Zoology and Mythology

Some friendly bickering within the Rikkai team. Drama, I-2

Yagyuu started the game, not to any of Masaharu’s surprise. Successful surgery or not, the bus ride back from the hospital needed some distraction, and Yagyuu had these flights of fancy. This one was abundantly suggested by Jackal’s remark that Marui reminded him of a hummingbird: voracious and viciously territorial, but pretty enough to watch that almost no one noticed those parts.

While Marui tried to decide whether he was insulted or complimented, Yagyuu smiled. “What animal would you be, then, Jackal-kun?”

“Should be a horse,” Kirihara put in. “They like him because he’s just as strong as they are.” Masaharu’s lips twitch, recalling that the horses had not gotten along quite so well with Kirihara.

“Nah.” Marui shook his head. “Lizard. You should see him basking in the sun some time.”

“So what’s Sanada-fukubuchou?” Kirihara asked with a grin. Sanada gave him a dark look, but it didn’t have quite the usual weight.

“A tiger, perhaps,” Yanagi mused, ignoring Sanada’s snort.

“Prickly and dangerous, and really good at glaring,” Kirihara agreed, secure in the two bus seats separating him from Sanada.

“Does that make you the deer then, Akaya?” Sanada inquired, and returned a sardonic look to Kirihara’s glower.

“Akaya’s an otter,” Marui corrected. “Always showing off.”

“All right, then, what’s Yanagi?” Jackal asked, over Kirihara’s indignant Look who’s talking!

“A turtle,” Sanada answered, finally entering the game in the name of payback. “All observation and deliberate movements.”

Yanagi simply laughed softly.

“And Niou-kun?” Yagyuu asked, in the tone of someone baiting a trap. Masaharu snorted and lifted a brow, placing a small bet with himself.

“Fox,” Kirihara said, decidedly.

Yes, he’d rather thought that would be it.

“Perhaps also the snake,” Yanagi offered. “Given how rarely he does anything in a straight line.”

“That should count for Hiroshi, too, then,” Marui pointed out with a thoughtful bubble.

“Their combination is a snake?” Yanagi sounded amused. “So what is Hiroshi alone?”

The whole team paused, considering. “A bear,” Jackal said, at last. “Powerful. Needs a large range. Extremely dangerous if provoked. Very communicative, if you know how to read their body language.” He traded a slightly sheepish smile for Marui’s astonished look. “I took my brothers and sisters to the zoo last weekend.”

Masaharu leaned back in his seat. “What’s Yukimura?” A much longer pause followed his question.

“A crane?” Kirihara suggested, at last. “His game is graceful enough.”

“A butterfly would seem most appropriate to his emergence, just now,” Yagyuu murmured.

“A dragon,” Sanada said, quietly, looking out the window.

And the game ended on a rustling sigh of agreement.

They were all getting off the bus, stretching and exchanging dinner plans, when Masaharu heard Yanagi ask Kirihara, softly, “So which are you going to be, Akaya? A tiger cub, or the boy who swallowed a dragon pearl?”

Glancing over his shoulder he saw Kirihara looking up at their strategist with an expression caught halfway between question and decision.

“I’m going to be the thunder.”

Masaharu tucked away the glint of approval in Yanagi’s smile to think about later.


  • Note: See this site for several versions of the story of the boy who swallows a dragon pearl.