a/n: Hey guys! I'm back! I'm so sorry I wasn't able to update for so many months. I had so many things to attend to: prelims, finals, reports, immersions, community service, and etc. And I also haven't had the inspiration to do this chapter…only now. So, here it goes.
Chapter 11: Day 1 – Two Tensais
Atobe Keigo is so pleased with himself. Not only because of the great success of the play but also because of how it had ended. Seeing the usually calm, reserved, and stoic Tezuka Kunimitsu behave that way is worth all the trouble Atobe had went through in order to bring Seigaku to Hyotei. But, it wasn't really trouble since he's the Atobe Keigo. Though not seeing his best friend and the other team's tensai share a kiss is quite disappointing.
The egocentric buchou turned his gaze towards the two tensais exiting the stage.
"Ne, Oshitari," Syusuke turned to the tensai walking behind her, "why didn't you tell me that you're going to change the last scene? I was really surprised, you know."
Oshitari stopped in his tracks. "I didn't. It was all Atobe's idea. I was surprised as well."
"Oh, then that flying apple was also his idea?" Syusuke asked, cocking her head to the side – an action which Oshitari finds very adorable.
Honestly, the blue-haired tensai knew that Atobe didn't throw that apple at him nor was it part of his plan. If there's something the buchou wants to see in the play, it is the fulfillment of the kissing scene. But then, Oshitari thought as he gritted his teeth, who threw that damn apple at me?!
"Yeah," Oshitari found himself nodding to the brunette tensai's question. "It's probably one of his absurd ideas."
Syusuke then excused herself to change back to her uniform and remove her make-up. When she finished changing, she found their tennis freshman leaning on the wall across the door of the dressing room.
"Echizen," the tensai smiled and approached the young man as he straightened up. "What are you doing here?"
"Fetching you." Echizen looked down at his senpai – Ochibi has really grown a lot – and patted her head. "You did a really great job back there, Fuji-senpai."
"Arigato," the senior beamed.
"Let's go now," Echizen wrapped an arm around her shoulders and lead her to where they'll be meeting the others. "Everyone's already waiting for us. Hyotei is willing to show us around tonight so that tomorrow, we can go around by ourselves without getting lost."
Syusuke nodded in agreement. "Hmm…I see. That's really nice of them."
"It was Oshitari-san's idea, actually." The freshman looked down at his senpai from the corner of his eye. "He seems to have taken a liking to you."
"Huh?" Syusuke looked up at him, confusion obvious in her features. "What do you mean?"
"He's really disappointed, you know, when the last scene was changed."
"You've got to be kidding me, Echizen. Oshitari is definitely not gay. Of all people…"
"Hey, but you're not really a guy either."
Syusuke frowned at Echizen. The latter only laughed out loud in response.
"Anyway, I wonder what possessed Atobe to throw that apple. I was really surprised."
"It wasn't the monkey king who threw that apple. It was bu – " Echizen stopped mid-sentence. Syusuke opened her eyes and stared at the freshman.
"You were saying?"
"Oh, umm…nothing. Never mind. Let's go."
"You know, Atobe, if only the Seigaku guys aren't here, I would probably smack you straight on the head."
The overly narcissistic king raised a brow at his bespectacled tensai, wondering what he was talking about. "Ore-sama doesn't follow what you're saying, Oshitari."
"Why didn't you stop whoever it was that threw that damn apple on my head?" Oshitari glared at his best friend, remembering the pain his head had suffered.
"But, Oshitari, how could Ore-sama do that when Ore-sama was so surprised as well when he threw that apple at you."
"He? Who is this he?"
"A jealous boyfriend," Atobe teased.
"Just kidding!" Atobe grinned. "But, do you really wanna know who intervened with your kissing scene with Fuji?"
Oshitari looked into Atobe's eyes, his face full of curiosity.
"It was Tezuka."
Syusuke, still tucked under Echizen's left arm, arrived at the Hyotei Circle, the meet-up place with their teammates and the Hyotei regulars. Everyone – save Atobe and Kabaji – took in the sight of the two with surprised faces. Though Tezuka chose to frown, a look everyone else wasn't able to witness since he's standing a little farther behind everyone else.
"Ochibi and Fujiko are too close, nya~!" Eiji pouted. "I'm starting to get jealous since I'm supposed to be his best friend."
"Saa, you are my best friend, Eiji." Syusuke smiled. That made Eiji beam at everyone and grab Oishi's hand, "Nya~, Oishi, did you hear that? I'm still Fujiko's best friend."
"I heard it right, Eiji." Oishi laughed at his doubles' partner and let himself be dragged towards the booths with the Silver Pair in tow.
The blue-eyed tensai freed herself from Echizen's arm and walked over to the waiting Atobe and Oshitari.
"You're really sure that we're allowed to roam around your school festival for two days, Atobe?"
"Of course, Fuji. There is nothing to worry about. And besides, the school festival is open for everyone that's why I wouldn't doubt it if we see familiar faces from the other schools."
The tensai nodded. "Sou ka." Then she met Oshitari's gaze and smiled. The bespectacled guy tensed up then blushed, making him turn his face away from the smiling tensai's view.
"Umm…did I do something wrong?" Syusuke worriedly asked.
Atobe snickered before shaking his head. "Iie, you've done nothing wrong." He looked back at his best friend whose face is still turned away and a sudden idea popped in his brain. He leaned down to Syusuke for a whisper.
Oshitari turned his gaze back to Atobe and Syusuke but was greeted by a smile from the two. Before he could ask what was going on, Syusuke launched herself in front of Oshitari and clasped his hands around hers while dragging him the same way the Golden and Silver Pair went. "Fuji, what are you – "
"Minna," the tensai turned to the rest of her friends, "I'll be having Oshitari tour me around the booths for the meantime. Ja ne!"
"HEH?!" The rest of the regulars – even Oshitari himself – gasped at the tensai's proclamation though Atobe and Echizen only laughed quietly and Kabaji stood there as emotionless as ever.
"Atobe, what the hell did you just tell Fuji?" The usually calm and reserved buchou is now livid with anger directed towards his self-proclaimed narcissistic rival.
"Just a little something." Atobe eyed Tezuka from the corner of his eyes. "And Ore-sama doesn't think it's any of your concerns."
The two teams – minus the Golden Pair, the Silver Pair, and the two tensais – are now walking along the booths, stopping from time to time to grab a few snacks or even play with the games. The two buchous walked farther behind everyone else. Even Kabaji is enjoying the stuff that the festival has to offer.
"I am his buchou," Tezuka simply stated, though annoyance is still obvious in his tone. "Everything that he does is my concern."
"His buchou, you say?" Atobe snorted. "C'mon, Tezuka. Don't act like a jealous boyfriend."
If Atobe saw Tezuka blush, he didn't mention anything about it. He merely snickered to himself, mentally etching the image in his memory for forever.
"You're talking nonsense." Tezuka looked away. "I'm merely concerned."
"Okay." Atobe said, dragging the word. "You don't have to worry, Tezuka. Really. I just asked Fuji to accompany Oshitari tonight since my idiotic tensai wanted to be alone but he couldn't really do that because if his fangirls saw that he is walking alone they would, without a doubt, go attack him. And they won't hold back."
Tezuka cringed. He knew perfectly how that feels. He had experienced that before when he was still in his first year of middle school that's why in all the Seigaku festivals after that one, he made sure that he is always surrounded by his teammates.
"Happy now?" Atobe raised a brow at him.
"Not much," Tezuka sighed, causing Atobe to blink in surprise and think, Is this really Tezuka? "You could have accompanied Oshitari yourself. He is one of your regulars after all."
"Come on, Tezuka. Oshitari and I have been seeing each other every single day of the week – except Sundays since that is family day – and mind you, if you see the same set of people almost 24/7, you'd grow tired of them too."
The stoic buchou almost chuckled if only his yearning for their tensai had not won over Atobe's mirth.
"Fuji, what did Atobe tell you?" Oshitari asked the smiling tensai walking beside him.
Syusuke snickered. "How many times do I have to tell you, Oshitari, that it's nothing? Really."
"Fuji," Oshitari uttered through his teeth, trying to control his frustration. He's already too scared that his buchou might have slipped something when talking to Syusuke. "Please?"
"You're really not going to let this go, aren't you?" Syusuke raised an eyebrow at him.
"Fine," Syusuke rolled her eyes. "Atobe said you needed some company tonight since you've been out of sorts lately. So, he is wondering if you could open up to me since we're friendly rivals and all."
"That's all? He didn't say anything else?"
"Nope, nothing at all. Should there be?"
"Ah…no. Nothing. I was just asking since, you know, Atobe can be a really trash talker sometimes."
"He's your buchou and best friend," Syusuke chuckled, the sound earning a blush to creep up to Oshitari's cheeks.
"The more reason that I can say that about him."
Syusuke chuckled once more. "So, where should we go now?"
"Hm…are you hungry?" Oshitari eyed the food stalls.
"Now that you mention it, I'm starving. I haven't eaten anything since we assembled for the play."
"Let's go get you some food then."
Syusuke turned to look at him from the corner of her eye. "Since this is Hyotei, I bet your food stalls aren't as normal as the ones we have at Seigaku or in any other normal private schools."
Oshitari chuckled. "Contrary to popular belief, tensai Fuji Syusuke, only the stall for Atobe's class is the abnormal one every school festival."
"Seriously?" Syusuke beamed, eyes not failing the surprise that she got. "Doesn't he feel out of place?"
"'Out of place', 'different', 'extraordinary', these are a part of Atobe's principle in life. Being unique from everybody else, that who our king is," Oshitari explained. "Anyway, we should be getting ourselves some food. What do you want?"
"Hm…there are too many that I want to eat right now since I'm starving," the blue-eyed tensai told him as they looked at a particular food stall. Other students, girls and boys alike, are already gawking at the two of them. No surprise there since they are two of the most popular high school tennis players in the whole of Japan.
"You could pick whatever you want to eat. 'free everything', remember?" The male tensai reminded her of the privileges Seigaku gets since they helped the play.
"Sou ka!" Syusuke exclaimed. "Then I'll have yakisoba, takoyaki, some manju, dumplings, okonamiyaki…"
Oshitari continued to stare at the beautiful girl before him trying to get two of everything. He enjoyed watching Syusuke getting excited as she watched her food being cooked. It's as if she's not the sadistic tensai that he knows her for. What's in front of him now is like the image of a young teenage girl that's out on a date for the first time.
Though that thought made Oshitari hide the blush creeping up his cheeks, he still couldn't stop the smile forming on his lips.
"Oshitari, I've got everything now!" Syusuke exclaimed as she took all her orders from the young woman at the food stall. She now held two plastic bags filled with food: ramen, udon, okonamiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, manjuu, dumplings, and some katsudon. She is seriously hungry after having an empty stomach for more than five hours.
When Oshitari didn't move nor gave a grunt from his spot behind Syusuke, the female tensai turned around and widened her eyes. Oshitari Yuushi, her supposed rival for the tensai position, is smiling very warmly at her. And behind those fake spectacles of his are eyes filled with warmth towards none other than Syusuke herself. She stiffened a bit, feeling the blood rising to her cheeks. She couldn't help but blush at how Oshitari is giving her that smile.
"A-Anou…Oshitari?" She managed to choke out.
"Hm?" When the said person responded with a slight leaning of his head towards Syusuke's, the latter's heart skipped a beat. "You're done?"
Syusuke could only nod.
"Ja, ikou." Oshitari took the plastic bags from her and started walking through the crowds.
Damn! Why is he making me so flustered? Just because he gave you that smile, you're getting off-guard, Syusuke mentally scolded herself. She closed her eyes and heaved a deep breath before following Oshitari.
They didn't speak even once as they were walking. But as they were turning to a corner where the darts booth is standing, a strong wind blew and undid the knots to the already loosened pole. It was about to fall to Oshitari when Syusuke slammed her body against his and the pole fell close to her head instead, grazing her cheek in the processs, before they stumbled down on the ground. The small crowd in that area all hurried to help them but Oshitari was fussing over the bleeding wound on the other tensai's right cheek.
"Fuji!" He sat up and helped Fuji do the same. "Why did you do that? You could have been hurt pretty bad!"
"I'm sorry I wasn't thinking, Oshitari. I just acted on impulse. I saw the pole falling towards you so I just did what first came to mind and that is to push you."
"But, you're bleeding."
The bystanders surrounding them noticed the blood dripping down the tensai's cheek. "Should we bring you to the clinic?" One asked.
"No, please. There's no need for that. I'm fine." Syusuke smiled, though she flinched when she did so. It seems that the impact of her face was quite strong. Ugh! I might bruise later.
Oshitari noticed the flinch and Syusuke's pained expression. He immediately asked someone to bring a first-aid kid and an ice bag. Good thing he was the tensai of Hyotei, he was easily able to coax those two things from the other students. Being popular has its benefits.
After thanking the helpful and worried crowd, he immediately took Syusuke – who's now carrying the two plastic bags of food – into the hedge maze at the back of the middle school building. They didn't come across anyone since all the students and teachers were enjoying the first day – or rather night – of the festival.
Syusuke observed her surroundings as Oshitari hurriedly pulled her deeper into the maze. Sprouting from the hedges were beautiful, big, red roses and Syusuke could only wonder how on earth those roses could grow that big. Soon, they halted into a stop as Oshitari settled her on one of the benches placed around the fountain.
Oshitari opened up the first-aid kit and started to work on disinfecting and tending on Syusuke's wound. The blue-eyed tensai chose to remain silence as she noted the frustrated expression on Oshitari's face. She let her eyes roam around the fountain and they landed on the swan statues whose heads were close together as if bumping each other in the middle of the water fountain. There are no lights besides the ones coming from the stars and the moonlight.
Syusuke felt the ice pack being pressed on her cheek and she told Oshitari that she can do it herself but the young man refused and Syusuke just let it go. She couldn't look directly at Oshitari right now or she would only be confused why he was making that very complicated face. Instead, she turned to look at their reflection mirrored down the water.
"I'm sorry…for letting you get hurt," Oshitari apologized.
"Ah…" was Syusuke's only response.
"And thank you…for saving me back there."
"Oh, that's fine. It's no big deal. Really."
Syusuke doesn't know if it's the sudden change in the name calling or the seriousness in Oshitari's voice that made her look up and gaze directly into the Hyotei tensai's eyes. The next thing that Syusuke knows is that Oshitari's already leaning his face closer towards hers and she's frozen on the spot not knowing what to do.
A rose petal flew from one of the roses and fell down the fountain, rippling the image of the tensais mirrored on the water.
a/n: It's a little OOC, I'm sorry! But I just had to put those kinds of interactions between Oshitari and Syusuke to add some spice in the love triangle. Hehe. :P By the way, I'll try to update earlier next time.
Hey! This new chapter is a lot longer than the previous ones, don't you think?
. .twinkles: I bet you're happy with this chapter because it's mainly Syusuke and Oshitari. HAHA!
donutmaster: A little jealous buchou only in this chapter since I tried to develop more on the relationship between Oshitari and Syusuke. But I'll try to do better next time. :D
abbyjc: I'm sorry but I can't finish this just yet. I still have so much in store for you, my readers. ;P
Tora-shin: Yeah! I took it from Gakuen Alice. It's really hilarious, that part. :DDD
syuumitsu: Oh dearie, I'm not yet in the climax. I still have more before I reach that. *evil laugh* Kidding!