Author's Note: Hello! Here's HappyTheCamper coming off of an amazing finish to my last crossover story (Which will end on Monday!)
Now, I've brought my newest story to the table...an athletic/romantic AU for Fairy Tail. Well, this will at least be the first chapter which will stay here as a teaser in case I get to busy, but I'm liking my creativity on this one...
Now, this is going to center around the sport of Basketball...and there will be romance involved. Anyway, I hope you enjoy! (Ironically today is both Valentine's Day and it's the NBA All-Star game...sort of hit two birds with one stone on this one.)
It is important to note that I do not own Fairy Tail. It, it's story, characters, settings, and all other aspects are the property of Hiro Mashima. The only aspects from this story I can claim is the plot and setting for the alternative universe.
Fairy Tail: Hardwood Heroes!
Chapter One - The Game They Love
"Good evening and welcome back to our main program for the night! We bring you live to the X790 FCAA's Men's Basketball championship game, where the former champions at Onibas University are currently down by one vs the Acalypha School of Business!"
…No. This is not the Grand Magic Games in the magical Kingdom of Fiore. This land known as Fiore is much more familiar and far more related to our own way of living. Yes the names sure seem similar, but for the most part this is an entirely different universe featuring our beloved friends from the magical kingdom of Earth-Land.
Here, Fiore is a lot like today's world, modern and on the rise. Fiore is home to large, urban sprawling cities, with major attractions at each and every corner, but for the purposes of this story, we would like to focus your attention on one particular game of interest; basketball.
"As stated before, I am Chapati Lola, and with me as always is my partner in crime, Yajima!" Said the number sports anchor in the country of Fiore, Chapati Lola. "Okay Mr. Yajima; you were once in the very same shoes as these youngsters. What would like to tell them if you had the opportunity to do so?"
His side commentator, and former FBA all-star Mr. Yajima, sighed as he tried remembering the good ol' days of playing basketball. "Well, I have played in a similar game to this…so all's I can say is these kids can't over think it, and instead they need to relax and play with their hearts."
Apparently we find ourselves listening in on a rather big broadcast from the dynamic commentating duo of Fiore's Sports Network, or FSN.
"Well, I bet if they could hear you, they would agree on that one!" Said a rather excited Chapati from the sideline of the court as he looked around at all the noise and movement in the stadium. "Now, it looks like the timeout has ended, so let's see what the former champions have to say…?"
The referee blew his whistle as the two teams reemerged onto the hardwood. Right away, the former champions from Onibas looked ready for action as their star point guard, Sting Eucliffe, took the court.
"Okay, I think it's time we let the game come to an end. I'm starting to get bored over here….and these losers from the small town community college should go ahead and pack their bags." The cocky blonde point guard laughed to himself as his partner and small forward, Rogue Cheney took a place on the other side of the ref.
"Hmm…if you say so." Rogue's eyes seemed to be calculating and ready for action as he waited for the referee to hand him the ball.
On the other side of the court, the leading team from Acalypha seemed to also be ready for action as they took the field for their last minute defense.
"Hehe, these idiots have no clue what to do. There's only 30 seconds left, and they haven't even scored in the last 10 minutes!"
As a national all-star and prospective first overall draft pick for the FBA, Natsu Dragneel laughed and waved his arms at the losing Onibas players while the teams took the field. The winning team seemed to barely take the lead over the last quarter of play, after turning a former 12 point deficit into a 2 point lead.
His teammates all shook their heads, and his close friend and team small forward, Gray Fullbuster joined him on the court.
"Natsu, I'd watch the mouth if I were you. We haven't exactly won this game yet." Gray was ready to win too, but he always kept a level head when it came to these kind of big moments. Nastu and Gray were both freshman all-stars at Acalypha. Signed right out of high school, they brought their talents to the tiny business school in the rural city of Acalypha, and as a result they turned the small town college into a nationally recognized name with a competitive record to boot.
Now, the Businessmen of Acalypha were ready to win their first school title as the Pioneers of Onibas came on to the court.
"Okay, I hope the old guys are ready to play!" Natsu looked to his three elder players and Acalypha seniors as the ball hit the ref's hands.
"Natsu, you gotta calm down! You always run your mouth whenever you get nervous!" Said the Acalypha legend and campus heart throb, Haru Glory, who starred as the team's senior Shooting Guard.
The team's power forward and man of brawn, Shiki Granbell shook his head as well. "Yea man. Chill out for a moment…just save the energy for the after party with all our friends!"
The rowdy Shiki then tried to high five his not-so-rowdy brother and senior center, Aki, who shook his head. "Just…no man…"
Natsu turned to the Pioneer players and laughed. "Hehe, like I said…these idiots have no chance."
Sting heard all of that, and would have turned around, but instead just let out a simple smile. "I'd watch that mouth if I were you, All-star. You'll be cryin' out of it once we take this game."
The ref blew the whistle and handed the ball over to Rogue, who quickly passed it in to his trusty PG, Sting. The White Dragon of Onibas smiled as he dribbled up court, and quickly did a back and forth dribble between the legs to try and throw off Natsu.
"I hope you're fast enough, Salamander…!" Sting winked and quickly blazed by Natsu in a streak of white light as he dribbled through the entire Acalypha defense and went in for a field goal.
Natsu did not appear to like that and chased him down, securing a team foul while he was at it.
"FOUL ON #00 Natsu Dragneel from Acalypha, who quickly earns his 4th!" Chapati reminded the audience of every play that happened as Natsu smacked his own forehead and allowed Sting to take the line.
"Hehe…here comes the champagne." The blonde PG used no effort to sink the first basket and secure the tie for his team, which did nothing but infuriate the members of Acalypha.
"Man…this stinks." This did not come from a member of Acalypha, but rather a neutral female fan sitting in the middle section of the arena within a very elaborate and very expensive box seat at center court.
"Lucy, I'm not sure why you feel the need to get upset over either team." Said the naïve girl's blonde father sitting beside her. "You have no affiliation with either side."
"Oh Jude, let the girl root for whoever she wants…" Said a rather small elderly man on the other side of the tall blonde gentleman. "…after all you force her to root for our god awful team back in Magnolia. Now she gets to root for some boys who actually show a little heart."
Jude Heartfilia did not like the sound of that. "Coach Dreyar, I don't pay you to bad mouth your own team…and as for my daughter I suggest you leave the parenting to me."
"Well…you are the owner." Coach Dreyar sighed and shook his head, and then hatched a bit of curiosity forming in his head. "Tell me, child, why is it that you root for Acalypha more than Onibas?"
The seventeen year old blonde turned and smiled. "Well i don't know, I just admire that they're a small school playing the former champions...Plus I heard you both talking about drafting some of their players. So I figured I should start rooting for them sooner or later!"
Coach Dreyar laughed at the curious girl's analysis. "Hehe, well something tells me you're thinking less about the teams, and more about the players themselves?"
Lucy let out a tiny blush and turned away. "O-oh well, I mean they are close to my age, but like i said! You guys are trying to draft some of them to Magnolia."
Lucy recognized that she was still seventeen, but she was only one more year of high school away from entering a college of her own. She also noticed that several players in tonight's championship game were only eighteen and nineteen, and they appeared to be freshmen ready for the big leagues. She always appreciated it when younger players showed talent and promise for the FBA. It filled her with her own sense of hope.
Jude sighed. "Either way, it looks like your Acalypha team is now going to lose…"
Lucy and Coach Dreyar both turned to see Sting successfully make his second free throw as it put the Pioneers up by one.
As his star point guard growled and readied himself, his head coach yelled over from the side line. "Okay, Natsu. Let's not go too crazy on this play…"
Natsu rolled his eyes. "Yea yea…I hear ya Gildarts." The Acalypha players seemed to have such a close relationship with their head coach, Gildarts Clive that they always referred to him by his first name. Either way, Gray Fullbuster took a readied ball from the ref and threw it in to Natsu, who quickly turned and dribbled down court.
"Okay, Sting, you ready to see me earn my 50th point of the night?"
Sting held no appreciation for Natsu's hyperbolic language and rolled his eyes as he stayed in defense to guard his opponent. "Yea? Just shut up and make your play."
Natsu tilted his head and tried rushing the net, but as he did Sting barely tapped the ball and forced a turnover. Luckily, Natsu's skilled teammate Haru barely got a hand on the ball and turned it back to the Businessmen's side.
"GOOO HARU!" His girlfriend, and longtime supporter, Ellie stood in the school's student section as she yelled for him to make a play. Haru had to tune her out in order to drive the ball for the net. As the time ticked off the clock, every player on the field bum rushed Haru and the net, and at the last second the silver haired bullet laid the ball up and barely got the ball in the rim.
"NO GOOD!" The main official yelled after blowing his whistle while swiping the score away with his hands. "ONIBAS WINS!"
Boos and yells came from all over the arena as the previous champions took home the win yet again, leaving the Businessmen of Acalypha confused and heartbroken.
Sting ran right by Natsu with a smirking face. "Hehe, I told you little schools shouldn't be in a game like this."
Natsu growled and went to throw a punch, but Gray and Shiki quickly came in to hold him back.
Gildarts sighed with a smile and waved to his player. "Agh, all right…bring it in ya bunch of losers."
"UGH!" Back in the box seats, Lucy kicked the chair in front of her in a quick bout of anger. "I hate it when teams like that win!"
Jude cocked an eye-brow. "Really? From what I see that little trouble maker on Acalypha lost the game…Makarov what do you think?"
Coach Makarov sighed. "Well, he needs work…if you really expect to draft him I'll need a brand new coaching staff to help me reel him in."
Jude sighed as well. "Yes, just as I figured. You already suggested hiring a new General Manager for the team while we're at it, and I can't seem to find anyone interested in the job thus far."
"Yea, that's because Magnolia's dead last in the league…" Lucy crossed her arms and softly whispered the comment underneath her breathe.
Jude looked right to his daughter with scolding eyes. "I'm sorry, dear. Do you have something else to say?"
Lucy turned on a smile for her loyal reply. "Haha, no father! Like always I think you guys will make the right decision!"
Jude kept a face of disapproval, while Makarov began laughing out loud. "Ahahah, well I better get going. We have an early practice tomorrow."
He then stood up and left the two Heartfilias alone. Jude followed by rising to his feet with him, and expected his daughter to follow. "Alright Lucy. It's time for us to leave as well."
Lucy slowly stood up, and noticed two specific players on the Acalypha side looked a lot more depressed than the rest of the team.
"Yea…fine." She then shook her head and followed her ever loving father out of the luxury box.
Later, after the game and trophy ceremony, we find three Acalypha players packing up in the locker room.
"MAN! THIS STINKS!" Natsu pounded his fists into one of the lockers in pure anger after thinking back on the very recent loss.
His teammate Gray shook his head. "Why are you so mad? You lost the game for us."
Natsu stopped punching lockers to look Gray right in the eye. "Well I'm sorry I was the only one scoring points in the second half!"
Gray stood up. "HARU HAD LIKE 30 POINTS, YOU MORON!"
The third player standing with them, Haru Glory, smiled and put his bag strap around his shoulder. "Eh, who cares? They were the better team."
Gray sat down from Haru's words and smiled. "Man, you're so calm and collected. I wish I could act like that after losing."
Haru smiled. "Hey, when you've played for the same team for four straight years, you tend to learn a thing or two…unlike you two all-stars. I hear you're both being scouted by the FBA already!"
Natsu finally found time to let out another smile. "Yea, but man it would be cool to see you join us! Think about it, the lights and cameras of a professional team every day!"
Haru shook his head. "Nah man. I love playing, but it's not what I want to do. I wanna earn my degree, find a job, see the world…"
"HARU! Are you in there?"
The silver haired senior laughed as his brown haired beauty of a girlfriend came into the locker room. "Oh yea, and get married."
"There you are!" Ellie said with a bright smile on her face. "Are you okay…?"
Haru tilted his head. "Eh, I've been better…But hey, it's nothing I can't wear off!"
Ellie giggled and kissed him on the cheek. "You're so adorable, Haru." She then smiled towards Natsu and Gray. "Good game guys! I'm really sorry for the loss!"
Natsu shook his head and stuck his head inside his locker. "Yea yea, just get outta here, would ya?"
Ellie rolled her eyes and grinned. "Well, I'll at least say bye to you Gray!"
Gray chuckled and smiled back. "Hey, good to see ya, Ellie! Take care of Haru on the trip home, okay?"
"Oh don't worry, I will!" Ellie smirked and wrapped her arm around Haru's as she escorted him out of the locker room.
Gray laughed. "Man, they really are perfect for each other."
Natsu rolled his eyes. "Yea? It's probably why he won't go pro…he's so gifted at basketball, but he still won't go pro. Shiki too...all caught up with Rebecca...stupid girls."
Gray answered him. "It's not like that. Haru wants to raise a family and get a degree. You can't argue with that."
Natsu sat down with a sad face and sighed. "Yea, I guess you're right…"
Then, as the room got quiet, the locker room doors slammed open again as their coach and friend Gildarts Clive came in with a smile. "There ya are! Hey, great news! You boys had a lot of scouts tonight from the FBA!"
Natsu smiled and stood from his seat. "Really?! Who were the teams?"
Gildarts tried remembering. "Well…let's see. The Cerberuses, our home town Pegasus team from Acalypha…Oh and the current 1st place team in the league, the Tigers!"
Gray stood up with a wide grin. "NO WAY! The Saber City Tigers?! Man they make it to the finals every year!"
Natsu scowled. "Yea, and they lose to Tartaros every year also…those are the real winners. They'll probably beat the Tigers here in a week or so anyway."
Gray yelled back. "Who cares? If I land on a winning team then I know I'm going places!"
Gildarts smiled and added on one more thought. "Oh, and the Fairies from Magnolia…hehe."
Gray sighed. "Agh, the losers in last place? Man, knowing our luck we'll get drafted there."
Gidarts laughed. "Well, they do have the first overall pick, and you two are in the Top 5 of the country's best prospects."
Natsu smiled. "Yea, and I would actually feel good bringin' a championship to a team of losers! There's a lot of history in that team...Maybe Magnolia is a good pick after all. Bring the losers a trophy in my rookie year!"
Gray laughed. "Then where's the trophy for this team of losers?"
Gildarts rolled his eyes ad turned around. "Okay, well fight all you want. I just came in to tell you all some good news after your embarrassing loss."
Gary sighed and took his duffel bag. "Yea? Well getting drafted to a team like Magnolia isn't all that good of news…"
Natsu stood up and grabbed his bag to follow his teammate out. "I dunno, I could see us doing some great things for those losers. After all, they aren't called the team of Fairy Tales for nothing!"
Okay! So Natsu and Gray are college freshman eligible for the professional league draft! I hope they know what they're doing! (Also, I hope you liked the cameos from Hiro Mashima's past manga series. Shiki Ryuho from Monster Hunter, Aki from Monster Soul, ans my personal favs Haru and Ellie form Rave!) (Edit: Shiki from Monster Hunter was changed to Shiki Granbull from Mashima's 2018 series Edens Zero.)
Also, Jude Heartfilia is a Professional Team owner, and his daughter Lucy seems to be angry at their team's losing record...I hope his head coach Makarov Dreyar can turn the team around this coming season!
I was going to save this story for an April release, but I just finished writing my current story, and today is the NBA All-Star week...so I guilted myself into a February release instead. Please comment/review throughout the story! And keep and eye out for chapter #2!