Disclaimer: I do not own Eyeshield 21.

Short Pass: Pretty

Hiruma didn't find his manager's attractiveness to be anything remarkable, other than the ability to use her many admirers' soppy love letters as blackmailing fodder.

Anezaki Mamori was pretty.

Hiruma Youichi knew this, though from the way he acted toward her most people didn't think that he did. But he had eyes, didn't he? It was obvious that the fucking manager was a fine representative of her gender, with long legs, soft hair, and wide blue eyes. That she seemed to not to notice herself and went around without makeup and wearing simple but practical clothing just made her stand out all the more in comparison to her fashion-slave, makeup-ed peers.

Hiruma knew she was pretty. But he didn't see what all the fuss was about. Sunsets were pretty. Flowers were pretty. Ming fucking vases were pretty. But what use were sunsets, flowers, and Ming fucking vases in getting them to the Christmas Bowl? Absolutely nothing, that's what.

So Hiruma didn't find his manager's attractiveness to be anything remarkable, other than the ability to use her many admirers' soppy love letters as blackmailing fodder.

One day he was yelling at the fucking shrimp and the fucking monkey on the roof about setting up the TV aerial he had blackmailed the audio club into giving him so they could watch live in the clubhouse the high school American football games they couldn't see in person. But it was windy that day, and the fucking brats couldn't hold the aerial in a position long enough for a picture to come clear from their precarious perch on the roof. He was spraying bullets at them to help them concentrate.

"How is it now, fucking fattie?" he called to Kurita, who was watching the screen inside.

"Sorry," came the immense linebacker's voice. "Still grainy."

"Fucking brats!" he yelled. "Concentrate!"

"S-sorry," stammered Sena, feet scrambling against the roof tiles against the wind.

"Fucking monkey!" Hiruma called to Monta. "You're supposed to be good at climbing!"

"I'm not a monkey!"

"What's going on?" The demon quarterback turned around to see Mamori carrying the bags of team snacks she had run out to buy. Her hair billowed around behind her in the wind. "Sena, Monta, what are you doing?"

"Hi, Mamori-neechan," said Sena shakily. "We're trying to set up the TV antenna—"

"You'll fall—" She glared at Hiruma. "It's too dangerous up there, even if it wasn't so windy! How could you make them—"

Hiruma leaned his Uzi against his shoulder. "Shut up, fucking manager. It'll teach them balance."

"Still no picture," came Kurita's mournful voice.

"They'll fall and break their necks—"

Hiruma shrugged. "If you are so worried, go up and help them."

Mamori gave him a dark look but dropped the bags and rolled up her sleeves before stalking toward the ladder.

"Mamori-neechan, no, it's too dangerous—"

"It's just as dangerous for you," Mamori told Sena tartly. "Besides, my arms are longer than both of yours, so we might be able to get it into a better position."

Hiruma snickered at the sight of Sena's and Monta's faces contorting in mortification as they once again were confronted with their diminutive height. However, Mamori was right—with her help they managed to get the antenna placed to gain better reception.

"Just a little more," said Kurita. "A little more…ok! Hold it right there!"

"Hold it right there, he says," muttered Monta. The three of them were stretched precariously far over the edge of the roof.

Mamori smiled. "It's ok. Hand me the power tool and we can bolt this into place before we let go."

Just then a few things happened.

Monta turned away to grab the power tool.

Mamori leaned forward to stabilize the antenna as Monta's grip loosened and got some of her hair caught in the antenna wires.

Sena, who was behind her, tried to help her get the strands loose.

Monta turned back, bringing the power tool perilously close to Sena's face.

Sena jerked away, jostling Mamori on the roof.

Mamori's feet, already balancing tenuously, slipped.


"Oh god, are you okay?"

"What happened?" Kurita came barreling out.

"Fucking brats! What the hell do you think you are doing?" Hiruma looked down. "Wake up, you fucking manager."

"Huh?" Mamori had closed her eyes on reflexe but then opened them to look up at Hiruma.

He snorted. "Fucking clumsy girl."

"What…what happened?"

"You fell, stupid."

"You…you caught me?"

"What was your first clue?" he retorted snarkily, though he was a little surprised himself. When she had started to fall, his body had moved on reflex—immediately dropping his gun, he'd run forward with his arms out and caught her with a grunt before she could hit the ground.

"Are you okay, Mamo-neesan?"

Mamori turned her head at Sena's and Monta's plaintive cry and waved a hand to show that she was all right.

"Get back to work, you fucking brats!" Hiruma yelled at them. He trained his gaze on Kurita. "What happened to the picture, fucking fattie?"

"I, uh…"

"Go check!"

"I'm fine," Mamori told Kurita with a smile,

Relieved the lineman lumbered back inside.

"Umm…" Mamori was looking up at Hiruma again. "Thank you."

"Hmph." He made a noncommittal sound. The wind and the shock had whipped bright color into her cheeks and blown the hair around her face like tangled auburn ribbons. The sun had decided to make an appearance, slanting light over her face so it caught in her eyes, making them brighter. For the first time, Hiruma understood why Mamori had so many followers.

"Err…Can you put me down?"

Watching with interest as the color in her cheeks started to intensify, he smirked and said, "What, getting nervous?"

Her face was definitely red now. "No! I…I just have a lot of work to do!"

He held her for a beat more and then said, "Good. You need the exercise. I think all those creampuffs have been going to your hips, fucking manager."

"What?" Her eyes popped. "Put me down at once!"

"Kekekekeke!" He laughed and put her down. She gave him an affronted look and then gathered the bags to stalk inside. Hiruma watched her and glanced down at his hands. They tingled a little where he'd touched her and could attest to the fact that creampuffs or not, the hips were just fine.


Hiruma looked up to see Sena and Monta looking down at him, expressions surprised, confused, and scandalized all at once. That wouldn't do. He retrieved his gun and fired at them. "Back to work, brats!"