Discovering Myself

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Cammytrice, Jun 8, 2014.

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  1. Kaede silently sat at his desk under guard of his teacher, who was marking papers also in silence. Kaede was starving, but he didn't dare open up one of the packets of snacks he had in his bookbag. He didn't even dare to acknowledge the audible sound of his stomach, even when the teacher looked up at the sound. Kaede tried to swallow his nerves. This was worse than waiting for death. They were waiting for his father.

    He thought back over the previous whirlwind months. It had been less of an upheaval than others thought it should've been. Yes, he'd needed tutoring to work on his Japanese, both speaking and writing, but he'd been doing well, and his teacher had been pleased. Until a month ago. The longer Kaede lived in Japan, the more unsettled, the more distracted he'd become. Much as he'd tried, he couldn't concentrate on his studies. And now, he'd failed one test too many. And his father, his very busy father, his very important advisor to the Emporer of a father, had been called.

    This was certainly worse than waiting for death.
  2. Miyamoto Ryuunosuke was finding parenthood to be... an adjustment.

    This was merely an appointment, he told himself firmly, as he strode down the hall towards his son's classroom. A meeting to discuss an issue. It was no different from any of his other duties, for which his record was unquestionably impeccable. If he could handle matters of national importance, he could certainly handle the problems of one high school boy's academic career.

    Except that this particular boy was Ryuunosuke's only child.

    When he reached the classroom door, he hesitated despite himself. I wish I could ask his mother's advice, the thought came to him unbidden, and he was forced to tamp it down and seal it away for later contemplation. This was not the time. Instead, he collected himself into his most intimidating posture- the one he used when undergoing the more hostile parts of his vocation- and opened the door.

    "Sugita-sensei," he greeted, although his eyes first settled on Kaede before meeting the teacher's. "I apologize for the fact that my presence is required."
  3. "Advisor, I also apologise that your presence had to be requested, but I do not believe that this issue will resolve itself without some intervention from you as a father." The teacher stood and bowed in greeting; though respected in his position as an educator, deferred to the higher rank of Miyamoto as the Emperor's trusted advisor entered the room. "Please, have a seat," he further invited him.

    Kaede stared at his desk. It was all he could do not to try to just sink under his desk and disappear.

    "I understand you are a busy man, so I will come straight to the point. When your son first began his studies here, the school was willing, due to the exceptional nature of his entrance, to offer him extra tutoring sessions during school hours in order to catch up with his peers. At first, Kaede seemed eager to learn and to study but, as time has progressed, we feel our efforts are not being reciprocated. Kaede is often distracted and uninterested, and his work is no longer up to the standard that we have come to expect from him. As his form teacher, I have tried to counsel and encourage him, to get to the root of the issue, but I have had no progress. I can only ask that as his father, he may open up more to you, and that you may have success where we have not. But most of all, please continue to stress to your son that he may jeopardise his own future in further studies if his work does not improve very soon."

    Kaede's face turned to stone as he hid behind his shaggy hair. What would he know about me, either? was the sour thought that drove his expression. Of course he wouldn't say anything to the teacher; he couldn't trust him. But his father... while Kaede had desperately wanted to really talk to this man since he first met him, he was always too busy. The desperation had never left, but it was now locked behind a wall of hurt and anger that caused his lips to stay sealed, even when they had a brief moment together.
  4. As the teacher droned on, Ryuunosuke's lips pressed into a thinner and thinner line. He stayed attentive, but in truth he was less concerned with what the teacher was saying than with his son's responses. The boy had not spoken a word and was as tight as a clam, scrunched down into his seat as if he were trying to squeeze himself into an invisible state. It was... disconcerting.

    What was wrong with him? Why had his grades been slipping so badly? Was it the language barrier, the culture shock? Or something else?

    It was his duty to find out. And Ryuunosuke would do just that.

    "Sensei." The authoritative tone was clear in his voice. Holding up a cautioning hand, he went on, "I assure you, I will address this matter with my son. He will not neglect his studies any further. If you would be so kind as to give us a moment alone..."

    It wasn't a request.

    Not waiting to see if the teacher would obey, Ryuunosuke stood and turned to look at Kaede, folding his arms over his chest and studying the top of the teen's shaggy head. If only the boy would look up, perhaps... He smothered the wave of frustration and something else- something more unfamiliar, something he didn't quite know how to name- that threatened to swell in his chest. For this, he had to remain firm. Kaede's future was, indeed, at stake, and Ryuunosuke couldn't allow that.
  5. The teacher stood and, with a quick bow, excused himself from the room and headed down to the teacher's lounge to get a cup of coffee. He didn't want to be anywhere near the line of fire.

    As soon as the teacher had left, Kaede felt himself relaxing just slightly. At least enough to breathe. "I'm sorry, sir. I will try harder," he recited in a neutral tone, in perfect Japanese. He'd had lots of practice saying that recently. And really, what else could he say? He was trying as hard as he could, despite all the things swirling around his mind. Things just at the edge of his consciousness, at the edge of his dreams, and yet always, maddeningly, just out of reach.

    He still didn't look up. He didn't dare. He could literally feel the, presence, of his father looming over him. He tried his utmost not to cringe under the intense glare, but still felt his shoulders creep up towards his ears. His elbows and forearms had rested protectively in front of him, joined at his folded hands, but now those hands balled into agitated fists. The tension that had just left his body now resurfaced, much more noticeably and intensely, but still he didn't look, and he said no more.

    Kaede felt trapped. Trapped in a room with a man that was practically a stranger, but for the fact that he was his father, advisor to the emperor, and someone to whom Kaede felt a strong, deep connection that he could not understand. Trapped by the things he couldn't understand that had done nothing more for him than to put him in this cursed situation. Trapped by his inability to trust anyone other than the man now standing angrily over him. It wasn't that he didn't want to, but he was physically unable to. Somehow, somehow all those things mattered. Somehow, this man he now felt trapped by could set him free. If only he could see that! If only he weren't so damned busy!
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