Queen of Dodge!
“Do you need anything else?” Mitsuri asked as she went to make her leave from the apartment.
“No, I’m fine…” Rentaro responded, “I’ll be okay…”
“Okay,” she went to turn the door knob when he said,
“I wonder if Minamimōto is alright…”
“Oh, your sister?” Mitsuri asked as she turned to face Rentaro who was sitting on the couch looking down at the coffee table. He seemed rather sad.
“Yeah,” he said, “Ever since we were kids she’s always been looking out for me, even though I’m older. She’s always been overprotective of me, even when I know I’m okay.”
“Oh, well,” she looked at her pink wrist watch before she said, “Why don’t you tell me about it?” She walked over to the couch and sat beside him,
“No, you’ll miss the game.”
“There isn’t a reason for me to watch the game anymore.”
“Because you’re not in it.” She then blushed heavily as she realized what she said. She then placed her hands over her face and said, “I-I-I mean, well, it’s not that the other players aren’t cool, I just-“
“I know what you meant,”
“Really?” She asked as she peeked over at him from out of her hands.
“Yeah,” he said as he looked into her eyes and smiled. Her face turned red again before she returned it to her hands.
“Wh-Why do you have to be so darn cute…?!” She mumbled to herself,
“I guess, the first time Minamimōto stood up for me was when we started combat training with our dad. I didn’t like the way the Gi’s felt, so our dad would normally rough me up the most and even clap his hands over my ears causing my head to hurt. I felt like I wanted to die.”
“H-He really did that…?!”
“He did,” he said with a nod, “However, Minamimōto stood up for me. She always would get really hurt in the process, but she did it to keep our dad off of me.”
“That’s awful,” Mitsuri said with a frown, “He sounds like a jerk, I can’t believe a father would do that to his own child! He’s a truly evil person!”
“You shouldn’t say that about him,” Rentaro said as he hid his eyes with the shadow of his bangs, “As much as he’s done to me, he’s still my dad at the end of the day, and he still loves me.” A tear streamed from the shadow before it fell off his face. Mitsuri frowned as she wiped the tear from his face. He then turned and looked at her, “Your hands are very soft.”
“O-Oh…thank you,” she said as she looked away from him, “So, um…” she cleared her throat before saying, “So, are you staying here with your sister?”
“No,” Rentaro said, “Minami said she has her own place, and she said I wouldn’t like it. She said it smelled bad and it was by a loud train. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep comfortably. So I got this apartment which is paid for by the school.”
“Why doesn’t she move in?”
“Maybe she doesn’t want to, I mean we aren’t kids anymore, we don’t have to share a room.”
“You should ask her, you never know until you try.”
“Yeah,” he then looked back at the coffee table before he said, “You really care about me, right?”
“Wh-What do you mean?”
“You offered to take me home tonight, and when the balls exploded you came down to comfort me.”
“O-Oh, w-well, I just did what anyone would’ve done.”
“Do you like me?”
“Yeah,” he responded, “I’m normally not good at picking up on things like that. So I figured I’d just ask.”
“It’s okay if you like me, I like you too.” Mitsuri’s face turned a bright red as he said, “I mean, you did run into me, and I did hit my head, but I think you’re very cute and a good person.” He then chuckled before saying, “Maybe I just think that because I hit my head.”
“Y-Yeah…but stuff like that goes away after a few days…”
“Oh,” he said, “Well, it hasn’t gone away for me. I still feel the same way.”
“…o-oh,” she said as she looked down and she clenched onto her skirt, “….w-well, i-if you w-want to go on a d-date, then…I guess…I’ll go with you…”
“Really?” He asked as he looked to her,
“Yeah, I-I’m not just gonna say no, I’m not one to turn down a date.” She said before she laughed nervously and said, “Even though I’ve never been on one…”
“It’s okay, I’ve never been on one either.” He said, “Unless you count the times Minamimōto and I would go to the shrines for New Years.”
“W-Well, that’s a different kind, so it doesn’t count.”
“Oh, okay,” he said as he smiled and sat up as he folded his arms, “Wow. I went from having an okay day, to suddenly a bad one, and now I’ve got a girlfriend.”
“G-Girlfriend…?!” Mitsuri said as she turned and landed face first in the pillow to hide her embarrassment, “J-Just wait to see how the first date goes…!”
Kiryu Academy Gymnasium
Minami panted heavily as sweat beaded down every inch of her body. She glared as she looked into the eyes of Yakuza who seemed to be barely worn out. Since Ryusuke had gotten out the two had gone back and forth for nearly a half-hour “Minami doesn’t look well,” Ryusuke said, “Maybe we can get a break for water.”
“Good idea,” Daisuke said before his hand shot up and he flagged down the referee, “Hey ref! Can we get a water-“ Daisuke then froze as he slowly turned to see Minami shoot a powerful glare in his direction. He was filled with so much fear that he lowered his hand and said, “N-Nevermind.”
“Do you plan to die for this sport?” Yakuza asked Minami as she looked back at him, “You’re on the brink of passing out, it’s best to listen to your teammates.”
“I don’t need a break until I defeat you,” Minami said as she wiped her face,
“You should think rationally. Take a break until you pass out.”
“No,” Minami said, “That’s not the way I was raised. My dad told me I should never give up the fight until I’ve won.”
“This isn’t a fight, this is dodgeball. And you’re not going to be able to beat me, so take a break.” She huffed a few times before she bent down and picked up a ball off the floor, “I guess you’ll die.”
“I guess so,” Minami said before she screamed and threw the ball as hard as she could. A faint snap and a pop was heard followed by a groan of pain from Minami. She held onto her right arm as she fell onto her knees.
“Wh-What happened?!” Gaoma asked as the referee blew his whistle,
“Dammit! She hyperextended her arm!” Pacho said, “I told her this would happen!”
“Are you okay?” The referee asked as he ran over to Minami along with Pacho and Gaoma.
“Dammit Captain, I told you to be careful!”
“I’M FINE!!!!” Minami screamed,
“Come on,” the referee said, “We can switch you with another member of your team. You look like hell!”
“DON'T TOUCH ME!!!” Minami screamed as she then clenched her teeth.”I’m fine,” she said with a growl. She took a deep breath before she quickly popped her shoulder back into place. She gave a dull groan before she opened her free hand and quickly pushed it against the bend of her elbow causing it to return to its former state. She clenched her fist a few times before she got onto her feet, “Now leave me alone and let me finish the game.”
“You look like you’re gonna-“
“LET ME FINISH!!!” Her scream echoed through the gym, “Please…just, let me finish.”
“Captain…” Pacho said softly,
“I’m fine,” Minami said rather coldly, “Now leave me alone!”
“If she’s fine, then we have to continue.” The referee said, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” Pacho said as he and Gaoma returned to the bench as the referee returned to the sidelines and blew his whistle. Minami looked up at Yakuza before she took a few steps and picked up a ball. She looked down at it before the referee opted for them to continue. Yakuza picked up a ball and threw it at Minami as hard as he could.
In a swift movement Minami looked up before she swung her arm to the side deflecting the ball sending it flying through the gym. Yakuza grinned before he grabbed the next ball and hurled it towards her. Minami ducked and turned her head to the side allowing the ball to fly past her as she continued to walk towards him. “W-Wow…!” Ryusuke thought to himself just as another ball was thrown at Minami. Minami quickly held out the ball in the hand causing the ball in the air to stop momentarily before she spiked it to the ground with the ball in her hand. “Sh-She might actually do this…!” Ryusuke clenched his fists before he screamed, “YOU CAN DO IT!!! MINAMI!!!”
Yakuza looked around before he picked up the last ball on his side of the court. Minami then picked up into a sprint as she prepared to throw the ball. “DO IT!!! CHOKI!!!” The team screamed as she approached Yakuza. Yakuza looked down a bit before he closed his eyes only to open them moments later. He then threw the ball in his hand at Minami at full force.
The gym seemed to fall silent as Minami could only hear herself scream before she deflected the ball coming towards her into the ground. “THIS WILL CARRY MY TEAM!! THEY’RE GOING TO THE TOP AND YOU CAN'T STOP ME YAKUZA!!!” She then got closer to a position to throw the ball. “I PROMISE I’M GOING TO TAKE KIRYU ACADEMY TO THE TOP!!!!!” She screamed once more as she then started to throw the ball. The only sound she could hear was Ryusuke’s voice saying,
“Minami! Look out!”
However, it was then drowned out by Minami’s scream, followed by the ball soaring through the air and making contact with Yakuza’s chest. The result was a thunderous sound that shook the windows and caused the lights to flicker. The eyes of the team widened as they saw that Minami actually managed to hit Yakuza. Minami stood there with her mouth hung open and her eyes widened as she stood there panting heavily like a dog. Yakuza looked down into her eyes and said, “How pathetic.” Before the whistle of the referee went off,
“Choki Minami has stepped out of bounds!!!” Minami’s world felt dark as her heart skipped a bit and she gasped. She looked down to see her foot halfway over the line in the middle of the gym, “As such Kiryu Academy is disqualified!!! Mishima Academy is the winner!!!”
The sound Minami could hear was the deafening sound of her own breathing. It seemed to get louder and louder. And before she knew it she was sitting outside the school on the front steps. She sat there with her arm wrapped in bandage, as well as a bandage for the cut under her eye. At her side sat her gym bag. “Hey, Minami,” Ryusuke said as he walked up to her, “Well…” he then sighed before saying, “Even though we didn’t win, we still did better than we thought we would, so the guys and I are going out to celebrate. We would really like it if you would come with!” Minami remained silent, “Y’know, it isn’t your fault. That stuff happens to all the pros during the heat of the moment.” He then chuckled before saying, “Daisuke said he accidentally did that on his first game, so don’t take it too hard.” Silence. Ryusuke sighed before he said, “Do you want company…?”
“No,” she said as she stood up, “I was just leaving.”
“Do you need a ride?”
“No,” Minami said as she walked past Ryusuke, “Thanks for being my friend…”
“Y-Yeah,” he said before he then clenched his fists, “Minami, I need to tell you something. The truth is, I love you!” He then turned and said, “Will you go out-“ he then froze to notice that Minami was already gone, “With me…?” He sighed before he ran to the front gates of the school. Minami then turned and hid behind one of the large pillars, “Minami!!!” He looked around before he growled, “Minami, please! Where’d you go?!?!!!” He sighed, “I’m sorry I didn’t confess back then in the tent! I’m sorry I didn’t confess in the locker room…” He then looked down the street before he sighed and began to walk down the street.
Minami held her hand over her heart as tears fell down her face. “Why didn’t I say it back…?” She then stood there crying for a few moments before she eventually began to calm down. “Even if I did…I can’t have a nice guy like you seen with a loser like me…” She then looked down the road and began to walk into the night.
Damn! Minami was so close! Don’t worry! There’s still more to come! The last day of the character popularity poll is today! I'll be posting it in the comments! The results for the poll will be posted with tomorrow's chapter!