Author: Isis (cirnelle's penname)
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Challenge: Valentine's Day
Type: mild shounen-ai
Characters: Momoshiro, Ryoma
Time taken: Exceeded the time limit, because I wrote most of this in the school computer lab and had to keep alt-tabbing when people walked past. ><
Summary: Ryoma, chocolate, girls, and Momoshiro.
Disclaimer: The Prince of Tennis and all its associated characters belong to Konomi Takeshi.
It was 8.50am on a sunny Saturday morning, and a grumpy Echizen Ryoma woke to the sound of birds chirping outside his window, a hyperactive ball of fur going by the name of Karupin sitting on his stomach, and the voice of his annoying father carolling "Ri~se and shine, sei~shou~nen~," at him.
All this was nothing new.
What was new, however, was what his father, currently lounging against the doorframe with his usual insufferable smirk on his face, was wearing.
Nanjiroh was dressed, from top to toe, in pink. Pink shirt, the most bizzare pair of pink sunglasses Ryoma had ever seen, and a pink - oh god, was that a diaper?
Ryoma sat up straight in bed, foregoing the usual inability-to-get-out-of-bed-for-half-an-h
He smirked at his father, eyeing the...diaper. "Second childhood, Oyaji?"
Nanjiroh raised an eyebrow and 'tsk'ed at him, completely unfazed. "Ch'. Kids these days...no respect for their elders."
Ryoma rolled his eyes and was about to point out the difficulties in respecting a forty-year-old man - who, to his utmost disgust, happened to be his father - dressed in a pink diaper, but Nanjirou cut him off before he could begin.
"Besides, you should be thanking me for waking you up. Don't you have tennis practice in...ten minutes, sei~shou~nen?"
Ryoma's eyes widened, before he jumped out of bed, Karupin toppling off his stomach with a yowl, and rushed out of the room to brush his teeth and get ready for practice.
"Mada mada, dana," Nanjiroh smirked as his son rushed past him. Picking up the bow and arrows he'd left in the doorway of his son's room, he sauntered leisurely downstairs, shouldering the bow as he sang out, "Rinko-chaaa~n!"
By the time Ryoma made it downstairs for breakfast, he was already ten minutes late for practice. Nanako was in the kitchen preparing breakfast for him, and Nanjiroh was sitting at the breakfast table, still dressed in pink and reading the newspaper - or pretending to, since Ryoma was quite sure normal people didn't look quite so happy while reading about the newest governmental policies. (But then again, this was his father, who didn't quite count as 'normal'.)
Ryoma had, by now, adjusted to his father's get-up enough that he could look at Nanjiroh without going blind.
"What's with the weird clothes?" he muttered indistinctly, shoving food into his mouth as fast as he could.
Nanjiroh grinned. "It's a special day today."
"It's Saturday." Ryoma blinked, confused. "What's so special about that?"
Nanako smiled gently at him. "It's Valentine's Day today, Ryoma-san."
"Oh." Ryoma scowled. "Valentine's Day is stupid."
Nanjiroh sighed theatrically, and prepared to expound on the virtues of Valentine's Day and how young people nowadays had not a romantic bone in their bodies, but luckily for Ryoma, he finished eating at that moment.
"I'm leaving now." Ryoma shouldered his backpack, and promptly made good on his word, running out of the house to the sounds of Nanako discovering Nanjiroh's dirty magazine hidden behind his newspaper - again -- and scolding him before removing the offending object.
Just another normal day for Echizen Ryoma. Well...mostly.
When Ryoma arrived at practice, he was already twenty-five minutes late. Peeking out from behind a corner of the the school building to see his captain standing at the side of the courts, checking his watch with an impatient (well, as impatient as Tezuka could look) expression on his face, Ryoma briefly considered skipping practice altogether, but decided against it because the sheer number of laps Tezuka would make him run for that offence would probably keep him running for the rest of his life.
Ryoma lingered behind the wall for a few more minutes, debating on the best way to unobtrusively sneak into practice - and just maybe, Tezuka wouldn't notice that he was late. Although that would be...highly unlikely, to say the least, but Ryoma wasn't above trying.
"Inui-sempai, do you know where Ryoma-sama is?" Inui, warming up at the edge of the courts near where Ryoma was hiding, looked up, and Ryoma blinked as he saw the two girls talking to Inui. That...er...what was her name? Ah, Ryuuzaki-sensei's granddaughter, hiding behind the other - louder - girl, whose name he couldn't remember. Both girls were carrying big baskets of chocolate, and the Ryuuzaki girl was all red.
He tilted his head, confused. What did they want with him?
Nanjirou's voice, and smirk, echoed in his head. "It's a special day today."
Ryoma vaguely remembered something Nanako had told him once, about how girls gave chocolate to the guys they liked on Valentine's Day, and the guys had to give chocolate back on White Day a month later...or something like that; he hadn't been paying all that much attention at the time. Having grown up in America, he had been peripherally aware of the existence of Valentine's Day - partially thanks to his parents, who did celebrate it, albeit in Nanjiroh's decidedly odd fashion. The concept of White Day, however, was something new to him, but Ryoma was quite certain that if he ever bought any chocolate, it'd be for himself, thankyouverymuch.
Ryoma eyed the two girls, the Ryuuzaki one blushing (but then she always seemed to be blushing) and the other one with a big grin on her face, and felt slightly alarmed.
Now he really wanted to skip practice, despite the lure of tennis and the promise of Tezuka's wrath if he absented himself. Sure, the chocolate looked good (really good, his stomach supplied helpfully), but did it have to come with the girls?
Having made his decision, Ryoma spun around and walked away from the tennis courts --- or tried to, since upon rounding the corner of the building, he bumped into something large, warm and solid.
Grumpily adjusting his cap, Ryoma looked up into the surprised face of one Momoshiro Takeshi.
"What're you doing here?"
"What're you doing here, Momo-sempai?" countered Ryoma, narrowing his eyes. "Aren't you supposed to be at practice?"
"I was," Momoshiro grumbled. "Then Inui-sempai made me try his new juice and I spent the last twenty minutes trying to get rid of the taste."
"Inui-sempai...made another new type of juice?"
"He says he made it," Momoshiro looked pained, "in honour of Valentine's Day."
A nod. "Yeah, I don't understand it either."
"Valentine's Day is stupid." Ryoma tugged his cap lower over his eyes, deciding that it was indeed a Very Good Idea to skip practice today.
"It's not that bad," Momoshiro glanced sideways at the younger boy thoughtfully, then, grabbing his arm, cheerfully declared, "anyway, you're supposed to be at practice too, so let's go!"
"No." Ryoma tugged his arm away.
"I'm not going for practice today."
"What?" Momoshiro blinked. "Why not?"
Momoshiro frowned contemplatively at the boy beside him, then glanced out to the tennis courts, a hive of activity in the Saturday morning sun. His gaze swept over the regulars and non-regulars, some warming up, some playing matches, and came to rest on a pair of first-year girls, talking to Inui at the side of the courts.
"Ah..." A mischievous grin spread over the spiky-haired boy's face. "Is Echizen frightened of the scary girls?"
Ryoma's scowl deepened. Before he could think of a retort, Momoshiro shrugged, still grinning widely.
"Ah, well." He grabbed Ryoma's arm and yanked him along, steering them both away from the tennis courts. "Let's go, then."
Ryoma blinked, stumbling a little before adjusting his pace to match Momoshiro's longer strides. "Where are we going?"
The older boy shrugged. "Dunno. We'll think of something."
Ryoma was silent for a moment. "Buchou's going to kill us, you know."
Momoshiro beamed. "Then we'd better have extra fun today to make up for it."
Ryoma and Momoshiro spent their lunch hour, typically, pigging out at their favourite haunt, a burger place near their school. After eating, the pair whiled most of the afternoon away meandering aimlessly around town, dropping by the arcade (where Momoshiro spent a significant portion of his allowance) and the video store (where Ryoma, rather dubiously, picked up - as he put it - "some movie about a dog", on Momoshiro's strong recommendation).
As the afternoon wore on into evening and the lengthening shadows stretched their spindly fingers over the streets and pavements, Momoshiro suggested going to the street courts, and Ryoma, a little antsy from not playing tennis the entire day, readily agreed.
Their walk to the street courts was leisurely, unhurried; and on the way, Momoshiro stopped outside a small shop, and told Ryoma to wait.
Ryoma watched, curious, as Momoshiro entered the shop, picked up a small box, paid, and came back out. He tossed the box to Ryoma.
"There, that's for you."
The younger boy opened the box, and blinked. "...Chocolate?"
"Mmhmm." Momoshiro nodded.
The violet-eyed boy shrugged, then laughed. "I saw the way you were eyeing the chocolate those two girls wanted to give you. Besides...y'know, it's Valentine's Day and all, and I know they celebrate it in America too, and..."
Ryoma tilted his head quizzically. "Momo-sempai..."
"Ah..." Momoshiro rubbed the back of his head with one hand, sheepish. "Nevermind, forget it. Just...yeah, enjoy the chocolate."
"...Aa." Ryoma popped a piece into his mouth, then offered some to the older boy, who happily helped himself to the chocolate.
Momoshiro smiled at him, warmth in those expressive violet eyes, and Ryoma, feeling the traces of an answering smile tugging at the corners of his lips, decided that maybe Valentine's Day wasn't all that bad after all.
...He just hoped Momo-sempai didn't expect him to buy chocolate back for him on White Day.