Title: Misinterpretation Series: Psidai AU, part 5 of the InuKai sequence. Fandom: Prince of Tennis Rating: G Word Count: 1674 Pairings: Inui/Kaidoh, GP, MomoRyo (and a bit of MomoKai)
Summary: Inui is freaked out by the idea of MomoKai. Echizen and Eiji aren’t helping the matter any. Neither does Inui's solution.
Timeline: Takes place in Inui's 1st year of high school and Kaidoh's 3rd year in junior high. Early May, before or during the district tournaments.
Inui was bored.
Whoever had told him that high school was much more difficult than junior high must have been an idiot or a slacker. He was already five chapters ahead in every class and three days ahead of all of his sensei-tachi’s lessons. Tennis club was uninteresting too, since the only thing that first years were allowed to do was cleanup after their seniors. In fact, the only activities taking up his time outside of self training now was data gathering on the second years (for preparation in the ranking matches come fall) and tournaments, and the occasional spying on other schools, none of which consumed that much of his total free time.
That left Inui with far too much free time on his hands, which also meant far too much time to dwell on certain thoughts, such as a certain kouhai he had left behind in junior high. So it wasn’t surprising that, after a token effort at holding himself back, Inui found himself in the familiar activity of Kaidoh-stalking.
The first thing he did was to track down one of the current junior high tennis club members, and got out of a bewildered Arai that Kaidoh did indeed leave alone at the end of afternoon practice everyday. However, he was rather surprised when he didn’t find any sign of Kaidoh in his normal exercise spots in the park or by the river after the appointed time.
More disappointed than he would admit to himself, Inui was returning to the school to try using his postcognition to trace out Kaidoh’s departure path when he ran into Echizen just as the younger boy was walking out of a burger place.
“Oh? Inui-senpai?” Echizen looked up blandly.
Inui looked back in surprise as well. It was unlike Echizen to be at the burger place by himself. “Echizen. This is a surprise. Usually you’re at these places with Momo.”
“Che,” Echizen tugged at his hat. “Momo-senpai is too busy with Kaidoh-senpai these days even to come eat with me.”
There might have been a hint of resentment in the younger boy’s voice, but Inui had fixated on what he was saying, so much so that he didn’t even notice when Echizen ignored his frozen state and walked away. The idea of Momoshiro and Kaidoh willingly being in the same room together, much less all the time, much less lieu of food, simply seemed fundamentally wrong to him. Inui went home and spent the rest of the day pondering that paradox to no avail.
The next day, his confusion wasn’t helped at all from hearing Eiji ramble on and on about the movie that he saw with Oishi the previous night. Inui felt a stab of what might be jealousy at the easy relationship between the Golden Pair (he’d long given up trying to figure out the specifics of their personal relationship since it was just as accurate for his calculations to write them off as married).
“Oi, Inui! Are you listening to me?” Eiji demanded suddenly, breaking Inui out of his reverie.
“Oh, let him be, Eiji,” Oishi told his partner with a smile. “He seems to have something on his mind.”
“Ah, no, it’s nothing,” Inui demurred. “Please continue with—ah, whatever you were talking about.”
Satisfied with the attention from his audience, Eiji launched into his description of the movie again. “Well, and then the friends of this couple got tired of hearing them argue with each other all the time. So they got together and locked them into a closet overnight. The next morning they seemed to have worked out whatever problem they had with each other, ‘cause even if they still argued a lot, there wasn’t any real tension, you see. But then they kept sneaking off by themselves, and everyone else spied on them and found out that they were making out in private. And the old guy said the couple was only rivals in the beginning and argued a lot because they where covering up their attraction for each other and now that they admitted it they’ll live happily ever after, except when they still argue out of habit…”
The rest of Eiji’s monologue faded into the background as the sudden idea of a rivalry which covered up hidden attraction took hold in Inui’s mind. What if Momo and Kaidoh… No, that wasn’t possible, was it? Neither of them had ever seemed to be interested in boys, much less each other, in that way. But then again, it wasn’t like he knew what that kind of interest was like since he’d never taken any data on it. So even if they were he might not have been able to tell…
The possibility simply would not leave Inui’s mind for the rest of the day, or the next. His dreams were bothered by vaguely sinister scenarios involving the two younger boys.
Finally, Inui couldn’t take it anymore and skipped school one day, lying in wait outside Seigaku junior high until after everyone had left afternoon tennis practice. Then, using his postcognition, he followed the path that Kaidoh used to leave the school. Many of the visions he received were vague, due to the bland nature of what he was trying to see and his own imperfect control. However, he could nevertheless make out the furtive movements of his kouhai, which more and more convinced him that his worst-case scenario might have been right.
Then, abruptly, he found himself peeking out of the bushes at a rundown and out-of-the-way tennis court somewhere. There, lying disturbingly close to each other on the ground beside the court were Momoshiro and Kaidoh, both wearing very little and were panting and sweating hard and generally looking out of it.
Inui hurried away from his vantage point, not wanting to see another second of that tableau despite the unexpectedly delectable picture that Kaidoh made. A few hours after he arrived home, he was finally able to identify his most prominent reactions to that scene as both heartbroken and insanely jealous.
The next day, Momoshiro showed up on the usual time at the obscure tennis court that was now a part of his daily routine. He was in for a surprise, however, to see Inui standing there with his casual tennis wear and gear instead of the mamushi that he had been expecting.
Inui smiled humorlessly at the dumbfounded boy, his glasses glinting brightly under the afternoon sun.
“I’m here to challenge you for Kaidoh.”
“Eh? But--” Momo’s confused protest trailed off as he saw the rather determined expression on Inui’s face. “Um, okay.”
The match was entirely one-sided. Just because he was no longer on the Regulars did not mean that Inui had stopped training. Nor did he suspect that his kouhai-tachi knew that he also frequented the junior high tournaments as well whenever the high school tournament schedule allowed it, if only to keep all of his data up-to-date.
Inui gazed down at Momo’s gasping form as the other laid on the ground, completely wiped out. “Are you going to give up on Kaidoh now?” he asked.
Momoshiro blinked up at Inui in confusion. “What are you talking about, Inui-senpai?” he gasped out around his gulps of breath. “Baka Mamushi. Why the hell is he cheating by getting you to play in his place?”
“Cheating?” Inui asked, wondering what Momo was talking about as well.
“Yeah, cheating!” Momo insisted. “We agreed that we’d settle any arguments we’d have as co-captains outside of the club. I didn’t think that baka Mamushi was such a sore loser than he’d settle today’s arguments by getting you to play for him!”
Inui froze where he stood as all of his assumptions were abruptly turned on their heads. However, he was saved the need to reply when a third familiar voice suddenly intruded on the scene.
“Who said I was a sore loser, stupid peach!”
Both boys turned to see Kaidoh staggering onto the court, breathing hard as if he’d just been running and looking somewhat pale. A bored-looking Echizen also followed him in on his heels.
“Eh?” Momo stared at his co-captain and then at Inui, for once too tired and too confused to take offense at Kaidoh’s insult. “Then why was Inui-senpai here and you weren’t?”
Kaidoh hissed and glared openly at his still surprised senpai. “Because someone spiked my exercise water bottle with Inui Juice!”
“Erk,” Inui began, his mind racing for an excuse. He hadn’t predicted that his kouhai would revive so quickly from his latest formula. He must have miscalculated the other’s partial immunity factor.
But before Inui could work up an excuse, Echizen spoke up first. “Ne, Inui-senpai,” the second year drawled, somehow managing to sound both bored and puzzled. “If you’re that desperate to have Kaidoh-senpai train with you, shouldn’t you just ask him normally instead of challenging Momo-senpai for Kaidoh-senpai’s free time?”
“Is that what you were challenging me for all this time?” Momo demanded as he pulled himself to his feet. “Geez, Inui-senpai! All you had to do was ask!”
“Baka senpai!” Kaidoh yelled at Inui at the same time. “You didn’t have to try and poison me for that!”
“Er, well, you see…” Inui started backing up as Kaidoh stalked up to him, still yelling angrily and smacking him upside the head. Despite the abuse, though, he felt a wave of relief inside him that things didn’t turn out as he expected.
On the sidelines, Echizen sighed and turned to Momo. “Senpai-tachi are so weird sometimes.”
“Yeah--Oi!” Momo turned to glare at the younger boy. “I’m your senpai too!”
“Whatever, I’m going out for burgers,” Echizen announced. “It looks like those two are going to take a while.”
Momo spared one last glance at the still ranting mamushi and the rather chagrined Inui and decided it was probably best to leave them be.
“Wait for me, Echizen!” he called out as he hurried to catch up with the departing boy. “That match made me really hungry!”
~* owari *~
Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis and all associated characters belong to Konomi-sensei, not me.
AN: Somehow, I'm left with the feeling that this fic turned into more about MomoRyo than InuKai.