Spy Games, by kishmet. Golden Pair, G, 1187 words. In which Eiji sucks at being a stalker. I forget who gave me this idea about the stalkage and the grocery store, so if it was you, tell me! :O
Eiji didn’t really mean to follow Oishi into the grocery store, it just sort of happened. After all, Eiji was out and looking for something to do, and Oishi was there. The fact that Eiji decided to pretend he was stalking Oishi, okay, maybe that was a little bit on purpose. Oishi knew he liked playing spy, though, so Eiji was sure that he wouldn’t mind.
He crept down the aisle next to the one Oishi was in, every so often looking through the shelf to make sure that Oishi was still right there. Oishi had a cart, so he was probably doing his family’s shopping. Oishi was also humming to himself, the pop song that Eiji had been singing the day before. Eiji nearly giggled, elated to know that Oishi had remembered.
Eiji was distracted from his spy work when he noticed that there was a little boy in a cart halfway down the aisle. “Mommy, can we get some candy?” The little boy swung his legs back and forth, peering down at the bulk-sized bags of chocolate. “I want some.”
“No, it’s bad for your teeth,” said his mother absently, reading the label on a can of soup. “We’ll get some fruit, though, and have that for dessert later.” The boy pouted and kicked harder, making the shopping cart roll slightly forward.
Eiji put down the bag of candy he’d been thinking about buying (although he didn’t have enough money), and grinned at the boy, putting a hand on the cart so that it didn’t roll away. “Hi!”
“Hi,” said the boy. “Mommy says I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”
“But your mom’s right there, nya,” Eiji pointed out, reasonably. When he’d been little he used that excuse all the time: as long as mom was within yelling range, talking to strangers was okay. It had never gone over very well with his mother, but he’d conveniently forgotten that. “So it’s all right!”
“Okay,” said the boy, nodding and looking over at his mother, who was comparing the ingredients on two different brands of sauce. Clearly he didn’t have any real objections to talking to a stranger. “How come you sound like a cat?”
“Nya?” Eiji tilted his head and pretended to be confused. “How do I sound like a cat, nya?”
“Like that!” The boy pointed, bouncing up and down in his seat. “Nya, nya!”
“No, you’re the one who sounds like a cat!” Eiji said, adding a mischievous, “Nya-a!” Then he acted as though he was going to fall over, but flipped up into a handstand instead. “Hoi!” The boy clapped gleefully, his eyes wide with delight. Eiji leaped to his feet and bowed dramatically.
“What’s your name?” the boy asked, grinning as widely as Eiji was. “You’re so cool!”
“I’m Eiji!” Eiji told him. “How about yours? My mom says not to talk to strangers, too,” he confided. “So if I know your name, you’re not a stranger anymore!”
The boy nodded emphatically, agreeing with that logic. “I’m Syuichirou,” he said.
Eiji bounced happily in place, springing into another handstand before saying, “Know what? I have another friend named Syuichirou!” Suddenly Eiji dived for the floor, crouching between the boy’s cart and the shelf.
Syuichirou blinked down at him, confused. “Whatcha doing?”
Eiji held a finger to his lips, risking a glance down the aisle. He ducked down again, maneuvering the cart so that it sort of hid him from view. “That’s my friend,” he said in a stage whisper, pointing at Oishi, who’d just come into the aisle pushing his own cart.
“Are you playing hide and seek?” asked Syuichirou, keeping his voice low.
“We are!” said Eiji, forgetting to be quiet and then clapping a hand over his own mouth. “Anyway,” he went on in a whisper, “that’s my other friend Syuichirou.” Oishi’s footsteps had gotten very close, and Eiji curled up tightly so that he wouldn’t be seen. He peered through the cart in time to see Oishi lean down and pick up the same bag of candy Eiji had wanted, not five feet away. Eiji wondered if Oishi would share the candy if he asked him, later.
“Hi!” said Syuichirou brightly to Oishi. “My name’s Syuichirou, too!”
“It is?” Oishi asked, and Eiji could just hear the puzzled smile on Oishi’s face. He was good at hearing things like that. “How did you know my name was Syuichirou?”
“I met your friend,” said Syuichirou matter-of-factly. Eiji gasped before realizing that Oishi would probably hear him, and then just crossed his fingers and bit his tongue to keep himself quiet.
“A friend of mine?” This time Eiji could hear Oishi smiling warmly, without the puzzlement. “Did he have red hair?”
“Yup,” said Syuichirou. “Really bright red, and he did a flip!”
“That’s funny, because I was just buying something for my friend.” Eiji heard the rustle of something being pulled out of a cart.
“Toothpaste?” asked Syuichirou doubtfully.
“Syuichirou, you shouldn’t bother people.” Syuichirou’s mother had come back. Eiji could see her, too, on the other side of the cart. “I’m sorry, sir. He gets bored when we’re out grocery shopping.”
“It’s fine,” Oishi assured her. “He wasn’t bothering me at all.” Then, to Syuichirou he added, “It’s his favorite flavor, and he told me today that he was running out.”
“Ohhh,” said Syuichirou knowingly.
Eiji couldn’t help it. He popped up, letting out a deep breath as though he’d been underwater for a long time. “Toothpaste!” he exclaimed delightedly. Oishi didn’t look nearly as surprised as Eiji would have thought, but that was okay.
Syuichirou’s mother was astonished, though, and stared at him. “What...where did...”
“That’s my friend Eiji,” said Syuichirou. “He’s playing hide and seek with his friend Syuichirou. Not me, the other one,” he added helpfully. He pointed. “Him!”
“...oh.” The mother gave Eiji a doubtful look, then apparently decided that a grinning redhead and his very polite friend weren’t dangerous. “All right then, it’s nice to meet you, Eiji-kun, Syuichirou-kun.”
“Nice to meet you,” Oishi said with a reassuring smile and a bow.
“Nice to meet you, too, Syuichirou’s mom!” Eiji said, and vaulted into a front flip, skipping back so that he could throw his arms around Oishi’s shoulders. “You remembered the toothpaste!”
“I did!” said Oishi, holding it up so that Eiji could inspect it. Eiji’s arms wrapped even tighter around Oishi’s neck as he leaned forward to see, but fortunately Oishi was used to such treatment and only laughed.
“Perfect!” Eiji proclaimed. “Can we have some candy later, too?” It was fun to eat candy, and then brush his teeth, and then eat candy again, and then brush his teeth again, and even though Oishi didn’t join the fun, he liked to watch Eiji do it, which was part of the reason Eiji did it whenever possible.
“I bought that for you, too, so yes,” said Oishi, still laughing.
“Those two are your friends?” Syuichirou’s mother asked, just to be sure.
“Yup.” Syuichirou eyed Eiji, who was hugging Oishi exuberantly. “But they’re not very good at playing hide and seek.”
Easy Targets, by kishmet. MomoKai (with gratuitous TezuRyo mentions), PG, 1754 words. Written for agonizingmercy, who puts up with me even when I torment her. ♥ I'll write you a better fic next time, I promise!
“Huh?” Momo said, startled, just as Kaidoh said, “What?” The flash of a camera blinded both of them. Momo cursed, covering his eyes, and he heard Kaidoh hiss.
Momo blinked, rubbing his eyes and trying to recover his vision. “Fuji-senpai,” he complained. “What’d you do that for?”
“You two just looked so...oh, how should I put it? So content, standing next to one another.” Momo could see, blurrily, that Fuji was still holding up the camera.
“Content?” Kaidoh asked, sounding disbelieving.
“Yes,” said Fuji. “It’ll make an adorable part of my collage.”
“Adorable?” Momo demanded, taking a huge step away from Kaidoh. Now that he thought about it, standing so close that their arms were touching wasn’t a good idea when they were at practice.
“What collage?” Kaidoh asked, eyeing Momo and taking a step away himself so that there was a whole six feet between them.
“The one I’m making with photos of the team,” said Fuji. “Sumire-chan agreed that it would help to foster team spirit, and she said I could hang it in the clubroom.”
“What? No! You can’t hang that where people could, you know...” Momo trailed off.
“See it,” Kaidoh put in helpfully.
“Oh? But you two were standing right in the open, where anyone could see you anyway,” Fuji said, looking more surprised than Momo thought he really was. “Though if you really object, I could take another one.”
“Yeah,” said Momo, nodding. “Yeah, do that. Take another one. Like, uh, like this.” He stepped back toward Kaidoh, and after a moment and a disgusted look, Kaidoh did the same. They stood sort of next to each, carefully looking in opposite directions. Momo gave his coolest half-grin so that he didn’t look too happy.
“No, no,” said Fuji, shaking his head and looking sad. “That doesn’t at all capture the spirit I was hoping for.” Momo glanced over at Kaidoh, who was scowling at the camera.
“Okay, let’s try again,” said Momo, and this time he struck a victory pose.
“No, you’re going to have to look more...” Fuji trailed off thoughtfully. “More like a team.” He gestured to Oishi and Eiji, who were standing with their arms draped around each other’s waists and shoulders as though they didn’t even care what they were doing, at practice, in front of everyone. “Something like that.”
Momo gave Fuji a shocked look, unable to even say anything in the face of the extreme stupidity of the proposal.
“No,” said Kaidoh vehemently.
They tried for the rest of practice, but every time Fuji said that they didn’t look the way he wanted them to. Momo didn’t understand at all, because every time he looked as cool as possible. He thought it was probably Kaidoh’s fault.
“I suppose I’ll just have to use one of the photos I already have, if you two won’t cooperate,” said Fuji.
“What, the one where we were...the one from earlier?” asked Momo.
“No,” said Fuji, with a mysterious smile. “Something better.” Then he walked away to where Tezuka and Ryoma were standing silently together, watching a match on A court, leaving Momo and Kaidoh to gape after him.
“Okay, look,” said Momo. “We can’t panic.”
“You’re the one panicking,” Kaidoh pointed out gruffly, but he was fidgeting anxiously too, fiddling with his pencil and tapping his foot.
“We’ve got to think about what Fuji-senpai’s actually got. I mean, what he could actually have. Maybe he’s got nothing.” Momo paused. “Maybe that one time behind the clubroom?”
Kaidoh shook his head. “We would have seen anyone who was close enough to take a picture.”
“I don’t know, we were kind of busy.” Despite their worries, Momo punched Kaidoh playfully in the arm, grinning lasciviously.
Kaidoh smacked him, hard. “I would have noticed. I’m not a moron.”
“No, you’re just paranoid.” Momo smacked him back even harder.
“I’m not paranoid, and I’m not a moron!” Kaidoh grabbed the front of Momo’s shirt and yanked on it. Momo almost fell over Kaidoh’s lap, but Kaidoh shoved him at the last moment so that they were just face to face. Kaidoh glared at Momo, and Momo returned the favor.
“I’m not a moron, and I’m not paranoid,” Momo retorted, which, when he thought about it later, wasn’t the most brilliant comeback.
“No, you’re both,” said Kaidoh.
Momo lunged forward before remembering that they were a little too close together to do that. Their foreheads banged together and so did their noses and their lips, which was kind of convenient. They ended up kissing and wrestling on Momo’s bed for fifteen minutes before they realized that it wasn’t going to help them figure anything out.
“Okay,” Momo said, sitting up to catch his breath, tucking his shirt back in and giving Kaidoh a sheepish look. Kaidoh’s cheeks were flushed and he was re-buttoning his pants. “Um, so...”
“So?” Kaidoh asked, glaring at Momo the way he always did when Momo caught him blushing.
“So I don’t know what to do,” Momo groaned, flopping backwards onto the bed and letting out a deep, pained sigh.
“Idiot,” Kaidoh muttered, thought when Momo asked if he had a better idea, Kaidoh didn’t know what to do either.
“Fuji-senpai, we’re desperate here.” Momo didn’t bother with a customary phone greeting, because the situation was just that serious. “Aren’t we, mamushi?”
“Yes,” said Kaidoh. “Don’t call me that.”
“See, even mamushi is desperate,” said Momo, purposely using the nickname again. No situation was that serious. “You can’t use that picture.”
“Well, I’m afraid I just don’t have any other alternative,” said Fuji. “The two of you wouldn’t even come near each other for me to take a different photograph.”
“But why do you need us near each other?” Momo asked, trying not to whine. Kaidoh looked disgusted. “It’s not like we’re...we’re...”
“Using the locker room as your own personal haven for illicit activities?” Fuji asked sweetly.
“Uh...” Momo wanted to ask Kaidoh what “illicit” meant, but it was pretty self-evident once he thought about it for a second. “No! No, we haven’t! Usually,” he added lamely. “Anyway, if you want a picture, you’ve got to take a different one.”
“Do you promise to cooperate this time?” Fuji asked, his voice silky-smooth and really disturbing.
Momo glanced nervously at Kaidoh, who shrugged uncomfortably and looked away. “Yeah. Fine.”
“Now, if you’ll stand this way, Momo, and you’ll stand just like this...no, a step back, Kaidoh.” Fuji arranged them as though they were a pair of dolls. Well, a pair of very stiff, very uneasy dolls who were both trying not to glare at the person doing the arranging.
“You stepped on my foot again!” Kaidoh exploded, whirling around so that he was facing Momo.
“I wasn’t the one who did it last time, you were!” said Momo. They’d been attempting to take one lousy picture for the last half hour. It wasn’t going very well, because they were both on edge because they were in Fuji-senpai’s backyard and they both knew that wasn’t a very safe place to be.
Plus, Fuji was trying to get them to act like they liked each other, which was clearly just plain wrong.
“Now, boys,” Fuji started to say, but they weren’t finished yet.
“It’s your fault we’re in this mess to begin with,” Kaidoh said. “If you paid more attention to things-”
“What, you mean if I was paranoid?” Momo got right up in Kaidoh’s face. “Is that what you mean?”
“No, I mean if you were careful!” Kaidoh snapped.
“Well, excuse me if I can’t be careful when your hand is in my pants!” said Momo.
Kaidoh hissed. “I can’t help it, if your hand is up my shirt!”
“You know,” said Momo, remembering, “this isn’t really cooperating.”
“No,” Kaidoh said. “It’s not.”
“And it’s not like your hand was ever actually in my pants,” said Momo.
“Tch,” said Kaidoh. “And your hand was never in my shirt.” Neither one of them dared to look over at Fuji.
Momo grinned, loosening his hold on Kaidoh’s collar. “So, let’s just cooperate, then, right?”
“Tch,” said Kaidoh again, rolling his eyes and releasing his grip on Momo’s shirt.
Click! went the camera.
“Hey, look!” Momo pointed at their picture and grinned at Kaidoh. “It came out really well!”
“It did,” Kaidoh admitted gruffly, inspecting the photo and evidently approving.
“You two like it?” Fuji asked, beaming, from behind them.
“It’s nice, Fuji-senpai,” said Momo, and Kaidoh nodded. “Even though you were sort of blackmailing us...”
“Blackmail?” Fuji inquired, looking surprised again. “I would never do something like that.”
“Oh yeah?” Momo challenged. “What about that ‘other picture’ you said you were going to use, if we didn’t cooperate? That was blackmail!”
Fuji chuckled. “What, this one?” He pulled a photograph out of his pocket. Momo leaned in to look, then had to pull back, scowling, when Kaidoh leaned in first. He didn’t want to end up bumping heads again.
Kaidoh’s expression changed from a suspicious one to a shocked one. He looked up at Fuji. “Fuji-senpai...this...”
“Hey, move so that I can see,” Momo said, shoving him relatively gently out of the way. Kaidoh shoved him back, but Momo didn’t even stumble because he’d been ready for it. “Fuji-senpai!” Momo exclaimed, horrified.
“I was wondering why you didn’t want this one to be part of the collage,” said Fuji, with a casual little shrug. “There were hundreds of people there watching, after all.”
It was a picture that had been taken during one of their doubles matches, once when they’d sort-of-not-really been holding hands, but actually had just been high-fiving each other. Admittedly not the least embarrassing moment Momo had ever experienced, but nothing like what he’d imagined.
Momo couldn’t decide whether to be pissed off or to go with it, and so he did the only thing that seemed like a reasonable compromise. He tapped the picture with his thumb, laughed, and looked at Kaidoh. “You look like such a dumbass! No wonder you didn’t want this picture in that collage!”
Kaidoh punched him, Momo punched back, they got into an enormous fight, and Fuji stood watching them and smiling. Everything was good and normal, the way it was supposed to be.
Well, at least it was good until buchou saw the picture Fuji had gotten of him and Echizen.
Chill, by kishmet. TezuRyo, G, 206 words. Hardly long enough to merit a title, but I like the way it turned out.
“Are you cold?”
Ryoma looks up. He’s not cold, not unbearably so. He’s been colder than this a lot before, because he plays his father even when the court is partially frozen over. “A little.”
Tezuka is already pulling off his own jacket. He hands it to Ryoma, and Ryoma drapes it over his shoulders without putting his arms into the sleeves. The hem of it hangs almost down to his knees. It’s warm on the inside, and not just jacket-warm, it’s person-warm. It's something else, too, because it hadn't just been a person wearing it, it had been buchou.
“No.” Ryoma shakes his head and takes off the jacket.
“It’s cold. You should wear it.”
“So should you,” Ryoma says. He puts his left arm through the left sleeve, and offers the right sleeve to Tezuka, who smiles when he understands.
They have to walk very close together with each of them wearing one half of the jacket. Tezuka has to lean down and Ryoma has to stay pressed against his side. His right hand takes Tezuka’s left, behind the jacket where no one can see, and no one knows but the two of them.
He could stay warm all winter this way.