This started out as the second version of The Bet but while writing Adagio I decided that this would serve better as a sequel to that. The sequel took this long because I wanted to wait for Ohtori's birthday.



Small Favors
by Wai


Shishido looked at the sleeping boy with apprehension, not knowing how to wake him up. Akutagawa is known to be able to sleep anywhere and through anything. Shishido wondered briefly if Jiroh would be able to sleep through hurricane Atobe too. That thought didn't entertain him too long because the beeper began to beep.

//Hurry up.//

He resisted the urge to throw the beeper against the wall and smashing it to bits. But knowing Atobe, he'd only end up paying for it and maybe even stuck with this job for an extra week. So with a low growl, he shook Jiroh's shoulder. The snore faded for a moment, but the tennis player was still asleep.

"JIROH!" Shishido shouted, voice echoing in the empty room. The only response he got was the sound of Jiroh's soft snores. "Akutagawa, wake the fuck up." He muttered.

"Yo, Jiroh, Seigaku's Fuji is here." Miraculously, as if on cue, the boy woke up, eyes dancing with excitement as he looked around the room.

"Really? Where is he, where is he? Is he at the courts already Shishido? Huh? Huh?" Immediately the narcoleptic boy was on his feet, dancing around the room. Shishido was quick to grab his hand and then tugged him towards the door.

"Later, first we have to meet with Atobe."

"Oh." For a moment there, Shishido thought Jiroh would go back to sleep. "Can I play with him later then?"

"We'll see, Jiroh." Muttered Shishido. They began walking towards the court, where Atobe would be waiting. Halfway there, Shishido could faintly hear the sound of feet scuffling on the dirt. He didn't receive much of a warning when Jiroh's weight fell on his back.

There was a strangled sound of surprise before he looked behind him while trying to maintain his balance.

The renowned narcoleptic boy had fallen asleep on Shishido's back.

Kabaji's substitute sighed in defeat, deciding that the best way would be to carry the sleeping boy. After all, they weren't too far off. And Atobe's the only person who is able to wake Jiroh up without much trouble after all.

It took a couple of minutes and his steps were heavier and he was walking slower than usual, but he had a Jiroh on his back after all. They were a cute sight, really, the nonregulars paused and pointed at them. None of them laughed, but some smiled at the picture they made.

Shishido was happy that Gakuto was off somewhere, although Oshitari was engaged in a game with Ohtori. A match that ended up put on pause as both Ohtori and Oshitari watched as Shishido trudged on with his burden on his back.

"Bringing him to Atobe?" Oshitari remarked with amusement. Shishido didn't have the energy to snarl a reply, nodding at the tensai. He managed a tired smile at his partner, because Ohtori looked worried. But seeing the half-hearted smile on Ohtori's face, Shishido began to worry.

"Are you alright Choutarou?" Shishido asked, stopping for a moment, shifting his burden slightly.

"Um, yes, I'm fine Shishido-san." Ohtori replied. And before Shishido could say anything, the second year nodded at Oshitari. "Oshitari-san, can we continue?"

Oshitari raised an eyebrow, but didn't comment. "Alright." Shishido stared at his partner for one more second and then began walking towards Atobe. Unknown to him, one Ohtori Choutarou was watching his move while playing Hyotei's tensai.

'Why is Shishido-san helping Atobe-buchou? I thought he didn't like buchou very much. And why is he carrying Jiroh-sempai on his back? What's going on?'

He was too busy thinking about Shishido that Ohtori didn't realize that he lost control of his serve, causing the ball to sail well over the fence. Oshitari could only watch the ball fly above his head, chuckling with amusement when he looked at the younger tennis player who didn't seem to notice. In fact, Ohtori was serving once more, bouncing the ball a couple of times, frowning deeply.

"Ohtori?"

"-wouldn't do that. Atobe-buchou would-"

"Ohtori."

"-off the team AND expelled from school! I don't see-"

"OHTORI!" Oshitari rarely yells, always able to keep his temper in check. But he'd rather be safe than sorry in this case. Ohtori had little control over his serve, who's to say that the next serve won't hit Oshitari in the face? It would be particularly painful not to mention it might hurt Oshitari's face. And Gakuto has told him many times that his face is his best feature...as well as his voice...and mouth...and tongue...Ah, but he shouldn't let his mind wander.

"Ah! Forgive me, Oshitari-senpai! I wasn't-"

"Paying attention." Oshitari finished with a nod. "Let's take a break instead, hmm? Why don't you go and save your precious Shishido from Atobe's clutches?"

"Atobe-buchou?"

"Apparently he owes our dear captain something and today is payday." Oshitari walked over to where Gakuto sat, snickering. "Maybe you should ask Shishido."

"U-uh...yes. Maybe I will." Ohtori said hastily, not liking the way Mukahi-senpai was snickering at him and the way Oshitari was smirking.


+++


"Atobe-buchou?"

"Hn? What is it Ohtori?" Ohtori was torn between chuckling helplessly at the sight of one Akutagawa-senpai draped all over Atobe and the fear of being punished for doing so. Of course, Atobe still managed to look dignified. Or at least, as dignified as he could with Jiroh snoring into his neck, arms and legs wrapped around his waist.

He reminded Ohtori of a koala.

"I was wondering why Shishido-san is taking over Kabaji's duty today?" Atobe turned his attention away from the courts to look at him. Jiroh chose that moment to mutter something in his sleep and tightened his grip on Atobe, grin widening.

It took all of Ohtori's willpower to refrain himself from laughing at the indignant look on Atobe's face.

"Tsch. Jiroh! I'm not your pillow!" The sleeping boy merely snuggled closer, muttering something that sounded like, "Comfy Atobe-pillow." Atobe's eyes widened and Ohtori half-expected him to shake the blond awake and demand and apology for calling Atobe-sama a pillow.

Instead, however, Atobe's sharp eyes bore into Ohtori's, instantly silencing the laughter that threatened to bubble forth. "Kabaji is absent and Shishido owed me a favor, that's why he's acting as my lackey for the day."

"But what favor?" Ohtori paused, quickly adding, "If you don't mind me asking." He still feared Atobe's wrath after all. And no matter how much his captain might care for Jiroh, whenever the narcoleptic boy did something to anger him, he tended to take his frustrations out on someone else. Usually someone nearby. And since Ohtori is the person nearest to him...well, let's just say that Ohtori isn't keen on seeing a hissing and spitting Atobe Keigo. Not that Atobe hisses or spits, mind you.

Atobe gave him a look that was a hybrid between "Are you stupid?" and "You're absolutely hopeless, why are you on this team?".

"That birthday present of yours." Atobe finally replied, sighing dramatically. "Did you honestly think that Shishido didn't ask for my help?"

"I..."

"Ohtori!" Atobe snapped suddenly.

"Yes!" Ohtori straightened, eyes focused and sharp as he looked at his captain.

"Go fetch Shishido. Tell him that he has break for an hour but he has to look after Jiroh after that." Ohtori blinked and simply stared at Atobe.

"Ah. Yes, Atobe-buchou."

"Don't just stand there, Ohtori, get a move on!" He commanded, snapping his finger. Ohtori didn't know why, but for some unexplained reason he nearly said, "Usu."


+++


It didn't take him very long to find Shishido, but the scene that greeted him did shock him, slightly. And caused him to blush from his hair to his toes.

"S-Shishido-san?" He squeaked, immediately hating himself for sounding so weak. He didn't like showing weakness in front of Shishido, who hated the very sight of it.

He was used to seeing Shishido without his shirt on--they're on the same tennis team after all, they shared a locker room--but not quite like this before. The older boy was stretched out on one of the benches, his wet T-shirt covered his eyes. He hadn't bothered with wiping his sweat, causing his body to glisten under the soft lighting of the locker room. Ohtori swallowed as he took in the sight before him.

"Hnn..." Shishido shifted a little. He was still for a moment and then without a warning, he sat up, shirt falling on the floor. "Shit! That bastard Atobe's going to kill me!"

"Atobe-buchou asked me to tell you that you have an hour break." Ohtori said, smiling at his partner with amusement, his initial discomfort vanishing.

"Choutarou?" Shishido shook his head, looking disoriented for a moment. "Eh? He did?" Ohtori nodded. Shishido snorted in disgust. "Asked you? You mean ordered you, right? Atobe never asks for anything." Ohtori chuckle, sitting down beside his partner.

They shared this silence for a while, but some words just needed to be said.

"You didn't have to, you know." Ohtori said gently. Shishido gave him a strange look.

"What the heck are you-" Suddenly, realization dawned and his eyes widened. "Oh." It was funny how explanations were no longer needed, though Shishido didn't feel much like laughing.

"Oh." Echoed Ohtori, chuckling.

"Of course I did." Shishido announced, lying back down, head in Ohtori's lap. His partner blinked for a moment, but smiled. "You're my partner and you're my best friend."

"Oh." The smiled disappeared quickly. This time, it wasn't a tease. Ohtori's disappointment was clear and he hated himself for showing it. Shishido hated weakness...

"And maybe," His partner's voice seemed to echo inside the empty locker room. "It's because I care." Shishido paused, looking up at Ohtori, poking Ohtori's side with his finger. "You know?"

Ohtori reacted quickly, grabbing a hold of Shishido's hand and squeezing it lightly. He smiled down at his partner, who grinned up at him in turn. "I know."



Happy Birthday Ohtori!



The End

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