Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warning: This is yaoi.
Summary: It's official, someone up there hates him.
An answer to the Brother prompt from kirskipkat, from the es21_yaoi lj.
Haru-nii has got it rough.
Tora's pretty sure Eyeshield 21 is a girl.
He's small. And weak. Really small and really weak, which makes it that much weirder that he's such a badass amefuto player. And just small, you know, like a girl, with the brown hair that's always drifting over his eyes and the shy glances that are never meeting anyone's looks and the blushing, blushing when anyone looks at him, blushing when anyone talks to him, blushing when the wind blows from the east—
Haru-nii's tripping over his own feet again.
That stupid Eyeshield! With his girly face and his girly blushing and his girly hair! Haru-nii can't concentrate when Eyeshield is around, because he's always staring at Eyeshield, across the field, through the huddle, from the bleachers, and why can't Eyeshield just get out of the way so Haru-nii can—
Did Shin just Trident Tackle Haru-nii in the neck?
It must have been a mistake. Haru-nii's already getting back up. Eyeshield's helping him.
Tora can't understand why everyone's always looking at Eyeshield when Haru-nii is right there. Can't they tell who the real amefuto player is, who's really dedicated to the sport? Just because Eyeshield's got those eyes. And that hair. And—and that really girly way of looking up through his hair at someone that makes Haru-nii go all red and start dropping easy passes—
Deimon's 51 just blitzed Haru-nii. For no reason.
Haru-nii gets back up, taking Eyeshield's hand to do it. Then they stand there for a second, fingers sort of still touching, until someone sitting with the Poseidons yells, "Holding! Flag, ref, flag!"
Tora wants to tell Eyeshield off. Who does he think he is? He's nothing without Kurita-san, without that stupid akuma in the backfield. Just because he's kind of fast, he thinks he can outshine Haru-nii. Well, Haru-nii will show him! Haru-nii's been training extra hard because he says that he's seeing someone he wants to impress—and Tora doesn't know why, because girls are dumb, but if it motivates Haru-nii, Tora supposes it's OK—and Tora just knows that with all those supplementals, Haru-nii's totally going to crush Eyeshield 2-stupid-1 at the official game. The Christmas Bowl is definitely—
Why did the Deimon kicker just face mask Haru-nii? Behind the line of scrimmage? Why isn't the ref calling the penalty?
Why is Takami kicking Haru-nii while he's down?! Why is Shin helping him?
"That's smart," someone shouts from the stands.
"Wha—what's going on?" cries Tora, beside himself.
Next to him, Onihei puts a hand over his mouth.
Suddenly, Eyeshield is there, in between the two Ojou players and the downed Haru-nii. He's got his helmet under his arm and looks like he's—he looks like he's scolding them, face pink over the cheeks, eyes full of reproof. Takami's hand goes to the back of his helmet as he looks away, like he's feeling sort of embarrassed. Or ashamed.
Shin looks completely unrepentant.
Then Eyeshield turns and helps Haru-nii up, and Tora can see the concern in his face, see him asking, Are you all right?
Haru-nii stands right up and smiles like he doesn't have Shin's footprint on his face.
From the other side of the gridiron, Deimon's 1 calls, "Encroachment!"—on his own player.
Onihei's shoulders are shaking.
Eyeshield 21 goes hastily back to Deimon's side, where Hiruma kicks him toward the backfield. The offensive line closes back up behind Eyeshield after he passes and then all five of them turn as one and stare in Haru-nii's direction.
But Haru-nii is still smiling, gazing like an airhead after Eyeshield 21, and doesn't even notice Shin coming until the water cooler is wedged over his helmet.
("It is defective," Tora can hear Shin saying.)
Torakichi scowls. "Huh."
Onhei glances at him.
Tora...scowls harder. "He looks...happy."
"I'd say so," says Onihei.
Which makes Tora wonder if Haru-nii is secretly miserable. But that smile...
At the bottom row of the stands, there's a guy with dreadlocks sitting with a girl. The guy is sitting forward with his hands clenched into fists like he's trying not to rush someone.
"Is that Sakuraba?" the girl is asking. "From JariPro?"
"He's fucking dead," says the guy with dreads.
On the field, Haru-nii is getting curb-stomped by a combo block of Jyuumonji, Takekura, and Shin. He doesn't even have the ball.
Hiruma and Takami call timeout at the same time, and a frantic-looking Eyeshield 21 runs forward to get between Haru-nii and the others.
"Kiss it better, Sena!" calls a short, black-haired Deimon cheerleader.
"Don't even think about it, Sakuraba!" roars—a lot of people in the bleachers, plus the Deimon manager.
Onihei is choking (hopefully to death) on something. A few rows down, the entire stand is shaking with Gaou's laughter.
Tora crosses his arms and frowns.
"Well," he says. Grudgingly.
At the fifty, Otawara is patting Shin on the back and saying something about You're taking the loss kinda hard, Shin, there's other Eyeshields in Japan, ya know. and Shin is replying Respectfully, senpai, there is not. and Deimon's 52 and 53 are holding back 51 and Eyeshield is all that's standing between Haru-nii and the business end of an Imperial Japanese Army light anti-aircraft gun.
"Maybe Sen-nii isn't so bad," he mutters.
"Sakuraba, you bastard," someone is shouting, some white-haired boy in the Gunmen row.
And maybe Sen-nii can even make Haru-nii realize how stupid it is to have a girlfriend when he should be thinking about the Christmas Bowl.