Disclaimer: I do not own Gokusen.

The Price of Freedom
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Sometimes Shin didn't want to sleep at night, sometimes he just couldn't. But this selective insomnia, as it were, didn't cause any harm. He could sleep when he was at school. Those idiots he had to call his classmates would never be capable of learning anything more advanced than first-grade level anyway.

At times, when only the silence of the night was around him, Shin wondered whether standing up for his friend had been the right thing to do. He could have graduated from one of Tokyo's most prestigious high schools, now he found himself there, a wolf leading a pack of rather dim hyenas or some other such dumb, carnivorous animal.

Then again, Shin asked himself, what had he ever really cared for academics? He was just naturally bright, getting some of the highest scores in Tokyo without even opening his eyes in class. Of course everyone around him just saw 'daddy's perfect little boy' who was 'studying ever so hard to make his father proud.' It made him want to throw up, it really did.

Yes, he had done the right thing. Only a complete coward would think differently. It was better to punish the liar than to let them punish the innocent, even when the liar in question happened to be a teacher. It made no difference to him.

He laughed then at his doubts. Of course he had done the right thing, even if he had been expelled for it. His father's fury just proved that even further – whatever that bastard thought was wrong, Shin usually thought was right, and it was not so much 'teenage rebellion' as a genuine personality clash, because it had been like that for years. That was why he was so glad when he'd been able to leave them. His family had confined him within their rules for far too long, and he knew that if he'd had to play the part of the Senator's perfect son for even a moment longer he would have just snapped completely. Maybe he would have done something far worse than hit a teacher – kill his father perhaps. Now that would have been something damaging to their family's reputation.

He couldn't have been gladder to escape from that place he had been forced to so falsely call 'home.' It was nothing more than a lavish prison. His apartment was small, sparse and silent: everything his parent's house wasn't, but it meant freedom, it meant home.

It had definitely been the right thing to do. He had saved a friend's reputation, left the school he hated and finally escaped from that prison. The only problem was Shirokin Gakuen and all those utter morons he was stuck with, but he supposed he could just skip class a lot in order to avoid their stupidity rubbing off on him and making his I.Q. drop – about a hundred points off would bring him down to their level, he guessed. Besides he knew he'd come top even without attending third-rate classes with third-rate classmates. There wasn't any point in going to classes when they were trying to learn things he'd known when he started junior high.

Shin finally felt his eyes grow heavy and lay down on his bed as sleep came to him at last. He could rest here now in a way he'd never been able to when he was stuck with his parents. This was freedom: it was exactly what he wanted. And he could sleep now; he could sleep forever. They wouldn't be expecting him to show up for class in the morning anyway.