Title: Story at 2:48 AM
Manga: Eyeshield 21
A/N: My first ES21 piece. May be revised later. Please treat me kindly.
The morning began, for Yoichi Hiruma, as most mornings begin.
The bleariness of a dream blurs off into a partially-lit reality as the body reacts to sunlight.
The cool feel of the sheets against skin.
The momentary grogginess of dreams still clutching to your consciousness.
Everything was exactly as it always was. Even Hiruma's reaction to being woken up by the gentle early rays that managed a dim glow through his shut window shades.
"Haaaa.... fuckin' sun."
Yes. Everything seemed to be exactly how it always was.
Green eyes blinked open once, twice, and then, the third time....
The blonde quarterback, practiced in noticing all things even barely out of place, was of course instantly alerted to the very unique difference between this morning and any other morning he'd experienced before in his life by several things. The first of which was the scent of something that didn't belong in Hiruma's room; the second was the unusual weight distribution that caused the bed to lay somewhat unevenly beneath him.
The third was the tuft of spiked brown locks that belonged to his speedster star running back.
Directly in front of him.
"... what the fucikn' hell?"
Hiruma chose not to move, partially because he wasn't 100% certain yet that he was indeed fully awake and alert. Perhaps he was still half-clutched in the throes of some bizarre dream. There was that possibility, his brilliant brain reminded Hiruma as he stared across at the strange situation that was laying an uncomfortably close distance next to him. Maybe he was still roaring drunk, and it wasn't morning but still the evening after their big win at the tournament, and that sunlight was really just a passing car, and Sena wasn't half-naked in his bed.
The blonde bit his tongue and cursed the walls up and down a moment later when he spat out his own blood.
Nope. Not a dream.
Of course his solution to the unusual situation was an unusual amount of cursing.
Even by Hiruma standards.
Yet after abusing his favorite arsenal of vulgar vocabulary, Hiruma, the Deimon Devilbat's number one strategist and trickster, was strangely at a loss for what to do. For all the situations he'd planned for there had been a solution, a quick escape, a diversion.... some tactic that would give him the upper hand or firm standing ground. Hell, he'd always prided himself on being able to come up with the best solutions in times like this--when the cards were down and you were expected to be down and out, that was when Hiruma's scheming mind seemed to work best.
That same mind, for the first time that Hiruma could recall, drew something he'd never thought possible--a blank.
Sharp emerald eyes focused now on the boy in bed with him as the events and occurrences of the prior night suddenly assaulted him, like the opposing team's offense plowing through Kurita and the other defensive linemen. A long breath was drawn into the blonde captain as he regarded the small list of possibilities that would have brought him and his running back star to end up in such a precarious sleeping position.
It was a very, very short list.
Beside him, Sena breathed in gently and the cool breath gusted across the sheets and over Hiruma's bare chest. The quarterback felt a twitch by his left eye.
In the instant the sheets had moved, he'd seen them, or what had closely resembled--but no.
Those couldn't be...
Fearless. Yoichi Hiruma had nothing to fear. He didn't know fear.
And yet there was some strange sinking feeling in him as he reached over to lift the sheets off his teammate's chest for a second look that was like all the forces in the Universe screaming for his hand not to take the thin material and pull it away.
Yoichi Hiruma was not afraid. Nor was stupid.
One look was all it took.
The blonde strategist dropped the sheet and retracted his hand, eyes roving to the opposite corner of the room, as far from the other boy as possible as his mind went to work dealing with possibilities, angles, calculations.... All of them pointless distractions.
"Ha.... fuckin' chibi will have a hell of a day," he announced to no one in particular, "with that all up and down his neck. Fuckin' manager will probably think he got in a fuckin' fight...."
In the otherwise silent room, the comment only buffered the quiet for an instant.
The words lost their meaning as soon as Hiruma stopped saying them and then there was very little to distract the otherwise unshakable quarterback from dealing with the situation at hand.
The situation that was rapidly getting out of hand as the other boy shifted under the sheets, coming slowly out of sleep.
Hiruma's blank mind, perhaps stirred to movement out of desperation, maybe sparked to motion by blood finally circulating up to his brain, reacted to Sena waking up as it would react to the call of 'Hut!' on the field. Immediately, paths opened up before Hiruma, escape routes and tricks and blackmail and a hundred other things all jumped to the forefront of his mind. Some sense of familiarity came back to Hiruma as he calculated and weighed his options. Looking at risk was something he was used to. He'd done it automatically ever since he was a kid and could instantly pick out the option that brought him closest to 100%; even if he had to sort through a thousand options in that single moment, because he was who he was, it could be done.
That instant seemed to drag on longer than usual, or had Hiruma miscalculated earlier, was he still dreaming?
He revisited the bittersweet metallic sting where his teeth had punctured his tongue and reassured himself, though it was hardly reassuring, that no, he wasn't still dreaming. Damn it.
Well, he was Yoichi Hiruma--fearless, brilliant, and someone who only seemed to but absolutely never miscalculated.
And moments later hazel eyes blinked off the bleariness of dreams and Sena stumbled into the strange reality of that morning.
Of him in bed.
"Mornin', fuckin' chibi."
Exactly as he'd calculated, Hiruma watched with a growing grin as Sena took a few moments for the situation to sink in, blush a very impressive shade of beet-red, and stutter incoherent half-apology-questions. The grin was unstoppable. It was so reassuring to see that you were right, Hiruma mused. Perhaps that's why he found such happiness in football, where he was always right.
"Ah--ah, Hi-Hiruma-san, the-the, we, I m-m-mean, um--"
"Aaaah, I m-m-mean, that is, ah, I, I'm--"
"Wha-what I, um, that is, ah--"
Sena looked as if he was trying to fill up his head with all of the blood in his body. That, combined with his meaningless stuttering, tipped the scale for Hiruma.
He rolled on his back, kicking and nearly crying for laughing so hard. It was just too much! He laughed and laughed, thinking of nothing but the intense red and incoherent babbling.
The running back, on the other hand, was grateful for Hiruma's loud, if slightly maniacal, laughter, because in those moments when Hiruma was laughing, Sena couldn't be expected to ask for an explanation or apologize for having fallen asleep last night.
They'd won their night game and the top spot at the tournament. Everyone had been impressed and in high spirits. There was plenty of food and drinks and entertainment at the following party. Sena remembered that much. Monta and the others had stayed behind to party and drink more. Sena knew he was a lightweight when it came to alcohol, he always ended up in strange situations the following morning, but never anything as awkward and unusual as this morning. Hiruma's roaring laughter made for good background noise as the events of the night prior flickered through Sena's memory. It was an incomplete memory, though, Sena mused. It was like trying to look at your reflection in moving water. You had an idea of what was there but the image wasn't very clear.
Of course, the laughter only lasted so long, and to Sena, it was frightening how one person could go from laughing so hard to dead silence as Hiruma suddenly did. In the very sudden absence of Hiruma's laugh Sena jumped, startled almost to yelping at the quarterback's strange mannerism. Unfortunately for Sena, it seemed the surprises for the morning had just begun. Hiruma had noticed the alarm clock next to his bed. The red numbers, usually illuminated against the black background of the digital time unit, were blank.
Somehow, last night, they must've unplugged the clock....
Sena jumped again as his captain threw off the sheets and threw himself on to the floor in a frenzied search for his phone. Well, any of the many mobile devices that Hiruma seemed to have collected. At this point Sena had calmed down a bit from his initial shock and was thinking the situation over for himself. The obvious points before him were that 1) he wasn't at his own place, 2) he was half-naked, 3) he was at Hiruma's place, 4) in Hiruma's bed, 5) half-naked. Sena didn't like the way that sounded, even just the sounds of one and two. His attention returned to the owner of the bed as he scrambled about grabbing things from his room, apparently no longer focusing on Sena but getting ready for school and morning practice. That Hiruma's full attention wasn't focused on him gave the running back a bit of courage. He swallowed doubt and nervousness and spoke up.
The blonde's head whipped around on his shoulders. Sena jumped again. "What?"
"I-It's... um..." The false courage that Sena had scraped up while Hiruma looked away was obliterated completely by the frightening gaze he met.
"Huh? Speak up!" Sena winced and regathered his scraps of courage, knowing it was useless to back down if Hiruma knew you had something to say.
"Last night. Do you..."
"Remember any of it?" Sena nodded. "Not a fuckin' clue."
The running back deflated slightly. "Oh."
He wasn't sure yet if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
"Not that it matters." Hiruma whipped his head around again. "You gonna sit on my bed all day or are you gonna get ready for morning practice?"
The silence returned, but for Hiruma at least, the rustling of clothes and clatter of books and guns made it seem like normal.
By the time both boys were dressed for morning practice with their school uniforms packed in their bags, the atmosphere had almost returned to something you could call normal. Hiruma's distraction of collecting things was working full-force until the unwelcome query of his uninvited guest piped up.
"Che'. Talk faster, fuckin' chibi!"
"Ah! Of course--I mean, I'm sorry!" Before Hiruma could be pissed that Sena was wasting time apologizing and not hurrying up, the running back blurted out his worries.
"I-It w-w-won't be a problem? W-Will it?" Sena stuttered.
"What won't be a problem, eh?" Hiruma asked dangerously, pulling out a gun from who-knew-where. His eyes burned more fiercely than usual, perhaps at Sena's amazing stupidity, perhaps at the thought of having to potentially destroy his own floor to get a direct answer out of the startled squirt--
"It won't be a problem that we.... slept....."
Sena's outburst began with a full head of steam, a vocal explosion, yet tapered off at the end and eventually became a whimper.
"Ch'. We just slept, idiot," Hiruma retorted with an amused snort as he continued to pull out the things he'd need for the day, "don't make a big deal out of it."
Sena half-nodded, tempted to trust the captain, but it was Hiruma after all, so asking one more time might help quash the uneasy twisting in his gut.
"So, it-it-it really isn't a problem?" he stuttered, nervously hoping that the gun that Hiruma had just plucked out of nowhere wouldn't suddenly be aiming at him.
"It won't be a fuckin' problem unless you're late!" Hiruma cackled as he loaded both his equipment bag and a machine gun simultaneously. "If I get there before you do, you're doing two-hundred extra laps around the field!" With that, the captain of the Deimon Devilbats slung his bag over one shoulder and hoisted his gun on to other and took off at a run out of his own bedroom door for school.
And it wasn't a problem, Sena reflected.
Until he tried to walk.
End Chapter 1
End A/N: Please leave a comment/review.