The Y-files [GL]
Societal status of a teacher
Teachers have a good average wage in Belgium and a very good pension (unlike what I heard about the US). They are considered to do a very respectable job and are considered to be an expert in their field. After working for a while at the same school they can become appointed government officials and at that point all school holidays become paid for them. It is almost impossible to get fired once you get that appointment. We had a teacher that beat up a kid (14 year old boy) in the middle of class and he was only put on (paid) sick leave for a couple of months due to being over stressed. He was in front of our class again in the same school year.
We do not have a culture that puts (in our eyes) crazy personal lawsuits on everything and anything. A Belgian theme park once made headlines in the US with people having been hung upside down for a couple of hours because of a defect, with the headline “And nobody sued!”. Lawyers cannot make money by taking a percentage of their case winnings in Belgium. So if you wanna go to court it is gonna be really expensive.
Chapter 9: The first Y-file
When I arrived at school, I looked for Gazette and found her talking to Elodie. Just like yesterday the two of them were together. They were laughing at something funny on Gazette's phone. Knowing Gazette it was probably a juicy gossip story. She was always up to date with the latest gossips. Otherwise she wouldn't be Gazette.
I went up to them and gave them both a kiss on the cheek. Now that we're working on the same project, it would be really rude not to.
“Can you girls meet me in the office after school? I got a job for the communications department”. I needed more data on the double tsundere phenomenon. I had spent the last couple of days reading a lot of yuri but I was by no standard an expert yet. That universe was a lot bigger than the couple novels I had already read and I needed to find out how the double tsundere stalemate could be broken reliably.
They both instantly got a smile. They knew they were gonna get a scoop to gossip about.
“We'll be there!” Elodie merrily responded.
“Oh and if you can, we are going to need more data on Tina from 5ME”
Gazette eyes sparkled immediately. I knew she was gonna do a thorough job and I knew she was curious as to why I would want information on the girl from the flower shop.
Ah that felt good. For the first since the FBY debacle started I felt I was in control and not being played. But it was too early to cry victory. With an adversary like Ms Lyst I would need to be cautious at all times or the time would come that I would never see the inside of my kitchen again and I would not let that happen. Nothing or nobody comes between me and my precious cooking! My eyes flinched for a second as I went into my protect-my-kitchen-mode. Luckily nobody seemed to have noticed that my other side came out for a second.
After that we talked until the bell rang. Gazette and I gave Elodie a goodbye kiss and then went our separate ways from Elodie who was in a different class.
Morning classes went by painfully slow. First we had psychology which was an exclusive course for the human sciences course I was in.
This was given by Ms Narcy Stick. I thought she was rather pretty with her stylish waving brown hair and always tastefully applied make-up. She used a little too much perfume though. Even after she left the classroom we would still smell that scent for quite a while to the point that the next teacher often just opened a window to air the room.
As a teacher Ms Stick was rather self important and thought of her 2 hour course as the most important thing we would learn during our entire lives. Especially since she tweaked the official curriculum herself to be even better than the prescribed one.
Ms Stick was a single woman nearing 30 and she used almost every opportunity she had to curse the fact that she was not yet married. She could not understand that candidates weren't throwing themselves at wonderful her by the bushes.
“Probably because she constantly says stuff like that out loud” I whispered to myself and I heard a little snicker from Eve, who was sitting at the desk behind me. Whoops I let that one slip out a little too loud.
Ms Stick stared at me, if eyes could kill, I would be in the morgue. I quickly looked down, my face turning red, luckily this was the first time I ever did something like that and she seemed to let it pass with a clear look that was saying I should not try to pull something like that again. I knew she was the kind of person that remembered things for a long time and I knew I hit a mine there.
After psychology came morning break and after that we had Ms Dubusier and Ms Conne. When the bell finally announced the end of the fourth hour. School was out for the day and everyone rushed out.
I decided to skip lunch today, because I made an appointment with Elodie and Gazette. I would have to do with a few of the macaroons that I made yesterday. I went to the FBY office and went in to find Ms Lyst working on her laptop.
Before she could say anything I tried to one up her and switched to a dramatic mode that I had seen in crime shows.
“We have a yuri emergency”, I said, “and I am gonna need your help.” This was my chance to take the lead and I would not miss it.
“What do you mean, what happened?” She answered a bit shocked that I was acting enthusiastic all of a sudden.
Going in an even more dramatic but still serious mode I explained Elsa's dilemma and my theory about the double tsundere situation while drawing a schematic on the blackboard.
But instead of overpowering Ms Lyst, her eyes started sparkling and she became intense and excited.
“Could we really have broken the wall between 2D and 3D?!” she exclaimed. Then she coughed and straightened herself and turned back to the usual Ms Lyst.
“I see, so what are your plans to facilitate the yurification process?” She asked in her basic professional attitude.
As on queue Elodie and Gazette entered the room.
“Good you are here,” I said, being on my guard and not leaving Ms Lyst a chance. “I have a task for you girls.”
As we all went to sit around the meeting table, I placed a plate of macarons in the middle so everyone could take one. All the girls' eyes sparkled and once it reached their tongues they all seemed to be put in a daze by the sweet delightfulness of a macaron. I thought I could see shoujo sparkles around them. My macarons are like single combo multi KO. There are the texture layers of the cookie, then the filling, and inside each filling there was a piece of candied fruit. Well their state is what I intend my cooking to do so I felt proud by their reactions.
Once they came out of their daze Ms Lyst put her glasses straight by pushing the bridge with her index finger.
“I am noting the purchase of coffee and tea equipment, it is clear that it is going to be necessary to make this bureau function optimally with this level of sweets.” Ms Lyst said dryly. I was really wondering where all the money for infrastructure came from, because I could not imagine the school bothering. Schools were known to be short of money all the time. But there was no time to ask that now because we had a case to work on.
“On to business” I said.
“First of all I would like more source material, specifically on the double tsundere and what the most reliable way is to make the yuri-seed blossom. I would like our communication team to focus on that.”
Then I turned my focus to Gazette.
“Second, Eline, did you have time to look into Tina, is there anything we should know?”
“Well you were right in assuming that she is a complete tsundere. Also there has been a rumour that she has been down lately. But if anyone asks her about it she just answers “It's not like I'm feeling down or anything.” As always, Gazette worked fast and had good information.
“Combined with what we know from Elsa we can assume that she is down because she and Elsa were close and then Elsa suddenly stopped talking to her. We also do not know if she knows if Elsa heard her say that she didn't like her. So we should add a possible minefield caution.”
“We have until 14.30 to make up a plan, let's go!”
Elodie and Gazette nodded. Ms Lyst just watched us silently.
I said all of this as seriously as I could. Doing my best to look assertive and professional. I would not give Ms Lyst a chance to make me lose control and to be honest I would never have thought it but playing the dramatic crime squad leader part was really fun to do. Especially because everyone went along with it.
But then Ms Lyst said with sparkling eyes: “We have our first Y(uri)-file ladies, I am expecting results. Claire, the second I saw you I just knew you were the right girl for the job!” and suddenly she managed to make it look like everything I just did was her achievement.
There was just no winning with that woman. My inside exploded but my outside appearance wore the most gentle angelic smile. I would need something or a certain someone to hone my knife skills on tonight.
Next chapter will be uploaded in a few hours.
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