Author's Notes:  This takes place after the second movie (the one where the Reikai is flooded).  
Category:  Anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, Yaoi, TWT
Warnings:  shonen ai, will have angst, lemons, sap
Pairings:  Kurama+Hiei/Hiei+Kurama, Kuronue+Kurama, will be KuronuexHiei, Kuronue/Kurama/Hiei, KuramaxHiei
Author:  Arigatomina
~*~*~*~ Past to Present/Present to Past shift
* * * Time lapse

Quicken

Part 1

~*~*~*~

Fingers pressed his bare side, dipping to delve into the long silk of his tail, and Kurama turned his face away from long black hair, his eyes glinting in the dim
cave.  Kuronue's eyes were closed, but that hand continued to pet him and he shifted against the youkai, propping himself up to stare at his lover's face.  "Are
you asking for something?" he purred, his voice as silken as the long silvery hair that cascaded over his shoulders.  Kuronue's lips curved and his lover's
chest shook briefly beneath him, a laugh more felt than heard.

"You are so insatiable, aren't you."  The youko gave no response and he opened an eye curiously, an eyebrow rising when he saw where Kurama's gaze had
fallen.  A pale finger traced the edge of the amulet lying in the curve of his neck, and Kuronue sighed.  "That is my treasure."

"More treasured than me," Kurama smirked, his hand closing over the cool stone.  "Tell me its secret.  Why do you value it so much?"  His dark-haired lover
pulled the necklace away, drawing a huff from him as he dropped his chin on the youkai's chest.

"It's been passed down for centuries," Kuronue murmured, his eyes closing as he pet the youko's long hair, fingers rubbing the thin velvet of those tilted ears.  
"It's for a moment, and can only be used once.  You've heard of the Mirror of Darkness the Reikai holds?"

"Of course," Kurama said sharply, his pale golden eyes glinting.  Any talk of treasure never failed to call forth both his attention, and his lust.  The Reikai held
treasures he'd risk much to take.  The only thing stopping him was the danger of being caught himself.  That was not the sort of task to be attempted alone.  
Even with Kuronue, he'd have trouble sneaking into the Reikai.  "The mirror is said to grant the wish of the one who holds it when the ningen moon is full."

"Hai," Kuronue nodded, black hair brushing their fur nest.  "My treasure is like that.  They say the mirror requires a sacrifice to be used, and this amulet," he
raised his hand, looking at the dark stone, "is no different.  The price for its service is death."

Staring at the gem encircled by gleaming metal, Kurama frowned in distaste.  "What's the point, then?  I've seen you risk your life for that thing.  Why do that if
you can't use it?  Unless you can sacrifice someone else?"

"The sacrifice *must* be the one using it," Kuronue said, his voice growing hard.  "It doesn't just kill, you see.  This treasure has the power to change the past.  
One thing, one death undone in an even trade."

"A substitution?"  Confusion drew his brows together, and Kurama frowned in irritation.  "I don't see the point.  Why die so someone who died in the past can
live?  Even if it were someone important, why do it?  You would be dead.  You'd never be able to see the person again."  Shadowed eyes turned to him and
Kurama's expression darkened into a scowl.  "Kuronue-"

"I would do it for you, fox."  Those golden eyes widened, and Kuronue smirked, brushing the back of his hand over his lover's cheek.  "I would do it for you..."

~*~*~*~

Kurama woke with a gasp that seemed to echo about the enclosed room.  His shoulders were stiff from where he'd fallen asleep with his head on the table,
and he rubbed his eyes slowly.  Rapid thuds reverberated in his ears, but he didn't acknowledge them, keeping his eyes closed until his back didn't feel quite
so cold.  Silence permeated the place, the ridiculous scent of lemon cleaning fluids assailing his senses in place of the sensual odor of his dream.  "Memory,"
he whispered, his soft voice making him flinch and drop his eyes to the table.  His head had lain mere inches from it, and he wondered if that weren't some
kind of proof that the memory was brought on by the object.  There was no doubt in his mind that it *was* the same object, the ruby colored gem glinting at him
in a reproof that tore at his insides.  He hadn't been able to find the amulet after Kuronue's death, but he'd thought it gone along with his partner's life.  And
he'd made a definite mistake.  He couldn't help but wince again as those words echoed in his mind.  The youkai had risked his life too many times for him, he
couldn't doubt that promise.  Kuronue would have done it for him, changed the past and died to let him live.  And Kurama had moved on without ever thinking
of the possibility.  Now, he was forced to think of it.  The amulet seemed to be calling out to him, the dark stone seeming to cloud with the same black-violet as
Kuronue's eyes.  Touching the stone, he wondered if he would have hesitated last night, he didn't think he would have.  

But he knew he couldn't do it.  Last night changed everything.  Kuronue had been perfect for him.  They'd fought together, wanted the same goals, and
shared the same insatiable appetites.  Theirs was a bond he'd never expected to find again.  He'd purposely isolated himself for fourteen years, and even
seeing Hiei had done little more than remind him of the life he'd left behind, at least in the beginning.  There were certain things about Hiei that reminded him
of his lost partner, but those were on the outside.  Kuronue had never been as cold as Hiei had been when they first met.  It wasn't until recently that he'd felt
able to call the half-koorime a comrade.  And even then Hiei disappeared the moment the others left.  The youkai had too much pain in his past to open up to
anyone, he'd said it himself.  Everyone had scars from the past, and Hiei's made him numb to any attempt to break through.  Kurama had known he'd never
truly get close to the demon, and he'd resigned himself to that, taking what he could when they fought together.  Forced to remember the partner he *had*
bonded with made him give up all hope.  Or so he'd thought.  Last night Hiei had reached out to him, offered what little comfort the youkai could give, what with
his barren past.  And no matter how much he'd loved Kuronue, he knew he'd never be able to ignore the offer, the plea.  By comforting him, Hiei had asked for
that in return.  He'd read it in those dark, shielded eyes.  The demon expected to be rebuffed, and no love from the past could make him do that.  "Kuronue..."

The dark gem definitely clouded when he touched it, but he couldn't feel regret.  He'd said he would have done anything to have Kuronue live, and at the time
he would have.  But he couldn't die now, not when it meant leaving Hiei, not when he knew he was the first person the youkai had reached out to.  And he
didn't want to leave him.  "I'm sorry," he whispered, lifting the amulet and staring into that shifting gem, the colors moving from dark purple to blue.  Kuronue's
eyes had shifted like that, from anger to pleasure, not quickly, but very similar.  It was mesmerizing.  "You know, I'd have done anything, then, to have you live.  
I froze.  I didn't believe you could die like that.  If I had known, I would never have watched, I would have done something, anything.  I would gladly have taken
your place.  But-"  It happened so quickly he gasped, eyes wide as he stared at his empty palm, fingers twitching inward.  He felt a sting from where the chain
had zipped out of his grip and he closed his hand, eyes flying over the dark floor beneath the table.  Thirty seconds passed before he glanced around, feeling
struck with helpless guilt, though he couldn't think why.  "Hiei?"  A glow illuminated the youkai's face and Kurama stood suddenly, staring at the amulet that
dangled from Hiei's bandaged hand.

"You never planned to leave this with Koenma," Hiei murmured, his low voice devoid of any emotion.  His eyes caressed the glowing stone as he raised his arm
so the amulet turned at the end of its chain, inches from his unshielded jagan.  "Your pain was so deep, even I recognized it, your love for him."  He never took
his eyes off the stone, the light growing brighter but tainted by his dark rise in youki, his jagan sparking when he dodged to the left.  Kurama must have
stumbled into the doorway, but he didn't glance at him.  "Don't mistake its purpose," he said, his voice dropping to a lower, colder tone.  Even with his gaze
locked, he could feel Kurama's approach through his raised power and he moved again.  The kitsune could never match his speed.  "If one dies, the other
suffers."  With a gentle leap, he landed on the dark table, his red eyes shifting finally to look at Kurama.  The red-haired ningen's eyes were bright and wide,
making him slip deeper into the ice within him as his jagan remained fixed on the clouded purple mist of the gem's depths.  "You hurt for his death, the same to
him if you use this.  Baka."

The amulet was moving, the pale bluish purple light flowing over Hiei's crouching figure and Kurama inched toward him, wary of making the youkai dodge
again.  His heart was pounding furiously and he didn't understand.  Surely Hiei could see the gem, the demon was holding it right in front of his eyes.  "Hiei."  
The absolute emptiness in his friend's gaze made something inside him twist as much as his memory had done.  "Hiei, put it down, please?  Hiei."  Those red
eyes lifted, following the impossible spin of the amulet and Kurama's breath hitched in his chest as he took another step toward the table, his hands lifted.  
"Hiei, you don't understand."

"Of course I don't," Hiei murmured, his lips twitching despite his dead eyes.  "I don't know what you had.  All I know is what I've seen."  His gaze snapped to
Kurama, taking in how pale the male looked, and his legs straightened until he stood.  Already he felt weightless, could hear whispers in his mind, night sounds
heard only in the Makai, and he knew mere seconds remained.  The kitsune needn't have voiced the wish aloud, it wasn't necessary.  The amulet knew without
any spoken word.  "I'll never know."  Kurama was moving closer, no doubt afraid he'd ruin the youko's chance of saving his love.  His lips curved back into a
grin that revealed his small fangs and he clenched his hand, head tilting back so the light poured over him.  "Don't worry, fox, I'll do it for you."

"Nani?!"  The light exploded outward as Kurama lunged, and his hands brushed something that dissipated beneath them.  "Hiei, no!"  Blinded, he couldn't tell if
he'd fallen or been thrown, but pain erupted in his mind as he struck something, something soft, warm.  Hiei had called him fox.  Warm arms seemed to be
wrapped around him and he choked, his closed eyes burning painfully, drops spilling over.  Fox.  Not once, but twice, how could it have happened twice?  A
sob caught in his throat and he curled inward, his hands clutching at the warmth he imagined pressed against him.  He couldn't have called him fox and be
dead, it wasn't possible.  Stricken twice, he whimpered, searching desperately for the youki that had ceased to exist.  Fox.

"Fox, you're getting me wet, you know."

The voice made his ears fly back, pressed hard against his head, and Kurama shoved away, nearly rolling on the hard floor of the cave.  Dark eyes blinked at
him in surprise and his hand flew to his mouth, the other curled over his throat.  "Ku...Kuronue...?"  The pain in his mind blazed for a brief, fiery second before
fading and he dug a hand in his long silver hair, eyes closing as if that might clear them.  His memories were blurring, splitting in two as visions faded into the
distance.  He clutched at one, Yusuke, he'd never met him, had fought to revenge his death, but he'd never met him.  He'd never gone to the Ningenkai, he'd
been reborn in a human body to a mother he loved, but he'd never gone.  And one memory overlapped, the image identical, but the circumstances changed.  
"Hiei..."  

The small youkai had stood on the table, that burning amulet spinning in front of the wide jagan.  They'd been in the Reikai, but he'd never gone to the
Reikai.  The demon had died on that table, but he'd seen him die in the Makai, pained red eyes glaring as he pushed Kuronue to the ground, one hand
catching the amulet's broken chain.  Kurama gasped, curling onto his knees as his heart tried to stop and he barely heard Kuronue move from that familiar
nest, couldn't feel the hand that fell onto his shoulder.  Hiei had touched him like that, just last night, but he and Kuronue had been alone last night, as they'd
been for years.  "Iya...iya...Hiei..."

"Fox?"

"I killed him..."

~*~*~*~
TBC



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