I don't own Eyeshield 21
At first, Shin didn't understand. Then again, as he's found out, nothing is easy with Kobayakawa Sena. Shin Seijuro may be rather dense at times, but he was not completely oblivious. For example; he knew Sakuraba wanted to be his rival. Because of that Shin didn't slow down. It's disrespectful to a rival not to fight your hardest against them. He also knew this was why Sakuraba agreed to Jeripro; so that he had his own field to compete with Shin. He knew that Takami was completely manipulating the whole team (if not school), similar to Deimon's quarter back Hiruma Youichi, without being nearly as overt. And lastly, Shin Seijuro knew he had a crush on Kobayakawa Sena.
Now, to give credit where credit's due, he didn't figure it out all on his own. After crushing Deimon in the spring tournament, he'd watched all of Kobayakawa's games, if not in person, then on the training tapes. While watching he had noticed something rather odd. Even when it was one of Hiruma Youichi's (many) trick plays and fake hand-offs, his eyes would still follow #21. It was baffling. Then came the tightness in his chest every time his diminutive rival got tackled. He hoped training in the mountains would strengthen his lungs and fix that.
But after a long and distinctly Kobayakawa-less summer, he noticed that he would watch his rival even more intently when given the chance. His lungs didn't seem to be responding as expect to the harsh training regimen, and he still had shortness of breath. If anything, it seems to have gotten worse; now not only did it happen when Kobayakawa got tackled, but when Shin was around the boy at all. And after losing to the Devil Bats in the fall tournament, Shin had taken to training and jogging with the footballer known as Eyeshield. Other symptoms of what was becoming a growing illness presenting itself in Seijuro, including not wanting to let the boy's small frame up from under him after a tackle, and a growing warmth in his face after the boy smiled at him, reminiscent of a fever.
Something had to be done. So, Shin asked for a doctor recommendation. He already saw a nutritionist, but when it came to his annual sports physicals, he went to whichever doctor was available. He had no need for a regular doctor, seeing as he took care of his body and balanced his nutritional needs correctly, preventing illness. But knowing Sakuraba spent a good deal of time in the hospital after the Deimon game, Shin decided he would be the best one to ask for a doctor recommendation. Unfortunately, Shin forgot the cardinal rule: where Sakuraba is, Takami's not far behind.
"What? Shin, are you injured? You should have told us and we would have been able to evaluate your training schedule, replacement player's training schedule, calculate the amount of time you can play in this upcoming game, this upcoming season…"
Shin tuned him out and looked at Sakuraba expectantly.
"Why do you need a doctor?"
"I… have not been feeling like myself lately." Shin said gravely. "I would like a medical professional's opinion.
"Alright, but, 'not yourself' how exactly?" Sakuraba questioned. "I need to know if you'd like a psychologist, if you're feeling depressed. Or a diagnostician if you think you're ill. Or any other number of specialists."
"I see." Shin mused to himself, wondering just how much to tell his teammate. Might as well explain the whole problem. After all, what's the worst that could happen? Shin gave his teammate a rundown of his symptoms including detailed notes he'd been taking to give to the doctor.
Takami clicked his cell phone shut and dropped his clipboard with which he was making calculations on how Shin's illness would affect the run-to-pass ratio of the next game.
Shin waited patiently for a recommendation.
This was officially the most awkward day of Sakuraba Haruto's young life. His best friend, asexual Shin Seijuro, had a crush on the Deimon Devil Bat's running back, Kobayakawa Sena-kun. And he had no clue.
"Ah, Shin, those aren't really symptoms of a physical illness…" Sakuraba hesitated. How does one go about breaking the news to their best friend that they so gay for their rival?
"So is it a psychological condition?" Shin questioned patiently.
"Well, yes and no." Sakuraba hedged.
"Oh, for God's sake. You have a crush on Kobayakawa Sena." Finished Takami, irritated at the almost disruption of the training and game schedule.
Sakuraba stared. What happened to the boy who hesitated to call Ootawara an idiot in April?
Takami grumbled and picked his clipboard of calculations back up and flipped though back to the team phone tree. Ah, he'd already called Shin's replacement in for extra training.
"We haven't practiced together recently due to my illness. I couldn't have crushed him." Shin explained, confused.
Takami dropped his clipboard again.
Sakuraba dropped his head into the palms of his hands.
"What Takami means," Sakuraba started hesitantly, "is that you like Sena-kun."
"Of course I do." Shin answered matter-of-factly.
Takami looked up from his scattered papers on the floor hopefully.
"He's my rival; of course I respect and admire him." Shin finished.
Takami gave up on his papers.
"Let's put it this way," having given up on getting anything done, Takami made himself as comfortable on the concrete floor of the empty (save the three) locker room. "You want to have sex with Kobayakawa Sena."
"Takami!" Sakuraba yelped, scandalized.
"But Kobayakawa doesn't have a vagina." Shin seemed to make that more into a question, than a statement of fact.
"Shin?!" Sakuraba's jaw dropped.
"You're gay." Takami explained.
Sakuraba needed alcohol.
"Oh." Shin offered thoughtfully. "So, if I have sex with Kobayakawa, this problem will go away?"
Sakuraba gave up. He sat on the bench, with his head back in his hands. He couldn't deal with this. He refused to deal with this.
Sakuraba found hope once more. He looked up, daring to dream.
"He seems like he'd be good. You probably wouldn't get him out of your system after only one night."
"That's more than enough!" Sakuraba cut in. "What Takami means to say," he glared a said boy, who shrugged. "Is that you like Sena-kun. You may even love him."
"Love?" Shin mused. "So I don't have to have sex with him right away?"
His teammates looked at him, one with surprise, and one with hope.
"No, Shin, you don't." Sakuraba confirmed.
"Good, that will give me time to research homosexual sex."
"So what should I do?" Shin asked.
"Well, if you'd like to start a relationship…" Shin nodded at the correct pause in Takami's speech. "You'll have to let him know you're interested." The quarterback finished.
"How?" Shin asked.
"I don't know; go hit on him or something." Takami advised, getting bored with the situation.
"I already tackle him during practice, does Kobayakawa enjoy pain that much?"
"NO!" Sakuraba broke in desperately, not knowing what Takami would do with such a tempting scenario. "Tell him he has pretty eyes, tell him he's an angel fallen from the heavens, ask him out on a date, but for God's sake, use pick-up lines, don't actually hit on him!"
And so Shin did. And Sena didn't notice. Which lead to Shin's dilemma.
It wasn't for lack of trying that Sena hadn't notice. If hitting on running backs were a subject in school, he'd be getting an "A" for effort. Every time he saw the boy (which was getting more and more frequent, Sakuraba called it stalking, Takami, persistence) he'd drop a pick up line.
Attempt #1 Outside the Son Son Market:
"Kobayakawa!" Shin hailed the boy leaving the market as Shin happened to be jogging by.
"Shin-san!" There was that breath taking smile again. "I haven't seen you in a while, have you been feeling better?"
"Yes, I have." Shin evaded the obvious implied question. "Kobayakawa. I have a question for you." Shin started.
"Yes, what is it, Shin-san?"
"Are your legs tired?" He asked.
"No, not really, my house is really nearby… Why Shin-san?
"Because you've been running through my mind all day long." Shin finished.
Sena turned bright red. He forced out a laugh. "That's cute, Shin-san. Well, I gotta get this milk to mom, so I'll talk to you later Shin-san!" And he took off. At his fastest speed.
Shin shrugged. He thought it was a good one.
Attempt #2: Three blocks away from Deimon High School, three miles away from Oujou.
"Shin-san! What are you doing all the way over here? It isn't one of our practice days…" The smaller boy trailed off, uncertain, worried he'd gotten the date wrong.
"No, it isn't Kobayakawa, I simply needed to ask you if you had a map."
"A map, Shin-san? I don't, but I thought you knew this area well enough to not need one by now. Any particular reason?"
"Because I just keep getting lost in your eyes." Shin finished solemnly.
"Ah… ha… ha… ha… You know, I think I left my… thing… back at school. See you Shin-san!"
Shin was content with the effects of following Takami's advice. One thing bothered him though. Why did that boy always run away from him?
Attempt #3: Post-practice cool down
"Ah, that was a good practice today, Shin-san." Sena offered, stretching. He was a little hesitant to go ahead with this practice, especially with how oddly Shin-san had been acting, but the other boy hadn't said a single weird thing since practice started. He looked over to the other boy, who seemed to be examining his knee rather intently. "Oh, no! Shin-san, did you get injured? Is there anything I can do?!" Sena started to panic and tried lean over Shin's broad shoulders to see the extent of the damage.
"It is not a threatening injury." Shin said looking up in to the boy's eyes. "I seem to have scraped my knee, falling for you."
This time, Sena didn't even try to laugh, and bolted to Deimon's club house. It should have been impossible at this distance, but Shin could swear he heard the door lock firmly behind Sena.
The mini-conference had reconvened in Oujou's locker room to discuss Shin's dilemma.
"If he's not interested, he's not interested. Sorry Shin." Takami offered carelessly.
"Don't give up so easily! Maybe he's just a little oblivious! Maybe he just needs a little time!" Sakuraba defended.
Takami snorted. "It wasn't as if he didn't make his interest abundantly clear; Shin's been following Kobayakawa around hitting on him left and right!"
"Don't listen to him Shin!" Sakuraba demanded, rounding on the silent boy. "Shin?"
Shin had, in fact, not been listening. But not because Sakuraba told him not to, but rather because of something he'd said earlier. 'Maybe he just needs a little time.' Kobayakawa could have been practicing a new move or technique for months, but he'd only really master it after puzzling it out on the field. And never on the first try. He had a talent for pulling off stunts that should be impossible to learn on the spot. Maybe… Maybe this is one of the situations that Shin just had to sit back until Kobayakawa worked it out for himself.
"In an average game, he has two hours and twenty minutes to figure it out. I will give him one more month before I tell him I love him and take him on a date." Shin declared.
"Shin, what are you talking about."
"In the mean time, I will still hit on him. Practice makes perfect, after all."
And with this statement, Shin left the locker room and two puzzled boys on the bench.
"I don't think I want to know." Takami sighed.
"Maybe I should have told him to just jump Sena-kun." Sakuraba agreed.
=3 I thought it was funny, at least. Let me know what you thought! Don't forget these upcoming important dates: Nov. 4th (Tues.) Election Day, U.S. Be sure to vote if you're able. Nov. 5th (Wed.) Guy Fawks Day (Bonfire Night) U.K. Be sure to watch V for Vendetta =3 Thanks for reading and please review. (Big thanks to both Shinnie the meanie and my reviewer Ila Way.)