Chapter 3

The tour of the science labs was not as interesting as I thought. The two chemistry labs were still located at the same place since my high school years and, save for a few new equipment, nothing had changed. The tour had lasted a little bit more than ten minutes. Kamio had wanted to make sure that I knew where everything went. We went back to the teachers' office right after and he left me to myself.

It was about five in the afternoon when I packed my things to leave. One of my colleagues approached me as I stood from my chair. The chance that it was Kamio was 40%; my other colleagues 58%; Kaidoh 2%.

"Inui-sempai," my colleague greeted.

I nearly choked at the sound of his voice. "K-kaidoh." My prediction was wrong.

"I-I..." he fidgeted, his voice quieting to a low hiss. I couldn't help but quirk an eyebrow at his behaviour.

"I - are you..." he started to say, eyes fixated on the ground. After a deep breathe, he straightened himself and looked me in the eye. "Are you free tonight?"

I chuckled, my brow rising higher in amusement. "Yes, I am. Why do you ask?"

He seemed to shrink away again for a moment before speaking. "W-we could grab a bit at Kawamura-sempai's and chat... if you want."

"Sure. Let me just make sure I have everything," I answered, proceeding to check my bag. I could see him fidget beside me. It was entertaining to see him like this. To those who don't know him as well as I do, he would just be the serious, scary-looking, quiet Kaidoh. I am grateful to Coach Ryuuzaki, who allowed us to be doubles partners in the first place, that I am able to see the more 'hidden' side of this man.

I zipped my bag closed before facing him again. "All set. Ready to go?"

He gave a low hiss of agreement before we ventured out the door in the direction of our tennis club's prized eating spot.

"WELCOME!" came the greeting from the employees once we entered Kawamura sushi. The restaurant was bigger than before, now having a longer bar and more seating areas to accommodate more people. The place brimmed with the same amount of energy. The sushi chefs worked tirelessly behind the bar and the servers delivered food swiftly and smoothly. It seems that the restaurant has hired more people since I had last visited.

"How many people?" a male server, who by his facial features and arm muscle structure was around 15 or 16, cheerfully asked. I nodded to myself. Their business has grown well.

"Two," Kaidoh answered immediately, following the server after a short 'Follow me please.'

We were seated at a table in the middle of the restaurant, close to the sushi bar and in direct line of sight with the door.

Kaidoh ordered for the both of us almost immediately. I was surprised that he had remembered what I preferred to eat. I was impressed. The flush that painted his face pink after realizing what he had done was even more marvelous.

"I-I'm sorry," Kaidoh hissed, eyes drawn to the table separating us. "W-we could call the server again and you could order something else."

I chuckled. I seem to be doing that a lot today. "No. It's alright," I waved my hands in the air hoping to stop him from feeling guilty. It was no use. He wouldn't spare me a glance at all. "You ordered just what I wanted."

His cheeks flushed a shade darker as he reached for his cup of water set on the table earlier by the server.

"So, how have you been?" I asked, shrugging off my blazer and slightly loosening my tie.

"I've been well," he answered, taking another sip of his water. "How about sempai?"

"I'm good," I answered, noticing him move restlessly in his seat. It seems that he's struggling to keep a conversation with me. I'm not making him nervous, am I? I'm not sure how I should go about making him feel comfortable. What could I say? Ah, whatever.

"You can relax, you know. I'm not going to bite," that's a good start, I guess. He looked at me, finally. "I'm still the same Inui from junior high, you know. Probably just a little bit older, with more gray hair and worse eyes but still the same. You don't have to be nervous."

He blinked at me before I noticed his shoulders visibly relax. Good, he was warming up to me. Ah, it felt like junior high all over again.

"I'm sorry," he started. "I didn't really know what to say."

"Despite asking me out here?"

A nod.

"Hmm, interesting. Well," I shifted in my seat to a slightly more comfortable sitting position. "There's a lot of things we could talk about. For example, do you still play tennis?"

"Um, not as much as I used to. I help out Kikumaru-sempai at his animal shop at times when it's a day off. I still jog every morning though," he answered, taking another sip of his drink.

"Why not?"

He raised an eyebrow at me.

"Why aren't you playing as much tennis as you used to?" I clarified.

"It's different. Everyone is busy now."

I saw his hand reach for his cup from the corner of my eyes and, almost immediately, I unconsciously grabbed his hand, stopping him from doing so.

"Was it because I wasn't there?" his eyes grew wide at my question. What am i even saying? "Did you miss me?" his brows furrowed. Stop it self!

"Eh? Isn't that Kaidoh and Inui?" a familiar voice startled the both of us and Kaidoh immediately pulled his wrist out of my grasp.

I looked up to see the intruder of the conversation. I was surprised to see that there wasn't only one but two people moving quickly towards our table. One of them had chestnut-brown shoulder length hair; his eyes were closed and yet he seemed to see everything. Fuji Syuusuke did not seem to have changed physically. The one behind him frantically looked around the restaurant, brows knit together in frustration. He was taller than Fuji by about 3 inches, had familiar black hair and hazel eyes. Ah, Echizen Ryoma. My how he has grown.

"Syuusuke," I could hear the harsh whisper and see the grip Echizen had on Fuji's arm. "They look like they're having a serious conversation. Let's sit somewhere else."

"It's fine, Ryoma. It won't take long. Besides, we haven't seen them in a while. There's no harm in talking to them and asking them how they are," Fuji answered, smile never leaving his face.

With a sigh, Echizen let go of Fuji and the latter stood by our table.

"Fancy seeing the two of you here," Fuji greeted. "How are you? Still teachers?"

Echizen's eyes narrowed as he glared at me, at Kaidoh, at our table. His cheeky attitude hasn't changed, I see.

"We're good. Both still teachers. The school year's starting soon so it's going to be a little busy in a bit," I answered, looking at Fuji. His smile is as eerie as ever. "Why not join us for the night instead of getting a table for yourselves. It'd be easier to chat that way," I offered, noticing Echizen and Kaidoh flinch from the corners of my eyes. Echizen's glare grew harsher and Kaidoh eyed me with the same degree of intensity. Though before I could take back my offer, Fuji already pulled out the seat beside me.

"Sure," he says, smile growing wider. "We'd love to join the two of you. Right, Ryoma?"

Echizen sat with a grumble opposite Fuji. I suppressed a chuckle. Fuji has the tall brat wrapped around his little finger.

"So, how have you been Inui? We haven't talked in a while," Fuji rested his chin on his hand, his elbow upright on the table. Kaidoh started to fiddle with his drink.

"The two of you kept in contact?" the shock in Echizen's voice was apparent.

"Why, of course," my chestnut haired companion answered, almost mocking. "How else would I have gotten those videos of you?"

"Hmph," Echizen grumbled, crossing his arms and leaning back against his chair.

Kaidoh's eyes widened.

In a matter of seconds, he was fixing his bag, taking out a bill to pay for our dinner and stood up.

"Sorry, Inui-sempai. I just remembered something that I had to do at home," his cheeks were flushed red. "We'll catch up some other day." He bowed towards the other two people at the table and left.

I sighed once he exited, turning to Fuji as I spoke again. "You really have bad timing, you know that?"

My chestnut haired companion chuckled. "I try."

Echizen scowled, drawing our attention. "Now about those videos?"

If looks could kill, I'm certain that I would be dead by now.

A/N: Hello, everyone! It's been a while since I updated this story, I apologize. Thank you to all of you who patiently wait for the updates. I just finished a year of university and, well, I hardly found any time to write. Also, to be honest with you, when I started this fic, I had an idea of how to start it and how to end it. But how to get from the beginning to end, I had no idea. I still don't. I usually only upload my stories when the drafts are 100% complete. For this one, I just uploaded what I had completed. Because of this, time between updates could range between a short to a really long period of time. Even now I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with this fic, so please be patient with me. Anyways, here's the third chapter for now~ Up next will have some sort of introduction to some members of this generations Seigaku tennis team~ Thank you for reading and I hope you liked it~