manaika: (Yozak the WINNER)
[personal profile] manaika
Title: Winners Losers
Author:[livejournal.com profile] manaika
Series: New Prince of Tennis
Pairing: None, gen between Hara Tetsuya and Mouri Juuzaburou, and Hara Tetsuya and Taira Yoshiyuki (Hirazen) on the sideline.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Shitenhouji and Rikkai senpais. That should be a warning enough. Also, I’m trying to be funny and make puns, using english and japanese - neither of which are my first languages. Feel free to shoot me to the moon.
Summary: “You ditched me.” “Winning with everyone else was more important.”

Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis or the characters, nope. I just love them to death and love even more to use them for my own purposes. ^^

Notes
I have been rping HaraTetsu (although I like to call him Tetsuya more and before you start: God NO! Kuroko is fucking Kuroko, not Tetsuya. Not in my head) for around a year now and have absolutely fallen in love with him and all the ‘old boys’ lot. Life with him is crazy and very interesting and slowly, I started researching all the first stringers and U-17ners and developed various headcanons, that I would like to present here. I especially focus on his relationship with Mouri, who is a former Shitenhouji (as stated on wikia) and as the 3rd OVA (which is not a manga canon episode, I admit, but I don’t really care at this point anymore?) says, Tetsuya lost to him in his first year. My headcanon says that they’ve been rivals ever since. But before that they were friends, due to another headcanon, but you’ll have to read this, if you want to know. ^^ Further notes at the end of the shot.
Another thing: The way I’m writing Shiraishi and Osamu might be by now heavily influenced by the way the magnificent Venice and the amazing DA play them. Saying just in case they seem familiar to you, although they don’t starr in this as much. ^^
I’m kinda experimenting with form again in this and while I’m not sure, I hope I do it at least moderate justice. Feedback and concrit is always appreciated.


Winners, Losers

When Tetsuya had submitted his resignation, he had honestly not expected for Osamu-chan and Shiraishi approach him only three months later with the proposal to join them for the nationals.

“Come on Haratetsu. One last victory with your team, before you leave us.”

“If I leave, Osamu-chan!” Tetsuya had replied with a laugh then. “Don’t tell me I need to remind you how my last chemistry test went, old man!”

But in the end he had agreed, because no matter how he protested, Osamu’s words had struck a chord. After spending the last three years in Shitenhouji, two of them seeing his kouhai’s grow, he knew he would miss the crazy lot. Well, he supposed he wasn’t exactly on the normal side either. What was it that Hirazen liked to call him so much? Volcano eruption? Something like that. Not that the taichou was any better. Being his vice for a year had been easily one of the hardest tasks to manage.

He already missed this school. His only hope was that Shitenhouji high would be just as insane.

And so he had given into Shiraishi’s beaming smile (the little manipulative shit seemed to have learned more tricks from Tetsuya than he’d admit) and Osamu-chan’s sparkling eyes that just seemed to see right through you, no matter how hard you tried to hide it, and they agreed that he’d join them after he was through with exams, given they were still in the tournament. Not that Tetsuya had any doubts about that, having been there and seen them grow into a great team.

To say that he was proud of them would be an understatement.

They still had a long way to go and they haven’t learned by far all of the lessons yet, but the redhead was confident they would do just fine. Tetsuya decided to do his part just as well, working hard and passing all of his exams on the first go - a task not easily achieved, as he had never been one to learn from books and memorizing stuff, but he felt he owed it to his kouhais.

And just a week after that, he was trying to befriend himself with his duffel bag and attempting to pack his things (really, why the hell couldn’t all of his shirts and shoes fit just into his pocket?) to meet up with the team in the morning and leave for the nationals (nationals!), when on the bedside table his phone vibrated, signaling a received message.


From: Taichou
Subject: Nationals

Text: Rikkai will be there.


Tetsuya stared at it for a moment, knowing what the tsukkomi in him should reply, but realizing that Hirazen might just be serious this one time. Both of them knew what Rikkai meant… who it meant he would meet. But there was still some time left until then and Tetsuya could think of what he’d do when it happened - and it would eventually happen, knowing how good the two schools were. Or, what was more likely, he’d just push it away as far as he could and then improvise.

He wasn’t twelve anymore. He’d do fine. He hoped.


From: HaraTetsu
Subject: Re: Nationals

Text: Duh. Something else new, or was that it of your account of top interesting things to happen?


No answer came back and he knew the taichou wouldn’t write him worried messages anymore. Tetsuya told him he’d be fine and his partner would believe him, until the redhead came and said that something was wrong. Tetsuya looked at his bag, idly thinking he should figure out a way to solve the shoe-shirt-tennis stuff arranging problem soon, if he wanted to make it to the train in the morning, but not really paying attention, his mind wandering off to another redhead and to things long past.


ox*xo


“Hey, you’re from down the street, right? Let’s play!”

“I’m not very good though. I only started.”

“No matter! I’ll teach you!”


x*x

“Whoa, you’re good! That was amazing!”

“I’m a fast learner!”

“Sooooo jealous!”

“Naaah, I think you’re more amazing! You have all these awesome traps that make me run for my money!”

“We should just team up! We’d make really great partners!”

“Good idea! You’ll run around and set the traps and I’ll take care of the rest!”

“I doesn’t work like that!!!”


x*x

“You’re going to Osaka? I hear their takoyaki isn’t as good as ours.”

“Yeah, but there’s this really amazing Junior High! I hear it’s batshit insane and really strong in tennis!”

“Oh?”

“Wanna go with me? If we’re good they’ll let us play doubles!”

“...Fine, but you’ll still be the one to do the hard work.”


x*x

“Naa, Tsu-chan.”

“Hmm?”

“We’ve won.”

“Uh-huh~”

“That’s great, isn’t it?”

“Oh, you bet your ass!”

“I wonder which one of us would win, if we played against each other.”

“Huh? What made you think that?”

“Just a passing thought.”

“Hmm…”

“Naa, Tsu-chan? Have I made you curious?”

“Don’t flatter yourself, Juuza.”


x*x

“Tsu-chan… Tsu-chan…”

“...”

“Tetsuya… I’m sorry. I’m…”

“Why the hell are you apologizing?”

“I…”

“You won. I lost. It’s all fair and square.”

“But…”

“I’m just not as good as you. That’s all there is to it.”

“But you’re…”

“Don’t you dare say it! Don’t you dare pitying me! So I lost! So I might be hurt! I’ll just have to grow stronger and get my revenge! Don’t you think it ends here! It has just started! You’re not unbeatable and you’re a goddamn lazyass! If I just work my ass off, I’m bound to get better than you eventually. And that day will be your loss, Mouri Juuzaburou.”


x*x

“I heard Mouri transferred.”

“Yeah. So?”

“He was your doubles partner.”

“We played only once together. Don’t make it a bigger deal than it is.”

“I don’t need to. You’re doing a very good job on your own.”

“Will you just please shut the hell up, fukubuchou?”

“...”

“...”

“Wanna team up?”



ox*xo


Tokyo was still the same old shithole it had always been, without a single edible dish and poorly executed comedy, but at least they seemed to know how to build good tennis courts. Tetsuya still didn’t know what he’d do, but the next few days left little time to worry about it. The prelims had started the day after they arrived and he had been busy winning his matches and watching them from the sideline when it wasn’t his turn, noting that they have indeed grown into really good players with a high level of individual skill, which completed a strong team. Like a puzzle of modern art, really.

They had that light in their eyes that he had once had, enjoying the game like nothing else in world, full of dreams and ideals, believing in their victory without any doubts and that was a strong weapon to have. Maybe not the strongest, but the most important one. It was having fun, that often gave you the strength to move forward and evolve, whether you won, or lost. And if you lost - and you would lose eventually - you just got stronger and won next time, no matter how upset and frustrated you were, because you loved it too much to just stop because of something as stupid as a loss. His kouhais hadn’t experienced that nagging feeling of defeat yet, but Tetsuya was confident that once they did, they’d get over it and come out even stronger. They had Osamu-chan to guide them. And Shiraishi to kick their ass. Much better than Tetsuya ever would have kicked it.

In this they were stronger than Rikkai, who so adamantly refused to lose, like it was the worst thing to ever happen.

Well. Winning was more fun, Tetsuya wouldn’t deny that.


ox*xo


”Damn it!”

“Throwing a fit each time you lose won’t make it any better, you know.”

“Shut up! What the hell do you know?!”

“I know how frustrating losing can be.”

“Wha...How the hell do you even know? Are you a stalker?!”

“It’s a shit feeling, isn’t it?”

“...”

“But if you lose and hate it, the only thing to do is make it you won’t lose next time. Or was that talk about getting stronger and beating the hell out of Mouri just empty words?”

“...”

“Oh, maybe you forgot to fill the liters!”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?!!”


x*x

”We won…”

“Yeah, we did.”

“We shouldn’t have. They were better. They were stronger. They had the better strategy.”

“And yet they didn’t get that last point. It all just wasn’t good enough.”

“No. No, it wasn’t.”

“Are you pitying them?”

“...”

“Remember what you said to Mouri?”

“Of course I do! I just...can’t forget what it felt like...what it has to feel like for them.”

“Winning is hard, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. It is.”

“Look, Hara. In an outcome of any match there’s always gonna be a winner and a loser. The winner moves forward to another match. You either win, or you lose. That’s all there is to it. All you can do about it, is your very best and carry the victory further, as far as you can.”

“...”

“Which is why you will smile now and celebrate!”

“Aye, aye, taichou.”

“I’ll buy you a melon.”

“Don’t forget the bat.”

“Getting ready for the next battle already?”

“No, just want to bash you in the melon.”


x*x

”So you’re a buchou now, taichou? Congrats!”

“Thanks, vice.”

“...I can’t possibly…”

“You can.”

“...”

“...”

“So demanding, taichou.”

“You demand demanding.”

“Maybe~ Fine then. I’ll be your vice, Yuki-chan.”

“Yes, it will snow soon.”

“Want a snowball fight, taichou?”


x*x

“We won!”

“Your last smash was powerful. Did you swallow a charger?”

“No, I just charge high point fees!”

“How demotivating.”

“I wouldn’t say. They seem pretty motivated to me.”

“Kicking your ass? Yeah, they would.”

“How very kinky!”


x*x

”Nationals are coming up.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Rikkai will be there.”

“Yeah.”

“I want to bench you.”

“What?! You can’t do that to me! I busted my ass off the last two years!”

“I know. But do you really feel like you’re ready to face him, or do you just want to play him no matter what and damn the consequences?”

“...”

“You tell me, Tetsuya.”

“...Do as you will.”



ox*xo


They passed the prelims and the quarterfinals without greater troubles and by that time Tetsuya had almost completely forgot about the things he was supposed to think about, but as it was usual, they came back to annoy him when he least expected it. They were just heading from the courts, the kids still bouncing excitedly about their victory, when they passed the neighbouring courts just when the referee whistled, announcing the end of match.

“Game and match. Rikkai 6-0.”

They all stopped at the same moment. Of course. Rikkai was on court A. Shitenhouji was court B. Of course both teams would clash against each other in the semifinals, if they both won. He felt tension between his shoulder blades, an anxious feeling at his spine that he got whenever he was standing on the court eyeing his next opponent and he turned, coming face to face with the intense stare of his rival. Tetsuya met the gaze squarely, just staring into the amber eyes unblinkingly.

“With 3 wins Rikkai proceeds to the semifinals. Line-up.”

Tetsuya didn’t remember much of the journey back to the hotel, or the dinner. His replies were automatic, his jokes and light replies coming on their own, perfected to top notch long ago, not needing to think about them. He just remembered the need to clear his head, which made him go for a run late in the evening.

Juuza.

Was he really ready to face that guy yet?

He had gotten stronger, he knew that. And by god, he wanted to play Juuza, he did. He’d love to wipe the courts with that lazy ass and then gloat until the other redhead would be begging him to stop. But that was his personal agenda speaking. Was he really the best player to stand against Juuza? Wasn’t someone like Gin, or Kenya a better fit, with that astounding power and unbeatable speed, that could give someone as lazy as Juuza a literal run for his money? Was his revenge more important than the team’s victory? Could he really carry the responsibility for putting their dream of national no.1 on the line for his own agenda? They had all worked so hard…

The phone in his pocket chose that exact moment to vibrate, receiving an incoming message.


From: Lazyass
Subject: Tomorrow

Text: I’ll see you on the courts.


ox*xo


"You want me to be the captain? Me of all people?"

"You’re the best fit for it."

"In what way, other than being a totally chaotic person and always forgetting important dates?"

"You still have something to teach them, right?"


x*x

"Buchou, please, let me play against him!"

"I can’t do that Kenya."

"But..."

"I realize you have personal reason to play, but Shiraishi is a better choice against that playing style. Your speed tennis would be in disadvantage."

"I don’t care! Please, just give me the chance..."

"I’m sorry."

"Goddamnit! You begged Hirazen senpai to put you into the starting line too! You gotta know how I feel."


x*x

"You did it on purpose. You said you wanted me to teach them something, but you also wanted them to teach me something. You asshole. You wanted me to understand."

"Do you?"

"...Yes. I think I do. It’s the team that’s important. Winning with everyone is more fun than winning alone. Because even if you win and the others lose, your personal victory won’t seem so great anymore. That’s what you wanted to tell me, wasn’t it?"

"I’m grateful that I have you to explain my decisions to me."

"You can always count on me, Yuki-chan!"

"In that case, get over here and let’s hit some balls."

"Aye, aye, taichou!"


x*x

“Are you heading back to Akashi?”

“Yeah, for a few weeks. Eating good takoyaki for a change.”

“Will you see Mouri?”

“No. No, I checked. He’ll be visiting by the time I’ll be back.”

“I thought you’d want to play him.”

“I thought so too. But you were right. I’m not ready yet. I still need to get better. I don’t want to face him with revenge and half-assed feelings. When I’ll face him it will be fierce and I will win.”

“You bet your ass you will. Or else I’ll kick it to the moon.”

“Aye, aye, taichou!”



ox*xo


When he had gotten back to the hotel, head still full of the text, he was surprised to find Shiraishi and Osamu-chan sitting in the common room of their floor, working out a last minute line-up. Now, that was highly unusual. Unlike naturally chaotic him, Shiraishi was the best organized person Tetsuya knew. Last minute work and deadline pushing wasn’t anything he ever expected to see Shiraishi doing. Something had to be occupying the captain’s mind.

And then Osamu-chan told him and it was all suddenly clear.

Singles 3. An important position and one that might just prove to be crucial in the upcoming matches. Also the most likely position for Juuza to play on. Rikkai would bet their chances on their doubles. Consequently Juuza was the ideal singles 3. Talented enough to win and in case he failed, there were two more strong players ahead. If you won your doubles, singles 3 didn’t really matter if you lost. Although it would be a key for keeping the pace, with two matches won and three more to be fought out, they wouldn’t fret. Tetsuya found himself wondering if that had been the reason why Juuza chose that exact team.

Tetsuya wouldn’t put it past him, to pick the one team where he could sit back on his ass and enjoy himself. No, in fact that would be a typical Mouri Juuzaburou.

But back to the matter at hand.

Shiraishi of course realized the importance of singles 3 in this situation. And if they lost both of their doubles - which admittedly wasn’t set in stone, but it was a possibility, it would be hard on singles 3. The pressure would be merciless and the logical choice to make would be the one with more experience.

Tetsuya’s wish to play grew for one moment into overwhelming desire.

But he suppressed that desire, realizing the need to stay objective. Or as objective as his biased self could be. That they hesitated over it, probably meant that they didn’t think he was the best choice to pit against Mouri and Tetsuya couldn’t really get offended at that. He had asked himself the same thing not twenty minutes ago. And of course Osamu-chan knew about his devastating loss against Mouri. He might not have ratted him out to Shiraishi, but Tetsuya wouldn’t be surprised if the coach had been the one to object against him on the line up versus Juuza.

They weren’t sure he could win, but they didn’t trust Kenya to deal with the pressure.

The fact that this was his last tournament that he would play with this team might have played a role in their hesitation too. They probably wanted to leave him his last match and if he didn’t play singles 3, he might not get his chance in singles 2.

In other words, they were handing the decision to him.

And he had thought he had handed his resignation in months ago.

Either way it was, Tetsuya knew he had to make his choice now.

Him, or the team?

His revenge, or their dream?

Win, or lose?

Really, thinking about it this way, it should have never even been a question.

“Kenya will do fine.”

They both gave him surprised looks. Or Shiraishi did. Osamu-chan just bore his jade eyes through him with that unreadable smirk on his lips, before saying a moment later in a seemingly ‘by the way’ manner, as if he has just made an interesting but otherwise unimportant observation. “Singles 3 might be Mouri Juuzaburou.”

“Is that so?” Tetsuya countered with the same tone that Osamu-chan had used and the issue was settled. He wanted nothing more than to play Juuza and he was sure Osamu-chan knew that. And because of that the coach wouldn’t bring the subject up again.

“But senpai…” He heard Shiraishi argue. “This is your last tournament.”

Ah, there it was. But Shiraishi didn’t realize that Kenya’s chances to win, if he played his usual, fast and free way, were higher than Tetsuya’s. Mouri didn’t have the same fire in him that Kenya did and Tetsuya had his own issues.

“It will be fine if Kenya wins.”

Shiraishi still didn’t seem convinced.

It kinda bothered Tetsuya, although he could understand it. Shiraishi probably wanted the more experienced player on a crucial position, but that also denoted he didn’t trust anyone else to take over that position. But it wasn’t guaranteed that Tetsuya would win against Mouri and Kenya’s vicious balls and fast reactions would be more effective against Juuza. Although of course that didn’t guarantee Kenya would win either.

Literally anything could happen.

You either win, or you lose. That’ all there is to it.

Taichou’s words rung through his head and he found himself repeating them to his buchou.

“It’s a line up where Shitenhouji will win, or where Shitenhouji will lose. That’s all there is to it.” There was no other alternative than those two. And all they could do about it was decide a line up and do their best. Wherever that would lead them. If they won, it was all great and if they lost, they’d get stronger. Tetsuya finally understood that. It was a lesson he had learned the hard way and with a few helpful nudges from his taichou. And he’d make sure he passed that lesson down on his kouhais too. He had finally realized that this was what Hirazen had both wanted him to learn and teach to the kids at the same time. “If that’s what you’re hesitating about you have no right to call yourself a captain, Shiraishi.”

ox*xo


It had been a long and tiring three matches. It had looked for a while like Yuuji and Koharu had the slightest chance for a win, but in the end the Rikkai combination had the one over and beat them in a honorable 6:4. Zaizen and Ken-chan had done their best, but in the end they weren’t able to take a single game. Tetsuya was for what was probably the first time in his life not pleased to have been right.

He felt the intense stare on him even before Juuza entered the court, the amber eyes fixing him with their gaze, the cocky smile on those lips seemingly daring him.

Come out.

For a single moment Tetsuya wondered about his choice, overcome with the desire to step out and play. He closed his eyes and crossed his arms, trying to suppress that desire and not give into the impulse to just get out and stand there instead of Kenya.

From beside him, Osamu-chan said seemingly by the way. “Singles 3 is Mouri Juuzaburou after all.”

“Of course he is.” Tetsuya answered and no other reply came. As if there would be anyone else in Rikkai better suited for that position, really. Tetsuya still stood to his decision however. If Kenya showed the maximum 100% of his skill, he had a better chance than Tetsuya, whose style was at major disadvantage to Mouri’s.

But then Kenya entered the court and almost immediately Tetsuya knew that this might just prove to be one of the hardest trials in Kenya’s life. The tense line of his kouhai’s back, the serious grimace on the features that usually held that vibrant, energetic smile… It seemed like all the responsibility that had been laid onto him, pushed him to the ground, the ‘grin’ in the ‘win’ completely forgotten.

From there it all went to hell.

At the end of it he seriously wondered if they would have to pick Kenya up from the ground. The boy had suffered the worst kind of defeat a person could only suffer. And just like that their dream of the finals dissolved into thin air.

“With a score 3-0 Rikkai advances to the finals.”

“Thank you for the match!”

Over the entire ordeal Tetsuya felt those eyes on him again, but he avoided a direct look and just silently followed his team towards the locker rooms. Even when he passed the other redhead at the respective ends of their lines, did he stubbornly refuse to meet those sharp eyes.

Of course, Juuza wasn’t done with him yet. His old friend had never ever made anything easy on him, it would be a huge surprise if he started with it now.

Just as Tetsuya passed his rival, now back to back with him, the teasing voice spoke.

“You ditched me.”

It didn’t sound either accusing, or understanding, or even questioning. It was a simple statement, just one sentence, that was underlined with a demand. Juuza wanted answers, but wouldn’t ask further if Tetsuya didn’t give him an answer.

Tetsuya knew that he didn’t owe anything to Mouri, but he still found himself replying.

“Winning with everyone else was more important.”

I wasn’t sure I could win against you.

I didn’t know if I could give you a good fight worth the trouble.

I’m not ready yet.


“You lost though.”

Tetsuya wondered what he should reply to that. That they’d just have to do better next time? What next time? Or that if Kenya had been playing his usual, the tables may just be turned now? Excuses of a sore loser. No buts, no ifs and no whens would change the situation now, or erase the loss from their account. All there was left to do, was accept the simple fact, that this time, they were on the losing side. So in the end, all that Tetsuya could say was.

“We did.”

For a few seconds, Juuza didn’t say anything and Tetsuya had already made a move to catch up to his team, when his rival spoke again.

“You changed.”

The words surprised him and for a moment he didn’t know how to answer. He turned his head, only to be met by two unreadable amber eyes.

“You didn’t though.” He finally said. “Not much, anyway.”

Juuza actually snickered.

“Hey, Tsu-chan?”

That old nickname chased an embarrassed shiver down Tetsuya’s spine, but if Mouri noticed, he ignored it.

“Next time we stand on different sides, I want you to be there across the net.”

Something in that cocky tone brought a wicked smirk to Tetsuya’s lips, chest swelling with a fire at the challenge, that was no doubt there.

“Are you sure you want that?” He turned entirely and they were now facing each other squarely, face to face. “Because if we do, I’ll be wiping the courts with your ass so hard, that you’ll be begging me to stop. And if I hear that stupid nickname just one more time,” he added, eyes glinting dangerously. “I’ll make sure that you’ll wish you never would have opened your mouth.”

Juuza’s eyes glinted back at him, the crooked smile mirroring Tetsuya’s. “Big words, Tsu-chan. Just make sure you won’t end up being the one on your ass.”

“You wish, Juuza.”


ox*xo


The journey back to Osaka passed uneventfully, almost silently, as if everyone was still busy stomaching their giant loss, their thoughts and emotions rushing through them like the train rushed them home, away from the tournament they lost.

But as the train stopped, with it their gloomy thoughts came to a halt too and when they left the train, they left those thoughts behind the door. The first to smile was Shiraishi, when he announced that they needed to celebrate their loss, like real men did. Osamu-chan was of course the first to agree, followed closely by Yuuji and Koharu. The familiar scowl replaced the sad expression on their freshman’s face, Gin’s lips tilted upward by an inch and Ken-chan smiled. It seemed they all understood the one thing that Tetsuya had so much trouble understanding at first. If you lost, you could do nothing else than get stronger, so that you didn’t lose next time. Being sad and frustrated was natural, but it would bring nothing to dwell on it. Tetsuya was sure that while none of them could voice it, the answer was already there. Tokyo was behind them, they left it on the train. This was Osaka, where they could train to achieve their goals and their hearts knew it.

Well, maybe not all of them, he thought as he cast a glance at the team mate listlessly trailing behind them, but he was sure Kenya too would figure it out eventually. Once his eyes weren’t so clouded with the feeling of loss, he’d too realize it. The boy had quite the brains, when he wasn’t being his usual dumb self. It would need just a small nudge in the right direction, but Tetsuya would leave that to the buchou. That slender back would grow into something as broad as taichou’s had been, the redhead knew.

He decided he would too, swallow up his frustration and do his best next time he faced Juuza. Not for himself, but for this bunch of brave kids, who still could smile, even after such a devastating loss. He couldn’t let a few kids be wiser than their senpai, could he?

His suggestion of smashing a few watermelons was met with loud cheers.


ox*xo


“Taichou, I’m fine.”

“I know. We’re still out of hearing range. Just sayin.”

They were on their way home for less than five minutes and his former captain seemed convinced that Tetsuya needed to make a scene of epic outrage, stomping and smashing things to be defined as ‘fine’. Tetsuya didn’t agree.

“Look. We lost. And yes, I’d love to polish Juuza’s face for good measure, but that won’t help anything, will it?”

“No one will hear you. Oh, wait, you drank too many iced teas, haven’t you?”

“What the hell?”

“Maybe you lost your voice.”

“For fuck’s sake, YUKI!!!”

“There. That’s more like it.”

Tetsuya couldn’t but sigh heavily, hand going up to massage his forehead. Why was that goddamn asshole insisting on being such an asshole?

“So. Now that you screamed yourself out, wanna smash a few balls?”

“Oh hell yes. I’ll smash some balls. I’ll smash them so hard, that you’ll need pliers to get them out!”

“...I’m not that hard, Tetsuya.”

Tetsuya decided he wouldn’t need his racket.


End Notes
I know that ‘buchou’ is the team captain in sports, but in the manga (english translation) Tetsuya called Hirazen ‘taichou’ (the military rank of captain). I don’t know whether that was a misliteration, but I liked it and it sorta became my head canon that Tetsu calls his former buchou taichou.

Tetsuya’s hair color. Now, I have heard a lot of people who called it brown, auburn, or even blond. I will simply add to this chain and say it’s red. To me it looks like an orange-ish, darkish, russet kind of thing and thus qualifies as ‘red’.

The thing about Mouri and Tetsu growing up in the same neighbourhood actually has a solid base. See, Mouri is originally from the Hyogo prefecture. Tetsuya’s favorite food is akashi yaki, which originates from Akashi (and is the “original takoyaki”, or at least something that takoyaki developed from), which is a city in the Hyogo prefecture. This, to me, a fujoshi of simple needs, equals to “they grew up in the same neighbourhood.”

Just in case you don’t get the “snow joke”. “Yuki” means snow in japanese and is the second syllable of Taira’s (Yoshiyuki) name - although you can argue with me over the kanji. I have no idea whether the kanji’s are the same. The japanese word for “snowball fight” is “yuki gakkusen” with the “gakkusen” as the actual word for “combat” or “battle” - which leads us to the military sense of the word “taichou”. And just in case: No, that sentence it’s not a “Frozen” reference. And I hope I do not have to explain that last pun. ^^

I kinda feel like this could have been so much better if I made it a multi-chapter. It would have gone deeper, explored their characters a bit more… I feel that making it an one-shot, I took away some of it’s depth and background. But alas, as it is, I don’t have the time to write another multi-chapter. I have been writing one already since last September and it’s still nowhere near finished. But maybe, one day, when I have the time, I’ll convert this into a multi-chapter and it will be epic. But until then, I hope you enjoyed this at least a bit. ^^ Have a beautiful summer!

Mana
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June 2014

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