Percentage by Volume

Yuuta puts some work into repairing Mizuki’s reputation among the St. Rudolph tennis club. Drama with Romance, I-3

When Mori looked at the new training menu and growled, “This is Mizuki’s!” and the three first year Regulars actually looked alarmed, Yuuta knew he was going to have to do something drastic. He couldn’t very well show up, year after next, at St. Christopher with these jokers in tow, still thinking Mizuki-san was demon-spawn. He and Kaneda might not be the only players the team needed.

“Wherever the exercises came from, the menu is mine,” he said flatly, still hoping to head things off.

“He’s screwed this club up badly enough already,” Mori shot back, ploughing right over Yuuta’s attempt. “Look how low our ranking was this year!”

Yuuta’s eyes narrowed. “So, you think that was because of Mizuki-san’s training?”

Behind the other two second years, Kaneda suddenly grinned and then tucked it away and looked sober. Yuuta caught his eye and winked, very quickly. Kaneda didn’t lose it, but he did look like he was biting his tongue not to.

Mori, on the other hand, walked right into it. “Yeah, that’s what I think!”

“Well, he’s still training me, so why don’t we see about that?” Yuuta pointed to all his Regulars, one after another. “Mori, Toriume, Arima, Miyamoto, Kimura, Ogata. You’re all playing me, today.” He showed his teeth as they all stared at him. “And I guess I’ll finish up with Kaneda.” Or else Kaneda would finish up him, if this went badly.

“Sure thing,” Kaneda agreed, cheerfully.

Yuuta strolled out onto the nearest court, turning to look over his shoulder at Mori. “Well? Let’s go! One set match, Mori. Your serve.”

“You’ll never be able to do it.” Mori stalked back to serve.

“Guess we’ll see,” Yuuta murmured, setting himself.

Yuuta ordered his knees not to give out and gave his team a glare, hands on his hips. They stared back, most of them in shock, though Kaneda looked wry and Ogata had a speculative gleam in his eye. Yuuta had won all seven sets, though just barely from Ogata and Kaneda, and he really hoped he didn’t die before he made it back to the dorms.

After all, he had to tell Mizuki-san how well training multiple sets had paid off.

“I didn’t do that with any special skill or talent,” he said, flatly. “I could do it because I’ve been working my ass off, according to a training schedule Mizuki-san made.” He paused to let that sink in, and to catch his breath. “Now. Do you want to be able to do that?”

Ogata pushed away from the fence and stepped forward. “Yes.”

Kimura grinned and joined him. “Yeah.”

Arima chuckled and clapped a hand on Miyamoto’s shoulder, and they stepped forward together.

“Sure looks like it paid off,” Toriume allowed, and stepped up.

Mori growled. “Oh fine, all right.” He frowned at Yuuta. “You’re crazy, you know that?”

Yuuta leaned on a bench, laughing. “I think I’ve heard it said.”

Kaneda took a long look at him and turned to the team. “All right, then, let’s get on with practice proper. First the weights…”

Yuuta cautiously stretched his legs as Kaneda took the team in hand, and made a note to do something nice for his vice-captain. If he’d tried to actually lead practice today, he’d have fallen on his face for sure, and that wasn’t quite the lesson he was trying to teach.

“That was foolish, Yuuta-kun,” Mizuki-san told him that evening. “Surely there was another way to make your point.” He tested the shaking of Yuuta’s wrists with light fingers, looking disapproving.

“It worked,” Yuuta defended himself.

“There was no need for it.”

“I couldn’t just let them spread it to the rest of the club,” Yuuta insisted. “What would that mean two years on? Besides—” he broke off, biting his lip.

Mizuki-san raised his brows. “Besides?”

Yuuta swore at himself for slipping like that; he really did need to learn to watch his mouth one of these days. He looked down and muttered, “I don’t like them talking about you that way.”

“Yuuta…” Mizuki-san sounded startled. He looked startled, when Yuuta glanced up. Slowly startlement melted into a smile and his hand on Yuuta’s wrist closed gently for a moment. “Thank you.” And as quick as that he was brisk again. “But it won’t do for you to strain yourself like this.”

Grateful to get off without embarrassment, Yuuta nodded. “Yes, Mizuki-san.”

He took the rest of the lecture fairly meekly, and folded the memory of Mizuki-san’s smile away to take out and look at later.


A/N: Ogata and Miyamoto were created by Lys ap Adin, for St. Rudolph’s next generation, and are used by permission.