Congratulations, YOU HAVE FOUND A HIDDEN FILE. Go ahead and read if you like, but please keep in mind that I have hidden these for a reason. These are bad or controversial works that I am more ashamed of than my other work ... or in the words of Shakespeare
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.

Disclaimer 1: Most of this is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.

Disclaimer 6: If my characters' conversations seem odd or they appear to be talking past each other the latter might occasionally be intentional, but most likely it is an accident and I'm not aware that they are. It's just my bad communication skills.

Parent-Teacher Conference

Title: Parent-Teacher Conference
Fandom: Yami No Matsuei
Characters: Touda, Teacher
Prompt: 100. Writer's Choice.
Word Count: 1.672.
Rating: G
Summary: Tenkou's teacher has read her essay and is just a little worried.
Author's Notes: Inspired by JJ's review of my last post.

The teacher suppressed a sigh as another pair of over-ambitious parents finally walked out of her classroom. Their poor little boy really was doing the best he could, even if his grades weren't always perfect. How many children had perfect grades? He was just an average little shiki-child.

Her only wish concerning the student was to see him smile every once in a while, but much as they professed to love him his parents didn't show any concern about his happiness. They only cared about his grades claiming that they'd ensure his happiness in his adult life. Who was his teacher to decide whether it was worth sacrificing childhood happiness for?

Well, that one was a lost cause. As a teacher you learned very fast that you couldn't help every child and when the parents weren't on your side it wasn't worth the fight. She'd given up battling windmills long ago.

There was one last parent to talk to tonight, though and she couldn't possibly give up this child no matter how nervous the thought of talking with her father made her. Little Tenkou was an adorable child and a good student, yet the teacher worried for her, because it sometimes seemed like she wasn't getting any parental attention at all. Normally she'd have given the girl's parents a stern talking to when nobody had bothered to show up for Tenkou on the first parents' day, but she was only a common shiki and Tenkou's father was the guardian of the East. Besides allowances had to be made for his single parent status. Maybe he just hadn't managed to free himself from other obligations.

He had never shown up for any other meetings or school events either, though and this time the teacher had an issue that she felt really needed addressing. So she'd written a formal letter asking to meet with a family member or legal guardian today. The only legal guardian Tenkou had was her father of course. The girl occasionally spoke of an elder brother, but the teacher was confident that Kijin wasn't old enough to attend parent-teacher conferences. A small, scared part of her hoped that a friendly little known uncle or cousin would miraculously appear in her classroom door instead.

Apparently the universe didn't feel like fulfilling wishes today, though. The shiki that did enter the room with a polite, if rather reserved greeting, might not have been the guardian of the East, but the teacher felt anything but relieved at the sight. If there was one shiki she felt less ready to meet than SohRyu ...

Well, it couldn't be helped. He was here and she had to deal with him. Hopefully she was too insignificant to anger him.

"Commander Touda." It was supposed to be a greeting but sounded more like a frightened squeak to her own ears. "I wasn't aware that you were related to Tenkou."

"I'm not," the serpent hissed causing a shiver to run down her spine. "Lord SohRyu couldn't make it today and I happened to be free."

He didn't seem to be about to eat her, so maybe that was just his normal voice.

"That is most ... inconvenient," she returned in a hopefully halfway steady voice. "I asked to see a family member, you see, because I need to talk to someone who is close to Tenkou, has a hand in her upbringing, if at all possible."

"Oh, that's alright then," Touda assured her coiling up in front of her desk.

She stared at the unblinking reptile eyes for a moment. He seemed very peaceful and relaxed the way he lay there, but still. This shiki had been sentenced to eternal imprisonment for mass murder once. He was the ultimate war criminal, pardoned only at the request of SohRyu's shinigami master and against the will of everybody else.

"It's alright?" she repeated incredulously.

"I may not be a family member, but I do live in Tenku with the family. I watch the children for SohRyu sometimes when he's busy."

A mass murderer? She hoped her horror wasn't showing on her face. "He seems to be busy a lot."

"He has a whole world to rule in the emperor's absence. We all depend on him to make the right decisions. That isn't always easy."

She wondered whether he'd learned that speech by heart.

"His children need their father as well, especially since they don't have a mother."

"He makes a point of seeing them everyday, but he doesn't always have time to supervise their games or answer all their questions. That's where I come in. They usually take their questions to me."

"And who watches them during the day?"

"A household slave, a very motherly older woman. SohRyu is very aware of children's need for a mother figure as you can see."

Trying to read between the lines she mostly saw that she was most likely talking to the right person after all. Unless she wanted to lower herself to talking with the slave.

"You say you answer the children's questions. Do you also supervise their homework?"

Touda actually blinked for he first time since he'd entered the room. "To be honest, that has never occurred to me." At her incredulous stare he added: "I never went to an actual school myself, you see. I'll check with the slave-woman. Perhaps it is part of her duties."

The teacher nodded. "Tenkou has never asked you any school related questions either?"

"Of course she has. She asks me all sorts of questions. Why?"

"Well, I ..." She stared down at the essay she'd meant to question SohRyu about. Could she even explain her problem with it to Touda without insulting him? It looked both a lot more worrying and innocent all of a sudden. "You have to understand that I expected to talk to her father and thought that he was checking her assignments. I'd meant to ask him what he'd thought about this essay and whether he'd discussed it with Tenkou."

Touda stared at the exercise book she placed in front of him, but didn't move to touch it. "If I could change anything I like, I'd make myself a hellfire shiki?" he read out loud. "Tenkou wrote this?"

"Yes," she confirmed. "I thought it a rather strange wish from a sweet little girl like her."

"It is a very strange thing to wish for," Touda agreed to her surprise. "Why would she want that?"

"Well, in most children I'd say it's a wish to be feared, but Tenkou is such a sweet, gentle and happy little girl that it doesn't seem likely. She never mentioned the assignment to you?"

"She asked all of us what we'd choose," Touda allowed.

"And you said?"

"That I'd change my hair colour." Her incredulity must have been obvious in her face, because Touda continued: "She is a bit too young to understand some things and I thought it a harmless and funny answer that she'd enjoy."

"Did she ever say something like this before? Show a particular interest in your powers?"

Touda shook his head. "Not that I remember. I most definitely didn't discuss them with her. She asked general questions about all the elements sometimes and how each was best used. She should remember that I told her that fire is a difficult element to control and she has seen what happens when Suzaku loses that control."

"Not you, though?"

"I can't. That is exactly the point. Nobody should want to be a hellfire shiki. When you have a power like that you must never ever lose control. Not for a moment. I did once and you know what happened."

"Does Tenkou know about that?"

"Doesn't everybody?"

"I meant, have you discussed it with her? Are you sure she is aware of the connection with your powers?" Her hands were shaking and she hid them under the table even though she was sure Touda had already seen it anyway. He knew what he was and what that meant to others. Somehow it made her feel a little foolish anyway.

"No," he said. "How do you explain war and battlefields, slaughter, to an innocent little girl?"

He looked haunted, no different from so many common soldiers she'd heard speak of the war.

"Maybe ... There is child-friendly material to teach the war in class, but it can't take away the fact that she knows most of the main characters in this story personally and she's sure to have further questions." And who would she take her questions to? They both knew he'd have to explain this someday. "It is important that she learns the responsibilities that come with great power. Considering who her father is it is probably the most important lesson she has to learn."

Somehow she felt strangely convinced that Touda would be better suited to teaching this lesson than she was, better than SohRyu even.

"She is so young and innocent." Touda looked down at the essay again. "I can't believe this. Why would she even want that?"

"That's why I asked whether you'd seen it," she tried to explain. "If it was actually written for you to read, it was probably just meant as an 'I love you', or maybe she's addressing her father here, reminding him that she gets more attention from you than she does from him."

"But what has that got to do with hellfire? She could have asked for more attention from her father. He practically suggested that."

She smiled. "Ask her. And tell her father it wouldn't hurt, if he did take a look at her homework from time to time."

"Or attended parent-teacher conferences?" Touda asked.

"Or attended parent-teacher conferences."

It would be interesting to get a chance to compare these two, the one who'd fathered Tenkou and the one who'd raised her. Which one really was the deciding influence on her life? From her current knowledge of them the teacher couldn't tell, but neither was she sure which would be the better choice.

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