TITLE: Inui Hideaki's First Data Book
FANDOM: Prince of Tennis
PAIRINGS: Inui/Eiji, Tezuka/Fuji, and various others
RATING: PG-13 to be safe
SUMMARY: Hideaki is tasked with keeping a journal for school. Mayhem ensues. (3100+ words)
NOTES: For argentum_luna who brainstormed with me and gave me so many wonderful ideas, including the title. I love you and never could have finished this without you. <333
“Okay, children, listen up!” With a swish of his hand, one Mizuki Hajime fondly peered down into a group of innocent and generally curious faces. As soon as he’d gotten all of their undivided attention, he continued.
“Your fantabulous project for this school year is a personal journal. You are to write about your experiences, likes and dislikes, unrequited feelings for your sinfully gorgeous sensei—anything under the blazing hot sun!”
Hearing minimal protest, he randomly chose one cherubic head and gave it a firm pat.
“You are also to begin this project,” he smirked, twirling strands of dark hair ‘round his finger, “right now. So hop to it!”
This time, with a loud groan, the group dwindled away and dispersed into their little circles. One boy, in particular, ventured to the very back of the classroom and plopped down, taking a pair of reading glasses and a dark green notebook out of his satchel.
Inui Hideaki, 7 years old.
I guess I have to start with a bit of an introduction. Mizuki-sensei says that he wants us to write about our families first.
Well, I have a Papa and a Daddy—though I’m really supposed to call him “Mama”. The truth is I only ever do that when no one else is around. I don’t think Daddy has noticed. Anyway, Papa has black hair and rectangular glasses, which makes it hard to see his eyes. It doesn’t really bother me though, because I happen to know that Papa has “beautiful” green eyes, ones that Daddy said that he could look into forever. But I don’t know how that’s even possible, because how then would Daddy get any work done? Papa is definitely more efficient than Daddy is. He keeps journals like I do.
Daddy, to me, seems like Papa’s opposite. He has bright red hair that’s always pointing up at the ends. And he always looks like he’s up to no good, like he’s going to spill something on himself and have Papa clean it up. Papa knows that he’s just playing, of course. But he doesn’t usually give Daddy a scolding. Sometimes, I think that Papa enjoys cleaning up after Daddy, you see. If it were me, I’d be annoyed. I guess this is what it means to be in rabu-rabu land like Daddy usually says?
I should have mentioned earlier that I have a best friend. His name is Fuji Tatsuya and he’s sort of like a brother to me (which makes him part of my family!). We’re almost the same height and the same age and live right next door to each other. And sometimes I like to pretend that Tatsu and I are real brothers. Except we don’t really look alike, so people can tell right away.
I look very plain with my brown hair that Daddy says looks like chocolate and my muddy eyes which Papa says looks like some nut, while Tatsu has light brown hair all the way to his back—he ties it up most of the time, and he has blue eyes the color of the sky. Daddy says that he gets it from Syu-chan. But I’ve never seen Syu-chan’s eyes before. Not because he wears glasses like Papa, but because his eyes are always mysteriously shut. Can he even see like that?
Anyway, I think Daddy’s wrong about Tatsu’s eyes. He couldn’t have gotten his eyes from Syu-chan since we’re supposed to be “adopted”. Papa and Daddy explained it to me before. Tatsu and I came from the same place, this hospital in some area I haven’t been to yet except for that one time. We didn’t have parents until Papa and Daddy, and Syu-chan and Tezuka-san picked us up. I guess it’s not like that story with the long bird that carries the babies home. We’re special that way.
I picked Tatsu up today and saw Tezuka-san in the backyard. He loves his Marilyn very much, I can tell. He’s always outside in the mornings before going to work, fixing up her leaves and watering her. He even talks to her when he thinks no one’s looking. I don’t think anyone could love a plant that much. If Daddy had one, he’d probably end up killing it before the week was over. And then Papa would have to buy a new one and say that he did a good job anyway.
Sometimes I don’t get Papa at all. He likes to make fun of Daddy a lot and get Daddy mad by just saying “Ii data” after all that teasing. What could he have possibly learned about Daddy by making him angry?
I decided to pick Tatsu up again today. This time not only was Tezuka-san in the yard, but Syu-chan was as well.
I take back what I said yesterday.
It’s true that Tezuka-san loves his Marilyn very much. But I think that Syu-chan loves his Elizabeth and his Michelle even more. You’d think so too if you saw how protective he was over them. They’re not even that pretty, all spiky and dry-looking. Tatsu very much agrees.
I found myself looking at Tatsu quite oddly today in class. I guess I just never noticed how pretty he was. He’s the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen actually, even prettier than all the girls in our class combined. Definitely prettier than what’s-her-face from the next room. It’s not that I hate her or anything. But she’s very loud, like she swallowed a microphone or something. She seems to have a crush on Tatsu and openly proclaims it to everyone who will listen.
Daddy says that her mother was like that with one of Papa and Daddy’s former teammates. When Papa showed me pictures, I noticed that they have the same pigtails and reddish brown hair. She’s a lot like her father too, always gushing about how she’s had two years of experience in just about everything she does. Tatsu smiles and says it’s endearing. I disagree.
We’re having tennis practice in a while. Tatsu’s form is as perfect as it usually is. I don’t think I could ever have the same sort of grace and confidence. Instead, I sulk in the corner and imagine what I would do if he served a certain way or other. When I told Papa about this, he smiled and gave me a pat on the head. Maybe I’m doing something right after all.
Daddy’s trampoline is one of my favorite toys. I go up and down, up and down, up and down. Over and over again. It doesn’t make me dizzy like it does with Tatsu. Instead, I feel like an acrobat, able to make my arms and legs go in ways that other people can’t. When Daddy sees me doing all this, he also joins in.
One time, we both fell off the trampoline and while Papa was able to catch me, Daddy had to be sent to the hospital. I was very scared. Luckily, Daddy only had to wear his arm in a sling for a few days. Papa scolded him when we got home. And then they went upstairs and didn’t come down till it was almost dinner time. Daddy must have gotten a spanking.
Papa, Daddy, Tezuka-san, Syu-chan, Tatsu, and I are visiting Uncle Oishi’s apartment today. He’s this very friendly man who was Daddy’s doubles partner back in junior high. He was also Tezuka-san’s vice-captain. Tatsu thinks he’s an alien because of the antennae hanging from his head. No one knows but I used to think so, too.
Daddy’s following Papa around the house, talking about Uncle Oishi. We met the girl he’s dating yesterday and I think I sort of like her. She likes to bake cookies, wears flowers in her really long hair, gets embarrassed easily, and has this light high-pitched voice which isn’t as annoying as Madoka-chan’s—I finally remembered her name. Coincidentally, she’s also a good friend of Madoka-chan’s mother and used to watch Papa, Daddy and the others play tennis.
I walked in on Papa and Daddy wrestling upstairs. I think it was because Papa finally got angry about Daddy and his obsession with Uncle Oishi’s love life. I heard them arguing about it earlier.
Later, I told Tatsu about it and he said his parents wrestle a lot, too. I didn’t think Tezuka-san and Syu-chan argued that much. Tatsu and I wondered if we should tell another grown-up about this.
Mizuki-sensei was laughing at us earlier, after we told him about our problems at home. And then I said that it wasn’t a very big problem because I’ve only seen Papa and Daddy wrestle a few times. But Tatsu started crying, because it seems that his parents wrestle almost every night.
Mizuki-sensei assured us it isn’t a problem. And that we probably don’t notice them wrestle as much as they really do. I don’t think I understand.
Tatsu and I want to visit Atobe-san again. He lives in this very big house with three swimming pools and his own tennis courts. Papa and Daddy’s friend Echizen-san also lives with him, along with Echizen-san’s cat. I don’t like it very much. It looks more like an alien than Uncle Oishi does.
The last time we went there, Tatsu and I found some colorful magazines underneath Echizen-san’s bed. Before we could flip through the cover though, Daddy caught us and took the magazines away. Tezuka-san said that Echizen-san was being careless. Papa mentioned something about the magazines being “pornygraphy”.
Maybe that’s why they won’t allow us to visit Atobe-san’s house anymore.
I asked Daddy what “pornygraphy” means but he wouldn’t answer me. Instead, he told me a story about a boy who was too sick to make it to his tennis match. And then Superhero Mamushi came to his rescue. I have no idea who that is but I think he’s amazing. I’d like to meet him someday.
I think that “pornygraphy” is like what Sanada-san does at home. He’s the father of my pen pal, Masaki. Anyway, Sanada-san has this hobby called “calligraphy” where he writes in a scroll like a ninja. Tatsu and I think it’s really cool. I figure that if “pornygraphy” is like “calligraphy” then instead of words, Echizen-san prefers pictures. What’s so wrong about that?
I told Tatsu about my theory and he said that we should just look for it in the dictionary. I don’t think he believes me but I’ll do it anyway.
Also, big news! Tatsu says that he wants to cut his hair! Syu-chan doesn’t want him to. I don’t want him to either. But it’s Tatsu’s decision.
So Tatsu went out for the day and I have no one to play with. I decided to check the dictionary like he said but I couldn’t seem to find “pornygraphy”. I asked Papa if his dictionary was missing words and when I explained why I needed a new one, he told me another story about Superhero Mamushi.
This time, a little boy lost his pet kitten. Superhero Mamushi searched the entire town and brought it back to him. Everyone was happy. I think I want to be like Superhero Mamushi when I grow up.
Tatsu’s hair is until his shoulders now. It’s a big change. Everyone thinks so. When we went to tennis practice, all the girls said he looked better this way. But all the boys said they prefer him with long hair. I don’t know which Tatsu I prefer.
I guess it doesn’t matter. As long as he’s happy.
Uncle Momo-chan brought his nephew over today to practice tennis with us. Daisuke is pretty good, Tatsu thinks so too. Uncle Momo-chan proudly said that he taught Daisuke all of his special moves, but when he left to look for Daddy, Daisuke said that his special moves were weird.
There’s this one move called the “Ah-Un” which is supposedly used in doubles; Tatsu and I have never heard of it. We asked Uncle Momo-chan about it when he came back and he told us to ask Echizen-san instead.
In the end, Tatsu and I believe that Uncle Momo-chan made the move up.
You won’t believe this! Masaki is coming to visit! He wrote about how Sanada-san and Yuki-chan want to come to town and meet up with old friends. His uncle, Yanagi-san is supposed to be here already. Maybe that’s why Papa came home a little later last night.
Ah, you probably don’t know this but Yanagi-san and Papa are childhood friends. Uncle Kaidoh told me once that they used to play all the time, trying to defeat each other with this thing called “data tennis”. It’s supposed to be really annoying.
I can’t imagine Papa doing that now or being called annoying for that matter. It’s just weird. Papa’s so nice and understanding and he takes care of Daddy and me—maybe Uncle Kaidoh meant someone else.
All that talk about Uncle Kaidoh made me realize something.
I haven’t seen him in a very long time.
When I asked Daddy about it, he said that Uncle Kaidoh went hiking in the mountains. Isn’t that dangerous? What if he gets eaten by a bear? Would Superhero Mamushi come to save him? I hope so.
We’re all going to dinner on Saturday to welcome Sanada-san, Yuki-chan and Masaki. It’s going to be so much fun. I heard that even Daisuke’s going to be there. And Syu-chan mentioned inviting his brother. I don’t think I’ve ever met him yet. Tatsu says he looks just like Syu-chan though, so he’s probably very pretty. I can’t wait.
There are so many people! I want to remember this party so I’m huddled here in the corner with Tatsu and Daisuke and Masaki and… Madoka-chan’s coming this way.
Okay, I managed to get away. Daisuke’s distracting Madoka-chan so I was able to grab on to Tatsu’s arm and run out into the hall.
Masaki is… Oh! He’s over there talking to Yanagi-san. Okay, good. Everyone’s safe.
I have so much to tell you (even if you’re not a person)! I met Sanada-san and Yuki-chan’s teammates for the first time and… they’re crazy! Maybe just as crazy as Papa and Daddy’s teammates.
Atobe-san is making them have a drinking contest. And what they’re drinking… doesn’t look like juice. Tatsu said that he wanted to try some of it and I had to pull him away before this silver-haired man could give him any.
And you should know, Syu-chan’s brother doesn’t look a thing like him! I don’t know why Tatsu thinks so. He has cropped hair and scratches all over his face and a mean expression… and Mizuki-sensei is his wife!
I didn’t even know sensei was married!
Uncle Momo-chan, from what I can see, is talking to this guy in glasses who arrived with the silver-haired man. Maybe they’re married, too. But then the guy in glasses is whispering something to this pink-haired guy who looks like a girl, and he’s leaning far too close!
Papa is having a serious discussion with Tezuka-san on the other side of the room, and Tezuka-san is shaking his head. And… and… he’s smiling! I’ve never seen Tezuka-san smile! Is it because of this party? Is it because he drank the stinky non-juice thing everyone else seems to be drinking? I have to know!
Echizen-san, who thankfully did not bring his cat, is saying something to Oishi and making his girlfriend blush. She looks very uncomfortable. Is he “flirting” with her? I heard Daddy use the word this morning when he was talking to Papa about Yanagi-san. Is that really what “flirting” is? And why… would Papa do that?
Syu-chan seems to be “flirting” with the silver-haired man, too! Oh no! Has he drunk too much of the non-juice that he thinks it’s Tezuka-san he’s talking to? Almost everyone inside the room is turning red. Is this what the non-juice is doing?
I think I’m going to be sick. Madoka-chan’s parents… Her parents are acting rabu-rabu in one corner and I think Madoka-chan’s father is eating Madoka-chan’s mother’s face! No wonder Madoka-chan turned out this way.
Daddy? I can’t find him. I hope he’s not being influenced by any of this. Where is he? I’m suddenly feeling very scared. Papa always says that Daddy and I have to take care of each other, and I can’t find him! Has Papa noticed that Daddy is missing, too?
Daddy is… holding a racket! How did he even manage to bring one without my notice? I factored Uncle Taka-san out of the equation. But now…
It’s no use. He can’t be stopped anymore. Uncle Taka-san is on burning mode!
Wait. Where’s Tatsu? I didn’t notice he went somewhere else. I can’t let him go in there. It’s too dangerous!
Oh wait, I see him. He’s right next to… Atobe-san. And he’s holding a glass of the non-juice.
Oh no! What do I do? Do I run in and pull him out? But the non-juice would fall all over the pink-haired man and he doesn’t look like he’d like that, not one bit. Maybe I can pull on Tatsu in a way that will make the non-juice fall on the silver-haired man instead. It would serve him right.
Oh no! I was too busy thinking of a plan and now Tatsu’s about to drink the non-juice! Oh no! Oh no! Superhero Mamushi! Superhero Mamushi, where are you? Superhero Mamushi, save Tatsu! Oh no! Oh no!
Oh… oh! It’s Uncle Kaidoh! He’s come back! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see him! Right on time!
He’s walking over to Atobe-san and Tatsu. And… he’s taking the non-juice away! Hooray! Hooray!
You know? About Uncle Kaidoh and Superhero Mamushi? I just noticed now. Uncle Kaidoh could definitely be… Superhero Mamushi’s sidekick.
Yeah, that’s right. They’d make such a great team.
“Haru-kun, come look at this, nya. It seems that Aki-chan has started collecting data,” Kikumaru Eiji carefully flipped the little green notebook open and stared down, lovingly tracing the neatly printed words. The tall brunette came up behind him and automatically draped an arm across his shoulders.
“It seems that he’s grown to be quite observant. I am 92.7 percent certain that he would excel at data tennis.”
“Oh no, you don’t! You said that I could teach him my acrobatic tennis, nya. We agreed, remember?” Eiji frowned, placing the notebook back atop their son’s desk and regarding his husband with a quirk of his brow.
“But that was before I confirmed his exceptional data-gathering skills,” Inui replied, chuckling as he ruffled the redhead’s hair.
“Well, I suppose we could make some sort of compromise.”
“Yes, we should.” Inui’s smirk was just about as predictable as a Cheshire’s grin. “You let me teach him about data tennis, and I give you a reward.”
Eiji’s just as devious smile was all the answer he needed.