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Ready, Set, GoYuu!

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No matter how long the three friends have known each other, Kugisaki oftentimes has trouble understanding what goes in the mind of the two boys. Not that she has difficulty reading them, but rather, fathomed how oblivious Yuuji can become, and how biased Fushiguro can be to a certain extent. 

At a first glimpse, they’re just your two typical teenage boys who’s one a little dumb with a gifted talent, and the other is a rich ‘jerk’ who’s blessed and will only do things to their own accord; inclination. 

Of course, that should be an overstatement on its own.  Because Yuuji can’t possibly be that much of a pea-for-brain and Fushiguro can’t possibly be that opportunistic when it comes to obtaining what he wants, right? 

Right?

After the trio returned home, Kugisaki noticed Yuuji and Fushiguro were acting rather unusually as soon as they exited the car. She can’t put it into words, but she’s well confident they’re up to something. 

Did I miss something while I was asleep?

She shrugs it away, too unbothered and tired to meddle into their business. If they don’t inform what’s happening, then it’s usually nothing too serious for her to get involved. She’s got enough drama on her plate with Mai and rival designers to really care, anyway. So the rest of the night goes on without say, but in the next day, it’s when things really start becoming hard to ignore. 

Ever since the trio stayed in the apartment, they always ordered take out for breakfast. They’re overseas—they might as well push aside homemade cooking and enjoy the authentic Italian dishes as much as they can whilst they’re here. So when Kugisaki hears the sounds of pots shuffling, spatulas clanking, and sizzles of food being cooked, she quickly rushes downstairs to see all the hubbubs. There, she sees Fushiguro’s wolf dogs, Celestial and Empyrean, patiently sitting behind Yuuji as he cooks what she guesses is tempura. 

“What are you doing, Yuuji?” She asks with pure concern. 

“Oh, Nobara!” Yuuji greets her with a smile. “Good morning! I’m making breakfast.”

“Yeah, I can see that but…” she approaches, petting Empyrean, the black dog, as her gaze focuses on the stovetop and the foods on the island counter. “The question is why are you making breakfast? We’re in Italy, you doofus.”

Upon closer investigation, it seems to be a typical Japanese style breakfast. Miso soup, fried fish, cucumber salad, and onigiri. It’s quite the variety on one table for just the three of them. To be fair, Yuuji can devour it all by himself, but what catches her attention is how neatly plated the dishes are presented—quite an uncustomary term of event. 

“I wanted to make something special,” Yuuji hums. 

“Heeh? Is that so?” Kugisaki takes a seat on the high chair of the island counter, watching the boy delightfully twist and turn the mushroom tempura. “When did you buy groceries? Other than drinks, I know the fridge was empty when I got here.”

It’s by no means her first time witnessing the boy cook before, but he’s certainly giving off a fluffier aura than how she previously last recalled. Perhaps it’s just her imagination, but Yuuji looks incredibly domesticated with his matching pink apron, cooking breakfast on his own whilst the dogs patiently watching him. 

He looks like a mother - no - a wife even. A housewife. 

What the fuck does that even mean? Kugisaki growls in her thoughts. He’s literally a dude. Somehow, the femininity in her feels challenged. 

“Megumi ordered online for me this morning.”

She furrows her brows. “He suddenly wants to eat homemade food? So weird,” she hisses, finding offense in that request. 

Eating authentic Italian food in its homeland is a privilege! Not everyone can afford to fly here! Freaking Megumi and his bloody rich background. 

“Actually—well, this is embarrassing to say…” Yuuji chuckles nervously. With his back as her view, she can already tell the boy’s a little flushed. What’s his deal? 

Kugisaki lifts a brow, knowing full well of that familiar ‘don’t kill me’ tone. “What? Spit it out.”

“I’m—” he trails off, putting another battered mushroom in the oil. “I’m playing… Tsumiki , actually.”

what? 

The sizzles of the tempura cover up the silence. She stares blankly, then blinks once, twice, unable to surmise what she heard. 

“Are you high?”

“I-I know—“ Yuuji cracks a breathy laugh, still having his back facing her. “I know it sounds weird, but! Fushiguro… uhm well he and I had a little chat last night—“

Kugisaki throws her head up, slapping a hand on her eyes. “Oh jeez. What are you guys up to, this time?” She lands an elbow on the island counter, pointing a finger. “You know the last time you guys did weird shit like this, it literally ended up so awkward. You two better not ruin my trip here!” Her voice growls a bit too menacingly. 

The dogs stand up, tails wagging excitedly from the girl’s reaction. Celestial, the white one, jumps on its hind legs, attempting to lick her face. 

Yuuji swings his face to meet hers. “What?! No! It’s nothing like that!”

“Oh yeah? Didn’t you just say you’re—BLEH!” Kugisaki tries to push away the big dog’s face from licking hers. It's tough when the creature is almost just as big as an actual wolf. “Oh my god, STOP! Slobbering all over my skin care,” she manages to calm it down. 

Yuuji takes out the final tempura and turns the stovetop off. “They’re already fed but you can give them some of that onigiri. They’ve been patient with me for some time now so they can have some.”

Kugisaki ruffles the top of the two dogs’ heads, fiddling with the fluffy wolf ears. “Celestial, Empyrean, you may be cute but you’re not getting any human food that Yuuji cooked,” she holds underneath their jaws. “It’s precious you hear me?” She begins to whisper. 

Too distracted with the dogs, Yuuji’s already done plating the tempura neatly like a restaurant. She’s about to speak once more, not to get side tracked anymore, but Fushiguro suddenly appears from the staircase. 

Seeing the boy’s expression unconcerned, it’s clear he hasn’t heard what they were on about. She feels relieved knowing that he didn’t overhear them because somehow, it feels awkward and as Yuuji said, embarrassing to bring it up. Even without Yuuji telling her the reasoning, she’d figure the answer herself. 

Luckily, Kugisaki didn’t have to say anything. Fushiguro speaks to them as though like any other day, so she sighs, letting go of whatever kind of scheme he’s having Yuuji do.

As long as nothing weird happens, it’ll be fine.

 


 

… It was not fine by any means. 

Breakfast was tolerable. Fushiguro and Yuuji acted as they always do—chatting like old times, even. Other than the sea-urchin hair boy eye boggling more than usual on his crush, it was still a harmless morning; tolerable. 

Then noon came by. 

It was 12:30pm and the three had to get ready to go shopping again from a sudden party invitation from the Zenin clan. Kugisaki had come out of the steamy shower, and realized she left her phone downstairs. There was no way she’d dress up without jamming to her beats, so she ought to fetch the device real quick. 

In towels, she opened her bedroom door and realized the far off master bedroom across the hall had its doors left slightly opened. Fushiguro, being the owner of the apartment, is the one staying in the biggest room. The staircase is near the master bedroom, so trying to avoid it is inevitable.

Curiously, she decides to take a peek through the crevice of the door.  Megumi’s done already? That was fast-

By instinct, she halts her breathing, masking away any potential noise upon what she’s seeing. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. 

In the room, he isn’t alone as she suspected he would be. There, she sees Fushiguro with his back in view, but four legs in between. Low mumbling, and inaudible sounds are coming from them and fear strikes deep in her guts. From the angle she stands, Yuuji is presumably sitting on the bedroom bench whilst Fushiguro is standing in front. In this view they look like—

“Okay you two, what are you doing?!” Kugisaki shoves the door open. 

Fushiguro turns his body slightly to her direction, and to her relief, it isn’t as bad as she expected. Though ‘not as bad’ doesn’t mean entirely good, either. Because as relieved as she is to see Fushiguro’s pants still zipped up and buckled, his shirt is a different story. It’s unbuttoned all the way, practically shoving his faint six pack towards the underage boy. 

Yuuji leans to the right, popping up in view in his cute and innocent curious look. Kugisaki notices the boy’s hands are holding onto the wrist of Fushiguro’s dress shirt, presumably Yuuji was helping him button it up. 

Kugisaki cringes. You’re telling me Tsumiki-san did this before landing in the hospital?

“Do what?” Fushiguro questions blandly, as though this is a completely normal behavior. 

She sighs, rolling her eyes. “Why is Yuuji buttoning your shirt up?”

“Megumi said he needed help so here I am,” Yuuji replies, not reading the room. 

“I can’t button the wrist myself.”

That’s bullshit, Megumi. 

“No I mean-“ Kugisaki never wanted to punch someone so badly, but she doesn’t want to argue right now. As for the reason, she’s only in a towel. “Just! Yuuji, after you’re done go shower yourself. And Megumi! You’re older than him. For god’s sake, why do I have to tell you this?” She hisses and storms off, leaving the two be. 

Why do I have to be the one gatekeeping? 

Thankfully, Yuuji does listen to her request and heads towards his own room to shower after he’s done. She’s sure Fushiguro’s upset with her being a cock-block, but they’ll have a talk later. She’s busy trying to pick an outfit at the moment. 

She knew Fushiguro had a crush on Yuuji from the moment he watched Yuuji drive around the go-kart years back. It was so painfully obvious that it genuinely hurt her seeing how Fushiguro would go his way to try and ‘impress’ Yuuji by giving him money but only getting friendzoned in the end. 

Kugisaki should’ve known that it would only get worse from there. Afterall, asking your crush to play pretend as your step-sister is practically throwing it out there. That is, if Tsumiki really does the things Fushiguro’s telling Yuuji to do to begin with. Then it’s beyond desperation at this point. 

And thankfully, it wasn’t awkward when they left the apartment. Shopping makes Kugisaki happy, to the point she ignored the two whenever they were doing weird stunts again. 

Like Fushiguro sticking close to Yuuji wherever they go, making Kugisaki a third wheel, him letting Yuuji eat most of his own lunch, which he used to be so sensitive about, telling Kugisaki to take photos of them, and posing like a couple, and sharing ice cream because Fushiguro apparently doesn’t like sweets and couldn’t finish on his own under the hot sunny day. 

There hasn’t been a single opening for her to ask Yuuji why on earth he’s okay with it. By the looks of it, Yuuji seems to think it’s a friendly banter between two bros. No butterflies in sight. This was agonizingly painful to watch. 

She’s only really sane thanks to her shopaholic obsession. 

After hours of only looking around for Kugisaki’s bag that she finally settled on, it’s Yuuji’s turn to browse for his outfit. Throughout the time they spent, her irritated emotions of her friends being absolutely ridiculous slowly  turns to pity. Pity to Fushiguro, that is. 

“You guys, do I really have to buy such an expensive suit?”

“Shut up,” Kugisaki holds up two white dress shirts, one darker shade than the other, to Yuuji. “I’m surprised you don’t even have a fancy suit this whole time.”

Yuuji whines, distress is all his face tells. “Why can’t I just buy one from H&M or something?”

“You want to wear a cheap suit to meet your new sponsors?” 

“We’re going to Megumi’s family party. I’m not trying to grab any sponsors,” he emphasizes to her. “Besides, it’s not like anyone can tell the difference. And I don’t think H&M suits are all that cheap…"

“Stop being cheap. I myself can tell from a mile away,” she snarls. “And who said anything about it being a family party? A lot of the F1 folks and businessmen are invited,” she turns away, picking a different shade of dress shirt.

Yuuji makes a confused look at Fushiguro who’s sitting on the leather guest chair. “I thought that’s what you told me?”

He shoulder shrugs. “It just said ‘Zenin’ party. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s only my family,” that makes Yuuji sigh. “What?”

“Nothing, I just… Well, I just don’t really like those kinds of parties,” he scratches his head. “You know, the ones that’s mainly a business meeting rather than actually having fun?” He admits.

“You’re a professional racer now, Yuuji. It’s time to get used to the things pacing when you’re high on the market.”

“Yeah-yeah whatever, just grow up already,” Kugisaki shoves a whole outfit on his chest. “Here, go try this. Trust me on this one.”

Yuuji looks down to see the set given to him. It’s a black, blazer, pants, tie and red dress shirt and red socks. 

He hums questionably. “Okay if you say so, ma’am,” he retreats into the dressing room, leaving the two behind. 

Kugisaki returns to the shelves nearby, looking for more blazer options. It’s quiet between the two, and it’s silent as they’re the only customers in Dolce & Gabbana. The store workers are ordered to watch from a distance by Fushiguro as he has been very particular about Yuuji’s safety. 

Talk about melodramatic, Kugisaki thinks. Nonetheless, at least the two are finally separated. 

“Did Yuuji tell you?” Fushiguro breaks the ice. 

She freezes from a split second and scoffs, resuming her browse through the clothing racks. “Even if he didn’t tell me, I would already catch on. Some lie you told him to play as your step-sister.”

He hesitates for a moment, feeling slight shallows in his guts. “It’s really none of your concern.”

“I’d say otherwise—he’s my friend, too. And Yuuji wasn’t exactly acting like siblings would. Unless you and Tsumiki were into that type of thing.”  

She recalls Fushiguro trying to give Yuuji a back hug when they were in Versace earlier to buy her mini bag. 

“I wasn’t lying to him… he merely played the role when Tsumiki and I were children.”

She’s surprised he’s taking what she said pretty well. 

“Bold of you to advance on my underaged idiot like that,” her hand grabs a dark blazer with a subtle shade of green and turns to the boy. “I’m only really judging on your method, really. I didn’t think you’d use your step sister as an excuse to get close to him.”

‘I got desperate,’ he refuses to confess. 

“I…” He looks up to her face as she walks in front of his manspread legs. 

“Stand up and give me your arms,” she demands. 

When it comes to dressing up, he has to be compliant to her wishes, otherwise she’ll bite his head off. “So you knew about my feelings towards him? And yet you did that?” He does as he’s told and lets her put the blazer on him. “Are you a homophobe?”

She tugs and pats the jacket neatly. “I’m not a homophobic. Keyword; underaged, darling,” taking a step back, she admires the boy’s handsome looks with the suit. “Hmm, I guess this looks good on you,” she mumbles as she retreats to find a fitting tie. 

“You know I’m only two years older than him.”

“Three, actually. You’re turning 20 later this year and he-“ she picks up a plain dark blue tie, matching the same swatch as his eyes. “-just turned 17 a few months ago.” Kugisaki wraps the fabric around his neck, beginning to tie a simple design. 

“He’s going to turn legal either way,” he turns his face away. 

She sighs. “Listen, Megumi-“ her grip tightens for a split moment. “Yuuji is you know… he’s busy now. He just started doing what he loves and if you try to do something like this , it won’t go in the way you’d want.”

Fushiguro scoffs. “You can’t tell me what to do. Yuuji is not yours to keep.”

“Hey, you can have Yuuji, I’m cool with that. But it’s a lot more complicated than you think. You of all people should understand where I’m getting at. I guess you lose brain cells when he gets involved, huh?” 

“Stop beating around the bush.”

“Fine. You can start by thinking about what will happen if you two do get together. In other words, what will the media say about it?”

“What does the media have to do with anything?” 

“Media is everything when Yuuji is a big shot now,” Kugisaki huffs as she finishes a neat tie, tugging it one last time. “And not only will it be trouble with the community, but how do you think Yuuji will feel?”

He frowns. “Are you saying I’ve got no chance with him?”

She raises her hands in surrender. “I didn’t say that,” Fushiguro sighs, making her cup his jaw. “Look, you’ve been trying for years now. You might as well just wait a little more until he’s legal, okay? Or at the very least, you can start confessing after he’s done the race so he won't get distracted.”

Fushiguro stares into her eyes, a little weirded out from her sudden empathy. “I thought you’d be annoyed about this.”

“I was. Until I realized you were being pretty serious about it. And you don’t care about most things,” she takes her hands off. 

He would say it back as well—it isn’t like her to give advice on this sort of dilemma. Maybe he really should consider her advice. 

Yuuji shortly appears wearing his assigned outfit Kugisaki chose and all the rich boy can think is how adorable he looked in red. Red like Ferrari. 

Sorry Nobara, but I’m running out of time. 

 


 

In the evening at 10, the drive to the Zenin villa didn't take all too long from where they had stayed. Just in the outskirts of Monza, through the dark roads and equipped security guards they pass, the estate is finally in view as they further into the woods. 

It’s a prestigious and pretentious Italian-style two story building, Fushiguro’s glad Yuuji isn’t intimidated by the lengths his family takes to throw a party. Then again, Yuuji must’ve been used to all the luxuries ever since he stepped foot in that F1 AMG. 

As Fushiguro drives up the private hill, he keeps an eye for that specific white 720s as he searches for a parking slot. It’s quite full already despite the early hour. He began to feel a little worried about being unable to find a parking space. Then low and behold, he finds an empty spot. But…

“You gotta be kidding me,” Fushiguro mutters as he sees an empty slot next to the white McLaren he hoped wouldn’t show up. 

Yuuji whistles as he notices a light blue pearlescent shine on the car. “That 720s is sexy.”

Fushiguro rolls his eyes as he reverse parks into the slot. “What makes that car special? Didn’t you just see someone bring a golden Aventador?”

“True,” is all he says, not leaving his eyes on the McLaren. It sort of bothered Fushiguro. 

After he turns off the car engine, Fushiguro stops Yuuji before exiting the car. “Tsumiki holds my hand in times like this.”

The boy tilts his head, and Kugisaki already slammed the door, heading straight into the villa. He doesn’t ask, and cheerfully takes his hand. “Sure thing, Megumi.”

After locking the car, holding hands towards the entrance, the two of them, one after the other, receive greetings from guests and servants of the family. Yuuji recognizes more faces than expected, like Yaga, Armando, and even Mihito is here. Of course, since she’s the driver for Ferrari, she’s sort of the star of the event. 

The home is big enough to fit almost 200 guests, and Yuuji assumes that’s how many people are here. There are so many guests in fancy outfits, holding champagne glasses and hors dourves, Yuuji feels a little nervous—a litte out of place. Kugisaki has wandered off somewhere in the villa to find Maki, so it’s just the two of them, dawdling aimlessly around, ‘enjoying’ the party. 

Yuuji, despite being a newcomer, had grabbed quite the attention Fushiguro hadn’t expected. They were stopped almost every step of the way by a random guest, asking Yuuji random questions about whatnot. He’s become quite the celebrity, Kugisaki was right. 

They met up with Fushiguro’s father later, though it hadn’t been for long. Toji Fushiguro is quite the man, Yuuji admits. A little daunting on his looks, but a great guy to talk to nonetheless. He didn’t make any comment on the two as Fushiguro snatched his hand away from Yuuji’s before he could notice. 

After their little chat, Fushiguro holds their hands back, keeping a low profile now. There were so many ideas flowing through his head as they passed by his childhood vacation home. He wanted to show Yuuji everything he did in this house, all the small history of when he and the Zenin twins would fight, and show him the place where he always stayed for days on end. 

His bedroom. 

“Yuuji, I’ve got one last place to show you,” he tugs at their already held hands. Yuuji wasn’t focusing on what he said and merely agreed anyway, getting escorted without paying any mind. “Are you listening to me?”

The younger boy keeps looking around his surroundings, from one corner to the other. “Where’s Gojo-senpai?”

Fushiguro stops in his tracks, looking around as well for the mentioned man. Normally, he would be annoyed that Yuuji’s worries are other than his, though he’d second him on this one. 

Where is Gojo? 

They’ve been walking around, chatting, eating small bites of passing hors d'oeuvres for almost two hours now and they haven’t come across that obnoxious white haired racer anywhere. He knows he’s here, because they parked right next to his car earlier. 

They’d previously asked a few guests, and they alway reply with ‘he was just here a moment ago,’ or, ‘you just missed him’. It’s definitely fishy. 

Yuuji, on the other hand, is starting to feel downhearted. He’s been looking forward to showing Satoru his new suit all day, wanting to hear his idol’s compliments like he’d usually spoil him with. 

Fushiguro sighs. He knows Yuuji wouldn’t pay attention to him if they go now. “Do you want to walk around some more before we go upstairs?” Yuuji just nods without eye contact. 

And so and go, venturing around the living room, kitchen, hallways - all the places the guests are allowed to wander around. Nothing. Then a friendly face appears, again.

“Sup, Itadori, Megumi?” Maki calls out as he keeps seeing them for the fifth time this evening. She’s sitting on the island counter of the kitchen with Kugisaki by her side. “You guys lost or something?”

“Ah, Maki-senpai,” Yuuji bows. “Have you seen Gojo-senpai? I haven’t met up with him since we arrived.”

“Really? I thought you guys were talking to each other.”

Kugisaki clicks her tongue. “You’re still looking for him? Give it up dude, he’s not worth it.”

“Well, have you seen him?” Fushiguro asks sternly. 

The girls eye one another and look back at the two. “You guys didn’t know? I think he left with someone already,” Maki says, composed. 

Yuuji’s heart stops a beat, and he stares blankly. “What? W-why would he leave so early?”

“Huh? Gojo doesn’t stay for long at parties, didn’t you know? Especially at these types of parties, cause it’s boring to him,” Maki rolls her eyes. She finds that practice of his rude. “Hey, don’t get too shocked. He does this all the time.”

Yuuji wants to chuckle, but nothing comes out. He feels betrayed, and downright hurt. Why hadn’t Satoru taken the time to look for him before he left? Not even a single ‘hi’ or anything? 

Was it something I said? Did I offend him with my practice yesterday? 

“Yuuji?” Fushiguro tugs his hand. 

“O-oh… um,” he swipes a hand through his hair. “I-I guess there’s no helping it, ahaha. Let’s just go back to what you wanted to show me, Megumi,” he pulls them away from the girls.

Kugisaki sighs frustratedly, refusing to watch the boys retreat to who knows where they’re going. 

“What?” Maki asks.

“Is that true? That Gojo always leave this early?”

She thinks for a moment. “Well, not really. He does leave early, but not this early. He’d usually wait until they brought out the champagne tower. That’s when the dessert tables arrive.”

“Dessert table?!” Kugisaki shakes her head. “Sorry, I got excited there for a second. Um, why do the dessert tables come out so late?”

“It’s a Zenin tradition, don’t ask. But, Gojo’s never missed it before. I think he even whined about it before when we took it out 15 minutes late.”

Kugisaki grunts. "And yet he left?"

Ever since Yuuji took her to the circuit on the previous day, she knew Gojo had something going on with Yuuji. The vibe the older man gave was just different when he talked to Yuuji. It’s a girl's intuition; she doesn’t need further proof. 

 

It’s the fucking hand holding. Megumi, what have you done?