Gentleman/Trickster – 20 Things about Yagyuu Hiroshi and Niou Masaharu

Characters/Pairings: Niou/Yagyuu, Rikkai, Seigaku cameos
Rating: NC-17
Words: 6309
Summary: In which everything is unspoken and nothing is confessed. Words are just a vessel for communication; they have no need for such a thing. 'To Niou, Yagyuu was a challenge that will never turn static… Yagyuu loved Niou, for he had always loved the House of Mirrors.'
Warning: Awkward, somewhat graphic sex in 17 and very teenager behaviour. Niou and Yagyuu are fifteen year old boys, and they pretty much act like it here.

1.

'Yagyuu Hiroshi,' Niou thought as he watched the aforementioned boy on the opposite end of the courts, 'is an uptight little prick with no sense of humour at all.'

'Niou Masaharu,' Yagyuu thought, glasses flashing as he glared at Niou from behind them, 'is an uneducated idiot without a sense of decorum.'

It was dislike at first sight, mostly because neither party was willing to spare the extra energy needed to hate each other.

2.

Playing against Yagyuu was like putting his hand into an open flame. It was exhilarating, a rush of adrenaline into his veins, making him heady and dizzy just at the thought, the promise of being burnt, of pain more beautifully exciting than anything else.

Niou had always been fascinated by fire.

The net separated them right then, a paper-thin layer of glass between his fingers and Yagyuu's passionate flame. It protected him against the fire, preventing him from being burnt without taking away the magnificent image of the flame itself.

Niou hated it.

He didn't realize that they had already reached tiebreak; he was so engrossed in Yagyuu and his own thoughts, congratulating himself silently about provoking Yagyuu enough for him to play a match like this. It was one of his most brilliant moments of stupidity. But when Yanagi stepped in, a sheet of copper between Yagyuu and him, he almost shouted for him to go away, go away, and he barely restrained himself from screaming.

Yanagi said: "Would you like to play doubles with each other?"

Niou stopped mid-snarl, eyes widening slightly. The prospect, and only that, of standing next to the raw flame without being protected by the net, of working together with that flame… and having that ever-present danger of being burnt rightbeside him

Niou accepted, and smirked as he watched, fascinated, for Yagyuu to say 'yes'.

3.

'Playing doubles with Niou Masaharu,' Yagyuu reflected, 'is something easier said than done.'

Niou was obviously a Singles player who had never even thought of playing Doubles before. Yagyuu watched him as he dove for every ball at came his way, unused to the sudden size of the court, hesitating a second, two, before diving for the ball that had hit on the doubles' court.

He seemed completely oblivious to Yagyuu's presence. Yagyuu gritted his teeth

Marui and Jackal were smirking. At least, Marui was smirking while Jackal was trying very hard not to laugh. Yagyuu barely repressed a sigh.

"Really, Niou-kun, am I really that invisible?"

"Bwuh?" Niou looked truly bewildered.

"Niou-kun, we are playing doubles. There are two people on each side of the net, not one. There are four people on the courts, not two, nor three. Take that into consideration the next time you decide to run for the ball on my side of the courts." His tone was ice and barely contained anger, frustration and contempt.

Niou blinked, once, before a smirk spread over his face.

"If you say so."

4.

Yagyuu narrowed his eyes and saw the tiny spark of mischief hidden in Niou's. He nodded curtly, once, before turning back to the game as Jackal served.

The next game blew him away. Niou had, in the matter of seconds, managed to work perfectly in sync with him. It was as if he knew where Yagyuu was and what Yagyuu would do instinctively. Yagyuu narrowed his eyes.

"You have played doubles before, haven't you, Niou-kun?"

"Of course I have. Why else would I accept Yanagi's offer?" Niou grinned, unrepentant.

They won the match, six games to three, and left Marui and Jackal slack-jawed and bug-eyed on the courts as they walked back towards the bleachers. Yagyuu smirked, sardonic, as he spoke:

"Somewhat of a trickster, aren't you, Niou-kun?"

Niou smirked. "If I'm the Trickster, Yagyuu, then you're the perfect Gentleman, eh?"

5.

Yagyuu Hiroshi was still a prissy bastard, but he's a prissy bastard that Niou Masaharu could learn to like. Behind those reflective glasses were a pair of very fascinating eyes.

Niou Masaharu was interesting, like a cube puzzle that Yagyuu couldn't solve. Yagyuu liked puzzles, and he liked solving them even more than he liked them.

6.

I'm not the kind who judge, you know, especially not about the people that I don't really know. But I just can't help but see it, every single day. Niou-san isn't of this class, but Yagyuu-san is so Niou-san comes everyday, and none of the teachers ever said a thing. They see it too, but they pretend not to. Adults are like that.

Yagyuu-san and Niou-san are opposites, except they aren't. I'm not a poetic person (I failed Japanese Literature, if that means anything to you), but I think they're like mirrored versions of each other. That's why they're together so much. Opposites attract, everything proves this: magnets, electricity, and people. Niou-san and Yagyuu-san are like that.

I think Yukimura-san knows this too. Yukimura-san sees everything, and he's the captain of the tennis club that Niou-san and Yagyuu-san are part of. Yukimura-san isn't in my class (I'm not so smart to be in his) but everyone knows about Yukimura-san. I think that's why Yagyuu-san and Niou-san play doubles together when they seem to be so incompatible on first glance: Yukimura-san had seen their similarities.

I'm nobody in this campus, really. I'm just a random student who happens to be so bored during English class that I'm writing this. I'm going to tear this paper before I throw it away, so I can write whatever I like right now. I'm nobody, but it's always the outsider who sees everything, so the saying says. I don't really think it's very true, but I'll still write down what I see here. I need to tell something, even a piece of paper, this:

Yagyuu-san and Niou-san are in love with each other.

They don't realize it. Nobody realizes it when they first fall in love with someone else, especially not teenagers. I don't judge; I may not like other boys, but I have no problems if someone else does. Ours is an all-boys school, so I'm not surprised that something like this occurs. If anything, I'm happy for them, even though they won't know that because I'm never going to say anything. I'm too much of a coward for that.

I've heard that Yagyuu-san had gained a name as the Gentleman and Niou-san's nickname is the Trickster now. I know that, and I also know that it is their nicknames for each other, for a sort. It's quite funny, actually, when I've heard them call each other those names. I think they fit. That's why the names circulated this fast, you see.

A Gentleman and a Trickster… I wish I can be like them, but I don't think I would. People usually don't find their soul-mates until they are older, if they find them at all. What Yagyuu-san and Niou-san have, even if they don't know of it, is something that is so rare that people doesn't believe it exists. I believe it exists, because I have seen it.

I sound like some romantic jester. Funny, isn't it? Ah, I shouldn't laugh out loud, or Niou-san would get curious and try to look at this. I can't let him do that, not when it's something about him. I should pay attention to class now; sensei's staring at me again. He knows I'm not paying any attention.

I really should tear this up.

7.

Kirihara Akaya was like a whirlwind, untamed and wild and so very unsubtle.

'Kirihara,' Yagyuu thought, 'is like a mini-Niou without any of the subtlety and manipulations.'

The thought pleased him far more than it frightened or even surprised him. Niou's subtlety, and, to a lesser extent, his manipulative ways, was what made Niou, Niou.

'Kirihara Akaya is certainly very interesting,' Yagyuu concluded as he watched Yukimura smile and offered a hand to the younger boy, 'but Niou-kun is far more fascinating.'

That thought didn't faze him at all, and it didn't occur to him that he should be shocked. Not even once.

'Looks like Yukimura found something interesting to play with again," Niou smirked, slouching against the railings as he watched Yukimura with an eye and Yagyuu with the other, 'Kirihara Akaya, huh?'

The kid reminded Niou of Yagyuu, in a way. Kirihara was like Yagyuu when he played, fire and wildness and utterly vicious. Kirihara had Yagyuu's drive to win, had enough of it to challenge all three of the Troika one after another, even after he had lost against Yanagi.

But Kirihara wasn't like Yagyuu. He was Yagyuu stripped of control and politeness, rough diamond to the glittering black diamond that his doubles partner was. Kirihara was too unpolished, too raw.

He liked Yagyuu better.

8.

"You know, Yagyuu, I was just kidding when I asked you to help me with this."

"You requested for help, Niou-kun, and I acquiesced to provide it. Are you complaining?"

"Hell no. It's just a surprise. Didn't think you're the type to do that kind of thing." Niou shrugged, stuffing his hands in his pockets as they walked along the school's corridors.

It was long past curfew; they should be in their dorms and in bed a long time ago, but Niou had other ideas, ideas that needed someone's help to pull off. He asked Yagyuu, who, surprisingly and unsurprisingly at the same time, had agreed.

When they had reached their destination, the teachers' lounge, Yagyuu stood at the doorway and acted as lookout without Niou having to say anything. Niou tiptoed to Akashi-sensei's desk drawer and took out his notes. The folder was colour-coded, and each coloured tab had a specific name on it. Niou carefully took out every tab and rearranged them in the most random way he could think of.

That done, he walked towards the coffee maker, flashing a smirk towards Yagyuu before taking out a safety pin and unlocking the cupboard door that held the coffee. He took out the five cans of premium coffee powder and placed them in the plastic bag he had brought with him, and replaced them with five cans of instant decaf from the cafeteria. The tins looked exactly the same.

"One of them has a dent, Niou-kun, at the left hand corner." Yagyuu's soft voice ghosted over to him. His partner (in tennis and in crime, now) was suddenly at his shoulder.

"Which one?" he whispered back, completely unsurprised. He had heard Yagyuu's footsteps.

"Second one from the left."

Niou cracked his knuckles, once, and took that tin from the cupboard. He punched it, once, and it dented almost exactly the way the other tin had. The slight difference could only be seen if one looked closely, and no teacher would be that alert in the start of the morning. The tin made a hollow sound that echoed throughout the room, and Niou froze. Yagyuu, however, simply made his way back towards the door.

Niou mixed up the order of cups next, and switched a few files here and there. It wasn't something noticeable. Each time, Yagyuu offered his advice here and there, and Niou found that everything he had done now was now traceless; everything that could have gotten him caught had disappeared.

Niou's work always seemed to be something that would usually be brushed off as mistakes made due to simple carelessness. Niou's pranks were usually this way. That was why he didn't get caught. But this was a new subtlety; something that was sure to drive every teacher to madness, especially since they had taken the caffeine.

Smirking, Niou walked back to the dorms with a slight bounce in his step, watching Yagyuu out of a corner of his eyes. His partner was smiling, and Niou was sure that his eyes were laughing behind those damn reflective glasses.

'Interesting.'

9.

Niou was laughing, his devil's grin on his face when it was announced that they had won the Nationals in their second year, holding the trophy up high, gold medals gleaming on their necks. Yagyuu's eyes were shone with victory behind his glasses, and he was smiling.

The whole team was ecstatic when they went back to the bus, laughing and joking and leaning onto each other. Sanada had relaxed enough to smile, and Yanagi's eyes were open and clear as he watched all of them, serene and smiling with his eyes. Yukimura kept laughing, an arm around each of his best friends, half-pulling them. Marui wasn't chewing gum for once; he was smiling too largely for that, and Jackal was good-humoured enough to be dragged around as Marui bounced everywhere. Kirihara pouted slightly at not being able to play this year, but Yukimura let him hold the trophy, just for a moment, and the pout smoothed into a smile.

Niou was smirking all throughout the bus ride, and Yagyuu could feel the mischief and need to break the law coursing through him.

He wasn't very surprised when Niou dragged him off the bus two stops before their house, and only nod knowingly when his partner handed him the four cans, eyes demanding him to choose.

Yagyuu picked the red and the blue.

That day, Yokohama got a new coat of paint.

10.

By the end of the tennis season in their second year, Niou Masaharu considered Yagyuu Hiroshi to be his partner, whether in tennis or in pranks. Yagyuu was a meticulous person, and he picked up the very few details that Niou had missed. The teachers were going insane and they were very sure that he had done it, but there was no proof.

To Yagyuu Hiroshi, Niou Masaharu was his best friend and the most interesting person he had ever met. With Niou, Yagyuu never needed his masks, because Niou could see through the icy politeness to see the fire inside even when they first met.

11.

Yagyuu Hiroshi was the son of a doctor; he was meant to be a doctor when he grew up. But Yagyuu didn't do anything, he couldn't, as he watched his captain being wheeled into the hospital room. He could hear Yanagi reassuring Akaya in a soft, broken voice. He could feel Niou's grip on his arm, so hard that he was surely going to have bruises there tomorrow. He could feel Niou's eyes on him, but he didn't turn.

The words 'Guillian-Barre syndrome' was still ringing through his head, and he tried to think, tried to remember anything, anything, that he had forgotten when he told his team-mates just a few minutes ago. His voice didn't shake; he didn't allow it to, but he wanted to scream in frustration right now because he couldn't think of anything that he hadn't said. He couldn't think of anything to help Yukimura. He couldn't save his captain. He was helpless.

Yagyuu Hiroshi hated feeling helpless.

12.

The first thing Niou noticed when he entered the room was that Yagyuu's shoulders were tensed.

His partner was typing furiously into a laptop. There were stacks of book surrounding him, so high that Niou could barely see the top of Yagyuu's head above them.

"Hiroshi? What are you doing?" He came up behind Yagyuu, making sure that his footfalls were audible so as not to startle him, and placed a hand on his shoulders. Yagyuu's muscles were so knotted and tensed that Niou wondered how he could use his arms.

"Ah, Masaharu…" Yagyuu's eyes flitted over to his and brushed Niou's hand off his shoulder. "There's more information about Guillian-Barre here; information that can help Yukimura-san. Care to help?" It wasn't a question.

Niou shrugged and pulled a chair over, the legs scraping noisily on the polished floor. Usually, a loud noise like this would've set Yagyuu glaring at him.

Yagyuu barely looked up.

Niou sighed, plopping himself into the seat. "Why are you trying so hard, Hiroshi? Yukimura has the best doctors available. There's no need…" He was cut off mid-sentence when Yagyuu whirled around, wild-eyed and glaring behind glasses. The dark circles under his eyes didn't go unnoticed by Niou. He stood, knocking his chair over as he grabbed at Niou's collar, half-choking him.

"Why aren't you, Masaharu? Yukimura-san is in hospital. He might never be able to play tennis again. The recovery period takes at least a year, Masaharu! He can't win the Nationals with us if this continues! Do you understand that, Niou-kun?! We aren't a team without Yukimura-san!"

Niou looked at him calmly beneath half-lidded eyelashes, unresisting. "I know that. I understand that perfectly well, Hiroshi. I was there too when the doctors told us the news, remember? I'm scared too, Hiroshi. But there's no use for you to go on like this."

"No use? Then what use do I have? I… I'm a doctor's son, Masaharu. I… I can't just stand by and do nothing when there a possibility, no matter how small, that I can help! I can't!" Yagyuu was forcing his words out of gritted teeth, hands still clenched around Niou's collar.

Niou could feel him shake.

He placed a hand gently on Yagyuu's, prying each finger off his collar before the whole shirt tore. His own voice was shaking when he spoke: "I feel helpless too. None of us know what to do, Hiroshi. You may be a doctor's son, but you aren't a doctor! You are fourteen, and nobody expects you to save Yukimura. You can't do anything to heal him, but there are things you can do."

"What can I do, Masaharu? What can all of us do? I can't imagine the tennis club, I can't imagine school without Yukimura-san, and now he's in the hospital and… I don't know what to do, Masaharu. I don't know." Yagyuu's head had dropped onto his shoulder, and his words were almost muffled by his shirt. He could feel Yagyuu's glasses digging into his skin, and he could feel Yagyuu shaking even more.

Niou wrapped his arms around Yagyuu shoulders cautiously. The muscles under his hands tensed, once, before relaxing as Yagyuu exhaled softly.

"Win, Hiroshi. The only thing we can do right now is to win, whether at official or unofficial games. We'll make Yukimura proud, Hiroshi. We'll win so Yukimura can win against this disease. This is what we can do, Hiroshi; this is what we'll all do well. Sanada said that, didn't he?"

Yagyuu lifted his head and nodded decisively. Niou smiled slightly, reaching upwards to pluck the glasses off and settle them onto his own nose. He had to try it twice. His fingers were trembling. Yagyuu's hand caught his wrist, squeezing it comfortingly. From behind the glasses, Niou saw a blurry smile and returned a smirk.

"Now, Hiroshi, do you want to listen about this excellent idea that I have?"

13.

"Switching?" Yagyuu frowned.

"Uh-huh. I turn into you and you change into me. It's just for a school day, or maybe just half of it if we really suck at acting." Niou grinned, twirling Yagyuu's glasses around his left hand.

"What about the physical discrepancies?"

"Our eyes are the same colour, and we have the same build. You're only cm taller than me, and people don't really notice that. Our voices sound pretty much the same, and we don't really talk all that much anyway. The only difference is the hair, and that can be changed by spray-dye. So…?"

Yagyuu's lips twisted into a half-smirk, a finger coming up to tap on his chin. "What purpose would this switch serve?"

"Can you imagine what'll happen if do this during a match? I know how to use the Laser Beam; I used it during first year. Our opponents will be utterly destroyed." Niou's smirk was just the side of bloodthirsty.

"Your version of the Laser is atrocious, Masaharu. I have to teach you to use it properly." Yagyuu snatched his glasses from Niou's hand. He was getting a headache from having to squint to see Niou properly.

"Does that mean you agree, Hiroshi?" Niou eyed the dark circles around Yagyuu's eyes and the still-remaining tension around his shoulders.

"Yes. This sounds fascinating." Yagyuu shrugged.

"And you like seeing your opponents utterly destroyed." Niou teased, grinning.

"There's that." Yagyuu nodded, and smiled back.

14.

Yagyuu Hiroshi looked into the mirror and saw Niou Masaharu. He reached a hand into his own hair and felt the white strands; still wet from the dye he had sprayed on earlier. Yagyuu turned, and saw himself smiling pleasantly, wet brown hair straight and neatly combed. Yagyuu smirked back, shark-like.

That day, Niou (Yagyuu) went through school in half a haze. People gave him strange looks (was he imagining those?) all throughout the day, but no one acted as if Yagyuu (Niou) was acting oddly. Niou (Yagyuu) frowned, once, as he thought.

'What would Niou do in this situation?'

Yagyuu (Niou) sidled up to him, and Niou (Yagyuu) didn't jump, but he almost did. Niou's voice (not Yagyuu's) whispered into his ear:

"Don't think of what I will do, Hiroshi. You are Niou Masaharu. What would you do?"

Niou (Yagyuu) nodded, and turned around to grab Yagyuu's (Niou's) hand, dragging him towards the kitchens, smirking madly all the while. That day Yagyuu wasn't Niou (Yagyuu), but he was Niou, and Niou was Yagyuu.

Niou smirked the whole day, causing people to edge away from him, muttering and looking over their backs for a prank that didn't come. Niou picked a fight with a third-year senpai on purpose, fighting with him in the middle of the school cafeteria and won. He gained a detention, but shrugged it off like it was nothing (it was nothing, for it wasn't Niou that needed to go to detention anyway) and grinned and bared his teeth at the teachers.

Yagyuu's expression was as pleasant as ever, all day. He turned down two girls' offers of handmade lunch and placed a lizard in one's bag. The girl shrieked, and no one looked accusingly at Yagyuu because no one thought the Gentleman would do anything like that. Yagyuu apologized to the victims of his partners' pranks, half-sarcastically, and helped the third-year senpai up and took him to the nurse's office and closed the door on the senpai's foot.

Niou (Yagyuu or Niou or both?) took a perverse pleasure that no one figured out the switch. Not even their team-mates.

15.

When they had switched back; when Yagyuu was Yagyuu and Niou was Niou again, Niou took off his glasses and handed them to Yagyuu. He took them, folding them in his hands, clenching the wire frames and glass in his fist as he looked at Niou and Niou stared at him.

No one knew who moved first.

Yagyuu felt Niou's lips pressing his own, and teeth clacked against his painfully. He drew back, one step, and saw Niou's slightly sheepish grin and knew it mirrored his own. They stepped forward again, and, this time, they got it right.

Niou's lips were chapped and slightly dry. Yagyuu could feel broken skin over his own, lips pressed against Niou's. It was a chaste kiss, because neither of them knew what to do next.

Yagyuu remembered a book he read once, about how a first kiss should be sparks and feelings. He felt awkward, eyes shut as he tried to figure out what to do next. Niou, however, took the decision out of his hands and opened his mouth and prodded Yagyuu's lips with his tongue. Yagyuu gasped, and the tongue slipped it.

It was… nice. Nice like standing in an open field in the middle of a thunderstorm; the danger is intoxicating. Niou tasted of wasabi and honey and electricity dancing on his own tongue. Yagyuu shivered, pulling Niou closer and kissed him back as best as he could.

Sparks didn't appear in his vision, but the world disappeared. The world shrunk into just Niou and him and the locker rooms. They were no one, just two kissing each other in the locker rooms. Eventually, even the locker room disappeared, and Yagyuu himself disappeared. The only thing Yagyuu feel or even see was Niou, Niou and Niou. He was perfectly fine with that.

Yagyuu felt a hand on his neck, twirling the longer strands of his own hair with soft fingers. He shivered slightly, digging a hand into Niou's hair, gripping the white strands as the kiss deepens.

He didn't know how long they kissed, but he did know that it was long enough for him to feel dizzy and light-headed. Yagyuu wasn't sure if it was because of his emotions or hormones or the lack of oxygen, but he couldn't bring himself to care about the difference.

Niou was looking at him, head cocked to the side and a smirk on his lips, inviting, challenging. Yagyuu could never resist a good challenge.

He kissed him again.

16.

Third year had flown by quickly. Akaya made the team, as anyone with eyes and half a brain knew he would. Rikkai swept through the Districts and the Prefectures and the Qualifying Round of Kantou without losing a single game or a single point.

It was now the semi-finals, against Fudomine and Tachibana Kippei.

'Playing with Jackal,' Yagyuu thought, 'is nothing like playing with Niou-kun.'

Playing with Niou gave him an edge; it made him drive himself harder than he normally would. Playing with Niou, standing on the same side of the courts with him, was something akin to swimming in a beautiful, shark-infested ocean. There was a danger like standing on a tightrope between two high-rise buildings. There was always a risk of being eaten, of falling. It was exhilarating.

Playing doubles with Jackal, on the other hand, was like playing doubles with anyone else. Even though their combined power was stronger (Niou's play was more about control and mind games than power), there was no spark. They were solid, but they were also nothing else.

After they won (six games to love, of course), Yagyuu's eyes slid over to Niou, who was sitting as bench coach, as Sanada and Yanagi played. Niou smirked, and pulled Yagyuu down by the sleeve.

"This is why I only play Singles when I can't play with you, Yagyuu. You felt it, didn't you?"

Yagyuu could only nod and smile back when Niou's smirk widened.

He could play with Niou during the Kantou Finals. He couldn't wait.

17.

The first thing Yagyuu did when he reached their room was to slam the door and lock it. The second thing he did was to shove Niou against said wall and kissed him, rough and harsh and just how Niou had always preferred it.

Niou had been teasing Yagyuu for the whole day; kissing him in the clubroom, chaste and quick and stealing his breath, brushing his hand when handing him tennis balls or his racket, touching him unnecessarily: on the arms, the shoulders, the hips. But the last straw happened after practice, just as they were getting into the showers. Niou had winked at him, licking his lips as he drawled:

"Aren't you coming, Hi-ro-shi?"

Yagyuu might be the Gentleman, and he might have more self-control than most. But he was still a teenage with hormones and needs. He snapped then, and grabbed Niou's wrist and dragged him out of the showers, out of the clubroom and back to the dorms. He thanked Yanagi mentally, again, for arranging for them to be roomed together this year before turning back to Niou.

"It isn't very polite to tease, Niou-kun." His tone was as disapproving as he could manage through heaving breaths.

"Never... been polite in the first… place, Hiroshi. So, technically, I can tease you." Niou smiled at him through lidded brown-black eyes.

Yagyuu narrowed his eyes behind his glasses and almost growled when he captured Niou's lips again. His partner tasted of cinnamon and apple this time, most probably from the gum he had stolen from Marui. But the electricity was the same, and it sent shivers up and down his spine.

Then, abruptly, Niou pushed him away. Yagyuu jerked, nearly biting his own lips as he was shoved backwards.

"What… Masaharu?"

Niou's cheeks were flushed, red showing clearly through pale skin. He was tugging his tie loose and unbuttoning his shirt in a frantic pace.

"We should try this without clothes." Niou's voice was breathy, layered with lust and desire. Yagyuu shivered even as he reached for his own tie, pulling out the knot and throwing the cloth away from himself.

"Do you know what to do, Masaharu?" Niou was pulling off his belt now, and Yagyuu's fingers nearly froze when he saw black trousers slid off his partner's form, revealing a pair of boxers and a very noticeable bulge.

"No I don't. But I figured that we don't need to do that right now. Try other stuff. Do stuff we knows that feels good. Something. I don't care... I need more than just kisses, Hiroshi."

Yagyuu nodded, pulling off his pants and dropping them into the pile together with his shirt and tie. For once, he didn't care about messing up the room. He was staring at Niou; at Niou as he took the boxers off.

"My bedroom is nearer, Masaharu. And I have multiple locks." Yagyuu turned, walking swiftly towards the nearest bedroom; him. Niou followed him, and he could hear the 'slap, slap' of bare feet on ceramic floors. Yagyuu tried not to think about anything else, especially not…

Niou's hands reached around his bare back, and Yagyuu barely repressed a moan at the contact. He let Niou push him to the bed. He was too busy trying not to lose control so fast; not when…

Yagyuu lost his train of thought when Niou's hand had moved down his torso, hesitant and unsure. Yagyuu gasped as a fingernail scraped his nipple, eyes flying open. He instinctive arched up into the touch.

That move was all Niou needed. Yagyuu felt fingers pinch his nipples, again, even as other fingers traced his ribs. His body was overheated, and he couldn't see anything other than the white of Niou's hair and the brown of his eyes.

Yagyuu's fingers felt nerveless, but he managed to lift them anyway. He went cautiously, stroking a hand up Niou's inner thighs. His partner jerked and threw his head back, inhaling sharply. Yagyuu's hands went higher, and he wrapped his fingers around Niou's cock.

Niou shouted, his whole body trembling like a leaf at the mere touch, and lowered his head and captured Yagyuu's mouth into a slow kiss, deep and searching. Yagyuu kissed back, glad for a measure of familiarity even as he tentatively stroked and squeezed Niou's erection.

Niou's cock was different from his own; longer, slimmer, but Yagyuu reckoned that something that felt good wouldn't be affected by the size. He squeezed, hard, and let go, stroking his hand up quickly.

Niou's mouth tore away from his and buried into his shoulder. Yagyuu felt pinpricks of pain, and realized that Niou was biting him. He could feel his partner's body convulsing, and felt the heat all over his own hand.

It felt gross.

But Niou's eyes, barely seen behind white hair that was even more dishevelled than usually, made almost everything worth it. They were hazy, and the pupils had dilated so much that Yagyuu could only see black. Niou also had a stupid grin on his face. Yagyuu smirked, leaning towards his partner and nipping him sharply on the ear.

"My turn."

18.

Truth to be told, Niou was a little surprised at the match-ups during the Finals of the Nationals. He wasn't really all that shocked at Echizen and Tezuka being Singles Two and One respectively, but there were a few odd choices. Especially for Doubles One: Inui and Fuji.

Niou supposed that he should feel rather flattered that they sent two of their very best players to play him and Yagyuu, and knew that it was probably due to the Switch during the Kantou Finals, but he really couldn't bring himself to feel anything but amusement. Because it was crystal clear to Niou that they had chosen the very worse pair to set up against Rikkai's Doubles One.

Fuji was reading Inui completely wrong, and it was very obvious that this pairing was one that was hastily smacked together. Yagyuu and Niou had been playing doubles together for almost three years, and this pair hadn't. And it showed.

For one, neither of the pair watched them carefully enough to realize that, no, Niou wasn't the more dangerous of the pair; they were far too busy trying to decipher what their own partner would do. If they had paid any attention at all, they would realize that the more dangerous one was Yagyuu, and not Niou. However, no one, except their team, had realized this. Niou was inordinately proud of the fact.

Inui's Data Tennis was irritating, but Rikkai's Doubles One had been playing against Yanagi for three years. Niou was already used to the constant predictions, and had already found an almost-foolproof method of dealing with data men, especially in doubles. He searched for the most unpredictable thing a person can do and placed it at the very bottom of the ladder in his mind. Then, he moved up a rung, and used that move. It had never failed him.

Niou took a perverse pleasure in watching Inui's expressions as his predictions failed again and again. He smirked at Yagyuu, triumphant, and Yagyuu smiled back, baring his teeth. Niou grinned.

Yagyuu was feeling predatory today.

Fuji's Four Counters (Niou supposed that Quadruple Counters sound far too clumsy and 'uncool'. Fuji seemed to be someone who care about this sort of thing) were massively annoying, but Niou hadn't played with Yagyuu, and against him, for three years for nothing. And Yagyuu was the man who invented the Laser Beam.

If he could see, return and use Yagyuu's Laser Beam, no special Counter that used illusions and tricks, deception, could defeat him. All he had to do was to close his eyes and use his other senses, especially his ears. He was the Trickster, after all, and no one had managed to trick him yet.

Yagyuu didn't need that technique, however. He could see through the Counters just fine. Niou expected that of him: Yagyuu used masks every day, after all, and weren't masks just another deception?

They won the match; six games to four, and congratulated the other pair (rather snidely, on Niou's part) on a good match. The excitement of the match still had his blood pounding in his ears, and Yagyuu's fingers brushing against his wrist weren't helping matters any.

He hoped Yukimura would hurry up and win.

19.

Niou had kissed Yagyuu in front of several camera crews and over a thousand people. And Yagyuu had kissed back.

"You know, given how damn subtle you are most of the time, can't you be subtle then?"

"That'll defeat the whole damn purpose, Sanada. There's no better way to tell the world to 'back off, he's mine, no touching' than kissing your boyfriend in the middle of a televised match."

"The school board is definitely (chew pop) –fuck you, bastard- going to hear about this."

"I don't really care."

"I had the impression that you are usually a good student, Hiroshi. Looks like I have to edit the data again…"

"Now, Renji, Hiroshi is a good student. Say, if the school board tries gives you any trouble and tries to change your dorm arrangement, just tell me and I'll speak to them on your behalf."

"Yes, understood. Thank you, Yukimura-san."

"They won't dare; I have a rep for a reason, but thanks anyway, Yukimura. Akaya, stop glaring at me like that. It's annoying. Shoo."

"You ruined my pure, innocent mind, you bastard senpai."

"… You have a mind in the first place?"

"Now both of you are bastard senpais. Stupid Niou-senpai, you corrupted Yagyuu-senpai and now he's making bad jokes and teasing me. I hate you both… mmph."

"Thank you, Jackal-kun."

"You're quite welcome. And please try to restrain yourselves from public indecency in the future."

"That was public indecency? I seem to be misinformed about that."

"No, that was stupidity. Don't do that again."

"Or what, Sanada? You'll use your Bitchslap of Doom on us?"

"… -smack- Just saying that you two shouldn't do that, because if you have an arrest records you can't play for the high school team."

"Ow! Fine then. We'll just do that stuff in private. Like in the clubhouse."

"Try that and I'll really use my Bitchslap of Doom, Niou. Just for you."

"You can't do that, Genichirou. Use that Bitchslap of Doom on Yagyuu too. It is only fair, is it not?"

"… I promise never to commit illicit acts with Niou-kun in the clubhouse, Yukimura-san. Please do not have that glint in your eye. It is traumatising and Akaya seems to be hyperventilating."

20.

To Niou, Yagyuu was still a polite, uptight bastard with shiny glasses, except he now know that Yagyuu had a vicious streak a mile long and wide. Yagyuu was a puzzle with over a million different pieces that Niou could never completely solve, but he never stopped trying. He didn't want to stop.

To Niou, Yagyuu was a challenge that will never turn static.

Niou loved Yagyuu, for he would never, ever be bored whenever they were together.

To Yagyuu, Niou was simply chaos incarnate, an over-mature Peter Pan with razor-sharp eyes and a penchant for violent mischief. Niou was a devil, one of those boys (or men) that Yagyuu's mother had always warned him about.

To Yagyuu, Niou was everything that he shouldn't be and everything that he could become.

Yagyuu loved Niou, for he had always loved the House of Mirrors.

End