Disclaimer: I own very little.
The Most Awesome Senpai
The guy is an idiot for transferring during summer, is Akutsu's first thought. It's always complicated to transfer in the middle of the year, and it's their final year of middle school, no less. Then again, the guy doesn't look particularly bright, with the dull gaze and vacant smile and that idiotic bright yellow cap. In fact, he looks somewhat dumb – but a very good-looking dumb, Akutsu supposes, if you like the type. Akutsu doesn't.
Dan, it seems, does.
"Akutsu-senpai, Akutsu-senpai!" the kid says excitedly, bouncing up and down. "This is Makaji-kun, he's just joined the tennis club desu! And he's awesome, Akutsu-senpai!"
It would take an idiot not to figure out that Dan has found a fresh new target for his fanboy tendencies, and Akutsu's never been an idiot. What he can't figure out is exactly why Makaji would be so awesome. He isn't anything special in tennis practice – which Akutsu sees by accident as he's passing by, not because he's watching or anything, and if he decides to sit there hidden from the players' sight for an hour or so it's just because he feels like it – and Akutsu can't think of any other attributes which would explain the adoration. Nevertheless, Dan has apparently decided him worthy of his worship, now.
It's a new feeling, the freedom. No more chattering kid running after him, no annoying voice penetrating all his mental walls and always cutting off whatever thought he had going, no clingy hands taking hold of his sleeve or the hem of his shirt or anything. Basically, no Dan to bother him.
It takes a while for Akutsu to admit he almost misses it, and even then it's only because he's gotten used to it over the time and doesn't like the change in his usual routine. This is what he tells himself, anyway, and nothing's going to convince him otherwise – on a conscious level at least. So Akutsu keeps an eye on Dan and Makaji, always out of sight of course. He watches, and he listens, and he realises Dan's got it bad.
The kid is just as crazy as usual with that damn hero worship of his. He's even managed to buy a cap just like the idiot's, and he wears it all the time except in class because he can't, there. Everybody seems to think it's cute, and Makaji has a stupid grin on his face when he sees it for the first time, and Dan beams even more brightly than before.
Akutsu contemplates whether he could steal the cap and burn it, but decides it's not worth it because the kid would just buy another one that would be just as annoying.
Makaji isn't a good target for adoration, he figures out after a while. Sweet and nice though he seems on the outside, there is something seriously wrong with him. Takes one to know one, somebody might say, and Akutsu would be the first one to agree – he's hardly idol material, himself, despite Dan's misguided thoughts. But violent and delinquent though he may be, he's never hurt Dan, and he has no idea whether Makaji will. Everybody trusts him, of course, but Akutsu doesn't. He knows better than to do so.
Makaji calls him "Taichi", too, he isn't the only person to do so and neither is Akutsu. However, somehow Makaji's "Taichi" sounds different from that of the others, and Akutsu wonders why Dan lets him say it when it sounds so obviously wrong.
Sengoku notices his surveillance and comments on it, as is to be expected from the red-headed idiot. Akutsu glares at him and doesn't say anything, though he secretly wishes the vice-captain won't mention anything to Dan. The brat might even start thinking Akutsu cares, when he obviously doesn't, or even that he's jealous, for hell's sake. He just wants to prove his instincts are right about Makaji.
He's not interested, nor does he care, and it's entirely by accident that he's leaning against the back of the club house by the end of tennis practice one day, smoking as he listens to the sounds inside through the open window above his head. Something's going to happen, he just knows it, and who cares that he has no idea what is going to happen or why he thinks so. The brat's going to see that he was wrong and Akutsu was right, though, and being right is worth even having to endure the kid's annoying presence again, even though he doesn't want that. Really, he doesn't. He's only doing this to prove that Makaji isn't more "awesome" than he is, because there's no way he'll admit defeat to such an idiot in anything.
"Hey, hurry up, everyone," he hears Sengoku's voice shouting. "I've a date and I don't want to be late because you take your sweet time going home!"
"I can lock up for you Sengoku-senpai desu!" calls out Dan's too bright voice. Of course Sengoku agrees; for all his hyper ways Dan is very reliable when he's given something to do.
The voices fade away one by one, saying goodbye to each other as they head home. Finally, the only ones that are left, as far as Akutsu can tell, are Dan and Makaji. What's the idiot doing there anymore, anyway?
"Ah, Taichi," the bastard says, and oh how Akutsu hates that voice, it makes him want to punch the idiot instantly. He probably would if it wasn't for the wall between them. "Do you have a moment?"
"Ah, Makaji-senpai!" Dan says, probably looking at the idiot with those big eyes of his, smiling vacantly as ever. "What do you want desu?"
"Well," Makaji walks closer, Akutsu can hear it, and now the voice's more disgusting than ever, "I'd very much like you."
"Me desu?" There's genuine confusion in Dan's voice, as though he really didn't know what the bastard's talking about. "What do you mean Makaji-senpai desu?"
"Oh, don't be stupid, Taichi." Akutsu starts walking around the club house to the door, now, but not before he hears the continuation, "A little tease like you can't be that ignorant."
But he can, Akutsu thinks while walking, oh he really can. For all his big shiny eyes and tight little ass and the way he fawns around you, Dan Taichi is exactly the kid he looks like. The little idiot would probably blush at the mere mention of sex. Hell, he is probably blushing right now.
As he cracks the door open Akutsu almost wishes he had run, except that Akutsu Jin cares for nothing enough to run outside a court or a race. Neither of the two seem to notice him, which might have to do something with the fact that both of their attention is mostly on the one of Makaji's hands that's making its way inside Dan's shorts. The kid looks frightened out of his mind, but just as Akutsu thinks he might be frozen with fear, Dan does the one thing he should do in such a situation. With that bony little knee of his, the kid hits Makaji where it hurts most, and Akutsu cheers inwardly.
With a yelp the bastard staggers backwards. "You little bitch," Makaji then growls, advancing menacingly on Dan who's pressed against the lockers with no escape route from the bigger boy. "It could have been fun for you but now I've no choice but to hurt you..."
"Akutsu-senpai!" the kid cries out even though he probably doesn't even know Akutsu's anywhere near. The idiot. "Akutsu-senpai, help me!"
Fortunately for him, Akutsu is nearby, close enough to hear and react. Makaji never touches Dan again because when he tries to Akutsu's already there and punches him. The idiot flies to the opposite wall and hits it with a rather pleasing crack.
"Hands off the brat," growls Akutsu, standing between Dan and the idiot. "He may be an idiotic kid, but he's my idiotic kid, and anybody who wants to touch him will have to go through me."
Dan is holding onto the back of his shirt, now, and it isn't until then that Akutsu realizes he'd just made some sort of an official claim to the boy. He decides it doesn't matter much, though, not when the bastard's lying there and glaring at him and the kid's making really annoying whimpering sounds that are almost like sobs. All that matters now is getting the kid to shut up before he gets a headache.
The cap's fallen down to the floor, Akutsu realises now, and he lets his cigarette fall onto it and burn a dark spot on it. Dan's never going to wear it again anyway, he decides, and if the kid's too stupid to try he'll find a way to stop him.
"So he's your personal boytoy, eh?" Makaji asks, sneering. What an idiot, still talking back. "Did you teach him to be such a tease?"
"Nah, it's a fucking natural talent." Akutsu cracks his knuckles threateningly. "If he really were that easy, do you really think I'd give him the fucking time of the day?"
Dan's hands on his shirt don't seem to be trembling anymore, and Akutsu says, "Let go."
Dan does let go, and then he asks, the brat he is, "Are you going to beat him, Akutsu-senpai?"
"Yes, I am," Akutsu replies, "so don't get in the way, Taichi." The kid's probably going to protest, but Akutsu's not going to listen to him, not this time.
The kid looks at him and smiles, he fucking smiles, and Akutsu can hardly believe his eyes. "Great desu!" says Dan, sounding excited, and it isn't until then that Akutsu realizes that even under the ridiculous cap, the kid has been wearing the green headband.
It feels vaguely wrong even for him, kicking the bastard lying on the ground when Dan's behind him and squeals, "You are so strong, Akutsu-senpai!" Somebody who's made of so many kittens and rainbows and other fluffy things just shouldn't sound so excited at something like that, but Akutsu decides he probably has the right this time and continues the kicking.
In the end, he looks at the idiot, and says, "Be glad you didn't have time to do anything else or you'd be fucking dead." Dan hangs onto his arm and beams up at him, and Akutsu then remembers just what he said earlier and wonders if he could take it back. Then he takes another look at the grinning idiot and decides he doesn't want to. Only because it would be too much work to change the kid's mind anymore, he reminds himself.
Makaji doesn't come to school after that, and Akutsu hears from somewhere he's transferred again, the idiot. Akutsu wishes wholeheartedly somebody will take care of him for good some day. Given the idiot's character, it's likely to happen, he thinks with very cruel glee.
Though neither of them says anything – Akutsu knows he doesn't, and he doubts Dan would like the word to spread, either – somehow the word gets out anyway and soon everybody knows just what happened. After this nobody even dares to call Dan by his first name anymore, not even those who did it before, which is just as well because Akutsu just might punch anybody who does that, besides himself, of course.
There is one thing Dan does tell everyone, though, and it's that Akutsu and he are dating. Akutsu is pretty sure he never said anything like that, but the kid smiles so brightly he never bothers to correct him, because he'd just get a headache if the kid started sobbing again. Besides, it makes him even more certain that nobody'll dare touch the idiotic brat again, which is just as well because he's made the mistake of saying that Dan is his and now he has to live up to it or his reputation will suffer.
If there's any other reason Akutsu doesn't say it aloud, but he suspects Dan knows it, anyway.