School Days: After Class
Pairing: Sendoh X Rukawa
Status: One shot, complete
Synopsis: Is it just me or is it hot in here? Like… really, really hot? This is written for Kaede's birthday – 1st Jan 2011! It's kind of a continuation of School Days: Registration but actually it's a lot different. Less dark anyway. So – enjoy!
Warnings: Kaede is so OOC it makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil.
Read it at ff.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6611506/1/Sc
And you can read the prequel there too: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5801081/1/Sc
Or continue to read it below the cut:
School Days: After Class
Of course I still play basketball outside of work. In fact I am the vice-captain of the local professional team, although we are only small league at the moment, and the income is far too small to fully support me. So I teach at this high school full time during the week, train with my team on one or two evenings and play league matches at the weekend. Sometimes I almost feel like a student with a time-consuming extra-curricular activity. In fact sometimes it almost feels like I'm back at high-school myself.
I haven't become involved with this school's own team though. I know they have one, quite a successful one too I'm told. When I first met the headmaster at my interview, he didn't ask me whether I had any sports interest or experience, being naturally more focused on my English-based qualifications, and since he didn't ask I never told him. No one ever said they were looking for help regarding the basketball team and I assume they already have a full coaching staff, and so the matter of my being a semi-professional just never seemed to come up.
Not that it matters particularly. The Shinjoku team commands enough of my attention as it is. Being vice-captain means I not only spend a lot of time working on research and strategy, more than I'd ever had to before, but also that I have to cope with my team-mate's various problems, something I'd never have imagined myself capable of during my time at high school.
My time in America really changed me a lot. I guess that's natural. Finding yourself in an environment where your grasp of the language is hazy at best, you soon learn to communicate in other ways than with words. It's almost like being a child again. Gestures, facial expressions, sounds and even mime must replace the vocabulary you are lacking, and it becomes pointedly necessary to take cues from other people's body language to comprehend their meaning. Thus although I'd always been a highly uncommunicative child during my pubescent years, faced with such an environment I became much more perceptive to people long before my English became fluent. Not a bad thing at all, of course. In fact, perhaps ironically, it was that skill rather than my skills on the court which secured the vice-captaincy of the team for me.
A bell sounds loudly, and I look up from my stack of marking. The noise signals that there is only five minutes before the start of the next class. The students will be making their way up from the lunch hall and courtyards now. I look back at the pile; there's still about thirty books to plough through. With a sigh I push them away and pull out my textbook to double check the lesson for today. Phrasal verbs. Yes, they're bound to love that. Or not. I cast my eyes over my lesson plan, check the notes I'd written and then settle back to wait.
Three, four, five students arrive, happily chatting about their lunch just past and their weekend plans ahead. Their heads are full of other people's opinions – What does he think of me? I can't do that - everyone will see! That hat doesn't match that scarf, I can't possibly wear such a combination. Well, that's alright I suppose. They're at that age in their lives when they feel they must measure their own worth by comparing themselves to others. I can remember being like that too; my unstoppable need to be "the best". It was the entire focus of my life at that time; to become the number one basketball player in Japan. I can still remember the sensation of the drive, the thrill and despair, the highs and the lows of it all. It was an incredible journey, but when I look back on my time now it all seems… somewhat senseless. As though I had closed my eyes to so many other important things. I'm glad that I can enjoy the sport I love still, but that it no longer blinds me as it once did. I may not be the best in Japan, and I may not have achieved all those lofty dreams of mine, but now I am at least a little… content.
The majority of the class is here now, scrabbling for their textbooks and pens and so I stand up in anticipation of the bell ringing. It does so, and right on cue in walks the most troublesome member of my class. The jockish, popular and hopelessly handsome captain of the school's basketball team; Sendoh Akira.
"Sorry I'm late" he smiles lopsidedly; a picture of mischievous cheekiness in the doorframe. I guess I forgot to mention the other reason I didn't get involved with the school team: this boy.
"You're not" I point out, not sparing him more than half a glance "the bell only just went." Several students snicker at my remark but it's true. Besides, he's never been late for a single one of my classes.
His composure slackens for only a second before he responds with a goofy "heh" and turns to head for his usual seat at the back of the room. Quite a number of young female eyes follow him as he goes. I roll my own eyes and start the roll call.
It turns out to be a typical lesson, for this class at least. It's always a somewhat emotionally tiring period, but I've gotten used to the phenomenon now; the fact that whenever I turn my back to write on the board the hairs raise on the back of my neck. It's almost spooky; my skin creeps and crawls with the strangest of sensations. I don't really know exactly why it happens; after all I have student eyes fixed on me for the majority of the day. But for some reason with him it's different. Very, very different. Unnerving, even. And I'm sure as anything that it's him that causes this reaction in me, absolutely positive, although I have no grounds on which to confirm such a thing. It isn't as if he does anything unusual. He is much the same as the other students, although perhaps a little quieter than he ought to be, a little more reflective. He looks at me a great deal although of course everyone does, I am the teacher after all. But occasionally I catch something in his expression, something that causes a thrill in me. Something deep and dark. Something that doesn't seem consistent with the bright personality of a young and cheerful seventeen year old boy. And yet it's there, and if I'm perfectly honest, it frightens me. He frightens me.
Sometimes I worry that it's actually a projection of my own… well… that is to say, I'm not completely blind to his… you know… appeal. It's not as if I have an active interest in him, of course I don't, but it's impossible to not be aware of the, uhm, physical form of his body. He is an athlete in peak condition after all. As am I, actually, so being aware of such a thing isn't really all that odd and yet… sometimes I feel a little guilty and wonder whether the expressions I sometimes see in his face aren't just twisted illusions born of my own subconscious desires. It seems the most likely and simultaneously the most shameful explanation.
In any case I think I've made it clear by now just why my getting involved with the school basketball team would be a disastrous idea. After all, English class is bad enough, and all he does it just sit there. God, I appal myself sometimes. Thankfully he isn't in the habit of approaching me to ask questions about the homework or to try and pry into my private life as some of the other students like to do. That, at least, is a relief.
The bell rings to signal the end of the lesson, and there is a sudden mad scramble for books and bags and the door. I sigh, halfway through writing a final comment on the board, give up and put down my chalk, leaving the phrase uncompleted. It's obvious that no one will read it anyway.
More than a few cheerful "goodbye, sensei!" are thrown my way and I respond to them with a nod, but without looking up from tidying my desk. In an astonishingly short time the room is empty again and the sounds of student merriment recede down the corridor. It was the last lesson of the day for me, so I concentrate on packing up the rest of the marking that I'll have to finish off at home after practise, sling my satchel bag over my shoulder and look up.
I nearly jump out of my skin because he's standing so near, just beyond the edge of the teacher's table, looking at me. I don't think I've ever seen him so close before, almost as if I was always too scared to look at him properly. His eyes are blue, I realise quite numbly, stupidly, as if my stupid brain can't think of anything else, and he's peering at me quite intently from across the desk. Far too intently for my comfort, and for how long I don't even know.
"Sensei" he addresses me.
"Uh, yes?" I stammer like a goddamn fool. For some reason my heart is pounding erratically. How stupid I've been; somehow ending up spending the entire lesson thinking about this… boy, this… student of mine so that for this moment when I needed all the detachment I could muster my veins are utterly polluted with him. How could I have been so foolish? I really, really need him to just… leave. Right now. Right. Fucking. Now.
"Sendoh" he says, and I stare blankly at him, wondering if my mouth is actually hanging open because I sure as hell can't actually tell because I'm utterly numb with blind panic. "I'm Sendoh Akira."
"I… I know." Of course I goddamn know. He's in my class. He's the captain of the basketball team. Hell he could easily win the competition for most popular guy in the school. Everyone knows his name. And yet…
…I blink. Well, I suppose, it's kind of… sweet, actually, that he still felt the need to introduce himself, as if I might not in fact know his name. We've never talked before. Well, of course we've exchanged some of the usual teacher-student interactions during lessons; stuff like "present" and "please read out paragraph six" and "why have you forgotten your book?" as well as the often quoted but never truly realised "sorry I'm late". But as for an actual, real conversation… despite this being a language class there were still over forty students in the group. It wasn't as if I could go around meeting and greeting them all personally and besides, for reasons of my own I'd always taken some care to avoid being in such a situation with him. A situation, in fact, exactly like… this… one.
I groan internally. God, this is bad.
"I wanted to ask you…" he begins, and I'm afraid to say that I'm squirming where I stand. I shift about and adjust my bag, wanting more than anything to just dash out of the room. He sees my discomfort and immediately looks concerned, "…sensei, are you all right?"
God, Kaede, get a hold of yourself! I mentally slap myself. I'm being absolutely ridiculous. But still… its hard to push that feeling out, that discomfort and unease that comes when you can't help but think that the person standing in front of you actually might, in a sudden decent of complete nightmare scenario, admit to having… well… feelings for you. I'm not delusional, and I'm not blind, and even if I doubt myself sometimes it doesn't change the fact that I have within me this small belief, just an impression and really nothing more than that but still… I can't help but feel that this boy, this Sendoh Akira, is in some way… attracted to me. And the fact that he's… well… in the colloquial language of the students let's say he's just, you know, fucking hot, isn't exactly lost on me either.
And this is a nightmare. A real, serious one.
But, I remind myself, I'm a teacher. And this, this is my student. So in a show of emotional stability which isn't exactly how I'm actually feeling, I take off my bag and place it back on the table. No running away. I must face this situation calmly. Just like a… well… grown up. And not a school kid.
"I'm fine." I say, and already my voice sounds a lot more secure. Thank god for that. "Sendoh-kun, did you need my help with something?"
He licks his lips.
Oh… god. Did he have to do that? The moisture has left a slight sheen on the skin, darker in colour than my own which are quite pink in hue. They seem so soft and unbroken, without any hint of dryness just… moist and… inviting. And I'm staring at them. Shit.
I flick my eyes up abruptly to meet his stare. He seems a little surprised… perhaps, I remind myself, because of my completely erratic and unbecoming behaviour. But now… wait, perhaps I've made another mistake because he leans forward, putting his hands on the table top, and our faces are suddenly closer, and my collar is suddenly way, way too tight. Since when did the room get this warm?
"I wanted to ask you…" he pauses uncertainly and swallows as if in nervousness, and the apple in his throat moves up and down. God that's erotic. But wait, what if he's about to ask something of a… personal nature? Something like a confession, maybe? What the hell am I supposed to do now? My brain doesn't seem to registering anything except panic.
"… where did you learn English?"
I stare in relief. Just that? Just an innocent question, from student to teacher? Not a declaration of… well, never mind that now. Unimaginable volumes of tension suddenly rush out of me. Well, at least this is not quite as terrible as I'd feared.
"In America" I say, and even manage half a smile, as if this conversation were a completely normal occurrence, "I studied in America."
He looks genuinely interested. His eyes widen with curiosity. "Really?" he breathes, as if it were the most fascinating thing he's ever heard "why, do you have family there?"
Well, that's a little more personal, not the kind of question I'd usually answer from a student but for some reason, probably because I'm so hopelessly relieved that nothing untoward has happened, I find myself replying;
"No, actually, I went on a scholarship."
He looks impressed, "A scholarship? You must have been really smart."
I laugh, partly at the mistaken assumption but mainly in nervous relief, "oh no, it was just a sports scholarship actually. I wasn't too great at school" I confess. Damnit, I sound almost shy.
"Sports?" Now his eyes have really lit up, and all of a sudden I realise with a newly descending horror just where this conversation is leading, and I sure as hell don't want to go there, but it's not like I can stop it now. "Let me guess…" he takes a step back and looks me up and down as if considering. I feel my cheeks light up like a goddamn bonfire. "You're pretty tall" he notes, "nearly as tall as me."
It's almost unbelievable but it's true. I'm a full grown man and hardly short of stature and yet this Sendoh Akira still rises two inches above me. Just mortifying.
He still looks thoughtful, and his damn eyes are still roaming over me as if they have a right to. I can almost feel them pushing into me. It's completely innocent I tell myself, over and over again, but for some reason I can't help feeling utterly and hopelessly naked.
"High jump" he says finally, as if he'd just cracked the enigma while I stare at him like a complete halfwit. "I bet your scholarship was for high jump."
I find myself crashing back into the conversation like a bird through the roof.
"Uhm, no I…" I hesitate. Not a single person in this school knows yet. If it gets out perhaps there'd be a possibility of my being bullied into assisting with the team but it's not like I can exactly lie to my own student now. Besides my brain feels so much like hopeless mush I can't think of a single way out of this predicament. All function seems to have fled "…actually I play… uhm… basketball." The last word comes out very small and tiny. For some crazy reason I feel like I'm somehow stepping into his territory. And it doesn't feel good. Nuh uh. But it's too late now.
He looks as astonished as I feel mortified. "Basketball?" he repeats, as if he didn't hear my embarrassed whisper correctly, and then his face breaks out into the most beautiful, the most hopelessly and utterly charming smile I've ever seen in my entire miserable existence, and it makes me want to pull out my own bloody teeth, "I play basketball too!"
"Yeah I…" I fucking know. And he bloody well knows I do. And all of a sudden the table is no longer there as a barrier because he's moved around it, far too quickly to be normal I mean… he must be some kind of vampire to move that fast, shit, but he's right… there, right in my space, so close that I can almost feel the heat from his body. Not that I need any more heat. No, sir. Got quite enough of my own at the moment, thank you very much.
So I back up, and goddamnit he follows me until I'm pressed up against the blackboard behind me, stuck in the corner of the room with nothing but a shithotsexy teenager inches away who I can't touch and my own blood pounding in my fucking ears. Yep, this was right up there on the long list of worst-things-to-happen-to-me-ever.
"Sensei" he breathes, and his words are moist on my skin and I shudder. I really, really shudder. There's no doubt that he felt that. There's no way he could have missed it, damn my stupid body. Damn it to hell.
But he moves closer - how is that possible? And it's hotter – how is that possible? And now I can't even breathe. I think my eyes must be wild as horses because I'm panicking, hopelessly panicking, and if this goes on I think I might actually hyperventilate.
But he's smiling, and his eyes are locked on me, and there's no escape. I might as well go and hand in my resignation now.
"…I'd like to…"
His hand moves up and stops inches from my cheek as if he wants to touch it, caress it maybe, but can't make it move those final few centimetres to do so. For the first time I realise that perhaps he is… afraid. Afraid of rejection, perhaps. Afraid of his own feelings, of realising his own sexuality. He is, after all, still a high school student. But he's still looking at me, and although I can't see behind his eyes I can still feel this power that simply rolls off him. It's astonishing. I'm quite convinced that at his age I had nothing like the kind of presence, the kind of dominance that he's exuding now. He's still a boy, I know but very soon – very, very soon - he'll be a man and then… just how would he be?
Utterly damn-it-all-to-hell perfect. That's what.
"… I'd like to go to America sometime."
I can barely hear him, what with the rushing blood and rasping breaths which my body is producing entirely without my consent. Still, the topic of conversation doesn't seem to be the most significant thing at hand because he leans in until our noses are almost touching. Despite myself, I'm looking up to meet his approach. Hell it's not as if I'd stop him now. I'm utterly weak at the knees.
I can feel his breath on my skin, and the hairs of his head tickling me gently where they fall. I shudder again. My breath is short, in gasps, and my skin feels hot, hot, hot and slick with nervous sweat. God I… can't help it I… I tilt my head. I'm practically asking, practically begging, such an invitation, please just… just do it, I can't…
Eyes slide close, lips inches apart, suspended in this moment of unbelievable anticipation. What I most dread and what I simultaneously can't deny myself.
I want him.
Really, here and now.
A little closer I…
He pulls back and I open my eyes to find a hint of dark amusement on his face.
"You're beautiful, you know?"
I let out my breath, completely embarrassed, feeling heat rising rapidly in my cheeks. I can't meet his eyes anymore. I've made a complete and utter fool of myself. What in hell's name was I doing? He's smiling. Shit. I begin to wonder whether he's going to blackmail me over this.
"I would like to know more about America though."
Curse America. I wish I'd never gone to the stupid place. I wish I'd never taken this stupid job.
"Kaede" he addresses me, and I don't even realise it until he smirks and smoothly corrects his own mistake "sensei, I mean." It comes off absolutely perfectly, utterly off-hand and entirely cool, but I can't shake the impression that it was a line he'd been practising. I guess he's still a boy after all, more conscious of giving the right impression and not yet confident enough to just acknowledge himself. It doesn't help to quiet my raging heartbeat though.
"Maybe we could meet up for a drink and talk about it."
It? What the fuck is it? Oh – America – I realise, the conversation finally catching up with me. I begin to feel a little bit calmer. This is a bit more… normal… but he's still so close and even though he hasn't laid a single finger on me, there's been not a single brush of contact between us, I still feel as if I've been completely violated. Perhaps it would have been emotionally easier for me to cope with if he had actually forced something. Then I could blame him instead of blaming myself.
"A drink?" I stammer back at him. "Aren't you too…" I trail off. It's not like I can really say it out loud. I think admitting to it would probably be tantamount to beating my own sanity with a stick. And it's almost as if he understands that because he doesn't mention it either.
"Oh no" he says, "I'm so tall… they never bother to check."
I'm silent. Of course I'm silent, what the hell am I supposed to say? I'm being invited out… on something like a date… with one of my underage students it's just… unbelievable, ludicrous. No. I mean – no!
"Sensei?" His eyes are intense, blazing, and if I didn't know better I'd have thought there was almost something like a dare amongst his expressions. Like he was challenging me. And something in my soul can't resist but to rise to that. I may have opened up since I was at school, but the core of a person doesn't change, and while it is currently wildly inconvenient for me to say the least, I was never one to back down from challenge. Perhaps he's guessed that already, from the moment I told him I was a basketball player he must have realised that we, him and I, are one and the same type. Driven by that same indomitable force: a wish to achieve the impossible.
"Just to talk" he clarifies encouragingly "about America."
"Er…" damn I sound like a fool, but my heart isn't quite back to normal speed and my skin is still electrified such that just one touch will no doubt decimate the last of my self-control. And he knows that. And he's still there, still sofuckingclose, still holding his body just like that, just a way apart from mine as if to demonstrate that fact. As if to show that at any time he could reach out and instantly enslave me again, and it's almost like a threat.
"I er… I mean… well" I'm stuttering. The hell, I'm actually stuttering. "When?"
When? WHEN ! ? Kaede, what the fu-
"Tonight." He smiles. He's smiling and curse it all to hell he is quite simply the most gorgeous man I've ever had the misfortune to be pushed into a corner and not-exactly ravaged by.
But… no! No way! First there's practise and then there's the thirty books I've still got to mark and thirdly… thirdly… thir-
Ooooh, god. Why does he have to say my name like that? Like it was the dirtiest word to ever pass his lips?
"Uhm… okay. Okay but, just to… just to… to talk."
His face lights up.
"Just to talk" he confirms. And then he grins, as if to show that there was absolutely nothing just to talk about it. Nuh uh.
Happy birthday Kaede! This one's for you!