A/N: Okay, so this chapter is really old, like when I first got into PoT (Well, that's not that old, but still) and I decided not to post or continue the story because it was just too weird. Then, lying in bed, with like two minutes until I had to go to bed, I had sudden urges to post and continue this story after re-reading it. The writing quality isn't fantastic, but I think it's pretty amusing, and I'd like to continue it. It's a bit odd, but I've always wanted to write Ryoma pregnant at twelve, without him actually being pregnant because than he would have to have sex at twelve. And that's unusual. Plus, I can't imagine Ryoma with a fat stomach. I really, really can't. Okay, without further ado, here you go!
"Whoever comes last in today's twenty laps will have to suffer the consequences of the newest edition of the Raspberry Silver Deluxe Inui Juice." Inui adjusted his glasses before revealing a sparkling jug of red liquid, holding it in the air like it was a trophy.
There was a murmur of disapproval among the regulars as they debated whether or not they should bribe Fuji into purposely losing because the tensai didn't really mind the juice in the first place. However, they had tried that last time, and for punishment, Inui had made them each drink a full pitcher of his Natural Moss Inui Juice. There was a shudder at the memory, and they knew that Fuji couldn't help them this time.
"Raspberry Silver Deluxe Inui Juice?" Momoshiro frowned at the name. "I think Inui-senpai's juice names get weirder and weirder each time."
Kikumaru folded his hands behind his head. "That's 'cause he's running out of things to use."
"Sometimes, I wonder if these juices are even safe." Kawamura eyed the container wearily. He knew he made some bad sushi at times, but that was nothing compared to what Inui forced down their throats. Especially this time – Kawamura couldn't help notice that the red juice looked extra revolting.
"They're probably not." Momoshiro ranted. "Remember how I got the stomach flu last week? I bet it's the result of Inui-senpai's juice!"
Kaidoh strolled up to the angry power-player, hissing through his teeth. "I'm pretty sure your stomach flu was from how much you ate the last time we had free sushi at Taka-san's."
Momoshiro's eyebrow quirked in annoyance. "Oh yeah?"
Fuji stood calmly off to the side, hands stuffed in his pockets, a gentle breeze blowing through his hair as he observed the unhappy tennis players. His tastebuds were long since dead, and he particularly enjoyed the things that his friends hated the most. Kawamura's Wasabi sushi, Inui Juice, that slimy soup Momoshiro once tried to make; he figured he was either just lucky or his friends had no sense in taste.
"I think Inui's juice is perfectly safe." He said. "I drink it all the time, and nothing ever happens to me."
"That's 'cause he's not human." Momoshiro whispered to Oishi, who was swallowing thickly but refusing to complain. Even he despised the juice, but being vice-captain, he was determined to set a good example for the rest of the team.
"Alright, let's not argue about this." Oishi clapped his hands together; Tezuka was finishing off his exams for first semester at the moment, so the worry-wart of Seigaku had taken over the command for his place. "This process is necessary for us to run at our full potentials."
"Not really!" All the regulars chorused.
Inui smirked, pleased at the moans and groans he was causing by his juice. It felt really lovely to have so much power over the regulars, pushing them to their very best simply because his juice was that horrifying. He didn't really see what was wrong with it though – he drank it all the time, and not only was it nutritionally healthy, it tasted fantastic. Well, that was his opinion anyway.
Placing the jug back onto the table, he rubbed his hands together. "C'mon, let's get started."
Kikumaru tilted his head. "Ne, where's Ochibi?"
There was a mutter of realization as everyone glanced around to see that their youngest member was not to be seen. Momoshiro cocked his head, surprised. "That's weird; Echizen's never late for practice unless he's got library duty or somethin' like that. He even mentioned something about practice during lunch this afternoon."
"Oh well," Oishi shrugged slowly. "I mean, we'll just make him run extra laps. We can't just wait around all day."
"Hey!" Momoshiro exclaimed in protest. "If Echizen runs laps by himself, he has no chance of drinking the Inui Juice."
"Yeah, how's that fair?" Kikumaru agreed, bobbing his head vigorously.
Oishi's frown deepened, but before he could manage a reply, Inui cut in with a sly smile on his face. He held two empty glasses in both of his hands. "Oh, did I mention? Whoever is late for practice has to drink two glasses of Inui Juice no matter what the circumstances are."
There a pause, before laughter exploded around the court. Momoshiro grinned with satisfaction, although he couldn't help but feel a little sorry for his best friend. Kikumaru bit his lip, rocking on the heels of his feet with displeasure. "Nya, poor Ochibi; Two whole glasses of Inui Juice." He said unhappily. "Ochibi might die!"
This alerted Oishi, who quickly began to panic. "Yeah, maybe that's a bit too much. After all, Echizen's smaller than all of us, so I'm sure he gets the most affected by the drink. He might not be able to handle two glasses."
"How does it matter if he's smaller than us?" Kaidoh raised an eyebrow.
Oishi's voice was hot with concern. "Well, you know, beer and stuff affects light weight people more than heavy weight, so maybe it's the same with Inui Juice, and we all know that Echizen weighs the least from all of us-"
Momoshiro nodded. "Oh yeah, that kid weighs like nothing. Remember that time he was sick and stubbornly still wanted to do practice, and we had to run laps with the same Inui Juice circumstances?"
"Oh yeah!" Kikumaru jumped in. "And he was starting to slow down, so Momo felt sorry for him and gave him a piggy back ride the rest of the way."
"He was super light." Momoshiro grinned. "Or maybe I'm just really strong."
"Either way," Oishi cut in quickly, flustered. "We can't put Echizen's life at stake. Maybe the Inui juice can kill him, and we don't want something like that happening-"
Everyone stopped talking to see Inui's lips pursed in a thin line, arms crossed over his chest. He couldn't believe his ears – did they really think his juice could do any harm to Echizen? Maybe he would throw up a little, have a stomach-ache, or even pass out, but it wouldn't be deadly. He cared about the twelve-year old as much as the next regular, and just because he was all technical with numbers and stuff didn't mean he was willing to heartlessly kill their kouhai.
"My juice is perfectly safe." He said each word clearly like he was explaining it to kindergartners. Well, in his opinion, he was, considering he was twenty times smarter than the rest of them. "There's a 0% chance that Echizen could die from this juice. All my recipes are thoroughly tested before being used for practice, so there's absolutely nothing to worry about."
"What do you mean Echizen could die?" A voice asked suspiciously.
The regulars, including Inui, spun around to see Ryoma standing boredly in the court, racket swung over his shoulder, free hand bouncing a tennis ball against the ground. A small smirk formed on his lips as they looked at him in surprise. "Sorry I'm late," he said, cockiness evident in his voice.
"When'd he get here?" Momoshiro said incredulously.
"He appeared out of nowhere, nya."
"Saa…he's just quiet like that."
Ryoma innocently tipped his head towards the sun, gleaming light shining on his cheeks. His golden eyes burned with an everlasting, never-ending passion. "So, what's this talk about Inui Juice killing me?" he narrowed his eyes at the creator of the drink. "It's safe, right? 'Cause the Nationals are comin' up and I'm not going to die right before them."
"Geez, Ochibi." Kikumaru shook his head violently. "You could die, and all you care about is the Nationals?"
Inui cut in. "He can't die, actually. I've already told you that there's a 0% chance that this juice is fatal."
Ryoma tapped his tennis ball against the side of his racket in a rythmetic pattern, the patter of the ball filling his ears with familiar comfort. He knew the juice didn't do any harm – no matter how gross it was. Besides, he already knew he wasn't going to be last in laps. It wasn't in his nature to lose. "Who cares?" he shrugged. "Can we do our laps now or what?"
"Um, actually, doesn't he have to drink two glasses of Inui Juice because he's late?" Oishi asked nervously.
Ryoma choked, "What?"
Inui cleared his throat. "Actually, no, he doesn't. He was late, but we didn't start our laps yet, so he isn't really missing out on anything…which means, he doesn't have to suffer the punishment."
Ryoma sighed in relief.
There weren't any complaints from the regulars, as nobody (besides Fuji) enjoyed watching each other sink into the consequence of drinking Inui juice. They all began to stretch out their muscles, eyes darting anxiously at the bright red jug on the table, before stretching harder and quicker. Inui had a particular glint in his glasses today, which they could only infer meant that the juice was extra-disgusting.
"Alright, ready for laps?" Inui set up his timer. "As we've done before, not only is Inui Juice presented to the person who comes in last but also whoever cannot manage a lap per minut-"
"Ryoma-sama, Ryoma-sama, , I missed you."
Ryoma's shoulders tensed as the annoying voice of Tomoka rung in his ears. He grasped his racket tighter and put on the most bored expression he could manage. Tomoka and Sakuno walked into the courts, the former dragging the latter by the wrist. The pig-tailed girl's cheeks were flushed red from excitement, a twinkle in her eye.
"Can we watch you practice?" she bounced on the heels of her feel excitedly.
"Tomo-chan…" Sakuno murmured disapprovingly.
Oishi smiled warmly at the two girls. "Why not? As long as you don't disturb us, you should be fine."
"All right!" Tomoka plopped down onto the grass, stretching her limbs and resting her head on her elbows. Sakuno daintily sat next to her, cross-legged, fiddling shyly with her braid. She frequently glanced at Ryoma who wasn't paying attention to them, before blushing pink and looking away.
Inui gripped the timer. "Ready everyone?"
All the regulars lined up at the starting point, sweaty just from thinking about the aftermath. They were teammates, but at the moment, they were temporary enemies.
There was a smother of dust as the teenagers (and one preteen) took off for the first lap, legs pounding against the ground, pumping furiously. They were so quick that they quickly disappeared around the first corner in less than a few seconds, leaving peace and quiet among Inui and the two girls. He glanced at his watch with slyness written all over his face.
Once they were past the first few laps, the fear and adrenaline slowly drowned to a steady pace. Each of the regulars stayed fairly close to one another, jogging. As they passed by, Tomoka grinned to Sakuno. "The boys look so hot when they run, don't they?" she giggled at Sakuno who looked at her with a horrified expression.
Tomoka didn't care. "Especially Ryoma-sama."
The two girls glanced over as Ryoma ran past them, breathing lightly, sweat starting to form on his face. Tomoka's hands curled into fists. "So hot," she said under her breath, bouncing in place, unable to stay still.
Sakuno's cheeks coloured. "Oh Tomo-chan."
Inui looked at his stopwatch as the regulars hustled past the second-to-last-lap. "One more lap," he warned since it seemed the regulars had forgotten that it was a contest. Immediately, after the instinctive surprise, there was a mad rush as they passed the first corner.
"Last lap already?" Momoshiro said, charging forward.
"I'm not drinking that Inui Juice!" Kikumaru panted heavily, willing his legs to go even faster.
Ryoma wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead, hurriedly trying to keep up with his senpai. He always assured himself he was at a disadvantage – after all, his senpai were all taller than him, resulting in longer legs, which meant longer strides, which meant faster running. He was sure he had to exert himself more to keep up.
"C'mon Echizen, hurry, Fuji's catching up to us!" Momoshiro warned. Fuji had been taking it lightly, but just for the sake of watching one of the members have to drink the juice, he had sped up his pace so he wouldn't be last. Ryoma looked behind his shoulder before sprinting forward, determined not to be last.
As they rounded the last corner, it appeared that everyone was running together in what seemed would result in a tie, rushing maniacally towards the finishing point.
Inui bit his lip. It'll probably be a tie. Sigh, that means my lovely juice will go to waste.
"Go Ryoma-Sama!" Tomoka suddenly screamed.
Ryoma glanced at her distractedly, but before he could ignore her and keep going, he found himself tripping over the damned girl's outstretched leg. With a thud, he fell to the ground, his hands luckily stopping him from scraping anything. He groaned, glancing up as the rest of the regulars crossed first.
He winced as he got up, his fingers stinging a bit from the impact. Breathing heavily, he turned to glare at Tomoka, who was shrinking back. Sakuno chewed on her lower lip, apologizing for her friend's behaviour.
With a sigh, he heaved himself to stand straight. "Next time, stay out of the way." He mumbled, not caring that Tomoka looked crestfallen. He dragged himself over to the rest of his teammates who were shooting him pitiful looks.
"How'd you come last?" Oishi asked, even though he already knew the answer.
Ryoma shrugged slowly. "Tomo-chan had her leg out and I tripped."
"That sucks." Momoshiro said.
"Oh well," Ryoma said.
"Oh well, huh?" Inui's creepy voice sent shivers down the twelve-year old's back. His muscles tensed and he sheepishly looked behind his shoulder to see the data-collector grinning widely, a clear glass of juice in his hand. "You came in last, which means-"
"But, it wasn't even my fault." Ryoma protested weakly. "She tripped me-"
"It doesn't matter what the circumstances were. You came in last, which means you have to suffer the consequences." Inui's eyes glinted with satisfaction as he held out the glass. "Now drink up."
Ryoma swallowed thickly, wiping his sweaty hands against his shorts before taking the glass in between his fingers. The rest of the regulars, as well as Tomoka (with a guilty expression) and Sakuno, watched the scene with sympathy.
Squeezing his eyes shut, the muscles in his eyelids contracting, Ryoma gulped down the drink as fast as he could. The quicker I'm done, the quicker this is over.
Coughing as he finished the last bit of the drink, he didn't even wait for the bad taste to settle in before starting to run towards the tennis court exit. It took him a moment to realize that the juice hadn't tasted all that bad – in fact, it had been completely tasteless. Ryoma froze half-way in the middle of the courts and waited.
When nothing happened, the corners of his lips quirked upwards. Lucky me.
Calmly, he strode back over to where the regulars were standing with their jaws dropped. He smirked, grabbing his racket and placing it over his shoulder. "That didn't taste too bad, Inui-senpai." He said haughtily. His teammates stared at him with confusion.
Inui blinked. "What? You didn't find it bad?"
Ryoma nodded. "It didn't really have much of a taste at all, actually."
Momoshiro looked at him worriedly. "Are you sure the Inui Juice hasn't gotten rid of Ryoma's senses or something? I mean, how can he not pass out or throw up or something. Inui Juice always tastes bad."
Ryoma glared at him. "It didn't taste bad, and my senses are perfectly fine."
Inui scribbled furiously in his notebook, flipping pages, frantically scrolling through the words. "It just doesn't make any sense. It should have tasted bad, this is the exact formula as one of my previous juices with a bit of added raspberry flavour – it shouldn't have tasted tasteless."
Oishi sounded relieved. "Don't mind. What's done is done. Let's continue with practice."
The rest of the regulars shrugged and agreed, walking over to the courts to start practice matches. Only Inui stayed put, holding his notebook, murmuring to himself.
"It just doesn't make sense…"
Halfway through practice, Tezuka arrived at the tennis courts. He silently walked past the side towards where Inui was hunched over his notebook, not wanting to disturb the matches. Everyone was playing quite motivated today without any distractions, and he wanted that flow of game to continue. Joining Inui to survey the matches, the captain noticed that he looked rather tense.
Inui was chewing on his pencil, flipping through pages rapidly, his brow furrowed in concentration.
"Is everything alright, Inui?" Tezuka asked, concerned.
Inui looked up in surprise, before hastily nodding, snapping his notebook shut. "Yes. I mean, well, there's a 50% chance that I've made a rather horrible mistake."
Inui frowned nervously, biting his lower lip, before adjusting his glasses. There was no way out, he assumed. However, he wasn't even sure if his prediction was correct – he hoped it wasn't, because if it was…he almost shuddered at what would occur.
"Inui, what's the problem?" Tezuka said, voice laced with worry. Inui wasn't often distressed, so he knew whatever was bothering him had to be serious. Inui gulped, wiping a bead of sweat from his forehead, his face burning. He knew the mistake was quite severe, and he didn't want to think about the consequences.
His eyes floated to Ryoma who was playing against Momoshiro, his small frame running up to the net to do a drop volley. Inui swallowed thickly. This was not good.
Tezuka's eyes followed to Ryoma. "Is something wrong with Echizen, then?"
Inui fumbled, "Well, no, well, yes, kind of, but it isn't exactly…"
This was really unnerving for the captain. He had never seen Inui sound so flustered. Placing a hand on the data-player's shoulder, Tezuka demanded what was on the boy's mind. "Inui, just tell me. I'm sure it's nothing we can't solve."
Inui took a long gulp of air. "Fine."
He fidgeted in a moment of silence. "The problem is that, well, lately, I conjured a new Inui Juice. It's called the Raspberry Silver Deluxe Inui Juice. It's a new version from the original edition – the same ingredients and everything – except, well, one ingredient."
Tezuka was confused. "What exactly are you trying to say?"
Inui stared at his notebook cover, not meeting Tezuka's eyes. "The one new ingredient is supposed to be harmless – except…except, well, if it is mixed with this other ingredient, it can cause, um, problems."
"I don't see what you're getting at. Is the juice dangerous?"
"Well, not dangerous really." Inui said. "It's just, well, when Echizen said the drink didn't taste bad, I was surprised since all I'd done was add one new ingredient…so I checked over my notes…and realized that that one new ingredient mixed with one of the original ingredients causes….the juice to taste tasteless…"
Tezuka raised an eyebrow. "That's nothing serious though."
Inui took a deep breath. "But not only does it cause the juice to become tasteless, but it also makes the person who drinks it…um…I don't know how to say this because I'm not a hundred percent sure, but…"
"Just spit it out, Inui." Tezuka was getting impatient. It wasn't in his personality, but Inui had built the suspense up, and since it was about their youngest player, he wanted to know exactly what it was.
"Uh, the person who drinks it…" Inui licked his lips. "Um…"
Tezuka would have passed out if he was faint-hearted like Kawamura. His breath hitched in surprise, his eyes narrowing. He wasn't easily shocked – but this, this declaration from Inui was enough to get his heart pumping and the blood rushing to his ears. His fingers clenched and unclenched. He hopes Inui was joking, but one look at his face and he knew that he wasn't.
"Echizen…our twelve-year old…is not pregnant." Tezuka didn't think it was possible. After all, there was only one way to get pregnant, and he wasn't going to note it out loud. All he knew was that it was impossible, first and foremost, for a boy to get pregnant.
Inui quickly intercepted. "Oh, wait, you've misunderstood. He's not actually pregnant."
Tezuka sighed in relief.
"He's just going to experience pregnancy symptoms."
The relief fled as quick as it had come, and Tezuka whipped his head towards Inui. He didn't want to glare at Inui, he really didn't – but he couldn't help himself. "What do you mean?" he asked carefully.
Inui straightened his shoulders. "The ingredient, normally harmless, when mixed with the other ingredient-"
Tezuka didn't want to hear about ingredients mixed with other ingredients. He wanted a firm answer.
"Well, it's just the way it is. It's rare, and most people don't know about it, but I've researched about it once and was fascinated – but it completely slipped my mind while I was conjured the juice. It's actually quite miraculous, but for our situation, it's not the best."
Tezuka tried to calm himself down. He was the tennis captain – he could deal with tennis-related issues. It was safe to say that this was not a tennis related issue. "Explain to me what you mean by experiencing pregnancy symptoms."
Inui sighed. "It's simple, really. For nine months, it'll be exactly like he's pregnant except, one, there won't be an actual baby. Two, he won't get fat since there's no actual baby, and three, he won't go into labour."
The colour drained from the captain's face. "Nine months?" he said. "That's – that's way too long. If you mean he'll be tired and throwing up and everything for nine months, then how will he participate in the Nationals? How can this be Inui? Surely you have some kind of drink to fix him up."
Inui perked at that. "I'll try my best to make a counter-recipe for this, and I'm sure after some work, I can get it done, so the chances are that he'll be able to play in the Nationals. However, until then," he grimaced. "Echizen might have to suffer a bit."
Tezuka frowned deeply. "I don't – I don't know what to make of this. Does Echizen know?"
"No. I just figured it out, so I haven't had a chance to tell anyone but you."
The captain didn't know how they were supposed to explain this to Ryoma. His expressions, his reaction, his emotions – he knew, even for someone who was so calm and cold, would be out of control. He was only twelve-years old – not ready to experience anything that Inui was suggesting. Clearing his throat, Tezuka said loudly, "Echizen, come here."
Inui tensed. "You're not planning on telling him now, are you?"
"No." Tezuka said firmly. "I'm not. You are."
Before Inui had a chance to reply, he had to clamp his mouth shut. Ryoma jogged up to them, sweaty from practice, his tennis racket grasped in his right hand. He had been practicing playing his right hand against Momoshiro's stronger shots, trying to increase the skill in his non-dominant hand. Rocking on the heels of his feet, energized from playing, he waited for a response. When Tezuka didn't say something, he decided to speak first.
"Bouchou." He greeted.
"Echizen." Tezuka nodded slightly, worry gnawing at his stomach. He wasn't sure how Ryoma was going to take it.
Ryoma shifted. "So, what's-"
"We have a bit of a problem. And it concerns you, unfortunately."
"Me?" the boy said anxiously. "But I haven't done anything."
Tezuka folded his arms across his chest tightly. "You haven't done a thing wrong, except maybe next time keep an eye out for Tomoka's foot. It's Inui who made a mistake, and now you will be paying for it. Inui, explain to Echizen what the situation is."
Inui swallowed hard, pulling at the collar of his shirt. Ryoma stared at him with narrowed eyes.
"Well, you see…" he began.