Chapter 6

The Enoshima students spent the rest of their day at the amusement park. At some point, they ran into Mako and Araki…literally. Kakeru fell on his ass and Araki dropped his ice cream.

"Hey! Watch where you-oh, Kakeru, it's you." Araki broke off as he noticed the grimacing striker on the ground. "You should look where you're going." He said. His ice cream was slowly melting into the asphalt and he stared at it forlornly. "I finally convinced Mako to let me have some, too."

Kakeru bounded to his feet and apologized profusely to the midfielder. "I'm so sorry, Araki. I didn't even see you there. I'll more careful." This apology was lost on the senpai as he was too busy mourning his lost ice cream.

At that moment, Mako walked up to them with his arms full of stuffed animals. "Oh, Kakeru, where are the rest of the team?" He could barely see over the big giraffe's ear that was in front of his face. Kakeru pointed to a game stand farther down where everyone was playing a basketball shooting game.

Rin stood with her feet spread apart and she stared down the hoop with a burning intensity. Oda, Nana and Takase were lined up next to her in front of their own hoops with their own basketballs. They were all determined to win as the winner would get a $100 gift card to Sport's Authority. Rin had wanted a new pair of cleats and shin guards for a while and she was determined to get them. She let out a breath and then shot the ball up towards the rim. It rebounded off the backboard and hit the outer edge of the rim and bounced away.

She withheld an angry curse and grabbed her second ball. She could afford no more misses. She bounced the large ball on the ground a few times, still staring at the hoop.

A sudden idea lit itself in her mind and she turned to the manager. "Does it matter how we get it into the hoop?"

The young man looked at her quizzically. "You can't run up and dunk it, if that's what you're asking."

"Oh no, I'm going to make it from back here, but I wanted to know if it mattered how her get it in."

The young man shook his head. "No, not really; just don't cross the line."

Rin smiled and she thanked him. Nana, Oda and Takase were looking at her in confusion. She took a step back and lightly bounced the basketball off the ground. She kept her eyes on it as she kicked it with the top of her foot. It arced in a perfect path and dropped through the net, without so much as touching the rim. She threw her hands up in celebration. "Score!"

The young man whistled in awe. He had never seen someone do that before. He's seen them side-arm, chest shoot, over the head throw and a bunch of other unconventional ways to make the shot, but he had never seen someone kick it and make it.

Rin grabbed the last basketball and quickly kicked that one home as well. Nana was the only one to try it after her because their male opponents were too busy with their jaws on the ground.

Rin jumped up and down in joy when her last shot swished through the net and she turned to the operator and beamed at him. He was frozen for a few seconds and then slowly, he presented the coveted gift card. Rin quickly snatched it out of his hands and spun around in a pirouette.

"I've never seen so that. You're pretty good." The young man said, recovering from his shock.

Rin beamed at him. "Thank you! Have a good day!" She ran away to show her prize to Mako, Araki and Kakeru. She shoved the small card an inch from Araki's face in triumph.

He stumbled back a step and caught her hand to move it back so he could see what it was she was shoving into his nose. His eyebrows shot up when he saw the amount the gift card held. "Impressive. I'll buy it off you," he offered.

Rin was already shaking her head before he even finished. "No one is getting their paws on this baby. I'm planning to blow it in one go! Ain't no one gonna stop me!" She added the last part in English as she bounced away, clutching the card to her chest.

When the sun was beginning to turn a soft orange and the park began to empty out and slow down, Rin walked out of the park with Kakeru and Nana, having said their goodbyes to the rest of the team at the gate.

Rin lightly skipped along, one hand in her pocket, holding the gift card and the other arm occupied by a large leopard stuffed animal Oda had given her. He made an excuse that he wasn't into stuffed animals and practically shoved it into her arms. She had accepted it gracefully (with a small amount of teasing) and now she had her arm wrapped around its middle under its front legs.

"That was fun!" Kakeru said as he stifled a yawn. Nana agreed with him.

"You sound tired, Kakeru," Rin noted.

"Yeah, I haven't been to an amusement park in a long time!" Kakeru yawned again, but quickly covered it up in embarrassment. Rin smirked and Nana giggled.

"So, I will be leaving you guys here. Have a nice night," Rin said as she quickly skipped away, leaving Nana and Kakeru alone and looking awkwardly at each other.

Rin smiled to herself as she took a different route home; proud of herself that she had left the two alone. She reached her apartment and unlocked the door. Inside, she kicked off her shoes and carried her leopard into her bedroom and flopped onto her bed with it snuggled in her arms. She smiled unconsciously as she drifted off into sleep.

The afternoon sun beamed through the windows of the second years' classroom on the second floor. The teacher had pulled down the blinds in the front of the room, but left the ones in the back up. Rin squinted as a beam of light fell right across her desk. The warmth of the sun as well as the constant droning of the teacher's lecture made for the perfect nap environment and she had to fight to keep the sleepiness at bay.

Oda reached over when he noticed her nodding off and jabbed a pencil eraser into her side. She jumped up, startled and shot a glare in his direction which he returned without so much as a flinch. She rolled her eyes and focused her attention back on the teacher; or at least she tried to. Within seconds, she felt her eye lids growing heavy and she drifted off again into dreamland; her head precariously balanced on her hand.

Oda sighed as he saw her doze off again and decided to leave her for the teacher. He looked forward and continued to jot notes down. Rin would be asking to borrow his notes later. He wasn't sure of he should continue to spoil her or reject her. If it had been anyone else, he would have left them to fail a long while ago.

He absent-mindedly tapped his pencil against his notebook, his own thoughts beginning to wander.

Across the room, Mako glanced at the pair in the back from his position of three rows up and sighed when he saw Rin was already asleep. How she never got caught was a mystery. He switched his gaze to Oda and an eyebrow rose slightly. The serious second year was staring into space; something that never happened unless it was before a big game. He wondered what the midfielder had on his mind that would make him daydream.

His musings were interrupted by a piece of chalk flying at the back of his head. "Ow!" He turned around slowly and grimaced at the furious face his teacher was giving him. He was going to get it this time.

"Detention, Hyoudou Makoto! Don't let me catch you looking anywhere else but your own paper!"

Mako sighed and nodded. As the teacher huffed and turned away, he shot an envious look back at the two flower heads in the back that still weren't paying attention. "No fair," he muttered.

I'm running out of ideas :'(