Another day, another match, another win. It was a very normal day for Seigaku and, as usual, the regulars are all gathered at the Kawamura Sushi Restaurant. It was always like this. Practice hard, win, and celebrate.
They are, after all, Seigaku.
And, as usual, the group was as loud as ever, sans Tezuka of course. Though despite his ever so stoic expression, you could see how proud he was of his team and even though their antics were starting to annoy him, he figured they deserved this after their successful game.
Cheerful, loud, just the typical Seigaku Tennis Club. While Tezuka was quietly eating in his seat, the rest were doing their own things. Kawamura was helping his father serve his friends, Kikumaru was trying to steal some sushi from the others as Oishi scolded him, Momoshiro and Kaidoh was —surprise surprise— fighting over food with Ryoma watching them in amusement while Fuji, being Fuji, just smiled as he watched them. Inui was writing things down in his notebook in case someone decided to give away information through their chatters.
Nothing unusual, just the normal antics —that is, until Kikumaru decided to ask a question that everyone may or may not have been curious about.
"Ne, Ochibi! You grew up in America, right?" Kikumaru asked excitedly as he leaned towards the freshman regular. "What was your first team like?"
Everyone turned quiet as they watched Ryoma curiously. Their smallest team member wasn't really a talkative person, so they wouldn't know anything about him unless they asked.
"... my first team?" Ryoma asked as if he didn't hear the question quite clearly.
"Yeah, Echizen." Momoshiro cut in, placing an arm around the boy's shoulder. "You know, the first team you've ever joined. What were they like?"
When Ryoma finally understood the question being asked, he stared at his teammates as if the answer was obvious. "You are my first team, senpai."
"Huh?" the noisy bunch of the regulars wondered aloud, baffled by the new information.
"Echizen," it was Oishi who spoke next. "Didn't you join a Tennis Club in your school?"
"I did join the tennis club but..." Ryoma trailed off as the others leaned in. "... we weren't exactly a team."
"And what do you mean by that, Echizen?" Fuji asked, the topic having piqued his curiosity as well.
"Well," Ryoma hesitated at first, wondering if he should tell them, but when he saw that even Tezuka was curious, he decided that he had nothing to lose anyway. "After a practice match with another school..."
Ryoma entered the locker room and went straight to his own to change. The practice match wasn't that hard, but he was tired for the day.
Placing his tennis bag on a bench nearby, he couldn't help but notice how the other members of the tennis club were in their own group.
"Ryoma was really cool today, right?" he heard one say in their native language —English.
"It's not just today. He's always been good." another agreed.
"Yeah, he's always been better than all of us." for some reason, the compliment didn't really feel right.
"I bet he could win a tournament all by himself." at this, Ryoma paused from buttoning up his shirt before pretending he hadn't been listening to their conversation.
"Yeah, he probably doesn't need a team to win." he heard another shrug. Deciding he had had enough eavesdropping, he hurriedly grabbed his things and turned to leave.
"No doubt. It's Ryoma, after all..."
"Playing tennis with you just isn't fun anymore..." Ryoma murmured, loud enough for the regulars to hear. "... is what they said."
After that, there was silence.
"That's... really cruel of them." Oishi said, sending a rather sympathetic look towards the youngest of the group.
Ryoma only shrugged. "It doesn't matter..." he sighed, but the others didn't seem to think so.
"No, that's just wrong, so wrong." Momoshiro shook his head, seemingly irritated after hearing the story from Ryoma. Kaidoh seems to also agree, seeing as he was hissing 'fshuuu' in agreement with his so-called rival.
"Nya! Poor ochibi!" Kikumaru exclaimed, glomping the golden-eyed teen as his partner tried to pry him off of the poor kid.
"Oi, Eiji! You're suffocating him!"
"It's okay, senpai-tachi." Ryoma tried to say. "It didn't really matter that much." he paused, biting his lip. "As long as I could play tennis..."
"Even so, it was still wrong of them to take advantage of you like that." Fuji stated, eyes opening only to narrow dangerously. "You shouldn't let people take you for granted."
"Fuji is right, Echizen." Tezuka suddenly spoke up. "Just because they think you were above their level doesn't give them the right to throw away all their responsibilities to you."
"That's right." Inui agreed. "One member isn't enough to create a 100% on their own."
"Souda souda!" Kikumaru nodded vigorously as he loosened his hold on their team's pillar.
"Your clubmates were selfish, Echizen." Kawamura suddenly spoke, making sure to use 'clubmates' instead of 'teammates' before adding quickly, "—no offense."
"Don't worry, Echizen!" Momoshiro grinned, placing an arm around his best friend —as if Eiji wasn't enough— as he proudly said, "You won't be doing anything by yourself here in Seigaku."
"We're a team, after all..."
Ryoma stared at the others as they all gave him a smile of their own, and he found that he couldn't resist a smile that formed on his face.
"My senpai-tachi are really reliable..."
Me: I'm sorry! I haven't been writing for over a year now, so my stories are a little rusty! Hope you like it though! BTW, can somebody explain the difference between a fluff and a drabble —or is it just the same? Anyway, don't forget to follow me, this is the one and only, The_Phoenix_Ninja101 signing out!