Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis doesn't and will never belong to me.
A little fan fiction about Oshitari Kenya, who is Oshitari Yuushi's cousin.
by Lemon Tea
Oshitari Kenya was once the slowest boy I knew. He was slow at running, slow at walking, slow at doing his homework, and even slow at eating. He wasn't the serious, hot-headed person, he is now. He was a weird boy, and in my opinion, an idiot. When the whole class was done building with their legos in preschool, he would still sit there; stacking block after block with delicate care his eyes would dully look at the bright plastic. The next day though, his lego castle would be the prettiest in class, ours would be messily put together and many of the pieces stood out at odd angles. Yet his was perfect and pristine, all blocks fit perfectly, and seemed to have been designed by an architect. But we were children back then, and the quality didn't matter, neither did the effort. All we wanted was to go outside and run in the golden sunlight, we didn't want to stay indoors building toys. I think that's when I started thinking that Kenya was weird.
He never did what other children did, he would walk when we ran, and he would eat timidly when we ate with great haste. Because he did that though, he was a perfect child; he never got cuts or bruises from falling on the ground or spill food on his clothes.
All the adults adored him because of that, and most of the kids accepted him even though he was different. He's smart they whispered, his cousin's a tensai, so his family must be filled with brilliant people.
They were right, but I didn't admire him. I despised him actually. I never had those perfectly manicured nails or those clothes with no wrinkles. Everyday when my mother came to pick me up, she would be faced with a messy girl with mud and other dirty things stuck on her shirt. There would be grass stains on my shorts and legs, and those pretty pigtails she put my hair in would lost by the end of the day. My hair would be wild, and loose, and I wasn't the best example of a young girl.
Then kindergarten came, I wasn't neat or tidy in kindergarten either. I didn't spill food on my shirt anymore, but I still was that rough girl who loved to wrestle in the grass. This continued through elementary school, until the 3rd grade. I became quieter then, and begged my mother to by me new clothes. I disliked my old clothes because they were drenched with stains of all sorts, even the toughest detergent couldn't take them out. I stopped playing with boys, and for the first time ever; I got a stuffed animal and spent time with other girls playing 'house'. In our elementary school, we didn't have uniforms, but in junior high we would. We went to a private elementary school, in Japan, most of the schools are private, and so it was a normal school. We were all middle class, no one was rich, we were just...normal. So it was a great shock, one fine, June afternoon when we saw a blue haired boy standing by the school entrance with an expensive black Mercedes behind him on the driveway.
That boy wore a uniform, but he was our age. Either he started junior high early, or he went to some prestigious elementary school. I think it was the latter.
Anyways when he saw Oshitari Kenya, he gave a smirk, and coolly strided past us if we were nothing but ants. He was polite though and gave some girls casual glances and flirting looks.
"Hello Kenya," he said or more so stated.
"Yuushi," Kenya said firmly, "How are you?"
That was the first time I saw Oshitari Kenya angry.
That boy Kenya had been talking to; was one of the most collected people I've seen in my life. Many said that the boy was his cousin; I think they were right, because when I was watching the Kantou Finals when I was 12, I saw that same boy, only this time he was wearing glasses and he had grown much taller. They displayed his name which was Oshitari Yuushi, and the school was Hyotei.
He was the first person I've ever seen to make Kenya mad, and I was intrigued to say the least. The next day many people were chatting about that blue haired boy, they didn't do it while Kenya was around. But you could hear the occasional whispers in class. I could tell Kenya heard them, because the way he gripped his pencil made it look as if the pencil would snap in half. The whole day he didn't talk to people, and when he left school, he didn't even bother with a farewell to his best friend Ishida Gin.
I think that's when Kenya started changing. He knew that he could never become like his cousin, in intelligence or richness. But he could work hard.
And he did, he got excellent grades in class, he was never got the highest grade, but his grades were far better than many. But he was average still. The only thing he excelled at was P.E.; in elementary school we just ran a lap around our school yard or something like that. P.E. wasn't graded in elementary school; it was just something we did so we could have some more free time. Most of the time we played tag, but sometimes our teacher made us run. Kenya surprised us all, he would sprint and finish his lap the fastest, and when most people were a quarter of the way done, he would be finished. I think he enjoyed running, because it was the only thing he was good at. It was the only thing that separated him from everyone else. He didn't have to work hard at running fast; he was just good at running fast.
4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade ended, and we were promoted to junior high. I still didn't like Kenya, my past views of him stuck with me, but I didn't hate him either. He was still in my class in junior high (in Japan, the people in your class don't change, but when you got to junior high, people in your class might change, and then those people will be in your class for the rest of junior high. You don't change classes every year; you just change classes every time you change schools), and most of the people in our class were different now. Some were in a different class in our elementary school, but the main reason was 3 elementary schools were combined to make Shitenhouji Chuu. There was Shitenhouji Elementary, Tsuki Elementary, and Fukabaku Elementary (the school me and Kenya went to). So there were new students, Kenya quickly made friends with a boy named Shiraishi Kuranosuke. Kenya also joined the tennis team; he was a freshman though, so he didn't make the Tennis Team. But Shiraishi did, and there was much talk about Shiraishi's 'perfect tennis', and how he was a 'tensai'.
Tennis was important to our school, because it was the only sport that didn't supposedly suck. The Tennis Team had made it to the Nationals and Finals of the Kansai region, which is supposed to be some impossible feat. No other sport team could do that in Shitenhouji, so tennis was our pride.
Tennis was also Kenya's pride, and he was proud to play tennis. But once again, he had been beaten by a tensai. There was a rumor going around that the reason he joined was because his tensai cousin joined Hyotei's tennis team. I think that was one of the reasons Kenya joined tennis, but not the main reason. Kenya, to me, seemed to be very athletic and wanted to be admired because of it. Sadly, that goal hit him right back in the face.
I don't think Kenya ever got any admiration; in class or at home. There were smarter people in class, and there were people better than him in athletics. In his house, I have no clue. But he had an insanely incredible cousin, so there probably wasn't much bragging about him at home either. Yet, Kenya was a hard worker, as mentioned before.
He couldn't build a perfect lego castle fast, so he did it slowly. Maybe he wanted to play outside with the other kids, but he decided to work hard to time-stakingly build something, rather than have fun. He worked hard for his grades, even though he could have practiced sprints or played tennis. Kenya was a hard worker, there was no denying it.
I could never be him, not now, not ever. I was lazy and never tried in school. That didn't mean I was a bad student, I would actually a pretty good student, if I tried. I just procrastinated, and would wait until the last minute to do a project that was assigned to me three weeks ago.
Anyways, there were public tennis courts by the apartment complex I lived in. Every single day I would pass those shoddy, old courts that had the tall, thin, metal fencing that didn't let balls go far from the actual court. There were three courts, the white lines printed on the blacktop that showed the boundaries the tennis ball should go seemed as if they would disappear any minute. The metal wired fencing was old and looked as if it was going to fall any moment. But it was a clean court, the courts were owned by the apartment complexes I lived in, but they were public. Everyday, a manager in one of the nearby apartment complexes would go and get the netting that separated the opposing sides, and every month someone would go and clean the courts.
The apartment complexes were new, but the housing commission couldn't afford to spend money to fix up those courts or the nearby swimming pool.
It was in these old courts that Kenya trained each day. He would first go to the tennis club; I knew that, because I stayed afterschool sometimes at the English Club to get tutoring on English because I was failing that during my first year in Junior High, I still get tutoring even today, just in case.
I would leave after him, but sometimes I would see him walking from the school gate after tennis practice from the window in the English classroom. I would walk down the stairs because the English Club was located in a room on the second floor of our school, and walk home. Usually it was sunset or close to night when I got home and I would see him, pounding away on the old wired gate. He would hit the tennis ball back and forth. Back and forth, and sometimes he even ran around the fencing. It was a soothing sight for me to see that scene when I walked daily from school.
I grew fond of seeing him, and one day at school during the second year, I heard some kids talking with earnest about Kenya. I couldn't help but overhear what they were saying.
"Speed tennis?" a boy said, "Is there such a thing?"
"Yep," the other said, excitement in his voice, "He is so fast on the courts that you lose stamina and can't chase after the ball."
"He's that fast?" the other spoke with awe. "No way."
Speed tennis. That was what Kenya had been working on. He was so fast at going to where his opponent hit the ball, and hitting it back, that his opponent didn't have any time to react before Kenya returned the ball. His opponents would be just chasing after his hits, and would lose stamina.
For the first time, I saw Kenya not grip his pencil harder when people talked about him. He had a confident smile on his face and was proud of his work. Not too proud though, for when I walked past the rickety old courts, he was still there practicing. That day, my curiosity couldn't be satisfied, and I entered into the courts. He didn't stop to look at me, and continued to practice.
"Hello," I said timidly. I was no longer that loud girl I was years ago. She had faded from me, and was not a part of me any longer.
He looked at me, "You're Kotobaki Izumi from my class aren't you?"
"Yeah I am."
"You walk past ever single day, don't you?"
"Yeah," I said with enthusiasm, for he had noticed me after all. "Do you live by here?"
He nodded, and pointed to a nearby street, "I live in the end of that street; you live in one of those apartments huh?"
"Mhm," I smiled, "You practiced everyday."
"Yeah," he looked at the distance.
"I admired you."
"You worked so hard."
"I guess." He replied.
"I could never do that, your cousin was a genius, I could never dream of trying to outdo a genius. Wait! That came out wrong, I'm-I'm," I started to stutter and looked at my feet.
He laughed and gazed at me with his warm eyes, "You're funny Koto-san. Want to get a drink? There's a vending machine nearby?"
I was embarrassed and gave a small bow, "Hai."
Even though he was hard working, I was glad to know that Kenya had a soft side. And unlike me, who had changed to a different person from when I was 4. Kenya was still Kenya. He was still that slow boy that tried on everything he did.
Yeah...I hope my OC wasn't too much of a Sue. I'm not fond of OC fics, and I'm much less fond of writing about OCs. But, Kenya needed some love! XD
I don't know if I should continue this. I think this story is one-shot material, but if I get reivews telling me to continue I will!
I decided to use Shitenhouji for various reason, I just felt that this topic fit Kenya, a bit.