This was originally planned to be a thank-you present for Ocean, since she has taken time out of her busy schedule to edit/proofread my Forensics paper and provide helpful feedback all the way back in February. But she found a loophole (can it be considered as such? xD) and turned this into an exchange – thank you for the opportunity to improve my writing and the works, Ocean-san! (glomps)

As for the overall-story title, please don't ask why I picked a Japanese term. I seriously ran out of ideas on any creative spin on 'collection'.

Striving
By – Hime no Ichigo

Genre: General/Romance
Rating: PG
Pairings: implied 'Atemu'/Yuugi
Story Type: Drabble/one-shot
Summary: Mothers have this uncanny ability to jump to conclusions, much to his alarm.

Disclaimer: Yuugiou is the property of Kazuki Takahashi.

Spoilers: None; AU.

Warnings/Notes: Nothing too serious, I think...

--

jobbernowl (JOB-uh-nowl), noun: A blockhead.

– from French jobard (stupid, gullible), from Old French jobe (stupid) & noll (top or crown of the head)

--

"Is there any reason why you stay out so late on school nights, young man?" His mother placed her hands on her hips in a reprimanding manner. The clock behind her chimed six. "Well?"

"No," he replied quietly, staring at the ground. "I was at the library studying, Mother."

"Why can't you do that at home?"

"Because..." he faltered.

His sister decided to pop in at that exact moment. "Brother wasn't at the library – I was there earlier myself to borrow some books; he was at school in the art room. He was painting!"

"Painting?" His mother asked incredulously. "Don't you have enough art supplies in your room? Why do you need to stay at school to do that?"

"I..." He shot a glare at his sister before continuing. "The project's due next week and I wanted the teacher's opinion on it. I want to have it as perfect as possible."

"Hey Mom, did you know Brother and his art teacher look a lot like each other? It's so weird!"

He suppressed a groan. He really didn't want his mother to think on a tangent; parents had this wild imagination that he couldn't, for the life of him, comprehend. "Can you please go to your room and not make things worse?" He hissed at his sister. She giggled and skipped out the room, grabbing a packet of Pocky along the way.

"So, your art teacher—"

"Motou-sensei."

"—Motou-san. I hope you aren't staying behind because of him."

Why did his mother immediately assume this? Just because he wasn't straight... "Mother, I already said that this is for my project. It has nothing to do with my attra—" He snapped his mouth shut, dismayed at what he just revealed.

"Atemu!" She gaped at him. "I will not have you act like a...a...silly schoolgirl and go blindly after a teacher. This is unacceptable behaviour, young man. I don't care if you do poorly in this course – this...infatuation cannot continue. I will not tolerate this – wait until your father hears about this!"

"Hear about what?"

She stopped. Whether or not she was angry at her son, she had no real intention to tell her husband – he would simply make things worse. "Nothing," she lied smoothly. "I was just saying how Atemu should spend less time with his video games and more with his books. He seemed distracted lately." Well, it wasn't completely true, nor was it entirely false.

"I see," he was sceptical, but he decided to not push the matter further. "All right then, Atemu, go to your room and do your homework."

"Yes Father."

He closed the door to his bedroom and punched his pillows angrily. How dare his mother insinuate that he was too wrapped up in his teacher to worry about his academics? He wasn't stupid – he knew how to allot his time, manage to get things done, and have solutions to complex problems at the snap of his fingers (unlike a certain younger sibling who simply didn't know when to keep her mouth shut). He wasn't stupid...he wasn't a jobbernowl! Sure his teacher was good-looking (and looks too young to be a teacher, he added silently), but it wasn't like he was going to stalk his teacher and learn about his habits and his favourite colour and favourite food and...

He laughed. Parents just didn't understand. They may have seen more than he had in his seventeen years, but they still didn't understand the different definition of 'infatuation' in his dictionary.

- Owari -

Story Word Count: 585

Authoress' Notes: Hmm. The first version certainly didn't involve Atemu having a family. (purses lips) Oh well. I hope I used the word correctly and in context. e.e

There is one more to this 'collection', and, uh, I don't know when I'll finish writing it.

posted 05/23/08