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homsan toft ([personal profile] tofsla_fic) wrote2014-02-21 09:54 am

Only So Much Rain (Sanada/Yukimura)

Prince of Tennis, Sanada/Yukimura, General
1,700 words
The sound of waves.

Sanada accompanies Yukimura to his last check-up, early in autumn with the world just beginning to cool down. "It's routine," Yukimura tells him. "They didn't find anything wrong in any of the others."

He sounds tense, though. It's there every time, and Sanada has the grace to pretend he doesn't notice, but it worries him.

"I'll go with you," he says flatly, and Yukimura closes his mouth without having had to speak, smiles without all of his usual brightness but with a genuine gratitude that makes Sanada feel things he can't even begin to describe.

When Yukimura is given an entirely clean bill of health, Sanada finds he can breathe more easily than he has in almost a year. Knowing their captain's strength was back was good, incredible, but to hear that it's likely to stay…

"You're smiling," Yukimura teases as they leave the hospital. Sanada doesn't deny it, though if anyone but Yukimura could see he'd be ducking his head, embarrassed.

It's Yukimura, and he sounds happy, lighthearted. So what if he's smiling?

It should be Yukimura who feels like this, and maybe he does too, but as they walk back towards the bus stop Sanada can't shake the sense that he's somehow more alive than he has been in a long time, more aware. The air is cool, just a little damp, and the wind through the half-dried leaves on the trees sounds almost like the sea.

"We should go to the beach one weekend," Yukimura murmurs, looking skywards, his eyes reflecting the clouds. Yes; they're both feeling the same.

"The team?"

"Us. If you like."

Sanada thinks about it, or at least takes the time to pretend he needs to think, and gives a nod. A team excursion and he'd find some excuse, attend reluctantly if at all; trusting his team-mates isn't the same as enjoying their collective company. But Yukimura… that's always something different. A different set of rules.

"Good," Yukimura says quietly, barely more than a whisper, and Sanada is about to ask if something is wrong after all when he finds a hand curling around his arm, firm and insistent, and Yukimura drags him along the street almost at a run, laughing at his surprise.

"Too slow," he explains, barely breathless and still amused at whatever-it-was as they stumble onto the bus minutes later. "We would've missed it."

They sit together, Yukimura drifting, almost leaning against Sanada and then realising what he's doing and pulling away – but never far. Sanada is sorry to reach his stop.

"Next weekend," Yukimura calls after Sanada as he starts to his feet, rushes to get off before the doors close, and Sanada feels another almost-smile tugging at one corner of his mouth as he walks the last few metres home.

There's no mention of any of it at school that week; they're permanently preoccupied with other things, and Sanada doesn't want to push the subject. Besides, they have classes apart, although they eat together with Renji and whoever else is around, and most of them still play as much as ever, though they're meant to be focusing on school now. They've had the summer for tennis.

Of course, it doesn't work like that in practice. It's going to take more than the official tournaments being over to make Yukimura slow down, and Sanada is glad of it, of the intensity Yukimura brings even to practice matches and the way he has to push his own limits to stand a chance, find something extra over and over again.

"You'll play in high school," Yukimura says, a complete non-question. "Are you working on something new?"

They're both breathing hard this time; 6-5 to Yukimura. A good game.

"Yes," Sanada admits. He has been since the summer, started out of a sort-of complacency by Seigaku. Not that complacency is really the right word for whatever he was experiencing.

"It'll be good."

They're almost evenly matched now, though not because Yukimura has become weaker.

On Thursday night he gets an email; this weekend? -Seiichi

Yes, he types, and hesitates. Do you want to stay over tomorrow night? There's plenty of space and it makes things easier.

Ok, Yukimura sends back a while later. Tomorrow!

Sanada is slow to fall asleep, lying in his room and listening to the low whispering of the wind, thinking in a vague and directionless way about things he doesn't really feel the need to fully pin down or put into exact words.

"It may well rain on Saturday," Renji warns them before they leave school on Friday. Sanada doesn't ask how he knows this might be relevant information. Neither does Yukimura, but he doesn't look bothered, either.

"What's life without risk?" he says, shoves lightly at Renji's shoulder. "Come on, Genichirou."

Renji is right, Sanada thinks. Well. Time will tell.

He wakes up with a surprisingly strong awareness of the other person in his room, though Yukimura is quiet, breathing softly, stretched out on Sanada's spare futon. He's close; half a metre, perhaps. Sanada could reach out and touch him, run his fingers over Yukimura's skin. Could trace the lines of his face, healthy and soft, a world away from the too-thin, pale creature he was until not so long ago. Instead he makes himself stay still, watches in the dull early morning half-light.

Rain is drumming against the window, low but constant.

"We could go anyway," Yukimura suggests over breakfast. "No-one else would be there."

"No," Sanada says, definite, because even if Yukimura is hard to say no to there are times when it has to be done. "There are other days."

"Mm." But Yukimura's eyes still drift to the window, the rain coming down, as though he'd rather be outside doing something; anything.

They spend a lazy, quiet day indoors, flicking through books, talking. Yukimura watches Sanada work in the dojo, teases gently, not meaning a word of it. Sanada is surprised at how comfortable it feels, just to sit around with Yukimura nearby and no urgency – no need to do anything and no obligation to be anything more than himself.

Somehow, Yukimura just never leaves when evening comes.

"Maybe tomorrow," Yukimura says. It's late, and they're lying in the darkness of Sanada's room; side by side, though distanced. Outside, the rain shows no sign of letting up; is trying to become a storm instead, with thunder growling in the distance and the odd flicker of light throwing the room into sudden relief – casting deep shadows across Yukimura's face.

"Maybe," Sanada agrees, eyes already drifting closed. It doesn't really matter. They have time.

It's cool but clear when they wake up, and the whole world smells fresh, clean. They take the train together, mile after mile, and walk down through the town it leaves them in to get to the beach, broad and sandy, deserted. It's not the time of year for visiting the coast, which is maybe why Yukimura wanted to. He can be oddly contrary like that, a law unto himself.

The waves are crashing in, sending foam flying, and the wind is still blowing, lifting Yukimura's hair and whipping it around his face.

"Come on," he calls over it all, runs down across the sand. He seems younger than usual, as though nothing is worrying him at all. It's enough to make Sanada feel a little bit softer, and he's pretty damn certain that it isn't only the sharp edge to the air here which makes him feel so exhilarated.

There's a word for this, the feeling that everything is alright so long as Yukimura thinks it is. But it's not important.

They walk until they get cold and then follow their own footsteps back along the beach, two lines of prints close beside each other.

"I've been thinking," Yukimura says, and pauses.


"I want to go pro. Play properly. As soon as I can find a way."

He'd be good, Sanada thinks. He can already see it. Impressing people on and off the courts – not just an amazing player but an amazing personality. The sort of player everyone would talk about.

It's a strange thought, in a way, but it really doesn't surprise Sanada in the slightest to hear Yukimura's intent.

"Do it," he says. Anything else would be foolish, and a waste of talent.

"What about you?"

If I go, will you follow? That's what Yukimura is trying to say. Sanada isn't certain how to answer.

"It may be difficult."

"What isn't?"


"Genichirou," Yukimura says, stopping in his tracks, grabbing Sanada by the elbow to stop him too. "It's important."

To Sanada it is, but to hear Yukimura insist on it like this…

"Why?" he asks, unusually stubborn in the face of Yukimura's demands.

A flash of exasperation makes its way across Yukimura's face, there and gone. "You don't know?"

He can guess. But he doesn't dare, in case he guesses wrong.


Yukimura makes a little noise of annoyance, typically demanding, expecting everyone to think at the same speed as him all the time; and then his hand is twisting in Sanada's shirt, tugging him forward and down until they're nose to nose, not quite touching.

Yukimura's breath is warm against his lips.

"It's important," he repeats, low and insistent.

Sanada realises he's almost holding his breath, the unfamiliar and unexpected closeness throwing him off balance. It's something he shouldn't want, although he doesn't know if he cares about whether it's right or not nearly as much as he should.

"Then I will," he says.

Yukimura's mouth presses against his, and Sanada thinks his heart is almost beating loudly enough to drown out the sound of the sea as everything seems, just for a moment, to slot into place.

"It still won't be easy," Sanada reiterates, reluctantly. Yukimura is sitting close to him in the almost-empty train carriage, letting their hands brush against each other, watching the points where their skin touches with unashamed fascination.

"Nothing worth having is."

"I'll find a way."

"We will."