” He admitted softly. “But it doesn’t come without its risk’s… It could possibly harm me enough to not be able to try again, that’s if I can even find another seed.”

Hiei’s eyed burned into his own. “It could hurt you?” the feeling of hope dyeing instantly.

Kurama made a dismissive gesture with his hand. “For you, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

Hiei looked back at the seed in its little silver cadge. “Could I not do it?” he asked.

“No.” Kurama answered. “At least not with that seed, it took me fifty years of gently feeding my spirit energy into it to get it to the state where it can be used. There are also no records of it being successfully used by anything other than a spirit kitsune.”

“Where did you get it? Or more importantly, why?” Hiei asked sceptically.

Kurama didn’t really want to say, but he knew Hiei wouldn’t be satisfied unless he knew. “One of the first books I stole was about rare seeds, I found a lot of those seeds and still use a lot of them, but at the back was this one. The Life Seed, it intrigued me because even the author had only seen one once. They said that a small red flower only blooms on the grave of a kitsune mother who never gave birth to her kits. It only grows once, a year from the day the mother died, then blooms the day she was buried, the next day a seed will form and you have to catch it before it hits the ground. Then you have to spend fifty years gently feeding it spirit energy, once it turns that green colour, it’s ready to use.”

“How long has it been ready?” Hiei squinted at the seed.

“About ninety years.” Kurama poked the seed as it lay in Hiei’s hand. “I left it in one of my dens once it was finished; it was still there when I went back when Yomi summoned me to the Makai.”

Hiei looked down at him. “So why? Just because it was rare?”

Kurama smiled as he reached up and put his hand on his Mates check. “At first.” He said honestly. “When I found I still had it a few years ago… Well… I thought I might find a use for it eventual.”

“You were going to try and trick me?” Hiei growled annoyed.

Kurama tugged painfully on a lock of Hiei’s hair, enough to make him wince. “No!... I just wasn’t planning on bringing it up so soon.” He grinned playfully. “And it’s the best gift I could give you.” He purred.

Hiei smiled down at him, “I’m guessing you want to give your mother a grand-kit?”

“I’m sure Suichi will do that one day… but I leave it up to you if you want to use it at all.”

“Do you want a kit?” Hiei asked quietly, his eyes and thoughts strangely dark and silent.

“I never wanted children before… But with you?...” Kurama settled down, opening himself up to his Mate, letting him feel his emotions on the subject. “Yes…” Then waited for a response.

He didn’t have to wait long before Hiei grinned at him, then leaned down and kissed him, the fire youkai fisting his hands into Kurama’s hair.

When they parted both of them were chuckling.

“I guess I’m not so tired…” Kurama purred as Hiei began licking at the Mate Marks on his neck.

+ + + + + +

Chapter 2 - First Born
[8 years on]

Kurama shifted about on the sofa, trying to move his ankle into a more comfortable position.

Three day’s ago he had been training with Hiei, when the little monster had made him laugh so hard he had slipped off a branch and managed to crack his foot on another branch on the way down before Hiei had caught him. Kurama had managed to stop the bleeding, but he couldn’t mend bones as well as Yukina could, and she was out the country with Kuwabara and his family on holiday. So a trip to the hospital had his ankle in a cast, something that he just wasn’t used to.

So now Hiei was taking care of him almost like they were bonding again, like he couldn’t do anything for himself, which after eight years of being Mates was a little fun and on some strange level endearingly romantic.

So now he was house sitting for his Mother as she and his farther went on a little holiday.

After Genkai’s passing a few years before, they now lived most of their time at the temple as it’s main caretakers, Kurama had a little flower nursery business going on there while Hiei trained the odd student with Yusuke and Kuwabara when they had time.

Right now, Yusuke was doing some intense training with two of his students for the upcoming Makai Tournament, and with Kurama’s injury, Hiei didn’t want to stick around, his protective nature coming to the fro and not wanting the students to see a weakness in his Mate.

Their timing couldn’t have been better for his parents. Even if it had taken Kurama some fast talking, reassuring his mother he would be fine, as they finally went on their holiday.

“Here.” Hiei said as he handed him a cup of tea, then he lifted Kurama’s legs and sat down, putting them on his lap. “Is it hurting?” He asked, stroking the cast.

Kurama shrugged as he drank his healing tea. “Not really, just inconvenient.” He smiled as he could feel Hiei’s passion peak a little. They hadn’t had sex since the accident, which was practically unheard of. But there was something else his Mate was keeping from him, like a half formed thought.

So he sat patiently, waiting for Hiei to voice what ever was on his mind as they watched some crappy pop culture show on the TV.

It didn’t take long before crimson eyes were looking at him intently. “We aren’t going to enter the next Makai Tournament.” He stated firmly.

Kurama frowned. They hadn’t entered the others, a fact most of the Makai was happy about. They hadn’t really discussed it, but each year it was on, Hiei would refuse Mukuro’s offer to attend. “All right.” He said softly, if still confused.

“I have other plans for our time though…”

Kurama didn’t miss the way Hiei reached up and gripped the necklace beneath his shirt. He was a little surprised, he hadn’t thought Hiei would want to use the Life Seed so soon.

Hiei felt his confusion. “I want our kit to grow up with Hanako, Haruko and Akira.”

Kurama smiled at the mention of their nieces and godson. Hanako and Haruko were beautiful twins that looked like Yukina, but were going to be as tall as Kuwabara. They were both eight now and so adorable it was hard not to love them. Akira was their god son and took after his farther, Yusuke, even though he was only three he was a little terror, and would be soon delivered a new sibling if Keiko was pregnant as she suspected she might be.

“I think your right.” Kurama smiled. “It would be nice.”

After all, Youko’s litter mates hadn’t survived and he had grown up with just his mother as Shuichi, and Hiei’s childhood had been nothing but hard and lonely.

“So… When do you plan on keeping me bare foot and pregnant?” Kurama teased.

Hiei’s gaze burned into his own, but he paused before saying. “When your foot is better.”

Kurama knew that would be another week or two, it was healing slowly, but faster than a human. “It doesn’t hurt… unless you really want to wait?”

Kurama shivered a little in anticipation as Hiei leaned forwards, his lust was infectious as it bled through their Bond.

Kurama was suddenly being pulled into Hiei’s lap before the fire youkai stood with him in his arms.
Hiei had gained a few inches in the last eight years and it suited him, it also made him even more physically stronger, so Kurama clung on to his Mate as he grinned. “My hero.” He purred into his Mate’s ear. “Thank you for saving me from the evils of the sofa, now you may take me to your castle and have your wicked way with me.”

Hiei snorted in amusement as he moved to the stairs.

+ + + + + +

Kurama writhed beneath his Mate. “For Inari sake! Take your fingers out and do me!” he cried, his body a tight knot of need.

“First this.” Hiei muttered at he ripped his necklace from his neck, then plucking the Life Seed from inside its little silver cage. “What do I do?”

Kurama tried to calm himself a little with a few deep breaths. He had almost forgotten what they were doing. “You put it in me as far as you can.” He managed, “Then please just fuck me.”

Hiei snorted a laugh as he took the Life Seed between the tips of his first and middle fingers, then with a look of concentration he put his finger’s where they had just been.

Kurama arched letting Hiei push the seed as deep as possible.

Then Hiei moved and instantly his cock where his fingers had just been and Kurama growled and gasped out his approval.

Hiei never stretched him enough, so the initial penetration was always delightfully uncomfortable which only made the eventfully pleasure that much more exquisite.

Kurama griped at Hiei as he pulled his lover to him, wrapping his legs around his Mate forcing him as deep as he could.

Three day’s without this meant Kurama knew he couldn’t last long as everything seemed that little bit more intense.

Hiei’s thrusts were strong as they built in pace till they were both incoherent as they writhed together sweatily.

Finally Kurama couldn’t resist the building pressure as he screamed Hiei’s name and came, all his muscles suddenly tense as he felt Hiei thrust into him one last time with force as he to came deep within him.

Kurama let everything relax as he fell back onto the bed a boneless heap breathing heavily, Hiei had fallen with him and now lay on his chest.

They stayed like that before Hiei pulled out of him and flopped down besides him, then as always, possessively collecting Kurama in his arms as they rested against each other.

‘I needed that.’ Kurama murmured contentedly into Hiei’s mind, because he was sure he didn’t have the strength to speak right now.

‘Me too.’ Hiei answered back smugly. ‘So how long before we know?’ he asked and Kurama felt Hiei’s hand splay out on his abdomen.

Kurama gave a little shrug as he rested his hand on Hiei’s, suddenly feeling very loved. ‘I don’t know… the records I found in Koenma’s library were always a little vague about this part… They all just said I would know and that it would pass.’

‘Hn… Well, get some sleep, I’m not finished with you yet.’ Hiei said as he pulled a comforter over them both. ‘I’ll clean the sheets later.’

Kurama just smiled, he knew Hiei hated sticky sheets as much as he did.

He felt Hiei drifting off and was about to follow him into sleep when there was a sharp pain in his abdomen. He winced as it happened again, but didn’t think anything of it, he was more tired and the after affects of his orgasm always made him a little twitchy as his muscles settled.

He just drifted off again when the feeling intensified and he physically flinched, jerking in Hiei’s arms.

Instantly Hiei was awake, scanning for danger.

Kurama clutched his belly as he sat up, trying to double over, but it was like a sword twisting in his gut and he fell onto his back with a cry as the sudden movement just made the pain worse as it began to burn in his guts.

“Kurama?” Hiei was kneeling on the bed above him, one hand on his shoulder, the other over his hands that clutched at his own flesh over his abdomen.

‘Burning… Oh Inari!’ He could no longer form physical words now as he panted through the agonising pain. It felt like something was ripping him apart inside.

He had been injured many times, lost so much blood and energy he had put himself into unconsciousness, he could even remember being killed… but nothing had prepared him for this.

With one last growl he passed out.

+ + + + + +

Hiei had been startled awake by Kurama’s pain shooting through their bond.

At first he thought they were under attack but he couldn’t feel anyone near by. Then Kurama had thrown himself back on the bed, his arms clutching at his belly as he cried out in pain.

“Kurama!” He called as he put his hands on his Mate, still feeling his distress and pain.

‘Burning… Oh Inari!’ He heard Kurama scream in his mind as he felt a shadow of pain lace through his guts from his Mate. Then he felt Kurama go very still, to still.

The sudden silence in his mind that was always aware of Kurama, shot panic through Hiei’s body.

But a quick check and his Mate was still breathing. Hiei opened his Jagan eye and looked closer. Kurama had just blacked out at the pain.

Then he saw something draining his Kitsune’s spirit energy, at first he was alarmed before he felt it steadily drawing less and less energy. He followed it to Kurama’s abdomen. Something was forming there inside his Mate. He moved Kurama’s hands aside and placed both his splayed hands above it.

There was something there, but it didn’t seem malicious, it was warm, as he concentrated he could feel something grow, then there was a little spark of something, almost like a presence.

He gasped as he pulled his hands away in shock.

Then tentatively he put them back.

There was life there, too faint and too miniscule to really grasp onto, like seeing something out the corner of his eye.

Slowly he inched up the bed, moving Kurama’s head to rest more comfortably on his lap as he stroked his fingers through silky red hair. It was a gesture that calmed him, as he looked at his Mates belly.

He had always respected, and if he was honest, revered, Kurama’s quiet strength, with his experience and intelligence making him a formidable fighter.

In their earlier friendship he had never understood Kurama’s almost suicidal approach to assessing an opponent strength’s and weakness’s. He understood it a little better now, but he still didn’t like it. He never liked Kurama being hurt and it always made him want to run in and protect him, even though he knew Kurama could look after himself well enough.

He had been relived when Kurama agreed to go to his parents home after he broke his ankle.

He didn’t want the new idiots Yusuke was training to see the weakness in his Mate. Mostly because he didn’t trust himself not to kill one of them, again.

It had been enough trouble last time when a youkai trainee had taken Kurama by surprise and tried to kiss him. Kurama had quickly slapped the muscled freak down before Hiei got there, but Hiei had acted on his possessive instinct and stuck his sword through the large idiot before he knew what he was doing. Yusuke had screamed a lot till Kurama explained what had happened, and that if Hiei hadn’t killed him for laying hands on him, Kurama would have.

So now… Kurama had life growing inside of him.

Kurama said it was a faster gestation than normal pregnancies, about three or four months. But Hiei didn’t know how he was going to cope. He was already on edge because of Kurama’s ankle, how was he going to manage now? Now that he had to protect something that was so vulnerable and fragile.

He leaned over and ran his hand over Kurama’s stomach again, feeling the old battle scars under his finger before he went a little lower. Feeling the strangeness again below warm flesh.

He let a smile stretch the corners of his mouth.

He had been humbled by Kurama’s offer of his body, but he never thought this would actually work. Or that he would actually be stupid enough to want to have children.

But after seeing everyone else’s brats, and the look in Kurama’s eyes when he was with them. He knew it was time.

That and if Shiori mentioned grandchildren one more time he was going to cut out her tong, adoptive mother or not.

It took about an hour before he felt Kurama coming awake. Then his Mate began squirming and moaning as he blinked his green eyes open to look up at him.

There was still a lingering pain that was mostly discomfort.

“Hello.” He smiled down at Kurama, feeling his chest tighten pleasantly, loving the Fox to the very core of his being.

Kurama just smiled a little and Hiei could feel his exhaustion leaking to him through the bond.

“How does it feel to be a potential mother?” Hiei asked softly.

Those beautiful green eyes widened then looked down at his own belly as he rested his hands there. “Oh my… it…” Kurama looked back up at him in shock. “it actually worked?”

“Looks like it…” Hiei reached out and put his hand over Kurama’s. “It’s stopped pulling on your spirit energy, it’s only a trickle now, sustainable.”

Kurama nodded then he went limp as he relaxed, “Inari that hurt.” He cursed rubbing his lower belly. “I guess that’s what they meant when they said I would ‘know’,” he chuckled. “So how does it feel to be a potential farther?”

Hiei blinked, then he felt himself smiling again. “With my strength and your looks, I think I’ll manage… You should sleep more, it took a lot of your spirit energy.”

Kurama yawned in response before closing his eyes. “Thank you.” He uttered as he fell asleep.

Hiei began stroking Kurama’s hair again. “Thank you too.” He whispered to the sleeping part of his world.

+ + + + + +

Kurama woke with someone’s hand on his forehead.

“Hiei, he’s burning up!”

Kurama blinked as he tried to make sense of what was happening, before he remembered his parents were due home today, he had fallen asleep on the sofa with Hiei watching some film or other on the TV.

“Hello Mother.” He said, feeling happy she was there.

“Shuichi, you have a fever!” she said to him, cupping his face in her hands. “I thought you only broke your ankle? Are you sick?” she asked franticly.

“He’s fine!” Hiei sounded annoyed. ‘Would you like some tea?’

‘Yes please.’ He said desperately, he was thirsty. “I truly am all right.” Kurama said to his mother as he tried to push himself up to sit against the arm of the sofa.

“Your mothers right son.” His farther said as he crouched down to look at him closer. “You do look flushed.”

Kurama smiled at their concern. “Farther, please sit.” He said as he took his mothers hands in his own as she was perched on the sofa besides him. “I have something to tell you.”

His mother looked a little weary; he guessed she had heard that too many times. But his farther just sat on the coffee table in front of him.

“It’s nothing we’ve been keeping from you.” He assured them. ‘Hiei…’

Instantly his Mate was sat on the arm of the sofa behind him, one hand on his shoulder. Kurama was impressed his parents hadn’t flinched at Hiei’s sudden appearance, but he guessed they must be used to it by now.

“Well, there’s no easy way of putting this… but…” he hesitated as he reached up and put his hand on Hiei’s. “I’m pregnant.”

Both his parents just sat stunned. Then his mother’s warm brown eyes filled with tears as she reached for him, pulling him into her arms.

“But how?” Kazuya asked, confused and a little surprised.

“We found a way.” Hiei said matter of fact. “And we think because I’m a fire youkai that Kurama is having some trouble regulating his temperature. The kit might be causing it. We won’t know till Yukina get’s back and can check him out properly.”

“How long have you know?” His mother asked as she pulled away a little.

“About three days… When we first tried this.” Kurama said.

“So soon?” she asked.

Kurama nodded, “I used a seed, it had to make room inside me that was a little painful.” He heard Hiei snort in his mind. “And we could both feel the life inside me.”

His mother looked down at his belly, then rested a hand there.

“I cant feel anything.” She sighed regretfully.

“Hiei?” Kurama looked up at his Mate and Hiei just sighed as he removed his bandana letting his Jagan open, then he rested his hand on Shiori’s as they rested on Kurama.

“Let you mind and body relax.” Hiei told her.

Kurama could feel Hiei open up their awareness of the life growing inside him, then gently led his mother to it.

Shiori gasped then laughed. “Is that it…” she asked in awe. “Is there two?”

“Err…” Kurama closed his eyes and looked more closely. “There… There are two… Twins?”

‘Well my mother was a Koorime who had twins and you are a fox, who have litters. I guess it’s not that surprising.’ Hiei mused into his mind.

Kurama suddenly felt light headed. Then his mother was pulling him into her arms again.

+ + + + + +

Three days after they told Kurama’s parents he was pregnant, Kurama was almost delirious with his fever, nothing Shiori put down his throat or Hiei tried to do seemed to take his temperature down.

Kazuya had managed to finally track Kuwabara down and he and Yukina were already on their way over.

Hiei couldn’t leave his Mates side as he moved restlessly in sleep. He could feel Yukina getting closer. And sent her his feelings of anxiety for her to hurry. It was a vague feeling but he was sure she understood.

Before long he could hear her hurrying up the stairs, followed by Shiori and Suichi, who had come over for the day.

“Hiei!” she said as she came into the room, then her eye’s fell on Kurama and she rushed to his side. “What’s happened?” she asked, laying her hand on Kurama’s brow.

“He’s pregnant with our kits.” Hiei quickly explained. “We think the kits are elevating his temperature.”

He watched as Yukina closed her eyes, laying a hand on Kurama’s belly, the other on his sweaty forehead.

Hiei could feel her cooling healing spread through his Mate.

“Oh, my.” Yukina uttered softly. “You’re having twins… But this is very strange…”

Hiei tried not to growl at her to get on with it and help his Mate. All he could do was hold Kurama’s hand.

It took another five minutes for her to pull away a little with a deep sigh.

“And?” Hiei tried not to snap impatiently.

“Well… I’m not sure how you managed this?” she confessed softly.

Hiei quickly told her about the Life Seed, and in a roundabout way, how they used it.

“I think Kurama is having trouble controlling the fire energy the babies have… I think I can help Kurama deal with the temperature, but I think you’re going to have to drain the fire energy from the little ones each day as they grow.”

“How?” He asked hurriedly, eager to do anything to help so he could stop feeling so useless.

She took his free hand and placed it over Kurama’s belly. “Gently merge your fire energy with Kurama’s spirit energy then merge it with the little ones and drain it off, pull it onto yourself… but slowly now, you don’t want to stress them.”

Hiei did as she asked, Merging his energy was as easy as breathing for the two of them now, enough so that he could easily separate Kurama’s spirit energy from that of the foreign presences energies. Carefully he began to drain the fire energy alone.

“Not too much.” He heard Yukina say and he pulled back as he was aware of Kurama finally waking up.

“Hiei…?” Kurama asked softy, groggy from sleep and his fever.

“Here Fox.” He answered back, looking down into his Mates beautiful green eyes as they slowly opened, then Kurama was smiling at him. “Yukina’s here to help.” He told him.

“Hello Kurama.” Yukina said. “Do you think you can make me some herbs? I forgot to bring my bag.”

“I might…” Kurama said, but Hiei could hear and feel the weakness in him.

“I’ll help.” He told his Mate quickly, once again merging their energies.

It took them a little while to get all the healing herbs Yukina needed, then she excused herself to go and make up a potion that would help Kurama control his temperature and give him extra needed nutrition for the babies as well as helping build his own strength back.

“Hey, Brother.” Suichi said tentatively as he inched towards the bed.

Hiei had forgotten he was there, then realized Shiori must have left with his sister.

“Suichi.” Kurama smiled at his little brother. “I thought you had a meeting today?”

Suichi sat down on the side of the bed, taking Kurama’s other hand. “I did, but I didn’t really need to be there, so I phoned in sick and came right over, sorry I couldn’t get here sooner. Mum told me what’s going on.”

“How would your students feel about that?” Kurama joked, “Their favourite teacher playing hooky?”

Hiei remembered Kurama telling him his brother was some kind of teacher in a high school; it was far enough away that he didn’t get to see his family much.

“I’m sure they would understand… If I ever told them.” Suich chuckled, “But I don’t think they would believe me if I told them my older brother was pregnant.”

Kurama grinned, “At least this will stop mother asking you when you and Sakura will be giving her grandchildren.”

The brothers shared the joke before Suichi sobered a little. “I’ve bought the rings.” He said. “I just don’t know how to ask her… How did you guys do it?”

“I bit him.” Hiei growled out with a smirk. Razing Kurama’s hand to show off the small white, but distinct, bite mark scars on Kurama’s wrist.

“I don’t think she would like that.” Suichi chuckled. “She would probably break my jaw first.”

“Take her somewhere romantic and she feels safe.” Kurama said.

Then they were interrupted by Kurama’s belly growling loudly.

“Go tell mother to make something for him to eat.” Hiei glared at Suichi, “And hurry.”

Suichi stood. “I’ll be right back.” Then he went downstairs.

“How are you feeling?” Hiei asked concerned. “Apart from hungry?”

Kurama grinned at him. “Head’s still a little foggy… but better.” Then he was turning to snuggle up a little closer. “Still tired…”

Hiei began stroking his hair again. “Then sleep.”

+ + + + + +

[One month pregnant]

Kurama stretched and yawned as he lay in a pile of blankets and cushions at the back of the temple on the lawn, where he and Hiei now called home, soaking up the hot afternoon sun of a wonderful April day.

It was Saturday and he was waiting for his mother and Yukina to come over, as they did every weekend since he and Hiei had left his mothers home a little over two weeks ago, to check up on him and make sure he had everything he needed.

Yusuke had had a screaming match with Hiei about Yusuke’s students having to leave early, but soon as he learned Kurama was expecting he soon backed down and took his students off to the Makai to train.

He was also waiting for Hiei to get back from shopping, today he had woken with an awful craving for chocolate covers almonds and after Hiei had made sure he was settled outside, had flitted off to get Kurama his treat.

Kurama smiled as he remembered his Mate’s reluctance to leave him alone. But he couldn’t blame him.

The kit’s were draining Kurama’s energies both physical and spiritually. Yukina had assured him it was because his human side was finding it hard to cope with the kit’s quicker rate of growth; also their unusual conception would be taxing on his body.

Kurama agreed, the text he had read said much the same thing, he just wasn’t expecting to be so tired and ravenously hungry all the time.

He turned again to pour himself some more tea when he saw little old Makoto-sama coming around the side of the temple.

Kurama sighed as she saw him and slowly came limping closer. She always came by every week to get a small bouquet of white and red roses for her husband’s grave. But Kurama had closed the little stand he had on the road by the entrance to the temple because he just couldn’t spare the energy to run it right now.

“Hello dear!” she said coming closer. “I saw your little stand was closed… but I couldn’t help but see if you were all right.”

Kurama sat up properly. “Thank you for your concern Makoto-sama.” He said bowing his head, she was a sweet lady, but her nosiness was legendary in the area, Genkai had loved and hated her all at the same time, and Kurama had found out why. “But I’m fine… I’ve just been a little tired lately, and might be for a few months yet. I can try and get your Roses delivered to your home if you like?”

She waved her hand at him before sitting down by the tray with Kurama’s tea and left over bento box. She picked up Hiei’s unused cup and poured herself some tea, “You don’t mind honey?” she asked as she took a sip.

Kurama didn’t think he had a choice even if he did. “I’m afraid it’s a little cool now, I could go make some more.”

“It’s just right.” She smiled gummily at him. she was ninety if not older, but she could get around when she wanted to. “And congratulations.” She said her dark eyes sparkling as she looked at him.

“For what?” He asked.

She grinned a little more shrewdly. “I’ve been around a long time young lady, and I know when someone’s pregnant.”

Kurama gaped at her. He gave up correcting her on his sex years ago. But he wasn’t showing yet, well,  not enough anyone could see under his clothes.

She cackled at his confusion then winked at him. “You have a glow about you, and I know it’s your first. I see your husband is taking extra care of you too.” She gestured to the blankets and cushions. “Also, he cant make tea like you do…” she frowned down at her cup before taking another sip.

Kurama smiled at that, Hiei had got better, but he liked it stronger than Kurama did. It also didn’t help it had some spices in it to build Kurama’s energy levels. “He tries his best.”

“You want to keep that one though.” She carried on. “He reminds me of my husband, doesn’t say much and tries to come off all distant and cool, but he’s got a heart of gold and would do anything for you…” she sighed. “And I’m sure my husband will understand if he doesn’t get his roses for a few months. He always did like children. You just make sure you keep yourself healthy.”

“Thank you and I will try.” Kurama promised.

They talked some more as they finished the tea together, talking about Makoto-sama’s children, grand children and her great grandchildren. She then offered to come round soon with some photos, and something for the baby as she stiffly got to her feet. Kurama was about to help when she waved him back.

“I didn’t get this old by having people help me get to my feet young miss.” She groused, rubbing her back. “Well, I’ll be off, you take care now… Oh… who’s this?”

Kurama looked over his shoulder to see two of Yusuke’s older students come around the other side of the temple.

Kurama got to his feet instantly as they approached, immediately on guard. They had been the friends of the youkai that Hiei had killed, they hadn’t been happy about their friend’s death, but had never caused trouble about it at the time.

“Makoto-sama, why don’t you go home now.” He said a little forcefully but not turning to her.

“Don’t think I’m leaving you alone, I don’t like the look of them.” Makoto-sama growled under her breath.

Kurama had to take his eyes off the approaching youkai as he bent and whispered in her ear. “Hiei should be on his way back from the shop, please go see if you can tell him I have company. Or my mother should be getting off the train soon.”

Her little dark eyes looked deep into his own before she nodded then stepped back and went the way she came without a look back. Kurama watched her go… at least she would be safely out of the way now.

Then he turned back to the two youkai. If he remembered right, one had some kind of water energy; the other could turn his skin to have a lizards toughness. Either way, they were giving off a wary hostile energy.

The water youkai’s eyes were all over the place and the other just kept his eyes on Kurama.

“Can I help you gentlemen?” Kurama asked as they got closer, his senses went into battle mode as he parted his feet a little, but trying not to show it.

“We were looking for Sensa…” The lizard skinned one said as he came to a stop just beyond the blankets. The other a few steps behind.

There was nothing friendly about this encounter, so Kurama guessed they were here to either kill him or rape him, possibly both. No doubt they knew Yusuke was away and they must have been lurking around to see if and when Hiei would leave. The whole of the Makai knew they were bonded, so they must have figured taking out the weaker opponent was the best course of action, the fools.

“Well, Yusuke isn’t here at the moment, you can find him in the Makai.” He informed them calmly.

“What about Hiei Sensa?” The water one asked as he looked Kurama up and down, licking his lips.

So he was right about their intentions, But what they hadn’t figured out was that Kurama would be fighting not just his own life, but Hiei’s and now the kits.

Kurama took a deep breath calming himself as he carefully masked his building spirit energy, letting it seep out though his feet into the ground beneath the blankets.

He had a choice… Fight as long as he could, or let these foul bastards rape him hoping Hiei would get there in time before they killed him.

There was no choice at all; he would have to make this a shorter a fight as he could manage.

‘HIEI!’ He called desperately.

‘I have your sodding food… What!?’ Hiei’s voice was tinged with a dangerous worry.

Kurama had just enough time to send his Mate an image of the two youkai before Lizard had two daggers in his hands and was rushing forwards.

He couldn’t use his normal tactics of being wary, judging his opponents weaknesses. He had to go on what he knew and just attack, he didn’t have the time, power or luxury of taking his time.

He managed to dodge Lizard’s rush only to stumble sideways as a wave of freezing water slammed into his side, taking his breath away for a moment. He got his rose whip out just in time to fend off Lizard who tried to take him from behind. Then he was doing nothing but defending as his attackers forced him back, one always trying to get behind him.

He could feel his energy waning as he skipped around Water’s latest attack then lost his footing as his recently healed ankle gave out for a moment, sending him skidding to the ground. He cried out as he landed, trying to protect his belly as he fell onto his elbows. Then there was a searing pain across his back as Lizard move in with his daggers, but only getting a glancing blow.

Kurama managed to regain his feet as he fled. But his attackers were flanking him as he made his way back to the temple and in the direction he could feel Hiei coming towards him, but his mate was still too far away.

He skidded to a halt as he barely missed another water attack.

Kurama knew in that instant he would have to do something he never wanted to do, and he wasn’t sure of the consequences especially while he was pregnant… but he had no other choice. His limits were almost reached.

He felt tears in his eyes as he sent Hiei all his love and his deepest apologies.

Then he let go of his hardened control… letting his instincts take over.

+ + + + + +

Hiei almost missed the next branch he jumped too.

He felt Kurama send him his love but it was interwoven with an apology and so much regret that it took Hiei by surprise. Kurama was about to do something incredibly stupid.

Then Hiei sense of Kurama that had been in his mind and soul since they bonded suddenly changed, became blank. It wasn’t even like when he changed into Youko with the slight disturbance. This was like oblivion.

Hiei shook himself then picked up his speed, heading like an arrow towards his Mate.

He could see the roofs of the temple getting closer as he ran, then suddenly a bamboo forest sprang out behind it, like sharp daggers stabbing into the sky. Then Hiei almost stumbled again as he felt his fire energy being pulled from him forcefully, he didn’t let it slow him down, and he gave it all willingly.

Then the bamboo forest burst into flames.

Burning with such a voracity that Hiei could feel its singing heat as he drew ever closer.

The two presences that he had instantly recognised when Kurama had shown him an image of the two youkai, suddenly blinked out and he could still hear their dying screams as he finally landed on the roof of the main Temple.

He looked down onto what had been a large open sparing ground covered by an immaculate lawn. It was now nothing but charred earth with still burning and smoking stalks of bamboo. And at the far edge stood Kurama.

Hiei blinked as he looked at his Mate. Kurama still had his rose whip in one hand and the whole length of it burned with tame mortal fire.

Hiei hopped down from the roof and approached his Mate slowly. Still feeling the silent blankness from him.

As he got closer he was surprised to see the red hair flecked with silver, his ears poked out the sides tipped with silver and red fir. His eyes were still green, but they were totally blank, the pupil totally gone.

“Kurama…” He said as he got within touching distance of his Mate. He reached out with his hand and mind towards him.

He was relieved when Kurama didn’t flinch away or attack him. But the lack of a response was also disturbing.

Slowly Kurama moved his head toward Hiei, his blank eyes still just orbs of green.

Then there was a very distant whisper in Hiei’s mind, Kurama was calling his name.

‘I’m here Fox…’, “I’m right here.” Hiei replied as he took his Mate’s shoulders into his hands and looked into his dead eyes.

‘…The kits?’ came the weak reply.

Hiei opened his Jagan, burning through the bandana, not wanting to take his hands off Kurama. Sure enough he could still feel the kits, they seemed a little weak, but their life energy was still strong enough not to be a worry. “They are fine.” Then he could feel why Kurama was feeling so strange. He had used his own life energy to fight his attackers as well as his spirit energy and finally drawing on Hiei’s own fire energy. He had pooled everything he had to protect the kits, and now he was dangerously drained.

Hiei felt Kurama’s heart flutter and it scared him for a moment before he began feeding his Mate his own life energy.

He felt a note of concern from Kurama before he growled. ‘If you die, then we all die!’ then he calmed. ‘The kit’s are fine, the threat is dead and I need you strong.’

He felt Kurama relax a little, as he blinked the pupils and whites oh his eyes appeared and the white in his hair faded back to red.

Hiei moved just in time as Kurama crumpled to his knees.

“What happened here?!” Hiei heard Shiori gasp behind them.

“It didn’t look like this a few moment ago.” That was Makoto-sama.

“Kurama?” Yukina.

“Oh my! Are those bodies?” Shiori said in horror.

“Yukina, can you get everyone inside and make tea?” Hiei asked over his shoulder.

His sister nodded then began herding the other two women into the temple.

Carefully Hiei scooped his Mate into his arms and went inside where he lay him down on one of the sofas. Pulling an arm away he was horrified to see he was covered in blood. Quickly he sat Kurama up and checked his back, there was a long line, just below his shoulder blades that was still bleeding, on closer inspection he realised it wasn’t so deep.

“Yukina!” He called his sister. “He’s been hurt!”

“I’m here.” Yukina said as she knelt down besides him, her medicine bag already open as she rummaged in it. “Minamino-san can you please bring me a bowl of boiled water?”

“Right away.” Shiori said hurrying back into the kitchen.

“I knew those two scoundrels were up to no good.” Makoto-sama said as she sat down in a nearby chair. “I take it that was their bodies burning out side… good ridden’s if you ask me, attacking a pregnant woman! Scum.”

Hiei glanced at her in confusion as she sipped her tea. She didn’t seem all that bothered.

Makoto-sama snorted at his look, “I lived through a war boy, I saw more stuff like that that you have. Nothing shocks these old bones now.”

“Hiei, help me with his shirt.” Yukina said as she began cutting the shirt apart. Hiei just held Kurama up as she pulled the shirt free to throw it on the floor.

“Hn, he’s gonna be pissed, that was one of his favourites.” Hiei commented as he settled Kurama against himself once more.

“That’s alright,” Shiori said as she held the bowl of boiled water up for Yukina to use. “I found a boutique that sells things he would like.”

Hiei didn’t miss the shadows in her eyes as she watched avidly as Yukina cleaned the wound on Kurama’s back.

“He’s going to be fine.” He told her with a hard smile. “Dying would be against our honour.”

Shiori shot him a frown of disapproval.

“Died once…” Kurama said weakly into Hiei’s shoulder. “Don’t fancy doing it… again, anytime… soon.”

Shiori put the bowl down hurriedly, spilling its bloody contents a little as she moved so she could take Kurama’s face in her hands from where it rested on Hiei’s shoulder.

“My Baby!” She cooed as she laid kisses all over his face.

Hiei was a little freaked by her desperation and the unshed tears in her eyes, before he realized she had never seen him this injured before and she was scared.

He guessed knowing your son was a part time Youkai didn’t equate to a ruthless killer, feared by most of all three worlds.

“I’ll be fine Mother.” Kurama said a little hysterically. “Please don’t cry.”

Shiori whipped her eyes as she smiled at her son. “I cant help it! You know I don’t like seeing you hurt.”

“I need to bandage him up now.” Yukina said as she held up a roll of bandage. They all moved to support Kurama, who didn’t have the strength to keep himself up.

“Ok, all done…” Yukina said as she quickly finished. “Do you think you can lie on your side while I check on the babies?” she asked, so with help and Kurama gritting his teeth, they managed to lie him down.

“Oh my…” Shiori gasped as she reached out to touch the white scars littering Kurama’s belly.

“Old battle scars.” Kurama said softly as he took his mothers hand.

“Prof He’s a survivor.” Hiei added. “He got them all protecting his friends and the three worlds.”

“But he was hurt!” Shiori snapped as a tear fell down her cheek.

Hiei bent closer to her as he spoke directly into her face. “He almost succeeded in giving his life to save yours… a few scars, you can live with.”

“Hiei!” Kurama uttered brokenly.

“For what he stole to do it, he was punished, and now everyone is safe and alive. Your son needs your pride, not your tears.” Hiei continued. “I didn’t choose him for a Mate because he was weak or needed pity.”

“I am proud of him.” Shiori whispered.

“Umm… can I see to Kurama now?” Yukina asked tentatively into the tense silence.

Hiei snorted as he moved back on the sofa so he was sat by Kurama’s legs. Shiori kept hold of her son’s hand as she made room on the floor for Yukina.

Hiei watched as his sister put her hands on Kurama’s abdomen. “The babies seem fine.” She said, “But your very weak Kurama, I want you to rest completely for a week while you try regain your energy, I don’t want you using any, just what the babies need… Oh and I bought this…” she reached into her bag again to pull out a tub of what looked like minty green lotion. “It’s coconut oil and kisuato abura from the Makai. It will help make your scars less visible…”

“I like his scars.” Hiei bit out, he really did and licking them could send his Mate into a panting fit of ecstasy.

Yukina sighed at him as she scooped out some of the light green cream and began spreading it on Kurama’s belly, below the bandages on his chest. “It will also help when the babies start to grow, it will make the scars stretch and not be painful for Kurama or the babies.”

“Oh…” Hiei couldn’t help but be a little regretful.

Kurama started chucking at him, knowing exactly what he was thinking. “She is right… I was worried about them to be honest.”

“Well, just like with Hiei draining the babies fire energy ever twelve hours now, he should also use this.” Yukina said as she then blushed and whispered. “It will also reduce your stretch marks.”

Hiei snorted in amusement as Kurama blushed. “Vain fox.” What he didn’t expect was the tears in his Mate’s eyes. “What?” he asked in anxiety.

Kurama reached out for him as he began to cry in earnest, his other hand covering his face.

“Is it the cream?” Yukina asked alarm. “Is it to cold?” she fretted.

Kurama shook his head as he tried to breathe through his tears.

Hiei dipped into his Mates mind and sighed as he calmed. Kurama had been like this twice in the past two weeks. He just broke down into a sobbing mess, with no reason for it. Kurama had also been furiously angry once, with the same kind of non feeling to it, like he was acting out an emotions without actually feeling it or having a reason.

With a sigh Hiei shooed his sister and Shiori away so he could wrap his arms about his Mate and just hold him till Kurama got a hold of his emotions again. Kurama buried his face against Hiei’s neck and sobbed harder. Hiei hated feeling Kurama’s shame when it came to these moments.

“Hormones.” Makoto-sama suddenly said from her chair, they had all forgotten about her. “I was the same with all four of mine, Crying for no reason, then wanting to kill someone the next, my dear husband thought I had gone mad, but by the time I was having my youngest he got good at dodging plates.”

“Oh my.” Yukina laughed, “I was the same for a little while when I had my twins, but it soon passed.”

“I had it easy when I had Shuichi.” Shiori said, “I was just very happy through my entire pregnancy.”

The three woman then began to share stories as more tea was made and time passed. Hiei just sat with Kurama, soaking up his tears until he felt him start to go limp.

‘Better now?’ Hiei asked.

I’m sorry.’ Kurama said with fatigue. ‘I know you don’t like it…’

I would hate it more if you tried to hide it from me.’ Hiei answered back.

‘I make us weak….’

Hiei wanted to bite him in frustration. ‘We knew that when we started this.’ Hiei snapped. ‘I’ll ask Koenma to send some guards; maybe Yusuke can get someone to patrol as well.’

Kurama sighed in his mind. ‘Asking for help?’ he said in his more usual haughty manner.

‘Hn, when you are concerned. Yes.’ Hiei smiled back as he kissed his Mates forehead.

Kurama gave a purr of contentment as his eyes closed. ‘Did you get me my chocolate covered almonds?’

Hiei could feel the need for the silly hard to find sweets and he groaned, he had left the shopping in the forest in his hast. ‘Why don’t you sleep… and I’ll go get them.’

Kurama uttered something before falling asleep.

+ + + + + +

Hiei felt grubby, after leaving Kurama with the three women, he had gone into the back yard and wrapped the two chard youkai up in an old sheet, then using his fire energy he burned what was left of Kurama’s bamboo trap till the ground was level again and covered with ash, then he racked it all into the dry soil, when that was done he got a bag of grass seed from one of the many store houses and reseeded the lawn, finally he hosed the whole lot down. It took him about an hour, but he knew Kurama would appreciate the effort.

Then he took the bodies and threw them into one of the deepest coldest caves as far from the temple compound as he could manage, Yusuke could deal with them once he got back, send them back to their families, or just leave them to rot.

Then he went and hunted down his shopping. It proved harder to find, mostly because he couldn’t remember where he had dropped it.

He got a little desperate when he felt Kurama waking up. But it still took him another ten minutes to find his bags.

‘Stop fretting, I found them.’ Hiei told his Mates as he felt his anxiety and hunger. He even checked to see if the five bag’s of chocolate almonds the shop had were still there. He didn’t know why his Mate couldn’t just have sugared almonds, they were easier to find.

‘Because I need chocolate ones.’ Kurama said sleepily.

‘Couldn’t I just have got your favourite chocolate and a bag of normal almonds?’ Hiei muttered.

Kurama paused as he thought about it before Hiei sensed he was about to start crying again, or going to rip his head off. ‘No…’ Kurama answered, so tears it was.

‘Shh… Shhh… I’m almost home… let me just get clean first?’ Hiei tried to soothe him. He knew Kurama was already eating a tuna salad that Shiori had made for him.

‘Just hurry?’

‘I am.’ Hiei reassured as he doubled his pace.

When he finally got back to the temple he put the shopping in the kitchen then went to get a shower and new clothes.

By the time he got back to the living room, Kurama was sat up on the sofa waiting for him.

Shiori was in the kitchen preparing a proper meal, Makoto-sama must have gone home, and Yukina was in the hall talking to her little girls on the phone.

Kurama looked at him expectantly as Hiei sat down besides him, then he slowly opened the plastic bag and looked inside. He could feel Kurama almost quivering in anticipation at his side.

Slowly Hiei reached inside, taking out one of the treats, he sniffed it tentatively, he had to admit, they did smell good. With a wicked smile he licked the chocolate hearing Kurama groan with need.

With a flick of his wrist he popped the whole thing into his mouth, then before Kurama could kill him, he grabbed his Mates face and kissed him, licking the sweet into Kurama’s mouth, then pulled away.

Kurama’s eyes narrowed and glazed over with pleasure. Much like when he orgasmed. As he chewed on the treat.

“More…” Kurama purred at him.

Hiei quickly did the same, they hadn’t had sex since Kurama got pregnant, Yukina had softly warned against penetration. Hiei had been willing to go uki, but Kurama had been too exhausted for anything so strenuous, even hand jobs. So watching his Mate in such ecstasy was hard to resist.

After the sixth one Hiei knew Kurama was too tired to continue with the game, so putting the bag aside, he pulled the Kitsune onto his lap, arranging him so they were both comfortable. Once again pulling the blanket that covered his Mate over them both. Then he picked up another almond and popped it straight into Kurama’s mouth.

“Just eat,” He grinned as Kurama snuggled up to him.

“I’m sorry.” Kurama said again as he chewed on another sweet. “I want too… “

Hiei sighed, “I know… But I think we will survive this… But I’m disappointed I’m losing out to chocolate covered almonds right now.” He chuckled as he petted his Mate’s hair.

Kurama grinned. “I’ll eat you soon enough.” He winked.

Hiei rolled his eyes, “Shut up and eat, then more sleep. What ever your mothers cooking smells good, so I’ll wake you for it.”

Kurama settled down a little more as he carried on eating.

+ + + + + +

When Yusuke had got back from the Makai and leaned what had happened with his old students, he had been pissed till Hiei had almost taken his head off the moment they met. So he had agreed not to take anymore students to the temple any time soon.

He had also been surprised at Kurama, who followed Hiei around like a shadow, that’s when he wasn’t sleeping, or eating.

He had come over with Shiori and Yukina for the weekend with his own small family.

Akira was now playing in a sand pit they had set up for him, while he and Hiei began to set up a fire pit for a barbeque that night.

Kurama was asleep and the women were all sat around on blankets they had set up earlier, drinking tea and gossiping.

“So how have things been here?” Yusuke asked his friend, “I see Koenma sent some of his spirit guards to patrol this place.”

“After what happened, I’ll tolerate them.” Hiei snorted as he set up wood in the fire pit. “It’s only another one and a half months.”

“Oh yeah, Yukina said on the way here. Man, Keiko was a nightmare to live with when she was pregnant, and that was for nine months.” Yusuke hissed with a grin.

Hiei glanced at him, then he grinned too. “Kurama has his moment.”

Yusuke slapped him on the back, “Haha, I can imagine!”

Hiei growled at him before suddenly going still. “Your about to see.” He sighed before turning towards the temple.

“HIEI!” Kurama screamed angrily from the temple porch, “Where the hell is my Earl grey tea! And WHO ate my cream bun! I was saving it! You know that!” Yusuke took a step back and towards his son. The fury coming off Kurama was almost physical.

Hiei sighed deeply. “He’s not going to hurt anyone.” He hissed at him as he began walking towards the Kitsune. “The tea is in the cupboard, and you ate your bun before going to sleep.”

Yusuke watched as Kurama slumped, his anger fading instantly as he looked confused. “I did?”

Hiei finally reached him, taking Kurama’s hands. The little squirt had grown, but he still had to look up at his husband.

“We can go get you another bun if you want more?” Hiei said soothingly.

Kurama slumped a little, lifting their hands to his face and hiding behind them. “I forgot…”

Yusuke sighed and turned away, he was sure his friends didn’t want them all to see Kurama like this.

“Wow!” he gasped as he looked at his son, who had built a huge castle. “Look at that, my son’s going to be an architect!” it was enough to distract the woman to turn their heads.

+ + + + + +

Kurama couldn’t believe he had forgotten something so stupid, and as soon as his anger came it disappeared, replaced with shame.

Not a day went by now that his mood swings didn’t have him all out of sorts. For over a week now he had completely lost his hardened control on his emotions. Like now, he was shouting with anger. Normally when he got angry, he got quiet, he didn’t run around shouting like an idiot.

He also couldn’t stop crying at the slightest thing. When he was throwing up violently in the morning, he cried. When he ait something he enjoyed, he cried. It was annoying and was testing his resolve that only made him mad with frustration because he couldn’t control it at all.

Then there was the stupid anxieties.

When ever Hiei wasn’t with him he thought his Mate didn’t love him anymore, that he had run off and left him. So in a panic he called his Mate to him and once Hiei got to him, Kurama either cried with piteously relief, or screamed at him in a fury so great it was overwhelming.

But he couldn’t fault Hiei, he was always calm and reassuring, got him every stupid request for his cravings, would hug him and sooth him.

Kurama was waiting for Hiei to get annoyed with him, but it had never happened how ever hard Kurama pushed when he was uncontrollably angry.

“I would like some more buns…” He whispered as he hid behind their hands.

He wanted to apologise for the millionth time, but knew Hiei was bored of hearing it.

Hiei squeezed his hands. “Want me to go get them, or do you want to come with me?”

Kurama was just about to say he would go when something moved in his already distending belly. It was like butterflies inside him. He let Hiei’s hands go as he placed his own on his belly as he looked down at the loose fitting shirt he had on.

“What is it?” Hiei asked, looking a little confused.

Kurama grabbed his Mates hands and pushed them flat against his belly. There was another flutter and Hiei gasped out is surprise.

‘Did you feel it?’ Kurama whispered, like talking loud would make it stop.

Hiei nodded, then he was pulling his hands away as he grabbed Kurama’s shirt, moving it up so he could lean down and put his ear to Kurama’s protruding belly.

Kurama felt a stronger fluttering and Hiei laughed, then he stood straight and pulled Kurama down for a deep kiss.

“I love you.” Hiei said as they pulled apart a little.

“I love you too.” Kurama felt his chest swell, he knew Hiei loved him, but he never said it often, so it was always special when he did.

“Come, I’ll go get you your cream buns. You sit with your mother while I’m gone.” Hiei said pulling him gently towards everyone else. “Will you be okay with that?”

Kurama nodded as his mouth watered at the thought.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke woke with a start, realizing he needed to pee. After last night he wasn’t surprised, he had downed enough beer with Hiei to knock out a horse. But he was sure Kurama had actually tried eating one.

The women had all been gushing over Kurama, feeling his belly and squealing with delight. When Hiei got back with a stack of box’s from the bakery, he began feeding cream buns to Kurama. He ate five before Yusuke had the barbeque ready, then Hiei was feeding Kurama the lion’s share of everything, chicken, fish, beef, lamb even the vegis. Finally Kurama ate what was left of the different buns and cake Hiei had bought before falling asleep.

Now he got up, trying not to disturb Keiko and Akira, who had sneaked into their bed, and made his way to the bathroom.

Dawn was just about to brake and it felt like it was going to be another nice day, he was planning of taking his son for a run around the forest before they went home.

He stretched then began to open his PJ’s so he could pee when the door was thrown open and Hiei dashed in, grabbed him and threw him into the corridor.

Yusuke growled, instantly losing his good mood when he saw Hiei helping Kurama into the bathroom and over to the toilet, where Kurama sank to his knees and instantly began throwing up. Hiei was holding Kurama’s hair out of the way as he rubbed his back.

Yusuke winced as he watched, then leaned against the doorframe to wait as Kurama just kept puking, every now and then Hiei would flush the toilet before Kurama started again.

“If you still need to go.” Hiei said over his shoulder. “I suggest you use the guest bathroom in the main part of the temple.”

Yusuke shrugged then he remembered something. “Do you have any ginger, or ginger tea in the kitchen?” he asked.

“Yes...” Kurama said between bouts of sick.

Yusuke ran into the kitchen and quickly boiled some water then found some tea in the cupboard.

When he got back to the bathroom, Kurama was sobbing in Hiei’s arms. He walked over and bobbed down besides the two. “Here, drink this, used to help Keiko a lot.”

Hiei took the cup, sniffed it then held it for Kurama to sip.

“Should make you feel a little better?” Yusuke asked as he patted his friends knee.

Kurama nodded, then his eyes filled with more tears, but Hiei jostled him then offered more tea.

Yusuke couldn’t help but see Kurama as a little bit more human, which wasn’t really fair, because Kurama was one of the bravest, intelligent and most stable people he knew. Actually seeing his friend express so many emotions was strange, but reassuring all at the same time. He also knew Kurama must be hating it right now.

Finally Kurama fell asleep as he rested against Hiei. Who downed the rest of the tea Kurama didn’t finish.

“Must work.” Hiei said as he looked into the empty cup.

“Sure helped Keiko when she had morning sickness.” Yusuke grinned

“Hn… Well we are normally at this for another hour or so.” Hiei grunted, “The fact he’s fallen asleep again is good.”

“That’s great then.” Yusuke said as he got to his feet. “You need any help getting him back to your room?”

Hiei just stood with Kurama in his arms. “I’ve been managing for weeks, so thank you, but no.”

“What ever man, just so long as I can pee now I’m good.”

Hiei gave him an amused grin before he left the bathroom.

Yusuke finished up in the bathroom then went back to bed; he crawled in next to his wife and son, putting his arms around both of them.

“You okay?” Keiko asked sleepily.

“Ya, get some more sleep.”

Keiko snuggled a little. “You smell of sick.” She uttered. “And ginger… your not pregnant are you?”

Yusuke chuckled. “I hope not, Kurama’s a mess… I think I’ll leave it to insane spirit Kitsune’s and the fairer sex.”

“Shame.” Keiko yawned. “Because I’m pregnant again.”

Yusuke sat up suddenly as he looked down at his wife. “Seriously? But you said it was too early to tell!”

Keiko rolled her eyes at him. “That was two months ago before you ran off to train your little worshipers.”

“Why didn’t you tell me when I got back?” he gasped.

She smiled. “Because I wanted to be sure.”

Yusuke grinned as he leaned down and kissed her. “You’re wonderful.” He whispered.

“I know.” She smiled up at him.

He kissed her again.

“Me too! Me tooo daddy!”

They pulled apart laughing as Yusuke’s little son demanded a cuddle and a kiss too, so Yusuke scooped him up and kissed and hugged him too.

For that moment, Yusuke thought he was the luckiest man in all three worlds.

+ + + + + +

[Two months and three weeks]

Kurama cursed as he paused again to catch his breath, he was a week away from giving birth, and he wanted it over with.

Over the last month he had swelled up till he was sure he would never see his swollen feet again. The skin on his belly was stretched taught as the kit’s grew, the cream, Yukina had given him had been a miracle, he was sure without it he would have been in agony. Normal human pregnancies the skin had time to stretch, with a three month pregnancy Kurama’s body was constantly under stress to make room and adapt.

At least he wasn’t throwing up anymore and his fragile emotional state had calmed. Now he was just stuck with being incredibly weak and having to have Hiei help him ever time he needed to pee, which was a lot, especially if one of the kits decided to shove it’s foot in his bladed, never mind the embarrassment when one found his prostate. The first time that had happened he had almost screamed, then wanted to kill Hiei because the little basted always thought it was a great laugh.

Now he just wanted some tea and some food. His hunger was almost a constant presence as the kit’s drained his physical and spiritual strength.

The kit’s suddenly began kicking and squirming inside him and he put a hand on his swollen belly. “Just ease up,” he almost begged. “I’ll feed you soon. I just need to get to the kitchen first.”

“They awake?” Hiei was suddenly at his side.

Kurama sighed deeply. “I think they have already started training in here.” He said rubbing a sore spot a fist had just been punched into.

Hiei grinned as he also ran his hand over a protruding knee. “They are hungry… come on.”

Hiei led him into the kitchen where Kurama was surprised to see the kitchen table covered with food and a pot of tea already seeping.

Hiei helped him sit down then gestured to the table, “Is there anything you want to eat.”

Kurama just shook his head as he reached for a bowl of rice and began digging into a chicken stir fry as he eyed up the spring rolls.

Kurama was half way through his third helping when he started to feel a little dizzy and hot. He knew the signs. “Hiei…” He groaned.

Instantly his Mate was at his side. “They need draining again?”

Kurama nodded as he grit his teeth.

Hiei put his hands on Kurama’s bump and began drawing the kit’s fire energy away. “They are getting stronger. Is their spirit energy not bothering you?”

Kurama sighed as his temperature began to lower. “No, but I have to wonder why they are so greedy for my own as well.”

“Carry on eating.” Hiei said as he began eating a spring roll. “Then we can go take a nap outside, it’s a nice day.”

Kurama purred at the thought before he changed the subject. “Yukina’s coming over tomorrow isn’t she?”

Hiei nodded, devouring another roll. “Your mothers coming at the weekend… How public do you want to make this?”

Kurama sighed, “Not very.” He confessed. He had already started nesting, their room was covered with vines and the floor covered in soft moss. Hiei had rolled his eyes when he had brought in pots a few days ago, but said nothing. “To be honest… I just want you and my mother… But Yukina for obvious reasons.” He confessed. He couldn’t exactly go to a hospital for the birth.

Instinctively he wanted to slink away to one of his dens in the forest to give birth with Hiei guarding the entrance. But he knew it wasn’t practical and he was having far more than a natural birth. So he wanted his mother there for reassurance and Yukina in case something went wrong and Hiei wouldn’t leave his side.

He didn’t think he could cope if there were more people near; the spirit world guard were enough of a disturbance, even if they just stayed at the perimeter to the grounds.

He felt Hiei reach out and began rubbing his sore back. “Then they are the only people who are going to be here… Everyone else can come over the next day.”

Kurama smiled as he felt reassured. Hiei would make sure no one else got near. “You’re too good to me.” He whispered with a fond smile.

Hiei looked at him sideways and smiled. “And don’t you forget it Fox.”

Kurama leaned towards him. “Never, my Mate.” He answered in a sultry tone, lifting his hands to touch the mate marks on his neck.

Hiei’s eyes went wide then narrowed as he grinned. “My Fox.” Hiei growled as he moved in to lick the marks. “My pretty Fox.”

Kurama groaned with pleasure then winced and gave a little cry as the kits once again tried to fight there way out of his stomach. “Sorry…” he sighed in regret.

Hiei just chuckled at him as he stood and hugged him. “Don’t be.” He said as he began stoking his hair.

Kurama closed his eyes as he leaned against his Mate, letting Hiei take his weight as he always did. He put his own arms around Hiei’s waist and hugged him tight.

+ + + + + +

Kurama was restless, he had woken up feeling like there was something he should be doing, but couldn’t quite figure out what.

Hiei had offered to make him food, but he strangely wasn’t hungry, in fact the thought of food was repellent, he didn’t even want to drink his favourite tea.

Hiei had looked at him with concern, but didn’t say anything. His mother and Yukina had voiced their concerns, but Kurama had just shrugged them off as he had gone back to his room.

Hiei his constant silent shadow.

For the morning he had busied himself with making the moss on the floor a little more green and deeper, then made the vines all across the walls and ceiling bloom into his favourite red roses, filling the room with their sent. He had also changed the futon mattress with Hiei’s help, then found his favourite soft sheets and pillows, pooling them all up in the darkest corner of the room, he finally snuggled down and had a nap.

When he woke Hiei was sat at his side, one hand on his shoulder, the other holding a book he had been reading.

“I need to walk…” He whispered.

Hiei had helped him up, as he had to every time Kurama wanted to move. Then they went outside.

Kurama breathed in the warm early July air, but the forest was calling to him, so he walked that way. When he tired Hiei helped him sit, before they carried on.

Kurama touching a tree or a flower as they walked.

It always felt good to be around flora and fawner, they were his weapons or his healers, his kitsune soul sang to them and they always answered. Through the whole thing the kits were at peace. They seemed to feel the life around them and respect it as much as Kurama always had.

Finally he had gone far enough and when he turned to his Mate, Hiei had just picked him up in his arms and slowly walked back to the Temple.

‘I thought we had another day…’ Kurama whispered into Hiei’s mind as he rested his arms around his Mates shoulder, resting his forehead against Hiei’s cheek. ‘I think it’s going to be tonight.’ He couldn’t keep his slight fear from Hiei.

‘I’m right here.’ Hiei said softly. ‘I’ll never leave your side.’

Kurama hugged Hiei a little tighter.

+ + + + + +

Hiei blinked in surprise when he felt a sharp pain from Kurama, then shame and disbelief. When Hiei looked at his mate, he could see the chair Kurama was sat on now dripping wet with a pool forming on the floor.

“I think my water just broke…” Kurama said to the room at large.

It was about ten o’clock at night and finally Kurama had wanted some tea, so all four of them had sat down at the kitchen table.

Hiei knew Shiori and Yukina realized what was coming. It was like an unspoken tension in their home.

“Ah, good so it’s starting then.” Yukina looked a little relived as she stood. “Hiei, why don’t you help Kurama get cleaned up, and change into his bath robe?”

Hiei was about to help Kurama up but when he touched his Mate the wave of fear was so sharp it left him gasping. Then he realized Kurama was shaking.

Shiori must have sensed it too as she went to Kurama’s other side. “It’s okay Shuichi, we are here.” She began rubbing his back. “We all love you.”

Kurama just stared off into the distance. “I’m scared…” he whispered, “Oh Inari.”

Not for the first time. Hiei felt a stab of guilt for what he was putting his Mate through. He also knew all he could do was be there for him, for what ever he needed.

“Come on.” He said, pulling Kurama gently from his chair. “Let’s go take a bath…”

“That would be great,” Yukina said softly. “I’m not sure how long this is going to take, but Kurama, you just do what feels natural for you, and I’ll be here, just let me know when the contractions get close together.”

“Contractions…” Kurama squeaked.

“Hiei?” Yukina asked.

Hiei knew she was asking him to keep her informed. He had already let the two women know Kurama appreciated them being there, but if they could keep their distance till necessary.

Hiei spared her a nod as he led Kurama off to the bathroom.

He sat Kurama down on the toilet seat as he began to fill the bath, pouring in some rose scented salts. Then he began to remove Kurama’s soiled clothes before picking him up, then lowering him into the bath.

Kurama sighed and relaxed as he was submerged. Then Hiei removed his own clothes and sat in behind Kurama, pulling him up against his chest, in-between his legs, then wrapping his arms around him.

Hiei kept the water comfortable warm as they rested in silence for a long time, every now and again Kurama would wince as the contractions started. But it was a good two hour before he sat up with a cry.

Hiei winced at the shadowed pain he felt, like his guts were crapping up, then fifteen minutes later there was another a little but more intense.

“Come on.” Hiei finally said getting out, then lifting Kurama out, once again putting him on the toilet seat as he grabbed a towel.

“We haven’t got anything for them…” Kurama whispered as Hiei was drying his legs.

“We didn’t want to jinx anything.” Hiei said as he moved to Kurama’s feet. “But don’t worry… I’m sure Yukina and Mother are sorting something out.”

Hiei had asked that any presents people bought for the kits were put into one of the storage buildings near the entrance, and not to say anything about it. Mostly he wasn’t sure how this would turn out; he didn’t have a track record of things ever going the way he wanted… if the worse happened he didn’t want his Mate reminded about what could have been.

He was sure Kurama knew, but he never said anything, much for the same reason.

Kurama growled as another contraction hit that left him gasping in pain as it passed.

“Inari that hurt…”

Hiei laid a kiss on Kurama’s knee before he stood and helped Kurama into his bath robe. “What do you want to do now?”

“I want it to be tomorrow.” Kurama smiled up at him as he reached his arms out to be picked up. “But right now… I need to check on our room…”

Hiei picked his Mate up and carried him through to their room, what was now Kurama’s nest.

Kurama touched the vine covered walls, then wanted to be put down so he could feel the moss beneath his feet, where he paced a little around the small space till another contraction took him to his knees.

When it passed Hiei moved him to the corner with all the sheets and pillows and laid him on his side. “Rest, I’ll go get Yukina… do you want you mother too?” he asked as he moved stay hair away from Kurama’s face.

Kurama nodded. “Be quick.”

Hiei laid a kiss on his cheek as he flitted into the kitchen.

Both women looked up expectantly. “They are coming almost ever five minutes.” He told her as she stopped folding some baby clothes.

Yukina blinked her eyes wide. “So soon? Right, I’ll boil some water now, everything else if ready to go, Hiei take those towels in. We will just be a moment.”

Hiei winced as he felt Kurama have another contraction. “That’s every 5 minutes now.”

Yukina took a deep breath. “Hiei we need that water now then. Can you boil it for me.”

Hiei looked at the pan on the cooker, and instantly it was boiling violently. “I’ll take that, you bring everything else.” He picked up the pan then was back with Kurama, he put the pan down at the bottom of the nest where he guessed Yukina would need it more, then he crawled up to sit by his Mate’s head.

Kurama moved to rest his head on Hiei’s lap.

“Yukina and your mother will be here soon.” Hiei promised him, as a few moments later the two women entered. Their arms full of clean towels and other odds and ends.

Shiori sat down next to Hiei and stroked her son’s hair as Yukina went to sort out her preparations.

“How are you feeling?” Shiori asked softly as Kurama reached up to take one of her hands.

“Tired.” He smiled back.

Then Yukina was moving to Kurama’s lower half as she laid a hand on his hip. “Kurama, I have to check and see what’s going on, can you bend your knees up for me?”

Hiei felt a slight panic go though Kurama before he did as she asked. Hiei watched as his sister lifted up Kurama’s bath robe then reached beneath.

He could tell she was being as gentle as possible, but Kurama still buried his face in Hiei’s knee. Then he cried out, pulling himself up Hiei till he was on his knees. His arms were around Hiei’s shoulders as he shivered in pain and shock.

“Things are a little bit more along that I thought.” Yukina said as she moved into a more direct position behind Kurama. “Kurama, I want you to have a few more contraction before you start pushing.”

“I don’t want a few more contractions.” Kurama growled out.

“I would rather you not injure yourself.” Yukina said in the most authoritative tone Hiei had ever heard her use. “Contractions will be a lot less painful than if you tear yourself, and your body needs that time so your little ones will come out more easily.”

“I was in labour for over twelve hours with you Shuichi.” Shiori said as she once again began stroking her son’s hair. “You’re strong, you can do this.”

Kurama tensed as another contraction swept through his body, and Hiei was afraid he was going to be chocked as Kurama tightened his hold.

Eventually Hiei just closed his eyes and held his Mate as the contractions were almost continues, Kurama was crying with the effort as he tried to breathe through the pain.

“Inari! I have to push!” Kurama screamed as he arched his back.

“Don’t push hard.” Yukina warned, “I can feel a head… move your knees a little more apart.”

Kurama growled as he did as she instructed.

“Shiori-san, I’m going to need your help.” Yukina said as she reached for some towels. “Okay, Kurama-san, a big push next time.”

Hiei felt Kurama’s fingers dig into his shoulders as he screamed out his next contraction.

“That’s it!” Yukina said delightedly, “Just a little… Ok the head is out!”

Kurama panted into Hiei’s shoulder for a moment before he cried out again. Then his cry’s were joined by another.

Hiei tried to see over his mates body as the women fussed about out of sight, both looked flushed and exited.

“How is it?…” Kurama panted out. “Let me see.” He begged.

“One moment.” Yukina said before she was passing Shiori a bundle. “There.”

Shiori moved up closer to them, then showed them both the small baby, still bloody, it’s little face scrunched up crying.

Hiei blinked at the child, not quite believing it was actually his and actually there.

Kurama moved one arm from around Hiei to reach out and touch its little face, then he moved the blanket aside. “A boy…” he said in awe as he tried to pull it a little closer, Shiori moved closer so he could lay a kiss on his forehead, then he began licking it.

“Let me clean him up first.” Shiori said in alarm as she tried to pull the baby away.

Hiei growled as he scooped his son out of her arms and held it for Kurama to carry on licking. The instinctive need in his Mate to clean the kit was so strong he almost needed to join in.

“Shiori-san, it’s okay.” Yukina said softly. “I imagine it’s his Kitsune instincts, no harm will come from it, it’s quite natural.”

Hiei watched in fascination as Kurama carried on cleaning their kit. He desperately wanted to hold his son, to check him out properly, to let it sink in this was actually real.

Then he felt Kurama pulling him into his own mind as thay shared the process, like his own tong was lapping over a little hand. But it stopped being so peaceful as a wave of pain shot up Kurama’s spine.

He was grateful when Shiori reached out and took their son as Kurama cried out; his contractions had only abated for a short time.

Hiei pulled out of his Mate’s mind with an apology as he once again held him tight, knowing he couldn’t be distracted with his Mate’s pain right now.

+ + + + + +

Hiei was growing more concerned as he watched the frown on his sister’s brow deepen.
Kurama was over exhausted and had collapsed to his side, no longer able to keep himself on his knees. Yukina had protested, but even she could feel how tired the Kitsune had become.

Kurama wasn’t even screaming with the contractions anymore, just sobbing through the pain piteously. Even his spiritual energy was wavering as he used all his reserves to get through this.

“Ah, finally.” Yukina breathed a sigh of relief. “Kurama you have to get back on your knees, I can see the head!”

“Cant.” Kurama sobbed out.

Hiei moved and began pulling Kurama up. “You can and you will.” He growled demandingly, relieved when Kurama did as he was told, till he was once again on his knees and quivering with the exertion.

“Push Kurama-san, it’s almost here.” Yukina ordered.

Hiei felt the exertion Kurama was putting into pushing, then Yukina was wrapping another kit up. “That’s it... You rest on your side again…”

Kurama let his body go limp as he collapsed onto his side. Then Yukina laid their second Kit into Kurama’s arms.

With shaking fingers Kurama once again moved the blanket aside.

“A girl.” Hiei breathed as he touched her head, already covered with a few wisps of dark red hair. She wasn’t crying, but making soft mewling noises. Once again Kurama leaned down as he began lapping at her bloodied face.

“Here.” Shiori moved closer, putting their son next to his sister, he had fallen asleep in the time it took to deliver his sister. “They are beautiful.” She said as she ran a damp cloth over Kurama’s brow.

Kurama looked up at his mother and smiled, then he was smiling up at Hiei.

“You did good,” Hiei grinned back. Then he was a little shocked when his Mate went limp as he passed out.

“Yukina!?”

“He’s just exhausted, don’t worry. I’ll heal him up while he sleeps, the plant you used had also come out with the placenta’s… I want to make sure he’s not damaged anything… But don’t worry. He feels fine, and so do your babies.” She grinned at him.

Hiei nodded as he looked down at the three beings that would now consume his world… and he couldn’t be any happier.

“Umm… and maybe you want to pick those up and keep them safe.” Yukina said softly, pointing to something by his knees.

Hiei looked down and saw three little gems rolling around on the mattress, At first he thought Kurama’s marriage necklace had broken, but as he picked them up, they had never had clasps on them, and Kurama’s necklace was still about his neck, undamaged.

“Uh…” Hiei grunted out as Yukina patted his hand and gave him a soft knowing smile.

+ + + + + +

Kurama woke slowly, taking stock of his surroundings before opening his eyes. He was bone tired, but for the first time in three months he felt normal.

Then with a gasp he sat up looking down at himself. His stomach was flat as it always had been, not a hint he had ever been pregnant at all. His spirit energy was also not being drained anymore.

For a moment he just sat there shocked. Wondering if it had all been some wonderful cruel dream.

Then he looked about the room, it was still covered with flowering vines.

“How do you feel?”

Kurama Jumped when he heard Hiei’s sleepy voice from his side, then Hiei’s hand one him.

“The kits?” he breathed out.

Hiei moved. “Still asleep, but it’s only been a few hours. You should sleep a little more.”

“I need to see them!” Kurama looked around, then saw two mosses baskets besides the bed.

Hiei prevented him from getting up with a hand on his shoulder, then reached out and picked up the closest basket and scooped out the small bundle within.

Kurama reached out and took it from his Mate, Looking down at the sleeping kit. “Our daughter.” Hiei purred as he picked up the other kit, holding it up so Kurama could look at it too. “And our son.”

Kurama grinned as he touched both their faces with shaking fingers. He could feel their mix of spirit and fire energy, but it was slight, not at all like they had been when they were inside him.

“Their energies settled down soon after they were born.” Hiei explained, sensing his thoughts. “Yukina says they feel much like Hanako and Haruko.”

“Half breeds?” Kurama asked as he leaned down to kiss his daughter. “That’s alright then.”

“Yukina also healed you up after you passed out. She said that the plant we used is gone, but the modifications it made to your insides are still there.” Hiei explained.

Kurama blinked at him, a mix of horror and hope swirled in his chest.

Hiei snorted in amusement. “Lets deal with these two first before you go finding another seed.”

Kurama was relived a little, he really didn’t want to go though all this again anytime soon. “I can do that.”

Hiei grinned back at him as he leaned closer and claimed his lips. “Thank you…” he whispered.

Kurama snuggled closer, “And you… I couldn’t have done this without you.”

Hiei rolled his eyes at him, “Obviously Fox… But what are we going to name them? I know you’ve been pondering it.”

Kurama smiled, “You don’t want to name one of them?”

Hiei snorted. “They are mine and they are healthy, that’s all I care about mostly… So what names do you have in mind?”

Kurama kissed his Mate on the cheek, then he looked down at his daughter, “Minako for her and Atago for him.”

“Fare enough.” Hiei said as he kissed his son, “Hello Atago, I hope you grow up to be as strong as your Papa and as pretty as your Mama.”

Kurama almost chocked as he laughed but tried to be outraged at the same time. “Mama?” he asked pointing at himself as Hiei leaned over to talk to his daughter.

“And Hello Minako, I hope you grow up to be as wonderful as your Mama.”

Kurama sighed. He knew he would never win this little disagreement, after all he had given up years ago correcting people he was a man. So he just looked down at his perfect little kits as they slept.

“We also need to get extra chains for these.” Hiei said softly, lifting Kurama’s marriage necklace. “I always wondered why I made three. I guess now we know.”

Kurama looked down at the three little red gems now in Hiei’s hand.

“One for you.” Hiei moved the almost black tear gem away from the others. “And two for the kits.” He said, indicating the other redder two.

“You should ware theirs till they are old enough.” Kurama felt a little regretful, he liked wearing them all.

Hiei snorted, “I’m not their mother,” Then he was picking something else up from underneath the futon mattress. “Then there are also these.”

Kurama blinked at the three tear gems, that looked similar to the two on his necklace, resting in Hiei’s palm. “Three…” He squeaked.

“There could be more I haven’t found yet.” Hiei confessed with a grin, “But I’m sure these are the only ones.”

Kurama folded Hiei’s hand around the gems, “You keep these then… For the time being let them just represent us.” He whispered implying himself and the kits.

Hiei smiles as he put the gems back under the mattress then pulled Kurama against his chest.

They stayed quiet for a little time, before Atago began to stir then he started crying in earnest, his eyes screwed tight as his little toothless mouth opened in a cry.

“What’s wrong?” Kurama asked. Now regretting he didn’t get any books about this kind of thing.

“He feels hungry.” Hiei said as he handed his son to Kurama, “I’ll go see if mothers awake, she said something about formula.”

“Formula?” Kurama asked bewildered.

Hiei gave him an evil grin as he looked pointedly at Kurama’s chest, “Unless you want to breast feed?”

Kurama looked at his own chest. “Err…”

Hiei chuckled as he pooled pillows up behind Kurama then pushed him back. “Rest, and I’ll sort it out.”

Kurama watched him go as Minako also woke up and started softly mewling too. “Shhh.” He told them softly as he rocked them a little. “Your… Papa… is going to sort everything out for us.” He smiled.

+ + + + + +

Chapter 3 – Domestic Dealings

Kurama was surprised when he had finally gotten up and gone into the kitchen. The room had been filled with pastel colours like a rainbow of everything a baby could ever want. Some even still had bows and ribbons on.

“Where has all this come from?” he asked picking up a soft toy that looked like a penguin.

Hiei just started making a pot of tea as his mother and Yukina smiled at him as they fed the kits.

“People have been sending us stuff since they found out. Yukina and mother have been leaving them in the storage building.” Hiei said matter of fact.

He had knows, or suspected, but not where all the presents had been kept. “But still, there’s so much!” he said looking around. “Is there anything else we need to get?”

His mother shock her head, “We left the cots and other big nursery furnisher down there, we’ll get the men to sort it out tomorrow.”

Kurama sat down heavily in his chair, then winced, he was still a little sore even after Yukina’s miracle healing. “But…” he said feeling a little overwhelmed.

“We think it’s because people didn’t get you much for wedding presents.” Yukina said as she softly rubbed Atago’s back. “They have been coming thick and fast for weeks now.”

“Who are they all from?” he asked as his mother handed him Minako.

“She’s just eaten, so you have to burp her.” His mother said, putting the baby against his chest then lifting his hand to rub her little back. “That’s it; you don’t want to deal with trapped wind.”

Kurama did as he was told until he felt Minako wriggle a little, so he brought her down and instinctively began licking her face clean of a little formula. Then he began to loosen the blankets around her so he could free her little hands which he also began to lick, like she was the most interesting thing in the world, once he was sure every little finger was clean he moved on to her feet, doing the same. She smelled so good, all warm and fuzzy and it wasn’t enough for him to just look at her, he had to touch, taste, smell, feel her life force with every sense he had.

He began licking her little belly, being carful of the healing bellybutton where the umbilical cord had been, then her chest up her tiny neck to her chin before he was licking her face again.

Then Hiei was at his side, reaching for her and Kurama wanted to growl a warning at him before he reached out and began licking his mates face too.

Hiei chucked at him, “Ok, I’m yours too, but our son is feeling left out.”

Kurama looked down as Hiei took their daughter and handed him their son. Then he started the same process with him, he smelled and tasted so much like his sister. He slowly became aware of the others in the room talking as he licked his son’s foot.

“Should he really be doing that?” His mother was asking, she sounded a little unsure.

“It’s his instinct.” Hiei answered softly from his side. “His Kitsune side is just bonding with the kits, imprinting their smell and taste into his mind.”

“Like a cat with its kittens?” she asked.

Hiei chuckled. “Yes… He almost just to turn on me for trying to stopping him just now, until he realized who I was… I suggest not going near him if he’s engrossed in the kits, he might lash out before he knows what he’s doing.”

“Is he listening to us now? Are we a threat?” Yukina asked.

Hiei snorted, “He’s listening to us now, but he wasn’t before. You back with us Fox? You’re worrying your mother.”

Kurama licked over Atago’s left eye for the second time before he wrapped him up again, he could sense his son’s contentment and sleepiness as he touched his skin. Then with curiosity he reached out and touched his daughters check as she now slept in Hiei’s arms. Again he could feel her mind muggy with sleep.

“Kurama… let them sleep.” Hiei said again a light warning in his tone.

Kurama blinked up at him and smiled. “Sorry.” He whispered, still caught up in his fascination with his kit’s.

“I know.” Hiei gave him an understanding smile.

Kurama warmed inside as he kissed his Mate.

+ + + + + +

It was two day’s later before the rest of the old team and their families came over. All eager to see the new additions to their extended family.

Kazuya and Suichi where the first two to get there, and Kazuya couldn’t keep his hands off his grandchildren and constantly had to have one of them. Suichi seemed a little more reticent at his new niece and nephew till Hiei forced him to hold Atago, then he seemed quite happy.

Then Yusuke, Keiko and Akira had appeared, once again the kits got handed around under Kurama’s watchful eye.

Hiei had forced his Mate into a chair, and told him not to move. He knew he was still trying to build his strength back and would tire easy, but it didn’t stop him from wanting to be up and about.

“Hey, Kurama… How come you still look so thin?” Yusuke asked with a gleam of teasing in his eye.

Hiei wanted to shove his katana though Yusuke’s mouth.

“What?...” Kurama asked as he turned his attention away from Suichi who was letting Minako suck on his finger.

“What happened to the bump? It’s gone fast.” Yusuke asked with a grin. “Keiko had her’s for ages… oof!” Keiko just elbowed him in this ribs making Hiei snicker.

“Oh… Yukina sorted it out while I was passed out, I don’t know what she did.” Kurama answered.

“I hope she can sort me out this time.” Keiko said rubbing her own belly.

“You’re impregnated again?” Hiei asked as tactlessly as ever.

“Yes Hiei.” Keiko said patiently. “Only I have another six month’s to endure.” She smiled. “Maybe you could get me one of those seeds.” She laughed.

Hiei kept his mouth shut, even if they could get her one, she would have long since passed into Koenma’s hands before it could be used.

“They are very hard to find.” Kurama said apologetically as he gave Hiei a look. “And there is always much sorrow in their making.”

“Shame, but what comes from them is such joy.” She mused as she smiled at Atago who had just been passed to Yusuke. “I see… umm…”

“Atago.” Kurama answered.

“Atago is going to have lovely dark red hair, I guess they are identical?” she asked.

“As far as we can tell.” Kurama said proudly.

+ + + + + +

Hiei sighed as he heard Kawabara stomping down the hall.

“Hey guys!” Kuwabara said as he suddenly came into the room. “Oww, are these the little tykes?” he said going to Yusuke who showed him Atago. “Ah, you were that little once.” Kuwabara told Haruko who was at his side, his eight year old daughter squeed at the kit, making Atago grumble a little. “Go easy princes, remember they are really new and you have to be quiet and carful with them.”

“Can I hold it?” she asked.

Hiei couldn’t believe it when Kuwabara looked at them for approval.

“She has to sit down first.” Hiei told them, so Kuwabara took Atago and sat down in a chair pulling his daughter onto his lap, then letting her play with Atago’s fingers. All the time watching like a hawk so she didn’t get too over exited as they all knew she could.

Then he was aware of Hanako standing by Kurama’s chair.

“Oka-san said I could come sit with you uncle Kura?” Hanako said, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. Hiei just rolled his eyes, she always gravitated to Kurama ever since she was very small, now he could tell she had some kind of crush on him.

Kurama just held his arms out to her. “Come here then,” he said as she climbed into his lap and snuggled up to his chest. Where she would stay for as long as she could, just watching the world go by while she played with his hair. “Don’t you want to say hello to your cousins?” Kurama teased as he huged her.

She shrugged. “I guess.”

‘Can you bring me Minako? I think my Dad has hogged her enough.’ Kurama said into his mind with a chuckle.

Hiei did as he was told, placing their daughter in Kurama’s other arm carefully.

“Hanako, this is Minako.” He said to the two girls.

“She’s kinda ugly.” The little girl screwed her nose up.

“She’s only two day’s old.” Kurama told her. “She’s still a little wrinkly, I’m sure the next time you visit she’ll be a lot prettier.”

Hanako shrugged as she just rested against Kurama, watching the kit.

‘Least she’s honest.’ Hiei laughed.

‘Maybe I should let her sit on you for the rest of the day then?’ Kurama smiled back, all charm and innocence.

‘I get the point.’ Hiei said as he leaned down and kissed his Mate, then went into the kitchen to make Kurama some tea where he found Shizuru talking with Yukina.

“That was unfair.” Hiei told his sister in passing. “Hanako is going to be clinging to Kurama all day now.”

Yukina just giggled behind her hand.

“It’s one way of making sure he stays put.” Shizuru put in. “Even I can sense how exhausted he is, and I haven’t even seen him yet.”

“The three months pregnancy put a lot of strain on his body, especially with twins.” Yukina said, “It’s going to take him a month or two before he’s back to normal.”

“And had nothing to do with the fact he’s a guy and he’s not built for it.” Shizuru said in her usual flat tone.

“That too.” Yukina confessed. “But he made such pretty babies.” She gushed, “you really should go see them.”

“I will, But Kazuma was going crazy on the train over, you know what he’s like with babies. So I’ll let him slobber over them first.”

“You better not mean that literally.” Hiei growled shivering at the thought.

“Why?” Shizuru asked confused.

“Kurama does this cute thing where he has to lick them clean.” Yukina said as she cover her grin with her hand again.

“That’s kinda gross.” Shizuru grinned. “So if Kazuma does drool on one of them, Kurama will lick it off, then if you kiss him Hiei… you will be sharing an indirect kiss with your brother-in-law.”

Hiei growled as both women began laughing out loud. Then he opened a draw and pulled out a pack of baby wipes, shoving them into a pocket. “Not if I can help it.” He snapped.

+ + + + + +

As an early supper was being made, Hiei had excused Kurama as he picked his drowsing Mate up in his arms and taken him to bed. Laying him out gently and covering him up. Then Yusuke came in with his son who was already asleep in his arms.

“Seen as its nap time, would Kurama mind if Akira slept with him?” Yusuke asked.

Hiei just lifted the sheet as Yusuke laid his son down, Kurama turned drowsily onto his side, hugging the little boy loosely.

“Room for two more?” Kuwabara asked as he carried a crying Hanako in his arm, Haruko was holding his other hand and rubbing her eyes sleepily.

“I’m a big girl.” Haruko grumbled, “I don’t need to nap!”

‘Over tired.’ Kuwabara mouthed.

‘I don’t mind.’ Kurama muttered sleepily.

Hiei sighed then pulled the covers open as Kuwabara lay Hanako down besides Akira and Kurama lifted his arm so he could hug them both, then Kuwabara lifted Haruko to sleep at Kurama’s back. “Now princesses, why don’t you show your uncle Kurama, who’s very tired, how good you are and all have a nap together?”

“We can do that.” They both chirruped together before closing their eyes.

‘The kits?’ Kurama asked on the edge of falling asleep himself.

‘In their room, we will hear them if they wake up… just sleep.’

Kurama gave a half grumbled sigh before his mind went fuzzily blank.

Hiei silently ushered the other two men out the room.

“I’ll grab some beer’s.” Yusuke said, “We can go out side on the porch for a bit.”

Hiei nodded as he followed Kuwabara outside to take in the early July warmth, the sun would be setting in a few hours and it was still nice out.

It didn’t take long for Yusuke to get back with beers and they all sat down to look off into the forest at the back of the temple as they drank.

“You sure do make good looking kids.” Yusuke finally said. “Shiori was telling me they look a lot like Kurama when he was a baby.”

“Ya, they are almost as adorable as my two when they were that age.” Kuwabara said proudly.

“They are really cousins Kuwabara, course they will look a little similar.” Yusuke chuckled as he slapped the bigger man on the arm.

“Oh yeah.” Kuwabara blushed.

“Who would have thought when we all first met; you two would be related one day!” Yusuke laughed.

Hiei just drank some of his beer, he respected Kuwabara, he treated his sister like she walked on gold and was great with his kids… still didn’t mean he had to like him.

“Who would have thought we would all be sat here now.” Kuwabara said a little more soberly.

They sat in silence for a bit before Yusuke broke it. “So, Hiei…” He started and Hiei groaned silently. “I thought you would be having some kind of hissy fit.”

Hiei glared at him, not understanding his meaning.

“Well, We can all feel how out of it Kurama is. And for a guy who’s obsessed with power and strength, how are you coping?”

Hiei blinked. “What the hell are you babbling about?”

“Coping.” Yusuke repeated. “Kurama cant even protect himself against a cold right now, I remember when you went all giddy when he first turned into Youko and got all strong and scary. I thought you would be going mental cos he’s being so weak and vulnerable right now.”

Hiei growled as he tried not to take Yusuke’s head off. “He is my Mate.” He snapped, that should have been explanation enough, but he could see the idiots had no idea. “So long as one of us can fight, that’s all we need. If all I wanted was power and a Mate who could fight I would have chosen Mukuro. It’s not like she didn’t want it.”

“Eww, seriously? She was scary.” Kuwabara gasped.

“She never said it out loud, She knew Kurama meant too much to me, even back then.” Hiei muttered as he took another swig of his beer. “I empathised with her and set her free. I admire her, nothing more.”

Yusuke elbowed him. “So you went with Kurama just because he’s pretty?” he teased, his face split in a stupid grin.

Hiei sighed. “I Mated with Kurama for many reasons. I would not have tide my soul with his just because he’s pretty.” He scoffed, then uttered under his breath so only Yusuke would hear. “He could look like Kuwabara in our next life.” He shivered at the thought, truly revolted. “I would still love him.”

“You did what?” Yusuke gasped, looking at him in shock, actually getting what Hiei had said and not at the joke, or the implications after.

“Wow, Hiei I never knew you were so romantic!” Kuwabara laughed, not getting it at all. “I remember all that stuff Boton said, but all you really did was get married twice.”

“She was serious?” Yusuke asked, ignoring his other friend. “I thought she meant through grief or something… not literally, I thought once you had kids it would change.”

Hiei shrugged one shoulder. “Why do you think I was so angry when Kurama had to kill your old students the other month?”

Yusuke’s mouth dropped open.

“They wanted to humiliate Kurama, to finish what their friend started. They were going to rape him then kill him out of revenge…”

“What!?” Kuwabara shouted and Yusuke shushed him.

“Kurama had two choices, let them rape him and hope I get back in time, which would probably make him miscarry. Or fight to the death to save mine and his own honour, even if it meant we died in the process.”

“Hard choice.” Yusuke uttered sounding truly shocked.

Hiei nodded. “He chose the latter. Kurama might not be as powerful, but he’s ruthless, cunning and older than us all put together, he knows how to survive. If you ever tried to betray him or his own, he wouldn’t hesitate in killing you or yours, he wouldn’t like it, but he would do it.” He watched as Yusuke shivered. “You have seen him do it enough times. Youko wasn’t feared by most of the Makai for nothing… but despite all that his compassion is boundless and he will fight to the death for anyone he calls friend.”

Yusuke nodded. “I just never took you for the ‘carer’ type.”

“Hn, that’s just for now. It’s also my privilege; you think Kurama would let just anyone treat him as I do? Or put himself into such a vulnerable position if he thought I couldn’t protect and care for him? He’s my responsibility, and I wont let him down.”

“Deep.” Yusuke smiled at him. “But I can see your point a little. after all, I trusted Kurama from the moment we met, he could have killed me easy, but he didn’t. Also, I wouldn’t lay my son down next to someone I didn’t trust without a thought.”

“So let me get this straight.” Kuwabara said. “If Kurama dies, so do you?... and what would happen if Yukina accidentally betrayed you? Would you kill her too!?”

Hiei looked away as he sipped his beer, he was not going to answer that one, because the answer would be, yes, Kurama would kill his sister if he needed too, even if Hiei couldn’t, and Hiei would forgive him anything, even that.

“It was just a metaphor.” Yusuke said quickly, “He was just saying that sometimes brains are better than brawn. And Hiei’s attracted to nerds more than beefcake.” He chortled to himself. “The bit about dying is true though.”

“Ah… Why would you do that?” Kuwabara asked truly interested.

Hiei rolled his eyes. “Because there are a lot of benefits in doing it. And I never do anything by half mesures.”

“Seems pretty sucky to me… Though I would do it for Yukina if she asked.”

“No you wouldn’t, you remember all the trouble these two had, what if your energy was too powerful for her?” Yusuke reasoned.

“It would be the other way round.” Hiei grinned. “I’m sure Mate Bonding isn’t possible between a human and a youkai. Also you would have to mark her like I did Kurama. You think you could harm my sister enough to cause her a lot of pain and permanent scaring?”

“I could NEVER hurt my angel!” Kuwabara stormed.

“Well then…” Hiei smirked.

“You’re just a little squirt with really big control issues and an ego to match!” Kuwabara snorted derisively.

“Say what?” Hiei seethed.

“You heard me!” Kuwabara said.

Hiei lunged at the larger man, managing to lay a punch before they were both rolling about on the floor.

“Guys!” Yusuke was yelling at them. “I thought you had got over this!”

Hiei laughed as he managed to pin Kuwabara to the ground.

Then he felt Kurama sigh into his mind.

“Oh my god! How old are you guys!” Keiko screamed behind them. “Stop fighting and come in, foods ready!”

‘And I need some help…’ Kurama said with a chuckle.

‘Be right there.’ Hiei said as he shoved Kuwabara’s face into the grass then hopped away chortling.

When he got to their room, he found Kurama literally pinned down. Akira was sprawled on his chest with both arms being slept on by the two girls.

“You must be one soft bed!” Yusuke said behind him as they both laughed. “I almost want to try you out myself!”

Hiei snorted as his friend was reduced to giggles, as everyone else came to see what all the fuss was about.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke managed to sidle over to Kurama the next day as everyone was preparing to leave. Hiei was chasing Akira about as they played some kind of tag game, everyone else was drinking the last of their tea as they waited for the last train home.

“Hey you.” He grinned at his friend. “Think you can cope after we are all gone?”

Kurama smiled at him. “Mother will still be coming over once a week, and Yukina once a month, so I think we will be fine.”

“Err..” Yusuke scratched his head, “Hiei was telling us some stuff the other night… And it finally sunk in what you guys did when you Mate Bonded.”

Kurama nodded, “Hiei let me listen in on some of it.”

Yusuke winced, “I guess that’s one of the perks he was on about?”

“One of many.” Kurama admitted. “There really are too many to mention. We don’t do it all the time. Like now, if you want a privet word, just say so.”

“You’d tell him anyway.”

Kurama shrugged, “If he cared to know.”

“So is it true, if he dies so do you?”

Kurama nodded again. “The Bond is soul deep, if one get’s pulled to the other side, so would the other.”

“Then I don’t want you entering any more tournaments.” Yusuke had thought a lot about it last night. “It’s too risky, especially now you have kids.”

Kurama chuckled at him. “We aren’t until they are grown. But I can’t keep Hiei from them… We even considered entering the Makai tournament one day when we feel like it.”

Yusuke wasn’t sure he liked the look in Kurama’s eyes when he said that. “Tell me when you are and I’ll skip one.” He grinned.

Kurama looked away without saying anything, which made Yusuke even more apprehensive. There was no way he wanted to fight his friends, for a start, he knew he would loose.

+ + + + + +

Kurama was aware of Yomi and Mukuro’s energy before they even set foot near the temples main grounds. They were both purposefully not masking their energies and approaching slowly on foot.

‘What the hell do they want?’ Hiei growled as he came sprinting towards Kurama and the kits, who were all outside enjoying the sun.

‘Probably to see the fruits of our labour.’ Kurama sighed, He was sure Yomi would be very interested in him and the kits.

Yomi had never said anything directly too him, but he was sure the youkai always had feeling for him, even from the very start.

As for Mukuro, well, Hiei had found a friend in her, and Kurama was sure his old, slight, jealous of her would be making it’s self know it he wasn’t already Hiei’s.

‘Stupid Fox.’ Hiei chuckled.

‘Jealousy can be interesting at time.’ Kurama leered.

‘Not for the poor bastard I have to kill.’ Hiei laughed as he finally landed on the blankets at his side, then leaned in and kissed him hard, finally laying kisses on the kits who mumbled in their sleep.

“So peaceful.” Hiei said as he stroked their hair. Only a month old and both had short mops of dark red hair. “Why can’t they always be like this?” he sighed wistfully.

Kurama couldn’t agree more; sometimes they slept with them just so they didn’t have to actually get up during the night for feeding, only to change nappies. His mother had tried giving them a night off, looking after them in another part of the Temple, but Kurama could sense when they woke and instantly what they needed, it didn’t seem to matter how far apart they were.

“You should be resting now, instead of entertaining guests.” Hiei whispered. “I can send them away.”

Kurama just smiled as he nuzzled Hiei’s cheek. He was still not as strong as he would like to be, and still tired at the most mundane of tasks. But he was stronger then he had been a month ago. “Best get it over with now.”

Hiei nodded before kissing him again, then they settled down and waited.

Eventually they came around the temple together. And Kurama was shocked to see they were arm in arm, like a couple out on a stroll.

‘Think they got together?’ Kurama asked as he waved at them. “Come, sit, we just made some tea!” he called.

‘They don’t smell like each other. So I guess not.’ Hiei said as he sat up, resting a possessive hand on Kurama’s shoulder as he moved so the kits were between them both.

“Hello. Kurama, you always did like the sun, and it’s a wonderful day.” Yomi said as he sat down gracefully on the edge of the blankets near Kurama’s feet. “I hope you don’t mind our intrusion?”

“Not at all, I was expecting you sooner.” Kurama answered as he poured two cups of tea, then handed one into Yomi’s outstretched hand. Then he offered one to Mukuro, who still stood.

“Sit down.” Hiei growled at her harshly. “Don’t make me perceive you as a threat.”

“Ah, sorry.” Mukuro said as she sat down besides Yomi, Kurama noticed how she hadn’t taken her eyes off the kits. His instincts were to cover them, take them away. But he knew she was just curios. Then Hiei was lifting Atago up as he moved to crouch by her. ‘It’s all right.’ Hiei tried to assure him.

“This is Atago.” Hiei said letting her see their son.

Mukuro put down her tea as she reached out, but her eye flicked to Kurama in a silent question.

Kurama sighed silently as he nodded, but he couldn’t help tensing slightly. He didn’t really know her as Hiei did, so he had to trust his Mate.

“We didn’t come here to harm them.” Yomi chuckled laying a hand on Kurama’s ankle, then taking it off hastily as Hiei hissed at him. “We were just burning with curiosity once we heard, Mukuro wanted to come sooner. But I thought it best to wait.”

“Good choice.” Hiei grunted.

“He’s so small…” Mukuro said softly as she touched Atago’s cheek. “Can I hold him?” she asked Hiei. And that’s when Kurama saw the woman she could have been and it broke his heart. ‘Let her.’ He told Hiei.

He watched her face soften more as she carefully held his son. “You must be so proud.” She whispered in awe.

“We are.” Hiei answered as he watched her too.

“May I hold the other?” Yomi asked. “I think I missed out so much with Shura.”

Kurama picked up his daughter then moved so he could put her in Yomi’s arms. Yomi had disappointed him in the past, but he had never betrayed him. “This is Minako, our daughter.” He said as Yomi ran his other hand across her face lightly.

“I see she will take after you.” Yomi chuckled. “Her hair is as soft as yours… Oh my, she seems to have had an accident.”

Kurama could sense Minako wake before she began her soft mewling, “I’ll go change her… it’s almost time for feeding to.” He took his daughter from Yomi as he stood, feeling a moment of dizziness. Hiei had his arm for a moment to steady him before he let go and sat down again.

‘Thanks.’ Kurama said with a little feeling of apology, He knew better than to show weakness in such a situation.

‘Hn, you stood to fast thats all…’ Hiei replied.

Kurama then went inside. He felt Hiei open his mind to him as he carried on talking to their visitors.

“So, I’m guessing you’re both not just here to see our kits?” Hiei said lightly.

“It was the main reason.” Yomi answered.

“It was mine.” Mururo still sounded a little distant and distracted.

Kurama knew his son was also beginning to wake up, and would be screaming for his bottle soon enough.

“Shouldn’t we wait for Kurama?” Yomi questioned. “I think he would like to hear our proposal too.”

“Hn, you think he’s not listening now?” Kurama could feel Hiei grinning. Then he got an image of Yomi looking a little shocked and he couldn’t help but grin too as he began changing Minako’s soiled nappy.

“Hiei is a telepath.” Mukuro said. “I guess Kurama can use it too?”

“Something like that.” Kurama answered allowed, knowing full well Yomi would hear him.

“Something like that…” Hiei answered for Murkuo’s sake. “So what else is it?” Hiei asked changing the subject.

“We were going to ask when you both planned on entering the Makai Tournament?” Yomi got to the point.

Kurama felt Hiei begin laughing in his mind, but when he answered aloud it was in an amused growl. “Too afraid that we might have designs on the whole of the Makai for a while?”

Yomi chuckled in his cool way. “To be brutally honest, yes. It would be a waist of time and effort when you do, for us anyway. We are not stupid; we know it would be an exercise in futility to fight against the two of you.”

“I just want to know if and when I should buy Box tickets.” Makuro said in a soft tone. “Oww… Hello little one.” She gushed a little as Atago woke up. “Err… why is he crying, did I do something wrong?” she sounded a little confused.

“He’s just hungry; let him suck on your finger.” Hiei answered softly.

Kurama almost dropped the talc when he heard Makuro start giggling, “It feels so strange.” She whispered.

Kurama sighed, but he guessed they had just added another babysitter to the list. But he guessed he didn’t mind so much, he guessed a long time ago she couldn’t have her own children, her body seemed to badly damaged for that now.

Maybe he should ask Yomi if she could try cloning herself like he had.

“As to your question.” Hiei carried on. “We aren’t planning on joining any tournament in the near future. So you can rest assured… for the time being.”

Kurama finished changing Minako, then picked her up to collect their bottles as he went back outside.

Atago was grumpily still sucking on Mukuro’s finger and Yomi just looked relived.

“So I guess you two have been training hard for the next Makai tournament?”  Kurama said as he handed Hiei Atago’s bottle, then sat down himself.

“May I?” Yomi asked holding his hands out for Minako again. Kurama handed her over, as he helped Yomi hold the bottle to her liking. “And we have.”

Kurama watched as Hiei did the same with Mukuro.

“I didn’t hear you had joined the others.” Kurama settled himself next to Hiei as his Mate put his arm around him.

“I’ve been too busy.” Mukuro said in a gooing tone as she watched Atago eat.

“And I’ve been training Shura.” Yomi replied.

“Where is your son?” Hiei asked. “Last time we saw him was at our bonding.”

Yomi winced. “I’m keeping him away from you, so he’s forbidden to leave the Makai for the time being.”

“Away from us?” Kurama asked, not liking the sound of that.

Yomi shrugged one shoulder as he gave them a half smile. “He’s still young and impetuous, he doesn’t yet understand what your bonding actually means. He still thinks he can fight you both, and win.”

Murkuro laughed at that. “Were you that reckless in your youth?”

Kurama looked away a little embarrassed.

“I was probably more so, it took a good man to finally stop cleaning up my messes and let me make my own mistakes, before I finally calmed down.” Yomi said softly. “I learned a hard lesson the day I lost my sight.”

‘He talking about you?’ Hiei asked slightly amused.

‘Yeah.’ Kurama answered. ‘I also left him that day.’

‘Hn, more luck to me then.’ Hiei chuckled back as his hand stroked up Kurama’s spine.

“But anyway.” Yomi carried on. “I’m thinking of letting him have a few beatings at the Tournament… I’m hoping he might learn something.”

“I doubt that.” Hiei grinned. “But if he’s still not won by the time we enter, we can help teach him a little more.”

Yomi chuckled. “I would appreciate that.”

They talked more about who was entering the next tournament, and about some of the changes the last winner had made and general gossip from the Makai until Yomi got to his feet. “I can see we are tiring you.” He said to Kurama. “We should be getting back before it get’s dark anyway.”

“Just a little longer.” Mukuro uttered, she was now holding Minako, she seemed unable to be without one of them.

“You can visit again.” Yomi sighed. “I’m sure they wont mind.”

‘Hiei, can you just take Yomi to the front of the temple?’ Kurama asked.

‘Wouldn’t I be best to talk to her?’ Hiei said as he got to his feet, knowing full well what he was intending.

‘Maybe, you know her best, but I think I need to… unless you want to give her one of the kits?’

Hiei growled into his mind but said nothing. “Yomi… come.” Then he was walking off.

Yomi looked confused, but followed Hiei all the same. “Goodbye Kurama, and congratulations, your children are beautiful, just like you.” He purred.

“Hey!” Hiei snapped as he came back and pulled Yomi away.

Kurama smiled as he got up and sat next to Mukuro. She gave him a startled look before she looked back down at Minako.

“I never even thought about children.” Mukuro finally said as she stroked Minako’s hair then held up her metal hand. “I did after the first Tournament. When Hiei freed me… but it’s too late… now” She sighed.

Kurama reached out and ran his fingers over Minako’s cheek. “If you really want a child… You could talk to Yomi?” he said softly.

Mukuro snorted then she blinked at him.

“He cloned his own son… Maybe he could do the same for you?” he suggested.

She looked back down at the kit in her arms. “For a moment I thought you meant sleep with him!” she said in disgust. “But I have too many enemies.”

“And you have more followers.” Kurama whispered. “But maybe sometimes it’s worth giving up all you know… for something new?”

Mukuro was quiet for a moment, “But you have Hiei.” She said forcefully as she held Minako out for him to take.

Kurama didn’t reach for his daughter just yet as he looked directly into Mukuro’s eyes. “But I have my kits too.” He said softening his eyes. “If I had nothing else, I would still have them.”

Mukuro looked at him warily for a short time, before she hugged Minako back to herself. “I know the bond you have with Hiei.” She said in her usual tone. “Don’t mock me.”

Kurama smiled in defeat, “Then look at it this way… I would do anything for my human mother. I was willing to give up my life once, just so she would live. Most of my human life she was all I had, and I love her still without bounds.”

Mukuro cast him a wary look, “Would you give up your life for her now? As well as Hiei’s”

Kurama blew a breath through his nose as he looked at her sideways. “My priorities changed as of recently.” He said carefully. “But that’s not the point… just Five months ago… I would have said yes, so would Hiei. He knows my feeling on that.”

Mukuro sighed as this time Kurama took Minako as she was passed to him. “I’ll think about what you said.” She got to her feet and looked down at him with a frown. “Sometimes I forget just how ancient you are?” she said with a smile.

Kurama shrugged. “Ancient is such a harsh word. But I’m old enough to appreciate what I have found.” He told her. “And to know that most of the time… it’s never too late, you just have to be willing to accept the change.”

Mukuro gave him another assessing look. “I could never understand what Hiei saw in you.” She said. “Or why someone with your reputation would be willing to humiliate themselves into submission to someone else, especially when they were once so proud…” she looked at the sleeping kits. “Maybe now I’m beginning to understand.”

Then she was striding away to the front of the temple.

Kurama just watched her go with a knowing smile. No doubt, the next time they met, things will have changed.

+ + + + + +

When Hiei had finally escorted their two guests far enough away, he had bounded back to his Mate. Yomi had pissed him off, and Mukuro was acting strange. But he didn’t much give a crap now they were gone.

When he got back to Kurama, he was fanatically licking Atago. Hiei rolled his eyes as he gently took their son from his Mate. “You really have to use a little control after someone’s touched them.” He said softly.

Kurama gave him a wide eyed pout and Hiei couldn’t help but chuckle. “And I know you did good not doing it after they ait.” He reached out and caressed Kurama’s cheek, his mate nuzzled into his hand purring. “You want to start something you cant finish Fox?” He whispered.

Kurama looked at him with half lidded eyes as he grinned. “The kits will be asleep for a while… Why don’t we put them to bed… and then ourselves?”

Hiei growled as he gently picked the kits up and put them in Kurama’s arms, then picked all three of them up and made his way back to the temple.

It didn’t take long to get the kits settled in their room, before he carried Kurama to their room and laid him out on their bed as he climbed over him on all fours.

“You sure you’re up for this?” He asked as he lent down and licked the side of Kurama’s mouth. His mate groaned as he closed his eyes, chasing Hiei’s tong with his lips. ‘Oh Inari, I neeeed this… please…’ he panted, ‘Need you inside me!’

Hiei could feel the yearning in his Mate, for four months all they had managed was oral play, which didn’t satisfy the raw need but at least had taken the edge off.

Now Hiei needed to connect with his Mate, mind, body and soul.

He captured both of Kurama’s wrists, forcing them up over his head and pushing them into the pillows. “Don’t move them.” He growled into Kurama’s ear, feeling his Mate shiver beneath him as he opened his shirt, pushing it aside.

‘I need to touch you…’ Kurama whined despratly.

“That’s the whole point my Fox.” Hiei gave his Mate a feral grin. “Today you get to submit to my touch. I want you perfectly still.” He could feel Kurama’s disappointment and thrill all at the same time.

Hiei needed to exert his will over his Mate, it had been to long and he needed the control, the dominating side of himself had to be appeased.

He began licking behind Kurama’s ear, a place he knew would test Kurama’s self control not to reach out for him. Hiei could feel him shiver but not move. “Good Fox.” Hiei whispered into his ear before licking it making Kurama groan. He could already sense Kurama’s hardening erection and knew he couldn’t prolong his torture before his Mate either came or passed out, possible both. So he moved on to Kurama’s chin, then down his throat, running his teeth across Kurama’s Mate marks making his Mate whimper.

As he kissed and licked his way down to Kurama’s nipples his hand opened the fly on Kurama’s jeans, then his hand slipped under the waistband of his boxers to find his prize, Kurama was already hard as Hiei wrapped his fingers around his cock and squeezed.

“Ah!... Hiei!” Kurama panted out plaintively. “I… I…”

Hiei could feel his Mate struggling not to just let go and come. So as he rolled Kurama’s nipple between his teeth, he worked on pulling Kurama’s jeans and boxers off. Then ran his hand down the inside of Kurama thigh making his Mate arch his back as every inch of him trembled.

‘Don’t… tease…’ Kurama begged into his mind as his body was now incapable of forming the words aloud; ever part of Kurama was over sensitive and quivering with every caress how ever light.

Hiei could feel his every touch through Kurama’s mind as his Mate opened up to him. Every nerve so receptive it was almost painful as he panted and groaned through the blinding pleasure.

Hiei grinned again, despite his own need, it was heady to watch his Mate so turned on by his touch alone. Normally he would like to take his time, force Kurama to the brink then bring him back down before taking him up again. But the nagging weakness in his Mate was still present and he knew Kurama wouldn’t be able to withstand it much longer.

He reached up forcing his fingers into Kurama’s mouth, letting him suckle them before he pulled his hand away and put it between his Mates legs where he found Kurama’s puckered hole and pushed inside.

Kurama gave a guttural cry at the penetration, his hand fisting into the pillow above his head as his legs bent and parted.

Hiei was a little surprised and pleased at how tight his Mate was as he pushed another finger into the tight ring of muscle.

‘Too… Dry…!’ Kurama groaned desperately at the hint of discomfort.

Hiei grimaced, the lube was still in the closet, so he bent down, licking up the underside of Kurama’s straining cock making his Mate cry out, then he pushed Kurama’s knees up and pushed his tong into his Mates hole.

Kurama stilled suddenly, his whole body tense.

Hiei pushed his tong as deep as he could, slicking up Kurama’s insides. He’d never done this before, and with the reaction from Kurama he was damn sure he would be doing it again.

He could feel himself getting harder as Kurama’s mind went blank unable to even think as he lived the sensation.

‘Breathe.’ Hiei told him firmly as he joined a finger with his tong.

‘Ugg… ca… Hi… ei…’ was all Kurama could come out with as Hiei felt hands in his hair, trying to pull him away.

Hiei thrust his tong in one more time before he pushed more fingers inside. “Hands.” He growled and Kurama shook with effort as he fisted his hands into the sheets at his side. Hiei knew his Mate was too far gone to resume his original position. He could also feel how close Kurama was so he grabbed the base of his Mates cock and squeezed hard. “Not yet.” He ordered.

Kurama just looked up at him, his eyes half closed as he panted, his hair strewed across the pillow slick with sweat, he looked debauched and wickedly beautiful.

Hiei couldn’t resist as he leaned down and captured Kurama’s lips, it always made him smug to see his usually immaculately groomed Mate looking so intemperate and flushed, and entirely his.

Finally he could hold back no longer and was painfully aware that neither could Kurama.

With ease he thrust his own hard cock inside Kurama’s body without hesitation gritting his teeth at how tight it was and he had to take a moment not to just come himself as Kurama’s cry of pleasure and pain died away.

Then he began moving, slow at first, letting Kurama get used to it before he increased his pace, going deeper with each inward thrust until he found and hit Kurama’s sweet spot and his Mate convulsed beneath him.

Kurama’s hand came up then, fisting once again into Hiei’s hair and pulling him down for a kiss.

Hiei allowed it as he slowed his pace, swallowing Kurama utterances of pleasure as he stabbed at Kurama’s prostate till his Mate was totally incoherent with need.

Finally Hiei could hold off no longer as he buried his face against Kurama’s neck, fisting his Mates cock hard as he own hips lost their rhythm.

He felt Kurama clench around him to tightly as his Mate screamed out his released.

Hiei bit his lip as he kept up his erratic pace, drawing Kurama’s orgasm out as long as he could before he came himself, deep inside his Mate, growling out Kurama’s name as he collapsed atop him.

Hiei wasn’t sure how long they lay like that till he started to pull away.

‘No…’ Kurama begged a little desperately.

Hiei blinked in disbelief as he felt a wave of insecurity and vulnerability come from his Mate. He propped himself on his elbows as he took Kurama’s face in his hands and looked down at him. ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked a little baffled by the emotions he was feeling through their bond, so sharp and clear at the moment.

Kurama looked a little unsure as he looked back up at him, his beautiful green eyes filled with unshed tears.

“Shhh.” Hiei whispered as he ran the pads of his thumbs over Kurama’s eyes. “I’ll stay here as long as you need.”

Kurama buried his face into the crook of Hiei’s shoulder as his hands came up to rest against Hiei’s chest, like he was trying to hide under him.

Hiei put one of his arms under Kurama’s shoulders, pulling him a little closer as his other arm supported his Mates head. He felt his chest tighten as once again he realised how much he loved this other being in his arms.

He also wasn’t ashamed that his selfish heart loved it when Kurama was being so needy every now and again; it was so out of Kurama’s normal personality. And he would mercilessly exploit it as long as Kurama needed it.

He had assumed he would have hated the last four months. He had never really had to care for anyone other than himself before. But he found that he didn’t mind looking after his Mate in his moment of weakness in all the forms it had taken recently. But he would also be relived once Kurama was his old self again. Especially now they had their wonderful kits.

Eventually he could feel Kurama settle as he started to drift off into sleep.

With an apologetic kiss Hiei moved and pulled out of Kurama’s body, then moving them both onto their sides, so Kurama could cuddle up to his chest.

“Sleep now.” He whispered into Kurama’s ear as they held each other. ‘I’ll always keep you safe.’ He promised as Kurama drifted off into an exhausted sleep.

Hiei kissed Kurama’s cheek as he settled down himself, content and satisfied, then he followed his Mate, Husband, lover and best friend into sleep.

+ + + + + +

[Two years on]

Kurama was pouring hot water into the large hideous teapot someone had given them a few years ago as he yawned sleepily.

Everyone had come over with their kids for the weekend, and after a day of running around after them all, Kurama was tired.

He went to reach for the teapot lid when he accidentally knocked over a pepper pot, as the little vessel hit the floor the top came off and spewed its content all over the kitchen.

Kurama sneezed as he bent down to pick it up, then heard another sneeze just behind his ankles. He stood and turned to see Atago sat on his bottom… and not at all looking like he should.

Their kits had both grown to have thick dark red hair; their eyes had eventually turned green with flex of red in them. They looked a lot like Kurama, but their eyes were shaped like Hiei’s.

Kurama bent down and picked his son up, looking at him at arms length.

He was beyond shocked.

Atago now had two little pointed ears sticking up through his hair at the top of his head. His hair was the same colour, but now there was a white blaze just past his hairline. His eyes were also now totally red with flex of green.

“Mama!” Atago giggled, holding his little arms out to be hugged.

Kurama ignored him as he put the toddler over his arm, pulled up his shirt and peeked down the waistband of his nappy. Sure enough a little black tail poked out and wagged a little as Atago squirmed.

‘What!?’ Hiei asked in alarm as Kurama felt him dash into the kitchen.

Kurama just pulled Atago up again and showed him to Hiei.

The look of shock on Hiei’s face was almost comical, if Kurama hadn’t been wearing it a few moments before.

“What the hell?” Hiei asked as he took Atago from Kurama’s hands, also looking at him at arms length.

“Look down the back of his nappy.” Kurama whispered. Hiei did then looked back at Kurama in shock.

“Kitsune?” Hiei asked.

Kurama shrugged. “As much as I am…”

“Obviously.” Hiei deadpanned as he sat Atago on his arm and began to play with his fox ears, then to feel the blaze of stiff white hair.

“Papa tickle!” Atago giggled and Kurama saw his little fang’s just as they sank into Hiei’s wrist.

Hiei winced but didn’t pull away.

Kurama couldn’t help but laugh. “Like farther like son!”

Hiei glared at him as he managed to get his wrist back, “No biting.” Hiei scolded his son, who just looked petulantly at him. “So how?”

“I just dropped some pepper on the floor. Then I heard him sneeze and he was like this.” Kurama explained.

“He feels a little different; his fire energy is a little stronger like this.” Hiei commented. “But they have sneezed before… why just over pepper?” Then he was thrusting Atago into Kurama arms as he left the room, a few moments later he had Minako.

She looked a little stunned as she rested in her father’s arms. Hiei bent and covered the pad of his index finger in the pepper then held it up to her nose.

She sniffed then sneezed and in a second she looked like Atago. Little ears poking through her hair and a blaze of white just beyond her hair line.

Minako began to cry as she sneezed again and turned back to her normal self.

“Pepper…” Kurama said with a sigh.

Hiei made Minako sneeze again, something she didn’t seem happy about.

“Mi-koo” Atago started squirming again as he tried to get to his sister to comfort her.

Kurama took Minako into his other arm as the twins hugged each other.

“Should we show the others?” Hiei asked as he nuzzled Minako in apology.

“I think we have to… At least they look more like you now.” Kurama smiled teasingly.

Hiei glared at him in frustration. “I’m not telling you again!” He growled out. “I wouldn’t care if they looked exactly like you in every way! They are still OURS.”

Kurama let his eyes fall to the ground as he leaned closer to his Mate in a blatant submission gesture.

Hiei just pulled on a lock of his hair. “Stupid Fox.”

But Kurama could feel the way it always made his Mate a little horny.

Hiei sighed into his mind, ‘don’t think like that when holding the kits.’ He scolded.

Kurama just grinned as he bounced the kits in his arms, Minako had stopped crying and was now pulling on her brothers ears with joy. “A-go ears funnee!” She squealed.

Atago just took it, letting his younger sister get away with what ever she wanted, so long as she was happy he didn’t seem to mind.

“Come on then.” Hiei said as he guided Kurama towards the front room and their guests with a hand on the small of his back. “Lets get this over with before the kit’s get tired.”

Kurama turned and gave him a peck on the check before going into the room to face the imminent squeeing.

+ + + + +  

Chapter 4 – The Tournament
[90 years on]

Yusuke was exhausted. He had almost forgotten what tournaments were like, it had been so long.

It was almost 90 years since he had last entered one.

But when Koenma had come barging into his home demanding his help, crying the last Spirit Detective wasn’t up to the task, Yusuke had sat him down and demanded to know what was going on.

Apparently there was a youkai who had fought in the last few tournaments, but had killed his opponent and subsequently been disqualified before reaching the finals.

The third to last Makai ruler had changed the Maki tournament to happen ever eight years, because Youkai lived longer than humans, four years was to short. So they had reinstated the Dark Tournament to take up its place alternatively, where the applicants had to submit their wish beforehand to make sure the wish’s wouldn’t harm anyone or bring someone back from the dead. The judges for both tournaments were the last six rulers of the Makai, mostly so they couldn’t enter the tournaments themselves. And it seemed to be working.

So apparently this Dark Mountain Yamino had been rampaging thought the Makai shouting to anyone who would listen that he wanted everything to go back the way it had been. But most of the Makai really didn’t want this, there were a lot of youkai doing quite well in the human world and didn’t want the barriers to go back up. Neither did Koenma because it would mean more work for him.

So finally Yusuke had agreed.

Keiko had died over twenty years ago now to old age as Yusuke still looked in his twenties. It had been hard loosing her, but he had his kids. Akira was living in the Makai with his lover, a darling girl. His daughter, Atsuko, kept moving around but was currently in the UK. His youngest Kamui still lived with him, and was probably sat in front of the TV right now eating popcorn.

So, Yusuke had just spent the day fighting his way through the preliminaries, all so he could defeat one stupid youkai, IF said stupid youkai didn’t kill anyone in the process, then he could go home.

He had actually seen the guy, he looked a lot like Toguro, the younger one, so much so Yusuke thought it might actually be him, but the guys fighting style was totally different, he also seemed to give off an energy that would drain those around him.

Yusuke had also seen Yomi and his son, he was surprised not to see Mukuro thought. He had seen her visiting Hiei and Kurama from time to time and she was always with Yomi, so her absence was a little confusing.

He was just thinking of going to bed when his hotel door burst open and Koenma and Boton came in.

“Great job out there!” Koenma gushed at him. “My money’s on you all the way!”

“Koenma!” Boton scolded, “You’re not meant to be betting on this fight.”

“I’ll bet with who ever I want!” Koenma snapped. “So how are you feeling? Ready for tomorrows finals?”

Yusuke sighed as he sat down again. “Would be better if the rest of my friends were here to cheer me on.” He smiled, feeling a little sorry for himself.

“Yes, well.” Koenma got all shifty, like he did when he was lying or keeping something from him. “I’m sure they are watching it on the television.”

Yusuke snorted, not wanting to get into an argument. “I saw Yomi got through, and there is a masked guy who looked competent as well as a few others… Do you know who I’m going up against tomorrow yet?”

He didn’t miss the look his two guests shared.

“Look guys, I’m pretty beat, and if you’re not going to tell me what’s going on, I really need to get some sleep.”

“Ah, yes! You need your rest! We will see you tomorrow!” Boton said as she dragged Koenma from the room.

Yusuke just sighed as he went to bed.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke was feeling a little apprehensive two days later, he had won his last fight, and the next two fighters had knocked themselves out the ring but only a tall woman called Kinnko had managed to crawl back in.

Yamino had also taken out his opponent in a quick bloody fight. Now it was Yomi against the Masked fighter.

Yusuke had to see if Yomi would win, so he sat in the stands nursing his bruises. Koenma had offered him a place in his box, but Yusuke had turned the little bugger down, he was still being shifty about something and it was pissing him off.

He watched as Yomi got up onto the ring, he was tall and looked confident as always. Then the Masked fighter got into the ring.

Yusuke hadn’t really watched any of the Masked fighters rounds, but now he was intrigued. Who ever it was, was a little short but looked built to fight. He was dressed all in black, even his eyes were covered. Yusuke had no idea how he could see.

Then the announcer, a pretty little dog youkai, looked like she was confused over something as she approached the Masked fighter. They seemed to have some kind of argument before she skipped back and the Masked guy turned and beckoned for someone stood by the wall to come closer. He was dressed exactly the same but was taller. The other fighter got onto the ring, then knelt down at the edge, looking like a spectator more than anything else.

There was also confusion in the crowed as everyone wondered what was going on.

“Ok, Calm down!” The announcer called in her high pitch voice. “The Masked fighter… err… fighters are Mate Bonded, So they must be in the ring together!” She shouted over the crowd. “Before you all get over exited, I’ve just been told that they have been in the various battle stages together, but only one chose to fight at a time as the other stood at the outskirts… err… it’s been in the rules since the great Makai tournament was founded! But for final rounds they must be physically in the ring together!”

The crowd settled down a little, but it was now thrumming with excitement over who the bonded could be.

Every few year the Makai news was full of yet another failed Mate Bonding, where both parties, and sometimes whole chunks of towns or entire villages, were destroyed in their attempt.

Yusuke felt his mouth go dry as he really looked at the Masked fighters, then put his hand in his pocket and pulled out his phone, hitting #1 then waiting.

“Hey uncle Yusuke!” Miniko said as she picked up. “How are things going? Have you won yet?”

She always made him smile, “Not done yet.” He told her. “Look, can you get your dad for me? There’s something I need him to do.”

“Err…” He heard her put her hand over the receiver and he could hear her talking to Atago, then she came back. “He’s out for the day uncle. Can I take a message?”

“I guess your Mama’s not there either?”

“Umm… No…” she said sounding a little guilty.

“Don’t worry about it honey, I think I know where they are.” He reassured her.

“You do?” she gasped. “Emm… can you tell them hello from us… Anti Yukina has said we cant watch and I’m worried.”

“Don’t worry honey, I’ll get them to phone soon as I talk to them, ok?”

“Thank you uncle!”

He could practically see her smile down the phone.

“Ok, you do what your anti tells you too ok? And I’ll see you soon.”

“We will, See you soon!” then she hung up.

Yusuke shook his head, the sneaky bastards could have at least told him about this, and he guessed that’s why Koenma was being so bloody annoying, well, more so than usual.

So he sat back to watch the fight even if he already knew the outcome… then he would find his friends and start yelling.

+ + + + + +

‘Well that’s blown it I guess’ Kurama chucked into his mind. ‘And I get the feeling we have some yelling to deal with after this.’

‘He’s in the crowd just over your left shoulder.’ Hiei answered, he could feel Yusuke’s anger from where he stood. ‘I thought he would have figured it out earlier, shows he still doesn’t watch the fights.’

Kurama sighed as he made himself comfortable kneeling on the hard surface of the ring. ‘I just wish we could take these mask’s off. It’s denting our pride hiding like this.’ He grumbled.

‘Just a little longer.’ Hiei promised. ‘Am I taking your friend alone?’

Kurama chuckled. ‘I’ll stand with you if you wish it.’

‘Hn, that’s a yes then.’ Hiei chuckled back.

“FIGHT!” the announcer yelled.

‘He’s a sneaky bastard, and he’s rushing you.’

Hiei had just enough time to skip out of the way as Yomi’s fists flew at his face, it wasn’t at all like the youkai and it caught Hiei by surprise. Then he was being rained with blows.

“Tell Kurama to get off his ass.” Yomi growled at him. “If I’m going to loose I at least want it to look good!” then he was skipping away.

‘Should I just beat him down?’ Hiei laughed, it felt so good to be fighting again, he couldn’t help but be a little giddy.

Kurama sighed. ‘I would like to say yes.’

Hiei dodged another attack.

‘But no, Yamino is watching this fight too.’ Kurama said. ‘let Yomi know to hold back a little, make it look like you get tired then I’ll step in. it will put Yamino off guard and over confident when we have to face him.’

Hiei got close to Yomi. “Hold back, keep me running, I’m throwing my half of the fight.” He didn’t like it, but as always he knew Kurama and his plotting were always sound. He instantly felt Yomi pull back some of his energy as he threw another attack, Hiei dodged it but went down like he was hit. Then Yomi was running him about the ring. They carried on for another twenty minutes like this until Hiei was actually enjoying the bizarre dance.

‘NOW!’ Kurama said and Hiei went down under Yomi’s next attack, skidding to a boneless heap at Kurama’s feet.

‘Drama queen.’ Kurama grinned as he screamed and drew out his leaf blade, going after Yomi himself. He hadn’t used this weapon in some time, other than to spar a little with Hiei, so it felt a little strange.

“Oh my!” The announcer cried, “One of the Masked fighters is down and now his Mate is getting into the fight for the first time!”

Hiei watched Kurama skip sideways, turning Yomi away from him as if trying to draw him away, then Kurama got in close to his opponent.

“Glad of you to join me.” Yomi uttered. “Should I go after Hiei now or later?”

“Whenever you wish.” Kurama answered back, “I was hoping you could take some of the ring with it?”

Yomi grunted as Kurama forced him back. “You both owe me an entrance fee, by the way.”

“I’ll pay you back later.” Kurama chuckled as he let Yomi knock him off his feet.

“Both the Masked fighters are down!” the announcer cried into her mic, “Will we see the demise of a Bonded pair today! As they get their ass’s handed to them by the great Yomi!”

“Not today.” Hiei grunted as he started to relax and watch his Mate fight. There was something sensual about the way Kurama was moving that was sending wanton thoughts straight to his libido. Then Kurama turned to look directly at him and Hiei cursed. “Damn Fox.” ‘Not in public you mut!’ he growled at Kurama, almost ready to get to his feet and drag his Mate off to some quiet place.

Kurama twirled out of Yomi’s way. ‘I thought you would enjoy the show more this way?’ he said back trying to be innocent, but failed because his true feeling also came through and Hiei swallowed hard.

‘Stop. It. Now.’ And Hiei meant it. He was getting hard and his possessive side was ready to flare up and just kill Yomi and the whole entire stadium if they didn’t take there eyes of his Mate.

Instantly Kurama stopped his flirtatious dance and fell back into his fighting stance.

‘Sorry.’ Kurama side softly as he launched another attack on Yomi.

‘Hn… Who knew.’ Hiei shot back a little mollified, but still possessively angry.

He felt a wave of smug happiness come from Kurama and Hiei sighed deeply, Kurama always seemed to get a kick when ever Hiei got jealous of something.

‘Makes me feel loved.’ Kurama whispered gently.

‘But makes me want to kill people.’ Hiei grumbled.

‘That’s their problem.’ Kurama laughed. ‘Em, you might want to get out the way…’

Hiei only just managed to dodge Yomi’s energy blast as the green ball slammed into the ring floor where he had been laying.

Hiei saw Kurama jump at Yomi, then fall out of the air to the ground hard before he was blinded by smoke and dust from the explosion.

‘Kurama?’ he questioned almost in panic as he coughed.

‘Bruised, ouch… but we are putting on a show.’ Kurama replied, and Hiei could sense his bruised shoulder and hip.

“And here we see why Mate Bonding is so tragic!” The announcer cried with joy, “Yomi has taken them both down with one blow! Our tall Masked fighter just collapsed in midair when his mate was no doubt rendered unconscious! This is thrilling! ONE!” she cried to the roar of the crowd. “TWO!”

Hiei got to his feet as he felt blood trickle down his check, he grunted at the sting where he must have caught some of the shrapnel from the ring. A quick check made sure his mask was still in place though.

“THREE!”

“Stop counting witch!” Hiei shouted at the announcer as he ran past her to roughly pull Kurama to his feet.

“Well I never!” The announcer said poutily as she moved out of his way.

“Ugg…” Kurama winced as Hiei pushed him away from Yomi.

“We finish this now.” Hiei growled at Yomi, ‘You ok?’

‘Always.’ Kurama answered back, all his amusement gone now. ‘I’ll stay behind you, you take him out, it will look better.’

Hiei nodded as he began to launch his next attack.

Once again they were chasing around what was left of the ring, Kurama as his back. Hiei didn’t miss the way Yomi started slowing his attacks, looking like he was becoming more exhausted, Kurama was also showing weakness in doing the same thing but favouring his hip and shoulder.

‘Inari this is hard.’ Kurama grumbled irritably as he desperately tried to stay out of harmony with Hiei’s own moves.

‘Just a little longer.’ Hiei promised. “Fist of the Mortal Flame!” Hiei cried as he landed his burning fist on Yomi’s face. He was slightly relieved Yomi didn’t use his barriers as he went spinning to the ground.

Hiei watched as their friend struggled to get up, spitting out blood as he did so.

‘Oops’ Hiei couldn’t help but grin as Kurama laughed into his mind.

“Yomi’s down to a flame attack!” The announcer said is horror, “Our favourite to win has just taken a blow to that pretty face! But I have to start the count! ONE! TWO!”

Hiei felt Kurama come up behind him and take his hand, then he was sinking to his knees, leaning up against Hiei’s leg like he was too exhausted to carry on fighting.

“THREE!”

“I concede…” Yomi whispered as he stayed down, touching his scorched check while glairing at Hiei.

“FOUR!... what?” the announcer looked confused.

“I said I concede!” Yomi growled at her.

“Ah… The winners are the Masked Fighters!” she called, “Please change the board!”

Hiei just stood his ground as Kurama sagged against him more. The crowd half cheered and booed as the board was changed. Then Hiei bent and picked Kurama up, turned and began walking off the ring and out of the battle area while Kurama hung limply in his arms.

“Ok folks, That’s it for today! Be back here tomorrow for the Finals! Yusuke Yurameshi verses Kinnko! And The Masked Fighter verses the Dark Mountain Yamino!” the announcer carried on as they entered the darkness of the stadiums under stage.

‘Yusuke’s gonna flip out at that.’ Kurama said as he made himself more comfortable in Hiei’s arms.

‘Well… Lets hope he doesn’t have to fight that prick.’ Hiei growled. ‘Because it will mean we have failed.

Kurama hugged him a little tighter, ‘Yamino is ruthless, I’m sure one of his opponents isn’t going to last long.’

‘So are you going to make me carry you back to our room?’ Hiei asked, he needed to get somewhere private to check his Mate over.

‘Yes.’ Kurama purred into his mind. ‘My knight in shinning black armour.’

Hiei just chuckled.

+ + + + + +

Kurama winced as Hiei placed a cold herb poultice on the bruise on his shoulder, He hadn’t thought he had hit the ground as hard as he did till Hiei put him down and he winced at his hip stabbed at him.

Hiei found it a little funny as he began wrapping a bandage around his chest to keep the poultice in place as it drew out the bruise. They had both come apt at making the poultice as the kit’s seemed to need it so often.

Hiei was just tying up the bandage when their hotel room door was thrown open and Yusuke came stomping in.

“WHAT THE HELL!” he shrieked as he glared at them.

“Shut the door.” Hiei growled at him, “Then make some tea, sit down and shut up.”

Yusuke actually turned to slam the door shut. “Don’t tell me what to do! Do I look like your bloody submissive, I’m not Kurama?!”

Instantly Hiei was in Yusuke’s face. “Say what?” he sneered.

Kurama sighed as Yusuke swallowed, “Er… Sorry Kurama, no offence.”

“No problem.” Kurama answered, “But if you could make some tea, that would be nice, I think I still have dust from the ring in my mouth.”

“Sure.” Yusuke backed away from Hiei as he went to the side board and the kettle.

Hiei came back to him then pushed him down on the sofa so he was lying on his side, then began to tug the waist band of his pants down.

“Guys…” Yusuke coughed embarrassed. “Do you really have to do that when I’m in the room?”

Kurama couldn’t keep the grin off his face. “I landed on the ring a little hard; Hiei is just treating my bruises… Cold!” He jumped when Hiei put the rest of the poultice on his hip, but sighed as he felt it already easing the soreness. Then Hiei was putting a sticking pad over the top. “Why didn’t you use that on my shoulder?” he asked.

Hiei just grinned at him then winked.

‘And you call me a stupid Fox? My silly, cute ball of flame.’ Kurama shot back, then laughing as his Mates cheeks flamed a little pink. ‘You know you only have to ask… I’ll take my top off any time you like.’ He purred.

Hiei got up and sat at the other end of the sofa, “Sort me out Fox, before you burst or something.” He tapped his cheek where he had been cut.

Kurama sat up, took Hiei’s face in his hand and started licking the wound clean. They all thought it was a habit he would grow out of, but if anything the compulsion just grew worse as their kits got older and would end up with all kinds of scrapes and cuts. He had even done it to all the kids at one time or another. Akira had been the first when he fell and scraped his elbow on a stone when he was eight, Kurama had just picked him up and began licking it clean. Yusuke had see and asked him what he was doing. Kurama had just blinked before apologising, until Yusuke had just patted his shoulder saying it was ok.

“Least that’s vaguely less sexually charged.” Yusuke said as he put their tea on the table and took a mug for himself.

“Hn… you wouldn’t say that if it was happening to you.” Hiei grumbled, Kurama could feel grit in the wound and was currently trying to get it out. “Ouch!”

Kurama ignored him as he turned to spit into what remained of Hiei’s mask, then went back to his ministrations.

“But we guessed since he had the kits, his saliva actually has some antiseptic in it or something, things always heal faster when he does this… God damn it Kurama!”

Kurama had been chasing a large bit of grit and ended up using his teeth to get it out. ‘Sorry’ he said as he spat it out with the rest, ‘Almost done.’

“So anyway, what are you guys doing here? You lied saying you wouldn’t be here.” Yusuke accused looking pissed.

“We didn’t want people to know we were entering.” Hiei began explaining. “We were hoping that someone else would take out Yamino first, then we could retire from the tournament… But now we have to fight him tomorrow.”

“Koenma wanted me to fight him.” Yusuke frowned.

Hiei signed in annoyance. “You are our last hope… but to be frank, if he can defeat us tomorrow. Well… then no ones going to defeat him.”

“I can kick his ass!” Yusuke said with his usual gusto as Kurama began to clean up the dried blood down Hiei’s neck.

“Hn… We may have fought Yusuke… But you have never fought Kurama. I’ve only done it once, and that was a stale mate, the next was to save your life when he betrayed me.”

“I did not betray you; I stopped you from doing something incredibly stupid.” Kurama snapped before going back to his incessant cleaning.

“I’ve seen him fight.” Yusuke insisted. “In fact I’ve seen you fight side by side before.”

“And you ever thought you could win against us both?” Hiei asked quietly.

Yusuke shrugged, “No not really, but I never thought it would come to that. So I never gave it a lot of thought… But even I figured out that this Yamino guy somehow blocks his opponents main source of energy.”

Kurama could finally sit down properly even though he wasn’t finished, he felt Hiei’s arm go around his waist as he leaned forwards to pick up his tea. “You are right, but to be more precise he blocks energy being used by that person against himself, so any conscious attack that has our energy behind it will fail… Pure physical and pure weapon baste attack he has no defence against, other than his own speed and physical energy, in this way he is much like Younger Toguro was.”

“Yeah, I noticed his resemblance too.” Yusuke shivered.

“But as far as I can tell.” Kurama carried on. “He can only block one source of energy. Both you and me Yusuke have two we can draw on. I have my spirit youkai energy and human energy. Granted my human energy isn’t as strong, but I can still use it. And you have the same, though all yours are almost equally matched so you have a slight advantage over me.”

“So Hiei’s basically useless?” Yusuke grinned at him.

“Hn, fool. I have my sword and my speed, also he has a choice, block my fire energy, or try and do the same with my Jagan. Either way I’m going to hurt him.”

“But we do have some advantages.” Kurama put in before there was a shouting match, something’s never changed. “We have been careful, only Hiei has been fighting through all this, while I was waiting out of camera shot. It was only today that we had to fight together so publicly.”

“Yeah… You guys really sucked, I almost thought you were both drunk!”

Kurama smiled, “believe me, it was not the easiest thing to do. fighting out of synch is something we have never done, we have also not fought with our main weapons, or used our best attacks yet. It’s not been easy, but hopefully it will serve us in good stead tomorrow. If he hasn’t figured out who we are, or at least has only knows about our older fights. Then he will severely underestimate us, instantly giving us the upper hand.”

“Well so long as you don’t underestimate him too.” Yusuke warned.

“Oh my… taking lessons in not being stupid?” Hiei laughed with a feral grin.

“Something you should look into.” Yusuke shot back.

“Yamino isn’t stupid.” Kurama put in quickly. “He wouldn’t have got as powerful as he is otherwise, or collected his gaggle of followers. And I know he’s also been holding back… I just haven’t figured out what yet.”

“Well, you showed one weakness today. You get knocked out today Hiei, I saw Kurama go down hard when Yomi hit you with his energy blast… I was guessing it was because of the Bond?”

Kurama and Hiei began laughing.

“What? What’s so funny! Share with the group!” Yusuke growled.

“I threw myself down for that very reason.” Kurama managed.

“It would be very pathetic if all you had to do was knock one of us out.” Hiei carried on. “Knocking one of us out is actually a bad idea, the other one will just get stronger.”

“Really?”

“Yes,” Kurama explained, “Hiei managed to knock himself unconscious once and where as it did send me a little violent, it also doubled my power.”

“That wasn’t my fault!” Hiei grumbled sullenly.

“I’m sure; the tree accidentally ran right into you.” Kurama couldn’t help but tease his Mate. Hiei had been running around with the kit’s at the time when one of them tripped and Hiei hadn’t noticed the tree that he ran straight into. “Anyway, I almost burned the forest to the ground before I could get to him.”

“Scary.” Yusuke breathed. “Well… I wish you guys the best of luck then. I really don’t want to fight you in the last round…”

“I think it will be fun.” Hiei grinned, “It’s been so long since we have exchanged fists.”

“And I would like to keep it that way.” Yusuke laughed nervously. “I really don’t fancy Kurama knocking my block off.”

“Who say’s he’d have to bother?” Hiei asked lightly.

“Hiei, stop teasing… Look, let us get cleaned up then go for something to eat, I’m famished.”

Yusuke stood with him. “You’re not pregnant again are you?”

Kurama touched Hiei’s wedding necklace that now sat around his own neck with his own tear gem. “Not yet.”

Yusuke leaned in then pulled back and pointed in horror at the little silver cage that now held another seed. “Oh my god!” he gasped. “Where the hell did you find that?!”

“Mukuro told us about it.” Kurama smiled as he looked at it. “It should be ready in another twenty years.”

Yusuke put his hands on Kurama’s shoulders. “I don’t know if your insane or not.” He said. “But how come you want more, aren’t Atago and Minako enough?”

“Of course they are.” Hiei said as he pulled his own chain from inside his top, letting Yusuke see the three tear gems. “But it would seem fate is telling us we needed more.”

Yusuke Laughed. “Well, congratulations, and this time please tell me so I can take a holiday for three months.”

“I’ll be sure not to.” Hiei muttered as he wandered towards the bathroom.

Yusuke shook his head, “Oww… and phone your kids, I think I made Minako worry.” He couldn’t keep the smile off his face as Kurama ran for the phone.

+ + + + + +

Kurama walked a step behind Hiei’s left shoulder, favouring his hip and shoulder. Even though they were fine now, it still didn’t hurt to keep up a show. Hiei even pulled him up onto the ring it’s self as they went to face their opponent.

Yamino was a tall thin man, but when up close he did give off an air of quiet confidence with a lot of menace behind it all, that put anyone close to him a little on edge.

“After our first round today with the stunning Kinnko and the half breed Yusuke.” The announcer called into her mic. “Where Yusuke ground her pretty face into the ring! We now have the stunning but brutal DARK MOUNTAIN YAMINO! And our two Masked Fighters entering the ring!”

‘Want to do this under our own names?’ Hiei asked in agitation.

‘Please.’ Kurama answered, ‘Also I can’t get at my seeds with this hood.’ They were going to talk about it earlier, but they got distracted.

Hiei held his hand up to the announcer, to get her to come trotting over. ‘You want to play the good little uki?’ Hiei teased as he talked to the girl. “We wish to be announced properly wench.” He growled at her as he reached up and pulled his mask off, along with his cloak, flinging them both out of the ring.

The girl blinked at him stunned.

Kurama went to his knee’s besides his Mate with a grin, Hiei had only meant it as a Joke, but Kurama really couldn’t help himself. He lifted his chin as Hiei removed his hood, letting his hair fall free.

The announcer squeaked as Hiei helped him back to his feet. Then she was blushing furiously as she stared at him.

‘Sometimes I wish you weren’t so pretty.’ Hiei sighed, though he should be used to the reaction’s Kurama got by now.

‘I’m not the one baring his chest to the whole world, as always.’ Kurama shot back with a smile.

“You do know who we are don’t you?” Hiei hissed. “Or do I have to spell it out for you?”

“Errm… no, no… The Masked fighters have revealed themselves at last!” She recovered and screamed into her mic. “It’s the legendary HIEI and KURAMA!”

The crowd went eerily silent, then hushed whispers went around the stands, Finally the crowd started cheering and screaming.

‘Oh… Makes a change, they are on our side for once.’ Kurama commented.

‘That’s because there is only a small group behind Yamino who are keeping silent.’ Hiei said, indicating a small group of Youkai that sat by themselves, who were just glairing at them.

‘So long as they stay there… But it dose say something if the rest of the crowd isn’t on Yamino’s side at all.’

‘So you want to play this your way? Slow and easy… or mine?’ Hiei asked as he faced their opponent who was just grinning at them.

‘Brute force?’ Kurama smiled. ‘Why don’t we just do our own thing? You attack and I’ll stay ranged.’

‘Works for me’ Hiei said as he pulled his sword out from behind his back, where his back up sword also sat, Kurama had insisted Hiei carried a second, seen as he always ended up braking or loosing his first.

“I’m honoured.” Yamino finally spoke to them with a cocky smile on his craggy face. “I thought Yusuke was supposed to be their big guns… but to bring you two from retirement? They must be desperate… Am I that much of a threat?” he laughed.

Hiei grinned back. “I was growing bored.” He replied. “But when I heard about you, well… I couldn’t resist but to put you back in your place.”

“That so?” Yamino smiled. “Well, I have never fought a bonded pair before… but I know about you all the same, this should be fun, if short lived.”

“For you maybe.” Hiei snorted.

“Enough chit chat gentlemen.” The announcer called. “A nice brutal fight with no death’s please, those are the rules… so FIGHT!”

Kurama took a step back and got out his rose whip as Hiei ran in.

Yamino seemed to block every one of Hiei’s attacks as Kurama tried to cercal around the back of him, but every time the larger youkai would move.

‘He has some kind of barrier.’ Hiei growled as he jumped back then dashed back in forcing Yamino to turn his back to Kurama. Instantly Kurama lashed his whip at Yamino’s back while quickly pulling a Death seed from his hair and adding it to the attack.

Then Yamino turned on him and threw some kind of energy blast at him. “I don’t think so girly.” Yamino laughed.

Kurama just managed to dodge as part of the floor where he was standing exploded, then Yamino was in his face.

“You’re even more pretty close up.” Yamino said as he went to land a punch at Kurama gut, He twisted away just in time to take it on the hip and he went spinning away as Hiei pounced on the Youkai’s back, trying to drive his sword through his back.

Kurama got back to his feet as Hiei jumped away. ‘Got him’ Hiei growled as Yamino screamed, a spray of blood coming from his back.

“Enough playing.” Yamino shrieked.

Kurama could feel Yamino’s energies change as he got a black aura that suddenly spilled from him and out. When it hit Kurama it took his breath away as his Rose whip changed back into a harmless rose and he could feel his spirit energy suddenly cut off. Kurama grit his teeth, he was hoping they had a little more time before Yamino pulled out his trump card. All Kurama’s seeds were now useless to him.

“Fists of the mortal flam!” Hiei cried as he leaped at Yamino, his fists a blaze of fire.

Kurama skipped out of their way, then joined his Mate in a double physical attack, forcing Yamino on the defensive.

“Fire is it?” Yamino laughed at them, Kurama once again distanced himself as he saw Hiei hit by the same energy that had cut him off from his spirit energy.

‘Damn it.’ Hiei growled as he landed besides Kurama.

“Is that all you have?” Yamino taunted. “Little boy’s and pretty girls should learn there place!”

‘That should at least be it.’ Hiei said, meaning the energy blocking technique they had seen in other fights, as they both sprang apart at Yamino tried to rush them.

‘He’s playing with us.’ Kurama panted as Yamino went after him. ‘He knows I’m now the weakest.’

‘Shows how much he knows.’ Hiei grinned as he ran back in with his sword.

They skipped and danced about the ring for another ten minutes.

Yamino got a few blows in on each of them and they him, but it was proving to be who had the greater stamina.

‘I grow bored of this.’ Hiei spat out blood from where Yamino had caught him a blow on the cheek.

‘We are at a stale mate.’ Kurama said as he ran past Hiei, grabbing his second sword, the first not having broken yet. ‘Though I think he’s becoming less able to see how fast you are… let me ware him down a little more.’

A sword was never his favourite weapon, but it didn’t mean he wasn’t proficient with it as he began attacking Yamino alone, every now and again Hiei would bounce in and they would move in synch before Hiei backed away again, always looking for a weakness or any opening Kurama could afford him.

‘Step back!’ Hiei finally demanded, sensing how tired he was getting.

‘Just a little longer… Keep watching!’ Kurama growled back as Yamino grabbed his wrist, wrenching the sword from his hand and threw it to the edge of the ring.

“I’ve grown bored of this.” Yamino spat at him, before Kurama felt a fist in his gut, he tried to jump away but Yamino still had a hold of him, then he was spinning to the ground as he got a punch in the face. Then Hiei was there forcing Yamino back.

‘You watch!’ Hiei snapped angrily.

“Why don’t you idiots just give up already?” Yamino sneered.

‘Move!’ Kurama could feel Yamino building up his energy, then Hiei was dodging blast after blast from Yamino. The ring was quickly becoming a mess off craters and rubble.

Kurama kept away from the fight, as he observed, Yamino’s power levels were not going down, if anything he seemed to be drawing it from somewhere other than himself. For a split second he though he was drawing on his own and Hiei’s energy that he had blocked. But he couldn’t feel any draining from himself or Hiei… it was coming… He looked back at the crowd. Sure enough, Yamino’s followers were silent and very still as they watched the fight, Kurama could see sweat on a few of their faces and then he understood why Yamino wasn’t slowing down despite the energy he was using.

‘Run him away from this side of the ring.’ Kurama said as he dodged another blast. He felt the question from Hiei as he did what Kurama had asked. Kurama sent him an image of the crowd as he began running for the edge of the ring, one leap and he could make it to the stands. All he had to do was take out Yamino’s youkai battery and they could finally ware him down.

This was the weakness Kurama had been looking for. Once Yamino had to fight solo, he and Hiei could finally pull out their own trump cards and fight for real.

He was just about to jump when something hit his back with such force that he suddenly found himself laying face down on the ring floor, stones digging into every part of him as he tried to struggle at the unbelievable weight and heat on his back.

“Shackles of molten core led!” Yamino laughed somewhere behind him.

‘Wha…’ he asked in confusion.

‘Threw something at you.’ Hiei answered immediately, then showed him an image of himself secured to the ground with bands of sickly yellow energy that seemed to disappear into the floor.

‘Cant move!’ he tried not to panic, he could feel struggling would get him nowhere and the bands across his body were burning like acid. ‘Take out his followers!’

He felt Hiei tare off his bandana to open his Jagan, then he could actually see the energy that was leaching from the crowd to Yamino through Hiei’s eyes. He forced himself to keep watching even thought the Jagan always made him feel a little queasy.

“I don’t think so little boy!” Yamino shouted as Hiei began to run towards Yamino’s followers.

Kurama screamed as an energy blast went off right next to him, he couldn’t even move as the shards of stone pierced skin on his entire left side and into his face. The crater the blast caused made the bonds loosen for a moment and he tried to struggle free, but as he looked down he could see his discarded sword now piercing his side above his hip, blown there by the blast. Cursing he tried to reach for it but the bonds around him moved once again forcing him onto the ground, only this time one slipped up to his ribs and he gasped for air as his lungs were restricted in a vice like grip.

“Kurama!” He heard with his ears as he felt his Mates panic as he was forced back to the other side of the ring.

Kurama tried to blink blood out of his eyes as he gasped painfully for air. ‘Keep trying…’ he managed, blinded by his own blood and he couldn’t keep a hold on seeing through Hiei’s Jagan. He tried to block out the pain and focus.

He could hear Hiei attacking and Yamino’s taunting laugh as he started to black out.

‘Stay with it!’ Hiei snapped.

‘Might be better this way…’ Kurama answered, wondering if some of the stone had pierced his lung as well, it was getting very hard to breath.

‘Don’t you… Damn it!’

Kurama managed a smile as everything went black.

--

When he came too it was with a start.

Hiei was screaming with fury into his mind and out loud. Though it was incoherent with fury.

‘Hiei?’ he asked groggily.

Hiei suddenly stilled. ‘I tried using the black dragon, he’s blocked that too! And I cant get a handle on the Death Plant, it’s not growing into his skin!’ He could feel Hiei struggling against something, ‘Took that damn bonding technique off you and put it on me… You have to get up, She’s started the count!’

Kurama realized he could breathe a little better as he struggled to get his arms beneath himself.

“Six!” the announcer called with a little less gusto than what she normal put into it. “Seven…”

Kurama pulled his right leg underneath himself, ignoring the massive amount of blood that lay beneath him, then shakily managed to stand, pulling the sword from his side hurt like hell, but with a little relief it hadn’t pierced anything vital.

He turned to see Yamino razing his hands in victory to a booing crowd. Hiei lay on his back just to the right, yellow bonds keeping him immobile.

He saw the announcer see him get up and she made a ‘stay’ motion with her hand. “Eight”

The crown’s booing slowly turned to shocked silence as they watched.

Kurama nodded his head in understanding as he took a few deep breaths to centre himself. His spirit energy was still blocked, and he had no stamina to run, let alone fight, he knew he had lost too much blood but he had to make himself enough of a nuisance for Hiei to get free… somehow.

“Nine.” The announcer grimaced an apology at him behind Yamino’s back. “And Kurama is back on his feet!”

Yamino spun to glare at him.

“After Hiei seemed to get some extra umf from somewhere before being incapacitated, His bond mate is back up drenched in his own blood, can he still fight!?”

Kurama reached into his hair and pulled out a handful of bamboo leaves then turned with what was left of his energy and threw them amongst Yamino’s followers. They didn’t even flinch as Kurama felt Yamino slam into his back.

‘HIEI!’ He screamed as he went down under the larger Youkai, the grit and stone on the floor grinding into his flesh, braking skin.

Instantly a bamboo forest burst out among Yamino’s followers. The crowd around them scattered with screams of fear as Yamino’s followers were ripped apart and impaled on the hard bamboo fronds.

Kurama felt Yamino get off him screaming in fury as his stolen energy faded away with each death.

“How the hell!” Yamino kicked him in his already injured side, sending him skidding across the rubble that was the ring. “I blocked your spirit energy!”

Kurama just chuckled as he once again tried to get to his feet.

“Well no matter… I’ve won anyway. You killed so forfeit this fight.” Yamino said confidently.

“Umm… actually.” The announcer timidly said as she backed away. “Accidental crowd death isn’t considered a forfeit.”

“That wasn’t an accident!” Yamino turned on her.

She held her hands up as she backed away further. “It didn’t include a combatant, it could have been anyone in the crowd… err…” she put her hand to her ear. “Sorry, but you still have to fight till one of you concede or has a ten count, I’ve just been informed by the judges!”

Yamino swore as he turned on Kurama with a grin. “No matter. I already have you where I want you… I may as well have some fun.”

Kurama didn’t like his tone and managed to skip out of Yamino’s way as he ran at him, but it was short lived as he tripped and went down near Hiei, who was still struggling to get free.

Then Yamino grabbed him by the back of the neck and forced his face into the ground.

“You’re still a pretty thing, even if you’re covered in blood.” Yamino was whispering into his ear with fetid breath. “Should I take you here?... In front of everyone, and your mate?”

Kurama struggled as he felt Yamino lick up his ear. He felt sick as Yamino’s hand tightened around his neck, once again cutting off his air.

“Keep touching him and I will kill you…” Hiei warned, deadly calm.

Yamino laughed as he flipped Kurama onto his back, then with a few well aimed punches rendered him totally numb, hitting all his vital points in quick succession.

Kurama was biting his teeth closed as Yamino tried to shove his tong into his mouth. One of the bastard’s hands was already running down his chest, going lower.

“I am disappointed I’m not getting to do this to the famous Youko, could you face that shame?” Yamino asked as his hand ripped the waistband of Kurama’s pants away, exposing him.

Kurama tried to fight, tried to move, anything as he felt Yamino’s hand’s touch him.

Hiei was once again screaming as Yamino began unbuckling his own pants.

“I think I’m actually going to enjoy this… why don’t you look at each other as I take you?” he purred as he grabbed Kurama’s chin and moved his head so he was looking at Hiei.

‘Oh Inari… please…’ Kurama whimpered desperately. He had never been raped, and for Hiei to see it too, brought no comfort as it began ripping his heart apart. He closed his eyes as he felt Yamino moving his legs apart then get into position between them.

“You cant do that!” the announcer screamed. “I’m calling the fight, you win ok! They have both been down for more than a ten count!”

“Shut up woman!” Yamino screamed as he sent an energy blast at her, sending her crashing out of the ring unconscious.

KURAMA!’ Hiei screamed into his panicked mind as Yamino turned back towards him. DO IT! NOW!’ Hiei growled.

Kurama struggled to get some kind of calm as he felt Hiei open his mind, while he felt the head of Yamino’s large member pushing at his hole.

“DRAGON OF THE DARKNESS FLAME!” Kurama screamed.

He hated touching the dragon, it burned through his vanes till the pain was almost unbearable as its flame tried to consume him.

‘I’ll lead it… You just have to let it out…’ Hiei said steadily into his mind as he tried to share some of the agony.

Kurama just gave in and with a scream, pouring all his pain, hate and fury into the dragon as it burst free from his very soul.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke watched the fight on the edge of his seat at the back of the stadium. At first he couldn’t understand why Kurama and then Hiei kept trying to jump at the crowd of what looked like Yamino’s followers. Until Kurama got back up, then there had been mayhem over there as each and every one was impaled and killed. Even one that had tried to run away didn’t make it.

Then when Yamino had begun trying to kiss Kurama and started ripping his clothes off. Yusuke couldn’t take it anymore. It was one thing to watch his friends get beaten down… It was another to watch them get humiliated in such a way.

He was running towards the ring before he was aware he was moving so fast. He vaulted the rail and kept on running, he was just about to leap onto what was left of the ring when he heard Kurama cry out.

“Dragon of the Darkness Flame!”

Yusuke stumbled to a stop as he watched Kurama become consumed by black fire.

Yamino was trying to stumble backwards when Hiei’s black dragon roared into the sky from Kurama. It was shrieking so loud it was defining. Then it turned and came down to slam straight into Yamino, it’s jaws clamping shut around him as the ring beneath them imploded.

Yamino was screaming in pain as the dragon writhed around him. Then Hiei was there.

Yusuke watched as Hiei grabbed one of Yamino’s arms and ripped it off at the elbow, throwing it to one side, before taking the rest of Yamino’s arm and pulling it out of his shoulder socket till the flesh tore and Hiei threw that away too.

Yusuke couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Hiei could be vicious on a normal day, but his sudden brutality was a little unnerving. Yusuke expected to see a grin or some form of mania on his friends face, but Hiei just looked grim as he carried on pulling Yamino apart, bit by bit.

Then he saw Kurama sitting up and pulling himself into a tight ball. Without thinking he left Hiei and the dragon to deal with Yamino as he went to his other friend who looked like he needed him more.

He was just about to reach out a hand to Kurama when his friend growled.

“Don’t touch me!” Kurama snarled, tightening in on himself.

“But…” Yusuke protested about to reach out again when his wrist was grabbed and pulled away. He looked up to see Koenma looking down at him, his face for once deadly serious.

“Don’t.” Koenma said releasing him then pulling his own cloak off and literally dropping it over Kurama’s shoulders. Kurama didn’t even make a move to use it to cover himself as he sat their, covered in blood and half naked. “If you touch him now, Hiei WILL kill you too.”

They both looked back at Hiei, the black dragon had gone and Hiei was now plunging his hands into Yamino’s torso, pulling out his guts in handfuls. He wasn’t making a sound as he tore Yamino to shreds with his bare hands.

“That’s just creepy…” Yusuke whispered, glad he hadn’t eaten recently. “I guess they just forfeited the fight though?”

Koenma sighed deeply. “Actually no.” he said softly. “The moment Yamino tried to kiss Kurama the fight was over.”

“What? How?” he looked back at Koenma.

“Kurama wasn’t down long enough for a ten count, and Yamino forfeited the fight, he was a dead man the moment he touched Kurama in that way.” Koenma said as he then crouched down near Kurama but didn’t touch him. “I don’t have a smell.” He told the red head who’s face was hidden by his blood soaked hair. “You can use my cloak to cover yourself.”

Kurama shook his head a little.

“Yusuke, go fetch Hiei’s cloak, it should just be over their.” Koenma pointed just off to their right. “Go get it and try not to touch it too much.”

Yusuke did as he was told; picking the black cloak up with his fingertips and giving it a little shake to get the dust off. Then he was back with his friends as Koenma daftly removed his own cloak then took the one Yusuke had and once again put it around Kurama’s shoulders without actually touching him.

Instantly Kurama pulled the black material about himself, hiding his face in its folds.

“Shouldn’t we do something?” Yusuke asked, Kurama was still bleeding, and he could see burns on exposed skin, then his friend began trembling.

Koenma sighed again as he got to his feet. “You might want to step away a little.” he said before he approached Hiei, who was now cracking Yamino’s ribs to open up his chest.

“Hiei…?” Koenma said as he inched closer to the fire youkai. He only just dodged a lung that Hiei threw at him. “Hiei, enough now… Kurama needs you more than this…”

Hiei paused before putting his hands inside Yamino’s chest again and pulling out his heart. Yusuke tried not to be sick as he saw the thing contract in Hiei’s hand like it was still trying to beat. Then the heart was consumed by a black burning heat that Yusuke could feel from where he crouched.

“This will destroy his soul?” Hiei growled at Koenma.

Koenma nodded. “It’s already done.”

“Good.” Hiei said before he smashed his foot down on Yamino’s head. With a sickening crack and squelch, he destroying that too. Then he shook his foot of gore as he flitted over to Kurama.

Yusuke backed up a little more when Hiei glared and him with a growl. There was nothing that was ‘friend’ in Hiei’s cold red eyes at the moment.

“Easy, easy, just here to help.” Yusuke said backing up a little more.

Hiei knelt and put his arms around Kurama, pulling him tight against his chest.

Yusuke gasped when he saw the black dragon tattoo that Hiei always kept covered and warded, slither across Kurama’s bare shoulder.

“Take him to your rooms.” Koenma said softly. “I already have Boton on her way to get Yukina and your children, they should be here in a few hours, I’ll look after them especial till you’re ready for them. And your floor and the ones above and below are being cleared now, I have guards at all entrances, all ones you will have met before.”

Hiei spared him a look before he practically disappeared.

“Wow…” Yusuke let out, not realising he was holding his breath. “That was scary in OH so many ways.” He glanced over at what was left of The Dark Mountain Yamino, mostly just chunks of gore and shattered bone that still smouldered with black fire.

“Yes…” Koenma said with a touch of regret in his tone. “But right now I’m wondering if it was worth it.”

Yusuke looked at the Jr God, he looked pale and a little shaken. “Kurama’s a tough guy… He’ll get over this beating…”

“You don’t understand.” Koenma said softly. “I don’t know how far Yamino actually went. If he actually manage to get inside Ku…”

“DON’T say it!” Yusuke bit out. “He was close… But I don’t think he got that far.”

“Lets hope so… If he did… this could go very bad.”

“What aren’t you saying?” Yusuke demanded.

Koenma sight and for the first time Yusuke thought he looked very old, much like Kurama sometimes did, it was something in the eyes. “If Kurama has been violated beyond his tolerance and Hiei can’t get Yamino’s smell off him… Then Hiei might very well let Kurama succumb to his wounds.”

“What!” Yusuke tensed, “We cant allow that to happy! They can get over this, What about their kids, they wouldn’t just leave them and be so selfish!”

“I’m afraid those factors might not be enough to bring them around… I’ve been around a long time Yusuke, I have seen many a Bonded pair suicide over much less. Then there is Kurama’s wounds. Hiei will not be able to let anyone else near without killing them until he has settled his own protective emotions… There are too many factors for me not to see this day ending in tragedy.”

“Don’t say it!” Yusuke fisted his hand in Koenma’s shirt, pulling the teenager face to face. “Don’t even THINK it!”

Koenma gave him a wearied smile. “All right…”

“Emm… What happened?” Yusuke jumped as the announcer girl blinked up over the side of the ring, rubbing her head.

“The fight is over… Hiei and Kurama won.” Koenma told her.

“Ah…” she picked up her mic and began shouting into it, to the delight of the crowd.

“Come on.” Koenma said pulling himself free of Yusuke’s hold. “We have some waiting to do.”

Yusuke followed him feeling his gut’s churn with unease.

+ + + + + +

Yomi sighed as his son sat forwards when Hiei and Kurama revealed themselves. His son still had an unhealthy obsession with the pair.

Shuen had become stronger as he grew, but that still didn’t mean he was strong enough to win all his battles yet, and had been knocked out of the competition rather soon. But he still thought he could take on the Mate Bonded and win.

“I can’t believe you lost to them Father!” Shuen was saying in a peeved tone as the fight drew it’s self out. “Even I can tell Yamino is going to win!”

Yomi sighed. “That is because they are holding back.” He explained, he knew Kurama would be pulling some kind of strategy; He never liked revealing his cards to early. Kurama was no doubt trying to figure out Yamino’s trump card.

When the scramming started in the stands, Yomi couldn’t help but smiles. It was odd feeling Hiei use Kurama’s spirit energy to make his deadly plants grow.

“What the hell… I though Kurama’s energy was blocked?” Shuen gasped.

“It is.” Yomi patiently explained, “Hiei is using it, Yamino only blocked the user from using their own energy, but he can’t stop Hiei using Kurama’s.” He felt his son turn to look at him, a frown on his face. “I have told you this before.” He said with a sigh, wondering if he was ever this stubborn, then smiled, maybe he had. “They are Mate Bonded, so they have access to each others energy and can use them as their own, but like everything it takes practice.”

“Oh…” Shuen muttered. “You never told me that before.”

Yomi shrugged one shoulder, “That is because you never take care over your studies.” He tried not to smile as he felt his son get irritated.

“But still… If this bonding is so good… why arnt more fighters doing it?”

Yomi could almost hear his son plotting on how he could find someone to bond with and who it would be.

“And why did you never do it with Youko Kurama?” His son asked with a mocking tone.

Yomi chuckled. “Because back then Kurama’s energy would have ripped me apart. It is why the idiots who have tried bonding since those two got together have all died. And why you have never seen other Bonded pairs in the tournament over the years.”

His son snorted. “So what makes them so special… It’s obvious Hiei has more energy and is a lot stronger.”

Yomi was distracted by what was going on in the ring. He could hear Kurama’s panic, then he was calling for Hiei’s black dragon. Yomi smiled as he heard Hiei begin to rip Yamino apart.

“What makes them so special?” Yomi smiled at his son. “It’s quite simple… They truly love each other.”

His son had gone very quiet as he watched the carnage in the ring. “Love…?” Shuen uttered. He had gone quite pale; Yomi could hear the blood leave his face.

“Yes.” Yomi said softly. “So much so, that no matter where their soul’s end up after this life, they will always find each other, and if not, then they will be unable to love anyone else truly… The bond they made will last until the last stare blinks out of the sky…” he put his hand on his son’s knee. “That’s why so many fail, they try doing it for power when it’s about something a lot more subtle and harder to obtain…”

“Like what?” Shuen whispered.

Yomi shrugged, “I wouldn’t know that.” he said with a sigh, “Maybe one day I should take you to meet them… if and when you loose your silly notion that you can defeat them.” He grinned.

His son snorted as Hiei carried Kurama out of the ring.

“I guess it’s over… lets go talk to Mukuro…” He said as he got to his feet.

+ + + + + +

Hiei tried not to think of anything but what he had to do. Once he got them into their bathroom and sat Kurama down on the floor of the wetroom, he stripped them both and burned their clothes as he did so. Never once letting go of his trembling Mate.

Every time he tried to brush against Kurama’s mind it was silent with shock, like a black hole sucking all other emotion and sensation into it, and Hiei was finding it hard to resist it’s pull, but knew better than to get close.

He pulled away physically as he turned all the shower jets on, turning the temperature up as high as Kurama could stand. He needed desperately to get them both clean, to get rid of Yamino’s stench while also cleaning their wounds.

He quickly cleaned himself first using Kurama’s rose scented soup. He also checked out his own wounds, just scrapes and busies and a few burn marks that were quickly healing from the acid like bonds Yamino he had placed on him.

Then he turned his attention to his Mate. Kurama was a mess, his hair was still caked with blood and his body was littered with small cuts and abrasions, mostly on his left side.

As the water sluiced most of the blood away, still there was a lot of red going down the drain.

He put his hand under Kurama’s chin to move his face up as his other moved his wet hair away. Dull green eyes looked straight through him, staring at nothing. Blood from a cut over Kurama’s left eye still bled a little. But that side of his face was also a mess of small scratches.

Hiei washed them all clean as gently as he could manage with a flannel before he moved on to the rest of Kurama’s body. Again his Left side was a mess, something had caused a hole the size of his thumb pad in Kurama’s ribs, it went deep and Hiei was sure it went down to bone, he just couldn’t tell if it had broken anything. He put his hand over it and put a little pressure on it and sighed when he felt a little grinding. Broken ribs it was.

Then he went to the top of Kurama’s left hip where the sword wound also still bled. It was just a small wound but Hiei knew it went deep; He opened his Jagan and could see it was only tissue damage, but it could still become infected.

With a heavy a sigh he left all the damage as he finished cleaning his Mate, who just sat unresponsive.

Finally Hiei pushed Kurama down onto his side and knelt up over him. Now he was at the bit that even his forced calm was being battled against by his obsessive protectiveness. The though of someone else taking his Mate was enough to even pierce his heart and make him sick. He had already killed Yamino, but he still felt like he could flatted the whole of the Makai.

Gently he ran his hand down Kurama’s back, feeling the heat from the burn marks cause by Yamino’s technique, then he ran his hand lower in-between Kurama’s cheeks, when his fingers found Kurama’s hole he almost laughed with relief.

His Mate hadn’t been violated. He couldn’t help but push one finger inside.

Kurama whimpered and tried to curl up on himself. It was the first reaction Hiei had seen since he picked him up in the stadium.

Quickly he removed his finger and pulled Kurama up and against his own chest.

‘That bastard didn’t take you.’ Hiei reassured into Kurama mind. ‘Thank your Inari, she was looking out for you today.’

Hiei wasn’t prepared for the emotion suddenly coming at him from his Mate, disgust, shame, loathing, shock, humiliation and mixed up in it all, Guilt aimed at himself. But what scared Hiei the most was the dark depression that carried them all.

Every now and again Hiei caught a glimpse of Kurama’s darker emotions, but his Mate would just apologise and either make a distraction, or on rare occasions would just need to be held till the feelings passed.

This darkness in Kurama was even stronger than when Shiori passed away and his Mate had needed some quiet time where he clung to Hiei for about a fortnight, not talking unless he had or unless it was helping the Kit’s through their grief. Finally Kurama had broke down one night and cried himself sore and Hiei had held him till he fell asleep, then Kurama had woken the next day much more healed.

Now, Kurama was shaking violently as he turned into Hiei’s chest, clutching to him painfully, Hiei just held on, there really wasn’t much more he could do.

Eventually Kurama spoke aloud. “Everything I’ve done… and can not atone for… was this to be my punishment?” He whispered out so quietly Hiei hardly heard it.

Hiei ran his hand thought Kurama’s wet hair, “If it is… Then I share it too.” Hiei answered softly as he closed his eyes. “I couldn’t protect you…”

Kurama pulled him a little tighter. ‘I’ve never felt so helpless.’ He uttered brokenly.

Hiei sighed as he pulled away a little; he took hold of Kurama’s right wrist and brought it up between them. ‘Look.’ He shook his Mate a little.

Finally Kurama was looking down at his own arm, then sat back in stunned shock.

Hiei watched as his black dragon began to move up Kurama’s arm, away from the spray of the shower to wind it’s self around Kurama’s shoulders and neck, its head finally coming to rest on his right cheek.

Hiei poked its head. “At least it’s not going near my marks.” It had purposefully not crossed Hiei’s Marking scars.

“But…” Kurama asked. ‘I can feel it… but it doesn’t hurt, it always burned before.’

Hiei shrugged as he took his Mate’s hands in his own. ‘Maybe both it and I know you need it more right now?’ he surmised. ‘Towards the end, as my bonds broke, you had more control over it than I did.’

They sat silently for a moment before Kurama looked up into his eyes. ‘What… what happened to…?’ His eyes were wide, and Hiei hated seeing his mate look so unsure.

“I ripped him apart then burned his heart and soul… Koenma assures me he’s never coming back… He can never hurt you again.” Hiei growled with a smile.

Kurama smiled back, then his relief began to fade as once again his eyes began to dull as his body sagged. ‘Cant… hurts.’ Kurama uttered and Hiei could feel the fatigue and grogginess slowly dulling his Mates mind as he started to slip into unconsciousness.

Hiei cursed as he picked his Mate up and went through into their bedroom and placed Kurama on the bed. He was torn between staying and having to get their medical kit in the other room. He leaned down and kissed his Mate with a promise, then went and grabbed the bag, he wasn’t even gone a second and he could feel Kurama’s black panic start to form.

“I have you.” He said as he sat back down next to Kurama. ‘Just let go… I’m not leaving.’

He felt Kurama slip away, but it wasn’t a conscious decision. Kurama had lost too much blood and his body was going into shock.

Quickly Hiei bandaged and put plasters on Kurama’s worse wounds and burns. He knew he should get help, should go and get Yukina as soon as she got there… but he couldn’t, not yet. He knew Kurama was still too deep in his own physical and mental pain to put up with anyone else near him.
And that was another thing. He couldn’t feel anyone actually near their hotel apartment. Koenma was actually true to his word and cleared the surrounding area. Hiei could feel the guards who kept themselves far away and he recognised every energy signature from people who had guarded Kurama when he was pregnant.

With a sigh he pulled up the covers, they were both still wet and the last thing he needed was Kurama to get a cold. So once he had his Mate in his arms he razed his own body temperature before closing his eyes, though he was tired he couldn’t sleep as he watched over his World.

+ + + + + +

Kurama woke feeling like he was nothing but rice paper, thin and insubstantial; his body wouldn’t stop trembling as he hurt all over.

Then Hiei was looking down at him. His red eyes filled with concern.

Kurama reached up one shaking hand to lay it on his Mate’s bruised cheek as he felt tears enter his eyes.

‘It’s over…’ Hiei whispered.

Kurama let the tears fall, feeling his shame once again wash through him. ‘I couldn’t stop him!’ He gasped on a sob as there was a sharp pain in the side of his chest.

‘You have a broken rib.’ Hiei explained softly. ‘But you did stop him… You took my dragon and you killed him… You did us both proud.’

Kurama blinked trying to settle his emotions, but he still felt so fragile. He closed his eyes feeling every second of all the years his soul had lived and it made him feel heavy and ancient, like maybe he had lived too long, maybe he should just let go… at least then he might not feel this crushing depression.

“Don’t even think that!” Hiei raged into his face. “If you were meant to be dead you would be ash already!”

Kurama felt his Mates fear and desperation and he opened his eyes to look up at the grim determination on Hiei’s face.

“I chose a Mate who IS strong enough to get over some bastard who TRIED to humiliate him!” Hiei stormed angrily. “I chose a Mate who was strong enough to kill the bastard! I chose a Mate who WILL get over this!”

Kurama shook his head, wishing he could believe Hiei, but his chest felt empty as he let more tears fall. He wasn’t worthy of Hiei, he had tricked him all this time, he should brake the bond and let Hiei free, and let his own soul be damned.

The darkness in his soul was free now and he couldn’t contain it any longer as it swept through every corner of his being. With a shriek of pure agony he let it out.

+ + + + + +

“What the hell is that?!” Yusuke felt something dark and ominous sweep through his entire body, chilling him to the bone. When he looked, everyone else in the room was holding themselves and shivering as if cold. Then he heard the scream, so filled with pain and despair it brought tears to his eyes.

“That’s Kurama…” Koenma whispered as he removed the pacifier from his mouth.

“Mama…” Mineko breathed out as she sat with Atago, Kamui and Hanako, all four hugging each other, their eyes wide, but only the twins had tears in their eyes.

“What’s he doing?” Yusuke asked getting to his feet.

“It would seem he’s having trouble dealing with his emotion.” Koenma sighed, “I feared this would happen, no doubt he would be infecting everyone within miles with his depression if I didn’t have the foresight to create a barrier against it… Now we just have to wait and see.”

“We need to go to Mama!” Minako said as she grabbed her brother’s hand and pulled him to his feet too.

“You can’t.” Koenma also got to his feet and blocked the door. “Your Papa is with him… Your Mama wants to be alone right now, your Papa will keep him safe.”

Yusuke didn’t miss the look Koenma shot him. “That’s right kids. Your Mama’s just a little upset right now. You know he doesn’t want you to see him cry.”

“But he’s hurting.” Atago growled, much like his farther.

“Come sit down with me children.” Yukina finally said, her eyes misted with tears as she held her arms out to them. “Dry your tears, you want to show your Mama how brave you are when he calls for you, don’t you?”

Both twins nodded as they slumped down either side of their aunt, putting their arms around her.

Yusuke slumped as they all sat, waiting for the waves of black despair to lift.

+ + + + + +

Hiei clung to his Mate, riding out wave after wave of despair, black depression and shame.

With every minute that passed Kurama’s cries where growing weaker as he gasped for air.

Finally it faded and died as Kurama lay in Hiei’s arms limp and exhausted, totally spend physically and emotionally. It had taken almost two hours. But Hiei sighed with relief, he was sure it would last days.

‘You need to sleep some more.’ He whispered into Kurama’s mind.

‘I’m sorry… I’m so sorry…’ Kurama replied and Hiei could feel how desperately his Mate wanted to hug him but was too drained to even move a finger. ‘I… I couldn’t… wouldn’t…’

Hiei knew he was talking about their Bond. He had been angry and stunned when he felt that thought flash through Kurama’s mind, thinking that if he could break it, all would be well.

‘Shhh… I know.’ And Hiei truly did, He had felt how scared Kurama had been, but even in his fear he had wanted to protect Hiei. ‘I forgive you… I’ll forgive you everything… But even if you ever think like that again. Know I’ll follow you willingly, don’t ever think I won’t.’

‘I’m sorry…’ Kurama whispered again.

‘Stupid Fox.’ Hiei smiled feeling the darkness in Kurama reseed a little more. ‘Sleep, I’m also sorry… but you need Yukina’s healing and I cant let anyone near you yet.’ Not without killing them.

He felt Kurama’s acknowledgment as he drifted off into a true sleep.

+ + + + + +

“Oh… Poor Kurama.” Yukina sighed as Yusuke turned off the recording of yesterday’s fight. It was very early in the morning and Yukina had asked to see it.

“I see now why you wouldn’t let us see them.” She said. “I don’t want the children to see this.” She insisted. “But I can see Kurama took some deep wounds that need treating.”

“I agree.” Koenma sighed. “But even trying to go near them right now would just be suicide.”

“But how come Kurama called forth Hiei’s black dragon?” Yukina asked. “I’ve seen Hiei trying to grow seeds before, but they always burst into flame, and I remember Kurama commenting that he kept getting burned by Hiei’s fire energy… How did he manages to control something so feral? I thought it would have consumed him too.”

Koenma shrugged. “When they Mate Bonded Kurama had to exert some kind of understanding with the dragon or he would have been killed that day… I’m guessing because of his desperation he could control it for a short amount of time, then Hiei must have sealed it away again once he was free.”

Yukina was just about to ask something else when they all jumped as the phone in the room began ringing.

Yusuke quickly picked it up. “Hello?”

“Send Yukina up, no one else… We cant wait any longer….” Then the phone went dead.

“Err…” Yusuke said looking at the phone. “Yukina, Hiei wants you now.”

Without a word Yukina picked up her bag and ran out of the room.

Koenma let out a chuckled breath. “Well I guess the worse is over if he’s willing to ask for help.”

“You think they will be up for the last fight?” Yusuke asked picking up his coffee.

Koenma shrugged. “It’s not till noon… who can say.”

Yusuke grunted. He really didn’t want to fight his friends, especial not after what happened yesterday. Maybe he should concede to them.

+ + + + + +

Kurama could hear someone knocking lightly on the main door, he opened his eyes as Hiei called out to who ever it was, then he smiled a little as he saw Yukina peeking into the room.

He had woken a few minutes ago with a fever that made the world seem a little fuzzy, he knew he had an infection somewhere, but all his body had a dull ach so he wasn’t sure what bit hurt most.

“Hi…” he managed. As he felt Hiei tense a little besides him on the bed.

“He’s got a fever.” Hiei said as he moved reluctantly so Yukina could get to him.

“Don’t touch too much.” Kurama smiled, “Hiei’s a little possessively protective at the moment.” He tried to joke weakly as his rib stabbed a bolt of pain through his chest, making Hiei growl.

“I’ll try not to.” Yukina smiled at him. “Now… let’s get to work.”

Kurama closed his eyes as he felt her start healing the sword wound. He could feel something start seeping out and grimaced as the infected puss dribble down his side, the smell was intolerable in it’s corruption that made him a little nauseas, then there were sharp little stabs of prickly pain as her healing energy seeped into him soothing and healing from the inside out.

He wasn’t aware he had drifted off till he heard Yukina talking to her brother.

“I’ve healed the worse.” She sounded pleased but tired. “The burns will still be as tender as his bruising and the little scratches should be healed soon.”

“What about his fever?” Hiei asked.

“It’s already coming down, but the loss of blood will take more time.” She said. “Just make sure he eats as much as you can get in him and drinks frequently. When he gets dizzy just sit him down and make sure he rests.”

“No ‘If’s’” Kurama asked, he was feeling a lot better, and his ribs no longer hurt.

Yukina chuckled softly. “IF you don’t get dizzy I’ll be surprised.” Then she was getting to her feet. “I’ll leave you both alone now… Would you like me to send up Atago and Minako? They are very worried, so much so I had to sleep with them last night.”

Hiei groaned. “You really should stop spoiling them.”

Yukina laughed. “I’m there aunt, I can spoil them as much as my own… So are you ready to see them?”

Kurama paused. He did want to see them, but he still felt a little delicate.

“I’ll call them soon.” Hiei answered for him, “But if they want to come when they wake up, don’t stop them.”

“Alright, I’ll have them bring up some food when they do.” Then Yukina was gone.

‘I don’t want them to see me like this…’ Kurama explained softly. He wasn’t usual bothered about them seeing him in bed, or even naked for that matter. The little brats had crawled into their bed often enough over the years for it not to be an embarrassment anymore. But he didn’t want them to see him as weak and broken as he still felt, even if it was much less than it had been just the night before.

‘I know.’ Hiei said as he slowly got off the bed. ‘I need to let go so I can get you something to wear.’

Kurama got a moment of trepidation twisting in his gut at the thought and squeezed Hiei’s hand a little tighter. It almost felt like when they were bonding and he couldn’t let go of his Mate or the world would come crashing down around him.

‘I’m right here.’ Hiei whispered into his mind then was caressing his cheek. ‘So is the dragon, we wont leave you.’

Kurama sighed as he looked up into his Mates eyes and smiled. ‘Remember what I told you about colour and clashing.’ He grinned as he reluctantly let go of Hiei’s hand.

Kurama couldn’t help but find some amusement in how proficient Hiei was in changing the sheets with him still in it, or dressing him. He had done it way to many times. But as Hiei had pulled him upright the world spun and he felt like he was going to be sick, he clung on tight, silently begging Hiei not to move, hoping the feeling would pass.

“Looks like Yukina was right… No ‘If’s’” Hiei chuckled as he held him till the nausea passed. ‘You’re staying in bed; I’ll call the kits and make you some tea.’ Then he piled up all the pillows and resting Kurama back against them.

Kurama would have preferred being sat on one of the sofas.

‘It’s only the Kits.’ Hiei growled at him in annoyance. ‘I don’t want you throwing up on them or something.’ He grinned to take the sting out of his words.

‘Brats! Move.’ He heard Hiei send to the Kits. Then Hiei was going into the other room, making sure as he prepared the tea, Kurama could see him the whole time.

Finally the main door was thrown open, and the Kits came running in. At first they saw Hiei.

“Papa!” Minako cried as they flung themselves at him after throwing something on the table.

Hiei hugged them both as Kurama sent him a grin.

Both the kits were taller than him now, Atago a little more so, they almost smothered him as they both threw their arms around his compact frame.

“I’m fine.” He told them gruffly as he kissed them both. “But why don’t you go see to your mother?”

Kurama watched as two sets of green eyes turned on him, then they were running at him.

“Slowly!” Hiei called.

But it was too late as Minaka threw her self on the bed to hug him, Atago leaped over them both to do the same on the other side.

“I was so worried!” Minako sobbed as she tightened her hold.

“We felt you last night… you were so sad!” Atago said desperately. Then he was pulling away a little to look at him. “You’re okay now right… err.” He reached out to touch Kurama’s cheek. “Why are you wearing Papa’s dragon?”

Then Minako was looking at his face. “Did it just move?”

‘Hiei?’ Kurama was a little startled, usually it only moved on Hiei if he was about to use it, or he was agitated. But most of the time his Mate had kept it warded until he needed to use it. Now it was neither. It would be a problem if it saw the kits as a threat.

Hiei was suddenly between the Kits, kneeling over Kurama’s legs as he also looked at the dragon.

“Atago, touch it again.” Minako poked her brother.

Kurama felt his son touch his cheek again and keep his finger there.

Kurama grew a little concerned as he watched all their eyes widen.

“What is it?” he asked a little alarmed.

Suddenly he was looking through Hiei’s eyes, he watched as the dragon opened its mouth and looked like it was licking under Atago’s finger with a long black tong.

“The infamous Youko Kurama, bandit and great thief, now tamer of Dragons!” Hiei laughed. ‘Is it causing you any pain?’ he asked with more concern.

‘Err… No… a little warm maybe.’ Kurama answered softly. He could feel where the dragon tattoo rested about his neck, but nothing more from it. ‘What do you feel?’

‘I still feel it as I always did, but I can also feel it through our bond.’ Hiei answered with a frown, then he was getting up. “You guys bring food?” he asked as he went back into the other room.

“Some tuna mayo sandwiches.” Minako said as she settled at Kurama’s side again, cuddling up to him, as Atago did the same at his other.

“You look pretty beat up.” Atago said softly as his hand tightened in Kurama’s shirt. “Was the fight really bad?”

Kurama settled back into his pillows as he hugged his kit’s. “It was towards the end.” He whispered, kissing his son’s forehead. “But your Papa made sure he cant hurt me again.”

He could feel his Kits worry for him like a biting awareness. And he closed his eyes tight, remembering that not even twenty four hours ago he was ready to give in and leave them behind without even a thought. A stab of guilt went through him as he remembered what he was prepared to do for his own mother so long ago and he grit his teeth against a sob as he pulled his kits to him more.

Hiei might follow him anywhere, even into death, but he was never going to leave his kits before it was his time, or Hiei’s. He opened his eyes to see Hiei smiling at him from the other room.

‘Figured it out?... Hn, stupid Fox.’

Kurama just smiled back trying not to show his tears as he rested his cheek on top of Minako’s head as he hugged his kits to him a little more.

“Don’t fall asleep yet.” Hiei snapped as he brought in a tray with the sandwiches and tea. “Eat and drink, then you can take another nap.”

+ + + + + +

Kurama sighed as Hiei pulled him to the edge of the bed. He still felt shaky and really didn’t want to face anyone right now, let alone a stadium full of strangers and potential threats.

“Hn… This isn’t going to work.” Hiei said softly. “I’m going to carry you till it’s time to face the crowd.”

“But…” Kurama needed to not show any weakness, it was churning in his gut enough just to go out there; it was making him nauseous if he couldn’t make a show of being strong and unaffected by yesterday’s events.

Hiei bent down to look him straight in the eye. “I need my Mate to save his strength to put on a show for the crowd, and not to shame us both by falling down… Unless he has too… You understand me?”

Kurama nodded as he lowered his head in an automatic show of submission. Then Hiei’s fingers lifted his face up. ‘I might like you doing that stuff… But it’s not the time for it… Chin up and be the proud Fox you are.’

Kurama nodded again feeding off Hiei’s pride and belief in him.

He hated feeling like crap, it was bad enough when he was emotionally unstable as he had carrying the kits. He hated it more now, he just wanted to go home and hide in familiarity for a while.

‘We are going home tonight, just be strong till then.’ Hiei said as he slipped Kurama’s feet into his shoes, then the next moment Kurama had his arms around Hiei’s shoulders as he was being picked up. Kurama tried to burry his face into Hiei’s shoulder when he felt and heard his Mate sigh. Then he felt himself being put down in a chair. “Wha..?”

“This…” Hiei said as he pulled his scarf off, shook it out then began wrapping it about Kurama’s head, it was large enough to cover his hair and shoulders. Then Hiei pulled it loose about Kurama’s face so he could hide in the folds.

Kurama bit back his emotional tears at the tender act, for a moment he had wanted to pull it off, but it smelled so strongly of Hiei he couldn’t.

Then Hiei was picking him up again.

“Come on guys.” Hiei said to the Kits who had helped Hiei pack. “Get the bag’s and lets go find your aunt and the rest of the idiots.”

“You’re sure you want to do this?” Atago asked as Kurama felt his hand on his shoulder.

He gave his son a reassuring smile. “No, but I have to,” he reached out and ruffled his son’s stunning dark red hair. “Then we can go home and eat enough ice-cream till we are all sick.”

Atago grinned at him. “I’ll go get some cookie dough soon as we get back!” then he leaned in and kissed him before being shoved out of the way so his sister could do the same.

“Love you Mama.” She grinned as she went to help Atago get their bags.

“Ok, let’s get this over with.” Hiei sighed as a long suffering parent as he went to the door. ‘Cover yourself up if you want.’ Hiei told him.

With a groan of relief Kurama did just that, burying himself in Hiei’s sent.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke was getting restless, he had been watching the crowds slowly thinning out as they made their way inside the stadium, by all accounts the ring had been fixed and soon the last battle was going to be starting. Koenma had already bitched at him that he should ‘man up’ and stop complaining and that he wasn’t allowed to quit, even if his next opponents were Hiei and Kurama.

When Yukina had got back she had reassured them all that Kurama would be fine, that he just needed rest. Then the twins had run out like their heels were on fire, Yukina only just managed to shove a box of sandwiches into their hands as they fled.

He was just about to have another go at Koenma when Minako barged into the room.

“Papa asked you all to be quiet!” she said breathlessly as she held the door open.

Then Hiei was walking in with Kurama in his arms. The Kitsune had his head covered in one of Hiei’s scarves and his face pushed into the fire youkai’s neck, but the rest of him looked limp and lifeless.

Yusuke took a step forwards when Hiei glared at him, then sat down in one of the chairs with his cargo.

“He’s just sleeping.” Hiei whispered as he gently moved the scarf away from Kurama’s face so he could look at him.

Yusuke could still see small wounds on Kurama’s very pale face, then he gasped as he saw Hiei’s black dragon on Kurama’s cheek. He edged closer before Hiei glared at him. “How…?” he asked, pointing at his own face.

Hiei glared at him some more, then he was turning his attention to Koenma. “We are going home after this, can you make the arrangements?”

“Already done.” Koenma assured him. “Whenever you want, just say the word.”

Hiei nodded. Then Kurama was waking up.

Yusuke felt guilty as he saw his friend flinch as his green eyes swept the room, then he settled back against Hiei.

“Hello.” Kurama sighed. “Sorry, I must have fallen asleep.”

“It’s all right.” Yukina said as she picked up a bottle of water from the table, then walked over and held it out to him. “Drink something; you will feel a little better.”

Yusuke watched as Kurama opened it with shaking fingers then lifted it so Hiei could take a sip, then took a drink himself.

“You look terrible uncle Kurama.” Kamui whispered as Atago sat down at his side and put an arm around him.

Yusuke tried not to roll his eyes; the boy’s were almost inseparable as Atago’s parents.

“He’s gonna be fine.” Atago told him with a grin. “Then when we get home we can eat ice cream till we are sick!”

“Really, awesome!” Kamui grinned back.

“Who said you could?” Yusuke asked.

“I did.” Kurama said a little guiltily.

“After all.” Hiei said with an evil little grin on his face. “He’s up at our place so much we started to tell people we have triplets instead of just twins.”

Yusuke sighed as he watched his youngest son blush furiously as Atago grinned and put his arm around his younger friend a little more possessively.

Kurama had already had a ‘little chat’ with him about the two a long time ago.

“We should get going.” Koenma said. “It’s almost time.”

“I cant fight them!” Yusuke said yet again. “Look at Kurama for gods sake, he cant stand, never mind fight!”

“He doesn’t need too!” Hiei snarled. “Don’t think I cant take you down by myself!”

At first Yusuke thought he was doing his normal bravado kick before he actually looked into his friends eyes, “Look, I just mean I’ll forfeit the fight to you guys. Then we can all go home.”

“Don’t you think Kurama’s honour has been affected enough?” Hiei hissed angrily. “Now you want to make a mockery of our last fight!”

“Hiei…” Kurama whispered at his husband desperately. Then they did that silent looking thing, like they were talking without saying anything.

Then Kurama was getting to his feet with Hiei’s help.

Yusuke could see how he was struggling just to stand as Kurama turned to him.

“Hiei’s right. Please do us the honour of stepping into the ring.”

Yusuke sighed deeply. “Fine… But I don’t have to like it.”

“Thank you.” Kurama smiled, then he was putting his arm around Hiei’s neck as the little guy swept him up in his arms.

“I’ll go with you.” Koenma said to Hiei, then he turned to the kids and Yukina. “You children, come with us too, and Yukina, if you wouldn’t mind… just in case.”

“Yes, obviously.” Yukina said as she stood.

“No one’s coming with me?” Yusuke asked. “Kamui?”

Kamui ran up to him and gave him a hug. “You’re gonna be find dad, I just wana watch from Uncle Koenma’s VIP box!”

“Fine.” Yusuke said as they all started walking to the stadium.

+ + + + + + 

Kurama hid himself as Hiei tried to take them past as few people as possible till they stood at their side of the stadium, just inside the gate to the arena it’s self.

They listened as the announcer was talking, then she was screaming for Yusuke.

They saw their friend get up onto the ring and stand with his fists on his hips.

‘He’s not happy.’ Kurama sighed as he rested his head against Hiei’s.

‘Well… anything to stop him being a coward…. Ok, show time.’ Hiei said giving him a quick kiss before lowering him so he could stand.

Kurama could feel his legs shaking, not just from weakness and it annoyed him, but the amount of youkai in the audience were sending shivers of apprehension up his spine.

“You are going to be fine.” Hiei said as he straightened his scarf around Kurama’s neck, then making sure his hair was straight. “Remember, if you cant stand anymore, just say, I don’t want you passing out or falling while we do this.”

Kurama smiled as Hiei carried on straightening his clothes. “I’ll try not to shame us.” He promised.

‘You will never do that.’ Hiei said as he looked him directly in the eyes.

Kurama smiled at his Mate, ‘If you say so.’

‘I do.’ Hiei said firmly. “Lets get this over with.”

Just like the previous day, Kurama walked a step behind Hiei’s left shoulder. He made sure his back was straight and his shoulders back as he tried to walk with his normal sure confidence.

“And finally here comes Hiei and Kurama!” the announcer said happily as she gave them a little wave.

Kurama gave her a nod as he felt Hiei’s arm go around his waist, then Hiei was jumping them both up onto the ring.

‘Okay?’ Hiei asked as he waited for Kurama to get his feet firmly on the ground.

‘Yes.’ Then Hiei was letting him go as they carried on walking towards a grim faced Yusuke.

“And the lovely Kurama is back on his feet after taking such a beating in yesterday’s long and shocking fight with its epically gory conclusion!”

‘She should shut up.’ Hiei growled.

‘She’s just doing her job.’ Kurama replied feeling a little better as the crowd seemed to go a little wild as they cheered for him.

“So this should prove an epic battle of old friends! Who will win I really don’t know! Ok gentlemen, a clean fight.” Then she moved her mic from her mouth to whisper at them. “And please no crowd deaths, they pay my wages.” She winked. “Ok FIGHT!”

‘You sure I can’t smack him around just a little bit?’ Hiei asked with a grin as they watched Yusuke take a fighting stance.

‘Not today.’ Kurama replied, letting Hiei know he really was ready to sit down.

So when Hiei raised his arm from the elbow. Kurama placed his own on top of it then slowly eased himself down to his knees with Hiei’s help. Then he bent forwards bowing his head.

“What the hell?” Yusuke asked in confusion.

Then Hiei went to one knee and also bowed his head. ‘This is killing me.’ Hiei snorted. “We concede!” Hiei called out.

The silence that followed was eerie.

“You sure?” the announcer asked surprised and a little bit disappointed.

“You think I’m down on one knee for my health!” He stormed at her.

“What the hell are you guys playing at?” Yusuke shouted as he came stomping over. “You wouldn’t let me back down, then you do it yourselves, where the hell do you get off!”

‘Can I smack him about a bit now?’ Hiei snarled as he gave off waves of anger.

Kurama rolled his eyes, then wished he hadn’t as the world tilted a little. ‘Only after it’s made clear we are not fighting for the Makai.’

“Tell them girl.” Hiei shouted at the announcer. “We concede and Yusuke is the winner… Then we will give this crowd the show they paid for.” He said looking at Yusuke with a grin.

“I’m not fighting you!” Yusuke growled his fists clenched at his sides.

Hiei got to his feet slowly as he faced Yusuke. “You and me ARE going to fight today.”

Kurama sighed, he should have know Hiei would want to do this.

Yusuke blinked. “Err… but Kurama?”

“I’ll be taking a nap I imagine.” Kurama replied.

“Sparing matches don’t have rules, idiot.” Hiei taunted with a lethal grin. “Kurama doesn’t need to be in the ring for that… or are you too chicken to face me?”

“I’m never too chicken to face you, you little brat!” Yusuke shouted razing one fist.

“That’s settled then.” Hiei snorted. “Announce!” he snapped at the girl.

“Umm… Ok, Hiei and Kurama concede the fight to Yusuke!” she said as she skipped about the ring talking to the crowd who didn’t sound happy.

Kurama shivered as he leaned just a little against Hiei’s leg, then sighed when his Mate put a hand on his head.

‘Just a little longer, then you can rest.’ Hiei told him as he brushed his mind with a kiss.

“So Yusuke is the winner of this years Makai Tournament!”

The crowd didn’t know whether to cheer or boo.

“BUT!” the announcer screamed over the crowd. “To not disappoint you lovely Youkai, Yusuke and Hiei will put us on a bloody show! One fighter against the other in a brutal match to see who is the strongest! Lets cheer them on as they get ready! Then we can all go home happy as our new ruler for the next eight years get’s his face pounded into the ring by yesterdays gallant hero’s!”

The crowd went mad with cat calling and blood thirsty cheers.

“Crap…” Yusuke uttered. “You bastards tricked me into this.”

“No.” Kurama answered as he smiled up at his friend. “Like I said before, we were here to defeat Yamino, not take over the Makai. That was never our intention or goal.”

“So what ever happened I was meant to win this thing?” Yusuke growled in disbelief.

“Err…” Hiei said a little sarcastically. “Please tell me you are not that stupid to not have realized?”

Yusuke blinked.

‘Inari, he really is that stupid.’ Hiei uttered in astonishment.

Kurama guessed Hiei really was perplexed if he was using Inari as a curse. It wasn’t something he did very often and usually if he was almost speechless.

“I was more concerned that you and Kurama were gonna get killed and I’d have to take that bastard out than whether I was gonna win or not!”

‘Forgivable.’ Kurama smiled. ‘Almost.’

He felt Hiei trying not to laugh.

‘Well, give me your arm so I can get up, I think it’s time I left.’ Kurama said as Hiei instantly put his arm out. But Yusuke also step closer to take his other hand.

Hiei growled out a warning, but it was too late as Yusuke touched his hand.

Kurama felt the dragon suddenly move across his body and down his arm as Yusuke pulled back with a yelp as he put his hand to his chest, Yusuke didn’t have time to see Hiei’s fist that connected with his jaw sending him to the floor.

“Hiei!” Kurama called as Hiei tried to go in for the kill. He could feel his Mate’s single mindedness to obliterate what he saw as a threat.

“Shit!” Yusuke said as he tried to push himself back with his feet.

‘Hiei, STOP. Please!’ Kurama begged as he tried to get to his feet, but he got very dizzy and fell back to his knees, clamping a hand over his mouth so he wouldn’t throw up. “Yusuke, don’t move.” He managed through his fingers.

As Yusuke lay back on the ground, one hand clutched against his chest, the other on his cheek.

“Hiei?” Kurama tried again, letting his Mate feel how sick he was feeling, and how much he needed him more.

He felt Hiei coming back to his senses as he calmed down. Then his Mate was in front of him a question in his eyes.

‘I’m fine… Just moved to fast.’ He held his left hand up to look down at it. Sure enough the black dragon’s head was on the back of his hand, its jaws open in a snarl.

‘It moved?’ Hiei uttered as he touched the thing, it moved a little before closing its jaws. ‘Hn…’

“Yusuke?” Kurama asked softly as he looked at his friend.

“Can I move now?” he asked.

“You should have known better than to touch him.” Hiei snapped. “Get up you fool and stay back!”

Yusuke slowly got to his feet. His right hand still on his chest.

“Are you ok?” Kurama frowned.

‘Who cares?’ Hiei growled still agitated.

“When I touched you, something burned my hand.” Yusuke said as he looked down at his fingers. Sure enough Kurama could see burns.

“I think it was this.” Kurama said holding up his hand, showing Yusuke the dragon, “It moved when you got too close.”

Yusuke sighed, “When your husband isn’t being so bloody protective and you’re better, you are so gonna explain why it’s on you.”

Kurama nodded as they heard someone running up to the ring.

Then Atago was there, crouching down at his side.

“You shouldn’t be here.” Hiei snapped at his son.

Atago just ignored him as he spoke. “Uncle Koenma sent me to get Mama, and take him up to the VIP box. And he’s on his way down with anti Yukina for uncle Yusuke.”

“Fine.” Hiei said as he grabbed his son’s arm. “Let your Mama walk out to the gate, then you carry him to the box, okay? Don’t let anyone but you and Minako touch him.”

Atago rolled his eyes. “I know.”

Then both of them were helping Kurama to his feet. ‘Don’t go too hard on Yusuke.’ He said as he walked proudly at his son’s side back towards the gate.

‘Pfft, like I’m going to do that.’ Hiei grinned into his mind.

Then Kurama was shocked when Atago got him off the ring the same way as Hiei had got him on. Sometimes he forgot that his son was almost fully grown. He even stood a few inches taller than Kurama.

“You ok Mama?” Atago asked.

“Yes, come on, if I don’t get settled soon I think your Papa is going to break something.”

Atago laughed as he let go. “Something… Like uncle Yusuke?”

Kurama chuckled too. “Probably.” He said as they carried on walking.

+ + + + + +

Yusuke spat out a mouthful of blood as he glared at Hiei, who stood across from him.

They were both bloody and bruised and totally exhausted of almost two hours of fighting. But Yusuke hadn’t felt this alive in a long time, it was thrilling to have a true fight of strength.

If he had any guess, Hiei was the same as the fire youkai had a grin on his face even if he was breathing heavy.

They had traded spiritual based attacks, all of them purposefully missing so they would tare up the new ring instead of each other.

When they first started, he had feared Hiei would still want to kill him. He had never seen the pure bloodlust in his friends eyes before, just after he touched Kurama.

Sure, he had faced people who truly wanted to kill him for their own goals… But Hiei just wanted him dead, full stop, in that moment, their friendship meant nothing as Hiei protected his own.

But that look had gone the moment Kurama had left the ring. Much to Yusuke’s relief.

Now they were just fighting for the thrill of it.

“Cant we just call this a draw?” He called to his friend.

Hiei snorted. “Sure.” He replied with a vicious grin. “You first.”

Suddenly Yusuke found himself covered in vines that curled around his arms and legs slamming him into the floor. “What the fuck!” He growled as his face was mushed into the floor.

He could hear Hiei laughing loudly.

He tried to struggle a little more. “No fair!” He bellowed. “Kurama’s not meant to be in this fight!” he tried to look for his other friend, but all he saw was Hiei walking towards him.

“He’s asleep right now.” Hiei chortled, “But that doesn’t stop me from using his abilities as my own.”

“Aw come on, that’s still technically cheating!”

“Hn… Not really, he is my Mate after all.” Hiei said as he crouched down. “So do you yield?” then he was leaning closer to whisper. “Get out of this… We need to call this as a stale mate.” Then Hiei was getting up and bouncing away.

Yusuke sighed, obviously this had something to do with pride. He knew Hiei could force him to surrender right now.

He suddenly felt the vines weaken around one of his arms.

“Spirit Wave!” He cried as the vines disintegrated around him, then he was running at Hiei who acted surprised. But bought his fist up just in time.

They both punched each other in the jaw and went down. And stayed down.

Yusuke just stared up at the blue sky as he got his breath back as the announcer came over.

“Looks like our fighters are down!” she called to the crowd. “ONE, TWO, THREE!”

Yusuke closed his eyes as she carried on counting down.

“TEN! OUT!” she cried. “It looks like our new leader and Hiei are calling it a stale mate after a great fight! Well that’s all folks… There will be an announcement… err… hopefully in another hour from our great leader for the next eight years. Let’s give it up for Yusuke Urameshi, former spirit detective and descendent of the late great Toshin Raizen!”

The crowd suddenly went wild as they cheered.

“You getting up, or you want to stay there all day?” Hiei asked, he sounded smug and it was annoying.

Yusuke laughed as he took Hiei’s offered hand and got to his feet. “Man, that was good.” He said as he stretched his sore muscles. “We really need to do that more often!”

“Maybe.” Hiei offered. “But right now I need to get my family home, good luck.” Then he was gone as Shirenu, the last leader of the Makai came to greet him.

+ + + + + +

They had stayed to watch Yusuke’s speech to his people, saying that Shirenu would help keep things going for a few weeks while Yusuke went home and made preparations.
Then they had all come home to the temple.

Now they sat around recuperating, watching some of the latest films and drinking that year’s Sake offerings to the temple while eating cookie dough ice-cream.

Hiei sat with Kurama’s head on his lap, Minako lay in Kurama arms as they both lay on the sofa while Atago and Kamui sat side by side squashed into a chair. Yusuke sat with Yukina on the other sofa with Hanako between them. Koenma and Boton were even there.

Hiei felt contented as he looked at his family and friends while he ran his hands through soft red strands of Kurama’s hair.

Sure, they had lost Kuwabara and Keiko, and some of the kids had flown the nest. And there number was about to thin out a little more for a while. But right now everything was right with the world.

Hiei had never imagined when he was searching for his vengeance, that one day he would be contented with a quiet life, a Mate or children. He never though he would live long enough if he was honest to ever have any of that stuff. So he had never given it much thought.

But the day he had met Kurama in his fourteen year old human body, Hiei’s whole world had changed. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

He was just about to drift off to sleep, the pull of Kurama’s sleeping mind was proving too much of a seductive pull. When Yusuke started talking.

“So…” Yusuke said lightly. “Why IS your dragon Tattoo suddenly on Kurama?”

Hiei sighed as he also felt Kurama waking up.

“I get it that you guys can somehow share your energy between each other, and use them… but why the dragon? I thought it only obeyed you Hiei?”

“I’ve been thinking about that too.” Koenma said. “And I have a theory. Hiei forced the dragon into servitude, but Kurama needed it’s help, Maybe Hiei’s protectiveness over Kurama has infected it to such a point where it’s now acting as an extension of that, as a guard of sorts. Which is why it attacked you Yusuke. Am I right?” Koenma looked at Hiei expectantly.

Hiei shrugged, “Don’t ask me.” He said, “I still feel it as I always did, it’s just now part of Kurama too.”

“It didn’t attack me or Minako.” Atago put in.

“The only threat you are to your mother is to give him a headache and grey hairs.” Yusuke grinned at Atago, who shared the joke. “So, now that’s so clearly sorted.” He said sarcastically. “Does this mean one day Kurama’s going to turn green and grow a few extra eyes?”

Hiei snorted at the mental image. “The Jagan was a medical procedure, so it’s very unlikely.” He managed not to laugh out loud.

“If I do, I’m not going to be happy.” Kurama put in as he yawned and stretched a little trying not to push their daughter off the sofa. “It makes me sick just to see through it.”

“You can use it too?” Boton gasped as she leaned forwards a little, her eyes wide with intrigue.  

Kurama nodded as he yawned again. “I don’t like doing it though.”

“Impressive.” Koenma said chewing on his pacifier. “I really should get George to study how your bond actually works, it would be fascinating to add it to the archives. I’ve never seen a bond so strong.”

“Save it for another day.” Hiei said, knowing that that day would always be ‘Tomorrow’ if he had anything to do with it. “It’s been a long day and we all need rest.” He said carefully getting up from under Kurama, then picking Kurama and their daughter, who was still asleep, up in his arms with a little grunt of effort.

“You’re right.” Yukina said standing. “I’ll get up to make breakfast in the morning. Koenma-sama, Boton-chan, will you be staying the night?”

Both apparitions nodded, obviously not wanting to miss Yukina’s cooking.

“Goodnight.” Hiei said as he walked out the room. With Kurama saying his own farewells over his shoulder.

Hiei first put Kurama on their bed, then gently took Minako out of Kurama’s arms and put her to bed in her own room, she was to old now for him really put her in her PJ’s but the little sod refused to wake up, so he had to do it anyway. He kissed her cheek then went back to his Mate.

Kurama hadn’t moved, just lay half dosing. Hiei stifled his own yawn as he started stripping his Mate then moving him about like a rag doll till he was under the covers were he quickly joined him.

He pulled Kurama into his arm, keeping him on his less injured right side as they cuddled.

‘Have I told you lately that I love you?’ Kurama asked sleepily and he began to relax and get heavy.

‘You let me know it every single day.’ Hiei replied, then cursed, he was so tired he was being mushy.

Kurama made a contented little grumble purr as his mind went foggy with sleep.

Hiei kissed his forehead as he also drifted off, a smile on his lips.

+ + + + + +

Epilogue – The Endish

Kurama sat with his daughter on the back porch of their home, they had just been baking and now everything was in the oven as they drank some apple green tea while enjoying the nice summers day.

Tonight Yukina and Hinako were coming up so they could have a ‘girly’ night in, watching romcom’s, drinking themselves under the table and eating lots of junk food.

Kurama just hoped it didn’t turn into a girly pamper session like last time all the other men were away. It had taken Hiei three day’s to find all the hair grips after the girls had attacked him and giving him an impossible hair doo. Never mind the face packs.

He might have been a mother for the past hundred years, and got mistaken for a woman for longer than that. It didn’t mean he had to act like one too.

But he didn’t mind being included on their ‘special’ nights, after all, he had the best of both worlds and got to spend time both sides of the fence.

It was just over a month since Yusuke had won the Makai tournament, so he was now settling into his new life. Kamui had gone with his father, so Atago had obviously gone with him. And Strangely enough, Yusuke had asked Hiei to go with him, they assumed for moral support while he settled in.

Hiei hadn’t wanted to go, but Kurama had convinced him eventually. He knew his Mate was still being protective as Kurama admitted he wasn’t a hundred present still, so the thought of going back to so many people right now wasn’t an option for him.

He sipped his tea wondering what his Mate was up to now as Minako carried on reading her magazine.

‘Hn… I’m bored.’ Hiei suddenly said into his mind, it was a little muffled because of the distance they were apart, not to mention worlds apart, literally.

‘What?’ Kurama grinned to himself. ‘Leading the whole world isn’t as fun as you thought it would be?’

Hiei growled at him. ‘Yusuke’s being too diplomatic instead of just getting on with it.’

‘He’ll crack eventually.’ Kurama assured him. ‘So, how are the kids? Kamui going to stay with his Dad?’ Kurama changed the subject.

There was a pause before Hiei sighed. ‘Atago’s been asking me about the Mate Bonding ritual.’ He said reluctantly.

Kurama closed his eyes as he shared his Mate’s misgivings. ‘Well they will need a bit more training before they can think of it, did you tell him that?’ The last thing he wanted was for the boy’s to kill each other.

Hiei sent him a snort and rolled his eyes.

‘It went down that well?’ Kurama smiled ruefully.

‘He got angry, yelled a bit till I asked him if he wanted to hurt or even kill Kamui.’ Hiei let out a breath. ‘He calmed down… Told him to speak to you when we got back.’ He grinned.

‘Thanks…’ Kurama deadpanned.

‘Well it’s either you talk to him or I slap him about a bit.’ Hiei laughed into his mind, then he sobered a little. ‘How are you doing?’

Kurama settled in his chair a little more. ‘I’m fine… Missing you, and I have to endure a ‘girly’ night tonight.’

Hiei was laughing at him again. ‘My poor fox.’ He chortled with no sympathy. ‘And for Inari’s sake, please make them leave your hair alone!’

Kurama grinned, ‘I’ll try…’

“Mama! Tell Papa Hello!” Minako suddenly said from his side.

Hiei heard and Kurama felt his affection for her through their bond. ‘Tell her I miss her too, and we will be home soon… I don’t think I can take anymore of this before I kill Yusuke… or the council, which ever comes first.’

“Papa say’s Hi, and he misses you too.” Kurama said as Minako sat in his lap for a cuddle.

“Send him my hug.” She insisted.

Kurama did, as he hugged her just as hard as Hiei wanted him too.

He could also feel Hiei’s need to be home at that point. They had never been so far apart or for so long since they bonded, and it was proving a little hard, especially at night when it was even more lonely. They had eventually just opened their minds to each other, just so they could sleep.

He was just about to ask something else when they were all startled by beeping of the oven timer.

‘Ah, best go, we have baking in the over.’ Kurama said hastily. “Come on honey, don’t want them to burn!” he said to Minako who was getting up.

‘Cookies?’ Hiei asked, a stab of hunger going through his gut.

‘No, just some chocolate angel buns.’ Kurama answered as he stood. Then paused as he saw a figure off at the edge of the tree’s. ‘Crap.’

‘What?!’ Hiei asked in alarm feeling his moment of alarm.

Kurama didn’t have the leisure of explaining, so he just let Hiei experience everything through him.

“Minako, go to Yukina’s.” He said as he went to the porch steps, already taking inventory of his arsenal.

“What is it Mama?” she asked, coming to his side. “Who’s that?” she asked seeing the same thing he was. “He smells familiar.” She said softly.

Kurama scented the air. Who ever it was, was standing up wind. So they were a fool, or they weren’t trying to mask their presence, even if they were masking their energy.

“Yomi?” Kurama uttered a little shocked, but it wasn’t his old friend, though this man smelled almost exactly the same, he smelled younger.

‘Shuen…’ He heard Hiei growl. “Yomi! You prick, where the fuck is you stupid son?!” Hiei was now shouting at Yomi who must be with them in the Makai.

“He should be at home… why?” Yomi answered sounding confused.

“Then why the hell is he out side mine at this very moment!” Hiei stormed. ‘I’m on my way!’ Hiei sent him.

Kurama knew he wouldn’t be back in time. ‘Tell Yomi I’m sorry if I have to kill him I will.’

‘Fuck Yomi!’ Hiei snapped back and Kurama could feel him running already. ‘Kill him!’

“Shuen!” Kurama called to the young man. “Stop hiding, we know you’re there!”

The young man stepped out and Kurama was still taken aback, he hadn’t seen him since he was a boy. Now he looked so much like Yomi when they knew each other it was a little freaky, only Shuen looked less hard edged and his hair was a lot longer, his pointy ears sticking out the Curtin of black.

“He looks like an elf.” Minako gasped at his side. “Is he Uncle Yomi’s son?” she asked. And Kurama realized the kit’s had never seen Shuen before.

“Yes.” He said trying to put himself in front of her protectively. “I think he’s come to fight me.”

“What? NO!” She said suddenly grasping his arm to pull him back. “Papa said I should look out for you, and I wont let him harm you!” Then she was striding out onto the lawn to face Shuen.

“Go home!” Minako shouted at the young man.

Kurama tried to catch up with her as he felt her energy growing. Hiei’s training coming to her naturally, he had told her to intimidate her oponant first, like an angry cat, show them you can take them out and mean it.

“You came to hurt my Mana?!” she growled, so much like her Papa Kurama got a chill.

“Err…” Shurn looked unsure as he took a step back.

Kurama smiles, his daughter had already gained the upper hand.

“Well!” She shouted as she eventually stopped her advance and took a fighting stance.

Kurama stood at her back now, prepared if Shuen found some courage.

“I… I saw him fight at the tournament… I was curios…”

Kurama blinked as he watched the younger youkai blush as he kept looking at Minako, then away.

“Normal people use the front door!” Minako raged. “And they don’t try and hide in the woods!”

“I’m… err… not supposed to be here.” Shuen uttered.

Minako sighed deeply. “Then why the hell are you here?! Go HOME!”

Shuen took another step back, then caught Kurama’s eye, blushed some more before looking away.

‘Err…’ Kurama sent his Mate. ‘I think the panics over.’ He felt Hiei suddenly stop in his tracks a little stunned.

‘I can feel his lust from here’ Hiei said a little startled.

‘I always did suspect Yomi had a crush on me… Farther like son?’

‘He’s a bloody clone! I’m gonna kill that six eared freak!’ He felt Hiei turn and start running back the way he had come. ‘And don’t let that little bastard touch you!’

‘Don’t hurt Yomi to much… and I don’t think it’s me anymore that he’s interested in.’

‘Minako?’

Kurama sighed as Hiei turn back towards home again.

‘He touches her either and I’ll kill him myself!’

‘I think she will beat you to it.’ Kurama relaxed a little. ‘Go back to Yusuke, I’m sure you running off like that had scared him, and Atago!’

Hiei growled at him, but took his advice.

“It’s getting late.” Kurama suddenly said into the awkward silence. “You cant make it back to the Makai tonight… Why don’t you come and have some tea?”

Minako turned on her wide eyes. “But Mama!” she protested.

“Mama…” Shuen swallowed loudly and Kurama could see he didn’t know if he should laugh or be shocked.

“Shuen, this is my daughter Minako, Minako this is Shuen, Uncle Yomi’s son.”

Minako looked Shuen up and down suspiciously. “Why haven’t you ever visited when Uncle Yomi did then?”

Kurama felt a flair of angry energy come from Shuen before Minako stepped up to him and shoved him. “No wonder Uncle Yomi kept you away with manners like that.” She snapped at him. “Do that again and I’m going to smack you!”

Kurama was expecting a comeback but instead Shuen suddenly pulled back all his energy and looked at his shoes. “Sorry.” He uttered at her.

Kurama felt Hiei was stunned as he was.

“Shuen couldn’t come to the human world.” Kurama regained his composure. “Because he was going through some ‘Special’ training.” Kurama looked directly into Shuen’s eyes. Hoping the young youkai would take his meaning.

Shuen was still blushing but he nodded. “Yeah.” He uttered. “But it’s over now, so I thought I would come say hello.”

Kurama let his eyes turn gold as he nodded at Shuen. Letting him understand the warning. Shuen just looked at him with wide eyes before looking away in submission.

“Ok then… Lets go make some more tea, and we need to make some cookies.” Kurama said as he purposefully turned back to the temple.

“Papa coming home?” Minako asked exhitedly as she came to his side, seemingly forgetting their guest.

“Yeah, he’s coming with Uncle Yomi, so we have some more backing to do.” Kurama smiled, hearing Shuen walking behind them, more placid.

+ + + + + +

Yomi couldn’t help but be a little relived that Hiei hadn’t killed him as they made their way to the human world and Hiei’s home.

What he hadn’t expected was his son quietly having tea with Kurama and Minako.

Shuen was sat next to the beautiful young woman as she talked at him while he sat blushing like every word she spoke was gospel.

He had never seen his son so subdued.

“Hiei!” Kurama was standing as they approached, then the kitsune was hugging his Mate like they hadn’t seen each other in years.

Then Kurama was pulling away and Yomi heard Hiei take Kurama’s hand. “Yomi, nice of you to stop by too, I’ve made a quest room for you and Shuen already.”

Yomi bowed his head in thanks. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

“Don’t mention it.” Kurama answered, but there was a note of agitation in his voice.

Then Yomi felt both Kurama and Hiei go still as they did when they talked to each other in a way even he couldn’t hear.

“Hiei, why don’t you sit down, there are fresh cookies on the table… Yomi?” Kurama said as he stepped up to him. “I cant remember what tea you like.”

“Oh… yes.” Yomi knew he was about to get a lecture as he let Kurama guide him into the temple.

“Sorry for Shuen.” Yomi said as he sat down at the table. “I truly didn’t expect him to come… especially not after the tournament.”

He could hear Kurama making more tea. “To be truthful I’m surprised he hadn’t come sooner… Why especially after the tournament?”

Yomi sighed. “As you know he’s always been self assured, and thought defeating you and Hiei would be easy, it’s always been his goal to prove he’s the best fighter out there, how ever misguided. He was sure you would loose at the tournament. I could sense his eagerness for it. But once you used Hiei’s black dragon, I think it brought him to his senses, especially when I told him you had been holding back most of the fight.” He smiled. “That was always your strongest tactic, even if I still don’t like it.”

Kurama chuckled. “Don’t worry; you’re not the only one who’s never liked it.”

Yomi smiled imagining the fight’s they must have had about it. “I think now he disobeyed me because he just wanted to see you again. You have been a large obsession, one way or another, most of his life.”

He heard Kurama pouring water into a teapot. “You mean kill us most of his life.” Kurama was smiling.

Yomi shrugged one shoulder. “I mean you… specifically, and I really don’t think he wanted to kill you…”

He heard Kurama pause for a moment. “How exactly?” a warning note in his voice made Yomi smile again.

“When he was small, he just wanted to fight you and Hiei, even Yusuke… but as he got older… well, lets just say I’ve heard him on numerous occasions watching your fights or observational footage, then later calling your name as he…”

“YES! I get the picture!” Kurama said hurriedly. “I don’t think I needed it though.”

“I think he had some dream about being the best fighter to show you he was just as good as Hiei, and he could win your affections.” Yomi said more tactfully.

Kurama chuckled at that. “I hope you told him that will never happen. No matter what he does.”

“I tried.” Yomi said suffering. “I don’t think he believed it till a month ago.”

“And now?” Kurama asked softly.

“I think he’s rather taken with that pretty daughter of yours.” Yomi grinned as Kurama groaned.

“I never figured him to be the shy type.” Kurama confessed, “He’s not at all like I remember you.”

Yomi nodded. “He, as I imagine your two children, didn’t grow up as we had too. The Makai is now a stable place and not as much crime going on as there used to be.” He grinned. “Though his obsession has always been with your human form. Though I have no idea why, I was always more impressed when you were Youko.”

Kurama sighed, “So you did have a thing for me back then.” It wasn’t a question.

Yomi shrugged, “Who didn’t. but again I still have no idea what you look like now.”

He felt Kurama go still for a moment. Then he heard Hiei grumble allowed so he could hear. “Go anywhere lower than his chest and I’ll be through this wall with my sword in your belly.”

“Tell him that’s fine.” Yomi sighed as he felt Kurama come to stand in front of him and take his hands, then place them on his face.

Yomi felt the planes and contours of an almost feminine face beneath his hands, a long delicately curved nose, eyes still a little large for a male, and more so than Youko’s slimmer golden eyes had been.

“There green now.” Kurama informed him, “and my hair is red.”

Yomi couldn’t help running his hands through lots of soft silken hair to find two human ears amongst the strands. “So small….” He uttered.

Kurama grinned. “A little, they aren’t as good as my fox ears, I’ll grant you that.”

Yomi moved on to Kurama jaw and chin, then ran his fingers over full lips. Finally he ran his hands down Kurama’s neck and over his shoulders.

“I can see why my son is so taken with you…” He whispered feeling Kurama blush as he stepped back a little.

Yomi took a hurried step back as he heard Hiei suddenly in front of him. Then before the fire youkai could do or say anything Yomi reached out and connected with Hiei’s shoulders. He knew Hiei was shorted than Kurama, but still had no idea what face could have claimed Kurama heart, body and soul.

Hiei’s shoulders were powerful as Yomi ran his hands up his neck to his face. As he ran his fingers over a small mouth and nose then finally over large eyes, Yomi was a little surprised. Hiei’s ears was also small and his hair felt spiky and stood up from his head. He could sense the Jagan and stayed clear of that.

“His hair’s Black and his eyes are red.” Kurama said and there was a note of amusement in his voice.

“Finished yet, you stupid blind elf?” Hiei growled, he also sounded amused.

Yomi stepped away, “What’s the joke?” he asked.

“Hn.” Hiei snorted. “Now you can put a face to the youkai who won.” He said smugly.

“Hiei!” Kurama admonished softly. “I was never a priz… Oh… sorry, forgot who I was talking too.”

Yomi couldn’t resist as he spoke back to Hiei. “You just took advantage of his soft human soul.” He could feel the short koorime bristle with anger.

“And his hardened Kitsune one.” Came Youko’s deeper voice resonated through the kitchen. “Also, I’ve always preferred to steal things than have them freely given without a fight.” Youko purred.

“Didn’t steal anything from me I didn’t already give, Fox.” Hiei growled.

There was a pause before Youko answered with a feral smile. “Of course not dear.”

Yomi couldn’t hide his smirk.

“Shut up and go sit down, I’ll bring the tea.” Hiei snapped as Yomi heard Kurama transform into his human form.

Yomi was just about to get up and follow Kurama, when he felt Hiei in front of him again. “If my daughter doesn’t kill your boy… You’re paying for the wedding!”

Yomi couldn’t help but feel a little shocked by Hiei statement, but he bowed his head. “Understood.”

 

The END!

 Well… Apart from the Side Bonus Stories :P

Side Bonus Stories 

AN: You have to read "More Than Partners", otherwise they will seem a bit random :S and might not make so much sense :P

AN: I did these as I was writing the main 4 story arks. I didn’t put them in because they really didn’t have a place, or it was just a mention in the story I got carried away with.

I’ve put them in order of history they appear. Mostly they are between chapters.

 

WARNING: /blush… this is very heavy Yaoi! Sorry if it’s crap :S I don’t normally write them…

Hiei Takes His Silver Fox
Side story 1: from "More Than Partners" by Bane Huntress
Between chapters 1 & 2 

Hiei growled at Genkai, she was being her normal stubborn self as she demanded he did the washing up.

“Stop growling like a little bitch!” Genkai said as she sipped at her tea. “Your ‘wife’ did the cooking, you can wash up.”

“And you could help.” Hiei spat trying not to break another bowl in his irritation. “You ate it too.”

“And you’re young and virile, so shut the hell up!” She grinned at him.

Hiei was more pissed at Kurama, the bastard had excused himself soon as he ate and run away, Hiei was going to track him down and see about spanking him. He grinned at the thought.

‘Then you should hurry up.’ Came Kurama’s sultry voice in his mind. ‘Or I might have to start without you…’ He could feel Kurama put one of his fingers in his mouth, then move it to his chest, swirling it around his sensitive nipple and moan deeply. ‘Oops… too late.’ Kurama groaned.

Hiei dropped what ever he was holding and flitted outside. ‘Where are you, Fox?’ Hiei snapped.

‘I thought that was how you might want to play.’ Kurama answered back cryptically. ‘You have to find me.’ He said as Hiei knew he was moving a hand down his naked body. ‘Ohhh… Please hurry… Mate.’

Hiei instantly knew where his Mate was and ran to the hot springs where he had sealed his bond with the stupid fox.

It took him a few moments to get to the little clearing; once again the small spring was surrounded with candles and flowers.

Kurama lay on the moss by the spring, his feet dipping into the water. One hand still caressing his nipple, the other wrapped about his hard cock, stroking slowly.

Hiei would have been surprised, if it wasn’t the silver kitsune who lay in the clearing.

“What are you doing?” Hiei asked as he leaned against the nearest tree.

Youko turned his head slowly to look at him, his golden eyes half closed with pleasure, then he smiled. “Touching what’s yours?” he answered in his deeper voice, as he ran his hand to his other nipple, arching his back and groaning softly. “Are you just going to watch?” Youko purred as his tail moved up between his legs hiding what the hand between his legs was doing.

Suddenly Youko drew him back into his mind and they groaned with the pleasure of soft fur running over the sensitive flesh of the head of Youko’s cock.

“Damn it Fox!” Hiei gasped out as he stomped over to his Mate. “Stop pawing yourself!” He grabbed both his Mates wrists and forced them away from his body.

Youko grinned up at him, then snapped his teeth together just in front of Hiei’s face when he lent too close.

Once again Youko was pulling him into his mind as he pulled his tail over his own sensitive member, shivering as pleasure pooled in his belly.

“You got three hands?” Youko teased as he carried on moving his tail.

“I could always tie you up?” Hiei grinned down at his Mate.

Youko pouted his pale lips. “Promises…”

Hiei tapped into Kurama’s spirit energy and suddenly Youko arms were covered in vines, pulling them out of Hiei’s hands and securing them to the ground. Hiei knew Kurama could break them anytime he wanted, but this wasn’t an exercise in restraint.

“You’re no fun…” Youko grumbled, his gold eyes filled with mirth.

“You know the rules.” Hiei explained as he grabbed hold of Youko’s silver tail, pulling it away. He brought the tail to his lips, nuzzling into the soft fur till he found the core of bone and skin, then bit it.

Youko gasped then began panting as Hiei worked his way towards the base of his tail, bite, move, nuzzle, bite again, each time the core got thicker till Youko was moving his leg’s, placing one over Hiei’s shoulder, the other anchored to the ground pushing his hips up.

As Hiei got closer he could smell the lube they used and he bit Youko’s thigh hard making his Mate give a grunt of pain. “You already stretched yourself?” he growled angrily.

Youko shook his head, “No… I… I just prepared myself!” he gasped as Hiei bit his tail again. “Oh Inari!”

“I’m your God right now fox!” Hiei snapped still a little annoyed as he leaned in and scraped his teeth over Youko’s balls.

“No!” Youko cried as he flinched away.

Hiei followed as he sucked one side of the sensitive flesh into his mouth, using his tong to massage the place he had just run his teeth over making Youko whimper.

Hiei felt Youko’s tail trying to curl up again, so he called forth the vines to also secure Youko’s tail down, then with a little more effort he had them creep up till the tip of a vine was sliding over Youko’s hole.

This time Youko’s cries were real distress. “NO!” He sobbed then growled. “Hiei NO! Please.” He begged. “Not in me!”

“And why not Fox?” Hiei asked as he took hold of the tip of the vine, stopping it moving any closer or into his Mate.

Youko relaxed a little. ‘I want nothing but you in me…’ he whispered softly.

Hiei blinked in shock, then he smiled as a stab of possessive lust chaste its way through his chest and into his belly, with a flick of his fingers he snapped the vine off.

‘As you wish.’ He answered, making his Mate chuckle over the crappy film reference, feeling him relax even more.

‘My Dread Pirate Hiei!’ Youko grinned.

With a swift movement Hiei grasped Youko’s flagging cock and sucked it deep into his mouth.

Youko bucked his hips so Hiei put an arm over his belly forcing him down as he increased the pressure in his mouth.

After a while Hiei could feel the muscled in Youko’s guts tighten then twitch as his thighs around his shoulders began to tighten. Hiei knew his Mate was close to coming as Youko cried out his name in pleading sobs.

Hiei gave one last thrust with his mouth, taking Youko’s hard cock to the back of his throat then swallowed. With a cry Youko came hard.

Hiei was prepared and swallowed it all; sucking every last drop from his Mate till Youko lay limp beneath him.

Ignoring his own hard erection he moved up his Mate’s body to take his face in his hands and kissed the kitsune hard, letting him taste himself.

Sometimes he liked to bring Kurama to the edge over and over, forbidding him from coming, sending him to the brink of insanity.

But today he wanted to make Youko come over and over before he slacked his own burning need. He would enjoy this rare gift and make Youko give in to him.

Slowly he moved one hand down Youko’s body, pinching a nipple hard before going lower. Avoiding Youko’s flaccid cock knowing it was still too sensitive to touch. He kept going till he reached the little pucker of muscle, feeling the slickness of the lube as he ran his fingers around it.

He muffled Youko’s moans and whimpers with his own mouth while he rubbed his body over Youko, their sweat making them slippery. The sensation was driving Hiei a little crazy as the friction made all his nerve ending’s tingle.

“Put it in…” Youko gasped when Hiei finally let him speak.

Hiei grinned feeling Youko becoming hard again. So not one to deny his Mate he shoved two finders into the tight ring of muscle, the lubrication giving him instant access right up to his knuckles.

Youko gurgled out a cry as he arched his back, his feet trying to find purchase on the slipper ground beneath him. He had thrown his head back letting his silver hair fan out across the moss.

Hiei gave him a moment to adjust before he pumped his finger in and out of his Mate’s deep heat, then scissoring his fingers even now and again.

Youko was panting and pleading with him incoherently, both vocally and in their minds. The only thing that was making sense was his hardening cock.

Hiei added a third finger watching in pleasure as Youko struggled for a moment to accept it.

“Too much Fox?” He chuckled, touching the maelstrom of sensations his Mate was feeling, caught between uncomfortable pain and unbelievable pleasure. But it only ended with Hiei reaching for his own stiff cock. Giving it a few pulls to ease the pain a little.

Hiei instantly released the vines surrounding Youko. “Get on you knee’s” He growled low in his throat as he yanked his fingers free.

Youko gave a small protest as he struggled to comply, stiffly moving onto his side, then onto his knees and elbows, his silver tail now arched over his back as he lifted his backside for Hiei.

“Like this?” Youko tried to sound like his normal teasing self, it would have helped if it didn’t come out as more of a plea.

Hiei answered with shoving his fingers back inside the welcoming hole making his Mate shy away for a second with the pain, then Youko was pushing back, trying to force Hiei deeper. So Hiei added a forth finger enjoying his Mate moans, as he purposefully avoided Youko’s sweet spot.

Normally he wouldn’t have been so generous, knowing how Kurama preferred a little pain at first.

Hiei leaned in and bit down on one of Youko’s pale ass cheeks, feeling him twitch and pant through the pain before he began sucking hared enough so it would leave a mark later, then he moved to the other cheek and did the same as his fingers kept stretching and teasing.

Hiei actually liked the red marks he was leaving, it was almost a heady thrill as his original markings, only these would be fleeting, he knew Youko would be feeling them for a few days after. He bit another mark below the first one as his desire almost over took him.

Finally he couldn’t take it as he removed his fingers, grasped Youko’s hip’s, then with practiced aim, thrust himself inside his Mate’s slick warmth, burying himself balls deep in one fluid motion, hitting Youko’s prostate on the way in.

His mate cried out as he arched up, pushing himself back while his silver tail came up into Hiei’s face.

With a growled Hiei grasped the tail at the base, using it as leverage as he pulled out as forcefully as he entered. Eliciting another cry from his Mate.

Hiei would have liked to play more, but he didn’t have the stamina for that as he needed to burry himself in Youko again and stay there.

So he thrust back into the slick heat, loosing himself to his own need and pleasure as Youko’s muscles constricted and relaxed around his cock.

Once again Youko was an incoherent mass of sensation and pleasure as he accepted Hiei’s brutal thrusts.

Hiei finally leaned forwards to grasp Youko’s straining member, to tug on it in time with his own movements, his other still grasping the base of Youko’s tail, using it to keep the kitsune in place.

‘Together…’ He managed to gasp into their minds.

He felt Youko’s agreement as Hiei aimed every inwards thrust against Youko’s sweet spot.

Then he could take it no longer as he felt his own lust building in his belly to a crescendo. ‘Now.’ He uttered, his hips stuttering and jerking as he came long and hard deep inside his Mate’s body. Youko’s muscles gripping his cock painfully tight as he also came through Hiei’s fingers.

Hiei wasn’t aware he had blacked out for a moment, but when he came too he was kneeling with Youko practically sitting in his lap, The kitsune was bent forwards with his head resting on his forearms panting heavily, his silver hair acting as a curtain around his shoulder.

“You with me Fox?” He asked acutely aware he was still buried deep in his Mate’s slick warmth.

‘Always.’ Youko answered in a sultry whisper. ‘Especially if we can do that again… Just need a moment…’

Hiei grinned as he bucked his hips a little making Youko gasp out.

“You’re still hard?!” Youko panted in shock as he looked over his shoulder, his silver hair, slick with sweat, stuck to his face.

Hiei just smiled as he pulled his larger Mate up by the shoulders till Youko was stilling fully on his lap, forcing himself still deeper into Youko’s body.

Hiei wrapped his arms around Youko’s chest, feeling him quivering with after glow.

Youko rested his head back on Hiei’s shoulder, relaxing against him. ‘Just give me a moment?’ Youko begged softly.

Hiei nuzzled his Mate’s cheek granting him a little time to get his breath back at least. But he couldn’t wait long before he reached out and maneuvered and pulled Youko’s legs up till his hands were under his Mate’s knees and Youko’s toes were digging into the moss. Then he moved his Mate up a little as he thrust his hips up.

Youko groaned as he grasped Hiei’s arms for his own leverage as they began moving together again.

+ + + + + +

Kurama clung to Hiei the next morning as his Mate took them back home.

What he had thought would be a little fun play before bed had turned into a whole night of Hiei making him come over and over again, it had happened so many time’s he had lost count.

They had caught an hour’s sleep here and there through the night as they recovered, but Hiei had woken him and made love to him a few times before Kurama had passed out again.

So once Kurama had changed back to his human form and tried to stand, his legs had given out under him as they quivered with fatigue. That and his ass hurt like hell, with the hickis Hiei had put on his ass cheeks and his pleasurably saw ring, he found he could not sit down properly without it being very uncomfortable. He was also sure that if he did sit down he would be hard in seconds, if he had the stamina for it, right now he just wanted Hiei to put him to bed, then cuddle him as he slept.

He was nuzzling Hiei’s ear as he was carried into the kitchen.

“Morning honeymooners.” Genkai said in her usual sarcastic tone. “I left you the washing up from last night you forgot.” She said with a smile as she got up from the table then paused as she looked at them. Then she grinned. “Had a good night I see?” she asked a knowing gleam in her eye.

“Better than yours.” Hiei grinned back viciously.

“Hn…” She grunted still grinning. “You have remembered your Mother is coming over today?” She asked Kurama, “And Yukina, her brats and that stupid husband of hers?”

Kurama closed his eyes as he sighed. They would be here about noon, so if he was lucky he would get about three hours sleep before he had to get up and go shopping, then clean up the guest rooms.

“I remembered.” Hiei said back lightly as he walked past Genkai to their bedroom.

‘I need to set the alarm.’ Kurama sighed as Hiei placed him into their bed on his side. Then began undressing him.

‘I’ll sort everything.’ Hiei said as he busied himself with throwing Kurama’s clothes to the floor, then climbing in behind him. ‘You just sleep.’ He said as he pulled Kurama against his chest.

‘But the shopping… we have nothing in the cupboards…’ He could feel his eyes getting heavy. ‘I was going to make cookies…’

‘I’ll get it… you told me yesterday what we needed… Now sleep.’

Kurama didn’t need telling twice as he slipped into a happy exhausted sleep.

The Fin

AH: For those who might not know, or forgot. “As you wish” and “The Dread Pirate Hiei (Roberts)” was from ‘The Princess Bride’. Go watch it, you know you want too! ^_^

 

How to groom a Kitsune
Side story 2: from "More Than Partners" by Bane Huntress
Between chapters 1 & 2

“We are home!” Hiei called as he entered Shiori’s house. Kurama in his fox form trotting along at his side like an obedient dog.

“Ah, umm, Welcome home!” Shiori called, she sounded a little stressed.

‘There is someone I don’t know here.’ Kurama said as he sniffed the air, then bounded forwards into the living room.

Hiei sighed as he followed, when he walked into the room, Kurama was sat at his mothers feet, glaring at another man sat across from them. Hiei looked him up and down, he had greasy hair and was wearing a crumpled grey suit.

Shiori looked at him a little wide eyes.

“I brought Kurama over.” He said as he sat down next to her and patted Kurama’s head.

“Oh!” She finally smiled as she patted her son’s head, then began playing with his ears.

That was when Hiei realized she hadn’t seen him in that form before. ‘Do you ever tell this woman anything?’ he groused.

‘I thought she was alone today.’ Kurama let out a little whimper as he turned his head and put it on his mothers lap, his ears now flat against his skull as he stared up at her with big gold eyes.

“Ah, what a lovely dog!” the stranger said from the other side of the coffee table. “What bread is it?”

“He’s not a dog! He’s a Kitsune.” Hiei snapped angrily at the middle aged man.

“Yes!” Shiori suddenly said, “He’s a rare European bread! Umm, part wolf and fox” she glared at Hiei who just shrugged.

“Oh, I guess you’re her son?” The man smiled at him, Hiei narrowed his eyes, he didn’t like this man, his smile was off.

“Yes… Who are you?”

“This is Tomomi-san… He’s selling double glazing…” Shiori said a little nervously.

Kurama’s head whipped round as he started growling low in his throat. ‘The windows were done when we moved in!... Ask Mother if she let him in?’

“Really?” Hiei asked. “You wanted new windows?” he asked Shiori.

“Emm… no, I was just explaining to Tomomi-san that we recently got them done. But he was rather insistent.”

“Yes.” Tomomi said as he eyes Kurama warily. “I noticed there was some shoddy work done by the previous installers, and I was just pointing out to Matanaka-san that they really need replacing. We have a wide range of products and skilled workers who work to the highest specifications, our windows will last you through…”

Hiei tuned him out as he prattled on. Shiori looked nerves but nodded to all he was saying.

‘I’m guessing Mother doesn’t want this guy here.’ Hiei said as he watched the stranger pulling out pamphlets and catalogues from his warn case.

‘No, she smells worried.’ Then Kurama got to his feet and swiped all the paper the man had strewned all over the coffee table to the floor with his tales.

Tomomi-san gasped and went to reach for them, but Kurama jumped and stood over the paper, his hackled up snarling at the sales man.

“Ah… nice doggy!” Tomomi stuttered as he sank back into his chair.

“He’s not a dog!” Hiei snarled.

‘He smells of perfume and sex from lots of different women’ Kurama snorted as he lowered his front legs as if ready to attack. ‘I think we should get rid of him.’

“Ah, no, no of course not.” The man started sweating profusely.

“Also, my mother doesn’t need new windows.” Hiei said as he stood. “She also doesn’t need someone who smells as bad as you do.” He snorted. “So… I suggest you leave now, and if I ever find out you have been here again… well… Kurama here is quite a good tracker…”

“It should be muzzled!” Tomomi uttered in terror, his eyes not leaving Kurama, or his sharp teeth.

Hiei grinned. “Why would I want to do that?” He asked. “He can’t eat fresh meat if I did…”

Tomomi scrambled up over the side of the chair. “I’m just trying to make a living!” he protested as Hiei and Kurama began following him to the door.

“And I’m just trying to protect my mother.” Hiei hissed as Kurama gave a low growl. “I’m sure you can understand that.”

The man almost wet himself as Kurama barked at him, making Tomomi fall out the front door. “My briefcase!” He whimpered.

“Here.” Shiori said as she tossed the thing outside and into the road. “Please don’t come back.” She bowed at him before closing the door firmly.

“Want me to break his legs?” Hiei asked her with a grin.

She gave him a grin back, “I would like to say yes, but I think he got the message.” Then she was looking down at Kurama who once again plastered his ears to his head and whimpered softly.

“Stop looking pathetic.” Hiei laughed. “We see right through it.”

“Yup.” Shiori said as she put her hands on her hips. “And you know what happened to bad puppies.” She sang with delight.

“And what would that be?” Hiei asked a little skeptically.

Shiori looked up at him, her kind brown eyes sparkling. “Bath time!”

‘Wha..’ Kurama gasped.

“Great idea!” Hiei ignored his Mate, as he conspired with his mother. “He is smelling a little ripe.”

+ + + + + +

Kurama couldn’t believe his Mother and Hiei could be so cruel, then he realized neither of his torturers had any clue what it felt like to be covered in fur and soaked  through to the skin.

He sat in a half filled tub of tepid warm water with bubbles, having strawberry shampoo rubbed into his sopping wet fur.

He thought it might be funny to change into Youko for a moment before Hiei bopped him on the nose.

‘Don’t even think about it.’ Hiei grinned.

Kurama snorted, as he sat there and took the rest of the wash, about the only thing that was fun was swishing his tales through the water, it wasn’t so fun when his mother made him stand so she could wash each one.

Eventually he was being rinsed clean with the shower hose.

“You look like a drowned rat.” Hiei laughed at him.

“He does a bit.” His mother giggles. “Not to worry, We’ll have you dry in no time!” then she had a towel in her hand and was rubbing him down.

‘I feel like a child again.’ Kurama groused as Hiei joined in.

“Stop complaining.” Hiei said, being surprisingly gentle as he dried his mussel and ears.

“What’s he complaining about?” Shiori asked as she started drying his tales.

“He’s saying he feels like a child again.” Hiei told her as they both shared a grin.

“It’s been a while!” Shior smiled. “Ok… I left the hair dryer in the kitchen, lets go!”

Kurama jumped out the tub, then with a moment of freedom he shook himself, covering his Mate and Mother in a shower of his own.

He yipped and pranced about them in wicked delight as he got the door open and darted downstairs.

Unfortunately Hiei was quicker and grabbed one of his tales as he was about to make a dash for the back door.

He yowled as Hiei tackled him to the ground.

“I got him!” Hiei chortled.

Suddenly there was the loud sound of a hairdryer. It hurt his more sensitive hearing, distracting him long enough for Hiei to get a better hold of him.

“Ok, here we go!” Shiori said as she turned the hot air on Kurama’s belly fur.

Eventually Kurama ended up enjoying it as Hiei brushed his dry fur as his mother dried the rest of him.

It took about half an hour before Kurama was laid across his Mothers lap on a sofa in the living room. Growling and mewling contentedly as she brushed his back. He was so contented he was about to fall asleep.

‘I wouldn’t do that yet.’ Hiei said as he sat sipping tea and eating cookies.

‘Hu…?’ he asked drowsily before his mother gasped in surprise. ‘Ah…’

“No, don’t move.” His Mother said as she put a hand on his back, “I can brush this hair too now”

Youko settled down again as his mother began brushing his silver hair, pushing the bristles of the brush so they scraped his scalp, just the way he liked. He began purring.

“He can’t keep his Kitsune form is he falls asleep.” Hiei was telling his mother.

“That’s fine.” His Mother said happily as she make Youko purr louder as she scratched his ears.

 

The End

 

The Kits Want a Puppy
Side story 3: from "More Than Partners" by Bane Huntress
Between chapters 3 & 4

“Mama, we want a puppy!”

Kurama looked down at both his Kits as they looked up at him with huge green hopeful eyes.

“Mama’s busy right now.” He smiled down at them. He was almost out of lilies for his stall, and they were always tricky to get them to the moment they were just about to bloom. It was also a good enough excuse to put his six year old’s off the subject.

“But Papa said we should ask you.” Atago persisted.

“Did he now?” Kurama sighed feeling Hiei grinning at him as he was helping Yusuke with some new students at the other side of the forest.

“Yup.” Minako grinned up at him as she clapped her hands. “So can we? Usagi-san at school has a puppy and a cat…”

“So do a lot of the other kids.” Atago was already pulling out his bottom lip as he pouted.

The lilies suddenly bloomed too far and Kurama sighed again, he would have to get the order finished later. “But what about Neko?” he asked as he knelt down in front of the twins. Neko was a stray who had wandered into the temple a few years ago, and seemed contented to stay. “How do you think he would like it if we got a puppy?”

Both kits pulled faces. “He doesn’t like us.” Atago growled.

“And he scratched me.” Minako’s eyes got all watery.

Kurama grimaced, Neko really wasn’t the most friendly animal about, he was old and cranky and didn’t like kids much, even if he was taken with Hiei.

They were also reluctant to get the Kits a pet, earth animals had very short lives, and Kurama really didn’t want their kits to have to deal with it’s death so soon in life.

“So why do you want a puppy?” Kurama asked. “You will have to walk it every day, even when it’s raining or cold. Groom its coat, feed it, and pick up its poo… Do you want to do that every day for years?” he tried to reason, But the twins just gave him huge smiles.

“Yes!” they chorused.

Kurama put a hand on both their heads as he delivered his most cunning line. “Well we’ll see.” He gave them both a charming smile.

It worked every time as they gave him a hug as they screamed with delight.

‘You really shouldn’t keep using that line.’ Hiei was suddenly leaning against a tree like he had been there for hours. ‘They will get wise to it eventually.’

Kurama just hugged his kits as he replied. ‘I’ll stop when that happens, I already have a few new ones lined up anyway.’

“Hey rug pups!” Hiei moved away from the tree and came closer and Kurama could see something in his hand.

The kits ran up to him screaming they were going to get a puppy.

“I know… but till that happens.” Hiei suddenly fixed his eyes on Kurama; the look of pure delighted evil on his face gave Kurama a cold unpleasant shiver. “Why don’t you ask Mama to turn into a fox and you can take him for a walk?”

Kurama was sure that if his jaw could hit the floor, it would have just then as Hiei lifted up a black leather collar and lead.

The Kits went frantic as they started pulling on Kurama’s hands. “Please Mama!” they sang together.

‘I’m going to kill you.’ Kurama gasped out, he couldn’t figure out if he was angry or just plain shocked. ‘And where the hell did you get those!’ he asked looking at the collar.

Hiei shrugged. ‘Seam’s Genkai was one kinky bitch, found these years ago.’

Kurama felt like his eyes were goanna bug out his head. ‘I’m not…’

‘Calm down, stupid Fox.’ Hiei snorted. ‘You think I would put someone else’s collar on you? These have never been used… I had to burn the rest of her stuff though.’ He shivered.

Kurama blocked any images coming from his mate. ‘I really don’t want to know!’ he felt a little queasy.

“Come on Mama! Lets go now!” Atago whined.

With a deep sigh Kurama stepped away as Hiei took the kits hands to hold them back.

He closed his eyes and first transformed into Youko, because it was easier to turn into his pure Kitsune form that way. It might have been his very original form, but it was still a little harder to stay in it.

Finally he stood on all four paws, his nine tails twitching agitatedly until he was settled, then he sat down as Hiei let the kits go and they both lamped him.

He winced and yipped when one stood on one of his tails.

“Step back pups, and watch your feet.” Hiei admonished as he started opening the collar.

“Can I put it on?” Minako asked as she reached for it.

Hiei pulled it out of her reach, “No, sorry honey, but only I get to collar your Mama.”

She pouted, but let Hiei bend down.

Kurama let out a huff before he stretched his neck out so Hiei could fix the leather around his throat, then he bowed his head so he could buckle it at the back, leaving enough room, that if he had to transform, it wouldn’t choke him.

‘Feels kind of naughty.’ He chuckled at Hiei.

‘Maybe later.’ Hiei whispered in a promise. ‘I’m sure I could find something more interesting to play with.’

Kurama couldn’t help the shiver that went through his body at the thought as Hiei stroked a hand down his back, then Hiei grabbed the base of one of his tails and gave a shape tug.

‘Calm yourself in front of the kits.’ Hiei chuckled at him. “Ok... Minako, you fasten the lead here.” Hiei showed her what to do. “That’s it… Atago, you get to hold the lead, and Minako, you can hold it on the way back, ok?”

The kits both nodded as Kurama stood up, yipped, growled then snorted.

‘Damn it!’ He moaned at Hiei. He forgot that normal speech wasn’t that easy in his pure Kitsune form.

“Where are we going?” Minako asked as Hiei took her hand, then Atago’s that wasn’t holding the lead.

Kurama trotted along at there sides, realizing he stood almost as tall as his kits.

“We can go to the park with the swings, then to the shop.” Hiei said as he led them towards the main path down the mountain.

+ + + + + +

Hiei stroked Kurama’s head as the kits carried on playing in the little park, just off the more suburban area where they lived near. There were three other children playing too, and all five were now clambering over a jungle gym.

Kurama had run around with them until he was exhausted, now he lay on the bench besides Hiei, one large fluffy ear constantly trained on the Kits, the other twitching at what ever he could hear.

Suddenly Kurama’s head came up as both ears instantly trained forwards as he sniffed the air.

Hiei chuckled, Kurama could hear everything going on around him and every now and then he was fighting the urges to just go running off into the woods or across the road after cat’s or squirrels.

‘It’s not funny.’ Kurama whimpered as he tried to settle again. ‘And my paws are aching; I’m so not used to this.’

Hiei stroked his hand over his lovers back in sympathy. “Well, you do realize your going to have to do this every day for some time.” Hiei said lightly. He personally never saw the attraction to pet’s, they were a liability and needed constant attention. But then he had two kits and a fox to look after constantly, so a dog couldn’t be so bad… also he could deny his Kits nothing.

‘Yes… and who’s bloody fault is that?’ Kurama grumbled.

Hiei grinned as he scratched between Kurama’s ears, making the Kitsune whimper with pleasure.

‘Just because your doing that, doesn’t mean I’m going to give in.’ Kurama said stubbornly.

“I know.” Hiei answered, but he knew sometimes, the best way to get around Kurama was with subtlety, thought he could be very stubborn when he wanted to be.

“Mama!” Atago came running over. “Come play some more!”

Kurama huffed out a breath as he got up and jumped down from the bench and went running around his son.

Hiei sat back as he watched all the children started throwing sticks for Kurama to fetch and then getting him to do tricks.

At one point Kurama knocked over Minako, then pinned her down with his paws and began licking her face with a tong covered with slobber. All she did was giggle like a maniac and take it, then Kurama did the same to Atago who did the same.

“I don’t need cleaning!” Atago squealed.

‘Their too used to it for that to work’ Hiei laughed at his Mate.

‘Shut up.’ Kurama muttered sullenly. ‘They were mucky.’ He tried to defend himself.

‘Sure’ He smiled slowly; sometimes all he had to be was patient.

+ + + + + +

“Mama!” Atago came running into the kitchen as Kurama was making supper and Hiei had just brought the kits back from school. “I cant find your lead and collar?”

“Yeah, there not with the coats!” Minako piped up a little teary eyed.

Hiei gave his Mate a suspicious look. Everyday for three weeks the kits had taken Kurama for a walk.

Hiei still found it incredibly funny. ‘You giving up Fox?’ he asked.

Kurama just glared at him before turning to the Kits. “Why don’t you go look in the living room?” he asked them.

Hiei watched them look confused before they dashed off. Then Hiei heard the squeals of delight.

“What did you do?” Hiei asked as he wandered off to the living room too, Kurama just behind him.

The kits were crouched on the floor looking at something, when Hiei looked over their heads he could see a small grey puppy licking his kit’s hands.

“It’s a Great Dane.” Kurama answered as he put his arms around Hiei’s shoulders. “He’s small so you are going to have to be careful with him for now.” He told the kits.

‘Finally gave in?’ Hiei grinned, the puppy was incredibly cute. He felt Kurama shrug at his back.

‘They were responsible enough,’ Kurama replied. ‘And if I had to do one more walk… or have to find another twig caught in my tails…’ he growled, leaving the rest unsaid. ‘Also… you’re going to be cleaning up its mess.’

Hiei sighed, there was always a catch.

 

The Fin

Inari Shrine? (how they got one)
Side story 4: from "More Than Partners" by Bane Huntress
Between 2 & 3 chapters

Kurama tried to not look irritated as he sat in the little temple off to the side of the main complex. His ear twitched as a fly tried to land on it.

He was hot, bored and fed up of all the people cramming in to the small space to lay small offerings of flowers, rice balls, fried tofu and Saki at his feet… Though he and Hiei would enjoy the saki later and the kits would eat all the tofu.

He just wished that every day on the first of May every year, he didn’t have to sit in a stuffy room, with his kits flanking him acting like he was some kind of gods messenger.

So here he sat in his silver Youko form, dressed head to foot in a white dress kimono with silver embroidered detail, his hair and fur immaculately brushed. He had complained at Hiei he looked like a ghost, but it seemed to wow the crowds.

Minako and Atago flanked either side of him, both in their kitsune forms, with their ears poking out of their immaculately groomed red and white hair. Both dressed exactly the same in red dress kimono’s.

“Mama I’m tired.” Minako whispered as she fidgeted. It was getting late in the evening, and still the crowd hadn’t thinned.

Kurama sighed as he lifted his arm and she moved to lie down, resting her head on his thigh as she closed her eyes for a nap. Kurama moved the sleeve of his kimono over her like a sheet as he gently stroked her hair and ears. And as always it wasn’t long before Atago did the same.

Kurama couldn’t help but smile as he played with his Kit’s ears. Even though they were almost thirty now, they both seemed so young. He guessed it was because they were both growing up in a peaceful time and in the human world where they didn’t really know hardship, they were maturing as Youkai should, slow and easy. Neither of them had to ever fight for anything. Hiei made sure of that.

Kurama had always assumed his Mate would be pushing them harder to mature and be able to defend themselves, but it had turned out quite the opposite.

Hiei spoiled the kits mercilessly. Even to points where Kurama had to step in and be the bad guy.

Hiei had told him once that he didn’t want them to grow up like he had to, that they should always know they were loved and no matter what they did or where they ended up. That they would always have a place to come back too. Kurama had been touched by that to his very core.

He was just thankful that their kits were so well behaved and didn’t seem affected by their doting fathers spoiling.

“They must be yours.” A woman suddenly said in front of him as she placed a small bottle of expensive Saki with the rest of the offerings.

He wasn’t supposed to speak, so he just smiled at her. She looked about in her early thirties; her eyes looked weary, like she was hiding some great worry.

Kurama had seen it before; woman normally came to the shrine asking for babies. But it was only the few he knew he could help. They had a certain smell about them.

‘Her.’ Kurama sent to Hiei as he bowed his head to her, lowering his ears for a moment.

The woman looked at him wide eyed before stepping away to let other worshippers lay their offerings.

Kurama watched as Hiei stepped close to her as she tried to leave past the crowd still pouring into the stuffy shrine, he offering her a small packet.

“Plant these as soon as you get home, when the first flower blooms, make tea from the whole plant, roots and all, drink it with your other half then sleep together.” Hiei said quietly. “It will only work once, so don’t try and save it.”

“Umm… Thank you.” She bowed as the crowd swept her away.

‘You know you keep doing this and the word will keep spreading.’ Hiei sighed as he went back to his guarding post in the shadows by the door.

‘I know… but I cant help myself.’ He answered. ‘She had that smell… Still, she’s the only one this year.’

Hiei snorted at him. ‘Sentimentality will only get you more trouble.’

Kurama stroked his kit’s ears as they slept. ‘I mated with you… How much more trouble can I get into?’ he laughed as Hiei tried to glare at him, but Kurama could see Hiei’s lips curl up at the sides.

‘I could say the same Fox.’

+ + + + + +

The whole mess had started when the Kits were four and Kurama was training them to control how and when they transformed into their Kitsune forms.

The pepper trick was growing old, especially when the other kids found out and would tease the Kit’s with it.

So he had been teaching them all morning how to control it. It wasn’t easy, but they were finally getting a hang of it. But eventually it was nap time.

Hiei had brought an old futon mattress out to the little old shrine earlier that day as he, Kuwabara and Yusuke were making fixes to the temple proper where they lived, a storm had loosened some of the roof tials and Kurama didn’t want any falling on the kits.

So finally he had settled down on the front porch with the kits to take a nap.

No one came this far back to the little temple and they mostly used it for storage, or if they needed it for guests who couldn’t fit in the guest rooms. So he thought they would be left alone.

That was until he was woken by someone gasping, then praying.

He opened his eyes, pulling the kits against his chest as he sat up, ready to protect his Kits who just carried on sleeping.

‘What is it?’ Hiei suddenly asked.

Kurama sighed as he relaxed, seeing who was kneeling just past the steps to the porch. ‘It’s just old Makoto-sama’ he replied quickly.

Hiei sighed, then he seemed a little surprised. ‘You do know your still Youko?’

Kurama twitched an ear and sighed. ‘Crap.’

‘Yup… want me to come over?’

‘No… I’ll figure something out.’ Kurama grimaced. He placed the kits down, covering them up to sleep as he stood and went to Makoto-sama where she knelt praying.

“Please don’t pray to me.” Kurama said as she crouched before him.

She looked up at him with wide eyes. “In all my years.” She whispered. “I never thought I would see a Kami-sama!”

Kurama smiled, “I’m no God.”

Makoto-sama blinked at him, “Oh, no, your Inari’s messengers… Is this where I die? Have you come to take me?”

“Inari isn’t that kind of god.” Kurama said softly. “And I’m not here to take you anywhere.”

Slowly she got stiffly to her feet. “Oh… So you’re here to see the boys? I thought Kurama-chan’s floral business was doing fine?”

Kurama resisted rolling his eyes, but it was a good enough excuse. “Yes, I’m a friend of theirs; I was just resting here till they have finished with repairs.” She had been whiteness to enough strangeness over the years; he just hoped she could take this one too.

She nodded, accepting the lie. “Such a nice couple.” She grinned gummily. “And such lovely children, have you come to see them?”

Kurama hoped the kits didn’t wake up right now, she hopefully hadn’t seen them. “Yes.” He said simply.

“Well, I’ll be off then.” She said before her little sharp eyes opened wide, “Actually, how long will you be here? I have a granddaughter who’s having problems conceiving, can I bring her here, and you can give her message to Inari.”

“Err… I’m only here for one day a year… I’m afraid it will be to late when you get back with your granddaughter.” He smiled again.

Makoto-sama sighed then she looked at him again. “I’ll bring her here this time next year then!” then she patted his arm as she began to walk away. “Nice meeting you Silver-Kitsune-sama.”

He felt Hiei laughing at him. ‘Nice try…. Will you do it?’

Kurama shrugged. ‘Maybe just the once wont hurt…’

‘Hn… Once is usually all it takes.’ Hiei replied solemnly.

+ + + + + +

So the next year, Makoto-sama had brought her granddaughter to the small shrine. The young woman had been terrified, but she had brought the usual offering to an Inari shrine.

Kurama had given her the seeds to a makai plant that was a close relative of the Life Seed, but much more common, which made women a lot more susceptible to conceiving a child.

It had worked and in nine months Makoto-sama had a new great, great grandchild.

What they had not expected was the small group of worshippers to show up the next year, looking for the real silver fox who performed miracles.

Over the years they had built a red torii path directly to the small Inari shrine that bypassed the main temple entrance, because of its popularity they wanted to discourage people traipsing through the main temple grounds to get to it. It worked so they still had their privacy.

Many people had come to discredit Kurama, but Hiei kept them well away, till it was thought that it was all just very good prosthetics and animatronics. They had never corrected anyone, like Hiei said, it didn’t matter what people thought.

So they had carried it on, Kurama helped those he could. And they ended up with months supply of free Saki, which Hiei was always happy about, especially when rich business men would leave the good stuff.

When the kits got older they wanted to join in too. Though Kurama suspected they now regretted it.

‘Oh… That guy in the brown pinstriped suit, give him a smile!’ Hiei said a little excitedly.

Kurama looked at some lanky looking guy who looked totally out of place in the rest of the crowd. Kurama watched as he approached then put down a very large bottle of Kubota Sake. The tall lanky guy bowed awkwardly.

Kurama gave him his best most charming smile.

“Oh… Your really real.” The man uttered, his large brown eyes staring at Kurama, before he stood straight, gave Kurama a grin and a little wave, then he was ambled away.

‘Seriously?… You have me whoring my smile for a bottle of Sake?’ Kurama moaned.

‘Kubota Sake!’ Hiei grinned, truly happy.

Kurama just sighed, wondering how he could drink the bottle without Hiei knowing.

‘Too slow Fox.’ Hiei said from his position by the door and Kurama could see the bottle in his hand.

Kurama narrowed his eyes. ‘If I don’t get half that bottle… or more… You’re going to be sleeping on the roof for the next year.’

Hiei grinned, showing his teeth. ‘You cant resist me Fox and you know it…’

Then Hiei was sending him naughty images that sent pleasant shivers down his spine.

Kurama gave his Mate a mental slap. ‘Not when I have the kits!’ he scalded, taking a deep breath. ‘Who I think will be sleeping with me for a while… but you know how I don’t like them seeing me drunk.’ He mused.

Hiei growled. ‘You play dirty Fox.’

Kurama gave him a wink. ‘More so when I have some good Sake in me.’ He purred back,

He knew he had won the moment Hiei looked away

The Fin

AN: err… just came to me when I was trying to find out if Inari was male or female :P… of which, it’s doesn’t matter cos Inari’s what you want it to be :P

AN: Sorry for the silly Camio appearance :P

 

The ‘little chat’ about the kids
Side story 5: from "More Than Partners" by Bane Huntress
Between chapters 3 & 4

“Ah, you’re in.” Kurama said as he stuck his head around Yusuke’s door of his new home. He had built it at the entrance to the temple. After Keiko passed away, he had no care to live in the City anymore, and what with only Kamui living with him now, he thought it best to take himself out of the mortal short lived world.

Kamui had at least been thrilled to move to Genkai’s old compound.

“Yup, I guess I’m making the tea?” he asked, he was about to put dinner on and go watch some TV.

“Mind if I do it?” Kurama smiled apologetically.

“Knock yourself out.” Yusuke said as he sat down and watched his friend use his kitchen, Kurama knew where everything was by now, but he still couldn’t feel guilty about a guest knowing his kitchen so well. After all, in really bad winters they all moved up to the main temple complex anyway, where Kurama and his kids still lived.

“There we go.” Kurama said putting the tea pot down and handing Yusuke a cup, then pouring them both some tea.

“So…” Yusuke asked, “There a reason you’re here other than make me tea?”

Kurama smiled his diplomatic smile, so he knew something was up. He took a sip of his tea and waited.

“It’s about Kamui…”

“Hu? What’s he done?” Kamui was such a good kid, he couldn’t think why Kurama would have a problem with him. “Ah, is it because he’s up at your place all the time? I don’t even think he came home last night.”

Kurama looked away at that. “Yes… well, that’s the thing... Umm.”

“Don’t blush on me man!” Yusuke sat forwards. “If you don’t want his ass bothering you, just tell him to get home.”

“He doesn’t bother us!” Kurama smiled reaching out and putting a reassuring hand on his arm. “It’s just… err…”

“Just spit it out.” Yusuke said, growing impatient.

“We think that Kamui and Atago might be… becoming more than friends.” Kurama managed.

“More than frien…” He sat back in his chair stunned. “Really?”

Kurama shrugged. “I found them asleep together this morning… I have many a time.” He said softly. “But this morning they were blushing and wouldn’t look me in the eye.”

Yusuke found his mouth dropping open.

“They were both in their PJ’s, so I don’t think anything too explicit happened.” Kurama said hurriedly. “But Hiei say’s he’s suspected it for a long time.” Kurama was looking embarrassed again. “He say’s their friendship reminds him a lot of me and him when we were all a lot younger.”

“Now you mention it…” Yusuke remembered how well the two boy’s always got along. “I always assumed they were just being like brothers.”

“I thought so too, but then they never really got to see each other much growing up, other than the odd holiday. We think it’s since you moved here their, err, bond has become a lot deeper.” Kurama said.

“We’ve only been here about five years.” Yusuke gasped, then he remembered, that out of all of them, Yukina and Kuwabara were the fastest to get hitched, and Kurama and Hiei who had known each other a lot longer had taken years. “Damn… You don’t think they are gonna try bonding like you two?”

Kurama hid a chuckle behind his cup. “What we did is unbelievable rare, and I truly couldn’t say… We just wondered if you were aware of the situation, and if so, if you would be ok with it.”

Yusuke waved a hand in the air. “Why would I not be?” he asked. “My two best friends are both guys and married, for crying out loud.”

Kurama smiled knowingly. “Those rules don’t apply when they are your own children, and despite all that, you were raised as a human.”

“To be honest, so long as he’s happy and doesn’t get hurt, I really don’t mind.” He said. “He’s a good kid, and you know I like Atago, so I’m fine with it, if it’s what he wants.”

Kurama breathed out a sigh of relief.

“So how are you guys taking it?” he asked.

Kurama blinked at him, then laughed. “It would be a little hypocritical of us if we wouldn’t accept them… It’s just now I have to have ‘that’ talk with Atago.” Kurama rolled his eyes.

“Get Hiei to do it.” Yusuke grinned.

Kurama groaned. “Already tried that, it didn’t work out so well.”

“There’s a surprise.” Yusuke laughed, truly wishing he could have over heard that conversation.

“He tried to explain it in metaphor, using man eating plants, to be truthful I think he was trying to put them off ever having sex.”

Yusuke doubled over, “Oh my god!” imagining Hiei awkwardly telling his kids about sex, blushing all the time was just too funny for words. “I’m so happy I left that to Keiko!” he grinned. “Women are better at it… oww… you could ask Yukina!”

They stared at each other for a moment before they both started laughing. Thinking of the soft spoken woman trying to explain about sex was still funny.

“Dad?” Kamui asked as he walked into the kitchen looking confused, then he saw Kurama and blushed bright red before looking at his shoes “Uncle Kurama…”

Both friends looked at the younger man and burst out laughing again as he fled.

“Oh, Inari… I should go apologise.” Kurama said as he whipped tears from his eyes.

Yusuke waved his hand, “I should think he knows more than us to be honest!” he grinned. “Let him stew in his awkwardness till we finish our tea

The Fin

The END

Thank you for reading, please leave feedback ^_^

 

Authors Notes:

1) Name spelling: I’m using the spelling Youko, instead of Yoko. Both are right, but google them both :P
2) Sorry about the short sex scans, but they are frustrating to write, and I hate reading really long ones, so I like to keep them passionate and short. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks ^_~
3) This fict is purely Anime baste, so I’ve forgotten my honorific’s and the proper Japanese words (10 years is a long time between writing anime fics :S) for all the world’s and stuff… sorry :P
4) Edited and spellchecked by me, sorry for any mistakes! :P I tried my best.
5) PS, making Kurama hurt, just brings a smile to my soul, I go to hell happy ^_^

 

AH inspiration for all this: This who fict was inspired by one scene in the Anime.

Hiei talking about Kurama. S01E15
When Yusuke first see’s Kurama about to fight.
“Obviously you are underestimating Kurama, Do you know why I chose him to be my partner? To avoid fighting him myself.”
“Watch. He’s more cutthroat than I am when it comes to battle. And unbelievably practice.”

 

 

Appendix:

Mate Bonding   Bond promise, marking the wrist, to finish, marking the neck. Bonds bodies and souls together for eternity.
Mating Ritual   Youkai version of human marriage. Not Mate Bonding. But still has its traditions much like bonding.
Kizuato Abura  

(that Yukina gives to Kurama to reduce the scars on his belly, roughly translates to ‘Scar Oil’)

 

 

 

 

Kit’s names and why:
 

Hiei & Kurama's Kits:
  Minako - (Beautiful child – name of a mount in Kyoto Japan)
  Atago - (No meaning, just the name of a mount in Kyoto Japan)
    Both mounts in Kyoto where Mount Hiei and Mount Kurama are from. (where the original names for these chara came from)
 
Yusuke & Keiko’s kids:
  Akira - Oldest Son
  Atsuko - second oldest, Daughter, named after his Yusuke’s mother.
  Kamui - Youngest Son.
 
Yukina & Kuwabara’s Twins
  Hanako - (Flower child) Oldest daughter [has a crush on Kurama is shy]
  Haruko - (sunlight child) five minutes younger daughter
 
Kurama’s Human Family & Names:
  Shiori - Minamino, Kurama’s mother
  Shuichi - Minamino, Kurama’s human name
  Suichi - Hatanaka, Kurama’s step brother
  Kazuya - Hatanaka, Kurama’s step farther

 

Authors Rant:

I was re-watching the anime when in season 1 episode 15, (Only works in the English translation from Animation :P) Hiei is telling Yusuke that Kurama is one hard bastard, and that they have been partners for years (look at my prompt). And this whole bloody epic just hit me. What is ‘Partners’ actually meant like Partners? Like they weren’t ‘just friends’ but in a relationship. I got all quivery and exited, so I watched all of the anime in a few days and started writing… About a month later, along with the side story distractions, this epic was born. I gave it to my lovely beta, after hounding her with ideas and suggestions she got a little confused over (she’s not read a YYH fanfict in over 10 years :P) but I had to edit this bugger myself, which took about four day’s, on and off (along with the webpage).

Also, the bunnies got a little out of control when I thought of how they were going to have kids, I didn’t just want it to be a demon thing. And I’ve always loved the ‘Bonding’ thing, and that was oodles of fun to write, if a little frustrating at times ^_^

This is only the 2nd epic I’ve actually managed to finish. And this time I actually had to have another document open with all the notes for this story on it so I didn’t get too lost along the way.

Also the research I had to do for most of it was something I don’t normally do, but I think I pulled it off, and it’s how I ended up writing the ‘Inari Shrine’ side story. It was just too much fun not to do.
So I knew YYH is a bit of a dead fandom, and my first YYH story is a total travesty (it was one of my first :S)… but I really enjoyed writing this and hope that at least one person reading it enjoys it ^_^

Thanks!

Banes_Harem@homtmail.com - Please leave feedback ^_~

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