title: in between his fingers
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Tachibana/Shinji
rating: Teen
warnings: post-coital-ness
summary: Shinji still wonders why...
notes: set after... um, the Fudo vs. Yamabuki match. where akira played sengoku. *nods* for iron_tennis' first week.

He lifted up his hand and spread out his fingers. His arm felt long, and his fingers looked odd. He wasn't used to this yet, but he was working on it. It was odd that Tachibana's family was right above them, through that ceiling. Ann-chan was up there, and Tachibana's parents. Tachibana's parents liked him, and they never gave them odd looks when they went downstairs together. They never gave them odd looks at all. They were nice, and Tachibana's mother made good food. Shinji liked to come here for dinner, but it wasn't really coming for dinner, because dinner wasn't the purpose of coming here. Coming downstairs with Tachibana and spending the night was the point. He liked to follow Tachibana home, because no one else was allowed to, and because no one else could come downstairs and spend the night.

Only him.

Tachibana ran his fingers up Shinji's arm, and over Shinji's hand. "What is going on inside your head, Shinji?"

He turned so that there was no chance he would accidentally meet Tachibana's eyes. "Why did you put Kamio in singles 2? I could have played singles 2. We won, so I suppose it doesn't matter. It was odd, though, playing singles 3 when Kamio was singles 2. I should have been singles 2. But it was your choice, so I shouldn't complain. Still."

Tachibana curled up against him, and kissed under his ear. "Does it bother you so much, that you are still thinking about it?"

"I like to be next to you," Shinji muttered, even lower than normal, and after that, he held his tongue, although not literally, because that made no sense.

Tachibana chuckled, and Shinji could feel it against his back. What a weird feeling, but it was good, too, because everyone could hear Tachibana's chuckles, but he knew what they felt like. It was another way they were close, and being close to Tachibana was nice, because he was the most important person. "There's a difference between being next to each other, like this, and tennis. We're a team, Shinji. We can't think only of ourselves. I could have placed you in singles 2, and I'm confident the result would have been the same. As far as that goes, I could have placed myself in singles 2. But because I placed Akira there, he was able to grow as a player. That's what being a captain is all about."

Shinji sighed. "And you still like me the best."

Tachibana turned him so he was lying on his back, and smiled over him. He felt embarrassed like this, naked with Tachibana. Their bodies were so different. He felt small next to Tachibana. But size wasn't that important. That brat at Seigaku was a shrimp, but he was able to beat even really great players. Even him. He'd get that brat someday. "Shinji. You don't doubt me, do you?" He put his hand on Shinji's face, and Shinji blushed from the caress. "Shinji. Say my name."

Shinji looked away. "You're Kippei." It was hard to say Tachibana's given name, but it would be rude to call Tachibana Tachibana when Tachibana was on top of him and they were naked. Tachibana explained that, and it made sense.

"Kippei. That's right. For you, Shinji. I'm a lot of things for a lot of people, but for you, I'm just me."

Shinji smiled, and closed his eyes. "Tired, Kippei."

Tachibana kissed him gently, and settled in next to him. "Goodnight, Shinji."

Shinji chose to dream of playing tennis with Tachibana, until they were both so sweaty and tired, they just fell down on the court.