A/N:

Ok, this one is for eiji-kitty-chan on LJ (the underscores refused to show up, so i used hyphens instead), who gave the challenge once upon a fateful MSN convo. Shinji X Jackal with a theme of chocolate. And I love Shinji. I have never written Jackal in his own fic before, and likely never will again, but it was…interesting to type this out. () and now, ON TO THE FIC!


White Day had just been a few days ago, and Jackal was still in a funk. He hated the Valentine's Day and White Day traditions of giving out sweets and chocolates. His doubles partner loved it, though, and Jackal couldn't blame him. Marui loved desserts and candy, and he always got a huge pile of it on both days. Jackal gazed morosely at his iced mocha and thought back to what he'd gotten on both days. Cumulatively, what he'd received was pathetic at best. He'd gotten more on White Day, but only because he'd, with great difficulty and unease, given quite a few people chocolates on Valentine's Day.

He paid for his coffee and left, taking the half-empty paper cup along with him.

He walked to the park and sat down on one of the benches with a sigh. He wondered why he had picked a park, of all places, to mope. This one was full of brightly-coloured flowers, children, and happy couples. He watched the couples walk hand-in-hand, whisper intimately, laugh. He stood up. He'd had enough.

He tossed his empty cup in the trash bin, and turned around to leave, when he accidentally bumped into someone.

"You should watch where you're going. So many accidents happen because people don't look at where they're going and they bang into other people and sometimes they don't even bother apologizing and I think that's very rude."

Jackal looked down and saw straight raven hair.

"And you're not even apologizing about walking right into me, so you must be quite rude, but I don't remember you being rude at during that match, although I don't think you were very nice either, but I didn't get the impression that you would walk into someone and leave it at that."

Befuddled, Jackal managed out a confused, "I'm sorry," and began to walk away. Who was that weird kid anyway?

"You didn't even ask about Tachibana-buchou, even though it was your kohai who put him in hospital, how impolite."

Tachibana… Fudomine's buchou? That means that this is… Jackal looked back at the dark-haired boy muttering to himself. "Ibu Shinji from Fudomine?"

The nonchalant expression on his face didn't change, and for a moment, Jackal wondered if he'd gotten it wrong. And then he spoke.

"I almost thought you didn't recognize me, which would be annoying, since I recognize you. But you do know who I am after all, so I'm not very annoyed, but I'm still upset that you haven't asked to find out how Tachibana-buchou is doing."

Jackal sighed as the memory came back to him. Right, this was the Fudomine player who, apparently, really didn't know how to shut up. He wondered how Shinji's doubles partner could stand it.

"How is Tachibana, then?" He asked, if only to stop the incessant muttering. "I hope his leg is better."

"Buchou is fine now, thank you for asking, although he's not exactly happy that he had to miss practice for so long while his leg healed. I bet it was a strategy to keep buchou out of action so that his tennis skills would deteriorate. Che, I thought a school like Rikkai would be above that, but apparently, that is not so, since your Kirihara did that to Tachibana-buchou, but he's better now, and his skills have not dropped at all, so your strategy failed."

Jackal resisted the overwhelming urge to slap his forehead in exasperation. He suddenly decided that babysitting Kirihara was nowhere as annoying as the situation he had just gotten himself into.

"We had no such strategy, and that's simply the way that Kirihara plays!" Jackal snorted, getting very irritated not only at Shinji's constant chattering as well as what Shinji as actually saying.

"He should play like that. It's rude to deliberately injure another player, and he shouldn't use tennis for punishment, although I can't see why he would have to punish Tachibana-buchou in the first place. After all, buchou never did anything to him, but then again, some people are like that; you don't have to do anything to them—they'll still be nasty to you anyway."

By then, Jackal was frantic. He rummaged around in his pockets, and then his bag. Anything to shut Shinji up. He was almost contemplating using his tie to gag the Fudomine student when something Shinji muttered caught his attention.

"And there they go again, holding his hand like Kamio belongs to him…stupid Lucky boy…like they think I can't see them, what, I don't have eyes? Didn't even get chocolates back from Akira this year…I bet he stole them away when Akira wasn't looking and that's why I didn't find any in my locker."

Jackal froze in his attempts to find an object with which to gag Shinji. It would seem that his misery had found company. He dug deeper in his bag, now knowing what he was looking for. He produced a small foil-wrapped heart.

"Hey, you want this?" Jackal asked Shinji. "Consider it a peace offering between our schools."

Shinji actually stopped talking, and stared at the chocolate. "But it didn't give you anything on Valentine's Day, so I don't think it would be right for me to accept this, but it's a nice gesture—nicer than what Kamio has done recently-" Jackal had already unwrapped the candy and popped it into Shinji's mouth.

"Here, just eat it."

Shinji let the chocolate melt in his mouth for a moment, and for that short period of time, silence reigned, and Jackal was happy. He was watching a bunch of children play when he felt a tug on his sleeve. He looked down.

"It's only right that I thank you for the chocolate, especially since I didn't give you anything, but I found something in my bag, so I hope you'll accept it as well, but if you don't want it, I understand because it's not wrapped up prettily, but all the same I hope that you-"

Jackal took the trio of Hershey's kisses with a small smile. "Thanks."

"Ano, Jackal-san, I was wondering if you could do me a favour. I don't think it's a very big one, but depending, it could be, so I thought it would be better to ask first or else you might get mad and send your kohai to hit tennis balls at me. I don't think you're that kind of person to do something so petty, but you might get offended and then-"

Jackal sighed. "What is it?" Anything to shut Shinji up. Really.

Shinji yanked on Jackal's tie and brought his hand to Jackal's face. "Kiss me," he murmured, before gently touching his lips to Jackal's.

Jackal froze. He'd never been kissed before, by either a girl or a guy. He never knew another guy's lips could feel so soft… And Shinji tasted of chocolate, sweet and warm… But then Shinji pulled away, ending the kiss.

"Thank you," he said, and looked away.

Jackal followed Shinji's gaze and saw Kamio of Fudomine, and Segoku of Yamabuki. Both were staring at him like he had two heads. And then Kamio frowned and stormed off, dragging Sengoku with him.

By the time Kamio was a tiny dot in the distance, Jackal turned back, only to find Shinji walking away.

"Thank you, Jackal-san. I hope you didn't mind it. I think I'll go now, and thank you for your chocolate, it was nice."

Jackal watched as Shinji, too, walked off. And he fingered the little chocolate kisses in his pocket absently.