Chapter Nine: Back to Normal

Kirihara was more than glad to be back to his original self. After an hour of carefully observing Yanagi's newest potion to revert his hideous hair color, Kirihara finally kissed goodbye to past misfortunes and returned to the life of an average teenager struggling with the insane amount of homework. At least, as normal as a temperamental elite teen tennis played whose eyes turn red when royally ticked off could be. Still, Kirihara was overjoyed, and that's something to say.

"Now, are you sure you feel fine?"

"I'm fine."

Kirihara didn't know how many times he had repeated that overused phrase to his teammate, babysitter, and friend since they finally got out of tennis practice. He didn't mind the least though, and he could've silently repeated it to himself again and again for the rest of the day and not get bored of it because he really was absolutely completely one hundred percent fine. Kirihara enjoyed being fine very much.

"Nothing out of the ordinary?"

"I'm fine."

The two rounded the corner onto a crowded boulevard, and Kirihara's mood just managed to improve even more when he pulled out a memo from the back of his mind. On numerous accounts, he had seen Marui strolling down this place, and the name of his favorite café soon came into view in the form of a flickering neon sign.

"Well, actually," Kirihara began as he stared longingly at the sweets displayed inside the shop. He didn't blame his senpai for coming here. It was one of the few places where the things looked as delectable as they tasted. Kirihara would never have guessed they made chocolate mousses in the shape of a moose.

"What?" Jackal asked, panicked. "Do you feel feverish? Are you having hives? Is a headache coming on? Do you need cold medicine?" The fact that he said all that seriously was awfully scary to Kirihara, as well as amusingly hilarious.

"I just wanted something sweet," Kirihara said as he stepped into the shop with a jingle of the bell overhead. A second jingled told him that Jackal had followed in suit. Kirihara smirked. So his plan of freeloading off of his babysitter began. Kirihara did so love freeloading. It meant that he could order whatever he wanted in whatever quantities, and order he did, summoning up a plethora of sugary confections and a bill to match it. Jackal was appalled.

"Kirihara…" he said, involuntarily twitching as he eyed the numbers that seemed to be embossed out of the bill. It was ridiculous to say the least, but it didn't hold a candle to how Kirihara managed to stomach every last item he ordered. Jackal thought only Marui was capable of accomplishing a feat like that.

"Don't worry, you're paying," Kirihara said nonchalantly in between bites. Jackal felt no pity from the boy. Only Kirihara would be able to say something like that without remorse. Even Marui would through in a hundred or two yen to the cause.

Life is good, Kirihara thought as he shoved the last spoonful of his chocolate parfait.

Life is bad.

While Kirihara was all but in bliss and swelling in pure happiness over his excessive amount of sugar, Yukimura was seated in a rock hard chair in his principal's office attempting to explain to him the cause of Kirihara's absence for the past week. While 'away at camp' seemed to work well with the boy's parents, the headmaster of the school wasn't so easily persuaded with such off-handed answers.

"I contacted his parents, and they said he was off at camp with the lot of you, but as I recall, no such trip was scheduled."

"Sir," Yukimura began, his mind scripting out the rest of the conversation, "as his captain, senpai, and friend, I can assure you nothing out of the ordinary had occurred to Kirihara."

This, of course, was a lie. Nonetheless, it would be more foolish to tell the truth. 'Yes, well, see here, sir, Kirihara was cornered by Yanagi and was then forced by the older boy to drink a vial of his Magical Chemical 4.2, which, wouldn't you know it, turned him into a squirming pain-in-the-butt toddler, and when he attempted to restore Kirihara, his experiments always fled just a little short, but at last Kirihara has turned back to normal, and due to his stature as of a couple of days ago, I'm sure you'll agree with me that he really wasn't capable of attending his daily course of education. No, sir, I'm positively sure Yanagi is not a mad-scientist who will one day overtake the world with his friend Inui, nor is he schizophrenic and in dire need of medical attention.' Not only was that a mouthful, it sounded completely far-fetched and incomprehensible. Yukimura liked his state of sanity, thank you.

"Then how do you explain his recent absences?"

"Oh, he was out training."

"For tennis?"

"Of course."

"I see."

Tennis was the golden answer to every situation.

Life is full of idiots.

While Yukimura won his way with the principal, Sanada was having his hands full with keeping Marui and Niou under restraint. With Jackal off chaperoning Kirihara and Yagyuu dashing back to class for a forgotten notebook, Sanada was left with the task of playing babysitter. They really had no reason to be following him. Sure, they all walked the same way for a little bit, but surely they didn't have to be tagging behind him. Even a distance of about ten feet away was good for Sanada, but no. They had to be walking side-by-side.

"Hey, do you think Yanagi will make more of those Magical Chemicals?" Marui asked Niou.

"He certainly seems to like doing it," Niou answered.

"Do you think he'll turn one of us into a chocolate bar?"

"Why would you want a chocolate bar as a teammate?"

"I'm just saying! I mean, if I were a chocolate bar, then every time I got hungry I could just lick myself."

"Marui, that's wrong."

"But it makes sense! And chocolate is yummy."

"A human android would be cooler."

"But he'd beat us in straight sets because he's a humanoid!"

"No, you can reprogram him during the middle of the match."

"Niou, that's wrong."

"You being a chocolate bar is more stupid."

"No it's not! Chocolate is awesome."







"We will not discuss this any further." Sanada finally got to the point where he was just sick and tired of Niou and Marui's odd conversation. He liked to walk in peace where his mind could reflect on the day's events and how he could ultimately improve his tennis. Last time he checked, chocolate bars couldn't play tennis, and as far as he was concerned, Yanagi hadn't created a humanoid… yet.

"Okay," the two sighed dejectedly. Whether he imagined it or not, a few minutes later, Sanada could've sworn her got the mental vibe that Niou and Marui had continued their absurd conversation with their absurd non-existent ESP powers. He was glad when he finally was able to leave the two as he headed into the train station.

Life is misunderstood.

Yanagi indeed felt very misunderstood with the whole incident. He wasn't trying to play the role of the antagonist; he was merely trying to advance science. Then again, a lot of the times, science is misunderstood too. While some may call Yanagi a fool today, when he successfully had the entire planet brainwashed and tending to his every whim, they would call him a genius.

So that is why, regardless of warnings, Yanagi continued to pursue his research. The future didn't scare him at all, and after much deliberation…

"I-It's done! My Magical Chemical 5.6!" But that's another story…

The End

Thanks to all those who reviewed and supported this! I'm aware the ending is kind of rushed. I wanted to get this done before school started, though. Again, thanks to all!