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18 June 2007 @ 09:27 pm
Oshitari/Marui, Scene #2  
Authors: wolfe_tone and vacivity
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Characters: Marui Bunta and Oshitari Yuushi
Theme Set: LW4
Theme: Going home
Warnings and notes: AU, set in the 1920's.

This was going to be awkward, Oshitari decided, as he stared up at the tree house, only a few feet above his head but still high enough that he had to climb up to it. There were wooden blocks attached to the tree as a makeshift ladder, but it had been years since Oshitari had climbed a tree.

And he was going to have to carry a plate of cookies up.

"I'm coming up," he called, hoping it caught the attention of the person in the tree house. Marui's mother had assured him he was up in it and that he would welcome the company – Oshitari suspected he'd welcome the cookies more than his company – but Oshitari knew what Marui was. And he had no desire to end up with a knife in his chest.

That said, Oshitari reached out to grab a hold of one of the wooden stairs on the tree, hoping he could maintain his balance and not disgrace himself as he made his way up the tree slowly, step by step. Marui was used to the hustle and bustle of his family, but having them hover over his shoulder while he cleaned his weapons was not something he wanted to have happen. The twins would probably mess around and wind up hurting themselves, he thought, which lead the redhead to take refuge in the old treehouse he and his brothers had built.

He was just finishing reassembling his freshly oiled revolver when he recognized Oshitari's voice from the bottom of the tree. It hadn't been long since both mobs had sent the pair of them home, knowing they lived on the same street in addition to having gone to the same school. Still, he thought Oshitari would wait a little longer before trying to meet up again.

Sticking his head out of the opening near the ladder, Marui grinned when he saw the plate of cookies. He moved aside his knives, and reached down to take the plate from Oshitari – to help him get up easier, of course. "Well hey there. Didn't expect to see you here," Marui greeted once the other man reached the top.

Oshitari gratefully let go of the cookies, and for a moment, contemplated just dropping back to the ground and going back home. It was the more appealing option at the moment, but he also knew that no matter what, he and Marui would have to see each other eventually, and there was no time like the present.

And at least the tree house was empty, save the two of them.

So Oshitari continued to climb, eventually maneuvering into the tree house. He had to stoop in order to avoid hitting his head against the roof, but it didn't take long for him to settle down, a few feet from Marui, watching him from behind his glasses.

"This is the last place I wish to be, I assure you," Oshitari drawled, leaning back. "But we're both here. Why not make the best of it while we can?"

Marui rolled his eyes and stuffed a cookie into his mouth. Separation would only work for so long, if they were going to attempt to make thing whole ordeal work. "Be quiet," he admonished around the cookie. He took a moment to finish chewing and swallow before turning his attention to Oshitari.

"If by 'last place' you mean at home, I can agree with you there. If you mean in the Tree House of Genius with yours truly, I wouldn't be making such comments," the redhead warned nonchalantly, tapping the closest knife. Not that he would really go through with any violence – the boss would kick his ass – but seeing the taller man's reaction would be worth it.

He deflated a little and added, "I can't believe they kicked us out." This peace arrangement was, for the time being, to be Marui's only assignment. Apparently because of how things had gone at their last meeting, the higher ups wanted him to concentrate fully on it.

"It's impolite to talk with your mouth full," Oshitari commented, reaching for one of the cookies as well, although he wasn't really interested in eating it. It was something to hold, and nibble on, and a perfectly good excuse to not talk, if he happened to need a moment to think.

"Perhaps I meant both," Oshitari commented, shifting so he was once again leaning against the side of the tree house and smirking at Marui. "It is cramped in here." He wasn't afraid of the other or the implied threat – they had an agreement, at least their bosses did – and only an idiot would walk around without something on his person.

And Oshitari Yuushi was no idiot.

Oshitari did take a bite of the cookie then, thinking about Marui's phrase as he slowly chewed. He waited to swallow before replying, nodding his head in agreement. "It is surprising that they did go to such drastic measures. But if it's going to work…" He trailed off, shrugging. If it was going to work, he admitted to himself, they'd actually have to put some effort into it. And not be hostile.

Marui shrugged at the comment on his manners and picked up another cookie. If he wanted a lecture all he had to do was eat in front of his mother, which was happening much too often for his liking anyway. His father tried to talk him into getting a job at his workplace and starting over clean, but those lectures were even more pointless.

Well, he thought as he bit down on his second cookie, he could make an effort before Oshitari did, and a better one at that. As long as he ignored how neither of them got along and Oshitari had the nerve to be a jerk in his own tree house.

"So is it as bad for you at home as it is for me?" he asked, trying to sound at least neutral. "Neither of my parents wanted me to join the mob, but average life is too mundane for me. At least they've got the twins to fulfill their dreams. You're an only child, right?"

As Marui spoke, Oshitari had to hold back a wince, thinking of his home. His mother's disappointed looks and heartbroken sighs, his father's lectures about his life and how it was only going to get him into trouble. Being in Marui's tree house, even cramped and unable to stand up straight and having to be civil to Marui, was better than being at home.

"My parents are both displeased with my choices in life," he agreed, copying Marui's neutral tone. "Mother wishes for me to come back and settle down, insists I should be more like my cousin. He's hides his illegal activities, has some front of them." He shrugged. "I really wish we'd been sent anywhere but home."

Even if it was nice to his see his family again, Oshitari couldn't deny the truth of his words. Anything would have been preferable to being there. "Are your parents pleased you are home, at least?"

No, the feeling in his gut was not sympathy. He couldn't be sympathetic towards Oshitari – he was the enemy! Well, not really; not anymore. Perhaps there was a fledgling empathetic feeling deep down, because at least he wasn't the focus of his parents' attention, good or bad.

"I never come home, unless it's on a holiday, so yeah," Marui admitted. "My brothers are still going through that 'my older brother is a mobster - don't fuck with us' phase. Eventually they'll start ragging on me like my parents do." He finished off the cookie and fiddled with the knife closest to him; the set had been a gift from his boss once Marui returned from his first successful solo mission.

"If it gets too bad for either of us, we'll rent us a hotel room," he said, grinning somewhat suggestively. The redhead remembered Oshitari wasn't one of his own, and probably shouldn't joke around like that; among friends was one thing, but stuff like that could get you offed. "Or, you know, you can hide out up here if it makes this any easier. No bringing back chicks, though."

"A hotel room?" Oshitari asked, raising an eyebrow. "Are you sure we wouldn't kill each other if we were in such close proximity for such a long time?" They wouldn't – that would really go against what the bosses wanted – but he couldn’t resist teasing. "Or have you missed my company that much over the years that you wouldn't mind it?

"And what a pity, your rules about chicks up here," he continued. "It would just be the most romantic spot, bringing a girl back to an old childhood haunt. Great place for privacy." He grinned. "But do not worry; even if I've been ordered home, it's still technically work and the boss is strict about mixing business and pleasure."

Which really was a pity, and he couldn't come out and tell his parents that he was technically working, so his mother continually paraded around neighborhood girls she thought he would like. "Have your brothers been bringing over friends so they can stare in awe at you?"

Marui grinned, and was glad to have steered the conversation away from Oshitari's parental issues and distract the both of them from uncomfortable feelings. "Oh, you know, I figured the more time spent around me the quicker you'd see how brilliant I am. Hey, we never hung out in high school, what would I miss? The absence of it? Yeah, maybe," the redhead replied, the grin still stretching his lips made it know he was joking.

"Not yet. They've tried to get me to drive them to school, wearing a suit I'd usually wear on the job. I might wake up at the same time as they do, but I don't think so. They'll probably resort to bringing friends here to impress them. I am pretty impressive, so it's no wonder."

The knife he held needed a little more sharpening, but at least it was clean. Marui didn't think he'd need any weapons during his stay home, but you couldn't be too cautious. Anything could happen when one least expected it; he knew that from experience.

"I'd try to avoid you, just to prevent such a thing from happening, but that would go against orders. I'll just have to make sure I remain blind to your 'brilliance'," he drawled, his tone slightly mocking, but there was the hint of a grin lurking at the corner of his lips, softening the blow just a little. "I'll have to make up for all of those high school years some time."

Oshitari stretched and yawned, his eyes going to the knife Marui held. He'd been putting off digging out his own weapons and cleaning them, but watching Marui fiddle with his things reminded him that he did need to; even the knife he was carrying could use sharpening. As he thought about it, Oshitari stood, hunching over low so he could avoid the top of the tree house and moved toward the ladder.

"I'm sure your brothers will find an excuse to bring friends over soon enough. I'm going to laugh at you from across the fence when you get accosted by a dozen people talking about how cool it is to be a mobster." He grinned at Marui. "You'll go insane in a few minutes, I bet." Placing his foot on the top step, he started to head down, looking at Marui once again. "My mother is insistent that your family join us for dinner one day, and since we still have to attempt to be civil, I am sure I will see you again. 'Bye, Marui-kun."

The redhead watched with a smirk as the other man began to take off. Obviously he was starting to like him, else he wouldn't be leaving so quickly. Oshitari just couldn't bring himself to admit that he might have enjoyed being with him, and that was okay. He figured he could wait for a verbal admission at a later date. "Bye, Oshitari," Marui said, waggling his fingers at the disappearing figure.

Marui tossed the knife where Oshitari's hand was before he headed back down the tree, the blade embedded firmly in the wood. He broke off a half of a cookie and fit it into his mouth. Maybe Oshitari wasn't too bad himself.