And here is my entry for this year. Glad I managed before Christmas. Was a bit hectic this year.
As always prompt and author’s notes will be at the end for spoiler reasons.
Naughty or Nice
The halls of the main building are practically empty as I hurry through the corridors, trying not to run. I almost let some of my prescriptions run out, and now I had to get the new meds today because the pharmacy will be closed over the holidays, and now I’m running late… Well, not actually running…
The door of room 3-3 is the only one where a sliver of light shines into the dim corridor, and I hear voices, laughter and music from inside. Damn, they already started!
As I open the door and enter, my classmates turn around.
“Hey, Hisao made it!” Akio shouts putting an arm around my shoulders. “We were just wondering if we should go look for you in case you broke down in a corner somewhere!”
A couple of months ago his crass humour would have sent me spiralling back into depression. Has it really only been a few months? Now I don’t even blink. “Nah, wouldn’t miss this even for a heart attack. Not when there’s going to be cookies.”
I disentangle myself from my fellow science club member and put my contribution to the cake and cookie buffet on the desk next to the door. Mine is store-bought, but I see some of my classmates went the extra mile and baked them themselves.
I wave hello to my other classmates. In the back corner, the newspaper trio of Naomi, Natsume and Hanako are sipping fruit punch from cups of paper. Hanako gives a quick wave before returning her attention to her friends.
Over by the window, Taro is feeding orange slices to his girlfriend, the weird artist girl from 3-4 who did the mural for the festival. I talked to her once or twice back when I was new. What was her name? Rin? They seem to be in their own little world, and I’m not sure they even noticed me entering.
Molly, Ikuno, Miki and Misha are sitting around a desk munching cookies… Well, it’s mostly Misha and Miki – Molly is fiddling with her phone, and Ikuno is refraining for obvious reasons.
Leon walks over to Akio and me. “Hisao… uh… late?”
“Yeah, I had to pick up some meds before everything closes for the holidays. Would suck if I had to go down into town just for that tomorrow. Is everyone here now, or are we still waiting for someone?”
Leon looks over to Akio who is happy to do the explanation. “Lit Club is doing their Christmas party today as well, and Suzu and Lezard decided to go to that one. Misaki wanted to spend the day with her boyfriend in town. Shizune, Ritsu ,Haruhiko and Takashi already left to spend the holidays with their families.
“Shizune… and… ah… mad, yes!”
“Yeah, the prez was really pissed when she was told she had to be back home on Christmas Eve. I think she was looking forward to this a lot.”
“Uh… last… and… er…chance… tests.”
I nod at Leon. “Yes, we won’t have many more occasions to get together like this before the exams start next year – if any. We should ask Misha to see if we can do something nice for her before things get too bad.”
Before I can do that the door opens again, and two people come in: The first is a small, portly man with a giant fake beard, a red coat that might – with a bit of goodwill – pass as a Santa Claus costume and a big sack which he puts down on the teacher’s desk. Behind him is Mr. Mutou, dressed up as… Well, as Mr. Mutou, really. He’s carrying a folder wrapped in sparkling golden paper, though he’s touching it gingerly as if he’s afraid the glitter might come off on his fingers.
The man in the costume lets out a loud laugh from his belly: “HO, HO, HO, Merry Christmas children! Have you all been good this year? If so, Santa might have some presents for you!”
All conversations in the classroom end immediately, and at least half the mouths of my friends are hanging open, mine included.
I whisper to Akio: “Who’s the guy playing Santa?”
“That’s Mr. Nomiya, the art teacher,” he replies without being able to tear his gaze from the apparition. “When Shizune and Misha insisted on collecting all our presents beforehand, I suspected they were planning on getting a Santa, but I never expected something like this.”
One by one, all my friends seem to get over their shock; only Misha has a grin so wide I worry about the top of her head falling off. Apparently she’s very pleased the surprise worked so well.
Mr. Nomiya seems to be enjoying himself almost as much. “Let me introduce you to my loyal helper… Kne… Kneck… Kneckt Rupert? Is that correct?” He looks at Misha asking for confirmation. Apparently satisfied he continues. “Kneckt Rupert has been watching you children to see if you’ve been naughty or nice, and he has prepared some reports for me to see if you will get treats or tricks today.”
Misha rushes over to Mr. Nomiya and frantically whispers something into his ear.
“Really? Oh, of course, my bad. Anyway, let’s go through the class roster alphabetically. Rupert?”
He holds out a hand, and Mr. Mutou hands him a sheet from the golden folder. I am certain Misha crafted that thing.
“Arai!” Taro steps forward. “Ah, there you are,… oh, and hello Ms. Tezuka! Let’s see… It says here, you are always trying to help your classmates when they are in trouble. You got passing grades in all subjects and excellent ones in…” he looks from the paper to Taro and back a few times. “…in Home Ec. Yes, I can certainly see that.”
Seriously? What’s that supposed to mean?
“So, you’ve certainly been a nice kid, let me see what I have for you.” The teacher rummages through the sack and produces a few presents that are tagged with Taro’s name and places them on the desk in front of Taro, and Akio helps him carry them all back to his seat. “Next…” He takes another sheet from Mr. Mutou. “… Ikezawa!”
I worry a bit how Hanako might react to being the centre of attention, but she steps forward after only minimal hesitation. “So, according to Rupert here, you have excellent grades overall, especially in literature and you’ve been helping out the newspaper club. You also greatly improved your attendance since summer. All in all an exemplary student! Here, have your presents!”
As Mr. Nomiya digs through his sack, Hanako’s face is bright red from receiving all this praise - I don’t think the applause from Natsume and Naomi are helping either – but as she returns to the two of them with an arm full of presents, she has a grin on her face that almost rivals Misha’s.
“Next, Inoue!” Naomi steps forward. “I see you are very engaged in the newspaper club, and you are good with computers and English…” His grin becomes a frown for a moment. “…but Rupert tells me that you failed your last math test. That won’t do at all, young lady! You know final exams are coming up soon. So, Rupert has some little extra present for you.”
While Mr. Nomiya searches for Naomi’s presents Mr. Mutou hands her a stack of papers. “These are some exercise sheets for math. Please note that those are not homework, but I recommend you still work through them over the holidays.”
Naomi takes the sheets with a face as if he had handed her a dead frog, then gathers her presents and retreats to her corner.
As “Santa” continues down the list, I make my way over to Misha. “So… I don’t think this part was your idea, was it?”
She shakes her head. „No, that was Shicchan’s idea. She prepared study materials for every subject and asked Mr. Mutou to hand them out to those who need them.”
I figured that had to be the case.
Leon, who followed me over here, nudges me. “Maybe eh…not and nice… do eh... for Shizune, yes?”
I’m almost sure he is joking, but before I can make sure I hear my name. “Nakai!”
I step up to the desk. “So, I see that Nakai has only been here for a short time, but has already founded a science club and become its president. Also of course excellent grades in science… but not so much in English. Kneckt Rupert! You know what to do!”
If I didn’t know better I would think the art teacher is enjoying this part too much. Mr. Mutou hands me the English exercises in addition to my presents.
Well, looking at the bright side, I would have spent most of the holiday studying anyway, so know at least I have the materials for it. And knowing Shizune I’m sure they are top notch.
After me, Akio gets handed materials for literature and history, and Miki gets a pile of paper that seems to include almost every subject. Mr. Mutou looks grave as he hands it to her.
Then it is Misha’s turn. She steps up to the desk with a resigned expression. She probably knows what’s in store for her.
“Ms. Mikado you have put in a lot of work for the student council. That is very laudable. You also have excellent grades in English, but you are in a very real danger of failing maths and science. I do hope you will work hard to prevent that from happening.”
She returns to our desk and starts absentmindedly flipping through the sheets, looking like sadness personified.
After Leon has received his presents – and no extra materials – the two teachers wish us a merry Christmas again and take their leaves – not without Mr. Nomiya grabbing a handful of cookies on his way out.
Akio looks over at Misha. “So, you’re one of the people who unpack their presents immediately?”
“What? Uh, no, not really… It’s just… I know Shicchan put a lot of effort in it, but it doesn’t really feel like a present, you know?”
Suddenly I feel an arm closing viselike around my shoulder. As I look down I see it ends in a bandaged stump – and as I turn the other way I see Miki’s face right in front of my own.
“So, Hisao, doing anything special over the holidays?”
I sigh. “Study group?”
“That’s how I like my men. Quick on the uptake and always willing.”
“Sure. I guess most of us will stay here for studying anyway. We need a few others, though. Leon for history, Akio for lit… Hey, Misha, want to join in and help us with English?”
“Yeah, I’m not going to be able to do those problems on my own anyway.”
She slides the sheets with the science exercises over to me, and I pick them up.
As I look through them I see that Shizune has to have put a lot of effort into them. Some of the examples seem to have been taken from pretty current scientific magazines, spanning topics from genetics to lasers and astrophysics.
“Hey, those look really interesting! Akio, we should do some of those exercises in the science club after the holidays.”
Miki rolls her eyes. “You’re a nerd…” Then she brings her face close to mine again. “…but you’re just the nerd I need.”
So, Merry Christmas Ivanovich!
The prompt was:
MC celebrating Christmas with the cast and Misha got MC something very interesting... (Try to keep it relatively sfw)
I have to admit that this prompt had me stumped for a while. Of course every story should be about something interesting, but having to include something that is interesting in-story is harder than it seems.
So I put that off for last and started with planning out the Christmas party. About the first thing I decided on was Nomiya-Claus. In the beginning I wanted Nurse to play the helper, but I settled on Mutou when the “special presents” idea came up.
And yes, Misha might have mixed up the story of Rupert a bit, since normally he’s supposed to be the helper of St. Nicholas, not Santa Claus.
I was going for a more serious take at first, but soon realized that would not work with the premise, so I went for light-heartedness over literary quality.
The prompt did not specify any special pairing – or any pairing at all – so I decided to go with the “no-pairing-everyone-is-friends” approach - but since it was to be only relatively sfw, I had to slip in at least one lewd joke. Is Miki seriously coming on to him, or is she just teasing? You will have to decide for yourself how any theoretical one on one study session might end…