Title: Fade

Series: Prince of Tennis (Which I don't own)

For: Julie, because she's a really great pimp, and also, because I'm supposed to be writing her a lemon and this sort of spawned off of it by accident, so I figured this must be hers as well.

Rating: G

Warning: Light shounen ai, terribly cutesy. Honestly. I don't know what's going on with me, if I set out to write lemons and end up with WAFFy stuff like this.

Summary: It's all about the hair.


The summer after his second year, Oishi was helping out at the hospital near his neighborhood. He was helping coach an elementary school tennis camp. He was training to be a lifeguard at the public pool. He was doing all of his chores and looking after his younger siblings. The only place that Oishi found he could relax that summer was at Eiji's house. And generally he brought his textbooks with him when he visited, so he could do his summer assignments.

He and Eiji had lived near each other for years. Eiji's parents adored Oishi, as all parents do. And Oishi loved being at the Kikumaru household. He got to experience second-hand the indulgence that the Kikumarus granted to Eiji, who was the baby of the family. He liked Eiji's colorful room, even the collection of stuffed animals, about which Eiji wasn't the slightest bit embarassed. There was something playful about Eiji's world. Oishi felt like he didn't have to be quite as responsible for the universe, when he was at Eiji's house. Plus, he could get a lot of his homework done there.

Though not if Eiji had anything to say about it.

"It's summer vacation. You are a truly sick individual." Eiji announced. He was lying on the floor reading a tennis manga and chewing bubblegum. Oishi was doing math problems on the bed.

"It's better to do it in small amounts over a long period of time than all at once the night before school starts." Oishi repeated. Eiji sat up and stuck the manga on top of Oishi's mathbook.

"Look at this. I could so do this." He asked, pointing to a particularly elaborate double back flip return that the manga's main character was doing.

"Oh, yeah?" Oishi said patiently, even though he'd been right in the middle of a pretty long problem.

"Yeah! But I'd call it something way better than 'Yagizawa Strikedown.' I'd call it like--"

"Hey, Eiji, I need you to do me a favor. Oh, hi Oishi-san." Kikumaru's older sister interrupted him, entering without knocking, as was her habit.

"Hey!" Eiji said indignantly."You can't just barge in here! This is a man's room!"

"Well, you better clear out before he finds you in it, Ochibi-chan."

"Haha." Eiji gave her his best angry glare, which, unfortunately for Eiji, was so cute it just made her ruffle his bangs.

"Hey, Eiji, lemme cut your hair."

"Heck no."

"Come ooonnn." Eiji's sister crooned. "Just a little trim, I need to practice for school!! I have a test tomorrow!!" Eiji's sister was studying to be a beautician.

"You can't cut my hair. My hair is very, very, very important. Tell her, Oishi!"

"Eiji's hair is very important, Kikumaru-san." Oishi said obligingly.

"See?!" Eiji said, as if he'd just been totally vindicated by Oishi's testimony.

"Eiji, let your sister cut your hair." Eiji's mom walked into the room."She'll do a good job, I promise."

"A good job?! Have you not /seen/ her beauty school marks?!"

Eiji's mother's eyes narrowed. Oishi knew that the Kikumarus were not above having an allout brawl about hair. Especially Eiji Kikumaru, who knew for a fact that he was in possession of extremely cute hair. Oishi was inclined to agree with him. But Eiji's sister's lower lip was startling to tremble, and that was also upsetting, but then again, Oishi realized that Eiji would be absolutely inconsolable if anything bad did happen to his hair, and that was an even more upsetting thought...Oishi did hate it when people fought.

"Um, you know, I--I could use a haircut!" Oishi announced suddenly.

"Oishi!" Eiji said in wonder at this sacrifice. His sister jumped up and clapped her hands excitedly.

"Oh, thank you, Oishi-san!" She beamed at him. "I'll be right back!" And she ran out of the room. Eiji turned to Oishi and peered closely at his hair.

"You do not need a haircut." He accused. Oishi shrugged helplessly.

"Man, you are such a sucker." Eiji shook his head. "Why are you always like this? Don't people ever fight at your house?"

"Not if I'm around to stop it." Oishi said seriously. Which made Eiji smile.


Eiji's sister set up her equipment and a chair in front of the large mirror in Eiji's room. She sat Oishi down so he was sitting facing the mirror, and she worked behind him. Eiji was on the bed to the side of them, but Oishi could see him in the angle of the mirror. Eiji sat crosslegged, with the manga open in his lap, but he didn't look at it once during the entire haircut. He just sat and watched Oishi. Oishi could monitor how the haircut was going in the expressions on Eiji's mobile face.

Oishi found he rather liked having Eiji watch him. He liked it enough to think that it was worth the sacrifice of his hair, as he didn't really care about it that much. At least, that what he was thinking until he heard Eiji's sister start up the electric razor, and saw Eiji's blue eyes go wide.


"See? It's just like a rapper!" Eiji's sister said, delighted with her own work.

"Yeah, because Oishi's such a big rap fan, aren't you, Oishi?" Eiji grinned.

"Oh...Yes. Rap is good." Oishi smiled widely and weakly. Eiji's sister stopped cleaning up for a second and looked up at Oishi worriedly. "I listen to rap everyday!" Oishi insisted. Eiji's sister smiled and kept cleaning. Eiji hid his silent laughter behind the mirror he was holding up to the back of Oishi's head.

"Thank you, Oishi! You were a great subject." Eiji's sister planted one smacking kiss on Oishi's cheek after she'd finished cleaning up and scampered off, pausing at the door to beam back at them. "Oh, you just look so handsome!" She giggled and was gone.

Oishi sighed. He turned to Eiji, steeling himself for the inevitable ridicule. Eiji had always been somewhat dissapproving about Oishi's hair. "Let me have it." Oishi said, manfully.

"Let you have what?" Eiji sat down across from Oishi, on the bed.

"You know, go ahead and make fun of--"

"Can I touch it?" Eiji interrupted him suddenly. Without waiting for an answer, he reached up and placed his palm above one of Oishi's ears, sliding his fingers towards the back of his head.

"Hunh?" Oishi asked. Then Eiji got up and rubbed the back of Oishi's head too, the nape of his neck, and the sides of his head. Where the haircut faded, his scalp was closeshaved and sensitive. Eiji's hands felt good.

"It feels really cool, Oishi." Eiji said. Oishi looked up at the mirror, with Eiji behind him, fingering his new bangs. "It looks really good, too." Eiji said finally. Oishi saw Eiji behind him, his red hair falling into his eyes, as he concentrated on tracing the line of hair as it faded into the nape of Oishi's neck. "Especially this part..."

Oishi couldn't take his eyes off of Eiji in the mirror. Watching Eiji concentrate on him, look at him, touch him...

"See, it falls into your eyes..." Eiji said, fingertips lightly touching Oishi's temples. "So that people will notice them more now."

"People didn't notice my eyes before?" Oishi asked. His hair had been completely brushed back off of his face before. He didn't see how the addition of more hair in his eyes would help people to see them.

"I always noticed them. Your eyes." Eiji said softly, below Oishi's ear. Oishi thought he could feel the other boy's cheek against his neck. Rubbing, like a cat. Oishi shivered.

"Well, anyway!" Eiji suddenly sprang back, bouncing both the bed and the moment. "She actually did a good job. You should totally keep your hair like this."

And Oishi decided that he probably would.


The End.