title: Haircut
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Yukimura/Sanda
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Yukimura helps Sanada.
notes: for elyndys, for her birthday. also, i had initially thought that sanada saw yukimura for the first time on the first day of school in Rikkai Dai, and he just fell, hard, but after reading the latest chapters of the manga, at Nationals, when both Yukimura and Sanada seemed to know Teuzka's "real" strength, while no one at Seigaku did, i revised my thinking somewhat. now, i think all three of them must have played in some sort of tennis league or district together, before they entered junior high school, so Yukimura and Sanada may well have known each other in grade school. well, that's my current theory, at any rate. ^_^

He hung back, in the trees, in the shadows, tugging at his hair, even though nothing could help him. It was the first Festival he'd been allowed to go to without an escort. Everyone from school would be there. Yukimura would be there.

Sanada sighed, and tugged at his hair more. Why, why, why, if his mother was rushing to get to her stupid meeting, did she insist on cutting his hair that afternoon? Couldn't she have done it tomorrow, after the Festival, when she might have had enough time not to butcher his hair? He looked like such a dork, and there was nothing he could do.

Yukimura's mother never butchered his hair.

"Hey, Sanada. What are you doing back here?"

He spun around, and flushed. There was Yukimura, in the most adorable - though somewhat androgynous, but Yukimura never seemed to mind that people thought he was girly - yukata. Sanada felt his throat go dry, and his hands went up to try, uselessly, to hide his hair. "Ah. Yukimura. Nice yukata."

"This?" Yukimura didn't look very impressed with himself. "Mother bought it for me. Hey, what happened to your hair?"

Sanada just hung his head down. It was silly to hide. Everyone would see eventually. "My mother cut it."

Yukimura snickered, and lifted his hand, overflowing with the sleeves of his yukata, to cover his mouth. "Did she use garden clippers?"

Sanada just sighed. This was inevitable.

"Ah," Yukimura smiled, and looked around quickly. "One second!" He ran off, his wooden sandals clopping on the sidewalk. Sanada followed, almost like there was an invisible string pulling him along.

Wherever Yukimura went, Sanada was destined to follow.

Yukimura went to a booth with a table tennis game. If he could hit the little ping-pong ball into certain cups, he could win certain prizes. He bounced - a sure sign he was up to something - and asked the man at the booth, "How much to play, how much?"

"100 yen," the guy said, smiling at Yukimura.

Yukimura pouted. "I only have fifty yen. Can I play for 50 yen?"

"Hey, hey..." The guy laughed a little, but Sanada knew how this would end. "Everyone pays the same..."

"Please?" Yukimura protruded his bottom lip a little. "It's my last fifty yen!"

The guy laughed, and handed Yukimura a paddle, and three balls. "Fine, fine. Fifty yen, just for you!"

"Thank you!" Yukimura beamed. He took the paddle and balls, and looked over his shoulder, winking at Sanada. He turned his attention back to the game, and bit his lip, narrowing his eyes. He swung way too wide, and missed hitting the ball the first time. The second try, he hit the ball, but it didn't go anywhere. His second ball missed everything and bounced to the back of the booth. His third ball hit the rim of the top prize cup, but didn't go in. "Aw! I didn't win anything?" He turned and gave the guy a sad look. "But that was my last fifty yen!"

The guy laughed, shaking his head. He knew the score now, too. "Ok, ok, don't turn on the waterworks. Here. Have a sticker set." He smiled, holding out the prize.

Yukimura pointed to the row of plain baseball caps hanging by hooks from the top of the booth. "Can I have one of those, please?"

The guy blinked. "But... those are top prizes..."

"But I almost won!" Yukimura pouted.

The guy sighed and hung his head. "Sure, sure, cutie. Just don't tell anyone I'm soft, ok!" He laughed, and pulled down a plain black one. "Here, this one all right?"

"Thank you!" Yukimura beamed, and skipped off, knowing Sanada was right behind him. He turned, and pulled off the little tag, and then stuck the hat on Sanada's head. "There! It looks a little weird with your yukata, but it's ok. Now no one can see your hair."

Sanada ducked his head down. That guy at the booth thought Yukimura was a girl. Yukimura knew it, too. "Thank you."

"Hey, don't worry," Yukimura smiled. "Can't have a big, bad samurai in training getting teased for a haircut." He winked at Sanada. "That was a fun game, though, I prefer real tennis. I'm thinking of joining the junior league."

"Me, too," Sanada said immediately, though he didn't even own a racquet.

"Really?" Yukimura turned and took Sanada's hand. "That's great! Let's go tomorrow and sign up!"

Sanada tugged the brim of his hat down, and nodded. They met up with the rest of their friends, and went around, buying as many treats as possible. Sanada noticed that the fifty yen Yukimura spent on his hat was the last money he parted with that night.

Sanada bought Yukimura some takiyaki, but he tried not to spend any more money. In the morning, he had to go buy a tennis racquet.