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Title: As the Pieces Fall Together
Writer: KeigoAtobe007 (me)
Chapter Word Count: 1,640
Pairing: Yagyuu/Yanagi; Yagyuu/Niou
Rating: PG-13 (R-ish for implied adult themes in later chapters)
Warnings: Nothing yet
Summary: Yagyuu wakes up one morning feeling unwell and is unable to go to school. Niou decides to do something for him, but was not expecting to end up in a situation where he had to make a complicated decision. Platinum Pair POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis or any of the characters related to it. They all belong to Konomi Takeshi.
Author's Note: First fic I have ever finished and I wanted to share it on LJ as well. ^^

Chapter 1 - A Brilliant Plan

Hiroshi Yagyuu awoke to his alarm clock feeling more tired than usual. Turning over, he squinted to see the numbers on the clock before promptly shutting it off. He sat up, pulling the covers off of his pale and somewhat thin torso, and was about to climb out of bed when a wave of excruciating pain hit him.

'Great, I have a massive headache,' thought Yagyuu irritably. Laying back down, he closed his eyes and hoped that a few more minutes of rest would ease the pain.

Ten minutes later, his mother knocked on the mahogany door of his bedroom, and called for him to wake up. Yagyuu slowly opened his gray eyes and sighed heavily because he he felt twice as worse as he did before he went back to sleep.

"Something wrong, Hiroshi?" questioned his mother, approaching her son with a mixture of curiosity and concern on her face.

"I don't feel too well, but I'll go to school."

His mother's cool hand on his forehead stopped him from sitting up.

"You have a really high temperature. I think you should stay home."

Yagyuu could not help but stare at his mother for suggesting such an outrageous idea. He prided himself on the fact that he had never missed a single day of school and a fever was not going to stop him.

"But mother..." Yagyuu started.

"Hiroshi, you'll regret making it worse by going today. Rest and then you can run all of those punishment laps that Sanada-kun will most likely assign you for missing practice."

Another point of pride for Yagyuu was his passion for tennis and his team, and he had never failed at showing up to practice early and ready to work. Yagyuu groaned - the thought of missing practice would mean that he would have to endure a few days of taunts from some of his teammates (namely Kirihara and Marui) in addition to running laps.

"I'm fine," Yagyuu protested. "I've had worse and I can't afford to miss school and practice."

"I know that," his mother replied smoothly, resting her hand on his. "I know you're very strong...strong-willed as well, but sometimes you have to take it easy for a day to be able to function to your full potential at school and for your team."

Yagyuu knew his mother made complete, logical sense, but Yagyuu did not want to follow her advice. He wanted to win this argument, but just before he opened his mouth to reply, he was hit with a strong feeling of nausea and sank back into his pillows.

"You're staying home, Hiroshi."

Yagyuu knew he had no way to convince his mother now since he felt too weak to move, let alone talk.

"Okay," Yagyuu said with resignation in his voice. "But can I at least call Niou-kun and let him know that I will not be attending class or practice today?"

"Of course," his mother said endearingly, reaching for the phone on the bedside table and handing it to him. "I'll go make you something small to eat." Yagyuu waited until his mother was out of the room before dialing Niou's number.

"Hey Yagyuu..." Niou answered sleepily. "What's going on?"

"Sorry, did I wake you?"

"Yes, it's six a.m. and you better have a good reason for waking me." Niou yawned loudly.

"You're not awake at this time?" Yagyuu questioned.

"Uh, no. I'm not Mr. Perfect Student like you," Niou said and Yagyuu could imagine him sticking his tongue out in a joking manner.

"Funny Niou," Yagyuu said dryly. "Actually, I just wanted to let you know that I'm feeling quite awful today so I will not be in school or at practice."

"You don't sound well at all," Niou noted. "It's really rare for you to feel sick."

"Tell me about it."

Niou chuckled quietly. "Sorry, but do I hear a Yagyuu that's actually annoyed speaking?"

"..." Yagyuu frowned. He was not a person that was easily swayed by things that happened to him since he had an incredible ability to handle pressure while keeping a level head.

"I'll tell the Vice Captain and take notes in class for you."

"That's assuming you don't fall asleep in class, and since you always do, the chance of me having today's notes are zero percent."

"You sound like Yanagi."

"Do not."

"Ha, okay," Niou said teasingly. "Seriously, get better soon Yagyuu - I'm going to miss seeing you today."

"I will try and I'll miss seeing you too. Have fun at school." Yagyuu replied politely.

"Changes of having fun at school - zero percent. See you Yagyuu."

Yagyuu hung up the phone and pulled his bed covers up to his chin.

'I hope I don't miss anything important,' thought Yagyuu as he grabbed his stereo remote to turn on some soothing classical music. It wasn't long before he started drifting off to sleep again.

Masaharu Niou, resident trickster of the Rikkaidai tennis club was in disbelief. His doubles partner and best friend Hiroshi Yagyuu had not missed a single day of school since he has known him. He could certainly imagine him tossing and turning in bed out of agony that his perfect record had been shattered.

'He must really feel awful,' Niou thought as he struggled out of bed. After dragging himself to the bathroom, he ended up sitting on the bathtub's edge while brushing his teeth while staring absentmindedly around the room. It wasn't a particularly messy place, but it wasn't neat either - bottles of hair gel and tubes of toothpaste were scattered on the counter, his bath towel and some clothes were on the floor, the wig of Yagyuu's haircut was in the corner from their last switch in a tennis match...

An idea popped into Niou's head right then and he hurried to the sink to rinse out his mouth. He stripped off his clothes quickly and jumped into the shower, savoring the warmth of the water cascading down his skin and the beginnings of a brilliant plan.

'This is going to be awesome,' Niou thought while chuckling to himself. 'It's the least I can do for my best friend.'

Yagyuu was known as the "Gentleman" both on and off the courts for his polite demeanor and quiet personality, treating everyone with and respect and never revealing more emotion than necessary to avoid bothering people. However, underneath his sophisticated exterior lies a strong determination and will to win in everything he pursues - sometimes that strong sense of tenacity scared Niou a bit during their doubles tennis matches. He would hate to be on the team going against Yagyuu because he knew that Yagyuu was relentless and would show them what a true battle was about.

Niou turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, putting his towel around his waist before grabbing supplies to start his transformation.

Yagyuu's medium brown hair was always combed neatly and was parted the same way every day (Niou had witnessed him using the bottom of his hand to measure from the center to get it right every time). His clothes were freshly ironed every morning and his tie was always tied in a neat knot that allowed it to hang straight for the whole day. It was the perfect image for the brilliant and hard-working student that he was - he was strong at all school subjects and was rivaled in intelligence by only one other: Renji Yanagi.

Niou paused to look in the mirror. He had the wig on and was putting the final touches on his face to accurately resemble Yagyuu. He couldn't help but grin as he saw himself starting to look exactly like his best friend.

'Ah, but Yagyuu hardly smiles, let alone grin,' Niou reminded himself before reverting back to a neutral expression. 'Although he looks quite handsome when he does...wished he did smile more often...' Niou shook his head, a bit confused at the most recent thoughts in his head.

Niou, on the other hand, was not quite the ideal student (at least, according to his teachers). He was often late to his first class because he slept through his alarm and he usually fell asleep in his other classes as well. His clothes were often somewhat wrinkled, his shirt would be half-tucked in, and his tie would be hanging loosely from his neck. He passed the time in the day by pulling pranks between classes, much to the dismay of the faculty, and ended up running more punishment laps for tennis practice than the entire team (except for Kirihara). Despite all of that, Niou was a friendly and playful guy that could be depended on when things would get rough. He was also very skilled in tennis and was the only one who was not afraid of going against Sanada.

So it was a bit surprising that Yagyuu and Niou were able to impersonate each other perfectly, considering they were polar opposites in every way imaginable. However, after some guidance from Yanagi during practice and after school study sessions, and all of those years of friendship they shared together, Niou and Yagyuu quickly learned each other's habits, mannerisms, and of course, signature tennis moves.

Pausing only in his bedroom to grab his replica of Yagyuu's glasses off of his desk, he sprinted to the kitchen to leave a note saying that he went out for a jog before school because saying that he wanted to go to school early for no reason would have put his mother into shock. Signing his name on the note with a flourish, Niou grabbed his tennis bag by the door and left, grinning once again before returning to a gently stoic facade to get ready for a day as Hiroshi Yagyuu.

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