*	*	*	*	*

		Orange Marmalade - episode five
		"The Price"


		Yuu's Journal

	True to his word, Suou-kun kept me practicing for three more
hours.  I thought he'd go on until I collapsed or he did, but instead,
he told me that I had to remember to eat, to keep up my energy.  Maybe
Koishikawa was right about him, after all.
	Or maybe he just doesn't want to lose to Rokutanda, even
indirectly.  That would be my guess.
	Two more days until the match.  Two days with a very demanding
practice schedule, thanks to Suou-kun.  I have to remember to meet him
in the park today after school...


[Scene:  Yuu's Bedroom]

[The same bedroom we've seen before, but a little bit neater.  For one
thing, the bed is made properly.  Yuu is sitting at his desk.  He has
been writing in his journal, but stops.]

Yuu:  After school...  That's right, there was that note.

[He glances at a small, folded piece of paper at the corner of his
desk.  Only his name, on the outside, can be seen.  Slowly, he reaches
over and opens it, scanning the text again.]

Yuu:  {"Please meet me behind the library after school tomorrow."}
      That's strange...

Anju:  What is?

[Yuu starts; he hadn't heard his sister enter the room.  He hurriedly
palms the note, re-folding it as he does so.]

Yuu:  A-An!  (recovering from his surprise) I was just thinking about
      my younger sister.  She seems to enjoy snooping.  Strange, isn't

Anju:  (flushing with embarassment) Oniichan!

[Yuu begins to laugh, and Anju's blush grows deeper.]

Yuu:  Oh, what a face...

Anju:  (red) That's mean.  I just came up to tell you that breakfast
       was ready.

Yuu:  (still laughing) Thanks, An.  I'll be there as soon as I finish
      writing.  Oh, and An?

Anju:  Hmm?

Yuu:  Don't let Meiko mistake you for a tomato.

[Anju, speechless, sticks her tongue out at Yuu, and hastily retreats.
Yuu checkles a little, then trails off as he looks at the note once

Yuu:  {Well, I suppose I'll learn what it means soon enough...}


[Scene:  Street]

[Miki and Arimi, dressed in their school uniforms and carrying their
books, walk along the street.  Arimi, more solemn than we've usually
seen her, continually glances at Miki when she thinks Miki isn't
looking.  Finally, Miki sighs and stops.  Arimi continues for a step
and a half before realizing; then, she turns back toward Miki,

Miki:  What's wrong, Arimi?

Arimi:  (innocently) Wrong?

[Miki skeptically cocks her head to the side, staring at Arimi.  It's
not long before Arimi breaks down.]

Arimi:  I just... I was wondering, Miki-san.  A few days ago,
        Meiko-chan was very upset about something.  She wouldn't tell
        me what... but yesterday, she said she felt better because she
        talked to you about it.

[Miki's eyes narrow slightly, and Arimi hurriedly continues.]

Arimi:  I'm not going to ask you to tell me what it was.  I just want
        to know, is Meiko-chan all right?

[Miki smiles, all trace of coldness gone.  As she replies, the two
begin to walk again, more slowly than before.]

Miki:  You really care about them, don't you?

Arimi:  Of course I do.  They're my friends.

Miki:  (nodding) I thought you'd say that.  I'm glad, Arimi.  (pause)
       Meiko is troubled right now.  There were... a lot of
       changes... in her life recently.  But she'll be all right in
       time.  Right now, she needs friends like you.

Arimi:  And you, Miki-san.  (pause) Thanks.  I won't say anything to
        Meiko-chan, but I'll try to watch out for her.

[Miki nods.  The two are silent for all of ten seconds before Arimi
speaks up again.]

Arimi:  I suppose it's hard, moving to a new city, but Anju-chan
        didn't seem upset by it...

Miki:  (slight smile) They're twins, but that doesn't mean their
       thoughts are alike.

[Arimi nods thoughtfully, and the two continue walking.]


[Scene:  Momoi's Classroom]

[A little later, the beginning of the school day.  Arimi is already
sitting at her desk when the twins walk in.  Both girls smile at her;
Anju waves enthusiastically, nearly crashing into a boy as she does.
A few moments (and a quick apology) later, the three are sitting,
talking to each other.  Arimi is constantly studying Meiko's
expression, but Meiko is acting normally, showing no sign of tension
or depression.  Eventually, Momoi enters, and the class starts.]


[Scene:  Namura's Classroom]

[The same time as the previous scene.  Miwa is sitting at his desk,
reading a magazine, when Yuu walks in.  As Yuu sits down, Miwa peeks
over the top of the magazine.  When he sees who it is, he quickly
returns the magazine to his satchel, grinning broadly at Yuu all the

Miwa:  Yo.  Only two days left!

Yuu:  (flatly) Please, Rokutanda is bad enough.  (pause; Yuu glances
      around) Where is he, anyway?

[Miwa shrugs.]

Miwa:  I haven't seen him yet.

Yuu:  It's not like him to be late.

Miwa:  Maybe he's sick.  I wouldn't worry too much.  He won't let
       anything stand in the way of one of his challenges.

Yuu:  (nodding) Especially common sense.

Miwa:  (nodding) Exactly.

Yuu:  Was that a music magazine that you were reading, Satoshi-san?
      I didn't know there was a music club here.

Miwa:  (laughing) No, no.  I play guitar in my spare time, that's all.

Yuu:  Guitar...?

Miwa:  (leaning forward) Do you play, Yuu?

Yuu:  (surprised) Me?  No, why do you ask?

Miwa:  (shrugging) You seemed like the type of person who would enjoy

[Yuu nods hesitantly.]

Yuu:  I do, but I don't play any instruments.

Miwa:  (half-smile) Maybe you should think about trying it some time.

[Yuu looks puzzled.  Before he can respond, however, Namura enters,
and class soon begins.  Yuu occasionally glances at Miwa throughout
the lesson.  Miwa, on the other hand, focuses all of his attention on
the teacher.]


[Scene:  Terrace]

[Lunchtime.  Anju and Arimi are sitting at one of the tables, eating.
Meiko is not in evidence.  The two are uncharacteristically quiet, for
different reasons:  Anju is merely content on devouring her food,
while Arimi is picking listlessly at hers, lost in thought.  She
constantly watches Anju.  Before she is able to work up the courage to
ask her questions about Meiko, however, Yuu appears, sitting down next
to Anju and across from Arimi.]

Yuu:  Hi, An.  Hello, Suzuki-san.

Arimi:  Hello, sempai.

[Anju, whose mouth is full, just nods.]

Yuu:  (to Anju) Hmm.  Where's Meiko?

Arimi:  Meiko-chan said she was going to the library, sempai.

Yuu:  (turning to glance at Arimi) The library?  (frowning slightly)
      That's a coincidence...

Anju:  (disinterested tone) What is?  You know she loves books.

Yuu:  (blinking) What?  Ahhh...  {Better not tell An about the note.
      The entire school would know within the hour.}  Well, I was
      there a few days ago...

Anju:  (rolling her eyes) So it's unusual for two students to go to
       the library in the same week?  Come on, 'niichan...

Yuu:  (embarrassed and defensive) Well, Satoshi-san said that nobody
      used it much, and there was no one there when I went...
      (thoughtful) It -was- quiet, the sort of place Meiko would like.

[Anju laughs.]

Arimi:  Well, that's true, An-chan.  There isn't much in the library
        except some old books.  (giggling) And an even older

[Anju chuckles.  The conversation continues along a much lighter
branch.  Soon, the three are laughing at one of Anju's stories about
the library at their last school.  But when Arimi's eyes fall on Yuu,
there is concern in them, and she stops laughing for just a moment.]

Arimi:  {That library... since nobody uses it, it's a perfect place
        for a secret meeting.  Yuu-sempai's note said...}


[Scene:  School lockers]

[Yuu opens his locker and is greeted by a folded paper; his name is
written on it.]

Yuu:  Hmm...  (reading) "Please meet me behind the library after
      school tomorrow."  (pause) Tomorrow?  That's strange.  {I wonder
      if Koishikawa...?}

[Yuu stuffs the note into his bag and retrieves his tennis racquet.
As he walks away, still deep in thought, we can see Arimi behind the
next row of lockers.  She has obviously heard; her eyes are wide


[Scene:  Terrace]

Arimi:  {I wonder who could have written that?}  (frowning) {Behind
        the library after school, hmm?}

[She looks away and, moments later, laughs as Anju relates the climax
of her story.  And if her laughter is a little forced, neither Anju
nor Yuu notices.]

Anju:  Oh!  That reminds me...  (to Yuu) Are you going to be late
       again, oniichan?

Yuu:  (nodding) It looks that way.  Suou-kun's stepped up his

Arimi:  Ginta has?  (pause) Why are you training?

Yuu:  (chuckling) I thought the entire school knew about my tennis
      match ag--

[Yuu stops short, blinks, and continues after a short pause.]

Yuu:  You're familiar with Suou-kun?

Arimi:  Of course!  He, Miki, and I are...

Yuu:  Childhood friends.  (sighs)

[Arimi blinks.]

Arimi:  That's right.  How did you know about that, sempai?

Yuu:  Koishikawa told me about him yesterday.  She didn't mention you,

Anju:  (to Arimi) Yuu-oniichan doesn't take surprises very well.

Arimi:  (smiling) I'll have to remember that.  (to Yuu) It's strange
        that she didn't mention me, though.  It seems like the three
        of us have always been together.  Even before grade school, we
        lived near each other, and our parents all knew one another.

[Arimi smiles slightly, her eyes focused on some distant point, as she
continues her nostalgic reminiscing.]

Arimi:  We did everything together.  It was Ginta who got Miki-san and
        me interested in the martial arts.  Back then it was like
        another kind of game, you know?  And Miki-san tried to teach
        us both some music, but neither of us really had the talent
        for it.

Yuu:  I've heard Koishikawa play... she's very good.

Arimi:  (nodding) Saxophone, right?  She plays other instruments, too.
        Piano, clarinet, guitar...  Sometimes I wish I'd spent more
        time learning that.

Anju:  It really shows that you all do martial arts, Arimi-chan...
       You and Miki-sempai were amazing last week!

Arimi:  (grinning) Mm-hmm.  Ginta does karate, and Miki-san prefers
        judo.  I'm not really that good, myself...

[Anju shakes her head vehemently, making noises of disagreement.]

Arimi:  ...but I use mostly karate, too.

[Yuu has been watching Anju out of the corner of his eye, frowning
slightly at the rapt look on her face.  He opens his mouth to say
something, but he's too late.]

Anju:  That's so cool!  I want to learn too!

[Yuu sighs audibly, and closes his mouth.]

Yuu:  {I knew this was going to happen.}

Arimi:  (casting a measuring gaze over Anju) Hmm.  I think you'd do
        pretty well, An-chan.

Anju:  (hyper-excited) Really?

[Arimi nods, smiling at Anju's excess of enthusiasm.]

Anju:  Thanks, Arimi-chan!  I'm definitely going to do it!

[Anju is now bouncing in excitement.  Arimi giggles.]

Arimi:  That's the spirit, An-chan.  Don't give up.  (to Yuu) Right,

Yuu:  Err... right.

[Yuu represses a shudder as he gets a vision of Anju and an opponent
in judo garb.  Anju flinches back as the opponent approaches, then,
closing her eyes, uses the Power to slam him to the mat several times
without even touching him.]

Yuu:  {Something like that is bound to happen.}  (resolute) {I'll have
      to talk to mom and dad about it.}


[Scene:  Outside the library]

[Early afternoon, just after school has ended.  Yuu stands alone in
front of the library.  His expression clearly shows his indecision.]

Yuu:  {Why do I have the feeling that I should just walk away?}

[He stands still, gazing at the facade of the library.  A pair of
female students pass behind him, walking toward another building.]

Yuu:  {I think I'm going to regret this.  But... if it was Koishikawa,
      then...}  (deep sigh) {It's at times like this that I wish my
      Power included telepathy..  If I could find out who it is

[Yuu frowns, then blinks.]

Yuu:  That's it!  {All I need to do is sneak around to the back of the
      building without being seen.  Then once I see who it is, I'll
      know whether to continue or not.}

[After a quick look around to assure himself he's not being watched,
Yuu slips around the side of the library building.  Crouching behind a
shrub, he slowly edges forward until he's near the back of the
building.  Then, even more carefully, he risks a quick glance -- but
he's still not around the corner of the building, and has run out of
shrubbery to hide behind.  He frowns and shifts impatiently, trying to
decide whether to emerge or not.  Just then, someone steps away from
the back wall of the building, into Yuu's line of sight.  It's Miwa.
Yuu falls -- literally -- back to his position behind the plants,
which rustle softly.]

Yuu:  {What's HE doing here?}  (pause) {He couldn't have...}

[Yuu gets a vision of Miwa slipping the note into his locker.]

Yuu:  {This is too much to just be a joke...}

[He is about to crawl back toward the front of the library, but Miwa's
voice stops him.  Miwa is still in his position away from the building
wall, close enough to see Yuu if he should try to move too quickly.]

Miwa:  No.  It must have been the wind.

Yuu:  {He's talking to someone?}  (relieved) {It's just a coincidence.
      Both of us were supposed to meet people here at the same time.
      I see...}  (frowning) {But where's the girl I was supposed to
      meet, then?}

Miwa:  No, I don't see him anywhere.  I wouldn't worry about it, he's
       often late.

Yuu:  {Is he talking about me?}  (shakes his head) {This is too

Miwa:  (after another pause) I don't think he'd just ignore it.

[There is another pause.  Yuu leans forward, trying to make out the
other half of the conversation, but it's no use; the voice is so
quiet, he can hardly be sure it's there.  Miwa laughs.]

Miwa:  If you put it there, I'm sure he saw it.

[A long pause follows, punctuated by brief moments of laughter or
sounds of acknowledgment from Miwa.  Yuu doesn't move.]

Miwa:  I don't think you made a mistake.  (apologetically) It looks
       like I won't be able to wait with you any longer.  I'm sorry.
       I would have liked to see his face...  (brief pause) Oh,
       nothing special, just a typical meeting.  But I have to be
       there, you know?  (pause) You, too.  Well, see you later!

[Yuu peeks around the plants to see Miwa wave.  Miwa begins to turn
toward him, and Yuu ducks back behind the screen.  He remains there
while Miwa walks by, whistling.  Only when he can no longer hear
Miwa does Yuu carefully turn around and head back toward the front of
the building.]

Yuu:  {Well, there's only one way to find out what's going on...}
      (pause) {I hope I'm not making a mistake.}

[Yuu walks back around the building again.  This time, he rounds the
corner, startling a girl who was standing against the back wall of the
library.  She is shorter than he is, with long, brownish hair, and
wears glasses.  It's not anyone Yuu can remember seeing before.]

Yuu:  Oh, I'm sorry.  You're...?

Girl:  (still surprised) I, um... oh... Natsuda Kimiko.

[She hastily bows.  Yuu, puzzled, returns the greeting.]

Yuu:  Matsuura Yuu.

[Yuu's calmness only seems to make the girl more flustered.  She
clasps her hands together nervously, not meeting Yuu's gaze.]

Kimiko:  (quietly) Um, I...  You probably don't recognize me,
         Matsuura-sempai...  I'm in class 1B, and...

[She trails off, appearing lost.  Fortunately, Yuu takes up the
conversation, before Kimiko becomes even more nervous.]

Yuu:  Class 1B... oh, then you must have met my sisters.  Did one of
      them ask you to meet me here for some reason?  I'm sorry for the

Kimiko:  No, that's...  I mean, yes, I've met them, but... I-- They
         didn't ask me to...  (blushing) I mean...

Yuu:  {Oh, no.  I was afraid of this...}  (sighing) Natsuda-san...

Kimiko:  (very quietly) I wanted to... ask if you... if I could... be

Yuu:  (abruptly) No.

[That gets her attention; she looks upward at him, drawing in on
herself as though she'd been hit.  Yuu falters for a moment on seeing
her stricken expression, but manages to continue.]

Yuu:  (more gently) I'm sorry, Natsuda-san, but I couldn't do what you
      were going to ask me.  (looking away) I've found that it's
      better to make that plain at the start.  I don't want to hurt

[Kimiko lowers her head again, closing her eyes.  She is trembling
slightly.  Yuu sighs.]

Yuu:  I'm sorry.

[He turns and walks quickly away, without looking back.  When he gets
to the front of the library, he leans back against a wall, shaking his
head sadly.  Cut to a shot looking down from a library window at the
area behind the building.  On the ground below, Kimiko is standing,
head bowed, shaking slightly.  After a moment, she slowly turns and
begins trudging away, in the opposite direction from where Yuu went.
Even so, she soon is unable to be seen from the window.  All is still
for another short period of time, until the perspective slowly rotates
to the other side of the window, looking in toward the library...
where Arimi stands in the window.  Her face shows no expression.]


		Yuu's Journal

	I've never known how to handle that kind of situation.  An
used to say I should be used to it--"You're such a playboy" were her
words, I think.  Sometimes I wish it was that easy.
	I've never been close to any girls except my sisters.  For
that matter, I haven't been close to any boys.  That's mostly my own
fault, but our family's constant moving didn't help.  I had friends,
but they never really knew me.
	I never wanted to hurt anyone.


[Scene:  Matsuuras' Apartment, Kitchen]

[Dinnertime.  In the kitchen, Anju and Chiyako are putting the
finishing touches on the evening meal.  Youji is sitting at the table,
reading a newspaper.]

Chiyako:  Thanks for helping, An.  It's so hard on us since Meiko
          became so interested in school.

Anju:  Don't complain about that, Mama.  She's having a hard time.

Chiyako:  How strange.  She was always good at schoolwork...

[Anju rolls her eyes.]

Chiyako:  Anyway, would you go tell her we're ready to eat?

[Anju nods and walks out of the kitchen.  In the other room, the
apartment door can be heard opening.]

Yuu:  I'm home.

Youji:  (looking up from his paper) Oh, Yuu.  Welcome home.

Chiyako:  (carrying a plate in from the kitchen) You're just in time
          for dinner.

Yuu:  (smiling) I'm going to take a bath first.  Go ahead and start
      without me.

[He begins to walk past, to the hall.]

Youji:  You've been practising tennis hard lately, Yuu.  Were you
        going to join the club?

Yuu:  (hesitates) No... it's just an exhibition game.

Chiyako:  How exciting!

Youji:  That brings back memories.  (to Chiyako) Do you remember when
        we played a doubles exhibition game?

Chiyako:  When we were on the team in high school.  Hmm... who did we
          play against, again?

[Yuu chuckles quietly, and heads down the hall.]


[Scene:  Meiko and Anju's Bedroom]

[This room is half again as large as Yuu's, and is shared by the two
girls.  One half of the room is decorated in a very feminine fashion,
with soft greens and pinks, and is very tidy; the other favors bolder
reds, blues, and purples, and is cluttered.  Toward the center of the
room, Meiko sits at a desk, writing.  Anju walks in.]

Anju:  Dinner is ready, oneechan.

Meiko:  (not looking up) I'm not really hungry.

Anju:  (with a note of anger) Oneechan...

Meiko:  (still not looking up) All right.  I'll be there in a little

[Anju nods, a rather pointless gesture, and turns halfway around.
Then she pauses.]

Anju:  Meiko.  You're not still angry at them?

[Meiko sets down her pen and looks at Anju.]

Meiko:  No.  (pause) Maybe.  A little.  I just can't be happy about
        it, An.  So you think I'm being selfish?

Anju:  (uncomfortable) Well... I don't--

Meiko:  A little, right?  But not completely.  (pause) I just don't
        understand, An.  I won't complain any more, but I'm not ready
        to accept this yet.

An:  Oneechan...

[An begins to turn back, reaching out.  Meiko smiles sadly and shakes
her head.]

Meiko:  You go ahead, An.  I'll only be a little while.

[After a moment during which the two do nothing but look at each
other, An nods and leaves the room.  Only then does Meiko pick up her
pen and continue writing.]


		Meiko's Diary

	I don't hate them.
	Everyone's right.  I was overreacting, even if it's
understandable in the circumstances.  I love them both.  But they're
starting to seem like strangers to me.
	I won't complain about their plan to switch partners any more.
Miki-san was right; they deserve a chance to be happy.  I only wish
that didn't mean that they seem to grow more distant.
	At least Miki-san seems to understand.  I agree with her about
this much:  If we have to live with another family, I'm glad it's


[Scene:  Matsuuras' Apartment, Dining Room]

[Five minutes later, at the table where Youji was sitting earlier.
Now, he has set aside his newspaper, and Chiyako, Anju, and Meiko have
joined him.  The four have just begun to eat when Yuu walks in.  He's
changed into casual clothes, and his hair is still slightly wet.  He
smiles as he sits down.  Anju hands him a plate.]

Yuu:  Oh, thanks.  {Now might be a good time...}  An, have you thought
      any more about martial arts?

[Anju, who has just taen a bite of food, nods.  As Yuu had planned,
their parents speak up before she can reply.]

Chiyako:  Martial arts?

Youji:  Were you really thinking of doing that, An?

[Anju nods again.]

Anju:  Sort of... Arimi-chan suggested judo or aikido, since they
       don't rely on striking as much as karate.  She said grappling
       would be better, for me...

Youji:  (thoughtfully) That sounds like hard work, doesn't it?

Chiyako:  (nodding) It does, but it might be fun.

Yuu:  {Uh oh.}

Youji:  (nodding; smiling) Well, as long as you don't tire yourself

Anju:  (happily) Okay!  I'll find out more about it tomorrow.

[Both parents nod.  Yuu sighs.]

Youji:  Oh, I almost forgot.  Make sure you don't use the Power, or
        we'll have to stop you.

Anju:  (oozing sincerity from every pore) Don't worry, I won't!  This
       is going to be so cool...

Yuu:  {I guess that's something, anyway...  I should have known better
      than to rely on them.}  (taking a bite of food; to Chiyako) You
      and Meiko outdid yourselves this time.  This is delicious.

Meiko:  But I didn't have anything to do with it, oniichan...

Chiyako:  (smiling shyly) Thank you, Yuu.  An was a big help to me

Yuu:  (staring at his food) An made this?

[Anju beams; Chiyako, still smiling, nods.  Yuu slowly takes another
bite and raises an eyebrow.]

Yuu:  It -is- good.

Anju:  You don't have to sound so surprised...

[Youji begins to laugh; soon, all of the others have joined in, even


		Yuu's Journal

	Meiko didn't make lunch the next day; I've begun to expect
that.  It's not really inconvenient, since I can cook fairly well
myself, but it worries me a little.  She's been acting differently
ever since that day she found out about our parents' plans.  She
doesn't seem angry or even depressed any more, though, so I'm not sure
what I can do about it.  Except, of course, hope that she comes to
accept it.  I have to remember to talk to her again soon.
	With the match looming, the days passed quickly.  Sleep,
school, practice, homework; that was all.  Suou-kun was a good
instructor, if a little harsh.  I'm in better form now than I was
years ago, when I played on the team.  The question is, will it be
	The match is today.  I'll be glad when it's over.


[Scene:  Toryo Tennis Court]

[After school, the day of the match.  It seems that the entire school
has heard about the match; many students are present, crowding around
the fence outside the courts.  A disproportionate number of them are
female; Yuu's "fan club" has grown.  Kimiko is among them.  Also
present are Anju and Meiko; Miki, Arimi, and Ginta, standing together;
Miwa; and Namura and most of the tennis club, in their uniforms.  Yuu,
approaching the courts in his tennis garb, stops as Namura waves to

Yuu:  Sorry for the trouble, sensei.  We should have done this
      somewhere else.

Namura:  (smiling) It's no trouble.  There was no tennis practice
         scheduled for today.

Yuu:  Eh?  (looking past Namura, at the club members) But...

Namura:  They're here because they want to watch, Matsuura-kun.
         Rokutanda-kun is a good player, and you've beaten him in the
         past.  It will be a good game, and they may learn something.

[Yuu looks speechless.  He's saved from answering as Miwa sidles up
behind him.]

Miwa:  You should trust my scheduling.

Yuu:  (turning half around) Satoshi-san.

Miwa:  (grinning) None of us wanted to miss this.

[Miwa gestures over his shoulder.  Yuu's sisters, Arimi, Miki, and
Ginta are now standing together near the fence, at the front of the

Yuu:  (raising a hand in acknowledgment) So I see.  I hope you're not
      too disappointed.

Miwa:  You need to be more confident, Yuu.  (glancing to his left) Oh,
       here he comes.  We'll be cheering for you.

[While Yuu turns to see what Miwa was talking about, Miwa walks back
to the group and starts talking to the twins.]

Yuu:  Rokutanda...

Tsutomu:  (smirking) Matsuura.  Ready to lose?

Yuu:  (shaking his head) Let's just get this over with.

[Yuu enters the court.  Tsutomu starts to follow, and his eyes fall
upon the group near the front of the crowd.  His eyes widen and he
grins blissfully.]

Tsutomu:  Arimi... you came to cheer me on!  I'm so happy... I knew
          one day you would see how my--

Arimi:  What are you talking about?  I'm here to cheer for

[Tsutomu stops dead in mid-rant.  His expression, too, has frozen,
though it now looks more like a grimace.]

Miwa:  (aside to the twins) Your brother has good taste, doesn't he?

[Meiko and Anju exchange a puzzled glance.]

Tsutomu:  (shaky) Arimi... don't be like that...

Yuu:  {This is ridiculous.}

Arimi:  (turning away) Anyway, don't you have something better to
        concentrate on?

Tsutomu:  Arimi... (clenching his free hand into a fist) Matsuura!
          Prepare to die!

[Tsutomu strides onto the court in his accustomed style.  Behind him
follows Namura.  The others remain outside the fence.]

Yuu:  (sweatdrop) I think you're taking this a little too seriously,

Tsutomu:  Shut up and play, Matsuura.

[Yuu shrugs, glancing at Namura.]

Namura:  (explaining) I've agreed to act as referee, if you don't
         object, Matsuura-kun.

Yuu:  No, not at all.

Namura:  (nodding) Then we'll start.  You'll play one game, five sets,
         normal rules for singles play.

[Yuu and Tsutomu nod.  Namura spins a racquet to determine which of
the two will serve first; Yuu wins.  The players retreat to their
respective sides of the court; Namura stands off to one side of the
net.  The game begins as Yuu makes a solid first serve and Tsutomu
returns.  Meanwhile, on the sidelines...]

Arimi:  Matsuura-sempai is impressive.

Anju:  It looks like he's gotten a lot better.

Miki:  (smiling) Of course.  Ginta was helping him practice.

[Ginta laughs, embarrassed.  Miwa, now standing behind the twins,

Miwa:  It looks like Yuu might be in trouble.

Arimi:  (peering closely at the court) What?  How?

Meiko:  It seems he's winning, sempai.

[Indeed, at that moment Yuu smashes the ball past Rokutanda, ending
the first game.]

Namura:  Games stand 1-0.  Your serve, Rokutanda-kun.

[As Miwa replies to Meiko, the second game of the set begins.]

Miwa:  They're pretty equal in terms of skill, but look at Yuu.  He's
       already starting to get tired.  Tsutomu will try to tire him
       out by forcing him to run.

Anju:  Are you saying oniichan is going to lose?

Miwa:  It's a possibility.

[Ginta has been studying the two players while this exchange took
place.  Now, he nods.]

Ginta:  You're pretty good at judging tennis, sempai.  It's more
        likely that Matsuura will lose than win, unless something
        changes.  He's playing well, but Tsutomu has a lot more

Miki:  (mock surprise) You're complimenting him?

Ginta:  (shrugging) He may be a jerk, but he is good at tennis.

[They fall silent for a while, watching Yuu and Tsutomu play.  Yuu
wins almost every game, but they are uniformly long, and it's clear
that he's already tiring.  Finally, after a prolonged 8th game, Yuu
manages to slip the ball past Tsutomu.]

Namura:  Game and set, Matsuura-kun.

[After a brief rest, the second set begins.  Yuu wins fewer games now
than earlier, and all of the games are taking longer to complete.]

Miwa:  I thought so.

Miki:  I didn't realize you knew so much about tennis.

Miwa:  (shrugging) I know a little bit about everything.

Meiko:  (rolling her eyes) Except modesty?

Miwa:  (hand over heart) How cruel.

Ginta:  Matsuura will win this set, but he'll lose the next three at
        this rate.

Arimi:  Oh, no...

Anju & Meiko:  (in unison, drawing stares from some of the crowd) You
               can do it, oniichan!

[The second, third, and fourth sets fall as Ginta had predicted, with
Yuu winning the second and Tsutomu, by a narrow margin, the others.
In the fifth set, Tsutomu is clearly tired, but Yuu is exhausted.  He
is missing a number of his first serves, and double-faults more than
once.  Still, he seems to be taking encouragement from his friends;
somehow, he is managing to keep up with Tsutomu through most of the
games.  The buzz of conversation in the crowd becomes much louder as
the match continues, seemingly locked in a stalemate.  All this is
punctuated by Namura's clear, stong voice calling the score.  1-0.
2-1.  2-3.  4-4.  The tally reaches 6-5, with Rokutanda ahead.]

Ginta:  Damn... if we'd only had more time.  Even one more day...

Miki:  You did the best you could, Ginta.

Arimi:  He still has a chance, you two.

Miwa:  (nodding) I expected him to have lost by now, considering how
       he was playing before.

[The others glare at Miwa.]

Miwa:  What?  It's the truth...

[Ginta nods unhappily.]

Namura:  Advantage, Rokutanda-kun.

Anju:  Oh, no...

Meiko:  Oniichan's in trouble.

Anju:  Maybe we should--

Meiko:  (covertly elbowing Anju) Keep cheering for him?  Of course we

[It is Yuu's serve.  He walks back behind the line, tosses the ball
above his head, and brings his racquet around in a graceful arc.  The
ball shoots forward with incredible speed, flying like a bullet...
Directly into the net.]

Namura:  Fault!

Yuu:  {This is bad... I have to get it in.}

Tsutomu:  (laughing) It's over, Matsuura!

[Yuu's eyebrows draw together angrily.]

Yuu:  {I only need three points to win this game.  I have enough Power
      to do that... and then, maybe...}

[Yuu draws back as if to serve, but hesitates for a moment.  Glancing
backwards at the fence, he sees his sisters, Miki, Arimi, Ginta, and
Miwa, all tense, watching him.  Yuu shakes his head.]

Yuu:  {No, not now.  Not for this.}

[He steps into position once again and tosses the ball above his head.
His racquet swings around in a graceful arc...]


[Scene:  Street]

[Yuu, still dressed in his tennis gear, is walking with Miwa.  The
others are nowhere in evidence.  Miwa breaks the silence.]

Miwa:  They wanted to wait for you, even though you told them to go
       ahead, you know.

[Yuu nods.]

Miwa:  I sent them home.  But I don't think--

Yuu:  (interrupting) Why did you stay behind, Satoshi-san?

Miwa:  (grinning) Well, you obviously didn't mean to include me when
       you said that...

[Yuu half-smiles.]

Yuu:  Thanks, Satoshi-san.  But don't think that means I'll forgive
      you for setting up that match.  (stretching) I can't remember
      ever being so tired.

[The two are quiet for a few seconds.  Then Miwa speaks again, in a
different, apologetic, tone.]

Miwa:  Yuu... I'm sorry for getting you into this.  I'm going to take
       his forfeit in your place.

Yuu:  (surprised) You're going to shave your head?  (pause) I can't
      imagine that.

[Miwa attempts to wave it off.]

Miwa:  It's no big deal.  Besides, your sister told me she doesn't
       like guys with long hair.

[This last statement goes right by Yuu, who is still shocked by Miwa's
offer for the moment.]

Yuu:  But Satoshi-san...  You don't have to--

Miwa:  I said it's no problem.  (pause) Although there's one thing you
       could do for me, if you really feel bad about it...

Yuu:  (guarded tone) What?

Miwa:  (grinning from ear to ear) Pay back the 2000 yen I lost betting
       on you.

[Yuu mock-glares at Miwa, murmuring an "Mmm...?"]

Miwa:  (shrugging) Just kidding.

[The two look at each other, and burst into laughter.]