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The bottom line, according to Yukimura Seiichi. Posted in honor of Yukimura’s birthday!

Rated G. Gen/Character Study. 305 words. Originally written for the Massively Multi-Player Drabble Project (2011) featuring drabbles for a total of 71 characters from Prince of Tennis. I think perhaps one person has seen this one before.



Bottom Line


[September 10, 2011]

Sanada could never win against him.

It wasn't a statement or a challenge; it was a requirement. The first time they met was during the U-14 junior tournament, where Sanada met him in the finals, and lost. Sanada was an interesting opponent even then, all burning focus and passionate fury, with strength to overwhelm any opponent that wasn't Seiichi. When Tezuka showed up out of nowhere after the tournament and defeated Sanada, it was as much interest as – Seiichi didn't quite know how to define it – desire to avenge Sanada? pride? that made him challenge Tezuka.

Or maybe it was a need to remind Sanada that Tezuka wasn't the only one who could defeat him. In fact, Seiichi had been the first to (literally) win that honor. As long as Seiichi remained undefeated, Sanada's focus would be on Seiichi. Tezuka might be a thorn never quite forgotten, but Sanada's goal would remain Seiichi himself.

Lucky coincidence brought them together in the same junior high school, and Seiichi, with Sanada and Renji close at heel, dominated the club from day one. In Rikkai, winning was everything. And it meant despite being first-years they could be the driving force behind their club. So Seiichi did, all the way through the National championship. Twice.

But every moment of it was with a spine-tingling awareness of roiling black storm growing behind his back, drawing closer with every breath. Slowing down wasn't an option.

(Stopping was never even considered, not even when all of his doctors agreed it was the only possible outcome; Seiichi battled his way through impossible odds just the same.)

Never look back. He must ever be the one blazing ahead, forcing his team in a desperate chase to keep up. Never give them a reason to doubt. Go only forward. Higher.

Never let him catch you.

Fin

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