Shiraishi looks through the newspaper, circling any two bedroom apartments within their price range. Kenya taps the table to the beat of some techno song Zaizen had introduced him too, his other hand writing down the answers to their calculus assignment. "This one seems good. On the small side, but that's not a big deal," he says, pointing at one ad in the middle of the page.
Kenya looks at it and shrugs. "Can't you just ask your sugar daddy to get you an apartment?"
"I won't," he says with a frown, looking back down at the paper. "I'm not a gold digger and I resent you thinking that I am."
"You know I don't Kura. It's just… he has money. You told me himself he doesn't spend his winnings on anything other than necessities."
Besides flying him out to Dubai for the tournament there, Tezuka wasn't the type to just blow his earnings on extravagance.
"He is preparing for those times when he isn't playing," Shiraishi reasons.
"So when he's doing you, yeah?"
"Don't be an asshole," he says. "You know I meant when he retires."
Kenya smirks. "If you're in it for the long haul, why not ask? Don't think you'll last? I'm hoping you won't."
Shiraishi glares. "You could have told me before we started dating that you liked me."
"How the fuck was I supposed to know you were going to throw yourself at him at camp?"
"I didn't throw myself at him. It's been building for years."
"And let me guess, you've met his parents."
"No, but his mother and I talk a bit."
"You're kidding, right?"
Kenya groans. He puts down his pencil and rests his head on the table. He mumbles something incoherent. Shiraishi smirks and reaches over, poking him in the cheek.
"You know, it wouldn't kill you to try and get on with him."
More mumbling. Shiraishi sighs. "I'm not asking you to become best friends, but I don't like feeling as though I have to choose between you."
Kenya's phone chimes and he pulls it out, rising up from the table. "Z posted on his blog," he says, pressing a few buttons and waiting for the page to load on his phone. "Fucking asshole."
The speedster turns the phone around to show Shiraishi an artistically cropped picture. It doesn't take him very long to realize it's one of the many pictures that he had taken of him and Tezuka in Dubai. He frowns. Why couldn't Zaizen use his skills for tennis instead of gossip?
"I hope you are referring to Z," he says finally.
"All three of you actually," Kenya replies, snapping his phone closed. "Did you take video of you fucking too?"
"For your information, we didn't do anything like that in Dubai and I wouldn't film it anyway. I don't want tabloid bullshit to interfere with Tezuka's career."
"I knew it. He's turning you into an old man. Like Gin, but not as awesome."
"He is not. I respect him. If the tables were turned, I'd appreciate the same."
"Whatever," Kenya says, starting on calculus again.
Shiraishi shakes his head. "Fine. Be that way." He ignores the petulance of his best friend and goes back to looking at the ads.
Tezuka doesn't normally get nervous, but he can't help but feel so as his plane lands in Osaka. As he exits the gate and enters the airport proper, he pulls out his cell phone and turns it on. The graduation ceremony is in a little over thirty minutes. Gripping his tennis bag, he rushes through to the baggage claim and picks up his other suitcase. There isn't enough time to stop at a hotel and drop off his things.
He catches a taxi and requests it take him to Shitenhouji high school as soon as possible. The car passes vehicle after vehicle. Tezuka's eyes countdown the minutes on his phone as the meter rises. When they arrive at the school, a few families are still strolling in. He takes a deep breath and passes over enough yen to pay for the trip and a substantial tip. The ceremony has already started by the time he enters the gymnasium. He settles back against the wall; he's late enough that it's now standing room only.
The tennis pro scans the class. He sees Chitose's dark hair a head above every one else's, but Shiraishi is still hidden from his view. Letting his tennis bag slip to the floor, he attempts to relax. There will be time after the ceremony finishes to locate the other teen.
A cheer erupts in the crowd and Tezuka looks away from the students to see Tooyama perching precariously on the ledge of the upper seats. The redhead waves furiously. He turns back to the class just in time to see Shiraishi stand up and start unwrapping his arm. Movement ceases. Tezuka raises an eyebrow as they both sit down and the ceremony continues. Perhaps there is a necessity to Shiraishi's leadership style.
As the principal wraps up his comments and issues a commendation inferring graduation, Tezuka picks up his tennis bag and shoulders it. People around him start moving to meet their children. He sees Tooyama jump down and rush over to the tennis team which has sectioned itself off from the rest of the class. The tennis player stays put, not wishing to interrupt. No one from Shitenhouji is going pro, something that disappoints Tezuka only somewhat.
"Kura," Chitose drawls quietly, bending down to Shiraishi's level. "It seems you have a visitor."
The former buchou looks in the same direction as his much taller friend and smiles widely. Tezuka being there is an amazing surprise, especially considering he thought there was some tournament he would be playing at.
"Fantastic," Kenya remarks sarcastically. "You're going to be non-existent until he jets off to the next country."
"Ken-tan~~~" Koharu leans on him. "Don't be mean. Kura's in love."
Kenya turns a bright shade of red, his comeback sputtering on his lips. Shiraishi shushes them. "I will not be non-existent, Kenya. I promise."
"Uh huh, whatever."
"Don't get jealous. It doesn't suit you."
"Neither does that holier-than-thou jackass."
"Kenya!" Shiraishi shoots a glare at his best friend. With a frown, he waves and stalks off towards Tezuka. Halfway there, he gets partially tackled by his younger sister. He can't exactly shoo her away with their parents near by, so he deals with the hug until his mother peels her off.
"Congratulations, Kuranosuke," she says. "We'll meet you outside."
She leads his sister over to their father and they both exit through the open doors. Shiraishi starts on his original path. He weaves around families talking to their children, eventually coming face to face with Tezuka.
"Surprise," the tennis pro says.
"I thought you were in Miami."
"Forgive me for misleading you."
Shiraishi nods then notices his bags. "How long do you plan on staying?"
"Until you get tired of me."
"I don't see that happening."
Tezuka blushes slightly. Shiraishi brushes his cheek with his fingertips. He grabs the tennis pro's suitcase and pulls it next to him.
"My parents can take us to your hotel."
"Don't they want to celebrate with you?"
"Tonight. I can help you get settled in then we can go for takoyaki or something."
"I suppose you're going to be too busy to move in," Kenya says, his voice a bit tinny over the line.
Shiraishi turns away from Tezuka and steps out onto the balcony of his hotel, closing the door behind him. "No, I'm not. It's our apartment. Like I knew he was going to fly in and surprise me."
"Next thing you're going to tell me is that you're eloping and moving with him to Tokyo."
"For starters, that would be incredibly quick. We haven't been together that long. Secondly, stop being a dick. I'll be there tomorrow morning like we planned. Tezuka might be able to help if he doesn't have therapy."
Kenya snorts. "Gods forbid he breaks his shoulder."
Shiraishi snaps his phone closed and pads back into the hotel room. He finds Tezuka unpacking, hanging up shirts and jackets in the closet. "Are you busy tomorrow?"
Tezuka pauses, his hand grasped around a hanger. "I was going to check in at the center, but if you wanted to do something, I can call instead."
"Kenya and I are moving into our apartment tomorrow."
"Do you want help?"
Shiraishi eyes his shoulder. "No--"
"I'm not fragile," Tezuka interrupts, his brows furrowing slightly behind his glasses.
"I didn't say you were."
"Aa." He goes back to hanging up one of his tennis polos.
"Would you?" Shiraishi holds out another shirt, waiting for Tezuka to take it. "Nothing heavy. I know you have to train for the French Open while you're here."
Tezuka slips the shirt out of Shiraishi's grasp and nods. "I'll help after I go to the center."
Kenya collapses on the futon in the living room. Boxes surround him and he groans looking at them, knowing they'll have to unpack before doing anything fun.
"Here," Tezuka says, holding a bottle of water above his head.
"Where's Kura?" Kenya says with a frown, hesitating on taking the proffered beverage, as much as he wants it.
"Talking with his parents downstairs."
"Oh." He finally takes the water and watches Tezuka move to sit against the wall across from him. Downing the water in one gulp, he tosses the bottle at his feet. "Thanks. For helping and shit."
"It was no trouble."
"If your shoulder hurts, Kura will kill me."
"He won't because it doesn't."
Kenya sits up and looks at him. "You know I'll kill you if you hurt him. He's my best friend, so I'm not gonna take if you fuck it up."
Tezuka blinks. "I have no intention of messing it up. However, I cannot predetermine the course of our relationship. Que sera sera, Oshitari."
"I don't expect you to believe me," Tezuka says, recapping his water and setting it next to him. "Nor does it bother me that you don't particularly like me, but this is more about Kuranosuke. I'm not keen on putting him in an uncomfortable situation and really, you will be seeing him more than I will, so perhaps you could be kind enough to let me have some time with him when I'm in the country. I will try my best not to interfere with any plans you two have already made, but if you upset him, I won't hesitate to do something about it."
The speedster stares, mouth gaping. He doesn't have a proper response to that but, thankfully, Shiraishi chooses that exact moment to pad into the apartment, a final bag in his hand.
"Did I miss something?" he asks, setting it down next to a stack of boxes marked KENYA + YUU-CHAN'S STUFF in Shiraishi's neat hand.
"Not exactly," Tezuka answers for the both of them. He holds up the water bottle, still over half full.
"Thank you." Shiraishi closes the door and sits in between the two, making a rather obtuse triangle. He looks at Kenya, waving a hand in front of his eyes. "Are you okay? Did you misplace Yuu-chan already?"
"Yuu-chan?" Tezuka asks when Kenya doesn't respond.
"Are you sure this is the right environment for such a creature?"
"It isn't the best, but Kenya has a heat lamp. She'll be fine." He taps Kenya's leg. "Maybe he's dehydrated from the moving."
"There's an empty water bottle next to him. He drank the entire thing in one gulp."
"Unsurprising," Shiraishi says. "Ken-tan, talk to me."
Kenya blinks a few times. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure? Spacing out for a bit doesn't seem fine."
"Yeah, good." Kenya finally looks away from Tezuka. "We should start unpacking. Sen's coming over sometime today. Maybe Z too."
Shiraishi nods. He takes a drink of water. "Thirty minutes then we can start. If you want to hook up the electronics, go ahead. We both know Senri is probably sleeping."
"Fantastic," Kenya says, jumping up. He finds the boxes filled with video game equipment and various cords. "If I get done fast enough, I'm playing Gran Turismo."
"You do that," Shiraishi replies, stretching out and leaning back to rest his head on Tezuka's thigh. They watch Kenya put everything together in a few seconds short of five minutes.
"Impressive," Tezuka says quietly, dragging his fingers slowly through Shiraishi's hair.
The blond hums as Kenya turns on the game system and begins playing some racing game that Kintarou has been aching to try for some time. After a while, he glances up at Tezuka to find his eyes closed, probably in some kind of meditation. He smiles and continues to watch Kenya play. Unpacking can wait a little longer.