Multiple Seigaku pairings, R
Konomi's, not mine
a/n: This fic, it is truly unforgivable. Just close your eyes and think of Japan.
When Ryoma went to bed that night, he was a almost-sixteen-year-old boy. When he woke up, he was a girl. It was as simple as that.
Nanjiroh's eyes lit up with unholy fervour. "A girl, you say? With ... breasts?"
Ryoma huddled deeper into his yukata -- the only thing that didn't bunch or stretch in all the wrong ways -- and tried not to imagine the life of Nanjiroh's daughter. Incest was illegal, but then again so were the three shelves containing Nanjiroh's porn DVDs.
Nanjiroh was accustomed to his son's stony silences by now. They were much more becoming in a female. "Well, you can't go to school dressed like that."
The thought of going to school at all had not crossed Ryoma's mind. In fact he would have been quite content to stay in his bed for the next twenty years, training Karupin to bring him his meals on a tray. At the very least he felt his father should be contacting a genetics laboratory to find an instant cure, not planning his scholastic wardrobe.
"I think we have a sailor-fuku," muttered Nanjiroh. He bustled off towards his bedroom, leaving Ryoma to huddle on the floor of the living room and contemplate breast-reduction surgery.
Nanako poked her head around the kitchen door. "Will you be wanting semi-skimmed milk now that you have extra female body fat, Ryoma?"
"I --" began Ryoma, unable to decide what part of her question had been the most disturbing. At that moment his father returned, bearing articles of clothing that looked suspiciously akin to those of a Seigaku girl's uniform. "Where the hell did you get that, old man?"
Nanjiroh's eyes misted over. "It's your mother's. She looks terribly fetching in it, too."
Ryoma blanched. Nanjiroh held out the uniform reverently. It was very small.
"Don't worry." Nanako patted Ryoma's shoulder, wearing the sweet fey smile of someone who knows where the cooking sherry is hidden. "I make sure all the costumes are regularly dry-cleaned."
Ryoma looked at his reflection and wanted to cry.
His mother slid another barrette into his hair. Ryoma had fought tooth and nail against having anything with pink, sparkles or plastic flowers on it. With an expression that conveyed deep disappointment, Rinko had produced simple silver triangles and proceeded to clip back Ryoma's fringe with them.
"You look very sweet, Ryoma," she cooed now. "It's amazing what you can do with hair that's actually been brushed. Now, are you sure you won't wear lip-gloss? And a little blue eye shadow would really bring out your eyes."
"Mom." Ryoma wanted to fling a stunning array of blistering imprecations at his humming mother, but found he could only manage, "I'm not a girl."
His mother's mouth drooped. "I know. I really wanted a little daughter. When you were small I used to dress you up in girl's dresses and let you play with my makeup. I have a few snapshots, if you'd like to see."
"It's good that Nanako's living here now," Rinko continued blithely. "Otherwise I'd have hoped you were gay."
"Um," said Ryoma.
For the first time in his entire life, Nanjiroh drove his son to school. Ryoma had to grab the wheel a number of times to avert a serious incident. He pretended not to notice that his father's eyes were sort of stuck to the place where Ryoma's skirt rode up over his knees.
"I rang the school," said Nanjiroh. "They think you're a new student. Another girl will be waiting to show you around."
"I know the way around," protested Ryoma. "I've been at high school for nearly two years."
He was speaking to the empty air. Nanjiroh had parked the car at a dangerous angle on the curb and dashed around to open Ryoma's door for him. Ryoma scowled darkly. He'd put his cap down earlier while trying to figure out the bow on his blouse, and hadn't seen it since.
"Goodbye, Rei, my darling!" shouted Nanjiroh. Ryoma felt his shoulders tense, and he stomped towards the school gates. The skirt was really short, and he could feel wind blowing into places it had no right to be. How did girls stand it? No wonder they spent most of their time blushing and giggling. Frostbite had probably aversely affected their brains.
Sakuno was standing by the gate, wearing her usual confused-duck expression. Ryoma made to walk past her, but her eyes lit up and she grabbed his arm.
"Are you Echizen Rei?" she asked. "The form teacher said you'd be wearing sneakers, because you hadn't got a chance to buy school regulation shoes yet. I'm Ryuzaki-san, but you can call me Sakuno."
"Er. Right." Ryoma fiddled with a barrette. It was a pale substitute for the big, shady brim of his cap, but it would have to do.
"So you're Echizen Ryoma's cousin?" breathed Sakuno. She tugged Ryoma's arm, sharp fingernails digging into his flesh. "Wow. Wait till Tomo-chan hears. She'll probably get you to sell her pictures of Ryoma in the shower."
Ryoma was finding it very difficult to breathe, and not just because Sakuno was yanking him along so fast he was getting whiplash. Momo had said something about the cheerleaders becoming more mature, but Ryoma had assumed he was talking about their schoolwork. In fact he'd barely thought about it at all. Why would he? They were only girls and, no matter what Momo said to the contrary, annoying by their very existence.
"I don't have any of those pictures," he replied.
"Oh." Sakuno looked momentarily put out. "Well, if you don't have a camera, Tomo-chan can lend you her long-range one. It doesn't have to be in the shower, of course. He can be naked anywhere."
Ryoma clamped his knees together to keep them from trembling. "Shouldn't we, um, get to class?"
Sakuno laughed. "Sure, but there's no rush. Tomo-chan and I usually watch the morning tennis practice first. Would you like to come along? A lot of girls in our class will be there and you can meet them."
"Great," whispered Ryoma. He'd seen those girls, with their multi-coloured fingernails and predatory eyes. They were terrifying.
"Cool!" Sakuno twirled one of her plaits around her finger. "They'll be so keen to meet you. Ryoma-sama is very popular around here."
"Really? He never mentioned it." Ryoma's voice came out a little strangled.
"Once, he told me I should cut my hair." Sakuno's eyes were shining. "It was awesome. But don't tell Tomo-chan -- she'll tell Ryoma that I like him and that would be awful!"
"Why?" Ryoma felt it was a legitimate question, but Sakuno looked at him as if he'd asked her why the sky was suddenly blue. He curled his fingers around his barrette, nearly breaking it in half, and said quickly, "So, where are the tennis courts?"
Ryoma sprawled on a bench beside Sakuno and Tomo-chan. His eyes were fixed on his fellow Regulars. Tezuka was talking to Momo. Momo was gesticulating and pulling innocent faces that were about as convincing as those of a lion brought up on gazelle-stalking charges. Tezuka had his inquisitive face on -- Ryoma could tell by the way the left side of his mouth lifted a little. Eiji said something to Oishi, who shrugged. They were all clearing wondering about Ryoma's first ever absence.
Ryoma didn't notice the strange looks he was getting from passers-by until Sakuno cleared her throat and said delicately, "Rei-chan, perhaps you should, uh ... close your legs a little? Only, every boy that goes by is looking up your skirt."
Ryoma yelped and crushed his thighs together. For good measure he tugged the skirt down as far as it would go -- not far -- and made a vicious face at the next boy to come by.
Tomo had been engrossed in a showing Sakuno shots from a digital camera, but now she turned her stare on to Ryoma. Ryoma twitched a little. There was a scream of metal as he snapped his first barrette.
"So-o, Rei-chan. Sakuno says you're Ryoma-sama's cousin. How awesome is that?"
Ryoma blinked. "Uh -- not very?"
"He's not here today." Tomo scanned the ranks of Regulars, who were lining up for a pre-practice speech from Tezuka. "Is he ill, Rei-chan?"
Ryoma shrugged. Tomo frowned. "That's odd. But I'll pump Horio for information after practice."
"I thought Horio-kun said he was never going near you again after the incident with Inui-senpai's new juice in the clubroom?" asked Sakuno.
"Oh, that." Tomo waved a hand dismissively. "He soon changed his tune. Right after I took him behind the basketball courts for some CPR, in fact."
"But, Tomo-chan, you don't know mouth-to-mouth," objected Sakuno.
"Did I say it was mouth-to-mouth?" Ignoring Sakuno's squeak -- evidently she could still be shocked, despite her new penchant for seeing Ryoma in the buff -- Tomo turned back to Ryoma. "Now, seeing as you're new here, I'll point out the people you need to know. You like tennis, right?"
Ryoma thought for a minute. Were there words to describe how much he liked tennis? Probably not. It was like water trying to describe the ocean. He settled for: "Yeah."
"Good." Tomo shimmied as she adjusted her blouse. She'd certainly filled out on top, now that Ryoma came to notice it. That, or she'd shoved water balloons down her front.
Ryoma preferred the water balloons theory overall.
"That muscly guy with the spiky hair and purple eyes is Momo-chan," began Tomo. "He went out with An-chan from Fudomine for a while. She said he's this big." She giggled and moved her hands apart to denote a size that would only have been proportional on a bull elephant. Sakuno's eyes bugged. So did Ryoma's. Momo certainly hadn't been that big the last time Ryoma was in the showers with him.
Only he'd forgotten he wasn't supposed to be looking. Or remembering that he looked anyway.
"But she didn't -- did she?" Sakuno's voice was a helium whisper.
"Of course not!" squealed Tomo. "She was only using him to make Kamio-kun jealous. But he tried to get her to touch it."
"If she didn't actually touch it, how did she know how big it was?" asked Ryoma sceptically.
Tomo and Sakuno both gaped. "Oh, that liar!" gasped Tomo. "Anyway, that's not important now. Momo's cute, but he eats like a horse. It's pretty disgusting. If he asks you out, make him take you to the cinema instead. At least you can't see his mouth working then."
"Right." Considering that Ryoma managed to eat with Momo about three times a day and hadn't yet noticed any symptoms of disgust, he felt he could easily disregard this advice.
"Next is Inui-senpai. He's pretty creepy, unless you're into handcuffs and stuff."
"He said they were for training purposes only!" exclaimed Ryoma. At Tomo's blank stare, he added, "Sorry. I was thinking of someone else."
"Is it true about Meiko-chan and the nipple clamps?" asked Sakuno in a hushed whisper.
Tomo nodded. "I made Horio steal one -- and then I used it on him when he wouldn't stop whining. So, Rei-chan, I'd avoid Inui unless you like BDSM."
"Thanks," said Ryoma faintly. He already had far too many reasons to avoid Inui. He decided he didn't want to know what BDSM was.
"Fuji's really sweet and really, really dense," continued Tomo. "He's a total genius at tennis and school but he doesn't have the first clue how many people want to get into his pants. He gives all his Valentine's chocolates to his mother. You'd practically have to jump him in the middle of the tennis courts to get the point across -- and even then you'd probably fail. People have tried." For some reason she sent an arch look towards Kawamura, who was standing at the fence in his school uniform. He blushed and tucked a bento box tighter under his arm.
"If you went out with Eiji-senpai, over there, he'd probably try to borrow your clothes. He once wore sailor-fuku for a whole week."
"He said his sister burned all his clothes because he broke her hairdryer," interrupted Sakuno. She drowned out Ryoma, who had started to say the same thing.
"Yeah, that's what he said." Tomo snorted. "He's the doubles partner of Oishi-senpai. They've played doubles since middle school, so they're really good. Oishi's had loads of girlfriends, but they never last more than a week. He doesn't realise girls don't like being blown off for extra tennis practice."
Ryoma hid a grin. So that was the real reason. Momo claimed it was because Oishi was an awful kisser, but he'd never explained how he knew that so Ryoma didn't buy it.
"Kaidoh-senpai is scary, but unfortunately the hottest guy on the team." Tomo sighed. Ryoma's stomach roiled. "I've never heard of any girl even getting to first base with him. But one day he has to realise there's more to life than tennis, and on that day I will be there. Fighting off hordes of other girls if necessary."
"An-chan said that Momo gave her a bandana for her birthday when they were going out," remarked Sakuno, apropos of nothing.
"Fine." Tomo sounded grumpy. "Fighting off hordes of other girls and boys, then."
Ryoma frowned. Their entire conversation was incomprehensible to him. "What about Te -- that guy?" he asked, pointing at Tezuka. He felt heat rise to his cheeks as the buchou looked over at them, and he had no cap to hide under. There was a faint metallic clang as the second barrette went the way of the first.
Sakuno and Tomo looked at each other, at Tezuka, and back at each other. They burst into simultaneous peals of laughter.
"Te-Tezuka-buchou?" Tomo wheezed. "Are you kidding me?"
Tezuka sent Ryoma a disapproving look (right eyebrow quirked up a little, vein in his neck slightly more prominent than usual) and turned away. Ryoma let out a breath of mingled relief and disappointment.
"Tezuka-buchou," said Sakuno solemnly, "is not human."
"He's a robot."
"He doesn't have feelings. He doesn't have girlfriends. He doesn't have sex."
"What does he have, then?" snapped Ryoma.
Tomo grinned. "He has tennis."
Fuji tapped Tezuka's shoulder. "Any word from Echizen's house?"
Tezuka shut his head, jabbing the end button with more than necessary force. "I got his father. He said that Echizen is temporarily indisposed. Then he laughed. It was unpleasant."
"I'm sure it's nothing." Fuji smiled.
"I wish I shared your certainty, Fuji," replied Tezuka as they made their way off the courts. Echizen's little girlfriends -- the ones that made Tezuka want to commit murder with a tennis racquet -- had increased in number. Besides the one with the long stringy plaits and the bouncy one who was on drugs, there was a girl with short and rather messy black hair. Her uniform was a little tight, as if it were the wrong size. She had long legs that were slender but oddly muscled for a girl, ending in scruffy sneakers instead of neat pumps. She wore a scowl as dark as sin.
Tezuka felt his chest tighten. Why did the girl look so familiar? More importantly, why did he want to grab her by her sloppy bow and drag her into the clubhouse to have his wicked way with her? Tezuka didn't want to have his way with any -- all right, almost anyone. Girls had never made the shortlist before. Tezuka felt disturbed.
The girl felt his gaze and raised her eyes to his. Her hazel eyes went wide and she fell off the bench in shock. Her flailing legs nearly caught Sakuno in the back of the head.
"Someone caught your eye?" Fuji opened his eyes a little, watching as Tomo and Sakuno's combined efforts hoisted their friend upright and brushed petals off her blouse. "She's cute. Sort of. And she's looking at you the same way Echizen does." Fuji's eyes opened a little wider, as if his brain were trying to have a thought but his survival instincts were staging a pre-emptive coup.
Tezuka was saved from the indignity of responding by the cry of "Fujiko!" emanating from nearby. He watched as Kawamura loped over, looking far more red and breathless than crossing five metres of space at a fast walk should have made him.
"I brought you some wasabi sushi." Kawamura held out the bento box and scrubbed the back of his head, looking painfully earnest.
"Why, thank you, Taka-san." Fuji's smile was so bright it could have blotted out the sun. "That makes it the ... third time this week, correct? Are you practising for a function?"
"Er, yeah," mumbled Kawamura, in a way that clearly meant 'Not at all, no.' "Will I wait for you to change so we can walk to class together?"
"Sure." Fuji laughed. "As if I could turn down a request after getting such a wonderful treat!"
Kawamura smiled and took Fuji's kit bag. Tezuka had to admit that the boy was cunning. Then again, even Fuji couldn't subsist solely on wasabi sushi. He'd die. Tezuka hoped Kawamura had a Plan B -- preferably one that involving having Fuji eat wasabi sushi off Kawamura. That would certainly put paid to the boy's irritating cluelessness.
When he looked back at the bench the girls were gone. Tezuka ignored the lurch in his stomach and pressed speed-dial one.
Ryoma's cell phone began to ring. It was sitting on his bedside table, along with his schoolbag and boy's uniform. Rinko had insisted that Ryoma's schoolbag was too masculine. Ryoma had countered that Rinko's large pink Fendi purse was too pink. They'd compromised on one of Nanako's old satchels, but both of them had forgotten to put anything into it in the confusion.
The ringtone that signalled an incoming call from Tezuka -- the Cure with Friday I'm In Love -- woke Karupin. The cat leapt from the comfortably mussed duvet on to the phone, his paw landing on the answer button.
"Woar?" he purred.
"Echizen, is that you?" The stern voice at the other end faltered slightly. "Are you ill? Your father said --"
"Woar," returned Karupin firmly. In the depths of his cat brain he recognised the sound of his master's mate, albeit rather crackly and tinny.
Karupin, bored of the conversation, curled up on top of the phone. From the next room came a series of rhythmic bangs. They echoed down the phone line, as did the screams of 'Who's been a bad girl, then?' and 'Me, senpai, me! Oh, don't stop!' They were quickly followed by a dial tone.
Downstairs, Nanako poured her third finger of sherry and contemplated arranging another date with Inui. He'd said he liked a girl with spirits.
Ryoma gave Tomo and Sakuno the slip after practice ended and made his way back to the clubhouse. He doubted the two girls noticed his departure; they were embroiled in discussing Fuji and Kawamura. Apparently Fuji eating Kawamura's sushi was a big deal. Ryoma could have told them Fuji had done that more times than he could count. Why it mattered now mystified him. Girls were weird.
Ryoma pushed open the door, already smelling the comforting aroma of sweat and unwashed socks. In his haste to revel in the familiar he failed to notice that the clubhouse wasn't empty. Eiji and Oishi were sitting on a bench, Oishi behind Eiji. Eiji was shirtless and Oishi's hands were roaming over his bare skin. Although this surprised Ryoma a little, it was the difference in their expressions that caught his attention. Oishi's face was a mask of concentration: he could have been poring over training menus or maths problems instead of Eiji's naked chest. Eiji's face was transfigured in pure bliss. He was making little purring noises as Oishi's hands moved from rib to rib.
"Here, Eiji?" asked Oishi.
"A-ah, no. A bit lower, maybe?" Eiji sucked in a breath as Oishi kneaded the skin just above his uniform trousers.
"You don't seem in as much pain now, Eiji." Oishi's fingers pressed in. Eiji, whose eyes had gone wide at Oishi's words, let out the loudest and fakest groan Ryoma had ever heard.
"Oh -- who are you?" asked Oishi. His cheeks went cherry red. With his green eyes, he would have looked very patriotic to anyone from Mayo.
"And what are you doing here?" added Eiji, in a way that promised fisticuffs at dawn if Ryoma didn't immediately decide he needed to be elsewhere.
"I'm Ryoma's cousin," said Ryoma. "Are you the fukubuchou? Why are you feeling Ei -- that boy up?"
"I wasn't feeling him up!" exclaimed Oishi. Eiji's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Eiji complained of a pain. My uncle is a doctor and he taught me how to conduct a basic clinical examination. It would be terrible if Eiji's spleen ruptured because of a tennis injury."
In Ryoma's opinion it wasn't Eiji's spleen that was in danger of rupturing, but he held his tongue. Oishi had jolted when Ryoma first spoke and one of his hands now lay higher on Eiji's chest. Eiji was subtly wriggling to bring his nipple in contact with it. If he were Eiji, Ryoma would have concentrated more on the fact that Oishi hadn't actually taken his hands away, even when interrupted by a stranger.
"I think I see a bruise," said Ryoma, pointing to Eiji's chest. Oishi immediately leaned over his shoulder to look and his fingers slipped across Eiji's nipple. Eiji's grin went all feral cat, and Ryoma prudently took his leave.
"But I must ask him where Ryoma is!" he could hear Oishi protesting.
"Nyah, Oishi, I'm in so much pain! Don't leave me!"
"But where do you hurt?"
Once outside Ryoma decided he'd better get to class. He hefted Nanako's bag and found it curiously light. Further inspection proved that this was because it was completely empty.
"Che," sighed Ryoma. There was no point in going to class if he had no books. It was double English first, anyway. The sensei had needed to use a dictionary to correct his last essay.
He headed towards his favourite grove of trees, but was halted not five feet from the clubhouse by the sound of groans. It sounded like someone was choking to death in the bushes. Ryoma should probably call Oishi (with his two years' medical experience), but he was loath to do so in light of the fact that Eiji would kill him.
Cautiously, Ryoma knelt down and parted a few branches. He could see a flash of bright yellow cloth, patterned with what looked like blobs from a distance. This close, Ryoma could see that they were in fact prancing kittens. The bandana lay abandoned on the grass a few feet away from where Momo and Kaidoh were energetically strangling each other to death.
Ryoma frowned, peering closer, and revised his first opinion. Strangling was the wrong word, unless Momo had found a way to accomplish it via sticking his tongue in Kaidoh's mouth.
Kaidoh was hissing and pushing at Momo's shirt. A casual observer might have assumed he was trying to get Momo off, but a casual observer might not have known that Kaidoh could bench press eighty. If he wanted Momo off, Momo would be off and probably suffering from severe head injuries into the bargain. Instead, Momo was sucking face without a care in the world, one of his large hands gripping the back of Kaidoh's knee and pushing it up towards his chest.
Maybe they're doing exercises, Ryoma reasoned.
"I hate you," gasped Kaidoh. It was a purely cosmetic phrase, given the way his hands were now under Momo's shirt. Momo squeezed Kaidoh's knee hard as a second set of squelchy noises overlaid the first.
Ryoma continued watching even after Momo got Kaidoh's trousers off. It was a bit like a car wreck. He just couldn't look away.
Besides, there were tips to be picked up.
When they were finished -- it only took a few seconds, despite Kaidoh's legendary stamina -- Momo folded up Kaidoh's bandana and put it in his bag for him.
"Same time tomorrow, baka?" asked Kaidoh.
"Of course, mamushi. Are you stupid?" returned Momo cheerfully. Kaidoh punched him in the gut and walked away. Momo grinned and followed as soon as he got his wind back.
Ryoma waited until they were gone and made his way thoughtfully to his favourite grove. He meant to consider the ramifications of all he'd seen. However, the stress of the morning and the exhaustion involved in having too many breasts and not enough bras got to him. He was soon fast asleep, pillowed on a bank of cherry blossom petals.
Tezuka saw the legs first, obscenely long and crossed at the ankle. He realised the wind must have blown the girl's skirt up, for he could see all the way up to the soft curve at the top of her thighs.
He leaned over the prone form and brushed petals off her sleeping face. He intended to wake her when she opened her eyes of her own accord -- familiar, thickly lashed hazel eyes -- and sighed "Buchou."
"Ryoma," said Tezuka. "Why on earth are you dressed as a girl? Has Eiji been getting to you?"
"No, I --" Ryoma awoke fully and pressed his hands to his chest. His face lit up. "They're gone! I'm a boy again!"
"Were you ever not?" Tezuka's eyes travelled down again, drawn to the pool of cloth at Ryoma's groin. "You may want to adjust your belt. Skirt. Belt."
Ryoma knelt up and the skirt flared around his hips. There were legions of petals stuck to the polyester and he began to bat at them. Tezuka reached in to help, brushing the back of the skirt where Ryoma probably couldn't reach.
"You look very silly in this uniform," Tezuka chastised him. He took hold of the barely tied bow and tugged it off.
Ryoma shrugged. "It's my mother's."
"You mean it was your mother's."
"No. I mean it is my mother's. She leant it to me."
Tezuka didn't really want to think about that right now, not when his hands were still resting on Ryoma's lower back. If he moved them down a mere inch he'd be cupping -- but no, because he wouldn't, even though Ryoma was top of the shortlist. Even though Ryoma was the shortlist.
Ryoma was fiddling with his hair. With a faint boing, a piece of metal flew out and clipped Tezuka's cheek. His exclamation of surprise was lost under Ryoma's yelp.
"Oh no, you're bleeding! I'm so sorry, buchou!"
"Don't worry about it." Tezuka groped around until he located Ryoma's bow and pressed it to his cheek. He meant to add 'It's just a scratch,' but something about the way Ryoma was looking up at him -- eyes unshuttered and face alight with concern -- prevented him. He found himself saying instead that 'It only stings a little.'
Ryoma covered Tezuka's hand with his own and tugged the cloth away. "Aa, it's stopped bleeding now." He hesitated. "I ... Okaasan always used to ..." He leaned in and pressed his mouth to Tezuka's cheekbone. His lips were soft.
"You have blood on your mouth," Tezuka informed him when he pulled away. Before Ryoma could scrub it away with his hand, Tezuka leaned in and gently licked it off, parting Ryoma's lips with his tongue as he did so.
"Thanks." Ryoma sounded breathless.
They stared at each other. Tezuka wanted to do a lot of things to Ryoma right now, but he was bothered by the girl's uniform. Ryoma wasn't a girl. Tezuka didn't even want to pretend that he was.
"It's nearly lunchtime," he said, holding out a hand to pull Ryoma to his feet. "My house is nearby. We can make it there and back in time for afternoon class, and I can lend you a proper uniform."
"All right," agreed Ryoma.
However, he didn't let go of Tezuka's hand. And they never did make it back for afternoon class.