See and Raise

Mizuki comes to see Yuuta play; so does Fuji; a little silent competition ensues. Drama with Romance, I-3

Hajime nodded to himself thoughtfully as St. Rudolph’s match with Rikkai was called. In a way it was a compliment, that Kirihara had seen the threat Yuuta was early on and played his best to defeat Yuuta. He doubted Yuuta wanted to hear that yet, but he filed the thought away for later, when they planned out St. Rudolph’s next training push. He had little doubt, after all, that Yuuta’s team would still be going to Nationals, once the consolation matches were played.

For now he just waited under the trees as the spectators wandered off and the players clustered around their captains. He couldn’t hear what Yuuta was saying, but the energetic gestures told him it was probably encouraging. And emphatic. He smiled, leaning against the smooth trunk behind him. He’d never really taught Yuuta anything about managing people; he’d never had to. The only person Yuuta couldn’t seem to manage on instinct was…

Hajime’s brows rose as Fuji came down the stands to speak to Yuuta. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who had left off observing the high school Regionals to come watch this match.

Yuuta waved his team off to get on with packing their equipment and ran a hand through his hair as he turned to his brother. Hajime watched narrowly, poised to move forward; this was a delicate moment for team morale and Fuji had better not upset Yuuta in front of his players.

He watched as Yuuta made a tight, frustrated gesture, turned away from his team so they wouldn’t see it. Fuji moved closer; it looked like he was trying to calm Yuuta down, and Hajime snorted. He wished Fuji all the luck in the word with that. Yuuta wasn’t a calm sort of person. Sure enough, Yuuta’s mouth went tight; Hajime could see it from where he stood.

He could also see the wry tilt to Fuji’s mouth and the cock of his head, as he laid a hand on Yuuta’s shoulder and said something serious. Whatever it was, it worked. Yuuta’s shoulders settled a bit and he folded his arms loosely, not tight the way he did when he was upset.

Hajime snorted and pushed away from his tree and started down the stands himself. Fuji had had his family togetherness moment, and now he could just leave Yuuta to Hajime to get on with things.

Fuji saw him coming first, over Yuuta’s shoulder, and his eyes flashed for a moment. Hajime let his own narrow; he wasn’t the interloper, here. “Yuuta,” he murmured as he came level with them.

Yuuta turned with a sudden smile. “Hajime-san! I didn’t think you’d be here.”

“For your Semifinal match? Of course I came.” Hajime smiled back, lightly, watching Fuji stiffen just a bit on hearing the way Yuuta spoke the familiar form of Hajime’s name. Hajime shifted a step closer to Yuuta, close enough to feel the heat of Yuuta’s bare arm against his. Fuji now looked rather frozen.

That was gratifying, but not nearly as gratifying as it was when Yuuta turned toward him, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to be standing so close for everyone to see. Hajime’s smile softened as the brightness of Yuuta’s eyes wrapped around him. “I wanted to be ready for what your team might need after this. Of course I had to see you play.” And if those two statements weren’t quite as connected as he made them sound, no one but the two of them had to know.

He started a little when Fuji spoke; for a moment he’d actually forgetten anyone else was present.

“Well, it looks like you have things to take care of, Yuuta. Are you still coming home next weekend?”

“Oh, yeah.” Yuuta waved. “Tell everyone I’ll see them then, okay?”

“Of course.” Fuji gave Hajime a hard look. “Mizuki.”

“I’m sure I’ll see you later, Fuji-kun,” Mizuki purred and smiled smoothly as Fuji stalked back up the stands.

It was so good to win.

“Hajime-san?” Yuuta was looking at him curiously.

Especially when he’d won someone as frankly astonishing as Yuuta. Hajime brushed discreet fingers down Yuuta’s arm as he turned back. “We can discuss my notes later; I imagine you’ll want to take your team home.”

Yuuta’s mouth quirked. “Yeah. I want to make sure no one gets too off track while we’ve still got another match to go.”

As was only right. “Perhaps I’ll visit later this evening, then,” Hajime suggested, and had to supress a shiver at the way Yuuta’s eyes warmed.

“I’d like that.”

Hajime watched for a moment as Yuuta moved back to his team, marshalling them to depart. Yuuta had chosen him. And whenever he remembered that he wondered if he would ever have a better victory.