Steel and Cypress

After watching the National semifinals, Mizuki wrestles with his ambitions and fears—at least until Yuuta gives him a push. Drama with Romance, I-4

Character(s): Fuji Yuuta, Mizuki Hajime

Hajime lay on his bed with his arms crossed behind his head. To the absent Yuuta, he repeated, “Your brother really, really irritates me.”

Fuji’s match against Shiraishi had been magnificent. It had been a good match, unlike the one he’d had with Hajime. Fuji had found, not only determination, but passion. Passion that made him truly look like Yuuta’s brother for the first time Hajime could recall.

Passion Hajime had never played with.

The understanding twisted at him, made him turn on his side and curl in on himself, trying to escape his own thoughts.

Did he need it? Was that really one of the pieces he’d been missing? Did he have to… to expose himself that way, to play at the top?

Yuuta did.

Fuji had.

He would be damned before he’d be less than Fuji Shuusuke.

A quick rap on the door interrupted his brooding, followed by Yuuta’s voice. “Mizuki-san, did you see… Oops.” Yuuta’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Sorry.”

Hajime turned over in time to see Yuuta tiptoeing back out the door and his mouth twitched up at one corner. “I’m not asleep,” he said dryly.

Yuuta looked over his shoulder. “Ah? Oh, good then.” He turned around again and came to bounce down in Hajime’s desk chair. “Did you see the tape Akazawa-senpai got of some of the other matches?” Yuuta’s eyes were a little wide. “Are all Nationals games really like that?”

Hajime turned over the various Nationals matches he had seen, in his head, marking the texture and intensity of them all. “Yes, I’m afraid so,” he murmured.

“Wow.” Yuuta sat back, eyes fixed on something besides the room around them. “That’s amazing,” he said softly. And then his focus snapped back to Hajime. “We can do it, though. Right, Mizuki-san?”

Hajime felt breathless, pinned by the burning-glass of that fierce, grey gaze. He had, in fact, little doubt that Yuuta could do it.

Could he?

Could he refuse?

“Yes.” He closed his eyes. “Yes, Yuuta-kun. We will.”

When he opened his eyes again Yuuta was smiling, brilliant and… somehow already triumphant. Hajime’s mouth quirked. What a spot to put himself in, a sensible, logical person agreeing to go forward alongside this firebrand and push both of them to the edge and beyond.

All because he wanted Yuuta to look only at him, the way he was right now.

He sighed and leaned back on his elbows as Yuuta enthused about some of the shots he’d seen, mind already racing ahead in time, tracing the curve of his conditioning, mapping it steeper. He would climb that curve, and win. That was the important thing.

He would keep Yuuta beside him.