@

"No, see," a gesture toward the diagram on the text book's page, "bi means two, so 'bi-hydrogen oxide' is, in essence, H2O. Water."

"You make it sound so simple."

When Yanagi Renji began visiting Tachibana in the hospital, where the Fudomine captain was recovering from a broken leg caused by the Rikkai player's own teammate, they formed a friendship based on their similar interests and thought patterns. And Yanagi, being something of a genius, took it upon himself to help his new friend keep up in his studies. They were in the same grade, so their curriculum wasn't too different, despite being in schools very far apart from one another, and Tachibana was quite intelligent himself, so it wasn't difficult.

Actually, they both rather enjoyed the time they sat side-by-side with a textbook between them.

Yanagi chuckled. "Well, words are easy if you break them down. But Sadaharu is better at the scientific stuff."

"Sadaharu... Seigaku's Inui?"

"Mm," he nodded.

"You two are friends?"

"Yeah.. Well, we were." He paused a moment. Then, "we are."

"Close?"

"When we were kids, but then I moved away and we lost touch. Our distance really...separated us."

Tachibana nodded. "I see." He knew what it was like to leave a friend behind, to have to move on whether you liked it or not.

"Just friends," Yanagi then added quickly, though he wasn't quite sure why.

Well...yes he was.

He continued in a low voice. "I mean...we experimented a bit, as kids...kissing and stuff. But we were just children, eager to learn."

"Yanagi-san...are you..?"

"A little bit."

Tachibana couldn't help but laugh at that. "A little bit?"

And Yanagi gave a very feint blush. "Well...mostly. But it's different in my mind." They spent a moment quietly, both their thoughts on things that were definitely not school-related. Then came the quiet question "is that ok with you?"

"Yeah," Tachibana replied, just as softly, and then smiled. "It is."

The other teen gave a brilliant smile of his own. To be accepted, especially by this person who'd come to mean so much to him, satisfied him in a way that usually only a good tennis match could. Like he'd done something right, and that he could trust where he put his heart.

Something passed between them, something deep and profound. Something warm. They absorbed it, sitting silently for a minute, until Yanagi gestured back to the textbook.

@

"Lets continue, shall we?"