Chapter 1: Yankumi's Mystery Man
1. Yankumi's Mystery Man
It is Kamiya who first spots them outside the convenience store that is his part-time job – Yankumi and a guy. He rubs his eyes for all of two seconds to convince himself he isn't hallucinating, and they are gone.
Two hours later, when his shift ends, he runs the entire five blocks to Kuma's ramen shop, where he is supposed to meet the old Akadou gang.
Ren and Yamato stare at him, bemused.
Kamiya has his hands braced against the wooden table, attempting to catch his breath and collect his thoughts, when Kengo bursts through the doors, breathless and wheezing the same incoherent message of "Yankumi…!"
Ren rolls his eyes, handing Kamiya and Kengo each a glass of iced water.
Kuraki and Ichimura stroll into the store just as Kamiya recovers, and everyone is present to hear the strangely familiar words.
"Yankumi – with a guy! An ikemen!"
Yamato is the first to voice it: "Déjà vu?"
Ren laughs in apparent comprehension. "Kumai-san, how many of Yankumi's ex-students are ikemen?"
Kuma chuckles, "Most of them, actually, now that I think about it. Let's see, Akadou had you guys, Kurogin had Odagiri, Yabuki, Tsuchiyama, and Takeda, I think. Shirokin had Shin, Uchi, Noda and of course," he preened, "me."
Kuraki snickers, patting Kamiya on the back. "There you have it, another Odagiri Ryu."
Kamiya looks uncertain, but accepts the conclusion without argument (less scarring than the thought of Yankumi actually being in a romantic relationship).
"That's not it!" Kengo interrupts, having finally regained the ability to speak coherently. "What sort of student, former or not, puts his hand around his teacher's waist and whispers intimately to her?"
"Alright, calm down, all of you! You too, Teruo! You've been pacing the same spot for the last ten minutes! Why can't Yamaguchi-sensei get a boyfriend anyway? Or even a husband?" Ami glares at the men in the small shop, a little annoyed at them on Yankumi's behalf. Honestly! No woman wants to be thought of as unfeminine, even one as unorthodox as Yankumi.
"But…" Kuma mumbles, reluctantly perceiving the logic of his wife's argument, but feeling all sorts of weird at the image of Yankumi engaging in PDA.
"Ne, Ami-san, Yankumi comes here regularly, right? Does she ever bring guys here, apart from Odagiri that last time? Or does she ever talk about having a boyfriend?"
Yamato's questions set off a spark, and Kuma's head jerks in sudden realization. "Shinohara! Or maybe Kujo! At least those were the only two ikemen she ever seemed interested in romantically. Shinohara's okay, I guess." He mumbles the last sentence softly, grudgingly.
"ARGHHH! I can't take it with all the possibilities anymore! The images in my mind are getting more and more disturbing!" Before anybody can stop him, Ren whips out his phone and dials Yankumi's cell, putting it on speaker. Everyone freezes, tension mounting as Ren's wild imagination begin to grip them all.
The phone connection begins to ring.
Once, twice, three times.
In the eerie silence that pervades the ramen shop, it is obvious that the person who has answered is distinctly male.
"Hello? Who is this? Oi, Yankumi, do you always get prank calls?"
"Huh? Whoizzit? Gimme the phone… Kazama? Whaddya want?"
Kuma, quietly, disbelievingly: "Oh. My. God."
And all hell breaks loose.
"OHMYGOD DID YOU FREAKING HEAR THAT?"
"HE ANSWERED HER PHONE!"
"AND THEY SOUNDED BREATHLESS!"
"OHMYGOD I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT!"
"YANKUMI…! SLE-…SLEEP-! I CAN'T EVEN SAY IT!"
"…he called her Yankumi…"
All heads turn to Yamato, who looks contemplative.
"What're you talking about? And shouldn't you be more freaked out?"
Yamato stares coolly at the stunned faces surrounding him. "He called her Yankumi," he repeats, ignoring the second question. "Which means he is or was her student."
It is a loaded statement that had two possibilities.
Kuma starts ticking suspects off the virtual list. "It's definitely not Odagiri; it isn't Shinohara or Kujo either."
Yamato and Ren exchange glances. Not Tetsu or Minoru. Not any of the Oedo-gumi.
Ami sinks into an empty seat, brow furrowed. "His voice sounded strangely familiar… but I have no idea where've heard it before. Did it sound familiar to you, Teruo?"
"Saa, I have no idea."
"By the way, Ren, your phone's ringing."
Ren panics, fumbling with his phone. "It's Yankumi! What am I supposed to do?" He tosses the phone to Yamato, "you answer it!"
Yamato chucks it to Rikiya, who deftly catches it out of sheer reflex. "No thanks."
The game of Pass-the-Phone goes on for a good two minutes, before another phone started ringing and they realized that Ren's phone had stopped its ringing for a while.
"Kumai's Ramen Store. This is Ami, how may I help you?"
"Yamaguchi-sensei? Eh? Yeah, they're all here, but I'm not so sure if they're alright."
"Um, okay then, I'll see you."
"Yamaguchi-sensei's coming here."
AN:So, I was just rewatching the live action movie, and I just really really missed seeing a certain someone in there. Someone whose presence I think would've made for all sorts of interesting scenarios, moreso than Ryu. Shan't say who, because some people don't like spoilers, although I think this mystery man is fairly obvious, haha. This was a completely random thing, but I pretty much know where I want this story to go, so hopefully I'll update soon (: