Setting: Modern

Length: 2,257 words

Rating: T for some profanities, but other than those, the fic is pretty clean. c:

Engrish (hoho~) phrases in bold; thoughts in italic.

Chapter One.

Matches and the Unprecedented

"Oi, Masamune!"

The call from behind was definitely a distress signal - Masamune knew for certain that today was definitely going to make a turn for the worse. Almost mechanically, he turned back and there Motochika was, waving his hands like an undistraught pup wagging its tail. Of course, he made no effort to hide his dismay. "What?" he barked as Motochika strode up to him. He knew that he was in no mood to serve as a diversion, or someone to throw jokes at for the matter, as innumerable thoughts were running amok in his mind that very moment.

"Touchy," Motochika chided as he jerked Masamune from the side with an elbow. "Why're you not with Yuki today, huh?" Feeling the rather invasive question insufficient, he also raised an accusing brow at Masamune, hoping to elicit even the slightest reaction from the stone-faced dragon.

"Are you implying something?" Masamune was a man of very little patience, which showed when he started rubbing at his nose bridge.

"Can it Motochika." Not wanting to get dragged into another one of Motochika and Masamune's thoughtless fist fights, Motonari decided to play the pacifist and pulled Motochika away from Masamune, who was at the edge of his waning tolerance. In addition, he clubbed Motochika with his satchel bag for his personal satisfaction. Another snide remark from Motochika and he would have ended up with a bruise or worse, broken bones.

Masamune's lone eye drifted toward Motonari and soon their eyes were in a deadlock. "Keep that scurvy dog in check, will 'yah?"

Motonari remained unfazed by Masamune's keen gaze as he spoke, "I don't really have a choice, do I?" For precautionary measure, he tugged away at Motochika's collar, as to keep the latter's loose tongue from lashing.

Without event, Masamune walked past both of them, although the usually cool dragon was obviously still riled up, all thanks to the earlier question. Yukimura and he haven't been on good terms recently after all. As Masamune disappeared from view after cutting a corner, Motochika was finally able to draw a well-deserved breath of air.

"Tch. Stubborn bloke." Motochika shrugged; he thought it would be better not to meddle with Masamune and Yukimura's affairs any further. Instead, his eye swam towards his lone companion as he felt the trauma from having his neck jarred by Motonari's previous yanking at his collar. "Hey, don't you think you've gone overboard?" he said with a crooked smile on his lips.

Voice raised, Motonari begged to differ. "You could have fared worse."

"Fair enough." As much as he did not want to give Motonari a boost in ego, it pained Motochika to say that Motonari was spot on. He did feel the dragon's malevolent glare intensifying, only to have it abruptly cut off before reaching its climax, thanks to Motonari's timely intervention. "You saved my skin. Thanks." Knowing Motonari, the deed shouldn't – wouldn't – go unremunerated. "Let's drop by the convenience store for some yoghurt."

A nod was all that Motonari responded with.

Taking that as a good sign, Motochika realized that he might as well spend more of these casual meetings with Motonari, since summer vacation was just around the corner. Motochika would have preferred calling them dates. Unfortunately, his partner was as sharp as a razor. Regardless, his mind started whirring with innumerable plans for the break – the beach, movie theatres, hot springs. The thought of cuddling up to Motonari never crossed his mind in the past, but as golden opportunities presented themselves on a silver platter, Motochika would not be right in the mind if he shoved them away.

"You're unusually quiet." And the razor slashes back. Before Motochika knew, Motonari had caught on with his chain of thoughts. "We're just going out for yoghurt."

"Of course, your majest-" It was the notion of Motonari's getting up and leaving that stopped Motochika on his tracks. Rather, his would have been tasteless statement. "Yeah, I know." Although, he did think that infuriating Motonari over a small matter would have been very good payback for whatever happened earlier.

Both had long heightened their pace, as the heat out was almost unbearable. They had anticipated the cool blow from the convenience store's air-conditioner with such delight, save the fact that Motonari had been better at concealing his giddiness for both the slap of cold air and the much awaited strawberry-mint yoghurt.

Upon arrival, Motochika could have sworn that he had seen Motonari's eyes flicker at the feel of the steely door handles. That was unless, his eye was trying to make a fool out of him, which was hardly ever the case. Soon after taking the triviality off his mind, he entered the convenience store only second to Motonari.

He saw Motonari take the seat at the far corner of the dining area, away from the windows where the bustling pedestrians could easily be seen. "The usual flavour right?" He set down his baggage at the seat directly beside Motonari's before heading out to the store's frozen section. The store didn't offer much variety, Motochika thought, but they did have Motonari's favourite brand and flavour, so he didn't really have the space to complain. He picked up two cartons of yoghurt before he changed his mind and decided on ice cream for himself.

"It's vanilla flavoured." Motochika tapped the table top lightly with the yoghurt carton, all the while inspecting for any reaction from Motonari. "The strawberry-mint flavour is sold out, it seems."

With a still quizzical look, Motonari took the carton without saying a word. He then peeled of the foil atop and took his first spoonful. "It's too plain." Then his second. Looking up at Motochika, he added, "But it's not bad-tasting."

A grin settled on Motochika's face. "Glad to hear it."

The vanilla cone didn't seem at all tempting to Motochika, as he hesitantly took his first taste. As the supposed creamy wonder melted in his mouth, he found it a disappointment, which made itself known through the narrowing of his eye. He helped himself to a few more licks and bites, until his thoughts unwillingly ventured into unsafe waters once again. He was indeed curious as to why Yukimura, despite being the dragon's most prized possession, was now way beyond Masamune's reach. He fully convinced himself that this was not your ordinary cat-fight. More often than not, their tolerable, to some extent, squabbles stemmed from Masamune's insurmountable pride. But this time, Motochika thought, something was definitely amiss.

Motonari found it quite entertaining to have seen the melting ice cream trail down Motochika's arm while he was in an apparent daze. "It's dripping." He cut through Motochika's wandering at the precise timing he wanted, as the goop had already found it's way into Motochika's lap, penetrating even the material of his pants.

"What the-" The near smirk on Motonari's face said it all. With an almost inconspicuous grunt, he attempted to wipe off the melted ice cream from his pants with the meager plies of tissue that came with the desserts he bought earlier. Just as he had exhausted his tissue supply, Motonari waved a crisp white handkerchief before him, perhaps, insinuating for him to take it. He snatched it up without word, which sent a flash of irritation to Motonari's face. "You did that on purpose didn't you?"

Motonari lolled his head slightly, an obvious sign that did not care or that he would want to see more entertainment, entertainment being Motochika's blathering while he paid no heed to whatever Motochika was saying. Definitely pleasure at it's finest. "Did what exactly?"

Motochika knew in an instant that Motonari would never plainly admit that he enjoyed wetting his pseudo-rival's pants, so he decided to let it go in a heartbeat. "Just forget it." Although, being the bad loser as he is, Motochika set his brain grinding for anyway to stage a comeback and much sooner than later, a flashy light bulb went on as he saw that minute 'M' embroidered on the handkerchief. "Hey, can I keep this?"

The handkerchief was one of the several similar, if not identical, ones Motonari had at home, so he had no particular interest in even having it back. But, the off-putting smile of Motochika's made him hesitant. "What are you plotting?"

"Matching handkerchiefs."

Motonari's eyes were reduced to mere slits as he heard another one of Motochika's conundrums. Matching handkerchiefs? To Motonari, the phrase made no sense, whatsoever. Is he trying to blackmail me with a plain handkerchief? He thought wiser not to let Motochika's words get to him, but his curiosity got the better of him and it showed through his often unmoving features.

"Oi ,oi," Motochika teased. "Y'know, couples usually have stuff that match each other's, so this handkerchief might just as well be the proof that we're really going ou-" Motochika never had the chance to finish his little victory speech, as Motonari's satchel bag darted past his face and into the shelves a few feet behind him. Tha-that was fast. Motochika was at least glad that the bag didn't slam into his face. Guessing from the impact, it would have hurt. A lot.

Now that he knew what the matching handkerchiefs meant, he wouldn't let the handkerchief go without a fight. Me? With this imbecile? The thought of having himself classified as one of Motochika's chummy buddies was exceedingly degrading. "Hand that over or I'll crush you."

Motochika snickered. "This is a convenience store. You wouldn't want your straight A student record tarnished, right?" He burst out into a healthy roar as he saw Motonari's shoulder's gradually sagging. I have the upper hand today. Now.. to push his buttons more.

All the while Motochika was celebrating his fleeting victory, Motonari was brainstorming for plausible blackmail material. Two can play at that game. "Do you think I would care about that?" Motonari usually wouldn't let himself get dragged into Motochika's petty games, but today, he felt like playing. "The incident with the baseball club some months ago. You remember that, don't you?"

Shit. Motochika felt cold sweat streaming down his cheeks. Motonari could get me expelled if he spills that information! And his plan backfired. It was never good to strike Motonari at his forte. "You wouldn't actually rat me out, would you?"

Motonari had Motochika playing on the palm of his hands now. "I could."

Of course he could. He is Mori Motonari after all. Motchika was almost at the end of the rope, until he thought of a peculiar, but hopefully effective, escape route. "Hey, isn't that Yukimura?" All that's left is for Motonari to buy it.

Motonari deadpanned. He couldn't believe that Motochika would resort to using the most futile scapegoat there was. Maybe I overestimated him. Just to deal the final blow, he pretended to take the bait and looked towards the double door facing the street when unexpectedly, the young cub was indeed there, looking much more worn out than he usually was.

Motochika sank into his seat and thanked the gods for leading Yukimura there at the right time. Now to make the handkerchief scarce. With an effective motion of his hands, Motochika placed the handkerchief in the interior pocket of his backpack and only hoped that Motonari didn't see where he hid the thing. And to virtually seal the deed, he called for Yukimura to take a seat next to both of them. "Oi, Yukimura. Over here!"

Yukimura didn't spare a glance at the duo, not until Motochika raised his voice enough to be heard through and through the convenience store, which gravely fueled Motonari's irritation. Motonari pulled Motochika from where he was standing and into his seat, as to restrain him from gathering anymore attention from the passers-by as well as the casual patrons inside. "Motochika-san?"

Finally. Motochika started fidgeting in his seat because for one thing, his plan worked. Yukimura was here to, perhaps, deviate Motonari's attention from the handkerchief. "So, what brings you here anyway?"

Putting his bag aside, Yukimura seated himself opposite to Motonari and meekly bowed his head before turning to face Motochika. "I, well... I was planning to apply for a part-time job here." Yukimura had his eyes swimming on the ground straight after and was clumsily fiddling with his fingers. Quite bizarre behavior, especially coming from the cub.

"Something wrong?" Motochika reached for the plastic bag beside his bag and pulled out another carton of yoghurt. Strawberry-mint yoghurt. "You can have this." He slid the yoghurt across the table and in Motonari's plain view, earning him another look from the latter.

"N-no thank you." Yukimura rejected Motochika's generous offer and gave a weak smile in response. "I only passed by after all."

"Passed by? Weren't you going to apply for a job here?"

"I was going to but..." Before Yukimura had been able to go on through what he was going to say, there had been a long and awkward pause, which raised more suspicion from both Motochika and Motonari. Besides that, Yukimura was acting odd from the get go. Often the young tiger's words wouldn't waver and instead be vigorous and filled with enthusiasm, his actions always resolute and unyielding.

It was Motonari's turn to raise questions. "What happened?" He never cared for matters of this sort, but the stark difference in Yukimura had been enough to ignite even the slightest interest from the usually indifferent Motonari.

"I need to take a supplementary class because..." After no more than a breath's juncture, Yukimura added," I failed Shingen-sensei's final exam."

To be continued; reviews are forever loved.

Author's Notes: The Baseball Club incident will be explained in a later chapter (if ever there will be later chapters, lol). I initially planned to give DateSana more screen time, or in this case, more exposure, but I wasn't able to. But please bear in mind that the fanfic's main pair is DateSana. I just played with MotoMoto for a bit. /shamed