Word count: 100 for each, including titles
Rating: PG if not otherwise stated (higher ratings mostly for swearing and implied violence)
Summary: ...They are fifty pieces of a hundred words each. There is no way to summarize most of them alone, leave alone all at once. Just read them.
The first thing Dan noticed about Akutsu was that he was large. Tall and wide and muscular, the older boy towered over him like some superhero in a manga book, yet strangely impolite.
Akutsu, who was not a hero by any stretch of imagination, noticed as the very first thing that Dan was small. The boy reminded him of a puppy in a way, all big brown eyes and eager to please and very annoying.
Years later, Akutsu was still big and Dan was still small. The impoliteness and annoyingness, however, had been forgotten – or at least ignored.
As Dan made it into the tennis team, Akutsu made sure to watch all his matches.
Of course, he never simply showed up before the match, oh no. He waited somewhere out of sight until the match had started properly and Dan was too concentrated on the game to notice him before making his way to the stands.
He never stayed until the end of the match, either. As soon as it was clear who would win he left so as not to be seen by the brat after the match.
Akutsu suspected Dan still knew he was there.
"It is over," says Akutsu, and watches Dan crumble.
Honestly. Did the brat expect him to continue playing his childish games forever? Sorry, not going to happen. Akutsu has better things to do with his time than fake interest for the sake of one brat, even if it is Dan Taichi.
Dan looks up at him, big eyes shining with unshed tears. "Please, Akutsu-senpai," he whines, annoying as ever.
"Fine," Akutsu hears himself saying, and decides it is only because it would be annoying if the brat whined any more. "But only one more game, you understand?"
The first time Dan kissed Akutsu came as a surprise. Before he could even react, the brat blushed, turned around and fled. Bloody coward, Akutsu thought and lit a cigarette.
After quite a while of definitely-not-nervous smoking, Akutsu set to finding the brat. He had to make it clear this was impossible. The brat had better understand that.
As he finally found Dan, the brat seemed scared as though thinking Akutsu would hit him. His eyes were big and fearful and he looked very small.
The first time Akutsu kissed Dan came as a surprise. To both.
It can't last, others say, and Akutsu agrees with them. Their relationship or whatever it may be called simply can't last long. They are too different, too mismatched a couple to stay together, and all in all it is better that way. Eventually, Dan will realise his own good, or Akutsu himself will grow bored, and everything will fall apart like a stack of cards in the hands of a kid.
It takes him almost five years to realise they are still together and have apparently no intention of breaking up, he even less than Dan.
Akutsu does not wait for anyone.
Nobody is so interesting it could possibly be worth his time to stick around for them to show up. He never arranges a meeting himself, and if somebody else does and is late, well, to the Hell with them. Akutsu could care less.
Still he finds himself sitting on a bench in the park, very much not looking at the clock. As the brat finally shows up, close to tears as he tries to explain just why he was late, Akutsu does not listen.
He simply felt like hanging around for two hours.
It took Sengoku two days to find out after they got together. One of them was a Sunday.
Akutsu supposed it was obvious enough; while the brat had never been afraid of getting close to him, now Dan seemed to make it a sport to hang off his arm and see when he would be shaken off. For his part, Akutsu found it increasingly difficult to shake him off. There was no harm done, after all, and if the brat clung to him he wasn't getting beaten somewhere.
If only Sengoku would stop that damn grin of his.
Over time, Akutsu realises he's fallen into a routine of sorts.
All of his weeks are somewhat similar. The weekdays are spent at school or skipping, increasingly much the former as Dan won't stop nagging. Every Wednesday he still skips the morning classes because he can't stand the teacher and will pass anyway.
The night between Saturday and Sunday Dan stays over at Akutsu's. More often than not, they have sex, and in the morning Akutsu's mother smiles at them and thanks Dan for "looking after her son."
All in all, Akutsu decides, it could be worse.
They have been dating for six whole months before they first have sex.
Dan is inexperienced and Akutsu's only fooled around with girls before, but somehow they still manage to reach mutual satisfaction through their combined efforts. Afterwards Dan grins and says he wants to do it again, and Akutsu huffs and calls him a pervert and if he holds Dan just a bit closer it's only by chance.
They get better at it over time, try new things and gain experience, but Akutsu still secretly admits that their half-fumbling first time was worth the wait.
Of course, Akutsu was well aware Dan was younger than him.
It would have been impossible to forget that. Even if people had stopped reminding him of the fact, the other boy's simple childishness and obvious naivety would have made it more than clear. Even as he finally entered high school – overjoyed to again be in the same school as his precious Akutsu-senpai, as though it made any difference – he still acted, and looked, like a kid just starting middle school.
Ah, well. In ten years, nobody would care anymore.
And if they did, well, screw them.
Wounded and Weeping
Red was the colour of blood.
Akutsu was very familiar with this particular colour and its connotations. It would have been rather difficult not to, given his tendency to get into – and start – fights where blood was often spilled. This did little to bother him; as long as the majority of the blood was that of his opponent, he could care less.
Yet, when he saw a familiar trickle of red making its way through Dan's fingers as the brat held a hand over a deep gash in his leg, he suddenly found himself hating the colour.
Little Grey Cells
Akutsu's hair was naturally grey.
Dan seemed to find this utterly fascinating. He liked playing with it and Akutsu let him, considering it semi-pleasant and much preferrable to the endless chatter. Of course Dan still kept talking, straddling Akutsu's lap and fiddling with his hair, but somehow it was more tolerable this way.
Dan once joked about how Akutsu at least didn't have to worry about greying hair, to which Akutsu responded by pointing out it could still turn white. The brat just grinned and said he would look great either way.
Akutsu called him crazy.
Dan's school uniform was always flawlessy white. Of course, the others usually had clean uniforms, too, but somehow Dan's always seemed to be an exceptionally pristine shade of snow-white. Akutsu sometimes wondered if it would glow in the dark and tried to resist the temptation to find out.
Akutsu's own uniform was not as fortunate. Although it was not dirty most of the time, next to Dan's it always seemed somehow dusty and worn. And it was often next to Dan's, given how much the brat stuck around.
Given enough time, maybe the purity might rub off, too.
Akutsu often wore black.
This, in itself, was nothing spectacular. Many people wore black; most boys his age even had black school uniforms. There was nothing strange about wearing black.
Once, however, he saw Dan wearing a black t-shirt. It was supposedly in imitation of him, as the shirt was similar to one of his own shirts, though much smaller. It made the brat seem even smaller than he was and almost sickly pale.
Later Akutsu would try and fail to explain to himself why he had immediately told the brat to go and change the shirt.
It was with a slight surprise that Akutsu discovered not even Dan was always happy.
Of course, it only made sense that everybody had their bad days. No matter how happy and cheerful Dan appeared most of the time, not even his life could always be a bed of roses. At the very least, roses had thorns.
All this made sense. What made much less sense was the almost irrational rage that arose within him at this thought, prompting him to find the people responsible for the brat's bad mood and making them pay.
Fortunately, Dan was rarely sad.
Purple was, as Akutsu was well aware, the gayest of colours.
Of course, not the entire scale of purple could be instantly declared as queer. However, some particular shades – most of which seemed much favoured by some of the most annoying people he knew – were simply screaming of closet and not-so-closet gayness. There was no way a man could dress in such a colour and still claim to be straight.
Dan was never guilty of wearing such shades, for which Akutsu was glad.
The brat was obviously gay enough, dating him, even without the unnecessary addition.
Akutsu did not like chocolate.
Now, he had nothing against the taste, except it was too mild and soft for him. However, chocolate was for girls and fags and kids, and he was none of those.Therefore, he did not like chocolate and wouldn't have been caught dead eating it.
Dan, though, liked chocolate very much, which was because he was obviously still a kid. His eyes were the colour of chocolate, too, a warm and inviting shade of brown, bright with an almost hyper glow as he bounced around his precious Akutsu-senpai.
Suddenly, Akutsu had a craving.
Sense and Sentimentality
The headband was far too big for Dan.
This much should have been obvious, Akutsu thought, yet the idiotic brat insisted on wearing it no matter how many times it fell over his eyes. Nothing could change his mind, from Akutsu's continuous taunts to his schoolamates' snickers. If he hadn't been such an idiotically obedient student he probably would have worn it in class, too.
Dan, for his part, said it was because it had been Akutsu's. This made absolutely no sense to Akutsu.
Why cling to a stupid headband when he could have Akutsu in person?
Somehow, Akutsu had always subconsciously expected Dan's room to be pink.
Of course, in retrospect he had to admit this was pretty damn ridiculous. No matter how childish he appeared, Dan was still a boy in the fateful age of middle school, and would have never voluntarily lived in an all-pink room. Still, Akutsu was somewhat surprised as he entered the brat's room for the first time only to find it to be a much more comfortable light green.
Thankfully he avoided having to take a look in the very much pink room of Dan's little sister.
Akutsu was naturally pale, so much so he never managed to tan. Not that he minded, of course – like he gave a fuck about what others thought looked good. If they thought any less of him because of his almost unhealthy paleness, well, screw them.
Dan, though, was never as pale as he was, not even when he really was sick. Thus, as Akutsu now looked at the small figure lying in the hospital bed, almost matching the colour of the sheets, he felt vaguely disturbed.
He squeezed the little hand in his own, for once paler than his.
In a Name
Akutsu Jin had no friends.
He had no need to voluntarily attach himself to other people with some imaginary bonds consisting only of mutual need for familiarity and incapablity to survive alone. True, if pressed, he might have named Kawamura as his friend, but only because other people viewed them as such. He maybe had allies, but no friends.
Dan Taichi, of course, was no friend. He was a fanboy and an annoyance and even a pet of sorts, but never a friend. That word implied mutual need.
Later, Akutsu would accept it with the addition "boy-".
Response and Repayment
Akutsu hit Dan all of once.
It was before they were properly together, one of the times Akutsu decided to watch as the tennis club trained. It was a bad day, and Dan was even more annoying than usual, and at the next cheerful comment Akutsu could not take it any more. The brat was struck to the ground.
Dan was supposed to cry. However, the tears in his eyes were mostly due to anger. Rising back to his feet, the brat walked closer and, to everyone's shock, slapped Akutsu.
Maybe, Akutsu thought, it could actually work.
Of Innocence and Experience
Dan was not as innocent as he looked like.
Sure, on their first time (with Dan safely over thirteen; sex crimes were not in Akutsu's field) he has been inexperienced, literally a blushing virgin, but he proved to be a fast and eager learner. Nevertheless, he still managed to retain that look of big-eyed wonder that made everybody careful not to make any naughty remarks where he could hear them.
Akutsu often wondered just what in his shitty life he had done right that he could claim this not-so-innocent boy as his lover.
Akutsu's mother adored Dan, as so many people did. She thought he was absolutely adorable, cute and polite as he was, and was overjoyed that he spent time with her son. Maybe, she said, his good influence would make some kind of a change in Akutsu, too. Insane woman.
Dan's parents, on the other hand, wisely disapproved of Akutsu. Nice and warm though they otherwise were, they were somewhat way of him from the beginning, thus proving their sanity and making Akutsu wonder how none had been passed down to their son.
Apparently, no family was entirely sane.
Akutsu Jin was twenty-five when he saw his father for the first time since he was a child.
It was not a planned meeting, naturally, as neither of them had any desire to contact the other. They simply ran into each other on the street. Akutsu immediately recognized the face he had learnt to hate.
After a tense greeting and some exchanged words, Akutsu was suddenly caught by another person.
"Jiii-in!" Dan whined. "Hurry, we're late!"
Akutsu just knew his father was calling him queer as he was dragged off.
Who cared about the bastard.
Support and Lack Thereof
Sengoku is the only one who doesn't seem to think they are fated to fail. Everybody else advises Dan against Akutsu, telling him stories about him, how he beat this guy and stole from this one and is just awful and dangerous in general. Dan doesn't listen to any of them but to Sengoku-senpai instead.
"Do what feels right to you," Sengoku-senpai says and smiles. "It's about the time Akutsu gets somebody he actually gives a damn about."
Of course, part of this support might be because of his numerous bets.
Sons of The Fathers
Akutsu's father had left when he was just a kid, and good riddance. As time passed, Akutsu did everything he could to ignore the fact he was becoming more and more like his father. At least nobody had made the mistake of falling in love with him.
Then along came Dan, pretty little Dan Taichi who was happy and cheerful and everything Akutsu's mother seemed to be in the pictures Akutsu had seen of her when she had been young. It could only end in disaster.
Time to show the world he was not his father.
Dan sometimes got a somewhat dreamy expression while playing with little children Akutsu had learned to look out for. It only meant trouble to him in the form of sighes and day-dreamy spacing out from the younger man. It was damn annoying.
Neither one of them was a woman, he reminded Dan, so better just forget it. Dan sighed but agreed.
When Atobe Keigo, in his need of an heir, managed to pass a new adoption law, Akutsu knew he was out of excuses.
He would be damned if he admitted he did not really mind, though.
Fated from Birth
Only that woman would think of something so idiotic.
Sure, she was not the only person ever to keep a diary. However, nobody else could possibly have thought of digging up her diary entry on a particular date to prove something as "fate".
Still, despite himself, Akutsu found it vaguely disturbing that on a particular January the second many years back the two-year-old Akutsu Jin had apparently suddenly looked up from his games and announced, "Now I won't be alone anymore."
Dan, of course, found this incredibly sweet. The little idiot. Adorable, too, though.
Fear of Death
Nobody could order Akutsu Jin around.
This was a fact he had pounded rather violently into several heads, enough so that most people around him knew better than to try. While he did not hit his mother, he also did not listen to her, thus, a fact.
Dan apparently did not know this fact. Akutsu dealt with this mostly by ignoring him. However, as a pair of brown eyes was directed at him along with a fearful "I don't want you to die Akutsu-senpai desu!" he found himself thinking twice before doing anything especially idiotic.
Dan was, Akutsu was to learn, an early riser of the worst kind. While Akutsu himself rarely slept very late, he was usually even more cranky than usual in the mornings and did not take well to any kind of annoyance then. Dan, though, was one of the morning people who would get up early and be all happy and chipper as though they were actually rested.
The only way to keep the brat from rising with the Sun, Akutsu discovered, was to tire him out very thoroughly the night before.
Fortunately, Akutsu was up to the task.
Akutsu never understood what was supposedly so romantic about sunsets.
This, of course, did not mean he didn't understand the concept of beauty or even occasionally appreciate it. He simply could not see the romantic appeal in such a sight. The sun set every fucking day; what was so special about it that viewing it together with another person was a somehow memorable event?
This was his firm opinion until the day he found himself with his arms around the brat while Dan sat in his lap and asked eagerly, "Isn't it so pretty, Akutsu-senpai?"
033. Too Much
It was no secret Akutsu was easily bored. Few things could hold his interest for more than a moment if even that; more often than not he got up with everything immediately. As a result he rarely found anything worth his time.
He had expected himself to get sick of Dan right away. The boy was simply too much for anybody to handle, full of life and energy and cheer. Nobody could bear him for longer than a moment, Akutsu had been sure.
Strange, was it not, how time passed and despite everything he still did not grow tired.
034. Not Enough
When Akutsu first met Dan, he thought the boy was craving for attention.
Nothing else could explain it. Akutsu knew very well he was somewhat a frightening sight; in fact, he took pride in this fact. Most kids and even his own peers were too scared to even approach him, yet Dan practically attached himself to Akutsu. The brat was obviously desperate for somebody to notice him.
Over time, however, Akutsu found this to be untrue. Dan got plenty of attention from others, and paid no mind if Akutsu ignored him entirely.
Why did he still stick around?
035. 6th Sense
It's ridiculous, of course. No such thing could happen.
Akutsu is often annoyed by Sengoku's little bouts of superstition – mostly connected with his incredible luck – but this one is particularly irritating. After all, it is impossible.
Yet, as he actually thinks about it, it seems to happen disturbingly often. Whenever he thinks nobody can find him wherever he is hiding, be it the roof of the school or some secluded corner, soon he sees the familiar form of the brat approaching, calling for him.
Still, he refuses to believe Dan has some kind of an "Akutsu-radar".
Only Dan, Akutsu sometimes thought, only Dan would still use strawberry-scented shampoo in high school. Out of the male population of the school, anyway. The scent was awfully sweet and fresh and strawberry-y, like the brat had stuck his head in a bowl of berries. It gave Akutsu a headache.
Nevertheless, he found his nose once again burying itself in the blue-black hair as the brat lay on his chest, breathing deep. The scent may have been childish and sweet and occasionally annoying, but Dan was all that, too.
Akutsu decided it was not bad.
It was never quiet when Dan was around.
Akutsu sometimes wondered how the kid could talk so much. Any normal person would eventually run out of things to babble on about, or at the very least tire. Dan, however, seemed to have no such problems; even when it was clear Akutsu was honestly ignoring him he just kept talking.
The only times Dan seemed quiet were when he was playing or sleeping. Akutsu much preferred the latter.
As Dan's head rested on his chest, with only the sound of quiet breathing, it was easy for Akutsu to sleep, too.
Dan's hands were small, just like the rest of him. His touch was light, almost unnoticeable at best, and never hard enough to hurt even if he had tried to, which he never did. As he curiously put his palm against Akutsu's to compare the size of their hands it was almost painfully obvious that he was, indeed, still just a kid.
There was something about that light touch, however, that sometimes seemed to send electric shocks through Akutsu. Dan tugged at his hand, and suddenly everything froze.
Akutsu wanted to know why. Extensive research was in order.
"I still think it's fucking weird."
"Don't say that before you've tried it desu," Dan says happily. "It tastes great desu!"
"Che. I fucking doubt that." Akutsu glares at the offending treat. Who in their right mind would eat blueberry ice cream?
"Come on, Akutsu-senpai," the brat whines. "At least taste it once!" He is pouting, now. There is a bit of ice cream on his lower lip. Akutsu leans forward.
The taste's not that bad, he decides. In fact, it's quite good.
He still doesn't like the ice cream, though.
Worst Case Scenario
Akutsu sometimes thinks about what he would do if he became blind, and comes to the conclusion he would likely kill himself.
To him, the loss of sight means loss of control. If he can't see his surroundings he can't get around on his own, forced to accept the help of others. True, he could learn, but it's just too much of a fuss. Besides, he couldn't fight, which is enough of a reason to rather die.
Weird, though, how the worst possible scenario always seems to be not being able to see Dan again.
Akutsu is big. Dan is small.
This much is obvious if one even glances at them. It's easy for Akutsu to lift Dan in the air to growl at him, and Dan can just as easily hang off Akutsu's arm. Everybody who knows them knows this much.
What others don't know is how well Dan fits into Akutsu's lap, or how effortlessly he's held up by the muscular arms, or how safe he feels when he is close to his precious senpai.
If Akutsu has any say in the matter, they will never find out, either.
Love, Drama and Suspicions
When Akutsu first hears the rumour there is something between Sengoku and him that surpasses even friendship, he finds it simply ridiculous. After all, the redhead is a well-known womanizer and Akutsu is not interested.
Then he hears a suggestion that there is some kind of a love triangle involving Sengoku, himself, and Dan Taichi. This inspires a few swear words and a severe beating for the individual foolish enough to even mention the rumour.
While it is just as ridiculous, he suddenly finds himself keeping a close eye on Sengoku whenever Dan is nearby.
It is nothing special, just a simple square of paper. Akutsu watches as Dan carefully folds it into a bird-like shape. "What are you doing?" he asks.
"I'm making cranes," replies the brat.
"Why?" Akutsu demands to know.
"If you make a thousand cranes," Dan says, smiling, "you get to make a wish."
Akutsu snorts. "Che. And what are you going to wish for?"
Dan beams up at him. "That I get to be with Akutsu-senpai forever!" he declares.
Akutsu decides the brat is truly an idiot. As though he needs stupid cranes for that.
Sometimes, everything seems to simply go around in endless circles. Day after day, everything is similar, people do the same stupid things, say the same stupid words. Nothing ever changes, everything is always the same dull repetition, and it's driving Akutsu crazy.
Dan, however, seems to be a charm against such boredom. No matter how similar every day is otherwise, he always does something differently. It may be simply tripping over something so that Akutsu has to catch him, or he may have baked cookies, but it's never the same.
Dan is, it seems, keeping Akutsu sane.
Dan is like the Sun, Akutsu sometimes thinks, full of life and energy and brightening everything just by being there. The brat doesn't seem aware of this, himself; he just goes on being nice and cute and cheerful, not realising it's his influence that makes the world around him as nice a place as he sees it as.
Akutsu himself is the Moon, reflecting this light and having none himself. Even this is a ridiculous thought, that he would seem to have light – but slowly, he seems to make his way out of the dark side.
Dan is, as Akutsu well knows, neither a princess nor any other kind of a damsel in distress. Akutsu himself is hardly a knight in shining armour, either, a violent delinquent that he is. Nobody in their right mind would try to make a fairy tale out of them.
Sometimes, though, Akutsu dreams of himself as a king, taking orders from nobody and giving them out instead. In such dreams there is another throne next to his, smaller but no less elaborate, but usually it is empty.
Even in his dreams, Dan seems to prefer invading his lap.
Gaining Opposite Evidence
Love, Akutsu used to think, does not exist.
Cynical though it may seem, he has long been convinced this is correct. After all, his life is not exactly abundant when it comes to love; rather, he has found it to be full of deceit and betrayal. Love does not exist, and accepting this has made his life a lot easier.
Then along came Dan, all smiles and warmth and Akutsu-senpai, and little by little he finds himself beginning to doubt his old conclusion.
He is not yet convinced, but Dan doesn't seem to give up.
Another Kind of a Bond
It's not a diamond ring, of course, picked by Akutsu. It's just a plain band of silver, small enough that it fits inside the bigger one. There are no engravings aside from two names, carved with beautiful kanji on the inside of the rings, with no date or any other marking to reveal their significance.
It fits Dan's finger perfectly, and he wonders how Akutsu managed to pick just the right size, but then he realizes it doesn't matter and isn't it just wonderful anyway.
Akutsu actually wears the other one.
His Rightful Place
If Akutsu ever managed to actually conquer the world, he once decided, the first thing he would do was to make his mother the queen of some very distant land where she couldn't nag at him. The second thing would be getting his father executed.
When Dan heard of these plans, he simply asked which one he would get, a country to rule or a death sentence. Akutsu informed him he was too stupid to rule anything alone so he'd just have to be Akutsu's prince consort.
Dan just grinned happily and didn't disagree.
Akusu has known that Sengoku sometimes makes stupid jokes. However, he usually ignores them, knowing that they are rarely funny and often irritating.
Thus, when Sengoku hugs a blushing Dan and declares his undying love for the boy, Akutsu does not interpret it as simply a joke. The next thing he knows, Sengoku is on the ground, a hand over his bleeding nose.
"Damn," Sengoku says snappishly. "If you are going to be that jealous, you should just come out and say the kid is yours!"
"He is mine," Akutsu growls. "Happy now?"
Dan, it seems, is. Idiotic brat.