Disclaimer: Here's a random fact: Most European mastiffs are descended from the Tibetan Mastiff. Here's another random fact: I don't own Prince of Tennis, or any of the characters. :)
Rating: PG-13 just for number 6 and maybe 7. I like to be safe. –Nods-
Warnings: Shounen-ai/yaoi, het, Niou (only one case of language, amazingly).
Summary: Hypotheses for Rikkaidai, and some evidence to back it up. All very scientific and shiny, oh yes. I could be a lawyer.
Author's notes: Another Rikkai drabblething. You don't have to have read the ones that come before this, but it might help a bit. The full list can be found on my profile.The latest ten drabblethings are:
The Way of the Jinx
The Hottest Fire
The Name's Metaphor. Blatant Metaphor.
Cirque du Rikkai
Guess Who Fate Doesn't Like Much?
Eep, Crayons, and Parrots with Problems
The Waiting Camel
Operation: Gentleman Hunt
A Little Autumn Tale
Cases in Point
My love to Britix, Insanity-rules-me (Oh noes:o I hope this counts as soon…!), Kawaii-Gaara-Chan (Yes… -Shifty eyes- LOL), Xquisittexabie, Pikke Wood (yay!), Awin-chan (Yay Niou indeedy), Forgotten Hiyoshi (Aww, thankies n.n Trust me, it's just practice and optical grammar illusions…), Simmy.xxx (Thanks for the review and quote, and no worries!), LovableDuck, Haru-Hatori-Hiro, Olivine, Lupuslupin (… I… I can't believe… But I was SO PROUD of myself! I thought I'd been clever! –Cries- I love you utterly for pointing this out, and also hate you [not really xD for taking my ego down a peg or three. Niou can only see in shades of purple and blue. And grey. OTHER THAN THAT, he is completely colourblind. –Nodnod-), Chaotic captivation, Fachel (Aww:DD lol Thanks so much for the review n.n), Rei, Batool, Hropkey, KiriharaAkaya, Serenitatis417, Juz-a-reviewer (Glad to hear it n.n), Ria Sakazaki and Adelle-chan (DO I?? xD I love TeniMyu like woah. Shirota Yuu-san and Kato Kazuki-san are just… so much love…) for reviewing 'Operation: Gentleman Hunt'.
I'm lazy and currently hate writing anything resembling a plot. So there. This is what I have to offer you after a fortnight. n.n;; I'm sorry… And 'A Little Autumn Tale' DOES NOT EXIST right now, so don't get too confused. It's on the way. But it might take another couple of days, so I'm giving you this as a placatory offering until it's done. So that's what that's about. n.n;;
Oh, and happy late birthday to Yagyuu Hiroshi:D I love him and his face. Or lack thereof.
Case in point 1: Kirihara Akaya can look guilty of things without even trying. OR: It is not wise to win a casino game against Niou Masaharu. Ever.
"Is it possible to annoy someone to death?" Akaya asked.
The question was directed at Yanagi, but it was Yagyuu who said, "Well, half an hour ago I would have said that it was impossible for Sanada to win a game of Blackjack against Niou. Still, times change."
The look on Niou's face indeed indicated that Sanada's times were changing. Changing in the way that meant Sanada might soon need to eat things through a straw.
"Why do you ask?" said Yanagi. "You're not planning to try to annoy anyone to death, are you?"
Akaya looked shifty. "No…"
"You're not the greatest liar in the world, are you?" chuckled Marui, snuggling more comfortably into Akaya's side. "C'mon, who are you trying to annoy to death?"
"No-one! I only asked 'cause fukubuchou might be the first person ever to die from it. Niou-senpai's got the same look on his face that he had right before he ate Kin-chan, my goldfish," protested Akaya.
"… Ah." Yanagi looked momentarily worried, but then it passed as Niou, Sanada, Jackal and Yukimura started a new round. This time, they seemed to be playing some form of poker. "Well, if Niou wins this one, then it should be alright. Right?"
Marui popped his gum thoughtfully. "Wouldn't bet on it. 'Haru holds grudges for a looooong time. Still, maybe if fukubuchou loses in the most humiliating way possible several times, then the Grudge will be satisfied." He popped his gum again, then added, "Then again..."
Case in point 2: Camels are better than clams.
"But you can eat clams," said Marui. "You can't eat camels, so clams are better!"
"No, because clams can't carry you across deserts, so camels are better!" said Akaya fiercely.
"But I won't ever need to be carried across the desert, so clams are better!"
"What if the whole of the Kanagawa Prefecture turned into a desert?" suggested Yukimura mildly. "Then you'd be very grateful for a camel, Bunta."
"Why the hell would it turn into a desert?! And no I wouldn't, because the buses and whatever would still be able to run on sand."
"Not for long! The sand would clog them up, right Mura-buchou?"
"So there. Camels are better."
"No they aren't! Clams could still carry you across the desert. You could attach a jetpack to them and then attach one to each foot."
Akaya looked upset. "But that would kill them!"
"Not if you…" Marui paused. "Ok, fine, but that doesn't mean camels are better."
"A camel once spat in my face at a zoo," Sanada mused darkly.
There was a second's silence, then Marui broke out into a large grin. "Ok," he said, "camels are better."
Case in point 3: Ohtori Choutarou is not as innocent as he seems. OR: It's a miracle Oshitari Yuushi is still alive.
Choutarou winced as he stood up from the bench. The tiny movement didn't go unnoticed by the ever-observant Oshitari, who tilted his head curiously to the side a fraction.
"Something wrong, Choutarou?" he asked.
"No, not really," said Choutarou. "I'm just feeling a little sore, that's all."
Sitting across from him, tennis bag across his knees since they'd finished their match with Oshitari and Gakuto, Niou looked puzzled. "How come? You didn't trip or anything."
Choutarou opened his mouth to say something, but then he closed it again. A sudden, suspiciously innocent look wandered into his eyes and he said, "You should know, 'Haru-san..."
Niou choked on the mouthful of water he'd just taken. Spluttering, he looked absolutely indignant as Oshitari openly snickered and Gakuto just laughed.
"But we haven't even…! I didn't…!" he protested loudly. "Choutarou!"
"Yes, 'Haru-san?" The silver-haired boy had the most angelic expression on his face that Niou had ever seen. And ever hoped to see again. Ever. No matter how adorably handsome he may or may not look.
"… Never mind. I'll just kill Oshitari later."
Case in point 4: Computers hate anything with more than one limb. OR: Despite the firmly-held convictions of Sanada Genichiroh, Yukimura Seiichi can't do everything.
"Look, all I'm saying is," Marui said, "it shouldn't be possible to play tennis properly using a baseball bat!"
"Why not?" Jackal argued. "If you can play with the side of the racquet, then surely it's the same thing."
"But it isn't." Marui paused to give the computer a kick. "Damn thing… Anyway, where was I? Right, yeah. Baseball bats are round. Cylindrical. So you wouldn't be able to control where the ball goes."
"Yeah you would," said Akaya, miming swinging a baseball bat from the sofa.
"Yeah. You'd just need to practise," agreed Jackal.
"No you – Hey, Mura, can you sort this lump of junk out? Thanks." Marui got out of the computer seat and took Yukimura's place on the sofa by Akaya. "Even if you practised every day for a year, it would still be rubbish compared to a racquet."
"Well, everything would be rubbish compared to a racquet," said Akaya scornfully. "That's why we play tennis with them, and not anything else. But it'd still be possible to play tennis with a baseball bat, is what me and Jackal-senpai are sayin'."
"But I'm saying that you couldn't play tennis properly! So we're just arguing the same side!"
"Thank you," Niou growled. "Finally. Now shut up; you're doing my head in."
The computer bleeped again and Yukimura frowned, puzzled. He got up and pushed the computer desk forward so that he could get to the wiring at the back.
"Sorry, Niou-sama," Marui said sarcastically.
"Better be." Niou took a sip of coffee, then said, "But I bet you could play tennis just as well with a baseball bat as a racquet if you practised enough."
"No you couldn't. I bet you…" Marui paused, then visibly weighed up the odds. He seemed satisfied enough after a few moments, because he continued, "… a thousand yen you can't beat me in a match using a bat."
"Give me a fortnight, and you're on, sugar freak."
Everyone glanced over as the computer played the brief, loud tune that announced it was shutting down.
"I think I've got it," said Yukimura's muffled voice from behind the desk. "Hold on."
"Thanks, Mura," said Marui, doing his V sign. He turned back to the Trickster. "It's a deal. Shake." The two did their special 'handshake' which put everyone rather in mind of a pair of crippled octopi trying to tango. The origins of this handshake were a mystery – Yagyuu claimed that he'd been there at its birth, but he refused to talk about it when asked. The more sensible (Yanagi, Sanada, Yukimura and Jackal) assumed that there were some things they didn't want to know. The slightly-less-sensible (Akaya) assumed that some things were worth dying for to find out.
"Exactly a fortnight from today," Marui proclaimed. "Jackal, you umpire. No, wait… Um, Yanagi, you umpire."
"Why not me?"
"Because you get carried away," said Marui firmly.
"No, I don't. That's Akaya."
"I don't get carried away!"
"Yes, you do."
"You do, Aka-chan," agreed Marui.
"You alright, Mura?" Niou asked over the argument.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Yukimura sat back in the computer seat. "It should be working now."
"Yes, you do."
Behind them, Yukimura looked mildly perturbed as the computer burst into flames.
Case in point 5: Yagyuu Hiroshi isn't all that clear on the concept of a date. OR: Ohtani Kae has the determination and patience of a saint.
"How… wonderful," Ohtani said weakly as she weighed the golf club in her hands. "I've always wanted to learn to play golf."
Yagyuu smiled. There was a little hint of enthusiasm behind the usual politeness. "I'm very glad to hear it. It really is one of the most entertaining sports."
"Really? What about tennis?"
"I'd say that they were joint first place," said Yagyuu. He set down the golf ball on the green and gave a little bow. "Now, Ohtani-chan, if you would?"
Case in point 6: It is incredibly cute to watch Kirihara Akaya making a card house. OR: It is very beneficial to watch Kirihara Akaya making a card house, if you happen to be Marui Bunta.
Frustration tangibly radiated from the lump of blanket and curly black hair in the middle of the floor. A pair of hands were extended from the pile, and they gathered up the few cards lying on the floor.
"I genuinely think I could watch this all day," said Marui contentedly, stretching out like a cat on his own blanket pile by Akaya.
Akaya didn't even notice. He Concentrated Fiercely and succeeded in getting the foundation row and most of the first row complete before a card slid over and collapsed the lot.
"Damnit!!" Akaya yelled. He picked them up again.
Marui laughed. Akaya shot him a glare, but that did nothing except make Marui laugh a little harder.
"I don't think I've ever seen you pout so hard," he grinned. "I wish I had my camera."
"Shut up. I'll get it this time and prove Niou-senpai wrong."
"You've been trying for the last two hours," Marui said. "Seriously, your attention span off the court's improved a lot. I used to have trouble getting you to pay attention to me for ten minutes off-court, let alone two hours."
"Your attention span's rubbish too," Akaya said vaguely. "You eat too much sugar. DAMNIT nonono!" The card house collapsed again, and Akaya swore violently for a solid minute. Then he picked up the cards and started again.
Thoroughly impressed, Marui leant up and pecked him fondly on the cheek. "You know, you could just pretend that you did it," he suggested.
"No. Niou-senpai knows when I'm lying."
Marui chuckled. "No he doesn't. He just makes an educated guess." Shrugging, he flopped back down onto the blankets. "Trust me, if you call his bluff long enough, he'd never know."
The cards fell over yet again. Finally frustrated beyond all measure, Akaya turned and actually pounced onto Marui, pulling off the excess of blankets with determination. "Stop laughing!" he demanded with a scowl.
"I can't help it! You're so cute, Aka-chan." Lazily, Marui helped him kick off the barrier between them and then sat up. He quirked an eyebrow when Akaya pushed him back down. "Oi, what're you doing?"
"I'm taller than you now," Akaya said firmly. "That means I get to be on top for once."
"Hey, I let you be on top!"
"Not properly," said Akaya.
"You're not taller than me anyway," Marui added, "so there. We're the same height."
"Are not! I'm like, two whole centimetres taller than you!"
"No you're not." Marui flipped them over with practised ease. "Besides, you never complain once we actually get going, hmm?" The last few words were a breathy purr that made Akaya squirm.
"Fine," he muttered sulkily, but the green in his eyes were suddenly alight with a mixture of love and passion. "But next time."
"Yeah, yeah. Next time."
Case in point 7: There is no way that a tennis ball could ever win against a car in a drag race. OR: We are RikkaiDai.
The car screeched into action and zoomed straight down the track. It was almost instantly taken over by a tennis ball whizzing past it like a fluffy yellow bullet. But then the fluffy bullet hit the ground, bounced a few times, got overtaken by the car and rolled to a gentle halt.
"You see?! You see?!" Niou Masaharu, the unflappable, snark-supreme Trickster, was actually stamping his foot. His face was flushed red with incoherent irritation. "You see?! The tennis ball did NOT relaunch itself into the air after seeing that it was being beaten by a battery-powered car!! What the fuck are you two on?!!"
"Well, to be fair, it is a toy car," said Marui defensively.
Yagyuu nodded. "Clearly, the tennis ball couldn't consider itself threatened by what is effectively a wind-up mouse on wheels. This experiment had no real ecological validity. If it had been a real car, then things would have been different."
"No it WOULDN'T!" Niou pulled at his own hair. He'd never been closer to crying from exasperation in his whole life. "It doesn't have a mind of its own; it can't feel threatened!! It doesn't have a sense of pride to defend!! Why am I even having this conversation with you?! Why are my best friends completely insane pillocks?!" Throat starting to throw in the towel (he'd clearly been shouting for a long time), Niou gave a wordless yell of fury at the world in general before storming out of the park.
"… Wow," said Marui, exhilarated.
"I concur." Calmly, Yagyuu pressed a lever on his remote and the little car started to trundle slowly back towards them.
"You realise what we just did? We just artificially created fukubuchou's sense of despair and put it into 'Haru," said Marui. He sounded numb from the sense of achievement radiating from him. "We just made 'Haru feel what fukubuchou feels on a regular basis. Wow."
"I must admit, I didn't think it would go so well," Yagyuu said.
"Hell yeah. Nice going, man." Marui held up his hand for a high-five. Yagyuu let himself give it. "And I've known him longer than you have! You have to write like, some kind of Trickster Manual and give it to me. It'd save me an awful lot of head injuries. Plus, I'd be able to wind him up just as much as he winds up everyone else. Man… I didn't think it'd be that fun!"
"Just be careful that he doesn't find out we planned it," said Yagyuu.
"Of course. What do you think I am, suicidal? I'll be careful."
Content, the two started to walk back out of the park. Yagyuu handed Marui back the car and remote – they belonged to his twin brothers Akio and Saku.
"Though, actually," he said slowly, "it wouldn't be too preposterous to think that a tennis ball would try its best to beat a real car in a race."
"It'd have to have absorbed an awful lot of Rikkai, though," said Marui, shaking his head. "We'd have to like, put this baby," he threw up his tennis ball and caught it again, "in the clubhouse for a month, then in someone's room for a while. Then maybe take it along to a few practices."
"True. It would be far from impossible, I would think. It has already spent time with you, yes? And today must have counted for something."
Marui grinned evilly. "Definitely."
"Hmm." Yagyuu considered the tennis ball a moment, then held out his hand. "I'll put it with my golf clubs for a while, if you like?"
"Yeah? Lemme know how that works out, huh?" Marui handed it over.
"I shall make a point of doing so."
Sandy: Tell me that you enjoyed it and forgive me for not updating, and I shall love you. Tell me why, and maybe even quote your favourite bit from this or any other Drabblething to help me improve, and I will adore you. n.n Tell me that you have the non-remixed version of Dan Taichi's Maashiroi no Chikai and would be willing to email it to me, and I will spasm with happiness. ;DD lol.
Whatever you say, though, I really would love a review from you, no matter how short or how long. Even two words is fine. :) I live for them.
You know the drill – questions, random comments, theories, etc etc; all are welcomed. So don't be shy, -inserts catchy rhyming phrase-!
Until next time!