A/N: Had it lying around, so decided to post it anyway. Takes place after the first chapter, but not at any specific time. Thanks toUnknown D Flamerose, The Sora-muffin and Lady of the Shire for reviewing & favouriting chapter one, Charmshadow for reviewing and Blue Inu for favouriting also. Feedback for this chapter would be heartily appreciated, too.
Disclaimer: Are you kidding? Of course I don't own it.
Nougami Neuro had infested many areas of Katsuragi Yako's life, in a manner she would probably never be entirely comfortable with. He was more humanised now (sort of), yet still he enjoyed torturing her, often so much that he would come up with cruel and unusual punishments every now and then. The crime? Inability to "evolve".
But she never thought he would go this far, not when he had so many other things to be getting on with. She thought he had at least some sense of decorum, some heart.
Apparently, she'd been wrong. And it wasn't just the usual "mixed up ramen orders" wrong she faced suspiciously often. It was the "my evil slave driver has gone one step too far and has rid me of the small haven I had previously" wrong.
Yup. It's just as bad as it sounds.
"Class, as you know, Ogata-sensei is taking a short holiday," the Headmaster of Yako's school announced, as he and two others stepped into classroom B. "So we'll be welcoming two new additions to our staff, Nougami Neuro-sensei and his assistant Godai Shinobu-sensei, who will be your supply teachers for this short time. Please help them settle into this new environment," the portly man continued, inclining his head politely to the class. The two new teachers did the same and Yako, despite all the emotions swirling through her head, could not help but find it a little funny. She could have sworn she saw a vein in Godai's forehead twitching, and just the thought of how the class would react when Neuro dropped his trademark harmless smile made her both sick and want to laugh.
When it happened in reality, she quickly chose the former option.
"Hello, worms!" Neuro grinned wickedly, mere seconds after the Headmaster had made his apologies and left the room. His pointed teeth made him look like a mad-man, determined to do unspeakable things to them before brutally killing them off. "I'm sure we'll get along just fine, right, Godai-sensei?"
The weird thing was, Yako knew he was capable of and probably would do something like that if given the right motive. Yet she wasn't the only one to shrink back in fear, repulsion, or a disgusting cocktail of both. Neuro's fumbling attempts to salvage the situation when he realised how badly he'd just done only made things worse: when he slung his right arm round a protesting and clearly disgusted Godai, who nonetheless tried to force a smile for the audience, it looked more like two madmen pretending to like each other in order to escape from a terrible institution of some kind, not cheerful camaraderie.
Disgusted with herself as she'd probably feel later - They shouldn't have come here in the first place - why should I help them? - Yako knew she had to do something, and fast. For whatever reason they were here, if they got caught out as fakes Neuro would definitely find a way of blaming it all on her, and in a sense these two were her friends.
A very loose sense.
"Um, Neu- I mean, Nougami-sensei, what will you be teaching us today?" It was the first question that came to her mind, and it came out louder than she'd thought it would.
Everyone in the classroom stared right at her, trying to see through her hesitant question. And a split second later, the whispering began.
"What does she mean 'What will you be teaching us'? Surely it's more like 'How are you going to cook us?' or something?"
"I bet she's actually really scared... Ah, Katsuragi, so brave!"
"Who does she think she is? Just 'cause she's some kind of low-rate detective doesn't mean she can just be bold like that! She's just trying to stand out even more."
"Shut yer traps, kiddies!" A sudden voice cut through the whispering, and it ceased almost instantly. It wasn't Neuro speaking, but the tone was almost as authoritative.
Neuro fixed his stare upon Yako, who wasn't sure whether he approved of her actions or not. The silent exchange of glances did not last long, however, and in the blink of an eye Neuro's arm was away from Godai's shoulder, his trademark harmless smile returned.
"Sorry, sorry, class. I'm just a little nervous..." He turned to the blackboard as Yako began hunting through her bag, bringing out a very thick -- and fairly new -- textbook.
He lifted a piece of chalk from his desk -- oh, God, his desk -- which instantly disintegrated in his hands. He looked at it, smiling smugly, before turning back to the kiddies, most of who had fortunately not noticed. "So: today, we will be learning about" -- Yako held up a history textbook in the background --"...geography! Yes. Fascinating subject. Now... Can anyone tell me where we are?"
Later, Yako would find caricatures of herself drawn on the blackboard, the walls, doors, drinking fountains and, apparently, every single desk in the school. The Headmaster was not especially pleased, though he did comment on the drawings' amazing likeness.
She'd never liked him anyway.