Author's Notes: This is another part of the More than series. I revised it a couple of times before I was even satisfied with it. Thanks to Reeza who has been there through my frustrating times.

Standard Disclaimers Apply.


More than seduction

Years of hanging around Mizuki-san – whether I liked it or not – meant that I got to know a lot about a lot of people. I got to be dragged around, gathering 'data' as he would like to put it. I would often ask why he did it and he would always answer it was because he loved collecting them. I, on the other hand, would always have a different point of view in mind.

What I didn't expect (nor did he, I presume) was that he was also being analyzed and observed. By me.

Perhaps, it was one of those things I picked up from Aniki. Or perhaps it was the result of being in Mizuki-san's constant presence. Whoever it was from, I was glad I picked it up somewhere. Mizuki-san was something interesting.

I sipped my coffee. I smiled. Espresso, hot and strong, the best drink for a day in winter.

Mizuki-san, as far as I can remember, flirted with everyone, me, Aniki and neesan included. It seemed like a habit and he was never serious about anyone. He would sometimes flirt or go out with two people at a time. He never was considerate about how those people felt. For him, it was the fun.

This, naturally, had irritated a lot of people, most especially me. I didn't know why I was actually always giving into his request of eating out just to tell me about his latest fling. I almost concluded that he considered me as his human diary or something. Akazawa-buchou said it was more like I was the only person he trusted.

But then, Mizuki-san met him. How, I didn't know. For once, I wasn't there. But I met him nonetheless and saw the miracle with my own eyes.

At first, it seemed like Mizuki-san just treated Kajimoto-san differently from the others since he was so accommodating. He would flirt more than the usual; invite him for coffee or a game of tennis in the weekend. Kajimoto-san would always accept although it was clear to see how uneasy he was with Mizuki-san's flirting. It was amusing to see how being polite can be so disadvantageous.

But there was one time when Kajimoto-san suddenly declined without a reason. It was in the middle of my first year in senior high and we were both in the tennis club again. Mizuki-san had been so upset that he beat me six games to love in less than half an hour. He was silent all throughout the game and even after it. It was unusual for him to be that upset with a declined 'date'. Usually, he would just laugh and say it was their loss while twirling his hair with his fingers. But this Mizuki-san just walked out of the court without a word and disappeared from sight for the rest of the day.

No one had ever struck a reaction like that from him.

Mizuki-san continued to beat the hell out of people for three days as he received no call from Kajimoto-san. It didn't bother the current buchou that much since the club was without the usual flirtations for once. However, for those who have known Mizuki-san, we were bothered. And I was most worried, probably since I was his human diary-slash-closest-friend-of-some-sort.

Then suddenly on the fourth day, he received a call from the Jyousei Shounan coach, Hanamura-sensei. Mizuki-san's facial expression changed from blank and pissed off to worried and panicked. His lips were pressed in a firm line as he ended the call. I never saw Mizuki-san look so serious as he explained the situation to the buchou.

Kajimoto-san had been missing for two days. And the cause was the death of his younger and only sister.

Mizuki-san was determined to find Kajimoto-san. I was worried about him so decided to tag along and search as well. We searched for hours. By the time we saw him in the outskirts of Tokyo, the sun was already setting.

Relief rush through Mizuki-san's face the moment we saw him. Slowly, he approached Kajimoto-san who was sitting on the swings in some secluded park. And without saying a word, Mizuki-san wrapped his arms around him. And Kajimoto-san, recognizing who was holding him, leaned in.

I saw a different Mizuki-san that day. A Mizuki-san who actually cared about someone. A Mizuki-san who knew how to feel, how to comfort someone who felt the pain of losing someone dear to you. And I thought, Kajimoto-san was the only person who made it possible. It was him who made Mizuki-san's heart beat.

I stood from my seat and paid for the coffee. It had been seven years since that happened and a lot had happened. After graduating from college, Kajimoto-san entered the professional world with Mizuki-san as his coach and manager. I, on the other hand, started to work as a reporter. Funny, ne? But I guess, collecting data was my stuff too.

Mizuki-san changed a lot after that. He started to consider how others would feel, has become more matured. And I know we have to thank Kajimoto-san for that.

And yes. Mizuki-san stills flirts with everyone. I guess, that's one thing that will never change, ne?

I paused for a while before leaving the coffee shop. Near the far end of the shop was Mizuki-san and Kajimoto-san, reading a book. They were discussing it as if they were debating if Japan should share their seat with Germany in the United Nations or not.

"Yuuta-kun! Fancy meeting you here!"

I smiled as Mizuki-san waved at me to come and join them.

Seven years had passed. Seven years ago, I thought it was nothing more than a fling, another one of Mizuki-san's fun games as he would put it. But now, seven years after, here they were.

"Mizuki-san, Kajimoto-san. Hisashiburi."

It was more than fun games. It was more than flirtations. It was more than seduction that brought them together and was still binding them.

"How's the tennis world, Kajimoto-san?"

"It's a long way to the top especially with Tezuka, Sanada, Atobe and Echizen there but it's alright. Tennis might be tough, but handling Hajime is harder."

I chuckled. "How true."

"Is this how it is now, Takahisa?" Mizuki-san faked a scowl.

Cheesy and cliché it might be, it was…

Kajimoto-san laughed and squeezed Mizuki-san's hand. "Yes. That's how it is."

And Mizuki-san smiled.


::1066 words:: ::05Dec04:: ::11p::