Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Inui Sadaharu/Kaidoh Kaoru
Theme: #29, "the sound of waves"
Summary: Kaidoh doesn't enjoy boat rides, but Inui...rather does.
Author's note: "Naupathia" means seasickness. If Kaidoh doesn't actually get seasick in the real TeniPuri, please let me know ^^ I'm still not too far into the series.
Kaidoh Kaoru hated the sound of waves. It might have been because he’d never really enjoyed swimming or boating or anything involving water. It might have been because he was stuck on a relatively small boat in the middle of the ocean and that baka Momoshiro would not leave him alone. It might have been because Kaidoh was so seasick that he could barely stand. But whatever the reason, Kaidoh hated that rhythmic splash, splash, splash sound of the waves against the hull.
“Ha, mamushi, need some help?” Momo laughed, looking comfortable as if he’d been born on the water. Kaidoh was very, very annoyed, although he was more nauseous than anything. “You look like you’re going to fall over!”
Kaidoh could do no more than glare and let out a faint angry hiss. He couldn’t even threaten Momo properly, because he knew if he took a step he probably would fall. Why had he ever come on this boating trip arranged for the Seigaku regulars?
Kaidoh stood for a minute, trying vainly to regain some sense of balance. Everyone else was standing near the front of the boat, laughing and talking and not noticing that Kaidoh was feeling sick. Why was Momoshiro the only one who’d noticed? Why couldn’t someone else have come over to him, someone who, at least, wouldn’t taunt him mercilessly? Someone like...
The boat gave a sudden lurch that threw Kaidoh’s balance off even more than before. He took a staggering step forward with none of the grace he possessed in tennis. He was certain he was going to end up sprawled on the deck. He could hear Momo laughing already.
But amazingly, Kaidoh was saved from hitting the unforgiving boards by a pair of arms that caught him around the shoulders and the waist and steadied him. As soon as his stomach stopped lurching with the boat, he looked up, directly into the glasses-covered eyes of Inui Sadaharu.
“Are you all right, Kaidoh?” Inui inquired, honestly sounding as though he cared what the answer would be. He didn’t even have a notebook and pen in hand.
“H-hai, senpai,” Kaidoh said hesitantly. “Thank you.”
“You really almost did fall over!” Momo snorted, as though it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen.
Kaidoh fully intended to lunge at him despite his condition, but before he could do more than tense his muscles Inui said mildly, “Momoshiro, perhaps you are volunteering to test my newest liquid supplement?”
To Kaidoh’s everlasting relief Momo’s laughter died almost immediately. “No, Inui-senpai,” he said, and Kaidoh saw that his eyes were wide. “I’ll just...go talk to Echizen now.” He walked away quickly to where the others were conversing. Kaidoh just barely heard him mutter, “Inui-senpai’s playing favorites again.” Kaidoh didn’t even care, he was so happy to see the last of that baka.
Kaidoh didn’t bother to hide his extreme gratitude as he said, “Thank you, senpai,” again. Inui smiled at him and said, “You’re very welcome. I have studied naupathia and it is certainly no laughing matter.”
Inui was still supporting him with his arms, Kaidoh realized with a faint blush. He considered breaking away to stand on his own, but quickly discarded that idea as the boat lurched once more. He was too ill even to feel embarrassed as he leaned on his senpai a bit more.
“I am sorry that I did not bring my seasickness remedy,” Inui said thoughtfully. “I did not know that you were so afflicted, Kaidoh. Next time I will remember to bring something for you.”
For some reason, that made Kaidoh feel a little better, and also to blush a bit more. “Thank you, senpai,” he said yet again, quietly. They were both silent then, Inui seeming to know that Kaidoh wasn’t feeling conversational.
He was almost comfortable standing there with Inui. He knew that he wouldn’t fall now, and his equilibrium had been somewhat restored. But still the sound of the water swishing was sheer torture.
Kaidoh tried to concentrate on something else. He could feel as well as hear his senpai’s breathing and he worked to make himself focus on that.
As the sound and feel of the waves faded from his mind, though, Kaidoh was abruptly made very aware of other things...such as the fact that Inui was basically embracing him. Every point of contact was suddenly very, very apparent: the arm across his shoulders, the arm encircling his waist, his left hip and Inui’s right... Kaidoh could feel his face burning at the thought and stopped listening to Inui’s breathing, fully intending to pull himself away.
Unfortunately for Kaidoh, his nausea returned in that moment as the waves got to him again. He swayed and would have fallen if Inui hadn’t been holding onto him. “Kaidoh,” Inui asked, obviously concerned, “do you want to sit down?”
Kaidoh nodded, cursing himself for forgetting that sitting was even an option. Inui kept a hold on him and led him to one of the chairs lining the small pleasure craft’s deck. He made sure that Kaidoh was really seated before letting go, and Kaidoh firmly instructed himself not to feel a pleasant chill at that.
Then, so quickly that Kaidoh was too shocked to do anything about it, Inui placed a light kiss on Kaidoh’s forehead. The data collector took the seat next to Kaidoh’s and smiled serenely while Kaidoh blinked at him, momentarily forgetting his seasickness completely. “I hope that you will feel better shortly after we return to land,” Inui said, sounding quite sincere.
Kaidoh stared at him for another minute, feeling more strange than when he’d felt seasick, and Inui looked back with an innocent sort of expression. Kaidoh then looked to make sure no one had seen what had happened. No one had, apparently, at least not Momoshiro or Fuji. They would have been over tormenting him already if they had.
Kaidoh Kaoru decided then that boats just weren’t good for him. Obviously it wasn't good for Inui either, judging by his senpai's...odd...behaviour. Kaidoh vowed to himself that he would never agree to a trip like this ever again.
Little did he know that Inui Sadaharu was already looking forward to the next one.