This is my first Prince of Tennis story and I'm not really sure where it came from. It just…appeared, really. At any rate, enjoy and, if you have the time, let me know what you think.
The Second Notebook
Oishi looked around Inui's room and sighed. He didn't particularly want to spending a lovely Sunday afternoon with the data collector, but his science grade required that he and Inui complete their report on the history of cyanide. Truth be told, Oishi would rather be with Kikumaru, playing video games or simply listening to music in the dark, but if Oishi wanted a bright future, he had to spend a less than fabulous day with Inui, who was currently making himself a snack. "At least we're almost done," the fukubuchou smiled, looking at a sketch Eiji had drawn in his notebook during lunch the previous Wednesday. It was supposed to be the molecular structure of love.
"That molecule cannot exist, Oishi. It is 98 percent unstable in the second carbon bond. It would fall apart in anything but a vacuum."
"Oh, Inui, you're back. I was just reviewing my notes." Oishi quickly hid the doodle. He suspected Inui knew about his relationship with Kikumaru (the Golden Pair was a little too synchronized for the average doubles team), but Oishi wasn't about to advertise it. It was in the process of stowing his notebook in his backpack that Oishi managed a glance at the stacks of notebooks under Inui's desk. One stack was topped with a notebook reading "Seigaku, Volume 27" and the other, "KK, Volume 59." Oishi wondered how anyone could take 59 books of notes on a single subject.
"We have compiled all of the data we need. Once we create an outline for the presentation, it would be more efficient to do our work separately and reconvene Tuesday after practice to consolidate our report." Oishi caught Inui's head moving to glance at the atomically timed, digital clock on the wall over the desk. "If you would like, I will draft up a proposal and email it to you this evening." Again Inui looked toward the clock.
"I should be getting home soon so I'll take you up on your offer." Oishi smiled and rose from the floor, again catching sight of the notebooks. "I'll see you at school tomorrow."
"I'll show you out." Inui grabbed a duffle bag from under his bed and led Oishi to the front of the house.
"Do you have somewhere to be, Inui?" Oishi asked as he put his shoes on at the front entrance, noting that Inui was lacing up his cross-trainers.
"There is a 64 percent chance that Kaidoh will overwork himself during this evening's training. I am going to intercept him before he hurts himself and lowers his chance of succeeding in the upcoming ranking match by 12 percent."
"That's good of you." Oishi noticed that Inui had two notebooks set beside him, one that read "Seigaku, Volume 28" and the other, "KK, Volume 60." He figured he might as well ask, "Is that Kaidoh's personal folder?"
Inui's cheeks colored and he paused a moment before a shaky "Aa" escaped his lips. "If you do not hurry, you will miss Kikumaru's call. He should be calling your home in approximately 16 minutes to inform you of his neighbor's new kittens. There is a 98 percent chance that he will be adopting 1 of them, a 71 percent chance that he will adopt 2. He will name the first one…"
"Nanaka," Oishi finished, delighting a little in Inui's flustered state.
"Aa." Inui looked to his wrist watch and stood quickly. "My apologies, I must go." Inui bowed and ran out the main door. Oishi hurried home to receive Kikumaru's call.
"Ne Kaidoh, you should remove one weight from your left ankle or you're going to sprain it." Inui jotted down a note.
"Hai senpai." Kaidoh removed a weight while he continued his seated stretches. Inui-senpai had made him do extra, claiming that his chances of pulling a hamstring were very high today due to the chill in the air. "Senpai, is your project with Oishi-senpai going well?"
Inui looked up from his notebook and smiled. "Aa. We have collected the needed data and will finish up tomorrow." Inui jotted down a few more notes then switched notebooks. Kaidoh could never understand why Inui always had two notebooks on hand nowadays. He'd started recording in two different books at the beginning of the semester, right before they began playing doubles. Maybe it was for class notes and he studied while Kaidoh trained. While the mamushi was curious, he wasn't rude enough to straight out ask about it. Instead, he craned his head a little to see if there were any markings on the notebooks. All he could make out was the number 60. "How are your studies coming, Kaidoh? Are you still struggling in English?"
"No senpai, the studying technique you suggested is working. I got an A on my last test." Kaidoh stopped stretching long enough to offer Inui a small nod of thanks. Without Inui-senpai's help, he would have continued to get C's, and C's were not an acceptable grade for Kaidoh Kaoru, no matter how difficult the subject.
"That is good. If anything else gives you trouble, I'll see what I can do for you." Inui jotted a few more notes then closed the notebook. "Now a warm up run, three laps around the park, then racquet forms. You'll skip the longer run today. The wind brings an 83 percent chance that you'll catch cold if you sweat too much."
"You can't catch a cold from sweating, senpai." Kaidoh enjoyed his long runs. They gave him time to think about his game and his progress. Normally, Kaidoh would just ignore Inui's advice and run home instead of taking the train, but Kaidoh had the notion that Inui-senpai probably knew that that was what he was going to do and would intervene somehow.
"You will catch cold because you didn't bring a sweatshirt and it will take you 20 minutes to get home if you jog at normal pace. Within that time, it is likely that you will catch cold." Inui's lips stretched into a thin line and his arms folded over his chest. "No long runs today."
"Hai, senpai." Kaidoh sighed then set off on his warm-up laps. Every other step he reminded himself that Inui-senpai was only doing this to further Kaidoh's game. If Kaidoh didn't train, he wouldn't improve and, if he didn't improve, he would drag Inui-senpai down. With a final grunt, Kaidoh quickened his pace.
Damn but Fuji was talkative today. All afternoon he'd been recounting the tale of Kikumaru's newest kittens, Nanaka and Pablo. Tezuka didn't mind a story every now and then, but this one seemed to stretch on for hours. Every time they crossed paths at practice, Fuji would start in on the kittens. Finally, the buchou had had enough. "Fuji, twenty laps."
"But Tezuka, I didn't do anything." Fuji's smile was in place but his hands were clenching into fists at his side.
"It will help you focus on practice instead of trivial matters." Tezuka believed he heard Kikumaru whining that his kittens were not trivial, but the acrobatic player could've been talking to anyone, really.
"Saa Tezuka, I will remember this when your birthday comes around." The tensai took off running, his feet hitting the ground a little harder than usual.
"I do not believe it is wise to anger Fuji today." Tezuka turned and raised an eyebrow at Inui, who continued on as if nothing were out of the ordinary. "According to my data, he had a dispute with Yuuta last night and is not in a good mood. He returned three love letters that were in his shoe box today."
"Fuji's personal life is not my concern. His performance at practice is." Tezuka turned back to the courts, scrutinizing his players. "Kaidoh has improved. His Boomerang Snake has more range and accuracy."
"Aa, he practices hard." Inui wrote something down in his notebook then chuckled. Tezuka turned to him again, not speaking, but his glare demanding an answer. "I was simply remembering an occurance at this morning's practice. Do not mind me." Inui wrote another note then switched to another notebook. Tezuka watched then raised an eyebrow in inquiry. "I am collecting more specialized data on Kaidoh to further our doubles game."
"Inui, twenty laps." Tezuka didn't laugh at Inui's flabbergasted expression, though the temptation was high.
"I find your actions improbable and irrational, Tezuka. Please explain them." Inui switched notebooks and readied his pencil.
"Twenty laps. If you have questions, ask Fuji." Tezuka walked away to correct Arai's backhand grip.
Inui sat at his desk, reviewing his notes for the day. The Golden Pair were in particularly high form at practice which meant that Oishi arrived home in time to receive Kikumaru's call and, 76 percent chance, run over to see the new kittens. Fuji had thrown water on Tezuka after finishing the twenty laps the buchou ordered. It was doubtful that Tezuka's week would be anything but fraught with disaster. If you angered Fuji, there was a 100 percent chance that his vengeance would be painful and long lasting. However, if Tezuka apologized, 43 percent chance, then Fuji would forgive him, 87 percent chance. But, there was only a 12 percent chance of Tezuka connecting Fuji's continual chatter that day with the tensai's need to find comfort in Tezuka during difficult times. If Inui were a nicer person, he would clue Tezuka in, but the twenty laps he'd been forced to run had reduced his altruism by 48 percent that day. If, next week, Tezuka had ceased to be cranky, 62 percent chance, Inui would help his long time friend and rival.
Inui picked up his cordless telephone and smiled. 86 percent chance it was Kaidoh. "Moshi moshi?" His mother hung up and Inui heard a hiss. "Ah, Kaidoh, what can I do for you?"
"Oka-san would like you to come over for dinner tomorrow to thank you for helping me with my English." Another hiss. Kaidoh only hissed when he was upset.
"Ne Kaidoh, is something bothering you?" Inui had to refrain from chuckling at his doubles partner's quirks. They really were adorable.
"I-iie. I'm just tired."
Inui could nearly see the blush on Kaidoh's cheeks, tinting them 44 percent darker than usual. "Well then, I shouldn't keep you up. Tell your mother I would be delighted to come to dinner, but that I don't require any thanks for assisting you. It is always my pleasure." Inui had expected this offer to come two days earlier, but he didn't have enough data on Kaidoh's mother to be certain. Dinner tomorrow would provide an excellent opportunity to collect the final bits of data he needed before…
"I'm going to bed now, Inui-senpai. Good night."
"Good night, Kaidoh. I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Hai. Sleep better tonight, Inui-senpai" Kaidoh hung up but Inui left his phone on a moment while he wondered how Kaidoh knew he hadn't slept well the night before. His glasses should've obscured the dark circles under his eyes. Finally, Inui turned off the phone and turned back to his data notebook, ready to calculate the final entry for the day. Yesterday's figures had kept him up, planning and praying and recalculating because he'd obviously done something wrong.
"Kaidoh Kaoru's acceptance probability," Inui took a deep breathe, "97 percent." He did the figures over one more time before he heard Kaidoh's hissing in his head. His doubles partner would be upset if he was tired again tomorrow, particularly when the Kaidoh family was going through the trouble of inviting him to dinner. Inui shut off his computer and placed his notebooks next to his school texts before slipping into bed. "Oyasumi Kaoru. I will tell you tomorrow." Smiling, Inui surrendered to sleep.