Disclaimer: I don't own anything. The characters and the series belongs to Yoshihiro Togashi

A/N: Well, I re-edited this first chapter, after noticing some major mistakes. I usually leave my works alone after I've posted them, but this was so awful I couldn't take it anymore. I can't believe I missed some of the things I did, eheh. It's better now, and the second chapter should be up sometime soon.

Anyway, this whole story will be a series of one-shots with no real timeline. Not all of them will be this fluffy or this long. This particular one takes place when Yusuke and Keiko are a bit older(and a tiny bit more mature.) I enjoy writing about them, just because they're fun characters and easy to portray. I tried my best to keep them like themselves, and keep this as well written as possible. If anything bothers you please let me know(nicely) so that I can improve. Thanks!

Hope you enjoy!

Understandings

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Yusuke awoke to a flash of false light hitting his face. Grumbling and keeping his eyes shut, he rolled over, burying himself under the piles of blankets. The crisp blue sheets were tossed about, tightly wrapped around him as he reached toward the other end of the bed.

However his arm hit nothing but cushion, and he frowned, realizing he was alone.

The loud wurr of a blow dryer snapped him from his thoughts, added to his building annoyance. Yusuke cursed and quickly covered his head with a pillow in an attempt to block out the noise.

But the obnoxious sound continued, tearing through his sleep deprived self, no matter the protection of the pillow. Dammit. After a few more minutes of irritation he couldn't take it anymore. He sat up groggily and glanced around the room, noticing the alarm clock that read seven o' clock in bright red letters.

"Oi Keiko," he said lazily, after the infernal racket ceased. "Come back to bed."

He ran a hand through his messy black hair, bangs left down and hanging in his face. Blinking away tiredness, he peered at the lean young women in the other room. She was brushing her teeth carefully, dark green sailor uniform ironed and neat for school. He knew she rarely wore any sort of makeup, she didn't need it; with her big brown eyes and chestnut colored hair, she was naturally pretty. She could be a model, could date just about anyone if she wanted, but instead choose to be his finance, his best friend from childhood.

Feeling his stares on her Keiko turned, surprised he was aware so early in the morning. After a moment she walked closer and leaned against the bathroom door frame, amused smile at her lips. "Sorry, I can't. I've got school."

"Screw that." He huffed, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. School was a pain to him, always had been and always will be. He stretched slowly out of habit, finely carved muscles bunching up around his mid section; bare from the waist up. Grinning cheekily, he made sure she could see everything; Dark Tournament Champion and skilled martial artist resulted in near perfect male anatomy.

"Put some clothes on!" She snapped, voice slightly squeaky. She blushed and turned her gaze away from him, just as he expected. It was so much fun to tease her.

Keiko pretended like she didn't notice a thing, but her panicked expression gave her away. "S-school is important, you know." Yusuke rolled his eyes. He was trying to poke fun at her and all she wanted to do was argue. Her way of getting herself un-flustered, so whatever. "I worked my butt off to get into a good college, and this is my freshman year no less! I can't afford to-"

"Yeah, yeah." He waved her off. "Spare me the lecture, I don't care."

She huffed, but let it go. Morning fights she tried to avoid. "Anyway, don't you have something to do today?"

Nope. "Geez, do I have to plan every single week?"

"You know..I think.." she started, voice sweet..too sweet, as in she wanted something, "-dad could use some help at the restaurant...please Yusuke?" she cooed.

Eh, he expected worse. That specific tone could result in very very good things, or stupid favors. This time it was a favor. He shrugged. He wasn't fond of playing waiter at her parent's place; refusing to do the fake friendliness shit, the 'hi what can I get you sir?' No way in hell. It was 'yah, whaddya want?' People always ended up complaining about his bad service, which he didn't understand, he didn't think he was being rude. "I don't know...it feels sorta weird working around your dad when you're living with me and all."

Her pink cheeks darkened. "I'm not living with you!"

Denial. Yusuke's grin returned, easing across his lips mischievously. "Really?" he raised his eyebrows, "Then when's the last time you slept somewhere other than my apartment?"

Keiko opened her mouth to argue, then closed it again, scowling. Was it last Tuesday? She crossed her arms stubbornly. No, maybe the one before that...This was bad, she honestly couldn't remember. "W-well..lets see..um.." She felt like hitting him, he was doing this just to aggravate her; and she was failing to think up a good comeback. Darn you Yusuke.

"Told you."

"Oh shut up!" she groaned, embarrassed. He'd made his point, but he didn't have to gloat about it. He laughed, happy with himself.

Keiko glanced at the small watch on her wrist. 7:15. She would be late if she didn't hurry. "Sorry but I need to go. I can't miss any part of Mr.Yamamoto's lecture this morning. Last time I did I got so far behind-" She grabbed her briefcase at the doorway. "Listen, I'll hurry home though, alright? And please help my parents out, the place was swamped yesterday and-"

"Relax! I got it. Get outta here already." He flopped back down onto the bed, letting out a long sigh. He planned on getting some shut eye before heading down to the restaurant. He really didn't want to go, he'd rather swing by the nearest Pachinko parlor; but he'd humor her. Maybe.

She scurried out of the apartment, slipping into her shoes on the way out. The door closed shut, and then there was silence.

A few seconds passed. Hey wait a minute! You forgot-

He heard quick returning footsteps in the hall; Keiko ran back in, almost tripping over herself in the process, and kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Bye!"

Then she was gone through the door again. Yusuke sat there, shaking his head at her antics, dazed expression on his face. Damn, I'm turning into such a sap...

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Her first few classes were painless and went by quickly; plus she usually finished her work early, and was able to study the rest of the time. But today she couldn't stop herself from daydreaming, numerous thoughts running through her head.

Come to think of it, when was the last time I stayed at home? She'd been so busy lately, she didn't go anywhere save school and the apartment. A few of her belongings were at her Yusuke's now, much to his agitation. When Kurama had visited them last month, he said he was worried he walked into the wrong apartment, because it was too neat to be Yusuke's place. Yusuke was not organized, he was anything but organized. Keiko made sure he cleaned up every once in a while too, because it was ridiculous.

Okay..so maybe I am living with him, but it's not like...She didn't get why he wanted to avoid her parents all of a sudden. They'd always been kind to him, never saying anything against them staying together.

Even though others did. Some of her relatives thought she was having an inappropriate relationship with a delinquent.

She snorted. They just didn't understand. They didn't know how strong he was, and that if you dig far enough, past all the barriers, he had the biggest heart out of anyone. He cared, he was a hero, and he saved humanity, for pete's sake. Her snobby family members were just naive and stupid. Not many people could grasp her and Yusuke's relationship, and that's how it's always been.

"Ms. Yukimura! What did you put down for number twenty on.."

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The cafeteria was noisy from the chatter of students, the smell of food hanging in the air like a cloud. Girls shouted gossip at each other from across tables, starting up cat fights. Keiko didn't pay it any attention, only checked over her homework and ate her lunch quietly. She tapped her pen on the paper, reading one of the questions over again, contemplating. English was such a difficult subject!

"Excuse me...Yukimura, is it?"

She jumped, looking up to see two young women, upperclassmen, staring down at her. They had their long dark hair pulled up in ponytails, bright pastel makeup on their faces(which was against the rules, and Keiko wondered how they managed to get past it.) They didn't have any of her classes, though she had seen them in the hallways before. "Yes.." she smiled politely. "Um..do you need something?" She wasn't friends with them, something about their mannerisms seemed off, untrustworthy.

"Oh no," one of the girls giggled, but Keiko missed the joke. "We were just wondering..."

"And if you don't mind.."

She knew they were up to no good, they'd never even given her a second glance before. Now they wanted to talk to her? Sounded fishy, but Keiko wasn't one to be rude. "Go ahead."

Pleased with the answer, they plopped down in front of her, bemused grins on their painted faces. A few people turned and gazed curiously in their direction. Keiko groaned inwardly. This wasn't going to be some kind of ordeal was it? The students here could be so nosy.

"You see Yukimura, we heard that..." the black headed one leaned forward gracefully, as if to share some valuable secret. "Well, we've been hearing some interesting things lately.."

Keiko blinked in confusion. Where where they going with this?

"And you see, we're knowledgeable about what goes on around here...but-"

The other girl drummed her manicured nails on the table, smiling meanly when Keiko noticed her. "You're a mystery, Yukimura-chan," she interrupted, "and you're a top student, best in all the classes. What we heard about you couldn't possibly be true."

"Really?" Keiko lifted a brow, taking a sip of her drink, as if the conversation mattered little to her. Great, they're trying to pull gossip from me. She never liked shallow talk like that. And she knew people called her 'little goody two shoes' behind her back. She didn't care. Doing what's right was bad? Stupid. What kind of attitude was that? Keiko didn't run with the wild ones. Except for Yusuke. But he never cared about parties, or people's social lives either, he was an anti-social outcast in school.

The girls nodded in unison, grins spreading across their faces. They reminded Keiko of evil cats, the black ones plastered over store windows in October. Uh-oh, now what?

"But we have to ask, you understand, to clear everything up. We can't allow suchdiminishing ideas about you to float around."

"Kind of you." She tried to hide the sarcasm in her voice. Would they just spit whatever out already? What, did someone accuse her of cheating?

"So.." they purred, "is it true that you're sleeping with a Yakuza?"

HUH? Keiko choked on her tea, calm demeanor completely destroyed. "W-what?! You mean Yusuke?" she blurted, coughing.

"Ahaha, so it's true!" They laughed, high pitched voices rising above the general background noise. "Yusuke? That's his name?" Everyone around froze, mindlessly gawking at them. So much for subtly.

She hadn't meant to say his name! They'd shocked her, that's all! What's these people's problem??

"N-no! That's not-" She stammered, and they quieted, smirking. 'Yeah, right' they said. Yeah, right, sure, whatever..they thought. People whispered amongst themselves.

Keiko's temper flared, eyes narrowing into a strict glare. "Listen!" She stood up, slamming her hands onto the table. "You're wrong, and my personal life is none of your damn business!"

The food court went silent. The accusing girls opened their gaped in surprise--mouths forming perfect 'o's. Keiko grabbed her belongings and stomped off, growling under her breath as she went.

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The rest of her classes dragged on slowly. Now Keiko was having trouble paying attention, thanks to the little episode during lunch.

She hadn't meant to curse like that! She felt a pang of shame just thinking about it, and covered her lips in embarrassment. She ought to have her mouth washed out with soup. What kind of lady-like behavior is that?? But those girls hadn't been very respectful, either. She frowned.

Keiko scribbled angrily in her notebook, her mind totally away from the problem she was doing. I can't believe they-

Who had they heard about him from? And he was not a Yakuza, for God's sake, that was ridiculous. Of all the rotten things they could stamp him with-- How did they have the outright gall to ask her that? It was rude! And it bothered her. People always misunderstood him! Even when they'd never seen him they got the wrong idea!

Students were talking about her for the rest of the afternoon, making Keiko the center of interest, right where she didn't need to be. All she wanted to do was study in peace, but no, they had to make things difficult.

Even now she could hear her name echo in the room every once and awhile. She ignored the whispers completely furious. They'd do good to stay away from her.

'Wow..I would have never guessed that about her...'

'They say some people aren't what they seem..'

'Heh, wait until the council finds out about this..that little miss perfect is a whore!'

She sighed. And she usually enjoyed school too...Is is time to go yet?

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Keiko walked out the main doors and down the stairs, completely exhausted. Drama could really drain all the energy out of a person. It was only four o' clock, yet it felt like she'd been through a war. She pretended she didn't notice the stares on her, and paid no attention to the quiet murmering of students when she walked by. She held her head up -- chestnut brown hair glittering in the sunlight. It's none of their business.

Then her eyes widened, seeing the center of her problems leaning casually against the front entranceway.

A bored expression crossed his face when he acknowledged her, his hair slicked back in the usual punk style, hands shoved in his pockets. Jerk, don't say hello or anything. But she beamed. "Yusuke!" She waved, running up to stand beside him, fighting the urge to tackle him with a hug; he was a real sight for sore eyes. "What're you doing here?"

He gave her a look. "Waiting for you. And you sure took your sweet time."

"No, you're lucky I rushed. Normally I'd be a lot later than that." She put her hands to her hips. "You shouldn't mind waiting for me." I've waited for you before, and it was much longer than fifteen minutes.

Yusuke's frown deepened. "I wouldn't even be here if a had a choice. I got kicked outta your parent's restaurant." He admitted begrudgingly.

So he did go! He actually did what she asked for once. She made a mental note to repay him later. "What did you do this time?"

"I told some fat lady she needed to lay off the rice cakes."

She gasped. "Yusuke! I can't believe you!" He could be so mean to people at times. "That's awful!" Really really awful!

Yet she found herself giggling anyway. She couldn't help it. He was so...ugh! She could just imagine it, Yusuke in an apron, yanking food away from customers. "Hey, you! Yeah, you! Stop it!"

"It isn't funny! I was serious!" He'd hadn't meant it in an insult, he only tried to give the stupid woman advice! Who on earth eats that much anyway? She was like five hundred pounds, somebody needed to tell her!

"I'm sure you were." Keiko teased, poking him in the shoulder. She felt guilty for laughing, she was just as bad as he was. "That's terrible to say to someone! You're such a brat."

"Yeah yeah I know, I've heard it a million times."

"And not just from me I'm sure. I'm surprised the lady didn't haul off and smack you. I would have."

"Oh, I know you would have. You do it all the time. It's hot coming from you, though." He stuck his tongue out at her.

That doesn't make any sense. But it was Yusuke, she didn't try to keep up with his logic. A blush rose to her cheeks; he was being merciless today. Was getting her flustered that much fun? Apparently it was. He'd done it all his life.

Yusuke stopped laughing and turned his eyes toward a group of girls; he noticed them gaping at him and Keiko for a while, and it was getting on his nerves. He narrowed his eyes into a scowl, making himself look utterly inapproachable and scary; they spun around fast, tripping over each other as they ran off in the other direction.

"What abunch of bitches." Yusuke spat, making sure they heard him. People tended to stare at him, he was used to it, but he couldn't put up with strangers glaring at Keiko. Snobbery pissed him off. "Were they bothering you today?"

She quieted, looking down at her feet. She'd been trying to ignore them, though Yusuke didn't possess her patience. "Not really, but.." she absently kicked a pebble near her shoe.

He knew her too well, that reaction meant something was up. "Well?"

I probably shouldn't even mention it. But it bothered her, even if she didn't want to admit it. People could be inconsiderate, and it her hurt feelings at times. It hurt her that the world refused to accept different types of people, different personalities. She wished they could accept Yusuke, instead of judging him, but they rarely did, no matter what he did for them. Complete lack of kindness.

"We..understand each other, don't we?" she whispered sadly. "Ever wonder why no one else can?"

He blinked. "Eh?" Why the emotional 180?

Her bottom lip stuck out in a pout as if she was about to cry; big brown eyes cast down away from him. She seemed so small and fragile. Anger filled his thoughts, the strong instinct to protect rising over his senses. 'What's wrong? Who's ass do I need to kick?' Is what what he wanted to say, but something told him the problem was different than that.

Yusuke sighed, running a hand through his hair. That's a stupid question Keiko. Where to begin..he wasn't great at explaining..Where were Kurama and Botan when you needed them? They were better at dealing with feelings 'n stuff.

"Course I understand you, and all..I mean.." Dammit. He was no good at this. "I don't know about other people, 'an I really don't care. Who says they have to understand us? They have no idea about anything. Don't worry about it." There. He hoped that would satisfy her. He didn't like seeing her so down.

She peeked up at him through thick bangs. He was right, it didn't matter in the end. It's so frustrating though..She wanted to shove some sense into their heads sometimes! "It makes me mad that people don't even try! You know what they thought? They thought you were a Yakuza!"

Keiko was appalled at the idea. Yusuke thought it was hilarious. "Not the first time I've been called that." he reminded her, smirking. "But you're my defender, so.." One of her habits. Someone accuses him of stealing, Keiko's there, barking out logic, defending him 'till the end. 'Yusuke's a criminal!' Nope, 'Are you kidding me? You don't even know him! So stop spreading untrue rumors.'

What a sweet person she was. Sometimes. When she wasn't nagging.

She felt bad because people didn't understand him. She was getting herself all worked up over nothing. His heart swelled with affection.

He pulled her to him in one swift movement. "Quit it, don't feel sad for my sake, you crazy girl." Don't look like that anymore. "It doesn't bother me, so there's no reason it should bother you."

Keiko's stomach did a flip-flop, her heart fluttering in her chest. "But-"

He interrupted her. "-And if idiots find us so interesting, let's give them something to really gossip about, eh?"

He didn't know what made him do it; could be the possessiveness of the Mazoku blood, the fact that she was his and he didn't care who knew it -- or the impulse to let her know he appreciated her empathy. Whatever the cause, he bent down and kissed her full on the mouth, wrapping his arms around her waist. Her eyes widened and she tensed up in surprise. Yusuke rarely displayed outright affection in public; romantic things embarrassed him. She wasn't much for it either, not that she minded now. Keiko relaxed, moving her lips against his own. No, I don't mind at all.

So, maybe they were a strange pair; maybe most people didn't understand them; Keiko sighed, bringing him closer to her. But they were safe with each other, and that's what counted.

Thank you..