Chapter 3: Nagging Conscience
Disclaimer: I don't own Shiritsu Horitsuba Gakuen and its characters or the lyrics I'm using. All I have is the idea, the ability to bake and some freakin' mosquite bites.
Pairing: SyaoronYuui. Best crack pairing ever. And who knows… maybe they will be canon one day. If we keep believing, everything can happen, right?
And other times I think that you think I'm endearing
Sometimes I just don't know you at all
Although I liked to think I was a bit of a know-it-all
Sometimes I just cant work you out
Even though I'd like to know what you were about
Kate Nash, "stitching leggins"
One day I was attending a lecture of inorganic chemistry and I got bored. My hand picked up my pen and without thinking about it I wrote down the first sentence that came into my mind.
Ich wär' so gern ein Pfannkuchen.
Yep. I wanted to be a pancake.
'But why is this strange author telling me about this?', you might ask, 'instead of continuing her story about Yuui and Syaoron?' Well, what I'm about to tell you will have something to do with it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be cakes and pastries or something similarly sweet but nowadays one had to be careful about one's wishes. And not just because of certain shops and their owners.
I wanted to be a pancake but it could have been a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of apple poppy pie as well. However, I never wanted to be a pancake made by Yuui. Not after the muffin incident. And the cookie incident. I am not going to give you the details; there is just one thing you should know: Since Yuui de Flourite started being a home economics teacher, every now and then his baking goods just… burnt. Nobody worried about the muffins, they happen to burn easily… but cookies? Especially when you're standing right next to the oven?
Yuui knew he had a problem. He knew that a certain boy could distract him way too easily and that somebody would notice about it one day. That was why the blond teacher used to think that it would be better if this boy would not be in his class. The thought managed to last for about one second and then said boy noticed the stare of his teacher and grinned. The thought was dragged right out of Yuui's head to be drowned in the warm, fuzzy feeling that had been taken hold of the man.
It was a beautiful Thursday, the day after Yuui and the boy had been stuck under a tree, causing the man to think about the nature of his feelings. Yuui accepted the fact that he was indeed in love, but being in love and to love somebody were two completely different things. And as long as he was just in love, he still wanted to keep this as his secret, although Fai was not happy about it.
~~~a little time skip to the previous evening~~~
"So, what are you gonna do now?", Fai asked, hugging his little brother back.
"Forcing you to eat your soup?", Yuui asked back, sounding a little bit clueless.
"No, I mean about Syaoron-kun."
"Actually, I intended to do nothing at all. Things are alright the way they are now."
"But, he likes you and you like him. The next step would be to ask him out on a date."
"Fai, I can't do that! I am his teacher."
"You're not practicing what you preach. You told me that I should confess my feelings to Kuro-sama, yet you refuse to do the same."
"My situation is completely different from yours."
"No, it's not!"
Yuui sighed. "Look, you and Kurogane are both teachers and you are adults. You are pretty much… gosh, how should I put it? You are equal. Your position in society is equal. But Syaoron is a student, and as his teacher I am supposed to educate him and to protect him from harm as long as he is in the school. I can't date him."
He was close to saying 'I can't date anyone!' but thought better. This would only lead into an argument, because Fai was the kind of person who loved dates, loved the worrying about what to wear or if a little present would be appropriate. Fai loved the anticipation.
Well, to Yuui the concept of a date was just wrong. How was one supposed to get to know a person better if there was the pressure to look best and to behave best, not to forget the high expectations that were hardly fulfilled.
"Coward", Fai whispered, pouting.
"Fine. You've won. I'll tell Kuro-rin that I love him."
"Oh, good. I believe he will -"
"I'll tell him as soon as you confessed to Syaoron."
But the chemistry teacher already smiled like a Mad Cat. (A term Fai invented himself; a mixture of smiling like a mad man and Chesire Cat). "So, we have a deal."
~~~a little time skip back to thursday~~~
So they had a deal.
But it was a beautiful Thursday and Yuui did not want to think about that deal, he needed all his concentration for his class. The teacher had found out something: Syaoron's presence might be able to distract him but that was nothing compared to the boy's absence. He tried to think of something different, tried to look at something else – oh, Sakura-chan and Himawari-chan were chatting about which icing to use for their cup cakes – but soon enough his eyes were drawn back to the empty place next to the girls.
Maybe Syaoron-kun was ill. Maybe he had caught a cold, just as Yuui had predicted, he had been sneezing heavily the day before… A cold was nothing to worry about, two or three days at home and it was gone. And on Monday, Syaoron-kun would be back.
That was four days, Yuui noticed.
Four days of not talking to him or seeing him in the hallway, four days of missing his smile. This prospect made him nervous. Unbalanced. But he was able to keep his apprehensions down, so home economics passed by without serious incidents.
"Sakura-chan? Can I have a word with you?" Yuui called out, as the bell rang.
"Sure," the green eyed girl replied, politely as usual. "What is it, Yuui-sensei?"
"I just wanted to ask if you have seen Syaoran-kun today. You use to walk to school with him, don't you? Because I noticed his brother is missing, so maybe Syaoran-kun had told you the reason why."
Sakura blushed at the mentioning of her boyfriend's name. Although they were a couple since White Day, they were not aware that everyone knew about it. Well, it was hard not to see those two were in love.
"I've seen both of them today, but Syaoron-kun didn't seem to feel that well. Syaoran-kun tried to pursue him to stay at home but Syaoron-kun insisted that he wanted to go to school. He headed to the infirmary as soon as we got here and told me, we'll meet later in class. I haven't seen him since then."
The infirmary? The information got him even more worried. Students would not go to the infirmary if they just had a cold. Besides, Syaoron had assured Sakura he would take his classes but still, he was not here. Was he send back home? Or maybe he was still in the infirmary… Yuui knew, he would be restless for the next few days if he didn't find out the reason for the boy's absence so he had no choice.
He had to ask Seishirou-san.
He didn't like that man.
The head physician of the infirmary was a very creepy person. He even managed to make Fai nervous and Fai could deal people with a medical diploma very well. (The older Flourite twin used to make their former dentist cry after that guy had dared to take Yuui's wisdom teeth out, a very painful procedure. Fai's revenge had been terrible and he had taken it right on his next appointment at the dentist's, destroying the man's existence with geeky questions that only another chemist could handle. But even if Fai had been present this day, Yuui thought that there was no way to bother the physician with geeky question because the man was strange.)
"Yuui-sensei? Are you alright?"
"Yes, Sakura-chan. I was just thinking."
"Well, then see you tomorrow, Sensei." Sakura went away, waving. Yuui waved back until the girl was out of sight, then he lowered his hand and let out a deep sigh. This was going to be stressful.
Seishirou-san showed a very odd smile (the effect was even stronger because of a very nasty scratch the man had on his cheek and it looked quite recent) as Yuui asked for Syaoron-kun and admitted that the boy was still in the infirmary but refused to let out any further information. "You can see him if you want to, but I would advise you not to do so."
"Is he in such a bad condition?"
"No, he is just dangerous." Another scary smile and the physician was gone. Yuui headed towards the beds. Like the emergency room in a hospital, every bed was surrounded by a curtain to give the patients a little bit of privacy. Only one of the curtains was closed on this day, so Syaoron was easy to be found. Yuui put the white drapery aside to find a quite grumpy Chinese boy lying in a bed, his cheeks tainted with pink, his vision blurried and every breath Syaoron took sounded like whistling.
The boy's mood lightened up the very moment he saw his teacher. "Sensei? Are you here to pick me up for class?"
"Home economics is already over, Syaoron-kun."
He sighed, sounding disappointed. "I know. Seishirou-san stopped me from going."
"Does that have anything to do with the scratch on his face?"
The student looked away. "…maybe."
Yuui didn't know the boy could be that violent. Besides, picking up a fight when one was sick was not a very clever thing to do.
"Well, I have to say he's right. Sneezing on tarts is not quite hygienic, you know." Yuui took a seat and placed a hand on the boy's forehead. No fever. As he withdrew his hand, he noticed his students stare. Yuui froze. He had seen that expression before. Not on Syaoron, but… the intensity of that look was intimidating. This was the way Fai looked, when there was only one cookie left in the cookie jar and he wanted that cookie really, really badly but was afraid to ask for it.
'Why don't you just take it?' Yuui used to ask in moment like that although he already knew the answer he would get. The last cookie was something special, because there was only one of it. It was irreplaceable, if one took it the jar was empty. Yuui didn't want to feel like a cookie.
"Syaoron-kun, is something wrong?"
"No." A short pause, then: "You're handsome."
Yuui blushed and tried to say something, no, anything, but he just managed to stutter.
"I like it, when you're around. You make me feel calm."
The last-cookie-in-the-jar-stare changed. Now, Yuui felt like he was the only piece of caramell in front of a starving man. He felt completely lost. And the he noticed something. He boy was talking like he was in a fever delirium, although he had no fever. Still, his cheeks were slightly pink and his vision…
"Syaoron, are you drunk?"
"Yes. Is that a problem?"
"Of course! Why did you… How did you get your hands on alcohol?"
The boy pointed at a little bottle on the side table next to the bed. It was cough syrup. With an alcohol percentage like hard liquor, according to the label. "Seishirou-san gave that to me. Maybe I took a little bit to much, but… did I already mention how handsome you look?" Syaoron smiled a happy drunk smile and his teacher was not sure if the boy was trying to be flirty or just wanted to change subject. He stood up.
"Handing out alcohol to minors is illegal! I need to have a word with Yuuko-sensei on that!"
Suddenly, Syaoron sat up. "No, Sensei, please stay, I…" The student was cut off by a coughing fit. His lungs hurt, his throat hurt and because of his damn cold he didn't dare to kiss Yuui-sensei, although he really wanted to. The brunet started to wonder if this was really worth it, after all being ill wasn't getting him closer to his teacher at all.
"Syaoron-kun! God, are you alright?"
The boy managed to calm down, breathing greedily for air. He felt Yuui's hand on his shoulder and looked up, just to see the worried expression in these clear blue eyes. The blue of Yuui's eyes was a little bit less intense than the colour of Fai-sensei's eyes, like the colour of washed out jeans, making him think of a mountain lake. He always noticed that, but this time he thought of something else. He thought about slapping himself for his carelessness. He made Yuui-sensei worry so much... that was unforgivable.
If he'd only knew that worry was not the only reason why the blond seemed so… torn. When the boy had started to cough, Yuui had reached out for him, wanting to hug and comfort the boy. Sure, that would not cure the disease but it could help making Syaoron feel better if the student knew there was someone there for him. In the end, a little voice in Yuui's head (that sounded just like that fat woman from the sexual harassment seminary) had stopped the teacher, stating: 'hugging students is inappropriate'. So, he only touched the younger one's shoulder, feeling like a coward.
"I told Seishirou-san that I wanted the strongest medicine he had", Syaoron explained, "…because I didn't want to miss out home economics. You know, I can transcript Himawari-chan's or Sakura-chan's notes for any other class but I really wanted to take home economics."
"Syaoron, h. e. is not important and most of all it's insignificant compared to your health. You should have stayed at home."
"I know. I still wanted to go."
"It's your class", Syaoron stated, the look from his amber eyes was making Yuui once again feel like the last cookie in the cookie jar.
"Oh." 'inappropriate, inappropriate…', the voice in Yuui's head echoed but he tried not to listen to it. "Syaoron-kun…"
Yuui remembered saying to Fai that no one's heart was going to be broken and he really meant that but he also believed that a teacher-student-relationship would only cause trouble that would lead into broken hearts. He wanted to explain this to Syaoron, as carefully as possible, but he wasn't so sure that he had the heart for it.
"You do realize, that I am much older than you, don't you?"
"I know." The boy's reply was dry, yet serious.
"In fact, you are still a teenager."
"And you are my student."
"A relationship like that would be… highly inappropriate."
"Syaoron, would you please say something different?", the blond teacher cried out, "'Cause I get the feeling you're not listening to a word I say!"
"… I want to be with you, nevertheless. I like you."
Something inside Yuui just snapped. The constant choir of 'inappropriate's fell silent and before he could even realize that his body moved, his hands were already framing Syaorons face as he placed a soft kiss on the younger one's forehead. He pulled the boy closer, burying his face in Syaorons brown hair.
"I like you, too", the blond whispered. He had never been a possessive person but right know he felt like killing anyone who dared to take that boy away from him. They sat there for a few minutes, just holding onto each other, neither speaking a word.
"Sensei, can I take some private lessons after school for the one I missed out", Syaoron asked and Yuui let go of him. The cooking teacher smiled tenderly and ran his fingers through brunet hair. "Of course. You know, when it comes to private lessons I might even be so generous to let you choose the things we make. Is there something you always wanted to try?"
'Something I always wanted to try…'
Well, there was, but it had nothing to do with baking. Anyway, the boy was careful enough not to let that three letter word slip off his tongue. He may have been fourteen and full of hormones but Yuui-sensei was dear to him and spending time out of school with the other one was more than he had ever dreamed of. That kind of physical experience would be a part of their relationship when they were both ready for it and Syaoron was willing to wait for that moment, so it could become special. Sex was only something precious when you shared it with someone you really loved, so they said.
And about hormones and being a teen… well, he still had magazines and his hand if the pressure would get too high to bare.
"I want Itsy-Bitsy-Teeny-Weeny-Trifles."
"I've never heard of them."
"Nobody has. That's why it's a challenge."
Yuui sighed, wondering if every day from now on would become a challenge. "Fine, if that's what you want."
"By the way, a new cafe opened; I thought, maybe you'd like to check it out. It's quite far away from the campus but I guess that won't be a problem. I'd pay, since I still have to make up for my rude behavior yesterday."
"Is this your way of asking me out on a date?"
"Good. Because I hate dates. I really hate them. I mean, I'd like to meet you as long as it's not dating, you know."
Syaoron smiled. "So, should we set a date for our not-date?"
"I think it's better when we decide that spontaneously."
"That's fine for me." He rested his heasd on the pillow once again without breaking eye contact. "Sensei, would you stay here with me until my brother finished class? Seishirou-san won't give me the permission to leave until a family member picks me up and it's so boring here, all alone…"
Yuui noticed the way Syaorons hand was laying on the sheets, the back down so its palm was exposed, welcoming. He reached out to let his fingers trace the lines of that hand. Explored it a little bit before he entwined their fingers completely.
"I have no intention to be anywhere else", the blond man whispered, smiling.
No matter the consequences or the limitation of their relationship – he would accept it.
You can endure everything as long as you have someone to love.
 Do you want to irritate your dentist? Next time he is going to give your tooth a plastic filling, just ask him how big the polymer shrinkage is. Did I mention that I had 4 appointments at the dentist's last month? Last time he made me laugh so much, it's a wonder he got that filling in. This is probably his revenge for my stupid questions. Well, it could be worse. In January I had daily visits.
 I just assumed that teachers (and students) have sexual harassment seminarys from time to time. Why? Because it's fun that no one ever wants to visit them. I'll never forget the NCIS episode with the seminary… so, whacking somebody's head is a form of sexual harassment… so, it's a kind of flirting, huh? That makes Gibbs really look like a slu…g.
 Oh, c'mon, just listen to drama CD 4. You'll realize, Syaoron is a sneaky little pervert, but that's normal when you're a fourteen year old boy, only driven by your, erm, lower brain. By the way, no one ever said those magazines were containing pictures of naked girls only.
Hm, I used to listen to the drama CDs again and I noticed that Syaoron is the older twin.
Oops? Well, I hope you don't mind that I mixed that up, if I write another Horitsuba fic (and I will, I have some plans for KuroFai (additional to that scene in chapter 2) I'll make sure I'll get it right.