Sunshine
by Imo-chan


"Ah – Choutarou~"

The drawl is lazy, warmed with hot sun and grass, and Ohtori almost doesn't see him, unused to the short hair, Shishido-senpai half in and half out of the dappled shadows; brim of the blue cap shading the simple, familiar curve of his neck. He has his sleeves rolled up above his shoulders, trousers tugged above his knees, sprawled on the grass, bag and racquet tucked up against the trunk of the tree.

Ohtori feels himself smile before he even realizes that he is; settles on the grass beside Shishido-senpai, knees to his chest, and notices in the splashes of sunlight suddenly, Shishido-senpai's skin as he never has before, even in the showers or the dressing rooms, where it was easy to catch glimpses of guilt-ridden red scrapes and purple-green bruises. But here, with Shishido-senpai's arms folded, uncovered, he sees the pink and white of permanent damage, long, raised scars, the shiny pucker of a violent hit on the curve of a shoulder.

"Shishido-senpai… Y- "

"Aw, don't start." It is mumbled, with eyes closing slowly, and of course Shishido-senpai knows what was meant. "You're too sensitive, Choutarou. They're not that big a deal."

He feels his hands moving without volition, palm hovering over sun-warmed skin, gut still twisted and patched weakly with guilt. Whatever it meant to Shishido-senpai, he sometimes wished he had been a coward and said no. But at the first brush of skin under his fingers, he suddenly feels reverent, honoured, and knows he never, ever, ever could have refused. Not to these fierce eyes and body bursting with pride and strength and ambition.

He traces a long line of raised skin, like a warm vine along the curve of Shishido-senpai's elbow, and there is a low chuckle.

"Ne, Choutarou," Shishido-senpai is grinning, lazily, half-secretive, because they do share something like a whisper, in this. "Whatcha thinkin'?"

"Shishido-senpai is too reckless," he murmurs, wondering if it's even heard.

"I think," says Shishido-senpai, eyes half-closed, glimmer of strength and gladness underneath his lashes. "It was worth it. Don't you?"

Ohtori thinks it is too selfish to agree, even though he is suffused with sun and warmth and Shishido-senpai's smile, and the rough, worn bump of skin under his finger-pads, and so he does.




The End

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