It seemed like something Akaya would say. :)
It was a fine day. Birds sang a song of beauty, the sound of children's laughter filled the air, and the temperature was warm and mild. The sun shone, clouds gently shifted across the clear, blue sky, and leaves danced blissfully in the breeze. Each aspect of the day was filled with bliss, beauty, and happiness.
Had they any sense, they'd have hidden in a cave, for the RikkaiDai tennis team was having a group bonding exercise.
"What are we doing here?" Niou demanded. "I have an appointment with my neighbor. He's mad at me for breaking his window." He paused. "On second thought, I'd rather miss it." Akaya snickered.
"All the sports teams are doing a group bonding thing to help us 'better understand one another.'" Marui didn't seem too excited about it either; he reached into his pocket for a stick of bubble gum and threw it at him. "I've found that chewing something is a great distraction."
The rest of the team, Sanada and Yukimura excluded, circled around Marui with their hands outstretched. Marui gave them an annoyed glance. "I've only got one spare piece."
Yukimura walked up to the rest of them, Sanada trailing behind. "Principal Haruka gave me this pamphlet. We're supposed to follow the instructions on this." He smiled as he browsed through the little booklet. "This seems fun."
"Uh-oh," Niou breathed.
"We're supposed to sit in a circle," the captain began.
The team did as they were told. But Jackal was fiddling with his English homework, Yanagi was fiddling with his book, Marui was fiddling with his secret pack of gum, Yagyuu was fiddling with his glasses, and Niou was fiddling with something no one wanted to know about. Sanada sighed and gave Yukimura an expectant look.
"Ahem," he said. "The pamphlet says we should each write down a sentence about ourselves down on a sheet of paper." Except Yukimura. Because he was Yukimura. "Then one of us will read it aloud to the entire group."
So there was a slight moment of absolute silence. Then the group passed their papers to Yukimura, who looked them over and recited:
"Sanada is not fond of blue painted tennis jerseys. –Yukimura
"Taking a sick leave on April Fool's Day is usually a good idea. –Sanada."
Marui pouted. "You haven't gotten over that, fuku-buchou?"
"Do not offer to test Sadaharu's experiments. –Yanagi
"Shavers should be kept ten feet out of reach of Akaya. –Jackal."
"But I didn't break it, or anything," Akaya protested. "No, really! It just kind of melted."
"By itself?" Jackal demanded.
"Well, no," he admitted. "I put it over the stove because I wanted to use the metal to make a bullet." He grinned. "It almost worked, too! Can I be excused, Mura-buchou? I need to check on something. I'll be back in a minute or so, promise."
Yukimura dismissed him with a nod of his head and continued:
"Get gum from fangirls—save your own money for junk food. –Marui
"Never throw tennis balls at first years. –Niou
"Never cover for Niou when he's throwing tennis balls at first years. –Yagyuu."
Niou seemed a bit miffed. "They had it coming, you know. And you didn't get into any trouble."
"Getting detention isn't trouble?"
"That's nothing compared to having to run three hundred laps!" he insisted.
And then there was another moment of silence, because everyone had run out of things to say. They sat awkwardly, still in a circle, thinking over what their teammates wrote. Almost everybody was overjoyed when they heard the door open—Akaya ran back inside, panting heavily. His face and arms were bruised and scratched and his hair was disheveled. "Never mind. The cat lady was picking a fight with me. I'll just check on the burning stove in another hour."
"That explains your appearance," Yukimura said lightly. "Join us, Aka-chan. Say one sentence about yourself, something that truly reflects your personality and experiences. Something deep, something meaningful." He smiled encouragingly.
Akaya thought for a long moment as he put his tennis racquet down. The rest of the team waited patiently and expectantly.
Finally, he blurted: "Red crayons do not taste like strawberries."