Typical disclaimer: I don't own the rights to any characters from Princess Nine. I have created some original characters that are strictly from my imagination. If they resemble anyone you know, I'm glad for you. I know some people don't like original characters, but I feel this limits the relational dynamics of the story. In real life, new people are always entering our lives. This is my first attempt at a fan fiction. I tried to keep the same feel as the video, in dialogue and pacing. Please read and review. If you feel the need to flame anything I write, please be civil and suggest where I can make changes. I can take criticizm, and will weigh your opinions. Thanks for you imput
And now begins, The New Girl in Town
Coach Kido yawned and scratched his head as he made his way down the hallway to the doors leading to the office of the Chairperson of Kisuragi Girls' High School. Tucking in his shirt, and straightening his tie, he tried to make himself more presentable. However, the stubble on his face, the unkempt hair, and the bloodshot eyes from yet another night of excess drinking made the effort futile. Clearing his throat, he knocked twice on the door.
"Come in." said a woman's voice.
Turning the handle, Kido opened the door and entered. Across the room, at a large mahogany desk, sat Keiko Himuro. Looking up from her paperwork, a mischievous smile touched her eyes from behind her glasses. "Good morning, Kido," She said as she rose from her seat. "I called you here to discuss a new prospect for the baseball team." Kido watched as she crossed the room to a credenza. Not an overly tall woman, Ms. Himuro nonetheless commanded attention. Strikingly beautiful, her auburn hair was neatly styled. Her slender figure, accentuated by her fitted business suit, moved with confidant grace. She opened a drawer, and pulled out a large mailing envelope. Striding over to Kido, who had taken a seat on the couch, she said, "Take a look at this and give me your opinion."
Kido opened the envelope and found a videotape cassette, some newspaper clippings, school transcripts, a letter, and a photograph. The girl in the picture was quite pretty. She had light brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, dark brown eyes, and a nice face with Asian features. Looking at the clippings, he noticed they were in English. "Who is she Keiko?" he asked looking up at her, "Are we recruiting overseas now?"
"Her name is Amy Watson." she replied. "She's a fifteen year old Japanese – American from the States. I must say I was surprised when she contacted us. Let's play the tape, and you can hear the details from her." She took the tape and placed it into the VCR. Pressing play, she took a seat on the other end of the couch. The TV screen was soon filled with the image of the girl from the picture.
"How do you do?" the girl said in formal Japanese, making a deep bow. "My name is Amy Watson. I know I am being rude asking this of you all, but it would honor me greatly if you would allow me to try out for your baseball team. I first learned of your team's attempt to win the National Championship from the news on television. I then had my grandfather videotape the televised games, which I viewed when I visited him in Tokyo. Your girls are incredible players and certainly shine brightly on the field. Enclosed with this tape, you will find copies of my junior high and high school transcripts, some newspaper clippings highlighting my meager achievements playing baseball here in America, and a letter of recommendation from my coach. If you think I may be worthy to join, I will schedule a visit to Japan while my school is closed for maintenance, which begins February thirteenth. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance for your kindness towards me." The girl made another deep bow as she said this last sentence.
Ms. Himuro paused the tape, and turning to the coach said, "Initial Impressions?
"Well," Kido replied, "she certainly is well mannered, and she speaks excellent Japanese. What kind of game does she have?"
Ms. Himuro HHmotioned to the envelope saying, "I looked at the clippings and her coach's letter, and frankly, we'd be foolish not to scout her. Her batting average last season was .310, with 16 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. She was nominated all state, but the best part was that her earned run average was 1.63."
"She's a pitcher?" Kido asked, his eyebrows arching. "Keiko, she could be just what we need to get to Koshien! The strain on Hayakawa pitching every game nearly destroyed her." He paused a moment and his expression darkened. "But wait, girl's softball in the states is fast pitch underhand, that won't help us at all."
"You weren't listening to the tape Kido." Ms. Himuro said grinning, "Amy distinctly said baseball. The school she attends is in a farming community and has a small student body. She had already been playing little league baseball for five years when she entered junior high. Because they were short players, the athletic association allowed her to play," she paused dramatically, "on the boy's baseball team!"
Stunned, Kido could only sit, mouth open, saying nothing.
Ms. Himuro started the tape again. The video showed Amy batting, running the bases, and pitching. Kido's experienced eye immediately recognized her talent. He realized Ms. Himuro was absolutely correct. They needed this girl. Leaning back, he put his hands behind his head and said, "Well Keiko, this leaves just one question. Are you going for the airline tickets, or am I?"
"I'll contact Miss Watson and schedule her flight," Ms. Himuro replied, "and you relay the good news to the team."
Ryo Hayakawa made her way down the lane leading to the baseball field. She was a cute girl, average height, with dark brown hair and large green eyes. Her normally cheerful nature, and positive attitude, had won her many friends. Today, however, she wore a concerned expression as she walked lost in thought. 'Why did the coach call this meeting? It's the middle of January for crying out loud. This doesn't make any sense."
"Hey Ryo," a voice yelled, "Wait for us!"
Turning, Ryo saw Hikaru Yoshimoto and Seira Morimura walking up the lane behind her. The same height as Ryo, Hikaru had dark hair she always wore in pigtails, with bright blue eyes and a perpetual grin. Seira was a head taller, pretty, with voluminous red hair that hung over her blue eyes.
"Oh, hey guys," Ryo said flatly when they stopped next to her, "how were your classes today?"
"Ok, I guess." Hikaru replied. Looking at the team captain with concern, she added, "Are you alright Ryo? You seem kind of upset."
"Oh I'm fine, I'm fine," Ryo said raising her hand palm out in front of her, "I was just trying to figure out why the coach called this meeting. It's still two months before the season starts."
"The sleaseball probably needed an excuse to ogle us." Seira said. "He hasn't really been around much since the season ended, he's probably sexually frustrated."
"I got it!" Hikaru said grinning, "He hired a hunky new assistant coach and he wants to introduce him to us."
"You two are horrible," Ryo gasped. Then a smile touched her lips as she said, "But if Hikaru is right, I won't complain."
Giggling, the three girls ran together towards the locker room.
Coach Kido walked into the locker room and saw all the members of the baseball team had arrived. Ryo, Hikaru, and Seira, as well as Koharu Hota, the power hitting center fielder, Mao Daidoji the catcher, Yoko Tokashiki the "Idol wannabe" right fielder, Yuki Asuna the left fielder, Kanako Mita, the shortstop, and Izumi Himuro the third baseman were seated around the large table. "Good, you're all here. I hope you're all ready for the upcoming season, because this year we're going all the way to Koshien.
The girls gave a rowdy, enthusiastic cheer.
"Hell yeah we will," cried Seira
"You can count on us coach," said Hikaru
"I'm itching to get a bat in my hands again." exclaimed Koharu.
"If you think we can coach, I'll try my best." added Mao.
"I'm sure we'll give it our all coach. You can count on us." Ryo said pumping her fist.
"Right," Kido grunted, "just what I like to hear. Now, the reason I called you here this afternoon was to let you know about a new player we are adding for this season."
The girls began to whisper amongst themselves, until a single voice raised a question,
"Hold on a minute," Izumi Himuro interjected, "I thought the scouts had a bunch of prospects that wanted to join?" The daughter of the Chairperson, Izumi shared her mother's good looks. Dark, shining hair swung when she moved. A body toned by years of playing tennis before joining the baseball team, as well as piercing golden eyes that could stare down any pitcher, made her a formidable hitter.
"That's true," Kido said nodding, "but none of those girls can pitch!"
"What," they voiced together, "a pitcher?"
"That's great!" said Seira, "Ryo, you'll finally get a break from pitching every game!"
"Yeah Ryo," Koharu added, "you pitched great during the tournament last year, but you were pretty wiped out by the end."
Ryo thought back to that semi-final game against Kisuragi Boys where she collapsed on the mound in the ninth inning. She had been so exhausted it had taken more than a week before she had fully recovered. She was excited at the prospect of not having to push herself so hard, but then a nagging thought entered her mind, "What if she's better than me? What if she becomes the ace pitcher? NO! I won't think like that! The good of the team comes first." Looking up at the coach she asked the questions they all wanted to know, "Who is she coach? Where is she from?"
With those questions, the room got very quiet.
"Hey everyone I'm here!" Everyone jumped as Nene Mouri burst through the door, "Sorry I'm late, I had to wait for these scrumptious brownies to finish baking!" The manager of the baseball team was a beautiful slim girl with platinum hair that cascaded to her waist. Large green eyes gave her a look of innocence, which fit her, as she was in fact something of a ditz.
The girls mobbed her, snatching brownies from the plate. Munching contentedly, they turned their attention back to the coach, who watched all this with an annoyed look.
"To begin, we didn't actually scout her. She contacted us. The reason we didn't scout her is that she's currently living in America."
At this, Izumi sputtered, "Are you insane? There's no way the Parent's Association is going to let a foreigner play for this school. Look how hard it was for them to accept some of the girls just because they weren't 'suitable', and they're Japanese!"
Kido looked at her with a sideways glance, "If I remember correctly princess, you originally were one of the strongest opponents of this team, and yet here you are."
Izumi said "Humph", and looked away scowling.
"He's got you there, Izumi," Koharu added. "You tried your hardest to get us kicked out of here, having that contest with Ryo. But now we know we can count on you as a teammate and a friend."
"That's right." Ryo added. "We have to stand behind and support this new girl. Not only is she coming to a new school like we did, but she's coming to a whole new country and culture. She's going to need good friends."
"So speaks our effervescent captain." Izumi sneered. "For all we know, this girl could be a first class bitch."
"Then you two should hit it off nicely." Seira goaded, showing Izumi a disdainful look. "I swear, you always look for the worst in people."
"That way I'm rarely disappointed." Izumi replied, looking coolly at the other girl. "However, in your case, I must say all my expectations were exceeded."
"Auughh," Seira cried, lunging across the table.
"ENOUGH!!" Kido bellowed. "This squabbling and fighting is going to stop! I put up with it last season because I couldn't afford to discipline you. Guess what ladies; this spring we have fifteen girls wanting to try out. That means if I have to, I will suspend or eliminate you from the team. Do I make myself clear?"
The girls sat motionless, trying to grasp what had just taken place. Finally, they mumbled, "Yes sir."
"WHAT!" Kido yelled.
"YES SIR!" the shouted back.
"Good," Kido said nodding his head. "Now, let's get back to the new girl. Her name is Amy Watson. She's fifteen, and as far as I can tell, she has the whole package. She's a solid batter, has good speed, and a great arm. Ryo, sorry to say, she throws faster than you."
"No way!" exclaimed Hikaru, "faster than Ryo? Is that possible? Can it beat her lightning ball?"
"Well, no," Kido replied, "Ryo's lightning ball is harder to hit, but not by much. Remember, the lightning ball isn't just faster; it also has Ryo's force of will behind it. Amy's normal fastball has been clocked at 145 kilometers per hour."
"145!" Koharu gasped, "Even Takasugi would have trouble hitting that!" She was referring to Hiroki Takasugi, the genius batter for Kisuragi Boys who hit a lightning ball for the winning home run that eliminated the girls from the last year's tournament.
The girls began chatting excitedly amongst themselves.
"We could really do it this year!"
"We'll make mincemeat out of those boys!"
"Look out Koshien, here we come!"
"I wonder what I should bake to welcome her."
Kido watched, letting them wind down, when he noticed Mao looking concerned.
"What's up Daidoji? You don't seem too excited."
"I'm sorry Mr. Kido. I'm just wondering if I'll be able to catch her pitches." She replied.
"You'll do fine." Kido said placing a hand on her shoulder. "You handled Ryo's lightning ball. A little practice with her and it'll be no problem." Turning back to the group, he added, "She's arriving on the fourteenth of next month; I want you all here after school to meet her."
"Hey coach," Hikaru said grinning impishly, "I've got a better idea, how about we all go meet her at the airport?"
This got all of the girls chattering again.
"That's a great idea."
"We can make a big banner."
"I can make a big welcome to Japan cake."
"Alright," Kido shouted, "can the chatter. It would probably be a good idea, to have a group meet them, but I can't take all of you. I've seen your grades, so I know some of you can't afford to miss school. Himuro, Mita, and Daidoji have good enough grades to go, and Hayakawa, as team captain you should be there. Let's see, that's five of us. I think that's a fair representation for the team. The rest of you will just have to wait until after school.
"Yes sir." They replied unenthusiastically.
"I think that covers it." Kido said, "Meeting adjourned."
Kido watched as they filed out of the locker room, and then said, "You know; a beer would taste really good right now." Locking the door behind him, he walked down the lane, hands in his pockets, whistling.