Chapter 1: Unexpected Meeting
Yusuke sighed and crossed his arms behind his head, leaning back against his bed. Kurama was watching him from his position next to the closet.
"I don't see why my mom is always so excited when you come over." The spirit detective groused. "In fact, it seems everyone gets all excited when you're around. What is with you?"
Kurama chuckled, "Not everyone is happy to see me. That Suzuka fellow never seemed very fond of me."
Yusuke stared at the red head in disbelief, "You're kidding me, right?"
Kurama shook his head, "No. I don't think he liked me at all."
Yusuke almost rolled his eyes, "Oh, give me a break. The guy hated you because you got more attention than he did. You bruised his ego, that's all."
Kurama smiled, "I thought that was what this was all about. Me getting all the attention."
"You aren't implying that I'm jealous, are you, fox boy?"
Kurama gazed at him, expression serene, but eyes sparkling with mischief, "of course not."
"Good." Yusuke closed his eyes lazily, "Because if you were I'd have to fight you, and I'd hate to do that."
Kurama chuckled. Even at twenty two Yusuke was a punk. He just had a way about him, though Kurama found his witticism and quick comebacks quite amusing.
"Oh, Yusuke," his mother came to the door. Since Kurama's back was against that wall she couldn't see him. "Oh, did that nice young man leave already?" He heard her tone fall in disappointment and almost laughed. She was easily a time and a half his age, well, his human body's age. Why was his human form so attractive? It could get quite bothersome.
"Relax mom," Yusuke said dryly, "he's leaning against the wall."
Atsuko stuck her head around the corner and then smiled sweetly at Kurama, "Oh, there you are! I was just wondering if you boys would like some refreshment. You must be thirsty after your long walk."
This time Yusuke did roll his eyes, "Mom! Give it a rest will you! He's not interested."
Kurama smiled politely, "Thank you, but I'm afraid I must decline. I have to be going."
"Oh," her face fell, "Well, maybe you can come back later."
"Perhaps I can, Mrs. Urameshi." He agreed easily.
"Okay then, goodbye."
Atsuko backed out of the room, not taking her eyes off Kurama. Because of this she collided with the door. Blushing she righted herself before Kurama could move to help her.
"I'm alright." She mumbled, hurrying away. Kurama just shook his head.
"So, you really have to go?" Yusuke's question brought his attention back.
"Yes, I'm afraid I must. I have to meet an old acquaintance in the forest. He has some information for me."
"Really?" Yusuke sat up, interested. "What about?"
Kurama shrugged, "I'm really not certain. You're welcome to join me however."
For a moment he thought the younger man would accept, but then Yusuke shook his head.
"Can't," he said darkly, "I promised grandma I'd go to the temple today and help Itani."
"Itani?" Kurama quirked a brow, he'd never heard of such a person.
"Yeah, she's studying at the university, she's been staying with Genkai and using her books as references for her theses, or something like that. Right now she's trying to translate some tablet, and the old woman wants me to help her." He stood, "don't see what I can do anyway. It's not like any of that junk makes any sense to me."
Kurama gave a small smile, "Perhaps it is not Itani who is meant to learn from the interaction."
Yusuke whirled to face him, "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Such work takes time, patience, something you have in short supply. Perhaps Genkai hopes to teach you some."
"Whatever. Anyway, I gotta go."
The two men left the Urameshi home and headed through town toward Genkai's temple on foot. Both generally preferred walking to driving or taking public transportation, it helped keep them in shape.
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" Yusuke asked as Kurama followed behind him.
"I have a few minutes," he said easily, "and the temple is on the way to the forest."
"Right." Yusuke couldn't argue with that logic.
"Why don't you tell me more about this student while we walk?" Kurama suggested, "If Genkai trusts her enough to let her stay at the temple she must be very special."
Yusuke glanced sideways at Kurama, eying him suspiciously, "You're awfully interested Kurama."
"Just curious. Evidently she has been around for some time, yet I have never seen her, not even when I go to see Yukina for Hiei. Nor has anyone mentioned her to me."
"Yeah well," Yusuke seemed a little embarrassed, "Must have slipped my mind. Anyway, you probably wouldn't have seen her. She spends most of her time locked up in her room reading old books. And then, she has to go to school too, and she spends a lot of time in the library. She's a grad student after all."
Kurama nodded. "I wonder what specific field of interest she is studying that Genkai's books are of use to her."
Yusuke shoved his hands in his pockets and kicked a rock. "I don't know. Ancient History or Cultures or something. It's all mumbo jumbo to me. But she's really serious about it. It isn't just work to her, she enjoys it. At least, that's what it seems like to me. I've only seen her a few times though. Grandma introduced us last week when she asked me to help with the tablet thing. We've met twice since then. It's pretty boring in my opinion."
"I'd like to see that tablet." Kurama remarked, wisely not mentioning that it was no surprise Yusuke found it boring, "It must be very old."
"Hoping to find an old friend?" Yusuke said smartly. Kurama was extremely old. Or, at least, his demon form was.
"Not at all. Perhaps a relative." Kurama joked back.
Yusuke laughed, "That's what I like about you, Kurama, you never let anything rile you." It was also what made the man so dangerous, but Yusuke wasn't about to say so. The conversation was cut short as they arrived at Genkai's temple.
"You coming in?" Yusuke asked.
Kurama shrugged, "Why not. I still have two or three minutes. I haven't seen Yukina in a while. Or Genkai either."
As they approached the temple a young woman stepped out. She placed her hands on her hips. "There you are, Yusuke. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten our appointment." She didn't sound angry, more amused really.
"I did! Got a problem with that?" Yusuke called back to her.
She shook her head and Kurama heard her laugh. It was an extremely pleasant sound, melodic and flowing. It made him want to laugh with her.
She stepped from the shadows of the temple as they reached the steps.
"Well, at least you made it. That's all that really matters."
Kurama stopped. He couldn't move, he couldn't even breathe. His eyes were fixed on the woman before him.
"It can't be." Kurama gasped. It was the girl. The one he had rescued two months ago in the sewers. Her dark blue hair and warm brown eyes had filled his dreams far too many nights since then.
His gasp had turned her attention toward him, and she too stopped, the teasing smile fading from her lips, "You've got to be kidding me," she groaned.
Yusuke looked back and forth between the two in confusion, "Wait a second. You two know each other?"
The girl, who was clearly Itani, smirked, "You could say that." Yusuke looked to Kurama in question.
"We were pitted against one another in a forced battle, but we cooperated instead and escaped." Kurama explained calmly.
"Oh." Yusuke's blank face said it all.
Itani continued to study Kurama and then smiled wryly, "Never thought I'd see you again."
Kurama's face lit with genuine amusement, "a pleasant surprise I hope." Itani nodded.
"Alright, enough chit chat," Yusuke broke in, clearly annoyed, "we've got work to do, remember?" he grabbed Itani's arm, pulling her away.
Kurama found his attitude amusing considering his reluctance to come here in the first place, and his lack of interest in the actual task at hand. Watching them go he longed to stay, to find out about this girl. But he had an appointment. He settled instead for one last verbal jab at Yusuke, who was still holding Itani by the arm.
"Careful Yusuke," Kurama laughed at his retreating friend, "Keiko will get jealous."
Yusuke turned and glowered at him, then kept on walking, "Oh, you shut up, Kurama!" he snapped.
A/N: I'm back Anyway... this is story number 2 of the K/I series I'm writing. That means it comes after "Least Likely Places" but before "To Die Again". Hope you like it. It's about 9 chapters. Please review... but no bashing on my OC or on the pairing... and, don't worry, not much 'romance' this story... that comes late