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There Is An 'I' In Team

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"Great practice today, idiot!" is the greeting that is thrown his way as Ebumi wrangles him and knocks around.

 

Ise laughs and shoulders his friend as he starts to sway; his cheeks slightly pink upon receiving the compliment.

 

He knows Ebumi means it, however brutally it is worded.

 

"So, ya’ got a minute?" The blond then asks; a wry smirk on his lips as he firmly directs them toward the club room as if to say, whether he has the time or not, they'll be going there anyway.

 

"Uh, I— I guess, don't ya' wanna' get showered first though, everyone else'll— oh," he stops short when Ebumi barges through the door and almost throws the brunet in after him with an overly friendly slap on the back.

 

"Ise," their captain waiting inside greets him with a sage smile.

 

"C— captain Sekizan, what are... what are we all doing here?" Ise wonders, his gaze gliding over each face staring back at him. Mutsumi and Matsuo are also present, smiling at him proudly.

 

"Ise, you played well today," Sekizan speaks again, stepping forward and clapping a hand on his shoulder.

  

The brunet glances back sheepishly at Ebumi, who is guarding the door by leaning nonchalantly on it; arms folded, one foot resting against the panel behind him, and a smug grin on his face.

 

He knows something Ise doesn't, that's for sure.

 

"Ah, th— thanks, sir," the boy politely replies, returning his attention to their admirable leader as he nervously rubs the back of his head.

 

"Ise," Matsuo steps forward, clearly noticing his disconcertion and assuming the role of the one to explain to the poor bewildered second-year.

 

"We all had a little talk today, and after seeing you play so well we decided to give you an offer... as a reward," he elaborates, looking at the others for input.

 

"That's right, you've really come along and we want you to know that we're proud of you," Mutsumi adds with a soft, sincere smile.

  

Ise looks partway doubtful and partway honoured, but as he glances back at Ebumi for some kind of incentive, he twigs on something.

 

"W— why me though?" He queries. "Gion— a— and Iwashimizu— even Ebucchi, they've all played well too recently... they're improving," he reminds in a noble effort to share the praise he doesn't seem to think he deserves.

 

"Hey it's gunna' be good for me too!" Ebumi interjects. "This is my reward as well y'know."

 

Sekizan removes his hand from Ise's shoulder and places it on his back instead so that he stands beside him rather than opposite him.

  

"Uh... you see..." he begins unsurely.

 

"Mutsumi told us about the other night, Ise," Matsuo simply confesses.

 

"Ah," the brunet nods, rubbing his arm as he averts his gaze.

 

"I only told Sekizan and Matsuo, I promise, Natsuki," the kind-hearted third-year jumps to defend himself.

 

"They were the only people I thought should really know..." he explains further. "But— and not that this isn't also about us taking pride in your achievements— but..."

 

"Basically, we wanna' fuck ya' fuck four ways at once and make sure ya' have a good time, yeah?" Ebumi finally cuts to the chase, joining by his side as he lands his hand on the boy's free shoulder.

 

"Eh?!" Ise starts, a little taken aback.

 

"I... wouldn't have worded it quite like that but... yeah, basically. Ise, we want you to know that we're here for you, and that we really love you. Enough that we're happy to show it with, as Ebumi says... a good fuck," Matsuo clarifies.

 

"D— don't make him too uncomfortable you guys," Mutsumi worries. "Natsuki, it's your choice entirely, please remember! We would never force this upon you, but we came together to discuss it, and we know how your home life is and how your brother can be, and this isn't the only way we want to be here for you, but if you want it and it would make you feel g—"

 

"Think about it," Sekizan interrupts his partner's sudden rambling. "We can convene any time you like; this offer is just for you, Ise," he concludes with a less hearty pat on the back.

 

"Come on man, don't be weird about it! Let’s just get to it an' have a time, yeah?" Ebumi encourages.

 

"Hey, don't you push him Ebumi," Mutsumi warns in his mothering tone. "Natsuki is free to decide if he wants this or not, we aren't to—"

 

"I want it," the boy in question finally pipes up, sniveling as he drags the back of his wrist under his nose.

 

Sekizan halts and turns on his heel to look over his shoulder, and everyone there stops breathing for a moment as they get a glance of Ise's face.

 

"Sorry, I didn't mean to make ya' doubt it," he apologises, sniffing as his pink cheeks apple into a shaky but grateful smile. "It's just real nice that ya'— that all of ya' care like that."

 

"Natsuki," the matronly third-year softens, "of course we care. We care about you very much and we want you to feel like you have somewhere to belong anytime you're faced with hardship at home."

 

"Y— yeah," the brunet hiccups, laughing through his tears.

 

"Ahhh! Hey now, come on loser, don't get all drippy before we’ve even started!" The rambunctious blond intervenes, giving poor Ise a shake as he tries to hide his own embarrassment at being emotionally affronted by his friend's struggle.

 

Mutsumi gives him another warning glare, but he understands, and he smiles when Ise smiles.

 

"Well then," Sekizan smirks, approaching Ise again and leaning over him as he tilts his head up to meet his gaze.

 

"Where shall we start?" He croons, kissing the younger boy with possessive intent.

 

Ebumi stiffens and retreats, not wanting to be the awkward third wheel in this little display, but Mutsumi pushes him forward and tells him to get in there.

 

"Oh! Y— yeah, right!" The blond laughs nervously, remembering that that is the point of all this.

 

He jostles his way into the embrace and gives Ise a completely chaste peck, but his eyelids flutter along with his beautifully severe lashes, and he finds his courage when the brunet's hand fumbles for his clothed cock.

 

Sekizan places a broad and powerful thigh between Ise's own legs for him to grind on, and he tugs at the back of Ebumi's sweatshirt, prompting him to remove it as the blond pushes against Ise's palm.

  

"Matsuo, get the lube," Mutsumi orders with a smirk as he pushes off the desk he was leaning on and starts to unclothe himself.

 

The taller brunet nods and fetches a handful of condoms with it as he shrugs himself free of his own jersey, and throws a towel over the centre desk before joining the maul, as it were.

 

"Ready?" Sekizan huffs; impatient and intoxicated as the mass of bodies already starts to generate heat.

 

"Yeah," Ise nods breathlessly, grunting a little as both Sekizan and Ebumi's hands retreat from his pants, and Ebumi whines when, consequently, the stimulation on his own cock ceases.

 

"Come on," Sekizan encourages, "I've got you," lifting Ise with ease and carrying him over to the table while Ebumi flocks to Matsuo's arms in desperation for attention to his already aching prick.

 

"Keep it together, Ebumi," the taller boy teases, turning the tide from their practice exercises and sweeping the breathless blond off his feet.

 

Mutsumi seems keen to orchestrate the group, but he gets involved when Sekizan reaches for the lube and starts to prepare Ise as he sits him on the edge of the desk, keeping his legs pinned round his waist with his free hand and kissing him hungrily.

 

"Takuya, let me do this bit, okay?" He softly interjects, earning a nod of understanding as the captain moves aside and supports Ise's head when he lies down.

 

He lingers, kissing what parts of the boy he can reach from here, and soon Matsuo plants a very incorrigible Ebumi next to him with a thud, and begins removing his shorts.

 

"F— fuck, Matsu that's it, that's it, suck me off," the blond desperately implores when his friend lowers his head.

 

"Have a little decorum, Ebumi," the older boy tsks, reclining his junior and hitching his legs onto his strong shoulders.

 

"You need preparation too. Someone else has got to bottom out and you're gunna' do it," he informs, borrowing the lube from Mutsumi's side as he begins to generously sheen the cleft of Ebumi's ass, right the way to his balls.

 

"I appreciate it an' all, but can ya' please just let me come!" The blond groans.

 

"Ebumi, do we have to restrain you?" Sekizan threatens, turning his attention to the whiny second-year while Ise is currently lost on a plane of pleasure thanks to Mutsumi's contending skills in oral.

 

"Or maybe we should put a cock ring on him," Ise suggests with a huff of laughter as he turns his head to the side to watch what's happening to his friend.

 

"That's not a bad idea," Matsuo smirks, garnering a horrified squeak from Ebumi, who is red-faced and close to begging.

 

"How do you feel about that, Ebucchi?" The older brunet taunts.

 

"Don't you dare!" Ebumi growls with little conviction.

 

"Then keep it together," Sekizan orders, going round to the other side of the table to start making out with Ise while Mutsumi does the same at the other end.

 

Ebumi shunts and grits his teeth when Matsuo purposely provokes him. Slowly pushing the blunt tip of his middle finger against the tight mouth of muscle and quietly commanding the blond to relax and push back.

 

His cock sways on its own when the older boy's finger slides inside him up to the first knuckle, and poor Ebumi can't stifle a whimper when Matsuo tickles his prostate with a cruelly feather-light touch.

 

"Uh~ Matsu-san please," he begs through a tightly cinched jaw. "Please don't, I'll come!" He groans, squeezing his eyes shut as his knuckles whiten from gripping the edge of the table so hard.

 

He fidgets, trying to dissuade his friend's invasive fingering, but pleasure is so imminent that he can't quite find the resolve to shy away from the pressure; rather, he grinds into it, rolling his hips implicitly.

 

"Ebumi, you need proper preparation. If you come now just from doing this then I'll be very disappoin—"

 

"No I can't! I can't!" Ebumi cries, ignoring his warning and getting himself off with a few guilty strokes to his dripping cock.

 

"Ebumi," Mutsumi sighs, removing his mouth from Ise for a moment before heeding the boy's unhappy whimper and returning his attention.

 

"Sorry! I'm really sorry! Honest!" The second-year insists, actually looking quite upset after he comes.

 

"It's alright kiddo; we were only teasing you. No harm done. Just make sure you've got it in you to keep it up for Ise's sake, alright?"

 

"Maybe I should take Ebumi's place? If he can't get it back up again then—"

 

"I can too!" Ebumi protests childishly, taking up his flaccid prick in one hand and pumping himself to a pitifully half-erect state before panting.

 

"Oh'kay I... I need a minute but—"

 

"It's fine, give him a chance, if he can't keep it up we'll put a band round his balls," Matsuo casually supplies.

 

"I'm not some breeding animal you know!" The blond objects.

 

"Oh will you stop arguing about Ebumi's one-shot-wonder!" Mutsumi groans, finally putting his foot down. "This is about Natsuki. Ebumi you come here, get on top and suck his dick."

 

Eager to redeem himself, the aggressive second-year nods and gracelessly ambles onto all fours on top of the table, getting himself into position so that he and Ise are sixty-nining.

 

Sekizan moves out of the way, now faced with Ebumi's rather inviting ass, and once the younger pair are settled, the captain takes a firm grip of the blond's buttocks and pulls them wide apart as he delivers some wanton tongue tactics.

 

For a moment it's hard to even focus on sucking Ise off when Sekizan is practically devouring him, but Mutsumi keeps him in check, and switches to using his fingers to finish preparing the brunet.

 

Matsuo takes it in turns between Sekizan and Mutsumi, meanwhile, making sure both boys are fully erect before he has a rummage in the duffel bag for something to restrict their poor insatiable blondie.

 

He sources a hair tie, and wriggles it onto his wrist for safekeeping.

 

"Ebumi, who do you want inside you?" Mutsumi then asks with a slight pant as he starts to stroke himself with his free hand.

 

The younger boy pants as well, as he lifts his head to take his mouth off Ise's cock.

 

"Matsu— Matsuo," he gasps. "I want Matsu-san."

 

"Alright kiddo," the brunet agrees, giving him a reassuring pat on the back as Mutsumi slips to the side to let the other boy take over.

 

"Come here," Matsuo encourages, lifting Ebumi off of Ise and creating space for them on the table.

  

"Hmm, alright... how best to do this," Mutsumi murmurs, pondering for a moment as he stands at the head of the desk and tries to envision a good arrangement.

 

"Alright, Taku— Sekizan," he corrects, "lay down on your back next to Natsuki."

 

Their captain nods, and gracefully hoists himself onto the table ledge beside the other with a slight grunt.

 

"Now Natsuki, you get on top of Sekizan just like how you and Ebumi were before."

 

"Got it," the brunet replies, smiling a little as Sekizan helps him into position and occupies himself by marveling over his ass, readjusting his grip a few times as he separates the twinned muscles with one huge, all-encompassing hand and works a finger inside.

  

"You need to put on a condom," Matsuo says aside as he continues relaxing Ebumi.

 

The blond grunts, hungry to progress but also secretly enjoying this exclusive attention from his senior.

 

"Here," the elder offers, once he's sheathed himself first.

 

"Ah— um— could you... do it?" Ebumi asks almost shyly.

 

"Hm? Have you never worn one before?" The taller boy wonders, narrowing his gaze marginally.

 

"Of course! Ya' think I'm an idiot?! I know how t'do it, I've done it before!"

  

His defensiveness tips the other off that perhaps their little blondie isn't being entirely truthful, but Matsuo isn't the type to pry, nor would he want to humiliate Ebumi in front of everyone where it's hardly an issue.

 

He smiles instead, and leans in closer to soothe the agitated boy, tearing open the sachet and carefully rolling the latex pocket onto Ebumi's prick while he talks to him and fawns over his bare shoulder.

 

"How do you feel about having me inside you, are you sure you're comfortable with it?"

 

Ebumi grips the back of his neck and gets closer, shunting into the older boy's relaxed grip and moaning as he gives a quick nod.

 

"I'm fine with it— yeah, I want it," he confirms.

 

"Good lad," Matsuo reassures him again, treating him with loving, experienced tenderness.

  

"Matsuo, you two next. Now... Natsuki, if you're comfortable, and Ebumi, if you're ready..." he pauses and gestures for them to get together, and Matsuo acknowledges him and helps Ebumi turn over onto all fours.

 

It's a little cumbersome trying to edge closer on his knees without slipping on the towel, but once he is firmly planted there he's able to support himself by taking hold of Ise's hips.

 

"Nice and slowly now, don't go rushing in," Sekizan coaches in a firm but even tone as he slides a little further underneath Ise where his mouth is at a perfect angle to simply start sucking his cock as he pleases.

 

The table creaks but stands steady regardless once Mutsumi leans against it where his own cock is in-line with Ise's mouth, but he patiently guides the other boys before even thinking of his own pleasure.

 

"I'm ready," Ise states surely, a giddy and brilliant grin in his voice as he cants back a little to encourage Ebumi. "Go ahead."

 

"Ah~ r— right, yeah," the blond nervously replies, swallowing thickly and pushing aside his moment of apprehension as he, almost too slowly, sinks into the brunet and lets out a wavering groan.

 

Ise groans too; their voices mingling together in all-round satisfying signal that they're finally engaged and the older three grin, knowing they can get started.

 

Immediately Sekizan begins sucking Ise's cock again, but it's clear he's saved the most effort for this moment, because his technique is astounding. He takes Ise right to the back of his throat with ease, and makes use of his tongue in a tactile way by running it along the underside each time his head buoys back.

 

Ise moans at the coupled sensations; Ebumi seems unsure as he is just rutting in place, but he’s definitely enjoying it if his strained noises are anything to go by.

 

Mutsumi is next to join, lovingly cupping Ise's chin and then bringing his other hand up to tenderly stroke his hair. Ise eagerly takes heed of the older boy's glorious, unsheathed member, and raises his head a little to imply that he wants it.

  

"Ah~ you're so good, Natsuki. You're so important to us," the larger boy sighs with a serene smile on his soft face when the warmth of Ise's mouth envelops his cock.

 

"You're just... amazing, Natsuki."

 

Sekizan moans too now, and it prompts a chain reaction of vocalised thrill when Ise moans in response to that, and tightens around Ebumi, provoking a moan from him.

 

His hand reaches down then, not wanting to neglect his captain, and he finds that Sekizan's similarly proud endowment is easy to grasp from this position.

 

He runs his thumb over the soft, pliant head, smearing precum over the purpling bulb before slowly jerking up and down with a consistent, firm grip like how he knows he would enjoy on himself.

 

It's a real buzz of pride and gleefulness when this attention gets their stoic captain to have to ease off and pant for a moment as his inner thighs tremble, and when Ise's lips roll over Mutsumi's shaft in canon with his grasp on Sekizan, the pair of them let out a chorused whine.

 

"Natsuki, you're so talented, we love you... you're so good," Mutsumi goes on, smiling fondly with doting eyes as he traces the flat of his thumb over the boy's bottom lip as it shapes beautifully around his prick.

 

"Are you ready, Ebucchi?" Matsuo asks with patience and consideration, taking a mirroring pose to Mutsumi at the other end of the table as he draws apart Ebumi's alabaster cheeks and warms him up to the feeling by rubbing the head of his gloved cock against his entrance.

 

Ebumi shudders; partly anxious and partly excited. He sticks his tongue out a little and growls, trying to shirk his inhibitions by getting into the scene, and his usual tone returns when he demands that Matsuo, 'just put it in already.'

 

The elder brunet smirks in a sage manner, and slowly impales Ebumi on his sizeable length, gripping his hips lightly and backing out a couple of times before he's sure Ebumi can take more.

 

The blond protests at about half of the way in, but that's good enough for Matsuo, particularly since he's now founding the assumption that Ebumi hasn't done this before.

 

"There's a good lad. Not bad," he encourages.

 

Ebumi grunts and gives a defiant huff, "this is nothing," he replies, though perhaps it's a little more than nothing, as it's a little more than he can take.

 

"Ise, you're doing great. We're proud of you, kiddo," Matsuo pitches in, holding his breath masterfully as he begins fucking Ebumi at a steady pace; trying to set a rhythm first that everyone can match.

 

Once the praise for Ise starts to roll out into full and unabashed compliments and declarations of love, the group of boys finally find a good tempo, and for a solid twenty minutes, everyone is fucking and sucking and moaning and encouraging each other like a true team.

 

"We love you, Ise. We love you so much, you're our good boy."

 

"You've improved so much, Ise. We're so proud of you."

 

"You're safe with us. No one will ever hurt your here. We all love you very much."

 

Even as breaths start to run short and soft, lulling words become sparse and are traded for focused grunts of effort and the sound of hot, steaming skin clapping in a cacophony against damp, heaving flesh, Ise's heart swells with joy for the love he receives.

 

To say he belongs here, with his friends; his team, is an honour and a privilege, and thanks to these boys, now and every other day, thoughts of his brother and the lack of sanctity he finds at home is drowned out and drenched by so much love that he feels as if he can brave anything.  

 

"Natsuki," the vice-captain coos softly, gazing down over pink, puffed out cheeks with a pair of mothering, doe-eyes.

 

"Are your hurting, do you need to stop?" He inquires calmly, keeping his voice down so as not to throw the others off balance with the disturbance.

  

Ise shakes his head and relents as Mutsumi pulls out.

 

"Nah," he sniffs, only just noticing the tears in his eyes, having thought it was just sweat. "I'm happy... I'm— I'm real happy," he insists with a heartfelt look and a strong smile.

 

"You're amazing, Natsuki. We love you, we all love you so much; you'll always have a family with us," Mutsumi smiles, stepping back and leaning down to kiss away the boy's tears as he cups his face.

 

"Ah-ah~ I'm... gonna' come~" Ebumi tactlessly announces, breaking the serenity of Mutsumi and Ise's tender moment.

 

"Don't you dare!" Sekizan interjects, his mouth pulling off Ise's well attended cock with a certain and hasty pop.

 

"Nah, he's fine, I'm... close too," Ise confesses.

 

"I can catch up," Matsuo adds, proving that right away as he picks up the pace and starts fucking Ebumi faster.

  

The blond loses his grip, and the third time Matsuo nudges his prostate, his eyes roll up into his head and his hips stutter as he groans into a tremulous whimper and comes.

 

"Okay kiddo, not bad, not bad," Matsuo reassures when the suddenly lucid Ebumi starts to faintly apologise for coming first.

 

It's fortunate that the powerful third-year has the girth and vigour to make up for it, as his continued thrusting has a knock-on effect, as Ise starts to groan around Mutsumi as the pair very nearly come at the same time.

 

Mutsumi pulls out of Ise's mouth just before though, finishing himself into his hand to save the poor boy from swallowing while he's trying to enjoy his own orgasm.

 

"Oh? Already?" Matsuo notes with inappropriate candidness.

 

"Sekizan, how are y—"

 

"Ah! C— captain, please," Ise cries over Mutsumi.

 

Even after coming, Sekizan continues to suck him off, and it's far too sensitive for that kind of persistence.

 

"Oi, big guy," Matsuo steps in to ease away their eager captain. "The poor kid's gunna end up circumcised if you keep that up; come here, I'll finish you off," he offers, carefully drawing his unspent cock out of the limp blond, earning a vague grunt as Ebumi manages to support himself on all fours, panting and dazed.

 

To this Sekizan stops and drags the back of his wrist across his mouth before he slides out from under Ise.

 

"Sorry, Ise. I didn't mean to overload you like that, I got carried away. You were great though; your stamina is impeccable," the 'often-lost-on-appropriate-remarks-to-make' guy declares, clapping his junior on the shoulder as is normal now, before he struts over to Matsuo and whips off the unused condom the brunet is wearing.

 

Mutsumi has recovered by this point; he is often quick to. He takes up the task then of caring for their juniors while Sekizan and Matsuo frot one another until the pair of them climax with a chorus of deep, virile sounding huffs.

 

After the pair have cleaned up and put their pants back on at the least, Matsuo goes to Ebumi to see that he is alright, while Sekizan fawns over Ise so that Mutsumi can tidy himself up.

 

"Ise, you did great. You were incredible just now," Matsuo praises him.

 

"What about me?" Ebumi panders, not in the habit of sharing the spotlight even when he knows it oughtn't be about him.

 

"You were great too. I'm pleased you held out," Sekizan nods with a sage smile.

 

"Are the both of you alright? You're not hurting anywhere are you?" Mutsumi makes sure, leaning over Ise and rubbing him down with a towel as Sekizan helps him to sit.

 

"Nah... I feel... really good," the brunet nods, only now realising there's a lump in his throat and his eyes are full of tears.

 

"Huh?!" Ebumi exclaims as Matsuo drapes a towel round his shoulders and supports him in an upright position as well.

 

"What're ya' cryin' for?!" He demands to know, sounding outraged, more so by the fact that he is tearing up now too.

 

"Aha, Ebumi don't you start," Matsuo smirks, rubbing up and down his arms as the blond rests against his chest and tries to mask a snivel by coughing.

  

Ise is laughing through the tears though, just as everyone else is chuckling in amusement at poor Ebumi and his tsundere attitude. 

 

"Heh, sorry, I don't... really know why I'm cryin'," Ise apologises, "I just feel... really happy."

 

Mutsumi and Sekizan smile down at him like a pair of angels come to take him to heaven, and when Sekizan affectionately begins to stroke his hair, Ise smothers himself on their captain's chest and relishes in the comfort of being held by him.

 

"Natsuki," Hachiouji says sweetly, "we're glad you're happy. You deserve to be. We love you."

 

"And me! Everyone loves me too, right?!" Ebumi bawls; clearly more of an empath than he realises since the sight of his friend tearing up with joy sets off the waterworks for him.

 

Matsuo pats him on the back reassuringly, always patient with his wily junior.

 

"And you too, Masaru. We love you too, and we're very proud of you," Mutsumi certifies with a bright grin.

 

The group share a long, comforting moment of togetherness while the teary second-years recover from what's likely a result of overstimulation, and the third-years patiently dote on them and continue to tell them how proud they are and how well they did.

 

For Ise, hearing that he made everyone else as happy as they made him is what really hits home, and he's so grateful that here he can cry about whatever 'unnecessary' thing he feels without fearing the wrath of his brother.

 

Here he will be accepted and loved no matter what. These are the people he chooses to call family.

 

It's late now; already dark, and once everyone is showered and dressed they gather their things, tidy up, and then lock the club-room as they all leave together.

 

"Ise," Sekizan speaks up, putting and arm round the smaller boy's shoulder, "we'll walk you home."

 

"Oh, no! No it's okay, really! M— my brother— I don't want him to cause trouble for y—"

 

"It's not an offer, Natsuki," Mutsumi says with surprising firmness for his usually lenient way. "We want to see you get home safe," he concludes, deciding not to add, 'and we want your brother to know that if he hurts you he'll have us to deal with.'

 

Ise is quietly close to tears again when he thinks about how much he's really cared for here.

 

He grips his bag strap as he walks, staring at the ground and biting his lip, trying to dissuade his blush.

 

Sekizan's arm around him feels so nice; like just that one gesture is enough to give him complete protection from anything.

 

Ebumi is strangely quiet too, but even as they walk in silence, it's a solid, peaceful kind.

 

"Ah, this is my place," the brunet announces as they reach his apartment block.

 

"Thanks for tonight... Mutsumi-san, thank you for... thanks for believing in me all this time."

  

Mutsumi is about to tell him not to worry about it, that of course they believe in him and want to support him, but he is deterred from speaking at all when the younger boy wraps his arms around his soft middle and hugs him fiercely.

 

"Ah, Natsuki," he says gently, smiling in that sweet, motherly way that he does as he pats him on the head.

 

"Thanks everyone!" He then blurts out, bowing frantically as his cheeks glow red.

 

They all laugh and wish him goodnight, but nobody leaves until they see Ise's brother answering the door.

 

When the bespectacled man looks over at them with a scornful, questioning squint, the group stand strong and stare him down.

  

They don't need to say anything to let him know that they're all here for Ise and that if he steps out of line, the whole team will be here next time, and they won't have good intentions for him.

 

Ise's brother retreats back into the house like a snake, keeping a thin-lipped expression as Ise follows, but not before smiling to reassure them, and waving.

 

The group relax, and bid him goodnight from afar before they go on their way.

 

"Ugh, hate that guy!" Ebumi complains, folding his arms above his head as he struts between Matsuo and Sekizan, looking like the obvious baby of the group with the three tall, calm third-years.

 

"I'm glad he didn't seem to give Ise any trouble though. We need to look out for him," Mutsumi adds.

 

"We will," Sekizan firmly declares. "He's a good player and he is our friend, no one will get away with hurting him."

 

Their captain is radiating determination and ferocity, and it makes Ebumi shy away over to Matsuo's side.

 

"You can be pretty scary y'know..." he complains.

 

"Huh?" The taller boy replies, switching off instantly and returning to his stoic, steadily-spoken self again. "Oh, sorry," he realises.

 

"It's even scarier when ya' do that!" Ebumi protests.

 

Matsuo and Mutsumi just laugh, but soon they're at Ebumi's place next.

 

The blond turns aloof and his shoulders drop. He looks uncomfortable to be here; embarrassed, almost, and reluctant to go inside when he knows that no one is home for him.

  

Matsuo steps forward, and puts a gentle hand on his shoulder.

 

"Come on, kid," he says, gesturing to the direction of his house with a nod.

 

He doesn't need to explain, Ebumi gets it, and a shy smile appears on his face as he rubs his arm anxiously and goes quietly but gratefully beside him.

 

"Goodnight you two," Matsuo waves, raising his hand to bid farewell as he and Ebumi turn away.

 

"See you tomorrow!" Mutsumi calls back.

 

He and Sekizan go in the opposite direction then, and now that they're alone, Mutsumi dares to hold his hand.

 

"You were good today... I'm happy you were gentle with him; it means a lot to have your support... I just really want to help him."

 

"Mmm," Sekizan replies, wearing a subtle smile as they walk together back to Mutsumi's house.

 

"Did you have fun though? I thought it would be a good way for everyone to bond and make Natsuki feel better."

 

Sekizan gives a breathy laugh— like a short exhale through his nose.

 

"Your ideas are always great. And I had fun," he confirms, leaning down to kiss his boyfriend on the cheek. 

 

Mutsumi isn't one to get flustered by affection easily, but things like that, especially coming from Sekizan, always get him.

  

"Heh, well... I'm sure I can think of some more that we can do tonight," he simpers; a light-hearted retaliation that gets a tiny blush out of Sekizan too when he realises his meaning.

 

The pair glance at each other then and share a boyish giggle like a pair of intoxicated lovebirds.

 

Mutsumi hushes him, trying to stifle his own laughter when they reach his house, but the giggling doesn't stop that night... and nor do they.