Disclaimer: They're still Konomi's, and, in fact, still not mine.
Pairing: Pillar Pair (Tezuka Kunimitsu x Echizen Ryoma)
Warnings: BL, mentions of cuddles. Drabble. Slight AU.
Author's Note: For clinck's TezRyo Revival!
It's the summer of Tezuka's last year of elementary school and he's out for a jog in the park; he's tired after hours of tennis practice but his determination won't let him give up yet, and so this is a break, this is relaxation, because he mustn't let his guard down, not now and not ever. But it's not like it's too much effort, because he has stamina to last years, and the view of the park in the late afternoon is a pleasing one. And so he runs a few laps around the park, telling himself only one more at the completion of each only to go another one more, and then another in a common cycle that will end when he needs to return home for dinner and not when he's tried.
But he's stopped in his tracks somewhere between the third and the fourth lap by a small furry object careening his way. Surprise and confusion are what halt him first, and then curiosity and a bit of worry as the animal collides with his leg and he realizes it's a kitten, cream with tan accents and not possibly a year old. He stoops to examine the thing, now shaking its head, eyes squeezed shut, having fallen backwards into a sitting position from the fall. When it realizes he's looking, it opens its big blue eyes to gaze back at him, and lets out a single, plaintive meow.
Even to Tezuka, the thing is absolutely adorable, but he isn't exactly sure what to do until, moments later, the kitten's ears perk up and Tezuka registers the sound of approaching footsteps and then a voice calling out, "Karupin! Karupin!" Soon after, a boy appears out of the distance, also running towards Tezuka down the path, and so Tezuka, being the considerate person that he is, scoops up the kitten and waits.
The boy is slight; short despite being obviously athletic, he appears to be about eight or nine years old. When he sees the kitten in Tezuka's arms, his gold eyes light up and he puts on a burst of speed to be upon Tezuka in a matter of seconds. "Karupin!" he exclaims again, and Tezuka realizes this must be the cat's name as he meets the boy halfway, animal extended. The boy accepts quickly and tenderly, holding the kitten to his chest and stroking its head for a few times before looking back to Tezuka. "Thanks," he says, and though it's short and abrupt, Tezuka can tell, somehow, that he means it. There's just something about the look in his eye that catches Tezuka's attention, a look of candidness, of devotion.
He wants to say something, but he isn't sure what, and he feels awkward. "Take good care of him," he replies after a moment for lack of anything else to say, and the boy nods once, briskly, before darting off the way he came.
Tezuka stares after the boy for a long moment, because even though the encounter was brief, there was simply something about the boy that caught Tezuka's eye, piqued his interest. What he doesn't know is that, years from now, he'll be spending every day around that cat, years from now, that boy will become so much more than a passing interest. A few years and a few hours and a few minutes from this moment, in fact, he will be lying in bed with that very same cat curled up at his feet and that very same boy tucked tenderly, lovingly in his arms, and he will be unwaveringly happy. But he doesn't know, and so, for now, he shrugs it off and begins to jog again. After all, he can probably still get in a few more laps before dinner.