Mukahi Gakuto's best friend was Oshitari Yuushi. They played doubles together and had all the same elective classes together. They even had Chemistry and English lessons together. For the classes that they did not have together, it was because of Hyotei's strict academic policy that placed students in classes based on their ability. Gakuto's grades were not good enough for the prestigious Math 3-1 or Biology 3-1. He tried every year to get into the same class as Yuushi because, well, Yuushi was his best friend. They played together and were there for each other. However, apparently, at the end of last year, Yuushi decided to change his electives at the last minute. It was the end of the first day of school of them being third years and Gakuto had not seen Yuushi all day. In Chemistry and English, the teachers had said, "Oshitari-kun is excused." It became worse. In the elective classes like Physical Education, Gymnastics, Volleyball, and Home Economics, Yuushi's name wasn't even on the attendance list. He wasn't even there at lunch!
He had about 30 minutes before afternoon practice started. Gakuto knew that Yuushi would turn up for practice but he felt that he wanted to talk to Yuushi before practice started- if they talked during practice, and Atobe wasn't feeling too happy, they might have to run laps.
Now, Gakuto was racing down the hallways, running in and out the throngs of people. By making use of his small stature, he could run in between people without elbowing them or knocking them over. It minimized the time he would take too. Gakuto spotted a familiar chocolate-brown ponytail.
It was not his favorite person in the world. However, this person was in all the 3-1 classes.
"Peacock," Gakuto remarked in his head. He needed to ask nicely now. He did not want to engage in a verbal battle with his bitchy teammate.
"Shishido-san," he called out politely.
"What do you want?" Shishido swished his ponytail as he turned around. Shishido eyed Gakuto suspiciously. "What?" he repeated.
"Uh-oh, am I too fake? Damn, I shouldn't have added the honorifics!" Gakuto chided himself in his head.
"Um, did you see Yuushi today? He's in your class," Gakuto asked, "right?" Gakuto added after seeing Shishido not responding.
"He is. But I didn't see him all day. The homeroom teacher said that he has a project and is exempted for the first week. He's excused from practice too," Shishido replied after thinking.
"Oh" was all Gakuto could manage. He wanted to kill someone- that someone being Oshitari Yuushi.
He glanced at his watch and ran all the way to the tennis courts. He barely made it in time for practice. When Gakuto stepped into the clubhouse, the first thing he noticed was the absence of his doubles partner. There was no one standing by his locker, there was no one drawling in kansai ben. He also noticed that Shishido had already changed and was heading out just as he was stepping in. Shishido got here fast.
Gakuto had to run a Hyotei record of 100 laps at practice.
In terms of giving out laps, Yukimura came in first, followed by Tezuka, and Sanada finished third. Atobe was probably fourth in the Kantou region. Yuushi had told him that but after today's practice, Atobe might have proved otherwise.
Evidently, Gakuto could barely concentrate as his thoughts centered on Yuushi. What is he doing? Why didn't he tell me? Why did he opt out of the electives that we agree to take together? Is it a mistake? Is he ill? What project is he working on? Gakuto sighed. Perhaps, the difference in intellect between the tensai and him were too far apart.
Well, there wasn't anything else he could do. Phones weren't answered, homes were empty- he tried everything but putting an ad in the newspaper for a lost tensai. Gakuto lie down on his bed and let the questions run through his head again.
"I'll sleep on it. Anyway, I'll see him next week. It isn't too late to ask him then," he said aloud to himself. "I better stop this. Thinking too much about Yuushi has gotten me mumbling to myself – ugh, I'm doing it again! DAMN, I feel like Ibu!" Gakuto mumbled to himself.
The next day at school wasn't any different. He didn't Yuushi in any class, nor did he see Yuushi during lunch. However, as he was about to head to practice, he saw Yuushi standing by the window in an empty classroom.
"Yuushi! Where have you been? I didn't –"
"Shh – I'm waiting for the moment," Yuushi said. Yuushi did not say hi, did not acknowledge his presence, and just brushed him off.
"Wait, I'll explain. Don't look so mad," the tensai purred. Gakuto smiled in spite of his initial anger. Yuushi had intercepted his tantrum.
"I joined an art class. I'm getting good. I drew a lot as practice and as my final project –"
"Yuushi, term just started. How is it your final project?" Gakuto tapped his foot impatiently.
"I drew a lot as practice. I'm good at drawing inanimate objects so as my final project, I'm doing a figure drawing. I completed a month's worth of assignments for all my other classes and asked for time off," Yuushi's accented-voice drawled.
"Figure drawing? Drawing models in the nude?" Gakuto questioned, sounding a little hesitant.
"Life drawing! And, I've chosen my model! I'm going to ask him later! I'm waiting for the right moment," Yuushi rambled passionately.
"Wow, this has got to be the fastest Yuushi has ever spoken," Gakuto mused.
"Are you going to tell me who it is or do I have to use my psychic powers to find out?" Gakuto replied, sassy as ever.
Yuushi smiled, "You'll see."
"Damn, I'm going to be late for practice! Atobe's going to make me run laps again. Did you know our resident diva made me run a hundred laps yesterday? Catch you soon, Yuushi!" Gakuto ran off in a hurry.
"He'll make it in time. He has 30 minutes to spare," Yuushi knew Gakuto so well that he could approximate his speed and arrive at a fairly accurate estimate.
"And now, the moment is here," Yuushi smiled innocently to himself.
Yuushi watched as the hulking second year, Kabaji, walked towards the tree that was fully in view. He watched as Kabaji picked his target and hung him upside down. His target's shirt flew and Yuushi caught a glimpse of taut, well-toned muscles. He had chosen the right target. He strode purposefully towards the tree and, as he had planned meticulously, he arrived just as his target opened sleepy-looking eyes and was standing up to follow Kabaji.
When his target stood up, Yuushi lowered his voice, "how would you like to sleep some more, Jirou-kun?"
"Sugoi," Jirou muttered, almost expressionless.
"How would you like to sleep some more and play a match with Seigaku's Kaidoh-san?" Yuushi whispered again.
Yuushi observed and saw that a spark flickered in Jirou's eyes when Kaidoh was mentioned.
"Marui," Jirou replied simply.
"Fuji," Yuushi bargained.
"Marui," Jirou grinned.
"Atobe," Yuushi's plan was for Jirou to take Atobe. Even though he was a tensai, he knew he would have to get through many people to get Kaidoh to play a match. As for Fuji, if Jirou accepted that, he would tell Jirou that he really meant Fuji Yuuta after his project is completed. Fuji Yuuta was easy. All he had to do was offer Mizuki some worthless information- like, Atobe is an all-rounder player, he has 10,000 tennis racquets at home and half of them are of the same make and model. But, if he could decide, Jirou would choose Atobe and things would go as planned.
"Really? I'll get to play a match with Atobe? Sugoiiiii! I'll do anything you want! But you said I could sleep more! How can I sleep more if Atobe is calling me for practice?" Jirou chattered excitedly.
"I have an excuse sheet. Kabaji, bring this excuse sheet to Atobe," Yuushi handed Kabaji the excuse sheet signed by the Head of the Art Department. The Head of the Art Department had allowed Yuushi one excuse sheet for one other person to assist him in completing the project and had a room given to Yuushi for him to work in private.
Yuushi led Jirou to the room. It was like a music room without the piano. Apart from a canvas, a stool, and a bed, it did not have anything else.
"Jirou, you can sleep on the bed –"
"SUGOIIII!" Jirou happily tucked himself in the soft comforters. "This is all you wanted me to do?" Jirou smiled, his eyes turning droopy.
"Where's Jirou?" Atobe questioned Kabaji who returned without anyone. Kabaji passed the excuse sheet to Atobe.
"Art project? He has gotten the team's narcoleptic assisting him in an art project? What help is Jirou for an art project?" Atobe questioned no one in particular but he was obviously displeased that Jirou had gone off with Oshitari instead of coming to see him. Hmmpf. "Ore-sama doesn't need him anyway," Atobe glared at the rest of the tennis players and gave out 30 laps as punishment to the non-regulars.
"So Jirou's the model for Yuushi?" Gakuto knew he was treading on dangerous waters but he wanted some revenge for the 100 laps he had to run the day before. Everyone knew Atobe was partial to Jirou and Jirou only woke up when Atobe called him (or when Kabaji used force).
"What model?" Atobe gave him the eye. He put his two fingers to his face, using his Insight, as he gazed at Gakuto.
"Life drawing," Gakuto tried not to squirm under Atobe's gaze.
"Life drawing?" Atobe's voice was at least half an octave higher but no one would tell him that. It was a slight change but Shishido and Gakuto noticed it. They were in the team long enough to know that he was shocked.
"Yeah, life drawing. The artist gets to gape at a naked model and draw all of him- his muscles, the contours –"
"Ore-sama knows life drawing is. Shishido, Gakuto, run 50 laps now! Ore-sama… has to go somewhere," Atobe was almost perfect again. He paused before revealing that he was skipping practice but his tone was almost nonchalant.
As Shishido and Gakuto started their laps, they smirked and snickered. They had some inkling as to where Atobe was headed. For someone flawless, Atobe had let down his guard and his feelings were so clear.
It was clearly stated in the excuse sheet where Yuushi and his project would be. Atobe ran towards the room.
(Back to Yuushi)
"No, Jirou. There is more. Would you sleep without clothes? I have an art project and –"
"You're going to draw me? When you are done, can you pull the covers over me? I don't want to catch a cold, if I do, Atobe would kill me for missing practice and school…" Jirou interrupted again, in thirty-five words he had changed from hyperactive mode back to his usual state. Nevertheless, that was not what surprised Yuushi. When Jirou interrupted him, Yuushi looked up to look at Jirou when he talked because it was polite to do so. Then, he noticed that Jirou had already undressed and was lying on the bedspread. By the time Yuushi picked up his pencil, he noticed that Jirou was already sleeping.
Yuushi adjusted the lighting of the room and smiled at the images he saw. He sketched quickly and took note of the muscles, and how the light, tone, and shadow reflected around Jirou's body. Jirou's well-defined muscles were easy to see even as he lay sleeping. His fine body was perfect.
Yuushi was sketching his seventh piece from a different angle with different lighting when he heard an anxious knocking at the door.
"Open up! Ore-sama knows you are inside!" A familiar voice could be heard.
Oshitari smiled. His plan was going to work. He tucked five completed sketches and hid them under the bed. After, he opened the door.
"Oshitari, where is Jirou? He needs to go to practice," Atobe walked in while talking.
Yuushi did not respond. He knew that if he did, he would just be interrupted for the nth time. Atobe, on walking in, would notice Jirou and would be shocked.
However, there was a slip up. Yuushi did not count for Atobe being livid. Atobe, the perfect individual, cracked and punched Yuushi. It wasn't his full strength but it still hurt. It wouldn't leave a mark but it still hurt and it was completely unexpected.
"What do you think you are doing? What are you doing to Jirou?" Atobe had hurriedly pulled the covers over Jirou's body, "Stop staring at his body! Is this what you have drawn?"
Atobe saw one completed sketch and another in progress. He wanted to say that Oshitari's work was not bad, he drew Jirou really well but instead he put his fingers to his face, using his Insight to read Yuushi.
"He agreed," Yuushi replied with a straight face, "he thought being my model was more fun than sleeping on your lap at practice," Yuushi added.
Atobe looked at Jirou in an almost forlorn manner.
"You are gawking at him. You are lovesick," Oshitari felt exceptionally bold. He would probably have to run 1,000 laps when he went back to practice or he might even be punched again, or Kabaji might be after him. He shuddered inwardly at the last thought.
"Ore-sama is not gawking and is not lovesick. Ore-sama is just concerned for the overall well-being of all my teammates. It is my duty to do so. I am Buchou after all," Atobe's aura was on full blast as he articulated every syllable in perfect haughtiness.
"Well, he can skip practice for a week to pose for me," Yuushi folded his arms across his chest. He was taunting Atobe.
An idea clicked, a light bulb shone, or a fairy godmother whispered an idea to Atobe. Whatever it is, he played right into Oshitari's hands.
Atobe smiled and gently shook Jirou.
"Jirou, wake up," Atobe said, less forcefully than he would have liked since Yuushi was around. Jirou soon stirred and his eyes opened slowly.
"Play a match with me," Atobe commanded.
"SUGOIIIIII!" Jirou jumped up from the bed and did a little dance in joy. "Jirou is still naked," Yuushi smiled to himself as he observed the growing slight tinge of pink on Atobe's face.
Atobe gathered Jirou's clothes at the end of the bed and put them in his hands. He strode out of the room after taking the completed sketch and the half-done sketch.
Jirou changed hastily and as he was about to leave the room, he saw Yuushi standing in the corner.
"So, next week, when Atobe is attending a function?"
"Yup! See you then! I'm going to play a match with Atobe, I'm going to play a match with Atobe…" Jirou sang as he skipped after Atobe gaily.
I'm not sure about Hyotei's school system. I made it up.
I wrote this a long time ago.