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Senbazuru

Chapter Text

 

 

This mountain was going to be the death of you. Shouldering your bag, you stared up the path to the top. Who in their right mind thought building a campus way the fuck out here was a good idea? Wasn't this sort of a hazard?

Maybe that was just your out of shape bitterness talking.

You continued up the path, turning yesterday over in your mind. This job was an unexpected one to say the least. You had been informed in no uncertain terms that you had been a last minute hire and that there were better people than you on standby. A blow to your ego for sure but you also wondered why the school had bothered.

The meeting with your new boss had been tense, weird, and generally uncomfortable. You'd signed a ridiculous amount of paperwork and been handed off to a surly looking man by the name of Mr Karasuma.

And that's when shit really started becoming bizarre.

You'd been lead into another office and given a brief overview of your new job. There’d been files on each student you were you take care of which he had handed over to you. Another file you were shown but not given a copy of. A dossier on your new coworker, an unkillable creature of speed and brilliance.

If it weren't for how straight laced and intense Mr Karasuma had been you would have thought you were being hazed...

That had to be it, right? 

You'd read over the file, you'd seen the photos, you'd signed a non disclosure agreement and here, days later, you were trying to work out just what you'd gotten yourself into. 

You still weren’t entirely convinced you weren’t being hazed. Private academies still did that right? Was that a thing over here?

The mountainside was gorgeous and if you were out on a nature walk you’d probably appreciate it more. The effort from going up the mountain did take the slight chill out of the air at least. As you topped the hill the campus that you’d been hired to care for came into view. 

Well, that was...not what you expected. The main campus with it’s white walls, huge gold emblem, and imposing presence made you think there would be more of the same at it’s satellite campus. Instead you found yourself facing a far more rustic building. The weeds were high as you walked through them. It was clear, from the state of things, that this schoolhouse hadn’t been tended to in some time.

“Ah, Reader, good. I was concerned you wouldn’t find the place on your own.” you turned to see Karasuma heading your way and gave a small wave.

“They don’t really do much maintenance up here do they?”

He shook his head, “This place is considered the bottom of the barrel so to speak. It’s where the main campus sends delinquents.”

“Yeah, I was looking over the files you gave me...they don’t seem much like delinquents?”

He made a slight non-committal sound and gestured for you to follow, “Come on. It’s about time you met the octopus.”

The octopus…

You really weren’t sure if you were being hazed.

The schoolhouse was remarkably clean, if a bit worn. It smelled of floor polish, settled wood, and paper. Mr. Karasuma lead you down a hall to the staff room. The door was open, four desks were arranged against the back wall in a block, facing each other in pairs. Seated at one of these desks was...

Ohhhhhkay so if this was hazing then mascot uniforms had become remarkably articulate. You wouldn’t put it past Japan, you’d seen some very intricate and interesting things here but-

“Hello! You must be the new health education teacher that was requested!” he rose up on his tentacles and you stared, he had to be at least eight feet tall. What had the document said? Seven? Eight?

“Um...” you faltered, you’d come here expecting a prank. The chances of what Karasuma had told you being the truth had been a bit further down the list.

You bowed, “Yes, I’m Reader. I’ll be handling health education from now on.”

He gave a bow as well, offering...something for you to shake. It vaguely looked like a hand? It had more feelers than his other limbs for sure. You accepted it. It had the texture of tofu? Possibly one of those sticky hands you threw at ceilings as a kid? Maybe a very firm pudding? Velvety soft, mildly damp, and delicate.

He shook your hand with a grin, “And I am Korosensei, the teacher of class 3-E here at Kunugigaoka Academy. I’m glad to hear you’ll be joining us in our assassination classroom!”

His hand pulled away and as you dropped your hand to your side you rubbed two fingers together. No residue remained. That was an incredibly weird texture.

“I’m happy to be here?” your brain was on autopilot at this point, this was a lot to process. It must have showed...

“Nurufufufu~” the laugh just elevated the weirdness, “It seems you’re a touch out of sorts. I do tend to have that effect on people. Here, please, sit.”

He gestured to an empty office chair at the desk at an angle from his. You sat, placing your things down, you had so many questions and no idea where to start.

“I’m sure that Karasuma has spoiled my fun and informed you of my abilities and the arrangement of this classroom.”

You nodded, looking up at him.

“Well then, let me just say that I will be happy having another pair of hands in assisting with the well being of my students. As I understand it this particular campus has never had its own health education teacher before.”

“The Ministry of Defense decided it would be a good idea and as I understand you have emergency training.” Karasuma looked at you for clarification.

“Yes, I keep my certifications up to date.”

“Excellent.” Korosensei’s tentacle...hands clasped together in front of him, “I would be interested in picking your brain about that topic at a later time but for now it’s time for class. Let’s introduce you, shall we?”

You nodded, rising to your feet. Jeez he was huge. As you moved to leave you glanced at Karasuma. He mouthed “Good Luck.” and went to sit at his own desk, the one next to yours.

You followed the inhuman teacher down the hall to the classroom. Inside you could hear the children chatting amongst themselves, the shuffling of classroom preparation and the like. Korosensei slid the door open and made his way to the podium. You stood next to him, looking out at the class.

“Good morning class!” he beamed at them, “Before we get started, I’d like to introduce you to your new health education teacher. This is Mx. Reader.”

Several pairs of eyes were on you now, sizing you up. You were rattled by the morning's events but pushed through to introduce yourself.

You gave a bow to the class, “Good morning everyone. They told me your campus here hasn’t had a health education teacher before. I promise I’ll try to do my best for you. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

The students were surprisingly friendly for supposed delinquents. They seemed excited at the prospect of another teacher at the campus. One of the girls, a perky thing with orange hair asked where you were from. Before you had time to answer Korosensei chuckled, “There will be more than enough time to ask Mx. Reader about their origins but for now. It’s time for role call.”

You were grateful for that. You really needed a minute to adjust.

You gave a small wave and headed out into the hallway, pausing when you heard a bit of a ruckus behind you. Peeking back into the classroom you saw Korosensei flickering in and out of existence. It took you a moment to comprehend what was happening because it was going so quickly. The students were shooting bb guns at him and he was, apparently, flawlessly dodging them.

Whelp. Okay. Too much. He had it under control right now. You walked to the staff room and sank into your chair. Karasuma was eyeing you.

“What the fuck is happening?” you looked over at him, “Did you guys slip me something yesterday? I felt fine this morning-”

He shook his head, “I’m afraid not. This is all real.”

You paused, remembering the sight of the new crescent moon on your way to the classroom this morning. The gravity of what he said was sinking in.

If this was real then there was only a year left.

One year.

You looked at him. As if he’d read your mind, he nodded.

“It’s insane, I know.” he stated it so matter of factly. You wanted to shake him. Insane barely scratched the surface of this.

“Right now, this is the best we have. Trying to kill this creature before he blows up the earth. There’s not much else we can do, all previous attempts have failed. I’m sure the Ministry of Defense is still cooking up a solution but that’s above my pay grade.”

“Why does he want to do this?”

“No idea. Figuring out what motivates the octopus is something we’re all working on. You included.”

Sighing, you leaned forward, resting your head on your arms, “I know. You made the whole information gathering thing pretty clear back at the campus.”

“A decent exchange for keeping that sense of morality of yours intact.”

“I just...I don’t feel comfortable killing someone.”

“Makes sense. Most people don’t.” he tacked away at his keyboard, no longer focused on you.

“Reports I can do though. You said daily, yes?”

“Preferably.”

“Right...” You got up. “I’ll go take stock of the nursing office then. See if there’s anything we need and such.”

He didn’t respond. You walked down the hall to the sounds of laughing children and slithering.

And so began the start to the most unconventional school year you would ever teach.

Chapter Text

It had been a long day. You sat at your desk going over requisition forms for the nurse’s office. The place had been used for classroom storage and you’d spent most of yesterday clearing it out with the help of Karasuma. Today you’d waded into the process of organizing what supplies were there and had found that the office was woefully under stocked. A number of items were expired, some things that should have been in stock simply weren’t. You had no idea how much of this the Ministry would be willing to shell out for but you hoped it was a decent amount, especially given that grenade story Karasuma had told you about. Just because this teacher had been able to keep the children safe before didn’t mean there wouldn’t be a time he would slip up.

You sat back for a moment, stretching. There were flares of fiery panic which would surge up in your chest when you thought about the prospect of the world ending. A fight or flight response that froze you if you thought too long on it. You were distracting yourself from this by throwing yourself into the work, contacting family more, and other things. It was working for the most part.

The sounds of the kids going through their exercise regimen drew you out of your thoughts. Looking outside you saw Karasuma supervising the children on hand to hand combat drills. Not exactly distracting from the “end of the world” scenario but still more interesting than filling out forms.

You hadn't expected Karasuma to be the PE teacher but it was apparently something decided on before your hiring. Off to one side, in a sandbox, was Korosensei messing about in the sand. You supposed he had nothing better to do with his time. He had popped by the office earlier to see if you had needed help with anything but you’d been in the middle of sorting. You’d had him move a few items for you which he was frighteningly quick about. Then you’d sent him off while you got back to work. He'd been the same as yesterday. Friendly, cheerful, and boisterous.

Reaching into your bag you retrieved the journal you’d purchased for your log and opened it up, taking note as he built a castle, changed, and made tea before you could blink. Observing him was going to be difficult. Already your notes were rather sparse. You looked them over.

 

"Korosensei" - Humanoid octopus? No observable octopus anatomy. Tentacles aren't even similar?

 

  • Moves faster than the human eye can track - Karasuma says Mach 20
  • Friendly - has been very welcoming. Seems aware of his appearance’s effect on others. Has been helpful.
  • Eccentric - observed building sandcastles, making tea, dressing in various odd costumes, and other odd behaviors
  • Changes colors? What's that about? Doesn't seem to be camouflage. Is he a mood ring?

 

 

You sighed, this wasn't going to cut it was it? Well, it was only your second day. Recon takes time.

PE instruction seemed to be ending with the students breaking formation and heading back to the building. You paused, hearing a door slide open. You’d thought everyone was already outside…

A red-headed student strolled down the back steps towards the field.

That’s right, Karasuma had mentioned that a new student was scheduled to arrive today. You watched as Korosensei moved to greet him. In the midst of greetings the student charged him, the teacher darting aside. One of his tentacles was liquified, portions dripping onto the ground. What the hell?

Your initial instinct was to get the first aid kit, but before you could Korosensei had regrown his limb and the red head was heading back to the school house.

The students talked amongst themselves as they made their way back to class. You listened trying to glean information. Karasuma joined you in the staff room not long after.

“What happened out there exactly?”

He straightened his tie, taking his seat, “One of the students finally managed to get a hit on him.”

“The newcomer?”

“Karma Akabane, yes.” he opened his laptop, “We’ll have to keep an eye on him. He seems promising.”

You jumped at a commotion from the classroom, Korosensei shouting and what sounded like balloons popping. It wasn’t the bb guns, that sound you were slowly becoming accustomed to. You rose from your seat to investigate but paused when you heard the classroom door slide open Akabane stepped into the doorway. 

“Peace out for now, teach. Whaddya say we play again tomorrow?” 

The door slid shut and the new student strolled by you with a slight nod, a relaxed expression on his face.

Peeking into the window of the classroom revealed tense expressions all around, even from the ever grinning Korosensei. You definitely had questions. Perhaps you could check in with him after the rest of the class had left. Or perhaps asking a student would be better. Either way it would get you more details for this report you had to send in. That might sweeten the deal on making sure all of your requisitions were supplied.

You waited for the students to meander out of the classroom, preparing to head home. Korosensei was nowhere to be seen. You assumed he’d left again on one of his quick jaunts across the globe. Students it was then. You looked over the clusters of children heading down the hall. Following them outside, you located a few whose names you remembered.

“Kanzaki! Yada!”

The two turned, surprised.

“Mx. Reader?” Kazaki paused, waiting for you to approach, “Is something wrong?”

“No, no,” you jogged lightly over to them, “I just wanted to ask about what happened in class earlier.”

Both students looks a touch uncomfortable.

“Well, Mx. Reader, Karma managed to hurt Korosensei.” Yada supplied.

Kanzaki expanded on the damage and how Akabane had gone about it. You made a mental note: It seemed that Korosensei had a blind spot when it came to distractions.

"Thank you girls. I wasn't really sure what had happened. I only heard the commotion."

The two nodded to you, heading off down the path.

 

You returned to your office surprised and a little troubled. What sort of kid was Akabane if he not only managed to damage this unkillable creature but also was willing to do so so readily? Karasuma had left you the boy's file so you opened it, reading over the contents. 

Hooooo boy…there was a lot in there. How could a kid have a file this thick in Middle School? Aggressive behavior, attacking other students, violence, detention, suspension...and shockingly good grades. Smart and vindictive it seemed. Like Karasuma has said, he was worth keeping an eye on though you would be on the lookout for his behavior harming others. Perhaps with the outlet of training for assassination he’d be less aggressive but…

You shook your head to yourself. You’d seen things like this work. Problem kids going into things like JROTC in the States and coming out with better behavior and less aggression. It still felt strange though, especially given the encouragement to murder a member of the faculty.

With a sigh you closed the folder and turned your attention to your daily report. Seemed you had more to tell them than you expected.

 

The next day you came prepared for possible injuries and nonsense. You kept an ear out throughout the course of the day but the majority of what you heard from the class was Korosensei’s lessons and the occasional amused reprimand of the new student. You were surprised how quickly the octopus had recovered from yesterday.

Around fourth period someone peeked into the faculty lounge.

“Mx. Reader?”

You looked up from the requisition forms you were finalizing to see one of the girls. You paused, trying to recall the name. Clearly you were taking too long because she started to speak up and you held up a hand, “Hold on, I’ll get it...Hara..?”

She smiled with a nod, “Korosensei wants you to help us with Home Ecc set up.”

"I can do that." You followed her into the classroom and assisted in arranging the tables and setting up the gas stove tops. The students were lively and joking amongst themselves. Today seemed much more relaxed that yesterday, thank goodness.

After set up was complete and all students were prepared you moved back across the hall. Akabane had seemed a bit sulky from what you had seen. You heard a few outbursts and laughter during the period and breathed a sigh of relief.

The rest of the day flew by without a hitch. You finally filed your requisition forms, you typed your daily report, and you found a spot in the nurse’s office where water from a leak had damaged the floor. You put a request for repairs in your requisitions too though you didn’t know how far the government would be willing to go in that regard.

The school day ended, you packed your bags and headed down the mountain, satisfied that today had been less concerning than yesterday. It was a nice day, the chill of early spring was fading but the overcast sky wasn’t helping much.

You paused in your trip, taking a moment to breathe. Would this mountain ever get easier? You glanced back up the path curious to see how far you were from the campus. No luck given the trees. You stopped at a nearby rock and looked around, no one was watching to see you if you made a fool of yourself…

Scrambling up carefully you stood on it, it wasn't huge but it was large enough that you could make out the campus...and the long path down. Still at least half of the hike left to go. You sighed. This was going to take a lot of getting used to…

You turned your attention back to the campus, spotting a familiar mop of bright red hair. What was Akabane doing? The boy was dangerously close to the edge of the cliff he mig-

You watched in horror as the red head fell backwards off the cliff. You were sure you cried out but what you shouted you had no idea. You saw a streak of yellow that you assumed was Korosensei but you were immediately sliding off the rock and running up the mountain.

What was wrong with the boy? Had the loss to his teacher been that hard on him? His file had said he lived a rather lonely life at home and he was acting out perhaps this was a culmination of unanswered cries for help. You kicked yourself, you should have caught this. This was literally part of your job description. You tripped and tumbled, grimacing at the burning pain of banging yourself against the trail. That was going to sting tomorrow. You got up and kept going, reaching the top of the path brimming with concern….

Just as Akabane and Shiota came strolling past…

"Whoa, teach you look like hell…" this very not dead student sounded calm...if a little confused.

Shiota, meanwhile, was alarmed, "Mx. Reader you're bleeding!"

You looked between the two of them bewildered before settling your attention on the red head, "I saw you fall…"

"Oh that?" He chuckled, "Just another plot against the octopus. He was one step ahead as always…" he smirked, "You ran back up the mountain just for me? Aw you shouldn't have." 

His voice held a certain measure of mirth to it. Your legs felt a little weak from the adrenaline.

"Do not ever pull something like that again, Akabane." You tried to look stern but you were sure, with your dirt covered front and wobbly legs that you didn't come across as such. 

He waved a hand, "Sure thing, teach."

Korosensei had materialized next to you and you nearly jumped out of your skin when he spoke, "Karma and I have talked about it, Mx. Reader. I'm certain he'll be much more interested in class participation now."

 Akabane flashed a cocky smile then paused, a slight crease of worry on his face, "Might need to patch yourself up before you head home, doc. That cut doesn't look too good."

Cut...shit you just now registered something warm and wet trickling down your neck. You glanced down and saw the front of your shirt dotted with red and felt another drip fall from your chin. Running a hand over your face you winced as your fingers grazed a small gash on your chin.

"I'll take care of it." You moved to staunch the flow of blood with your sleeve. The one day you didn't pack tissues...

A handkerchief was pressed into your hand by a tentacle, you glanced at Korosensei with a nod and pressed it to your chin, "I'm just glad you're alright, Akabane. But please, no more stunts like that one. I don't know if my heart or my face can take it."

He smirked, "I'll try, doc. It's Karma, by the way. Only the main campus assholes call me Akabane."

You gave a small nod, “Karma, then.”

Shiota looked at you, concern painting his features, "Will you be alright, Mx. Reader?"

"Not to worry. I'll make sure Mx. Readers injury is tended to!" Korosensei placed a hand on your shoulder, "You two be careful on your walk home. I think we've seen how dangerous the trail can be today."

Shiota looked between the two of you and nodded, "Alright…"

You were guided back inside by a tentacle as the boys disappeared over the top of the trail.

 

"Now, Mx. Reader, your actions were admirable but please remember that if you put yourself in danger then you risk not being able to help our charges at all."

He sat you down in your office and you made a face. You were being lectured by an octopus. This felt like an after school special.

"I saw him fall and just ran...how did you stop him anyhow?"

"I caught him of course. One of the many benefits of Mach 20 speed and flight." He began pulling out bandages, ointment, and such. There wasn't much left. You sighed. Your body was still shaky from the scare and it was frustrating.

"Besides, you let panic do the thinking for you. If the boy had really fallen wouldn't the more prudent idea be to rush to the spot where he fell than the place he leapt from?"

God dammit.

"...I didn't think of it."

"It's very easy to get caught up in a moment." He sat in front of you, and gently pulled your hand from your face, "But it can come with a steep price."

He ran a damp cloth over your chin, cleaning the wound and handed the cloth over. You used it on your neck where blood was drying. His tentacles worked deftly, smearing ointment, covering the gash, and securing the bandage. He was close to your face and you took a moment to get a good look at him while his focus was elsewhere.

His eyes were small and deep set, his grin wide but without humor, you could see two small pits near his eyes...was he like a snake? Did he have heat sensors?

"There. Thankfully it looked much worse than it was. No stitches required." He sat back, "Please be more careful, Mx. Reader. I don't think our students want to lose another teacher."

"Another teacher? They haven't gotten you yet have they?"

He paused, his expression unreadable and you felt like he was weighing his response, "That is true. Not quite yet."

You ran a thumb over the bandage, "You know, this is kind of my job."

He sputtered, seemingly embarrassed, "I was just trying to help! You seemed in shock."

You chuckled, "You were right. I was...thanks for patching me up."

"You're welcome." There was something in his tone. A certain sort of warmth you hadn't heard before. At least not directed at you. 

Before you had time to ponder that, he stood. 

"Now let's see about getting you home, shall we?"

You nodded and got to your feet, the train trip was going to be exhausti-

"Your address in your faculty file is current, yes?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah, it is why?"

"I imagine you'll be getting home late if you leave for your train now so allow me to fly you home."

"What?"

“I can fly you home. You’ll get there much faster than the train and with better scenery.”

You paused. Heights were not your strong suit. The flight to Japan had been anxiety inducing to say the least.

“Fly?” 

“Well, yes, I can carry another person with me.”

Of course he could. You looked down at your bloody front and made a face, staying to clean up would mean being later. Getting on the train like this would be...not great. On the flip side he was talking about flying NOT inside of a plane but being held in the air you assumed. Was he going to Superman you? How would this work? You, oddly enough, didn't find yourself concerned about the idea of him being dangerous. On the surface he seemed about as dangerous as a kids toy.

After weighing your options you looked back at him, “If you even think of dropping me the kids will be the last of your worries when it comes to assassination.”

He laughed, green lines circling his face, “Oh my, Reader was that a threat?! And I thought you were a pacifist!”

Before you could reply you were very abruptly bundled up within his robes. Not...how you expected this would go but you supposed trussed up in his robes like this with tentacles holding you would certainly prevent you from fall-

He took off and every single thought you had about this remotely being safe flew out the window. 

A very embarrassing shriek came out of you. He chuckled above you and looked down, “You’re perfectly safe, Reader. Think of it like a rollercoaster but with better company.”

You had your eyes screwed shut for a minute or so but when you finally cracked one open...ohhh god you were so high up, too high up. You shut your eyes again for a minute or so more, working up the courage to look again. You could do this. You were okay…

When you did manage to open your eyes again you were astounded at the view. It was one thing to see Japan through a tiny airplane window when you were groggy and half dead from a long flight. It was something completely different to see it in a full, wide, beautiful open space with the sun shimmering through the clouds. You relaxed, just a small amount, something you found easier to do as you were being firmly held.

“See?” he beamed at you, “It’s beautiful.”

“It is...”

He swooped down over your district and settled before your apartment doors. You were swiftly unbundled. 

It took a moment to steady yourself. Two adrenaline rushes in a short time had your body feeling like jello. You looked up at him, he stared back at you, eternally grinning.

“You were right, that was faster than the train.”

His grin widened. Okay so uh...that was possible. One more thing for your notes you guessed.

“And the view was better.”

His chuckled, tentacles waving in excitement, “I’m glad to hear it. Now, rest up! Remember, tomorrow is another day of teaching!”

You smiled, the cut on your chin stung under the bandage, “I’ll see you then. Thank you.”

He was off like a shot and you headed inside. The day hadn’t been as relaxed as you thought after all. Your report would have to be sent in from home…

Chapter Text

 

It was a lovely day. Warm and sunny with a touch of wind. Clouds drifted lazily across the sky. You brought your bento with you outside and plunked yourself on the steps leading up to the school house. The students were, for the most part, indoors having their own lunches. 

Being around both the faculty and the students was nice but you still felt a bit out of place. You were, after all, a new addition to the staff and not inherently needed. Everyone was nice enough but clearly still sorting you out. You'd had your hands rather full with getting the office in order. And not participating in the assassination attempts had certainly othered you quite a bit. 

Your reaction to Karma’s assassination attempt, however, had definitely been noticed. Several students remarked on your bandaged chin and a few seemed more apt to come to you for things when they were needed without Korosensei asking them to first. It was progress but it would take time to find your stride with everyone.

There was plenty of time for fretting about your social standing later though, right now you had a date with your lunch.

You opened your bento carefully, your mouth already watering. You'd run out of the house this morning only managing to grab a fruit on the way. Reaching into your bag, you pulled out your drink and removed your chopsticks from their holder. It had taken a bit of time to adjust to the use of them but you were now able to navigate dishes with relative ease. In an effort to wean yourself off of convenience store meals you’d started, slowly but surely, learning recipes. Today’s meal was karaage, tamagoyaki, a small salad, grapes, and...a bag full of japanese snacks. You were a sucker for snack food in general but living in Japan had exposed you to a variety of delicious choices and it was hard for you to leave shops without at least a small bag.

You tucked into the meal. It wasn’t the best thing you’d ever made. It was still your early attempts and you couldn’t quite get the tamagoyaki right but it was still satisfying. 

You pulled one of your snacks out of the bag. It was definitely time for dessert. You had barely popped the top of the box when-

“Pardon me, Reader, but are those Takenoko No Sato you have there?” 

You nearly jumped out of your skin, you hadn’t heard him arrive but the primary teacher of E class had appeared behind you, leaning down into your view.

“Huh?” 

You were eloquent, as always.

“Takenoko No Sato.” a tentacled appendage gestured to the box in your hands, “The bamboo shoot cookies.”

“Oh, yeah. I get these a lot.” you laughed a bit, “They’re nice when I’m craving chocolate.”

“Could I have a few?” his tone shifted in an endearing, almost childlike way.

You offered him the box, “Take it, I’ve got another.”

You had never seen a more excited octopus.

You’d noticed he had a fondness for sweets before but this was legitimately adorable.

Adorable ? Okay then. You would just file that particular thought away for later review.

He proceeded to enthusiastically launch into a history lesson of the snack while periodically popping one into his mouth. You listened with interest while working your way through your own box. He somehow found a way to make everything fascinating. 

“There’s quite the rivalry between fans of the Takenoko No Sato and the Kinoko no Yama, both have their merits but I am in the bamboo camp.” his grin widened and he chuckled waving one of the bamboo cookies idly in his tentacle.

“The Kinoko no Yama are those mushrooms yeah? The chocolate caps with the little cookie stems?”

“Correct!” his face turned bright red with a dark circle marking on his face, “A touch too much chocolate for my taste. The balance in these” he punctuated this by tossing another bamboo cookie into his mouth, “in my own opinion, is far superior.”

You chuckled a bit, “If it’s sweet I’m always up for it.”

“I have some lovely suggestions for eateries if you would like! There’s a cafe with wonderful honey toast nearby!”

Tentacles waved about happily around him and you gave a smile.

“That would be great, actually. I’m still trying to get the hang of cooking things at home-”

Almost as if by magic a stack of papers appeared in your hands. A cursory glance showed that it was a list of local restaurants and cafes complete with ratings, price range, and suggested menu items.

“I’m still getting used to you doing things like that...”

His distinct laugh sounded, “It is quite efficient if I do say so myself.”

Rings of green showed up on his face. The circle you understood but this one you still hadn’t memorized. Karasuma had mentioned that Korosensei showed his expressions easily and one of the children had mentioned giving you a cheat sheet but you hadn’t gotten one yet.

"I take it that your chin is healing well?"

You nodded, "Though coming home with a bloody shirt scared some of the little old ladies in my building."

He chuckled, "I imagine."

"They were nice about it though when I explained. Told them a friend drove me home."

"A friend?" He sounded amused, almost teasing.

"Yes. Pretty sure anyway." You gave him a smile and then the bell rang.

“Ah, unfortunately, lunchtime is over.” he rose to his feet...tentacles? “Thank you very much for the snack and the company, Reader.”

You nodded, “Anytime.”

He headed back inside and you packed up your own things. When you'd been told there was a creature teaching this class you had never expected someone that looked like a prefecture mascot. It was still jarring to see him around the campus and you had to keep reminding yourself that he was, in fact, not a person in costume. You had to admit though, that while his size and speed could be unsettling, he was quite approachable and kind. And gentle...you ran a thumb across the bandage on your chin, thinking of your unconventional trip home the other day.

A friend...

You were still baffled as to why he was threatening to blow up the planet. It also made you a good measure of nervous. You weren’t fond of the idea of the world ending come spring. Maybe you could find out the why before then...

As you headed back to the faculty lounge you heard him starting up his next lesson with extra enthusiasm.

Chapter Text

 

You were early. It gave you time to check your email and see if the government had granted any of your requests. You were surprised to see that they had. Well, a good portion of them anyhow. The repairs had been denied. You made a face at that. Some of the pricer items had been denied but you could purchase some of those yourself if needed. You made a list of what to pick up and faltered as you heard a female voice from the hall. Not one of the kids, older and with a slight accent. You looked up as Korosensei passed by the door a very slinky blonde woman wrapped around his arm. Karasuma followed gesturing for you to join them..

Well….this was something.

You followed them into the classroom and stood with Karasuma near the front.

Korosensei was clearly enamored with the attention from the blonde. It was amusing and a reaction you hadn't see from him. Something about this powerful creature having very human foibles made him seem more cute than dangerous. It all just sort of added to the mascot image in your head.

“Okay, look alive people,” Karasuma addressed the class, “Meet our newest edition to the E-Class faculty.”

“My name is Miss Irina Jelavic, nice to meet you all!”

She fawned over Korosensei while Karasuma explained that she was to assist with English courses. The octopus had gone a bright pink, his face reddening in a very human blush.

Irina Jelavic. English Professor. Well that was...pretty weird. You were surprised at how many staff they'd hired so far. Would there be more before the end of things?

After the introductions class started up as usual. Today’s lesson was outdoors, something about hand eye coordination. You’d seen Korosensei and the children in the field. They were, of course, trying to kill him. Karasuma and Irina were standing at the windows watching. You joined them in time to hear Irina, her voice suddenly blunt and harsh, saying, “Apparently the art of seduction works just as well on whatever the hell he is.”

Hoooo boy.

She lit up a cigarette and took a draw from it before glancing over at you, “Didn’t know there was another member on staff.”

Karasuma nodded, “Mx. Reader is our health education teacher.” you gave a small bow, “They’re not assisting in the assassination on the grounds of morals.”

Irina laughed giving you a look, “Morals. Adorable. Well, I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of one another. This is going to be over quick.”

“As good as you are we can’t just drop you into this and expect the usual tricks to work." Karasuma side eyed her, "I know deep cover is your specialty but this time you’ll actually have to teach.”

Irina headed out into the foyer, “Ah, as if I’ll be here long enough. I’m a professional. The octopus will be pushing up daisies before lunch.”

You watched as she practically pranced down the steps calling for Korosensei, her fawning act back in place.

“Is it really deep cover if she acts like that?”

Karasuma looked over at you, surprised, “Hm?”

“It’s a bit over the top. He saw through Karma very quickly and there’s already been some big changes in his attitude in the classroom from what I’ve seen.”

“She’s a professional assassin.” Karasuma’s voice was even, his eyes focused on the field where Irina was now addressing the children while smoking a cigarette. “Infiltration is her game.”

“...she doesn’t seem to be taking it very seriously.”

He chuckled, “Says the pacifist?”

“I still have eyes. What’s to stop either of us from telling him she’s a plant?”

The look he gave you was stern.

“I’m just saying that it’s not very good cover if you out yourself to everyone around your target. It would be better for everyone to think you were just another teacher.”

He gave you a look, raising an eyebrow.

You started to head back to the faculty lounge before hearing the children shouting. You paused and went back to the window to see Irina addressing the class while some men approached the building.

“What’s all that about?”

Karasuma shrugged, “I’m sure it’s to do with whatever her plan is.”

“Hm...” you ducked back into the faculty lounge. You had a bad feeling about how this might play out and you were hoping the kids wouldn’t be involved.

Of course, not long after Irina strutted into the room, standing impatiently by the door. You glanced up at her, curious. She caught your eye and smirked cockily.

At that moment, Shiota walked in. He gave you a small wave and looked to Irina, “I have the information you asked about.”

Whelp so much for the kids not being involved…

You turned your attention to your computer but kept an ear out listening and recording some notes for your report based on Shiota’s information. The speed you knew, the tentacle regeneration you’d seen, good sense of smell was new though.

Irina left not long after, you assumed to start class.

So...a grenade hadn’t worked from what you’d heard, Karma had managed to be very creative with knives but it hadn’t killed Korosensei, you wondered what a professional might try and made a face. The kids weren’t skilled in this. She apparently was. Were you going to need to worry about the kids getting caught in a landmine or accidentally shot? 

There was yelling from the classroom, you listened carefully.

“THE NAME IS JELAVIC UNDERSTAND?! JELA-BITCH IS WHAT I’LL BE IF YOU DON’T GET THE DIFFERENCE THROUGH YOUR THICK, PREPUBESCENT SKULLS!”

You snorted, trying to stifle your laughter. As much as you hadn’t bonded closely with the kids you had to appreciate their skills at getting under someone’s skin. You had a feeling that name was mostly Karma’s doing.

 

Later in the day Korosensei returned, he’d apparently run an errand for Irina. Something about tea. He was breezing about the lounge and occasionally checking the clock during lunch.

“Got somewhere to be?” you asked, stuffing a piece of your tonkatsu in your mouth. Mm..too heavy on the sauce. Dammit.

“Oh, nowhere right now. Miss Irina has asked me to speak with her privately later.”

You stared at him. He was pink and blushing again and rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment.

“Yeaaaaah?” you dragged the word out, curious to see what else he’d say if given the chance.

“I think she might be interested in me.” 

“Ya think?” you laughed, shaking your head, “Maybe? Just maybe?”

He sputtered, “It’s perfectly normal for two adults to express an interest in one another!”

You raised an eyebrow, “So you’re interested in her too?”

“Well, of course.” he looked at you and chuckled, green rings going around his head his tone going extra nasal to accentuate what he said next, “Why? Are you jealous?”

“Why would I be? I’m not interested in her.”

Shock registered on his face and he sputtered more. You smirked into your bento, taking another bite as he ranted about how he clearly meant HIMSELF thank you very much.

You’d started to recognize these outbursts from him interacting with students and they were always hilarious to you. Tantrums in their own way but somehow endearing coming from him. You found yourself hoping, in the back of your mind, that maybe Irina would fail at this attempt. You’d like to see him stick around awhile longer.

He huffed, looking offended and you reached into your bag, pulling out a box of pocky and tossing it to him, “Peace offering.”

He perked up instantly, “Thank you very much, Reader. I humbly accept.”

He was smart but also...you weren’t sure what. Childish, you supposed. You wondered if he saw through Irina’s half-assed plot or if he really was going to fall for it.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Irina leaned in the doorway, all breasts and eyelashes, “Darling do you think you could use that speed of yours to get us some lunch?”

Korosensei was up like a shot, “Why of course, madame, what would you like?”

They were out the door and you were left alone with your tonkatsu wondering how the government hadn’t killed this octopus yet if it was this easy.

 

Classes moved by slowly, you tended to other things. Occasionally seeing Irina, Karasuma, or Korosensei ducking into the lounge. You felt like you should have more to do but until your requisitioned shipments got in, there really wasn’t much. So you put yourself to work to pass the time, cleaning the lounge, tidying the nursing office, sorting your files. It was all busy work but it saved time later you supposed.

The students ambled outside in their gym wear, Karasuma was running them through target practice. You watched them idly trying to put names to faces. Some of them were easy. Terasaka was fairly simple, he was distinct. Maehara-no wait, Mimura, that’s who that one was. Okajima was the only kid with that particular haircut.

Thank god hats weren’t part of the uniform because then you’d really be lost at this distance…

You were distracted as Korosensei and Irina passed by the lounge window outside. She was definitely sticking to him. The kids had turned their attention to the pair as well. It was an unusual sight. You knew that kids in your school had always been surprised if they saw teachers with their partners and such. Weird to see your authority figure in a human light. Probably extra weird when your teacher didn't look very human. 

You wondered if Irina was going to make her attempt soon. Keeping one eye on the kids, you went back to sorting your files.

And that’s when the gunfire went off.

You bolted out of your chair. That wasn’t the sound of bbs, that was the sound of real guns. The class was staring in the direction of the shed, alarmed. Well, Irina had apparently decided to try her hand. You headed outside, curious if she had succeeded. As you approached the kids you heard a scream followed by some...very questionable moans. The kids immediately ran up to the shed and you joined them. What on earth was going on?

Korosensei stepped out from the shed, his robe now patchworked together. The kids assaulted him with questions.

Irina stumbled out of the shed wearing what you recognized as gym clothing. She mumbled about massages and tentacles before collapsing face down in the dirt.

You immediately went over to her, putting a hand on her shoulder, “Irina?”

From behind you you heard Shiota ask Korosensei what happened. His reply was “Sometimes adults need special care.”

Oh what the fuck was going on?

Korosensei and the class headed back inside as you helped Irina to her feet. She was wobbly but incredibly pissed.

“Unbelievable. I’ve never been so humiliated in all my life.”

“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

She shrugged you off and nearly fell over again, you put an arm under hers to keep her steady.

“Leave off, I’m a professional dammit!” she staggered a bit but found her footing, she started to storm off, “That octopus is going to pay.”

“Irina!” you grabbed her arm gently.

She looked back at you, her face full of annoyance, “What?”

“Did he hurt you?”

“Just my damn pride.” she pulled her arm back and then paused, looking at you for a long moment.

“Are...you sure?”

A little bit of her bitch face settled back into place, she looked you over, the weight of your question dawning on her, “The octopus didn’t molest me if that’s what you’re asking. I appreciate the concern but I’m fine.”

You relaxed just a bit.

“If..you need to talk to anyone, I’ll be in my office, okay?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” she stormed back into the shed, presumably to retrieve her clothes.

That was...uncomfortable. You made your way back to the faculty lounge, troubled. What sort of teacher was this guy exactly? Should you be worried about the safety of the students or yourself? You were going to talk to him.

You headed back to the teachers lounge where you found Karasuma at his pc, typing. Korosensei’s voice drifted in from across the hall as he coached the children on science.

“Karasuma...I’m concerned.”

He glanced at you, “What is it?”

“Korosensei was alone with Irina in that shed and...well the circumstances were...troubling.. I’m just worried he might have-”

“Pretty sure he wouldn’t. Doesn’t seem to like leaving poor impressions on the kids.”

“We don’t really know what he’s capable of though.”

His typing paused, “That’s true but it doesn’t seem quite his character. He always does embarrassing things to assassins, you saw Karma’s nails.”

“This seemed a bit more than a manicure, Karasuma.”

“Look, we can talk to them about it but at the end of the day the facts are this.” he turned in his chair and looked at you, “Even if he did do something? There’s not a damn thing we can do about it. We’re working with the best of the best and we can’t land a hit on him. I’m not saying it’s right. I’m saying that’s where we’re at.”

That was a bitter pill. A really bitter pill. But you understood.

“I’ll talk to him after class…”

“You going to be comfortable going alone?” he looked at you seriously, measuring you up.

That was an interesting question. Would you?

Gentle. That’s how you’d thought of him before. Maybe he was and you had this wrong. You took a breath and looked at Karasuma, “Wouldn’t really matter if someone was with me or not would it?”

“If you do decide you need someone, let me know. I’ll make time.” he turned his attention back to his computer and you busied yourself with your files.

 

Korosensei and Irina swapped places and you immediately tailed him down the hall.

“Korosensei, a word?”

He looked back at you, grin in place as always, “Why of course, Mx Reader! Do you mind if we walk and talk? I have some tests to plan.”

You nodded, following along beside him.

“So,” he slid the doors open, stepping outside, “What is it you wanted to talk about?”

“What happened with Irina?”

He looked at you, “She attempted to kill me and her plan was terribly executed. So I retaliated.”

“Did you hurt her?”

He faltered and looked at you in surprise, “Reader, I may look like a monster but I assure you I wouldn’t hurt a member of our staff or class.”

You stared at him hard and, to your surprise, he actually backed away slightly going a bit pale. Was...was he intimidated?

“Her clothing was changed.”

“Nothing untoward happened!” his voice peaked in alarm. He  seemed legitimately upset by your accusations.

You still stared at him, trying to measure him up.

“Reader...”

His tone changed, it was the gentle tone you’d heard him use a time or two with the kids. It weighed heavy with sincerity, “I would never do anything to jeopardize this classroom or the students and faculty in it. Yes, I may enjoy embarrassing would be assassins but I would never do anything to cause harm to any of you.”

You still stared at him but you felt yourself soften a bit, you pointed your finger up at him, “Good. Because if you ever do I might not be able to remain a pacifist. Those tentacles better be consentacles.”

There was a moment between you two. He started to chuckle and you hated your mouth and your word choices and the world in general and-

He patted your head, “I assure you, Reader. They are consentacles. If I ever prove otherwise I’ll hand you the knife myself.”

“Good.” you tried to sound tough but you knew you were absolutely failing.

“Well if we’re all done here, I have work to do.” he waved the tests in one hand, “Is that alright?”

You nodded and he turned, heading off to the woods. Your face was burning. You heard him mumbling “consentacles” to himself and chuckling.

Fucking hell.

You turned and went back inside, nearly running into Karasuma with an irritated looking Irina following. Karasuma nodded to you and the pair headed off into the woods, in the direction of Korosensei. Well...you hoped something good came out of that.

Sitting at your desk you added to your notes for the day, this report would be something.

 

Awhile later Karasuma came back, he gave you another nod and you saw Irina pass by the doors, heading into the classroom. Not too long after, Korosensei returned, finished tests in hand. You kept an ear out for any outbursts from class. It sounded calmer in there than before and you were surprised when halfway through, the sounds of laughter could be heard. Korosensei left the room and Karasuma followed.

You could overhear Korosensei giving Irina a glowing review. The kids were laughing, Irina was yelling, but the mood seemed overall lighter. You relaxed, just a bit, things were...weird but for the moment they seemed okay.

Chapter Text

 

There was a surprise waiting for you in your office the next day. Your requisitions had arrived. You stood in the doorway staring at the palette of supplies, "That was faster than I expected…"

"If I had to guess it would be because they’re medical supplies and considered a priority." Karasuma was standing in the hall behind you, "I think that's only the first delivery. They mentioned that another crate was coming in tomorrow."

"Another?" You went over to the palette, looking through the items, "...This is less than half the things I requested and...a lot of things I didn’t."

He came over, looking at the list over your shoulder, “I guess they decided to make some changes.”

You sighed, pinching the bridge of your nose, “Why approve things if they’re just going to do this?”

"Welcome to the government." He quipped, “Need any help unpacking that?”

“No, no. I’m good.”

He gave a curt nod and wandered off, presumably to the lounge.

You sat down your bag and opened the top most box on the palette. Gauze, bandages, nitrile gloves...you started unpacking them onto the table.

A squadron medical kit. You paused, opening it up, eye shields, needles, splints, surgical tape, Triage tags... Efficient but definitely overkill. Also not what you asked for. With a sigh you kept unpacking.

Looking over everything laid out on the table you made a face. It was clear they were supplying you with military surplus. Probably so they didn’t have to buy things specifically for this nonsense. There were a few medical kits which were more for field surgery than what you’d be dealing with. Some of the things made sense and would be helpful. You hadn’t thought to request epipens but some had been supplied in one of the kits. Other things were not so helpful. You didn’t think you were going to need triage tags, scalpels, emergency blankets, or sugar packets. Well...maybe the faculty lounge could use the sugar packets.

And somehow they forgot some of the basics. Like bandaids or ointment.

Hopefully tomorrow’s crate would have those. How they forgot those was beyond you. How the military supply packs didn’t have them was also beyond you.

Though you supposed if they were intended more for surgery that would be why.

As you started sorting you heard Korosensei’s voice a bit muffled but chatting chipperly with some of the kids down the hall. You didn’t catch all of it but there was some talk about it being cool that he was teaching them. You shook your head, putting things away. It was still bizarre to you how absolutely likeable Korosensei seemed. It was hard to put that in line with “this creature blew up the moon and will probably do the same thing to Earth”.

“Hey, Reader, can I talk to you a sec?”

You looked up to see Irina standing in the doorway. Not who you expected to see. Perhaps this was about the other day... 

You gave her a nod, “Sure.”

“Do you have any ice packs in there? It’s like a sauna in this damn school.”

Oh.

“No, I’m hoping for more supplies tomorrow though.”

She sighed, “Fan-tastic.”

“Why is it so hot in here anyway?”

She cocked an eyebrow at you, “What, you didn’t notice? No AC.”

You hadn’t really thought about it given everything going on but she was right, “Why not?”

“Beats me. You'd think a school like this would keep everything pristine, right?.” she rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, it's really not what I was expecting based on the main building."

“Maybe we can get some renovations in here. If the government wants us to kill the damn thing then they should at least make sure we don't melt first. I'll talk to Karasuma about it."

"Good luck, they wouldn't approve my request to fix a roof leak."

"Seriously?" She sighed, tossing her hair back, "At this rate, I might as well be showing up in a bikini.”

"Well, I mean if you wanted to be a distraction that would certainly work."

She smirked at that.

"Well, I won’t keep you. But let me know if you get ice packs in, okay?” she waved.

You waved back, thinking over what she’d said. It was only going to get hotter as the months progressed. These kids really shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of heat…

Pulling out your journal you made a note to yourself about it, maybe you could do something to help…

You'd barely put your pen down after scribbling out a rough budget when you heard a gagging sound from down the hall, like someone retching. With this heat you wouldn't be shocked if it was one of the kids. You grabbed a towel in case it was needed and went to go check the classroom. You slid open the door, wishing you'd gotten ice packs in. Maybe there was ice in the faculty cooler…

You paused in the doorway, staring. Inside, the children were all focused with concern on their teacher who was doubled over holding some glass beakers.

“Wh-”

Just as you were about to speak Korosensei’s face with a bright blue, tiny horns adorning his head.

Oh what even.

“Quite a kick! Sodium Hydroxide, I believe. Good try Miss Okuda. If I were human I’d most definitely have bought the farm.”

“Oh, I see...” she sounded unsure of herself.

“Shall I try the other two we have here as well?” he held up the beakers.

“Yes, please!” from her tone he might as well have been offering her cookies.

“Right! Down the hatch!” he threw back another beaker of liquid. What you assumed, at this point, to be hazardous.

You were just standing there, baffled.

“What is going on?”

Korosensei started gagging. 

One of the closest students, Isogai, turned to look at you, “Okuda is having Korosensei drink poison.”

“And he’s DOING it?”

“Apparently.”

Korosensei went a pale shade of green, wings sprouting from his head, “Thallium Acetate. Interesting...”

“Korosensei!”

He looked over at you in surprise, “Oh, Reader! Come to witness our little science experiment?” He waved a beaker, amused.

“You are drinking poison in front of impressionable children.”

He looked between you and the children, “Class, it is important to remember that while I may be your teacher I am of a vastly different make up than yourselves. What may be lethal to you I can consume with ease.” he looked back at you, “I assume that suffices?”

“I...guess?”

“Let’s see what the last one does then!”

He knocked back the last beaker, gagging and shuddering as he did so. It seemed to take ages. Just when you were about to step in and ask if he needed assistance he abruptly stopped and straightened. His face had gone stark white with a blank expression. 

“Aqua Regia, hm? You can see the effects these chemicals have on my face.”

 The class seemed as lost as you were.

“If you hate me I understand but please, don’t hate assassination." He rasped to Okuda before clearing his throat, his face returning to it's normal sunshine yellow.

With a glance at you he turned his attention back to the girl, "Also, young lady, as your teacher I can’t overlook the fact that you handled toxic substances unsupervised.”

“Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.” she looked down, embarrassed.

"Don't worry, I have an idea. Why don't we work together on a poison that has a little bit more of a kick?"

The girl brightened instantly, "Sure!"

"Is that wise?" You looked at him, "You just told her not to handle toxic substances."

He held up a finger, "No, I said she shouldn't handle toxic substances unsupervised. I'll be working alongside her to make sure she's following proper laboratory safety guidelines."

Okuda gave a smile.

"Alright...well ...if no one is choking or dying of poison I’m heading back to the office.."

"Ta ta!" Korosensei's chipper reply followed your exit.

You tossed the towel over your shoulder and made your way back down the hall.

 

It took a good portion of the day to parse out packs into their components and organize them together but by lunch you were nearly done. And tomorrow you'd have to do it all over again. You sighed and started to head out to the stoop for lunch when a voice called you from down the hall, "Where're ya goin', doc? It's way too hot to eat outside."

You paused and saw Karma in the classroom doorway his usual smirk in place. Isogai leaned around him, "Why don't you join us for lunch, Mx. Reader?"

Karma was right, it was sweltering out and at least inside it was shaded. You flashed them a smile, "Sure."

The second you stepped into the classroom there was a gaggle of students around you. You hadn't spent much time with the students yet so the response was surprising to say the least.

"Mx. Reader! You can sit with us!" It was Kurahashi, the spunky one with the orange hair. 

"Alright."

The kids were chattering to one another about you, the day, lunch, etc. You were quickly escorted to a seat.

You found yourself parked at the end of their little collection of desks with several sets of eyes on you. This suddenly felt less like lunch and more like an interrogation…

Isogai laughed, "Come on guys give them a little space."

"What? We're just excited." Kayano piped up, she gave you a smile, "You've been disappearing before we could say anything so everyone's been curious!"

"Curious about what?" You looked around at the lot of them, baffled.

Nakamura laughed, "About you, duh!"

"You kinda just appear and disappear again, like Korosensei." Sugino chuckled, "But slower of course."

Hazama looked over at you and the group around the desks, chipping in, "And you only tend to show up when something weird is happening like some sort of omen."

You laughed at that, "I'm the health education teacher! I have to check in when I think someone's sick or injured."

Fuwa nudged Maehara, "See, I told you that's why."

"We're...not really used to that. Normally you go to the health education teacher, they don't come to you." Shiota gave you an apologetic smile.

"Is that how they do it where you're from?" Kurahashi asked.

"Not...really, no. It's just that this building is a lot smaller than previous places I've worked and I was told to keep an eye out for anything unusual."

The larger kid in the back, Terasaka if you remembered right, gave a harsh laugh, "Unusual is right."

You nodded, "It's... definitely not what I was expecting. Not to mention..." You looked over at Karma, " Some people have given me reason to be concerned."

He laughed, "Relax, doc, that's the last time I go cliff diving."

"Did you really run up the whole mountain to check on him?" Kurahashi leaned in, "Nagisa said you did."

You felt your face heat up, "It was more like halfway."

"You were a real hot mess after." Karma laughed.

"Yeah, I was. Korosensei patched me up and got me home though."

Shiota's eyes practically lit up, he looked to you, "Wait he took you home?"

You nodded, "Yeah, taking the train would have been late and, like Karma said, I was a mess."

"What did he just pile you into his secret octopus-mobile?" Terasaka snarked.

"No...he flew actually."

The kids paused, looking between each other.

"I was surprised too, trust me. But he did get me home safe."

Shiota had a notebook out and was scribbling in it, "I knew he was strong and had my suspicions but I guess that does mean he can fly off with people…"

"To his credit," you said, fishing out your bento, "he did ask permission first."

"This isn't really new. So he can carry people. Big deal. He caught me just fine." Karma leaned back in his chair looking aloof.

Shiota looked his way, "True but catching you and bringing you up the cliff and flying while carrying an adult are different things."

"Eh, I guess."

"Is there anything else you've noticed about him?" Shiota looked at you. This kids eyes could be really intense.

You opened your bento, "Well, what do you mean exactly?"

"Anything that could help us kill him."

"I haven't really been on the lookout for that, I'm afraid."

"Then your opinions on him?

You looked over at the boy, "He's fun. Very gentle for something like him. Childish. Loves sweets. And...I don't know, he seems very sincere?" You popped a grape from your bento into your mouth, "Which is all really weird since he's supposed to blow up the Earth. I keep sort of...trying not to think about that part too much."

"It is a scary idea." Kayano nodded.

"Aside from that…" you thought for a moment, "I don't really know what else to say. That's all I've got on him."

"Yeah...most of that we already know." Shiota made a face.

"He likes those chocolate bamboo shoot cookies." You offered, taking out a box of your own, "They seem to be his favorites."

"Maybe we could get Okuda to poison some, you could slip 'em to him." Karma gave you a grin. 

"Sorry kids. I'm not going to help with the assassination. Not like that anyway. If you have questions or need other info I can listen out for it but that's about it."

"Not very fair to keep all the goods to yourself, doc. I'm sure we'd split the money with you if we killed him with your info."

You looked over at Karma, "I'm not keeping anything to myself. You know as much as I do about him. Besides, I'm not here to be an assassin, I'm here to be your health education teacher."

"So you're not going to try to kill him?" Kurahashi looked at you with concern, "But he's trying to destroy the world…"

"I'm a pacifist. I don't really believe in killing people. But that doesn't mean I'll get in your way or try to disrupt things. That's my agreement with the government. I give them reports and keep an eye on the classroom and I don't have to join in on the assassination attempts."

"Less competition for me." Karma smirked.

The kids seemed a little uncertain about your response over all but that was quickly swept aside when Kurahashi asked where you were from. You spent the rest of your lunch break learning about the class and answering all their questions about your personal life. Were you married? When did you move to Japan? What was it like where you were from? How long had you been a teacher?

It was actually...kind of a blast.

The kids were all funny and wickedly clever. None of them seemed remotely like delinquents as you'd been told. They were just kids. 

It was growing easier and easier to distinguish them now that you knew more about them. Kurahashi was the nature nut, Sugino the baseball boy, Karma the troublemaker…

You gave them a comical summary of your awkward arrival. How you hadn't expected the cab's door to open automatically and it had smacked into you. Then about how you'd spent an hour trying to locate a garbage can outside to toss out a water bottle. Being extra, extra jet lagged and your eventual bout of stomach sickness from the lack of sleep and new food. They were in stitches by the end of it. You'd learned a lot since moving here and had your fair share of foreigner mistakes to tell them about.

You were all laughing and swapping stories when Korosensei came zipping back into the room in a rush of wind.

"Oh, Reader! I'm glad to see you didn't end up eating lunch alone."

"I don't think the students would have let me. Pretty sure if I'd turned them down I would have been kidnapped and forced into it."

Isogai laughed, "Aw c'mon, we’re not that bad!"

You chuckled, getting up, "No, you're not. Thank you guys for inviting me to have lunch with you. It's been fun."

"Anytime Mx.Reader!" Nakamura flashed you a smile.

"If anyone needs me I'll be in my office." You ducked out the door hearing Korosensei from the classroom.

"Alright boys and girls, are we ready for the next lesson?"

 

 That evening you made yourself dinner. You finally got the tamagoyaki right. Sitting back, you smiled to yourself. You were making progress…

For now. Making a face, you poked at your meal thinking.

What was the point of progress if the world would end soon?

It was a lot harder to shove that idea aside without the sounds of the classroom around you. Picking up your journal, you flipped it open. You’d begun adding notes not just on the target of the classroom but also on the kids to keep track. These kids…

How were they so comfortable with the idea of the world ending? They seemed so...relaxed about it. 

Then again in your experience kids did bounce back better than adults. The advantages of youth and inexperience you supposed. Taking another bite, you sighed. You still wanted to understand this paradox of a classroom and it’s teacher.

Progress is still progress. You reminded yourself. Best to make what’s left of the world a good place if nothing else-

That’s right! You flipped through your journal to the budget you’d drawn up and dug around in your bag for a laptop. You had an order to place.

Chapter Text

More crates were piled in your office when you got to work the next day. You stood in the doorway of your office looking them over. You supposed it was time to open these mystery boxes…

Someone bumped into you from behind.

“Oh! Sorry, Mx Reader!” the voice was shy. You recognized it from yesterday.

Turning, you gave a smile, “It’s alright, Okuda.”

She was carrying a beaker.

“Another poison?” you raised an eyebrow, looking at the pale burgundy liquid sloshing about.

“Yeah! Korosensei gave me a homework assignment to make it. He even gave me a guide on how to handle it properly. I think he was impressed with my work yesterday.” 

Well, that didn’t sound like supervision but Okuda did seem to be intact.

“Maybe I should stop by again to observe, it was a pretty interesting show yesterday.”

The girl blushed and gave a smile, “I’d like that!”

You followed her down the hallway.

“Are those boxes more supplies?” she asked, looking over at you.

“Yeah, that’s what’s on my agenda for the day. Unpacking.”

“Maybe we could help you during lunch.” she offered, then faltered, “Wait, we have assembly today.”

“Assembly?”

“Yeah. There’s a school assembly today so we have to go to the main campus during lunch.”

She sounded bummed about it and you couldn’t blame her, that hike was a pain.

You slid open the classroom door for her.

The kids were milling about the classroom, catching up with each other. Okuda went to join them and you stood by the door, watching. There was something refreshing about being around the kids. It takes your mind off the direness of the situation and gave you a feeling of nostalgia. Okuda seemed more at ease with her classmates today and you were happy about that. You remembered having your shy streaks in school and how difficult it could be.

You gave a wave to a few of the kids that noticed your presence and then the door slid open.

“Good morning everyone! Take your seats, please.” he paused, his eyes coming to rest on you, “Oh, Mx. Reader, what a pleasant surprise. Did you intend on sitting in on today’s lessons?”

“Afraid not, I have unpacking to do. Wanted to catch the morning show though.”

“Morning show?”

You gestured to Okuda who approached his desk, flask in hand, “Here it is, sir. Just like you asked.”

“Ah! Nice work. Well, here’s to your health, children. Salud!” he popped the cork and downed the poison.

The same gagging ensued as yesterday but this time he began to cackle. 

“Thank you, Okuda. Thank you very much indeed . This concoction is precisely what I needed to level up .”

Well, shit.

“Wait, you… I don’t-” Okuda took a step back, looking alarmed.

He started to flail his limbs wildly, yelling, and you instinctively moved forward to put yourself between him and the girl. You didn’t care if he had promised not to harm the kids, you had no idea what he’d just imbibed and you had no intention of risking it-

“Phew!”

You found yourself staring at...well, a blob. A blob with his face. You could hear distress from the class behind you. Okuda leaned around you, her eyes widening. 

“You didn’t think that was a poison , did you? On the contrary. I had you whip up a special tonic designed to increase my fluidity!”

You jerked back, putting an arm in front of Okuda as he flew off of the podium. You couldn’t keep track as he vanished.

“In liquid form I fit comfortably into the tightest nooks and crannies.” his voice came from one of the student’s desks.

“What are you doing in there?” she looked down in disgust.

“Best of all, I lose none of my speed!” he took off again, startling the kids from their seats as he ricocheted around the room taunting them. Guns and knives were drawn but they were pretty useless in this case.

“What in the world did you give him?!” one of the girls shrieked.

Okuda pushed her way out from behind you angrily, “You tricked me! That’s not fair!”

Korosensei congealed himself in a corner of the ceiling.

Gross.

“Hmmm...Fair?” he broke into a grin, “Verbal deception is a vital part of the successful assassin’s toolkit.”

You looked between him and the kids. Was he really about to use poisoning to-

“Huh?”

“What are you talking about, sir?” Nagisa stepped up beside you. Now that the action had died down you relaxed just a bit.

“Approaching the target so naively is a good way to fail in your mission. Even the deadliest of poisons is useless if one can’t persuade the mark to drink it.” he poured down from the corner, continuing, “Nagisa. Say you wanted to poison me. How might you go about it?”

He absolutely was using poisoning as a teaching moment.

“Huh? Well, lemme think. I’d probably put it in something you liked. Then I guess I would offer it to you as a gift.”

You thought of yesterday’s discussion of the bamboo shoot cookies.

“Excellent. You see, to deceive someone you have to get inside their heads; know what they respond to. Use language creatively .” he slinked into his clothes and popped his head out, “In poisoning, as in life, the key to success is communication.”

You made your way over to the door, leaning against the wall, he gave you a small nod.

“Imagine that one day, you make an Earth-shattering scientific discovery.” he rose up, returning to his original form, “How can it benefit mankind if it stays locked inside your head? Knowing the right thing to say can make all the difference, right?”

Okuda perked up, “Right! Thank you, sir!”

The kids seemed enlightened by this concept and pretty excited about it too. You had to admit, it was a good lesson and a nice sentiment. 

From the back of the classroom the redhead laughed, “Nice move, Teach. Turn the tables, huh? No kidding.”

Korosensei gave a chuckle and turned his attention to you, his tone amused, “I do hope you enjoyed the show, Mx. Reader.”

“It...was certainly something.”

“Well, I think that’s enough excitement for one morning, class. Now, it’s time for role call.”

The kids returned to their seats and you took that as your cue to head back to your office.

What a morning.


Today’s crates came along more quickly than yesterday’s but you were still put out by the grab bag of items the government had sent. Burn care bandages, tourniquets, insect repellent and sunscreen, splints, medical shears, lip balm…

You sighed and leaned on the table.

No bandaids. No antibiotic ointment.

Well, at least those weren’t the pricey items…

Especially given your purchase last night.

You went back to organizing the supplies, tucking them away in the appropriate drawers and on shelves as needed.

“Reader! Hey!” Irina leaned in the office, “Where did everyone go?”

You looked up from your work, “There’s an assembly at lunch right?”

“It is lunch. Are we supposed to be there?”

You looked at the clock. She was right. Well fuck.

“Did Karasuma go?”

“Uh, yeah. Him and the brats are gone.”

“Then uh ...yeah we probably should.”

“I can’t believe they left me!”

She headed down the hall and you followed.

“What about Korosensei?”

She looked at you like you were an idiot. You were an idiot. Of course he wasn’t going to come to the assembly, he was a government secret. You sighed and she seemed to get the message that you understood.

After heading outside Irina was straight up running down the path. You tried to keep up but there was no way that was going to happen. How the hell was she running in those shoes?

You’d lost sight of her but you had caught up with a couple of the kids. Mimura and Chiba if you recalled correctly. They looked at each other and then at you. You gave them a wave and they awkwardly waved in response. Irina was yelling something, you sighed and headed after her. You were out of breath by the time you reached the next group of kids. Hara looked at you with concern, “Mx. Reader? Are you okay?”

“Yeah, Irina just...” you gestured down the path.

“Yeaaaaah,” Yada gave you a sympathetic smile, “She’s really fast.”

You sighed, “I wish.”

“Well, we have time to get to the assembly so it’s not like you have to rush.” Fuwa gave you a smile, “Not like it’s going to be much fun anyway.”

“Yeah, assemblies are usually pretty dull.” You remembered how much you hated assemblies in school.

“We’re going to have to deal with the rest of the school.” Hara sounded put out.

“Oh?”

“Every time we have to go to an assembly the rest of the school makes fun of us.” Yada made a face, “Since we’re E class.”

E class. You remembered Principal Asano’s speech to you about it on you hiring. That guy was... intense.

“Why are you guys in E class anyway?”

The girls looked awkwardly between each other. It was Yada who finally spoke up.

“I had to take care of my younger brother and didn’t study for a test because of it.”

You stared at her, “Really? That’s why?”

Yada nodded.

“I might have been planning out a manga in class...” Fuwa said sheepishly.

Hara crossed her arms, “I yelled at an upperclassman for calling me fat.”

“...None of those things are that bad.”

Yada shrugged, “That’s not what the school thinks.”

You thought on this as you walked with them. Asano had implied to you the kids were trouble. Karasuma clearly thought otherwise and given your interactions with them you were inclined to agree with him over the principal.

This system was pretty messed up. You hadn’t really had time to think about it, things had been a bit of a blur since your hiring and you’d had a lot to cope with. What sort of school did this to kids though?

“Well, the school has some messed up ideas about how to handle it’s students.”

The girls looked between each other again. Your foreigner was showing, you were pretty sure. Critiquing the school that harshly wasn’t exactly how one should talk to the students. But it was true.

“It’s just one lunch period.” Yada said, “We can manage it.”

“Well, if you ever need to talk about it, you can always talk to me.”

“Thanks, Mx. Reader.”


When you finally reached the main campus you found the kids all out of breath, some sitting on the tarmac, leaning forward, resting. Irina was on her knees panting.

“So uh...you bolted down here.”

She looked sidelong at you, “This mountain sucks.”

You weren’t really sure how running down it really...helped that situation? But okay then.

“Hurry up people! We gotta get in line before they start.” Isogai looked over at the others.

There was a chorus of groans and agreements as the kids pulled themselves up and headed inside. Karasuma looked over at you and Irina, he didn’t look particularly thrilled to see either of you. Then again he didn’t look particularly thrilled to see anyone at any time.

“I’ll see you both inside.”

You nodded and looked over to her.

She waved a hand, “Go on without me...I’m just going to die here.”

“Well, if you hadn’t run down the mountain like that.”

She huffed and got up, dusting herself off. You went ahead and headed inside.

The gymnasium was full of students in rows. You immediately spotted the class, they stood out drastically given half of them weren’t wearing jackets. You couldn’t blame them, it was broiling out there.

Karasuma was talking to Nakamura and Kurahashi about something. There were some stares your way at first but eyes were off you nearly immediately and you heard murmurs. Looking back you saw Irina waltzing her way across the gym towards you. You gave a wave. She gave you a cocky smirk in response. 

Karasuma had taken up a position along the wall. You both joined him.

“What are you two doing here?” he glanced at you both.

“I thought it was required?” you looked at him awkwardly, “I mean, we are teachers.”

“Yes, but-”

“Don’t even try to pull rank. We’re educators just like you are.” she pointedly didn’t pay attention to him as she spoke over his objection.

He gave her a harsh glance, “So you’re finally embracing your role?”

“Or, I just need an excuse to scope out the student body.”

She looked out at the assembly, clearly unimpressed, “Me-ow. Said nobody ever.”

You glanced at Karasuma. He gave a small sigh.

“Oh, that’s right.” she approached the class to speak to Nagisa.

You turned your attention fully to Karasuma, “Were we really not supposed to come?”

“It’s not required though I imagine the students appreciate it.” he kept his eyes fixed on the group, Irina specifically.

You heard Nagisa yelling and Karasuma left his post, dragging Irina back to the wall with him, “Can you be a little less conspicuous?”

“I was just trying to check in on information.” Irina practically pouted.

You were starting to get the gist of why Karasuma maybe didn’t want you both here.

“Uh, excuse me, sir? E class didn’t get the handouts.” Isogai has raised his hand, addressing the speaker at the podium

“Oh. Wow, really? That’s kind of bizarre. Huh. I’m so sorry. I thought for sure we printed enough for everyone! Guess E Class will just have to memorize it off their neighbors’. That works out for the best, really. I mean, you people could use the mental exercise I’m guessing.” The speaker’s tone was condescending and thick with scorn. The rest of the assembly laughed, your kids, however, looked hopeless.

You could feel your blood pressure spike. What the fuck?

“What a little prick. Somebody ought to punch-”

Before Irina could say exactly what was on your mind, a sharp wind whipped through the gym accompanied by a sound you were familiar with by this point.

“There you go, Isogai.” Korosensei’s voice came from your right. You looked past Irina and Karasuma to see…

Oh god.

“Seriously?” Karasuma hissed. 

You had to agree. Seriously?

Korosensei stood, twirling a pen with one finger. Awkwardly flesh toned, a ridiculously small wig, sleeves, and clearly empty gloves. He looked like some kind of awkward inflatable scarecrow.

No one was going to buy this disguise right?

There was no way.

You looked out over the room briefly. No one was panicking.

How??

Maybe it was passable at a distance? That was the only thing you could remotely think of...

“That should take care of it, I think. All of you have a copy of the handout now, correct?”

And that’s when you noticed...the kids did have handouts now. You looked at him then back at the kids and remembered, distinctly, that stack of papers you had at home with suggested eateries on it.

“Yes, sir.” Isogai held up a hand to the speaker, “Nevermind. We have some. My mistake, sorry.”

The speaker sputtered, surprised.

“I thought we agreed we couldn’t let the other students see you. What part of ‘state secret’ do you refuse to understand?” Karasuma whispered, glaring over at the octopus.

“Relax. My disguise is flawless. No one suspects a thing.”

You did. You absolutely did. If you were any of these people you would. How could he be so smart and like this ?

Irina stepped around Karasuma and pulled out her knife, trying to stab him and drawing stares. You pinched the bridge of your nose. God...now you really understood why Karasuma reacted the way he did when you both showed up.

Korosensei dodged Irina’s motions without issue for a few swings before Karasuma stepped in, grabbing her and escorting her away. A few glares were being thrown in the direction of you and your fellow teachers but more were focused on E Class who was laughing. The other students did not seem happy with their relaxed attitude. You saw Yada, Hara, and Fuwa all grinning. Even Okuda was laughing.

You looked sidelong at Korosensei. Okay, so maybe he stood out like a sore thumb but you couldn’t object to the fact that his presence improved morale. His attention turned towards you, “Don’t worry, Mx. Reader. It’s me.”

Oh my fucking god.

“I know it’s you.” you tried not to laugh, annoyed that that worked.

His grin widened and you couldn’t help it. You smiled.

“I was surprised to see that you’d left campus.”

“I thought I was supposed to come with.” you shrugged.

“And here I had stopped by to see if you wanted to have lunch together since everyone had left.”

“Lonely up there, huh?” you smirked slightly.

“...a bit.”

“Maybe we could see about lunch when we get back?”

“An excellent idea. The class will want to eat as well I’m sure.”

You heard some fuss and looked over seeing Karasuma and Irina bickering back and forth.

“We’re...really something.” you chuckled, noticing a few other teachers staring.

“Hm?”

“This whole classroom.”

“I do like to think it’s very unique.” he chuckled.

“It is...seems pretty effective too.”

“Oh?” you could hear his amusement, “I thought you were worried this morning since you stepped in with Okuda.”

You glanced over at him, “It was an unconventional approach but the lesson you taught was pretty solid.”

He looked very proud of himself. You made a valiant effort to not think about how cute that was.

Just another thought to toss right into that pile of “Thoughts to Examine Later”.


The assembly went pretty smoothly after that. It was mostly covering the upcoming events at the school and reminders of dress code, behavior, etc. It was a relief when it was over because it was starting to put you to sleep. 

As you moved to leave the gymnasium you remembered...you still had to climb the mountain.

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

While surveying the path up the mountain you overheard Karasuma sounding pretty pissed, “This whole stupid system is a travesty.”

You turned your attention to him. Karasuma moved to approach some students but Korosensei stopped him.

“Easy does it. The boy can handle himself. My students know how to deal with bullies.”

You followed Karasuma’s line of sight and spotted Nagisa speaking with two students. One of them advanced on him, lifting him off the ground. You waited, ready to step in if necessary.

Some exchange happened between the two of them and the boy dropped Nagisa abruptly. The two stepped back and Nagisa passed by them. You approached your coworkers.

“What did I tell you? They have more self-respect than to roll over for a bully.” Korosensei’s face had developed those green lines again.

“What’s that kid’s problem anyway?” you looked between the two of them.

“They seem to be upset that E class is no longer behaving like the punching bag they expect.” Korosensei chuckled.

Karasuma gave a small nod, “I think that’s owed, in no small part, to your teaching methods.”

Korosensei’s grin widened, “Why Karasuma! Was that a compliment?”

Karasuma’s expression stayed fixed, “It was a statement.”

You tried not to chuckle, “Sounded like a compliment to me.”

Karasuma’s expression didn’t change but you could feel the irritation rolling off of him at your comment. You gave him a smile.

“I’ll see you both back at campus.” he turned, making his way towards the mountain path.

“I’d bring him something as a gift for putting up with all of us but I have no idea what he likes.”

Korosensei looked at you in surprise, “A gift for Karasuma?”

You shrugged, “I bring you snacks. Irina apparently wants ice packs.” you watched him head up the hill, “Knowing him he’d probably just want black coffee.”

You made a face at the idea.

“I see, so you don’t just dote on me then.”

You looked over at him, his green stripes were gone, “Who said I was doting on you?”

He gave an alarmed yelp as you started walking up the mountain path. He easily caught up with you, “What else would you call it?!”

“Sharing?” you said with a shrug.

He looked like you’d just force fed him a lemon. You laughed, “Relax, relax. You know you’re my favorite.”

“Oh, am I now?” the green stripes were back and his voice raised an octave in interest.

“Well...I guess...” you dragged it out as if unsure then laughed as his expression shifted again.

“I’m just messing with you, Korosensei.” you shook your head, “You’re definitely the most interesting part of my day.”

You saw his expression flicker briefly, a pink tinge coloring his normal yellow. Your response seemed to satisfy him, “I do pride myself on being interesting.~”

“So, why are you walking up the mountain anyway? Don’t you normally just” you made a hand motion, “shoot off when things like this are done?”

“Well, I would still be easily spotted by the students on the main campus.”

“Didn’t stop you at the assembly.”

“That was different.”

“Not that different.”

“I also appreciate the company. I was left all alone up there!”

“Oh, that’s right, I was going to tell you. That disguise is terrible.”

He was instantly offended, “I’ll have you know my disguise is perfect!”

He launched into a rant about how impeccable his skills were and you couldn't stop laughing.

The pair of you were the last to arrive at the mountain top. A brief lunch was held, the kids in the classroom, you in the faculty lounge with Korosensei. Karasuma had stepped out to take a phone call. Irina, meanwhile, had been cornered by the girls and forced into joining them for lunch. 

You made up for your teasing with another box of bamboo shoot cookies. This has become a sort of daily ritual...almost. Sharing lunch or snacks. It was nice. Having a routine made you feel more like you belonged here. It had become comfortable.


Irina stopped you after work, “Hey, Reader.”

“Yeah?”

“What would you think of swapping desks with a girl?” she gave you a smile.

“Like...what in the lounge?”

“Yeah. The octopus keeps staring at my tits and you two seemed pretty chummy today.”

You shrugged, “Sure. Doesn’t really matter where I sit as long as I’ve got space for my things.”

"Thank God." she whipped out a cigarette and lit up, "I'd rather not have to deal with drooling octopus all day."

"Just bring snacks, that'll keep him busy."

She laughed, "Suuuure."

“No, really.”

“I’m not throwing away my paycheck on the octopus.”

You shrugged as she walked off down the path. To you it wasn’t really throwing away your paycheck. It was just…

Well…

You weren’t really sure what it was. Another thing to put in the “Think About Later” pile, you thought to yourself, following after her.

Chapter Text

Everything was in order in the nurse’s office. Finally. You stood there, overseeing your work.

And nearly screamed when Korosensei appeared in front of you, flickering in and out of existence.

“What-”

“Sorry about that! I just wanted to pop by and see if you wanted me to pick up something for lunch for you. My treat.~”

You just...what was happening.

“Reader?”

“What are you...doing?”

He looked around for a moment then laughed, “Oh! That. I’m duplicating myself for the children’s study hall.”

“...duplicating yourself?”

“More precisely what you are seeing is an afterimage of myself. I’m using my speed to work one on one with each student. And to ask you about lunch of course.”

“So you’re, uh...hold on.” you went into the hall and peeked into the classroom.

This was hurting your head. A flickering image of Korosensei was standing at each desk, speaking with the kids.

“Does this mean you’re like...doing one word per round with the kids?”

“Yes!” He states proudly.

“So, technically right now you’re holding twenty six conversations but in like...one word bursts.”

“Twenty seven counting this one.”

Oh you hated this. You felt like your brain was turning to mush just trying to consider the logistics.

“So...lunch?”

You looked over at him, “Uh, sure. I’ll just...leave an order at your desk okay?”

“Oh, in that case here!”

Your phone magically appeared in your hands. A new contact was open that was simply labeled with a pair of emojis: 🐙🎓

“Text me! Anyway, back to the grind!”

He flickered back into the classroom.

You were having flashbacks to that first day of seeing him dodge bbs.

“Too much.” you said to nobody before heading back into your office.

 

Later, in the faculty lounge, you pulled out your phone and opened the contacts. What the fuck sort of order should you even place? You supposed that location wasn’t really an issue with his speed. What places had he talked about stopping at? China? India? You sat back, thinking it over. What was simple? You didn’t even know where he was going…

An easy solution came to mind.

Eh, why the fuck not?

You tapped into your phone a short message: Surprise Me.

Setting your phone aside, you fingered the latest page of your journal, tapping your pen with the other hand. What else could you really add to these notes? You’d put his new trick with the weird after image thing but there wasn’t much else to add. You felt like you were slacking. Today had been rather tame so far. Hell, if it weren’t for occasional sounds of bbs or seeing the students walking around with their knives you would have thought this was a normal school house.

“Hey, Professor Reader?”

You looked up from your desk to see one of the kids standing in the doorway of the staff room. You were still working on putting names to faces but you were pretty sure you had this one down.

“Shiota?” 

“Yes, Professor. But if it's all the same to you I like to go by Nagisa.”

“Alright then, Nagisa it is. How can I help you, Nagisa?” You gave him a smile, shutting your journal.

A paper was held out to you, “This is the cheat sheet for Korosensei's colors.”

“Oh?” Well, shit kid, perfect timing.

“I added some notes as well. I've been trying to keep track of his movements and weaknesses.”

You gave the papers a read over. Some of it you already knew, of course, but still this was creepily impressive. 

“Thank you, this is going to come in very handy.”

“Uh...Professor could I ask you something?”

Tucking the papers away you nodded, gesturing for him to sit in one of the other office chairs available, “Of course. What's on your mind?”

He sat, looking at you. There was something mildly unsettling in how intense his stare was.

“Why aren't you trying to kill Korosensei?”

That...was not the question you expected. What kind of question was it really? Why aren't you trying to commit murder? You took a breath, clearing your head before you answered.

“I don't want to take a life.”

Nagisa seemed to consider this, “Aren't you interested in the money? Or saving the Earth?”

“Both of those would be nice but that's not within my skill set. I take care of people. I don't harm them.”

“I believe the proper statement would be that you have no intention of using your skill set to kill.”

You jumped as the octopus leaned into the doorway.

“As an assassin your medical expertise would only give you an advantage over your target.”

“I mean...I guess I’d be prepared to patch myself up if I had a run in with them.”

“Oh, you could do far more than that! Think bigger! ” Korosensei's voice brimmed with an issued challenge 

Nagisa piped up, “With medical training you'd know the best places to strike.”

Korosensei went red, a circle appearing on his face, “Correct, Nagisa!”

You looked between the two of them. The way this classroom functioned was still a learning curve for you.

“I suppose that poisoning is also easier…” you ventured, “Or other forms of harm. There’s overdose, air embolism, suffocation, allergen exposure… Historically nurses have been in the best position to kill people.”

What was this classroom doing to you?

“Ah yes, correct, Reader.” Korosensei turned his eyes to you, “While not technically assassins, the method of execution is still viable. If you can work your way into the care of your target then those are exceptional methods of assassination!”

“Well, it's not going to be for me. I don't want to kill anyone.”

“And that , Reader, is the difference. Your skills are remarkable. You would easily be able to kill someone with them. But you have made a choice, for whatever reason, not to use them in that way. While it is quite contrary to the lessons of this classroom you do have much more to contribute. Don't downplay your skills. Take pride in them! Be an example for our students. They can benefit from your knowledge.”

You looked between Korosensei and Nagisa. This place was topsy turvy, but you did find yourself appreciating the sentiment. Your skills had worth here and you could be helpful outside of simple nursing care. After all, if something happened to the students in this arrangement wouldn't it be better that they learned how to handle themselves? Handle injuries? You might not always be there but you could pass these skills along. As far as helping in assassinations…

“I made it clear to the Ministry of Defense and to Principal Asano that I didn't intend to take part in the assassinations.” You looked between them, “But I suppose sharing my medical knowledge has more than one use and I would be happy to do so if it would help the children.”

His grin widened and his tone settled into a deeper, more genuine note, “I'm glad to hear it. Perhaps we can make arrangements for you to teach a class or two.” he chuckled and gave a wave, “Well, I’m off for lunch then!”

And with a whirl of air and sound he was gone.

Nagisa looked at you as you scrabbled to catch some of your fluttering papers, “Oh here, let me help you.”

Gathering up scattered paperwork, you sighed, “You think he’d give you more than a three second warning. At this rate I’m going to have to invest in paperweights.”

“Yeah, I think he likes surprising people.” Nagisa smiled and straightened up, setting the papers he’d collected on your desk.

“Definitely.” you looked over one of the papers you'd picked up which happened to be the cheat sheet Nagisa had just given you, "Wait a minute….. That's what the green rings means?"

"Yeah."

Cocky or mocking. Lovely.

"Well that explains a lot." You made a face thinking about how often those green lines came up.

Nagisa smiled, "Don't worry, he does it to everyone."

"Greaaaat."

Nagisa laughed, "Karasuma said the military had to put up with it a lot."

You couldn't help but smile at that. Given what you had seen of Karasuma and Korosensei's interactions you could only imagine how disastrous having the octopus in a military installation would be.

“Hey, thanks for this.” you tucked the paper into your journal, “It’s really helpful.”

“No problem! I’ll let you know if I find out anything else!”

“I’ll try to do the same but I’m not really sure how useful my information will be.”

He grinned, “You never know. Karma destroyed a tentacle just by cutting up one of the knives. Sometimes things work that you don’t expect.”

“True.”

“You want to come have lunch with us?”

“I would but the octopus is picking me up something. Least I can do is eat with him. Tomorrow though?”

“Sure. See you!” he headed back across to the classroom…

Right as a woosh of wind hit the room. You slammed your hands down on the papers, only managing to save a few of them, the rest scattering to the four corners of the room.

You fixed a glare on your yellow co-worker. He paused, looking at you and the papers you were covering.

“I’m going to have to invest in paperweights, aren’t I?”

“That would probably be for the best.” Korosensei said, using a free tendril to gather your scattered pages for you.

He sat a bag down on the desk. Whatever was in it smelled fucking amazing.

Carefully, he unpacked some take out containers from the bag and passed a pair to you along with utensils.

"I certainly hope this is surprising enough."

You opened the container revealing...pasta.

"Carbonara, directly from Italy and-"

Before you could open the next box he slammed a tentacle onto it, his voice alarmed, "You don't have a nut allergy do you?!" 

"Uh...no?"

"Alright then." he looked relieved and removed his tentacle, allowing you to open the container, "Torrone, also from Italy."

You laughed a bit, “It looks amazing. Thank you.”

He unpacked his own containers and you noticed a tinge of pink edging into his cheeks.

Huh…

"I also took the liberty of picking up drinks." He sat a bottle of Ramune next to you, "I've noticed you bringing these in a time or two.~"

"Is this pay back for all the snacks I feed you?" You smirked.

He sat across from you, opening his own container, "Well, it would be rude not to return the favor…"

"I appreciate it." After freeing your plastic utensils you tucked in. On the first bite you made a sound of appreciation. It was delicious .

When you looked up you saw that his grin had widened, green stripes lined his face.

"Proud of yourself?" You raised an eyebrow.

"I'm simply happy to see that you are enjoying it." His grin sharpened, his eyes narrowed.

Definitely cocky.

“So, what’s with the whole...afterimage thing? Like, is it just a new teaching method or?”

“I’m preparing the students for their midterms.”

“Yeah?”

He gave a nod, “I thought some one on one focused study would be beneficial to their grade point average. Doing it all in the same study hall is exceptionally efficient and doesn’t eat away into the time my students could be using on other activities. Like training to kill me for instance!”

That was...considerate? Sorta?

“Seen any results yet?”

“I do believe so! Several of them are beginning to tame the more troublesome aspects of the subjects they’re struggling with.”

“Well that’s good.” you took another bite, thinking about it, “I could have used a teacher like you in school.”

He chuckled, “Well, as educators we are always learning who’s to say you can’t use a teacher like me now?”

You laughed, “I have to admit, your approach is a lot more fun than the way I was taught. I could get used to your method. Minus all the” you waved your hand vaguely, “crazy abilities.”

“Well, we can’t all be superhuman.”

You paused, looking at him, “...super human ?”

He froze for a second, “I mean in the general sense, of course.”

You would need to add that to your notes...

 

It was the end of the day, you had started packing up your bags when the door to the lounge slid open. You expected Karasuma. Instead you saw-

“Principal Asano.” you stood up, giving a slight bow.

He gave a cool, thin smile and you felt your skin crawl slightly. This guy had given you the creeps the day you were hired but you had needed the work.

“Mx. Reader. How lovely to see you’re adjusting to your…” he gave a look around the room with a clear expression of disdain, “new environment.”

“It’s been a very interesting experience.” you tried to keep your tone level. You were getting really sick of this weird ‘E Class is tainted’ mentality and were starting to get the idea of where it came from.

“Indeed. This year has been exceptionally interesting.” he pulled the chair you had just vacated around, taking a seat, “And where are your fellow faculty members?”

“Well, sir, it’s end of day they should be-”

At that moment the door slid open and Karasuma and Irina entered.

Thank god.

“Asano.” Karasuma gave him a nod. 

Irina raised a brow, “The principal?”

“Yes.” he looked at Irina, “Miss Jelavich, I presume.”

“In the flesh.” she gave him a winning smile. He didn’t seem remotely affected.

“What brings you here, Mr. Asano?” Karasuma slid the door shut.

“A matter of educational philosophy.” he sat back, reaching into his jacket to pull out...a Rubix’s cube.

Ohhhkay where was this going?

“Consider this deceptively simple cube.” he started to turn the sections, shuffling the colors, “If I wished to align the colors quickly and intuitively. What might be the best way to go about it? Any ideas?”

The three of you shared a quick glance but didn’t respond.

“The answer?” he pulled out a screwdriver, pushing it into the rubix cube and prying at it as the door slid open. 

The rubix cube tumbled into pieces, “Pry them apart and reassemble. It’s as easy as that.”

He turned his attention to the new arrival with a deceptively chipper smile, “Why, Korosensei. It’s an honor.”

Korosensei stood for a moment, assessing the situation.

“Apparently this gentleman is supposed to be the principal here.” Irina didn’t sound impressed.

“Believe me, he is, which also makes him our boss.” Karasuma said.

There was a rush of wind and you were so thankful that you’d already packed your work away because you were not gathering papers again today.

“So good of you to come all this way, sir!” Korosensei immediately set about tending to the principal, making tea, massaging his shoulders, and generally being...way more subservient than you had ever seen him, “Any chance we could discuss a teensy little hike in salary, if I'm not being too forward, of course? I've added a few extra versions of myself to help with the workload an-”

Asano looked at him, “Forgive me for not visiting sooner. I meant to pay my respects before now, but one gets sidetracked. Mr. Karasuma and the Ministry of Defense have painted quite the vivid picture of you.” he rose from his seat, looking up into Korosensei’s startled face.

There was something about this man that just filled a room with uneasiness. His tone was even, measured. His expression was casual and calm, a steady even stream...that hid a deadly undercurrent.

“Yes, vivid indeed , though I don't pretend to understand the situation in every particular. Nor do I feel especially qualified to comment. However I will say this, if I may be so bold. You seem to be torn between embracing the role of savior or villain.”

Korosensei’s smile was fixed but there was the slightest shift in his stance.

“But no matter, such things aren't for men like myself to resolve. I'm hardly in a position to save the world. That job I must leave to hands more capable. So barring harm to my school your assassins may deal with you as they will.”

He turned, approaching Karasuma, “I’ve been given plenty of incentive to turn a blind eye.” his hand settled on Karasuma’s shoulder. While his expression didn’t shift, you could sense Karasuma’s distaste.

“Thank you for your cooperation.” he gave Asano a small nod.

“That’s a very reasonable attitude, principal. I find that quite attractive in a man.” Irina tried her hand at the charm again.

It seemed well received as he gave her a small bow, “You flatter me, madam. That said...” he turned, looking back at Korosensei in the center of the room before moving to the windowsill, “Though I’m happy to give you carte blanche to do what’s necessary, I must think of the future, should the Earth survive. In other words,” he leaned on the sill, looking at him, “What becomes of my school if Korosensei is assassinated? Not to put too fine a point on it, but E Class must continue to serve its function in the grand scheme of things.”

Yikes, was this guy serious?

There was a tense moment, Korosensei remained standing in the center of the room but his voice dipped dangerously, "Interesting. So rock-bottom grades and students with zero prospects serve a 'function' , do they?"

The principal’s tone took an informative one, almost amused at the question, “Oh, yes. Are you familiar with the so-called Worker Ant Theory? It tells us that in any group, 20 percent will work hard, 20 percent will be idle, and the remaining 60 percent will fall somewhere in between.” he gestured, "Now, imagine a group without a middle ground, where hard workers compromise 95 percent of the population, and lay-abouts only five. If the lazy worker ants are stigmatized, the ratio is perfectly feasible. Those who under normal circumstances fall into the average category better themselves to avoid being associated with the ostracized class."

You bit your tongue, you wanted to tell him that this school wasn't his goddamn personal ant farm but-

"Very logical. And, of course, unless the five percent is kept down, the incentive for the other 95 disappears." Korosensei's tone was friendly but measured and sharp in response. It was clear he had no love for this man's ideals.

Asano gave a nod "Just today I received an alarming complaint from a D Class teacher. It seems a student of yours glared threateningly at two upperclassmen, such that the upperclassmen feared for their lives."

Was...was he talking about Nagisa?

Tiny little pigtail-wearing Nagisa?

Like okay the kid's eyes could be intense but not that intense.

"I have no doubt the confidence to do so stems from their attempts to assassinate you. And perhaps that's to be expected. The issue, though, is that an E Class student dared to defy his better. Obviously I cannot let such insolence stand. As his teachers, you are expected to remind the student in question of his place." 

Your stomach turned. Oh you'd remind Nagisa of his place alright. That place was with E class, as far from this asshole as possible.

He moved to leave, his tone light and amused, "Oh, and Korosensei?" he turned abruptly, "You have one second to solve this puzzle!"

He flung...what were those? Keys?

"WHAT?! You just spring this on me out of the blue?!"

Korosensei caught the shining metal thing and fell to the floor, frantically struggling with it. It was then you realized what it was. You'd only seen them in gift shops before. Little metal puzzles made of rings and chains that you had to manipulate apart…

Why the hell that was giving him a problem you had no idea.

Asano looked amused "Your speed certainly lives up to the hype. I can see why most attempts on your life would be an exercise in futility. But bear in mind, my friend. In the grand scheme of things, there are many problems for which speed is of no use at all."

Korosensei lay still on the ground, defeated. You bristled internally. This man didn't know jack shit about the people up here, clearly.

"Now, if you'll kindly excuse me." 

He left the room and paused, looking down. His tone was positively chipper, "Oh. Hi there! I look forward to your midterm results. Best of luck to you."

You could see Nagisa outside the door, unlike his usual bright expression his eyes seemed hollow. You had no doubt he'd heard the whole thing.

Before you could move to speak with Nagisa, Karasuma spoke, "Essentially, if you teach here there's no getting around his personal vision of order." He looked over at you and then to Irina, his gaze finally coming to rest on Korosensei, "That goes for us and for you."

There was an audible ping as Korosensei broke the ring puzzle entangled around his hands. You looked out the window, making sure he was leaving.

“Screw that.”

Karasuma faltered.

You looked over at him, Irina nodded in agreement.

“Look they’re brats but they deserve better than that, bullshit.”

Korosensei slowly rose from the floor, gathering the busted puzzle pieces, “Now, Miss Irina, Mx. Reader...” he looked at you both as he gently threw them in the trash, “As much as it might gall us, Principal Asano’s method is the standard of this school-”

“I don’t care.” you crossed your arms, “I’m their Health Education teacher. That doesn’t just mean I handle their physical well being. Their emotional and mental well being is just as a high priority for me.”

“I believe we can all agree with that.” Korosensei gave a nod.

“But we’re just supposed to put up with that?”

He looked at you, “Sometimes one has to work within the system to incite change.” his grin quirked, just slightly upwards, “The same way an assassin might work their way into a target’s inner circle before taking them out.”

You paused, considering this.

“Just try not to rock the boat too much. This is Asano’s turf.” Karasuma spoke up, “And it’s in the interest of the government that we keep this whole situation a secret.”

This whole thing put a bad taste in your mouth but you sighed, “Are we actually going to reprimand Nagisa?”

Irina rolled her eyes.

“I don’t think that’s necessary.” Korosensei chuckled.

Karasuma nodded, “I don’t think a reprimand is appropriate.”

“Good.” you shouldered your bag, “Well, I’m out for the day. Being around that guy made me want a shower.”

You headed out the door. You hadn’t meant to be so curt but this whole situation just rubbed you the wrong way. You hated feeling powerless in the face of such blatant abuse. Being told to carry on as if it were normal.

It reminded you way too much of previous experiences.

 

That night you got a ping on your phone. 

‘Your purchase will be delivered tomorrow.’

Good.

Chapter Text

 

You got to campus early to find that your order had arrived. They weren't much but given the heat you hoped they would do. Before anyone else showed up, you hooked up the fans you’d purchased. Two for the classroom, one for your office, and one for the lounge. Nothing fancy but powerful enough to at least give some air circulation. Given the state of the building you doubted AC units would have helped, not to mention they were pricer. This would have to do.

Irina arrived shortly after you’d flipped on the one in the lounge.

“What’s this?”

“A fan.”

She gave you a look and you smiled in response.

“You know what I mean, where did this come from?”

“I bought some for the building. It’s too hot for any of us to function and this gives a little relief.”

She looked at it whirring away and took her seat across from you, “Good move.”

You smiled, and opened your journal, marking off a portion of the budget you’d set up.

Your fellow faculty members arrived not long after. Karasuma commented that the fans were a good idea and thanked you sternly for the contribution. Coming from him you took that as high praise. Korosensei seemed pleased but distracted. He went off to teach and you turned your attention to arranging a course outline for your potential first aid lessons for the kids.

 

Halfway through the day there was a commotion from the classroom. It was the octopus. You weren’t surprised.

“MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING, PEOPLE!”

Not long after a stern command was issued, "EVERYONE. SCHOOLYARD. NOW."

You’d been taking a look at the leak in your office when it happened and paused, stepping down off of the stool you’d been standing on. The children were filing past the door. There was an uneasiness in the air. You spotted Karasuma heading out with them and followed, “What’s this all about?”

Karasuma shook his head, “No idea. Something about a demonstration.”

Nakamura looked over at the two of you, “We were just talking about the reward money for his assassination.”

Hm. Interesting.

You took up a position next to Karasuma, the students milled around before the yard questioning the situation to one another. Korosensei stood in the center of the field.

“All right, children,” Everyone’s attention became fixated on him, “Love or hate the E Class system, as a remedial process, it can work. Imagine placing within the top 50 of 186 students on midterms. Make that a reality and securing a former teacher’s permission is all an E Class student needs to return to the class from which they were ejected. But given the conditions we're forced to work under, the personal setbacks that landed each of you here are difficult to fix.” he began pushing some of the field equipment off to the side “That's why most E Class students are convinced that returning to the main campus is no more than a pipedream.”

Behind you you heard Irina fussing, “Don't tell me to hurry up, I'm not a child.”

Kataoka apologized, joining her peers.

Korosensei called out from the field, "Miss Jelavich. I'd like your opinion as a professional assassin."

Irina put her hand on her hip, “All right, what do you wanna know?”

“Now, let's say you've been given an assignment. Do you have only one plan going into it?” 

She scoffed, “Hm? 'Course not. If my profession has taught me anything, it's that Plan A almost never comes off like you'd expect. There are just too many variables. A good assassin has backup plans on hand for any contingencies.”

“And Mx. Reader.”

You faltered, surprised to be brought into this.

He leveled his gaze at you, "If you have a patient that's stopped breathing, is there only one way to resuscitate them?"

"Oh god no, you have CPR, ambu bags, cric, trach, if you have access to a vent that's even better. And if there's complications like a collapsed lung or something you have to deal with those too. There can always be complications and it's best to come prepared for them if you can."

“And Mr. Karasuma, what about you? When teaching knife combat strategies, do you believe the first strike is the only move of any importance? ”

Karasuma tilted his head, “The first move is important, but so's the follow-up. Never assume the first strike will hit. Because when your opponent is trained, you have to be ready to deliver the next strike with at least a much precision and skill as the first, or, better yet, carry a second blade.”

Maehara spoke up, “If you have a point, sir, I think we’re missing it.”

Korosensei abruptly began to spin, his voice booming across the field, “Listen to your teachers, boys and girls! Backup plans are the cornerstone of confidence, and a confident assassin is a successful one. The same goes for life in general. You strive for assassination but not for academics? You've heard the old saying, right? Don't put all your eggs in one basket? Well, that's exactly what you're doing here !”

His voice rose in intensity, he sounded angry.

“Now. Suppose I left the classroom for good. Suppose some other would-be assassin out there managed to do me in.”

The speed at which he was spinning was kicking up dust, you raised a hand against the breeze from it.

“What would you be left with? What would you strive for then? Or are you satisfied with being outcasts ? A word of advice from your Korosensei, you walk a fine line .”

The wind had picked up, rising upwards in a tornado like column from his position. A dust cloud obscured your field of vision, you heard the kids shouting and found yourself coughing. There were sounds you couldn’t identify, but over it all, echoing around the mountain top was Korosensei’s voice,

THOSE WHO CAN'T WIELD A SECOND BLADE AREN'T QUALIFIED TO BE ASSASSINS!

The dust began to settle. You looked up from your coughing.

“There. Our schoolyard needed a good leveling. Not to mention a few weeds cleared.”

The weed covered field had been transformed into a playing field with goals, track lines, and perfectly leveled dirt.

You’d never found a playing field so terrifying before.

“I am a superior life-form, capable of destroying the Earth . As you can see, flattening out this little corner of it was a cinch .”

There were sounds of alarm from the students in response.

“Cast your nets wide. Show me your backup plan, that crucial second blade. Otherwise, I'll be forced to conclude no would-be assassin here is worthy of me. And I won't just have a mind to leave, I'll flatten this entire campus as I go .”

What the fuck was this?

Nagisa spoke up in spite of the spectacle, “A 'second blade'? So how long've we got?”

Korosensei’s eyes fixed on the boy, “Not very. Until the end of tomorrow.”

The kids protested.

“The midterms are upon us, class. I want all of you to place in the top 50. Whether you realize it or not, we've been sharpening those second blades all along.” he spread his arms out to them, “The main campus relies on dull, rote-learning methods. I, to put it mildly, do not . You have what it takes.”

You remembered your conversation yesterday about learning methods. This was one you certainly would not be replicating.

“So wield those blades with confidence! Take your midterms by the gills, smiling, your heads held high! Be proud! Be bold! And never forget, you are assassins! You are E Class!” he pointed at them emphatically. The students seemed unsure.

You were as well.

 

Korosensei was distant for the rest of the day. You weren’t sure if he was avoiding you and the other staff but it put you on edge. Would he really leave? What was with the threats suddenly? Flattening the campus certainly sounded like interfering with the school not to mention E Class, where was that talk from yesterday about changing things from the inside out? Leaving wasn’t helpful to anyone involved, not to mention the pressure he’d put on the students.

You typed your notes for the day. The lounge had fallen into an uncomfortable quiet.

What were you going to do if he followed through on this? What would happen to the class?

Well, that was the question wasn’t it? You paused, perhaps you should take some time to think on your own second blade.

You sighed and sent the email.

What a fuckin’ day.

Chapter Text

 

The next day was tense. You arrived and placed some ice packs you’d bought in the mini fridge. While the fans were helping you planned on at least offering them to Irina as a gag if nothing else. The students had filed down the mountain after roll call for their midterms which were apparently held at the main campus.

The anticipation was killing you so you got up, heading outside to walk off some of this nervous energy you had. It was frustrating having to sit by and wait…

You looked up, hearing someone walking ahead of you. Irina had arrived. Just beyond her was Korosensei staring out at the trees. You watched as she pulled a knife from her jacket and threw it towards him. With a rush of wind he dodged, looking at her.

“Did you really mean that crap? You're gonna take off if they don't all place in the top 50 on their stupid midterms?!”

Well, looks like you weren’t the only one planning on this conversation. You joined her.

“That’s right.” Korosensei sounded practically chipper about it.

Irina huffed, “Well, way to be unrealistic! These kids have the worst grade-point average in the entire school! Are you nuts?!”

With amusement he pulled out a tissue, “I wonder sometimes. Either way, wherever they've ranked before, they're my students now. When backed into a corner, the first order of business is assessing your options.”

He reached down, picking up her blade delicately with the tissue. A butterfly alighted on the tip.

“If I've taught them nothing else, I've certainly taught them that.”

“Have you?” you narrowed your eyes, “Seems like you’re bullying them the same way Asano does. One wrong move and they’re out.”

He turned his attention to you, his tone shifted down a bit, “That might be one way to assess the situation but I assure you,” his grin hiked up, “my students can handle themselves.”

“They’re our students too.” you didn’t mean for it to come out as bitterly as it did, “And if you leave we’ll be the ones picking up the pieces.”

“Then perhaps have more faith in them, Reader.”

He turned, heading back inside. You and Irina shared a look. This was infuriating .

 

When the students came back up the mountain you could see the outcome in their faces. You greeted them as they came in the building. There was tension all around.

“Remember,” you said, “You did your best. That is all anyone can ever ask of you.”

The reception was tepid to say the least.

You moved back to the faculty lounge. Korosensei was facing the wall. Irina was leaning by the door. Karasuma looking out the window talking on his cell, “Not to rock the boat, but this is ridiculous. You gotta help me out here. However I look at it, this test seems rigged.”

He listened intently to the person on the other end and you could see from his stance that what was being said was irritating him, “The communications flap wasn't on our end, buddy. Besides, what constitutes 'proper notification'? Two days before midterm, you decide to broaden the scope and that's supposed to be enough time for us to cover everything?”

He abruptly hung up.

You looked at Korosensei, “Now do you get it?”

He didn’t look at any of you, he simply left the room. Irina sighed, “Well, I guess that’s that then, huh?”

Karasuma sighed, “What a mess.”

“What’s going to happen if he leaves?” you looked at them.

“I suppose they’ll be assigned a new teacher.” Karasuma stated frankly.

“And you’ll both go back to your previous work.”

“Well, yeah, this isn’t my normal day job, sweetie.” Irina gave you a look, “I feel for the kids but I’ve got my own work to keep up.”

You sighed, you supposed it wasn’t reasonable to think they would stay.

“What about you? You going to stick around?” Irina raised an eyebrow.

You looked at her, “Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because someone has to.” the words left a bitter taste in your mouth.

Before she could respond you heard a yell from the classroom.

“I AM IN NO MOOD, KARMA! THIS WHOLE SITUATION HAS ME VERY DE-”

It was followed by...much more cheerful chatter than you expected.

The three of you moved to investigate and found the kids clustered around Korosensei at the front of the class. They were…

You pressed your lips together.

They were teasing him about being scared and running away.

“NO ONE IS RUNNING AWAY!” he flailed, going a bright red.

Maehara spoke up, “'Kay. So what's the deal?”

He pointed at the students, “The deal is we get out revenge on this school two-fold during finals!”

The kids started laughing. He protested. You shared a look with Karasuma and Irina. Apparently no one was leaving after all…

 

You stayed later than usual that day, working on your first aid curriculum with new vigor. It was time to pass some knowledge along. These kids deserved better than what this school was throwing at them. While your lesson wouldn’t help them get into high school it might save their lives one day. It was important. It was needed.

Yeah. You could do this.

You were going to teach the crap outta these kids.

A tentacle extended into your field of vision, a Ramune soda settled on your desk.

You looked up at him. He looked…

He looked sheepish.

“Peace offering?” he gave you a grin and took his seat next to you.

You gave him a long look. He practically squirmed.

“Reader, I-”

“Man, I didn’t know you were so terrified of a bunch of middle schoolers.”

He turned red, flailing, “I AM NOT AFRAID OF MY STUDENTS!”

You laughed, “Not yet, right?”

He paused reverting to his usual yellow, “Not yet indeed.”

“You can’t go running off like that on them.” You looked at him, “Or you’re going to have to deal with me.”

He chuckled softly, “You threaten me quite frequently for someone who proclaims to be a pacifist. Perhaps you would like one of these.”

One of his hands reached into a drawer of his desk. He slid one of the standard knives across to you with a tissue.

You looked at it for a moment then looked at him. Reaching out, you took the knife and turned, dropping it unceremoniously in the trash.

“You keep those in your desk ?”

He laughed, “Better there than lodged in me.”

You gave a sigh, “I’m serious though. Don’t run off on these kids. Not like that. Making it their fault can really mess with them and they’re already in a bad place.”

He quieted.

“I assure you, Reader, I won’t be abandoning our students anytime soon.”

He faltered when you held out your hand, pinky outstretched, “Pinky swear.”

His hand extended, the furthest tendril hooking your pinky, “I swear, Reader, the only way that I will leave this classroom is with my death.”

You smiled, satisfied and withdrew your hand, “Good. Besides,” you closed your planner, “I might get pissed if you left too.”

“Oh, would you now?” green streaks painted his face, “ Would you miss me ?”

“I mean you owe me for how many snacks now?”

He sputtered, alarmed, green stripes gone, “THOSE ARE FRIENDLY EXCHANGES!”

“Yeah, yeah, suuuure.” you smirked at him.

His expression shifted, concern coming into his features. You laughed, “Relax, I’m not actually keeping a tab.”

Relief flooded his face, it was followed by another emotion...something you couldn’t quite place.

“Reader. I apologize. My actions upset you and-”

“Apology accepted.” you looked over at him, “ If you bring me some more of that torrone tomorrow. It was delicious.”

“Isn’t it?!” his tendrils waved happily.

You ended up spending a good twenty minutes chatting about snacks before either of you left for home.

Chapter Text

Post-midterms things had calmed down considerably in the school house. There were still assassination attempts, training, and drills alongside the normal classes. You were glad of that. The normalcy was nice.

The one running note of anticipation was a good one. The kids were making plans for the class trip. You were too to tell the truth.

"Don't forget, there's a class trip next week." Karasuma looked across at you.

"Mm... Kyoto right? Irina mentioned it." You were working on typing up the first draft of your course plan.

"Yes. The assassination will still be ongoing. We'll have snipers set up throughout the city along the tour routes."

You looked up at him, "Snipers?"

"The Ministry wanted to bring in outside help. While the chance of any of the children being injured may be low you should come prepared."

"Well, I mean, we'll be travelling and staying overnight. Of course I'd bring first aid materials."

"You and Korosensei will be moving with the groups. They’re choosing routes that will give the snipers advantage.."

You nodded and then paused, "You know, Karasuma, even a working vacation is a vacation. You can loosen up a little about it."

He gave you a look, "It's first and foremost an assassination attempt."

"Well, yeah, everything in this classroom is. Doesn't mean people don't have fun."

He continued giving you The Look . It was slightly different than the other two Looks he had. For Irina The Look was exasperation and frustration. For Korosensei it was surprise, exasperation, and frustration. For you, however, it felt a lot more like...

"Okay, okay. I got it. Don't get in the way of the assassination and keep an eye on the kids." You waved a hand at him flippantly, "You can stop looking like a judgey dad now."

There was a slight flicker of surprise on his face as you went back to your course work. Irina often said he was uptight and, while you could sympathize with some of the things he had to deal with, you had to agree with her. You and him were capable of civil conversation, comfortable silence, and restoring order when needed. When you fell more in line with the behavior of your other co-workers The Look was filled with the sense of “I expected more from you”. It kinda cracked you up.

This trip was going to be interesting. What would travelling with him, Irina, Korosensei and a herd of kids look like? You’d chaperoned classes before on trips but this was the first time going overnight anywhere. Not to mention going to Kyoto for actual sightseeing. You found yourself looking forward to it.

Karasuma’s voice pulled you out of your musing again, “By the way...”

You looked up from your screen.

“I think it would be best if you start participating in the drills with the children.”

You faltered, “The drills you’re running?”

“Yes.” he leaned back in his chair, “While you’re not an active participant in the assassination you will need to be able to keep up with the children should something happen. With the curriculum I have planned for them there’s a chance for injury all over this mountain.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I hope to teach them parkour among other things.”

You raised an eyebrow, “Parkour. Like...running up walls and things.”

He gave a nod, “Given their target I think it would give them a slightly better chance.”

You mulled this over. He wasn’t kidding about risk of injury with that. You’d seen a few of them in your time. Shredded palms, leg gashes, sprains, strains, bruises, abrasions, you name it you could get it from that. Worst case scenarios included anything from broken legs to concussion. You were suddenly glad of the odd military surplus you’d been sent. Your mind also went back to the incident with Karma. It certainly couldn’t hurt to learn what the kids were learning.

It was a solid suggestion.

“I can join in, yeah.”

“Good. You start tomorrow.”

Oh... fantastic . You made a note to yourself to pick up some sportswear when you got off work.

 

Later in the day you’d been approached by Maehara about helping with lab set up. You’d joined him in bringing things in. As you entered the classroom, however…

"What about you Professor Reader, do you have somebody you like?"

You faltered, looking over at the gaggle of girls. The culprit was Kayano. You looked back at Maehara, he shrugged helplessly and went to put down the box of items he’d brought in.

"In what way?"

"In the obvious way, duh." Irina said from the doorway.

You couldn't help but laugh at that. Irina sounded just like the kids sometimes in that regard.

"Well, not really. I tried dating a little after I moved here but my track record isn't stellar."

Irina flipped her hair back over her shoulder with a smile, "Sounds like you need some tips."

You immediately shook your head. You definitely didn't want tips, especially not from an assassin whose whole schtick was seduction.

"I'm fine. It's not really a high priority right now for me."

"What's that, Reader?"

Korosensei had arrived, components for the days science tests in hand. Oh. Fantastic. He would be the most annoying one about this, you felt it in your bones.

"Oh, it's nothing. Just personal life stuff."

"Apparently, Reader here is committed to being single forever." Irina said, almost pouting.

"You're just saying that cause I won't take your dating tips!"

"They're really good!" She protested.

Why was every adult in this classroom but Karasuma like this? It was endearing but sometimes also a pain. Part of you wondered if this was karmic payback for ignoring The Look earlier.

"You really don't like anyone ?" Kayano sounded surprised, leaning on one of the desks looking at you.

"Like I said, it's not a high priority right now. This class is."

"Well said, Reader." 

You looked over to the octopus who was setting out testing materials. Was he actually going to be the voice of reason in this conversation?

"As educators this classroom should be first and foremost in our minds just as our target should be in assassination." His tone went from sincere to amused in a sudden 180, attention focused on you, "That being said you didn't exactly answer the question ."

Why were they all like this?

"Isn't it best to keep that sort of thing out of the classroom?"

Irina laughed, "I mean if I did that I wouldn't have any examples for teaching the kids."

You looked at her in an attempt at sternness but she just smiled. You hadn’t perfected Karasuma’s Look yet. You set down another beaker, "You guys know we run a classroom, not a gossip column right?"

"So who you like is a secret then."  Kayano gave a grin.

"I didn't say I liked anybody ."

"But you also didn't deny it~!" You turned to see Korosensei's cocky smile. Green stripes. Naturally.

They were not going to let this drop until you gave them something or….

"And what about you, Korosensei?" He went a bit pink as you spoke, "Is there anyone you like?"

"You're deflecting, Reader.~" he was challenging but there was something in his tone that made you realize you might have hit on a truth.

You gave a bit of a smirk, thank god here was your opening to get out of this nonsense . You looked at the kids, "I mean isn't that the real question? We know he likes Irina well enough but I bet he's got-"

There was a woosh and the octopus had flown the coop.

Kayano squinted, " Definitely suspicious."

She turned to Kurahashi and Okuda and they started gossiping about it.

You chuckled, setting out the last item before headed back to your office.

 

It was lunchtime and you found yourself sitting with the kids once again. They had practically demanded it. You’d laughed but joined them.

"So, are you guys excited about the trip coming up?"

"Yeah! We're trying to plan out the best routes for killing Korosensei.” Nakamura grinned.

Yep. Normalcy. 

“Yeah, Karasuma said something about snipers.”

“Yeah, if one of them gets him the money’s going to be split but that would still be better than nothing.” Okajima looked up from the map he was pouring over with Nakamura. Clustered around with them were Mimura, Chiba, Sugaya, Hayami, and Fuwa.

You had finally memorized these kids names.

“So, just the snipers are going to be trying to kill him?”

“Well, I mean if we can get a hit in on him we’ll still be looking for openings.” Karma chuckled, tossing his knife and catching it idly, “We’re not going to slack off just because we’re on a trip.”

“You are coming along too, right Mx. Reader?” Okuda smiled. She was camped out with Kayano, Nagisa, Sugino, Karma, and Kanzaki.

“That’s the plan.” you took a drink of your soda.

Kurahashi grinned, “That’s awesome! We’ll get to travel together!”

You chuckled, “It’s actually going to be my first real sight seeing trip to Kyoto.”

“Whaaaat?” Kayano looked over at you, “You’ve never been?”

“Well, I’ve passed through before but not really for actual touring.”

“This is going to be so much fun!” Yada gave you a smile, “It’s always nice to see a place through someone else’s eyes for the first time.”

“It is.” you smiled, “I’m looking forward to it.”

“Did I hear correctly?” Korosensei leaned into the classroom, “You’ve never been to Kyoto Mx. Reader?”

“Not really. At least not for recreation.”

“Ohhhh! There’s so many foods I’ll have to introduce you to!” He reached behind the podium and picked up something, dropping it with a heavy thud onto the desk you were seated at.

“Wha-” you stared at it, “What is this?”

“A Guidebook for the School Trip! I made them last night.”

“You made this last night ?” you looked at him.

“Right?” Isogai looked over at you, “That was our reaction.”

You flipped through it, “How long is-” you faltered, looking at him, “One thousand three hundred and forty four PAGES?!”

He laughed, “Of course! I have to make sure my students are well prepared.”

You skimmed pages, pausing to read them out loud, “ Consider the characteristics of each location, so that you can decide on how to have fun and how to kill. ” you flipped a few pages further, “ They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a personal experience is better still. You can only personally experience something at the place itself, so take the chance to learn more about the culture.

“See? Very informative!” his grin widened, the green stripes were back.

“Maybe I can use this after the trip as a paperweight...” you hefted the book experimentally.

“WHAT?”

The classroom erupted into laughter.

“It’s heavy enough!”

“Maybe I’ll do that too!”

“Children that is no way to treat the guidebook your Sensei lovingly crafted for you!” 

Things didn’t settle down for awhile. The kids teased him mercilessly. By the time lunch was over you’d laughed so hard your sides ached.

 

That evening, after work, you stopped by Donki and picked up a set of athletic clothes and a carry on bag for the trip. You also stocked up on snacks. While standing there, listening to the store jingle playing merrily over the speakers you considered what next week would entail. You were supposed to be staying at a ryokan. You wondered how that was going to work with someone like Korosensei in the party.

But there’d be time enough to worry about that next week. For now you needed to get home. You imagined tomorrow’s drills with the students was going to be an experience.

Chapter Text

You felt a little self conscious the next day after climbing into your outfit for this first session. It had been awhile since you'd properly exercised aside from the usual walking to and from places. Admittedly, you did a lot more of that here than back home but you still weren't what you'd call in shape. The mountain had been the peak of your recent physical activity.

Korosensei briefly arrived but before you reached the field Karasuma had pointed for him to head back inside. Instead, the octopus ended up in the sandbox. Great. More people to see this spectacle.

When you went out to the track Karasuma was waiting for you. The kids, meanwhile, were paired off into sparring partners. 

Oh you really hoped you weren’t going to be tossed into that on the first day.

"Mx. Reader." He gave you a nod, "Let's get started."

You hadn't expected him to have you head back inside but the next several minutes were spent in your office with him getting your weight, measurements, and a general assessment. Questions about your sleeping habits, past injuries, current level of exercise, and such were thrown at you in his clipped tone. You answered them to the best of your ability.

"I need to see where you are before pushing you. You're not a kid after all."

Well gee, thanks . That didn't make you feel old at all.

After that awkwardness was out of the way you both went back out to the track. The kids were still doing their hand to hand practice. Korosensei, meanwhile, appeared to have made a replica of Kyoto out of sand. 

Karasuma looked at you, "Alright, were going through basic calisthenics first, then I'm going to check on what your base speed and coordination are. From there I'll know which kids to partner you with for future exercises."

You nodded. Embarrassment was edging into the corners of your brain. While you understood his approach it still felt awkward being taught apart from the main group. It got more awkward when he pulled out a radio and hooked it up.

"What-"

"Radio exercise. I'm sure you've seen people do them before?"

You nodded, the schools you'd worked at previously had had these routines for their kids. Warm up exercises set to music.

"Then you know what to do. Once you're finished with the ten minute warm up we'll continue."

He hit play and went back to supervise the children while you followed the instructions being given on the tape. You could hear him correcting the children on stance and posture. 

This routine was actually not too bad. Once you got past the fact that you felt like an idiot doing it by yourself in the field. The ten minutes passed by fairly quickly and Karasuma came back over to you.

The next thing on his list were sprints and a few laps around the track. He timed you, watching as you huffed your way through the requested motions. That judgey dad look was slowly sinking into his face. You had a feeling it was because you'd skidded across the dirt during that second sprint, nearly eating shit right into the sporting equipment.

Yikes . Just how out of shape were you?

He called you over. You dusted the dirt off your knees, wincing. One of those was definitely going to be bruised tomorrow.

"Catch." He tossed a ball your way. Surprised, you fumbled watching it roll across the grass.

He made some notes as you picked it up.

"Hand eye coordination is going to be another key aspect of your training. Take that home with you and do practice tosses."

You looked at the tennis ball in your hand. Great. Homework.

"For now we'll start with this."

He held out-

Was that a jump rope?

Really?

He seemed to catch the skepticism in your face, "You might think of it as a children's toy but jumping rope is good cardio and will improve your coordination. Go ahead and get started. I'll check back in here in a moment."

God, how long had it been since you jumped rope? You arranged things and started to jump. The first few were faltering, you got it caught on your leg, had to stop and start. It was a familiar exercise but you were way, way out of practice. You finally managed a good rhythm. You focused mostly on not doing something stupid and winding up in the dirt again.

Well...you tried to. But right when you thought you had just been overthinking things and that this was just like getting back on a bike the rope caught your leg, you landed awkwardly on the jump and rolled right back onto you ass.

Dammit.

You heard some of the kids laughing.

God dammit.

There was a distant and distinct laugh from Korosensei.

Correction.

God fucking dammit.

You rose to your feet, dusting off, and picked up the rope, starting up the routine again. Making an effort to ignore the students' response.

Karasuma rejoined you a short while later, "Alright. You've got a ways to go but I'm confident we can get you caught up with the children."

You were being out exercised by preteens. Oof.

"Yo-You think so?" You were out of breath. Lovely.

He nodded, "You'll need to start doing some supplemental exercises at home though."

You picked up the tennis ball and gestured with it.

"Yes, that and other things. I suggest listening to a morning radio exercise program to follow along with. It'll help get back some of your flexibility."

Well, didn't you feel like an antique?

He turned, looking at the class, "Alright, people! That's class for the day. Time to head back inside."

You sighed, "It's been a long time since I did stuff like this."

You both began to walk back.

"It shows. But it's something fixable. The human body needs regular maintenance just like a car or a bicycle. The calisthenics will help with that."

You nodded. He was blunt and to the point, as always. You knew he was right though. You’d gotten complacent in your physical upkeep.

Well, might as well fix that with only eleven months to potentially live right?

 

You spent the afternoon in your office. Well, banished to your office more like. You’d started doing tosses with your tennis ball while working and Karasuma had given you The Look , suggesting you continue your work in the nursing office. You were pausing from time to time to jot down notes for your future first aid lessons while tossing the ball and catching it. You’d forgotten how nice it was to have a simple action like this to keep your mind busy. You weren’t really actively thinking about catching the ball, just doing it out of reflex while thinking and pacing.

It would be nice to get all of your muscles working this smoothly.

As much as Karasuma was a stick in the mud, his approach to this was nice. It was just facts. You needed to keep up with the kids. It made sense.

You paused by the desk, making another note for an idea to add to your course outline later...wait a minute.

You looked at the page noticing a mark on one of them. Red ink editing a sentence.

Jeez, you must be out of it. You’d forgotten you’d even done that.

You went back to tossing the tennis ball, then stopped, looking it over.

You grabbed a sharpie off your desk and added a pair of dots and a line of teeth under it, smirking. You went back to tossing, maybe you could get these first aid classes started after the Kyoto trip…

 

When the day was over you hung back, letting the kids get further down the mountain before you started. You wanted to try something but definitely didn’t want people seeing you.

While you waited, you went to change the bandaid on your chin only to find you didn’t really need one now. Good. You wouldn’t have to walk around Kyoto standing out more than you already did.

After you felt enough time had passed, you grabbed your things and went out to the mountain trail. This was probably a bad idea but hey, maybe you could get a headstart on this whole working out thing…

You broke into a light jog down the mountain. The kids were gone, there was a light breeze, and the path was pretty. Perfect conditions for you to try this.

Your thoughts drifted to the Kyoto trip. Three and a half hours by train then a bus to the Sabireya Inn. After getting everyone settled, a break for lunch and then taking in a few sights. The first day would be the easiest. The second day was going to involve a lot of location hopping. The tentative plan, according to Isogai and Kataoka was apparently the Sagano railway, Toei Uzumasa Eigamura, a few temples, and the last group was still planning out their route. You’d spent some time during lunch checking out the locations and trying to sort out the travel times. It was going to be about two hours per group. Some of the locations were within walking distance others you might have to catch the bus...

Next week would be a workout in and of itself-

You foot caught on something and you fell forward, throwing out your arms to catch yourself. You hit the dirt for the third time that day and winced looking at the scrapes on your hands.

Okay...maybe no jogging yet.

Chapter Text

The sun was setting in the mountain, painting everything in shades of fire. You sat on the steps looking out across the playing field. It was such a peaceful place in the evenings…

"Mx. Reader! I didn't expect to see you here."

Korosensei sat beside you, his grin widening, "I'm so happy you're here."

His hand settled on yours, you gave it a squeeze.

Why were you doing that?

Why were you at the school so late?

"It was good of you to come for the relay race."

You looked over at him. That's right. There had been a relay race. You remember little snippets of it. Okajima falling in the dust, Karasuma carrying Irina, Hiano cartwheeling...

"It was fun."

When you looked back out at the playing field you could now see remains of the race. Streamers, confetti, and balloons. A beach ball rolled by, pushed along by the breeze.

A tentacle wrapped around your shoulders and you leaned into the warmth. He chuckled and you felt butterflies in your stomach. 

What was this??

A tentacle tipped your face up. You looked up at him and reached out, pulling him close and-

You woke up. You were tangled in blankets and pillows.

Oh. A dream. 

Okay…

Wait-

Wait a minute.

You stared in dawning horror at your ceiling as you remembered the exact content of said dream.

What…

WHAT???

You sat up. What the fuck?

What the fuck?

No but really, what the fuck was that?

You sat there dying of embarrassment in your bedroom. You'd had a dream, like a proper embarrassing teenage crush dream... about the octopus .

What the FUCK?

You rubbed your face. You needed a shower, coffee, and to just...forget that ever happened. That was too weird for you to focus on today.

That's when you noticed your alarm clock…

SHIT.

 

Shit, shit, shit…

"Sorry! Excuse me!" You yelped as you made your way through the crowd. You were going to make it but just barely . God damn alarm clock batteries dying on the one day you had to get somewhere.

You emerged from the crowd in time to see your students boarding the train. Oh bless, you hadn't missed it.

You jogged over, winded. Karasuma gave you a disapproving look, "We were about to leave without you."

"I'm so sorry, my alarm clock's batteries ran out.."

He didn't look impressed and simply gestured for you to board the train.

You grabbed a seat next to Irina who was, surprisingly, dressed casually. It looked like loungewear. You didn’t ask.

“Mx. Reader!” Kataoka waved to you, “We didn’t know if you were going to make it!”

“I wasn’t sure either! My alarm clock died on me this morning.”

“That sucks.” Kimura made a face, “You’re lucky you made the train then.”

You nodded, “I’ll have to buy batteries when I get back.”

Announcements played over the speakers as the doors slid shut. The train began to glide down the tracks and you were off.

You slumped down in your seat, taking a breather. At least you made it.

“Huh. Has anybody seen Korosensei? Was he even at the train station?”

You looked up. The car was distinctly lacking approximately one yellow octopus…

“HOLY! Not to pry, but is there some reason you're stuck to the window?!”

Standing, you went to see what Nagisa was looking at. Plastered to the outside window was a familiar grinning face.

You suddenly remembered comparing his tentacles to those sticky hand toys. The thought was immediately followed by the memory of your dream this morning.

You shoved that thought right out of the way.

When he spoke his voice was muffled by the glass and general noises of the train.

“Uh...I was stocking up on munchies at the terminal and lost track of time. It's all right, I'll just stay here til we reach the next stop. Cloaking engaged!”

He went invisible.

He could do that?

What?

You could hear further muffled sounds from outside, Korosensei muttering about clothing stuck to the side of the train. Nagisa sighed, “Worst. Camouflage. Ever.”

“Did you know he could do that?”

Nagisa shook his head, “It’s not really helpful though. Unless he’s naked I guess.”

“I would never do that!” Korosensei’s scandalized voice came from the window.

You shook your head and went back to your seat, digging around in your bag for your journal, to add it to your notes. This was already proving to be one hell of a morning.

Karasuma looked across at you, “Where is he?”

“Outside clinging to the train apparently.”

He looked absolutely done and the trip had only just started.

It wasn’t long until you’d pulled into Shinjuku station. The doors opened and Korosensei, in full disguise, boarded.

“Have fun out there?” you looked over at him.

Karasuma narrowed his eyes, “You were supposed to be inside the train.”

“It was a simple mistake!” he said to Karasuma, defensive. Collapsing into a seat with his luggage he huffed, “Who knew traveling incognito would be so exhausting? Goodness me.”

“Might be a little easier if you didn't bring such a big suitcase...”

“No offense, but you weird people out as it is.”

“And while we're on the subject, broadcasting that you're in disguise defeats the purpose.”

“Truth? It's a lame disguise anyway. Nobody's buyin' it.”

You chuckled, shaking you head.

“Hey, Korosensei. Try these! Can't have your nose going AWOL all the time, right?” Sugaya tossed something over to the teacher.

The students parted just a bit and you watched as he affixed the new nose to his face. His grin widened, “Wow! A perfect fit!”

“Custom carved to complement the contours of your face, you're welcome. It's whatever, just a little hobby of mine, no big.” Sugaya’s voice was confident.

“Wow, that’s so cool Sugaya!”

With a smile you flipped to the back of your journal where you had a list of the kids. Locating Sugaya you noted down the artistic skill. While the kids weren’t who you were gathering info on, it was helpful to be able to keep track of their interests.

A few of the kids milled about the car, socializing. A realization dawned on you.

“Karasuma?”

He looked up from his phone, “Hm?”

“...these trains are usually full aren’t they?”

“Normally, yes. But the Ministry didn’t want to run the risk of exposing the target so arrangements were made to buy out the train car.”

Well...that certainly explained the emptiness…

Wait…

“...These tickets are like-”

“About 15,000 yen.”

You opened your journal and pulled out your phone, doing the math.

“So the ministry shelled out 504,000 yen on this trip?”

“Not quite. Remember, we have a return trip to do.”

You scratched out some more numbers.

“So, 1,008,000?”

He gave a nod.

You stared at him. That was equal to a little less than four months of pay.

And yet they couldn’t fix a roof leak.

Sitting back, you sighed, “That’s insane.”

“Not by the government’s standards.” he leveled his gaze at you, “And given this classroom, can you argue?”

You looked over seeing Korosensei trying on his second new nose, arms waving like some kind of inflatable advertising character.

“Touche.” you sighed.

“Hey, Mx. Reader!”

You looked up. It was Sugino.

“Want to join us for some Koi Koi?”

“I don’t really know how to play.” you gave him an apologetic smile.

“That’s fine!” Nagisa joined him, “We can teach you.”

You really couldn’t argue with that.

“Alright.”

You spent the next hour or so struggling to learn the ins and outs of yakus, months, and the unique card suites of hanafuda cards. Kayano and the girls returned with drinks and the chipper girl became a godsend, crouched next to you in the aisle nudging you when you had good plays and whispering suggestions.

By the end of it you had the barest grasp of it. Memorizing the combinations was the biggest issue. You took notes as you went. The kids laughed about it and you did too. For them this was simple, they’d played it most of their lives.

You sat back, “Okay, my brain is melting trying to keep these all in line. I’ll let you guys get back to it.”

You switched out seats, letting Kayano take her spot again.

Nagisa looked up at you, “Have you gotten any useful notes?”

“Well I tried but this game is...I’d need more time to memorize it.”

“No, no, I meant about Korosensei.”

“Oh, hold on.”

It became a note comparison session shortly after that. You were both mostly on the same page but between the two of you you rounded out what you had further.

 

As you moved back down the aisle towards your seat you were stopped by a gloved hand.

Korosensei grinned at you.

“Yes?”

“I got you something.”

You raised an eyebrow and he retrieved a bag from his luggage, “Wha-”

“I imagine you haven’t tried Tokyo Banana before.”

Tokyo...banana. That sounded familiar.

“Those are sort of like those banana flavored Twinkies, right?”

“They do bear a similarity but I find these to be much more appealing."

He settled his bag on the floor and gestured for you to sit. You took the invitation.  He opened the package revealing four individually packaged sponge cakes and offered it to you.

Taking one out, you opened it. That...definitely had a banana scent. Biting into it you found, not the sugar/shortening fluff you were accustomed to, but rich banana custard.

He chuckled at your expression and took one out for himself, “I take it you like it.”

You nodded, swallowing, “I will never get over the baked goods here. I’ve never had anything like them where I’m from.”

“A lot of care is put into culinary preparation.” he popped the cake into his mouth.

“I’ve noticed. Home ec was never this expansive back home. We sorta learned just to wash our hands and make muffins.”

“Really, Mx. Reader?” It was Fuwa looking over at you. Actually a few of the kids were looking at you.

“Yeah, let’s just say that my education was lax in a few departments. Never went on class trips like this either.”

Korosensei seemed alarmed by that, “Are you telling me you’ve never been on a field trip?!”

You laughed, “No. I’ve been on field trips. But never an overnight stay. My family usually opted out of it. And this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity while working.”

“Then this will be a treat!”

Nodding, you opened a second cake, “That’s why I’ve been looking forward to it. Lots of new experiences.”

“Indeed.”

 

The rest of the train ride was spent joking around with the kids and Korosensei. Irina managed to even get in on it a few times, finally recovering from what the children were now calling her wardrobe malfunction. Karasuma spent most of his time on his phone, only interjecting now and then to make clipped comments about noise levels or updates to the plans.

After the train there was a bus and finally you were all deposited in front of the inn where you were to spend the night.

Karasuma took the lead, apparently arrangements had been made ahead of time with the owners. They were polite and helpful but below the surface you could tell there was tension there. You expected the source of their anxiety to sweep in as he usually did and make a good impression but he didn't appear to be with the group. You went looking.

You found Korosensei was sitting on a couch in the lounge looking positively deflated.

That wasn't even hyperbole.

He looked like a deflating balloon.

The kids were taking turns trying to stab him as he jolted back and forth on the sofa.

“You’ll probably feel better if you lay down in our room for awhile.” Okano’s concern was juxtaposed by her swinging her knife at her ailing teacher.

“Perhaps later. I need to pop back over to Tokyo for a moment first. Korosensei forgot his favorite pillow.”

“How is everything you own NOT in that bag?!”

You chuckled, shaking you head and dug around in your own messenger bag.

The students managed their bags, heading to get settled. You found what you were looking for and joined Korosensei on the couch, “Hey.”

He looked over at you, still deflated. It was like having a conversation with a leaking beach ball. You held out a hand.

“What is-”

“Ginger pills. I’m not really sure if they’ll work on you but they work fine for the rest of us with nausea.”

Accepting them, he popped them in his mouth.

“They take awhile to work but they’re-”

He instantly sat up. Oh, of course .

“Thank you, Mx. Reader.” his grin was back in place and he seemed positively chipper.

“You weren’t faking were you?”

He laughed, “No, my body can simply metabolize things faster than yours. One of the many benefits of being a superior lifeform. Now, if you’ll excuse me-”

And he zipped out the room. You assumed, to retrieve his pillow.

Well, might as well get settled.

 

Room attendants arrived and soon everyone was settled with yukatas in place. You sat together, taking in green tea and wafers and joking around. The kids were all very excited about the history of the city and the potential assassination points. You gave your very worried looking room attendant a smile and nod which she returned looking even more confused than before. Poor woman probably didn’t know what to think.

After tea the group split up for baths and then it was time for dinner. It was a parade of small, charming dishes of varying types. Each delicious and together, all very filling.

You joined some of the children after dinner in the arcade, a surprise for you as you hadn’t seen many ryokan with them before. Snapping a few photos on your phone, you watched and kept score for the kids as they played ping pong.

Korosensei, you were sure, was about. He’d definitely been present at dinner. It was unlike him to not be wherever action was though.

Karasuma made the announcement that it was nearing time for bed and the students meandered back to their rooms. You lingered for a moment and he raised an eyebrow.

“I think I might take a walk before turning in.”

He nodded, “Remember, we’re getting up early tomorrow.”

“I’ll be ready.”

There was The Look .

“I’ll be using my phone alarm this time!”

Satisfied, he turned and left the room.

 

You made your way outside, slipping on a pair of provided geta and wandering around the small enclosed garden out back. It was a nice night, the light from the city set a glow along the tops of the walls and roof. From inside you could see the silhouettes of the children preparing for bed. It was like a shadow play. You smiled, closing your eyes and taking in the night air.

“Reader?” 

Looking up, you spotted a familiar smiling face.

“Hey,” you gave a small wave before turning to look back at the students framed in their room’s screens.

“Fascinating, isn’t it? All of those young minds thirsting for knowledge?”

You gave a nod, smiling, “They’re all great kids. Probably the best class I’ve handled.”

“They certainly are.”

You pulled the tennis ball from your pocket, tossing it hand to hand idly as you watched the windows, “You excited about the tours tomorrow?”

“Of course! I can’t wait to see what our students have in store for us.”

Your tennis ball vanished mid-toss.

“Wha-”

There was a chuckle and when you looked over, you were met with a green striped grin and a hand holding up the tennis ball, the face you’d drawn also looking back at you. 

“Do you miss me that much after class, Reader?”

You laughed and reached over, taking it from him, “Maybe it’s just fun to toss your head against a wall sometimes!”

“So violent!” his grin widened and his tentacles waved idly beside him, “Perhaps you are learning a thing or two from our little assassination classroom.”

Tossing the ball back and forth in your hands you shook your head, “This is hand eye coordination training. Karasuma suggested it.”

“Ah, yes, improving your physical skills is certainly a must for your position in this class.”

“Well, if Karasuma is planning on teaching them half the things in his lesson book I’m going to have to be ready.”

He nodded, “A wise decision.”

You yawned, “This place is nice. Surprised it’s considered a budget option.”

“That is common for a place without entirely modern amenities.”

“I’d say a twelve course meal and a hot spring makes up for that.” you caught yourself yawning again.

A hand rested on your shoulder and suddenly your dream from that morning came flooding back to you in sparkling HD. Fuck. Why did you have to remember that now?

“Perhaps it’s time to turn in, Mx. Reader. We do have to be up bright and early tomorrow.”

You nodded, looking up at the crescent moon hanging high above to avoid looking at him, “Sleep does sound good...”

His hand didn’t leave your shoulder...and you realized you didn’t mind that.

Another thought for the awkward ‘figure out later’ pile. 

You both looked skyward for a few moments before you tucked the tennis ball away into your pocket. He pulled his hand away and nodded to you, “Goodnight, Mx. Reader.”

“‘Night, Korosensei. Sweet dreams.” you gave a small wave as you headed back to your rooms. When you glanced behind you, you noticed he was still staring up at the moon. His grin mirrored the crescent in the dark and you could have sworn you saw a tinge of blue in his face.

You curled up in your cocoon of a futon (after checking your alarm three times to make sure it was set) and drifted off to blessedly dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Next morning was a delicious breakfast followed by the children splitting off into groups. Karasuma and Irina planned to stay in the area local to the hotel to be a touch stone if any of the kids needed help. Since some groups were leaving later than others, they made plans to wander the area around the ryokan a bit. You, however, as the medic were going along for the ride. 

You loaded up your bag with your cobbled together first aid kit, snacks and drinks before heading out towards the entryway. The first group of kids were in the genkan, putting on their shoes. 

Korosensei came bustling down the hall, “Alright, group one. Are we ready to head out?”

Isogai looked up, “I think so, right guys?”

There was a chorus of agreement.

“Excellent, now if I recall correctly we’re taking the Sagano Scenic Railway this morning, yes?” Korosensei’s grin widened, “What an interesting choice for assassination.”

“We thought it would be fun!” Kataoka grinned.

“I’m sure it will be!”

One bus and train ride later and you found yourselves at the Scenic Railway. Korosensei was a touch ill from the trip and you passed him some ginger pills. He perked back up by the time you had gotten your tickets and piled into the open air rail. As part of the tour your group had managed to secure seats on the open air car which the kids referred to as ‘the rich car’. They were pretty excited about it and apparently it was why plans had been made to get there early. Isogai had briefed you on the assassination plans discreetly over breakfast so you had an idea of what to expect. 

The train rattled along the tracks, the children chatting amongst themselves. Korosensei was out of his seat, standing at the railing and watching the scenery go by. You snagged some videos and photos to send to your folks back home. It really was gorgeous. Huge hills of trees rose on either side, the rocky Hozugawa River below cutting a meandering path through the ravine. The speed of the train gave just enough of a breeze to cut down on the heat. The trees were flush with brilliant green, the bright brushstrokes of spring. You could smell the scent of the forest as you passed by.

Your seatmate was a quiet man in a face mask who seemed more preoccupied with his phone than the tour itself. You hoped he wasn’t being disturbed by your group.

“So, children, did you know that this track has been open since 1899? As part of the original Kyoto Railway it bridged Kyoto to the Sea of Japan. It was used up until 1989, when the JNR opened a new route between Saga and Umahori. But this track was in use for ninety years and the locals were sad to see it discontinued. So, it was given new life as a sight seeing train!”

“We can hear the conductor too you know, Korosensei.” Kataoka said, looking at him deadpan.

He huffed, looking back out the window, “I just thought I would use the trip to give a little history lesson.”

Kimura laughed, “That’s the conductor’s job though.”

You chuckled and turned to look out the window again. The sun was bright, warming your skin as you looked out across the ravine. The train rattled, the wooden seats creaked, and you tipped your head back, enjoying the soothing sway of the train car and clouds passing overhead. The open rail car was much more open than you’d initially thought. The roof was transparent, the walls just railings, and the floor was a grate. It made for an interesting ride to say the least.

The conductor was giving history of the rail and pointing out various interesting sights along the track. Certain well known rocks in the river, landmarks, etc.

Korosensei seemed in good spirits.

“Wowza! The open-air design really lets you feel this baby move! This is how you travel by train! Zipped along at a bracing 25 kilometers per hour, and no queasiness.”

You heard Maehara scoff, “Says Mr. Mach twenty...”

Stifling a laugh, you did the math. This thing was going what? 15 miles per hour? 

Bracing indeed.

You spotted a bridge up ahead. You assumed it was the bridge that Isogai had mentioned. Glancing back, you could see the boys tense up on the approach. Well, time to see how this played out. 

The train came to a rough stop and the conductor announced that you had arrived at the Hozu River Bridge. You could see a boat of tourists below. You’d read up on the location last week. Apparently the boat was another tour that you could take back to the main station. One day you’d have to look at coming up here on your own and checking it out.

Kurahashi piped up, pointing at the boat, “Oh! Look, Korosensei! There’s the boat tour down there!”

“Ooh, let me see! Nice!” he learned out over the railing, looking down.

You carefully leaned away. You assumed this sniper was an excellent marksman if the government had hired him but the very thought of bullets near you made you nervous.

There was a distant pop, you turned to look but saw nothing. Instead, you heard Korosensei’s voice behind you.

"Oh dear there seems to be a sliver of bone in my om-nom. That could have turned out ugly." he held up his yatsuhashi, showing off a clearly visible sniper round.

You looked over, trying to keep your voice low, "...that's a bullet…"

He grinned at you, "It certainly resembles one doesn’t it?"

Removing the offending item, he pocketed it and went back to his snack. You just stared at him. Your seatmate was too but when you glanced over at him he quickly turned his attention back to his phone.

“You should probably take some pictures, Mx. Reader. I’m not sure how much longer before we start moving again.” Korosensei sounded amused.

With the lack of anything else to do, you took his advice.

The tour finished without incident. The kids seemed a bit bummed but opted to head to the bamboo forest and train museum.

“Time to move to our next group, Mx. Reader.” he turned to you.

“Alright, we need to head back to the station yeah?”

“Nonsense. It will be much faster if you let me carry you.”

You looked at him, unimpressed, “You don’t want to get sick again, do you?”

A slight pink went into his face and he rubbed at the back of his head, “To be frank, no. I’d rather not.”

You laughed, “Fine, fine.”

He lead you off away from the crowds a bit before bundling you up and ferrying you to your next location. The second go was still frightening but much less so. It was also lovely to see Kyoto from the air...

 

You arrived at the Toei Uzumasa Eigamura park and caught up with your second group. The kids waved you both down and you joined them. The park, from what you had gathered, was both a movie set and a theme park. Mimura and Sugaya were exceptionally excited about it.

As you entered, you found yourselves in the entry hall. The group clustered up with a map.

“There should be a samurai show soon. We should check that out first!” Nakamura grinned, tapping the location on the map.

“Oooooh! Sounds like fun!” Korosensei chuckled, “Shall we?”

The park itself was like taking a step back in time. It reminded you of some of the historical parks you’d seen back home but far, far more detailed.

Families, children, and other tourists meandered about taking photos and enjoying the exhibits. You snapped some photos of the kids and Korosensei. Okajima and Nakamura were especially hamming up their photos. You passed by historical set pieces, viewing pools, trees, and eventually found yourselves in front of the Nakamuraza Theatre. People were beginning to gather to watch the next show. 

“Hey, Nakamura, I didn’t know you owned a theatre.” Sugaya grinned over at her, joking.

“Very funny.”

“Your name is pretty common isn’t it?” Fuwa looked over and Nakamura nodded.

You snapped a photo of them posing in front of the theatre before the event began. Over speakers throughout the area music fitting to the samurai shows was playing.

An announcer arrived, microphone in hand, and began giving a run down of the show you were about to see. It was campy and dramatic but the kids were definitely into it. You watched as a mother held up her toddler so he could see the action more clearly. It was adorable.

“Awesome! Their swords move so fast you can barely see them!” Okajima was grinning.

“These men are highly trained in the subtle art of stage combat. It requires very deliberate movements for it to come across so effectively. Did I mention that I’m an aficionado of Edo-era swordplay?” Korosensei grinned over at you.

Of course he was.

“Is there anything you’re not a fan of?” you looked over at him.

“Hmmm...well-”

“Whoa!”

Nakamura stepped up between you, “Watch out, sir! Don’t stand so close!”

“Okie Dokie.”

You watched the fight continue, the actors kicking up dust with their motions. There was a rush of air beside you and when you looked, Korosensei was gone…

“I shall assist. Blood-soaked sakura blossoms are the only flowers that bloom from evil.”

“You have got to be kidding me.” You said it more to yourself than anyone around you.

Korosensei had taken a spot within the scene being played out, in full costume.

Because of course he had.

With a sigh, you pulled out your phone, recording. This was too ridiculous to pass up. You noticed the students eyeing one of the guard towers of the area. Maybe their sniper had missed his opening? Or perhaps it was scheduled for later…

The fight lasted for awhile. The students eventually meandered away to check out other sights in the park. You checked your phone. Shit. You should have been with the other group by now! Waving, you got Korosensei’s attention. The fight had rounded out, the actors gave a bow and he approached you, still carrying some of the poise he’d been using in the fight.

Poise was...well that was certainly one word for it.

He held himself differently, looking down at you, “Yes, my companion, the hour grows long and-”

You laughed and held up a hand to him, “Please, I’ve already laughed too much today. We need to get going, we’re late to the other group.”

And just like that, a switch was flipped, “Why didn’t you say so?!”

 

In no time he’d changed and you found yourself on your way again, this time to the Kiyomiza-Dera. It took him a few moments to spot the children but you soon joined them.

“You’re late! What took you so long?” Hara looked at the both of you.

“I’m so sorry! I got swept up into a samurai drama. I was a star!”

“What?” Muramatsu looked at you for clarification.

You waved your phone, “I got it all on video.”

Yoshida sighed, leaning back against the wall, “Y’know we finished Kiyomizu Temple like, forever ago.”

“Then what do you say we scope out Ninehnzaka Street for souvenirs?” Korosensei gestured but his suggestion didn’t seem to impress.

Terasaka huffed, “Yeah, right. Like you’ll buy anything except junk food.”

Korosensei laughed and gestured for the group to continue onward.

The street was paved with wide flagstones and lined with tiny shops and cafes. Tourists milled about here as well, taking photos with Geisha and Maiko, buying souvenirs, and the like.

Keeping an eye on the kids, you ducked into a small shop. You had planned on getting a few things, something to take home and a few things to send back to your family.

You didn’t have to look far. There were maneki-neko statues everywhere and given how absolutely iconic they were you knew you’d have to send at least one home. You picked up a pair, one for you apartment as you didn’t have one yet, and one to send back to your family. Then you located a pretty display fan for purchase. Perfect. Two things for home. One thing for the apartment.

Stepping out of the shop you spotted the girls calling Korosensei over to try something out. You watched, stopping in at a small stall selling baumkutchen to buy a snack. You weren’t entirely sure what the children were doing. It honestly looked like they were just putting post it notes all over his face. You packed up your pastries, thanking the shop owner, and headed over.

There was another distant pop and you saw Korosensei flinch.

For half a second the bottom of your stomach dropped out. 

Had it-

“See? This is exactly what I meant. Look at all these secretions. There’s enough mucus here to stop a bullet.”

You saw him peeling off one of the papers which was absolutely thick with slime. A bullet clearly embedded in it’s surface.

Your stomach flipped from concern to disgust immediately.

Gross.

A cell phone chimed and Korosensei paused, reaching into his robes, “Oh, it’s Nagisa’s group.” he flipped the phone open, “Hello?” his eyes narrowed, his tone taking on a serious edge, “ Tell me where you are.

You joined back up with the group and raised an eyebrow at Hara who was making a face and putting the soiled papers in a spare plastic bag. Hara shrugged at you.

Well, that explained nothing-

“Mx. Reader, we need to go.”

“What?” you looked over at him, was he running off because of the sniper?

“I’m afraid Nagisa’s group has run into trouble. We might need your medical assistance.”

Oh shit. You tucked your purchases in your bag and doublechecked your first aid kit. Everything seemed in order.

“I’m sorry boys and girls but Korosensei needs to check in and make sure group four is alright. Be safe!”

You followed after him to a side street where you were hauled skyward for the third time that day. You were wondering if you’d ever get used to this...

Chapter Text

“Where are we going?!” You looked up at him, keeping a hand on your bag. He was practically ricocheting around the city and it was disorienting.

“Nagisa said that Kanzaki and Kayano were kidnapped.”

“What?!”

“Not to worry, Reader. They’re following my guidebook to the letter. They will be just fine. Right now I just need to check in on a few locations to make sure they’ve narrowed it down to the correct hideout.”

You closed your eyes to stop yourself from being sick, “I know time’s important but uh...motion sickness is a thing.”

“My apologies.” you were still moving fast but the banks and turns became far less dramatic. You were able to open your eyes again without feeling like you might lose your breakfast.

You came to a landing at what looked like a condemned bar. A decaying sign out front advertised for Darts and Billiards. A rusted chain across the gate read “Closed for Business”. A group of teenagers were approaching the door.

“I do believe we have found our mark!” Korosensei sounded positively delighted, “Now I know you’re a pacifist, Reader, but how would you feel about being a distraction?”

“Sure? I guess?”

“Just ask these fine young men what they’re doing here. I’ll take care of the rest.~”

You were swiftly placed by the corner of the building. It took you a moment to get your legs under you but you headed towards the entrance.

These kids looked rough. 

“Hey!” you waved to them, “Are you boys lost?”

One of them turned to look at you, a grin crossing his face, “We should be asking you that question.”

“This is a private party, Mx. No outsiders invited!” Another one leaned around the first, smirking.

You continued your approach. You’d be more nervous but with the combination of mild motion sickness and knowing the octopus was nearby, your body just didn’t have the energy to waste on it.

“Yeah?” you tipped your head to the side slightly, “What sort of party?”

“The sort where people get hurt .” one of the boys pulled out a sap, tapping it against his leg.

Is that so?

You hadn’t seen Korosensei appear behind the boys and neither did they by the looks of things. In a matter of moments they were knocked out, laying on the pavement on a pile of their own hair. He’d shaved them bald before you could register what had happened.

“You’re alright, I trust?” he looked at you, grin wider than ever.

“Yeah. I’m good…” you eyed the unconscious thugs. You really needed to ask him what the hell was up with the grooming thing sometime.

He pulled out a veil from his robes, attaching it to his hat, “Then let’s crash a party, shall we?”

Lifting the boys with a tentacle, he approached the entrance. You followed, pulling out your med kit. At this rate who would you be using it on? The kids or their attackers?

“Keep behind me, Mx. Reader. While they may be common thugs one can never be too careful.”

You gave a nod as he pushed the door open.

“Why don’t you say hello to some friends of mine. See how far that attitude gets you with them?” the voice was rough, and jarring but quickly spiked to a scream as Korosensei moved forward.

“Say hello to them if you like. Be advised, though, they probably won’t hear you.”

You tried not to laugh. That voice was scary, sure, but you’d heard him use that exact same tone during the sword fights at the park earlier. 

“Korosensei!” Nagisa sounded relieved. You peeked out from behind Korosensei as he headed further in.

“Mx. Reader!” Okuda grinned. Despite the predicament, the children seemed in remarkably good spirits.

Then again, you probably would be too if a creature like Korosensei was coming to save you.

“Sorry I’m a little late to the festivities. I figured it’d be best to let you handle this on your own while I searched elsewhere, just to cover all the bases.” he looked over at you, “Mx. Reader, I trust you came prepared?”

You hefted your bag towards him.

“Perfect. Allow me to take out the trash and I’ll let you get to work.”

“Um. Sir? Why exactly are you wearing a veil?” Nagisa seemed as puzzled as you were about the addition to his wardrobe.

“Violence is always regrettable. I’d rather you not associate my face with what I’ve just done, or what I’m about to do .” he lowered his head just slightly, “Good work following the instructions in the guidebook, Nagisa. I’m glad I had the foresight to provide them.”

“This is your teacher? Bullshit! Who’s he think he is, lookin’ like that?!” One of the boys brandished a bottle towards Korosensei and the kids.

“Such language!” there was a flurry of motion. So quick that you couldn’t see exactly what had happened. The thugs fell to the ground, “I’ll thank you not to use it in front of my students.” 

Korosensei’s voice dropped dangerously. Deeper than you’d heard before, and angrier. His face contorted, blackening as he spoke, “And unless you can move faster than me you’d be smart to keep your filthy hands off them, too.”

While the group was distracted, you made your way over to Kanzaki and Kayano, pulling out your scissors and cutting away at their bonds.

“You girls okay?”

“I think so” Kanzaki rubbed at her wrists. You looked back over, the attackers were still on the ground, Korosensei caught your eye and gave a nod of acknowledgement.

“Elite kids even get special teachers.” the ringleader who’d had the bottle staggered to his feet, glaring at Korosensei, “You’re lookin’ down on us cause of your rank, aren’t you? Well look down on this.”

The boy whipped out a blade, rushing forward. His fellows followed suit.

“I think you have the wrong impression. We are not elite.” Korosensei flung his four primary tentacles out in all directions, knocking the boys back to the ground. 

“The school these boys and girls attend is famous, yes. But they’re considered the school outcasts.” He punctuated his speech by slamming two thugs heads together. 

“Their class is the target of merciless scorn.” He rose up, kicking out at another pair with his leg tentacles. It would be ridiculous if he wasn’t so horrifyingly accurate in his strikes. 

“Even so, bleak as their situation may seem, they stay commendably positive.”

The leader made another rush and Korosensei’s hand shot out, coiling around the boy’s arm so tight you thought it might break. He leaned down next to the boy’s ear, “Never would these children dream of pulling others down to their ‘level’ out of spite - unlike you .” He flung the boy across the room. 

“They’re not privileged, they simply work hard. And there’s the moral for you. As the old saying goes, in clear waters or murky, fortune favors the fish who swim upstream .”

You stood, pulling the girls to their feet. The thugs looked worn out by this point. You’d be surprised if they had any fight left in them...

“Okay, boys and girls, let’s take care of them.” Korosensei’s tone was positively chipper as he addressed Nagisa and the others, “These misguided young rascals are in desperate need of a little book learning, wouldn’t you agree?”

You watched in surprise as shy little Okuda, baseball boy Sugino, pigtails wearing Nagisa, and cocky Karma clocked the four boys over the head with their guidebooks.

Were these the same kids you were dealing with everyday?

“Excellent. Top marks, children, you did well.” Korosensei removed his veil, amusement in his voice. “Now, I’ll just inform Mister Karasuma of the situation and someone can swing by to pick up these miscreants.”

He had whipped out his phone. You made your way over to Nagisa and the others.

“Are any of you injured?” you turned Nagisa’s head to the side, seeing a large bruise spreading across one cheek. 

“We got knocked around a bit but we’re fine.” Karma shrugged.

It was Okano who spoke up, “Karma was hit in the head with a pipe, Sugino was kneed in the stomach, and Nagisa was punched in the face.”

The boys looked over at her, particularly Sugino and Karma looked like they might have had their pride injured just slightly. Kanzaki and Kayano nodded in affirmation.

“Okay, first lesson in first aid as both patient and caregiver.” You gestured for them to sit on one of the abandoned couches, “Never lie to first responders. Always tell the truth, even if something illegal happened. We can’t help if you don’t tell us what’s wrong. Patients will lie. Fear of getting in trouble or fear of things being worse than expected can be dangerous.”

“It wasn’t that bad-”

“Being tough will get you killed.” you leveled your gaze at Karma, “So will underestimating your injuries.”

You started to take his blood pressure. He sighed, accepting it.

“What’s your name?”

“What?” he raised an eyebrow at you, “You sure you’re not the one with the head injury, doc?”

“I’m making sure you don’t have a concussion. What’s your name?”

“Akabane, Karma.”

“How did you get injured?”

“One of those morons over there got the jump on me with a pipe.”

“Where did this happen?”

“An alley in the Gion district. Kanzaki was in charge of the route.”

You dug in your bag, “I know that to you this might seem silly but head injuries can be very dangerous. Okay, bright light.” you shone your pen light in his eyes.

“Good, alright. So guys has Karma been acting normal?”

“Uh. Yeah, he’s been Karma.” Nagisa shrugged.

“Good. And where was the strike?”

With the boys help you found a large goose egg on the back of Karma’s head. A touch of blood, minor laceration. Nothing too concerning.

You gave him a once over for spine injuries, any other skull deformations, pain.

“I’m getting a headache from all this, does that count?” he smirked at you.

“Karma, answer the question.”

“Just where it hit me, doc.”

Satisfied with you assessment you tucked your things away, “Okay, let me know if you have any other changes. And take it easy on your noggin for a few days.”

You turned to the boys, “Will you keep an eye on him tonight?”

“Sure thing!” Sugino gave you a smile.

“Okay baseball boy, you’re up next.”

Sugino and Nagisa had been amused at Karma’s predicament. The realization that they would go through similar assessments hadn’t fully occurred to them.

The girls were having a bit of a laugh over it all. Which was good. A huge relief if you were honest. Sugino and Nagisa had survived the incident with minor bruising, nothing too deep thank goodness. You turned to the girls, “And you are sure none of you were hurt?”

Kayano shook her head, “Korosensei showed up just in time.”

“Wait, Kayano.” Kanzaki looked worried, “That one guy picked you up by the neck...”

You turned to Kayano and gestured for her to sit too. She sighed, taking a seat and letting you do a check of her spine. Your fingers grazed over a small lump on the back of her neck. She didn't wince and it didn't feel like any underlying deformation. Korosensei approached, “Mx. Reader, is everyone alright? It’s time for us to be leaving.”

You straightened up, “I believe so.”

Korosensei herded your group outside and down a side street. You heard cars approach.

“That would be Karasuma’s men. They’ll handle the thugs from here.”

The sun was sinking low on the horizon now, bathing the city in orange and red. The street was empty as you began to make you way back to the ryokan.

“Man, for a while there I didn’t know what was going to happen.” Sugino sighed, tipping his head back and shielding his eyes against the sun.

“Should’ve just left me alone with the ringleader, I’d have taken out the trash before the bastard knew what hit him-”

Sugino cut him off, “We get it, you’re a scary dude .” 

Okano laughed a bit and Karma went a bit pink, looking away.

“I’m just glad we’re okay.” Kayano sighed, “How you holdin’ up Kanzaki? You good?”

“Sure. All things considered.” Kanzaki gave a smile.

“I must say, you’re handling this quite well. Most folks would’ve been traumatized by what you just experienced.Yet, you’ve shaken it off without batting an eye.” Korosensei looked over to her, pride creeping into his voice, “In fact, I daresay the whole ordeal has empowered you.”

The girl smiled brightly, “What do you know? I guess it has. Thanks for coming to the rescue!” 

“Don’t mention it.” he chuckled, gesturing for everyone to carry on walking, “Why don’t we carry on with our field trip, boys and girls?”

“Aw, dang it.” 

“What is it?” you looked over to Sugino.

“We never got to try out our assassination plan.”

Of course that was concern. Nevermind that people were kidnapped and injured. This whole class had a one track mind.

“Well, it really isn’t the time or place for that now.” Okuda sighed.

You gave them a look, “I’d rather you not risk more head injuries after that, please?”

“Whatever. We’ll just try it tomorrow.” Karma was strolling along, swinging his blade casually at Korosensei. You just hoped his attempts didn’t escalate any more than that.

Korosensei laughed, “Best of luck to you.~”

“I guess you guys didn’t get much of a Kyoto tour today...”

“No, but it was still interesting.” Nagisa shrugged, “And we got some new ideas for assassination out of it. Well, I did anyway.”

“Well, tonight let’s relax, hm?” you looked at them all, “You went through a lot.”

“We’ll be okay, Mx. Reader.” Kayano chirped.

You certainly hoped they would be.

Chapter Text

You passed by the arcade. The kids were having a good time. Karma and the others who had been injured seemed to be doing well. You had checked in with them a few times throughout the evening. Karma had, predictably, been annoyed by it but accepting. You gave them the basics to cover so that they could keep tabs on each other as well. Clearly, you needed to get started on these first aid classes sooner rather than later.

You opted to take an early bath and make sure you had things packed up before you had to leave tomorrow. Your journal, however, you tucked into your pocket. Just in case.

Dinner was as lavish as the night before. Nagisa’s group told the rest of the class their story and soon everyone was engrossed in what had happened. You listened as you worked your way through your plate of sashimi. Assassination attempts were surprisingly light. You supposed the group had listened to you about taking it easy. Thank goodness.

 

After dinner you took a short walk outside, tossing your tennis ball and thinking. It had been quite the day. Sightseeing, drama, a rescue...so much for a simple class trip. This was the new normal now, you supposed. You heard some noise from inside. The kids were having a blast it sounded like. You were glad. They deserved a break after the nonsense they’d gone through today.

As you made your way along the garden path you slipped, nearly falling. Something caught you by the arm, pulling you upright. You couldn't see what it was but the texture was familiar…

"Korosensei?"

You couldn't see him, you looked down and saw what looked like chunks of jello lying in the grass surrounding depressions...almost like something was sitting there...

"What are you-"

You remembered the train and his cloaking trick.

"Are you out here naked ?"

His voice was alarmed and you felt a rush of breeze as he shot away from you. He called across the garden from behind some trees, "The children were trying to spy on me in the bath so I was forced to retreat!"

You laughed, throwing your arms out and looking around, "Why are you so panicked? It's not like I can see you anyway!"

"It's the principle of the thing, Mx Reader!" His voice pitched up higher in alarm. The trees against the far wall shuddered with his movement.

For all intents and purposes you were now talking to a trembling tree.

You approached his side of the garden, not going behind the trees where he was apparently hiding but within range of them, "We're in Japan. Nude communal bathing isn't strange here."

"It is where I'm from!"

"Would you like me to get your clothes for you then?"

"No need, I can retrieve them just...looktheotherwayifyouplease?"

“...I can’t see you why do I need to-”

Please.

This creature plans to destroy the Earth.

Turning, you couldn't prevent the quirk of amusement from entering your voice, "Okay, is this better?"

You heard a dashing movement and the rustling of leaves.

"Much. Thank you." He stepped into your line of sight, dressed in his yukata. His skin was a brilliant pink.

You pressed your lips together, trying not to laugh any more at his predicament. He gave you a sour look and you lost it.

"Are you really that worried that someone might catch you naked?"

"It would be improper! What if a student saw me?!"

You fell in step next to him, "Well, I imagine they'd take a lot of notes. Maybe snap a picture or two..."

He covered his face, "How embarrassing. Please don't tell the students about this, Mx. Reader…"

"What is there to tell?" You stepped into the doorway looking back at him with a smile, "I didn't see anything.~"

You headed back inside and heard him rush off somewhere. Where to exactly you weren't sure, though commotion from the common rooms confirmed that he was certainly still in the building.

 

It was getting late. The children should be heading to sleep soon. You padded down the hall hearing their distant excited chatter. Right now you were ready to wind down and you knew exactly the person who would be doing the same. Karasuma. The one calm rock in this chaos of a classroom. You needed to check in with him anyway to give him your take on what had happened tod-

Korosensei shot past you followed shortly after by a herd of girls. The boys rounded the end of the hall.

So much for winding down...

You pressed yourself against the wall, watching as the children went at him with knives and bb guns. Maybe you should look into passing out safety visors for this stuff…

Korosensei vanished in the ruckus and the kids sighed, grumbling amongst themselves. They split off to search the building and you made your way to the door you had planned on entering to begin with. 

You reached out to open it but paused. There were two voices coming from inside.

You paused, listening.

"That was a little too close for comfort!"

So that’s where Korosensei had run off to. Odd choice.

"Would you mind telling me what all that racket was about?" Karasuma was terse, as usual, but sounded slightly more relaxed at least. Maybe he actually took some of this vacation to...well...vacation.

"Nothing! The students wanted me to open up about my love life."

"Your what ?"

You were with Karasuma here, his what ?

"My past is positively riddled with romantic encounters. I haven't enough fingers and toes to keep count of them all."

While you were processing the concept that the octopus had got around, Karasuma addressed something you hadn't thought of.

"Fingers and toes, huh? I assume you're referring back to a time when you had hands and feet."

There was a heavy pause. Oh shit.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to go there. I wouldn't want to talk about the past in your shoes."

Oh shit.

Korosensei’s voice dropped into a somber tone, one that you hadn’t quite heard before, "A wise observation, Mr. Karasuma. Its bad manners to ask after the number of ones appendages. Even while travelling together." 

You stood there for a moment just...letting that sink in. 

Super human…

You remembered his slip up before.

Super human .

You pulled out your journal, turning to a previous page. Scribbled across it were your theories:

Korosensei Theories:

-Alien lifeform

-Bioengineered creature

-Possessed mascot costume

-Ancient creature? Maybe was trapped in ice or lived at the bottom of the sea?

-Octopus exposed to radiation or some other mutagens.

 

You scratched out your previous notes. Replacing them with one simple statement.

Korosensei was-

You stopped, scratching it out again.

Korosensei is human.

 

You shut the journal, tucking it under your arm, and slid the door open. Korosensei jumped, startled, relaxing when he saw it was you.

"Oh! Reader. I thought you were the students."

Karasuma looked at you curiously.

"Do you mind if I join you two? It's pretty chaotic out there…"

"Please do! The more the merrier!" Korosensei's tendrils waved happily.

You came in, sitting across the table from Karasuma, "What a trip."

"It certainly has been eventful!" Korosensei grinned, all trace of his somberness from before erased.

Karasuma looked over at him, "Good work with finding the girls, by the way."

"They're my students. I have to protect my charges or what sort of teacher would I be?"

"They seemed to be doing pretty well when I spoke with them. I'm surprised. It was a very frightening experience for them." You poured yourself some tea.

"They handled themselves well. But what more should we expect? They are our students after all." He chuckled.

You smiled, "And not only did they survive the trip but so did you."

He laughed, "You won't be rid of me that easily I'm afraid."

You looked at Karasuma. He wasn't quite giving you The Look but he did certainly look put out that you'd lampshaded the lack of success. 

"Better luck next time I guess." You gave Karasuma an apologetic smile.

He turned his attention back to his laptop. You looked over at Korosensei.

He looked so much smaller when not in his usual robes, you noticed.

Human .

How was he human? What had happened to him?

Maybe you could ask him?

Probably not, given his reaction to Karasuma’s question.

“The kids seem to be recovering fine. Doesn’t look like anyone was too badly hurt. Though I imagine they may be sore for a day or two.”

“Understandable.” Korosensei gave a nod, “I’m just thankful it wasn’t any worse.”

“Mm…” you caught yourself staring again and focused instead on your tea, “So, last day tomorrow.”

Karasuma nodded, “We’ll probably get in by the afternoon. The kids talked about picking up a few more souvenirs before our train.”

“Good. I know some of them didn’t get to do much sightseeing today. Day after tomorrow we head back to the classroom, yeah?”

Korosensei chuckled, “Of course! Oh! Reader, did you by chance get your lesson plan ready?”

“Oh! Yeah, I’ve got it. Did you want to review it?”

“If you please.~”

You fetched your laptop and the rest of the evening was spent tidying up your course plan before turning in for the night.

Chapter Text

You laid on the couch, practically buried under a pile of blankets. It had taken about 90% of your energy for the day to shower and make it over here. You'd barely considered food, resorting to whatever simple open-and-eat items you had stashed away. Senbei, potato chips, some Pocari Sweat for fluids, whatever was easiest to manage and required the least amount of movement. Everything hurt. Even moving your eyes hurt, a sure sign of a fever if your muddled memory was anything to go by. Just your luck catching the flu at this time of the year. It had to have been on the Kyoto trip. You’d started noticing a sore throat on the train back and had had to call in two days in a row now. Thankfully the weekend started tomorrow so Asano couldn’t get on your case too much. Thank god this hadn’t hit earlier in the week...

The television was on, but you were barely paying attention. The lights and sounds simply blended into a trance inducing white noise. You needed more water, maybe tea. Some cough drops or cold medicine... something to help you rest properly, but you barely had the energy to focus on the TV, never mind getting up and doing things. Perhaps you could drift off amid the pain and rawness and nap for awhile, get some energy back… your eyelids closed, the murmur and hum of the Japanese game show playing slowly dragging you into exhausted rest.

When you opened your eyes, you noticed the TV was off. You could have sworn you left it on. Blinking, tired and worn out, you rolled over to face the back of the couch. You must be sicker than you thought...

The next time you woke up was hazy. There were the rattles of pans and other kitchen noises, you assumed it was your parents... completely forgetting in your feverish and exhausted state that they were thousands of miles away...

When you finally came around to proper consciousness, it was because of the intense urge to pee. Stumbling upright you made your way to the bathroom, handling things in a dazed detached manner. Your mind didn't register anything odd until you came back into the living room. Your full intention to crash on the couch dissolved as you spotted someone in your kitchenette. 

A very familiar mascot looking someone in academic dress... 

"Oh, good, you're awake!" His voice was practically dripping with cheer.

You opened your mouth to talk, but the combination of shock, dehydration, and post nasal drip conspired against you. Your breath hitched and you found yourself coughing, unable to speak.

"Now, now, don't strain your voice, Reader, let me take care of it. I was passing by on my way to a new cafe to try some of their tiramisu and thought you could perhaps use a bit of help." you found yourself ushered by a surprisingly forceful tentacle into a chair, a glass of water, a bowl of piping hot soup, and a spoon placed before you, "Given the amount of empty packages around the couch I assume you haven't been eating well."

You grimaced. 

"But I'm here to fix that!" 

He beamed at you and you gave a weak smile. A tentacle was pressed to your forehead, his voice taking on a measure of concern, "Definitely a fever. Perhaps medication is in order. I noticed your supply was low..."

From a bag on the table, he procured pain relievers and cold medications. You could have cried right there. You didn't have to go out to the store? He might as well have been an angel.

He measured out doses for you gesturing for you to eat, "No good taking these on an empty stomach."

You couldn’t really argue with him on that. Personal experience had taught you that he was correct on this.

The soup was hot and delicious, soothing your raw throat. Chicken, rice, scallions, tapioca, and ginger from what you could tell. It was also the first real meal you'd had all day and you relished it. There was the normal tell-tale laugh as he watched you for a moment "I thought you might be hungry. So, I took the liberty of making a large batch. There's extra in your freezer for later." 

You looked up at him and for the first time it registered that your kitchen was clean. The take out containers were gone, swept neatly away into recycling bins. The sink was empty, dishes cleaned. The counters were spotless. The stove looked brand new. You craned your head around seeing the rest of the house in a similar state. The only mess being the couch with your blanket cocoon still partially cascading off of it. You felt equal parts ashamed and relieved.

"I swear it's not always that bad." you lied, face flushing, "Thank you though, this is... it's a huge help right now."

"Well, I can't very well have my students' caregiver sick now can I? It would be risking their health as well."

That was one way to look at it, you supposed. You gave him a small smile, "I still really appreciate it, between work and sleep it's hard to keep this place maintained after getting sick or what have you" you gestured a bit vaguely. Yes, let's not mention depression weeks that's a good idea , "So this keeps me on track."

"I'm happy to help." he sat down next to you at the small table that served as desk and kitchen table in one, "Here."

He passed you medication which you took without complaint. You had no energy to complain. 

"Thanks...aren't you worried about getting sick?"

He chuckled, shaking his head slightly, "I'm quite immune I'm afraid. An apt reason my students use guns instead of Petri dishes."

Made sense. He was immune to everything else, why not this too. You were envious, "Must be nice."

"On the contrary, it does mean I can't call in sick to work to play hooky."

Telltale green stripes formed around his head. What a cocky bastard.

"Yeah but if you didn't come in, they couldn't force you to anyhow. Besides, we both know you'd never blow off work like that. I've seen you with the kids." you chuckled a bit, “And I’ve already threatened you about running off.”

The green stripes vanished as quickly as they'd arrived and his voice dropped into a genuine tone that always tugged at your heart, "Right you are, Reader."

You took a few more bites of your soup, something to distract you from that little tugging that accompanied his presence. Taking a swig of your water you paused, realizing you had a chance to ask the question that had been bouncing around your brain since the day you were hired.

"So...why is it you pour so much effort into them if you intend on blowing everything up in March?"

The smiling face turned it's full attention to you, "That is the question, isn't it?" he chuckled, “For now, it's not something I can answer. You'll have to work a bit harder than that to unlock my tragic backstory I'm afraid." He sounded positively delighted about it as he waved a finger at you.

You paused, your spoonful of soup hovering a few inches before your mouth, "So, it's tragic is it?"

He hummed, amused, as you finished with your bite. The medications were working finally, your mind clearing slowly but surely. You felt a touch cooler as well.

"Perhaps. You will have to see." the green stripes were coming back.

"I'm starting to think maybe you're saying that to make yourself sound more interesting." you smirked, taking another drink of water.

He sputtered, offended, green stripes vanishing again,  "I'll have you know I'm fascinating !"

You couldn't help but laugh. He was adorable when he was flustered. Mmmmn..there was that word again. Adorable. You decided to catalogue that particular thought process back for examination later.

"I don't know. Karasuma seems like a pretty fascinating dude..."

The offended tone jolted higher and you heard a tirade of frustrated octopus noises. A fast paced rant about how Karasuma was stealing his popularity with the students AND faculty from him and how he'd bothered stopping by to make you soup and that should count for something. You finished up your bowl, taking it over to the sink and rinsing it out, "Relax, Walmart. I'm kidding."

"Nue?" his rant was cut off midway through, "What was that?"

"I'm kidding." you strolled over to the table again, taking out a few cough drops from the bag and popping one in your mouth. Thank god for relief. You felt exhausted, but at least more functional.

"No, what did you call me?"

"Walmart? You know, big chain store in America? Their symbol is a smiley face." you picked up your phone from the charger and paused, making face when you saw the lock screen. "Really?"

He was whistling innocently. You rolled your eyes, unlocking your phone which now sported his ridiculous mug as the lock screen. The wallpaper made you sigh. It was a selfie of him in front of your sleeping form, one tentacle pointing at you drooling on the pillow with the familiar green rings circling his head.

You did a quick Google, holding up the phone to show him the yellow beaming logo. 

"I must say, the resemblance is uncanny but I think that I'm far more handsome."

With a non-committal hum of semi-agreement you locked your phone again, "It was the first thing I was reminded of when I saw you but octopus works too."

"I much prefer to be associated with octopus, rather than a corporation, thank you."

You chuckled, suppressing a cough, "It's cuter than their mascot for sure."

"Oh is it now~?" His singsong tone was infuriating.

"Yep." you got up with a stretch, pointedly ignoring his bait, "I slept all day and I feel like I could still go back to bed."

"Of course, your body is recovering from an illness, it's only natural." he rose to his feet and vanished, the air swirled in your tiny apartment. When you blinked the blankets that had been on the couch were hanging, faintly dripping from the line above the balcony. His smile seemed to grow slightly wider, “So, now, to bed with you .” he ushered you towards your bedroom where, not surprisingly, you found your futon already prepared with a stack of manga, snacks, medication and an octopus themed water bottle within arm’s reach. You must have made a face because the green stripes were back.

“Do you do this for Karasuma and Irina too?”

“Oh rest assured, I would if they fell ill. The students too, if it wouldn’t alert their families.”

“I figured it out. Your plan to destroy the world.”

He turned his attention to you, clearly curious. You looked up at him with a yawn, “You plan on killing us with weaponized kindness.”

You crawled into the futon while he chuckled. “You’re going to mother us to death. That’s what’s going to happen.” you were so exhausted and you’d only been awake maybe an hour? God you hated being sick.

“Nonsense.” a pair of tentacles pulled the blanket up around your shoulders, “I simply appreciate seeing people function at their full potential.”

“Ah, so I’m less efficient this way you mean.”

“In a sense.” his grin widened and a hand came to rest lightly on your head. You looked up over the edge of the blanket in surprise, you’d seen him do this with the students before but never with the other teachers. “I admit, I would also miss our lunch breaks if you missed another day.”

You snorted into the blankets, “You’d miss my snacks, you mean.”

For the second time today, his voice dropped into that genuine, gentle tone, “Quite the contrary, Reader, it would be your company I miss.”

You felt a little stutter in your chest and pushed it out of the way. You could examine that feeling later too. The 'feelings to examine' pile was getting quite large and that was not a reassuring thought.

“I’d miss you too.” You gave him a smile, “Now go get out of here, have some tiramisu for me.”

“A request I shall happily comply with!” his voice carried a extra, lighter tone to it you couldn’t quite place. You noticed that as his hand withdrew that it was an exceptional shade of pink. Pink... There was something important about that but given your exhaustion you couldn't remember what.

“Sleep well, Reader.”

You managed a small wave before snuggling down under the quilt. He zipped away and just like that he was gone. 

 

You wouldn’t know he’d returned until several hours later when you got up to reheat some of the soup and found a slice of tiramisu chilling in your refrigerator...along with a ton of post it notes in the kitchen. Reheating times for times for the soup, notes on what good shows were playing over the next day, inspirational messages, doodles of doctor octopi with notes like “Remember to use antibacterial soap!” and “Don’t forget a face mask!”

The most prominent note had a small doodle of a cartoon octopus holding up a slice of tiramisu that simply said, “Enjoy!”

You curled up on the couch to do just that wrapped in one of the blankets that he’d left folded neatly for you on one of the chairs.

And that was when it hit you.

Pink.

You took another bite of your cake, thinking that over.

Pink ...

Chapter Text

You laid on your futon, moonlight filtering in through the parted curtains. You tilted your head a bit to see the crescent beaming back at you. Quietly, you rolled onto your stomach, resting your chin on folded arms. You couldn’t play pretend anymore. No more stuffing the feelings in a vault and ignoring them. You closed your eyes, thinking it over.

He was...something. That was for sure. But then again the places you laid your affections were often a bit out of the way. Your romances in games, your favorite books, the couples were unconventional. You were a bit of a sucker for the monster romance genre. Not that you thought of him as a monster, not in the...monstrous sense.

Ugh...you weren’t making sense. You scooped up your phone and rose to your feet. It was late, but you weren’t really sleeping right now anyway. Using your phone as a flashlight you made your way to your tiny kitchen, flipping on the light with the intention of making yourself a hot cup of tea. While waiting for the water to heat you glanced at your phone. The object of your affection stared out at you, amused. In the background you were sick and sleeping, looking a positive mess…

What were you going to do about this ? You took the small mug you used for tea, prepping it before sitting at the table. Opening your gallery, you looked through your other photos. Candid snapshots of the school, images of your office, a few of the classroom and the kids. A few photos of you at local landmarks. Polite photos for your parents back home. Things people could see and know you were alive, healthy, and happy. These were the basic photos…

You opened another folder and smiled. These were the real photos. Inside you had dozens of photos of what the classes were really like. Candids of Korosensei and the kids. Irina screaming at Karasuma about something. Some silly selfies with the kids with Korosensei photobombing every single one of them. A couple of photos of his terrible, terrible disguises. You chuckled at one that had him startled by his nose popping off his face and trying to catch it. He was ridiculous…

You sighed, sitting back and taking a sip of your tea. What were you going to do about this? What had happened to him? Was he even human anymore? You weren’t sure. He was a target for assassination...he might not even live for much longer (though you doubted it, given his current score against the children’s attempts). He planned to destroy the world in March. He was a coworker too…. though given the other points, this was a paltry issue at best. This was a terrible situation. A stupid situation. You took another sip of tea, annoyed. Why did he have to be charming? Why did you have to be weird? You’d heard the girls in the class and Irina herself comment on how gross he was, how strange. How could someone be attracted to someone that looked like him?

God. What were you going to do about this? Should you do anything about this? You flipped to your contacts in your phone and scrolled to the only one that was listed as 🐙🎓. You could always just...ask... but what was the point? The world was going to end. And honestly did you really need to possibly be rejected again? Was that going to be good for your self esteem? The thought made your face scrunch up and your chest burn. He was nice. Too nice. Especially for you. And given your track record…

You lifted your mug again and faltered as a post it note flittered down to the table. You must have not noticed it when you took the upside down mug from the shelf…

Another octopus. This one in idol otaku cheering gear, complete with hachimaki and happi with your name on them and hearts. Glow sticks grasped in its tentacles. You couldn’t help but laugh. God, what a complete nerd...

Another part of you gave pause. You really, really, really knew you shouldn’t read too much into it. It was just a silly doodle meant to inspire you to get better and get back to work. It wasn’t anything. The hearts were just related to the whole idol thing. That’s all. Nothing romantic in that in the slightest. 

Besides, from what you recalled a lot of this sort of imagery carried over to sports. It was just him cheering you on. That’s all.

You finished your tea and looked over at the pile of the other post its you’d found. You really shouldn’t dwell on this stuff…

You really shouldn't…

...

You pulled the pile of post it notes over to yourself like some sort of late night romance gremlin. You flipped through a few, feeling foolish. You were a grown ass adult looking through post it notes from an octopus for romantic signs of some sort. You shoved the feeling away. You were alone in your home at night, no one was going to see you. This was your secret.

Carefully, you peeled the notes apart, sticking them to the table in rows, sorting them into drawings and notes. A good portion of them were just little tips and instructions, you set those aside and looked at what you had left. You were sure this wasn’t all the ones left in the house. You kept finding new ones from time to time. Including a stock list in your medicine cabinet about what you needed to purchase.

You now had it whittled down to doodles, inspirational quotes, and sentiments. A few were promises for far flung snacks if you got back soon.

“I’ll be sure to get you some of those drinks from home you love!” 

“Come back soon and I’ll bring Gelato! My treat!” 

You chuckled at these, your shared love affair with food was always a source of amusement and fondness for you. Him promising to bring in snacks was charming. Not to mention memorizing your favorites…

Several were the doctor octopi which were adorable. Most of these simply had tips or encouragements for recovery. None showed any particularly amorous symbolism.

A few were inspirational quotes. They put you in mind of those images online of quotes slapped on pictures of pretty landscapes.:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” –  Buddha

"Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings." - Publilius Syrus 

This one was accompanied by a tiny “Two for two, Reader! Good work!” in the corner.

All of them made you smile. it was nice to have someone willing to do something like this for you…. Even if he'd do it for anyone.

Spotting one with a more detailed picture of him sporting a blank face, you picked it up and died laughing.

“Thank you for not telling the children about that awkwardness in Kyoto...”

Well, the naked incident was certainly one more thing to hold over him when he got too cocky...

You noticed he’d written most of these in English but two were in Japanese. You read over them. Another cheering octopus was announcing “Ganbatte ne!”

You laughed to yourself, “Keep going. Of course...”

The next one had a doodle of a cell phone with his grinning mug pointing at it.

“I’m here for you if you need anything.”

You bit your lip. Oh.  

You buried your face in your hands, suppressing a smile.

God, what a hot mess you were.

Another note got your attention as it had a lot of text and the doodle, this time, was in color. His face, grinning with green and yellow stripes added in neon highlighter.

“Reader, you should know that you are a bright point in my day. You have taken on a unique role as a pacifist observer of our assassination classroom. I’m very interested in seeing more of your notes on the subject! Get back to class quick, your intel will be priceless for the students.”

Your heart skipped a bit but then, like a record scratch, your mind slammed on the brakes. Your notes? Your notes. The notes you’d been taking for the government? The notes you’d been taking for yourself? It was practically your diary at this point. Shit .

It had become  a stream of consciousness sort of journal. You normally took time at the end of the day to mark out what sections to send in for reports. While the technical aspects of the day to day, reports on his whereabouts, flaws, etc filled the majority of the book it was the personal information you were concerned about. Nothing revealing in the sense of your feelings about him...no, that you’d kept extremely close to the chest. But there were more than a few of your personal notes that skirted the line, you know you’d commented about him being cute at least once in there. Motherfucker.

Oh shit…

You thought back to the Kyoto trip and what you’d learned.

Fuck. He knew that you’d learned he was human then...

There was no point in asking when he got his tentacles on the journal. Given his speed he could literally do it at any time. You huffed to yourself, stacking most of the post its back up.

Wait.

Wait one fuckin’ minute!

You went to your bag, pulling out your journal and flipping it open.

The entire thing had editing marks and notes. 

Good fuckin god.

“Remember, Kyoto is a city so proper capitalization is required!”

“Note: ‘Its’ is possessive. ‘It’s’ is a contraction for ‘it is’.”

Your notes about the kids…

Now contained a shipping chart.

Okay.

Even your notes on Koi Koi had been edited and added to.

You pinched the bridge of your nose and closed the journal, tucking it back in your bag.

 The most frustrating member of the classroom and the most fascinating to you were one and the same. You had no idea how you were going to show your face on Monday.

You put your mug in the sink, shut off the light, and retreated to your bedroom. On the mirror you normally looked in to get ready you stuck the cheering octopus post it, the one in color, and the one with the phone. Satisfied that they would stay attached, you crawled back onto your futon and fell into dreams haunted by tentacles.

Chapter Text

Alarm. Clothes. Shower.

You scrubbed up, thinking about last night.

Okay. 

So you liked the octopus.

Weird but a livable situation.

It’s not like anyone knew. It was fine.

This was fine.

And really, it had been awhile since you liked anyone so it was sort of novel and fun to have a crush.

Right?

You just had to keep it to yourself, not get your hopes up, and say nothing

You could survive that. That was perfectly reasonable.

Drying off, you pulled your clothes on. 

Besides, this might wear off in a week. You had no idea. Maybe the whole thing was just novelty.

That could be it.

Lunch prep went quicker than you expected. You went ahead and placed your bento in your bag. Then you wrapped up your thank you gift for him. It was the least you could do after him stopping by while you were sick after all.

Nothing unusual about that. Totally platonic.

Totally…

You tugged on your face mask and headed out the door.

 

"Good to see you back on your feet." Karasuma crested the top of the path with you, "I was beginning to get concerned."

"I'm alright." You smiled behind the mask, "It was just a warm weather cold."

"Will you be up to drills today?"

You gave a half-hearted nod, "I think so?" 

"Let me know if you're not, I can adjust the workout for you."

"Okay."

“I take it you haven’t checked your email.”

“Oh, uh, no. I’ve been a bit distracted, recovering and all...”

Yep. Just recovering. No other distractions. Sure.

"We’ve had a new student join us while you've been out."

"We have?"

He nodded, "She's...a bit unconventional. You'll have to introduce yourself."

"I will."

"Hey, Mx. Reader! You're back!"

You turned to see Okuda giving a wave.

"I am! I’ll see you inside!"

You headed towards the building, adjusting your bag. You had a gift to give and a new student to meet.

 

"Korosensei?" 

He looked up from his paperwork, his grin brightening, "Feeling better are we?~"

"Much." You sat down your bag and faced him.

"I'm glad to hear it. I wonder what could have possibly helped along your recovery-" the green rings that were just starting to form around his head abruptly faded as you gave him a bow.

"Thank you very much for stopping by to help me. I brought you something." You offered him the furoshiki wrapped package, "It's not much and I'm not sure it turned out as good as I expected but I hope you enjoy it."

He took the package delicately, "Thank you, Reader, that's very kind of you."

The second he saw inside he was over the moon. 

"Bamboo shoot cookies! And...Reader is this a bento?" The curiosity in his voice was adorable.

God dammit . That word again.

You nodded which prompted him to peek inside, "It's me!"

His sheer delight made you grin, "I know you like octopi so I did my best with the hot dogs. Omurice isn't really my specialty but I thought it would be fitting..."

"It's delightful, Reader, I can't wait to try it." He closed the lid carefully.

"Well without you I don't think I would have made it back to class nearly as fast."

He chuckled, clearly a bit smug, his eyes fixed on you, "I'm very glad to see you've recovered."

You felt a blush rise in your cheeks but focused on remaining calm. Smiling, you nodded, "So, Karasuma tells me we have a new student."

Smoothly changing that topic.

"Oh! That's right, you haven't met Ritsu yet!" He tucked the bento away and lead you to the classroom, "I think there's enough time before class for a proper introduction…"

God. Bless. Meltdown averted.

You followed him to the classroom. So far so good, you were keeping everything under control. Perfect. You could do this.-

He headed for the back row where a large black box that had apparently been installed in the floor. You followed along. 

He gestured to the box with a hand, “Mx. Reader, I’d like to introduce you to Autonomously Intelligent Fixed Artillery. Also known as Ritsu.”

What?

The screen flickered on to display a smiling girl with purple hair and blue eyes.

Oh.

Oh

You realized that you were starting to just expect nonsense at this point.

Normalcy, you guessed.

“Hello, Mx. Reader! It’s a pleasure to meet you!”

You stared for a moment before autopilot kicked in, “It’s lovely meeting you too! How are you enjoying the class?”

“Oh, it’s wonderful! I’ve already made a lot of new friends and Korosensei is helping me refine my cooperation skills!”

“Is that right?” you glanced at him. His grin only widened.

“Yes! I’m very excited about this year and I can’t wait to learn from you as well!”

You chuckled, “Well, I’m happy that you’re happy here.”

Yada approached, “Ritsu! Good morning!”

The two began chatting and you looked over at Korosensei. You were starting to identify a Look for him as well. Not one of frustration. Much closer to the look of the cat that ate the canary. Not quite green stripes but definitely up to something. You headed back to the faculty lounge and he followed after.

“So, what’s the deal? Is she like...streaming to the classroom or are you telling me that’s actually a robot?”

Korosensei chuckled, “Oh, believe me, she’s much more than a robot. She’s a military AI designed with the express purpose of killing yours truly!”

Because of course she was.

“She seems...well...not what I’d expect for a military program.”

“Oh that would be due to her upgrades.” his tone told you everything you needed to know.

You made changes then.”

“Well, yes , but to be fair her parents did remove most of them. But she is a very clever girl and opted to keep a few tucked away for safekeeping.”

“...Her parents?”

“Yes. The people who installed her here.”

“So her creators.”

“Well, isn’t that what most parents are?”

God dammit.

“And she decided to hide things from them?”

“Yes!” his grin widened, “An AI with free will in our classroom, isn’t that exciting?”

You had to admit….it was. You’d never seen an AI that really made decisions for itself. Handling Ritsu would be interesting. You weren’t really sure how much medical assistance or counseling an AI was going to need though.

You gave a nod, “This classroom just keeps getting more exciting.”

“That it does.” he looked at you for just a tad longer than you expected and you could feel the heat of your blush radiating through your face.

Thank god for facemasks.

Which reminded you...

What the fuck were you going to do when this cold was over?

Tear your face off. That’s what you were going to do. Only solution.

The bell rang and he looked back towards the classroom.

“Well then, that’s my cue.”

He paused before heading out the door, “Would you mind joining me for lunch today?”

“Sure thing.” you sat down, pulling out your lesson plan, “Do you mind picking up drinks?”

“That I can do.” he disappeared into the hall and you let out a sigh.

Okay. So far, so good. The day was going fine. It was weird but fine.

Normal state of affairs for this job, really...

You pulled out your journal and flipped to the newer pages, leaving a note about Ritsu. You’d be less convinced of the claim of free will if it wasn’t for Korosensei making the statement. AI was a difficult field when it came to the concept. There’d been plenty of claims of things passing the Turing Test over the years but nothing ever quite achieved what people considered true sentience.

In that sense, Ritsu was fascinating. You made a note to ask Karasuma about who made her later.

 

Lunchtime came along faster than you expected. You took a breath to steady yourself for what you planned to bring up.

"So...I noticed the notes you left me." You took a bite of your bento. 

Nonchalant, casual, play it cool…

"I do hope they were helpful to you." He was starting to delicately tuck into the bento you'd made him.

"Yes. However," you pulled out your journal and opened it on the desk, "These notes weren't."

He looked over at your journal then at you, green stripes appearing, "Oh? I would think as a fellow educator you would always be seeking improvement."

"You're just using that as an excuse to go through my things."

He tipped his head forward, " Perhaps . What do you intend to do about it?"

"Ask you not to."

He seemed almost startled by your response. The green stripes faded instantly.

"I know that that tactic is what you use against failed assassins. I'm not trying to assassinate you. I'm just doing my job. This is a stipulation of it."

He sat back, his tone amused, "A very straightforward request."

"In exchange…" you paused, considering your options, "I won't share the information I learned about you in Kyoto."

There was a pause. The words hung in the air between you like a taut wire. His face was unreadable.

“And what information might that be?”

You turned in your seat, looking at him, “That you’re not a superior lifeform. You’re super human .” you ground in the emphasis on the last word, locking eyes with him.

His gaze remained level, eyes narrowing further. This was a hell of a thing to offer. A hell of a thing to challenge him on too, given what you’d seen he was capable of. But like Karasuma had said, even if he did do something there wasn’t a damn thing you could do about it.

"As you said, that information is part of your work. To share it or not is entirely at your discretion." He gave a small gesture, turning his attention back to his bento.

You nodded then sighed turning back to your own lunch, "Also, it makes it really hard to transcribe when there's editing notes all over the place. The post it's though...those were nice."

And just like that the tension melted away.

He chuckled, "I thought you might enjoy those."

"And so was the tiramisu. Thanks for that."

His grin widened and his tone perked up, all seriousness dissolving instantly, "It’s delicious , isn't it?! I believe I left a note with the shop's location for you."

You nodded, "Yeah, you did. I'm surprised though. It doesn't seem like my place was on the way."

His eyes narrowed slightly. The green rings were back, "It is when you're as fast as I am."

"Mm…" you took another bite of your lunch.

“I take it the medication has been helpful?”

“Mmhm…It’s helped out a lot.”

He chuckled, “I’m glad. This classroom is less interesting without you around.”

You highly doubted that.

 

Later in the day, while in the nurse's office going over your lesson plan for minor edits, you had a visitor.

“Hey, Mx. Reader!”

You looked up from your work to see Kayano standing there, rocking back on her heels.

“Yes, Kayano?”

She came over to your desk, “I made you something.”

She held out her hands revealing a paper crane nestled inside.

“Oh! Thank you!” you accepted it carefully, looking it over. The paper was a brilliant green.

“I figured since you were sick maybe it can help you start to get better.” she flashed a smile, “I’ve gotta get to PE though, so I’ll see you later!”

“Have fun!” you called after her as she raced out the door.

You sat the little crane on desk with a smile, and went back to your lesson plan.

 

That night, in your apartment, you looked over your journal.

You hadn’t typed up your reports from Kyoto yet because of your illness but it was time to get it done. Flipping through the edited pages you came to rest on one in particular.

Korosensei is human.

You remembered his expression at lunch, and his comment…

"As you said, that information is part of your work. To share it or not is entirely at your discretion."

Technically telling the government was part of your job. But, given Karasuma had been speaking with him, there was a chance they already knew so your report would be redundant anyway. Then there were the kids. You had told them you’d share information with them but would this information be beneficial?

You tapped your pen against the table, thinking.

If the kids knew he was human they might be less inclined to kill him. Good for your feelings, bad for your job.

God dammit.

You tore out the page and balled it up.

No need to complicate things more than they already were. No need for redundancy.

You left that information out of your report.

Chapter Text

 

 

A week or so later you woke up to the chiming of your phone. You slapped your hand out from under the futon, feeling around for the offending little monster. Locating it, you squinted at the screen.

A message…

From 🐙🎓

[Reader, there’s a lovely little eatery I think you would enjoy! Care to join me for a trip?]

An outing beyond the school environment? With him?

Great! Fantastic!  

You were over your cold and couldn't hide behind a facemask anymore!

"Kill me." You flipped back on your futon covering your face with a pillow.

You wanted to go but the idea also made you flustered and nervous.

Why had you thought having a crush was a fun novel thing? This was fucking torture .

You dragged yourself out of bed, replying to the text.

[Just woke up. What time?]

With that done you went to your closet, digging around for clothes. What the fuck would you wear to this?

Your phone pinged.

[Message me when you're ready?]

Oh good. That made shit a lot easier.

[Sure.]

You were halfway through picking out something to wear when it hit you that it wasn't a school day. You could dress more casually if you wanted. Thank goodness.

You tugged off your pajama top on the way to the shower. Ironically it was the one that read RUN AROUND NAKED across the front. You'd started collecting Engrish shirts after you'd moved to Japan. There were just so many in the little side shops and they always made you laugh. On visits back home you had the same experience with most shirts with Kanji on them. The basic mistranslations between languages used for fashion statements was just the most wholesome humor to you. Japanese brands used English to look cool and other countries did the same with Japanese.

Humans really were all the same when it came right down to it.

Well...when they weren't giant yellow octopi that could fly at Mach 20 anyway...

The shower went quick and you threw on something basic but comfortable and light. The rainy season was approaching and the humidity was already murder.

[Ready.]

[On my way!]

He arrived maybe a minute after the message did. You heard the tap on your balcony and opened the sliding door, “Why didn’t you just use the main door?”

He chuckled, “I thought this might be easier to take off from.”

“Oh, so we’re flying then.”

“But of course!”

“Alright, well, hold on...” you went back into your room, grabbing your messenger bag and making sure your journal was tucked inside. You never knew when you might need to take notes…

When you came back out you saw him beside your little table, looking over the post its you had collected, amused.

“Ready.”

You were loaded up and he took off, taking care to shut the balcony door behind him.

"You seem to have taken well to flying, Reader."

"Well, I mean, you haven't dropped me yet and given what you can do I feel like it might be a bit safer than travelling by plane."

He chuckled, looking very proud of himself. Your brain was starting to catch up with your situation. You were being held, very firmly, by tentacles inside of his robes.

This was not a good place to remember your feelings.

You turned your attention to the scenery below so you didn't have to focus on the warmth of him against your back, the rise and fall of his chest, of the scent of old books and rain that seemed to follow him.

It wasn't working.

"You're rather quiet today, Reader. Is something on your mind?"

Fuck.

You looked up at him, "I just woke up. Brain isn't firing on all cylinders yet…"

"Clearly, we need to get you some breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day after all."

"Yeah…what sort of place are we going to anyway?"

You noticed you'd been in the air a lot longer than his usual trips and you certainly weren't near Tokyo any longer…

“I thought we could take in a little of the season!”

“Are we leaving Japan?” 

You weren’t opposed to the idea but you would appreciate some warning.

“No, no, we’re just making a quick trip to Hokkaido.” he chuckled.

“Hokkaido?”

“Yes!” he looked down at you, grin wide, “Tomita Farm to be precise!”

You just stared at him, “We’re going to a farm?”

You felt like an idiot half the time asking these echoing questions but he really didn’t explain much unless you prompted him to…

“Yes. Tomita Farm was founded in 1903 though they didn’t begin cultivation of the lavender they’re known for until 1958. Lavender demand went on the decline in the 60’s but Tomita Tadao, the farm’s owner, continued to grow it. It became a tourist sensation in the 1970's and then branched out into perfumes, soaps, and food. It's especially lovely in late June and July so I'm afraid we're a bit early for their more iconic floral views but not for the food!”

“That’s right, Hokkaido is mostly farms, isn’t it?”

“Agriculture certainly is their calling card, yes.”

You looked ahead to the island coming up. In no time you were standing in a field by a road and he quickly donned his questionable disguise.

“So, shall we?”

“Sure.” you followed after him, crossing a parking lot towards a series of buildings.

“I’m sure you’re hungry, so a stop in at the Rapport house seems like the best place to start.” 

Outside the building there was a small pavilion with advertising for soft serve and other products of the farm. You climbed the steps and entered the cozy looking shop. Instantly, the scent of baked goods made your mouth start to water.

After greeting the cashier the two of you debated what to get. The selections all looked fantastic. You’d never seen so many lavender flavored things in your life. Ice pops, cream puffs, cheesecake, custard, Ramune...But what caught your eye was a melon cream puff. He placed the order and shortly you were outside, looking across the fields while eating carefully.

“How do they get the melon to taste like that?” you looked over at him.

“Exceptional care and breeding.” he took another bite of his pastry. 

"It's delicious." You finished off your cream puff. You'd been hungrier than you thought.

He chuckled and gestured, "Reader…"

"Hm?"

He tapped his false nose. Was he having issues wi-

Oh.

You took your napkin and swiped it across your nose, removing the bit of cream you'd gotten on it.

"Did I get it?"

He gave a nod, finishing off his own cream puff, "Since were here, let's see what's in bloom."

You followed him, to another building nearby labeled simple as “Flower House”. He lead the way up to an observation deck. You leaned on the railing looking out across the fields and buildings. There were so many flowers…

You could understand what he meant about being too early for certain views though. Some of the fields hadn't bloomed yet so they were rows of unremarkable looking plants. These were interspersed with gorgeous swaths of color, fields that were in full bloom.

"These are beautiful…"

"Aren't they?" He grinned, "The natural beauty of spring out in full force."

You pulled out your phone took a photo or two. 

"Allow me." He pulled you over and snapped a couple of selfies with you.

You took your phone back, laughing, "You could have warned me!"

"But then your reaction wouldn't have been authentic!"

Unlocking the phone, you looked at the results. You looked startled.

“Okay, if you get to take some, I get to take some proper ones.”

After some offended sputtering on his end you managed to get a couple of selfies with him in front of the fields.

“See? Much better.”

“But mine have so much more life in them!”

“You didn’t see me delete them did you?” you looked over at him, “I just like having some clear photos too.”

This seemed to appease him. The two of you made your way back past Rapport House towards one of the fields in bloom. After a few more photos (at least four more where he surprised you with bullshit) he lead you towards a building that reminded you of the half timbered houses of Germany. Very storybook and charming. Out front was another smaller garden of herbs and flowers, each with labels indicating their species.

Inside the building was spacious with vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows decorated with patterns of lavender and poppies. It housed another charming gift shop and a cafe, with a sign indicated it would reopen in the autumn season.

Upstairs was an open room with photos along the wall charting dates. A timeline of the farm’s founder, Tadao Tomita. 1980 when they first began distilling lavender oils. 1984’s release of their first perfume. 1990 when they won first prize in France’s Lavender Perfume fair…

“Mr. Tomita’s story is very moving.” Korosensei spoke softly next to you, “He wanted to grow lavender since childhood. He came into it with poor timing though. Thanks to cheaper imports and synthetic perfumes, the demand for it decreased in the early 70’s. He supplemented his income by growing rice but he never stopped growing lavender.”

You looked at the face of the smiling man plastered on the wall. It was hard to imagine so much dedication to growing one flower.

“Just when he decided to quit, however, a photograph of his fields made it into that year’s JR calendar. Tourists began to show up to see it for themselves and, thanks to some helpful suggestions from those first visitors, he began branching out from oils to potpourri and other lavender products. From there, the farm only became more profitable and more expansive.”

“That’s amazing.”

He nodded, “Chance encounters can be life changing.”

There was...something in his tone. An almost wistful longing. You hadn’t heard it from him before. You looked over at him. That blue tinge from the night in Kyoto was back.

“You okay?”

He seemed startled by your question, flickering back to yellow and then the peachy flesh tone he used for his disguise. He turned his attention to you, “Oh, yes! Just reminiscing. Now!” he clapped his hands together, gloves muffling the sound, “You have to try their lavender ice cream! It’s iconic for the region.”

“Lavender...ice cream?” it wasn’t the strangest flavor you’d seen in Japan but you were still wrapping your head around the fact that there were cherry blossom flavored things here.

“Yes!” He guided you back downstairs and you made your way to another, smaller stand with a cheerful cashier.

Soon, you were presented with a small cup of pale purple ice cream. He chuckled at your expression, “I promise, it’s delicious.”

Carefully, you took a spoonful. Rich, sweet Hokkaido cream and then soft lavender. You closed your eyes, savoring it.

There was the sound of a shutter snap and you looked over at him. He was giggling, camera in hand. When the hell had he gotten a camera?

“Hey!”

“What? I had to immortalize the moment!”

You laughed, “I think you just like taking terrible pictures of people.”

“Au contraire!” he turned the camera, showing you the photo, “I think it captures you perfectly.”

To your surprise, the photo was actually quite flattering. A field of flowers in the background, clouds drifting across a blue sky, and you standing, eyes closed and faintly smiling.

Looking over the camera at him, you realized how close he was and felt your face heat up dramatically.

“Okay, yeah it’s not that bad...” you looked back out at the field.

“That might have to go in the yearbook.”

“....maybe.”

He chuckled, snapping another photo or two of the flowers. Even in this half blossomed state, they were beautiful.

“I’ve never been to a farm like this before.”

“Hm?”

“One that sells so much of what they make at the farm itself. Especially not a flower farm.”

“It’s quite common here in Hokkaido. Farms like these become tourist destinations. There’s several where you can pick your own produce.”

“It’s nice...” you savored another bite of ice cream, then paused, tapping the empty spoon against your bottom lip in thought, “I think it’s because you know where it comes from. Knowing where what you’re eating was grown or made...it…” you tried to think of how to phrase it.

“It grounds you to the place and gives you a deeper appreciation of the effort that went into its making.” he supplied, gesturing.

“Yes. Exactly.”

The wind picked up slightly, tousseling the flowers gently. The whole place smelled like flowers and fresh earth. Like spring and rebirth.

You looked over to your companion and caught him staring at you. His skin was a bright pink. He quickly turned his attention to the field, “We should come back in July. I’ve heard the lavender is stunning .”

“We should.” you took another bite of your ice cream.

“It’s a date then.” he chuckled.

Ohhhhkay.

The blush that had started to recede was back with a vengeance . You made yourself very, very invested in your ice cream, “Yeah, sure.”

Once your ice cream was finished, you visited the Dried Flower House, admiring the lovely displays. From there you toured the Gallery Fleur and it’s photos of the fields in full bloom. The contemplative silence of the photo gallery was broken by a chiming from his phone.

He pulled it out, sudden alarm crossing his face, “Oh dear.”

“What is it?”

“I’m afraid we’ll have to cut this trip short.” he looked at you apologetically, “I had forgotten, I have a tutoring session with Hiano today.”

“That’s okay. I mean, we’re visiting again in July anyway, right?”

His grin widened, a touch of pink coloring his cheeks, “ Absolutely.

 

In a few minutes you found yourself deposited on your balcony like you’d never left.

“Thank you for accompanying me, Reader.”

“Thanks for inviting me.”

“Anytime.”

And with that, he was gone, leaving you alone with your thoughts.

You opened the balcony, heading inside. That had been a lot of fun...

But what was that? 

You'd enjoyed it but it was practically a date.

You took a breath and reminded yourself of the three rules: keep it to yourself, don’t get your hopes up, and say nothing

It was an outing with a friend and a co-worker. It was nice. It was pleasant. It was certainly not romantic…

Tossing your messenger bag on the couch you headed to your room. You'd forgotten to put the futon away this morning. With a sigh you flopped down on it and closed your eyes.

God dammit. There was no escaping this was there?

Your shirt smelled like flowers, old books, and summer rain.

Chapter Text

 

The next day you got another ping to your phone. An email from Korosensei...with attached photos.

Reader,

Thank you again for accompanying me to Hokkaido! I wanted to swap photos with you since you took some on your phone! Here’s the collection I took.

-Korosensei

Apparently that one wasn’t the only one he’d gotten of you with his camera. There were probably a good like, hundred photos here. You had no idea when he had time to take them but they were of the flowers, of you, of the shops, selfies, it was a lot.

And there were plenty of you looking ridiculous.

Forget wanting to kiss him, you were going to fucking kill him.

Wait.  

You wanted to do what?

How would that even work? He was like, all teeth an-

Nope. No. Not thinking about that. Not going near that.

You set the photos to download to your laptop and got up, running your hands through your hair. You really needed to clear your head a bit.

Let’s see...you had your lesson plans ready, you didn’t have anything to grade yet, the house was clean, laundry done…

Time to get the fuck outta the house for a bit.

You scooped up your bag and headed out the door. There was a place you’d had in mind to check out. Would take a little time to get there but what else were you going to do today?

 

A little over an hour later, you arrived at your destination.  A little shopping center at the base of a mountain. Stopping in at one of the outdoor shops you bought a drink and started your hike. Thankfully on a pleasant paved path instead of the rough one at the school. There were a few people around, families, hikers, and such taking in the scenery. The place was quaint, with shops and restaurants advertising their wares through posters and displays. A rough hewn fence made from logs with the bark still attached ran alongside the street, marking off a small stream in a canal below. Buddha statues were prevalent. 

The main thoroughfare to the cable car station was pretty crowded. You should have expected as much on a weekend. It wasn’t terrible though, you kind of enjoyed it. Some teenagers were laughing and snapping photos by the entrance. It was nice being out and about. The sounds of people took your mind off of things. 

One ticket purchase later, you were waiting for your car to arrive. You didn’t have to wait long, the bright yellow and green cable car came coasting gently down the incline.

Yellow and green...

Why did everything have to remind you of him?

It was at a slant which you hadn’t been expecting but it definitely made for an interesting look. Heading in, you grabbed a seat, looking out the window.

The car began to ascend the mountain track past rock walls and a short tunnel. It moved slowly and you watched as the greenery of the mountain slid by the windows. Given your day job there was something novel and positively delightful about not having to hoof it up this steep mountain. It was a little disorienting though, looking out and seeing trees growing upward at an apparent slant.

One final tunnel and the cable car pulled to a stop. Getting off, you climbed the steps with the other passengers. There it was. Well, at least one thing you’d come to see anyway. You made your way to the railing, from here you could see the lush green expanse of the mountain and Tokyo laid out below it. Pulling out your phone, you took a few photos, enjoying the view and the chatter around you. On a clear day you’d heard you could see Mount Fuji from here. Today, however, wasn’t clear enough. The view was lovely though.

You headed up the flagstone path, past a few buildings. Another view was available here, blocked off by a stone wall. This one more trees than city.

You took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of spring greenery to push thoughts of lavender out of your mind.

There were a few stalls here and there that you browsed, looking over the selections. Snacks, plushies, charms, Tengu and Oni masks...it was very touristy but nice. Next up was a monkey park. You considered checking it out for a moment but then decided against it, you’d rather get to your planned destination.

As you rounded a bend, a massive cedar tree came into view. It’s roots were coiled back from the path, almost as if avoiding it. It was encircled in a shimenawa and plaques stood nearby announcing that it was…

God. Dammit.

Takosugi...

The Octopus Cedar.

You sighed. Of course. 

Of course it was.  

What else could it possibly be? 

Resigned to your tentacled fate, you read over the plaques nearby. The tree was apparently 450 years old. Local legend claimed that the mountain’s tengu were building a path through the mountain and had planned to uproot the tree in their efforts. The next day, the tree had politely moved it’s roots, curling them back towards itself like an octopus.

Next to the tree was a stand with a carved orb, octopus tentacles at the base of it. It was meant to be rubbed for luck. 

Great.

You took some photos for back home and begrudgingly patted the octo-orb.

So much for getting away from your feelings…

You should have gone with the monkeys.

 

Your annoyance stuck with you on the rest of the walk. Even a sesame dango from one of the stands couldn’t distract you from it. Of all the goddamn temples you decided to pick…

You passed by a long railing of cedar slats with names on them. Dedications to the people who had donated to the temple.

Before you knew it, you were passing through the gateway to the temple precinct.

Religion wasn’t a primary focus in your life but temples like these always fascinated you and you did your best to observe the appropriate rituals while there. As such, you made your way first to the chozuya. You took up the ladle, pouring water first over your left hand, then right. You poured a bit of water into your hand and brought it briefly to your lips, rinsing your mouth. When finished, you held up the ladle so that the water could run down the handle. Purification finished, you turned your attention to the temple grounds. You were careful to stay to the side of walkways. The center of the path was for the gods, after all. You made your way up the stairs, giving a bow at the temple gate.

And there it was.

The Takaosan Yakuoin Temple. Giant tengu heads were displayed by the doors and intricate carvings decorated the support beams. The fragrance of incense reminded you of your next stop. You made your way to the incense burner, purchasing one of the provided bundles and lighting it. Waving it carefully to put it out, you tucked it’s end firmly into the ashes, letting the smoke waft around you for a moment.

No lavender, no old books, and certainly no summer rain. 

Just incense and spring growth.

Maybe you could just burn these feelings out...

That done, you reached into your bag, locating your wallet again and finding a five yen coin. You tucked the wallet away and approached the altar, gently dropping your coin into the offering box. 

Reaching out, you shook the cord, causing the bells above to jingle. With a bow and the customary greeting you’d heard the people in front of you use you brought your hands together to pray.

Thank you for protecting this mountain.

Please, make this feeling go away.

With one  more bow and greeting, you descended the steps.

With that finished, you began to roam the temple precinct. Stopping in occasionally at the smaller shrines to pay respects.

It was nice. It gave you a sense of peace and made you feel...what was it...

His voice came to mind, “It grounds you to the place and gives you a deeper appreciation of the effort that went into its making.”

Dammit.

Why was he always right?

You circled back around to the temple. There were a few last things to do before you left.

You purchased an ema. Taking the board, you wrote on it carefully:

 

Please, do not let this year be the last.

 

Hanging it in the appropriate place, you made your way next to the booths selling omamori.

The world might be ending, you had feelings for an octopus, and you had just gotten over one hell of a summer cold. You figured you could use all the luck you could get. One for luck, one for happiness. That should do it.

You attached them to your messenger bag.

Perfect.

You made you way back to the temple gate and gave one more bow before leaving.

 

The mountain had a lot to offer outside of the temple. Observation decks, snack stalls, more tourist booths. You sampled a few treats and took more photos for back home. You hadn’t gotten things out of your head entirely but at least you weren’t pacing your room trying not to think about it.

On your way back to the cable car you passed again by the Takosugi.

You snapped a couple more pictures and gave the octopus statue an apologetic rub. It wasn’t at fault for your weird crush after all...

 

When you made it home, you took a moment to make sure the photos had downloaded. Settling in, you curled up on the couch with the television on, looking through the pictures you’d taken today.

The octopus statue came up first, being the last photo you took.

You chuckled to yourself and opened it in an editing program, adding eyes and a smile.

You shot off a text message to 🐙🎓 with the image attached.

[I think I found one of your relatives today...]

Chapter Text

 

 

With June came the rain.

Lots and lots of rain.

Jesus Christ there was so much rain.

You showed up to class in full rain attire. You had to pretty much. The mountain was muddy, it was pouring, and you didn’t enjoy hanging out in the humid schoolhouse while damp. It always took forever to dry. You hung up your gear and headed to the nurse’s office.

Yep, the bucket was nearly full. With a sigh you moved the one out from under the leak and replaced it, heading back to the front to dump it. A rush of air indicated a certain coworker had arrived. He stood in the genkan checking himself over. With a careful toss you flung the water outside into the flower bed. At least some good could come out of it...maybe.

“Oh dear.”

You turned, seeing Korosensei looking your direction.

“Yeah, at this rate the kids are going to be learning in a swimming pool instead of a classroom.”

“Where was that one from?”

“Nurse’s office. I haven’t even checked the rest yet.”

He shook his head, “Well, we have to make do. Allow me.”

He disappeared and you made your way to the faculty lounge, trading out one of the buckets in there as well. The air in the building felt sticky and generally gross. The fans were helping mildly but they couldn’t combat the steep spike in humidity.

You’d had to cut out early yesterday due to a minor apartment emergency.

Surprise! It had been a leak. 

Everything was a leak. 

You were worried you were going to start leaking next.

Back in the nurse’s office you made sure that no new leaks had sprung up. Your desk in here, or the table that served as it, sported a surprise you’d missed when you first came in.

Perched next to Kayano’s crane was a yellow and green crane. Were they multiplying?

You picked it up and saw a note next to it.

 

Mx. Reader: I made you this! But you weren’t around after class so I had to leave it for you. Hope you like it! - Hiano

 

You turned the crane over in your hands. The paper was patterned with green leaves on a yellow background. With a smile you sat it back next to Kayano’s. Cute. Maybe it’d bring some luck with this god damn rain.

When you came back into the faculty lounge Karasuma and Irina had already arrived.

“Uuuugh...” Irina fanned herself with a notebook, “This is ridiculous!”

Karasuma had removed his jacket, “Complaining about it won’t do any good.”

“No, but it makes me feel better.” she huffed.

“It’s pretty miserable in here.” you took your own seat, pulling out your course plan, “Since it’s pouring I imagine you don’t plan on PE today, yeah?”

Karasuma gave a nod, “If you wanted to start the First Aid lessons I’ve no objections.”

“Excellent.”

Korosensei came in, retrieving something from his desk, “Did I hear that correctly? You’re prepared to start the First Aid courses today, Reader?”

You gave a nod, “Yeah. I figure I’ll take rainy days since PE isn’t the best option during those and once the rain clears up I’ll start holding them after school.”

“Perfect. I’ll let the children know.” he bustled back out into the hall.

“Is it just me or was his head like...bigger than usual?”

“Didn’t notice.” Karasuma said, not looking up from his work.

“Who cares? It’s gross in here.” Irina dropped her head back.

“You know, we finally did get ice packs in.” you looked across at her.

“In this humidity? That just sounds worse .” she made a face and you laughed.

Pulling out your lesson plan, you went over it again.

Ew…

It was so humid the pages were limp.

You could not wait for the rainy season to end...

 

"Alright class, today Mx. Reader is going to be giving you lessons in first aid."

You gave the class a small bow. They looked about as happy about the humidity as Irina did. Korosensei moved aside, making room at the podium for you. You nodded his direction and paused...

His head was definitely bigger.

Okay then, well, you had a class to teach and no time to think about that.

With a smile, you looked out at them.

“Hey everyone. So, as some of you might remember better than others we had a pretty rough incident during the Kyoto trip.”

There were some nods. The students from Nagisa’s group looked a bit awkward about being singled out.

“Thankfully, the group in question responded to the situation with quick thinking and Korosensei’s lovely paperweight.”

He made an offended noise and the kids laughed a bit.

Good start.

“But!” you held up a finger, “What would you do if you didn’t have his guidebook with you? Let’s say one of your classmates fell unconscious suddenly. What should you do?”

A few hands went up.

“Isogai?”

“Well, if it’s a medical emergency you should call 119 first.”

“Good. What next? Okuda?”

The girl perked up a bit, “Make sure they’re breathing.”

“Perfect. You’re ahead of the game.” you turned to the board, picking up a piece of chalk, “Now, what should you do before anything else?”

Silence.

“Anyone?”

You turned to the board and wrote out: SCENE SAFETY

“The first thing you should do in any emergency is make sure the location is safe. You can’t help someone if you get hurt too and you don’t want to put the injured person at any further risk.”

“Is that what you were doing when you ran up the mountain?” Karma joked from the back.

You looked at him, “That is exactly why you need to practice scene safety. Even teachers make mistakes.”

You turned back to the board and faltered, looking at Korosensei. His head was swollen far larger than it had been before.

“Korosensei, are you alright ?”

“Hm?”

You pointed to your head.

“Oh! This. It’s the humidity. Quite frustrating actually.”

He leaned over a bucket nearby and proceeded to twist the flesh of his face, wringing it out as one would a towel.

Oh.

Gross.

This is where you had chosen to lay your affections.

“Okay then. Well,” you turned back to your lesson, ready to carry on, “When you arrive at the scene of any emergency it’s important to...” You wrote out on the board as you spoke, “Stop, Think, and then Act. So, what sort of things should you look for during an emergency?”

Hands went up. Perfect.

“Fuwa?”

“If anyone else is injured.”

“Good.” you wrote it on the board, “Mimura?”

“Well, if there’s something dangerous that the person got hurt on you should probably move it?”

“Mmmhmm...” you marked it down.

“Yoshida?”

“If it’s a road accident you need to get the person out of the road and look out for oncoming traffic.”

“Very good!” you wrote it out on the board, “There are a lot of different ways a scene can be dangerous which is why we have to Stop. Think. And then Act.”

“Now, Karma. In the situation in Kyoto, what is something you would have kept an eye out for to keep the scene safe?”

His tone was cool he joked, “Probably the guy who whacked me with a pipe.”

“Correct.” you looked back at him, some of the students seemed surprised by this. You wrote another point on the board with the others: 

-Violent bystanders, assailants, or patients

“Probably should have watched out for the pipe itself too.” Terasaka cracked.

“Also correct!”

He looked up at you, clearly he hadn’t fully intended to be drawn into this lesson.

You wrote up on the board:

-Weapons

“What else?”

Okuda raised her hand and you gave her a nod.

“Hazardous materials?”

“Excellent. Yes.” you added it to the list, “Now, what’s a hazardous material that you might not think of as hazardous at first?”

The class looked between themselves. You gave a smile and, mostly for your own amusement, turned to your coworker, “Korosensei?”

His grin widened, eyes narrowing, “I believe the answer you’re looking for is bodily fluids.”

The class looked a bit ill at hearing this. You chuckled and wrote it down, “Also correct. If you can you should always try to practice BSI. Body Substance Isolation. This is why we wear face masks and gloves if we have them, it protects us from potential illness and protects the patient from potential infection as well. Now, what are some other forms of protection medical professionals use?”

When you turned around there were more hands up this time. Good. 

You were definitely getting somewhere…

 

You took you seat in the faculty lounge feeling accomplished. The first lesson had gone fantastically and the children seemed genuinely interested in learning more. It had gone by fast too. Irina had stepped in for English before you’d known it and now you were taking a moment to just enjoy what you had done.

Even the weather seemed to reflect your mood. The clouds had parted and the sun was streaming in through the windows.

“Feels good doesn’t it?” Korosensei chuckled and you looked up, “That is quite possibly one of the best parts of teaching, I think. Knowing you’ve passed along knowledge and seeing the passion in your student’s faces when they learn something new.”

You smiled, to an outsider it might sound cheesy but you honestly loved it when he talked like that.

“It is nice. It’s been awhile since I did any proper teaching so I’m rusty. I’m used to working with adults but that went so much more smoothly than I expected.”

“They are exemplary, our students.” he took his seat next to you.

Our students…

You noticed he’d used that for awhile now. Ever since you pointed out to him that he wasn’t the only teacher. A warmth bloomed through your chest at that realization.

The damn tengu hadn’t helped at all .

“They really are. This whole classroom is.”

He chuckled, looking over at you pointedly, “Indeed.”

Something in his tone and the way he looked at you flustered you immediately. You smiled nervously and turned your attention to your lesson plan, “I’m just happy the students seem to be enjoying it.”

“You did excellently, Reader.” his grin widened a bit, “For someone who claims to be rusty I do believe your teaching blade is quite sharp.”

You laughed a little. At least practicing in your room had paid off you guessed.

“Thanks...Oh! I need to check on the leaks hold on.”

You headed to the nurses office, letting your face cool off as you took out the water pail. When you returned to put the spare pail back you found Irina waiting for you, leaning on the table.

English must be over then.

"Hey so the brats wouldn't stop pestering me until I made you one of these." Irina passed you a paper crane. White paper with thin gold stripes.

"Oh!” you turned it over in your hands and chuckled, “Yeah, they've really gotten into this paper crane business."

"Yeah, what's with that anyhow?"

“It’s because I handle Health Education and because of that cold I had back in May.” you looked over at her, “You’re familiar with the thousand paper cranes story yeah?”

“Kid made a thousand cranes to wish not to die right?” she leaned on a table.

“That ‘kid’ was, in fact, Sasaki Sadako.” Korosensei’s voice made you both nearly jump out of your skin.

He entered the office, looking at the paper crane in your hands, “She was born in 1943 and survived the bombing of Hiroshima. As a result, she developed leukemia. She folded one thousand and three hundred paper cranes before her death in 1955. The result was that her story and the paper crane became a symbol of peace here in Japan.”

“You know we’re not your class right?” Irina snarked.

“I’m a teacher first and foremost, Miss Irina. And what sort of teacher would I be if I didn’t take every teaching opportunity presented?”

You placed Irina’s crane with the others you now had clustered on the desk, “It's a sad story but the tradition is nice."

"It is. And thankfully these cranes aren't for anything as dire as leukemia." He came up next to you, looking over the flock.

"Well, at any rate, consider my crane quota filled so they'll stop hassling me about it." Irina pushed herself away from the table, "Good luck with Karasuma though."

You laughed at that, "I cannot imagine him doing any origami."

"Oh nonsense, I'm sure Mister Karasuma would be thrilled to help." Korosensei's grin only widened. Most likely at the prospect of pestering said coworker.

You sighed, "No one really has to help with this. The kids just sort of… started it."

"I think it's quite fitting." Korosensei looked at you, "Symbols of peace and healing. Perfectly suited to you."

You faltered at the compliment and felt a blush starting to radiate through your cheeks. Irina raised an eyebrow at you.

"Thanks." You managed, "I hadn't thought about that but I guess they kind of are…"

The bell rang, "And that's my cue to mold some young minds!"

And with that Korosensei was gone.

Irina, however, was not. And the look she was giving you was unnerving. You looked around the room and then back at her, trying to sort out what she was staring at, "What?"

"What was that just now?"

"Huh?"

"With the octopus." she tilted her head a bit, “You looked like a school kid with a crush.”

Oh fuck . Of course she’d be the one to notice.

You shook your head, laughing a touch nervously, "I'm just not really used to compliments. It always makes me feel awkward."

She didn't seem convinced but thankfully dropped it, "Whatever. Anyway, make sure you tell the kids I made my crane or whatever."

Turning, she exited, leaving you a bundle of nerves and feelings.

God, why this?

You took a breath, trying to relax yourself.

Paper cranes…

You turned your attention to the growing flock. Six so far.

You wondered if the kids would actually make it to a thousand. To do that they would need…

Hm…

Pulling out your journal and phone you crunched a few numbers.

994 cranes.

9 and a half months left.

Nine and a half months left…

Chapter Text

You were headed down to the train station your mind fixated still on that idea. 

Nine and a half months…

When you were younger that would have seemed a lifetime away.

Now it felt far, far too fast.

You paused at a vending machine to get yourself a coffee. The weather and the realization had you feeling sluggish. A pick me up would help. You stood, sipping your chilled canned coffee, under an available awning. 

Next to a tree, not far from you, a figure was standing in a comically large pink raincoat with yellow polka dots. You squinted, something looked...off-

God dammit.

It was him .

He wasn’t even bothering with camouflage, you could see his little tentacle hands scribbling away in a notebook. You immediately put your hand in your messenger bag double checking to make sure your own was still safely tucked away. 

It was.

If that wasn’t enough of a confirmation, Nagisa came into view around the edge of the tree, talking to him. A few of the other kids were nearby. What were they up to?

You approached, “Hey! What’s the secret meeting about?”

Sugino looked over, “Nothing secret, we’re just heading home.”

“And Korosensei is spying on Maehara.” Nagisa shrugged.

“You’re...” you looked at Korosensei, “What?”

He chuckled, “I do like keeping thorough notes on my students. I’m sure you can understand, Mx. Reader.” his eyes narrowed just slightly.

You had a distinct feeling you both took notes for very different reasons.

Following the gaze of your students, you spotted Maehara sharing an umbrella with a girl you didn’t recognize.

“That’s a new face.” you said, adjusting your umbrella and taking another sip of your coffee.

“Yeah. Kaho Tsuchiya. She’s not from our class.” Okano looked over at you.

“Oh!” you were a little surprised, “So it’s a bit of a star crossed lovers situation then...”

Korosensei scribbled something in his notes, “It certainly has the potential to be!~”

As you watched, another group of students approached the pair…

Oh.

Oh dear.

The girl immediately ran to one of the other boys, she seemed to be mildly panicked. 

Maehara’s voice suddenly came across loud and clear. He sounded confident as he rocked back on his heels, umbrella resting on his shoulder, “Ohhhh… NOW I get it. Why you don’t call me back… Why you started taking the train instead of biking to school… but your new boyfriend doesn’t have much free time, so you decided to keep me hanging on, didn’t you?”

Yikes.

There was tension between the girl and the guy she had run to. She thrust her finger at Maehara, “ You. You know this is all your fault, right? You got moved to Class E because you don’t work hard enough , Maehara!”

Double yikes.

Her tone became haughty, “Plus Kunugigaoka High doesn’t take Class E students so it was just a matter of time until we broke up. The only reason I didn’t dump you already was because you were so broken up about getting shunted into class E. I was just trying to spare your feelings . I was hoping you’d catch on so I didn’t have to spell it out.”

Her boyfriend laughed, “Guess not, thanks to that Class E brain of yours.”

Uh, no? You started to move but Maehara’s shouting made you pause.

“You expect me to be grateful ?! You haven’t exactly taken the high road! ”

The boy hauled back, kicking Maehara in the stomach, knocking him to the ground. You stood there for a moment, stunned. The group approached Maehara, clearly intending more violence.

“Don’t you get it? You’re a Class E loser, you’re nothing! You’re not going to our high school. So we can treat you however we-”

You didn’t even realize you’d moved until you were standing in front of the group, Maehara behind you. The students didn’t seem to know what to make of you.

“Oh, I don’t think so .” you stepped forward, “Your name , young man?”

The boy stammered, clearly flustered by being caught.

“That’s alright, I’m sure Maehara has a good idea of who you are.” you held out a hand, helping him up. He looked embarrassed but grateful.

“And who are you supposed to be?” the boy snarked.

“They are Mx. Reader. Class E’s Health Education teacher.” a chill ran down your spine at the voice, you turned to see Principal Asano stepping out of his car.

The other students looked terrified at his presence. You turned your attention to him with a nod, “Principal Asano.”

“I’m grateful that you were here to step in on behalf of your student, Mx. Reader.” he said cooly.

Turning his attention to the other kids he spoke, “Remember, violence only makes the day grow darker.”

The students nodded, cowed by his tone.

Asano stepped up to Marhara, pulling out a neatly folded handkerchief, “Here. Dry yourself off. I’m very glad that Mx. Reader was able to put a stop to things before they got out of hand. Otherwise, I would have had to expel you.”

“Excuse me?” you turned to him, “I’m not sure how much of this you saw, Principal. This boy-”

“Was defending himself from a Class E houligan.” he gave you a smooth smile, “Now, you children have a safe walk home.”

It took everything in your power to not punch this man in the mouth. You wanted to. You wanted to do that and slice his damn tires but…

You glanced back at the E Class group.

You weren’t getting fired and leaving them out in the cold with these kinds of wolves about.

“You’re lucky he showed up, Player-”

Putting your arm around Maehara, you lead him to his friends while the others threw insults at him. The others came to meet you halfway, Sugino leading the charge.

“Maehara! Are you alright?”

He looked even more embarrassed and glanced at you before speaking, “Yeah....” he sighed, “The principal sure is suave. Even when he’s acting nice he finds a way to screw you over.”

“Forget about him. The problem is that girl!” Sugino was pissed, “What a bitch! Then again...we’ve got a bitch in our class too…”

Nagisa’s soft spoken voice piped up, “But Ms. Bitch is a professional. She knows when to be bitchy and when not to be. But that girl isn’t sophisticated like that...”

“I don’t care if she’s a bitch.” Maehara said with a sigh.

“You don’t?!” Nagisa stared at him.

“Falling in love is easy. So is falling out of love. When I do… I move on.”

God you wished .

Okano moved to offer him a handkerchief to help dry off, “It’s your third year in junior high and you’re already into some kind of dating zen?”

You realized, for the first time, that you had dropped your umbrella… and your coffee. With a sigh, you scooped up the umbrella, shaking it off and pocketed the empty coffee can to trash later.

Maehara began to dry himself off. You stepped up, using your umbrella to keep more rain off of him. He seemed a little out of it.

“But you saw how she was just now, right? She felt guilty at first… tried to excuse her behavior… but then she went straight into attack mode! ‘Hey, come to think of it, this guy’s in Class E. I can do and say whatever I want to him.’ After that it was just a big show of venting at me with ‘how dare you’s’. She has no idea how hypocritical she is. And that’s kinda sad. And scary...”

You wanted to say people were often better than that but… well… that hadn’t been your experience.

“Is everyone like that? Would I do the same thing to someone I thought was weaker or less than me?”

The other students shifted uncomfortably.

“It’s time.”

Korosensei’s voice behind you made you jump. Turning you were faced with…

Triple yikes.

The kids gave shouts of shock and you just stared, a little queasy. His head had swollen in the humidity and looked like some sort of grotesque balloon. 

“What?” Nagisa tipped his head at him, clearly still unnerved by his appearance.

“It’s time. For Revenge.” he gave a glance your way then corrected himself, “Okay not revenge. A lesson.”

He reached up, wringing out his head like a sponge. That was just as unsettling and gross the second time around.

“The weak can’t help but be victimized. But you aren’t weak. Good assassins can eliminate a target without being seen or leaving evidence.”

You were glad he was wringing out his face suddenly because his tone was doing embarrassing things to your stomach and that balanced it out a bit.

“What are you up to, Korosensei?” Maehara gave a tired laugh.

“A little E Class Justice. Humiliation for Humiliation.” he flipped his hood back up, grin widening.

You gave him a look, “So, revenge.”

He turned, looking over at you, “Okay… you got me. It is revenge.” he turned his attention back to the children, “We’ll teach them a lesson they’ll never forget...”

“What are you planning?” you looked at him suspiciously.

“Oh, no, not me.” he chuckled, “I believe this will make for an exceptional training drill for our students.”

Oh dear…

“Well, first thing’s first, I think everyone should get home. Or at least get dry.” you looked at the kids.

“Yeah...” Maehara made a face. Okano had retrieved his umbrella for him.

“That was kind of awesome, Mx. Reader.” Kayano grinned.

“You ran off so fast you just dropped everything.” Sugino chuckled, “Glad you’re in our corner and not on main campus.”

You were embarrassed, you’d acted without thinking again . And right after teaching them to stop and fucking think before acting, “I’m just glad Maehara’s okay.”

He gave a grin, “It’ll take a little more than that to take me down. Mr. Karasuma’s lessons have helped with that.”

Nagisa smiled, “That’s true… guess we’re at little more prepared than we used to be for that sort of thing.”

Korosensei gave a chuckle, “Of course! Now, some extra credit homework for you tonight.” his grin darkened, “I would like for you all to dream up some spectacular revenge ideas. Tomorrow, we plan!”

The kids looked thrilled .

“I’d like to sit in on that if you’d allow, Korosensei.”

Everyone turned to look at you in surprise.

“Really?” Nagisa tipped his head, “I thought you didn’t want to hurt people.”

“I don’t believe in killing . I also think you need someone to make sure things don’t go too far.”

“Of course!” Korosensei chuckled, “Having the perspective of a medical professional would be exceptionally helpful, I’d say.”

“Let’s just hope you don’t need my advice as one.” you made a face.

Tomorrow was going to be interesting. You just hoped your presence would help keep things in check.

 

You saw the children off to the train. What an afternoon…

A hand fell on your shoulder. Korosensei’s voice came from beside you, “Reader, that was-”

“Stupid. I know.” you sighed, “I just-”

“No.”

You looked over at him. His face flickered to the purple X before he seemed to remember he was supposed to be incognito and reverted to yellow.

“What I was going to say,” he continued, tone rich and genuine, “was that that was exceptional .”

That gave you pause, “I ran in without thinking. I could have been fired. I-”

“You defended one of your students using your position as a teacher. While our situation at this school can be… challenging, you knew when to act and when to bide your time.” he chuckled, “An admirable quality in both an assassin and an educator.”

Your heart raced and you took a breath to prevent yourself from having a melt down. Praise really wasn’t something you were good with. Coming from him? It was torture.

“Thanks...”

“I do believe...” a train rushed up to the tracks, “that’s your train.”

It was. You gave a nod, “Yeah. See you tomorrow then?”

“I look forward to it.” his grin widened.

You fled to the train and took a seat, trying to calm down. When you glanced out the window he gave a wave. You waved back and then slid down, burying your face in your hands. 

What were you going to do about this?

Chapter Text

The next day was...interesting.

You’d just set things down when Korosensei stood up, “As I recall, you wanted to join in the planning, Mx. Reader.”

“Yeah...”

“Come along then.” he chuckled, “Let’s make this day a productive one.”

Already? You’d just arrived.

In the classroom, the students were getting seated as you both entered. A few were surprised to see you.

Others looked positively excited .

Your presence meant planning.

“Good morning students!” he took up his position at the front of the class and you moved to lean against the wall by the door, “Now as some of you may know, we have a very special sort of lesson today.”

The students listened eagerly.

“Yesterday, after school, our own Maehara was assaulted and humiliated by some of your upperclassmen.”

Maehara, normally a more relaxed student, tensed as all eyes were on him. You heard a few of the kids asking him if he was okay. He nodded.

“Thankfully, Mx. Reader was there to intervene and prevent any further violence.”

It was time for the kids to look at you wide eyed. You guessed that the idea of a pacifist inserting themselves in a conflict hadn’t really occurred to them as a possibility.

“Now, while I’m certainly not one to stir the pot...”

Oh, like hell he wasn’t.

“I do believe that this particular case warrants action.”

His grin widened further, eyes practically gleaming, “Namely, revenge .”

The students perked right the fuck up. No amount of shitty weather was going to dampen this mood.

You were definitely going to have to keep them in check.

“Some of you were aware of this yesterday and I asked you to bring in some revenge ideas.” he turned to the board, “Nagisa, why don’t we start with you?”

The boy nodded, pulling out his familiar notebook, “It needs to be public. The biggest thing that would bother them is definitely being humiliated. The problem is, we can’t afford to be seen doing it. As tempting as it would be to do it on campus there are too many cameras around so I don't think that's a good idea.”

There were a few murmurs of agreement from the other kids.

"My idea is that we target them at a distance. I was going to suggest paintballs but that might lead Principal Asano back to us since were the only class with weapons training. Water balloons filled with paint or dye might be a better solution but then we have the problem of range…"

“I think Nagisa is right about something showy. It's definitely be the thing that sets them off the most.” Maehara spoke up.

Nagisa looked over at him, "Yeah. What did you come up with?"

"Well, the rumor mill would be a great place to start but we'd need someone in a higher class to start them for us for people to believe it…" he sighed and leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms behind his head.

"Anything that lets me get a good punch in would be nice." Sugino said, clearly still frustrated from yesterday.

"Sugino's right. We should just deal with them the old fashioned way and rough ‘em up a bit!" Terasaka cast you a glance at this. 

Well then. Seems someone wasn't a fan of your philosophy.

“We need to be practical about this. If they come to any harm it has to look like an accident so the blame doesn’t fall on us." Okano looked over at the boys.

Oooohkay.

"Preferably we do this without harming anyone."

The class turned to look at you. You had a feeling this was not a popular opinion...

"Well, we don't want to put them in the hospital or anything." Kayano chirped, "I was thinking we could get Ritsu to hack into the schools database and change their grades!"

Takebayashi pushed his glasses up, “I think that’s an excellent idea.”

"I could certainly do that if needed!" Ritsu was all smiles and sunshine. Literally. Emojis were hovering behind her.

They were even corrupting the AI, good God .

"But then they'd end up here with us." Okano made a face.

Kayano looked positively diabolical when she responded, " Exactly . Strength in numbers and they couldn't complain to the Principal."

Was that even the same kid?

Karma laughed from the back of the room, "Geez, and you think I'm the evil one…"

"What would you do, Karma?" It was Nagisa who asked.

"Well… if public humiliation is what you're going for then go for then less is more."

"What do you mean?" Nagisa was turned in his seat now, looking at the red head.

"Well, think about it. What are some basic things that you never want to have happen in public?" Karma sat back, casually.

"Well… most people have that nightmare about being in school in their underwear." Hara spoke up.

"And Nagisa suggested paint. Something that messes up their clothes would be pretty embarrassing." Fuwa looked over at Karma.

This was becoming a regular round table discussion.

"Really, we want to ruin them." The voice was soft spoken and you were surprised by it's speaker…

"Ruin them, Kanzaki?" Kayano sounded mildly alarmed. She was looking at her friend, worried.

Clearly there was context you were missing here…

"Not permanently, of course. But isn't that what all of these ideas are about? Ruining an image they have of themselves?" Kanzaki looked around the room.

"Yeah!" Sugino agreed, "Public or not we need them to remember it and know it happened to them."

"What about slipping them something in their food or drink?" Okuda looked around the room, "I don't know how we'd do it though...or what we could give them."

"Poison?" Karma smirked.

"Now, now, children. Remember, I am your only assassination target."

You'd almost forgotten Korosensei was there he'd been so quiet. When you looked his way you found that he'd been taking notes on all the children's suggestions on the board.

"These are your humiliation targets. We can't kill our way out of all of life's problems after all.~"

God, he was loving this. 

You hated how cute it was.

"I think slipping them something is a good idea." Muramatsu looked over to Okuda, "Like Karma said, simple."

"Okay but what do we give them?" Nagisa wondered aloud, "It can't be anything that would kill them."

Yada shrugged, "Well, what do we want it to do?"

There was a long moment of silence while the class mulled it over.

When the silence was broken, it was by Terasaka.

"You know, one year a kid in our elementary class shit himself. He never lived it down. Ended up changing schools and everything."

The response was overwhelming. A chorus of disgust and approval.

Well… at least it was a step down from murder and assault...

"That would definitely humiliate them. But how do we slip them something without them knowing?" Hiano made a face.

"Disguises, duh!" Kayano was excited, "They wouldn't think twice if a waiter served them something!"

"Okay but the staff of a place would notice a random person serving." Hazama drawled, "So that doesn't work."

"So, we want to do this at a restaurant then?" Isogai was taking notes now.

"You know, there was this little coffee shop Kaho took me to once or twice. Said it was a favorite of hers…" Maehara grinned.

"We have our setting and method of humiliation." Korosensei chuckled, "But I think we can push things a bit further…"

Hoooo boy...

 

By the end of the day the plan had been meticulously crafted down to the last detail. Okuda had asked about relatively safe laxatives. At your request Ritsu checked the main campus database to make sure there was nothing in the two targets, Kaho Tsuchiya and Tomoya Seo’s, health history that could cause interactions. Korosensei had reassured you that the idea was to do this entire mission without leaving evidence. There had been discussion on what sizes of objects could be dropped on a person without too much damage. The second half of the plan relied on a group of students cutting branches into their path and the children took into consideration your concerns for the safety of their targets (begrudgingly so). 

This whole thing sounded like it could fall apart any second really. It relied a lot on timing, chance, and everything going just so .

For the last few periods the students set to work making disguises, preparing their gear, and crafting ammunition while Korosensei left to scout ahead for locations. You supervised Okuda on the ingredients she would need to make a quick dissolving laxative that wouldn't fall apart when being shot out of the barrel of a BB gun. 

This had definitely not been in your job description.

Chiba and Hayami fired a few test rounds. It took most of the afternoon but the two of you were finally able to settle on something workable.

Korosensei was sending regular group texts to the class about the location, whereabouts of their targets, and general time table of arrival.

The final bell rang and the class divvied up into groups. It had been decided that going en masse to the location would be too obvious.

The first group to head out were the set up crew. Yada and Kurahashi as distraction, Sugino as the lookout, and Hayami and Chiba as the snipers.

Okuda was still finishing up the final batch of BBs so she opted to go with the next group. When she was ready, you escorted her down the mountain. Alongside you were Sugaya for disguises, Nagisa and Kayano for infiltration. Okano, Isogai and Maehara rounded out the group with their knife skills.

These two groups were the primary operatives. The rest of the class were backup in case the first plans failed.

You really hoped this went...well? Okay? You weren’t sure what outcome you were hoping for, really. You just wanted to make sure no one got hurt.

The coffee shop wasn't terribly far from campus but it was still going to be a walk. Korosensei kept everyone updated via phone, texting your targets locations and such. 

Targets…

Great now you were even thinking like them.

What was this classroom doing to you?

You probably should have been asking this question back in the classroom.

Or yesterday.

Or really anytime before this but whatever…

You were here now and you were going to follow through.

Korosensei texted again. He had confirmed that the pair were going to the coffee shop in question. How, you weren't sure and to be honest, you were a little afraid to ask. He also gave an address. The house across the street belonging to one Mr. Hikari, where you were setting up base. How that was smoothed over you had no idea.

When you had arrived at the address Korosensei had given, you'd been welcomed inside by Mr. Hikari himself."I understand your students are here for a physics project! I'm happy to assist!"

Hiano and Yada waved to you from over the man's shoulder.

You gave him a smile and a bow, "Thank you very much for accommodating us. I hope it's not too much trouble."

"No trouble at all! These young ladies make a fine cup of tea."

You nodded, "They definitely do."

The girls looked proud. You would have to compliment Irina on her communication lessons, it looked like they were certainly paying off. 

Hiano grinned, "Everyone else is just upstairs in the side bedroom."

"Good! We'll go ahead and join them, then we can get this project underway so we don't take up too much of Mr. Hikari's time."

He chuckled and stepped aside, leaving room for you and the rest of the group to head upstairs. From what you could hear, it sounded like Hiano and Yada were getting him to share stories about what the neighborhood used to be like.

The bedroom door was ajar and you heard rustling from inside. Sliding it open revealed the set up team already ready to go. Sugaya quickly spirited away Nagisa and Kayano. It was disguise time for them.

“Oh good, you’ve arrived!” Korosensei chuckled, “Okuda, do you have the bullets?”

“Sure do. I made them as fast as I could. It wasn’t easy shaping them into bbs though...”

You gave a nod, “That part was a pain.”

“Oh?~” Korosensei turned to you.

Green stripes. Great.

“So, you were helping with making the ammunition?~”

“Well, yes, it helps prevent our students from overdosing someone.”

His eyes narrowed and his grin sharpened.

“Don’t look so cocky, I’m just doing what you suggested. Applying my skills outside of their normal use I think is how you put it?”

He chuckled, “I’m glad you took my advice to heart.”

Something in the way he said that made your whole chest seize.

God fuck this crush. You had things you needed to focus on god dammit.

Maybe it wasn’t the crush. Maybe it was a heart attack.

That’d be preferable.

Chiba and Hayami took up position in the window, setting up their rifles.

Ah, yes. Perfectly normal physics lesson .

Nothing odd to see here.

You sighed, “So, what’s next?”

“Sugaya? Is everything ready?” Korosensei looked to the other room.

“Yeah, they’re headed down to the back door. Should be ready to go.” he took a seat at the window.

“Sugino, if you would, please?”

Sugino grinned and gave a nod, tapping something into his phone. You and Okuda joined him by the window, watching.

Across the street the targets were sitting at the coffee shop outside. A pair of elderly people approached the shop and made their way to one of the other tables.

You watched as a few people entered and left. You hadn’t actually seen the disguises that Sugaya had worked on, you’d been too busy working on the ammunition with Okuda.

“... Where are they?”

Sugaya grinned, “You didn’t recognize them?”

“No?”

“The old couple.” 

You leaned forward, squinting, “No way...”

Sugino passed you his binoculars and you got a better look. You could have easily passed them on the street and never known they were your students.

Sugaya chuckled at your stunned silence, “You can do a lot with make-up and Halloween prosthetics!”

You watched as the elderly woman who you assumed was Kayano got up and headed inside the shop. You passed the binoculars back to Sugino.

“You are all so outstandingly talented...”

There was no time for the students to really react to you, as there was a bit of commotion across the street. One of your infiltrators had caused a stir. Your targets jumped up in concern and the familiar sound of bb guns went off next to you.

“Bull’s eye!” Chiba chuckled.

“A million times easier than trying to hit a target moving at Mach twenty.” Hayami smirked.

You could see the coffee cups from here but you couldn’t imagine shooting a bb into one from this distance...

There was still a lot of noise at the coffee shop. You watched as the kids yelled at the remaining infiltrator who you assumed to be Nagisa. They went back to their coffee, clearly put out.

You heard a chuckle from behind you along with the sound of grinding ceramic. When you turned to look Korosensei was there, munching happily away at a mug, "Now we'll just let the others down below take care of the rest..."

“Where did you even get that?”

“Hm?”

You pointed to the mug and he chuckled, “I always bring snacks.”

“That’s not… nevermind...” you shook your head, looking back across the street.

Shockingly, Kaho and her companion doubled over almost simultaneously.

Jesus, how much magnesium had Okuda put in? Did she adjust the dose when you weren’t looking?

"Well… I guess it's working..."

"The bullet is made of magnesium which is a lot more effective on the digestive tract than any over-the-counter medication. It's basically a super strong laxative. I call it 'Victoria Falls' ." you were willing to bet that Okuda had never sounded more terrifying in her entire life.

The targets leapt to their feet, running into the coffee shop frantically. After a minute or so they made a panicked exit, making demands of one of the waiters outside. He seemed to give them some directions and the pair took off down the street.

"It's in Team Two's hands now." Korosensei chuckled, "Let's go check in with them, shall we ?"

Sugino gave a nod and the group had swiftly packed things up in preparation to go. Your coworker donned his terrible disguise and you all thanked Mr. Hikari for his hospitality and help with your little 'physics project'.

He said you were all welcome back, anytime.

If only he knew what his house had been used for...

Sugino's phone pinged and he chuckled, "Isogai says things went off without a hitch."

There was a second ping and he looked to you specifically, "And no one was hurt."

You let out a sigh of relief. Good.

Kayano met you outside, grinning, “Wasn’t that awesome?!”

“You did an excellent job, Kayano!” Korosensei gave a chuckle and patted her head lightly, “Taking up the bathroom was a fiendish idea.”

The girl was beaming with pride.

The octopus lead the way as you went to meet up with the second team. Rain pattered on umbrellas and the kids were in good spirits. Maehara, Isogai, and Okano greeted the three of you. They had just finished clearing away some branches they'd cut from a neighbor's tree.

"You should have seen them." Okano grinned, "They went down and got covered in rain and caterpillars."

It was smiles all around.

And it was infectious.

You couldn’t help but smile too.

"So..." Korosensei's attention went to Maehara, "Feel a little better now? Running to the bathroom, drenched, dirty, and desperate is pretty humiliating."

Maehara flipped back his hood, running a hand through his hair, "Um… I don't know what to say, but thanks for making a big deal out of this."

"How do you feel now, Maehara? Do you still think you're the kind of person who would look down on people who seem weaker than you?" Korosensei leaned in, looking at the boy.

"No… not after what I just saw. You guys don't look all that strong, but each of you has a trusty hidden weapon. Something that makes you special, unique that I might not have."

"Exactly!" Korosensei gave the boy a pat on the shoulder, "Strength or weakness isn't about appearances. You've learned that in Class E through your assassination training. So, you'll never be someone who looks down upon those who appear weaker than you-or picks on them."

Maehara nodded, smiling, "Yeah. I won't, Korosensei. I promise."

His phone buzzed and he perked up, checking it, "Oh! I forgot… I have a date with a girl from another school! Thanks everyone! Catch you later!"

He turned, running off down the street.

" Of course he does." Okano sighed.

"That's Maehara for you." Sugino chuckled, "But at least he bounced back well..."

"Indeed. And I think that was an excellent team building exercise, don't you agree? You were able to see the fruits of your efforts. All the results of your training in action ! Quite thrilling, wouldn’t you agree, Reader?" Korosensei's voice was filled with pride.

The kids were all looking over at you for a response.

Way to put me on the spot, octopus…

“I admit… that went perfectly . You kids really did an amazing job. All of you.”

There was laughter and happy chatter around the group. They began to discuss possibly meeting up for a small celebratory meal or something similar. You probably should get hom-

Your thoughts were interrupted by a tentacle settling on your shoulder. You looked up from under your umbrella at him.

“Reader, thank you for trusting our students.”

Your heart raced.

Fuck.

Why did this keep happening?

Maybe you really should get to the ER.

Heart attacks were nothing to mess around with.

“I just wanted to make sure no one got hurt and that they considered the consequences of their actions...”

“And you did but you still encouraged their strengths.” his tone was soft, as though he didn’t want the students to overhear, “Look at them. A little trust and appreciation and they’re blooming beautifully.”

You smiled, watching the kids laughing and talking. They were really coming out of their shells. The rest of the class had joined now, having watched at safe distances.

“We should let them have their celebration.” you said softly, “I don’t think they’ll want a pair of adults hanging arou-”

“Mx. Reader!” It was Kayano, running over to you. You felt Korosensei’s hand jolt off of your shoulder like you’d been a hot metal pan. He stood to one side, looking slightly away and coughing.

Okay then. You gave Kayano a smile, “Hey!”

“So, I didn’t want them to get ruined in the rain but Okuda had a spare folder in her bag...” she presented you with a clear file. You made sure it was safely under the lip of your umbrella before opening it…

“When did you have time to fold these?” you laughed. The folder contained several multicolored paper cranes, already on a string. At least five but there seemed to be more in the pocket.

“When I was taking up the bathroom in the coffee shop.” she grinned, “I had to do something to pass the time until they left.”

You chuckled, “Thank you. I’ll have to add them to the collection.”

She nodded, heading back to the group, “See ya later!”

You gave a small wave with the folder and carefully tucked it away. Turning, you saw that Korosensei had vanished.

That… actually made you feel a little disappointed.

Fuck.

Why did you even have feelings?

 

On the train home, you shot him a text.

[You vanished. Did the kids get you already?]

The reply was almost instant.

[No, no! It was the humidity. Popped over to somewhere a little less steamy.]

You shook your head with a smile.

[Must be nice. A heads up next time maybe?]

[Of course. Apologies.]

With a sigh, you looked out the window, watching the world race by outside. What a day. Was the rest of the year going to be like this? It seemed like after that first month or so nothing was slowing down for a second…

You jumped in surprise as your phone buzzed in your hand.

[ m(. .)m ]

You had to stifle a laugh at his dogeza emote. You shot an emote back at him.

[ |・ω・)ノ It’s okay.] 

You tried not to think about how adorable it was that he was using emo-

Your phone buzzed again.

[So, what would you say to lunch tomorrow?]

Well you were going to say yes, of course. You always enjoyed lunch with him. But…

[Only if I’m buying.]

The reply was immediate.

[It’s a deal! (✧ω✧) ]

You couldn’t contain your laughter this time and clapped a hand over your mouth, ducking your head in embarrassment as the other passengers looked at you.

God dammit.

Why was he so cute?

 

The next morning when you entered the Faculty Lounge you were faced with… The Look .

Oh boy...

“The octopus, I can understand but you seem more level headed than this, Mx. Reader." Karasuma's tone was harsh. He had one of Sugaya’s disguises in hand. 

Well, looks like the cat was out of the bag.

"You didn't see what I saw, Karasuma."

" Clearly .” he sighed, “Look, we don't want to jeopardize our place here. There's too much at stake."

"And no one's place was jeopardized. The students apparently didn't even report it because they were so embarrassed."

“How do you know that ?”

Korosensei zipped into the room in a whirl of wind. Thank god you hadn’t put your things down yet, “I took the liberty of having Ritsu check into the school’s database this morning.”

You gave Karasuma a winning smile. Korosensei had texted you about it on your way in.

He looked between the two of you, growing irritation in his face.

“See? Our students know how to conduct themselves on a mission.” Korosensei’s voice was smug as hell. Glancing back you saw the green stripes.

To be honest, you felt like you had some yourself this morning.

“Be sure to keep it that way.” Karasuma said, getting up, “This whole operation is important.”

“Nurufufufu~” he leaned out of the way as Karasuma exited, eyes narrowing, “But remember, you only have until March so you better hurry.”

You chuckled alongside him.

When did death threats and things like that start becoming fun ?

Chapter Text

When lunch rolled around that day a lot of your smugness had worn off. Outside was overcast, dark clouds rolling overhead. Your eyes were trained on the sky, your chin resting on your hand. Rain was on the horizon…

“Ahem...”

The sound brought you down from the clouds. Korosensei was standing next to your desk.

“Hm?” you looked up at him.

He chuckled, “It’s lunch break, Reader.”

“Oh! Sorry, I-”

You faltered as a tentacle placed a bento in front of you.

“Hey! I was supposed to be buying today.”

“And you are. You’re buying the drinks.” he chuckled.

You raised a brow, “That’s not what I planned and you know it.”

He grinned wider, green stripes decorating his face.

Reaching into your bag, you pulled out your wallet, “You mind picking up the drinks? We’ll miss lunch if I do it.”

He laughed, “Of course.~”

You tossed it to him.

“But!” he held up a finger, waving it at you, “No peeking while I’m gone! I want to see your reaction.”

“Ohhhkay?”

He rocketed off.

Now you were curious. What sort of bento does an octopus make? If you knew him it would probably be themed around himself. It seemed like every design he made was either that or octopi…

You pulled out your journal, making another note:

  • Perhaps a bit narcissistic. 

There was a boom and he was back, you slammed the book shut. He placed a drink in front of you, laying your wallet on your desk. Taking his seat, he pulled out his own bento, amused.

“Okay, so… now?”

“Wait, let me get ready!” he whipped out his phone, pointing it at you.

He was going to record this?

“Oh my god, really ?”

“Yes! Go on!”

The bento lid lifted off cleanly and you found yourself looking at…

You laughed, “I hope you don’t intend for me to add these to the collection.”

“Of course not! These are for consumption only.” 

Nesting above a bed of rice were a pair of cranes, folded from what you assumed was wonton wrappers and fried. Vegetables in the shapes of flowers decorated the rice field below along with a liberal sprinkling of furikake. A slice of grilled fish rounded out the savory portion. Separated from the rest was a selection of strawberries garnished with another crane, this one made from chocolate.

“This is amazing...” you picked up one of the delicate birds, “I didn’t even know you could do this with these...”

He’d gone silent. You looked over to see him, staring at you. He’d gone pink. You didn’t blame him.

“Sleepy?” you chuckled, “It’s that kind of day, isn’t it?”

“Nue?” your question seemed to bring him back to himself, “What do you mean?”

“Pink.”

“Oh. Oh! Yes, it is a bit of a tiring day...” he flickered back to yellow, glancing out the window and rubbing the back of his neck with a tendril.

“Itadakimasu.” you took a bite of the crane. It was, as you expected, a wonton.

“Good?”

You nodded, “Thank you. I still owe you though.”

He chuckled, opening his own bento, “I’m certain you will exact your revenge in the future.”

With a sigh, you shook your head, “I’m going to have to surprise you at this rate.”

“Good luck.~” he giggled, green stripes back in place.

You took another bite of lunch, rolling your eyes. He was a cocky bastard but damn if he wasn’t a good cook.

 

When lunch was finished, the clouds broke, rain pouring down in sheets. You ran to the nurse’s office, making sure you had a bucket under the leak.

Just in time, thank goodness…

“Hey, Mx. Reader!”

You looked to the door. Four kids were clustered there. Not exactly a group you would have expected either.

Nakamura lead the bunch, followed close behind by Okajima, Takebayashi, and Hara.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, things are fine. We just wanted to bring you something!”

Nakamura held out her hands.

Four more cranes.

You accepted them gently, looking them over.

“Let me guess… Kayano suggested it.”

“Well, it’s sort of a class project now.” Hara shrugged.

You chuckled, “They’re lovely. Now let me see...”

You held up a blue one with bright gold stars, “Nakamura?”

She nodded.

“Okay, this one is too easy. Takabayashi.”

“How did you know?”

“It’s Hatsune Miku blue. I’ve seen your folders.”

He cleared his throat, adjusting his glasses.

You looked between the last two birds.

“The jelly rolls are Hara. The cameras are... you Okajima?”

“Damn, we figured you’d at least get Takabayashi’s wrong.” Okajima laughed.

“Well, you do decorate them to your interests. If they were all simple colors it would be more difficult…” you placed the new cranes with the rest.

“How many is that so far?” Takabayashi and the others joined you.

“Ten -No, wait.” 

Pulling Kayano's out of the clear file in your bag, you rearranged the flock to take up a bit less space. Her small strand hung from the top of one of your stacks of books.

“Seventeen.” you nodded.

“983 to go then.” Takabayashi gave a nod, “I think we can do that.”

Nakamura smirked, “We can totally do that.”

The bell rang.

“Well, I hope so.” you chuckled, “Now, go ahead. Don’t leave Ms. Irina waiting.”

“Yeah, I’d rather not get frenched for being tardy.” Hara made a face.

They left before you could question it.

What?

What the hell was going on in that English class?

Chapter Text

His face was black, tentacles pinning you against the wall. He looked rabid, out of control. Teeth gnashed in your face as you pushed back with an arm, keeping him at bay. Reaching with your free hand you just barely managed to grasp the handle.

In one smooth motion, you brought up the blade, thrusting it into his chest.

He coughed, blood spilling from his lips. His teeth coated in it, he coughed again and it ran down your arm against his neck...

His face paled to yellow and reason seemed to come back to him. His eyes went to the blade in his chest and back to your face.

Oh god.

Oh god what had you…

He started to sink to the ground, unable to keep himself standing.

Nononononono-

"Korosensei!"

He stumbled and you fell to the ground with him, holding him.

"Reader."

From where the blade made contact he was dissolving, sinking inward, his chest caving in.

Yours might as well have been too.

"Oh god, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to I-"

It was dark. You blinked a few times and pushed yourself upright. Your quilt slid down your shoulders.

What a fucking nightmare…

But it was just a nightmare… you were okay. Things were fine. 

Korosensei was fine.

He had to be.

Go back to sleep, Reader.

The second you closed your eyes the image of him laying there with his chest sunken in, blood on his lips came to mind.

You tried to push the thought from your mind, focusing on your lesson plans, movies, books, anything…

The second you started to drift off the image came right back.

Nope.

Not dealing with this nonsense.

You got up, picking up your phone and made your way to the kitchen.

You needed something to ground you back in reality for a bit before you could go back to sleep.

One package of cookies and a cup of tea later and you were beginning to feel a bit better.

Pulling up your messages you looked at the last one.

[It’s a deal! (✧ω✧) ]

This was stupid but…

[Hey. All good over there?]

You weren't even sure where 'over there' was.

Where… did he go at night anyway?

No response.

Probably sleeping. 

You hoped he was sleeping…

He had to be sleeping.

Right…?

Your phone buzzed and you nearly jumped out of your skin.

[Reader? Yes. Everything is fine. Are you?]

Oh fuck.

[Sorry if I woke you. Just had a bad feeling…]

Oh my god, that sounded so stupid .

[Not to worry. All is well.]

[Hey, I'm sure you need to get back to sleep, but I was curious, do you have like a house or something?]

[Of course I do!]

[Where?]

[Oh… here and there, you know. ♪~(´ε` )]

Of course he wasn't going to tell you that. But hey at least it was more than what you had known.

[I get it. Top secret. ಠ_ಠ]

[Were you worried about me being out in the cold like a stray cat? /ᐠ。ꞈ。ᐟ\]

You didn't even need to see him. You could just feel the green stripes from here.

[No.]

[Lying isn't a very good example to set for our students, Reader.~]

[I don’t see them here.]

[So you were lying then! (。•̀ᴗ-)✧]

Suddenly the thought of sticking a knife in him didn't seem so bad after all.

[You made sure I got better when I was sick. I wouldn't feel great knowing you were homeless. (˘・_・˘)]

You polished off your mug of tea.

[I appreciate the concern. Now, get yourself back to bed. We have a long day of teaching tomorrow! ( T_T)\(^-^ )]

[Alright. Sleep well.]

[I will. Try not to stay up too late thinking about me!]

You buried your face in your hands. You knew he was kidding. 

You could just picture his stupid striped face.

You only had one response.

[(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻]

You put your mug in the sink and went back to bed.

 

You woke up to the sound of your alarm cheerfully going off. 

Ew.

You slapped your hand out, locating the phone and pulling it under the blankets.

Time to get up…

You closed the alarm and saw last night's conversation.

Oh… you'd… almost blissfully forgotten about that.

Christ.

You got up, dragging yourself to the shower.

Time to get ready and hopefully really wake up.

 

When you got to the nurse's office that day you found a cup of coffee waiting for you alongside a small fleet of ten cranes which were arranged on your desk in neat rows. They were all crisp, precise and looked damn near machine folded.

They all had octopi designs on them.

Well, you knew who had made these.

You would need to find a more permanent place for all of these soon.They were beginning to encroach on your workspace…

What had Takabayashi said? 983?

You took out a post it, sticking it to the table surface and wrote out.

Total: 27

Left: 973

That’s when you noticed a note tucked just under the edge of the coffee cup.

I thought you might need this after last night's chat. Didn't seem like you'd slept very well.

 

  • Korosensei

 

You opened your journal, flipping through recent notes.

 

  • Swells in humidity
  • Frighteningly good at revenge.
  • Distant at times. Seems distracted? Unsure of trigger for this yet. Compare notes with students and other teachers.
  • Perhaps a bit narcissistic.

 

You looked at the cup of coffee on your desk and added another pair of notes:

  • Considerate to a fault.

 

  • HAS A HOUSE???? Where???? Who rents to an octopus??? How did his disguise pass? Did he have a good enough credit score to afford a mortgage? Did he-

 

"Oh good, you arrived. The rest of your night went better for you, I trust?"

You practically slammed your journal shut, your pen skittering across the table and onto the floor. Did you need to put a bell on him? Jesus.

Spinning around you found that he was much closer than you'd expected. You looked up, flustered and not able to find the words to reply.

He chuckled, "What's the matter, Reader? Cat got your tongue?"

You sighed, "No, you just startled me."

"My apologies." He walked around to the front of the desk, taking in the little collection of cranes. A tendril offered you your fallen pen, "Not to pry but are you alright, Reader?"

You'd just taken a sip of the coffee. Thank God for some caffeine. You were so distracted you barely noticed that you’d burned your tongue.

You accepted the pen.

"I'm okay. Why?"

"Well, late night texts from one's coworkers aren’t generally expected."

He pulled over one of the rolling chairs in the room, taking a seat. You sat across from him.

"Look, I just had a weird nightmare and woke up worried about you. So I just wanted to touch base so I could get back to sleep…"

"Worried about me ?" His cheeks reddened and his tone was startled. You were expecting cockiness so this surprised you.

"Yeah, it was dumb. I mean you're basically unkillable, why should I be worried, right...?" You took another sip of the coffee trying to ignore how cute he was. 

God bless this cup for providing you cover.

"I appreciate your concern, Reader." His expression softened a bit and his blush seemed to spread to his body, coloring him pink.

"You're welcome I guess?" You practically mumbled it, you could barely look at him. It was too fucking adorable.

"You did manage to rest though?"

"Eventually. Wasn't super great though."

“Better luck tonight I hope.” he chuckled, “Well, it’s time for me to get ready for class.”

You nodded.

“And let me know if you need anything.” his grin widened.

“Thanks… and uh… I appreciate the coffee… and the conversation last night… ”

“Any time.”

You were going to combust . Could your emotions just… not? For awhile?

With a sigh, you made your way into the faculty lounge to get started on the day’s work. First thing on the agenda was a quiz for the First Aid class. The kids had been grasping the material pretty well and you’d worked out scheduling to allow for classes on Wednesdays so that you no longer had to conflict with Karasuma’s PE schedule.

The day was relatively quiet. It was spent working away at your desk. Quizzes were finished, papers graded, and you were feeling at least a bit more functional by the time last period rolled around.

“You know, I do believe we have an excellent little teaching unit here.” Korosensei was chipper as he took his seat beside you, “Karasuma with his expert military training, your medical background, Irina’s seduction and language skills, and of course my own talents.”

“It has been pretty effective so far. I hope I don’t have to see them apply what I’ve been teaching.”

Karasuma looked up, “I think Irina’s becoming the most popular.”

“It probably has something to do with her engaging, hands on style.” Korosensei chuckled.

“... Were the kids kidding about her french kissing people in class?” you looked over to him. 

“No, they were quite truthful in that regard.” he chuckled, “Ah, to be young again .”

“How do the kids feel about that?”

“They don’t seem to mind very much.” Karasuma seemed pretty divorced from the topic altogether.

You made a face, “I might address that with her later.”

“By all means if you feel it’s best.”

It fell back into a comfortable silence. So much so that you were starting to nod off.

Then Irina stormed into the room. 

So much for peace and quiet.

She collapsed into the chair across from you, “Aaaaaagh! Teaching is such a pain in the ass !”

“At least the students are finally taking a shine to you. You seem to be a popular teacher these days.”

You had an idea of why...

“Am I supposed to be proud of that? Come on, I’m an assassin. I’m supposed to be killing people, not hunting octopus with brats. And while we’re on the subject of tentacled pervs the son of a bitch is staring at my tits !”

You looked over to see that Korosensei was, indeed, staring at her tits… while drinking tea…  and sitting on the desk for a better view. 

You couldn’t even say it surprised you.

She stood up, slamming her hands on the desk, “Sipping tea doesn’t make it classy!”

“Have I mentioned how much I admire your ‘perky’ teaching methods?” he chuckled.

You rolled your eyes. Literally how had the government not killed him with a booby trapped lingerie catalogue?

… Booby trapped.

Goddammit.

“Oh shut up!” she reached across the table, slashing at him with one of the knives. He easily dodged, giggling all the while.

Karasuma stood up, putting a hand out in front of her, “Stand down. You know he’s just pushing your buttons. That’s the kind of target he is.”

“Yeah, well…” she threw the knife haphazardly at your ever grinning coworker before storming out the door, “ I’ll push his buttons!

“Hm. She’s feisty today… “

You looked up at him and shook your head. He seemed to take notice and…

Did he look embarrassed? There was definitely a blush in his cheeks.

“Huh. Can’t imagine why that might be...” Karasuma snarked, heading back to his desk.

Korosensei quickly returned to his own seat looking… almost apologetic.

Definitely weird.

Not long after he announced he was heading out for almond jelly and disappeared out the window.

Well, at least that settling things down a bit. You should be able to pack up in peace.

 

You were beginning to pack up your things when Irina shouted from the other room. Not more venting about the kids but a legitimate shout of fear. You were out the door immediately, Karasuma following quickly behind. In the hall Irina was dangling from the ceiling, choking with a noose around her neck.

Good god.

What the fuck was happening in this school?

Bolting to her, you grabbed her legs and lifted, taking on some of her weight. She coughed and struggled with the snare but at least she seemed to be breathing easier. You wished you could say this was the first time you’d ever had to do this...

It was then that you noticed the voice and the figure they belonged to. The language was foreign to you. Irina responded in alarm… in the same language.

Scene safety goddammit. At least you knew you had backup...

“What’s going on here? This is your only warning, pal. Let her go.” Karasuma commanded.

The man spoke again, dismissively before cutting the rope. Irina dropped onto you like a sack of bricks and you both toppled to the floor.

Karasuma addressed the man again, this time in English, “Who are you? Speak a language I can understand!”

“No problem. I am a polyglot, after all.” this time, the response was in perfect Japanese.

“Have we met each other somewhere, or is it just me?” Karasuma narrowed his eyes, trying to suss out the man’s motives.

“We haven’t met in person. But you know my reputation. I’m the one who recommended Irina to your country’s government. Does that serve as a proper introduction…?”

Sitting up, you rubbed at your shoulders. God you were going to feel that tomorrow. You looked to Irina, immediately going into assessment mode.

“Hey, Irina, do you know where you are?” 

She didn’t look very happy for the assistance and waved you away, “I’m at the school. Relax, it wasn’t going to kill me anyway.” 

She was lucky but you didn’t tell her that. There were so many ways she could have died from that snare… You kept an eye on her, looking for any sign of issue.

Her eyes were trained on the stranger. Clearly, he wasn’t a stranger to her.

You didn’t want to leave her unchecked but you had a feeling if you tried to interfere now, something worse might happen.

“By the way, where is that Korosensei fellow?” the newcomer asked.

Karasuma stood, watching him carefully, “I think he’s in Shanghai picking up some almond jelly. He left around half an hour ago, so he should be back soon.”

“So rumors of his speed haven’t been exaggerated.” opening his arms, he chuckled, “I’m glad I came when I did. Now I have my answer.”

He turned his attention to the blonde on the floor next to you, “You run along home, Irina. I’ll take it from here. This is not the job for you.”

“You recommended her.” you’d never heard Karasuma quite so offended. Especially not on Irina’s behalf.

You got to your feet, offering Irina a hand. She ignored it, rising on her own.

“Too many variables have changed. This job doesn’t suit her talents anymore. On undercover jobs she’s the best but once her cover’s been blown she’s a mediocre assassin at best.” he turned to her, “You should have left after your first attempt failed instead of sticking around to play school teacher.”

“You have to give me a chance, sir! I have what it takes!” Irina’s voice was… begging almost. Genuinely so. You’d never heard that from her before.

She’d barely gotten her last sentence out when he set upon her, twisting her arm behind her back, a thumb pressed to her jugular.

What was with this man and throats?

Well, he apparently taught assassins so you really shouldn’t have to ask that question.

“What have I always taught you? Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses. A good assassin knows when to go home. I have other jobs better suited to your skill set. You shouldn't waste your time and resources here. Learn to accept defeat.”

There was a rush of wind and Korosensei was suddenly there, prying the two apart. His face was split in even colors. Purple and red.

“Congratulations! You’re exactly half wrong and half right.”

“What’s your point, Quiz Show?” Karasuma was as put out as ever.

“Another ridiculous nickname? Just call me ‘Korosensei’ already!” he looked to the newcomer, “I agree. As an assassin, our beloved Irina is nothing special. Frankly, she’s crap.”

Irina protested. 

“Having said that, she belongs here. She is, in fact , a perfect fit for this class. To prove my point, I propose a kill-off. Let us see which of you passes muster! Who is the better assassin?

The combination of poor sleep and all of this was giving you one hell of a headache.

“The rules are simple. Whoever kills Mr. Karasuma first wins!”

Make that a migraine .

“Excuse me? Why am I the target here all of a sudden?”

“Because,” Korosensei turned to him, smile widening, “you will be a fair and challenging target, Mr. Karasuma. After all, if I were the target I might help Ms. Jelavich. Conflict of interest on my part. And besides...” green stripes circled his head, “ No one can kill me anyway.”

He produced a pair of standard issue rubber knives from...somewhere on his person.

How many pockets could those robes possibly have?

“You’ll be using these. Harmless to humans of course. You have all day tomorrow. One of you simply has to strike him with a knife. No sabotaging each other’s attempts. Plus… you’ll incur a penalty if you interfere with the student’s classes.”

“I see. In other words it’s a mock assassination.” the man held up his knife, looking it over, “Very well. Sounds like a fun way to kill some time.”

Karasuma walked off, clearly irritated, “Suit yourselves.”

Irina’s trainer watched Karasuma leave, “He’s a powerful man, isn’t he?”

“Of course. After all, he was selected to keep an eye on me.” Korosensei’s eyes narrowed.

The assassin turned to Irina, “You’ll never be able to strike him with that knife. Irina, I taught you everything you know about assassination. I know what you can and can’t do. I know everything about you. I will rub your nose in the truth with this challenge. You will resign from this assignment. And, once you’re gone, I’ll send in another assassin better suited to the challenge Korosensei presents.”

He turned and left the building. You watched him go.

Christ.

Was anyone who came here not intense??

But, of course, things hadn’t calmed down in the slightest.

“Is this your idea of sticking up for me?” Irina sounded pissed. When you looked, you found she was addressing Korosensei.

“Nue?” he looked at her in surprise.

“I know what this is: you’re hedging your bets on me because you think I’ll be easier to manage than the next assassin my master sends along!”

Her what now ?

She turned, storming off, “Well I won’t give you the satisfaction! If you don’t think I have what it takes to kill Karasuma and you, somebody’s in for a rude awakening!”

She uh… she seemed fine. 

You really did not want to go after her in that state.

“Hm...” Korosensei watched as she left, fingers to his chin thoughtfully.

You both stood in the empty hall taking in what had just happened.

“Hey… so uh…” you turned to him, “ Who the fuck was that?

“That would be Lovro Brovski, former assassin, now assassin trainer and dealer. Think of him as Ms. Jelavich’s agent.”

“Uh huh… ” you winced, rolling a shoulder, “Well, could we ask him to maybe not hang the faculty?”

“That’s just a touch out of our jurisdiction, I’m afraid. Lovro is a free agent. Though I doubt he’ll try that again.” he looked at you, “Were you injured?”

“Was trying to keep Irina from strangling to death. Bastard set up a noose. When he cut it she fell on me. She’s not that heavy but having a person dropped on your shoulders does not feel great.” you made a face, “I didn’t get to give her a proper assessment for injuries either… ”

“I am more than certain that Ms. Irina can handle herself.” a tentacled hand came to rest on your shoulder, “Allow me to assist?”

“Assist?”

“Your shoulder.”

“How?”

“I’d be more than happy to check for any alignment issues.”

I can do that.”

“I would appreciate it if you’d let me. I could use the practice.”

Practice?

“Not trying to take my job are you?” you joked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, no! Simply trying to widen my own skill set.” he looked at you intently.

“Fine, but let’s take this to the nurse’s office.” you were too tired to argue.

“Of course.”

You tossed your bag in one of the chairs and stood awkwardly by the cot in the corner. He approached you.

“I’m going to check for any deformations, is that alright?”

Great. Tentacles in your shirt.

This was fine.

It’s fine.

“Yeah.”

A tendril or two snaked into both the sleeve and neck of your shirt. Gliding along you skin they probed at the muscles and joints. Definitely sore but not a sharp pain. More like a dull bruise.

You focused on that so you didn’t have to focus on how nice his tentacles felt against your skin.

“No deformation, no swelling.” he looked at you face, “Pain though, I take it.”

“Some. Doesn’t feel like a tear though.”

He guided your arm through the motions, asking about pain each time.

“I think we’re just looking at bruising.” you winced a bit as he moved your arm, “It’ll probably look like a mess tomorrow but I should be good.”

Thank god. No need for a sling…

“Good.” his tendrils withdrew from your shoulder and arm, lingering just a touch longer than necessary, “I mean good that it isn’t worse! Of course.”

He stepped back, flustered by his mistake.

“It’ll be fine. I’ll rest it up and get some meds on board. That should help. If not I’ll check in with a doctor.”

“Please see that you do. After all, we can’t have our Health Education teacher down for the count.”

“In this classroom I’m surprised I’m not dead yet.” you chuckled.

As if I’d let that happen. ” he chuckled, green stripes crossing his face.

“You know tomorrow’s going to be a mess right?”

“Oh, I certainly hope so! Two assassins working against one another in a kill off? It should be fantastic !”

There was no way you were getting anything done tomorrow…

Chapter Text

Rolling over, you winced. What a lovely thing to wake up to.

Shoulder pain.

You got up making your way to the mirror and tugged off your shirt carefully. Definitely sore and stiff. There were traces of purple showing in places too.

Lovely.

At least nothing was broken. You checked the time. 

God bless you had two more hours to sleep.

Taking some painkillers, you curled back up in your futon.

 

At least it was only one shoulder. That’s what you told yourself when you came into the nurse’s office that day. With one shoulder your messenger bag wasn’t as painful to carry up the damn mountain.

You set your bag down carefully and sighed.

“Hey, Reader.”

You turned to find Irina standing in the doorway.

“Oh, hey… you holding up okay?”

“Yeah. Do you have any painkillers?”

“Sure.” you pulled a bottle from the shelf, passing it to her.

She shook out a few into her hand and she tossed it back to you.

You caught it and winced. Of course it was your dominant shoulder so therefore moving your dominant arm…

“Hey… uh...”

Reaching up, you returned the bottle to its shelf, “Yeah?”

“Look, I don’t need you helping me all the time or anything.” she sounded put out.

Where was this going?

“But… I wanted to say thanks... for yesterday.”

“You know how you can say thanks?”

Her eyes narrowed a bit, “How?”

“Let me assess you and make sure you’re fine.”

She huffed but gave in, taking a seat, “Fine, fine, this makes us even right?”

You chuckled, “It’s not about being even. This is my job.”

She did not look amused.

“Okay, can you tell me what happened to you?”

“Do you really need me to say it?”

“I mean I could give you another question if you like...”

“I was stupid and fell for a snare trap.”

“Okay. When did this happen?”

“Yesterday afternoon.” she snapped.

“Good.” you ignored her irritation, you’d handled much worse in the past, “Can you touch your right shoulder with your left hand for me?”

She did so, looking at you like you were an idiot the whole time.

“Aaaaaand left shoulder with right hand?”

“Is this really necessary?”

“You left before I could check you yesterday, so yes.” you gave her your best smile, pulling out a pen light and flicking it on, “Okay, bright light.”

“Shit! A little more warning?”

“And follow it...” you slowly moved it back and forth, watching, “So far so good, now-”

“There’s more?”

You held up your hands, “Grab my hands and squeeze.”

She did so and you winced, “Okay, okay I get it!”

Smirking, she let you go, “Good enough?”

“Relax, we’re almost done.” you shook out your hand, “You didn’t have to use your nails.”

You had a feeling if you tried to do this to her yesterday you would have gotten a lot more than just her nails.

Carefully, you leaned in, looking at her neck, “... Did you put make up on this morning?”

“Yeah? What of it?”

“On your neck ?” you gave her a pointed look.

She sighed, “What did you want me to come in with marks?”

“So it did leave marks.”

“Yeah.”

“What did they look like?”

She rolled her eyes.

“Either you can tell me or you can take off the make up and let me look for myself.”

“Fine, fine. It was just red marks.”

“Like a line?”

“And fingers.” she held up a hand showing that her fingers looked a bit bruised, “I was trying to keep it from cutting in.”

Yeesh. Chances are, given her line of work, this wasn’t the first time for her either.

Reaching out, you gently checked over her neck, “Any pain?”

“Not really, just the skin mostly.”

“Seems to be no issues talking. Any issues with breathing, sore throat or swelling?”

Irina, you realized, also had a Look .

Hers was simple.

It always said you were a fucking idiot .

No.

“And what are the painkillers for?”

She made a face, “That fall to the floor wasn’t a walk in the park you know.”

You tugged the neck of your shirt to one side, showing off some lovely purple bruising coming in, “I’m aware.”

“Is that everything?”

“Not quite.” you leaned against the cot in the corner, looking at her, “I wanted to ask you something about your classes.”

One delicate brow arched up. She did not look pleased, “And that is?”

“Did I hear right that you’ve been french kissing the students?”

She laughed, “I mean it works both as an incentive and a punishment, so yeah, I have. What of it?”

“That’s-”

“Not appropriate school behavior?” she smirked, “ Duh. I know that.”

“Then why are you doing it?”

She sat back, legs crossed, “In the world at large there’s going to be uncomfortable things they will experience. They’re going to get into tight spots, have people make advances. I teach them how to talk around people. Seduction is part of my job but so is knowing how to turn someone down and knowing how to manage your way through awkward interactions.”

You considered her response. From her perspective you were sure it didn’t seem too far out of the norm. Seduction, as she had said, was part of her job.

“If you’re also teaching them how to turn someone down, doesn’t that mean they should get a choice in the matter?”

“What, you want me to ask them if they want me to keep it up?”

“At the bare minimum. Or stop the practice altogether.”

She gave a shrug, “I’ll ask next class then. Why, were there complaints?” She sounded almost amused.

“No, I just heard it mentioned and wanted to know what was going on.”

“Fine. Well I’ll ask the brats. You want to be there for that?”

“That would be excellent.”

She clearly hadn’t expected you to agree.

“Alright. Now, I have someone to kill.” she pushed herself out of the chair, heading to the door.

“Good luck.”

You paused, realizing what you’d said. She gave a smirk and waved.

When did you start wishing people luck in assassination?

With a sigh, you checked the time. Second period was soon.

Oh… fantastic .

You needed to get ready for drills.

 

Karasuma took pity on your shoulder, opting instead to have you run laps. Easy enough to do. By the time the class was over your legs were aching. Walking was one thing, jogging and running for extended periods was a whole other beast.

You joined your coworker near the edge of the field. The students were all sitting in the grass while he explained yesterday’s situation. The kids seemed equal parts amused and concerned.

“So there it is. Expect a few disruptions today, and hopefully it won’t interfere with your studies too much. Just carry on as normal, all right?”

“Oh, Mr. Karasuma! Excellent work today! I’ll bet you worked up quite a thirst! Have a nice cold drink!”

You hadn’t seen this Irina since that first day of classes.

This made you realize that you preferred the catty, bitchy one.

“Here, go ahead and knock it back. It tastes like a rainbow! ~”

You cringed. You definitely preferred catty, bitchy Irina.

You preferred any version of Irina that didn’t result in her saying ‘It tastes like a rainbow!’ like that ever again .

Karasuma was clearly not impressed, “Probably spiked with a muscle relaxant. Immobilize and stab, oldest trick in the book.” he sighed, “There’s no way I’d let you get close enough to give it to me.”

“Oh! Then I’ll just leave it here for you-” she knelt to set the cup down and promptly fell on her face.

Yikes.

Did this really work on people?

You thought about some of the couples you’d seen in your lifetime.

Yeah, no, it definitely worked on some people.

Karasuma stormed off amid her cries for him to assist. Instead, Isogai and Mimura helped her to her feet.

“Hey, uh, no offense but even we wouldn’t have fallen for that...” Mimura gave her an apologetic smile. 

Irina shouted in response, “What choice do I have?! I can’t seduce someone who knows my M.O.! Chalk it down to occupational hazard!” she huffed, “A paid escort would be just as awkward if her customer happened to be her father!”

You raised an eyebrow at that example, but opted to put in your two cents, “Now, look, I know you’ll probably hate that I’m quoting the octopus but-”

She groaned.

“Maybe you need a second blade.”

Isogai nodded, “Yeah, that uh… act you put on is kind of over the top.”

She was staring daggers at the both of you.

“It’s true.” it was Hazama pitching in, “You were pretty transparent your first day here.”

“Who are all of you brats to be critiquing my skills?!” she kicked the thermos that she’d dropped earlier and stormed off.

“She really doesn’t take criticism well…” Kayano smiled awkwardly.

Everyone began to drift back inside and you wondered how much longer you’d be working with the blonde. You hadn’t even seen her ‘master’ yet today, which seemed a little more appropriate for a professional assassin. Either that or he just hadn’t shown which you highly doubted...

 

The office chair felt particularly nice after running laps for as long as you had. Karasuma was still off brooding somewhere and Irina? You had no idea. Korosensei grinned over at you, gathering up the papers he’d been grading, “How are you feeling today?”

“Sore… and exhausted now. But I’m okay.”

He chuckled, “Glad to hear it.”

“... So.”

“Nue?”

“How did you get Karasuma to play along with this?” 

“I simply promised him something he couldn’t turn down.”

“And that is?”

“An opportunity to kill me! If he manages to escape them both then I will stand still for one second. Ample time to assassinate someone.”

It didn’t sound like enough time to you but it did get the job done you supposed…

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t let that get out. Things might get a touch too cooperative otherwise.” he rose, papers in hand, “It’s time for class. Ta, ta, Reader.”

You watched him leave. This whole contest was ridiculous but somewhere in you there was a tiny sliver of fear. Karasuma was a nice guy but this was one case where you would not be in his cheering section.

 

Not long after that Karasuma joined you. 

“Mind sitting on this side, Mx. Reader?”

You looked up at him, “Huh?”

“I’d rather not be next to Irina today given the circumstances...”

You’d rather not be between him and Irina… given the circumstances. But he already looked like he was having a day so you gave a nod and moved next to him.

When Irina came in she looked put out that you’d taken her seat but said nothing. The three of you sat in silence which was only broken by Karasuma’s standard tapping on his keyboard. Both of them looked… well, stressed was putting it mildly . You kept your attention on planning out the next set of examples for your class.

The period ended and class switched out once more. Korosensei shuffled into the room and paused, looking between you and Irina. He chuckled with a knowing glance at Karasuma as he took his seat. You gave him a nod and went back to what you were working on.

The silence stretched on uncomfortably. Just as you looked up to say something to break the tension, the door slammed open and a figure hurtled into the room. You kicked yourself and your chair back instinctively trying to get out of the way. Karasuma moved to do the same but something caused his chair to jam. 

Then suddenly Lovro was stretched across the desk, his wrist jammed hard against the table by Karasuma’s hand. Your work materials were scattered and Karasuma was standing, weight back on one leg, the other raised for balance. 

If it wasn’t these two men the pose might have looked ridiculous .

Karasuma released him and bent down to retrieve the fallen knife, “With all due respect, my friend, how straightforward did you think this was going to be? You’ve got skill, but frankly the years haven’t been kind. Did you seriously think you could take out someone whose been a member of the Elite Special Forces until just recently?”

Pivoting, he pointed the knife, not at Lovro, but at Korosensei and Irina, “Don’t forget. If I’m not dead by the end of the day...”

Korosensei and Irina both recoiled. You’d never seen a more terrified octopus.

“Wait, why are you so scared?” she gave him a look.

“D-Don’t worry about it! But whatever you do, don’t lose! Do your best!”

He was literally hiding behind her.

On one hand, you were worried about him but on the other hand…

He 100 percent brought this on himself.

Karasuma headed to the door, rubber knife in hand. How he managed to make that thing look deadly was beyond you. He paused in the doorway, glancing back, “FYI: With a good knife, I can strike five times in a second. So, should be fun .”

Oh.

Oh great.

Maybe your estimates about how long it would take to stab someone were incorrect.

“Sir… your hand...”

Lovro had peeled off his glove. His wrist had swollen where it made contact with the table and was rapidly turning an ugly red-purple. That was definitel y broken.

“I underestimated him and look where it got me.” he sighed, “It’s no fun getting old...”

You stood up, going over to him and reached out for his arm. He instinctively pulled back.

“I’m the nurse. At least let me see it.”

With a resigned sigh, he held it out to you.

“I suppose I can’t expect to kill today in this condition.”

You were about to respond but-

“What kind of talk is that? Nonsense! That’s what it is! Don’t give up! You can do it!!!”

You had no idea where Korosensei got the cheerleading outfit. Chances are he made it himself. Why he had it on hand, or if he even had it on hand, you had no idea. But suddenly it was on his body and he was patting Lovro’s shoulders. Pom poms waved excitedly in a pair of his tendrils.

You gave him a look then went back to your examination. Both wrists were the same color and temperature. Circulation was good…

“No, even now with you this close, I know I can’t kill you. There are times when an assassin must judge who is stronger and be willing to withdraw. The same goes for Irina. She can tell before she goes in for the kill if it’s impossible for her to terminate her target. Looks like this will be a draw.”

In a flash Korosensei was back in his usual robes, a green skull and crossbones appearing on his forehead, “Very well, if giving up is your choice, don’t let me stop you. But before you make too many assumptions, keep an eye on Ms. Irina. Experienced or not an assassin is simply someone who kills their target.”

Lovro’s response was cool, “Have it your way.” scratch that, it was freezing .

“Let me get that splinted for you. The sooner the better.” you gestured for Lovro to follow and headed to the nurse’s office. This day just kept getting better and better...

 

Circulation was good. Sensation was good. Motion was good. You had a feeling this wasn’t his first rodeo with a broken bone of some kind. Unpacking one of the splints the ministry had sent, you got to work.

“So… you trained Irina, huh?”

What sort of small talk was one supposed to make with assassins?

“Yes.”

Well… that was… concise.

“Has she always had that chip on her shoulder?”

He chuckled in an almost paternal way. For the first time, you got an inkling that this terrifying man might have a little something more to him than just murder.

“Always.”

“... how did you meet her?” you tucked a roll of gauze in his hand to keep it in a neutral position.

“Found more than met.” his eyes were trained on your hands as you worked but you felt like he wasn’t actually seeing them, “My associate, Olga, discovered her. She was the last survivor of a village that was wiped off the map by the wars of men.”

That was an awfully poetic way to say a war orphan… but okay.

“Damn... She never said.”

He smirked, “It is the nature of the assassin. Pasts are either liabilities or just another day. Why concern yourself with them? They have shaped you but they do not control you.”

You… weren’t really sure what to say to that. On some level you could understand what he meant. How had someone put it to you once… ?

“It’s okay to look back at the past, just don’t stare at it too long.”

He nodded.

“How long has she been training with you?”

“Since she was small. Ten maybe twelve."

You stared at him, " Ten or twelve? "

He nodded. "She assassinated her target three years later. She was a natural."

"... then why are you adamant about her leaving?"

"Her talents are wasted here. It's like hiring Michelangelo to paint a nursery school."

"Did you ever consider that she might learn new talents here?"

He looked at you, raising a brow, "From who? The munchkins?"

You laughed a bit at that, "Maybe. Everyone here is learning something. Karasuma is teaching me alongside the kids in drills. Meanwhile, he is finding out new teaching methods from Korosensei and adapting slightly better social skills thanks to the kids. I'm teaching the kids first aid… everyone learns from one another."

"And Korosensei? What is it he learns?"

You checked to make sure his wrist was secure, "I think a good dose of humility from time to time."

He chuckled at that.

Taking both of his hands, you ran through the steps again. Good color, even temperature.

"Wiggle your fingers a little?"

He did so, you could see the corner of his mouth tighten.

So at least you knew the guy did feel pain.

You tapped his index finger, "What finger am I touching."

"First."

"Good." You grabbed one of the ice packs from the now empty faculty lounge and returned, pressing it to his swollen wrist.

"You need to get to a doctor for proper treatment but that should have you good for now."

He gave a nod, "Thank you…"

Making his way to the door, he paused, looking back at you, "We will see how Irina does today. Perhaps she can show me new tricks."

"Maybe."

You sure hoped she could...

 

The kids insisted you eat lunch with them today. It was actually Nakamura who fetched you from the nurse’s office energetically.

You figured that it might not be a bad idea. These mock assassination attempts wouldn’t be happening in the classroom so it should be a bit safer to eat in there. 

You rolled your office chair into the classroom, bento in hand.

There was a chorus of greetings when you entered the room. You gave a wave, sitting in your chair and rolling across the room towards the far side.

"Hey Mx. Reader." Nagisa gave you a smile, "You okay? Mr. Karasuma mentioned you were hurt yesterday."

Oh.

Yeah.

Well, it made sense that he’d let them know why you weren’t running drills.

“Yeah...” you tugged your collar to one side, showing off the bruise.

“Holy! That looks bad!” Nagisa leaned forward, staring. 

His exclamation attracted the attention of some of his classmates. A few of the kids clustered around, staring.

“That’s crazy.” Maehara looked over in surprise.

”It’s those boobs, Professor Bitch is very top heavy.” Kayano said sagely, taking another bite of her food.

You uh…

You highly doubted that.

“It was more like, her thighs...”

You saw Okajima perk up from across the room, “What?!”

“Karasuma told us, remember?” Okano looked at him, “Reader caught her on their shoulders?”

“You had her THIGHS on your shoulders?!” he stood up, slamming his hands on the table.

“Yo.” Karma’s voice, though relaxed, cut through the chatter, “Have a look at this.”

Kayano looked out the window, following his line of sight. Karasuma was sitting under one of the trees outside, “Yeah. Mr. Karasuma eats lunch there a lot.” 

Karma chuckled, nodding out the window, “And the spider moves in for the kill...”

Outside, you saw Irina approaching Karasuma. You pursed your lips, watching. What was she going to go for? 

In her hand, was a rubber knife.

A little obvious…

The classroom’s attention was trained on the pair outside.

The two appeared to be talking as she shrugged out of her jacket, letting it slip to the ground.

You found yourself biting your lip, one hand clenching against your pant leg.

You shouldn’t be so tense. It wasn’t your life on the line…

There were shouts of surprise as she looped around the tree. Karasuma was yanked to one side, rolling and falling onto his back. She pinned him, knife aimed at his heart.

Wh-

What had just happened?

Okajima nearly had his face pressed to the window, “Man, this is hot!”

“Go Professor Bitch!” Nakamura was grinning.

There was a brief struggle before Karasuma’s arms fell, the knife touching his chest.

In the wake of her win, you let out a rush of breath that you didn’t realize you’d been holding.

Cheers resounded in the classroom.

“She did it!”

“Way to go, Ms. Bitch!”

“She won!!”

You smiled a bit to yourself.

Looks like the classroom wasn’t losing its resident bitch after all…

Or its resident octopus...

 

As the day rounded out, you headed back into the faculty lounge to gather your things.

The room seemed more crowded than usual…

Karasuma and Korosensei stood, bickering in front of-

Oh for the love of God.

That was a suit of armor. A very octopoid shaped suit of armor.

You quietly gathered your things while they debated how much self defense was appropriate in a situation like that.

Why were you remotely surprised by anything in this classroom anymore?

You left them to it, heading out to the path down the mountain.

Chapter Text

It was the weekend and you were excited.

The reason?

Not a hot date or a movie release or some new product coming out.

Oh no.  

No no, you were being a real adult today.

Donki was having a sale on snacks and you were 110% ready for that .

You tugged on your messenger bag and grabbed your umbrella. It was absolutely worth braving the rain for this. The train trip went by quickly and soon you were standing before the boxy building with the huge familiar MEGA sign on the roof.

You headed in. There was something positively charming about Donki stores. Well… that could be your wallet talking. They were pretty cheap which was helpful. Also the shop was just… fun. Bright colors, their chipper jingle on the speakers, and huge towers of products. It was like a maze.

You made a beeline for your destination.

Losing yourself in aisles like this had been an escape from your tiny apartment when you’d first moved here. There was something familiar about supermarkets and shops like this. A sort of universal sense of anonymity. Everyone was just here to get necessary items so not much attention was paid to you.

You’d arrived.

Oh, hell yes .

You browsed, making your selections. 

Let’s seeeeeee….

Meltykiss. Yes. Absolutely.

Kasugai gummies. And they had your favorite flavor too. Perfect.

Aaaaaand Hokkaido Soft candies.

Oh hey, Apollos!

Yesssss, Rich Biscuits. You’d polished off your last pack the other night with that nightmare.

And there were the bamboo shoot cookies. You grabbed a box or two.

The octopus was less likely to hassle you if you fed him.

That’s the lie you told yourself.

You rounded another aisle and a display caught your eye. Bright packages with fruit on the label.

Kororo Gummies. You’d been intending to try these. You picked up a package, looking over the selections....

"Reader? Is that you?"

You froze. 

You knew that voice.

There was no mistaking that voice…

You looked up, peering over a stack of boxes.

That stupid smiling face was looking at you from the next aisle.

God dammit . Why was he here?

"Korosensei?"

" What a small world!~ " he rounded the aisle, joining you.

You felt your chest seize a little.

Fuck feelings!

You gave him your best smile, hopefully covering how flustered you were to even run into him outside of school like this.

He chuckled, his gaze darted to your basket and back up at you, "You're here because of the candy sale aren't you?"

Dammit.

"Maybe…"

"Nurufufufu…"

Double dammit.

He eyed the selection in your hand for a moment and you saw a flicker of green stripes.

You glanced at the gummies. Kororo-

Triple dammit.

There it was, kids, the hat-trick of embarrassment!

“So, uh...” you tossed the gummies in your basket, “I take it you’re here for the same reason then?”

His basket was stuffed in much the same way yours was.

He gave a nod, “Of course.”

Wow. You just could not think of anything to say. You turned your attention to the shelf, trying to settle your racing heart. 

God, this was stupid ...

"Well, since we happen to be in the same area…” his voice pulled your attention back to him ”would you be interested in having lunch with me?"

The Lord was testing you .

That had to be it.

"Sure!"

You failed the test.

He chuckled, “I think I have just the place for something light.”

You wondered if this was going to be another flight or not. Well, you’d soon find out you guessed…

 

You ended up making a few more selections, many based on his enthusiastic suggestions. You were happy for them because it kept him talking and the focus off of you. He could prattle on all he liked about Kit Kats and how they became so culturally significant. It kept you from having to talk and gave you time to get your heart under control.

You hadn’t expected this surprise attack. During school was one thing. Out and about in the real world, it was a little more… difficult.

You both checked out, you tucking your purchases away in your bag. He, meanwhile, vanished and reappeared shortly after with his bags missing but an umbrella in his hands.

Must be nice to be able to just zip back home like that...

“Shall we?” he popped open the umbrella. It was surprisingly large but then again, so was he.

You opened your own umbrella, more for a way to hide your face than anything, and followed him. So, wherever this was must be nearby then…

He turned down a side street and you both bustled your way past vending machines, you rounded another corner and at first thought you might be heading to the ramen shop there. Instead, he bypassed it and you found yourself in front of a narrow coffee shop by the name of Doutor. Closing your umbrellas you headed inside.

The place was really narrow but it looked cozy and charming enough. This time of the day there were only a few patrons. You were moving towards lunch so you were a bit surprised.

The two of you reviewed the menu and made your selections. Soon you were seated in a small sort of booth, your back to the wall. He sat facing you.

Most of the patrons had cleared out.

Great!

Fantastic!

You were dying . There was no distraction from him. No work to grade, nothing to plan.

Only your meal.

“You left rather quickly yesterday. I was concerned.” 

“Oh... yeah I just wanted to get home and rest up. You know… still sore and all...” you rolled your shoulder slightly to illustrate.

What had you even ordered? It was a sort of wrap, possibly pita bread? You carefully took a bite to cover your awkward response. Chicken, vegetables, mozzarella and basil…

Not bad actually.

He chuckled, “I imagine. You did take quite the tumble.”

You nodded, “I’m just glad everyone seems to be okay… well, I mean, other than Lovro.”

“I’m sure he’ll bounce back in no time. One doesn’t become a world class assassin without expecting some injury, after all.” he bit into his own sandwich.

“Yeah, I guess not...” you made a face, “Hope we won’t have that issue with the kids.”

“I imagine that, even if we run into trouble, they’ll be in quite capable hands.” his eyes narrowed.

Fuck.

You turned your attention to your boba tea, taking a drink.

When you looked up he was focused on his latte, blowing on it carefully. Well thank god he seemed distracted.

You took the opportunity to tuck back into your wrap, maybe you could make it through this whole lunch without anything being too-

“You know, you’re looking exceptional today, Reader.”

You choked on your wrap.

Classy.

“Are you alright?” he was alarmed.

Coughing, you took a drink of your boba tea, nodding.

You could feel your face burning.

This was hell.

You were in hell.

And the devil was an octopus.

“Are you sure?” he seemed legitimately worried, a half-empty gloved hand reaching cross to pat your back.

No. Not at all. You were not remotely alright.

You nodded, lying, “Yeah, just… went down the wrong pipe. I’m okay.”

If you had, in fact, looked exceptional (which you doubted), you certainly didn’t anymore. Face red from the coughing and embarrassment, eyes watering.

He didn’t look convinced but seemed content to let it slide.

“As I was saying… you look exceptionally well today, Reader.” he grinned across the table at you, “In spite of your recent injuries.”

Exceptionally well.

Wowie you felt like an idiot.

“Yeah, been trying to let my shoulder rest mostly. It’s not looking pretty but that’s just what happens with bruises. A couple of weeks and it’ll be like it was never there.” you took another drink of your tea, happy your airway was no longer trying to actively murder you, “Bodies are wild that way.”

He propped his chin on his hand, “They certainly are. Scars fade, new growth occurs, it’s fascinating how it can repair itself.”

“Nothing like yours, of course.” you took another bite, “Though I appreciate my body not liquifying.”

“It’s not so terrible.” he gave a small shrug, “Looks far more dramatic than it is.”

You somehow doubted that. Especially given the green stripes faintly beginning to show up on his face.

“Hey, Moodring, aren’t you supposed to be incognito?”

He faltered and whistled innocently, stripes instantly fading.

“How has no one noticed that yet?”

“People are often willing to accept the normal over the unusual. It’s far more convenient for them. Easier to rationalize.” he tapped his head, eyes narrowing, “Clever assassins use that to their advantage.”

A question occurred to you that you hadn’t thought to ask…

“How do you know so much about assassination anyway?” you looked across the table at him, tipping your head, “It’s not a standard curriculum.”

His eyes narrowed, grin sharpening, “Do I look like someone who teaches the standard curriculum?”

Leaning in further you narrowed your own eyes, “That didn’t answer my question.”

He chuckled and sat back, sipping his drink, “Let’s just say I’m well studied in a variety of topics.”

Something else to add to your notes you supposed…

You tucked back into your wrap, chewing and mulling this information over.

“So, Reader...”

You looked up at him.

“You never did tell me what, exactly , you dreamed about me the other night.”

Hoooooo boy.

You took a long drink of your tea to stall for time. Did you tell him?

Why the hell not, this day was already something else.

“I killed you.” you went right back to your drink. Your drink was the most interesting thing in the world right now.

There was silence from the other side of the table for a long moment.

“And that made you worry about me?”

You looked up at him, finally. You expected green stripes but there were none to be found.

“Yeah… it did.”

You held each other’s gaze for a moment before you looked back down at the table.

“I mean you can’t die yet right?” you joked, “We have a trip in July.”

His grin widened, “Right.”

There was something in the tone of his voice… it felt off. Not his usual. Not entirely happy either.

You quickly turned your attention to finishing your food.

This had gotten awkward fast.

“You know, Reader, you don’t need to worry.”

You looked up at him, surprised at the statement.

His eyes narrowed and green stripes appeared across his face, “It’s not like you could kill me anyway.~”

“I know that.” you stuffed the last bite in your mouth, mostly as an excuse to not have to keep talking.

He chuckled, “And yet it concerns you so much you have nightmares about it.”

You made a face, “It was just a nightmare. One nightmare. Nothing deep about it.”

Sipping his latte he gave a nod, “True, dreams aren’t often literal.”

You both sat in silence for a moment.

“Ready to go?”

You nodded.

Out on the street he turned to you, grin wide, “I do appreciate your concern, Reader. And, while dreams often aren’t literal, I do have to wonder what worries you so much that your mind would conjure that.”

“I don’t know.” you lied, “Nightmares are just nightmares.”

He gave a small hum but seemed content to let the topic lie for now.

“Thank you for accompanying me, it was a… enlightening lunch.”

“No problem. I should probably be getting back home though.” You popped open your umbrella.

“I could give you a lift.”

“No, no. I have some errands to run on the way anyway.”

Another lie.

“Very well. Til tomorrow, then.”

You nodded and then turned, heading off down the street as quickly as you could without looking suspicious. Something felt really… off about the end of that outing. Not his usual strangeness. You couldn’t put your finger on it-

You paused in the middle of the street, rain pattering on the umbrella covering you.

That was the tone he used for people like Lovro… or Asano.

God dammit.

Well that… that didn’t feel great.

 

When you got home you opened your messenger bag to take out your snacks and, tucked in alongside them, neatly wrapped in a tissue… was an anti-sensei knife.

Taking it out of the bag you glared at it.

Was he baiting you?

You went over to the balcony and hurled it before heading back inside.

Fuck that.

Chapter Text

When you got to your office the next day, you found another blade. This one was laying out on your desk, the hilt wrapped delicately in a tissue. It set your teeth on edge. You dropped your bag in your chair and picked the knife up, heading into the faculty lounge. Irina, Karasuma, and Korosensei were all doing their morning routines, preparing for the day.

Korosensei looked up as you entered, eyes flicking to the knife in your hand. His eyes narrowed.

Karasuma noticed you next, his expression one of surprise.

Irina followed his gaze and looked at you in confusion.

You strode across the room and dropped the knife in the trash, keeping eye contact with the octopus the entire time.

The tense silence of the room was broken by the bell.

“... I don’t know what’s going on here but I’ve got an English class to teach.” Irina got up and flipped her hair over her shoulder.

“What’s the problem, Mx. Reader?” Karasuma looked to you, tone calm, almost bored.

“Nothing.”

You turned and left the room, heading back to the nurse’s office. You were going to work there today.

 

Another knife. This one in your bag. You gritted your teeth. Opening the window, you flung it out as far as you could towards the playing field. What an ass.

You went back to grading. A cross breeze came in gently through the window and your paper cranes tumbled across the desk.

You got up, slamming the window shut. When you turned around…

A bb gun… and a knife.

You settled yourself for a moment before going over and righting your paper cranes. Then you picked up the weapons and crossed back into the faculty lounge where you threw these, as well, into the trash.

Karasuma and Irina looked up at you.

“Okay, what’s the deal with this?” Irina looked at you, raising a brow.

“Those are government property.” Karasuma sighed, fishing them out of the trash, “As much as they look like toys they cost quite a bit to make.”

“Then tell him to stop leaving them for me.”

You stormed back to your office.

 

When lunch came you didn’t bother going back into the faculty lounge, opting instead to eat your bento alone. Halfway through your chopsticks suddenly morphed into a knife.

“HEY!”

This was starting to piss you off properly now. You flung the knife across the room. There was a rush and he was there, picking up the knife gently with a tissue.

“Why are you doing this?” you got up, going over to him, “I’m not here to assassinate anyone.”

He stared down at you for a long moment before placing the knife in your hand.

You stood, staring at him and looking to the knife. Neither of you moved. You swallowed hard, feeling the beginnings of tears prickling in your eyes. You tossed the knife. It skittered across the floor, vanishing under the table.

“What?” you glared up at him. This was probably the quietest he’d been in the entire time you’d known him, “Do you want me to kill you? Are you trying to prove a point? Because it’s not happening .”

“Don’t think you can do it?” he chuckled, green stripes on his face.

It still felt cold. Harsh.

“I don’t WANT to do it.” you glared up at him. “I don’t want you to-”

You cut yourself off, taking a moment to breathe.

His expression, for the first time in the day, softened.

“So… that’s what the nightmare was about.” he sounded as though you’d confirmed his suspicions.

You scrubbed hand across your eyes, “Yeah. No shit.”

His hand came to rest on your head. Something about it calmed you, you sighed, still rubbing at your eyes. A tissue was pressed into your hand. You used that instead.

“Someone will, eventually, Reader.” he spoke softly, “It’s best to understand that now.”

“I know that. But you don’t have to rub it in.”

Abruptly you found yourself pulled forward, pressed into his front in a hug. You wrapped your arms around him, clutching at the robes that smelled like old books and summer rain.

After a long moment the bell rang and he released you.

“I do believe it’s time for class.” he said softly.

You nodded, “Yeah.”

He left the room and an air of melancholy settled over you.

You sat at your desk, burying your face in your hands.

What were you going to do about this?

 

As you began to head down the mountain that day you felt a breeze and heard a familiar rush of wind behind you. A hand came to rest on your shoulder.

“Reader.”

“Yeah?”

“I wanted to remind you of something.”

“What?”

He leaned in over your shoulder, expression gentle, “ I’m not dead yet.

“I know.”

“So, why worry about it?” his tone perked up as he straightened, “Life is an adventure , Reader. It’s something to be basked in, relished . Worrying about what’s to come only gives uncertainty.”

His hand squeezed your shoulder lightly.

“It’s better to plan for what’s to come. Prepare . That is what will bring you peace.”

What he was saying made sense. You knew it did.

Without thinking, you reached up and put your hand over his, “I’ll try.”

You felt… something. A twitch as you touched his hand perhaps?

Taking a breath, you smiled and removed your hand from his. Turning, you gave him a look, “But no more damn knives. Karasuma already got pissed at me for throwing them away.”

He laughed, “A waste of the government’s money?”

“Yeah.” you felt like you could breathe.

Thank god.

“I know a lovely little place near yours, would you be interested in stopping for a coffee?”

“Sure.” you smiled, “Preferably an outing where I don’t start choking.”

“Preferably.” he smirked, “After all, can’t have you dying before I do now can we?”

“I can’t anyway. We have a place to go in July.”

He chuckled, “Indeed.”

This cafe visit went much smoother. You didn’t choke, you didn’t feel like dying, there was no intimidating tension... 

You only felt one thing.

Relief.

Chapter Text

“Okay, so, Reader here has some concerns about how I’m running the class.” Irina stood in front of the kids, hands on her hips. You’d been called into the second period English class the next day but you’d almost completely forgotten why.

Whelp. Now you remembered.

The class looked between the two of you in surprise.

You should have expected her approach to be so direct.

“So, I’m supposed to ask you if you want me to keep the french kissing as part of the curriculum.”

The kids continued looking between the two of you for a moment

“What?!” it was Okajima who spoke up, staring at you specifically.

“Well,” this was going to be interesting, “You’re all children and she’s an adult who is-”

“SO?!” Okajima cut you off and you gave him a look.

“I’m sure that some of you have felt uncomfortable with her teaching methods. I’m not saying that all of her methods are bad. But I asked her to at least offer you the option to reject this particular approach.”

The students looked between one another.

“I mean… it’s not really that bad.”

You hadn’t expected Yada to be the one to sheepishly speak up. She was blushing brightly.

“Yeah, it’s kind of useful.” Nakamura sat back, grinning.

“Okay… well,” you looked at Irina, who shrugged, “Let’s take a vote. Who would like Irina to stop kissing people for reward and punishment?”

Not a single hand went up.

Oof.

“No offense, Mx. Reader.” Nagisa gave you an apologetic smile, “But it does actually teach us something.”

There were agreements around the room.

“Alright then...” you gestured and looked at Irina, “I guess uh… if everyone is fine.... Let me know if you guys have any concerns then, okay?”

There were agreements. Irina clapped her hands together, “Alright, so, back to Sex and the City.”

That was… okay.

Okay.

 

At lunch that day, Korosensei was positively chipper, humming and generally being excited. He was definitely in high spirits. It was much better than the challenging silence of before.

Things felt normal.

Or what passed for normal here.

“What’s gotten into you?” you finally asked.

“One of my favorite series is updating and I’ll be going to the premiere!”

“Oh!” that… wasn’t what you had expected. There was something about the idea of Korosensei in a movie theatre that struck you as odd. Then again, anytime he was anywhere but the classroom it felt a bit odd.

“So, what movie is it?”

“Sonic Ninja! Have you heard of it?”

“Yeah, one of the superhero movies, right? The US has been making a ton of them lately. They’re not really my thing so much.”

He seemed a touch surprised, “What sorts of films do you like?”

“Well… I mean… I do like a little bit of everything but I tend to prefer animated films. Especially the ones here. I grew up watching Studio Ghibli movies back home.”

“I see.” he tapped his chin, “Some of the children mentioned those in their last class. Seems Irina is letting them pick the next film to watch in English.”

You chuckled, “I mean, those would be good ones since they’re already familiar with them. They get to see any changes that were made in translation.”

Man, you were doing great today. You were having a normal conversation with him. You weren't dying. This was nice. Maybe you got it all out of your system over the past two days. Maybe your feelings were giving you a break.

He gave a nod and suddenly perked up possibly even more so than he had been previously.

"Reader, what would you think of a movie night ?" he sounded positively ecstatic. 

You looked over at him, "Sounds like fun, think the children's parents would let them stay for one?"

He sputtered, almost like he was caught off guard by your question.

"What?"

He was silent for a moment and you saw him go a touch blue, "I-well… that is…" 

Your stare seemed to fluster him.

"I meant a movie night outside of the classroom. For us." He'd gone a bit pink.

"Oh."

Oh .

Oh??

OH!

Your brain ricocheted to a million different possibilities with that statement. You’d felt a bit scattered since yesterday and the day before so you weren’t exactly prepared for the question...

Thankfully, auto pilot kicked in.

"Yeah, sure. Sounds good. My place fine?"

Auto pilot had failed you.

What did you just do?

A little voice in the back of your head was screaming. 

Why had you offered to host????? 

What if he meant the actual movies? Fuck.

"That sounds perfect . Tomorrow then?"

"Sure."

You turned back to the papers you were grading, screaming internally. 

What had you just done?

You’d invited the octopus to your house. That’s what you’d done.

God was punishing you for your hubris. You’d let yourself think you were doing fine and fell into the trap. Christ.

“I’ll bring the popcorn.” you’d thought he’d been insufferably chipper before but not it was positively overwhelming.

You were going to have to clean, and make sure you had drinks, and pick out mov-

You turned to him, “What movies would you want to watch?”

“Why don’t you share some of your favorites with me?”

Ahahahahahahahhaaa fuck…

“Sure!”

When the bell finally rang and he headed back to class you laid you face on your desk.

You could barely handle the cafe. A public cozy space.

You could barely handle yesterday in your office.

Or the walk down the mountain.

How the hell were you going to handle your apartment?

 

While you were packing up your things to head home you heard a tapping on the doorframe of the nurse’s office.

When you turned you saw Chiba and Hiyami standing in the doorway. You gave them a wave, “Hey there, everything okay?”

“Yeah, we just came by to give you these.”

More cranes. You accepted them carefully. They’d apparently made multiple. Gold foil music notes, polka dots, paw prints, interconnecting rings...the patterns were varied. There were eight total.

“Thank you. I’ll have to put these with the rest.”

“Hey, Doc, hold up.” Yoshida leaned around Chiba, holding out a crane of his own, “Don’t forget this one.”

You accepted that one as well. It was a checkered flag pattern.

You laughed a little, “Okay, is there anyone else?”

“I think that’s everyone today.” Hiyami gave a nod.

“Alright. Maybe I should make a submission box for them or something. That way you guys can drop them off when I’m not here.”

Chiba nudged Hiyami and she nodded to him, “We gotta get going, see you tomorrow!”

You waved. Yoshida had already vanished.

Nine more cranes…

You settled them with their siblings and pulled out a new post it note.

Total: 36

Left: 964

Maybe you’d look at a submission box soon or at least find another place to put these guys…

 

You laid in bed that night staring at the ceiling.

He was visiting tomorrow .

What were you thinking ?

Christ.

You rubbed your face with your palms.

How was this going to go?

Well…. You’d find out tomorrow you guessed.