"You just can't stop, can you?"
He looks at me over his shoulder, scarlet eyes narrowing slightly to see me better in the darkness. I step forward, hands in my pockets. Casual. Nothing can hurt me. I am untouchable.
I stop beside him, gazing down to the base of the little hill, knowing the fireworks are playing magic with my hair, bringing out the richness, the vibrant crimson color to it. As if *he* would notice. People mill about the tranquil pond, the moon showing off her pearly beauty in its depths, making the dark water seem to glow. Everywhere there are children running about waving sparklers, shrieking in their games. And yet the both of us stare steadfastly at the couple on the blanket, sitting side by side, fingers linked.
She's laying her head on his shoulder now, and I smile slightly to myself. How he must be blushing! Yet he does not push her away. He wouldn't. He cares for her more than he will admit even to himself.
"What do you want, fox?" his gruff voice catches my attention, and I glance sideways at him, reaching up to gently tuck a stray lock behind my ear.
His eyes are still glued to them, even now. Being subtle has its drawbacks, but I refuse to scare him off by being too forward. "You are always watching him," I murmur, glancing back towards the two with hooded eyes. The flare of a brilliant firework draws gasps of appreciation from the crowd. I watch the display with dead eyes. "Tell me, Hiei, why *did* you join the Urameshi Team? You are so stubborn. Yet you allowed him to lead you. Why is that?"
He has tensed slightly, and is glaring at me now, suspicious. I can see it out of the corner of my eye. I await my answer calmly.
This promise I have made to myself...
"Why do you ask such stupid questions?" he growls quietly. "Why do *you* stick around, anyway? Don't you have better things to do, fox? Now that your mother is--"
The tone to my voice silences him, and he closes his mouth, resuming his watch.
We are silent for a few more comfortable minutes. You and I, Hiei, you and I. We have been together so long. Why is it you never see what is right in front of you? Why must you reach for that which you cannot possess?
"I'm going back to the Makai." I say it airily, like a person commenting on the weather.
He shoots a glance towards me. Ah, I've surprised him. "...When?" he asks at last.
Always so blunt. I bite back a sigh.
"I will leave tonight. I will allow the youko to overcome me and I will once again be the thief I once was."
"Is that possible?" he growls.
I smile secretly to myself. "I have been having discussions with your boss-lady," I chuckle. "She will help me."
"Why would she do that?"
I shrug, keeping my information to myself. I turn to face him at last, and he looks up at me sideways, wirey arms crossed over his chest, spikey black hair ruffled by the evening breeze.
I swallow, doing my best to keep my calm demeanor. "I made a promise to myself."
"That's right." I can't bear the steadfastness of his gaze, and glance away, shivering slightly even in the warm weather. "Before I leave...there's something I have to know."
His eyes are distrustful. Ah, Hiei...you have always trusted me.
You untouchable bastard.
"Tell me, Hiei..."
I hate you....
He stares up at me sullenly, and I hesitate for just a single moment before asking quietly, "Do you love Yuusuke?"
I hate you for making me love you.
His eyes widen slightly.
I hold my breath, finally meeting his gaze, and we stand like that for what seems like hours. Emerald and crimson lock and hold. Time slows; my heart beats painfully hard in my chest.
And then, at long last, a response...
His eyes slide slowly away from mine...
and settle once more on the couple below.
Why do wounds from a fire demon feel like ice?
I close my eyes, swallowing hard, the heavy hand of defeat lying atop me, and my heart feels like icey lead in my chest. I turn away. Time to go. I promised myself I would ask..
There is no need for me here. Not anymore.
I turn to him quickly, ignoring the way his eyes widen in surprise as I seize his jaw tightly, hard enough to bruise, wrenching up that small face so that my eyes bore into his once more. "I want..Hiei," I murmur, tightening my grip. "I want..everything that is..Hiei. I want what is...untouchable."
He stares up at me silently, eyes a little wider than normal, his breathing quicker. Then he averts his gaze, lips tight. "You can't have him."
"Ch'!" I shove him aside roughly, reaching up to wrench a slender branch from the sakura tree we have been standing under, thrusting the slim limb into his arms. "A gift," I whisper, tossing my hair from my face. "A going-away gift." I touch a finger to the branch, and immediately the buds on it bloom beautifully under his nose, the sweet scent bursting free. "But know this, little fire demon," I breathe, staring him in the face one last time. "We do not *both* follow an impossible star. But there's a difference between you and I. You see, I can give up what I want the most. If I cannot have it, and I do not wish to destroy it, then I will leave it. If ever I hear of a small outcast fire demon with the third eye while I am hunting in the Makai, I will personally seek out the bearer of the news and kill him. I never want to hear the name again. I never want to see blood eyes."
He stares up at me silently, eyes wide once more, unable to speak, clutching unconsciously to the branch.
"Follow your star, then, Hiei, and I hope your heart crumbles inside of you so that you'll know how it feels. That will prove that you are not," I jam my finger against his chest, "untouchable."
I turn away quickly, my open shirt flapping, shoving my hands into my pockets once more. The explosion of more fireworks covers any noise or response he could have made as I stalk rapidly down the hill.
I do not look back until I am almost at the bottom of the hill.
He is standing under the tree, the blooming branch hanging by his side. It is impossible to tell which way he is facing because of the darkness. He has turned away to watch *him* again, I know it. I start to turn away.
Another explosion, this one bright enough to draw my attention, despite myself.
And I see him.
He is facing me, scarlet eyes lit up from the momentary brightness, fist clenched so tightly around the branch it will surely break. His lips are moving. He is whispering something.
I wanted you so...badly...
I turn and disappear into the shadows.
Who is untouchable, now?
Author's Notes: maa~ more angst than I usually do, ne? ^^;;; I almost always do happy endings, and now my angst muse is running around my head laughing maniacally! @__@ gahh, leave me alone, it's 1 in the morning, you little imp!!