Disclaimer: YYH and YYH characters are the property of Yoshihiro  Togashi, Studio Pierrot,
Fuji TV, and Shonen Jump Weekly.

Amidst the Snowstorm

by Crystal

It was a cold winter night. There was a harsh wind ruining the joys and warmth of Christmas eve.

Inside a temple however, none were affected. Everywhere there was joy. Everyone was warm. Then the clock struck twelve midnight.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" they all shrieked in unision. Then they laughed. It had been a while since they all got together like this.

Meanwhile, a dark shadow flitted through the rough weather. He didn't know what dragged him here but he did know that he had to be here. It was Christmas, that he knew. It really wouldn't make a difference if he wasn't there. Everything probably would be much better if he wouldn't come. But then...it had been more than three years since he had seen them. No, he didn't miss them but he did miss her.

"Yu *hic* suke, pash me the shake." Atsuko commanded to his son.

Yusuke snickered as he got another bottle for his mother. "Shake? You mean sake."

"Nye." Atsuko said in annoyance as she poured herself another cup. She was there with her husband - her new husband. They had married two years ago and now had two children - Recca, one year old, and Yanagi, just months old. Somehow, everyone suspected, this husband would last. They were so perfect for each other.

"Botan-san." Shuuichi, now a teenager, said. He had been figuring out the true meaning of this holiday and hadn't found the answer yet. Botan was one of the oldest beings he knew of so she should know. "What is the true meaning of Christmas?"

Botan shrugged then smiled cheerily. "Now have some more cake."

"Kurama, when's the wedding?" Genkai asked the reincarnated youko. There was a glint in her eye, teasing him.

Kurama blushed at that. He never thought that he would ever settle down. As a youko, he had never even given it any thought.

Shizuru blushed from his side as well. No one had expected them to get involved in a relationship but they had. And marriage was coming up very soon as well. "In a few months, baasan. We're still planning."

"Well, hurry up then. I still want to see Kurama actually with kids."

It was meant to tease but they knew that she was hinting them of her few remaining days left.

Suddenly, everyone's faces became dim. They didn't want to talk of death at such a happy event.

The door then opened and a shadow flitted in with a whirlwind of cold wind and snow. The figure stepped in the light.

They narrowed their eyes and finally saw...Hiei!

It had been more than three years since they last saw him. He looked the same except that now, he wasn't wearing his usual black cloak but instead, wore a nicely made black and white tunic.

Kurama chuckled at his bestfriend, making Hiei glare at him. Hiei was still the same but when had he suddenly developed his fashion? - even if it was Makai fashion they were talking about.

Hiei slowly moved towards Kurama. "Shut up."

Kurama stopped immediately. Along with the stony way Hiei had said that, the fire demon had also let his youki be felt by everyone.

Kuwabara and Yusuke's eyes widened at that. Hiei was amazingly so powerful now. He definitely was an upper S-class now and messing with him is a pretty suicidal thing now.

"Hn." Hiei muttered as he stole a brief glance at Yukina.

Kuwabara, who had caught this, glared at Hiei. What could Hiei want from her? Then he stared at Yukina. Yukina was...smiling? She was happy? He was shocked. Earlier on, she had been so sad. Not even his poetry and his praises did any good for the ice maiden. And now, Hiei made her smile? This was insane!

With that, Hiei turned around to leave. All he wanted was to see her. That was it and now he had to leave again so she would be safe; so she wouldn't be harmed in any way.

As he was about to shut the door behind him and leave the temple, Yukina stood up and ran to him, stopping at only a distance from his turned back.

"Goodbye." Hiei whispered so that only Yukina could hear.

"You're leaving?" Yukina asked, her face evident of her inner pain. "Again?"

Everyone at the temple were quiet as the intense moment for the koorime twins was going on. Only Kuwabara and the others who didn't know of their relationship stared in shock and confusion.

Hiei closed his eyes. He knew it hurt her. He knew it hurt him. But there was no other way. It could never happen...and it never will. "I must."

Without another word, Hiei flitted away. She knew. He knew that but they both had never said it directly to each other.

He was utterly surprised when she suddenly flickered in front of him. She was as fast as him. He stopped.

Everyone went to the windows and peeked. It had been surprising that Yukina suddenly vanished from their sights and had even stopped Hiei.

"Yukina, what do you want?"

"I missed you."

Yeah, right. No one should have missed him, not even her. Everyone was supposed to be incapable of missing him; of caring for him.

But she had and it hurt him even more so now that in this special day, she would be sad. And so, he was going to do what he shouldn't do.

"Kyudai, 'I said I missed you.'"

Hiei stared in shock at her. He knew that she knew but to call him brother was another thing. A very scary thing.

Both stood in silence, staring at each other. The winds blew harder and colder but both didn't seem to mind.

"I'm...sorry...for...being...your..." Hiei said as he lowered his head.

Yukina shook her head and came closer to him, tilting up his chin. "Having you here was a great gift." She then took one of his hand and pressed it against her cheek.

Hiei's features then softened at that. He didn't want to say anything,afraid of breaking the sacred moment they were in right now. But he had to at least acknowledge her as well. Slowly, he recoiled his hand from Yukina's gentle grasp, putting her hand down gently as well. He then reached deep inside his tunic and retrieved the two teargems that hung from his neck. He took one out and put it on Yukina's neck.

Yukina smiled at that. It was official. And it even happened on a very special day.

"Yukina." Hiei said softly. Carefully, he stroked one of her cheeks. "They don't know this but happy birthday."

No one had greeted her that day. No one except her twin. No one else knew. That's why she was so happy. It was both their special day. "Happy birthday." She then hugged him tight.

Hiei was surprised as his sister suddenly hugged him. Was this a dream? Inside, he felt so warm, all the scars and pain gone. He surprised even himself when he hugged her back.

"Happy birthday." he whispered again. "And Merry Christmas."

The winds raged on and now, it had escalated to a snow storm. But still, the two slight figures didn't let go, not minding anything or anyone else. It was the perfect peace - peace against the harsh world.

"You said you wanted to know about the meaning of Christmas? That is your answer."


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