Broken Child

By Female Heero Yuy

Disclaimer: If I owned Gatchaman this would be in the anime.

This idea comes from the fact that in the anime Ken doesn't seem to know what love is.

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He laid on his roof. Remembering what had happened earlier. Dr. Nambu had yelled at him, stating he'd been exceedingly stupid, and that he should know better. The others had gotten a lecture as well, but his usually seemed so much harsher than the others. They were never told the same thing. Rolling on his side, he sighed even as he made circles with his finger on the shingles. It was always the same, that much he was used to. Even as a child it was always the same.

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"Mama..." he whimpered as he hugged himself. She was gone, and never coming back. Now he was told he'd have to live with a friend of the family. A Dr. Nambu. He'd met him a few times. But never actually spoke to the man himself. Now he was sitting in what was to be his new room. It seemed so huge compared to his old room. Even the bed he sat on was rather large compared to him, but he was told he'd grow into it. Right now he wasn't crying over his mother. He simply wanted her. After being brought here he'd apparently done something wrong, and had gotten into trouble. Being sent to his room with no supper that night. Apparently Dr. Nambu hadn't appreciated a question he'd asked. Telling him the word he was asking about was not appropriate for someone his age to be using. He whimpered again. He only wanted to know what it meant. He didn't know it was a bad word since his parents never used it before. All he could do was make a note to himself not to say it again. Unless he wanted to go to bed again without supper.

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It'd been nearly a year since he started living with Dr. Nambu. It was hard. But having Joe around made it a little easier. Mostly because he had someone to play with. When he had time to play that is. He and Joe didn't even go to the same school. Yet they lived in the same house. It was strange. They used to go to the same school, until Dr. Nambu took him out of it and put him in a different school where he had to wear a uniform. As such he always had to get up earlier than Joe because his school was farther, and he had to get dropped off since there was no bus. He couldn't help but think how lucky Joe was. He got to sleep more than him because his school was closer.

Holding up his recent math test to Dr. Nambu who'd requested it. He waited. He thought he'd done rather well. He'd gotten a ninety eight on it. Only messing up on one problem. It was the highest grade in the class too. Dr. Nambu looked it over and sighed heavily. "How could you make such a simple mistake Ken?" he asked after a moment. "You got it correct on question five, yet messed up the same solution on question twelve. That's disgraceful." he scolded. Making Ken's good feeling of doing so well diminish. Handing Ken back his paper, "Go to your room and do every problem from your book that's the same as this one. I expect to have it on my desk before dinner."

"Yes Dr. Nambu." he took the paper and pouted. Slowly going to his room to do as he was told. But before he'd gotten even four steps up the stairs Joe had come in.

"Dr. Nambu! Dr. Nambu! Look! I got a seventy two on my test!" Joe held it up happily. "All that studying really did pay off!"

"That's great Joe." he smiled at him as he put a hand on his head. "You did very well."

Ken just watched for a moment longer before continuing up the stairs and to his room. Sitting at his desk and doing as he'd been told. Even as he worked, tears streamed down his face. But he still worked on. Even when he wiped at his eyes every so often.

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Today was a was a strange day. Joe and he had been told that they were getting a sister. But what confused them was due to the fact that they didn't have a mother, or even a foster mother. So they didn't really understand what he'd meant at first. But when she was brought to the house, it'd finally dawned on them what he'd meant. She was an orphan like them. And he'd basically gone and picked her up. "From today on these are your brothers Ken and Joe." Dr. Nambu explained to her. "Ken, Joe, this is your sister Jun."

"Hi." Joe smiled at her. Looking very much excited at the situation.

"Hi." Ken meekly stated. Not really sure what to think of it.

Jun just kept herself behind the doctor. Peeking from around his legs. "...Hi." she responded. Apparently as unsure as he was about it.

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After a month, it became abundantly clear, that things had changed very little. Jun went to the same school Joe did. He still went to his private school. They got many praises, while praises were very few for him. They could finish their homework in about two hours. While it took him most of the time til bedtime to finish. He'd once seen their homework and felt a bit jealous. Their homework was so much easier than his. Yet they'd only get C's and B's. But that wasn't what bothered him. What bothered him more was that if he got anything less than one hundred he'd get scolded. Many times he'd gone to bed without supper because of it. Today was no different. He'd gotten a ninety nine on a test. And was sent to his room to do his homework without supper. He could hear voices from down the hall, one of which was apparently grandma Nambu. She'd come for a visit, and to meet her grandchildren. Though he couldn't hear what they were saying since the door was closed.

"I'm simply saying your being too hard on the boy." she stated bluntly. "What do you think he thinks when he sees the other two being treated differently than him?"

"He's had parents. He knows what it is to be scolded and punished." Dr. Nambu explained. "The other two I don't want to do it too quickly. They didn't have the same things he did."

"But honestly. No supper? That was far too harsh of a punishment where one wasn't even warrented."

"I can't cut him some slack simply because of that. His parents expected good grades from him, and i'm teaching him that that won't change."

She sighed heavily. "If you punish a child too much they become resentful ya know. And to top it off it's like your dangling love in front of him and telling him he can't have it until he meets your criteria. He's a child, not a robot."

"Mom, I know what i'm doing. It's for his own good. He'll thank me when he's older."

"I rather doubt it."

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They were playing in the yard. Chasing one another happily, and occasionally tripping here and there. But not enough to make them cry over it. Though they were exceedingly filthy. Jun fell over again, this time skinning her knee. Making tears well up in her eyes. "It's okay." Ken started. "Don't cry."

"But it hurts." she whimpered.

"Just think of happy things. Like bunnies." he offered.

"Bunnies?" she repeated in confusion.

"When you think of happy things it makes you forget about the pain right? So if you think of bunnies, you won't hurt anymore." he smiled. She frowned as though she didn't understand. "Come on try it. What do you like about bunnies?"

"They...are cute?" she tried.

"Yeah. And their always doing the sniffy action with their noses." Joe added. Doing the action and making her laugh.

"They have soft fur." Ken added.

"And when they nibble on your fingers it tickles." she added. Making them giggle. "I think it worked Ken, my knee doesn't hurt anymore."

"Where did you learn that?" Joe asked.

"From my mama." he beamed. "Mama always said that if your hurt to think of good things and it'll make you feel better."

"It's time for lunch." Dr. Nambu called from the house. Waiting for them to come in. When they ran up to him, he frowned. "You're all a mess." he noted the dirt on their clothes. "Ken, you've ruined your good pants." he scolded.

"I'm sorry." he apologized.

"What am I going to do with you? I've told you time and time again about this." he put his hands on his hips. "Get in the house and clean up." he pointed.

"But..."

"March!" he ordered.

Ken instantly felt bad, and did as he was told. Getting a bath to clean himself up. Once he was done he'd put on some clean clothes and was about to head downstairs for lunch when he saw a book on the floor. Picking it up he looked at it's title. It was a book he had to read for school, called "The Naughty Child." It was about a child that was always doing bad things. And at the end he learned to be a good child. Ken hugged the book to himself for a moment. Thinking on a line that was in the book. "...Naughty children will always be punished." he muttered. "...I am a naughty child...Joe and Jun are good children." he added. Part of the story was that good children were often praised and received rewards. Putting the book on his desk, he left to go eat his lunch.

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He watched from the window as the others played. Now they had a smaller brother called Jinpei. But he was only a baby. Jun had found him when they'd gone on a trip. And somehow they got to keep him. He didn't really know for sure. But it'd been Jun who'd pleaded with Dr. Nambu for this. Leaning his chin on the window sill he continued to watch. He wanted to play too. But was being punished at the moment. He'd done poorly on his recent tests. Getting only two one hundreds and a ninety nine. He was also not getting supper. Supposedly they were gonna go out for dinner, but he was to stay home. Without realizing it he'd started to mutter to himself. "Naughty child, naughty child. I am a naughty child." he kept repeating. Over and over like a chant. With how everything was in his life, he could help to think it. After several minutes of chanting, he'd stopped. Realizing the others weren't in the yard anymore. Which meant they were probably getting ready to leave for dinner. His stomach growled. But he was used to it. After all there was nothing he could do about it.

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He couldn't take it anymore. This is what he thought this particular day. Nothing he did ever seemed right. Nothing he did pleased Dr. Nambu. How come the others could get him to smile happily. But he could not? Time and time again all he did was disappoint the man. How many years had it been since he kept trying to please the man? How many hours did he spend trying to do his best? Days? Months? He didn't know. He just knew he was giving up. He just couldn't satisfy the man no matter how hard he tried. He couldn't help but think he was nothing more than a failure. And without knowing he started to cry. He tried to stop but it just continued. No matter how much he wiped at his eyes the tears wouldn't stop. Was this why his mother was gone? Is it why his father left? No other reason came to mind.

Dr. Nambu came into the room. Wondering what was going on. He'd just come home from work, only to hear the boy crying heavily. The other children were playing in the yard. "Ken, what on earth is the matter with you?" he asked with a hint of aggitation in his voice. He was not ready to deal with a nine year olds problems.

Wiping at his eyes, he tried to find the right words to express how he was feeling, "I'm a terrible child." he started. "I can't do anything right...Everyone else is better than me at everything." he kept crying.

"What are you taking about?" he looked puzzled.

"I'm no good..." he kept crying his eyes out. "I can't make you happy...I failed mama...papa left for it...i'm a failure..." he kept on.

Dr. Nambu watched silent for a moment. The words of his mother coming back to him from before. "If you punish a child too much they become resentful." rang in his ears. Though he was sure it wasn't resent Ken was feeling right now. If he had to explain it, he'd have to say disappointment was more accurate. "Your being too hard on him." another one of his mothers phrases came to his mind. "How do you think he feels seeing that he's being treated differently than the others?" was the next one. 'I'm only trying to do what's best for him.' he thought. 'I'm just bringing out his potential.' he added to himself. "Children cannot go on everyday with continued punishments." came his mothers voice again. 'He needs morals.' he shot back. "He needs to know he's loved." it shot back. 'He's loved.' he retorted. "Not from my perspective." it retorted. He sighed.

Kneeling down to the boys height he put a hand to his head. Truthfully he wasn't sure how to deal with Ken. He always did what he was told. Most of the time he'd express very little complaints. And took punishments like it was the most natural thing in the world. Ken was the type of child most parents would love to have. He got good grades and worked hard. He hardly rewarded the boy out of fear that he'd come to expect it, and make him spoiled. "Ken..." he started. Hoping the boy would calm down a little. "...Why don't we get some ramen?" he offered.

Ken sniffled and continually kept wiping his eyes. "Ramen..?" he repeated confused. Ramen was one of the rewards Dr. Nambu gave the others for being good or doing well. He himself had never had any before.

"That's right. Just you and me. We'll go and get some ramen." he rubbed him on his head.

"But i'm naughty..." he sniffled some more. "...only good children get ramen..."

He kicked himself on the inside. Especially since he hated to admit that his mother was right. "No your not." he picked him up. "Let's go enjoy some ramen." he walked down the stairs. Letting the babysitter know that he would be out for a bit and to please feed the others. After a long drive, they were at his favorite ramen shop. He'd ordered them some beef noodles. And watched as Ken tried some. Unsure of it at first, but then eatting it while sniffling here and there. When Ken finished the meat in his ramen, he gave him his own. By the time he was finish, Ken had eatten his own, and more than half of his ramen. "Ken." he crossed his fingers in front of himself. "I want you to understand that everything i've done for you has been for your benefit. It's for your future. If I seem a bit harsh, I want you to understand it's because I care."

"So i'm not a failure?" he asked with some slight hesitation.

"No. I push you harder than the others because I want you to succeed. The others don't know what it's like to have parents, so I have to be careful with them."

"Oh..." he pouted.

"But that doesn't mean I wasn't in the wrong. I should of been more careful with you as well. I may not do what is better, but know that I am working hard for you to succeed. Do you understand?"

"I guess so." he replied, not really sure what Dr. Nambu was talking about.

"Eventually your life is gonna take a large turn. I simply want you ready for it."

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Ken just kept watching the sky from the roof of his home. He couldn't deny he was rather somewhat happy when he'd moved out. In fact he'd been the first to move out. It gave him alot of breathing room. But even still, it still hurt. Rubbing at his stomach he groaned. He hadn't eatten a thing that day. He'd been woken up to do a mission, which had taken a long time. Which caused him to miss lunch. And when they'd finally finished everything he'd gotten scolded for how he handled it. Thus missing dinner because the Snack J and everything else was closed by the time everything was done. Not that that was saying much. He didn't have any money, thus why he was going to eat at the Snack J in the first place. He sighed at this. The scolding would of been easier on a full stomach.

"Ken." came the familiar voice from below.

"Dr. Nambu?" he sat up and looked down.

He rubbed at the back of his head, as though he were in an awkward situation. "Let's get some ramen." he proceeded to the car, without waiting to see if he would follow. Ken smiled as he climbed down his roof. After a few minutes they were at Dr. Nambu's favorite ramen place. He ordered his favorite beef ramen with extra bamboo shoots. Dr. Nambu himself was enjoying a bowl, but with extra eggs. "This is good." he nodded.

"Yeah." Ken agreed.

"You should of told me you'd missed earlier meals." he remarked.

"Would you have listened?" he slurped up some noodles.

"...Probably not." he did the same. Then put his pork into Ken's bowl. Silence hitting the table again. "Still upset?"

"It's nothing new."

"That's not what I asked." he put his chopsticks down. "Could you give me a more human answer?"

"I'll get over it." he replied. Finishing off his noodles.

"You make things too easy sometimes ya know that." he drank his beer.

"If I did otherwise i'd just be punished more." he polished off his bamboo shoots.

Dr. Nambu just drank some more of his beer. It couldn't be helped. He had raised Ken this way after all. Though he'd toned it down after that one night, it seemed Ken had seen it as normal. "Let's get some ice cream." he stated.

"But it's nine at night." he retorted. They were never allowed snacks after nine at night. Realistically he shouldn't of been eating the ramen due to how late it was.

The others would of jumped for joy at the mere mention of ice cream. 'Yeap.' he thought. He'd slammed Ken with rules so much that he couldn't even get himself to enjoy some after dinner ice cream. "Don't worry about it." he stated. Making a note that perhaps he should talk to the others about teaching Ken how to rebel once in a while. Something he was sure he'd regret later. But atleast Ken would be more normal. A sixteen year old should not be so adult like. But he supposed that was what happened, when one created a broken child.

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I honestly thought about this while watching Gatchaman. (Yes, it's one of my all time favorite animes.) Ken is always known for his lack of understanding when it comes to love, and occastionally comes off as a polished human robot to me. (Though he's one of my favorite characters i'll admit). So after thinking on it for a while. I decided to give my own interpretation on how this probably came to be. Though I have a variety of ideas, this is just one of them.

I frankly cried a few times while writing this. I know that seems silly, but I did. I have no shame in this.

I hope you all enjoyed this. And I may have other fics for this particular anime eventually. . I just need to finish some of the ones I already have going now. .

Reviews and comments appreciated.

Also, this may sound weird, but i'm looking for a gatchaman/g-force/eagle riders/battle of the planets fanfic i'd read years ago. I don't know if it's even up anymore, but i've been looking for it for days. To summarize, Jun (or whichever of her other names is used), is captured by galactor. Ryu, Joe and Jinpei have to leave her and Ken behind. And Ken is running through the forest to attempt to avoid the galactors that are after him. In one part he trips, and catches his breath a little getting up to run in a jog. And later he is caught by them as he is hit with a laser (I think it's a laser i'm not sure), and falls to the ground where some galactors roll him on his stomach and pull his arms behind his back. And eventually he's taken to where Jun is and is a prisoner too. Though they are saved eventually. Does anyone know of this fic? I'd actually like to read it again. I rather miss it because it was such a good story. If you know what i'm talking about send me a pm please. Thankies! =3