Disclaimer: I don't own the DBZ characters, they belong to a rich Japanese man.
Rating: PG 13.
Warnings: Some language, fluff, abuse of ball boys?
Notes: With the recent Wimbledon Tennis Finals I wondered just how a game of tennis would go between Vegeta and Goku...
"Anyone for Tennis? "
Written July 2002 Debs-dragon.
The sun shone down brightly on the emerald green, grass courts of the Wombledom Tennis centre. The outer courts were deserted as all the action was set to take place on the centre court. The stands were packed with cheering fans and the crisp, white lines and pale green net that graced the middle were a stark contrast to the grass below.
The crowd stilled for a moment as the ball boys made their way out onto the court. They were followed by the umpire who was clad in a blue / purple outfit complete with white cape and turban to keep the sun off his green, bald head.
"What's with all the green?" someone shouted from the stands.
"At this rate we won't be able to separate the umpire from the grass!" snickered another spectator.
The only sign the umpire showed at having heard the words of mockery directed at him was a slight twitching of an antennae. He proceeded to the tall ladder that would lead him to his perch above the court and turned to the person waiting there. He graciously took the offered clip board and pen before scaling the ladder to place his rear in the hard metal seat.
The ball boys took up position, two at the net and four down each end.
A hush descended over the mob as the two players finally made their way out onto the court, each carrying a rather oversized duffle type bag from which handles emerged. They walked around the edge of the court to the seats on either side of the umpire's lofty position.
The silence lay thick upon the court as the two players proceeded to unzip their bags and remove various items from within. Soon a towel, racquets, water bottles and a teddy bear graced the seats.
"A teddy bear?"
"Yep... It happens to be my good luck charm."
A grunt was the reply.
The player clad in white spandex shorts and white spandex tee shirt selected a racquet from the collection in the bag. Running his fingers across the strings, he finally seemed happy with the tension he found there. It wasn't as much as he would have liked, but it would have to do; compared to the tension in the air it wasn't too bad.
Giving a few swipes in the air he made his way down to the base line and nodded to one of the ball boys.
The ball boy reached into his pocket and pulled out a tube, twisting the top off it he reached inside and removed three new balls. Chucking the tin behind him he threw the three balls at the white, spandex encased figure.
One ball hit him in the head, the other connected with his ribs and the third went into the never never land... Recovering from the attack he glared at the ball boy in question who promptly 'eeped' and did his best to run for cover.
A silent flash and the number of ball boys decreased to nine...
The second player meanwhile, had also selected a racquet and was making his way to the opposite end of the court. Clad also in white, the player's outfit consisted of long pants, gathered and tied at the waist and a sleeveless top. Bouncing up and down on the spot for a few moments, the fabric moved loosely around the muscled body. Nodding to a ball boy he waited.
Noting their numbers had depleted by one, the boy carefully removed a ball from the tin and tossed it to the player.
The player acted on instinct and reflexes alone as he swung the racquet to connect with the lob of the ball and sent it spiraling back at the unsuspecting ball boy.
The boy attempted to duck out of the way of the incoming missile, but unfortunately wasn't quick enough. The ball hit him square in the chest and his eyes opened in amazement as he was suddenly moving rather rapidly through the air to take up residence at around the seventh row.
And then there were eight...
Grinning sheepishly, the player waved in apology and proceeded to eye off another ball boy. He found himself watching as several balls were gently rolled down the turf towards him as ball boys scattered in all directions. Shrugging his shoulders he picked up a couple of the balls and proceeded to bounce them around on his racquet.
The opposing player turned and glared at the ball boys who immediately jumped and repeated the actions of their colleagues and rolled several balls down the turf and then took refuge in the entrance tunnel.
Picking up some, the figure slid two into the pocket of his spandex shorts, giving the impression that he had suddenly gained a couple of growths that required immediate surgery. Then, not to be outdone by his opponent, he also began to bounce not one, but two balls on his racquet.
Eyeing each other from opposite ends, one began to bounce his ball higher, the other followed suit, the balls going higher and higher... With a smirk the spandex player bounced his ball hard...
It disappeared like a rocket.
He shaded his eyes as he scanned the heavens for the escaping ball.
A spectator in the grandstand a few seconds later found himself with a duck falling into his lap. Surprised he picked up the bird to find the missing ball firmly embedded in its gut.
Unable to locate his missing ball the spandex player dipped into his pocket to retrieve another, at that moment the umpire decided that enough time had been spent on the warm up and it was time to get the match underway.
He blew his whistle and called the players in.
The microphone gave a screech and the spectators all clasped their hands over their ears in protest. Grinning, the umpire twiddled a couple of knobs on the amplifier and tried again.
"Welcome to the mens' singles final of the Wombledom Tennis Championships. Today's final should be a show of skill, dexterity and sportsmanship. In other words, knowing these two it will be a bloody good all out battle to give us a champion. I will now introduce you to our finalists. On my right, representing the county of Capsule corp, I give you, Vegeta..."
The spandex ensconced figure moved forward and presented the crowd with an evil glare.
There was the sound of a sole pair of hands clapping from somewhere in the stands.
"On my left, representing the county of honesty, truth, justice and the American way I give you, Goku..."
An unruly mop of hair bounced vigorously as its owner nodded to the crowd.
Again there was the sound of a sole pair of hands clapping from within the bowels of the stands.
"Okay," said Piccolo, aka the umpire. "I want a good clean match. No below the belt hits, no eye gouging, no ear tweaking."
"Errr excuse me, mister umpire."
"Well, I don't know if it's come to your attention or not, but we are playing a game of tennis here, not boxing."
"He he, he, silly me, so we are. Umm well in that case hit them balls lads and may the best Saiya-jin win, now shake hands."
"I'm not shaking hands with that!"
"Aww, come on Vegeta, it's good sportsmanship to shake hands before you start," said Goku.
"Sportsmanship be dammed! I'm not shaking hands with you, Kakarott and that is final." Vegeta scowled and moved back to his bag where he reached for a towel and wiped his hands and racquet handle on it.
"Suit yourself then." Goku also went to his own bag and pulled out a pink towel with teddy bears on it and proceeded to mimic Vegeta's actions.
Seeing the towel Vegeta rolled his eyes in exasperation. If Kakarott was trying to out psyche him by using such juvenile tactics he was dammed sure it wasn't going to work! Turning his back he proceeded to his end of the court only to be called back by the umpire.
"What now?" he demanded.
"We forgot to toss the coin."
Vegeta folded his arms, "Well come on then toss the thing already."
Piccolo threw the coin into the air.
"Heads," called Goku.
"Tails then," spat Vegeta.
10 mins later...
"How far did you toss that thing, umpire?"
Goku sat sipping a cup of tea, Vegeta toyed with the strings on his racquet and the umpire was on the mobile phone...
"So its a date then?... okay pick you up around 7..."
A piercing whistle broke the silence as the coin followed the forces of gravity and hurtled towards the earth.
"Shit! gotta run," said Piccolo as he disconnected the call to see the coin embed itself three feet into the turf.
Peering down the hole Goku blinked. "Hand me a torch someone please?"
A torch was passed into his waiting fingers and he shone the beam into the hole. "It's tails," he muttered then straightened up to move away.
Vegeta snickered, "I get first serve," and he spun on his heel, headed back towards the base line and tripped in the hole that the coin had left.
Muttering a few choice words under his breath he picked himself up and continued to the base line. Scanning around for a ball boy he was surprised to see two balls come spiraling out of the entrance tunnel. Shrugging his shoulders he retrieved the balls and sliding one in his pocket proceeded to bounce the other off the turf.
Goku made his way down to his end of the court and after a few deft strokes of the racquet through the air, he positioned himself ready and nodded to Vegeta.
Giving the ball a couple more bounces Vegeta tossed it into the air and swinging the racquet through, connected to send the ball winging down the court.
It bounced and Goku immediately pounced with a low sweeping forehand to send it back the other way.
Running in to intercept Vegeta retaliated with a backhand that put the ball just behind a backward running Goku.
"Fifteen - Love." called the umpire.
Vegeta spun around and glared at the umpire. "I am not fifteen and I most certainly am not your love either !" he spat.
"It's the score, Vegeta," replied the umpire.
"If you think you're gonna score with me then you have another thing coming!" Vegeta snapped turning a tad red.
"No.. I mean fifteen - love is the score, you have fifteen points and Goku has love."
"I have love? where?" asked Goku looking around.
The umpire smacked his head on the clip board. "It's how tennis is scored, you moron. Love equals zero.. nothing... zip... zilch... nought... understand?"
Goku scratched his head, "You mean I have been in love all these years and it means nothing?"
Piccolo groaned, "I give up."
"Hey you can't give up ... you're the ump," stated Goku.
Choosing to ignore the idiot at the end of the court the umpire signaled for the match to continue.
Vegeta again bounced the ball ready to send it down the court.
Goku stood waiting at the other end twirling his racquet in his hand, bouncing gently from one foot to the other in anticipation. He twirled the racquet again... too fast... The racquet took off like a helicopter. A helpful ball boy jumped up after it and found himself with a birds eye view of the stadium.
And then there were seven...
Goku watched in fascination as the racquet and boy disappeared from view.
Vegeta stood impatiently at the other end while Goku raided his bag once more and produced another racquet.
Set once more, Vegeta tossed the ball high and sent it whizzing down the court.
Goku returned it with a swift flick of his wrist.
Racing in, Vegeta lobbed it back.
Goku retaliated with a smashing backhand that sent the ball bouncing just out of Vegeta's reach, but unfortunately at the perfect height to pass straight through another ball boy's abdomen.
The medics rushed in, picked up the boy and placed him on a stretcher then jogged out to the waiting ambulance.
And then there were six...
"Fifteen all," came the response.
The afternoon wore on with grunts and oohs and ahhs along with the umpire's monotone being the only sounds to be emitted.
The first game went to Vegeta, as did the second and fourth. Goku took out the third and fifth.
Taking a swig from his water bottle, Goku let some of the liquid trail over his face. Shaking his head vigorously he sent drops spraying everywhere.
Vegeta growled as he was assaulted by the water. "Kakarott! do you mind?"
"Nope... do you?" came the smart reply.
Okay if Kakarott wanted to play dirty then Vegeta would also. Wiping his face on his towel he headed back out to the court.
The ball boys scattered.
Goku lofted the ball high and sent it winging towards Vegeta.
Vegeta dived forward and sent it back.
Goku raced to the centre and lobbed it high towards the base line.
Vegeta ran back and leaping high into the air smashed it volley ball style back to Goku.
Goku ran in but the ball hit the turf and kept going, digging a tunnel as it did so. It passed between Goku's legs and continued on, picking up a ball boy as it proceeded to tunnel out of the stadium.
And then there were five...
"Fault!" called the umpire.
"That wasn't my fault," yelled Vegeta.
"Well it certainly wasn't mine," called Goku.
The umpire tugged wearily at his antennae. Declining to explain to the pair on the grounds that it may send him to further insanity, he opted to continue with the match. "Service, Goku," he called.
"Service him! Not on your nelly!" screamed Vegeta.
"Hey I don't need a service... I not long had my grease and oil change," quipped Goku.
"Shame they didn't do a filter change and tune up while they were at it," muttered Vegeta.
Picking up another ball, Goku prepared to send it in Vegeta's direction. Once more the ball went barreling down the court.
"Ace!" called the umpire.
"Fish!" came the reply. "Got a king?"
Tossing the cards back to the ball boy, Goku threw them a touch too hard, the queen of diamonds connected with a forehead knocking its owner out cold.
And then there were four...
Vegeta took up the serve. Lobbing the ball down the court Goku ran in and sent it back, Vegeta retaliated, pounding the ball hard.
"No it wasn't!"
"Yes it was."
"It was in I tell you!" Vegeta stood with his hands on his hips glaring at the umpire.
"I think I know out when I see it."
"Then you need your eyes checking, it was in!"
"It was out, dammit!"
"In!" and to emphasise his point Vegeta threw his racquet down in frustration.
The racquet hit the turf and bounced, ricocheting off across the court and yes... took one of the ball boys with it.
And then there were three...
"It was out and it stays out, now any more out of you and you will be out! " said the umpire.
Scowling, Vegeta fetched another racquet from his bag. Returning to the court he glanced at the umpire and poking out his tongue he whispered, "It was in."
The umpire slowly turned his head to stare at Vegeta who was now whistling nonchalantly. "Out!" he hissed.
Taking position once again the match continued.
The ball went flying back and forth, back hands followed forehands, legs followed bodies, arms swung back and forth as the ball went from one end to another.
Goku shot in and sent the ball sailing back to Vegeta. Vegeta jumped and swung the racquet with all his might.
The ball disappeared.
Looking around in confusion Goku failed to spot the ball anywhere.
Vegeta stared at his racquet, a nice neat hole now graced the centre where the ball had passed through. He turned and looked behind him.
The ball boy had tried in vain to catch the wayward ball and was now on his way to the moon.
And then there were two...
"Deuce!" called the umpire.
"Juice?... Yes please, what flavour?" asked Goku.
"Not juice... deuce!"
"Yeah that's what I heard you say; so, got any orange?"
Picking up the microphone the umpire yelled... "Deuce you idiot! It means you are both even."
"Groan... next year I am taking a vacation... somewhere at the other end of the universe."
Goku picked up a ball and prepared to send it down the court. Raising his arm high he followed through with a downward swing and the ball gracefully arced through the air.
Vegeta sent it back and Goku intercepted with a low, sweeping stroke.
Vegeta placed two hands on the handle of his racquet and pounded the ball back.
The ball however connected with the top of the net. The net stretched towards Goku with the ball's momentum and just as it was about to touch him, he watched in awe as it suddenly shot back. Just like a catapult the net fired the ball back at Vegeta who ducked just in time.
The ball boy didn't.
And then there was one...
The clouds began to gather ominously overhead as the two finalists continued their epic struggle on the court.
Glancing skywards the umpire hoped the rain would hang off long enough for the match to finish. If it didn't then they were finished! Time had run out and the match needed to be decided today.
The first drops began to spill down. Goku looked at the heavens ... Just then a bright light streaked across the darkened sky followed by a loud crash of thunder.
Realising that all hope of finishing the match was now gone, the umpire picked up the microphone and began his quick speech.
"Ladies and gentlemen, due to the current storm all match play is abandoned and I declare the game a tie. Drinks and refreshments are now being served in the Members pavilion so see you all later... bye," and the umpire slid down the narrow steps and was last seen high tailing it down the entrance tunnel.
Goku stared at Vegeta who stared back. "I guess we had better pack up then."
"Yeah, good match though," replied Vegeta.
The pair strolled over to their bags and re packed their respective racquets, towels, water bottles and teddy bear before making their way to the Members pavilion.
Meanwhile, the ground crew had grabbed the tarpaulins and pulled them across the centre court to protect it from the storm's battering.
In the pavilion the umpire relaxed with his black Russian, sipping the drink. Goku and Vegeta continued to play, only this time it was on the arcade game of 'pong'.
Sliding his bat up the side to deflect the little square ball, Goku suddenly remembered something. "Hey Vegeta... where did the last ball boy go?"
"Why ask me, Kakarott? I'd say he went home," came the surly reply as he concentrated on the green screen.
Down on the now quiet court, no one was around to hear the muffled and rapidly fading cries for help. The last of the ball boys had innocently taken refuge in the rolled up tarpaulin...
And then there were none...
~ Fin ~