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One Set Match - PoT One-Shots

Chapter Text

A man sitting by the veranda drinking by himself, contemplating the clear midnight sky he looks up and stares at the bright full moon, the moon casting its light down on the cherry blossom trees. A soft breeze blows, bringing a few petals into the room. The man tries to pick up the petals that have fallen onto the tatami, trying his best to not make any loud noises. However, he hears a rustle from the mattress laid out on the tatami.

 

“Tezuka?”

“Sorry Fuji, did I wake you up?”

 

The awoken man sits up and looks at Tezuka, he then stands up from the mattress and walks towards the veranda where he is sat at. The two stay in silence for a few seconds, listening to the wind softly blowing and the sound of the night crickets chirping. Soon the silence is broken by one of them.

 

“What’s wrong Tezuka? Couldn’t sleep?” Fuji’s tone is soft and his expression calm, his eyes narrowed as if closed.

 

Tezuka doesn’t reply but lightly nods before taking a sip from his sake cup. He hears Fuji lightly chuckle before saying, “Then how about I keep you company all night?” and takes the cup from Tezuka’s hand and takes a small sip from it. The latter man lets out an empty cough and clears his throat before speaking, perhaps to prevent himself from laughing. “And perhaps how will you keep me company?”

 

He shouldn’t have said that. He regretted saying that. But now it was too late to take it back as he saw Fuji inching closer to him until their faces were so close they could almost kiss. “Well, how about I show you?” Fuji playfully said as he smirked, his eyes no longer narrowed revealing his sharp blue eyes. He stared at Tezuka intently with his piercing eyes. Tezuka inched backward from surprise and was slightly blushing from Fuji's sudden actions. “Fuji-”

 

“I’m just teasing you.” The former said before moving back to where he was previously sat. Fuji had narrowed his eyes again, this time due to him smiling from his teasing. Tezuka also sat up and cleared his throat again. He could still feel his cheeks slowly burning up, perhaps from the sake…or perhaps not.

 

“Don’t do that again, Fuji” he said, avoiding eye contact.

“Alright, alright~ but I couldn’t help it since your reactions are always so cute and interesting.” Fuji chuckled again.

 

Tezuka’s cheeks were now flushed from embarrassment. He looked away, placing his hand over his mouth to prevent from showing his facial expressions to Fuji. The latter man just sat there looking at the beautiful scenery before chuckling and taking another sip of sake.

The two spent the rest of the time enjoying the alcohol and chatting.

 

---(a VERY smooth transition)---

 

“…you’ll go back to Germany in a few days again, right?” There was a hint of loneliness in Fuji’s tone, to which the other felt and could not help but feel lonely as well. The two of them could not often meet each other due to their positions and circumstances. Tezuka, who became a professional tennis player after high school, and Fuji, who decided to leave tennis behind and focus on botany and photography instead.

 

Fuji could never forget the peaceful days of his middle school years when he could always see Tezuka in or outside of school. The day when Tezuka had left U-17 for Germany was a day he could never forget, not even till this day he could ever forget their final farewell. That is, until he recovered and made a comeback at the world’s stage, but this time not as his teammate but as his opponent. Although upset from the sudden reappearance, he could not hate Tezuka no matter what…because he was too dear to him.

Even after the world tournament, they could not be together as much since all the Seigaku third years had graduated and split off to pursue their dreams. However, after graduating high school, they had once again reunited and finally, after six years of mutual pining torture, confessed their feelings to each other. Unfortunately, their reunion did not last long as Tezuka was busy with tennis matches and interviews, while Fuji had been buried alive underneath his research papers and university theses. The long-distance did not bother them since they had been used to being separated from each other. At first, they could meet once or twice within weeks and would still call each other every day. Then it was once a month, then once every 3 months…and now barely had time to even look at each other.

 

Tezuka turned his gaze from the scenery to Fuji, who was looking down and staring at the cup in his hands with a small bitter smile.

 

“Fuji, I...” stammering with his words before he was cut off by Fuji again.

 

“It’s okay.” he lifted his head, wearing his usual narrowed-eye smile, using his soft voice to reassure him. Fuji had been used to their farewells, always making sure to keep his emotions in check. He didn’t want Tezuka to feel bad, nor did he want their relationship to become worse than it was now.

Fuji’s empty smile. The one he always showed at the end of their short reunions. It always made Tezuka feel crushed, knowing that he is hurting Fuji but unable to stop it from happening. He could not change their situation. And even if he could go back in time, he would still have chosen this path in becoming a professional tennis player. But his heart is always pained by the thought of leaving the person he loved more than anything, even tennis, behind.

 

The wind blew again, softly sweeping the fallen cherry blossom petals from the veranda and off into the sky. The crickets had quieted down and all that could be heard was the wind blowing the tree branches. The full moon, the only source of light for the two, slowly covered by the passing clouds, brought darkness over them. Hiding the two lover’s pained expressions behind the dark, silent night.

 

“I’m sorry, Fuji.”

 

The same three words every time.

 

“It’s okay, Tezuka.”

 

The same three words every time.

Chapter Text

Somewhere in the U-17 camp, the sound of a tennis ball hitting and bouncing on the court could be heard from afar. Two high schoolers were having a heated match against each other. The ball kept going back and forth across the tennis court, this was like an endless rally between the two.

“This ends now” Tokugawa grunted before hitting the ball and aiming for the other side of Irie’s court. This time he had aimed near the end-line of the court, which would give the latter no time to react.

“What?!” shocked by the sudden counter from Tokugawa, he quickly turned around and rushed to the other side of his court. “No…It's impossible, I won’t reach there time!” Irie dramatically exclaimed as he was still running towards the ball’s direction. It would seem as if the latter had no chance of hitting back the ball…is what Tokugawa thought to himself.

Just as the ball bounced off to the end-line of the court, Irie’s face quickly changed and was already standing next to where the ball had bounced.

 

“Just kidding.” smirking, the cunning player immediately returned the ball back and earned a point from Tokugawa. The latter had sweat running down his face, not showing any surprise on his face but anyone could see that he was impressed by what just happened.

“As expected, you never fail to surprise anyone.”

“Thank you for the compliment.” Irie chuckled, wearing his usual gentle smiling face, which had deceived countless people. “Let’s end today’s training now, you must be exhausted.”

“No…I can still go on.” he said, gripping his tennis racket tighter.

“I know you want to defeat Byoudouin as soon as possible, but you also need to rest from time to time.” Irie walked over to Tokugawa’s side and gave him a water bottle and a towel to wipe his sweat away. They had been training for so long from morning till night time that they had been wearing sweat-soaked uniforms all day. And as much as he loved watching Tokugawa training and witnessing the miracle known as a sweat-soaked see-through T-shirt (and see the amazing hidden abdominals), he did not find the appeal of SMELLING like sweat all day. But…that obviously did not stop him from teasing his junior.

“I don’t mind seeing you panting for air and taking your top off right here right now, but it would be much better seeing you do that somewhere else” he said with a playful tone as he winked at him.

Tokugawa cleared his throat as he covered his face the towel Irie gave him. Tokugawa was known to have a forever poker-face, nothing really fazed him and you would rarely see him smile or show any sort of expression. But this was one of the rare cases in which Irie was always able to get some sort of reaction out of him, for better or worse. Tokugawa’s rare reactions were just too amusing and cute for Irie.

 

“Just kidding.” he gleefully said as he started walking towards the U-17 dorm area. “Let’s go take a bath and call it a day.” Tokugawa followed behind.

 

—— yeaaa transition time ——

 

They had reached the bathhouse and lucky for them there was nobody there at this moment. Usually, the dorm’s bathhouse, although big, would be packed with either high schoolers or middle schoolers after training it was probably too late for that now. They walked in and took their clothes off and placed their change of clothes (and other toiletries because a bitch doesn’t just have flawless skin without a skincare routine) inside the baskets placed within the shelves.

As they walked towards the baths, Tokugawa could not help but notice Irie’s slender yet well-built body. He stared at his body for a moment too long and without realizing it he became a blushing mess. He quickly turned the opposite way from Irie and tried to calm himself down. Lucky for him, Irie had briefly taken off his glasses to clear away the steam on them. They simultaneously got in the pre-heated bath and sat across from each other. Irie was showing a pleased and relaxed expression, he had placed his glasses down on the side of the bath and had closed his eyes to enjoy the bath. On the other hand…Tokugawa had become self-conscious and was looking away from Irie’s direction.

Irie noticed how Tokugawa was being too silent, even though he was always quiet, and looked over at him. “You okay, Tokugawa?” he slowly stood up and approached him.

“Yeah.” he calmly said. ‘Oh my god. Oh my god.’ but he was, in fact, not okay. Now that Irie stood up in the bath, his whole body was visible for him to look at. From his chest to his abdominal to his…bottom part. Irie had put on his glasses and sat down next to him now, his shoulder almost touching the taller’s arm.

 

‘Think straight, Tokugawa Kazuya.’

 

Irie looked over and saw that Tokugawa was red and avoiding his gaze. He thought for a moment and then quickly caught on to the situation. He smirked and purposefully inched closer to him, with his arm pressing against his. Now Tokugawa was completely red, his usual calm composure was gone as he forcefully turned towards Irie.

“What are you doing, Irie-san?” he attempted to calmly say.

“What does it look like?” Irie again got closer. A bit too close. In such a big bath, the two of them were almost close enough to kiss. As if to add oil into the blazing fire, Irie smoothly moved and successfully sat on top of Tokugawa’s thighs, placing his hands on the latter’s shoulders. He had this devilish smile as he began talking.

He slowly moved his hands from his shoulders to his chest and down more. Irie’s slender fingers softly grazed against the Tokugawa’s now hardened nipples. Irie loved looking at Tokugawa’s reaction to the slightest touch and his struggle to keep himself from making any sounds as he touched him. Suddenly, he felt something hard slightly hitting against his own abdomen. He looked down and immediately had a wide smirk on his face. With the amazing view in front AND below of him, Irie also began getting excited. He slowly moved one hand away from Tokugawa’s chest and trailed down to where the other had a boner going on.

He gently stroked Tokugawa’s boner, earning a small grunt from him. At this point Tokugawa had restrained himself pretty well, keeping his voice down and keeping himself under control. That is until he felt Irie touching his dick in the water. “Hey, Tokugawa…how about we do something more fun?”

 

‘…fuck thinking straight.’

 

—— yeaaa transition time x2 ——

 

Tokugawa was now sitting on the side of the bath (with his feet still in the water) and his legs slightly spread apart, with Irie inside the bath kneeling down between them. The latter began to use one hand to slowly stroke the raging boner in front of him. Gaining a few grunts and moans from Tokugawa, he then stuck his tongue out and began licking his dick from the bottom all the way to the tip. Pre-cum was now coming out and dripping down from the tip. The smaller one licked it again without letting the drip down into the water.

“Irie-san…” Tokugawa managed to say between moans as the other continued stroking and licking his boner. “Alright alright, I’ll stop teasing you.” he said before he shoved Tokugawa’s dick into his mouth. He started slowly bopping his head, while simultaneously using his tongue to stroke the dick from inside. The warm and wet sensation of Irie’s mouth brought shivers down Tokugawa’s spine and he started to moan harder.

The view from above watching Irie giving him a blowjob made him more so excited than before. He placed a hand on the back of Irie’s head, with all his curly locks between his fingers, he applied pressure and pushed his head towards him. Irie jerked at the sudden action (and obviously because he was deep-throating a dick now) but quickly continued to give him a blowjob. Irie himself was also getting excited, his dick also hard now.

 

Tokugawa could feel it. He was close to coming and it seemed like Irie also knew that as he started speeding up. Irie continued to lick and stroke his hard-on with his tongue and hands. The sensation was too pleasurable for Tokugawa and soon he could not hold it in any longer. “W-wait-” but before he could say anything, without a warning he ejaculated on Irie’s face, staining his glasses in the process as well. Irie sat up, using his fingers to wipe away some of the cum on his face.

“I’ll have to clean my glasses again.” he laughed before taking his glasses off and looking at some of the cum slowly drip down from them.

“Sorry…I-” but he was cut off by other voices coming from the changing room in the bathhouse. It seemed like someone else was also getting ready to come into the bath where they were. Normally he wouldn’t care and would just continue enjoying his bath but right now he STILL had a boner and Irie had cum all over his face. As he was about panic, Irie suddenly stood up, grasped Tokugawa’s hand and dragged him out of the bath, and used towels to cover their boners.

He also used this chance to use another towel to clean his face and glasses. It seemed like there were only two other people, so it was easy for them to snuck past them and hide behind one of the shelves with the baskets. Irie had his back against the shelves and Tokugawa had unconsciously placed himself in front of him, with his hands on the wall (classic ‘kabedon’). While waiting for the other people to go away, Irie took this chance to tease Tokugawa once more.

 

He beckoned the latter to hunch over and as he did so he leaned in and whispered, “Let’s continue in our room when we get back.” Tokugawa became redder than a tomato and used one hand to cover half of his face from embarrassment. “Just kidding” Irie playfully said but his face still had a devilish smile showing. As the other two people made it into the showers/bath area. Irie and Tokugawa took this chance to change and rush back to their dorm room.

Chapter Text

“Tsukimitsu-san! Wait up!”

The tall high schooler with blue highlights turned around and looked towards the direction in which the loud voice came from. It wasn’t too hard to find the source, as the person in question was approaching him at a remarkably fast pace. Despite having his bangs covering half of his eyes, he was still able to see, or more like, tell from the voice that it was Mori who was calling out. Tsukimitsu had stopped at these tracks and waited for Mori to reach where he was. Once he finally met up with Tsukimitsu he was almost panting for air from all that running.

“Man, I finally caught up to you!” he said with a bright smile as they began walking side-by-side. Tsukimitsu just gave a small nod and continued walking. Despite his cool and pressuring demeanor, he was actually quite shy and chose not to speak unless necessary. He’d often speak during games as he had to communicate properly on the court with his doubles partner. People would often avoid him as his height alone was enough intimidate them, he’d also use his bangs to avoid making eye-contact with anyone (which links to his ‘Mental Pressure’ attack).

“Hey, Tsukimitsu-san! Are you listening to me?” Mori said, making the giant stop and turn towards him. Mori was again a few steps behind him. The former one quickly caught up to him again and put his hands behind his head before saying, “I said you’re too fast, its kind of hard to keep up with your pace.”

Tsukimitsu knew that due to his height, he made longer strides and had a faster walking speed than others. This kind of made him self-conscious of his own height, which made him uncomfortable and awkward. Mori realized that he was troubled by what he just said and decided to reassure him that it was fine by giving him an earnest smile. Tsukimitsu felt better at the sight of the curly-haired boy smiling but he also felt something else.

‘Hm…? What is this sudden feeling?’ he had no clue what was going on with himself. As he began pondering what this ‘feeling’ was, he heard Mori calling out telling him it was time to go train as per coach’s orders. Tsukimitsu followed and quickly caught to him at one of the tennis courts in the U-17 camp.

 

—— transition brought to you by Kimijima Ikuto’s “Cola Vita” energy drink ad ——

 

“Alright, break time! Both high schoolers and middle schoolers go for a lunch break and refresh yourselves!” Coach Tsuge shouted. Making the members move out from the courts, some staying behind to continue training. Tsukimitsu put his tennis racket and other belongings into his sports bag. As he was packing, Mori approached him with his usual nonchalant demeanor with his hands behind his head.

“Hey, let’s go eat! I’m already starving!” Mori said as he leaned down and placed his hands on Tsukimitsu’s back, who was crouching down to pack his bag as the benches were too low for him to reach down. Tsukimitsu’s heart started beating slightly faster than normal. ‘It’s this weird feeling again’ he thought to himself again. He just couldn’t understand his own feelings, heck, he’d rarely even SHOW his feelings outwardly in the first place.

While he was having that mini-crisis inside his head, Mori had leaned further in and had his chest completely on top of Tsukimitsu’s back. He (somehow) managed to rest his chin on Tsukimitsu’s shoulder, making the latter turn towards that direction. However, Tsukimitsu had not guessed that Mori’s face was THAT close. As you probably guessed it, when Tsukimitsu had turned his face around Mori’s lips were accidentally gently pressed against his cheek. Now that mini-crisis inside Tsukimitsu’s head a full-blown gay panic. He quickly stood up, causing Mori to back up and almost fall over at the sudden action.

“Oh…I didn’t mean to do that, sorry!” Mori’s nonchalant vibes were gone as he quickly apologized for what just happened. Mori still acted the same way despite what just happened. ‘That…WAS a kiss, right?’ but that thought was quickly thrown out the behind in Tsukimitsu’s head. ‘What in the world am I even thinking about?’

“Heeeeey, c’mon already! Let’s go eat!” Mori exclaimed as he held his stomach from the hunger he was feeling. Tsukimitsu just nodded and walked with him to the cafeteria.

They had reached the training camp’s cafeteria, which wasn’t packed despite the number of students in this camp. That just shows how big the cafeteria and the entire camp was. Mori went ahead to where counter where all the food was served at. Most of the time the students could just pick out any food they liked from the cafeteria buffet but if they wanted they could ask the staff to prepare what you wanted to eat beforehand. From the way that Mori was talking to the cafeteria staff, he assumed that he asked them to prepare oyakodon or something of the like. As he was preparing to get himself a plate of the food being served, Mori quickly approached him with two trays of food.

“This one is for you!” he placed one of the trays on Tsukimitsu’s hands. The tray had a fairly big plastic (bento) box with a large portion of cold soba in it, alongside a bowl with a mixture that looked like soy sauce inside it and other smaller side dishes to compliment the soba. Long story short, this was what Tsukimitsu liked to eat.

“Are you surprised? I actually asked them yesterday to make it for lunchtime today” the lively one said as he sat down at one of the empty tables. Tsukimitsu followed and sat down at the seat across from Mori. He was slightly shocked but happy at the little surprise his partner gave him. Mori had already begun eating as he was so hungry from practice, he was already wolfing down his omelette rice. As he stopped for a moment to chew the food in his mouth, he looked up at Tsukimitsu who was calmly eating his food (unlike a certain someone). He continued to stare, unnoticed by the taller male when he noticed a small smile on the latter’s lips as he ate. This made Mori elated, as he rarely got to see Tsukimitsu’s smiling face despite always trying to make him laugh during their break times.

The two of them continued to eat their food in silence, both happy and smiling from the good surprises they got today.

 

—— transition brought to you by Tanegashima stealing all the “Cola Vita” from the fridge ——

 

Lunch break was over and all the students had to go back to training within the facility or at the tennis courts. Tsukimitsu had gone ahead first after finishing lunch and went to one of the gyms within the camp. He had been running on the treadmill and lifting some weights in order to increase his stamina and muscle strength. Mori was also exercising with him in here until he disappeared somewhere else. Probably to slack off.

After exercising for god knows how long, Tsukimitsu finally decided to call it a day and went to the locker room before heading to the shower. He took off his uniform and placed a new set of clothes on one of the benches in the locker room. Taking his larger towel, made to fit his unusual tall height, he took a brisk shower to wash away all the sweat he worked up.

He came out of the shower room, with a towel wrapped around his hips to cover his bottom. As he approached the same bench he had placed his clothes, he realized that someone was laying on top of his stuff. “Wait that’s…” It was Mori, who was sleeping and using Tsukimitsu’s clothes as a pillow while also hugging the U-17 jacket that he had left beside before taking a shower. At this moment Tsukimitsu did not know what expression to show or what to even do. He slowly got closer and crouched down to look at Mori’s sleeping face. He looked so at peace and so content.

Suddenly, Mori groaned and turned sideways, still asleep, now facing towards him. This made a few of his curly locks to fall in front of his face. Tsukimitsu hesitated but still decided to move Mori’s hair away from his face. While doing so his hand softly grazed against Mori’s cheek, causing the latter to awaken from the small nap. Tsukimitsu quickly stood up from the crouching position as Mori groggily sat up.

‘Why is he so…cute? Wait, do I think that Mori is cute??’ having the second gay panic of the day. He quickly cleared his throat, as a way to clear his mind. “What were you doing sleeping here” keeping his “cool demeanor” as usual, hiding his shyness behind his bangs.

“Huh? Oh! I was waiting for you but I accidentally fell asleep.” Mori scratched his head before standing up and handing over Tsukimitsu’s change of clothes. “Sorry that I used your clothes like that.”

“It’s fine.”

“But your clothes sure are large, I tried putting on your hoodie but the sleeves were too long for me.”

“Oh…”

“Well, your amazing height is what attracts me to you!” he laughed.

‘Yeah this is definitely that…I’m in love with Mori and I’ve just realized it.’

Chapter Text

The clubroom. The tennis court. I can never approach you, only ever gazing at you from afar.

 

I know.

 

I know that. And yet I still don’t know why. Why do my eyes always end up following you?

 

“Eiji! Wake up already!”

 

Kikumaru reluctantly opened his eyes, sitting up and stretching his arms up, he blinked a few times and realized he had fallen asleep in the last class. He looked at Oishi who was standing in front of him waiting for him to get up.

 

“Huh, Oishi? Why are you here, where’s Fuji?”

 

“He went ahead with Tezuka, he told me to come here to make sure you don’t oversleep.”

 

“With Tezuka huh…” Mumbling, he got up and put his bag over his shoulder, and got ready to go. “Eiji?” Oishi approached him again, placing his hand on Kikumaru’s shoulder. He seemed concerned about the boy, looking at him with worrying eyes. Before he could ask anything, Kikumaru quickly jumped up and let out a loud ‘Alright!’ regaining his usual energetic self.

 

“C’mon Oishi~! Let’s go already or I’ll leave you behind!”

 

The other boy, surprised by this sudden (but usual) action from him, let out a relieved sigh. For a second, he thought that Eiji seemed lonely, but it was probably nothing.

 

—— transition time-nya! ——

 

All the members had arrived at the clubroom in time, with the exception of Kikumaru and Oishi, who arrived just a few minutes late. After listening to Tezuka and Inui’s training plan for today, the first and second years left first, the main third years stayed behind. Most of them were discussing the schedule for the next tournament, while some were just leisurely taking their time getting ready.

 

Kikumaru was of the latter. But instead of leisurely, it was more like he had his mind elsewhere. He kept thinking about what he was dreaming about, remembering the feelings that went through him, almost feeling a little bit hurt by himself.

 

‘Stop thinking about it. I told myself to forget about it, and yet why do I keep thinking about it? I don’t like this.’

 

Distracted by his thoughts he didn’t even notice someone calling out to him from behind. He quickly turned around after someone gave him a pat on the shoulder. It was Fuji, who was usually kind but had a hidden dark side to him that scared the first and second years.

 

“What’s wrong Eiji? Do you not feel well?” he wore a gentle smile, the kind that you can’t tell what he’s thinking.

 

“N….Nothing! It’s nothing!” ‘Oh my god, why did I have to stutter here! Now Fuji will be more curious about it! What should I do, what should I do-!’

 

“I was just thinking um…ah! I was wondering what’s for dinner tonight?”

 

Kikumaru simply laughed like he usually would, acting like he usually would so that Fuji wouldn’t question any further. Fuji didn’t seem to buy it but he did not want to press him any further and forcefully tell him. The troubled redhead was relieved, he was simply not ready to talk about this with anyone, not yet, much less with him of all people. Fuji was the last person he wanted to know about his secret. A secret he did not even tell his closest friends, a secret he did not even want to accept.

 

“You two over there.” Kikumaru jumped, letting out a small cat-like shriek. “What are you two still doing here, it’s time to train now.” A voice with a serious tone, a face so stoic you’d think he didn’t have any other expressions. It was Tezuka, the poker face captain of Seigaku’s tennis team. He stood a few steps behind Fuji and Kikumaru, who were by the lockers at the end of the small clubroom. Fuji simply chuckled, probably at Kikumaru’s cute little shriek at the sight of Tezuka. It was no surprise that he would shriek like that since most of the members in the tennis club were scared of Tezuka’s seriousness…well, not as scared as Inui’s bizarre concoctions. Those could actually kill someone.

 

But Kikumaru’s reason, well, the second reason for being scared of Tezuka was something different. Something he did not want to admit.

 

“I-! I’ll leave first then! Sorry for being late-nya!” Like a cat who had just seen a dog running towards him, Kikumaru quickly ran out of the room, leaving Fuji and Tezuka behind. The latter two simply stared in confusion.

 

“Why am I like this ugh…” Kikumaru groaned to himself, placing his face in his palms almost wanting to disappear from here. “Why did I fall for him out of anyone else?” That’s right! Kikumaru Eiji of class 3-6 had a crush on Tezuka Kunimitsu! Unfortunately, it was just a pointless one-sided crush from Kikumaru’s side. Why? Because even he wasn’t dumb enough to not notice what was going on between Fuji and Tezuka. Although not for certain, Fuji and Tezuka already seemed like they were together from how they always stuck close to each other. ‘Well Oishi and I are together like that too but we aren’t dating…’

 

Still pondering, he leaned on the court fence for a few seconds before lifting his head up with a determined look. Forming his hands into fists and breathing in, he let out a loud ‘YOSH!’ with his fists raised above his head as if he was cheering for someone, that being, himself. 'Maybe I’m just overthinking it, let's not jump to conclusions yet!’ However, the confused boy had already jumped and leaped too far now, figuratively and literally. After cheering himself up, he rushed to the court, jumping and hugging Ryoma by surprised as he usually would.

 

Fuji and Tezuka had come out of the clubroom right after hearing Kikumaru’s loud cheer from outside. They continue to look across all the tennis courts, observing all the members present. Fuji continued to stare at Eiji, who was now teasing the first years along with Momoshiro. Instead of smiling like he usually would, Fuji wore a serious and worried look. Perhaps still thinking about what happened in the clubroom just a while ago. He was still worried about Eiji’s strange behavior. While the cheerful and sweet-tempered Eiji was quite childish (yet cute), he would usually openly consult for help. Often looking for Oishi or Fuji, whether it was to borrow some money or for homework, he wouldn’t hesitate.

 

“What’s wrong, is something on your mind?” Tezuka abruptly asked. It seemed like he noticed Fuji’s worried complexion despite not saying anything.

 

“No…well, actually there is something,” with a hint of hesitation.

 

Tezuka kept silent, assuring Fuji to continue.

 

“It’s about Eiji.”

 

——transition time-nya! ….y’know like, nyah ——

 

The sun was starting to set, the first years began picking up the stray balls from the courts and putting away the equipment into the clubroom. The rest of the members began finishing their matches, although some continued despite everyone else packing up. Most of the first and second years had already left by the time the third years went back to change their clothes. Ryoma had left with Momoshiro, who dragged him away to get hamburgers again. Taka had left first as he had to help his father out with customers tonight at the restaurant. And as usual, Inui and Kaidoh continued their extensive training after club activities.

 

“Eiji, I need to go to the teacher’s office so I can’t go home with you today”

 

“Eh~~ that’s not fair!”

 

“Haha, stop pouting already.” Oishi waved goodbye before exiting, leaving the pouty redhead behind. “Geez…am I supposed to just go home alone then?” mumbling to himself and huffing as he packed his tennis racket away. Just as he was prepared to leave, Tezuka entered the clubroom and almost bumped into him. Trying to not to fall forward, Kikumaru quickly backed up a few steps. But soon realized he did so too abruptly, causing him to trip due to the momentum. Tezuka dropped all the documents he was holding and grabbed Kikumaru’s arm and caught him just in time. The papers scattered on the floor around this, one even falling on top of Kikumaru’s head before sliding off onto the floor.

 

“I- the uh- you-!” flustered by the sudden dating sim-like event, Kikumaru stuttered and was unable to form a coherent sentence. He could feel his body getting warmer from embarrassment.

 

“You should be more careful next time, Kikumaru.” Tezuka let go of the flustered boy’s arm and knelt down to pick up the fallen documents. “I’m sorry! I’ll help you!” as he said that he quickly knelt down as well and picked up some of the papers. ‘Oh my god, what am I doing, am I an idiot?! Don’t get so easily flustered!’ Thinking to himself, he quickly tried to pick up the scattered documents around him. As he reached for the last one, Tezuka also reached his hand out, grazing their hands by accident. Flustered yet once again, his face turned bright red like a ripe strawberry in season. Kikumaru immediately shot his hand up in response like the chaotic mess he was. Tezuka didn’t seem to notice Kikumaru’s gay panic, despite it being painfully obvious from his expression.

 

Finally picking up all the documents, Tezuka went ahead and placed them inside his bag. Kikumaru just stood on the side, not knowing what he should do or say. ‘Do I leave now? Won’t it be weird if I just leave like this without saying anything? But what do I even say, I rarely chat alone with Tezuka!’ he groaned trying to think of anything to salvage the situation. The captain noticed how the other looked troubled and remembered what Fuji had told him during practice. He took a second to consider before approaching Kikumaru with a question. “Are you feeling okay?”

 

Taken aback by Tezuka, the redhead hesitated and stuttered his words, “Why…do you ask?” he was not hopeful, in fact, he did not have any hope at all that it was what he thought it meant. His stoic face never changing, one would wonder if he was really worried or not. Kikumaru wondered if the stoic captain would show different expressions if he were with his loved ones. The thought of Tezuka warmly smiling at him popped up in his mind and the sight was just too strong for him to handle. “Fuji told me that it seemed like you were troubled by something during practice” and with that, the daydreaming boy was brought back to reality. He didn’t ask because he was worried, he only asked because Fuji asked him to.

 

“I…!” before Kikumaru had a chance to say a word the door opened, making him let out a cat-like shriek. It was Fuji, who hadn’t left yet and was still practicing by himself. Both of them stared at the redhead in pure confusion, startled by his sudden shriek. “Is something wrong, Eiji?” Fuji asked to break the short silence. Kikumaru realized that now the two of them were staring at him as if expecting an answer.

 

“It’s nothing! I was just surprised that’s all~!” using his usual cheery voice, trying his best to pretend like it really was nothing. ‘Idiot, idiot! What the hell was I going to say!’ Was he really just about to confess right there and then, he thought.

 

Fuji didn’t seem fully convinced by that answer but he let it go and went to his locker and began changing his clothes. He told Kikumaru to wait for him so they could all go home together, so the redhead sat down waiting for him to finish getting ready.“Ah that’s right” he said as he reached into his bag and took out a book which made Kikumaru curious. “Thank you for lending me this last time, Tezuka. It was pretty interesting.” he handed the book back to Tezuka, who was also waiting for Fuji. “Hm, I’m glad you enjoyed it” saying that the ever stoic captain had a small smile on his face and his eyes looked caring as if he were looking at his dearest one. Kikumaru noticed this and was immediately struck with pain, his heart clenching and his eyebrows furrowing at such sight. He wanted to leave. He wanted to run away. He didn’t want to see this anymore. So he stood up, causing Tezuka and Fuji to look at him and ask him what’s wrong.

 

“I…I just remembered that mom told me to go buy something for tonight’s dinner!” he lifted his bag and swung it onto his shoulder, “I’ll leave first then, bye bye!” quickly reaching for the door and leaving before the latter two could say anything to him. He continued running, not looking back, trying to forget what just happened. But it was impossible. The more he tried to forget, the more he would remember. The sight of Tezuka and Fuji looking at each other with warmth in their eyes and love in their actions. It’s not like Kikumaru didn’t know that those two were always close since they were first years. Anyone could see that. And yet he yearned for something he shouldn’t have.

 

Running and running.

 

I hate this, why did I ever have to fall in love. I wish this heartache would leave and be left behind along with my feelings.

 

His eyes watering, his heart in pain. Not looking back, only wishing to disappear. Like a pool, his tears poured out. He stops running and stays in place. He crouched down, placing his tear-filled face in his hands.

 

He knew from the start but never accepted, however, now he finally realized.

 

 

I was never in your eyes.

 

And never in your heart.