Disclaimer: Eyeshield 21 belongs to Inagaki Riichiro and Murata Yusuke.
Notes: Light ShinSena!
After the Christmas Bowl, Sena didn't see Shin much anymore. They went to different schools after all, which meant they probably never would have met except that Sena had gone into football.
But really, even though his goal became being the real Eyeshield 21, the reason he had originally started to play American football was completely because of Shin. In the beginning, it was okay not to see Shin for several months at a time even if the ace of Ojo was always at the back of his mind, but after going through the intensive training, it felt strange to not see Shin for an entire two weeks.
Which was how Sena found himself lurking outside Ojo highschool.
"What am I doing here?" Sena sighed.
Especially since both Deimon and Ojo planned to go to the Christmas Bowl again next year so they would be rivals and knowing Takami, he'd probably assume Hiruma had sent Sena to spy. Which would be bad because although Ojo had never really done anything to Deimon, Sena certainly did not want to risk consequences of being caught.
"Hey! It's Sena!"
Sena whipped around to see Ootawara and Sakuraba staring at him. Ootawara was pointing to him with a big grin on his face and Sakuraba looked rather startled to see him too.
"Kobayakawa-kun? What are you doing here?" Sakuraba asked. "Oh, you're looking for Shin, right? He's still at the field," Sakuraba said. "Go on in."
"Ah, no, that's not…" Sena began to mumble but Ootawara had apparently already forgotten all about him and was dragging Sakuraba off, shouting something about a speed-eating competition tag-team combo.
"Your super reach can grab the food first and then I'll eat it with my speed and strength!" Ootawara declared.
"But grabbing food has nothing to do with how fast you eat it, Ootawara!" Sakuraba's protests faded out as he was dragged away.
Sena turned back to Ojo. Well, Sakuraba had given him permission, kind of… and normal football practice was over now so they couldn't really accuse him of cheating though that did kind of kill Sena's excuse for coming to Ojo…
Sena found himself walking to the football field, somewhat remembering the way to go from the last time they had been there (on one of Hiruma's spying trips of course). He got a few curious glances, being in Deimon uniform, but when he got to the football field, he found it empty except for Shin who appeared to be running laps.
Sena felt even more awkward. He couldn't just go and talk to Shin, especially when he wasn't even really sure why he was here in the first place – just that it had been awhile since he'd seen Shin and that definitely wasn't a good reason to interrupt Shin's training.
"I should just go home," Sena told himself and things probably would have ended that way except Shin chose that moment to turn the corner and Sena froze by the sidelines.
He saw Shin's face go from serious to more serious as he slowed to where Sena was standing.
"Eyeshield," Shin said, his voice deep and familiar.
Sena stuttered. "S-S-Shin-san!"
Even if they were rivals and Sena had no problems fighting him out on the field, it didn't mean Sena wasn't still terrified of Shin. He liked him, of course, and admired him a lot – but Shin could be really scary with his intensity and seriousness.
"Is there something you need?" Shin asked, taking the towel around his neck and wiping his face off.
Crap. Sena knew this was going to happen but since he didn't know why he was there, he didn't have a good reason or excuse. That was Hiruma's specialty – Sena was a very bad liar.
"I, um, I…"
Think, Sena, think! What would Hiruma say?
"What are your fucking strategies—"
Shin was giving Sena a rather confused look.
"I-I-I just haven't seen you around lately," Sena blurted out. "Um, since Christmas Bowl, since we finished training," he said, ending with a very nervous laugh.
"You want to train," Shin said.
"Uh...sure?" Sena said – not really what he came for, but at the moment, he'd be happy with any sort of excuse there was. "Wait, I don't mean now, I mean…you just finished so—so—"
"Tomorrow?" Shin asked.
"O-okay!" Sena quickly agreed.
Shin gave him a serious nod. "I'll see you tomorrow then," he said and jogged back onto the track.
Sena let out a shaky breath he hadn't even known he was holding and then hightailed it out of Ojo High as fast as his wobbly legs could carry him because he was feeling very wobbly indeed. And as he ran, despite his nervousness, he found himself breaking into a wide smile.
That was how the training sessions with Shin started. At first, they had tried to do training sessions after their normal school training, but it ended up being too time consuming – especially when they were both usually pretty tired after school anyways. So the training sessions turned into daily jogs where they would both leave school on their own, meet somewhere in between, and then jog around the embankment for another hour or so and then separate and go home.
It wasn't until after the first few times of jogging in silence, that Sena finally worked up the courage to attempt some conversation with Shin.
"Shin-san, um…so how was school today?" Sena asked when they began jogging their usual route.
He saw Shin's eyes turn towards him briefly. "Fine. The team had early practice today," Shin said.
And the conversation that Sena had thought would be extremely awkward and probably stiff, was amazingly easy as it turned towards football.
Sena realized he had never really had a conversation with Shin before since most of the time they met, they had concentrated just on playing the game or training silently, but since they were jogging easily now, he realized Shin wasn't actually the rock that everyone said he was. He wasn't quiet either – he just didn't talk about anything except for football. He really was a guy with a one-track mind, Sena thought, half-amused and half-admiring.
Since they talked, their jogging slowed accordingly too and this time, by the time they were done, it was quite a bit past dinnertime and Sena was pretty hungry.
"Um, I better go home for dinner," Sena said when his stomach let out a loud growl. They were discussing a play that Hiruma had used against another school last time and Sena would have liked to keep talking, but he really was hungry.
"Kobayakawa-kun," Shin said. "There's a new restaurant that opened up nearby. Do you want to go?"
The unexpected invitation took Sena by surprise. "Eat? With me?" he asked.
Shin nodded, completely disregarding how stupid the question was.
"O-okay!" Sena agreed.
"This way then," Shin said and began leading the way down the embankment. They were both kind of sweaty and gross, but it turned out the restaurant was a small noodle place that didn't mind how their customers smelled.
Sena was actually mildly surprised that Shin was eating at a restaurant and said as much. "Shin-san, I thought you said you um, don't eat at restaurants," he said, recalling the time Shin had even skipped out on the celebration feast they had at the yakiniku place.
"I have not consumed dinner yet. If I order accordingly, it will be fine," Shin answered.
Sena gave a rather weak smile and scrambled to look at the menu.
Shin really was the perfect athlete, even keeping such a strict eye on his every day diet. Sena suddenly felt a little self-conscious. He normally ate whatever was available and however much he wanted since no one seemed to really care. Sena didn't really have a big appetite but he enjoyed the occasional dessert or junk food too. Watching Shin look at the menu so seriously, Sena wondered if he should be careful with what he ate too.
"U-um, Shin-san, what are you going to get?" Sena asked after a few moments.
"Soba," Shin gestured to one of the meal combos. "I will supplement the missing nutrition later," he said.
Sena gave an even more nervous laugh as the waitress came.
"Number 15," Shin ordered, gesturing to the menu and then looked towards Sena.
"Uh, um, the same," Sena blurted out.
Shin didn't comment on it and it was times like these, that Sena was rather glad that Shin didn't seem to notice anything but football.
"Shin-san?" Sena said a few moments later.
Shin looked up at him, directly all his attention towards Sena. It was really very nice that whenever Sena spoke, Shin was one of those people that looked directly at him and put all his attention on Sena, but at the same time, it could be rather intimidating.
"Uh, um, I was just wondering what you do in your free time," Sena blurted out. He had kind of been wondering about it in his desperate attempts to add more things to his mental list of things to talk to Shin about – which so far only had football on it. "Er, you don't have to answer if you don't want to, I was just curious and—"
"Homework," Shin answered.
Sena blinked. Well, it was Shin after all, so it wasn't that weird that he considered football his work and homework his free time.
"You don't watch TV or um, go to the arcade or play video games?" Sena asked, trying to recall what exactly he had done before football took over his life. Of course now that he thought about it, Sena himself, didn't do very much besides train, practice, and do homework. There just wasn't any time for other things and in his free time, he would have to say he spent it with the Deimon football team hanging out or going to games.
"I watch football games on television," Shin said.
"Oh…" Sena said. "Um, me too," he said.
Shin gave a nod of approval. "The Nasa Shuttles were good in the last game," he said.
And there, the conversation went right back to football though at this point, Sena quite welcomed it. "Panther did really well, didn't he?"
And so the conversation went on through the meal. Well, Sena wasn't going to complain – he couldn't really, since his own life revolved around football now too. Besides, he was more than happy that he had actually gone to eat at a restaurant with Shin – at Shin's invitation – and Shin had actually eaten too. Though of course Shin probably did this occasionally, Sena was quick to remind himself, and he was going to go home to supplement his nutrition. Sena still went home feeling full and content – and giddy that had nothing to do with food at all.
Two mornings later, Sena received a very strange phone call in the middle of math class.
Sena was proud to say his cell phone had come a long way from the one number it used to have when he first started highschool though of course, the fifteen or so numbers in there still wasn't very much at all.
What surprised him, though, was that the person calling him wasn't any of those numbers and Sena didn't recognize the number at all.
The cutesy ring tone that Suzuna had picked out rang loud in class and Sena jumped as the teacher turned to glare at him.
"S-sorry!" Sena quickly apologized, shutting it onto silent though he peeked at the text message he had just received.
Was this what they called spam mail? Sena thought, feeling rather puzzled as he turned the phone off and put it back in his backpack.
He didn't think much of it until football practice when he very nearly got shot by Hiruma for letting his cell phone go off during practice. It was another unknown number but it was a call this time so Sena picked up.
"Hello?" Sena asked, rather breathless from running.
"Kobayakawa-kun? This is Sakuraba."
"Sakuraba-san?' Sena asked, rather puzzled.
"Oh good. Shin wants to talk to you but he broke his phone this morning," Sakuraba said. "During break."
Oh, Sena thought. So that was what that weird text message was.
"Here Shin," Sakuraba said and Sena heard the phone switch hands.
"Kobayakawa-kun," Shin's deep voice came over the phone.
"Shin-san!" Sena said, feeling rather anxious and nervous like he did every time he saw Shin though this time, he wasn't really seeing Shin.
"I can't train with you today," Shin said. "I have a doctor's appointment."
Sena felt his heart speed up. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You got injured? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. It's a check-up," Shin answered and Sena abruptly felt his heart unclench.
"Oh…oh good then," Sena said, feeling a little embarrassed.
But whatever Shin was about to say got cut off with a bunch of garbled static and then the tone and Sena realized Shin had probably just broken phone again. Suppressing a smile, Sena turned his phone off and jogged back to the field where he spent the next three hours doing the ladder exercise at light speed.
"Don't slow down, fucking shrimp! This is your punishment! No phones allowed during practice!" Hiruma cackled and Sena saw the Huh-huh brothers surreptitiously check their phones.
But he had actually gotten a call from Shin – sure, through Sakuraba's phone. And knowing Shin's track record with electronics, it was worth it, Sena thought. Even if Sakuraba was now out of a cell phone.
As promised, Shin looked fine when they met up for their next after training jog.
"Shin-san, how was the doctor's appointment?" Sena asked.
"Fine," Shin answered though of course with Shin's training and careful balanced diet, Sena would be surprised if Shin was ever sick.
They started their jog and Sena approached the subject delicately.
Shin turned slightly to look at him.
"Er, Sakuraba-san said you broke your phone yesterday," Sena said. "Um, his too, right?"
"It stopped working," Shin said. "I'm sorry that our call was cut off."
That was the same thing as breaking it, Sena thought. "S-so you don't have a phone right now?" Sena asked.
"No, I'm not allowed to use the one at home," Shin answered.
Sena had to suppress a laugh at that though he wasn't sure if he was laughing from amusement or nervousness. Who knew how many phones Shin had accidentally broken at his home that he wasn't allowed to use them anymore.
"Um, I have an extra one. Do you want to borrow it until you get a new one?" Sena asked and fumbled in his sweatsuit pocket. In fact, he had been given an extra cell phone by Hiruma when they all went to America and most of their cell phone plans didn't cover international calls. Hiruma had just let them keep their phones after they returned so Sena now had two cell phones.
"I-I mean for football, er, they probably need to contact you a lot, right? So it would be inconvenient not to have one," Sena said quickly.
Shin looked surprised at Sena's offering, but anyone who knew Shin also knew not to give him electronics so it was probably a rare occurrence.
"Thank you," Shin said seriously, taking the phone from Sena.
Sena was a little surprised that it didn't break immediately under Shin's grip. Of course the one he had given Shin was his own original cell phone – he didn't want to risk Hiruma's wrath in case Shin did accidentally break Sena's phone. But all Shin did was tuck it into his own pocket and begin jogging again.
Of course that meant Sena had Shin's number now. And if he was really lucky, when Shin got a new phone, he could ask for Shin's new number too, Sena thought as he lay in bed that night. But asking for Shin-san's number? Sena curled up and buried his blushing face in his pillow.
After a moment, his hand snuck out and he picked up Hiruma's phone from his bed counter where he pulled it under the covers with him. He scrolled through the numbers in the address book until he got to his own, but he couldn't bring himself to press the call button. He didn't really have anything to call Shin about and Sena didn't really call anyone "just to talk" since anytime he wanted to talk to his friends, he just met up with them. They were together so often with football and everything that he never really did call except to confirm appointments and things like that.
And then his phone rang.
Sena jumped at the sudden sound and fumbled to answer it.
"Hello?" he asked, hoping it wasn't Hiruma asking him to be out practicing since it was ten at night and Sena was already very tired from today's practice.
"Kobayakawa-kun," came the deep voice Sena had only heard on the phone once before.
"S-Shin-san!" Sena stuttered. He was very thankful that this was over the phone and not in person because then Shin would see how red Sena had turned and the goofy grin that stretched across his face now.
A long stretch of silence followed as Sena waited for Shin to speak.
"Um, was there something you wanted to talk to me about?" Sena asked finally.
"No," Shin said.
Sena was rather startled.
He heard Shin take a breath on the other side of the phone. "I just wanted to say I'll see you tomorrow. Good night," Shin said.
"Oh, um, good night," Sena said, feeling rather baffled if happy as Shin hung up. Had Shin really called just to say that?
Sena closed his cell phone, holding it in his hand, and went to sleep with a smile on his face.
Sakuraba and Takami came for a visit the next day right before football practice.
Everyone looked rather surprised to see them since usually it was the Deimons who went out spying and not the Ojo White Knights.
"Hmm, here to do some spying?" Hiruma asked as soon as he saw them.
Takami adjusted his glasses and smiled diplomatically. "No, we want to talk to Eyeshield, Kobayakawa-kun," he said.
"M-me?" Sena asked, feeling rather intimidated looking up at the tall quarterback. Sakuraba wasn't as intimidating since he was nice and quite friendly when they weren't playing football, but Takami had an air similar to Hiruma's except not quite so blatantly scary.
"Kobayakawa-kun!" Sakuraba said, brightening as soon as he saw Sena. "You cured Shin!"
Sena blinked and stared. "What?" he asked.
"Of his technology incompetence," Takami explained. "You lent him a cell phone yesterday, right?"
Sena nodded slowly. "Since he um, broke his…and Sakuraba's phones," he said hesitantly.
"Usually all Shin has to do is touch something to break it," Takami said.
"But he didn't break your cell phone! At all and he was holding it this morning too!" Sakuraba said excitedly. "He wanted us to come with him to get a new cell phone today! I think he's getting the hang of using it."
"Thanks to Kobayakawa," Takami said. "He wouldn't have been so careful if it didn't belong to Eyeshield."
Sena found himself turning pink. "Huh?"
"We wanted to ask you if you can give Shin more electronics so he won't break them," Sakuraba said. "Because they're from you."
Sena found himself at a complete loss. "What?"
"Don't worry. We'll pay for it. You just have to give it to him," Takami said. "That way, we can send him to record games again," he said, shooting a rather challenging smirk at Hiruma whose grin widened.
"No problem, you can borrow the fucking shrimp. But we'll need compensation," Hiruma said.
Sena gulped and tried to back cautiously away from the two quarterbacks.
"Do you want to come shopping with us?" Takami said suddenly.
Sena shrank back. "Um, what?"
"For the cell phone. Then we'll be sure Shin doesn't break it," Takami said. "Tell him to get this one," he told Sena, holding out a picture of one of the nicer new models of cell phones.
"Um…okay?" Sena said cautiously.
Hiruma cackled. "You owe me big for this one, fucking glasses!"
Takami made the call.
That was how Sena found himself at the cell phone shop with Takami, Sakuraba, and of course Shin. As well as Hiruma who had come along, Mamori who came to be sure Sena wasn't bullied, Monta who came because Mamori did, and Ootawara and Kurita who came because there had been mentions of eating out after shopping. Of course that meant Komusubi came also because Kurita was there, and the Huh-huh brothers also tagged along because they could do anything Komusubi could. Musashi came because he wanted to get a new cell phone, Suzuna came because she wanted to look at cell phone accessories, and that meant Taki also came for no apparent reason at all. Which meant, of course, the cell phone sales attendant looked really very nervous when the entire group came piling in – even moreso when Ootawara let out a loud fart to signal their entrance.
"Oops, farted," Ootawara laughed.
The sales attendant looked like she was going to faint. "How may I help you?" she asked.
"I want to buy a cell phone," Shin said and Sakuraba gave Sena an encouraging push.
Sena shuffled forward to stand next to Shin.
"Oh, wonderful! Do you have a particular model you'd like?" she asked.
Shin looked rather confused as the lady gestured to a shelf full of different models. "Whatever—"
"The new SwitchPhone," Sena blurted out at a shove from Takami this time.
Shin turned to look at him.
"I-It's a good model!" Sena said quickly.
"That one," Shin agreed.
"Lovely! It's a very popular model now!" the sales lady gushed and went to get one.
Sena breathed a sigh of relief too soon as he caught sight of Taki twirling into a display case.
"Brother!" Suzuna shouted as the display case fell over onto the Komusubi who toppled over onto the Huh-huh brothers.
A small brawl began in the middle of the shop.
Sena began sweating and praying that the sales lady would take her time coming out until they could straighten this mess.
"Hey look! It's a banana!" Monta said, looking through the rack of decorative cell phone straps.
"Here's a monkey," Suzuna said, holding another one out.
"Mukyaa!! Who's a monkey?" Monta demanded, jumping onto the rack.
Hiruma had enough and discharged a round of bullets into the ceiling. "Shut up, fucking monkey!"
Sena was very tempted to run away now – what were golden legs for anyway – except that Shin was standing like a big rock wall right next to him, and even with the flying bullets, it seemed pretty safe next to Shin. Plus, they did have to get Shin his cell phone.
By the time the sales lady came back out, Sakuraba, Ootawara, and Kurita had somehow been drawn into the mess as well, while Mamori was trying to calm things down, Musashi was nonchalantly looking at the cell phones, and Takami was watching it all with a straight face.
"Oh my goodness!" the saleslady looked like she might faint again.
"It's fine," Takami said as Shin sat down with the lady who began to explain the features.
Takami gave Sena another shove forward. "Go learn it too," he said.
That was easier said than done when all Sena could think about was the worrying chaos going on behind him – but he felt a grip on his arm and when he looked down, Shin was pulling him into a chair to sit beside him. Suddenly, all the chaos seemed very far away as Sena sat down.
Shin let go of him but Sena still found it rather difficult to concentrate on what the sales lady was saying.
When they walked out of the shop a half hour later, the shop had a lot of cleaning to do – not to mention repairs that Hiruma had blackmailed the manager into letting them go for. Shin and Musashi both had new cell phones, and Monta had a banana cell phone strap.
Sena fingered the cell phone strap he had bought himself and wondered if he really dared to give it to Shin.
They went to the yakiniku restaurant after shopping and as usual, managed to get into an eating contest – mostly thanks to Kurita's huge appetite and Ootawara challenging anything that looked like a challenge.
Sena sat next to Monta because Takami and Sakuraba had already secured seats on either side of Shin, eagerly teaching him all the features of the cell phone now that they knew he wouldn't break it.
"Come on! We have to beat the Ojo White Knights!" Monta said as the Huh-huh brothers stacked meat onto Sena's plate.
"Whoever loses, pays!" Juumonji said.
"Hmph!" Komusubi agreed.
Sena gave a rather nervous laugh as he began eating.
Halfway through the meal, though, Sena looked up and saw Shin was missing. Of course, knowing Shin, he had probably just consumed the adequate amount of nutrition for the day so he had taken off, but Sena found himself wandering outside, hoping to see Shin anyways.
And just like the way it had happened before, Sena found Shin doing pull-ups from the larger-than-life sculpture bull's nose-ring. Even though Sena had already seen it before, he was still startled.
"S-Shin-san!" Sena said.
Shin did two more pull-ups before slowly lowering himself down and dropping lightly to the ground. He had taken off his shirt and Sena found himself staring at Shin's body. It was certainly a body that Sena would never possess with his own, small build, but still so very attractive even if Sena would never have one like it.
"Kobayakawa-kun," Shin said.
Sena swallowed. "Um, you already ate enough?" Sena asked quickly.
Shin nodded seriously as he pulled his shirt back on.
Sena found his hands going to his pockets where the cell phone strap still was.
"Um, Shin-san!" Sena blurted out even though he totally was not ready for this and he was shaky with nervousness. "I-I-I bought you…"
Sena held out the cell phone strap, bowing his head. He could hear his pounding heart and the heat rushing through his veins as he waited in anticipation.
"A tiny football?" Shin sounded puzzled as Sena looked up.
He was looking at the cell phone strap which did, indeed, have a tiny football dangling from the white cord.
"It's a cell phone strap!" Sena said, tension abruptly lightened. "H-here, give me your cell phone," Sena said.
Shin took it out and handed it to Sena who carefully strapped the trinket on. He held it back out to Shin.
"There! I just thought…they're popular right now and the football—" Sena wasn't making very much sense, he knew, but then he was suddenly being swept up in a hug that forced Sena to his tip-toes.
"Thank you." Sena could feel Shin's deep voice rumbling in his chest.
Sena wasn't very sure if he was feeling light-headed because Shin was squeezing him too tight, or for some other reason. Either way, he tottered when Shin let him back down on his feet again. He looked up at Shin with his strong features, and dark eyes that seemed to be getting bigger – or was it closer? Sena could feel Shin's light breath on his face and Sena felt his heart pound harder.
"Oh my god."
Sena froze as he heard voices behind him.
"Sena! You're too young for things like that!" came Mamori's voice.
"That'll be even easier then. We'll have Eyeshield buy Shin accessories to tie onto all our electronics." Takami was there too.
"I never thought—Shin?" Monta gasped.
Sena thought if he turned any redder, he might explode. And please please please don't let Hiruma have seen, he thought, too scared to turn around and see who was actually there.
"Ya-ha you fucking shrimp! What was that fraternizing with the enemy?"
Sena took off like a bullet when Hiruma started shooting. The noise of the restaurant had faded already when he finally slowed and noticed he wasn't alone.
"Shin-san!" Sena gasped when he saw Shin keeping easy pace with him.
Shin turned slightly to look at him.
"What…what are you doing here?" Sena asked. The night air was cool and the stars were out now, and it felt nice as Sena continued to run.
"We didn't get to jog today," Shin said simply. The football phone strap was dangling from his pocket.
And Sena smiled.
end. Review please? :D