A/N: It's been a long time. First time writing a story for Gokusen, hopefully not the last. Reviews are welcome as are flames. Hope you enjoy!
A Different Outcome
"Why'd we have to ditch? It's not like we did anything wrong," Uchi whined as they all walked back to the school. "We're heroes. We shoulda at least stuck around till the news crew showed up."
"Why, so you can take all the credit again, 'team-leader Uchi'?" Noda pointed out. "Team-leader, my ass. You're such a glory hog, just like when we captured that thief, remember?"
"I did only what any good citizen would do," Uchi answered shamelessly. "They had questions, I had answers. I never said I was a team-leader—"
"Bet you never denied it either," Minami mumbled bitingly.
Uchi stopped and grabbed Minami by the collar. "You say something, punk?" he asked menacingly, getting in Minami's face.
"You heard me, asshole," he sneered, fisting his hands at his sides.
"You lookin' to start something, punk?"
"What if I am? Whatcha gonna do about it, glory hog?"
"I'm gonna rearrange your face, that's what I'm gonna do!"
"I'd like to see you try!"
"Can it, the lot of you!" Yankumi yelled, turning around angrily. "If you're going to fight, then fight already. If you're going to have a pissing contest, then save it for another time, 'cause I'm not in the mood."
Shin ducked his head and cleared his throat to keep from laughing while the others stared at her in amazement, mouths hanging open dumbly as she turned away, unaware of the strangeness of her words. "Way too many yakuza movies," Shin explained quietly, having regained his composure, just loud enough for his friends to hear, hoping it would suffice as an excuse.
Not entirely convinced, but unable to come up with a better answer, they merely nodded and started walking again. Shin let out an inaudible sigh of relief and followed suit. She must be tired, he thought uneasily. She's not even trying to hide her yakuza heritage.
"I guess it's better than sticking around and listening to that god-awful choir," Uchi conceded with a sigh. "I don't know how she can stand listening to them. I thought my ears were going to explode."
"God, I can't wait to get out of this outfit," Yankumi complained as she walked in front of her students, wanting to change the subject. As much as she agreed with Uchi, she didn't want to badmouth Fujiyama-sensei. Besides, the boys in the choir seemed to like it, even if they were all tone-deaf. She pulled out her small ponytail and ran her fingers through her messy hair.
"It actually suits you quite well," Uchi pointed out. "I still think you should wear it to school tomorrow. Students might actually pay attention in your classes." This earned him a smack upside the head from Sawada who was walking beside him. "Ow! Dammit, Shin, what'd ya' do that for?"
"Dumbass, she'd lose her job if she came to school like that," he said quietly, trying to sound like he didn't care. Truth be told, he wouldn't mind seeing her in the schoolgirl uniform again, just not in front of any of the clowns he went to school with. Slowly and seductively, his gaze slid downward to her exposed upper legs.
He shook his head slightly, trying to clear out such improper thoughts. Come back in a hundred years, he heard her voice echo in his head. He sighed in exasperation, looking anywhere else.
This did not escape the notice of Uchi, though, who couldn't resist a good ribbing. "Ah, I see how it is," he remarked, just loud enough for only Shin to hear. "You really dig the cosplay, huh? Dreaming about giving sweet innocent student Kumiko after-school lessons? Or how about—hey!"
Uchi stumbled over what he believed to be a rather large rock but now knew to be Shin's foot and wound up doing a face plant with the asphalt. The other three boys burst into laughter at the expense of their friend and Yankumi turned around, concerned about her student.
"What happened?" she asked, rushing back and kneeling down in front of Uchi as he sat up and checked himself over for damages.
"I musta tripped," he mumbled, glancing up at Shin, who now stood behind their teacher, a gleam of triumph in his normally cold gray eyes.
"Accidents happen," Shin said softly, almost mockingly. Uchi rolled his eyes and went back to checking that all his teeth were intact. Payback was definitely a bitch.
"Ow! What the hell! That hurts!" Uchi yelled when Yankumi pinched his nose. This earned him another smack upside the head.
"Suck it up, ya pansy!" She yelled back. "I'm just checking if your nose is broken! Baby!" She went back to pinching it while holding his chin with her other hand to keep him from flinching away. She leaned back, looking at his face speculatively. "It's not broken, but it looks kind of crooked. What do you guys think?"
Three of the four boys squatted down in front of their fallen friend, wanting a better look at the damage done. His nose, chin, and palms of his hands were scraped up pretty well, his nose was running like a faucet, and a nice sized egg was forming on his forehead.
"Naw, he's always been that ugly," Minami deadpanned, earning chuckles from Kuma and Noda. "But, man," he continued, placing a hand on Uchi's shoulder, "now you could kill a cow with that face."
"Shut up!" Uchi yelled, taking a swing at his supposed "friend." Minami dodged it easily, allowing the momentum to twist Uchi around so he nearly ended up on the ground again. Upon hearing more laughter, he angrily slapped the pavement, hissing at the renewed pain of his already injured palm.
"Well," said Yankumi, slapping her thighs for emphasis, "we should get you cleaned up." She started to get up when she noticed the proffered hand of Shin who was now standing beside her. Glancing up at her brightest student who was looking away in supposed disinterest, she accepted his offer and was quickly pulled to her feet.
"Thanks, Sawada," she murmured and flashed him a brief smile before releasing his hand. Shin could feel his cheeks begin to grow warm and a small smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. Catching himself, he quickly shoved his hand into his pocket and took a step back, hoping to hide in the shadows of the mostly darkened street.
Again, this did not go beyond the notice of Uchi, who seemed to be quite observant when it came to his redheaded friend's feelings tonight. "Oh! Would you look at the time!" he exclaimed, looking at his bare wrist and scrambling to get up. "I had no idea it was so late! Better get moving guys, if we want to get a good night's sleep. Early to bed and early to rise, ya know?"
"But I left my stuff back at the school," Minami complained as Uchi tried to herd him, Kuma, and Noda across the street.
"Get it later, idiot," he muttered angrily.
"But what about your injuries?" Yankumi pointed out. "You should really have those checked out. I'm sure we can break into the infirmary for supplies." Hearing what sounded like a snicker, she turned to Shin who had a brow raised in amusement. She was confused for a moment, wondering what he found to be so funny. Thinking back to what she had said, her eyes widened with realization and she quickly tried to backpedal. "I mean, that is, we, um, uh, infirmary, that is—"
"No need," Uchi yelled back in reassurance as they were already across the street. "Hey, Kuma, your house is nearby, right?"
The big guy stopped and looked around dumbly, trying to gain his bearings. "Oh, yeah, I guess so. Just a couple of blocks that way." He jutted out his thumb in the general direction.
"See? We'll just pitstop there and then head on home, right, guys? See you two later, okay? Goodnight!"
Understanding finally dawned on the somewhat slow students as they took in the situation and began moving of their own accord, waving and calling out their overdramatic goodbyes before turning around the corner. Could they be any more obvious? Shin wondered indignantly, debating whether to kill them or simply maim them tomorrow.
"Idiots," he mumbled and began walking again. He stopped after a few seconds when he realized Yankumi wasn't following. "You coming or what?" he called back, glancing over his shoulder to see her staring worriedly in the direction her students had gone.
She jumped slightly, turning in the direction of the rude voice that had pulled her from her thoughts. "Sawada? You're still here?"
"Obviously," he mumbled, rolling his eyes at her denseness. He began walking again, slowly, allowing her to catch up.
He could hear her hurried footsteps. "Why didn't you go with them?" she asked, coming up alongside him.
"My bag's back at school," he answered coolly.
"Eh? Is homework that important to you?" She was clearly awestruck. Her face broke out in a wide grin and she reached up to ruffle his hair, but he was quick to evade.
"Idiot. My house key's in my bag," he lied, wrapping his fist around said object which had been resting in his pocket since morning.
It's not like he could tell her the real reason he stayed, that he just wanted to spend time with her. He was still trying to figure out whether he was truly in love with her or if it was just an infatuation. He liked her, sure, he was willing to admit that, but in what way? Was she a friend? Sure. Was she more? Did he want her to be more?
Was it so wrong if he answered "yes" to those last two questions?
"Oh, look!" she cried, cutting into his thoughts. She ran ahead a few steps, stopping under a streetlight and bent over in a very unladylike fashion, giving Shin a very sweet view of her white panties, as she picked up a small object off the ground. It was the second time that night he had seen them, though earlier he had been more concerned with Fujiyama-sensei's safety as he leaped after Yankumi from the neighbor's balcony.
He froze, able to do nothing but stare, feeling his pulse quicken and his stomach give an odd churn. Only when she began to rise was he able to think again and quickly averted his gaze, his cheeks now enflamed. Damn teenage hormones, he thought bitterly.
"I found a hundred yen!" she exclaimed, turning to him and striking a victory pose, her pointer and middle fingers out in the V formation with the coin between them for him to see as if it were a trophy she had just won. "It must be my lucky day! Hey, you all right?" She seemed to have noticed his discomfort and did the last thing he wanted—she came closer. He refused to look at her, but could hear the concern in her voice, making it sound softer and gentler. This was not helping the situation.
"Your face looks flushed and—are you panting?" She shoved the coin in her pocket and reached up to feel his forehead, but just as her fingers came in contact with the slightly warmer than normal skin, he jerked away with a gasp. Feeling slightly hurt, she slowly lowered her hand. "Sawada?"
"I—I'm fine," he mumbled when it was clear he was anything but fine. What the hell had that been? He had been so obsessed with calming himself that he hadn't seen her reaching up until it was too late. He had felt a shock from her touch that ran through his body, painful, yet pleasurable at the same time. This made absolutely no sense to him. How could something be painful and pleasurable at the same time?
Now, Kumiko may be dense, but she wasn't stupid, especially when it came to the well-being of her most precious student. Clearly, he was struggling with something and she wanted to know what it was. "If you're fine, then let me feel your forehead," she challenged, taking a step towards him.
He sighed in exasperation. "This is stupid. I told you I'm fine, now can we just get going?" He started walking again but only got a few steps before Yankumi's determination set in. He felt her grab his lower arm and with a yank, turned him around to face her. She placed her cool hands on his warm cheeks, holding firmly, not roughly, to keep him from getting away, and pulled him down to her level, resting his forehead against hers. She closed her eyes, concentrating on comparing their temperatures, taking no notice of what this scene implied.
Shin, on the other hand, was very much aware. To say he was shocked was an understatement. Eyes wide with amazement, he could only stand there. He was frozen in limbo where all thoughts and actions were impossible. He could only stare, feeling her breath lightly fanning his face, her lips so enticingly close.
Seconds later, the spell was broken when she pulled away slightly, loosening her grip on him, but not releasing it. Able to breathe again, he took in short, shaky breaths as his mind reeled with confusion, bombarded by questions he could not answer. Why did she do that? Did it mean anything? Why did it have such an affect on him? Did it have any affect on her?
He focused his attention on her, trying to figure out her feelings. With a sigh, she slowly opened her eyes to stare right into his. A gamut of emotions began to play out on her face: surprise, confusion, fear, annoyance, and, finally, humiliation. She was such an open book; he could practically hear the dialogue playing out in her mind.
So absorbed were they in the moment, that neither heard the approaching footsteps of the somewhat drunken businessmen passing by until too late. "Get a room, you two," one slurred with a hard slap to Shin's back, pushing him forward. His hands instantly latched on to her hips in an attempt to steady himself, but he could not stop his lips from crashing down onto hers. The businessmen continued on their way, chuckling about the audacity of children these days, missing out on the outcome of their interruption.
Shin and Yankumi could only stand there, motionless, eyes wide, faces flushed, thoughts spinning, as realization slowly sank in. They were kissing. Kumiko, finally regaining her senses, jumped back, turned away sharply, and placed her hands over her burning cheeks, taking deep breaths to calm her racing heart. I just kissed my student. Oh, what a field day Fujiyama-sensei would have if she found out. How can I ever live this down? I'll be fired for sure—
"Nobody saw anything," Shin said, cutting into her mental prattle. He'd had enough time to collect his thoughts and regain his composure, having replaced his mask of impassivity. "Besides, it was just an accident," he continued nonchalantly. "Forget about it. Nothing happened here."
Now that he was able to think clearly, he was able to rationalize. As much as he wished to believe otherwise, it had truly been an accident. To call it a kiss, one would have to use the crudest of definitions: two lips pressed firmly upon two lips. There had been no underlying intentions, no emotions, nothing. It was just an event that played out due to circumstances beyond their control.
So why then was he having such a hard time believing this? Why could he not stop running his tongue along the inside of his lips, remembering how surprisingly soft hers had been? Why could he not stop thinking about how easily his hands had molded to her hips as if they were meant to be there, or how small and warm and right her hands had felt against his cheeks, leaving a tingling sensation behind as they mourned her absence when she released him?
What the hell was wrong with him?
Yankumi was facing a similar problem. She had heard Sawada say it was just an accident and she agreed with him wholeheartedly. Nobody had seen anything because there had been nothing to see. Right? So why was she feeling so conflicted? She felt disappointed, yet delighted; horrified, yet elated, all at the same time. Why was she reacting this way? Why could she not stop her heart from racing, her face from burning, her hands from shaking? Why could she not treat this as any other accident, like making up some lame excuse or laughing it off, and continue on as if nothing had happened?
What the hell was wrong with her?
Her eyes widened in realization and her body went rigid as she suddenly got it. That was her first kiss. Her hands fell limply to her sides and her mouth opened with a small exclamation of dismay. She had just had her first kiss—with a student. And not just any student—Sawada.
No, this was all wrong. It was nothing like she had imagined. Her first kiss was supposed to be special, memorable, shared with the one she would spend the rest of her life with, hopefully, Shinohara-sensei. She had been waiting for that perfect moment, dreaming of the day she would surrender herself to him with her one and only first kiss, and now that dream had been shattered. Her first kiss had been taken by Sawada. Her mood veered sharply to anger and she turned around.
"What are you playing at?" she fumed. "Of course something happened here. A girl can never forget her first kiss." She took an abrupt step towards him and poked him in the chest. "You stole my first kiss. Are you some kind of kiss-thief?"
Shin was completely taken aback by this outcome. His mouth dropped open as he stared at her wordlessly. She thinks I'm a kiss-thief. He wasn't sure whether to find the situation humorous or insulting. Of all the ways she could have interpreted the "accident," he hadn't anticipated this one. He had hoped she would get a clue and forget it ever happened like he told her. Why did she have to be such an idiot? He suppressed his slowly growing anger under the appearance of indifference.
"Do you really expect me to answer that?" he asked, a cold edge of irony in his voice.
She lifted her chin, meeting his gaze straight on. "I expect you to stop being such a smartass, brat," she warned. She knew she was letting her anger cloud her better judgment, but, damn it, she didn't know what to do. She was itching to hit something, namely, Sawada, as he was only a few inches away from her. It would be a good release for her pent up frustration, though he may not see it that way.
He's taken worse, she reassured herself and pulled back her fist.
She jabbed the nearby streetlight, instead, hard, causing a metallic echo to sound throughout the near-hollow fixture as it shook from the impact causing the overhead light to waver slightly. Yankumi gave a small groan from the lingering pain, but knew it had been worth it. She briefly closed her eyes and sighed as she pulled her hand away, flexing her now sore fingers. She was sure there would be bruising tomorrow, but otherwise, no long-term damage.
"Was that really necessary?"
"Be thankful it wasn't your—" The words froze on her tongue as she felt Sawada take her hand lightly in his own and bring it up to his level. He began to hesitantly caress the now slightly swollen digits, almost shyly, as if seeking her permission, a slight look of disapproval on his face as he inspected her injury.
"That must've hurt," he murmured as he continued to stroke her hand. He knew he was playing with fire, but felt it was worth the risk. He raised his eyes to find her face flushed and filled with uncertainty, totally bewildered at his behavior.
He was being so gentle, his fingers brushing so lightly against her own, almost as if he were truly worried about her. Almost as if he had feelings for me, she thought, blinking with bafflement. She felt an unwelcome shiver race through her body. Or maybe—
A light tap on the forehead interrupted her near epiphany, bringing her attention back to the boy who was standing before her in his usual nonchalant manner. "Go home, Yankumi," Sawada said quietly and began to walk back the way they'd come. "It's getting cold."
"W-wait," she stammered, trying to comprehend what she had heard. She was puzzled by his abrupt change in mood, yet was also relieved to have the normal Sawada back. "Where are you going? I thought we were going to school to get your house key?"
He stopped under the next streetlight and pulled out a small object from his pocket. He held it up, allowing the light to reflect off the shiny, silver surface. "Looks like I had it all along," he called back, turning to give her a small smirk, and shoved the key back in his pocket as he resumed walking.
It was better this way. He began the mental countdown. 3...2...1... "Brat!" He heard her scream and he swiftly turned the corner, deciding to take an unexpected shortcut. He couldn't help laughing aloud to himself, but the amusement quickly died. There was going to be hell to pay in class on Monday. He gave a slight shrug. Maybe she'd cool down over the weekend.