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Part Four

 

 

Yayoi was sitting in the bleachers, watching the game. Even though it looked like the body count was going to be pretty high today, it didn’t bother her in the least. She was with Jun, and he would protect her. It didn’t matter how the game turned out.

A voice shook her out of her lovesick daze. "Are you finished with those?"

Yayoi looked up to see her lovely Jun standing at her side. He was wearing a green shirt that looked like it had been washed one time too many in detergent that wasn’t colorfast. It filled her heart with joy to see him in that shirt. After all, she had given it to him. Actually, she had given him five, so he could wear one every day. He hadn’t disappointed her yet, sweet boy that he was.

However, Jun was not meeting her adoring gaze. He was eyeing her half-eaten nachos. Yayoi felt a little embarrassed to be caught eating such unladylike food around him, but he hadn’t said a word when she paid for them. Maybe she had been too hasty, thinking he wouldn’t be ashamed of her… I’m such a shameful woman! Jun, I don’t know how you can stand me!

Not waiting for her to respond, Misugi snatched the nachos off her lap and began to devour them at a surprising speed.

"Jun, those aren’t—" Yayoi started to say. Something was wrong. Hadn’t his doctor told him to stay away from junk food?

However, her love vanished before she had a chance to complete her sentence. Yayoi jumped to her feet, her heart leaping into her throat. He was taking everybody’s food! She couldn’t see him, but she could hear the cries of indignation. What had gotten into him? "Juuuuuuuuuuun!" Yayoi cried. "Stop! All that cholesterol will kill you! Please don’t eat any more!"

He heard her. As he gazed at her over the rim of his purloined milkshake, his eyes seemed to glow red.

Misugi slowly made his way back to his seat. His face was pale, and he was trembling. "This body sucks, " he muttered to himself.

Yayoi was terrified. "You silly boy! How much of that junk did you eat? Tell me!"

Misugi didn’t answer. His face turned from white to gray.

"JUN!" Yayoi shrieked. "What’s wrong?"

Misugi lifted his head to look at her. He gave her a trembly smile, and she knew, once and for all, that her Jun had come back to her. "My heart…" he gasped. Then he toppled over.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Yayoi burst into tears and threw herself at the lifeless body of her only love. He was dead. Dead! "Jun, no," she sobbed. "Please don’t leave me alone! We have to be together for the rest of our lives!

"Jun, I can’t live without you! You are my setting sun on a warm summer day. You are my god of love, dear Jun….my beautiful Adonis, with hair and eyes the color of those tan M&Ms nobody wants to eat. I’ll do anything to get you back! Anything you want!"

Suddenly she remembered. When Jun had had another massive coronary some time back, she had sung him back to life. It certainly couldn’t hurt. Taking her man into her arms, she began to sing shrilly in his ear. "Hold my hand and we’re halfway there! Hold my hand and I’ll take you there!"

And then, a miracle occurred. Yayoi’s ear-piercing voice somehow restarted Misugi’s heart! Coughing, he sat up and opened his eyes.

"Jun!" Yayoi exclaimed.

He sat there for a minute, blinking. Then he backhanded her. "You stupid girl!" he exploded. "You ruptured my eardrums!" He shoved her aside and ran away, clutching his head.

"JUN!" Yayoi screamed. "JJJUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN!" But alas, he could not hear her. She jumped to her feet. He was already gone. Her one true love was gone….

Her eyes filled with fresh tears. Suddenly, the world seemed to grow very dim. Dark. A wispy fog filtered through the air, moving towards the field. As it drifted by, Yayoi felt its icy touch brush her arm. It felt…evil.

The fog grew thicker. It swept across the stadium like a demonic cloud. Strangely enough, no one noticed. No one but Yayoi. She knew that something had gone terribly wrong.

But she didn’t care. She only cared about Misugi.

 

 

 

 

 

The whistle blew, signaling the end of the first half of the game. Toho was in shambles. Wakashimazu was still standing in front of the goal, clutching his injured shoulder. Hyuga was lying near Hirado’s goal, rendered unconscious by his heroic feat. The rest of the team had been thrown into panic by what they had seen.

Jito chuckled and raised his massive arm in triumph. The game hadn’t ended yet, but he knew he had won.

Sano stood nearby, a wide grin on his tiny face. When his captain was happy, he was happy too.

They didn’t notice the fog. It slithered past them, now so dense it resembled a living, breathing being. The only thing that made it seem like fog at all was its ethereal appearance. It was happy, too. Soon it would be even happier.

 

Thank you. This is just what I wanted. A young, strong body to do my bidding.

The fog moved over its target. The time had come!

 

 

 

 

The fog was gone. The evil chill in the air had vanished. Half-time would soon be over.

Jito sauntered over to his enemy’s side, stepping over their captain. He’s finished, the scary creature thought. Time to have some fun with the rest of ‘em.

He walked toward Wakashimazu, who was sitting on the bench next to Kitazume with a pained expression on his face. The goalkeeper looked up when the craggy dude planted himself in front of him, but said nothing.

"It looks like you hurt your shoulder," craggy Jito said, his eyes twinkling with sympathy.

Halfway across the field, Hyuga sat up, coughing. The air was so thick, it was hard to breathe. He could see Wakashimazu and Jito talking from where he was. But about what?

He tried to stand. Burning pain forced him to his knees, clutching his head in agony. Had he really hurt himself that badly?

Then, the pain drained away. He blinked and rose to his feet. His vision was unnaturally clear. Strange…..

From the bench, Wakashimazu saw Hyuga stand up. Something’s wrong, he thought, stepping onto the field to get a closer look. He’s staring at us, completely still. He seems so calm…but his eyes…..there’s something dangerous about them…..

Jito stepped in front of Wakashimazu, blocking his view of Hyuga. "So, Wakashimazu….which shoulder did you hurt, anyway?"

"The…left one," Wakashimazu said cautiously, trying to peer around him. "Why?"

"Just wondering." Jito smirked. He reached over and grabbed the goalie’s shoulder, guffawing when his victim’s eyes widened with pain and horror.

He chuckled and finished crushing Wakashimazu’s shoulder. Then he turned and began to walk away, inspecting his work with satisfaction out of the corner of his eye. "Did I mention that I’m huge?" he asked before departing.

Wakashimazu sank to the ground, shaking. He was dying!

Several yards away, Hyuga took this in, mortified. This couldn’t be happening…. "WAKASHIMAZU!" he screamed, louder than he ever thought he could. "That BASTARD!"

A goofy laugh sounded. Sano stood behind Jito, a benevolent expression on his face. This expression faded when he saw Hyuga.

A cold wind swept through Hyuga’s hair. His eyes blazed a strange color, crimson drifting through his normally black irises.

Sano whimpered.

"Did you think you could get away with hurting my friend?" Hyuga’s voice was deadly calm despite the furious look in his eyes. His entire body felt as if it had been charged with a strange power. He smiled cruelly, hinting at that which would follow…

Sano shook his head hard enough to knock his skull loose. Jito was frozen in stupid silence.

"IDIOT!" the captain of Toho shouted, charging at the smaller one. "SHI-NEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

On the impact of the first punch, Sano went flying across the field. He hit the ground and slid a few meters, uprooting grass.

For a minute, all was quiet. Then Jito realized what had happened to his little buddy. He blanched. "Sano!" he roared. "Saaaaaaaaaaaaano!"

There was no answer. Sano lay on his side, his hair hiding his eyes. His left arm and leg were now perpendicular to the ground. He wasn’t moving.

Jito considered crying over his friend’s corpse, but changed his mind. Instead, he took hold of the sides of his face, yelled, "Let ‘er rip!" and tore himself in half!

Hyuga’s gaze moved from his victim to the two things on the grass that once made up the captain of Hirado. A wave of horror washed over him. What was going on? He felt like he was seeing a terrible disaster for the first time, and somehow he knew he had been responsible for it. The realization was so sudden and overwhelming that it hurt.

"Hyuga-san!" Takeshi cried, at last racing to the scene. Hyuga didn’t even notice him; he was in a state of total shock. He’s shaking, Takeshi thought, his eyes widening. What in the world….

"What have I done?" Hyuga whispered. "What have I done…" He sank to his knees. Takeshi attempted to comfort his distraught captain.

"It’s all right, Hyuga-san….don’t worry about it…"

Meanwhile, at the far end of the field, Sano was getting to his feet. Hyuga’s attack had left him down but not out. He screamed upon seeing Jito’s state. "Jito-san!" he shrieked, running to the human zipper’s side and vainly attempting to hold him together. "Jito-san, speak to me!"

Alas, his efforts were useless. Hiroshi Jito was no more. Furious, Sano stamped his foot on the ground and disappeared in a puff of smoke.

"Amazing…" Sorimachi said softly as the rest of Hirado ran on the field armed with sewing kits. " Really incredible!"

TWEEEEEEEEET!

"What the HELL was that?!" Kitazume growled.

It was the whistle! The game was restarting! And at this rate, Hirado would win!

The old guy let out an animalistic noise. This was absurd! "Wakashimazu! Get out there and fast!" he commanded. "What are you waiting for? Our team is going to lose! Move it!" He knelt by the goalie’s side and tried to help him up. Poor Wakashimazu was so out of it that he didn’t even feel sick when Kitazume touched him. Disgusted, the man with the orange Afro withdrew. There was only one thing he could do.

He ran onto the field, ready to kick some ass.

As he scanned the field in search of the ball, he noticed that none of the other players were moving. Wakashimazu was a quivering lump of pain next to the bench. Hyuga was kneeling on the grass near Hirado’s goal, and Takeshi was attempting to comfort him in a rather awkward embrace. The rest of Toho was frozen in shock.

Hirado should have been at an advantage, but the striped shirt players were much more concerned with stitching up their Jito than scoring another goal.

Kitazume growled. "The ball, the ball, my kingdom for the ball!" he shouted to the blazing sun above.

"Kantoku, here I come!" called a calm, clear voice from behind.

The old man turned to see none other than Sorimachi, Toho’s most non-descript power player, running towards him like a noble warrior on the battlefield.

"Sorimachi!" the old man bellowed. "Quickly, son, pass me the ball! I’m going to score the first goal!"

"H..hai!" Too amazed to protest, Sorimachi kicked the ball in his kantoku’s general direction. And he’d always thought that all old people were useless!

Now in possession of the ball, Kitazume ran as fast as he could, which was very fast at all, but when you’re playing against no-one, does it really matter?

Sorimachi jogged beside him, still baffled. He had never dreamed of participating in such an activity. It was senseless, it was madness—but he sure would have a lot of make fun of tomorrow!

"Get ready, Sorimachi!" Kitazume shouted, passing the ball back to him. "High, boy, kick it high! I’m going for the goal!"

"Uh….right!"

As the ball flew above him, Kitazume sprang off the ground like a gymnast."Kimatta!" he crowed, and headed the ball into Hirado’s unprotected goal.

 

 

 

 

A whistle sounded. The game was over, the score: six to two.

"Yatta!" Sorimachi cheered, ecstatic.

"We’re the champions!" Kitazume seized his young companion and began to twirl him around like a small child. Needless to say, Kitazume had scored every goal.

The members of Hirado took the news with frightening apathy. They had their own agenda. A silly game was nothing compared to helping their captain. Why…his sole purpose in the world was to prove that big could be beautiful, bold and quite dashing!

Needless to say, he failed miserably.

Kitazume adjusted his glasses. "All right, team, let’s go. We played a difficult game, but we won." After what had happened earlier, nobody would mind if they left a little early.

"HAI!" the team chorused. They began to move off the field.

As they approached the bench, Takeshi noticed something unsettling. "Wakashimazu-san, are you feeling all right?" he asked.

Wakashimazu managed a slight nod. "I’m just fine," he said faintly.

"That can’t be true," Takeshi insisted "You never came back after half-time. You’re hurt pretty bad, aren’t you?"

Kitazume approached them, frowning. He made a sound of disapproval. "I’m sorry, Wakashimazu," he said in a voice that was intended to be gentle. He sounded more like he was yelling. "I’m afraid I have some bad news for you."

 

 

 

Tsubasa made his way through the crowd, the two greenies trailing behind him. He had received news that there was a phone call from him, one of great urgency. He only wished that Schneider’s men wouldn’t keep following him around.

When he reached the phone, he waited for the greenies to back off, then picked up the receiver. "Who’s speaking?" he asked.

It was Taki. "Tsubasa, I have terrible news!"

Taking this as a warning, Tsubasa sat down on the grass. The telephone cord stretched considerably. "What is it?" he asked tentatively.

"Tsubasa…..I….I went to Wakabayashi-san’s house and…" It was obvious that Taki was having trouble speaking. "I….I found him out cold in his bathtub wearing his soccer uniform! Oh Tsubasa, I’m so scared!"

It took a second for this to register. "Where is he now?" Tsubasa asked, trying to keep his voice even.

"In the hospital. I called an ambulance. The doctors think he tried to kill himself! I hope he-"

Tsubasa hung up the phone. He stood up. "I’m leaving, " he said. "I’m going to see Wakabayashi-kun in the hospital." As soon as he took a step away from the phone, the greenies were on him.

"No, Brother Ozora!" one of them hissed. "You will not leave! Herr Schneider requests your presence immediately!"

"No!" Tsubasa protested. "I don’t want to go see Schneider! I wanna see Wakabayashi-kun! He’s in the hospital, and I have to see him right now!" He tried to push the greenies out of the way, but they wouldn’t budge. "Let me go! I have to see Wakabayashi-kun!"

One of the greenies nodded to his Brother. "We didn’t want to have to resort to this, but now we have to," he said emotionlessly.

The other one nodded, this time at Tsubasa. "Take him away."

 

 

 

"Hello, Aryan Tsubasa!" Schneider greeted Tsubasa with a big hug. "I’m so happy you could make it. You see, we’re both going to be very busy Nazis this afternoon."

Tsubasa pulled away abruptly. He slowly took in his surroundings. Stacks of paper now covered Schneider’s desk.

"Tonight is going to be a very special night," the blond German beamed, pushing a chair up against his desk. "Please sit here, my little bratwurst. I am in need of your assistance."

"Assistance?" Tsubasa echoed, confused. He sat down.

"I am planning a large get-together in my private dining hall for all the Aryan brothers," Schneider told him. He gestured to the many stacks of papers surrounding him with a rueful smile. "These are lists of the names of all the Nazis who will attend. As you can see, we’ll be dealing with a full house."

He chuckled. "Of course, you’re welcome to invite some of your little friends, as long as they believe in our philosophy."

"Friends…" Tsubasa sighed and shifted in his seat. What kind of friend was he being right now, planning a party while his Wakabayashi-kun was alone in a hospital, fighting for his life?

Schneider seemed to notice Tsubasa’s unrest, but said nothing about it. "Actually, I called you here for a specific reason. I need to have your opinion on the number of pizzas I should order, and what toppings I should have on them."

"You called me….about pizza?" the boy asked, his eyes wide.

Schneider nodded, pinching his pet’s cheek affectionately. "That’s right, my little Tsubasa Ozora. Hefner has offered me many suggestions, but I prefer not to listen to him unless he is the only other person on the planet at that time. So, what do you say?"

Tsubasa didn’t answer. He stared into his lap, distraught. I need to see Wakabayashi-kun, he thought.

Schneider’s face fell. "What’s the matter, sweetness? Why do you look so sad?"

Tsubasa looked up to see the Nazi regarding him with concerned eyes. Would it be all right to tell him?"

"My…my friend is in the hospital, Karl. He needs me right away. I have to go to him, and quickly…"

Amazingly, Schneider’s light blue eyes filled with tears of compassion. "How…how terrible! Who is this friend? Shall I send him a copy of our newsletter? Please tell me the poor darling’s name, so I can give him a complimentary armband with the Fuhrer’s love!"

Tsubasa gazed at him in admiration. Laughter began to bubble up in his throat. "Why he’s Genzo Wakabayashi, the greatest goalkeeper in the world!"

Upon hearing this, S.S Schneider’s face seemed to shrivel. "Genzo…Wakabayashi…."he croaked. "Enemy of all Nazis?!"

Tsubasa stared at him, horrified. What was he talking about? He was even more horrified when Schneider suddenly flung himself at his feet, weeping bitterly.

"Oh, you are evil," the blond boy sobbed, embracing Tsubasa’s knees as if it would kill him to let go. "I have given you all my strength and love, and molded you in the Fuhrer’s image, and…and….now look at how I’m thanked for my troubles!" He sniffled. "How could you make friends with a fiend who wishes to destroy us and all our kind? Are you also associating with the leader of the non-Aryans? Are you?"

"Now, now, don’t cry…" Tsubasa said helplessly.

"I loved you, Aryan Tsubasa Ozora! I loved you and you betrayed me!"

Tsubasa was perplexed. How could he visit Wakabayashi-kun with Schneider throwing a temper tantrum? He had to do something! "Can I...make this up to you?" he forced himself to say.

Schneider looked up. His eyes were bright. "Let me walk you home so we can go to the party together."

Tsubasa hesitated.

"Also…I want you to wear your uniform to the hospital."

Tsubasa gasped. Wear his uniform to the hospital? Wakabayashi-kun would hate him forever! "NO!" he cried.

Schneider was not easily fazed. "Now, now, little brother, what’s all the fuss? Wear it and be proud," he coaxed, sounding as if he were talking to a small child. "You must never, ever be ashamed of being a Nazi. It’s a beautiful thing to love your race, you know that."

"No," Tsubasa said stubbornly.

Schneider’s eyes narrowed. "You may not leave here," he began slowly, "if you do not put on that uniform. Do I make myself clear?"

That was all. Tsubasa hung his head in defeat. He had to do what Schneider said.