Rating/Warnings: PG-13 I suppose, because Fuji said so ^_^
Summary: Momoshiro and Kaidoh compete to be the best senpai during next year's Fudomine matches.
AN: A million years ago i promised some Ryoma/Kaidoh to storyteller, and this is what came out. I'm sure it's not what you expected, sweetie.
Won't Take That Long
"Oi oi, Momoshiro!" Kamio's voice rang out over the court like a gunshot, making Ryoma tilt his cap back and Momoshiro snarl. Kaidoh's startled hiss drove Kachirou back half a step behind Arai and Ichida. The rest of Fudomine snickered.
"That's Momoshiro-buchou to you, you rhythm freak!" Momoshiro puffed out his chest in his jersey as he stuck his hand out to shake.
"That's 'you rhythm freak buchou' to you," Kamio replied with a smirk, ignoring Momoshiro's hand pointedly.
"Echizen," Shinji greeted from Kamio's right, one hand shoved deep in his jacket pocket while the other bounced a tennis ball steadily off the thin edge of his racket. "I'll see you in Singles 1, and I hope you haven't got your hopes up this time since I've been working hard…"
"Yeah, about that," Kamio interrupted, flipping his hair out of his eyes with a twist of his head to raise an eyebrow at Momoshiro. "Seigaku's captain in Singles 3? How'd you pick your line-up, reverse height order?"
Momoshiro snarled a curse Ryoma only usually heard when Karupin's claws weren't trimmed and his father fell unfortunately asleep with his legs splayed.
"Oi, Kaidoh-senpai," he interrupted Momoshiro's poorly thought-out retort about 'reverse loser order', "let's go warm up."
Giving a curt nod, Kaidoh turned to follow Ryoma, ignoring Momoshiro's annoyed "Hey!"
"Ryoma-kun!" Kachirou's eyes were wide where they peered around Arai's shoulder. "You can't go, we have matches!"
"Che," Ryoma looked over his shoulder and ran an appraising eye over the whole of Fudomine. "You won't need us. Don't get careless, Momochan-buchou." Tugging his cap down to hide his smirk at the spluttering of both Kamio and Momoshiro, Ryoma jammed his hands in his pockets and rubbed fingers against the fuzz of the tennis balls residing there as they sauntered off.
"This isn't the practice wall, Echizen," Kaidoh pointed out when Ryoma stopped in front of the vending machines.
"Ne, it's far enough, isn't it?" Ryoma pulled both tennis balls out of his pocket and held them up. "Want to try a new drill, Kaidoh-senpai?"
"Honestly," Arai clicked his tongue with disgust as he and Kachirou waded their way through the crowd Seigaku's Singles 2 and Singles 1 had accrued in the last half hour, "those two. Do they have to make a spectacle everywhere we go?"
"Ryoma-kun!" Kachirou hollered as soon as he squeezed his way through a gap between two Fudomine girls. "Momoshiro-buchou's match starts in five minutes and he said he'd hug me until I puked if you didn't come back!"
"And Kaidoh's on deck," Arai added, elbowing aside a girl who was cooing at Kachirou's disheveled bowl cut.
"Oh yeah?" Ryoma glanced over without breaking the steady thwok-thwok, thwok-thwok of the two balls he and Kaidoh were slapping at each other. Kachirou flushed under the scrutiny and rubbed the back of his hand over the scrape across his cheek. "You two lose already?"
"For your information," Arai started to snap, but then gave a shriek when Shinji materialized beside him.
"You've stolen our warm-up," Shinji reported blandly, eyes tracking the balls zinging back and forth. "Seigaku's Doubles 2 won six to love, and they made our freshman cry. Such a thing would never have happened if Tachibana-buchou were still here…"
Ryoma stopped the ball with the flat of his racket and caught it neatly, and Kaidoh did the same; he turned to Kachirou with a raised eyebrow.
"I didn't try to!" Kachirou wailed, cheeks bright pink. "I said I was sorry!"
"We won," Arai exclaimed in exasperation. "Stop apologizing!"
"Let's go," Kaidoh interrupted, jamming the tennis ball in his pocket and tucking his racket against his side. "That idiot'll mess everything up if we aren't there."
He didn't look nearly so collected a few minutes later when they arrived back at the court and an ear-piercing "Do your best, big brother!" rang out from the stands; Kaidoh's blush deepened from carnation to fire engine when he glanced up and caught the flash of glasses sitting next to Hazue.
"Inui-senpai!" Kachirou called rapturously just as Kaidoh tried to duck behind a light pole. "And Eiji and Oishi-senpai too!"
"YAHOI SEIGAKU FIGHTO!"
"Hn," Ryoma said, wiggling his fingers a tiny bit back at Eiji-senpai, but only because he looked like he was about to launch a frontal assault from the stands if his frantic waving wasn't acknowledged.
"Looking for someone?"
Ryoma hopped up on his toes when the air blew over his ear, then turned to scowl at Fuji-senpai's benign smile.
"Not you," he retorted. "Yo, Kawamura-senpai." Taka-san, who'd been hovering behind Fuji's shoulder, gave an embarrassed bow, then turned back to watching the power match between Momoshiro and Ishida.
"You wound me," Fuji draped an arm casually around Ryoma's shoulders, and tightened his grip when Ryoma tried to shrug him off, "and I saw your little display with Kaidoh. Have you two become close this year?"
"Whatever." Ryoma shifted uneasily, a flash of light from the stands catching his eye briefly.
"Ah, but then again," Fuji mused, thumb brushing ever so lightly over Ryoma's collarbone, "I saw an even more interesting display in the men's room beside the Ponta machine right before registration. A captain fetish, Ryoma-kun?"
"Oi, that guy bothering you?" Momoshiro called from the court, where he was taking a long drink from his water bottle in between games.
"No, idiot," Ryoma called back. "Don't you dare lose!"
"Brat!" Momoshiro looked the pair of them over a last time, then sauntered back onto the court.
"Protective too, oh my." Fuji's voice was like barely-audible laughter. "And he's been working on his forearms again, hasn't he?"
"Shouldn't you be in the stands, senpai?" Ryoma inquired.
"Yes, yes, Ryoma-kun." Fuji ruffled Ryoma's hair, then let his hand fall back to his side. There was a tiny glimmer of blue underneath his lashes. "I only thought you might be interested to know, given your interests, that Tezuka would have been here this morning if it weren't the same time as his initiation."
"Initiation?" Ryoma's face seemed caught between lighting up and scowling.
"Mm-hmm," Fuji hummed. "He's made Regulars. Yamato-buchou was very pleased to have him. Again."
"Fujiko," Taka-san said reproachfully, looking away from the game and crossing his arms.
"Ah, forgive me," Fuji's smile didn't dim even a tiny bit. "I've said too much, haven't I? We should get back to the others, Taka-san. Work hard, Ryoma-kun. You too, Kaidoh-kun."
"Fsshu," said Kaidoh, but he was watching the court, where the referee had just called 6 games to 7, Fudomine's Ishida.
Momoshiro and Ishida's arms were shaking too badly to shake hands over the net, so they bowed instead, and Momoshiro was swaying on his feet by the time he shuffled over to where Kaidoh was.
"You idiot," Kaidoh said, holding out a fist, and Momoshiro pulled himself together enough to bump Kaidoh's knuckles.
"Ah, it's shameful when the captain loses." Momoshiro rubbed the back of his neck, wincing. "Shameful." He flopped down on the bench hard, and Ryoma helpfully dumped half a water bottle over his head.
"Not bad, Momo-buchou," Ryoma said, and Momoshiro closed his eyes and grinned and missed Kaidoh's first serve.
"Ne, Echizen," Momoshiro said after a few moments. His breathing was slower, but his eyes were still closed. "It'll be weird next year, won't it? You'll have to beat these losers for me. Have to."
"It won't take that long," Ryoma said, tugging the brim of his cap down. A few more seconds passed, and Echizen sat down on the bench next to Momoshiro.
They sat in silence, knees barely brushing when Momoshiro bounced his, until Kaidoh had won his game and was shaking Kamio's hand.
"That stupid viper," Momoshiro said, but he was grinning so widely that all the freshmen took a step back.
Echizen stood and strode towards the court, tapping rackets with Kaidoh on the way by.
"Don't get careless, Echizen!" Momoshiro yelled.
"You're too loud, moron," Kaidoh snapped, sitting down next to him. His chest was heaving, and his bandana was dark with sweat. Momoshiro reached over lazily and plucked it off his head, and Kaidoh called him an asshole and snatched it back.
"If he wins we'll be buying him hamburgers until the end of time," Momoshiro commented, shoulders tensing as Shinji's familiar backhand-forehand pattern started, and he tried not to think about rackets slicing through the air and the whang of the pole and medical tape.
"It's our duty as senpai," Kaidoh said stiffly. "You slacker."
"Oi, I'm a good senpai!" Momoshiro shoved Kaidoh's shoulder, and Kaidoh shoved back, and they glared at each other so they wouldn't see the ball blowing by Echizen's frozen arm. "I left him a game to win and everything!"
WHAM! went the ball, and the referee called to change courts.
"I think I might have to go to the hospital," Momoshiro said, then tumbled forward off the bench.
"That moron," Kaidoh growled, the cracked red leather of the hospital waiting chairs creaking as his legs stuck to it.
"Yup," answered Ryoma. They were the only two left in the waiting room; Kaidoh had sent the others on ahead to Kawamura Sushi when the doctor has assured them Momoshiro just had a touch of heatstroke. Kaidoh and Ryoma were staying until Momoshiro had his arm x-rayed, just to be sure.
Ryoma had his cap in his hands and was thumbing the edge of the brim over and over as they sat in silence.
"Ne, Kaidoh-senpai?" he asked. Kaidoh grunted. "It'll be…weird next year. Won't it?"
"Being captain?" Kaidoh asked.
"Whatever," Ryoma shook his head. His eyes were glued to the door that Momoshiro had disappeared behind over an hour ago. "But, the senpai look happy."
Kaidoh finally caught on and regarded Ryoma without speaking for a very long moment while he thought about Tezuka-buchou being initiated and Fuji-senpai draped over Ryoma and Eiji-senpai practically killing himself scrambling down from the stands when Momoshiro hit the ground and Oishi-senpai touching his wrist nervously while he speed-dialed the hospital.
And sweat making Inui-senpai's glasses slide down until Kaidoh could see flashes of green instead when he looked over at Inui helping him fire-carry Momoshiro off the court.
"It wasn't so weird this year," he said finally, and Ryoma pulled his gaze up to stare at Kaidoh, the gold of his eyes cat-slit and sharp.
He gave Kaidoh a smile for a split-second before turning back to the door, and Kaidoh added fifty more points to his column in his never-ending competition with Momoshiro over who was the better senpai.
"Whoops!" Momoshiro blurted when they came around the corner of Kawamura Sushi and found Kaidoh with his bandana missing and Inui with his top two buttons undone. "Oi, viper, you're a speedy operator!"
"FSSSHU!" Kaidoh exclaimed, and only Inui's firm grip kept him from bolting.
"Ne, Echizen we should go." Momoshiro was laughing as he tugged on Echizen's elbow with his good arm.
"Che, amateur," Echizen asid, refusing to budge. "We should stay."
His gaze was steady on Kaidoh, who blushed darker, but didn't turn away.