Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Theme: #1—"Look over here"
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters herein. I do not claim to own them, and I am not making any profit off of this. This is just fun in a fandom I enjoy. If you want to sue me for all I'm worth…please do! You're welcome to my student loans and other bills.
I wrote this several months ago for the livejournal 30 Kisses community. I completed the claim back in April, and I am just now getting around to posting this elsewhere. Yes, I suck. So this is complete, I'm just not putting it all up at once. 30 chapters in one sitting is a bit much.
Shinji found himself with a rare free day, and he was having a hard time trying to decide what to do with himself.
There was no tennis practice, and Kamio had to stay after class to make up some missing work. There was no one else Shinji really felt like spending time with, and while there was always the street courts if he wanted a game, Shinji just found himself not wanting to deal with the drama that usually played itself out there.
Wandering almost aimlessly, Shinji found that his feet had taken him to a small park by the street courts, closer to Seigaku territory than Fudomine. Shrugging and deciding that the location was as good as any, he staked out a spot in the sun and lay back on the grass.
Shinji's mind refused to be still, and as he stared at the sky and clouds, his thoughts ran in a thousand different directions. It was peaceful, Shinji thought. But if it's so peaceful, why do I feel so tense? No one's around…I usually only feel this way when someone is staring at me….
He realized then what was happening. Without moving, Shinji said, "I know you're watching me, so you might as well stop now. Don't know why you're watching me anyway, I'm not doing anything interesting, and I won't give any love notes to Tachibana-san or Kamio-kun, so if that's what you want, it's useless to stick around…."
Someone chuckled, and out of the corner of his eye, Shinji saw someone take a seat next to him. "You are definitely an interesting person, Ibu-kun," the person said.
Not having expected this turn of events, Shinji turned to look at the person in question. "Inui from Seigaku," he said tonelessly. "Why are you here? Are you that bored that you feel the need to watch someone do nothing?"
Inui chuckled again. "Nothing as simple as that." He nodded towards a tree that was in plain sight of Shinji's spot. "I was organizing my data when I saw you, and I was curious."
"Curious?" Shinji was confused; he thought it was pretty straightforward what he was doing. "I'm just laying here."
"No one 'just lays'," Inui countered, reaching into his bag and pulling out a notebook. "When Echizen-kun does this, he is thinking of his cat or tennis…with a 42 chance that he will fall asleep there. When Akutagawa form Hyotei does this, there is a 98 chance that he will immediately fall asleep, and when Mauri from Rikkai does this, there is a 64 chance that he will make cute shapes out of the clouds." Inui closed the notebook. "What were you doing?"
Shinji shrugged. "Just…thinking things."
"What kind of things? Inui pressed.
Shinji turned to stare at him. "You really are annoying. And rude. A person's thoughts belong to him and no one else."
"I don't mean to be rude," Inui protested, honestly not seeing himself as such. "You don't have to tell, if you don't want to."
Shinji was quiet for a minute. "I just think of…things. School. Tennis. If An-chan will ever choose Akira or Momoshiro. What it would be like to pursue someone. Dating. Kissing." He sat up, resigned to his quiet time being well and truly over. "Nothing special."
"Mmmm." Inui was barely repressing the urge to write as Shinji spoke, instead trying to commit as much as possible to memory. "Is there a girl you're thinking of pursuing?"
Shinji shook his head. "I don't find any girls interesting."
"A boy, then?" Inui wouldn't be surprised. A surprising majority of the junior high male tennis circuit exhibited homosexual or bisexual tendencies. He made a mental note to examine the connection between a sport that involved chasing balls and a desire to chase balls of an entirely different sort.
"I don't think so." Shinji gave the question some serious thought. "I find some of the boys interesting, but that doesn't mean I'm interested. I don't think it does, anyway. Maybe it does. Hmmm…."
Inui was trying not to smile as he listened to Shinji. "I don't think you're alone." Inui tapped the notebook in his lap. "I find many of the boys interesting."
"For their tennis," Shinji pointed out. "For your data. Not interesting for the sake of being interested."
"I beg to differ." Inui adjusted his glasses as he smiled down at Shinji. "I find you quite interesting right now, for reasons that have little, if anything, to do with tennis."
Shinji fought down the urge to blush. "That's because I happened to be here when you were. You could be having this conversation with anyone else. Well, maybe not." Shinji bit his lip. "I'm sure there are plenty of people who would've walked away by now."
"And why haven't you walked away yet?"
Shinji shrugged. "I don't know. I guess I find you interesting."
That startled a full laugh out of Inui. "Ibu-kun, you are certainly worth getting to know better. Much better."
"Am I? Shinji thought for a minute about some of the things that Echizen and Momoshiro had said about the boy sitting next to him. "I'm not sure if that's something to be scared of or not."
"I'd feel better if you weren't." Switching mental tracks, Inui went back to something Shinji had said earlier. "You said you thought about kissing…have you ever been kissed, Ibu-kun?"
This time, Shinji did blush, and he looked away. "I haven't dated, and I haven't been interested in anyone, or had anyone be interested in me. What do you think?" Embarrassed now, Shinji moved to stand and go.
Inui grabbed Shinji's arm, holding him back. "Please don't go. I'm sorry." Shinji stilled, but still didn't look at Inui. "Ibu-kun…look at me? Please?"
When Shinji turned to acknowledge Inui's plea, Inui was unable to help himself. Leaning in, Inui pressed a kiss to Shinji's lips. He only gave himself a moment to wonder at how lips could be soft and firm at the same time before pulling back.
Shinji sat, frozen and blinking, trying to process just what had happened.
Inui smiled. "You can't say you haven't been kissed now." Knowing when to make a strategic retreat, Inui stood. "I hope to have a chance to repeat the experience…and the conversation. Until we meet again, Ibu-kun." Inui walked away, already planning their next encounter.
Shinji watched Inui go, then, still in a daze, slowly lay back down to stare at the sky. He had a lot more to think about now.