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Hitouji Yuuji hadn’t thought about tennis on a long time.

 

Okay, that was a lie and little biased. He still played tennis from time to time, and he even sometimes went to see Hikaru, Shiraishi and/or Kin-chan to their respective games, with Shiraishi and Hikaru going pro, and Kintaro trying to find a sponsor, which now was getting easier to him.

 

He stopped playing for a team and started seeing it more like a hobby. When he started college, he tried to find some time to play, it was probably on his fourth or fifth semester of highschool, when trying to find a school he liked, balancing his own weird on-and-off relationship and just life in general that he stopped. Of course he still liked tennis, but he hadn’t actually put on thought about the people he met on his years as a regular.

 

Case in point, he hadn’t expected to see that friendship request on his Facebook profile. He met him on the semifinals, he played against him, why are you guys touching each other? He snorted at the memory, he hadn’t completely come out of the closet, even if everyone knew.

 

“Koharu will be so furious to know I found his Facebook.” He said to no one in particular, clicking on his profile. They had two friends in common, Hikaru which wasn’t a complete surprise since they ended up being friends when both of them ascended to captains and Inui-san, which wasn’t a surprise either, since he added pretty much everyone.

 

His profile was almost empty, the last time he updated it was for his profile picture three months ago, with someone who looked very similar to him but younger, and he was smiling while holding a medal, he wondered if that was his brother.

 

He texted Koharu that night.

 

Outgoing Message from Yuu-kun at 8:30 PM:  do u remember when we played on the semi-nationals?

 

Incoming Message from Koharu~ at 8:32 PM: the first time or the second?

 

Outgoing Message from Yuu-kun at 8:32 PM:  when we played TOGETHER?

 

Incoming Message from Koharu~ at 8:33 PM: lol, yes ofc. That was our first break up :(

 

Yuuji snorted at the answer, and as he changed to something more comfortable, he wrote back.

 

Outgoing Message from Yuu-kun at 8:35 PM:  still sore koharu

Outgoing Message from Yuu-kun at 8:35 PM:  anywyas, guess who just sent me a request on FB?

 

Incoming Message from Koharu~ at 8:40 PM: whoever it was im already jealous

 

Yuuji chuckled, and blocked his phone, in order to do some homework. He had to deliver two essays tomorrow.

 


 

Being out on Japan is hard, which was an understatement. Yuuji thought that being queer everywhere was already hard but being gay in a place where it wasn’t even legal to get married was harder. At least, things did were getting better, and in Osaka no one really cared that much, but it was still hard. He did wonder if thing were different in other parts of Japan.

 

Back when he came out, it was hard. Maybe at Shitenohouji no one really cared, some thought it was a joke, some others didn’t really care. It hurt though, he wasn’t a joke (okay HE was a joke but not his sexuality). Maybe that’s why he crashed and crushed to Koharu so hard, no one but them understood what he was going through. Then of course, pretty much everyone on the team have come out at some time, so yes.

 

He was different, though.

 

He wanted to be proud and loud, he wanted to be seen, just as Koharu. Even if that was a hot mess.

 

He was loud and proud, with pins on his backpack and rainbow patches on a denim jacket he would take to classes, getting weird looks but being okay with it, sharing funny relatable images of what being part of the LGBT+ community is. Facebook wasn't his more active social media, he preferred Twitter.

 

It was night, and he was ready to go to sleep. He had done his homework, and some workout, so he hadn’t really used his phone all day. He was brushing his teeth as he waited for his hair to get dry when he started checking his social media, and he had a notification of Facebook. Kaidoh Kaoru liked this.

 

It was a simple image, of the rainbow that read I make gay jokes, because I am a gay joke.

 

“Huh, I thought he was weirded out by that.” He said out-loud, then again, he was probably weirded out because he was being constantly harassed rather than because he was homophobic, he groaned at the mental image feeling secondhand embarrassment.

 

Later, as he laid on his bed, another notification popped, Kaidoh Kaoru liked this. It was another queer-related image, something about last year’s parade that Facebook reminded him, it was him and Shiraishi, both smiling at the camera as Shiraishi made a peace sign, he himself has holding a rainbow flag while Kurarin had the pansexual flag around his shoulders. Other people liked the image, it was a pretty cute photo if he was being honest, all he’s ex-teammates liked the image.

 

He really didn’t want to think too much about it, but he ended up clicking on Kaidoh’s profile, nonetheless. His profile was pretty much empty since the last time, he did notice that he had few friends added, and three new posts.

 

One about a local play that would take place in a few months, which he found odd but then again, he really didn’t know a lot about Kaidoh-kun.

 

The other was some foster kittens that needed a home, and if the post wasn’t 3 weeks old, Yuuji would probably like it.

 

The final post was one where someone else tagged him. You owe me Mamushi, it read the post, and it was the tag someone and third to appears owe u something Kaidoh put an angry reaction. It was shared by Momoshiro, and it was pretty late, so yeah maybe Yuuji ended up going through his profile, and then jumping to another, and another, until it was too late, and he fall asleep.

 

And he dreamed about tennis, the next day he played against Kenya just because he missed it.

 


 

He had a Facebook Message, which was weird. It was a simple Hello., with the final point and all that. Yuuji really hadn’t thought about Kaidoh in years, and suddenly he got his friend request, and sometimes a reaction here and there on some posts.

 

The message was weird, and he didn’t honestly know what to do. Then again, he didn’t really want to answer right back because that would be just too weird, even if the message probably didn’t mean anything, and maybe, and a big maybe, he was being paranoid.

 

I’ll just finished this part of the project and I’ll answer. Mainly because he had to deliver it tomorrow’s night and didn’t want to procrastinate a lot. He had ended up studying psychology, which was a surprise only for him, apparently. He remembered how Shiraishi told him he fit right in.

 

He didn’t realize, of course, that he ended up doing the project up until 2:00 AM. He did reply though, a simple hey, sorry I was doing homework, but the small circle that indicates when someone is online was gray, so he didn’t expect anything and went to sleep, hoping to finish that damn project tomorrow.

 

On Friday he didn’t have classes, perks of being a senior. He woke up at noon and checked his phone to see if one of his parents had texted him, which they haven’t and rude, but he did have a message of Kaidoh (and two of Kuranosuke, but that was normal, he texted with him every day).

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 7:00 AM: How have you been?

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 12:30 PM: m fine, a little tired tbh.

 

He blocked the phone and went to his kitchen, and when he felt his phone vibrating, he assumed it was Kura, so he unblocked it without thinking only to stared at another message of Kaidoh.

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 12:32 PM: Is this a bad moment?

 

He chuckled, while he didn’t know a lot about Kaidoh, he did remember he was very awkward socially-speaking. He could practically touch how uncomfortable this would turn.

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 12:32 PM: i mean i just wake up, do u need something

 

He replied at Kura’s messages, and sent one to his parents hey im alive. He started doing breakfast, thinking that the sooner that damned project it’s done, the better.

 

Kaidoh didn’t replied, so he didn’t put too much thought about it.

 


 

The ex-tennis club of Shitenouji tried to see each other once a month, normally a small reunion to eat Nagashi while they talk things. He never imagined this would end up as his chosen family, but then again, they did go through a lot of things together, tennis aside.

 

Those reunions would normally end at three a.m. on someone apartment as they drank and continue re-telling things. This time wasn’t any different except that Shiraishi and Kintaro couldn’t make it, since both were somewhere in Europe.

 

That was the reason he was awake, on a taxi ready to sleep because damn Hikaru and his shot contest when he received another message that immediately sobered him up (just a little).

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:43 AM: I am really sorry to be messaging you at this hour. I don’t know who else can help me.

 

And maybe it was because he remembered Hikaru’s call at two am sempai, I’m really sorry, but can I go to your room? You live the closest to the school and i-I need help. Maybe it was because he remembered Hikaru’s bruise cheek They found out he simply said, and Yuuji didn’t had any joke, he simply hugged his kouhai. (Maybe that was one of the reasons they had ended up so close, tennis joined them but something stronger made them family)

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:43 AM: don’t worry, what happen? Are u safe?

 

He arrived at his college room and hoped no one scolded him, still waiting for the answer. He saw the bubble that indicates when someone writes stop and start like eight times

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:45 AM: ????

 

He didn’t really care if he seemed paranoid or weird, he was paranoid AND weird, big deal.

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:46 AM: Yes, I’m safe. Sorry again.

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:46 AM: It’s very stupid

 

Hitouji frowned at that answer.

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:47 AM: something that’s keepin u up at 3 am isnt stupid

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:48 AM: You’re awake

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:48 AM: and also very drunk

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:48 AM: well, tipsy i think

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:49 AM: It’s Thursday

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:49 AM: AND I DONT HAVE CLASSES TOMORROW.

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:49 AM: whaddup, Kaidoh-kun?

 

The bubble started going again, and Hitouji really wanted to roll his eyes.

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:49 AM: Are you still homosexual?

 

Hitouji read the message three times and bark a laugh. He even screenshot. This must be some kind of dark joke.  

 

Outgoing Facebook Message from Hitouji Yuuji at 3:50 AM: thats not something that goes away yknow

 

A part of him wanted to answer something like oh shit bro no I forgot to pay the subscription or something even pettier and rude, but he was tipsy and mad at that text.

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: Yes, right. Sorry.

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: Not that I’m sorry you’re gay

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: Sorry for the weird question

 

Yuuji stared at the messages, not exactly knowing what was going through Kaidoh’s head.

 

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: I think I am gay.

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: And I don’t know what to do

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: I didn’t know who to go for help or advice

Incoming Facebook Message from Kaidoh Kaoru at 3:51 AM: Sorry again.

 

Well, he definitely wasn’t expecting that.