when the gales of November come early (kishmet) wrote,
when the gales of November come early
kishmet

Fic: Cheapskate

We-ell, JournalFen won't work properly for me while I'm on dialup and AOL (although, now that I think of it, I wouldn't work properly on those either. Hmph.), so I suppose I'll post this here before I forget about it entirely. XD

Cheapskate, by kishmet. OshiGaku, PG, 3000 words. I read a quote on Oshitari's profile on fet that inspired this story. The quote is Gakuto saying something about how incredible Oshitari is, then adding that Oshitari still owes him money, in case that tells you anything about the nature of the fic. XD Scribbled down in my notebook at five in the morning, so uh. Don't expect much?



Oshitari could charm the whiskers off a cat.

Or so Gakuto’s mother would say, when she wasn’t busy being charmed herself. Oshitari charmed all of the regulars’ mothers, including Atobe’s on the rare occasions when anybody saw her. Oshitari charmed a lot of people, in fact, not just mothers.

Gakuto, though, wasn’t the type to be easily charmed, or to be charmed at all, for that matter. Oshitari’s purring Kansai-ben and his smooth witticisms and his knowledge of the finest wines meant absolutely nothing to Gakuto. Then again, Gakuto had a very good reason to resist Oshitari’s tricks.

Oshitari Yuushi was one of the only people in the world who had stolen from Mukahi Gakuto and lived to tell about it.

(Here, if he was telling the story, Gakuto liked to insert a comment about his Yakuza uncle and his collection of ears from the people who’d displeased him. This made most people stare at him, befuddled and unsure whether to believe him or not. However, it just made Shishido snort and Oshitari laugh.)

Not that Oshitari had mugged him or anything dumb like that. Oshitari didn’t do dumb, at least not straight-out, stupid-dumb. He did sophisticated dumb, educated dumb, and better-than-you-but-still-dumb. Those were the types of dumbness Gakuto had witnessed from him, anyway, and Gakuto saw a lot of Oshitari.

No, Oshitari had simply borrowed money from Gakuto, 200 yen, and he had never paid it back.

“Hey,” Shishido had protested at the time, while Oshitari was buying his artesian well-water with the money Gakuto had lent him. “You never lend me money when I ask.”

“You don’t ask,” Gakuto had pointed out. “Anyway, I heard that Atobe gave you money in first year and you never paid him back.”

“I did too!” said Shishido, turning an interesting shade of red that probably fell somewhere between anger and embarrassment. “Not like he needed it or anything, but I did.”

“When?” Oshitari inquired, sitting down beside Gakuto with his drink.

Shishido muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “last week,” and then apparently decided that the conversation was over.

Gakuto hadn’t thought that anyone would (or could, for that matter) ever be worse at paying someone back than Shishido. But that had been before he’d tried to get his money back from Oshitari Yuushi.

***

Gakuto caught up with Oshitari the next day before practice. Oshitari always sauntered directly down the right side of the hallway, unlike Atobe, who inevitably walked down the middle as though he owned the place (which, Gakuto had found out, he actually did; or rather, Atobe’s father’s corporation did, which amounted to the same thing), Shishido, who tended to zigzag, or Gakuto himself, who literally bounced off the walls or did flips all the way to his destination, whatever he was in the mood for.

Oshitari was declining to help a pair of freshman girls with their homework. He was doing so in his lowest, huskiest, Kansai-est purr. Gakuto shook his head when the girls babbled thanks and wandered dazedly away, probably unaware that they’d been refused. “That’s got to be cheating,” said Gakuto.

“It’s just a talent,” said Oshitari, who knew exactly what Gakuto was talking about.

“Uh-huh,” said Gakuto. “Still cheating.”

“Fortunate that you’re immune, then, isn’t it?” Oshitari purred, sounding pleased with himself even though Gakuto was unaffected by his infamous charm.

“Yeah, lucky me,” said Gakuto, rolling his eyes. “Hey, you got my two hundred yen?”

Oshitari raised an eyebrow. “What do you need it for?”

“Do I have to need it for something?” Gakuto asked. “It’s mine.

“It is indeed,” said Oshitari with a slow smile.

Then after another moment, during which Oshitari watched Gakuto do a handstand and return to his feet, Gakuto said patiently (for him), “Well?”

“I thought we agreed already.”

Gakuto cocked his head and squinted, wondering if Oshitari was attempting to be funny. If so, it wasn’t working. “Agreed on what?”

“That the money is yours,” said Oshitari.

“That was never the question!”

“Mukahi-senpai, Oshitari-senpai!” Ohtori hurried up behind them, looking concerned about something or other. “Have you seen Hiyoshi? Or Shishido-san?”

“Uh, no… why?” Gakuto asked

“We’re looking for them. They were fighting earlier,” Jirou said, making Gakuto jump because he hadn’t known Jirou was there. “Atobe won’t like that very much.” He took hold of Gakuto’s hand, smiled, and repressed a yawn. “Come with us and keep me awake?”

Gakuto snorted. “Atobe doesn’t like anything very much.”

“He won’t be pleased if the two of you are late for practice, either,” Oshitari interjected, though with Oshitari it never sounded like an interruption. Whatever he said slipped easily into whatever conversation he was butting into, a fascinating talent that Gakuto feigned disinterest in replicating. He’d tried it on his mother and sister once or twice, though, with no success.

“You could help us to look,” Jirou suggested.

Immediately Ohtori turned his best pleading-kouhai stare on Gakuto. “Please, Mukahi-senpai?”

“Fine, fine. I’ll come look with you, make sure Hiyoshi hasn’t left Shishido for dead in a closet somewhere.” Gakuto sighed. “Even if that would be nice.”

“It could always be the other way around,” said Oshitari.

Gakuto dismissed that with a wave of his hand. “Yeah, right. Hiyoshi could take Shishido any day and you know it. And next time I see you I want my money back, Yuushi!” he warned, glaring severely.

“Of course you do,” said Oshitari amiably, as Gakuto was hauled off by Jirou and Ohtori, who seemed genuinely worried that Shishido was bleeding to death in some empty classroom.

Gakuto had no chance to demand his money back at practice, though, because he, Jirou, Ohtori, Hiyoshi, and Shishido were all too busy running punishment laps for half an hour. By the end of that, Gakuto barely remembered his own name, much less the two hundred yen owed to him by one Oshitari Yuushi.

***

Gakuto waited to accost Oshitari on the way to practice, lounging against a doorway and flashing cocky grins at the freshman girls, who all twittered and giggled to each other when he did. Just as Gakuto was checking his watch impatiently, Oshitari came into sight, fashionably late, as ever.

“Hey,” Gakuto called out as Oshitari walked toward him. “D’you have my money yet, Yuushi?”

Oshitari smiled, slowing down to a leisurely walk. “I’ll have my allowance on Friday.” Then he was walking on by, his hips doing that seductive little sway they did whenever Oshitari moved. There was an unspoken agreement at Hyoutei that no one ever mentioned it aloud, and that everyone admired it whenever possible. This agreement seemed to hold true outside of the school as well, since Gakuto had caught his sister watching after Oshitari once, and she’d told him she didn’t know what he was talking about when he’d needled her about it.

“You didn’t answer my question,” Gakuto told Oshitari’s back. Oshitari didn’t turn around or give any sign that he had heard. Finally, when Oshitari was almost at the end of the hallway, Gakuto yelled after him, “Nice ass!” and gave a wolf whistle.

He could have sworn that the sway of Oshitari’s hips became even more pronounced for a moment. Then, still without turning, Oshitari raised a hand in a lazy farewell.

Gakuto ‘hmph’ed to himself. “What’re you giggling about?” he asked the pair of second-year girls who had been standing close enough to hear the ass comment.

“Nothing, Mukahi-senpai!” they chorused, and scuttled off in the direction Oshitari had gone.

***

“You can’t just steal someone’s money and then laugh about it, right?” Gakuto pondered aloud. “Not to their face, anyway! He sees me every day, he’s got to pay me back sometime.”

There was a moment of silence, which was either thoughtful or, more probably, not.

“It’s only two hundred yen, I know, I know. But I’d take it out of his hide if I could! His fangirls’d probably come to his rescue, though.” Gakuto paused. He had his own mob of fangirls, as all of the regulars did, and they would also defend him with their lives, just as Oshitari’s would do for him. The idea of two fangirl armies in a fight to the death was amusing. “Mine are more athletic, though, I bet,” said Gakuto, oddly prideful. “His are all into flower arranging or Go or something.”

Another silence, followed by a long, contented snore.

Gakuto sighed fondly. “Plus my best friend’s narcoleptic.” He twirled a finger through Jirou’s curly blond hair. Jirou was like a kitten when he was asleep, cuddly and happy and warm.

“Maybe he likes you,” said Jirou out of the blue, interrupting himself in mid-snore.

“What, you’re awake?” Gakuto asked, startled.

Jirou smiled up at him. “I am now. You sighed like you do when you want me to wake up, so I did.”

“Aww, sorry.”

“S’okay. We’ve got math anyway, right?” Jirou looked down at his non-existent watch.

“Dummy,” said Gakuto teasingly. “We had math and you slept right through it.”

“Oh.” Jirou blinked. “Did you-”

“Got your notes, yep.” Gakuto would’ve held up his notebook and the two sets of notes in it as proof, but he’d already stuffed all of his books and things into his backpack. “It’s more interesting trying to write both sets at once anyway,” he added, which made Jirou laugh. “So, what’d you say before?”

“What, about math?”

“Nah, about Yuushi. If that’s true and he likes me, that’s got to be the stupidest way of showing someone you like them, ever.” Gakuto wrinkled his nose. “What does he want me to do, get him arrested for stealing my money, or what?”

“I don’t think he’d like jail,” said Jirou thoughtfully. “Atobe wouldn’t either.”

Gakuto laughed. “Nobody likes jail, that’s the point. Now go back to sleep. We can talk about idiot Yuushi later.”

Jirou obeyed the command before Gakuto could even finish the sentence.

***

“Buchou,” said Gakuto. “You’ve got, like, fifty special ops teams and stuff, right?”

Atobe sent Gakuto an imperious glance, informing him that whatever the point was, it had better be worth Atobe’s precious time. “The corporation employs bodyguards and the like, yes.”

“So if a crime was committed against a member of the Hyoutei tennis team, you’d send someone to investigate, right?”

Now Atobe’s stare clearly stated that he was now sure Gakuto was wasting his time. “Depending on the crime, and whether or not the case was already handled adequately by the team.”

“And depending on if it was a regular or not?” Gakuto pressed, since he knew that in Atobe’s opinion, no one ever handled anything adequately. “I mean, if someone stole something from a regular, there’s no way you could let that go.”

Atobe stared disdainfully some more.

Gakuto forged ahead, incapable of being discouraged by Atobe’s normal behavior. “Especially if the thief was another regular. That’d besmirch Hyoutei’s reputation, wouldn’t it?”

“Gakuto,” said Atobe, voice dripping with false patience. “If Jirou is taking sweets from your locker again, I see no reason why I should be concerned with-”

If he’d been talking to anyone else, Gakuto would have replied to that by calling them a moron. As it was, even Gakuto wasn’t stupid enough to mess with Atobe. Those bodyguards were probably waiting in the bushes to jump anyone who dared insult the heir of the Atobe corporation. “No, no, not Jirou,” said Gakuto. “Yuushi.”

Atobe was surprised, Gakuto could tell, even though Atobe’s reactions were always tightly controlled. “Yuushi? I can’t imagine what he would care to take from you.”

“My money,” said Gakuto, biting back a lewd retort since it was, after all, Atobe.. “He borrowed two hundred yen from me at the start of the year, and he still hasn’t paid me back!”

“Ah, I see. Heavens, yes, I’ll put everyone in my employ onto the job this instant. Two hundred yen, I’m sure you’ve experienced hours of mental anguish over that can of soda you were unable to buy,” said Atobe, with the sort of highbrow sarcasm that was only possible for people who were either brilliant or millionaires, or both. “Now get to work. You’re on duty aiding the freshmen today.”

Gakuto muttered something under his breath, but knew better than to carry on the argument.

***

“And he still hasn’t given my money back, you know,” said Gakuto pointedly over lunch, not that Oshitari cared. His thievery had been exposed a long time ago, and he’d never been particularly perturbed about it. Indeed, his reputation was much the same as it had been beforehand.

“Would you stop talking about Oshitari already!” Shishido snapped, and took a fierce bite of his sandwich.

Gakuto’s reputation, on the other hand, had transformed slightly: everyone now knew him as the acrobatic genius, Hyoutei regular, Jirou’s best friend, and that guy who talked about the guy who’d stolen his money all the time.

Oshitari smirked. Gakuto stared defiantly across the table at him. “So, Yuushi. Got any money today?”

“Yes,” said Oshitari.

“You see? You see what he does?” Gakuto asked, and everyone groaned.

***

Gakuto tried everything he could possibly think of to get his money back from Oshitari. He tried trickery, demands, a group effort (which failed miserably, given that his “group” consisted of Ohtori, who was too respectful to his senpai to yell properly at Oshitari, and Jirou, who fell asleep midway through), and even pickpocketing. The pickpocketing attempt came the closest to succeeding, but Oshitari turned around and caught Gakuto’s wrist while Gakuto’s fingers were still in Oshitari’s back pocket.

“If you’re that eager to grope me, all you need do is ask,” said Oshitari, sounding too smug for his own good.

“Yeah, thanks,” said Gakuto. Oshitari probably meant it, too. “I don’t grope people who steal my stuff.” Then he just had to administer a squeeze through the fabric of Oshitari’s jeans, because for one thing, Oshitari was nice and muscular back there, and for another thing, the bastard deserved it.

“Mm,” said Oshitari, and released Gakuto’s hand, but slowly.

“You groped me the other day!” Jirou piped up, unhelpfully. “I take your candy sometimes. And your lap.”

“I didn’t grope you,” Gakuto protested. “That was a pinch, ‘cause you were right on a nerve. There’s a difference.”

“Let’s discuss something else, shall we?” said Atobe.

Thank you,” said Shishido, shaking his head in disgust. “Not all of us care about the exact definition of groping, or who wants to grope who, or who didn’t, or whatever.” His cheeks colored as he said it.

“What, you guys aren’t getting enough?” Gakuto fired back. “If you were, I bet you’d be plenty interested.”

“Like you even- that’s not-” Shishido sputtered.

Enough,” said Atobe icily, which was enough to end any conversation.

When the regulars split up, Jirou went with Atobe and Kabaji to the mansion, and Oshitari invited Gakuto home with him.

“Will you pay me back if I do?” Gakuto asked, raising an eyebrow up at Oshitari.

“It’s more likely than if you don’t,” said Oshitari, with a tiny smile.

Gakuto couldn’t argue with that logic (and didn’t feel like doing so anyway), so he went.

***

“Look, either you give me my money back, or I’m going to take it.” Gakuto slammed the door of Oshitari’s bedroom behind him and planted himself in front of it, folding his arms.

“Can you do that and guard the door at the same time?” Oshitari inquired.

“I can try,” said Gakuto stubbornly.

“True,” said Oshitari. He didn’t sit down on the bed or at his desk, but stood there studying Gakuto instead.

Gakuto had long since become accustomed to Oshitari’s “tensai stares,” though usually they were aimed at the opposition rather than at him. In any case, Gakuto was unperturbed. “So why did you take my money in the first place?” Gakuto asked him. “Not like you needed it.”

“I did want a drink, at the time,” Oshitari replied.

“Yeah,” said Gakuto, “But Jirou told me you had money in your pocket that day, ‘cause you bought a snack right before that and you got enough change for a drink. So why?”

“I had my reasons.”

“And you still have your reasons for not paying me back now, right?” Gakuto asked.

Oshitari had stepped closer at some point, sidling in his usual way. Gakuto had to tilt his chin up in order to meet Oshitari’s eyes. “You know very well that I always have my reasons for everything,” said Oshitari.

“Yeah, I know,” said Gakuto in disgust. “But sometimes you’re a little more subtle about it, y’know? Even Jirou knows what you’re up to.”

“Jirou,” said Oshitari, “is far more clever than most people give him credit for.”

“Duh,” said Gakuto.

“Now, if Shishido knew, I would be concerned.” Oshitari was close enough now that Gakuto could have reached out and touched him, or punched him in the face. Gakuto wanted to do both, as a matter of fact.

“Can’t you just say it straight out already?” Gakuto demanded. “Either that or give me my money back, and we’ll call it even.”

And then Oshitari leaned down and kissed Gakuto, which, Gakuto thought, was as close as he was ever going to get to saying it directly. The kiss only lasted a second before Oshitari pulled away and murmured in his silky voice, “Don’t you think there could be a better method of repayment?”

“So this was all some lame seduction attempt,” said Gakuto. “You know, just because I don’t like your roses or chick flicks or stupid sexy voice or whatever doesn’t mean that I think having my money stolen is romantic.”

“Of course not, Gakuto,” Oshitari replied, sounding amused. “But I do seem to recall you referring to my backside in a most complimentary manner. Perhaps that’s the appeal?”

“I was just trying to get my money back that time, you dolt,” said Gakuto with a snort. “Which reminds me, when are you going to pay me back?”

“I have five thousand yen in my wallet as we speak,” said Oshitari.

“Yeah?” said Gakuto suspiciously. “And are you going to give any of it to me?”

Oshitari smiled down at him. “No.”

Yuushi, you idiot!”

But as long as Oshitari figured out another way to pay him back, Gakuto decided it would be all right.
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