Author: Tattooed On My Mind
Fandom: Princess Nine
Summary: The intensive training camp from hell is a bad place to do a lot of things. Getting a headache is one thing. Liking a girl is another.
Disclaimer: Don't waste your time with lawsuits. I don't own Princess Nine.
A/N: Just Pretend will be updated when I get out of school. I just need to write something before I lose interest in writing. Even though that will never happen. Real reason I'm writing this? I just wanted more Izuharu fics. The world needs more Izuharu fics.
Eh, I got tired toward the end so it's not as awesome as it should've been, but w/e. Hope it's still decent. =D
I'm unsure on the rating, but I dropped the F bomb so for my sake alone, this is at T. If need be, I can drop it down to K+. It doesn't matter either way to me.
Koharu knew that the intensive training camp from hell was the worst place for this to happen. She was surrounded by the girls, the coach, and baseball for many days, unable to escape to the real world again. She had countless hours of practicing, running, exercising, and focusing. With the pain intensified by the grueling tolls taken on her body and mind, the slow downward spiral of energy, and the insufferable pitch of Nene's voice commanding her to keep pushing, the last thing Koharu needed was a splitting headache.
Unfortunately for her, her head did not care. It happened anyway.
Hikaru had hit a successful line drive when it was Koharu's turn to practice her swing. Her grip on the bat was tight, her mind was focused, but neither factor helped the throbbing sensation in her head. She tried to ignore the pain as the ball from the machine flew right toward her. Swinging, she hit the ball towards center, clenching her eyes tight as it fell directly on the second base mark. The same swings fell short as the center fielder could not fight the discomfort.
She returned to the lineup, swearing up a storm, as the other girls approached her.
"Hey, guppy, what just happened?" Hikaru asked, putting her arm gently around the smaller girl.
Koharu shrugged it off. "It's just a major headache. It's been goin' on all day. It's killin' me."
Nene took her by the hand. "Maybe you should come inside and cool down for a bit, Koharu. Maybe that will help your headache?"
Before Koharu could respond, the next batter was called. Izumi slowly walked up to the batter's box, a hint of sadness in her eyes. Only Koharu caught note of it, but was still distracted by the heaviness felt in her forehead. She watched as the fourth batter swung poorly, as poorly as she had been for the past day or so. However, while she could question the lack of focus and poor hits from the other girl, Koharu had more things to attend to, such as the reasons behind her curiosity, the will to get her own focus back on track, and the way Izumi's curls would bounce as she moved.
The latter distraction caused her migraine to get worse, and with that, she turned away, following Nene into the house to cool down.
When Shino Hayakawa called the camp, Koharu knew her headache was just about to worsen even more. She loved Ryo, adored Ryo, and was willing to call Ryo her best friend in the team, but not even Koharu Hotta could deny that the shrillness of Ryo Hayakawa's voice was not the best cure for her illness. She slumped across the table, groans emitting from her mouth as the captain took the phone.
The girls at the table giggled as the pitcher chatted away to her mother, speaking a mile a minute in her typical, cheerful voice. Izumi sat across from Koharu, shaking her head. "That girl's voice, I swear to God…" she complained, taking a sip of her tea. Her left hand fell to the table in boredom as she turned to face the window.
In a matter of minutes, all Koharu could hear was the tapping of fingers against the table top. Amber eyes shifted to the pale girl in front of her. Izumi was impatient, waiting for the captain to get off the phone so they could resume with practice. She took her anger out on the table, irritably striking it swiftly with her fingertips in a constant rhythm. Other than that, she did not say a word. Koharu stayed just as silent.
Noise went on in the background. Seira and Yoko argued while Hikaru discussed the boys of Rinkai High. Ryo continued to talk loudly to her mother on the other line. Kanako and Mao were discussing some form of academia and Nene was squealing about whatever she was planning on cooking for dinner. Despite all the noise, all Koharu could pay attention to was the sound of Izumi's nails, quickly tapping the table beneath her head. For some strange reason, the action seemed calming to her, nearly ridding the smaller girl of her headache.
The tapping stopped once Ryo set the phone back on the stand. Izumi grunted and mumbled an irritated "Finally," before walking off to the door. Koharu continued to lie on the table, even as Hikaru nudged her.
"So, what kinda show did Izumi put on for you, little one?" the first baseman teased. "An invisible puppet show or a demo for a hand cream ad?" She elbowed Koharu in the side, causing the smaller girl to stutter and blush.
"You know, Hikaru?" Koharu started, not willing to continue the conversation. "I'm just gonna go to practice and forget now just happened.
"Oh, Koharu!" Ryo started in her high pitched voice, "Are you done with that headache? I'm sorry if I was too loud on the phone."
Koharu did nothing but sigh and shake her head, which had already began to throb harder again. "Ryo…just…stop talking for a bit." With that, she walked outside to join the other girls for practice.
Another groan escaped the center fielder's lips and Seira was done with hearing it. "Koharu, holy shit, enough with the complaining!" the redhead screamed, splashing water at the smaller girl. "You've had this headache all day and I'm beyond sick of hearing about it!"
"It is strange that you've had this bother you all day, Koharu," Kanako chimed in. "Maybe you should take some aspirin for it?"
Koharu shook her head in dismay. "Can't swallow pills, can't take medicine. I'd hate to think being sick for longer than necessary is just somethin' that runs in the family, but goddamn…" She placed her head in her hands, slowly rubbing her temples in attempt to slow down the pain. "Maybe I just need to calm down and get a massage or some shit," she suggested.
"Well, I know most of us are probably inexperienced in massages," Ryo started innocently, "but I'm sure Izumi could help. She probably has really soft hands."
Hikaru stifled a laugh, a smirk widening across her face as she glanced at Koharu. "Yeah, soft hands, such strong, nimble fingers…" Eyebrows made two bounces up her forehead as she winked. "Yeah, I'm sure Izumi will help you perfectly fine, Shortstuff!"
Heat rushed to the apples of the shorter girl's cheeks as she rolled her eyes. "Yeah, fuck you, Hikaru." She left the bath, ignoring all of the giggles coming from Hikaru, Seira, and Yoko as she gathered her towel to dry off and leave. While walking out of the bathroom, the taunting and teasing about leaving her robe off still lingered on in the background, intensifying the already harsh headache that was plaguing her.
Once she was dressed, Koharu entered the bedroom to see Izumi sitting on her bed, reading a book. Suddenly, a lump formed in her throat and everything around her became fuzzy in her vision. However, she attempted to shake it away and walked closer to the blue-haired girl. All she wanted to do was get rid of the headache.
Izumi looked up from her book, no sense of welcome in her eyes. "Is there something you need?"
Her head kept pounding. Words were losing formation in her mind. It was not like Koharu to get nervous, but there was nothing to prevent it. "Uhh…this headache has been bothering me all day, and –"
"You need medicine?"
"No, actually, I, uhh…" Koharu's cheeks were flushed once again as she sat down next to the third baseman. "…was actually gonna ask if you could kinda…rub the back of my head for me? It's not a comfortable reach and everyone assumes you're the best massager…"
The two locked eyes, Izumi's questioning eyes with Koharu's pleading eyes. After almost a minute of silence between the two, Koharu sighed, giving up on the inside and grabbing her pillow to lay her head on. Her head was well nestled into the pillow when a soft hand moved down the nape of her neck. Izumi's hand began to massage Koharu's pressure points very lightly, hoping the action was what Koharu wanted.
"I'm not gonna lie," Izumi started, her fingertips pushing on all the right muscles and points in the other girl's neck, "it's almost weird hearing someone like you whine about a silly headache."
Koharu looked up with a questioning look on her face. "Someone like me? What the hell does that mean?"
"You're so tomboyish and masculine. It's interesting to hear you complain like the other girls."
"You mean, like a girl?"
"Something like that."
Stifling a laugh, Koharu moved her head to lean on the other side. "Well, being part of the team makes me a bit more girly, I guess. I've been workin' on the whole feminine thing."
"Oh?" Izumi's eyebrow rose. "And by how have you been working on this?"
Koharu smirked. "Oh, you know. Dating boys and stuff." Izumi quietly laughed, a motion Koharu was not used to. The two sat in silence again as Izumi continued to work on the smaller girl's neck. At one point, she had moved Koharu's head to her own lap to have an easier range in which to work. Much to Koharu's surprise, however, the massaging only continued through Izumi's other hand as another set of nimble fingers ran through her hair, caressing her scalp in similar movements. Koharu moved her head from the pillow to speak. "You know, you didn't have to do this. I was kinda expectin' you to say no."
Izumi shrugged. "Whatever. It's good to focus my mind on other things."
"Oh? Such as?"
"Oh, you know. Dating boys and stuff."
The two laughed it off, a feeling unfamiliar by Koharu's standards. She knew just as much as anyone that Izumi never opened up to anyone. She was not expecting Izumi to talk to her, much less massage her neck and scalp while placing her head in her hap. And yet, despite the conversation being vague, the entire action felt nice to the centerfielder. Izumi's soft hands on the rough base of her neck and scalp felt soothing and relaxing, even more so than expected.
In a matter of minutes, the headache was gone. Koharu was pain free. And yet, she continued to lie there, allowing Izumi to continue fixing all of their pains and problems, whether they knew of them or not.
Koharu knew that the intensive training camp from hell was the worst place for this to happen. She was surrounded by the girls, the coach, and baseball for many days, unable to escape to the real world again. She had countless hours of practicing, running, exercising, and focusing. With the drama between Izumi, Hiroki, and Ryo floating around amongst other relationship issues, with the overall ice princess façade Izumi carried around proudly, with girls like Hikaru and Seira mocking her for every move she makes to depict this fact, the last thing Koharu needed was a new found attraction to another girl.
Unfortunately for her, her head did not care. It happened anyway.