Okay! Since it is the wonderfully lovely Hiyoshi Wakashi's birthday, I have written something for the occasion!

This one's for you Ruebert, since you asked so nicely for Hiyo fic. XD



Independence
by Posterior Praiser


Hiyoshi Wakashi was not a bitter person. He was just simply not that fond of human contact. He didn't like crowds, and he didn't like dealing with most other people. Others seemed to interpret that as snobbery or anger, but really it was only who he was.

Hiyoshi wanted to make a name for himself in Hyotei's tennis team, and was going to fight very hard to be the next buchou. He had been devastated by his loses, but continued to fight, because that was what he was best at. He was never afraid of a fight. He would take on even the strongest opponent, and would never doubt that he could win, because even if he lost the match, he would gain strength that would give him an advantage in the future. Hiyoshi knew tennis, and he knew what it took to win. It was the quality he saw in Atobe-buchou, even though he'd never admit it. Atobe had fierce determination and overwhelming confidence in his abilities. It gave him a distinct advantage over every other member of Hyotei's tennis team, and was why he was buchou. Hiyoshi didn't lack confidence or determination, but he was struggling to find out where he had been going wrong, and how he could improve his tennis somehow, so he could defeat Atobe one day.

"Why don't we play a match, Hiyoshi-kun?" Hiyoshi hated the sound of that cheerful voice. Ohtori Choutarou the benevolent. Hiyoshi couldn't stand the way Ohtori was almost constantly polite and friendly to everyone, like the world was his friend. Hiyoshi was polite, but not in the same way. Ohtori was polite because he thought it only right to be kind, while Hiyoshi was polite simply out of formality, and respect. Hiyoshi didn't like how Ohtori had been made out to be some kind of pet for the team when he was clearly not. Sure, he looked like a person who could be easily walked over, but Hiyoshi knew better. Ohtori was tough, and he was not easily beaten, especially when it came to tennis. Hiyoshi considered him his greatest obstacle to becoming buchou, and there was a lot of respect that came with that...

"Fine." Hiyoshi ran a hand through his hair, and walked toward the court to face the taller boy, who was smiling as he waited patiently.

"Why don't I serve." Hiyoshi watched intently as Ohtori threw up the ball, putting all of the strength he could muster into his scud serve, which whipped past Hiyoshi faster than he could see it. Hiyoshi was overcome with newfound determination to defeat the other boy, and the next scud serve was returned through a feat of sheer will. Ohtori gave Hiyoshi a look of amazement and almost disbelief, then grinned and the match continued. It was a match that Hiyoshi would lose, but not by much. He was pleased at the outcome, despite the loss. He had tested his strength and found that he had indeed improved.

"You will win next time, Hiyoshi-kun. I was just lucky." Words of condolence. Hiyoshi wanted to spit at them. He didn't need kind words, especially from Ohtori.

"I don't need your pity." Hiyoshi walked out of the court, and Ohtori followed.

"It's not pity. It's the truth." Hiyoshi stopped and turned to face the other with a scowl.

"Heh. What do you know." Ohtori's smile turned down and he gave Hiyoshi a look that sent the oddest chill down his spine.

"After this year is over, I'll be finished. I'm a doubles player, Hiyoshi-kun. I will never find as good a partner as Shishido-san, so I will play singles next year, but I will not be buchou. I do not have what it takes. You do." Hiyoshi's eyes widened slightly. He was not the only one who had doubts sometimes. Ohtori was reaching out to him, and he wanted to take the hand being offered to him, but if he did he would be allowing himself to admit he had such weaknesses.

"You are a worthy opponent, Ohtori-kun. You'll do fine next year." Hiyoshi couldn't help himself from feeling warmed by the glow of Ohtori's smile.

"Thank you, Hiyoshi-kun. I needed that." Ohtori put a hand on Hiyoshi's shoulder, and his first instinct was to brush it away, for fear that the other boy might get the wrong impression, and might think they were friends or something. Hiyoshi didn't need friends, nor did he want them, but perhaps he could make an exception from someone who seemed to understand…

"Sure." Ohtori beamed an irresistibly sweet smile at Hiyoshi, before taking his hands in his.

"I have faith in you, Hiyoshi-kun. You'll make a fine buchou." Hiyoshi made an attempt not to smile, but failed.

"If you say so, Ohtori-kun." Hiyoshi pulled his hands out from Ohtori's grip, and fidgeted slightly before walking away from the other. If Ohtori Choutarou thought he was good enough to be buchou, then there would be nothing to keep him from fighting until he achieved his final goal. He would not fail. It gave him hope to know that someone thought he could do it though. Whenever he felt like giving up, he'd just have to think of Ohtori, and he'd know that someone wanted him to succeed.

"Hiyoshi-kun! You forgot this." Ohtori was running toward Hiyoshi with his tennis bag which he had not realized he had left behind. The other boy stepped in front of Hiyoshi, taking in a few deep breaths before straightening out, and passing the bag to Hiyoshi.

"Uh, thanks." Ohtori beamed as he ran a hand across his forehead, and turned to look back in the direction of the school.

"Shishido-san is probably waiting. We usually practice after school. I should go. Don't forget what I said though, Hiyoshi-kun!" Hyoshi tightened his grip on the handle of his tennis bag as he threw it over his shoulder. He would never forget those words.

"I have faith in you, Hiyoshi-kun." Hiyoshi smiled slightly as he watched the other boy run back toward the school, and brushed some hair away from his face before turning to walk away.




The End

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