I do not own CLAMP, or Prince of Tennis

(Use of any other objects that may sound familiar to you is either not my doing or else are coincidental. -I'll note it anyway if it is.-)

I hope you enjoy (~'',)~

Story legend:

thoughts will be in italic
"dialogue"
[character comment...]
(author's extra notes, thoughts, or commentary)

(at least until I run out of assignments... T_T)

before you go on... What you should know about Nokoru:

Central Student Body President for CLAMP's High school division
Works part-time with N.A.S.A.
Yes, he is a character from 'CLAMP School Detectives', I'm borrowing him for this chapter. XD

(~''.)~

Trouble (05)

The whole Hyotei Tennis Club was in a daze – they never expected nor wanted Shishido to lose. Some may have thought of it, while some – like Hyotei's buchou – ruled it out, expecting the pressure on Shishido to be enough. This was only the District Preliminaries and they already had lost one match. Granted, they still had a consolations match to go, it did not bode well for them to have a 2-1 standing. The number one seed from the previous year's tournament, Hyotei Gakuen, might not be able to make it to the top two that had sure spots in the Prefectural Tournament – whom needed a 4-0 streak in the matches.

Atobe calmly thought of their matches yesterday as he stared at the mock line-up sheet for their matches today. He put Kabaji with Ootori this time, and was taking no chances and put his name on S2, S3 being Yuki. He switched his glance from the paper, to his cousin, who slept the night at his Manor.

"Neh, Yuki-chan," Yuki looked up from the blueberry cheesecake she was eating for dessert. "Do you want to play today?"

"Hmm..." she hummed, taking the fork out of her mouth, "Let Kabaji play today, put me on S1 if you want to."

Yuki-chan seems distant today... Atobe thought. She doesn't feel as if she wants to play.

"I'll put you on S1, and Akutagawa on S3" he said, and scratched Yuki's name. Akutagawa was supposed to play last time, but instead, Yuki got his spot.

"Oh, that's fine by me..." she said, her tone neutral, while forking another bite.

"Something wrong, Yuki-chan?" he asked, while he re-wrote the line-up on the official paper that was yet to be signed.

She pursed her lips in thought, still looking at her cheesecake. She kept on thinking of yesterday when someone almost killed her, were it not for her training. That person knew she was capable of evading, and possibly counterattacking.

"Yesterday, someone attacked me."

"Ara...?" Atobe blinked, "What do you mean? When?" his face became worried, "Was it an assassination attempt?"

Assassinations are not new to someone of their stature. Bourgeoisie always have to be careful of the people around them. And since they were heirs of elite bourgeoisie, they more likely to be kidnapped, or something along the lines of assassination. Too many people knew them – even if most are also the influential, and they can't be too sure of how many or who they have hurt in any way.

"I don't think so. And it was yesterday when I went for a walk. The attacker used a sword, that's for sure." Yuki concluded. "I think we have to go, it's already 8, and we have to meet them in half an hour, right?"

Atobe sighed, "Fine then, but we have to inform your brother – he might know a thing or two about your attacker."

Yuki nodded and stood up from her chair, her hair, which was in a high ponytail, swaying slightly. She took her wig from her bag, and headed towards the wash room.

Atobe fished for his phone from his jersey pocket and browsed for Imonoyama Nokoru's number.

(~''.)~

Imonoyama Nokoru, a guy with blonde hair and blue eyes, was staring at his laptop monitor for the umpteenth time that day, adjusting the details for their upcoming acquaintance ball. Parties at CLAMP always demanded such planning.

Saa... I wonder how Yuki's doing...

He missed his sister dearly as Yuki was the only one left in CLAMP that Nokoru really had to watch out for, besides the ladies.

He took a sip of his chocolate before twisting his office chair to face toward the window. Sakura trees were in full bloom from the view of his window.

"The phone!" Nokoru turned around from his chair to get his phone. "The phone is ringing!" He smiled as he glanced at the screen. Ah, Keigo-chan. "There's an animal in trouble! There an anim-"

"Hai, Keigo-chan?" he greeted his cousin lightly, "How are you guys in Tokyo?"

"Aa, sorry for calling suddenly, Nokoru-nii-san..." Atobe started, going straight to the point, "Yuki-chan had an attack yesterday." O_O

Nokoru's brow line then creased in worry, as his lips twitched in thought.

"And you're telling me this... why?" he said in a sarcastic manner,

"Nii-san!"

"Kidding, kidding, Keigo-chan... I'll investigate more into this, okay? In the mean time, do not let Yuki go anywhere without someone with her."

"Eto, but she'll just ditch that someone if she feels like it. Ore-sama feels that you should tell her not to, because she doesn't listen to me when it comes to things like these."

Nokoru sighed. "I'll come by tomorrow, where will you be?"

"We'll have practices tomorrow afternoon." Atobe told him the address of the tournament, which was encoded in his map. "Oh, and please don't use that blimp-"

"Ja ne, Keigo-chan!" he interjected in a gleeful tone and ended the call. -.-''

He spared his laptop a glance for a second. Hmm.. I guess I could take my work with me... or I could skip it, for now. n.n

Moments later, people on the CLAMP campus grounds were covered in a shadow of a blimp that was heading towards Tokyo.

(~''.)~

Hyotei won against St. Rudolph. (What a surprise.) That win marked them as 5th place though, and for a 1st placer for last year's tournament, it was bad for Atobe's pride. Anyway, as a rule for the Hyotei Tennis Club, when a player loses, albeit this should be a dramatic lose, they'll be dropped like a sack for a more 'deserving' player.

It was afternoon when the Hyotei Boys' Tennis Club returned to their campus courts, where we can see some members having reflective moments. (You know, the ones where they go emo from their mistakes) While some were practicing on the courts.

"Shishido-san," Taki Haginosuke approached said regular, and said regular looked up from his seat. "I challenge you to a game."

AN

Ahw, that's it for now..

Nokoru's ringtone for his family: Wonderpets theme song... (Haha, I just find it amusing for him to have a childish ringtone for his loved ones :p)

November 16: As-Salamu Alaykum, Happy Eid al-Adha to Islams!
(and because of you, we have no classes today... whew)

Thank you for reading! I love you for reading this far... even if it's just ch5.

I'll try to finish my homework first before going further into the story.. (it's like my self-punishment, my professors are such slave drivers, haha..)

Shoutouts to CherriAme for pointing out my mistake in the point system -but really, I only followed what I watched form the anime (or what I can remember), and then to Pri-Chan 1410 for her consistent reviews :)
And uhm.. to FleurSuoh & Andrut, I will try to keep figh-!.. er, writing!

! Please Review !