Disclaimer: ^_^; not mine, unfortunately… I just wish they were so I could tie them all together and shove them into a closet filled with—… *cough* _;

Pairings: OishixKikumaru, TezukaxFuji, MomoshiroxEchizen, InuixKaidoh (hooray for conventional pairings xDD)

            The Colors of Autumn

                        by: yukuro

            On that particular day, the sun was shining brightly. A little too brightly. Kikumaru Eiji reached up lazily to pick up his alarm clock. Squinting at the numbers, he groaned loudly. It was far too early. Stupid school. Who was the one who started the brilliant idea of waking kids up so early anyway? Or maybe it was the genius who decided for all clubs to have morning practices. Grr.

Then again, he couldn't blame any of those people for his unfortunate situation. They were probably all dead by now anyway. Groggily, Kikumaru sat up and rubbed his eyes, placing his alarm clock back on the stand. Letting out a big yawn, the redhead boy stood up and stretched out his still sleepy limbs.

Waking up was always the hardest part of the day for the boy. Well, that and competing with the other Seigaku regulars in vain attempt to not be the unfortunate victim of Inui's Penal Tea or Inui Juice. Shuddering at the thought of the horrible drink, Kikumaru walked rather quickly to the bathroom and grabbed his toothbrush and one of his favorite toothpastes.

With all of his random thoughts this morning, he had almost forgotten what day it was. The autumn leaves were still falling; their beautiful golden colors visible all over the streets, sidewalks, and roofs of cozy houses with the gentle breeze making people feel pleasantly cool. It was November 28th, and the day that Kikumaru Eiji became another year older.

            Changing with haste, the bouncy redhead jogged downstairs to the kitchen where his sister was quietly sipping coffee. Shifting his racquet bag on his shoulders, the boy grabbed a piece of toast and shoved it into his mouth. Putting on his shoes and rushing out the door, he quickly said with a muffled voice, "Ohayou, nee-chan!"

            Laughing, the girl waved to her younger brother and called after him affectionately, "Be careful on your way to school, Eiji! Wake up earlier so you have time for breakfast! You're still growing! Oh, and Eiji! Happy birthday!"

            "Ittekimasu!" Eiji called out, rushing down the sidewalk, chewing on toast as he ran. He hadn't really heard half of what his sister had yelled at him. Specifically, the birthday part. He didn't need to be reminded he was still the youngest third year on Seigaku's Regular Team. It just reminded him that Fuji and Oishi were older.

            Still munching on the remains of his toast by the time he got to school, Kikumaru jogged towards the tennis courts, his bag bouncing on his shoulders. He yawned. Even if he was going to tennis practice, it was still early in the morning. The redhead always thought himself to be more of a night person. This gained him the affectionate, yet slightly annoying teasing names his family called him. Really! He was not like a cat at all!


            "Eiji-senpai!" Momoshiro exclaimed in surprise, grabbing the smaller boy by the waist before he fell backwards. Blinking, Momoshiro laughed at the wide-eyed yet still sleepy expression on his senpai's face. It was too cute. "Not quite so nimble in the morning, eh? Eiji-senpai, you're really like a kitten!"

            Frowning, Kikumaru pulled on the taller boy's ear until the wincing second year removed his arm from the redhead's slim waist. "Who's a kitten, Momo?" he growled sleepily, letting go of the boy's ear. He yawned without guilt as Momoshiro rubbed the side of his head. "Has practice started yet?"

            "No, but it will soon," Momoshiro muttered, still rubbing his ear. "Itte, Eiji-senpai! You didn't have to pull so hard you know! I'd rather not have one ear longer than the other, you know!"

            "Don't be so worried, Momo-senpai," a voice said lazily from behind them. "One ear was already bigger than the other. Kikumaru-senpai just fixed the problem for you. Oh, never mind. He pulled the wrong ear."

            Frowning deeply, Momoshiro instantly spun around and put his fist on top of the smaller boy's head. That comment was uncalled for. Totally uncalled for! Besides, his ears weren't that obvious! No one could notice without staring for a long time. Which meant… "Echizen, you little brat!"

            As the two boys bickered and fought, Kikumaru rubbed his eyes and shook the sleep out of him as he approached a smiling light haired boy standing outside of the locker room door. Smiling energetically, Kikumaru waved. "Good morning, Fuji!"

            "Good morning, Eiji," Fuji responded calmly, a gentle smile on his lips. He watched silently as the redhead put his racquet bag down and changed into his Regular uniform. "So…how do you feel today?"

            Blinking as he put his shirt on, Kikumaru glanced over his shoulder. "What do you mean, Fuji? I feel just fine, like everyday! Why? Is there something wrong?"

            Fuji laughed lightly. "There's nothing wrong, Eiji." His slim blue eyes opened for a moment to glimmer mysteriously at the confused redhead. "You know that I mean it's your birthday today." Eyes closing again, Fuji smiled brightly. "Happy birthday, Eiji."

            Kikumaru tugged at his shirt which was stuck on top of his head and blushed slightly. Smiling up at his friend, he laughed. "Thanks, Fuji! I'm glad you remembered. Looks like we'll finally be the same age, ne?"

            "Eh?! Today is Eiji-senpai's birthday?!" Momoshiro exclaimed loudly enough for all the Regulars standing behind him and about half of the tennis club to hear. Both he and Echizen had their clothes slightly disgruntled from earlier. Breaking out in a grin, Momoshiro quickly strode to his senpai's side to pat his back. "Happy birthday, Eiji-senpai! We should go out to celebrate today!"

            "Eh? That's not really necessary, Momo…" Kikumaru began. Nervously, he tugged at his shirt again. He was still halfway done changing and a crowd had gathered at the door to gawk at him. He especially couldn't help but notice Oishi's blushing face among the Regulars. Kikumaru's face slowly began to tint a rosy scarlet. There shouldn't really have been a problem. They were all boys after all! But seeing Oishi suddenly made him nervous.

            Fuji noted his friend's blushing face with amusement before raising his voice to the crowd. "Alright, that's enough everyone! Let's give Kikumaru some space to change! Yes, he's very cute, but I think everyone needs their personal space." Kaidoh dropped his racquet and Momoshiro gawked. There were several coughs and red faces followed by a rather long uncomfortable silence with Kikumaru covered his face with his shirt in mortification. Fuji grinned with amusement as Inui quickly took note of all that was occurring. "I don't think Tezuka would appreciate it if he found all of you slacking over here. Go on now, all of you! Get back to practice! Right, Oishi?"

            Tearing his eyes away from his doubles partner's bare skin, Oishi flushed brightly and blinked. "Wah…?" A few people stared at him while Fuji continued to grin and Inui chuckled quietly to himself, still taking notes. Quickly regaining himself, Oishi coughed and closed his eyes to hide his embarrassment. "A-ah… Everyone get back to practice!"

            A unison of "Hai!" sounded before the silent tennis club members returned to their courts. Inui smirked to himself as he carefully noted that 59% of the non-regular tennis club members were still blushing and 23% looked dazed and shocked. He also decided to take note that their dear vice captain seemed to have suddenly have been hit by a tomato…or something of that sort, since he looked red enough. He also noticed Momoshiro and even Kaidoh seemed to be blushing the slightest bit as well. Ah. Interesting.

            Tezuka arrived just in time to see all the members of the tennis club rush around in a daze away from the locker room while Fuji stood at the doorway with a very satisfied look on his face. Sighing inwardly, the tall captain went to stand beside the smiling tensai. "Have you been causing more commotion this morning?"

            "Of course not, Tezuka," Fuji replied innocently, smiling up at the taller boy. His eyes opening to reveal his sharp blue eyes filled with amusement. "What makes you think I would do that?"

            "…" Not even bothering to respond, Tezuka squeezed his eyes shut in frustration. It was really annoying how Fuji always seemed to make the stoic captain speechless with only a smile and his shining blue eyes. Sighing, Tezuka opened his eyes again and glanced at the shorter boy sideways. "Sometimes I don't know why I put up with you."

            "That's alright, Tezuka. I understand that you love me," Fuji responded cheerfully, his hand going up to pat Tezuka's cheek affectionately, completely ignoring the way Tezuka's frown was twitching. He smiled wickedly, his eyes glimmering. "I promise I'll make it up to you later tonight."

            Tezuka felt his mouth dry up. He didn't like the way Fuji was saying that, but he was so close, so very close to pushing the shorter boy down and steal those sweet kissable lips away. Clearing his throat, he said flatly, "That's not going to get you out of your punishment today, Fuji."

            "I understand," Fuji said, his eyes closing again and his mysterious smile still on his face. Picking up his racquet, Fuji looked expectantly up at the dark haired boy. "So? How many laps should I run?"

            "Who said anything about running laps?" Tezuka asked with a dead tone and a straight face. He wouldn't give Fuji the leisure of seeing him smile so easily. He felt very pleased with himself after his last comment, seeing the surprised look on Fuji's face…at least, before it was interrupted with a loud THUMP! "…What was that?"

            Fuji looked over his shoulder and chuckled. Still laughing, he leaned on Tezuka for support. "Nothing, Tezuka… Nothing at all. Just Eiji fainting from hearing our conversation. I forgot he was still inside changing…"



            "No fair," Momoshiro grumbled to Echizen on the tennis courts. "Wasn't Fuji-senpai the one who told us to get to work? Why does he get to stand off to the side like that?"

            Echizen simply rolled his eyes and ignored his loud senpai. He didn't think it mattered what Fuji-senpai did, and frankly he didn't really care. "Does it really matter?"

            "I say it does!" the loud second year continued to complain to his younger companion. "I mean, look, Echizen! Fuji-senpai's just standing there laughing with Buchou and Eiji-senpai is…"

            "Lying on the ground?" Echizen supplied, his eyebrow raising. He couldn't clearly see the scene since they were rather far away, but if he squinted, he could see Kikumaru-senpai sprawled across the ground awkwardly. "Yes, Momo-senpai. That looks like so much more fun than tennis."

            Holding his hand up to block the sun's rays, Momo squinted at the three Regulars. Pulling on Echizen's hat, he muttered softly, "Hey, Echizen. Buchou's doing…something…can you see what's going on?"

            Kaidoh, who was standing relatively close to where the two curious Regulars were whispering about their buchou, glanced at his rival, trying not to show his curiosity. His eyes quickly shifted to where Tezuka and Fuji stood. He had to squint a little as well, but if he squinted hard enough he could see… Sputtering, he dropped his racquet for the second time in the past ten minutes.

            Echizen sighed with disinterest. Shrugging it off, he said simply, "I dunno, but it looks like Buchou's trying to eat Fuji-senpai's face."

            Momoshiro and Kaidoh fell over at the same time.

            Blinking, the first year looked at his older teammates on the ground. "What? What's wrong with you two?"

            "Echizen!" Momoshiro yelled, jumping to his feet to drop his fist on the shorter boy's head again. "You little brat! Don't say those kind of things so easily! Jeez! Haven't you ever had a girlfriend before?!"

            "Itte, Momo-senpai," Echizen replied dully before blinking. "A girl friend? I don't really consider them my friends, but there are a lot of them… Wait, I thought they were called stalkers."

            Kaidoh, who had just gotten up to his feet, fell back down again, his jaw hanging open. It wasn't as if he could criticize much, but… What an idiot…!

            All of a sudden, Momoshiro felt like he needed to be hit by a bat. "Good God, what have I done?!" he panicked, smacking his own forehead. "I guess I should have listened when they told me to stop smacking his head so much! Now I've killed off part of his brain! Noooooo! Echizen!"

            "What are you talking about, Momo-senpai?" Echizen asked with an annoyed look on his face. "Who's the one who's missing part of their brain, huh? I don't get what the joke is! A girl friend, right? I have lots of them! Don't you?"

            "Eh… I don't think you've got the right idea," Momoshiro said slowly, sweatdropping. He blinked. "Wait a minute… What am I to you, Echizen?"

            Beginning to feel annoyed, Echizen frowned and pushed away from his senpai. "A boy friend, why?"

            Momoshiro did his best to hide his smirk, but he was pretty sure his laugh would explode out of him sooner or later. Noticing out of the corner of his eye that Kaidoh had just picked himself off the ground for a second time and attempting to creep away from the strange conversation, he quickly asked Echizen again, "Oh, really? Then what is Kaidoh to you?"

            "A boy friend!" Echizen exclaimed, his annoyance level boiling. He was so angry, he hadn't noticed that Kaidoh fell to the ground a third time and then crawled away on the floor, screaming, or rather, hissing in agony. "Mou! Momo-senpai, what's so funny?! Kaidoh-senpai is my boy friend! You are my boy friend! Kikumaru-senpai, Oishi-senpai, Fuji-senpai, Kawamura-senpai, Inui-senpai, and buchou are all my boy friends! Jeez! Maybe I should stop considering you as my friends!"

            By this time, Momoshiro was laughing so hard, he was on the floor in tears. Kaidoh had found his way under a bench farthest from the ready-to-erupt Echizen and insanely-laughing Momoshiro. Inui was busy writing down all the valuable data again, chuckling to himself at Kaidoh's display.

             "What is going on here?" demanded a very angry Tezuka with the smiling Fuji at his side, his arms crossed. He was completely oblivious to the fact that three of his Regulars had just seen him share a very personal scene with their tennis tensai. Without waiting for an answer, he snapped, his eyebrow twitching, "All of you, twenty laps. Now."

            Several grumbles of unhappiness sounded through the courts. Momoshiro clapped a hand over his mouth to keep him from laughing harder. With his free hand, he wiped away his tears. The moment he walked to join the others, he was surprisingly stopped.

            "Not you, Momoshiro," Tezuka said stonily, making the second year instantly shut up. He ignored the sounds of protests from the other members. Turning back to Momoshiro, he instructed, "Help Fuji take Kikumaru to the nurse, then report back here. You'll be running fifty laps."

            Unable to laugh anymore, Momoshiro hung his head and sighed. "Yes, buchou." Since he was already in trouble, he couldn't help blurting out, "What about Fuji-senpai?"

            Tezuka remained motionless and looked at Momoshiro with a stony look. "What about him?"

            Fuji laughed seeing the expression on the two boys' faces. "Don't worry, Momo," he said with a smile, "you know that Tezuka isn't the kind to let someone go without their punishment. I'll just be getting my punishment later. Much later in the evening. Ne, Tezuka?"

            "…" Turning, Tezuka walked away before he could blush in front of witnesses. That would be unfortunate, because then he would have to kill them. "What are you waiting for? Get going."

            The moment Momoshiro assumed they were out of Tezuka's earshot, he burst out laughing. "Fuji-senpai, that was great! You really are a sadist! I've never seen buchou so embarrassed!"

            "Momoshiro, sixty laps when you get back!"


            Fuji smiled and patted the younger boy's back with understanding. "Tezuka has very good hearing."



            A little less than half an hour after the chaos of Seigaku's tennis club's morning practice, Kikumaru awoke to find himself looking up at Oishi's worried face. Blinking, he sat up. "Oishi…?"

             Eyes and face brightening, the older boy smiled with relief at his doubles partner. "Eiji…! I'm so glad you're awake. What happened to you this morning? You fainted. Thank goodness Tezuka and Fuji were there to find you!"

            "Tezuka…and Fuji…?" Suddenly, Kikumaru flushed red enough to rival his hair. Slowly lifting up the thin sheet, he covered his head with it. "Aaaah! I may be just a little older, but I think I could have survived without hearing that!"

            Oishi blinked in surprise. He smiled slightly and gently pulled on the sheet hanging over his friend's head. "What are you talking about, Eiji? Don't tell me you fainted and nearly scared me to death just because of something you heard?"

            Kikumaru looked horrified. "You don't understand, Oishi! I mean, I mean…! F-Fuji's my best friend and…and then, Tezuka's…he's! Then they were…and they forgot I was in there…and I heard…things I didn't need to hear!"

            "Wait, slow down, Eiji," Oishi said patiently, doing his best to understand the other boy. "What happened with Tezuka and Fuji? It's no big deal. You can tell me, ok? I won't tell anyone."

            Slowly, Kikumaru nodded, his eyes still slightly wide. "I saw…I mean, I heard…Tezuka and Fuji…they were talking about t-things…and then just…"

            Oishi blushed. Although his friend hadn't said enough for any normal person to understand him, Oishi understood. He understood with the look in his partner's eyes. "A-ah…that, huh? W-well, E-Eiji, you see…Tezuka and Fuji are a bit more mature… It's really nothing to be…um…embarrassed about…"

            "I know," Kikumaru said slowly, twisting up the sheet, unable to meet Oishi's eyes. Very slowly, he looked up at Oishi who looked equally shy at the moment. The problem was, Kikumaru didn't know if they were both acting like this because of what they were talking about or the fact that they were alone at the moment… "Oishi…"

            "Mm?" Oishi murmured, bringing his eyes up to shyly look at the cute redhead only a few inches away from him. He pasted a smile on his face. "What is it, Eiji?"

            Taking a deep breath, Kikumaru looked at his doubles partner, his cheeks tinted crimson. He wanted to ask why… Why was it that he was the only one that made his heart pound and yet slow down at the same time? Why is it that whenever Oishi is around, he can never seem to see straight? What were those strange feelings brewing inside of him? "Oishi, I—…"

            "Ok, ok! Calm down, I'm going, ok?! Jeez! That brat, Echizen!"

            Blinking and shaking himself out of the trance he was in, Oishi looked over his shoulder to see Momoshiro walking into the room, rubbing the back of his head with an unhappy expression. "Momo? What are you doing here?"

            Stopping for a moment, Momoshiro grinned. "Oishi-senpai! Ah, I'm just in here getting my head checked."

            "Why are you getting your head checked?" Oishi asked, frowning deeply. Somehow, he didn't like the way this was going.

            Laughing nervously, Momoshiro backed up a step. "Don't worry, Oishi-senpai. I just made Echizen a little bit too angry and he hit me, is all. That brat is really dangerous when he's angry! I guess I shouldn't have said some things…"

            "Ochibi is only twelve," Kikumaru pointed out, feeling a little upset that his time with Oishi was interrupted. Pushing the sheets aside, the redhead sat at the edge of the bed. "He can't do that much damage without a racquet, ne?"

            Momoshiro frowned. "You can safely say that, Eiji-senpai. Echizen would never turn on you with a crazed look like that. Seriously, I thought there were lasers coming out of his eyes!"

            Oishi sweatdropped and helped Kikumaru to his feet. Turning back to the younger boy, he asked, "Momo, didn't you also say that about Fuji last week?"

            Pausing in what he was saying, Momoshiro stopped and thought about it for a moment. "Oh… Yeah, well that was true! Everyone knows that when Fuji-senpai opens his eyes calamity will befall upon all of us! He'll start shooting laser beams and gain zombie mind control on us since he already has buchou, and… other weird stuff!"

            "Eh…I think you may be exaggerating a little," Oishi said, smiling slightly as Kikumaru choked on a laugh. "Besides," he pointed out gently, "weren't you talking about Echizen?"

            "Right," Momoshiro said, blinking and rubbing the back of his head again. He smiled as Oishi helped Kikumaru up and helped him walk towards the door. Laughing lightly, he called out, "Before I forget, happy birthday, Eiji-senpai! I hope you get what you want today!"

            Kikumaru smiled back at the younger boy. All that he wanted was just to be able to say something to Oishi. For some reason, whenever the redhead looked at his partner, the other boy would quickly look away with looks of either anger or frustration or irritation. Was it maybe his fault? "Thanks, Momo!"

            Oishi said nothing to his partner about his birthday. He simply remained silent as they walked down the halls to class 3-6 where Fuji stood, waiting for them. Sighing, the dark haired boy smiled faintly and quickly excused himself. "Keep yourself out of trouble, Eiji. See you two at practice later."

            "Aa," Fuji said with a smile, picking up his hand to wave at the retreating boy. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that Kikumaru was staring at the ground, looking as if he was about to cry. Fuji's smile slowly faded. Lifting his hand up to his friend's shoulder, he asked, "Eiji? Is something wrong?"

            "I…I'm ok, just fine…" Kikumaru croaked, holding his hands over his face. Sniffing, he frantically wiped at his eyes. This didn't help the situation much, since the moment he covered his eyes, Fuji pat the boy's head sympathetically. "I said I'm…I'm fine, Fuji…"

            "You don't look fine to me, Eiji," Fuji said sharply, frowning at his best friend. "I don't want you keeping things that make you cry from me. Do you know how painful it is to see your sad face, Eiji? Saa, no more tears now. Tell me what's wrong, or believe me, I will find out."

            "D-don't be so serious!" Kikumaru laughed, wiping his nonexistent tears away. Smiling bravely, he looked up at Fuji's worried face. "There was just something in my eye, Fuji!"

            "Is this about Oishi?"

            "Eh?!" Kikumaru yelped in surprise, his cheeks flushing red. "F-Fuji! Nyaa! What do you mean by that?!"

            "You know exactly what I'm talking about, Eiji," Fuji said with a frown, his smile completely disappearing. Don't think I didn't see the way you were looking at him just now. Today is your birthday, Eiji. You should at least be a little happier. You're much cuter when you smile."

            Kikumaru blinked at his friend. Fuji seemed to be very amused by the whole situation. His frown had disappeared as quickly as his smile had. The blue eyed boy was now grinning at the redhead with a knowing look. "I just… Fuji… what if… What if I'm not good enough for Oishi?"

            "I knew Oishi had to be involved with this," Fuji sighed as Kikumaru attached himself to the blue eyed boy. "Whenever you're miserable, it almost always has something to do with Oishi. Eiji, if you like him that much, why not just tell him?"

            "What if he laughs at me or…something?" Kikumaru sighed back, his arms around Fuji's neck. "Don't you think these feelings are kind of wrong? I  mean…no one would approve of it…"

            "That's nonsense!" Fuji said with a wide smile. "Your fangirls all dream of you and Oishi indulging in some kind of relationship! Besides, I don't think it's that big of an issue."

            Flushing, Kikumaru buried his face in Fuji's shoulder. "I wish you would stop saying such embarrassing things, Fuji! But…" Childish tears threatened his eyes again. "I just don't know what I would do if Oishi hated me…"

            "Eiji, don't worry so much," Fuji commanded, ruffling his friend's hair. He smiled reassuringly. "If you only just tell him, I know you'll end up happy. Oishi will love you for sure, Eiji. There's no way he couldn't. All you have to do is be brave enough to tell him. Don't worry much. If he does anything to hurt you, I'll be right there to hunt him down for you."

            Kikumaru blinked. He was touched by Fuji's words, yet also slightly disturbed at the way he could so easily say he would hunt someone down with such a sweet smile on his face. Bursting out laughing, he hugged his friend tighter. "Thanks, Fuji! You're really a good friend!"

            Out of the corner of his eye, Fuji spotted two familiar figures walking towards them from around the corner, a sadistic smirk appearing on his face, he whispered, "Ne, Eiji, bend down for a minute."

            "What is it?" Kikumaru asked, doing as Fuji asked. He blinked when he saw that crooked smile of Fuji's. "F-Fuji…?"

            "Sorry I have to steal your first kiss," Fuji apologized with a carefree smile as Kikumaru's eyes widened. "Trust me, it's for your own good. I'll understand if you'd rather not like to forgive me anyway."

            Tezuka halted in his tracks, when Inui froze and dropped his notebook. His eyebrow twitched as he saw Fuji place a sweet, ever so innocent little kiss on Kikumaru's lips. His frown deepened. "Fuji…"

            Quickly regaining himself, Inui picked up his notebook again and scribbled the newly found data down. What a weird to be getting so much data on Kikumaru. Oh well. It was all his advantage anyway. Muahaha.

            Smiling as their lips parted, Fuji patted Kikumaru's flushed cheeks. "Sorry I had to resort to that, Eiji. You'll understand my tactics by the end of the day, I promise."

            The redhead watched in shock as his smiling friend waved and quickly disappeared into their classroom. His cheeks rivaled the color of his hair. He quickly brought his hands up to his cheeks to hide their color. He instantly spun around when there was a slight "ahem" from behind him. Seeing who was standing behind him, his face paled. "I-Inui…Tezuka…did you see…?"

            "Plenty," Inui grinned, his glasses glinting at the end. He glanced sideways to see Tezuka with a very unhappy look on his face. He was guessing Fuji would be running many laps at practice today. Tezuka seemed to be more jealous than he put on. "Good work, Kikumaru. It's not everyday we get to see our stoic buchou with such a jealous face."

            "You'll be running laps too," Tezuka snapped at Inui, walking down the hall. He said nothing to Kikumaru. It wasn't his fault that sadistic Fuji had decided to kiss him out of the blue. Oh, he would make Fuji sorry. Running would only be the beginning…

            Kikumaru glanced nervously at Inui as Tezuka strode away. The entire situation was embarrassing to begin with, but with people watching too?! But then…Fuji was a really good kisser… Flushing brightly, the redhead hung his head, shaking the thought out of him. "Inui! You won't say anything to Oishi about this, will you?! Please don't!"

            Smirking, the taller boy lowered his notebook. He knew something like this would happen. "Let me see," he mumbled, flipping through a few pages of his notebook. "There's a 96% chance you have special feelings for Oishi, and a 98% percent chance he feels the same…"

            "Eh?" Kikumaru blushed. "W-wait a minute! Why is my percentage lower than Oishi's?"

            "That's because it's more like your nature to be more…affectionate towards people," Inui explained with a grin. "Oishi is a bit shyer, so it's more obvious. You're just like a kitten, Kikumaru."

Kikumaru frowned visibly, anger boiling up in his face. "Inui! I am not like a kitten! Why does everyone keep saying that?! I bet Oishi would defend me! I…"

Crooked smile appearing on his face, Inui looked at the downcast redhead with a predatory look. "Now, then, Eiji. Will you go confess to him on your own like a good boy, or will you need help from Inui's Special Happy Love Juice?"

            Look of fear and disgust crossing his face, Kikumaru took a step back. "N-no! I think I'll be ok, Inui! Maybe Fuji would like some of your juice!"

            Inui frowned as the redhead jetted down the hall. Confused, he scratched his head. "What's gotten in to him? My juice is perfect…"


            Fuji hummed to himself, a huge smile plastered on his face as he walked towards the tennis clubroom. The rest of the day just zoomed by, it seemed. It was rather amusing to see Kikumaru with such a cutely flushed face. It was probably even more worth it to seem Tezuka and Inui so bent up out of shape over a simple little kiss as well.

Before long, all the Seigaku regulars had heard that tensai Fuji Syusuke had kissed the cute, loving Kikumaru Eiji. All except Oishi, of course, who was purposely kept out of the little secret. Another interesting rumor had also been going around that first year Echizen Ryoma was dating Kaidoh. Hmm. Fuji smirked sadistically. He wondered how Momo would be taking this. It was his fault anyway.

            Tezuka slowly made his way towards the clubroom, seeing Fuji just walk in through the door. On the way to his destination, he passed by a first year girl with long brown hair being comforted by a girl with pigtails, sobbing pathetically, "Ryoma-kun is dating Kaidoh-senpai…!"

            After hearing this, Tezuka decided he would rather not want to know what the situation with that was. Sighing, he pushed open the clubroom door and looked around for Fuji. "Fuji?"

            Looking up, his shirt on his arms, Fuji smiled sweetly as Tezuka froze. "Aa, Tezuka. Tsk, you pervert. Coming in when I'm changing… I never expect such tactics from you."

            Face slowly becoming rosy, Tezuka spun around and stared at the wall.  But it was so hard to get that image out of his head! Damn Fuji. "Just finish changing already!"

            "Aaah," Fuji smirked, pulling his shirt over his head. He loved to see Tezuka's tortured face. "What's wrong, Tezuka? Not planning on watching anymore? I'm disappointed in you."

            Feeling arms encircle him, Tezuka frowned deeply, crossing his arms. "What kind of game are you playing this time, Fuji?" He didn't like the way Fuji could so easily kiss someone else. It was annoying. "Why did you kiss Kikumaru this afternoon?"

            Tightening his hold on the taller boy, Fuji smiled inwardly. Laughing slightly, he rested his head on Tezuka's strong back. "Why, Tezuka…! You wouldn't happen to be jealous would you?"

            "I am not jealous," Tezuka said flatly, doing his best to restrain himself from throwing the shorter boy down and kissing him. "It just…makes me feel annoyed…when you… How could you kiss someone so easily, anyway?!"

            Laughing, Fuji moved around until he stood in front of Tezuka, arms still around him. "Tezuka, you're so cute when you're jealous! Don't worry, I won't do it again. What I did today was for Eiji's sake. He's having some trouble with Oishi. I could just sit back and do nothing. Beside, it's Eiji. He's my best friend. Though I have to admit, he is very cute and kissable…"


            Fuji laughed in delight. "Only joking, Tezuka. You know…that I love you most…" The blue eyed boy smiled serenely up at Tezuka's flushed face. "Don't worry at all. You should already know you mean everything to me."

            "You're an idiot, Syusuke," Tezuka murmured, as the shorter boy stood up on his toes to kiss his lips. Eyes fluttering closed, he sighed. "Don't think you're getting away without any punishment though."

            "I should have known," Fuji laughed. His blue eyes opened and glimmered dangerously. "Sounds good to me. We can settle this later tonight when your lips aren't so hard to reach. Then we'll see about my 'punishment,' won't we, Tezuka?"

            The taller boy smirked slightly. "You'll be crying for mercy when I'm done with you."

            "Tsk, tsk. Tezuka, you pervert," Fuji said with a sly grin.


            Blinking, both boys turned to see Kaidoh, who was previously running from Momoshiro and Inui, now passed out on the ground. His cheeks were darkly flushed.

            Fuji laughed. "We seem to be getting quite a few eavesdropping visitors lately."



            Looking up at the darkened sky, Oishi closed his eyes and sighed. It looked like practice would be postponed today. The moment he walked up to the clubroom door, the skies opened up and rain poured down. Quickly, the dark haired boy opened the door and rushed in. Closing the door behind him, Oishi was surprised to find all of the Seigaku Regulars inside. "You're all here?"

            "I sent the other members home," Tezuka informed the new arrival as he sat down. "Ryuzaki-sensei wanted me to keep the Regulars here so we could discuss plans for the upcoming tournament."

            "Oh, I see," Oishi said, blinking. Across the room, he noticed how Kikumaru was frowning, wet and unhappiness on his face. Oishi felt slightly guilty. He must have been the only one who hadn't said something about his birthday to the boy today. Now, he didn't even go to sit next to his partner. Instead, he sat next to Inui, who was unfortunately busy scribbling notes with an evil grin plastered on his face. Oishi sweatdropped.

            Still frowning, Kikumaru stood up and stretched out his arms. "I hate rain," he complained, pulling at his wet hair. "It makes my hair cling to my face."

            The other Regulars stared in shock as Kikumaru pulled on a dry shirt, his wet layered red hair clinging to feminine face. A few of the observing boys blushed and Fuji chuckled to himself as Tezuka cleared his throat. With his hair in such a way, Kikumaru Eiji looked just like a cute little girl.

            "This is boring," Echizen said loudly, glaring at Momoshiro who was still staring intently at his wet senpai. Kaidoh flinched away and Momoshiro's eyebrow twitched. "I want to go home."

            "Now, now," Fuji said cheerfully. "We can't have you walking home alone." His slim eyes opened, a playful look in his eyes. "If you leave now, I'll make sure Kaidoh accompanies you the whole way. You two are boyfriends aren't you? Why not date a little bit earlier today?"

            "No way, Fuji-senpai!" Echizen declared, eyes flashing wildly. "I don't know who told you I would date Kaidoh-senpai, but I'd even rather date Momo-se—…"

            Blinking at Echizen's flushed face for a moment, Momoshiro grinned. Laughing, Momoshiro reached out and glomped the younger boy. "Aw, really, Echizen?! I never knew you cared! For what it's worth, I'd rather date you than Mamushi too!"

Kaidoh hissed and made a mad dash for the door, but tripped over someone's tennis bag. After he fell, he didn't move.

            Fuji continued to smile. "I wonder what's gotten into him lately. He seems to enjoy being on the ground today. Don't you think so, Tezuka?"

            Tezuka coughed and shut his mouth. "Anyway," he said with a sharp glance at Fuji. "Is there any other business with nothing pertaining to tennis before we get started?"

            "Buchou, you're actually asking us?" Momoshiro asked in surprise. With another sharp glance from Tezuka, he winced. "Oh…eh…well, we should have a party for Eiji-senpai! "He's fifteen today, ne?"

            "Oh, right," Kikumaru muttered, not really paying attention. Seeing that everyone, including Oishi, was looking at him, he smiled. "I finally caught up with the rest of the third years, nya! But…why are you all making such a big deal about me? Taka-san's birthday was a few weeks ago."

            Everyone suddenly turned to Kawamura. Momoshiro, embarrassed asked, "Eh? Really, Kawamura-senpai?"

            "Ah hah, yes," Kawamura laughed, just as nervously. "That's alright if you all forgot. I didn't make it a very big deal anyway."

            The Regulars remained silent for a moment, all embarrassed that they had forgotten the boy's birthday. Even Inui stared down nervously. Fuji suddenly piped up with a smile, "I remembered, Taka-san."

            "I know," Kawamura said, blushing slightly with a smile. "Thanks, Fujiko-chan!"

            "Ok, ok!" Momoshiro shouted, regaining his composure. "Double birthday celebration today, then! For Kawamura-senpai and Eiji-senpai! But before we go on…is anyone else's birthday coming up?"

            "The next closest is Echizen in December," Inui informed the Regulars, flipping through the pages of his notebook. "After that would be Fuji in February."

            "So Ochibi is going to be thirteen and Fuji's going to be sixteen?" Kikumaru asked, suddenly interested in the conversation again. "Fuji! We won't be the same age for very long anymore!"

            "Not for a very long time," Fuji said with a smile, "I'm only three, you know. My next birthday, I'll be four."

            All of the Regulars stared at the smiling tensai. Even Tezuka glanced at the blue eyed boy with a slightly bewildered expression. Echizen frowned deeply, a displeased look crossing his face. "I don't get it."

            "Ah, let me explain," Inui said, closing his notebook and adjusting his glasses. "Fuji was born on February 29th, which happens to be a leap year. Technically, his body is fifteen right now, it's true; he is only three years old at the moment. By February, his body will be sixteen, but he will only be four years old."

            "That is so weird," Momoshiro said softly, musing. Laughing, he patted his senpai's back. "Ha ha, but it suits Fuji-senpai!"

            "Since the life expectancy for an average male is about eighty or so, I'm going to live forever," Fuji said with a cheerful smile at the other boys. "Ah, maybe I'll be the same age as you all someday."

            "Don't say such weird things, Fuji," Kikumaru laughed slightly. "It's kind of creepy when you say you're going to live forever. I can just imagine you being the same way you are by the time you're…eh…older…"

            "That made no sense at all," Kaidoh scoffed, finally sitting up, rubbing his head. "Kikumaru-senpai, is it true you're dating Fuji-senpai now?"

            There was an awkward silence among the Regulars. A few of them stared at Kaidoh while the rest stared at Oishi. The vice captain shuffled his feet silently, completely unaware that half the team was staring expectantly at him. He glanced at his doubles partner, who looked as if he was on the verge of tears. Slowly he looked up, sighing. Noticing that everyone was looking at him, he blinked. "What? Why are you all staring at me? It's not my business what Fuji and Eiji do."

            Tears welling up in his eyes, Kikumaru jumped to his feet, hurt eyes directed at Oishi. Forgetting his racquet bag, he sprinted towards the door. "I hate you, Oishi! You're so mean! You don't care about me at all!"

            "E-Eiji!" Oishi called out in surprise, jumping to his feet as well. Pausing for a moment, he turned to the other Regulars with an apologetic look. "Sorry, everyone. I'll just be leaving a little early today." Without another word of explanation, he dashed out after his partner. "Eiji!"

            Momoshiro coughed and glared at Kaidoh accusingly. "So what now?"

            "Well, look at that," Fuji said suddenly, walking over to pick up two abandoned tennis bags off the ground. He smiled sweetly. "It would seem as if our Golden Pair has left their bags behind. What kind of friends would we be if we didn't go after them to return these?"

            Tezuka closed his eyes when Fuji and the rest of the team looked at him expectantly, waiting for an answer. He would so get Fuji for this later… Sighing, he stood up, "Fine. Let's go then."


            The rain was slowly letting up as Oishi ran through the wet leaves covered sidewalk. He didn't understand why he was chasing after his partner, and he didn't know why Kikumaru was running in the first place. All he knew was that he kept getting the feeling that if he didn't keep running, he would surely regret it… Eiji…what's going on? "Eiji! Please stop!"

            "Why should I?!" Kikumaru called over his shoulder, tears flowing from his eyes. "You don't care about me anyway!"

            "What?!" Oishi called after the boy. "I don't know what you're talking about, Eiji! Of course I care about you! I care about you more than anyone else! Why are you running away from me?! Eiji!"

            "That's a lie," Kikumaru said, his voice dropping slowly to a whisper. All of a sudden, his legs started to get tired… He didn't want to run anymore… Stopping under a tree, the redhead wiped his eyes, letting his partner catch up to him. "You're so mean, Oishi…"

            "Eiji, I don't understand…" Oishi began slowly, walking towards the redhead, a confused look on his face. "Have I done something wrong? If I have, then I'm sorry. Please just don't cry…"

            "You're so mean to make me feel like this," Kikumaru said softly, staring at the ground. "The whole day you've been so distant. I was so worried that you hated me… After all, why would you be ignoring me on this day of all days? I should be the one apologizing, Oishi. I just…don't know what I've done yet…"

            The confused expression the dark haired boy's face melted slowly. Oishi looked at his partner with a soft smile. Slowly he reached out a hand and lifted his face. Apparently, they were both unaware of the fact that the Seigaku Regulars were all crouched behind a bush not too far away, watching them intently. "Eiji, you were right. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have acted like that."

            "But why, Oishi?" the redhead demanded with a hurt look on his face. "Everyone's been telling me that you're sure to love me, but I don't care about what Inui's calculations say! I like you, Oishi… Why are you acting like this to me on my birthday? Am I…really that much of a kid to you?"

            Momoshiro nudged Inui. Grinning, he whispered, "Inui-senpai, what'd you say to Eiji-senpai?"

            Ignoring him, Inui kicked the boy to the side slightly and continued to take notes. "Quiet, Momo. Or would you like the team to find out about the time that you saw Echizen under the tree and decided to—"

            Eyes widening, Momoshiro clapped a hand over his senpai's mouth, laughing nervously at all the other member staring at him.

            Echizen kicked him.

            Looking at his partner in surprise, Oishi slowly felt a gentle smile find its way to his lips. He reached out and took the redhead into his arms. "Oh, Eiji… I'm so sorry. I was acting stupid for an equally stupid reason. I've never thought of you as a kid. You're perfect the way you are. It's just… I liked you so much the way you are now, I didn't want you to grow up…"

            Kikumaru blinked and tensed his body. But with such warm arms around him, his body slowly relaxed until he leaned on Oishi completely. "Why? Why wouldn't you want me to grow up?"

            "It just reminds me," Oishi sighed, closing his eyes. "It reminds me that our time together is almost over. I know we're all growing up, Eiji. It kind of makes me sad to think that after this year, we might not ever be able to see each other again. Junior high is almost over… We'll be going to high school soon. I just wanted to forget all of that. The faster you grow up, the more I'm reminded that our time is growing short…"

            "This is way too sappy," Echizen muttered, yawning. He frowned. "I'm going to have to go brush my teeth after all of this sugary sap. Oishi-senpai and Kikumaru-senpai should be on a soap opera."

            "I think it's rather sweet," Fuji said with a smile. He was enjoying this. Not only did he get to see his best friend's problems solved, but he also found it very amusing the way the Regulars were all crammed together behind a bush. Honestly, they couldn't go for one second without kicking each other.

            "Hey, that's great and all…" Momoshiro started, "…but, Echizen, can you please get off of me?! All those hamburgers you eat and Ponta you drink really show their effect! You weigh way more than you look! Get off of me, will you?!"

            "Iya da," Echizen said stubbornly, yawning again.

            "Quiet, they'll hear us," Tezuka said in a monotone. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this. Damn Fuji. He would so pay for this…

            "I'm surprised they haven't already," Kaidoh mumbled under his breath.

            "Autumn is my favorite season," Oishi said slowly, looking around at the fallen leaves. "The colors are all so bright, they show how the gentle wind blows away old leaves, just like memories. Sometimes it makes me feel a little nostalgic though. Even though I know that there will be new leaves in the spring, I just can't help but feel a little sad knowing that the these leaves have fallen so that they won't feel the pain of the upcoming winter. Sometimes…I just don't want to let go of old memories, even when harsh punishment is on the way."

            "Oishi…" Kikumaru said softly, a blush covering his face. "What…are you trying to say?"

            Oishi smiled down at the redhead, his features soft and gentle. "I love you, Eiji. I've loved you ever since the beginning. It's because within you are the colors of autumn."

            "Oishi…" Kikumaru squeezed his eyes shut as the taller boy leaned over to kiss his lips softly. I never should have doubted Oishi… His face was flushed when the pulled apart.

            "Happy birthday, Eiji," Oishi said with a kind smile. "Sorry I'm late."

            "Itte! Inui-senpai, you're standing on my hand!"

            Blinking, the Golden Pair turned to where they had heard a familiar voice calling out. Both sweatdropped when the Seigaku Regulars rolled out of their hiding place behind the bushes. "Everyone…?"

            "That's because you were lying on the ground, Momo."

            "Echizen was sitting on me!"

            "Uh, hey…"

            "Knock that off, you two."

            "Keep out of this, Fuji-senpai!"

            "Hey, guys… I think they've spotted us."

            Oishi frowned deeply, his arms still wrapped around the flushing redhead boy. "What are all of you doing over here? Wait a minute. Were you eavesdropping?"

            "Of course not," Fuji responded, picking himself up gracefully from the tangle of Regulars to stand next to Tezuka. He smiled angelically. "Our Golden Pair left their racquet bags behind so Momo was kind of to think of bringing it to you."

            "Hey! No fair, Fuji-senpai! Don't blame this on me!" Momoshiro whined, still on the bottom of the pile of Regulars. "I'm suffering enough as it is! Echizen, get off of me already!"

            "Mada mada da ne," Echizen said stubbornly, not moving from where he was sitting on Momoshiro's back. He smirked, extremely pleased with himself. That ought to teach Momo-senpai to make an idiot out of him.

            "Anyway," Fuji said with a pleasant smile, ignoring the others as he walked towards his wide eyed redhead friend. "Glad to see everything worked out for you, Eiji. I'm sorry about kissing you before. You were just too cute."

            Kikumaru blushed, still clinging to Oishi. "I…It's ok, Fuji. I know you were just kidding."

            Apparently, Oishi didn't hear him. He blinked. He blinked again. Then once again… "EH?!! Fuji, you kissed Eiji?!"

            "Calm down, Oishi, he's all yours," Fuji said, still smiling, but taking a step back as Kikumaru restrained Oishi. He backed up right into Tezuka. Smiling up at the taller boy, he looked for help. "You understand, ne, Tezuka?"

            Tezuka frowned. "You are so getting punished."

            "Echizen! Get off of me!!"

            "Iya da."


            After much commotion, the Seigaku Regulars ended up again eating sushi at Kawamura's restaurant to celebrate Kikumaru's birthday and Taka-san's late one. The day had gone relatively smoothly, and most of the problems were solved.

            Echizen eventually got off of Momoshiro's back, grudgingly. Racquet in hand, Kawamura had picked him up, exclaiming, "Come on, baby! You weigh nothing at all!" After that incident, Momoshiro was more careful around the younger boy and wary of his sharp kicks. After that day, the two could be seen together more often and Fuji had caught them kissing under a tree. Oooh… More data for Inui. Muahahah.

            The Golden Pair spent more time together, cherishing their time together. Although it was slightly annoying when they were so sappy during practice, according to Echizen. Just for the hell of it, the three, including Echizen, were ordered by Tezuka run laps around the courts. Unfortunately for Echizen, the pair smiled and laughed with each other the entire time. Echizen had to brush  the "sugary sap" out of his teeth several times that day.

            However, unfortunately for Kaidoh, he had grown rather attached to his spot underneath the bench. Especially whenever Inui decided to walk over with a disturbing smile, asking the younger boy to drink his "Special Happy Love Juice." It was so wrong in so many ways.

            As for Fuji Syusuke, the mastermind behind nearly all of the problems caused on that day…

            The morning of November 29th, Fuji arrived late to practice, limping slightly. Tezuka was wearing a very smug smirk on his face as he watched the blue eyed boy limp around the courts, a twitching smile forced on his face.

            "Tezuka, what did you do to Fuji?" Kikumaru asked during afternoon practice that day while Fuji played a match against Momoshiro. The redhead frowned. "He really looks like he's in pain, but he seems to be really happy about it."

            "He's practically glowing," Oishi added, as the remaining Regulars looked at the tensai from off the courts. The dark haired boy frowned. "Why does that somehow make me uncomfortable?"

            "Aah… I'm interested in what method you've used, Tezuka," Inui said calmly to the stoic captain.

            "So…what happened to him?" Kikumaru asked again, tilting his head to see Tezuka's smug face.

            Tezuka's smirk widened as Fuji limped around to catch the flying tennis balls. "I punished him as much as he deserved."

            Look of realization on their faces, the older Regulars flushed. Kikumaru blushed crimson and clung to Oishi's arm. Oishi chewed on his lip and pulled at his shirt nervously. Kaidoh and Inui had similar shades of red on their faces. Kawamura passed out. Tezuka continued to smirk.

            Frowning, Echizen looked up at the older members of the team. "I still don't get it."



A/N: wow… I am…so not a humor writer xDDD It's kind of amusing how random this fic is. (I mean, it was produced out of nowhere o_o)

u.u; it was originally written for Kikumaru Eiji's birthday on Thanksgiving, but somehow, it ended up here…now… o_O;;

As for my other suffering fics, my !@#$(*!&@#$(*&!@#$-ing (_) computer died out again and screwed up all of my floppy disks… *sigh* what can I do about it? ;.;

Well, anyway… ^_^;;
Happy belated birthday to the half of the Golden Pair with red hair xD~!

And much glomping-ness to all readers as well… o.o;

e_e;; and in the spirit of Christmas, I shall produce several Christmas themed…thingys o_o;;

Hopefully everyone enjoyed this~! Sorry for major lame-ness ^_^;;;
Please review if possible! ^.^;