This was made mostly to see if it could work, and to make Tsuna's lightning someone OTHER than Lambo. Yusuke seemed to fit the bill perfectly. ;)
Everyone had heard of Urameshi Yusuke, one of the worst delinquents in the city that shockingly wasn't under the command of Hibari Kyouya.
Shocking in that Hibari had damn near every punk, ne'er do-well, and delinquent in the city under his command, or afraid of him.
Urameshi lived far enough away that he could slip through those particular cracks, while close enough that his reputation was almost as feared as Hibari.
Almost, because this side of town was too nice for him to frequent.
So when Tsunami Sawada found herself on the wrong side of town, with no idea how to get home once she finally did locate the grocery, it was with some alarm that she found herself surrounded by the gangs Hibari had more or less converted or worse, run out of the good side of town. The ones smart enough not to get his attention a second time, lest he track them down.
"Hie!" she screamed, unaware that she would soon have an encounter with the other devil of Namimori.
Hearing the sound of fists landing, she kept her eyes firmly shut until she only heard the sound of traffic.
The thugs were all out cold, with a boy wearing a green gakuran, slicked back hair and cocky expression looking rather smug over them.
"Ya alright?" he asked.
She nodded. It didn't take a genius to realize that she was right next to the Urameshi Yusuke, the demon delinquent of Namimori.
Seeing the hand, she took it as he helped her up.
"Can't stand losers who gang up on a girl who got lost. Plus this counts as my good deed of the day!" he said cheerfully.
Yusuke lead her out of the 'bad' side of town back into more familiar territory. He was nothing like she had heard, in fact while he was a bit rough around the edges, she could sense he was a good person under that tough exterior.
Which was why, a month later, she found herself on the wrong side of town on purpose this time. She followed her instincts until she located Urameshi again.
"Eh? You're that girl from last month."
He recognized her? She did her best not to blush from relief. It would have been awkward if he hadn't.
"I wanted to thank you. For rescuing me that day."
Yusuke looked openly embarrassed. It was blatantly clear the girl didn't belong here... her clothes, while rather well worn, were too well made to be from here. And she looked like a lost kitten who had wandered away from her mama cat.
She wouldn't last two seconds around here.
He only did it because he knew his conscience would never let him hear the end of it if he had ignored her distress.
"I couldn't walk by and let those losers do who knows what to you."
"What's this Urameshi, your new girlfriend?" sneered another rough looking teen.
This one had the familiar pompadour of the disciplinary committee, except she didn't think he was one of Hibari-san's minion.
"You do realize walking around with that hair style is going to create a lot of confusion. Especially if you went to the other side of town. It would almost certainly draw Hibari-san or Kusakabe-san to you," she commented.
"Kuwabara wouldn't last five seconds against that demon!" laughed Yusuke.
"Then why is he wearing the hair style of the disciplinary committee?" she asked in confusion.
"Wait, you mean the rumors that everyone from his second-in-command down all have pompadours is true?" said Kuwabara in shock.
"I don't know if they're trying to emulate Kusakabe, or if it's a mandatory hair style..." Tsunami replied helplessly. She could sense "Kuwabara" wasn't a bad person, the same way Urameshi was a nice guy underneath.
"So who is she?" asked Kuwabara, unconsciously relaxing around her. Next to him, Yusuke did the same.
"Ah! I'm Sawada Tsunami, nice to meet you!" she said, realizing she hadn't introduced herself.
Yusuke grinned. He liked this girl, even if he wasn't sure why she was on their side of town.
"Kuwabara Kazuma," said the pompadour teen. He blushed openly when she smiled at him.
He almost fared the same when she turned that smile on him. Seriously, he didn't deserve someone like her around him. She was too nice and from the good part of town.
It was ironic, but he'd soon reevaluate that assessment in a few short years when the "kitten" would eventually grow up to be a fierce tiger.
Yusuke was not having a good day. His mother was on a bender and worse, locked him out of the house. Again!
Fuming, he went to take out a smoke, only to feel a now familiar presence in the area. Perking up, he honed in on Tsunami-chan like filings to a magnet.
The girl was a kitten in a den of wolves, and she wasn't afraid of them in the least. Especially after she managed to befriend the strongest wolf in the entire area.
"Tsunami-chan!" he called out. She brightened and headed straight for him.
"Why do you have a bag next to you?" she asked curiously.
"My ma's on a drinking binge again and I have no idea where she hid the key this time. Easier to have a bag so I can crash in some abandoned building until she comes back," explained Yusuke.
She tilted her head.
"What about Kuwabara-kun?"
"No way in hell am I asking him for help. Besides, he doesn't have the room," scoffed Yusuke. "And Keiko is out too."
Keiko was his childhood friend, and she had hit it off almost immediately with Tsunami. Mostly because like the timid girl, Keiko saw past Yusuke's rough exterior to the person under it. She seemed very happy to have another girl to bond with, especially since Tsunami didn't even look fazed at Yusuke's blustering.
Unfortunately, there was no way he'd ask Keiko for help. He had his pride!
"Why don't you stay with me then?"
Surely she was joking! She lived in the good side of town, wouldn't the neighbors talk? Or worse, her father start something up because of his reputation?
"We have more than enough room, and mama doesn't mind visitors. Not like I have any other friends to bring home anyway."
"What about the neighbors?" asked Yusuke. No way was he damaging her reputation.
The look on her face was way too familiar. And what did she mean she had no other friends?
"They already think less of me," she said cryptically.
Yusuke tried to fight her on it, but Tsunami was surprisingly stubborn. Reluctantly, he followed her to the other half of Namimori. He could already see the condescending glares of the people around him and resisted the urge to sneer. Tsunami barely batted an eye, even if he had to steady her a few times when she tripped on the most ridiculous things. She also wasn't fond of dogs.
His sharp hearing quickly caught the whispering of the neighbors, and he barely resisted the urge to snarl at them.
Who the hell did they think they were, calling her "Dame Tsunami the walking catastrophe" like that? These assholes weren't fit to lick her shoes!
His anger barely restrained, though from the looks of it Nami was far too used to being called "Dame Tsunami", and the snide remarks from the older women about her father, or lack thereof.
Sawada Nana was a nice woman, but a bit of an air head. She clearly hadn't realized her daughter had been going to the other side of town, or made friends with him.
But she still welcomed him inside with a smile, if a bit cautious.
It was weird. The two of them lived alone (Tsunami's father "worked overseas" according to her mother, but Yusuke noticed the distinct lack of any pictures) but were still kinder than any of their neighbors.
The food was better than anything his ma had made, and Nana seemed to warm up to him pretty fast... likely because Tsunami had never really brought someone to their home before and introduced him as her friend.
Later, he found out the full story on why Tsunami always made her way to their side of town after school, sometimes even before it was over.
And he thought he had problems.
"So these losers all call you 'Dame Tsunami the Walking Catastrophe' because you're clumsy and not good at school, and because your dad is nonexistent?"
"The one time I thought he was actually alive, and could do something, he told me to 'man up and take the punches' when I asked him to talk to the parents of the kids who bully me the most," said Tsunami miserably. "Which is why I'm of the opinion my mother hired a particularly stupid escort to try and cheer me up when the bullying got really bad into pretending he was alive."
"Ouch," said Yusuke with sympathy. Considering he could tell Nana was a bit oblivious to certain things, it was no wonder the neighbors thought they had free reign to gossip about his friend like that in the open.
"Hibari keeps the worst of them from getting brave enough to try something, but I still get pushed a lot, and most of my class seems to think I'll end up a streetwalker or something even worse because I have no father and I'm not very good at anything. And no one ever tries to be my friend because it would only open them up to the same treatment," said Tsunami miserably.
Well that explained why she attached herself so quick to him, from a single rescue.
Yusuke patted her on the head. He vaguely noticed her mother outside the door listening to the entire thing, crying.
Clearly she hadn't been aware of how bad things were for her daughter.
He was already forming a plan to get the worst of these losers off Tsunami's case.
Hibari was not in a good mood, and it only got worse hearing the herbivores cause a stir about someone near the gates. It was someone who definitely didn't belong, and more importantly shouldn't be here. Not unless he had a death wish.
Hibari would have to deal with this intruder personally.
"What do you want, Urameshi? Your brand of mischief is not tolerated here," said Kyouya leveling a tonfa at him.
Urameshi smirked, and it rankled him. Herbivores shouldn't be this confident in front of a carnivore.
"Yusuke! What are you doing here?" yelped a herbivore he was partially familiar with, if only for the sheer number of reports he got on bullying behavior from the fake carnivores. She was a weak animal, and thus prey.
And yet here she was, easily conversing with this possible carnivore like she knew him personally.
So she was the mystery Namimori student that had been spotted frequently around the other side of town. The one he allowed to fester if only because it meant an ample hunting ground for his men.
And for him, if he was ever really bored.
"Herbivore, going to that side of town is forbidden," said Hibari glaring at her. She flinched, but stood her ground.
"Yusuke is my friend. I'm not going to quit visiting him because you don't like the idiots who tried to challenge you and failed," she said flatly. She heard the whispers behind her from the other students, but ignored them with the ease of long, long practice. Yusuke's glare at them all shut the smarter ones up, but that didn't mean she wouldn't be hearing of this later. Repeatedly.
"Besides, what sort of friend would I be if I didn't pick her up from school? If only to insure that there aren't any...accidents... along the way," said Yusuke grinning. Except his grin was more like a trained attack dog all too happy to rip into anyone stupid enough to bother the one who held the leash.
Some of the smarter idiots backed off from Tsunami, but it was Hibari's reaction to Yusuke that cemented his "place" among the good part of Namimori.
"Dog, if I catch you up to any mischief in my territory I will bite you to death. Are we clear?" glowered Hibari.
"Fair enough," said Yusuke unconcerned.
The fact she was quick to hug him in full view of her school, once Hibari departed, only insured that the message she was not to be trifled with was sent across loud and clear.
"Why did you come here?" she asked, curious.
"People like to think of you as a 'no good catastrophe', right?" he asked. She nodded, wondering why he had braved Hibari to pick her up. "Well how do you think they're going to react if they think you got a trained attack dog ready to bite their heads off, regardless of the fact it's that demon prefect's turf?"
Her eyes widened.
"They'll be too terrified of coming near me. But why?"
Yusuke looped one of his arms around her shoulder.
"Consider it fair trade for letting me crash at your place while my ma's on a bender. Besides, it pisses me off they think they can get away with pushing one of my friends around," said Yusuke.
She tilted her head.
"It's a rep thing, isn't it?" she asked.
"That too," admitted Yusuke.
If he allowed one of his friends to be pushed around as much as she was, then it would only make his own rep look bad. Keiko was at least mildly popular and protected by her rep as the "perfect student", even if the teachers frowned on her association with him. Tsunami didn't have that. She was the school's punching bag.
And that really pissed him off.
Tsunami didn't know what to think. On one hand, this meant her own reputation was going to sink even lower in the eyes of the adults. She could already hear them talk about her behind her back, how she was almost certainly doomed to be a "nobody".
Except... Yusuke was the first real friend she had. And it wasn't like her reputation had been great to begin with. Far from it.
Yusuke noticed how she straightened up a bit, almost coming to a decision.
"Let those idiots talk. I'd rather have you as my friend than a bunch of fakers who hate me anyway. Just... try not to piss off Hibari-san too much, please?" asked Tsunami with wide eyes.
Yusuke's grin was wide. If there was one thing that was true of both him and his mother, it was that when someone had their loyalty they had it for life. They were like loyal hounds that would always come back to their master, even when things were going to shit.
"I'll try, little sister," he said, rubbing her head.
"Does this mean I should start calling you Yusuke-nii then?" she asked smiling.
Yusuke rubbed his head embarrassed. Well, Tsunami was like the adorable little sister he always wanted... and it wasn't like he minded being called "big brother". Besides, this would definitely cement her rep as someone you didn't want to mess with, for fear of him coming down on their heads.
Tsunami beamed and hugged him. She always wanted a big brother.