MomoKai, PG13, 1700 words.
How to succeed at doubles.
Previous sections: One, Two, Three
Disclaimer: Konomi, not me.
More fic: http://prillalar.com
NB: This story is completed. As it is long, I'm posting it in five chapters on successive days.
Crossposted like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow.
When Momo woke up, there was a moment when he could smell breakfast cooking and it was a new day and he couldn't wait to face it. Then there was a moment when his stomach hurt and he knew that something was wrong, but he didn't know what it was.
And then there was the moment when he remembered. That moment lasted all day.
The closer it got to afternoon practice, the worse Momo felt. It was like a big scoop of anger and a bowlful of frustration and a bunch of that feeling all mashed together in Inui's blender. Momo thought he'd rather drink the juice. The only thing that kept him going was hoping that Kaidoh felt even worse.
Momo thought about just saying he was sick and going home, but that would be running away. And no matter what, there was no way he was running away from Kaidoh. He'd chew his own arm off first. The left one, so he could still play tennis.
So, he went to club. He ran his laps, he warmed up with Echizen. And then he practised with Kaidoh.
Their doubles game completely fell apart. They had never been this bad, not even the first time they had been paired. Momo kept turning to glare at Kaidoh and then he'd miss the ball or move the wrong way or not move at all. Kaidoh hadn't stopped scowling since the moment he'd arrived. He hissed after every missed shot and the first time he served, he double-faulted.
They didn't yell at each other. Momo wasn't sure what he would say if he opened his mouth. The just circled around the court, keeping each other at a distance.
"Momo, Kaidoh!" Oishi's voice was so sharp, it jerked Momo's eyes away from Kaidoh. "You have to shape up. If you're trying to get out of this by playing badly..."
"No," Momo said. "It's not on purpose."
Eiji laughed. "You mean you suck that bad for real?"
Kaidoh hissed but didn't speak. Momo didn't really have anything to say either.
Oishi sighed. "Please be serious on Monday, all right? There's not much time to get you ready." He and Eiji left the court. Practice was winding up, people were trickling back to the clubhouse.
Momo picked up a ball and tossed it into the air. He slammed it with his racquet so hard the ball wedged itself into the fence. It didn't help. There was only one thing that was going to make Momo feel better right now.
He turned to Kaidoh. "Come on," he said. "Let's go play."
Kaidoh just stared at Momo.
"What?" Momo said. "Are you scared of me now?"
"Of course not." Kaidoh was gripping his racquet tightly in both hands. "I suppose if you win, you're going to want to do that again."
Momo didn't really think he did, but he didn't care if Kaidoh thought so. "If you win, you can hit me again."
"You'll have to break my legs first." Momo looked at Kaidoh's racquet and thought maybe he shouldn't give Kaidoh ideas. "Let's go."
They changed and headed out to the basketball courts. They walked apart from each other, like there was some invisible field pushing them away.
They had to chase a bunch of first-years off a court so they could play. Ordinarily, Momo would have felt badly about that, but not today. Today, everybody ought to keep out of his way. Kaidoh took the ball and they stared at each other for a long moment. "Play," Kaidoh said, and charged.
Kaidoh bumped Momo's shoulder and spun him around. Momo dove for Kaidoh and grabbed his elbow just as Kaidoh was taking a shot. Kaidoh swore and scrambled for the ball. Momo slapped it away and jumped up for a slam dunk. Kaidoh hit him in mid-air, but the ball was already in.
"You'll have to do better than that, Mamushi," Momo said and threw the ball at Kaidoh.
"You and your stupid dunks," Kaidoh said. "I'll smash you."
Kaidoh tried to dodge around Momo. Momo threw his arm out and hit Kaidoh across the chest but Kaidoh just ploughed through and made a lay-up.
People were starting to stare. And talk. "Hey, that's a foul," someone said.
"But they're both playing like that."
Momo didn't care what people said. All he cared about was pushing Kaidoh out of the way and getting the ball. About scoring, winning, showing stupid idiot snake Kaidoh just what kind of man Momoshiro Takeshi really was.
He shoved Kaidoh and made a basket. He took an arm in the gut and Kaidoh scored. They scraped their knees, banged their elbows, hit each other wherever they could reach, and the score climbed higher and higher, past twenty, past twenty-five, past thirty.
There was a rushing sound in Momo's ears. Kaidoh had the ball. Kaidoh was ahead by one. Momo ran at Kaidoh, he had to stop him, to take the ball. Kaidoh's knees were bending, he taking the shot. Momo grabbed Kaidoh around the waist and they both fell onto the concrete.
The crowd cheered. Momo didn't have to look. He knew he'd lost. "Dammit!" he yelled. "Damn you, Kaidoh." There was a scrape all down Kaidoh's thigh. The palms of Momo's hands stung.
Momo stood. He grabbed Kaidoh's arm and yanked him to his feet. "I guess you can hit me now," he said and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
There was dirt on Kaidoh's face. "Not here," he said. "We'll get in trouble."
Momo picked up the ball. "Let's put this away." They went into the equipment room and Momo dropped the basketball into a bin. Then he closed the door and stood in front of it. "Okay," he said. "Take your best shot."
It wasn't very pleasant, waiting to get punched in the face. Or maybe in the stomach. But after losing the game, Momo thought that maybe he deserved it. It would help him not to lose next time. He just hoped that Kaidoh wouldn't give him a black eye. That would be really hard to explain.
Kaidoh stood in front of Momo and looked at him. "Loser."
"Would you hurry up?" Momo said. But Kaidoh just stared, eyes nearly closed. The smudge on his cheek was tracked with sweat. "Get it over with," Momo said.
Kaidoh took a step forward and Momo braced himself for the pain. Then Kaidoh pushed Momo against the door and kissed him.
It was completely different from the night before. Kaidoh's mouth was hard, his hands on Momo's shoulders were painful, he smelled like sweat. Momo got his hands onto Kaidoh's chest and shoved him away.
"What are you doing?" Momo wiped his mouth on the back of his hand.
"Would you rather get hit in the face?" Kaidoh said.
"All right, then." And Kaidoh kissed him again.
This time Momo didn't push Kaidoh away. Kaidoh's mouth was moving against Momo's, his fingers were curled around Momo's arms. The frogs were back in Momo's stomach now, jumping every which way. Momo put his hand on Kaidoh's waist, he put his other arm around Kaidoh's neck. He opened his mouth.
Kaidoh turned his head and opened wider. They sucked at each other. Kaidoh's mouth was hot, his skin was damp. Momo pushed his tongue out a little and brushed it against Kaidoh's lip. Kaidoh slid his tongue against Momo's and Momo jumped like someone had stuck him with a pin. But in a good way.
They shifted and pressed closer, chest to chest. Momo's heart was beating faster now, like they were still out on the court, running, shooting. He pushed his tongue further, along the corner of Kaidoh's mouth.
The door opened and hit Momo in the back. They sprang apart. Momo hoped he didn't look as flushed and embarrassed as Kaidoh did. Momo moved and the door opened all the way.
"Hey," a boy said. "What are you guys doing in here?"
"Fighting," Momo said, as they left.
They went running. Momo tried to figure out just what was going on. Clearly he had been right about stupid Kaidoh wanting to kiss him too. Why he had to be such a jerk about it though, Momo didn't know.
In the park, things felt weird. They did their workout, as usual. Kaidoh wouldn't look at Momo, though, not even when Momo talked to him. Damn, he was difficult. Momo wondered what Kaidoh would do if he brought up the kissing. Run away? Pick a fight? Kiss Momo?
Probably not kiss him out here in the open. More kissing would be good, though, now that they had established that they both enjoyed it. Momo didn't really think today was a good day to broach the subject. Maybe in a few days, Kaidoh would loosen up.
In the meantime, they still had to work out the whole doubles thing. Momo thought he had an idea about that.
They sat down under the tree. Momo leaned in so their shoulders brushed together. Kaidoh didn't freak out so Momo sat closer to him. They drank their water.
"Hey, Mamushi," Momo said. "Do we train on Sundays?"
Kaidoh drew his knees up and rested his chin on them. "Here, 1 PM. Okay?"
"Sure," Momo said. "Are you free afterward?"
Momo could feel Kaidoh's muscles tighten at that. "Why?" Kaidoh said. Momo grinned. Did Kaidoh think Momo was going to ask him out on some sort of date?
"Bring your racquet."
Kaidoh relaxed. "We still can't play."
"Not a match," Momo said. "Practice, practice."
There was silence for a while. "I have to go," Kaidoh said. He stood up. Then he held out his hand to Momo. Momo took it and let Kaidoh help him up.
He held on to Kaidoh's hand longer than was strictly necessary.
"Dumbass," Kaidoh said, and pulled away.
"Snake," Momo said and waved to Kaidoh as he left the park.