I do not own Yu Yu Hakusho or any of its characters.
"I heard he got arrested once!"
"Once? I heard it was three times," the other girl exclaimed.
Keiko shook her head as she listened to the latest round of rumors they had heard about Yusuke. She was used to this event. Every few weeks her friends would tell her about the newest round of rumors they heard about Yusuke. They constantly told her how dangerous Yusuke could be, what a bad reputation he had, that he was nothing but trouble. And some of those things were true. Yusuke was dangerous; she had seen him kill demons who were impossibly strong, stronger than she could ever imagine. And Yusuke did have a horrible reputation, constantly skipping school, getting into fights every day. Although he stopped getting into as many scuffles since he became spirit detective, the reputation still linger behind him.
But Yusuke was more than just trouble. Even if no one else could see it, Keiko could. She knew there was more to Yusuke than just appearances; if everyone took the time to actually get to know him instead of just gossiping about him, they would understand.
"Keiko, I don't know how you can be friends with a deliquent like Yusuke," her friend said, taking a sip of soda.
Keiko shook her head, a small smile playing on her lips. "You just don't understand Yusuke like I do; we've been through so much together. He's my best friend."
Little Keiko Yukimura walked into the playground, following the rest of the students in her class. It was the first day of school for the little five-year old girl and to say she was a bag of nervous would have been an understatement. Still she walked toward the swings, watching everyone run around and have fun. She sat on the swings, rocking back and forth slowly. She felt so lonely; she just wanted someone to play with, someone to be her friend. She was just too shy to make the first move.
"Stupid!" a little boy shouted, causing Keiko to look up. Her mother had told her on many occasions that stupid was a bad word so the word immediately caught her attention. She glanced over to where the boy stood, part of a small ring of boys whom had surrounded something. She rose from her seat on the swing, her curiosity getting the best of her.
As she approached the circle her eyes widened, her mouth opened in a small "o." The thing the boys were kicking and hit, the person, was a little boy. She instantly recognized him from her class, sitting at the table across from her. The little boy in the center of the circle tried to protect himself as much as possible, trying to swing back at the other boys, but he didn't cry out as he was struck multiple times.
Keiko couldn't stand by and watch the beating happen. It wasn't fair that there were so many boys picking on one person. She shoved her way to the center of the circle pushing down one of the boys in the process. "Stop hitting him you bullies!" Keiko shouted, standing in front of the little boy with her arms outspread to protect him. The boys in the circle stopped their attack as Keiko stood in the center.
"What are we supposed to do? She's a girl," one boy whispered to another. "We can't hit a girl."
The boy who seemed in charged froze for a moment, thinking quickly. "If she wants to defend the bastard, then she should get hit too." Keiko recoiled at the boy's words. She wasn't sure what a bastard was but from the way the boy spat the word, she knew it was an insult.
"Only wussies would think about hitting a girl," the boy said from behind her, rising to his feet. "If you put a hand on her, I'll punch out all your teeth." The boy stepped in front of Keiko, protecting her with his body. Keiko was surprised he could still stand after being hit so much, challenging all the boys. Even though it was the two of them against six boys, Keiko had a feeling if they had to she and the boy could take the rest of them on.
The little boy raised his fist as one of the boys stepped forward, his hands raised. The school bells suddenly rang, summoning the students back to class. The leader of the circle looked at the bell then back to the boy in the circle. "You got lucky this time," the rude boy said. "Next time your girlfriend won't be here to help you." The group of boys walked away, leaving Keiko alone with the boy she protected.
Once the boy saw the last of his attackers walk inside he sank to his knees, his body aching from the beating he suffered. "Are you okay?" Keiko said, sitting on the floor next to the boy.
The boy rubbed his lip where it bled slightly, turning toward her. "Yeah I'll be fine. Thanks for helping me," he said, a small smile on his lips.
"No problem," she replied. "I'm Keiko."
"Keiko, Yusuke, come inside it's time for class," their teacher yelled from the doorway.
Yusuke stood quickly despite his injuries, extending a hand to help her up. "Come on Keiko," he said, gripping her small hand in his. Keiko allowed him to help her up, holding his hand in hers as they walked back to class.
"You wanna sit next to me in class?" Keiko asked shyly. Yusuke nodded, his cheeks turning a faint shade of pink as he entered the classroom alongside Keiko.
"Hey Keiko," Yusuke called from the doorway of the restaurant. Keiko smiled as she looked up at Yusuke, her best friend, someone who was slowly becoming something more than just a best friend. After canceling on their movie date last week to go on an emergency mission, he promised to pick her up and take her to the movies today.
"Are you really gonna go out with him?" her friend whispered as she packed her things into her bag. "Is it safe to be alone with him?"
Keiko smiled at her friends as she got up from her seat. She knew they would never understand the relationship between her and Yusuke. But she didn't need them to; she knew what she had with Yusuke and it was precious to her. "Being with Yusuke is probably the safest place I could ever be," Keiko said as she walked away from her friends. "Hey Yusuke," she said as she stood in front of him.
"Ready to go?" he asked her, turning toward the door. Keiko nodded as she followed him outside.
"So how was your mission?" she asked as they walked down the sidewalk.
"Tiring," he replied, rotating his shoulder. "I'm glad it's over now."
Keiko nodded in agreement. "I'm glad you're back too."
"You know Keiko," Yusuke said, hesitating. "You didn't have to leave your friends to come with me, ya know. We coulda gone to the movies another day."
"No I'd rather spend time with you than anyone else," Keiko said honestly, blushing slightly. Yusuke glanced at her in shock, her words taking him by surprise. He would never tell her but he rushed to get back to the human world on time for the movies. He didn't wanna ditch her twice. Keiko smiled at Yusuke, bumping him with her shoulder to pull him out of his thoughts.
"I'm really glad I'm back," he said, his usual smirk on his lips. As odd as it seemed, the great spirit detective felt safe with her. He put an arm around her shoulder, ignoring the surprised look on her face, and pulled her closer. Right where he wanted her to be.
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