This is the last or the second to last chapter. If I feel like writing a second one, that will be the last. I'm doing good for school starting in two days :)
The U-17 USA Women's National Team defeated Portugal by 5-2. They came out first in their group, over Portugal, Dominican Republic and Canada. They went on to the quarterfinals where they played China and won. In the semifinals, they beat their opponent Japan 4-3 in overtime. Their finals opponent was Germany where they held a 0-0 tie all the way until he last ten seconds of overtime where Germany pulled ahead. Japan won bronze in the third place match against France.
The defeat was disappointing, but all the players were satisfied that they had had a chance to play soccer against strong teams. When the silver medals were put around their necks, the team was nothing but smiles. They didn't care that they had not gotten gold; the only thing important to them was that they had fun playing.
That night, Rin was lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling, unable to sleep. The game ran through her head on replay and she tried to see where she had lacked in scoring. The defense had kept disrupting her rhythm and blocking her and Liz's shots on goal. The two centerbacks were particularly annoying. The two girls had been incredibly organized and kept their defense in line perfectly. The USA team had trouble breaking through their back line the entire game.
The German team and the USA team had been matched in terms of strength, attacking and defending. USA beat them in speed thanks to Rin, Tsubaki and Sal, but even their fast breakaways had been quickly shut down by the German defense.
The whole team had been frustrated, but at the same time, they were smiling as they were pushed to their limit in terms of fitness and creativity during the game.
Rin sighed and rolled onto her side. She had seen her Japanese friends after the game and they congratulated her on their silver medal. Leonardo had also sent her a text after the game.
Her parents had called as soon as she got back to the locker room. They had watched the live stream and wanted to tell their daughter how amazing she was and how proud they were of her. Her mom also kept asking how Leonardo was doing.
Rin turned over again, still wide awake. She sighed deeply and then got up and turned on her laptop. She expected herself to be passed out by now, considering the stress she had put her body under the last two weeks. When it was loaded, she opened her Internet browser and started watching some anime to try and take her mind off the game. Three hours later, she was falling asleep and closed the top of her laptop before closing her eyes and falling into a dreamless sleep.
She slept through most the next day and woke up around 4 in the afternoon. She received a call from Liz asking if she was up for a day of fun at a local park.
She dragged herself out bed and got dressed. She reached the park half an hour later. She saw her four friends with Leonardo, Ricky, Nana and Kakeru, and they were all juggling a ball between them.
She walked slowly over to them. Nana looked over to her friend and stared in shock. She didn't even notice the ball that was headed her way and it hit her side. "Rin, what happened to you?" She had never seen her friend like this before.
Rin was dressed in baggy, black sweat pants and a big black sweatshirt. Her hair was sloppily thrown into a ponytail and her face looked as if she was still sleeping. She looked up when Nana called her name. She blinked a few times and then opened her mouth in a massive yawn and junked something unintelligible.
Liz laughed and scooped up the ball and balanced it on the top of her foot. She sent in with a flick towards her sleepy friend's head.
Rin calmly chested it down to her foot where she rocked it back and forth a few times before sending it Leonardo's way.
She joined their juggling circle and even though she was still half a asleep, she did well.
When the group took a break, Rin flopped onto her back next to Leonardo. "Mom was asking about you. Wanted to know why we haven't hung out yet."
Leonardo laid down next to her and folded his hands behind his head. "Auntie is always asking about me."
Rin smiled with her eyes closed. "She thinks of you as her own child."
Liz came over and spread herself out on the grass next to Rin. She grinned over at Leonardo. "Yeah, I think she's missed you since you've been in Japan for a while. Probably misses giving you punishments!" She crackled evilly at that.
Leonardo winced slightly while Rin also laughed out loud. "Yeah! She keeps asking me, "When's Leonardo, dear, coming back? I haven't seen his handsome face in ssoooo long!'" Both girls laughed at Rin's imitation of her mother.
Nana, Kakeru and Ricky looked at the trio in silent confusion. Nana glanced back and forth between Rin and Leonardo and then an idea lit itself up in her mind. "Hey, Rin, are you and Leonardo...um, like dating, or something?"
Liz, Kat, Tsubaki and Sal burst into hysterical laugher. Tsubaki and Liz rolled on the ground, clutching heir stomachs while Kat and Sal leaned against each other for support as they laughed so hard they started crying.
Previously said pair was just staring at Nana with stunned expressions. "You should freaking see your face, Rin!" Liz choked out in between laughs, "It's damn hysterical!" This sent her into another round of howling laughter.
"I got it wrong?" Nana asked nervously. This was a repeat of what happened in America!
Both Rin and Leonardo unfroze from their shock and Rin started chuckling which quickly turned into full blown laughter. Leonardo just looked a her and then sighed in exasperation.
"No, Nana, we're not dating. Me and Leo are cousins!" Rin tried to bring her laughter under control and looked at her four friends who were still cracking up.
Nana blushed a bright red. "Oh, m-my bad, so-sorry! It's just...I thought...the way you talked-" she decided to stop talking and looked at he ground in embarrassment.
"Cousins?!" Kakeru exclaimed in shock. He looked back and forth between the two and shook his head. They looked nothing alike!
"Our mothers are sisters and Rin's adopted, which is why she doesn't look like me," Leonardo explained to the striker.
"I'm half Japanese and half Russian!" Rin announced with a big smile. "Leo, here, usually spends the summers at my house in the States, so we're really close!" She looped her arm through Leonardo's and leaned her head against his shoulder.
Liz wrapped her arm around him on the other side and smiled, "And I've been best friends with Rin since we were in kindergarten and I love to annoy Leo!" Leonardo shook her off and she grinned at him. "I could tell you all sorts of embarrassing stories about Leo! Wanna hear?" Leonardo gasped in horror and quickly clamped a hand over the red head's mouth. Rin giggled at her friend and cousin.
"That's right, Nana, did Riko and them come yesterday?" Rin asked. She had temporarily forgotten about the basketball team.
Nana nodded. "They were there for entire game. Kagami didn't look like it impressed him too much."
Rin rolled her eyes, "I bet it didn't. He's got nothing 'cept for basketball on the brain!"
Nana pointed behind her, "There they are."
"Wha? Where?" She turned around and scanned the park. Sure enough, there was Kagami, Kuroko, Riko and he rest of the Seirin team. "I wonder what they're doing here." She wondered aloud.
Liz shaded her eyes, "Oh, those are the basketball players we met at the beach, right? Let's go play with them!" she was up and running before anyone else could say a word. Rin followed, a little scared of what she would say.
"Hey!" Liz yelled as she ran towards the boys. "Want to play with us?!" Everyone looked at the energetic red head in surprise.
"Rin, I didn't expect to see you here," Aida said.
She smiled at the basketball coach. "We were just chilling here for a while. What are you guys doing?"
Aida smiled. "I decided that they could use a fun practice so here we are!"
"Cool, want to play with us?" Rin asked. She kept an eye on Liz who was scaring Hyuga and the other second years.
"Soccer?" Aida asked. She thought for a second and then looked at her team and then turned back to Rin with a smile. "Sure!" She received an excited grin in response.
"Awesome! I'll get Liz out of your players' hair." She grabbed her friend by the arm and began dragging her away.
Kagami watched the short striker drag the eccentric red head away by the arm and couldn't help but shake his head at the fact that there was really people like that out there.
"Guys! We are going to play soccer with Rin and her friends," Aida announced to her team.
"What?!" Kagami exclaimed. "Why do we have to play?" He grumbled.
Aida smiled dangerously. "If you don't, I'll triple your strength workout." All the basketball players grimaced.
"We will work hard," Hyuga said. Aida clapped her hands together and smiled.
"You can't use your hands! Bakagami!" Rin yelled for about the tenth time in the past twenty minutes. The tall power player growled in response and dropped the ball that Nana had sent flying at his chest. Catching it was a natural reaction when something was coming straight at you!
"I got it!" Rin yelled. She ran to take a free kick. She sent it high and long to Kat who chested it down to her foot and shot it across the field to Kakeru. He kicked it into the goal.
"Nice job, Kakeru!" Rin congratulated the boy.
Kagami scoffed. This is stupid, he scowled. Rin saw his scowl and smirked to herself. It's going to be so fun messing with him even more!
Liz, who was on the same team as Kagami, was also thinking the same thing. She sent a purposeful pass to his head and he ducked out of the way just in time to keep from getting hit in the face.
"Hey! Are you trying to kill me?!" He came up yelling. Liz smirked.
"You're supposed to head it!" She nodded to Sal who had trapped the ball and she sent it up in an arc towards her captain.
Liz readied herself and then jumped up and headed the ball to Tsubaki. "Like that!" She looked at the other red head.
Kagami scowled again. "No way! That looks like it hurts!"
"I'm sure your thick head can handle it," Liz said this as if she was comforting him. He bristled with indignation.
Rin slide tackled Tsubaki, who hadn't been paying attention and kicked the ball to Aida. Then she turned and helped her friend up.
Tsubaki took her hand and pulled herself up. When she was standing, she gripped Rin's hand harder and swept a foot across one of her ankles and flipped her in a complete 360. Rin landed on her face with a yelp. "Payback," she said as she brushed her hands together and walked away.
Rin raised her face out of the grass and laughed. "Here," Kat reached down and picked the striker out of the grass and brushed off the grass. She patted her on the shoulder and jogged away.
Rin looked to where Tsubaki was laughing with Liz. "Tsu! You're going to get it!" She charged at her friend and she ran the other way. Rin caught up with her tackled her to the ground. The two rolled around, grappling with each other as the others gave them space.
Leonardo sighed at the sight of his cousin rolling in the dirt. Nothing really had changed from when they were growing up. He didn't say anything because he friends were leaving tomorrow morning to go back to the States. He knew that Rin was treasuring these last moments with her best friends and teammates.
He checked his phone and saw that it was getting late. "Rin!" He called. The two girls stopped for a second and Rin peered up at him through a mess of arms and legs and bodies.
"Ricky and I have to leave."
Rin untangled herself and quickly stood up. She grabbed him in a crushing bear hug. "See you! We have to go on a proper date sometime, too!" He has her a quick squeeze in return and they separated.
Liz came up and slapped him on the shoulder. "Leaving? Well, see you someday, Leo." He nodded.
"Safe flight for you guys as well." He said.
The South Americans walked away. A short time later, the Seirin basketball team also left. Kagami refused to say goodbye to them as he was pissed they had shown him up.
"Bye bye, baby tiger~!" Liz sang as she waved to the sour faced red head. Kagami just grunted.
"See you sometime, Rin," Aida said.
"Yeah, tell me how your tournament goes." Rin waved to the basketball coach and her team soon disappeared as well.
"That leaves just us...and Nana and Kakeru, of course," Tsubaki said. She looked between the seven of them with a smile.
Liz sighed loudly. "Well, I hate to say, but we have to et back to the hotel. We're leaving in the morning." she looked sadly at Rin before pouncing on her. "I don't want to leave you! When are you coming back?!" She sniffles loudly.
Rin smiled and patted her friend's back. "In march. That's when the school year ends here."
"But that's almost six months away! I'll die from Rin deprivation!" Liz bawled.
The other four girls from America also joined in the hug. "Well, we'll do it," Tsubaki said determined.
"Yup, we'll have to be extra crazy to make up for Rin's absence." Kat grinned mischievously. Sal didn't say anything, just squeezed her friend tighter.
Eventually, Rin had to break the huddle. They all stepped back, Liz was crying and Tsubaki was about to cry. Rin also felt tears gather in her eyes. She had already had to go through this once before when she left for Japan and now she had to endure the separation again.
"Bye guys, call me when you get home, no matter what time it is here, 'kay?" They all nodded. She gave them each one last hug before she turned to Nana and Kakeru and the three of them started walking back.
Rin tried her hardest not to look back as she quickly walked away from the park. She knew that her friends were also making their way back to their hotel and she missed them already.
She felt a touch on her shoulder and she looked up to see Nana smiling sympathetically at her. Rin nodded, at least she still knew some awesome people in Japan.
Rin opened the door to her apartment and closed it behind her. Tomorrow she had to get up for school, the first school in two weeks. She sighed and slowly made her way to the kitchen to eat dinner.
After eating, she went into the bathroom and bathed. She spent almost an hour in the bathtub, enjoying the hot water.
She crawled into bed and drew the blankets up to her chin and closed her eyes. Unlike the night before, she fell asleep almost immediately and slept like a log until her alarm woke her up the next morning.
I'm going to go back and rewrite a few previous chapters because I'm not satisfied with them, but I'll do it at another time. For now, this fanfic is completed. I might at another chapter; depends on school. Thank you to those who read this :) This will most likely be my last fanfic for a while now that school is back on.