Awww... I thought the last chapter was really sweet. I dunno about you, but Hiei's definetely my favorite character right now! Enjoy! Thanks for all the reviews; they're really great!!!

* * * * *

She didn't start crying until after he broke the kiss. When she did, Hiei was very startled.

"Tsubasa! What's wrong?"

Hastily, she wiped her tears with the back of her hand.

"Nothing. It's just... I'd been waiting a long time for that."

He grinned and held her close. Her mental alarm clock told her lunch was over.

"We'd better get going," she said.

"Aren't you going to finish your sushi?" Hiei asked.

"I'm not hungry anymore," she replied with a smile.

Hiei put the blanket and basket back in his car. As they walked back to work, he held her hand.

"And just think," he whispered, "this would've never happened if you hadn't been sitting on that bench."

* * * * *

When they got back to the shop, Tomoe exploded.

"Well? Did you do it? Did he do it?" he asked Tsubasa.

Tsubasa just smiled dreamily and even Hiei was too happy to bonk Tomoe over the head.

"Okay then, let's get to work!"

Just as the words left his mouth, a bullet shot by his face and smashed into the screen of a plasma few feet away. Glass flew everywhere and smoke filled the little store.

"Knock knock, can we come in?" a menacing voice sneered.

Tsubasa froze as she recognized it. Could it be...? Yes, it was! Juudai! And... Isha-san was with her! Behind them was a sea of uniformed troops from the Japanese government. They all held machine guns, ready to shoot at any moment. Tsubasa felt her heart sink. How could this happen now? Now?

"Don't make a sound," Hiei said.

His voice was just below a whisper. Quietly, slowly, he stepped backwards, Tsubasa behind him, away from the attackers. Tsubasa was certain they couldn't see her friends; but her robot senses easily picked up their body heat and told her where they were. She felt the storage closet door brush against her back. Tomoe was beside them, his dark eyes wide and bright. Hiei looked at him, gave him a secret signal or something she couldn't decipher. She saw Tomoe had a rock in his hand; he was bouncing it in his palm, trying to get a sense of the weight. Her blue eyes grew big and fearful.

No.

In a split second, Tomoe was on his feet and chucked the rock; in the same instant, Hiei had opened the closet and stuffed Tsubasa inside.

"Don't leave!" she squeaked.

"Don't worry, it'll be okay," he replied.

He hesitated, as if to say more, then closed the door. Tsubasa heard the battle raging outside; glass breaking, screams, gunshots. She desperately tried to use her x-ray vision to see through the door, but then she heard Hiei yell as if in pain. Was he hit? Throwing all fear aside, Tsubasa opened the door to see Juudai and Isha-san approaching. Hiei was kneeling, not dead...

For a moment, Tsubasa felt calm rush over her. But the relief was fleeting, because then she saw Tomoe, sprawled on the ground, eyes wide and glazed, blood spewing from his chest.

They shot him! Tsubasa realized with agony.

"Tomoe!"

She ran to his side.

"Ts-Tsubasa... go..." he choked. His voice was raspy and he coughed up thick blood.

"B-but I can't just--"

"Now!"

She looked up at Hiei, her eyes already shining with tears. He was looking down at him, dazed.

"Tomoe?"

"Thanks for everything, my friend," Tomoe said with a weak smile. For a moment, he patted Hiei's hand. "Thank you."

Then he closed his eyes, a smile peaceful on his face. Through her blinding tears, Tsubasa stumbled as Hiei pulled her into the storage room. They could hear Juudai and Isha-san trying to break the door down. Hiei kicked the window in there open and made sure Tsubasa got out before doing so himself. They quickly rushed up the street to Hiei's house. He closed the door behind them. Tsubasa watched him carefully, waiting.

"He... he was my friend, my first friend..."

Hiei slowly sat down on the couch, looking straight ahead. She guessed he was in shock.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly.

He turned to look at her.

"Who were those people? Why'd they kill Tomoe? And... and..."

Tsubasa looked down at her hands.

"Why aren't you answering me?"

She didn't asnwer.

"I know you knew them. Why don't you tell me?"

She didn't dare to look at him, but she did anyway. He had a few scars across his face and arms, she noticed. He must have been injured from the debris.

"I need to know, Tsubasa. Now."

Tsubasa glanced up again and was frozen. His eyes were clear liquid sienna, burning sienna, alight with determination and strength. Even through his anger he was beautiful. How could she deny him anything? Anything?

"Hiei... I must admit I haven't been exactly truthful up until now."

She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes.

"Those people back at the shop, they were from the lab where I was created," she said slowly.

"The lab? Wait... I thought you said you were from Tokyo?"

"I lied. I couldn't tell you. I was too afraid - I'm afraid now, to be honest - to tell you what I really am."

Another pause.

"Well?"

Interested now.

"I'm a robot, Hiei. I was created by those people to serve as a military weapon. But I didn't want to hurt anyone, so... I ran away. Looks like I still did, anyway," she said, the tears in her voice.

"But... when I kissed you... you seemed perfectly normal. Human."

Puzzled.

"Well, I was never supposed to be so exposed to human life, should I become one myself. That already happened."

She flexed her hand, looking at her fingers.

"It's not complete, but... I have become relatively human. You showed me so much, changed me so much."

Hiei was quiet for a moment.

That explains alot.

"Then it's not very safe for us to stay here," he said finally.

"Yes."

"We'll have to move, far from here. Maybe Tokyo?"

"For real this time," Tsubasa added as a weak joke.

It worked; Hiei laughed.

"I'll call the landlord tonight and we'll be out by morning. But just to be safe... I'll stay up tonight and keep watch. Until we move somewhere way off the radar."

"What? No, you'll lose too much sleep."

"You're the one who needs protection here, not me."

After a lot of tired arguing, Tsubasa ended up sleeping upstairs and Hiei sat up all night playing guard.

"My god," he muttered. "If the lab rats don't kill me, this will."

But he smiled.