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I'm back home for one night and out again tomorrow afternoon. I'd been playing with this in my head for all six hours I had to think with on the drive back. UGH. It may have turned out slightly OOC for the both of them, but ultimately it was alright. I think because it was very much narrated by thoughts, I couldn't do much about it.

...I wish I had a laptop. Especially, a tablet. OMG, that would make me almost as happy as I'd be if I could get my driver's license at this very moment.

Title: Double Take (or "Four Times Kaidoh Ignores Fuji and One Time He Doesn't")
Rating: PG
Pair: Kaidoh/OMC; Kaidoh/Fuji
Summary: Five moments between Kaidoh and Fuji.

1. The First
"You should think twice about this kind of commitment," Fuji remembers commenting to Kaidoh.

Kaidoh had been a first year then - hair mussed from a fight already and bandages across his jaw and cheek from the school nurse. It hadn't been possible to think of Kaidoh as exotic then. His eyes, more sharply angled than other Japanese, were like a snake's, yes, but the indignant stubbornness of a child had been in them.

"I don't have to, sempai," Kaidoh'd replied at the time - as respectful of Fuji's upperclassman ranking as he was dismissive of the advice. "I know what I want and that's to play tennis."

2. The Second
"You're sure you want to do this?" Fuji asked as he raised his racket.

Kaidoh's mouth lifted at one corner.

He'd grown up in the year since they'd first met. He was so much taller than when he'd first started playing and was now all long legs and lean waist below broad shoulders. That Fuji thought he was exotic now was perhaps due to being used to the pale whiteness of the American businessmen that his father worked with or the fact that every other member of their tennis team managed to maintain a light skin tone despite hours in the sun. However, Kaidoh took in the sun like a cat, basking in it and rejoicing in the heat and the brightness of it.

"I'm sure, sempai," Kaidoh said and his eyes opened toward Fuji through the glare of the sun.

"Wouldn't you rather think twice-"

"No, sempai." Waving aside Fuji's suggestion, Kaidoh stood his racket on one end. "Rough or smooth?"

3. The Third
"Fuji-sempai, can we talk?" Kaidoh gestured toward the space next to Fuji. A nod and Kaidoh was settling himself on the bench, one of his legs drawn up to his chest - defensive already. "I'd like some advice."

Finding himself on the verge of humor, Fuji smiled. "I'll see what I can do."

Kaidoh shrugged. "How should I tell my parents that I'm gay?"

Sputtering within, Fuji frowned. "You're gay?"


"You're certain?"

Kaidoh sighed at Fuji's raised brow. "Yes."

Fuji frowned. His brows furrowed. "And you're sure you want to tell them?"

And at Kaidoh's continued affirmation, Fuji thought of being the first son and family responsibilities and societal expectations and all sorts of other things that could go wrong. Disownings. Disillusionment. Crying mothers. Disappointed fathers. Things like this really needed to be looked at a second time!

"Kaidoh-kun, I really don't-"

Kaidoh stood as abruptly as he'd come without waiting to listen. "I see. Thank you, Fuji-sempai."

4. The Fourth
Fuji really wished that Kaidoh would start listening to him for once. Sure, tennis had worked out fine for Kaidoh. And he really hadn't done too badly in their game - considering - but whatever it was that had been said or done between Kaidoh and his parents had shown up in other areas of his life.

Kaidoh no longer brought homemade bentos, but could be found gathering food at the counter with the rest of the students. His uniform was just as clean and well kept as always, but it seemed to lack the same perfection that it used to when beneath his mother's touch. And as it had never happened before, Hazue started appearing outside the court fences - a silent observer to Kaidoh's after school activities, presumably encouraged to report back everything to their concerned father.

It was by sheer grace that Hazue didn't mirror their father's feelings. He grinned at his older brother and waggled his fingers every time they caught gazes. And when he wasn't playing, Kaidoh traded sly exchanges with his brother before approaching a second observer that Fuji hadn't noticed in his worry.

Fuji couldn't explain why there was a tightness in his chest suddenly - except that it had something to do with Kaidoh leaning on the chain link fence between him and the other boy, their fingers lacing through the gaps while they whispered to each other.

It was only after Fuji quietly suggested that Kaidoh think twice about what he did while under his brother's eye and after Kaidoh smiled and told him not to worry so much, that Fuji remembered that Hazue had turned his head away while Kaidoh and the boy had been talking.

After all, what Hazue didn't see, he couldn't tell.

5. And Finally
Fuji had well and truly given up trying to get Kaidoh to follow his advice. It was silly, really, being even the slightest bit upset at having an underclassman not follow his direction. What kind of upperclassman was he anyway? Of course, an organization as structured and team-oriented as theirs would be good for a kid that got into fights as often as Kaidoh had. Of course, losing to Fuji in a game would give Kaidoh the kind of challenge he needed to improve. And what kind of help was he capable of if he couldn't even support Kaidoh when he'd confessed to his parents?

"Fuji-sempai." Kaidoh frowned at him. "Are you feeling alright?"

"Just fine," Fuji lied with a smile. "Is there something you wanted?"

"I wanted to tell you before anyone else," Kaidoh started, shifting slightly on his feet, "that I'm quitting tennis. My boyfriend says that all my practice is getting in the way of our relationship."

"Well that's ridiculous!" Fuji said, seized by a sudden anger. "He can't just tell you to quit tennis. It's your passion!"

Kaidoh pursed his lips. Thoughtful, Fuji supposed, as though the idea of arguing had never occurred to him. "Oh?" He stepped forward, fingers fidgeting around the strap of his gym bag. "What would you suggest?"

Fuji scowled. The answer was obvious: "Tell him, no, of course! And maybe even think twice about dating this guy if he's gonna ask that kind of thing from you. You should find someone that can appreciate how much work you put into our team and knows that you aren't just someone to be pushed around-"

"That settles it then," Kaidoh said, cutting into Fuji's tirade quietly. He looked flushed.

Fuji choked a little on what he was going to say. "It's just... no one should settle for those who love them under certain conditions."

"I suppose...," Kaidoh started haltingly. "You don't think I'd have better chances with someone on the team, do you?"

"It'd be a start," Fuji answered before realizing what a horrible idea that'd be - to see Kaidoh whispering and smiling and linking fingers with someone he knew. That kind of situation would be worse, he thought, than seeing Kaidoh doing that kind of thing with a stranger.

He thought of Kaidoh's soft smiles at Inui's antics and his stubborn attempts to meet Tezuka's goals with some success. Fuji remembered that Kaidoh and Momoshiro shared a certainly passionate rivalry. And Kikumaru, too, was allowed the rarity of invading Kaidoh's personal space - constantly throwing his arm around Kaidoh's shoulder without warning, getting in his face to goad him outside his shell. Though witnessing a conversation between Kaidoh and Kawamura was a luxury in and of itself, Fuji wondered if maybe Kaidoh fancied that sort of shyness - the only kind that was more severe than Kaidoh's own. Or if perhaps, Kaidoh's interests lay in Echizen, the one member of their team whose stubbornness knew as little bounds as Kaidoh's.

"I mean..." Fuji started. "Maybe you..." He stopped. What was the point of worrying when Kaidoh was bound to do whatever he wanted anyway? He sighed and tried to bear his resignation with a smile. "You should do whatever makes you happy, Kaidoh-kun."

Kaidoh grinned then - cheeks still red and his stance not quite its most certain. "Thank you, Fuji-sempai," he said and his grip on his gym bag tightened. "I'll follow your advice right away."

Surprised, Fuji's eyes opened fractionally. "What did you have in mind?"

"Asking someone out is all," Kaidoh said. "You'll find out tomorrow. I'm really hoping he says yes."

"Are you worried?"

"A little. He has a tendency to insist on second guessing everything," Kaidoh told him, cheeks darkening a little more. "Still, he's a very interesting as a person and I hope to get to know him better in the future. Right now, the only thing I'm absolutely certain about is that he's an excellent tennis player-"

Oh, god, Fuji thought with his heart sinking into immediate despair, he's gonna ask Tezuka.

"-and he gives me the worst advice I've ever heard."

Fuji's eyes snapped open.

One step, two step, three steps to the confession
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