I don't own Prince of Tennis. Duh.
Warnings: the usual.
A/N: Sorry for the wait. Seriously, I know you hate me for it. But for those of you who are willing to forgive me and continue to read this fic, I advice you to go back a skim through the previous chapters real quick. Otherwise you might not get the picture. Again, sorry for the wait. My life is a fucking mess. I'm serious. I'm scared shitless, cuz as of right now, I'm really confused. I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life. And there's nothing more terrifying than not knowing what to do. God, I miss high school. (cries for a bit)...
I'll manage! ^^ Let's get on with it, ne? (btw, sorry about the bad quality of my chapters lately. I'm extremely discontent with the previous one. I'll probably rewrite it soon. It's just that I'm stressed. I'll do my best!)
Fuji Syuusuke sighed heavily to make himself calm down. He watched his breath turn into brief clouds of steam. The air was cold. Even so, Fuji Syuusuke felt warm. Too warm.
"Jeez..." He sighed to himself and pulled at the collar to his jacket. "Stop worrying already... It's not like you don't know how to date."
True, but do you know how to date a guy?Fuji's lips tensed and pressed together as the blush that already decorated his cheeks became deeper, warmer. Fuji brought his chin closer to his chest in an attempt to hide. His brown bangs fell over his eyes and effectively hid whatever signs of embarrassment there were. He clenched the fists in his pockets, feeling himself shudder from the cold and nervousness, but suddenly relaxed a little. He brought his right hand up and opened the tight fist he had made. He stared at the small object for a few seconds. Then he smiled and brought his hand back to his pocket. He closed his eyes briefly in yet another attempt to calm himself.
"Did you fall asleep or something?"
The sudden sound of Ryoma's voice made Fuji jerk and open his eyes comically wide, pressing closer to the wall, as if he wanted to run away. But as his gaze finally settled on Ryoma's face, he relaxed a little. Ryoma was smiling. It was rare, odd, and strangely comforting. The younger tennis player quirked an eyebrow and cocked his head to the side as his smile quickly turned into a smirk.
"I know I'm a few minutes late, but if you felt that sleepy you should've called me."
Fuji didn't say anything, or even react to Ryoma's smug comment. Fuji had more important things to focus on. Such as keeping his blush at a safe distance, and remembering how to breathe properly. Ryoma was dressed in dark blue jeans and had black sneakers. The jacket Ryoma wore hid the shirt he was wearing, and he wasn't wearing his cap. He didn't look astonishing or anything. Fuji frowned a little to himself.
Ryoma looked normal. Perfectly normal. So why did the mere sight make Fuji's heart beat a little faster? How come Ryoma looked so good, even though he looked more or less like he usually did? Why now? What had changed? A brief gust of cold wind made Ryoma's black hair flutter softly around a confusedly frowning face.
Fuji flinched and realized that he had been spacing out.
"Ah-h, sorry!" He rubbed the back of his head with a sheepish smile. Ryoma sniffed a little.
"It's cold. We should get going." Ryoma turned to start walking and gave Fuji a glance.
"Yeah," Fuji agreed and walked up next to Ryoma. The next couple of minutes were spent in silence as they walked past several restaurants, game halls and karaoke bars. Fuji swallowed and glanced carefully to Ryoma. The younger's nose was red from the cold and the goldish eyes stared straight ahead. Fuji found himself unable to look away. All of a sudden, he noticed the way Ryoma's hair curled around his ears and neck, and the way Ryoma's jaw had started to form into a sharper, more adult shape.
Ryoma suddenly glanced back and Fuji quickly averted his gaze to the street they were walking on.
"What is it?" Ryoma asked. Fuji shook his head and gave a brief smile.
"Ah! We're here," Ryoma exclaimed and smiled as he pointed to a restaurant a few meters ahead. Fuji smiled as well and followed Ryoma inside. It was a traditional sushi restaurant, and Ryoma had picked it out. Fuji hadn't opposed, since he loved sushi. They could've opted for Takashi's family restaurant, but Fuji understood why Ryoma didn't want to go there. Chances were that Takashi would be working there tonight. Takashi might've figured out that they were dating, and that was something that neither of them was ready for.
"What a nice atmosphere," Fuji said approvingly as they sat down by one of the tables. Ryoma nodded and took his jacket off, revealing a normal black t-shirt. For reasons Fuji was still struggling to come to terms with, that black t-shirt seemed to look perfect on Ryoma. A simple black t-shirt. Ryoma's eyelashes fluttered a little as he read the menu that was already placed on the table. Fuji's gaze wandered over the fine skin of Ryoma's cheeks, down to the mouth that were silently mouthing the words he read, down to the jaw, down to the neck, down to what was revealed of Ryoma's collarbones.
The older tennis player swallowed, tore his gaze away, and waved to one of the waitresses. She quickly bounced up to them, gave them a beaming smile and brought her notebook up, ready to take their order.
"Can I take your order?"
Ryoma looked up from the menu and gave her a polite smile before glancing to Fuji.
"I want a number fourteen without wasabi, and a ponta," Ryoma said and turned to Fuji, as did the bouncing girl who seemed to smile even wider when Fuji met her gaze. Fuji sighed and skimmed through the menu quickly.
"I'll take a number fourteen with wasabi, and a coke." Fuji smiled briefly to the girl who scribbled down their orders before she gave him a wide smile again. She continued to look at Fuji for another second before she finally walked away, looking slightly bummed. Ryoma watched her leave with narrowing eyes.
"She looked like she was ready to eat you," he mumbled without meeting Fuji's eyes. Fuji placed his elbows on the table, and turned to look at the disappearing waitress.
"Hm? I didn't notice," he said and turned back to Ryoma who still opted to pay his fork a decent amount of attention instead of meeting Fuji's gaze.
"She did. You're probably so used to having girls' attention you didn't see it..." Ryoma muttered and turned his gaze to the side with a very slight blush. Eyes narrowed, shoulders tensed and brows furrowed. Strangely, Fuji found himself wanting to smile.
"Or maybe I simply didn't feel like paying her attention." Fuji leaned back in his chair and brought his hands together on the table. His fingers started fiddling. "I'm here with you, aren't I?" He said, watching his fingers as if they were doing something more interesting than rubbing against each other. Breathing suddenly became just a little bit harder. He glanced quickly at Ryoma, who still wasn't meeting Fuji's gaze, but the blush on Ryoma's cheeks told Fuji that Ryoma was content with his answer.
Fuji smiled to himself. A strange but comfortable silence settled around them as they waited for their food. They didn't even look at each other, but Fuji could still feel how his heartbeats picked up speed. It was actually quite ridiculous. If this had been a couple of months back, Fuji would have snorted out loud at his own behavior. But he couldn't bring himself to act the way he usually did when he dated someone. Perhaps because he somehow suspected Ryoma to be able to see through the act. Or perhaps because the situation was so different.
Usually, when Fuji found himself in similar scenarios - dating on a restaurant - it was together with a furiously blushing girl who wouldn't shut up about trivial matters, only because she was terrified of boring Fuji. Some of them had even tried to study a bit about tennis, in a desperate attempt to make Fuji believe that they were destined to be. Girls would dress up, wear perfume and make-up, and they would eat salad.
This was entirely different.
Fuji glanced at Ryoma, who was currently watching some of the other guests with a uninterested look on his face. Ryoma hadn't dressed up. Sure, they had both picked out decent outfits, but who would be stupid enough to go on a date in a school uniform? Ryoma wasn't wearing make-up. He hadn't really done anything with his hair, which somehow perfectly framed the young face in a young, devil-may-care way. Yes, Ryoma looked the way he normally did. Fuji realized that he liked it. It felt much more natural than all those dates he had suffered with walking, talking manikins.
"Sorry for the wait!" The waitress chirped and placed their food and drinks on the table. "Hope you'll enjoy!" She left again, with a lingering glance on Fuji. Ryoma glared after her and Fuji was unable to contain an amused chuckle.
"What?" Ryoma muttered but look slightly embarrassed. Fuji shrugged and grasped his chop sticks.
"I never knew you were the jealous type."
"I'm not... jealous," Ryoma exclaimed and made a face at the last word, as if it tasted bad in his mouth. "I just don't like bouncy, overly happy girls like her."
"Actually," Fuji said before picking up a piece of his sushi, "you don't like any girls. Us dating is a result of that."
For a second Fuji thought Ryoma looked annoyed, but his eyes were glittering with amusement. Ryoma snorted briefly and started eating.
"You have a point there."
"Of course I do," Fuji said after swallowing the food. "I always have a point. Because I'm smarter than everyone else," he joked and Ryoma gave a quick laugh.
"Oh yes, obviously. Our school should be proud to have a god-like student like yourself attending classes there on a daily basis."
Fuji put on a troubled face and sighed heavily.
"Yes, I know. I tried talking to the principle about it, but he didn't seem to understand me."
Ryoma nodded solemnly.
"The gods will unleash their wrath upon our foolish, disrespectful headmaster."
They stared at each other for a few seconds, both wearing deadly serious expressions, before finally cracking up. Fuji watched Ryoma laugh and his stomach lurched. Ryoma didn't laugh often. He was a master at holding it in. So it was a rare treat to finally see the younger teen's eyes shimmer with joy, narrowing a little as the mouth grinned delightfully. A fresh blush lingered on Ryoma's cheeks, even after the laughter died out.
"How was school today, by the way?" Fuji asked and Ryoma shrugged, poking his sushi roll with his chop sticks.
"Okay, I guess. But English is a pain."
"English?" Fuji stopped mid-air with his food inches from his mouth. "You're half American. Shouldn't it be piece a cake? You're fluent, aren't you?"
Ryoma sighed with an annoyed expression and took a swig of his ponta.
"Yeah, I am. But our teacher seems to believe that just because I'm fluent in English, I automatically love the subject."
"And so he always makes me do extra assignments. They're all really easy, but it's more like... It's just unfair. I get more homework than my classmates do, just because I happen to be better at English. What the heck is up with that? I don't see any of the math-nerds getting more assignments during math-class." Ryoma gave a sour pout. "And he always uses me as an example, I always have to do the things my peers can't do, like reading sentences from books and such..." Ryoma glanced at Fuji and turned back to his food. "Sorry, I'm boring you."
"Actually, I think it's sort of interesting. I didn't know you hated English," Fuji said and brought his coke to his mouth. "I thought I knew you, but turns out I don't. Not really. Actually, now that I think about it, the only thing I know about you for a fact is that you're really good at tennis. And that you're generally pretty grumpy. And that you don't like bouncy girls." Fuji grinned to Ryoma who quirked his eyebrow and smirked back.
"I'm impressed. You have the basics down, so from now on speaking to each other is unnecessary, since you obviously already know all there is to know about me. Let's only use hand signs from now on," Ryoma said and did some strange gestures with his hands. Fuji let out a laugh.
"I'm cool with that. But you'll have to teach me. Was that real dactology?"
"Nah, I made it up just now," Ryoma said and shrugged with an amused smile.
"Now I'm impressed," Fuji chuckled. "Apparently you have a gift for making things up. Anything else I should know about?"
"Nope. You already know everything about me. I'm good at tennis, I'm grumpy, and I don't like annoying girls. And I have a gift for pretending to know sign language. That's pretty much it," Ryoma said and shrugged. "I'm extremely uninteresting."
"Fine. You're uninteresting. Good to know." Fuji took a sip from his coke and swallowed his food. "What do you know about me, then?"
It was meant as a lighthearted question, since they were finally having a proper and quite amusing conversation, but for some reason, Ryoma stilled and became more serious. Fuji also stopped smiling as their gazes finally met.
"I know that you're good at tennis. I know that you're two years older than me. You have an older sister. You like wasabi for some weird reason. You're the only one on our team who is pretty much immune to Inui's energy drinks... You smile a lot, but you're actually kind of scary when you're serious. You have blue eyes. You're good at pretending to be happy. You're confusing. You're used to controlling things. You're smart..." Ryoma stopped ranting and turned his gaze to the plate where most of the food remained. "I know a lot about you, senpai. Yet I feel like don't know you at all."
Fuji had, without realizing it, opened his eyes while Ryoma spoke. Not really knowing how to react, he could only stare for a few seconds. Then he, too, turned to the table.
"Yeah. I know." Fuji sighed and smiled a little. "Hey, I want to play a game."
"Isn't that a line from a horror movie?" Ryoma laughed a little, trying to restore the previously light mood, but Fuji could tell the laugh had a nervous tremble to it.
"I hate horror movies," Fuji said and gave a quick laugh. "There. The game has started. I just revealed something about myself to you. Now it's your turn."
Ryoma's eyes widened a little, and then turned thoughtful, as he was trying to think of something to reveal. Fuji watched him patiently.
"Hmm... I... Have a cat?"
"Uh, yeah, I know that," Fuji dead-panned and let out a laugh. "You're supposed to reveal something that I don't already know."
Ryoma sighed and leaned back with his arms crossed over his chest as he resumed his thoughtful expression.
"Well, in that case, I also hate horror movies. So we have something in common," he said with a barely visible blush. "Last time I watched a horror movie, I couldn't sleep for several days."
Fuji laughed and finished his coke. Ryoma smiled a little and rubbed his nape.
"Okay, let's see... My favorite color is green. I hate purple."
"I like red and blue. I don't like pink."
"I hate Mondays, because you know that it's just the beginning of the week and you're not even close to the weekend."
"I don't like hot summer days, because it's uncomfortable to play tennis when you're sweating all over."
"I like cooking, but I'm not good at it. I know how to make noodles, though!"
"Impressive," Ryoma smirked. "I know how to cook, but I find it boring." Fuji laughed.
"We'd make a good couple, then."
It wasn't until after the words had left Fuji's lips that he realized he'd made a mistake. Ryoma tensed and stared at his dirty plate. Fuji could only see a little bit of his face, but from what he could see, Ryoma was blushing. Fuji didn't know what to say after ruining such a good mood. He bit his lip. He should say something. Ryoma was embarrassed, and all because Fuji had said something insensitive. Again.
"My turn," Fuji said and smiled as he watched Ryoma trying to force the blush back. "You're the first one I've asked out on a date. Usually, girls ask me out. But not this time."
Ryoma jerked a little and lift his face to look at Fuji. He was still blushing, Fuji noticed, but it didn't seem to bother him very much at the moment. Ryoma's shoulder were tense and the younger tennis player let his gaze dart all over the place, looking at everything but Fuji.
"... You're the first one I've ever gone on a date with." Ryoma said silently, then gave a slight scoff. "Although our previous... date wasn't all that successful." Fuji gave a quick chuckle.
"I should probably thank you for not giving up on an asshole like me," he said with an amused smile, which Ryoma responded to with a cocky smile and a nod.
"Yes, you should," he stated confidently and cocked his head to the side, looking delightfully content. Fuji let out a breathy laugh and glanced at the table before meeting Ryoma's gaze again.
Ryoma's smirk slowly turned into a softer smile. Fuji found it difficult to breathe again.
"... Don't mention it."
"So, by the way, I've been meaning to ask you, is it still difficult for you to play tennis?" Fuji asked as they stepped out of the restaurant. Ryoma shrugged and shuddered a little from the cold.
"Not really. I mean, sometimes I feel like ducking, especially when I play Momo-senpai since his shots are so powerful, but as long as I remember to breathe and stay calm, I'm alright."
Fuji nodded and waited for Ryoma to close his jacket before they started walking.
"And the bruise on your chest?"
"Almost completely gone," Ryoma said with a somewhat bored look. Fuji smiled. Ryoma acted like he usually did. It was a relief. Everything felt so natural. Thanks to Ryoma acting so normal, it made Fuji feel like he didn't have to enter charming-boyfriend-mood. Yes, it was truly a relief.
"Glad to hear it."
Ryoma smiled briefly to him and turned back to the street. Fuji watched him for another second before turning his gaze to the sky. It was already dark. Their breath came out as steamy clouds.
"It's getting colder..." Ryoma sighed and gave another shudder. Fuji smiled to the sky before taking a step closer to Ryoma to deliberately bump into the younger teen, making Ryoma stumble a little. "Woah!" Ryoma flailed his arms a little as he regained his balance, before he turned to Fuji with a mock-glare. Fuji grinned innocently. Ryoma grinned back and gently pushed his elbow against Fuji's side.
"Yes, you," Ryoma sniggered. "Who does that anymore?"
"Does what?" Fuji said, still acting like he was completely oblivious to what he had done.
"Bump into people!" Ryoma gave a quick laugh. "Totally lame."
"Yeah, maybe," Fuji said and dropped the act. He turned to Ryoma who was still smiling amusedly. "But it warmed you up, didn't it?" Ryoma's eyes widened as his smile went a little slack. The blush that crept over his cheeks could easily be blamed on the cold air that surrounded them, but Fuji was fairly sure that he has caused the warmth that gathered in Ryoma's eyes. The prince of tennis turned back to the street, still smiling.
Ryoma put his hands in the pockets of his jacket before slowly starting to walk closer to Fuji. As the older teen realized what Ryoma was doing, he felt a blush of his own spread briefly over his cheeks and he turned his gaze away, trying to ignore the soft flutters in his chest. The sound of shoes against the asphalt and soft sniffles from Ryoma were the only sounds breaking the silence as they made their way home. Fuji felt how the sleeve of Ryoma's jacket brushed against his with every step they took. They weren't looking at each other, nor were they talking to each other, but that might have been solely due to the fact that the silence was too comfortable to be broken.
After nearly ten minutes of walking in silence through empty streets and cold air, Ryoma's house became visible, and Fuji was surprised to realize that he was disappointed. They would have to part ways already? Despite the fact that it was quite late, and despite the fact that it was cold, he wouldn't mind walking with Ryoma for another ten minutes. Ryoma sniffled again, and Fuji glanced over to the boy he had just been on a date with. Ryoma's nose was turning pink from the cold. Fuji smiled a little. Damn it, it was cute.
They stopped a few meters from Ryoma's gate. Ryoma let out a shuddering sigh.
"It's really cold," he mumbled. "I guess bumping into me only works for a limited amount of minutes." Golden eyes once more shimmered with amusement. Fuji shrugged and smiled a little.
"I'll have to think of something more permanent, then."
"So..." Ryoma glanced to the ground. "Thanks for tonight."
"I hope I did better than I did on our previous date?"
Ryoma nodded but still wouldn't meet Fuji's gaze.
"I'm happy to hear that."
Fuji was just about to reach out and touch Ryoma, but the boy turned to his gate and started walking away. Fuji stared after him, and was overcome by a sudden reluctance to saying good bye. Not yet. He bit his lip before opening his mouth.
Ryoma stopped and turned to Fuji, looking somewhat uncertain. They stood in silence as wind dragged through them and made Ryoma's hair swirl and Fuji's jacket flutter.
"Don't I get a good night kiss?" Fuji recalled what he had said last time they had to part after a date. That time it was meant as a joke. This time was different. Not that he had thought it through. His voice shook a little. He blamed it on the cold. Ryoma's mouth parted as the eyes went wide.
"Do... Do you want one?"
Fuji suddenly felt very lost.
Say yes, already.
What are you waiting for?
Is this right? I have never been interested in a guy before.
If it turns out I'm not gay, I'll just end up hurting him. Again.
The fact that you're this worried about what could happen, and how he would feel, clearly indicates that he means something to you.
Take the step. For once in your life.
Say yes."Yes," he croaked hoarsely, feeling weak, like he was coming down with a fever. It was too late to take anything back, and Ryoma's eyes had already gone wider than they were before. And Fuji's legs were moving. Towards. Ryoma. And Ryoma turned to fully face him. And Fuji's right hand cupped the side of Ryoma's face, while the left one grasped Ryoma's shoulder. Their faces came close together, and Fuji could feel Ryoma's breath dance over his skin, causing a tremble to course through him.
Ryoma's hands went up to softly grab Fuji's jacket as they both cocked their heads slightly, and slowly closed their eyes.
At first it was a light touch. But Fuji instantly needed more. So it became a gentle peck. And another one. Ryoma opened his mouth slightly to suck some air in, and Fuji gently pulled the younger one closer, dipping his tongue inside and savoring the short gasp Ryoma gave as they kissed. Breaths mingled, tongues rubbed softly, hands grasped and caressed.
And then it was over. They slowed down, breathing heavier than before, feeling warmer, and more dazed. Fuji was reluctant to opening his eyes. It would break the spell. He pressed his forehead against Ryoma's and breathed in through his nose. When he finally forced his eyes to open, the first thing he saw was Ryoma's pink nose. Then the lazy, dazed eyes. And puffy, well-kissed lips.
"That was one heck of a good night kiss," Fuji said, not very surprised as his voice came out as a whisper. Ryoma gave a brief smile and blinked slowly.
"I... Should go inside now," the younger one said, but the tone of his voice made it obvious that he didn't want to. Fuji's hands slipped downwards to settle around Ryoma's waist.
Ryoma met Fuji's gaze and smiled. Fuji's breath hitched slightly as he realized he enjoyed the sight.
"See you at school, right?"
Fuji nodded and smiled back, still feeling fuzzy and weak. When they finally let go of each other, Fuji felt cold. And as Ryoma walked up to his house and turned around to smile at Fuji one last time before opening the door to go inside, Fuji felt even colder. The chilly air was suddenly unbearably cold. Fuji brought his shoulder up and shuddered. He put his hands into his pockets and turned away from Ryoma's house to make his way home. It felt odd. Fuji wasn't used to feeling like this.
When a date ended, he usually had a routine that he followed. Hug the girl. Sometimes kiss the girl, if she was cute. In certain cases, although they were rare, he ended up having sex with the girl. He was emotionally cut off when he did it. A few days later, he'd tell her that he didn't feel the same way. She would cry and he could tell her that she'd find someone better. And then it would be over.
This was definitely different. One kiss was all it took for Fuji to feel like he was floating. Closing his eyes had felt natural and easy. Ryoma didn't smell like he had taken a shower in candy-scented perfume. Fuji smiled as he walked, and squinted his eyes shut as a gust of cold air ruffled his hair.
"What's wrong with me... I must be going crazy," Fuji mumbled to himself, smiling softly to the sky. "For some reason, I'm actually looking forward to school."
R&R, okay? :) You know I love reviews. I hope you enjoyed!