Of Mice and (Mer)Men

Kakei was surprised when his teammate Akaba had asked if he could join them in the public baths. The red-eyed ace looked at him and the rest of the ex-Poseidons strangely for their attachment to the bathhouse and rarely joined them.

Maybe he's feeling sociable?

Akaba was a nice enough guy outside football and hung around with the team often enough when his music lessons permitted. His shadow was more annoying than he was. Though Kotaro had finally worn down Julie's resistance and thus was often not around because of dates. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.

"Hanging out at the public baths with teammates! Smart!"


Kakei didn't know how Akaba could tolerate so much nonsense in every given day.

He must have the patience of Buddha

Really, Mizumachi might occasionally be dense or overenthusiastic but Kotaro definitely had him beat.

Besides, Kengo is usually too busy trying to peek into the women's side of the bath to make so much noiselike now Relaxjust let it go

"Well, there are so many no-talent trashes in the pool." A familiar voice insinuated from the bathhouse door and Kakei looked up to find Kongo Agon entering the baths with his brother Unsui.

Oh great. What is it about today? Annoy Kakei Shun Day?

"Who are you calling trashes?"

"If it jangles like a broken chord, ignore it."

Except for his way with wordswhen he's trying to be clever

"Anou Kakei, did you invite all of them over here?" Mizumachi asked, looking up from where he'd been swimming.

Kakei really felt like a headache coming on.

Agon didn't have the chance to do anything about the remarks because at that moment several familiar faces entered the bath.

"My there are a lot of people in this bath today, I'd say." Marco of the Hakushu Dinosaurs said this to Gaou who was visible even behind the crowd of people.

"This bath should be honored by mine presence." Harao of the Taiyo Sphinx said to Banba who was beside him.

The entrance of some of the biggest football players in Kanto marked the rushed exodus of several of the men who had been sitting in the other pools.

"What is this the Kanto Region Reunion for Amefuto players? If so, would it be better done in a restaurant?" Akaba asked, blinking at the newcomers.

"Hahaha, it's seems that we all decided to go to the same bathhouse today. Relaxing isn't it." The way the blond flipped his hair reminded Kakei of some of the more flirtatious girls in the cheerleading team.

Who is he fooling? And what was his name again? KiKiraKisaki? No, it was longer than that but close, ah, and it was a month nameKisaragi! That's it

Somehow that laugh didn't quite assure Kakei.

Wonder why they're really here

"Hello, Kakei-kun, Akaba-san, Kotaro-san, Mizumachi-san, Banba-san, Harao-san..."

"Oi, trash, are you forgetting someone?"

"Hieeee! Kongo-san and Kongo-san" Poor Sena nearly jumped out of his skin when he noticed the two people from Shinryuuji.

I swear he did that on purpose

"Sena-kun." Kakei rather liked the younger boy on sight the first time he met him.

Such a nervous personhe's such a mouse

"Now, Sena-kun, don't forget about us." The effeminate blond pouted at him.

"AhhhieKisaragi-san, Gaou-san and Marco-san."

"Yo, Sena." Someone from behind Sena said.

"Riku! Kid-san and Tetsuma-san." Sena bobbed his head at the newcomers as he proceeded to pool.

At least Seibu don't make him that nervous He's downright friendly towards them.

Kakei fought the urge to rub his temples. It was not helped that he was being increasingly aware that most of the players were glaring at him.

Now what did I do to piss in their miso? Curious.

He hadn't done anything unusual on or off the field to merit the glares.

"Kakei-san, thank you for finding my watch the other day." Sena smiled at him and he noticed that the glares had gone up exponentially, even his own teammate Akaba was now glaring at him with that vicious look that the guitar player reserved for their worst rival on the field, which currently was Oujo.

Eh? What's this?

"It was no trouble, Sena-kun." Kakei smiled sweetly at the earnest boy. The glares were turning up a notch confirming his suspicions. If glares could set him afire, he'd have combusted already.

So that's the way it is, eh? I think some vengeance is in order.

Sena wasn't Kakei's type but if they were going to be annoying about it...

"So how is school?" Kakei knows he's laughably transparent at the way he slid over to Sena but he's never had any practice flirting before and it does the trick anyway. He has the attention of every football playing male in the room.

Well, almost...

Harao and Banba were eying Mizumachi akin to a shark that scented some prey, glaring at him as his pile of wooden buckets were getting high enough to show their true purpose. Kakei dismissed them and concentrated on aggravating as many of the others as he could.

If they turn any greener they've be mistaken for moss!

None of the other players were "relaxing" at all. To be fair, more than half were eying him and their respective teammates apprehensively.

Probably here to prevent the carnage from happening...

Well, if that's the case he could make them all turn green to his heart's content and then inform them later subtly and insultingly that he had no intentions whatsoever on Sena.

"It's going quite well, Kakei-san. How about you?" Sena beamed at him, oblivously.

"Well, I'm" Kakei never got to finish that sentence. At that moment, Mizumachi tried to implement his plan and Harao and Banba pounced and, suddenly, Sena was catapulted with a squeak into Kakei's arms and both of them wound up flying out of the pool with Kakei landing on the hard floor and rolling instinctively on top of Sena.

Ouch, that hurt!

Note that this would never had happened had Kakei not been distracted by his annoyance, he always made a point to remove himself from the trajectory Mizumachi would end up flying in.

"Sena-kun--ahem--WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO SENA, YOU PERVERT?" Sakuraba asked. His glare was imposingly despite the fact that he was only wearing a tiny towel. That started the avalanche of accusations and the brawl that followed culminated finally in having the other football players, except for Sena who had miraculously managed to stay out of it, being thrown out.-1-

It's a good thing the manager knows us from Kyoshin or we'd never be able to go to that bathhouse again

Author's Notes:

-1- I bet Hiruma's now regretting his planned distraction.

Sorry it took so long, I had a hard time writing the last part of this chapter.