This is my advanced Christmas present to you my girls, and also my birthday gift to myself since it's drawing closer (damn it, i'm getting older again!). This is, to date, the longest oneshot I've written, with more or less 12k worth of words. Originally I was doing to divide it into sections, but I got lazy and decided to give it all to you in one big swoop. Besides, I think this story is meant to be read in one sitting.
The way I wrote this story would be different from the other ones I've written because this is told in the third person-limited view. Basically, this is me trying to show the Alpha Pair relationship in the third person point of view, this being an OC I created. So if this is not your thing, pull back right now, because I'm not taking any BS on why I wrote it like this.
So, BL, Alpha Pair, OOC-ness, some typos, presence of a male!OC, and Prince of Tennis will never be mine unless Takeshi Konomi would give me the rights to it.
He sighed to himself for the umpteenth time that day, shifting the strap of his shoulder bag as he plunked down on a nearby empty bench. Placing the bag on the empty space beside him, he looked around, wondering where he ended up this time. The sun had already set, the few dying rays tingeing the sky with orange and pink, the street lights flaring to life when the surroundings steadily darkened. It looked like he ended up in the University this time, just in time for him to catch the final wave of students going home for the day, with him going the opposite direction and successfully avoiding the guards, the surroundings looking more familiar by the second.
Finally settled down on the bench, he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees, pressing his palms together and digging his index fingers into the bridge of his nose, exhaling another breath. It was always like this. He would always end up running away from his house the moment he stepped into it, hearing the loud, incensed, daily arguments of his parents about everything and anything possible. He bit down the curse that threatened to spill from his lips, instead feeling something hot and wet fill his eyes. He quickly blinked it away, squeezing his brown-colored orbs shut as he gave himself another pep talk. He came home to the same scene every day. He should be used to it already. Crying about it again wouldn't help him at all.
He didn't want to be there with both of his parents home if he could help it, having enough of their fights since he'd been hearing them ever since he was a kid.
Forcefully closing up his crumbling emotions, he looked around. It was almost dark, the remaining light just enough for him to see that he was the only person around now. But now that he had successfully run away again, he didn't have anywhere to go to. Usually his friends would be willing to put him up long enough for his parents to realize that he hadn't come home yet and start to search for him frantically, but he was already sick and tired of their pity, though he knew it was done out of kindness. They didn't need him to interfere with their home life. And he didn't want to spend any money on a motel, he was already on a scholarship, and he barely had money for his school supplies, let alone for a room. besides, this wasn't the first time he had slept out in the cold, having run away often enough that he had prepared the basic necessities in his bag.
And, as he settled down on the bench, getting ready to doze off, he fervently wished that it wouldn't rain that night.
He just had to open his big mouth.
He hadn't been sleeping long, maybe for about half an hour before the downpour started. This time he didn't stop the curse that escaped his mouth as he frantically grabbed his bag and sought the nearest shelter, his clothes already soaked through and his long, jet-black hair sticking to his ice-cold skin when he finally ducked through a small awning, already starting to shiver, staring at the rain that now pour down in thick, gray sheets. Someone up there really hated him, he thought bitterly, repeatedly shaking the water out of his bag. Thankfully it was waterproof, but that didn't change the fact that he was wet, cold, and perfectly miserable. He sneezed, wrapping his arms around himself and trying not to shiver too badly.
"Isagani?" He heard his last name being called and looked up, squinting out into the rain. He blinked at the sight of an unfamiliar black sedan, headlights on and wipers moving against the windshield in a rhythmic motion. But the voice was familiar, deep and questioning, and he tried his best to pinpoint who the owner of the voice was.
His jaw dropped in slight surprise when the person opened the door of the car and straightened up with a black umbrella over his head.
"S-Sanada-sensei?" Isagani managed to squeak out an answer, before coughing and clearing his voice, cheeks a bright pink. He watched as man quickly approached him, his tall form clearer now that he had escaped the onslaught of the rain. "What are you doing here?"
"The better question is that what are you doing here." The professor was looking up and down at him critically, and Isagani suddenly had the urge to shrink into nonexistence in front of the older man, who looked like he was going to slap him at any given moment. His History professor could be very intimidating when he wanted to, and it seemed he was exercising that very ability now. "The University has an early day today, and the gates are already closed half an hour ago."
"U-Um…" Internally Isagani was berating himself for getting himself into this situation. It really wasn't his day today, wasn't it? "I–My house is–" He felt very embarrassed now, having to explain his situation to his professor. Only his friends knew about his home life, and it made him somewhat uncomfortable talking about it. "My parents are fighting and I really don't w-wa-HACHOO!" He gave a startled sneeze and felt himself tremble violently, once again shivering as his nose started to run and his cheeks were now pinker from the cold, feeling half-frozen.
The older man sighed and brought the umbrella forward, making Isagani blink in another bout of surprise. "… Let's get you out of here. You're going to get sick, and I don't want one of my students missing my class."
There were a lot of things Isagani expected that day, but this was definitely not one of them. "Y-Yes!" Together, he and the professor marched back into the rain, the small umbrella barely giving them both cover as they both hurried to the still parked and running car. The professor opened the passenger door for him, making him enter the car quickly. It was barely furnished, and yet still managed to give off the air of class. He clutched his bag close to him, making sure to sit in the littlest place possible so he wouldn't get anything on the rich, upholstered black leather. The professor followed afterwards, his blue coat a shade darker as he slammed the door shut and shook the excess water off the umbrella, folding it properly and twisting his body to reach for the backseat, rummaging there for a short while before coming back, a fluffy white towel in hand.
"Here." He passed it to his still shivering student, who took it gratefully. "Dry yourself off and make yourself comfortable." He faced forward and fiddled with the dashboard controls, and a second later warm air suddenly blasted through the air conditioners, making Isagani feel as if he had sunk into a warm bath.
"T-Thank you." He quickly pressed the towel against his hair, his fingers mildly shaking as he wiped off the excess water clinging to his body. He set his bag on the floor and wrapped the towel around his neck, already soaked through, cringing a bit at his still wet clothes. He watched the older man shift the stick in gear, engine revving as the car started forward, exiting the University campus.
"Um, Sanada-sensei…" Isagani started tentatively when it was clear that the older man wasn't going to say anything. "Where are we going?"
"… You don't have anywhere to go, am I right?" The professor kept his face forward, watching the rain-slicked road, who either chose to ignore or not see the sudden wince on his student's face. "So we're going to my house."
Oh. Isagani gaped at him for a moment before looking down, unable to say something after that. He looked at the older man at the corner of his eye. Sanada Genichirou was the one of the youngest teachers he had, twenty-five years old and taking his masters at Tokyo University where he also graduated and worked as one of the associate professors in the History Department. He taught Japanese and Oriental History, and his courses were considered one of the most popular minor courses among the students. He was tall, almost six-feet, with short raven hair, a lean, muscled build and narrow brown eyes, which was usually hidden behind square, frameless glasses during class. General opinion of him was that he was young, very handsome and knew his subject very well, which made him one of the most coveted and sought after professors, but he was strict, and expected very highly of his students. This, of course, didn't stop freshmen and sophomores from taking his subjects, most especially the female population, who would actually fight for a spot in his class. He was also the advisor for the University's Tennis Club, having played in his younger years, and it was rumored that he was good enough to turn pro had he not decided to pursue his undergraduate studies.
Isagani, because he was taking Archeology, was required to take a few of Sanada-sensei's subjects, and found the older man to be a bit intimidating, but deeply respectful for him all the same. The man knew about his subject extensively, and was one of the few teachers who had the gift of making students hang on to his every word without even trying to. Sanada-sensei actually made his subject interesting for his students (He showed up in class in an authentic Shinsengumi outfit in class once when they were discussing the Bakumatsu period, complete with a katana and wakizashi, and proceeded to make his class jaw drop by slicing a watermelon cleanly in mid-air) and it was clear that he sincerely liked his subject, even if the way he presented it sometimes was a bit frightening for the students (An instance of this was one time when a couple of male students who clearly didn't know of the professor's reputation goofed off in class, and Sanada-sensei made them run laps around the room until the session ended, but not before giving each of them a hard slap that had their heads swimming, or so it was told from stories).
But, despite of all of the professor's popularity, his personal life was a mystery. And to think that he, Isagani Tenshi, was going to see the professor's house for the first time… he gave a start as the car did a right turn, looking outside just in time to see a two-story, detached house, simple in its colors of cream and light blue, the terrace and veranda above them as the car eased inside the gate and the garage under it. A beautiful garden was growing at the side, the flowers blooming and shining under the street light as the now light drizzle covered the petals with drops of rain water. It was a beautiful house, radiating warmth and the feeling of homeliness, and Isagani found himself staring the cobbled path leading to the closed front door. He meekly followed the professor to the door, watching quietly as the other man unlocked the door and went inside, going after the older man and removing his still quite wet sneakers at the door. Though not dripping on the door mat, he was still quite drenched, clothes still sticking uncomfortably to his skin.
"Seiichi, I'm home." The older man called out, removing his damp coat and stepping into the foyer, leaving a briefcase and a sports bag by the door. He gestured for his student to the same, and Isagani obliged, stepping into the brightly-lit hallway, calling out an "E-Excuse me for intruding," in a soft, almost whispered tone.
"Welcome back, Genichirou." A sweet voice greeted back, and the younger found himself turning to the direction where it came from. Long, midnight-blue hair filled the teen's vision, as that person poked his head out and smiled at the older man. "How was work?"
… Woah. Isagani can't help but look. She was very beautiful, angelic, almost ethereal, with gentle-looking blue eyes and a kind, loving smile directed at his teacher, who crossed the corridor and gathered her into his arms and pressed a kiss to her forehead. She giggled back, pressing a kiss to his cheek in turn, before finally noticing him still standing on the threshold of the house. "Oh, we have a guest?"
And, as she slowly extracted herself from his professor's embrace and faced him, Isagani had to stop his eyes from bulging out in shock and surprise, his jaw not quite managing to do the same as his mind reeled in disbelief.
Everybody knew that Sanada-sensei was already married. It was actually the first thing they asked the man during the first day of classes, with one brave student asking the question out loud for everyone to hear. The older man responded by sighing and raising his left hand, letting everyone see the plain, silver band glittering there, and the subject about relationships was quickly closed. And so, everyone quickly and easily assumed that their professor had a wife.
They couldn't have been more wrong.
His history professor actually had a husband.
"Is there something wrong?" The blue-haired man looked at him in slight concern when he didn't answer, and gasped as he finally saw the wet, disheveled state of the teen. "You're soaked through! Quick, come inside," He went forward and lightly grasped his arm, making Isagani feel flustered as he all but tripped into the hallway and further into the house.
"N-No, i-it's fine–!" he tried to assure the man, but the other wouldn't hear anything of it.
"Let's get you to the bathroom so you take a warm bath, quickly, so you don't catch a cold. Gen, can you go to Sasuke's room and see if he has some clothes that could fit him?" The man continued on and called out to his professor, who merely nodded and went upstairs, footsteps fading away. The blue-haired man waited until the sounds completely disappeared before gently pushing the teen inside the ground floor bathroom without much trouble. Isagani felt so embarrassed, being taken care of a person he hardly knew, but he was still grateful for it, finally accepting the help and entering the white bath without another word.
"The towels are over there, and I'll lay out the spare clothes here so you could get changed. Oh, put your wet clothes in the hamper so they'll be ready for tomorrow." The man smiled and showed him where he could find the toiletries, and finally left Isagani alone to his thoughts, letting the teen take a good look around. It took him a while to peel off his clothes, but at last he was under the showerhead, the warm water a blessing against his chilled skin.
It took him a while to convince himself to leave the comfort of the warm water, but he figured that he was already intruding and wasting water enough. He exited the shower and put his wet clothes in the hamper, as was instructed of him, and got the spare clothes that were laid out on the counter, probably brought in quietly so he wouldn't notice. It was a simple pair of shirt and jeans, slightly too big for him, but fit him enough that it wouldn't slip off every time he would move. It smelled nice too. A little musky, the scent of body spray and spice, mixed with a bit of cinnamon… Isagani blushed once more, pulling the shirt over his head and shaking his head at the fact that he had spent a few minutes sniffing at his clothes.
Now feeling a bit better, he exited the bathroom, bare feet padding along the wooden floor and finding himself entering the kitchen/dining room, where most of the sounds he could hear were coming from. He stopped by the doorway, feeling too shy to even enter the room, seeing his professor and his lover inside, the latter near the counter, his long, shoulder-length hair tied in a loose ponytail and placing plates on the dining table, wearing an off-shoulder shirt and loose pants that looked very comfortable. The former was wearing the most casual clothes the student had seen on his teacher, just a rolled up shirt and a pair of jeans that made the professor look younger than he really was. The blue-haired man smiled when he saw the student by the door, holding put an inviting hand to let the younger boy in.
"Ah, you're done? Come in, dinner's ready." He chuckled when Isagani quickly shook his head, not wanting to be more trouble than he was already.
"No, I'm not really–" The growling of his stomach finished his sentence for him, and deeply mortified, he meekly entered the dining room and joined his professor and his lover, knowing that his face couldn't be any more redder.
Dinner wasn't a quiet affair, as the blue-haired man questioned him gently and teasingly about himself, making him feel more at ease, enough to smile slightly as he ate what he thought was the most delicious food that ever existed. The man was beautiful. There was just no other way to describe him, Isagani thought, observing how his teacher and his spouse interacted with each other through the rim of his serving bowl. Seiichi-san was a very warm and caring person, and his usually stern history professor seemed like an entirely different person when he was with his lover, a hint of a smile on his face as their fingers touched each other on top of the dining table.
"Sasuke's flight is arriving tomorrow noon, right?" Sanada-sensei asked, looking sideways at the other man questioningly, who answered with a nod and a smile. "I'll pick him up during my break."
"Oh Genichirou, you don't have to." The other man shook his head. "You have a class after lunch, right? It's all right, I can do it."
"Are you sure?" The professor looked at his spouse with concern, an expression Isagani had never seen before. "You won't be late for the gallery showing?"
"I'll be fine. But thank you for offering." The man leaned forward and kissed the raven's cheek, making the student feel flustered, as if he had just seen something very private. A twinge of bittersweet envy filled him as Isagani watched them interact, finding himself wistfully wishing that his parents were also like that, but the feeling was gone as quickly as it came.
Isagani cleared his throat, hoping to dispel the awkwardness he felt. "This is really good, Seiichi-san." He finally knew the name of his professor's husband, having introduced himself before they started eating. "It's very delicious."
"Thank you." The blue-haired man beamed at him, but waved a hand towards his now quiet spouse. "Your sensei is better than me in cooking though." He laughed. "So, what do you study, Isagani-kun?" Seiichi-san asked him, his blue eyes shining with interest.
"A-Archeology, second year." Nobody really asked what he was studying before, given that he was a shy person and had a very few, select friends who knew him head to toe. "I'm planning on majoring in Asian Archeology, and I'm taking Sanada-sensei's History class as a prerequisite."
"Oh, I have to apologize on his behalf then, if he's giving you a hard time." The blue eyes were full of mirth, as Seiichi-san turned his head towards his spouse, looking amused. "You have to understand, Genichirou could be a bit difficult sometimes."
At that, his history professor looked up and gave the other man a dry look, though, if one looked closely, a pale flush could be seen coloring his cheeks. "I'm not being difficult," he grumbled. "I'm simply expecting the best from my students. Slacking off is Tarundoru." He gave Seiichi-san, who looked close to laughing, a deadpan look. "And my student doesn't need to hear that I'm being difficult from my own spouse."
"Oh no, Sanada-sensei isn't difficult at all!" Isagani was quick to assure the blue-haired man, somehow having the feeling that he had to defend his professor. "He's a very good teacher! A lot of girls enlist in his classes!"
"Hmm… I see, then." The man finally laughed out loud, eyes twinkling as he teased his spouse, "Genichirou, you never told me that you're so popular in the University," making the teen realize what he said. Cowering slightly at the professor's half-glare, half-uncomfortable expression, he settled down back in his chair, red-faced, not wanting to speak anymore lest he embarrass himself and his teacher more.
"Seiichi, sorry, but I have work tonight." The raven-haired professor finally stood up, finishing his dinner, and brought his plates to the sink, going back to his spouse and kissing his hair. "I promise that I'll do the dishes tomorrow."
Isagani quickly stood up as well, quickly tidying after himself, gathering the plates together and piling them on top of the other. "T-Thank you for the food! I-I'll just clean up!"
The blue-haired man smiled. "I'll bring you coffee later then. Oh, just leave it there, Isagani-kun," Seiichi-san waved a hand, also standing up, all of them having finished their food. "I'll take care of the rest." With a final wave to his husband, who went out of the room, he waited until the footsteps ascended and disappeared before going back to work.
"But Seiichi-san–" The teenager tried to protest.
"It's all right." The man smiled. "I'll take care of things here. Make yourself at home, you're a guest after all." His stare was kind, but clearly left no room for argument. Defeated, Isagani trudged out of the dining room and into the opposite room, which turned out to be the living room.
It was a big, cheerful looking place, with cream colored walls and a sliding door that exited to a back garden. Paintings of nature hung on the walls, a three-tiered shelf taking up one whole side of the room filled with photographs and various trinkets. In the middle of the room he found the couch and the armchairs surrounding a coffee table, a flower arrangement on an end table, all facing a massive complete entertainment system. He took a while to move again, simply staring. The room had the air of elegance, the furniture simple and practical, but tasteful. It was the first time he saw a room like that, and briefly wondered if his professor was actually rich.
He gravitated towards the shelves first, his innate curiosity and interest in the unknown kicking in. Nobody really knew anything about their history professor's personal life, and he had to be crazy to waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He noticed the trophies first, all located on the topmost shelf, all gleaming gold except for one plaque, which was bronze. They were tennis trophies, Isagani realized with some amazement, craning his head to take a better look at them. He knew that his professor used to play tennis, but he didn't know that he was good enough to win junior high and high school Nationals. He read the inscriptions on the trophy, vaguely recognizing the school name imprinted on it, Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku, as one of the schools having the best tennis teams in the country. A photograph was beside every trophy, and Isagani looked at it carefully, recognizing one face other than his professor, (who was wearing a black cap in two of them) who scarcely looked different from his teenage years.
So Sanada-sensei and Seiichi-san were former tennis teammates, he mused to himself, looking at the pictures, showing eight people wearing mustard yellow and black tennis jerseys. Their faces were elated and joyful, with one having Seiichi-san cradling the trophy in his arms, Sanada-sensei beside him with a small smile on his face, their arms around each other, dated during their second year of high school. They were high school sweethearts, then? Oddly enough, Isagani found that fact very sweet, tearing his gaze away from the picture and looking at the others, their faces never changing, give or take one person, only looking more mature as time passed by.
He turned his gaze next to the shelf below, finding more photographs, this time of what he assumed to be family members. There were formal family photos wherein everyone was dressed in kimono, some baby pictures that had the teen both laughing and cooing at the same time, finally recognizing one photo as his professor. Who knew that the older man looked so cute when he was a baby? Fighting down a snicker, he blinked in confusion as he saw another photo of Sanada-sensei and Seiichi-san, looking younger, but this time they were on either side of a person Isagani never saw before. The person in the photo looked young, handsome (Isagani blushed a bit when that thought passed through his head, but really didn't deny it), maybe about his age right now, with straight black hair and brown eyes, bearing a startling likeness to his teacher. He studied the photograph more, finding that person once again with the two men in different occasions, a birthday party, a tennis match, and one that Isagani supposed as a graduation, with Seiichi-san's arm around the younger male's shoulder and smiling, Sanada-sensei standing by the side and his face shining with well-disguised pride.
Isagani's brow furrowed in thought. Sanada-sensei's younger brother, maybe? But, strangely, he really didn't get that impression. In fact, they looked like…
… a family.
And the more he looked through the photos again, the more it became clearer to him that he was right. They looked so happy, so content in the photographs, spending time together in every important event as a complete family even though they were two men, something that was still seen by some as unacceptable and morally wrong. Once again he felt the bittersweet envy fill him, wanting to experience the same warmth and comfort of having parents who loved you and each other.
And the wedding photographs. Isagani found them right beside the family photos, all adorned in silver frames, his professor and his husband in tuxedoes, the raven in black, the blunet in white, smiling at each other and surrounded by the people they loved and loved them. The teenager couldn't help but grab one of the photos to look at it closely, his fingers touching their faces, showing the time when they were exchanging rings, looking so deeply into each other's eyes that it seemed that there was no one in the world except the two of them. His professor in the midst of slipping on the band to his spouse that promised eternal devotion, faithfulness and love for each other, through happiness and sorrow, through sickness and health, for richer and for poorer, till death do them part. He wondered where his professor had gotten married, same-sex marriage wasn't legal in Japan yet, and the background looked decidedly Western.
"That was in Spain," a kind voice answered behind him, and he nearly dropped the frame in shock, seeing Seiichi-san inside the room, setting down a tray of drinks and treats on the coffee table before standing up and moving towards him. There was a fond look of nostalgia on his face as he looked back at his memories, looking back at the younger teen and gave him a warm smile. "In Madrid, four years ago." He neatly caught the picture that slipped from the raven's fingers and placed it back on the shelf. "Be careful."
"S-Sorry! I-I touched your pictures without your permission!" Isagani stuttered back, mortified that he had been caught snooping around and almost destroyed the frame. "I didn't mean to, it's just I–!"
"It's fine, I don't mind at all." Seiichi-san waved off the apology, smiling and leading him to the couch, sitting beside him and busying himself with the snacks on the coffee table. "Sorry, this is the only thing I can prepare on such short notice." The older man said a little apologetically, taking out the plate of brownies and the small pitcher of iced tea with two glasses out of the tray and placing it down on the lacquered wood. "If I had known you were coming, I would've prepared something better for you, Isagani-kun."
"I-It's all right! You really don't have to, Seiichi-san!" Isagani quickly shook his head, beyond embarrassed, not knowing what to feel right now. Seiichi-san was so kind, so accommodating to him. He had never experienced something like this before. He looked around the room once again, this time expressing his fascination verbally. "This is a really beautiful room, Seiichi-san. The paintings on the walls are so breathtaking." He said honestly.
The man beamed. "Thank you. I made it myself." He chuckled, leaning back and surveying the room at large. "I actually designed this whole house myself, and room is probably my most favorite apart from my gardens and our bedroom." He said a little thoughtfully, not noticing the younger's agape look at him.
"W-Wow! Seiichi-san, you're so talented!" Isagani blurted out suddenly, unable to contain his awe, and instantly closed his mouth shut, his face turning into an interesting shade of violet and red. Isagani didn't even know anymore how many times he had blushed that night.
The man laughed and lightly ruffled his hair, making brown-red eyes widen in surprise at the warm and gentle touch. "You're so cute." There was a twinkle in the blue eyes as it winked at the flushed teen. "I'll just return this back to the kitchen, okay?" Seiichi-san held up the tray and stood up, leaving the room for a short while.
Isagani blew out the breath he didn't know he was holding, willing the redness of his cheeks to go away. He felt so awkward, and he knew he was making a fool of himself in front of the other man. Somehow, he got the feeling that Seiichi-san really liked to tease people. But thinking better than to dwell on it, he grabbed his bag that was on the armchair and pulled out his homework for the day; even though he ran away from home frequently, he still needed to be on top of his studies. He opened his textbook and drew out a sheet of paper, clicking his pen open and slid off the couch, sitting instead on the carpeted floor. Getting a rectangular case from his bag, he took his glasses out, framed and oval in shape, sliding it over his face and starting on his first subject. And it was in that state when Seiichi-san saw him, making him look up as the man entered again.
"You're so studious, Isagani-kun." The blue-haired man commented lightly, sitting on the other side of the table and watching him, making him blush a little, but still continued scribbling his answers, nevertheless, concentrating hard on his work. He had finished his first subject without any interruptions and had moved on to History next, thinking that he should do his hardest subjects first before moving on to his lighter assignments.
"I can't afford to fail, Seiichi-san. I might lose my scholarship." Isagani hadn't meant to let that slip out, and bit his tongue when it did, looking abashed by that confession. The man, however paid it no mind, looking impressed, and that in itself, made him feel more bashful.
"Wow, you're outstanding yourself, Isagani-kun. You're very smart." And his tone clearly conveyed it. And it made feel Isagani inexplicably proud to hear that from his professor's spouse, gripping his pen more determinedly.
"Thank you, Seiichi-san." And truly he was. His parents had never praised him, more interested in fighting each other than being concerned for their son. It was through his hard work that he managed to secure a scholarship in Tokyo Univ. because he didn't want to rely on parents anymore, knowing that it might be another topic of their numerous fights. "But I'm not that special, really."
"No, I think you are." Seiichi-san leaned forward, resting his chin on his linked fingers as he smiled gently at Isagani. The teen could hear the conviction and sincerity in his voice, making him a familial warmth, and felt himself blushing again. He quickly looked away and turned back to the work sets the professor had given to them, and was dismayed to find that it wasn't an easy topic to answer.
"What subject is that?" Seiichi-san asked curiously, taking a peek into the textbook, and nearly laughed out loud when he saw the topic. "It's history, isn't it?"
"Yes, about the Sengoku Period." Isagani flipped the pages back, trying to look for a certain passage that would answer the current problem. "I just can't answer these questions without looking at the textbook!" He said in frustration, finally finding the name he was looking for and writing it down. History, he admitted to himself, wasn't his strong point. Memorizations of names, dates and places drove him crazy.
The man really did laugh this time, amusement clearly seen in his face. "Want me to help you?" Seiichi-san offered, smiling.
"R-Really?" Surprised, Isagani stared at the blue-haired man, shocked at the fact that the man knew anything about his assignment in the first place. "I-Is it all right? I mean, if Sanada-sensei sees you helping me…"
"It's all right. I may not know much about history, but I do know that the Sengoku Period is Genichirou's favorite era." The man pressed a finger to his lips and winked back, making an unexpected giggle escape from Isagani's lips. "Just don't tell anyone about this, okay?"
And for the next hour Isagani did nothing but finish his History paper, being coached all throughout the session by the blue-haired man, asking names, dates and moments with Seiichi-san answering in the most precise and concise way that he could. Isagani was actually having fun, scribbling away, finding out more about his professor's spouse in the process (the teen found out that his last name had been Yukimura; and thus when he saw the name of Sanada Yukimura in his textbook he couldn't help but feel that the universe was definitely on to something). With the older man's help he had been able to finish his paper faster than what he had thought, and was beaming as he set his pen down, actually feeling better now that he had accomplished something faster.
"Thank you, Seiichi-san!" He reviewed his paper again, making sure that he had made no mistakes before holding it up and beaming. "You saved me!"
"It's no problem," Seiichi-san looked like that he was enjoying the smile that spread through the teen's face, chuckling on how childlike he looked. "I know that Genichirou could be a little hard on people sometimes." He said this in a fond, nostalgic tone, as if reminiscing about a part he just recently remembered. "He's a very disciplined and strict person. He expects nothing but the best from the people he was working with."
"Was Sanada-sensei always like that?" Despite the fact that he had more homework to do, he can't help but push it aside in favor of listening to the older man. He grabbed a brownie from the plate and took a bite, eyes widening as the rich flavor exploded on his mouth. Cooking, baking, gardening, interior designing… wasn't there anything this person cannot do? He hummed, taking another piece of brownie, not realizing that he was scarfing down half the food on the plate.
"Well, yes." The man chuckled, blue eyes almost as if looking somewhere far away. "When we were in middle school, almost everyone feared the wrath of the 'Emperor'. We were on the same tennis team too, and nobody dared go against him, if they didn't want a slap to the face and running laps until their legs fall off." It was clear that those moments were the most memorable for him, judging by the affectionate tone he had when talking about him. His loosely tied blue hair strayed to his shoulder, making the man look more effeminate than ever, but, surprisingly, Isagani found that it suited him very well, and felt a small twinge of envy when he looked at the man, half-wishing that he too, could be as beautiful as him.
"But as strict as he was, he was surprisingly gentle and warm to the people who were close to him, though how he showed it was a bit awkward sometimes." Seiichi-san laughed, finally noticing his wayward hair and pushed it back. "He's not the easiest person to get along with, but he's really a sweet and thoughtful person when you get to know him. He may act gruff, but he really cares a lot about other people. He just doesn't want to show it." Seiichi-san smiled, pouring himself a glass of iced tea, a knowing twinkle in his eyes as he gazed at the teen.
"… I know. Sanada-sensei's a really nice person. He… He saved me from sleeping on a bench tonight." Suddenly red-faced, Isagani stared at his hands, remembering the kindness his professor and his spouse had showed him when he was invited to their home and was treated so warmly that he almost felt like a part of their family. It was a nice feeling, one that the teen wanted to cherish and appreciate forever, and almost felt sad because it wouldn't last that long. "I could never thank you two enough, Seiichi-san and Sanada-sensei. I… I've never really experienced something like this before." He could feel something wet and hot run down his cheeks, and yet he didn't want to stop it, vision blurring as tears made their presence known. "I-I really– I can't– I just wanted to–" he tried to say, choking, but the words just wouldn't come out, feeling as if something was lodged in his throat.
"It's all right, Isagani-kun." He felt a hand on his cheek and looked up, seeing the blue-haired man smile at him so gently and tenderly that it made another well of tears, closing his eyes as a warm thumb brushed over his eyelids. "You don't have to say anything." Seiichi-san looked so understanding, so empathic, that he felt like a child being comforted by his mother and he wanted nothing more than to bury his face into the other man's arms and just cry his frustrations away.
But perhaps, Isagani thought as he managed to stop himself and give a shaky, watery smile at the man, that Seiichi-san knew what was happening all along.
"Tell you what, Isagani-kun." His head was tilted up, and looked into deep blue that held a bright smile and a sincere promise. "Whenever you feel a little suffocated, you could always come here and spend the night with us." The blue-haired man said, smiling in that motherly way of his that didn't fail to spread a tingle of warmth in his chest. "I don't mind, and I'm sure that Genichirou wouldn't mind either. I'll be your History tutor if you need an excuse." He added with another mischievous wink. It was said like a request, leaving him with a choice to deny or accept if he wanted to.
And Isagani couldn't find it in himself to refuse.
"I-I'd like that, Seiichi-san." He nodded and smiled back, a gasp turning into a little hiccup, and soon enough he was giggling hysterically, laughing as he clung on to the other man and snickered his guts out, feeling a hand ruffle his hair. He felt giddy and relieved, stabilized now that he had somewhere to return to and someone who was willing to take care of him. And for the next hour they stayed like that, laughing and giggling and exchanging stories with one another as the teenager's homework was left forgotten, the food slowly dwindled away, only a few crumbs felt on the plate and the idea tea reduced to a quarter of a pitcher.
It was that scene in which the History professor walked into, making an eyebrow rise in slight question and suspicion when the two looked up at him and started another round of laughter.
"I do hope that you weren't talking about me right now." He deadpanned, his hold on his empty coffee cup tightening as looked from one innocent face to another, not believing it for a second.
"How can you say that? Of course we weren't." Seiichi-san answered in a completely unassuming tone and stood up, sharing a mutual secretive look with the teen and grinning cheekily at the flatly disbelieving look his husband gave him.
"I don't need my spouse saying inappropriate things about me to my student." The raven retorted back. "I need to maintain my reputation, after all." But despite his harsh words, the professor's tone was filled with fondness, mixed with mild exasperation, automatically wrapping an arm around the blue-haired man's waist when the man laughed and pressed a quick peck to the taller man's cheek, pressing his own to the professor's shoulder. "Is your work done already?"
"I'll finish it up in a bit, just talking a short break." Seeing the various school materials on the coffee table, he gave an approving nod to the teen before exchanging a few more words with his spouse, low enough so that the teen wouldn't hear, who was watching the exchange with wide, interested eyes. Even if they were both men, Isagani knew that they… fit each other perfectly, like two jigsaw puzzles that completed the big picture, even though they were all but similar in terms of personality. His professor was gruff and stern and his spouse was sweet and kind… The teen couldn't explain it, but he knew that he would never be able to see Sanada-sensei with anyone else rather than Seiichi-san, and vice-versa. It was as if the universe really conspired to get the both of them together, biological gender issues aside. Somehow, it looked so wrong if he would imagine either of them with a woman, and seeing his professor without his spouse was just… lacking. They were meant for each other, heart, body and soul, and it was blindingly obvious to him that they really did love each other very much, despite everything, and it would take a lot to effort to drive them both apart from each other. They were almost seemingly unconscious of their gestures towards each other, the lingering touches, and quick but meaningful glances, the way that they looked at each other as if the other person was the center of their universe… Isagani found something in that notion very sweet and awe-inspiring at the same time, reddening a bit while he watched them and looking away quickly, as if he had walked in on a very private and intimate moment between them.
He hoped that, in the future, he could also find a love like theirs.
"Isagani-kun?" He heard his name being called and looked back, seeing that his professor and his spouse was done talking already and that the taller man had disappeared, most likely to refill his cup of coffee before resuming what professors did when at home. "When you're done with your work, you could take the spare bedroom upstairs. Its usual occupant is out tonight and I'm sure that he wouldn't mind someone sleeping on his bed." Seiichi-san offered, chuckling at the thought, making the other shake his head quickly, his face paling a little at the thought of sleeping comfortably as well. Their kindness was just too much for him to take, and he might start crying again if it would continue.
"No, please Seiichi-san! You've done so much for me already! I can't possibly take a bed that isn't mine!" He spoke hurriedly, trying to put a determined tone in his voice. He knew that they only meant well, but at this rate it was as if he was only being pitied, and he didn't want that. "I'll just take the couch! Please!"
The man looked like that he was going to insist at first, cool blue piercing deep inside him that the teen suddenly felt self-conscious, fidgeting under the contemplative stare, as if the blue-haired man was looking into his very soul. He had never seen that look before, but it was gone as quickly as it came, returning back into its friendly, warm depth.
"Of course." The man smiled and ruffled his hair again, going out of the room. "I'll be gone for a while; I'll bring you a couple of pillows and blankets later so you'll be more comfortable." There was something in his tone that clearly said not to argue, and the teen merely nodded, not wanting to test it out and see if it was true. His professor's spouse could be scary, if he really wanted to, and maybe that was one of the reasons why they suited each other so much, the teen thought, returning back to his work and suppressing a shiver.
He made a mental note to never anger or upset the professor's family in the long time that they would know each other.
The grandfather clock in the corner struck twelve, and Isagani was finally finished with all his course works, groaning and mumbling to himself that he would never try and do a semester with only major subjects again. He packed up his books, arranging them carefully in his bag and stood up, his joints and bones popping back into pace while he stretched. Twelve wasn't a late hour for him; god only knew how many times he pulled off all-nighters just to finish his schoolwork. But nevertheless, he was glad for the extra time of rest.
"Ah, you're done?" And, as if also knowing this, Seiichi-san came back into the room, wearing a paint stained apron and his hair done back in a higher ponytail, carrying a blanket and several pillows, which he set down on the couch. "Do you usually stay up this late, Isagani-kun?" The man asked, concern starting to trickle in his tone.
The teen shook his head. "I stay up later than this sometimes, Seiichi-san. But it's fine, I'm used to it. What about you, Seiichi-san?" He noticed the strange cloth the man had on top of his clothes and did his best not to look too interested; however the man noticed the teen's curious look and answered with a chuckle.
"Oh, I'm just finishing up a project of mine. It's due next week and my boss gets angry at me if I don't deliver my pieces on time." The man explained, gesturing to the apron. "I'm afraid I'm a little clumsy when it comes to painting. I want to use so many colors that sometimes I spill some on my clothes. It took a lot of time to get the stains out," he added with a short laugh, fluffing up the pillows and unfolding the blanket, draping it on the couch. "Is there anything else you need, Isagani-kun?" He asked, lips twitching up when he saw the younger man try to stifle a yawn with his hand.
"Ah, no! This is all right!" Isagani stopped mid yawn to shake his hand, a sincere smile on his lips as he looked up to the older man. "Really, Seiichi-san. I'll be all right." The unspoken words of gratitude were there, as well as assurance that he was okay. Yes. He was really all right now, better, actually.
Seiichi-san stared at him for a while, gauging his expression, and a soft smile bloomed on his face as well. "All right, I'll hold you on to that, Isagani-kun." He ruffled the long black hair again, fingers weaving through the soft strands. The man soon released him and nudged him on the direction of the couch. "Go to sleep, all right? You still have class tomorrow."
"Yes, Seiichi-san." The teen replied obediently, diving into the covers, burying his face onto the pillow and found that its scent was the same with the clothes he was wearing, that musky, spicy, cinnamon scent and happily inhaled it, letting the scent calm him down considerably. "Thank you," he mumbled, unaware of the fact that the man tucked him in and was patting his hair like he was a young child, but he liked it, and didn't want to stop the pleasant action.
"You're very welcome." Seiichi-san stopped patting his hair and stood up, watching the teen settle more comfortably under the covers. "Shall I leave the lights on or off?"
"Off, please." That's strange; his eyelids were starting to get heavy. "I'm sleepy…" Isagani yawned again, slowly being pulled into a comfortable lull.
"Of course you are." The man stifled the chuckle on his lips, reminding himself to be quiet and stood on the doorway, a hand on the switch beside the frame. "Good night, Isagani-kun." He said gently.
"… G'night…" He murmured, burrowing more into the couch, but not before almost adding to himself, already half-unconscious. "And Seiichi-san…"
The man paused in turning off the living room lights, looking at the dark head that peeked in-between the white sheets. "Yes?"
"… It's Tenshi." And without another word, the teen fell asleep, fingers curling on the pillow as his breaths evened out and deepened. Seiichi took a while to look at the sleeping teen, a soft, affectionate smile on his face.
He pressed down on the switch, instantly cutting off the lights, and stayed there in the doorway for quite some time before leaving and going up the stairs.
"Good night, Tenshi."
"He's asleep?" Genichirou asked the moment his spouse entered their bedroom, the other man taking off the apron and throwing it in the direction of the hamper. But the hamper was, surprisingly, empty, and the blue-haired man sent an amused, questioning look towards his husband, who had buried his face in his book again once he felt the other's stare.
"It was getting full," the man said defensively, not lifting his head once when the silence became prolonged, and Seiichi really did laugh out loud this time.
"You're a terrible liar, Genichirou." He thought it fit to inform the other man, who only grumbled his reply, and knowing his spouse very well, Seiichi knew that his husband's cheeks were stained red already from embarrassment. Quickly he changed into his nightclothes, sliding beside him on their bed and kissing him on the cheek. "But still, thank you for being so thoughtful. I'll iron it tomorrow was soon as possible."
"Hmph." The professor grunted back, closing his hardbound book and looked at the other through rimless, square spectacles, silently asking for an answer to his question.
"… Yes, he's sleeping now." Seiichi sighed back, resting his head on his husband's shoulder. "Gen, how did you know? That poor child… it must be terrible for Tenshi to hear his parents fight every day." He murmured, a hand going under to hug his husband's arm, tone clearly sad and distressed for the younger teen.
The professor was a little surprised to hear his student's first name on his spouse's lips, but didn't show it. "I hear rumors every now and then. I didn't think that it was true at first, but I overheard stories from his friends that he stays over with one of them for a night when the fights got too serious. They aren't a very rich family, and the reason why Isagani's studying in the University was because of a scholarship that covered his semestral expenses, excluding supplies and miscellaneous fees." The professor continued after a lengthy, thoughtful pause. "But he was always a quiet boy, even in my classes, and oftentimes slept outside when he felt that he was intruding too much."
Seiichi made a startled gasp when the thought slowly sunk in. "He was so insistent that he would take the couch, even though I offered him to sleep in Sasuke's room for the night." And his thoughts slowly turned horrified, remembering a part of his and the teen's conversation earlier ago, the tear-streaked face, the chocked words… "He said that you saved him from sleeping on a bench tonight." His eyes widened in realization, heart breaking for the younger man sleeping soundly below them. "So when you met him…!"
"Yes. I suspected as much." Genichirou said quietly. "I saw him enter the University this late afternoon. If it hadn't rained later on, I was sure that he would've been sleeping on the school bench right now."
"… Oh my god." Seiichi felt deeply distraught, now more thankful than ever that his husband had brought the younger teen with him. "Thank you, Genichirou. If you hadn't found him…!" He feared greatly for Isagani's safety. How many times had the teen done this? It was dangerous for someone to be alone so late at night and Isagani was just a teenager to boot! What if he had been attacked or molested while he was sleeping outside?
"It's all right, Seiichi." Sensing his spouse's distress, Genichirou slid their fingers together, his thumb rubbing against the soft skin in comfort. "He's fine now."
"But it's just so sad." Seiichi murmured, closing his eyes, feeling the exhaustion of the day catch up to him. "He's such a smart boy. To have a family like that… If it was Sasuke, I wouldn't know what to think…"
After a moment of fretting Seiichi finally relaxed, and despite himself, Genichirou managed a small smile, turning his head and pressing a kiss to the blue hair. "Seiichi, don't worry so much. It isn't like you. Even Sasuke gets nervous when you become like this." The mention of their pseudo-son had the blue-haired man smiling, cuddling more to his husband's side. "Is that so? I have to stop worrying then, if I'm worrying you." He raised his head up, detangling his hand from the other and placing them on the mature face, slowly slipping off the eyeglasses on his husband's face, brown eyes closing when he felt the glasses leaving its perch on his nose.
"You look older when you wear these." Seiichi whispered, voice taking on a tone that the other man knew too well, low, husky, with an undertone of intent that that had the taller man shuddering, brown eyes darkening as he realized what his spouse wanted.
"I have no choice, I need them to read." Slowly, carefully, the professor maneuvered them both, sinking the other man down on the bed and hovering over him, waiting until his spouse had placed his glasses on the bedside table before turning back to him.
"You're turning into an old man, Gen." Seiichi teased him lightly, hands going up to link themselves behind a strong neck, pulling down, and was pleased to find that the man went along with him, leaning down and pressing their foreheads together, breaths mingling, waiting.
"Am I?" Genichirou's lips ghosted over his skin, turning to the side, teasing, finding the cartilage of an ear and nipping at it sharply, almost smirking at the startled gasp his spouse made. "Don't be too loud, our walls are thin. My student is downstairs." He reminded huskily, lips whispering against the shell of his ear, large hands on a trim waist, rubbing on the thin strip of skin he could feel.
"Is that a challenge?" The blue-haired man smiled mischievously, capturing his husband's mouth in a passion-filled, heat-igniting kiss, pulling away just a fraction and whispering, lips just brushing against each other.
"Do your worst, Genichirou."
And the history professor was willing to do just that.
Isagani Tenshi didn't remember another time wherein he slept so soundly. The sunlight shone through his eyelids, waking him into consciousness, and he opened his blurry brown-red eyes, for a moment disoriented on where he was, because he didn't recognize his surroundings at first. Then the memories of last night came rushing in and he blinked, sitting up and running a hand through his lightly tousled hair. He had to curl his legs slightly, but the couch was very comfortable, and he quickly fixed the bedding, folding the blanket and setting the pillows right, before going to the dining room, where the most sounds were coming from.
"Good morning, Tenshi-kun." It was Seiichi-san who greeted him at first, wearing a tight turtleneck shirt, looking cheerful as he set the dining table. "Genichirou's cooking today, so take a seat, breakfast is almost done." He said briskly, ushering the teen inside and sitting him down on the table. Isagani looked to the kitchen, and there it was, his professor in an apron and stirring the pan with a pair of chopsticks, looking so out of place with the coat and tie he wore to work.
"Y-Yes…" he blinked, trying to get the image of the professor cooking out of his mind, concentrating instead on the hot coffee the blue-haired man poured out for him. He took a sip, feeling marginally more awake, now more aware of his bedraggled state and blushed, seeing the properly dressed couple in front of him. Oh, right, he hadn't thanked his professor yet. "Thank you for letting me stay the night here, Sanada-sensei."
"It's no problem." The man appeared, serving bowls in hand, and Isagani tried his best not to laugh at the image of his respectable professor with a cooking apron on and grumbling as he set it down on the table. It looked simply ridiculous, and he hid his smile behind the coffee cup, aware of the withering glare the older man gave him.
"Seiichi, what time does Sasuke's flight come in?" The professor sat down as well, and they all started to eat, the student silent as he watched the conversation flow between the two of them, not really feeling the need to participate in it.
"If I remember correctly, it's 11:30 later, in Narita Airport." The blue-haired man smiled and suddenly winced, waving away the sudden rush of questions from his spouse, asking if he was all right, much to the teen's confusion. "Don't worry, Genichirou, I'm just fine, perfect, actually." He smiled sweetly, a twinkle in his blue eyes that had both professor and student blushing darkly, though the latter didn't know why he was doing such.
"Ah, Sasuke. I missed him so much." Seiichi-san chuckled, a wistful expression on his face. "Spending time in Germany alone… do you think Tezuka took good care of him?"
"He better have." Sanada-sensei muttered lowly, scowling at his coffee cup, as if remembering something deeply unpleasant. "Or I'm going to have his head the moment he comes back to Japan…"
Vaguely Isagani recognized the name the blue-haired man said. If he remembered correctly, Tezuka was the last name of Tezuka Kunimitsu, one of the youngest professional tennis players ever to win a Grand Slam, just behind Echizen Ryoma. He was very popular, and as far as he knew, the man was taking a break from participating in world tournaments and was now doing work as a training coach, teaching tennis players from all over the world who wanted to pursue a professional career. He was now based in Germany, living there with his (his eyes widened as he remembered that piece of information) male spouse of three years.
And as he stared at his professor and his spouse, knowing that they were also tennis players when they were younger, he wondered if playing middle school tennis made people play for the same team.
"Tenshi, your clothes are already cleaned and pressed. I've laid it out for you in the bathroom so you could change after you shower." Hearing his name he was unwittingly dragged back into the conversation again. Seiichi-san was cheerfully talking to him, and he nodded, finishing his meal quickly and standing up to have a quick bath.
He almost regretted taking off the clothes Seiichi-san lent him, it was just so comfortable to wear. He sighed as he folded the clothes properly, stepping into the stall for a quick bath, and changed back into his old clothes. His hair was still damp when he got out, cringing a bit at his long hair, which was making the back of his shirt wet. He combed his hair down, slinging his bag over his shoulder and stepped out into the hallway to see his professor and his spouse by the front door, Seiichi-san fixing his husband's tie.
"Honestly, after all these years you've never learned to tie your necktie properly…" The blue-haired man scolded lightly, giving one last tug at the knot before stepping back and smiling up at the other. "There you go. Be sure to keep it tied properly this time, all right?"
"I'll try. Good luck on the gallery presentation later. I'll come by when I have time." Sanada-sensei kissed his spouse on the forehead, buttoning the front of his coat. "We'll be going then. Isagani, let's go!" He called out to the other teen, who was still trying to get his hair properly fixed.
"Ah, y-yes!" He really didn't expect that he would also be accompanying the older man to the University as well, and the teen quickly ran towards the front door, still trying to manage his hair. Why he kept it long, he had absolutely no idea.
Seiichi-san sighed, signaling for the younger man to approach him. "Come here, Tenshi." He obediently did, and was surprised when the older man turned him around and gathered his hair, plucking the comb he was using and giving his hair long, quick strokes, compressing it and held it up to the base of his neck. "Honestly, both of you going to school looking so unkempt," the man sighed and undid the tie to his long hair, using the elastic to swiftly and efficiently tie a simple knot to keep the raven-colored hair together. "There, now you look better." The blue-haired man said satisfactorily, his now unbound hair flowing down to his shoulders, giving him a more effeminate appearance. In fact, if not for the snugly fit clothes he wore, Isagani would've thought that he was a woman at first. "I expect you to return my hairtie, all right?" He mildly added as an afterthought, pulling the long black hair teasingly before stepping back. "Now, quickly, before you two become late for class."
Isagani touched his now tied up hair and blushed, stuttering his thanks. "Y-Yes Seiichi-san, thank you very much. I'll make sure to return it to you." He bowed deeply to the other man, who waved back at them from the doorstep as the two of them exited the house and went to the garage where the car was parked.
"Be careful you two!" The man called out to the two of them as he clambered over to the passenger seat, the professor following, and Sanada-sensei eased the car out into the road. Isagani watched as the house became smaller the further they got away, and then vanished completely.
The two of them stayed in a more relaxed silence, with Isagani humming along when a popular song started to play on the radio, tapping his fingers rhythmically on the armrest. He felt content, happier than what he felt in months, years maybe, he couldn't remember another time that he felt so joyful. He rested his head against the headrest, content in just watching the streets wake up to face another day, the sun warm on his face.
He was so out of it that he didn't even realize that they've already entered the University grounds, the gentle stop of the car alerting him of the current situation. The car was already parked outside the Social Sciences Building, and he could see the students entering through the front doors. It was still early, maybe fifteen minutes before the start of the first class that day. He blinked, taking off his seatbelt and exiting the car the same the professor slammed his door shut.
And then they just stood there, the student unable to say a word, wringing the strap of his messenger bag in his hands. Isagani was beyond grateful for and to his professor and his spouse, but now he had the chance to thank him, he founds that the words wouldn't escape him. He just looked down and stared at his shoes as if they were the most interesting he saw that day, mumbling out an unintelligible sentence that severely undermined his intentions.
The man was quiet for a while, making him think that perhaps the older man had gone to the teacher's lounge already and left him there standing. But the sudden hand on his shoulder had him looking up, surprised and puzzled at the same time, seeing the older raven looking down at him with an expression he couldn't place.
Then Sanada-sensei smiled, not with his lips, but with his eyes, the action completely stunning the teenager. It was small, barely there, but he could recognize it. He had never seen the professor smile that way before, and found himself blushing a little, inexplicably finding the man very handsome at that moment.
"You're always welcome in our house anytime. I think Seiichi has taken a liking to you. And smile. It suites you better." Sanada-sensei nodded and released him, leaving him gaping there. To have his professor's spouse invite him back was one thing, but to also hear his professor say the same thing… The teen nodded, smiling through his sudden tears, quickly wiping them away before they fell.
"Just don't mention something to your classmates. I don't need a bigger headache than what they're usually giving me." It was said so seriously that Isagani had to laugh, quickly stifling his chuckles, as he nodded his understanding.
"Then go to your first class. You're going to be late." Another pat, and the professor turned around, already walking inside the building. Isagani watched him walk away, suddenly feeling a sudden spike of awe, gratitude and respect for the man, shoulders square and strong, standing straight and tall, proud, dignified. And, in that short moment, he truly saw the Emperor that Seiichi-san mentioned the man was before, when he was younger.
He bowed low, as deep as he could, almost perpendicular with his legs, keeping his arms straight and by his sides, as he closed his eyes and shouted, loud enough for people who were still a bit away to hear.
"Thank you very much, Sanada-sensei!"
He couldn't see the older man's reaction, but he could imagine him smirking and raising a hand without looking back, as if acknowledging his thanks.
All day Isagani was busy with classes, and when the time came for his History class that late afternoon he entered the classroom, seeing a few of his classmates already there, as well as Sanada-sensei, who was erasing the whiteboard, removing all of the notes from the previous class. Knowing that the class wouldn't start for another ten minutes for so, he searched for his usual seat in the back, near the aisle, where he knew he wouldn't be disturbed. He sighed as he plopped down on the chair, placing his bag to his side, placing his chin on top of his folded hands.
His parents were going to kill him. He knew that once they stopped fighting they would look for him, and had once been escorted by the police back home where his relieved parents had been waiting for him. They loved him, he knew they did, but the problem was that they didn't love each other anymore, and that in itself was hurting him more than if they actually didn't care for him. They were only staying together for his sake, but honestly, Isagani would rather have them divorce than see them go at each other's throats every minute of the day.
"Um, excuse me, but is the seat beside you taken?"
It took a moment for the voice to register in his mind, but when it did he sat straighter and looked up, looking to the side and opening his mouth to reply.
And whatever answer he wanted to give the other person instantly died at his throat.
He was… tall. Very much so. His hair was black, straight but cropped short, with bright brown eyes that looked eerily familiar as he stared back into them. In fact, he looked vaguely familiar overall, but Isagani can't place on where he had seen this person before. He would recognize a person with that handsome face anywhere, Isagani randomly thought and instantly blushed, cheeks tinged pink as he tried to wave away his errant ideas. He hadn't even realized that the other teen was also staring at him, mouth agape, looking at him as if he had just seen heaven for the first time.
"Tenshi." The other teen blurted out, and instantly turned into a bright shade of red. "A-Ah, I mean–!" He waved his arms, trying to explain himself, and Isagani gave a start, not knowing if the other was saying his name or telling him that he was an angel. Either way, it turned his face a shade deeper, feeling flattered and embarrassed at the same time.
"Sanada Sasuke!" A deep voice suddenly shouted below, and the spell was instantly broken. The short-haired teen jumped a foot and immediately stepped back, looking down to see the professor looking at them and giving the other a very unimpressed look. The short-haired raven gave a sheepish smile back.
"Ojii–I mean, Sanada-sensei!" The teen corrected himself hastily and suddenly all the pieces clicked in his head. Isagani gaped silently at the other teen, finally knowing who he was. He was in the living room photographs, with his professor and his spouse, laughing, celebrating with them. Sanada Sasuke. Sanada-sensei's and Seiichi-san's… child.
"What are you doing here?" The man was asking, raising a questioning eyebrow at his nephew. He was holding an opened book in his hands, spectacles on, presumably just starting the lecture. "You're not supposed to be in class until tomorrow."
"Well, I just got in a few hours ago from my flight from Munich and I didn't have anything to do." After the initial surprise, Sasuke answered with a good-natured smile, something that surprised Isagani. He had expected him to act more like their professor, since they looked similar enough, but he supposed that Seiichi-san's influence had mellowed him out considerably. "I wasn't that jetlagged, so I figured that I would go to class instead of doing nothing at home."
"Hmph. " Sanada-sensei gave a long-suffering sigh and shook his head, gesturing to the class, whose eyes were solely fixed in their direction. The moment it registered Isagani wanted nothing more to melt in his seat, uncomfortable with the many stares directed at him, even if it wasn't completely direct. "Introduce yourself to the class later and sit down. If you have the time to flirt with a classmate then I expect you to catch up with the rest on their lesson. I will not tolerate slacking off in this class." The history professor stated and the rest of the class broke out in giggles in snickers. Flame-faced now, Sasuke turned back to the other teen, who was as red as he was.
"Y-Yes, sensei." He shyly looked at Isagani, who moved further into the seat, leaving space for the other teen to sit down. The short-haired teen slid in with him and for a moment there was nothing but the most awkward of silences. Then Sasuke coughed and sighed, offering a small smile to him that charmed him thoroughly from his head to the tips of his toes, his stomach flip-flopping at the action.
"Sorry about that. Sanada-sensei can sometimes be…" He slowly trailed off, trying to find the right words, and Isagani found that he understood him completely. "Anyway. I'll just introduce myself again. I'm Sanada Sasuke." He raised his hand and hesitantly Isagani took it, finding the other's hand larger and warmer compared to his own. "Freshman, Psychology studies." He smiled, and Isagani's heart stuttered in his chest.
"I-Isagani Tenshi, second year. Archeology." He was younger than him? But Isagani was sure that Sasuke was taller than him… "Why weren't you here during the first day? It's almost a month into the first semester."
"That's because I was in a tennis exchange program during break and it extended because Tezuka-san found some potential in me, or so he said." Now the younger teen looked away self-consciously, a hand going to rub the back of his neck. Looking at a different angle he looked more like the history professor, and Isagani had a hard time imaging the man act like his child, though now it suited the other teen perfectly. "Ah, I didn't mean to brag or anything!" He added hastily, looking perfectly awkward, and it made Isagani smile slightly, hiding a chuckle behind his hand. Sanada Sasuke was… dare he say it… really cute. He could suddenly smell the scent of body spray and cinnamon, musky and spicy, and tried not to blush again when he realized that the younger teen hadn't let go of his hand yet, looking at him with such interest that it made him feel bashful.
And as he talked more to the interesting freshman, finally culminating when Sasuke suddenly asked him out for a cup of coffee later on (and he couldn't find it in himself to refuse), Isagani thought he saw the history professor smile at them before returning back to his lecture.
Remember Isagani Tenshi, my male-OC in 'Stop the Wedding'? Well, this time, he is Sanada's student in this fic. Am I the only one who reuses OC characters in a story? I gave him a different personality this time, to fit this story better, as well as to give little Sasuke a possible love interest. I really had fun doing this too, so I wouldn't mind making a sequel to this if people want it. Thoughts?
Read and review everyone. Have a Happy Holiday!