Tennis no HimeSama
Chapter 10: Meet the Chichi
The sun finally finished setting and a man in his thirties looked up from what he was reading. He then began to swing his left foot that was bound to the temple's huge bell hanging above him. The bell gave a loud tune and he repeated it again for another time, signaling the town below him that the night has begun.
"Wee…Time to go home…" Echizen Nanjiro said to himself as he, at last ended ringing the bell. He uncoiled the rope from his foot then proceeded to stretch his leg muscles. He was beginning to feel his age getting on to him but he didn't mind it. He would be ready to settle down and enjoy his retirement from tennis if his only son finished conquering all the major four tournaments in the world and achieving the Grand Slam title. Oh, and also if his son would successfully beat him to a pulp like he says whenever he loses a match against him.
"Nyaa… that would never happen! He's still mada mada dane!" Nanjiro laughed out loud as he grabbed his magazine then started strutting toward home. It would be nice to see his son again and watch him lose his marbles whenever he would pull a prank on him.
"How is she?"
"Hn. Unconscious. And from the looks of it, dinner would be delayed shortly."
"Echizen Ryoma! Don't tell me that dinner is more important to you than your mother!"
Ryoma threaded his fingers lazily through his tousled hair. After he carried his mother to his bed, his mind blanked out for a second. Unsure of what to do, he then randomly decided to confront his sempais that were violently tussling each other outside his room. But first, he must reacquaint Sakuno first with his mother in order for things to run smoothly. If his mother approved of her, then his oyaji shouldn't be a problem.
Sakuno placed a wet cloth on his mother's forehead. Ryoma couldn't help but notice her hand shaking. He reached for it then gave a reassuring squeeze. She then looked up at him and he raised a brow when he saw them filled with tears. "What's wrong?" he asked.
She hastily wiped away her tears. "I – I'm sorry, Ryoma – kun! It's just I… I never wanted this to happen! To you and the sempais… and to Obasama right here! I… I'm such a klutz!"
Ryoma sighed as he lifted one arm to wrap around her shoulders and pulled her against him. He breathed in the sweet scent of her hair. "Baka. It's not your fault. You and I both know that. It's just that, the sempais are experiencing 'their time of the month' again. And we know that it's not the same for you girls." Sakuno giggled against him. He sighed again. "That was a lame joke."
She playfully smacked him on his side. Her giggling grew louder after she heard him wince in mock pain. "Liar. You're just too soft to admit that you've never had a grasp with your humors before. You suck at making jokes." Her expression softened as she leaned her head on his shoulder then sighed deeply, loving the security she was feeling right now with him. "Demo, Arigatou… I'm going to be all right now."
Ryoma smirked as he released her.
In the meantime, the sempais continued beating each other's brains out as they struggled on each other in order to gain the upper hand. Tezuka didn't dare to interfere, seeing that Taka – san was waving his racket from nowhere and Oishi grabbing Momoshiro and Kikumaru by their collar and held them apart from one another.
Fuji was still smiling. He was somewhat amused at the scene before him while Inui kept on writing new data as if there's no tomorrow. Kaidoh only hissed in frustration. Oishi, on the other hand was already fed up. After pulling apart the tussling Momoshiro and Kikumaru, he cried out. "Mou! That's enough you two!"
"We're not getting anywhere if we continued to linger like this!" Momo yelled in frustration.
"But Ochibi's not telling us anything! What should we do?" Kikumaru asked. He was up and eager to follow Echizen back in its room for further investigation.
Oishi held Kikumaru by the collar. "You're not going anywhere, Eiji! We already caused too much trouble! The least we can do is to apologize to Echizen, to Ryuzaki – chan, and to his mother!"
"But it wasn't our fault that she fainted," Momo protested.
The well – known "Mother of Seigaku" pointed an accusing finger at him. "But, it was certainly your FAULT in the first place, Momo! Dragging us here and creating a ruckus! Imagine what would happen if Ryuzaki – sensei would find out about this? We're going to be goners!"
All Momo could do was nod enthusiastically. "Gomenasai, Oka – san! Yipe, I mean, Oishi – sempai!" Kikumaru also nodded eagerly in agreement, together the both of them looking like two little kids. Being scolded by their mother.
Tezuka shook his head wryly. "Am I seeing another version of TENIPURI?"
"A much more hilarious live action TENIPURI, Tezuka," Fuji added, amused. He grinned as he stared at the stoic former captain of the Seigaku tennis club. "Don't you think your daughter is being a little too harsh on your granddaughter?" Fuji gave a small grandma – like cackle, hiding the lower part of his face with the back of his hand.
Tezuka on the other hand cringed.
"Obasama seems to be taking a lot of time upstairs," Nanako wondered as she finished cooking the food and was now setting the table. It had been forty-five minutes and still her auntie didn't show up at the kitchen. Tapping her finger under her chin, her thoughts began to drift.
"What if Obasama finally met her son's girlfriend? Was she angry? Hurt? Happy?" she asked herself. Well, even she was getting worried about her auntie's reaction once she sees her only son with a girl. And here they thought that Ryoma – san had exceptionally no interest in girls.
Nanako almost thought that her famed cousin was a gay since he had no feelings in regards to women. And to think that the girl he now hooked up with was none other than his couch's granddaughter. For a minute there, she contemplated that Ryoma – san barely even knew that Ryuzaki – chan existed.
"I'm just glad that Ryoma – san is happy with Ryuzaki –chan." Nanako finished setting the last few articles in the table when she heard the front door open then close. She heard her uncle's booming voice in the hallway.
"Okaeri nasai, Ojisama," Nanako greeted from the doorway. Nanjiroh gave her a brief wave of acknowledgement before setting his sandals aside. He cast a glance at the entire living room before settling his attention on his niece.
"Is the brat here already?"
Nanako smiled. "Hai, he is."
Nanjiroh smirked as he stretched his muscles then paced towards the living room. "Call me when it's dinner time, Nanako – chan."
Nanako gave a small smile when she saw her uncle disappear in the living room. She then went back to her work, hoping that her aunt would be coming down to help her anytime soon.
Ryoma threw an insufferable look at his raging sempais as they beat each other's brains out. He ran a hand nervously through his hair as he reverted his attention back to his unconscious mother who was currently being tended by Sakuno. He somewhat had a vague idea that his oyaji had already returned home from the temple and from the looks of things, he will have a tough time patching things up.
"Sakuno," he whispered quietly. She turned to him, concern marring her features. He ran a hand through her brown tresses and said, "Looks like oyaji's here."
"What? B – But what about your mother, Ryoma – kun?"
"We'll find out later. For now, let's go out to meet him," Ryoma muttered much more to himself than to her. He tugged her arm to help her stand up then trudged together towards the door. Despite the outrageous set – up of the situation, he still have to fulfill his promise to her.
That is, meeting his oyaji face – to – face.
"Dinner's ready, Ojisama!" Nanako announced from the hallway. Nanjiroh stood up from where he was reclining in the porch, rubbing his backside wryly. It was strange. Usually, he would see his son in the living room playing with his annoying cat. And also, his wife was always lingering around, preparing the dining room or scolding him for his unrestrained hobby.
He decided to make a quick stop to the kitchen to inquire of his missing family. He parted the curtain halfway and saw Nanako doing final touches to their main course. "Nanako – chan, have you seen your cousin and aunt wandering around here? Didn't they know that it's time for dinner?"
Nanako frowned as she stopped momentarily from her work. "I think Obasama is upstairs with Ryoma – san." An invisible light bulb began to lit above her head. "Oh, and speaking of Ryoma – san…" she smiled as she tapped her chin thoughtfully. "He brought someone over for you and Obasama to meet tonight."
An eyebrow went up at that statement. "Ryoma has brought someone with him?" Suddenly, his eyes lit up with perverse interest. "That would be interesting! I've always known that my only boy is not a gay! Now I can die happy!" Nanjiroh clasped his hands into a prayer all the while stared at the ceiling. "Let's pray to the higher ones that his sexuality was not altered!"
"Anou, I don't think that would be necessary, Ojisama." Nanako sweat dropped at her uncle's superfluous actions. She looked at the wall clock hanging on the kitchen wall then winced. "It's ten minutes past dinnertime!" After making last minute arrangements, she zoomed past her uncle to set the table.
Nanjiroh was still in his awestruck pose when Nanako tapped his shoulder with her ladle. "Ojisama, I hate to ruin your moment of happiness but dinner is already ready. You better start calling Obasama and Ryoma – san upstairs so that we'll start."
Her uncle made a childlike pout. "You're so mean, Nanako – chan! Ordering your uncle like a child!"
"Can't help it. Obasama gave me all the authority in the world that I'll do it," Nanako replied dryly.
Instead of giving back a retort, Nanjiroh walked towards the stairs to fetch his wife and his son. Unknown to him, there was still chaos running forth when he reaches the top.
Ryoma decided to keep Sakuno inside his room to avoid getting involved in his sempais' warfare. Sooner or later, his cousin would announce that it was time for dinner and he might not be able to eat on time because he has some things that needed to be cleared up.
And that was to prove to everyone that he didn't rape his own girlfriend.
'Looks like Momo – sempai's getting the upperhand,' he thought, amused. Momoshiro was struggling to calm down a furious Oishi who was yelling over and over again not to call him 'Mama'. Kikumaru instead of restraining the two decided to join in the fun, and was now trapped like a shrieking cat underneath the two.
On the other hand, Tezuka and Fuji were also watching the brawl with Kaidoh hissing incoherent words. Taka – san was trying his best to stop the fight but was unable to intervene because there was a racket nearby and he might unnecessarily lose his sanity. To top it all off, Inui was gathering notes about who has the highest rate of winning and who was the best in fighting, sort of.
It was totally a mess.
And it was all because of a simple misunderstanding.
Shaking his head, he walked towards the destruction zone, his eyes canny. "All right that's enough, sempais. You're already causing a ruckus here and if you don't stop, you'll eventually create a hole in my carpet."
It was a miracle that they heard him.
"Ochibi! This is all your fault!" Kikumaru accused wrongly, pointing a finger at Ryoma. Momo and Oishi finally stopped, with the younger kohai sporting a purpling bruise on his left cheek. Inui stopped writing for a while and moved next to Ryoma.
Ryoma on the other hand was cool. "Why would it be my fault? Don't you know that I could have you guys arrested for this? What you're doing right now is assault and trespassing in private property."
"Oh really? And what about you? Harassing and exploiting a very innocent young girl! You could get a death penalty for that!" Momo fired back, defiance evident in his voice.
This was getting worse. "I already told you that I didn't manhandle her."
Kikumaru leaped like a cat then tackled Ryoma so they toppled on the ground. "Nyaa! But we saw you with our own eyes! You were lying in between her legs and she has that scared expression on her face! How would you explain that?" He pinched both Ryoma's cheeks painfully. "You'd better not lie to us, Ochibi!"
"No I'm not!" Ryoma retorted. "Itai! Let go!"
Momoshiro joined Kikumaru in the battering. "Don't you dare lie in front of your sempais, Echizen! Admit to us that you manhandled Ryuzaki – chan!"
The younger man fought against the two people that were fiercely holding him. "I'm not going to admit anything! Now let go of me!"
To his utter bad luck, Oishi decided to join in the ruckus. "Just tell us the truth, Echizen! You would never get hurt like this if you'd just tell us!"
"What in the hell should I be telling you about? And you're already hurting me now!"
The ruckus continued on and on, their voices increasing to a higher pitch. However, all of the Seigaku regulars were completely unaware that someone was watching them at the end of the stairs.
"I wonder what is going on outside," Sakuno muttered to herself as she paced around Ryoma's room. She gave glances at the frail woman lying in his bed, still not showing signs of waking up. The young girl ran a hand through her unfettered tresses, combing her hair nervously.
Ryoma was taking too long. Was he able to put a stop to the sempais' ramblings? Or did the sempais forced him to admit a fault that wasn't his?
There was too much to think about. It was starting to cause a headache. Sakuno continued pacing when she heard a soft mewl coming from outside the window. She walked towards the window then pulled it open, her brown eyes lightened up when she saw none other than Ryoma's pet cat Karupin.
"Karupin!" she exclaimed, and immediately the cat leapt into her arms. Karupin gave a loud purr then snuggled close to her bosom. Sakuno ruffled the cat's soft fur, enjoying the mewling sounds it makes. "You're so cute," she cooed, earning another purr.
She was so engrossed with Ryoma's pet that she didn't notice his mother slowly returning to consciousness.
Nanjiroh eyed the scene before him. First he was surprised and now he was confused. Scratching his head idly, he began the process of analyzing the scene before him.
There were a total of eight men standing in the hallway. From the looks of things, they were arguing about something and were crowding someone at its center. And amidst the chaos, he could hear his son's voice coming from the center.
"I'm not going to admit anything!" was his son's reply.
"Nyaa nyaa nyaa, Ochibi! You better admit your fault or else!" the boy Nanjiroh recognized as the cat guy who does acrobatic moves. He crossed his arms as he leaned against the wall, watching the scene before him. 'Now this is something new,' he thought, amused at the whole scene.
There were eight people who seem to be his son's sempais and they were on the verge of wrenching something out of him. Although the scene was pretty vicious, well, this was also something to be looked forward too. Nanjiroh gave a smirk when he finally saw his son's disheveled head peeking out from the center of the mob.
"Yamero! Itai!" Ryoma yelled when Kikumaru pinched his cheeks harder. Momo gave a loud roar, some sort of a battle cry as he pummeled the younger man, sending them all into a mangled heap into the floor.
"That's enough! Momo! Eiji!" Oishi admonished, launching himself at the grueling trio. The other sempais decided to stay away from the chaos and let the Mother of Seigaku handle it.
After all, wasn't that his job in the first place?
Enough was enough. His patience was all used up. Ryoma managed to pry himself off Kikumaru's pinches and Momo's strangles. He wobbled slightly when he stood up, frequently glaring at his sempais.
Time to end all of those freaky accusations.
"For the very last and I hope the last time, I DIDN"T RAPE RYUZAKI! Can't you guys absorb that in your brains? I didn't manhandle her! And to tell you the truth, I never even touched her until now!" Ryoma yelled, surprising his sempais.
And his father of course.
Have I heard it right? The shounen had a scandal with the old hag's granddaughter?
This would be fun.
And to put the finishing touches to the story, a soft shriek broke them all from their trances. All heads turned at the direction of the voice sweat drops exposed in their heads as they looked at the person with wavy brown tresses and a shocked look on her face.
And another, they heard a cough so they craned their heads in the other direction, once again, sweat drops began to cloud and rain their heads when they began to make a guess who the owner of the next voice was.
They never need to guess since someone beat them to it.
"O – Oyaji…" Ryoma finally croaked out, fear and dread laced through his voice.
The sempais began to exchange frightened looks. Nanjiroh, on the other hand began to smile. A very smug smile.
Author's Note: Well, the much-awaited chapter has finally arrived! What will Ryoma and the sempais do now that Nanjiroh has arrived? What will Sakuno do now that her supposedly encounter with Ryoma's father suddenly turns to chaos? Find out in the next chapter! As always, reviews, suggestions and comments are welcome!