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You must hold what you cannot keep

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The clubroom was one big chaos; Tezuka knew the reason of its state, but wondered about reason behind said reason’s state. Then he was met with amused smile looking at him just from behind a shoulder of Taka-san -and the situation became clear, with only one name.

‘Fuji.’ Tensai acknowledged him with a tilt of his head, before dodging a stray tennis ball. Tezuka didn’t, instead catching it with his hand, and pointing towards redhead in the middle of the room apparently doing a handstand and a backflip at once. ‘Was it your wonderful idea to give him all this sugar?’

Fuji’s smile slightly widened, it’s expression changing to one of “You’ll have to prove it.” Collection.

‘Saa…’

Tezuka bit back the urge to bark out an order of twenty laps for the whole club- it wasn’t their fault they just happened to have a mischievous sadist for a resident genius…oh, and redheaded acrobat with unusual caffeine-like reaction for enlarged portions of sugar.

Different to what everyone thought, Seigaku’s Regulars at the very early stage discovered the trouble with redhead’s stamina- and, while most of the time it wasn’t a problem, as Kikumaru and Oishi tended to work in the court like they were sharing their stamina with each other just as naturally as they did with water bottles, Seigaku still looked for that problem solution. With Inui proposing the sugar as a possible helper in their second year, they discovered it worked well in energizing redhead to almost impossible levels, overcoming even his hyperactive self; with this one experience, ending in two nets torn, a bunch of lost, destroyed or disposed in other unnatural way tennis balls and few more scrapes and cuts than usually happened on a tennis practice, the last damage minimalized only thanks to Oishi finally getting a hang of controlling caffeinated teen, they wrote the whole experiment off as a failure…

…Only to have a repeat of it, apparently thanks to the another genial plan of the, well, genius. Tezuka sighed in irritation, before looking around.

‘Where’s Oishi?’

The name of his vice made redhead stop himself (in all versions he was currently producing) to look questioningly around his captain like blackhead would hide from him behind Tezuka’s back.

‘Oishi?’ Kikumaru Eiji asked, and Tezuka got a strange feeling of watching an upset kitten, looking at the visible drop of redhead’s mood at the absence of his partner.

First, he proclaims them over , then gets a victory in singles, only to get even more affectionate." He banished the thought, before it could wander off into more dangerous territories and focused on what Kawamura was informing him of (somebody took his racket away, apparently).

‘He’s having his wrist checked; I’m sure he said he informed you about it.’

‘A-h.’ Tezuka nodded once, trying to ignore renewed activities of redhead, whose upset made  absolutely no difference to his destructive abilities. ‘He said it shouldn’t take too much time though…’

A ball passed by his ear, hitting one of the freshmen always following Ryoma on the face and Tezuka decided he should at least try to minimalize damage in people.

‘It doesn’t matter the rest of you can slack of like this in the middle of practice! First and second years prepare courts!’ he barked out and younger boys scrambled to get out of the direct danger zone (whether it was Tezuka’s or Kikumaru’s nobody was really sure). ‘Third years, go supervise, three for a court! Regulars, stay put!’

‘Somebody, take Kawamura’s racket from him!’ he sighed, noticing that someone (Fuji) slipped equipment back into giant’s hand. ‘then move everything out of Kikumaru’s range. We need to minimalise the damage.’

‘Where is out of his range, though, buchou?’ asked Momoshiro, desperately wrestling with Taka’s hand.

‘About 5% of the clubroom space.’ Inui supplied, but before they could interrupt him, he added. ‘Unfortunately, it is within 10% we are unable to reach, so I suppose we might as well call it a zero.’

Tezuka decided to take twice the dose of aspirine before he leaves clubroom today-he’d need that.

Just then the door to the clubroom opened, and just as Tezuka was getting ready to order additional laps for a newcomer before pushing him out, a voice from heavens (or, optionally, the door) spoke loudly.

‘Sorry, I’m la- Eiji! What’s going on?! Who gave you this much suga-?!’

His vice captain didn’t manage to finish his sentence as a literal Kikumaru avalanche took him as its’ target, latching with all four limbs onto blackhead; Tezuka didn’t miss a micro-second wince of pain, as Oishi automatically supported his partner’s weight with both hands.

‘Oishi! I’ve been worried and then Fujiko said it doesn’t suit me and shared his chocolates with me and told I’d feel better afterwards-‘ So it was Fuji. Tensai was so running laps. ‘-and for a moment it helped but then I got only more restless and you still weren’t there, and your wrist, how’s it, nya? I’m just worried! And restless! And Oishiless! Mou!’

Tezuka blinked, Inui scribbled something in the notebook, Fuji smiled and Taka finally stopped burning  (Momo used a moment of surprise to take his racket away).

‘E-Eiji, now, now, try to just calm down!’ when even his words didn’t seem to reach his partner, Oishi looked around, before locking desperate eyes on Tezuka. Captain sighed at the message he read there, before wordlessly looking away.

The ‘Please don’t kill us for that.’ easily gave away that even Oishi found himself unable to tune Kikumaru down. Not without his secret weapon.

More gaping insued, and Tezuka took small pleasure in seeing that even Inui’s pencil froze for a moment, before picking up with a speed that probably shouldn’t be possible for kana user.

Fuji’s smile didn’t waver, though. Annoying genius friend of acrobat.

When he decided to look back to his number one double, he noticed that Kikumaru was back on the ground, clinging to the jacket of his partner with only hands, what was a progress; the fact that he was also silent Tezuka had to write off as an effect of Oishi’s lips on redhead’s, but then again, acrobat was stiller for longer than he was altogether for previous half hour. Something in the pair changed and Oishi broke the kiss, but his attention was still on his partner.

‘There. Better?’ he asked silently, and- a miracle- redhead looked away, embarrassed.

‘But you were the one who said not to in public…’

‘Yeah, sorry. I had no other idea how to grab your attention.’ Oishi admitted with ease.

‘I’m not that bad!’ Eiji protested, to which Oishi shook his head.

‘Yes, you are.’

‘No, I’m no-’ Eiji stopped to look around the clubhouse, taking in his ruined state, shoulders slumping before turning back to his partner. ‘I am, am I not?’

Oishi shook his head before carefully looping his arm around redhead’s shoulders.

‘It’s okay. C’mon, let’s clean it up and go for practice. Alright, Tezuka?’

Tezuka decided to spare his vice’s efforts and not assign laps right now and there. It wasn’t Oishi’s fault his partner had a genial sadist for a friend-a sadist with a boyfriend that allowed him to use his kitchen...

‘Regulars, out and ten laps warming up. Fuji you’ll do thirty.’

None risked protesting, and if Fuji’s smile was something to go by, he found the chaos worth even additional laps, and Tezuka regretted the small number he ordered, but then again, he doesn’t want Taka-san to purposefully get himself laps just to keep genius company. Again.

How the hell did they get this far? With that team?

‘Buchou.’

Tezuka stifled a sigh. Behind himself, he could hear calming voice of Oishi and shuffle of items picked up and put into their respective places, suggesting at least one problem was under control. Not like his headache.

‘I don’t think it’s a good moment, Echizen.’

He loved, really loved the other Pillar, but right now he just...

...was being poked by the small box of medicine. Under the white cap, gold eyes stared at him in slight concern.

‘From America. They’re stronger than aspirin but aren’t doping yet.’

He took the white box, not bothering to read the writing, allowing himself a small smile.

‘Thank you, Echizen.’

‘No problem.’ concern was slowly washed away, replaced by a smirk. ‘If you need help swallowing...’

‘That won’t be needed.’ he replied sternly, but couldn’t help a small jab. ‘Better start your laps now, unless you want to stay after practice to do them.’

Normally, Echizen would shrug, but Tezuka knew he had a plan- well, they had a plan, for after the practice younger man would hate to miss.

Once the door closed after tennis prodigy, Tezuka heard a small chuckle behind himself. He didn’t bother to turn to his vice, swallowing one of the foreign pills.

‘He must be a handful.’

‘Not as much as yours.’ Tezuka drank few gulps of water, knowing he’ll earn a frown for dry-swallowing otherwise. ‘How you keep him grounded is beyond me.’

‘I don’t keep him. I do, however, hold him.’ Oishi answered, presenting it just as his partner latched onto him again, searching for comfort and- possibly - a reward for a job well done. Tezuka had to admit, it would be earned; within the time of Regulars leave and his short conversation with Echizen, Kikumaru managed not only restore the club to its prevous state, but also sweep the floor (where did he took the broom from without going out the clubroom was beyond him) and probably even clean that 5% of the 10% space unreachable for anybody else. Somehow.

‘Don’t take too long in here. You still have your laps to run.’ Tezuka said without looking back at the pair.

Maybe Kikumaru does have use outside of tennis and Oishi just noticed it before him. Headache wearing off, Tezuka took off to the door to start proper practice.

He knew Echizen didn’t want to be late for their after practice activity, and neither was he.