Disclaimer: I do not own anything – Prince of Tennis, the characters, music, businesses, companies, etc…
Warnings: sexual themes, obscene language, potential insanity, perverse humor, very slow moving plot, Americanized society, OCs, etc...
Note: this story is different. It is non-yaoi (AKA: no boy/boy love), but it is not grossly filled with OC/cannon romance. It's simply my take on how the regulars would be in high school (with focus on different characters as the story goes on), who their out-of-club friends are, and what life can throw at you when you don't expect it. Please remember that this story is Americanized and not accurate to Japanese culture.
Note II: a special thanks and lots of love to xxTemarixx, my kinda-sorta-beta-who-sold-her-soul-to-me, because without her this story would be nothing.
Everybody's a bit odd, and Rikkaidai was no different. They were no longer the tennis prodigies of the junior high tennis circuit. They were eight young men struggling to find their role in the high school game – the bad boy, the best friend, the golden boy, the forgotten, the ace, the loner, the nerd, the prodigy.
They would laugh a little too loud, hold their heads a little higher than they deserved to, talk more talk than they could walk, get a little too lost in the clouds, fall too far in love. But none of that ever hurt anyone. Besides, that was what made them who they were, the egotistical jocks that lived for the next match.
They were a family, that group of ragtag kids.
Marui didn't own an alarm clock at the age of eighteen. He didn't see a point in buying one. When he was younger, his mother would wake him up. By the time Marui had turned seven, he had found his own personal alarm clock, a wakeup call of sorts.
Marui rolled onto his side, pulling his blanket up over his body, trying to get a few more seconds of snuggling with his bed before his wakeup call arrived. He was dreaming that he could fly, that clouds were cotton candy, and that he was flying right through the middle of a neon green cloud that he –
Marui groaned. That familiar 'ping' against his window, a rock thrown from the driveway, tossed with perfect aim and just enough force to scare the living daylights out of him, was his wakeup call.
Marui crawled down to the end of his bed, opening up the window that was there and sticking his head out, shivering as crisp autumn air wrapped around him. In his driveway was a short girl wearing the smallest size of the Rikkaidai High's girls' uniform.
"Good mornin', Sunshine," she said.
There's a complicated story behind that girl, Suzuki Akira. Several odd stories as well. The shortest story of them all being that when Marui was seven, in the sandbox, she took his shovel, so he took his gum out of his mouth and stuck it in her hair. She punched him and told him he would die of cooties if he did that again. They became best friends after that, though neither of them are sure why.
"You're evil, Akira," Marui said, running a hand through his bed head. "It's still dark out."
Suzuki probably narrowed her eyes –Marui couldn't tell in the darkness – putting her hands on her slim hips. "Well, I have practice at six thirty today, and I wake you up when I walk by. Now get up, or suck it up and buy a freakin' alarm clock!"
Suzuki was pitcher and captain of the softball team, the one Rikkaidai team that rarely made it to the Kantou Tournament, let alone Nationals. She wanted to take the team to Nationals, even if that meant working them to death by scheduling practices at six in the goddamn morning.
"Excuse me-eeee," Marui said rudely, yawning towards the end. He waited until he could feel his cheeks again before realizing that he had no chance in winning in an argument against Suzuki. (He never did.) He sighed and asked, "Can we stop and get McDonalds? I can't go another morning without breakfast."
Suzuki groaned loudly, tossing her head back. A second later, she set her head back straight and sighed. "Fine. Whatever. Just hurry the hell up, Bunta."
Marui smiled, doing a mental victory dance as he rolled off his bed, heading straight for his uniform, which was… somewhere.
Suzuki just stared from across the booth at Marui as he ate. Marui's 'breakfast' was basically a heart attack on a tray – a coffee with three creams and four sugars, some greasy bagel, and six hash-browns with a pound of ketchup for each. Suzuki sighed, shaking her head as she grabbed her water and took a sip.
"What?" Marui asked, hearing her sigh.
She just shook her head again, smiling. "Nothing."
"Seriously, tell me."
"Nothing," Suzuki insisted, setting her cup down, reaching towards Marui's tray and grabbing a hash-brown. "I just thought of something funny."
Marui narrowed his eyes, pouting on the inside because he was too much of a man to push his bottom lip out. "Fine… jerk…"
Suzuki rolled her eyes, leaning back in the booth. "Bunta, you're such a–" She jumped, feeling two strong arms wrap around her neck, hands playing with the bow of her uniform.
"You on a date, Toots?"
Suzuki clenched her jaw, grabbing the arms and unwrapping them from her neck. She turned slightly so she was face to face with Ito Ryuu, captain of the baseball team.
"Shut up," she said, rolling her eyes when he slid into the booth next to her.
"You didn't answer my question," Ito said, and then he added, "Toots."
Suzuki punched him in the arm, hard. "Don't call me Toots!"
Marui just watched. He never understood those two, or their hatred for each other. Whenever he asked Suzuki, she would tell him that it softball and baseball can never live in peace because, well, they just can't. She would tell him that Ito and she were like dinosaurs and the meteor.
Suzuki pushed Ito out of the booth, sticking her tongue out at him. Ito smirked as though he had thought of the best come back in the world. When he opened his mouth, someone stepped over him, saying, "Oh, shut up, Ito. No one cares."
Marui moved over in the booth, allowing Niou to sit down next to him. The Trickster grabbed Marui's coffee, taking off the lid to take a sip. He grimaced, setting the cup back down. "Ew."
Out of the corner of her eye, Suzuki saw Ito push himself up, looking at her as he walked out of the restaurant. She rolled her eyes and sighed, realizing she had just rolled her eyes for what felt like the umpteenth time that morning, and it was barely six.
"You okay?" Niou asked Suzuki. He wasn't nearly as good friends with Suzuki as Marui was – he wouldn't even call them friends – but she was by far better than all the preppy girls that flocked to Marui like seagulls.
"Yup." Suzuki nodded, playing with the straw in her cup. "I'm turning over a new leaf, though. I'm becoming a lesbian. It'll save me the trouble of dealing with testosterone filled douches."
"I thought you were a lesbian," Niou said, picking up Marui's coffee again. "I mean, you are on the softball team. And you're the captain. You're Queen of the Lesbians."
"I am not a lesbian!" Suzuki snapped her leg out, trying to kick Niou, but failed. "Besides," she continued, "you're on the tennis team. Aren't you gay?"
Niou snorted, taking another sip of the coffee. He grimaced (again) and set it back down. "Tennis is a manly sport."
"And softball isn't?" Suzuki questioned.
Niou gave her a smartass grin. "It is a manly sport. That's why you're a lesbian."
Suzuki tried to kick him again, but still couldn't. She was too short. She was shorter than Marui, and he was only 166cm (5'5") – that's saying something. She pressed her lips together in a small pout, sinking down into the booth.
"You suck," she mumbled.
"I do not," he said before taking another sip of Marui's coffee. He grimaced (yet again) and looked at Marui. "I don't get how you can drink this."
"If you don't like it, don't drink it," Marui said, finishing off his bagel. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Niou took another sip, wrinkling his nose. Marui sighed. Suzuki rolled her eyes.
Niou and Marui were sitting on a bench by the baseball/softball fields, lazily watching the girls' softball team run laps until morning tennis practice started.
"So why are you up so early?" Marui asked, slinging an arm over the back of the bench. "Going to McDonalds at six in the morning isn't your thing. McDonalds isn't your thing no matter what time of day."
Niou shrugged, looking down at his phone. "I stayed up all night helping 'roshi with student council crap so he would have time to play during practice, and I wouldn't have to sit on the bench like a first year without a doubles partner. I got hungry and he didn't, so I went to McDonalds."
"I say we murder him," Marui said, watching as Suzuki tossed a ball back and forth with the catcher. "I think the murder of the student council president would be pretty big news. Maybe then our newspaper would have something to write about."
"Speaking of 'roshi… He just texted me saying we're late," Niou said, grabbing his things and standing up.
Marui stood up, grabbing his things as well. "I hate morning practice."
The two managed to take three full steps before a girl walked up to them, her eyes locked on Marui's shoes.
"Marui-senpai," she said softly, "can I talk to you?"
Marui looked at Niou, who rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll meet you in the club room." He gave the girl a grin. "Good luck, Sweetheart."
She blushed. Marui wanted to kick him.
The regulars had their own lockers and showers in the back of the club room. Yagyuu was standing in front of his open locker, undoing his buttons with precise movements of his fingers. He looked in his mirror, his eyes locked on the door.
"Where are those two?" Jackal asked, walking over to Yagyuu as he zipped up his jersey.
"Heck if I know," Yagyuu said, slipping off his shirt and grabbing his polo. "But if I am forced to run laps because my partner is late, I will not be happy."
Jackal snorted. "You say that all the time, but complain when he isn't late. You know you love the drama."
"I love books. I hate plays." Yagyuu undid his belt, looking at the mirror on the door of his locker. He jumped, putting his hand over his heart in a dramatic fashion, turning around to be face-to-face with his partner.
Jackal rolled his eyes, poking Yagyuu, who looked like he was going to kill someone. "What?" Yagyuu hissed.
"Just wanted to get you to shut up." Jackal ignored Yagyuu's sarcastic reply, looking at Niou. "Where the hell is Bunta? I don't want to run laps, unlike this Drama Queen."
Niou smirked, putting an arm around Yagyuu's shoulders. "See, even Jackal thinks you're a girl."
Yagyuu ducked away from Niou's arm, 'accidentally' hitting him with his belt when he pulled it out of his belt loops. With an evil smirk, Yagyuu said, "My bad."
Niou grabbed his thigh, cursing under his breath. "You've been spending way too much time with me."
"Yo," Jackal said, snapping. "Think, Niou, Bunta."
"Yes, Niou, tell us, where is Marui," Yukimura said, walking up to them, looking like a killer bee in all that yellow and black.
"He's coming," Niou said, gently nudging Jackal away from his locker so he could change. "Some girl stopped him right before we came in."
"Does Marui-senpai have another girlfriend?" Kirihara asked, groaning. "Didn't he just break up with what's-her-face last week?"
"Yes," Jackal said. "He seems to have more girls confessing to him than Niou does this year."
"Losing your touch, Niou?" Yukimura asked, smirking in a teasing way.
Niou rolled his eyes. "Suck my dick, Yukimura."
The door to the club room opened up, and half of the regulars made cat calls or yelled "hey, sexy!" when they saw the pink envelope in his hand. The other members of the club just continued changing at their cubbies – this was a weekly thing, the regulars getting new girlfriends or getting confessed to.
"Very funny," Marui mumbled, yanking his locker open and shoving the letter into the top.
"So, who was it?" Kirihara asked anxiously.
"Some girl I do clean-up duty with on Wednesdays," Marui replied boringly, stripping out of his school uniform and into the yellow of the tennis team.
"Well, what did you say?" Kirihara asked.
"I told her no, but it would be great if we could be friends and blah-blah-blah… I forget."
"You're so mean to those girls," Yagyuu said. "They have feelings, you know."
"Hey," Marui said defensively, "it's not like I'm one of those guys who talk about all the 'hot ass' they get. I just turn girls down, occasionally say yes, and end up getting dumped because apparently I'm an asshole."
"Hurry up and get changed," Yukimura said, not caring in the least. Yukimura turned to face the rest of the club room, and blew the whistle that was hanging around his neck. "Genchirou and Renji have hidden a dozen balls around the courts. Whoever finds a ball is excused from afternoon practice."
"Wait, I'm still changing –"
"I don't care. Go. Now."
Half of them were still in their underwear when they sprinted out of the club room.
"Sucks that you didn't find a ball," Niou said, putting an arm around Kirihara's shoulder as Niou, Marui and him walked through the halls. The Trickster rolled a tennis ball in his hand. "I bet Buchou is going to assign an ass load of laps."
Marui made a noise of disagreement, tossing his ball slightly into the air and catching it in an over dramatic manner. "Nah. I bet you guys are going to the weight room and doing squats."
"Why couldn't you get a ball again?" Niou asked, grinning like the devil.
"I can't climb trees, sue me. And get off of me, I hate being touched," Kirihara said, knocking Niou's arm off of him.
"So does that mean you don't touch yourself?" Marui asked, grinning just like Niou.
"Perverts," Kirihara mumbled.
"You know you love us in a non-queer way," Niou said, putting his arm back around Kirihara's shoulders.
"Whatever you say, Senpai," Kirihara said, ducking away from Niou and making a sharp right down a hallway towards his first class.
Niou and Marui kept walking, discussing their upcoming chemistry test.
Marui and Niou pulled a slide-into-the-door-as-the-bell-rings, receiving odd locks from the rest of their class because the bell hadn't rung. So, basically, they pulled a slide-into-the-room-like-losers.
"I am not friends with you," Suzuki said as Marui sat in front of her and Niou beside her.
"Our weird antics are the highlight of your day, Akira, and you know it," Marui said, going through his bag for his book. He set his book on his desk, opening to the back cover. "Did you study?" he asked, curious as he stared at a picture of the periodic table.
Suzuki furrowed her brow. "Study? Why the hell would I do that?"
"That huge unit test?" Marui suggested. "The one on thermodynamics?"
"Crap." Suzuki hit her head against her desk. (Twice.)
"I'm starving," Suzuki groaned as the lunch bell rang. "I failed a test, and now I'm going to die of hunger before my mom can kill me. Awesome."
"If you're hungry, then eat," Marui said, turning his desk around to face Niou and her.
"Eat what?" Suzuki asked. "The crap I tossed together this morning? Yes, nasty sushi and half-cooked rice. Yum."
"Oh, come on," Marui said, waving his chop sticks towards the bento she had put on her desk, "it can't be that bad."
"Yeah, right," Niou snickered, "and I'm an incredible ballerina."
"Would you rather starve to death?" Marui asked.
"Are you kidding me? Of course I wou – AHH!" Suzuki jumped out of her seat violently, gaining the attention of their entire class.
"What?" Marui and Niou asked, jumping up as well.
"Spider!" Suzuki yelled, pointing down at the ground next to her chair.
"Spider? You gave me a heart attack because you saw a spider?" Niou asked, looking for the so-called spider she had seen as he sat down.
"I hate spiders," Suzuki said defensively as she cautiously sat back down.
"She does," Marui said, also sitting back down. "It's the only girly thing about her."
"Shut up, Bunta."
"Why? What with the ability to beat a tank to a bloody pulp, it's good to know that you are indeed the proud owner of your very own vagina," Marui said, smiling, obviously teasing.
"So you can just buy a vagina? I don't think it works like that," she said.
"You need proof of purchase, obviously. You get them at an auction, just like dried up penises and unicorn horns."
"One vagina, going once, going twice – two hundred thousand yen! Do I hear three hundred thousand?" Suzuki said, using her chopsticks as a microphone. "No? Two hundred thousand for one vagina – going once, going twice – sold!"
Marui laughed. Suzuki choked on air. Niou just stared, disturbed beyond words.
The three sprinted out of the school when the last bell rang. They changed into their street shoes, knocked people with their bags, and might have pushed someone, but they didn't care. That was just who they were.
"I win!" Marui yelled, doing a dorky victory dance at the school gate.
Seconds later, Suzuki was running up to Marui with Niou. "I'd rather lose and look sane than win and look like an idiot."
Huffing, Niou rolled his eyes. "You're both idiots; let's just leave it at that."
"I'll see you guys later," Niou said, stuffing his hands into his pockets.
"Wait. Don't you guys have practice?" Suzuki asked, looking between the two. Marui pulled a tennis ball out of his pocket, Niou doing the same. "Glad to know you two got your balls back."
Marui pulled at her hair gently. "We get to ditch. What about you?"
Suzuki rubbed her head, glaring at Marui. "Tennis is in the weight room, Ito and the douche bags are using the fields, and soccer is in the gym."
Softball never got priority. The team wasn't a national level team, so they were overruled when it came to signing up to use the athletic areas of the school. Suzuki had had countless arguments with the other captains and the principal, claiming that the reason they aren't national level is because they aren't given the chance to practice – she was always ignored.
"Yeah, whatever, see ya guys later," Niou said, walking a different direction from the other students leaving the school, hands in his pockets.
Niou was different from the other Rikkaidai kids. He wasn't a druggie, trailer trash kid like everyone thought. No. He was the opposite. He lived in the upper part of the town in some gated community in some big house. He didn't tell people, because he knew people would look at him differently if they knew his dad was the CEO of that huge software company. He didn't care what they said about him, and he didn't care that his friends didn't have the money he had.
"Wanna go get a smoothie?" Marui asked.
Suzuki shrugged. "Why not?"
The two began to walk, making small talk and jokes.
In the end, it was just another day.
A/N: This was more of an introduction chapter than anything. Opinions?