In Which There Is No Tennis
One fine day, a few select coaches were sitting around a table trying to establish the lineup for the next unofficial inter-school tennis tournament since they frequently have those after all.
The ones present were Ryuuzaki from Seigaku, Tachibana from Fudomine, Sakaki from Hyoutei, Ojii from Rokaku and Banji from Yamabuki.
"You know what?" said Sakaki suddenly while they were in the heat of deciding what was going on. "I think our kids have been playing a lot of tennis recently."
Everyone stared at him like he was stupid. After all, they were all extremely old. Well, except for Tachibana. But he doesn't really count.
"Of course they have." Said Ryuuzaki. "It's tennis season."
"Yes, but they play even when it's NOT tennis season." Sakaki pointed out. "They play ALL THE TIME. And here we are making plans for them to play even MORE as if they don't play enough already."
Everyone pondered this for a while.
"You know, Sakaki has a point." Said Banji.
"But we're their tennis coaches." Said Ojii. "It's our job to make sure they play more tennis and get better."
"Speaking as a player, I love playing tennis all the time." Tachibana stated.
The elder people paused and now stared at HIM like he was stupid. They felt like saying, "Why are you here?" but they suppressed it at the last second.
"Well, then again…" Ojii started. "They DO need to have fun sometimes. They're just kids and they spend all their time playing tennis!"
"But we like tennis." Said Tachibana, looking slightly dejected because he could tell that he was obviously not being taken seriously. AT ALL.
"Did you have an alternate idea to tennis?" Ryuuzaki questioned Sakaki.
"Hm…something different…" Sakaki said slowly.
"Badminton?" Tachibana suggested. "Ping-pong?"
"Those two things are too similar to tennis." Said Banji. "And if you say anything else counter to our evil scheme to force you all to have lives then there will be consequences."
Tachibana frowned childishly but he didn't want to be secluded from the coach group.
"Let's make it something completely OPPOSITE to tennis!" said Sakaki.
"Hm…basketball?" Banji tried.
"No." said Ryuuzaki. "Not a sport. Because if it was a sport then our teams might try to figure out a way to improve their tennis skills by working on their other sports skills."
"That's a good point." Said Ojii. "We want them to gain absolutely nothing tennis-wise from what we force them to do."
"Do we even have to do this?" whined Tachibana.
"That's it, Tachibana." Said Sakaki. "Now you're not included in our coaches group anymore. Now get out right now!"
"Fine!" said Tachibana, standing up. "I didn't want my team to be involved in this anyway!"
"What?" said Sakaki. "No! They're still involved and so are you."
"I refuse!" said Tachibana.
"If you and at least half of your team don't show up then we won't include your entire team in the next tennis tournament!" said Ryuuzaki.
"You can't do that!" said Tachibana.
"Watch us." Said Banji.
"We'll drop you a line when we decide to do this and make sure you and four of your teammates show up or so help us!" threatened Sakaki.
Tachibana looked like he was on the verge of a temper tantrum so he ran away before anyone could see his sensitive tears. He knew he couldn't let his team down.
"There." Said Ojii, folding his hands pleasantly. "Now that that's out of the way, let's get started with our planning."Morning One
Later that week…
Specifically, it was a Monday…
During a week so there was no school…
"Ahh, Tachibana!" said Sakaki. "We're so glad you came and brought some of your team! Even though it was the bare minimum!"
"You said half my team, and I wasn't going to torture more people than was necessary!" Tachibana said nobly.
"Oh Tachibana!" cheered the members of Fudomine that were present as they all burst into tears just by being in the mere presence of their coach and captain and hero.
"How come only half of their team had to participate and our entire Regular team had to participate?" questioned Tezuka of his coach.
"Because our team is the best!" said Ryuuzaki in a voice only her team could hear.
"Yeah… I only brought half of my team too." Banji said, gesturing towards Sengoku, Akutsu and the doubles pair that is affectionately dubbed as the Jimmies.
"I brought my whole team!" announced Sakaki since he had heard Ryuuzaki's previous comment and had a bit of a delayed reaction. "And your team is not the best!"
"I brought MOST of my team…" said Ojii. "But Shudou went on vacation or something."
"DURING TENNIS SEASON?" demanded EVERYONE as they practically fainted. A few people DID faint.
"Yes." Said Ojii.
"And we're also thrilled that these two extra teams could join us, even though the teams are not complete." Said Banji, turning to what was present from the St. Rudolph team and the Rikkai Dai team.
"If there's an opportunity to play more tennis, then there's no way I'd turn it down." said Mizuki ambitiously as he looked to the members of his team that he brought, which included Yuuta, Atsushi and Yanagisawa. The rest didn't come with them because they had stomachaches or something like that.
"Of course, you know that we're not going to be playing tennis, right?" said Yukimura. Everyone from his team was standing by ready to assist him, except for Yagyuu and Niou. Those two weren't there because they were having an all night movie marathon and couldn't be interrupted.
"What do you mean?" said Mizuki. "What else would we be doing?"
"We're glad you asked!" said Sakaki because he is young and full of vigor. Benji whipped out a chart and put it on an easel and Sakaki extended a pointer.
"We are conducting a five day long activity that will begin today!" said Ryuuzaki. "And for this, we have mixed up all the teams and split you up into groups of five!"
"Groups of five?" repeated Eiji. "What sort of ridiculous tennis match will that turn out to be?" A hearty "HERE HERE!" from the rest of the young men followed his comment.
The coaches stared at all the young tennis players, and then individually went around to each of them and gave them a good generous slap.
"WE'RE NOT PLAYING TENNIS." Said Sakaki in a very clear voice.
Everyone still looked confused.
"We're…not?" Shishido said, scratching his head.
"What kind of tennis doesn't involve tennis?" Choutarou followed up with what he thought was a legitimate and intelligent question. It was on everyone else's minds too, though.
"If we hear the word 'tennis' one more time then there will be blood." Threatened Ryuuzaki.
"So…there will be no tennis today?" Fuji said.
"Right." Said Ryuuzaki. "No tennis."
"We are SO confused." Said everyone as a collective.
"Look, everyone just split up into your groups and then we'll explain what exactly it is that we're doing." Ojii said.
Everyone decided to do it because they were so very confused and just wanted to know what they would possibly be doing that wasn't tennis.
"What about us?" one of the Jimmies asked, noticing that the two of them were in a group with only each other.
"Oh." Said Banji. "We didn't have a multiple of five so you two are in a group by yourselves."
"Couldn't we join other teams?" said the one in the Jimmies that hadn't said anything before.
"No." said Banji. "It's very important that each team has only five people."
"So it's okay that we only have two people?" the Jimmies said at the same time.
"YES!" yelled the coaches.
"Team One," Sakaki cleared his throat as the Jimmies cowered in the corner and he walked over to the five on Team One with a bowl in his hand. "Fuji from Seigaku, Taka from Seigaku, Yanagisawa from St. Rudolph, Mizuki from St. Rudolph and Kirihara from Rikkai Dai. I want you all to pick one of these papers out of this bowl."
They all looked at each other and took the papers.
"Mine has a D on it." Fuji said, looking WAY too content.
"M." Taka reported.
"Mine has an S." Yanagisawa said.
"And mine's a B." Mizuki said.
"And what's the P mean?" Kirihara practically demanded.
The teachers only chuckled warmly and went around to each group handing out the papers randomly. Every person from each team received one of the papers with either a D, M, S, B or P on it.
"What do these papers mean?" said Marui.
"Never mind that!" said Ojii. "Everyone who has a D on their paper, please come forth and take one of these envelopes. Inside the envelope is an address and you must take your group to that address where you will find your instructions on what you will be doing for the next five days."
All the D's did as they were told, and within the hour, all teams had made it to the address specified in their envelopes. They were each at a different house scattered about the town that does not need to be named at this present moment. All of the houses were identical and small, but at least they were furnished.
Each house came with a kitchen with a table with four chairs around it. There was a living room that had a coach and an armchair. The houses were fenced in with a small front yard and a small backyard that had an even smaller doghouse, with a fair sized shed. There was only one bathroom. And, of course, the bedrooms. There were two bedrooms, one of which had a large queen sized bed, and the other that had a bunk bed set that seemed child sized.
At this point, everyone had two big concerns: the first being that there were definitely not enough beds. The second was, of course, there were no tennis courts in sight. And they wondered how they would play tennis without tennis courts.