Standard disclaimers apply: Do I really have to do this?

Warnings!: Hiei offends Kurama! So watch out, Kurama -fans. (Okay, that really wasn't a warning, yeah...) There's just going to be some more hints of HieixKurama relationship. And... That's about it.

rebecca: And again, you'll need the songs Kurayami Ni Akai Bara - Romantic Soldier and Yasei no Kaze y (Like the wind in the wilderness) or Wild Wind, which are both Yu Yu Hakusho songs. Though, only the first one will be needed in this chapter. Gasp! ¨clamps a hand to her mouth¨ That was a spoiler! (What a shock.)

I really don't have anything to do with this chapters plot. They are the voices in my head! (Oh, shouldn't have to you that.) But it's true, the writing just comes out and I really don't have much saying in the matter. ¨sigh¨ Well, then. Enjoy!

Oh, and btw. The statements of the voices are in NO offence to the seiyuus. They do a remarkable good job! Yay, them! I just had to put that little thing in there. I wasn't me! The voices, you know. The voices.

When I find that English isn't enough, I turn to Japanese... If you don't understand the language, this might be of some help for You (what a commercial):

-san - Polite Japanese endings are: -san, -chan, -kun, -bo and might be others, and are added after a persons name. -sensei means 'teacher'. -shihan and -sama means 'master' and sempai is an upperclasserman or somehow above you. (just if you wanna know)

otousan - father. Kurama is so polite. ¨tear¨ He even calls his step-father father. How beautiful. Shorter version is 'tousan. And okaasan or 'kaasan is mother, oniichan or 'niichan is big brother and otouto is little brother. The 'o' brings more respect.

Ankokukyo - Forlorn hope. One of the three grand treasures of darkness. The mirror -thingy.

Ne? - right? (or something)

minna - everybody

seiyuu - a voice actor

The songs are translated in the chapter, so... I'm not putting them here.

Chapter 3: Let the mach begin!

The gang looked up to the stage in awe while everyone else gave a big applause, the girls screaming with excitement. Even Hiei's face had dropped by the surprise.

"Isn't that Kurama?" Kuwabara asked slowly.

"It is!" Yusuke shouted starting to applause loudly.

"But what is he doing there?" Kuwabara asked confused but none the less applauding also.

"Singing, of course!" Shizuru gritted her teeth and whacked him on the head. "Really... Why do I have to have an idiot as a brother." she sighed and took a new cigarette from her pocket.

"He's going to... sing?" Hiei asked with his deep voice. Everybody turned to him with questioning looks.

"Seems like it. You do know what singing is, right, Hiei-san?" Keiko enquired from the fire demon gingerly. Hiei shot a look at Keiko.

"Of course I know what singing is, you-" No one thankfully got to find out what Keiko was, because Kurama started speaking, after the grand applause, and Hiei turned to listen.

"Good afternoon! My name is Minamino Shuichi, nice to meet you." The green-eyed beauty started, capturing the audience immediately by his melodic voice. "Before we start, let me introduce you the band 'The Upright House'!" He turned a little to the band.

"At the drums, Shiroyama Masato!" Kurama, raising an arm, pointed and the audience applauded. The boy had short brown hair and dark brown eyes. He had a sleeveless shirt and jeans. He bowed and gave a little demonstration of his skills.

"At the first guitar, Iwasaki Kohei!" The other boy bowed at the applauding and showed his skills a little too. He had shoulder-length light blue hair and grey eyes. He wore tight black trousers, a white t-shirt and a blue collar-shirt open. He smiled to Kurama, who proceeded.

"At the second guitar, Fujita Saeko!" The girl bowed, showed a little piece of playing and smiled brightly. She had soft pink hair in a high ponytail and dark purple eyes and she wore a corset-like black shirt with pink, transparent, sleeves, a black pleated skirt almost to her knees and pink tights.

"And last but not least, at the keyboard, Maruya Kiomi!" The girl bowed and played a short, complicate, song. Her hair was dark-green, almost black, and reached to her shoulders. Her eyes, however, were bright shade of jade. Competing with Kurama's, but not matching. She had a whole white dress, with green garnish sewing. A white, decorated, tissue-belt indicated her waist, the sleeves were short and the neck was carved in square and she had white lace gloves, with no fingers.

"Now let us finally begin." Kurama said turning to the audience again. He wore a white Chinese-style shirt with 3/4 sleeves with a big red rose on his left shoulder, so that the green leaves reached to his waist and back, and black tight trousers which reached to his calves only, leaving a half of them bare.

"Our song is Kurayami ni Akai Bara (Red rose on the Darkness) - The Romantic Soldier. This song is dedicated to my special one." he ended looking in the gang's direction. Yusuke turned to Keiko and then others but everyone just exchanged questioning looks.

"Hiei, do you know who this 'special one' is?" Yusuke asked looking his direction.

"Why should I know?" he grunted in reply.

"Well, you hang with him the most. I just thought you'd seen the mystery girl." Yusuke shrugged.

"Hn." was all Hiei said then turning away looking annoyed. Then the music started and everyone went silent, listening.

Kurama looked suddenly very serious and faced down his eyes closed. The microphone hang in his right hand at his side. The music played softly around him and filling the whole stage, magnified with electricity. Then Kurama lifted the microphone to his mouth and raised his head a little revealing bright green orbs.

"Saa... samishisa ni... kawaita... tamashii yo (Oh soul, dried up by loneliness)" His solf alto sounded quiet, as if breaking if going any louder, vibrating a little.

"Saa... tatta ima... yuuki wo... sakase! (right now, let courage bloom!)" his voice grew louder and steadier, as if getting more confidence. He raised his eyes too, to look at the audience challengingly. He was in his element.

"Maru de kurai daichi ni saku (just like a red rose)" His voice was now strong and he took a step forward to make his point.

"Akai bara no you ni sa (blooming in the dark earth)" He raised his arm slowly palm up and started to tap his left foot along the music.

"Daremo ga. jibun to. tatakau soldier (Everyone is a soldier, fighting with themselves)" he sang the chorus, pressing his palm at his chest.

"Kurushimi. fumikoe. ashita wo sagasu (Overcoming suffering, looking for tomorrow)" he made a fist in emotion and strangely to Yusuke, it seemed that he looked at Hiei. : : Well the song is quite fitting for him.. : :

"Soldier of love" he extended his hand again while his alto went down, finally clearly affirming his sex. That was the only giveaway.

"Che. English again. Thought the 'rose whip' would've been enough." Kuwabara mumbled but was soon hushed by four women.

"You too Yukina-chan...?" Kuwabara asked in despair.

"I just want to hear. We will talk after, ne, Kazuma-san?" Yukina suggested quietly smiling. Kuwabara nodded promptly, smiling too.

"Aa.. nemurazu-ni. nayanda. yoake ni. (Out of the sleepless, worried dawn,)" his alto was again restrained.

"Aa.. umareta-yo. atarashii jibun (a new me has been born.)" At the 'me' (jibun) Kurama placed his palm again on his chest.

"Kurayami kara. noboru asahi (The morning sun rising out of the darkness)" his hand raised again to show the world.

"Ore-no mune-ni. hirogaru (unfolds in my heart)" his hand went to a fist next his heart and Kurama looked somewhere distant. Then the chorus started again.

"Anata-wo. mamotte. tatakau soldier (I'm a soldier fighting to protect you)" Again strangely Kurama's intense look was pointed to them with his extended hand. : : Who is he singing to? : : Yusuke pondered wanting to know.

"Ai koso. kiseki wo. umidasu chikara (Love is the power to give birth to miracles)" Kurama looked really determinant.

"Soldier of love" he closed his eyes but opened them again and moved away. Iwasaki Kohei came to the front to make an exceptionally difficult play with his guitar enjoying it to the fullest. Kurama looked smiling at him. Then he stepped in front of the boy and he finished his play and went back to his place.

"Daremo ga. jibun to. tatakau soldier (Everyone is a soldier, fighting with themselves)" the guitars were quiet now and Kurama smiled to the audience encouragingly.

"Kurushimi. norikoe. ashita wo tsukame (Overcome suffering and grasp tomorrow)" he looked really hopeful.

"Anata wo. mamotte. tatakau soldier (I'm a soldier fighting to protect you)" he sang face bright, still looking you-know-where and now the guitars were back too.

"Ai koso. kiseki wo. umidasu chikara (Love is the power to give birth to miracles)" It was as if he was convincing this 'special one' about something trough this song. Kurama placed his hand (yet again) to his chest.

"I'm a soldier" his last lyrics went. He sang them strongly and closed his eyes. Then his microphone dropped to his side and he stood motionless with closed eyes.

The music reached its end. Kurama lifted his head and smiled to the audience. Huge applause broke. People even stood up to applause. Yusuke added a little of his own and whistled hard.

The band didn't stay to the end, though. Kurama thanked the audience and they vanished to the back. The announcer-girl, Hiroko, stepped forward applauding also.

"Ladies and gentleman! That was the Upright House! Or course with their new lead singer, Minamino Shuichi!" Greater applause. Hiroko smiled.

"Now then, for the points. What will our respectful judges give to this splendid performance? The scale is from four up to ten points. Therefore the maximum is fifty points!" The girl looked at the first row.

"Now first, Hamamoto-sensei... and his points are... nine!" Most of the audience cheered.

"And next is our Ooka-san... And the points are... Ten!" More cheering.

"What's this? The first band is collecting quite the points!" Hiroko laughed.

"And then our respectable second best student, Yuu-kun!" The announcer took a brake and looked at the spectators. "Do I really have to tell you, why Minamino-san couldn't make it?" She asked winking and tipped her head slightly to her side. The audience laughed a little.

"And Yuu-kun points." Everybody was a little stunned.

"Well... Lets move on! And Koyanagi-kun gives... Eight points!" Cheering.

"And - borrowing Minamino-san - last but not least: Yukodo-chan! And her points are... Ten!" Loud cheering.

"Wow! Two tens! And that makes their points forty-four (44) points in total! Give a big applause for our first contestants!" A big applause.

"And now our second partakers, who are..."

Yusuke and the others made their way to back stage after hearing the results. They looked for a flaming red head which was a dead give-away. Soon enough they founded him surrounded by a swarm of girls. But rather that smiling slightly and being normally polite Yusuke could definitely spot signs of panic of him. : :That's odd.: : he thought, but when got closer he understood.

"Minamino-san! Just tell us; who is she?! We must know! Are you really taken?!" The questions continued, like no ending, all the girls throwing different questions as soon as they came up with them.

"Oi! Kurama! Come here!" Yusuke shouted thinking of saving the fox, but Kurama only shot a look at them before shooing the girls off again. "Kurama!" He tried again, before he felt a nudge in his ribs. Yusuke looked at his side to find Keiko frowning at him.

"It's Shuichi, you baka. Minamino Shuichi." She said. Yusuke blinked and then the information sunk in.

"Oh." He said, finally understanding. The detective turned again to Kurama, but hesitated. What was he supposed to call him? Then he just shrugged. Like it really made any difference in the situation. Kurama probably just wanted to be saved.

"Oi, Shuichi! Get over here!" He yelled. The reaction was memorable. All the girls went silent and turned to them, eyeing them suspiciously. Kurama shot Yusuke a thankful glance and started to make farewells, against the girls' protests and hasty questions, and finally got rid of them. He walked over to the gang ever-so-gracefully. He gained quite a lot of looks on the way.

"Thank you, Yusuke-kun." The green-eyed beauty said warmly. : :Damn he's beautiful. If I wasn't interested in Keiko, who'd knew. Kurama was a good second. But. He seems to be taken. I wonder who's the lucky bastard?: : Yusuke thought. Aloud he just dismissed the thanks with a wave of his hand, but decided to ask anyway.

"I couldn't help hearing what they were demanding from you. So?" Yusuke left the rest to hang in the air.

"So, what?" Kurama asked with innocent eyes.

"Who are you going out with?!" Yusuke asked back impatiently. The fox demon moved his gaze somewhere in the sky and shifted uncomfortably.

"Well... I don't think I can say that..." He said avoiding the question.

"Of course you can! Now spit it out. Who has finally captured the lonely fox?" Yusuke pushed eagerly. And it seemed that he wasn't only one interested. Keiko looked at Kurama with her eyebrows raised and Kuwabara was with Yukina next to Yusuke and looked expectantly at red head. Yusuke could just picture the others leaning unconsciously closer to hear the answer. When Kurama had studied the land beneath him in an awkward silence awhile, Shizuru came closer.

"Hey no sweat, gorgeous. You don't have to tell if you can't. I think your 'special one' would appreciate it too." She winked at him smiling like she understood something. To their surprise, Kurama blushed slightly and only nodded looking again anywhere but them.

"So, Kurama." Keiko started. "What is all this?" She motioned at the fair and the stage, including to her question all of it. The fox demon smiled and started to explain.

"Well, our class thought of it and dragged me into it too. They made an offer that I couldn't refuse." He smiled, explaining shortly. They raised eyebrows at the statement.

"Offer?" Yusuke, Kuwabara, Keiko, Botan and Shizuru asked in unison.

"They promised to leave me alone for a whole year." Kurama said smiling still. "The girls will just stay away from me and the boys wont be asking me in any of the club activities or anything. Just leaving me alone." He ended.

"Well," Yusuke started slowly. "I guess that's a good bargain. Taking your popularity in account. I wouldn't be doing anything with a promise like that. Everybody are already avoiding me. After being dead and resurrected, I pretty much lost all the 'fans' I ever had." He grinned. They laughed about it. I really wasn't any surprise. Being the schools delinquent didn't help either.

"Shuu dear, here you are." Said a frail woman's voice. They turned to look at a kind looking brown haired woman accompanied by a man with glasses and a brown haired boy.

"Mother." Kurama smiled to the woman and embraced her. "I'm glad you could make it."

"Nonsense, Shuichi-kun. Of course we'll come to watch your performance." The man, Mr. Hatanaka said.

"Thank you, otousan." Kurama said warmly.

"So these are all your friends, Shuu-kun?" Kurama's mother, Shiori, asked looking at the gang inquiringly.

"Yes, mother. They are."

"Ah! Hello Hiei-san. You are here too." Shiori breathed happily. All eyes turned to the fire demon questioning. : :Shiori knew Hiei?!: : Yusuke thought. Surprisingly Hiei looked rather embarrassed and really cute, searching the ground with his gaze.

"Hello, Mrs. Hatanaka." He said quietly. The gang was having a heart-attack at the politeness in his voice. Well, except Kurama.

"We would like to have you dinner again sometime, if you can make it, Hiei." Shiori continued. The koorime looked really lost and absolutely adorable. The usual frown had disappeared and he looked at her with wide-eyes, not knowing what to say.

"I'm sure Hiei will join us dinner soon again, mother. But lets have him think about it, okay?" Kurama talked in.

"Sure, Shuu-kun." She answered. "Anytime you want, Hiei-san." She continued to the spiky haired boy. The she turned to Yusuke.

"Your name was Yusuke, right?" She asked. The boy only nodded in answer. "Well, thank you for coming to see me in the hospital. It was very nice of you."

Yusuke was lost awhile. Hospital? Ah, right. When Kurama invited him there to show the reason for using the Ankokukyo and saved his mother from that illness. And would've died if Yusuke hadn't interfered. The understanding spread across his face.

"Oh, it was nothing. I enjoyed to see more of Kura- Shuichi's life. It was really nice to meet you. I'm glad you're well now." He tired to be polite the best he could. The he remembered to add: "And this is my girlfriend, Keiko." Shiori smiled to them the same warm smile that could often see in Kurama's lips. The resemblance was remarkable.

"May I introduce you to the rest as well?" Kurama asked her mother and, without really expecting an answer, started to point out his friends.

"This is Kuwabara Kazuma-san. He came to your wedding, remember?" He said. Shiori smiled and nodded. Kuwabara grinned goofily and nodded too, muttering something like. "Nice to meet you."

"This is Kuwabara's big sister, Shizuru-san." The fox continued. The women nodded to each other.

"This is Yukina-san. She is... um..." Kurama staggered off. How does he introduces her? Not as Hiei's sister, surely? : :Ah, Hiei will kill me for this. But that's a problem then.: :

"Kuwabara's girlfriend." he finally continued and didn't dare to look at the fire demon's direction. He could, though, feel the hot anger emitting from him. Kuwabara, on the other hand, looked utterly pleased with him self.

"Yoroshiku onegaishimasu." Yukina's sweet voice said and she bowed deep. Shiori looked pleasantly surprised and bowed too in answer. Though, she only said "Yoroshiku."

"Well, the rest you-" Kurama started, but saw Botan's angry face. He sweatdropped.

"And this is Botan. She is... well... Yusuke's friend." that's the better he could think of, considering the options. The truth didn't do and if she was introduced as his friend, the consequences terrified him, as he would have to explain over and over again to his mother that she wasn't his girlfriend. Yusuke's friend was safer.

"Well, it is very nice to meet you all, since Shuichi hardly ever brings anyone home."


"Well, you don't. And you know it. You really should show to your friends our house, sometime. I could even get out of the way." Shiori offered.

"That is very nice of you, mother, but I'm sure -"

"Sure we'll come!" Yusuke suddenly shouted. "Ne, minna? Let's go see where Kurama lives!" he continued looking everybody.

"It's Shuichi!" Keiko hissed to the reckless boy and nudged him hard on the ribs. Yusuke just looked puzzled.

"It would be nice to come, sometime. Thank you, Mrs. Hatanaka." Shizuru said in and Shiori's confused face melted into a smile.

"Yes, please do. I would really like that."

"So, you don't know this mystery date either, huh?" Shizuru asked leaning to her.

"No, Shuu-kun hasn't told me anything. I didn't even know he had one, before now." Shiori said just as confidentially back. But it wasn't like everybody else didn't hear. So all the eyes landed on Kurama, who smiled uncomfortably.

"M-mother, shouldn't you be going already?" The red head asked nervously trying to change the subject.

"Aww... That's a little cold, Shuichi-kun." Kuwabara said and came to stand next to Kurama.

"Why don't you tell us who's the lucky girl?" He continued and took Kurama in a head-lock and mussed his red locks in a terrible mess while the fox tried to unleash himself, gagging. Shiori laughed a little behind her hand. She hardly ever got to see her son so happy. And these friends of his seemed to bring more sides from him. First she was a little worried at the messed-up group but now seeing her son struggling against that tall boy, arguing with him and blushing in the end, made her feel more at ease. Her son had truly found nice people around him. They even had a nickname for him.

"Well, I really do must go. I have to make dinner, yet, so you just have fun by your selves a little longer." Shiori said. They turned to her, Kurama still trying to get his hair in place.

"You are all welcome to come by any day you want. It was pleasure to meet so many Shuu-kun's friends. You better bring them by someday, Shuu dear." She half-jokily threatened. Kurama smiled and embraced his mother.

"Sure thing, mom." He said and let go.

"Bye, then!" Shiori waved.

"Bye, bye!" They all said and the girls waived as she walked away with her husband and son.

"You have a really nice mother, Kurama-kun"

"Thank you, Keiko. I think so too." Kurama answered smiling warmly after his mother.

"So what are we doing next then, Kurama?" Yusuke asked his hands behind his head waiting for action.

"What would you like to do?" the green-eyed beauty answered, but then seemed to realize something. "How about we get some ice-cream?"

They looked at him then at each others. It was a weird proposition, so suddenly, but...

"Yea." Yusuke said. "Why not." He shrugged. They made their way to a close ice-cream cart and picked one each. Yusuke got chocolate, Keiko strawberry, Kuwabara rum-raisin, Yukina plain vanilla, Shizuru liquorice, Botan mango-melon and Hiei mint-chocolate. But when they were all enjoying their cones, they noticed.

"Didn't you want ice-cream, Kurama?" Keiko suddenly asked.

"It's okay. I don't like sweets that much, so I'll pass this time." Kurama explained smiling. They just studied his cheerful appearance suspiciously. Yukina missed the others distrust, though, thinking that the reason was a good one.

"You really sing beautifully, Kurama-san." She smiled to him.

"Well, thank you very much, Yukina." The fox-spirited man smiled widely.

"Show-off." Said a quiet voice, but was hard to miss due to it's deepness.

"What did you say Hiei?" Kurama asked sounding dangerous.

"Show-off." He said more clearly.

"Singing isn't that easy, you know. And we got 44 points of 50, which is probably the highest score yet."

"Hn." He snorted. "I could beat you anytime. You got more looks than talent."

"Hiei!" Kurama blushed in anger. "Fine! If your so confident in your self, let me see you sing!" He shot back, really hurt by the accusation.

"Fine." Hiei shrugged. "Anytime, fox. Anytime."

"Fine! Then you enter the band competition too."

"I don't have a band." Hiei responded.

"I think I can help." Keiko said in looking confident. "I've played keys in our music-class -band for years now. I'll do the melody."

"I don't want to miss this. I'm in too!" Yusuke shouted excitedly.

"What can you do?" Keiko asked dismissively looking her boyfriend down her nose.

"For your information, I have had an electric guitar since I was ten!" He shouted back.

"I'm in too!" Kuwabara said suddenly.

"What does the oaf want to say now." Hiei rolled his eyes. Kuwabara glared at him.

"I am so going to see you make a fool of your self." He said gritting his teeth. "But I happen to know how to play the drums, so if you want beat, I'm your man." He said seriously. "And Yukina-san can watch me looking so cool, right, Yukina-san?!" He asked the koorime excitedly. Yukina smiled and nodded affirmative. Kuwabara absolutely shone.

"But I'm not singing alone." Hiei growled at Kurama who arched an eyebrow. "You're coming too. And if we get more points than your band I get your share of the price money. But if we get less..." Hiei said looking dangerous, and obviously said the rest telepathically since Kurama's eyes suddenly widened and he gulped and nodded weakly. But their conversation seemed to last a little longer since Kurama suddenly started to look competitive and determinant. "You're on." He said aloud and nodded.

"Well, then. We have a band! What would be our song, then?" Yusuke asked and rubbed his hands enthusiastically.

"'Wild wind.'" Came the firm answer from Hiei. Yusuke's eyes widened.

"Are you sure?" He asked. "That's a pretty complicated song. We'll be needing another guitar player, a tambourine and some seriously skilled keys."

"Hey! I can play the 'Wild wind'!" Keiko shouted.

"You can? Wow." Her boyfriend was amazed. "Well that's easy then. We'll just need the other player."

"I can ask Iwasaki-kun." Kurama said. They turned to him eyebrows raised.

"He's the one that played in first guitar in our band." He explained.

"And I can play the tambourine." Shizuru offered looking mildly interested. "I'm not deaf, you know." She added at her brother's amazed expression.

"Well, it's settled then. Kurama, you go ask that, what's-his-name, and we'll enter. It's match time!" Yusuke said eagerly.

rebecca: The name of the band… Why, oh, why did I have to come up with a name like that. And the next name… I'm just not even going to start.