Category:  Anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, Yaoi, TWT
Warnings:  minor angst, shonen ai
Pairings:  will be KuramaxHiei/Hiei+Kurama
Author:  Arigatomina

Misdirection

Part 1

Cries resounded in his mind as Hiei woke with a sharp gasp.  His jagan was burning behind the band, the image superimposed over his normal vision.  Familiar
green eyes nearly hidden by dark lashes seemed to stare at him, but they were fogged with pain and empty...there was no spark.  Wind jerked at his hair, the
white scarf clinging to the cold sweat on his neck.  He couldn't deny it any longer, the dream was getting worse, more realistic, more painful.  And it made no
sense to him.  Kurama was a Youko, with power that rivaled his own.  Shadowed red eyes narrowed and he shifted on the limb he'd chosen for the night, his
arms folding.  Even if he chose to stay a weak human, Kurama was in the Ningenkai.  Nothing there could threaten him at his current level.  But that didn't
explain the dreams, the unseen assailant, or the complete helplessness.  Those eyes were so empty.

Nothing stood in his way; he was free to travel as he pleased.  No one would know he'd taken a trip to the Ningenkai.  But she would look at him afterward, with
those knowing eyes, infuriating him with that smirk.  She'd expected him to have gone long before this, *she* would know exactly where he'd gone.  Not that he
cared what she thought, but he had no ties to the Ningenkai.  If it were possible, he despised it more than the Makai.  He'd stood without even thinking about it
and Hiei leaned back against the trunk of the tree, a soft snort stolen by the wind.  What was he thinking?  Ready to run off and check on someone who didn't
matter for such a stupid reason, it wasn't like him.  The dreams weren't like him either.  Why dream of him?  Why now?  He'd spent so much time in the
youkai's company and his sleep had never been disturbed.  But the jagan wouldn't let him forget and he could see those eyes.  They weren't looking at him,
though, they were closing slowly.  A silver trail marred one pale cheek and his eyes snapped open again, his jaw clenched.  There *was* a reason to go.  If he
went, then maybe he could stop the dreams that haunted him even when he was awake.  His forehead throbbed once before that shadowed image
disappeared, only the dark woods seen below him.  The wind tugged at his black cloak seconds before he disappeared in a rush of displaced air.

* * *

The counter was too high for her, but Genkai got around that rather easily.  Taking two mugs, she hopped down from the chair she'd used, her eyes turning to
the young man seated at the table.  He was leaning on his folded arms, dark red hair hiding his eyes.  But she didn't have to see them to know, the cup rattled
against the saucer when she handed them to him.  "You're getting worse," Genkai noted, sitting across from him.  "Don't you think it's time you came to the
temple?"

"What's the point?" Kurama sighed, his fingers tapping the edge of the mug.  His eyes hurt, but he forced them open, frowning at the short woman.  "You know
as well as I do that we can't stop this.  Koenma is baffled, and my own skills would detect any disease.  I'm not sick, Genkai, I've told you that before.  You
didn't come here to argue that again."

"No," Genkai smirked, not feeling the least bit lenient.  He looked as if simply sitting upright was an effort, and she doubted if he'd had the strength to cook
anything, meaning he probably hadn't eaten in days.  But the irritation visible in those green eyes erased her sympathy.  "I'm just trying to figure out why
you're giving up so easily.  I thought you had more spirit than that."

If she hoped to get a rise out of him, she was wasting her time.  Kurama's eyes narrowed a bit, but he kept them open, glaring at her.  "What spirit?"

"Exactly," Genkai nodded.  She leaned forward, the hint of humor leaving her face as she frowned.  "The reason I came is twofold, but partly because I can't
sense you at all anymore.  Kurama, your youkai body might replace your human one if you die, but with your level of youki, it won't do you any good.  If
something is draining you then we need to know what.  Kuwabara-"

"Forget it."

There was a bite to the boy's soft voice, just a hint of strength, and Genkai glared at him.  "I *know* you don't want to involve them, but Kuwabara can sense
youki better than I can.  Chances are he'd be able to tell where your energy is going just by looking at you."  Her eyes hardened more when she saw Kurama's
lips twitch, not in the beginnings of a smile, but a sneer.  He looked like he wanted to growl at her and she shook her head.  His anger wasn't going to do him
any good.  He might have been strong enough to argue before, but she knew he couldn't even put up a fight in his present condition.  "Don't bother growling
at me," she said, matching his glare as she parted her fingers a fraction of an inch.  "I was *this* close to just bringing him with me without even warning you
first.  You may be willing to sit here and die, but this isn't just about you anymore."  His head jerked at that and she leaned back, closing her mouth slowly.

"What are you talking about?"  Kurama winced when she swam for a moment before his vision cleared and he crushed the back of his hand against his
forehead.  "Explain."

"Have you had any dreams lately, Kurama?  Any *odd* dreams?"  The boy's eyes rose to her again and this time she did feel a twinge of pain at how
blood-shot they were, shadows accentuating the green.  

"I haven't slept in over a week," Kurama said, his voice dull and cold.  "And what the *hell* do dreams have to do with this?"

Genkai blinked at the boy, startled by the poison in his voice.  She'd never heard him talk the way he had in the last few weeks.  "I asked about dreams
because of Yukina."  If anything, his glare darkened at the name and she nodded sharply.  "She doesn't know what's happening to you, but she's been having
nightmares, and you're in them."

"Why?" Kurama muttered, his hands clenching together beneath the table.  Now wasn't the time to be talking about *anything* but he didn't plan to have
another discussion with her.  "What is she dreaming?"

"I don't know," Genkai admitted.  "All she remembers is that you were in them and that they were bad dreams.  I wondered the same thing, why she dreamed
about you.  But I think I know the answer."  Her eyes narrowed when Kurama abruptly stood, nearly knocking over his chair.  "Have you thought about the
Makai?  You have, haven't you."

"I don't want to talk now," Kurama said tightly, turning his back on the old woman.  His right hand curled over his stomach and he clenched his teeth against a
wave of dizziness.  "I'm not leaving and I don't want them worried about me.  Stop coming here, there's no point in it."

"If this is coming from the Makai, why would Yukina be affected," Genkai continued, stalking after the longhaired male.  "There can only be one reason, you
know that, Kurama."

"Get out!"  His own voice tore at him and he lurched forward, sagging against the wall.  A hand touched his arm and he jerked away, sliding to sit on the floor
of the kitchen, green eyes glaring up at Genkai.  "This is my home and I'm telling you to leave.  Now."

"Why would I do that?" Genkai asked, folding her arms over her chest.  "I finally have you in a position to *listen* to me.  Besides, you know I'm going to bring
Yusuke and Kuwabara back with me if I *do* leave.  I doubt you want to rush that."

"Tell them and I'll kill you," Kurama growled, one eye closed as a trickle of sweat caught in his eyelashes.

"That's more like it," Genkai laughed.  Leaning forward a bit, she moved a step closer but not within reach.  "There's the will to live I expected from you.  I'm
going to get them, Kurama, you just stay alive long enough to kill me."  The red-haired youkai gave a long sigh and her eyes narrowed.  If he was giving in that
easily, it was obviously bad.

Brushing a hand over his eye, Kurama drew his knees up so he could rest his head on them.  "If you're going, then go.  I can't talk now."

"Fine, I'm glad you..."  Her voice trailed off as she saw a small movement near Kurama's leg.  It was just a small twitch of his fingers, but her eyes narrowed and
she glared suddenly.  "You won't be here, will you."

"Yare, yare," Kurama murmured, his eyes glinting when he glanced at her.  "You aren't as stupid as you act.  So what?  Do you plan to stay here with me?"

"I'll just call them," Genkai muttered, her shoulders tensing when he let out a soft laugh.  She could hear the strain behind it, but it was still a laugh.

"I undid the lines the moment you came," Kurama spat, his eyes narrowing into slits as his smile turned into a sneer.  He could feel his body clenching inward
and his right hand lifted, fingers brushing his hair.  The woman's eyes widened when he pulled a rose from the thick locks.  "Please don't say I didn't warn you,
Genkai."

"Don't even think about it," Genkai said quickly, her eyes still wide.  "Kurama.  Don't waste what little energy you have left.  Even if you did, it wouldn't be
enough to get rid of me.  You *know* that."

"I don't care," Kurama whispered, green eyes glinting as he brought the rose close to his face, feeling the soft petals against his cheek.  "If I can't throw you
out, then I don't care..."

"Don't bother."

Genkai flinched, her head turning to stare at the short youkai behind her.  It wasn't complete shock.  She'd expected him much sooner, but she hadn't even
heard the window open.  Ruby eyes glared past her and her lips curved into a slow smile.  "I wondered when you'd show up."  Those angry eyes flicked to her.

"She's leaving," Hiei continued, staring the short woman down.  "I don't know human custom, but even *I* know when I'm being dismissed."

"Hiei, do you know-"  Her words cut off when she was hit by a wave of youki, a shiver passing through her slight frame.  He was stronger than she
remembered, and his right hand was curling into a fist as he stared at her.  She'd decided to intervene with Kurama's self-imposed isolation, but obviously that
was over.  There was no point standing in Hiei's way.  "You're right," she said suddenly, flashing a smile at Kurama.  The red-haired youkai looked to be in
shock, but she didn't mind the lack of reaction.  Glancing back to Hiei, she inclined her head slowly.  "I'll be back, to check in."  The short demon didn't so
much as look at her when she left the room.

A dull pain pressed into his side and Kurama dropped the rose, his hand sliding to cover the spot.  "Hiei...why are you here...?"  His friend was frowning a bit,
but he looked the same as always, his eyes not giving anything away.

"What's wrong with you?" Hiei asked, his eyes narrowing.  The red hair looked the same, but he could see how much paler Kurama was, his eyes were bigger
somehow.  But the spark was still there, he'd seen that when Kurama threatened Genkai, the youkai hadn't given up at all.  She was wrong about that.

"I don't know what's wrong," Kurama said slowly, dropping his eyes as he pushed himself up from the floor.  He made it to his feet but leaned heavily against
the wall, his vision swimming too much to focus on the black-clothed figure so far away.  "Hiei, it's nice to see you again but..."  It wasn't just his vision, the
blurred shape was gone suddenly and he pressed a hand to his head, rubbing his eyes.  "Hiei...?"  Blinking as his sight finally calmed, he glanced down, a
twinge of humor bubbling to his lips as he found the male standing in front of him.  If he'd had trouble following Hiei's speed before, he had no hope of it now.  
The short youkai was staring up at him and he gave a small smile to those dark red eyes.  "I really can't talk now, I'm sorry.  I need to lie down for a while..."

"You look like hell," Hiei said bluntly, his eyes narrowing.  Kurama didn't seem able to focus on him, but those lips curved a bit at his comment.

"Thank you for noticing," Kurama said, his voice almost rising in a soft laugh.  But his head hurt as much as his body and his muscles ached from the strain.  
"Really, though, if you could come back later..."  Red eyes glared at him for a second before Hiei nodded sharply, barely giving Kurama a chance to blink as
he disappeared in a soft ruffle of black cloth.  Closing his eyes, Kurama smiled at himself as he stumbled from the room.  He didn't know why Hiei had shown
up after so much time, but his friend hadn't seemed surprised to see how weak he was.  Then again, Hiei rarely did look surprised.  No, his friend wasn't any
different.  He was still abrupt, very abrupt.

* * *

Pants filled the room, not the least bit attractive as heavy breaths escaped from a raw throat.  Ever so often a soft groan would break the rhythm, followed by a
sharp gasp and a clenching of muscles before the pants resumed.  An hour passed before he came to the window, but the teen on the bed was in no
condition to notice him.  He should have known, the pure monotony of the breathing was evidence of concentration and Kurama didn't have the youki to sense
him.  The red-haired ningen had opened the window before lying down on the bed and Hiei perched on the sill, crouching till his hair just brushed the top.  
Three eyes focused on Kurama's open mouth, but only the jagan could make out the small shadow of youki surrounding him.  He'd seen more power on D
class demons.

Genkai's words came back to him as he tried to see a trace of youki leaving Kurama's body.  But the level seemed steady enough and he leaned against the
side of the open window, making himself more comfortable.  He wouldn't move until he found out what was causing the pain that seemed to be racking his
friend.  And while his body was stationary, his mind wrapped itself into knots.  Yukina was having the same dreams he was.  The girl couldn't remember them,
but she didn't have a jagan that practically recorded every image her eyes saw.  He was sure they were the same, even if Genkai's description had been
vague.  But he couldn't see why she was dreaming about Kurama.  It was as unusual as his own dreams.  And he was certain, if any of the others were
dreaming as well, then Genkai would have mentioned it.  That meant Kurama wasn't somehow sending the dreams out to his friends.  No, from the way Genkai
had spoken, she seemed to think *he* was the one sending them to Yukina.  But he didn't have that sort of connection with the girl, it would have surfaced
sooner if he had.  The only other possibility was that someone was sending the dreams to both him and Yukina, probably the same person responsible for
Kurama's illness.  But why them?  That made no sense.

Not coming to any conclusion, Hiei frowned, shifting against the side of the window.  Kurama's breathing was starting to annoy him.  He didn't blame the youkai,
of course, but he felt very irritated by the sound.  It bothered him.  Glaring, he shifted again, drawing his knees closer to his chest and leaning his chin on
them.  His eyes flicked to Kurama for a moment, taking in damp hair against a pale face.  The youth wasn't moving much, aside from his heavy breathing,
hands curled into tight fists at his sides.  Was this what Kurama had meant when he'd said he hadn't been able to sleep?  Hiei couldn't believe it, Kurama
wouldn't simply suffer night after night without doing something about it.  The sounds were cut off for a moment and Hiei's gaze flicked away when they
resumed with a ragged gasp.  That rough sound snapped the last of his nerves and he hopped off the windowsill into the tree outside.  He had no choice.  It
was either get out of hearing range, or stop the sounds.  And he was no healer.  Interfering would probably only make things worse and Kurama obviously
didn't need that.  Still, he couldn't make himself go too far and he found another perch near the top of the tree, night sounds helping to relax him a bit, at least
to calm some of his anger.

Even with little more than dark leaves to look at, he could still see the kitsune's face.  There was no doubt in his mind, it was the same image he'd dreamed
about numerous times.  And the dreams had started how long ago?  About as long as Kurama had said he'd been without sleep.  That meant the two were
tied.  Was the one causing the other, or were they both being sent from some outside source.  Hiei didn't know, but he had an idea how he could find out.  The
only problem was that he doubted he'd be able to sleep after what he'd seen, knowing Kurama was just inside that window.  His eyes narrowed and he leaned
to the side, glaring down at the dark opening for a moment before leaning back again.  He hadn't seen the youki leaving Kurama's body, but Genkai had been
right about one thing, if the dreams were being sent, he might be able to follow *them*.  Folding his arms over his chest, he turned his glare on the black cloth
covering his bent knee.  The fingers of his right hand were tapping his arm and he had to actually focus on the muscles in order to stop them.  Then he closed
his eyes.  He imagined he could still hear the incessant breathing, but he ignored the sound, focusing on his own, steadier breaths.  His head fell slowly until
his chin pressed the white scarf about his neck, and for once, he welcomed the dream.

.-.

PART 2

.-.

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