Author's Note: I'm really not sure where this story came from but I think it had something to do with me being on a bit of a caffeine high. Yeah, that's right I'm blaming it all on the coffee. In other news, I'm still working on turning Just What The Doctor Ordered into a story. Unfortunately, I have several later chapters outlined but not much from the beginning chapters is complete yet. Darn uncooperative muses…
Warning: This chapter demonstrates the perils of jumping to conclusions. It is also unedited. (Perhaps not the wisest of combinations, but I was in a rush to post it.)
Summary: He didn't want to do this. It would break his wife's heart to hear what he had discovered but it needed to be done. Still, he kind of wished she wasn't wielding a three inch blade as he broke the news.
Prompt: #12 in a good mood
Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis. If I did, the following story would no doubt occur in an episode of the series.
#12 in a good mood
He didn't want to do this. It would break his wife's heart to hear what he had discovered but it needed to be done. He had to tell her. After all, she had a right to know.
"Sweetheart," he called, cautiously stepping into the entrance of the kitchen.
"Hm?" she responded, continuing to cut carrots for dinner.
He nervously cleared his throat eyeing the large blade in her hands. His wife was a wonderful, loving and caring woman. She also had a rather ferocious temper when upset. It was beautiful to behold but only from a safe distance. He eyed the weapon in her hands again and took a half step back. It would be better to stay out of range, just in case. "There's something I need to tell you…"
The knife suddenly hesitated just inches above the cutting board as she turned to look at him. "What is it?" she asked, the words came out short and clipped. Her eyes had already begun to narrow at him, turning her normal cheerful expression into a suspicious frown.
He took a deep breath, trying to steady his nerves and forget the image of his beautiful wife wielding a deadly three-inch blade. He needed to say this for his son's sake.
"I think Ryoma's doing drugs."
To his horror, the news broke Rinko's heart so much that she lost it. He watched in stunned disbelief as his poor, pitiful wife began to laugh. It began as a small chuckle but soon hysterical laughter bubbled out of her throat. The loud guffaws of laughter shook her petite shoulders and sent tears to her eyes. "Ryoma…. drugs," she said before the laughter overtook her once more.
"I mean it," Nanjiro said desperately, an unintentional whine sneaking into his voice. But her laughter only grew louder.
"Why," she asked between giggles, "would you think that Ryoma would be doing drugs?"
Her question finally gave him the opening he needed. This would prove to her that his fears were founded. This would prove that their dear boy was walking down dangerous path that would lead to nowhere but pain and destruction.
"Have you seen him lately?" he asked. She shook her head in the negative, the laughter finally beginning to subside. "He's been acting really weird the last week or so."
This drew her attention. "What do you mean?" she asked growing slightly concerned.
He paused, trying to choose his words carefully. "He's been… well," he tried to pinpoint what exactly had sent him on edge, "it's just… Ryoma keeps smiling."
"Yeah, he keeps smiling all the time and he just looks so happy it's scary."
Rinko managed to make eye contact for a few more seconds before she lost it again. Cue the second round of uncontrollable laughter.
Nanjiro sighed, exasperated. Rinko never took him seriously, he thought with a mild pout. "Honey, you're not listening to me," he said, the unintentional whine sneaking back into his voice.
She patted him reassuringly on the shoulder but the laughter continued. Nanjiro sighed in hopeless frustration. He gave up. He had tried to convince her. She would just have to learn the hard way that he knew what he was talking about here.
But when he heard the front door close and a voice calling out tadiama, he grinned with renewed determination. "Here," he said delightedly, "I'll prove it to you."
Rinko rubbed the tears of laughter out of her eyes and tilted her head to look at him. "Is that so," she drawled, clearly unconvinced.
He scowled. "Yes," he replied petulantly.
She waved her hand as if to prompt him to continue. He grinned. Finally, she was listening. "Boy," he called not breaking eye contact with his wife, "get in here."
Ryoma slowly made his way into the kitchen. "What?" he asked suspiciously from the doorway.
Nanjiro continued to look at his wife. Rinko rolled her eyes at her husband. "How was school today?" he asked, raising his eyebrows as if to prove his point. And in a way, it did.
Rinko watched in disbelief as her typically emotionally-reticent son smiled, not smirked, but smiled secretly to himself. But the grin quickly disappeared. "Fine," he replied brusquely as if nothing had happened. Rinko struggled to not openly gape at her son. Since when did he start smiling like that?
"Anything unusual happened?" Nanjiro asked.
There, it happened again! Ryoma smiled but this time the corners of his lips seemed decidedly smug. And this time the smug grin remained. "Nope, nothing unusual," he drawled back as if bored by the conversation. Rinko eyed her son carefully, her mind quietly sorting through the different possibilities. She knew her son. He wasn't the sort to do drugs but clearly something strange was going on.
"Play any tennis?" Nanjiro asked, turning to see Ryoma's response.
This time no smile, smug or otherwise, appeared. "No," he responded as if confused in the turn of conversation.
Nanjiro nodded as if in agreement with his answer but one hand scratched at his chin as if puzzled. "You were out awfully late…"
Ryoma's responding grin emerged and disappeared in an instant. "I suppose," he drawled uncaringly in response but the gleam in his hazel eyes told Rinko everything she needed to know. A wide smile cut across her face.
Ryoma caught her grin and looked at her quizzically. Her knowing smile grew decidedly smug at the edges. Ryoma blushed. And Nanjiro just looked between the two of them in befuddlement.
Rinko cleared her throat slightly. "Why don't you go wash up for dinner," she kindly suggested to her son.
Ryoma nodded and left the room. Rinko went back to finishing the meal. Nanjiro alternated between glaring at the doorway where his son left and sending confused glances at his wife. "What was that?" he finally exclaimed.
She smiled secretively. "It's not drugs," she said as she put the fresh cut vegetables on the table.
Nanjiro blinked. "It's not?"
"Nope," she responded happily.
He glanced one more time at the door Ryoma just went out of and back at his wife's smile. "How do you know?" he asked sullenly, leaning against the corner beside her.
She flashed him the same bright smile that made him fall in love with her. He scooted closer. "Well?" he prodded.
She put knife in the sink to be washed later and wiped her hands on her apron. "Because," she said scooting closer to him, "I'll bet you all of your old tennis trophies that Ryoma-kun has a girlfriend."
Nanjiro thought back to Ryoma's smug smiles during the past week, his newfound eagerness to head to school early and the way he didn't return until late at night. A wide grin spread across Nanjiro's face. "A girlfriend, huh?" he said rubbing a hand over his chin. He quickly dropped a loud kiss on his wife's cheek and headed out of the kitchen.
"Where are you going?" she called after him.
"To give the boy some advice about girls!"