FANfiction, luvs. My first fic in this fandom, and I really should have been working on my Naruto or Ghost Hunt stories. But this idea popped in my head and wouldn't leave me alone.
On a normal day, for no apparent reason, Inui Sadaharu looked at his (very male) closest friend, Kaidoh Kaoru, and realized that he was in love. Because he was, no matter how intelligent and analytical, still only fourteen, this caused him to do the one thing that he'd never thought he'd do: panic. Of course, since he was Inui--and therefore very intelligent, analytical, and calm--no one who hadn't been looking very closely would be able to notice his suddenly slightly flushed cheeks or widened eyes.
What WAS noticeable to just about everyone on the Seigaku tennis team was the way Inui took to avoiding his younger friend. He still worked with him during tennis practice, but he suddenly stopped meeting Kaidoh after class to discuss training while walking to practice, or after practice, he had reasons that he couldn't walk home to talk more about training, and after that, he didn't meet Kaidoh for training by the river. (Though Kaidoh didn't exactly mention that part to the other regulars, it was assumed by all.)
Momo was the one who summed it up after almost two full weeks of obvious avoidance from Inui: "Geez, I didn't realize how much time those two spent together until they stopped. What'd you do to Inui, Mamushi, eat his lab rat?"
Once they were sure that Kaidoh wasn't going to break away from Eiji and Taka to attack the larger boy, Oishi started trying to reassure the his underclassman. He had asked Kaidoh to stay after to talk about what was wrong with Inui and the rest of the regulars had hung around out of a mixture of morbid curiosity and actual worry. (Though, if asked, Momo would claim that he was worried about the Inui-Kaidoh doubles team, not the boys themselves.)
"It doesn't necessarily have to do with you, Kaidoh. I'm sure Inui is having a bad week or something."
"I don't know, Oishi-sempai, he doesn't seem to have any trouble with talking to the rest of us." Echizen looked slightly ill. "He tried to test a new Inui-juice on Momo and me yesterday. He hasn't done that in a long time."
"Nya…Kaidoh, has he been talking to you differently? I mean, has he said anything weird?" Eiji cautiously let go of Kaidoh's arm.
The sullen-looking boy made a vague hissing sound as he shook his head. "He doesn't talk about anything except tennis now."
Seeing the blank looks on the other boy's faces, he continued, rather impatiently.
"He doesn't mention his experiments, or how his day went, or ask how mine went, or if I liked that book he suggested."
"Ah," Fuji nodded. "The little things, the friend things."
Kaidoh frowned even more.
"Well," Tezuka spoke up for the first time since the impromptu team meeting had begun. "Perhaps you should ask him directly."
The rest of the team stared, unused to Tezuka involving himself in something that wasn't directly related to tennis.
"If it keeps going on like this, it might adversely affect your teamwork."
Ah, that explained it.
Inui stared blankly at his captain as he was ordered--ordered--to talk to the nervous-looking underclassman standing slightly behind him. He didn't know why he hadn't considered this possibility. It was his self-appointed job, after all, to know the other members of the tennis team were likely to do. Somehow, though, it had never occurred to him that Tezuka, of all people, would get involved in his personal life. He'd thought that, at most, he'd have to fend off some of Oishi's concerned questions and perhaps some teasing from Fuji or Momo. (Though there was an 83% chance that Momo's teasing would be directly mostly at Kaidoh, something Inui regretted.)
"You can use the locker room. Don't come out until whatever it is is cleared up. Don't let me catch you fighting, not that I expect it to come to that. Understood?"
Dumbly, Inui nodded. He assumed that Kaidoh did the same, since Tezuka nodded and walked away, but he was too busy not looking at the younger boy to be 100% positive.
"Shall we go, sempai?" Kaidoh's quiet voice almost startled Inui, he was that wrapped up in his thoughts. Silently, he followed his friend back to the room he'd exited only minutes before, ignoring the voice at the back of his mind that was averaging the probability of Fuji, Eiji, and Momo being able to sneak past Tezuka to eavesdrop.
Once inside with the door locked, Inui leaned against a locker, crossing his arms and staring at the floor, while Kaidoh leaned across from him, staring morosely at the older boy with his arms at his side. Kaidoh, Inui had written in one of his notebooks, simply didn't DO defensive posture. He was an open book, if you knew what to look for, like Inui did.
He also knew that if it had been anyone else ignoring him, Kaidoh wouldn't have cared. He had never been good at making friends, and though they included him in their group and would call him a friend if asked, the other Seigaku regulars simply didn't spend time with him the way Inui did. Had.
"Did I do something wrong, Inui-sempai?"
The question made Inui flinch. Kaidoh's voice sounded lost, sounded like what he was, someone who didn't know what he'd done or how to fix it. Inui felt a resurgence of the guilt he'd been trying to ignore. It wasn't Kaidoh's fault, and, he decided, he should get a backbone and confess so that the younger boy would stop thinking it was.
Even though it was unlikely--13%, and only that high because he was Kaidoh's closest friend--that Kaidoh would be willing to accept, let alone return his feelings, he truly couldn't stand to see his friend so upset. Kaidoh was an emotional person, and, though those emotions were often different levels of irritability or determination, a bad day, for him, could last an entire week.
So, he had to confess, if only to assure Kaidoh that he had no need to feel guilty.
"No, Kaidoh, you did nothing wrong." Inui took a deep breath and finally met his underclassman's eyes. If he needed to be embarrassed, then he would do so with as much dignity as possible. "The responsibility for my…Problem lies entirely with me."
A hiss, Kaidoh hated contradicting his sempai; however, in this case it was necessary. "But sempai, I'm the only one you've been avoiding, so the problem must have something to do with me."
"Again, you did nothing wrong, Kaidoh." Inui felt his cheeks heating up, but he kept his gaze steady.
"We've become very close in the last few months, and, though it began because of tennis, it's moved beyond that. We walk to and from school together, run errands together, share our other hobbies. In short, we're no Golden Pair, but, for two very private and admittedly introverted people, we spend an inordinate amount of time together."
Kaidoh's own face was turning a bit pink by this point. Having it laid out like that made him wonder if his sempai was trying to tell him--politely--that he was becoming an annoyance. But Inui wouldn't lie, and he'd said more than once that Kaidoh hadn't done anything wrong, so it couldn't be that.
"You're my closest friend, sempai."
Inui nodded; he'd known that, of course. Now was the time to be clear. "And you are mine, Kaidoh. However, I have recently realized that my affection for you has grown to an…Inappropriate level."
Kaidoh's face showed confusion. "Inappropriate, sempai?"
Inui cleared his throat, wishing he weren't in a locked room with the object of his unrequited feelings, trying to confess. "Inappropriate affection for my male friend, Kaidoh."
"Oh." The confusion cleared, but Inui's gaze had dropped back to his feet as soon as he'd finished his sentence. There were a few long moments of silence before the younger boy suddenly stood up straight, stepping away from the locker.
"Inappropriate for whom?"
"What?" Inui glanced up, meeting the younger boy's straight almost-glare for only a second before it slid to the side.
"Who considers the feelings inappropriate? You? Your family?" Now there was a tinge of impatience in his voice.
Unsure what the underclassman was leading towards with his question, Inui took a minute to answer. "No. No, my parents have always said that whatever I choose in life is fine. My aunt lives with another woman, actually."
"So it's you who finds the feelings inappropriate?" Kaidoh was being just as relentless as he was in his tennis play.
The older boy shook his head, finally looking at his friend again. "I meant for you. You trusted me to be your friend, and I didn't want to…"
Kaidoh hissed, almost rolling his eyes at his sempai's stupidity. "Hurt me? Embarrass me? So, because of these feelings that you felt I would find inappropriate, you avoided me for two weeks without giving me a reason or visible cause?"
A nod. Inui felt his face turn even redder at the thought of how illogical he'd been. Trying to keep from bothering Kaidoh by ignoring him obviously hadn't been one of his more intelligent ideas. It was right up there with the time he'd tried to test one of his juices by himself. Too busy thinking and feeling guilty about how silly he'd been, Inui missed the moment when his double's partner stepped into his personal space. He simply looked up to find the shorter boy less than a foot away and staring at him intensely.
"And, what if, sempai, I didn't find your feelings inappropriate?"
Inui sucked in a breath, blinking rapidly as he tried to process the implications of Kaidoh's words and proximity.
"Then…" He hesitated, 94% sure he was correct in understanding his friend. "I suppose I might act…" Now, even his ears were turning pink and his stomach was squirming. He smirked, realizing that the other boy was still inching closer.
And now Kaidoh was leaning up, pressing his lips to Inui's. He tasted a little like the watermelon-flavored chapstick that Momo could never know about, Inui noted, his mind trying to keep up with the feelings--both emotions and sensations--coursing through him. He'd never be able to taste watermelon again without thinking about Kaidoh, and that was alright. He hadn't realized it until two weeks before, but he thought about Kaidoh every time he saw something watermelon-flavored anyway.
Mind fuzzily trying to hold onto his control and let go at the same time , he almost didn't notice when Kaidoh's arms wrapped around his neck, one pulling his head down as the younger boy deepened the kiss. He felt something wet--Kaidoh's tongue, he realized vaguely--rubbing against his closed lips. Realizing what the other boy wanted, Inui decided that it was time to turn the tables. After all, hadn't he always taken the lead in their friendship?
So, instead of opening his mouth and letting his friend in, he moved his hands from Kaidoh's waist--when had they gotten there?--to his shoulders and pushed. Soon enough it was Kaidoh with his back to the lockers, with his mouth invaded. The underclassman, however, was more than willing to let his larger friend dominate. It was nice--and rather hot--he had to admit, to see Inui losing his control to instinct and feeling once more.
Coming out of the daze this left him in, he realized that Inui was now busy nibbling and sucking on the soft skin just below his ear, and that he, Kaidoh Kaoru, was making a sort of whimpering-panting noise that would have been embarrassing in any other situation.
Actually, scratch that. He now wanted to die of embarrassment.
Inui, on the other hand, looked calmer and more content than he had in two long weeks. He breathed hotly against Kaidoh's neck for a moment while waiting for his breaths to even out and then simply turned to face the coach, Ryuzaki, who was standing in the doorway with a key in her hand and a smirk on her face.
"I'm glad you made up boys, but I have a dentist appointment today and the others need to come in here to change." Her smirk widened into a grin. "I told them that I'd check to make sure they wouldn't be interrupting anything."
Inui's eyebrows shot up and Kaidoh buried his face in the back of his friend's--boyfriend's--shirt, making a muffled sound of distress that was, Inui noted, quite similar to the sounds he'd been making a moment or two before. It was certainly much cuter than the hiss that indicated he was feeling irritable.
Ryuzaki answered the unspoken question. "Momo kept saying something about a fight, and the others couldn't convince him that it was unlikely. Tezuka didn't want him proven right either way, so I came ahead."
Kaidoh began breathing easier as he realized that his coach was acting as if she didn't know exactly what she'd walked in on. He even felt brave enough to step out from behind Inui, toward his own locker. His face was still red, but he figured that, as embarrassing as it might be, he wasn't particularly interested in keeping the change in their relationship from the others. Too, knowing Inui, he would probably like to take notes on the reactions.
"So," he cleared his throat. "We can start changing, right?"
Inui's cheeks, which had been cooling down, suddenly felt a new rush of heat. It was one thing to be changing in the room with his friend; it was another thing to be changing in the same room as his crush. And it was a completely different thing to be changing in the room with his boyfriend when he was already starting to become turned on. With that thought in mind, ignoring Ryuzaki's red cheeks and Kaidoh's innocent, questioning look, he turned toward the showers.
"Sempai? We didn't even have a chance to practice today…"
At that, Ryuzaki almost lost control and started laughing. Things like this were the reason she loved coaching young people. They were just so awkward at this age! The only thing that kept her from cackling like a mad woman was the sound of the rest of the team approaching. She turned to leave, smiling at a still-befuddled Kaidoh as she did.
"See you on Monday, boys. Don't do anything…Inappropriate."
When the rest of the Seigaku regulars finally got to the locker room, it was to find a furiously blushing Kaidoh Kaoru hissing and muttering to himself something that sounded like 'show HER what's inappropriate.'
Inui simply smiled at them, opened his notebook, and announced that he and Kaidoh were officially dating.