Archivist's note: This was written for a 500-word drabble challenge. It was written for the challenge "obligation" by Sharon.

by Monnie

"You never wear your Hyotei jersey unless you're at a match, Hiyoshi." Atobe's voice, Hiyoshi had noted once, never betrayed any hint that he was tired, and his uniform was very straight across his shoulders.

"No, Atobe-buchou." He'd never cared whether or not it was polite to look senpai in the eye—he'd heard that in some of the other schools, staring into a senpai's face could get a kouhai a beating, but he would not bend under the force of a calm, blue-eyed stare—one that made his stomach roil, a little, just because of how little this all mattered. They'd lost the Kantou tournament in the first round last week, and Atobe was talking about his jersey?

Atobe looked down at him—his hair curling, just a little wet from the sweat of his previous game—before he raised both eyebrows."From now on, you're going to be wearing your jersey to every practice."

It wasn't a request, because Atobe-buchou never made requests. And, of course, there was no explanation before Hyotei's team captain turned on his heel and strode away, because Hiyoshi was quite certain that Atobe expected automatically to be obeyed.

It really was too much of a pity that Hiyoshi Wakashi might have been quiet—but he'd never once believed that blind obedience was the province of the strong.

The day after the third years quit the team, he wore his white t-shirt with red sleeves, and felt Atobe's eyes on his shoulders. Their former buchou shouldn't have come to the investment of the new team captain—especially since Hiyoshi was sure that Atobe should have been in cram school—but of course Atobe would.

"This is more comfortable," he told Atobe, quietly, when the silence stretched taut.

Much to his surprise, a tiny touch of a smile twitched at the corners of Atobe Keigo's mouth, almost reaching his blue, blue eyes. "Don't be stupid, Hiyoshi. Did I ever say it wasn't?"

But he wasn't Atobe, not when Atobe walked back to stand beside Kantoku and Hiyoshi was buchou of Hyotei Gakuen's two-hundred member tennis team. Most of whom were staring down at him from the bleachers with their faces just a little guarded. He knew what they saw.

Hiyoshi took one deep breath, and narrowed his eyes up at them. They doubted? They dared?

Let them.

He let out the breath—felt it run through his body, emptying him, before he filled his lungs again—meeting as many eyes as he could, one by one by one, before he raised one hand to the sky. Not a silly snap—Atobe's pretensions had never amused him—but a clenched fist. His left hand, because he wasn't putting down his tennis racquet.

"The winner will be Hyotei," Hiyoshi stated, quietly, before he walked off to change into his jersey.

The voice of Hyotei's team captain, Hiyoshi had noticed, never betrayed the slightest hint that he was tired, and his uniform was always very straight across his shoulders.

The End

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