This story is a lot shorter than I wanted it to be. I hate it when the story ends before I'm finished. XD;;



Really Something Else
by Cheeseburger of Doom


Hiyoshi made a good captain, as far as tennis went. He knew how to make things work both on paper and on the tennis court; it was interacting with his team that gave him trouble. Getting along with them wasn't important because it really didn't affect the game; still, it would have helped to understand them, sometimes, when they were snickering behind his back.

That was where his vice-captain came in handy, though. Ohtori was much better with people than he was, even though they took advantage of his good nature sometimes. Hiyoshi could see when they got out of line, and would put them back in their place -- that was what made them a good team.

Hiyoshi wasn't used to being part of a team, and sometimes it irked him -- but he knew, somehow, that he wouldn't be able to do it if Ohtori wasn't there. That dependence wasn't something he was comfortable with, and he wished it had never happened -- but there it was, and it didn't look like it was going away anytime soon.

*

Sometimes Ohtori understood things without having to be told; Hiyoshi wondered how he did it. Even if he didn't say he was upset, Ohtori seemed to know; he would be there with a had on his shoulder when he needed it the most, and even if Hiyoshi shrugged away from the contact and went off to be by himself -- he still appreciated it.

Ohtori seemed to understand that -- and it confused Hiyoshi to no end.

He didn't even understand his need for the attention himself.

*

Ohtori was a very mild person, but even mild people get angry. Hiyoshi knew that, but he was still surprised to walk in on Ohtori fighting with another of the team members; really fighting, fists and all. He broke it up quickly, and told the other guy to get lost.

"What happened?" Hiyoshi asked. His curiosity was getting the better of him. Had Ohtori said something to make the guy so angry that he'd actually start a fight with him? Ohtori didn't say things like that very often -- in fact, Hiyoshi couldn't remember every witnessing that. There was also the possibility that the other guy had said something to make Ohtori angry enough to actually start the fight, but what would have made him that angry?

"It was nothing, really," Ohtori replied.

Hiyoshi didn't believe that for a second. Ohtori had never been the type to get into fights for no reason; in fact, he made a point of avoiding fights before they happened. He was a pacifist, or something -- and these days, he helped to keep Hiyoshi out of fights. His reputation had to stay good, or he wouldn't remain captain; Ohtori had been making sure that he kept out of trouble.

"It wasn't nothing," Hiyoshi said. "What happened?" Maybe it was none of his business, but he felt that he had at least some right to know what was going on in his own club, especially if it involved his vice-captain.

"He said something I didn't like," Ohtori said. "I got mad."

"So you punched him because he said something you didn't like?"

Ohtori looked away. Hiyoshi could hardly believe it. What could have possibly made Ohtori that angry?

"What did he say?"

"I don't --" Ohtori looked his way again, and saw the annoyed look on Hiyoshi's face. He sighed. "He said something about you. I didn't like it."

"You got that mad over something he said about me?" That was a surprise. "People talk about me all the time." He knew, because he could hear them whispering behind his back. He didn't care, really. They could talk all they wanted, if they were too afraid to take up their problems with him in person.

"Sorry," Ohtori said.

Hiyoshi didn't know whether to be angry or elated. The first option seemed easier than the second; he didn't know how to deal with that kind of happiness, especially since he wanted to keep on denying his feelings.

"Don't do it again," Hiyoshi said. "You know better."

"Yeah."

Hiyoshi touched Ohtori's face, and hoped Ohtori was wincing in pain rather than at his touch -- though he didn't really want Ohtori to be in pain, the other would have been much worse, somehow.

"You should put something on your eye," he said.

"I will. Thank you." Ohtori smiled; he smiled easily, which was something that Hiyoshi really didn't understand.

"For what?" he asked.

"For worrying."

Hiyoshi shrugged, and then left Ohtori to his thoughts. He wanted to be alone with his own.

*

Ohtori was always there, even when Hiyoshi was trying to trick himself into believing that he really just wanted to be alone. Ohtori was always there, even if Hiyoshi told him to go away. He took a lot for Hiyoshi's sake; accepted Hiyoshi's angry growls without ever getting angry at him.

Ohtori was really something else, and Hiyoshi didn't get it.

*

When had Ohtori Choutarou become so important to him?

*

"You tried your best," Ohtori said. "Winning isn't everything, even if everyone seems to think it is."

The rules were different now, and Hiyoshi could still be captain even if he'd lost; that still didn't make him feel any better. He wanted to win, wanted to prove to the world that he was the best -- even if he wasn't. He wanted to prove to the world that he could do it, even if no one thought that he could.

There was one person that thought he could do it, though; one person who had absolute faith in him.

"You'll win next time," Ohtori said. Hiyoshi almost laughed; yes, he'd win next time -- because if he lost, then he would have to give up tennis, because he wasn't good enough anymore. He wouldn't stand for another failure; not in his team, not in himself.

"Hiyoshi?"

Hiyoshi grabbed Ohtori by the shoulders and kissed him, roughly; he was always rough, and didn't really know another way. When he realized what he was doing, he pulled back right away -- only to see a soft look in Ohtori's eyes that made his heart beat painfully.

"Sorry," he mumbled. He wanted to run away, but his feet were apparently glued to the floor. Maybe it was a good thing that he couldn't run, because he didn't think that his legs would have supported him, anyway.

"It's okay," Ohtori said.

Hiyoshi wanted to ask what he meant by that. Did he mean that it was okay because he would just forget it and pretend that nothing had changed, or okay because he liked it, and he wanted it to happen again? Hiyoshi didn't know what to do anymore; Ohtori never got less confusing, only more so.

Ohtori answered all his unasked questions by pulling him back for another kiss; this one wasn't rough, but it wasn't Hiyoshi's idea, this time.

He wondered once again why Ohtori seemed to understand him so well; why Ohtori knew what to do even while Hiyoshi hesitated.

He didn't know when Ohtori had started to mean this much to him. He didn't know just when his dependence on Ohtori's presence and understanding had begun, but it was so strong, now. Hiyoshi had no idea why he cared so much when Ohtori defended him, or said something nice to him, or gave him a pat on the back when he needed it --

Hiyoshi didn't understand any of it, but he was grateful for it anyway. He was grateful, even if it was all against his will.




The End

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