Dinner and . . . Homework? And a Movie

Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis, or the fanfic Life Goes On.

This is a Giftfic for Stormy1x2, set during her fic Life Goes On. Scene occurs sometime before Akira and Akaya get together as a couple and before the events of Bonds.

Finally flopping back on the couch after tucking the girls into bed, Kamio briefly considered the idea of leaving his homework for the next day, which was a Sunday, then groaned and dragged himself up. He knew if he put it off for one day, he'd find an excuse to put it off again.

Practically staggering over to his bag, he dug into it and pulled out his school books. He carried them over to the kitchen table and set them down with a thump, taking a moment to go to the fridge and pull out a cold bottle of water. He was just about to sit down when the doorbell rang.

With a sigh, he set the water down and headed over to the door. After looking through the peephole he grinned and opened the door. "Kirihara-kun! What are you doing here?"

The dark haired boy smiled a bit wryly and held up a bag of takeout. "Don't bother denying it. I know you too well by now. I thought we could study together, and figured with how bare your cupboards are right now, you wouldn't eat dinner, so I brought food for the both of us. How about it?"

Kamio couldn't deny that the smell coming from the bag was making his mouth water. "Alright, alright. No need to get pushy. Come on in and make yourself at home. I've got my stuff on the kitchen table."

Carrying his stuff into the kitchen, Kirihara dropped his bag at the door and set the bag of food on the table next to Kamio's books. "I assume the little monsters are already in bed? Guess we can't get too rowdy then."

"Kirihara-kun!"

"Akaya."

"Huh?"

Kirihara grinned at Kamio as he set out the plates he'd found on the draining board. "I think we've known each other long enough for us to call each other by given name, Akira. Mine's Akaya."

"Uh . . . right. I knew that. So what prompted this visit? I hadn't heard from you in a while, but just figured you were busy." Sitting down in his chair, Akira watched with no small amusement as Akaya bustled about putting their dinner on the table, setting out two bottles of soda, a rare treat for Kamio, and filling his plate with the wonderful smelling stuff.

"Just didn't have much to do tonight except homework, and wanted some company. I knew you'd be home with the girls, so here I am. Well, dig in. Don't want it to get cold," he replied, following his own advice and taking a bite of his dinner.

"Ah . . . thanks," Akira said finally, popping some food into his own mouth.

Akaya brushed that off. "Don't worry about it. This's what friends are for, right?"

Kamio only barely fought down the blush that wanted to stain his cheeks. He was so pale skinned the most minute amount of color would show up like a neon sign. "Yeah, that's right," he mumbled around a bite of food. Deciding to change the subject, he asked "So, what kind of homework do you have? I'm actually pretty caught up in most of my classes; there're even a couple I'm ahead in, but that's mostly because the teacher hands out the entire semester's worth of homework at the beginning."

"Must be nice to have teachers like that," said Kirihara somewhat mournfully. "Mine seem to think piling on as much as they can on a weekly basis, without breaking the students' backs is a good thing. I've got three assignments in Math, two in History, one of which has to be done in conjunction with another assignment from Geography, and a ten page report for Literature on the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Who is very, very creepy, by the by. Have you read the poem The Raven? And I thought I was disturbed!" Akaya finished with a small shiver. He took another bite of food, thinking. "The report isn't due until the end of the week, but I ought to get at least half of it done this weekend, or it'll interfere with practice. I think I'll save that for tomorrow morning, and finish it off tomorrow night. That'll leave the afternoon free to go to the courts for a few hours. At least, if you're gonna be there," he added quickly, glancing up at Akira. "There aren't a whole lot of people who can give me a real game. You're one of them."

"Sure, not a problem. But just so you're aware, I think Sakurai is going to be there too."

"Bah. Sakurai, Mocker-ai. I can handle him." Akaya brushed that off. Leaning over he snagged a strap on his bag and pulled it over, drawing out a math book and a thick sheaf of handouts. He looked up and grinned wryly at the amazed expression on Akira's face. "My math teacher likes word problems. Sometimes the wordier the better. It's a confusion tactic. Though I must admit it makes us think harder about the problem. What're you gonna work on?"

Looking to the side at his own pile of books, Akira sighed. "I have a report to do for my English teacher that I've been putting off for a while now. We're supposed write a book report in English. It's not due until the end of the week, but I'd like to get it done now. Math I'm not going to worry about, I'm almost a month ahead of the rest of the class in that. My science class is covering the periodic table of elements, so that's mostly handout work, which I've already done. On the other hand, I also have a ten page report for my history class on an important historical figure of my choice. That's not due until the end of next week, but I haven't even started it yet. Two weeks is an awfully short period of time to put together a ten page report."

"Ah. What historical figure are you going to do? I've done a few of those."

Akira groaned. "I haven't even decided yet. I was thinking maybe Hajime Saito. There's plenty of information on him."

"Good choice. I did one of mine on Okita Souji, I can direct you to a few of the more relevant sources if you want." The scritch-scratch of Akaya's pencil across his paper filled a few moments of silence. "Come to think of it, I've always wondered if that Hajime guy from St. Rudolph is some kind of relation."

A snickering snort came from Akira at the other end of the table where he thumped his head into the open book in front of him. "You're weird, Akaya-kun."

Akaya smirked at him. "It's the company," he drawled.

Rolling his eyes, Akira pulled his head out of his book. "Ok, ok enough banter. Time to get some homework done."

For a couple of hours the small house was quiet, filled only with the sounds of pages turning and scribbling pens. Finally though, Akaya tossed aside his pen and closed his books then leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head. "Ugh," he grunted. "I'm glad that's done. Come on, Kamio, I think it's time to put the books away."

Lifting his eyes from the paper in front of him Akira scowled at Kirihara. "But I'm not done!" he protested.

Deftly reaching across the table, Akaya snatched the book away from his friend. "Like I care. you said yourself, that report's not due til next week. You can take it slow, you know." Hefting his bag, Kirihara put his own books away and pulled out a small box. "I brought a movie, 'cause I knew I'd have to drag you away from the homework. You didn't get to see it in the theater, but I thought you might like it." Slinging an arm around his friend's neck, Akaya pulled the other boy into the living room. "Now, sit and be quiet and enjoy yourself for once, would you?" he demanded, giving Akira a push toward the couch.

Flouncing back with a sigh, Akira watched as Akaya slid the movie into their DVD player. The player had been a Christmas gift from his team, although he suspected that Kirihara had had something to do with it, given his continuous complaints about the obsolete-ness of their old VHS player.

Akaya settled himself in next to him and pressed play on the remote.

Akira would wish later that he'd been able to keep his eyes open, but between the good food and company, he found himself fighting with his eyelids, trying to stay awake as a heavy surge of lassitude swept over him. He hadn't felt able to relax this much in weeks and just that suddenly the weariness he'd been shoving off swamped him, quickly hustling him off to sleep.

Kirihara didn't realize his friend had fallen asleep until the other boy suddenly slid over sideways and settled his head in Akaya's lap.

Freezing at the sudden weight in his lap, Akaya gulped and blinked down at his dozing friend. "Akira?" he said tentatively. He wiggled the other boy's shoulder. "Kamio?" Upon receiving no answer he sighed and patted Akira's head. "Alright, you go ahead and sleep. You looked pretty bushed when I first got here anyway," he mumbled and picked up the remote to turn the volume down.

A short while later Akaya had to admit it was kind of nice that Akira trusted him this much. Akira would never have fallen asleep like this unless there was someone here to take care of the girls. Granted, the red-head's sisters were much better behaved than most of the children he knew, but Akira was so protective of them he couldn't imagine the boy entrusting their safety to someone he didn't trust implicitly. It felt very nice to be seen as trustworthy by someone who had very good reasons to not trust him at all.

Shaking his head, Akaya returned his attention to the movie, and felt his eyelids begin to droop from the comfort of friendly warmth. "Tha's real nice a' him," he thought drowsily, absently running his fingers through Akira's scarlet locks. He settled back into the couch and just sort of stared at nothing, his fingers still combing through soft red hair. Finally a snore escaped him and the gentle motion of his hand stopped.

Time seemed to stand still, and the moon glowed through the living room window becoming the only illumination in the room when the t.v. went dark at the end of the movie. The two boys on the couch slept on, oblivious to the peaceful moment that turned out to be all too short when a small girl in Winnie the Pooh pajamas came into the room and crawled up on the couch with them, tears in her eyes.

It was the bouncing of the couch that woke Akira from a rather restful sleep and for a moment he couldn't figure out where he was. "Mrgh?" he mumbled intelligently, trying to get his bearings.

"Had a bad dream, 'Kira-nii," whimpered a small voice to his right and he blinked down at Michiko's tear-stained face.

"Aw, Michi-baby, come 'ere," he grumbled groggily as he tried to sit up and hold his arms out at the same time.

Next to him, Akaya seemed to shake himself awake as well and as soon as Akira's warm weight was off his lap he immediately did a full body stretch, feeling every kink that had formed from his short nap in such an awkward position. "Wha' time is it?" he growled through a yawn.

"Late," answered Akira, sounding much more awake than he had a few short moments ago. He had Michiko on his lap and was rocking her slowly, murmuring nonsense into her ear. Akaya grinned at the sight and then pushed himself up off the couch to find his cell phone. "Aw, crap," he grunted when he flipped it open to see the time. He rubbed his eyes, as if that would make the numbers change. "It's really past 1 am?"

"Mmhmm."

"Shi-dang it." He caught himself at the last moment and changed what he'd been about to say. "I was supposed to be home an hour ago. I need to call and let Mom know what happened."

"Go ahead. Tell her you're staying here. It's too late for you to head back anyway. I'm going to put Michi back to bed, since she's already asleep again."

Akaya watched Akira head upstairs with a dumbfounded look on his face. Then a grin broke free and he snickered. It seemed Akira could be bossy at times. He flipped open his phone and hit the speed dial for the housekeeper, who was probably imagining all sorts of horrible things by now.

It took him five minute just to calm the woman down before he could explain what had happened and another ten to get her to understand why he wouldn't be coming home. He reassured her he'd be fine staying at Akira's for the night and hung up, wanting to bang his head against the wall. He groaned.

"That bad?" chuckled Akira from the foot of the stairs. He was leaning on the rail post and had a small smile on his face at the glower he'd been sending his phone.

He shook his head. "Nah. She just worries, and sometimes it's hard to get a word in edgewise. Sometimes she reminds me of a chicken that found a goose egg in her nest and isn't quite sure what to do with it," he chuckled. "I know she cares. It's why she worries."

Akira walked over and slung an arm around his shoulders. "Grab your stuff and follow me. You can bunk in my room. The bed's not big but we're such skinny guys we should be able to fit if we're careful."

Kirihara grinned at him. "Heaven help us if our teams ever find out about this..." he commented as they walked up the stairs.

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Wow. Was that sappy there at the end or what? Didn't know I could do sappy.

Reviews are much appreciated.