Pairing: Kaidoh Kaoru/Inui Sadaharu
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Theme: #11, “gardenia”
Disclaimer: I don’t own Prince of Tennis. Nope.
Summary: Inui gives Kaidoh flowers; Kaidoh thinks about it.
Author’s Note: Just a drabble I wrote when I saw the word “gardenia” on the list. Crossposted to 30_kisses, inu_kai, and my journal.
“What...?” Kaidoh Kaoru looked from the lovely potted flowers in his hand to Inui Sadaharu, his confusion evident in his expression. “Inui-senpai, why are you giving these to me?”
“Because they are gardenias, your favorite flower,” Inui said, with a mysterious smile.
Kaidoh wished, not for the first time, that his senpai’s thoughts ought to be less difficult to decipher. “But...senpai,” he said carefully, “I don’t have a favorite flower.”
Inui shrugged, still smiling at him. “Ah. Then perhaps I’ve made a mistake in my data. I apologize.” Then the older boy turned to exit the tennis clubroom, leaving a very puzzled Kaidoh standing there with a gardenia plant. His point had not, of course, been that gardenia was not in fact his favorite flower; rather, he’d been wondering why Inui was giving him flowers to begin with.
Oishi walked over to say, “Let me know when you’re done, Kaidoh.” They were the last two tennis team members there, and it was Oishi’s job to lock the clubroom after everyone was gone.
Kaidoh nodded. “Hai, Oishi-senpai. I’m almost finished.” He set the flowers down on the floor so he could pack up what was left of his tennis equipment.
Oishi saw the flowers and smiled. “Where did you get the flowers, Kaidoh? They’re beautiful.”
“Ah...” Kaidoh glanced from the gardenias to Oishi and back again. “Inui-senpai...gave them to me.”
“Oh, I see,” Oishi said, looking as though he had suddenly comprehended something. “That was nice of him.”
Kaidoh wished that if Oishi-senpai understood why Inui-senpai had given him flowers, he would explain it. But Kaidoh didn’t ask, and Oishi didn’t volunteer the information.
“I’m going now, senpai,” Kaidoh said, standing and putting his tennis bag over his shoulder. He then picked up the pot of gardenias, careful not to harm the flowers.
“All right,” Oishi told him, taking the key to the clubroom out of his pocket. “Thank you, Kaidoh.”
Kaidoh found himself looking at the flowers the entire way home. He couldn’t think of any occasion, and why would Inui give him flowers even if it was a holiday?
Well, he remembered, Inui had given him a box of chocolate kisses on Valentine’s Day, that was true. But neither of them ever got much, so Inui probably gave him something because he felt sympathetic to how Kaidoh might feel on that day.
And it was true that Kaidoh had found himself buying a return gift for his senpai on White Day. He’d opted to get a green notebook that somehow reminded him of Inui, deciding that the other would probably appreciate something useful.
But now Inui was giving him flowers? He could not imagine why that would be. Had he done a favor for his senpai recently? And why did Inui think that gardenias were his favorite flower?
Maybe he’d said something on one of their runs together, Kaidoh thought, opening the door to his house. They went running through the park every weekend, and sometimes after practice during the week as well. Possibly they had been passing by a flower shop, or they had seen gardenias in the park’s ornamental gardens.
Kaidoh’s mother smiled when she saw him carrying the flowers up to his room. “Oh, Kaoru, where did you get those?”
“From Inui-senpai,” he told her.
“Oh, that was very nice of Inui-san,” she replied, coming over to smell the flowers. “They have a lovely fragrance. I hope you thanked him.”
Kaidoh realized with a pang of guilt that he hadn’t actually thanked Inui, and resolved to do it the next day. It had been nice of his senpai to think of him, no matter what the reason. And the gardenias, although he didn’t think they were his favorite flower, were definitely pretty anyway.
Kaidoh wondered about the flowers all through his run, and during dinner, and while he did his homework. He’d set the pot on his desk, because they really were very nice. They weren't brightly colored or distracting, just a creamy shade of white that went well with the rest of his room. They had a very pleasant floral scent that wasn't overwhelming like perfume, just sweet and, in a way, relaxing.
Kaidoh’s last thought when he went to bed that night was that perhaps gardenias were his favorite flower after all. He never thought to ask himself whether that had been true before Inui gave them to him.