Title: Of butterflies and redheads

Fandom: TeniPuri

Author: calann (Lami-chan on ff . net )

Genre: Romance

Rating: PG-13, just in case. Also known as T.

Pairing(s): Golden Pair

Warnings: Err...fluff? A bit of fangirl Japanese.

Disclaimer: ...are you really going to make me say it? FINE. They're not mine, they belong to Konomi Takeshi.

A/N: I get attacked by plot bunnies when I see pretty TeniPuri art. This one was inspired by the cover picture of Eiji's album. Just too cute. And I'm sorry for the shortness, but it's all I can do with my pathetic excuse for an attention span. And yes, if they're OOC in any way...I apologize for that too. YES, I know the title sucks. Live with it. Or suggest a better one.

"Eiji? Fuji said that I might find you he-- Oh."

A gentle smile crept to Ooishi Shuichirou's face as he watched his doubles partner, completely oblivious to the rest of the world while napping, his head resting on folded arms on top of his books. The school library was silent - it had been a good couple of hours since classes ended for the day and all students rushed off, heads full of plans for the weekend - and as Ooishi neared the table he absently noted that he and Eiji were the only ones occupying it.

He froze, let the information register properly this time, and shivered as he felt the ghost wings of a thousand little butterflies tickle the bottom pit of his stomach lightly. Then he shook his head and told himself not to be silly.

Reaching out a hand, Ooishi nudged the redhead's shoulder, unable to stifle a light chuckle as the latter blinked up at him in his adorable, kitten-like way. It seemed to him that no matter how far they got from junior high - currently they were seniors in high school and studying for college entrance exams - Eiji would never cease to be the epitome of cuteness. And, to be completely honest, he would want it no other way.

"Ooishi?" More blinking. "What time is it? Is the tennis practice starting soon-- Unyaa, not the hair, not the hair, Ooishiiii!"

The sleepy, rumpled look changed to a pouty and equally rumpled one as Eiji batted away the hand that had assaulted his precious hair. Ooishi found that he couldn't stop smiling at his partner. "Sorry, Eiji, but you missed the practice."

"... WHAT! Nya, why didn't you come get me earlier, Tezuka's going to be sooo mad at me..."

Even the look of wide-eyed panic was incredibly cute on the redhead's expressive face. Laughing and apologizing in the same breath, Ooishi explained that he hadn't had time to look for his doubles partner after class, had assumed that the other would come to practice on his own, and then with all the madness that ensued from the introduction of Inui's new training program, hadn't had time to think of the matter before the end of practice. Then, knowing that Fuji would be the person most likely to know the whereabouts of the missing boy, had enquired the matter from the tensai and found out that Eiji had spent his last periods holed up in the library.

Apparently doing something other than studying, which Ooishi just had to point out, getting rewarded with another pout and a mock-punch to his arm.

"I didn't sleep well last night, nya, and I was getting cross-eyed from all that tiny print. I just thought I'd rest for a while...though, it turned out to be a bit longer than just a while, didn't it?" Eiji regarded him sheepishly, rubbing his nose with his forefinger and scratching at the edges of his band-aid.

Ooishi, as always, understood perfectly what was being left unsaid.

I want to make sure I get to the same college with everyone else, with you and Fuji and Tezuka and Inui and... We've all been together since junior high, and I don't want to be separated now. It's just so exhausting sometimes, and I can't even sleep because I'm so scared.

Eiji wasn't stupid, not by all means. He was, in fact, a rather bright student, despite him being so out of it quite often. The problem was that he, himself, didn't know it, going to unnecessary lenghts to ensure his success. For all that the redhead was cheerful and friendly, showing a happy-go-lucky attitude to the world, Ooishi knew that inside he could be very uncertain. It was this knowledge that made him feel all the more protective of his partner.

"Come on," he said, nudging his head towards the door. "I'll treat you to a drink."

That caused the other's eyes to light up, and in a second he was his usual bouncy self again. Hastily dumping all his books into the bag that had been waiting on the floor beside the table and jumping up from his seat, the little acrobat grabbed his partner's hand by the wrist and began making his way out.

"Yay, Ooishi's treating, nya! Ikou, ikou!"


Sitting on a bench in the park near the school, Ooishi wondered if this had been such a good idea after all. He enjoyed spending time with Eiji, certainly, but it also caused his heart to twinge, being so near to his partner and yet unable to touch him the way he wanted. On the tennis court, at least, he had an excuse, and while Eiji was very generous in showing his affection for his friends in a very physical way, it just wasn't the same. So what if Eiji glomped him, or poked his forehead when he frowned? He did the same to everyone else he considered his friend.

It hadn't even been that long since he discovered that his feelings for the redhead went far deeper than mere friendship. They'd always been close, and had been teased about being like a married couple, so in tune they were with each other. But still he had only figured out his feelings at the end of their junior year in high school. New discovery or no, it was still very real and very, very painful.

Ooishi sighed, then started when a finger poked him on the forehead. When had Eiji moved to crouch in front of him from his position on the bench?

"Nya, Ooishi's worrying about something again. What is it?" Big blue eyes peered at him earnestly from under rebellious red bangs that refused to stay on the sides of the boy's forehead.

He opened his mouth, intending to say something - maybe finally confess his affections so that he could stop hiding - but then closed it, and, forcing a smile, waved Eiji's question off. "Nandemo nai, Eiji. Daijoubu."

His partner's eyes darkened, a shadow of sadness and some other emotion Ooishi couldn't decipher dancing in them for a moment before narrowing in determination. "Ooishi," the redhead said, a tiny hint of hurt in his voice, staring up at him.

Why aren't you telling me what's bothering you? I thought we trusted each other, thought you trusted me. So please, please tell me what's wrong.

"Eiji..." His voice cracked. He couldn't lie to his partner, not when he looked at him like that. Slowly he raised his hands from his lap, brought them up to touch Eiji's face. The other started at the sudden contact, eyes now more confused than anything else. But then, there was that other emotion too, welling up right beneath the surface, and for the first time, Ooishi let himself hope, really hope - of course he had asked in the sanctuary of his own mind a thousand times the question what if?, but hadn't really seen it as a possibility, not before now - and lowering his face at a rather awkward angle brought their lips together in a fleeting kiss, like the brush of butterfly wings that were now rampant in his stomach as well, creating a pleasant tingle.

They separated only a second later, and the look on Eiji's face was indecipherable - Oh, god, I think I just made the biggest mistake in the world, a panicked thought crossed Ooishi's mind and he began to withdraw his hands - but then the redhead grinned up at him, positively glowing, and somehow managed to glomp him so that a while later he had a lapful of purring Eiji in his arms.

"Ooishi," was the single word muttered into the curve of his neck, but he really didn't need to hear more. He already knew.

We'll be together forever, you and me and everyone. We're never going to be apart ever again. I love you, and we're forever.

A/N: Reviews will be much loved. Flames will be ignored, or fed to my muse so that she can breath fire on the flamers. Hmm...has anyone ever heard of a fire-breathing cat before? Oh well, no matter. I will now be off to fawn over Golden Pair fanwork.