Title: Write For You (1/1)
Fandom: Gokusen (drama)
Summary: The tone of Yankumi's emails change gradually, over the months.
Disclaimer: The characters appearing in the following story do not belong to me.
Yankumi isn't the first person he writes.
She is the one he most looks forward to hearing from.
Shin believes that leaving home was the right decision. Still, being away from his home, his friends--(Yankumi)--is more difficult than he had expected. He feels pathetic (like an untested boy; less even than that), but he misses Yankumi's brilliant, unwavering belief in him.
"Yankumi," he writes, "how is school? Are your students troublesome?"
They aren't the words he wants, but Shin hopes that Yankumi will understand.
She answers: "They are challenging, but they are good boys."
"I hope," she writes, "that they will make me half so proud as you have, Sawada. My precious student has filled his teacher's heart with pride. I know that you can do anything, if you face the future with an open heart and a willing mind. Be well, Sawada, and stay strong"
He is still too young, if he can be soothed by such simple words--but Shin can't help but smile at the thought of Yankumi's voice, her wide smile.
Shin knows that some things are easier said with pen and paper than they would be face-to-face. The tone of Yankumi's emails change gradually, over the months. She writes first of small things: her students, her family, the small joys and irritations of her day.
Shin writes back, tells her of the work he is doing, of the people he has met. He is very far away from Yankumi's classroom, and he is doing important, necessary work. He is seeing things, learning things that even Yankumi could not have imagined.
She begins, slowly, slowly, to tell Shin things that she might tell a friend--an equal. She forgets to call him "her precious student."
Maybe, Shin thinks, the chance he was hoping for is not so distant as he had once feared.
It is a victory, then, when he opens another email weeks later.
Yankumi writes: "Hello, Shin"
It takes Yankumi a long time to reply, and Shin can feel the forced cheer behind her words when she finally does.
"This is one battle that would have done irreparable harm to us both," she writes. "I'm not suited to life as a policeman's wife, and Shinohara doesn't belong in my world. It was unfair of me to expect so much of him"
She writes: "I'm okay"
"I'm sorry," Shin answers, truthfully.
He does not say: "I would never give up on you; I haven't give up on you. You're worth fighting for, Yankumi."
He doesn't say: "I love you, Kumiko--emall/em of you."
It has been eighteen months, and he thinks that Yankumi still isn't ready to emlisten/em to such a confession from him. He is more than a precious student, more than just Sawada, but--this is important, and he will not risk speaking until he is sure that Yankumi's stubborn blindness won't ruin this for both of them.
Instead, he writes: "Idiot."
Yankumi writes: "I miss talking to you, Shin."
It is expensive, but the surprise in her voice makes everything worthwhile. He can hear Minoru and Tetsu arguing in the background, loud and violently happy. They immediately fall silent when Yankumi gasps, and says: "Shin? Shin!"
"Hello, Yankumi," Shin says. He can't stop smiling, even when his buddies tease him about his girlfriend. He smirks at them, and doesn't bother to argue.
Shin writes: "She says she loves me."
"Don't be so shy," Yankumi answers. "My Shin is smart, honourable, handsome, and will make a very good boyfriend."
Shin reads the email, amused and horrified. "My Shin," he repeats to himself, and--"it sounds like she's trying to sell me!"
"There is already someone special in my life," Shin replies, both reckless and certain of Yankumi's blindness. "She is ignorant in matters of love, and very trying--really, she is an idiot. But I've decided on her, and I think no one else will suit me half so well."
Yankumi's email comes days later. "You are very devoted," she writes.
He has no other answer to give but this: "Yes."
Nothing changes, not for months. Shin doesn't expect anything to change, but Yankumi has a habit of surprising him at the most unexpected of moments.
She writes: "Am I really such an idiot?"
Shin's heart quickens. He buries his head in his hands and laughs. It takes him several attempts to compose his reply: "even the stupidest of students can be helped by the right teacher."
"That is true," Kumiko answers, "Shin."
I had a difficult time uploading, and half my punctuation seems to have disappeared in the process of doing so. I'm sorry if the story looks odd!