Nil Illigitemi Descendum
Time and life are the toys of the gods, or, at least, so it is
In myth, the sun or moon almost always is the designator of
time. By the Jewish calendar, the rising and setting of the sun
designated the zero of the clock, as per Elohym's rules.
According to Greek mythology, the rising and setting of the sun
designated the zero of the clock, as per Apollo's designation.
Generally, it is assumed, the sun seemed to matter a fair bit
when there was a god shoving it around. Gods, it seemed, held a
lot of clout as far as timekeeping went.
Therefore, it's not surprising that for Washuu worked to her
own clock, her patterns of wakefulness and sleep to only grant a
nod and a wink at the commonly accepted solar patterns, if only
to annoy those same gods. Whether or not the gods _existed_
wasn't the issue at hand - it was the principle of the thing. It
was, in fact, downright weird to have her comply to a 'normal'
day-to-day lifestyle pattern for more than the shortest of time
For example, Washuu did not so much have 'meals' as irregular
raids of the refrigerator for food.
However, not everyone knew this.
Washuu glanced around the side of the fridge door to see just
what it was she was dealing with, and that possibly the phone
had _not_ rung at six AM. A Shou'ou impersonating the phone
would be more likely than a genuine phonecall from someone else
Shrugging, she placed the celery back in the crisper and strode
over to the phone, kicking the door shut behind her.
"Heloooo? Hakubi residence!" Washuu asked, perkily. If it was a
telemarketer, there'd be heck to pay and then some.
"Er... hello... Hakubi-san. Is Falora-chan awake yet?"
Washuu blinked. Much younger voice than she'd been expecting.
Washuu glanced upstairs, towards where Falora, Jo, and Anne
would be sleeping. The absolute absence of any noise at all
confirmed her hypothesis that they'd not wake up until told to.
"I'm afraid not. May I ask who's calling?"
"Um, this is Ayaui... from school."
Washuu nodded, as the facts became clear. "I'm sorry, Falora's
still in bed. But I can take a message for her."
"Thank you, Hakubi-san. Can you ask her if she could fill in
for me today as iincho... I can't go to school today."
Washuu nodded, and scribbled the note down on the paper near
the phone. "Okay."
"Thank you, Hakubi-san! Bai bai!"
Washuu snickered a bit. "Okay, okay. Bye."
There are some who may object towards the pointlessness of the
above incident. Or of the general pointlessness of this opening.
The prose is overrought, the examples thin on the ground, and
the incident itself is of so little note that there is no
emotion. Questions are left unanswered. Do we know _why_ Ayaui
cannot attend school? Do we find out just what Washuu was
eating? When _does_ Falora wake up? Is it a refrigerator or a
If you do indeed desire answers, please send $50US, a return
address, and the fare for travel from Australia to PO Box
120033, Locked Bag, NSW, so the author can travel to your home
and beat you senseless with a length of wood.
If you don't, it's clear you're obviously getting sick of this
padding of the story, and the author will begin reconstructing
the fourth wall.
It was a day. Not a notably good one, though, as far as days
usually went, it was hardly old enough to be considered a bad
one. A few early birds had had remarkably good days thus far,
and in stark contrast, a good few worms had had days that were
not only quite bad, but quite short. The worms could take small
comfort in the thought that they would never have bad days ever
However, there are some people, to whom, any day is a good day
to perceive as a good day. These people are usually termed
"Cheerful", or "enthusiastic." They are occasionally referred to
as "Sociopaths." These days are called "Good Hair Days".
Sakura Kizama was such a person. A teacher blessed with a
cheerful disposition and a joyful heart, she was also marginally
less blessed with a name that was as common as dirt and a face
to match. This did not diminsh her joyful attitude, however, and
it did not keep her from humming a brisk little tune as she
readied herself for another day. She was going to have, she was
sure, a Good Hair Day.
One wonders how a junior high school teacher could maintain
such a suffocating aura of happiness. One wonders how a junior
high school teacher could manage to maintain anything other than
a comparatively ordered classroom, and even then such a feat
would be considered striking.
But no, Kizama-sensei was a staunch believer in positive
thoughts and happiness. And she kept thinking positive thoughts
and cheery tones even while packing her bags and casually
hopping the train to the school, even as she passed the casual
salarymen, even as she walked up the stairs, even as she walked
into the staffroom, and even as she made her first-morning
And every last one of them careened to a halt as she reached to
the small fridge for the cream.
She was always the first in. Teaching history and culture to
children barely old enough to discern the difference between
last year's baseball finals and the Edo Era on the scale of
importance made on prepare a great deal. But this morning, she
had been beaten in to work. This didn't phase her in the
slightest - she was not a competitive person.
But what she was was a paranoid person. Anything Suspicious
would arouse her almost instantly, making it utter hell for her
students if they were so foolish as to produce any notes that
didn't directly resemble the subject at hand. One hapless girl
had once had to recite the note from her parents detailing her
chicken pox when Kizama-sensei was feeling particularly
And Suspicious stood four inches from her without her having
noticed him all morning.
He was, of first note, tall. Tall for an asian, and tall even
for a gaijin. As she looked up at his six foot three frame, the
next note to come to mind was that he was _ugly_. Even a plain
woman like herself could notice that this man, silently standing
where he was, was no oil painting.
Notes three through nine vanished as he looked at her like he'd
just seen her, snorted, and shouldered past her from his
position in the corner of the teacher's lounge.
Observation changed to supposition and then to suspicion, and
Sakura, as soon as she figured this man was suitably far away,
stepped from the lounge, observed the direction in which he was
parting, and ran like all heck the opposite way, looking for the
janitor or security guard - whichever came first.
The man nodded. Well, he'd looked around the school, and he'd
become familiar enough to navigate without help. Content that
he'd gotten that under his belt - before the teachers arrived no
less - he removed himself from the school grounds. After all,
since he didn't actually have the position there for another
twenty-four hours, there was no need to hang around, was there?
Kizama-sensei had to have the day off, to the joy of her
students. Apparently, this, combined, with the absence of a new
English teacher gave them a significant bout of free time.
"Joyful joyful, we adore the-"*CRACK*
Shimaru Shinsei was one of those polar opposites to Sakura
Kizama. Of the most important note, he was male. He was also
stuck in a permanent Bad Day. In Shimaru's case, it would be a
Bad Hair Day, but for the remarkable absence of hair. So,
Shimaru was having a Bad Day. It was barely fifteen minutes past
six, and he was already having a bad day.
Aside from having put the fear of god into an apparently
overparanoid teacher, Shimaru had had nothing but bad things to
say about this day in particular. He'd woken up on the wrong
side of the bed - and fallen out to land on something painfully
cornered. He'd found the washing machine broken and his only
clean clothes to be beaten leathers from his days spent beating
around tombs in Israel. He'd found all the milk in his fridge
was expired. He'd found that he had no coffee left. He'd found a
remarkable absence of tea in his cupboards. He'd found he had
woken up excruciatingly early. He'd found no water whatsoever
when he tried to turn on his taps in what he laughingly referred
to as his home, condemning him to either a day without a bath or
a trip to the public baths - both hells beyond contemplation.
And his car radio, tape deck and CD Player, regardless of any
kind of actual input that would influence its conventional
output, was not going to stop playing anything but Christian
In the past, Shimaru had nothing against Christians. Some of
his best friends had been nominally Christian - a few of the
Caesers, at least - and his family had never really denied its
faintly European bent and blood, producing its tall offspring.
But Shimaru now held a grudge against Christianity on the most
primal level; in the big street of life, God had chosen to fling
a brick through his window. A big brick. A big brick with a
wasp's nest attached.
And so every joyous exultation from his speakers was punctuated
by an incredibly hefty thump directly into the electronic face
of the expensive equipment. In defiance with common laws of
physics, where a person of Shimaru's strength could put his fist
clean through the device, the device remained producing
high-fidelity praises and hymns.
"Fricking... hell..." Shimaru muttered as he took a roundabout,
his free hand mercilessly hammering away at the radio. "Six
billion people on the face of the frickin' planet and it has to
be me with a baptist in my radio."
The refrain abruptly changed to horns and swing as Shimaru
checked the streetsigns, his irritation fading as a ska beat
began to pick up his spirits and his mind began to occupy
itself with the task of locating his future employment.
Smirking nastily to himself, Shimaru found the street name, and
merrily rode down it, muttering angrily as the early morning
hordes of pedestrians began to filter across crossings and
impede his progress. Just as his mood began to blacken, he tried
to at least keep himself from trying to throttle his steering
wheel by turning up the music.
The tune, he admitted, was foreign, an English one. No,
American. Ah, good ska was a rare beast in Japan - one had to
turn to the west for such things. Yes, this was... Five Iron
Frenzy, if he wasn't mistaken.
Just as his mind began to absorb itself in the identification
of the style, and possibly... ENJOY himself... Shimaru's brief
hiatus from bastardly grouchiness was cut short by acknowledging
"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow-"
Shimaru grumbled as he parked the car and swore nastily as he
gathered his accoutremonts to go face the day.
The Bad Day.
He rocked back in his chair as the students filed in. Heh. They
hadn't expected _that_, he bet. To have the teacher turn up
first, especially given how early the students usually arrived,
would have been a tad jarring. Ah well, they're just elementary
kids. Shimaru didn't see any reason to single any one of them
out for uniquely abusive treatment.
Stretching his shoulders, Shimaru glared around the room
through his sunglasses and adjusted his cap. There had been one
or two who'd turned up early, and, being right teacher's pets,
had sat attentively as though expecting him to start some kind
of conversation. Shimaru almost sniggered at the thought of any
of these kids holding a cohesive thought long enough to hold his
They were milling around their desks, a handful of kids all
dealing with assorted issues and generally having as much fun in
the last few moments before school began as they possibly could.
And as luck - or at least whatever it was that determined
Shimaru's interactions with the universe not determined by other
people or deities - would have it, there were a handful of
Scratching an ear, Shimaru scanned the kids. Not a _bad_ bunch,
per se. They were wearing their shoes properly, which indicated
that if they thought they were toughies, they weren't showing
it. They were all in school uniform with very few personal
flairs attached. That sort of shtick didn't really kick in until
Junior year anyway.
Shrugging, Shimaru glanced up at the bell and then at the
clock. And then counted.
Shimaru took in a breath and counted once more, to ten.
The first encounter with a teacher is always a difficult time.
Those who wish to engage in as exploitative a relationship as
possible have a penchant for pushing the teacher's limits, in
hopes to determine themselves as some kind of special case that
was beyond redemption. Others attempt to become the teacher's
pet by being as well-behaved as possible.
But the instant the bell rang, the visiting students suddenly
felt the room temperature drop by a fraction, and made
themselves absent as swiftly as possible. Shimaru had barely
counted to six.
But no, three students continued to prattle away. Two girls and
Shimaru shrugged as he got to ten, the hunk of chalk already
between his fingers. With a practiced arm, he raised it behind
his head and let fly...
Now, projectile warfare between students and teachers is not an
uncommon thing in Japanese schools. Erasers, chalk, shoes and
pens are frequently used as ammunition in the war of education,
and the most open assaults are on the part of the teacher. The
sternness of the projectiles can be used to awaken a dozing
student, or as a non-verbal reprimand.
However, this ilk of hazardous flak is generically constrained
to higher grades with more difficulties in discipline.
Which is why the more-or-less docile class was not prepared for
the remote possibility that not only would the newest sensei see
fit to throw things around the room, nor that he'd be at that
limit within his first minute of being on-duty.
With a sort of delayed prescience, the student glanced up at
the chalk, not spinning drunkenly like a kind of hurled axe but
rather ballistically spinning towards like a long white bullet.
And instinct took over as the body curled in on itself and the
The chalk zoomed over his head, making a faint humming noise
until it struck the lockers on the back wall of the class and
"Well." Shimaru shrugged. "Anyone get the message? In your
Were it not that it would have shown a crack in the
unassailable armour Shimaru had erected around him to provide
the effect of a heartless bastard of a tutor who would trash his
students up to - but not including - the point of death, he
would have grinned.
As it was, he just shrugged.
"Well, I'm sure you all know," he said, flinging his feet
around the side of his desk and flattening his chair, "Your last
teacher, whatever his name was, buggered off. I can give you a
two-word reason for why, for those of you to whom it may
concern, but since I doubt any of you is educated enough to know
that reason, I'm not going to waste the effort. Instead, I'm
going to make you embarass yourself by standing up and giving a
poorly-worded, on-the-fly speech, as per custom, simply because,
yes, I'm a sadistic bastard, and there's nothing you can do
about it. And then we'll conjugate some irregular verbs. So
Shimaru smiled inwardly. This job could be more fun than he
"Righto." Shimaru pointed at a girl in the front row. "You. Up
here. And the first person to smirk's up next."
To those interested in temporal physics and their nomenclature,
the shortest amount of time in a schoolroom setting is the
ohnosecond, the time between a teacher requesting a volunteer
and then running out of patience waiting for said volunteer and
selecting the single student in the least capable position to
accomodate the demands of the task at hand.
As the last of the sound waves of Shimaru's first statement had
barely begun to reach the back wall and begin their slow
progress towards their own demise, they encountered his next
word coming in the opposite direction, causing a real traffic
jam for those with sensitive ears.
And even those without sensitive ears can barely accomodate the
sheer terror carried in the one word that was uttered. If speech
was silver and silence golden, this word carried such doom it
may has well have been depleted uranium. It was a word that had
a gravitational field. This word was the word all students the
world over dread. It is a word, in the end, that has taken more
students to their academic graves than any other three words
combined (saving for "Oh, no.").
Narrative takes this moment to observe the basic animal impulses
surging through the mind of the next victim;
And Narrative, having had a good old eavesdrop on the human
psyche, turns to where Shimaru is speaking to the poor girl out
"So... get on with it. Recite your name, age, and whatever
goddamned thing I'm supposed to care about right here and now,
oh, and whatever sentai you feel is the strongest, and then
we'll all pretend to care and talk about you behind your back.
It's such a shame that the class has already had a degree of
cohesion and as such you won't be backstabbed by early starters
on junior high, but there's only so much I can do, so I will
observe this simple social dynamic watching you squirm. Well?
And back to the child in their seat, who is infinitely more
And Narrative decides to just sod off altogether.
"Geeze. What crawled up his butt?" Anne had managed to mutter to
Joseph before being shuttled off to her own class.
Joseph was smarter than that. He was all-but hiding under his
desk. He had nothing against teaching as a rule, and he
certainly didn't think all teachers were evil incarnate.
However, there was a walking, talking, steretype out the front
currently humiliating the class one by one.
Joseph just rested his head on his desk.
By some amazing stroke of luck, Shimaru wearied of scaring the
hell out of his class, and by the time the clock had ticked to
the halfway mark of his hour-long stint with these students, had
stood up, introduced himself in the most basic of ways - writing
his name in hiragana on the board - and then began to rattle
onto the class about their studies.
"Okay, twerps. Unlike most
new teachers, I am not going to attempt to start from scratch
and therefore fulfill my own neat shedules; instead, let's find
the point at which the students you're actively weak. So...
respond, if you can."
They handled him as he belted through his alphabet at lightning
speed. They were not, after all, a dumb class.
As he rocketed through his state-of-being verbs and action
verbs and the distinctions inbetween, they stayed with him.
A handful of the class kept up with him as he reeled past
articles and nodded at adverbs.
And a stark silence fell over them as he resorted to slang.
And boy, did he exploit it.
Sure, Written English was one thing. But the colloquialisms
Shimaru reeled off at the room full of elementary children was
terrifyingly fast, and barely a member of the class caught any
of them. That was, until...
"[Your muzzere was an 'amster and-]"
"[Your fazzere smelt of elderberries!]" Joseph responded.
"[I suppose...]" Shimaru said, in slightly accented English,
"[That I deserved that one. Well then. You seem to be
well-acquainted with the language. Most of these children speak
it poorly, but you, I suppose, have the accent of a dairy
Joseph hit a crisis point.
On one hand, he could exploit an advantage here, an advantage
that may prove a saving grace in this class.
On the other, it would set him apart and be possibly a nail in
a coffin, as the weirdness around him exploded yet further into
a cloud of improbabilities into which even fewer would dare
For a moment, Joseph wavered, his normally quiet impuleses
wrestling with the momentary desire for the spotlight.
And almost as though a direct result of the boy's penchant to
change the probable to the improbable and the impossible into
the likely, the desire won.
"[That's appropriate. You have the accent of a cow.]"
Shimaru's eyes narrowed a slight bit.
"[I've known dogs better-versed in Eigo than you.]"
Morphic resonance states that once something has been done, it
will be done again and more easily. And so, it was not as as
surprisign to see Joseph open his mouth for a response.
"[Did they teach you everything you know?]"
"Bien." he spoke in a very, low, quiet voice. For a moment,
Joseph wasn't sure he'd heard him speak at all.
"ANYWAY," Shimaru turned his back to his class and produced
another chalk, using it to scrawl some terms on the board. "It
seems that the grade average IQ for this particular turnip field
is just as low as I thought it would be. You're learning
English. Why are you learning it? So you can pepper your speech
with random Japlish? If so, sod off and listen to the pop radio
and spend these two classes bumming cigarettes off the junior
high students that pass by. That's not why you learn a
Shimaru shrugged. "So your first assignment, due... oh, I'll
put it at..." Shimaru scratched the back of his neck.
"Wednesday, next week, is to write a four-page essay on just why
you're learning a second language."
A groan came up from the class.
"[In English. Submissions with so much 'gana, 'kana or kanji as
your own name will be failed automatically.]"
The groan increased.
"Do you want it due _tomorrow_?"
The groan silenced.
The deadly pause that followed was only punctuated by the
ringing of the bell, to signal the end of Shimaru's bout with
"Good. Now. I'm going to sod off." He shrugged and grinned, and
stepped towards the door.
As he put hand on the doorknob, he turned back, to face the
class, his eye catching Joseph's for a moment, but nonetheless
staring at space above and beyond Joseph's left ear.
"[As the good things of day began to droop and drowse...]"
Joseph looked up. For an instant, he felt words rise unbidden
to his lips... then he silenced them. Shimaru looked momentarily
disappointed, then smirked as if the universe had just proven
Shimaru swore internally as he closed the door behind him. He
swore internally as he walked to the teacher's lounge. He swore
internally, in fact, all through the minutes of freedom he had
to get himself together and to the next class. He swore as he
downed his lukewarm water, he swore as he picked up his books,
he swore _quite_ profusely at the other sensei who'd been such
an inconsiderate sod to pilfer his schedule, and he swore as he
stole someone else's, making the mental alterations to make the
schdule fit his own classes.
Fourteen minutes and over eight thousand swearwords in fourteen
or more languages later, Shimaru opened the door to his next
class. It was an older class, who had a slightly more studious
and sincere look about them. The majority of the class were
girls. Shimaru had been lead to understand that the demographic
was currently somewhat skewed towards a higher female population
in the higher grades for a variety of reasons about which
Shimaru didn't care.
Shimaru _did_ care about one thing - authority. From the moment
he walked in the door, to the moment he sat down, he was pulling
his huge frame in full steam, his narrow green eyes glaring
around the room with the air of an extremely disgruntled man.
There are those who will contend that Shimaru had never _been_
gruntled, but that's not the point.
By the time he was sitting down, there was a thick atmosphere
of terror. News could travel _fast_. Bad news could travel even
faster, as the beta-testers for the Starship Titanic could
His eyes swept from one side of the class to the other. He had
arrived early and the previous teacher had left early, granting
the students a good few minutes in which to stretch their
muscles while waiting for his reign to officially begin. The
clock was ticking down.
Shimaru reached into his jacket and slowly drew out a long,
white piece of chalk. The sharper-eyed students in the first row
may have noticed the caliber engraved in the base.
Three minutes left.
Shimaru glanced up at the class. Four or five girls were
chattering away, with, oddly enough, the male students all
seated. Two were classically archetypal geeks - thick glasses,
pencil necks, and poor posture to boot. One was flicking through
what looked from Shimaru's angle to be a novel of some stripe. A
thick, bound novel.
Two minutes left.
The other few male students were seated and reading through
their books. The girls were still chattering. Shimaru began to
twirl the chalk in his hands angrily.
There was, however, a detail he'd missed. A girl, in the front
row, saw his sour look, and followed his line of vision. And
you'd need to be a special type of idiot to not see how
Shimaru's eyes were all-but-outlining a target on the back of
the head of the girl whose back was towards him.
One minute left.
Falora did qualify as a special type of fool. But in this
situation, she just wasn't special enough. Getting quickly to
her feet, Falora brought herself to talk to the three girls, her
face knit with concern.
Her initial statements that they should try and sit down or the
sensei'd be mad was drowned out by the ringing of the bell.
Shimaru's fingers all-but cracked through the sound barrier as
the chalk took off. Shooting forwards at speeds quantifiable as
a fraction of terminal velocity, the chalk began to spiral
forward just as it had in the last class. Shimaru's face was set
in a cast of serious disinterest as he drew a second and third
piece of chalk.
The first piece of chalk hit the spine of the boy's book, and
with a cracking noise, the chalk shattered up and down its
length, into two shards of chalk which both struck the boys's
fingers around the book.
This staggering feat of ballistics coincided terrifyingly fast
with the bang of the second piece of chalk shattering on the
back lockers, shaking the two dozing students up the back out of
And the third piece headed on a predetermined course, towards
the chattering girl.
The course in which Falora had intersposed herself.
Shimaru blinked. Not that he actually gave a crap, but it
wouldn't look as intimidating. Oh well.
The chalk was buzzing towards Falora swiftly, powder trailing
from it as the force behind it began its fragmentation...
And it suddenly underwent a 90 degree turn and burst against
the gyprock roof.
Not a good way to intimidate people, but hell, he'd scared the
beshit out of them with the other two pieces of chalk - the
girls were streaking towards their seats at speeds comparable to
the chalk bullets earlier.
But Shimaru was boggling.
For a moment, he glanced at Falora, then at the marks on her
face - and then he scowled, shaking his head as a dog in water
clearing its head.
Shimaru leaned back in his seat, glancing around at the class.
History, he noted, glancing at the notes on his desk. Hmm.
"Alright," Shimaru began.
Shimaru sighed. Chirpy. He hated chirpy.
Well, he hated dour, and glum, and cheerful, and every emotion
in the spectrum 'twixt the two, but chirpy presented itself, so,
why not hate that?
"What?" Shimaru's tone of voice carried the solid implication
that there were things far safer to do than to interrupt Shimaru
mid-sentence. Such as bobbing for pirahnas.
"Shouldn't the iincho perform her duties?"
Shimaru glanced at Falora.
"Yeah. Go nuts. Whoever it is." Shimaru rolled his eyes.
Falora beamed, standing and turning to the class.
Shimaru's brain was not a slow organ. It was, in fact, probably
the most well-oiled part of his body, and when one considers his
strength and flexibility, this said something of worth.
And one thing Shimaru _had_ seen before were goddesses.
Buttloads of them. Possibly the only interesting things in the
entire godforsaken hell that was God's Waiting Room. As a sour
note, he noticed that while man looks on the outwards appearance
and god on the heart, Goddesses were probably even more shallow
And Shimaru's brief wariness at the sight of the girl's face
clicked into solid alarm as he realised that if not an actual
Goddess, than he was dealing with at least someone of a godly
Shimaru stood up, pain obvious on his face. Gritting his teeth
in a rictus of pain mixed with rage, he stalked to the door and
swung it open.
Then, before he could successfully escape to the lounge, he
turned, pointing the Finger Of Doom at the young, blonde goddess
in front row.
"My. Office. NOW."
Shimaru got three steps out of the door, managed to hear it shut
behind him, then collapsed on the ground, nursing his ribs. A
moment later, the door of the classroom behind him opened again,
and the timid steps of Falora could be heard. The students
inside the class barely registered the clicks, having been given
an period entirely to themselves.
Falora was on her knees next to Shimaru, trying with little
success to move the comparatively massive man off his stomach.
"Sensei? Sensei!? Are you o-"
"GET YOUR F'CKING HANDS OFF ME!" Shimaru flipped around in a
small circle, putting his back against the wall. One hand
pointed accusingly at the confused girl. "You're a goddess,
aren't you? One of those goddamned stupid -"
Falora blithely interrupted Shimaru's rant on the vacuous
nature of goddesses and nodded cheerily. "Un! Falora, Goddess of
"I don't give a damn about your name, rank, and serial number.
Out. Of. My. Class."
Shimaru began to haul himself to his feet, the strain visible
on his face, the prayer beads around his neck rolling up around
his chin as he bent double.
"Ooooooh. Prayer beads." Falora bent to look at them more
closely. "Are those the sort that trigger a physiological
reaction whenever a trigger word is uttered? Like heel, or stay,
"DON'T SAY IT!"
Shimaru stormed down the hall with Falora in tow, quietly
wondering just what she did wrong. Well, he stormed as well a
man whose feet refuse to respond and whose shoulders are feeling
like they've been broken in three places can storm.
A goddamn goddess. Why, oh, why, did he have to have a goddamn
FRICKING goddess in _HIS_ class?
Shimaru paused. What a silly question.
Shimaru managed to stagger to the door of the teacher's lounge,
Falora behind him, bemused goodwill evident on her features. He
hadn't told her anything beyond ordering her out of his class,
and she wasn't quite sure on just how to apply this order, all
Just as Shimaru shoved the door open, the strange mist that
could be called smoke rising up out of the opened door, he
whirled and pointed at her.
"You don't go inside. Sit here, and for the love of god, don't
"ANYTHING!" Shimaru bellowed in her face.
For a moment, some tiny part of the Shimaru that once was,
buried under the blackened crust of the Shimaru that currently
was, some tiny shard of him grieved at him having stooped to
yell in the face of small children.
The rest of the Shimaru that currently was, however, dragged
this shard into a dark alley and beat the hell out of it.
Shimaru flopped into his chair and dropped the schedule on his
desk. Across from him, a scholarly forehead wrinkled as the
owner of said forehead looked up at him.
"You're back early, Shinsei-sensei."
"Fuck it, Takenaka," Shimaru bent double, letting the
suppressed pain bleed out of his body, trying to overcome it
rather than defy it, pretense gone. "Nobody said anything about
having one of those worthless little goddesses in my classes,
NOBODY AT ALL." Shimaru slammed the hand that wasn't clutching
his chest onto the desk.
Takenaka-sensei raised an eyebrow. The position of school
counsellor left one privy to rather a lot of information, but
still, he was more used to getting angry statements like that
>from the students than the sensei.
"Uhm," Takenaka stated intelligently.
"Short, blonde hair, green marks on her face?"
"Falora? Oh, Falora, yes, she's a wonderful girl. We have tea
"Well, doesn't that fuckin' figure."
Takenaka winced at the unnecessary profanity. He'd been placed
in the desk across from Shimaru's by the principal because the
principal believed in ying and yang and feng shui - and also
because there wasn't a sensei patient enough to put up with
Shimaru for more than a day without complaining about their
desk, their missing wastepaper basket, their broken arm, or
something trivial of the ilk.
Still, Takenaka had had his patience tried by far worse
miscreants than Shimaru, and they had been students. Shimaru had
a lot of potential, and Takenaka believed in releasing this in
"Shimaru... can I call you Shimaru?"
"Can I call you fat-ass idiot-head?"
"Before you say it, I'll note that I'm being both sarcastic and
"Very well, Shinsei-sensei... just why... why _are_ you the way
It's a unique thing to see a cracked, pitted, skinless travesty
of a face such as Shimaru's smile. There are no lips to shape
the muscles around the mouth and give them contours, to form the
sight of the mouth as it proceeds along its way via photons to
another's eyes. There are no cheeks to colour, only brown, hard
scar tissue, which yields no mirth.
All in all, it resembles very much what would if a rock were to
smile, but without the same predatory nature.
"You really wanna know, Takenaka?"
Nod from the older man.
"Good. Yl meth rosepthe-"
Falora sat outside the door, quietly twiddling her thumbs and
watching the ceiling. Well, she was, for about four seconds, at
which point she got bored and leaned in to listen in to the
somewhat loud conversation between Takenaka and Shinsei.
And she heard it all.
Up to the point where Shimaru got weird.
"Good. [The thing that will crush you, in the end, Takenaka, is
the brutal way in which life will treat you. I have had God
himself come down from on high, grace my life with a terminal
disease, remove from me what few things I had that were truly
mine, my identity and body, then when I sought out a manner in
which I could kill myself without destroying the one person in
the world for whom I ever cared, he proceeded to do me another
favour and descend from heaven and take that saving grace away
>from me. Then, after ripping away from me the Angel of Death for
which I so hungered, driving a wedge between myself and my rest,
God turned what little of a world I had left on end, damning me
to stay in the most despicable squalor that was his office, once
in a while, simply to experience the utter bone-crushing tedium
that only a place where there are no conflicts can produce. And
then what? I get a lecture and get sent back. No Elysian fields
for _ME_, buster, no siree. Then, when I come to this world
again, I wake up on a cold block and find my wallet and shoes
stolen - they won't even give me the dignity of NOT robbing my
corpse. I wouldn't be surprised to know I've lost my virginity
to some shithead morgue worker with a necrophilia fetish (and
wouldn't you have to be to work there?). God himself then sent
me home, to my family, to that one person for whom I cared, who
then was revolted at my appearance, disgusted by my behaviour,
and condemned me to live here, in Capow, where I must live out
my days until such time as I 'learn what life is about'. And
what of my family? A brother who believes if it's old enough to
bleed it's old enough to breed, another brother who takes sadism
to a new level, two parents who think I'm still seventeen, not
out of lovingkindness but because they FORGOT I WAS FUCKING
BORN, and one sister. A sister, my friend, who is life and light
and heaven and angel's wings crushed into their finest and
purest point, reduced to its most simple level, who will love
and can love with all the fibre of her being... who has rejected
me and sent me to the outside of the world.]"
Shimaru paused. Falora presumed for breath.
"[What then, I say, is my problem? Perhaps it is this damnable
curse of immortality. Or these? These beads which confine me to
the word of every two-bit shintoist church-goer who hasn't spit
in an ancestor's miso. Or maybe it's the fact that, having lost
everything I had, those who could help me, refuse to do so. Or
maybe, just maybe,]" another pause, "[... Maybe, Takenaka, it is
the loneliness. The bone-crushing, soul-wilting loneliness. I
cannot live another day where every human being upon seeing me
does not recoil in utter horror at the sheer hell that is my
face. I cannot truly live a love. I can never, ever, ever find
any others who will accept me. My blood and bone rejected me -
my very _blood_ _and_ _bone_. And they, of all people, had
reason to accept me. We're not talking flat-chested tomboys
here, Takenaka - I'm hideous, I know it, and I'm unsociable. The
quiet outcast shtick works if you're actually moderately
passable as a human being. I'm not. So I will live every day of
my life alone, loveless, unloved, and unloving, as every day
brings me closer to the armageddon imposed by the God who
sentenced me to this in the first place.]"
that's my understanding of it, at least."
".. mys uluhtc, yog, sototh."
"Well, that's my
understanding of it, at least."
Takenaka blinked owlishly at the suddenly-grim-again Shimaru.
For the past gods-know-how-long, he had been babbling in a
language that Takenaka wasn't even sure should exist. Some of
the words Shimaru had pronounced should have been impossible
without tentacles in one's mouth, a pseudopodia for a tongue(s),
or possibly both.
"... I didn't understand a word of that, Shimaru."
Shimaru's face went hard as flint once more. "Well, I guess
that's _your_ fucking problem, isn't it?"
Falora blinked outside. The majority of the olde tongue Shimaru
had spoken was almost flawless, she noted. Not, however, that it
mattered much to her, given that most languages were really just
messy things that got in the way of what people were actually
_saying_ - and Shimaru had said a lot.
An awkward silence settled over the teacher's lounge as
Takenaka first looked very embarrassed, then excused himself
>from the room, leaving Shimaru to brood. Shimaru was fine with
that; he always had an excellent memory, and he had a very long
list of grievances to work with.
The door opened, and a tentative Falora stepped in.
Now, before we move on, it is imperative to note for the sake
of fairness that Shimaru is actually not easily moved to anger.
Even before his, ah, unfortunate incident in Israel, Shimaru
had already mostly taken a 'one eye open, one eye shut'
attitude towards life, as it tends to lead to less stress.
However, even while maintaining the nonchalant exterior,
Shimaru was actually stuffing his ire into some corner of his
mind to be examined more thoroughly later, perhaps when he
wanted to yell at someone and needed to work himself up to the
point that he'd bother to even acknowledge that someone's
exisistence. Meaning that, whenever Shimaru decided that his
patience ran out and blew the top, the results were quite
So, then, in one corner, there was Shimaru, who despite of his
earlier tirade still had quite a bit of unhealthy emotions
building in him. In the other corner, there was Falora, whose
youthful exuberance and inexperience wouldn't let her leave
well enough alone.
In short, the Irresistible Force was about to run headlong
into the Immovable Object.
"What did I say about not coming in?" Shimaru asked in a
dangerously low tone of voice.
"Not another word!" Shimaru snapped. "I know why you came in:
you heard my little spiel, didn't you?"
Falora nodded silently.
"I thought so," Shimaru growled. "Well, guess what? I don't
want your apology, I don't want your advice, and I definitely
DO NOT want your pity!"
Falora looked like she would try to
speak again, but Shimaru didn't let her get even a syllable
"Do you have a listening compehension problem? Then let
me be crystal clear."
Shimaru stalked forward until he was
towering over Falora.
"Do. Not. Open. Your. Mouth." he bit
out slowly, deliberately, putting just enough punch into his
words so that each one of them were an order. This time, Falora
didn't so much as blink.
"Good girl. Now, go back to your room
and stay there so that I don't have to see you again until
But instead of obeying right away, Falora lept forward and
hugged Shimaru for all she was worth, wrapping her arms as far
as they would go around his massive back and burying her face
into his stomach. Then, before Shimaru could formulate any
sort of response, she was gone, her rapid footsteps fading down
Having finished lunch, Falora began to contemplate her view
from her rooftop perch.
"Feeling homesick?" Shimaru's voice rang out from behind her.
Falora nearly lost her balance. Had he followed her up here?
Would she be in trouble for not eating in the designated
cafeteria? While he didn't sound like he was angry at her any
more, he didn't seem to be exactly happy about seeing her here.
Shimaru crossed his arms. "I asked you a question."
"A-a little, I guess," Falora answered hesitantly.
"Thought so. But that's not a good enough of an excuse to run
around where you're not supposed to and make yourself potential
lawsuit material, Goddess or not." Shimaru jabbed a thumb at the
door. "I don't need to explain what that thing back there is
for, do I?"
"No, sir." Falora got down slowly and walked past Shimaru.
"Are you...still mad at me?" she asked softly as she put her
hand on the doornob.
Shimaru didn't bother to look at her. "Give me one good
reason why I shouldn't be."
Lacking a good answer, Falora blurted out the first thing that
came to mind. "It doesn't suit you?"
Shimaru turned and arched an eyebrow at her. "Really?" his
expression hardened again. "Wrong answer. Now scram."
 If you don't know, the Iincho is the classmember who does
the 'Stand! Bow! Be seated!' ritual. Class rep, basically. Keiko
in Yu Yu Hakusho is an iincho, Hikari in Evangelion is a iincho,
and the third example of an iincho should go here if I could
think of it. But I can't. Since Falora is only filling in for
one day, she will only have to do the minor duties that crop up
- namely getting the students to do their jobs on the roster and
to instruct the class to stand, bow, and sit.
 Comparative, say, to the Ethiopan Navy.
 For what it's worth, in his case. Lifting Shimaru's spirits
is comprable to changing decks on the Titanic - lots of lateral
movement, but still sunk.
 This, of course, was an effect because Shimaru would thrash
his students up to and beyond the point of death, mostly because
it made seating arrangements easier. He was contemplating
removing a desk every week of the semester and using whichever
student was unseated as an unofficial organ donor and lunchpack
for the remaining students. It would be a good lesson in English
culture, after all, and put the fear of god into the fat ones.
 To Shimaru.