A/N: I wrote this because I'm awesome and…then M-chan-senpai pointed out plotholes and I basically told her to bite me. This is dedicated to my beta, KiriharaAkaya for finally getting my fic back to me before my 'big' exams even though I ended up not posting it before anyway! Gomenasai! Also dedicated to Ki-chan who now loves Rikkai and to KA's friend, HannaH-chan for beta-ing with KA. I love you ALL!
Disclaimer: No.

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Yagyuu Hiroshi and Niou Masaharu: Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku Doubles One.

A Case Study on Polar Opposites.

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Overall

Yagyuu is a Gentleman with a capital G. Niou is a Trickster with a capital T. They are nothing alike. They are the same.

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In the Library

Yagyuu studies the Physics II textbook. Niou hides a dirty magazine inside a translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. They both get kicked out, Niou for disobeying rules and Yagyuu for not reporting him. Niou is banned completely; Yagyuu is allowed if he has a letter from a teacher. Yagyuu sends slightly amused glances at the window every time he is studying there. Niou sits on the outside of the open sill and reads his magazines, making show of not being in the library. The librarian nearly faints and grants them free access after the fifth time. After all, the library is on the fourth floor. Yagyuu studies. Niou reads his magazines, laying his head in his partner's lap. Yagyuu listens to Niou's quips and occasionally glances down at Niou's quiet wolf whistles. He should find it weird that Niou is whistling at pictures of men. He doesn't. Niou is grateful but he doesn't show it.

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In Math Classes

Yagyuu hands up his homework, once stored in his blue three-ring binder, every question completed in precise handwriting. Niou hands up a forged excuse on a ripped and messy scrap of paper from the back of his textbook, the kanji scattered all over. Niou is sent to the Principal's office and Yagyuu gets an earful after class for allowing Niou to slack off. Niou's mother picks up for him when she is called in. Niou wears a smug smirk for the remainder of the day. Yagyuu gets another lecture for not saying that Niou's mother knew. He accidentally-on-purpose knocks his Ponta into Niou's lap, leaving a red stain that won't come out for a few weeks. Niou doesn't understand why the teachers let them drink in their classes. He sort of 'playfully' shoves Yagyuu off his chair. Yagyuu almost breaks his coccyx in the fall. Niou spends the rest of the day avoiding his partner.

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In Physical Education

Yagyuu sits out on climbing the rope, claiming to have a headache. Niou climbs the rope, if only to use a pocketknife to cut it almost all the way through. Niou claims it wasn't him and Yagyuu ends up carrying Marui to the nurse under the suspicious gaze of the coach (maybe Yagyuu did it, he's thinking, he's the only one who didn't climb). Niou gets tripped in the changing room and Jackal is the only one nearby. Marui leaves a large wet spot on Yagyuu's blazer, even when the nurse tells him that nothing is broken. Yagyuu opens Niou's locker and laces his clothes with perfume, borrowed from a blushing freshman girl. Niou 'slips' and grabs Yagyuu's blazer, ripping the side open. Again. Yagyuu claims that Niou's clothes smelled like 'cow dung' and the perfume was for the better. Niou smirks back and sneers that Yagyuu should stop using safety pins to fix his uniform.

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In Literature Part One

Yagyuu reads his synopsis of Romeo and Juliet, explaining the intricacies of forbidden love and its modern cousins: incest and homosexuality. Niou reads snippets of Romeo's parts, proclaiming that Romeo was a sex fiend and Juliet was like a slut waiting for the right customer. Niou is given a failing grade and told to write a thousand-word essay on Juliet's struggle for love; Yagyuu, despite his passing grade, is told that homosexuality and incest are not suitable topics for a third year junior high class. Niou waggles his eyes at Yagyuu after and dramatically drops his head into his partner's lap. Yagyuu lifts his knee, banging Niou's head into the edge of the desk. They say nothing for the rest of the class until Niou realizes he's bleeding and starts complaining. Yagyuu says sorry in a blank voice and uses Niou's open textbook to stop the bleeding, slapping it against the other's face. The picture of Romeo kissing Juliet will never be the same.

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In Social Studies

Yagyuu reports on the samurai. Niou reports on gay prostitution. Yagyuu is told to do something more original. Niou is told to do something more normal. They sit together, Yagyuu staring at the blackboard and Niou drawing stick figures in his book. They have done every report but have yet to turn in a piece of homework. Yagyuu does not pretend to pay attention. Niou does. Yagyuu gets off scotch-free when he helps Sensei carry books. Niou gets in trouble when Sensei grabs his book and demands to know why there are dead stick people in the book instead of notes. Yagyuu lets Niou know that they have more reports due. Niou lets Yagyuu know that he thinks Yagyuu has a stick up his ass.

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In English

Yagyuu finishes the three paragraphs on his family and friends first, going over the word limit. Niou is still on his fifth sentence at the end of class. Niou gets a demerit and Yagyuu is told that his Roman letters resemble Cyrillic. They are both given exercise sheets to work on: Niou's a crossword and Yagyuu's a page of words in Roman letters for him to copy. Yagyuu tells the teacher that public humiliation of pupils is a violation of students' rights, though he isn't completely sure that this is true. Niou smirks and nods at all the right points. They are given passing marks. Yagyuu tells Niou that it wasn't done for his benefit, that Niou passed because he just happened to witness the talk. Niou says he knows, says he doesn't care about Yagyuu. They don't (can't) meet each other's eyes throughout this exchange.

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In Chemistry

Yagyuu does most of the experiment on fractional distillation. Niou plays with the Bunsen burner. Niou is chastised for almost burning Amaya-chan's braid; Yagyuu is chastised for putting his hand in the way of the fire and getting burned. Amaya-chan does not thank Yagyuu, but slaps Niou when they're in the hall after class and Yagyuu forces Niou to apologize. Yagyuu gets ready for their next class. Niou leans against the locker next to Yagyuu's, twirling his pocketknife. Yagyuu's hand is bright red all day and Yukimura fusses over it at practice. Sanada gives Niou a very hard slap for damaging his own doubles partner. Niou hits his head on the fence post and Yagyuu yelps in an undignified way when Kirihara pokes at his hand. Yanagi watches. They sit out, much to their buchou's disappointment. Yagyuu keeps his eyes on the ground and Niou feels a small tug of guilt. Yanagi wanders over and decides to engage Yagyuu in conversation, completely ignoring Niou.

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In Physics

Yagyuu doesn't know the answer for three-down in the crossword. Niou hisses the answer, pushes his paper in Yagyuu's direction. Yagyuu gets fed up and throws his hand in the air, saying 'I'm done'. Niou curses and decides to do the same, loudly yelling 'Fuck it! I'm done too!'. The supervising Teacher's Aide backs away slowly and gives them a wide berth after that. Yagyuu gets eight out of ten for getting one wrong and leaving one out. Niou gets seven out of ten for getting one wrong and replacing two with obscenities. Niou decides that Physics is stupid but he can pervert it. Yagyuu is good at Physics but he gets bored and sleepy. Yagyuu does not appreciate it when Niou says, in a sleep-slurred voice, 'Up and at 'em, tiger' and prods him until he raises his head and starts taking notes again. Niou stops writing and asks loudly if expansion of matter will be on the exam. The teacher's aide cowers slightly and says no. Yagyuu definitely cannot sleep when Niou starts cursing and asking why they're learning something they won't be tested on. Niou cannot sleep when Yagyuu is trying to explain the formula for kinetic energy.

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In Biology

Yagyuu draws the heart, kidneys and reproductive systems, only complaining in mutters when he draws veins and tubes and they come out too wide. Niou snickers his way through, copying only the male reproductive system. On the day of the exam, Yagyuu must explain the different white blood cells to Niou: 'The lymphocytes are the nymphos except with an 'l' instead of 'n' and they engulf the germs or 'homophobes'. The phagocytes are the fags, like your cigarettes except 'ph', and they make antibodies which break the germs into harmless substances, 'gay activists'.' Sanada is less than amused by this when Niou explains how he passed. Yukimura laughs, however, and Yanagi writes the whole thing down. Yanagi asks Yagyuu if he could do a whole book of study notes like that, dragging him off despite Yagyuu's protests that he was planning on eating lunch with Niou.

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In Home Ec

Yagyuu does the whole exercise by himself. Niou left his apron and bandanna home, so he has to sit out. Neither passes that day, because Niou's deducted marks added to their poor table presentation (which is virtually non-existent) gives them less than twenty out of forty. Yukimura-and-Sanada (because they are virtually married and therefore one organism) almost get full marks, though their table collapsed when Marui accidentally kicked it. Marui and Jackal get full marks, none deducted for the Yukimura-and-Sanada incident. Niou eats all of Yagyuu's banana cream pie, only to then say, 'It was horrible'. Yagyuu sticks Niou with cleaning duty on his way out, saying in a flat tone, 'It's only fair'. Niou somehow makes the mess worse and the place looks like a typhoon hit it when the teacher comes in. Yagyuu gets told off for not taking responsibility when he was supposed to do the cleaning. Niou watches Yagyuu's ass when Yagyuu bends over to get more soap.

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In the Showers after Morning Practice

Yagyuu washes and dries and then waits in the changing room. Niou spends his time under the hot water and realizes belatedly that his shampoo bottle has been replaced with the honey he put in Yagyuu's stall. Sanada and Yagyuu are the only ones around to hear Niou's angry roar of 'YAGYUU HIROSHI, I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!'. Sanada excuses himself with a questioning glance at Yagyuu. Yagyuu is dismayed to find that his shoes have been filled with itching powder. Niou manages to wash out the honey but does not escape giggles from the girls in class at the new, yellowish tint to his hair. Yagyuu goes barefoot all day, barely avoiding stepping on thumb tacks that seem to be strategically placed.

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On the Street Courts

Yagyuu watches Niou trying to play doubles with Sanada and cannot help smiling a little. Sanada is a hardcore singles player, not meant to venture into the world of doubles. Niou starts hitting the ball at the back of Sanada's head after the third point lost, leading to their demise at the hands of Kamio Akira and Ibu Shinji of Fudomine. Yagyuu lets Kirihara climb on him like a monkey, having already won his match. It was worth the long commute. Yagyuu is surprised to find that doubles with Kirihara wasn't too awful. Kirihara asks why Yagyuu is staring into space, if his senpai is thinking dirty thoughts. When the little curly-haired imp gets no answer, he leaps on Yukimura with a loud wail of 'Yagyuu-senpai is a dirty perverrrrrrrrrrrrt!'. Yanagi is more than happy to scribble this down. Almost the whole Rikkaidai team is there; only Jackal and Marui aren't present for the event. Niou has been watching Yagyuu for the past few minutes and smirks at Kirihara's yell. However, when Yagyuu manages to pacify Kirihara's fears (a remarkable feat that only Yukimura-and-Sanada have been capable of so far) and the junior starts hanging off the Gentleman again, Niou's smirk drops, his eyes glare daggers and he looks away. Niou doesn't speak to Yagyuu for the rest of the day. Yagyuu does not seem to notice. Yanagi takes up all of the Gentleman's attention, save for the bit reserved for Kirihara and his antics.

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In the Hospital

After Yukimura's surgery, Niou and Yagyuu are the last to see their captain. Jackal, Marui and Kirihara are just leaving, Kirihara looking shaken. Yanagi was there before anyone else and already left. Sanada was unable to come. Yagyuu sits on the edge of the mattress and Niou sits on the chair on the other side of the bed. Yukimura chats with Yagyuu and Niou until Niou looks at his watch and starts saying that they don't have all day. Yukimura looks hurt, considering the fact that Niou always sounds excited about visits when they speak on the phone. He turns his attention fully to Yagyuu, who is more than a little concerned. Before they leave, Yagyuu actually hugs Yukimura. Yukimura smiles and plants a kiss on Yagyuu's cheek. Niou tells Yagyuu to go ahead, he'll meet him outside. Ten minutes later, Niou is not there. Yagyuu goes back up, only to find Niou crying into Yukimura's bedsheets and snarling that friends don't betray each other. Yukimura sees Yagyuu through the crack in the door and shakes his head, motioning with one slim hand that Yagyuu should go. So Yagyuu goes. When Niou calls him that evening, demanding to know why he wasn't waiting outside, Yagyuu says that he had homework and hangs up. Niou doesn't call the next day, a Sunday. Yagyuu goes to the movies with Yanagi. Niou sees them. He says nothing about it on Monday.

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On An Evening After Practice

Yagyuu does not want to have dinner at home. Niou suggests that they go out someplace to eat. They stumble upon a small ramen shack. It looks shabby and rundown. They go in anyway. Yagyuu pays and Niou orders a double portion for them to share. Niou reaches for the last shrimp at the same time as Yagyuu. Yagyuu lets Niou have it, although he is not sure why Niou is so nervous. Niou is smirking, but Yagyuu can feel the anxiety radiating from the Trickster in waves. They eat in silence and leave. Yagyuu suggests that they go to the library to finish their homework. Niou snorts but goes with him anyway. They have misjudged, however, and the place is packed. They sit in the corner, both actually doing work. Niou is a little flushed from the heat. That's what Yagyuu thinks. Yagyuu shifts, his thigh pressing against Niou's harder and Niou suddenly begins shuffling, flushing further. They part that evening on less than normal terms. Niou is holding his tennis bag to his front. Yagyuu waves as he starts down his street. Niou has to catch a bus to his street, as the sun is already setting. Niou watched Yagyuu's retreating figure for a while, shivers slightly in the cool evening air and decides he'd rather walk home.

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In An Impromptu Friendly against Jyousei

Yagyuu takes a gulp of water. Niou is leaning against the fence, glaring at his empty bottle. Yagyuu sighs and shoves his bottle at his partner. After the Nationals, they have been more in sync than they would like. In fact, Niou who is glaring at his bottle is actually Yagyuu who is Niou and Yagyuu who is offering water is actually Niou who is Yagyuu. Niou who is not Niou but Yagyuu who is Niou is not satisfied with their match at all, even if they won. He cannot show it though, as he blinks and adjust his glasses that aren't his. Yagyuu who is dressed as Niou but is Yagyuu and not Niou takes the bottle and drains it. They walk off with a short signal to the now almost completely healthy Yukimura. He nods. Yagyuu who is not Yagyuu but Niou dressed as Yagyuu whips off the glasses on his face holds them out to Niou who is acting like Yagyuu because he is not Niou but Yagyuu. They change and Yagyuu is Yagyuu and Niou is Niou. Niou feels Yanagi's gaze the whole time, and sees the twitch of a frown when Yagyuu mentions that Niou looked good with brown hair.

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At A Sleepover at Niou's House

It is past midnight. Yagyuu and Niou have been drinking, unbeknownst to Niou's family. Yagyuu is trying to wipe off the toothpaste that is all over him. Niou stands beside him, trying to scrub off the mathematical equations written on his arms and legs. Yagyuu finally turns on the shower and ducks under the hot spray. Niou joins him and they start stripping their wet clothes off and decide to take proper showers. The stall is small but they don't care. They just need to get clean. Yagyuu reaches past Niou for the shampoo and feels the Trickster's shoulders tense up. He is suddenly aware that Niou is hard. Niou is hard, and for some reason, Yagyuu does not mind. He looks Niou in the eye and asks if he should turn on the cold water. Niou shrugs, smirking (but looking a tad bit nervous), and purrs in Yagyuu's ear that he can do whatever he wants. Yagyuu was not previously aware that hearing someone talk could make one hard. He reaches past Niou again and turns on the cold water, shutting off the hot water completely. Niou curses, jumping forward…right against Yagyuu. They are still for a few moments, then Yagyuu moves and sends a bolt of something through Niou's body. Niou wants to grab Yagyuu, pull him flush against his body and start grinding his hips forward. He doesn't, instead ducking under the cold water. He rushes out after and dives under the blankets. Yagyuu comes out minutes later. They do not discuss it.

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Sunday Morning at Yagyuu's After Another Sleepover

Yagyuu wakes up early. One arm and leg are hanging off the bed in the cold air-conditioned air of his room. His other arm is over his head and his other leg is pinned to the mattress. Niou is sprawled over his friend. One leg is over Yagyuu's, the other tangled in blankets. His arm is roped around Yagyuu's torso, holding him close. The funniest thing, which also strikes Yagyuu as oddly innocent for the Trickster, is Niou's head, tucked right under Yagyuu's chin. It is a perfect fit. Yagyuu's phone starts to ring a Dutch techno tune, some Armin Van Buuren remix: it is Yukimura. Yagyuu answers in a whisper and when Yukimura whispers in response, asking why they are whispering, Yagyuu says Niou is 'using him as a mattress or pillow or some such thing'. Yukimura laughs softly and asks Yagyuu to wake Niou up because he needs to speak to Niou but his phone is off and Yukimura knows Niou is with Yagyuu anyway. Yagyuu replies in the affirmative and wriggles his pinned leg until he can shove Niou off the bed. When Niou asks why he was woken so rudely, the phone is thrust silently at him. Niou doesn't tell Yagyuu what Yukimura wanted. Yagyuu doesn't ask.

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At A Bar

Yagyuu does not know why Niou bothered sneaking into the bar. Currently, Niou is having a nice time on the dance floor with a man who is at least ten years older but Yagyuu will not stop him. Yagyuu watches as Niou kisses the man, as the man pulls Niou into the crowd. He is not worried, he assures himself. Niou is not stupid. Or so he thinks, until the man comes out of the crowd and sneers that his 'little idiot friend' is in one of the back rooms. Yagyuu drops the polite act and shoves the man, running through the crowds. He searches the back rooms until he sees Niou curled up on the bed of the last one. He tries to get Niou to stand but Niou shakes his head, eyes tightly shut and biting his lip. He maneuvers Niou to sit but then Niou cries out in pain and lies on his side again. There is blood under his nails and Yagyuu realizes that there were crescent-shaped cuts all over the man's arms. Yagyuu's blood runs cold and he hefts Niou into a standing position. Niou sags against him and Yagyuu feels the heat of tears against his neck. Looking over Niou's shoulder, he sees a large red stain on the back of Niou's jeans. He briskly ties his jacket around Niou's waist to hide the stain and pulls Niou out of the bar as quickly as possible, ignoring the early winter wind on his now bare arms. His only thought is that Niou is hurt and he is responsible.

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At Niou's House a Few Hours Later

Niou's first real thought is that the place he's in is familiar. He quickly realizes he is in his room and looks around. Suddenly, someone is touching him. He recoils but the voice whispering to him is comforting…Yagyuu. Yagyuu is there. Niou tries to roll over and almost screams in pain. Yagyuu pushes him back onto his stomach. When cool fingers move across his back and down onto his rear, his head shoots up. Yagyuu shakes his head, tells him that he needs to see if Niou needs medical attention. Then there is the slightly rough feel of cloth, wet and warm. It sends pain through him and he groans, whimpers. Yagyuu is touching him gently, fingering at his abused opening. There are soft circular motions, then Yagyuu leaves the room. Later, after Yagyuu lies asleep on the floor, Niou finds the strength to stand. He wobbles into the bathroom. He sees his jeans draped over the side of the shower stall and the telltale red traces around the drain. There is a slight stain still on the denim and a scrubbing brush lies off to the side. Yukimura told him this would happen and he didn't listen. Back in his room, Yagyuu has shifted, now spread-eagled on his back. He is shivering slightly and Niou moves a blanket to the floor. He stops at the sight of a jagged red line on Yagyuu's arm. He drops the blanket on his partner and picks up the pocketknife on the floor. There is a bit of blood on it. Niou realizes, with some dread, that Yagyuu blames himself.

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At Yagyuu's House on a Wednesday Evening

Yagyuu has come down with bronchitis. When he left Niou's house the weekend before, he was feverish but ordered Niou to rest. Niou sits on the edge of Yagyuu's bed with Kirihara and Marui, recalling the day's happenings. Jackal is laying out Yagyuu's homework on the desk in neat piles for each subject. Yanagi sits on the floor, head tilted back so he can have a clear view of Yagyuu (although he doesn't open his eyes). Sanada is trying to force feed Yagyuu with some broth, growling threats about taking away his Regulars spot. Yukimura stands behind Sanada, wearing the fukubuchou's cap and doing a mute imitation. Sanada whips his head around when Yagyuu gives a weak smirk. Yukimura stops mid-slapping motion and smiles. He kisses Sanada, fully on the lips, and looks pleased at the blush he manages to procure. He says to Yagyuu that it's a gift just for him, seeing their stern fukubuchou blush. Yagyuu thanks him in a hoarse voice, then clears his throat. He looks at the clock and asks for his Cefprozil, the antibiotics his father prescribed. He tells Sanada (who is glaring at him) that his antibiotics work best on an empty stomach and he will eat later. Kirihara bounces and asks if bronchitis is fun. Yagyuu picks at his blanket and tells Kirihara that no, bronchitis is not fun. Kirihara watches him closely and asks, 'Really, senpai?'. Yagyuu starts to laugh but the laugh turns into a cough and Marui quickly pulls him up and holds out tissues. Yagyuu coughs for five minutes, bringing up a lot of sputum. Niou whirls on Kirihara and starts yelling at him for making Yagyuu cough. Yanagi also begins chastising the junior and Niou wonders when Yanagi started caring about Yagyuu so much. It takes a combination of Marui and Yukimura-and-Sanada for Niou to stop and Yukimura has to then calm Kirihara down. Yagyuu takes his antibiotics and shuts his eyes. Jackal suggests that they leave, starting to herd the team out. Niou insists on staying. Sanada, for once gentle, sets a hand on Niou's shoulder and tells him Yagyuu won't get better if they all hang around. Before he leaves with Sanada, Niou turns and looks Yagyuu in the eye. He chokes on his words for a second, then says, "It isn't your fault, so stop blaming yourself."

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In School Therapy

Yagyuu does not believe he should be here. Niou does not believe he should be here. After a week of Yagyuu being back, Yukimura-and-Sanada noticed the healing cut on Yagyuu's arm. Yagyuu did not lie. Yanagi began to examine the wound. Niou tried to blame it on a prank but it was done already. Niou sticks his tongue out at the woman and tells that her he is completely normal and she should stop wasting her time. Yagyuu says nothing. The woman makes another 'tsk'ing sound and writes something down.

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At Yukimura's House

Yagyuu chose dare. Kirihara dared him to 'make-out' with Niou. Niou tries to look casual about it but inside, he is nervous. He smirks at Yagyuu, "Come on, Hiroshi. Kiss me." Yagyuu is sitting before him, looking cool and indifferent, as always. He takes off his glasses, hands them to Yukimura and tilts Niou's head up with one hand. His lips cover Niou's, prying them open gently. Niou is motionless as Yagyuu gently pushes his tongue against his. It is different from the first kiss Niou had with Amaya-chan from Chemistry in elementary school on Valentine's and definitely different from that man's kiss. Then it is over and Yagyuu pulls away, retrieving his glasses. Before moving back to his spot, Yagyuu whispers that Niou could at least kiss back. Niou feels Yanagi glaring, but can't imagine why. Yagyuu's target is Yukimura and everyone is frozen. They have all avoided targeting the buchou, except for Sanada, who has special rights. Yukimura chooses dare and when told to give Sanada a lap dance, he smiles and does it. Kirihara stares as Sanada is pushed into a chair and Yukimura grinds his behind into their vice captain's crotch. Yukimura winks at the junior and Niou gets the ideas that there will be a threesome later this evening. Glancing at his partner, he sees a gleam of smug satisfaction in Yagyuu's eyes. Suddenly everything is clear. Yukimura and Yagyuu have had this planned for the whole party.

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At Yanagi's House

Yagyuu keeps his eyes on the television, pushing Yanagi's hand away from his lap furtively. Yanagi has been coming onto him since the day of the Chemistry incident where he burned his hand. Niou sits on the floor in front of Yagyuu. He turns and says, so that everyone can hear, that he had no idea Yanagi and Yagyuu were an item. Yanagi smiles and tightens his grip on Yagyuu's thigh. Yagyuu actually shoves Yanagi this time, purposely steps on Niou's hand and leaves the room. Ten minutes later, Yukimura scrambles for the bathroom. He returns with an indifferent-looking Yagyuu. Yanagi watches Niou watching Yagyuu watching the TV from his new seat between Yukimura-and-Sanada, under Kirihara. Yanagi suddenly understands.

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At The Park with Doubles Two

Yagyuu sinks into a crouch. Looking up at Jackal, he nods. Jackal pulls his arm back and launches the snowball. It hits Marui in the back and the bubbly self-proclaimed genius fall over. Niou has no such tactical strategy and runs around throwing snowballs at anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. Yagyuu tosses a snowball at his partner's ankles, making him slip. Niou falls off the path into the snow. It is the middle of winter and the doubles pairs have come together for war. The rest of the team judges, since Kirihara wouldn't be separated from Seiichi-and-Gen, as he has taken to calling Yukimura-and-Sanada. This left Yanagi partner-less. As a penalty for being the only ones able to play, the doubles pairs were switched up. It had been Kirihara's mistake to put the Trickster with Marui. They had no sense of when to stop. Halfway through the battle, Kirihara shrieks and tries to snuggle into as small a ball as possible between Yukimura-and-Sanada. Fuji Syuusuke, Tezuka Kunimitsu and Echizen Ryoma of Seigaku are watching them. Yukimura asks sweetly what the Seishun boys are doing in the area. Fuji explains that Echizen was feeling restless and dragged his two senpai along with him for a train ride. Tezuka looks less than amused when Kirihara unfolds himself, walks up to him and starts chattering about how much he'd like a match. Sanada pull Kirihara back and there is a stony silence between Sanada and Tezuka. Echizen is making faces at Kirihara, not caring that his captain's hand is on his shoulder in warning. Yukimura and Fuji stop chatting at the sudden silence. Fuji gives a small chuckle, laces his arm through Tezuka's and starts pushing Echizen, saying that they should get going. Yukimura waves after them. Yagyuu is watching the Rikkaidai Threesome: Yukimura-and-Sanada-and-Kirihara and suddenly leaps about a foot in the air, yelling as a snowball is dropped down the back of his shirt. Niou snickers. Yukimura walks up to Niou and starts on a rant about Yagyuu's still recent bout of bronchitis. Niou's smile fades and he sulkily apologizes to Yagyuu as they all walk to Yukimura's to spend the night.

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In The Clubroom

Yagyuu's locker used to be neat and organized. Niou's locker used to be a dump. Now, Yagyuu's tie is not always on a hanger with his shirt, but pooled on top of his shoes and Niou's uniform is not as wrinkly as it used to be. Yagyuu showers, dries, changes and waits for Niou. Niou waits until the water is cold and Yanagi and his creepy data-collecting expression are the last ones in the showers. Today, Niou stops, feeling eyes on his back. There are still bruises on his hips from the night at the bar, which Yagyuu said probably won't completely fade for a month. Niou turns around, only to see Yanagi. He rudely demands to know what Yanagi wants. Yanagi shakes his head and pushes Niou against the wall, whispering probability rates of different bad things happening to Niou if he stays near Yagyuu. Yagyuu is still waiting when Niou finally gets out of the showers, followed by Yanagi. Niou brashly changes as usual, dropping his towel without a second thought. As he pulls on his underwear, he feels a prickling sensation on the back of his neck. Yanagi smiles when he turns. Yagyuu leans against the wall and asks if Niou wants to go back to the ramen shack. Niou feels like a deer in the headlights suddenly and makes up an excuse about chores. Yagyuu frowns very slightly and cleans his glasses, a sign that he feels angry or nervous about something. Yanagi volunteers to go with him. There is silence and Niou feels a weight on his chest. Yagyuu will say yes. There is more silence. Yagyuu politely declines. Yanagi says it's fine and leaves. On the way home, Niou feels like he's being watched, especially when he and Yagyuu are getting off the train. Someone knocks into Yagyuu and he stumbles into Niou, pressing them to the wall of the station. Yagyuu pulls away and dusts Niou's back off, asking if he's okay. Niou yanks away and says he can take care of himself. On the bus home, he can still hear Yagyuu's voice, "Can you?"

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In A Coffeehouse

Yagyuu sips his vanilla latte and watches Niou. Niou stirs his mocha latte and looks out the window. It is the first time in three days that they have spoken out of tennis practice. Niou has gone to all of Yanagi's classes, causing confusion as to whether his original classes were with Yagyuu or Yanagi. They are in the same homeroom and Yagyuu has tried to speak to Niou multiple times. Niou always whispers angry things at him and Yagyuu backs off. Yagyuu has taken to spending time with Yukimura-and-Sanada as a result. Yukimura is suspicious and Sanada is starting to get short-tempered with Yanagi and Niou. Niou finally sighs and meets Yagyuu's gaze. "Renji's across the street, watching us. He really likes you and really doesn't like me."

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At Sanada's House

Niou shifts slightly closer to Yagyuu on the loveseat. He can always blame any contact on the small size of the two-seater. Kirihara is trying to get Sanada to neck him but the fukubuchou is content with just kissing. Yukimura is happily settled between them, on Sanada's lap. Yanagi and Jackal are down the hall in the kitchen, attempting to make popcorn. In a pot. On the stove. Marui has joined them, just so he can watch. Yagyuu and Niou are alone with the lovey-dovey threesome, feeling awkward indeed. Niou doesn't feel the need to snipe, having done so already. Yagyuu is watching them quite intently, eyes following every movement. He turns to Niou, looking sincere and dead serious, and asks if he'd like to try necking. Niou doesn't get a chance to answer, since Marui, Jackal and Yanagi return bearing popcorn and proceed to contaminate most of it by dropping the bowl at the sight of the threesome happily kissing. Yagyuu makes the popcorn the next time around. Alone. Niou is left to wonder why Yagyuu would ask his best friend a question like that.

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At Church

Niou isn't sure how Yagyuu talked him into doing the religion project for Social Studies with him. They are sitting at the back of the church and Niou whispers that he'll give Yagyuu a thousand yen if he dresses up as an altar boy and lets the priest molest him. Yagyuu tells Niou to shut up and sing the hymns. After the service, they wrangle a priest into doing an interview. They ask his opinion on homosexuality. He says that the Bible says it is wrong. Yagyuu taps his pen on his notepad and repeats the question putting emphasis on the words 'your opinion'. The priest says that it doesn't bother him as it should and that he thinks it is perfectly normal. Yagyuu wraps up the interview a few questions later. When he asks Niou what he thought on their way to lunch, Niou grins at him. "It was awesome. Let's go back some time."

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At Niou's

Niou is in a state of shock, watching the chess pieces fall to the floor. Yagyuu repeats himself. "Do. You. Want. To. Try. Necking?"

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At Yagyuu's

Yagyuu is still waiting for an answer when he and Niou are trying to play strip Monopoly with the rest of their team.

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At Yukimura's

They are watching a B-rate horror movie with subtitles when Niou turns to Yagyuu, who is sitting on the couch next to Yanagi. Yanagi glares, eyes still shut, at Niou. Niou ignores him. Yagyuu looks down quizzically. Niou nods. "Yes."

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In The Janitor's Closet at School

Niou stretches his neck further, biting down on his hand. Yagyuu's lips are at his throat, tongue flicking out randomly. Yagyuu undoes the top button of Niou's shirt and pushes the collar back, sucking on Niou's collarbone. Niou can't stifle a moan and Yagyuu glances up. He smiles slightly, then sinks his teeth into the flesh he was sucking. Niou gives a whimper and a moan, clutching at the back of Yagyuu's blazer. Yagyuu swipes his tongue over the mark he's left and pulls back. Niou is horrified but he just smirks and asks if he can get a real kiss. Yagyuu readily complies.

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At Yukimura's

Niou shifts uncomfortably. "Yukimura, is it weird to want to hump someone?"

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In Literature Part Two

Yagyuu stands up to do his synopsis on Hamlet and is once more shot down for his main theme of homosexuality. He argues fervently that there are definite undercurrents of it in this particular work by Shakespeare. Niou sits and watches for a bit, before standing up and yelling. "I'm gay!"

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In the Gym

Yukimura has canceled practice due to the snow outside and the fact that they have been working extremely hard all winter. The team lies sprawled across the floor. Jackal and Marui are playing Go Fish. The Threesome is trying to surreptitiously have a little make-out session. Yanagi watches Niou for a bit, then goes, 'I heard about you coming out of the closet in Literature. There is a 93.6 percent chance of that damaging your reputation.' Niou rolls his eyes and lies back, dropping his head into Yagyuu's lap. Yagyuu absentmindedly starts playing with Niou's hair, glancing down and giving a little grin. Yukimura breaks away from Sanada's mouth just long enough to tell Niou that, no, it isn't weird to want to hump someone. Niou is satisfied at the little choking noise that Yanagi makes.

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At The Ramen Shack

Niou asks for a kiss, seated beside Yagyuu in the corner booth. Yagyuu pulls Niou onto his lap and seals their lips together. When Niou mumbles against his lips that he wants some tongue, Yagyuu nips Niou's bottom lip and slips his tongue into his friend's mouth. It is only the third time he has kissed Niou but it is still different from the kiss Yukimura gave him on a dare in elementary school, following which Yukimura giggled like a girl and Yagyuu did an accurate imitation of a fish. It is definitely better than the kiss Yanagi planted on him at the movies, dry and sloppy and not at all enjoyable. Niou tastes wet, a little like ramen and his tongue is cool from the ice water he was drinking. They only stop kissing when a group of girls come in and start tittering. Breaking apart, they realize that they are girls from their school. Niou curses. Loudly.

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New Year's Eve

'Everyone get someone to kiss now,' Yukimura says softly, his sentence insinuating something dirty. Yanagi edges toward Yagyuu but Yagyuu's arm slides around Niou before either Niou or Yanagi know it. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Niou clings desperately to Yagyuu as someone (Yanagi) jostles him, someone pulls the chain around his neck in some sad attempt to strangle or otherwise kill him. Nonetheless, it is painful and Niou pulls out of his kiss with Yagyuu. Yagyuu frowns and Niou whispers to him. Yanagi is looking for an escape route but Yagyuu reaches him quickly. "Jealousy is very unbecoming."

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Valentine's Day

Yagyuu thanks Niou, in the middle of the corridor, for the chocolate. A photo of them kissing at the ramen shack has surfaced and, as a result, everyone knows Yagyuu and Niou are an item. Yanagi has a freshman girlfriend now and says little to either boy. Niou decides, as he wraps his arms around Yagyuu's neck, that he is an exhibitionist. So he humps Yagyuu right there. When he sees Yukimura later, the captain sighs. "It is inappropriate to hump someone in public."

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Conclusion

Spending so much time together makes them blend. In high school, Niou pranks his senpai, but swears he didn't put the sleeping pills in their water bottles while staring wide-eyed at his boyfriend, and Yagyuu insists he didn't clean up in Home Ec. on Niou's day while raising an eyebrow at his lover. Yagyuu is Niou and Niou is Yagyuu but they are nothing alike.

-x-X-x-

OWARI

A/N: Review it please. Info Tech was a piece of cake so…AND I SPENT SIX HOURS, UNMOVING, WRITING THIS SO IF YOU HIT, REVIEW! Because I'm just a masochist like that and…fuck! KA-chan, the shoulder pain has returned!
-James.