Once more, be prepared for a very long author’s note.

Title: The basis of the decision
Completed in: January 14-16, 2008
Summary: A chance encounter caused Sakuno to join Shitenhouji for a picnic, where she ends up learning more about Shiraishi as well as what type of a buchou he is. Yukimura thinks of why he behaved in a rather contradicting way in the finals by accepting Kintarou’s challenge (Genius 370) when Shiriashi asked him that, because he would have ensured Rikkai’s victory had he refused.
Theme: The difficulty a buchou faces in choosing whether he should act as the buchou, or act as himself.
Word count: 2019
Note: As I have said before, and it is important to remember this: the stories in ‘chapters’ are not really connected to ‘Sacrifice’ with the exception of the very first win: ‘In order to win’ Because ‘the cracked mask’ is, to an extent, a continuation of ‘Sacrifice’- what I think has happened and would happen and in ‘The cracked Mask I actually said that the Nationals was won by Seigaku, with the singles one match being between Kirihara and Echizen. Since this story have Yukimura and Echizen playing singles one and Rikkai winning…it is an individual enough one shot using the characters and setting of ‘Sacrifice’ (This is related to ‘A higher place’ because Yukimura will mention him having talked with Shiraishi.
Warning: in this one shot Yukimura won the singles match with Echizen so Rikkai is the winner! This is a warning to those who want Seigaku to win, please don’t leave me abuses.

Yukimura Seiichi had become a rather cold person to most and many only refrained them self from condemning him as arrogant because he had the skills to back up his confidence. Some even say that he was merciless due to what he allowed his team mates to do.
That was what his behaviour in the nationals caused others to think, but the real Yukimura Seiichi was actually quite different. Kirihara Akaya would tell anyone that his buchou was a very kind person despite the occasional scolding and teasing he would do. It was Yukimura who prevented his fukubuchou from punishing their second year kohai too much, as well as stopping Niou from committing too much problems.
He was also a very good brother, his younger sister adored him and never felt resentful because he was always careful in making sure that she did not see herself as unwanted or shadowed by him.
Since he had some spare time before he meet up with his team mates in order to eat yakinikuk for the night, he decided to be a very good brother by buying a present for his sister. It was just as well that his two closest friends were both busy as Yanagi would get too technical about whether the price and quality were balanced while Sanada was simply not good at such places.
“Hey, can I have another game with you?”
He almost burst out laughing when he saw Shitenhouji’s first year rookie- the boy’s mouth was filled while his hand barely managed to hold onto the two hamburgers with his freehand tugging at Yukimura’s jacket.
“I want to see if I can get it off this time.”
These words were reminiscent of what Echizen had said to him, but Yukimura’s lip turned upward instead of the other way this time.
“My jacket falling off does not mean that you will win, Tooyama-kun.” He said rather gently, referring to the result of his singles one match.
“Oh...that is true. But I still want to do it.” Kintarou said after a slight moment of dejection. “Let’s go, let’s go! Isn’t the xxx street tennis court nearby?”
Yukimura was not over-familiar with Tokyo, but he was certain about that street tennis court being quite some distance away. He then learnt that Kintarou intended to go there, but decided to get some food from this shopping centre first.
“I hope he is not as bad as Akaya.” Rikkai’s buchou muttered when the first year charged off before he even finished directing him to the exit.
He was a bit envious though, he would like to be at that stage of his life again, where all he had to worry about was himself.
Kintaoru suddenly stopped in order to talk to a girl wearing a yukata and Yukimura was sure that he had seen that girl before.
That girl must have been told about what he just did because she walked up to him and bowed as soon as the overly energetic first year took off.
“Thank you for helping him...” her words trailed off and she was almost staring at him in her attempt of working out who he was- this was almost a novel experience for him.
“You are the buchou of Rikkai, right?” upon his nod she pressed on. “I hope this will not offend you but are you really called Sanada Yukimura?”
“My name is Yukimura Seiichi.” He said with a rather wary smile, recollecting Sanada’s excitement upon hearing his name in their first meeting.
“Oh I am so sorry, it is just that I once went to Osaka castle with my boy friend and when we passed the statue of Sanada Yukimura, he muttered something about Rikkai’s buchou having the same name, so I thought he meant the whole name.”
“Don’t worry, this is not the first time some one asked me this because my fukubuchou’s last name is Sanada. By the way...are you that girl who went to find Shitenhouji’s Shiraishi in the stadium after the match for third and forth place?”
“Yes, and he is here too. Yukimura-san...I think I should warn you in case you bump into him. You are not exactly his favourite person right now.”
“Surely it can’t be due to the match I played with Tooyama-kun.” Yukimura muttered out. The only thing he could think of was that as the buchou of Shitenhouji had been very courteous when they had that talk in the stadium that night. “But if Tooyama-kun is not angry at all then...”
“Kuranosuke is the buchou, that is why.” She might have explained more if her phone didn’t suddenly rang, it seemed to have been an important call as she immediately excused herself.

The young teenager felt quite awkward when he noticed that the stall was almost completely filled with female, even more disturbing was the fact that many of them were pointing at him, laughing.
Maybe he should buy something non-gendered for his sister…
“Yukimura-kun?” Shiraishi examined in surprise when he saw the other boy. “I am very surprised to see you here.”
“I am buying a present for my younger sister.” He quickly muttered out. “This seems like a good place to go.”
“I suppose the other customers does indicate this.” Shiraishi agreed amiably with a nod.
“I met one of your team mate just then.” He decided to move straight to the point. “Tooyama-kun even asked me to play another game with him.”
“I am no surprised as he told me that you are the best player he has ever encountered. I am not a very unreasonable person, Yukimura-kun, so I do not blame you for accepting his challenge. You are in the full right to do so because Kin-chan was the one that asked you, and I am also to be blamed for not keeping an eye on him.” Shiraishi admitted.
“Probably not a very easy thing to do.” Yukimura said, recollecting the numerous times that Kirihara get lost and or get into trouble.
“But I still don’t understand why you agreed to play a match with Kintarou.” Shiraishi continued, his tone was no longer reproachful, it was a simply curiosity. “If you had not agreed then the umpire would declare Seigaku forfeiting, which would make Rikkai the winner of the national.“
“Does that matter when Rikkai became the winner anyway? I know that I can win my singles one match so why should I win by default? Would you yourself wish to have people suggesting that you only won because your opponent couldn’t play, when you know that you could win properly?”
Because Shiraishi was one of the top players in the country, as well as having a rather good reputation in his ethical behaviour, Yukimura was quite sure that the other would agree with his logic.
“The stacks are too high for me to do what you did.” Shiraishi stated firmly. “I am the buchou so I can’t just be like Kin-chan and focus on my own desires.”
“Would you really feel satisfied to be the winner that way? Many might not believe that you could beat them if you don’t proof this. Wouldn’t you also feel empty if you knew that you have lost if there was no default?”
“I can live with both of that. But I will not be able to forgive myself if I had an opportunity of winning yet threw it away. The main point was that you weren’t asked to do something that is wrong in any way.
“Yukimura-kun, you asked your friend engage in what he thinks as being dishonourable and then let your kohai engage in a game that was borderline on being foul, one of your team mates then played in a way that could only be done if he cares about your teams’ victory more then his own glory.
“So tell me, why did you behave in an out of character way, as well as acting contrary to your school’s attitude?”
What Yukimura asked Sanada was something that pained him quite a bit because he knew how his friend would take this. But as Shiraishi just reminded him, he was the buchou so he must ask his fukubuchou to win for the team as a buchou, instead of being a friend.
As for Kirihara…he was aware of the thin line they were treading on after the final of the Kantou regional. Had Seigaku decided to take the matter further then they might risk losing their second year, if their whole team was not banned from competing in the national. The fact that his kohai laughed at Fuji’s injury could easily be used as a proof that the incident was deliberate.
But he didn’t try to control Kirihara because to do so would limit the boy’s potential and he wanted to win the nationals so much.
So why didn’t he just refuse Kintarou’s challenge and make Seigaku forfeit the match by stepping onto the court immediately after the end of doubles 2. It was, as Shiraishi pointed out, fully in the rule.
Some described the buchou of Shitenhouji as cold because he just watched his team mates driving their opponents to exhausting without showing any sympathy in the quarter-final. It was true that his team mates were not breaking any rules but his reminder to them about the importance of winning instead of opening showing any concern made many saw him as cruel.
Yet he heard that Shiraishi had been one of the first to clap for Kawamura in the semi-final as he walked back to the court. This along with their brief conversation made Yukimura realise that Shiraishi was just single minded. His goal was for his team mates to win so he simply forced himself to focus on that instead of anything else.
He was not so much unlike him…
“I think it was because I felt that many were starting to doubt me due to my illness.” Yukimura finally said. “I know it is silly as I know what my skills are, but I still wanted to let the rest know. I admit, I did let my own wish overrule the interest of the team because making sure that Rikkai can win without breaking any rules should be my first priority, but I choose to show the world that I have fully recovered.
“It is not easy just being the buchou, this is my answer.”
“I think I can understand.” Shiraishi said softly, and his eyes were very sad as he looked at the items he was holding. “I did something that I thought I ought to do because I am the buchou at the very beginning of this year, but because I am not just the buchou I was really quite miserable throughout the year due to this.”
They suddenly both decided that it was quite a shame that they lived in two separate regions as they might easily have become good friends, or at the very least help out one another as they were quite similar.
“By the way, Shiraishi-kun, would you like to play a match?” he suddenly decided. “I do think that it is a pity that we didn’t get to play our singles one match in the semi-final last year.”
“I will have to ask Ashita…my girlfriend first.” Shiraishi said simply, “I don’t want her to think that I am choosing something tennis related over her again.”
This answer surprised Yukimura quite a bit because he thought that the other would agree without any hesistation, he would certainly abandon everything he was doing in order to test his skills with a top player.
Well, maybe not. He suddenly thought of the conversation he first had with Shiraishi just before his realisation of why he wanted to win so much. His friends were very important too as he wanted to win for them.
One did not simply try to be a good buchou just because of a strong sense of responsibility, a person would only be motivated to do these acts of sacrifices if they cared about those that they did these things for.

Super long authors note: I was thinking of why Yukimura didn’t just refuse Kintarou’s challenge and step onto court, because doing so would make Rikkai the winner. I got more confused because considering what Yukimaru has been doing- watching Kirihara going completely berserk, asking Sanada to play in a way that would make him feel bad, I felt that Yukimura is one of those buchou who would really sacrifice his own interest for his team. I think that most other buchou would accept Kintarou’s challenge but I felt that Kite and Shiraishi would not have. Kite because he have this whole idea of the end justify the means, he would win even by foul method if he have to for his team so I don’t see why he would hesitate about just stepping onto court. And Shiraishi because of his perfect tennis, I guess this is also something I wanted to show. I think Shiraishi really is a bit obsessed with winning but he is a really nice person, so I think his believe is to win by doing all that he can do that is honouarble. So in this I think he differs from Kite. Since he gives up his own enjoyment I think he might not care if people will say bad stuff about him (what Yukimura pointed out in this story), just as long as they win. The idea of sacrificing your interest for the sake of your team, I think Shiraishi would go that far too.

But in the end I realize Yukimura’ disease played a large part in his decision, I guess he does have a desire to proof himself because it seems people are doubting him already due to the fact that he was sick. And of course, no matter what a buchou is a normal boy as well.

I actually quite like Yukimura now, the power of fan fiction. But I have to say though, I like Kenya because I simply like him after I re read the shitenhouji arc. (my elder sister accused me of only liking Kenya due to fan fiction) this is not true, although Yukimuar is partly due to fan fiction, but then that is because fan fictions is forcing me to think about him, his character. Although I now really think Shiraishi and Yukimura are quite similar, although that is just my opinion! So this is also a Shiraishi x Yukimura friendship fic.

I admit, Ashita didn’t need to come out at all, but I want her to because I really want to have the bit about Sanada Yukimura. Sanada Yukimura is a Japanese warrior and when I discovered that he has a statue in Osaka I could just see one of Shitenhouji’s regular making a joke about this. So this is why Ashiat came out, and to start the first reminder that a buchou must make his decision in a different way from everyone else. As for Kintaoru, I really think he would be eager to play Yukimura again since Yukimura is really strong, and he seem one of those who would then keep on wanting to try.

Now, I know I have made fun of Yukimura by making him pretty evil in my what if fan fiction but I now think he probably is quite a nice person. I was at my friend’s blog the other way where people were complaining that Konomi-sensei is making Yukimura into a real bastard when he is probably quite a nice person, and that person even pointed out that Kirihara said Yukimura is a really nice person who even protects him from Sanada.

Shiraishi was referring to Sanada, when Yukimura asked him to throw away his head on challenge in genius 351/352. I think that Yukimura know how much this will affect Sanada, so he was choosing to be the buchou instead of a friend by asking Sanada that. While the last guy he mentioned is actually Niou (for explanation of what Shiraishi meant please read my previous story ‘Heads you lose, tails he win’)

As for the bit about Shiraishi, I saw someone saying that about him in the Kenya/Gin match against Kamio/Tetsu in the quarter final and this is my belief. I don’t think Shiraishi is being cruel on purpose as we see him clapping for Kawamura as well as turning his head away when Kawamura was sent flying to the stadium again, as well as telling Zaizen off. So I think he was just focused on his team because he is the buchou, and as I have said before- I think he is a bit single minded in the way he tries to achieve his goals, so that is why he told his team to win instead of expression any concern for Tetsu/Kamio. In fact, that is why I ended up writing sacrifice, because I think he would be so single minded as to dump his girl friend in order to concentrate on winning for his team.

Finally, I have been writing the cracked mask, in fact, I have got it all typed up and I am now just writing the link in between before I can publish it. While I am not sure I can get it done this month, I will be able to get the story completed in February. And I have been written my genbu kaiden fan fiction too.

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