Author's Note: For Ayla the Librarian, because she's awesome.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Obsession

By: Bar-Ohki

There was something about him, something powerful and pulling. All eyes in a room would turn and follow that person's head. Everyone listened when he spoke. Everyone obeyed when he asked something of them. This man had power over people. It didn't matter who you were, you couldn't help but to gravitate towards this man, to his side, and stay there.

Karin had, at first, chalked it up to the man being a born leader. Some people were just leaders and they made those who had the potential to be leaders or followers change their minds and become followers. He was a fascinating person, mentally and aesthetically. Pointed ears, fangs, an altered uniform that made him look more dangerous than a delinquent….

Hiruma Youichi.

After the Christmas Bowl, Karin felt like she'd been taken advantage of on the field. He was a better quarterback than her; he had this amazing power as a leader over his team. It was impossible, the kinds of things he did, yet he still made those miracles happen as if it was nothing.

Despite feeling a draw, from respect and awe, Karin knew there would be nothing between them. They lived in the wrong regions of Japan, they went to two very different schools and she was certain that he wouldn't even look her way. He had his eyes fixed forward at some kind of unseen goal that her imagination couldn't begin to grasp.

When it was time for Teikou to leave the field, leave the spotlight, and let the men of Deimon take center stage, Karin found herself lingering. She wanted to be closer to Hiruma, the untouchable man….

It was Taka who called her back to reality. Forlornly, Karin shook her head and followed her teammates out, many of them grumbling about Hiruma all the while.

"Karin, are you okay?" Yamoto asked, a bit concerned.

"Yes, I'll be fine." Karin waved it off casually. She would be okay, she just needed to get away from Hiruma.

Unfortunately Hiruma was not done being in her life yet it seemed. News of the World Cup came creeping up on her doorstep and a change to see Hiruma play again along with it. At first Karin wanted nothing to do with it, but the temptation of seeing him again….

Somehow Taka had been understanding about this, more so than anyone else, and found a suitable excuse for her to be accompanying the starters for Team Japan. The excuse, Karin would find out to her mortification hadn't been Taka's idea. It had been Hiruma's request.

Hiruma wanted a personal coach to help him and Kid with their dodging. Karin was the best at dodging in the league so….

Part of her was upset, that Hiruma only wanted to use her, but at the same time Karin was excited. She'd be working with him as his teacher. How many people got to be his teacher? His superior?

That little celebration was very short lived.

Hiruma only gave her one of those toothy smirks of his.

"Welcome to hell, Karin-chan~"

And it was, without a doubt, hell. Hiruma was task master he practically raped her mind for technique in his forceful manner to extract the information. He demeaned almost unreasonable feats of himself and of Kid. All she could do was try to cooperate and make the task smoother, but it was clear that Hiruma was in control, in charge. At the end of practice Karin was just as exhausted as everyone else on the field, maybe even more so because Hiruma had been especially demanding on her work and attention. How many times did she have to demonstrate? Too many was still not enough for Hiruma Youichi.

"Karin-chan, I'm so sorry I didn't have time to warn you," Mamori was apologizing as she handed Karin some water, "Hiruma-kun really does get carried away when it comes to football."

"Does," Karin began, nervous and curious, "he get carried away with other things too?"

"Everything." Came the tried answer from the men of Deimon. Even Hiruma answered the question, still smirking a bit. Now Karin just felt embarrassed.

The poor girl had no idea how to feel about this man and her unnatural attraction towards him. It didn't help that every time she was training with him she felt like he was literally sucking the life and knowledge out of her. She couldn't stop now of course, you can never stop around Hiruma.

Thankfully the World Cup was fast approaching and Karin was sure she'd be rid of him for good. She was a bit jumpy and eagerly awaiting the last practice before they would fly away.

"Oye, fucking braid!" Hiruma called out to her at the end of the last practice.

"Ah- yes?" Karin asked as she came over already used to the nickname.

Hiruma thrust something into her hand. Karin blinked and had a good look at it. It was an application form to Saikyoudai University.

"If you still like me by the time you graduate, you're welcome to follow." Hiruma told her with one of his smirks.

"H-Hiruma-san?!" Karin gasped, but he had already walked away.

"He was testing you," Kurita explained to her gently, "if you can't keep up with him at his worst he doesn't think you're worth his time."

"O-oh." Karin blushed.

"I wish you luck." Musashi told her as he walked by. "Hiruma isn't the easiest boyfriend out there."

"Fucking old man!" Hiruma snapped from afar.

"Coming!" Musashi called back, only to stop and wave at Karin as he left.

"I-I'm not sure…." Karin confessed.

"You've got a year to decide." Kurita pointed out.

"That's true." Karin admitted. But she was smiling. Maybe, maybe she could stand next to that amazing man as his equal after all….

In the end, Karin did not choose to stand at Hiruma's side. The world of manga was calling and besides, she could draw Hiruma all she wanted on paper. That was as close as she could be to him without going crazy. This suited her fine, of course.

Because after all, an obsessive crush was not a good means for a relationship.

_=_=_=_=_

Yeah, lame ending. Sorry about that.