Character/pairing: Rikkaidai ensemble with preslash hints of Yanagi/Kirihara, SanadaYukimura & Inui/Kaidoh.
Word count: 1737
Rating: PG at very most.
Author's note: Prompted for Yanagi/Kirihara - A day in the life,
after junior high; Awkward beginnings (can be AU); What if they were
from separate teams?
This follows all of that, save for the post junior high thing, and implies that Inui went to Rikkaidai and Yanagi went to Seigaku. Also a lack of actual tennis as somewhere along the line, I lost the ability to write it. Whoops. That's what I get for all those future stories....
The guy was there scouting almost every day. Not that Kirihara could blame him, considering he was from Seigaku of all places. His team would need all the help they could get so they could scrounge whatever points they could get before Rikkaidai wiped the floor with them. The strangest thing about him was how his eyes were always closed, and he was so calm that he looked like those statues of buddhas at the temples Kirihara passed along the way to school. He was tall, and about as unflashy as Inui-senpai. Even more unflashy, considering that he didn't have the pineapple hair that Inui did. That wasn't the only similarity Kirihara noticed. He was even more robotic than Inui-senpai, who he and Niou had been trying to steal the glasses of for ages. It backfired when he proved to be a looker and got his own fan club.
There were plenty of scouters around Rikkaidai. They were all shaking in their boots for when Rikkaidai was going to wipe the floor with them, of course. This one seemed a little different, though. Maybe because he was younger than the old geezers that usually were jotting down the information. Kirihara smirked and beat back another serve. The scouter stood perfectly still, with only the scratching of his pencil to prove that he wasn't some statue.
Well, if he wanted a show, he'd get it. Kirihara licked his lips, bent back and hit his first serve.
Kirihara wiped his forehead. Sweat had made his curls stick there and to the back of his neck. He leaned back on the bench. Yukimura-buchou was sweaty too, but Sanada-fukubuchou had already wiped his forehead and neck so that his curls were only a bit limp.
"Don't forget to shower and put that in the washing bin," Yukimura-buchou said.
"Hehe. Like I'd ever do that," Kirihara said.
"You did last Thursday," Yukimura-buchou said without looking up.
"I was going to do it. Niou just distracted me, is all," Kirihara said, his protesting verging on pouting.
"And the Tuesday before that," Yukimura-buchou said.
Kirihara's left eye twitched.
Inui-senpai pulled out the notebook. "He forgets to shower approximately 34.0089 percent of the time, while Sanada-fukubuchou remembers 100 perfect of the time if Yukimura-buchou is around.... Niou is 75 percent likely to snap other players in the buttocks, while Kirihara may only do this 64 percent of the time..."
"Indeed, there's your proof, Kirihara," Yukimura-buchou said.
Kirihara just grimaced. Stupid Robot-senpai and his stupid data. Inui-senpai closed his book and disappeared to...where ever he disappeared to. Really, what was he, a vampire? An alien who could teleport?
When Inui was gone, Kirihara had gathered his things, but he looked back once more to the scouter. He was in the same place, and right about where Inui-senpai had gone to practice.
"Bah, Seigaku," Kirihara said. "They're so annoying. Watching my every move. Maybe he'll even write the data of how I ishower/I like Inui-senpai."
Yukimura-buchou took a long look out towards the data collector.
"It's not you he's watching," he said in a way that was soft, and yet devastating. Yukimura had a way of covering steel with velvet, and not merely referring to Sanada-fukubuchou either.
Kirihara squinted to see what his buchou saw. There was the guy watching Inui-senpai intently. He ended up training in Inui-senpai's region a lot for some reason, so all that watching hadn't been really been aimed at him at all.
"Inui-senpai? Why would anyone watch him? I'm much more interesting than that robot," Kirihara said with a pout.
"He's a scouter. He's watching everyone. He's surely watched you at some point."
And yet there he was, jotting down every bit of Inui-senpai's tennis. It was someone else he was focused on. Someone who was weird and unspectacular. Kirihara kicked one of the soda cans that Marui had left around. He couldn't believe this. Inui-senpai's data tennis was bland and boring, and here Kirihara had been playing his best – better than best to show Seigaku just what they were going to lose to, and he'd been watching the robot.
Indignant did not cover how he felt at this moment. His mood swings were volatile, and right now he was seeing red.
"Maybe you should go cool off," Yukimura-buchou said.
And whenever his buchou said 'maybe you should' it was really just his own soft way of saying do it now, or there will be consequences.
And when he did go shower, Kirihara was so caught up in his thoughts, that he didn't even notice Niou coming until he felt the crack of a towel.
"Hey Robot-senpai, come play me, unless your hinges are too oily!" Kirihara yelled out across the court.
Niou and Marui snickered as Inui turned around. Kirihara couldn't catch any sign of emotion, not even annoyance.
"Alright, then. I won't go easy on you," Inui said.
"Please. We're not Seigaku. We don't show mercy!"
He pointed his rack right at the scouter. "Hey Seigaku! You better watch closely, because I'm the one who's going to knock you out of the finals. That is, if you even get that far!"
The scouter didn't say anything. There wasn't even a tremor. Heh, another robot.
He was gonna win this game to love. That should wake him up. So what if robot-senpai had already gotten his data? Kirihara spat on the ground. Data this, Seigaku.
The Seigaku scouter was there, and for once his eyes were open. It wasn't robot-senpai he was looking at, either. Was he interested? He should be.
He vaguely wondered what this scouter's name was.
Bus rides always made him sleepy. It'd gotten him in a few sticky situations, but none had sent him to Seishun Gakuen, of all places. He thought maybe he'd challenge that famous old buchou of theirs. Of course, he wasn't half as awesome as Yukimura-buchou, but since everyone was talking about him, the least Kirihara could do was embarrass them like the snot nosed kids they were.
He yelled out, challenged them, but they mostly ignored them. Stupid Seigaku, this was a prime chance to see what they'd be facing too. Tezuka merely glared. Fuji seemed amused, but then he always seemed faintly amused at someone else's expense. He caught sight of Robot-senpai in the bushes getting data on the guy with a bandana. Data collecting, eh. He looked more like some pervy stalker than a data collector hidden out like that. The scouter closed his book. He turned, completely composed to see him. He was on the edge of the group, watching them too, it seemed. Kirihara couldn't help thinking that the scouter guy would look a lot better in Rikkaidai colors. The blue and white was way too bland for him.
"Hey Seigaku...My name is Kirihara Akaya, second year at Rikkaidai! Remember it!"
There was a flicker over the scouter's face. He was studying him now, his eyes no longer shuttered.
"I am Yanagi Renji," the scouter said. It was so soft that Kirihara didn't think anyone else had heard it. Probably he meant it to be so for just that reason. He'd never heard him speak before, yet his voice fit him in the same serene, deep sense that seemed to permeate this guy. He was zen, personified.
Kirihara couldn't help wondering what kind of tennis Yanagi would have. Data tennis, obviously, but how would he play out? Would his serves be strong? Would he last long, and give a challenge?
All the bus ride home, that name stayed with him, all warm inside him. He kept repeating in Yanagi Renji, Yanagi Renji, Yanagi Renji and sounding out the vowels. He wondered what way it would be written, with what kanji?
He didn't know now, but he was going to find out.
Yukimura-buchou sat on the edge of his bench like a queen holding court. Kirihara grinned apologetically at him. Yukimura-buchou did not smile back.
"You're late," he said.
"I fell asleep on the bus and ended up at Seigaku. I got to see Tezuka too. It looks like he's getting arthritis or something. What is he, forty?"
Niou and Marui snickered. Kirihara high-fived them both before a look from Yukimura settled them down.
"Weird, I saw Inui-senpai there too. He was watching some snake-guy really closely. Apparently he has really good stamina."
Niou laughed and covered his hand with his mouth when Yukimura-buchou gave him a look. This only made the snickering quieter, but Yukimura-buchou knew he sometimes had to take what he could get when it came to Niou.
"Do you have anything else to report on your excursion?" Yukimura-buchou said. Sanada-fukubuchou was massaging his shoulders. What a dork.
"Nothing much. Seigaku is boring. Except for Tezuka and Fuji, they had some skills that didn't completely suck. Oh, and they have a bratty new regular," Kirihara said.
Except for Yanagi. He was interesting. But Kirihara didn't mention that part.
"For now on, you should leave the scouting to Inui," Yukimura-buchou said drily. He yawned and stretched, fixing his gaze on Sanada-fukubuchou. "You'll see to his punishment."
"Yes, Yukimura-buchou. Immediately so."
"I know, I know. Laps and laps and laps," Kirihara said. He started running before Sanada-fukubuchou could even finish the sentence. Sure, it'd piss him off and probably get more punish for Kirihara in the end, but that was the point.
Besides, it gave Kirihara that much time to think about playing Yanagi. Maybe there was something to this Data tennis other than stalking. Kirihara could mimic moves, and he'd take a page from their book. It was his turn to do some scouting, and know just how to crack the calmness.
Oh just you wait, Seigaku. When the match comes, you won't be able to look away.