Challenge: For the faith challenge. Or, really, I got this idea a while ago, but the current challenge motivated me to really go ahead and write it ^^;

Notes: I got this idea while looking at this picture. I was looking at it and suddenly noticed the necklace Ootori is wearing instead of his normal cross one. And thus this fic was born...many months after the original plot-bunny.

by Kay

"I'm so sorry, Choutarou," Shishido said again, looking down at the bent piece of silver metal in his hand.

Ootori sighed, looking at what had been his cross mournfully. "It's not your fault, Shishido-san. You didn't know that you were going to trip, drop my cross into the normally not busy road, and a car would just happen to come run it over... It's my fault for asking you to hold it for me, anyway."

And indeed, that is what had happened. The two of them had been on their way to the bus station after tennis practice, when Ootori's necklace chain had suddenly snapped. He had then caught the cross from falling and started fumbling around for a new chain in his tennis bag that he kept there for just such an occasion, after asking Shishido to hold the small charm for a moment and handing it to him. Shishido had accepted it willingly, and had stood there with Ootori while he searched through the different pockets of his bag.

Just as Ootori's face had lit up and he had pulled out a brand new chain with an accomplished, "Here we go," an elementary school kid had turned the corner on a bicycle and come hurtling down the sidewalk that they were stopped on right towards Shishido, who was standing in the middle of it with Ootori to the side. Reacting quickly, the brown haired, cap wearing, tennis player had jumped out of the way, cursing as the kid rode past without even slowing down, and in the same instant tripped over the edge of the sidewalk and went crashing down to the ground, luckily catching himself with both hands before further damage could be wrought.

However, this caused him to lose his grip on the cross he had been holding, and it went flying away.

Standing up with another curse and brushing himself off as Ootori rushed over to him to make sure he was ok, he looked around for where it had landed, and spotted it lying in the road. Grateful that this was a normally unused side street, he had been just about to trot over and pick it up when a truck had suddenly came flying around the same corner, at a speed that had to be illegal (Shishido nearly expected to see a horde of police cars chasing it, it was going that fast). And it went right on past, straight over the little cross lying in its path.

Staring in disbelief at his rotten luck, Shishido had walked over, bent down, and pried it off the road. Walking back over to Ootori, he had held it out to him in his palm, speechless. Finally, he managed, "I'm so sorry, Choutarou!"

Ootori had stared at his palm as well for a moment, in equal if not more shock, and then shook his head. "N-no, it's not your fault."

But though his doubles partner insisted that, Shishido couldn't help but feeling bad at the sad look on his face. He knew that this particular, individual cross was special to Ootori, and wouldn't be so easily replaced. He went home feeling dejected that night and had restless sleep.


The next day, by the empty tennis courts in the early morning, Shishido met up with Ootori, and extended his fist without a word and let a small, silver star charm on a chain fall out and hang from it. Ootori gave him a questioning glance and, not looking at him, Shishido answered the silent question, "A replacement, for the one I broke," Ootori opened his mouth to protest and Shishido continued in a hurry, "I know it's probably not nearly as good, but…" He glanced at the necklace, then away.

Ootori just looked at him for a moment, before smiling and reaching out to cup his hands around Shishido's and take the necklace from him. "Thank you, Shishido-san."

Blushing slightly, Shishido cleared his throat and took his hand away, leaving the necklace in Ootori's and turning to look at him again with a bright smile. "C'mon, after school today let's go get some burgers."

Nodding, Ootori followed Shishido to the club house to get ready for practice, and afterwards, the two of them went out for burgers, with Ootori wearing a shining new necklace that he held as dear to his heart as his old one.

The End

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