Disclaimer: I do not own Eyeshield 21.

Author's note: To all the new readers, welcome! To all those continuing from Short Passes, welcome back! (if you haven't read that yet, I would suggest it as the two series are related and may reference each other).

Long Pass: Tower

A little rendezvous.

In fairy tales, there was a princess, a hero and a tower.

Well, Hiruma Yoichi had the tower.

And it was a pretty fucking awesome tower.

"I'm sorry," said Mamori, running up. The usual neat and tidy manager had her hair tangled by the wind, bag hanging off her shoulder half-zipped, and was out of breath. "I got here as fast as I could-what is that?"

He grinned at her. "Our new scouting vehicle."

After getting into Saikyodai, Hiruma had...acquired a Jeep through his usual channels and paid Musashi to modify it. The vehicle now had a tower in the truck bed, with metal frame that stood almost two stories in the air. The platform at the top even had a place to slot in a telescope or a rifle for additional functionality.

Mamori stared at it, and then at him. "Yoichi," she said slowly, "you said this was urgent. Did you just call me out of class on my first day just to see this?"

He laughed. "Kekekeke! The first day doesn't matter, everyone knows that. They just go over stupid shit like the syllabus."

"...you didn't even go to any of your classes today, did you?"

"Of course not." He had more important things to do, like updating his player files for the college teams and moving all his weapon caches from Deimon to Saikyodai.

Mamori sighed and gave up. "Well, I admit that it is pretty impressive-I would have thought that you would have gotten a tank again though."

"A Jeep is more mobile. Anyway, that's not what I wanted to show you."

"It's not? Then what-hey!"

Hiruma had slung his rifle back over his shoulder and pushed her toward the back of the Jeep. After a few token protests, it was clear what he wanted and Mamori started climbing up the ladder.

"Oh wow," she breathed as he joined her on the top of the tower.

At Deimon High, the American Football team had to be built from scratch, with Hiruma scrounging up players, supplies and a practice field through blackmail, theft and bribery. Saikyodai, by virtue of being larger and with pre-existing team, was a different story. Certain things he still had to get through his Threat Book, but the evening sun glinted gold off of the goal posts at either end of their own football field, the red-gold light made the green of the astroturf and white of the yard lines particularly rich. Cheeks bright with excitement, Mamori darted around the top of the tower, pointing our various features on the field, all her annoyance forgotten.

When she started pointing out the same things a second time, she found herself embraced from the back as a pair of bony arms wrapped around her waist. She leaned her head back against Hiruma's chest as he grinned down at her. She smiled back. "Thank you, Yoichi."

"Kekeke! You're welcome."

They stood there a second, silent in wonder. This wasn't a fucking fairy tale, but…

He looked across the university campus and down at the field, his field, their field, play after play running through his head, ideas and plans and schemes rushing through his head. And he was holding her, Anezaki Mamori, the gamble he'd never thought he'd win, in his arms with the wind sending her auburn hair against his cheek and wafting the smell of her, sunshine and strawberries, to his nose…

The grin split his face from ear to ear-wide, evil and incredibly happy.

This wasn't a fucking fairy tale, Hiruma wasn't a fucking hero, but he had the tower and the princess and this was his fucking kingdom.

This year was going to be great.