Challenge #2 for 30_romances "The subconscious; Bury"



Shishido
by Hikari


He was pretty. He'd always known it, since he was small.

He ran a comb through his hair. The other boys sometimes teased him for having hair like a girl, but just ignored them. He didn't need them or their friendship. Besides, his mom said they were just jealous of his silky hair, and he knew she was right. His growing hair, framing his still round and soft with baby fat face, which would someday become prettier than any of theirs, was his pride, even as a child.

"I'm Atobe Keigo; I just moved here."

"Shishido Ryou."

Just like that, Atobe entered his life. He'd watched Atobe get better in tennis, and more conceited as a person, but he'd always known Atobe was more human than anyone knew.

Everything went as expected. They entered junior high, and each captured the eye of their coach immediately with their own merits. Atobe eventually made captain their senior year, and Shishido also a Regular.

"Yes, I understand. Shishido will be dropped from the Regulars."

His life changed. Completely.

The ball hit him, but he stood still. He vaguely heard Ohtori asking to stop, but he called adamantly for the next ball. It knocked him down, but he got right back up. He couldn't let this keep him down. He was Shishido Ryou, he wasn't so easily beaten, and he sure as hell wasn't easily defeated. Night after night, he called Ohtori out to the courts for his extra training. Night after night. Ohtori unwillingly complied.

"Is this really necessary, Shishido-san? Can't you train some other way?"

"No. Next."

Ohtori never liked hurting other people. His kouhai would apologize to opponents for destroying them, if he ever went that far against people weaker than him.

He winced, and saw Ohtori cringe in pain also. The boy was too soft for his own good. But Ohtori was gentle, as he softly dabbed hydrogen peroxide at the cut above his left eye, before applying a small bandage over it.

"Shishido-san, this can't be good for you."

"Shut up, Ohtori."

He knew Ohtori was dedicated, but sometimes, it was surprising what - or whom - he was loyal to.

His head felt lighter as the locks of hair fell under the sharp edges of the scissors. He was desperate. Nothing else mattered - playing on the Regulars was more important to him than his hair, his beauty, anything. He heard kantoku and Ohtori talking, but not much registered in his mind, until kantoku asked Ohtori to give up his position. He wouldn't!

"I wouldn't mind."

Nothing else mattered - playing on the Regulars was more important to him than his hair, his beauty, anything. Except, maybe...

He searched all over town before finding the deserted building. He worked away at one of its crumbled down walls, until he'd made a hole slightly bigger than a regulation tennis ball, a little bit higher than the average net. He brought Choutarou there.

"Let's stop, Shishido-san."

"Once more!"

He was a persistant bastard, all right. When he hugged Choutarou upon his success though, things just felt like, well, like everything was where they should be.

Hyoutei got the final slot to Nationals. They increased their training. They wouldn't lose, if only to prove everyone wrong. Hyoutei was strong. They were strong.

"Choutarou."

"Yea. One more."

The sakura blossoms always created a surreal feeling, but he never was one to care for nature. Choutarou was different from him though.

The grass muffled the sounds of his steps as he approached the tall boy standing in the middle of the park, looking at the white and pink blossoms, lost in complete rapture. He stopped, watching the boy for a few minutes. He'd never liked his uniform tie, but his mom had just tightened it for a picture, and it felt stifling. He loosened it, just as the other boy turned, finally noticing his presence.

"Shishido-san..."

"The flowers are beautiful."

He'd never thought he'd be sad about graduating. Life moved on, but he didn't want this part to end.

He anxiously waited for the year to end, and the next to start, knowing that the following spring would bring Choutarou with it. Finally, spring rolled around. The sakura blossomed again. He watched the new first years passing through the school gate, and waited for the familiar silver hair towering over everyone else to enter. It never did.

"Hiyoshi, where's Choutarou?"

"Shishido-senpai. He got a scholarship to a music conservatory in Kyoto."

Perhaps what hurt most was that Choutarou - no, Ohtori - never told him about it, even though he didn't know why. Ohtori didn't have to report everything to him - they'd only been partners, after all.

He figdeted in the unfamiliar conservatory courtyard. The bell chimed, signaling the end of classes. He suddenly felt lost. What would he say? Didn't it seem weird? What would Ohtori think? Normal boys didn't hunt down their former kouhai in his new school without a certain reason for going. He didn't even know why he was here.

"Shishido-san?"

Ohtori was elegant. He personified elegance.

Shishido watched Ohtori's back as the boy poured tea for his guest. He stared at Ohtori's long fingers, gracefully encircling the cups when he handed one to Shishido. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor of Ohtori's dorm room, and Ohtori sat down at his desk chair, pulling up one leg, hugging the knee. He took a sip of the bitter green tea.

"So why're you here, Shishido-san?"

"Why didn't you tell me, Cho- Ohtori-kun?"

"You called me..."

Ohtori started at the use of his last name. He was looking for it - he definitely saw Ohtori's surprise.

Once Ohtori started speaking, the confession poured out easily. Ohtori refused to look at him as he talked, instead staring at his floor. His voice was smooth and steady, as if he'd practiced the speech multiple times. He described how he'd always watched Shishido, ever since he entered Hyoutei as a first year. He spoke of joining the tennis club instead of the basketball club, just so he could be with Shishido. He spoke of their entire time together. Shishido could see the tears pricking at the brown eyes he knew so well as Ohtori drew close to the end of his story.

"Choutarou. That's enough."

"I'm sorry Shishido-san."

There was no denying it now, not even to himself. Not that he would want to anymore, either.

He stood, and Choutarou closed his eyes, as if not wanting to see Shishido leave. The tears pooled just underneath those long eyelashes, ready to spill any second. He walked over to the somehow small-looking boy, and took his head in his arms, holding it close to his painfully, happy, chest.

"Choutarou, I... I've loved you for a long time, too."

This was right.



*rawrs@ShishiTori muse* Why won't you come up with stories? *sigh*
Yea.. diff from what I usually write. But themes like "subconscious" begs for writing like this. =.=;;



The End

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