Summary- They were the best tennis team in the nation. Tatsuya, Kitsune, Reiyo, Yuusuke, Makoto, Fukei, Sachi, and Hikaru. Teammates and friends. They promised they'll be friends no matter what happens. But then they fell apart when Reiyo, their pillar of support and vice-captain, went into a coma from an accident and can probably never play tennis again. One by one, they all separated. Now, three years later, at the age of sixteen, Yuusuke realizes that he must somehow reunite them all so they can get to the Nationals and become the best once more.
Rated- T, bordering M probably
Genre- Drama, Angst, Romance
Warnings- Shounen-ai? Shoujo-ai? Cross-dressing, that I'm sure of.
A/N- Inspired by a Prince of Tennis fanfic. It was truly a beautiful story. I hope you'll give this story a chance.
Sets of Memories
In the depths of memory...nothing can be forgotten forever...
"Aiji-kun, I hate you. Your grades are so high!"
"Heh. Data has its uses, Fujimara-sempai."
Fukei winced when he saw his grade in red writing on the corner of his math test paper. A C-minus this time. It'd dropped again. His parents had been worried when his grade dropped from an A-plus to a B-plus but his constant reassuring that everything was fine had gotten them off his back for a while. However, now, his parents aren't going to let this go without a good reason. It wasn't characteristic of the smartest student at school to have fallen from an A to a C.
The black haired boy took off his glasses and began cleaning them. It had become a habit now. As he cleaned them, he ignored the stared and whispers.
"Aiji-san's grade dropped again."
"I wonder why."
"Don't you know? It's because..."
Fukei tuned everyone out as he put on his glasses. He was used to the whispers and rumors behind his back, his classmates saying things as if he couldn't hear them. He wasn't stupid. He could hear them but chose to ignore them. He didn't want to hear them, didn't want to.
He wasn't ready to face his past. He wasn't ready to remember what had happened five years ago, back when he was a second year at junior high.
"Hikaru-kun, here. A gift."
"EH!? But, Fujimara-kun, this can't have been cheap!"
"No worries, Hikaru-kun. Think of it as a thank-you. Besides, I noticed how you loved playing the school flute so I got you this."
"Natashiro-kun, you missed your cue."
Hikaru blinked before registering what his music teacher had said. Then he noticed everyone's stares at him and the absence of music. He blushed. "Ah! Gomen, sensei."
"It's alright. Okay, back to the beginning, everyone." There were groans and complaining but no one blamed Hikaru, who only smiled at his stand partner sheepishly. His partner only smiled reassuringly and shook his head before getting the music sheet for their part.
Hikaru stared at his flute in silence before getting into playing position. He waited for a few measures before playing his solo, closing his eyes after having memorized it. He tried to forget the voice in his head, echoing the last line he had remembered before his sempai couldn't go to school anymore...
"Hikaru-kun, our tennis team will always be friends, ne?"
"Your drawing is beautiful, Makoto-kun!"
"Iie. It's not that nice. Look. The shading is off at the clothes."
"It's fine. You tried your best, right? You just don't have enough faith in yourself."
Makoto looked at his no-longer blank canvas as his right hand, holding his special drawing pencil, hovered over it. He blinked, not knowing he'd drawn something while he'd been day-dreaming. His eyes softened at his pencil drawing of someone leaning against a tree with the shadows covering half the body and face.
He remembered this familiar scene and it made him nostaglic.
"Ne, Koorime-kun. Your drawing is pretty as usual." his teacher praised as she looked over his shoulders. Makoto only smiled ruefully as his teacher added,
"You've captured the mysterious and sorrowful air this drawing has."
Of course it has a sorrowful air. Makoto thought it should have that feeling. After all, it was the day when Fujimara-sempai had collasped and immediately sent to the hospital.
"Eh?! Sachi-kun, when...when did you take this picture?"
"Ah...you don't mind, do you, sempai?"
"Of course not, but next time, you need to take a better picture of me."
"Ishida-kun, another award-winning picture." Sachi heard his teacher say. "The judges picked it as second place, however."
Sachi forced a smile. "Sou ka..."
"You should be proud. The photo was quite beautiful. You really captured the essence of the people in it." The teacher handed Sachi back his photo and the package that contained his prize for the contest before giving his shoulder a light squeeze and left.
Sachi looked back at the photo in his hands, eyes dancing across the board the photo had been put on and landed on the paper below that said the title of the photo and the photographer.
The photo was of a tennis team, all smiling and cheering as they threw someone up in the air. It was the photo he'd taken when the tennis team he'd been in had won the tournament.
"Game, set, and match! Fujimara! Six games to four!"
"I lost again. Damn."
"You'll catch up soon enough, Tat-su-ya-kun."
Tatsuya looked at the person across from the net. His grip on his tennis racket tightened as he had another flashback about playing another left-handed long ago. He watched as the boy who had challenged him kneel on the ground from the intensity of the match.
He had won six games to nothing. The onlookers had known, long before the match started and when the challenger had been stupid enough to play against him, that no one can defeat Nagasaki Tatsuya.
But when he had heard of this, he smirked. They didn't know that there were two others who could defeat him in nearly a heart beat.
"You still got a long way to go." Tatsuya stated as he turned and walked away.
'But you'll catch up soon enough, ne, Rei-chan? Isn't that what you always said to the opponent which you defeated?'
"This is good, Kitsune. I never knew you could cook."
"Think you can give me the recipe?"
Kitsune put a sushi in his mouth as his family ate the dinner he'd cooked earlier. He listened as his family discussed things he had no concern for. No matter how many attempts his family tries, he wasn't going to participate in any conversation unless needed.
"Kitsune, you've outdone yourself again." his mother praised as she smiled happily, refilling her husband's bowl with rice.
Kitsune acknowledged the praise with a nod and finished the remaining food he had in his bowl before excusing himself from the table. He placed his bowl and chopsticks in the kitchen sink before heading upstairs to his room. He laid on his bed, thinking a single humorous thought. At least, it was funny to him because others didn't think he even had a single funny bone in his entire body.
'I never did give Rei the recipe...'
"You're late again, Yuusuke-kun."
"I didn't get enough sleep, Fujimara-sempai!"
"Then get to bed earlier."
Yuusuke stared at the blank ceiling, smiling at that particular memory. He remembered how he had to run twenty laps for being late to tennis practice. Despite what his sempai had told him to do, he still was late no matter what. At least he got more endurance and stamina from all the laps he had to run from being tardy all the time.
He closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep with that memory in his mind. However, before he did, he had a single last thought that he didn't know the others were having;
'I miss the others, especially Fujimara-sempai. I wish for all of us to be friends again...'
Outside, a shooting star flew across the night sky before disappearing.
To be continued...