The King is Dead

Yuuta takes over the tennis club; he and Kaneda talk about club politics and their senpai. Drama, I-3

Character(s): Fuji Yuuta, Kaneda Ichirou

“All right, everyone shut up already! Second years, break up in pairs and volley, six to a court, don’t hit each other! First years, twenty laps to warm up!” Yuuta heaved in a breath as the chaos of the club divided itself in half.

“You really think they need more warming up today?” Kaneda murmured.

“Of course not,” Yuuta muttered back. “But this gets them out of our hair while we figure out what to do next.”

Kaneda laughed and Yuuta scowled at him. This captain thing wasn’t nearly as easy as Akazawa-senpai had made it look.

Of course, Akazawa-senpai had had Mizuki-san to help. Yuuta stifled a sigh. He hadn’t seen Mizuki-san at all today. Akazawa-senpai had come to say his good-byes and wish Yuuta and his team luck, but Mizuki-san had spent most of his time since they got off the bus from Prefecturals in his room or the library.

Yuuta had kind of hoped he wouldn’t stay angry for this long.

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, turning back to Kaneda. “Okay, I guess we’d better start with skills tests for everyone, and then we can get going with playoffs to choose the new Regulars.”

Kaneda smiled and handed him a sheet of paper. “You’ll probably want to revise this, if we’re testing them first, but I thought this might make a good order for the matches.”

Yuuta blinked at it and then burst out in a relieved grin. “Kaneda, have I told you you’re a lifesaver? ‘Cause you are.”

“Hey, I’ll do whatever I have to to make sure you’re the team captain and not me.” Kaneda’s smile tilted. “I’m not good at shouting at people.”

“Unless they’re Akazawa-senpai?” Yuuta laughed as Kaneda turned red and sputtered. “Seriously, though, thanks.” He ducked his head for a moment. “I think some of the others would have been happier with an original member as captain.”

Kaneda snorted. “Those would be the ones who haven’t seen you play.” He looked considering for a moment. “Or train. I don’t think there’s anyone in this whole club who’s put in more work than you, Yuuta. If that isn’t good values for this club, I don’t know what is.”

Yuuta was quiet for a couple minutes, watching the club work. “I agree with Mizuki-san, though,” he said, at last, voice low. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows what we need to do. Maybe I don’t always like the tactics he chooses. But I like how hard he was on us.” He liked that Mizuki-san would never dream of protecting him, from life or tennis or anything else.

“Kind of figured that, yeah.” Kaneda cocked his head at Yuuta. “You went your own way, in the match against Echizen, though, didn’t you?”

“Well of course.” Yuuta crossed his arms. “If I was going to win, I was going to win my way.”

Why was Kaneda grinning?

His vice-captain clapped him on the shoulder. “You’ll do fine. Quit worrying.”

As they went to start the second years on precision tests, Yuuta figured he’d just have to do his best.

And maybe see if he could catch Mizuki-san in his room one of these evenings.