Fic written for the Pointless but Original Talking Forum Holiday Fic Exchange.
Request Number: 01
Pairing/Groups: I think I'd like some Kisarazu Ryou this time. =D Any Rokkaku kid with him is fine, but if he could end up in
Saeki's arms...oh, I'll be ever so happy. And if there was some Saeki/Fuji at the beginning? Oh, cookies for that. 8D (If this is hard to satisfy, Royal-or-something-involving-Niou if you must, but really. The Kisarazu. Or Imperial -AtoTezu-. That's my second choice. :D)
Squicks/Turn Offs in Fic: Rape, noncon, I don't want any character death. D:
What You'd Like to See in Fic: Coffee shops, cross-dressing, and light-hearted angst (totally not a oxymoron no). Lots of lots of pretty-boy kissing/groping.
Gen/Het/Slash/Smut/None/All-of-the-above?: SMUT IF YOU CAN BUT I WILL NOT PUSH IT BUT REALLY SMUT. BL. Smutty BL. ykwim.
Request: I want a sad ending. (Sorry if this is just so depressing-sounding. XD) AU, if you can. COLLEGE!AUs are a favorite of mine, as well as murder stories, of the Ryuusei no Kizuna variety.
Beta: Apple Snapple
A/N//Message to receiver: Ummmm. HAPPY NEW YEAR EZYL! Sorry about the general crappiness and the fail Rokakau, but I did what I could considering I don't know anything about them. But I wanted to write Rokaku since I'd been thinking about Ryou so much that I misspelled Ryo-chan's name, so I had to at least write a fic to make it seem less bad.
He wasn't born long ago. Well, "born" wouldn't be the right word to use in his case. Just a few months before, he was manufactured in a gray-walled factory and shipped off to the store to be sold. He spent few weeks on the display shelf watching the crowds in the mall pass by, until he was shoved onto a rack when a newer shipment of hats came in. No one was interested in purchasing a boring white cap, not when there were more interesting hats for them to buy.
He stayed on the rack for a while, just sitting and watching while his friends were sold, one by one, until the time came when he was picked up off of his resting place. For a minute, he thought he would finally be sold, only to notice the nametag of a store employee pinned to the shirt of the girl holding him. She tossed him into a bin labeled "discount", and left him to wait in the dark for someone to find him.
Time never seemed to flow at a constant pace in the discount box, always speeding up and slowing down at random intervals, until the hat lost count of how many days he'd been in that bin. But fate took pity on the sorry white hat and sent a man rummaging through the discount section of the store. He stared at the white hat, his calloused fingers running over the brim and tugging here and there, making sure it was well-made before glancing at the price tag. He smiled and shoved the hat into his shopping bag, next to a pair of white gloves.
In a few hours, the hat found himself shoved into a box and packaged, once again, lost in the dark. It was starting to become a pattern of events in the hat's life: move, dark, wait, move. This was just another waiting period. However, it didn't last long. The next afternoon, the lid of the box that the hat had been napping in was torn off and an ocean of light illuminated the silhouette of a small boy. His cheeks were still fleshy with baby fat and his eyes were large and childish, giving him the image of a kid who had just started going to school, and if the six candles wedged on top of a nearby cake were any indication, he was.
The boy plopped the cap onto his head and shouted a quick "Thanks Dad!" to a man whom the hat recognized as being the man who had purchased him. Next to the boy's father was another child whose face mirrored the boy's. With as much of a smile as a hat could manage, the hat noted that the boy was sporting the white gloves that he'd shared a plastic bag with. Twins. Go figure.
Among the following shouts of "Happy birthday Atsushi! Happy birthday Ryou!" the hat could feel a warmth bubbling in its brim. An affectionate tug from the boy's, Ryou's, hand, securing his new hat in place made the hat giddy knowing that the moving had finally stopped, no more waiting, no more darkness, only light and the warmth of the Ryou's head.
The hat soon became a permanent fixture in Ryou's wardrobe. He went everywhere with the boy, no matter what colors, or styles Ryou was wearing that day, no matter what the boy was doing. Being a white hat made him versatile enough to suit any need and every occasion. He was even there when Ryou first met Saeki at the beach.
The ocean was glittering in the afternoon sun and Ryou's favorite white hat, which he had just gotten for his birthday, protected his eyes from the light's glare; it was a perfect day for building sandcastles. Except… there were people already in Ryou's favorite spot.
Ryou wasn't a selfish kid, not in most cases, but that was his spot. It was the just close enough to the surf that it was easy to get the wet sand that he needed for his castles, but far enough away that the waves wouldn't overrun his sand walls. Plus, it was where he and Atsushi always built their sandcastles. Even though Atsushi wasn't there because he went to visit a friend, Yuuta the hat believed the boy's name was.
Ryou stood there, just watching the kids who were occupying his spot, a small pout on his face. Two boys were playing in the sand, one with dual-colored hair, burying a girly-looking brunette. Ryou just continued to stand there and glare, until the boy with the crazy black and white hair turned around and grinned at him.
"Hi!" he called. "I'm Saeki. Want to help me bury Fuji?"
Ryou crossed his arms over his chest, his bucket and shovel bumping into his hip as he bit his lower lip. His gaze shifted from the boys playing in the sand, to the ocean, then back to the spot thieves before trudging across the beach. He dropped a bucket full of sand on top of the pile that covered Fuji, and his hat couldn't help but wonder if Ryou was going to try making a sandcastle on top of the boy.
Soon Ryou and his hat were assimilated into Fuji and Saeki's group. The boys ended up going to the same school, and the next year they were in the same class. Ryou's hat never liked it when the boy went to school though. Ryou's grumpy old teacher wouldn't allow hats to be worn in class, something about "school policy". The boy threw a fit the first time and it made his cap feel fuzzy inside. But as all wars between children and adults go, Ryou was forced to take off his hat and stow it away inside of his school bag.
He didn't seem to mind so much after the first day and putting his hat away when he went into class became the normal thing to do. The hat didn't like the dark, or his memories of it, but he forgave Ryou for putting him there. The boy always came back.
As soon as the bell chimed at the end of the day, Fuji, Saeki, and a cap-wearing Ryou would rush out of the school building and head off to find adventures. The parks and alleyways of Chiba always had new monsters to fight and new princesses to save. But some days the hat found it odd how Saeki always ended up playing the hero and how Fuji would always be the princess, which usually left Ryou as a villain, or maybe a sidekick if someone else joined in too.
Saeki and Fuji were best friends, so it was only natural that they'd want to play opposite to each other, but there was something almost lonely about how Ryou seemed to be left out. And the blushes and lingering touches that occurred between the pair due to the script of the adventure didn't seem to be acting at times. Even though Fuji was a brilliant actor, he was still only seven. This was all simply a hat's musings of course, because Ryou didn't seem to mind being villain, or those few occasions when Fuji and Saeki would find something new without him and he'd have to play catch-up.
It came as no surprise to the hat that when Fuji and Saeki came out to play one day holding tennis rackets in their hands, Ryou went out to buy his own for tomorrow.
The seasons passed and the colors of the leaves changed before they fled from the trees all together. A new spring was coming.
The hat had seen many springs from his perch on Ryou's head and spring always meant the start of a new school year together with Saeki and Fuji. It had always been that way since the group first met, first went on their daring escapades, and continued even through the time they all started playing tennis together a few years back. It just was. Always. Except this year.
This was the year that everything changed. It was the year that Fuji moved away.
Ryou and his trusty hat were hiding behind a cement wall. He and Saeki had bid their goodbyes to their blue-eyed friend and watched as he waved goodbye to them for the last time. But Saeki hadn't left it at that. As soon as the car was out of sight he took off, and Ryou chased after him. They knew what roads the car would be driving on to take Fuji away forever, and Saeki knew the shortcuts to get there ahead of the automobile. Which is why he was standing on a bridge, hands gripping the railing with such force that his knuckles turned white and tears streaming down his face while he watched his best friend drive away, while Ryou stood behind a wall, watching him.
Times like these made the hat wish for arms, just so he could share some warmth with his friends when they were in need.
After Fuji left, things seemed quieter with just Saeki, Ryou and his hat around. They spent time together and still practiced tennis, but things weren't quite the same.
Saeki was missing his best friend, and Ryou was trying his best to fill the gap. Whenever Saeki stayed late after tennis practice, Ryou would wait for him and they would walk home together. Sometimes, they'd hang out at Ryou's house and just watch TV, or do homework.
There was a time when the hat caught a dreamy smile on Saeki's face when they were watching a drama. Ryou must have spotted the look too, because with a nonchalant sigh he spoke during the show, which he did only on rare occasions as it wasn't polite.
"It must be nice."
Saeki just looked at him, brow furrowed and a confused frown marring his features.
"It must be nice to have a bond like that, connected by the meteors."
Realization dawned on Saeki's face and he turned back to look at the television screen, where he saw the protagonists, Shizuna, Kouichi, and Taisuke, staring at the sky.
"But we have our own sort of bond, you, me and Fuji. It might not be as romantic as the starry sky, but we have our tennis. One day, we might even see him again in a tournament and even play against him."
He ignored the fact that for that to happen Fuji would have to continue playing as well, because some things were better left unsaid. He smiled, and for the first time in awhile, Saeki did too.
As the hat looked at Ryou, now a junior high student, he couldn't help but wonder what the hell had gotten into him. Ryou had always been a pretty boy, with pale skin and long, black hair, but he was taking things too far.
His hair was pulled back into a bun and his face was painted with makeup. The boy's long legs were clothed in nylons that were hidden under the skirt of his frilly black and white dress. And the heels on his feet were just ridiculous. It almost made the hat glad that he wasn't occupying his usual place on Ryou's head, instead being set aside with a lacy headband taking his place.
"You look pretty Ryou," chuckeld Saeki.
A blush bloomed across the boy's face and the hat nearly smirked. Only Saeki could talk Ryou into being apart of his class's cross-dressing maid café.
"What would you like to order Saeki-sama?" mumbled Ryou, almost stumbling over the unfamiliar use of "sama" attached to his childhood friend's name.
With a smirk adorning his face, Saeki replied, "Just water Ryou-chan, I really came for the view."
The years flew by and soon Ryou and Saeki had graduated from high school and were moving on to college. They entered the same university and were going to be rooming together, the boxes in their otherwise bare apartment existed as the physical proof. As always, Ryou's well-loved hat was resting on his head. Over time it's edges had become frayed and there were more than a few patch-jobs leaving one to wonder how much of the original hat was still left.
The apartment door slammed shut and Saeki shoved the last of their boxes into the room. Sweat was running down his face from a combination of the unexpected heat wave that had hit Japan and manual labor involved in moving. His white shirt clung to his overheated body giving tiniest peek of skin when the boy stretched.
"Ryou, it's hot, let's take a break," he panted.
Ryou handed him a glass of lemonade. "That sounds good to me."
Saeki accepted the drink with a grateful smile and downed the icy contents as fast as he could without choking. A satisfied gasp escaped his lips and he licked off the lingering taste of citrus in the corners of his mouth with a sweep of his tongue. After his breathing evened out, his eyes darkened and took on a devilish hue. Ryou may have had his back turned to the man and missed the implications, but the hat knew that look and braced himself.
A flash of limbs and quick footsteps were the only warning Ryou had before he was shoved against a wall and Saeki's lips crushed his. The impact force the air from Ryou's lungs and his labored breath served as an opening for Saeki's tongue to slide into his mouth and the older boy's hands to tangle in his long hair, knocking his hat from his head.
"Hey!" Ryou coughed, "I thought you said 'take a break', not 'grope each other'."
Saeki grinned at him. "I can't help the fact that you're hot. Besides, this is more fun."
He cut off any further protests with another kiss and his hands roamed from the long strands of Ryou's hair to trail across his sides, one slipping up his shirt, while the other delved beneath the hem of his pants. Ryou always turned into an incoherent pile of goo when it came to Saeki and when the room filled with thuds, groans, gasps, and moans, Ryou's forgotten hat wondered for the millionth time, how did Ryou bend that way?
"Ryou, it's time"
"I know you love it Ryou and you've had it for such a long time, but you need to get rid of it. It's just too old."
Ryou gazed at the ratty old hat in his hands. The once pristine white hat had faded into a yellowing eggshell and the stitching was loose, threatening to fall apart. Ryou knew that Saeki was right, his hat was old, but it was his hat. He'd had it since before he had even met Saeki. He couldn't stop the baleful gleam from coming to his eyes at the thought of parting with it.
"It's okay Ryou. It's not like you're throwing it away. You just… won't wear it anymore. Putting it into storage is more like saving it than abandoning it. It'll always be your hat."
Ryou nodded, feeling like the six-year-old kid he was twenty years ago when he first got his hat. Things were working backwards now as he placed his cap into a box a closed the lid, the ocean of light that filled the hat's view fading into black.
Move, dark, wait, move, and now the hat was waiting once more, again accompanied by the dark. He had a sinking feeling that Ryou wouldn't come back for him this time and he felt an eerie chill run through him without the familiar warmth of Ryou's head.
(Author's PF Note: Yeah, I didn't know how to do light hearted angst, so I had a hat angst. I figured that the hilarity of the notion would sort of make up for it and I did the best I could to at least mention the things in the prompt like Ryuusei no Kizuna, which I don't own by the way nor do I own PoT. End of fic disclaimer FTW. XD)