A New Beginning
Prince of Tennis Fudoumine Fanfic
Rating: G. Angst, drama.
Setting: At the Nationals.
Disclaimer: Not mine. All
For a challenge posed on fudo_courts: new beginnings.
"There they are!"
"Have you heard about their Captain?"
"Attacked their own coach and sempai..."
"Don't mess with them."
"... more like a gang than a tennis team..."
fame," Mori muttered as Fudoumine Tennis Team walked through the groups
of spectators at the National tennis championships. "How sweet it
"Think anyone will ask us for our autographs?" Uchimura joked.
will when we win," Kamio said, a snarl in his voice. The others cast
him nervous looks. Kamio had been on edge for days now, and this was
not looking promising.
"Kamio, walk with me," Tachibana called
over his shoulder, and the younger boy hurried to catch up to his
Captain, who then rested a hand on his shoulder. The rest of the team
watched as the tension slowly drained out of Kamio's body as their
Captain addressed a few quiet words to him, and relaxed in turn.
wasn't always like this, Sakurai thought as Kamio fell back into the
main group and began making outrageous predictions about today's games
to amuse the others. No, it hadn't always been this way. People often
talked about their past, about how the core of Fudoumine's team had
rebelled against their abusive sempai and coach, how they'd carried on
to train with no support and very few resources, and then fought their
way to the Nationals under the leadership of their Captain. The wild
card challengers, the dark horses, the outsiders. It was now part of
the legend of Fudoumine, the team who Shouldn't Have Been. Shouldn't
have been able to come together, shouldn't have been able to win,
shouldn't have been here, at the Finals with the top teams in
But here they were.
talked about how their shared experiences had cemented Fudoumine into
an unstoppable, unbreakable force. Unlike other teams, Fudoumine were
entirely free of internal conflicts. People talked about their loyalty
and friendship, their "unbreakable bonds".
It wasn't always like this.
Sakurai wished he could tell them the truth. That it wasn't as simple
as people made out. Fudoumine weren't naturally bonded together from
birth. Hell, most of them hadn't even known each other until
they'd all joined the school tennis team. Out of the entire group, only
Shinji and Mori had known each other previously. Kamio had been a new
arrival to the area, and Uchimura, Ishida and himself had never
encountered each other before. Their first week at the club they'd
begun to scope each other out and form tentative friendships, but those
had been nothing like what they had now.
Shinji had been
weird, and ostracised because of it. Mori and Kamio had formed a
tentative friendship, but ultimately found they had nothing in common.
Uchimura mostly hung with Sakurai, but that had been more for
convenience than genuine interest in becoming friends. Sakurai himself
had held himself a little more aloof from the others, and had
consequently come across as snotty. And they'd all been intimidated by
Ishida's looks. It had taken them three weeks to realise that behind
the painfully tall, dangerous appearance, was an extremely shy young
They hadn't always been a team. But they had become one,
eventually. A struggling, tormented, leaderless one, barely worthy of
the title, but a team nonetheless.
They hadn't banded together
out of friendship, and it wasn't a shared history that made them such a
cohesive team. No, it had been fear. Fear and pain. Sakurai supposed
they owed their sempai some thanks for that. If it hadn't been for
their abuse and violence, the boys would probably never have banded
together so strongly. And if they hadn't seen what bad leadership
looked like, they would never have appreciated good, decent
leadership when they found it. Tachibana-san's arrival had been like a
godsend to the beleaguered boys, and they were all aware of how much
they truly owed him. They could never have come so far without his
guidance. He'd praised their strengths, advised them on how to overcome
their weaknesses, and done his best to mend their hurts. He and Ann had
offered the team a new beginning, and it was the best thing that ever
happened to them.
A jerk on his collar brought him to a halt, and he turned his head to
see Ishida grinning at him. "The courts are this way.
Get with it, man. You were a million miles away."
Sakurai blinked, and then raised an eyebrow loftily and swept Ishida's
hand loose from his collar majestically. "In fact, I was years
away, not miles."
Ishida rolled his eyes at him. "Well, whenever you feel like checking
into the here and now, we'll be waiting for ya."
Sakurai looked past his friend to see the rest of the team watching him
It wasn't always like this.
But it was now. This here was the now... and the now was good.
"I'm here. I'm here already. Let's get started!"