A dorky love story about dorky boys. Inui/Tezuka.
I could hope
to ever explain
with tennis or data or words
and perhaps that is why I think of this most of all
Nationals were won and gone, and Tezuka Kunimitsu found himself at home, bored.
That wasn't to say that he'd stopped his strict tennis practice regiment, or that he'd ceased his nightly studies of German, English and The Art of Gourmet Sausages. Far from it - in fact he spent more time on them than he ever had in his life.
And yet - and yet he was missing something - an indefinable something that he couldn't quite wrap his long, skilled fingers around. He had a wonderful home, plenty of nutritious and delicious things to eat and drink, a mentally stimulating environment and a healthy passion for the activities he loved.
Perhaps he needed a new hobby. Yes - something fresh and fun that would reignite his fire, so to speak.
He picked up his phone.
The data on Nationals were recorded, analyzed and filed, and Inui Sadaharu found himself at home, bored.
That wasn't to say that he'd stopped his strict tennis practice regiment, or that he'd ceased his nightly studies of Psychology, Nuclear Warfare and The Art of Juices. Far from it - in fact, he'd found a fascinating way to combine all three that should have preoccupied his prodigious brain for at least 29.4 more days.
And yet - and yet he was missing something - and indefinable something that he couldn't quite grasp in his large, warm grip. His heart-rate was normal, his urine sample results were nothing short of spectacular, and Kaidoh had taken to emailing pictures of his legs to him for data.
Perhaps he needed to conduct a new sort of experiment. Yes - something unique and dangerous that would put a whole new twist on things, so to speak.
He decided to IM Fuji.
slice_of_juicy_pi: Salutations, Fuji.
I have a few questions for you.
The instant message flashed on Fuji's monitor just as the mobile phone in his pocket began to vibrate pleasantly. He relished the feeling of popularity for a few seconds, then flipped the phone open and tucked it under his ear so his hands were free for typing.
"Hello, this is Fuji!"
prince_des_pommes: wHaT iS iT, iNuI~?? ^_^;;
i HoPe ThAt NoThInG sErIoUs HaPpEnEd ...
"Fuji ... it's Tezuka," Tezuka's voice said lowly, as though Fuji wouldn't be able to tell from the caller ID or the live feed from camera 93. Tezuka always was cute like that.
slice_of_juicy_pi: I appear to have been taken with a sudden bout out ennui.
I was hoping you'd be persuaded into doing an entertaining activity with me.
"Oh my, how lovely of you to call. How are you doing? Has something exiting happened since I saw you at practice ... or is this a personal call?"
prince_des_pommes: DiD yOu HaVe AnYtHinG in ParTiCuLaR iN mInD~??
"..." Tezuka didn't say loudly. "I wondered if you could contribute any ideas as to a new pastime I could partake in. Any suggestions would have to be, of course, legal."
slice_of_juicy_pi: I am a vegetable at the mercy of the blender of your mind.
Fuji chuckled. "Oh Tezuka, you joker. I am curious ... why are you asking me?"
prince_des_pommes: i ThInK i HaVe A fEw IdEaS... ^__^
"Knitting. Eating contests. Playing with fire. Playing with cats. Playing at being cats. Changing adult dia-never mind. Don't flatter yourself at being the first on my list."
Fuji's eyes fell open. "You do know how to woo a boy, Tezuka," he smiled into the phone. "Of course I'd be delighted in assisting you with dilemma! We are friends, after all."
prince_des_pommes: AwAiT mY EmAiL.
prince_des_pommes: p.S. yOu oWe Me. ^__^
"After school tomorrow, meet me in the playground of the elementary school across the road."
Fuji clicked the phone shut. He let his fingers fly over his keyboard, smile widening.
From: [Error: unable to decode email address]
To: aGeNt #2 (email@example.com)
Subject: A Benevolent Challenge
Syuusuke's Super Swell Sortie
Introduction: Have you recently found yourself plagued with a lack of excitement? Do you need something to get your heart racing and blood pumping? Then, my friend, this is clearly an opportunity you can't miss.
Assignment: Make Tezuka Kunimitsu smile without the use of torture, blackmail, threats, hostages and/or mind altering substances.
- Tezuka Kunimitsu
- Yamaguchi-sensei's kindergarten class room (daily, 4:00-5:00 PM) and all materials found within
- An innovative and ready mind
Ganbatte! I have faith in you Inui. You have three weeks to deliver an answer to me. Should you fail, the microchip I implanted in your member will detonate, spreading a poison that rots flesh throughout your body. Then, you will die. ^__^
They look quite a bit more than ridiculous, squeezed into little plastic and metal chairs made for people even smaller than Echizen. Only one of Inui's sculpted buttocks can fit on the seat, but more importantly he was losing their fourth round of Candyland. Contrary to data suggesting otherwise, the game wasn't causing laughter to escape from the bars of Tezuka's lips.
He did look, Inui noted, quite smug for an expressionless person. "So there's this bar in Chiba that has a magical mirror. If you look into it and speak the truth, it will grant you eternal happiness. If you lie, you'll disappear. Hyotei's Atobe, Rikkai Dai's Yukimura and Seishun Gakuen's Ryuuzaki Sakuno go there together," Inui said loudly, determined to out-voice the recording of Old McDonald had a Farm emanating from an unknown (and impossible to track down) location.
Tezuka blinked blankly back at Inui.
"Atobe looks into the mirror and says, 'I think I'm the most perfect human in the world' and POOF! He disappears. Yukimura looks in and says, 'I think I'm the most beautiful human in the world' and POOF! He disappears. Sakuno looks in and says, 'I think ...' and POOF!"
For a good five minutes, Mary Had A Little Lamb drowned out all other sounds, especially Inui's attempt to laugh at his joke. Then -
"They are all too young to go into a bar."
But when their hour is up, Tezuka just said, "I'll see you tomorrow."
Inui watched him leave, smiling as wide as he could and waving. He knew this contributed to an aura of friendliness, which was essential in creating a laugh-encouraged environment. He started to pull his notebook out to record more observations when he spotted something gleam on the chair Tezuka had been sitting on.
Using a pair of forceps, he retrieved one perfect strand of hair.
He placed it in a ziplocked baggie, and thought of the broken bracelet next he'd put in the box under his bed, next to Renji's old toothbrush.
On Tuesday, they decided to relocate all activities to the big lavender carpet (both were quite sore). They played a matching game and jack stones. They tied on the matching game, but all of the jacks seemed to be attracted to Tezuka's Zone. Misery was humorous to some people, but Tezuka seemed unmoved by Inui's struggles. Instead, he was bored.
"Knock knock," Inui said as he dealt out the Uno cards.
Tezuka raised an eyebrow slightly. "Who is there."
Inui adjusted his glasses, face deadpan. "Joe mama."
Tezuka won the game of Uno.
After one week, they'd played every game in the small classroom, including Scrabble, which was so well loved by the elementary students that all of the vowels seemed to have disappeared, probably into their stomachs. Tezuka won with "CRWTH".
"Why should you never fall in love with a tennis player?" Inui asks, ignoring his reflection in Tezuka's glasses, and looking into Tezuka's eyes.
"To them 'Love' means nothing."
Inui now had eighteen strands of Tezuka's hair in his possession.
Two weeks after Tezuka and Inui began their after-school sessions, Tezuka woke up with something funny on his face. Slowly, he brought his hand up and felt it. No doubt about it - something strange was going on. His lips were curved upwards in an unmistakable smile.
"What's that on your face?" his grandfather barked as Tezuka sat down for breakfast. "It looks gay!"
Tezuka sipped at his tea silently.
"Oh shut up," Tezuka's mother chided, pressing a warm kiss onto the top of Tezuka's head after setting his plate down on the table. "You look great ... though ..." she trailed off as she looked him up and down.
Tezuka could only imagine what strange thing his body was doing now based on her expression. He probably had cancer.
"Why are you wearing your school uniform?"
Tezuka's eyes widened. "I -"
She slid the back of her hand against Tezuka's forehead. "It's Sunday, Kuni-chan."
Tezuka excused himself from the table and went into the bathroom. He looked into the mirror. He felt ... disappointed. Disappointed that he wouldn't be playing children's games with Inui today. Disappointed ... that he wouldn't be playing with Inui?
He cleared his throat. "I think I like Inui," he said to the mirror.
He didn't go POOF.
Inui didn't understand. Here he was at the park, and there Kaidoh was, bending over to touch his toes, backside bulging out beautifully.
And yet, he god the feeling that ... that he'd rather be researching various games that could be played with strings, or visiting venues comedians frequented. It was a pity tickling counted as torture, though at the rate he was going at, there was a 0.001% chance Tezuka was ticklish anyway. But maybe touch was the key? Was there a way he could get around it in a way that was acceptable to Fuji ...?
"Senpai!" Kaidoh grunted loudly, and Inui snapped out of his thoughts.
Inui smiled. "Yes, Kaidoh?"
Kaidoh blushed. "Your ... your phone is ringing," he mumbled. "Fssssshhh."
He retrieved his phone from his bag and nearly dropped it when he saw the ID flashing on the screen.
"Hello, Tezuka," he said, looking away from Kaidoh.
He listened to Tezuka breathing for a while. "Inui," Tezuka said. "It's Sunday."
"Yes, it is." Inui waited for Tezuka to elaborate.
"I'll see you tomorrow."
"Aa. Goodbye then."
"Tez-" Inui began, but then there was a click.
Inui's suggestion of playing thumb wars wasn't turning out as well as he thought it would. True, he had the size advantage, but inexplicably, his thumb was always attracted towards the center of their grasped palms, and he kept losing.
Tezuka's hands were very soft. And nice.
They had been playing for about ten minutes when Inui realized that his palms were sweating. A tinge of pink rose in his cheeks, and he wondered if Tezuka would soon pull away, grossed out. Of course, they were tennis players, and tennis caused a lot of sweat, so there was a 19.64% chance that Tezuka didn't mind or notice. Or was that 19.65%?
He'd been trapped under Tezuka's thumb for quite a while before he realized he was, before he realized Tezuka was looking at him intently.
He licked his lips, and opened them, then closed them.
Tezuka's pinky twitched, and Inui jerked his hand away. "Sorry my hands got so sweaty," he said quickly. "But the temperature has risen by half a degree since we entered and my senses are very in tune with the environment."
"I see," Tezuka said, standing up, and leaving.
They still had fifteen minutes left in the session.
Inui waited in the elementary classroom.
He waited until 4:05. 4:10. 4:30. 4:45. 5:00.
He wondered if he would be kicked out by a patrolling teacher. He imagined being arrested: Seigaku Student Disrupts the Education of Japan's Future!
He left at six, and walked by the elementary school's courts. He remembered playing there. He remembered a lot of things.
He'd been about to fall asleep when his eyes snapped open. His cell phone was ringing - only he couldn't tell where it was coming from. He searched around frantically for it, and found it ... in the box under his bed. He'd forgotten about it all day.
9 missed calls.
He called his voicemail.
"Inui, it's Tezuka. I'm sorry I won't be able to make it today. My grandfather had a hiking accident. He's okay, but I'll be escorting him home from the hospital as soon as school gets out. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Inui, it's Tezuka again. It's been about an hour since I called, and I was merely wondering if you got my message."
Inui took the broken bracelet out of the box.
"The object of this game," Inui said, "is to slap the hands of the person who places their hands on top before they can pull away."
He was 99.9% sure of this. The Zone hadn't failed so far. And the other 0.1% -- well, it was worth it to risk it.
Inui swallowed before continuing. "I'll put my hands on top first."
It took less than a moment: the feel of Tezuka's skin disappeared from beneath and was on top of his palms. "You got me," Inui said, and he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Tezuka's.
Tezuka didn't pull away, and they stayed like that lips to lips, until it became strange. Inui supposed maybe he was supposed to move his mouth or maybe even his tongue, but he didn't have sufficient data on what Tezuka would like, or what he would like or -
When Inui pulled his head back, their lips made a quiet kiss sound.
"My turn to be on top," Tezuka said, and then their hands were against each other again.
Inui brought his hands around and over in slow motion, but it didn't matter. "And now you have me."
(Inui had sufficient data by the end of the day.)
From: Inui Sadaharu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: Fuji Syuusuke (email@example.com)
Subject: Re: A Benevolent Challenge