Of Christmas And Presents
I do not own Prince of Tennis or any related merchandise; it belongs to Konomi-sensei. There is no explicit romance in this story, but expect some hints of shounen-ai. Apologies for any OOC-ness that may appear as well as any mismatched timelines from the anime. I only own this storyline. Thank you.
Christmas Fic Christmas is just round the corner! And when there's Christmas, there're presents to be given out and surprises galore! After a round of drawing lots for a game of Secret Santa, the Seigaku Regulars begin their task to find the perfect present, whilst keeping it a secret from any one else. Will everyone receive pleasant surprises?
Christmas would be approaching in exactly two weeks' time. Being the last year (even the first and last year for one particular Regular) this current winning batch of tennis regulars would be together, Ryuuzaki-sensei decided that it would be a very good idea for them to do something special for each other. After all, Christmas was a time for giving and sharing.
There was too little time for a short trip to the holiday resorts. Most of them would've been booked to the max already. Ryuuzaki-sensei was also sure that the regulars' families would probably have something planned for them. So it had to be something that could be completed within a full day at most, since she was planning for it – whatever 'it' was – to occur on Christmas Eve.
Hmm… Now what could she plan for those bunch of boys…?
"Hoi! I wonder what this special meeting is about?" Kikumaru Eiji asked as he followed behind the rest of the Seigaku Regulars up to the classroom where they were going to meet their coach.
"You'll know when you get there, Eiji," replied Fuji Syuusuke with his ever-present smile still on his face, though it had widened slightly as he watched his red-haired friend bound over to ask Oishi Syuichirou, their vice captain, the same question.
"But really, Fuji-sempai," came second-year Momoshiro Takeshi's loud voice, "It's kind of strange having a meeting, isn't it? Hmm… Aha! Maybe the old lady is planning on giving us a treat!" As usual, the energetic violet-eyed boy was thinking of food.
Fuji just smiled while some of the others laughed and rolled their eyes. Inui Sadaharu, data analyzer of the team, scribbled something in his notebook again. Nobody ever knew what the bespectacled young man wrote for he never showed his notebook to anyone else.
"Fshuu… All you think of is food," Kaidou Kaoru, the other junior on the regulars, hissed under his breath. He and Momoshiro were archrivals. They got onto each other's nerves almost every single day. Fighting and quarrelling between the duo was commonplace. It would be terrifying if they ceased to fight and compete with each other completely.
The rest of the short journey to the classroom was filled with speculation on what the meeting was about. Momoshiro and Eiji dominated the discussion, with the occasional input by Fuji, Oishi and Kawamura Takashi, the number powerhouse of the team. There were also a couple of irritated hisses from Kaidou and the sound of Inui's pencil on his green notebook. The only two completely silent ones were Tezuka Kunimitsu, the team captain, as well as Echizen Ryoma, their first year tennis ace.
The nine regulars entered the designated classroom where Ryuuzaki-sensei was already waiting for them. She waited until they were all seated before proceeding to speak.
"I'm sure all of you are interested to know why I've called you here," the coach started. "Well, seeing as this winning team of Seigaku can only be together for this year and that Christmas is on the way, we should do something special in addition to having a Christmas party in school."
"Ooh! What are we doing then?" Eiji asked eagerly, his blue eyes wide with anticipation.
"Have any of you heard of this game called 'Secret Santa'?" Ryuuzaki-sensei asked the nine boys before her. There were five confused looks, two of understanding and two of usual expressionless stares. "Inui, would you like to give an explanation?"
"Secret Santa is a Christmas game that originated from the West. A group of people draws lots to see whom they are supposed to buy a present for. They're supposed to keep it a secret. Only on Christmas Day itself, or the designated day, then the receivers will discover who their 'Santa' is," Inui rattled off from his seat.
"Thank you, Inui. That is basically how the game works. A while later, all of you are going to the classroom five doors down the corridor to draw lots. Keep the piece of paper with you. You are not allowed to swap the slips of paper bearing the names of your teammates."
"Why are we having the drawing of lots so far away?" Momo asked. "It's so inconvenient!"
"Since this is partly a game of chance, some of you might be… overly surprised by who you draw. Thus to keep the 'secret' part of "Secret Santa" alive, you can make all the noise you like in said room before returning," Ryuuzaki-sensei replied with a somewhat sadistic smile. "Sakuno and Tomoka will be helping me make sure that you don't try to change the slips of papers after you've drawn them," she added.
"Hoi! This sounds fun! Who will I get?" Eiji pondered, already prepared to bounce of to the classroom where the drawing of lots would be done.
"Right then. When I call your name, you will leave to draw a name out of the box. As I've said before, make as much noise as you want in that classroom, but when you return, you are not allowed to give so much as a hint as of whom you've drawn. If not… I'll ask Inui to arrange a special present just for you."
There was a collective gulp across the room.
As well as a strangely sinister glint from a particular pair of reflective spectacles.
"Ryoma. You're first."
The first year student stood up from his seat and strode nonchalantly out of the door. He continued his way down the corridor and stopped in front of the fifth classroom. Opening the door, he stepped inside.
Yup. Definitely the correct room, he thought as he pulled his cap lower.
Ignoring the two girls, Ryoma went up to the box that was sitting on a front row desk. He placed his hand inside and randomly grabbed a piece of paper. He pulled it out and unfolded it. Written in a tidy font were the words: Kikumaru Eiji.
"Who did you get, Ryoma-sama?" Tomoka asked.
"Kikumaru-sempai," he replied in his usual uninterested voice and started out of the door before Tomoka could ask more. He wasn't the best with selecting presents, but he decided that it shouldn't be too hard to find something for his energetic and acrobatic senior. Kikumaru-sempai probably wouldn't mind anything from his favorite 'Ochibi-chan'. All in all, Ryoma thought it was not a bad draw. He could've gotten somebody who was more difficult… like perhaps Fuji-sempai.
Ryoma reentered the room where the other regulars were, still as calm as before. Ryuuzaki-sensei merely smiled at him and motioned for him to return to his seat. He had placed the slip of paper bearing his senior's name into his pocket, knowing that Momo-sempai would somehow try to sneak a peak even though it was against the rules.
"Alright, next. Momoshiro."
"Great! Let's see who I'll get!" Momo said as left the classroom.
However, once Momo had drawn and unfolded the paper, his good mood disappeared at the speed of Hyoutei's Ootori Choutarou's Scud Serve.
"NANI?" was the first thing out of Momoshiro's mouth as soon as he had read the words on the paper.
"Who… who did you get, Momoshiro-sempai?" Sakuno asked cautiously. Momoshiro-sempai's outburst didn't seem like a good thing…
Tomoka, as usual, was much more straightforward than her friend and looked at the piece of paper in Momoshiro's hands. Said boy had pretty much frozen after his shocked outburst. The girl's face blanched a little as she read the name and understood why the usually cheerful Momo was so shell-shocked. "Eh Sakuno… Momoshiro-sempai drew… Kaidou-sempai."
The mentioning of the name of Seigaku's Viper seemed to snap Momo out of his trance. Which probably wasn't a very good thing. The next moment, two first year girls could be seen crouched in a corner, hands covering their ears as Momo started to rant. Loudly.
"KAIDOU? MAMUSHI? This has got to be one big joke! What in the world do I get for him? It's KAIDOU! Kami-sama, what did I do wrong this time?" Momo fumed, somehow still managing to remember that if he didn't lower his volume, even someone on the ground floor would hear him. Perhaps it was the threat of a special present from Inui that made him do so, but for now, it was not that important in his mind. "Why do I have to be the one! Why am I even CARING in the first place!"
The ranting went on for a good five minutes, in which Sakuno and Tomoka decided that they would become permanently deaf if they came into contact with Momoshiro any longer. When that five minutes passed, Momo waved a sullen goodbye to the duo and stalked out of the classroom.
"Saa, Momo… you took quite a long time," Fuji commented innocently when the second year returned to his seat. Personally, Fuji had quite a good idea of whom Momoshiro had gotten. It was easy really. But the tensai figured he would let off on the teasing… just this once.
"Yup! I thought you'd never come back!" Eiji added.
Momo, on the other hand, kept quiet, managing to glare at the desk in front of him. Ever since he had stepped in, he had firmly made sure he would not look at anybody in the room. The main reason was that he would be able to curb the urge to strangle someone (specifically a someone nicknamed 'the Viper'), while the secondary reason was that he did not want a death wish for Christmas that came in the form of Inui's special gift.
"Kaidou, off you go," Ryuuzaki-sensei said. She caught a slight twitch from Momoshiro when she mentioned Kaidou's name and smiled slightly. Now that would explain why the rascal had taken such a long time.
Kaidou stared hard. He blinked twice.
He blinked again.
Nope, the words still weren't changing. It said, in neat font: Inui Sadaharu.
So, he was going to have to get something for his senior. The senior who had specially helped him train for the tournaments. He supposed it was a good time to get something to thank Inui-sempai for all his help and time spent. Kaidou was just a little surprised to have drawn the older boy's name. Especially when he had been contemplating if should thank Inui-sempai by getting him something for Christmas.
Looks like he had to do it after all.
"Fshuu…" he hissed as he pocketed the slip of paper. Then he left the classroom.
Next up was Eiji, who bounced his way to and into the classroom. He was really keen to find out whom he would be playing Santa for. He always loved games anyway! "Hoi hoi!" he greeted the two first year girls cheerfully. "Now, where do I draw the lot, nya?"
"Over here, sempai!"
Eiji went up to the box and stuck his hand inside. He felt around for a while before picking a slip of paper. "Ta da!" he proclaimed as he fished out the paper like he had just drawn the winning lottery ticket.
"Who is it, Kikumaru-sempai?" Tomoka asked excitedly.
Unfolding the paper, Eiji read the name and a huge smile graced his features. What luck! "Hoi! It's Oishi!"
This was great! Perfect! He had wanted to thank his doubles partner all a long. Now, all he had to do was to get the present that this game required and he could thank Oishi all the same! The smile on his face widened at the thought as he resisted the urge to do a couple of cartwheels. There wasn't much space anyway.
Waving goodbye to the two girls, he left the classroom. As he continued his journey down the corridor to the meeting room, Eiji managed to control his expression to show one of his normal smiles. No point in spoiling his good mood by having to face the prospect of Inui Juice on Christmas, nya?
After a visibly happy Eiji's turn, it was now Kawamura's turn. Though perhaps one could say the luck had slightly run out for the rather shy Taka-san. Said boy was scratching his head rather nervously as he reread the name on the slip of paper he was holding.
"Kawamura-sempai? Who did you get?" Sakuno asked gently. "Kawamura-sempai?"
"Huh? Oh! Uh… Tezuka," came the slightly startled reply.
"Ah… Echizen, eh?" Inui muttered thoughtfully as he read the name on the slip of paper in his palm. Interesting, he thought. There were so many possibilities of what would be a suitable gift for the first year regular…
"Ryoma-sama?" Tomoka whispered to Sakuno, dread filling her voice. Inui was famed for his strange but utterly toxic juices…
"Aa… That means…"
"NO! We have to stop Inui-sempai from thinking about Inui Juice!" Tomoka declared, jabbing her hands on her hips in determination. "Inui-sempai?"
"Yes?" Knowing the girl, there was a 99.9 percentchance that it was going to be about Echizen.
Tomoka cleared her throat before speaking in a tone as respectful as she could use, considering the nature of what she was about to say. "Inui-sempai, as the president of Ryoma-sama's fan club, I have to ensure Ryoma-sama's well being. So, if it is not too rude, can you please not poison Ryoma-sama with your present?"
"Whatever made you think I would?" There was a 100 percentprobability that in her next sentence his Inui Juice would be mentioned.
"Inui-sempai, you know your special drinks aren't… easily ingestible by anybody…"
To that, Inui just raised an eyebrow. Well, he knew that there were people who could take it.
"Yeah, sempai… Um… Even Fuji-sempai had fainted once after drinking it… I heard it from Horio-kun."So that had gotten out too, Inui thought. However, he remained silent, trying to resist the urge to pull out his notebook and start scribbling away.
"Ne Sakuno, it's time for drastic measures," Tomoka muttered to her friend. Since reasoning strangely didn't seem to be working with Inui-sempai, they would have to resort to other measures. She whispered her plan to her friend.
Watching the quiet exchange, Inui had the strange feeling that he wouldn't like what the duo would come up with next. He was almost 100 percent sure about that…
Inui returned from the 'lottery' room mumbling under his breath and scribbling fervently in his notebook. However, unlike any other time, there was no sinisterly pleased glint from his glasses, signifying that he had found good data. Instead, Inui looked liked he had witnessed something utterly mortifying. Everyone decided that he had for they all had more or less heard the somewhat muted screaming.
To that, Fuji noted that the screaming definitely did not come from Inui. The sounds were more high-pitched – a girl's voice. Ah… Inui must've gotten Echizen, he decided. Who else would cause such an intense reaction from Tomoka-chan, ne?
"Are you okay, Inui?" Oishi asked carefully.
"Aa…" Inui muttered an affirmative, still writing non-stop.
"Fuji. Your turn," Ryuuzaki-sensei's voice said.
Fuji was greeted by an enthusiastic and – in his opinion – somewhat smug-looking Tomoka and a Sakuno who was flushed slightly in the cheeks. Most probably from embarrassment, he decided. Considering what her friend did just now… They probably had defied all the data Inui had in his book, if he had it in the first place.
Fuji didn't doubt it. Inui was a thorough data collector.
He returned their greetings with his usual smile on his face and then went to draw the piece of paper. There weren't many pieces left already. He wondered whom he would get.
"Ah… it's Taka-san."
Now, it was Oishi who was in the room. He decided, after looking at the name, he'd gotten someone relatively simple to deal with. Nobody in the tennis club didn't know that Momo loved food. Almost any kind of food, save things like Inui Juice. However, other than Inui himself, only Fuji had been able to stomach and enjoy it. Oishi guessed that didn't count. But at least the drinks were never lethal, though he personally thought they bordered on 'fatalism' much too often.
"So who did you get, Oishi-sempai?"
"Ah! So that means Tezuka-buchou will get F-" Tomoka started only to find her mouth hastily covered by Sakuno.
"Shh! Tomo-chan!" Sakuno exclaimed as she glanced at Oishi-sempai momentarily in worry, "You can't let anybody know! It's 'Secret Santa', remember?"
"Gomen!" Tomoka apologized against Sakuno's palm, although it came out pretty muted.
Oishi merely smiled before bidding them goodbye.
So at long last came the last regular member, as well as the Captain of the Seigaku tennis team, to draw his lot. Though really, it had already been decided since he was the last person to draw.
Tezuka entered the designated classroom where he was greeted hastily by the two first years. He nodded curtly in acknowledgement, striding up to the box as he did so. He took out the last remaining slip of paper and unfolded it.
Fuji? This would be interesting. Tezuka knew that Fuji would get gifts for the whole team even if it weren't required… This simple game became a challenge once he saw the name of their resident tennis prodigy staring back at him.
And Tezuka was one who reveled in facing them.
"Now that the drawing of lots is over, all of you know who you're supposed to get a present for," Ryuuzaki-sensei said once Tezuka was seated. "You have about two weeks to decide and buy the said present as well as a card, so as to let the recipient of the present find out who their Santa is. You can be straightforward or cryptic about it; it's your choice. All gifts have to be wrapped since it can be possible to decipher who the recipient for that particular gift is from by looking at it unwrapped. Also, since it is Christmas, feel free to get presents for the rest of the regulars too."
"Now, given that you would want to spend Christmas with your family, the Christmas party will be held on Christmas Eve from 5pm to at least midnight in the school hall. All of you have to put your present for the Secret Santa in the clubhouse by 5.30pm. I'll be asking someone to be there to make sure nobody tries to peek. At 11.45pm, the presents will be brought to the hall. I'll call out your names and you'll take your presents from me. Then at exactly midnight, you'll open your present. Is that clear?"
"Hai, sensei," came the chorused reply.
"Good. You're dismissed now. Don't forget your presents!"
The nine regulars milled out of the doorway, each reacting differently to what had been said. Eiji was talking a mile a minute to Fuji and Oishi, the duo patiently listening and injecting their input now and then. Momo had taken to asking Ryoma whether he wanted to eat burgers and not waiting for the first year to answer his question before dragging him off. Kaidou had stalked away almost immediately, while Inui was still busy writing in his notebook. One wondered whether he really did have that much data to note down. Tezuka, as usual, was quiet.
Ryuuzaki-sensei watched her tennis team leave, a pleased smile settled on her features. Now it was left for her to imagine what sort of gifts would turn up on Christmas Eve. She gave a chuckle. Knowing her team, most of them would be rather unorthodox.
She knew she'd miss this batch dearly. It was so much fun having them.
My first ever Prince of Tennis fanfic! Hope the characters are okay in terms of characterization. This is going to be a Christmas fic and I plan to complete it just before Christmas. Hoped you all enjoyed this!