A series of shorts, most which will be cute, about our three favorite detectives! ^_^ I found a challenge here on and decided to try it ^_^ Enjoy! This first chapter is how Akira, Nokoru, and Suoh first met! Also, there's no reason why I named the story Paint It Black. The phrase just popped in my head so I used it. It really doesn't make any sense to go with these shorts haha.

"We need a treasurer."

"It's harder than we thought it would be. Most of the students here are reliable and would have no trouble handling money, but it seems that perfect one just hasn't shown up yet."

Suoh replied to Nokoru with the only answer he could think of. There was absolutely no reason why they didn't have a treasurer. Anyone male or female in the school would have done perfectly, but Nokoru had yet to pick anyone. Suoh knew why though. Nokoru was apprehensive about letting people get close to him, even if it was something as simple (or not so simple) as the Elementary Class Board. Suoh was a good catch and he fit the bill to be the secretary; however the person best fit to be treasurer eluded the two of them.

Nokoru let out a laugh. "Maybe I should get kidnapped again and whoever rescues me will get the position!"

"I'd rather you didn't joke like that, Nokoru." Suoh said, rubbing his temples. He could feel the headache coming on and it was only 11 AM. The things he had to put up with….

"Now, now, don't be so uptight, Suoh. I was only kidding. Come on, let's go get something to eat at the bakery!" Nokoru grabbed Suoh's arm and started to drag him towards the door.

"Nokoru, we have so much paperwork to do! You always do this! It's because of you that we're always behind on our paperwork!"

"Calm down, Suoh!" Nokoru said as he opened the door to the office. "I have to work twice as hard as normal because I take on the roles of president and treasurer."

"We take on the role as treasurer together and you know it," Suoh said, knowing he had already lost. They walked out of the office, Nokoru running ahead only to run into another student.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" Nokoru apologized as the other student's papers went flying.

"Nokoru!" Suoh called to him as he made his over to them. "Please be more careful. Are you okay?" he asked the student.

The moment he asked the question the young student burst into violent sobs. The two Class Board members jumped back, shocked at the unexpected action.

"Nokoru, what did you do?" Suoh yelled over the student's crying.

"Nothing! D-did I hurt you? I'm so sorry! Please, forgive me!" Nokoru tried to touch the student's shoulders, but the moment he did so the student ran off in the opposite direction, leaving his papers and notebooks behind.

The two boys stared after him, wondering what on earth could have caused him to suddenly burst into tears like that. Nokoru shook his head to regain his focus and began picking the papers off of the ground. Suoh noticed him and began to help him.

"What was that all about?" the younger boy asked.

Nokoru just shook his head. "I have no idea."

"He didn't seem like he was physically hurt," Suoh said.

"I know I didn't run into him hard enough to hurt him. Something else was bothering him. It must be pretty bad for him to cry like that. The poor thing. I wish there was something I could do. I hate seeing people that upset."

"I know," Suoh said. "Perhaps we should try to find him and give him his stuff back. His name is written on all of these."

"Oh," Nokoru said, after taking a closer look at the papers. "Most of these are homework assignments."

Suoh nodded his head. "If we can't find him today, we can give these to his teachers so they know he did his assignments."

"Akira Ijyuin," Nokoru said in a low voice. "What could ever be the matter?"

"Let's hurry. He can't have gotten far," Suoh said as he broke out into a run. Nokoru followed behind him and kept his eyes peeled for the young Akira. They ran into a few people and asked if they had seen a crying boy pass by. Slowly, but surely they were lead outside to one of the many gardens.

"She said she saw him run here," Nokoru said, remembering the information he got from a fellow student. Suoh touched his shoulder and pointed to the distance.

There he was, Akira Ijyuin. He was on his knees, his head low to the ground being covered by his arms. His cries were muffled, but from the way his shoulders were shaking one could tell he was sobbing.

"Perhaps we should leave him alone for now, Nokoru. Nokoru?" Suoh did a double take as he realized Nokoru wasn't next to him anymore. The blonde boy had already begun to make his way to Akira. Suoh lightly hit himself in the forehead and followed closely after Nokoru.

"Excuse me, Akira Ijyuin?" Nokoru said gently, bending down to touch Akira's shoulder.

Akira jumped and looked at Nokoru, tears still streaming down his face. He looked from Nokoru to Suoh, who remained standing, and back to Nokoru again.

"I'm…so…sorry." He said between his tears. It seemed he could barely breathe with how much he was sobbing. "Please…I…."

"It's okay, Ijyuin. You don't have to say anything until you calm down a bit," Nokoru said, putting on the best and most sincere smile he could muster.

He wondered if that was actually a good idea because Akira began to cry even harder. Nokoru jumped as Akira suddenly grabbed him around his waist and began sobbing into his chest. The blonde looked at Suoh, who just turned away. Nokoru wanted to laugh. Suoh tried to act tough, but even his heart broke at the sight of this poor child. Nokoru gently rubbed Akira's back while telling him how everything would be okay. It was all he could do for the boy and he meant every word from the bottom of his heart.

"Hey," he whispered when he noticed Akira's crying was starting to dwindle. "Do you like sweets?"

Akira slowly looked into Nokoru's eyes and nodded his head.

"There's a bakery here that I just adore. They have cakes that are to die for! Suoh here doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. Isn't he weird?"

"Don't call me that," Suoh said.

Nokoru noticed Akira had smiled a bit. A bit of relief went through him and he continued. "Well, Suoh aside, you and I would have a great time indulging in the treats of that bakery. Would you like to go? It'll be on Suoh!"

"What? Why on me?"

Akira gave a small laugh and just shook his head. "You…don't have to…treat me," he said between hiccups.

"Nonsense!" Nokoru said as he stood up, bringing Akira with him. "Let's go!"

Nokoru ran off, holding Akira's hand in his own. Suoh just shook his head and walked behind them.

The only reason Suoh agreed to treat them was because Akira really needed something to make him feel better and Nokoru was doing a great job of making the boy laugh.

"You're not getting anything for yourself, Suoh?" Nokoru asked as he dug into his cake.

"You said it yourself that I don't like sweets," Suoh reminded him.

The two of them looked over at Akira, who was slowly eating his cake. He had finally stopped crying, though the tears stains were very clear on his face. Nokoru smiled at him and took another bite of his cake.

"I didn't mean to run into you and make you cry. Is there anything I can do to make you forgive me? Perhaps I should have been the one to buy the cakes."

"Oh, no, no ,no!" Akira cried. "It wasn't you! I wasn't upset over that. It was something else entirely. I guess that just kind of threw me over the edge."

"Must be pretty bad to make you cry like that," Nokoru said.

"Stop prying, Nokoru," Suoh scolded.

"No, it's okay," Akira told him. "I suppose I owe you an explanation anyway. I didn't mean to make you guys worry or anything. Things have just been going wrong."

"How so?" Nokoru inquired.

"Well, I got sick at the beginning of the week and I missed a lot of my classes. I've had to make up all the homework and most of my classes had tests so that's been very stressful."

Suoh gathered the papers that belonged to Akira in his hands and gave them back to him. "These are the homework assignments, right? Here you go. It would be annoying to redo all of them."

"Oh, thank you so much!" Akira cried as he grabbed the papers. "I thought I was going to have to do them all over again!"

"Was that the only thing bothering you?" Nokoru asked.

Suoh just sighed. Nokoru was so nosy. He had such a hard time just minding his own business.

"No. My parent's anniversary was two days ago and because I was so busy I missed it. I wanted to cook them a big dinner, but I wasn't able to spend time with them at all. I felt so bad about it. I was already exhausted from all of my work and feeling guilty from not being able to spend time with my parents when I found out my best friend is going to school in America."

Tears started to well up in Akira's eyes again. Suoh and Nokoru were afraid he was going to go into another fit, but he wiped away his tears and continued speaking.

"She's my best friend and I don't have many. I don't want her to go, but I can't stop her from such an amazing opportunity. I'm happy for her, but I think I'm more sad that she's leaving than happy which makes me feel horrible! I was trying to keep it all in, but then you ran into me and I just couldn't contain it anymore."

Suoh nodded. "You've had to deal with so much and then some random, reckless blonde kid comes crashing into you, knocking all of your homework assignments that you worked so diligently on out of your hands. I can understand why you ran away in tears."

Nokoru resisted the urge to hit Suoh on the head and turned a cheerful smile to Akira. "I'm sorry you've had such a rotten week. And I'm sorry for being the straw that broke the camel's back. If there's anything I can do to make it up to you then please let me know."

"No, you already got me cake and you listened to me cry and whine. You don't have to do anything for me."

"Sometimes people just need someone to lend an ear. It was no trouble, Ijyuin," Suoh said.

"Suoh, I don't think this is the end of our time with Akira!" Nokoru said enthusiastically. Akira and Suoh waited for him to continue, unsure of what he meant.

"Suoh!" Nokoru whined, shaking his friend's shoulder. "Akira needs a new best friend now! Not that we could ever replace his best friend, but we could be good substitutes! Also, don't you think he would be perfect for the treasurer position?"

"F-for the Elementary Division Class Board? Oh, no, there's no way I could ever do that!" Akira cried.

"Actually you may be on to something here, Nokoru. Ijyuin seems to have a good head on his shoulders. We know he's diligent and responsible since he kept up with all of his schoolwork even though he was sick. I didn't look at the work, but I'd wager that it was all correct. He's friendly and obviously extremely caring. Plus, I think he needs something good to happen to him this week."

"I agree!" Nokoru said as he looked at Akira. "So what do you say, Akira Ijyuin? Will you join the Elementary Division Class Board as treasurer?"

Akira waited for a moment to be sure they weren't playing a trick on him. He looked at them and realized they were absolutely serious. For the first time in a week a genuine smile appeared on his face.

"I'd love to! I'm so happy! Thank you both so much!"

"My name is Suoh Takamura and I hold the position of secretary," Suoh told him.

"And I'm Nokoru Imonoyama, president of the Elementary Division Class Board! It's great to have you on our team, Akira!"

Tears once again started to well in Akira's eyes, but this time they were happy tears. "This is the best thing to happen to me all week. And with this new position I gained new friends. Thank you so, so much."

"That's right," Nokoru said. "We're your new best friends! And trust me, Akira, this is only the beginning."