Summary:Kurosu-Sensei is on a mission to find out why Yoshimori keeps sleeping during class. He comes up with a whole bunch of terrible conclusions and will do his best to save Yoshimori from all of them. Explanation 1: Boredom
Yukio Kurosu loved his job.
He knew many people, including his students, didn't know this. But he did and that was all that mattered anyway.
You'd think this might affect the children he was teaching? But no, Kurosu-Sensei was always there for his students, a listening ear and a push in the back for those who needed it. And in the meanwhile he thrived while he helped young people develop and turn into wonderful people. He could only hope that one day they too would find a job they absolutely loved.
And no day like the present.
With as much noise as possible he dropped a huge pile of papers right next to an unexpected Yoshimori Sumimura. The poor kid jumped up mid-snore, his chair wobbling loudly but luckily remaining upright.
Kurosu was amused by the bewildered stare the boy gave the invasive pile of papers, now occupying his desk. "Hand these out for me will you, Sumimura?"
The other kids had to snicker. Kurosu also couldn't refrain from a sly smirk. Sumimura must have been his worse student ever he thought as he walked back to the front of the class.
"Today…" He began explaining. "…you will have to think about your future, you will each write a paper for tomorrow to explain what you want to do with your life after school."
The class moaned about the early deadline as Yoshimori sloppily handed out the papers. He was yawning and whipping the sleep from his eyes and didn't seem to pay any attention to the briefing.
"You may simply choose a profession and explain why you like it," Kurosu continued. "…or write about your hopes and dreams. However you have to make sure that it's realistic so do some research if you need to. Thank you Sumimura." Yoshimori had placed the remaining papers on the teachers desk, his eyes were already drooping as he made his way back to his desk. Apparently he hadn't handed out enough from the frantic way Kanda was waving, so Kurosu handed her one himself as he sighed, Sumimura was already back at his desk and snoring lightly. Kurosu frowned, he suddenly remembered that the Sumimura's grades were at an ultimate low. Perhaps it was time to set a higher standard for sleeping beauty, for the sake of his class and as well for his own sanity.
A few minutes later, class was over and Kurosu dismissed his students. Tomonori Ichigaya was about to wake up Sumimura so they could all go out for lunch, but Kurosu stopped him with a menacing: "I'll take care of him." Ichigaya swallowed, took one last look at the unsuspecting victim and left him to his own defenses.
How Sumimura had managed to make friends bewildered Kurosu but apparently he had managed… Somehow… He didn't seem to put any time or effort into these rare friendships though. It was probably only a matter of time before Ichigaya and Tabata grew tired of him.
When the class had completely emptied out, he slammed his hands upon the desk, startling Yoshimori awake. Sure it wasn't very original, but damn it was funny to startle the slacker awake.
Yoshimori again had dangerously wobbled on his chair but successfully managed to prevent a faceplant with the floor. He was now trying to catch his breath and prevent his heart from popping out of his chest. Guess Kurosu got him good this time…
"Do you have any idea what the assignment is for tomorrow, Sumimura?" Kurosu almost growled.
Yoshimori gulped, and tugged on the collar of his school uniform, he knew his home class teacher meant business. "Errrr…" Kurosu glared and leaned in closer. Yoshimori sweat dropped. "We have to… write… a… paper?"
Kurosu adjusted his glasses, that was a lucky bet. He set back against Ichigaya's desk. "And what's it about? …"
A blind panic stare was all Yoshimori could muster. "Eh… It's.. erm.."
"I don't have all day, Sumimura!"
A bit of temper flared up within Yoshimori. "How should I know? I was asleep!"
Damn it, the boy really had a hard grasp on reality. "No, you were handing out the papers! I did that specifically so you would hear about the assignment!"
Yoshimori cringed. His teacher had done that specially for him? That had actually been a very thoughtful gesture.
A desperate Kurosu facepalmed and then took a deep breath. "This has got to end, Sumimura. You need to change your attitude. You're grades aren't getting any better, in fact you are currently failing. I expect you to put some extra effort into this assignment and that you stay awake during my classes until your grades improve or else we'll have a problem. Do I make myself clear?"
Yoshimori stood to attention hastily and bowed. "Yes Sensei." Then feeling it was time to make a hasty retreat, grabbed his paper and left in a hurry.
Kurosu sighed and slumped into Ichigaya's seat. He knew the students thought him as stern and strict, but he always did it in good nature. Berating a student like he had done just now, was never fun. But Sumimura probably needed it. The boy might never achieve anything if he didn't start to put in some extra effort now.
He doubted that he would see any change in the boy but it might prevent his grades from plummeting any further.
Although… the teen had looked incredible guilty when he explained about the purpose of making him hand out the papers. Maybe…
Maybe there was more to that boy. He certainly had his odd quirks when he was awake those rare few moments. Kurosu remembered the boy suddenly waking up, almost dashing outside without permission to go to the bathroom and immediately returning.
And the episode where he had suddenly gotten an interest in black cats, one of the weirdest conversations Kurosu ever had.
No, who was he kidding? There was probably nothing more to Sumimura. Just someone completely out of whack, probably because of lack of social skills. Still, the boy deserved a chance, like any other. And Kurosu vowed to make put some extra time and effort into him, maybe challenge the boy a bit or by making classes more interesting for him. As Kurosu was about to stand up he spotted a penciled doodle on Sumimura's desk. On closer inspection it appeared to be a doodle of a fluffy cake castle.
'Yes…' Kurosu thought with a small smile. 'Tomorrow I'll make sure not to bore him to death. It'll be my reward for him doing the assignment.'
Feeling good about himself, the home class teacher strode back to his desk, ready to put his evil plan into progress.
~Meanwhile, out in the hallway~
Yoshimori was standing just outside in the hallway, staring at the paper clutched in his hand. He still didn't have a clue what the assignment was about.
~Sumimura residence, later that day~
When Shuji heard the front door open and close, he enthusiastically peeped his head inside the hallway and brightly welcomed his middle son back home.
Yoshimori mumbled something in reply, but mostly ignored his dad as he was trying to angrily kick off his shoes.
Feeling that something was off, Shuji halted in returning to his daily duties as he took a moment to study his son.
Hunched shoulders, snarl, sleepy eyes, tousled hair and that huge metaphoric dark cloud hanging over him. Something was up alright. "What's wrong Yoshimori?" He asked slightly concerned.
"Stupid teacher." Yoshimori growled, shrugging free of his yellow backpack and dropping it against the wall. "I think he's flunking me! After class he said something about my grades getting worse and that I needed to put in some extra effort. I couldn't sleep at all the rest of the day, even the rooftop didn't help because I couldn't figure out how to do it. I just can't! I have to: 1. Stay awake during class. 2. Do homework after school. 3. Train. 4. Babysit Karasumori at night. I'd be lucky if I could get 4 hours sleep besides all that! It's just not possible!"
Shuji had led his ranting son to the living room table and had served some cookies and coffee milk. He had been listening the whole time of course, but had refrained from responding until his son was done ranting and had begun to angrily stuff his face full with cookies, which was the perfect moment to calmly provide some insight and proper guidance.
"Well, I guess we will have to put some extra effort into school, you'll probably won't be able to use a shikigami for class but if you do your best during class Tokimori and I will pitch in with the homework. And I'll talk with Gramps about your training, maybe we can put it on low, just for a couple of weeks."
"Hmmpf…" Yoshimori munched. He doubted that gramps would fall for that. But at least his dad wanted to help. There simply wasn't anything else that he could do, other than try and see.
"Oh that reminds me, I have an important assignment for tomorrow. Tabata said it was a paper about what I want to do when I'm older." He plucked the piece of paper from his backpack and shoved it towards his father.
Shuji looked at it. "Oh." Then looked at Yoshimori. "Oh! But I can't write that!"
Yoshimori raised an eyebrow. "But you said…"
"Yes, yes, but this is different! Math, book reports, no problem. But this is about your future, about you, I can't write it!"
"Tokimori?" Yoshimori tried. But he knew the answer before his father shook his head. Tokimori was a lot younger than him and certainly didn't understand a thing about his aniki.
He'd have to do it himself. But how could he, if he was so tired, already?
In the end his dad had been able to cut off half the time of his training and he had gotten a couple hours of sleep before diner. However now Yoshimori had to write his paper and the biggest problem was that he was going to have to lie anyway, so what was the use of this paper anyway? His future? He had no future besides the family business. But he couldn't write about that so what then? He yawned loudly, debating to get some hours of sleep first then do the assignment before he went to Karasumori. But he'd probably wake up too late and then Tokine would scold him. Maybe he could write it at Karasumori? Except then he might endanger Tokine… Hell no!
No, he really had to write it now.
What would he want to be if he wasn't a Kekkaishi? He had never really thought about it.
His dad was a writer but he certainly didn't want to become one. From the looks of it, it wasn't much fun, just a lot of stress and a lot of failing. Now, what other professions were there? He listed some of the classical ones (the only ones he could come up with). Fireman, Police, Teacher (yeah right!), Doctor, Lawyer, Pizza delivery guy? Desk Job?
His inspiration/motivation dropped fast. He already could cross off most those. He wasn't that book smart. So that was a big no-no for "- Doctor" and "- Laywer" and he was really getting depressed just thinking about being a "- Pizza delivery guy" or getting any kind of "- Desk Job". So that left him with Firemen or Police. Well, he guessed he could be a fireman, being a kekkaishi wasn't so different was it? He could even use his kekkais to… Oh wait, this was all hypertensive*, so it didn't really matter anyway.
Stupid assignment. Getting slightly distracted, Yoshimori doodled an evil looking Kurosu Sensei head next to the "- teacher", a forked tongue sticking out, horns on his head and a pitchfork besides it. Which made him feel slightly better.
"You're teacher doesn't really look like that, does he?"
Yoshimori jumped in his chair, his luck had finally run out as he ended up banging his knees against the desk, flipping the chair and landing hard on the floor. As he rubbed his abused limbs he looked up to see a transparent intruder hovering over his homework. Masahiko Tsukijigaoka, the pastry chef ghost.
"Gah!" Yoshimori jumped up and pointed an accusing finger to the former living being. "What are you doing here? Why haven't you passed on yet? I told you to pass on didn't I?"
Masahiko raised his eyebrows in surprise about all the commotion. "I'm just visiting, thought I could help you on your baking skills some more." He gave a bright open smile and Yoshimori's anger subsided somewhat. "I can't." He mumbled. "I have to finish an assignment." Yoshimore sat back down on his chair, clenching his pen and leaning on his desk with his head. He couldn't really write like that, but he was making a statement.
"Oh, … Bummer. Maybe some other time then?" The ghost floated around a bit, made a few attempts to leave, but then settled on the desk. "So what's it about? Maybe you can finish real quick and then we can bake!"
Yoshimori perked up, he knew he should probably get some more sleep when he got the assignment done, but he really wanted to do something fun too today, and how many times would he get the opportunity to learn from a certified confectioner? "I guess I could do that. You want to help me out? I have to write a paper about what I want to be later. I was thinking about maybe a fireman?" Yoshi stared at the former pastry chef, who could only blink at him.
"A fireman?" The ghost asked, baffled. "When you grow up, you wanna be a fireman?"
"Yeah, I know it's not much, but I have to pick something."
Masahiko just stared… Then it finally came to him that in fact, yes Yoshimori was that dumb, for a lack of better words… "You idiot!" He yelled. "You don't want to be a fireman! You want to be a pastry chef! Like me!" Masahiko grabbed the teen by the color and angrily shook him. "What the hell is wrong with you? I put a lot of time into training you, trying to make you a better baker! To teach you everything I know. To be an inspiration to you! What did I do wrong? Am I that bad of a role model? Don't you wanna bake cakes and sweets anymore Yoshimori?" Tears were now gushing down the ghosts face and Yoshimori felt really uncomfortable with all those ghostly tears soaking his clothes. "I'm sorry! I do want to bake cakes, I do!" He patted the ghost on his shoulders. "There there, I just forgot. You're a great inspiration! Really. Anyone would want to have a role model like you!"
"Really?" Masahiko sniffed, he didn't really believe it yet. But Yoshimori nodded enthusiastically.
"Yes! ..just don't teach me how to make those cabbage sweets… That's just… wrong."
"Ah.. Haha" Masahiko scratched his head, embarrassed. "Agreed!" And they shook on it to seal the deal.
Crisis aborted, Yoshimori was glad to note that with the ghost uprising mood, the tears that had soaked his clothes seconds before had automatically disappeared. Now he could go back to business. He crumpled up his old piece of paper and started a new one with "Pastry Chef" in big bold letters on top.
"So…" Yoshimori starts. "What made you want to become a Pâtissier?"
~Next day, Karasumori Academy~
It was pretty noisy in the classroom, students were discussing their findings and were enthusiastically talking about their futures.
Yoshimori entered the classroom hesitantly, paper in hand. He quickly placed it on his teacher's desk where more papers had found their place and made his way to his desk in the back of the room.
Exhausted he laid his head in his arms and closed his eyes. Last night's patrol had been a hard one, several big ayakashi had shown and especially one of them had been tricky to dispose off, so they had been working late. Which had again prevented him from taking a quick nap.
He rubbed his eyes tiredly, he was slightly worried whether his paper was good enough or not.
He had kind of rushed it so he could go bake with Masahiko. Which, unfortunately, had been a total disaster. He had been half asleep on his feet and despite the ghosts frantic attempts to save the cake, him being transparent had turned out to be a real disadvantage and the fact that he couldn't yell at Yoshimori didn't help at all. The ghost knew better then to alert the oldest Sumimura of the house. The old goat would have extinguished the pastry ghost without a second thought. So in the end the cake had failed miserably and had been disposed off at first sight.
Yoshimori sighed, he was certain the cake failed because he rushed the assignment, karma and all. But at least he had done the assignment, that had to count for something! Plus he got feedback from an expert, so it had to be good. It just had to be.
Kurosu-Sensei entered the class and everyone stood up to greet him. Yoshimori slapped himself awake, not really feeling up for the task to stay awake all day, but determined to try.
Kurosu had to smile. It was a nice sight to have ALL his students awake and alert, waiting for him to begin. "Goodmorning class!" He almost sang as he examined the stack of assignments. "I see most of you did your homework, I hope it wasn't that hard and I will get back to each and every one of you to discuss your future further. However! For now I've got a little surprise." He placed his bag (which was slightly bigger than normal) on his desk and extracted a big cylinder shaped Tupperware box. As the teacher opened it a delicious scent wafted through the classroom. "Today we'll be discussing the art of preparing a perfect cake!"
The class awed and owed and Yoshimori was just speechless. In his hands the teacher held a perfect, golden cake.
"A gift from Mrs. Yukio. And a gift, not easily acquired. Does anyone know any of the ingredients that go into a cake?"
Yoshimori knew this! This was easy! But he was supposed to raise his hand… right? … His answer was answered for him as Yurina Kanda raised her hand and Kuroso picked her to answer the question.
"Flour!" She piped in. "You need flour to bake a cake." "Very good Kanda. Anyone know what else?" And as the teachers eyes fell to his pastry obsessed student, said hand suddenly flew up. "Sumimura?"
"Sugar, eggs and butter." He supplemented quickly.
Kurosu smiled. "Very well." He wrote the four ingredients on the school board while he continued. "These four main ingredients are the basis of all cakes, depending on the right proportions you can make of fail a cake. Too much sugar and butter will make the cake fall apart but too much flour and eggs will make it too tough this is because of the…"
~2 hours later~
Kurosu slummed behind his desk as the class slowly cleared. The students were silently munching on the cake that he had handed out at the end. But one piece remained untouched. Yoshimori had fallen asleep half way through.
Some of the student shot resentful glares at the dark-haired teen. They probably knew that the class had been prepared for Sumimura and they were feeling bad for their home class teacher. He probably should not allow that, but he flattered that they were willing to stand up for him.
He sighed, deciding that he might as well find out if Yoshimori did his homework or not.
He was pleasantly surprised when he discovered a paper written in Yoshimori's sloppy handwriting, but the pleasantness faded the more he read.
It was clear that the paper, though it may have been written by Sumimura, wasn't thought up by him.
Yoshimori wouldn't want to be a pastry chef just to get girls. That just didn't sound like him, the teenager hardly even had interest in girls. Just that one girl, Tokine Yukimura , and it was clear to everyone that he had that crush for forever and would probably continue to do so for all eternity.
And that fact that Yoshimori would want to be a pastry chef just for the look on peoples faces also didn't make a whole lot of sense. People who enjoyed people and their happiness don't sleep through most of the day and threat their friends as awfully as Sumimura had. Nor would they want to anger their teacher by not making any homework. This paper was clearly narrated by a womanizing, people pleaser.
Kurosu dropped his paper and pushed his glasses back up his nose. He knew enough. And he was highly disappointed. He shouldn't be surprised though, but somewhere he had hoped…
He approached the teen and settled once again on Ichigaya's desk, he just lacked the energy to startle the younger man awake.
"Yoshimori!" He said sternly. "Are we going to be making a habit of these after class talks?" Yoshimori woke slowly to once again discover his class devoid of students and under a dark glare from his teacher. 'Treacherous Ichigaya' he thought as he sat up to smell the roses. As he looked his teacher in the eyes he was shocked to see mostly sadness and disappointment. The guilt settled in a rock. He had just missed a class that was set up specifically for him.
What a jerk he was.
He tried to bow down as deeply as he could while still sitting behind his desk."Gomen Sensei, Gomen nasai."
Kurosu saw the sincerity, which made him feel slightly better, but he still didn't understand. "I thought you liked cakes and pies and everything related."
"I do!" Yoshimori looked up. "I do love baking! It's great and there's nothing like it. It's fun to bake and it's simple, but not that simple. When you ruin one you can simply try again, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Plus you can eat it and it's delicious! It's always better fresh, you can never get it as fresh as when you bake one yourself."
"Huh." Kurosu reacted, it wasn't often to get Sumimura enthusiastic and surprisingly he was awake finally, probably by guilt. So the kid had a bit of decency after all, that still didn't explain everything. "So why did you fall asleep again? Was there something wrong about the way I did it? Or was it too easy?"
"Huh?" Yoshimori was perplexed, was the teacher insecure or something? "No, there was nothing wrong with it, I wanted to stay awake. I just.. I was really tired."
~Hallways, Karasumori Academy~
Kurosu couldn't put his mind around it. The Sumimura kid wasn't bored, he was simply tired. He simply slept during his class, every day, because he was tired.
Kurosu entered the teachers office and sat behind his desk, trying to think.
He had tired students before, sure! They would half fall asleep during class and he'd have to scold them. It was usual for obvious reasons, they stayed up late to finish a paper they had left to do until the very last second, or they partied the night before and they would ensure that it wouldn't happen again.
Well, Yoshimori didn't seem like the partying type and he certainly didn't do his own homework. Add the fact that he slept every single time. It just didn't add up.
Miss Aoki entered the office and he welcomed her.
"Everything alright?" She asked.
"Ah, am I so readable?" He inquired.
"When you're concerned about one of your students you tend to be. Which one is it?" Miss Aoki leaned against his desk to provide a listening ear. They had been close friends for some time now and Kurosu found it easy to confine in her.
"Do you know a student named Sumimura Yoshimori?"
She frowned a bit, then a hint of a snarl appeared. "Yoshimori? Ah yes he's the brother of one of my more promising students Sumimura Tokimori. And I have had him once or twice in the past. Not one of the brightest crayons in the box is he?" Kurosu nodded as she continued. "I doubt he's gotten himself into trouble, so what's the problem?"
"Well… I just can't get him to pay attention during class…" Kurosu started.
"..Cause he sleeps all the time?" Aoki laughed. He did the same during all of my classes. "Darnest thing I've ever seen, he didn't really care about any consequences either, just kept sleeping right through detention."
Kurosu nodded in agreement, he had tried it as well in the beginning. But he'd given up fairly quickly, deciding that it didn't really matter to the other students if he slept or not. And also to save the school some money, having a teacher stay for detention duty every single day was quite expensive.
"You know, I wouldn't worry about it." Aoki said. "Some kids just aren't fit to make something out of their lives. If he's too bored to pay attention it can't be helped."
"No, that's just it." Kurosu said with passion, because this is where the real problem lied. "He's not. He's not bored, he's so tired that he's simply unable to stay awake. I tested it and he confirmed it as well."
"Really? Oh, well, that's a bit odd seeing that he does this every time right? I see your problem now. You know there could be a whole range of causes for this. Maybe his parents let him stay up all night, or maybe he's having problems at home, which is causing him stress. He could even be sick. You really need to find out what the problem is."
"Yeah." Kurosu sighed. "I was afraid of that."
Aoki patted him on the shoulder. "I'm sure you'll figure it out. Let's just hope it's nothing serious." She smiled and went to her desk to finish some papers.
Kurosu buried his head deeper into his hands. Why him? He'd gone through years of classes without any problems. To his knowledge all his students went and graduated without problems and had at least semi successful lives. He'd be damned if he'd let Sumimura ruin his perfect record. He'd get to the root to the problem and he'd fix it or his name wasn't Yukio Kurosu!
He sat up, straightened his tie and picked up his phone.
He had some parents to call.
*Hypertensive. Yoshimori meant: hypothetical. XD
Next chapter: Narcolepsy!
Reviews are love! Love I tell you! 3
Author's rambling (Feel free to ignore)
AN1: Hmmm.. can't add Kurosu Sensei as the second character... Will have to find out how to achieve that...
AN2: I'm not sure if I should keep the story cannon, in that case this chapter should take place before chapter 29, but since I'm going to have Gen included at some point should I slowly progress to chapter 48 and give hints along the way? I guess it would be nice to keep it canon so you can maybe see a bit of development on Yoshimori's behalf… But on the other side I won't be able to use the pasty chef again… T.T
So please let me know if you want me to keep all characters randomly alive during the whole story or to stick to canon.
Thanks for reading and till next time!