[Gokusen ShinKumi] part 3: Swiftly.
Pairing: Sawada Shin x Yamaguchi Kumiko, mention of Shinohara + Tetsu(drama)
Theme: #3, Jolt!
Disclaimer: I don’t own Gokusen, but I really, really want a pet boy!
As usual, it’s also archived on http://www.lunap.com and a few other places.
Shin was having a bad day. It was a lucky thing that he normally came late,
pretended to sleep for most of class, and generally had a very casual and
unemotional look about his face, because that meant that when he looked angry,
people knew to leave him alone, and when he looked happy, people knew to tease
Shin was doing his best to look angry, to cover his embarrassment. There
she was, bouncing on her toes as she struggled to reach the top of the board and
teach some basic equations, completely casual, as if nothing had happened
yesterday. She didn’t look uncomfortable in the slightest, and Shin was doing his
best to keep his skin tone normal.
This was one of Yankumi’s annoying habits that grated on him
occasionally. Something extraordinary would happen, and after giving some kind
of speech on the ideal person and how strength came from the heart, she’d be
back to normal, as if nothing had ever happened. It didn’t matter if she had just
beaten a large gang, stopped a knife fight, or been kissed by Shin, apparently. She
could just go right on living. It was like nothing affected her. He wondered what
kind of speech she had given herself.
“Alright, you’re dismissed! Don’t cause any trouble, guys!” There were a
few groans and some monotonous replies of assent as Yankumi left and everyone
else scuffled their things around, preparing to leave as well.
“Oi, Shin…” Kuma had turned slightly in his seat, face cautious. “Are you
Shin shrugged his shoulders. The others exchanged glances. “Na, how
about the arcade?” Uchi suggested. Shin stood, shouldering his bag.
“No thanks,” and he was gone. Yankumi would have to do some paper
work in the office first, so he headed upstairs and out onto the roof. If he lay
down, he’d fall asleep in the sun, so instead he leaned up against a wall where he
could see who left. Yankumi would probably leave a few minutes after the Head
Teacher was gone.
3-D left in a meandering group, the swagger in their steps just enough for
fun and just short of a ‘causing trouble’ day, likely because of Yankumi’s request.
The weaker teachers – the one with the pet, the gym teacher, that guy with the
glasses – left in a line, guarding each other’s backs against some unseen attack,
and the Head Teacher came out not long after, making a mad dash for his car.
That was Shin’s cue.
But downstairs and outside, Yankumi was with Fujiyama and Nakashima,
walking as a group and laughing, until they reached the gates, where they stopped,
breathed “Shinohara-san…” as if they all shared a body, and then straightened
their backs. Shin scowled.
The two police officers were there again; the one with the cop-glasses
leaning against a pillar and trying to look cool, Shinohara with a quiet smile that,
apparently, was the kind of thing Yankumi liked.
The women were acting strangely, though. Shin had seen the three of
them making eyes at the man for months, studiously ignoring his friend in the
sunglasses, (no matter how many times he had tried to ask Yankumi out) and
fighting over who could stand closest to “Shinohara-san”. Shin didn’t have
anything against the man- well, nothing much, anyway. He’d helped him out of a
tight spot or two before, and Shin had decided during his stint at the police
station that he wasn’t a bad guy, despite how oblivious he was. In that sense,
maybe he and Yankumi were a good match. Shin scowled more and leant
inconspicuously against the inside length of the school wall, out of sight.
“Shinohara-san, have you talked to him yet?” Nakashima asked. There
was a pause, and some light laughter from the group.
“Ah, no, not yet. Actually, Kumiko-san, I was hoping to ask you
something…” Shin’s hand clenched and unclenched. It was stupid – it should be
normal that people call her by her first name, but he was so used to others calling
her “Yamaguchi” or “Yankumi” that it… grated on him that someone else would
call her what he had, just the other day.
There was a shuffling of feet, and some protests from the other officer, and
Shin figured that Nakashima and Fujiyama had dragged him off, leaving the
other two alone. What ever happened to their friendly competition?! This was
not good. It was lucky he was close by.
“I heard about the other day, Shinohara-san,” she was saying, “What did
you need to ask me?” Shin could just picture him scratching the back of his head,
a little embarrassed. He was probably working up the courage to ask her out.
Shin stepped forward, ready to cut him off, but was stopped dead in his tracks.
“I… I was wondering if you had Tetsu-san’s phone number?”
Tetsu? The one with the Hawaiian shirts who made eyes at Yankumi?
Why him? Why did Shinohara sound so…embarrassed?
“Tetsu?” Yankumi sounded equally surprised.
“I.. He’s…” There was a pause again.
“I understand. I don’t think he has a cell phone yet, but he and Minoru run
a Takoyaki stand, why don’t you talk to him yourself?” There was something
strange in her voice. A little hurt, a little laughter, and some teasing. She
proceeded to give the man directions, and then his footsteps broke into a run.
“You can come out now, Sawada,” she said, still in that strange tone. He
should have known she would know he was there. Around the pillar, she had sat
down on the ground, legs stretched out in front of her. She looked tired, but also
kind of happy.
“What’s with him?” he asked. Yankumi smiled, but it was just a bit painful.
“He’s in love,” she said simply. With Tetsu? The question remained
unspoken, but Sawada thought he was probably right. Well, it should be
interesting, at any rate.
“Kumiko,” he started, but she interrupted.
“Don’t start with that again, Sawa… Shin. Didn’t I say? Until you graduate,
I’m your sensei.”
“I don’t really care,” he replied, and offered her his hand. “Come on,
you’re inviting me to dinner tonight.”
“I am?” She took his hand anyway, skin warm, and stood up.
“You are. It’ll take the focus off Tetsu.”
Yankumi nodded, and they left.
Yankumi’s house for dinner was good. It was an entirely different
experience from dinner in his own apartment (usually instant noodles or stir-fry
from a frozen mix); louder, much more relaxed than you would expect from a
Yakuza family, but it also had the excitement he had anticipated the first time
around. The meeting of two pairs of chopsticks in the hot pot (a weekly meal, as
he had learned during that second dinner here) was always cause for two people
to be on the verge of a fist-fight before a sharp word from either Kumiko or her
Grandfather stopped it.
The conversation was everything it had been when he lived with his
parents, and at the same time, everything but. The old man (He had told Shin to
call him Oji-san, but he had yet to try it out) asked everyone how their day went,
casually mentioned a few things like that Kyo-san should visit the Tenkai Kumi
office the next day, and offered to refill Shin’s drink a few times, nearly picking up
the sake instead of the juice.
Regardless of his personal desire to be closer to Yankumi, it had been a
good idea to go there that night. Tetsu was in fact, unusually quiet, and had yet
to gaze longingly at Kumiko. Instead, he stared at his food, spacing out until
someone asked him a direct question, or for more food.
When Shin had still lived with his family, they had asked him how his day
had gone, but always with the ulterior motive of making sure he was living up to
the expectations of a Senator’s son – the best grades, good at sports, never in
trouble. It had been a cold, impersonal interrogation with little to no care for
Shin’s actual feelings.
Here, the old man doled out advice and juice in equal quantities, and there
was a feeling of camaraderie and mutual respect. It wasn’t that they didn’t act
like Yakuza – their speech patterns and some of the topics of conversation were
evidence enough that this truly was one of those families – but it was more that,
regardless of that, they were good people. It was hard to put into words, but on
some level, it resonated with Shin. They were like the people in 3-D, but with
experience, and this kind of life to back them up. It was good.
It was the night of a weekend, so Yankumi didn’t send him home
immediately with advice on not being late the next morning. Instead, they played
cards and watched a comedy special with her extended family before she walked
him home, waving off Minoru and Kyo. “We can handle it,” she told them, and
Shin smiled, looking away a little.
They could. They had handled all sorts of things, they were a good team.
Her Grandfather had winked at him on their way out. Maybe next time he really
would call him “Oji-san”.
Outside his apartment door, Shin turned swiftly, one hand on the wall
beside her head and kissed her again. It was sweet, sweeter, better than last time
and this time she even kissed back, just a little. That, and the fact that she hadn’t
stopped him though he knew she was more than capable, had his heart pounding
a little faster. Or maybe it was just this- the feel of her, the smell of her, his other
hand sifting through one pig-tail before he pulled back. She looked a little dazed.
“Oyasumi, Kumiko,” was on the heels of a deep breath before he went
inside, leaning back against the now-closed door.
“Brat,” he heard her say, but it was kind, and then her feet retreated down
the stairs and away.
Maybe next time he’d get some fighting lessons from Kyo-san. After all,
there were only a few months left before he graduated.