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okies... I finally wrote a PoT fic lol... not the one I wanted to... but another one that jumped me while watching 104

Introspection

Title: Introspection
Author: Arithion
Rating: G
Genre: General, Drama
Pairing: None
Chapter: One Shot
Summary: This is set at the end of episode 104 and is simply Fuji reflecting on Rikkaidai’s previous performance and the confrontation they had with Kirihara at the rained out finals.

Introspection

The rain continued to fall down, even after the Rikkaidai members left. Fuji’s eyes followed Kirihara as he walked away, a thousand thoughts flowing through the prodigy’s head. There was no doubt that he would face Kirihara in the finals.

Fuji’s mind ran over every detail, turquoise eyes narrowed in concentration, his ever present smile absent. The Rikkaidai Junior was cocky, and from all accounts rightly so. His movements were sure, his speech confident, and his eyes arrogance personified. . The cool and confident exterior wasn’t hiding anything underneath, it simply was. Talent, aptitude, and the knowledge thereof leaked from every pore of Kirihara’s body

It made Fuji smile. He wanted to make more than just sweat leak out of those pores… he wanted to make his opponent suffer.

In the back of his mind, he registered the reactions of the others, but not finding anything concerning himself, he dismissed them. He had more important things to think of and couldn’t let the other’s reactions distract him from them.

Insults didn’t wash well with him. Neither did people who used a sport to take out their aggression on others… especially not his sport. Cocky arrogance didn’t sit very well with him either, unless the person could back up that arrogance with ability. Fuji smiled. He wondered if Rikkaidai could back up their arrogance.

Fuji definitely wanted to find out. Challenges were so rare. At least those that were a serious challenge for him. It made him tingle all over with anticipation that he might actually have to put one hundred percent effort into a match.

The smile disappeared, turquoise eyes narrowing once more as their coach approached to tell them of the status of the match. As expected it was cancelled. They traipsed out of the tournament centre, Fuji’s thoughts swirling around, his head down, smile consistently on his face. It wouldn’t do to lose his smile… people might actually catch onto his train of thought. Being enigmatic was his trademark, and not one he cared to lose. Besides… it was fun too.

The trip back in the bus was uneventful for him. He kept his thoughts to himself and just watched out the window, searching for that something he needed. Just wanting to rise to the challenge and beat Akaya Kirihara wasn’t enough for Fuji. He needed, and knew he needed that slight bit more of a push.

Rain still fell steadily down, spattering against the windows of the bus while Fuji watched. His eyes tracked the drops as they raced each other down the glass pane while his thoughts returned to the video they’d seen in the Sushi shop. He replayed every shot, every movement, and every expression in his head… over and over again. His mind focused on the nuances of Kirihara’s play, the way he moved every part of his body and the possible thoughts that would be running through his head.

The expression on the Rikkaidai members face when Tachibana had scored that one game against him. There was only one word that Fuji could think of to describe it: cruel. Kirihara didn’t like to lose, not even one game. Malicious tendencies caused him to aim directly in order to injure his opponent. And no ordinary injury would do. It had to be debilitating and embarrassing, because there was no doubt about it; Kirihara didn’t like anyone to show him up.

Fuji chuckled softly. Oh this was going to be fun.

That was the key. Fuji’s eyes narrowed once more as he let the others get off the bus first. He’d catch up to them later, and do whatever it was he was assigned as punishment for coming late. It’d be worth it… there was something he needed to do. It was something he needed to gain for himself, in order to be able to defeat his opponent.

There was some satisfaction in his mind as he made his way to the flower stall. The rain didn’t phase him, his umbrella shielded him from most of it, and his mind was set on the objective he’d given himself. He rode the elevator to the correct floor, after asking directions, and soon entered the Fudomine captain’s room.

Although he thought it rather nice of the other boy to try and help him with a few pointers, Fuji wasn’t paying much attention to the conversation. He’d seen what he needed when he entered the room. Now all he needed to do was acquire it. But thanks were due where thanks were due, and Fuji would definitely keep the information in mind.

Besides, standing to thank Tachibana and leave would afford the prodigy an opening to ask about the item he’d seen.

A few minutes later Fuji exited the room, Tachibana’s favourite grip tape in hand and a cunning smile on his face.

He had what he needed; he’d do what had to be done. Like he always did, like he’d probably always do. His reflection looked back at him from the bus window on the way back to school, rain still pouring down outside. He ran over the conversation in his head, picking out the details he’d need to keep a hold of.

No smile crossed his face; it wasn’t the right time for it. There was a lot of preparation he would have to do if he was going to seal the victory the way he wanted to. It was time for Fuji to get serious.

He stepped through the door quietly, but the wooden floor echoed his footsteps, and the members still saw him when he entered the indoor courts. He nodded to them and made his way to Ryuzaki-sensai to make his apologies. Fuji didn’t have excuses; he wasn’t the sort to make them. He took the rebuke he received and began his thirty laps.

His pace settled allowing his mind to concentrate on other matters while his body went through the motion of running. He could play tennis, always had been able to. This was no news to Fuji. In fact, he knew he could play damn well. It was also true that he rarely, if ever, gave one hundred percent of himself when playing… he just never felt the need to, which was probably why he was only Segaiku’s number two.

The thing was, he just got bored so easily. But now… Now there was a new challenge, and a new person he felt needed a lesson of some sort. It was the same feeling he’d had when he realised what Mizuki had taught Yuuta. The same feeling when he’d been set to play Jirou. That emotion that bubbled in him when he’d played with Eiji against Saeki, an old rival.

He had a cause, and he’d be damned if he’d lose. His determination and anger had seen him through his match with Mizuki, Teka-san’s bloody racket had helped him focus his determination into teaching a lesson when he played Jirou. Last but not least, Eiji being targeted had helped Fuji overcome an amazing block to one of his triple counters.

It was the way he fought, the way he chose to fight. Finding some sort of reason, some sort of motivation, which enabled him to champion a cause. No one else needed to know about it, no one else needed to know his reasons existed. They were simply a tool he used to make things more interesting for himself, and to give him more of a reason to put in effort than just rising to a challenge.

Prodigy?

He’d never been too sure about that, but he’d definitely show Rikkaidai who Syusuke Fuji was.

He concentrated on the sound of his feet pounding the court. It was a good rhythm. In time with his heart, in sync with his mind… in harmony with his goal.

Turquoise eyes narrowed, and Fuji smiled.

~~**~~

Not sure how I did... what did you think?

~Arith

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