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[personal profile] terrierlee
Title: Of Cranes and Buttons
Author: me and [personal profile] shroomko
Characters: Mizusawa and Kiyama
Summary: With the school year coming to a close and graduation around the corner, Mizusawa spends one of his last few moments in the clubroom. He didn't expect the outcome.


Mizusawa opened the door to the clubroom, a sigh escaping his lips. He was going to miss all the fun times he had with the others.

He moved forward, placing a hand on his old locker, his name still there. He lowered his hand, slowly opening the locker door. Even in the dim light that filtered through the windows, he recognized what lay on the floor of his locker right away. Somehow, someway, he'd forgotten that he'd made copies of it.

Numbly, he bent down, a hand reaching out to pick up one of the pictures. It had been so long since he'd looked at it. No longer did he associate the expression on the person's face, having seen so many different sides of it. He felt his face flush, what was he going to do with all these pictures of Kiyama?

The first thing that popped into his head was the most obvious response... destroy it. But for some reason, he didn't want to do that. It seemed wrong. Just wrong. Besides, a lot of things had changed since that fiasco at the training camp...

The next thing that came to mind deemed a little silly. He had already let one float away. To do the same with the rest... An image of a paper crane appeared in his mind. And he blinked. Turn all his pictures of Kiyama into origami? His mind then floated to that story about the sick girl during the war... "Fold so many paper cranes, make a wish, and it'll come true!" While Mizusawa certainly didn't have that many copies of the picture, it seemed like a novel idea. But what would he wish for?

He dipped his head, eyes locking onto his gakuran. Or more specifically, his gakuran's buttons.

Heat flooded to his cheeks. No. That was silly. Becoming Kiyama's friend was enough for him. To get his second button was just... too much. He shook his head, smacking a hand to his cheek. The sting momentarily distracted him.

In fact, Mizusawa was so distracted by the self-inflicted pain that he didn't notice the door of to the locker room creak open...

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Kiyama through the reflection on his mirror. Of course. The one person he least expected to show up. But it made sense, the Yankee was still very much welcome in the clubhouse, about as much as any of the other delinquents on the team. Mizusawa quickly dropped the picture in his locker, closing it shut.

Mizusawa kept his eyes focused on a spot of his locker below his name card, as he heard shuffling somewhere behind him and that familiar husky voice.

"Oh, Mizusawa. Still here?"

Mizusawa took a deep breath and turned to his teammate with what he hoped was a darn convincing smile, as he searched for an answer to what should have been a very simple question.

"Mm. I was just... cleaning out my locker." He gave a shrug. "There wasn't much left in it." Mizusawa gave a small chuckle, "So..." He let himself lean against his locker. "What are you doing here?"

"Ah. I have to do the same." Kiyama opened his own locker; even from where he stood, Mizusawa could see a few tees and papers hanging out of it. The other boy hadn't even begun his own cleaning.

Kiyama... would be there for a while.

Mizusawa found himself at a disadvantage. He couldn't very well open his locker and reveal all the leftover copies he had forgotten he'd made. If Kiyama were to look over... He swallowed hard, backing off of his locker. It was then that he really gave the other boy a onceover. It was rare that he ever did. But he could see that the Yankee's attire was... slightly disheveled? Like he was in a fight, only he wasn't bruised or bleeding...

Mizusawa's eyes danced between his locker and the boy beside him while debating his next course of action... but his concern for Kiyama easily beat out any personal apprehensions he had.

So he took a deep breath before turning to his teammate again, asking, "did... something happen? Are you alright?"

Kiyama paused, hand frozen on a shirt. He turned his head to the side, eyes going in the opposite direction, as if the taller boy was in deep thought. He scrunched up his mouth, his dimples showing as he removed his hand from his shirt. Kiyama moved, now facing Mizusawa, but still making no room to explain his mussed wardrobe. Instead, he motioned to the front of his jacket.

Mizusawa narrowed his eyes and wrinkled his nose as he looked over Kiyama again, and over his clothing. Something was missing... something important. No, wait... He placed a hand against his locker, not quite sure if it was because he suddenly needed to steady himself, or was thinking to its contents again...

Kiyama's fingers found themselves entangled in the green bracelet, his voice deep and low, even in the silence. "I thought Tsukimori was kidding..."

The bracelet returned to its place on Kiyama's right wrist, his hands stashed in his pockets.

"Um..." Mizusawa's eyes wandered back to his locker front. If Kiyama had taken off that all-important bracelet, then something had certainly happened with him just now. "Did Ryosuke say something?' he mused out loud, not really sure if he wanted to know the response to that question... and how it connected to whatever might had just occurred.

Kiyama turned back to his own locker, his voice still a low rumble. "He said girls went crazy for the... second button? I didn't think it was the truth." There was a pause, a whistle from outside breaking the atmosphere.

Mizusawa looked towards the door, happy to have a reason not to look at Kiyama again, and not address what he'd just said. As awkward as another person entering the locker room might be, he invited anything -- anyone-- to get his mind off the foolish notions he'd been considering before Kiyama had come in. Foolish notions that wouldn't be realized... if that was ever possible in the first place.

Unfortunately for Mizusawa, the whistle stopped, the door to the clubroom remaining stubbornly shut, leaving the two boys in an odd sort of silence.

Kiyama resumed pulling things from his locker, placing them on the bench behind him.

Mizusawa stared at the door for a while, before reluctantly turning back around, his eyes resting on the belongings accumulating on that seat. What had they been talking about? Oh yeah. He forced a chuckle.

"Oh you didn't know about that? I thought everyone did." He tapped a finger his locker, suddenly wishing that he had something in his locker to deal with beside those stupid pictures.

Kiyama shrugged, pulling out a stack of papers from the top of his own locker. "Wataru is still waiting for Satonaka to ask for his." He placed the stack of papers next to his clothes, his eyes focusing on the other boy, "You still have all yours."

Mizusawa's eyes retreated to the front of his locker again, not exactly sure how to take Kiyama's response. Should he feel offended? No, Kiyama wouldn't take a shot at him, but... He chuckled again, though much more quietly.

"Of course I'm not so popular... and well, we all know Wataru... his head is always up in the clouds."

Kiyama picked up his bag, stuffing his clothes and paper into it. "You just missed the giant crowd. I'm sure someone wants one of your buttons."

There was another pause then, Kiyama's bag slung over his shoulder. He looked almost... uncomfortable?

"Ah... thanks," Mizusawa answered, not quite sure what to do with that response either. His mind seemed to be flying a mile a minute, and he wondered if Kiyama's mind was going as fast as his was. Maybe the other boy just wanted to leave? Mizusawa subconsciously tapped a finger against his locker again.

Kiyama shifted his weight from one foot to the other, his free hand disappearing into his pocket. He pulled it out two seconds later, giving Mizusawa barely any time to react before giving a firm, "Hey," tossing him something small.

Instinctively, Mizusawa turned to catch whatever it was between his hands, but before he could look at it he noticed that something else was moving -- Kiyama, and toward the exit. He watched the taller boy shuffle up the staircase, only stopping for the briefest of moments with a "I'll see you... around?" before he walked out of the door.

Mizusawa was stunned, the object in his hand momentarily forgotten as the door to the clubroom shut, leaving the shorter boy all alone. Hesitantly, Mizusawa looked down, opening up his hands to find... a gold button, like the ones on his own gakuran. His head snapped up, eyes wide.

It... it couldn't be...? Did Kiyama seriously just... give him his second button...?

Mizusawa felt his cheeks burn for the third time that afternoon. That wouldn't make sense, because you gave the your second button to someone you liked. No just liked, but liked. And there was absolutely no possible way that Kiyama... would... could...

His vision started to shake, the button in his hand dancing around in his palms. It really didn't make any sense. He was turned down. Everyone was there when it happened. Mizusawa closed his hand holding the button, pocketing it in his pant pocket, his heart beating fast, too fast, just like back then, when Kiyama first joined the team. He was sure his feelings were gone by now. But this, he didn't know how to deal with it.

He gulped, opening up his locker, picking up all his extra copies of Kiyama's photo, stuffing them way down to the bottom of the bag. He needed to get out of the clubhouse. His mind too fuzzy to think, he slammed his locker shut, hurriedly leaving the clubroom, racing until he reached home.

It wasn't until much later that night that he gathered the courage to take the button out of his uniform pocket and the photographs out of his bag, place them on his desk, and think. And he thought over the past months, how he'd struggled to stifle his feelings, how he was finally okay with who he was now, even if that guy he liked so much didn't like him back.

Finally something came to Mizusawa. He grabbed the photo from the top of the stack and started folding. His fingers flew; he knew the crane pattern well, though it was a bit weird not to use a square piece of paper. As he manipulated the photo, he crinkled his brow, this wish he'd settled on in the back of his mind.

He looked to the button on the desk and placed the first, slightly awkward looking crane beside it.

Mizusawa just wished for Kiyama's gift... to make sense.

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March 2011

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