The boy's go out for a day in Tokyo and end up having a little trouble getting along.
Kaede opened his cell phone once he'd finished locking up his bike somewhere in Harajuku. He was waiting for Kenta and for some odd reason, thought a day all the way in a different city would be the trick. Kenta seemed a little listless lately. He really did sincerely want to cheer his friend up even though, selfishly, Tokyo was his turf and he'd choose the place. Kaede justified this by telling himself it was more interesting here, a bad reason in itself.
Waiting for it to ring, he heard Kenta pick up at the other end. "Ken...I'm here waiting for you. Where are you?" He asked after the other boy had said hello.
Scrambling to pull his phone from his bag, Kenta looked up at the buildings that towered over him, frowning. "Uhm, I think I'm close. I got a little lost. But I think I'm on the right track...”
He liked the city well enough--it was exciting and bright and fun, but finding his way from one of Tokyo's station by bike had been harder than he had thought. It took him way longer than he had expected, too. Tennis champ or no, it was a long ride. He had ditched the bike back at the closest train station and now he was somewhere close. He hoped.
"Right...oh, I see you." Kaede snapped his cell phone and waved Kenta over, backing up a little when the green-haired kid stumbled in him a little. On impulse (or reflex?), Kae gave him a little hug and brushed away a little of the hair plastered to his forehead. "You looked wiped. You hungry? Come on...I'll get you something to eat..." Kaede tangled his fingers into Kenta's and pulled him along to a snack bar.
Flushing slightly, Kenta looked up at Kaede with a smile, holding on to his arms for a moment to steady himself. He couldn’t help but be very, very glad to see him and he wasn’t quite sure why. "Uhm, yeah, food would be great. I biked like... half of the way in the wrong direction before I figured it out.." Squeezing Kaede's hand tight, he followed along. "Got any good places in mind?"
"Idiot...” Kaede shook his head, his tone more endeared then annoyed. "You could've called if you were lost, you know." Pulling him into step together as they headed deeper into the crowd. "Just a coffee shop...I feel like cake," he wiggled his eyebrows as he opened the door for Kenta. "...but they have real food too, if that's what you want." They found a table and made some orders before a short silence fell on them, surrounded by the noise of other diners.
"Kenta...listen...are you ok? You seem so out of it in practice and in school...not implying you're doing badly...just. maybe I had something to do with it?" Kaede leaned a little forward, trying to keep the mood up and be sympathetic - without betraying his own feelings and without touching the other boy.
"I figured it out just fine on my own.." Kenta eyed the coffee shop with a frown--cake? How.. ick. But luckily there was real food and he ordered, growing increasingly aware of the looks Kaede was giving him.
"What?" He blinked, slipping back a bit into his defenses. He hadn’t been really out of it, had he? His memories of practice were focused mainly on his own attempts to improve. Had he really seemed that gone? Regardless, Kaede's concern reminded him a little too much of his brother's meddling and he shook his head. "No, I'm fine. Just losing focus or something, I guess. Don't worry 'bout it."
"Heh. Yeah ok..." Kaede sort of wished they'd sat outside where he could smoke but all the tables were taken. He tapped his fingers on the table impatiently. Stupid Kenta, fending him off like it didn't matter. "That's what I'm worried about...losing focus...are you really ok? You look tired and...I probably sound like your brother. And when I talked to you the other day, you snapped at me and you looked really mad for a bit..." Kaede ran a hand through his hair.
"It's not your fault." He tried not to clench his teeth, moving his shoulders as if he could will the irritation out of his body. Kaede was just being a good friend, concerned and caring. He should be lucky to have someone who cared that much about him, but he couldn’t help find it annoying and intruding into his space. There was only so much fuss he could take. "I'm... sorry I snapped, I think I've just been... uhm, stressing over the whole regular thing."
"Kiri-kiri needs to pick a fukubuchou and soon I think...I think it should be you." Kaede said off-handedly, chugging down half his soda. "You know...not because I'm biased or anything...because you'd make a good job. We're regulars simply because we beat everyone...never mind being freshmen, yeah? Lucky...Kirihara let the freshmen enter the ranking matches...something about being totally unlike the other teams. I think he was a little desperate since the sempai left...uh...sorry, I was talking too much..." He flicked Ken's nose a little. "Don't worry?" He gave him a smile.
"God, I wish he'd get off his lazy ass. I don’t care if I'm fukubuchou or not, just someone needs to get picked." He couldn’t help but smile a little at Kaede's comment--he wouldn’t mind being fukubuchou. The responsibility was a challenge he was willing to face. "He better do it soon." Kenta bit at Kaede's finger, grinning a little as the conversation moved away from him. "Why don’t you want to be fukubuchou, mm? You're taller than everyone. It'd be cool."
"He's stressed...maybe not right away he will..." Kaede relaxed, relieved that Ken finally warmed up to him. Resting his head on the table and lazily scooping some icing from his cake and sticking his finger in his mouth, wiggling his eyebrows at a table of blushing girls while he let out his low lazy laugh, pulling his finger out. "I don't want to be fukubuchou because...a, I’m very lazy...b, I’m really lazy and guess what c is? Pretty much, I only like to play tennis."
"Stressed, whatever... more like Lazy. Like you." Kenta shot a glare at the girls, lips twitching when they squeaked and looked away. He reached out, slowly, and toyed with Kaede's hair randomly, leaning his cheek against his palm. "You can be fukubuchou and be lazy. But if you don’t want to do it, then that'd suck. I'd like to be, I guess.. Just because then I'd be something he isn’t..." He trailed off, nibbling at his bottom lip a bit. "But anyways.."
"Please, you aren't lazy. You always finish your homework at a neurotic pace." Kaede laughed and smiled lazily. "I'm lazy...the laziest person you know." He made a face at Ken, teasing him while the girls went "mou" and "saa" at the next table, pouting. "No, the fukubuchou of our team would have to work a lot because Kiri-Kiri will feign being busy and make you do all the work, no?" Kaede took his hand and kissed the back of it. "Ken...you're everything he isn't." He pointed out.
"I don’t finish it that fast... I just have to get it done so I don’t get stuck later on." He glanced at the girls once more, just incase, before sighing. "Yeah. Kirihara will probably dump all the important stuff on the fukubuchou. Ugh, but.. I guess it'd be good to do." Kenta flushed deeply at the kiss, smiling a little shyly and slipping his fingers over Kaede's. He still wasn’t used to the sudden affection. "Sometimes I'm not so sure... but.. It's not like I have to follow his footsteps or anything.."
Kaede laughed. "Don't you want the glory? The fukubuchou's of Rikkai seem to get them all. I mean, Yuki-san was fukubuchou and then Sanada-san the next year and neither of them got to shine as buchous. Rikkai karma." Kae shrugged, resting his cheek on his hand and gripping Ken's hand better. "It’ll look good on your records too...Ken, listen to me, you're going to be great someday. You have to stop being all doubtful and whatever. Besides...you're completely different from your brothers and already on a more different road, I think, whether you know it or not."
"Ha, I bet Kirihara's gonna try and break that. I'm sure he wants the glory for himself. 'Sides, I don’t do well in the spotlight.. I'm fine with just bossing people around." Reaches out with his free hand and pokes Kaede in the nose with a smile. "If I'm going to be great, then you're going to be great as well. I know it, because you already are great to me.." Blushes faintly, tugging at his hair.
Kaede snorted. "Kiri-kiri dreams but you know...he's a better leader then we give him credit for. He didn't just spend his early years hanging around Yukimura and Sanada and Yanagi being puppy-eyed about it. He learned something from all his sempai. Even attitude wise." Kaede poked a strawberry and pushed it aside. "Who said you had to be in the spotlight?" He asked, wrinkling his nose. "Nah, I'm not going to be great. I'm going to be ordinary...or a rock start." He stuck his tongue out. "Or maybe I'll have a spider and turtle farm and film horror movies with Sho." He mused.
Kenta stole the strawberry, popping it in his mouth and chewing thoughtfully. "Yeah, I guess he's okay. He'd be better if I didn’t have to hear about him outside of tennis." He blinked, watching Kaede for a moment before frowning. "Horror movies, oh?" Glancing away, he watched the people in the cafe, poking at his food. "I'd prefer the rock star, personally."
"Yeah, Sho loves them. He's slowly getting me into the beauty of horror flicks and their single word titles. Ring, Grudge, Doll...you know." Kaede poked out the other strawberry and pushed it toward Ken. "Rock star? You would hm? It's a fantasy of mine...come on, don't tell me you've never, ever jumped on your bed with your tennis racket and played guitar? Sho thinks it's stupid, of course but he thinks everything is, other then himself and whatever he does. Once you get used to him and he sees that he can't unnerve you, it's all good after." Kaede nodded and reached for a cookie.
"I'm not a fan of horror films. Too much blood." Kenta munched roughly on the second strawberry, focusing his glare on the unsuspecting girls. "Yeah, I've thought about the whole rock star thing, but like I said, not into the spot light thing.." Glancing over after a moment, he sighed, pretending not to frown. "Who is this Sho guy, anyways??"
"Thought so at first...man, they terrify me..and then after, I kinda liked getting scared. Couldn't sleep that first marathon weekend though, that's why I looked rather tired." Kaede gnawed his cookie. "Mm, Sho's a friend. From Hyotei...he plays doubles but I run into him a lot and once I even found his spider. At the train station, that was kinda fun. Mister Creeps is pretty friendly even though Sho denies it."
"Yeah, I remember you moping around the court.. I didn’t know you were watching movies.." Kenta started biting at his thumbnail, pulling his hand away from Kaede to take a sip of his water. "Sho, eh? Never heard of him. Hyoutei's pretty far away to randomly find a spider." Frowning, he leaned back in his chair and looked up at the ceiling. "Thanks for, you know, telling me."
"Telling you? Though you might've wanted to pal around with him sometime too. Great guy, that Shozo. Kinda mean but you get used to it. The spider was near Hyotei, I was wandering around there hoping to find someone to hang out with and he has a lot of horror flicks." Kaede shrugged. "Mmm, was I moping? Hardly." He pursed his lips around a toothpick thoughtfully. "Maybe we can see him around him somewhere."
Kenta tried not to growl, crossing his arms and frowning straight through Kaede. "You seem to be best friends with him already. I don’t even know who this guy is--I don’t think I'd like to hang out, especially if he's a jerk. You know you can hang out with me if you want to, it's not like I'm ever busy." He clicked his teeth together and glanced off. "But whatever, you can do what you want. You don’t have to tell me or anything, but it'd be great to know if you're going to be gone so I don’t go over to an empty house."
Kaede frowned back. "You don't have to get all pissy about it...You asked, I told...and you act like...I dunno. Shit, Ken...where do you get off telling me what to do? And you know I'm usually out...you don't use the bloody phone, yet you have one..." He shook his head. "Look, that didn't make any sense but really, if you met the guy, you'd form a better opinion." He reached for the bill and looked at it.
"I'm not getting pissy. I'm just saying. I don’t care what you do, it just sucks if you don’t tell me these things because then it's like I'm being left out or something." Growing a little irritated, at himself and Kaede, he snatches away the bill and peers at it. "You said I could come over whenever, so I didn’t think I had to call. I'll call next time to make sure you can squeeze me in sometime."
"Give me that." Kaede snatched the bill back and stalked to the counter before Kenta could stop him, paying it quickly and walking out of the cafe, angrily lighting a cigarette in case the action could calm him down. "I know but still...what if there's isn't anyone at home...you can come over anytime...even when I’m not there and make yourself at home but still.." Kae was saying, mostly to himself as Ken came barreling out of the cafe, in time to hear most likely.
Growling in irritation, he followed Kaede outside, shoving a few bills into his hand. "I can fricking pay for myself, I'm not a girl. Don’t walk out like that when we're talking. Jesus." Crossing his arm, he glared down the street with his shoulders turned away. "No, really. It's fine. I'll call ahead of time. It's stupid to assume you'd be home all the time, anyways."
Kaede pinched the bridge of his nose. Nice going...again, Kae... He tossed his cigarette away and started after Kenta. "Oi...hey...KEN. Stop." He started to put a hand on Ken's shoulder and paused, stuffing it into his pockets. "You're not going home are you? Listen...we can still hang out...I don't want to leave it like this...really. But if you don't want to walk around with me...we can go there." Kaede pointed to a manga kissa, a cafe with its own comic book library. "Sorry..." He mumbled.
Sighing inwardly, he stopped, glancing down at their feet with his shoulders hunched. He didn’t like it when Kaede looked so unsure, but then again, it was that cockiness that had sent him over the edge. He never really understood. "Uhm.. yeah. Let's go in there." Not knowing whether or not to apologize back, he bumps his shoulder against Kaede's as they walk, glancing up at him with a little guilty smile.
"...ok..." Kaede sighed, a little relieved, a little irritated that it always ended like this but he nodded and opened the door for Kenta, out of habit, anyway. When they bumped shoulders it was like a strange reminder not to say anything more about the subject.
The rest of the afternoon and well into the evening was spent at the kissa, over coffee and small, tentative talk and comic books, glaring at each other once in a while until Kenta fell asleep on Kae's shoulder.