This is a present for [info]soundczech, who said that Tezuka was allowed to be forward on Valentine's Day. In my head this is Tezuka being forward. sadfjk;sldjfd. I suck. This fic sort of sucks too, but considering the prodigious amounts of sleep I have not had in the last two days, that is to be expected.

This is also for the [info]pillarchallenge Valentine's challenge, in which dialogue is forbidden.

On Valentine's Day, Ryoma gets cards from girls whose names he doesn't know. Ryoma slides the cards into his already overstuffed locker and leaves them there, chocolate candy hearts and all. He shoves the pile to the back behind his textbooks; for all he knows there is still dried chocolate leftover from last year there. Ryoma's never liked chocolate. Or hearts. Or girls who deliver both in singsong voices.

In their advanced English class he looks over and sees Tezuka's binder bulging with pink and red construction cutouts, as well as a good deal of glitter. He leans across and slips one out of a folder, a bright purple one with squiggles drawn all over it. Tezuka glances over at him, on the verge of disapproval; but Ryoma knows neither of them are remotely engaged in the English lesson, which is about present tenses and other things Ryoma has been bored with since he was twelve, so he grins and opens the card.

Tezuka-sama, it reads. Best wishes this year and in all your future endeavors. It's signed in a loopy hand and plastic red hearts are spilling out of the folds. He rolls his eyes, takes his pen, and scratches out the second sentence. He writes "This class is boring. So is this card," above it and hands it back to Tezuka. Tezuka looks at it for a moment before pointedly inserting it back in his binder and closing it. For the rest of the class he doesn't frown.

Before practice Momo and Eiji sit on benches comparing chocolate and cards. A short distance away Kaidoh watches them, scowling. Inui is listening closely as they count up how many cards they received and marking things down in one of his notebooks. Momo got thirteen Valentines to Eiji's nineteen. Eiji is exhilarated by this but starts blushing and stammering and changes the subject when Momo demands to know why he didn't ask any of the girls out. Ryoma suspects Tezuka has more cards than any of the rest of them, but he doesn't feel like telling Momo and Eiji that. His racket feels good in his hand, and he hopes Buchou comes out of the clubhouse before long. Maybe he'll ask Buchou about whether his future endeavours involve giving him a rematch any time soon. When Buchou does come outside, he stands beside Ryoma as he makes Eiji and Momo run laps. They gather up their piles of Valentines and shove them into their tennis bags, racing each other around the courts and still haggling over why Eiji doesn't have a Valentines date. Ryoma wonders if Tezuka has a Valentines date. He thinks of cards with purple squiggles, and tennis games, and Tezuka's binder full of little red hearts. He looks up, but Tezuka is looking at Momo and Eiji where they run. It could be just another day to him. Ryoma doesn't know why this makes him feel somehow gleeful, but it does.

When Tezuka looks down at him Ryoma holds his gaze. He wants to ask Buchou if he likes all the cards he get; if girls with singsong voices are as annoying to him as they are to Ryoma; if he eats all his chocolate or throws it away.

Instead he looks back, watching the sun glance off Tezuka's glasses, and thinks about the way Buchou doesn't frown.


Later Ryoma spots the thin line of purple at the edge of the outside pocket in Tezuka's tennis bag. The clubhouse is empty, and he has to know.

Little red hearts spill out all over the floor when he pulls the card out. Girls are so weird, but Ryoma is suddenly enjoying Valentines day a lot more. He takes a pen and sits down, and turns the squiggles into tennis balls until Tezuka comes and finds him.

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