title: Selfish
fandom: Prince of Tennis
characters/pairings: Tachibana/Shinji, An
rating: G/Teen
warnings: sexual situation
summary: Shinji occupies his captain's time.
notes: for my lethy, cuz she needs more tachi/shinji in her life. ^_~

The walk from Fudomine to his house was never long, although it was hard to believe that it was the same length every day. Today, for instance, it was at least twice as long as normal. Every step, he had to walk alone. With each step, his annoyance grew and grew.

He could call him now, of course, and ask him just what the hell he had been thinking, but he would rather not talk to him when he was angry. After all, he couldn't always control what he said when he was in this state, and if he said something that he didn't really mean, Shinji would remember it forever.

He'd have some dinner, and relax, and then talk to Shinji. Maybe he'd find him before school.

An was waiting for him, it seemed, smirking as always. Did Kamio call her to tell her about it? Possibly. Kamio was a bit too attached to his little sister. He'd have to talk to his vice captain about that sometime. Soon.

She smirked at him, her hands behind her back as if she was still cute. "Later than usual, aren't you? I'll tell mom and dad you're skipping dinner."

He made a face at her, and messed up her hair, like he'd been doing since they were little. "I'll be ready in a few minutes."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "Nuh-unh. But don't worry. I'll tell them." She skipped off, laughing at him.

He sighed. Stupid little sisters... But what could he do? He dropped his tennis bag right inside his door, and stripped off his shirt. He was about to strip off his pants, too, when he saw him.

"Shinji," Tachibana sighed. "You left practice early."

Shinji was watching him with wide, expressionless eyes, but, as always, there was no seeing past them.

For once, Shinji wasn't talking, which meant he had to be thinking too much for the words to come out. Sighing, Tachibana slipped off his pants, and changed into something more comfortable for the evening. He sat down on his bed, looking at Shinji. "Hey," he poked Shinji's tummy. "Why did you leave early?"

Shinji looked away, his nose wrinkling just a bit. He moved his hand in the direction of the place that Tachibana had poked, but he didn't get all the way there. "You were going to play me today." His voice was quiet and sure, sounding like every word had been picked precisely.

Tachibana bit back a sigh. "I said that we would, and we will. But I'm the captain, Shinji. If someone needs help, I have to be there for them. That's no excuse for leaving early."

"So make me run laps tomorrow," Shinji retorted, too quickly. "I don't care."

He watched Shinji's face closely. Shinji had such a beautiful face, such a calm, peaceful expression, even now, when he was clearly troubled. Tachibana knew that he was projecting, but even still, he couldn't help but think of Shinji as a goal for himself, to gain that measure of control. "You don't care? Don't care about our team? Shinji, when you disrespect the team like that..."

"I don't care," Shinji replied with more fervor than he normally did. His eyes narrowed. "I don't care about the team. If I joined because of the team, I would have quit in the first week. I want to play. I wanted to play you, and you said you wanted to play me, but you went and helped Sakurai instead, and made me play with Kamio. Kamio moves around too much. And he talks a lot. It's rude to talk so much. And you weren't even paying attention. I was here for nearly ten minutes before Kamio called me to tell me you were mad, and he would have called right away. I got all the way to your house and talked to your mom and came upstairs and waited, and you didn't even know I was gone. That's not being a good captain, Tachibana-san."

He couldn't help but smile. He reached out, and wrapped a finger around a tendril of Shinji's silky hair. "Shinji. I told you. You can call me Kippei."

Shinji looked away, and blushed, ever so slightly. "I can't call you that. That's... That's your name. That's special."

Tachibana chuckled softly, and scooted closer to Shinji. "But I gave you permission, so it's all right."

Shinji pulled his legs up to his chest and looked away. "I don't know how to call you that."

"Shinji," Tachibana sighed softly. "You know I have to take care of the team."

Shinji hid his face behind his knees. "I can't wait until you graduate. Then you won't have the team anymore, and it will be ok, and I can quit, because all I care about is playing, anyway, and winning, too, because I like to win. I'd like to beat that Echizen brat, too, but I don't know if I could, unless he was having a bad day, and then it wouldn't matter, because then people would say, oh, well, it's because Echizen was having a bad day, like when Atobe beat Tezuka but no one cared. So what would be the point? Only maybe I could beat him, but it doesn't matter. It's just tennis. Next year, you'll be in college, and I'll be old enough to live on my own, eventually, so we could get an apartment together. I've thought about this and it's the best thing. We could live together, and I could work after school, to pay for rent and food, because we would need that. And your parents will give you money, so you can study, so. It's a good plan, and you should agree with me, and think it's a good plan, too. And I'd rather live with you than play tennis with people who aren't you any day."

Tachibana blinked. Part of him wanted to argue with Shinji, a knee-jerk reaction born from years and years of dedication to the game. But if he really listened to what Shinji was saying, he realized, it had nothing to do with tennis. "Shinji. Repeat after me: Kippei."

Shinji gave Tachibana an odd look and then raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Kippei," he said, mimicking Tachibana perfectly.

Tachibana smirked. "I love you."

Shinji looked away, his expression blanking out entirely. "Yeah. Me, too."

He put his hand on Shinji's face, and guided his gaze back to him. "Say it?"

Shinji blinked, and then turned his face slowly, watching Tachibana the whole time, and kissed Tachibana's palm. "Yeah. Love you."

They were kissing, and Tachibana was pushing Shinji down into the mattress, and he probably wasn't going to let him up until after he got under Shinji's clothes, and after, he'd still want to hold onto Shinji. He whispered his approval for the plan softly as he licked Shinji's skin. The sun was setting, and his parents were downstairs, eating dinner with his sister, and they knew he was up here, and they knew that Shinji was up here, and it didn't matter at all, because they had a plan now, and he didn't have to think about any of the things that he never thought about for a reason.

They had made a plan.