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An Azumanga Daioh fan fiction story
by DB Sommer

Any and all C+C is appreciated. You can contact me at sommert@connecttime.net

Standard Disclaimer: I do not the rights to Azumanga Daioh. They are owned by Kiyohiko Azuma, Genco, J.C. Staff, and ADV Films.


~~Stylin' and Profilin'~~

"Guys have it so easy, it makes me want to puke."

Yomi stopped staring at the door to the classroom and turned a curious eye toward Tomo. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm saying that compared to us girls, guys don't have anything to worry about," Tomo explained.

"I don't know about that."

Tomo shook her head. "It's true. All they have to do is act macho and they get everything handed to them. It's disgusting!"

Yomi saw that Tomo's boisterous voice had attracted the attention of several male members of the class. A small group of them approached Tomo.

The one at the head of the pack spoke. "I heard that."

"Yeah, you got no idea of the crap us guys have to put up with," a second added.

Tomo remained undaunted. "Right, like sitting back in my chair and trying to look cool while I'm thinking about sports is really hard."

A third boy said, "There's a lot more to it than that."

"Yeah, a lot more. You wouldn't last twenty-four hours as a guy," the first speaker proclaimed.

Tomo shot to her feet. "You're on! I'll make you eat those words."

Yomi finally interjected herself into the conversation. "What do you mean?"

Tomo smirked. "You'll see tomorrow. I've got some preparations to take care of first."

Yomi suddenly had a very bad feeling, the kind that came when she found herself in an inescapable situation and counted herself lucky if she came out of it with all her body parts intact.


Yomi's sense of impending doom had not lessened by the next morning as she entered the classroom, keeping an eye out for Tomo. As it grew closer to when the bell would ring and Tomo still hadn't shown up, Yomi began to hope her fears had been for nothing. Then a hand slapped her so hard on the back that it nearly knocked the wind out of her.

While Yomi tried to catch her breath, Tomo's voice came from behind her. "How're you doing, Buddy?"

Regaining some of her breath, Yomi spun around. "What do you think you're doing?!"

"Greeting you like a guy would. They're always slapping each other on the back when they meet one another."

Yomi was about to say more when she really looked Tomo over and understood why she had missed her entrance into the classroom. "Why the hell are you wearing a boy's school uniform?"

"I'm going to be a guy today to show just how easy it is," Tomo boasted.

"Only you could be stupid enough to think this proves anything." Yomi sat back down, intent on pretending she didn't know Tomo until she started acting normal. Or at least went back to dressing like a girl, since 'normal' was aiming a bit too high.


~~Mistaken Identity~~

After the initial furor over Tomo's cross-dressing died down, everyone returned to their seats, including Tomo, who leaned back in her chair, trying to look tough and cool at the same time.

Yomi tried pretending nothing was happening as she buried her face in a book. Her escape was short-lived as someone tapped her on the shoulder. Assuming it was Tomo, Yomi was about to snarl out a response when she identified the person as Osaka, who had just arrived in the classroom.

"What is it?" Yomi asked.

"Who's that new guy sitting in Tomo's seat?" Osaka asked.

Yomi felt like slapping her forehead. "That's Tomo."

"Oh," Osaka said. "What a coincidence. What are the odds of someone having the same name as the person that had the seat before them?"

"No, it's Tomo. Tomo Takino."

"Wow! He has the same last name, too. I wonder what the odds of that are." Osaka stared at Tomo in awe. "He's kind of cute."

"Listen to me. That is not a new student. That's Tomo Takino. The one you've been friends with for the last two years. She's only dressed up in a guy's uniform, and is not now nor ever has been a guy."

"Oh." A puzzled expression replaced Osaka's awe. "So asking Tomo out is a bad idea, huh?"

Yomi just let her head sink to the desk.


~~Birds of a Feather~~

A bleary-eyed Yukari finally arrived in the classroom. She walked up to her podium, pulled out the class list, and began reading off names in an almost zombie-like trance. Eventually she arrived toward the end of the list.

"Ohara."

"Here."

"Sagawa."

"Here."

"Takino."

Tomo shot to her feet and shouted out at the top of her lungs, "Yo!"

"Yamada."

Before Yamada could respond, Tomo, who was still standing, said, "Miss Yukari, aren't you going to ask me why I'm in a boy's school uniform?"

Yukari stared at Tomo. "Asking implies a level of concern about you on my part that simply doesn't exist."

Undaunted, Tomo explained, "I'm proving how easy guys have it compared to us girls by being a guy for a day."

That perked Yukari up. She nodded her head furiously. "You're so right. Guys do have it easy. You know what the toughest thing a guy has to do is? Pay for everything on a date. And even then they bitch about it. You'd think from the way they complain you were ripping out their fingernails or something. So what if they have to pay for a lobster and crab leg combo? Don't they think girls get hungry? I'm tired of that sort of 'I'm so set upon' attitude. You go right ahead and be a guy all you want, Tomo, just to show them how easy they have it. I'll be backing you up all the way." She shot Tomo a thumb's up sign, smiling the entire time.

"So much for Yukari-sensei talking some sense into her," Yomi muttered to Chiyo.


~~Bishonen~~

Toward the rear of the class, Kaorin and Chihiro stared intently at Tomo.

Kaorin shook her head sadly as she whispered to Chihiro, "I think this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt Tomo is the most stupid person in the class, if not the whole school."

Chihiro continued staring at her. "You know, Tomo actually looks cute dressed like that."

"What?"

"I'm serious," Chihiro insisted. "She looks kind of bishonen."

"Stupid people can't look bishonen," Kaorin said.

Chihiro was nearly swooning. "I think she's the cutest girl in the class."

Kaorin made a choking sound. "She is not. Sakaki is the cutest girl in class."

"No way. Tomo is."

"Sakaki is a hundred times cuter than Tomo!"

"Tomo is a thousand times cuter than Sakaki!"

"Sakaki!"

"Tomo!"

"Sakaki!"

"Tomo!"

Toward the front of the class, Sakaki turned a shade of crimson reserved for ripe tomatoes while Tomo simply preened.


~~Main Filly of the Herd~~

It was lunch time as Yomi found herself eating alone. She had been emphatic about Tomo not hanging around her until she quit trying to act like a guy. Tomo was being exceptionally stubborn about it, insisting she was 'making a statement for all of womankind'. The only statement Yomi could derive from her behavior was the idea that 'most of womankind is stupid'.

"Moron," she grumbled under her breath.

Yomi had just her finished lunch when she heard several girls toward the door gasp. She looked up to see Yuuto Ichikawa, one of the best-looking guys in the entire school, entering the classroom. His eyes scanned the room, then settled on Yomi. She watched in a mix of fascination and fear as he walked up to her, finally stopping in front of her desk.

"Hi there, I'm Yuuto Ichikawa from Room 2-F."

Yomi felt her heart nearly leap out of her chest. He was even better looking up close. "I know. I mean, your reputation precedes you. A good reputation, not a bad one." She shut her mouth before she rambled for the next half hour.

"And you're Koyomi Mizuhara. I've had my eye on you."

Yomi couldn't seem to get her mouth to open, which was just as well, since her tongue refused to obey her commands to speak either. She doubted looking like a panting dog would impress the guy.

"I thought you might like to go out sometime," Yuuto continued.

Before Yomi could say a word, a hand fell heavily on her shoulder and Tomo's voice bellowed, "Hey there, Buddy, you'd better be ready for the fight of your life when you go hitting on another man's woman."

A strangled gasp escaped Yomi, her earlier paralysis worsened as her mind completely seized up.

Yuuto backed away. "Sorry about that. I didn't know she was taken."

Tomo's arm wrapped itself affectionately around Yomi's shoulder. "Yeah, this is the main squaw in my harem, if you know what I mean."

"Not really, but I get the idea. Sorry about that," Yuuto walked away.

Yomi wanted to respond, beg him to come back, explain the situation to him, to just move, but her motor control had been lost in the emotional whirlpool of events. It was only as the door slid shut that the noise broke her paralysis. Yomi shot out of her chair and turned to confront Tomo, murder in her eyes.

"How dare you!" Yomi snarled.

"Whoa, ease down there. I did you a favor," Tomo said.

"How in the hell does preventing me from going out on a date with one of the hottest guys in school become a favor?!"

"If he was really interested in you, he'd have been willing to fight over you. But since he backed down so easily, he was probably just looking for a good time rather than anything serious."

"Maybe I was just looking for a good time too! Did you ever think of that, huh?!"

Tomo stared at her in confusion. "So you're saying you want to be my bitch instead of my girlfriend?"

"I'm saying I want to be the person who caves in your skull!" Yomi picked up a chair and tried to hit the cross-dresser with it. Tomo ducked, evading the chair by mere centimeters, and began running for her life.

It was at that moment Kagura entered. She watched in confusion as Tomo ran around the perimeter of the room, just out of Yomi's reach. Since Osaka was closest to her, Kagura asked, "What's going on?"

"A lover's quarrel. Some guy tried to seduce Yomi away from Tomo, and they're arguing about it," Osaka said.

"Oh, I see." And understood that she had no intention of getting involved, so Kagura backed up and exited the room.


~~Perspectives~~

Chiyo looked over the latest material Yukari had given them. She had taught English for all of fifteen minutes before declaring it 'Free Study Period' and leaving the room. Chiyo had just finished the final exercise Yukari had bothered to hand out when she looked up and saw Osaka wandering around, as though she were looking for something.

"What are you doing?" Chiyo asked.

Osaka said, "I'm trying to find Tomo. I need her to help me with a problem."

"I can help," Chiyo said proudly.

Osaka stared at her for a second. "Nah, you can't help me. Only Tomo's smart enough to help me with it."

Chiyo drew back, offended at the implication. "No way! I'm smarter than Tomo. Anything she can help you with, I can do."

"Not this time, Chiyo."

"Yes, I can!"

Osaka shook her head. "I need a guy's perspective on something. Only Tomo can help me with that."

"Tomo's not a guy!"

"But if I ever need a short person's perspective on something, you're the first person I'll come to."

"And I'm not that short!" Chiyo fumed.


~~Nicknames~~

Nyamo entered the girls' locker room just as the girls from Yukari's class began pulling out their gym clothes and started to change. She spotted Yomi and the others clustered together, and approached.

"I heard Tomo's trying to act like a guy," Nyamo said.

"It's easily the most stupid thing she's ever done," Yomi confirmed.

"And Yukari is encouraging the behavior. It's not the most stupid thing she's done, but it's up there," Nyamo admitted. "By the way, where is Tomo?"

The others looked around, perplexed by her absence.

"She followed us out of class," Kagura said.

"No way. She couldn't have," Yomi said.

Nyamo arrived at the same conclusion as she sprinted out of the locker room. She was back a minute later, dragging Tomo forcibly behind her.

"Girls are not allowed in the boys' locker room!" Nyamo shouted at her as she released the hold on Tomo's arm.

"What about girls pretending to be guys?"

"Not them either."

"It happens in the movies all the time."

"No, and that's final."

Tomo pouted. "Aw, it was just getting to the good stuff, too."

"What good stuff?" Chiyo asked.

Discovering she had an audience, Tomo elaborated. "I found out why they call Kakazu 'The Mule'."

Everyone but Chiyo and Osaka suddenly recoiled.

Osaka said, "I thought it was because he was born on a farm on the same day a mule was, and they named him after the animal."

"Yep. He was showing us pictures of the mule," Tomo said. "It even looks like him."

The girls breathed a sigh of relief.

Tomo continued. "And I found out why Kouguchi is called 'The Anaconda'."

"Is it because he owns a snake?" Chiyo asked.

Tomo shook her head. "It's because he's huge."

"Um, he's one of the smallest guys in class," Chiyo pointed out.

"I don't mean how tall he is." Tomo held her hands wide apart. "I mean this is the size of his—"

"Tomo!" Nyamo barked. "We don't talk like that in this locker room. And the true worth of a man is measured by his heart, not how… big he is."

"Eh?" Tomo looked at her curiously. "That's not what you said at the beach. You said size is an important factor when looking for guys."

The other girls nodded their heads.

Nyamo blushed. "It's… It's not that it's… important. It's just… an added bonus if they happen to… you know…."

"Have a nickname like 'The Anaconda'?" Tomo asked.

"Yes! Exactly! I have to get ready for class." Nyamo exited the locker room very quickly.

The girls began to change. Osaka glanced over at Tomo as she removed the top of her boy's uniform to reveal a set of wrapping bound across her chest. "Hey, you're not wearing a bra."

The others turned to look.

"It's a chest binding," Kagura said.

Tomo said, "Yep. Guys don't wear bras or have a chest like a girl, so I strapped my breasts down so they don't poke out."

"How about that. I couldn't even tell you were wearing a chest wrap." Osaka turned to her companions. "Could any of you tell?"

They shook their heads.

Tomo's shoulders slumped in misery. "You're a cold, cold person, Osaka." Tomo continued changing by removing her pants. She had just finished taking them off when she noticed everyone staring at her. "What?"

"What's that?" Chiyo asked, pointing at her undergarment.

"A jockstrap," Tomo said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

"That's going too far!" Yomi shouted.

"Oh, so you think I don't need the cup either, huh?"


~~Battle of the Sexes~~

The girls gathered on one side of the track, preparing for a hundred meter dash. As Kagura stretched out on the ground, Tomo walked over to her, smirking.

"Guess the shoe's on the other foot now," Tomo boasted.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Kagura asked.

"That you're going to be eating my dust for a change. Everyone knows guys are better at sports than girls."

"We'll see about that," Kagura snarled quietly.

A whistle called the girls to the track. Nyamo broke them up into smaller groups, with Tomo ending up next to Kagura. The girls exchanged smirks with one another.

Nyamo shouted. "On your mark! Get set! Go!" And fired a starter pistol.

Kagura was off like a bolt of lightning, never looking back. The last of her competition fell out of her peripheral vision by the fifty meter mark. She crossed the finish line well ahead of everyone else. She waited idly as Tomo came in dead last.

Kagura laughed. "So much for 'male superiority'. What do you have to say for yourself now?"

Tomo's confidence was unwavering. "It doesn't prove anything. I let you win 'cause everyone knows it's uncool for guys to beat girls."

Kagura shook her head sadly. "One thing I will say you're good at: you bullshit as much as any guy."


~~Reminisce~~

The girls had just finished gym class and were heading back to their homeroom when they encountered Yukari in the middle of the hall.

Yukari asked, "So, how's the cross-dressing going, Tomo?"

Tomo gave her a thumb's up sign. "Just great. I've got the whole macho thing down, been asked to join a couple of clubs, and had several girls hit on me. It's so easy, it's like I'm coasting in my sleep."

"It's always like you're coasting in your sleep," Yomi mumbled.

"Ah, this brings back memories." Yukari sighed.

"It does?" Tomo asked.

"Yep, back in high school I knew someone that cross-dressed once, though it was for less noble reasons than yours. In fact, it was one of the most infamous incidents in the history of the school."

"Tell us," Tomo insisted. Almost against their will, the other girls nodded in agreement.

Yukari began, "It's a tale of misunderstandings, debauchery, love triangles, and some serious bitch-slapping. I laughed for weeks and made fun of the idiot who did it for years."

"Who was it?" Tomo asked.

"Well, for your information, the misguided fool at the center of the sordid mess was…" Yukari stopped as she saw all of the girls suddenly turn into versions of Chiyo, their terrified looks identical to when the prodigy stepped out of Yukari's car. At the exact same moment, Yukari felt as if someone was walking on her grave. Someone in the form of a pack of overweight sumos. And they were dancing a mambo.

Right behind her.

"---definitely not in any way, shape, or form Minamo Kurosawa and don't let anyone tell you otherwise," Yukari added. The feeling of her own mortality peering over her shoulder suddenly lessened, as though it were moving away down the hall and into Nyamo's homeroom.

"I'd rather not know," Tomo said as she and the girls backed away fearfully.

"Yeah, I guess the story isn't so funny after all." Yukari shuddered.


~~Aftereffect~~

Yet another morning began, and Yomi found herself walking to her classroom, hoping against hope that Tomo had come to her senses and returned to some facsimile of normal. The irritating girl had enjoyed her little sojourn into masculinity far too much. It had been incredibly disruptive, even by their usual standards. Yomi swore if Tomo was stupid enough to wear a guy's uniform again she'd rip it off her and force her to wear a dress, even if it meant tying her down and gluing it to her.

Yomi arrived outside the door. Bracing for the worst, she slid the door open. She breathed a sigh of relief as she spotted Tomo sitting at her desk, dressed in her standard girl's uniform as though the whole cross-dressing fiasco had been nothing more than a dream.

Yomi walked up to Tomo. "I see you've returned to what passes for your senses."

"What? This?" Tomo fingered her outfit. "Actually, I did come dressed as a guy again, but someone else was cross-dressing too and, as much as I hate to admit it, she looked better than me. I know when I'm outclassed, so I switched back to skirts, make-up, and tampons."

"Someone else?" Yomi looked about the room, but saw no other girls dressed in a boy's uniform.

A disturbance from out in the hall caught Yomi's attention. She could hear dozens of girls "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing, with a scattering of "She's so cute," thrown in the mix. Curious, Yomi walked toward the door. It slid open before she could get to it, revealing the source of the disturbance.

Chiyo stood in the doorway, her hair undone and falling to her shoulders, dressed in a boy's school uniform.

"Ch… Chiyo-chan," Yomi said.

"It's Chiyo-kun now." Chiyo tried grumbling in a tough guy tone, but her voice was so high-pitched it simply made her more endearing.

Yomi felt a blush rise to her cheeks as she softly intoned "Cute" in a way that would have done Sakaki proud. Maybe there was something to be said about cross-dressing after all.

 


Author's notes: So much for my Azumanga hiatus, though this was the only thing to come to me in a while. Can't say when inspiration might strike next. Ta-Ta.

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Last revision: May 21, 2007

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