A Yuu Yuu Hakusho/CardCaptor Sakura crossover
"Yes," Kurama answered, unperturbed by the dark menace. "Friends."
Hiei fixed the redhead with his "I can't believe you expect me to go along with your crazy kitsune scheme" glare (patent pending). "Why should I be interested in your human friends?" He had barely made it through the bedroom window when Kurama sprang the prospect of the visit on him. The fox had been planning this ever since he had met the pair of boys at a soccer match between his school and Seijou High.
"They aren't ordinary humans," Kurama explained. "One has unusually powerful reiki, and the other..." He shook his head slowly. "He isn't youkai, but he isn't exactly human either. That's why I want you to meet them. You should be able to analyze his power in greater detail."
The fire demon's stubborn refusal shifted to grudging concern. "Is he a threat?" An unknown creature dwelling among humans could be harmless--yet it could also lead to the next life-or-death struggle for the Reikai Detectives.
"I don't believe so, but appearances can be deceiving." He smiled, the lips of his teenaged human form curving into an emulation of such innocent sweetness that one might never guess it hid the soul of a centuries-old fox demon. "Just look at me."
Against his better judgment, Hiei did exactly that, gazing deep into the other's limitless emerald eyes. He should have known from the outset it would come to this. Had he ever refused to honor a sincere request uttered by his conniving partner in that bewitching, melodic voice?
He must have, at some point. For the life of him he couldn't remember when...or how.
He pulled away, wrapping himself once more in his figure-concealing cloak. "If he is dangerous..." The idea of someone potentially hazardous getting so close while he remained unaware was intolerable.
Kurama's smile deepened into an expression vastly more suited to his true nature. "Thank you."
Hiei didn't need to glance back as he left.
He knew the kitsune far too well for that.
Yukito tilted his head with a warm smile. "I didn't want you to have to ride home alone after your soccer practice. Besides, I was going to come over later anyway for Minamino-kun's visit, right?"
Touya mounted his own bike, grateful for the unexpected company but troubled that it meant his friend had been forced to pass the time by himself, since he hadn't come to watch the team practice. "Have you been hanging around here the whole time?" he asked, his tone scolding. He never wanted his companionship to be a burden.
"Not at all," Yuki assured him. "I went to the shop down the road to get something to eat. I was feeling a bit hungry."
The taller boy's worry didn't lessen, but instead shifted focus. He remembered the sack full of groceries his friend had eaten for lunch. If that no longer sustained him... He shook himself out of his reverie as Yuki started off, waving enthusiastically for him to follow. The other boy seemed sufficiently healthy aside from his increasing appetite, and Touya had enough to concern him with preparing for his upcoming guests.
Minamino Shuuichi, the flame-haired star pupil of Meiou High, was bringing a friend over for tea. Like Yuki's slight frame, which belied his rarely displayed skill as an athlete few could match, Minamino-kun's feminine appearance might lead one to underestimate him. Touya found the comparison irresistibly intriguing.
But even more than that...
The sound of the other boy's laughter interrupted his thoughts. "You're so serious today," Yuki called out to him. "You'd better be careful, or your face might scare small children."
"Oh, shut up," he growled, making his friend laugh even more. The musical expression of delight tickled his senses in a way not even the most mischievous touch could equal.
He was definitely looking forward to the evening ahead. For more reasons than he could name.
The fire demon didn't like it at all. His Jagan throbbed behind its ward in response to the strange nodes of power surrounding him, and he moved closer to the redhead's side, scanning all directions for danger. His instincts urged him to take to the trees and rooftops for a strategic advantage, yet he couldn't leave his companion.
"I feel it, too." Kurama's gaze was wary, but his stance was relaxed. "I don't think it concerns us, however. This is mainly reiki, normal human power, just extremely concentrated."
The observation did little to ease Hiei's mind. Humans could be worse enemies than youkai--or at least greater nuisances.
They arrived at the house with no difficulty, by which time the fire demon had concluded there were no fewer than three power sources strong enough to be reiki masters within a short radius of their location, in addition to the ones they had come to see. As the door was opened by a tall, athletic high school student with dark, piercing eyes, the small youkai was not in his most congenial of moods.
When those searching, knowledgeable eyes fell on the kitsune in welcome, it was all Hiei could do not to draw his sword and run the human through on the spot.
Friends, he reminded himself, the word bitter in his mouth.
Once inside, Kurama politely carried out the introduction ritual while the fire demon glared sparks at the imposing human boy. Kinomoto Touya. It was no wonder the fox hadn't been able to determine anything definite about Touya's smaller, seemingly more fragile companion, Tsukishiro Yukito. The forceful reiki of the taller boy practically drowned out any traces of power from those in his vicinity.
Strong, yet untrained, Hiei decided as the four settled around the table in the living room.
As if conscious of being measured, Touya returned the stare with equal challenge.
Intent on the nonverbal contest, both paid scant attention when the other two offered to make the tea and fetch snacks. After they were alone in the room, Touya's expression became thoughtful. "I only have one question for you."
Suspicious, yet curious, the youkai relented slightly. "What's that?"
The human gestured toward the kitchen. "What on earth do you do with the tail?"
Yukito laughed in response, the sound filled with honest amusement. "Touya can be a little gruff, too, but in his heart he's gentle and caring." He set the four cups of hot liquid on the tray beside the other's handiwork, the perfect counterpoint. "It's the person inside that counts, isn't it?"
For a moment the redhead froze, hearing the echo of his earlier sentiment put forth in such a positive light. Appearances can be deceiving... "Yes," he agreed. "It's what's inside that matters." And whatever was inside the cheerful, bespectacled teen, Kurama no longer suspected that it meant any harm to humanity--particularly the prime example that dwelled in this house. Speaking of whom... "We should get back before those two kill each other."
Not that he truly expected violence, of course. The two were probably still sitting in the same positions, staring laser beams at each other in a territorial conflict that would double their testosterone levels for the next month. He sighed in familiar acceptance.
Low voices drifting from the living room banished his speculation. Somehow they must have overcome their differences and settled on common ground. Soundless in his guest slippers, the fox neared the room, wondering if perhaps they had taken up a discussion of combat techniques. There was little Hiei loved more than an all-out battle--especially when he could trounce his opponent in the end--and he had heard it mentioned that Touya trained in the martial arts. He paused as snippets of the conversation became audible.
"...if you touch him under his..."
"...the sound that he makes when..."
Perhaps, Kurama amended mentally, there is *something* Hiei likes more than fighting.
Hiei scowled at a nearby tree. Someone with tantalizing power had perched there recently, but the trail was too well hidden for him to follow at the moment. Still, he would much prefer to worry at the puzzle of the unknown reiki master than face the maddeningly smug kitsune.
"You seemed to get along well with Touya-kun," Kurama continued, not waiting for an answer. "Did you learn anything about his friend?"
The fire demon couldn't suppress a smirk. "Enough."
"Oh? Like what?"
Hiei closed his eyes as he walked, trusting his other senses to keep his steps synchronized with his partner. In his mind he pictured an angelic being, a creature of immense power and cold beauty. "Wings." He shook himself free of the vision and allowed himself a proprietary glance at the youko. "More trouble than they're worth," he concluded.
"Delicious!" Yukito exclaimed when he finished, glowing with pleasure.
"Yes..." the dark-haired teen mused, his eyes drinking in a sight more satisfying than the simple tea.
"It was nice to have friends over, don't you think? Meeting new people is always interesting. It can lead to such stimulating discussion."
That was certainly one way to put it. Touya contemplated the recently departed redhead, whose kitsune soul he had seen as easily as the ghost of his mother. A complex, ruthless creature under his human disguise, did he feel the pure, unadulterated joy inspired by the little things in life? Would it occur to that wild fox spirit to cheer a young girl with a gift of candy every morning, or remark upon the cuteness of a stuffed bunny at a festival?
Besides...Touya still couldn't wrap his mind around the notion of dealing with all that fur.
"Yeah," he finally agreed when he noticed his best friend stifling a yawn. "But it can be just as interesting finding out new things about someone you know well."
"Hmm?" Unconscious of the action, Yukito settled sleepily against the other boy. "What have you...discovered...?" he breathed softly before his heavy lids closed completely.
Touya put his arm around his friend and shifted him into a more comfortable position. He gazed down at the innocent, slumbering form for a few moments, realizing that he had once again lost the chance to say what needed to be brought into the open between them. "Moonlight," he murmured in answer, "can be the most beautiful thing in the world."
Although episode 50 of the CardCaptor Sakura anime shows Yuki playing soccer with Touya, he doesn't appear to be on the team in the manga. <shrug>