It was the National Quarterfinals in a next week. Marui woke up, went to the bathroom, gone downstairs to prepare breakfast for his brothers and dashed to school for practice. One of the first to be there, he happily munched on a pack of cupcakes.
"Marui!" Sanada yelled at him from across the courts. Startled, the young tensai dropped his delicious butterscotch cupcake atop his partner's head. Jackal grumbled in indignation and gave the greatest glare known to man. Marui smiled sheepishly and offered him a crumb. "Marui! 20 laps!" he heard and dropped yet another on his partner. Yukimura looked on in pity, poor Jackal didn't do anything to deserve such treatment.
"Marui…" Yukimura called out in his deceptively soft voice. "Did Sanada not just tell you to run?" Having realized his mistake, he ran like he was being hunted, in this case, by his fukubuchou, their slavedriver. And Yanagi calmly sat in the dark shadows, observing.
Niou laughed at his misfortune, until he was assigned laps too. Sanada stared at the trickster for a long hard minute. "Another 30 laps Niou" The trickster, confused, demanding to know what he did, "You exist, that's more than enough." And so, Niou was forced to run a total of 50 laps, on a Monday morning, at 7am.
"I'M HERE BUCHOU!"
"Tarundoru! You are late, again! 50 laps, NOW!" The devil of the courts jumped and ran. In the background, Yanagi and Yukimura conspired. Niou tried to listen in, he heard bits of words like, "Inui Juice," "Fuji," and "Team bonding."
Niou's eyes rolled into his head, the last time they had 'team bonding,' was when they were locked in an old freezer for a day. He and Yagyuu heard stories and rumours about the horrors at Seigaku, how they were all forced to drink Inui Juice and eat Fuji's cooking. Even over at Shitenhoji, Zaizen posted all about how their captain tried to drown them when they went camping. Zaizen was still upset.
Marui ran up to the fallen trickster, and prodded him with a foot. "Is he dead?"
"73.5% he thought of something traumatizing and blacked out"
"Oh my, someone take him to the Infirmary…"
Yagyuu simply picked his fallen comrade from the ground, "I will be back soon." With that, he walked towards the school and laid his friend to rest on the cot.
The nurse fussed over him. Niou looked like he was dying, pale and cold. He reached out for his friend. "I-I n-need…"
"What is it Niou?"
"A wallaby?" The poor dying man shook his head.
"W-w…" He stuttered again.
"W-wig…" Yagyuu stared at his dying partner, and gave him his wish, a brown wig, and a pair of glasses. Niou took them with a shaking hand, and slipped them on.
"Forgive me for the inconvenience, Yagyuu."
"Do not fret, Yagyuu. It was necessary. "
The nurse could have been watching a tennis match with how fast her eyes were going between them, Niou had just become Yagyuu. She didn't even know who was who anymore.
The bespectacled pair simultaneously glanced at their watch, practice was over, time for classes.
Marui stretched, after school practice was a pain sometimes. All he wanted was to go home, eat some good food, and sleep. But after Yukimura's operation over the summer, he was working them harder than ever.
He began to warm up with his partner-in-crime, until his phone rang. The familiar ringtone pierced through the air, his mom. Marui could've passed out when his captain grabbed the mobile and answered it. 'Would his mom tell him embarrassing things? Would she tell him all his secrets? Would she show him his baby pictures?!' he screamed internally. He let out a breath of relief when Yukimura passed him his phone with a big smile.
"What?! This late into the school year?"
"Next week? With us?"
"Okay, what's their name then?"
"Alright, she sounds fun, love you mum." He ended the call and shoved his phone back into his bag. Everyone looked on in interest. Yukimura approached the happy ball of bubblegum ingenuity, "What did she call you about?"
"Just about a cousin in Canada is coming to live with us."
"Is she hot?" Niou quipped.
"I don't know yet, mum's sending me a picture of her right now. I'm supposed to be picking her up."
"This is a rather interesting turn of events." Only the sound of a pencil scraping across paper was heard.
"Will she be coming here?" Yukimura asked.
"Most likely, she'll be living with me." Marui shrugged.
Sanada shook his head, if this girl was anything like Marui, she would be a handful. He could practically see bottles upon bottles of aspirin being purchased, maybe the cashier would think he was an addict. He felt a phantom hand on his shoulder and saw a Phantom-Tezuka sharing his stress with him. Perhaps a hiking trip with Tezuka was due, or a few cups of tea would be good for his sanity.
Yukimura chuckled at his old friend, he could practically sense what he was thinking. He was honestly such an old man sometimes, he could probably buy his own alcohol and not have to show his ID. The bluenette smiled and pulled out his phone, sending a text from his fellow sadist. 'Things have just gotten fun…" He chuckled to himself.
-A week later-
"Our plane will be landing soon, please have your seat belts buckled". The voice announced. A girl looked up sharply, just a few more minutes and she would be landing in Haneda Airport.
She walked down to the main entrance and saw a boy with glaringly bright red hair sitting on one of the benches, her cousin. She stood in front of him with a slight smile. Marui looked up, Niou was right, she was hot. Well… Niou didn't know she was hot… yet.
"Are you Marui Bunta?" She smiled.
"That's me! And you are Nakamura Tsuki!"
"Yes I am." Marui scanned her from head to toe. She was… alluring, one could say, seeing her picture versus the real thing were completely different things. Pale skin, pastel lavender hair (bizarre hair colours seemed to run in the family), smooth curves, small pink lips, and a pair of bright, sharp amethyst eyes. She looked so cute, he felt the instant need to hug her and spoil her, his little Tsu-Tsu.
They took the train back, he learned many things about her. She loved 'extreme sports' (Tennis is plenty extreme!), nature, books, and dancing. He also realized that loving sweets ran in the family too apparently, a piece of gum and they were practically best friends all ready. His mother would be proud that he was such a responsible young man taking care of his younger cousin.
Dinner was ready when they got home, the sweet diabetic aroma of sugar led the two towards the kitchen, but no dessert until after. The children of the Marui family could've cried, and the tensai did when he found out that his cute little cousin was older than him! Even if it was by a few months! February 17th, he would get her the greatest present of all time. He went to bed that night thinking about how his friends would react towards her.