The first thing that registered was how cool the cup was, then the color of the liquid. Hiei's lip curled in disgust. "What is this?"
Kurama winced, leaning back in his chair next to the desk. "Milk?" Sharp red eyes did their best to burn holes through him and he sighed, looking over the
dark form folded on the window sill. "I don't have any juice." The cup was placed back on the tray, not quite hard enough to shake anything. He almost
winced again at how easy it was to catch Hiei's arm when the demon moved for his own cup. "You can't have that!"
Baring his teeth, Hiei leaned over the redhead, not bothering to try and pull his arm away. "I said I wouldn't run, that's enough." Green eyes frowned at him,
but the grip on his arm fell away. "You nearly killed me. You think caffeine is worse?" Snatching the cup of coffee off the desk, Hiei sniffed. "Baka."
"Hiei..." The short demon moved back to the window, and Kurama sighed, dropping his eyes. "I can't appologize enough for that. I wasn't thinking."
"You never do," Hiei smirked, rolling his eyes at Kurama's guilty expression. "I should have known better than to stay. You have pathetic self control." That
managed to get a twitch out of the kitsune, and Hiei's smirk widened. "I never thought I might die like that."
"Ah, don't say that," Kurama groaned, crushing a hand over his forehead. He had an insane urge to laugh at the absurdity of it, but he couldn't help the guilt.
It was true that he'd had more trouble controlling himself lately, but he'd never have done anything to actually hurt Hiei. He simply hadn't thought of the side
effect. "You'll hold this against me for the rest of my life, won't you." Silence answered him, and he gave a quick peak between his fingers. A dark smile had
spread over Hiei's face and he groaned again. "Sadist."
"Me?" Hiei drawled, arching an eyebrow. "And what would that make you?"
"A youko?" Dropping his hands, Kurama managed a slight smile. "And I'm really sorry, Hiei. You can believe me, I won't forget again."
"You think I'll give you the chance to?" Hiei shook his head, taking a small sip of the coffee. He didn't plan to drink it all, despite what he'd said, but it gave him
something to do. He wasn't exactly looking forward to the night. "I'll leave when the sun sets."
"No!" Kurama stood without thinking, and he winced when the sharp movement made Hiei flinch. The demon hadn't been looking at him. It was strange to
know that Hiei couldn't sense his movements, but that was one more thing he needed to keep in mind now. "You can stay here."
Insult ruffled Hiei's back, but he managed to keep his glare light. "You want to protect me? Don't forget, I was not much stronger when I first came to the
Ningenkai. There's no difference."
"Of course there is," Kurama frowned, folding his arms as he fought the need to pace off his frustration. "You can't run. You may have your sword, but what
good is that if you can't use it?" Hiei was looking out the window again, and he glared at the floor. "I hate this."
The cold tone caught Hiei's ear, and he glared at the tree outside, his eyes rising to the falling daylight. "You think I like it? I should have left earlier, not for
the danger, but for what you did in the Reikai. Whether you *like* this or not doesn't matter."
Kurama looked up, his anger falling into a cool blank expression. For a moment, he took adavantage of things, plucking the cup out of Hiei's hand. Red eyes
shot to him, and he caught Hiei's shoulder when the demon nearly pitched out the window. "What angered you more," he asked, his voice low, "that I may
have given away my feelings for you, or that I insulted your ability to take care of yourself in front of Yusuke?"
Green eyes glared at him, and Hiei stared for a long moment, his eyes wide. Kurama looked both defensive and hurt, and quite dangerous. Hiei managed to
hold still for nearly a minute before he cracked, his laughter making the redhead jerk away in shock. "Baka..." Youki prickled around him as Kurama took
insult, but he couldn't help the sharp laughter. "You're so stupid sometimes."
There was a definite warning in that word, but he didn't pay it any mind. Shaking his head, he sighed with a dark smile. "I don't care who you reveal your
feelings to. And you didn't insult me. You made yourself look like an idiot." Confusion swamped over Kurama's face, and he sniffed, his smile fading away.
"You confronted Koenma. Fighting the Reikai for a demon's sake will get you imprisoned. You know that as well as I do."
Kurama blinked, not quite getting it. "Then you were angry because I risked a fight?"
"If you fought and won it wouldn't matter," Hiei explained, leaning forward to snatch the coffee back. "But if you'd lost, I'd have to violate my parole to break
you out. And then they'd send Yusuke and the idiot after us, you'd be miserable without your ningen mother, and it would be a mess. You should think before
"And that's why you were mad? I thought you were angry that I refused to let you go alone." Red eyes shot back to him, and Kurama gave another wince.
"Bad choice of words..."
"I didn't mean it like that," Kurama said quickly, a weak smile curving his lips. "I meant I refused to let Koenma send you - not that I had any say in whether or
not you chose to go."
"That didn't bother me," Hiei shrugged. "If you hadn't argued with him, I might have refused myself. But next time don't mention enemy insde the Reikai. If I'm
going to violate my parole, I'll do it when I have a chance of success. You should know better."
Kurama's eyes glinted, and he leaned against the wall, glancing down at Hiei. "But with my pathetic self control I couldn't help myself, right?" Red eyes tilted
back to look at him and he sniffed at Hiei's smirk. "You have a low opinion of me."
"You enforced that opinion an hour ago," Hiei reminded him, his own eyes glinting back at the kitsune. "It's a blatant flaw."
"I suppose I should appologize again," Kurama sighed, sagging a bit. "You really are going to hold that against me forever."
Rolling his eyes at Kurama's seemingly depressed expression, Hiei shifted his back away from the window sill. "If I live through this I'll let it go. Until then I'll
remind you as often as I like. And stop pouting, I'm not going to comfort you."
The demon slipped off the window, and Kurama pushed away from the wall. "You're a mean one," he commented, frowning when Hiei went back to the tray
and filled his cup. "And you shouldn't drink that."
"I'll drink what I like," Hiei sniffed, taking a long swallow just to make the kitsune twitch. "And if I were mean, I'd have done more than pull your precious hair. I
think I've gone soft..."
Kurama couldn't help but snicker at the disgusted look on Hiei's face. "Not soft," he smiled, "and not mean either." The demon sniffed at him, and he slipped
forward, catching the cup before Hiei could take another drink. "But you're still as stubborn as ever. If you keep drinking that, I'll have to drug you to
counteract the caffeine."
"You've been around ningens too long," Hiei frowned. "I could drink a pot of that stuff before it would effect me."
"Maybe under normal circumstances, but there's no sense taking the risk." The arm pulled against his grip, and Kurama frowned down at Hiei's stubborn
expression. "You don't even like coffee that much, so why are you acting like this?" Hiei dropped his eyes, and Kurama blinked when the demon moved
"Do you really think caffeine alone would be enough to effect me?"
Kurama blinked at Hiei's tone, staring at the demon's back. "I don't know."
"And with running out of the question, I take it jumping is the same?"
The black-haired demon was standing in front of the window, and Kurama moved after him. "Hiei?"
"I've never climbed a tree in my life," Hiei spat, glaring at the tree a few feet in front of him. "I'm not about to start now."
"Then there's no problem," Kurama said softly, moving to stand beside him. "Just stay here tonight. You know, you can use the front door. If Okaasan sees
you, I'll just tell her my friend is visiting me."
"I should test the limits of this," Hiei muttered, his bandaged hand curling into a light fist. "See how far I can push it before it peaks."
Kurama looked away, discomfort twisting his features. "I thought I'd done that earlier."
A low laugh made it past Hiei's lips before he could stop it, his smirk falling on the disgruntled redhead. "That's not what I meant, but yes, you did."
"I can't tell if I should feel guilty or humiliated," Kurama muttered, running a hand through his hair. He shot a sideways glance at Hiei and realized his mistake
the moment the demon's eyes met his.
"Okay," Kurama said sharply, plastering a smile over his face. "Let's not talk about that anymore. I should really call Yusuke and Kuwabara-kun to tell them
"Aren't they coming here in the morning anyway?" Hiei frowned.
"Yes, but-" Reiki prickled his senses, and Kurama blinked in surprise. Hiei frowned at him when he stepped past the youkai to look out the window. Sure
enough, two familiar figures were making their way toward his house. "What are they doing here now?" Hiei joined him, and he winced when the demon let out
a muttered curse.
"Perfect," Hiei glowered, folding his arms over his chest. The last thing he wanted right now was to be stuck in Kurama's room while those two visited.
"It's not a problem," Kurama said quickly, closing the curtains to block the room from view. "Come downstairs with me. They know you were being limited, so it
isn't odd that you're here." He didn't really expect Hiei to agree, so he was mildly surprisd when the demon gave a sharp nod. He might have smiled at the
nice change if Hiei hadn't paused at the desk to grab the coffee on his way out of the room. "Never complacent," Kurama mumbled to himself, picking up the
tray. "I know better than that..."
* * *