Rurouni Kenshin Fan Fiction ❯ Late ( Chapter 4 )
Late (prompt 4, table one)
Summary: Tomoe is Late for School.
A/N: Modern AU; parody of some clichés.
Tomoe realized what sort of fic she was waking up into when she rolled over in bed and noticed that it was fifteen minutes before class started. « You turned off my alarm clock, » she accused Raberba girl in a monotone.
« Of course I didn’t! » R.girl protested in dramatic indignation.
The alarm clock chose that exact moment to start ringing.
« I just reset the wakeup time, » R.girl added smugly.
Tomoe gave a deep sigh. « Really? Really, are we really doing this? »
« You better hurry, Tomoe-chan, don’t wanna be late for school~! » R.girl sang before skipping back to her side of the fourth wall.
« …Ugh. » Trudging out of bed, Tomoe moved around her room, ignoring the mess R.girl had made of it and digging through her closet in hopes of finding a clean school uniform still on the hanger. Yesterday’s uniform was strewn invitingly across the floor, but she refused to wear it, having resolved to give in to this silliness as little as possible. Which also meant combing out her long black hair and binding it up into a quick bun – otherwise, it was probably going to stream out behind her like a shoujo-bubble-infested banner, and she’d rather not hit strangers in the face with it.
« Tomoe-chan! » her throwaway OC mother exclaimed when she came down into the kitchen. « Oh, sweetie, did you sleep in? I thought you were supposed to have left already! »
« I’ll be all right, » Tomoe said placidly. « Are you the sort of mother who cooks complete breakfasts such as appear in cereal commercials, or the kind that raises her children on Pop-Tarts and soda? »
« Um…I’m not sure, » her ‘mother’ confessed sheepishly. « I’m just a throwaway OC. I think you’re supposed to refuse my offer of breakfast altogether and dash out the door with a slice of toast in your mouth. »
« …. »
« Raberba girl, » Tomoe’s ‘mother’ whimpered, quailing under the dark gaze Tomoe was now fixing her with, « she’s not going to put the toast in her mouth. »
« Dang it, » a disembodied voice echoed from somewhere above. « Emergency plans activate! Throwaway OC Dad, I choose you! »
« I’m leaving now, » Tomoe said flatly.
Chipper, bright-sunshiney-morning background music began to play as Tomoe grudgingly jogged down the street with her book bag strap flying. She kept passing other teenagers her age who were also wearing school uniforms, all ambling along at sedate paces and chatting amiably even though they were presumably just as late as her. ‘Why am I the only one who has to be running like an irresponsible fool?’ she thought resentfully.
To top it all off, her hair was coming unraveled so that it began to stream out behind her like a shoujo-bubble-infested banner. She winced as it hit someone in the face. « Please pardon me, » she called over her shoulder, unable to stop running because that’s what was in the script.
« Any time, baby, » the boy called back happily.
‘Ugh.’ She considered doing a countdown as she approached a corner, the plot point was so inevitable and obvious. ‘The options are rather limited, considering the series topic. Kenshin just wouldn’t fit the personality type, and Kenji-kun’s age makes the prospect rather odd and unpleasant. Perhaps it’ll be one of the other characters from canon, Sagara-san maybe, since I’ve been shipped with him before. Or perhaps someone from those video games she won’t shut up about. I really hope she doesn’t pair me up with Enishi, because AU-where-we’re-unrelated or not, that would be disgusting–‘
She crashed into someone, just as she had expected. The actual person was one of the last ones she had expected. « At least you’re not my brother, » she remarked.
« Oro? » Kenshin groaned, rubbing his injured head.
« You really were miscast, weren’t you. »
« R.girl-dono tends to do that a lot, that she does, » Kenshin agreed, helping her up. « Are you all right? »
« I believe I’m supposed to rant and rage at you right now about how stupid and inconsiderate you are. »
« Ah. Sorry, » he said humbly.
She couldn’t help smiling a little. « And you’re supposed to laugh jeeringly about how clumsy and unattractive I am. »
« Oro!? Really? »
On impulse, she moved forward and touched a little kiss to his cheek. « You don’t have to. She’s irritating me right now. »
« Oh. Ummmm…. » He surveyed her uniform. « If you’re heading to the high school that’s down that way, would you like this one to walk there with you? »
« I would, actually. »
Thus it was that, instead of acting like a jerk and sauntering off as she yelled defensive insults at him to properly conclude the scripted Crash into Hello start of their romance, Kenshin simply smiled. Tomoe took his hand, and they continued on to school, despite the fact that the tardy bell could be heard ringing in the distance. Multiple times, with an increasingly frustrated tone. While the other presumably late high school students continued on their way as leisurely as if they had all the time in the world to get to class.
« I think the editing departments for these kinds of stories need more detail-oriented staff, » Tomoe mused.
Once on campus, she ignored the attendance office (no one was manning it, anyway, despite the fact that a real school would have had a long line of students waiting to be given tardy slips) and went straight to homeroom. Which she did not burst into with flying hair and heaving breast and frantic apology-babble in a cloud of shoujo bubbles, since that would have been unduly disruptive.
« …so remember to have them signed by your parent-slash-guardian asap, » her teacher was telling the class, « because if you don’t, then you’ll be hauled into the office, and– YOU ARE LATE– » He whirled to face her, face alight with malicious glee as he gripped a ruler in one fist, then came to an abrupt stop when he actually saw who she was.
« She made you my teacher? » Tomoe exclaimed in dismay.
« Neesan! » Yukishiro-sensei bounded across the room, seized her in his arms, and snuggled his cheek against her hair. « You’re in my class~! »
« …Lovely, » she grumbled.
« Let’s eat lunch together! »
« Wha– Now? » She gestured at the clock. « It’s barely even eight in the morning. »
Without looking, Yukishiro-sensei hurled the ruler so hard that it shattered the clock face and sent the hour hand skittering to the floor, leaving the minute hand dangling lifelessly over the number 6. « Heh, don’t pay attention to that unreliable thing. »
He seized her hand and happily dragged her out of the classroom and then the building altogether, until they were back behind the school gym, because that was what was in the script (albeit several pages later).
« I think, » she said very dryly, « that it is difficult to eat ‘lunch’ without any food. »
« Hmmm…. » Yukishiro-sensei reached into Hammerspace and produced two bentô boxes.
« Did you really have to resort to that? »
« Why not? I never got to use it in canon! » He started to step toward her, but then tripped over a conveniently-placed rock. The boxed lunches went flying, Tomoe fell against the gym wall with a small, startled cry, and her brother/teacher managed to slam both fists against the wall on either side of her head to stop himself from crushing her.
« You smell nice. Was your fake mom baking cake or something this morning? » he asked, dipping his face a little closer to her neck.
« She was, in fact. Enishi, you do realize you’re cooperating with this insanity, don’t you? »
« Hey, you! » shouted a voice.
Tomoe sighed deeply as Yukishiro-sensei’s head came up again, his expression and body language alert with interest as if he was a dog that had just scented prey.
« Get your filthy hands off her, you pervy excuse for a teacher! »
« Oooh, Junior wants to play, » Yukishiro-sensei laughed, eyes gleaming.
Tomoe looked over at Kenji. The teenager stood at the corner of the gym in a blaze of bishounen glory, clearly prepared to make the most of his role as last-minute hero and rival love interest. « Kenji-kun, please don’t get involved, it is already hard enough trying to wade through the clichés – I don’t need you playing along with them on top of everything else. »
« No way! Not counting the first two drabbles, she hasn’t written me in anything since Hatchling, I’ve been freaking bored out of my mind! »
« Don’t be silly, there was the story where Enishi injured his leg trying to rescue you–«
« NO! » they both shouted at the same time. « I like being a teenager, » Kenji insisted, as Yukishiro-sensei snarled, « I would never fall off a —ing cliff, that setup was LAME. »
« Oh, look, » Kenji laughed, « you got censored. »
« Well, » Tomoe said, « if you’re not going to ‘rescue’ me from what you assume to be sexual harassment, I suppose I’ll leave you two to enjoy yourselves while I find a way to pass the time until this story is over. »
« Have at you, perv! » Kenji challenged Yukishiro-sensei, assuming an attack stance with his wooden kendô weapon.
« My pleasure, brat, » Yukishiro-sensei snarled eagerly, extracting a full-fledged katana from the same place he’d gotten the bentô.
« Hey! You can’t use that kind of sword on school grounds, that’s cheating! »
Leaving them to it, Tomoe went back to class and found Kenshin standing awkwardly at the head of the room, being plied by questions from her curious classmates. « What a remarkable coincidence to run into you again, » she said dryly.
He smiled at her in relief. « Hi, Tomoe. »
« Hello, love. I suppose you’re a transfer student. »
« As far as this one can tell, yes. »
« How about we ‘transfer’ out of this fanfiction and find something better to do. »
« This one has no objection to such a proposal, » Kenshin chuckled. « On the count of three? »
She took his hand. « One…two…three. »
Author’s Notes: I originally thought this fic was really stupid yet amusing. Now that it’s properly edited, I think the quality’s improved a bit. I also tried to tone down Enishi’s pedo creeper vibes – he doesn’t intend to give them off at all, he’s just so oblivious to the effect he has. ^^;
This story was inspired by the common anime image of schoolgirls hurtling down the street with toast dangling from their mouths because they’re running late.