Seeing him play with the non-regulars just wasn't satisfying. His game was erratic, ugly, angry, and the expression just wasn't pretty on Shishido-san. It wasn't worth it – was actually painful, depressing – to see him play matches against those who he knew, they all knew, could never outclass him. He couldn't stand the sight of Shishido-san trying so hard, pleading so desperate, sacrificing so much in the form of fallen strands of dark hair, and knowing that their coach wouldn't think it enough.
It wasn't enough to just offer to give up his regular spot for Shishido-san's sake – but it was the best he could offer to have Shishido-san smile again when he played tennis.
Watching him stand, short hair rumpled in every which way and shirt only half tucked in, in the breakfast line of the canteen each morning wasn't good enough. He was always early, whilst Shishido-san was always late, and though his eyes tracked the sleepy form as it carried its tray across the busy hall there was never space at his table for Shishido-san to join him. He was lucky on the mornings he caught sight of Shishido-san, daring smile wheedling a late breakfast from the serving hatch and roguish charm winning him a seat even at the most crowded of tables, but it wasn't enough to keep him going until afternoon practice.
Putting in a request for a room transfer halfway through a semester wasn't enough to get Shishido-san out of bed in time to get seconds of rice – but it was worth it for the right to pull that shirt down over a half-bared back as they walked down the stairs to breakfast.
Simply signing his name on the bottom of a pretty pastel card wasn't worthy of his Shishido-san. Valentine's was a day when all the regulars received such gifts and acknowledgements of affection, and he didn't want his to just be yet another on Shishido-san's pile of tokens at the end of the day. He wanted Shishido-san to know clearly and plainly that this wasn't an act of kouhai to senpai, or even friend to roommate. This was how he felt, and he wanted Shishido-san to know that, and please not to turn away from him when he was done confessing, because he didn't think he was strong enough to withstand the pain if he did.
"Yeah?" Those dark eyes were amused at the formal hold to Ohtori's shoulders, waiting with fond impatience for Ohtori to get to the point already, Choutarou! His head was tilted back to look up at Ohtori, his cap fallen to the floor with the motion and without a move made to catch it in its descent.
It wasn't the most eloquent of love declarations, and probably not the most elegant of kisses – but when his Shishido-san kissed him back like that he knew he'd never be able to get enough.
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