Title: Scowls and Smiles
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Summary: 20 things about Akutsu, Dan, and their relationship.
A/N: Some of these were inspired by these Aku/Dan lyrics, but since I wrote the lyrics myself, too, well... Just blame it all on me. >.>
1. Soon after dropping out of the tennis team, Akutsu changed his cell phone number. He wouldn't tell his new number to anyone, saying they had no reason to contact him anymore.
His former team mates were somewhat surprised to discover that Dan had the said number from day one.
2. Akutsu had a bad habit of cutting off Dan's calls when the younger boy was in the middle of a sentence. Sengoku, who thought this was rather cruel, once mentioned it to the Seigaku players.
When Taka-san pointed out that Akutsu didn't bother to even answer his calls half the time, Sengoku's expression turned rather interesting.
3. Akutsu received an average of 8 e-mails a week. One of them was from either Taka-san or Sengoku. The rest were from Dan.
He deleted an average of one e-mail a week.
4. While Dan's attempts at gathering data were pitiful at best, there were some statistics he could keep track of. Like the number of people who told him he'd better stay away from Akutsu (currently, it was six a week).
This was also the only piece of data Akutsu seemed interested in -- or, alternatively, amused by.
5. Akutsu's mother called Dan 'Taichi-kun' ever since she first met him and told he was cute.
Dan's parents were convinced Akutsu ate little puppies for breakfast and kittens for dinner. Still, seeing the smile on their son's face, they didn't have the heart to tell him not to meet Akutsu anymore.
6. At one time, Akutsu had been sure there was nobody who wasn't sometimes afraid of him. Even Taka-san and his own mother occasionally flinched at something he said or did.
Dan seemed intent on proving him wrong, though.
7. Akutsu had never truly hated Dan. He'd been -- and still was -- occasionally annoyed by the younger boy, yes, but never truly hated him.
8. Most of the people who knew the two of them would have been quite surprised to hear it, but Akutsu never hit Dan.
He'd been tempted, yes, oh so badly tempted. But he'd never actually been able to bring himself to do it. He wondered why this was, but decided it probably wasn't important anyway.
Later he decided not to wonder just why he didn't even feel the temptation anymore
9. Not that he would have ever admitted it, but when Akutsu offered to play tennis against Dan, it was more to help the boy improve than to be able to win ridiculously easily.
After several matches, it was still ridiculously easy, but slightly less so.
10. It was mostly due to training with Akutsu that Dan made it into regulars on his second year, much even to his own surprise.
In fact, the only one who didn't seem at all surprised was Akutsu.
11. Akutsu watched each and every one of Dan's matches.
12. Dan's worried scoldings weren't any more successful in getting Akutsu to stop smoking than those he had received from his mother, yet he found himself slowly lessening the number of cigarettes he smoked each day and told himself it was only because he felt like it.
13. Though Akutsu never actually said anything -- and Dan never knew anything -- every bully in the school came to know that harming Dan Taichi was a Very Bad Idea indeed.
14. Akutsu could very well say no even if Dan used his best puppy eyes, but most of the time he simply chose to say yes instead.
That was all there was to it. A choice. Honest.
15. Akutsu knew it would be much better for Dan to get attached to somebody who was not Akutsu Jin. This was the main reason why he still continued being mean to the younger boy even though he suspected Dan knew just how little of it he meant.
16. If Akutsu had ever outright told Dan never to bother him again, Dan most probably would have obeyed.
Knowing that might be the case, Akutsu never said the actual words.
17. However happy it made his mother, it was mostly due to Dan's persistence that Akutsu ever attended high school, even if it was only to make the brat shut up for a while about the value of proper education.
It took him halfway through university to realize he was about to become a semi-respectable member of the society, all thanks to a pair of huge brown eyes.
18. Though never good enough to become a pro, Dan still enjoyed playing tennis as an adult. Ridiculously easy had turned into somewhat challenging, although Akutsu still always won.
He couldn't do anything about the nagging suspicion that sometimes Dan actually let him win.
19. Even as an adult, Dan still held onto the headband, even though it was too old and worn out for him to actually wear it anymore. Akutsu called him a sappy fool for this and they both knew it was not an insult.
Dan, in return, never said a word about the fact that Akutsu still had a miniature teddy bear he'd got from Dan on his sixteenth birthday. It was stuffed in the back of the closet, yes, but he still had it.
20. Akutsu Jin was twenty-seven, listening to Taichi talking with his mother -- they always had dinner together on Sundays -- when he realized all of a sudden that whether he liked it or not, he was happy.