All the fic I'm spamming you with now is my attempt to apologize in advance.
prompt: hikago; snow ball fight. (These are all, again, from the Drabble request meme.all the Hikago prompts are for Sam.)
Touya doesn't like ice, because it's slippery and unstable, and he has never had good balance. You can't be that carefully precise in everything you do without also entertaining a constant fear of toppling over where you stand.
Touya likes snow even less - it's wet and cold and if it gets in his hair his hair sticks together and mats against his forehead. Even less than being unpoised does Touya like being ungroomed.
Snow days, then, are days Touya steps outside automatically grumpy.
At least they are until the first time Shindou grabs onto him, bright yellow jacket caked in the remnants of his last snow angel, and shoves a handful down his back. Touya yelps and lurches away. The cold water is making its way down his spine, and Shindou is laughing at him brightly, nose and cheeks red. Touya feels his face heat up.
"You idiot," he snaps. "We have a tournament. Have you lost your mind?"
Shindou rolls his eyes. "Touyaaa," he wheedles. "It's snowing. You don't just ignore something like that!"
Touya begins to walk away, or rather tromp away, his boots leaving angry tracks across the mud.
It's then that Hikaru stops him, placing a soaked glove over Touya's mostly dry one.
"After we win our games," he says lightly, casting Touya's consternation aside as easily as he casts aside every other consternating thing about him, "I'll show you how to make a snowman."
Touya doesn't ask how Hikaru knows he's never made one before. He doesn't ask how Hikaru knows they're going to win.
Touya never asks a lot of things.
Instead he shoves a packet of snow in Hikaru's surprised face and takes off running.
When it comes to snow, he may be a novice, but when it comes to Hikaru, the one thing he knows is that he'll always catch up.
prompt: hikago; egg project, hikaru breaks egg.
[pretend this is an alternate universe where Go pros don't have to drop out of school at age 13, but rather have to wait a few years. So. Yeah.]
Akira doesn't have time to drop it off at his house before meeting Shindou after he's through at the club, so he takes his bundle and carefully sets it behind the counter at his father's salon.
He has no idea how Shindou finds it - Shindou says later, staring at the gloopy mess on the floor, that he was just looking for the sodas that the receptionist-lady keeps behind the desk. Touya didn't even know they had a cooler. He blinks a few times, wondering how Shindou knows these things like he's been coming here all his life instead of just two times a week after Touya is done with school.
(He's not allowed to come more often because the janitorial staff only comes bi-weekly, and ever since the Anpan Incident the staff at his father's salon flatly refuses to clean up the messes from their fights. Akira doesn't blame them. They were scraping beans off the windowsill for two weeks.)
"It just rolled off the ledge!" Shindou is saying, his eyebrows twisting a guilty wrinkle across his forehead. "Who gives out such a stupid assignment anyway!"
Akira looks down at the floor. His egg-baby, well, his and that of the boring girl from school he's been partnered with, is currently running across the even tiles of the salon in thin bright streaks the color of Shindou's hair. Akira laughs abruptly at the thought, then catches himself and looks up.
"You can't mess around with other people's things," he says sternly - but the reprimand isn't there, not really. He's thinking instead about how he'll be leaving school altogether in a few months, maybe even a few weeks. He's completely disinterested in school right now; all he thinks about while he stuffs his notebooks full of homework is Go. His next chance to take a title; his next match with Shindou; Shindou's next chance to take a title.
Go and Shindou. If he's being completely honest, sometimes he thinks just about Shindou. His clumsy movements, his shrill voice, his egg-yolk hair.
"I'll make it up to you," Shindou says, leaning his elbows on the counter.
"You'll have to," Akira responds dryly, letting his hair fall forward as he leans in too. "I'm not telling sensai my Go partner cracked my baby."
It's after he says it, and Hikaru's eyes light up in that certain, devious way, that he realizes he's been making the distinction between "rival" and "partner" for a long time now.
"Touya," Shindou laughs, and then his eyes narrow. "If I'm going to be your Go partner -"
He hesitates, and Akira can't help but draw in a breath.
" - I'm gonna crack a lot more than that," Shindou finishes with a flourish.
Then he slips and lands in the egg white.
Akira towers over him, feeling particularly tall. "If you're going to be my Go partner," he intones with perfectly rounded, suave diphthongs, "you should get used to having egg on your face."
When he offers a hand up, Shindou's fingers are sticky.
Akira doesn't mind.
prompt: hikago; kitten [I'M SORRY].
Hikaru brings it home in a little box. It is a box full of fluff and fur and feathers, because he has lined it with a torn pillow.
He names it Shuusuke, even though it's probably a bad idea.
Shuusuke follows him everywhere, pouncing on his feet when he walks and laying on top of him at every opportunity. He has a bad habit of bounding on top of the goban whenever Hikaru is playing Touya, whose long hair swings indignantly, and whose eyes flash in annoyance.
They always soften when Touya sees how Shuusuke nudges Hikaru's hand with his head, though. Hikaru notices this, and it makes him soften a little towards Touya, too.
When Shuusuke gets out through the back gate of Hikaru's house one Thursday morning, Hikaru skips a title qualifying tournament to look for him, rambling through muddy culverts and chasing across dangerous intersections. Touya and Waya show up later that evening and find him sitting glumly on his front steps beside Shuusuke's scratching post. They don't say a word, just help him look for another hour or so.
Waya has said goodnight and Touya is standing awkwardly on the porch with his hands working by his sides, as if he wants to do more, say more, but doesn't know what he's supposed to offer. Something about the way Touya is standing is somehow the thing that rips open the wound that exists where Sai used to be, and Hikaru is crumpling forward and crying, and crying, and crying.
He knows Touya doesn't know, and that he's getting the suit Touya wore to his match that morning all rumpled, and that he's overreacting. Touya holds on to him anyway.
In the morning, Hikaru finds Shuusuke curled up asleep in his water bowl. He remembers the night before, and pulls Shuusuke to his chest, and promises himself that the next time he sees Touya, he'll be the one holding on.
prompt: tenipuri; how do you measure a man's worth? (for arisato).
Kevin Smith is the first to call him out on what everyone in Ryoma's life knows, the first time Ryoma pushes him roughly away.
"It's always about that captain of yours," he says bitterly. "Always."
Ryoma shrugs and brushes off his cap. "Why?" Smith bites out. "He didn't play in the Senbatsuu, he didn't win his nationals match, he didn't even go pro. Why? What is it about him?"
What isn't it about him? Ryoma thinks, and rolls his eyes before walking away; because in that moment he knows that Tezuka is the impossible standard no one else will ever live up to -
and Ryoma's perfectly fine with that.
prompt: tenipuri; what do you think Tezuka and Ryoma would be like if they go grocery shopping together? (for altricial.)
The idea of going to more than one place to buy whatever food you eat is disgusting to Ryoma, so when they move in Tezuka resigns himself to a lifetime of shopping at Tokyo foodmart superstores. This is not such a huge sacrifice, considering that he has also resigned himself to always getting the slightly lumpier pillow, always being awakened at some point during the night by Ryoma's toes pressing into his calf as he snuggles closer, and always doing Ryoma's taxes every year because there is no way Ryoma will ever actually do them on his own.
Ponta is always at the top of the list, whether or not Tezuka actually puts it there when he makes the list to start with.
They have a routine; they always start with the bread section in one corner (they don't eat bread, but Tezuka always buys ramen noodles for Ryoma), then move on through the produce to the snack food aisles, and Tezuka knows that they do this because throughout the navigation Ryoma will find a surreptitious way to sneak all of Tezuka's low-fat wafers and squash recipes back onto the shelves or in the freezers, and somehow replace them with extra microwave noodles, ponta, and dumplings. Tezuka knows he doesn't actually care what goes in the cart, but if he sees something he doesn't like he will wrinkle his nose. An aisle later it will be replaced with sugar puffs.
Ryoma is light enough that he occasionally puts his feet up on the back and rides, which is why Tezuka never lets him push the cart. He wanders the aisles silently, loping up and down and inevitably looking out of place, except for when he hooks his fingers through Tezuka's belt loops and peers over his shoulder at the shelves to tell him (without actually saying so) that yes, he really would like more of the mizo soup they had last week.
They have subconsciously mapped their route to end with the dairy aisle; Tezuka never makes it out of the store with as many vegetables as he would like, but Ryoma never has an opportunity to rob the cart of milk. Like so many other things, it is a compromise as easy for them now as serve-and-volley.
And so is Tezuka's careful attention to the magazine stands as Ryoma dutifully loads groceries onto the scanner; while Ryoma is bagging, Tezuka systematically flips over the covers of Tennis Monthly and People, before Ryoma has had a chance to see and fume over them.
"Domestic bliss for First Couple of Tennis?" reads the headline of the SI cover. They had shared a rare semi-public kiss on Atobe's yacht last week; apparently zoom lenses were more advanced than he thought. He stifles a sigh and turns the photoshoot around.
He feels the eyes of the teller on him and looks up, just as Ryoma pokes him in the side and mutters, "Hey, Buchou, do we really need three air fresheners?"
Tezuka thinks of the dirty socks Ryoma has flung in every room of the house, their house, and glances back at the magazine stand before replying, "Yes," curtly and herding Ryoma out of the store.
Once on the street they replace their sunglasses. Ryoma's fingers hook Tezuka's belt loop, quite unnecessarily, and Tezuka lets his hand rest against Ryoma's shoulder. They merge onto the busy Tokyo sidewalks, and for a moment they are just two people headed home - two bags of groceries and a case of ponta each.
Tezuka thinks of housecleaning, and taxes, and Ryoma curling into him each night, the tops of his feet meeting Tezuka's soles, his knees brushing the backs of Tezuka's thighs.
An extra case of ponta, he thinks, is a small price to pay.
prompt: tenipuri; what if Karupin were kidnapped? (for mordororbust)
Nationals are coming soon, reads the ransom sign (too big to be considered a note), the uneven magazine block letters creating a dizzying black and white surge across the posterboard. If you ever want to see the kitty again, you know what to do.
Ryoma looks up at his senpai-tachi, his face a contortion of worry and fear that twists Momo's heart and causes Kaidoh to let out an involuntary hiss of rage.
"I know," Momo says, trying to keep calm for Echizen. "I know who to contact for this sort of thing."
"Oh, yes," Fuji says. "I can help."
His eyes spring open.
"Hey, fuku-dude," Ryoma says after the last of his own zero shikis has spun to earth and Sanada has stumbled exhaustedly to the net to congratulate him. "That demon guy of yours. Didn't he make the team?"
Sanada's eyes narrow. "He's indisposed," is the cold, brief response.
"Hnn," said Ryoma. "I was looking forward to playing him."
He thinks he sees Sanada shiver.
"Mrow," says Karupin, crawling into Tezuka's lap. Tezuka scratches his ears absentmindedly.
"You can't get careless about this sort of thing, Echizen," Tezuka is trying to say sternly, but it's belied by the fact that Ryoma is a) not listening, and b) attempting to pet Karupin as well, so that his long thin arms are constantly brushing against Tezuka's and bumping against wrists and fur. "You can't use school tournaments for personal grudges, no matter how serious the grievance."
"Che," says Ryoma, abandoning the task of reaching out for his cat in favor of the far more agreeable practice of joining him in Tezuka's lap. "Nothing happened, right? Kirihara wasn't there. And I wasn't the one who did -" he swallowed - "whatever Fuji did to make him disappear. Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed it." He focuses his attention on the bundle of fluff in his arms, and the much larger, equally fluffy bundle cradling them both and currently trying and failing to look stern and authoritative. "I got the cat and I got the nationals. Everything worked out, right?"
Tezuka sighs and runs his hand through Ryoma's hair. "You left one thing out," he says. "You also got something else."
And he contemplates, right before kissing Ryoma thoroughly, whether to confess to Ryoma that he alone knew what had happened the Night They Disappeared Kirihara.
He decides against it around the time Ryoma slips him the tongue and settles closer with a sigh, unceremoniously depositing the cat onto the bed in favor of pushing Tezuka back against it.
After all, Tezuka thinks, it is enough that Ryoma understands that personal grudges should never make their way onto the tennis court.
There is no need for Ryoma to know who had driven the getaway car.
prompt: Akame; Do you think Kame would prostitute himself for money if the need arose? (for keymash.)
Kame's heard all the rumors about Jin in L.A. He's seen the paparazzi and the digicam photos on blogs and all over the media.
He doesn't listen to any of it. It won't affect him; it won't affect KAT-TUN, no matter how often they are asked to speculate on the future and Jin's return.
In L.A. Jin is fine. He's not around tabloids, around rumors and fangirls and his face plastered on billboards 30 stories high. When NEWS drops by for the weekend and they can actually hang out together without being molested just for setting foot downtown, Jin realizes exactly how good he has it here in America -
- and how much he misses Tokyo.
Not that there aren't fangirls - wherever 2 or more members of JE are gathered, they congregate magically like dormant termites seeping out of the woodwork to gawk, whisper, and gather across the street, hesitantly snapping pictures and texting blog updates. But they hover rather than throng; it's different, and being here with NEWS makes Jin more than ever acutely aware of all he has given up to come here.
Ryo has assessed Jin's conflicted state of mind within 5 minutes of getting off the bus. "Kazuya wanted to come," he says. "Just to make sure you were okay. I can tell him you're fine, right?"
Jin rolls his eyes and laughs. "Absolutely - same Jin as always." Then he pantomines running into the window of their restaurant, which effectively changes the subject, since it brings Yamapi running to show him this trick he and Koki learned filming their samurai show using a fake sword and a coat stand.
They get kicked out of that restaraunt, but the night's still young.
Later they go for drinks on the rooftop of the Bonaventure. Pi waits til Jin has had a few drinks before he tells him about Kame - about the poor health and the workaholism and the rumors that he's whoring himself to Johnny and a string of older lovers for his career.
Jin rolls his eyes. "Kyon-Kyon, she's like 40," he says, taking a drink, purposely focusing on the part that matters least. "He hasn't been seen with anybody that old in like a year."
Pi shifts on the balls of his feet and looks down at the gaps in his wife-beater. Jin knows Pi wouldn't be mentioning it unless there were some truth to the rumors - and Pi alone of anyone (anyone still not living on the west coast, that is) would know how true they were.
Jin feels a sudden wave of disphoria sweep over him: everything is changing, everyone is changing. Pi has boobs, Kame's trying to be a real live adult and date real live adults, and Jin -
- Jin hasn't danced since October.
He sighs and stirs his drink. He's not even sure what he's gotten. It's fruity and pink. He thinks about how Kame's switched over to wine and liqueurs only, no more mixed drinks. "Your fake ex-boyfriend," Shumpei calls him. He's always half-kidding but the half that isn't tends to make Jin grit his teeth and change the subject. He wonders if Kame really feels as old as he acts.
"They're just rumors," he says. "If it's worth listening to, I'll hear it from Kame." Pi lifts his eyebrows and gazes a little too knowingly back at Jin. Jin just pops a lime in his mouth and shakes his head. He tries not to think about how he hasn't heard anything from Kame in a long time, and tells himself that tonight, for once, he's the adult.
prompt: nobuta; what's the greatest gift you've ever gotten? (for arisato.)
Shuji hated presents, so the year after they moved, Nobuta and Akira met up at midnight on November 3rd, and put pictures of the three of them all over the place: on the roof of their new school, on the fire escape of Shuji's house, on Shuji's favorite park bench, by the vending machines at the beach.
Nobuta smiled, a little sadly. "These are your places," she said. "Yours and Shuji's."
Akira reached over and poked her in the dimple to push her smile up further. "They're Nobuta's too," he said, "because wherever Shuji and Akira are, there Nobuta is also." He laughed - "Like the Bible!" - and was happy to se her smile growing. "Shuji and I are gathered, so also you are here."
But the year after that, Nobuta wasn't there; she was in college, and Shuji and Akira had an apartment too small to really decorate because they had yet to really move in.
Instead Nobuta knitted them both pig scarves and sent them together, so even though it was Shuji's birthday, Akira got a gift too. Akira liked this.
The scarves came wrapped in willow leaves. Shuji smiled broadly when he saw this. "Nobuta's really good," he told Akira, which meant Nobuta's really happy; she's happy and she still loves us.
Akira tugged Shuji's ponytail. "Nobuta loves us," he agreed. "Nobuta loves Shuji-kun."
Shuji blushed and broke away. Akira followed and took the ends of their Nobuta scarves and wound them both together. "Nobuta loves Shuji loves Akira," he said, giving them one final twist. "See?"
Shuji blinked. "Shuji loves Akira," he repeated blankly.
Beat, heart, beat, Akira thought at his heart. Then he barked, "Yes!" and swung their linked scarves in Shuji's face.
Shuji's expression relaxed. "Shuji loves Akira," he repeated. Then he added, a little dubiously, "Akira loves Shuji."
Akira stopped swinging the scarf and looked at him seriously. "Yes," he said. "I love you."
Shuji looked back at him curiously.
"Akira loves Shuji loves Nobuta loves Akira loves Shuji," Akira continued, instantly blithe. "Happy family!"
Shuji rolled his eyes.
"Fine," he said. "But give me back my scarf."
"No!" Akira jumped. "Mine comes too."
"Fine," Shuji said again, grinning.
And he tugged the scarf off Akira's neck, and wore the two of them, linked together around his own, for the rest of the day.