Childhood Is Not Always All It's Cracked-Up to Be

Summary: If you asked a random adult what they'd want if they could have any one wish, they would tell you they'd want to be young again, but keep their knowledge intact. So Youko should be happy—right?

Rated: T, just to safe

Okay, so please don't kill me if you're waiting on an update on Bloody Cherry Blossom. I've had a lot of crap going on, my stupid friend still has the story notebook, my dog died last May, and I've had writer's block for FRIGGING NINE MONTHS. I think I'm slowly getting over it, though. Also, Xei-Xei-channy, if you don't give my notebook back EFFING SOON, I may just have to keep whatever I decide to get you for your b-day.

This was just a random act of inspiration; I was home sick two days ago, reading fanfiction, when suddenly, it hit me! (No, not the bloody computer!)

Anyway, enjoy!

(Cue narrator's voice)

5-year-old Shuiichi Minamino was not what he appeared to be—that is, a normal human child. No, he had a few . . . peculiarities. Eccentricities (1), his mother called them. He was quiet, maybe a bit anti-social, and didn't engage in normal childhood behaviors; begging for new toys every time he was out with his parents, for example, was something he didn't do.

When they'd go to the park, Shuiichi would climb trees rather than playground equipment, and tended to avoid the other children.

He was also oddly good at math (2), especially considering that he had never so much as attended preschool. They'd be at a restaurant, his parent(s) would be mentally calculating the correct tip amount to give the wait-staff, and give the correct amount before either of them had even gotten half-way through.

Shuiichi was also far better at reading than any other child his age that his parents knew of, and reading things most children had no interest in: the newspaper, National Geographic (3), and every sort of botany book his parents could imagine.

Of course, all of this wasn't to say that Shuiichi didn't like to play games—he loved to. As a matter of fact, his favorite game had quite the long title: Take Mother's Jewelry, Stash It Some-Place and See How Long It Takes Her to Find It. Quite ingenious, really, if he did say so himself. And it is with this game that our story begins . . .

(Exit narrator voice)

Kurama silently crept down the hallway, clutching the jade ring he's taken from his mother's jewelry box not two minutes ago, mentally contemplating where he would hide the item this time. He did this quite often, usually about every week-and-a-half or so. While he acknowledged that life as a human child was a necessary evil, a 300-year-old kitsune thief could easily become bored trapped in the body a 5-year-old human child, and he found this to be the perfect way to keep his skills sharp and have fun at the same time.

Naturally, his human mother had no idea how her jewelry got into such strange places –he would never be so clumsy as to be caught—and Kurama intended to keep it that way.

He'd just decided to put the ring in the candy bowl on the living room coffee table when he heard his mother's voice in the kitchen—which he had to walk past if he wanted to get to the living room.

He wondered who she could be on the phone with, since his father wasn't home yet and Shiori never, in his experience, talked to herself. His natural curiosity piqued, Put the ring safely in his pocket and went to stand in the kitchen doorway just as his mother hung up the phone.

"Who was that, Mother?"

"Oh, Shuiichi. I was on the phone with the principal of the Elementary School down the road—" down the road in this case being a few miles away, if Kurama remembered correctly "—and everything's been arranged."

'Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to like this?' "What has?"

"Shuiichi . . . In three weeks, you're starting kindergarten."

'I'm to start what now?!' Outwardly, Kurama just nodded and went off to find particularly difficult place to hide his mother's ring.

'Human kindergarten. . . At a human school with human teachers and silly little human children. . .' He paused, considering this, then gave a stubborn shake of his head. "It can't possibly be that bad . . . Can it?"

Eccentricities. I've wanted to use that word in a sentence for weeks now. It's just so much fun to say. "Eccentricities."

If you're going to be a thief, you have to be good at correctly calculating the value of present items quickly so you can get the hell outta there with the most expensive loot.

I have no clue if they even have National Geographic in Japan, but it gets the point across. If anyone does know for sure, would you please tell me?

Okay, please review and tell me if I should continue or not. I've gotten this far, but now the writer's block has come back to haunt me, so if I do continue, PM me with ideas, and I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out. Thanks again! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Latin homework that needs procrastinating upon, and cleaning that is long over-due to be worked at.