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Part Three

It was a game nobody would miss.

The two teams, Toho and Hirado, lined up to go on the field, ready to do battle. The tension in the air was thick; even the spectators could feel it. Even Misugi and Yayoi, who were normally too obsessed with each other to pay attention to a game that didn't involve Tsubasa. Something strange was about to happen.

The referee brothers led the two teams onto the field. Scary Jito, in all his gargantuan glory, glanced at the opposing captain and grinned. Yes, he was going to have some fun with Kojiro Hyuga today.

Hyuga caught the big weird guy looking at him and cringed. He had no idea why Jito was looking at him like that, but his relationship with Sano made him wonder. I can't waste my time on this. I have a game to win!

Jito smirked. "I'm huge," he said.

At the same time, somebody was fighting his way through the crowd. Wakabayashi muttered a curse under his breath, clutching his hat to his head so he wouldn't lose it. People kept knocking him down-he'd never make it to the bleachers in time to find a place to sit. But a glimpse of a familiar figure kept him from leaving.

Tsubasa. Sitting on the bleachers. Alone.

Finally! No more damn Nazis…maybe we can straighten this mess out…

No such luck. In an instant, two green-clad guys sat down next to Tsubasa. Their armbands glinted in the sun.

Wakabayashi let out a frustrated cry, kicking the person closest to him. Idiot. Idiot! What, is he living with those guys? He doesn't care if he never sees me again! He would make him pay. He would make him sorry he became a Fascist!

The game started. Hirado was in possession of the ball. It looked like Toho would be in for a difficult game. They didn't know the half of it.

However, one person was not watching the game. It wasn't out of rebelliousness or lack of interest. He had lost his money on the way to the stadium.

Hajime Taki walked down the street, whistling a small tune. He was, unfortunately, not a very attractive young man, but that didn't bother him today. It was a beautiful day, and nobody was looking at him, so he decided to enjoy the nice weather and go for a walk. He was now on his way home.

Sighing contentedly, the rodent-like boy made his way down the sunlit street. He was going to take the scenic route home-it was so much more relaxing and there were plenty of bushes to hide in in case any cute girls came by. Also, he could pass his friend Genzo Wakabayashi's house and say hi to the front gate.

However, when he reached his friend's rather impressive house, he could sense something was wrong. The gate was open. And the front door.

Ugly Taki was about to pass this off as a careless mistake when he heard a loud crash coming from inside Wakabayashi's mansion. Forgetting all of his inhibitions about barging into peoples' houses, he raced inside and headed for the room where the sound had apparently come from. Hell, nobody was going to stop him!

"WAKABAYASHI-SAN!!!" Taki screamed.

From the open bathroom door, Taki could see Wakabayashi's lifeless yet fully clothed body lying in a heap in the bathtub. His hat lay abandoned on the floor. There was something else on the floor. Blood.

Taki screamed again, running for the nearest phone. How could he have gone this far?

Fifteen minutes of the first half had gone by. So far, neither team had scored. However, Jito had just begun to fight.

Freaky Jito ran by, signaling to Sano with a strange gesture. Sano nodded three times and began to run backward toward Jito. This odd behavior got a few stares from Toho, which worked to Hirado's advantage. The ball was nearing Toho's goal.

Frustrated and nervous, Wakashimazu caught Hyuga's gaze as the captain attempted to steal the ball from Jito. What the hell are they doing? The goalie mouthed, watching the barrel-like player with the striped shirt plow through the defensive line as though it were made of paper.

He got his answer when Jito brought his leg back and kicked the ball. It flew right into the goalie's hands.

"Great job, Wakashimazu-san!" Takeshi praised from down the field.

Hyuga smiled and nodded. That was his way of congratulating his friend.

Wakashimazu grinned and tossed the ball up once, catching it in one hand. He liked to pose. He liked to a lot. "You should've trained harder before you even considered getting near the goal of Ken Wakashimazu!" he shouted. "It's yours, Hyuga-san! Go for the first goal!"

He threw the ball as hard as he could. Hyuga ran, keeping his eye on the descending object. If he received the pass too soon, he would just have to run farther with the ball, leaving it open for attack. Besides, judging from Jito's attempt at a goal, he wasn't capable of interception. Or was he?

Smiling broadly, Jito allowed little Sano to climb on his back. The twerp sprang off his big pal, flew into the air…and headed the ball into the goal before Hyuga had a chance to receive it.

"What was that?!!" Hyuga nearly fell over in surprise. From where he stood, he could see Jito and Sano embracing. He clenched his hands into fists, furious. Those cheap…they won't get away with this!

Wakashimazu was frozen in shock. Finally, when the previous happening registered in his brain, he sank to his knees and hung his head in shame.

"Wow…" Takeshi said softly, surveying the scene. "How did they manage to do that? Bad luck, Wakashimazu-san."

Hyuga picked up the ball and headed to midfield. Even though he remained silent, his teammates knew he was seething with fury. But he wasn't mad at Wakashimazu. He never was. It was those two misfits of nature.

Jito tore himself away from Sano, then looked menacingly at his enemy. He had a surprise. An even better one than before.

The game resumed. Hyuga paused before making the kickoff. I have to do something, and fast, he told himself. I can't let my team down! If we don't beat Jito, we'll be losers for life! Suddenly energized, he prepared to shoot. His rage was a weapon. If he could harness it, it could accomplish amazing things. Like knocking off Jito's ugly head!

Upon impact, the ball flew fast and high. Too high. It was going directly above Hirado's defensive line! If they managed to stop the ball before it reached the goal-

"I'll help you, Captain!" Takeshi was some three yards away from Hyuga. "We can't let them get the ball!"

Not taking the time to worry about copyright enfringements, Hyuga gratefully accepted Takeshi's boost. The ball was still going a little high. If he tried to kick it upside down instead of stopping it, his chances of scoring would be greater.

"You won't beat us!" Without a moment to lose, Jito grabbed Sano by the ankles and swung him, baseball bat-style, at the ball. The shrimpy guy made contact, sending the ball across the field at a breathtaking speed. Both man and bat laughed hysterically as the flying object struck the helpless goalie in the shoulder and knocked him over. Goal two.

"Home run!" Sano called, still upside-down. His face was now bright red. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he now had a rather large lump rising on his head. Hanging around with Jito had taught him to like pain.

"Well said, Sano." Jito's craggy face beamed. He set his buddy down and slowly took in the chaos he had just caused. At the opposite goal, Wakashimazu was getting to his feet, in obvious pain. And not far from the terrible giant himself, the ill-fated captain of Toho was feeling the effects of a very unsafe landing. Jito threw back his head and laughed. He was happy!