Characters: Ryo, Bikky, Carol, OCs.
Setting: About midway through the manga.
Summary: Ryo gets called to Bikky’s school to meet with the Principal.
Written For: The tw100 prompt ‘Untranslatable’.
Word Count: 705
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
When the strap on Bikky’s book bag snapped as he was slinging it over his shoulder and everything that had been in it went all over the floor, he swore, long and loud, using every bad word he could come up with. This was SO what he didn’t need today. The other kids in the hall stared at him and Carole giggled before starting to help her sort of not quite boyfriend to gather his scattered books.
“What was that, dude?” a boy who was in Bikky’s science class asked. “I mean I get that you’re pissed, but… what were you sayin’?”
Glancing up, Bikky shook his head. “I don’t know. It’s Japanese, but it’s what Ryo, my dad, always says when he’s mad about something, so whatever it is, I bet it’s something really rude.”
The other kid laughed. “That’s way cool! Think you could teach me some of that stuff?”
Bikky shrugged. “Sure. Why not?”
That was how things started.
Two weeks later, Ryo got a call from the school, saying the Principal wanted to see him. That was never good news, so he told the Chief he needed to take a couple of hours’ personal time and drove over.
“Ah, Mr Maclean, good of you to come. Sorry I had to call you at work.”
“That’s quite alright, Principal Montgomery.” Ryo took the seat the Principal indicated. “What has Bikky done this time?”
“Well, it would appear he’s been teaching some of the other boys to swear. In Japanese.”
Ryo groaned, face heating up, and dropped his head in his hands. “I’m so sorry, this is all my fault.”
“How so?” Principal Montgomery sounded intrigued.
“I didn’t want Bikky picking up bad language from me, but it honestly never occurred to me until it was too late that all I was doing was teaching him to swear in another language. That wasn’t at all what I’d intended.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t, but if you could perhaps talk to the boy about it? Persuade him not to teach Japanese swearwords to the other children? Some of the teachers are a bit put out about it, although our music teacher, Mr Yamaguchi, is quite impressed with Bikky’s vocabulary and accent.”
“Of course, I’ll talk to Bikky as soon as I get home tonight.”
“Splendid. I am curious though; of all the languages you could have picked, why Japanese?”
“Oh, it’s my second language, I grew up with it. My mother was Japanese.”
“Really? I would never have known.”
Ryo shrugged. “I look more like my dad. Anyway, I’m bilingual, mom made sure I learned both Japanese and English growing up. I’ve never regretted it until now,” he added wryly.
“Well, don’t worry yourself too much about it, I just wanted to make sure you knew. Bikky has been doing so much better in school over the last year, really knuckling down with his schoolwork, and I don’t want anything interfering with the progress he’s making. While I approve of the boys and girls at this school learning other languages, I’d prefer them to focus on the less colorful and more socially acceptable phrases. I’ll be pointing that out to the students in tomorrow’s assembly, and it would be helpful if Bikky would stop teaching the other kids what he’s picked up from you.”
“I’ll see to it. He doesn’t actually know what any of the words mean though.”
“That’s one positive aspect of the situation, I suppose.” Principal Montgomery stood and so did Ryo, shaking the other man’s hand.
“Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
“No, thank you; you’re doing a wonderful job with the lad. I see a bright future ahead of him if he keeps on the way he has been, minus the swearing.”
Leaving the Principal’s office and heading back to his car, Ryo breathed a sigh of relief that Montgomery was such an understanding man and wouldn’t be punishing Bikky for something that had been Ryo’s fault. He shouldn’t have been swearing in front of an impressionable child in the first place, not even in another language, and he’d never do so again; he’d learned his lesson. Now he just needed to make sure Bikky learned it too.