Title: Inui's Super Duper Troubles Mixed With Love Juice, Version 6.66 from the Sadistic Side of Seigaku
Series: Prince of Tennis
Rating: PG-13 - R
Pairing: mainly Tezuka/Fuji, Seigaku's regular pairings.
Summary: Fuji finds a paper that, incredibly, has all of the things Tezuka is looking for in a girlfriend written on it, and Fuji is determined to change to fit the description. Inui steps in to help, and madness befalls Seigaku High when the result turns out to be... well, against all laws of nature, one way to put it. Mpreg, fluff, kidnapping, evil (or is it?) plots, and lots of confusion.
A/N: I am disturbed by thoughts of 12-14 yrs old doing things, so this story takes place in HS. This follows no particular timeline from the manga, so don't get confused. And as you read on, you might notice that this fic can be a little bitsy random...
EDITED: I fixed the mistake I made in the letter at the end of the chapter. So now no more confusion as to why Syusuke's parents would call him Fuji. ; That was a horrible mistake. Thanks to the readers who let me know :)
Chapter 1 - Inui's Unknown Possibilities Juice
One day, Inui was taken by surprise.
This was a surprise, itself, since Inui was rarely taken off guard, not in normal circumstances, but perhaps this was not a normal circumstance, because, after all, it was Fuji.
Inui snapped out of his momentarily daze to look into the hopeful face of Fuji. "Oh, right," Inui said, and gave a pause. "What did you just say?"
A blush graced those pale cheeks, which startled Inui, and almost perfunctorily he opened his secret notebook and began jotting down this note.
"Um... I was just wondering what the probability of my changing personality a success is?" Fuji was gripping the front of his shirt as if in nervousness. This is very odd, Inui thought, scribbling down some more note.
"I see..." Inui said slowly, as if contemplating the matter. "A complete personality change, you mean?"
Fuji frowned in thought. Obviously he didn't think of that. "Well, just a few things, I suppose..."
"Like what?" Inui persisted.
Fuji seemed reluctant to go on. Inui sighed, almost theatrically. "I can't very well gather all the data if you don't provide me with enough information, Fuji."
"Um, well," Fuji hesitated, and the next words rushed out of his mouth like the blush that was spreading across his cheeks. "I want to get rid of my... sadistic nature, you could say, to make myself a bit... desirable to be a boyfriend to someone who's... calm and strong willed and hard headed, who is also very sweet and handsome with a great talent for tennis -" At this moment Fuji realized he was rambling on about his secret crush and that Inui was not wasting a moment writing all these down. "Um... so what is it, Inui? Is it possible?"
Inui pondered the possibility. The first time he set eyes on Fuji, he'd immediately written down Sadistic personality with a deceiving and captivating smile, and Inui had just looked, not yet observed.
He glanced at Fuji now, and suddenly, that playful, sly look was no longer present on the tensai's face. How very odd, Inui thought and wrote down this fact.
"Previously, more specifically before 3:02 P.M. of December 21, 19XX, I would say that the percentage of your changing personality a success is less than 12..." Fuji's face fell, the smile on his face curving down into a desperate sort of unhappiness. This alarmed Inui, and Inui, once again, was rarely alarmed. "But now, I believe the probability has increased by 20!"
Fuji wasn't happy. "But then the chance of success is only 32, less than the probability of Takashi initiatively argues with another person," he said despairingly. "Oh Inui, what is there for me to do?" Inui gave a little jump when Fuji clung onto his arm, raising his hopeless eyes to his. Uncontrollably Inui flushed. He had learned long ago that Fuji could get practically whatever he wanted with just one look, be it sultry or seductive or asking or, in this case, hopelessly and silently pleading.
"Um," Inui began, finding himself unable to resist Fuji's expression. "There's this newly created Inui's Unknown Possibilities Juice, Version 5.53..."
Fuji's face magically and automatically brightened like the sun that wasn't hanging above their heads on this freezing afternoon. "What does it do, Inui? Will it help me?"
"I don't know what it does, though!" Inui quickly said. "The last versions of this juice gave very interesting results, which I won't go into details." Inui could still remember that poor boy with the abnormally large ears, of which, by the way, he wasn't naturally born with, and shook the memory away. "It may help you, or harm you, I have no way of knowing..."
"But there's a chance that it will change me, right?" Fuji refused let go of the possibility, however small it might be. He desperately wanted to change, and all because of --
"There is a very likely chance that you'll get your wish, yes," Inui said thoughtfully. "But I will have to further my study, just to make sure." Those flashing glasses turned to Fuji, who took a step back at the intensity in the unseen eyes. "Tell me, who is this person that you wish to change for?"
Fuji's face became stubborn. "No," he shook his head, "I'm not telling you."
Inui was surprised at the firm answer, but he wasn't going to let this go so easily, especially if he was going to spend his time remaking his juice for Fuji. "Fuji, you believe in my ability, don't you?" Fuji nodded hesitantly. "Then tell me who it is. That way it'll be easier for me to analyze the data and come to the conclusion of what sort of ingredients I should add to increase the percentage of success."
Fuji looked a bit lost, and Inui felt a bit sympathetic, but his desire for knowledge was greater. Inui wondered if Fuji was actually going to give in, knowing how the boy wasn't an easy person to persuade when he'd made up his mind, but this seemed very important to him...
Then, in slow motion Fuji reached to his pocket and got out a neatly folded sheet of paper. Reluctantly Fuji handed Inui the paper, his cheeks tinted with red hues.
Curious, Inui looked at the paper, and after a few seconds, his eyes widened, but no one knew that, seeing how those thick glasses had hidden them away. "Oh, I see," Inui said faintly.
Fuji nodded. "Yeah."
Well, if this was the person in question, then converting Fuji to his taste would be quite hard. But, Inui thought determinately, I can solve any problem with my data and my special juice!
"Don't worry, Fuji, I'll help you get this person's heart, no matter what," Inui promised.
Upon hearing that, Fuji gave a brilliant smile and threw his arms around the other boy. "Oh, Inui, thank you!"
Inui, once again, turned red at the sudden affection. It didn't occur to him, at that time, that perhaps Fuji was feigning to get his help all along.
Unbeknownst to them, a figure with cattish eyes was observing them with unconcealed interest.
Oishi looked up from the stack of heavy notebooks he was carrying to English Literature class and saw Eiji running up to him. Almost unconsciously a smile bloomed on his face -- his sweaty, tired face.
Eiji wasn't the one to miss such a blatant, ragged expression, so with a worried frown he asked, "You feeling alright, Oishi?"
"I'm fine," Oishi tried to reassure his friend, at the same time swaying on his feet. "Whoa..."
"Oishi!" Eiji exclaimed, taking the notebooks from Oishi. "What's wrong with you?"
Oishi shook his head. "I'm not sure quite sure. I've been feeling a bit dizzy and hot after drinking Inui's Stress Relief Juice." There were odd blots across his vision, and he leaned back against the wall. "I told him that I've been mentally strained lately and he gave me the juice. I don't think it worked, though..."
Eiji was, by this point, ready to panic. "Oishi, let's go to the infirmary! You look horrible!" And with that, Eiji dropped all the notebooks on the floor and grabbed Oishi's hand, dragging him toward the direction of the nurse office despite Oishi's protest at the abandonment of the books.
Oishi was lying on the white bed near the window, his face flushed and eyes unfocused. Eiji loomed over him, his usually bright eyes now filled with irritation and concern. The nurse had left a while ago, having being called to the soccer field to tend to some injured players. There were only the two of them here.
"How are you feeling, Oishi?" Eiji frowned deeply, wiping some sweats from his friend's face with a cool towel. Eiji had never seen Oishi this sick, ever, and it scared him. He hoped Oishi wouldn't have to stay home for days and wouldn't go to practices, or worst, what if Oishi's condition was so bad that he would ...
"Nya! Oishi! Don't die!" Eiji begged tearfully, grabbing Oishi's hand in his small ones.
The touch was like fire, and part of Oishi wanted to withdraw from Eiji, but the other, larger part was telling him to respond to the touch. Oishi's mind was weakly protesting at this, but his reasons seemed to have flown away a long time ago, after drinking Inui's juice, in fact. All he could see was Eiji, with his lovely eyes and auburn hair... a burning feeling ignited inside him, and as if he'd lost his mind Oishi raised his hand up and pulled Eiji's head down.
Eiji was confused at Oishi's action, and didn't understand what his friend was doing until their lips met in the rays of sunlight spilling through the window.
Many did not believe it, but Inui had a lab at home. It was the top secret 'operation room' within his bedroom. Not even his parents knew about it. Inui didn't fancy the idea of anyone knowing. After all, who knew what they would do if they found out...
Currently Inui was looking at his data book and the sheet of paper that Fuji gave him. It was rather surprising when he realized who it was that Fuji was trying to impress, but then again, Inui should've known sooner. He was the only person Fuji had never terrorized. Then again, as if he could do that to the captain.
Anyway, using this sheet, Inui was comparing it with all the notes he'd taken of Tezuka. Apparently Fuji had been in love with him for years, and Inui shook his head, feeling ashamed that he had never picked up on this.
.Alright, let's see if this little paper could tell me what I've never been able to get out of Tezuka, Inui thought gleefully
'Q #1: Which sex do you prefer? (M/F)
Inui wondered why Fuji didn't lose his hope after that first question.
'Q #2: If for #1, you picked F, then do you have a problem with being with a male? And vice versa if you picked M?
'Q #3: Do you like someone who is (check as many as you like)
A. Cheerful all the time
I. Go with the flow. What goes around, comes around, right?
J. Other (please elaborate)
A: C, E, F, J: thoughtful, knowing when to back off and let me breathe and when to comfort; has to be sweet, but not sugary sweet, joyful but not perfunctorily joyful. She has to be understanding, intuitive, assertive, and empathetic. She also needs to love tennis.'
Well, this isn't so hard. Fuji is almost everything Tezuka describes... except sweet. Calling Fuji sweet is like suggesting Hitler as a possible love interest.
'Q #4: Do you take the initiative in asking your crush to go out or the other way around?
A It depends on the time and place. Preferably I'd like to ask her out, because if she's too aggressive then it's not very charming
This wasn't good, Inui thought. Fuji was very dominating, and wasn't to be the one being asked. Inui had to fix that. Quickly he wrote down a note and proceeded on.
'Q #5: How long will you wait until you get sexually involved?
A: About a few months, or years, it doesn't matter, as long as she's comfortable with it. Sex is not everything.'
This was even worst. If he knew Fuji, and according to his data, he did, then the tensai wasn't going to wait at all, especially when he was so in love with Tezuka. For a moment Inui wondered if he was doing a good deed in helping Fuji, but then shrugged it off. It would be interesting to see how this would turn out.
'Q #6: Do you prefer to be in a serious relationship or a short and fun fling?
A: Serious relationship. I don't believe in sexual satisfaction because it's so ephemeral.'
'Q #7: Ice cream, chocolate, strawberry, peanuts - which do you like? Is there a reason why?
A: Chocolate and strawberry. Chocolate because it's a mixture of bitterness and sweetness. Strawberry because it's wonderful when dipped in chocolate.'
He's so honest, Inui thought, amused.
'Q #8: After a hard day at work, you go home to find your wife/husband...
A: Cooking dinner. She would finish and come into the bedroom and give me a shoulder rub, while asking about my day. We will then play a game of tennis before bathing together. We'll eat dinner and I'll do my work while she tends to the kids. Our nights will be spent whispering sweet nothing and making love... or nights when I don't have work the next day, anyway.
Inui frowned slightly. There was something off about this answer, and uncomfortably Inui flipped through his data book, but he couldn't find a clue as to why this answer was bothering him. Perhaps he was just imagining things...
'Q #9: Do you have a special fetish?
A: -some crossed out words- Delicate, pianist fingers.'
Inui raised an eyebrow. Interesting.
'Q #10: Final question - what can your crush do that turns you on?
A: (Inui frowned at the many carefully white-outed words) Her in the shower or an apron.
It took a while for Inui to register that information, and when he did, a slow, devilish smile crossed his face. He knew what sort of ingredients he would put in his new juice now. If he succeeded, and there was a high chance he would, then the juice would help Fuji get his wish in no time at all...
Providing the juice didn't have any side effects, that was.
With glee, Inui stood up and went to prepare his new juice. The lab flashed with ominous lights as Inui set off to work, not knowing that the paper he was reading a while ago had fallen off the table, so that the other side of the sheet was turned over.
Q #11: Final final question - Is there a person that you love? If so, who?
But the answer to the 'who' question was crossed out very carefully.
When Tezuka stepped inside the gate of Seigaku on the Thursday of December, everyone was staring at him. This wasn't exactly a strange thing, since Tezuka, with his godly good looks and mysterious life, not to mention his vast knowledge in everything and his talent in tennis, was quite a known man in school. The odd thing was that everyone seemed to be looking only when he didn't look at them, and whispering as if he was some sort of exotic object from Zimbabwe or something. Tezuka shrugged their odd behavior off and went to his locker. It was most likely that there was some rumor or other concerning him... again.
As usual, when Tezuka opened his locker, a stack of fan mails streamed out like rain and Tezuka quickly stepped away before they could fall on top of him. If it wasn't because he was so used to this, Tezuka would probably have talked to the Student Council and requested a lock. After sweeping the fallen mails into a neat pile, Tezuka proceeded to find his books for today's morning lessons, putting those mails on top of his locker in the process. They were almost always gone by the end of the day, possibly due to the girls trying to steal one another's letter so that Tezuka wouldn't have to read them. It was fine by him. It wasn't like he read them anyways.
"Tezuka!" He turned around upon hearing that familiar, soft voice, and sure enough, there was Fuji, walking toward him. "Good morning," Fuji said, the same, gentle smile present on his face.
"Good morning," Tezuka replied, watching as Fuji opened his locker and allowed the love letters to fall into his arms.
"Oh dear," Fuji said mildly, and gathered them all into his arms. Tezuka closed his locker and waited for Fuji to throw them into the trash can. It always amazed him how Fuji could trash the feelings of so many fans so easily. As if reading Tezuka's thought, Fuji said, "It's much better to let them know there's no hope rather than giving them false ideas by keeping these, don't you think?"
Tezuka didn't answer. Fuji's straight-forward and detached personality was almost unconceivable, sometimes. But Tezuka had known this child prodigy since they were in middle school to really be surprised by him. "Let's go to class, then," Tezuka said, earning himself another dazzling smile from Fuji.
As they walked to class in silence, Tezuka's fan girls began to tear furiously at the letters from other girls and Fuji's fans could only stand there and cry.
So began another normal day at Seishun Academy.
It was very cold during this time of the year, Ryoma concluded as he closed the window of the classroom. History had ended a few moment ago, and since Ryoma didn't feel like going to the cafeteria to eat, preferring to have some peace, he had stayed in the room. Of course, usually this was unacceptable, but Ryoma was a special case. All the teachers loved him, simply because he was the cutest boy in the whole school, or so they believed. Ryoma didn't exactly care, since this gave him lots of privileges that even the Student Council President didn't have. He just wondered what was it about him that was so special.
Just then the door to the classroom slid open and in came Momo and Takashi, chatting away happily. "- and he's just so adorable because he thinks he's really cool, but actually, he's just really cute, and his spoiled, cocky personality makes him all the more... Ryoma!" Momo exclaimed upon seeing the freshman, and quickly turned a generous shade of red. "Oh, um, when did you get in here?"
Ryoma shrugged, feeling oddly warm all of the sudden. Must be the chili and pepper he ate, Ryoma decided. "I've been here the whole time. What are you doing here?"
Takashi smiled. "The third years have history after lunch, and Momo wants to borrow my Jump magazine," he explained, and saw the lunch box on the table. "Are you eating? Are we interrupting you?"
"No," Ryoma shook his head, "I finished."
"Hold on, Momo, I'll get you the magazine," Takashi told him and went off to his desk.
Momo looked out of the window, because otherwise he would be staring at Ryoma instead. "It'll probably snow today..."
Ryoma nodded absently, deep in thought. Momo took the liberty to look at him then. He'd known Ryoma since the boy was in sixth grade, and had seen him grown to the ninth grader that he was now. Not that he was the only one who saw Ryoma grow, but still...
But Ryoma wasn't the only one who'd grown. Momo's feelings had, too, and in more than a friendly way toward the freshman.
"Have you ever seen Fuji-senpai hug anyone, Momo-senpai?" Momo was startled out of his reverie by the question.
"Hmm... well," Momo said slowly, "there's you. He hugs you a lot."
Ryoma looked at him in annoyance. "That's not what I meant. I mean, affectionately hugging someone?"
Momo pondered about that. "There was this one time, four years ago," Momo said, remembering. "All of the regulars were at Fuji's house. We were having a tennis tournament to see who would get to open the special present Ryuzaki-sensei gave all of us." Ryoma wondered why that would ignite their passion to have a tournament. "Anyway, it was the second to last round, and..."
The bell rang.
"Oh, I gotta go, see you Ryoma!" Momo said, grabbing the magazine Takashi was about to hand him on his way out of class. Ryoma watched as he disappeared out of the room, and, with more poise and less hyperactivity, collected his things and went out.
The temperature seemed to have dropped considerably once Momo-senpai was gone.
Fuji glanced over at Eiji, and wondered what on earth was going on. The boy had not smiled once since he arrived to school this morning, and whenever Fuji said his name, he would jump like a jittery cat with a guilty conscience. The oddest thing wasn't just that, but the fact that he and Oishi seemed to be avoiding each other. If it was any other people, Fuji wouldn't be bothered so much, but this was the Golden Pair they were talking about, and the Golden Pair was practically inseparable. Something must have happened, Fuji decided, and he wasn't going to let this go until he found out what.
When the bell rang, ending their last class, Fuji latched onto Eiji and dragged him to the student council room. Fuji was glad he'd convinced, or rather, frightened, the vice-president into giving him a spare key. It was good to have a private place to oneself sometimes.
"Is there something wrong between you and Oishi?" Fuji began, not bothering to beat around the bush. "You've been avoiding him."
"I wasn't!" Eiji said automatically, at the same time blushing like a child got caught naughty. Fuji gave him a look, the look that always made people spill their heart's desires and secrets out to him, and Eiji fell weak to 'the look'. "Something happened..." Eiji muttered.
Fuji's eyes softened, and gently he led his friend to a seat. "Sit down, Eiji, and tell me what's wrong," Fuji said in his utmost gentle voice. Eiji was an easy egg to crack, especially when it was something between him and Oishi.
"Yesterday," Eiji said, staring down at the floor, "Oishi got a bit sick so I took him to the infirmary. He looked really awful, like he was really sick, so I got really worried." Fuji nodded encouragingly, gesturing for him to go on. "Well, and then I got really scared because I've never seen him like that before, so I thought he was ill so bad that he could die, and... what are you laughing at?" Eiji exclaimed indignantly at Fuji's futile attempt to cover his giggles.
"N-nothing," Fuji giggled, "go on, Eiji, and then what?"
A pout formed on that full, red lips, but Eiji continued, "Then I panicked and grabbed his hand..." Fuji could see where this was going, but he stayed silent. "And he sort of pulled me down and... um..." A deep, red blush bloomed on his cheeks, and Eiji was unwilling to go on.
Fuji tried hard to hide his smile. "He kissed you, didn't he?"
Eiji turned even redder, if that was possible, and nodded.
Fuji sat down in front of his friend and took his hand. "Are you upset? Did you hate it?"
Eiji's reaction was immediate. "No!" He looked away from Fuji and sighed deeply. Slowly he stood up and went over to the window.
"No...?" Fuji persisted.
Eiji bit his lower lip, his face drawn into a deep frown. Finally he threw his hands up the air in frustration. "That's just it! I didn't hate it! I... really, really liked it when he um, kissed me." Eiji turned his miserable face to Fuji. "What will I do now? I can't face him anymore. Whenever I see him, I just remember his kiss, and... how much I liked it!"
So Eiji likes Oishi, Fuji thought, smiling sympathetically. He knew how Eiji was; the boy was probably clueless to Oishi's feelings toward him. Honestly, usually people would be upset when someone randomly kissed them, not upset because they liked it. But Eiji was Eiji, and Fuji could only deal with him in the only way he knew how.
"Eiji," Fuji said, walking over to him. "Have you ever thought about why Oishi kissed you? Or why you liked it so much?" Seeing Eiji's expression told Fuji all he needed to know. "Honestly," he sighed. "Maybe you should go and talk to Oishi. He's probably really scared that you're avoiding him because you hate him. Now I know that's not the case," Fuji quickly added, seeing Eiji's horrified expression. "But does Oishi know? You have to clear things up with him. Be honest with him, because the Golden Pair was built based on trust and honesty, do you remember?" Fuji smiled when his friend nodded. "He's probably at the tennis court now, waiting for his partner to come."
Eiji looked torn between decisions, then, finally, he gave Fuji a quick hug. "Thanks, Syusuke-chan! You're the best!" With that, he dashed out of the room, the thought of finding Oishi in his mind.
Fuji's smile faded away, and as he leaned back and looked out of the window, he wondered how long he could hold onto his reasons when his eyes were so blinded by emotions. Shaking his head, Fuji left, taking care to lock the door. It was time for tennis practice.
Outside, the first snow of the season swayed gently down onto the dry, cold ground.
There was not much that irritated Tezuka, but today, Oishi was testing his limits.
"Oishi," Tezuka said, a vein pulsing noticeably on his forehead, "What are you doing?"
Ever since they'd said hello to each other this morning, Oishi had been mumbling to himself. Not only that, he was pacing up and down and would, occasionally, fling his hands up to the sky and give a miserable moan. Tezuka was getting quite fed up with it. Oishi, on the other hand, didn't seem to have noticed his behavior at all.
"Huh?" Oishi turned to Tezuka, looking as if the world had ended, or close to be. "Oh, it's nothing. I'm just..." Oishi said, and, unable to express his thoughts, grabbed some papers on the table and ripped them apart in frustration. Now Tezuka knew something was definitely wrong. Oishi hadn't done that since they were in grade school and the teacher thought he ate paste when he didn't. It wasn't a pleasant experience for Oishi. The teacher called the emergency number and an ambulance actually came to the school to get him to the hospital. Deep down inside his heart, Tezuka found it very amusing.
"Syuichiro, sit down, please, you're giving me a headache," Tezuka sighed, gesturing to the seat on the opposite side of the table. Dejectedly Oishi sat.
They were in the tennis locker room, having the privilege as the captain and vice-captain to get out of class half an hour earlier. Tezuka had wanted to finish organizing the papers for the next ranking matches, but Oishi was not being very cooperative.
"Is there something bothering you? You've been acting rather out of character," Tezuka said, shuffling the papers and proceeding on to alphabetize them. Tezuka, unfortunately, had a habit of alphabetizing everything he got his hands on. Some people called it OCD, he called it orderly.
"It's just," Oishi started, then bit his lip, "I've done something horrible."
Tezuka doubted that Oishi could do something horrible, but didn't voice his thought. "Did you step on a flower on your way home yesterday?" Tezuka asked, keeping a straight face.
"What - no!" Oishi glared at him. "Like I would actually try to destroy the environment, but what I did... it's unforgivable." He buried his face in his hands. Tezuka tilted his head in interest, pushing the stack of paperwork to the side. There was only one thing that could create this sort of reaction out of Oishi.
"What's going with you and Kikumaru?"
Oishi didn't even bother asking how the captain knew. They'd been friends for too long to not know. "I... I..." Oishi was having some difficulty getting the words past his mouth. Tezuka could see the blush that ran up his neck, and was immensely amused. Of course, he didn't show it.
Oishi mumbled something incoherent.
"Pardon me?" Tezuka leaned closer, as Oishi was speaking with his hands covering his face, and caught the barely discernible words.
"I - kissed Eiji."
There was a long silence, in which Oishi turned even redder, from what Tezuka could see.
Tezuka was quite surprised, not because Oishi kissed Eiji, but because apparently it was the first time they'd kissed each other. He thought they were together since junior high, but that wasn't the case, it seemed.
"Hmm," Tezuka said thoughtfully, wondering what he should say to Oishi. "Why did you kiss him?"
Oishi jumped up from his seat so fast that the chair flipped over. "I don't know! Why did I do it? How will I explain myself to Eiji? He must really hate me now!"
"How do you know that he hates you?" Tezuka asked again, and Oishi stopped his ranting. "Think about it. Did he actually say he hated you? Perhaps you're just imagining everything." Tezuka was quite sure hating Oishi for kissing him was the last thing on Eiji's mind, but it was best that Oishi figured this out by himself. Tezuka shook his head, and took off his glasses. "So when did this happen?"
Oishi put the chair back to its original position and sat down. "Yesterday, near the end of the day. Eiji took me to the clinic because I wasn't feeling well, and when he grabbed my hand, I just lost it."
Tezuka raised an eyebrow. "You looked fine to me yesterday."
"Well, yes, I felt fine, too, until I drank Inui's juice..." The words died on his lips as he put two and two together. "No. Way." Oishi's face was red now, not out of embarrassment, but fury. "That wasn't his Stress Relief Juice! It was Inui's Hormones Ignition Juice!" Tezuka did not like the sound of that. "I'm going to kill him!"
"Calm down, Syuichiro," Tezuka said, rubbing his forehead. "You can punish him during practice, but now you have a more important matter to attend to."
"What?" Oishi said, turning his glaring face to Tezuka.
Tezuka looked mildly bewildered at Oishi's expression, but shrugged it off. Oishi was quite scary when he wanted to be, and besides, Tezuka knew all of his expressions too well to be frightened. "Kikumaru has just went past the locker room toward the courts. I think he's looking for you."
Upon hearing the Eiji's name, it was as if a miracle had worked itself on the boy. Oishi's expression softened and a smile worked itself across his face. "Oh, well then, I'm going to see him right now," he said, standing up. On his way out he managed to slam his head onto the locker, trip over the wooden bench, and get his fingers caught while closing the door.
When he was gone, Tezuka gave a long sigh. One of these days, Oishi was going to get himself killed because of Eiji, and when he did, he probably wouldn't even mind.
Tezuka let out a smile when he saw Oishi catching up to his friend as they neared the court, and noticed that snow was falling.
It was then that Tezuka realized he was cold.
Inui caught Fuji as he made his way toward the tennis court. Though it was snowing heavily, practice was not canceled. Inui suspected the vice-captain had something to do with this, but from what he'd seen today between Kikumaru and Oishi, it was all worth it.
"Fuji-kun!" Inui called. "Hold up!"
Fuji looked back at him, pulling the scarf around his neck a little tighter. It wasn't because he was cold, no, he was rarely cold, but because he was feeling a bit nervous. Inui had that look on him again, which meant that he'd finished updating his juice. "Oh, hello, Inui," Fuji greeted with a usual smile on his face.
Inui didn't even bother with greetings. He took out a small vial filled with crystal clear liquid and handing it to Fuji. "Here's the Special Unknown Possibilities Juice, Version 6.65." Inui's face was flushed with excitement. "Now, after analyzing my data and deciding the best ingredients to put in, I've made this juice. With this, you will become a completely different person over night, providing it works. If not, then I have to do some more research..." And Inui went into his thinking mode.
"What new ingredients did you put in it, Inui?" Fuji asked, holding the vial up to eye level.
"A little sugar, spice, and everything nice," Inui answered dismissively, still thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Well, now that he was actually listing them all out in his head, there was a lot that could go wrong. Maybe he shouldn't let Fuji drink it at all...
Oh, what am I thinking? This could turn out to be quite amusing, Inui decided
Meanwhile, Fuji was wondering why the ingredients sounded so familiar. "So do I just drink this?" Fuji asked cautiously.
"Hmm, oh no," Inui snapped out of his thoughts and looked at Fuji seriously, "When you go home today, make sure to drink it at exactly midnight. Do not forget that. This juice is specialized to take effect right at that time, and if you drink it before that, then I don't know what will happen. I've already tried to lessen the side effects, but with these unknown possibilities juices, you just never know." Inui tilted his head to the side, observing Fuji in his silent, prodding way, and added, "You only have tonight, Fuji. After midnight, it's going to neutralize and dissolve along with the vial into smoke. And since I've already used up some of my special ingredients, it's going to take a while to remake another one."
Fuji nodded. He knew there were risks, but to capture the heart of his secret love, he was willing to take the dangerous road. He only hoped that he didn't die before he got his wish. Then again, if he were to die in Tezuka's arms...
Fuji shook away those thoughts, and put the vial in the pocket of his coat. From a distance he could see Tezuka coming toward him, and with a genuine smile he walked toward him. "Thanks Inui. I'll never forget your kindness if my plan succeeds."
Inui watched him go and could only hope that it would.
Kaidou was walking into the court when he heard a loud "Oishi you baka!" and felt a figure rocketing past him. Seeing the red blur rushing out of the court told him straight away that it was Kikumaru-senpai, and the figure that was sitting on the ground with a swollen cheek with a hand mark on it was Oishi-senpai. Kaidou could only come to one conclusion upon seeing this: a lover's spat.
Kaidou gave a low hiss and came over to Oishi. "Come on up, Oishi-senpai," Kaidou muttered, helping him up.
Oishi was too dazed to say thank you. Slowly he raised a hand up to his cheek, still staring at the spot where Eiji had been. Then, as if surfacing from a bad dream, Oishi said faintly, "He hit me."
"Yes," Kaidou agreed.
"Eiji hit me."
"I got hit by Eiji."
Kaidou wondered how many ways Oishi-senpai could come up with to rephrase the same thing over and over again. "I think you need to sit down, Oishi-senpai," Kaidou said kindly, but to the other's ears, he sounded like he was growling in annoyance.
Oishi didn't reply and let Kaidou lead him to the nearest bench. The boy wondered what happened between the Golden Pair. Sure, he had noticed their odd behavior since yesterday after school when they ran away from one another instead of walked home together, but they couldn't still be mad at each other? They hadn't been mad at each other since middle school, and they had immediately made up the next day. How very curious...
"Kikumaru-senpai looked very upset," Kaidou told him. Upon hearing those words, Oishi cracked.
"I don't understand!" Oishi almost yelled in frustration. Kaidou jumped at Oishi's sudden tension. He'd never seen Oishi-senpai like this before, and truth be told, he was sort of scared.
"C-calm down, Oishi-senpai," Kaidou stammered. "I'm sure everything will be f --"
"No!" Oishi turned to Kaidou, and for a moment the boy wondered if his senpai was going to lose it, when Oishi's face turned to one of misery. "I did something horrible to him, and when I tried to explain, because I really did have a good excuse, he got mad at me. What did I do wrong?"
Kaidou pondered about this. "What did you do? You can't possibly do anything to make him mad unless you're dating some girls."
Oishi stared at him. "W-what?"
"Well, then, it'd be cheating, wouldn't it?" Kaidou said patiently. "I mean, with Kikumaru-senpai being your boyfriend and all... he's not very forgiving about that stuff, you...know..." Kaidou fell silent when Oishi-senpai began to stare at him with disbelief in his eyes and red blots on his cheeks. "Um, did I say something wrong?" He asked meekly.
Oishi was at loss for words. "We- we're not boyfriends!" He spluttered. "What ever gave you that idea?"
Kaidou flushed pink. "B-but... you guys've been going out with each other since eighth grade! I remember that day when you both confessed your feelings! Everyone did!" Then suddenly a thought struck him. "Or did you just recently break up with him?"
Oishi flung his hands up the air in indignant disbelief. "No! What are you talking about? When did we... confess our feelings?"
Now it was Kaidou's turn to be confused. "But... right before summer started after eighth grade, in the locker room... we heard you!"
"Me, Inui, Fuji, Momo, Ryoma, Takashi, some first and second years..." Kaidou answered, frightened at Oishi's sudden rage. He had never seen Oishi-senpai so scary. "We were about to enter the locker room when we heard both of you... saying..." He blushed furiously, recalling just exactly what he had heard.
"Well?" Oishi persisted, glaring at the poor boy as if it was all his fault.
"Saying how you'll never leave each other, and how it'd hurt so much when you didn't know..." Those words tumbled out of Kaidou's mouth so quickly that Oishi barely understood them.
"Wait... wait!" Oishi said, suddenly remembered. "You can't be serious... don't tell me it's that time..." Oh yes, Oishi could still remember, the cherry blossoms, the apology, the blood...
Right, that time...
The cherry blossoms had been blooming heavily lately, so that most of the members had to stay after to clean the courts. Of course, Oishi would have, too, except that there was something odd going on with his doubles partner... as if he was avoiding him. In Oishi's mind, he couldn't imagine why Eiji would do such a thing, but his instinct never failed him.
So when practice was over and Eiji, instead of staying behind, dashed straight into the locker room, Oishi couldn't help but followed.
The locker room was empty, as expected, and Oishi silently crept inside, making sure to close the door behind him. Eiji was behind a row of lockers, and from what Oishi could hear, mumbling to himself.
Oishi came round and went up to Eiji, frowning when the boy didn't notice him until he tapped him on the shoulder. "Eiji."
"NYA!" Eiji gave a jump three feet up the air like a startled cat, spinning around to look at Oishi. Somehow, seeing him caused Eiji to be even more startled. "Oishi!"
"Yes, nice to see you too," Oishi said dryly. "What are you doing here? You're supposed to be out there, helping out with the cleaning."
Eiji looked very uncomfortable, which only further provoked Oishi's curiosity. "What's wrong with you, Eiji? You've been acting weird all day long. In fact, I think you're avoiding me." Eiji stepped away from Oishi guiltily. "Why are you avoiding me? Have I done anything wrong?"
Eiji immediately shook his head, horrified that Oishi would think that. "It's not you, Oishi." And Eiji refused to elaborate. But, you see, Oishi was a patient man.
And he continued to be for another two seconds before he grabbed Eiji by the shoulders and said, rather loudly and frighteningly, "Tell me what's wrong! You're my doubles partner and I can't bear to see you running away from me! Can't you see you're affecting our performance and me, as well? It makes me so upset when I don't know what's going on with you -"
Oishi's words faded away when he saw the tears brimming in those big, kitten-ish eyes, and suddenly, the hand that was gripping Eiji's right shoulder felt wet.
Oishi looked, and realized that blood was sipping through the shirt and the cracks between his fingers.
Now shock could not describe how Oishi felt right then.
(Due to Oishi's request that the writer not describe his behavior, the next five minutes of this scene will be censored)
After Oishi had calmed down somewhat, he sat Eiji down on the bench and said commandingly, "Take off your shirt, Eiji."
It was exactly at this moment that some of the tennis club's members came back from the courts. Upon hearing such words, they decided to stay outside and eavesdrop.
"I'm sorry, Oishi," Eiji hiccupped, wiping some tears away from his eyes. "I suppose you want me..." at this part he lowered his voice in guilt "...to tell you what's going on."
"Of course," Oishi agreed. (Outside, the others were becoming very interested.) "I think I deserve to, Eiji." Oishi said, and began taking care of the wound on Eiji's shoulder. "How could you have possibly not told me of this? Do you not trust me enough to know that I care?"
"That's not it!" Eiji protested. "I know you care, and that's why... I couldn't tell you, because I was afraid you might just hate me."
"That's ridiculous," Oishi said firmly. "I could never hate you, Eiji. You're..." At this point someone outside the locker room sneezed, therefore the others missed the next few words that Oishi said, which led to a very big confusion.
"Don't say that!" Eiji cried out, feeling even more guilty at what he'd done to Oishi now after hearing him so honestly say that Eiji was his very best friend. "Once I told you this, you'd probably going to hate me..."
"I doubt it, but go on, tell me..."
Eiji began to confess his guilt, unable to look at Oishi in the eyes. His spoken words were so quiet that it was no wonder the members could only hear a few words, but it was enough to confirm their misleading suspicion. "Today, Yuniko-chan, you know, from class 3B, asked me to give you a bag of cookies, but I... I was starving during class and ate it all, and so couldn't give them to you. I'm sorry, Oishi! I think she was trying to tell you that she liked you by giving you the cookies, but I couldn't help it! I was so horrified and angry at myself when I realized what I'd done! But it was too late, because the cookies were gone and now you'll never..." Eiji sobbed "never gonna get to eat her cookies. I'm so horrible, and you, I always knew you liked her, too."
Oishi smiled. Was that all there was to it? Sure, it was wrong of Eiji to eat his cookies, but he knew Eiji had absolutely no self-control when it came to food, and it was Yuniko's fault, anyway, for not just giving him the cookies and giving them to Eiji instead. "Eiji, you're so funny," Oishi said, shaking his head. "Why would I ever get mad at you for that? They're just cookies. You know I'd share them with you anyway, so what's the point of you eating them, er, all a bit early?"
Eiji looked at Oishi with his lovely, teary eyes. "R-really? You're not mad at me? But you like her!"
Oishi laughed. "Who told you that? Yuniko's a great friend, but that's all there is to it. And anyway, you're more important. You're..." Someone outside sneezed again, but at this point in time everyone had pretty much decided for themselves that Eiji was Oishi's lover. "... okay?"
Eiji sniffed. "Okay."
"But really, Eiji," Oishi frowned, "this doesn't exactly explain why you were hiding your..." The sneezing person was very persistent, and this time around he got hit on the head for interrupting their eavesdropping "... from me?" He looked at Eiji's shoulder. "This seems recent, so it must be while we were on court, so why didn't you me?"
"Because I was punishing myself. I thought, this is the price I have to pay for not being able to control myself, and I can't stand it if you figured it out and hated me."
"Eiji, you silly boy, I could never hate you," Oishi said, dabbing the blood from Eiji's shoulder. "You're like, my brother."
Everyone outside held their breath, one thought passing through their minds. Oishi said lover.
Eiji's tears fell again. He couldn't believe he had such a great friend. If it were him, he probably would be really angry at Oishi for eating his cookies. "Oishi, I love you so much!"
Thus, the misunderstanding between the Golden Pair was cleared up while another misunderstanding flared up in the Seigaku tennis club.
Oishi finished his story, then turned to look at Kaidou exasperatedly, as if silently asking how he and the others could have twisted something so innocent into such an elaborated story of nonexistent lovers. Kaidou, at least, looked abashed.
"So that's what happened," he said. "But you really can't blame us for it. Your misleading words could be deciphered both ways, if you think about it."
Oishi opened his mouth to protest, but then realized that Kaidou had a point, and turned away, mumbling something about it wasn't his fault.
"So, now that we have the confusion all cleared up, let's hear about your new Kikumaru problem, eh?" Kaidou said encouragingly. Oishi pretended he didn't hear what Kaidou called his problems as.
"It's nothing you would understand, you're still a kid," Oishi said with a sigh, causing Kaidou to be very indignant.
"I'm not a kid," he muttered, hissing, and walked away, all his interest in Oishi's trouble gone.
When Kaidou left, Oishi closed his eyes and buried his face in his hand. "What did I do wrong?" he murmured, feeling, for the first time in his life, very weary and lonely.
When Fuji came back home, he was greeted with silence. Feeling rather surprised, he quickly took off his shoes and entered the kitchen, finding, without difficulty, a short note on the dining table. He picked it up as the back pack fell down onto the chair with a thump.
Mommy and Daddy are on a business trip. We won't be back for a few months, so take care of yourself while we're gone, okay? Also, Yumiko is in Paris with a few of her friends, so don't expect her home any time soon. I called Yuuta earlier on to let him know. He'll be coming home today.
Lots of love,
Mom and Dad
Fuji smiled and threw the note away. Yuuta was coming home, so he had to make dinner. It'd been such a long time, and Fuji couldn't wait so see his adorable brother once again.
Yuuta glared at Fuji across the table. "Just to let you know, I didn't come home voluntarily, okay? Mom forced me into it." He shuddered, remembering his mother's words.
Fuji tilted his head slightly. "I know," he said carelessly. "You would never admit you missed me, so Mom did it for you." Yuuta turned red around the ears, and was about to protest, but Fuji cut in. "Let's just enjoy dinner, yes? I made your favorite chicken curry."
Yuuta only grumbled something incoherently before digging into the food. Fuji watched his brother sweetly, smiling. Yuuta was just so cute.
The dark sky swirled with smokey clouds, and distant rumbling indicated that a storm was coming. Fuji sat in his room, feeling slightly nervous as he looked at the tennis ball shaped clock. There were five more minutes to go until midnight, and Fuji felt cold panic gripping his insides. Was he doing the right thing? Was it worth the trouble? Was Tezuka worth it?
Fuji gripped the bottle of juice even more tightly, so that his knuckles were white. But he had no idea what the juice was going to do to him. He could turn into a crazed monkey with wild hormones for all he knew. Fuji didn't want to think about it. He was being stupid. He'd loved Tezuka since he first saw him, and for Tezuka, he would do anything. Yes, he would even turn into a crazy, hormonal monkey. Fuji shook his thoughts away. He just hoped that that wouldn't be the case, otherwise Inui was in for some deep sh--
The clock sounded and started playing the Titanic song, showing that it was time. Fuji took a deep breath and popped open the cord. He stared at the clear liquid for a second and downed the whole content in one gulp.
Thunders roared outside. Fuji jumped. The glass bottle dropped to the floor, shattered to shards.
And then, he felt it.
Bubbling and rising as if from out of nowhere, Fuji felt a deep, white pain, as if every nerve and fiber in his body was aflame and soaked in mercury. He clutched his chest, falling to his knees. Silvery smoke rose from his body like some sort of odd screen effect seen in horror movies. Fuji's eyes were open, unmistakable shock and deep agony evident in those hazel orbs. His head was hurting him, as if it was being split open, as if someone was rearranging his organs and then closing his head back together.
Unable to endure the pain any longer, Fuji gave a reverberating scream and fainted.
TO BE CONTINUED
Chapter 2 - O' Love, thou art such sweet misery
End of chapter's note: REVIEW:P