The First and The Last
by : Siew Lee

*Goodbye, Kurama...*

A young man sat on the soft green grass under a big tree in a forest, totally lost in his own thoughts. No, the place wasn't in Ningenkai, but it was in Makai. His red locks hung loosely over his entire figure, his emerald green eyes were dimmed.

*Goodbye, Kurama...*

The man clutched his head painfully, unable to stop the phrase from repeating over and over again like a mantra in his head. It was the most painful phrase he had ever heard in his life. The last goodbye he would ever hear from *him*...

*Goodbye, Kurama...*

Tears came, he was angry at himself. Mixed emotions claimed his heart at once, not giving him time to breath, to think or at least to rest. It was not fiery anger that he felt nor it was regret. It was a totally alien feeling this time. He had never loved, never cared, never looked into the hearts of people around him... After all, he was just a criminal from Makai, a silver youko - until Shiori and Hiei came along.

But... he had lost them both, one by one.

"Hiei... Kaasan..." whispered Kurama miserably. It had just been one week, one single week and he would never be able to see them again.

Yes, his human mother was growing old, he admitted... but still her death hurt him deep inside. She had just turned 55 before her death, so young even for a human...

It happened too fast... Kurama could still see his mother's beaming face, so full of happiness and love; but he could never forget the day she was diagnosed with leukemia...

One fine day... Everything was just normal. Kurama remembered himself greeting his mother that morning as he was just getting ready to go to work. She looked so caring and worried about his safety, always reminding him to be careful and cautious about the traffic... When he walked out of the front gate, Shiori was smiling at him... but the next moment, she was lying unconscious on the garden pavement.

Kurama still remembered the horrible feeling in his chest... the panic, the fear he felt... She looked so pale... His stepfather and little Shuichi was also worried, but he doubt that what they felt for this woman could ever be compared to his.

Then came the cruel truth.

The doctor's words hit him like a slap.

*No... Shiori mustn't die!*

The throbbing sensation in Kurama's head worsened... Images of him sitting next to the hospital bed, holding Shiori's hand... Flashbacks showing him sleeping on the wooden chair, looking after his mother...

Every time he saw Shiori's hand, it reminded him of her saving him when he was young. The love that she showered on him was priceless and unconditional; Kurama felt so indebted to her. She was everything a good mother should be...

But she was gone now, and he had never been granted a chance to repay her...

Another tear rolled down his smooth cheek and landed on his lap. Shiori didn't survive that deadly battle. The sad smile that she wore on that fateful morning had shocked him, for it was the most beautiful smile Shiori had ever shown him... Even with the last few minutes of her life, she reminded him to bring his lunch to the office which he always forgot...


But that wasn't the worst; it was the beginning of the end.

Hiei... A fire youkai... Forever his true love...

At this point, Kurama simply couldn't hold back the anguish that was growing minute by minute in his chest anymore. *No...* With a choked gasp, tears streamed down in abundance.

Hiei... Arrogant, cold blooded... All of that was just top class acting by this youkai! Yusuke, Kuwabara and Koenma didn't know this much, but he knew. He just knew it! They had never seen the other side of Hiei, the much softer and docile side of him.

Hiei was very vulnerable inside, so easy to hurt him... He was filled with self-pity; partly because he was abandoned when he was a baby. *The koorimes...* Kurama gritted his teeth angrily.

It wasn't easy to get near to him, let alone having a proper conversation with him. In a way, Kurama was special to Hiei, almost like someone who he could share his feelings and thoughts with. Kurama knew how Hiei felt towards him, maybe as a friend... His only friend in his short lifetime; but Kurama knew Hiei loved him too. To a youkai like Hiei, love was a totally new frontier, but he broke through that barrier.

Kurama smiled bitterly. What was the use now? He was already dead! It was still so vivid in his mind, like a movie replaying itself. Kurama couldn't stop the regret and tension building up in his soul and heart...

Shortly after Shiori died, Koenma sent the entire Reikai tantei team to capture a wind youkai on loose in the Ningenkai...

Kurama closed his eyes painfully. He had even asked Yusuke whether it was safe to go into that shack; but there was also a risk. Hiei didn't survive that risk...

*It is because of me he got himself killed...*

They hadn't anticipated that sudden attack... That ki blast just appeared out of nowhere and Kurama lay directly in its path! Kurama softly fingered the spot on his arm that Hiei had pushed him and placed his own body in front of the ki blast!

The scream! The burning smell! The bloodshed! Kurama moaned in total anguish... He openly wept over Hiei's limp body. No, he didn't die on the spot though he was badly hurt. There was a deep gash across his chest and red liquid flowed freely. Very soon, the ground was covered with his beloved's blood.

The tormenting sensation in his arms when he held Hiei close to him was so real, even now. His heart was bursting from the agony that he suffered when Hiei held up his arm to brush his face one last time.

Hiei's eyes slowly dimmed... With barely even a whisper, Hiei spoke his last words, "Goodbye, Kurama..."

The next few minutes were hell to Kurama. He didn't care that Yusuke and others were looking anymore. Tears already flowed freely... With trembling heads, he softly gave Hiei a kiss on his cheek as Hiei coughed out some more blood, forming a red strain on one corner of his mouth.

At last, Hiei's hand dropped limply on the ground as his body grew stiffer and stiffer. Kurama still clutched at his body, unwilling to let go... It was almost like an eternity before Yusuke came calmly and gently pried open Kurama's arms and hands.

*Kurama, Hiei is... dead.*

That was the most terrible phrase he had ever heard in his life.

No, Kurama couldn't stop the emotion that was twisting and turning in his heart anymore. He had endured enough, his yearning and love for Hiei couldn't be denied. Life was too tough without him, simply too hard.

Kurama had already decided. Once decided, there was no turning back afterwards.

Slowly, he produced a razor sharp leaf... Lifting up his left wrist before his eyes, Kurama opened his eyes sadly.

"Farewell, this beautiful world..." he said softly to the soft breeze that blew past. Kurama could feel Hiei's presence nearby... Somewhere...

With a flick of his left wrist, Kurama cut a long incision across his skin, cutting straight into his veins.

Closing his eyes once again, Kurama leaned back against the trunk of the tree, feeling his life flow slowly out of his body, awaiting Hiei's welcome... He was coming nearer and nearer, opening his arms for the last and first embrace with Kurama.

"Hiei, ai shiteru..."

Copyright reserved 1998 W. Siew Lee

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The First and The Last (END)
Copyright © 1998 Siew Lee
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