Title: A Moment at the Sports Festival
Author: Candyland
Fandom: Azumanga Daioh: A group of girls (including a ten year old prodigy) go through their high school years with wacky hijinks, thoughtful moments, and…Osaka. Oh, and don't worry about the strange flying cats. They never hurt anyone. I don't own it!
Wordcount: 419
Taunt: My fandom has an adorable child genius.


Chiyo-chan really gets nervous about the sports festival. Poor kid…she's so afraid that she'll be a burden and bring everyone down. But she still keeps trying so hard no matter what.

She doesn't need to worry so much. I'll catch up.

Still, as everyone rushes past her, she looks like she wants to either cry or die. Poor Chiyo-chan…

Suddenly, the guy next to me starts laughing. I don't know him—he's in one of the other classes. "Come on, what're you doing? Walking?" He looks so smug. "Are you sure you wanna win? Huh, Class Three?"

What the…how dare he say things like that! Can't he see how hard Chiyo-chan is trying? She's running for all she's worth, trying with everything she's got in that little body…and he's mocking her.

He laughs again. "Aww, there ya go! Hang in there! Don't cry!"

…that's it. I've had it.

Sakaki. The stoic lone wolf. That's what Kagura called me. But I'm not as cold as so many people seem to think I am. And right now, I'm going to make sure that Chiyo-chan's effort is not in vain.

She's getting closer. I pull the sweatband from my forehead and use it to tie back my hair. Don't want that getting in my way. And I take my position, ready to grab the baton and run like fury. That Guy is already ahead of me, but I can catch up to him. I know I can.

Chiyo-chan is holding the baton out to me. The poor kid has tears in her eyes, and she's apologizing. Like she's let me down somehow by not being able to keep up.

The baton touches my palm, and that's my cue to go. "Don't worry!" I call as I start running. And I take a certain satisfaction as I breeze past That Guy. Class Three was trying to lose, he said?

Yukari is the anchor for our team. I drop the baton into her hand and let her go. I've done all I can.

I'm out of breath now; I wander over to my classmates. Chiyo-chan isn't crying anymore. She's cheering Yukari on. She looks happy again; there are none of the tears and sadness that I saw when she was running the race.

And I smile.

We lose the race and come in last in the sports festival. But after it's over, Chiyo-chan is still smiling.

I guess it's true what they say. Sometimes, it's the simple things that are worth protecting the most.