"The Devil is Beating His Wife"

By: Dozen & One Stars

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Disclaimer: I do not own Eyeshield 21.

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It was going to be a great day. Monta could tell. He could feel it all the way down to his bones. For one thing it looked to be a beautiful sunny spring day. Plus he had actually understood most of what was of the practice test for History and was feeling very confident about the upcoming test that week. Then he had managed to grab the last banana as he raced out the door to school, the perfect way to start any morning. He had actually made it to school early, giving him enough time to drop off a library book that was due that day and as he was pulling the last of his books out of his locker he had found 500 yen on the floor by his feet.

It was the start to a great day indeed.

The Devilbat catcher was already heading off to his first class of the day when the hushed anxious whispers of a conversation between two girls that occupied the lockers next to him caught his undivided attention.

"I knew it was just a matter of time."

"I never pictured Anezaki-sempai to be the kind of girl to take that kind in thing, though."

Backtracking a couple of steps at the sound of his managers name, Monta munched thoughtfully on his breakfast fruit. What about Mamori?

"Well, I guess that goes to show how little we really know about her."

"Still... I didn't think Hiruma-san would ever, you know, actually hit her. Especially that hard! Did your see that shiner of hers?" The shorter of the two commented. Instantly the catcher took a shocked intake of breath. Successfully sending his first bite of his food down the wrong way. Fortunately for Monta, the two didn't notice his sudden coughing fit that quickly allowed him to breathe again.

"Oh yeah. Can you believe that story she's using?"

"Getting hit in the eye with a football? I don't get why would think anybody would by that." The short girl shook her head sympathetically as she pulled out her math book. "Especially when you factor in those cuts and scrapes of her arms and legs."

His eyes nearly popped out of his head as he felt his fists start to shake in his quickly growing anger.

Her taller friend gave a knowing nod, putting her lunch bento into the confines of her metal locker. Then she shrugged her shoulders. "She's probably just too embarrassed to admit that she let him do that to her. You know how much she's looked up to because she doesn't tolerate bullies."

"You got to admit though, its pretty gutsy of him to hurt her where everyone can see it."

"Who's going to say anything?"

"Too true."

The two girls closed the doors to their lockers and headed down the hall. They were completely oblivious to the half eaten banana that looked liked it had been crushed by someone's fist that was lying innocently on the otherwise clean tile floor.

Monta was torn between rage and disbelief. That vile demon had actually harmed the angel known as Mamori. But Hiruma-sempai wouldn't really do that kind of thing. She had a black eye, a bad one if the morning gossip had anything to say about it. Yet he had never hit anyone in the time the catcher had known him: shot at, bombed, land mined, and kidnapped sure but never actually hit.

Then again the man was a ticking time bomb of violence and since Mamori was the only one who was ever really close to him on any given basis, wouldn't it make sense that she be the one in the fire zone when he finally exploded in a mushroom cloud of curses and anger? On some strange level it did and he couldn't stop the shudder that rocked his small stature at the visual image his thoughts produced.

Today was most certainly not going to be a good one.

So caught up in his conflicting thoughts that he wasn't paying any attention to where he was going. Thus it came as quite a surprised when he crashed into someone full force, cauing to fall hard on his backside. Letting out a groan of pain he looked up to see who he had run into.

You could imagine his surprise to find not one but four fellow students sprawled across the floor in similar positions. Not just any four students either. He recognized these ones. They consisted of his best friend, Sena Kobayakawa and the Ha-ha brothers that were on the team: Jumonji Kazuki, Kuroki Koji, and Togano Shozo. Each one of them had a stunned look on their faces from the sudden impact that quickly fell into realization then into anger and disbelief as they remembered why they had been so distracted in the first place.

"Have you seen Mamori nee-chan/sempai/san?" They all asked at the same time.

There was a moment of silence shared between them.

"What?" They all chorused in unison.

Finally the leader of the three former delinquents spoke up, his eyes narrowed in anger. His voice was tense as he and his two friends rose to their feet. "I just overheard some kid in the hall say that the devil guy who recruited us hurt her. Have you seen her?"

"I heard the same thing but I haven't seen her yet." The one with the sunglasses and comic book answered.

The one with the fish lips and the baseball bat shook his head as he knocked the makeshift weapon against the palm of his hand. "Same here."

"I haven't seen Mamori nee-chan all morning." Sena sounded worried as he rose shakily. Monta also stood. The other four boys stared at him, shock evident on their faces. He always saw their manager before anyone else. The small boy twisted his hands nervously. "You don't... you don't think that Hiruma-san would really hit her... do you? I mean it's just a rumor right? Hiruma isn't like that... not really anyway."

There was a deathly pause that had the color draining from the underclassman's face.

Unable to look into his best friend's eye, the catcher opted for looking out the window. Instantly he plastered himself against the glass has he recognized the auburn head of hair surrounded by a small group of girls. He turned his head to the tense scene behind him. All the while he pointed frantically outside. "It's her! It's Mamori!"

It was lucky the pane glass was so sturdy because the force of five bodies crashing into it would have caused a lesser winder to crack under the pressure.

"Get off of me!" Monta did not appreciate being crushed by his teammates. No matter how worried they were. They back off fairly quickly. "Good." He straightened his jacket. "Now let's handle this like mature adults."

There was nodding and a general consensus all around.

This lasted until their receiver bolted for the stairwell like his tailbone was on fire. Screaming at the top of his lungs, "Mamori! Mamori nee-chan!"

Then they became a stampede.

It was the Tower of Hell all over again. Only they were going down instead of up and there was a lot less fire. There was still quite a bit on injury though as they all elbowed and trampled over each other trying to get to their beloved manager first. None of them quite knew why it was so important to be there first but they all knew they wanted it.

Mamori turned around to the sound of her name being screamed across the lawn.

She had no idea why half of the football team was racing toward her but she assumed it was some sort of emergency. Or another guy thing. She could never be totally sure which once she discovered that some of the team practices were not actually practices but drills to survive the upcoming zombie apocalypse that was apparently inevitable.

Sometimes she just didn't get boys. Plain and simple.

All of a sudden the five charging boys skidded to a halt in front of her. The grass came up in clumps as they nearly avoided falling to the ground and creating an unintentional dog pile. They were also giving her some very strange looks.

She gave them a prompt in the hopes of breaking the awkward silence that had formed. "Did you guys need something?"

It worked, to a certain extent.

They started talking but it wasn't anything substantial or particularly understandable. What she got was a lot of babbling and the general feeling that they were saying no but didn't really mean no. On a normal day she would have stuck around to figure out what was really going on. Today she had a splitting headache and needed to see the nurse about taking something to get through the day.

"Alright then. I'll see you all at practice." Turning she waved to the girls she had been talking to. "I have to run but I'll call you later about getting together."

As the most responsible member of their team disappeared into the school building, the remaining football players were left behind with several of her friends that clearly had no idea what to do. For the boy's part they didn't notice as they still hadn't been able to shake off the bad feeling that had settled in their guts at the sight of their female manager. Jumonji was the one to break the tense silence that had settled over them at the mere sight of her swollen bruised eye, "I didn't think it'd be that bad."

"Yeah." The other four chorused.

The light sound of a female voice nearly caused them to jump out of their skins, "You mean her eye, right?"

For the first time since their ineloquent arrival they boys took notice of Mamori's friends. Having never been formally introduced they had no idea what the other girls' names were, first or last. They at least had the decency to look embarrassed about it. A moment later the other girl, the one without glasses waved a hand in front of their faces. "Hello? Anybody there?"

What occurred next was a very odd occurrence indeed. There was a jumbled mess of introductions and apologies. This was followed by some back and forth exchange of information about what had happened to their friend that had drawn several passing students into their conversation. The longer they all conversed the more people seemed to be drawn into their conversation. By the time the bell rang to signal the start of classes a spark had been struck. When lunch rolled around it was more like a wildfire that was spreading to the furthest reaches of the school. AT the end of school it was a full on inferno and it was making its way to the American Football Clubhouse located around the back of the school grounds.

Youichi Hiruma: frightening quarterback, brilliant strategist, skilled blackmailer looked up from his paperwork to the feeling that something was wrong. Very wrong. He just didn't know how or what yet.

A revolution was happening on the football field of Deimon High School. It would be a moment forever remembered: a defining moment in the public school during the reign of terror that was the iron first of the Blonde Devil. The entire student body was going to confront the man of their nightmares as a united unit. Not for themselves but for a cause much bigger than themselves. For the one thing they could all agree on.

The safety of the football manager: Mamori Anezaki.

On the whole the spineless students of Deimon were terrified enough of the quarterback to let him do whatever he wanted. They realized their slot in this life as avoiding eye contact with him and doing whatever he said when he said it or face the consequences. Nobody had ever actually experienced the full wrath of consequences but the horrors their imaginations concocted was sufficient to keep them in line. Anezaki, however, was another matter.

Anezaki was head strong and nice and didn't back down if something was wrong. Her self-righteousness could be annoying at times but everyone respected her. It was why they couldn't let this continue. If the head of the disciplinary committee wasn't going to help herself, they were going to help her.

They swallowed their fear and stormed the clubhouse.

Hiruma exited the clubhouse determined to find out the cause to the nagging feeling he had that the power in the world had some how shifted.

As luck would have it, he didn't have to look very far.

What appeared to be the majority of the students and a fair number of faculty members had gathered just outside the door. They had been courteous enough to leave a semi circle of space for him to stand in. The fear was still in their eyes but, for once, it was the back burner emotion. Overpowering it was determination, confidence, and, yes, a heavy dose of anger.

He didn't know what to make of it.

Then they started yelling at him in unison. It was startling and it took him a while to figure out what they were saying but it boiled down to the fact that every single one of them seemed to think that he had somehow physically harmed Mamori Anezaki and they were not going to stand for it. He honestly wasn't sure how to respond to such an accusation.

So it was rather lucky that the victim in question interrupted their impromptu rebellion.

"Hey everybody." The crowd turned to find the woman they had all come together to defend standing several feet behind them. With her hands on her hips she looked very motherly and very confused. "What's going on?"

Nobody knew quite how to explain the course of events that had lead up to this moment.

"Mamori!" Suddenly all the heads turned to a young woman with dark hair and even darker eyes. Attached to her side was a little boy who couldn't have been more than five, his height only about to the hip of the woman. He shared his mother's hair color but his eyes appeared lighter and they lit up when they landed on the football manager.

Releasing his grip on his mothers hand the boy raced forward, wrapping his arms around the surprised managers knees, and burying his face in the deep green fabric of the blazer that covered her stomach. The woman presumed to be his mother trailed behind, an apologetic smile on her face as she stopped a few feet away from the crowd of high schoolers.

Needless to say nobody knew what the heck was going on.

The woman gave a sheepish smile. "I'm sorry for stopping by without calling but Raiden insisted on coming over right after school."

"That's all right." Mamori grinned as she patted the boy on the head in an affectionate manner. Though her grin was slowly becoming a frown as he showed no indication of letting go or looking up. "Is he feeling okay? He's not normally this... quiet when I see him."

"I am afraid he's still a little upset." The woman's voice took on a sad air as the little boy remained in his frozen position. "He still feels awful about the little incident with the football on Sunday." She tilted her head to the side, concern laced her words. "Is your eye getting better? It doesn't look as bad as it did before."

When his mother had mention the 'incident' the little boy had visibly flinched and tightened his grip on the manager. However when she mentioned that it wasn't as bad as it had been, that there was a possibility it might be getting better, he couldn't help but pulled back enough to look up at her face with big wide eyes. That appeared to have been a mistake on his part because as soon as he saw deep purples and blues that made up her black eye he buried himself deeper into her midsection, trembling against her frame.

"It's fine. Nothing a little ice couldn't fix." Mamori rested her hand on the boy's head and tilted it back a little so she could see his face. "Raiden, we're cool. It was an accident and I know you didn't mean it."

He didn't look convinced.

"I'll tell you what," Taking some yen out of her blazer she slipped it into his hand. "If you still feel bad you can buy me some cream puffs and we'll call it even."

He took the money and sprinted across the field.

"Raiden. Raiden!" Mamori called after him. "Wait for your mom!"

The mom and the football manger exchanged a quick good bye before the woman chased after her son before he attempted to cross the street by himself. Mamori let out a relieved sigh. Then nearly had a heart attack when she turned around to find everyone staring at her with wide unbelieving eyes. "What?"

"A football?" The crowd chorused in disbelief.

"Yeah." Mamori scrunched her eyebrows together in confusion. "I told you all that earlier." Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Why? Did you think I was lying?" When no one responded but took to looking at their feet, the ground, the sky, and pretty much anything that wasn't her she took that as a yes. Slightly irritated but more curious than anything she placed her hands firmly on her hips. "Just what did you think happened?"

It was as if a light switch was flipped in everyone's head as they remembered just what they had been doing just moments before the child's arrival.

With extreme caution and more than a little reluctance their heads turned to where the blond demon was standing behind them just a few yards away.

Only to have their eyes nearly pop out of their heads in fright at the discovery he was no longer there. Frantically they began to locate where he had disappeared off too, necks were strained and bent at awkward angles as their search grew more hysterical with each passing moment. Even though the field was loud with the heaving breathing, stammered questions, and the gentle tap of Mamori's foot as she waited for somebody, anybody really, to answer her question: every single terrified student heard the soft click of a safety being taken off and the steady footfalls edging ever closer.

Exiting out from the clubhouse was the devil himself: clad in his customary football uniform and covered head to toe in weaponry.

Uh-oh.

The natural instinct for survival kicked a fight or flight response into the crowd and since no one was suicidal enough to fight the one man army... they ran. All of them. It was undignified, tripping over their own feet, climbing over the slower runners to get ahead stampede.

Though ran wasn't quite the right word, scrambled would have probably been a better one. Yes, scrambled was the right word as they made their way up the hill back to the campus. No one looked back to see if the quarterback was following. No one cared if the injured disciplinary committee member thought every single one of them had completely lost their minds. Even if one fell they just continued moving forward on all fours until they were able to right themselves and run on two legs.

Mamori managed to step out of the way in time to avoid being crushed by the very masses who had come to rescue her.

It went without saying that the football manager was quite confused at their sudden unprovoked flee of terror.

Turning around, Mamori's eyebrows raised at her cackling classmates attire. Then she let out a heavy sigh, closing her eyes in an attempt to gather her thoughts. One of her hands came up to her forehead as she shook her head. "Do I even want to know?"

His rise in laughter and the rounds of bullets he started shooting off at the retreating figures strongly suggested that she probably did not, in fact, want to know.

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Summery of the next one shot chapter: It was supposed to be a simple seek and retrieve mission. Find the ball, bring it back. Too bad things were never as easy as that.

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A long procrastinated chapter finally up. Hope you enjoyed it!

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