Title: Five Times Makio Knows Best
Universe: My Boss, My Hero
Theme/Topic: See title
Rating: PG-13 for violence
Character/Pairing/s: Makio, Mikio, Jun, Hikari, Kazu, Kiichi, Kuroi
Word Count: 2,325
Summary: Life's about more than book learnin' and fancy words.
Dedication: for jain on my latest request meme!
A/N: This is really all over the place, but the only five things I could think of. Bear with me while I get back into the swing of things. Very, very slowly. LOL
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
When he's in the fifth grade, Makio beats up of one of the Sakaki family's expensive home tutors.
Nearly kills the guy, actually.
And the funny thing about it is, it isn't his tutor who he ends up kicking the crap out of at all (despite the fact that sometimes, he really, really wants to). When his incredulous parents ask him what on earth possessed him to go ahead and beat up Mikio's private teacher of all people, the only thing their oldest son has to say about it is, "Didn't like the bastard's stupid face, is all."
Mikio, who'd collapsed—presumably— from the unbearable physical shock of watching his older brother knock a seemingly calm and respectable forty-five year old man unconscious with a desk earlier, is wide-awake in his small bedroom when Makio happens to pass by later, on his way to his own room. "Niisan," Mikio murmurs in a small voice when he sees Makio's familiar form lurking in the doorway, "you really need to learn how to deal with things better. Violence doesn't solve everything, you know." Even still, he can't quite manage to hide the grateful tones from his words when he speaks.
Makio just grunts and says it's half Mikio's fault too, for not trying to fight back himself the minute that sick perv starting doing his sick perv stuff to him.
Mikio laughs a little at the memory, shakily. "I was recording it on camera," he admits, after a moment of silence between them. "On the camera I had hidden underneath the desk you broke when you threw it at sensei's head. I don't think the footage is any good for us to use against him anymore."
Makio blinks. "What good was getting video tape of the stupid bastard gonna do ya when he had his hands all over you then?" he demands, looking at Mikio incredulously, like he's the stupid one after all. "That wasn't gonna stop him, 'specially if he couldn't even see the damned thing."
After a beat, something else suddenly occurs to him and his brow furrows; he actually looks kind of worried. "You didn't hit your head or anything after ya fainted, did ya?"
When he hears that Mikio just smiles again, and supposes that for once, Makio is in the right here.
He closes his eyes. "Thank you, niisan."
Makio shoves his hands in his pockets. "Yeah, well. Try not to be such a wimp, okay? Damned shameful, being a member of the Sharp Fang and all," he mutters, before slouching down the hall looking irate (but not as irate as before).
It's almost enough to make Mikio consider forgiving his older brother for the strawberry eraser incident.
"Naw, wasn't him. He didn't do nothing," Makio says with absolute certainty seemingly out of the blue one night, when the larger student is sounding positively bored in the middle of the broadcast that they're watching on Jun's small TV in Jun's small room on a quiet Saturday night. Everyone turns to look at him.
"Makki," Jun starts carefully, frowning as the murder mystery drama continues on the TV in front of them, "How do you know it wasn't him?"
"You're just theorizing, right, Sakaki-kun?" Hikari replies, cheerfully. "That's what murder mysteries are for, Jun. It's fun to guess who did it."
Jun rolls his eyes at her logic and says something under his breath about how stupid girls always ruin the fun anyway, so what's the point?
"Whatever. I know for sure it wasn't him," Makio insists with oblivious confidence, around a mouthful of popcorn Jun's hot sister had made them for their movie night tonight.
Hikari is sweetly indulgent. "How do you know, Sakaki-kun?"
Makio shrugs. "Just do."
Jun blinks at his classmate a bit skeptically. "Explain how you figure, ne. Now I'm curious."
"It's just not something…" Makio frowns and trails off, then squints a little, like he's looking for the right words. "Well, look at him," he begins a moment later, ever articulate as he gestures vaguely towards the main suspect on the screen with one big, lazy hand. "All that blood splatter looks weird. From what I know, that's the way it looks when you're standin' in front of a guy who gets stabbed from behind, ya know. That kinda splatter happens when the knife goes through the front and you're just standing there, all innocent and not bein' the one who's doin' the stabbing at all. Make sense?"
Jun and Hikari just stare at him, wide-eyed and silent.
Popcorn falls out of Makio's mouth the moment he realizes his mistake. "I mean…maybe? I don't know."
Then, Jun clears his throat, looking adorably uncertain. "Ne," he murmurs, "is it possible that Makki's a…"
Makio hastens to intercept. "No I…"
"…CSI fanboy?" Jun finishes innocuously, a breath later.
Makio stares. "Uh. Right. Yeah. 's what I am," he says, hastily. Then adds, "Don't tell nobody."
Jun beams, clearly pleased as punch to know another one of their mysterious class president's charmingly geeky hobbies. "I won't tell anyone."
"Me neither," Hikari promises. "Though I still think he did it."
"It's just like a girl to disagree for the sake of disagreeing," Jun huffs.
Hikari sticks her tongue out at him.
Makio smiles nervously and sinks back into his chair.
Five minutes later, the young detective on the small TV screen declares that the main suspect is unquestionably innocent. "Forensic evidence suggests that the victim was stabbed in the back, while the blood spray patterns on the suspect's clothes position him in front of the victim at the time it happened. I think he was telling us the truth," the main investigator murmurs, and then pauses for dramatic effect while the music swells in the background.
"Woah," Jun and Hikari both say, and turn to look at Makio with huge eyes.
"I sure love BSI type stuff," Makio says quickly, with an anxious laugh.
"CSI," Jun and Hikari correct him, in tandem. They give him another weird look.
"That too. Hey, let's see if Anikinder is on."
He hastens to change the channel.
"The hell is that?" Sakaki Kiichi murmurs when he walks into the living room one morning and finds a messily painted red papier-mâché box sitting to the immediate right of the doorway to the patio. It reads "Suggestion Box" on it.
Kuroi, ever patient, says, "I believe it is a suggestion box, boss."
Kiichi scowls. "Yeah, but. Why's it out here? My umbrella holder is supposed to go there. I got it as a wedding gift from the Ryuseikai's Ken-chan, you know." He looks on the verge of pouting.
"It seems that the young master thought it would be a good idea to use with the gang," Kuroi explains proudly, "So the men can list their complaints and concerns without fear of retribution. He wants to improve their general satisfaction."
Kiichi's scowl deepens, and he stalks over to the box. "The men are perfectly happy. Ain't nothing they could possibly complain ab…"
He looks into the box.
It is stuffed to the brim with papers.
He blinks at Kuroi.
"Apparently the downstairs locker room hasn't had hot water for six months, boss," Kuroi reveals, after a beat.
The current leader of the Kanto Sharp fang sulks. "Well, why didn't anyone tell me?"
Kuroi simply gestures to the suggestion box again. "Now they have."
Kiichi sighs. "Yeah okay."
He puts the box back down, and supposes that yes, the umbrella holder can go on the left side of the door, if it absolutely must.
Though he still writes a suggestion for the suggestion box that suggests it should be put on the front porch instead.
Makio says that he will take it into consideration.
Kazu hasn't ever been stabbed before, but there was this one time back when he'd been a newbie yakuza where he'd come close, all false bravado and stupidity as he'd glared at his opponent in his first real on-the-street turf scuffle, daring the punk standing opposite him to come at him with the wussy-looking blade he'd suddenly pulled from the inside of his shoe. Kazu had been young then, and so he'd likened that to being invincible too, and he'd been so drunk on the ideas of honor and self-sacrifice that he'd even held back at the get go, because only pansies and cowards tried to strike first in a manly fight. The samurai dramas always said so.
So he figured he'd be quicker and cooler than the guy he was fighting by letting him try to land the first hit, and after that he'd mop the floor with the guy and consequently, look awesome in front of everyone there, most especially the young master.
But then the knife had been arcing down towards him faster than expected, and after a split second he'd realized that maybe he wasn't that much younger and quicker and cooler than his opponent after all, or that maybe his opponent had been doing this long enough that he knew how to stab a guy who was too confident and not nearly experienced enough to dodge.
Kazu had closed his eyes after that and thought maybe—hopefully— since he was still young and strong, he'd only get a little bit hurt, not killed.
But the knife never hit because suddenly the guy was whimpering and bones were snapping and Makio was there, breaking the man's arm one-handed and holding him still while repeatedly slamming his knee up into his captive's liver until he vomited and passed out.
"Aniki is amazing," is what Kazu had been ready to say afterwards, when all their opponents were dropped and broken at their feet, but then Makio had grabbed Kazu too, and slammed his knee right into the soft part of Kazu's belly.
"Don't need anyone in this gang who wants to stand there and just die," the young yakuza heir had muttered with a snort, not to Kazu but to Kuroi.
Kazu, rolling on the floor, had immediately begged for forgiveness and started apologizing for not being strong enough.
"Ain't about the strong part," Makio had said eventually, eyeing the new recruit as some of his other cronies obediently lit a cigarette for him. "Anyone can get strong, they try hard enough. Don't want anyone standing around waitin' for someone to hit 'em first. Even the strongest guy in the world does that, he'll end up minced."
Didn't want to be dishonorable, Kazu had wanted to say in his defense, but hadn't been able to when he'd been looking at Makio, for some reason.
"Ain't honorable at all," Makio had countered instinctively anyway, breathing tiredly around a puff of smoke. "Damned fuckin' shame for a Sharp Fang to go out so pathetically. Don't ever want to see it in my life."
Then he'd tipped his cigarette ash onto the street and strolled off toward the waiting car, all the while demanding that someone get him some goddamned pudding.
In the meantime, Kuroi and the others had helped Kazu to his feet again. "Next time," he remembers Kuroi starting gently in his ear, in lowered tones, "just sneak up on the guy you're fighting while he's still getting his weapon and break some of his ribs. There isn't any shame in it."
"Or least, ain't the worst shame in the world," another more senior member had amended with a grin.
He'd gotten helped back into the car by his new brothers from there on, and afterwards, when Makio had absently offered him one of his own cigarettes on the way back to headquarters while looking like he hadn't just left a bruise the size of a melon on Kazu's torso, Kazu finally got what it meant to be a Sharp Fang.
That night, he'd realized that the worst dishonor of all would be letting this man down.
When their mother dies, no one cries but Mikio. Their father is strong and grim-faced at the funeral in front of the gang and Makio is strong and grim-faced beside him, all through the whole somber affair. When Mikio asks—in a terrified whisper—if he's not supposed to cry as well because it will make the family look weak in front of all these scary-faced new people who'd come to pay their respects, Makio's answer is to cuff the smaller boy on the head and tell him that they're the leaders of the Kanto Sharp fang, and they can do whatever the hell they want since they're the strongest yakuza in the world.
"So do what you want, stupid. If you wanna cry, then cry."
"You don't want to cry, niisan?" Mikio asks after a minute, voice watery.
He thinks he sees something weird twist on Makio's face in that moment, but before long, it's gone again, replaced with that strong and grim-faced look that he must have inherited from their father. "Naw," Makio says eventually, voice gruff as he glares at his little brother, and then glares over his little brother, at some of the scary-faced new people who are watching the behavior of the head family with interest. "I don't feel like cryin' today."
"Oh." Mikio is smart enough to know when his dope of a brother is lying, but he finds himself comforted by Makio's false bravado somehow anyway.
So Mikio lets himself cry his eyes out as they cremate his mother, and feels a little bit better about it all the following day. Not a lot, but enough.
When he goes down to breakfast and sees his father still huddled over his desk working and still wearing the same grim-faced solemn glare from yesterday—except tired now as well— Mikio realizes that perhaps he doesn't want to be part of the Kanto Sharp fang after all, if this is what it means to be the strongest.
He thinks that maybe he has Makio to thank for that.