As Luck Would Have It…

It's been five years since Sawada Shin left for Africa and now he's back with every intention to make Yamaguchi Kumiko his. Let's see how he would fare with that with his rival being Yankumi latest crush, Natsume Seichi, the school doctor of Akadou. But Sawada Shin does not need luck, he can already tell Kumiko is affected by his presence and in a way that's hardly what you call ex-student/teacher relationship…Wait a min-Shin! Where are putting your hands on Kumiko?

"Shin felt his gaze move from Kumiko to the smiling doctor. Just looking at him, just the first time meeting him made Shin's insides squeezed uncomfortably. His heart suddenly felt heavy and his hand clenched into a fist."

Ah, he thought, so this is what it felt like to watch the woman you loved for half a decade to smile for all she's worth to another man. Just standing there watching the two greet each other was enough to leave him numb, especially when he noticed in Natsume's eyes, there were warmth, affection, and simple adoration in his eyes. He didn't know when they finished talking but when he came to, Kumiko was already finishing introducing him to Natsume as her ex-student.

"This is Sawada Shin," Kumiko smiled fondly as she introduced her previous student to Natsume. "He was a student of mine when I worked at Shirokin. Sawada-kun, this is Natsume Seichi, the school doctor at Akadou High."

"It's always nice to meet a student that Yamaguchi-sensei had taught," Natsume bowed his head politely with a warm, friendly smile. Shin tried not to notice but it was hard to miss the slightly warmer look on Kumiko's face because she will always be the one he paid most attention to, always.

"It's good to meet you as well, Natsume-sensei," Shin bowed from waist, slightly surprising Kumiko. He would have to be polite and friendly to Natsume, even if a heavy feeling seemed to settle permanently at the bottom of his stomach because he can never embarrass Kumiko, not like this. For what's it was worth, Natsume was important to her, and he would never do anything to hurt her. Not if he could help it. "It must be hard work to take care of her."

"Sawada-kun!" Kumiko admonished the cheeky grinning man, looking younger than he is. "Anyway! Let's go or we will be late." She was never the subtle one, Shin thought in passing with a fond smile as the three began to walk.

Natsume pleasantly laughed, "Not at all. It's always a pleasure to work alongside Yamaguchi-sensei. A teacher such as her, it would certainly be an honor to take care of her."

Shin didn't bother to answer as he watched a blush graced Kumiko cheeks and her unconscious gesture of breathing with her mouth. He didn't bother chasing after Kumiko when she loudly (and nervously, he noted) said they better hurry or they would be late.

Natsume laughed at Kumiko's action with a small but genuine happiness along with his laugh. "Ah, Yamaguchi-sensei, always so energetic."

"Of course," Shin said offhandedly, "She was always liked this."

"Ah," Natsume nodded and smiled goodheartedly, "You would know. I bet she hadn't changed since then."

"No she didn't," Shin agreed. "Always rushing towards whatever she felt like worth her time and changes everyone who was in her path intentionally or not."

"I feel the same," Natsume said, "And that's why I like her."

"Like?" Shin titled his head curiously and smirked, "As in like, or like, like?"

"As in like, like," Natsume said with a small blush but his voice was determined. "I really do like her. Always so cheerful, always doing her best for her students, and other things about her is just so likable. Anyone who doesn't see that is blind."

"Yes," Shin echoed, "Anyone who doesn't see that is blind."

"One day, I'll ask her out," Natsume continued, his steps getting more resolute. "And if you ask me, I think she likes me a bit. Don't you think so?"

"I don't know," Shin managed to say neutrally with a shrug. "I wouldn't know, I've just got back from Africa, so…"

"Oh, right," Natsume nodded before turning back ahead. "That's true."

"Why would you ask me though?" Shin asked as he picked up the pace, curious.

"I thought you would know," Natsume shrugged.

"Really, now?" Shin raised an eyebrow, skeptical of his vague answer. "Why? I'm just a student of hers from five years ago."

"Because you like Yamaguchi-sensei." Natsume said indifferently.

Shin stopped short in disbelief. "What?"

"You don't?" Natsume stopped as well, looking at the younger man questioningly. "I thought you did."

Shin let out a laugh. "You got to be kidding me, Natsume-sensei. Me? Like her? No way."

"But the way you look at her-"

"Natsume-sensei," Shin smiled mirthlessly, "With all due respect, you must be seeing things. The way I look at her is only respect. Kumiko will always be the teacher, the first adult I could trust with my life, nothing more, nothing less."

"Oh," Natsume looked stumped. "I thought-the way you looked-oh. I apologize Sawada-san. I was not looking close enough."

"Natsume-sensei," Shin wryly smiled, "You must be tired, from all the work from school. Students are very hard to take care of, you must take care of your health."

"Yes, yes," Natsume mumbled, lost in thought. "Thank you for your concern."

With that, Shin went ahead, hoping to catch up with the already out of sight Kumiko. He left the still wondering doctor behind him, ignoring the pounding heart in his chest. It was so loud and erratic that he was surprised he managed to lie through his teeth without shaking. He was surprised he was able to make Natsume second guess himself. Most of all, he was surprised Natsume even remotely guessed how Shin felt.

But the only thing he wanted to do was cross, tear, shred, and throw Natsume out of the picture in that particular order. If the feelings between Kumiko and Natsume was the same and realized, he wouldn't know what to do. He had to take Natsume out of Kumiko's life as a possible romantic love interest. Shin did not spend five years in Africa and come back for this, although he was slightly surprised not once in the five years that Kumiko never gotten together with anyone.

End of Chapter 5

A/N: Thank you very much for the reviews, the favorites, the alerts, the hits, and the patience for waiting for the next chapter, even if it may seemed like I would never update ever again. I apologize to the old readers who had been waiting for a long time. I apologize for the newer readers who probably figured I wouldn't update judging by the last updated chapter. All in all, thank you for reading, thank you for liking shinkumi, thank you for liking this story. It was only thanks to those who waited was I able to write something after losing the interest to write again. Thank you and I'm sorry.