A/N Heya! My God, I haven't written a short story in this fandom in so long! But, first things first. You are probably wondering about the title so a quick explanation. Homo Ludens means 'The playing man'. We are all Homo Ludens in a sense because we are all like actors in a play. Second, this was mostly written because I wanted a High- School fic with nothing else, no drama (not that there is none but...) no schemes. Yes... that's why the characters have wings. I'm a very logical being! Still, I kind of like how it turned out and I hope you do too.

Homo Ludens

Everyone had a hobby. Some people wrote, others collected marks... he just smiled. Widely, with shining white teeth on display- like a starving lion. It was beautiful, that smile of him, it had won him everything he had, and perfect. Well, almost, there was always the little fact that it never reached his eyes. Not that anyone cared, they all delved into the bad things.

Strange bunch were they, people. So selfish and blind, irreplaceable. Brilliantly mad and madly brilliant. And despite that when someone smiled at them they were ready to forget everything, all their problems and needs, and dive into a world where at least one person cared for them. A world which he gave them... and in return the only thing he asked for was their love.

He was just a little child, deep inside, tortured by the memories of... no, no, that was a lie, a story he himself had told to those who started digging deeper. A story of a boy, hiding his pain as it slowly ate him from the inside. They all wanted it to be true. Needed it to be. That were people, give them something to fix so they don't have to think of their own inability to solve their problems.

You look around, a new school, a new beginning. Isn't that awesome! No? But didn't you yourself say you were never getting ba... Oh, yes, right now, you are too scared to think straight. Your stomach has rolled itself in a ball and you think you are going to be sick. Why? You have done this... they are only people. Strange, that thought doesn't make you feel better.

You glance at the piece of paper your new homeroom teacher gave you before vanishing somewhere. The writing is hasty and almost unreadable, looking like someone had scrabbled it in a matter of seconds (which was probably true) yet you manage to figure out the little number. You take a deep breath, ignoring the nausea and head for the room you were destined for. For your new class.

And... they aren't that bad. True, only half of them have arrived but they smile at you and greet you, introducing themselves one by one. See! They are nice! They still don't know your secret.

Not that it is such a terrible secret; it isn't, just that you like... Okay, okay. I'm stopping. But, it really isn't that bad, believe me. It is yours, however, and that makes it so mortifying.

There is one boy in particular that stands out, pale skin, long raven hair, a wide and beautiful smile. He is beau... nice, he is nice. You think you can be friends. Then you remember friends means sharing and sharing leads to secrets that make people write words on your locker and snicker behind your back and your best friend looking at you with disgust every time you smile at him.

Friends are a bad thing. Besides, the nice boy has a lot of them. He doesn't need you.

And, truth be told, you are a little scared. There is something in his eyes. An emptiness you don't like. You blink and it isn't there. It is the stress, you tell yourself.

You are seeing things.

You turn toward the boy only to see him gone. Looking around, you spot him standing in front of a man, for truly he looks like a man, in jeans and a T-shirt. He is the class rebel, then, you conclude swiftly, there is always one of those around.

You should have known, you used to be that one.

They are staring at each other wordlessly, the look of annoyance on the new-comer's face getting more and more obvious as seconds pass. You can't see the reaction of the other and when you do, after the rebel shoves him away and you are ready to at least shoot and defend him, you almost stop breathing.

He is smiling. And if you have thought that the empty eyes were a hallucination now you are sure of it. There is so much emotion in those two orbs, so much relief and... and... love. Love?


Maybe it won't be that bad in that class of your, now, will it? I told you!

Zabuza slammed Haku against the wall, the moment the door of the toilet closed behind them.

"You little idiot, staring at me like that," he growled, attacking the other man's mouth with vigor. Haku just moaned in response, arching his back to feel the delicious muscles rubbing against him.

He was so used to being manhandled like that, it was no longer interesting. He remember the times when he could come just from it. From being pushed and pressed so hard. Being kissed like that. Zabuza's burning hands grasped his waist, rolling his shirt upwards for better access and he shuddered. No, now when he thought about it, this was better. This way he could endure the delicious torture longer.

"Show me, Zy," the long-haired male whispered between kisses and when the other ignored him in favor of trying to claim his mouth once again, he turned his head. "Want to see them. Please."

Zabuza sighed, as if the request physically hurt him and stepped back. Haku almost failed to contain the sigh, trying to fall from his lips as his body got used to the cold, but he knew if he had shown his displeasure the other man would have been on him in a matter of seconds.

And as much as he liked that, he needed to see them. The proof his boyfriend had been faithful, had been, is, only his. The seconds ticked away, he waited patiently, body so aroused and oversensitive, he could feel every heavy breath caressing his cheek.

He didn't need to wait much, even if he would have compared it to eternity if asked. White wings materialized behind Zabuza, so beautiful and soft and perfect. He ached to touch them and he did, running his hands over the softest material he had ever caressed, curling his fingers around every feather.

Distantly, he felt his boyfriend shiver and that gave him the confidence to pull at the tender spot he knew the other couldn't resist. Zabuza growled again, his body clinging to Haku's and the shorter man could feel his arousal thumping even despite their layers of clothes.

His boyfriend was close, he realized, and the sheer knowledge made him lose control for just a second. His own wings, grey and ruffled sprang all too quickly from his back, finally coming to the surface after weeks of being suppressed.

"So beautiful," Zabuza whispered breathlessly and not wasting a second, his own fingers were burying themselves in Haku's wings.

Zabuza was the only one who had seen them, the long-haired man realized. For years, he had been the only one to touch them.

That's why he kept them despite hating them so much. Because he could see the way the other man's eyes sparkled every time he looked at them. And Zabuza gave him so much, this was the least he could do.

When he came, with one of his boyfriend's hands deep within his wings and the other slowly pumping his cock, with his own teeth sinking into rough skin, tasting salt and sweat and Zabuza, he knew it was worth it.

"Did you hear? Zabuza... Yes, that Zabuza!... still has his wings!"

"Oh my god, really? But he is 17!"

"Yeah, I know. Have you seen him, though? He is such a brute."

"Yeah, I bet he won't even care about your pleasure. He will just take!"

They both shuddered but because of different things.

"Wait... I heard he was dating Haku. Remember the toilet on the third floor, where no one goes because of the story with the ghost? Rumor has it they have been seen sneaking in almost every day."

"Oh my gosh, shut up! It's obvious Haku isn't even gay. He totally wants me, remember when we met in the Mall last Saturday and he smiled at me? Besides, what would a gorgeous thing like Haku do with that animal Zabuza?"

"Yeah... you are probably right."

"I want you to show them," one day, Haku growled as they were rutting against each other like wild animals. "Want them to know you are mine. Will you... will you do this for me?"

He always got what he wanted. It was his gentle nature, people told him.

Zabuza nodded, before going back to kissing him to completion.

It was his smile, Haku knew. It worked on everyone...

Almost everyone. Zabuza, Zabuza just did it out of love.

The door swung open and Zabuza's whole body froze. He directed his glare toward his mother as his hands tugged at the zipper of his pants.

"Ever heard of knocking, Mother? Wonderful invention, you should try it," he said, no real heat behind his words. He didn't really mind, it would have been troublesome if it had been an hour ago when Haku was in his room but then again his mother never really did visit them when his boyfriend was over.

Something was wrong, though, because instead of the insults his mom would usually fire his way, she was left speechless. Speechless and staring at his back.

He groaned when he realized what was the thing she was so keenly watching.

"You still have your wings?" his mother muttered with a trembling voice.

"No, mom!"

Zabuza grabbed the shirt, lying on the floor, it was a little dirty and he didn't even remember throwing it there. It must have been Haku, that little pest. He was the one at fault, he had made him show his wings. He didn't know why, but that made him more angry.

"Son!" his mother called after him when he passed her, knocking his shoulder roughly into her. It was such a vulnerable and full with sorrow voice, it hurt him to leave her like that. But he couldn't do it, not now.

"We are not talking about this!"

Except they did. He couldn't hide forever and at some point the pain in his mother's eyes every time he turned away from her became too much.

"It's not that I don't want to," he explained in a soft voice only one other person had heard. "It's everything I can think of sometimes and it has a little to do with my hormones. But... he likes those things far too much to let me lose them. And I'm okay with that, God knows I'm content with just having him beside me. I'm scared, though, that someday he will grow tired of that little game of ours. Do you know he detest his own? And the day he will realize he doesn't need me to lose mine to get rid of his own is coming. I can't imagine anything worse."

His mother stared at him for the longest time, face unreadable. Then he reached across the table and squeezed his hand.

"You should tell him. He has to know."

The humorless laugh that left his mouth in a puff was his only response.

But the idea was slowly taking roots in his brain.

"Oh. My. God. Did you hear?! Zabuza is going out with Haku!"

"No, he is not. Haku is only using him to see who will stick with him even if he is a fag. I won't be fooled though"

"Yeah, sure. And the making out in front of the school was totally an act, huh. I heard he even lost his wings! We haven't seen them in more than a week. Pity, they were so pret..."

"He must have paid a prostitute. There is no way anyone would want to be this brute's first. Rough and inexperienced? God, no."

"Hey, everyone's first time was a little bad."

"Not mine! Mine was perfect. It was with..."

And she began telling the story of how she lost her virginity with a man in Hawaii on a bed surrounded by roses, or were they lilies, she couldn't decide.

The air behind her trembled from time to time as if to support her story.

Everyone had a hobby. Some people wrote, others smiled. He didn't. Smile, that is. He couldn't. His teeth were crooked and a little yellowish and besides when he tried, he looked more like a shark.

Also he hardly saw the need to. People... people were weird. He didn't like them. One moment they would be smiling at you, the other they would be thinking of the numerous ways to kill you. Why would he do anything for such an ungrateful bunch.

He had done it, long ago. Smiled and greeted and helped, without asking anything in exchange. They found a way to return it, though, every sweet gesture and affection. And then, because they were like that, they gave him a little extra... of the humiliation and pain. Wonderful beings were people. They needed something sharper than his smile.

But despite everything, every time he saw that open smile and those bright eyes and just knew.

'See, this is for you. This is real and... this... is... for you.'

He just couldn't help but smile back.

But he usually didn't.

Smile back, that is.