Just Friends

BY : CrunchySalad
Category: Prince of Tennis/Tennis no Ohjisama > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 1392
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince of Tennis or its characters. I am not making any money from this fanfiction.

Tachibana was avoiding his phone calls.

"He's so cold," Chitose had joked to some of their friends on the team, "he blinds me and can't even call afterwards."

No one had laughed at that.

And here he was, sitting in an uncomfortable pleather chair in a dull looking little room, waiting as some doctor kept shining lights into his eyeball.

"We'll have to do some more tests," said the doctor.

"It's not that one where they blow air into your eye, is it?" Chitose asked, face puckering in a sour expression.

"Among others," the doctor said, looking utterly sadistic with his lips twisted up like that.

Miyuki was sitting in a chair in the corner, legs swinging as they dangled in the chair. "Aniki. Did you know that if your eye doesn't get better you'll be legally handicapped? You can get the parking sticker and everything."

"Great," Chitose muttered, as the doctor pulled out some foreboding looking contraption that Chitose was sure he was not going to enjoy.

Later on he stood in front of the mirror in his room, just staring. He looked the same. Thick, nappy black hair that fell wildly around his face. Smooth, pale skin, no matter how much time he spent outside. And two round brown eyes, each looking exactly like the other, each looking the same as it had before.

During the next doctor's appointment, Chitose listened as the doctor discussed his situation with his mother. She looked nonchalant as she snapped her gun, but Chitose could see her fingers wrapped too tightly around her purse. She looked odd, Chitose knew, not like the other mothers. . . she looked like a Miyuki's older sister, not her mom. Her skin was a dark tan, her hair black, straight, and long down her back. She had a penchant for brightly colored make-up and short skirts, something that made her look about ten years her junior. When she had first come too see him in the hospital, after his eye was injured, the first thing she had done was smack him on the back of his head, sending the orange juice he had been drinking all over the sheets.

"I thought," she had said, scowling, "you were supposed to be good at tennis."

But now, her stern features were more relaxed, and she was listening intently to the doctor.

"He's lost about eighty percent of his vision in his left eye," the doctor said. "If something isn't done he could go completely blind in that one eye."

"What do you suggest?" his mother asked.

"There's a doctor in Osaka who specializes in this kind of surgery, he may be able to fix the problem. Or, at the very least, make sure that it doesn't get worse. It may take some time, though."

Chitose left the room, letting his mother work out the details. He found Miyuki in the waiting room, and spent the rest of the appointment trying on glasses and making her laugh.

"Don't these make me look smart?" he asked, putting on some huge, round pair that made his eyes shrink to little black holes in the middle.

Miyuki cracked up, hands holding in her stomach. "Nothing could make you look smart, baka aniki."

Chitose smiled, happy to have a little sister who was so easy to amuse. He didn't pick out a pair though; it wouldn't have helped, not with his condition.

The next morning he took a detour on the way to school, walking past Tachibana's house. He stood outside, but either Tachibana had already left or he hadn't left yet, and for some reason Chitose couldn't bring himself to go knock on the door.

A week later he was settled in his bean bag reading volume three of Habu no Zunou when some one rang his doorbell. Miyuki was out, shopping with their mother, and his father was at his workshop. Chitose threw on a pair of shorts and one of his typical loose, flowing shirts as he ran downstairs. He threw open the door to find the last person he expected to be there.

"Your hair!" The first thing he thought to say, and it sounded lame as soon as he opened his mouth. But it had surprised him, to see Tachibana's long blond hair cut so short to his head.

"I cut it off," Tachibana said, hand reaching upwards to brush through his now close cropped hair. "Can I talk to you?"

"Dude," Chitose said, already closing the door behind Tachibana as the other boy walked into the house, "you're the one that's been avoiding me. You haven't returned any of my calls."

"You haven't come to tennis club."

Chitose shrugged. "I turned in my resignation last week."

"You what?" That seemed to catch Tachibana by surprise, shock crossing briefly over his usually unreadable expressions.

Chitose sighed. "Yeah, well, it's kind of pointless right now, I wouldn't do the team any good. The season's over anyway."

"There's next year."

"Well, we'll see what happens next year then." Silence stretched awkwardly between them, Tachibana standing rigidly in his foyer while Chitose leaned against a wall. "Do you want to come upstairs and hang out?"

It's what he had missed, these last few weeks of not seeing Tachibana. The presence of the other boy, the heat that seemed to radiate from him. His eyes, laughing, lips pulled up in a slow smile whenever Chitose said something stupid. All the times they touched, brief and accidental as they were. All those times they almost touched, the hope of something more substantial burning in the pit of Chitose's stomach.

But Tachibana was shaking his head no. "I just came to tell you. . . I came to apologize. I never meant for this to happen."

"I know," Chitose replied, before Tachibana had even finished the sentence.

"I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play tennis again."

But I only ever played because of you, Chitose thought, unable to form the words, because Tachibana wouldn't understand anyway.

"Chitose. . . I'll see you in school."

Chitose nodded, and Tachibana let himself out.

But they didn't see each other in school. They weren't in the same class, and Chitose stopped calling when he realized that he was just being ignored again. It was maybe a week after Tachibana came to visit him that he stumbled out of his class room, eyes lighting up to see those short, light brown pigtails and that too (in Tachibana's opinion) short skirt.

"An-chan!" he called, wondering why And had made the detour to his wing of the school. But the girl only smiled and jogged up to him.

"Chitose-san!" An grinned up at him as she got closer. "Will you walk me home?"

"Of course," Chitose replied, slowing his pace down so that they could fall into step together. "I'd never turn down the chance to walk a pretty girl home."

They walked a little bit in comfortable silence, enjoying the sound of falling leaves and the crispness in the air. It was just starting to get cooler, and Chitose realized that soon he would have to trade his geta sandals in for some proper shoes.

"Chitose-san," An finally said, her voice suddenly serious, "how's your eye?"

"It's fine," and he wondered if she knew he was lying. "Kippei's not beating himself up too bad over it, is he?"

The ensuing silence as An decided what to say let Chitose know that, yes, Tachibana was most certainly taking Chitose's injury out on himself.

"You know how oni-chan is," An finally said.

Chitose nodded, and they walked on. It didn't take long at all before they were in front of the Tachibana household, and An was turning back to face him, a smile on her lips but her eyes suspiciously wet.

"It was nice to walk home with you again, Chitose. I'm going to miss it when we move to Tokyo."

"Tokyo?" Chitose felt his heart drop deep into his stomach. "Kippei never said anything-"

But An was already nodding, like she guessed that was what Tachibana would have decided to do. "He's not very good at goodbyes."

Chitose didn't know what to say, and only managed a weak. . . "but, mid-semester?"

"Father was offered a transfer there, so we really can't wait."

Chitose all of the sudden found thin arms wrapped around his waist, An's head buried in his chest. He brought a hand up to rest on her head, the other on her back, and then she was running inside.

"Say goodbye to Miyuki for me!" she called, and Chitose thought, Kippei wasn't the only Tachibana who had problems saying goodbye.

He turned to walk towards his own house, hurt welling within him with each step. Once he got back to his house he could hear his mother and father talking in the kitchen, about the costs and logistics about obtaining possible long-term care in Osaka. Chitose stood at the door, listening to them for a little bit. When he interrupted, he wasn't even sure where the words were coming from, why he said them.

"Maybe I can transfer there," he said. Being in Kyuushuu now. . . it's not something he particularly wanted. "That way, I can go see the doctor whenever I need to."

So one week later they were researching schools with dormitories in the area, and one week after that he was on a bullet train with his mother to visit some of them. She was dressed completely inappropriately, as usual, in a long-sleeved dress that was short enough to be a tunic, black boots reaching up to her knees. He placed a comforting hand on her head.

"Don't worry," he said. "I'll be okay."

"Idiot son," she said, "Of course you'll be okay."

But she looked worried, and Chitose wondered if she was thinking about him being away or about his eye.

Out of the four schools they visited that day, Shitenhoji was the last. But, somehow, Chitose knew instantly that it was where he wanted to be.

* * *

"Hey, move it!"

Chitose almost lost balance as some kid nearly ran into him, the large box in his arms threatening to tip over.

"Hot mom in the lobby!"

He gritted his teeth. . . every single time. But he made his way to his room, pushing open the door to reveal a small but clean space. Chitose's roommate wasn't there at the moment. His side of the room was neat enough, walls covered with posters of movies and the obligatory half-dressed models. He had a laptop lying unopened on a small wooden desk, and a shelf on the windowsill full of small plants.

"Hey," came a voice from behind him, "are you the new guy?"

Chitose put down his box and turned to see a boy walk in to sit on the bed. He was unwrapping tape from his arms, a racket tucked underneath one of them, and Chitose figured it was just his luck to be paired with someone from the tennis club.

"Hey, man," he said, reaching out his hand. "Chitose Senri."

"Shiraishi Kuranosuke." He took Chitose's hand before brushing back light brown hair that was almost feathered around his face. He was a pretty chill guy, Chitose decided, slouched on his bed like that. It would make him easy to get along with as a roommate.

Chitose felt something smack the back of his head. "Ow. . ."

He turned around to see his mother, dressed as she was in skintight jeans and a low-cut sweater. There was a mob of male students around her, carrying what Chitose recognized to be his boxes and luggage.

"Why was I cursed to have such a lazy son?" his mother asked, her pretty features pulled into a scowl. "Luckily these nice young boys offered to carry your things up for me."

"Anything for you, Chitose-san."


"Do you need help with anything else, Chitose-san?"

"Mom, you could have waited for me," Chitose whined.

"Eh. . . I should go find your idiot father. He probably wondered off and got lost again."

"Yeah. . ."

Chitose watched as his mother stomped off, the mob of students following her. He looked over at Shiraishi, who was still gaping at the door.

"Dude," he finally said, "is that really your mom?"

Chitose shrugged. "That's what they tell me."

Shiraishi finished unwrapping the tape from his arms and moved over to his desk, flipping open his laptop. "So where are you from anyway? You look kind of familiar."

"Shishigaku, in Kyuushuu," Chitose replied.

"Shishigaku, Shishigaku. . . " Shiraishi was staring at Chitose's face, trying to place him and failing. "We've never met before?"

"Not that I know of," Chitose said, flopping backwards onto his bed. He relaxed there for awhile, eyes closed, before getting bored and sitting up.

"Hey," he said to Shiraishi. "I'm going for a walk. If my parents come back can you tell them I said goodbye?"

Shiraishi raised an eyebrow at that. "You don't want to wait for them?"

"No. To tell you the truth, they don't believe in goodbyes anyway. They have a very. . . unique philosophy when it comes to parenting." His father, Chitose thought, would no doubt have some flowery speech about spreading his wings and flying, while his mother would scowl at him not to get himself injured again.

"Suit yourself," Shiraishi said, already turning back to his laptop.

Chitose grabbed his scarf and made his way out of the dormitories and the school. Like his father, he enjoyed being outside and exploring the environment. Unlike his father, he wasn't an idiot, and could always find his way back from wherever it is that he walked to. What he liked the most about it was the people watching. It's funny, he always thought, the number of people you walked past on any given day. Each with his or her own story, and you were in it for just those few seconds.

Chitose finally found himself at a park. The sound of children laughing and playing could be heard clearly from the large playground, bringing a smile to Chitose's lips. And then there was the sound of shogi pieces being shuffled by the stone tables on the side of the park, and Chitose made his way over there. He enjoyed watching old men playing shogi in their slow, deliberate way. Old people, Chitose thought, were too cute. . . just like little kids.

But, as Chitose got closer, there was one man there in particular who caught his attention. It was his youth that stood out. . . Chitose didn't think he could be any more than twenty-two. He was wearing rather bizarre clothing, not that Chitose was one to talk, some floppy floral hat with a matching jacket. Shaggy blond strands of hair poked out below the hat. Really cute, Chitose thought, but he always did have a thing for blonds.

"Saito-san," the blond was saying, as Chitose got closer, "you're getting better every day. Maybe next time you'll even be able to beat me."

The old man across from him chuckled. "You say that every time we play, Watanabe-kun."

"Can I play winner?" Chitose asked, now standing right next to the table.

"Yes, of course," Saito said, laughing as he shuffled his way off of the seat. "You two young boys should play each other; us old men probably aren't much fun."

Watanabe regarded him from beneath the rim of his floppy hat, already clearing the board. "A scarf and geta sandals? You're an odd looking one."

Chitose smiled as he took his pieces. "Chitose Senri."


"Do you have a first name, Watanabe?"

Watanabe shrugged, lips curving into a smirk. "How about I tell you if you manage to beat me. Are you any good?"

"I'm okay," Chitose replied.

Watanabe was taking out a cigarette, lighting it as he placed it in his mouth. He took a drag, thoughtful as he stared at Chitose. "You look like you're just a kid. How old are you?"

"Nineteen," Chitose lied. "I can't be much younger then you."

"Huh. I'm older than I look."

"So, that makes you. . . twenty-three?"

"Add three years and you've got your number," Watanabe replied, eyes laughing at Chitose's mildly shocked expression.

They started the game. Their hands brushed, several times while moving across the board, obviously deliberate on Chitose's part. But Watanabe never pulled away, eyes glinting with every "accidental" touch. In the end Chitose lost, but he was sure he had Watanabe's interest.

"Do you want to play a second game?" Chitose asked, leaning forward. "Loser treats winner to a round of drinks."

"Hmm." Watanabe leaned back, eyes amused as it ran the length of Chitose's body. His lips pulled up in a small, lopsided smile. "Or we can just cut to the chase, and head over to my apartment right now."

By the time Chitose got over his surprise Watanabe was already walking away, and he almost fell out of his chair as he skipped to catch up with the older man. They walked in mostly silence, exchanging occasional pleasantries. But now that Chitose knew what was going to happen he couldn't stop thinking about it. It had been a long time, almost a month, and he was at that age where all he wanted to do was fuck. He was already half hard just walking behind Watanabe, the smaller man's heat and smell clouding his head.

As soon as they got into the small apartment Chitose grabbed him, pulling him closer and slamming him against the wall at the same time. He leaned down to take the man's lips in his, their teeth almost clashing in the wet, hungry kisses. Hands, pulling on fabric, and their clothing was being thrown haphazardly on the floor. Watanabe looked even younger, Chitose thought, without that stupid hat. And he looked hot as anything, his hair mussed and cheeks flushed pink.

"I want you to suck me off," Chitose said, his voice a harsh whisper in Watanabe's ear. "I want you to suck me off, and after that I want to fuck you."

A shiver ran through Watanabe's body, and he chuckled, or attempted to. "Ah, to be young again."

Watanabe's futon was still rolled out in the middle of the apartment, and Chitose guessed that he hadn't bothered to put it away in the morning. At any rate, that's where Chitose was now being pushed, and they fell onto it in a tangle of limbs. Watanabe started to kiss and suck his way down Chitose's chest and abdomen, a tortious foreplay that he really wasn't in the mood for. He tangled a hand in Watanabe's hair and pushed down, but it was just a hint, and Watanabe didn't seem to be inclined to take it, taking his time as he made his way lower.

Finally, finally, he was there, and Chitose propped himself up to watch. His cock was so hard now, long and red, but Watanabe only licked a trail from the base to the tip.

"Just suck it already," Chitose said, almost breathless. He was rewarded with a wicked smile, and that pretty little mouth wrapping around the head of his dick.

Chitose loved getting blow jobs. He loved the feel of it, but more than that, he loved the sight of it, his cock disappearing into some one else's mouth. He watched as Watanabe moved his head down on his cock, could feel the tip of it hit the back of Watanabe's throat. And then the other man was moving up and down on it, sucking it like it was candy. After awhile Chitose could feel himself about to come, and his hand pulled on Watanabe's hair in warning. Watanabe pulled off of his cock, letting it fall from his mouth with a wet plop. He opened his mouth wide in front of the tip of it and jerked it, once, twice, with his hands. Chitose moaned, hips arching forward and cock twitching as he watched spurts of his cum shoot out to land on Watanabe's waiting tongue.

"You taste good," Watanabe said, licking his lips.

"Keep sucking."

Watanabe took Chitose's cock in his mouth again, sucking out any remaining drops of cum. Chitose was still so hard. Once he knew he wasn't going to go limp anytime soon he pushed Watanabe away and rolled them over, immediately going to take Watanabe's cock into his mouth. Watanabe gasped, thrusting upwards as his hands tried to tangle in Chitose's hair. Chitose fumbled for his pants, pulling out the sleek packets he found in the pocket there.

Watanabe's voice was incredulous even in its breathlessness. "You. . . carry. . . lubes and condoms. . . to the park?"

Chitose released the other man's cock for a moment as he tore open a sample size packet of lube. "I like to be prepared."

Soon he had Watanabe's cock back in his mouth and two fingers up Watanabe's ass. He shivered at how good it felt, how tight and hot it was, and it was all he could do to not fuck Watanabe bareback right then. But he waited, fucking him with his fingers first, and then fumbled to put on the condom.

"Roll over," Chitose said, and Watanabe rolled onto his stomach. Chitose grabbed a hold his cock as he leaned forward, positioning himself at Watanabe's entrance. With one thrust he was in, Watanabe moaning and shivering underneath him. He started thrusting, really fucking the other man, his cock sliding in and out of that little hole.

"Oh, man," Chitose moaned, his eyes rolling upwards, "how the fuck are you so tight?"

Watanabe only panted in response, and Chitose reached beneath him to grab his cock, jerking it off as best he could. He lips found Watanabe's neck, and he sucked and kissed the skin there, feeling that tension building up in his groin for the second time that day. He pulled harder on Watanabe's cock, and the man jerked beneath him as he came, cum spilling out onto Chitose's hand. And then Chitose was coming too, still thrusting as he spilled himself into the condom.

They lay still for a few moments, catching their breath, and then Chitose got up and pulled himself out off of the other man. He pulled his condom off as he walked to the bathroom, where he cleaned himself up. When he got back Watanabe had already put on a robe, and was standing by the door.

"It's been a lot of fun," Watanabe said, his lips a lazy smile.

"Yeah," Chitose agreed, walking out the door as Watanabe held it open. "You know, I never did get your first name."

Watanabe shrugged. "I guess you shouldn't have thrown that game, then."

Chitose smiled as the door closed on his face, Watanabe's glinting eyes disappearing behind it.

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