Sakura sat down at her desk, glancing around her. School had been in for two weeks and still she could barely remember who was in class with her. As a sophomore, she knew a fair amount of the students in her classes with the exceptions of her electives and this class, biology, as they were mixed classes consisting of more freshman than sophomores. There were also a few juniors scattered around, the ones who hadn't bothered to pass the year before nor take it again in summer school.
Sharing her table was Kiba, the class clown. He loved to pull pranks on all he teachers, and often ganged up with Naruto to play big jokes on all the teachers. Their favourite targets were Mr. Umina and Mr. Mizuki, as well as the Principal, Mr. Sarutobi.
At the table to Sakura's left was Hinata and Sakura's best friend, Ino. She was glad to have Ino in two classes: this biology class as well as fifth period French 2 class. Behind Sakura sat the quiet but clever Sasuke, a boy both Sakura and Ino had a major crush on. The two girls had fought over him countless times, almost to the point of ending their friendship, but they finally worked it out. They had both asked Sasuke if he liked either of them. He never answered.
Sharing Sasuke's table was a boy with blond hair whose name escaped Sakura. He never did much class work, and he goofed off a lot with Kiba during lecture, which annoyed the hell out of Sakura. Many a time she had wanted to throw both boys out the window, but had restrained herself from doing so. She didn't want to break Mr. Muzuki's window.
In front of Sakura and Kiba's table was Mr. Mizuki's chaotic desk. Books on the ecosystem littered the cramped desk and red white board markers and overhead pens seemed thrown about. For some reason, Mr. Mizuki only used red ink in lecture. Sakura found it odd, as all her other teachers were never particular to the any colour as Mr. Mizuki was. But to each his own, she guessed.
Kids slowly spilled into the class the second ticker on the clock slowly approached the 8:00 mark. Mr. Mizuki turned from the whiteboard behind his desk. He had been writing on it with, lo and behold, a brand new and vibrant red marker. He started to gather up the other red markers on his desk, dropping them when his large palms got too full of markers and the bell rang, startling him. Kiba snickered at Mr. Mizuki's clumsy blunder. Sakura stepped on his foot, making him shut up, but not without a glare in her direction.
Mr. Mizuki gave up on collecting the pens that had fallen to the ground. Instead, he just grabbed what he needed, took role and began the lecture as quickly as possible. There was no blush of embarrassment, no unsure glance around the room. Mr. Mizuki was a rather messy and clumsy person, Sakura had noticed. He often dropped papers when he was handing them out. He once tripped while holding a glass beaker, shattering it on Sasuke's desk. All he said was that he was glad it was empty and not full of skin-degrading chemicals.
Sakura had never known such a clumsy teacher. Sure, Mr. J, the PE teacher, acted clumsy, but she knew most of his trips and falls were on purpose to keep the class amused. She thought he would have made a better comedian than a teacher. But Mr. Mizuki seemed like one of those single men who could barely function. Sakura often found herself wondering how messy the poor man's house must be.
The lecture was distracting, but Sakura made sure to take good notes. She enjoyed biology, despite having to sit next to Kiba. During the course of the lecture, Mr. Mizuki had dropped his pen eleven times, bumped into his desk hard, causing him to let out a fairly amusing grunt of pain, and managed to knock over a pile of papers he was planning on handing back to the class. Despite his blunders, the man never seemed to act as though they had happened. Sakura admired his ability to move on quickly from a situation. She knew if she were to knock over a pile of papers, she would be blushing like no other from embarrassment.
As the class was coming to a close, Kiba decided it was time for a good prank. He crept up to Mr. Mikuki's desk while he was near the back helping a student with some homework and sat in his chair. The blond kid who sat next to Sasuke joined Kiba, a mischievous smirk upon his lips. Sakura threw a glare to the boys, but it went unnoticed. She glanced back at Mr. Mizuki, who looked oblivious to the boys.
The boys whispered to each other, then began rearranging things on the desk. Sakura tried to make them stop, but didn't want to attract attention from herself. Already other students had spotted the boys and were snickering.
Sakura saw a piece of binder paper Kiba had been drawing on during the lecture. Where notes should have been, tic-tac-toe crosses had been drawn. Sakura wondered why the hell the boy had played tic-tac-toe with himself, but shook the thought from her head. She grabbed the paper, wadded it up and took good aim. She didn't have the best throw in the world, but her target wasn't to far. She drew her arm back, the sent the paper ball flying farther, farther, until it hit her target right on his forehead.
Mr. Mizuki looked up, slightly started by the paper wad. He looked towards the front, expecting to find Kiba and his friend, Arik, snickering. Instead, they were fiddling with his desk. He made a bee line for them, and grabbed Arik by the beck of his collar. The boy froze. Kiba looked up, and the smirk from his face faded.
"Detention," Mr. Mizuki said. He said only the one word, yet it was enough to send the boys back to their desk. Kiba looked angry when he returned to his seat beside Sakura and muttered something about Mr. Mizuki being gay.
Sakura glared at Kiba, but before she could open her mouth to say something, the bell for lunch rang. Kida grabbed their belongings and rushed out the door as Mr. Mizuki was wishing them a good day with all the enthusiasm of a cat in a dog kennel. Sakura packed up her things and stood up, glancing at Mr. Mizuki's desk. He hadn't bothered to move the things Kiba and the boy Arik had fiddled with. She also noticed for the first time than Mr. Mizuki's crowded desk held nothing personal. There were no photos of his family or friends or pets, no models of cars or boats. Hell, even his rimless eyeglasses rested on a table beside his desk, not the desk itself.
She found herself wondering if the man had any life at all. Perhaps he was a recluse. But why the hell was he a teacher then? Perhaps he didn't want his students seeing his family. Sakura shook her head. Why was she thinking of Mr. Mizuki so damn much? Maybe because he was the weirdest teacher she had.
"Have a good lunch, Mr. Mizuki," Sakura said, leaving Kiba pouting at their table. Mr. Mizuki didn't look up from the whiteboard he was erasing, but he did wish her a good day, this time with a bit more enthusiasm and even using her name. Guess he was finally glad someone took notice to him.
Sakura met up with Ino and Chouji in the courtyard by the cafeteria. About a dozen other students mingled in the courtyard, talking, but all their voices seemed to melt into one static noise to Sakura. As the three sat down, Ino immediately started talking about the first dance that was coming up. Chouji, who had never attended any school function, listened but didn't include his two cents into the conversation. It was left to Sakura to respond to Ino's comments on the dance.
"I so cannot wait!" Ino exclaimed. "I know Sasuke's going to be there! I'll steal a dance from him!"
Sakura laughed at her friend. "Why would Sasuke go? He doesn't like dances."
"Because his brother's going, and he has to take Sasuke with him," Ino stated quickly. "You know Itachi has that ting for Temari."
"She'll ignore him," Sakura said. "She ignored every guy except the ones she really likes." Sakura noticed Chouji's boredom, so she decided to switch the subject. "Did either of you understand that worksheet in Biology?"
"I didn't," Ino said, looking annoyed that she couldn't gossip. "I hate that class."
"I don't get anything Mr. Mizuki teaches," Chouji said. "He teaches weird."
"He's just disorganized," Sakura said, thinking about Mr. Mizuki's chaotic desk.
"He's a butt flake," Ino spat. Sakura and Chouji stared at their friend, surprised by her sudden insult.
"He is not!" Sakura said, surprised all the more by her own words.
"He is," Ino said, crossing her arms. "I think he's gay. I mean, look at his hair! It must be better conditioned than mine."
"He's not gay!" Sakura said, her voice rising. Ino raised an eyebrow at her and Chouji looked startled.
"Clam down, Sakura," he said. "It's only Mr. Mizuki."
"Why are you getting so worked up over that butt flake?" Ino asked. But it was too late. Anger had welled up inside Sakura and now it was overflowing. Before she could think, she stood up and yelled at the top of her lungs:
"He's not a butt flake!"
The sudden silence in the courtyard brought Sakura back to her senses. She sat down immediately, her cheeks a deep red, almost as red as the marker Mr. Mizuki had used. She looked off towards the library, avoiding the stunned look of her friends, only to find out the worst: Mr. Mizuki had been standing there all along.
And he had heard everything.