The Big Deal
Shishido Ryou didn't get what the big deal about February 14th was all about. It was the holiday where stores decorated everything in pink and red and with little hearts that said 'be mine' or 'love you' or any other cheesy line. And sure, as a teenage male, those things were creepy, but it wasn't like he had to worry about it. He was a he, and Valentine's day was the girls holiday. The holiday where they made chocolates and cakes and other sweets and gave them to boys they fancied. Which worked out ok for Shishido because who didn't like an extra cookie or chocolate sweet?
Yeah ok, so making a girl cry when he said he didn't want to go out with them wasn't the best part of the day, but he had felt he had worked up quite an immunity to tears since the first time a girl turned on the water works in front of him back when he was 13. Atobe still wouldn't let him forget the look of pure mortification that had graced his face. He really just never knew a girl could leak that much water, just by telling her not to expect anything on White Day. Though since that time he had learned some tact when it came to letting down a girl's hopes and dreams.
But really, if all you had to worry about was a few tears, he didn't get why guys got so uptight about it. I guess if a guy was really hoping to get a gift from someone they might be a bit anxious but he never understood this fretting and planning and ridiculousness of it all. At least not until he met Ohtori Choutarou.
Now, Valentine's was still a girls' holiday and there was no way he was getting Ohtori a chocolate anything whether it said 'I love you' on it or not. Because Shishido Ryou was no girl, no matter what other regular members might joke about.
No, the problem was, that Ohtori Choutarou, the wonderfully sweet and dedicated doubles partner her was, had to go and be born on Valentine's Day. Yeah sure it was sweet and wonderful and whatever else girls waxed poetic over, but to Shishido it was hell.
Ok, birthdays were hard enough as it was. The expectation of getting your partner something that he would love and had wanted but add that together with the fact that a good chunk of the female population was also probably planning on spoiling said partner rotten with sweets and other presents all day made anything Shishido had planned seemed well… cheesy.
That isn't to say that Shishido wasn't going to get his doubles partner anything. Hell no. He wasn't crazy, and he didn't want those big brown eyes turned on him when they thought that he didn't care enough about him to even remember his damned birthday which was pretty much unforgettable.
So Shishido had spent all of the week leading up to Valentine's Day sneaking off when he had the chance to work on his present to Ohtori. Because hey, he wasn't going to let a little thing like his partner's birthday being on the same day where all the girls went crazy stand in the way of showing Ohtori just what he meant to him.
So as he counted down the hours until school ended and his desk piled higher with random chocolates, he just didn't get why other guys were so stressed during the day. Come on! It's not like they had a partner, friend, and a somewhat boyfriend to surprise with the best birthday present ever. And if he was lucky, he'd even be able to clear up the somewhat boyfriend part. Because a few stolen and fumbled kisses on a practice court at night or hands brushing against each other and lingering a bit too long as they walked somewhere just left too much in the air for Shishido's liking.
Tennis practice was a waste of everyone's time. The fangirls were out in droves and made concentrating on anything impossible, what with the squeals and the tossing of candies all about. He was sure he saw Hiyoshi go sliding across the court when he stepped on some candy on the court but he couldn't be sure because just then Kabaji had walked by carrying an overflowing tower of gifts, which Shishido could only assume was Atobe's. Atobe himself looked completely distracted and kept checking his watch, while Oshitari was suspiciously absent.
Shishido was sure he wasn't the only one who breathed a sigh of relief when their coach called practice early though he was sure he was the only one who received a 'look' from Atobe when he yelled out 'it's about damn time' a bit louder than he'd meant to.
It took him a whole of two minutes to change, and pop up beside Ohtori who gave a cute little yelp as he pulled his head through his shirt and saw him standing there waiting for him. "Still coming with me after?" He asked, leaning against Oshitari's locker as he waited for Ohtori to finish getting ready.
"Of course, Shishido-san. But I have to be home in time for supper. My mother is making my favourite and oh!" He paused from putting his stuff in his bag to look up at Shishido, brown eyes wide, "I did invite you to come over didn't I?" He asked as though the world would end if he hadn't. Not like Shishido would say no, even if Ohtori hadn't asked him exactly eight days ago.
"Yeah you did. And I'll have you home in plenty of time." Because really, how long did it take to give someone a birthday gift and wish them a happy one? "You ready?" He asked adjusting the cap on his head.
"Yeah, it's just…" Ohtori looked at his stuffed bag and then at his locker that was still overflowing. If most regulars got a large take on Valentine's day it was that much worse for the junior who had Valentine's day and Birthday presents piled high and mixed together in one day.
"Just leave them." Shishido growled out a bit more tersely then he'd meant to. "One day won't hurt them." And no trying to haul them all would mean that neither of them would end up with sore backs. Not that Shishido couldn't be tempted to give a back rub if asked really nicely.
Ohtori nodded and they headed out of the locker room, surprisingly one of the last people even though they had left in record time. Atobe hadn't even bothered changing, Gakuto had bounced around a bit before gathering his things and going, apparently Hiyoshi had slipped and had ended up going to the infirmary. And well, Kabaji moved about as slow as his size suggested and Jirou had fallen asleep on the bench. Kabaji would at least kick him out of the club room before he left. But Shishido wondered just why he cared what the other members were doing or how fast they left the locker room when he had Ohtori to himself for the first time all day.
Their hands brushed together as they walked, Shishido leading them to a park that was half way between the school and Ohtori's home. When they reached the swings Shishido flopped onto one and waited for Ohtori to do the same. All day he had seen girls pouring their hearts out to different guys, and yeah, most of those girls didn't have as much on the line as he did if he screwed this up, but it still took guts. And if they could do it, so could he. Because unless he was really as dense as Gakuto teased him about being, then there was nothing to fear.
He dug through his bag and Ohtori just looked at him curiously, undoubtedly knowing that Shishido was digging for a gift but waiting politely as he was taught. Finally he felt his fingers wrap around the gift and he pulled it out and twisted in his swing to offer it to Ohtori. "Here."
The gift didn't look all that spectacular. For all his planning, Shishido had forgotten to actually go out and get wrapping paper and so he was stuck using some really cheesy Hamtarou wrapping paper that was left over from the gifts his mother had wrapped for his cousin. But it wasn't like Hamtarou was completely uncool… okay, so it wasn't the coolest thing but at least Ohtori wouldn't mistake it for a Valentine's gift.
And if the edges had gotten a bit beat up from being in his tennis bag all day, well, that just meant it was easier to open. And really, Shishido wasn't giving the wrapping to Ohtori as his damn present it was what was inside of it. So he waited and waited for Ohtori to actually rip into the damn thing, because having to sit still while Ohtori turned the gift around in his large hands and smile down at silly hamsters was a bit more than Shishido's nerves could handle right now.
"The gift's inside." He said gruffly, adjusting his hat and letting his swing spin around to the right way. That earned him a small chuckle from beside him.
"I know, Shishido-san." Ohtori said softly before finally, neatly tearing into the paper.
Moments passed, silence continued. Shishido found he was too much of a coward to look to see what exactly Ohtori was doing. He had heard a sharp inhale at one point, but he didn't know what the hell that had meant. So instead he waited for some sign or noise or 'thank you' or anything.
His hands was gripping the swing tightly and he was lightly berating himself for getting such a stupid gift when suddenly his swing was no longer gently swaying and hands were on his face.
Shishido was forced to look up into big brown determined eyes. But before he could find the words to say something, lips were pressed forcefully against his. They had kissed a few times, lips brushing against lips, the barest trace of feeling of emotion. But nothing could compare to this. If he hadn't been gripping to the swing so tightly and if Ohtori wasn't balancing him he would have toppled over backwards from the power of that kiss.
If there was ever any doubt of what was between them it had vanished as if it had never existed. Shishido heard himself moan into the kiss somewhat embarrassingly, but he never knew that someone could actually do that with their tongue and that it would feel so good. He didn't dare take his hands from the swing though, afraid that if he did, he really would topple backwards, and while funny, he was sure it would probably kill the moment.
At some point Ohtori must have remembered they were in the park and a very public place because he pulled back, eyes dark, lips bruised and face beat red. "Ah… thank you, Shishido-san." He said politely, though the hand trailing down his thigh was anything but. "For the gift." He added, picking the opened present from the ground and dusting it off tenderly.
"Uhh… Don't mention… it." Shishido managed to spit out after a few deep breaths. And now Ohtori expected him to spend a dinner with his parents? God he wasn't going to be able to look them in the eyes. And he wouldn't be able to stand up from the table if Ohtori kept giving him those searing looks throughout.
"But- Wow." Ohtori said, opening the case and looking at the inside. "When did you have time?" His hands traced the booklet and Shishido found himself blushing.
"Uh, after school, weekends, you know… my brother helped me make it. He has this friend…' Oh god was he really explaining his gift to Ohtori by talking about his brother and his geeky friend? "I know you're into music, and well… I wanted to give you something that was really from me." And there was no need to add that he sucked at baking and didn't think food poisoning made a good gift.
"Really?! Can we go back to my place now Shishido-san? I really want to listen to it." Ohtori said already folding the paper and putting it carefully into his overstuffed bag, the cd case stayed held reverently in his hands. "I mean, if that's ok…" He paused, looking down at Shishido, and Shishido was so tempted to ask why would he give him something he didn't want him to listen to. But instead he just nodded and stood, moving to follow Ohtori home.
To his surprise and pleasure, their hands bumped together and lingered side by side all the way to his house. And once inside and past the parents, Ohtori put the cd in his player and sat down on the bed with his eyes closed. The first strands of music flooding the room and it was all Shishido could do to not hide as his own voice followed.
"Will you sing to me live one day?" Ohtori asked holding out a hand for Shishido to take.
"Eh? Maybe." Shishido said, feeling another blush coming on. He really should have just went with racket strings and some classical music cd. That had been his original plan. At least until Atobe had given him 50 questions ridiculing every ounce of romanticism Shishido thought he had. Atobe had seemed to at least approve of this gift, even if he wasn't overly excited at the prospect. Atobe just didn't understand why Shishido didn't want to fly to Boston for some orchestra performance of someone or other….
They sat together side by side on the bed, Ohtori seemingly enthralled by the songs playing, Shishido trying not to squirm. Eventually he turned from staring at the player and turned to look up at Ohtori. A smile took over his face and he had to wonder just why people got so worked up about the day. If he could impress his musically inclined boyfriend, and damn did it feel good to get rid of the 'somewhat' prefix, then what was so hard about giving candy to random boys?
"Happy Birthday Choutarou." Shishido whispered, pressing his lips against Ohtori's just as there was a loud knock at the door. The two sprang apart and chuckled, giving each other one last kiss to tie them over until supper was done.
Really, Shishido Ryou didn't get what the big deal about February 14th was all about.
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