Universe: My Boss, My Hero
Character/Pairing/s: Mikio (with mentions of the whole Sakaki family)
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers for the end of the series. Also, OOC and stupidity. But you know. This is me.
Word Count: 1,950
Summary: Mikio is the smart one.
Dedication: UUUUHM, alitabangel? Because while I know you don't like Mikio, your comments made me want to write this.
A/N: I am too tired from work to script today. Will make up extra pages come the weekend. No really. ALSO SORRY FOR THE SCHMOOP I AM LIKE THIS WITH GANGS AND FAMILIES. LOL
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.
Mikio remembered how he used to wish he was dumb.
Because while he agreed that knowing things simply for the sake of knowing things was a joy in its own right, he'd also discovered that sometimes, knowing too much meant getting nothing at all in the long run for all your efforts, save for perhaps, the too-late realization that in the process of hording all the knowledge you could, you'd opened up an unbreachable chasm between you and the people who you'd been trying to impress in the first place.
He got that now, knew that just because he'd studied the rotation of planets around the sun and the composition of everything that made up galaxies light years away in this universe, it didn't mean he would know anything about why tomorrow would dawn and he'd still feel a million cycles removed from the world that was closest to him, the place he lived in. And even though he'd learned seven languages through the course of his studies both at home and abroad, mastering them all well enough to carry on any mildly sophisticated conversation with any stranger, he knew it didn't mean he would have anything to say to his father or his brother over the dinner table tomorrow night, when they didn't understand any of the words coming out of his mouth no matter what language he was speaking to them in.
It was the most painful knowledge he'd ever suffered to obtain.
And while the fact that he and the two people he loved most in this world were miles apart hurt him, he also knew it was just how things had to be. There was simply no changing it.
It was his lot in life, and through the years, he'd come to accept it.
He remembered how, back when he was small, he used to wish he was dumb too.
Because back then, he'd thought that if he was maybe a little bit more like his niisan, then his father would ruffle his hair and laugh with him at those stupid riddles on the back of those kiddie cereal boxes like he did with Makio, thought that maybe his mother would take more than second to peek in on him while he did his homework before running off to chase down his older brother, to sit faithfully at Makio's side and make him stay put for however long it took for him to learn how to write the kanji in his own name.
But when he'd tried to be more like Makio his mother had simply frowned at him and took him aside, looking at the homework he'd brought back with all the red marks on it and saying, "Mikio-chan isn't like this."
He'd been so ashamed of himself when he'd heard her voice break like that that he'd broken down crying and apologized profusely, promising over and over that he'd never do so poorly ever again, lying between sniffles when he said that he'd really just been trying to make Makio-niisan feel better about his grades by doing badly as well.
She'd chuckled a little at him when he'd said that, and he remembered how she'd wiped the tears from his face and told him he'd make himself sick if he kept crying like that, because Mikio-chan was exactly the same as she was and it happened to her all the time when she cried.
"Really?" he'd asked, and kept crying anyway.
She nodded—he still remembered how she'd put her arms around him and hugged him close while they waited out his tears. "You and I are the same and tousan and Makio are the same."
"Tousan's not that stupid," he'd murmured, and earned himself a slightly chastising bop to the head for being snooty.
"You and I don't have strong bodies, Mikio," she'd continued, after a moment, "but even still, we have to take care of those two, okay? In our own way." She tapped his temple, gently.
He'd been young, so he hadn't thought that his brother or his father needed anyone to protect them, because first of all, his father was the head of the Yakuza, and second of all, it was always Makio saving him from the bullies who tried to take his crayons after school, his brother shouting like a big monkey and waving his hands around, declaring that "No one can pick on Mikio but me, you stupid heads!!!" before chasing off the offenders with a sound thrashing and the promise for even worse should they try to wrong his brother ever again.
Reading his thoughts, his mother had chuckled at the expression on his face and rested her chin on top of his head with a little sigh. "I know you think that your brother and your father are invincible, but we're all strong in different ways, Mikio," she'd murmured into his ear. "And because we're family we have to use the different strengths we have to take care of each other."
He supposed that made sense.
"I take care of tousan and he takes care of me. And one day, I hope you and Makio will watch out for each other too."
He still hadn't been able to fathom a thing in this world that Makio would ever need to be saved from, but nodded nonetheless. "Okay."
They got to sit like that for a little while longer, and Mikio thought it was the longest she'd ever stayed at his side doing nothing.
After a few more minutes she hugged him tighter and apologized to him, for always spending so much time with Makio. "You're such a good boy… you must be lonely, my love."
He'd stopped crying by then, just when it looked like she was about to start. He didn't want her to get sick again—that was always scary—so quickly, he'd told her, "No, I'm okay," and promised himself that he'd do just like his mother asked—he would be him and let Makio be Makio, because they were strong in different ways, and even if he didn't quite understand it, he'd do it anyway so long as kaasan promised not to cry.
He didn't want her to get sick anymore— ever again— because they were the same, and he knew how miserable it was to always feel weak.
"You're a good boy," she told him, and just as she seemed like she was going to stay with him until he fell asleep, a crash and a shout from outside—Makio—made her stand immediately, made her go to the door.
Mikio remembered watching her go and telling himself that he and Makio were different.
From then on his fate was sealed it seemed, and he got straight A's all the time in every subject except PE, which he just got a "Pass" for because his doctor's notes let him sit out on all the games. He even skipped a grade because he was so smart, and by the time he started the fourth grade he'd won so many awards there wasn't enough space on his bedroom wall for them all.
In the meantime, Makio beat up a bunch of highschoolers while he was still in middle school on afternoon and everyone in the gang was so happy about it they threw him a big party that Mikio didn't get to go to because it was during the winter and he was supposed to stay in his room and rest so he didn't catch cold.
He watched the party in the courtyard from the window instead—a book in his lap—and thought everyone looked like they were having fun together. Niisan especially.
After their mother died there was no one left to hang his awards on the wall for him, so Mikio just put them under his bed after that and told himself—as he studied alone at his desk at night—that Makio was like tousan and he was like kaasan and now that she was gone, he'd just have to take care of tousan and niisan both.
Even if it was even more lonely than before.
And even though he sometimes wished he was dumb too, just so that tousan would pick him up and set him in his lap and try and teach him the difference between "dai" and "inu" like he did with Makio.
But that wasn't who he was, and the thought of his mother crying in heaven was enough to make Mikio tell himself that he had to be smart for the sake of the family. Because family used the different strengths they'd been given to take care of each other.
And so he and his brother grew up and grew apart, because Mikio studied hard and Makio fought hard and their two paths never seemed to intersect. In the meantime their father took great pains to shape Makio into the next leader of the gang and Mikio was left to his own devices yet again, to do whatever he wanted, because he was the smart one and his options were limitless. He didn't need his father's guidance, especially if he had no interest in the Sharp Fang.
It was his own life—his alone.
Even still, Mikio did what he could to protect the family.
Because he was older now, and so he understood what his mother had meant when she'd hugged him that day all those many years ago, wiping the tears from his cheeks and telling him he was strong too.
Niisan was strong and tousan was strong as well, but Mikio was strong in a different way.
And just like Makio had protected him from those bullies when they were little, Mikio stepped up to the plate now that they were older, because it was his turn and as far as he was concerned, the sentiments were still the same. No one could pick on his brother but him.
The way he fought the bullies that they faced today was just a tiny bit different from his brother's methods back in grade school maybe, and admittedly, his way took a little while longer (about six months, to be more specific) before it showed any real results.
But the sentiment was the same. Mikio always did whatever he could—used what strengths he had—to protect his family.
So, after a brief conversation with his father following the day of the Kumada attack on St. Agnes High School and his brother's subsequent incarceration, Mikio made a few important phone calls.
It wasn't the same as a direct punch to the bastards' faces maybe, but Mikio didn't like violence anyway. Never had.
He was always more subtle than Makio.
And— he hoped— a little bit smarter.
Even if that meant he would always be miles apart.
That was just fated to be his burden in life, after all.
And so, about sixth months after the attack—exactly as planned— Mikio found himself (once again) alone and lounging thoughtfully in the plush new offices of his very own start-up business, wondering how the Kumada family would feel once they realized he now—officially— owned a 75 share of all of their combined major assets.
They should be finding out about it right about now, he surmised, and told himself he could always get their reactions over the phone firsthand when they inevitably called.
In the meantime, Mikio hoped his mother was happy from her place in heaven as she looked down on those she'd left behind, and promised her that he would use all his strengths to take care of niisan and tousan as best as he could.
Because that was what family did.