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tony browraise

sarisia in desert_mamushi

Prince of Tennis - "Hazards of Holidays"

Title: Hazards of Holidays
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Characters: Kaidoh, Fuji, other Seigaku regulars
Rating: PG
Summary: Kaidoh has very good reasons for not liking Valentine's Day. Well, this holiday doesn't care.


Valentine's Day.

Quite possibly the only holiday that Kaidoh perceived with as much apprehension as he did Halloween, Valentine's Day proved again and again that there was an unlikely chance that anyone in this school - this city - could look upon his rugged, harsh-speaking countenance without scurrying away in fear. At least, no one worth mentioning.

There was Inui, Kaidoh noticed out of the corner of his eye. Just one centimeter beyond his designated personal space (approximately the length of his racket in all directions), Inui was scribbling things into a notebook. His backpack was at his feet; out of a pocket on the side, Kaidoh could see two slightly pink envelopes and a slender box of chocolates peeking at him. But Inui was not interested in Valentine's Day as anything other than a study of interpersonal relationships and sociology. He would hardly be sympathetic to Kaidoh's very justifiable reasons for not liking Valentine's Day, even if he would tell Kaidoh that they were fascinating reasons.

Ryoma, of course, could stand reasonably close without any adverse effects, sipping thoughtfully on a can of Ponta or making short, insightful comments about someone's tennis play that sometimes meant something to Kaidoh. After a lingering look at the shorty at his side, which Ryoma returned with a raised eyebrow ("You're not taking after Tezuka-buchou, are you?") and a lingering look of his own, Kaidoh decided that confiding in an underclassman would not be good for his image. Besides, the shopping bag full of valentines at Ryoma's feet was enough to say that the tennis prodigy had no hard feelings about today, as he was receiving free gifts without any needed intention of returning the favor.

And Momoshiro, too, got unreasonably near, already waving several of his valentines in Kaidoh's face - a little sneering at the way Kaidoh shoved him off his shoulders, but mostly too giddy at the idea that there were girls in the school that liked him. Kaidoh didn't even bother thinking about talking with that annoying bastard. No doubt, his rival would merely laugh the matter off and tell Kaidoh to get into the mood of the holiday ("Enjoy what valentines you do get, Mamushi. Enjoy it!") without listening to what his reasons were in the first place.

And he had very, very good reasons.

Well, one especially good reason.

Fuji Shyuusuke - a good reason by anyone's standards - was approaching with Tezuka-buchou, the screeching flock of their combined admirers (guys and girls alike) and several of the freshman tennis club members, who were carrying boxes full of pink, red, and white slips of paper, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, plushies, and two autographed pictures of Atobe addressed to each Fuji and Tezuka-buchou.

On top of that, he had ice cream.

With a gentle smile (the creepy one, Kaidoh's mind noted, that could easily make those who knew him start quaking in terror) and a hand curling a lock of hair behind his ear, Fuji broke formation, leaving Tezuka and the freshmen with a mysterious smile. The fans froze - obviously quite torn with their dilemma of following the tennis prodigy or the silent-type captain. It seemed fortunate that Ryoma scooted toward Tezuka before the captain could nod at him, simultaneously solving the fans' issue ("It's Tezuka- and Ryoma-sama! ♥!") and making room for Fuji at the fence.

And Fuji-sempai still had the ice cream. He did not, in fact, look like he was going to give up the treat any time soon. Even though they'd been told ages ago to never bring food near the courts.

To show just how much he so knew that his senior was breaking the rules: "Fuji-sempai..." on a long sigh.

But that only made Fuji smile - as if to say, 'Yes, I know I'm being bad and what're you going to do about it?' - and that made Kaidoh go wide-eyed. Then Fuji smiled more.

"Would you like some, Kaidoh-kun?" Fuji asked - too sweetly with that smile of his. "It's strawberry."

He imagined eating the ice cream - his mouth touching the places that Fuji's mouth had touched - and blushed intensely while he bristled at the idea that the vivid pink shade of color that the dessert sported could make it any other flavor than strawberry.

Strawberry with sprinkles.

"I can see that, Fu-!" His words choked off when Fuji's tongue caught an errant sprinkle trying to escape over Fuji's fingers and down the cone. A low sound, like a whine, slipped past Kaidoh's lips (No one should do things like that in public!). "Fuji-sempai!"

"Or I could buy you a different one," Fuji suggested as if Kaidoh hadn't said or done anything out of the ordinary, "if you'd like." Another lick.

Kaidoh heard - in the silence that he let creep in - Inui scribbling something rapidly in his notebook again. He didn't dare look to see if the data collector was watching. Fearing another embarrassing noise would escape, Kaidoh bit his lip and kept his eyes firmly on the ice cream cone while he shook his head.

"I- I don't want to be a bother, sempai."

"It'd be a pleasure," Fuji said, seeming to purr. Then, off Kaidoh's darkening blush and the quick lick of his lower lip: "Do you like strawberry?"

He didn't as a matter of fact, but then again, he was beginning to think Fuji wasn't referring to ice cream at all. Because Valentine's Day was stupid like that, making people say things without saying anything at all so that they could brush off their comments as if they were nothing. And it seemed, despite Fuji's evident untouchability in most cases, Valentine's Day did not even spare tennis prodigies from an increased need to imply everything in nothing.

And knowing this, Kaidoh realized that his sempai needed to be saved. He opened his mouth, entirely prepared to tell Fuji to spit out whatever he was trying to say, but instead, as he lifted his gaze to meet Fuji's, his eyes caught the triple bars of seniority on Fuji's jacket. He remembered - too quickly - that the other boy was a third-year, and he worried for a moment that maybe Fuji really was just talking about ice cream.

Because Fuji-sempai was weird like that.

The only thing left to do (other than running away, which Kaidoh would never do... at least, not when the problem was already staring at him) was to play by the rules that Valentine's Day had so graciously set up for him.

He spoke in code.

"I prefer mango and green melon with a vanilla wafer stick," Kaidoh told Fuji in as flat a tone as he could manage (quite flat, really) and mentally, flipped Valentine's Day the bird. Maybe that would teach the holiday a lesson.

When Fuji winced a little - probably at the difficulty of finding a vendor that had that kind of combination - Kaidoh nearly recanted. He opened his mouth again - oh, yes, again - this time, to say he didn't mean it. But he ended up taking it back in a way he didn't expect.

He laced his fingers with Fuji's as he took the ice cream cone from his senior. He even smiled as he tasted it and said: "But strawberry's fine."

And while Fuji grinned at him - eyes sparking in that eternally disturbing caught you way - Kaidoh got the distinct impression that Valentine's Day hadn't cared in the least about his very, very good reasons for disliking it.

x-posted to: desert_mamushi (The FujiKai comm), mamushi_love (Kaidoh's fanclub) and tenipuri_yaoi
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December 2009

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