Author's Note: In which the word "unpretty" is never uttered once! (Since it's not one.) In which I write happy slashy fluff Because I Adore The Pairing. [dies happy tenipuri slash fangirl death] Nya, okay, I'll admit to it: I'm a crazed Echizen Ryoma fangirl. But I lust after Fuji and Eiji too. Desperately. X3 This is dedicated to Nightengale13 because she rocks and I love her. And for the statement "squeals over Kikumaru and how MARRIED he is to Oishi." Because it made my day. XD 3 3

Disclaimer: I don't own it, but I don't mind because this way I can slash all the pretty boys any which way I choose! Wait, I could do that if I owned it too…and make it legit… Aw, unfairness, why don't I own it?!

Warnings: Shounen-ai (boy 3 boy), fluff, WAFFy, um…pointlessness and rain. [nod] Yep. Ooh, and umbrellas! I like umbrellas. Umbrellas are cool.

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Unpretty

by Ryuuza

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It was raining. Despite what English teachers everywhere believed and preached with passion, the fact was not fraught with symbolism or hidden meaning. It was not foreboding—only a natural happenstance that occurred on a fairly regular basis in Japan. The rain, which had started gently, was now pouring down in veritable sheets, waterfall upon waterfall falling with abandon from the sky as if angels were simultaneously emptying laundry basins. It was early autumn, the green of the trees just making tentative explorations into vivid hues of reds and oranges and yellows, tinged with an occasional daring purple, and crystal streams coursed down the leaves.

Kikumaru Eiji pursed his lips into a pout as he stared out of the clubroom's door in dismay. While the sky had been overcast when he'd left home, he hadn't thought to bring an umbrella—cloudy days were common while rain any heavier than a sprinkle was not as much.

"Nyaaa," he complained, turning to make a pitiful face at the other boys in the locker room. "How will I get home? I didn't bring an umbrella—I'm going to get all wet, nya!" He swung his duffel bag for emphasis.

A smiling boy looked up but didn't comment. Fuji Syuusuke instead turned his attention to the youngest of the regulars and asked him why Momoshiro hadn't waited for him.

As Ryoma muttered something about his senpai having chores, the other half of Seigaku's Golden Pair looked up from where he was zipping up his own bag. "I'll walk you home, Eiji," he offered. "I have an umbrella we can share."

A smile blossomed on Eiji's face. "Waaii!" he cried, flinging himself back to Oishi and throwing his arms around him. "Oishi is the best!" He didn't notice the look the other two remaining regulars shared.

The redhead waited patiently—or what passed as patiently for the ever-energetic, always-fidgeting Eiji—as Fuji and Ryoma finished changing and packed up to go home. Once the two of them had left, headed off down the street under two bobbing umbrellas, vague in the blur of rain, Oishi handed his doubles partner the umbrella and Eiji held it over them both as Oishi locked the clubroom.

A comfortable silence rested between the two boys as they made their way down the street, tennis shoes splashing against the wet concrete and sometimes along flooded gutters. The umbrella was a good-sized one, but there were still two teenage, and not exactly small, boy crowded under it, dressed in light jackets and carrying large duffel bags of tennis equipment: something was bound to get wet. At first, Eiji kept his duffel to the inside, between him and Oishi, but that left his right side out in the rain.

"Eiji," Oishi said to him with a worried expression on his face, "scoot over. Put your bag on the outside—it's waterproof, it'll be fine." Eiji looked over at him with wide, artless eyes. "Besides," sighed the dark-haired boy, "I don't want you to get a cold or something."

Eiji smiled brightly and did as Oishi instructed. "Unnyaaa, Oishi is so nice!" As the other boy flushed slightly, Eiji looped his arms around Oishi's waist and beamed up at him. "This way there's more room, nya!"

The flush darkened but Oishi smiled and enjoyed the warmth of the other boy next to him. They walked in silence a while longer, turning a corner and avoiding the splashes sent up by passing cars. After a while longer, Oishi glanced over at his doubles partner, surprised that Eiji had kept silent for so long. While the redhead wasn't completely incapable of being serious in the situations that required such manner, he usually bounced and talked and gestured in a generally excited manner that Oishi had come to associate with the other boy. He wondered if something was wrong or if Eiji was just trying to keep dry. He considered saying something and debated on how to word it diplomatically.

But Eiji spoke up before he could. "Nya, Oishi," he said, turning his head to peer up earnestly at his doubles partner. "Am I pretty?"

"E-eh?!"

Flustered, Oishi walked into a puddle on the sidewalk and quickly backed out of it, staring at Eiji. "W-what makes you ask that?" His stomach twisted and he wondered if Eiji knew somehow or maybe just—

"Ochibi said Fuji looked like a girl, nya. He said he was too pretty." Eiji bit his lip worriedly and returned Oishi's stare earnestly. "Am I pretty, Oishi? Nyaa…I don't know if I want to look like a girl!" His features twisted thoughtfully. "I think Fuji said I looked like a girl once, nya." He looked anxious again.

Oishi exhaled and led the redhead around the puddle to stall for time. "You're…not a girl, Eiji, don't worry." He smiled but it was a little stilted. No, Eiji was certainly no girl and Oishi was well aware of that fact. He hesitated but at the expectant look on the other boy's face, continued treading on unsteady territory. "I think you're—" wonderful, amazing, talented, beautiful, so out of my reach, "cute."

Eiji's face lit up even as Oishi's reddened.

"You're energetic and a lot of fun and bouncy and, so…" Oishi trailed off, shrugging, embarrassed.

"Unnyaa, Oishi," the redhead said delightedly, his free hand rising to clutch Oishi's arm. "Do you really think so?"

Still flushed, eyes cast downward at the puddles, his wet sneakers, a slight nod.

"Waaaii! Oishi thinks I'm cute, nya!" Oishi suddenly found himself with an armful of bubbling, bouncy redhead, Eiji's arms wrapping around Oishi and whacking him in the back with his duffel bag and the umbrella tumbling from Oishi's startled grip. Rain poured down on the two of them as Eiji tilted his face up toward his doubles partner, blue eyes sparkling.

"Nya, Oishi," he said softly, smiling.

A little pool of rainwater formed in the upended umbrella now lying on the ground at their feet.

Oishi's heart was pounding. He carefully drew in a deep breath, feeling rivulets of cold water trickling down his hair and over his skin and into his clothes. "Hai?" he murmured, still breathing carefully as he looked into the other boy's eyes.

"I think you're cute, too."

Then there was a blurry moment of pale rain and gray outlines and red hair, a flash of those blue eyes, and then he couldn't see anything because his eyes were shut and there was a warm breath ghosting across his lips for the fleetest of seconds. Then Eiji's mouth attached to his own and Oishi's mind shut down.

It was all sensation now. The pitter patter of the rain on the pavement, the cold water soaking through to his skin, the feel of body heat warming him as Eiji pressed closer into him, the thrill in his stomach, fluttering, his heart pounding, and…and, most importantly, the gentle suction and pressure on his mouth.

Oishi drew back, breath short. He opened his eyes and stared at Eiji who looked dreamy and wet and like he needed to be ravished in the next two minutes. Oishi couldn't seem to find any words to say.

Eiji flashed a grin at him. "We're the Golden Pair, Oishi, nya!" And that seemed to explain everything.

Especially…why they were meant to be together.

He'd never hoped that his fun-loving, energetic doubles partner could've felt the same. But Oishi was eternally grateful that he did. He was holding something like heaven in his arms, in the rain, on the street and on the way to his Eiji's house.

When a warm mouth fastened to his neck, lapping slowly at the raindrops that had slid down the skin and following its path downward, Oishi worried briefly that the two of them might catch colds.

He decided it was worth it.

And he'd never tell the other boy, but he thought Eiji was very pretty.

But he could've been biased.

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owari

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Notes: Mm. nn. I like rain. I like Eiji and Oishi kissing in the rain! Yep, pointless fluffy fluff. [happy] At some point in the probably-distant future, I want to write more Prince of Tennis stuff. Like FujiRyo [squee squee, Jennifer D. and kasugai gummie should be worshipped for this pairing], TezuFuji [drool at the pretty boy-ness], or even MomoRyo! XD Or perhaps more OishiEiji, because, to paraphrase Nightengale13, they ARE so married to each other it's just adorable. [cuddles] And I insist on writing more smut into those future fics! Because I'm a crazed fangirl, remember? XD XD Yes. But I shall work on my other stuff too. Really. Oh, and yes—REVIEW!! Because they make me happy. And I'm sure they make Oishi and Eiji happy too. And umbrellas ARE cool. Don't try to deny their ub3r co0lness. .