Rating : PG-13 for LANGUAGE and VIOLENCE
Summary : Ayato and Shozo meet near the grounds of SeiRu. With 'bad blood' between the two, it's a regular stand-off !
Ayato pounded over the pavement, wishing with every step that it wasn't so damn hot outside. That was the problem with summer - he wasn't allowed to run after dark, but while the sun was still up it beat down and made every minute agony. Wiping the stinging sweat out of his eyes, he rounded a corner, blinking a moment before spotting - with a strange mixture of adrenaline and dismay - a familiar figure heading towards him on the sidewalk.
Shozo was on his way to gloat to Kouji, about how good his fortune was and how he was the one that was on a successful tennis team, when he spotted that head of curled brown hair bobbing down the sidewalk. A split-second sneer twisted to a smirk, and he brought a hand up to cup his chin, closing his eyes behind his dark, expensive sunglasses. His fortune was getting better, if he had this second chance heading right into his hands. Shozo’s head rose, before he let out a short bark of, “Hey! Shorty!”
Oh, just great. Ayato sighed and slowed to a walk, still panting, wiping at his forehead again, watching a few drops of sweat spatter to the sidewalk as he blinked up at the tall Hyoutei second-year. "Yeah?" he asked flatly, finally coming within speaking distance of the other, holding his side. "Can I help you? What're you doing on this side of town?" He grinned. "And what the hell happened to your nose? Suits you." Never mind his own face was still ghosted with bruises from his last meeting with Shozo. The lovely fresh bruise running across the bridge of Shozo's nose was a welcome sight. He wondered idly if that was Takayama's doing.
“It’s none of your damn business what happened to my nose,” Shozo replied, staring down the bridge of his slightly swollen nose to gaze at the twist and curls of brown hair currently dominating his view of the sidewalk. Puffing out his chest, he pressed fingers lightly upon the Hyoutei patch upon his shirt, and spoke slowly, so the less privileged SeiRu boy could understand him. “I’m just here to piss off Kouji.” He hated how he was interrupted in his campaign of ‘Piss Off Takayama’, and how the memory of Ayato bandaging his chest to avoid the more serious of injuries kept emerging in his head.
Ayato snorted, tilting his head back to look up at the other, wiping at his forehead again. "Well, good luck with that. He was gone last night. I don't know if he's back yet." He decided that it was a bad idea to elaborate on where exactly Takayama had gone to. If Shozo knew he'd been in the infirmary, Takayama would probably never live it down. Ayato wasn't about to do that to him. "Might as well turn back. Was that his doing?" he finally asked, pointing to Shozo's face. "Looks nice and shiny new."
After rolling his eyes at such an obvious attempt at seeming intimidating, Shozo shook his head - his patented sneer perfectly in place for this situation. “Whatever.” He removed his sunglasses, carefully placing them in his pocket, before continuing. “He was just lucky. And at least he didn’t have to bandage his chest in fear of my hits. ..idiot..” Shozo’s hands dug into his pockets, hunched over and glaring at Ayato, and yet something tugged at the back of his head, as if something was very obvious and he was completely glossing over it.
"In fear of your hits… oh yeah, that's what it was. I'm cowering here. You barely touched me," Ayato shot back, still unable to believe how dense this guy could be. And he knew he was faster than Shozo - he'd managed to avoid most of the damage last time by simply getting out of the way. He wasn't afraid of him. And he was definitely angry with him (to say the least) over what he'd done to Takayama and Niou-san.
“What. You want me to touch you? That’s god damn weird, kid.” Shozo felt the frames of the glasses graze over his knuckles, and he tilted his head back, a condescending smile for the short brunette. It was as if it was some warning, some split-second ‘sorry’, before he slammed his fist, makeshift brass knuckles and all, into the soft cheek of Terada Ayato.
"The hell?" Ayato found himself stumbling backwards, something dripping down his front. Reaching a hand up to his face, he winced - it came back crimson; the idiot had used something sharp and opened a gash on Ayato's cheek that was now bleeding freely. "You aho - I wasn't asking for it, but now you are," he growled, wiping blood and sweat off of his face. Damn that stung. "Want me to see how tender that nose of yours is?"
Shozo brought a hand up to cup protectively over his nose whilst shaking blood and glass from his makeshift knuckles, a wide grin showing from behind his palm. Oh God, that had hurt so much. “Bet you don’t have any damn bandages to protect you now, idiot,” he spoke, muffled by his hand. “And that white-haired idiot isn’t around, either. I really do have good fortune.”
"They weren't to protect me - have I told you yet you're thicker than most idiots I know?" Ayato asked, taking a few steps laterally, eyes on Shozo, wondering where it would be best to hit. He knew he was not in top form right now - hot and God, he was dehydrated - but he'd probably be fine. "And I don't need Niou-san to protect me. I can handle you," he said derisively, glaring up even as he felt more blood drip down his face. "What, you gotta protect your poor little nose, I see."
“I rather enjoy most of my face, and don’t want it injured, mind you.” Shozo ignored the rest - he wasn’t thick at all, and he knew the perfect time to strike would be when this idiot was distracted by talking and moving. He pulled his hand away from protecting his face, and sent out a sharp jab with the makeshift knuckles to Ayato’s stomach, his other hand fisting into the older boy’s running shirt. But it seemed too easy, and Shozo was certain the little guy was wearing bandages again.
Oh, shit - Ayato hadn't gotten the chance to move before Shozo's fist was suddenly in his stomach, and the sharp thing was still on it. He felt his t-shirt rip and skin break on his stomach even as Shozo's other fist grabbed his shirt to keep him from moving. "Let go, aho!" He brought his knee up to connect with the closest part of Shozo that he could reach, grabbing at the arm holding him and trying to gain some leverage.
If he hadn’t have taken that step back -- Shozo shuddered at the thought. Or, it was because Ayato’s kneecap was firmly planted just below his stomach, and it felt as if the force of the blow had dislodged that organ. His jaw slack and shoulders shaking, he composed himself and halfheartedly struck out with his fists upon Ayato’s face, stumbling along with the shorter guy as he fought to find words to say. “You - guh- ..fssh.. -idiot..”
Well, the hand was no longer in his shirt - it was hitting his face. Great - dammit, the sharp thing slashed open another cut on Ayato's forehead, but at least the other fist was only blunt. Ducking the brunt of the second blow, Ayato managed to slip beneath Shozo's grip as the taller boy lurched forward; slipping next to the side, he planted an elbow firmly against Shozo's lower left back and put some distance between them. "Try that again and I'll aim lower with my knee," he threatened, though it was a little hard to speak because the gash on his cheek was stinging a lot more now.
The force of the elbow to his back caused Shozo to straighten up instantly, a hand shooting for the center of his newly throbbing pain and a flare of anger shooting up in his chest at the very thought of Ayato having gained the upper hand with just two moves. “What the hell are you talking about, huh. You act like you’ve actually accomplished something.” Proud of his ability to form a full sentence, Shozo raised his hands to drag through his hair, careful of the makeshift-knuckles, and tried hard to think of possible strategies to get out of this with his pride intact.
Ayato just grinned, even if it did hurt. "I'm out of your grip," he pointed out. "And not planning on getting anywhere near it again." He watched the Hyoutei boy run his fingers through his hair and snorted. "Oh, I'm sorry, did I mess up your hair? And you called me girly."
“Whatever. I care about my appearance.” Shozo shook his hand slowly, it was beginning to lose feeling from having pummeled Ayato, and he was certain shards of something were imbedded not too far beneath the skin. And those shards would soon be pushed deeper, as he turned on one heel and shot his fist into Ayato’s face.
Shit, his reflexes were not functioning today, Ayato managed to think as he fell back on the pavement, cursing loudly. That had hurt. And not that he cared about appearances, but he did care about keeping all of the bone in his face intact. He'd already gotten yelled at once for fighting. As if there was any way he'd get around it this time, if he was going to come out looking like what he thought he must look like right now. He blinked, spots dancing before his vision. Pushing himself up before he could really see, he rammed a shoulder into the first soft part of Shozo he found.
Shozo had just been cracking his knuckles, ready for that one final blow to the back of Ayato’s head that would finish this and allow him to walk away with nothing more than a sliced up and bloodied hand, when he noticed the smaller boy rising. He was almost confused by how comical he appeared, swaying and rising too quickly, and it was that quick rise that made it hard for him to notice Ayato’s clenched fist rising up to punch him square in the groin. It felt as if something popped. And the next thing he saw, after the inky blackness faded from his vision, was the sidewalk, and a view of the world from a different angle. He briefly noted that the sidewalk was still warm from the summer sun, and let out a moan of disapproval at Ayato’s move.
The mass that was Shozo toppled over; Ayato was still blinking large dark spots out of his vision when he heard a groan from the sidewalk. "God, that was too easy," he said, even as he felt himself sway a bit in the summer heat. He had to get out of here. Before he passed out - and whether from dehydration or the hits he'd taken, he wasn't sure. "Give your doctor my regards. And stay the hell away from my friends," he told the dark mass curling up on the sidewalk, turning around to stumble in the direction of St. Rudolph. He'd been on the last leg of his run - it couldn't be too far to the grounds. And if he timed it right, maybe his roommate would be at the library or something. He wasn't sure he wanted to answer Kazetaka-kun's questions right now. Though he could maybe use the help… Dammit.
Shozo barely heard the slapping of Ayato’s tennis shoes on the pavement, dragging himself slowly to a knelt heap on the sidewalk. He wasn’t going to cry over something like this, as Taoka Shozo never cried. But there was something that he was finally figuring out, after all this time. And as he cupped his groin, and rose to his feet, he wondered.. -- ..Did he really just get his ass kicked by.. Some little girl?