On another note, credit goes to my sister for the professor's name. Thanks a lot, sis!
High School? But I'm an Alien!
Straightening out a few imaginary wrinkles in Radditz's shirt, Chi-Chi sighed happily. "You look really handsome in those clothes, Radditz. Why, I bet that you'll have to beat the girls off with a stick! If only you'd let me cut your hair..." she trailed off longingly, fingering a lock of his spiky black hair.
"No, thank you," Radditz muttered sourly, deftly snatching his hair away from his sister-in-law. "I like my hair just the way it is, so hands off!" Dressed in a neatly pressed, white button up shirt that sported the school badge, black slacks, and shiny black shoes, the Saiyan male looked the spitting image of what every mother wished their teenage son looked like on the first day of school. Except, of course, for the hair.
"But it's so long!" protested Chi-Chi, despite the fact that they'd already had this argument. "It makes you look like some kind of juvenile delinquent!"
"Mom, it's a little late to be worrying about Radditz's hair." Resting one hand on his mother's shoulder, Gohan held out his other wrist so his mother could read the time on the watch he was wearing. "School's about to start and he needs to get to class." He and Chi-Chi had accompanied the young teen on his way to school to make sure he didn't get lost and that everything went smoothly. Looking his mother in the eye, Gohan pointedly added, "You wouldn't want him to be late, would you?"
"Of course not!" Chi-Chi fumed. "It's the first day of school! He needs to make a good impression on his teachers, Gohan. How could you even think such a thing?! Radditz, you get into that school right now, young man! And Gohan, you go with him to make sure he finds his classroom."
Radditz suppressed an amused smile at the skill with which his nephew manipulated Chi-Chi into ending her last minute fussing. "Yes, ma'am," he sighed, adjusting the shoulder strap on his book bag. He didn't really feel like fighting with Chi-Chi today, despite the fact that he didn't appreciate being ordered around like some stupid chibi. It just wasn't worth it, especially when going into the school meant that he would be getting away from her that much sooner.
"Don't worry," said Gohan as he led his young uncle into Orange Star High, weaving in and out of the horde of students who were all heading to advisory. "It's not so bad once you get used to it." He paused to check one of the several lists posted on the walls that sorted students into rooms alphabetically by their surname. "Let's see... Son... Son... Here we go. Tenth grade, Q through T, room 215. That'll be on the second floor."
Son Radditz. Since Saiyans didn't have surnames, Chi-Chi had decided that Radditz and Bardock that it was only logical that they share Goku's family name. Radditz shook his head. It felt weird having two names when, for all his life, just one was sufficient. "Yeah, yeah. Let's just get on with it," he grumbled, following the demi-Saiyan up the nearest flight of stairs.
By the time they reached the classroom Radditz was supposed to go to, his ears were ringing from the noise created by hundreds of chattering teenagers thundering through the halls. Don't any of these baka ningen know how to walk quietly?! Rubbing his poor, sensitive ears, the irritated teen paused outside the door to room 215 to peer warily into the classroom. Gohan had explained that advisory wasn't actually a real class, just the place where students would receive their schedules so they'd know which class they were supposed to be in. He probably wouldn't see most of these students again, but there was still a chance that some of then would be his classmates for the rest of the year. Seeing the crowd of gangly, pimple faced, loud mouthed teenagers, Radditz couldn't help but make a disgusted face. Kami, I'm going to have to go to school with these whey faced whelps?
"Now remember, Radditz," Gohan said in a low voice, pulling his uncle aside into a relatively isolated spot. "Try to keep your power in check. I know it's hard, but you really don't want to cause a panic or draw too much attention to yourself. Remember that humans can't jump more than a few feet into the air, they can't fly, they can't use ki, and they can't hit much harder than a Saiyan toddler. At least, that's what Vegeta says, anyway. I wouldn't know, since the only Saiyan babies I've ever met were Trunks, Goten, and Bra, and they're not exactly typical kids."
"I know, I know!" Radditz growled impatiently. "We went over this at least half a dozen times already!" Folding his arms across his chest, the teenage Saiyan scowled in the direction of the students in room 215. He didn't much like the idea of having to keep a low profile by pretending to be a pathetic weakling like the rest of his fellow students. So he was strong. So what? He was a proud member of the strongest fighting race in the universe. He was supposed to be strong! It wasn't his problem that most humans were naturally inferior....
Except that it was his problem. Even he had to admit, grudgingly, that he didn't really want to have a bunch of students either screaming in fear every time they saw him or constantly pestering him about his inhuman strength.
Ignoring Radditz's bad attitude, perhaps even empathizing with it to a degree, Gohan smiled encouragingly. "Better go take your seat before the bell rings. Good luck, Uncle Radditz." The nineteen year old Saiyan stuck out his hand.
Radditz sighed, then clasped the hand briefly. "Bye, Gohan," he muttered, not bothering to watch as the other boy walked out of the room. Instead, he took a deep breath and turned to face the tiered rows of desks and chairs filled with boys and girls who didn't seem to know how to shut up. Half of them were standing up talking to old friends, leaning against the desk on the next step up the tier, while others were sitting in their chairs, on the desk, or on the floor. Well, sitting was more of a relative term, since some of the kids had their legs propped up on their desk or were hunched over so they could lay their heads on the table top. A couple of them were even outright snoring. Radditz cracked a smile at that. Obviously, I'm not the only person here who doesn't like getting up early, he thought with an ill concealed yawn.
Shouldering his book bag, the wild maned teen headed for the nearest available seat and plopped down in it. He was tempted to follow the example of the other sleepy students and rest his head on the desk, but the bell chose that moment to go off, killing any ideas he might have had about catching a few more minutes of sleep with a few well timed, annoying, and loud rings. Loud to his ears, anyway. "I could quickly learn to dislike that thing," he growled under his breath, giving the little metal fixture on the side of the wall an evil look.
"If you think that's bad, wait'll you hear the buzzer they use over the P.A. system whenever they want to make announcements to the school," a black haired boy sitting to his left laughed ruefully. "Man, that thing is obnoxious!" The teen thrust his hand out and grabbed Radditz's hand without permission, giving it a hearty shake. "Tape, Scott. I take it you're new to Orange Star High." The kid laughed again, giving the impression that liked to laugh a lot. "You'd have to be, or you'd already be used to the bell."
Radditz quickly disengaged the unsolicited handshake with a grimace of distaste. "Son, Radditz," he muttered, quickly turning to face the front of the room to avoid any more invasions of his personal space. He had no desire to socialize with anyone right now, thank you very much. What the hell is a 'P.A. system'?
"Radish?" Scott chuckled loudly. "That's funny. You don't look like a radish to me!"
A low growl rumbled in the back of Radditz's throat and his eyes flashed dangerously. If he wasn't in the mood to socialize, he certainly wasn't in the mood to have his name mocked!
"Oh, stop teasing him, Scott," a lilting soprano interrupted Radditz's visions of bloody vengeance. Scowling, the fifteen year old alien turned around to see who had spoken. The fact that it turned out to be a pretty blond girl with bright blue eyes didn't lessen the dark expression on his face one bit. From her seat in the next row up the blond leaned over the desk and winked conspiratorially at Radditz. "Don't mind him. He's always like that." She held out a delicate hand for Radditz to shake, only to have the other boy completely ignore the gesture. Seemingly unfazed by his rudeness or by his intense, irritated stare, she sat back in her chair and flashed a dazzling smile. "My name's Rubber, Sementa, but you can call me Sementa."
Though he had absolutely no interest in responding to this girl, Radditz was relieved by her apparent decision to be on a first name basis with him. The practice of referring to people by their family name was, to him, awkward and impractical, especially if more than one person from that family was present or well known. If someone called out "Son" or "Mr. Son" or, heaven forbid, "Son-kun", they could easily be referring to Goku, Gohan, or even Goten! Best encourage the girl to call him by his first name, too. Maybe others would pick up on it and follow suit. "Fine," he grunted. "So long as you call me Radditz."
For some reason, this response caused Sementa's eyes to light up and
a flurry of giggles to erupt from both her and the two girls sitting to
either side of her. Wondering what exactly it was he'd said that was so
funny, Radditz scowled at the trio of teenage girls, then abruptly
turned away with a loud "hmph!" Unfortunately, this only sparked off
another bout of titters and giggling whispers that, for the
most part, were indecipherable, except for the repeated mention of his
name and the letters "Q" and "T"... probably referring to the letters
that had been used to sort this particular group of students. Deciding
that ignoring them was the only way to deal with them, the long haired
Saiyan folded his arms and concentrated on pretending his gaze alone
could burn holes into the blackboard in front of him.
"Good morning, students," the aged teacher wheezed, then abruptly broke out in an alarming fit of coughing that had Radditz convinced that they'd be burying him before the end of the day. "Sorry about that," he apologized. "Allergies." One hand dipped into a pocket in his brown tweed coat and retrieved a white cloth which he used to wipe his nose. Before Radditz had a chance to wonder what "allergies" meant, the old man continued. "My name is Professor Gerry Atric. I apologize for being late. These old bones of mine don't handle stairs as well as they used to. Now then, before we get on with advisory, I will call role. When I call your name, you will answer by either saying 'here' or 'present'. And do not mumble. Just because I have an expensive piece of technology in my ear," he tapped his ear, "doesn't mean I will either understand or tolerate unclear speech. Quest, Chun?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm here."
"Over here!" the bubbly girl announced with a happy little wave to the teacher. To Radditz's surprise and horror, the old man actually blushed! Fossils that old shouldn't have any hormones left worth speaking of! At least... he thought that was the case. He hadn't ever actually met someone as old as Professor Atric before, after all. What was he, two hundred, three hundred years old? How long did it take to lose all the color in your hair and get that many wrinkles? For that matter, how did a person live that long without being killed? With an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach, Radditz realized that this man must be a very great warrior, despite his seeming infirmity. He would need to keep a close eye on this Professor Gerry Atric. Resolving to watch his step around this elderly teacher and do his best to remain in his good graces, Radditz turned his attention back to what the decrepit man was saying just in time to hear Professor Atric call out his name.
Much to his annoyance, Scott Tape leaned over and nudged him in the side with his elbow. "That's your cue, Son," the other boy whispered with a grin and a wink. Radditz glared back. Every time Scott opened his mouth he managed to drop Radditz's opinion of him lower and lower. If he had his way, no one would call him "Son". Besides which, the annoying teen didn't seem to know how to stay out of people's personal space, and it was becoming more and more tempting to... return the favor. With interest.
"Is Son, Radditz here?" the teacher asked, interrupting Radditz's train of thought.
The Saiyan teen shot off one more warning glare at Scott, then calmly raised his hand. "I'm here."
Professor Atric adjusted the pair of glasses that were perched on his nose, then focused his rheumy eyes on Radditz. "Ah, yes, there you are." The pencil in his hand darted quickly across the piece of paper in his other hand, no doubt to make a mark next to the Saiyan's name to note his presence. "Sors, Dulsiz?"
"Just Siz, please," came a meek reply from somewhere in the back of the room.
The professor made a mark on his sheet, but otherwise ignored her request and moved on to the next name. There were only a few names left, including Strait, Tedge, who apparently hadn't bothered to come to school today, Tape, Scott, who laughed when he said "I'm here!", and Text, Latina, whose nose remained firmly planted in the book she was reading, simply raising one hand to indicate that she was present. Reaching the end of the list of students, Professor Atric placed a final mark on the sheet of paper with his stubby pencil, then set the attendance chart down on the desk.
"Right, then," he began, allowing his watery eyes to travel around the room, resting only briefly on each student. "Most of you probably know the drill, as this is your second year at this high school, but there's usually at least one person who has never attended Orange Star High before, for whatever reasons. For starters, this is only an advisory period. You will not be coming here on a regular basis, but only on days when special announcements or instructions need to be given, such as your class schedules." Another bout of wheezing coughs wracked his frail body, making Radditz's eyes widen with alarm. Was this it? Was Professor Atric about to die? "Blasted allergies," Professor Atric muttered, too quietly for anyone to hear him unless they had a Saiyan's acute sense of hearing, then quickly straightened as much as his stooped frame would allow. Apparently Professor Gerry Atric wasn't quite as on the verge of death as Radditz had first believed. The old man broke out in another fit of coughing-
-then cleared his throat and reached for a brown packet lying on his desk, seemingly oblivious to his approaching hour death. "When I call your name, please come up and get your schedule."
Once again, the aged professor started calling out names, leaving Radditz to puzzle over why he hadn't handed out the schedules the first time he called their names. One by one the students made their way up to the front of the room, where Professor Atric handed them a sheet of paper, then returned to their seats. When Radditz's turn came, he stood up and approached the white haired man at a respectful pace, still determined not to do anything to raise this man's ire. Taking the proffered schedule from the teacher's unsteady hand, the Saiyan teen bowed deeply before walking back to his seat. Although he didn't see the startled expression on Professor Atric's face, he did hear the snickers that came from several of the students. What was so funny?
"Brown noser," one boy whispered loudly, eliciting a few more snickers from several nearby kids.
What? Confused by the comment, Radditz quickly rubbed his nose and examined his finger for evidence of dirt, which only seemed to increase the laughter coming from the teens. Sensing that he was being made the butt of some inside joke, Radditz scowled at the offending teenagers. "My nose is not brown," he declared fiercely.
Apparently this response was too much for them to handle, because they promptly burst out in laughter. There were even a few chuckles from some of the other students who hadn't laughed earlier at Radditz's bow. "Yeah, maybe it's not now, but if you keep kissing people's butts it won't stay that way for long!" another boy jeered. Radditz's face flushed with an uncomfortable mixture of anger and embarrassment.
"Son, Radditz, stop clowning around and return to your seat at once!" Professor Atric barked sharply, snapping Radditz out of his thoughts of killing or severely maiming his mocking classmates. It was only respect for the venerable old professor (and maybe a little fear of the consequences of disobeying) that kept the Saiyan boy from acting on those impulses. Instead, he glared darkly at the other teenagers, then quickly sat down at his desk. He could contemplate their bloody murder after school.
"Good one, Son!" Scott whispered upon Radditz's return, clapping the other boy heartily on the back... or on his hair, since Radditz's long spiky mane pretty much covered his whole back. He made a poor attempt to hush his laughter so as not to attract the teacher's attention, but even at the reduced volume it still grated on Radditz's nerves. "'My nose is not brown,'" he chortled, doing a fairly good impression of Radditz's voice. "I'll have to remember that one."
"Just. Shut. Up," Radditz growled. He was not in the mood to put up with any more of Scott Tape's annoying attempts at conversation.
With a twinkle in his eye, Scott nodded sagaciously and said, "Right. Gotta keep it down for the prof. We can talk about it after advisory."
Apparently this guy didn't know how to take a hint. Radditz had absolutely no intention of talking to Scott after class, or after school, or ever again in his whole life, if he had anything to say about it! In fact, the only interaction Radditz was even considering having with Scott at this point was extremely physical and guaranteed to permanently end the problem of the other boy's constant pestering.
"You all have your schedules," Professor Atric started speaking again after passing out all the schedules. "Once the bell rings, you're free to go. You'll have ten minutes to find your classroom, but I'd suggest you go straight there to avoid being late. Your teachers are likely to be lenient, seeing as it's the first day, but don't count on that being the case for the rest of the year. For now, you're welcome to sit and talk to your friends, so long as you keep it down." With what looked like an expression of relief, the frail old man sat down behind his desk, the joints of his bones making audible noises that made Radditz wince.
Someone abruptly snatched his schedule out of his hand, causing Raddit'z head to whip around to find the perpetrator. He growled when his eyes landed on the person holding his schedule. Scott Tape again! "Give that back!"
"Sweet!" Scott exclaimed excitedly, shoving both Radditz's schedule and his own practically into the Saiyan teen's face. "Look, Son! We have exactly the same schedule! Isn't that great?!"
Just a reminder that almost everything in this story is solely from Radditz's point of view. The motives he perceives people to have may not necessarily be their real motives. Interpretations of appearances and actions are severely skewed and biased.
My biggest problem while writing this chapter was the fact that I would have to use Original Characters. I do not like stories with prominent original characters, mostly because those OCs tend to be poorly written and start taking over the main character's role in the story. I particularly dislike OCs who become romantic interests! They are almost ALWAYS badly characterized, thinly veiled author inserts. When I first started writing Sementa's character, I realized I had a big problem on my hand. By virtue of her character type and description, she seems like the perfect Mary Sue. I hate Mary Sues. And besides which, Sementa isn't supposed to be anything like one, anyway. So I ended up having to spend quite a bit of time and thought figuring out ways to subtly indicate to the audience that she was not going to be one, that she was merely a pretty, slightly ditzy blonde. I sincerely hope I succeeded.
Now, if you all would be so kind as to review... ^_^