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Happy Santa_Smex, Prillalar!

To: prillalar
From: venivincere

Title: The Spice of Life
Recipient's name: prillalar
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Inui/Kaidoh
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created by Konomi Takeshi. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: Variety is the spice of life. Or is it?
Author Notes: prillalar, what a daunting task, writing InuKai for someone who understands them so well. I hope I came up with something you found believable and enjoyed. Happy Smexing!

When Inui sits down to plan training menus, he doesn't notice that he regularly makes three for Kaidoh for every one he does for everyone else until Fuji points it out.

"Is he progressing that quickly?" asks Fuji.

Inui doesn't even need to look at him to know he's wearing a predatory smile. "Sloppy," he says to himself after he escapes, but he's not quite ready to analyze why. There's an 80% chance he already knows the reason. If it's what he thinks it is, there's plenty of time to figure out what to do about it. The season's just begun.

From: Inui-senpai
Your new training menu is ready. I've increased your morning run by two kilometers.

From: Kaidoh Kaoru
Thank you, senpai. I'll text you my data afterward.

From: Inui-senpai
Please call me, instead.

Inui doesn't get an answer to his last text until Kaidoh calls him after his run. He sounds slightly more winded than usual, but Inui thinks he's handling it well. Kaidoh's voice is still rough from running; it sends shivers through Inui's skin that skitter all over his body and end up in his underwear.

"How do you feel? Are you sure the extra distance isn't too much strain?" asks Inui, just before he hangs up.

"I'm good, senpai. It's OK."

When he gets to morning practice, Inui hands Kaidoh the new training menu. All the new items are highlighted and Inui's carefully bordered the page in green magic marker.

"Thank you, senpai," says Kaidoh.

Inui watches Kaidoh study it carefully before stuffing it in his tennis bag.


"I have a new nutritional juice," says Inui, a week later. "He pushes up his glasses and shifts his weight to his other foot. "I'd like you to come over and try it, Kaidoh."

"Uh..." Kaidoh looks down, out over the courts, back toward the changing rooms, anywhere but at Inui's face.

There's a 95% chance Kaidoh is trying to find a way to say no. Inui makes a mental note that the offer of juice is not an effective inducement to accept an invitation. But what else can he offer? He panics. And then double panics because if Kaidoh does look up at Inui's face, he's going to see a big bead of nervous sweat trickling down the middle of Inui's forehead. "We can have dinner and discuss your progress on the new training menu. I've correlated all the data." The bead of sweat disappears under the bridge of Inui's glasses, which slip a little further down his nose.

Kaidoh acquiesces, sort of. "I have to check with my mom, first, senpai."

Inui smiles. Kaidoh-san always says yes.

After practice, Inui supervises Kaidoh's afternoon training regimen himself, matching him lunge for lunge, sprint for sprint, taking short breaks to record Kaidoh's data. They walk to Inui's apartment afterward, as the sun hovers in a fiery red haze on the horizon.

Kaidoh takes direction well, so it doesn't surprise Inui that he makes a good sous-chef. They make broccoli shumai, some pork gyoza from a package in Inui's freezer, and Inui broils fish. Kaidoh adds rice and water to the cooker when Inui tells him to. By the time everything is ready to eat, Inui can hear Kaidoh's stomach rumbling.

"Itadakimasu," says Kaidoh, bowing his head.

Inui watches him take his first bite. Kaidoh closes his eyes and his breath whuffs out.

"This is delicious, senpai."

Inui feels a little melty inside. His limbs go loose and when he reaches for more gyoza, he knocks over his cup of Super Nutritional Rainbow Remix.

"Senpai!" says Kaidoh, making a napkin barrier and catching some of it before it runs onto the tatami mat. Inui mops up the rest with the towels he's used to bring the hot dishes to the table. None escapes to the floor.

"It's OK, Kaidoh," says Inui, looking a little mournful at his empty glass. He's disappointed, but he drinks his nutritional juice with every supper. He pours himself a cup of barley tea, instead. "A little variety is nice, once in awhile."

Inui has no idea why saying that would make Kaidoh blush, but it does. Bright red.

"You've extended your range of peak muscle efficiency by 1.5% over the last two weeks," said Inui later on, after the dishes are done. They're sitting on his bed with their backs to the wall, and Inui's leafing through a notebook marked on the front in green with "Kaidoh #4". He shows Kaidoh a table with a graph above it. Kaidoh leans over Inui to get a little closer to the paper, and traces the line on the graph with his finger. "That's all since you lengthened your morning run." Kaidoh's so close that the skin on Inui's arm buzzes and the hair stands up. Kaidoh smells like warm skin and his floral shampoo as he leans over Inui's arm, and Inui can't remember what he was going to say next. Instead, he breathes deep through his nose and out his mouth, jaw loose, almost as though he's trying to taste the smell of Kaidoh. He edges the notebook back over his lap so Kaidoh can't see the evidence of his fascination.

Kaidoh drops his arm and leans briefly against Inui as he gets himself back to where he was sitting before he leaned forward. He's blushing again, but not as red as before. After a moment, Inui's head clears enough to continue. "Next, we have to work more on your wrist and shoulder strength. Hitting the Snake is stressing the joints, but stopping the shot is not an option. The strain will be less if we build your muscles up."

"What should I do to strengthen them?" asks Kaidoh.

"I'm not sure yet. You're already doing a third again as much swing training as the others."

Kaidoh looks away from Inui and bites his lip.

"Or maybe even more," says Inui.

Later on that evening, lying awake in bed with his hands down the front of his pyjamas, Inui replays the deep, red blush of Kaidoh's cheeks and the soft brushes of Kaidoh's arm on his own. He hears in his head the deep, gruff voice saying "This is delicious, senpai" and "thank you, senpai." He imagines that same voice saying "I like you, too, senpai." He imagines the buzz of Kaidoh's electric touch on his face; his own lips throb hot, anticipating an electric kiss. He imagines Kaidoh's touch on the flat of his stomach, and clenches his teeth, swallows around a groan, and spills himself into his hand.


From: Inui-senpai
Can you meet me before morning practice tomorrow? I have a new training menu for you.

From: Kaidoh Kaoru
Sure, senpai. 6:45 in the changing room?

From: Inui-senpai
Meet me on the embankment under the overpass. I want to show you the new route for your afternoon run.

Inui's shoes slide in the dewy grass on his way down to the embankment path. Kaidoh's already there in his practice uniform, backpack slung over his back. He's sipping from a bottle of Volvic. Inui bounces the last few steps down the hill and pulls the new menu out of his pack.

"I've decreased your afternoon run by half a kilometer. Please follow this new route." He flips the page over and shows Kaidoh the map. "The run still ends right here, where you do your swing practice. But you'll have a little more time for it."

"The menu says 'bring a towel,' senpai? Are we swimming?"

"No. I have an idea for strengthening your wrists and shoulders."

Inui has class duty and makes it to practice late. He stays after practice to get in what he missed. "I'll meet you at the embankment when you're done with your run," he says, and does just that.

"Come into the river with me," says Inui, and he has to restrain himself from grabbing Kaidoh's hand and tugging him along. "Bring your towel."

Kaidoh follows, towel around his shoulders. When they get out to the middle of the shallow river, Inui instructs Kaidoh to take the towel, dip it in the water, and swing. "Keep your wrist straight, like with a tennis racquet."

Kaidoh looks surprised when he tries it. "I can feel it in my shoulders." He keeps going, with something like a smile on his lips.

Inui looks at Kaidoh in the late afternoon sun, drops of water clinging like gems to his skin, and sighs. He never tires of looking at Kaidoh, no matter what Kaidoh is doing. He's had the opportunity to observe Kaidoh in a variety of situations at every time of the day, and it's stirred something in him, some sort of satisfaction. But it also stirs a hunger.

"Kaidoh, come with me to dinner? Let's get ramen," he says. "My treat."

"Thank you, senpai." Kaidoh looks at Inui and blushes. And he brings the towel around and holds it in front of himself. Now it's Inui's turn to blush and be thankful he's got Kaidoh #4 in his hands in front of him.


Dinner with Kaidoh becomes a habit. They rarely eat anywhere other than Inui's house or the ramen stand they first had dinner at. But even if they did, it wouldn't matter, so much. Variety isn't the only spice of life.

"Be sure to eat a banana a day, especially when the weather gets hotter," says Inui to Kaidoh over dinner, one evening. "You risk losing potassium when you sweat so much.

"Thank you, senpai."

When they get to Inui's house a little later, Kaidoh pulls Inui's head down and thanks him again, this time with a kiss. His hands slide down the outside of Inui's arms, and it's like new, every time, the sparks that ignite under Inui's skin, sparks that make him stumble and press against Kaidoh, tilt his face down, and carefully kiss Kaidoh's cheeks, the bridge of his nose, his open, panting mouth.

Warmth buzzes all over Inui's skin, and he's content. Variety can take a hike; Kaidoh is the spice of life.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
I was so excited to see this! And it was really lovely. Both the boys are just sweet enough and just unsure enough -- it makes me heart-clutchy and glee-faced. ♥

it sends shivers through Inui's skin that skitter all over his body and end up in his underwear

So much love for this line! And Inui's green marker. And Kaidoh's napkin barrier that saves the day. The image of them cooking together will be on my mind the rest of the day. :)

Thank you so much, Dear Anonymous Author! I love my gift. ♥
Dec. 14th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
askdjajkds oh boys. They were so tentative and polite and so cute. Very nice fic. ♥

Edited at 2008-12-14 10:15 pm (UTC)
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
this is such a sweet fic!
i love how you portrayed the boys.
Dec. 15th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
This was really sweet. :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
This was really adorable and sweet! I love the very last part with their lovely little romantic kisses. ♥
Dec. 15th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
This is so sweet! Very them and I love the slow buildup. :)
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
I love how it intersects with canon, how they cook together, and how everything evolves so naturally between them. But dammit, I wanted to keep reading more and more of that evolution! Really, really nice. : )
Dec. 17th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
aw. how very sweet.


Lovely gift, anon.
Dec. 17th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
Awww, this was really sweet. ♥
Dec. 19th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Awww. I think I just died and melted into a puddle of lovestruck mush. *recondenses herself*

Thank you so much for writing this, anon-san. InuKai is my eternal OTP and you wrote them so beautifully.
Dec. 20th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was sweet. All the insecurities and the blushing and Kaidoh taking direction well. ♥
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 25th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
This is so sweet. I love the texting between them, the both of them eating together, Inui and his Kaidoh #4 (XDDD), and the ending was all kinds of perfect. ^______^
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )