[[ This turned out way longer than I thought. O_O It wasn't meant to be this long but by the time I was done with it, it already ended up like this.
This is sort of an AU with the plot and storyline all not related to the Original series and all just thought up by me. Hence, there might be some OOCness despite my best effort to keep them as In Character as I can.
Also, Happy Birthday Jirou! I guess this turned out to be a Birthday fic to him since I happened to finish it on his Birthday. ]]
If there was one person that could keep Akutagawa Jirou awake, that would be Marui Bunta. He was the only one who could prevent Jirou from falling asleep ever and actually make him all energetic. Jirou was awed by him ever since Bunta defeated him in the Newcomers Tournament during his First Year in Hyotei.
They had a friendly rivalry during their second years and Jiroh would go and watch Bunta's practices whenever Hyotei's tennis practices ended early. Of course that did not happen often and that was the only time he would not be sleeping on a train.
The mental reminder that he would miss his stop if he sleeps help to keep him awake surprisingly and he would always manage to stay awake all the way till the end of Marui's practices. By then, Jirou would have disappeared and be on his way home.
The latter part of the trip has him falling asleep and sleepily getting on the wrong bus or getting off the wrong stops. It was a miracle how he even manages to get to school on time each day. A kind Hyotei student would often wake the sleeping Jirou up just as they were reaching the school, allowing him to not miss his stop.
Things changed one day though, it was two months after the practice match between Hyotei and Rikkai, which he ended up falling asleep before the match ended. A familiar head of pink hair was sitting comfortably on one of the seats and Jirou could recognize his idol anywhere.
"Marui-kun!" He shouted out the name of his idol as he hastily squeezed past the people in front of him and sat down next to him. The self-proclaimed tensai opened his eyes lazily and smiled when he recognized who it was.
"Akutagawa Jirou right?" Jiroh nodded his head happily. "You remembered my name!" It was hard to believe that his idol could actually remember his name. "Hard to forget someone who fell asleep during a match with me, forcefully take my wrist bands during our first match and cheer so loudly during my matches."
Jirou nodded his head in agreement even when those were not really good things for Bunta to remember him for. "I didn't know you take this bus, Marui-kun." Come to think about it, he has taken this bus for the past one year plus and he had never seen Marui boarding it before.
"My family recently moved so I'm boarding this bus to school from today onwards. I guess I will be seeing you around." Jirou could hardly believe it, he would be able to see his idol almost every morning now. Almost because there were bound to be days where either of them have to board the bus earlier than the other.
"Really? That's great! I'll get to see you more, Marui-kun!" Jirou was all smiles as the pair continued chatting and before he knew it, it was time for him to get off the bus. Much to his surprise he had actually stayed awake the entire trip.
He must have a disappointed look on his face as the bus stopped because Bunta had given him a piece of gum. "Guess I will catch you around next time." Before leaving, Jirou had hurriedly dug through his bag for the box of pocky he knew he had in there. "Marui-kun! Take this."
A look of surprise flashed through Bunta's face as he caught the box of pocky. "This is….." Jirou had left before he could finish his sentence. A remising look appeared on Bunta's face as he smiled at the box. "Ah. So that's why he seemed so familiar. He really is that person." Jirou had left before Bunta muttered a familiar nickname from his childhood.
Despite Jirou's good mood, he ended up asleep during practice and class just the same. He didn't have his usual pocky to help him with staying awake in class but at least he had a piece of gum. And not just any gum, gum that his idol Marui Bunta gave to him.
Much to his team's surprise, he was chewing on the piece of gum. They were puzzled as to why Jirou had gum and Jirou was in his own world as he chewed the gum. The taste was similar to the one he used to chew when he was younger, the same green apple flavor he liked so much back then.
A blurry recollection of his past flashed through his mind but it was much too blurred for him to see what who was in it. Come to think about it, when did he stop eating gum and turned to pocky instead? He remembered faintly that something happened a couple of years ago but he could not recall what it was exactly.
By a stroke of luck the two met again on the trip back. This time the both of them were standing and they started a conversation again. Before Jirou got off the bus, this time he had managed to swap numbers with Bunta and the two of them had agreed to take the same bus as the one they took earlier in the day tomorrow.
With the promise of meeting again, Jirou left the bus in a good mood. Not only did he board the same bus as his idol, he even has his number now. This was like a dream come true to him and he was more than happy to make friends with him.
To the shock of his family, Jirou had actually left the house without them getting to leave like usual. Jirou's face brightened when he caught sight of Bunta. "Marui-kun! Ohayo~" Bunta smiled back at him and patted the seat next to him. "I saved you a seat."
That was unexpected. He did not think that Bunta would save him a seat of all things. "Marui-kun. You saved me a seat? Wah! I'm so happy~" He had cheerfully flopped down on the seat and dug through his bag for the extra bag of pocky he packed in this morning.
"Here. You can have this. It's a different flavor than the one from yesterday." Lucky for him he had stocked up his supply of pocky last week. "Hmm? Thanks." Bunta thanked him politely and placed the box into his bag. Flashing Jirou a smile he passed him a piece of gum as thanks.
"Jirou. Are you free today?" Bunta casually asked, taking out the flyer he had gotten a few days ago. The cheerful male had insisted for Bunta to call him Jirou and Bunta had obliged seeing that there were no harm in calling him that.
Jirou turned away from the piece of gum in his hand to look at Bunta. "I am. Why?" The flyer in Bunta's hand was gently pushed into his free hand. "I was planning to visit this newly opened teahouse later after practice and I was wondering if you would like to come." Would he like to come? It was obvious that he would love to! Bunta had just asked a pointless question. "Sure!"
"I will text you the time later once practice ends." Jirou nodded his head happily; he got to spend his free time with Bunta! It was hard to believe that they had this sort of relationship currently when they were just tennis players from a rival school. Now not only does he get to see Bunta everyday, he gets to talk to him too. It would take some time to get used to the gum he was given though.
There was a reason why he liked pocky a lot even though he could not really the other person's name or face anymore. Not that he ever knew that person's full name in the first place, he remembered calling him by a nickname. His love for pocky definitely had something to do with that person who might be his friend. But was it that simple? His memory was blurry and he had a nagging feeling that there was something else to that.
He could still remember what he called him though, that nickname was special to Jirou and to his knowledge no other person has ever called him by that. The tone that person used was always filled with affections and sounded different compared to his usual tone. That was the only thing Jiroh could still remember slightly from all these years. It had been many years already and he doubted that the other person remembers him either.
The nickname he called the other person was on the roll of his tongue but nothing came out though. It was like his tongue knew what it was but his brain did not. He must have been lost in his thoughts because when Jiroh finally shook out of his thoughts, Bunta was staring at him in surprise.
"Did you just say what I think you just said?" Jirou could only blink confusedly at the question . What did he say when his brain was lost in his remising? "Did I say something?" He could only scratch his head and ask Bunta what exactly he said. It must be something if it earned such a reaction from Bunta.
But Bunta only shook his head and muttered a nothing and the topic was changed very quickly. Jirou had forgotten all about what happened earlier already, paying more attention to Bunta's stories about his team mates. "Nee, could we play tennis together one day?"
Jirou asked it enthusiastically and he crossed his fingers that Bunta would agree. "Sure. We can fix a time when we're both free. It's expected who would win though~" Bunta answered in a calm voice and grinned when he said the last part.
When Jirou got off the bus, Bunta's smile changed into a sadder one. "That was a flux right? That name you called out earlier, you don't remember do you? You didn't even realise that you said it… I guess I was right to not say a word about it, must be stupid if I shown you that I remember. That's not something a tensai would do."
He waved back at Jirou till the bus drove away and he tightened his grip on the box of pocky in his hand. "I wonder if it matters whether or not you remember? But at least I'm a hundred percent certain that you are indeed him." Of course, the answer was very much apparent for him. Jirou was still going to be Jirou whether he remembers or not.
The reason why he liked gum was more than one; people usually thought that it was because of his lack of stamina and nothing else. People could just continue being in the dark about him having more than one reason for that. He doubted people really cared either.
Especially when the person involved does not remember it. Bunta smiled anyway. "Who knew that it was that easy to meet again." He had only invited Jirou along because Jackal was busy and he knew that Jirou was a fan of sweets like him. Even if he did not know what Jirou's favourite food was, he knew that Jirou at least liked sweets as well. It would be interesting later for sure.
Jirou was in a very good mood today. It was not every day that he gets to go out with the person that he admires. How rare of a chance was that? If it was in the past, he would never get such a chance! He was just lucky that Bunta moved and board the same bus as him.
His good mood helped to keep him awake for a few minutes and shortened his nap time as well. But it still did not motivate him to remain awake during morning practice. He soon dozed off anyway and Kabaji had to wake him to go to class like usual. But hey, at least he stayed awake longer this time.
The pocky that the girls in his class gave him only helped to keep him awake for a few minutes before he end up sleeping like usual. He forgot to bring his lunch with him like always and Atobe had to treat him as per normal. Everything was almost the same, just that Jirou was smiling the whole time he was awake. It sort of freaked the others out when Jirou started giggling to himself.
Jirou speaking and laughing strangely when he sleeps was normal but an awake Jirou laughing to himself was just weird. Despite them asking him if something was wrong, he acted like everything was perfectly normal. His gleefulness spoke otherwise and the rest when happy for practice to end and allow them to get away from him.
His phone vibrated and he took it out to see a text message from Bunta. The message asked him to meet him at the place he mentioned earlier in an hour's time and Jirou moved quickly to change out of his jersey. His teammates had gotten the second shock of the day when Jirou actually left the school without any of them waking him up.
"Marui-kun!" Jirou waved and jumped when he caught sight of Bunta walking over. "Jirou. You're early." Bunta lightly pushed him towards the entrance and the pair entered the teahouse. It was better to get Jirou inside before he starts glomping him or anything. "This place looks better than I thought." Bunta glanced around the place, liking how the place was decorated.
Being a new store, the number of people inside was not much and they were quickly escorted to a table. It was in a much secluded spot that he liked but that was fine. The most important thing would be the sweets, not the table or anything. "What are you going to have Jirou?"
Bunta had problems picking just one dessert. All the things in the menu sounded tasty and he would love to try every one of them. "A strawberry shortcake." Strawberry seemed to be a good idea and Bunta quickly looked through the menu for the strawberry desserts. "I guess I will have one of that too along with a strawberry cheesecake, a strawberry creampuff, a strawberry tart and a strawberry danish."
Jirou only widened his eyes at the huge order Bunta had and watched in awe as Bunta placed the menu down. "Marui-kun. Are you sure you can finish all these?" Bunta smirked and winked. "Are you doubting my sweets eating ability? You can try some of mine if you want. But not more than a bite each."
Jirou should be glad that he even offered him a bite. It was better than nothing. The waitress was sent off quickly but Bunta kept one set of the menu in case he needs it later. "If it's good I might buy back one home later." That was his reasoning to why he needed to keep the menu.
Not that Jirou actually cared why Bunta still had the menu in the first place. "Marui-kun really like sweets huh?" His question was asked with a smile. "I have a second stomach for sweets." Jirou understood what that meant since he always could find space for mutton and pocky in his stomach and he continued to smile stupidly. "What? Are you laughing at me?"
Bunta frowned in displeasure. He did not think that what he said was funny. Jirou shook his head and his smile turned softer. "Of course not. I will never laugh at what Marui-kun says ever." Bunta continued to stare at him in displeasure since he did not really believe what he said. "Why do you have that goofy smile on your face then?"
"Because I understand what Marui-kun meant by that. I am never too full for pocky or mutton~" Bunta relaxed and smiled back. "Isn't that so? You can never say no to your favourite food." He continued smiling even when the waitress came back with their orders. Jirou could only watch Bunta as he contently savour each of the dessert's taste.
"How is it? The strawberry cheesecake looks pretty nice." He asked curiously as Bunta placed another fork full of it in his mouth." Bunta grinned and poked another piece of cake before poking Jirou's lips with it. "Why don't you give it a try yourself?"
Jirou opened his mouth and Bunta pushed the fork inside. Once the taste reached his taste buds his eyes were sparkling. "Marui-kun, it taste really good!" The fork was pulled out gently and Bunta smirked. "Wait till you taste the strawberry tart." Bunta cut another small piece from his tart and brought the fork to Jirou's lips. "Wah! This one is really sweet and the taste of strawberries are really fresh."
Bunta nodded his head and another smile appeared on his lips. "Isn't it? I'm glad I came here with you today. The sweets taste better than I thought and Jackal wouldn't appreciate the wonderful taste of the dessert like you do. Want to try the creampuff too?" Normally he would not let people try his desserts but Jirou was a special case when he knew Jirou would be able to tell if the taste was good or not. Jirou nodded his head in agreement. "If you don't mind.
After Bunta had finished his desserts with Jirou eating a few more bites from Bunta's desserts, the pair left the cafe in a good mood. "Marui-kun, thanks for inviting me here today. Sorry that you have to pay for my share of the dessert too." His hair was ruffled and Bunta flashed him a big grin. "That's nothing. I should be thanking you for coming with me today. And if you're bothered that I treated you today, you could always treat me next time."
Jirou was trying hard not to jump up in joy. "Next time? Marui-kun is willing to go out with me again?" Bunta laughed and ruffled his hair again. "Why not? You know that you almost sound like a girl whose crush just asked her on a date right?"
Bunta laughed louder when Jirou registered his words and an obvious pink tint was painted on his cheeks. "W-What? I was just glad that Marui-kun asked me to go out with you again because it makes it seem like we're friends and close!" Jirou was all flustered and Bunta only patted him on the shoulder. "I was only messing with you there. But I must say your reaction is rather amusing. We're friends now as well as rivals."
Bunta watched as Jirou grew more flustered. "How about we discuss our timetable and see what time we're able to meet?" Jirou was silence for a while before he dug through his bag for his timetable. Bunta took the paper away and compared it to his once Jirou managed to find it. "Hmm... I guess we have the similar time schedule for morning practice during Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Let's both take the same bus in the morning. I guess we could go out on Friday and take the same bus back on Monday if you don't mind waiting for me. My practice ends at the same time as yours but since I need to board the bus first, you will have to wait for me." The paper was soon returned to Jirou and Jirou was too surprised to even say a word. "You're asking to see each other every school day?"
His surprise could still be heard by the curious tone he was using. Bunta grinned and winked. "Unless you're turning me down, of course." He watched Jirou jumped and he was shaking his head so hard that Bunta found himself bursting into laughter yet again. "Of course not! Why won't I agree to it? I will be more than happy to meet you!"
"I know. You're really fun to mess with you know." He could not stand how flustered he was. The big pout on Jirou's face made it apparent that he did not like what he said. "I am not!" Bunta chuckled and poked his cheeks playfully. "Sure you aren't. You're just cute then."
"Yea—" He stopped his words and flushed a bright red. "I am not cute either!" He denied indignantly. The finger was still on his cheek and he lightly pushed it away. But the finger was back on his cheek in a second. "Your reactions proved otherwise."
He winked and pulled his finger back. "So you're alright with it right? Since I get on the bus before you, why don't I tell you when I board the bus and you get ready and start heading towards the bus-stop? Of course, I'll text you again when I reach your stop and you can board it then. If you don't want to meet, it's fine too. Friday we can pick a place to hang out. On days that we see each other in the morning, I probably won't be meeting you after school. I will inform you if I'm able to meet. Feel free to ask me out, I will see if I can make it."
Messing with Jirou was fun but he thought he might as well and spare him for today. He could always do it some other time. It took a while before Jirou relaxed and answered him in his usual tone. "Sure! Seeing Marui-kun once every school days is more than enough for me." Compared to the past, this was already way too much. "Maybe we could even play a match together again!" He piped enthusiastically.
Bunta offered him a high five and nodded in agreement. "Of course. I wouldn't mind playing a match with you. I'm pretty sure I asked that captain of yours to pass you the message that you should get enough sleep and I'm looking forward to playing a match with you again. Or something along those lines. Can't exactly remember the exact words."
He waited expectantly for the huge grin and jump he knew Jirou would do at his agreement. The glomp that came with them was a surprise though and he nearly fell from catching Jirou's weight. "Careful there. I must say you're heavier than you look too." Jirou pulled away sheepishly. "Sorry. I was too excited to be able to play a match against you again."
Bunta found himself smiling yet again. "Next time give some warning first. But try to keep it minimal. I don't think I can get used to catching you every time you tackle me. We should start heading off soon too." He pointed towards a bus-stop and the duo started walking towards it.
They chatted cheerfully till Jirou's stop came into view. "I will catch you tomorrow. Make sure to wake up on time and I will text you when I'm nearing your stop." Jirou gave a brief nod and waved before getting off the bus. "I don't think I ever smiled or laughed as much as today in a while. Looks like you haven't lost your touch yet, Ji-chan." He closed his eyes and the image from his childhood matched the one he saw earlier. "You haven't changed much at all."
Thursday morning came and a sleepy Jirou answered his phone absentmindedly upon being woken up by his phone's ringtone. "Hello?" He asked in a soft voice and an obvious chuckle could be heard on the other end. "Good morning, sleepy head. I had a feeling you won't be waking up yet so I called and looks like I'm right."
Jirou pouted even though Bunta would not be able to see it. He sleepily rubbed his eyes as he spoke. "It's still early." He retorted although he was not aware of what time it is currently. He just assumed that it was early since his mother had not tried waking him up yet. "Don't you need to prepare or something? Or do you just rush to school every day?"
"…." Jirou kept quiet at Bunta's correct guessing of what he does every morning. "I'm right aren't I? I really worry how you manage to get your books every day." He did not have to worry about that since everything was usually in his locker unless he needed the books for studying or homework. "They're in my locker." Or he just borrows them from his teammates. "That sounds just like what you do. Don't tell me you even forget to bring a bento with you too."
Another silence passed through and Bunta was laughing again. "Spot on again huh? So you just buy from the school's cafeteria? I guess with a school like Hyotei, the food should taste pretty good." Jirou frowned, it was not his fault that he often fell asleep and by the time he was rushing out of the house, he had forgotten to take it and his mother had stopped making him one already.
"My mum gave up on me ever remembering to bring it with me and she don't even make one for me anymore so I usually get Atobe to buy me lunch." He sighed and waited for Bunta to laugh again. "Of course she would. It would be a waste of effort and time to make a bento box for someone who doesn't even remember to take it. You make your buchou buy you lunch? Since he's loaded, I doubt he cares that he has to buy you one."
A pause and Bunta spoke up again after a few seconds. "Why don't I make you one during days that we take the same morning bus? I make one for myself every morning and another one won't be much trouble. I have a lot of bento boxes in my house too so you can return me the box the next time you see me. In return, you can always treat me to more cakes when we hang out." At least his bento boxes were healthier than what he was sure Jirou eats in school.
"It's not that easy to convince Atobe to buy me lunch though." He nearly fell off his bed when he heard Bunta's suggestion. "Marui-kun is willing to make me lunch?" He almost shouted and an ouch could be heard on the other end. "No need to shout, Jirou. I wouldn't have suggested that if I wasn't willing to do it. A treat every time we meet is more than enough."
"But that's hard to believe!" Jirou managed to stop himself from shouting. "You better believe it. Well, if you want it, I will have to start on making it now." Bunta glanced at the clock and waited for Jirou to answer. He still had time and he often prepared extras as breakfast so making one for Jirou would be easy. At least Jirou would not laugh at him, Niou on the other hand would be snickering if he knew that Bunta made his own lunch every day.
Getting the confirmation from Jirou, he grinned and hanged up after reminding Jirou to get up already and he would text him later when he's near his stop. Now that he have someone to cook for, what should he prepare? Lucky that Jirou had a sweet tooth like him and he would not have to worry if Jirou do not like his food.
Not that he thinks that Jirou would find fault in what he does, he seems to idolize him too much to do that. It was creepy at first when he first noticed that Jirou had started watching his matches but it soon brushed off when he met him that day when he got his caramel creampuffs. Jirou meant no harm and purely just wanted to watch his matches and he knew Jirou does not stalk him.
He would not have befriended him if Jirou was some creepy stalker but he was certain he was just someone who likes his playing style and admires him a lot. Another reason was that he had a faint feeling that he had met him before which was soon proven to be true after three days of spending time with him. "I wonder if you will ever recognize me. No it's a wonder if you even remember me with how sad you were when we parted."
Shrugging, he turned back to his task of thinking of what to cook. He supposed his usual type of food would be good enough with some of his small sweets. Wait, Jirou likes mutton. He recalled that Jirou mentioned it yesterday and the one from his childhood liked that too and he searched his fridge for said meat.
His mother should have bought that, at least he hoped so. He soon found the meat and was already storming up on what kind of mutton he should cook. Jirou should consider today a special, he would not be cooking up mutton for him every time. But he supposed once a week should be good enough.
Jirou on the other hand was slowly freshening himself up in the bathroom and trying not to fall asleep. It was much earlier than he usually wakes up and he was still sleepy like always. Once he was done, he went to grab two boxes of pocky. Looks like he has to stock up on more later after school.
The rest of his family had stared at him when he emerged out of his room and into the living room. "Is something going to happen today?" His mother asked and he pouted as he sat down. "I can be early too." He argued and everyone else just burst into laughter with a mocking sure.
He was soon back to his old self and dozing when he had finished eating. At least he remembered to ask his family to wake him up if his phone gets a text. He grabbed his phone tightly in his sleep since he noticed his mother glancing at it strangely when he said that.
"Crap! I'm late for catching the bus!" He grabbed hold of his bag and dashed out of the house. It took him a few minutes before he woke up and he was worried he might miss the bus. Huffing, he reached the bus stop and less than a minute later a text message informed him that it was this bus. He tried to even his breath as he moved through the people to find Bunta. "Jirou! Over here!" Bunta waved at him from the back and he quickly squeezed through the crowd to sit next to him. "Glad to see that you made it. I was worried for a second that you might have missed it even after I woke you up."
Jirou kept his mouth shut since it would be better if Bunta did not learn that he really did almost miss the bus. Instead, he dug through his bag for the box of pocky he had for Bunta. "Here." He passed the box to Bunta who thanked him and placed it in his bag. "You seem to like strawberry flavour a lot."
Jirou looked at the other box he had and laughed. "I suppose. I remember that someone told me that I was like one and I guess that influenced me. My shampoo is strawberry scented too." The last part was added without much thought and Bunta's eyes had widened at the second statement. "You still remember that?"
"Huh?" Jirou asked puzzedly. "I don't remember his name though or what he looked like. I think it has something to do with strawberries and that we were both similar to that if we picked a fruit. The nickname I used to call him is always on the roll on my tongue but I can't seem to remember but I remember what he calls me though. I don't know why but there's like something that's stopping me from remembering him."
Bunta smiled sadly as he registered those words. "I'm sure you will be able to remember him one day if you really wish to." He was well aware of why Jirou could not remember him. Jirou smiled and nodded his head in agreement. "I suppose. But enough of that, Marui-kun. Are you free to play a match tomorrow? I can treat you to a meal after that if you're interested."
"It's Friday isn't it?" Normally he would head to some food place and have Jackal treat him to a meal but he could do that on days he do not see Jirou after school and a match with Jirou again was tempting when he could play against Jackal any time. But now that he has plans to see Jirou usually, it would be easy to play a match against him again too.
A match against Jirou interests him more when they were both the same type of players and it was harder to predict where Jirou would do next when his soft wrists could send the ball to places he would not be able to expect easily. Having a match with him would let him think of ways to better himself too and there were nothing bad against it if he agrees.
Maybe just getting Sanada's wrath for showing his moves to a rival but Sanada usually do not care what he do outside school and he just have to make sure that Niou does not learn of his regular meetings with Jirou. "Sure. Text me the time and place and I will meet you there. I won't say no to a match against you and a treat for dinner at the same time. But you must let me pick the place for food."
Just let him pick the place where they would be eating? Jirou does not mind it at all. He sucks at choosing a place to eat anyway. "Sure! That's fine with me." A wicked gleam appeared in Bunta's eye as he smirked and sent him a wink. "I will be sure to pick the most expensive place. Be prepared for your wallet to burn a big hole."
Jirou's face paled and he quickly checked his wallet to see how much money he had left. Bunta watched his worried facial expression and snickered. "Silly. I was kidding. You really are fun to mess with." He could get used to this, messing with Jirou is always so entertaining.
"As long as the food's good, I won't mind if it's cheap. Oh and desserts are a much too." He slowly pushed the box of the food he prepared earlier with a stick of gum on top. Jirou stared at the box with surprise and a surprised squeal which was soon muffled by Bunta covering his hand. "As usual, your reactions are just so amusing."
Bunta watched amusedly as Jirou struggled to pry his hand off his hand. Deciding to take pity on him, Bunta removed his hand away from his mouth. "Marui-kun! You didn't have to cover my mouth and stop teasing me." He huffed and directed a glare at him that only made Bunta laugh.
Especially when it looked more cute than anything. "I can't help it when you give me those amusing reactions. So we will meet tomorrow afternoon? Send me the confirmation text tomorrow." Hesitating for a while, Bunta asked his next choice of question. "Do you want me to wake you up tomorrow too? My practice is earlier than yours so I can call you before mine starts if you want."
If Jirou almost ended up late today even with him waking him up, he wonders how Jirou usually even gets up each day. "I will text you the details later. And Marui-kun don't have to do that. I feel bad if I have to get you to do that when you're already making me lunch." It was a suggestion that he knows that Jirou would turn down. He was someone who would not like to trouble someone if he is aware of it.
"Fine. I will only call you on the days that we meet in the morning then. No arguing here, Jirou. If you want to thank me, continue giving me Strawberry pocky more than the other flavours." Jirou frowned when he was interrupted before he could even argue. Bunta seemed to know what to say to him every time too. "You're not even giving me a chance to argue here."
"Obviously. Now off you go before you miss your stop. " Jirou had a nagging feeling that Bunta had purposely picked that time to suggest that but he had to alight and the chances of him beating him was rare. "I will see you tomorrow then, Marui-kun."
Bunta waved him off and stuck his tongue out when he caught Jirou's pouting face outside the window. "It's alright if you don't remember. It's my fault that you don't remember anyway." The fact that Jirou still treasures him even when he cannot remember who he is exactly is more than enough for him. "A precious childhood friend. Even though we only knew each other for a week."
When lunch came, Atobe was the first one surprised followed by Gakuto and Ryou and the other teammates. "Did Jirou just bring a bento box with him with homemade food or am I seeing things?"
"No, he's really eating from a bento box. I don't think someone gave it to him in class." Jirou ignored them and continued eating the food. It was so expected to see the cookies in the box with how much Bunta liked sweets. He supposed he could offer some to him the next time they made some during his home economic class. The mutton tasted pretty good, expected of something prepared by Bunta! "Oi! Jirou!"
He looked up from the box and kept it away from the rest. "What?" Gakuto looked irritated from being ignored. "Did a girl give you that? I thought they usually just give you pocky?" Jirou blinked as he tried to understand why they think it was from a girl. "No. I got this before I even came to class."
"Why are you taking such good care of it then? You're even making sure that I won't be able to steal it from you." Ryou rolled his eyes and lightly smacked him on the back. "That's normal. Why would people want to let you steal their food?" Soon the pair were bickering and Jirou ignored them in favor of his food. Choutaro would be sure to stop them from arguing too long anyway.
Once he was in class, he texted Bunta a thanks and that he liked the food. A quick reply was received in less than a minute and Bunta's reply was a short 'What do you expect from a tensai like me?" He snickered and sent an agreeing text message before tossing his phone back into his bag. It would not be good if he continue texting Bunta in class with the rest already suspicious of him suddenly having a bento box.
The bus ride back was a little lonely now that he had something to compare to. He ended up falling asleep like usual and missed his stop. He was a whole twenty minutes late in getting home too, which his mother was not surprised. She was surprised when Jirou took out the bento box to wash though. "Where did you get that?"
"A friend made it for me." He smiled and continued washing it. "A girl?" His mother asked incredulously. He shook his head and set it up to dry. "Marui-kun isn't a girl." The name rang a bell to his mother and she tried to recall where she had heard it before. "Isn't that the person who you always mention together with tennis?"
He gave a brief nod before heading towards to his room. His mother would not be able to get who he is anyway. Lying on the bed, he closed his eyes and tried to think of where to take Bunta to tomorrow. There was a street tennis court he remembered nearby that was sort of small and not much people know of it.
He had stumbled upon it once when he had missed his stop and had to walk home. He supposed that place would be good enough and they would be able to play in peace without people disturbing them. There was a restaurant within walking distance that his parents bring him to once in a while and he supposed he could afford it.
With a smile, he texted Bunta the details and soon fell asleep. At least he managed to keep himself awake enough to send him that text. By the time he had woke up, Bunta had already replied that he was fine with meeting at the spot Jirou asked him to and a second text asking if he was taking a nap.
The bus to school on the next day was the same as it was before he met Bunta on the bus. He was sleeping throughout an entire trip and some kind chap had to shake him to not miss his stop. Yawning, he stepped into school and wished that school should end sooner so that he could see Bunta faster.
Lunch break was normal, with the exception of them wondering if yesterday Jirou eating from a bento box was a dream. Atobe did not seem to care and bought him lunch like usual, somehow Jirou thinks that Atobe seemed to be a better mood compared to yesterday. Deciding not to ask if that was true, he continued eating his food. His phone vibrated and he nearly choked when he saw the text. Bunta had sent this text to mess with him for sure.
He pouted and sent a reply that he did not ask him out for a date and it was just an outing. The others seemed to be pre-occupied to notice him and he was relieved for that. He would not want to start explaining why he was texting Marui Bunta and even meeting him.
Another reply came and Jirou quickly excused himself before they caught him texting someone. They ended up texting each other even during class and Jirou was awake more during class since he had to make sure he did not miss Bunta's text messages. He had to stop during practice though, Bunta was busy during practice too and they agreed to continue it later after practice.
He decided to just sleep through practice, that way he would still have the energy to play against Bunta later. It was normal for him to sleep during practice so the rest were not suspicious and did not ask him anything. The only difference between today and usual was that he did not change back into his uniform.
Jirou was lazy to change out of it when he was going to be playing a match soon. A text came from Bunta that his practice had ended and Jirou replied that he was on his way there as well. He reached the place first and was soon dozing against a pole.
He was only woken up with someone lightly smacked his arm. "Oi. Jirou. You're really amazing to even sleep at this kind of place. But I guess this better mean that you won't be falling asleep during our match this time." He yawned and nodded his head blankly.
"Come on, let's go." Bunta lightly tugged him away from the pole and Jirou blinked to get his eyes focused as he started directing Bunta on where to go. "You know, you could just lead me there instead of just telling me the directions." He moved behind Jirou and followed him, glancing at the place.
Was there really a court here? The number of people around was minimal and he supposed it was because the spot seemed secluded thanks to the trees covering it. "How did you even find this place?" It was behind some of the trees in the park and there was not a sign indicating to the place. The person who built this place must be really lax to not even putting up a sign.
"I chanced upon it." Bunta grinned and looked around, it was covered by trees and the place seemed okay and now he knew where he could practice in peace without someone bothering him. Of course, playing alone could only help him a bit so he would have to invite Jirou sometime. Jackal was a no when they could play together every day in school and he needed someone else that was less expected to play against. This was sort of like their secret spot too so it was perfect.
"No fair. Marui-kun you won again." He pouted as he sat down panting. "It's very much fair. Did you expect to beat me so easily?" Bunta answered as he panted as well. It had been a while since he last played a long match and matches against Jirou always seemed to end as a long one. Maybe he could train his stamina this way too.
"I was nearly there too!" Bunta had to agree with that. His stamina had reached it's limit too and the last winning shot he hit was his last chance to end it. "It should be good enough for you to almost beat a tensai." He had to change some of his tactics and some of the moves he was planning would work.
This match was fun and rather fruitful and he would love to play against Jirou again. "So where are we heading to next?" Jirou seemed to regain his energy again and was already back to his usual cheerful mood. "A secret~" He said in a sing-song tone and Bunta frowned and tried to convince him to tell him as they headed to the nearest bathroom to change into their uniform.
"Here we are~" Bunta looked at the place thoroughly before turning back to Jirou. "You're treating me here?" It looked like a small family restaurant and he supposed it looked decent enough. "Won't it be expensive?" He questioned when Jirou nodded his head at his question. Sure it looked small, but he doubted that it would be cheap.
But Jirou only beamed and dragged him inside. "My family have been coming here for years so they will charge me slightly lesser for the food." They were soon sitting down and Jirou was already recommending the food his family usually orders.
Like what he expected, Jirou picked a mutton dish and Bunta decided on something else. They were going to share the food with the exception of the desserts since Bunta did not want to share his favourite sweets again. The two discussed their earlier match as they ate and Bunta could see why Jirou's family came here often. The food was good.
"Thank you for the meal. It was delicious." Jirou smiled and shook the piece of gum he got from Bunta in the air. "It's nothing compared to all the things you treated me. So the next time we're meeting is Monday after practice?" Bunta nodded in confirmation. "I will text you when my practice's about to end."
The bus ride back was short and Jirou found himself home again. The piece of gum was eaten and he dropped the silver wrapper into a jar with the rest. "I can't wait to see Marui-kun again~" The weekends were just going to be spent sleeping unless there were practice during Saturdays which they usually do not have.
The pair had fallen into a routine of meeting every weekday, either before or after school. Bunta made him lunch every time they meet in the morning and they continued exchanging gum and boxes of pocky everyday. The amount of time spent texting each other increased too although they both decided that texting during practice was impossible.
Immediately after practice was impossible too since their teammates would be curious to know who they were texting. He would have to help Ryou frown at how he should not be texting people from rival teams and Niou would tease Bunta to no end. After school was simple since they only texted each other when they reach their respective bus-stops.
Two weeks passed back in a blink of an eye and their routine only started to change on Thursday. "Eh? No one's at home with you from Saturday onwards?" Bunta sighed and shifted his bag in a more comfortable position. "Pretty much. My parents are taking my grandmother and my two younger brothers with them as well."
"But why aren't they taking you along?" Bunta scowled as he spoke. "Because of the exams next week. They can't bring me along since I have exams. Yours are next week too right? They claimed that I should be fine on my own till they come back, which is like till a week later." He was not pleased to know that he have to be on his own till they come back.
And it was all the damn examinations' fault, otherwise he could have attended his cousin's wedding. "Mine's next week too." Jirou looked at him for a while and there was a thoughtful expression on his face. "Why don't you stay with me till they come back? I don't think my parents mind but I can always ask them for you." Bunta stared at him in surprise, not expecting Jirou's offer. "You sure about that? It's going to be more than a week."
Of course Bunta felt bad that he would have to inconvenient Jirou and his family. Jirou merely smiled and nodded his head. "I don't mind. We can study together too. I will text you later after I ask my parents and if they agree, you can come over tomorrow or Saturday." Seeing the determined look on Jirou's face, Bunta smiled back and relented. "Only if your parents agree." Jirou eagerly pulled him in a hug. "It's so going to be fun having a sleepover with Marui-kun!' Bunta snickered and hugged him back. "I'm going to make sure you study hard."
That broke Jirou's happy mood like he thought. "What? But I want to play with Marui-kun instead!" Bunta flicked his finger against Jirou's forehead with a grin. "Maybe after the exams. I'm sure we will get the chance to."
Bunta left for morning practice and he hoped that Jirou's parents would agree to let him stay with them. A week was long and he was going to stay there longer than that so maybe he should bake one of his cakes as thanks and make sure that Jirou would not sleep instead of studying. He was initially going to ask Jackal but now that Jirou offered, he would not have to.
"Marui-kun! My parents say it's alright if you stay with us till your family come back. Would you like to come over tomorrow after school?" Bunta considered for a while. His family was leaving on Saturday morning so he might as well start staying over on Friday. "Sure. Why don't we go out somewhere before we go and get my stuff after school?" Jirou answered a sure and the can ended a few minutes later.
"Mum. I'm going to stay with a friend till you and everyone else get back so you won't have to worry about me making a mess of the place." He rolled his eyes at the last statement. Why did his mother think he would mess up the place if he was alone? Was his clean room not his own effort? "Won't that inconvenient your friend?" An obvious frown appeared on his face. "He's the one who offered. His parents were fine with it too and of course I will be sure to not trouble them as much as I can. I have someone to study with me too."
Chances are, he would have try hard to keep Jirou awake but at least he had someone to study with him. He would need it for his two poorest subjects. "So who's that friend of yours?" The tone she used was rather suspicious and Bunta stared at her with a twinkle in his eyes. "He's not some shady character, don't worry. Besides you can see him tomorrow when he comes with me to get my stuff."
He left his mother with those words and started packing his clothes and other stuff he was going to need. "What to do with my uniform though? Maybe I need to visit some cleaning services to get it done." This was all so bothersome and he would have to bring quite a few sets of clothes with him. He ended up splitting some of his clothes into two, his uniform in one and all the other stuff and clothes into his other one. He stacked up the books he would have to bring with him aside. That way it would be easy for him to put them into his bag tomorrow when he comes back.
When they met after practice, Jirou was smiling brighter than usual and totally hyped up. "Marui-kun! Marui-kun!" He had shouted and waved energetically when he saw him. "Come on, let's go." Bunta ignored the people staring at them and dragged him by the arm. "Where are we going?" Jirou asked as he allowed Bunta to drag him along. "A place I'm sure you will like. Consider it a treat before I start making you study like crazy." He remembered asking Jirou a place he would like to go first last week and it came in handy way earlier than he thought.
"Huh? Marui-kun, you're bringing me to a Manga café?" Jirou's eyes were sparkling with excitement and Bunta chuckled at how childlike Jirou was acting. Not that he did not think was cute. "Why else are we here? We can't stay here for long though." He opened the door and hurried Jirou inside. "They sell tea and snacks here too as you read through the Manga books that you want."
Watching Jirou heading straight for the bookcases, Bunta took a seat and ordered a cup of tea and a slice of cake. He might as well get a snack as Jirou find a book that he is interested in. Bunta had an interest in mangas too but instead of getting his own, he usually just borrows some from Akaya.
Ten minutes later, Jirou came back with a new Manga book that he purchased. "Got something that you wanted?" Bunta questioned as he sipped his tea. "I didn't have time to check the bookstores lately so I didn't know this series have a new release." Seeing that Jirou was much too excited to read the book, Bunta grinned and ordered a slice of chocolate truffle for both of them.
The sweets here were pretty decent and he supposed he would not mind coming here once in a while. There was a nice ambience and he could see how much Jirou was enjoying himself. Maybe he could bring him here again when the exams are over and he could get himself a Manga to read too.
"Jirou. We have to go now before it's too late." Jirou placed the book into his bag and stood up. "Right. We're going to Marui-kun's house to get your things first right?" He was hyped up again at the chance to see Bunta's house and room. "Jirou, you can't be any chance be hyper because you get to go into my room right? Maybe I should just make you wait outside the door….."
The disappointed look on Jirou's face was apparent and he lightly poked his cheeks. "I was kidding. I'm not that cruel to leave you outside the door as long as you don't mess up my room, I'm happy to welcome you there." He would not want to clean up after Jirou, that was for sure.
The happy look came back on Jirou's face and Bunta shook his head. Jirou seriously was just too childlike but that was what makes it nice to mess with him. "Why are you so interested in my room anyway? It's just a normal looking room."
It was not anything special to him anyway and he did not have anything unique placed in his room. "Because it's Marui-kun's room!" Jirou declared and added nothing else to his statement. Bunta soon gave up getting a real answer and grabbed Jirou into a supermarket.
"What?" He squealed softly as he was made to walk into the supermarket. "I need to buy some stuff. You mentioned you need to get more pocky too right?" Jirou nodded and proceeded to throw various boxes of pocky into his basket.
At the end of the trip, Jirou was puzzled at the odd assortment of things he bought. The snacks and gum were the only things that he could understand Bunta buying. But Bunta did not tell him what they were for and he did not ask either.
"Bunta! So this is the friend you're going too be staying with? He's cute and I didn't imagine it would be someone from another school!" With a sigh, Bunta ushered Jirou towards the stairs to his room. Like dealing with an awed Jirou outside his house was not enough and now he has to deal with his mother too.
"Here, carry this for me." He gave Jirou one of the lighter bags after Jirou asked him to let him help carry some stuff. It was impossible for him to carry both bags when he still had the bags from the supermarket.
"I will be heading off now, Mom. See you when you come back." He waved and shut the door with much difficulty. The stuff were heavier than he thought and he was glad that Jirou was willing to help.
"Good evening, I'm Marui Bunta and thank you for having me over." He bowed and greeted them politely. It was the least he could do when they were willing to let him stay. "My! How polite. There's nothing to worry about. I should be thanking you for looking after Jirou for us. You're the one that's making him lunch right? We're relieved to have you and hopefully he would study more with you around. He tends to talk about you a lot and I can tell how big of an influence you are to him. Oh and have no worries about passing your laundry to us. We run a Dry-Cleaners stall after all so having your clothes to wash will be no trouble."
Jirou's family runs a laundry service? He glanced at Jirou for confirmation and Jirou grinned brightly and nodded his head. At least now he do not have to worry about his clothes. He also had a brief understanding why they let him stay too. "If it's no trouble, I am grateful to let you do my laundry for me. I was actually worried about what to do about it at first."
Directing an evil glance towards Jirou, he smirked as he spoke. "I was planning to make Jirou study like crazy anyway." The big pout on his face shown that Jirou was not happy about that. "Marui-kun!" He whined as the smirk on Bunta's face widened. "What? I told you we're going to study when you first started it. We're going to be studying till the end."
Jirou groaned at the exclamation. He did not want to be studying the whole day. "Do we have to?" He totally sounded like a kid now that was forced to go to bed early. Bunta winked and shook his head. "What do you think?" Jirou sighed and resigned to his fate. Bunta grinned triumphantly at the acceptance that he would not have to try to make Jirou agree to his plans.
"You'll be staying in Jirou's room." Jirou's mother watched their exchange with a smile and sent them off. "I will inform you when it's time for dinner." Bunta nodded his head in acknowledgement. "Alright. Thank you."
Jirou quickly directed him to his room. "Marui-kun! Welcome to my room." The was an excited tone in his voice and Bunta decided to play along. "I must say, it looks cleaner and less childlike than I thought." Jirou huffed and threw his bag on his table. "Quit teasing me!"
A jar with silver stars caught his attention and he moved closer to look at it. "What's that?" Jirou did not seem like someone who would collect such a thing and the jar was pretty empty. He tilted his head to get a better look at Jirou's face when he thought he caught a faint tint of pink on his cheeks. "They're made from the gum wrappers of the gum you gave me." His words were whispered softly and he had to strain his ears to catch them.
He blinked once and twice before his eyes widened and he had a feeling that his face was heating up too. "Really? You kept every single one of them and folded them into stars?" Bunta was shocked. Sure he knew that Jirou admired him, but he did not know he would treasure his things to that extent. Strangely, he felt warm and embarrassed more than creeped out.
"They were from Marui-kun, of course I would treasure them. Won't you treasure something given to you by your idol? The silver wrappers were the only thing I could keep so I folded them into stars. I also got a glass jar as a present and I thought it would be better if I made it into something that would fit inside more." Dumping the wrappers inside would not make it that nice and people would ask about it. At least when they were folded into stars, no one would be able to tell what it is. The silver wrappers suited the colour of the stars too and Jirou thought it would be the best choice besides the fact that he did only knew how to fold stars and two other things.
"It looks quite nice, good job finding a nice way in keeping them and not making it obvious what they're made of." If Jirou had not told him, there was no way he could have guessed they were made from gum wrappers. The silvery gum wrappers does make the stars sparkle slightly under the light.
Bunta really did not really know what else to comment about that. He felt awkward to know how much Jirou valued those gum that he gave to him. Even in the past he felt indebted to him and that Jirou always treated him more highly than how he treats him. It was unfair towards Jirou but Bunta would not know how else to treat him. His character made it hard for him and the most he could do was to let Jirou do the things that he likes.
"Why don't you head for the showers first? The ones who use it on this floor is usually my brother and I and he doesn't come back so early." The silence unnerved Jirou and he spoke of the first thing that crossed his mind. Bunta was glad of the opportunity to break the awkward silence and stood up.
"The door in the middle right?" He confirmed as he took a set of clothes and towel from his bag. "That's the one and there's a free hook for you to hang your towel that you can use." Bunta gave a nod to acknowledge that he heard what he said and left the room.
Jirou sighed and slumped on the table, shaking the jar lightly. "Never thought I would let Marui-kun know about it..." What if Bunta started thinking bad of him because of it? That would be bad and he did not want to leave a bad impression on Bunta. He reached into his pocket for the gum wrapper he got today and proceeded to fold it into a star. While he folded it, he wondered why stars came so naturally to him? The only person he knew he associated with stars was just that person from his past. Now that he give it some thought, lots of things that he could remember for that person was similar to what his brain thinks for Bunta. The coincidence was strange and he thought maybe he should tell Bunta about it one day.
By the time Bunta had came back, Jirou had already fallen asleep on the table. With a chuckle, he shook him lightly. "Wake up Jirou. I didn't know I was gone that long for you to be sleeping so soundly."
With a yawn, Jirou blinked and tried to recall where he was currently. "Hurry up and get a shower. Your brother's going to be back soon right?" The words registered slowly in his half-awake mind and he managed to get his clothes before walking out of the room. "Is he going to be okay there?" Bunta watched as Jirou continued yawning as he walked around.
Once Jirou was out of sight, his attention was shifted back to the jar on the table. "Stars huh? Your subconscious are trying to hint to you who I am isn't it? Why else is it this of all things? The symbol we decided on when we first met."
Deciding that there was nothing else he could do, he ended up taking out his uniforms and hung them in the available space in Jirou's wardrobe that was strangely big and not filled much. He supposed that shown how much of an interest in clothes that he have. Maybe he should buy him some as presents next time. Jirou had stop him he could place his clothes there but Bunta decided to just place his uniform inside and everything else in his bag.
When Jirou came back, Bunta was leaning against one of the chairs and reading one of the Manga books he found in the bookshelf. "Ah. You're back. Hope you didn't mind that I borrowed this. Akaya has this series too and I borrowed it from him before." The awkward air between them were gone and they were chatting like they were usually.
When Jirou's mother called them down for dinner, Bunta patted Jirou on the shoulder as he spoke. "After this, we're going to start on some studying Jirou. Serious studying and I'm not letting you fall asleep till we're done with what I have planned." Jirou paled and suddenly he wondered if it was a good idea to invite Bunta here…..
The dinner was rather fun and Jirou's family was rather friendly. The cooking was to his liking and Jirou's mother had made sure he got to eat enough. The dessert was pretty good too, some Japanese sweets that Jirou's father had brought back home. At least it was not as awkward as he thought it would be like.
They asked about his family, what school he was from and how he knew Jirou. When he mentioned they were tennis rivals from different schools, Jirou's family seemed confused as to why they would hang out. Jirou answered that for him and his mother had instantly apologised if Jirou had bothered him in anyway.
He assured her that Jirou did not bother him and he rather liked his company too. Despite Jirou's best efforts to try to make the time dread, Bunta had forcefully grabbed his hand and brought him to his room against his will. "Nice try but we are not escaping from this."
The subject he picked turned out to be one that Jirou was weakest at too. After long hours of drilling the things they both needed to remember for Classics, Jirou was very much beat. Usually he would fall asleep straightaway but since the one with him was Bunta, he could manage to keep himself awake for a while before the boredom of Classics lulled him to sleep.
"Jirou?" There was a light plop on his shoulder and he shook his head as he carried him up towards the bed. "I suppose we did enough studying for today. Good job staying awake till now." He yawned and carried him towards the bed. Jirou did doze off a few times but he always woke up again once Bunta had shaken him and he really did pay attention to what he says.
In less than half an hour, Bunta had realised that the best way he could get Jirou to stay awake and remember the things needed was when he highlighted them to Jirou and read it out to him. Otherwise, he seemed to be bored of it and would lose interest in it quickly. "How's that for a genius? I even got this sleepyhead to stay awake and study for three hours straight." He yawned again and struggled to carry an asleep Jirou to his bed.
"Hmm…..he's lighter than I thought." Placing the sleeping Jirou towards the inner part of the bed, he crawled in and covered them both with the blanket. He had a futon he could use but Jirou had said that it was fine if he wanted to sleep on the bed with him. A bed was always more comfortable than a futon to him and Jirou's bed was big enough for the two of them with room to spare.
He did not know why he had such a big bed but at least he could sleep there, at least for tonight. If Jirou was not a light sleeper and those who snores or moves around too much, he would rather take the futon. For tonight he was just going to give this a try and he was much too sleepy to even move any more.
When Bunta first woke up, he had to blink and look around the place curiously. Upon seeing the slumbering Jirou, he finally remembered that he was staying at Jirou's house for the time being. He stood up and stretched. Looks like he could continue sleeping on the bed since his sleep was pretty decent and Jirou had not disturbed him at all.
After his shower, he walked slowly towards the kitchen. It was a little early and he was trying to be as quiet as he could to not wake the rest of the family up. Bunta was used to waking up early and looking after his younger brothers so taking care of Jirou was nothing and totally simple.
He dug through the bags of things he bought from the supermarket yesterday and took out the various things he would need. Bunta had questioned Jirou's mother yesterday whether or not the house had what he might need and she answered him despite being puzzled as to why he was asking about such a thing.
"Huh? Marui-kun? What are you doing in the kitchen so early?" Jirou's mother stepped into view and Bunta looked at her a little uncomfortably. "Well…..I wanted to bake a cake for you guys to show my thanks." The cake was decorated half way and only the icing was on it.
"You can bake?" Bunta's cheeks flushed and he nodded his head. "It's a hobby of mine and I'm really fond of sweets." That meant sound strange coming from a guy but that helped him to keep his sweet tooth in check and he did not have to go around buying cakes all the time.
Jirou's mother only smiled and spoke in a kind voice. "That's nice. Your mother must be happy to have you around. Now don't mind me and go on with your cake, I'm just going to cook up breakfast." Bunta concentrated on getting his cake finished and placed the strawberries last as part of the decoration. "There. Finished. Need any help?" He offered politely but he was shooed off once he placed his cake into the fridge.
Since Jirou's mother rather he rest some more, he headed back towards Jirou's room and like he thought, Jirou was still fast asleep. Seeing that he had nothing else to do, he started looking through Jirou's and his exam schedules and decided on what to study later on. With a groan, he realised it was Maths, one of his worst subjects.
After an embarrassing breakfast of Jirou's mother telling the rest of the cake he baked, the two of them were discussing a Math question that Bunta did not quite get. "No! Marui-kun, that isn't it. You should be using this formulae to solve the question instead." His face was furrowed with stress and Jirou proceeded to explain to him why that was so.
"Your math's pretty good." Bunta exclaimed as he listened to Jirou's explanations, at least better than him at least. He could understand the methods a little better when Jirou explained it since their way of thinking were similar and when they talked about Tennis moves, most people do not get what they are talking about too.
After a stressing Math study, Bunta was wolfing down lunch and Jirou was yawning while he tried to eat. "The both of you look like you're dying." Jirou's older brother commented as they both looked at each other before laughing.
"We were tackling Math questions till now." Bunta was pleased that he got some of the basics down and studying with Jirou was rather interesting. His explanations were simple for him to understand compared to his teacher's.
"Marui-kun, what's the next thing we're going to be studying? With a face, Bunta declared more Maths. It was an important subject so they should dedicate at least half a day to it, no matter how much he disliked it.
When dinner came, Jirou kept smiling stupidly and Bunta had to poke him to stop him from giggling. "But I get to eat Marui-kun's baking~" He reasoned.
Sunday passed similarly and Monday soon came. "Jirou. Wake up." Bunta was about to leave and he decided to wake him before he goes.
"Marui-kun? Ohayo..." Bunta was soon on his way after informing Jirou that he placed his bento box in his bag already and he should be getting ready for school.
The rest of the days passed with them studying together after school and helping each other in areas that the other was weak in. Jirou found that he managed to remember more things and Bunta getting more of his Math questions.
"So Jirou, how was it?" Bunta asked curiously as he sipped his drink. They were at a teahouse to celebrate the end of their exams. "It was okay." He gobbled the sakura mochi he was eating and Bunta watched as he tried to stuff another one into his mouth.
"Sad that you're returning to your home tomorrow though." It was fun having Bunta to stay with him. "Now that you don't have me to look after you, you better take better care of yourself. "But I like having Marui-kun taking care of me." He commented with a pout.
How did this even end up with him looking after Jirou? Not that he really minded much about that. "Jirou, I can't be with you at every point of time but I can invite you to stay with me next week if you want. You can start coming over after school on Friday till Sunday afternoon." He had asked for permission which his mother granted easily. Jirou had allowed him to stay and he was glad to offer the same. "Before I forget, this is your reward." He threw a surprised Jirou a box of moose pocky.
If Bunta remembered correctly, that was Jirou's favourite type of pocky. Watching the happy smile on Jirou's face proved that he was right. "Thanks! And I really can stay with you?" The excited sparkling gleam in his eyes was pretty to see and Bunta knew he phrased his words to bring that out sometimes.
"Why else would I offer it to you if you can't? But depending on my mood, you might be sleeping in the living room or the floor in my room." He winked to show that he was jesting but Jirou did not seem to have caught it anyway. "I pick the floor then! If I can sleep in Marui-kun's room, I would not mind sleeping on the floor."
Bunta burst into mirth laughter. So Jirou was willing to sleep on the floor if he got to stay in his room? Why would he repay Jirou's kindness by letting him sleep on the floor? If he was such a person he would not be looking after him right now. "No. You silly goose. I was kidding. If you don't mind squeezing in my bed which would be more comfortable than the futon or you prefer the latter it's fine too. My bed might be smaller than yours but it will fit the both of us if you're interested."
Since Jirou would at most just mutter some random things in his sleep that is usually rather short and he does not really move much so he will have nothing to worry about. The most important thing was about being attacked in his sleep and Jirou show no such cases during the whole thing they were staying together.
He was not one that finds sharing a bed with someone strange and he was certain that Jirou was too innocent and naive to even think much about it. There was nothing wrong with sharing a bed when you are just sleeping next to someone and he often slept with his little brothers. As long as he was comfortable with that person, he would not mind sharing a bed with them.
"Of course I wouldn't mind! Haven't I been sharing one with you for the past few days? As long as you don't mind my weird tendencies of speaking out loud in my sleep..." Gakuto and Ryou had commented to him before when he stayed in the same tent as them when they were in grade school. Some of the other tennis members told him about that too.
So he was aware of it? Sleeping habits could not be controlled so Bunta was not blaming him for anything. "That's settled then! We can ask your parents about it later and if they agree, you're welcome to stay over." The both knew that the proposal was going to be agreed to so they turned back to their food.
Bunta had not eaten traditional sweets in a while and Jirou did not object to it so the both of them ended up at one that Jackal recommended to him. "Jackal!" Speaking of the devil, a familiar tanned bald head came into view. "Huh? What are you doing here? And is that your fan from Hyotei sitting there with you?"
The conversation had caught Jirou's attention and he shifted his gaze towards the just appeared Jackal. "You're Marui-kun's partner aren't you?" He remembered hearing about him from some of the tennis talks Bunta and him often engaged with. "Why don't you take a seat?" He offered the seat next to him and grabbed his bag away.
"Jirou. Pass that bag over. You can put it next to mine." Bunta took the bag and shifted his attention towards his partner. "So why are you here?" He did not recall Jackal telling him that he was planning to come.
Jackal only directed the question back to him. "I believe I asked you that first. You're even with someone that's from a rival school. Wait, you mentioned that your family are out this week and that you found a place to crash. So you're staying with him?"
"May I take your order?" A waitress stopped by their table and Bunta immediately answered. "Two more sakura mochis." He took a peek at Jirou's cup before adding more to the order. "Two more cups of green tea as well. And Jackal what are you getting?" Jirou sipped his tea and waited, he knew one of the sakura mochis were for him.
Jackal sighed when Bunta directed the attention to him. "A cup of green tea and three ichigo daifukus. " He had a feeling that the bill would be footed by him too. Which would not really be anything new.
"So why are you here with him?" He asked again for the third time since did not get a reply. Bunta shot a glance at Jirou and smiled. "Like you said, I'm staying with him till tomorrow. We usually hang out during Fridays so it isn't anything new."
Jirou gave a nod and Jackal watched curiously as Bunta stole Jirou's last bite of his mochi. Jirou pouted but said nothing and Bunta had a triumphant smirk on his face. They looked close and he wondered when they started being friends. "So that's why you're busy on Friday nowadays and what about Monday? You seem to be killing time before you leave."
Bunta was chewing the mochi and he locked his gaze with Jirou. Catching his signal, Jirou spoke up instead. "He was waiting for my practice to end. Since the both of us take the same bus, we make a plan to meet on the same bus."
That made sense and cleared some of his thoughts. "The same bus? But Monday and Friday are the only time that he's busy." This was something that did not match. "I mentioned that I moved right? My house is two stops away from his. And I take the same bus as Jirou in the morning during the rest of the days. I decided to meet him during the afternoons that we don't see each other during the day."
"We met by chance on the bus a few weeks ago and we started talking." Jirou added in just as the waitress came back with their order. "Oh. I will like the smallest box of the Sakura mochis to go too." He caught Jirou's puzzled look and explained. "For your family." A look of understanding passed his face and Jackal took the chance to speak up again after he got the chance.
"You two seemed like old friends and really close." Jirou's face lit up at that comment. "Really? I'm glad to hear that. Of course I think of Marui-kun as a good friend, not sure what Marui-kun thinks of me though."
Bunta playfully shoved a small piece of his mochi into his mouth. "Hush there. You don't know what I think of you? If you're not my friend, I wouldn't be meeting you or taking care of you now would I?"
Jirou chewed and Bunta spoke up again. "So are we friends? Besides, Jackal over here can't chat with me about volleys and neither does he get what I say. The only person I can chat about tennis and sweets all day is you right?"
Jackal watched as Jirou's face turned pink. "It's nice to know that Marui-kun thinks of me as a friend too. I like chatting with you too." When he turned his face back towards Bunta, he realised that his smile was genuine and there was that caring look he usually have for people he sees as friends. There was something else too that felt different, not that he could tell what it is.
He ate his sweets as the two of them talked about tennis and he could not get what they were talking about. There were strange sounds and they were speaking of moves too. He wondered if Jirou really understood what Bunta was saying or just pretending and now he gets why Bunta had a box of pocky with him on some days and unwilling to share with the rest of them.
"The bill will be paid... by Jackal." By the time he heard that it was too late. Bunta already had Jirou standing and keeping a tight grip on him. "But Marui-kun, I should—" Bunta interrupted and gave his head a shake. "No need to worry. Everything will be paid by Jackal."
"What?" He was right to guess this happening and he sighed as he paid the bill. It was more expensive than he thought and he wondered just how much they had eaten before he same? Like it was cheap to pay for Bunta, today he had to pay for him and Jirou.
"Should I pay for my share at least?" Jirou was looking at him guiltily and he smiled. "It's alright. I can treat it as a treat for meeting someone new. The one who should be offering to pay is someone else." He spared Bunta a look and said male stuck his tongue at him.
Jirou still looked a little guilty and Jackal deserved to spare the male. "Shouldn't the two of you be leaving? It's late? And Akutagawa-kun, you're free to stop by the Ramen place my dad owns. Bunta here knows the place, you can ask him to take you there."
Bunta smiled boardly and nodded. "I can take you there if you like and everything will be paid by Jackal too! It will be his treat." Jackal grimaced and pulled a face. "Only for Akutagawa-kun, Bunta you will have to pay for yourself."
"That's unfair. I'm your partner!" That line was not effective much when he had already treated Bunta too many times to count and Bunta was always pushing things to him. "Fine. I'm leaving." Bunta declared but he made no movement to move though. "Right after we come to an agreement."
Both Jackal and Jirou seemed baffled at that and were both waiting for him to continue his speech. "You keep my friendship with Jirou a secret, especially from Niou. No one needs to know that we're actually good friends."
That was all? Jackal actually expected something more but it was just that? He was not going to go around telling people that the two of them were friends. "I won't tell." Bunta waved him off and Jirou passed a box of pocky to him. "Treat it as my thanks and it was nice meeting you today~"
He headed towards Bunta who was waiting patiently for him and he watched as they started chatting about something again. Jackal was really glad to see that Bunta found someone who share his interests and get someone to talk to. Bunta had complained to him before that he did not have someone he could talk about volley to and now he does.
"Aren't you sleeping?" Bunta tilted his head and pondered why Jirou was awake. "You're leaving tomorrow so I wanted to talk to you a while more." He shook the jar lightly and muttered to the jar more than towards Bunta. He shook his head and took the jar away from Jirou. "Don't be silly. We can still talk through text messages and phone calls and we still see each other on the bus after that."
He obliged and chatted with him late into the night till the both of them were sleepy. The rest of their days were spent studying so tonight was the only night that they actually got to talk about things not related to their studies and Bunta was enjoying every minute of it. He could talk to Jirou forever and never get bored.
They just had so much in common. There were some differences between them but their character was a little similar and they clicked really well. He had to admit that he was going to miss talking to Jirou late into the night and having his meals with him too. Jirou could not resisted his urge to sleep for long and was soon asleep.
Next week came quickly and Jirou was currently in Bunta's room. "Wah! Marui-kun's room~" Bunta laughed and observed Jirou looking through his room. "Didn't you already been here once? And there isn't much for you to see." Jirou continued looking through his stuff though and his eyes were still gleaming.
Jirou's bag laid forgotten on the ground and Bunta brought it up and unpacked it for him. He was sure Jirou was not going to remember to unpack them and by the time that he remembers, he would be struggling to stay awake.
"Any homework?" Jirou pulled a face and nodded his head. "Classics again?" That was usually the only homework that Jirou would drag doing. "Tell you what, if you help me with my Maths, I will help you with your Classics." Of course he suggested it in a way that they would benefit. They both know that they understand better when the other is the one that is doing the teaching and they would pay more attention during that time too.
"It's a deal." They shook hands to settle it and they started off with Jirou's dreaded Classics. Once they were both done with each other's worse subjects, they started with the other subjects too. Bunta was about to inform Jirou that he had finished when Jirou fell asleep and leaned towards his shoulder.
With a chuckle, he gently placed his head on his lap. He absentmindedly played with the strands of Jirou's hair as he spoke. "Don't you think you lower your guard for me too much? You seem overly excited about me than other things too. I noticed that you stay awake for my matches but stay asleep for everyone else's. Why is that? Do you really admire me that much? Of course it's expected when I'm a tensai."
The strands were soft and he twirled his finger around some of them as he lowered his volume. " Nee, Ji-chan. I—" Jirou shifted from his lap and his eyes opened slowly. "That name and that tone? I heard it before…." He had started to slumbered when Bunta started playing with his hair but he only regained conscious completely when he heard that name.
He could see it, a child version of him running towards someone who called him by that name. The name the younger him spoke of had him widening his eyes in surprise and he turned towards Bunta whose image looked similar to the one his younger self was greeting. The name rolled out of his tongue easily and naturally this time.
"Bun-chan." The final piece of the puzzle he had been looking for was finally in place. Now he knew why his brain associated Bunta and the person he could not remember well with the same things, because part of him had recognised him during the short time they had interacted. No wonder he always had this strange nostalgia feeling whenever they did something he thought he did before in the past.
Bunta's expression was between surprised and pleased. "Finally remembered? I was wondering if you would ever realise who I am. But just for you to know, I wasn't nice to you because I recognised you, it's because of the current you and nothing to do with the past you. Well, not much at least. Just like how I like you in the past, the current me likes you too."
That sounded wrong but he did not know how else he was going to phrase it. He did not treat Jirou special just because they knew each other in the past and that he really did enjoy his company without any of that. "But why didn't I remember you till now?" Jirou could not get why he was not able to get back that memory until Bunta called him by that nickname.
"That's because…" Bunta looked a little uncomfortable as he spoke and Jirou speculated that it was not something good. "We knew each other for a week. Part of the reason why you folded stars was because I taught you that. Back then, we first met when we playing in the playground and there was a star as the design on the spot that we talked and you seemed to like it. It became our symbol in a while and why you didn't remember was probably because you didn't want to remember being upset."
Jirou had a baffled expression and he continued speaking before Jirou could say anything. "Because I didn't tell you I was going to be staying for only a week. You were really upset and betrayed when I told you that day was the last day I was going to see you and we probably won't be able to see each other again. The week was fun and I really treasured it, I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to be unhappy and I thought it would be best to tell you till the last minute. I really glad I spent every single minute as I did with you and I was surprised when I realised it was you when we met again."
Now that Bunta had said it, he could feel some of the memories coming back to him slowly. "Of course I was upset. You told me at such a late notice that I couldn't even give you something to remember me by or even know what to say. I remember now, I was really sad that you have to leave and I really didn't want you to. It's because of you that I picked up eating moose pocky too."
"And you're the one who got me started on gum. I remember you giving me a stick when I told you I wanted some sugar but I can't always snack on cakes and other things and you suggested it to me. It was the best way I could eat sugar and it's handy too."A wide smile appeared on his face as he ruffled Jirou's hair affectionately.
Jirou managed to fill the remaining gaps in his memory with what Bunta remembers and they were quick to catch up and chat about how silly they were back then. Some of the conversations were embarrassing and neither of them wanted other people to know. It was their secret and they agreed on what to call each other from now on.
"When we're in public, I'm still going to call you Jirou but when we're around the other tennis players, you're Jirou-kun to me. Of course, you're Ji-chan again when we're alone." Otherwise people would question their sudden friendship and why are they calling each other by such nicknames. "So you're still Marui-kun when we're outside and Bun-chan when we're alone?"
Bunta nodded. "That's right." Things turned back to usual and the pair grew closer now that Jirou remembered who he is and they soon started the habit of staying other at each other's place on Friday till Sunday morning. They took turns sleeping at whose place although Bunta would stop over usually if they were staying at his place out of fear that Jirou would miss his stop.
That had happened before once when he sent him off to the bus stop and he later learnt that Jirou overslept and ended up at some other place. Since then, he would stop by on Sunday afternoons if Jirou was staying over at his place to make sure he gets home safely without wasting any time. Jirou's sleeping habits were bad and he found him sleeping on the streets when he waited for him sometimes.
A couple of weeks later Bunta ended up going to Hyotei to look for Jirou. There were not any replies and his practice ended already and Jirou should be finished with his too. The only possible answer was that Jirou had fallen asleep and he was here to check it out.
"Huh? Atobe? Practice's over?" Jirou rubbed his eyes as he turned to see the courts empty. Looks like he had overslept. "Been over for more than an hour already. Ore-sama has been waiting for you to wake up. Ore-sama suppose he would be nice enough to see you home as usual."
Bunta glowered at that remark and stepped closer to the place. "Eh? Marui-kun? Sorry that I overslept." Jirou apologised the instant he noticed his friend walking over and walked towards him. "What's Rikkai's student doing here? Here to scout Jirou here?"
Bunta rolled his eyes and shook his head. "No. I'm just here to collect Jirou-kun. We're supposed to be meeting half an hour ago and I had a hunch that he was asleep when I didn't get any reply." Jirou could not walk over when Atobe had a grasp on his own.
"Why should Ore-sama believe you? You say you have a meeting with Jirou but is that really true?" Bunta was infuriated at Atobe's words. Jirou softly pushed Atobe's hand away and walked towards Bunta. "Bu- Marui-kun is speaking the truth. We made a plan to meet today at one of the cake stores nearby and I forgot to switch on my phone so I didn't see his text."
Atobe stared at the two of them in disbelief. "Jirou you're saying you are close to him that you have his number and you meet him?" Two heads nodded and they both looked unhappy to be standing there. "Is that why you seem so excited after school and leave school without falling asleep along the way?"
"Wait, Jirou-kun. You fall asleep on your way home usually? That's worst than I thought. Should I start meeting you on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after school from now on?" Their discussion was not able to proceed when Atobe spoke up again. "Ore-sama don't think there's a need for that when Ore-sama sends Jirou back home on those days."
"Ah yeah. Atobe picks me up whenever I fall asleep on the way and sends me home. But I'm usually awake when I'm going to meet you, Marui-kun." Bunta heaved a sigh at Jirou's bad habit. "You really need to stop that. You do that on the bus way too often too. Why else do you think I take the bus back with you when you're over at my place?"
Bunta's eyes narrowed when Atobe grabbed hold of Jirou again. "Ore-sama doesn't think it's good for you to hang out with him. He might be using you to get information on Hyotei." It got worse when he heard what Atobe said. He did not get it but he was really losing his cool real easily, was it because he kept holding on to Jirou?
"No I am not using him as a way to gain information on Hyotei. Is there even a need to do such a thing? Rikkai is strong enough to play against Hyotei without such petty tricks. The both of us are really friends and nothing else." He snarled and tugged Jirou away.
Seeing that Bunta looked really annoyed, Jirou decided to speak up and leave quickly. "Bun-chan, calm down." In his midst to try to get him to calm down, he did not realise the name he called him was the wrong one. Bunta on the other hand noticed and sneered at Atobe as he responded. "Only because you asked me to, Ji-chan. Can we leave already?"
He stuck his tongue out at a furious Atobe when Jirou tugged him away from the place. "Bun-chan? Are you really sure you're fine? You look really annoyed." Bunta took a momentary look at him before speaking up. "I don't know. I got really irritated when he kept holding us up and he kept holding onto you too."
"You were jealous?" Jirou asked obliviously. Bunta's eyes grew wider and he went red in the face. Was he jealous? But that would mean that he did not want people to touch Jirou and would that not mean he like him?
There was not any strange feeling from that question and he knew his face was heating up more so he really does like him? Jirou was fun to be around and he was willing to accommodate with everything he says. He liked hearing Jirou's praises and how Jirou seemed wide awake for him and most importantly, spending time with him.
The time spent with Jirou was enjoyable and he knew no one else could replace Jirou and make him laugh or smile as much as him. They were not as cute as Jirou either and they would not give him the reactions that he liked and Jirou is the only one who could understand him if he describe tennis in his own way that everyone else could not get.
No matter what he thought, Jirou always turn up important. His lips curled up into a smile and he whispered out his answer. "Maybe I was." Jirou blinked and peeked at him. "That you just admit that you were jealous?" He could not believe that was what he heard and Bunta winked and walked faster.
"Who knows?" Jirou sulked and chased after him. "That isn't fair Bun-chan. I deserve to know the answer." They were back at Bunta's room and Jirou was still sulking. "Come on, tell me." He was still pestering Bunta to tell him if what he heard was correct or not.
"You really want to know? Why are you so determined to hear my answer anyway?" He locked gazes with him and waited for his reply. Jirou broke the gaze quickly and his face was away from him but Bunta could still catch the pink tints. "Because it would make me happy if you were jealous." The words were spoken barely above a whisper but Bunta heard it anyway.
He chortled and struggled to stop laughing. Really, they really were such a pair. "Fine. I admit, I was jealous. But that's natural since I like you." He waited and the expected reaction came from Jirou. "I like you too Bun-chan."
He did not expect Jirou to get which like he meant anyway. "No. Jirou I like you." He emphasised on the word and see if it he gets it. "But Bun-chan, I already said I like you too." Bunta groaned, Jirou was totally not getting it. Did he have to spell it out for him?
With another groan, he tugged Jirou forward and kissed him. It was light and over within a few seconds. "Get it? I like you." Jirou snickered and nodded his head. "As expected of Marui-kun~! Even your way to get people to understand you is awesome~ But like I have been telling you, I like you too Bun-chan." Jirou had called out the old name he used to call Bunta out of habit when he said that earlier.
He blinked before laughing too. "I guess even Tensais make mistakes every now and then." Bunta really should have known that Jirou understood what he meant when Jirou usually understands what he says without much explanation. Of course things would have been less embarrassing if he was able to say it in a straightforward way.
Jirou beamed brightly and the incoming hug was expected and welcomed. "But you're forever my idol no matter what." He hugged him back and patted him. "Of course. What do you expect from a Tensai? A Tensai's not going to lose his fans by making one mistake."
"Especially when it's you." The both of them burst into laughter again. They really were such a pair and he should have realised it a lot sooner of his feelings for Jirou. He tilted Jirou's head up and this time the kiss was much sweeter and filled with more emotions.
Maybe he should thank Atobe? If it was not for him, he would not have felt jealous and probably not even aware of his feelings for Jirou. He could put a frown on that cocky guy's face and he was not sure if he was just paranoid or that Atobe likes Jirou too. He was not going to restrict Jirou from continuing to befriend him though, Jirou had his rights to friend anyone he wants and he trusts him enough.
Their relationship was very much under wrap and Bunta had a feeling that Jackal was aware of their relationship. But since he knew his partner would not say anything even if he knew, he did not ask or speak about it. Whatever happens during matches and anything would not affect their relationship and Jirou was acting like he usually do during his matches.
They continued meeting up and staying over too. Both families were used to the arrangements too and welcomed them, of course they were in the dark about their relationship. Their families were under the impression that the both of them were just really good friends. Bunta usually stayed over at Jirou's place during exam periods to make sure that Jirou would study and score better in his exams.
It was not that hard to hide their relationship during the U-17 training camp too. They managed to stick to calling the names they agreed on and no one suspected a thing. By a stroke of luck they ended up in the same room too. The both of them chatted animatedly and no one would suspect a thing too since they already know that they were Volley expects and it was normal for them to talk about tennis.
"No. I think it's more of a 'fuwaan!' with your right arm and a 'bonyon' with your knee and then a 'pun' to hit that move. If we use 'fuu' instead of 'pun' the ball will be slightly off course." Jirou nodded his head in agreement. "I thought it was a 'fuwaan' but I didn't get the 'pun'. As expected of Marui-kun." Gakuto just stared at the both of them with a face and shook his face.
"I don't even get a word the both of you are saying. Just what are you two talking about?" They were then reminded that Gakuto was here and they both seemed puzzled. "Volley tennis moves. What else do you think it is?"
That random sound making was Volley moves? Gakuto was just going to leave the two of them in their world now and try to sleep with all the noise they were making. He was surprised to see Jirou totally awake despite how late it was and the amount of excitement he was showing was forever present.
Even up to the graduation of Middle School did no one find out about their relationship. They both applied for the same High School and got admitted in it too. "Aren't you glad we manage to get into the same school this time? We can even play tennis together too~" Jirou went on and on and Bunta smiled as he listened to him speak.
"You forgot to mention that we got into the same dorm room too." They both appealed for it when they found out they managed to get in and the school rules stated that if someone had a person they know in the school, they can asked to be in the same room. "That too~"
Bunta kissed his cheek discreetly and grabbed hold of his hand. "It means more work for me doesn't it? Now I have to look after you for twenty four hours instead of just part of the day and no doubt all the cooking is going to be done by me too."
"I can do the cleaning and you do not look after me that much." He pouted at the comment and struggled to get out of Bunta's grasp but Bunta only tightened his grip. "Oh really? Who's the one that's making sure you don't fall asleep and actually study for your exams and everything?" He did not mind looking after him seeing that he was used to looking after his brothers already.
Their life might be rocky in the future and their family might not accept their relationship, the two of them would still be together because no one else would make them as happy as the other person could. Their life in High School might be hard with all the classes and they still had tennis practice but they were together at least. They managed to get in the same class so they got to be together nearly every minute and neither would want it any other way.
"Happy Birthday Ji-chan~" Bunta placed the freshly baked cake on the table and beamed. There were pocky sticks and strawberries on the cake and Jirou giggled when he saw them. "Thank you." It was apparent that the pocky sticks were added for him and he hugged him tightly.
"I love eating Bun-chan's cake best~" Because they were made by Bunta, Jirou liked it even more. It was really great to be able to eat a birthday cake made by Bunta and decorated and favoured all just for him. "What flavour is it?"
He brought up the box of pocky and winked. "Chocolate Strawberry mousse like you like it to be." He was really lucky to have Bunta not only with him but getting to date him too. He did not even expect such a thing to happen when he first started being awed by him. He knew that Bunta's tennis had him completely captivated and he was his fan from that day on.
He watched his matches without expecting anything in return and when they got to be friends, it was already a dream come true. Now that he has reached something deeper than that, he was really happy. Getting to know that Bunta was the special person to him in his past was too.
"I guess that means whether it's the past or the future or even now, Bun-chan has been my only special person." He beamed broadly at that and Bunta struggled to keep his face void of any blush. Jirou was always too honest with his words even when what he says are embarrassing.
"Of course. It won't change that the person I like is you and no one else." No matter what life throws at them in the future, this feeling would not change and they would definitely be together. As long as they had each other, everything would be fine. They even know what to approach as their future jobs too. They shall work on it and continue living and being together. "Things are just going to stay this way even in the long future."