Actions

Work Header

Good Intentions

Chapter Text

"So you're finally recognizing the wealth of my wisdom and experience as your senpai, Sawamura."

Kazuya wouldn't lie; he was terribly pleased Sawamura had approached him for a reason other than being the human equivalent of a net to catch his pitches. And judging by the blushing cheeks and averted eyes, the type of advice he was looking for wasn't the baseball kind. Intrigued, Kazuya pressed him for details. "Well, spit it out. Coach will notice we're gone soon."

Why Kazuya had let the loudmouth first year drag him all the way behind the equipment shed, in the middle of practice no less, was something he chose not to think about. Sawamura for once was hesitant, so unlike his usual straightforward self that it had Kazuya on edge. He waited with wary eyes hidden behind sports glasses as Sawamura gathered his thoughts.

"So Wakana asked me out," he finally blurted in a rush, letting the words spill from his mouth on an exhale.

Wakana... Wakana... The name sounded vaguely familiar. More than likely the short haired girl who sometimes came to their games, the one Kuramochi was gaga over. "Let me guess, Kuramochi is mad at you," Kazuya said.

"No! I mean, he will be. Probably. I haven't told him yet." Sawamura lapsed into silence.

Kazuya raised an eyebrow. "Then what's the problem?" And why had Sawamra come to him of all people?

"Well, I've never really— I don't have, y'know, any experience with girls, so I just thought..." Sawamura looked like he was already regretting saying anything to him, and it made Kazuya grin with glee. He didn’t have to say more than that, because Kazuya knew exactly what type of advice he was looking for. It seemed even Sawamura’s foolhardy confidence faltered in the face of the opposite sex.

"Why didn't you just say so, partner?" Kazuya drawled before letting out a braying laugh. He slung an arm around the pitcher’s shoulders; Sawamura was slowly packing on muscle, but still had the lean, lanky body of a first year.

Sawamura muttered something vaguely threatening under his breath about their proximity but Kazuya paid him no mind. "So," the catcher began. "Why not just ask Chris-senpai for advice?"

Sawamura sputtered, "I can't ask Chris-senpai about indecent stuff!"

Kazuya resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He’d figured it was something like that. God forbid Sawamura tarnish himself in Chris’s eyes by revealing he had hormones like everyone else. Sighing, Kazuya released the boy and stepped back to lean against the equipment shed, shielding himself from the sun in the sliver of shade cast by the roof ledge. "Well, what do you want to know?"

Sawamura offered a sheepish look. "Uh, everything?"

Kazuya snickered and shook his head, and just like that the boy’s expression changed to one of embarrassed outrage.

"Stop laughing, Miyuki Kazuya!"

He did, but the smirk on his lips lingered despite his best efforts. "That's Miyuki-senpai to you. I am older than you, you know."

"Yeah, yeah. Please advise me, senpai."

And how could Kazuya refuse when his rowdy kouhai has asked oh-so-nicely?

"Holding hands should be simple enough, even for an idiot like you—"

"Hey!"

"—so I guess the next thing would be kissing."

Kazuya lifted his head to gauge Sawamura's reaction and, as expected, he was staring down at his cleats looking somewhat constipated. Kazuya practically leered as he said, "Alright, let's start there." A pause and then, "If you can handle it."

It was far too easy to bait Sawamura. Kazuya had cast the line, now all he needed to do was wait for Sawamura to follow.

As expected, he immediately burst out, “I can handle it!”

Too easy, but the golden glow in his eyes suggested he’d be anything but. It got Kazuya’s blood pumping. The smile that spread across his face was all teeth.

“Well, kissing is sort of like pitching,” Kazuya said, hoping the metaphor would get through to Sawamura’s baseball crazed mind. “I can tell you how to hold the ball, but if you never throw you won’t improve.”

When Sawamura just stared at him with furrowed eyebrows, Kazuya sighed.

“I’m saying the only way to get good is to practice. Just telling you how isn’t going to help much.”

“Practice…” Sawamura repeated, looking skeptical.

Kazuya was about to say something else when Kuramochi cut in from a ways away, yelling, “Oi! Miyuki, Sawamura, what are you two doing? The coach is looking for you!”

Kazuya just waved him off and turned his attention back to Sawamura.

“After dinner, meet me in my room.”

And then Kazuya jogged away, leaving Sawamura to ruminate on his own.

 

 

 

 

After dinner, Eijun paced outside Miyuki’s dorm.

He’d just barely managed to choke down his third bowl of rice, stomach churning uneasily as Miyuki’s casual invitation repeated over and over again in his mind.

There’s no way he meant... Eijun shook his head, messy brown hair slipping into further disarray with the movement. No, that was impossible. Miyuki and him… practicing kissing? Together?

His cheeks felt hot just thinking about it. But two guys kissing… that was gross, right? Girls, on the other hand, were soft and they smelled nice and they had cute voices. Guys just didn’t have any of that.

So why did it feel like his stomach was trying to twist itself into a pretzel when he thought about Miyuki’s calloused hands, strong and steady from years of catching? Eijun immediately flapped an arm through the air, waving frantically as if he could physically dispel the thought.

“What are you doing?” Miyuki asked from where he was leaning against the door frame of his dorm. Eijun nearly leaped a foot in the air at the sound of his voice, whirling to see Miyuki’s trademark Cheshire grin.

“T-there was a mosquito!” He could tell Miyuki didn’t believe him, but mercifully the second year didn’t comment on it. Instead he stepped back into the room and raised his eyebrows.

“Coming in?” Miyuki’s tone was light and airy, but to Eijun it sounded like a challenge.

Steeling himself (for what, he wasn’t sure), Eijun stepped inside. The door shut behind him and suddenly they were alone. He couldn’t remember a time when they’d ever been alone together like this before, except for occasionally in the bullpen.

Eijun didn’t move from his spot near the door, hovering there like he might bolt at any minute. And the way Miyuki was looking at him, calm and collected and calculating through black-rimmed glasses, sort of made him want to.

The silence stretched between them until it was unbearable.

“Are we going to kiss?” Eijun blurted when he couldn’t take it anymore, flushed to the tips of his ears. Miyuki, the bastard, looked calm as ever as he regarded Eijun’s stiff posture. Then he began to laugh.

Eijun stormed over in a huff before his mind could catch up to his actions, seizing Miyuki by the collar of his shirt. “Stop messing with me, you damn tanuki!”

“We can,” Miyuki said, and Eijun blinked at him.

“Huh?”

“We can kiss.” Eijun’s grip on Miyuki’s collar slackened in shock. “To practice, of course.”

“O-oh, right. To practice,” Eijun’s voice had faltered, become small and nervous in a way it usually never did. His adam's apple bobbed as he tried to swallow down his nerves. And now he realized how close they were, how Miyuki really was good looking, the type of boy girls giggled and gossiped about. He dropped his hands from Miyuki’s shirt but didn’t move away. “This isn’t cheating, right?” Eijun's voice had dropped to an uncharacteristic whisper.

Not that him and Wakana were really an official thing yet, but they were sort of a thing.

“Of course not,” And Miyuki’s voice was so smooth it had warning bells going off in Eijun’s head. “I’m just teaching you, Sawamura,” Miyuki said as he placed his hands on Eijun’s shoulders. “That’s my job as your senpai.”

Eijun nodded for lack of anything better to say. His throat felt parched. There was a swarm of fragmented thoughts buzzing through his mind— this is so weird and is he really going to kiss me? and am I going to kiss him back? and it’s going to be gross for sure and Miyuki has long eyelashes, like a girl.

“First lesson,” Miyuki said, recapturing his attention. There was something about the sly expression on his face that made Eijun think maybe Miyuki could read minds, and he panicked, going completely rigid in the other’s hold. “Oi, pay attention, Sawamura. You want to be good at this don’t you?” And he did, he did because embarrassing himself in front of Wakana when he was supposed to take charge and be a man was worse than embarrassing himself in front of Miyuki, who laughed at him no matter what. Once some of Eijun’s tenseness ebbed and he nodded again, Miyuki continued. “Girls like to be manhandled a little, but not too much. Just enough to get their heart pounding.”

And Eijun stared and stared at Miyuki until his lips twisted into a scowl as a thought occurred to him. “You’re such a playboy,” he muttered. Should have known when Miyuki had a face like that and a tongue that dripped honeyed words one minute and spat razor-ed insults the next.

Miyuki had the audacity to grin, saying, “Girls throw themselves at me, Sawamura. Not the other way around.”

Eijun couldn’t even reply because it was true, because more than once the bullpen had been surrounded by a flock of fans calling out to him, because when Miyuki walked up to the batting box the shrieks of the audience grew profoundly higher in pitch. Eijun could see why Kuramochi begrudged having the catcher in his class.

Eijun didn’t stop scowling. “Whatever.” A stubborn pause, and then, “How much is too much?”

He could tell Miyuki was reveling in his sudden obedience, but he didn’t have time to dwell too much on the other's smug look because Miyuki was walking him backwards. Before Eijun registered what was happening he’d been cornered, trapped between the wall and the hardness of Miyuki’s chest. He’d never really noticed their height difference until now, until Miyuki had hands braced on either side of his head, muscled forearms caging him in.

Traitorously, his heart began to pound.

Miyuki leaned into him, their chests pressing together, and Miyuki was kind of heavy, firm and warm beneath his shirt. His breath stirred the hair around Eijun’s ear. “This is enough.”

Eijun tried to keep the tremor from his voice. “O-okay, got it.”

Miyuki leaned back so he could look at Sawamura, talking low into the small space between their mouths. “Look into her eyes for a moment,” he instructed, and honestly Eijun couldn’t have looked away if he’d wanted to. His eyes were wide in his face, petrified. “And then…”

Their noses brushed, breath mingling, and Eijun’s breath hitched. “A-and then?”

Miyuki’s only response was to press their lips together, slow and simple. It wasn’t quite as weird as Eijun had anticipated, but it didn’t necessarily feel good either. Miyuki's mouth was warm and soft, and his breath smelled of the bitter coffee he’d been drinking. It was enough to make Eijun curious.

Miyuki’s eyes were closed behind his glasses, thankfully, so he couldn’t see Eijun's flushed face. Eijun followed his lead, squeezing his eyes closed, trying to memorize the feeling of Miyuki’s lips, wondering if Wakana’s would feel the same.

Miyuki’s hand moved from his shoulder to his face, cupping it while stroking a thumb along the apple of his cheek, just below the delicate skin beneath his eye. He set the pace slow with the same ease he used to lead Eijun on the field. He was aggressive but not demanding, moving his lips over Eijun’s, taking his time, coaxing him to give in and become a pliant mess.

Eijun wasn’t sure when weird turned to good, but when Miyuki pulled away so they could breathe Eijun’s lips were tingling. His chest was rising and falling fast, and he’d chased Miyuki’s lips as he’d pulled back without thinking. His arms were still limp at his sides, because he didn’t know if he should touch Miyuki or if that’d be weird.

The quiet of the room was only punctuated by their labored breath, and finally Eijun broke it. “H-how was that?”

Miyuki stared at him for a minute, eyes gazing into Eijun’s lidded ones before pointedly dropping to his mouth. Miyuki grinned but it wasn’t as sharp, softened by the flush in his own cheeks. “Terrible, but that’s why we’re practicing.”

He leaned back in and Eijun closed his eyes in anticipation, but the sensation of lips didn’t come. Instead Miyuki’s voice was a ticklish whisper against his mouth. “Are you just going to stand there and make me do all the work, Sawamura?”

Eijun’s lashes fluttered and his eyes snapped back open, face hot with embarrassment and annoyance. “Shut up!” And then he raised his hands and curled them into Miyuki’s hair, half because that’s what he’d seen people do in movies and half because he wanted to know if Miyuki’s hair was as soft as it looked. It was, his fingers slipping through it with silky ease as Eijun pressed Miyuki’s mouth down against his own. This time he tried to mimic Miyuki’s movements, compensating for inexperience with enthusiasm and curiosity. All thoughts of Wakana had fled, and Eijun was consumed by the need to kiss Miyuki breathless, to find out what felt good.

Miyuki’s mouth was wet and hot as it slipped over his, and Eijun parted his lips for more. He tugged on Miyuki’s hair because it made a little moan vibrate in Miyuki's throat whenever he did, made the older boy press him further into the wall, pinning him there with his weight. And it was like there’d been something tightly wound inside that Eijun had never been aware of until Miyuki had begun to uncoil it with every swipe of his tongue and scrape of his teeth.

An addictive heat unfurled in his gut, and when Miyuki pressed a thigh between his legs Eijun heard himself groan, breathless and pitched against Miyuki’s lips. He felt Miyuki shudder in response, felt a tongue in his mouth, slippery but not unpleasant. He moaned again when Miyuki teased the roof of his mouth with his practiced tongue, and squirmed when the other’s hands slid along the boyish curves of his sides and settled heavy on his hips. His fingers toyed with the hem of Eijun's shirt but never quite slipped underneath. It was driving Eijun crazy. Honestly, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted that, but the thought of Miyuki’s calloused palms sliding over his skin made him shiver.

Eijun wasn’t sure how long they stayed there, pressed up against the wall kissing, the wet, smacking noise of their lips loud in Eijun’s ears. So bold and so reckless and yet so tentative, Miyuki’s hands never straying under clothes, Eijun only brave enough to drag a palm down Miyuki’s back and rest it against the dip of his spine. Eijun was pretty sure he could have spent the whole night like that, feeling Miyuki’s body heat, smelling his faint cologne, tasting his mouth and getting dizzier and dizzier as the minutes ticked by. But then Miyuki nudged his leg a little higher, and Eijun jerked with a whimper of surprise and oh, oh—

Oh shit.

Eijun pulled away, face red and inhales shaky and pants tighter than they had any right to be. He flattened his hands on Miyuki’s chest and straightened his arms, shoving him back. “I-I just realized I have to go,” he said, well aware that his lips were slick and swollen from kisses. His skin felt feverish, and all he wanted was to trade the stifling heat for cool night air.

He pushed past Miyuki and headed for the door, throwing it open and then slamming it shut behind him, leaving no time for Miyuki to do anything but watch him go.

 

 

 

 

Eijun lay in bed wide awake for a long time, recalling the shape of Miyuki’s mouth and eyeing the glowing screen of his cell phone where an unanswered message from Wakana waited, glaringly bright in the darkness. All around him the soft noises of Masuko and Kuramochi sleeping filled his ears, quiet snores and rustling sheets, slow even breathing. He knew at this rate he was going to be a wreck for morning practice, but every time he shut his eyes he got anxious.

Eijun rolled onto his side and brought his phone up to his face. It lit up as he swiped the password along the touch screen. His lockscreen faded and Wakana’s message sat just where he’d left it.

im coming to seidou sunday!! cant wait to see u

Eijun dropped his phone onto the mattress and tried to make sense of all the emotions roiling inside him. Wakana liked him, and Eijun had agreed to give it a try, but they weren’t official. At least Eijun didn’t think they were official, and Wakana knew Eijun well enough to realize he was still confused about the whole shift from friend to girlfriend. That in and of itself was enough to tie his stomach in knots, and just the thought of seeing her Sunday… Eijun turned onto his other side and took a deep breath.

And then there was Miyuki, and the thought of him brought a whole new flurry of emotions to the surface. Mostly embarrassment, mostly heat, mostly dread, but also something else. Something Eijun couldn’t quite remember having ever felt in the past.

And kissing Miyuki… it had felt nice. Okay, really nice. But that was just because he was an experienced kisser! That had nothing to do with Miyuki himself. Practice, that's all it was. It would change nothing when they saw each other tomorrow. Eijun would yell and bicker with him as always, and it wouldn’t be weird.

Finding some solace in that conclusion, Eijun finally let the heavy lids of his eyes settle closed. Only one thought drifted through his mind as sleep overcame him.

I’m going to need a lot more practice before Sunday.

Chapter Text

By the time afternoon practice rolled around, Eijun was itching to run laps. He hadn’t been able to sleep through any of his classes, so he’d settled for day dreaming. He couldn’t get what’d happened last night out of his head; everytime he thought of Miyuki giddiness welled up inside him, making it impossible to sit still. Eijun was eager to put the butterflies in his stomach to rest.

Practice began with laps as it always did and Eijun took off without reserve, shooting past Yuuki, who was leading the pack with a steady pace. Furuya was hot on his heels and he could hear Kuramochi yelling at him from somewhere in the middle of the group, but didn’t hear the familiar braying laugh that usually followed.

Practice continued like it always did, and Eijun eventually found himself in the bullpen. He felt relieved as he stole glances at Miyuki where he was crouched a few feet away, catching Furuya’s pitches and instructing him. It was just like Eijun had thought last night; nothing had changed between them. He'd been stupid for getting all worked up over nothing.

A vague disappointment settled somewhere in the pit of his stomach, all the giddy energy draining out of him, leaving him hollow. Eijun was so distracted he nearly took a ball to the head as Miyauchi returned his pitch.

“Pay attention, Sawamura!” he barked, irked by Eijun’s straying eyes. “Miyuki can catch for you later, but right now you’re throwing to me.”

“Yes, senpai!” Eijun snapped to attention, cheeks burning when he sensed the other catcher’s gaze on him. He could just imagine the sly look on Miyuki’s face. “Sorry, senpai! It won’t happen again!” He dipped into a dramatic bow, bending perfectly at the waist, before straightening up again and focusing on his pitching with renewed ferocity, the hollow feeling forgotten.

For the rest of practice, Eijun could swear he felt eyes on him. 

 

 

 

Eijun ran extra laps after practice and didn't stop until he nearly collapsed. His feet felt like lead as he dragged himself to the bath, and then to his dorm. Just as he was going to collapse into bed, Kuramochi pounced from where he'd been sitting cross legged on the floor in front of the TV. He hooked an arm around Eijun’s neck and ruffled his damp hair so hard Eijun's scalp hurt. The first year whined in protest.

“C'mon, Sawamura. The first string is hanging in Miyuki’s room tonight.”

Eijun groaned, but a familiar spark of excitement shivered up his spine. He shoved Kuramochi off and headed towards the safe, Miyuki-free confines of his bed.

“I think I'll just sleep early toni—”

“Oh no you don't," Kuramochi said, hooking his fingers into the back of Eijin's shirt. "You’re playing shogi with Tetsu tonight.”

Eijun looked toward the ceiling and resisted the dramatic urge to cry 'why me?!' while Kuramochi yanked him toward the door, practically dragging him out the room. Masuko followed with a sympathetic look, but was clearly still upset Eijun had eaten his pudding stash earlier that week and didn’t lift a finger to help.

Sometimes Eijun really hated being a first year.

 

 

 

Miyuki’s room was busy as always, baseball players strewn across the floor and beds chatting, snacking, wrestling, flipping through magazines, and playing video games. Tetsu was sitting crossed legged in front of a shogi board, pondering with a furrowed brow, waiting for the next poor sap roped into playing with him. That sap was Eijun, and with a resigned sigh he took a seat across from Tetsu and began examining the board as well.

"Your move," Tetsu intoned gravely, and Eijun just nodded. He may as well have been three hundred pounds his body felt so heavy. He was achy and sore, but his senses were alive. Being in Miyuki's room for the first time since they'd... practiced was putting him on edge.

He pointedly did not stare at the wall he'd been pressed up against last night, and he definitely did not let his eyes wander around the room in search of a certain sly upperclassmen. The text from Wakana flashed through his mind and Eijun bit his lip. He needed more practice before the date but thinking about it here, surrounded by their teammates, made Eijun feel oddly guilty.

It wasn’t like he was doing anything weird though! He was sure guys did this all the time. He'd even seen as much in one of Jun's girly mangas. Maybe he'd ask Haruichi about it…

Registering Tetsu's impatient stare, Eijun hastily moved one of his pieces on the board.

"Bad move," purred a familiar voice beside his ear, breath tickling over the side of Eijun’s neck. Eijun barely avoided knocking over the shogi board as he jolted in surprise.

When had Miyuki—?

But now that he was there Eijun was undeniably attuned to his presence, his solid chest nearly touching Eijun's back where he was seated half behind and half beside him. Eijun could practically feel his body heat, easily penetrating the thin cotton of Eijun's undershirt, inviting him closer. Eijun had the inexplicable urge to lay back against Miyuki's chest, or maybe curl into his side. He shook it off and refocused on the game where Tetsu was finally making another move, not aware that anything might be amiss. And it wasn't, because Miyuki was always this clingy when he wanted to be annoying.

"Shut up. I'm trying to focus, Miyuki Kazuya," Eijun said belatedly, swatting at the older boy like he was a particularly obnoxious fly buzzing around Eijun’s ear. Well, the comparison wasn’t too far from the truth.

Miyuki let out a long suffering sigh and sagged forward against Eijun in a show of dejection, chin coming to rest on his shoulder. Eijun stiffened. "That's senpai to you, Sawamura.”

“Stop leaning on me!" Eijun hissed, refusing to acknowledge the heat creeping up his neck and into his face. Miyuki just smirked and leaned more heavily onto him, shameless. Eijun wilted forward a bit under his weight. It was only after some insistent squirming and Tetsu's stern 'you're distracting him from our match, Miyuki' that Miyuki's teasing finally abated. Eijun breathed a sigh of relief but he couldn’t relax. Miyuki had ceased to drape himself over him, sure, but he was still close. Tantalizingly so.

Eijun did his best to ignore it, trying to throw himself into the shogi game with the same unwavering concentration as Tetsu, leaning forward as if looking more closely at the board would help. Really he was just trying to get away from Miyuki, from his touch and smell. He smelled good though, like shampoo and fresh laundry, and Eijun recalled how soft Miyuki’s hair had felt sliding through his fingers.

His concentration scattered and his next move on the board was a fatal one. A victorious smile curled Tetsu’s lips as the game turned in his favor, but Eijun had much bigger problems — namely Miyuki hand on his thigh where no one could see it.

The worst part was that five agonizing minutes later he still hadn’t moved it. Not up, not down, and definitely not away. His hand just sat there, and Eijun’s thigh muscle had been tense so long it began to quiver.

During the next ten minutes Eijun lost spectacularly to Tetsu. All the while Miyuki’s palm didn’t budge an inch, burning hot through Eijun’s loose sweats. It was only once Tetsu began putting the board away that Miyuki mercifully let him go.

Realizing their captain was turning in for the night, the rest began to follow suit. They discarded their empty soda cans and snack wrappers in the tiny trash can sitting in the corner, packed up the gaming console, tucked any contraband magazines safely away, and filed out.

Eijun was still sitting there like some sort of idiot, trying to regain the composure Miyuki had effortlessly obliterated. In the end he was the only one left in Miyuki’s room, the said boy perched on the edge of his bed while Eijun sat cross legged on the floor. Eijun shot to his feet at the realization that they were alone and berated himself for not leaving with Kuramochi and Masuko.

Am I an idiot?

But maybe… maybe a part of Eijun could admit that he’d been anticipating this all day. Miyuki was like a flickering flame, teasing and hot, and Eijun was hopelessly drawn. He hoped he wouldn’t burn up but, with the way Miyuki was looking at him, he couldn’t be too sure.

“Well, I guess I’ll go too…”

Eijun and Miyuki shared a long look before the first year turned on his heel to go. Just before he reached the door Miyuki’s voice cut across the room.

“Sawamura,”

Eijun paused, held his breath, and told himself he wasn’t expecting anything.

“Come here.” 

 

 

 

Kazuya watched the boy slowly pivot back toward him. It was clear he’d been thinking about this, about them alone in his room and all the possibilities that brought. It’d had Sawamura on edge all day.

A grin threatened the edges of Kazuya’s mouth knowing he’d dominated Sawamura’s thoughts since yesterday. The realization brought with it the sort of dizzying power that Kazuya could get lost in. It was the same rush that accompanied catching — being behind the batter pulling the strings, calling the shots, out reading players, and turning the game in his favor.

He wanted Sawamura Eijun, with his unpredictable pitching and unruly personality, to yield to him. It was with very little regret that he acknowledged the growing desire to monopolize Sawamura, despite the Wakana girl he was stringing along. In the quest to get what you want, collateral damage could be unavoidable. It was a lesson Kazuya had learned well over the years.

He leaned back on his hands, posture open and welcoming. Sawamura inched toward him like he might have a concealed weapon, eyes uncertain but bright. And he was always so open, so easy to read. Kazuya could do this quickly — a witty remark here, a flirtatious grin there, a touch, a whisper, but no. He’d already decided to savor Sawamura for as long as possible.

“Sit,” Kazuya said, voice stern.

Sawamura did so immediately, back rigid and hands curled into fits on his knees. Proper and ridiculous. Kazuya resisted the urge to sigh at his antics and placed a hand on Sawamura’s shoulder, squeezing. The boy winced and Kazuya’s eyes narrowed behind his glasses.

“You’ve been overworking yourself again, Sawamura,” he said, voice edging on scathing as he reached down and squeezed the boy’s thigh as well. Another flinch. He’d been running too many laps. Typical. Sawamura had no sense of self preservation. Kazuya’s lips thinned into a flat line. “What if Chris-senpai knew you were treating your body recklessly like this, hm?”

Sawamura immediately turned those wide eyes on him, though now they were pleading. “You can’t tell him! I mean, please don’t tell him, Miyuki… senpai.”

Noting the tacked on honorific, Kazuya let some of the steel ease from his expression. “Fine, but get on your stomach.”

Sawamura’s eyes grew so wide with alarm it was a wonder he had room on his face for anything else. “What!? Why?”

Kazuya rolled his eyes and shoved Sawamura back onto the bed, maneuvering him so that he was lying face down. Before the other could throw a fit, Kazuya reached down and cupped the back of Sawamura’s neck. He was pleased to find that the boy went still instantly, like a puppy gripped by the scruff.

He pressed his fingers against Sawamura’s neck and began to knead, fingers forcing the tension out of him. Sawamura’s lips parted on a noise of surprise that quickly morphed into a sigh as Kazuya continued his ministrations.

“You’re sore, aren’t you? I thought I’d help.”

Sawamura shot him a suspicious glare, head turned to the side, cheek pressed flat against the mattress. At least he wasn't trying to move away.

“Why are you being so nice?”

Kazuya feigned an innocent look that just made Sawamura glare harder. Finally, he grinned and shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t have to be if you’d just take care of yourself, moron. And unfortunately it’s my job to look after the pitchers on this team, so shut up and be grateful.”

Sawamura seemed content enough with the explanation and quieted down. After a few more minutes of massaging his neck Kazuya shifted to his shoulders, positioning himself so he could rub Sawamura with both hands.

Sawamura let out a groan and Kazuya tsk-ed.

“You should stretch more or you’ll hurt yourself.”

When the pitcher just ignored him, Kazuya dug his thumb into Sawamura’s left shoulder particularly hard, causing him to cry out.

“That hurt, you bastard!”

“Don’t be such a baby, Sawamura.”

But even as he said it, Kazuya was grinning.

 

 

 

Eijun wasn’t sure when he’d last felt this relaxed, loose limbed, pliant, and spread eagle on Miyuki’s bed. He felt like he was unraveling under Miyuki’s touch, strong fingers rubbing into sore muscles, easing the tension away like magic. It felt good, and Eijun distantly noted that he might have been making some embarrassing noises, but couldn’t find it in him to be quiet. He’d never really been good at that anyway.

Just as he was sure he’d fall asleep, eyes lidded and heavy, he felt the soft brush of something along the back of his neck. A nose nuzzled at the wild strands of his brown hair before lips trailed from his nape to the top of his spine, touch so light it made Eijun shiver.

“Wha…” Eijun breathed, trying to blink away the thick layer of drowsiness that’d settled over him. He didn’t want to move though, couldn’t find it in himself, too comfortable to get up. Instead he stretched away from the ticklish caress, arching his neck. He felt Miyuki smirk against his skin before doting kisses up the new exposed length of his throat. Eijun to choked on his own spit at the sensation. “W-what are you doing?!”

“Relax,” Miyuki soothed, broad palm rubbing circles over his back. Eijun practically melted into the sheets. “This is more practice.”

Eijun’s mind was alert now, senses attuned to Miyuki’s touch, to the way his voice reverberated against Eijun’s ear. He tried to stifle the question quivering on the tip of his tongue but it was impossible. “How is this practice?”

Miyuki let out a sigh that tickled over Eijun’s neck and made him squirm. “Consider this phase two. Phase one was kissing, and once you do that you move on to… other things.”

Other things?

Was he prepared to let Miyuki do other things to him? Eijun was tempted to say more but kept his mouth shut. He was admittedly curious, and he didn’t want Miyuki to stop just yet.

As if to further scramble his thoughts, teeth scraped over the nape of his neck and teased a gasp from his lips. Eijun resolutely grabbed a pillow and buried his face into it, not wanting to make any more noise. He didn’t have to see his face to know Miyuki was probably grinning as he continued thumbing his way down the length of Eijun’s spine, fingers dutifully easing the tension from his muscles.

The kissing and nuzzling continued, but soon enough Eijun adjusted and managed to relax again. Once he got past the weirdness that it was Miyuki doing this to him, it wasn’t so bad. Just different. Maybe even good different.

Eijun hardly noticed when Miyuki’s fingers started to get more daring, subtle tugs at the fabric of his shirt until a thin stripe of skin above the hem of his sweats was exposed, a shade lighter than his tanned arms and face. He didn’t notice when Miyuki started to get more liberal with his kisses, sucking slow and soft at the space between Eijun’s neck and shoulder, didn’t notice until Miyuki pressed his thumbs into the dimples framing Eijun’s tailbone and his hips jolted in response. He unintentionally rut down against the sheets before going very still.

Eijun became acutely aware of the hardness between his legs. Dread spilled over him like a cold bucket of water as he realized he’d gotten an erection, again.

It went beyond mortification this time. Now Eijun was sure his reaction hadn’t been a fluke, and knowing Miyuki had the power to make him this hot and this hard terrified him. He lay there praying Miyuki wouldn’t notice his sudden tension, mind racing to find a way out of this situation without getting caught.

“Miyuki…” Eijun’s voice was a little breathless. “Wait a sec, I kind of…” Miyuki’s fingers stilled over his spine but didn’t move away, waiting for Eijun to finish his sentence. He swallowed hard. “... have a lot of studying to do, so I should probably go.”

It was lame and cliche as far as excuses go, but valid none the less. Not that he’d be studying. If anything he’d rush into bed, roll over to face the wall, and shove a hand down his pants. God, how long had it been since he’d last jerked off? He felt more than a little pent up.

“Hm…is that so?” It was not an understanding murmur; it was a suspicious one. Before Eijun knew what was happening, Miyuki grabbed him by the shoulder and rolled him over so he was splayed out on his back. They stared at each other for a second before Miyuki’s gaze traveled lower and settled on the hard outline of his cock, visible through his sweats.

Eijun flushed to the tips of his ears, bristling with embarrassment as a wide smirk spread across Miyuki’s face. That smirk could only mean trouble.

“What’s this, Sawamura?” Miyuki’s voice was practically a purr as Eijun started wriggling his way up the bed like he could get away.

You know what it is, asshole,” he hissed in reply. This was worse than the time he’d had to share a bath with the coach.

Instead of doing what any decent human being would do and politely looking away, Miyuki stared for what felt like hours before placing a hand on Eijun’s bony hip. He looked thoughtful as he started to stroke his thumb over the skin peeking out from between his shirt and pants. Eijun’s cock twitched at the touch and he made a strangled noise in the back of his throat. “W-what are you- Why are you t-touching… Just, just wait a second!”

“Why?” The bastard had the audacity to look genuinely curious as he dipped his fingers under the waistband of Eijun’s pants. Not wearing boxers had been a mistake.

“Because this is weird! I-I’m not, I mean, we’re both guys so…” Eijun couldn’t seem to form a proper sentence, and whatever verbal abilities he had left were slowly being stripped away as Miyuki’s calloused fingertips trailed lower.

“Exactly, moron. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” Miyuki’s fingers brushed wiry hair and Eijun’s breath hitched. Was he really going to--? “It’s only weird if you make it weird.” Miyuki fixed him with a look that said so-stop-making-it-weird, and Eijun was tempted to yell.

It was weird. Really weird. He’d never done this with his friends back home. Maybe it was a city thing?

Fingers curled around his cock and Eijun’s head fell back with a gasp. It wasn’t like he hadn’t known where Miyuki’s hand was going, but somehow having Miyuki’s calloused palm wrapped around his shaft was surreal. It was also making it hard to think.

Whatever protests had been building up died in his throat as Miyuki started jerking him off, slow and steady. Eijun watched with lidded eyes as Miyuki’s hand moved over his cock underneath the fabric of his sweats. His teeth sunk into his lower lip. That definitely shouldn’t have been erotic, but it was hotter than any of the magazines Kuramochi had so graciously lent to him.

Miyuki rubbed his thumb over the leaking tip and Eijun tossed his head to the side, panting into his pillow, hips jerking up into the touch. Miyuki was twisting his wrist now with every upward stroke and he was really good at this, good enough to have Eijun’s toes curling.

Does he touch himself like this?

The thought was enough to have Eijun tensing up before shaking apart, groaning mindlessly as his hips thrust into the tight circle of Miyuki’s fist, cum spurting into his hand.

The next few minutes were spent catching his breath, eyes closed and body glowing with a peaceful sort of warmth that threatened to lull him to sleep. He was vaguely aware of Miyuki carefully extracting his hand from his pants and the sound of tissues being pulled from their box, but couldn’t bring himself to move and help with mess he’d made.

“Oi, don’t fall asleep.” Something soft hit his face, and Eijun finally blinked his eyes open to the sight of navy fabric. It smelled like Miyuki. Eijun pulled it off his face and sat up, realizing it was a sweatshirt. He stared at it, unable to raise his head and look Miyuki in the eye after… well.

“Next time don’t be so quick,” Eijun’s head whipped around of its own volition, and he gaped at Miyuki. He hadn’t cum that fast, had he? Light reflected off the other’s glasses as he added with a smirk, “If you run slower you wouldn’t end up as sore and exhausted, idiot. And don’t forget to stretch before and after practice.”

Eijun opened and closed his mouth a few times, on the verge of screaming. How did Miyuki manage to simultaneously have a valid point and be the most insufferable person on the face of the earth? Curling his fingers into the fabric of the sweatshirt, Eijun got to his feet and stomped to the door.

Miyuki appeared unperturbed, waving lazily as the pitcher exited. “Don’t forget to tie that around your waist, Sawamura,” he called after him.

Eijun slammed the door shut behind him.

He tossed the sweatshirt on the ground and glared at it for good measure before realizing there was a very conspicuous looking wet spot on the front of his sweats. The indignant shout that’d been building since he’d first entered the catcher’s dorm finally sprung loose.

“GOD DAMN IT, MIYUKI KAZUYA!”

With a snarl Eijun snatched the sweatshirt up and tied it around his waist, arranging it as casually as he could.

Even once he’d safely made it back to his dorm without drawing attention to himself, Eijun could swear he heard Miyuki’s raucous laughter in the distance.

Chapter Text

“That’s a face only a mother could love,” Kanemaru muttered as he watched Sawamura sleep, eyes slightly open and cheek smooshed against the flat surface of his desk. Sighing, because why was he always in charge of babysitting Sawamura, he shook the sleeping boy’s shoulder. “Oi, Sawamoron, get up! Class is already over.”

Sawamura muttered something in his sleep, something that sounded a lot like a certain catcher’s name. Kanemaru snorted. Of course pitching was the only thing in Sawamura’s empty head, even while dreaming. Still, Kanemaru couldn’t help but begrudgingly admire his dedication, simple minded as it was.

When the gentle shaking didn’t work, Kanemaru settled for slapping Sawamura upside the head. He bolted awake with a yelp, glancing around with wild eyes for a moment before he realized where he was. “K-kanemaru!” Sawamura shouted.

The blond winced at the volume. “Shut up, idiot! I’m right here.”

Sawamura wiped the drool from the corner of his mouth with the sleeve of his uniform, then started stuffing his things in his backpack. Kanemaru was already headed for the door.

“Hurry up, Sawamura.” Kanemaru glanced over his shoulder as he stood in the doorway. “The faster we get there, the faster Miyuki-senpai can catch your pitches.”

Sawamura stood up so fast he nearly knocked his desk over, visibly shaken by the name. "Miyuki?"

Kanemaru turned and gave Sawamura a look that was both exasperated and knowing. “You were dreaming about pitching to Miyuki-senpai, weren’t you? You mumbled his name in your sleep. Now c’mon, or Coach Kataoka is going to make us run extra laps.”

He turned and walked out the door, not waiting to see if Sawamura followed. And if Kanemaru noticed the way the pitcher’s entire face flushed when he mentioned the dream about Miyuki, he didn’t mention it.

 

 

 

“Harucchi!” Eijun called, catching up to the small boy who was jogging a warm up lap around the field. Furuya was a little ways ahead of them, and Eijun made sure to lower his voice as he said, “Can I talk to you real quick?”

Haruichi, sounding a bit winded, nodded his head. He reached up to keep his bangs from flopping out of place as they made their way along the perimeter of the field. “What is it, Eijun-kun?”

“Well, um, you see…” Eijun fumbled for words and Haruichi slowed his pace. It wasn’t like the loudmouth pitcher to not speak (shout, really) whatever was on his mind. “What do you think about friends kissing?” He finally blurted, quickly following up with a, “For practice, of course!”

For a moment Haruichi looked stricken before his face started to turn horribly red. “Eijun-kun, are you asking me to…?”

Eijun stared, head tilted just a tad, like a confused puppy. A second later he realized what the other was implying. "Wha- no! No! I'm already, er, practicing with someone..." Eijun trailed off, scratching at his cheek.

"Someone on the team?" Haruichi asked. Despite the obvious differences between Haruichi and Ryosuke, they were both too sharp for their own good.

Eijun nodded, a flush spreading across his cheeks that could have been dismissed as exertion from the run had Haruichi not known better. Eijun didn’t have to say who; Haruichi had a pretty good idea already.

"Is that weird?" Eijun pressed.

"Practice is practice, Eijun-kun." Haruichi shrugged.

If Eijun needed an excuse to kiss Miyuki, Haruichi wouldn't be the one to burst his bubble.

 

 

 

Practice passed in a familiar blur, bats swinging and balls smacking into leather mitts. Still in the bullpen, Eijun stretched his legs out in front of him and reached for his toes, grunting a little as his sore muscles protested.

"Need help?" Miyuki asked, pushing his sports goggles up into his hair. They were the only two left in the bullpen, Furuya wandering off toward the dorms alongside Kawakami. Miyuki braced warm palms on Eijun’s shoulders, not waiting for an answer as he leaned forward and eased Eijun into a deeper stretch. An quiet noise spilled past the pitcher's lips as his nose brushed his knees.

"Too deep," Eijun groaned, but Miyuki didn’t relent.

"Count to ten," he insisted, voice close to Eijun's ear. The pitcher inhaled shakily, held on through the uncomfortable strain tingling from his toes to his hips, and counted slowly in his head. When ten was finished Miyuki released him and Eijun sat back up with a sigh of relief. “Good.” From the sound of Miyuki’s voice, Eijun knew he was smiling. “I knew you could do it.”

Something warm bubbled up the same way it did whenever Miyuki said “nice ball” or tapped his mitt to his chest. Eijun let a wide smile stretch across his face. The mood was amiable as Miyuki moved away from him and gathered up his discarded catching gear. The perfect time to ask for advice.

"The date is tomorrow,” Eijun said, watching as Miyuki paused for a second. He abandoned the gear in favor of turning towards Eijun with raised eyebrows. “And I was wondering if you had any tips or advice or something?” His voice rose at the end, hopeful. Miyuki was a genius on the field, so surely he would be a genius with girls too. He probably knew exactly how to wine and dine them.

He waited for obnoxious snickers or maybe a condescending smirk. What he got was a cool look usually reserved for sizing up batters on the field.

Unnerved, Eijun started to ramble. "I was thinking of taking her to Tokyo tower, then maybe walking around and getting street food since my allowance is pretty small… I'm not sure what to do after that though." Eijun scratched his cheek. "Ji-chan always tells me that girls are delicate flowers who are to be treated with the utmost respect!” He emulated Miyauchi with a serious expression and an exhale through his nose. “So I need to do as much as I can, but I’m sort of out of ideas right now.”

Miyuki was quiet in that intense way of his for another beat before he reached forward and curled a finger into one of the belt loops of Eijun’s white baseball pants. The gesture itself seemed absentminded, but the look in Miyuki’s eyes was sharp and calculating in a way that made Eijun want to squirm.

“Buy her flowers?” he suggested, rubbing the pad of his thumb along the waistband of Eijun’s pants in slow, measured strokes. Eijun’s eyes darted down to the motion; it looked casual and almost innocent. But Eijun had already learned nothing about Miyuki was innocent.

“Wakana doesn’t like flowers,” he said, voice too loud in the deserted bullpen. Eijun swallowed and yanked his gaze back up to meet Miyuki’s eyes. “She says it’s stupid to pick them because they die a few days later and shrivel up.”

“Chocolate?”

Chocolate like the melting brown of Miyuki’s irises, or the texture of his voice when he was up to no good, or—

“Um,” Eijun said as Miyuki’s fingers wandered beneath the waistband of his pants and began to untuck his shirt. He was close now, though Eijun couldn’t really remember when that’d happened, if Miyuki had moved towards him or if they’d just gravitated toward each other. This close he smelled musky, a little sour even, from a long day of practice in the sun, but Eijun didn’t hate it. Eijun didn’t hate a lot of things about Miyuki that he probably should. “Chocolate is good,” he breathed as their noses brushed.

Miyuki’s lips quirked into a familiar satisfied smirk, the one that usually made Eijun want to haul him up by the collar and shake him. “Your eloquence never ceases to impress, Sawamura.”

Eijun’s eyebrows pinched together in irritation. “Are you going to kiss me or not, Miyuki Kazuya?”

Then Miyuki did, and Eijun wasn’t sure if it was because of the practice they’d been doing or because of the ambiance of the bullpen but this kiss felt different. It felt electric, and Miyuki didn’t bother to play nice like he had the first time or the second.

The fingers splayed over Eijun’s hip slipped around to the small of his back, palm fitting over the slight curve of it. Eijun felt himself stumble back a step, then another and another until his back hit the wall. Miyuki leaned into him, pinning him there with his body and the slow roll of his tongue in Eijun’s mouth.

Eijun’s hands scrambled over Miyuki’s back, fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt, tugging before he could think it through. They parted for a second and Miyuki reached back to grip the collar of his shirt and pull it off over his head, sports glasses clattering to the ground as well. Neither of them paid attention. Instead Eijun was focused on touching the contours of Miyuki’s abs through the clinging blue fabric of his under armor. Miyuki’s mouth was at the curve of his jaw, and Eijun let his head fall back with an audible thud as teeth scraped over the underside of his chin, lips moving lower along his throat.

His breathing was starting to come in gasps that sounded desperate to his own ears as he tugged Miyuki’s hips closer and slotted them together. It took a few tries to get it right but once they did Eijun’s eyes slid closed. The friction was amazing and he rut shamelessly against Miyuki’s hip, groaning soft and low in his ear. Miyuki slipped a hand down the back of Eijun’s pants, grabbing his ass and squeezing. Eijun jolted in surprise, felt the shock like a bolt to his cock.

Then they heard voices. It sounded like a few of the managers talking among themselves. Their footsteps drew closer. Eijun and Miyuki stayed perfectly still, Eijun hiding his face against the taller boy’s shoulder to stifle his labored breathing. Miyuki’s chest rose and fell against his own, and Eijun could practically hear the cogs turning in Miyuki’s mind, already coming up with excuses they could use if they were caught.

The moment passed, footsteps moving past the bullpen and girlish giggles fading as the managers walked farther away. They both went weak with relief for a moment before an awkward silence settled over them. Eijun was still hard, could feel that Miyuki was too, but now he felt uncomfortable being pressed this close. As if reading Eijun’s mind, Miyuki moved away and scooped his shirt and glasses off the floor. He crossed the bullpen to gather up his gear as if nothing had happened.

Eijun couldn’t tell if he was disappointed or relieved. He felt a little sick, something unpleasant roiling in his gut where only heat had been before. Something was different; being with Miyuki like this was changing him, making him wild in ways he hadn’t thought possible. He’d never thought much about sex before but now he was even dreaming about it.

Eijun hurried out of the bullpen and ran back to the dorms.

 

 

 

Eijun met Wakana at the train station.

It wasn’t his first time seeing her in a dress, but he wasn’t used to it. Her usual outfits consisted of shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. What she was wearing now was a sundress that didn’t quite reach her knees and Eijun had to will his eyes away from her thighs (paler than her arms) as a breeze rustled her skirt.

Eijun wished he’d had more of a wardrobe to choose from but the best he could dig up was some new jeans and un-scuffed sneakers. Wakana didn’t look disappointed though. Far from it. The minute she saw him, her eyes lit up.

There was a breathlessness as they stood in front of each other after months apart with nothing but texts between them. The color in Wakana's cheeks could have been blamed on the summer heat if Eijun didn't know better, and he felt his own face blush in return as he offered a wide grin. She returned it with a shy smile, and he stepped forward until they were almost toe to toe.

He'd never really noticed their height difference before, but now Eijun had the strangest urge to hold her to his chest and tuck her head under his chin. He'd never done that before, hadn't really felt the urge with Miyuki. After all, Miyuki was strong and dependable and taller and thicker than Eijun. Wakana was small and... and her arms looked soft and smooth.

Eijun steeled himself and took Wakana's hand. He had nothing to be nervous about. This was Wakana and she knew him, probably better than most people did; this was nothing he hadn't practiced for. In fact, what he'd been doing with Miyuki was overkill compared to this.

Eijun slotted his fingers between hers, noticing the callouses on her fingertips and liking them; they were a stark contrast to the delicate skin on the backs of her hands. The way his palm, larger than her own, pressed snug against hers felt right.

"How was the ride over?" he asked, looking at her with his usual sunny smile, only slightly eclipsed by the heart pounding newness of their dynamic.

"Crowded," she said giving Eijun's hand a small squeeze. "So..." Wakana reached up to tuck some hair behind her ear. It had grown out a bit since the last time Eijun had seen her. "Is this... really okay? I mean, between us?"

Wakana never was one to beat around the bush; he should have expected the question from the start. Still, when she looked up at him with warm, earnest eyes Eijun felt guilt like a thorn in his side. While she'd been anticipating this moment he'd been... with Miyuki... but that didn't count! They'd been practicing. Miyuki was just an upperclassman, an infuriating upperclassman who could do impressive things with his tongue in Eijun's mouth...

A queasy feeling settled in the pit of his stomach and he pushed those thoughts aside. He was not going to think about Miyuki while he was on a date with Wakana.

"It's more than okay," he assured her with a laugh he hoped didn't sound too forced. Then he began tugging her away from the station with all the boyish excitement he'd had when he'd first came to Tokyo. Even though he'd been here for a few months the city was still mostly a mystery to him; he hadn't had much time to explore between baseball and more baseball.

Still, as they passed through the streets holding hands Eijun pointed out and few things here and there that the upperclassman had mentioned to him on their rare excursions from Seido, Eijun found himself relaxing. The hand holding was new, but Wakana's presence by his side was comfortable and familiar.

He pulled her to a small street stall where takoyaki was being made and got them both some, more than a little embarrassed when Wakana insisted on feeding him some "because you're too messy otherwise, Eijun".

They ended up at Tokyo tower staring down at the busy city through glass walls, Wakana's hand tightening around his own whenever she peered down. And when they bought souvenirs and Eijun got Wakana a Hello Kitty keychain with Tokyo tower on it, the lady at the register smiled at him approvingly. It made Eijun feel sheepish but proud. He had a girlfriend now, a really cute girlfriend.

Eijun couldn't help but grin whenever he caught Wakana touching her keychain as they walked.

They stopped in an arcade and climbed into one of the *purikura booths, Eijun wrapping an arm around Wakana's shoulders as they grinned and posed, changing positions ever so often when the machine demanded it of them.

Eijun was excitedly pouring over the different backgrounds they could select, bent lightly at the knees to be eye level with the screen, when Wakana stepped up next to him, peering at the screen as well. Her face was so close to his that her hair brushed his cheek, and Eijun turned at the ticklish sensation.

"Eijun, what about this one? It has a...." She trailed off the minute she turned her face and their noses brushed. Up close her eyes were large and a lighter brown than Eijun had realized, not like chocolate but like cinnamon.

Slowly Wakana closed her eyes and Eijun felt his heart leap into his throat as he realized this was the moment he'd been practicing for. He half expected flowers and a slight breeze or something because that's what all the shoujo mangas promised him this moment would be. What he got instead was the feather-light tickle of her breath on his lips as he moved closer, palm clammy as he cupped the side of her face. For the first time since the date started he was grateful to Miyuki for teaching him how to kiss.

Their lips brushed, softly at first, and Eijun heard Wakana's quick intake of breath. He wondered if this was her first kiss. His hand moved from her cheek to her chin, tilting it up a little. Eijun let his eyes close once he was sure their noses wouldn't bump and pressed his mouth more fully to hers, reveling in the plushness of her lips. He moved carefully, with none of the demanding hunger he associated with Miyuki's kisses. There was a tentative sweetness and curiosity in the way Wakana brushed her lips against his.

When Wakana finally pulled away she was pink cheeked and her eyes were bright with surprise. Eijun wasn't sure how long they'd spent kissing, but his thighs burned from holding the position so long.

Their last set of pictures was filled with flushed faces and giddy smiles.

 

 

 

Eijun was still smiling by the time he made it back to Seido, the sun dipping down below the horizon in the distance. He'd kissed Wakana two more times, once during their last round of photos and once before she got on her train.

His excitement was only doused when he walked into his dorm and was greeted by Kuramochi cracking his knuckles.

"Sa-Wa-Mu-Ra..."

 

 

 

Miyuki removed his contacts and splashed some water on his face. Extra batting practice was helping but he was still unreliable when there were no runners on base. He had his face pressed into a towel when his phone buzzed. Putting on his glasses, Miyuki walked out of the bathroom and sat on his bed, fishing his phone out from where it'd gotten lost beneath the covers.

A text from Sawamura.

date went well. dont need to practice anymore.
catch my pitches tomorrow?

Miyuki stared at his phone for a long time. So things had gone well for the idiot and now he didn't need Miyuki's guidance anymore. So what? Miyuki had known this would happen from the beginning. There was no need to feel disappointed or upset. He'd only been using Sawamura to blow off steam; it'd been a mutually beneficial arrangement at the time, and now it meant nothing.

He had the sudden urge to throw his phone at the wall.

Setting his phone on the nightstand, Miyuki laid down, pulled the covers up to his shoulders, and went to sleep.

Chapter Text

Within a week even coach Kataoka knew about Sawamura's date with Wakana. For an elite baseball team where only the toughest, most talented, and most tenacious of men were recruited, they were worse than a gaggle of preteen girls.

Ridiculous rumors circulated through each tier of the team—that Sawamura had gotten laid on the first date, that Wakana and Sawamura were planning to elope later on in the year, that Kuramochi was plotting Sawamura's murder and had convinced Kazuya to help hide the body.

By the time afternoon practice began to wind down on Friday, Kazuya was debating the pros and cons of quitting the team. Apparently he wasn't the only one. Kuramochi looked fit to throttle the next person who so much breathed a word about the date. Kazuya was a little grateful for it. His own dark mood was eclipsed by Kuramochi's, and no one seemed to be wondering what was wrong with him.

Except for one.

Ryosuke sidled up to him as practice came to an official end and the coach dismissed them. Immediately boys flocked around Sawamura, first years in particular, smacking him and yelling insults and questions with a mixture of begrudging awe and irritation. The idiot in the center was beaming, soaking up the attention with a smile so wide it took up nearly half his face. Kazuya gripped the bat in his hand and tried not to seethe.

Ryosuke studied him for a moment, his fox-like smile never wavering. "You seem tense, Miyuki," he commented in a pleasant voice.

Alarm bells began ringing in Kazuya's head. He relaxed his grip on the bat and tried for his signature sly grin. "Just thinking that I'll have to pull Bakamura from his throng of fans soon so we can work on his fastball."

"Oh?" Ryosuke had taken a tone that Kazuya didn't like, a tone that suggested he knew too much. "I thought Coach Kataoka told him not to throw anymore today."

Kazuya's sly grin grew strained around the corners. He'd floundered his excuse. That wasn't like him at all.

"I'm just going to check his form real quick," Kazuya lied.

"Sure." Ryosuke eyed him and then placed a hand on his shoulder. "You seem tired, Miyuki," he said. "Make sure to get some rest after practice."

At least that was what his mouth said. His eyes said something else, something that made Kazuya grab Sawamura by the back of his collar and make a hasty retreat to the bullpen.

I know what's been keeping you up at night.

 

 

 

"I can't believe the great Miyuki Kazuya is finally the one begging for my pitches," Sawamura crowed, practically skipping to the bullpen. They were going to be late for dinner, but Sawamura didn't seem to mind. In fact, he looked ecstatic that Kazuya had even asked if he wanted to throw the ball around a little before turning in for the night.

Does it really make you that happy? he wanted to ask, but Kazuya was afraid of the answer.

"I don't recall begging," Kazuya said instead, signature smirk in place.

Sawamura just shot him a smile so bright Kazuya swore it lit something within him. He felt warm all over.

"Just the fact that you asked is enough," Sawamura said matter-of-fact.

For once Kazuya didn't have anything to say in reply.

 

 

 

Miyuki Kazuya was acting very, very strange. Or to be more accurate, he was acting very, very normal. Trying too hard to act normal.

Now Eijun knew he could be kind of thick, but even he knew something was up when Miyuki's laugh went all forced like it had been recently, grin fading whenever he was sure no one was looking. He'd also noticed how much Miyuki seemed to be favoring Furuya during practice. Realizing that made Eijun feel hot and cold all at once, both hollow and like he was about to burst, but he tucked those feelings away for now.

Today Miyuki had dragged him away to the bullpen, after all. Eijun was probably just overthinking things.

Probably.

Miyuki slipped his glove on but didn't bother with the rest of his gear. He crouched down and punched his mitt once, a silent invitation. Eijun couldn't help but grin before he took a deep breath and began to wind up, lifting his leg and reeling his arm back.

The ball flew from his fingertips like a gunshot and smacked into Miyuki's mitt. The sound it made upon impact had Eijun's grin widening. There was nothing more satisfying than that noise, and even Miyuki allowed a small, genuine smile to curve his lips.

"Nice ball," he said tossing it back to Eijun.

The mood turned amiable and Eijun couldn't shake the sense of deja vu that fell over him. The last time they'd been alone in here together they'd... Eijun's next pitch glanced off the top of Miyuki's mitt and the ball dropped to the ground, rolling a little ways away.

"Oi, Bakamura, pay attention!"

Eijun snapped out of his thoughts, meeting Miyuki's exasperated look before the catcher went to retrieve the ball. A blush fanned out across Eijun's face, noticeable even with his tan.

Once Miyuki straightened up, he caught Eijun's blush and raised his eyebrows.

"What's that look for?" he asked, taking a step closer.

Eijun felt rooted to the spot. He shook his head back and forth, bangs whipping against his forehead with the movement. "W-what look? Your glasses must be bad," Eijun shouted.

Miyuki looked even more skeptical, and his exasperation morphed into something predatory. "Is that so?" he said, taking another step forward. This time Eijun took a step back in response. "Then maybe I should take a closer look, hm?"

Miyuki closed the distance between them in a few short steps and Eijun found himself cornered, back nearly against the wall. The deja vu grew more poignant. Eijun had to wonder if Miyuki was doing this on purpose. When they were toe to toe, Miyuki pushed his sports glasses up into his hair.

Seeing his face without anything to obstruct his eyes gave Miyuki a certain vulnerability. Eijun wasn't sure he'd ever get used to it.

"Hm..." Miyuki narrowed his eyes, scrutinizing him. His gaze traveled from Eijun's unruly mop of hair, strands sticking to his temples with sweat, to his honeyed brown eyes that were averted in embarrassment, then to the faint freckles that sprinkled his cheeks and nose from too much sun, and finally to his lips.

Miyuki gave up the pretense of assessing him and let his eyes go all lidded and heated the way they did before he kissed Eijun senseless. He leaned in and for a moment Eijun felt like he couldn't breathe. He thought of the last time they'd kissed, the weird way he'd been missing Miyuki's calloused palms skimming up his arms, or his blunt nails raking through his hair and along his scalp. Then he thought of Wakana and her soft lips, and the way she could fit under his chin, and the way her thighs looked in her sundress.

Eijun turned away and Miyuki's lips brushed his cheek, feather light. It drew a shiver out of him.

"I-I'm..." Eijun fumbled for words but found himself at a loss. He'd told Miyuki about Wakana. He was the first person he'd told. Even the people he hadn't told knew by now. So why was he still trying to...?

This was the part where Miyuki would lean back and laugh that obnoxious laugh of his and say it was all a joke; Eijun would growl and shake him, and Miyuki would tell him it was his fault for being so gullible.

But Miyuki didn't laugh. Instead he said, "Forget it."

His voice wasn't particularly sharp but his words still cut. He pushed his sports glasses back into place over his eyes, and it felt like a wall coming down between them. This time Miyuki was the one to flee from the bullpen first.

 

 

 

Eijun spent the rest of the night texting Wakana. He felt unsteady and she'd always been his rock. Out of all their friends, she was the one who'd never failed to check up on him.

He wished he could tell her about what'd happened, but that would mean confessing what'd led to all of this in the first place. He definitely didn't want Wakana to know he'd been doing that sort of stuff with another boy, even if it had been for a good reason. It would also mean confronting the queasy feeling with which he regarded Miyuki now, like his stomach was trying to tie itself into knots.

It was so different from the feeling he got being with Wakana. That was comfortable, familiar, and normal. Nothing about how he felt about Miyuki felt normal anymore.

At 1AM the texts dwindled to one word replies and senseless strings of emojis. Eijun thought Wakana must have fallen asleep but then his phone buzzed once, twice, three times. He blinked at the ID glowing across the screen and took the call.

"Wakana?" Eijun said, keeping his voice low as to not wake Masuko or Kuramochi (especially Kuramochi). He heard rustling on the other end of the line and thought about Wakana shifting under the covers, cheek sunken into a fluffy pillow.

"Eijun," Wakana said in a voice soft with sleep. "I'm not keeping you up, am I?"

"Nah, couldn't sleep," Eijun murmured. Like this, surrounded by darkness and soft breathing, Wakana's voice sounded intimate and close.

"I want to see you," she admitted, voice even softer, probably embarrassed. There was a level of honesty that only seemed possible this late at night.

"Me too," Eijun said. He hesitated before adding, "Can you visit this weekend?"

Eijun knew he was being selfish, that the journey was long and cost money, and that it wasn't fair to Wakana to be the only one traveling back and forth, but he felt like Wakana would steady him. They were dating now. It was okay to be a little clingy. You were supposed to be.

So why did he feel like he was clinging to Wakana for all the wrong reasons?

"I have a paper due next week," she said, apologetic.

Eijun rolled onto his back, hand cupping his phone to his ear. "We could stay in. You write your paper and I'll study or something."

Wakana snorted. "Sawamura Eijun, study on a weekend?"

"Hey!" Eijun winced at his own volume and lowered his voice to a whisper. "I study too... sometimes."

"You'll probably just end up reading shoujo manga, or falling asleep."

Eijun couldn't deny it. "So I'll see you Sunday?"

"Good night, Eijun," Wakana said, exasperated, before hanging up. Eijun still heard what she didn't say.

I'll be there.

 

 

 

The next morning Miyuki avoided him. He even went so far as to sit at a table on the other side of the cafeteria during breakfast.

Haruichi gave Eijun a look. Or at least, he thought Haruichi was giving him a look. He couldn't really tell because of his bangs. Instead of offering an explanation, Eijun shoveled more rice into his mouth.

Miyuki ignored him for the rest of the day.

 

 

 

Wakana showed up Sunday. She was almost immediately surrounded by the first-string, all regarding her with comments ranging from "she's cute" to "how is an idiot like Sawamura dating a girl like that?"

Sawamura's shouting in the background went unnoticed until Kuramochi tackled him to the ground, legs wrapping around him in an unforgiving vice until he'd cried uncle. Once the commotion had died down, Sawamura took Wakana to his room.

Kuramochi would have gone too, if only to ruin Sawamura's date, had Ryosuke not dragged him away by the collar.

The first string ended up at their usual hangout place—Kazuya's room.

Their host was reclining on his bed, nose in a baseball magazine. The other's got comfortable around him, as at home in his dorm as they were in their own.

Ryosuke shot a sly look at Kazuya before he turned to Kuramochi and said, “I wonder what Sawamura and his girlfriend are doing all alone in your room…”

Kuramochi practically growled, muttering something about "cocky underclassman". Kazuya's fingers were gripping the sides of the magazine so hard they wrinkled. He set it aside and stood up.

"Going to get a drink," he said, ignoring the calls that followed after him asking for pocari sweat or a cola.

 

 

 

It was still warm out, summer sticking to his skin even at night. Kazuya took his time walking to the vending machines. He almost started at the sight of pink hair, wondering if he was going to have yet another unpleasant conversation with Ryosuke (and wondered how the other had beat Kazuya to the machines) only to realize it was his younger brother.

"Miyuki-senpai," Haruichi greeted while Kazuya walked up to the machine, slipped a few coins in, and pressed the button for a pocari sweat. The can rattled to the bottom and Kazuya picked it up, leaning against the side of the machine as he opened his drink.

"Working on your swing?" Kazuya asked, gesturing with a jerk of his chin at the bat in Haruichi's hand.

Haruichi nodded and toyed with the cap of his drink, twisting it back and forth. "With Zono-senpai. So... about Eijun-kun..." he began uncertainly. Kazuya didn't like where this was going. What was with the Kominato brothers hounding him about the loudmouth pitcher?

He tried to look casual. "What about him?"

"Weren't you two...?"

"Weren't we what?" Kazuya said, voice cold. Haruichi was not Ryosuke, and Kazuya wouldn't play nice if he stuck his nose where it didn't belong. A faint blush gathered in Haruichi's cheeks and he looked like he was debating whether to let the topic go or continue.

Unfortunately, he continued. "I thought you and Eijun-kun were dating."

"Well obviously," Kazuya drawled and didn't bother to mask the scathing tone of his voice. "We're not."

"But you wish you were."

Kazuya's head whipped around to look at him. A sliver of Haruichi's right eye could be seen through his bangs, the glint in it as shrewd as his older brother's. Had Kazuya mentioned he really hated the Kominatos?

"That's not..." true. He couldn't bring himself to say it. "... any of your business."

Kazuya crushed his can, tossed it in the waste bin, and headed back to his room.

 

 

 

Fate had other plans though. As if running into Ryosuke's little brother wasn't traumatizing enough, the next person he bumped into was Sawamura's girlfriend.

"Ah, sorry," she said, stumbling back upon impact. He reached out for her on instinct, grabbing her wrist and reeling her in before she fell. It would have been something like a shoujo manga, a good looking upperclassman and a mysterious girl from out of town meeting by chance under the stars... Would have been if the one he wanted to kiss wasn't this girl's boyfriend.

He let go of Wakana's wrist. She really was quite cute, though he'd always preferred girls with long hair. She even had a nice rack, way out of Sawamura's league. Kazuya could see why he was so hung up on her, could see why any guy would be into her. He didn't like it, how small and delicate she'd felt with her wrist caught in his hand. Sawamura really was an idiot for deciding to practice kissing with him of all people. He and this girl were nothing alike.

"Sawamura's girlfriend, right?" he said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. He said it like it didn't matter (because it shouldn't), like he didn't care (because he shouldn't), like he hadn't been grinding his teeth all afternoon thinking about them doing all the things he should have been doing with that idiot (no, that wasn't right—).

"I'm Wakana Aotsuki," she said, bowing a little. "And you must be Eijun's catcher."

Kazuya's heart definitely did not skip a beat at being called Sawamura's catcher. "What?"

A smile broke out across her face, and her eyes grew fond as she said, "You're Miyuki Kazuya. Eijun is always grumbling your name whenever he talks about pitching."

Kazuya raised his eyebrows and curled his fingers into the fabric of his pants, hands forming fists in his pockets. "Is he now?" he kept his tone light, treading carefully. "And you recognized me because...?"

At that, a faint blush filled Wakana's cheeks. "Well, actually, Eijun had this magazine in his room and the page he'd bookmarked was an article about you." She laughed, sheepish. "But you can't tell him I told you, okay? He really looks up to you."

Kazuya's heart was doing a weird stutter-y thing in his chest. His palms were sweating. He thought about Sawamura lying in bed staring at the article all those nights before he came to Seido, wondered what he'd thought as his eyes had traced the characters for Miyuki Kazuya printed across the page.

"Take care of Eijun when I'm not around," she said and Kazuya's chest ached. Shut up, he wanted to say. You're not the one responsible for him anymore. He's my pitcher. He's my responsibility. He's mine. "He can be reckless when no one's looking."

"You've left him in capable hands, Wakana-chan," Kazuya said. A smile curled his lips but there was nothing nice about it. His gaze was steely behind the frames of his glasses. "I'll take good care of him. After all, Seido is his future and you're just his past."

 

 

 

Kazuya wasn't surprised when someone came banging on his door at 12AM. He was even less surprised to open it and find Sawamura on the other side, face flushed and fever in his eyes. They looked as intimidating as they did on the mound, glaring a fierce gold.

He grabbed Kazuya by the collar and shoved him back inside, getting right into his personal space without a second thought. It really wasn't fair how Sawamura could just go back to normal, could just pretend like it'd never happened—like they'd never happened. Pitcher's really were so selfish.

"Miyuki Kazuya, you bastard! What do you think you're saying to Wakana?!" he growled, shaking him.

Sawamura looked so serious, jaw set and eyes narrowed. Did he really care about the girl that much?

Kazuya started laughing, silent shakes of his shoulders that eventually burst free and loud into the open air. This whole time he'd planned to use Sawamura and throw him away, but now he was the one who'd been tossed aside. Now he was the one hopelessly clinging to this idiot.

Sawamura's face colored in rage, and he turned Kazuya around and slammed him against the door. His fist, curled into the front of Kazuya's shirt, was shaking with anger. "You bas—"

Kazuya grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him. He kissed him like he'd never allowed himself to kiss Sawamura before, soft and slow and deep until he was dizzy with Sawamura's taste, until he felt like he was well and truly drowning in it.

When he pulled away his chest was heaving and Sawamura was no longer gripping his shirt so much as he was clinging to it, leaning into him, mouth slick and pink.

"I just told her the truth," he said. Sawamura's eyes, which were half lidded and dazed from the kiss, slowly widened at his words. "She's the past. Forget about her. You already have Seido. You already have me."

Chapter Text

Why did kissing Miyuki Kazuya have to feel so good? Why did everything between them encompass the term 'battery'? Every look, every touch, every fight was charged with something that clung to the space between them, thickened the air until it was hard to breathe. Eijun could feel it brewing between them now, hot and electric where their mouths didn't quite touch.

You already have me.

Did he though? Miyuki was so...so slippery! Exactly like a tanuki. Just when Eijun could swear he had him figured out Miyuki would laugh that annoying laugh, or make a joke, and the moment would be over. He wasn't joking now though. In fact, he looked dead serious, as unrelenting as he did when crouched behind the batter. And just like when they were in a game Eijun was unable to look away, to shake off the sign, as Miyuki leaned forward again. He shrunk back but there was nowhere to go.

Miyuki's mouth pressed against his, soft and so different from anything they'd ever practiced—so real. Eijun clutched at the collar of Miyuki's thin sleep shirt and brought him even closer, a shaky moan crawling up his throat. This was something only for him. Maybe Eijun couldn't be his only pitcher; Miyuki had responsibilities to the team that meant splitting his time between Furuya, Kawakami, and Tanba as well. But Eijun alone had this.

He scratched his nails viciously over the nape of Miyuki's neck, felt more than heard his gasp, and something possessive inside him coiled a little tighter at the sound. Eijun thought about the people who had come before him, the people Miyuki might have practiced with, and dug his teeth into Miyuki's lower lip hard enough to hurt. He wanted to keep this all to himself, he didn't want to give anyone else Miyuki's gasps, his liquid gaze, the way his hands curled big and warm around Eijun's narrow hips. He wanted, he wanted... He wanted Miyuki.

But Miyuki wasn't his, Wakana was.

Wakana... oh God. Wakana.

Eijun suddenly felt sick.

Miyuki had taken his faltering as a need for breath and tilted his head to the side, raining kisses down the length of Eijun's neck instead. Eijun moved his hands so they were braced against Miyuki's chest, pushing at him. "Miyuki, sto—" Teeth sunk into the space between his neck and shoulder, cutting him off and eliciting a sweet gasp of pain. "Stop," he said, a little louder now. He turned his face away as Miyuki's tongue licked over the bite, wondering how in less than a minute the arousal churning in his gut had turned into something wrong.

Miyuki didn't hear him or didn't care, and when Eijun turned away in a futile attempt to get away from him, Miyuki just pressed up against him, a line of heat against his back. "Miyuki-senpai!" Eijun yelled, voice climbing in alarm as the older boy snaked a hand around his torso, palm sliding flat over his stomach, fingers easing beneath the waistband of his pants. It was when his hand found Eijun's cock, hard and wanting in his boxers, that Eijun reeled around and slammed his fist into Miyuki's face.

Miyuki fell back hard, back hitting the door before he slid to the floor audible thump, expression at once bewildered and guilty like he couldn't believe Eijun had hit him but knew why he had. Eijun was flushed and ashamed and angry, the hand he'd hit Miyuki with still curled into a fist as if he might need to do it again. "I said stop," he repeated, voice breaking on the last word.

Before Miyuki could say anything, Eijun stepped over him and stormed out.

The worst part was Eijun wasn't even sure who he was more angry with—himself or Miyuki.

 

 

 

Eijun didn't think about it. He threw what he needed in a backpack—money, cellphone, a protein bar—and left his dorm, careful not to wake Masuko and Kuramochi as he shut the door behind him.

He bought a train ticket and went home.

 

 


The train car was mostly empty which was good because Eijun curled up on the seat, buried his face in his knees, and cried the whole way home.

 

 

 

Eijun expected the infamous Sawamura slap when he showed up on the doorstep. A very disgruntled Jii-chan opened the door, muttering under his breath about how early it was, but fell quiet when he saw Eijun. He'd done his best to wipe away the tear tracks with his sleeve, but Eijun knew his eyes must be red rimmed and bloodshot, knew the smile he forced onto his lips was small and sad.

There was no Sawamura slap. There was only Jii-chan's firm hand clasping his shoulder and ushering him inside.

 

 

 

Eijun stayed in his bed for most of the day, not answering the knocks at his door. He knew he wasn't being fair showing up like this without an explanation, but he didn't know how he could explain what'd happened. He didn't even really know what'd happened, or what he'd wanted to happen.

Recalling Miyuki's wandering hands, the heat of his mouth, made Eijun shiver. And he knew that whatever he'd started with him couldn't be so easily forgotten. He liked Wakana, he really did. He'd always liked her, had even liked kissing her, but not like this.

He didn't think he'd ever liked anyone like this. Miyuki's magnetism was so strong it hurt to pull away from him. Really, he should have known.

After all, Eijun had chased him all the way to Tokyo.

 

 

 

It was the first time he'd ever hesitated on Wakana's doorstep. The sun was dipping down towards the earth in the distance, casting gold and shadow where ever it touched. Seeing Wakana's face light up when she opened the door, as if he'd come by to surprise her or something, made the guilt sink like a stone to the bottom of his stomach.

"Hey..." he said weakly, so unlike himself that Wakana's smile faltered and slid right off. She knew him too well.

"What's wrong, Eijun?"

Eijun stuffed his hands into the big pocket of his favorite hoodie, the only comfort he'd allowed himself.

"Can we talk?"

Wakana's lips pursed into a thin line but she nodded her head, disappearing for a minute to slip into some shoes before following him outside.

They ended up at a little playground they'd often played at as children with the rest of their friends, Eijun's feet taking them there without a real destination in mind. He sat on a swing and Wakana followed suit, kicking off her shoes the way she always did before letting her toes drag through the sand as she swung back and forth.

"So, what is it?" she asked, still staring down into the rifts in the sand her feet were making, hands loosely clutching the chains holding up the swing.

There was no use pretending this was anything but a breakup. He could tell Wakana already had some idea of what he was about to say, but that didn't make it any better. In fact, he sort of wished she'd just slammed the door in his face.

"Wakana, I..." Eijun kicked at the sand with the toe of his shoe. He swallowed thickly. "There's someone else," he finally said all in a rush.

Wakana stiffened as if Eijun had hit her, and whichever part of Eijun thought he could do this curled up into a tight little ball and lodged itself in his throat. He'd messed up in his life—he'd picked fights, failed tests, stayed out past curfew—but not like this.

When Wakana spoke he could hear the tears in her voice but he still couldn't bear to look. "How long? Is it..." She seemed to hesitate and then, with a strange sort of conviction in her voice. "Is it Miyuki Kazuya?"

Eijun did turn to look at her then, shocked. His face flushed a bright, ashamed red. "H-how did you—?"

Wakana shook her head with a watery chuckle, brought the back of her hand up to her eyes. "I think..." She turned to look at him and her tears sparkled as they caught sunlight when they slid down her cheeks. "I think I always knew, Eijun. I just wanted to believe..." She got choked up then, like her throat was closing up around the words. "I guess I just wanted it to be me."

"It was you..." he whispered. It was you but not only you, hung in the silence between them. In the end it didn't matter because, without even realizing it himself, he'd chosen Miyuki a long time ago.

Sniffling, Wakana managed a watery smile. "Baseball's always been the love of your life."

Eijun could only stare at her helplessly as she got up and put on a brave face.

"Go back to Tokyo, Eijun."

And then she walked away leaving behind a fractured part of their relationship they'd never get back.

Eijun knew she'd still check up on him, still come to all his big games, still cheer him on. Because this was Wakana and she was stronger and kinder than anyone he'd ever known.

This was Wakana, and she deserved so much more than an idiot like him.

 

 

 

This time when Eijun arrived home, past curfew, he really was greeted by the patented Sawamura slap.

It didn't hurt nearly enough to make up for what he'd done.

 

 

 

He left his hometown much the same way he came—without fanfare or explanations. He and Wakana would stay friends. They'd made a pinky promise when they were just six years old to be friends forever and it'd been deathly serious, but Eijun wasn't sure they'd be okay with each other for a very, very long time. Maybe not ever. Just like with Miyuki something was irrevocably changed, something Eijun couldn't take back.

As the sights of Tokyo rushed by the train windows, Eijun wondered when this concrete jungle had become as familiar as home.

 

 

 

Kazuya knew there'd be a bruise on his jaw in the morning. Sawamura packed a surprising punch. He brought his hand up to touch his face, fingers pressing into the darkened skin until it hurt. Turning on his side in bed, Kazuya settled in for yet another sleepless night because Sawamura's flashing eyes and clenched fist wouldn't leave his mind's eye.

Not for the first time, Kazuya wondered how this would affect the team and their baseball. If Kuramochi found out he'd hurt Eijun, if Masuko did... He'd be in for a beating and worse. No matter how indifferent Kuramochi tried to play it, he clearly saw Sawamura as a younger brother. Forgiveness would be a long time coming.

Not that Kazuya wasn't used to it, being beaten or ignored or yelled at. In fact, it was something he was intimately familiar with, something he'd learned to let slide right off him. He'd never really had friends so what did it matter if he lost a few now? He didn't care about friendship; he only needed teammates.

He only needed baseball.

(At least that's what he kept telling himself.)

 

 

 

The rift between Sawamura and Miyuki had the rest of the team avoiding both of them, especially when they were in close proximity to each other; the tension was unbearable. If Coach Kataoka noticed, he didn't say anything, but that was Kataoka for you. He liked the team to figure out and, in this case, resolve things for themselves. Sawamura and Miyuki were on their own.

Sawamura had been downright lifeless, spending most of his downtime reading thick tomes about famous samurais and their honor, or crying over shoujo manga. It was enough to make Kuramochi itch with the need to put him in a strangle hold, but that would just be too cruel like kicking a puppy or something. There was no fun to be had in torturing an already suffering Sawamura.

Miyuki had been downright evasive, deflecting every remark with a flippant comment as if the team couldn't put two and two together, from Sawamura's one-day disappearance to the bruise slowly fading near his chin as he wore that stupid smirk that was paper thin.

Honestly Kuramochi just wanted to throttle the both of them and get some answers. It was only Ryosuke's hand on his arm that stayed his impatience.

"They'll figure it out."

Kuramochi wanted to believe him, but God knew both Sawamura and Miyuki could be dense in anything that didn't concern baseball.

 

 

 

It took Eijun a week (three sacrificed puddings from Masuko, and an ass kicking from Kuramochi) before he managed to stop wallowing and go to Chris for advice. He didn't let his mind wander to the what-ifs (because if he'd just gone to Chris in the first place, maybe...). It was far too late for that, and Eijun was feeling sorry enough for himself as it was.

Kanemaru didn't look the least bit surprised to see him as he swung the door open wide for Eijun to enter their dorm. Chris sat at his desk doing homework fastidiously, glancing up with a warm smile when he saw who it was.

"CHRIS-SENPAI!" Eijun yelled, quickly dropping to a kneel, fists on his knees, head bowed. Kanemaru put his headphones on and turned back to the magazine he'd be perusing, too used to Eijun's loudmouth to even bother quieting him down. Apparently Chris was of the same mind because he only gave a slight wince at the volume.

"What is it, Sawamura?"

"I HUMBLY REQUEST YOUR ADVICE ON A PERSONAL MATTER," Eijun said, leaning over until his forehead nearly touched the floor. It was all Chris could do to stifle a sigh, equal parts exasperated and fond.

"Does this have anything to do with Miyuki?"

Eijun's head whipped up, eyes wide and round. "How did you—"

Kanemaru, who evidently had only been pretending not to listen, cut in. "The whole team knows something's up with you and him, Sawamura. We're not stupid."

Eijun lowered his head again, this time looking forlorn. Chris sighed again and offered him a reassuring smile.

"Tell me what happened."

And, well, Eijun didn't know where to start. He wasn't even sure he should tell the whole story, or if he wanted to, but found the words spilling out anyway. He skipped past some of the more intimate details, and Chris for his part managed to keep a straight face through most of it, though a frown line had appeared between his brows. Kanemaru wasn't even pretending not to be interested at this point, but Eijun couldn't bring himself to stop talking or even slow down. It just felt good to get it all off his chest; it was a relief. He'd never been a very good secret keeper, even when the secrets were his own.

When he finally raised his head, trying to gauge Chris's expression, he wasn't sure what to make of it. The older boy looked pensive but not disgusted or even surprised. In fact, Kanemaru didn't look very surprised either—but he did look a little disgusted.

"TMI, Sawamura, TMI..." he muttered before putting on his headphones again. This time the music blaring from them was faintly audible. Clearly he'd heard enough.

"What do you think I should do, senpai?" Eijun asked, twisting the fabric of his pants with his fingers. Right now, he really wished he'd gone to Chris in the first place.

Chris offered an encouraging smile and placed a hand on Eijun's shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "Miyuki can be... complicated sometimes. Just talk to him, Sawamura. Tell him how you feel."

Talk to him. If only it were that easy.

Chapter Text

Eijun was getting the same feeling that accompanies the walk up to the mound. It was a cross between excitement, anxiety, and a feeling of destiny–the knowledge that what he did now could make or break a game.

He supposed it was only fitting to meet Mikyuki here in the empty field. The sun hung low in the sky. Miyuki's baseball cap was tilted at a jaunty angle. He was only wearing the standard blue compression shirt, and Eijun couldn't help but stare. His gaze flitted over a strong set of shoulders and the twin curve of biceps. (Chris-senpai had assured him it was alright to like both girls and boys, but for now Eijun preferred to think he liked girls and Miyuki.)

Just talk to him, Eijun reminded himself. He trusted Chris-senpai's advice. Of course, Chris-senpai had always been a little too forgiving in his assessment of people (namely Miyuki), but he had nothing to lose by trying. Except for maybe his dignity.

He took a deep breath, shouted across to where Miyuki was standing near home plate. "Miyuki Kazuya!"

Miyuki gave a visible start as Eijun sprinted over to him; it was oddly satisfying to catch him off guard. Clearly the last thing he'd expected was for Eijun to approach him. They hadn't talked in two weeks, after all.

"Do you have to yell all the time, Bakamura?" Miyuki asked, though there was none of the usual bite in his voice. He just sounded tired.

"We need to talk," Eijun said, staring somewhere over Miyuki's shoulder so he wouldn't lose his nerve as the older boy fixed sharp eyes on him.

Miyuki crossed his arms over his chest. It was a very distracting chest. "Then talk."

Then, because he couldn't help himself, he met Miyuki's gaze. His breath caught in his throat at the sight. Cold as his expression was, his eyes were burning. It'd been so long since he'd really let himself look at Miyuki. It made Eijun's chest feel tight.

"... about Wakana..." he began.

Miyuki cut him off with a derisive laugh. "Need more advice?" Miyuki leaned closer, voice dropping suggestively low. "Or maybe more practice?" When he leaned back his smile was mean and full of teeth.

Unable to help himself, Eijun grabbed Miyuki's collar and shook him. The bastard always knew how to get right under his skin. "Would you just listen to me?!"

"Then spit it out already," Miyuki said, shaking himself free of Eijun's hold, jabbing at his chest with a single finger. Eijun knew he was doing it purely to work him up, to make him do something he'd regret. After watching him for two weeks Eijun realized that Miyuki didn’t let anyone get too close to him, that he lashed out to keep them at arm's length.

Even knowing that he couldn't help but rise to the bait. Eijun was nothing if not a creature of habit, and he returned the gesture with his own jab. Somehow it felt like an excuse to put his hands on Miyuki.

"Stop being a jerk first!"

"Oh," Miyuki said with another one of those laughs that made Eijun's teeth clench. "Right, I'm the jerk. I'm not the one sending mixed signals here, Sawamura," he said, and his voice was poisonous. Eijun resisted the urge to scream. Miyuki was just impossible, and even if he knew that the older boy was hurting somewhere beneath his veneer of scorn, Eijun did not excel at being the bigger person.

Miyuki wasn't going to make this easy, of course he wasn’t. Eijun had never liked easy.

"Mixed signals? You said it was just practice."

They both knew it wasn't, and Miyuki's lips twisted into an ugly scowl. Eijun stepped so close they were breathing the same air, close enough for the slight height difference to become noticeable. At this distance, Miyuki's anger was palpable.

Miyuki seemed to struggle with himself for a minute before saying, "Even you," There was definitely an implied you're an idiot in there somewhere. "must have realized it stopped being 'practice' a long time ago." His voice was as cool, composed, and disdainful as ever, like it didn't matter. This remote, untouchable Miyuki so different from the one he'd been just weeks ago, the one that had pressed up against him, hot and pliant.

Eijun swallowed hard. He'd realized all of this too late. He really was an idiot, but his life until now had been mistakes and second chances. He could only hope Miyuki was in a forgiving mood.

"If it's not practice," Eijun's voice tapered off into a whisper, words caressing the scant space between them. "then what is it?"

Silence, and then the audible snap of Miyuki's self control. Or maybe it was his self control. Eijun couldn't be sure which one of them moved first. All he knew was that one minute he was staring at the rapid pulse in Miyuki's throat and the next they were toppling over into the dirt, Eijun's fingers slipping on the material of Miyuki's compression shirt while their lips pressed together with bruising force. The baseball cap was lost as Eijun combed fingers through Miyuki's sweaty hair, a gasp leaving him as Miyuki rolled them over so that Eijun was splayed on home plate beneath him.

"I," Eijun breathed as Miyuki ducked his head, teeth scraping over Eijun's adams apple in a way that made his brain go fuzzy with sensation. "I broke up with her." A pause, and then Miyuki continued down to Eijun's collarbone, stretching the collar of his t-shirt wide so he could bite hard enough to elicit a shocked yelp. When Miyuki lifted his head it was with a self-satisfied smirk, thumb swiping over the indent he'd left behind in the shape of his teeth.

"Bastard," Eijun said, pulling Miyuki down into another kiss. Fingers grazed lightly along Eijun's ribs through the fabric of his t-shirt and he squirmed, making a needy noise into Miyuki's mouth, wondering dizzily how the older boy managed to find all these sensitive spots he'd never known existed. Or maybe it was just the fact that he was being touched by Miyuki that made him sensitive.

"That's not how you should address your senpai," Miyuki murmured against his lips, pulling back so they just barely brushed in the whisper of a kiss. Eijun opened his eyes, close enough to Miyuki's face to see the faint freckles dusting his cheeks and nose from too much sun. He was so beautiful it hurt Eijun's chest.

"Miyuki-senpai," he breathed, golden brown eyes never wavering. "I love you."

He watched Miyuki's pupils dilate, swallowing the deep brown of his irises, as his lips parted in shock. He looked winded, like someone had just punched him in the gut. He looked terrified. He looked elated.

It took a moment for him to gather his composure back around him like armor, but even then Eijun could see through the cracks. His usual sly grin was too soft, his eyes warm and fond as he gazed down at Eijun.

Eijun felt undone by that look.

"Are you sure you're not just in love with my mitt?"

Eijun snorted and shoved Miyuki off him, rolling to the side so he could face Miyuki where they both now lay in the dirt. Eijun tucked his hands under cheek like a pillow. All around them the sky was dyed in oranges slowly darkening to purples and blues.

"You and your mitt are a package deal."

Miyuki didn't even protest that particular declaration, just hummed in acknowledgement and reached out to swipe his thumb along a smear of dirt on Eijun's cheek. Eijun felt his face burn at the touch.

"You're so dumb, Sawamura," Miyuki said, hand lingering along the curve of Eijun's jaw.

"But you love me anyway," Eijun replied with more confidence than he felt. "... right?"

Miyuki let him stew in the suspense for a bit, because it was the Miyuki thing to do, but then he smiled. It was a small, tentative, and genuine thing.

"Yeah," he sighed the word, like it was a surrender. "I do."

 

 

 

The next morning they walked to practice hand in hand. Kuramochi threw his arms in the air at the sight, exasperation and relief leaking from every pore. "Oh thank God!"

Ryosuke’s expression could only be described as a smug as he looked at Kuramochi as if to say I told you so.

Sawamura was practically beaming, rivaling the sun with the intensity of his delight. The team gathered around, slapping Kazuya amiably on the back while Sawamura trotted over to Chris and began a series of deep bows, shouting the whole time about the "wonders of his wisdom".

"Don't let it affect the team again," Tetsu said, and Kazuya nodded back in understanding. He was just lucky coach hadn't pulled them both aside at some point in the past two weeks.

Tetsu called for them to gather so they could start practice, and Sawamura sprinted towards Kazuya, waving frantically as if they hadn't just been holding hands not two minutes ago.

When Sawamura fell into step beside him as the team started running laps, shoulders brushing, Kazuya couldn't help but think he might have found something he loved just as much as baseball.

 

 

 

"M-Miyuki," Eijun gasped, clutching at brown hair frantically as his heels dug into Miyuki's shoulders. "I-I can't, I'm..."

Miyuki lifted his head with an obscene little pop that made Eijun's toes curl. He peered down between his legs. Miyuki just smirked back and licked a long stripe up the underside of his cock. Eijun shook a little at the sight.

At least that wicked tongue was good for something.

"What do you say when you want something?" the older boy asked lazily, tongue flicking over the tip of Eijun's cock, tasting the precum there like a pleased cat.

God, why did Eijun choose to date a pervert?

"Please..." Eijun bit his lip, lowered his lashes shyly. The look was unintentionally alluring. "... senpai..."

"Very good."

Judging by how loud Eijun was when he came down his throat, Miyuki thought it was safe to assume the first string wouldn't be invading his room without prior notice for a long, long time.

 

 

 

At night Miyuki was a surprisingly clingy thing, more honest about his need for touch. Eijun got the feeling he'd never had much of it at home, and he held Miyuki just a tiny bit closer.

Earlier he’d texted Wakana that he'd confessed to Miyuki and that they were together now, not sure whether or not she'd reply. He’d almost chickened out, but Eijun figured she deserved to know. And, selfishly, he wanted to confide in her the way he always had.

He was on the verge of falling asleep, tucked against Miyuki's body, when his phone buzzed and lit up.

are you happy?

Was all it said. Eijun's fingers hesitated over the keys… but he was done avoiding hard truths.

yea he makes me happy

Seconds passed. Eijun didn’t realize he was holding his breath.

then i'm happy for you

He let out his breath slowly as something settled in his chest, warm and at the same time melancholy. It’d probably be a long time before she came to watch him play in a game again, but he knew they’d be okay.

He closed his phone and set it aside, snuggling closer, watching the subtle the rise and fall of Miyuki's chest in the dark. It was far from perfect but they had time, and for now Eijun was content.

THE END

 

 

"Alright, everyone pay up. Haruichi won the bet," Kuramochi said, eyeing the rest of the first string. Somehow they'd found their way to his room.

"Damn Kominatos," Jun was grumbling as he fished around in his pocket for the yen he owed. Even Rei had thrown her hand in, though they'd have to collect from her at a later date.

"They are to be respected and feared," Testsu said solemnly, placing his own bills into Haruichi's open palm. The first year looked both embarrassed and pleased.

"If they'd waited one more day to make up, I would have won," Shirasu muttered.

"Whatever, just get out of my room!” Honestly, Kuramochi was exasperated. Was this how Miyuki felt every time they invaded his room? Under his breath, he said, “That loudmouth is staying with Miyuki tonight, and the one time I get some peace and quiet you guys are here."

"How about a game of shogi before I go?" Tetsu suggested, already pulling out his board.  

"Hey, first years, use that money you just won to buy your senpais some drinks!" Jun shooed Furuya and Haruichi towards the door.

Kuramochi just sighed.

Miyuki and Sawamura owed him big time.