Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Don't sue me.
Obligatory author's note: Like Broken Shell, this fic was written for the digimonexchange community. The song is Vanessa Carlton's Ordinary Day. Have a good time reading!
"Excuse me, excuse me..."
Just a day,
Just an ordinary day.
Just trying to get by.
There I go again. Somehow squeezing my way through the small typhoon that these school grounds are. Tailmon's already inside, I just know, and on days like this, when I'm barely on schedule, it makes me terribly envious and again I swear that next time I'm going to demand a lift, even thought I know the principal would get my head for doing that. He only allows Tailmon in because she would slip through anyway, and under the express condition that she doesn't get herself noticed in any way. All I can do is excuse myself again as I break up a small gaggle of giggling girls and collide with something else.
I'm sent on by bottom side, papers flying everywhere, and the girls scramble to avoid helping me, which only makes me want to scream as some of the beautiful drawings from art class are swept away with the wind. My face red with anger, I look at the fellow I just ran into, and I immediately calm down when I see the most nondescript face you could imagine.Just a boy,
Just an ordinary boy.
But he was looking to the sky.
You know how every children somehow stands out? This one doesn't. Ever. Average grades, average body built, unnoticeable face or hair, never any amount of fantasy in the uniform. You put him in a row of student and count and there's always one missing. And even though he's in my class and I swore upon becoming a teacher I would never allow myself not to know the name of one of my student, every time I struggle to remember his.
"Da... Daiki-kun!" I exclaim.
And he's there, his arms flailing to catch the flying papers and barely listening to me. There are tears on the corners of his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Yagami-sensei! Really really sorry! I wasn't looking in front of me!"
Even though my instincts (and my cursed hormones; maybe I should ask Mimi about that...) want me to snap at him, I resist. I have no right to pass my irritation on him. I summon a smile from the depths of cheeriness that kept me afloat at his age.
"Oh? What were you looking at then?" I tease him, taking the papers from him while he looks away.
That's when I see the blood. The poor kid's scrapped his knee pretty badly. I grab my purse and his hand, and sets off for the infirmary, the lost papers forgotten. He squeezes hard and tries to slip his hand, moaning in panic, and now I can't repress a giggle.
"Come on! What's the worst Kegano-san can do to you? Disinfectant and a bandage?"
"I was just looking at the sky..." he mutters under is breath.
I give him an uneasy glance. And here I thought he was just trying to look up girls' skirts... We reach the infirmary right in time for the bell chime, prompting me to a curse so mild my students tend to take it for a compliment. And it still makes me blush! I'm not cut for swearing, which, I've got to grant Taichi, is all too bad considering the career path I've chosen.
Wait a minute, I'm forgetting something there... Oh right, class! Cue curse and blush again. I'm on 4th floor, on the other end of the building...And as he asked if I would come along
I started to realize
That everyday he finds
Just what he's looking for,
Like a shooting star he shines.
I'm late, and dishevelled, and the stuff I'm carrying is a complete mess, and class does not start as much as it just... slides into place by sheer entropy. About fifteen minutes into the class, someone knocks at the door and in walks Daiki. Or rather tries to. It's Yui Sakato, the class representative, that gets up to open the door and I can tell she herself could swear this boy is not in this class. So much, in fact, that I have to intervene.
"Come in, Daiki-kun," I greet him.
He walks in, with all the eyes on him. Clearly, very few of them knew him at all, much less his name. And now I know I'll never forget his name. He is the student who came in late and never had a comment about. But thanks to the short distraction, I managed to caught myself together and class can now proceeds (almost) normally. As normally as a class where a large talking cat intercepts notes and threaten bullies back into their place can be, that is.He said take my hand,
Live while you can
Don't you see your dreams lie right in the palm of your hand
The day's over, and I am finally allowed to just slouch down in my chair and give a long, satisfied sigh. Tailmon jumps into my lap and snuggles for a moment. It's sort of my prize for getting through the day without being allowed a moment to do it. Normal people wonder why they do these jobs in the beginning of the day, but I do it at the end, because frankly, sometimes you just wonder if you're really teaching kids anything. Oh, well... At least I don't have as much papers to grade tonight. Maybe I can even call Takeru and Daisuke and we could get out? Karaoke sounds nice...
And then as I get up, I feel a hand on mine and I'm startled out of my wits by this unexpected contact. Papers fly again and rain down on Tailmon, burying her up to her knees.
"So this is what you mean by 'red-tape-tied'," she comments dryly before jumping away.
Daiki's already on his knees and apologizing profusely as he starts collecting the stash of sheets. I grab at his wrist for his attention.
"Stop that. If anybody ought to apologize, it's me. I didn't notice you were still inside the class," I tell him.
"But I startled you twice today! And made you drop your papers and.."
Tailmon interrupts by putting a hand on his shoulder.
"It's always better to make an impression than to never get noticed at all," she reassures him.
I blushes slightly. Another time where she makes me jealous. She has a thing to find the words that fails me. Just another reason why I could never get through a day here without her. My hands crumble a field report from last week's museum visit at the thought. Calm down girl, calm down.
"What did you want to ask me?" I interrupt.And as he spoke, he spoke ordinary words
Although they did not feel
For I felt what I had not felt before
You'd swear those words could heal.
And as I looked up into those eyes
His vision borrows mine.
And I know he's no stranger,
For I feel I've held him for all of time.
"Oh... Err..." he fumbles, blushes and fidgets. "It's that Omura-sensei is sick and can't overlook us for the next trip of the astronomy club. Since you're not supervising any club yourself, I wondered if you could, maybe, substitute? We're pretty much out of options."
Astronomy club? I blinks at this. This is Tokyo, there can't be that much to observe in the sky. Then my brain kicks into gear and I want to slap myself. That's the whole point of the trip, obviously! And then it backtracks: we have an Astronomy club? Daiki must be the youngest member; I never heard about it before. It's not that surprising, though. Some of my students do be members of the cooking and calligraphy clubs, after all, so astronomy is not that big a stretch. What? I'm the last options? I shake my head. Of course I'm a last resort! They'd prefer a teacher they know, or that knows anything about astronomy... A clawed finger pokes me in the leg and I blush deeply upon realizing I'm completely off in my own thoughts.
"Sure, sure! When is that?" I ask.
I notice he's pointedly looking away as I collect myself. Whoever are his parents, I'm sure they are very proud of their son.
"Next Friday. There's a minibus picking up off the school ground at 7pm and bringing us back around 5am on Saturday."
I calculate that in my head.
"Works with me!" I cheer.
Suddenly he bows and I feel like I'm faced with a rejuvenated version of Iori. He also had a knack for throwing people off with sheer politeness.
"Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. I have to go now."
And without even another word he's gone. He's dashed down the hall and his footsteps have vanished into nothingness, leaving me blinking like an idiot.
"Well... That was... Special," Tailmon comments.
"He reminds you of Iori too, right?" I ask her.
"Did he have a child and forgot to tell everyone?"
That makes me giggle.
"So, feel like taking a night for stargazing?"
She just shrugs. She's almost insomniac anyway. I don't press the point.And he said take my hand,
Live while you can
Don't you see your dreams lie right in the palm of your hand
In the palm of your hand.
Please come with me,
See what I see.
Touch the stars for time will not flee.
Time will not flee.
Can you see?
Another day, another class, and I give a deep sigh. Several students got very upset at not getting their drawings back, and for a moment I was worried about what would happen to Daiki, but he seems just okay. Once I spot him, though. I want to slap myself: I couldn't even remember the location of his seat! I practically rush through the matter of the day, because we're a bit late on schedule. Well, that and I want to get to the art bit.
"Today," I tell them, "I want to see something relating to hands."
"You do realize they're all going to go the easy way?" Tailmon whispers to me.
"That's exactly what I'm wondering about," I answer.
Forty-five minutes later, little Mizuki brings me back the sheets and I give them the last five minutes before the chime off as long as they keep silent. Meanwhile, I quickly sift through the drawings. One of them is strange. It's the outline of a hand with palm line marks. They look oddly familiar, but I have no idea where I saw them. Tailmon suddenly looks that way and points.
"Hikari! It's like your hand!"
I blink. It's true, it's very much like my own. The way these lines look somewhat like the kanji for "dream"... It's almost disturbing, actually. I look at the message on the upper side of the page. It reads "Can' wait to see you Friday!"
"Daiki-kun drew this?" I wonder aloud.
Just then the bell chimes and the class rushes outside. despite all my efforts, I can't spot Daiki and I am left before an empty class. My eyes drift back to the drawing. He saw my hand just once and noticed that? Well, now I can't wait to see him Friday either.
"What a special kid..." Tailmon sums up.
"Yeah... Now if he was just a bit more noticeable," I add with a laugh.Just a dream, just an ordinary dream.
As I wake in bed
And the boy, that ordinary boy
Or was it all in my head?
Did he asked if I would come along
It all seemed so real.
Finally! Friday! I can't believe how fast today went. I barely stop at home to dump all my stuff before heading back to the school. Actually, I am in such a hurry that I almost forget the bag I prepared. First aid kit, a travel pillow and cover, a bento box and all the necessary things for an outside overnight. Tailmon is not exactly thrilled at the idea of spending hours in a minibus with loud middleschoolers and then the night outside, but I reassure her. And besides, not only does she sleep better than me in cars, but it probably won't be much different from the nights we spent in the Digital World so many years ago.
When I get at the school, I am awaited by a dozen or so students huddled beside a small red minibus. I wave...
...only to be greeted with blank looks. Clearly they were not expecting a teacher. I bow.
"I'm Yagami Hikari. I'll be replacing Omura-san for this trip," I explain.
They look at each others with whispers. Apparently they didn't expect any teacher to accompany them. I can't really blame them. They are probably old enough not to have an actual teacher with them, but now that I'm there, I am not backing down.
"You're lucky to catch us. We were only waiting for someone to leave," one of them explains.
I think that's Hamari Saeko, from grade 6. These four-stranded braids made her reputation. I give a quick look around for someone noticeably shorter then the others and fail to see him.
"I take it Daiki-kun hasn't shown up yet?"
She stares at me.
"Daiki-kun? Who's that?"
I stare right back.
"Well, he's about this tall and..."
My voice trails off. How do you describe the average and the nondescript?
"Told you this wasn't a good idea," Tailmon pipes in.
I glare at her. Maybe they just didn't expect him to show up? Maybe he's not really an official member? Maybe they, like the students in my class, never actually learned his name? In any case, all I can do is wait like everyone else. It's getting surprisingly colder for an autumn evening. I sit down on a bench, grab the edges of my light coat and squeeze it shut.
"Why did he ask me to come then?"
Seeing me shiver, Tailmon crawls into my lap.
"I'm sure he had his reasons," she tries to reassure me.
Twenty minutes later the missing one is there and I immediately recognizes him as Nakato Mitsuji. He won the first prize at last year's school science fair with his pictures of the sky. It's no surprise they're waiting for him rather than for a little first-grader. He's probably the club president at that. He barely gives me an inquisitive look before he motions for everyone to get inside. From what I gather, he forgot to bring film. I end up squeezed against a bony-faced girl with what looks like a killing instrument in her lap. I decide not to inquire and allow the movement of the vehicle to lull me into a half asleep state.
But as I looked to the door,
I saw that boy standing there with a deal.
"Oh maaaan... I'm not paid enough for this job," I mutter as I somehow stumble across the schoolyard, rejoining the sentiments of many of my coworkers.
Not only was Friday night totally boring (I mean, sure, these are stars, but frankly, there's only so much to grab one's interest a telescope can do beside showing the stars bigger), but I haven't managed to recover my lost beauty sleep yet. I probably look like Piemon. And the makeup isn't exactly helping that impression.
"Told you..." Tailmon begins.
"Don't say it," I mutter threateningly.
"Sheesh, don't get all catty on me," she says, leaping out of the way of a stray ball.
I groan at the terrible pun. Just as I'm about to snap back, a voice behind me bellows.
I pale. Is that... My feet act faster than my brain, end up tripping over each others and bring me down on my backside again. Tailmon gets out of the way at the last second, still mildly distracted by the ball. Too bad... I could have used a cushion this time around. Ouch. I think that's going to leave a bruise. My (fledgling) thoughts gets interrupted by a now familiar panicky voice.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"
And there comes Daiki-kun again. This time I know his name. I even know his family name, from having looked it up in the records. It's Mitsuchi. Mitsuchi Daiki.
"Oh come on, Daiki-kun," I finally protest. "You didn't do anything. I'm just a bit tiiiii-"
Oh great, here goes my credibility as a ridiculously long yawn interrupts my sentence. I finally manages to stand up, wobbling slightly.
"Actually, I wanted to apologize for Friday," he looks down at his feet.
"Oh... What happened?"
"There was an accident, and my sister almost got hurt and before it was all cleared out, I couldn't get there in time," he says.
"Why wouldn't they wait for you? They waited for Nakato-san, why not you?" I inquire.
His shoulders slouches. This might be the only times when the way he goes through life anonymously really gets to him.
"I'm a member of the club, but only in theory. As far as they are concerned, I don't fit in enough to be a real member. I only learned about the trip Saturday of last week and I wanted a teacher to come so that they wouldn't make up some excuse to leave me behind again."
I grab his hand.
"Tell you what? I think I can manage to fit in a trip to the Gotou planetarium before the end of the semester. And then we'll look at the stars as much as you want, Okay?"
And there won't be any lost sleep. The bell chimes and I realize that the grounds are practically empty now. I smile at him and he beams right back. He's got a really nice smile. He'd probably get noticed more if he smiled.
"Shall we go?"
And with his hand in mine, we walk back to class.And he said take my hand,
Live while you can,
Don't you see all your dreams lie right in the palm of your hand
In the palm of your hand,
In the palm of your hand.
Every stars shine in it's own way. And sometimes not even the biggest telescope will allow you to see that. Even when you're paid for it.