Japan vs France, A New Friend & Couple
Friday May 28th;
To cheer Hiroki up, and help him get over his rejection the previous day, Ryo had "dragged" Hiroki out of the house to go watch Keiko's match against France.
"C'mon, Hiroki. Cheer up." said Ryo on the train ride to Tokyo, where the match was taking place
"What's the point?" Hiroki asked
"How can we cheer for Keiko-chan with you acting like such a zombie?" said Michiru
"Did you really get permission to come with us?" Ryo asked suspiciously
"I did." Michiru said firmly "And I would've come even if I hadn't. It's Tokyo!"
"We're not staying the whole day. We're going to watch Kei-nee's match, then we're going home."
The bullet train pulled into Chōfu Station, which was several a couple blocks away from Ajinomoto Stadium (aka Tokyo Stadium) where the match was taking place. As Hiroki was reluctant to move, Ryo had to drag him by the hand while Michiru walked behind them. When they located the entrance to the stadium, they spotted Keiko, who had just arrived as well.
"Kei-nee!" Ryo called, catching Keiko's attention
"Ryo, Hiroki, Michiru, come to watch?" Keiko asked when they caught up with her
"We have." said Michiru "Don't disappoint us."
"Kei-nee, you look tired." said Ryo
"Maybe a bit. That 'test of courage' we did last night kept me up for a while. What's wrong with Hiroki?" Keiko asked, noticing her brother looked really down
"Oh, uh, he's just suffering a small disappointment. Nothing major." Ryo told her, deciding it was best not to tell her about Hiroki's rejection by Saki
"Ryo, they call me a bad liar, but you're even worse." said Keiko, seeing right through this
"It's Hiroki's business, all right?"
"(sigh) Fine. Where's Koichi?"
"Couldn't come. But you know how that boy is."
"Bonjour. Vous êtes Keiko? [Hello. Are you Keiko?]" said a French voice behind them. It was a girl with waist length blond hair, blue eyes, and she was no older then Keiko. "Je suis Chloé Lafayette, une avant pour les Bleues. J'ai hâte à un grand match aujourd'hui. Je sais que ça va être amusant. [I'm Chloe Lafayette, a Forward for Les Bleues. I look forward to a great match today. I just know it's gonna be fun.]" Chloe said to Keiko extending her hand for Keiko to shake, but Keiko had no idea what she was saying.
"I. Don't. Understand. French." Keiko said shaking Chloe's hand, in the best English she could muster
"You understand English?" Chloe asked in English as well
"Well, as I was saying, I'm Chloe Lafayette, a forward for the French team. I look forward to a good match."
"My apologies, I don't speak a lot of Japonais."
"It's fine." With that, Keiko left for the Nadeshiko locker room while her siblings, and Michiru, went to find a seat
"Hey, Chloé. [Hey, Chloe]" said the captain of Chloe's team "Est-ce Aizawa? [Was that Aizawa?]"
"Oui. [Yes.]" said Chloe
"Elle n'est pas plus âgée que vous. Comment est-elle pour vous? [She's no older than you. How does she look to you?]" the captain asked
"Elle est mignonne. Et ses frères et sœurs étaient trop mignons. Je me demande si elle a un petit ami. [She's cute. And her siblings were cute too. I wonder if she has a boyfriend.]" said Chloe
"C'est tout ce que vous pensez? [Is that all you ever think about?]"
"Ne vous inquiétez pas, mon esprit est concentré sur le match. Et elle ne semble pas être difficile à s'en démarquer. [Don't worry, my mind is focused on the game. And she doesn't look like she'll be tough to get by.]"
"Cette réponse venant de la meilleure joueuse en Bretagne. [This answer coming from the best female player in Brittany.]"
In the stands;
"Look, front row seats are open." said Ryo as they found some available seats in the front row. She forced Hiroki into one of the seats and then took her own.
"Did you understand anything that girl was saying to Keiko-chan just now?" Michiru asked as she took her own seat
"Not a word."
"Hiroki-kun?" said a voice next to them. Ryo looked to her right and saw who she had sat Hiroki down next to; It was Saki
"S-S-Saki-chan!" Hiroki stammered when he realized she was there "W-w-what are you doing here?"
"I... kinda bullied my mom into getting me permission to skip school to watch this match." Saki told them "I'm a fan of your sister you see."
"Is that a fact?" said Michiru
Suddenly, Ryo got up from her seat, grabbed Saki by the upper arm, and dragged her several feet away. Being this close to Saki for the first time, she also noticed that Saki's breasts were about as big as hers.
"What did you think you were doing yesterday?" Ryo asked her coming to a halt "Rejecting my brother like that?!"
"I said I was sorry."
"Oh, you're 'sorry'? Hiroki was really hurt!"
"I know! It's my fault for not taking him seriously."
"Come again?" Ryo said, suddenly getting confused
"I thought he was joking." Saki told her "When I realized he was being serious, I tried to apologize and turn him down gently, but...."
"So you were gonna turn him down anyway? You're terrible! You turned down a really good boy with honest feelings. He likes you. I mean, he really really likes you."
Saki was stunned by what Ryo had told her. Deciding to leave it 'till after the game, the two girls resumed their seats just as the two teams came out onto the field.
On the field;
"And here are the two teams for today's friendly match, Japan's Nadeshiko Japan vs France's 'Les Bleues'. There are two stars to watch out for today. One of of them is our very own Keiko Aizawa, returning to the team after her debut match against Greece. Playing Forward, Aizawa, 15 years old, is widely acknowledged as the best female player in Kanagawa, and will be playing for her school team, Enoshima High School, in the Women's Inter-High Tournament this summer. The qualifiers of which will begin on Monday. Also to watch is a very young talent on the French Team. Also 15 years old, and playing Forward, is Chloe Lafayette. She's a native of Brittany, France and widely acknowledged as the best female player in that French region. I can tell that many of us are anxious to see how the Female Samurai of Kanagawa matches up against the Queen of Brittany" said the commentator
"So we're both forwards. We're even wearing the same number." Keiko thought, eying Chloe
"Think you can get past her?" Kotoko asked
"She looks pretty flexible. But I can't really say until we start playing." Keiko replied
"Score when you can," said Meiko "But nevertheless, I want you to mark her for a while, Keiko."
"And now the captains are doing the coin flip." said the announcer "And it's Japan's Kickoff. And there they go! Aizawa has possession, Lafayette right behind her."
In the stands;
"Look at Keiko-chan go!" said Michiru "She's fast."
"You should see her when she's really into it. What the... that Lafayette girl caught up with her. She's forcing Kei-nee to the side."
"Is that a bad thing?" Michiru asked
"It could be." Ryo replied "The ball went out! Looks like it's France's Throw-In."
It was. One of the French Midfielders tossed the ball in and France took possession. Keiko had tried to intercept, but Chloe had blocked her. It seemed that Chloe was marking Keiko just as much as she was marking her. Keiko was right to think that Chloe was no pushover.
"Japan just took the ball back!" said Ryo as one of Japan's Defenders stole the ball. Keiko received it but was blocked by Chloe again.
"Those two are still sparring." said Michiru "That girl is no pushover."
"It's a private match between two top-notch Forwards from different countries." said Ryo "This'll be tense."
"Nee-chan's no pushover either." said Hiroki, suddenly regaining his composure. "NEE-CHAN! DON'T LET HER PUSH YOU AROUND!" Hiroki yelled
It was unclear if Keiko had heard Hiroki or not. Keiko suddenly performed the "Witch Turn" and slipped past Chloe. Keiko was then on her way down France's side of the field with Chloe right behind her, passing the ball back and forth with Kotoko. Finally they had passed the Defenders and only the Keeper remained. Chloe tried to clear the ball by sliding in, but Keiko, one step ahead of her, hopped over her and put the ball past the Keeper. 10 minutes in, and Japan had scored the first goal
"1-0 for Japan!" the announcer called "Excellent play!"
"Atta girl, Kei-nee!" Ryo called
"Your sister is amazing!" said Saki
"I know, right?" Hiroki replied
"Looks like those two can talk again." Michiru whispered to Ryo
"Maybe the conclusion of this game will offer Hiroki another chance." Ryo whispered back
Just a few minutes later, France launched their attack. After shaking Keiko's marking off, Chloe charged down the flank and cutting to wards the inside of the box. Only Komi stood in between Chloe and Rin. Thinking she had the advantage and experience, Komi tried to tackle the ball away by stepping a foot forward. However, it was a mistake.
"Trop facile (Too easy)" Chloe thought
The French teenage girl chipped the ball ahead and jumped forward, fooling Komi completely. Before the ball even hit the ground, Chloe unleashed a volley shot that took a swirl away from Rin and into the low bottom corner of the goal to tie the match at 1-1
"What about that? Chloe Lafayette lives up to her reputation with a solo effort to take the more experienced Takama out of the equation and finish it off with a quality finish. So much confidence from the youngster. For Nadeshiko Japan, it's back to square one." said the commentator
"Is she kidding me? How can she run past me like that?" Komi asked
"She is extremely dangerous. We need the defenders to mark her with a tighter. Yes?" said Meiko
"Yes, Captain!" the Japanese defenders replied
"She is able to contribute both offensively and defensively, and yet make it look so easy. I can't afford to let her run free at all." Keiko thought
The match continued and both teams played a very open game, but France held its ground. When the time the first half had ended, both teams were tied at 3-3.
On the bench;
"Alright ladies," said Taeko "You've played well so far, but we can still turn this around."
"I knew the French were tough, but this is a bit much." said Nanami
"France was the runner-up in the last World Cup." said Meiko
"But some of their current regulars weren't on the team at the time." said Rin "Including that Forward that's been giving Keiko trouble since the game began."
"Anyway, can you shake her off?" Kotoko asked Keiko
"Just let me worry about her." Keiko replied
"In any case, we need a change in strategy." said Taeko
In the stands;
"France came back hard, and now it's a tie game." said Michiru "Lafayette's giving Keiko-chan a bit of trouble."
"Kei-nee can handle it." said Ryo "She hasn't even begun to show off."
"Can they really turn this back in our favor?" Saki asked
"Just watch and see." said Hiroki
"Looks like coming here is having the effect I'd hoped." Ryo thought as the second half began
Despite the change in strategy, the second half didn't go in Japan's favor from the start. Keiko and Chloe were still locked together, giving neither of them a chance to get in a goal. Keiko even attempted to use the "Phi Trick", but this failed as well. Finally, after 6 tense minutes, Chloe broke away from Keiko and put in a goal. Another one was scored, via Chloe providing the assist for her partner Forward, five minutes later. Though the score was now 3-5 in France's favor, Japan had finally noticed a weakness in France's formation and used it. By the 75th minute, the game was tied at 5-5. From that moment, the match appeared to head towards a 10-goal stalemate. However in the 88th minute, Japan earned a corner kick...
"Now would be the time to take the lead. Nadeshiko Japan have brought bodies inside the box" said the commentator
Having packed the box with players, Nadeshiko Japan were looking to score the late go-ahead goal. Arimi took the corner kick and sent the swirling ball towards either Meiko or Kotoko, but the goalkeeper punched the ball outside of the box... where Keiko was lurking and struck the volley shot.
"The goalkeeper can only fist it. It comes for AIZAWA!!!"
Somehow, Keiko escaped Chloe's marking and the volley shot flew past several French players to hit the back of the net. In a fraction of a second, Keiko sent the whole stadium erupting.
"I don't believe it! It's Keiko AIzawa again! You just cannot write scripts like this! Nadeshiko Japan are back in front with only over 2 minutes to go, and Keiko Aizawa has claimed the crucial goal!" the commentator exclaimed
In the stands;
"YEAH, COME ON!" Ryo shouted
"That was a beautiful goal." said Saki
"With a couple of minutes remaining and then injury time, our girls will either have to score again, or hold their one-point lead." said Hiroki
"The latter seems more likely, but others might think otherwise." said Michiru
On the field, a few minutes later;
"First minute of injury time." Keiko thought as she made her way past the final defender. She received a pass from Meiko and put it in the goal. "Yes!" Keiko exclaimed, but then noticed that the Offside flag was up. The goal didn't count.
In the stands;
"That was unlucky." said Saki
"No, it was an Offside trap." said Ryo "France figured out what our girls were doing and fixed it."
On the field;
"The clock is winding down fast. One minute of injury time left, and Aizawa and Lafayette are sparring over the ball once again." said the announcer "Can Japan hold its one-goal lead?"
"If I can hold her here until the whistle blows... shoot!" Keiko thought as Chloe heel-passed to the player behind her. Both Chloe and her teammate slipped past Keiko in the confusion.
With game time in the final seconds, Keiko tried hard with her teammates to prevent a goal. And they succeeded; just as Chloe aimed a shot at the goal, clear past Rin, Keiko looped around the formation, slid in, and cleared the ball out from under Chloe's feet.
PEEP PEEP PEEEEEEEEEEEEP
The game was over.
In the stands;
"6-5, Japan wins!" yelled the announcer
"All right!" Ryo and Hiroki exclaimed together
"It was close, but that was great!" said Saki
"What a game." said Michiru "Keiko-chan is really something else."
"You think?" said Ryo
On the field;
Exhausted from that last play, Keiko flopped down on the grass to rest a minute, and she was joined by Chloe.
"Vous êtes encore en vie? [You still alive?]" Chloe asked sitting down with Keiko, but Keiko's face was blank "Right, no French." said Chloe in English
"My English is terrible." said Keiko in her best English
"It's just your accent. All you really need is practice." said Chloe
"You play well. Gave me hard time." said Keiko
"Hehehe, I think we both gave each other a hard time. Nevertheless, I can say that I've made a new friend." Keiko smiled in agreement and allowed Chloe to help her to her feet "We'll see each other again. In the meantime, I'm gonna practice my Japonais."
"We'll see each other?" Keiko asked
"We will. See ya 'round!" and Chloe left with her team
"I'll be home around 3:00 tomorrow!" Keiko called after Ryo, Hiroki and Michiru. Saki had somehow vanished when the game had ended, much to Hiroki's disappointment. They were taking a different train home, while Keiko took another back to Shizuoka.
"See you tomorrow." Ryo called back to Keiko
"I wonder where Saki-chan went." Michiru wondered aloud after they had walked several blocks back to Chōfu Station
"Maybe she was too nervous to stay around me now that the game is over." said Hiroki
"Don't say that." said Ryo.
All of the sudden they heard a scuffle in an alleyway ahead of them. Wanting to know what was going on, the trio decided to take a look. The scene they saw wasn't a good one; It was Saki, on the ground surrounded by three girls, all of which seemed to be in their late teens.
"You have some nerve, you junior high rat." said one of the girls "That old man of yours is taking my mother away to Hiroshima, and you have the nerve to come walking around my turf."
"P-p-p-please." Saki whimpered "I was j-j-just here to w-watch the g-g-game."
"That's right," said another of the trio "You're a fan of Aizawa's daughter. Did you get to meet her. Of course you didn't. A stupid little girl like you has no chance of getting acquainted with such an athlete."
"I hear you're quite the athlete yourself." said the first girl "A swimmer I'm told."
"What do you say we teach her a lesson about 'stealing parents'." said the third girl.
"Ever been raped?" the first girl asked holding up a red rubber baton "Know what this is? Let's see how well you can swim with this stuck in your lower body."
Unable to defend herself, Saki was placed face-down between the legs of the third girl while the second one reached up Saki's skirt and pulled down her panties.
"No, please!" Saki pleaded
Unable to watch anymore, Ryo, Hiroki and Michiru charged in to help Saki before the first girl could do anything.
"Hey, Bullies!" Michiru yelled running at them.
After several tense minutes of fighting, the three girls left.
"Not bad for a bunch of middle schoolers, huh?" said Michiru when the fighting had ended. Ryo also helped Saki get her panties back on.
"Hiroki-kun!" Saki yelled throwing herself into Hiroki's arms "I was so scared!"
"It's alright. It's okay, it's over" Hiroki said soothingly as he embraced Saki
"I'm sorry I rejected you yesterday." Saki sobbed into Hiroki's chest "I didn't want to, but I didn't know what else to say. The truth is... I really like you too. I have for a long time. So please, forget about yesterday. Let me be your girlfriend."
"How can I say 'no' to you?" said Hiroki
"Another happy ending to an eventful day." said Ryo
Later that evening at the Enoshima High training camp;
The girls team, having finished with a bath after a long day, was playing an old, yet still popular, game called the "Kings Game".
"Alright, draw." said Suzuka and they all picked a chopstick from a cup
"I got the King symbol!" said Yuzuki holding up her chopstick
"Choose your order." said Tsukasa, pushing a bowl of folded paper toward her. "Orders" had been written down beforehand to prevent anything "outrageous" from happening.
"Alright... the king orders number 6 to strip nude for 6 turns." Yuzuki read off the slip she picked up
"Who came up with that?" Yuki asked
"What does it matter?" said Nagisa "The boys returned to school early. So who's got number 6?"
"Uh... that would be me." said Keiko, holding up her chopstick with the number six
"Strip'er down girls!" said Suzuka
"W-w-wait a minute!" Keiko pleaded, but the girls were already trying to force her out of her kimono. Just then, Keiko's smartphone rang "Hang on, my phone!" Keiko yelled, now naked from the waist up. She picked up her phone and saw it was a text from Ryo.
"You don't need to worry about Hiroki anymore. He's now got himself a girlfriend to comfort him. (^◇^) " the text said
"Hehe, Looks like Hiroki's going to be fine." said Keiko
"What do you mean by that?" Moka asked
"Oh, family secret." Keiko replied with a wink.