Sweet and Sour

Chapter 1 – Enter the Urameshi Gang

By: Diana-Jae

It was considerably early when Yuusuke Urameshi and his three companions reached the front steps of the massive and almost maze-like campus of Meiou Academy, but the crowd of bustling students scattered about proved otherwise. Many of the returning students had already banded together with their close friends and formed little cliques in selected areas of the school while those new to the academy were either busily trying to look for their next class or engaged in worshipping their upper classmen.

The group of young men that stood at its threshold showed no fear of the threat of discipline, work, and size that the school seemed to produce from its very walls. They had no reason to.

For Yuusuke Urameshi, Kazuma Kuwabara, Hiei Jaganshi, and Shuuichi Minamino, this was to be their fourth and final year of high school before they were to be let loose to the universities or the real world, whichever was preferred by the individual. They had already undergone the tortures of the first three years and now knew exactly how and which buttons to push to allow their teachers to better their juvenile lives, and they were not afraid to put this knowledge into effect. Senior year was, more or less, going to be a piece of cake, and they all seemed to hold this concept.

"Shit…" The trailing curse that fell from Hiei's lips drew the attention of the other three boys, and they didn't hesitate to place their attention on him. Realizing this without tearing his gaze from the campus for his friends, he simply shrugged and muttered, "Beginning of the year's always a fuckin' jungle."

Kuwabara slowly nodded in agreement. "Freshmen."

They all understood. It was common knowledge that any first year would just as easily get lost in this location as shit their pants if confronted by Principal Daioh. Their scuttling about in order not to miss the bell for their first class did not contribute to the upper class-men's socializing in the hallway, for that itself was already terrible to get through.

Yuusuke cast a meaningful glance at Shuuichi, who stood with his head cocked to the side, bright green eyes observing the scene himself. "Well, except for Minamino. This place has got to be like a playhouse for him. Freshman girls equal new meat. Do the math, boys."

Shuuichi said nothing, only allowing as much as a subtle grin to grace his lips before walking towards the towering building of their high school. His comrades looked at one another and couldn't decide whether to groan or chuckle immaturely at the single thought that ran impishly in their heads.

Shuuichi Minamino was, once again, on the prowl.

Upon entering the senior hallway and seeing a few couples walking around with hands entwined, Kuwabara immediately excused himself from Yuusuke and Hiei, scurrying off and mentioning something about seeing his girlfriend. Hiei cringed at that. Though Kuwabara had courted his younger sister just before their summer break had started, Hiei was still in the state of getting used to it. It wasn't so much that Hiei didn't want them dating. Before Kuwabara had even courted her, there was already an unsaid agreement between him and Hiei that if he hurt Yukina, Hiei would have the right to kick his ass. He was simply just over-protective of his twin.

"I have to shove my bag in there… somehow," Yuusuke groaned and then motioned his head to one end of the hallway where his locker was inconveniently located. Inconveniently because his locker happened to be beside Shuuichi's, and where ever it was that Shuuichi was, so were about twenty other gushing schoolgirls, and at the moment, Shuuichi was managing about ten of the females who were showering him with their undivided attention. It wasn't so much the girls that Yuusuke minded so much; they were simply just a pain to get through when the only thing on their minds was Shuuichi.

Hiei shook his head. "Bloody hell no I'm not going in that," he replied dryly, albeit steadfastly, and then added, "How can he stand it? They look like they're trying to decide which part of him they wanna have for lunch."

Yuusuke sniggered and smartly replied, "Knowing Minamino, he'll probably end up eating them first." He was about to laugh at his own joke when he heard himself shriek at the sound of a chastising feminine voice calling his name. If exaggerated, Yuusuke could have been seen clinging onto Hiei from his fright. Yuusuke knew exactly who it was. No one ever called him by both his first and last name with such a dominating tone for fear of being decked in the face except Keiko Yukimura, his girlfriend, and the only person who had the power to make him squeak in public.

Keiko had obviously heard what he said, and finding it completely out of line and disgusting, Yuusuke found himself looking at a figure of Keiko who had both her hands on her hips and bright red flames of fury in her typically sweet, hazel irises.

Hiei rolled his eyes and strategically picked the right moment to slip away from his friend and the so-called "scary" girlfriend. Jamming his hands into his pockets, he turned the corner to head for his own locker, when he felt someone daintily tap him on the shoulders. He whirled around and was initially met with a mop of sky-blue hair.

"Excuse me, but could you tell me where the gym is? I think that's where my first class is."

Hiei had not immediately been able to get a complete view of the person who had tapped him due to his height in comparison to the person he was supposed to be looking at. But judging by the soft, feminine voice, he had no choice but to assume he was looking at someone female. A female, that is, who spoke broken Japanese and with a terrible… German accent.

A deep crease formed on his forehead for a moment as he stepped back in order to get a better view of whom he was speaking to. She seemed like freshman material. It was safe to assume that she was, at least, because only a first year would have difficulty in finding a certain place in the entire academy. However, the young woman that stood before him, who was now wearing an expression of resignation possibly due to assuming she had not asked her question correctly, did not look like a freshman. At the lowest, she must have been a third year, and a beautiful one at that. Hiei stood there for a while longer studying her, momentarily pondering if she'd already met Shuuichi, and if she hadn't, how long it would take Shuuichi to find this girl and flirt her to death, if he hadn't done so already.

Hiei shook his head to clear his head of any obtrusive thoughts and went on to give the girl a response. "It's on the second floor." Under normal circumstances, he would have simply left it that, but for some reason, he heard himself offer to take her there.

Her exotic pair of large, lavender eyes seemed to sparkle with gratitude, but she said nothing and opted to just follow him.

"Kazunari?"

She looked up surprised. "Sorry?"

"Is that your instructor?"

She clumsily fished through her bag and pulled out a folded piece of paper. The girl read through it quickly and then nodded. "I think so. Physical Education 7-8 B with Rio Kazunari."

Hiei could not help the slight twitch of his lips. He found her accent cutely entertaining, but he kept that thought to himself and simply motioned his head forward. "I have the same class."

"I don't know what it is they see in you," muttered Yuusuke as two girls walked past and started giggling like mad as they cast shy glances at Shuuichi beside him. "You aren't even cute."

Shuuichi momentarily ignored his friend in order to tease the girls' affection with a flirtatious smile and then shut his locker closed. "Says you who has a girlfriend," he paused and suddenly a mischievous glint appeared in his bright green eyes. "Unless, of course, there's something you'd wish to tell me."

Yuusuke blanched at his friend's implication. "I'm straight, you stupid bastard." He slammed his own locker shut and prepared to walk through the traffic of students loitering in the hallway to class. "And even if I weren't, I still would have the sense not to mindlessly surrender my affection for you." Clearing his throat, he turned towards Shuuichi and tried his best impersonation of one of his friend's women admirers. "Oh, Shuuichi. I'm so madly in love with you. Please go out with me."

A low chuckle slipped from his friend's lips before slowly slipping into the traffic of students scurrying to get to their lockers, gossip groups, or next class. "Keiko once confessed," he teased.

"Keyword there, Minamino, is did."

"It's fine. She wasn't my type anyway," he paused and eyed his companion meaningfully. "And I'm not just saying that because she's immune to my god-given charms now."

Yuusuke rolled his eyes in regards to Shuuichi's blatant self-confidence and evident narcissism. "Since you bring it up, what exactly is your type, Minamino?"

"What?"

"Well, I'm just asking because you go out with these random girls for, give or take, a couple of days, but their personalities…" he stopped as well, fishing the words he thought would completely convey what he was trying to say, "…they're never quite the same."

Shuuichi smiled wryly. "No pattern, you mean?" He shrugged. "It's an adventure every time, I guess."

"I highly doubt that filing through these girls is your way of finding the one you're looking for."

Shuuichi snickered. "Who says I'm looking for a girlfriend? I'm just having fun. If I'm not mistaken, Urameshi, you only get to be a teenager once."

Yuusuke rolled his eyes. It figured he would say something like that. The only real girlfriend, per say, that Shuuichi Minamino had ever had was Maya Kitajima, and though the redhead claimed that it was simply just puppy love, their relationship had lasted a good year or so, and taking into consideration that it was Shuuichi, flirt extraordinaire, who was in that relationship, dating Maya meant that she was someone important to him. Of course, the topic of Kitajima was never to be uttered in Shuuichi's presence for fear that he'd verbally lash out at them. There was obviously something that happened between the two that Shuuichi had not wanted to disclose – not even to his closest friends.

"What class…" he stopped speaking as they turned a corner and found Hiei walking down the hallway with a girl, and even more surprising, that he was laughing. Yuusuke rubbed his eyes. "Was that Jaganshi or… some imposter?"

Shuuichi said nothing, his eyes keenly aware of the girl beside Hiei. Licking his lips, he walked down the same hallway and gave Yuusuke a very curt reply. "Physical education."

Author Notes: I've actually had this chapter for this new fic written out for forever now, but I was unsure of whether to leave it here or continue a little bit more. I decided to stop it here because the original direction of this fic suddenly got a mind of its own and ran the other way. Curse it. And according to the new plot line, this seemed like the appropriate place to stop.

Yeah… Shuuichi's a snotty, arrogant, narcissistic playboy. Bite me. I wanted to portray him that way. I'm getting tired of the simply SMART and PERFECT Kurama. I wanted a hybrid of Youko Kurama and Shuuichi, and I think this is the closest I'm gonna get.

With summer break coming in close, that means finals is headed my way too. Fortunately, I only have one final to study for, therefore, I'll start updating a bunch of my crap as well as my part of Raven Sin and my collaborated work, "Fireflies." I just need some down-time first before I go ahead and start writing again. I'm physically and mentally fried.

I haven't really proofread this during the span of time I could have since it was finished so please excuse the grammatical blunders. I will fix it in the future.

I haven't updated the KB site yet. I should have done it a long time ago, especially because all the HTML files for it are done – all I need to do is log on to the FTP server and then upload them, but I've been lazy/busy/insert other excuse here. I'm not gonna say when I'll "supposedly" have it done anymore because it never happens. I'll just put it in one of my fic updates IF it does happen to be updated.

Until then, I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of "Sweet and Sour".

Disclaimers: Standard disclaimers apply here.