This is deciated to the wonderful Shinichi06, who suggested an Alternate Universe featuring Hitsugaya and Yukio. Since they're both among my favourite characters, I had a lot of fun writing this short fic. I hope you enjoy this story!

(All the other characters are random OCs.)

A small note: I was very inspired by Eoin Colfer's Half-Moon Investigations. If you have the time, read that book. It's full of awesome. :D


ANONYMOUS CHALLENGE

~ kittykittyhunter ~

Chapter One

Associate


"For you."

Yukio reluctantly paused the game, looking away from his handheld console. He was being scowled at by Hitsugaya Toushirou, a short boy who was easily dwarfed by his temper. Wordlessly, Yukio took the piece of paper being proffered.

He scanned the elegant penmanship, noting the curt salutation and flourished signature. "This is a joke," he said. "School's just resumed – and the President is already giving me warning notes?"

"Because you've already broken the rules." A red band was tied around Hitsugaya's right arm: for the third year running, he had been nominated and elected as a Student Council Representative. "You should know by now that valuables are prohibited on school premises."

Honestly – Hitsugaya lectured more than the teachers. Yukio twitched his head towards the windows. "Take a look over there," he suggested.

It didn't seem as though Hitsugaya would comply – but curiosity won him over.

He snarled.

"I thought the school didn't have the budget for a library extension?"

"They didn't," Yukio shrugged. Far below, a group of men were circling a potential site and making notes on clipboards. "But circumstances changed over the summer."

Hitsugaya slapped his palms on the desk. Yukio raised an eyebrow. "One day," the Representative vowed, "you'll discover that money doesn't solve everything."

Yukio pressed the START button.

The ball was rocketing towards him – Hitsugaya leapt – turned – kicked – the ball crashed into the net before the goalie was able to react.

"Excellent, Toushirou!" screamed the Captain. "Your level hasn't dropped, even after Nationals!"

One of Hitsugaya's veins quivered. He gave a slight nod, watching the goalie grumble, collect the ball and throw it out to the team.

Muromachi Keisuke was a talented goalkeeper, but he resented being consistently bested by Hitsugaya. The striker had been recruited to the soccer team after scoring a hat trick in his first PE lesson.

Keisuke was known for his quick reflexes and his badges – three pins that were forever stapled to the brunette's blazer, despite disobeying uniform regulations. They were all of Keisuke's own design, and Hitsugaya regretted having to forward a warning from the President.

Some people, Hitsugaya thought sourly as he unlaced his boots, didn't depend on bribery.

History ended with students detailing their weekend plans. Relieved, Hitsugaya tidied away his belongings. The past three weeks had overflown with activity; he was hungry, looking forward to a snack.

"Give it back."

The boy frowned at Yukio, who stood with his hands deep in his pockets. "Go home," answered Hitsugaya, pushing in his chair. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Yukio sighed. "I waited until the end of the day because you're our Representative, and should really protect your reputation. You've made your point – now give it back."

"If you've lost something," Hitsugaya said, "I suggest you ask at reception. Goodbye."

He was walking past when Yukio stuck out his foot.

Hitsugaya almost tripped. Almost. He swivelled with such cold fury that doubt momentarily lit Yukio's face.

"What are you talking about?"

"Bridge Hero 3!"

Hitsugaya stared.

"BridgeHero3," repeated Yukio. "My game. It's gone."

"That's why we have rules about valuables. You probably misplaced it."

"I didn't misplace it," Yukio insisted, "I'm not that careless. It's been stolen – and it's your job to find out by who."

Hitsugaya's was saved from answering by his rumbling stomach.

"My treat," declared Yukio.

Hitsugaya said nothing, sliding a tray of spring rolls closer.

"It happened," Yukio began, wondering whether the slight teen could finish the ¥4000 worth of food on the table, "after Physics class. I definitely had the game in Physics."

"How do you know?" enquired Hitsugaya, devouring the sixth spring roll and reaching for the prawn crackers.

Yukio answered simply, "Because I completed it in Physics." Ignoring Hitsugaya's glower, the blonde went on, "That's when I put it in my bag. I decided to take some notes and start Bridge Hero 4 during Break."

"What a sacrifice."

Yukio began to smile – then stopped. "Shouldn't you be writing this down?"

"No need."

Naturally. Hitsugaya (now slurping a bowl of ramen) was famed for his astonishing memory.

"We had PE after Break. The thief had plenty of time to sneak into the changing rooms, steal the disc and disappear."

Once Hitsugaya's bowl was clear and he had drunk some water, he said, "Two things. First of all, the changing rooms are locked: it would be impossible for someone without authority to get inside. Also – is anything else missing?"

"No, just Bridge Hero 3."

The Representative was working his way through a plate of noodles. He swallowed a wad of vegetables and pointed out, "Why wouldn't someone steal your console too? It's more valuable."

Yukio's eyes shone. "Because," he replied, "my bag has a secret compartment."

Hitsugaya began munching on nigiri.

"Take this seriously," Yukio growled.

"All these years," said Hitsugaya, refilling his glass of water from the tap stationed at the table, "you've ignored the rules. You've never taken anyone seriously. Besides – this is all circumstantial. I'd have to assume that the theft was a random act of spite.

"And," now he proceeded to the final course, "there are too many people who dislike you to conduct a reasonable investigation."

He finished the slice of doriyaki.

Yukio blinked. "You're really not going to help?"

Hitsugaya speared some watermelon chunks. "You can make an official complaint," he advised. "The Council would try to help. But don't come to me with your problems. I owe you nothing."

It was only after Hitsugaya had left the restaurant that Yukio noticed multiple notes on the table.

"Ah, um – Hitsugaya-san?"

"What is it Mirashima?"

She flushed. "Well you see," she murmured, "a student came to me with a problem…"

The boy frowned. Mirashima Elmira wore glasses, was a foot taller than him and sported long green braids. She was so naturally shy that it baffled him as to how she had been become Class A's female Representative. Certain that he knew precisely which student had approached Mirashima with a complaint, he asked, "What did he want?"

"H-he?" squeaked Mirashima. "It was a girl! Nishida Erika from class 3-D… you know her, don't you?"

Hitsugaya winced. "Of course."

Nishida Erika was the leader of the Erika Club, three students who all had two things in common: the given name Erika and the ability to frustrate everyone they met. The group had multiple altercations with the Council in the first term, constantly hosting unauthorised tea parties and fashion shows.

Mirashima continued, "Nishida-san reported a theft. Her special comb is missing."

"Her special… comb?"

The girl nodded. "It was a gift from her elder sister, who works as a beautician in France. It's very important to Nishida-san."

"Alright," said Hitsugaya, "thanks for letting me know."

Mirashima beamed.

He knew that the Erika Club were inside the music room from the argument that carried through the door –

"For the last time Ondango – NO means NO!"

"But Erika-chan!"

The door slid open violently and a grey-eyed boy hopped out, rubbing his hip. Behind him were three girls with identical ponytails.

"Week after week, you pester us with your confessions," snarled the middle girl. "What kind of nerve is that, asking out all three? Get lost!"

The boy turned – Hitsugaya caught the glint of something familiar pinned to Ondango's blazer.

"But it's only because you're equally beautiful!"

The shortest girl snapped, "Flattery doesn't work on the Erika Club!"

Accepting defeat, the junior Ondango Youji shuffled away.

Hitsugaya coughed lightly. The girls mechanically turned in his direction.

"I wish to speak to you about an incident." At his words, the trio parted, allowing him access.

To Histugaya's annoyance, he noticed that there was another person in the music room – a hunched figure in one corner. Nishida Erika didn't mind having an audience and began reliving the loss of her comb. Once the Representative had finally convinced the girl to stop describing the item's unrivalled beauty, she explained that it had been stolen from her bag. Her two friends confirmed the story, and the Erika Club looked at Hitsugaya expectantly.

"Well," he began, "we'll do our best –"

"How else may we be of service?" chorused the group.

"Pardon…"

Nishida Erika pin-wheeled her arms. "Senior Erika, Class 3-D!"

Mimato Erika performed a pirouette. "Junior Erika, Class 2-F!"

Shirane Erika jumped on the spot. "Freshman Erika, Class 1-B!"

They cried, "Together we are – THE ERIKA CLUB!"

In the loud silence that followed, Hitsugaya was lost for words.

"Personally," said the spectator, rising from his seat, "I'd target you three just for being so damn annoying."

Mimato Erika spun, placing her hands on her hips. "And what do you mean by target?"

Yukio stowed his game away in his bag. "This is no coincidence," said the blonde, now addressing Hitsugaya. "This is the fourth theft that's been reported – it's unlikely that these incidents aren't linked. As the genius Hitsugaya who never gets less than a perfect score, I bet it's eating you up that you haven't cracked this yet."

"I want to restore the students' peace of mind and bring the criminal to justice," answered Hitsugaya. "This isn't about my ego."

Yukio's cool eyes glittered. "You could use some help."