Disclaimer (for all chapters): I do not own Prince of tennis. Nor do I own Sayoko. Neon Genesis still owns her I guess...
Please don't see, just a boy caught up in dreams and fantasies
~Lost stars Adam Levine
Niou was bored.
There was currently a heat wave, not abnormal in Japan. But that didn't mean Niou wasn't affected. The last time he fell asleep when there was a heat wave on the roof, he got a sunburn, and Marui made fun of his pink skin for an entire week.
His fingers were itching to draw an intricate design of a prank, but there was no reason to do so. Most of the students in the classroom went outside to run around in the "nice" weather, but the remainder ones were loud and their chattering was making Niou's head feel like a jackhammer. He was started to get pretty bothered, not that he let that show of course.
Oh well, might as well sleep.
He was almost off to dreamland when Niou felt a person settle beside him. What's up with the people? he thought. Didn't they know that he does not like being bothered? Lips pulled back in a snarl, he looks up to see Akiyama Hanae.
"Niou Masaharu." she began, "does not like the heat, nor being interrupted from a nap,' she smirks and closes her eyes, pretending to write in an imaginary notebook that was her hand "Ii, data." she mutters, barely able to contain her grin at Niou's baffled that-was-a-pathetic-attempt-surely-you-can-do-better expression. She doesn't miss the way his shoulders slouch a little, the way his head tilts with the droop of his chin, and how his fingers splay a little bit more over the surface of his desk.
They shared a bond, Hanae and Niou. Perhaps it was weaker than before, but it was still there. They were connected, stuck on this sticky spider's web, and they didn't know if it was going to rip, or if the spider was going to get them.
"Yanagi doesn't smirk," Niou points out, "and he wouldn't say such obvious things." He drops his head on his desk,"Try harder next time sw-idiot."
Of course, Hanae had heard the sw-eetheart part, but that name wasn't for her now, it was for Sayoko. He would never call her that again, and why would he, after all that shit that's happened to them. But she pretends, she pretends not to hear that word -the word that used to be meant for her, and was whispered in her ear, when they were happy and smiling- and she smiles and swallows the growing lump in her throat.
"Well, would you rather have me tell you non-obvious things?" she allows herself a moment, and relaxes her face. Then, she pushed a bento box towards Niou. When Niou made no move, she pokes his arm to tell him to eat.
"Are you ok? Is it your parents again?" Her voice was low, just in case someone was nearby. His parents, no, his whole family was a pretty taboo topic, just like hers.
"Yeah," Niou sighs quietly, as Hanae scooted her chair closer, "They were pretty loud last night, and I couldn't sleep without hearing what a douche the other person was."
"You could have came over to my, well, Atobe's place." Hanae offers softly, placing her hand on his arm "I'm sure they won't even notice you're not home. Even if they did, they wouldn't care."
"You live with Atobe Keigo." Niou points out, "Do you think that he will let me as far as half a step inside that maison?"
Hanae scoffs, taking her hand away. "He's not bad at all. Plus Sayoko goes to Hyotei. You could see her. I know you miss her." She teases. Niou pointedly ignores her. Hanae opens her mouth to change to a light topic, but she never gets the chance.
"Akiyama." Hanae turns around and sees Sanada minus his cap standing behind her chair with his arm crossed. Niou immediately stiffens, but does not raise. Sanada clearly does not want to be talking to her. A few days ago, she was late to practice, and he made her run 100 laps. Ten for every minute she was late.
So it was only fair for her and Niou to find all the glue in the school, and later replace the water bucket hanging on the door with glue. You can only imagine how that turned out for "poor" Sanada
"Sanada." Hanae responded in kind. "What brings you to this classroom?" Sanada's class was all the way on the other end of the school, so him coming here was only if it was something important, especially if he came just to talk to her.
"There is a new girl coming to attend this school. After some consideration on the student council's part, it was decided for you to show her around." It came off more like an order than a request, but Hanae let that slide.
"Sure. But me? Surely you can find someone who is nicer, or friendlier, like… Any other kid in fact, is a better choice than me."
"The new girl was the captain from Seigaku's girls tennis team. You're one of the best female tennis players in your class." Which was true.
When Hanae first started tennis, she was in elementary. No talent at all, Hanae was just like every other student. But she stuck to it, practicing vigorously every day, which was what stretched her skill from everyone else's.
She went to a normal public middle school for her first year, but she followed her mother after the divorce to go to Rikkaidai. With her mother working full-time, she spent her middle school years with the Atobes, her mother's older brother's family. Only now, Hanae basically lived with them, as her mother was working more and more, and did not wish for her to be alone in the house.
She also benefited by having Atobe Keigo's personal trainer correct her tennis. When she went to high school, she was one of the top player, which quickly earned her own spot in the regulars.
"I'll take that as a compliment. But I'm not giving her special treatment." She looks up at Sanada, with a challenging look on her eyes, as if daring him to tell her otherwise.
Sanada doesn't miss this little insult, and crosses his arms, shooting glares at Hanae and Niou, who buries his face in his arms.
"I trust that you will give Kikui Yuri the hospitality that she deserves." So now the captain has a name, Hanae thought. "I will also use this time to remind you that we have a chemistry test coming up. Judging by your grades, it would be wise to begin studying a few weeks prior, if you wish to pass with a decent grade." At this, Niou lifts his head and smirks at Hanae, mouthing the word idiot.
Rolling her eyes, Hanae retorts "My grades are fine-." Only to be interrupted.
"No they are not. You scored around the 100th in your grade last semester." Hanae rolled her eyes dramatically, as Sanada grits his teeths. He was trying to help her, damnnit. "Tarundo."
"I'll try to get the average on the next exams okay? But honestly, this isn't your business." Sanada let all his air out in a whoosh, and leaves the room, his walk brisk and with purpose.
"Great, he's going to take out his anger in the next game I have with him." Hanae mimicked Niou's position before, and laid her head on the desk. Niou snickers, and fiddles with her choppy hair.
"Are you really going to babysit the new girl?" Niou's question brought her out of her brooding.
"Well, I kind of have to, don't I?" Hanae lifts her head, and stares at his face. "I mean, we currently have a sucky excuse for a reserve, so she can help, if she was the captain before, she has to be good at tennis."
"She's probably not going to want to be your friend either way, why bother getting her in the tennis club. It's not like you guys use your reserves anyways." Niou paused and bit an oni girl and thoughtfully looked at it. "This is really good rice. Who do you think that she'll replace? On second thought, what if she wants to sabotage us if we're ever against Seigaku? Tell them your weakness, and give you fake lies about them." Niou waggles his eyebrows.
Hanae slaps Niou's arm. "Don't be ridiculous. Everyone will be wary of her. There's no way she can get on the team without being completely serious." As if on cue, the bell rings, and the two students separate.
TBC. Thank you for reading. Please review. Who do you want to see next? Sayoko and Atobe, or Kikui and the tennis teams?