Series: Prince of Tennis
Theme: 4 - Smell
Length: 303 words
The summer in the middle of Kirihara's last year of elementary school, the year before he started at Rikkai, just as his sister had two years before him, his family went on vacation to Okinawa.
It was further away than they usually went; Kirihara's father was kind of like him, he focused on something until he conquered it, and didn't like to be too far away from what he was trying to defeat, beat down. His mother said in a light amused voice that the financial markets had not yet bent to Kirihara Haruki, and he wouldn't go far from Tokyo until they did.
That was the year he flew them as far away as you could get and still be in Japan. And that was the year Kirihara decided the scent of the sea – salt and something else, something as wild as the sound of the waves crashing against the shore – was his favorite scent. Sometimes he took the bus to Chiba by himself just to smell it again, even though it wasn't really the same.
But some time during his first tennis season, Kirihara Akaya caught himself changing his mind, realizing that there were better scents. Yanagi Renji smelled like simple, strong, clean soap, with a hint that reminded Akaya a little of his mother's favorite green tea. It was calming, didn't invigorate him the way the sea did. He never wanted to go dashing away with a wild yell on his lips with this smell.
It made him want to stand very still, actually, and nothing ever made him want to do that.
“Kirihara,” Yanagi murmured, halting a string of explanatory words about Kirihara's stance and his grip. “Are you even listening to me?”
“Uh,” said Kirihara Akaya, tipping his head back and squinting at Yanagi. “Uh, no. Not really.”