Notes: MAN it's been so long! What can I say? I sort of got out of a summery mood when the temperatures shot up to 110 degrees… and stayed that way for two months before petering out into a very mild "winter"… Now it's a nice, chilly 77 degrees, so I'm back in the mood to write about balmy beaches… (sigh) I wish I lived in Canada… Or Antarctica… Or ANYWHERE but Texas…

Chapter 4: Let's Play

Tetsuhiro didn't see what happened to Tomoe and Kurokawa. He was too busy with a very pissed-off old man, who shouted at him nonstop for fifteen minutes straight as his wife lay on the balcony, still unconscious. When she came to, she took hold of her husband's arm like Tetsuhiro was some sort of wild animal that might lunge for her at any second. The old man called him a hippie, a pot-smoker, a chink, an asshole, a psychopath, a yellow devil, and a communist. He threatened legal action. The old woman shook her head in pity, saying that young people just couldn't stay away from the party drugs.

All-in-all, it wasn't too bad. With their old age, their voices weren't nearly as loud or threatening as Souichi's.

When they had calmed down, he tried to explain himself as best he could with his limited English vocabulary. Still, they eyed him suspiciously. Finally, they walked back into their room, still giving him disgusted looks. Tetsuhiro's face burned with shame, but then he remembered Tomoe and Kurokawa. With a panicked little yelp, he took off into the room, out the door, and down the hallway.

Souichi was at their door, pounding it for all he was worth. "I know you're in there, you sicko!" he shouted, his fists landing with such force that doors up and down the hall shook in their frames. Tetsuhiro managed to grab him before his fist could go right through the heavy wood.

"Senpai, calm down!" Tetsuhiro pleaded, trying to hold the thrashing madman back. By now, there were several people looking at them; the old couple from the room next to theirs were mumbling about calling the police. It was a disaster, and only an hour after arriving. It had to be a new record.

"Let me go, Morinaga!" Souichi growled.

"No, Senpai! Look, you're making a scene!"

"DON'T TELL ME WHO'SE MAKING A SCENE!" Souichi shouted, "I'll show you a scene! A CRIME scene!"

Thankfully, Isogai came to the rescue. "Hey, there!" he called loudly, rushing over to grab onto Souichi's arm, "Looks like someone hasn't taken his medication yet!"

"M- medi- MEDICATION?" Souichi roared.

With Tetsuhiro and Isogai pulling in tandem, Souichi was dragged into Isogai's room. They all tumbled to the floor in a heap, with Isogai on top and Tetsuhiro on the bottom.

"Calm down, Tatsumi," Isogai said, climbing to his feet and barricading the door, "What gives with all the yelling?"

"Those perverts were spying on us!" Souichi fumed, leaping off of the floor—rather, off of Tetsuhiro, who had the wind knocked out of him as Souichi sprang off of his stomach.

"Oho!" Isogai grinned slyly, "So what were you two doing that had them so interested…?"

"We were… w- wait, just what the hell do you mean by that?"

"Senpai, they weren't spying on us!" Tetsuhiro grabbed onto Souichi's legs, hugging them tightly lest the older man fly into another rage, "They were probably just looking down at the beach, like we were!"

"But they were—"

"I think it's time we hit the beach, actually!" Isogai cut in, slapping Souichi on the back, "Great idea! Never let it be said that Souichi Tatsumi wasn't fun-loving!"

"F- fun-loving?"

"I'll go get changed. You two should do the same."

"That's a good idea…" Tetsuhiro let go of Souichi's legs, standing up and opening the door.

"Whatever," Souichi grumbled, pushing past his kouhai to walk down the hall. Several people still peered from their doorways as he passed, but flinched back when he flashed them challenging looks. Tetsuhiro followed, bowing in apology as he went, feeling like a toy bird dipping into water: Up, down, up, down…

When they got to their room, most of the people had retreated into their respective quarters. As he gave a final apologetic bow, backing into the room after Souichi, he glanced at two angry old faces peering at him from next door. Quickly, he shut and locked the door, glad to have gotten out of that situation without witnessing any bloodshed.

XXXXX

The sun was still casting a golden glow on the landscape when the party got down to the beach. "It's so clear!" Kanako said, running to leap into the water with a shriek of joy, "The water's warm, too! Come on, guys!"

"Woohoo!" Isogai whooped as he joined her in the water, leaping around happily.

"What are you, five?" Souichi grumbled, shaking his head. He was the only one of the six of them that still wore his casual clothing; everyone else had changed into swimsuits.

"It's been a while since I've been to the beach," Tomoe said, looking out at the ocean, "Nii-san, you should relax! I'm sure this vacation is a relief to Isogai-san, as well. He works hard, you know."

"Yeah, he works hard at being an ass…" Souichi grumbled.

Souichi and Tetsuhiro watched for a while as the others splashed around. "Senpai," Tetsuhiro finally said, "is it OK if I join them?"

"Why wouldn't it be?"

"Well, I don't want to leave you here alone…"

"Just go!"

"I really wish you had your swimsuit… Then you could join us."

"I don't mind sitting here," Souichi said, "It's getting dark anyway. You'll just have to come back soon."

"Hey, Morinaga-san!" Kanako suddenly called from the water's edge, "Come help me with this sandcastle!"

"O- OK!" Tetsuhiro called back, getting up with a final glance at Souichi before going to help Kanako.

"Moron…" Souichi sighed, but he smiled despite himself. Tetsuhiro and Kanako started piling sand up, scooping more from the wetter parts to make it stable. They seemed to be having fun, and Souichi felt happy watching them.

"They're awfully cute, huh?" his good mood dissipated when Isogai slunk up to him, grinning.

"They're childish," Souichi said, glaring at the blonde man.

"Aww, isn't that what makes them so cute? I mean, it's good when in-laws get along so well."

"I- in-laws?"

"Yep! You should see how well they've made that thing, too," Isogai chirped, pointing to the sand structure, "They've even made little people out of sand!"

"Have they?"

"Yep. I think that Mori-kun made himself and you. Or at least I think so… Maybe you two were the ones making out in the garden?"

"WHAT?"

Isogai laughed as Souichi sprang up, rushing towards the castle and knocking it over amid the surprised cries of its architects. There was no sand couple making out in the castle garden, of course. It was just one of life's simple pleasures – getting Souichi angry. The best part was when Souichi realized that he'd been tricked; faced with the confused stares of his sister and boyfriend, he sputtered, "Th- that castle was too generic! Be more creative this time!"

Being so late in the day, it wasn't long before the sun had gone below the horizon. There was now just a thin line of red separating the dark blue sky from the inky-black ocean. The party went inside with reluctance. In their hotel room, Souichi watched from the sofa as Tetsuhiro shook sand out of his hair.

"Sheesh, Senpai, you didn't have to kick sand AT us, you know…" he mumbled.

"I told you, it looked boring."

Tetsuhiro just glared at him. He was still a little miffed at all the trouble Souichi's quick temper had caused him that day; a face full of sand had dampened his mood considerably. Souichi could sense this, and he did feel a little sorry. Just a little.

"Well, I'm going to bed," Tetsuhiro finally said, satisfied that he had gotten most of the grainy irritants out of his hair and armpits. He had changed into his pajamas, and loped off to bed with the gait of a seriously disappointed person. Souichi sighed.

"Wait, Mo- Tetsuhiro," he stood up, pulled Tetsuhiro to the bed, and kissed him. "Sorry, OK? I'm not that tired, so if you want to…"

Suddenly, Tetsuhiro wasn't in such a bad mood anymore.

TBC

Thanks for reading! Again, sorry it took so long to update. I've been writing this chapter for months now, so I think it's finally time to post it. Hope you enjoyed it!