FANDOM: Prince of Tennis
PAIRING/CHARACTERS: Inui/Eiji, featuring the Seigaku ensemble
SUMMARY: Oishi wants to know why his doubles partner has been acting strange. (1200+ words)
NOTES: Inspired by a prompt from prompt_in_a_box Round 19, "If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor." (Albert Einstein) -- submitted for Round 21 (November Round).
When their vice-captain begins to sigh heavily in 2.53 second intervals, his brows furrowed and lips, a measurably thin line, Inui is already an approximated five steps ahead. It is all very much like a game to him. He has marked the dates, has presented them in a neatly outlined table within the secret pages of his trusty green notebook, can verify the imaginary pie charts in his head, and is, thusly, able to predict that exact moment when Oishi decides to clear his throat and call for an impromptu meeting with the regulars. Of course, this is also why Inui is one of the first to get there. They form a huddled little circle in front of the empty clubroom. Just as well, both Tezuka and Kikumaru are conveniently nowhere to be found.
"So, what did you want to talk about, Oishi?" Fuji's easy - too easy - smile hints that he has probably had something or other to do with their teammates' disappearances. Kaidoh, with his sharp senses and nearly supernatural abilities of perception, picks up on this, his eyes suspiciously glancing back and forth (as if he can catch an aura-based energy ball levitating behind his senpai). Inui simply nods, takes two steps to the right as their circle shifts. Given the situation, no one wants to be standing too close to their tensai, except maybe Echizen who really couldn't care less.
"It's Eiji," Oishi replies for the benefit of those who have yet to put two and two together, cupping a hand against his chin, gaze to the ground, for a moment lost in thought. And at this, everyone leans in a little bit closer. Curiosity perhaps? Amusement, another probable factor. Inui checks them off before following suit. Momo's arm is draped across Echizen's shoulders, Taka's breath hitting the back of Fuji's neck. It is a pattern of sorts. When one is troubled, the others somehow feel the subconscious need to display their concern... elsewhere. Discreet hormonal behavior. Inui marks that off, too. Ii data.
"What's the matter with Eiji-senpai?" Momo asks this time, darting a quick look in the direction of the nearby bushes. As if said redhead would suddenly pop up with the intention of scaring the wits out of them. Suffice to say, Inui has already considered that possibility and disregarded it; Kikumaru's intense breathing (especially when excited or in anticipation) would certainly give him away.
"I.. I'm not so sure." There is a defeated tone in Oishi's voice, no matter how well he tries to conceal it. "He just... hasn't been very much like himself these days."
"In what ways?" Momo repeats, scrunching his brows, determined to understand. No one seems to know what Oishi is talking about though; rather, they cannot see what he apparently sees differently in Kikumaru's recent behavior. Inui suspects that Fuji, however, is feigning ignorance. At least for now, playing it by ear.
Oishi mulls over his answer, a few good seconds pass until he is ready - and even then, the boy is still quite unclear, "He's distracted, not just from training. I see him in the hallways and he has this kind of look where you know he won't hear you even if you greet him at the top of your lungs."
"Maybe he's angry at you?" Echizen quips, half-present in the conversation and half-daydreaming probably, if his yawn is any indication. It may have been meant as a joke to pacify their worrisome vice-captain, but Oishi does not see it that way. Immediately, his eyes widen at the potentiality of that remark being true, his expression clouded in dismay. Echizen almost looks apologetic.
Fuji coughs to grab his attention, "Maybe Eiji is angry at someone else? You know how he can be sometimes, sensitive to everything all at once."
"His attitude may be a result of his sentiments towards someone else," Inui finishes when it seems that Oishi still cannot comprehend. And in that regard, the other boy stays unsure. Vaguely, Inui wonders then if there really is a problem, if there really is a reason to worry. Data is far from accurate after all, ever changing, ever contradicting itself. Only one person could properly answer those questions though.
"So, Oishi thinks I'm angry with him?" Clear blue eyes blink up at him, confused, one hand loosely perched across his shoulders and another trailing up his torso, his muscles bunching up beneath it. Inui all but nods, humming low, soothed and no longer in the mood to talk about it. But Kikumaru refuses to let it slide - and of course, he is the one who had prompted the topic to begin with, Inui nearly groans in protest. Multi-tasking capabilities: 41.83% deficiency.
"Why would he think that?" The way Kikumaru is tracing circles against his skin is nearly unbearable, hot and immeasurable, sparks on his wiring. His shirt is bunched up, barely covering his chest, one nipple exposed to the redhead's skillful little tongue. In mid-contemplation, however, it is a lost cause. Kikumaru pulls away again. Inui growls at that.
"Kikumaru, make up your mind," he breathes against the shell of the other boy's ear. Inui sees the grin without really having to as Kikumaru starts to unzip his pants in reply. The sound seems to echo through the empty room, flasks left at their desks, bags strewn across the floor. The laboratory was a sanctuary, not a dumping ground for things one did not need. In the given scenario, however, Inui is more than willing to bypass judgment.
"And you don't know the reason why Oishi thinks I could be angry with him." It isn't a question. Inui turns to regard Kikumaru with patience. The boy is staring back, a formidably wicked grin curving his mouth, as if he knows something Inui does not. Which is utterly blasphemous in the brunette's opinion. But it is far past the point to correct Kikumaru. And truthfully, a part of him does not want to.
He traces a finger across that grin, tipping the redhead's chin up, Kikumaru's mouth readily awaiting his own and there is suddenly no more room to ask questions, tease or be teased. Also, it is to be noted that Inui finally comes up with a hypothetical conclusion (being the ever efficient student that he is), whilst the afternoon sun finds him pressing his teammate up against the high school building. They are nearly at the courts by then, Kikumaru's hand in his own. Inui has calculated the moment when the other boy will decide to let go, and surprises him - them both, to an extent - when he himself tightens his hold.
"Inui, what-" The question dies at his lips when Kikumaru notices Momo gawking at them, eyes wide, cheeks brightening pink. Just as he has predicted. Inui continues on, pulling Kikumaru in-step with him, passing Kaidoh's schoolboy flush, passing Taka's quiet inquiry, passing Echizen's daring smirk, passing Fuji's knowing chuckle, and right over to where Oishi is presenting their new line-up to a disgruntled Tezuka.
"Oishi, I have deduced the reason why Kikumaru appears to be acting strange around you. Rather, he has been distracted and inattentive," Inui announces, voice even despite Kikumaru's twitching at his side. Oishi stares at them, visibly taken aback but unable to put the pieces together, not quite yet. And, of course, this gives the data specialist the perfect reason to lean down, nuzzle the redhead's neck before kissing him long and hard for the entire tennis team to see.