Disclaimer: I own no portion of Gatchaman; it belongs to Tatsunoko Studios.

A/N: In honor of the holiday, a short little one-shot about Jinpei's perspective of the term mom. There is more than one kind of mother.

Mother's Day

Nakamura Aio set aside another essay and rubbed her forehead with fatigue. Much as she loved her students, deciphering their various essays could be difficult sometimes and eleven year olds were not the most fascinating of writers. That's not to say that when given free or liberal guidelines on what to write about their imaginations weren't excellent and the stories entertaining. But when it came to the more boring or trite subjects, such as 'what I did on my summer break' or this week's 'Why I love my mother,' repetition was the word of the day. 'My mom makes the best cookies,' 'My mom always reads to me at night,' 'My mom gives the best hugs'…been there, read that. Not that the mothers in question weren't wonderful women…the essays were just very repetitious.

Sighing, she picked up another essay and raised an eyebrow at the student's name, Tsubakuro Jinpei; she'd honestly wondered if he would turn one in. Despite the fact that the kid was terrible middler and at times was out of class more than in it, she had a soft spot for the boy. Academically, he was obviously far ahead of the rest of his classmates; she'd often wondered why he wasn't advanced to a higher grade. But his father had insisted he stay with the others his age and Nambu Hakase was not a man easily swayed. She supposed that he had his reasons, though she couldn't deny that academic boredom was a likely factor in some of Jinpei's middling behavior. She often let the boy complete the work he'd recently missed in class, just to keep him busy and hopefully out of trouble once he'd finished the current assignment. But even his frequent, unexplained absences were not the cause of her skepticism on his completing this particular assignment. Though she did not know all or even most of the details, she was aware that Jinpei was actually an orphan, adopted by Nambu when he was young. And as Nambu was unmarried, the boy had no mother, at least not one he could remember. But his essay was actually rather lengthy compared to some of the others. Curious, she began to read.

Why I Love My Mother

By: Tsubakuro Jinpei

I don't know who my 'real' mother is. I was orphaned as a baby when my village was destroyed. Oneechan found me in the woods and took me home with her. Even though I've tried, I've never been able to find out who my mother was. But I still love her; she gave birth to me and she's probably the one who got me away from the village before it was destroyed. If she hadn't, I'd probably have died too. So I love her because she saved me and she likely died to do so.

But really, my Oneechan is my mom. She found me in those woods and has taken care of me ever since. When Hakase wanted to adopt her she refused to leave the orphanage without me. And even though I tease her and pick on her, she always takes care of me and loves me. She didn't have to, you know. She could have left me at the orphanage; I was little and probably would have been adopted by someone else. But she wouldn't leave me. She works hard at the J and she teaches me stuff that I want to know, because quite frankly, school is boring. Hakase says I have to stay in my grade for 'socialization purposes' so Oneechan teaches me other stuff at home. And no matter what I get in trouble for or how much I tease her she still loves me and protects me. I know she'd do anything to protect me if she had to and that's what a mother does; protect her kid no matter what.

Oneechan is a terrible cook but she really, really tries to make special things for me, and even if they don't turn out so good it makes me happy to know she tried. She lets me get away with some things but is always ready with a swat, chores or a grounding if I go too far or do something really stupid. I know she'd doing her best to 'raise me right' and she's doing a good job (I think, she may not think so) even though she's really only six years older than me. But she saved me; she gave me my name and my birthday. She didn't have to, but she did. So, even though I call her Oneechan, that's why I love my Okasan.

Aio set the essay aside and wiped a small tear from the corner of her eye. She'd met Jinpei's sister on several occasions; quite often, she would attend parent-teacher conferences if Nambu Hakase was unable to and she and/or a young man, (Ken-aniki, she'd heard Jinpei call him) would pick him up from school when need be. The two had always appeared to be typical siblings, but obviously there was far more to their relationship than that. She marked the essay, included a few small grammatical corrections and recorded the grade before moving on to the next paper. Even when he wasn't around, that kid managed to prod that soft spot she had for him without even trying.