Hyotei and the Happy Panda

Chapter One: In which the team enters the gates and learns an interesting fact about their buchou.

Author: The EllipsesBandit...

Disclaimer: The Prince of Tennis belongs to Konomi Takeshi. The Happy Panda Amusement park belongs to my brain, though I stole most of the rides from Knott's Berry Farm.

Pairings: Silver Pair, AtoJi, OshiGaku

Summary: Ohtori's plan to win Shishido involves roller coasters, funnel cakes, and the rest of the Hyotei regulars. Jirou thinks it's a good idea. You should too.

A/N: So, I think I've burned out on my TezFuji for the time being. Time to explore some of the rest of the eighty or so PoT characters. Welcome to the EllipsesBandit... messes with Hyotei! Thanks to microgirl once again for beta-ing, purchasing me ice cream, and kicking me till I started posting. FYI, this is set at the beginning of the year just after Shishido gets dropped but before the hair incident that I still weep over. Also, I actually have no idea what Ohtori's parents do, and I'm too lazy to translate/beg someone to translate 20.5 to find out.

Super cracked out fluffy adventure begins now!


The limo didn't so much roll as glide into the parking lot, seeming to coast just a few centimeters off the common ground. Around the entrance of the park, feet paused. Heads turned. Camera cases snapped open as patrons turned to see which movie stars could be inside the sleek vehicle. Even when the chauffer opened the door to reveal the Hyotei regulars and not the latest stars of stage and screen, most people snapped photos anyway. That was just the environment Atobe brought with him wherever he went. Indeed, in his open-chested, blue satin shirt and designer sunglasses, most people probably assumed he was a movie star.

Ohtori walked calmly to the limo. Part of him wanted to jog, but as a regular, he needed to keep a measure of composure. Behind Atobe bounced Jirou-senpai, wide-awake for once. "Oy, Ohtori-kun!" he sang, bright eyes surveying the park. "Sugeeeeeeeeei. Does your family really own this place?"
Ohtori nodded. Jirou-senpai replaced Shishido-senpai in the singles slot. Ohtori knew this meant he shouldn't like the boy, but everyone liked Jirou-senpai. He'd been one of the first people to speak to Ohtori when he transferred in (after catching sight of his serve between naps). Also, even half-asleep Jirou-senpai could run circles around Atobe better than anyone else at Hyotei, which was always fun to watch.

Kabaji exited third, silent as usual and taking his place behind Atobe. Oshitari-senpai and Mukahi-senpai followed. Ohtori and Taki had played against them frequently as they waited for spots to open up. They were the wild card in today's plan. However, today was Sunday, and the two of them normally didn't break up until Wednesday, reuniting by lunchtime Thursday, so Ohtori hoped a spat between them wouldn't disrupt his plan.

The two of them wrinkled their noses at the smiling, inflatable mascot on the gift shop roof. "The Happy Panda Amusement Park?" Mukahi-senpai sneered. "This better not be some little kids' place, Ohtori."

Ohtori smiled brightly. "Of course not, senpai. My father built two new coasters and a tower ride here over the last few years. And I have VIP passes for us so we won't have to wait in line."

"Always prepared for everything," Taki-senpai smiled, the last to slide out of the limo. Taki-senpai seemed to slide everywhere, moving in a constant, fluid motion. Ohtori found it rather unnerving, and the low-necked, mauve tank top only added to the problem. "Cool idea, Ohtori. I haven't been to one of these places since my family went on vacation to America, and that place was pretty lame."

Ohtori tried his most polite, detached voice. "Thank you, Taki-senpai."

"Ore-sama approves," Atobe remarked, not directly to Ohtori. Still, it was the the most praise he was going to get for his gift to the newly re-formed regulars team.

"Ne, ne Atobe! Let's go on that one first!" Jirou-senpai pointed to the newest coaster, the one that ran three 360 degree loops and two sidewinder turn while the riders' feet dangled mid-air.

Atobe raised an eyebrow over his glasses. "We'll see."

"We just have to wait for one more person," Ohtori interjected as off-handedly as he could. The regulars turned to stare at him. This was the dangerous bit. Ohtori brightened his smile. "Shishido-san has been so helpful with my serve, I invited him to join us."

Even Jirou-senpai looked nervous at this. The players passed looks between each other as Taki drew a little closer to Ohtori, whispering, "Ne, are you sure-"

"There he is!" Ohtori waved to the shorter boy shuffling down the sidewalk from the shuttle drop off. Shishido-san didn't look too pleased to be there, but he was too proud to back away, dropped or not. He kept his hands in the pockets of his jeans, only acknowledging Ohtori with the barest of nods, flicking his hair away from his eyes. He had his hair drawn into a ponytail again, and Ohtori wondered not for the first time how his hair would look hanging loose and free while he played tennis, responding to his every movement...

Ohtori reminded himself that he was trying to make a good impression on the regulars, and Atobe-buchou was rumored to be able to read minds. He shook his head, still beaming as he said, "Thank you for coming, Shishido-san."

Shishido shrugged. "Yeah, no problem." He looked at Atobe, daring the buchou to tell him he didn't have a right to be there.

Atobe, however, seemed more amused than anything else. "Unless there are any other surprise guests ..." he began.

"No, Atobe-buchou. The VIP entrance is just over here." Ohtori led the pack of tennis players through the open gates, knowing his fate at Hyotei would be decided behind them.


Jirou took a firm grip on Atobe's wrist, enjoying the half-frightened, half-amused look on the buchou's face. "Silver Lightning first!" he proclaimed, dragging the rest of the team towards the coaster.

"Jirou, if you walk backwards, you will run into something," Atobe sighed.

"Mou, you'll tell me if I'm gonna hit something." Besides, turned around, Jirou could watch the soap opera unfolding before him. Shishido slouched at the back of the pack, working to avoid eye contact with anyone. Ohtori-kun, meanwhile, made his steps shorter and shorter until he was more or less trotting to keep pace with his senpai and away from Taki who kept sliding between them and wrapping an arm around Ohtori's shoulders. Jirou enjoyed a good drama.

"Left, Jirou."

"Hai. Ow--"

"Ore-sama's left, Jirou. Please pay attention."

Jirou bowed and stammered a string of apologies to the couple he had just collided with, then resumed bouncing next to Kabaji. Atobe didn't sound mad, but Jirou learned it was best to invade his space in short bursts, gradually increasing in frequency until Atobe stopped noticing. If he clung too much, there was no way Atobe would sit next to him, and Jirou desperately wanted to see Atobe's face at the peak of a fifty foot drop.

"Yuushi, that thing makes you look like a dork," Gakuto observed as Oshitari secured his glasses in place with a multi-colored safety strap.

Oshitari rolled his eyes. "If you want me to ride with you, I have to wear it." The tensai would never actually remove the glasses, Jirou noted.

"I didn't say don't wear it. I just said you look like a dork."

"The Silver Lightning is up this path," Ohtori intervened. Jirou wondered what sort of plan the second year was concocting. He knew it had something to do with the flow chart that had slipped out of Ohtori's bag during morning practice the other day. Jirou agreed with what he could see of the end results, so he decided not to interfere. It looked more entertaining than the Korean dramas his mother watched.

The team approached the line, which stretched outside the ride's corral, spilling into the sidewalk. Ohtori walked to the employee entrance, directing them up the shortcut. Atobe, however, calmly took a seat on a nearby bench -- after Kabaji dusted it off and laid a linen towel over its surface.

"Buchou?" Ohtori asked.

"Please enjoy your common entertainment," Atobe said. "Ore-sama will observe from here. Kabaji, a beverage." Snap.

Gakuto and Oshitari exchanged a glance. Shishido raised an eyebrow, and Ohtori looked downright panicked. Then, Gakuto started to cackle. "Don't tell me our noble buchou is afraid of heights!"

Atobe's eyes sharpened like they did when he was about to serve. Jirou loved it when his eyes did that. "Ore-sama does not expect you to appreciate the amount of care given to cultivating his appearance. Such common diversions as roller coasters would completely disrupt the effect."

"How much time is that, exactly?" Shishido sighed, sweeping half of his bangs behind an ear. "Come on. His highness will meet up when we're done." He shoved his way through the regulars, ignoring Atobe's glare. Oshitari had a hand over Gakuto's mouth, steering him to follow.

"Atobe-buchou, if you'd rather go somewhere else..." Ohtori began, nervously glancing after Shishido.

Atobe nodded, every bit the benevolent monarch. "Ore-sama prefers to watch this event. Continue."

"Let's go, Ohtori, or they'll ride without us," Taki urged, pulling on Ohtori's elbow.

Jirou remained with Atobe a second longer. "You won't ride with me?"

Gray-green eyes softened for an instant. Just a fraction of a second, but Jirou was awake enough to catch it. "Perhaps later."

The volley specialist sparked at the challenge. "Mou, I'll pick a good one. A really, really sugoi one!" He raced after the rest of the team. "Ne, Ohtori-kun! Ride with me on this one!" No reason anyone else's plan should work perfectly if his wasn't going to.


Shishido was pretty sure he was in hell.

Atobe was laughing at him, Taki was making inappropriate grabs at Ohtori every five seconds, and he was surrounded by people dressed in psychotically cheerful panda suits. God, those pandas freaked him out. Also, Jirou had snagged Ohtori as they made their way onto the roller coaster, meaning he was going to be stuck sitting way closer to Taki than any decent human being should ever have to.

"So, Shishido, didn't expect you to show up today," Taki said, struggling with his safety belt.

Shishido pretended he didn't know what he was talking about. He could see Ohtori and Jirou getting into their seat four cars up, the older boy insisting they ride in the first car. "The kid invited me. I'm just trying to be a good senpai."

"Yeah, right..."

"What do you mean by that?" Taki had already pulled the brace down over him, so Shishido couldn't hit him. It was poor form to hit an immobilized opponent.

"Nothing," Taki attempted to shrug, though his shoulder movement was now limited. "Suppose your training sessions will have to stop now, huh? I wouldn't worry about him too much. He's a natural at doubles."

Shishido felt a growl in his throat. He knew he shouldn't get upset by these stupid comments. There was nothing to actually be upset about but ...

"Oy, Shishido! Ya gonna stand there all day or can we get moving?"

"Geez sorry, Gakuto. I know you're excited that you're finally tall enough for this ride."

Gakuto threw an arm to his forehead. "Ouch! Height jokes from Shishido! Oh no, Yuushi, they cut too deep!"

"I just wanted to tighten my shoes," Shishido sighed, bending down and nonchalantly pulling on one of Taki's laces. The other boy didn't seem to notice, suspended by the brace. Shishido hopped into his seat.


A/N: You know, it occurs to me that I take Tezuka's megane off in just about every fic I write him in. Then, I put megane on Atobe in everyfic write him in. I have some weird habits ... Anyway, stay tuned for my Hyotei fluff and nonsene.