Categories > Anime/Manga > Prince of Tennis > Animal Kingdom

You are a Bird, by Fuji Shuusuke

by sesame_seed 0 reviews

Ryoma turns into a bird.

Category: Prince of Tennis - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Echizen Ryoma, Fuji Shuusuke, Inui Sadaharu, Kaidoh Kaoru, Kawamura Takashi, Kikumaru Eiji, Momoshiro Takeshi, Tezuka Kunimitsu - Published: 2007-06-28 - Updated: 2007-06-28 - 1073 words

You are a Bird, by Fuji Shuusuke

Echizen, of course, grew wings.

"That's /so cool/," said Eiji, pretending he wasn't envious, though Fuji could tell anyway because Eiji kept rubbing between his own shoulderblades checking for new growth, and Echizen, not being stupid, probably could, too.

"Not really," he said. He didn't look unhappy about Eiji's envy. He did look unhappy about hitting his own feathers every time he swung a racket.

"You'll get used to it," Fuji told him sympathetically, remembering how awkward the tail had been at first. Now he could do tricks with it, and though he would never actually burden himself with extra baggage, theoretically it was like a third hand he could use to carry things with. "And of course none of us will make fun of you before you get the hang of it, or take pictures of any interesting situations that might come up."

Echizen's growl belied his current angelic appearance, and he fanned his wings threateningly while Inui made hmm-hmm sounds around a tape measure. All that happened was a few iridescent blue-gray feathers blew off in the wind to be snatched up by Horio when he thought nobody was looking.

A throat-clearing drew all eyes to the court alley. "I trust there's an explanation for this."

Tezuka looked as stoic as ever, but when he spoke there was a grim bite in his voice that told Fuji that someone would definitely be running laps today, and the only question was how many people would be joining in. He maneuvered Taka-san into blocking his line of sight to Tezuka -- and vice versa -- and strolled away with the exact dollop of nonchalance required to actually look nonchalant and not like you were a flamingo trying very hard to hide in the desert.

Naturally, Tezuka said "Fuji," just as he prepared to turn the corner of the equipment shed.

He stopped and sighed. "Yes, Buchou?"

An entire branch of linguistics could be devoted to the nuances of Tezuka's raised eyebrows, but this one was about as subtle as a guillotine snapping down. If Tezuka were to undergo any unusual transformations, thought Fuji resentfully as he resumed his place between Eiji and Momoshiro, he deserved to be crossed with a butterfly. A pink one.

"It's very interesting," Inui was saying, glasses gleaming with the fervor of the type of scientist who ended up on the wrong side of the bars in asylums, "there doesn't seem to be any practical use -- the power of the wings isn't nearly enough to counter human density of muscle and bone -- but as far as I can tell, they're a perfect in-scale representation of bird wings. Some species of hawk."

"Nothing more fitting, eh, Echizen?" said Momoshiro with a wink and an elbow nudge, after which Echizen proved that he didn't need to fly to make people very, very sorry for teasing him.

"I don't want them," he said eventually, running an absent hand over the ridge where the wings started sloping down. "Can't they be removed? Cut off, something?"

"I doubt it," Inui answered over Eiji's indignant squawk. "That is to say, it can obviously be achieved, but not without major physical trauma."

Echizen frowned. "They slow me down," he said, and Fuji didn't need to be the mind-reader he was occasionally accused of playing to know that Echizen was weighing physical trauma against the emotional trauma of never playing tennis again (or perhaps worse: playing tennis and sucking at it), and if they left him to his own devices he'd probably be looking for a butcher knife first thing when he got home.

"Can you try flapping them as you run? " He wasn't a very nice senpai, but he didn't want to see Echizen show up tomorrow with two bloody stumps where the wings used to be. The wings were rather pretty, after all, and Fuji liked pretty things to look at. "Maybe they can actually speed things up."

"They're not toys," and he couldn't be the only one who'd realized by now that Echizen was seriously upset underneath the usual prickliness.

That was the trouble with putting all your eggs in one basket, and on some level he couldn't help but be pleased that Echizen was finally learning this lesson -- you'd think insurmountable misfortune was something that happened only to other people, to see him and Tezuka go at it, and just yesterday he'd been wondering what it would take for Echizen to realize that being conspicuous, being unique, wasn't always a good thing -- but this wasn't how he'd choose for it to come about.

"Just try," he wheedled, rubbing an arm over his ears for good measure. One of the perks of his fashionable cat accessories was that when he made kittenish moves now, cat people melted into goo.

Echizen gave him the I-see-through-you-'cause-I'm-not-stupid-like-you glare, but everyone knew that the only reason Karupin wasn't eating caviar and sleeping on a velvet cushion every day of his life was because he didn't like caviar and preferred Echizen's stomach to cushions. "Fine," he muttered finally, and took off.

After a while, Momoshiro said, "Wow. Buchou, do we still have to run laps with him in the future? Because he's going to make the rest of us look very bad."

Tezuka was gazing after Echizen with his speculative eyebrow-tilt. "We'll have to hope that the advantage doesn't get him disqualified."

When Echizen returned, he looked more cheerful already, his wings somehow achieving a jaunty angle that, along with his capbrim, announced his superiority to the world. He picked up his racket and slapped it against his palm. "Another go, Eiji-senpai?"

"Oh, fine," Eiji grumbled, and Fuji patted him on the shoulder as he took his place on the court.

It wasn't long before they discovered that Echizen still hadn't fixed his racket-hitting-feathers problem, which brought back Eiji's grin, and as it was obviously just a matter of time before the problem was resolved, Echizen's remained in place, too. Happily ever after.

"Strange, how these things are happening," Tezuka murmured right next to him. He did his best not to jump.

"Isn't it?" Something about the situation nagged at him but he couldn't pin it down, and really, it couldn't be that important now that everything was fixed.

When Tezuka came to school the next day sporting huge, delicate insect wings the color of strawberry frosting, Fuji began to rethink his assumptions.
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