A/N: I wanted to write a story where Eiji does not have a perfect family that never has major fights. Truthfully, I believe this is possibly the only Prince of Tennis fanfic of this style that I've ever seen. I hope everyone enjoys it, and I'd really like for someone to review, as it is my first Prince of Tennis fanfic. For the record, I have almost finished this story already, so I plan to actually complete this fanfic at the moment. Thank you.
Warnings: Possible spoilers (not that I've seen/read that much of the series yet), Eiji-angst.
Pairings: Eventual Golden Pair, possible MomoRyo, InuKai.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I do not own this wonderful series. The heaven-sent creator of Prince of Tennis is Konomi Takeshi. (This is my disclaimer for the whole story, by the way.)
Eiji fought to keep himself from clapping his hands over his ears. What was going on? Why was his dad making such a big deal out of everything? He personally thought it was nice that his sister had found someone to love and who loved her back just as much. It shouldn't matter that it was another girl.
"Some loving father you are! I hate you! I despise you with all my soul!"
No, things shouldn't be this way. His father and his sister shouldn't be fighting. The Kikumaru family never fought like this!
"You are no longer my daughter! Get out of this house! Find somewhere else to live!"
This was wrong—so very, very wrong. Would his father have reacted this way if anyone else had told him the same scenario? Eiji had been planning to let his family know that he thought he… Well, that he liked his best friend, Oishi Shuichirou. After seeing his dad's reaction to his sister's simple statement, the redhead was absolutely devastated. How could his dad, his family, act like this?
"Fine! I'll find somewhere where people can accept me for how I am!"
He suddenly had the oddest urge to clutch at his heart. His lungs felt extremely tight and breathing was becoming difficult. He had to stop this before someone said anything else that they'd regret! He glanced around at his other siblings only to discover that they were watching the scene with fascinated horror, not about to do anything about it. With a final shake of his head, tossing his crimson locks violently, he darted between his fighting family members, spreading out his arms as if to block them from one another.
"Stop it! Stop fighting!" Eiji screamed, tears welling up at the corners of his eyes, as he struggled to keep his father and sister apart. He hadn't been between them long enough and both were too blind with rage for either of them to register his presence. As Eiji saw the hand flying toward his face, he couldn't help but wonder how an argument over something as trivial as his eldest sister's preference of lovers had reached the level of exchanging blows. He flinched as his father's hand met his face with a sharp smack, a tear escaping his right eye and dampening his ever-present bandage, and whimpered at the unexpected pain of his sister's fist connecting with his back with a fleshy thud, allowing a second tear to escape his left eye.
A tense, frigid silence doused the Kikumaru family room as Eiji's father reeled back from his son, looking at his hand in horror. His voice seemed to catch in his throat as he reached out to his youngest child, only to have him cower away, "Oh, E-Eiji! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean-"
The redhead's voice was choked with emotion as he answered furiously, "You did! Both of you were going to hit each other! Why? Why are you fighting? How can you disown her? I thought we were a family that cared about and loved each other no matter what! Why are you being such a hypocrite suddenly? All she did was tell you that she had a girlfriend! What's so wrong with that?"
His voice trailed off pitifully, and the redhead angrily shook off his other siblings worried, caring grips before turning to his eldest sister, "And you! What gives you the right to say that you despise dad? Do you really not realize how much he and mom have gone through to raise you—to raise all of us?"
"I—" he scrubbed furiously as the tears in his bright blue eyes, "I-I can't deal with this right now!" As the acrobat's feet pounded up the stairs, across the floor, and led him into his room—his one safe haven at the moment—he faintly heard his family calling his name. Then everyone started shouting at each other, and he couldn't help feeling that he was the cause of it all.
He sat on his bed just staring down at his slipper-covered feet, fingers desperately brushing over what he knew would be bruises in the morning. He finally gathered his bravery and glanced up into the small mirror in his room, staring deadly at his reflection. Was that really him? Was that devastated, crying boy in the mirror really Kikumaru Eiji?
Before he even realized what he was doing, the redhead had crossed his room, feet practically flying across the floor, and grabbed his tennis bag. He dumped everything onto his bed uncaring of whether it was damaged in the process, even his beloved tennis racket. He hauled his bag over to his dresser and crammed a few outfits into it, distantly hearing his tears connect with the floor. He pulled his newest pair of tennis shoes over his feet roughly before snatching his racket up from his bed and stuffing it into his bag, absently grabbing a roll of grip tape and fiddling with it in the process.
They were still fighting downstairs. He briefly wondered if any of them knew that he could hear everything—every single spoken word—that they were saying. He didn't want to hear what they were saying.
He stalked over to his window and opened it. Sure, he was on the second story of the house, but there was a tall, seeming sturdy tree right outside of his window. It made for the perfect escape route, not that he'd ever wanted—needed—to use it before today.
Eiji had just begun to climb out onto a thick tree limb when a loud knock sounded throughout his room. He didn't deign to answer it, so the person asked, "Eiji, honey, are you okay?" It was his mother. He belatedly recognized her voice as he shifted the rest of his body out of the window and wondered when the woman had come home.
She hadn't been there when the fight had started. It never would have gone as far as it did if she had been. Mom just didn't tolerate violence of that kind in the Kikumaru household.
"Go away!" he yelled as the grip tape dropped from his hands to the grass below. His sharp blue eyes followed the roll, noting how far the drop was. His room appeared to be further from the ground than he had first thought.
He heard her hesitate before he heard her footsteps fade away as she traveled down the stairs. The house was quiet now, he realized. When had that happened? He glanced at the clock, noticed the time was around 8 PM, and filed that thought away in the back of his mind.
Oh well, he decided, he still wanted to be as far away from this house as he could possibly be at the moment. He didn't want to be hurt anymore. The question was, he noted to himself as he carefully climbed down the trunk of the tree, where could he go? He couldn't go to Oishi; he didn't want to worry him. Oishi had enough of his own problems. He definitely couldn't go to Fuji; the honey-haired boy would most likely go on a rampage—he was very protective like that. That left…
His foot slipped, and he fell the rest of the way to the ground. He let out a pained, "Nya," as he rolled off of his injured back. Tears stung his eyes again, but he swiped at them before they had a chance to fall. He had cried enough today.
Returning to his previous train of though, he realized that he really had no other place to go. He didn't really know anyone else well enough to go to them, and he really didn't want to worry anyone. This was his own problem, after all, and he had to deal with it himself.
Shakily, he stood and snatched his bag from the ground, promptly swinging it over his shoulder as he ran out the gate to his house and into the dark night.
To be continued…
Glossary of Terms:
Nya—nonsensical term used by Eiji.