Mizutani Fumiki cycled slowly through the pre-dawn streets of Saitama. Fog clung around lamp posts and postboxes along the sidewalk; not a single soul was in sight. He had pretty much gotten used to it, with coach Momoe Maria's demands that the team assemble in the school as soon as a line of gold appeared on the horizon. He reached the gates of Nishiura High a few minutes later. Heaving his bag over his shoulder, he took relaxed paces toward the training ground. Mizutani glanced at his watch; he had arrived at least a half hour before his teammates' usual arrival time.

There was a small figure sitting at the sidelines, holding what seemed to be a book. Despite the rather dark surroundings, he recognized the boy as none other than Izumi Kosuke - Nishiura's center fielder and first baseman. "Izumi!" Mizutani called out. The latter jumped slightly, but responded with a wave and said, "Mizutani." The left fielder proceeded to sit next to his classmate.

"What're you doing here so early?"

"I could ask you the same thing."

"I couldn't sleep, so I decided to leave earlier today."

"I thought I'd read a little, and I had this strange impulse to come here."

"I see."

Izumi shut his book and stuffed it back into his bag.

"Keep on reading! You don't have to stop just because I'm here."

"I want to."

Silence dominated the field for a long, long while.

"Hey, Mizutani?"


"You wanna start meditation practice first?"

"The others aren't even here yet."

"Just you and me then."

Mizutani froze, Izumi's words ringing in his ears. Just you and me then. He nodded slightly, and held back a gasp as the first baseman gently took his hand in his, slender fingers entwining. Both boys breathed deeply, bodies pressed lightly against each other.

So this is how it feels like being so close to him.

The rest of the baseball team walked as one towards the training ground, laughing and chatting animatedly. Abe Takaya grimaced as his face hit Hanai Azusa's back. "Don't stop just like that!" the catcher hissed, peering over the captain's shoulder at the cause of that minor commotion.

His mouth dropped.

His eyes were three times their size.

His teammates scrambled to see what the big deal was.

"Is that Izumi and Mizutani?!" Tajima Yuuichirou half-screamed.

"Ohmygawd. They..." Nishihiro Shintarou whispered.

"They're... like... hugging!" Sakaeguchi Yuuto burst out.

"They're not hugging, moron! It's just that... they're cradling each other or something!" Oki Kazutoshi stammered.

"More like, being in a really intimate position!" Suyama Shouji corrected.

Momoe Maria and Shin'oka Chiyo were completely speechless.


Everybody whirled around.

Mihashi Ren had passed out.

My first try at Izumi/Mizutani. I hope it isn't too OOC. x) Reviews and constructive criticism is very much appreciated.