Timeline: Sometime once Kirihara is living with Hiyoshi.
Summary: Ohtori goes to visit Hiyoshi, and finds Kirihara instead.
As the day was pretty nice and the air was high and crisp, Akaya sat out on the staircase leading up to Hiyoshi's residence. He was reading a magazine on video games and he had just skimmed through an article about the Sims 2. He didn't think he'd buy that, he was more into racing games anyway, but it was an interesting article.
Ohtori hadn't seen Hiyoshi much in the past couple weeks, so he had decided to pay a visit to the other's house, somewhat unexpectedly though he thought that at some point prior Hiyoshi said he could come visit if he wanted to. It wasn't often that he went to the home residence of his friends, but he managed to find the way without difficulty. Walking up the path toward the front door, Ohtori stopped when he saw the vaguely familiar stranger sitting on the steps before him.
Someone was coming. Akaya looked up, perfectly bored, and found out that he vaugely rememebered the silver haired boy who came walking towards the house. Ohtori, wasn't it? "Yo", he said stiffly.
Briefly, Ohtori tried to place a name to the face, knowing that the other teenager was someone from Rikkaidai, and that Hiyoshi had mentioned someone else staying at his place in addition to Shishido. Kirihara, he was fairly certain. "Hello. Is Hiyoshi-san around?"
"Not really", Akaya replied, putting the magazine away. "He and Shishido are busy with something. Talking, like. But I'm sure it's okay for you to butt in if you wanna. Want me to get them?"
"No, I'd rather not." Shrugging, Ohtori shook his head. "It's nothing important enough to warrant interrupting them if they're preoccupied."
The young Rikkaidai member got to his feet and shrugged, shoving his hands into his pockets. "Suit yourself. Since you came all the way here though, wanna stay and chat with me? I don't think I have cooties. Not today anway."
"Sure. You're Kirihara-san, right?" Ohtori asked more to make sure rather than run the risk of possibly having placed the wrong person. "Not today? Do they come and go then?"
Grinning, Akaya made his way down the stairs, two steps at a time, before stopping in front of Ohtori, making a quick bow. "They do. They're unpredictable, just like me. And yeah. Kirihara Akaya. Nice to meet you. And you're Ohtori-san something or the other, right?"
Bowing in return out of habit, Ohtori regarded the other with mild curiosity. He had heard of Kirihara before, not always in the most complimentary of terms, but he didn't put much store by that since as far as he knew it was merely rumor. "Yes. Ohtori Choutarou, nice to meet you." Seeing as how the other had moved from where he was seated, Ohtori asked, "Want to stay here or go elsewhere?"
If he remembered Chotarou correctly from Hyotei's game against Seigaku, Chotarou had that scud serve thing. Well, that was pretty impressive, nothing at all like his own tennis, but a little bit impressive none the less. "I guess we could go inside if you want to..."
"Wherever is fine with me. Up to you." Ohtori didn't have much of a preference one way or the other, but it felt somewhat odd to just be standing in the middle of the walkway. "Just didn't know if you'd want to keep standing here."
"We can go to their dojo then", Akaya decided. "We won't be in the way there, and there aren't a lot of pesky servants around."
"All right. Lead the way." Ohtori hadn't been over to the Hiyoshi residence enough to have accustomed himself to the place, though it was entirely likely that he could find his way around as necessary. "How long have you been staying here?"
As they started walking, Akaya shrugged. "A couple of days", he answered, frowning. "I more or less got kicked out from home, and I ended up here."
"Ah." Not wanting to pry, Ohtori didn't ask any further questions, so walked in silence for a moment. "That sounds unfortunate. Do you like it here at least?"
"Sort of", Akaya shrugged. "It could have been worse, I guess. I could have ended up in Fudomine or something. The dudes over there seriously don't like me, I think."
"True." Ohtori somewhat remembered the details of the match between Rikkai and Fudomine and assumed it would be related to that. "Are you going to attend school at Hyoutei as well, or just staying with Hiyoshi-san for the interim?"
Another shrug. What was it to him anyway? Akaya didn't know the guy, why all these questions? Then again, he could shoot his mouth off pretty good too, so maybe he shouldn't judge. Life was complicated sometimes... "Dunno. Haven't planned it out yet. Depends on wether daddy will forgive me or not, I guess."
There wasn't really any motive for the questions, Ohtori just thought they might as well converse for the time being. "It's not a bad school, really, though it's probably different from Rikkaidai."
The corners of Ohtori's lips quirked into an amused grin. "He'd probably prefer king, but there are still a few people who aren't in his fanclub. It's more about the tennis and having the strongest people get to the top."
Laughing, Akaya quickened his pace as he replied: "Well, when you have Sanada-fukubuchou to compare with, Atobe tend to look more like a queen than a king. Not that Yukimura-buchou is the epitome of manliness of course."
Matching Kirihara's pace, Ohtori gave a slight nod. "Yeah, between the two that makes sense. He's still a good captain, even with all the ego. Though with how Hyoutei works, it isn't that unusual."
"You're a pretty special school, aren't you? Not that we're some everyday jocks over at Rikkaidai either..." Akaya's eyes fell upon a a garbage can that was overful with litter and he shook his head. "Would you look at that? Nasty..."
"I suppose. Or we're just cutthroat." Though not everyone fit into that category, it was somewhat hard not to be when any signs of weakness could possibly lead to one's downfall. "I would assume not, since yours is the top school in tennis." Gaze sliding to where Kirihara was looking, Ohtori blinked. "Mm."
"Not counting all powerful so very special Seigaku then", Akaya smirked, then made a face. "The wonderful Fuji Syusuke! The incredible Echizen Ryoma...! Man, I can't stand those two..."
"Any reason in particular or do you just dislike their reputations?" Ohtori posed the question mildly, progressing onward from the refuse.
"I can't stand their attitudes, really. Fuji's a fucking stuck up mr perfect, and that brat's so fucking full of himself I'm amazed he hasn't burst into small tiny icky little bits by now."
"Ah," Ohtori said noncommittally, somewhat surprised at the vehemence of the other's dislike. It wasn't that he didn't have problems with other people, he just tended to ignore those that grated on his nerves more than anything else. "I haven't really been around either of them that much."
"You ought to be glad", Akaya muttered, giving Ohtori a quick look. "So... You're on Akutagawa's team right? He used to fanboy all over Marui from my team... What do you think of him?"
"Jirou-sempai? He's very... enthusiastic when he's not sleeping, especially around people he admires for their tennis skills." Shrugging, Ohtori gave the question some thought before answering, "It's fun to watch him really play, since he always seems so happy while doing so."
"Happy...?" To tell the truth, people at Rikkai hardly ever had time being really happy when they played, since they were the emperors, and Yukimura could be really strict when he wanted to be, so there wasn't much time to goof around because you didn't want to screw up, at all. "Cool. And you? How do you feel when playing?"
"He seems to really enjoy himself when he gets into it, so yeah." From what Ohtori had seen that was rather a rarity amongst any of the schools, but it felt good to watch Jirou since he seemed carefree even when giving it his all. "Determined, mostly. Like I need to try my best and more because slipping up isn't an option. So under pressure, too, I guess. How about you?"
"I always want to do everything to win. Maybe for my own sake, maybe for Yukimura's. I have to win, you know? No matter the cost. I can go overboard, but I try not too... It's just... I don't know. I'm messed up, I guess. Fuck, I don't even know why I'm talking so much with you, it's weird, man! Don't you think it's weird?" Akaya frowned, and resisted the urge to give Ohtori a slap over his head.
"Mm. That makes sense. I feel the same way sometimes, though I don't go overboard that often. Usually it's more like I feel I can't let down who I'm playing doubles with, since I tend to play that more often." Looking quizzically at Kirihara, Ohtori seemed somewhat nonplussed. "I don't think it's that weird; it's just talking. What seems odd about it?"
Akaya frowned, a bit confused himself. He had really lost track of what he wanted to say in the first place, and confusion made him angry, it usually did. "Fuck if I know", he growled, "You're just fucking nosy, okay?"
Blinking, really feeling rather puzzled at the other's erratic behavior, Ohtori shrugged. "It's not like I'm trying to force information out of you or anything. If you don't want to talk we don't have to."
"Fine!" So maybe he wasn't making much sense. And he was losing his temper over nothing. Did he care? Not really. So much had happened, and Akaya felt that he had to blame someone, just anyone for it, because it hurt too much to blame himself, or blame the men who had hurt him, so why not hurt this little goody-two-shoes? Seemed as good as any, really. "What's the matter, Hyoutei boy? You're backing down?"
"Backing down from what? A conversation?" Ohtori thought that seemed rather ridiculous, since it was an exchange of words that hadn't delved that far into personal information, as far as he could tell. At present, he didn't know the other's reasons for turning quite this hostile, though it seemed unwise to pry further. "I'm not going to push it if that's what you're asking, so I guess I am."
"You really are a fucking saint, aren't you? Is that why you carry around that fucking cross or something? It's butt ugly you know."
"Hardly. It doesn't have any religious significance, it's just a pendant." Ohtori got the feeling Kirihara was baiting him, and was trying to not rise to it, since he didn't really feel like getting into an unnecessary fight.
"Oh yeah?" Akaya snorted, stepping close to Ohtori, reaching out a hand to grab the cross. "It's still fucking ugly. Same ugly grey as your hair. Is that real or what?"
Instinctively, Ohtori took a step back. He wasn't all that comfortable with people invading his personal space, at least not when it seemed like said person was ready to smack him. "Yeah, but that hardly seems relevant. I don't exactly know why you're pissed off all of a sudden, but if you're planning on taking it out on me I might as well leave."
Oh, no he wasn't. Akaya scowled, he had just started to work himself up to a much welcome rage, and there was no way the other kid just walked out on him now. He made a swing with his fist, aiming for Ohtori's midsection.
Reacting before thinking, Ohtori twisted to the side when Kirihara made to hit him, already somewhat on guard from when the other shifted in demeanor. He wasn't really worth anything in actually retaliating, but he still had good enough reflexes to be able to dodge. "What, exactly, is attacking me going to accomplish for you?"
"Will you fucking stand still", Akaya growled, unable to answer the question properly. He took another swing, this time aiming for Ohtori's face, something that was pretty difficult to begin with, since the other boy was a good deal taller than him.
"No thanks. I didn't come here to be your living punching bag." Sidestepping to avoid being hit in the face, Ohtori made a grab for the other's arm as it was extended this time, making an attempt to subdue the other. He had been working on his defensive skills since the time he and Shishido got beat up, but he didn't really want to have to try to test them.
Taken off guard, not really expecting the other boy to do anything but dodge, Akaya was easilly caught, but he didn't still himself, only tried to kick Ohtori on the shins or between the legs, but the movement itself made him loose his balance. "Shit", he exclaimed.
Kirihara's kick connected with his shin, causing Ohtori to lose the brief grip and stumble a step backwards, pain causing him to bite back a yelp. Seeing that Kirihara was about to fall over, Ohtori made another grab for him, this time with the intent to stop his toppling. Probably not the wisest idea, but he reacted more instinctively than anything.
As he felt the arms around him, steadying his fall, Akaya more or less panicked. He didn't want arms around him, he didn't want hands upon him, and the reason why he had started this fight, if there ever was a reason to begin with, had completely left his mind. "No", he yelled, "let me go! Don't touch me!"
Surprised by the other's panic, Ohtori released his hold once it seemed the other had regained his footing for the time being. "All right, all right. I won't touch you." It seemed rather odd to be saying that when Kirihara had been the one trying to punch him the past few minutes, but he did anyway to appease the other teenager.
Akaya took a few shaking steps backwards, bringing his hands to his head as image after image from the attack assulted him and a sharp pain flashed through his head. He felt sick, and stumbled down on the ground, muttering: "Stay away from me, just stay away from me..."
"Okay...." Ohtori mainted a few feet of distance between them, kneeling on the ground so he was eye level with Kirihara. "Do you want me to go get help or something?" As far as he could tell it was mroe mental than physical, but better to make sure.
"No... No, I'm fine", Akaya stuttered, shaking his head to rid himself from the mental demons. "I just... I don't know, I just..."
Kirihara obviously didn't seem fine, but Ohtori refrained from pointing that out. "Just...?" He echoed the others words, giving Kirihara room to continue speaking if he wanted to, or not.
Picking up a small pebble from the ground, the young Rikkaidai ace threw it away and it hit a building maybe ten meters away. "Do you know why I live with your teammate right now, huh?"
Shifting his position so that he was sitting cross-legged on the ground, Ohtori tilted his head to one side as he answered, "No, not really, other than what you told me about getting kicked out of home. Hiyoshi-san didn't say anything, and I didn't ask him."
"Well, since I freaked out on you..." Akaya shrugged, picking up another pebble and juggled it between his hands. "Daddy dearest kicked me out because he thought I was gay since me and another guy ran into some fucking big trouble downtown."
Mulling that over for a moment, putting the pieces together to figure out what 'big trouble' might be if it ended up in that result, added in with Kirihara's reaction earlier, Ohtori was able to figure out a general idea. "Oh." At a loss of what to say, he finally settled on, "I apologize for touching you earlier."
Akaya raised an eyebrow, a smirk apparing on his lips. "Well, if you hadn't, I'd be face first into the pavement, right? And that wouldn't have been nice. And why did you do it anyway? I tried to kick you in the fucking balls, right?"
Grinning ruefully, Ohtori ran a hand through his hair. "No, I suppose it wouldn't have been." After a moment of musing, Ohtori said, "Eh, I don't know. You seemed unreasonably upset so I figured it wasn't about me, and I reacted more than actually thinking about it."
He had really blown his top, hadn't he? Akaya bit his lip, looking a bit guilty. "Hey, man... Sorry about that..."
"Don't worry about it." Ohtori shook the matter off, since there didn't seem much reason to hold a grudge over it. "Assuming you don't actually want to beat the crap out of me for personal reasons, I don't think we have a problem."
Akaya blinked and stood up slowly. He could feel how weak he still was, his legs were barely supporting him, but at least he could stand up. "You really are some weird saint, ain't ya?" He said it without malice this time, he only sounded slightly baffled.
"No, I don't think so. Just went through some stuff that made me realize it's bad to hold people accountable for things that happen beyond their control." Rising as well, Ohtori dusted what stray bits of earth that clung to his pants. "And for now I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt since Hiyoshi-san is letting you stay here."
"Really? Well... thanks." Akaya shrugged, feeling a twinge of curiosity at the other boy's comment, but decided not to pry, not just yet anyway. "So... Wanna grab a burger?"
"No problem." Hands shoved in pockets, Ohtori nodded. "Sure. Do you need to get anything before we go?"
"No, I'm fine." Akaya shoved his hands into his pockets as well, and started down the street.