Eyeshield 21: The Remix
Chapter 32: A Genuine Hero
by: DC Coda -The Music of My Soul- Ivan (We might change our username soon, but if we do, we'll be sure to warn you before we do so)
"Would you please make it out to 'Torakichi-kun?" Torakichi asked Sakuraba as he shoved the football into the teen's hands.

"Uh, okay…" Sakuraba said, a little disoriented. Someone actually liked his for his football? He had never met someone like that before. He made some small talk as he wrote on the football. "Do you play American football?" he asked the kid.

The boy, who had been very cheerful before, suddenly sighed. "I want to play," he told his hero, "But there's no American football team at my elementary school!" he complained. "I play flag football." he added at the end, putting his hands behind his head.

"Flag football?" Monta asked, curious.

Sena knew what it was, but she had had to have Torakichi explain it to her the first time, so she was silent, preferring to let someone more knowledgeable about it explain.

"It's a type of football where you grab people's flags to stop them instead of tackling," Torakichi explained.

'That sounds good…' Sena thought to herself, 'Not scary at all…'

"Anyway," Torakichi continued, "When last year's game finished," he said, starting to tell them why he thought of Sakuraba as his hero. Well, besides Sena, of course. She would always be his most favorite hero. Even if Sakuraba had been his hero first, Sena way out ranked him, as she was his own personal hero, someone he could actually see and touch and feel, unlike Sakuraba. "I happened to pass by a field. Ojo's team was playing Deimon's team." he said.

"We played Ojo last year too?" Monta asked, trying to be quiet, but not really succeeding.

Sakuraba over heard it. 'So he's part of Deimon's team…' he thought.

Sena nodded to Monta, sliding back on Torakichi's hospital bed as the boy leaned back again, tired from the effort of sitting up with out support. "I heard we lost, 99 to 0," she murmured to him, trying not to interrupt Torakichi's story. She had heard it already of course, but it would be rude not to listen to it again when it was obviously so important to the boy.

"You saw that game…?" Sakuraba asked Torakichi rhetorically, thinking back to the very game.

The Deimon Devil Bats were playing a bad game. As emphasized by the fact that they were losing to Ojo at 54 to 0.

Hiruma tsked, glancing at the score.

"This doesn't look good…" Kurita murmured.

On the other side of a fence, several kids were watching the game.

"Hey," one of the kids said as Torakichi was walking past him, "They're playing football." he said.

Torakichi stopped, looking over in surprise. "American football?" he asked himself, before running over and climbing to the top of the fence to get a better view.

Sakuraba was running down the field, ready to catch a pass.

Takami locked onto him, and threw.

'Just one…' Sakuraba thought, running after the ball, 'I've got to catch at least one pass!' he thought, pushing on more speed.

"Whoa!" Torakichi remarked from on top of the fence, "That was high!" he said, referring to how high Takami's pass had been.

Sakuraba leaped, catching the ball high in the air.

Torakichi stared in astonishment. "No way…" he muttered, "How could he have caught that pass!?"

On the field, Sakuraba slammed into the ground, still holding the ball, just passed the end zone.

"Touchdown!" the referee yelled, blowing his whistle. Behind him, Hiruma steamed.

"I finally did it…" Sakuraba muttered to himself, "My first time scoring…"

On the other side of the fence, Torakichi continued to stare in open mouthed astonishment.

Back in the hospital room, Torakichi smiled at Sakuraba. "I thought that was so awesome!" he told his second favorite hero, "Even though I'm a shorty right now," he told the room at large, "When I grow older, I'll grow taller!" he yelled enthusiastically, throwing his hands into the air and jostling Sena, who had once again pulled him into a one armed hug.

Sena just smiled down at him and rested her chin atop his head when he had settled down again.

"I'm gonna be a hero just like you!" Torakichi told Sakuraba excitedly, "I swore it on this ball!"

Monta sniffled, tears trailing down his cheeks comically. "I know… I know what you mean!" he exclaimed. Then to Sena; "He's just like me!" he said, remembering how it had felt when he saw Honjo catch.

Sena smiled at him and sweat dropped at his antics.

Sakuraba looked down, his eyes shaded by his hair.

"Next month, there's a tournament, which could very well be the final tournament for me," Torakichi continued excitedly, "I finally made it as a regular in sixth grade." he told them, then moving to the edge of the bed, tried to stand.

His legs shook, and then he dropped back onto the bed, where Sena fully embarrassed him, looking sad. The other two looked at them in confusion.

"Ouch…" Torakichi muttered.

"Are you alright?" Sena asked him worriedly, gazing at him as if she could see his health with a look.

"I'm fine!" he told her, trying to seem exasperated. His smile gave him away, though. "I just need to have my legs heal quickly and get out of here." he said, glancing down at his legs.

Outside the door, a Doctor and the Head Nurse listened in.

"How can I be wasting all this time just because of a car accident?" Torakichi asked, grumpy.

"I can't say it." the Head Nurse told the Doctor then, "Doctor, you have to tell him." she ordered. "Otherwise you'll be cursed." she threatened, smiling at him.

The Doctor paled drastically. "U-understood..." the man stuttered.

In the hospital room, Torakichi looked down at the football that Sakuraba had given back to him, signed. "Ever since then," he told them, "Sakuraba Haruto has been my hero!" he said, happy.

"Catching that pass..." Sakuraba started, his eyes shadowed by his hair, "Just dumb luck." he said.

Monta grinned, sidling up to him. "Oh, don't give me that again," he said, "Bein' called a hero shouldn't be anything too embarrassing for you, right?" he asked slyly, thinking that Sakuraba was just being humble.

Sakuraba frowned. "I'm serious." he said, stopping Monta from saying anything else, "Nothing would be different whether I'm on Ojo's team or not." he told them.

"What're you talkin' about?" Monta asked him, sliding up and nudging Sakuraba with his elbow, his grin never slipping.

"Hey!" Sena exclaimed at her friends' rudeness, "H-hold on, Monta..." she started, looking as if she was about to get up. Torakichi stopped her when she started to move, pulling her back onto his hospital bed. He didn't want her to hurt herself even more, and it looked like Sakuraba could handle himself anyway.

"Sakuraba Haruto is neither a hero nor an ace; he is nothing!" Sakuraba himself snapped at them, though it seemed to be aimed more at himself, still not looking anyone in the eye and frowning severely, "Those are just labels everyone put on me as they pleased." he said.

Sena flinched a bit, that had struck a bit too close to home.

But Sakuraba wasn't done yet. "Other people always do as they like and turn me into a hero," he said, calming slightly, "But you guys probably don't know how much pressure this is, do you?" he asked.

'He's just like me...' Sena realized a bit sadly. She wouldn't wish that on anyone. "No, I kind of know where you're coming from..." she told him.

"Everyone expects so much from me and puts their hopes on me," Sakuraba continued, like he hadn't even heard her. Which was likely, with how quiet she had been when she had spoken. "Hero?" Sakuraba spat, sounding annoyed, though whether at himself or others, Sena couldn't tell.

"To tell you the truth, it's a pain!"

And for a moment, Sena felt like slapping him, even though she often felt like that he self. But hearing it come from someone else, it just felt wrong, somehow. And it made her realize how wrong she had been when she'd thought it, as well.

Luckily, someone beat her to tearing Sakuraba out. Monta's whole face turned red in anger when he heard that, and with a vein pulsing in his forehead, he jumped on top of the hospital bed's railing, using it to get right up in Sakuraba's face, as he was standing near it. Somehow, his shoes were gone, making it much easier for Monta to get a grip on the rail with his toes and balance.

"Hey!" he shouted, right up in Sakuraba's face, "How can ya say that!?" he asked, "Yadda yadda yadda!" he shouted, "What do you mean?!" Monta asked him again, jabbing a finger in the so called 'hero's face. "Too much trouble to be a hero?? How could you say that to a kid who idolizes you?!" he shouted. Sakuraba flinched back.

"I'm disappointed in you!" Monta continued, "You're not a mentor, you're just a weak receiver!!" he said, sincerely disappointed. He had been looking forward to meeting the other receiver, thinking that he might be able to learn something from him. Apparently not. "Weak! You're weak!" he shouted at the other, "You're a weak receiver!"

Sena looked at him, horrified. What was he doing!?

Torakichi frowned, and then leaned forward. "What did you say, you Damn Monkey?!!" he asked, pulling on the other boys tie, a part of his school uniform. "How dare you call Sakuraba-san weak!?" he shouted, glaring at Monta, who glared right back.

"Who ya callin' a monkey!?" he shouted back at the kid, leaning forward so as not to be forced to choke by the kid tugging on his tie. Sometimes he really hated the stupid thing.

Sena looked at them, a little angry. At Torakichi for swearing and at Monta for making Torakichi exert himself. And being rude to Sakuraba. "Stop it!" she said, starting to get up to try to get them to stop.

"Like I said, he's weak!" Monta shouted at Torakichi, ignoring Sena for the moment.

"What did you say, you Damn Monkey!?" Torakichi shouted back, angry. He ignored Sena as well, even though he suspected that she would punish him for it later. Not that his older sister figure was fierce enough to have any severe kinds of punishment, but she still had her ways.

"WHO!?" Monta shouted at him.

Standing near the hospital bed, Sakuraba continued to look down at his feet, silent.

"Eyeshield 21-san," he said suddenly, causing the two boys to fall silent and Sena to halt in her attempts to get off the bed without hurting herself to much, "I'm terribly sorry for involving you in an accident with a scud like me," he told the girl, staring down at his hand mournfully, eyes sad.

The three stared at him for a moment in complete silence.

"How... how could you be so spineless?" Torakichi asked him, breaking the silence as he let go of Monta and fell back against Sena, surprising her. But she responded automatically, scooting back onto the bed and wrapping the depressed boy in a hug.

Sena stared at Sakuraba in surprise as she hugged Torakichi, her brain not quite caught up with what was going on. Then she turned towards the door when it creaked open once again.

It was a Doctor and the Head Nurse.

"Excuse me..." the Doctor said politely, causing the others in the room to stare at him in surprise.

Sena, her brain finally catching up, wondered what they were doing there.

Torakichi and Sena, as well as Monta and Sakuraba, stared horrified at the Doctor after he had revealed the bad news. "NO!" the small boy shouted suddenly, "I won't have that!" he said, tears pooling in the corners of his eyes, Sena pulled him back, tears in her eyes as well, and wrapped him in another hug, as much for her own comfort as for his. "The tournament's next month!" Torakichi shouted at the Doctor.

"Impossible..." the Doctor told him, "It's going to take a while longer for you to be able to walk." he said.

Sakuraba stood by the window, silent and looking outside.

Sena was almost crying as well, holding onto Torakichi as if the boy was a lifeline and she were drowning. She had started running her hand through his hair again, something that she seemed to do whenever Torakichi or herself was nervous.

Monta looked on, sad as well.

"If you work hard in rehabilitation, the definitely by the time you enter junior high..." the Doctor started, crouching down in front of the boy.

"Who cares about rehabilitation!?" Torakichi told him, beyond upset.

The Doctor and Head Nurse starred at him in surprise.

"I've always been a reserve player," Torakichi told them, leaning back and returning Sena's hug for the first time since the others had arrived, and looking to the floor, "After six years, I can finally become a regular player!" he said, and his face scrunched up as he struggled not to cry. "Even though I worked really hard!" he shouted, talking mostly to himself as he remembered how happy he had been when he had seen his name listed as a regular.

Tears dripped down his face and onto the football that he hadn't yet let go of. "Why is it like this!?" Torakichi asked, teeth clenched as he huddled in Sena's arms. "What have I been working so hard for these past six years!?" he asked, slamming his hand onto the bed before clenching his fist around the covers, tears still pouring down his face.

Sena, tears falling down her face as well, reached out and gently removed his hands from their death grip on the covers, before drawing him close and starting to rock back and forth, sharing his pain.

Sakuraba turned from the window to gaze back at them, saddened, before turning to look out the window once again.

"It's not like ya won't get better," Monta said suddenly, trying to cheer Torakichi up, "If you do your rehab right, then ya can still play American football!" he told the boy cheerfully.

"What do you know?" Torakichi exploded at Monta, letting go of Sena for a moment and grabbing a pillow off of his hospital bed. "What do you know!?" he asked angrily, throwing the pillow at Monta, then snatching other things around him and sending them in a continuous stream towards the poor receiver.

Monta franticly caught or dodged everything that was thrown at him.

Torakichi grabbed the football from his lap, and drew him arm back to throw it. "Something like this…" he said, and threw the ball.

Monta reached out and easily caught the ball one handed. "Whoa!" he said, and looked back at Torakichi and Sena, both of whom still had tears trailing down their cheeks. "Ya gotta be more careful," Monta told him, "This is your treasure," he said, holding the ball out to Torakichi.

Torakichi looked at it for a moment, then looked away, leaving it in Monta's hands.

Suddenly Sakuraba reached out and took the football from the Deimon receiver. "Unlike me," he started, gazing down at the football, "You still have a future ahead of you." he finished. Then his eyes narrowed, becoming unfocused. "As for me…" he paused, and Sena lifted her head to look at him through her tears, which were slowly stopping, "I no longer have the requirements for a hero!" Sakuraba snapped.

"What the hell?" Monta yelled, "You're still spouting that crap?" he asked angrily, "who else should Torakichi work hard to aim to be like!?" he shouted, pointing at the boy in question, who's tears were slowly stopping.

Torakichi looked at him in shock for a moment, before closing his eyes and leaning back into Sena's arms. "It's fine now." he told the boy, "Just get out." he said.

"But…" Monta started.

"Monta, it's okay." Sena told him, and he quieted, then, after thinking for a moment, was silent. Sena could handle this.

Sakuraba leaned against the edge of the other bed, looking at the football he still held and running a finger over the stitches.

Torakichi sobbed into Sena's shirt, as Sena sobbed as well, trying to get her thoughts in order to allow her to say what she wanted to.

Everyone was silent for a few moments, then Sena spoke up.

"Sakuraba-san." she called and he turned to look at her.

"Eyeshield 21-san?" he asked, reminding Sena that he still didn't know her name. Well, she'd fix that later.

"That tackle that almost took you off the field was intentional." Sena said, shocking Sakuraba and Torakichi. Torakichi wondered what was going on, then he felt that Sena was shaking.

'Sena-nee-chan?' he thought, before Sena continued with her speech.

"If I had taken you off the field, Ojo's passing abilities would have been greatly reduced," she said, and then Monta interrupted her.

"That's right!" he said, "She even told me that ace Sakuraba could only be defeated by a killer tackle!"

Sena looked at him for a moment, surprised, then sighed and looked down at Torakichi. "Torakichi-kun, the amazing play that greatly moved you was authentic," she told her 'little brother', "No matter what has happened, you've been working hard with Sakuraba-san as your goal." she said.

"Your hero is Sakuraba-san."

Torakichi stared at her, surprised. "My hero…" he mumbled to himself, then remembered Sakuraba's great catch.

Sena lifted her hand and pointed a finger at Sakuraba. "Sakuraba-san, I'll be waiting for you on the field!" she said, determined, "You must come back and play!" she told him. "I, Eyeshield 21, know your true talent more than anyone else." she said, a few tears still falling from her eyes.

Sakuraba did not raise his eyes from the floor, though he was still thinking about what she had said.

"Constant Sakuraba, first place!" was called as Sakuraba crossed the finish line well ahead of the other children, smiling wildly.

"Goal!" someone cheered from the sidelines.

"Number one!" another called.

Sakuraba's smiled widened.

In the hospital room, Sakuraba stared at the floor for one moment more, and then looked up. And smiled. "I've decided." he said.

Sena and Monta looked at him, smiling hopefully themselves.

"That super catch that Torakichi saw…" he started, raising a fist into the air and looking at said crying boy, "I'll make sure that it's not a mere fluke anymore." he finished. "I'll definitely train harder and get stronger!" he said.

Torakichi raised his head to look at his second favorite hero, wiping the tars out of his eyes.

Sakuraba smiled down at him, and Torakichi smiled back, his tears finally stopping. "M-me too." he said, "I'll work on my rehab like there's no tomorrow and stand on the field once again for your sake," he promised. 'And Sena-nee-chan's,' he wanted to add, but that would be too embarrassing, so he didn't.

"I want to become a player just like Sakuraba Haruto!"

Sakuraba raised his eyebrows at that. "Torakichi…" he started, and then stopped, thinking of something better. He raised the football that he still held and dropped it into the boy's lap. Torakichi looked up at him, surprised. Sakuraba then bent down to the boy's level. "Let's promise." he said, resting his hand on top of the football, "Swear that we'll never give up!"

Torakichi grinned, then nodded and put his hand on top of Sakuraba's.

Then another hand was added onto theirs, and both boys looked up at its owner in surprise. "That was great!" Monta, the owner of the hand exclaimed, "Let's work hard together!" he said, smiling widely.

Sena nodded, and smiling the last of her tears gone, added her hand as well.

"Friendship MAX!" Monta shouted, giving the others a thumbs up.

Sakuraba and Torakichi nodded, smiling happily.

Then Torakichi's face scrunched up in anger, and he started to throw things at Monta. "You're the enemy!" he shouted at him, "Get out!"

Monta ran out of the room, fleeing from the thrown items.

Sena watched the scene and sweat dropped, feeling a little sorry for her friend. She knew that Torakichi didn't mean anything by it; he just wanted to cover up his embarrassment.

As soon as Monta was out, he was sticking his head back around the door. "You little…" he growled, a vein ticking in his forehead. Then he was interrupted by a pillow hitting him in the face.

"Get out!" Torakichi shouted, and Monta left.

Sena sighed, then turned to Sakuraba. "Thank you, Sakuraba-san-" she started, but was interrupted by Sakuraba.

"Haruto." he told her, and she blinked at him, confused. "Call me Haruto." he told her, "It's my first name."

Sena blushed wildly. People hardly ever asked her to call them by their first name, and when they did it was only because they had know her for a long time, and she never did it of her own accord. "Ha-Har-Haruto-san," she stuttered, embarrassed that she couldn't not add a 'san' to the end of his name, "Thank you." she told him. "And my name is Kobayakawa Sena," she told him, "Please call me Sena, my last name is too long to say all the time."

Saku- no, Haruto, Sena reminded herself, smiled at her. "No, thank you Sena-chan," he replied, smiling, then left.

"Hey, Sena-nee-chan, why is your face all red?" Torakichi asked his 'older sister' moments later, curious, "Hey- hey! Why'd you faint!?"


TBC…
A/N: Edit. Torakichi's last name is Nanpa. I'll fix it when I can.

Sorry that this chapters so late, but real life caught up to me. It's a pain, you know. The little humor in at the end will hopefully make up for it. Or not.

Ivan

Questions for Devil Bat-sama!

"Alright, I have a question for Devil Bat-sama! Why does Rui Habashira have such a long tongue? What's he ranked worldwide? (I mean, in comparison to other people with long tongues. Is he the Guinness world record holder for longest tongue?) XD" -from XTakaX27

I'll get to this soon! Hold your horses!

Yet to do-1
Answered-1

Pairing Requests:

Agon-kun/Sena-chan -from Dark.
Agon-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Akaba-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Akaba-kun/Sena-chan -from bloodylake.
Akaba-kun/Sena-chan -from bloodylake.
Jumonji-kun/Sena-chan -from White-chan.
Kakei-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Kid-kun/Sena-chan -from Dark.
Kid-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Kid-kun/Sena-chan -from White-chan.
Monta-kun/Suzuna-chan -from White-chan.
Panther-kun/Sena-chan -from Dark.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan -from Dark.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan -from stringer13.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan
-from White-chan.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan -from bloodylake.
Riku-kun/Sena-chan -from bloodylake.
Rui-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Sakuraba-kun/Sena-chan -from bloodylake.
Shin-kun/Sena-chan -from Green.on.Black.
Shin-kun/Sena-chan -from 15385bic.
Shin-kun/Sena-chan -from largofan.
Shin-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.
Shin-kun/Sena-chan -from Vuurvlieg.
Tetsuma-kun/Sena-chan -from Dark.
Tetsuma-kun/Sena-chan -from Wiz.

Yet to do-27
Done-5

It'll take a while to get some of these done, as some of these characters haven't shown up yet and some of them won't for a bit, but I've got some things planned. And most of these will be some kind of fluff between them, but if you want it to be some other kind of interaction, please specify what kind in your request! Thanks!