Author's Notes:  This fic takes place before my GW/YYH fic 'G-men' to show Hiei's history as a mutant.  This will also explain how Hiei and Kurama met, as well
as why Hiei and Yukina have such an odd (even for them) relationship in the latter part of that fic.  For strictly YYH fans, there's no need to read the other fic in
order to follow this one.  There will be a later inclusion of a few Gundam Wing characters in the last few parts, but mostly it's YYH.  As with G-men, this fic is a
fusion of YYH and the original X-men animated series.
Category:  Anime, Yu Yu Hakusho, Yaoi, AU (Alternate Universe)
Warnings:  angst, child abuse, violence, possible sap
Pairings:  Hiei+Yukina/Y+H (not sexual), will be KuramaxHiei
Author:  Arigatomina


Part 1

They were found nearly four years before the first outbreak of mutants would cause chaos in the states, but the two children caused a sensation regardless.  It
was the evidence of their having sustained themselves for months before the first marshal stumbled onto the location that made people spread the story.  
Seven trailers were found on a lot in the southern part of Illinois, seemingly abandoned some time ago.  Ironically enough, the authorities had been called in
because the tenants failed to pay their rent.  The marshal expected to have a long discussion concerning court orders and late fees.  He never expected to
find himself facing the blunt end of a long rifle.  Being addressed in a foreign tongue from behind the curtain on the other side of the weapon was something
he'd expected even less.  But nothing surprised him more than when, after calling in three cars as reinforcement, he saw the gunman.

They estimated him to have been no more that five years old, and even after interpreters were called in, they never determined his true age.  There was
simply no identification left within the abandoned trailers, and the children didn't remember their parents' names.  They didn't remember much of anything.  
The two-hour standoff revealed the rifle to be unloaded, with a broken barrel.  The five-hour interrogation, done by the local welfare workers, revealed the
children to be runaways, and twins.  The group they'd been with was never found, and neither of the siblings would tell why they'd hidden during the
evacuation.  It was never learned why the group left, but the half-filled cabinets in the trailers spoke of a hurried flight from something.  The cabinets also
explained how the children had managed to survive by themselves for so long.

The investigation into the disappearance of a group estimated to have included at least forty people turned up nothing.  Within a month the children were
placed in a foster home not far from the county they'd been found in.  Three years later, they were once more the focus of media attention.  The scandal and
mystery of that incident overshadowed even their strange origin.

That first year was the hardest on both of them, especially since the so-called family included three other foster children, and not one spoke Japanese.  
Picking up English was easier for Hiei, but it was the girl who spoke for the pair.  Sweet and bright-eyed, Yukina quickly became something of a favorite for the
two other girls living in the crowded house.  Even the temperamental Austin, the oldest teen, had a soft spot for the gentle girl.  And amid the attention, Hiei
gradually found a place for himself on the sidelines.  Their lives were limited to the house since they were too young to accompany the others to school.  But
things fell into a routine, and slowly, they grew more comfortable.  They still slept together, ignoring the rules that placed Yukina with the other two girls.  Austin
kept their secret.  It was at the end of their second year that things changed.  

The two older girls went first, leaving the downstairs bedroom empty except for Yukina.  And for a while, it seemed like a good thing.  His sister missed the two,
but Hiei was aware that their attention had been shifting toward the smaller girl.  What had once seemed honest interest had turned into light teasing, small
things that made the boy want to jerk Yukina away from them.  There was something about the way they touched the girl's pale blue hair that told him not to
trust the two alone with her.  He'd seen them playing with scissors enough to know their eyes took on a different spark when Yukina was around.  He didn't
know enough to recognize the emotion as jealousy, but he knew he didn't like them.  If his sister hadn't been so upset to see them leave, he would have been
glad.  And with them gone, he wouldn't have to worry so much about sneaking Yukina upstairs at night.  He'd started to wonder how long it would be before the
two older females told on them.  Austin's control as the oldest child in the house was the only thing that kept them from it.  Once they were gone, it was just the
three of them, and Hiei unofficially moved into the empty room.

The first few nights passed uneventfully, with Hiei on the bunk above his sister.  It wasn't the physical contact that had made them break the household rules in
order to sleep together so much as the need for nearness.  They didn't remember much of their past, but both felt the wrongness when they were apart.  
Yukina had been the one to creep upstairs that first night, and Hiei had been wide-awake, unable to sleep without her.  His restless turnings had kept Austin
up for hours, making the older boy relieved when the girl showed up simply because it let him sleep.  The teen was just as happy to see them in the downstairs
room, though he warned them they'd be in trouble if the adults learned of their nightly routine.  Hiei never thought much about the warnings despite Austin's
sincere tone.  Aside from feeding them, and washing Yukina's hair at night, they rarely saw the woman.  And the man worked all day, only speaking when he
sent them off to bed in the evenings.  As far as Hiei was concerned, without the girls the only difference between the house and the trailer they'd lived in was
that he wasn't allowed in certain rooms.

The downstairs bedroom was larger than the one he'd shared with Austin, and Hiei found himself staring out the window next to the bed before falling asleep at
night.  They weren't allowed outside very often, but it was quiet out there, no houses in sight.  He knew there were other people not too far away, since the
girls and Austin were picked up for school each morning.  He'd looked out the living room window more than once and seen the crowded bus that stopped at
the edge of the long gravel drive.  Austin had told him he and Yukina would be riding it in another year, and it wasn't something he looked forward to.  They'd
learned enough of the language to communicate, though he didn't talk much himself, but he didn't like the idea of being around so many people.  The faces
that looked out the bus's windows were shadowed.  They looked more like grinning animals than kids.  It reminded him of the way the girls had stared at him
during their first year.  Austin swore they were smiling, but Hiei never saw people bare their teeth that way until the strangers had taken them from the trailer.  
Unlike Yukina, he wasn't willing to believe everything he was told.

A bright moon lit through the curtain the night they were caught, illuminating both of their figures well enough that the person in the doorway didn't even have
to turn on the light.  The parents had never checked on them before that, but Hiei woke the instant the doorknob turned.  His eyes snapped open at the quiet
sound, and he nearly fell off the bed, catching his balance on the edge and waking Yukina in the process.  Her soft voice called up to him, groggy with sleep.  
The light flicked on immediately, a sharp curse meeting Hiei's ears as he rubbed his eyes.  He didn't understand the words, but he recognized the tone as one
he'd heard somewhere before.  Though he woke quickly enough, his eyes didn't adjust in time.  He was pulled off the top bed so suddenly that he flailed in
surprise, striking a blow on the man's face.  Pain answered that, blazing across his cheek so he let out a sharp cry.  Yukina echoed it, and he glared as he got
back to his feet.  The man caught his wrist and drug him toward the doorway.  

Pulling against the hold, Hiei caught a glimpse of Yukina's wide eyes.  The girl was curled on her bed, pressed to the wall, but it was her expression that did it.  
She looked as if she were about to burst into tears.  Something inside Hiei snapped, and he kicked the man's leg, twisting in his grasp.  "Hanase!  Kisama!"


The man grumbled something in a low voice, but it turned into a shout when sharp teeth closed over his hand.  "You little bastard!"  Jerking back, he stared at
the black-haired boy, glazed eyes narrowing sharply.  Hiei bared his teeth, his shoulders hunched as he clenched his small hands into fists.  "What the hell do
you think you're doing?!  You know the fucking rules!"

A hand caught the shoulder of his shirt, and Hiei clawed at the man as he was lifted off his feet and mostly carried to the door.  His blood pounded in his ears
when Yukina whimpered behind him, but he couldn't seem to hit hard enough to actually hurt the man.  It only took a second to get him out of the room, the
man slamming the door.  The hallway light was on and Hiei stilled a bit when he saw the woman come out of her room.  She frowned at him from the doorway,
and the man lowered him so his feet touched the carpet.

"What's going on?" the woman asked, rubbing a hand over her temple.

"What does it look like?" the man growled, giving Hiei a shake.  "He snuck downstairs."  Red eyes glared up at him, and he glared back at them.  "And I bet this
wasn't the first time either, was it."  Hiei bared his teeth and he clenched his bitten hand, face turning a mottled red.

Groaning, the woman leaned against the doorway.  "He didn't hurt anything.  Just take him back upstairs.  Hiei, you know you're not supposed to move around
after bedtime."  She expected a sharp nod, what she usually got when she talked to the boy, and she blinked when he turned his glare on her.  The stubborn
expression added to her irritation at being woken and she frowned back at the boy, her tone dropping.  "Hiei."

"I'll take him up," the man said, his voice calmer.  "Go back to bed."

Hiei didn't bother to watch as she went back into her room.  His eyes were on the closed door, listening for any sound from Yukina.  She must have heard what
they'd said, he was sure of it.  He had broken the rules, but the moment he was taken back to his room he planned to go right back down again.  The man
caught his wrist, but Hiei didn't struggle this time, walking quickly to keep from being drug as he was taken to the stairs.  He wasn't tall enough to keep up.  His
feet left the floor and he fell over the first step, a low growl breaking the silence.  The next thing he knew a hand was over his mouth and he was lifted, the man
not breaking stride.  He tried to bite, but the grip was too tight.  They reached his and Austin's room, the man pausing outside of it.  Hiei kicked wildly, his nose
covered nearly as much as his mouth, and he barely noticed when the man caught his right hand and pulled it over his head.  The next thing he knew a
crushing pain closed over his arm, just above the wrist.  

The boy's cry was smothered, and the man waited for a moment, clenching his teeth.  Hiei sagged when he finally let the arm go, and he grunted.  "Hurts when
you get bitten, doesn't it.  Fucking kid."  He heard Austin shift when he opened the door, but didn't look at him.  Tossing the black-haired boy inside, he
glared.  "Don't let me catch you down there again."

The floor hit him hard, and Hiei rolled a bit before stopping himself.  His eyes were burning, but he managed to turn a hot glare on the door just as it was
closed behind him.  Austin whispered to him, the older boy crouching beside him in the dark.  Hiei flinched away when a light hand fell on his shoulder.  His arm
was pulsing with pain, and he gasped, holding his breath to keep from groaning aloud.  It wasn't fair.  He knew he hadn't bitten nearly so hard as that.  If he
had, then the man wouldn't have been able to pick him up like he had.  Closing his eyes tight, he grabbed his wrist as if that might stop the throbbing.  That
hand touched him again, and he ducked away.  He stumbled a bit as he gained his feet.

"What are you doing?" Austin whispered, grabbing Hiei's shoulder when the smaller boy lurched toward the door.  "He'll hurt you if you go down there again.  
Didn't you see him?  He's drunk."

"Nani?"  Hiei glared back at the older boy, wincing away from him.  "What?"

"Drunk," Austin repeated, moving between Hiei and the door.  "You don't want to mess with him when he drinks.  Just stay here tonight."  The boy's glare was
visible even in the dark, and Austin sighed, pushing Hiei toward the bed.  "At least wait until he falls asleep.  If you get him mad enough, he'll send you away.  
And Pearl likes Yukina.  They'd keep her and you'd never see her again."  The little boy's eyes widened with horror and outrage, and Austin pushed harder,
directing him to his bed.  "You two are lucky you've been kept together this long."

Hiei's instinct was to ignore that threat.  No one could separate him and Yukina.  They belonged together.  Even the strangers before they came to the house
had said they wouldn't be separated.  But his arm hurt too badly to ignore Austin's warning as he had the last one.  He didn't know what the man had been
drinking to make him drunk, but it obviously changed things.  He'd have to be more careful.  And the first thing he needed to do was make sure Yukina didn't
try sneaking upstairs.  If they were going to get punished for breaking the rules, he had to make sure the adults thought it completely his fault.  Austin pushed
him onto the double bed, neatly blocking him in against the wall, but Hiei didn't say anything in complaint.  Maybe going back downstairs tonight wasn't such a
good idea.

He didn't sleep at all that night, but he didn't move either.  By the time Austin's alarm went off, he was more than ready to get out of the bed.  The older boy
had pressed him so close to the wall his left arm was nearly numb from lying on his side.  Hiei didn't say anything about that since he knew the boy had done it
on purpose.  He really did seem worried about him and what might have happened if he'd snuck back down again.

There were two bathrooms in the house, the one upstairs being used mostly by the two boys.  Hiei dressed in their room when Austin went to take a shower.  
His right arm was swollen so much that Hiei found himself staring at the dark color.  He was still sitting on the floor by the time the other boy came back for his
school stuff, and Hiei ignored him.  At least, he tried to ignore him.  Austin took one look at him and groaned, tossing him one of his own, larger shirts.  Hiei
frowned at it but pulled it on.  That was the extent of their conversation, but Hiei followed Austin downstairs.  He was eager to see Yukina.  He was sure his
sister hadn't slept any more than he had after last night.

The man was gone that morning, having left as early for work as he always did, but the woman was nearly as bad.  Hiei hadn't expected to be punished any
more.  His arm still hurt, and he was sure it would hurt for days.  That should have been enough.  But she must not have agreed.  He had one glimpse of
Yukina's wide red eyes before he was directed into the corner in the small living room.  The woman Austin called Pearl told him to stay there for the day and
think about what he'd done.  His sister tried to join him in the punishment, but Pearl wouldn't hear of it.  In the end, Hiei found himself sitting on the floor staring
at the corner of the faded cream-colored wall.  The woman kept Yukina in the kitchen with her the rest of the day, and though he could feel his sister's eyes on
him, Hiei didn't look back.  It wasn't a difficult punishment, and after a while he decided he could get used to something so simple.  It was a good thing, too,
because it turned out he would be sitting in the corner a lot during the next year.

Austin later explained to him that Pearl was something called 'old school,' which meant she didn't believe it was right to punish children through violence.  If she
didn't want to deal with a child, then she simply didn't deal with him.  Hiei gradually grew accustomed to this.  It didn't happen over night, but as the days went
by, he found himself being sent away from the room more and more often.  Most of the time he had no idea what he'd done wrong.  The woman seemed to
have decided he was a bad child.  Either that, or the man was telling her things that weren't true.  From what Austin told him, Hiei thought it was probably the
second thing.  That was what he got for fighting back when the man was drunk.  Hiei still didn't know exactly what drunk meant, but he learned within a few
weeks.  Drunk meant the man woke the entire house nightly, yelling at one thing or another.  It meant Pearl took her anger out on him in the daytime.  And it
meant Hiei didn't dare sneak downstairs at night or he'd be putting Yukina in danger as much as himself.  And it meant something else that took longer for Hiei
to learn.  Drunk meant Austin was leaving.

It didn't happen over night, but Hiei noticed the change in the boy as weeks went by.  Austin had been a light sleeper for as long as Hiei could remember.  The
older boy tensed when loud noises echoed from the adults' room in the hall below them.  He had nightmares that were sometimes so bad Hiei would leave the
bed to sit on the floor and watch him toss around and twist in the blankets.  The teen began to change after a while.  Hiei didn't ask, but he could tell Austin
was worried.  The boy's eyes had gotten strange.  They flicked all over the place, as if he could see things that Hiei couldn't.  Two months after Hiei had
ceased going to Yukina's room, a stranger came into the house and Austin finally told him what was wrong.  The boy was leaving.  He didn't want to go.  He
told Hiei that, but he couldn't stay in the house with a drunk.  Hiei didn't need to ask why.  The teen hadn't been sleeping well for so long that his eyes had
shadows around them.

A hug signified Austin's departure, and it was something that would bother Hiei for a long time after.  The boy had packed his things, that stranger waiting in
the doorway of their bedroom.  Hiei watched from his spot on the floor, taking in the teen's edgy movements.  And then Austin crouched next to him and
grabbed him in a tight embrace.  It didn't hurt, but Hiei pushed against it and was relieved when the stronger boy finally let him go.  When he looked up the
older boy's eyes were wet and bright.  Austin apologized while Hiei stared at him in suspicious confusion.  Then the boy was gone.  He never saw him again.  
But he did wonder for years after that if he hadn't been wrong about Austin.  Hiei had thought Yukina was the reason the boy had kept their secret when the
girls were still in the house.  Everyone liked his sister.  But that tight embrace made him wonder if he hadn't had something to do with it as well.  He thought
about that a lot as he grew older, and he eventually came to the conclusion that the boy had been his first friend.  At the time, though, he didn't have an
opportunity to dwell on the idea.  Austin's departure signified a change in the house, and for Hiei it was a definite change for the worse.

The first night after the boy left, Hiei couldn't sleep at all.  He'd done better since those early nights of being crushed to the wall by Austin.  He had learned to
doze off, weaving in and out of sleep rather than staring blankly at the ceiling and worrying about the girl downstairs.  But once he was alone in the room, Hiei
had a relapse.  Every time he closed his eyes, he thought he heard things outside his room.  Once, he was so certain Yukina was scratching on his door that
he had to check the hall.  There was never anything there.  After a few nights, he finally broke down and abandoned the room.  The house was arranged so
the upstairs bathroom lay directly over his sister's room.  If he wasn't allowed downstairs, at least he could rest as close to her as possible.  And he found that
when he lay on the cool linoleum, he could almost hear the soft breathing directly beneath him.  

His move went unnoticed for weeks.  He was careful not to bring anything with him, not needing a blanket, and he thought if the woman came up to wake him
and found him in the bathroom, she would have no idea he'd been sleeping in there.  He would berate himself later for not realizing she wasn't the one he had
to worry about.

It was the sound of a door being opened that woke him, and Hiei knew immediately that it wasn't morning.  The bathroom was dark, and he stared at the
doorknob as if he could keep it from turning.  He should have left the light on.  That thought ran through his mind, but he knew it was far too late.  He was
frozen, still sitting on the floor when the man opened the door.  The light hurt his eyes, but Hiei didn't move to shield it.  He didn't know what to say, and he
jumped in surprise when the man shut the door behind him, the bathroom suddenly seeming much smaller.  The adult leaned against the door, scowling down
at him.

The boy's odd red eyes were wide, but the man could see the stubborn tilt to his head.  Keeping his voice low, he kicked at Hiei, making the boy jerk back and
climb to his feet.  "Were you trying to hide?"  Hiei frowned at him, and the silent lack of fear made him curl the hand the boy had bitten not too long ago.  "You
were on your way downstairs," he drawled, "weren't you.  Did you really think you could hide in here and I wouldn't catch you?"

A tiny voice that would one day guide Hiei's decisions told him to keep quiet, but he didn't listen.  Folding his arms over his chest, Hiei glared.  "I wasn't hiding.  
And I wasn't going downstairs."  The little voice of reason cringed inside him, and Hiei's shoulders tensed, his back against the wall.  The man had shoved
away from the door to tower over him.  His right arm ached, a lingering memory of the old pain, and Hiei's calm voice wavered.  "I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Liar," the man spat, his bloodshot eyes glaring down at the boy.  "What do I have to do?  Lock you in your fucking room?"  Hiei flinched when he reached for
him, but he caught a hand in the boy's thick black hair.  His voice dropped, and he crouched, holding that hair in case the boy tried to look away.  "Hiding I can
forgive," he said, "but lying is another matter."

"I didn't lie!"  The moment the words left his mouth, Hiei regretted it.  He remembered Austin's warning about fighting a drunk, and he abruptly realized that
arguing with one was the same as biting one.  A strong hand gripped his chin, squeezing so hard that his eyes hurt, and he clenched his hands to keep
himself from struggling.  He was sure if he hit the man he'd be hit in return, and the man would hit much harder than he could.  As it turned out, he didn't have
time to take back his words.

Dragging the boy over to the bathtub, the man let out a quiet laugh.  "A biter and a liar."  Small hands pulled at his arm, but he paid no mind.  There was a
small white bar of soap on the edge of the tub, and he snatched it up.  Hiei's eyes widened, but the boy wasn't strong enough to stop him from prying his
mouth open and shoving the soap onto his tongue.  Reflexes nearly got it out, but he was faster.  His hands closed on Hiei's head, holding his mouth shut and
tilting his face over the edge of the tub.  The boy kicked at him, hands clawing at the black sleeve of his suit, but he could see Hiei's throat moving as he

The taste was killing him.  His stomach rebelled as his tongue smashed the bar of soap tight in his mouth, and Hiei thrashed against the hold.  He was going to
throw up and he knew he'd either choke on it or swallow the bar.  He couldn't breathe.  His nose burned, and he could feel dampness trailing down his
cheeks.  The palm beneath his chin disappeared suddenly, and he gagged, spitting the bar into the tub.  He barely noticed when the man turned on the water,
his hands holding tight to the edge of the tub.  He nearly fell when his mouth was pushed toward the running water, but he didn't resist.  The taste was never
going to leave.

The man stood as Hiei retched, wiping his hands on the towel and straightening his coat.  The boy didn't seem to notice, so he kicked those curled legs,
tossing the towel at him when blurry red eyes turned to him.  "Clean this up and get back to bed."  The boy was shivering, but those red eyes narrowed, just
enough for him to glare.  "Next time you fucking lie to me, I'll use dish liquid."

Hiei didn't move until the man closed the door behind him, and his attempted glare fell away.  He nearly lunged over the tub, moving his mouth so the water
poured onto his coated tongue.  He could still taste it, and the nasty flavor made his stomach churn.  He didn't know what was different about the soap used
for dishes, but he had no plan to find out.  Ten more minutes lapsed before he gave up and cleaned the tub.  The small footstool had gotten shoved under the
sink in the scuffle, and Hiei pulled it out.  After scrubbing his mouth with toothpaste, he finally left the bathroom to stumble to his bedroom.  He spent the rest of
the night curled close to the window at the foot of his bed.  And he spent the next day in the corner of the living room as punishment for whatever the man told
Pearl he'd done wrong.

He was so used to spending his days staring at the wall, that Hiei didn't know what to do when the punishment lifted.  Yukina took care of that, showing him the
little things she'd made during the days.  It felt wrong to be sitting at the kitchen table, but Pearl had company.  She had company a lot in the next week,
leaving the twins to themselves in the kitchen mostly.  The change in routine threw Hiei off track, and he didn't know what to do.  He couldn't remember what he
and Yukina had done in the past when they were together.  Just being able to sit near her was enough for him, but she seemed determined to make up for lost
time.  He had no complaints when she pulled her chair close to his, showing him the picture book Pearl had gotten for her.  She knew the names for every
single one of the little animals in the book, but he didn't listen too carefully to what she was saying.  His eyes were too busy darting from her bright eyes to the
little smile that curved her lips.  Somehow, seeing her so happy made his stomach twist.

Hiei had a sudden urge to go back to the corner and he didn't know why.  He'd spent so long wanting to do just what he was doing now.  The thought of her
being upset tore at him, but he couldn't watch her sweet smile any longer.  He dropped his eyes.  She noticed immediately, her soft voice trailing off.  Though
he didn't look up, he heard her shift in the chair, catching the curve of pale blue hair as she looked through the doorway into the living room.  A moment later
Hiei found himself tensing as arms wrapped around him.  He tried to relax as well as he could, but he knew he'd failed when his sister's head ducked against
his shoulder.  Her quiet whisper sent a shiver down him, and he blinked wide red eyes at the table.

"Hiei?"  Yukina tightened her arms when the boy didn't answer, her face pressed closer to his neck.  "Nissan...I'm scared."

A tiny sound curled from his throat, and Hiei flinched, ducking his head.  "G-gomen."  The head lifted back a bit, but he couldn't look at her, his face hot with
shame.  He was trying to convince his arms to move when she shifted, wide pretty red eyes blinking at him.

"It's not your fault," Yukina whispered, staring at Hiei's stricken face in confusion.  She'd never seen that expression, not even when the man had drug him
from her room so long ago.  "I don't want you to get in more trouble."

He didn't understand, but she didn't give him a chance to, soft hair pressing his chin when she hid her face against his chest.  His hands moved automatically,
surprising him a little when they curved around her in a warm hug.  Had it really been so long since he'd done that?  Yukina sighed, pressing close, and he
found himself echoing the soft sound.  This was right.  Closing his eyes, he moved his head to rub his cheek against her soft hair.  "Don't be scared," he
whispered, his arms tightening just a bit.  "I won't let anything hurt you."

A small smile pulled at Yukina's lips, and she snuggled closer.  Hiei was so warm.  "I know you won't," she sighed.  "I just feel cold when I see him...and that
scares me.  I don't know why I feel so cold."

As if her words were ice, Hiei shivered, nearly pushing her away.  "What...?"  She moved back slowly, and he barely kept from shoving on her shoulders.  
"What did you say?"  Red eyes blinked at him, almost wider than his.  "When do you see him?  Did he touch you?"

The hands on her shoulders tightened, and Yukina gasped, staring at the strange fury on her brother's face.  "Hiei...itai..."

A blow to the stomach couldn't have hurt more than that soft whisper.  Hiei's face turned white as he pulled his hands away, wrapping his arms over his chest.  
"Gomen!"  The girl didn't speak, staring at him in visible confusion.  His mouth opened, words trying to form, but he couldn't get them out.  Pearl saved him, the
concerned woman abruptly standing over them.

"Yukina, are you all right?"

The tone made Yukina pale, her hands clutching together over her chest as she looked up at the woman's dark eyes.  That gaze was directed at Hiei, and the
girl shook her head quickly.  "I'm fine, really I am.  We were just-"

"Hiei.  Go-"

He didn't wait for the rest of the order, nearly lunging off the chair and darting out of the room.  The only thing that kept him from running was the rule against
it.  Within seconds he was sitting in the living room, his knees drawn tight to his chest.  He'd hurt her.  He hadn't meant to.  He'd never have hurt her on
purpose, but he had.  And that wasn't even the worst part.  Hiei closed his eyes, ducking his face against his knees as he clenched his teeth.  He'd left her all
alone just because of the rules.  The man only came home at night.  Yukina shouldn't have even seen him.  She never did anything wrong, so there was no
reason for her to see him.  But she had, and the man had scared her.  His hands curled into claws, digging into his legs.  It was his fault.  How was he
supposed to protect her when he hid in his room?  A low growl eased through his teeth and he opened his eyes, red glare blurring the wall across from him.  
He wouldn't let anything hurt her.  He'd promised he wouldn't.  He was going to keep that promise no matter what.