Disclaimer: I do not own Great Teacher Onizuka, or the characters there in this piece of fan fiction. This is done purely out of love, and I'm making no profit off of it. Woot.

Author's Notes: Here's my big ol' AN - To all Kikuchi/Ai fans out there, you are not alone.

There Was Her

It was funny in a way. He had always thought of himself as an intellectual, and far too above childish things like high school crushes. And, if he did ever decide to fall in love --And make no mistake, he would decide. He would not allow it to just happen-- he'd find some nice, book smart girl who could speak at length about the subtleties of Dicken's work between all its deliberately forced prose, and would not be at a loss as to where the "enter" key was on a computer.

So, maybe his attitude explained why so many of his classmates thought he and Urumi were so perfect together. She was definitely smart. Brilliant, in fact. A woman who could keep him on his toes. She knew exactly how to get what she wanted, but was not so cold as to abuse that fact every chance she got. Most chances, yes, but most girls in their class seemed to have that personality quirk. It came with the territory, he supposed.

And he did enjoy her company. They never were at a loss as to what to say to each other. Conversations flowed easily between them, and he always was appreciative to have someone else not be clueless as to where his train of thought was going. Noburo was a fine friend, but Urumi could understand the nuances of his scholastic outlook.

Still, he just never felt anything more than a warm friendship toward her. Maybe it was because Urumi was so much like him mentally. There was never anything surprising about her. She could never truly do or say anything that would stun him, or make him unprepared. She was, though shining in her own way, completely boring to him. She was sure to be someone else's dream, but to him she was only another girl at the end of the day.

That meant he was still a total bachelor as the weeks went by, which made a surprising amount of girls supremely happy. It left him rather confused, in all honesty. He was a nerd like Noburo, wasn't he? He never really thought of himself that much different, except for being far more confident. Then again, he'd never really cared about other people's opinion of him. He did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, and too bad if people were too slow to follow his lead.

He couldn't see how keeping his face in front of a flat screen computer for most of the day made him so attractive. Then again, he had long ago realized that the female gender was an odd species indeed, and best left alone and unanalyzed. Trying to figure them out would only cause undue stress, and would return only inconclusive data.

Coming toward the end of the school year, new students arrived in their motley crew class. She was one of them. She was a pigtailed demon, with an angel's face, and a roundhouse kick that he could firsthand swear felt like stone crushing your skull. She was scary.

And for a while, the demon named Ai not only kept him on his toes, but made him second guess himself. He could never quite figure out just what she was thinking, or what she was going to do. What would she say to him? Would she put on her sweet facade, or dare to show him her rougher, truer side when no one was around? What could possibly be going on in her mind?

She wasn't smarter than him. No, she obviously had average grades, and didn't seem at all interested in picking up a book unless it was more pictures than words. However, even with this mental handicap, she always seemed to have a one up on him. She was always one step ahead, no matter how hard he tried to keep up.

He decided that she was a different species of female. There were normal women, who were mildly confusing at times, but were in the end easy to figure out as a whole, and generally not worth worrying over. And then, there was her. A woman who was not only greatly confusing at all times, but violent to a degree he never thought capable in a woman, and totally unafraid and unimpressed by his obviously superior intellect.

And then, she went from being scary, to being vulnerable as well. Onizuka had seen to that. He himself learned that her punches and kicks weren't nearly as hard as what he could throw, and his teacher had shown that the girl wasn't nearly as cold as she tried to appear. She was just... Scared, and determined to never show that fear.

She didn't trust easily, that much was obvious, and he was baffled as to why Onizuka had appointed him her new protector. Surely, the teacher this time had made a mistake. Usually Onizuka, through all this foolhardiness, knew what he was doing when it came to his students. But to make him Ai's own personal guardian? It was absurd! He was a genius, but he didn't know how to handle a woman who might complain about... Women things. And she would, and she did. When they were together, and he accidentally said something that made her open up, she'd say things that would make him speechless.

She was never lewd, or deliberately trying to tongue tie him. It was just the way she spoke, the way she thought about the world. She would contemplate things he never thought mattered, but when she said them they suddenly were more important than anything. And the moment she finished speaking of them, their importance died to him. They only had value to him when she spoke of them.

He probably would never understand why she out of all the women he had met made such a lasting impression. What was it about her that made her interesting? Or maybe that was the answer in and of itself. He couldn't figure her out. No matter how hard he tried to learn everything there was to her, there'd be something new to discover. She was an ever evolving enigma that he was mesmerised by. She was certainly anything but boring.

"Hey." There was a slight poke to his skull. "Heeey!"

He turned his face to his assailant, and slowly raised a brow. "Yes?"

The person tilted her head, pig tails bouncing with the motion. "Stop day dreaming, Kikuchi. You said you'd walk me home today."

The brow stayed raised. "I did?"

She frowned deeply. "Yes." It was a dark statement that held no room for arguement. She spun on her heal, flinging her bookbag over her shoulder and nearly hitting him with it. She probably had done that on purpose, he realized. "Let's go."

As she stood there with her back to him, her head tilted in the air with indignation, he noticed that she looked rather cute like that. Not that he would dare tell her. That would only result in some flustered words from her, and a good smack upside his head. Compliments were best given at a safe distance.

He allowed himself a small smile away from her eyes, and picked up his books as he stood. "Fine, then."