I have the same birthday as one of the Rikkai regulars. Guess who it is.
Yes, if anything, I couldn't miss writing a fic for Akaya's birthday, even if that meant skipping my homework. (It was also hard finding time to post this fic, since I am also busy today.)
"Brat looks happy today," Niou observed amusedly.
Sure enough, Akaya was prancing (yes, prancing) around the tennis courts holding his tennis bag and another bag of unknown items. He was swinging them happily as he complimented everyone he passed by.
"I fear what the contents inside that bag are," said Yagyuu, habitually adjusting his glasses on his nose. "But yes, you are right, Niou-kun."
"He even complimented Sanada today," Niou continued. "Said he looked less like a rock. And did you hear what he said to Jackal?" Niou cleared his voice before putting on a flawless Akaya-imitation. "'Jackal-senpai, your head is extra shiny today! Be careful or else you could accidentally blind someone by reflecting too much sunlight into their eyes!'"
"Is that even a compliment?" asked Yagyuu, looking skeptical.
Niou shrugged. "In the brat's twisted mind, I guess it counts as one."
Niou and Yagyuu continued to watch the baby of the team gleefully frolic around the courts in silence, only to be broken by a fuming Marui."Someone calm him down!" seethed the volley-specialist. "I swear he's scaring away half of the tennis club!"
"So?" Niou rolled his eyes. "The other members this year aren't even that good. Who cares?"
"Yukimura does, because if he scares away the rest of the tennis club, Rikkai will have no tennis players next year!" argued Marui. "He'll have our heads if we don't get them back before the end of the year!"
"What are you talking about? The brat will still be there; he can play all 5 of the matches alone for all we care."
"Niou-kun, you know that's not possible," said Yagyuu, sighing.
"Niou doesn't know the word 'impossible', whether we like it or not," stated Marui, eying the Trickster.
Niou smirked. "You know it."
Yagyuu cleared his throat. "Has Akaya-kun said anything to you two yet?"
Niou shrugged and shook his head, while Marui started looking more annoyed by the second. "More genius-like for once... for once..." Marui grumbled. "I am always genius-like..."
"I'm guessing our dear, sweet Akaya has trampled on your ego once again?" Niou cackled. "Whatever the brat said to you, it's probably true."
As Niou and Marui continued to bicker, Yagyuu glanced around the courts, eyes searching for the second-year ace. He found Akaya talking rather animatedly to Yukimura, Sanada, and Yanagi. Jackal was standing behind Akaya, resting a hand on the younger's shoulder, as if fearing that the boy would bolt away at any given moment.
Which, considering Akaya, was not much of a strange thought.
Yagyuu sighed, and decided to join in on whatever conversation Akaya and the others were having at the moment.
"...so now I've been using my sister's sheets of paper, because I ran out of my own and my sister never uses them, and—oh, hi, Yagyuu-senpai! You look more human today!"
"Akaya-kun, what has been going on?" asked Yagyuu tiredly. "According to Marui-kun, you've been causing quite a bit of chaos today. And what do you mean by me looking more human today?"
Akaya thought for a bit, swinging his bag of unknown items in a circle. "It's just that today you look more annoyed, so you have more of a face," he explained. "You normally don't have much of a face."
"I think you mean 'expression', Akaya," corrected Yukimura gently.
Yanagi cleared his voice. "Yagyuu, to answer your question, Akaya is just feeling happier than usual today," he stated.
"We figured as much," said Niou from behind, slinging an arm around Yagyuu. "Yagyuu, you ditcher, you were supposed to back me up while I was arguing with bubblegum-freak here."
Marui was trailing behind the Trickster, arms crossed. "Just make sure that the brat is never happy again, because he scares the hell out of the rest of the tennis club," he said simply.
"Anyways, why exactly is Akaya so happy?" inquired Yagyuu in exasperation.
Yukimura chuckled, lightly covering his mouth with one of his hands. "Tell them, Akaya."
Akaya grinned ecstatically. "My parents bought me a new pack of crayons yesterday night!"
"...that's nice, Akaya-kun."
Akaya nodded, still grinning. "It's not a normal 64-pack of crayons either!" he continued. "It's a 96-pack—a full 96-pack of crayons! Isn't that awesome?"
Akaya was right—a 96-pack of crayons was pretty awesome. Not that the rest of Rikkai would admit it.
Akaya fished through his bag of unknown items and pulled out various sheets of paper. "I drew pictures for everyone!" he said, handing out the 5 sheets of paper in his hands. "But Marui-senpai and Jackal-senpai have to share one while Yanagi-senpai and Niou-senpai have to share another one."
Yukimura glanced down at the picture he was given. His was a drawing of what appeared to be a person wearing mostly yellow clothing, with a bit of black and red messily scribbled onto it. They had dark blue hair, and had a little dash of green drawn across their forehead—possibly a sweatband. The person was standing tall, their arms raised in a happy manner, as if to make everyone around them bask in their glory.
Yukimura liked the drawing.
His eyes continued scanning the sheet of paper. The person was holding a peculiar item. The item looked like a stick with an oval attached to it, lines crisscrossing inside the shape—a tennis racket. The person had a proud smile, and phrases such as 'Number 1!', 'The best in Japan!' and 'Child of God!' were written around them.
Yes, Yukimura really liked the drawing.
Yukimura hummed as he continued admiring his picture. "Akaya, is this supposed to be me?"
Akaya beamed. "Yeah! That drawing of you was the first thing I drew when I got my crayons!"
Yukimura chuckled. "I'm honoured, Akaya."
Sanada glanced over at the drawing Yukimura was holding. A very fitting drawing for Yukimura, he thought, nodding a little. Then he looked at his own drawing.
There were two people in his picture. Both were wearing the same outfit Yukimura was, which Sanada gathered to be the Rikkaidai Fuzoku tennis uniform. The first character had curly, black hair and was posing triumphantly, one hand on their hip and another pointing up. The hand pointing up was also holding a tennis racket.
Then there was a blue rectangular object just below the first character. It also had crisscrossing lines on the inside—a tennis net, perhaps?
Yes, it probably was, because the person on the other side was also holding a tennis racket—a purple one, and an ugly purple one at that. The person in question was kneeling down in what seemed like total defeat, the expression on their face even showing two 'x's as eyes and a tongue sticking out of their mouth. It wouldn't have bothered Sanada so much had the person not been wearing a black cap. The 'evil fukubuchou' title followed by an arrow pointing to the black-capped character didn't really help, either.
In short, Sanada didn't like his drawing. "Akaya, 30 laps around the courts."
"Now, now, Sanada, no need for disciplining Akaya for displaying his bright imagination in his pictures," scolded Yukimura lightly. "I rather like his drawings."
"I don't know, Yukimura," started Jackal, eyebrow twitching at the sheet of paper he and Marui were holding. "Not all of our pictures glorify ourselves as much as yours does."
"Are you kidding me?" Marui elbowed Jackal, then jabbed his finger at the drawing. "Look, your oh-so-shiny head is reflecting off light and freaking blinding me in our picture! You think you have it bad?"
"I must agree with Marui-kun," added Yagyuu, his hand shaking a little as he held his picture. "I don't appreciate having 'no face.' I apologize if I sound a bit picky, but I am mildly offended by the lack of detail put into my features."
"Yeah, you're picky today, Yagyuu-senpai," said Akaya, crossing his arms. "Normally, you'd say that you were grateful that I even drew you, or something."
"I apologize. It's just that if there is anything else that I don't appreciate, it's having my spectacles taken away from me." Yagyuu directed a glare to Niou, who inwardly shuddered despite the fact that the glare was hidden by the Gentleman's opaque glasses.
"Still," Akaya persisted. "Why would I put detail in your face if you don't even have one?"
"Akaya, don't forget to be respectful," cut in Yukimura. "Yagyuu is still your senpai, face or not."
Niou ran a hand through his hair. "Brat, you really shouldn't have done this," he said.
"See?" Akaya continued looking at Yagyuu while wildly gesturing towards Niou. "Even Niou-senpai is being more gentlemanly than you right now!"
"That's not what I meant!" Niou hit Akaya in the head. "Haven't I taught you this already? Ask not what you can do for man, but what man can do for you. So don't go around giving us these damn pictures!"
"Technically, Akaya didn't 'ask' for anything," Yanagi spoke up. "He just did it without question."
"You're over-thinking it, Yanagi."
"Niou-senpai's being mean to me!" whined Akaya to Yukimura. He ran behind his captain in hopes of hiding from the Trickster.
Yukimura glanced/looked/death-glared at Niou. "Niou, don't tell me you plan on ruining Akaya's happiness," he said, his smile growing dangerously wider. "You and your doubles partner should learn to be grateful for these drawings, just like what Akaya said."
Niou laughed nervously, and proceeded to hide behind Yagyuu the same way Akaya hid behind Yukimura. "No, I don't plan it, not at all," he replied. "What I meant to say was, I just don't really like the purely fictional thought of me losing to the br—Akaya in anything." He waved the drawing Akaya had given him around. "Yanagi I can tolerate more, but not Akaya."
Sanada glanced over at Niou's sheet of paper, and frowned. "I would never play doubles with Niou," he said flatly.
"You would never play doubles, period, Genichirou," stated Yanagi, leaving the 'unless Yukimura told you to' part unsaid. It was still heard. "It just isn't your strong point."
Niou sighed. "Face it, Yanagi, you enjoy the thought of winning against Sanada, even though everyone in Japan knows that you're the worst out of Rikkai's Three Demons."
Yanagi immediately felt sad and went to mope off to the side.
"Yanagi-kun and Akaya-kun play doubles quite well together," said Yagyuu, but Yanagi didn't hear this compliment and therefore kept moping. To himself he said, "The pairing is probably the only thing realistic in the drawing."
Unfortunately for Yagyuu, Akaya heard this and chose to step up from his hiding spot (Yukimura). "You've been too talkative today, Yagyuu-senpai," he scolded firmly, wagging a finger in front of the Gentleman. "You need to learn how to keep your mouth shut."
"You shouldn't be saying that, brat," said Niou, also stepping up from his hiding spot (Yagyuu).
"But what Akaya says is true," Yukimura said coolly. "Yagyuu, Niou, 50 laps around the courts."
Niou and Yagyuu ran off immediately before they could be completely engulfed by their captain's death aura.
Jackal sighed. "I knew I should have stayed home today," he muttered.
Marui forced out a laugh. "Hey Jackal, you wanna play a match?"
Jackal nodded, also eager to get away from impending doom/death/slightly-ticked-off Yukimura.
"Aww, everyone left," said Akaya, pouting. He looked up at Sanada and Yukimura. "You do like my drawings of you guys, right, Sanada-fukubuchou, Yukimura-buchou?"
Sanada was about to yell 'tarundoru' and slap the boy, but one look from Yukimura told him otherwise. "It... certainly has a lot of effort put into it."
Yukimura smiled, his death aura fading away. "And of course I like it, Akaya," he said reassuringly. "I find that it's a very accurate depiction of myself."
Sanada grunted in agreement (he really couldn't resist) before leaving and making his way to Yanagi.
"Akaya," started Yukimura, his tone slightly different than before. "Do you think I could borrow your pack of crayons after practice?"
Akaya tilted his head slightly in curiosity before nodding. "Sure," he replied, shrugging. "I won't be home right after practice though, so you'll have to pick it up yourself, buchou."
"That's fine with me," said Yukimura. "But why won't you be home?"
"My English teacher said that I have to go back to the classroom after practice for some extra assignments and stuff," Akaya explained, pouting. "The only reason I'm actually doing what she says is because she said that if I didn't go and ended up failing the next exam then I wouldn't be able to play on the tennis team anymore."
"Ah." Yukimura chuckled at how dedicated his kouhai was to the tennis team. "I'll be stopping by your house, then."
That night, when Akaya got home from his extra English class, he found seven hand-drawn pictures of himself scattered across his desk.
The first one had a picture of him smiling while eating a large piece of strawberry cake. In the background, there was a pink-haired boy drawn in winking while putting his fingers in a V-pose. Akaya couldn't help but frown when he saw the caption of his hand-drawn self saying, 'Marui-senpai, you and your cakes are so genius-like!'
The second drawing had two boys, as well—however, both of them were bald. Akaya stood in horror when he realized that the first bald boy (the paler one) was actually him. Both he and a dark-skinned boy were smiling proudly at each other. Upon looking at the picture, Akaya decided one and for all that he would never shave his head bald in his life.
The third one only showed Akaya this time. He appeared to be playing a sport—a sport that wasn't tennis. Akaya was very tempted to rip up the piece of paper. Why the hell would he ever play something as boring as golf?
In any case, Akaya didn't like the fourth picture any more than he liked the third. He never liked being tied to flagpoles, so he really didn't appreciate having a drawing of himself in that state. The cackling boy with a rattail drawn in the corner of the picture didn't help, either.
The fifth drawing made Akaya's mind implode slightly. It couldn't really be described as a picture, but more like a diagram. It explained things such as how much his accuracy in tennis could improve if he followed a certain training menu, the comparison in statistics between his normal self and his devil-mode self, and even the explanation of how his moves were executed—again, both under normal circumstances and when devil mode was activated. Akaya was completely in awe by the newfound data about himself.
Then Akaya frowned upon noticing how much effort was lacking in the sixth drawing, especially when compared to the fifth one. It was just a picture of what looked like a rock—yes, a freaking rock—with black, curly hair saying, 'I will carry Rikkai to the National championships next year!' Boring—Akaya already knew that would happen.
In contrast to the picture before, the seventh and final drawing was probably Akaya's favourite—even though both pictures essentially had the same idea. It was a detailed picture of himself standing proudly at the National tournament, holding a trophy and the National champion flag. Akaya wore his uniform differently though—his tennis uniform's jacket was resting on his shoulders, and he was wearing a green sweatband on his head. Still, if it hadn't been for the smell of crayon lingering on the picture, Akaya would have thought that it was an actual photograph.
Akaya grinned. Despite the extreme differences between each of the seven drawings, they all managed to have the same greeting written on them: