FANDOM: Prince of Tennis
PAIRING/CHARACTERS: SaeRyou, with appearances from Bane and Atsushi
GENRE: general, humor
SUMMARY: AU. The new kid looks like a girl, sounds like a girl, he even feels like one. But when curiosity tempts Sae to find the truth out once and for all, what he comes across instead is a topsy-turvy friendship of sorts. (2200+ words)
NOTES: Written for rokkaku_chu, using lyuna's prompts: teenage curiosity gone too far; girlfriends.
The first time Sae catches a glimpse of the new kid in his class, they are at the neighborhood playground by the swings. Sae has chosen to sit on one of his favorite wooden benches, a grilled cheese sandwich filling his mouth; whilst the new kid, directly in front of him, is seated on the last perch, a soft gust of wind pushing him to and fro.
He remembers a waterfall of long ebony hair, his eyes darting down from the boy's white cap to his seemingly narrowed eyes, before Sae stops at his mouth, one drawn into a scowl. And it takes a few more seconds for him to realize that the boy is staring right back at him, that he is glaring daggers truth be told. To which Sae scratches his chin, embarrassed, and promptly turns away. Getting caught isn’t any fun at all.
The slight warmth on his cheeks, his rapidly beating heart (tha-dump, tha-dump, tha-dump), and that mad ringing in his ears lead him to believe that it is probably the beginnings of a crush. And it is just as well, the boy is beautiful; presumably moody and somewhat awkward, but definitely beautiful, a kind of allure which promises to grow in time. He can barely keep his posture straight, sandwich forgotten. But then the boy might still be watching him, so he’d rather not make any sudden movements. It’s ridiculous.
What he would really like to do is rush home and tell Bane all about it, tell Bane he is going to make that new kid his bride someday, after a bit of persuasion and a few of those romantic dates he’s read about in magazines – he’d probably like those. Only, of course, Sae doesn’t know yet that the boy is indeed actually a boy. And it evidently takes a while for him to figure it out.
The second time they meet, Sae is leaning forward on his desk not really paying attention to their homeroom teacher drone on and on about the upcoming festival and what they should bring and what they should ask their mothers to prepare, until there is a collective pause. Metaphorical spotlight, check. He slowly pulls his head up to see what the fuss is all about and wonder of wonders, finds that murderous chill of a gaze pointed in his direction, recognition obvious.
He thinks it must be fate. How else could you possibly explain it? While their teacher introduces the kid as Kisarazu Ryou (a funny, somewhat odd name for a girl), he studies the way she strides through the door, grace and natural aloofness adding to her appeal. It hardly puts him off, though there are warning bells sounding in his ears. And Sae pays them no heed.
Ryou-chan is asked to sit beside one of the other girls up front, all pigtails, generous cleavage and shiny, moist lips – which she must take hours glossing up in front of her mirror, Sae doesn’t really know much about it – next to Ryou-chan’s measurably demure appearance. Sae doesn’t care for makeup anyway, he likes that his future bride looks as fresh as a spring breeze, clean and uncomplicated, untouched perhaps. In the back of his mind though, he kind of wishes she’d grow bigger breasts. But hey, a guy can dream. And they are only fourteen, so in any case, there’s still time.
Bane shoots him a curious look and he silently gestures that he’ll tell him about it later. Just as the teacher leaves, he’s out of his seat, quick on his feet, waiting behind a group of their classmates, waiting to meet Ryou-chan for real. He can already hear her voice, soft, edgy, a tad irritable. He grins; she had spunk, he’d give her that.
“So Kisarazu-kun just moved here? From where?”
“Tokyo.” It is short, simple, sweet. Ryou-chan doesn’t like the crowding and Sae can’t blame her. They’re looking down at her as if she is a piece of meat, hardly the best first impression. Everyone wants to know about the new kid, a shiny new toy.
“Puppies or kittens?”
“…Kittens. Why does it matter?”
“Are you an only child?”
“No, I have a twin brother.” Sae hangs off of every word, nodding at the right intervals. Vaguely, he wonders what Ryou-chan’s brother is like. Is he taller? Broader on the shoulders? Does he have the same adorable frown?
“Just you and your brother then?”
“Yeah, Mom wanted girls but she got stuck with us.”
“Isn’t it awesome though? Then you wouldn’t have to worry about your sibling taking too long in the shower.” Yes, yes, that was true.
“And girls have cooties after all.” Some of them did, the other boys agree, the girls roll their eyes, but Sae is pretty sure Ryou-chan doesn’t have any since he isn’t a girl after—
Wait, wait, wait. Backtrack. Sae blinks. By then, he is positioned at Ryou-chan’s side, studying her in shock, which soon basically morphs into muted horror, shadowed eyes, mouth hanging open. Because Ryou-chan is glaring up at him, anticipating what he might decide to ask, another stupid question no doubt, almost as if she is silently mocking him. And Sae can’t think of a thing to say (either to humor her – him, or prove him right, wrong) besides, “Y-You’re a boy?”
In reply, Ryou-chan looks as if he might jump up, out of his seat, and wring Sae’s neck for good measure. He is probably fully capable of doing that, too. Needless to say, Sae doesn’t stick around to find out.
“Of course Kisarazu-kun’s a boy. What were you thinking, Sae?” The question is lost on him as he slinks back to his seat, their next teacher having just entered the classroom. But besides the stray inquiry about what they’re planning to do for the festival (“What about a maid café?”), Sae can’t think of much else. Beaten, battered, defeated.
“You want to what?” Bane is staring at him as if he might be crazed, out of his mind. And it isn’t too far off. Sae nods his affirmation and gestures to the quiet ‘boy’ seated inside the classroom. Everyone else has gone off to lunch. But Ryou-chan prefers to sit by himself, watching the pink sakura petals float to the ground. The kid is munching on a homemade bento, octopi wieners and some nori wraps; seemingly oblivious to everything else. Sae knows better.
“You think it’s suspicious too, right? Ryou-chan doesn’t look like a boy, he doesn’t even sound like one, let alone act like one.” There are bags beneath his eyes, as if Sae has been working on his little plan of action for nights – a maniac. Bane vaguely wonders if he really is that infatuated, if this is some sort of prelude to countless nights of heartbroken wailing – which is improbable for his friend, sure, though not entirely impossible. He chooses not to ask it aloud. When Sae has his mind on something, he normally pushes through. That’s it, that’s gotta be it.
“So you want to peep on him in the showers?” As the question leaves his lips, the taller boy immediately regrets it. Sae looks as if a trigger has been tripped. Yes, I’m onboard with you. All he needed to hear. Bane can already envision the after-school repercussions, them having to clean the toilets for a month, water the plants, run laps with the hardass tennis team. Oh god.
“We get caught?” Sae raises a brow, finishing that train of thought. It seems as though he hasn’t considered it, but that doesn’t deter him. His mind is set, wheels turning, light bulbs popping. If Ryou-chan sues them on the grounds of harassment, they could be suspended from school before the week is up. His wild imagination sends an instinctive shiver up his spine. Yet, at the same time, the thrill eggs him on. Bane guesses as much.
“We’ll have to hope for the best,” Bane sighs, “Sometimes, I don’t even know why we’re friends.”
Of course, the plan is better said (rather, thought of) than done.
“Weren’t the lockers supposed to be bigger than this?” Bane hisses over his shoulder. Sae frowns in response; a miscalculation on his part but he has admittedly not done enough research, and they wouldn’t have been allowed inside if it had been any other day. The lockers are too small though. With their built, neither one of them would be able to fit inside. So where--
“And then she asked me if I wanted to hang out with her parents this weekend.”
Turning to the doors marking their escape, the two look to each other in a cold sweat before scrambling towards the storage room, the only other place where they won’t be discovered (since no one dares to go in there), just as Koshiro and Miwa from their class enter the changing rooms.
“Dude, isn’t the relationship like moving too fast?”
“Yeah, that’s what I told her. But she didn’t see it that way. So Aikawa’s been ignoring me ever since.” The door to the small storage space isn’t completely shut, their eyes following the two boys on the other side. They can see just as far as the showers from their position, before the wooden panels cover everything else.
“Whoa, sorry for your loss,” Miwa winces, pulling his shirt off and tossing it into his duffel bag. Koshiro makes a face before doing the same.
“Anyway, where’d Bane and Sae go? They missed P.E. today.” The latter prays that they find no reason to check around for missing basketballs and such; that would just have to be the worst luck in the world.
“Probably boinking around, those two. Haven’t you noticed how they’re all over each other?” There are equally preposterous ideas though, Sae frowns, keeping a firm hand on Bane’s arm, the one twitching ever so ominously, because his friend is just about to storm out there and do heaven knows what, give them a piece of his mind, fists included. And that isn’t ever pretty.
“Impossible, man. Saeki’s like all over Kisarazu.” Indeed, Sae smiles ruefully. If only he could determine whether his future bride really was a girl or not.
“You think it’s a love triangle?”
“Could be.” As their classmates finally walk out, laughing all the way, Bane shoves him through none too gently, glaring at him with a silent, “See? I told you this was a bad idea” in tow. Sae simply shrugs, striding to the door, intending to end their misery, about to turn the knob… when it suddenly shifts on its own.
His eyes widen, body involuntarily doubling back, an arm hooked on Bane’s neck (the other boy barely able to make a sound in protest), effectively pushing them back into the storage room and just in time. Ryou-chan slowly ambles in, visibly taking care to note that no one else is around before placing his duffel on one of the benches and, without further ado, proceeding to strip down.
Sae has never been more attentive in his life. Shirt first, then track pants. A faint rustling means that his (or her) underwear has followed soon after. And then a soft pad of footsteps carry him over to the showers, where unfortunately, Sae can only see as far as that slender bit of collar. Damn.
“H-Hey!” Bane makes a grab for him, but it’s too late. He’s landed on the linoleum floor, his momentum driving him forward, breathing harsh, past the benches, past the lockers, past the steam and the sound of water gushing. He feels like a jungle cat, on the prowl. He’s almost there. Home free.
He stops behind the impeding wooden panel and really can’t see much besides a firm, really cute ass. Or an outline of one, to be exact. He trails his gaze up, taking it all in, every contour, every edge, when he notices that Ryou-chan is about to turn around, and gulps. Come on, boobies. Come on. Come on.
Sae doesn’t then notice that his nose has started to bleed, and that a rather large bat is coming out of nowhere… until he hears Bane yell (“Sae, you idiot, duck!”), his vision blurring, a slight throb, numbing him, blacking out. The last thing he sees is Ryou-chan’s chest, strong, somewhat built… and very much flat.
“I’m sorry, aniki. I didn’t know he was your classmate.” Sae thinks he must be dreaming, because the second his eyelids flutter open, he comes face to face with what must be his own personal brand of heaven. There are two Ryou-chans standing next to his bed, one wearing a disapproving scowl on his face and another looking contrastingly worried. The same hair, the same white caps, the same upturned lips. He doesn’t realize that he is grinning madly until Bane pinches his nose.
“Took you long enough,” his friend grumbles, catching everyone’s attention. And the reactions are simultaneous.
“You stupid pervert!”
“A-Are you alright?”
It is far from a regular, run-of-the-mill friendship in any case, plagued with all sorts of mishaps, more shower room incidents, a few on the beach, a couple in the infirmary even. But Sae figures although his bride to be isn’t exactly a bride in the truest sense, it really doesn’t matter. At the very least, he won’t get any cooties.