Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis was created by Konomi Takeshi. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made from this creative venture.


Stagnant

By Gen X


He might have heard the shower running if his computer weren't that loud. In truth, Inui wasn't concerned with the bathroom. What little noise he would be able to discern would be too muffled to be of any value. The dark curtains were drawn over the window, sheltering him much like the sheet wrapped about his legs.

Inui blinked at the monitor, then frowned when it didn't become any clearer. He felt about the top of the monitor to no avail, and belatedly touched the top of his head. Swiveling in his chair, he turned to his rumpled bed. Inui frowned. If his glasses were caught in the sheets, he might not have enough time. He wasn't wearing them when...

"Ah," he nodded to himself, carefully picking up the glasses from his bedpost. The sheet caught slightly under the chairs rollers as he turned back to his computer. He tugged it out from under the wheel, noting the black spot. Concern flickered for an instant. It didn't matter, the sheet set would have to be washed anyway. He looked towards the bed. The comforter as well, for that matter. That would all come later.

Deft motions and precise strokes launched his favorite application. The cursor blinked upon the screen and he began to type.

Through personal experience, as well as many wise words I often find the quote "gang aft aglay" to be remarkably true. As such, I fear I may have rushed my situation, precarious as it has been, with Kaidoh. For a tempered individual, it is shocking that I do not regret my our actions.

It starts with a motion, so simple and small. Kaidoh drags his hand across his forehead, pushing the bandana down and up again. The sweat soaks through the cloth even as the knot loosens. He takes it off, crumpling it and drawing it across his brow. Inui's fingers reach out, brushing away the errant hair. Kaidoh watches, and stares as Inui moves closer.

I suspect it was overdue to categorize our relationship label our interaction, or at very least dialogue about it. With the mastery of our skills, through our time devoted as doubles partners, it seemed such a discussion would have come at the culmination of said event. Instead, we seemed to have stagnated.

Inui stops, a few inches away. He watches, waiting for a negative reaction or implicit acceptance. His fingers continue to brush lightly across Kaidoh's face, but there is nothing. Inui drops his hand, and nods to himself.

"Stagnant."

"What?" Kaidoh's voice is harsh, ready to counter criticism.

"You. Or, rather us. I was merely commenting on how our interaction has lost its drive. We've both achieved our goals and, naturally, our dependence on each other has lessened. It would be a natural step for our interaction to do so as well."

"You're saying there's nothing left."

"I'm sorry?"

"You're saying that we've used each other and there's nothing left." Kaidoh shakes his head. "You're wrong. Each goal is a stepping stone," he explains. "Unless, there's nothing else I can learn from you."

To punctuate his words, he turns away, knotting the bandana behind his head. Kaidoh's gaze is on the door. Inui is silent, observing coolly as Kaidoh looks back challenging. "Well?"

"We're not at the nationals yet."

While my data did indicate a possibility of said event, I was not expecting it to occur today. Moreover, I had never fully completed a believable scenario for such a conversation. I will admit that there is something unsatisfying about being a passenger for one's own future. The lack of control can be unsettling, and I have no doubt he felt the same way.

Kaidoh nods, but doesn't turn away from the door. They're not stagnant any longer, there's a tension in the air, but only Kaidoh feels it. Inui is more perceptive, he always has been. Conclusions are drawn from data that consists of innumerable moments spent merely observing.

Haste is not the way to approach any situation, and Inui is aware of this as he takes a step forward. Logic tends to falter in the face of emotions, something he hasn't mastered yet. He realizes this, as he reaches out, grasping Kaidoh's shoulders firmly to turn him around. It lingers peripherally in his thoughts, yet no matter how much his thoughts turn back upon it, it never seems to matter.

"You're not talking about tennis," Inui states, and the bow of Kaidoh's head, the slight coloring of his cheeks tells him he's right.

"You were."

"Quite true," Inui agrees. "But to paraphrase a wise man, one can not live on tennis alone."

Kaidoh's eyes widen just a fraction, then he bows his head, smiling to himself.

Inui's hand trails across his brow, slowly pushing the bandana up and away. It falls to the floor. Kaidoh is staring at him. Inui can't help but notice the lack of reaction, even so he doesn't stop, citing the prior conversation as basis to continue. He moves slowly, precisely. The top button, then the next, until there's none left to undo. Kaidoh shrugs out of the jacket, even as Inui's hands move under the material to his shoulders.

"You're tense."

"I'm fine."

For something so often written of, I can find no fitting words to describe the event without sounding wistful or frivolous. While I know the event was far from perfect, caught up in the sensations, I find it hard to remember everything I wanted to make note of.

Impulsively, Kaidoh moves, drawing his T-shirt above his head. For once, he doesn't meet Inui's gaze, looking away towards the floor, until he feels warm hands rest upon his shoulder once again and fingers splayed across his back. Inui's mouth finds his neck, and Kaidoh nearly jumps at the new sensation.

It's soft at first, a ghosting caress, one that gives Kaidoh more than enough time to pull away. Inui can taste salt, Kaidoh's sweat, as he moves further down. He breaks away, whispering in Kaidoh's ear. "You're relaxed now."

"Sempai--" Kaidoh's words fall silent as his eyes cross. He stares down at Inui's finger, pressed against his lip, then looks up flatly. He is not amused. The annoyance is short lived, as Inui moves even closer. One of Inui's hand finds the waistband of Kaidoh's pants, the other wraps around his neck, resting across his shoulders. Before Kaidoh can even attempt to move, or melt, or adjust to the position, Inui's lips are upon his.

It's awkward, clumsy. Kaidoh can feel Inui's glasses brushing against his face. At first, he doesn't react, a bit bewildered that this strange and overly complex sensation is actually a kiss. Belatedly, he purses his lips in hopes it might get better. After all, there has to be a reason why everyone likes, and can spend hours on end doing it.

A few more light touches follow. Every time Kaidoh tries to move closer, he can feel Inui's glasses. Finally, he stops, pulling slightly away. Inui's eyes are closed and there's a slight smile upon his face. Kaidoh reaches up, tugging at his glasses, attempting to lift them up and off. "Let's try without these."

"Aa." Inui breaks away. Glasses off, he folds them and tucks them into his shirt. They will need to be moved later, but for now it takes the least amount of time. Inui licks his lips, neither his nor Kaidoh's are soft. He makes a note that he wanted to make a mental note. However, he won't remember thinking about chapstick for a while.

Their lips meet again. The kiss is hardly light; they've gotten used to the sensation. It feels comfortable, manageable and even welcome. As such, it feels natural, when Inui's tongue brushes against his lips. Kaidoh opens his mouth, and waits, letting him take the lead.

All too soon, he begins to mimic the motion. Steadily, Kaidoh becomes more aggressive, but Inui guides him along. He sets the pace, breaking for air, then rejoining in a smooth motion. There is no rhythm to be found in their movements, instead there is persistence.

There is no space between them, and they have the strangest notion that they're no longer standing on ground. The world is merely one insistent demand after another, a caress shared only between the two of them, as they fight for dominance. Oxygen is a distant notion as well.

They break apart, breathing heavy and staring at each other. Kaidoh allows himself only the most cursory of looks, but Inui doesn't grant him the same luxury. It should be disconcerting for Kaidoh, his shirt off, skin fevered, lips swollen, but instead he has only the overwhelming sense of satisfaction.

As far as venues go, I do believe bedrooms have sufficient privacy. Granted there can be awkward moments, but my parents grant me enough space and are hardly ever intrusive. (This, of course, stems from the aforementioned lack of interest in my calculations, catalogued previously.)

The moment stretches, almost becoming uncomfortable. The sound of their breathing is the only noise to be heard. They could stop now, and never speak of this again. Inui could replace his glasses and Kaidoh could find his shirt. Rationale could take over and they could discuss everything that has just happened. Somehow, it wouldn't be unexpected for Inui to opt for the analytical route.

Instead, instinct takes over. Emotions are riveted and open, sensations overwhelming, and Kaidoh finds himself against the door. His back hits the wood, and he pushes away on instinct. There is no give. Inui's glasses press into his chest. A hungry kiss forestalls any protests he would have voiced.

They battle for control, and this time, with cloth against his chest, Kaidoh realizes that there really is a much larger battlefield than he has thought before. His hands find Inui's collar, and he grasps it firmly, brining the other boy closer. Fingers trace haphazard patterns against his skin. He would work on the buttons of the jacket, but there really isn't any give. The glasses are really starting to hurt as well.

Inui moves again, pushing his frames into the button with a clink. He arcs away, unwilling to stop but soon finds that position too hard to balance. Swiftly, he unhooks his glasses, placing them atop his head. He pushes against them, testing to see how secure they are. With this distraction, Kaidoh manages to get three buttons undone.

Inui undoes the rest, dropping his jacket to the floor. Turnabout is only fair, he decides. He pulls his T-shirt up and over his head, getting his glasses entangled with the motion. He lowers his arms, shirt half off, and looks somewhat abashed. Not so gently, Kaidoh tugs the glasses freeing it from Inui's hair. The shirt follows, and they're back to staring.

"That could have gone better," Inui admits.

"Aa."

The silence doesn't last nearly as long this time.

Eager hands fall upon skin, tracing firm muscles and warm flesh. Inui moves forwards again and Kaidoh sidesteps away from the door. Inui's glasses are still in his hand, once again he is at an disadvantage. Each step back is only meant to be temporary, to let himself get his bearings, but instead his legs hit the back of the footboard of the bed. Inelegantly, his back hits the bed, knees hooked over the wood. Well, this is an interesting position.

Control, seemingly, is not with him at the moment.

I do think that background noise, such as a television or radio would help matters. At very least, it would eliminate the constant reassuring and pleading for hushed voices. By the same token, the bed frame squeaks slightly. This must be remedied soon.

Kaidoh props himself up on his elbows, glasses lolling in one hand. There's no room to move, Inui is leaning over him, knees on the edge of the bed, getting closer by the second. There is just enough play for Kaidoh to move back, which he does slowly until his head rests on the pillow. Finally situated, he gropes blindly towards the bedpost, haphazardly setting down the glasses. Then, smoothly, Kaidoh wraps his arm around Inui's neck, dragging him down to meet him.

Passive is not his style.

Their movements are jerky. The kisses don't seem to matter anymore. Their hands stray up and down skin, over cloth, carefully avoiding some spots while tending to others. Inui's hand trails up his leg, over his hip before circling around front again to press lightly at his stomach. He fingers latch under the waistband of Kaidoh's pants and still.

Kaidoh's hand finds his, covers it, and lifts it away. His grip firm, he presses Inui's hand into the bed, noting that Inui puts up no protest. Moments pass until Kaidoh releases his grip, the boundary has been clearly established and Inui isn't one to push. Yet. After all, it merely gives him another obstacle to overcome. Content with the present, perhaps that's why he's shocked when Kaidoh's hands tug at the back of his waistband, thumbs tucked underneath.

Far too slowly, he brings them around front. Fingers barely brush skin. Kaidoh can feel the tops of Inui's boxers as he moves. Reaching the front, he stills at the zipper waiting for a sign. Instead, Inui takes the choice from him, his own hands working swiftly, zipper, button, and they don't break apart. They rock gracelessly, their excitement too obvious, too needy to seperate. With no time outs, the only thing to do is push forward.

Sheets tangle, clothes fall, as they grope towards an ending. The headboard knocks lightly against the wall as they move. They don't care, commenting on it repeatedly but not inclined to stop at any point. Concerns and worries flow over them, unable to reach them in their current fervor.

There is only one desire and that is for completion.

Just as it seems they'll never reach it, that their hearts will continue to pound, sweat will continue to drip, their breathing will never stop being ragged and broken, their throat will never stop being dry and hoarse, their skin will never cool, and their movements will never stop, that time itself is hanging on edge, it ends.

Then after long moments, everything is not exactly normal once again.

With all the distractions and worries dismissed, there will be less breaks in my focus. A development I hope he will enjoy should appreciate. I should also note, more care needs to be placed upon his clothes. My initial thought was for an iron, but on deeper consideration, that would be just as conspicuous.

There is a possibility that I may be getting ahead of myself, however the odds of a repeat performance are favorable. Still, without actual dialogue the possibility exists that this instance may become an isolated occasion. Based on previous interaction, it is highly unlikely that Kaidoh will broach the subject first. As such, I think it would

"Sempai?" Kaidoh knocked on the door as he entered the bedroom. He turned, making sure it was securely closed. His hair hung in his face with water dripping down his back neck and back. He held a towel about his waist, the material fisted in one hand. It was more out of habit than modest. "The bathroom is free."

"Thank you." Inui stood, shutting off the computer monitor. Turning to the closet, he hunted about for a replacement for the sheet.

Kaidoh looked away, his disinterested gaze fell upon the bookshelf. "It's late. I have to go soon."

"I won't be long." Towel tucked around his waist, Inui tossed the sheet towards the computer chair, before opening the door.

Kaidoh nodded. He watched Inui leave, listening for the catch of the door. Kaidoh paused, looking about. He had always pictured Inui's room as neat; instead it was far from. It was a maze of scattered books and clothing; he slowly made his way towards the bed, picking up his clothing as he went.

He dressed slowly, sitting on the edge of the bed for part of it. The comforter was cushioned under him awkwardly. It served no useful purpose, he decided. Kaidoh's movements were methodical as the surrealism set in. Shouldn't they be talking about this? About everything? He looked at his watch; his parents were expecting him home from dinner.

Seconds ticked off quietly. The only sound filling the room was the soft hum of the computer. Inui was obsessive, that much was obvious.

Plucking the sheet from the chair, Kaidoh tossed it towards the bed. The monitor clicked on, and the display wobbled slightly before settling. Kaidoh scanned the open document, and hissed.

* * * * *

"Kaidoh?" He knocked on the door, but he couldn't hear any movement. With no response forth coming, Inui pushed opened the door. His room was empty spared any company but its own clutter. His sheets were still in disarray around his bed. Kaidoh's bag was gone, Inui noted. He had said he had to go.

It wasn't until he say the illuminated computer monitor that Inui entertained the notion something could be wrong. He settled himself down at his desk, ready to read his entry and hopefully try to achieve the same perspective Kaidoh most likely had.

Concerned faded quickly away as he scrolled down the page. The cursor had moved, quite unexpectedly as well. What started as a low chuckle quickly changed into deep laughter. Apparently there were still a few things that he failed to consider.

There is a possibility that I may be getting ahead of myself, however the odds of a repeat performance are favorable. Still, without actual dialogue the possibility exists that this instance may become an isolated occasion. Based on previous interaction, it is highly unlikely that Kaidoh will broach the subject first. As such, I think it would

Practice makes perfect, sempai.

~fin~