Notes: This was originally meant to be for Hiyoshi's birthday as you can easily tell, but you get it now on Ohtori's birthday instead~. 4294 words.



Sideshow
by Ruebert

He did not want to be here.

There were many places that Hiyoshi did not want to be; he preferred places where he would be unbothered and unmolested, and so most of Hyoutei's school campus was frustrating to him when the time concerned was not one of classes or clubs, of training or studying -- but he especially did not want to be right here, right now.

Right here was the tennis club room used by the non-regulars, and right now was afternoon, after classes and practice; this would have been unimportant if not for the somewhat large group of people intent on making it a particularly festive afternoon.

Hiyoshi had no illusions about his popularity; he did his job ably and he did his best, and he was not and would never be flashy as Atobe had been. Despite his position on the junior high school's tennis team, he did not regard himself as a popular person, or one that attracted the attention of others.

It was Ohtori's fault, Hiyoshi had decided. He certainly had not been the one to authorize such use of even the non-regulars' club room, and he highly doubted that Sakaki had agreed to this without some interference on Atobe's part, which was most likely due to Ohtori's influence. Ohtori was the one who liked so much to plot and plan and come up with things like this particular gathering.

Hiyoshi would never, ever have decided that the tennis club room was an appropriate place to hold a birthday party after training.

Then again, Hiyoshi would not have said a birthday party was appropriate in the first place.

It was sometimes impossible to refuse Ohtori when he desired something, whether that nebulous something was a book in Hiyoshi's bag, or 100 yen to make up for the lunch money he was short on, or walking home together when a bus had been missed and ten minutes was simply too long to wait, despite the fact that Ohtori did not take the same bus Hiyoshi did, but rather took a subway train; impossible to deny Ohtori entrance into the dojo, into his home, his room, his life.

Hiyoshi had learned this information with great reluctance -- the strangeness and newness of suddenly having a constant companion who was cheerfully determined to be his friend despite every rebuff and grumbled complaint and tight-lipped, narrow-eyed glare had been unwelcome; Ohtori's seemingly pointless mission to become his friend had been one Hiyoshi had taken a dislike to immediately. Those weeks after his loss in the Kantou tournament had been a trial for more than just him, and he had not appreciated Ohtori's well-meaning efforts to console him after his loss; he did not acknowledge weakness in that way, but Ohtori would not let him be.

It was impossible to deny Ohtori what he wanted sometimes, and Hiyoshi wasn't sure when he became so weak to the other's wants and needs, though he remembered the day he first reached up for a handful of Ohtori's jersey and, instead of pushing him away as intended, had drawn him near enough to share his breath. Some things, he'd decided with annoyance that never entirely disappeared, were unexplainable.

So when Ohtori had placed a hand on his shoulder at the end of practice, leaned down and whispered into his ear in a rush of warm breath that made his spine stiffen that he didn't need to do any more extra training today, why couldn't they go to the club room and change and maybe go shopping, maybe visit the center that Hiyoshi's favorite bookstore was located in, Hiyoshi had ended up agreeing. When Ohtori had wanted to stop by the club room for the other members of the team, citing a need to speak with one of the subregulars, he had agreed again with a complacent rise and fall of one unconcerned shoulder.

Ohtori knew him, he had thought before teeth had gently nipped at the curve of his ear and he reached up to push the other boy away roughly. Though Ohtori liked to tease him too much, in inappropriate places and at inappropriate times, Ohtori knew him.

When the door opened, when wide grins and mischievous voices were gathered in the normal club room, and hands had grabbed him as he turned and did not let him succeed at a hasty attempt at escape, he had thought that perhaps Ohtori did not quite know him well enough. Eyes and touch rather than words begged Hiyoshi not to flee, not to ruin the efforts made by their friends -- Ohtori's friends, he muttered inwardly -- to hold a celebration for him. The fingers gently pressing into his shoulder and smile that went from mild nervous concern to joyful relief when his stiffened shoulders relaxed, when he sighed softly in resignation, made putting up with the group worth it.

He would rather have gone shopping for books, but he would suffer through the party instead, for Ohtori's sake. Later he would insist; for now he sat in a chair and listened to the too-loud chatter of those whom he supposed he must consider his friends despite the fact that they were annoying him immensely. They did not know him the way that Ohtori did, but refusing them their party would be impolite -- which did not bother him, but Ohtori's smile would have disappeared then, changed and grown brittle and false, so he put up with it and ate the food presented to him, and did not complain when their choices were not to his liking.

The sushi had been fine, but he did not like the cake so much -- overly sugared icing that clung to his teeth and tongue the same way syrupy carbonated cola did, that made him long for something a bit plainer and easier to stomach -- but he ate it anyway, hid the slight grimace which would have dismayed Ohtori.

Ohtori did not know Hiyoshi as well as he had hoped, and Hiyoshi swallowed his disappointment that this was so in the same manner as he did the next mouthful of moist cake and sugar, disappearing into the depths of his stomach and intestines where he could ignore it.

Eventually, the conversation would turn away from him, he knew; when small gifts had been presented and placed in a pile to open later, when his embarrassment and discomfort became less of a novelty. It took too long for that moment to arrive, he thought, but he was still surprised when he realized that no one was looking at him, that attention had moved to Mukahi's relating of a story and that the small plate before him was empty; it might not be polite to make his escape, but he had put up with enough for their sake. Ohtori would forgive him, he thought as he shifted in his chair, muscles in his legs coiled so that he could rise, move silently that no one would notice.

Fingers that slid around the back of his neck halted his breath in his throat; a moment's perusal of the group provided him with the simple, obvious answer, and the soothing motion of Ohtori's fingers gently rubbing, drifting into fine short hair made him relax.

Soft breath and teeth fastening in the curve of his ear were his warning before Ohtori murmured into his ear, made his eyes narrow slightly at the closeness -- but no one was watching, so he did not reach up to touch that cheek and push it away. "Come on," Ohtori said, and then he found himself standing. He did not look to see if anyone was watching as they left the room; let them assume they were talking. It was not uncommon.

When they left that room -- Hiyoshi had not expected to set foot in it again once he had moved his belongings into his locker in the regulars' club room, and Ohtori's discovery of that fact had been a matter of great amusement, for Ohtori anyway, who was more aware of the obvious at times -- and moved towards the regulars' club room, Hiyoshi felt some inner relief, masked until they had passed through that first door, closed it and with it the world away from them. Someone else could take charge of the small pile of gifts left behind, someone else would oversee the mess left in the room.

He did not like interacting in large groups; the regulars themselves had taken some adjusting to, but to be guest of honor at a party which included the subregulars and even other members of the club whom would never be regulars or have a chance of defeating him, a party which was not even his idea, was irritating in a way that only highlighted his deficiencies. What sort of captain would he be if he could not learn this skill? A captain should draw others toward him, not push them away.

Ohtori reached for his wrist, pulled Hiyoshi after him through the room; Hiyoshi's hip slid along the edge of the bookshelf and his clothing snagged on the corners of books and binders, videotapes and rubber-banded-together notes, hastily handwritten, as-yet un-inputted information that would escape their web for only a little while longer. He expected Ohtori to pull him into the changing room, but instead found himself moving through another door, into the training room. Releasing Hiyoshi's hand, Ohtori turned to close the door.

Curious, Hiyoshi tilted his head back, catching a glimpse through fine bangs over his shoulder of warm eyes and a grin that was not in any way feigned. That smile relaxed him, and he was about to turn fully when arms captured his shoulders, pulled him backwards against a broad chest and his hair was disrupted by an explosive sigh that turned into soft laughter.

He expected an apology; he expected embarrassed words and an admission of guilt regarding Ohtori's trickery earlier, forcing him into that unwanted celebration. Instead, hands slid up beneath his shirt, lingered over his stomach, and lips met the side of his neck.

"Ohtori," he said, tone warning as he raised a hand to circle that wrist, halt it before it could move further. This was school still; this was the regulars' club room, the training room -- it wasn't a place for any of Ohtori's teasing. It wasn't a place for short-bitten nails to scrape lightly over the skin of his abdomen, for teeth to fasten gently into the side of his neck and bite down in a way that made his stomach grow tight and uncomfortable. Teasing was one thing -- casual touches and too-close whispering were normal for friends, could be overlooked by others. This was something else, something reserved for closed bedrooms locked shut and houses missing their occupants. "Ohtori."

"No one's here," Ohtori murmured against his neck before biting again, harder this time, making his breath hiss softly out between his teeth, his eyes close. "There'll be too many people at my house and yours today," he said, and while Hiyoshi acknowledged the truth in that statement with fingers that loosened their hold briefly, he did not give in, pulling that hand away from his stomach again and ignoring the way his skin mourned the loss of that touch.

"Ohto--"

"Choutarou," Ohtori said, and while this tone was amused, it also held a small piece of exasperation at Hiyoshi's stubbornness. "It's Choutarou, Wakashi," he said, and the correction was one that irritated Hiyoshi; he knew Ohtori's given name well enough, but he rarely used it and found the use of his own to be less respectful than he liked. A sign that someone thought they were closer to him than they really were. Shishido had begun the bad habit, and Ohtori had picked it up, and while part of him admitted that Ohtori was perhaps closer to being allowed to use that name than many others, he still wanted that respect, that small distance.

He didn't understand why Ohtori wanted him to be so familiar in speech. They weren't doubles partners, and even Shishido was afforded the respect of his surname and an honorific from Ohtori.

"Cho-u-ta-ro-u," the syllables breathed into his ear made him jerk away just a bit, and he wanted to snap that he knew Ohtori's name, he just didn't want to use it, but he could see that coming smile already, the slightly-puzzled, half-hurt smile that said that it was all right, but that he knew meant that it really wasn't. Ohtori was much easier to read than some of his other teammates.

"Stubborn," Ohtori whispered, and then chuckled quietly before teeth fastened into the lobe of his ear, tugged lightly, lips closed and sucked with gentle warmth; Hiyoshi made a small noise in the back of his throat and released his wrist at last, let Ohtori's fingers wander where they would. It was true that there was no one else nearby; the rest of the regulars were still in the other clubroom with the other club members.

"It's your birthday," Ohtori murmured, and though Hiyoshi didn't usually care about his birthdays -- the day itself was unimportant, the number of years held in the palm of his hand rarely considered beyond the proper amount of respect he should show his elders, whether or not they could best him in his chosen arena. But it was his birthday, and Ohtori had tricked him into that party, and it was true that there was not going to be another chance for this today, and despite his annoyance he wanted to have those fingers sliding up across his chest, calluses grazing across his skin.

When he had pulled away from Ohtori that day, aghast at his own lack of control, the taste of saliva that wasn't his own lingering on his lips and tongue and his breath escaping his lungs as though he had played a set through to tiebreak, he had thought that Ohtori would hit him -- that his sudden loss of inhibition and the revelation of the secret he had only voiced to himself in the darkness of his room, safely hidden beneath blankets and behind closed curtains would be what destroyed the newborn friendship. Instead, Ohtori had pulled him close and shared his breath again.

Hiyoshi didn't question things like this anymore, but he liked to keep what part of their interaction that strayed beyond the bounds of friendship in private places, secret-kept and locked away. It was not something he wanted to share with the world, this closeness -- he was not Shishido, who so easily called Ohtori and others by their given names, he was not a doubles partner who needed to depend on someone else. He was not afraid to touch and be touched, as long as it did not happen where others could see. He had only asked Ohtori why once -- why him, and not Shishido, when the other seemed so much more suited to Ohtori than he was? -- to feel those fingers pinch his side and hear laughter that was made a lie by eyes that refused to meet his.

So he let himself be guided by hands that slid down to his hips, hooked thumbs into the band of his shorts, steered him towards the far wall, past weight benches and equipment that only smelled faintly of sweat and determination and hunger for victory, let himself be turned and felt his back against the wall and Ohtori's mouth on his own and Ohtori's back beneath his fingers, cloth on the backs of his hands.

They were still awkward at this, still new -- still learning to adjust to the difference in height, to what each of them preferred -- neither cared to give ground in this battlefield, which resulted in unspoken arguments whose ends were battled out in gasping breath and muffled groans, in taste and touch and smell, in bruises and bites and whining moans. Hiyoshi would not rise to kiss Ohtori, so when Ohtori bent his knees so their mouths could meet, he slid one thigh between Hiyoshi's own; Hiyoshi's fingers scraped across the skin of his back, and Ohtori bit Hiyoshi's lip, worried it between his teeth, opened his eyes to meet eyes already open and glaring through a fine fringe of bangs. They held this pose for a moment before Ohtori released his lip, laughed softly, and began again.

It was his birthday, Hiyoshi thought with annoyance as his shirt disappeared across the weight room to land somewhere on the floor, victim to Ohtori's insistent pulling and tugging, and he should be the one who got to win, but Ohtori only grinned when he said this and told him that fair was fair. Nothing was fair with Ohtori, Hiyoshi would have responded, but his lips were caught again, and his protest lost in his throat as the battle resumed, tongues slid and darted and fought for control, pushing and struggling and the one who pulled away to breathe first, whose hips dipped and strained forward, whose fingers pulled across the other's back in long sweeps, whose frustrated whine shook both their bodies was the loser.

Nothing was fair with Ohtori, Hiyoshi determined as a mouth fastened onto the skin of his shoulders, bit and sucked at his neck, as Ohtori shifted his weight so that the slight friction and gentle pressure produced by his leg against Hiyoshi's crotch made him swallow a gasp. Again and again; Ohtori was determined not to let Hiyoshi regain lost ground, force him to concede defeat with soft laughter and hot breath and weight and friction.

When the sound of the outer door slamming open crashed through their self-imposed silence, two pairs of eyes flew open, two bodies froze in place; when voices moved into the outer room, Hiyoshi grabbed for Ohtori's shoulders and attempted to push him away.

Ohtori's hands on Hiyoshi's upper arms forced him to stop, and he glared, pinned between the other boy and the wall, reached up to grab hold of wrists and try to dislodge them. Let go, he warned Ohtori with his eyes, and received only a smirking smile in return, eyes that narrowed and eyebrows that dove towards the bridge of Ohtori's nose; he knew that look, and he tried to deny the sudden rush of apprehension he felt.

No, Hiyoshi tried to say when Ohtori leaned in again, kissed his shoulder, ran his tongue lightly along the line of Hiyoshi's neck and nuzzled his ear, bit into the juncture of neck and shoulder and gently mauled the small bit of flesh, leaving it bruised and dark. No, he tried to say as Ohtori's almost-silent chuckle and slightly shaking shoulders told him that resistance would ultimately prove futile, but the word escaped as nothing more than warm air.

Ohtori couldn't be serious, not when their teammates were in the next room, not when one wrong word, one gasp might alert them to their presence -- not when they might be caught. Hiyoshi needed his shirt, he needed to make this look like it wasn't anything at all. Ohtori's fingers traced lines down his chest, curved around his hip; Ohtori's mouth caught on his shoulder and bit down hard, and his eyes opened, and he stared at the far wall and told himself that he shouldn't hit one of their better doubles players, even if he was moving against him again, thigh rubbing against his crotch in a way that he knew should be vaguely obscene if seen from the outside but which felt too good to protest.

"Don't you want to?" Ohtori whispered, hot breath stirring the hair at Hiyoshi's temple, hand sliding into his shorts, running along the curve of one buttock over the too-thin cloth of his briefs, and he glared until Ohtori laughed, loud enough that his gaze was drawn to the door.

"They'll hear us --" Hiyoshi choked out, and Ohtori's grin grew wider, and he felt the bottom of his stomach drop out at that expression. This teasing had gone far enough; Ohtori wouldn't, Ohtori knew him better than this --

Ohtori's fingers curled together, squeezed Hiyoshi's ass, and Hiyoshi's resulting struggle gained him nothing but a mouth covering his and hot warm breath that tasted of Ohtori and sushi and too-sugary cake and fingers that pinched and squeezed and weight that shifted and slid against him and elicited a groan of frustration. Dragging his mouth away, he tried to cover up the loss and failed as Ohtori released him, moved away and deprived him of the contact which he wanted despite the fear of discovery that coiled in his gut.

For a moment, Hiyoshi thought that Ohtori would take pity on him, declare it nothing more than a joke and he could cover this up, find his shirt and manage to calm down, try to soothe pounding heart and frazzled nerves, force his erection to disappear. Instead he felt fingers fumbling with the button of his shorts, sliding in under clothing, into his underwear, and his gasp was deafening to his ears; Ohtori's eyes caught his own and closed as he smiled, slid his fingers around Hiyoshi's cock in a firm grip and kissed him again.

Hiyoshi couldn't protest with Ohtori's lips an effective barrier against outraged words, and the half-familiar, gentle slide of fingers over hot skin occupying his mind entirely; Ohtori would do this here, now -- if there was one thing he had not expected to learn, it was that Ohtori was not as simple or as good-natured and obedient as he occasionally acted. The thought was lost as that grip shifted, as the hand on his cock continued to move and he gasped in breath from Ohtori's lungs, finding his hands gripping Ohtori's shoulders, lifting his hips enough to thrust against that palm repeatedly.

When Ohtori released his lips, letting his groan escape into the air, Hiyoshi leaned his head back, kept his eyes closed as sweet friction continued; he was so close already, too far too fast. Soft hair brushed against his cheek, Ohtori leaning in to rest his cheek against Hiyoshi's, murmur into his ear as he tried to stifle his own gasping. Hiyoshi was only half-aware of Ohtori's words -- soft strained breath in his ears, the brush of Ohtori's own erection against his hip as he whispered to Hiyoshi to be quiet -- more quiet -- as his grip shifted again and the change in pressure and intensity pushed Hiyoshi further than he could stand.

He tried to be quiet.

The first thing that Hiyoshi noticed when he returned to reality was Ohtori's hand covering his mouth and the taste of Ohtori's palm on his tongue, heavy and salt. His legs threatened to fold beneath him, and it was only his hold on Ohtori's shoulders that kept him from collapsing to the ground. Ohtori's voice in his ear, asking if he was all right, if he could stand yet; he wanted to respond that he was hardly going to break if Ohtori let go, but the words stalled in his throat. Releasing his grip at last, he shifted his weight against the wall and found his footing; wrung out in Ohtori's hands, firm pressure of fingers against his lips.

The rest of the details came rushing back in the sound of a door slamming. Hiyoshi opened his eyes, found himself trapped in Ohtori's smiling gaze, smells and sights and sounds rushing back in: his own breathing, harsh and heavy beneath that hold, fear-sweat lingering in the air, Ohtori's hand gently cradling his cock still, uncomfortable sticky sensation as fingers pulled free at last, withdrew themselves from clothing that was no doubt going to be stained and require careful washing. When Ohtori raised his free hand, slid his fingers into his mouth to taste Hiyoshi's semen, eyebrows pulled together in a smirk as his tongue laved his fingers, Hiyoshi bit him.

"Ow," Ohtori mumbled around his fingers as he pulled his hand away from Hiyoshi's face, inspected the displayed wound; damp teeth marks, not too deep, fading as he watched. Hiyoshi reached up, pushing Ohtori backwards and away, and the other boy did not resist him this time, stepped backwards and let him regain his bearing; Hiyoshi's eyes narrowed in distaste.

"Don't do that," he snapped, looking at the door, shoulders hunching together -- no, they had not been discovered. The voices were gone. The door slamming; that was when. Still safe.

"Why not?" Ohtori murmured, fingers sliding down, rubbing across his shirt. "I like it."

There were many things that Ohtori liked, Hiyoshi could have responded, but he said nothing, shook his head once. His shirt lay on the floor next to the mirror, and he crossed over to it in several uncomfortable strides, leaned over and picked it up; shaking it out with sharp, jerky movements, he glared at himself in the mirror before pulling it over his head and inspected his reflection. Hair mussed and staticky, a dark bruise marring the side of his neck, barely hidden by his collar, cheeks bright and burning beneath sandy fringe. His lower lip, pulled in between his teeth and worried until he tasted blood from an unnoticed split; he transferred his glare to Ohtori as the other boy approached him in the mirror.

Broad hands shaped themselves around his hips, pulled him back against the taller, broader body that eclipsed his form in the mirror; he did not resist, let himself lean back into that embrace, felt Ohtori's erection against the small of his back. "Are you angry?" Ohtori asked, and Hiyoshi closed his eyes and breathed in the moment.

"You're angry." Ohtori's words held no remorse; the amusement in his voice made Hiyoshi jerk away. He did not turn around as he walked towards the door; the steps that followed him were unhurried, and soft laughter sank into his bones and enveloped him in its warmth as he opened the door and stepped into the cold.




The End

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