I guess because I just went to see the TeniMyu Dream Live yesterday.
Kikumaru’s eyes widened when he looked at the words on the paper. Not only had he been admitted into Seishun Gakuen but his request to join the tennis club had also been approved.
Needing some kind of outlet for his overflowing feelings of happiness, he spontaneously hugged the person standing next to him in front of the announcement board. When the other person let out a soft sound of surprise, Kikumaru pulled away again immediately to apologize.
“Ah, I’m sorry!! I was just so happy I didn’t know what came over me.” He bowed his head.
“That’s okay,” the other person chuckled in amusement. Somehow the voice sounded familiar to Kikumaru. “What made you so happy if I may ask?”
When he looked up, he recognized the other as Fuji Shuusuke, one of his classmates. Incidentally, the one sitting next to him as well. What a coincidence! He smiled brightly. Then he remembered that the other had asked him a question, so he answered, “Ah, Fuji-kun! I got accepted into the tennis club!”
“Oh really? I just joined as well.” Fuji pointed at the paper pinned to the board.
“That’s awesome!” Kikumaru beamed. “That means we’ll be in the same class and the same club, too! Let’s have lots of fun together, Fuji-kun!”
“Sounds good, Kikumaru-kun.”
That’s how their journey together had started. Kikumaru remembered it fondly to this day. His first two years at Seigaku would not have been as much fun without the other. Fuji was his classmate, then became his best friend and occasionally was his training and doubles partner.
Although most people did not have good things to say about their games.
“Don’t those two make a horrible doubles combination?”
“But they’re winning.”
Yes, you couldn’t call their combination a combination. It was more like the two of them playing together against two opponents. It was the truth. Instead of combining their play styles, they stuck with their individual techniques - usually very successfully. It was only possible because they knew each other better than anyone else in the tennis club. So if you wanted to explain it, their combination was one built on knowledge and trust.
Kikumaru would take bets that he knew Fuji even better than Inui did.
A skill that didn’t help him much overall, though. Kikumaru sighed when he was listed as reserve again. His singles players skills were not quite good enough to keep up with the other members, the senior members in the club and his doubles combination with Fuji was not doable because Fuji was a much stronger singles player.
“Cheer up, Eiji. I’m sure your time will come.” Fuji tried to cheer him up.
“I hope it does soon. My days at Seigaku will be over in a flash,” Kikumaru sighed, unusually gloomy. He wrapped his fingers around the cold sports drink bottle he was holding. “Come spring, we’ll be 3rd Years. It’s my last chance.”
“It’ll be our last chance, yes.” Fuji looked up at the grey sky.
Kikumaru shook his head and straightened up. “It’ll be okay! Can’t let something like this pull me down, nya! Even if, even if I don’t make the regulars again, I’ll support you, Fuji! And everyone.”
“That’s the spirit,” Fuji smiled. Then he turned a little more serious. “Say, Eiji, why don’t you try to play doubles again? I think your skills have matured since our first year. And you were so into that match Oishi and senpai had against Yamabuki.”
Stopping in his steps, Kikumaru looked down. “I, I was. I wanted to be out there with him for that so badly.” He took a swig from the bottle. “But Oishi’s been playing doubles with senpai for all this time and I’ve always been told that playing doubles with me is way too hard. Oishi is such a nice guy, he wouldn’t say it so openly and just bear with it silently. I don’t want to do that to him.”
“Because he’s a friend?”
“Yeah.” Kikumaru nodded.
“And you don’t tell me something when it bothers you?” Fuji asked.
“Eh? Of course I do. Because Fuji understa- oh,” Kikumaru blinked, when he realized what Fuji had been trying to tell him. “If we’re really friends, we would tell each other things, huh?”
“That’s right.” Fuji smiled.
Kikumaru contemplated what the other had suggested for a few moments. He got along with Oishi well enough - he admired the other’s playing style sometimes as well, it was calmer and more analytic than his own, a style he could not even hope to imitate.
“I’ll try and ask him tomorrow. That’s still in time for the doubles tryouts, right?” Kikumaru looked at Fuji. Seigaku had been trying to fill the gap between their doubles and singles capabilities. It was no secret that their doubles were a bit of a weakness and it was usually thanks to the singles players that the team pulled through to the next level of the tournament.
With Nationals drawing closer, though, the team was trying to find new solutions.
Fuji nodded. “Sounds like a plan.”
“The two of us are also still in it, though, right? You promised. Just for fun.” Kikumaru pouted.
Your turn alchemicink