Disclaimer: Shin TeniPuri is not mine; it belongs to Konomi, in all of his fur-wearing fabulousness.
Warnings: BL, some bad words, SPOILERS FOR CHAPTER FIVE OF SHIN
Author's Note: This is based on something hyoutan said to me... though I doubt this is what's actually going to happen, this is my response to the most recent chapter of Shin.
The announcement of "Game, set, Kikumaru, six games to four!" is deafening in his ears and curdles in his stomach; there's none of the usual thrill of winning, of course there couldn't be, not like this, not to Oishi. He's been swallowing back bile for the majority of the game, but it got worse at the end, when everything became all too clear and Eiji just wanted to die, wanted to curl up and die, but there was nothing he could do, because, on opposite sides of the net like this, they weren't connected; it was almost like having the telephone line cut, or something. He wanted to scream for Oishi to stop, anything to make him stop, but he didn't stop, and now it's all over and they're approaching the net and Oishi's smiling at him, but it's this awaiting-the-guillotine sort of smile, and Eiji feels tears form, can't bear to look. When he reaches the net, he doesn't take Oishi's extended hand, looks down for a moment before everything suddenly bubbles over and he meets Oishi's eyes and slaps Oishi straight across the face.
The crack of skin against skin seems to echo across the courts and the need to retch suddenly overwhelms Eiji, he bolts from the court, to the nearest wash basin and is sicker than he can ever remember being, even when he was a child and would eat anything that was placed in front of him and a lot of things that weren't, too. The tears flow freely as he washes his face afterwards, something inside his chest burns and he thinks that he hates Oishi even though he knows he doesn't. Oishi is his partner, his boyfriend, Oishi loves him, Oishi must have been doing what he thought was right, but how could he ever think something so wrong was right?
He slams his fist into the cement of the basin and withdraws immediately with a whimper of pain; his palm is still stinging from the smack, and now his knuckles burn, too, indented with the fine pattern of the cement. He licks at the open cuts before nursing the hand against his chest; he wishes he could do the same with his heart, but, unfortunately, Oishi seems to be the only person capable of affecting that, and right now, he's just about torn it to pieces and then walked over it. Sinking to the ground, leaning against the wall, Eiji descends back into tears, sobs shaking his slender body. Once he gets past the anger at Oishi's stupidity, at the fact that Oishi intentionally lost to him, sorrow and fear are quick to set into place; after all, what will he do here alone? He's never been without Oishi, not really; sure, there was that one singles game against Higa Chuu, but, fuck, Eiji had learned to play doubles with himself just to pull himself through and they had been back together again right afterwards. He knows he's not terrible at singles, but they're Golden Pair, damnit! And setting tennis aside entirely, Eiji's terrified to be without Oishi, without his one-and-only, the one who understands him, who helps him, who keeps him warm at night. Sure, they've been apart for times before, like the Goodwill Games, but that was by choice. Oishi hasn't ever been forcibly torn from him before, and Eiji simply does't know what to do.
He's startled out of feeling sorry for himself, however, when he feels hands on his shoulders and his eyes start open to find Oishi's looking worriedly into them. He blushes and looks away, hiccuping and wiping feverishly at his tears with the backs of his hands. He doesn't know what to say, whether to insult or to beg or to just break down and cry again, but Oishi carefully, tenderly takes Eiji's hands in his own and places a kiss on each before trying to meet Eiji's eyes again. Eiji notices that he has his bags with him and swallows back the lump in his throat and decides that maybe Oishi's eyes are the safest place to look, after all.
When neither speaks for a good few minutes, Oishi swallows and sighs before opening his mouth. "I know you're mad at me, Eiji-- you have every right to be. But... but at least hear me out, before I have to go."
Eiji feels tears threatening at the backs of his eyes again and he nods, not sure he can manage words at the moment. Oishi smiles slightly, a little bit, at one corner of his mouth, and reaches out, gingerly wiping the tears building up beneath Eiji's eyes with his thumb, a gesture that Eiji has always loved, before continuing.
"I know it might seem a little silly... and maybe you don't like it all the time, but... well, I decided a long time ago that I would do everything to protect you, to sacrifice for you, to help you and support you... like in doubles, you know."
But this isn't like in doubles, Eiji wants to say. Losing on purpose isn't any of the connection or trust that's in doubles. It's terrible and unfair-- but he only bites his lip and looks away. "I don't like it when you do something... something like that."
"I know," Oishi replies, and there's a hint of guilt in his voice. "I know, but I weighed the options and I decided that it was only right of me to do what was best for you-- it's so much more important for you."
Eiji furrows his brow. "That's not true, Oishi! It can't possibly be more important for me because... because we're always a team, right? You're not--" he almost can't bring himself to say it, "You're not quitting tennis, right?!"
Oishi laughs, a soft, caring laugh, and shakes his head. Moving a little closer, he presses a kiss to Eiji's cheek and smiles a real smile, if a small one. "My sweet Eiji... of course I'm not. I'll be waiting for you back at Seigaku... it's just that you need this step up more than I do." When Eiji looks confused, he hesitates, then smiles and shakes his head, continuing. "Don't worry about that now. What you can do now is make the best of this and do everything that you can and try not to be too mad at me, and we'll see if we can't meet up on weekends, and then we'll be back together again, good as always, once we're back at school. All right?"
Eiji swallows again, and he doesn't want to agree, he wants to ask Oishi to take him with, or else grovel at the feet of the directors to take Oishi back, but he knows his partner is right. They can't do any of that; they have to make the best of the situation because there's nothing else they can do now. Looking poutily into Oishi's eyes, he's silent for a moment before retorting, "You better hope I don't meet any cute high school boys while you're not around."
The corner of Oishi's mouth twists and he shakes his head, ruffling Eiji's hair. Eiji squeaks in protest, but the sound is cut off by Oishi's mouth on his, forceful and unrelenting, and Eiji is only startled for a second before he melts into the kiss, letting his eyes fall shut and putting his arms around Oishi's neck, forgetting his anger altogether and pulling Oishi closer. When they break apart, Eiji is panting and his lips are swollen and he lets his head fall onto Oishi's shoulder as he gets control over himself again. As he begins to catch his breath, he sets the jokes aside for a moment, despite how much they might make this easier, and speaks his mind. "Naa... what am I going to do without you, Oishi?"
"You're going to play tennis, and you're going to be amazing. And when you get back, I'm not going to let you go for at least twenty four hours. Okay?" Oishi smiles, and Eiji can't help but smile too, and Oishi kisses him one last time and then is gone.
But despite making up, despite letting it go, Eiji never really quite understands why Oishi did what he did. It just sits wrong with him in every way possible; it seems almost un-Oishi-like in general, to lose on purpose, to doubt Eiji's skill that way, to not give him the simple respect of a fair game. It's something Oishi would never condone as fukubuchou, something he'd never accept from any opponent... so why would he do it to his own boyfriend? It just doesn't make sense, Eiji simply doesn't understand.
In fact, Eiji continues not to understand until he fails every single one of his college entrance exams and Oishi, with only a smile, turns down his scholarship to Tokyo University in order for them to go pro together.