These are even less drabble-sized than yesterday! I think I'm losing my drabble-fu. Today, Data Pair double dip.
For akatonbo, Inui/Yanagi, brilliant dating plans.
Inui timed his popcorn grab to just brush Yanagi's fingers at the top of the container. It had to seem accidental, just like the occasional bumps of knee to knee and the slight pressure of shoulder to shoulder.
"You're improving, Sadaharu," Yanagi said.
"90% of perfect," Inui agreed. "Well within acceptable limits. But you should pull away more when I touch you."
Yanagi nodded and Inui tried again. 93% this time. They were almost out of popcorn.
"Do you intend to see the same movie on your date?"
"Yes," Inui said, wiping his greasy fingers on his handkerchief. "I considered several types of films: suspense, sports, action, comedy. But I determined that a heartwarming animal picture had the greatest chance of producing the desired mood."
"Wolves and deer would never behave like that."
"That's not the point, Renji."
A woman in front of them turned around. "Would you please stop talking while the movie is on?"
"This is an appropriate restaurant, Sadaharu." Yanagi checked his script. "But I don't think it's a good idea to feed the dumplings to your kohai."
"No?" Inui picked up a dumpling with his chopsticks and held it out. "Try one and we'll see."
Yanagi ate the dumpling. "It draws too much attention. The dumplings are good, though."
Inui looked around and noticed several inquisitive stares. "You're right." He scribbled on his script. "Perhaps I should confine myself to some foot contact under the table." He slid his ankle along Yanagi's calf. "How's that?"
"I surveyed several areas before I decided on this spot. It is secluded enough that there is a 87% chance we will be alone. As well, at this time of the evening, it is cool, especially if your arms are bare."
Yanagi sat down on the bench and rolled up his sleeves. "It is uncomfortably chilly." Inui sat down next to him.
"After some light conversation about school and tennis, I will begin the final phase." Yanagi nodded. "You look cold," Inui said and slid his arm around Yanagi's shoulders.
Yanagi read from his script. "You don't have to do that, senpai."
"It's fine, isn't it?" Inui leaned in and whispered into Yanagi's ear. "Renji, you're supposed to blush when I whisper that to you."
"I can't blush on cue." Yanagi squinted at the paper. "And it's hard to read this in the dark."
"You say, 'Inui-senpai!' and stare down at the ground."
"Inui-senpai," Yanagi said and stared down at the ground. Inui lifted Yanagi's chin and looked into his face.
"When you blush like that, I just can't help myself." Inui moved in slowly.
"Wait." Yanagi moved back. "You're not going to kiss me."
"You agreed to help me with the dry run," Inui said. "It was all in the script. And I agreed to help you with your spyware in return."
"It's just that one I can't remove myself," Yanagi muttered. "All right."
"When you blush like that, I just can't help myself," Inui said and pressed his mouth to Yanagi's.
Yanagi jerked back. "Sadaharu, that's terrible. Don't you know how to kiss?"
"I've been practicing."
"With a person?"
"Here, switch places with me." Yanagi moved to the other side of the bench. "I'll be you." He held the paper up to his face. "When you blush like that, I just can't help myself," he said and kissed Inui.
Yanagi's mouth was soft and hard at the same time and he coaxed Inui's lips apart as he slid his hand along Inui's jaw. Inui leaned into the embrace and opened wider as Yanagi licked at his tongue and sucked on his lower lip. Yanagi's arm tightened around Inui's shoulders and Inui squeezed Yanagi's thigh.
Yanagi pulled away. "Sadaharu," he said, and wiped his mouth. He looked at the crumpled paper in his lap. "There is no date with Kaidoh, is there?"
Inui grinned. "No."
"I knew that."
"Of course you did." 12% at best. "Come on, we're just getting to the good part." Inui picked up the script. "Senpai!" he said. "How could you do that?"
"Sadaharu, the script is tripe."
"Then why don't we ad-lib?"
Yanagi stared for a few moments. "You had better really fix my computer," he said and kissed Inui again.
For happiestwhen, Inui/Yanagi, 4 years, 2 months, and 15 days.
Inui writes his life in pseudocode.
if the weather is good train outside else go to the gym for each of the regulars take daily data while Tezuka is away work harder improve morale send him status reports
Everything organized, everything planned, all the paths that he might take, and there's satisfaction in watching his life move from clause to clause, through the loops and cases. He has subroutines for school, for home, for training his kohai. For what to eat for lunch and which video games to buy.
When things get too nested, it's uncomfortable and Inui works to close things off and finish what he's begun. Sometimes things don't go as planned. Like Tezuka. Two years of games, of circling, like the time he put a while loop without an exit condition on his website by mistake and set a cron job to run the script every thirty minutes. They suspended his account.
Inui had to write a new exit condition for Tezuka.
while I haven't defeated Tezuka and Tezuka hasn't shown himself impossible to defeat play Tezuka
It was crushing, but there's relief too. That part of his life is over now and he can move on. He has moved on, through Hyotei, through Midoriyama, through Rokkaku. And now there is Rikkai.
Inui works on his scenarios: analysing the data, calculating the percentages, writing the algorithms. If there is any chance at all of winning, he will find it. But the whole time he is working, he can't stop thinking that at the very top level of his life, there is a structure he has never written down:
if Renji and I
And Inui is living in the
Everything -- Tezuka, Kaidoh, Seigaku, all of it -- is bracketed by that
else. It's shadowed every year, every month and day since then and Inui knows he has to get out, to close it off, type the missing brace and start again.
He plans his match with Renji. The numbers say that they should play but Inui wonders if he would have lied about it if they hadn't. He has notes, data, videos. He has his memories. He simulates the match in his head, as many variables as he can plan for. He knows what he has to do.
"It's been a long time, Sadaharu," Renji says across the net. His voice is deeper, his face is harder. But Inui still knows him, better than he knows anyone else, better than Tezuka, better than Kaidoh.
if Renji and I were on the same side of the court
But they're not. And right now, Inui doesn't want to be.
They play and Inui sees the pseudocode inside his head, watches the game slip down through it, a red line tracing every branch it takes. He doesn't have to think, it's burned into his brain, even when he yells and dives across the court.
In the end, it comes to tie break. The percentages even out and it's anyone's game, a loop that Inui wishes would last forever: both of them playing with everything they have and closer to each other than they have ever been before.
Then Inui takes match point. He joins Renji at the net and when their hands meet, Inui sees, feels the waterfall of braces closing, closing, closing, every last one. And it's done. It's over. His eyes sting and he blinks hard behind his glasses.
He floats on that match for days while he runs the subroutines of his life. He's broken through, like a swimmer through the water, and now he can really move on. Now Inui's life belongs to him.
Two weeks later, he's still on subroutines. He can't stop going back to the match, to the moments when all he could see was himself and Renji, all the way through. It was never like that, even against Tezuka. He looks at the page, waiting for another line of code.
if Renji and I
He picks up the phone and makes the call.