Title: Little White Stick
Author: Stormy1x2 (travelingstorm)
Rating: PG-13 (for Akutsu's potty mouth)
Pairing: Akutsu + Taichi, implied AkuSen
Word Count: 805
Summary: How much does Taichi really want to be like Akutsu?
Notes: This is my first PoT fanfic, though I've been reading for years. Characterization is based solely on the anime as I've yet to download the manga.
It had to be good, right? Akutsu-sempai did this all the time and he was the just about the best tennis player in Yamabuki, maybe even better then Sengoku-sempai. What would it hurt, anyway?
Taichi poked the little white stick and watched it roll across the bench. The courts were empty – practice had ended over an hour ago, but he was in no hurry to go home yet. His mother was working late and he'd rather wait and eat with her. That meant he had time to kill, and you could only play against a wall for so long before it became boring. That was when he remembered what was in his pocket.
One of his classmates had given it to him. Kenji-kun had stolen a pack off his older brother and had brought them to school to share with everyone. It had been an interesting lunch hour, everyone gathered in a tight little huddle on the very far edge of the school property to prevent anyone else from seeing what they were doing. Kenji-kun had gone first, and his face had turned purple from coughing after the first inhalation. There had been laughter and good-natured mocking and then Kenji managed to keep from choking on his third try. Then Minako-chan had volunteered to go next, followed by Yuki-kun.
Taichi managed to get overlooked – being the shortest person in first year really was helpful sometimes – but now he was alone, with no one around to laugh at him if he changed colors like Kenji had.
The cigarette rolled off the bench and Taichi caught it before it hit the ground, holding it up and inspecting it carefully. Akutsu-sempai always held the end between his teeth, letting it dangle loosely. It made him look cool, or so the girls said. Taichi wrinkled his nose. He thought Akutsu-sempai was cool with or without the cigarette. He was coolest with a tennis racket in his hand though, which made Taichi sigh to think that he might never see that again.
What did it feel like between his teeth? Taichi brought the cigarette up and opened his mouth--
--only to have it smacked away, and a large hand thump him on the back, sending him sprawling off the bench onto the court. He rolled over and looked up in shock.
The senior student loomed over him, an angry look on his face. Taichi did his best but couldn't quite muffle the squeak that escaped him at the look of impending doom written across his sempai's face.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" he growled, and Taichi cringed.
"I-I don't know, sempai," he admitted weakly. "One of my classmates gave one to everyone in class for us to try and--"
"Shut up." Akutsu leaned down and picked up the cigarette, inspecting with a glare, and shoving it into his pocket. "This ain't for you, Taichi. Don't be so fucking stupid next time."
Taichi blinked. "But sempai, you smoke them all the time!"
Akutsu snorted. ":Yeah, and I told you to find a better role model, kid. You think your precious Ryoma-san smokes these things?"
That stung a little. "I know sempai... and Ryoma-san would never smoke...and... sempai... I still want to be like you, even just a little, even though you said I should be more like someone else..." His voice trailed off and his head dropped. Telling Akutsu-sempai those kinds of things was probably not a good idea.
Suddenly the same big hand that had sent him flying off the bench, clamped down on his head, fingers pressing into his scalp hard, ruffling his hair before lifting off with a slight push that made his head swing to the side. "Sempai?"
"You're smarter then that, brat," Akutsu said flatly. "No one cares if I fuck up my life, but that doesn't mean you gotta follow, got it?"
Taichi nodded frantically. "But sempai – I care! And Sengoku-sempai cares too! And I'm sure your moth--"
Taichi's mouth slammed shut, his eyes growing impossibly wide.
"You? Don't smoke. Or do anything else those idiot classmates say you should. Or I will beat your ass straight into the hospital. Ya got me?"
Taichi nodded again, faster this time. Akutsu glared at him for another minute before stomping away from the courts. Taichi breathed out slowly.
Akutsu-sempai was so hard to figure out sometimes.
"You can't kill first-year students, Jin-chan."
"Watch me. And call me that again, and I'll break your mother-fucking jaw."
"Ow, so harsh to me. Let me handle the first-year 'dealer', okay? You're already on probation."
"Why should I care?"
"Because I can make it worth your while..."
"Heh... lucky me!"