→ Pairing: None
→ Prompt: School
→ Anime: Prince of Tennis
→ Character: Teenage! Masaharu Niou
→ For: ch.oco.late’s Back To School Contest
The worst time in everyone’s life, even for the popular kids. Even though they have popularity and god-like looks, there is always some sort of problem at home, and there is always someone who will oppose and stand up to them. Usually, that’s a person who has been bullied constantly and finally decided that they have had enough.
About 60% of the student body is picked on. 20% consists of the losers and loners, who are usually ignored altogether. And the last 10% consists of the few people who actually manage to reach the popularity status.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cheerleader or a nerd. Though the experiences and lifestyles may be completely different, every single one of them has something in common; high school is their own personalized hell, even if they refuse to admit it and play it off as the “best time” of their life.
Sure, they probably had fun with their friends, but what does that have to do with high school? Nothing.
High school is a simple and nicer way of saying ‘hell’, as well as “three years of my life that I will never get back.”
✎ ✏ ✐
Chiaki yawned as she walked down the hall, her book bag slung over her left shoulder. School was the last place she wanted to be. She’d be happier being stuck with Atobe for a couple weeks. It was laughable how desperate she was to escape.
While her mind was pre-occupied, a pair of arms wrapped around her neck from behind, stopping her in her tracks. She didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. She could tell by the smell of his cologne.
“You shouldn’t walk around lost in thought. It’s dangerous. Puri~”
She glanced at him, shrugging him off and continuing towards homeroom. Niou followed, falling into pace at her side.
“It’s dangerous when you’re not daydreaming, too. It’s all up to chance.”
“I said ‘lost in thought’, not ‘daydreaming’.” He pointed out, holding his index finger up like a teacher would.
Niou chuckled as they entered the classroom which was alive with pointless and mindless chatter. Chiaki claimed her seat by the window in the back of the class and Niou claimed his in front of her own.
“So~” Niou turned around, arms folded over the back of the chair. “You going on the field trip next week?”
“Meh.” She shrugged, taking out her notebook and beginning her daily ‘doodle-instead-of-learn’ session.
“‘Meh’ is not an answer.” He snatched her pen, twirling it between his fingers. “I will hold your pen hostage until I get an answer. Puri~”
Chiaki rolled her eyes, pulling out another pen from her pants pocket. Niou snatched it before the tip could even make contact with the page.
“Why do you make it a habit to annoy me?”
“Because I’m your best friend and it’s fun~”
Chiaki let out a sigh before letting her lips curl up into a small smile. “Good answer. Mostly.”
“Alright, everyone sit the hell down!” The teacher muttered boredly as he entered the room. He seemed to want to be there even less than the students. The class quited down and took their seats immediately, knowing full well that pissing him off was not a good idea.
Niou turned back around, reaching back with his hand over his head to return the two pens he had pen-napped. Chiaki took them from his hand without a word and he leaned forward on the wooden surface of his desk.
The teacher, named Nobunaga, muttered incoherently under his breath and shifted through the vast amount of paperwork on his desk. Normally, his mood wasn’t the best; he was permanently in a foul mood (if you had to teach a class full of high schoolers for god knows how long, wouldn’t you be in a bad mood, too?) It was also rare to find people he actually liked and got along with. Fortunately for them, Chiaki and Niou were both included in that small group, though they still worked his nerves from time to time.
“You.” Nobunaga-sensei pointed to a random boy in the first row who squeaked in fear, intimidated by the tall man that stood in front of his desk. “What did we do yesterday?” It wasn’t that he had a bad memory, he just couldn’t be bothered to remember when he had a class full of students to remind him.
“T-The f-ieldtrip… we were t-talking about the f-fieldtrip…!” The boy stuttered, his eyes cast to his sweaty hands that lay in his lap.
“Ah. Right.” Nobunaga ignored the boy’s fear and returned to his desk, searching through the mess of papers once more. “Alright. Listen up, morons! I’m gonna give you all the info sheet for the fieldtrip!”
“You!” He pointed to a girl in the second row, situated directly in front of his desk. “Pass these out.”
“H-Hai…” She stood slowly, reaching out a shaking hand to retrieve the papers. Once they were in her hand, she realed back as if a shark was about to bite her.
“Does she think he’s gonna attack her?” Chiaki whispered to Niou, rolling her eyes. Sure, Nobunaga-sensei was intimidating, sometimes violent and quick to anger, but he didn’t attack students (unless they really deserved it).
Niou snickered, leaning back slightly in his chair. Of course the little sadist was enjoying the other students’ discomfort and fear. Wouldn’t be him if he didn’t. That boy could give Shusuke Fuji a run for his money!
The girl quickly swerved through the rows of desks, handing out a sheet of the paper with trembling hands to every student she passed before scurrying back to her desk with her head down.
Chiaki resisted the urge to laugh (damn Niou was wearing off on her!) as she picked up the info sheet from her desktop, scanning over it with mild interest.
“Now,” Nobunaga-sensei moved to lean against the front of his messy desk, arms crossed over his chest while his narrowed black eyes scanned the classroom, making most every student they landed on tense up and freeze; they really did not want to be called on. “The field trip will be taking place next Thursday at 12:00 PM. Classes until that time will continue as normal. If you want to go, you must get those forms signed and handed back to me before Tuesday.”
Niou and Chiaki exchanged glances before snickering in amusement. Last time they went on a fieldtrip, most everyone in the class turned their forms into other teachers, too afraid to give them directly to Nobunaga. Only three students had actually approached him.
“The fieldtrip will last until Monday, at which point you will leave the hotel at 10:00 AM.”
A small boy who sat in the same row as Chiaki shakily rose his hand. After Nobunaga nodded in approval, the boy voiced his question. “Um… Where will we be going, sensei?”
Nobunaga’s small eyes shifted to the boy before sweeping the class once more, stopping on a blonde girl that sits in the very middle of the classroom. “Allison!”
“Hai!” Allison stood from her chair with a proud grin and walked up to stand next to the teacher. Allison was one of the smartest girls Rikkaidai high school had to offer, rivaled only by Renji. She was also one of the few students who was not afraid of Nobunaga, though she, like Chiaki and Niou, was still intimidated from time to time.
“The fieldtrip, chaperoned by three teachers and two parents, will be taking us on a wonderful trip through time through the way of the Art and History Museum!”
The class erupted in whispers of excitement, but quickly became quiet when Allison glared at them.
She cleared her throat and continued. “That’s only the first two days. The next two days will be spent at the Aquarium. Everyone will be staying in a hotel located between these two attractions. Rooms, as well as room mates, have already been assigned. This will not change, no matter what you do or say! Monday will be spent returning back here. Any questions?”
Several hands shot into the air, the students feeling more comfortable talking to her rather than Nobunaga (who really could care less).
Allison shook her head and wagged her index finger at them before making a ‘tsk’ing sound. “Too bad.”
You’d think they would of learned by now…
Chiaki grinned, biting her lip to stiffle her laughter. Allison was a trip, whether she meant to be or not; a trait difficult to find in someone so smart.
“Sit back down, Allison.” Nobunaga said boredly, waving her off as she questioned him about any secrets he may be hiding concerning the fieldtrip.
“Yes sir!” She saluted him and returned to her seat.
Nobunaga’s black eyes swept the room. “Class ends in less than ten minutes. Do whatever until then.” He then sat behind his desk, arms crossed and eyes closed. When he said ‘whatever’, he meant it. He truly did not care what anyone did, as long as they left him alone. Someone could break a window and set fire to the books in the back of the room and he still wouldn’t care.
Niou turned back around in his seat, sitting like he had upon first entering the room. “Soo~ Have you been persuaded to go on the fieldtrip?”
“No. Sounds kinda boring.” She murmured, leaning back with her arm over the back of her chair and purple orbs staring blankly at the ceiling.
“Che. Go anyway.” He poked her stomach with his pencil. “I need someone to annoy while I’m there. Puri~”
“Renji, Marui, Jackal and Yagyuu are going, ne? Annoy them.”
“It’s not the same. They’re no fun to annoy.” He pouted. “I only get enjoyment out of messing with you.”
Chiaki rolled her eyes and looked out the window at the pale sky. It was about mid Autumn and the days had grown quite chilly. The sky remained covered with light grey clouds, completely blocking off the sun and pale blue sky. The lush leaves of the trees had already changed into brilliant shades of orange and brown. Every time the wind would blow, more leaves would fall from the trees and dance gracefully towards the ground, where they would join their other fallen comrads who had almost completely covered the pavement and grass. Most everyone you saw was wrapped tightly in a winter coat or thick winter clothes, but Chiaki’s group was different.
She herself adored the cold weather, often going out with short sleeves or no sleeves at all and jeans. Most people thought she was crazy, but that didn’t matter. The Rikkai Regulars often went out in shorts and short sleeves shirts (other than Yukimura, who often preferred pants).
Chiaki was also thankful that Rikkai high didn’t require its students to wear a uniform like the middle school division did. High school was more free than middle school, and you got away with a lot more, too.
✎ Monday, 8:00 AM ✎
Chiaki scowled as she walked through the hall, her purple orbs narrowed in a glare aimed at anyone who dared to cross her path. Monday truly was the worst day ever. She should of just skipped.
When Chiaki reached her locker, she threw it open. Before she could pull her books out, though, the door was slammed shut by a manicured hand. Following that was a fake sincere voice belonging to Rikkaidai’s whore troupe.
“Well, Well. If it isn’t Rikkai’s biggest loser.” The leader smirked proudly as if she had just done something impressive. Her two clones sniggered, putting a manicured hand to their glossy lips.
Chiaki’s eyes flashed dangerously before closing in an attempt to block out her rising rage. “Susie. I’m warning you. I am not in the mood.”
“Oh, boo hoo.” She fake cried, putting her hands to her eyes and wiping away invisible tears. “Is Chiaky-winy gonna cry?”
“No. Chiaky-winy’s gonna beat your fake ass nose in!” She growled, spinning around and slamming her fist into Susie’s nose. She shrieked and fell back onto her butt, clutching her nose tightly. That didn’t stop the blood from gushing between her fingers, though. She shrieked again, pointing her free hand at Chiaki who stood in front of her, breathing heavy with her bloody fist clenched.
With that signal, the blonde clones leapt forward and attempted to take her down with a double team, but the sticks were no fighters and Chiaki dodged their attacks with ease. She slammed her elbow into the second clone, which was coming at her from behind, and slammed the first clone into the lockers with her foot. Before the two could get back up, an arm wrapped tightly around Chiaki’s waist, pulling her back and away from the three blonde girls.
“Knock it off!” Nobunaga’s gruff voice reached the ear of the four girls and the students who had stopped off to watch the exchange. “Get your asses to class, now!”
Immediately, the students scrambled, leaving the bloody and broken blonde trio with the still pissed off Chiaki and the annoyed Nobunaga, who still had a firm grasp on her.
“Susie. Parker. Anemone. Detention, room 3-B. No fieldtrip. Chiaki. Detention, homeroom. No fieldtrip.”
The girls shrieked and crowded around him, trying to talk, bribe and blackmail their way out of detention. They even tried threats. They really wanted to go on the field trip. After all, all the hot boys would be going. They just couldn’t miss that!
Chiaki, on the other hand, shrugged herself out of the male’s vice-like grip and rolled her eyes before heading to class. She hadn’t wanted to go on the fieldtrip in the first place, so it didn’t really bother her. The only reason she had even been considering it was because Niou wanted her to go. Detention was her savior at the moment. She didn’t have to go, and Niou couldn’t be mad at her.
When she reached her seat, she got an annoyed and accusing look from her best friend. One that said, ‘you-did-that-on-purpose-so-you-would-get-detention-and-miss-the-fieldtrip’.
Chiaki rolled her eyes again and ignored him, turning to stare out the window. Though it was a good plan, that’s not the reason she had snapped. She was in a bad mood because she had been working all weekend without much sleep, and then had to wake up at 7:00 am so she could get to this hellhole on time.
Nobunaga entered the room a few minutes after the bell rang, an extra malicious glare pointed towards the class. Breaking up a pointless fight between four girls was not his idea of a Monday morning. Chiaki was too lost in thought to notice this, however.
Only when a note landed on her desk did she snap out of it. Picking it up and unfolding it, she couldn’t help but smile at the messy scrawl of her best friend.
✏ You do know this means war, ne? Puri~
Damn that Niou. He was always able to make her smile, no matter what was wrong with her. He truly was an amazing friend.
✎ Tuesday, 1:00 PM ✎
School was almost over, having a little over an hour left of the day. Chiaki hadn’t seen Niou much that day, just glimpses as he hurried down the hall. He seemed preoccupied. With what, she had no clue.
She wondered if it had anything to do with the ‘war’ note he had given her yesterday, but she shrugged it off. Whatever he was up to, she’d find out soon enough. That’s what her instinct told her and it usually wasn’t wrong.
Sure enough, around 1:15, the whole school began to shake, the windows rattling and objects falling off of table tops and desks. The strange events had been caused by an explosion in the science lab. That’s what the class was told when a random student dropped by to inform Nobunaga (who really could care less).
Chiaki paid it no mind. It was probably some moron trying to impress a girl (or vice versa), and they ended up mixing chemicles they shouldn’t have. It wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. She had to admit, though, she was mildly surprised when the door burst open, revealing a fuming Miss Alca (the science teacher) and a soot covered Niou who was grinning proudly.
“I believe this belongs to you.” Her voice was high pitched and laced with annoyance and anger. “How he managed to sneak into my classroom without my knowledge is beyond me! But he is your responsibility, Mr. Hawk!” She released the back of his shirt and roughly pushed him forward before huffing, sticking her nose into the air and leaving the room, the door slamming closed behind her.
“Sorry I’m late, Nobunaga-sensei~” His tone was anything but sorry. He sounded quite proud, actually. Satisfied, arrogant, and highly amused.
“Detention. No field trip. Sit.” Nobunaga’s tone was strict, but it was pretty obvious that he didn’t care. Chiaki would lay odds that the only reason he gave Niou detention was so that he didn’t have to deal with Miss Alca (who was a real bitch).
Niou sent Chiaki a triumphant smirk before taking his seat.
So that’s what he meant by war. Sly bastard.
A note landed on her desk and she un-crumbled it, glancing at the innocent looking male. That boy could definitely make it as an actor.
✏ The War is Over. All that’s left has blown away, and I surrender, Puri~
Chiaki rolled her eyes.
✏ You stole those lyrics, baka. Don’t be dramatic.
He frowned, sticking his tongue out at her.
✏ So what? It’s the truth! D:
✏ I don’t even know what war you were fighting, and you surrendered? Doesn’t sound like you.
✏ The war I was fighting was trying to get them to let you go on the field trip. I even offered for you to serve three weeks of detention, and they still wouldn’t do it. I surrendered, because they wouldn’t change their mind~
✏ Ignoring that comment. And the explosion?
✏ Renji showed me which chemicals to mix to create a safe explosion. It was wonderful, Puri~
He wanted detention, she facepalmed.
He simply snickered, sending her a smirk.
✎ Thursday, 9:30 AM ✎
Even though class was continuing like it normally did, the excitement was clear. It hung in the air like a large cloud over the classroom. Students were shifting in their seats constantly, unable to sit still as the time ticked by. With every passing hour, the 11th graders grew even more restless, like a dog wanting out of it’s kennel to go and chase the squirrel that’s been teasing him for the past thirty minutes. It was obvious that the teachers were feeling the opposite. They were not looking forward to babysitting some 300 kids for five days. For every minute that passed, the designated teachers’ faces turned more and more grim.
When 11:50pm rolled around, they looked as if they were being chased by a whole army of Grim Reapers. The students were the complete opposite, practically jumping for joy. When the principle came over the loud speaker to instruct all 11th graders to line up outside by the busses, every student jumped out of their chair and rushed out of the classroom like it was a race for ten grand. All except for Chiaki and Niou, who had recieved detention a few days prior.
Nobunaga leaned back in his chair, feet propped up on the desk. His eyes were closed and his hands were folded in his lap. He was extremely content that he hadn’t been picked to chaperone the trip. The room was now empty, other than Chiaki, Niou, and a boy named Aki (who had gotten into trouble for skipping more than two weeks of school). The room itself was quiet, but the excited murmurs of the students piling into the busses below could be heard through the open window.
A knock broke the silence and Nobunaga growled, eyes narrowed at the wood. “What?!”
The door was pushed open and a rather large man dressed in a black suit walked in. His eyes were covered by black sunglasses, but something told Chiaki that his eyes were hard and set, like stone. One of his hands was holding tightly onto the back of a brown haired boys’ neck, who had a scowl on his face. His other hand was fisted around the back of the other boys’ shirt, who looked like he was half asleep.
Chiaki and Niou exchanged looks.
What were two boys from Hyotei high doing here? And who was the strange man that brought the two into the room?
Said man roughly shoved the pair further into the room before grunting and disappearing. The brunette, known as Ryo Shishido, caught himself before he could hit the ground. His friend wasn’t as lucky. Jirou Akutagawa fell to his knees, eyes half closed.
“Why are they here?” Chiaki questioned, leaning back in her chair.
“Take a seat.” Nobunaga commanded, closing his eyes once more.
Shishido glared at him before sitting in the third row, sliding down onto the wooden chair; he looked pretty pissed off. Jirou yawned, shuffling lazily off the cold floor and into the seat beside Niou. He folded his arms on the desk before laying his head on top of them, his eyes closed.
“Hyotei high is going on the field trip with Rikkai High.” Nobunaga answered finally.
“Eh?” Chiaki blinked.
“That wasn’t on the info sheet, Puri~” Niou stated, chewing a piece of gum he had stolen from Marui previously that day.
“Didn’t I mention that?” Nobunaga asked, staring lazily at the pair.
“No.” They chorused.
“Hyotei is going on the fieldtrip with Rikkaidai.” He told them, his tone uncaring.
“Gee, thanks a lot.” Chiaki rolled her purple eyes.
He smirked, closing his eyes. “You’re welcome.”
“So~ We get to spend four and a half days with them.” Niou muttered under his breath un-enthusiastically.
True enough, the students of Hyotei weren’t exactly easy to get along with. Most of them were snooty, arrogant, and down right irritating. They thought they were better than everyone else, like kings and queens. Their school was filled with the finest of everything that money could buy; it was sickening.
Jirou shivered, his exposed skin covered with goosebumps. He was wearing his tennis uniform, which consisted of shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Though his clothes were slightly large on him, the sleeves of his shirt stopped just inches above his elbow and his shorts stopped at the knee. All three of the buttons on his shirt were undone, leaving plenty of skin exposed to the cold air leaking in through the window. Shishido was dressed in the same attire, but he didn’t seem at all affected; he was too busy glaring at the wall.
Chiaki adored the cold and didn’t mind the way it nipped at her exposed flesh that wasn’t covered by her T-Shirt. Her jeans were thin and had a few holes on the front, letting her feel the cold air as if she wasn’t wearing pants at all. Niou, on the other hand, was not fond of the cold, but he didn’t necessarily hate it. He was wearing dark blue jeans and a long sleeved blue shirt, which was about as thin as Chiaki’s jeans, but it was made of cotton, offering him enough warmth to stay satisfied.
Feeling sorry for the shivering male, Chiaki grabbed her hoodie out of her bag and stood up, dropping it over the male’s shoulders. He lifted his head in surprise, his tired eyes staring up at her with child-like curiousity.
Chiaki returned to her seat, shrugging when Niou raised an eyebrow.
Jirou stared at the hoodie for a few seconds before sitting up and slipping his arms into the sleeves, pulling it tight around his small frame. He snuggled into it, laying his head back down and falling asleep with a smile on his face.
The Minutes ticked by.
12:30 pm. Tick.
1:15 pm. Tock.
1:30 pm. Bang.
Niou’s head hit the desk and he groaned. “I can’t believe we have to go through this for four and a half days! It’s so boring!”
Chiaki was leant back in her chair, her feet propped up on the back of Niou’s chair and her eyes staring blankly up at the ceiling. “Four days of sitting here doing absolutely nothing from 8:30 to 3:00. This isn’t detention, it’s torture!”
“Che. Don’t complain, brats.” Nobunaga opened his eyes and shifted in his chair. “I work from seven to four and have to deal with a bunch of spoiled, hormonal, angst ridden teenagers all day long, five days a week.”
Niou and Chiaki exchanged glances and nodded.
“Yep, you’ve got it worse, Puri~”
“I feel sorry for you, Nobunaga-sensei.”
“You don’t sound sorry.” He muttered. “Damn brats.”
The pair grinned “Damn teachers!”
Nobunaga scoffed, but couldn’t hold back the smirk that took over his lips.
Yes, high school was a horrible nightmare that was nearly impossible to escape from. But the rarities are what makes it bearable. The insane but loveable friends. The crazy ass, uncaring teacher who was as cool as a teenager. And the unexpected guests that appeared every now and again.
It all made it worthwhile, and Chiaki wouldn’t give it up for the world.
This was her own personal high school nightmare, and it couldn’t get any better.