Dishclamer: so like, I like totally don't like own like the prince of tennis.
Sanada had never been fond of team-bonding activities, especially not when they were this late at night and involved a campfire and bags of junk food that Marui's boyfriend had smuggled in the camp.
"Cheer up, Sanada!" said Niou, slapping the vice-captain on his back. "We spent all day playing tennis. We can relax for a bit."
"We're breaking curfew." said Sanada. It was late. They would all be dead tired tomorrow, no doubt about it.
Yukimura laughed. "Be nice, Sanada. This is fun and will help our team bond after being away for so long. Look, we have marshmallows!" he said, shoving the marshmallow in Sanada's face.
Sanada glared at the marshmallow as if it was somehow offending. This was not fun. He did not feel any closer to his team. He wanted to beat them all with his racket for laughing so loudly. If the coaches found them and kicked them out of the camp for this, Sanada would definitely hate them all forever.
"It's too late." said Sanada again. He liked going to bed early and waking up early. He could forget about doing any form of morning meditation now. "This is a training camp, not a vacation. I didn't train for weeks in that hell cliff for this, you know."
Akaya rolled his eyes, leaning towards the fire and roasting his marshmallow. "What's wrong with vice-captain today?"
"80.2% chance that Genichirou is upset over losing yet another match against Yukimura today. 78% chance that he's just being a stick in the mud." said Yanagi.
"I am not upset over the match." gritted Sanada.
"Oh, but you did so much better this time, Sanada." said Yukimura. He scooted closer to Sanada, their knees touching. "You've improved a lot and won much more games from me. Besides, it is as you said. We are in a training camp and here to improve."
"Yeah, just enjoy the campfire, Sanada." said Marui from the other side of the fire, where he had a whole bag of marshmallows to himself. Jirou hadn't showed up as he was too tired and sore to stay awake much longer. Marui was now contenting himself by eating Jirou's portion of food.
"Seriously, I lost against Renji but you don't see me complaining." said Akaya. He plopped the marshmallow in his mouth and continued talking. "I showed him how I can totally control my Devil mode now. It was good, right Renji?"
Yanagi nodded. "Yes, it's very impressive. You've improved much more than I thought you had."
"That's because you're so used to losing that it's not a big deal anymore, idiot." said Marui. Akaya stuck out his tongue at Marui and threw a marshmallow at him. Marui screamed at him to stop wasting food.
The whole team was soon subjected to listening to Akaya's epic retelling of his awesome match against Yanagi, which Sanada didn't care much for. Yukimura and Yanagi just smiled encouragingly at the younger boy, nodding and gasping at the right moments. Marui just ate some more, patting his stomach every few minutes. Niou lay down with his head on Yagyuu's lap and appeared to be whispering filthy things to the gentleman. Within a minute, Yagyuu pushed Niou's head back on the ground with a resounding thunk.
Sanada would have gone back to the dorms without a second thought if it weren't for Yukimura's hand on his thigh. Every time Sanada moved, Yukimura's hand squeezed menacingly and then Yukimura would shoot him a look out of the corner of his eye as if saying "You better stay and have fun or I will strip you of your senses". So instead, Sanada settled with grumbling under his breath and looking at the fire in front of him.
"That's good, Akaya." said Yukimura once Akaya had finished retelling the story with much dramatization and sound effects. "Yanagi is right. You definitely did improve a lot. But don't start slacking off now. You have to climb even higher."
Akaya nodded with enthusiasm. "Yes captain!"
"Isn't it good Sanada?" said Yukimura, nudging Sanada's stomach with his elbow.
"Huh?" Sanada looked up at Yukimura's expectant gaze. He shrugged out an "I guess" to the best of his abilities.
"We had a campfire like this… back when we were on top of the cliff." said Jackal, speaking up for the first time all evening. His tone turned morose. "But we had no marshmallows. Instead, the drunk coach drank sake until he passed out close to the fire while we picked up after him."
The team fell quiet.
"Way to dampen the mood, Jackal." said Marui.
"Seriously, please don't ever mention that hell hole ever again." said Niou. He stole a marshmallow from Marui's bag, causing the redhead to yell and kick him. The rest of the team laughed at the display. Marui pouted, grabbed his marshmallow bag and sat further away from Niou.
"You guys suck." said Marui. "Don't forget my genius is the reason you get all this awesome food."
"Forgive me if I am wrong, Marui-kun, but was it not Jirou-kun who obtained this food for us?" said Yagyuu.
"Well… yeah… but we would not have it if I hadn't asked Jirou for it beforehand." said Marui. The redhead looked off in the distance, in the direction of the dormitory.
"You know, if you wish to go see your boyfriend, no one is stopping you, Marui-kun." said Yukimura. "I've heard of how tired he and the other Hyotei regulars are. I understand."
Sanada's head snapped up. "Can I also go-"
"No." said Yukimura. "You stay." Sanada griped some more, muttering complaints under his breath. This was really not fair.
Marui considered it for a second. They had been here for a while now and the marshmallows drying up fast. Marui didn't really want to leave Jirou alone in his room while Hyotei player was probably still in pain. He stretched his arms up and yawned loudly.
"Alright, I think I'll go." said Marui, standing up. "This was fun. We should do this more often. I'll get more than just marshmallows next time."
"You mean Jirou-kun will get much more than marshmallows." said Yagyuu, pushing up his glasses. Marui told him to shut it.
The redhead took his leave a few seconds later, but not without first grabbing a whole bag of marshmallows for himself. The team waved good-bye. Many of them began yawning and stretching out their legs as well, just now realizing how long they had been here in front of the campfire and how late it was getting. The moon was out, shining nearly full next to bright stars. The night sky seemed so much clearer here than back at home. Their supply of wood was also running low, dried up compared to the huge pyramid of logs they had collected earlier in the evening.
Jackal left soon after with half-yawned good nights to the team. Sanada immediately grew envious of Jackal and Marui, who could both leave without problems. Apparently being the boyfriend of the captain meant he had to stay until the end. Sanada glared at Yukimura. The bluenette merely beamed back at him.
Yukimura was having a conversation with Yanagi and Akaya. It sounded like they were talking about practice schedules and such. From what Sanada could speculate of Akaya's horrified face, Yukimura's new training regime was going to be beyond brutal. Sanada turned to look in Niou and Yagyuu's direction and instantly regretted it upon seeing those two wrapped in an embrace as if they didn't have any sense of privacy.
"Tarundoru." muttered Sanada.
Thankfully, Niou and Yagyuu were the next to leave. They exited the scene together without as much as a goodbye, seeming too wrapped up in their own little world to care about much else. Niou was visibly groping Yagyuu's behind for the entire walk back to the dormitory. Sanada was certain those two weren't leaving to go to sleep anytime soon. Now there was just Akaya and Yanagi left. Then once they were all gone, Yukimura couldn't possibly keep him around for much longer.
Or perhaps… Sanada's face heated up. Maybe Yukimura was keeping him here hoping they would be the last ones left… maybe Yukimura wanted some alone time. Sanada swallowed nervously at the thought.
"Your face is so red, Genichirou." noted Yanagi. Apparently the conversation about training methods was over and Sanada was the new subject of attention. "What are you thinking about?" He smiled mischievously at Sanada. The vice-captain turned his head away. God, could he not even think in peace without having Yanagi practically read his mind and tease him about everything?
"None of your business, Renji." said Sanada roughly, tugging his cap down over his eyes. He could see Yukimura staring at his face, an identical smile coating his face. Sanada wanted to disappear now more than ever. "Can I go now? It's really getting late."
"You can go… if you tell me what you were thinking about." said Yukimura, his smile widening. Sanada flushed once more, muttering a "nevermind".
Yukimura chuckled. "Perhaps later, Sanada" he said, as if he knew exactly what it was Sanada had been thinking about.
"Lucky you, Genichirou. I won't be getting much attention from my boyfriend tonight." said Yanagi, pointing to his side. Akaya sat there, leaning against Yanagi with his eyes closed. It took a moment for Sanada to realize that Akaya was actually sleeping. The sugar must have worn off quickly. "I suppose I should go put him to bed before he drools on me more than this."
"Yes, the poor boy looks so tired." said Yukimura.
Yanagi somehow managed to stand up with Akaya wavering against his side. "It was a lovely evening, Yukimura. Have a good night, both of you."
Yanagi left while half-dragging Akaya in a very awkward manner since the boy limp on Yanagi's side. Sanada slumped in his seat. His seat was actually nothing more than a large and rather uncomfortable wooden log. Next to him, Yukimura was holding a stick and poking the dying fire with it.
"Everyone's gone now, Yukimura." said Sanada. He stood up. Yukimura didn't stop him this time. "We really should go. Even you'll be tired tomorrow if we stay up much longer."
Yukimura nodded, yawning. Even if he tried to appear wide awake, Yukimura's eyes were definitely sleepy. It had been a long day. "Fine. You can go."
Sanada had actually began walking partway in the direction of the dorms when he turned and realized Yukimura was still seated close to the fire, not moving to get up at all. Sanada paused, sighed and walked right back.
"Aren't you coming too, Yukimura?" asked Sanada.
The bluenette shook his head. "Not yet. It's fine, I'll put out the fire when I'm done. I just feel like staying here for a little while longer." His eyes were glued to the fire, looking deeply into its firey depths.
The vice-captain sighed yet again, finding himself unable to just leave Yukimura alone outside. He sat back down on the uncomfortable log, mentally kicking himself for this.
"Weren't you complaining just a few minutes ago about how tired you'll be tomorrow?" asked Yukimura.
"I hardly think a few more minutes out here will change the fact that I'll be a walking dead in a few hours when I wake up." said Sanada. "Besides, I've had plenty of practice on the clifftop. I'm used to lack of sleep."
"If you say so."
"Why do you want to stay here?"
"Just… thinking." said Yukimura. The flames were reflected in his bright blue eyes. "I'm thinking about what I've been through… What we've gone through as a team. Our victories, our defeats. Improvements. Regrets."
"Ah…" said Sanada. "We've come a long way."
"We have." replied Yukimura. "So I was thinking of what's next to do. I was plotting out my total domination of this camp." He nudged Sanada playfully. "You in?"
Sanada snorted. "Says the captain who's still stuck in Court 6. You have a long way to go."
Yukimura scoffed and hit him on the arm. "Hey, I was trying to be nice. Way to ruin the moment." He smirked. "Besides, you are the one who lost to the lowly captain of the 6th court today, so there."
"No fair. You said I improved."
"Oh? How do you know I didn't just say that to spare your feelings?" asked Yukimura.
"You're cruel." said Sanada. Now it was his turn to lightly tap Yukimura's arm. "I won more games from you today than last time."
Yukimura laughed lightly, the sound ringing in the quiet night. "Well, even if I didn't achieve any perfection pinnacles, I want you to know that I greatly enjoyed our game and I did have fun."
"Of course you had fun. You won." Sanada still sounded slightly sour about it but there was no genuine acid in his tone.
"So you don't enjoy playing with me?" asked Yukimura.
"It's a bit hard to enjoy playing something when you lose all your senses." said Sanada. Yukimura looked a bit down for a second before Sanada chuckled and wrapped one arm around the smaller's shoulders. "I do enjoy playing you, Yukimura. It's a challenge that pushes me to my strongest level each time."
"Hm... I know how much you like your challenges." said Yukimura, appearing satisfied enough with Sanada's answer. He showed it by cuddling in closer to the vice-captain, letting the other's warmth seep through to him and resting his head against Sanada's shoulder.
"But your Yips really is annoying." added Sanada after a moment of silence,
"Stop complaining, Sanada." said Yukimura. "Your cap is annoying yet I don't complain about it."
"No… instead you find it fit to kidnap it at every given opportunity." said Sanada right at the moment when Yukimura decided to pluck said cap right off of Sanada's head. "Give it."
Yukimura examined the hat wear, wrinkling his nose. He put the cap at an arm's length away, dodging Sanada's attempts to grab it back. "How can you still be wearing this? You haven't washed it in ages, it smells and it has holes in it from your gruelling training in the mountains."
Sanada snatched it back before Yukimura sought it necessary to keep it for much longer. "I happen to like this cap." said Sanada. "I went through a lot in the last few weeks. My cap may no longer be in the best of shapes, but it's a reminder of all the hardships I've faced and pulled through."
"It still smells." said Yukimura, glaring at the offending cap. His face was very close. "Why are you so obsessed with that thing?"
"You just don't like it because I said I liked it more than you." said Sanada. "The cap stays."
"Not true. I just think I will need to set your head on fire at this point for you to actually part with it." said Yukimura.
"Sure, Yukimura." said Sanada.
"Seriously, it's like you have a cap fetish or something."
"Do stop complaining." said Sanada, repeating what Yukimura had told him just minutes earlier.
"Make me." retorted Yukimura, looking at him enticingly through his long lashes.
"Fine." Sanada found it very fitting to lean down and kiss Yukimura square on the mouth right there. Yukimura made a surprised noise before letting his lips meld in Sanada's heat. Sanada pulled back with a very self-satisfied look on his face and the dumb cap back on his head. "Better?"
Yukimura frowned. "Stupid. Wipe that smirk off your face."
Instead, Sanada kissed him again, deeply and not allowing Yukimura to pull back for air. Sanada grabbed Yukimura's wrists, stopping the bluenette's weak attempts at shoving him off. Yukimura was panting by the time Sanada finally ended the kiss.
"The more you whine, the more I'll keep shutting you up." said Sanada.
"Idiot, so that's the only time you'll kiss me then?" said Yukimura. Sanada descended on him a second later, his kiss demanding enough to suck Yukimura free of air. Yukimura made a pitiful-sounding whimper in the back of his throat.
"I've kissed you plenty of times before." pointed out Sanada.
"Yes, but…" Yukimura paused to regain his breath. He looked dazed. "Usually it's only after I've asked you. You've been much more affectionate since coming back from your cliff training."
"That's probably because I missed you." said Sanada. He flushed and cleared his throat with haste. "I mean, we had been apart for a while so I was happy to see everything was good and fine here. You could serve to be a bit happier that I'm back too instead of complaining about what I wear."
"Oh, I'm very happy you're back. Training Akaya by myself was quite difficult." said Yukimura.
"So all I'm good for is helping you discipline the team?" Nice to see he was so well appreciated around here.
"Well that's your main use." said Yukimura. "But I'm glad also for other reasons. Besides... I was very affectionate when you first returned. So were you as I remember very well."
Seeing Sanada's face turn red was very much worth the comment.
"On second thought, maybe I will be going back to the dorms now." said Sanada.
"Don't act like you weren't thinking about it earlier" said Yukimura, teasing. "I'm just making the point that I am very happy you're back." Yukimura gave Sanada a genuine smile, lightly kissing his lips in a show of gratitude. "It was only when you were gone that I saw how hard everything is without you. I mean, I count on you for a lot of things, especially when it comes to the team."
"It's fine." said Sanada. "I am the vice-captain after all. It's my duty to help."
"Yes, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Thank you."
Sanada scratched his head, looking a bit embarrassed. He grunted out a thank you under his breath and let Yukimura lean back against him, sighing contently.
The both of them were perfectly happy to sit there in a comfortable silence, leaning against each other as they looked into the flames of their campfire. The flames were dimming, slowly retreating into burning ashes. It really was late. Sanada knew he would regret this very much in the morning – or was it already early morning? – but he felt far too comfortable to move. He was warm and could smell Yukimura's flowery shampoo.
"We should have more campfires. Maybe one every week, as a team." said Yukimura, his voice a lazy drawl against Sanada's neck.
The vice-captain fought back his urge to protest at Yukimura's suggestion. "Whatever you say, Yukimura." he said, going with the easy answer. It wasn't like he could actually stop it from happening if Yukimura wanted more Rikkai campfires.
"Don't fall asleep here." warned Sanada. "I don't want to have to carry you back to the dorms."
"Don't worry so much, Sanada." said Yukimura. He said it but his eyelids were flickering shut, his whole body sagging against Sanada's. Yukimura sighed, puffing hot breath against Sanada's neck. The fire was now reduced to nothing more than smouldering charcoal pieces. Yukimura shivered, cold now that the fire was nearly out.
Sanada exhaled loudly. Fine. If Yukimura didn't want to go, then Sanada was just going to have to bring him along. Sanada jostled Yukimura, causing the bluenette to let out a few annoyed sounds. Sanada then grabbed Yukimura tightly, one arm around his shoulder and his other under his knees, and lifted him up into his arms, standing at his full height.
Yukimura opened his eyes for a fraction, seeming surprised at the change of altitude before relaxing into Sanada's arms. Sanada carried him like that, back towards to dormitory. At least Yukimura wasn't too heavy, he thought.
Instead of protesting, Yukimura snuggled rather cutely closer to Sanada's body heat, his hands around Sanada's neck and his head still in position against Sanada's shoulder. Yukimura's jacket blew in the wind.
"I told you you'd fall asleep." said Sanada. It was remarkably colder outside without the fire so Sanada rushed to get inside the dormitory building.
"'M still awake…" drawled Yukimura. His hair fell in his eyes. If Sanada had a free hand, he would have brushed it back around Yukimura's ear.
"Next time we have a campfire, let's finish it earlier okay?" said Sanada.
"Yeah…" sighed Yukimura. His face looked so serene, so close to sleep. "Sanada… we're going to practice hard, okay?" He yawned.
"Of course we will." said Sanada. They entered through the main doors of the dormitory. Sanada headed for the stairs. "Slacking off is tarundoru."
Yukimura hummed. His eyes flickered shut. "Mm… yes." he said. "We'll become the best team in Japan." And then Yukimura was silent, his breathing turned deep and even.
Sanada gave a low laugh, shaking his head. Even after he had warned Yukimura, of course the bluenette would still fall asleep on him. It was so typical of him.
"Yes, of course we'll be the best." said Sanada, his words going into sleeping ears.
Yukimura's room was quiet and dark, with Shiraishi and Fuji both fast asleep in their respective beds. Sanada carried Yukimura to his bed, struggling just a bit to get him on the top bunk. He pulled the jersey's jacket off and lay the bed covers over Yukimura. The captain didn't move at all. Yukimura just sank into his mattress, off in some dreamland.
Sanada found himself smiling, now able to brush Yukimura's hair out of his face. Sanada kissed Yukimura's forehead, then lowered down to his mouth, a feather-light touch on his lips. He took in Yukimura's peaceful expression, letting it sink in his mind. Tomorrow they will probably be too grouchy and sleep deprived to even talk to each other without biting each other's heads off.
"Good night, Seiichi." said Sanada, giving Yukimura one last kiss before walking back in the direction of the door.
What Sanada didn't expect was a reply.
"Yes, good night Sanada-kun." came a chilling voice from somewhere in the room.
Sanada's blood stopped cold. He turned his head in time to see Fuji's piercing blue eyes stabbing through the darkness and looming right at him. Sanada didn't reply, his mouth dry. The nightmarish sight made him turn and run out of the room as fast as he could, hearing Fuji's chuckle ringing in his ears and knowing he would be having nightmares that night.
Back in the room, Fuji was still silently laughing at Sanada's horrified expression. Scaring him had so been worth it. Sanada had looked like he had seen a ghost. Fuji's only regret was not having been able to take a picture of Sanada's frightened expression.
"Ah, young love." said Fuji and rolled over to go back to sleep.
So um... THE END. Yeah. o_o Thanks to all the peoples who took actual time from their busy lives to read my crap.
I don't really know what to say. D; I SHOULD THROW A PARTY TO CELEBRATE THE END OF THIS. AND IN MY PARTY, EVERYONE WOULD HAVE TO BE DRESSED UP AS PRINCE OF TENNIS CHARACTERS. Obviously, I would be dressed up as Karupin. I would just meow at people all day. And if people questionned it, I would say I was harnessing my inner feline.