Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis so don't sue! I'm poor! Not really, but you get the point.
A/N: I apologize for the lateness. Apparently I suck at updating. Hopefully this chapter will make up for it.
Thank you Marvarta, Rainbowlalaland, and Chillybean for your reviews. Thanks for those who have either story alerted or story favorited!
It seemed almost sadly ironic that Yukari had never noticed that the soccer fields were right beside the tennis courts. Of course there was distance between them, but technically they were beside each other. Surrounded by high fences, there were eight tennis courts, each labeled with a letter from A to H. Surrounding the tennis courts were vast branches of dirt pathways were the tennis team ran laps. Let's just say that they were not the average six laps made a mile sort.
Not too far from the farthest tennis court sat the soccer field, which was now glistening with early evening dew.
Early April weather was quite invigorating. She loved the caresses of the breeze as she ran after her beloved ball. She loved the feel of her cleats on freshly mowed grass. And most of all, she loved the sound of her teammates enjoying soccer, the sport that they all loved.
Her current team was one of the best Rikkaidai had ever seen. Unlike tennis, where anyone could join and those good enough could be regulars, soccer was more of a team than a club. Every year they had try-outs and only the best of the best made it. Try-outs weren't the end of it though. Training was tough business. She made sure of it. But it was all worth it in the end.
They were undoubtedly the best soccer team in the nation, winning two consecutive national championships since the Captain, Yukari, and Vice-captain, Emi, entered the picture. After all they wouldn't want to lose face to the legendary tennis team.
"Not to be egotistical," Yukari mused, "but I am rather good at soccer."
Playing honorable games, they were still swift and merciless with their victories. Incredible teamwork and trust among the members were widely displayed and their superiority was uncontested. Consisting of eleven players, there were six third years, four second years, and one first year. None were to be doubted in their playing skill. The third years consisted of Morita Yuka, Sasakawa Chiyo, Ishimaru Mae, Hikari Sachiko, Tsukiyama Emiko, and Hayashi Yukari. The second years were Akita Hitomi, Yagyuu Kanede, Inui Ayane, and Makino Risa, and the lone first year was Noriko Sumi.
She was blessed to have them.
Soccer practice had just ended and the girls were eager to head home for dinner. The sun cast deep orange streaks across the darkening sky. Quickly showering and changing, the girls all made their way out of the locker rooms. Stepping out into the cool air, screams and squeals could be heard in the distance.
"Geez. Those fangirls never get tired, do they?" Emi commented haphazardly, lugging her soccer bag up onto her shoulder. "Maybe we should see what all the fuss is about."
"Some of them need to be taught how to keep their mouths shut," growled Ishimaru Mae.
"Hn." Akita Hitomi, who was always the peacemaker, nodded in agreement.
"I'm starving," whined Makino Risa. "Anyone coming with me to the burger joint?"
A few hands rose, and Yukari was about to go too. One technicality though.
Behind her, Kanede ran up and glomped her affectionately before saying, "Come with me! We should go see Oni-sama!"
"Captain needs a love life," Morita Yuka smiled slyly. "If anyone can keep up with her, it has to be one of them."
The triumphant smirk on Emi's face was unmistakable.
Yukari unconsciously gulped. She knew she wouldn't get out of this one. She could never deny any of Kanede's requests, even more so now since they had something to do with her brother.
Smiling smugly, Emi and Kanede began tugging Yukari towards the tennis courts. The boy's tennis practice always ended later than any of the other sports practices. A few guesses as to why…They had that Child of Devil-er..God as their captain.
By this point, it was worthless to argue. It was either walk or be dragged so she decided to cut her losses. After waving goodbye to the rest of her teammates, she picked up her bag, and unwillingly began to walk.
Walking beside Kanade and Emi, she noticed for the first time in a long time the many differences between the tennis courts and the soccer field. The concrete and the fences were also once as familiar and dear to her as the grass and the nets. She also noticed the vast amount of girls that surrounded the fences of each court. And, the closer they were, the more deafening the screams and squeals got. Girls were everywhere surrounding the courts and were yelling things that really should not be said out loud.
"LET'S MAKE BABIES!"
Emi and Yukari stood speechless.
"What was this world coming to?" they both mouthed, aghast.
Emi was the first to break the deafening silence. "Should I be glad we're at least out of hearing range at the soccer fields?"
"Pity me." Kanade said sourly. "I have to wait for Oni-sama every day. You see what I have to deal with?"
Yukari laughed. "Don't want to damage you're ear drums there. You should invest in some quality earplugs."
"KANADE-CHAN! Over here!"
All three looked up to see the school's beloved sugar addict sitting on a bench with a cake in hand. He was already happily munching on some red velvet cupcakes that he had stashed away.
He looked up with curious purple eyes that soon turned to recognition. "It's you!" He exclaimed pointing a frosting covered finger at Yukari.
Shocked by his outburst, Yukari narrowed her eyes. "Do I know you?"
"Yeah Bun-chan, how do you know her?" Kanade questioned, "You've never met her before…"
Ignoring them both, Marui Bunta shoved the remaining crumbs of his cake in his mouth and raced to the courts.
Running down the row of tennis courts, he yelled, "HEY GUYS! IT'S KANADE-CHAN! SHE BROUGHT FRIENDS!~"
"Oh for kami's sake, what the hell is he doing?" Kanade huffed.
If Yagyuu Hiroshi had anything to say about the Rikkaidai Regulars, it would be that there was never a dull moment. Although afternoon practice was technically over, all the regulars were still present.
Niou was currently carrying out his next series of pranks on Marui, who unsuspectingly picked up a cupcake that had an ungodly amount of wasabi in it. Jackal attempted to warn Marui, but was a bit too late. The bite was taken and the sting was just waiting to crash down like a tidal wave. Sanada was busy scolding some team members who misbehaved with his "tarundoro" which was soon to follow with some form of punishment. It would most probably a large amount of laps for morning practice. Yanagi was deep in thought, taking in the information around him, no doubt gathering information that was both relevant and irrelevant to the game of tennis. Kirihara, as always, was still practicing hard, building up for the day he would finally beat the Rikkaidai's Three Demons. Might happen, but Kirihara still had a long way to go.
And Yukimura. He was in a league of his own, smiling so sweetly at all the chaos before him.
Other than the large amount of chaos caused by the tennis team themselves, the fangirls were bordering unbearable today. The Rikkaidai Regulars seemed way too popular for their own good. The girls were probably just waiting to assault them. All the screaming, all the squealing, and all of the inappropriate comments were just…there really was no word for it. He really hoped that the fangirls would get bored once they got the hint that none of the regulars were paying attention.
Well all except one. Leave it to Niou to fan the fire.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he tried to ease the headache that was gradually intensifying. He sat down on a bench in hope that it would somehow ease the ringing in his ears or the incessant ache of his head. He really should learn from Sanada and just bring some aspirin. Or some ear plugs.
Despite all the noise that usually came after practice ended, this was also the time used to think.
Yukari. She had been the object of his thoughts for quite some time now. He knew his own personality and knew that even though his feelings were clear to himself, they were not clear to her. They both had so much they needed to learn about each other and they were both so new at relationships. Regardless, he knew he had to do something. One step at a time. He would get there. They would get there.
Feeling a pat on his back, he was shaken out of his thoughts. Looking up, he saw Yukimura with that secret smile of his.
"Lovely day isn't it? Especially with the girls," Yukimura commented, gesturing towards the group of girls that were coming down the pathway.
Turning his head, he squinted in the distance. "We really should do something about the fangirls. They're disrupting our practice."
Smiling mysteriously, Yukimura replied, "It depends on who it is," before walking over to Sanada to help the disciplinary action.
Squinting in the distance, he was surprised to see his sister, Tsukiyama-san and…Yukari. He felt something pang inside of his as he realized who it was. Making his way out of one of the courts, he caught sight of Marui, who had indeed survived his wasabi cupcake. Leading the girls towards the courts, Marui caught the attention of the regulars and several of the fangirls by yelling, "HEY GUYS! IT'S KANADE-CHAN! SHE BROUGHT FRIENDS!~"
"Why the hell is he so hyper?" Emi asked incredulously as she watched Marui sprint back to the courts with one handed cartwheels in between.
Yukari couldn't help but laugh.
Kanade gave them a look and shrugged. "You obviously haven't been around him much. This is him in normal mode."
Laughing again, all three girls made their way up the dirt pathway towards the courts. The majority of the tennis team had already left. The only ones left were the regulars, who were still up to their usual amount of mischief. It was almost hilarious how the moment Marui yelled out that Kanade was coming, friends included, all the regular's heads jerked up. That was of course, sans Yukimura and Sanada. They were just…them. Always sickly sweet and deadly serious.
Kanade perked up at the sight of her brother and her smile widened. "Oni-sama!" she laughed as she ran into his waiting arms.
Yukari and Emi smiled at the sibling affection. Yagyuu and Kanade were obviously close.
Pulling away from each other, Kanade flashed everyone a bright smile, before saying, "Gather up everyone. I have people to introduce!"
Curious stares were directed towards Yukari and Emi as the regulars gathered around Kanade. These stares did not bother Yukari as much as the piercing gaze that Yagyuu directed at her. His grey orbs locked with her green ones and she could not break away. She could feel her body heat up as a blush threatened to erupt over her cheeks.
Not oblivious to the exchange between her brother and her captain, Kanade smiled and cleared her throat. Breaking the moment, Yukari quickly shifted her gaze to the ground. She quickly berated herself for her uncharacteristic nervousness.
Clearing her throat again, Kanade began the introductions. "These are my friends Tsukiyama Emiko and Hayashi Yukari," she said gesturing to us. Turning towards the Regulars, she pointed to a boy with curly back hair. "You're first. Introduce yourself."
Curving his eyebrow, the boy whined, "Kanade-chan! Why can't you do it for me?"
"Hurry up!" Kanade huffed.
"Alright…My name is Kirihara Akaya."
Next was a boy with light brown hair and closed eyes. He was holding his notebook still writing away. "Yanagi Renji," he murmured.
A large Brazilian boy with rich brown skin said, "Jackal Kuwahara."
The tall boy with the black baseball cap grunted, "Sanada Genichirou."
Yukari of course knew Yukimura but he introduced himself to them all the same. "Yukimura Seiichi," he said in his light, musical voice.
The pink haired boy that they first encountered was still bouncing up and down. "Marui Bunta!" He smiled.
Kanade stepped in just as Yukari glimpse a bit of silver. "Of course, Emi and Yukari know my brother, Yagyuu Hiroshi." She directed a smile in Yukari's direction.
Huffing behind Kanade, a deep voice grumbled, "Way to kill my entrance, Kanade-chan. And I wanted to make a good impression on the ladies." Pushing past Kanade, the silver haired came into view.
"It's you!" Yukari suddenly exclaimed. "You were the one with the awful pick up lines!"
The silver head of hair whipped to face her. When his eyes met hers, his lips drew up into a smirk. "Aw sweetheart, you wound me."
Her eyebrow twitched at the pet name. "You did not just call me that."
The smirk spread wider. "I believe I just did, sweetheart."
Letting out a growl she turned away, only to face Yagyuu.
She was surprised to see that his grey eyes were soft dove grey. His lips quirked like he was trying to fighting a smile.
Without knowing what she was doing, she stepped to his side. His eyebrow arched at her actions, but she could see its eyes soften. Fingering her necklace through her shirt, she felt his hand tentatively touch the small of her back. Smiling, she could feel it. This was the beginning of something.
She smiled even wider, when he whispered, "Sit with me at lunch tomorrow."
A/N: Aaand, yeah. They're coming along. Still have a while to go. Hope you continue to stick with them, and me!
Please leave me a review! :)