Drabble written for: Ruaki (who didn't request, but who I continually stand in awe of.)

by Gen X

Silver wears better than gold.

He learned that a long time ago when he was much younger. Gold is softer and heavier, wonderful in color, but it just isn't for him. Silver has the qualities that suit him better: stainless and strong.

Even so, it leaves tell tale marks.

He's not really biting it, just gnawing on it a tiny bit. It's a bad habit really. His father would call it anxious and consider it a personality flaw. Even so, it's not one he's able to break. The cross has seen better days. The metal is scratched and indented, ever so faintly.

Worn with worry, it's a testament that he cares. Never more so than today, the culmination of three weeks of concern.

He's barely blinking, despite the sun. His eyes are scanning the court following the motion of the ball. He ignores the whispers of his teammates around him, ignores their criticism. They don't know what he knows. They don't know the long nights he's spent for the last three weeks. They weren't there to hear the trepidation he's voiced, or the unvoiced censor that was on the tip of his tongue.

They haven't seen the bruises when they were fresh, stretching across skin grotesquely and looking as dark as the night sky. They haven't seen Shishido-san the way he's seen him.

So why is he the one that is nervous?

The metal shifts slightly in his mouth.

It's not as if his conviction has failed. He believes Shishido-san will win the match, but it hasn't happened yet. They're tied at one game all, but Ohtori can feel the flow shifting. It's not just wishful thinking. It's the way Shishido still manages to pause before returning a shot. The way he isn't breathing heavy, even as he races about the court. There's no sweat upon his brow, he's not feeling fatigued in the slightest.

Most obviously, it's the way Shishido smirks. A slight smile tugging at the corner of his lips, ego mixed with confidence leaving no room for doubt.

Shishido takes another game, with a return ace that falls just inside the line, and Ohtori can't help but shout his support. The crowd has grown bigger; there's no way Sakaki can't notice. Even with this size, they're silent, dumbfounded with the turn of events. Ever so slowly, they are beginning to grasp that thing should not be happening as they are. Shishido takes another game, this one a shut out.

Ohtori nearly beams.

The necklace is forgotten, lolling around his neck.

The silver sparkles in the sun, waiting until he needs it again.

But the way Shishido is playing, it looks like it will be quite some time.

Note: For the record, the image/idea of Ohtori chewing on his necklace is all due to Ru's fan art. ^_^ She draws a purty ToriShishi (among others ^_^)

The End

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