Rating: G clean stuff
Summary: Yuki tutors his senpai in English.
Yuki wove through the stream of students, most of them moving the opposite direction that he was going. He’d been asked by his English teacher to tutor someone, possibly for the rest of the term, and he was supposed to meet the other student today. He peered into the classroom curiously as he managed to swim upstream of the throng. “Sensei,” he caught the teacher’s attention as he stepped into the classroom, eager to just start. He’d done tutoring before so it was nothing new to him.
Inside the classroom, Kirihara picked at his sushi, more doleful than he'd been in a long while. He hadn't felt this bad since Sanada set up the tutor-Akaya-in-English collective last summer; in fact, this was probably worse, with the Fall training camp very likely at stake if he didn't pull his act together. Footsteps at the door caught his attention; his eyes widened in alarm as he heard a familiar voice. That couldn't be—
The teacher wasn’t in the room, just Kirihara. “Oh,” Yuki commented blankly. “Are you here for tutoring, Kirihara-san?” Off court he preferred to not refer to Kirihara as buchou. Yuki settled himself at the desk next to the older teen, setting his bag onto his lap to dig through his notebooks and sheets. He set his lunch to one corner of the desk, ignoring it for now. “Sensei wanted me to review vocabulary with you I think?”
Several responses came to Kirihara's mind right at once, "What the hell are you doing here?" being rather prominent on the list. It didn't seem like the best idea to do that, though, and of all the regulars on his team, Amano Yuki was the one he was most reluctant to drop the buchou-facade around. Kaede might be mouthier, but Kirihara could deal with that. What he couldn't deal with was the way Yuki followed his instructions to the letter, without one whit of enthusiasm or protest. His elegant but reserved manners reminded Kirihara of Yagyuu-sempai, and everyone knew the havoc that particular facade concealed.
"Yuki. I didn't realize you were going to be my tutor."
“I didn’t either, Sensei only told me I’d be helping an older student,” he replied as he shifted through his notes. Honestly English class was too easy for him, the vocabulary list was a joke compared to the novels that he read. “So vocabulary,” Yuki continued, plowing right into business. He read through the list; imagination, summer, vacation, visit, west, favourite… easy stuff.
"Before you ask how much of this stuff I know, the answer is absolutely nothing," Kirihara said. "Sensei set up the tutoring sessions because I failed the last three vocabulary tests, and if I don't pass the supplementary tests I'll be excluded from fall training camp."
“Okay,” Yuki started patiently, he’d done this often enough in the past that it really shouldn’t be a problem. “Let’s start from the basics then, you want to read through the list out loud first?” It was just a list of twenty words, it couldn’t be too bad. He pushed the desk so that the edge of his desk was lined up against Kirihara’s, pushing the vocabulary sheet between them so that the older boy could see.
Kirihara blinked at the first word, at the top of the page. He'd definitely seen it before somewhere. "E-du-ca-ti-o-nu?" He could feel himself cringing as he did so. Would he be able to look at his regulars in the face after today? Perhaps missing the Fall camp wasn't such a bad idea.
“That’s not bad,” he encouraged quietly. “Education,” he repeated for Kirihara with only the barest hint of an accent. The Japanese for the word was written neatly next to the English. They worked through the list like that slowly, patiently. “Education,” he said in Japanese this time, waiting for Kirihara to say it to him in English.
As they progressed through the list of assigned words, Kirihara could feel the usual frustration pooling inside him. Yuki at least was patient; if it'd been any other kouhai, the humiliation would probably have roused his anger long ago. As it was, the session went fairly decently, and he even felt like he was making progress with the words that had boggled him so much a week ago. After about half an hour, though, the sheer English of it all finally got too much for him; he stood up, pushing his chair back as he did so. At the younger boy's inquiring look he said: "Thanks very much for your time, Yuki, but I've had enough for today. I'm not very good at keeping my temper, and all this is really getting to me."
Yuki looked up at Kirihara before nodding faintly, “Fair enough, when’s the supplementary test?” His lunch was still untouched in the corner of the desk. He gathered the notes that they’d been working off of, shuffling them into a neat pile.
"Friday. A week from now," Kirihara said. For once, he was grateful for the younger boy's reserve.
"I'll see you at practice this afternoon, then? I'd like to see how you do in doubles; I know you're a singles player, but we're in a bit of a bind at the moment."
“As long as it’s not a permanent arrangement. I’d like to have a chance to play in singles as well.” He put the sheets back into his bag, contents meticulously neat. “And I’ll see you on Monday at lunch so that we can continue, Kirihara-san,” he added, back in tutor mode.
Heaven save him from spotlight-hungry players obsessed with playing singles, Kirihara thought, but dismissed the thought as unfair. Amano had been far more discreet about his wishes than say, Kaede, or his loudmouth vice-captain. Yuki "Hai hai, Amano-sensei," he said, grinning. Maybe he could pretend that the boy was a miniature Yagyuu-sempai. He could work with that.