I was in a really low mood this weekend so I didn’t do my weekend entry, so I will do it now, I mentioned about this really beautiful doujinshi that I read at September 24th and it sorted of inspired me to write another same sex pairing story. (And I was looking at tons of fan art too during that period) I know, I’m crazy. I have to admit, before prince of tennis I hardly read same sex pairing fan fictions, the only exceptions are Yoru and Ran from Sukisyo, Seishiro and Subaru from Tokyo Babylon and X. And they were just different somehow...

Summary: Watanabe remembers how he confessed to Shiraishi many years ago and mourns for the fact that he would never know the answer Shiraishi would have given him. Warning: character death and a little spoiler about the Shitenhouji arc. Watanabe/Shiraishi pairing.
Author’s Note: This one is a bit different from my previous one shot with this pairing: “conflicting wishes” this one is less one sided but for some reason I decided to be mean to Watanabe again…
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Written: September 23-24, 2007

Watanabe thought that it was a pity Japanese mourning clothes were no longer white as white seemed more suitable for the boy whose name included that character, for the boy who was like his name in many ways.
He would always wear this dark kimono on this day every year, while the bucket hat that seemed permanently attached to him would be discarded, and he even shaved properly for this occasion.
“Some one very important and precious to me died on this day.” Was his explanation.
This ended up being repeated by every third and second years to their first year kohai, who were always shocked at this sudden change of attire.
He couldn’t really remember when he began to stop yelling, or even when his words became more like whispers. His current students, who often missed his softly spoken words, would probably find it very difficult to believe that he used to be able to issue all his orders from the clubroom if he wanted to.
The relationship he had with his students also became much more formal. He no longer teased and laughed with them as much as he used to do in the first three…no, in the first four years of his teaching career.
It was not because he reached his thirties, it was all due to the death of the boy who still had so much to live for when he was claimed by death.
The pencil in his hand snapped due to the mere thought of that day.
Turning to look out from his window, he could see boys outside who dreamt these same dreams that they had once dreamt too. How many could achieve them? And would any be taken from it when they begun to walk that path as he had been?
His desk used to be beside the window sideways, so he didn’t need to deliberately move in order to see what was happening outside, but his desk has rotated so the window was now behind him. This was not that practical but it prevented those who sat down to talk to him from being in that position.

It was the last day of the tennis club for that year and Shiraishi Kuranosuke, the current buchou, was sitting in the office, completely oblivious to what his coach planned to tell him now that he would soon stop being his coach.
Due to being extremely nervous, Watanabe had been chain smoking the whole day, ignoring the protests from every single person. As he prepared to grab one more cigarette, Shiraishi reached across the table and took the packet away- as he did so his fingers brushed across Watanabe’s hand.
Watanabe knew that he blushed, but the blush should only be visible to those who were trying to find it.
“Sensei, you should really smoke less.” Shiraishi said simply as he looked at the words of warning printed on the packet.
“For you, I will stop.” He said softly.
“Quite ironic that you will do this when you are no longer going to be my coach.” Shiraishi pointed out, still reading the small prints.
“It is the very opposite. It is because I will no longer be your coach.” his tone was more serious then it had ever been, making Shiraishi turn to look at him with eyes that were filled with puzzlement, and perhaps some shock, but not comprehension.
“I don’t understand Sensei at all.” Shiraishi finally said very softly, and Watanabe could only marvel at how Shiraishi managed to remain so innocent in such matters despite the presence of Hitouji and Koharu.
“Why do people agree to do things for another person?” Watanabe began. “Isn’t it because we care for them? But sometimes you cannot let the other person know how much you care for him, so you would not do what you are prepared to do for him.
“It is often so with a teacher and his student…a teacher who loves his student beyond his requirement.”
The young boy’s eyes widened when he finally figured out everything, that the many times he found his coach’s gaze rested on him was not just because he was the buchou. But much to Watanabe’s surprise and relief, he merely raised his eye brows slightly, instead of running out of the room.
“I don’t condemn this as Hitouji and Koharu are very good friends of mine.” He stated rather thoughtfully, the only emotion in his voice being surprise. “But I never thought that something like this would happen to me. I always believe that I would eventually get married with a woman when I grew up, like all my other relatives.”
“Is this a no then?” Watanabe asked, forcing his voice to remain steady. It was not as if he hasn’t contemplated this possibility before, if he was honest then he would admit that he was probably more certain of a rejection then an acceptance.
“I am not saying that.” Shiraishi immediately corrected him, although his frown was increasing. “I do like Sensei in a special way but it could merely be because Sensei’s position is not like any other person. Nor have I actually liked anyone in such a way before so I don’t really understand…”
Leaning forward, Watanabe placed his hand under the boy’s chin in order to draw him a bit closer.
“Shiraishi…will you allow me to kiss you just once?” he pleaded. “This might be the last time I ever see you so please let me have a kiss for all these three years.”
Much to his great surprises Shiraishi nodded without much hesitation.
“It might help me to find an answer.” He said simply as he closed his eyes.
All of a sudden the boy looked so vulnerable and fragile, and he probably was, by doing this he was really giving permission for his coach to do whatever he want.
Watanabe allowed his hand to stroke the boy’s cheeks before he gently brushed some of Shiraishi’s hair off his face. Each lock felt so smooth as they slipped through his fingers so easily.
Then he placed his lips against Shiraishi’s rather dry lips that indicate he was actually nervous despite his exterior calmness, he smiled slightly, this was not really unlike how Shiraishi tended to behave.
The kiss started off as very sweet although it could not satisfy the three years he had secretly loved the boy. It might have lasted longer and changed to being passionate if Shiraishi did not pull away.
“It was…very pleasant.” He whispered in surprise, tapping his fingers against his now rather moist lips. “But I…I am still a bit unsure even though I now realise that I must like you a lot to feel like that.”
What else could Watanabe say apart from: “I understand, and you know that I am not forcing you.”
“Will Sensei…will you give me time to think about all this?” Shiraishi actually stated this, rather then asked.
“How long a time do you need?”
“A year at the very least, but I should be able to give you an answer when I return to Japan.”
“You ask a hard thing.” Watanabe muttered, refusing to let go of Shiraishi’s hand.
“Because I don’t want to make any decisions I would regret.” Was the steady reply. “This is the first time someone told me that they love me and until this point I have never thought about being with any one as their…boyfriend.
“Most of all, it is from the last person I ever expect this to be said. You know that our society does not really view this in a favourable light so I need to make sure I understand what I really feel for you before I decide whether I can accept this.”
Once more, Watanabe could only nod. After all, didn’t he just tell the boy that when you loved someone, you would do things that make them happy, even if you didn’t like it yourself?
“I will be waiting for your answer. As cliché as this sound I will count down to that day.” He promised when he finally allowed Shiraishi’s hand to slide out of his grasp.

An answer that probably never came, Watanabe thought as he carefully unlocked the only tidy drawer in his desk. Unlike the rest of his crammed office, this space only contained a single brown paper bag.
He took out the photos and clippings he had preserved in an almost reverent fashion. Most of the photos were official ones taken by journalists; although there were some that he had took himself.
One of his favourite one was an interview that happened when Shiraishi was only in his first year. Unlike the two princes of tennis two years later, Shiraishi had been quite aware and therefore nervous of the honour he received. So he was actually looking beyond the interviewer to his coach and buchou, who both smiled at him reassuringly.
Then there was the one where the second year buchou accepted the awards for third place in the nationals with what seemed a sincere smile, as only those who knew him really well could realise he was a bit disappointed, something Watanabe never really understood.
Another image that he really liked was the photo that was taken just before Shiraishi broke his opponent’s final counter in the nationals at his third year, because that reminded Watanabe of the determination Shiraishi possessed, he would keep on trying no matter what.
He carefully lined up the photos and documents once again before he picked up the still unopened letter. Despite all his efforts the writings on the envelope were still a bit faded and he could only hope that it would not disappear after a few more years.
Due to some accident in the delivery, this letter cruelly arrived after the news that changed him so much. If he had received it on time then he would have already opened it.
He didn’t dare to open it now as he was too frightened at the context, although it was possible that it was just an innocent letter about his first year in a foreign country written from a student to the man who used to be his coach.
But it might contain the answer he desired…and that was why he could not open it.
If Shiraishi was willing to be with him then he could never accept this fate where the one he loved, the one who would try to return his love, had been taken from him just before they would attempt to build a life together.
On the other hand, if Shiraishi had discovered that he could not accept Watanabe’s proposal then he would feel completely desolated as this had become the thing he desired the most, and it would never be able to be altered.
Because of this, he would only open this letter when he was on his death bad, only then would he be able to try and discover whether the answer has been given, because he believed he would be able to see Shiraishi soon, so the answer would not matter at all.

Author’s Note: I had such a problem with the mourning clothing at the very beginning. Originally I was making him wearing a mofuku, which is a Japanese mourning kimono- it’s all black. But apparently if you wear an all black kimono then people automatically assumes that you are going to a funeral. And I tried to do research and it is gets really complicated so I decided…I’ll just make him wear a formal dark kimono.

In regard to Shiraishi mentioning how he would return to Japan, I had the idea that he was accepting a scholarship that would let him study oversea. I think this one differs from ‘Conflicting Wishes’ as this one is not really one sided, Shiraishi actually realizes that he sort of like Watanabe but he wasn’t really sure whether that is a sort of like that might turn to love, but at least it is not one-sided. But the main thing is what he told Watanabe: he never thought about any of this so that is why he doesn’t understand this at all.

Once again I used the idea of him being a regular ever since his first year because I really think he is, I don’t really think he just jump to being the buchou as soon as he became a regular so I really believe that he is a regular in his first year. Watanabe is quite different but the idea is that the tragedy affected him in such a drastic way.

Initially I thought I would actually portray Shiraishi as rather vulnerable in this one but somehow I think that didn’t happen, I think he is actually quite confident about all this. Granted that he doesn’t know what he feels so he would take some time to think.

This story was actually going to be a love triangle, sort of. It actually started with Zaizen coming to see Watanabe from Zaizen’s view, but then I rewrite it as I want it to be Watanabe’s view, then I decided Zaizen coming out will not matter that much so…this is the result.
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