Strings

Oshitari Yuushi, a few months after turning eleven and a few months after entering his fifth grade of elementary in Hyotei Academy's grade school, had been getting violin lessons since he was five. Suffice to say, he was already used to the long hours of practice every day after a long, tiring day of school. He was used to even longer hours of practice when his parents entered him in a concert or in a competition without him knowing, the stress that came with it, the pressure and, sometimes, the insufficient hours of sleep.

In between classes, he went to the main office, personally, to book a music room to practice in after school and, sometimes, during lunch. Failure wasn't an option. Of course, he never did.

After the fourth month of school started, Oshitari wasn't surprised to find his name listen on the list of people who will perform in the school's talent show that was scheduled to take place three weeks from then. Suddenly, he didn't feel like going home.

It wasn't a surprise either when his violin instructor reprimanded him for being about 0.67 seconds late, saying that wasting time at such an important time of the month made him nothing but trash.

His arm would always get numb after holding the violin up for so long, his fingers would get more calloused or would even start to bleed after pressing against the strings slightly harder out of frustration. His shoulders, back, and arm would hurt after being hit by the instructor because his posture fell by a tad bit.

His parents, though they knew, didn't care. Why would they? They were too busy with their own lives and they never came to watch his performances anyway. Volunteering his name in those performances was just a publicity stunt.

He stood in the practice room after playing a somewhat advanced piece for him and he threw his bow to the other side of the room when he couldn't get some parts right. His fingertips were sore and his sheet music seemed to mock him.

Sighing, he put his violin into position and started to play once again.

He became immersed in his imperfect music, his eyebrows knitting in disapproval and his eyes shot open when pain coursed through him. It was the first time that one of his strings broke, let alone hit him on the face.

He lowered the violin, holding the bow on the same hand and brought his free hand to his cheek. Small lines of red graced his fingers.

The sound of clapping echoed through the room and he slowly turned to where the sound came from, the music room doorway.

"Sorry but this room is cl-".

"That was amazing!" Oshitari blinked at the slightly shorter –he presumed -, red violet haired boy who dared to intrude into his practice time and dared to cut him while he was speaking.

"I don't know a thing about music," Oshitari's eyes widened, the intruder stepped further into the room, stepped closer to him. "But that was – wow! It's my first time seeing someone play live too!"

The bespectacled boy blinked and was shocked to find the other a few inches in front of him and his hands clasped in the other's own.

"I'm Gakuto Mukahi! It's nice to meet you. Do you want to be friends? Did I tell you that you're amazing?" the bright – haired boy shook his hands for every line with so much force that Oshitari's glasses were on the edge of his nose and were on the verge of falling over.

"YAH! GAKUTO! We have to go! Where are you?" a person called from the hallways outside the room.

"I'm coming!" the addressed boy shouted back. He tightened his hold on Oshitari's hands. "Are you going to be here tomorrow?"

The bespectacled boy could only nod and the other beamed at him.

"I'll see you here tomorrow again, okay?" he started to jog away and once he was at the door he stopped to wave before leaving again.

Oshitari blinked at the door before looking down at his hands, finding a Doraemon patterned band-aid between his fingers.

And for the first time in a long time, he found himself smiling again.

=== 3 ===

Gakuto came to the music room everyday to watch him practice and Oshitari learned to become thankful for the audience. He learned to love his music.

== O^O ===

When his instructor had told him that he could have the weekend off, he rejoiced.

He immediately packed his tennis bag, intending to relieve some stress at the tennis courts later that day, before going into their private library to read and pass the time.

=== . ===

When he arrived at the tennis courts, the afternoon sun was out though a gentle breeze occasionally swept by.

Oshitari had chosen to go to the public courts instead of their private ones for, if he hadn't, his parents would have screamed at him for waiting too long before serving, for not having the right posture, for holding the racket all wrong. They were much bigger tennis enthusiasts than they were music ones.

He was especially relieved when they let him off the hook as well.

As he walked closer towards the courts, he heard the soft 'pak' when the ball meets the strings of a racket and the sound of the ball against the metal fence.

The blue-haired boy moved closer, curiosity picqued, and he was welcomed with a pause, sight sounds of footsteps drew closer and he wondered where to hide.

When no one came to meet him, he moved farther into the court, surprised to find a certain red violet – haired boy practicing against the metal fence. He contemplated if he should call him over or not.

"Hey Gakuto!" he called anyway, smirking when the other visibly jumped and dropped the tennis balls in his hands, before placing his bag at a nearby bench.

It took Gakuto a whole minute before he fully comprehended what was going on, immediately running towards Oshitari after.

"What are you doing here?" the bright – haired boy asked and Oshitari only shrugged in reply.

An awkward silence surfaced between them.

"Do you want to play?" Gakuto looked up at him suddenly; as if he'd just vanish if he didn't, nearly hitting his chin.

The shorter boy's eyes twinkled and Oshitari let out a low laugh.

"Come on, then," he walked to the baseline, urging for Gakuto to do the same.

They played for about two hours, Gakuto serving first, their score two games to five with Oshitari on the lead, before the ball slipped through the taller boy's racket and hit the metal fence behind him.

The bright – haired boy came running to him in an instant, worry etched in his face. "Are you okay?"

The other only nodded, his gaze directed towards his racket. The strings were loose and there was a giant hole right in the middle of his racket.

Gakuto chuckled. "That's why you have to keep your equipment well-maintained! These things could be as delicate as a violin you know!"

Oshitari's eyes widened, turning his head to look at Gakuto, as a thought popped into his head.

His feet moved, eyes darting to Gakuto's hand on his left arm before his arm away, and headed for the bench.

He ran away, ignoring the shorter boy's frightened expression and his shouts, ignoring the sudden heavy feeling in his chest and the wild hammering of his heart against his ribcage, and met his chauffer nearly halfway home.

=== YAY ===

On the day of the festival, he took a sharp breathe. He had never been so nervous in his life.

It wasn't because of the numerous stares that would fixate themselves on him. He had been used to that ever since he was five. Being a child of a wealthy family had, who also cared about publicity, limited his privacy since childhood. Putting up a fake smile for people even though he didn't want to had nearly become a habit.

He scanned the crowd in the midst of someone else's performance, wondering if he'd spot a bright-haired boy somewhere in there. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to see him or not.

It had been two weeks since the incident at the tennis courts. The blue-haired boy had managed to keep his parents from prying into what had happened by diligently practicing playing his violin whenever there was free time. He nearly memorized the whole piece.

He made sure to lock the music room door at school after that, made sure to go to the deepest section of the library at lunch and made sure to keep his cool and pretend that nothing ever happened between them when he passed by Gakuto in the hallways.

He wasn't ready to be friends again, not after what he had discovered. Besides, he was the only child in the family, he couldn't afford to be -.

One of the auditorium doors opened and he spotted the person he had been avoiding for the past two weeks. Suddenly, he felt like he couldn't breathe.

Once it was his turn to perform, he took a deep breath and walked to center stage.

Holding the violin like it should be, he closed his eyes and started performing, dragging the bow over the strings in such a way that hypnotized the audience.

He opened his eyes to look at the sheet music placed in front of him, not one raising his gaze more than necessary.

He was afraid to be captured by that gaze, invisible string gripping tighter at his heart.

=== []-[] ===

When he finished playing, the audience applauded him with a standing ovation and, like ever performer should, he bowed towards them before exiting the stage. In the corner of his eyes, he saw an auditorium door close and he was hit with disappointment.

He didn't listen when his instructor praised him and rambled on about upcoming performances and practices or when other performers, classmates, people congratulated him for a job well done. Most of them held no meaning anyway, empty words with scorn hidden deep underneath.

His feet moved on their own, his head hung low and his eyes fixated on his feet. The hallways were so familiar to him that he didn't have to look to know where he was going. Not even when he bumped into someone coming out of the music room did he look up as he apologized, aimlessly closing the door behind him.

He paused as he heard a slight groan of pain behind him, immediately reopening the door until it hid the adjacent wall.

Oshitari stared at the figure bent over in front of him, clutching at his foot as he groaned more in pain.

The bespectacled boy moved closer to the figure, in a slight state of panic while thinking where the first aid kit would be and if it would be better if he brought the other to the nurse's office instead. "G-gakuto…"

Suddenly, the bright-haired boy shot up, eyes brimming with delight when their gazes met. "Gotcha!" and he started laughing, contaminating Oshitari with his happiness as well.

The taller one breathed out a sigh of relief and the air between them suddenly became awkward.

"Umm…" they said at the same time. In their panic, the atmosphere became heavier.

"Th-that was an amazing performance," a pause as Gakuto peaked at Oshitari's reaction. "R-really. I kind of forgot that I was in the auditorium."

There was another pause.

"It must've been easier to practice without me around, huh? Well, I came to ask if you want to join the tennis team," Gakuto started backing away from the music room door. "We're currently looking for more members. I'm not forcing you or anything. It's just that I thought you were really good at it and I like you – I mean… I'd be – I mean… the team would be really happy if you joined and well… just think about it okay?" and he turned to run away.

A hand on his arm was all it took before he paused, the grip tightening the more time it took for him to turn around.

"I'd love to join the tennis team," Oshitari let go of Gakuto's arm. "And I'm sorry, about how I've been treating you these past few weeks. I just… I was thinking of a lot of stuff." He stared down at Gakuto's hands and he wondered if he should do something about them.

He didn't move, only wishing that the invisible red string on his pinky - though probably only a fantasy – was connected to the others, until Gakuto took his hands and swung them from left to right.

"Heh heh. At least now, we have tons of time to talk. I won't leave you even if you're trying to get rid of me," a cheeky grin was directed his way and he learned to love his life.

Confessions could wait. It seems even strings are on his side.

END


A/N: Oh dear… It's been so long since I've last posted on here. I was writing for something else and I got really caught up in it. I'll try to post up more fanfics here as well. As always, I hope you liked this piece.

For awhile, I really wanted to write something concerning strings. And I was actually planning on writing a fic about Fuji and Ryoma again but I thought that it didn't quite fit. Then I saw these two and then inspiration hit and this fic was born~~ I hope you liked it~

Please review! XD Thanks for reading~

Blackxxcat013~