In-Between the Lines



She sat on the desk in her homeroom; her legs kicking out unconsciously as she braided her hair over again; it had unraveled when her hair tie had torn unnoticed by her as she cleaned the classroom. She had had cleaning duty alone today because Wantanabe-san had been out sick. It wasn't so bad when she knew she needed to be alone afterwards anyway. Outside the sky was turning orange as the sun set slowly in the distance; you could still here students from various club activities running about and yelling out orders, cars and buses driving by on the street below, and most importantly to her the sound of tennis balls being hit by tennis racquets from the tennis courts.

She heard a whistle far off and thought it could have come from the baseball or track field. She could still hear the sounds of tennis balls, and decided that she would have to content herself a bit more than they had planned. As she finally finished braiding her hair she realized that she didn't have another hair tie on her wrist as she had thought, just when she was about to get off the desk to search her bag for one, the class room door slid opened. The dying sunlight reflected off of green-tinted hair strands, unconsciously she tilted her head towards the window where she could still here the sound of the tennis team practicing. "Shouldn't the captain be at practice?" she finally spoke out at the feline eyed male.

"Hn, he was, still is if anyone asks." He answered with a smirk. He walked towards her still sitting form on the desk though she had grown used to him over the past 3 years and his on and off stays, he still made her clench her fist in anticipation of what he was going to do next, and her hair was paying for the habit that wouldn't leave her. He was directly in front of her now and he reached out to the hand holding her re-done braid, it unraveled at the bottom as he took her hand in his. She turned her face up to him in a fashion that spoke of habit and questioning curiosity.

"You've been here 2 weeks so far and you've grown 2 inches." She told him as she noticed the difference in height to that of when he came back 2 weeks ago and of that from 6 months ago.

He scowled at her for a moment, "You aren't Inui-sempai." He told her as his other hand pulled on the hair tie holding the other braid. The bottom of that braided also unraveled though for the most part both where still in braids though not strictly held together braids.

"Hai, Hai." She replied in answer. His expression turned into one of satisfied relaxation as he placed his other hand on the desk as he leaned in closer. Still looking up at him she saw his eyes glowing with the reflection of the rays of the sun and glowing because he was finally home after a long tournament in the French Open. He closed his eyes gently showing he was not pushing her out only tired and he rested his forehead against hers. "I missed you." She told him softly, she had seen him every day since he'd been back of course, but this would be the first time they had been alone since he had first come back 2 weeks ago, though, that had only been for 15 minutes at most.

"Hn," was his verbal answer, though it spoke more words than was possible to her because he acknowledged it with a small brush of his lips against hers. They spoke no more words just enjoying each other's presences in the absence of it over last few days and the 6 months before.

"I'm leaving in another week." He told her after their silence had carried on long enough.

"I know. I heard Eiji-sempai and Inui-sempai talking about Wimbledon."

They were quiet again, hearing the outside world, though it didn't touch the bubble surrounding them. The club and sports teams could be heard wrapping up all loose ends, and cleaning their messes, horns honked and engines revved, the all important tennis sound was finally dimming as less tennis balls were being used and instead being packed up for storage.

"Tell me to stay." He said suddenly, it was the first time he ever asked and it would probably be the only time after her answer. For some reason she wasn't shocked to hear the statement, he was that kind of person. Usually he waited for the other person to make the first move, but as she knew him so well she never asked for him to stay as he'd probably been waiting for so he could reaffirm his own decision.

She waiting a few more seconds before opening her eyes to stare into his that were already open and staring directly at her, the golden shine glared into her eyes as if already punishing her for the answer she was to give. "Play," she said, "Play first, and win, then come back."

He smirked at her before replying, "Made Made Dane."

She smiled back at him knowing that even when he did come back it would only be for a month at most. And their relationship would be put on hold until then: Then being that time in the future when they would both be ready for the true commitment that a relationship would required of them.

He rested his forehead against her again, and they stayed like that for a bit longer, letting the last dying rays of the sun touch them before they were washed in darkness. Streetlights flickered on outside, stretching their shadow of two into one long shape. Two paths meeting somewhere before melding into one she thought suddenly. She almost laughed aloud at the thought of their shadows representing their future. But she knew she'd be teased ruthlessly by him if—when she had to explain why she had laughed. She swallowed her laugh as she felt herself being pulled off of the desk by the hand he held.

"I'll walk you home."

"Hai, have you seen Kawamura-sempai since you've been back?" she asked as he grabbed her bag as they passed it on their way to the door in the ever darkening room.

"No, but we'll see him before I leave."

She nodded in reply as he led them towards the tennis courts.