It was the perfect kind of day. The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot, and it was accompanied by an occasional gentle breeze. It was the kind of day that made one want to sit under a tall tree with a book in your hand and a special person's head in your lap.

That was how Yanagi Renji spent the afternoon. In one hand he held a semi-used copy of Voltaire's Candide, while the other rested within the short locks of his boyfriend's hair, moving only to turn a page every few minutes. The relationship he had with Tachibana Kippei was quiet like this; they could share these moments of simplicity, needing nothing more than to be near each other. They were perfectly content like this, Yanagi reading while Tachibana dozed gently beside him.

He didn't know when the other woke up, but a glance down revealed black eyes gazing up at him. He cocked his head slightly and gave a soft smile, but it faded when he began to sense something was wrong. "Are you alright?"

Tachibana turned his head to the side, looking off in the distance. "I'm never going to play tennis competitively again, am I?"

"What are you talking about?" Yanagi's eyebrows furrowed in worry and disbelief at the other's unexpected conviction.

"My leg...even when it's fully healed, it will never be the same. Never as strong as it was."

Now Yanagi took a moment to note what page he was on and close his book, setting it on the ground next to them. "Well, it's true your leg might not ever be as it was," he began, "but there's more to tennis than that." He took the other's hands in his and brought them up to his lips, kissing the knuckles sofly as he spoke. "You will always be strong and fast and intelligent. With the way you read the match, your feel for the game.." He smiled again, certain of his own words. "You will play again...and you will be invincible."

They fell silent as Tachibana let that sink in. His lover was nothing short of brilliant, and if he said as much was so, than it probably was. But either way, it was nice to have someone who was so confident in him. Someone who could give him a boost in those rare low times.

And then he chuckled. "Invincible, huh?"

"Certainly. You'll be unrivaled."

"Did your data tell you that?"


"I didn't need it to."