Animal Identification

A Prince of Tennis WTF fic

By Jaelle



Disclaimer: Not mine.
Setting: Random.
Rating: G. Silliness, implied Shinji/Kamio at the end.
Notes: For the neko-uke challenge at fudo_courts. Last three lines inserted purely so that the story, which mutated massively on me during the course of its conception, would actually qualify.



It was a typical Sunday afternoon on the street tennis courts. Every court was filled with people playing tennis, at varying degrees of ability, with the sole exception of the court at the very end, where Fudoumine’s Kamio and Seigaku’s Momoshirou were arguing again. Nearby, Shinji and Echizen watched them both scream at each other, identical bored expressions on their faces.

“Stupid bike-stealing idiot!”

“When are you going to get over that? I TOLD you it was an accident?!”

“NEVER!”

Shinji sighed and wondered if there was some way he could stop them fighting so that he could play a match. He didn’t want to watch them argue anymore. They always argued about the same things anyway, it was boring, and they went on and on and ON and never EVER seemed to stop and it was so pathetic and it was even worse when the topic of the bike and that bandanna guy came up... oh, hey.

“If he’s a viper...” Shinji began, and then trailed off.

Echizen glanced over at this conversational gambit and debated about whether or not he wanted to find out what was going through Ibu’s mind.

Hmmm... it beat listening to Momo-senpai. Just.

“If he’s a viper...?” He prompted.

“Then what animal is Momoshirou?” Shinji finished.

Both boys bent themselves to thinking about this. A particularly loud shout made Ryoma wince.

“A mule,” he said.

Shinji nodded. “And Fuji?”

This one required more effort.

“A hyena maybe?” Ryoma ventured. “Or a cat?”

“No, you’re the cat,” Shinji argued.

Ryoma gave him a flat, offended stare.

“See?”

Ryoma sniffed and turned away.

Silence fell.

“WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS HANGING AROUND ANN-CHAN THEN?”

Sort of.

“What about YOUR team?” Echizen said finally. “I think your Captain’s a wolf.”

“Then we’re all wolves,” Shinji said thoughtfully. “Because I read somewhere that wolves are pack animals and we’re all a pack.”

“Team.”

“I don’t think wolves are team animals...”

“That’s not right,” Ryoma wished he was big enough that he could bang Kamio and Momo-senpai’s heads together and make them shut up so that he wouldn’t have to devote actual brain cells to having conversations like this one. He went on the attack against Shinji’s reasoning. “Because if you do it that way then everyone would be wolves. Or something that goes together. They have to be DIFFERENT animals.”

Shinji tilted his head and considered this. “Okay. So Tachibana-san’s a wolf. And Kamio’s a cheetah, because they’re fast.”

“Kawamura-senpai’s a dog,” Ryoma said thoughtfully. “Inui-senpai’s a blowfish.”

“Why a blowfish?”

“Because he’s ultra-poisonous and nasty to eat.”

Shinji pondered this for a moment and then shrugged. “What about the golden pair?”

“Goldfish,” came the instant reply. “Or goldfinches or something.”

“Tezuka?”

Ryoma ground to a halt. “Dunno.” He frowned. “It’s your turn anyway.”

Shinji accepted this calmly and thought about his team again. “Hmmm... Ishida’s an orangutang, because they have long, strong arms. Uchimura’s a hummingbird.”

“A hummingbird?”

“Because he flutters around in your face all the time,” Shinji explained. “Or maybe that should be a bee. But that buzzes. On the other hand, it’s small, and so is Mori. Hmmm... a bee then. Maybe. Sakurai... can I use animals that you’ve already listed? Because I think he’s a dog too, because he’s loyal and friendly and it’s not exactly the same thing...”

“Sounds fair,” Ryoma interupted hastily. “Just don’t make everyone the same thing.”

Shinji nodded. “A dog then. That leaves Mori. He’s loud, so he’s an elephant.”

Mentally relieved at reaching the end of the roster of Fudoumine and Seigaku players, Ryoma leant back and gave Shinji a piercing look. “And you’re a cat.”

Shinji gave Ryoma a slow stare.

“... I’m sure that’s not right.”

“You are,” Ryoma insisted. “You act like one.”

“Don’t.”

“Do.”

“Don’t.”

“Do. And I’m one, so I should know.”

“So, you admit it.”

Ryoma gave him a slow, catlike smile. Shinji’s lips twitched like whiskers, and the two of them stared at each other for a few minutes before suddenly looking away at exactly the same moment and pretending they had been thinking about something completely different.

Eventually Momoshirou and Kamio sorted out their argument through tennis (for now) and the boys all went home. And aside from Echizen earning ten laps the next day for suddenly pointing at Tezuka in the middle of a game and announcing, “Eagle!”, that was the end of the matter.

Well, except for one other thing.

“Shinji... are you... purring?”

“Yes. Because I like what you’re doing right now.”

“Oh. Okay.”

End.

A/N: What are they doing at the end there? Uh... nothing that would jeopardise the G rating of this fic, hopefully.



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