A/N: God knows what happened. I was going to watch the latest Eyeshield 21 episode on crunchyroll (though the manga is much better) when a pic of a clip of ZL popped up and I decided to skim through the episoded cos I like them so much -grins- So I was watching Shito's interaction with 'that man' (too lazy to look up his name) at the aquarium, cos it is so wrong. ahem. Anyways, it camt to the graveyard scene and….yeah… this fic was born…and I didn't even think that I would return to this fandom this soon…

Summary: Chika's thoughts during the middle of episode 8 (graveyard scene)

Warning: Spoilers I guess…though that kinda happened in the author notes… Umm…a hurridly written fic? I wrote this in one setting and only re-read it once, so…please forgive any errors or bad grammar! (and I hate it when people do that too!)

Disclaimer: …I have no idea how to wield a sword, hence, I could not have written the manga.


I'm Tired

"I'm tired" he had said. Just, 'I'm tired', with no explanation.

Chika looked at his partner in concern. Shito had been all ready to set off on a rant about his stupidity, but he had stopped half-way, giving up. Chika knew Shito was as stubborn as he was, yet Shito had given up. He was 'tired'.

Chika examined the Shito was sitting on the ground. The fact that the temperamental brunette was sitting on the ground, in front of a grave no less, was enough cause for concern. He looked like he had sat down there because he had had no choice, not because he wanted to. Did he not have enough strength to get to his room? After seeing his father and baby sister off, he had seen Shito and had come over to see what was wrong.

Chika had tried to provoke him, coming over unannounced and sitting down uninvited, but Shito hadn't even protested. So, he had turned to verbal sparring, which was what they were best at. But Shito had given up.

"That's enough"

Chika leaned forward in confusion, trying to see the other's face. One hand – his hand, Chika noted absentmindedly – was cradling his head, and was propped up on the corresponding knee. Dark blue bangs partly obscured his handsome face, but Chika could still make out the eyes. Those eyes that usually blazed brightly and burnt with a fire a dead body should not possess.

But not today, not now. The fires had been dimmed, and were now out. The brilliant ruby had faded into a dull red. Eyelids drooped down, accentuating an exhausted face, lending weight to the next words.

"I'm tired."

Chika was beyond shocked. Shito would never complain! Well, not about anything that he himself did anyway. Nor did Shito announce his weak points – wanted everyone to think that he didn't have any week points! But to blatantly admit that he was tired!

Chika didn't really know what to do. A quiet Shito he could handle, a bad tempered Shito was ok too, it gave hi emotional release when the two duked it out in words – and sometimes fists. Shito on a mission was great cos the guy was so determined to get the job done quickly and efficiently. But a depressed Shito? Chika wasn't even sure what was troubling Shito, but there had to be something!

Chika sighed inwardly. He knew Shito would never take him into confidence. Heck, the guy would let him bandage him even if he was mortally wounded! He couldn't ask Shito what was wrong either. The brunette would either ignore him or leave. And neither scenario would help the current situation.

So, there was only one thing that Chika could do.

"What are you doing?"

Chika continued to pinch and tug the other boy's cheek.

"Well, you looked gloomy. There's always someone like you who never wants to show their weak side."

"…Ah!"

"huh…itai!"

Chika fell back from the force of Shito's punch.

"I had forgotten to hit you."

Chika felt relieved as the mild anger he always held for the older boy flared to life. Now, he could retaliate. They were back to the type of situation they were best in.

"You used your fist without warning!" he cried out as he jumped to his feet, one hand – Shito's hand, right? – on his tender, red, and slightly swollen cheek.

"It's not quite the same when I'm not at my best." Shito mused, staring at his fist. The left one, his own. Chika felt a twinge of worry at these words, not that he showed it of course. Though he did growl slightly at his own helplessness. He had to cover that momentary slip, so he fell back into their old pattern.

"I'll kill you!" Shito responded immediately, getting to his feet and grabbing a fistful of Chika's shirt.

"Try it you piece of trash! You louse!"

Chika was slightly surprised at the sudden change, but nevertheless relieved and happy. He mirrored Shito's action.

"Quiet, curly hair!"

They were back to their routine. Everything would be okay now.

---

"...I'm tired..."


A/N: Okay, how bad was it? Tell the truth, though all you guys were really nice to me when I posted my other ZL fic here. Sorry, this is a one-shot, I won't continue it. I don't have the patience, dedication, time of inspiration to write a multi-chapter fic. (and I have 2 tests this coming week and three after that when my relatives come from England…I should be studying but this came in a flash and I had to type it up!) Oh yeah, those words were taken directly from the anime!

Read and review please, but easy on the flames! I'm made of dry wood and oil-based glue!