Make your own free website on Tripod.com
**Standard disclaimers/warnings apply** I own nothing but Yo- mawari. That bishounen's mine! *glomp!*

WARNING: This instalment contains the following : Blood, violence, torture/pain, yaoi (male-male relationship), yaoi/lemon implications, mild cursing

THE BLACK CHIMERA
A 'what if...' fic

Chapter One: If dreams would only die...
by Cricket

      The day was falling dim. They always did this sort of thing at dusk. During the death of the daylight was when they always preffered to do their pillaging and stealing, romping through the Makai in graceful leaps and bounds, each's grace trying to out-do the others, turning the pilaging runs into lengthy displays of balletic grace. Even though Youko Kurama stuck out like a rose in winter... so to speak... amongst the blackened bakdrop of the Makai, his glittering silver hair and flashing gold eyes setting him sharply contrasted against the darker background flashing behind the two youkai as they fled. Kurama would almost float as if on a cloud, gliding through the dense Makai forest abreast with his companion, eventually falling into a mirroring stride.
      Kuronue, however, indifferent to the colors around him, was dressed always in solid black. Infact, everything about him, save for the thin blue eyes and pale skin was black. He blended all to well with the backdrop as the two raced through the bamboo forest, the main gates to the Makai Tresure House falling away slowly behind them and the beautiful display each captured. A certain proud smile of victory played over Kuronue's face as he followed his partner, reaching a slender finger down to glide lightly over a red ruby pendant dangling on a fine gold chain from his neck.
      The two demons flicked easily through the bamboo forest, pressing on with a clear hint of anxiousness, pushing themselves as far from the Tresure House as they could before the hordes were to be set loose from the dungeons to track them down. They knew the drill all to well, had it timed to the second; each action, each reaction, blending time after time to a clear routine. Mentally, Youko Kurama counted down the remaining seconds in his mind, surely the idiotic kaibutsu would have finally figured out a defensive strategy to make this game a bit more challanging!
      Youko Kurama lept on, prancing and pouncing about smoothly as if he wore wings on his feet, darting perfectly and acurately through the bamboo, the shoots bending obediantly from his path as he did. Beside him, Kuronue showed only hints of being less graceful as his partners stride picked up, but still balletic in his escape, dashing just a foot or two behind Kurama now, darting left and right through the maze of bent-willed bamboo. Thick, leathery black wings hugged close to his back as he ran, making him like an aerodynamic shot of lightning, skipping about as quickly as Youko Kurama. Yet another sucessful run, he congradulated himself, concentrating on the forest before him, continually writhing and shifting around them. This was almost getting too easy.
      Before him, the fox darted swiftly to a nearby outcrop of rock, flitting and hovering there patiently as Kuronue caught up. For a second, the other paused to catch his breath, the deep blue eyes flashing to the youko who now towered a good three feet above him. "Did you get it?" he spoke calmly and unhurried, glancing down his partner as he hopped to stand shoulder to shoulder with the youko on the rock, the two posed as completely opposite facimiles of each other, save for the obvious differences in build: wings, a tail and ears.
      Youko Kurama let off a sly, sideways grin echoed by a deep smirk, producing a large, golden, square mirror from the folds of the perfect, white clothing that gently draped over his body. He flipped the object in his arm, catching fading rays of sunlight and dancing them to Kuronue's eyes. A silent affirmative glimmer hung in Kurama's thin, golden eyes as he cocked his head slighty to the man at his side, brushing lingering strands of silver over his shoulder. "Almost too easy, ne."
      Without so much as another look, the two flicked off again into the bamboo thatch, expertly navigating their way through, Kurama in the lead, parting out a path by way of his mastery over the plant kingdom. Obediant, thick stems bowed and bent at the youko's presence, letting them pass unheeded as they ran side by side only to spring back into possition when they passed. As the show continued, Youko Kurama counted down the final seconds in his mind, fliping a thumb over his shoulder.
      The gates to the Tresure House fell open behind them in a large, rolling thunder of iron and rock. Right on time, the drone and groan of kaibutsu of all walks spilling out and into the bamboo forest, following the two thieves with reeping scythes. They chopped the bamboo to long, deadly spears without so much as thinking, tossing them with no avail to the two escaping youkai.
      Kuronue smiled to himself... definately too easy. There had to be some sort of challange to this after nearly a century of the same, monotonous path. They were simply too smart for half the idiotic monsters that inhabited the Makai around them. Pathetic, he thought. For once, he'd like more of an obstacle, something that would seriously challenge his skills as a thief and survivor. The thought of raiding something a bit more grand, like a castle or hunting fortress, laid a large, curved grin across his face, that is, what wasn't hidden by the straight, black bangs.
      A bamboo rod shot by... too close for comfort, nicking the side of Kuronue's pant leg as he ran... but deflected expertly, snipping through the chain that held that most sacred piece of family heirlooms about his neck... his great grandfather's pendant, handed down through the generations.
      "K'so!" he breathed, grinding his teeth together, voicing his feeling in a deep-throated growl. He strayed from the path, darting before Kurama and bounced of a stalk of bamboo, ricotcheting his body back, using his forward momentum as thrust, shooting him into the woods they were running so easily to escape.
      The shot of black was all that marked Kuronue's change in direction. Kurama stopped dead, jerking aroun only to catch a glimpse of the black figure as it darted back into the thrush behind him, a black shade of the tall man.
      "What is he... KURONUE!! What are you DOING!!"
      "The pendant! I lost it!"
      "Forget the damn pendant, I'll buy you a new one! COME ON!!"
      "It's important to me," the voice rolled back, growling angrily, a heavy taint of disapproval hanging in his every word. "You don't understand."
      "Baka..." Youko Kurama flung himself back down the path they had just navigated seconds earlier, muttering curses and such. "Kuronue... come on!" he urged, expertly dodging a barrage of the bamboo spears, easily countering them.
      Kuronue darted back towards the Treasure House, the red glint of the ruby pendant showing beautifully through the green grass just meters before him, calling to him like a child lost in a cowd of people. He could hear and see the kaibutsu swarming, coming through the thrush before him, destroying it as they went. Quick feet always brought him success, he smiled at himself for that much, as he bent down to retrieve the pendant...
      ... the sound was sickening, nauseatingly quick, too much like a dreaded nightmare to be any sort of reality. The sound of a barage of the almost scickle-like bamboo spears shooting quickly from overhead, closing in on the youkai from all sides...
      One landed dangerously close to Kuronue's hand as he nabbed back his pendant, barely nicking the soft flesh of his thumb. He drew back quickly to flee, only to have his progress stopped by another bamboo spear, imbedding itself into the earth before him... and another, wavering in place like a plucked harp string.
      One caught his arm, ripping through the flesh and the muscle at his bicept... another caught his shoulder... another his leg...
      "KURONUE!!!" he heard Youko Kurama scream through the forest as pain flooded his vision, drowning his mind in a wave of black that threatened to overcome every sense he had. Blindly he reached for one of the bamboo spears, only to have another block his progress, nearly taking a finger with it.
      "Stay back!" Kuronue ordered, grinding his teeth together as he tried to tug loose one of the bamboo poles.
      ... another one pierced through his arm... another through his ankle...
      Kuronue jerked back, yelling out, screaming out until his voice broke and failed at the pain... another bamboo spear tearing through his other arm... another piercing him through the side...
      Youko Kurama froze in horror dead in his path back to his partner, sliding to a stop just feet before his imprisioned friend. Blood spurted out the tops of the hollow bamboo, like a cascading fountain, Kuronue nearly skewered alive inside, held up only by the babmoo itself, piercing his body through, displaying him in a grotesque crucifixion. "Oh gods..." he wavered to the sight, feeling his stomach begin to churn, threatening to heave his meal if he didn't do something quick.
      Kuronue raised his head, a thick train of blood seeping out of the corner of his thin mouth, diverting to roll a new bed down his cheek to patter onto his bare shoulders. The thin, blue eyes glistened unsually as he tried his best to hide his pain, staring his partner straight in the face, ordering the youko before him. "Run..." he whispered. His arm somehow found the movement to toss the pendant to Kurama, watching as the Youko caught it easily, eyes never leaving his partner's. "Run, Kurama.... GO!! You can't help me!!" Kuronue screamed, more from the pain ripping at his limbs than from the urgency he hoped to convey behind it.
      The droning of the kaibatsu was coming quickly up behind them, more bamboo spears trying to bridge the distance to trap Kurama also. The spheres were diverted by their cousins in the forest, Kurama calling the bamboo forest to protect them as he whirled through his mind for a way to get them out of this mess.
      Kurama pocketed the pentant, tossing the golden prize they had stollen to the side as he reached throguh the last few feet to the prison cell that held Kuronue.
      "KURAMA!! Get the hell out of here! Don't betray me!!!"
      "I am not leaving you here..."
      "Bastard... GO! Save yourself! I'm warning you, Kurama..."
      "NO!" Youko Kurama lept through the bamboo stands, wrapping his hands around one of the bamboo spears that imprisoned his friend. "I'm not leaving you..."
      "Kurama." Kuronue almost cursed the word as he spat it out, growling to his partner, flashing anger in the deep blue fog of his eyes. Behind them, the kaibatsu broke into the clearing, scythes and all, cutting more of the forest that tried to fight back.
      More on instincts as he continued to tug furiously, Kurama quickly called the bamboo into intricate braidworks before the approaching kaibatsu, trying to block their approach long enough for him to free his best friend. He thought little of his own safety; Kurama had seen how the Treasure House guradians treated captives that were... fortunate...? enough to be captured alive. He was not going to let Kuronue be capltured by these bastards.
      "KURAMA!! GO! NOW!" Kuronue gnashed his teeth together from within the bamboo hell, snipping at the youko's fingers, glaring down the youko before him. "You promised me! You PROMISED ME!!"
      "I'm not leaving you here!!" Kurama almost cried again, tugging furiously on the bamboo that just refused to move. "No.. not again..."
      One of Kuronue's scycles flew out, clipping Kurama on the sholder, sending him stumbling back from the bamboo prison, falling onto his rear to the ground. "Get out of here! I need you to look out for my daughter! You promised me you would take care of her if anything ever happened to me... GO!!! KURAMA!!!"
      Youko Kurama gasped, his air cutting off, the deep gouge in his shoulder staining his clothing quickly in a sickening display of red. The pain was intensified three fold by the vicious throbbing of his heart, emptying through the deep gash. Kurama tried to call the wound into silence but found the techniques forgotten, locked back in his mind as if he was NOT supossed to use them. He hobbled back to his feet... "Kuronue...
      "Don't betray me!!" the dark youkai yelled again.
      "Kuronue....." Youko Kurama reluctantly stepped back... burning the image of his friend into his mind. Oddly, he wanted to remember this event forever, no mater how much it hurt... he turned fully and flicked off into the thrush, putting a painfull distance between him and his partner, his best friend. Tears began to trickle from the golden depths of his eyes, running quickly down his cheeks, some pattering into the deep gouge on his shoulder, burning with intense fire, others flying off his face as he ran.
      He couldn't help himself... he flashed to a tall mound of earth, and turned back to his friend. Easily, the golden eyes sought him out seconds before the kaibatsu swarmed....
      The most horrid and blood-chilling scream Kurama had ever heard in his life ripped into the babmoo forest, taking all existence with it.
      "KURONUE!!!!"

      "NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"
      Kurama sat straight up in bed, sweat pouring down his face in great sheets, the wild red hair matted to his face in bloddy-looking clumps, refusing to move. He breathed roughly, a hand quickly going up to his bare shoulder, grasping at the scar that still sat there after all those years, even in his ningen form.
      It took a few odd seconds for Kurama's mind to realize he was in his apartment, in the familiar white-coton sheets of his futon bed nestled neatly off in a corner of the simple room. A dream? It was all a dream?
      A low grumble rose like a stalking wolf from the shadows,freezing him where he sat, catching his breath roughly in his throat. Kurama's blood ran cold, listening to the growl voice itself again, hunting him down, snarling at him for leaving his friend behind. Two red eyes glowed back at him from across the room, the thin blade of a double- edged katana glinting in the moonlight. "What the hell was that all about?" the figure growled sleepily at him, blinking the glowing red eyes a few times to rid them from sleep.
      The door to the room burst open... Yo-mawari fended himself in its frame, the 4-foot katana blazing before him as he stood clothed only in a pair of boxers. "NAN DA!!!" he screamed, threatening the room in its entiredy with the katana, a sparkle of the living shuriken appearing on his shoulders to back his threatening stance.
      Kurama crossed his legs before him and sat up fully, letting his head fall down into his hands, fighting back his emotions. He had had the dream before. The death of his partner had always haunted him, but that was too long ago. Nearly half a century ago. Why were the dreams returning? And why now?
      A gentle touch whispered to his bare skin, nudging him to make sure he was still alive. Kurama drunkenly raised his head to find Hiei sitting up before him, staring him directly in the face, a hand nudging at his chest. "Daijoubu desu ka?" he asked quietly, scanning over the face, the katana still in hand, raised to a menacing level as if some horrid demon had possessed his best friend and lover, determined to cut it from Kurama if it voiced any signs of showing itself.
      Kurama shook, collapsing his face back into his hands, fighting out a sob. "No, I am NOT okay..." he choked, his sholders shaking and wilting as he tried to force back his mind as it screamed and tossed. He dug his fingers into his hair and pulled, trying to fight the emotions with pain, gasping for air around his shaking. Further and further he seemed to sink down into the bed, hiding himself from all view mumbling nonsence words only he could understand, trying to comfort himself.
      Yo-mawari lowered the katana in his position at the doorway, quickly crossing the room to sit by his brother's side. His weight and pressence sagged the bed and toppled Kurama over to him, the figure hardly moving from the from where he sat in, slumping over almost lifelessly into the arms of his twin. "Kyodai-kun..." Yo-mawari brushed a hand over Kurama's cheek before bending his head down to kiss the top of his sweet-damped head, wrapping his arms about the thin, shaking shoulders tightly.
      A small hand wrapped around one of Kurama's, prying the fingers easily from the hair, guiding the hand down to the bed. Hiei's eyes, glowing from the fading moonlight, came back into vision, searching widely through Kurama's face, a mixtue of concern and frustration lingering in the red depths.
      Kurama's bottom lip quivered slightly as he stared back, buried back in the black locks of Yo-mawari's fine hair, cowering like a child at a movie monster. His eyes were wide and shaking, darting back and forth between Hiei's scarlet orbs, a thin stream of silver tears rolling down his smooth cheeks to patter onto his brother's bare chest. The face bore hardly any resemblence to Kurama's, stained in tears and crimson mats of hair as if he had fought a deadly battle just seconds earlier in the confines of the cotton sheets, Kurama trying to retreat further into the jungle of Yo-mawari's hair with every passing second.
      The koorime brushed a hot, gentle hand over the flushed cheeks, drying away the tears with no avail, watching with frustration as more flowed out to replace them, splitting several river beds to bleach through the redcheeks and skin. He leaned forward and gently laid a kiss in each of the heavy eyelids, drawing into Kurama's lap under Yo- mawari, pushing aside black hair from his path.
      Kurama took him up like a ragdoll, hugging the small body tightly to him, rocking the little youkai back and forth as if he was a child, burrying his nose deeply down into the rough, spikey hair. Hiei went limp, relaxing his head against the sweat-beaded chest feeling the amazing warmth of Kurama's body radiating under him. "What's wrong?" he asked silently, snaking an arm around Kurama's waist.
      Kurama suddered, taking in a long, labored breath, nestling his head back on Yo-mawari's shoulder. The long arms wraped further about Kurama, snaking to lightly touch Hiei's shoulders, drawing all three of them into a single mass. "I had another dream about Kuronue... and I don't know why," Kurama whispered to both of them, wraping fingers through Hiei's disobediant hair.
      Hiei sighed slightly and squirmed, pressing himself up further against Kurama. "You've had the same dream repetedly for the past three months since that incident with the Meikai.... when the oni took Kuronue's form and tried to kill you." Hiei grumbled when Yo- mawari's hand came down and pushed blazing strands of wet hair from Kurama's face, pushing them back over his head.
      The WatchMan had arrived to the Ningenkai about a month after the incident with the Meikai, only hearing about Kuronue from stories Kurama refused to tell openly. He had pried the name several times from Hiei, getting little more than a few words. "Just let the subject die," Hiei had told him time and time again. "That's best left in the past... it's someting that bothers Kurama way to much to be that important for you to know."
      Yo-mawari squeezed his arms around Kurama one last time before drawing back and unwinding himself, looking straight into his brother's face. "I'll go start breakfast," he whispered, pushing another strand of hair free. :I get the feeling Meijin-san wants to be alone with you, : he smiled through his mind, rising slowly from the bed. The katana clanged on the leg of a chair as he turned slowly, walking like a silent shadow from the room to decend the stairs from the loft. A few seconds later, a yellow light gently blinked in to existence, the sound of skillets clanging onto the stove echoing through the apartment.
      Kurama sighed and snuggled his nose further into Hiei's head, remebering the faint fragrence of the Makai forest that was traped within the black spikes.
      "Kurama... are you going to be alright?"
      "I don't know." Kurama drew back and sat up straight. "It scares me... Kuronue was my best friend before I met you. We did absolutely everything together and were practically inseperable. But now, I can't remeber him... in my dreams, I remeber him as clear as day as if he could just pop back into reality any time he wanted. So real. So tangible. But when I'm awake, I can't remeber him at all. Only his name. I can't remeber what his you-ki felt like... what his voice sounded like, the color of his eyes.
      "We used to talk for hours while roaming the Makai, joking about little things, hasseling travelers. I had put that voice to memory in case we ever got seperated. But now... everything's gone. I'm slowly forgeting all that he was, all that he was going to be."
      Kurama's voice faded into a dry whisper, his head slowly lowering back to burry itself in Hiei's hair. "I don't want to forget him, Hiei."
      Hiei didn't know what to make of the last thread of words. Since Kurama refused to give none by the bare details about who or what Kuronue was, the thoughts of what was meant in that last sentance echoed painfully through his mind, sparking over a hundred different possibilities. What the hell did he mean by that? "Oh, I see," Hiei spoke softly, disapointment heavy on his deep voice. He slid his hand from about Kurama's waist and pushed from the chest, gaining only a fraction of an inch as Kurama's grip suddenly intensified, pulling his figure back to his damp, bare body.
      Kurama's eyes slid around into view, heavy and serious, staring holes back to the fire demon below him. "That's not what I meant, Hiei," he whispered. "Kuronue and I were nothing more than friends, understand?" Kurama sealed the sentance by moving quickly down to Hiei's neck, sinking his teeth into the soft flesh behind his ear.
      Hiei gasped harshly, pain and pleasure mixing in an odd concoction to rocket through his entire body, tightening every muscle. He felt Kurama gently nibble, taking his body back down to the bed, nimble fingers darting to loosen the belts at the youkai's waist. Hiei took a few breaths, regaining muscle conrol and slid his hands down to help, kicking out of his pants as the white, coton sheet fluttered over them.

      Yo-mawari blew a strand of black hair from his face as he cracked an egg, dumping its contents to sizzle down into the pan, the clear, gelatanous matter quickly turning white under the heat. He wondered a bit where the two were, glancing to the clock hanging perfectly on the wall. 4:30 in the morning.
      'Oh well, no biggy... they're probably cuddeling or something absolutely adorable like that,' he thought to himself, chuckling. "Or something else," he whispered aloud, smiling with a sneaky gleam as he poked at the egg with a spatula. As if cued, a soft moan rolled from the loft above, softly pained, floating down to his ears, Yo-mawari nearly bursting out loud at the seams. His knowledge of these things just seemed to be on the mark 100% of the time, but it didn't bother him at all. As long as Kurama was happy...
      He flipped the egg and smiled, chuckling. "They won't want breakfast for a few hours." He winked down to the egg, the toaster popping up beside him, josteling two slices of toast out and onto the kitchen counter. One of the little shuriken hopped onto the counter beside them, glimmering quickly, a million sentances conveyed in a single, telepathic spark.
      Yo-mawari frowned deeply and flicked a finger at the star, twirling it in place with gentle discipline. "Shame... go mind your own buisness, little sneak. Leave them in peace, they deserve that much."
      The shuriken sulked and hopped off the couter, rolling across the linoleum to hop onto a pillow before the television. The rest of them, numbering 6 in all, swarmed up after onto the soft cushion as Yo- mawari sank into a pillow beside them and flicked on the television set.

© September 1997 by Jiminy Cricket Presses

On to Chapter 2