The Contest
By: Koorino Megumi

This short piece was written for my friend An-chan for her birthday. There are backstory spoilers through episode 46 but no real series spoilers. Enjoy!

She would always insist that he had been the one to begin the contest, not her. After all, she hadn't asked him to spit watermelon seeds in the first place, and none of it ever would have happened if he hadn't done that.

It had started when she'd brought him a watermelon one day, only to find the flying seeds nailing her in the head while he ate. She had yelled at him about it, yes, but it had been his decision to turn his spitting on the tree, trying to nail the center of a knothole. Once he'd done that, there was really only one way for things to go, wasn't there?

It had taken some persuading to get him to share the watermelon with her, but threats that he wouldn't get another if he didn't finally convinced the boy to grudgingly give her a bit. She chewed her first bite slowly, carefully working all the fruit away from the seeds. And then, smiling just faintly as she watched him out of the corner of her eye, she'd taken aim and fired.

Once he'd gotten over his shock, he'd taken a rather vehement bite, aimed, and fired at the tree again, not willing to be outdone by her. Which, in turn, had led to her taking another shot, and the afternoon had quickly passed from there.

Toward the end, they had found themselves crouched by the side of a nearby road, carefully conserving their ammunition as they watched for adults to pass.

"Hah!" he'd declared proudly when he nailed a man's hat square on, knocking it straight off his head. They'd had to run and find a new road to hide by after that.

But she had been the one to call attention to them when she'd gotten a man in the eye. When the day was finally done, she'd proudly declared that she'd won because of that shot. He held that hitting an annoying yelling woman in the mouth had been better, despite her protests that it was a larger target to begin with.

They'd only gone their separate ways in the end after one of their victims had nailed him in the head with a well-aimed full-sized watermelon. For a second it had looked like fresh ammunition, but the other children in the area had other plans for the fruit, and the two of them couldn't do a lot to stop them when she was busier trying to make sure he hadn't died from the blow.

They'd promised to have a deciding rematch the next time she came to visit. Neither had thought that the next time they finally saw each other would be because he was a student now, too.

Everytime she ate a watermelon, she would think of that unfinished contest and sometimes, if her mood was right, even consider going up to him and asking about the rematch that they'd never had. Sometimes she wondered if he ever thought the same thing, even now that he was a captain instead of a little boy and she was a lieutenant instead of the girl he'd grown up with.

After the day he nailed her in the head with a seed during an official picnic, she stopped wondering about the old contest. Now it was time to plot revenge. After all, if he'd started it, that meant she was supposed to finish it.