An Azumanga Daioh fan fiction story
by DB Sommer
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to any of the Azumanga Daioh characters. They are owned by Azuma Kiyohiko, GENCO, Media Works, and TV Tokyo.
Any and all C+C is appreciated. You can contact me at email@example.com
Foreword: In keeping with the series, this is a stand-alone thing that has no huge overall plot or is the least bit serious. It's just an excuse to have some largely pointless fun.
Passing the Buck
Yukari stood next to the door of the school bus, making certain her entire homeroom had a clear view of her. Nearly yelling, she stated, "Class, I want you to know that this field trip to the science museum is not for fun! You are here to learn, learn, learn, and nothing but learn! And don't you dare try to pull a fire alarm to evacuate the building so you can get out of being bored to death, then sneak away in the confusion so you can laze around and look through all the shops located down the street, especially the ice cream parlor on Tenth, or the little boutique on Ninth."
Tomo was the first to ask, "Who would do something like that?"
"It definitely wasn't me when I had a field trip here during my high school days," Yukari stated firmly, then ushered the others to, "Now, hop on board."
The class herded themselves onto the bus in an orderly fashion.
"This is going to be fun." Chiyo was all but squirming in her seat in anticipation, though she was careful not to bump Sakaki, who was seated next to her.
Tomo, located in the seat directly in front of her, sat up and turned around. "Have you been there before?"
Chiyo nodded. "My father used to take me there once a year. They have lots of different things, and all of them are really neat. They even have a small dinosaur exhibit"
Seated directly across from them, Osaka interjected herself into the conversation, "My parents took me to a museum that had dinosaurs once. It was on this island that you could only get to by flying. And it was all outdoors, so you had to drive around, and you got to see all the different dinosaurs penned up in their natural environments. Only someone sabotaged the main power generator, and the dinosaurs got out and started eating everyone. It was very scary."
"It was called 'Jurassic Park', and it was a movie, not a museum!" Yomi snapped from her seat next to Tomo.
"Oh, that's right," Osaka said slowly, now remembering the event with somewhat more clarity.
Conversation died once the entire class boarded. Yukari took a quick headcount. Satisfied with the results, she looked at her watch and frowned. She turned to the driver. "We're running a little late. I'm pretty good at driving buses. Almost as good as I am at cars. Want me to take over?"
Chiyo's whole body began to quiver uncontrollably.
"We have to stop her," Yomi hissed.
"Tell her you're sick," Tomo suggested.
"But I'm not sick," Yomi pointed out.
Tomo punched Yomi in the solar plexus, instantly winding her and doubling her over as she gasped for air.
Tomo shot to her feet and said, "Yukari-sensei! Yomi is out of breath! Could you come over and help her?"
"What do I look like? A nurse?" Yukari grumbled, but moved towards the back to see what she could do.
Feeling as though he had just avoided something terrible Fate had left in store for him, the bus driver pulled out and drove off the school grounds and into the city.
"Here we are!" Yukari said merrily as she led the class through the glass doors and into the interior of the museum. They were met by an older woman who wore an official looking blue uniform and had a name tag that said 'Tour Guide' attached to her lapel.
The tour guide gave a warm and pleasant smile to the group and bowed. "Greetings, everyone. I'm Misao Sakamoto, and I'll be conducting today's tour through the museum."
Everyone greeted her and bowed back.
"Why don't we skip the rest of the introductions and get started with the tour?" Yukari insisted.
"My, you're certainly eager," the woman said happily. Her poise and demeanor shifted to a somewhat more authoritative one. "Now if you'll step this way, we'll start with the Hall of Rocks, were we have various minerals from all around the world put up on display. I'll even show you the lab that's connected to it, as we still do experimenting on some of the samples and such."
The guide began leading the group toward the nearest archway. The class moved forward in an orderly fashion, save Yukari, who moved backward in an orderly fashion.
The guide noticed the odd behavior. "Ah, Miss. The tour is this way."
Yukari nodded. "I know. I figured I'd stay out of your way and wait by the bus while you conduct the tour."
The guide was alarmed as Yukari continued moving backward toward the door. "But they're your class."
"Yes, well, they're in your more than capable hands now." Yukari didn't pause as she inched her way closer to the doors.
"But it's usual for their teacher to accompany them," the guide countered.
"I have unique teaching methods," Yukari said.
"Aren't you interested in learning something?"
"No. I'm a teacher. I don't need to learn anything."
"But what if something goes wrong and you're not there to keep them in line?" the flustered guide complained.
"Hey! You're the one that's teaching them and giving them the tour. That makes them your responsibility now, not mine." Before the guide could offer further protestation, Yukari turned and bolted out the doors, cheering loudly about being free.
The guide was left staring in slackjawed wonder.
"Humph, trying to foist her responsibilities on me. How lazy can you get?" Yukari complained as she entered the parked school bus, walked all the way to the back seat at the rear, and proceeded to lie down. Within seconds she was snoring loudly.
The Amazing Tomo-Chan
"—And this is the hall where we keep a variety of minerals found throughout the planet." The guide, now having regained her composure, allowed the class to wander about the hall and gaze in wonder at the various exhibits of stones that rested within their display cases.
Osaka pressed her face against one of the display's protective glass, fogging up the window with her breath due to her close proximity. "Wow! We have rocks like that in our backyard."
A small group of her friends huddled around Osaka to take a closer she was pointing at. It proved to be a rough rock with a black surface, rather ugly in appearance.
Yomi hesitantly said, "I kind of doubt that, Osaka."
Somewhat crestfallen, Osaka said, "No, really, they look just like that."
"That's a diamond," Yomi pointed out.
Osaka took a second look. She stared at the rock in confusion. "But it's not shiny and would never fit in a ring."
Chiyo piped up and explained, "That's what diamonds look like when they're pulled from the ground. It's only after they've been cut and polished that they look like the ones you see in jewelry stores."
"Oh," Osaka's eyes took on a knowing light, or at least as knowing as she could manage.
"It's where the term 'A diamond in the rough' comes from," Tomo stated proudly.
"That's right," Chiyo confirmed.
Tomo gave her a bewildered look. "It is?"
Caught off-guard by the question, Chiyo said, "Ah, yes. Isn't that why you said it?"
"I was just making a joke," Tomo admitted. She then elbowed Kagura in the ribs. "Did you hear that? I got a saying right."
"I don't think admitting you accidentally guessed a correct answer is something you should brag about," Kagura pointed out.
"I'm a diamond in the rough," Tomo stated proudly.
Yomi peered close, adjusting her glasses pointedly as she looked Tomo up and down. "No, definitely a lump of coal in the rough."
"Hey!" Tomo said indignantly, then said to Chiyo, "I don't get it."
Chiyo said, "Diamonds and coal are formed from the same basic material. It's all in pressure exerted on it over millions of years that determines if it forms diamonds, coal, or something else."
"Oh, it's the same thing then." Tomo said, anger satiated. "I'm a lump of coal in the rough!" she stated proudly.
"I'm not sure that's something to brag about either," Kagura said.
A door caught Tomo's eye, ending the line of conversation. She pointed to it and asked the guide, "Where does that go?"
"It's to a lab where they're studying some of the newer rocks that were brought in. Budget cuts have forced us and one of the nearby science academies to share space," the guide admitted, somewhat embarrassed. In an effort to distract the class, she announced they would be continuing on to the next hall and to gather together.
Within minutes the class organized themselves and began to head out. Tomo was almost through the arch leading to the next hall when a geode caught her eye. She immediately broke away from the class and stared at it.
Only Yomi seemed to notice. She too stayed behind, and when the rest of the class had exited the room, and Tomo remained transfixed by the way the light was shining off the various crystals, the taller girl warned, "Come on,. Get moving before we get yelled at."
Tomo gave Yomi a distracted wave of her hand. "Hold on a second. This looks nea— Ow!" and slapped her hand.
That was bizarre, even by Tomo standards. Yomi asked, "What happened?"
Tomo stared at her hand. "A spider stung me."
"Spiders bite. Wasps sting."
"Whatever," Tomo said, then looked at her hand in wonder.
Concerned, Yomi moved closer. "What is it? Do you feel sick? Did it leave a bunch of goo behind when you squashed it?"
Tomo began trembling. "What if what if they're experimenting on genetically altering things in that lab there?" She pointed to the closed door.
Bewildered, Yomi said, "I somehow doubt that. You can't genetically alter rocks, seeing as they have no genes."
Tomo heard nothing as she continued, "What if they're experimenting on enhancing spiders, and what if I was bitten by one of their test subjects that escaped?"
Yomi said, "They study rocks in the lab. If they wanted to study spiders, they would be in the entomology wing, not in the hall of minerals."
"Why, even now its genetically altered venom might be coursing through my veins and changing me so that I'm gaining the abilities of a spider."
"You know, this is why I don't go to the movies with you anymore. You believe everything you see," Yomi pointed out.
"I can feel the throbbing already. It started in my hand, and now it's traveling down my arm. I'm changing!"
"It's probably the venom working its way through your bloodstream. Maybe we should see if they have a first aid station nearby."
"Ha! You're just jealous because you don't have my amazing spider-like abilities." Tomo bragged haughtily. "Watch in envy as I start climbing walls!"
Tomo ran at a sprint towards the nearest wall, then leaped while she was several feet in front of it, allowing her momentum to finish her flight.
Her entire body met the thick mortar of the wall with a resounding thud. For just one moment, she clung to the wall. Then gravity beckoned, and Tomo slid to the floor.
"I told you so," Yomi said.
Tomo shook off the pain. "Wall crawling is like anything else! You aren't automatically good at it. You need practice." She backed up, ran at a sprint and leaped up to the exact same spot, impacting just as hard as before.
She met with identical results.
"Again!" she cried, and ran into the wall once more. Smooshed against it, she gurgled out, "I'm sticking. I'm sticking. I'm sticking. No, I'm not," and slid down to the floor.
Yomi just shook her head at the spectacle. "We'll come back for you after you've knocked yourself unconscious.
There was a loud 'Whump' as Tomo's body met the wall again.
Petting Zoos of the Cretaceous
"—And this is the Hall of Dinosaurs. We have over a dozen completed skeletons on exhibit, making it one of the largest collections in all of Japan. Take, for instance, this Allosaurus." The guide waved her hand with a flourish toward the large seventeen foot skeleton that dominated the center of the room. "It was one of the largest carnivores of the Jurassic Period and was believed to be capable of speeds of over twenty kilometers an hour on open plains."
Sakaki barely paid any attention to the guide. Her notice was fixated on a far smaller skeleton located off to the side. It came up to her waist, and was about Tadakichi's size. However it was on the lean side, and obviously bipedal. Its skull, despite being a skull, had a certain feline grace to it, invoking images of a cat in the girl's mind.
Sakaki couldn't help wondering what it must have looked like millions of years ago when it was still alive. She could picture it now in her mind. The tiny creature bounding about vast fields of wildflowers, living in peace and harmony with its environment, cooing and mewling to its fellow small dinosaurs that were all identical to it, like a pack of fluffy dogs, save that they were trimmed with scales instead of fur.
A blush settled on Sakaki's cheeks. If only she could have been there, seeing the gentle creatures back then. She would approach one, holding out her hand and letting it sniff her so it knew she was trustworthy. And then it would let her—
"Hey, Sakaki, what are you looking at?" Kagura slapped the taller girl on the back, disrupting her fantasy.
Sakaki pointed at the fossil that had enamored her.
"Ohh," Kagura whistled in appreciation. "I don't think I've even seen a Velociraptor skeleton that small. Still, it's big enough to bite a hand off you if you got to close." She crouched low, then snapped her jaws at the taller girl.
Sakaki drew back, aghast at the very idea. Softly, she said, "I don't think it would—"
Kagura talked right through her. "Yeah, those things were one of nature’s perfect killers, all right. They used to travel in packs, and could bring down dinosaurs many times their size. Take a look at that big one and you'll see what I mean." She pointed at something beyond the small Velociraptor.
Sakaki's attention had been so riveted to the smaller skeleton that she had failed to notice a taller one behind it. She looked up and into the ferocious jaws of what was obviously a dinosaur with very many, very sharp, teeth. The skeleton had been posed for maximum, frightening effect, as though the creature was about to gleefully pounce upon the helpless passersby and flay them alive with its sickle like claws and oversized jaws. The lack of flesh only enhanced its evil appearance. The effect was most telling in its hollow eye sockets, making it appear malevolent, as though the monster was waiting for an unearthly force to seize control and animate it for its twisted purposes. The sight of the ravenous creature made Sakaki shudder.
She looked down to see that though the original skeleton was indeed small, it was the exact same species. She remembered her fantasy, and slipped back into it right where she left off. As the little creature cooed at her offered hand, it would open its wide jaws, showing off row upon row of jagged teeth and lunge—
"Ah!" Sakaki drew her hand back and cradled it to her body. Maybe she would stick to petting cats after all. They were cute and fuzzy enough for her.
"Let's keep moving, shall we? Next up we have the Hall of Entomology," the guide said as she led the group down a long hallway and towards the next exhibits.
"Are they doing any genetic testing on spiders?" Yomi quipped.
"No. Bees," the guide answered. "I'm a bit surprised, though. I hadn't thought they published any articles on it."
For a moment, a vision of Tomo with insect wings jutting out of her back as she flitted around from flower to flower, burying her face in the petals, came to Yomi. Just as quickly, she struck the disturbing image from her mind. Darn that Tomo!
As the class continued walking, a man in a lab coat exited a side door. He absently tried to close it behind him, but underestimated his grip as it remained open just enough to allow someone to peak in. Osaka whose slow gait had caused her to drift towards the end of the class, could not resist the invitation, and peered inside.
"Wow!" she said.
Chiyo, whose tiny legs also made it difficult to keep up with her classmates, was the only one close enough to hear the exclamation. Curiosity getting the better of her, she peered inside as well.
The room was surprisingly large. There were a number of tiers, numerous chairs lining each tier, in the middle of the room. A large blackboard dominated one wall. It was covered with numerous letters and symbols in lengthy equations.
"They even have classrooms here," Osaka said, and promptly entered the room.
Chiyo panicked. "You can't go in there," she said quietly, hoping no one else would hear and keep Osaka from getting into trouble.
"Why not? It's a classroom, and I'm a student. It's a perfect match," Osaka said casually as she entered.
Chiyo looked around, hoping to snare one of her other friends' attention and support her insistence in Osaka leaving the room. However, in the time it took to stare at the room, the shock of seeing Osaka entering it, and her first attempt to get her friend to come out failing, the class had continued onward and was already out of sight.
Chiyo was left with the choice of abandoning Osaka in favor of enlisting reinforcements to retrieve her, and possibly get into trouble for wandering into a restricted area, or staying at her side and trying to persuade her to return on her own before they were missed. Had it been Tomo, Chiyo would have gone with the former. But since it was Osaka, she was fairly certain the latter would work with a little persuasion.
While Chiyo had been torn by indecision, Osaka had wandered up to the blackboard and stared at it in open wonder, as though she was confronted with one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Chiyo moved closer, reading over the scribblings as well. Child prodigy or not, she had no idea of what the equations meant. Maybe she'd learn that sort of thing in college.
She was about to again suggest to Osaka that they leave when the older girl's gaze changed from wonder to determination. She picked up an eraser and promptly used it on an 'A' in one of the longer equations in the center of the board. She then picked up a piece of chalk lying in the tray at the bottom, and put a 'C' in its place.
Horrified, Chiyo shouted, "What are you doing?!"
"Changing what needs to be changed." Confident beyond anything Chiyo had previously seen from the girl, she erased an 'X' and wrote in a 'Y'.
"Ah!" Stop! Stop!" Chiyo shouted as she waved her arms around frantically, more for her sake than it being an effective way to stop Osaka.
Three more times Osaka changed letters to other ones. It was just as she finished the third one when a loud male voice boomed, "What are you doing?!"
Chiyo finally stopped running, though her terrified features remained in place. She forced her head to turn in the direction the voice had emanated from. Standing in the doorway to the room was a man dressed in a lab jacket, pointing an accusatory finger at Osaka.
He moved into the room, a look of anger on his features, "How dare you mess with my formula, you idiot. I've been working at those equations for months, trying to get them to make sense and match my theories. I know I was on the right track and on the verge of figuring out how to make it all work when " his voice trailed off as he stared at the board. His accusatory finger faltered, and rather he pointed it at one of the portions Osaka had changed. "That's ridiculous, you'd have to substitute " he pointed at a second portion, one that had also fallen victim to her actions. "Well, yes, that would follow, but only if " he pointed at a third section, then blinked his eyes in disbelief. His eyes pored over the entire thing, from start to finish, twice. By the time he was finished, his jaw had remained open for so long, and so wide, that it reminded Chiyo of Kimura-sensei.
Slowly, the man all but breathed out, "My god. You're right. I never thought of changing the equation that way. But taking all the alterations you made, it now matches the theory correctly. Do you realize you've now made cold fusion not just a theory, but a reality?"
Chiyo's mouth opened until it matched that of the scientist's.
"I just did what I had to do," Osaka informed him. She then handed him the chalk, grabbed Chiyo by the hand, and led her uncomprehending form from the room.
It took nearly a full minute for Chiyo to recover enough to say, "Osaka, did you really know what you were doing?"
"Of course. It was obvious. I'm surprised you didn't see it as well," Osaka said firmly.
"But how?" was all Chiyo could manage.
"I was paying attention," Osaka explained. "There were far too many 'A's and 'X's. By changing them into 'C's and 'Y's, everything evened out, and none of the letters will be jealous because they're underrepresented." Osaka gave her friend a satisfied nod of the head.
Chiyo didn't know whether to be relieved, or more frightened than ever.
The students reboarded the bus. As the first of the noisy crowd entered, Yukari sat bolt upright and shouted, "I wasn't asleep! I just fell down on the seat."
Osaka said, "Wow! You must have landed really hard. There's an impression of the seat's stitching on your face."
Yukari whipped a mirror out of her purse and gazed at the reflection. She gave an, "Ack!" and put it back. She looked her students over, making sure they were all present. Personally, she wouldn't have worried if one or two turned up missing; they'd eventually find their way back from Tokyo, but parents tended to be overprotective of their children and became irrationally angry when they disappeared far away from home.
As she continued her count, she noticed Tomo was flicking her unusually large wrist in an odd way. She continued doing it dramatically, swatting Chiyo in the head and making the young girl cry out in pain. Sakaki was quick to move the smaller girl out of the line of far.
"What's the matter with you?" Yukari finally asked.
Tomo said, "I'm trying to shoot a web line. I figure with how large my hand is now, there's got to be webbing in there somewhere."
Yomi said, "It's probably swollen because of the venom. You really ought to get that looked at."
Osaka handed Yukari a paper. The teacher looked at it disdainfully. "Hey now. I'm the teacher. That means I'm the one that gives homework, not the other way around."
"It's from Professor Mizuhara," Osaka explained. "He says you should give me an automatic 'A' in science for inventing cold fusion."
Yukari read the note, then crumpled it up and tossed it out the window. "Bah. Cold Fusion. What practical applications does that have? You'll have to learn science the way everyone else does: read a textbook, take lab, blow things up when you mix the wrong chemicals." That was what Yukari did, and no student could go wrong following her lead.
Once the bus was fully loaded, Yukari said, "Now, did everyone have a good time?"
A chorus of "Yes" filled the air.
"Good. Remember to tell your parents that I'm responsible for your fun, yet educational trip."
Kagura pointed out, "But it was the guide who told us everything. You just slept in the bus."
Others nodded in agreement.
That made Yukari mutter under her breath. They were being difficult. Why did the little brats have to make everything hard? "But who was it that took you to the museum in the first place?" she asked.
"The bus driver," Tomo pointed out.
"But who was it that arranged the trip?"
"The principal in conjunction with the vice-principal," Chiyo said.
Yukari let out an exasperated sigh as the bus started to pull out. "Fine. We'll make the trip back educational. Okay class, we're going to practice our numbers in English, and we're going to do it counting backward. I'll start out with a phrase, which you'll repeat, changing only the number by subtracting one each time. Are you ready?"
A less enthusiastic chorus of "Yes," said in English came from the group.
"All right. Here we go," Yukari began singing a melodic tune in English:
Using that as a lead, the rest of the students joined in.
"Going to the museum yesterday sure was fun," Kagura said, as she settled into her desk and prepared for another day of school.
"Except for the bus driver screaming insanely toward the end of the return trip," Tomo brought up. "For a while there, I thought he was going to ram us right into a wall or something."
Chiyo looked at her curiously. "Really? You think he was driving dangerously? I hadn't noticed."
Yomi said, "That's not really surprising. You have ridden with Yukari before."
A nervous tic began twitching over Chiyo's eye, but the bout quickly subsided.
Kagura looked at the clock. "Where's Osaka? She's cutting it awful close today."
As if an answer to the question, Osaka appeared, rushing through the door to the homeroom. She looked around until she spotted the group clustered around Chiyo's desk. She then waved and headed toward them. As she neared, everyone noticed the paper bag she carried close to her chest, as though it was very important.
"What's in the bag?" Tomo poked at it, almost threatening to take it out of Osaka's hands and see for herself.
"I made a bunch of jewelry for you out of the diamonds in my backyard." She opened the bag. Placing her hand within, she fished it around for a while before coming out with a necklace. Smiling, she handed it to Sakaki. She then pulled out other items: a ring for Yomi, a bracelet for Kagura, two hair ornaments for Chiyo, and a pair of earrings for Tomo. All of the items were plastic, with hunks of black rock taped, or in some cases glued, into place. "I had to buy the settings from the kids section at a toy store and pry out the fake jewels in them, but I think they'll work all right."
Sakaki stared at the rock, mystified. She managed to get out an, "Ah, thank you."
That broke the silence. All the others gave weak mentions of gratitude as well.
Osaka appeared relieved by their appreciation of the items. "I need to wash up. Be back in a minute."
Once she left the room, Tomo said, "This is the most repulsive gift anyone has ever given me."
"She means well," Sakaki said defensively. "She went to a great deal of trouble to make these for us. It's the thought that counts."
"That's right!" Chiyo said firmly, and switched her old hair ties for the new ornamental ones.
Yomi looked at her ring more closely. "You know, this rock does bear an uncanny resemblance to the rough diamond in the hall."
"Oh, please," Tomo said dramatically. She walked over to the window and placed one of her earrings against it. "If this was a real diamond, it could cut through glass." She pressed hard against the window, producing a large screeching sound as she made a circle with the rock. "See?" she said, and poked the circle.
It fell out of the window and to the ground below, shattering against the concrete.
"Easily the best gift I've ever received," Tomo said quickly.
The others nodded their heads in agreement.
Author's notes: A bit sillier than usual for the series, but hey, I thought it'd be good for a few laughs, and it's not like there's a lot of Azumanga fics out there to compete with (though I'd really like for there to be). Typical ending with no real point to it or deeper meaning. Just some basic silliness. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed it at least a little.
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