Hizumi's Side by: Kounellii

Kou's comments: As per my poll on my profile, a Hizumi-centric fic! I'll include the reference points from the manga so that you'll know the timeline. So if you haven't read up to v13 and don't want spoilers, don't read this. Hope you'll agree with how I portray Hizumi=)

Disclaimer: I do not claim Hizumi nor Kiyotaka de "Spiral Suiri no Kizuna." Je n'ai pas! But I am the sole author of this fic.

-California, Here I Come-

The clouds in the sky were lazily, but surely, building up. They were thick and fluffy. So much so, that the large cotton-looking mass cast an even shadow over the campus.

Hizumi fingered his new college ID, moving his finger over to read his full name. Best to check that his name wasn't misspelled. The ID clerks were only human after all. He strode behind his "new" peers. He was easily the shortest one there.

But it didn't matter. Hizumi's IQ alone matched, or even surpassed, those of his classmates. Obviously made more impressive by the fact that he's only 13 years old.

His yellow eyes glanced over the remaining free seats. More than a hundred were available.

I guess UCLA really is prestigious. Most of the large lecture classrooms aren't even half full, thought Hizumi to himself. He dropped his blue messenger bag down into the empty seat next to him. At least there's enough seats for everyone to leave their bags on.

The University of California Los Angeles has a very established human genetics department. By that the human genetics department was created before human genome became a scientific fact. It was still in its hypothesizing stages back then.

He leaned back in his chair, his minty head barely surpassed the length of it. Hizumi noticed that the others saw that too. Some people walking down the aisle whispered non-discreetly to each other about the new kid genius. A few offered a small indulgent smile as they passed Hizumi's row.

Hizumi waved and smiled back. He understood their general awe. But he knew it wouldn't be long before jealousy got mixed up in it.

At last class begins.

"Welcome to 'Human Genetics'," greeted their professor, a middle-aged woman with short wavy hair. She continued to write on the board while the class murmured their hello back.

"Alright, I'd like you to take a look at the question I've written up and share your thoughts on it," she said while tapping the new chalk on the board.

Hizumi rested his head on both his hands. His characteristic pose of boredom. Sheer boredom was expressed with his head leaning on one hand. He glanced longingly at the Ziploc bag half-filled with his homemade, chocolate chip with almond cookies. It was sticking out of the opening on the side of his bag, calling out to him with its sweet scent.

He left the Ziploc bag open on purpose.

Hizumi sighed. He already read the question of course, anticipating a classroom discussion. Now the question was whether or not he felt like answering.

"'Nature, Nurture: Is it genes or upbringing that defines us?' Remember this question, because it's the reason for this class. And it will be the never ending question for humans whether they are genetics majors or not."

Now young Hizumi put up his hand.

A few of his classmates giggled. The professor smiled and nodded her head encouragingly at him.

"Ahem. Well, if it's a never ending question, then why does this class end on…" and Hizumi dramatically flips through the syllabus, "…December 18?"

The class erupted into peals of laughter. Hizumi's status now changed from probably-super-geeky to class joker. Mission complete.

Needless to say, that really got under the professor's skin. But she opted for an undercutting answer rather than explode on him as she wanted to do.

She pulled some strands of hair behind her ear.

"Hizumi Mizushiro, I will gladly answer that question of yours. This course is to expose you to the general overview of what can influence people's lives and actions. It includes the various views and real-life situations of how much of social, political, biological, etc. factors drive or even skew our very development. Mostly, to increase your tolerance of perspectives made. Naturally, these speculations are not just limited to the human species. There are some monkeys out there who also act obstinately, like a certain someone we know. And wouldn't we all want to know why he asked that stupid question in the first place."

Ooh, faced! thought Hizumi cheerfully. It's nice when people fought back, although he wished she'd chew him out with real anger rather than to have a carefully formed retort.

He bowed his head politely.

"Gomenasai Sensei. I just wanted to liven' things up a bit."

Hizumi-kun opted for nipping his sass in the bud. The professor already proved she'll only offer cool arguments. He didn't want to get bored and annoyed.

"I don't accept your apology Mizushiro. That's a social factor by the way. You actually just wanted to increase your popularity with your classmates didn't you? So instead of impressing me with your opinion, you ridiculed the foundation of my class instead to get everyone else's attention," she stated from Hizumi to her other students.

Now Hizumi arched his eyebrows up in slight surprise. Still with the nonchalant lecturing, but she definitely expressed my behavior in a simple way and made an example out of me. This class might not be so bad after all.

"Now I'm really sorry professor. You got me good! I admit I cracked a joke at your expense. But I did it because I find that when people find out I'm a genius, they become standoffish towards me. Or they come to me only when they need help," he said.

The young genius adjusted himself, now bringing his fingertips together under his chin.

He continued, "If I don't do things like tell a joke or play my harmonica to get their attention, they wouldn't normally take the time to really get to know me. Socially, it's because being a genius is not normal, and since it is rare to meet one, society did not provide etiquette about how to treat or act around such people. We know various ways of approaching a doctor or even a bum on the street whether we've seen our parents do it or movie actors, but we essentially model ourselves from observing real life people. Biologically… my synapses are awesome."

The class laughed again. A few even clapped. But it was clear that nobody expected a biting word exchange on their first day of genetics class.

I mean, c'mon! Genetics. Class.

The professor chuckled herself. Soon she calmed the class down and restored everyone's attention back to the syllabus. Chapter one's bullet points were lectured on.

Hizumi already ached for another class discussion.

He reached for his new seagreen cellphone. He bought it in San Diego. Hizumi was young and didn't have any use for a cell in Japan as far as his Saver parents were concerned. But Hizumi figured it would come in handy, especially during long lecture classes.

Without looking, he selected Narumi for the To: part of his message. Luckily his older brother's Knights organization covered all of his expenses, so sending a long-distance text even though his plan only covers national texts wasn't inconvenient.

He typed in the following: "Plz send me the new Metal Gear Solid 2 game. Use my dorm address."

He sent it. In English. Oops, my bad, thought Hizumi, without any real concern at all.

EXTRA: Hizumi was 13 in college in America (v13 p78, v14 p142). I'm in college myself but I don't attend UCLA. If you're from Cali, it would be great if you'd let me know so I can ask you for some specific food places that Hizumi might visit. The title is in reference to a song, "California Here I Come" by Al Jolson. Please review!