Psidai: Alternative Punishments
Title: Alternative Punishments Series: Psidai AU Fandom: Prince of Tennis Rating: G Word Count: 2032 Pairings: Golden Pair, InuKai, Tezuka/Atobe, Fuji/Kurumi (*eg*)
Summary: Seeing as how making people run laps is no longer an effective deterrent for mischief, Tezuka comes up with a new and uniquely effective method of punishment.
Timeline: Takes place soon after “And the Children Shall Lead pt. 1”, post-Kanto and pre-Nationals.
Tezuka wasn’t sure if the thought had been spawned from the hellish exercise that was the Seigaku-Hyotei cooperative training camp, or if the seeds of dissatisfaction had been sown far earlier than that. After all, one only had to look at the mess that had been their match against Jousei Shounen to see that assigning endless numbers of laps to his team members no longer served as an effective deterrent to their mischief.
He needed an alternative, Tezuka decided. Something that wouldn’t disrupt their training for the Nationals, and yet would also be effective punishment. And impossible as the tasked seemed to be, a possible solution to his dilemma suddenly sought him out one day at the end of a regular session of the student council.
“Saa, Tezuka-san,” Yamamoto Juri, the president of the girl’s track team and vice-president of the student council, spoke to him after the meeting had adjourned, “I hear the boys tennis team won the regional championship this year. You must be very proud.”
“Thank you, Yamamoto-san,” Tezuka replied politely, inwardly grateful that the debacle that had been the Kanto finals hadn’t made news in the other clubs at school. “Everyone has worked hard, but we still have a long way to go for the Nationals.”
“Hai, hai, your team must all be very hard workers. If only one of your boys could run with my girls one of these days. They’d actually be motivated to put in some effort, I think.”
Before Tezuka could reply to the half-joking offer, a third voice joined their conversation. It was Hoshino Ayame, the president of the girl’s tennis club and the representative for class 3-6.
“Ne, Juri-chan, if you can actually talk Tezuka-kun in lending out some of those cute tennis team members of his, it’s only fair that the girl’s tennis club should get first choice.” She grinned at Tezuka to show that she wasn’t entirely serious either. “You know, Tezuka-kun, our club’s doing a tutoring thing with Seigaku’s elementary tennis club from those classes you visited last week. Boy were they disappointed to find out they were working with the girl’s tennis club. Why, there was this one kid who kept on going about her ‘Syuusuke’. I never knew Fuji-kun was so popular with the elementary kids.”
Juri giggled at Ayame’s mimicry of said little girl’s high-pitched voice. “Ha ha, I guess Fuji-san just has that kind of mysterious quality around him, ne? But really, Ayame-chan, I’d say that if anyone managed to talk Tezuka-san into a cross-club exercise, every girls club in the school will be lining up for it, not just the sports ones too.”
“It’d be worth it,” Ayame declared, then sighed wistfully, “but I guess it’s ultimately still just a dream for the rest of us, eh, Tezuka-kun?”
But Tezuka appeared to be deep in thought on what seemed to be such a joking matter. Actually, his first reaction had been to refuse the oft-made requests out of habit. However, the more he heard the two girls talk and the more he thought about the matter, an idea slowly began to form.
It had hardly escaped his attention that the members of his tennis team all seemed to prefer staying away from girls of their age. He didn’t know what it was about tennis that attracted such a large percentage of boys who were more inclined to pair up with those of their own gender, but the facts could not be denied. In fact, if he really thought back through the years, he’d almost say that many of his team members simply couldn’t and didn’t know how to handle girls.
So that would mean… being forced to work with any of the girls sports clubs would indeed be distasteful to just about everyone on his team. It would be a most efficient method of punishment, without having to wholly disrupt their training. After all, if they were running away from a horde of star-struck females, it was still good training, wasn’t it?
Tezuka turned his attention, which had only wavered for a moment as his thoughts quickly reordered themselves, back to the two girls in front of him.
“Actually, Yamamoto-san, Hoshino-san, I believe that a few cross-club exercises would be good training for some members of the boy’s tennis club.”
He looked down dispassionately at the gaping expressions of utter shock from the two girls, and began to outline his proposal.
Somewhere in the background, the class representative to room 3-2 froze mid-step where he had been approaching Tezuka as per their usual habit of leaving the council for afternoon practice together. The more he heard of the plan being outlined by his buchou, the more pale the Seigaku tennis club fukubuchou turned at the words.
Oishi made a mental note to stick like glue to Eiji for the rest of their break before the Nationals – anything in order to keep himself and his flighty partner from falling victim to this new… punishment from hell.
Later on, Tezuka was pleased to realize that he had come up with his new method of punishment just in time. Or, rather, pleased was not quite the word to describe the ever-stoic buchou who was forcefully keeping his eyebrows from twitching in irritation as he glared at the two culprits of today’s mischief – the usual suspects, Inui and Fuji.
He decided to deal with Fuji first. The tensai was still wearing his ever-present smile even in the face of Tezuka’s displeasure, almost smug in his belief that there wasn’t much that Tezuka could do to truly punish him.
Tezuka was about to prove him wrong.
“Fuji, report to the girl’s tennis courts.”
“…Eh?” Fuji was momentarily taken aback by the unusual order.
Tezuka just talked right over Fuji’s confusion. “You are to follow Hoshino-buchou’s orders for the rest of their practice and tutoring session today with the members of Seigaku Elementary tennis club.”
“…Elementary… tennis… club…” Fuji’s smile disappeared and his mind immediately jumped to the memory of Kurumi’s shrill voice. “Tezuka,” he was almost begging, “…anou… do I really? I promise I--”
Tezuka didn’t wait for him to finish or start making excuses. “Fuji. Go,” he commanded sternly, and watched as the tensai shuffled away dejectedly as one going to his own execution.
He then turned to deal with Inui, and was satisfied to see that the usually sinisterly grinning boy was looking quite nervous as well. In fact, the whole tennis court had gone silent as many of the Regulars stared with various degrees of unease and horror at Tezuka and the departing Fuji.
“Inui, 100 laps…”
Inui, who had stiffened on being called, momentarily relaxed at the mention of innocuous laps.
“…with the girl’s track team.” Tezuka spared a glance at his watch. “They will be starting in three minutes. Don’t be late.”
Inui gulped at his sentence, but knowing that Tezuka wasn’t going to change his orders, also resigned himself to his fate. Taking the warning to mean that further punishment might be in store if he was late, the bespectacled boy dashed toward the other end of the school where the track and field were located.
Tezuka then turned his eyes onto the rest of the silently gawking court.
“Well? What are you all staring at? Get back to work!”
“Well, I see Seigaku has its fair share of slackers too.” A new voice suddenly made itself known. Everyone turned to the doors of the tennis courts to see the inimitable form of Hyotei’s Atobe Keigo leaning against the open door.
“Atobe.” Tezuka wished, just for one brief moment, that he had the authority to punish the Hyotei diva as well. “What do you want?”
Instead of answering, Atobe boldly walked into the courts and up to Tezuka’s forbidding form. He carefully scrutinized his rival buchou’s face, before suddenly whirling on the rest of the tennis club, who had broken off practice once again to gawk.
“Oi, so who was the baka that got Tezuka mad this time?”
“M-mad?!” wondered several of the second years.
“How can you tell!” yelled Momo and Eiji in unison, waving at Tezuka’s unchanging stony expression.
Oishi stiffened and grabbed his partner by the collar, pulling Eiji to the (hopeful) safety of the other side of the court. He certainly did not want to be doing any punishment exercises with his partner at any of the girl’s clubs.
Atobe, meanwhile, had reached out and grabbed Tezuka by the chin, turning the other’s face so that it was squarely facing the rest of the club, albeit somewhat squashed under Atobe’s hand. The rest of the tennis club stared in shock.
“What, you can’t tell? Someone’s really ticked him off this time.”
That someone included Atobe, Tezuka wanted to say, but didn’t. Instead, he roughly jerked his face out of Atobe’s grasp.
“A-to-be,” Tezuka said slowly, giving the diva a flat glare. “What. Do. You. Want.”
“Oh, don’t mind me,” Atobe said airily as he waved a thick manila folder in Tezuka’s face. “I was just dropping off some paperwork and a few bills for your Hiko-sensei when I heard the commotion. I’m sure it’s nothing you’ll need to worry about.”
With that, he turned around and sauntered out of the courts as confidently as he had entered.
“Come on, Kabaji.”
Tezuka was slightly disquieted by the much larger stack of papers and folders that Kabaji, who had been obediently waiting outside the courts, was carrying. But he decided that he would ask Hiko-sensei about it later. Right now he still had a club to get back into order. After making sure that Atobe had disappeared into the building that held the faculty offices, he turned back to the rest of his still-idling club.
“Get back to work! Any Regular who slacks off will be assigned to practice with the girl's aerobics club and the girl's swim team tomorrow.”
There was a loud commotion across the courts as everyone nearly jumped over each other to hurry back to practice.
Tezuka decided that the preliminary trial of the new punishment method had been somewhat successful so far. Though, only time will tell if the two most wearisome troublemakers of the club could truly be kept under control by it.
“Syuuuuuuusuke!! You came!!”
Fuji cringed at the little demon girl who had immediately attached herself to him. He could do little else as Kurumi all but dragged him onto the courts, in full view of a court full of girls from both the elementary school and his own classmates. He could already hear the whispers and rumors starting to form.
This was hell, he decided. Most definitely, hell.
Kaidoh had just started his post-practice run when a large and familiar form suddenly darted past him and into the bushes.
Kaidoh blinked as he stared at the patch of spiky black hair sticking out from the low bushes by the walkway.
“Sssshhh! Hide me!” hissed Inui when Kaidoh leaned in closer to see just what in the world his senpai was doing.
Kaidoh leaned back, but not before his nose twitched as he smelled something… rosemary? strawberry-orange? wild mountain thyme?
“Inui-senpai, since when do you use scented shampoo?” Kaidoh demanded. And it had better be shampoo too, and not, for instance, someone else’s perfume.
“There he is!!”
A swarm of girls dressed in the uniform of the track team had just rounded the corner and was now making a beeline toward where Inui was hiding.
Kaidoh hissed as he clearly heard the accusations being hurled at his senpai… something about spying into the girl’s locker room.
“BAKA SENPAI!” His fist smacked into the side of Inui’s head.
“Ite!” Inui darted out from the bushes as the mob of girls drew closer. “It’s not like that, Kaoru,” he pleaded even as he ran. “It was all a misunderstadiiiiiinnnnnggg…”
“Ffsshhhuuu.” Kaidoh turned away from where Inui and the lynch mob disappeared off to and resumed his afternoon run. As far as he was concerned, even if Inui came out of this alive, he still had a lot of explaining to do.
~* owari *~
AN: This was a pretty old idea that just popped back into my mind. I wanna write the Gauntlet fic that was supposed to follow up on this (with the whole being billed for the Training Camp bit), but I seem to have forgotten a lot of what we'd planned out for that one. Saa. Oh well.