Psidai: Senior High Senbatsu miniarc parts 2 - 2.5
Title: Doubles Senbatsu Series: Psidai AU, Parts 2 and 2.5 in the Doubles Senbatsu miniarc Fandom: Prince of Tennis Rating: G Word Count: 1413, 743 Pairings: GP, Oshitari/Mukahi, ShishiTori, Atobe/Tezuka/Fuji, InuKai (Inui/Yanagi)
Part 2: Announcement
On the last day of the Senbatsu camp, the after-dinner conversations were mostly centered around speculations on who would be chosen for the Japanese All-star team. The general chatter suddenly died down when the three coaches for the event entered the room. Hiko-sensei, as the general manager of the camp, addressed his eager audience.
“Well, I’m sure all of you are impatient to hear the selection results of this camp. However, before I do so, there are some other things I will need to announce first.”
The entire Seigaku team stiffened. They’d heard that before, and it rarely boded well.
“First of all, there will be ten players selected for the All-stars team.”
Surprised murmurs rose up from the gathered teens. Many were speculating that it would be a 3 doubles and 4 singles game.
“This is because our American sponsors have requested a five doubles format.”
At the Seigaku table, Echizen poked his chopsticks petulantly at his empty plate. “Che. Then why did I even come along?”
“On the bright side,” Hiko continued blithely, “they’ve already decided on their doubles line-up, which means that we have also decided on our line-up. So not only do you get to know if you’ve made the team, you’ll also find out who your partner will be before the match!”
The reaction to that news was rather mixed as everyone began to eye the other attendees of the camp uneasily. Seeing that his news wasn’t as welcomed as he’d thought, Hiko decided to raise their spirits a little more.
“Plus, the tournament will be held on a trans-Pacific cruise! We have enough tickets to invite everyone plus most of your tennis clubs along! After the match, you’ll all be free the enjoy the best of what the cruise has to offer!” From nowhere, Hiko put on a pair of sunglasses and pulled out a Hawaiian fan.
The Hyotei and Seigaku teams collectively sweatdropped. Sakaki, standing behind Hiko, cleared his throat to remind him of business.
“Oh, right. The team.” Hiko whipped away his decorations and took out a sheet of paper. “For Doubles 5, we’ve chosen Rikkai’s Sanada…”
Sanada silently prayed that he wouldn’t be paired up with Atobe again. He didn’t think they’d ever be able to work together again after what happened at the Nationals.
“…and Seigaku’s Echizen.”
Sanada’s jaw dropped. Maybe being paired with Atobe wouldn’t have been so bad.
“ECHIZEN?!” yowled Momoshiro from beside the boy in question.
“ON DOUBLES?!” exclaimed Oishi and Eiji in unison.
“Iyadda!” Echizen called out. “I’m not--” He broke off at the stern glare his buchou was shooting his way. “Che. Damn it.” He decided it was safer to remain quiet and glare at Hiko-sensei, who he felt sure was responsible for it all.
At the Hyotei table, Atobe smirked as he met Sanada’s eyes.
‘Full circle, Sanada. FULL circle.’
It was only the forbidding presence of Tezuka sitting between them that prevented Sanada from jumping out of his seat and lunging for Atobe’s throat.
The coaches waited for the commotion in the room to die down. Everyone was looking toward the sheet of paper that Hiko held with horror and trepidation. Many from other schools suddenly remembered that Hiko was one of the two coaches responsible for the debacle that was the Hyotei-Seigaku Kanto finals.
“Ahem. So, Doubles 4…” Hiko trailed off as Oji suddenly stirred next to him.
“Ahh…” The old man slowly raised his finger and pointed it toward the redheaded acrobat at the Seigaku tables.
“Anou… Eiji…” Oishi didn’t get to finish reminding his partner that they were banned as a pair from competitive play when Oji’s finger wobbled toward the Hyotei table, and landed on the other redheaded acrobat there.
“Yes,” Hiko affirmed. “Seigaku’s Kikumaru and Hyotei’s Mukahi.”
“WHAT?! I DON’T WANNA PLAY WITH HIM!” The exclamation came from both boys at the same time. They glared at one another and immediately launched into another argument.
“What do you mean you don’t want to play with me? I’m the one who should be saying that!”
“Ha! You know that I’m the better player! I should be the one to say that!”
“What?! Everyone knows that I’m the more flexible one!”
The argument went downhill from there, while each of the respective partners of the two acrobats tried their best to calm them down. Finally, Sakaki quelled Mukahi with a stern command, and Oishi resorted to clamping his hand over Eiji’s mouth and physically pulling the other boy back down to his seat.
The announcements continued after everyone settled down again. “For Doubles 3, we’ve chosen Hyotei’s Ohtori--”
The boy in question gave an “oof!” as Shishido clapped him on the shoulder with a proud, “Good for you, Choutarou!”
Hiko cleared his throat. “--And Rikkai’s Kirihara.”
Shishido’s easy smile immediately turned into a scowl. “What…?!” he growled out from behind clenched teeth.
Oshitari jumped across Mukahi and onto him, putting his fellow teammate into a headlock and turning on his tranquilizing aura as he did so. “C-calm down, Shishido.”
Over at the Rikkai table, Sanada was entirely unsympathetic to the plight that a gaping Kirihara found himself in. Yanagi looked rather amused as he started to scribble something into his palm pilot.
Niou took pity and leaned in to whisper into his still-gaping kouhai’s ear. “Yo, Kirihara. Run for it.”
“Eh?” Kirihara stared wide-eyed back at him.
Niou indicated the still-fuming Shishido, who was staring daggers in their general direction. “Run!”
His survival instincts kicking in, Kirihara ran. As soon as he cleared the door, Shishido zoomed after him with Oshitari still hanging onto his neck.
Hiko blinked at the wildly swinging door, then shrugged as if nothing had gone wrong. “Next is Doubles 2. We’ve chosen Seigaku’s Inui and Rikkai’s Yanagi.”
The two teens in question gave a sigh of relief, while everyone else marveled that Hiko actually came out with a functional doubles pair.
“And finally, for Doubles 1, we’ve chosen Hyotei’s Atobe and Seigaku’s Tezuka.”
There was a loud snap from the Seigaku table. Fuji had snapped his chopsticks in half.
“Etou… Fuji,” Oishi said weakly as Fuji began to chew on the ends of the broken chopsticks, “those were stainless steel chopsticks.”
Tezuka took one look at Fuji’s red-tinted open eyes, and calmly reached out to pluck the broken pieces of steel from the tensai’s clutches. “Fuji,” he said sternly, “don’t chew on the chopsticks.”
At the Hyotei table, Atobe stared at Fuji’s disturbing display and almost forgot to feel elated at getting put together with Tezuka.
At the table that held representatives from the schools that didn’t make the top four of the nationals, everyone was distracted from Fuji’s display by Shinji’s quiet mumblings.
“You know, even if nobody from Fudomine was picked to be on the All-stars team, I think we should all be grateful for it because who knows what kind of awful pairings Hiko-sensei could have come up with? I’m certainly glad I wasn’t picked since I would’ve wanted to do singles and I don’t understand why the Americans made us have five doubles pairings. Maybe they thought they could win because a lot of the top doubles pairs in Japan are banned from playing, but they probably shouldn’t have expected normal doubles pairs anyways if they put Hiko-sensei in charge. I mean, it was bad enough they’re making rivals like Kikumaru-san and Mukahi-san play together, but they also put Echizen on doubles, and I feel so sorry for Sanada-san because he has to play with Echizen. I had to play doubles with Echizen once against Kamio and Momoshiro, even though I’m much better than those two and could have probably beat them two on one, except with Echizen we almost lost if it weren’t for the fact that Kamio’s obsessed with Ann-chan--”
“Hey!” Protested the Fudomine speed demon in question.
“Shinji,” Tachibana warned.
“Sumimasen, Tachibana-san. But I’m just telling the truth about Echizen’s really bad doubles ability and I bet that everybody here would feel relieved they won’t have to play doubles with Echizen and go through the most humiliating loss of their lives--”
Hiko’s last words broke in through the chatter in the room again.
“All right everyone! That’s it for the Senbatsu camp! It’s time for us all to return to our schools. The buses have already arrived at the front. Yudan seizu ni ikou!”
Part 2.5: Preparation (aka: A Revealing Phone Conversation)
“Renji. I expected you to call earlier.”
“Gomen. The practice Genichirou is making us do after getting back is taking longer than I’d calculated.”
“Aa. A reasonable response to having to play with Echizen. A disgruntled Eiji is difficult to be around as well. Hopefully, the training menu I left with him to practice against Momo will keep him too tired to cause trouble.”
Thoughtful, “Hm. I’ll need to give Akaya his menu as well if he’s to survive his opponents and Shishido. But let’s get down to business. I see that you’ve also found out who we’re to play against.”
“Welling and Stevenson. A copy tensai and a pretender.”
“Perfect targets for Data Tennis.”
Sarcastically, “Considering the other doubles pairs, and the fact that your Hiko-sensei is partly responsible for Kanto?”
“Understandable. But there is a certain logic to their choices this time. Well, except with Echizen.”
“Agreed. So, Sadaharu, shall we meet for practice?”
A chuckle. “So eager to get away from Sanada, Renji?”
“That’s cold, Sadaharu.” A smile. “Wouldn’t you?”
“I’ve arranged for practice with Jousei Shounen’s Wakato-kun. It would be easier if you stayed over for the weekend. My parents are out again.”
“Are you sure your Kaidoh-kun won’t mind? I have no wish to have my neck chewed on again.”
Embarrassed, “Come now, Renji. That was… extenuating circumstances.” A pause. “Besides, I’ve already spoken to him. He agreed to play a rematch with Wakato-kun for the other’s services. Plus, he could also help me brush up on my English.”
A smirk. “You’re a cruel, cruel man, Sadaharu. But wouldn’t Echizen be better for English?”
“He can get rather vindictive when sulking. I couldn’t take the chance that he’d sabotage the translations I need.”
“Aa. Very well. Genichirou will be looking for me in two minutes. Ja ne.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
Yanagi clicked off his cellphone and turned around to face his skulking kouhai.
“Is there something I can do for you, Akaya?”
Kirihara huffed and resigned himself to never being able to take his senpai by surprise. “You sound like you already have your match in hand, Yanagi-senpai,” the second year pouted. “Are you going to leave me with some hints before you ditch us all?”
“Of course,” Yanagi replied with a rather evil grin. “I have a special practice menu for you.”
“Uh…” Suddenly, Kirihara decided that maybe getting help from Yanagi wasn’t such a hot idea.
“Yagyuu! Niou! Jackal!” Yanagi called out as he walked blithely onto the courts again. “Come here! I need to show Akaya-kun his new training menu!”
Somehow, Marui was the first to reach him. “Eh? You want him to practice doubles with Jackal?” the hyper teen asked, smirking at his usual doubles partner. “He’s no Ohtori.”
“Not quite. Jackal, leave your racquet behind.”
“What?” Jakkaru stared at their team strategist in confusion.
“Yagyuu, Niou. Your jobs will be to try and hit Jackal with the ball. Preferably in a way that would take him out of the game.”
“WHAT?!” Jakkaru was louder in his protest this time.
Yanagi didn’t seem to have heard him. “Akaya. Your job is to prevent Jackal from being hit. A plus if you can return the ball correctly while doing so.”
“Uh…” Kirihara began hesitantly, but was interrupted by the other teen in question.
“You want me to trust my safety to him?!” Jakkaru evidently didn’t have much confidence in his junior’s abilities.
“Oh, I get it,” Niou put in. “This is training Kirihara to get on Shishido’s good side so he won’t get murdered by him after the game!”
Yanagi smiled. “That too.” He looked at his watch, then up at the approaching pair of Yukimura and Sanada. “Ah, Seiichi, Genichirou. I’m afraid I’ll have to leave early. I need to catch the train so I can meet Sadaharu for our practice.”
“Of course, Renji,” Yujimura replied with a smile. “But before you go, do you have any training tips for Genichirou?”
“Gomen Seiichi. But even I can’t think of any way to deal with Echizen’s incompetence…”
Sanada glowered at the both of them, but remained quiet due to Yukimura’s presence.
“…But perhaps he can just practice with you, Seiichi,” Yanagi was emboldened to add, “if only so he won’t have an aneurysm before the match.” He quickly slipped toward the doors before Sanada could respond. “I have to go now. Ja ne.”
“Saa. Have a good practice, Renji.”
Japanese terms: Senbatsu = Junior Invitational Iyadda = No way (I'm not sure if this should be "Iya da") Sumimasen, Gomen = Sorry Moshi moshi = Phrased used to answer the phone Tensai = Prodigy Ja ne = See you later.
Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis and all associated characters belong to Konomi-sensei, not me.