This idea came to me when I re-watched the PoT series. Remember when Momoshiro first appeared with an injured ankle? Heh heh... what if Fuji had sprained his ankle and was banned from tennis practice? (The idea was too irresistible for me not to try) Thus, the arrival of this fic. Well, enjoy
All disclaimers are mentioned in my bio.
It was one of the usual dreary Monday mornings, when the boys from Seigaku Junior High Tennis Club came filing in one after another before class for their morning practice sessions. Horio could be heard explaining something completely irrelevant to the sport, Momoshiro and Kaidou were already on name calling contest (part two) and Kawamura was warbling his seventh war-cry somewhere on the C court. It was when Tezuka was about to order a thirty lap treatment for Momoshiro and Kaidou when Fuji Syuusuke, the tennis prodigy of Seigaku arrived. Late. And LIMPING. It caught the attention of the members in the tennis court immediately and they all dashed to him in a fluster. Everyone gets a sprained ankle now and then, but this was FUJI, the genius just doesn't get himself a sprain randomly.
'Fuji! Are you alright?! What happened?' The mother hen of the tennis club, Oishi asked frantically.
'Ah, I had a little accident crossing the road yesterday night.' Fuji said, with his ever-present smile on his lips.
'Mada mada dane.' Echizen scoffed but his haughty expression was instantly wiped off his face with a death glare from the rest of the Seigaku regulars.
Kikumaru popped out from behind Oishi. 'Have you been to the doctor's yet nyah?'
'Mm. He said it is just a sprain and it will recover fully in a week.'
'By my calculations, if Fuji does not engage in any form of strenuous exercise or place more stress on the ankle unnecessarily, he will be fine by five days.' Inui deadpanned, pencil scratching away in his notebook.
His teammates sighed in unison. 'Everyone, back to practice!' Tezuka ordered, and they returned back to their positions. 'Momoshiro, Kaidou, thirty laps.' The two boys protested. 'Thirty-five laps.' Tezuka added in his usual monotone. Glaring at each other, they started on their punishment.
Fuji was about to head to the clubhouse to change when he was approached by Tezuka and the coach, Ryuuzaki. 'Fuji, you are banned from playing tennis for five days, starting now.' Ryuuzaki announced.
Fuji stopped in his tracks and stared at both of them, flabbergasted. (For the three years Tezuka has known Fuji, it was the first time he saw the latter with such an expression on his face.) 'Five days? But it's not that serious, I can still at least do some service aces…'
'The doctor said one week. I've already shortened it to five days. If you disobey, you will be banned for a week.' Tezuka replied.
Looking indignant (which was, again, an expression never found on the prodigy), Fuji glanced at Ryuuzaki, for some form of mercy, but the coach just sighed. 'Listen to Tezuka, Fuji. The Kantou regional tournaments are round the corner. We can't afford to have our second best player to not be in his top form by then.' She patted Fuji's shoulder. 'Bear with it.'
Fuji reverted back to his usual smile. 'Mm. I understand, Sumire-chan.'
Ryuuzaki folded her arms and said irritably. 'How many times have I told you not to call me that?' Fuji just smiled in reply.
Ryuuzaki and Tezuka left Fuji to make their way to the Tennis court, but something made Tezuka glance back once in Fuji's direction. There was something particularly unnerving about Fuji's smile….
Sitting on the bench in the clubhouse, the noise in the courts was audible even through the closed door and windows. Fuji looked out of the window, one hand twirling his racket absent-mindedly. Boring… He had a sudden urge to force feed Tezuka and Ryuuzaki with Inui's latest creation. He could almost picture Tezuka falling face down on the ground, in slow motion. But that is not good enough. Fuji's sadistic inner voice reprimanded. He caught sight of Momoshiro and Kaidou jogging past, squabbling like a married couple as they went. Twenty-eighth lap… Fuji gave the clubhouse an once-over and chuckled. He might as well put his unexpected free time to some good use.
'Damn it.' Momoshiro complained as he cracked his neck. 'Captain Tezuka was too harsh. Thirty-five laps first thing in the morning is no joke.'
'You are just weak.' Kaidou commented as he passed by to head for his cubby-hole.
'What did you just say? You stupid viper?!' Momoshiro yelled. Tezuka walked in and his presence effectively silenced the two.
Momoshiro rummaged in his cubby-hole. 'Hey, where did my pants go?! I left it in here!'
'I was sure I brought it this morning… hey Tezuka, did you borrow my science textbook?' Oishi asked. Tezuka shook his head and Oishi continued to search in his bag. 'Strange…'
'Hey! Who took my shoe? I'm missing one!' Kaidou demanded.
'Nyah? My lunchbox missing again! Momo! Did you take my lunchbox again? That's so mean!' Kikumaru whined.
Momoshiro was dashing about the room in a panic, thankfully with his tennis shorts still on. 'I didn't! I'm still missing my pants! Anyone seen my pants?!'
Echizen was packing his bag when he also noticed something amiss.
'What's wrong o-chibi?' Kikumaru asked as he snatched Momoshiro's wallet to claim lunch money.
'One of my spare rackets is missing.'
'Echizen, isn't that yours?' Kawamura pointed up.
All of the regular's gaze followed Kawamura's finger. Right at the top of the cupboard was a basket, containing Echizen's missing racket and with it, several other articles.
'Nyah!!! My lunchbox!' Kikumaru shouted. 'What is it doing up there?'
Oishi squinted at the basket. 'My science textbook is in there too. Who put it there?'
And of all times, the school bell rang just then.
'We are gonna be late!' Momoshiro screamed. 'Someone! Quick go grab a chair!'
'But there aren't any chairs in here!' Oishi clasped his hands to his face. 'My first lesson is science today! I need that book!'
'Hmm… According to the height of the cupboard and our reach, we can't get that basket without a chair.' Inui said calmly. 'However, if one of us could carry someone on their shoulders, we should be able to get that basket easily.'
Momoshiro immediately bent down in front of the cupboard and beckoned to a certain freshman. 'Oi, Echizen! Quick! Climb up on my shoulders.'
'Hell no.' Echizen retreated towards the door. 'I'll just come and get the racket after school…' But Kaidou and Kikumaru already had other plans. They hoisted Echizen by the arms and plunked him on Momoshiro's shoulders. 'H-hey!' Echizen protested.
'Just get that basket already! I can't go to class without my pants!' Momoshiro hollered.
Livid, Echizen took down the basket. There it was, Kikumaru's lunchbox, Oishi's textbook, Momoshiro's pants, Echizen's racket, Kaidoh's shoe, Inui's new formula (which was leaking purple smoke), Kawamura's pencil case and… a shirt.
'Whose shirt is this?' Oishi held it up. A topless Tezuka came forth and collected it in silence.
'Who's so mean to do something like that nyah?' Kikumaru asked as he stuffed his lunchbox into his bag.
'No idea…' Kawamura opened the door.
And they all saw Fuji walking past the clubhouse, smiling while humming a non-descript tune.
'Then, in the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the Hideyori loyalists and other Western rivals. Hence, he achieved…' The teacher droned on and on. As was his usual habit, Fuji gazed out of the window, listening to the lecture half-heartedly.
Kikumaru leaned over and whispered. 'Fujiko, were you the one who put all our stuff into that basket?'
'Why do you think it was me?' Fuji whispered back.
'You are evil enough, nyah?'
'Kikumaru-kun! Kindly read the next paragraph for me.' Their teacher called out, halting their hushed conversation.
Kikumaru flinched. 'Page forty-five, second paragraph from the bottom.' Fuji hissed.
Kikumaru winked his thanks. 'After the destruction of the Toyotomi clan in 1615 when Ieyasu captured Osaka Castle, he and his successors…'
Playing with his highlighter, Fuji gazed at his textbook. An idea struck him as he noticed the stationery he was toying with. He giggled before he could stop himself and Kikumaru, who was watching Fuji from the corner of his eye, yelped halfway through his narration and caused the class to howl in laughter, much to his teacher's chagrin.
'Hmm… I don't see Fuji-senpai, don't see him at all.' Momoshiro thought aloud as he and Echizen made their way to the clubhouse after school. 'I hope he turns up today during practice. Captain is gonna make him run laps for the shirt thing this morning.' He grinned. 'How many laps do you think, Echizen?'
'Of all people possible, why Fuji-senpai?' Echizen asked, stifling a yawn.
'Who else can it be? Besides, only Fuji-senpai would dare to fool around with Tezuka's stuff like that.' Momoshiro smirked. 'But it's not like Fuji-senpai to do something so tame, I'd have expected more, considering his twisted nature.'
The younger boy appeared not to have heard, staring intently at the crowd at the entrance of the clubhouse instead.
Curious, Momoshiro called out. 'Oi! What's up?'
'Ah! Momo-chan senpai, Echizen!' Horio waved him over. 'Look!' He held out a box full of tennis balls.
Except… they didn't really look like tennis balls. Because tennis balls are generally yellow in color, but the ones in the box, Momoshiro picked out one gingerly, as if it might explode, were bright neon pink. And each one was covered with little red hearts.
Echizen peeked inside the clubhouse and groaned to himself. All of the tennis balls had been turned a brilliant shade of pink, each painstakingly dotted with tiny hearts. Not a single one was spared; even the brand new balls the club had stored in a locker for emergencies had undergone the extreme makeover.
Katsuo and Kachiro were already giggling in a corner, appalled looks of varying degrees were plastered on the faces of the regulars (excluding Kikumaru, who was pounding the floor with his fist, howling with laughter) while the rest simply looked constipated with both amusement and apprehension.
'Why has no one started warming up yet? Everyone! Twent...' The Captain was interrupted when Horio held out the boxful of balls under Tezuka's nose with a terrified squeak. The group cringed as one.
Tezuka glared at the sea of pink and red before him for a full minute, causing most of the freshmen and sophomores to edge behind the regulars. Inui had whipped out his trademark army-green notebook, labeled Tezuka Kunimitsu Volume 4 and was scribbling away, muttering about the current height of Tezuka's eyebrows while the rest of the boys held their breaths, waiting for the death proclamation.
'Who did it?' Tezuka asked, danger punctuating every word. Everyone took a step back, shaking their heads vigorously.
'I-It was already like this when Horio and I came in for ball duty.' Arai explained, sweating buckets.
Tezuka resisted the urge to rub his throbbing temple. 'First-years, take a few of the balls and see if you can remove the color. Rest of you, warm up! Inui, start them on your new training menu once they are done.' He barked.
The club members left; relieved they were not punished for the pink balls. 'No-one is to go home without completing triple the amount on the training menu!' Tezuka added. The boys groaned, majority of them ready to throttle a certain tennis prodigy.
Preview for Day 2: Fuji Syuusuke doesn't let up his onslaught of pranks. Someone is the receiver of a collection of manga from the tennis prodigy, much to the horror and disgust from the rest of the tennis team. (Poor Momoshiro...)
Please DO leave comments/reviews/ideas. Each and every single one is very much appreciated. Onegai shimasu