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[fic] A Crazily Unfortunate Day

Title: A Crazily Unfortunate Day
Author:absolutehymn007
Claim: Prince of Tennis - General
Table: Buffet - 50 Prompts
Prompt: #50 Bad Things Come in Threes
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Niou x Yagyuu, but mainly Rikkai-centric
Word Count: 3,371
Story: All the signs were saying that the day was going to be unpredictable and that tennis practice was going to be affected as well.
Warnings: One naughty line from our Trickster.
Notes: I still love Niou even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes. He's awesome!


"So what did you get for Christmas this year?" Marui asked, digging into a piece of strawberry cake. Jackal sighed and went to reach for his drink. It was currently lunchtime for the students of Rikkaidai and the pair of best friends were sitting in their usual spot by the corner window half-mindedly watching the snow fall onto the trees.

"A lot of good things," Jackal started replying, sipping on his drink.

"Tennis stuff too?"

"Of course… my father got me the tennis shoes I've been looking at for a while."

"Yeah, I got a lot of tennis stuff too. I have enough new cans of tennis balls to last me the next month," Marui said proudly, finishing his cake and pushing the plate away. "Anyway, did you get anything bad?"

"Yeah, this sweater," Jackal said as he pulled it out of his backpack. It was made of coarse wool and was this ugly goldenrod color. "I had to bring it with me because there was no way to describe the sweater fully with words."

Marui blinked once, but didn't say anything.

"Uh, Marui, aren't you supposed to back away with some kind of repulsed expression on your face?" Jackal questioned in surprise.

"… Sorry Jackal, I was a bit in shock."

"It's that bad, isn't it?"

"No… well, yes, but that's not what I'm stunned about," Marui stuttered, reaching into his own backpack. "It's just that…"

Jackal's eyes opened wide as Marui pulled an identical looking sweater and set it on the table.

"No way," Jackal replied astonishingly, picking up a sleeve and examining it.

"I know…" Marui added. "It means that our parents have the identical horrible taste in sweaters..."

They took a few seconds of silence to collect their thoughts on their parents' sanity with furrowed expressions and a roll of the eyes. Before they were about to resume conversing, a loud argument broke out several tables towards the middle.

"Hey Kirihara! I heard that you scored higher on me on the test in English class," someone stated venomously.

"Yeah, I studied over the break," Kirihara stated defiantly, trying to walk away.

"Studying is for losers!"

"Apparently not since I had the higher score…"

Something snapped in the student's mind and he roughly grabbed Kirihara and hoisted him up into the air.

"You want to fight?"

"I will win!" Kirihara snarled, trying to shake himself loose.

"Dude," another student spoke up, opening up Kirihara's backpack. "Check out this ugly sweater."

"What?" he said, dropping him to the floor and looking at what his friend had found. "You wear this stuff, Kirihara?"

"No!" Kirihara said hotly, getting off of the floor.

"Okay, sure…" the student teased, holding it up for everyone to see. "So you won't mind me destroying this then…"

"Hey!" Marui called as he approached the scene. "That's my sweater!"

"What?" the bully asked in disbelief.

"What are you - deaf and stupid? Like I said, it's mine and he found it after I had left it in my first class."

"Prove it."

"Right here," Jackal stated, holding up their two identical sweaters. "They were on sale so we have multiple copies. Now why don't you run along before I teach you a lesson or two on bullying."

The student glared at him, knowing that he was better off leaving in embarrassment instead of taking on someone whose muscles were significantly more well-developed than his will ever be.

"Intervention complete," Marui said, high-fiving Jackal. "You okay, Kirihara?"

"Yeah, thanks guys."

"It was a surprise to hear that you had studied," Jackal noted as the headed back to their lunch table.

Kirihara mumbled something about Yanagi as he sat down at the table, pulling out his lunch.

"Well, our data master is ruthless, isn't he?" Marui said as he messed up Kirihara's hair and pulled his hand away before he was hit. "And you owe me for today… now the whole school thinks Jackal and I have a supply of these horrendous sweaters."

"Knowing them, they'll probably start wearing them because they think we like them," Jackal said sadly. "Too many fangirls."

"It happens as a part of my charm."

"Shut up Atobe," Kirihara said and Marui smacked him over the head.

"Owww!"

"You two never stop," Jackal sighed, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. "Anyway, did you happen to get that for Christmas?"

"My one bad present. Everything else was good. So, you guys too?"

"Yeah, us too. What were our parents thinking?"

"Mom told me there was a sale and that she thought it would be good since it was our school color. Then she insisted I wear it to school, but I took it off on the bus."

"Jackal… I think sometimes you scare me with your ability to make up stories that turn out to be partly true," Marui said, shaking his head.

"It's turning out to be a crazy day…" Jackal pointed out as the three finished their lunch and left for their next class, the thought of three identically gruesome sweaters lingering on their mind.
-----

"Could you hand me the tape over that, Niou-kun?"

"Only if you give me a kiss."

Yagyuu frowned and leaned in to whisper to Niou who was currently bent low over the table, fine-tuning his balloon-powered vehicle that he was working on.

"This isn't the place to be asking for that," Yagyuu hissed to him in a scolding tone.

"I could have asked you to stick your hand down my pants instead, but I decided to refrain from that," Niou whispered back, smirking at the sudden flush that came over Yagyuu's face.

"The tape, Niou-kun."

Niou's smirk remained firmly on his face as he handed him the tape. Yagyuu removed it from his hand and promptly turned away to continue work on his project. He sometimes wondered how he had the strength to deal with Niou's excessive taunts with as firm of a resolve as he did. As he was working, he scanned the room with his peripheral vision, searching for telltale signs of a prank waiting to happen. Any day that the class worked on a project was almost always a day where a disaster was waiting to happen. The problem was that no one could predict what was going to happen and when.

"Reaching over you for a balloon, Yagyuu," Niou announced and suddenly he felt some light pressure against the side of his legs. He moved away quickly.

"Will you cut it out?" Yagyuu requested, annoyed.

"I'm not doing anything bad…" Niou answered innocently, heading back to his side of the table.

"You're trying to turn me on."

"You just admitted that you are heading in that direction."

"I. am. not."

Niou didn't say anything, but he started humming a catchy little tune as his vehicle neared completion. Yagyuu gave him a scrutinizing look and Niou winked back in return.

"By the way Yagyuu, my vehicle will win the race," Niou goaded.

"Mine is more carefully built than yours. And it's built to have the least amount of wind resistance."

"My wheels look like they will rotate more freely than yours. So there."

"May the best man win."

"Thanks. Winner gets to choose what happens tonight. Do you want to take the challenge?"

Yagyuu stared at him incredulously. He was now fighting two battles in his head - his completive nature and his knowledge that there was going to be a twist to the competition. Niou never initiated a challenge to Yagyuu that was free from unexpected events. However, he didn't like to back down from a challenger, no matter how much it put his life in danger.

"Yes, I will take it and claim victory."

"You have never resisted that untamable urge for dominance. At least that quickly goes away when I'm doing such… seductive things to you."

"Niou-kun!"

"Don't worry, I'll put you to good work tonight," Niou finished with a laugh as he picked up his finished vehicle and walked over to the racetrack.

Yagyuu followed suit, carefully taking over his vehicle to the area and setting it down. He double-checked the track for any hints of a trap, but was unable to find any.

"Yagyuu, why do you always think I'm up to something?" Niou asked, noticing what Yagyuu was doing.

"Because you're always up to something. I don't want anything to jeopardize my chance of winning."

"It will be a fair fight, promise," Niou said seriously. "Although I would recommend not standing near the track when the third set of people go after us."

"What are you-?" Yagyuu started, but he fell silent as his teacher started explaining the rules of the race to the students. Niou and Yagyuu were to go first since they had finished before anyone else had and were already set up to go.

Both of them nodded to each other, took a deep breath, and started blowing up their balloons. Once they were filled to the desired amount, they set their vehicles on the track and held onto them until the teacher gave them the signal. After a three second countdown, they released their vehicles and they sped off in the straight track towards the finish line. Yagyuu held his breath in anticipation of the outcome - Niou casually leaned against the chair behind him. Some few seconds later, both of their vehicles crossed the line at the same time.

"Dang it, we tied…" Niou whined, crossing his arms. Yagyuu only pushed his glasses up in response. They quickly approached the track to get their vehicles off for the next two people to go.

"We never did figure out what to do in the case of a draw…"

"Highest score on the history exam?"

"Not fair, you always have the highest scores on anything," Niou pointed out. "Anyway, things are about to get interesting so I would heed my advice if I were you."

Yagyuu nodded, moving a good distance away from the track, eyes still searching for any signs of a trap. He still found none and looked over at Niou who was sitting on a desk with his hands behind his back. His attention was brought back when his teacher started counting down to the beginning of the next race. Two races passed without incident and then the third pair was getting ready to go. Yagyuu felt unusually wary as he waited.

Half a second after the cars were released, both of the balloons popped unexpectedly, causing half of the class to jump. His mind calculated the path from Niou to the cars, which kept going to the wall where a dart was now stuck and still quivering from the speed that it was thrown. The teacher, famously noted for his short temper, immediately let out a cry of Niou's name and proceeded to chase after him.

Niou stood up onto the desk he had been sitting on and started running across more desks around the room to avoid getting caught. He managed to reach the table the track had been set up on and dumped a beaker of some chemical into a nearby beaker. The result was a moderate explosion and a lot of liquid issued forth to ruin the adjacent track. Even more enraged, the teacher tried to quicken his pace to catch Niou, but he was too swift and made his way towards the door and disappeared out of sight. When the teacher finally reached the door, a bucket of ice cold water was thrown on him as he tripped over a student's backpack.

Yagyuu frowned and rubbed his temples as his classmates broke into loud chatter about everything that had just occurred. After everything had settled down, he found out that Niou was under a 3 hour detention, which meant that he would be missing a part of practice. Yagyuu felt that maybe 3 hours was a bit extreme, but then again, Niou did choose the wrong teacher to mess with.
-----

"What. the. hell. are. these?" Sanada questioned seriously as he spotted three identical sweaters laying on a bench in the locker room.

"Uh… sweaters?" Marui replied innocently, blowing a bubble of his favorite green apple gum.

"Don't joke around!"

"I'm not! They were Christmas presents from our parents."

"Whose?"

"Mine," replied Jackal who was pulling his jersey over his head.

"Mine too," Kirihara said as he ran into the locker room, trying to take his school jacket off.

"Well…" Sanada started, but was distracted the sudden appearance of Yanagi from behind.

"Don't besmirch the locker rooms with such ostentatiously atrocious things," Yanagi stated smartly. "Was what Genichirou was going to say. Only, I think he would have worded it more like 'Get these appalling things out of my sight!'"

"My, my," Yukimura said softly as he entered the locker room and set his things down. "Why, aren't those lovely sweaters?"

Yanagi smirked and Sanada was taken aback.

"You're kidding… right?" Sanada questioned cautiously.

"Since when do I joke around, Sanada?" Yukimura answered back with a deadly tone. When Sanada moved back an inch out of fear, he laughed politely.

"Of course I am, they are quite gruesome."

"Hey, where's Niou-senpai and Yagyuu-senpai?" Kirihara questioned as he was working on changing into his tennis attire. "I'm here before them."

"Talk about an accomplishment," Marui said, patting him on the back. "First you study over the break, now you're punctual. What else happened to you?"

"Leave him alone," Jackal chided as he shut his locker and started lacing up his new shoes. "You don't want him to go back to his old habits."

"Because it means you have to babysit him more, right?"

"Why you!" Jackal exclaimed, abandoning the tying of his shoes in favor of grabbing Marui and putting him into a headlock.

"Tarundoru!" two voices said in unison and Sanada turned to face Yanagi who was already looking at him. A vein on the left side of Sanada's forehead was pulsing violently.

"Enough, enough," Yukimura said, putting his hands between the both of them. "Sanada is going to die early if we keep giving him trouble."

"Seiichi, we already know that you are going to be the primary death of him."

Before he could respond, Yagyuu finally showed up in the locker room, already changed and with a note in hand.

"Sorry I'm late, Yukimura-kun," Yagyuu apologized as he approached him. "I had left this in my school locker and had to go back for it."

"Oh? What is it?" Yukimura said curiously as he opened the note and read it with his two best friends looking over his shoulder.

"What is it buchou?" Kirihara asked earnestly, trying to get a glance as well, but Yanagi poked him in the back of the knees with his racket to keep him in control. Sanada scoffed, crossing his arms as Yukimura looked to Yanagi, who nodded.

"Let's just say we'll have an interesting end of practice," Yukimura announced. "Now get outside and running before I end up punishing you all."
-----

"Hey, Jackal," Yukimura called out and he turned away from his partner to face the bench. "Pick a number."

"How about three?"

"I like that number. You get 10 less punishment laps."

Jackal beamed as Marui exclaimed that it wasn't fair and that he should share 5 free laps with his super genius partner. Kirihara asked Yagyuu, who he was currently practicing with, what was going on. Yagyuu replied that he had no idea.

When Niou finally arrived, the Three Demons were waiting for him in a triangular formation at the door of the gate, arms crossed with menacing gazes. They handed him 3 lb. leg weights and told him to run three laps around the courts. When he finished, completely out of breath and worn out, they had him do three sets of pushups (that's ten each set) with Marui, Kirihara, and Jackal taking a turn to sit on him.

Lastly, he ended up in a three-game set match with each of the Three Demons. Yanagi was first, and he mercilessly beat him down with his data tennis. Niou had no chance since Yanagi was very capable of predicting his moves when he was so mentally fatigued, and the final point was scored by an unforgiving Kamaitachi slice that landed right in the back corner. Yanagi strode away with a smirk as Sanada entered the court with a powerful glare.

Since Yanagi sought to break Niou down mentally, Sanada was in charge of the physical side. He hit his Fuurinkazan relentlessly, causing Niou to run all over the court to try to return his powerful shots. Niou had nothing against his speed returns, his drop shots, and his ground smashes. Sanada crushed him for the last point with his Ka, blasting Niou's racquet out of his hand and several feet behind him.

With a courteous nod, Yukimura stepped onto the court, the jacket on his shoulders rustling with each step. There was definite fear in Niou's eyes now as he gingerly made his way back to the serving line. As their match started, Niou was actually able to rally most of the balls, but that was only because Yukimura's tennis style was based on him returning balls. Yanagi and Sanada always looked to score either through precise placement or sheer power. Yukimura wanted his opponents to break themselves down both mentally and physically.

Not much later, Niou's senses gave way and he looked like he barely registered what was going on. It was almost as if Yukimura was a puppet master and Niou was his marionette being pulled around by his strings. The rest of his team could only look on in horror as the match went on, culminating in Niou's collapse onto the hard floor and Yukimura walking around the net to crouch down next to him.

"Now, Niou, what did you learn from this?"

"That when they said that 'bad things come in threes', they weren't kidding around," Niou answered breathlessly.

Yukimura chuckled, patting him on the head before waving his team over. They all hesitated for a second, but when Yanagi reminded them that they would probably be punished the same way, they all scampered over.

"I just want you all to know I would have not done this to him if he couldn't take it," Yukimura clarified, holding out his hand for Jackal's water bottle, taking it and giving it to Niou. "But let it be a lesson to you all that I do not permit you missing practice for anything trivial."

"Yes buchou!"

"Also, don't ever bring those sweaters in my sight again. Or I will force you to wear them while you run your punishment laps."

"Yes buchou!"

"And Niou, you're free to harass our science teacher," Yukimura continued as Niou gulped the water quickly and loudly. "Just figure out some pranks that don't land you detentions that go past an hour."

"Seiichi, you really don't like the science teacher, do you?"

"It's no secret so I'm glad that Niou was able to torture him a bit for me."

Sanada sighed and the rest of the team laughed loudly, each taking a turn to slap Niou on the back for surviving brutal torture. When they all departed, Yagyuu sat down next to Niou, who was still laying facedown on the court.

"I'm glad you're okay," Yagyuu said sincerely.

"Now I know how Kirihara feels from time to time. Although I think they did more to me."

"It's because you're older. They usually don't make him do pushups with people on him."

"… Hey Yagyuu…" Niou started, rolling over to look up at him. "Can I ask a favor of you?"

"What is it, Niou-kun?" Yagyuu asked, bending down to plant a light kiss on his lips.

"I want a massage tonight. A really awesome one so I don't wake up in a ton of pain tomorrow."

"You're wish is my command," Yagyuu agreed, kissing him again a little deeper. Niou linked his hands around Yagyuu's neck and pulled him close.

"See, I told you I'd get to decide on tonight," he whispered seductively into his ear and Yagyuu smiled warmly as the sun sank into the horizon in a beautiful display of gold behind them.

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