To Em; February prompt number 17
Sanada/Yukimura - Discipline.
Hyotei asks for some practice matches against Rikkai and things don't quite go to plan. Kirihara, Sanada, Yukimura, Atobe. 1136 Words.
Kirihara was sick of it; not that he suffered much personally, because he was the second year ace and hadn't yet lost to any opponent from another school. But for the sake of others, his friends, those who weren't Regulars and lost a match now and then, he was sick of the slaps.
The resounded in his head and a little voice whispered delightedly about how it wished he would just slap back. Kirihara had almost been tempted to, once. He had been standing close enough to feel the air resistance as Sanada's hand whipped through the space between him and the other boy, had felt the vibrations of the hand meeting cheek like it had happened to him.
He just needed one opportunity, one small chance. If he could just see Sanada lose, then someone would get to put him through what he always gave to everyone else, and wouldn't that be just fine. Kirihara hoped to be the one to get to do it.
"Buchou," he would say at least ten times a day, to Yukimura's amusement, "when are you going to play Sanada-fukubuchou? I think you two should play a match. I think I could learn a lot."
Maybe if he hadn't included the last part, Yukimura might have believed him. But probably not, because Yukimura Seiichi was far from stupid. He just smiled down on Kirihara and always said, "Sometime soon, perhaps."
"Hyotei have requested some 'friendly matches' again, Seiichi," Yanagi said. "I believe they're looking to rearrange their team of Regulars."
"Using us to do it again, huh." Yukimura murmured. He didn't sound especially interested. "And I suppose their coach believes they'll find ways to defeat us at the same time. Fine, arrange it. But there will only be one doubles match, and two singles. I won't be playing, neither will you, or Akaya. Don't put Niou and Yagyuu into doubles; let them decide between them who will play Singles Two."
Yanagi nodded and left, picking up on everything Yukimura did not say. He passed Niou and Yagyuu on his way to return the phone call. Kirihara frowned.
"Why can't I play?!" He demanded, and told himself he wasn't pouting.
"Think of yourself as a secret weapon." Yukimura said. "A unknown variable. I will not give them what they want."
Victory wasn't at all as sweet as Kirihara had imagined it would be. Perhaps it was because Sanada had somehow miraculously lost; he hadn't known Sanada could lose to anyone but buchou, but now that it had happened, it sent a cold feeling sweeping through him from his feet upwards. Numb, he just felt numb. Rikkai's reputation would slide down a notch if it got about that their vice-captain was just a loser.
His opponent, Atobe Keigo was his name, did not happy even though he had won. Sure enough he smiled and showed off to his friends, but as Rikkai were silently exiting the school gates, he tailed them, grabbed Sanada's arm roughly.
Sanada shook him off, but stopped. Yukimura looked back, and glared at anyone else who dared to do so, gesturing to them to carry on walking. He did not look back a second time.
"You try doing a favour for me again, I'll make you regret it." Atobe said coldly. His intimidating face was nothing compared to Sanada's mask of impassiveness, Kirihara thought to himself. You could just tell when Sanada was making that face no matter how far away you were from it.
"At least I know for sure now you'll stick around long enough to meet us officially in the tournament." Sanada retorted, and walked away.
Kirihara wasn't allowed to speak all the way back to school; everytime he opened his mouth, Yanagi would either shush him, pinch his upper thigh, or plug his mouth with chewing gum to keep it busy. No-one else spoke overly much, but it wasn't fair that Niou was allowed to annoy Jackal all the way back, while Marui cracked his gum and made stupid comments about whatever scenery they passed by.
He wondered how Yanagi knew he was ging to say something more important than either of those two, then remembered that Yanagi just knew everything.
Back at school everyone dispersed quickly, leaving Sanada and Yukimura in the locker room together. Yanagi held Kirihara's arm firmly, as though to make sure he left too.
"But I've forgotten my homework!" He protested as loudly as possible. "It's back there, and if I don't get it I'll be kept away from practice until I redo it in class, and Yukimura-buchou will kill me!"
"He won't kill you." Yanagi said firmly. "Just be quick."
Kirihara slipped out of Yanagi's grasp with a grin, freedom enveloping him like a drug. He headed for his locker sure enough, but didn't bother to open it. Sanada was folding his clothes into his locker, even his towel, and Yukimura was sat on a bench watching him from behind.
"Buchou," Kirihara said, shattering the silence and not noticing at all. Yukimura didn't even flinch. "If Sanada-fukubuchou gets to slap people when they lose, what happens when he loses?"
Yukimura turned at the same time Sanada did, so that he got to see both sets of eyes on him with wildly different expression; Yukimura was smiling in a way that made Kirihara want to run, and Sanada just looked mad as always. Maybe madder.
"Well," Yukimura said pretty coldly, "you must go to the person above him in order to make sure he receives the proper discipline."
Even when Yukimura stood up, Kirihara still didn't believe he would really do it; Sanada and Yukimura were always nicer to each other than anyone else, and he'd even seen them doing things once before, and when he'd gone to Niou about it, Niou had just laughed and told him to stop being a baby, that they'd been that way long before he had come along.
"I can't believe you used my game to settle a personal vendetta." Yukimura said to Sanada. His voice was the most intimidating Kirihara had ever heard, but his feet refused to take him far away, even though his brain was screaming that he didn't want to see anymore, even if he had been the one to set it all off.
Even when he could see Yukimura's hand cutting through the air, Kirihara didn't believe he would actually do it. Sanada didn't even flinch, just stood waiting, and stayed steady as flesh connected with flesh with a resounding smack. Kirihara didn't even realise he had squeezed his eyes tightly shut until he heard voices again and had no images to connect them to. Yukimura was speaking. To him. His smile was terrible as the words came out.
"Where did you think Sanada learnt his forehand from, Akaya?"