Disclaimer: I don't play basketball.
Yuzu glances at her opponent, Arata Mitsuru, a girl who is much taller than her, which gives her the clear advantage. She analyses the basketball court this time, scanning her surroundings. Given that she hasn't played in a while, it's safe to assume the expected outcome of this match.
But she couldn't back out now. If possible, she wanted to avoid escalating the situation any further. Mei was just starting to make progress in making the academy more acceptable to change, and giving its students more freedom after all.
As they stand in opposition of one another the basketball club president, Sunada Rin, explains the rules once more.
"The match consists of three rounds. First person to get 2 out of 3 baskets wins", she held the ball up, "Ready?".
"Yuzu! You don't have to. Just stop", Matsuri pleaded, clenching her fists and stomping her foot.
It had been a while since Yuzu witnessed this childish side of the pink haired girl. When they were younger Matsuri used to stomp her foot just like that when she didn't get what she wanted, which usually resulted in the younger girl crying in frustration.
Yuzu flashed her a grin accompanied with a goofy thumbs up. Had it been any other situation Matsuri would have probably cringed in disgust or at least smirked at the older girl's antics, but instead she just stormed out of the sports hall.
The blonde frowned, then nodded in apology and indicated to proceed with the match. Once again, the basketball club president held the ball up.
As expected, the moment she threw the ball into the air, Yuzu's much taller opponent managed to grab it first. In this situation Yuzu knew that she had to defend, though her rustiness in both her movements and her reflexes didn't help. Without much effort the opposing girl dribbled past her defense and managed to score.
Yuzu exhaled sharply. A dull ache had already started to set on her left knee. She closed her eyes, inhales. 'Focus'.
It was her turn now. Her opponent was clearly underestimating her, not even taking a defensive stance. 'Well, if she's going to be like that...'
In the blink of an eye, Yuzu blew past her, almost making it to the three-point line. Yuzu's sudden demonstration of agility triggers the other girl's reflexes immediately as she plants her feet and extends her arm to go for a steal.
The blonde, quick to react, veers the ball to her lower side where the other girl can't reach it. Although she knows her opponent has the advantage due to her height, Yuzu takes a chance and performs a drop step, this time successfully getting past her and scoring from the free-throw line.
Before she could even mentally celebrate, the match was interrupted by the arrival of a frantic Matsuri with a certain student council president in tow.
"What is going on here?", unlike Matsuri, Mei upholds her usual calm demeanour, though Yuzu has learned to be able to see through it.
"There was a small dispute between one of our club members and that first year", Rin indicated who she was referring to with a flick of her head. "Aihara Yuzu suggested a peaceful solution so we decided on a basketball match".
Mei, clearly displeased, crossed her arms, "And you couldn't find a fairer solution, Sunada-san?"
The basketball club president, unaffected by Mei's irritation, shrugged, "Aihara Yuzu agreed to the terms".
Mei looked to Yuzu, her eyebrows still furrowed in both irritation at the basketball club president's indifferent attitude, and confusion as to why the blonde would agree to this.
"It's okay, Mei", Yuzu smiled to reassure her. "I'll explain the situation but only after finishing the match, okay?"
Mei had just moved back in with Yuzu and their mother a week ago. As clumsy and awkward as their relationship has been thus far the two have decided to both trust each other and to communicate their thoughts and feelings earnestly. So of course Mei had no choice but to trust in her fiancée's words.
The student council president, though hesitant, nodded in agreement, "You may continue the match but I'll be staying here to monitor the situation, as well as to get a proper explanation afterwards".
As Yuzu and Mitsuru got into their positions again the blonde couldn't help but wince. After the adrenaline of shooting a basket earlier and then getting interrupted, Yuzu had forgotten about the dull ache in her knee, which had now evolved into sharp, throbbing pain.
The blonde closes her eyes and inhales once more. 'Focus'.
Since she scored last, this time her opponent starts off with the ball.
'Stealing the ball from her is going to be harder now that she won't be letting her guard down', Yuzu thought to herself.
As the other girl attempted to sprint past the blonde, Yuzu focused on blocking her, not giving her a single chance to shoot. Even as she tried to fake a shot or a turn Yuzu saw through her actions and remained persistent, pivoting and cutting her off before the other girl could even perform a clear shot.
Yuzu knew that the taller girl was getting frustrated. She probably hadn't expected her to be able to recognise her ploys, or at the very least not be able to defend so well.
'If she can't get past me then she'll resort to just trying to shoot from here'.
And as expected the girl tried to score and, just as she'd planned, Yuzu with all the strength she could muster, shot up off the ground, and swiped the ball from her opponent mid air.
She lands on the ground and without a second to waste pivots and sprints towards the basket. Using her momentum from her dash, she jumps and wins the match.
...Or at least that's what everyone expected to happen. Instead, with a heavy thud, Yuzu falls to the ground. She's curled up and trembling. The ball abandoned in favour of gripping her knee. She shut her eyes, preferring darkness over the colourful spots that were invading her vision which only amplified the pain.
Although this pain was familiar she'd forgotten just how much it hurt. In the corner of her mind she'd wished that the pain was worse, to the point where she could at least pass out from the pain, if only to give her a brief period of respite.
But instead she was forced to feel each agonising second of feeling like muscle, bone and cartilage were relentlessly twisting and entwining, the pain never diminishing or dulling. She was trapped.
I was gone for 2 years cuz I was focusing on school and then it turns out that my exams this year got cancelled ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
But anyways hi. I'm back. Just in time for pride month. (It's almost not but shh). Hope you're all keeping safe. Please excuse the rough/shitty writing. As I said, it's been a while (๑•﹏•)
Also, this fic will only be 2-3 chapters long.
Basketball club president: Sunada Rin ("Cold, Dignified")
Yuzu's opponent: Arata Mitsuru ("Full, Growing")
Lastly, I didn't know this but I realised (during my writing abstinence) that I like to hurt our bb Yuzu in my stories a lot. And then I found this thing called 'whump' and I was like "ohhh, I do that". So yeah, most of my stories will probably be Yuzu whump (with Mei comfort ofc) and no one can stop me :)