The last chapter. Please check out my new MACHINATION side-story collection.


07...Bye-Bye Mr. Demon

Ryoma stared. The weather was perfect with a lovely blue sky that was decorated by the occasional lazy cloud. The gentle heat of the sun soothed his body, and the cool wind refreshed him. His tennis was going well, his body had a pleasant ache, and all in all he was experiencing a sort of nirvana that he thought he could never reach.

"Echizen, you are so out of it."

And Fuji just liked to butt in and ruin things.

Ryoma glared from under the bill of his cap and went back to enjoying himself, not even caring when Eiji slid up next to him and wrapped his sticky, sweaty arms around his neck. "Something good happen, nyah?"

And with Eiji's presence one can always be assured that Oishi won't be far behind. "Are you catching cold, Echizen?" the vice-captain fussed over the younger boy.

But even with the three's intruding presences, Ryoma was not deterred. He still stared into space with pink cheeks, bright eyes, and a slight grin at the corner of his lips.

Eiji continued to watch the boy for a moment before shaking his head at Oishi with a frown. "I think he's delirious. Can't play tennis in this sort of situation."

"He shouldn't," Oishi agreed, already worried and eyeing the court nervously. "Fuji, would you..."

The brunet smiled and began to push Ryoma away from the courts and Tezuka's sharp eyes. "I'm already on it. You two should return now. I'm not in the club anymore so it doesn't matter, but Tezuka will surely yell at you two."

Eiji made a face. "Aw, I don't wanna run anymore laps. C'mon Oishi," and the redhead dragged away a protesting Oishi away from the other two and back onto the courts. Fuji smiled as he watched Tezuka stalk over to them with his "angry-face." Fuji pushed Ryoma towards the bench near the clubhouse once Tezuka began to shout orders and Eiji's whine of disbelief echoed through the court. They sat down on an aged, but sturdy bench and Fuji prodded the boy with an elbow. "Did something happen?"

Ryoma didn't even turn to look at him. His glazed eyes were fixed on the sky, but he gave a breathy response to Fuji's question, "Yeah."

"Having to do with Hiruma-kun, I imagine," Fuji said lightly, openly eyeing the red mark on Ryoma's neck. The boy had claimed it to be a mosquito bite, and even if everyone else believed him readily, Fuji knew better. "How are you two doing?"

Ryoma gave a snort. "Better than I expected," was his only answer, but Fuji's lips spread into a wide grin. "So... you're happy?"

And that was the first visible response Fuji had gotten from the boy the whole day. Ryoma gave a small jump and turned to him with wide, blinking eyes. "Huh?" he asked lamely.

"Are you happy with him?" Fuji repeated, leaning closer to the other boy. "Does he make you happy?"

And Ryoma paused, pondering on the question for a bit, and it wasn't long before the usual smirk appeared and the boy pulled his cap down lower to cover his face. "He drives me crazy."

"Ow! Ow!"

"Our bodies are in terrible pain max..."

Sena and Monta practically crawled into the clubhouse, closely followed by the Huh-Huh Brothers who looked just as tired and hurt.

After straining their bodies to the limit in the game with Oujou, the Deimon members were now beginning to feel the total amount of damage their muscles had actually taken. Mamori had already brought out the cooling spray and heat pads, fulfilling her duty as the manager. "Here, do you need some of the heat pads?"

Sena declined gratefully, "It's okay, we already have some."

Mamori nodded with a smile. "Okay. Oh, by the way, did you guys see Hiruma-kun? I'm worried he might not have gotten enough rest since he went home with Ryoma-kun yesterday."

Sena shook his head, setting down his bag and gingerly stretching out his legs. "I'm sure Echizen-kun let Hiruma-san rest for a while..."

Mamori looked doubtful and Sena wondered why she would think Ryoma would push Hiruma like that. Hiruma wasn't someone that could be pushed around afterall.

And the door of the clubhouse opened again and Musashi and Kurita stepped in, looking just as stiff and tired as the rest of them.

"Musashi-kun!" Mamori called to the kicker. "Have you seen Hiruma-kun?"

"Hiruma?" Musashi shared a look with Kurita who gave a worried frown. "He was still in the classroom wasn't he?"

"What's he doing? It's time for practice!"

That's when Musashi smiled sheepishly, a rare sort of expression on the normally cool teen's face. "Well..."

Kurita stepped in to help out his friend who seemed to be hesitant in talking about Hiruma's current position. "The thing is... I don't think Hiruma-kun could move a muscle."

Mamori paused. "Hm?"

"We believe he's in unbelievable pain right now. I have no idea what he was doing, but he can't move at all."

There was a eerie sort of a silence that rose in the clubhouse at that moment which was broken by Mamori's tired sigh and the slight slapping noise when he placed a hand over her suddenly red cheeks. "I knew this would happen."

From inside an empty classroom, a phone rang. Hiruma grimaced as he reached under his desk to pull out a small, white cellphone with a tennis racket chain attached to it from inside his bag. "What do you want, Fuckin' Prince?"

"How are you doing? Dead yet?"

Hiruma sniffed indignantly. "You do know that this is your fault."

"Hm," Ryoma hummed and Hiruma could practically hear his smirk through the phone. "I can't help that I'm a fresh, energetic youth while you're just an older PERVERT."

"I didn't hear you complaining last night," Hiruma snapped back, slightly peeved at the "pervert" comment.

"You talk too much during sex anyway. Like a freakin' woman."

"I'm sure you'd know, Mr. Virgin-Until-Last-Night-And-It-Was-Up-My-Ass-By-An-Older-Man."

There was a pause on the line before Ryoma deadpanned, "... I wonder why I called you to being with."

Hiruma smirked, pressing his lips onto the phone's speaker in a slight kiss. "Because you love me."

Ryoma gagged, "Guh. I still can't get used to that."

"Keke. You won't ever get used to it if I can help it." Then he fell silent as thundering footsteps approached him from the outside, and the blond groaned, "I'll call you later, my manager just tracked me down and is most definitely going to annoy the hell out of me."

"See you afterschool then?"

"Yeah. Keep your schedule open, you never know when I might surprise you."

"Hn. If you can move again that is, but then again... you never fail to surprise me."

"Keke. Later then."

"Bye-Bye Mr. Demon."


End of MACHINATION. I have some short side stories planned out for it though. I really can't leave these two alone, love them too much.
Make sure you catch "MACHINATION: Another Day".