A/N: This is a rather unusual crossover, and I feel I should explain a bit about. See, I've always loved trying to find ways to connect Yukimura Seiichi from Prince of Tennis with Virgo Shaka from Saint Seiya. Why? Well, various reasons. They are both far to pretty for their own good, both have rather pretentious nicknames (Child of God for Yukimura and Man Closest to God for Shaka) and both have similar powers. I still remember the double take I did when I was read the chapters with the Yukimura VS Ryoma match. I was going 'When did he pick up Shaka's Ten-Bu-Ho-Rin?' in my mind. Even the match itself is very similar to the Shaka VS Ikki fight in Saint Seiya. One day after reading Please Save my Earth, I got the idea for this cracky crossover.
Yukimura was really Shaka's reincarnation. It made so much sense I had to do something with it! There's a picture for the story too, which came first: fs70/i/2011/197/5/4/because_of_what_has_been_by_
I haven't ever written the Rikkai boys before, and it has been a while since I've seen any of the Rikkai episodes. If I made any huge blunders with them, like how they refer to each other, then feel free to correct me.
The tennis ball went whizzing across the court, almost faster than anyone could track. At the last second the receiver noticed the yellow blur, but before he could even think to react there was the sharp clink of the ball impacting against the fence behind him.
Across the court, Yukimura Seiichi lowered his racket. I believe that is the end of this match. There was a moment of silence in the courts then his opponent cleared his throat.
"Y..yeah," the man, a high schooler, said shakily. Yukimura had to acknowledge that he came forward to shake his hand and congratulate him on a match well played with far more grace than half his older opponents did. There was normally a lot of sputtering and embarrassment about the fact that he, a mere middle schooler, was as strong as he was. They were rather tiresome to deal with truthfully, but it was something he had become use to over the years. As the man made his way back to his friends and their teasing, Yukimura walked over to the bench were he had left his things, and was only slight surprised to find part of his team waiting nearby.
Yanagi he had expected to find there since he never passed up a chance at gathering data, and Sanada often showed up to observe his matched (he was such a mother hen at times.!) but seeing Akaya there was unusual. He just smiled at them before starting to pack his things. What did you think of the match? He asked as he worked.
"Booooring," Akaya groaned as he leaned against the fence. "Buchou, that guy was so weak he couldn't have offered anyone a challenge! Why were you wasting your time with him?"
We have the finals tomorrow, Akaya, he said lightly. I just wanted to have a little fun without straining myself, Yukimura hefted his bag as he was speaking. Besides, none of us can afford to let out training slack off for even a day.
I know that, Akaya grumbled as they left the courts. I just dont see how playing against a guy like that could even be called training.
Kirihara! Sanada snapped, causing him to jump. Akaya looked at him slightly sulkily.
"Please excuse him," Yanagi said smoothly. "I hadn't intended for him to come along, but he appears to have followed me." Even after several years Yukimura had never been able to figure out how Yanagi managed such a vicious glare with his eyes almost fully closed. Akaya flinched away from it.
"I just wanted to ask Buchou about the matches tomorrow!" He protested.
"Kirihara!" Sanada said warningly.
"Why do I have to be in doubles?" Akaya continued bravely, although he kept sneaking glances at Sanada. "I want a chance to get back at that brat Echizen for beating me!"
"That's enough Sanada," Yukimura didn't need to turn around to know that Sanada would have started to raise his hand. "Akaya we already discussed this. You had your chance already and you could not beat him. I wont risk our chances at this tournament."
"You will play doubles," Yukimura said in his sternest voice and turned to pin Akaya with a glare of his own that caused the younger boy to freeze. "Renji has assured all of us that a combination with him will have the highest probability.."
"A 99% probability," Renji cut in. Yukimura gave him an annoyed glance.
"..of the chance of victory against whatever other doubles pair Seigaku chooses to use in that spot."
"According to the data its a 95% probability that it will be the Inui/Kaidho pair. Inui's data mostly likely..."
"That is the reasoning explained in the team meeting, correct?" Yukimura tried to keep the impatience out of his voice. The look he gave Yanagi seemed to cause their data master to freeze.
"Then Akaya should be well of aware of why the pairings were chosen," Yukimura gave Akaya another stern look. "Renji believes that he will be able to harness your ablities most effectively this way. This is the best way we have to achieve victory, and I will let nothing get in the way of Rikkai's taking the Nationals. We all must be united on that, Akaya."
"I know that!" Kirihara said quickly. "I want to win the Nationals more than anything else right now!"
"Good!" Yukimura reached out to lay a hand on the younger boy's shoulder and squeez it gently. "Then follow Renji's plan and we will win."
For a moment Kirihara looked as if he was going to protest, then he sighed and grumbled, "Yes, Buchou!"
Yukimura smiled at him then turned around, "We should be heading home. It is getting dark and I want all of you well rested for the matches tomorrow. Everyone has to be at the top of their game."
"As if you're ever not," Yukimura heard Akaya under his breath but just smiled.
A small while later both Renji and Akaya had left in opposite directions that lead to their own houses. Sanada however had stayed with his captain.
"Shouldn't you be getting home yourself Sanada?" Yukimura asked quietly.
"It's not that far of a walk from your house," was all the vice-captain said. Yukimura knew that was, while not an outright lie, a bit of an exaggeration. At the same time he knew that calling out Sanada on it would accomplish nothing useful.
"I am fine," he said gently knowing the real root of his friend's worry.
"I know," Sanada answered, but didn't add anything else. Yukimura opened his mouth to say something else but then decided against it. Instead he just shook his head a little and tried to hide a small smile. Although he did occasionally find Sanada's mother-henning a bit stifling at times, he did appreciate what Sanada had done for the team in his absence. He had been the one that had held everything together and enabled the team to get this far.
"…Thank you," Yukimura said softly to himself. It wasn't until he caught Sanada giving him a curious look that he realized he had spoken the thought out loud.
"It's nothing," Yukimura assured him as they reached the gates of his house. "And we're here, you can head home with a clear mind now," he didn't try to hide his amused grin this time. "I doubt there's much trouble I can get in between the gate and the front door of my house."
"…I would not be surprised if you managed to find a way," Sanada said, so softly that Yukimura wasn't quiet sure he had heard it.
"Good night," he said as he entered his guarden. His vice-captain gave his own words then started to depart. "Sanada," Yukimura called after him before he was out of sight, causing him to stop and turn towards him.
"Try not to train too long tonight. I was being honest earlier when I said we need to be in top form tomorrow."
"I know," Geniricho turned away, "and that's why I'll try." As he walked off, Yukimura chuckled and headed inside.
Later that night, Yukimura found himself having trouble following his own advice. He had intended to go to bed earlier than usual but nerves kept him awake, checking his own equipment and making sure everything was in top shape for the next day. This was it, the third National for Rikkaidai. This was the goal he had been dreaming of ever since he had first set foot in the school. After years of struggle and countless obstacles placed in his way, his dream would finally be in his grasp tomorrow.
He put his rackets pack in his bag one last time, then hefted the bag and placed it next to his bedroom door.
"That is enough," he said firmly to himself. There wasn't anything else left to do but sleep now.
When he opened his eyes again, he was in the midst of a field of flowers. It wasn't a very big field, just a bowl cut into a rock landscape that rose up in spires of rock around most of it. At it's center where two tall and graceful trees, and he knew if he turned around he would see a temple behind him bracketing one side of the field.
This wasn't the first time he had been here. This was a place he had seen often in his dreams.
At least he could see it this time. There had been dreams before where his 'vision' has been more of a sense of where everything and everyone was, even though he couldn't actually see them. Those had been very…odd to say the last. At least he didn't have to worry about that this time.
He had never seen the field like this, not with so many flowers all in bloom at once. The trees were heavy with buds too, as if they were soon going to bloom. He wondered again what those trees were. So far the dream hadn't saw fit to answer that question.
"Spring certainly seems to be favoring your garden,"a soft voice behind him said. He turned, already knowing who it was. The beautiful man with the long lavender hair had been in his dreams before.
"I wouldn't call it a garden," he answered. "They just appeared here on their own."
"So you say," Mu chuckled, "but you still care for them. I would call that a 'garden' wouldn't you?"
"If you say so,"he said he glanced over at the other man. His hair managed to fall in his face and he brushed it out of the way impatiently. For some reason he never looked like himself in these dreams. He was always taller, older, with annoying long blond hair that fell past his waist. In the back of his mind he couldn't help but think about how it would get in his way if he ever tried to play tennis.
"I've noticed that you've been tense recently," Mu spoke after a moment of looking around the fields. "Is something the matter?"
In real life, Yukimura was sure he would have denied that charge, but he felt strangely comfortable here in his dreams. "Tomorrow is the day that everything I have worked for rides on,"he said.
"Are you sure it's coming so soon then?" Mu gave him a rather serious look.
"Of course," Yukimura was slightly surprised his dream world wasn't aware of the nationals, but then it was a dream. They were always slightly odd. "When else would it be? We've been waiting for this time just so we could win."
"How confident you are," Mu said teasingly, then sobered. "Although I suppose you are right. No matter how much we've lost, this is the war that we have been preparing for. You might even be able to call it destiny."
"Destiny," Yukimura repeated the word slowly, liking it's sound, "yes, our destiny to win once again. I will not allow Rikkaidai to lose this time."
"Rikkaidai?" Mu looked puzzled for a moment, then the sound of the alarm blared and the dream dissolved.
Yukimura opened bleary eyes, and reached out shut off the beeping as he sat up. He hadn't expected the dream to come up now, off all times. It had been several months since had had the last one…ever since he had gotten the operation that had saved his tennis career in fact. That was why he hadn't given much thought to it when they had stopped. After all, he hadn't needed them as an escape any more.
The first dream had happened shortly after his collapse. A dream of a place where he was a warrior in shining armor that stood for justice. It was a childish dream really, but for a while he had clung to those dreams. In the dreams he wasn't weak or sick or forced to stay bed-ridden for days. In an odd way those dreams had given him some strength and hope when he had been in the hospital. It had been a way to escape the doctors whispering during the night. He didn't have to think about not being able to play tennis while he dreamed.
But that's the past, he thought as he climbed out of bed, why would it come back? Then he realized how much faith he was putting in a dreamof all things and chuckled. It didn't really matter did it? It was just a dream, and he had far more important things to worry about today.
Yukimura barely noticed the closing ceremony of the Nationals. His mind was still with the match he had lost, even as Sanada accepted the second place award for Rikkai. Their dreams, the one they had worked so hard for all this year, was gone now. That knowledge sat like a leaden weight in the pit of his stomach but it was mixed with a strange exhilaration that still filled it. It had been a good match, even if it had been one he had lost. Defeat was a sour taste in his mouth, but it had been a long time since he had found anyone willing to challenge him so much. He had no regrets about the way he had played, no matter the outcome. Echizen's evolution had been beyond anything he could have thought possible. It made him eager to get stronger himself.
However, those feelings didn't change the fact that he had failed his teammates. He glanced up, noticing their expressions. They were resigned, sad, and thoughtful in most cases. His had been the last match, their last chance to win it all, but he knew that none of them blamed him, although judging by the way Sanada was gripping the second place plaque, he clearly blamed himself. Yukimura knew that was one of his friend's deepest faults. As hard and uncompromising as Sanada could be with others, Yukimura knew he was twice as hard on himself and took every failure to heart.
I'll have to talk with him later, Yukimura couldn't help thinking as everyone started to file out. He didn't want Sanada to take things to hard and push himself harder than he should. Of course, he had to convince him to see a doctor too. No matter that he had insisted on staying until the finals were done, his legs had to be hurting him and the last thing Yukimura wanted was for him to end up in the hospital too. Doing that without insulting that pride of his will be the tricky part…
As they made their way out of the stadium his steps carried him up to Sanada, who just glanced at him before looking quickly away. No one said anything as they made their way out of the arena. There was nothing left to be said really, and no one felt up for more light hearted conversation. As they stepped out into the sunlight, Yukimura looked around, trying to impress the sight of the area around the arena in his mind. He had ever intention of coming back here one day but he wanted his feeling impressed upon his memory. He was never going to allow himself to forget it.
He almost didn't see her at first, the woman standing off to the side. She was watching them silently, but that wasn't unusual. There were plenty of people keeping an on the famous Rikkadai tennis team. Even after their lost they were a target for speculation.
Yukimura couldn't even say why he stopped when he saw her. Unconsciously his steps just seemed to slow. He barely even noticed his team go past him as he tried to figure out what the nagging feeling that he knew here was.
She must have noticed that he had stopped because she gave a small smile and walked over to him. She stopped just within speaking distance of him.
"You were the one playing that final match, weren't you?" she asked. Even her voice felt familiar, although he could have sworn he had never heard it before.
"Yes," he answered without thinking as he studied her. His first thought was that she was one of the business representatives that occasional showed up around Rikkai. She was wearing a fitted white business suit, and she certainly carried herself professionally. Long purple hair fell neatly to her waist, and she was rather pretty, although Yukimura couldn't tell how old she was. Her face was young but her eyes felt…old was the only word he could think of. They seemed to draw you in, and even he couldn't bring himself to look away from them.
"I was watching," she said and smiled, "it was a very exciting match. You are very skilled you know. I don't know much about tennis but even I could tell that."
"Thank you," he muttered politely in response although he felt a brief brush of anger as he wondered if she was pitying them for losing and felt she had to cheer him up. But no..her eyes didn't carry any pity. Sadness and warmth and compassion yes…but no pity. "But I suppose I wasn't the most skilled in the tournament." He hadn't meant to add they last part, but those purple eyes of hers seemed to pierce something inside of him.
"Perhaps," she said, a small smile touching her lips, "but although you lost you don't seem defeated by that knowledge. You are the sort that will come back stronger for something like that, aren't you?"
"You are correct about that," he was forced to admit. "It's a poor tennis player that allows something like defeat to hold him back."
"Those are wise words for someone so young," the woman wasn't even teasing when she said it. Instead she sounded satisfied, as if she was confirming something. "Tell me, do you enjoy tennis?"
"Of course!" he answered without thinking. He couldn't remember a time when he hadn't loved being on the court. It was a part of him now, and he couldn't imagine life without it.
"Good," she said softly then smiled at him. "I do hope you continue enjoying it, Yukimura Seiichi. This life is one that I hope you can live the way you wish it too."
That she knew his name didn't shock him. They had announced his name before the match, and she would have heard it there. Anyone who had been watching would also have been able to tell her if she had just asked. It was just an odd thing to say, but Yukimura couldn't see anything negative in it. "Thank you," he said, slightly confused. Had she known about his stay in the hospital and felt the need to say that?
"I suppose I've kept you from your friends long enough," she said before he could ask the question. "I'll be going now. Take care." Then she was gone, walking away to where a car sat waiting for her. Yukimura stared after her, an odd twisting in his chest.
His hand went up to rest on his chest as he tried to puzzle through the knot there. What was this odd feeling? Love? A crush on that strange woman? No..this wasn't love. It was more like…awe? Her force of personality had felt so overwhelming he didn't think he could have gone if she hadn't looked away. He dimly remembered someone, Mauri he thought, saying that he could do much the same with people. Was this what it felt like whenever he did that to someone? Why had that woman bothered to find him, just to serve him some of his own medicine? Had she even meant too?
"..mura! Yukimura!" A slight shake of his shoulder snapped him out of a daze he hadn't even been aware of. He blink at little.
"Sanada?" he said as he came out of it. "What's wrong?" Only then did he realize the rest of his team had gathered around him as well.
"You were just standing there," Renji cut in. Even with his eyes closed he looked concerned. "You didn't respond even when we called out to you."
"Are you all right?" Yukimura didn't need to look at Sanada to hear the quiet worry in his voice. He doubted anyone else would have picked up that inflection in it, but Yukimura knew him well enough to notice.
"I'm fine Sanada," he said and smiled gently at him before turning to the others. "I'm sorry I worried all of you. I was just lost in thought, but I am fine."
"You shouldn't scare us like that Buchou!" Akaya grumbled.
"Are you sure?" Yagyuu asked quietly. "I haven't seen you play that way since you returned from the hospital. If you aren't feeling well.."
"I'm fine," Yukimura said in a much firmer tone of voice. "We should be going now." He chanced one last look back at the way the strange woman had gone, then pushed her to the back of his mind in favor of convincing his team he was truly fine.