sarisia: (flyaway)
[personal profile] sarisia
Needed to write something, so I went to the pairing generator and shamelessly twisted a situation I found in a yaoi manga (anyone recognize Koi Cha no Osahou?).
What did I get? You'll have to read to find out.

Title: The Foundation of Tea is Service
Theme: Sexy tea making.
Rating: PG, only slashing if you squint


"This is ridiculous. I'm never going to learn this in time."

Tezuka glared down at the shallow bowl in front of him. A low pool of tea stared back at him impassively. Ridiculous, Tezuka told himself once more for emphasis. His instructor in the tea ceremony made a small sound of amusement, but scooped up the bowl without comment.

"Why," Tezuka began to question for what was surely the millionth time, "must starting members of the club be able to perform the ceremony within a month?"

"The tea club," his instructor answered him - in the same way he'd always answered - with a light gaze and a quiet deference, "is a place for students to appreciate traditions. Members should know what to do should they be called upon to perform." He turned the tea bowl around in his palm and inhaled softly before taking a sip. "It's a matter which I expected Tezuka-sempai to be concerned about, especially with the cultural festival so soon."

Tezuka frowned and shifted uncomfortably atop his calves. "I doubt that I'll be called upon to perform the ceremony at the festival."

Dark eyes sought out Tezuka. "It is unlikely," the narrow mouth admitted, "but still possible. If you are, I'll make sure that you perform admirably." A slow hiss as Tezuka's instructor cooled the liquid with his breath. Tezuka shifted again as soon as the other man's gaze was removed. "Uncomfortable, Tezuka-sempai?" was the next question anyway.

"I'm fine," Tezuka grit out, beginning to feel the painful tingle of blood flow through his legs. "Merely wondering why we're practicing alone-"

Those black-as-night eyes flicked back up to him.

"-Kaidoh-kun."

---

Tezuka left the club room with a tired face.

It had been some surprise to have the president of the tea club direct him to the room and call Kaidoh from the ranks of members. He'd expected some flighty, female upperclassman to be his mentor, but Kaidoh had stepped forward, flushing slightly under the president's praise (yet seeming distinctly unrepentant about his competency), and taken Tezuka under his strict tutelage.

"He's shown us great performances since his induction," the president had said. "I'm sure that Tezuka-kun will soon become a great contribution to our club."

Finding the situation a little awkward - to suddenly be the student of an underclassman - Tezuka had hoped Kaidoh'd suggest another member. It was not to be so. After arranging a compatible arrangement for both of them, Kaidoh had smiled politely and proceeded to introduce Tezuka into the world of tea ceremonies.

At their first meeting, Kaidoh gave the names and uses of each tool he laid out. Slowly, they went through the motions of the ceremony.

Tezuka hadn't expected for the tea club to be so much trouble, but at nearly every step, Kaidoh's hands would reach out and correct something - his hold on the whisk to one more comfortable, his posture, and most often, his grasp on the tea bowl. After few days of enduring Kaidoh's constant correction, Tezuka began wishing that he'd been given one of the female members instead; at least they would not be immune to a stoic, handsome personality, and at least they would not direct him toward perfection.

"That's alright, Tezuka-san," a girl would say. "So long as you have the motions right, I'm sure the club will forgive such a handsome boy a few mistakes."

Even if the words would grate him and make him fume over his current situation, Tezuka would have been glad to be without Kaidoh's silent assessment and without the comparison of his fumbling present with his glorious past.

---

Landing in the tea club had been random. After the faculty adviser for the tennis club had dismissed his membership because of his past injuries - "Your skill is amazing, Tezuka, but I'm afraid I cannot approve any member, whose participation is detrimental to their health," he'd said in front of the whole tennis club (Kaidoh included) - he passed through many different clubs, listlessly searching for a place to fit himself without tennis.

And now... Now, when Kaidoh's fingers touched the small of his back he would straighten automatically. Now, instead of wrapping his hand around the handle of a tennis racket with a firm grip, he carefully balanced the weight of a bamboo ladle with his palm. Instead of directing others toward a great goal, Tezuka was sedately moving through the motions of old.

Perhaps..., he thought as he slid open the club room door, he'd chosen yet another club that he was not meant for.

He stopped short, however, at the sight of Kaidoh already ready to begin - tools before him on the tana and himself, dressed in a plain kimono. The kimono was a striking difference from Kaidoh's usual school uniform, and Tezuka imagined Kaidoh leaping from his seat and drawing a sword from his hip.

"Tezuka-sempai," Kaidoh greeted, bending his seated frame with both hands folded before him. His hand motioned to a spot next to Kaidoh. "If you please, Tezuka-sempai."

Sliding into seiza with some uncertainty - there was not a second tea set for him to work with as usual - Tezuka watched Kaidoh work silently.

"It has come to my attention," Kaidoh began, "that Tezuka-sempai may need a goal." Tezuka did not reply, but Kaidoh did not seem to be looking for one because he went on: "The girls all thought that a man, seeming crude and unruly, could not possibly understand the tea ceremony." A tiny, gratified smile emerged. "I've shown them."

Kaidoh's movements were smooth as usual, slipping the silk cloth through his hands into the proper folds and cleaning the ladle. Tezuka noted that Kaidoh swept back his sleeves as he tucked the silk aside in favor of the linen cloth for the tea bowl, sweeping away the day's dust with efficient graceful arcs, and that his hands would often lift to close the part in his kimono, the shoulder of which kept slipping between steps. His hands were steady as they scooped tea leaves into the bowl, as they added hot water and whisked swiftly - spilling not a drop as he added air and cooled the liquid.

Tezuka felt a sudden welling of pride to witness this. Kaidoh was the young man Tezuka had spent time molding into a great tennis player, using his determination and his stubbornness and his willingness and focusing him on one thing: Nationals. Pride was in seeing those same tools being used to recreate something beautiful, and wonder, too, at himself - for if Kaidoh could do this, Tezuka should too!

All quick and effortless, as if Kaidoh had been doing this for years. All with fluid practice - hands dancing about the equipment as elegantly as any of those girls in the club. And when Kaidoh at last lifted the whisk, letting the last of the tea drop from its curls, and set the bowl before Tezuka with a bow, Tezuka felt anticipation rising in his chest.

The tea tasted wonderful - a delicate sweetness following slight bitterness - at just the temperature Tezuka liked. He found Kaidoh smiling softly at him as he wiped the rim of the bowl with his finger.

"Now the ceremony's purpose," Kaidoh said and he watched Tezuka through low lashes, hands folded demurely on his lap. "Tezuka-sempai, do you feel properly served?"

Once again, that anticipation tightened, choking off Tezuka's reply. The shoulder of Kaidoh's kimono slipped again to reveal a stretch of tanned skin from neck to breast bone and Tezuka's hand went to correct it before he could stop himself. Kaidoh's fingers met him there. In that moment, Tezuka relived all those times that Kaidoh had touched him with the gentle heat of his hands - along the wrist and over his shoulder, meaningless yet memorable enough to have driven him mad.

"You never did answer me," Tezuka said. "Why do we always practice outside of club meetings? Alone? Aren't there other new members that need to be trained too?"

"Isn't it obvious, Tezuka-sempai?" Kaidoh replied, sweetening his words with a discreet flutter of his touch against the back of Tezuka's hand. "Once I heard that you were joining the tea club, I asked the president for a favor: to let me serve Tezuka since I cannot follow him in tennis." Another, soft smile as questioning eyes looked up at Tezuka. "Have I done well, buchou?"

"Yes," Tezuka returned Kaidoh's smile with one of his own. "But, as always, there's room for improvement."
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