The Seigaku Regulars are worried that Ryoma hasn't been showing up for practice and makes plans to go visit him at his home.
The sunlight filtered around the tennis courts of Seigaku High School many of the club members were still around working out and practicing. Nothing seems to have changed except for the fact that most of the individuals had grown taller.
Tezuka the ever stoic Captain of Seigaku stood watching his teammates continuing their matches. Inwardly he notices that Echizen hadn't been showing up for two days in a roll. That wasn't becoming and he didn't think that the boy would avoid tennis let alone school. Even though he had the tendency to over sleep, he had Oishi make a phone call to the boy's home. Yet there was no answer at all-things were beginning to look troublesome. What with the new year of tennis matches coming up they needed the boy to compete. Sighing inwardly he called out after noting the time, "Regulars laps around the courts! Freshman pick up the balls and take the nets in."
Moans were heard around the courts, but things quickly went into fast pace when Tezuka glared at them in harsh glares. "Make that 50 laps around the courts."
Kaidoh hisses a bit as he made his way to the start line where they normally had their runs. The mamushi didn't exactly know why but he could sense that the Captain was in a even more bad mood then usual.
Fuji was smiling as he slid up next to Kawamura, "Sa sa, this is going to be fun." The ever-present mischief lay behind the mask of pure innocence. Though it didn't fool anyone in the tennis club, they had grown to know the meaning behind each and one of Fuji's smiles. Lets say the one he display now was no exception to pure panic for many, since it signals the amuse sadist lurking for the right chance to make everything more miserable.
Coming up shortly behind was Inui, with his pocket palm pilot out. He had recently filled his notebook and would have invested in another one, except that he had calculated at the rate at which he took notes, he would go through ten more notebooks this year, and that was both inefficient in terms of cost and portablility. He said nothing to the others as they continued jogging, thought he seemed likely to interject at any moment to promote his latest juice mix.
Meanwhile, Momo had caught up to the Mamushi by now, and he was yelling at Kaidoh to move out of his way. The hot-blooded Seigaku regular began to start a yelling and shoving match. Eiji was up ahead, keeping a steady pace lightly behind Oishi. He turned to the vice-captain, voicing his concerns.
"Ne, Oishi--isn't it strange that ochibi-chan hasn't shown up for two days?" Even though Ryoma had grown since, and was now not as small, the acrobatic tennis still referred to their youngest member by this endearment, and he now wore a slightly worried look coupled with a pout on his face.
Oishi gave a worried look at his golden pair partner, "Aa-I wonder if something happened to him." Definitely wondering what happen to the baby of their group. "I hope he and his family weren't in an accident or anything. I try calling his home, but I got no answer, even Tezuka notice-"
"Of course he should notice." Fuji whispered with a smile as he pulled up to the vice president in his speed and pace, "After all they both are dating."
"Da..Dating??" Oishi stuttered, "That isn't right! What would his parents thing? Do you suppose they know about it and that is why he hasn't been coming to school?" The mother hen of Seigaku started to babble quickly.
Kawamura sweat drops while running at a steady pace beside Fuji, "Echizen-kun is still young Fujiko. I don't think he would be ready to date or anything."
Fuji continued to smile in amusement, "Why not? After all Taka-san we all were at his age when we discover hormones."
"Tezuka-buchou and Echizen dating...ii data," Inui mumbled to himself as he began to frantically type into the keypad of his palm pilot. Ever since he acquired it, his data-collecting skills had become more formidable. According to the data-tennis player, his speed, efficiency, and input had increased by 150%. Nobody wanted to question him as to what that meant, or what lay in store for the team. "...considering in all likely the compatablility of this is--"
"Douu-ryaaaa!!" Inui was interrupted as Momo took a sudden burst of speed past him, determined to outrun them all, especially the mamushi. Inui frowned slightly, and began to type more keys frantically into his palm pilot without looking up, and a small glint reflected off his glasses, and if one looked closely, they would have noticed the slight smirk that began to form on the side of his face.
Kaidoh hisses and chases after Momo and manage to bang into his side. "Out of the way dunk-smash idiot!" He hissed, "Teme! Your to damn slow!!!"
Fuji glances at his watch, "Oh my we're behind? Then started to speed up, "See you at the end of the line minna."k-
"FUJI!!" Kawamura cries out, when he was handed a tennis racket out of nowhere. "You Get Back Here, BURNING~"
Tezuka watches them off the sidelines and sighs heavily, while pressing his finger to his temple, while shaking his head at their bickering again. Today he was the observer to see how each individual did in their run, so he didn't necessary have to run.
"Aah!~~~ Matta!!" Oishi called out while chasing after the rest when he realize he was left behind again.
Ryuzaki-sensei walked over to where Tezuka stood, looking quite amused. "They are still as lively as ever. At least that's a good sign."
Tezuka turn to look at her, "They still have a ways to go Ryuzaki-sensi." Evidently not pleased by any progress, "Especially when some members are missing." A pile storm of regulars ran by them in a cloud of dust the all tied, and by the looks of things, all of them were worn out except for a few. Tezuka called out, "That will be all dismissed!"
Before Tezuka could go far away Oishi touched his shoulder, "Tezuka do you think it would be a good idea to go over and check up on Echizen?" Worry lines were over the smooth forehead of the emerald eye boy.
Tezuka tilted his head and nodded in assent to the idea. "You can go see if he is alright."
"Demo-I can't I have to go see Uncle, I promise my Okaa-san that I give him some papers after school." Oishi stammered.
Sighing in exasperation Tezuka gave a glare, "Then ask the other regulars to check up on Echizen, and once they see him to let him know 100 laps will be waiting for him." With that Tezuka turns around and heads back with Ryuzaki to her office to do some paper works regarding the up coming matches against other schools.
Ryuzaki Sumire opened the door to her office, cleared some tennis brochures off her desk, and pulled out a manila envelope that contained the tennis rankings for the next match, handing the envelop over to the team captain. She was also concerned about Ryoma's disappearance for the last two days. Odd--she thought. She had called up the Echizen residence a few times and most of the time nobody picked up. When Nanjirou did go to the phone once, he had mumbled something about friends and school, and then avoided anymore discussion. Something was definitely fishy. She glanced over at Tezuka. Even though he appeared to be quite unruffled, she knew he was upset over the boy's absences too--and this went beyond merely his concern for the team.
Meanwhile, outside, Sakuno and her friend Tomo had also arrived to stand by the fence and watch the team practice and wind down.
"Doushou, Tomo-chan?" Sakuno said to her friend, a slight worry crease forming between her brows. "Where's Ryoma-kun? Why hasn't he shown up yet?" Her friend said nothing, but just frowned in response. It wasn't like Ryoma to miss practices, even if he was late. She was also feeling rather irritated.
"Ne, Sakuno-chan. Why don't we go over to his house and give him a cheer-up gift?" Her eyes lightened up.
"But-" Sakuno started, her face starting to turn red, "Are you sure that will make him come back?"
"Something's not right with our prince." Tomo asserted. "It's our responsibility as his fan club to be there for him when he's feeling down."
Momo looked over at Oishi. "Did anybody go over to Echizen's place yet? If he hasn't been picking up the phone--do you suppose..."
Oishi shakes his head, "No I was going to go, but I have prior engagements could one of you guys go and check up on him?"
Almost as if he heard Oishi say something Fuji called out softly, "Un I can do it Oishi." He pauses slightly as Kaidoh was staring at him like he lost his mind. "It would make Tezuka feel better."
This drew a hiss then mamushi went off, evidently not wanting to be near the sadistic regular player when all hell broke loose.
Kawamura flap his hands, "Ma ne minna, I have to go help out my father, so I can't go with you."
Oishi gave a strained look, "I am sure it will be fine, though-" Inwardly he cringed if Fuji was to go to the house there was no telling what the tensai would do. "Would anyone else go with Fuji to check up on Echizen?" He looked pleadingly at Eiji for reassurance that he would go and make sure to keep Fuji from traumatizing the young freshman.
"Nyaa! I want to go, but I have something to do this afternoon." Eiji remarked, throwing an apologetic look back at Oishi.
"Oh...Echizen's house?" Inui perked up. "Sounds very interesting. Must check."
"You want to go?" Momo asked, looking at Inui. The only response he got from the bespectacled Seigaku regular was a glint of light upon Inui's glasses. Momo shivered. "Um...I need to go get my bike maintained this afternoon. I'll see guys around next practice then."
Oishi stared at Fuji then at Inui this was bad the poor freshman would endure two double doses of sadistic regulars. The data tennis player was consider one of the individuals that enjoy to see others wilter in pain and suffering. The same could be said about Fuji, he was the only one that could stand the Inui Juice let alone enjoy other's suffer from the causes and effect of it. "Well just don't be too hard on him." He laughs a bit nervously, "Also tell the boy that it would be 100 laps. That is what Tezuka said."
Fuji's smile widens, "Un I'll be sure he understands that." Then turning to look at Inui, "Come on Inui. Lets go see Echizen." If only things weren't going to get much worse for the small boy. The glint off Inui's glasses suggested that he too liked the idea of making the freshman suffer. Things definitetly didn't change with those two.