|Out of the Ordinary
Author: Eruanna17 PM
Sawada Shin was tired. Tired of the same kinds of teachers, the same kinds of adults, pretending they care. This new teacher with her glasses and pigtails was just the same. Although, something about her seems...odd. Different. Could she...? Nah. Never.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Shin & Yankumi/Kumiko - Chapters: 17 - Words: 113,404 - Reviews: 104 - Favs: 135 - Follows: 54 - Updated: 04-20-12 - Published: 12-02-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7603875
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello! So, this is my first story on FF, and it's based on the first season of the Japanese drama version of Gokusen. A few explanations:
- If you don't know, the Japanese way to announce names is last name first, then first name. (So Shin and Kumiko are first names, Sawada and Yamaguchi are last names.
- Sawatari Goro is the Vice Principal of the school, which can also be translated as Head Teacher. I switch between both just to keep things lively.
- 'Baka' is usually the first word anyone who watches anime or j-dramas learns because it's said so often. It means 'idiot'. Plus, it's fun to say.
- There's a little bit of swearing, (hence the T rating) but that's mainly in keeping with the characters and quoting the episode.
- If you have any questions let me know. I'll be doing this episode by episode, so expect more!
Also, I don't own any of this. I wouldn't mind owning Matsumoto Jun though. Kimi wa Petto anyone?
Sawada Shin was tired.
It seemed like he was always tired. He'd sleep in, be late to school, which didn't really matter since the only thing he did at school was sleep anyways. At times of deep introspection, which were few, since looking back on his life and into his own psyche wasn't pleasant, Shin knew that he wasn't just tired, he was weary. World weary. He wasn't tired because he didn't sleep enough, he was tired of the teachers, of the school, of the adults, of his parents.
All adults are awful. Nice alliteration, he silently congratulated himself as he wandered into the school assembly. All eyes turned to him, and he stretched and yawned to show that he didn't care about the judgment and disgust from old teachers and students, and was basking in the curiosity of the few new ones. Speaking of the new ones, was that teacher onstage wearing a track suit?
Weird, he thought to himself, strolling through the path the other students made for him. When he reached Kuma, Uchi, and the others, he lazily spared the new teacher a single look. Dorky was his first impression. Naïve was his second. From her pigtails and glasses to her red jerseys, this teacher declared that she had no clue what she was in for. Shin snorted a little, then ignored her.
Later in class, his suspicions were confirmed. She walked in with an absurd amount of enthusiasm, which made Shin even more tired just to watch. Obviously she had some ridiculous notion of how this would be the best year ever, and she would be the best teacher ever, and they would be the best class ever. When she shouted for quiet, Shin raised his head to see how she reacted to Kuma letting her know that their conversations were more important that her 'reintroduction'. Although she seemed unmoved by his threat to 'mess her up', Shin was sure she'd catch on to the fact that she would never have control in this classroom. He rolled his eyes from his desk in the back and tried to go back to sleep. He could hear the chalk on the board as she announced her name (Yamiguchi Kumiko – Dorky, Shin thought), her age (23 – Totally clueless), and that she was single (Why would we care?).
From the familiar rustling sound, his classmates were lobbing spitballs and paper airplanes at her, giving her the traditional 3-D welcome. Shin also knew how this would turn out. The same, tired old reactions. The worthless teachers would shout and scream and threaten them with detention or insult them by saying they would never succeed in life unless they listened up. The clueless teachers would beg and plead and also tell them that unless they listened, they wouldn't succeed in life. His classmates would ignore them and increase the torment until the worthless teachers stormed out shouting or the clueless ones ran out crying.
He raised his head to see if this one had started crying yet. It was then he saw Kuma wind up to throw a baseball at her. Before he could yell out, warn Kuma that physically hurting a teacher would get them all in trouble, or warn the teacher (not that he cared about her personally, she was a teacher after all, but having her dreams shattered by a concussion would probably not work out in their favor either), Kuma launched the ball straight at the woman's head. Shin waited for the sickening thunk, for the crying or screaming, and instead saw the teacher pause, put her hand up, and catch the hurling ball without looking away from the chalkboard. 3-D then experienced a rare moment of complete silence, as everyone stared at her in shock, surprise, and amazement. She turned around slowly, and Shin saw the unexpected steel in her eyes as she stared at the students, like she had dealt with potential violence and insubordination before, and was getting ready to snap out some punishment.
Then, almost like a switch, her eyes widened, her face got clueless again, and she spoke in a high, girlish voice.
"Oh my!" She squeaked, "This is a baseball! That's kind of dangerous! Let's not do things like that, kay?" Then turned back to the board and continued as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
All Shin could do was stare. This was…new. Different. Unexpected. Then he shook his head. It was just a fluke. A coincidence. She was exactly the same as all the other clueless teachers that had shown up. She would pretend to be nice, then as soon as she saw that 3-D was hopeless, she'd give up, just like everyone else. All it would take was time, he said to himself.
And yet, when the other guys were taking bets on her never coming back, he passed. He didn't bet on stupid things anyway, but he had a feeling she wasn't scared off. Probably too ridiculously enthusiastic to realize the futility of it all.
He was tempted to collect bets from his friends when she walked in the next day and started blathering about the value of x. The only weird thing she did that day was talk like some scary yakuza from a movie, demanding that they all listen "cuz it's common courtesy!". He wondered if she had got that from a book or something. "How to Gain Respect From Bad Students By Talking Like a Mob Boss". He snorted, then glanced at his watch and saw it was two minutes till lunch. He stood up, stretched and left, ignoring the cries of "Hey, we're in the middle of class!" Baka. What teacher didn't count down the minutes until their time with 3-D was over?
"Hey wait! Um, Sawada-kun." Great. She knew his name now. She stared at him expectantly. He rolled his head towards her, pointed at his watch, listened for the bell, and walked away. No point in wasting words on a teacher.
When she walked onto the roof and 'asked' them if they knew what happened to the Head Teacher's money, Sawada was back in familiar territory. Money was missing and everyone immediately suspected them. Time to set some things straight with the new teacher.
"So you suspect us of stealing it?"
"Oh, no, I didn't mean that. Perhaps someone you guys know…"
Before Kuma could do anything rash, Shin told her "Even if we knew, we wouldn't sell him out."
She smiled tightly, apologized, and turned to leave.
Yeah, you better run. He thought at her. But then, she turned back, and without a hint of fear, asked for the 500 yen each they owed the delivery kid. Even when the guys advanced and shouted at her, she just stuck out her hand toward Uchi and asked for the money again. Uchi took out the coin and dropped it, daring her to pick it up.
"Don't throw your parents' hard earned money around!" The steel in her eyes and voice had returned, making the surrounding guys take an involuntary step back. Shin stared in disbelief as she somehow convinced everyone to give her the money and skipped off like she hadn't just cowed a group of high school kids with just her voice.
From then on, they couldn't get rid of her. The next day, she showed up, grinning like an idiot, plopped herself down in the middle of their lunch, and starting chatting away like she was best friends with all of them. Shin decided to ignore her. Even when the Head Teacher showed up, dragged Kuma off, and accused him of stealing and lying, she still followed them and pretended like she cared. Like she believed them. He realized that she had probably only eaten lunch with them to try and find out who was guilty.
"You pretend to be nice and play dirty tricks." Shin sneered at her. "You adults." He spat the word out.
"We won't be fooled anymore." He took Kuma and went to find the rest of the guys, leaving clueless teacher behind. Maybe he should classify her as worthless teacher now, since she finally fit back into the categories Shin was used to. He didn't like how there were only those two kinds of teachers, but at least they were predictable.
Which is why he was so irritated and shocked to find her sloshing through the river after school, for all the world like she actually believed Kuma. By the look on Kuma's face, he had obviously told her that the bag was in the river somewhere, and was feeling guilty that she believed him. Shin seized on the thought. This was probably another trick. Another way to make Kuma confess and prove that students were trash and teachers were always right. He knew it was a stretch to jump from one conclusion to the next, but he had been betrayed, fooled, and tricked too many times to start trusting adults now.
So he called Kuma and went in search of distractions. But whether it was pool, karaoke, movies, or even food, he could tell that Kuma was still feeling guilty. He even told Kuma that that teacher, that all teachers, shouldn't be believed. But he wasn't surprised when Kuma snuck out in the early morning and headed for the Sakura River.
Fine, he thought. Let Kuma see that the teacher was just pretending. She's probably miles away in a warm bed right now. No one in their right mind would wander around a river all night anyway.
He followed Kuma at a distance, then stopped in utter disbelief. She was there. She had been there all night. She looked like it anyways, face dirty, clothes soaking wet. When Kuma rushed down, Shin waited for her to guilt him into confessing. Something along the lines of 'Look how miserable I am! I went through this for unworthy you! Admit you lied!'. But all she did was look at him for a moment, then told him to help look for the bag. Then she went back to plowing through the water and picking up junk with a resolute determination.
It wasn't until he heard Kuma shout, "I lied! It was a big fat lie! I stole it," that Shin realized it must have been a trick, because it worked. Kuma confessed, and she would tell Head Teacher, who'd give her a better class and expel the lying trash they all thought 3-D students were. Reward the teacher, punish the kids. Protect the school, get rid of the students. He had seen it in his old school when they kicked him out, in this school with Kurosaki, at home with his father. Sacrifice anything to protect their good name.
Too late, Shin shouted Kuma's name and rushed down.
"What are you saying? Do you know what will happen if you tell these things to a teacher! You'll get kicked out!"
"I know," Kuma murmured.
"You don't know!" He screamed. He could see the consequences. He knew the consequences of getting kicked out of school. Even if Kuma's parents didn't throw him out, it'd probably hurt the restaurant, hurt his parents, hurt his brother and sister. Kuma couldn't graduate, couldn't have a future. Their little group would be broken, make it easier for the others to do things to get expelled too. He could see that future, and he wanted to do anything to protect Kuma from it.
"You believe us, huh? You're our teacher, huh? Don't make me laugh!" His eyes burned as he told her what he had really learned in school. "We don't believe what teachers say. This stupid charade, forcing Kuma to confess, you'll turn him in, won't you? You'll do anything to save the school's reputation, won't you?" He stood, breathing heavily, waiting for her to deny it, to confirm it, to laugh at them, to do something! But all she did was stare at the water.
When she did look up, she looked at Kuma, and spoke as if she hadn't heard Shin at all.
"You really did it?" She asked softly.
"Kuma!" Don't do it Kuma, don't give her what she wants. She's the enemy, remember!
He heard from behind him, just as softly. "Yeah. Head Teacher dropped it near the bathroom. He always picked on us, so I wanted to get back at him."
Shin couldn't take it anymore. He turned away from them and glared at the hillside, trying to think how he could salvage this at all. She was still playing the nice act, too! Asking Kuma to return the money, pretending to believe him when he told her about the guys who beat him up and stole it.
"The money's gone. What're you going to do, huh? Sell him out?" Shin sneered. It was the only thing she could do, to save her own ass.
She jumped right out of Shin's box of expectations with what she said next.
"I'll get the money back."
Kuma and Shin stared. "You ain't got a chance!" Kuma protested.
"I said I'll get it back!" She shouted in her scary mob voice.
"But first," She said quietly, wading towards Kuma, "Let me hit you once."
"Wha-" was all Kuma managed to get out before a resounding punch sent him flying backwards.
Shin openly gaped. He couldn't have moved Kuma that far if he had five other guys and was pushing with both hands. She had sent him back with one blow. Who the hell is she?
"Don't you ever do anything rotten like stealing!" She shouted. "You guys are a disgrace to delinquents! Making fun of teachers is fine, getting in fights is fine, but don't ever do anything cowardly! Be delinquents with pride and dignity!" She sniffed, told them to get to school, then sloshed off.
He couldn't breathe. He couldn't even begin to process what she had told him. It was like they had insulted her personally, like she was the delinquent! Like she didn't mind who they were, but cared about how they… acted. 'With pride and dignity!' she had said. He tried to think why that sounded so strange, then realized why. No adult ever cared why he did things. If he acted with pride and dignity. His father expected him to behave and not make trouble. His teachers expected him to be trouble. And she…wait, where did she go?
Running after her as fast as he could, he tried to think of why he was chasing her. Curiosity, or maybe to warn her that she was insane. The excuse he settled on was that he could call an ambulance when he found her broken body. That vision suddenly made him run faster. Except, when he arrived at the gang's hideout, he found the giant steel door kicked in and all of the hardened criminals piled on the floor, unconscious. It looked like the Hulk had passed through. He looked around, but could see no sign of any pigtails or tracksuits.
Tracksuit. Track. The school! Kuma was getting expelled today if the money wasn't found! He took off towards Shirokin and arrived just as the Head Teacher had denounced Kuma for stealing and was forcing him to apologize for offending everyone and ruining the school's good name. Shin at least knew that the Head Teacher wasn't going to do anything out of the ordinary. He looked around. No pigtails or track suit here either.
"Do the right thing, Kuma." They were like her words, but without her passion behind them. Without anything personal behind them.
When the Assistant Teacher tried to kick the back of Kuma's knees so he would kneel, things had gone far enough. His classmates rushed in from one side and he barreled through the students from the other, heading toward Kuma and the rotten teachers around him. The Head Teacher had just taken refuge on the stage and threatened expulsion for all of them when a steely voice boomed over the noise.
"Don't lay a hand on my students!"
The mob quieted at the sound of protection and strength in her shout. Shin turned and saw her head towards the stage, with no sign of blood or bruises or broken bones. She parted through the mass of students confidently, then paused at the front and held up the yellow bag she was carrying.
"Head Teacher. I found this. It's the money bag you were in charge of, right?" Kuma and Shin glanced at each other, Kuma nodding to confirm it was the bag he had stolen. And it looked full.
"Where did you find this?" Head Teacher Sawatari demanded. Shin furrowed his brows. Here it comes. Sell Kuma out, get a nice little reward for yourself, maybe keep some of the cash and say he spent it. Come on, teacher, I know what you're going to do.
But he was finding that this teacher never did what he predicted.
"I found it in the trash can near the boys' bathroom. See? Everyone makes mistakes!" She then turned to her formerly combative class.
"Ok, let's go! Come on, back in line." Pushing and shoving, she managed to get a general movement towards their side of the gym.
"But, the money..." Kuma started, at a loss as to how she found the bag, how she had gotten the money, about all of it. Shin, just as confused, waited for her to tell Kuma that he owed her now, that if he messed up again, he was out for sure. But no. She said nothing of the sort.
"Shut it." She muttered out of the side of her mouth. "Are you trying to embarrass me?"
And that was it. Like searching in a river all night, and running towards a gang hideout, and recovering 500,000 yen from thugs was what she was expected to do. Like she had wanted to do it. And then she marched up onstage and gave the most ridiculous speech any teacher had made in that gym. Ever.
"3-D may be a hopeless case, but I'm the homeroom teacher of this hopeless case. This must be fate. You guys, I will take care of you to the end!"
Shin started to walk away. All this enthusiasm was making him tired.
"No matter what happens, I'll make sure every one of you graduates!" She declared.
He paused. She made it sound like a challenge. He turned and looked her in the eyes. I accept, he told her silently. You say that now, but you'll give up on us eventually. They all do.
And yet, that night as he lay in bed, a different version of his alliteration came to mind.
Almost all adults are awful.