♥Special thank you to Niou-kun (PerfectlyModest is her penname) for all her input (and for writing the fic that I wanted to write instead of writing this)!

Title: "Tenipuri Online!"

Author: All4thebasilisk

Rating: As of now, I'll stick with PG.

Summary: All the Kantou schools have arranged a secret "Keyboard Pal" program for the tennis players. Each player selects a screenname and must correspond with whomever he is randomly given online. But as the name implies, the two keyboard buddies don't know whom they've been given…

Pairings: We'll see…

Notes: Author's notes will be enclosed in parentheses throughout the story.

And without further ado, let the instant messaging begin!

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INTERLUDE

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EMAIL

From: Inui Sadaharu (Dataman)

To: Yanagi Renji (Dataman2)

Subject: The non-regular participants will not hold us back.

I have uncovered several other screennames, and there is an eighty-eight percent chance that you know the same ones. I recommend that we skip from conversation to conversation to confirm. There is a seventy-six percent chance that you have perfected the program that makes us invisible to our subjects, so we can properly tap into their conversations. My data suggests that most Keyboard Pals are online late at night, so I will contact you then.

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(Explanation: Since I've been away for so long and haven't updated in AGES, this chapter is a little treat. Nearly every previous IM pair and many new ones will be in it, though each conversation will be shorter than usual. Some of the new ones will be continued in later chapters, some will not. Be aware, though, that Yanagi HAS perfected the program, and anytime Inui and Yanagi speak, no one else hears.)

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INSTANT MESSAGING

(A/N: Some of the new IM's have the people meeting for the first time, some do not. Don't worry, you haven't missed a chapter!)

WhyNot: Why? Why did you help me? Why haven't you been answering my IM's? Why do I always have to keep a cell phone near my bed?

PerfectlyModest: Actually, I haven't responded to your IM's because I hired the best minds in Japan to figure you out. Now I know how to deal with you. I helped you because it was good publicity. And you have to keep a cell phone near your bed in case you're mugged again.

IntellectuallyChallenged: That is 64 NOT Atobe Keigo.

GettingDumbAndDumber: I agree. Obviously, he has hired the best minds in Japan to figure out how to deal with Itsuki and to actually deal with him.

WhyNot: Why? Why would I be mugged again? Why did you hire people to figure me out? Why is it good publicity?

PerfectlyModest: Your family is just taking precautions. My patience with you was running out, and anything that makes me seem good is good publicity.

WhyNot: Why? Why are you answering my questions? Why aren't you ignoring them? Why can't I think up any new questions?

PerfectlyModest: This is the solution to you. If I answer your questions, the well of "whys" will run dry so quickly, you won't be able to think of questions. You mind will be too full of… answers.

WhyNot: Why? Why does it work that way…? Chlorophyll! Human behavior! Emc squared! He adds extra spin to the ball by rolling it on his racket! The bandage is for decorative purposes! He's obsessed with himself! The net has to be low enough that a ball will pass over it!

PerfectlyModest: Unfortunately, now the boy has too many answers. Well, I'll let Mr. High-and-Mighty "Oresama will give you much money to obey me" to deal with this. I'm going to get my payment.

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(Fowl-boy can use "dane" because Twin knows who he is already.)

FoultoCallmeFoul: I can't believe you're Atsushi's brother, dane!

TennisTwin: …I can't believe you're still hooked on that. You found out who I was a week ago.

FoultoCallmeFowl: It's so cool, though, dane! I mean, do you guys really look exactly alike?

TennisTwin: That's why we're called IDENTICAL. Sheesh.

FoultoCallmeFowl: Do you have a secret language, dane?

TennisTwin: What?

FoultoCallmeFowl: I'll bet you do. All identical twins do, dane! You probably have some weird name for it, like aelmis or something…

TennisTwin: You're too obsessed with this twin thing!

FoultoCallmeFowl: …so when you told Atsushi that I was a baka that one time, you probably weren't speaking Japanese at all, dane, and didn't call me an idiot!

TennisTwin: I. Don't. Have. A. Secret. Language.

FoultoCallmeFowl: Uh-huh, dane. wink Your secret is safe with me.

TennisTwin: I DON'T HAVE A SECRET LANGUAGE!

FoultoCallmeFowl: Don't worry! I won't tell, dane!

Automated Response: TennisTwin has signed offline.

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YoungBuchou: SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I WAS WORRIED!

3ada: My captain told me that it would be cowardly not to face you again, so I returned. But will you please… tone down… the enthusiasm?

YoungBuchou: AM I ENTHUSIASTIC? I ALWAYS TRY TO BE UPBEAT! I'M SO HAPPY THAT SOMEONE SAW IT!

3ada: No.

YoungBuchou: WHY ARE YOU GETTING A HEADACHE? HAVE YOU BEEN STARING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN FOR TOO LONG? MAYBE YOU GET SOME FRESH AIR! DO YOU PLAY TENNIS?

3ada: Yes.

YoungBuchou: THAT'S SUCH A COINCIDENCE! SO DO I! (A/N: At this point, 3ada is thinking, "no. God, no." lol) I'M EVEN THE BUCHOU OF MY TEAM! HOW ABOUT YOU?

3ada: No.

YoungBuchou: THAT'S TOO BAD! MAYBE NEXT YEAR!

3ada: No.

YoungBuchou: OH! I HOPE I'LL BE BUCHOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR! IT'S A LOT OF FUN! NOT AS MUCH FUN AS PLAYING TENNIS, THOUGH!

3ada: Yes.

IntellectuallyChallenged: There is a 70 chance that 3ada is from Rikkai.

GettingDumbAndDumber: My data agrees with yours. I also believe that there is a ninety-nine percent chance that 3ada will terminate this conversation within three minutes.

IntellectuallyChallenged: Incorrect.

GettingDumbAndDumber: You disagree?

IntellectuallyChallenged: It will only be two.

YoungBuchou: I LOVE THIS PROGRAM! IT HELPS ME MEET NEW PEOPLE! I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL I MEET YOU! THEN WE CAN PLAY TENNIS AFTERWARDS!

3ada: NO!

YoungBuchou: WHY NOT? ARE YOU AFRAID OF PLAYING A BUCHOU? DON'T WORRY, IT'LL BE LOTS OF FUN! THEN WE CAN GO OUT FOR ICE CREAM AFTERWARDS! I LOVE ICE CREAM! IT TASTES DELICIOUS!

Automated Response: 3ada has signed offline.

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MuttererSeesItAll: Now you're online again, and I'm in the middle of doing a research report for school, but you're never online and now you'll probably expect me to drop everything and talk to you but I need to finish the report or sensei will be angry at me and want me to stay after school and finish it but I have practice after school and buchou will be mad, so I'll be pushed down and I'll always have to play doubles and I don't like playing doubles because my doubles partner always yells at the other team and makes them mad and I'm always afraid that they'll get angry at him and beat buchou up because everyone thinks that buchou is really tough but I always see his sister bossing him around and how tough can he be if he always gives in to her, and-

TK1007: If you don't want to talk right now, I don't mind coming back another time.

MuttererSeesItAll: And now he's all offended and probably will tell everyone that I'm a rude person when he finds out who I am but that's not true I'm always really polite and I'm normal in public, not like that guy from the street tennis courts who's really rude and never even showers so he smells really bad and no one wants to tell him that he has body odor but I know that I'm a clean person so I don't worry that people say I smell because I always shower and I use a special mousse afterwards that my sister gave me and it makes her hair all curly so I followed the directions but my hair's still straight and now the whole team thinks that I'm a girl because my sister told buchou's sister and she told everyone and I was really embarrassed because I like buchou's sister, but-

TK1007: I'm not offended. I really don't mind.

MuttererSeesItAll: He's probably lying through his teeth because that's what people do like that girl who told me that she'd stop throwing rocks with messages on them at my window at midnight if I kissed her and I did but she still does it and now all of her friends do it too because they think that now I'll kiss them and buchou's sister says that it's because I kissed one and I shouldn't kiss any more because then more will come and my father is already angry at all of them and he called the police last night and in school today all the girls told me that they were sorry and wanted to make it up to me and they wanted to take me out for ice cream but buchou's sister said that I shouldn't encourage them and buchou's sister knows these things so I told them no and they followed me home again-

TK1007: Why don't you keep working, and I'll talk to you another time? Goodbye.

MuttererSeesItAll: He wants me to work and everyone wants me to work even on other people's work like the three boys who pushed me against the wall today and told me that I have to write their reports for them and I said yes at first but buchou's sister said that I shouldn't or they'll always expect me to do it for them so I told them I couldn't but then they beat me up and now I have a black and blue mark on my cheek and it's really ugly and my sister wanted to put something on it so no one can see it but that's too much like makeup and I don't want buchou's sister to laugh at me so I said no but now I have a bruise that matches my hair and everyone will laugh at me tomorrow even the teachers except for the geography teacher because she has a crush on me and wouldn't laugh, probably.

Automated Response: TK1007 has signed offline.

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TennisWhiz: Nice to meet you! I hope you're somewhat good at tennis. I'm only here to meet my equals, though I don't even know if they exist. I mean, I have two years of tennis experience, and I'm really good!

DataCollector: That's… fascinating. (Now imagine a strange, low laugh.) I would LOVE to hear more about your tennis play. Please, continue! Any information is useful… er, very interesting! That's all! I love hearing about people playing tennis.

TennisWhiz: Well, I'm probably not supposed to tell you this, but my team is REALLY good. We're even going to the Nationals! And I'm at the top of an extremely talented team.

DataCollector: Are you the captain?

TennisWhiz: Well, not yet… but I will be within a year or two. Everyone knows already, and they all treat me with respect.

DataCollector: Very interesting… So, tell me- are you undefeated?

TennisWhiz: Well… essentially. I mean, I've never lost in an official tournament, but there were several times when I allowed myself to lose to inspire lesser players. Every good future captain should.

DataCollector: Of course. Of course. I completely agree. Now, why don't you tell me more about your team. Are they stronger in doubles or singles, in your opinion?

TennisWhiz: Oh, they're very strong in both. A good, solid team. The top of Kantou. That's why I chose to go to a tennis school like… like mine. I will lead only the strongest team!

DataCollector: I've got to go now, but I'll be back tomorrow. I'd love to hear more information!

TennisWhiz: I'll be back, then, too.

DataCollector: And to think that I thought this program was going to be a waste of time…!

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TennisStarWannabe: So good to talk to you again! This program's going to be over soon and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to reach you before then!

Nanisure: …

TennisStarWannabe: So, were you at the Kantou Championship game? With Echizen Ryoma?

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: I saw the whole thing! It was incredible how he just started imitating all of his opponents' play styles! I wish I could be like him!

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: I really admire Echizen Ryoma! He's my goal! Someday, I'm going to be just like him!

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: Yeah, I guess I should try to be my own tennis player, but I can't help but look up to Echizen Ryoma!

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: Have you ever played him? I did, once, and I even won a few points off him! It was incredible!

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: But now, I think he's gotten so good that I probably won't even be able to touch the ball! I'm so excited!

Nanisure:

TennisStarWannabe: Well, I've got to go now, but I can't wait to talk to you again! I love connecting with new people!

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OneShotWithAllMySoul: How are you today?

Urusai: Shut up.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: I… I think we may have gotten off on the wrong foot. For some reason, we just haven't been getting along.

Urusai: You're really annoying.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: I'm sorry if I did anything to offend you… I didn't mean to!

Urusai: You offend me with your presence.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: But how can you say that? We barely know each other, and we have at least one thing in common in that we both love tennis, right?

Urusai: I. Hate. Tennis.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: You do? Why?

Urusai: It 's almost as annoying as you are.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: But why do you play it, then?

Urusai: I don't.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: But… then how are you on a tennis team?

Urusai: I'm not.

OneShotWithAllMySoul: Maybe there's been some sort of misunderstanding, then. I think I must've been given the wrong screenname. I apologize for your time.

Urusai: What?

Automated Response: OneShotWithAllMySoul has signed offline.

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TallAndStrong: So, how've you been?

SushiChef: Great! I've been helping around the house a lot recently, so I haven't had much time for tennis. But I can go online at night, when the shop is closed.

TallAndStrong: So that's how you've been going online every night! I was wondering…

SushiChef: It's just that sometimes I wish I could spend more time on tennis now, since I'll have to quit next year.

TallAndStrong: Right… you told me about that. I'm sorry. I love tennis- I don't know what I'd do without it.

SushiChef: I know! I mean, when I play, I'm like a completely different person… unique and my own player!

TallAndStrong: Unique…

SushiChef: Is something wrong?

TallAndStrong: Yes… no… kind of. I mean, what would you do if you ad an incredible tennis shot at your disposal, one you developed that's virtually undefeatable, used it ONCE during a match, and then discovered players you don't even know using it?

SushiChef: What do you mean?

TallAndStrong: I only used it once, and now half the country seems to be using it and twisting it into different moves! MY shot! Is that fair, I ask you?

SushiChef: I'm… sorry. That must be horrible for you. People who steal others' moves without giving them credit are despicable, I agree.

TallAndStrong: Imagine my surprise at seeing a "Snake Hadokyuu" at Kantou. My move. MY move!

SushiChef: Hadokyuuu? Did you say Hadokyuu?

TallAndStrong: Yes…why?

SushiChef: …No reason. But, uh, I've really got to go. I'll speak to you some other time!

TallAndStrong: Wait! What's with you?

Automated Response: SushiChef has signed offline.

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MoleNotBug: You will not believe what happened to me today.

RedAndReady: Oh? What now?

MoleNotBug: You know that guy I told you about? The one who's always muttering?

RedAndReady:The one who uses mousse?

MoleNotBug: Yeah, that one. Well now, he's being stalked by a bunch of girls.

RedAndReady:Stalked? Really stalked?

MoleNotBug: Well, if you call waking him up in the middle of the night by throwing messages through his window being stalked…

RedAndReady:You're kidding. Why are they so obsessed with him?

MoleNotBug: Well, he's really smart and good-looking, and I guess because he mutters a lot, he's also mysterious…

RedAndReady:Sounds like YOU like him, too.

MoleNotBug: Not really. He's just a friend… besides, why would it matter to YOU if I like him?

RedAndReady:Who says it would? I don't care.

MoleNotBug: You don't?

RedAndReady: No.

MoleNotBug: Really?

RedAndReady: Okay, MAYBE.

MoleNotBug: Really?

RedAndReady: WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?

MoleNotBug: I don't know! I really don't!

RedAndReady: It's not like we really know each other-

MoleNotBug: -but we do, somehow…

RedAndReady: You know what? Come with your brother to the thing where we meet our Keyboard Pals. Then we can talk… really, I mean.

MoleNotBug: I think I will.

IntellectuallyChallenged: My data predicts that these two will not be happy to meet each other.

GettingDumbAndDumber: Mine disagrees. He will. She will not.

IntellectuallyChallenged: I'm inclined to follow your data, seeing as you know him best…

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It'sChan: Where have you been the past few days?

NekoLover: I was doing late-night training.

It'sChan: More? You train too much.

NekoLover: I do not! Believe me, if you were in MY situation, you would, too.

It'sChan: Oh? What's your situation?

NekoLover: Well, there's this other guy on my tennis team, and we're basically rivals. But he's really good at tennis! There's no way I can lose to him!

It'sChan: I know the feeling. I mean, I also have a rival on my team, and he's also really good, but I wouldn't spend my whole life training just to beat him! I mean, he trains a lot more than I do, but he could still maybe beat me if he didn't! He's really talented!

NekoLover: Not as talented as my rival. I mean, mine's beaten some of the top players in the junior high circuit!

It'sChan: So has mine! He has this incredible move that he developed by ACCIDENT!

NekoLover: Let's not fight over this. It's not like it matters. How many times have you told the guy that he was that good?

It'sChan: Never? He's my rival! Have you?

NekoLover: Of course not!

It'sChan: Sometimes I wish that he wouldn't always get on my nerves. It would be nice if we were friends, or at least comrades who respected each other.

NekoLover: Yeah…

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GiveMetheMoon: Um… I think there's something we really need to discuss.

Uluv2KnowMe: What is it? Have you run out of space in your school for my fan club? Did too many students sign up?

GiveMetheMoon: …That's not it…

Uluv2KnowMe: Oh! Are they stalking you, hoping to meet me through you? I hope you explained that I choose the girls I speak to very carefully.

GiveMetheMoon: Actually, I-

Uluv2KnowMe: Although, I suppose, you could eliminate certain girls already. I mean, any imperfections on the face automatically rule out some girls.

GiveMetheMoon: But there's-

Uluv2KnowMe: I also prefer hair that doesn't clash with mine. I mean, most red and orange just won't work with me!

GiveMetheMoon: I'm not-

Uluv2KnowMe: I suppose brunettes are invited. But what I really like are girls with really black hair. They look great next to me! I go through girlfriends as quickly as possible, though, so you might want to pick out a large selection.

GiveMetheMoon: You can't-

Uluv2KnowMe: Please stop interrupting me! You must learn to treat me like my fans do! I know most boys react with jealousy instead of admiration, but you're a lackey! You can't be just jealous.

GiveMetheMoon: I need to sign offline.

Uluv2KnowMe: Go ahead, but don't forget about the posters! I want them done before Wednesday!

Automated Response: GiveMetheMoon has signed offline.

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BurgerKing: Why don't we try to talk about something that won't make you fall asleep this time? For example… your favorite tennis moves.

Oyasumi!: I think the coolest ones are the tensai moves of Marui Bunta! They're amazing! I love watching Marui play!

BurgerKing: You… what?

Oyasumi!: He's so cool! I want to play him someday!

BurgerKing: Wait a minute… how do you know…him?

Oyasumi!: Well, I don't know him personally, but I've seen him play and he's really incredible! He's the best player in Kantou!

BurgerKing: Well, I don't know about that, but-

Oyasumi!: Don't put down Marui Bunta! I'm his biggest fan! Once, I even went all the way to Kanagawa just to meet him, but I fell asleep on the way and ended up in Kyushu! Someday, I'm going to be able to tell him how great he is!

BurgerKing: Wow. Um… wow. Now I really want to meet you.

Oyasumi!: Why? Hey! Do you think Marui has a Keyboard Pal? Do you think he'll be there when we go at the end of this program! I hope so! That would be great!

BurgerKing: Oh, he'll be there… if you haven't scared him off by acting like a stalker…

Oyasumi!: Really? I'm so excited! Do you know him?

BurgerKing: Could be…

Oyasumi!: Can you sgn;iewuohrghwepeuirwhhbjh

BurgerKing: Asleep again! Yet somehow, I don't think I mind…

TBC

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