"Playing the Devil's Advocate"

By Dozen and One Stars

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Disclaimer: I do not own Eyeshield 21.

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"Mrs.Yukimitsu? This is Mamori Anezaki speaking. I go to school with your son." Mamori grimaced and pulled her cell phone away from her ear. That woman could have a very loud and screechy voice when she wanted to. "Don't worry he's with me and he's fine. You see he's been selected with me to act as representatives for Deimon's academic advantages. It was a very last minute thing and I'm so sorry for causing you to worry but we've been talking and meeting people all day."

"..."

"You want to talk with him?" Mamori looked over to where Yukimitsu was collapsed on the ground. This Death March American running style had him too tired to move where as speak to a demanding mother. "I'm afraid not. You see he's working on a speech he has to give in the morning to the other representatives and it's important that he makes a good impression. There are some college scouts here-"

"..."

"Yes I said college scouts. All the ones I've meat have come from some very high end colleges and a few from out of the country." Mamori lowered her voice like she was telling a secret. "I probably shouldn't tell you this but a few of them seemed very interested in Yukimitsu."

"..."

"Thank you for your understanding." The Deimon manager let out a big sigh of relief. "If you have any problems or concerns please feel free to call me at --. Thank you again for your support. Yes, you to. Good-bye. "

Mamori ran a hand through her hair and groaned. She hated that she had to lie to Yukimitsu's mother but he had insisted that she wouldn't approve of the sports training -what sane mother would have? He had looked to pleading she couldn't help but give in and had to make something up on the spot.

With the rush to get to America it seemed that the parents of many players had been left out of the loop. So the manager of the Devil Bats had stepped up and made it her responsibility to inform all the worried mothers and fathers. She didn't have to worry about her own. Hiruma and Kurita said they already took care of everything. The Hah brothers didn't want their parents told where they were. Sena's family was okay with it once they found out Mamori was there and Monta's mother was surprisingly laid back about the whole thing.

The auburn hair teen slipped her cell phone into her pocket and walked over to where the rest of the team was by the fire trying to move as little as possible while trying to eat the dinner Mamori had managed to throw together. Some days she felt more like a mother than a manager.

Speaking of feeling like a mother, Mamori couldn't find her little problem child. It looked as if Hiruma had once again isolated himself from the rest of the group. Taking a quick detour from her original destination she soon found herself staring at a busy but sore looking quarterback.

She resisted letting out a sigh. She was beginning to think he enjoyed being in pain, his knees looked swollen and red since he hadn't bothered to put ice packs on them like the rest of the group. Grabbing some unused bags of ice she made her way over to the stubborn teen. Really, if she wasn't there to force him to take care of himself who knows what would happen to him?

"I would think you'd learn from last time." Hiruma looked up to see Mamori bending down and beginning to tie ice around his knee. "One of these days you're going to do some serious injury- stop moving your knee."

He continued bouncing his knee like he hadn't heard her. "Did you call the damn brats parents?"

"Hold your knee still." When he didn't comply to her request she forced it to stop moving with her hand and started on wrapping the ice around it. "I just finished talking to Yukimitsu's mother. She thinks he's at an academic event with me."

Hiruma raised an eyebrow in mild surprise. "You lied to damn baldy's mother?"

"It's not like I enjoyed it or anything." Mamori felt her face redden as she finished with one knee and started on the other. "It's just that he looked so miserable and hopeful that I couldn't not help him out."

The Deimon quarterback let out a short sharp laugh.

"Oh, shut up." Mamori gave the knot an extra hard tug. "There it's done. Now if you'll excuse me I have to check on the others."

Hiruma just waved a hand at her as he continued typing away on his computer. Close to a half an hour later he closed his laptop and cracked his knuckles. He once again found himself watching as the only girl of the group walked over to him. This time she was carrying a plate of food instead of ice.

"Here you go." She placed the plate right next to him and took a seat, eating her own dinner.

"What the hell is this for?"

Mamori swallowed a bite of her bread. "It's dinner and your supposed to eat it. You'll be needing your strength for running tomorrow."

"What made you think I was hungry, damn manager?" Hiruma stared at the full plate but didn't touch it. Instead he continued talking. "I'm not some damn little kid that you need to look out for."

"You don't have to rude about it." Mamori snapped slightly as she stabbed at a piece of food. "I figured that since you haven't eaten yet I'll save you the trip and bring it to you. But if you don't want it I'll just take it back."

Hiruma swiped the plate up before she had a chance to take it away. "Don't put words in my mouth, damn manager."

The two most stubborn people you could meet sat next to each other not saying a word. They didn't so much as look at each other as their dinner was slowly disappearing from their plates. This went on for quite a while before the ever-pressing silence eventually broke Mamori's last nerve and out of the blue she asked, "Why don't you take better care of yourself?"

The look he gave her clearly showed what he though of her mental stability. "Why does it matter to you, damn manager?"

"It just does." Red peppered her cheeks as she refused to meet his eyes. "You know, one of these days you're going to really hurt yourself. What then?"

He just shrugged his shoulders and continued eating. "I'll deal with that when the time comes. There's no point worrying about what might happen. That's a waste of time and energy. All we can do is deal with is what's going on here and now."

Mamori couldn't help but wonder how his answer was both logical and almost philosophical sounding. Like something out of a fortune cookie. Since when did Hiruma sound like some sort of zen master? Okay now she was getting off subject back to the original topic. "That's true but you've got to think about the future sometime. Besides what would happen to you if you got in some sort of accident."

"I'd get hurt."

Really must he be so difficult? She threw her hands in the air. "Honestly! Sometimes I don't know why I even bother!"

"I don't get why you can't mind your own business. What's it to you if something happens to me?" Hiruma gave her a smirk as he put down his empty plate. "If you aren't careful people might actually start thinking you care about me. It's also not helping you any that you try to fill in the blanks of my plans."

Mamori's face turned a delicate shade of pink. "I just worry and besides if I didn't help out this team would be a disaster. You can't do it all alone."

"Well, stop it. Worrying never helped anyone." Hiruma turned his head away so that he was staring at some spot in the distance. "Besides we survived until you showed up it's not like we couldn't live without you or something."

The Deimon manager just hmphed and took away their dirty dishes. She failed to notice the fact that he followed her out of the corner of his eye. It wasn't until after she had disappeared from his eye sight did he notice a generous helping of apple pie sitting on a plate next to him. Picking it up he looked at it for a moment before taking a bite out of it. "Damn manager."

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A quote from the next one shot chapter: "...They're hoping that by making sacrifices and doing this little tribal thing that you'll agree to help us out. We call it the Mamori-Save-Us-From-Certain-Doom-Dance-Of-Hope."

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Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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