Strawberry Season

Yuuta lets himself be a little distracted by new things; his team notices; maybe Yuuta doesn’t care. Romance with Humor, I-3

Yuuta didn’t really mind Kaneda’s amused look, when he practically floated into morning practice on Monday. He didn’t even mind the quiet murmur of, “Someone had a good weekend.”

It was true, after all.

And he had figured out, by now, that most of the world could probably tell by the grin he couldn’t stop that something very nice indeed had happened to one Fuji Yuuta. Strangers had smiled at him indulgently on the walk home last night. That was all right, too. Everything in the whole world was all right, because he could still remember how Mizuki-san’s desk chair felt under him, and the warmth of Mizuki-san’s hand on his shoulder, and the way Mizuki-san’s eyes turned softer as he leaned over Yuuta, and the slide of Mizuki-san’s lips moving against his.

He guessed it probably was distracting him, though, because it took him a while to pay attention to the whispering behind him.

“…just happy for Fuji-buchou that Mizuki-senpai finally made a move,” Miyamoto said.

“Yes, but his timing could have been a bit better,” Ogata murmured back, dryly.

A snort that sounded like Mori. “What, his timing was great. Now maybe Yuuta will chill out on us, a little.”

The silence that followed that made Yuuta glance over his shoulder, curious. He found all three of the now-second years giving Mori the look of (mostly) dutiful kouhai who thought they had the world’s greatest idiot for a senpai.

“Fuji-buchou? Chill out?” Kimura scoffed. “Just because he got… well, whatever he got last night? Not a chance.”

“I think I have to agree, Senpai,” Ogata put in. “It’s less than a month to the start of tournament season. I bet he’ll be himself by afternoon practice.”

“Two onigiri says it’s by the end of morning practice,” Miyamoto came back, promptly.

Kimura looked thoughtful. “Kind of depends on just what happened last night, doesn’t it?”

Yuuta took a few moments to will the heat out of his face before he spun around and barked, “Okay, twenty laps and then pinpointing practice, everybody!”

Everyone stretched and groaned and started running, and Yuuta might have escaped the morning with at least a little dignity. Except that he heard Miyamoto whisper to the other two, as the second years passed him, “Told you.”

It didn’t help that Kaneda was trying not to snicker while he jogged beside Yuuta.

“Kaneda,” Yuuta growled, knowing he was more flushed than exercise could excuse, “they are betting on my personal life.”

“Yeah.” Kaneda caught his breath, though the corners of his mouth still twitched. “They have been for months.”

“WHAT?”

Kaneda lost his stride for laughing and Yuuta could only take a little comfort in the fact that his second years looked back at them and decided it would be a good idea to run faster.


“Yuuta,” Mizuki-san said, closing Yuuta’s door behind him, “is there any reason why Ogata-kun gave me an extremely knowing smile on my way up the stairs?”

Yuuta groaned and pulled his pillow over his head.

A moment of silence. “I see.” Mizuki-san sighed and the bed dipped as he sat on the edge beside Yuuta. “Well, I suppose gossip gets around sooner or later.”

“I am going,” Yuuta gritted out, “to make them run laps until they don’t have any breath left to gossip with.”

Mizuki-san laughed. “That will do well all around, I’m sure.” He tugged on Yuuta’s pillow. “In the meantime, they’re not here. And I am.”

Yuuta let the pillow slide away and looked up ruefully. “You are.” He reached up to run a hand down Mizuki-san’s arm, just because he could. “How is your club going?”

“We have ten members, three of whom may conceivably be useful.” Mizuki-san slipped his fingers around Yuuta’s, looking thoughtful. “One of them might even make a new partner for Yanagisawa, who is still complaining of having lost Kisarazu. I have my doubts whether we will be able to move beyond Prefecturals this year; too many of the strong teams have too much continuity.” He smiled, looking satisfied in a catlike way. “But a loss at that stage, this year, will spur them on for next.”

Yuuta hesitated a moment before saying, “You’re going to try, though, right?”

Mizuki-san lifted a brow at him. “Of course.” His eyes glinted. “I have never taken a loss willingly, Yuuta-kun.”

Yuuta relaxed, smiling. That was true; it would be all right.

Mizuki-san’s eyes narrowed and he leaned over Yuuta, one hand slipping up to cup Yuuta’s face. “I’ve spent a great deal of effort on catching something of drive and passion. I have no intention of letting it go again.”

Yuuta was pretty sure Mizuki-san wasn’t just talking about tennis, and that made him feel warm and tingly all over. Which probably meant he was blushing again. He didn’t care. “Mizuki-san.” He reached up to touch the curve of Mizuki-san’s lips.

Mizuki-san leaned down to him, and this kiss was a lot more involved than the last one. He’d probably remember this one for days. But while Mizuki-san’s tongue was stroking his Yuuta couldn’t remember why that might not be a completely fantastic thing.

He’d worry about it later.

End

A/N: Ogata and Miyamoto were created by Lys ap Adin, for St. Rudolph’s next generation, and are used by permission.