The only things that can be heard in the room are the sounds of typing and the low hum of both their laptops running on battery power. Tezuka’s sitting at the foot of the bed with his computer. Ryoma is lying on his stomach, his computer on the pillows at the head of the bed.
Tezuka is sending an email to Oishi, who wants to know how they’re both doing, what they’re doing, whether they’ve been remembering to put on jackets, because he’s heard it’s been chilly. Tezuka assures him that yes, they’ve been wearing jackets, and using umbrellas when it rains, too. That’s not quite true; they’ve only got one umbrella between them, but it covers them well enough when they walk close together that they don’t need another one. That’s not something Tezuka would ever explain to Oishi over email, of course, but it makes him smile slightly.
He receives an instant message then, and when he glances at it he sees that it’s from Ryoma. It says, what are you smiling about?
Tezuka looks back at Ryoma, who’s still facing his laptop, legs crossed and swinging through the air a little, just enough that he’s not bouncing the bed, probably because Tezuka can’t concentrate when someone’s bouncing. How did you know? he types back.
I just knew, Ryoma replies, a typically unhelpful response.
Tezuka thinks for a moment, and then types, I’m that obvious.
Sometimes, is the almost-immediate response.
Tezuka finds that he understands what Ryoma means; he knows that Ryoma is smirking, even though he doesn’t look back. You’re smirking, he observes.
A little snort from behind him. I’m obvious too?
The proper reply to that is clear: Sometimes. It’s difficult to be wry when using instant messaging, but Tezuka doesn’t doubt that Ryoma will catch the tone anyway.
“Che.” That’s out loud, because it’s better that way. Tezuka smiles again, knowing that Ryoma will know he’s doing it. So what are you doing?
Telling him we’re wearing our jackets and everything?
That too, Tezuka types. He wanted to know how the tournament was going.
Did you tell him about that reporter?
I don’t think he would enjoy hearing about that. Ryoma had accidentally-on-purpose spilled grape soda (not Ponta, an off brand that was clearly inferior, judging by the face Ryoma had made upon taking the first sip) all over one reporter’s notepad. Tezuka had given him a stern look, but the woman had been asking too many personal questions, so Tezuka felt justified in leaving it at a look and not laps (which he wasn’t qualified to give anymore anyway, though Ryoma ran them obediently whenever Tezuka ordered him to).
He might, Ryoma replies. You never know, buchou. He's playing with the hem of Tezuka's shirt with his toes now; he's tall enough that his legs just reach the foot of the bed if he stretches. Tezuka doesn't mention it because then Ryoma might stop, just to be contrary, or he might do something else entirely with that foot and stop Tezuka from getting this email sent.
I think I do, Echizen. Fuji would enjoy hearing about that little episode, undoubtedly, and Eiji and Momo would also be amused. Oishi would only worry that Ryoma is presenting a bad image to the press and will have another article written about what a brat he is, and that he’s nothing like he is when he’s playing tennis.
Tezuka, naturally, knows that Ryoma is exactly like he is while playing tennis, brat or not. The journalists haven’t seen Ryoma smirking from across the court when he figures out how to counter a new move, and they’ve never been on the receiving end of a mada mada da ne. Tezuka has been, though not in relation to tennis. Their first kiss, however, had been a soft, careful press of lips, after which Ryoma had looked thoughtful for a moment, then looked up at Tezuka, grinned slightly, and then had spoken that catchphrase of his.
Never had Tezuka been more pleased to respond with a solemn, don’t be careless, for Ryoma’s response to the kiss had been enough incentive for Tezuka to initiate a second kiss that had most definitely been good enough.
Che, fine, comes in the next instant message, cheeky as ever even when it’s not spoken aloud, then Ryoma adds, Are you done with your email?
Yes. Tezuka pauses to send the mail, then types to Ryoma, Why are we instant messaging when we’re in the same room? On the same bed, no less.
Tezuka hears the shifting behind him, and a moment later he feels Ryoma’s warm breath on the back of his neck, Ryoma’s arms twining around his neck as Ryoma nuzzles into his hair, no doubt mussing it and making it stick in strange directions even more than it usually does. “I don’t know,” Ryoma says. “We could stop.”
And Tezuka agrees.