To Ride the Winds of  Change
by : Arcina

It had been a trap! He should have sensed it. But no, he had been foolish enough to let his guard down. To trust them. To actually trust anyone. He struggled, but he was held fast, infuriating him even more. How dare they do this?!

He turned his head to glare at the redhead behind him. "Let me go!"

Kurama studied him calmly, green eyes glinting with unspoken amusement. Hiei’s mind raged. Stupid fox was enjoying this. "And allow you to escape? I don’t think so, Hiei."

He heard Yusuke chuckle as they approached the gate, the sound sending an unwelcomed chill down his spine. They were nearing their destination, he had to escape. But how?

They passed the gate and entered a dimly lit tunnel, their footsteps echoing dully in the hollow passage. Hiei felt like a caged animal. His katana was gone, so cleverly weaseled away from him by the deceitful fox that constrained him now.

Kuwabara walked in front of him, laughing wildly at his fear. Hiei seethed. He’d kill them. He’d kill them all! The lying, deceitful bastards! If he ever got through this, they’d die by his sword. And the laughing ningen would be the first to go.

He glanced frantically down the tunnel, they were close, so close. He jerked, savagely attempting to estrange himself from Kurama’s grip. The hold tightened. He glanced pleadingly at Kurama, his desperation showing. How could he do this? "Kurama, please!" He whispered softly, so the others wouldn’t hear. He hated this, detested having to show his fear, but he had no choice. It was his last chance.

For a moment, Kurama’s expression softened, empathy reflected off gentle eyes. Hope surged within him, until the countenance hardened, the cold, unyielding visage of the fox spirit taking over the more compassionate demeanor of his human soul.

Hiei nearly cried out in dismay. "Damn you, Kurama!" He hissed.

The hands gripping him tightened. "Don’t talk." The words whispered in his ear.

The tunnel opened into a low-ceilinged cabin, bright light shone, making him blink rapidly to adjust his eyes to the glare, blinding in comparison to the drab dimness of the passage they had just traveled.

A female greeted them by the entrance and Yusuke handed something to her, which she glanced at briefly before gesturing towards a certain direction and speaking in low tones to his former teammate. Hiei glowered at her, they even demanded identification cards?

The girl smiled at him as he passed. He scowled back. These were professionals. Trained highly in their art. The nerve of her to smile at him as if nothing was wrong. He would kill her too.

Something in the corner of his eye caught his attention and he turned – to find himself staring into scarlet-tinted eyes that gazed back at him tenderly. Yukina! His world went into major upheaval at the sight of her. The tender look in her eyes almost enough to convince him that everything would be all right. That everything was as it was before. That his life didn’t hang in the balance … caused by the betrayal of his own teammates – his friends. Almost...almost...but not quite. She had betrayed him too.

"You are not thinking reasonably, Hiei-kun. Your fear is not allowing you to think rationally." She told him softly. "Please, just relax, everything will be fine."

Her words hurt so much. How could she lie to him?

He stared back at her silently. Not trusting himself to speak. Even now he could not bring himself to hurt her. He would never hurt her. Even in death she would be safe.

She smiled one last time before turning to follow Shizuru, who had materialized beside her and was now leading her away.

He felt a tug on his arm.

"Let’s go, Hiei. It’s nearly time." Kurama spoke, his tone gentle.

Hiei followed him, he had no other choice.

He was strapped into a chair. The leather strip binding tightly around him. He clenched his fist to keep his hands from trembling. He hadn’t realized he could fear something as greatly as he feared this. But he had always been ready to die. Why now?

It was a while before the roar filled the room, thundering sonorously in his ear. He felt the ground below his feet start to shake as the rumble grew louder, nearly surpassing the limit that he could take without having his head explode. It was worst than he had expected. He had underestimated them. He had been wrong once again.

The ground was definitely shaking, jerking his entire body. He was unsure if the pressure that was reverberating through his entire being was being caused by the tumult of the ground or by the pulsating tension of the clamor that drew all other thought from his mind.

A soft, strangled sound escaped him as he felt himself being lifted. No, he wasn’t being lifted, the ground was heaving, rising, taking him along with it. He kept his eyes tightly shut, sweat running down the side of his face. The ground continued its ascent, rising higher and higher, the air pressure was building up, slowly suffocating him. The ground was rising too fast, his veins would explode if this continued. He clenched his teeth, trying to rid himself of the popping that assaulted his ears. After so many battles. So many near-death experiences. He had never been so sure of death as he was now. Death was upon him, of that truth he was sure of.

The ground continued to rise and the baneful noise continued to pound against his head. He could feel the air thinning, making it hard for him to breathe. Would this turmoil never stop? In his mind he was screaming, panicking. He was trapped, defenseless…awaiting death.

But then everything stilled. The ground ceased to rise and even the roaring allayed to a soft hum. His forehead furrowed in confusion. What was happening? Could it be that they had changed their minds? He brushed the thought away. They couldn’t. After coming this far, they couldn’t turn back now.

The calm before the storm. The thought sent a shudder through him. It was the only explanation. Silence before the kill. That had only been the beginning. The worst was yet to come.

He felt a hand on his forehead. His eyes flew open at the touch, his head jerking back at the sight of the unfamiliar face that hovered above him. He glared at her.

She smiled back. "Everything will be fine. Please, relax."

Hiei scowled. Another one of those lying, deceitful ningens.

The girl glanced over at the chair beside him, where Kurama sat calmly, regarding Hiei with amusement set on gleaming orbs of green.

"Is it is his first plane ride?" She asked.

Kurama nodded, grinning broadly. "Yes. It is."

© May 1998


- Owari -
To Ride the Winds of Change (END)
Copyright © 98May by  Arcina
HOT is  © 1999 - 2000  by T-chan
All Rights  Reserved 1999