glasses

DVD Commentary Boys Who Wear Glasses Part 4

Tennis, quiz bowl and kissing. I'm so nostalgic for ... three months ago, when I was writing this.


The next week was long and empty and miserable. Inui was keeping away from him at tennis practices, avoiding him in the hallways, refusing to answer his phone. Tezuka was even quieter than usual and crossed his arms a lot and hoped that nobody would notice the difference.

Even quieter than usual! Is that possible?

.

Inui had sent him two emails. One was an extensive dossier analyzing all the data he had gathered on the three other teams who were playing in the quiz bowl district finals. The other was a stiff, formal thank you for returning his notebook.

Tezuka kept trying to write a reply to that second email, but he didn't know what to say. He couldn't lie and said that he hadn't read any of it, but he couldn't figure out how to admit to doing something so dishonorable, either.

See, this is why Tezuka is the bottom.

He never got far enough to worry about what he would say about the things that he had read. The message stayed blank on his desktop.

.

Oishi knew that something was wrong, of course, especially when he offered to read questions for them to practice for the finals.

"Thank you," Tezuka said uncomfortably, "but I don't think that we're practicing again. It's all right," he added, "I think we're ready."

Oishi just looked at him unhappily. They both knew that that wasn't the kind of thing that Tezuka would say about any activity that he had committed himself to.

"All right," he said finally, "Good luck."

Oh, Oishi.

.

"Have you finished my book yet?" Fuji asked.

Tezuka started. He hadn't even noticed Fuji approaching behind him and he had no idea what he was talking about. "What book?"

"Le Petit Prince. I thought you'd be done with it by now, or I wouldn't have lent it to you."

Tezuka stared at Fuji suspiciously. He distinctly remembered Fuji giving him the book, not lending it to him. Also, he was pretty sure there was another copy in Fuji's racket bag.

"Of course, you've been busy with other things. And maybe the French is harder than English for you," Fuji went on, still smiling.

Fuji is sneaky.

"I'm almost done," Tezuka said. "I'll give it to you tomorrow." He was only halfway done. He had been too busy being miserable all week to read or do any of his homework or take care of the garden or anything.

"Thank you." Fuji turned away before Tezuka could catch the expression on his face.

Tezuka turned back towards the tennis courts and stared and didn't see anything besides Inui.

That happens to me too, Tezuka.

.

That evening Tezuka packed his racket bag, told his grandfather that no one was to worry if he was out late, and took the train all the way across town to the oldest, rattiest, most disused public tennis courts that he knew about. He served balls at the crabgrass growing in the cracks of the court surface until he felt a little bit better, although his serves were subpar and there was a tightness in his chest that wouldn't go away.

Eventually he gave up and sat down with his back against the squeaky chain-link fence and read, this time from cover-to-cover and without even consulting the dictionary, which he mostly didn't need anymore. He read until he got to the last page with its single lonely star like the street lamp that cast its dirty light unevenly over the court in the twilight and he knew that he was being stupid and that he had to talk to Inui even though he had tried and failed all week long.

I know I should have made this part more explain-y, but the problem is, every time I try to explain it, I sound dumb. So, like, I can't explain it here either. Read the Little Prince instead.

He began rehearsing the speech that he would make in his mind. It was wise and calm and logical and convincing like the essays that he wrote for class, except for the one that he hadn't turned in that week in Japanese history because he hadn't even been able to start writing about his topic (the rise of samurai). It would make everything right again.

Fanservice! This one's not so bad, but the other Mirror Writing shoutout makes no damn sense if you didn't read it. It stayed in anyway because the sexiness of Tezuka reciting the capital cities of the world cannot be denied.

Every single word of it escaped him when he heard a familiar voice calling his name.

"Tezuka."

Inui was standing half a court away from him, his hands pushed awkwardly in his pockets. "I knew you would be here," he went on. Tezuka stared at him with open-mouthed shock. "Actually, I thought it was probable that you would seek out an isolated tennis court, but I assigned this particular one only a thirteen point seven percent probability. I'm sorry it's so late now."

Oh, Inui. You are just the most adorable stalker ever. You can stalk me any time.

Tezuka rose to his feet in a single unsteady movement. "Inui," he began.

"Will you play a match with me?"

"Of course," Tezuka said at once. He had never refused Inui a match, actually; he had always managed to arrange something whenever Inui came to him, notebook in hand, prepared to test out his latest data. Now he pulled his racket back out of his bag and tried to focus on the game and the ball in the dying light.

Seriously, I don't know how else they could have played as many matches as Oishi said they had, especially considering how often we (don't) see Tezuka playing anyone.

"You're not playing seriously, Tezuka," Inui said after he took his service game easily and precisely. "I need you to play seriously."

There was something in his voice that Tezuka had never heard before, or maybe he had just never recognized it when he heard it. His stomach flipflopped and he faulted his first serve and then smashed his next one past Inui.

Oh, boys!

It got darker and the street light began to flicker and Tezuka and Inui kept playing until the final point, which neither of them was willing to give.

"I'm sorry," Inui said, letting his racket slip from his hand and clatter on the uneven ground. "I'll see you tomorrow. I will attempt to behave more normally and not cause you any further trouble."

"Wait," Tezuka called hoarsely, flinging down his own racket and crossing the court. He tried to remember all the things he had been about to say before. He thought there had been something about sight.

Inui turned back.

"We should take off our glasses first," Tezuka said, "before we ... well. It would work better."

See, one of the big quotations from The Little Prince is "Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." ("Here is my secret. It is very simple: one can only see properly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.") But Tezuka skips straight to awkwardly propositioning Inui and taking off his glasses. It ... makes sense to me, okay?

Inui stared at him. Tezuka pulled off his own glasses first, which he jammed carelessly in a pocket with a couple of tennis balls, and then, hesitantly, half-blindly, reached for Inui's.

When Tezuka starts being careless with his glasses, you know that lust has totally taken over.

"I should have accounted for that in my calculations," Inui said. "I thought that I had thought of everything."

Tezuka peered up into Inui's face, which was surprisingly softened without the angular black frames, and then Inui was kissing him again and this time Tezuka did his best to kiss back.

Inui's superior lung capacity was useful for more than just tennis, he thought.

Heeeeeee. Oh, Tezuka.

.

It was very late when Tezuka finally made it back to his house, but sure enough, his family hadn't worried about him. They were all in bed.

See, once everyone thinks you're the good, responsible one, you can get away with anything. At least, that's my strategy.

His phone rang before he even made it through the door. "Yes, I'm home," he said. "We should get some sleep before tomorrow." He hung up before he said anything else.

If he hadn't hung up right away, they totally would have had phonesex until it was, like, time for school.

.

Inui was waiting for Tezuka outside his classroom at the end of the day holding a notebook labeled "Tezuka Kunimitsu, Quiz Bowl 2" and a bottle of Inui juice.

"Here, drink this," he said, "I formulated it especially for concentration and recall." As Tezuka stared dubiously at the purplish liquid, he added, "It tastes good." When Tezuka was still not reassured, Inui said, "I already tested it on the rest of the regulars this morning. They said they liked it."

God, Inui is so in love.

Tezuka took a sip. It actually wasn't that bad. It tasted a little like passionfruit. "I think it's working," he said, keeping a very straight face. "The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul. The capital of Albania is Tiranë ... "

Oh, Tezuka. ♥ x 1,000,000

.

When they got to Fudomine, where the district quiz bowl finals were being held, Tezuka was startled to discover that they would be playing their game against the first seed, Gyokurin, on stage in the auditorium. He thought maybe this had been mentioned in the handout he had dropped on the ground and then never read.

Remember when I said that our team placed second in the state. We played our losing game on stage (and we were completely defeated, too). That was ... interesting.

He was even more startled to discover that his entire tennis team was already in the auditorium, along with Fudomine's Tachibana. Oishi, Eiji and Kawamura were holding up a banner that said GO SEIGAKU QUIZ BOWL; Kaidoh and Momoshiro were fighting over an armrest; Fuji was laughing at something, and Echizen had his hat pulled low over his face and was apparently sleeping in his seat. The handful of people in the auditorium from other schools were all staring at them. The Gyokurin team, who had already taken their places at one of the tables on the stage, were pointing and laughing.

I kind of suck at writing ensemble stuff. I literally made a list of the regulars and was all
foreach(Inui,Tezuka,Oishi,Eiji,Kawamura,Kaidoh,Momo,Fuji,Ryoma)
write something;

if $Kaidoh AND $Momo aren't fighting
why not?
I used this subroutine in Desirable Properties, too.


"Welcome to the 5th annual Kantou regional quiz bowl finals," began the short fat man who was standing on the stage, microphone in hand. "I'd like to remind our audience today that you must be silent during the matches or you will be asked to leave."

The Seigaku regulars settled down as Tezuka and Inui took their seats on the stage.

"I hope you don't think that you're going to win this match just because you beat my junior players last week," the Gyuokurin captain said, just loud enough that only they could hear him. "We're going to crush you."

This time it was Inui who put his hand on Tezuka's knee under the table. They nodded at each other. Inui pushed his glasses back to the top of his nose.

So much love.

"I am the vice-principal of Fudomine Chugaku and I will be reading the questions for these final matches," the man with the microphone went on. He read the rules and then asked the players to turn on the microphones at their tables and introduce themselves.

The best moderators are former players. The worst moderators are usually administration figures. They don't know anything, but they think they do.

The Seigaku players in the audience stood up and waved their banner and cheered, silently, so that no one would be able to throw them out.

"Question number one is in mathematics," he began. "If the length and width of the hour and minute hand of a clock are four centimeters and six centimeters respectively, what is the distance, in centimeters, between the tips of the hands at two o' clock?"

Yay for online resources for math teachers. I couldn't write math questions to save my life.

Inui rang in while he was still scribbling furiously on his paper.

Excellent strategy for math-type people, which I never had to get good at because I don't do speed math. It would be hard.

"Seigaku, Inui-kun."

"Two times the quantity seven to the power of one half," he rattled off just in time, and the first ten points on the electronic scoreboard went to Seigaku.

"Nicely done," Tezuka whispered.

They played well during the rest of the half, although Gyokurin edged into the lead, 50-40.

"They are a formidable team," Inui said worriedly. "Their regular players are undefeated this year."

"We're just getting warmed up," Tezuka replied. He looked down at the broken pencil in his hand and realized that he had snapped it in half.

I tried to make these games all exciting and stuff. I hope it was at all effective, because they were hard to write!

The second half began and Gyokurin beat them to the buzzer on a string of questions but kept fumbling the bonuses, including one easy one about constellations. With the points from the bonus questions, Seigaku actually managed to pull into the lead.

"This game is ours," Inui murmured, after the captain ignored the answers his team gave him, gave his own, incorrect answers, and then called all his teammates idiots.

"Don't get careless," Tezuka said automatically, and gave the correct top three exports of Japan.

Our quiz bowl team had an evil nemesis, in true sports series style. My junior year, they were the ones who kept my senpai-tachi from going to state. My senior year we trounced them all three times we played them because they had nervous breakdowns every time we got ahead of them, with the name-calling and everything. It was very satisfying.

They won by thirty points and the crowd cheered while the Gyokurin captain slammed down his buzzer and stomped off the stage without even shaking their hands, although the other players did and apologized for their captain's poor behavior.

The other semifinal game wasn't finished yet, so they had to sit and wait on the stage while the Fudomine vice-principal told jokes with the wrong punchlines.

"There is a ninety-four percent chance that Fudasei will win their match," Inui said, covering his scratch paper in equations.

Tezuka thought back on their first disastrous match, only two weeks previous. "Do you think we can beat them?"

"Maybe," Inui said. Tezuka raised his eyebrows. "My data gives us a ten-percent chance," he admitted, showing Tezuka his calculations.

"I have a feeling we will surpass your data in this game," Tezuka said. Inui nodded.

"Yes," he said, "you have a way of doing that." He adjusted his glasses.

So much love.

The Fudasei team arrived, strutting onto the stage as if they owned it. The Fudomine vice-principal asked them what the score of their game was and their captain answered, 270-120.

Inui sucked in his breath. "That's higher than my most generous projection," he said.

"Forget about it," Tezuka ordered. "Concentrate on this match." Inui got out fresh scratch paper and handed three sheets to Tezuka.

"Now, if everyone is ready, we'll begin the final match of the quiz bowl tournament," the vice-principal said into his microphone. Tezuka leaned all the way forward in his seat. "Question number one is in literature. His best-known work was published in 1964, forty years before -- "

The tricky part of writing a good question is to reveal progressively less obscure information.

Fudasei rang in first. "Oe Kenzaburo."

"I knew that," Tezuka muttered.

"Shh," Inui said calmly. He took the second question, which was in chemistry.

"Oh, look. Apparently the tennis players learned something in the last two weeks," one of the Fudasei players stage-whispered.

Bitches are going DOWN.

"Question number three is in geography. Located on the steppe of Central Asia, this lake, called 'The Sacred Sea' in Mongolian, is the deepest -- "

satyadasa wrote this one for me. He's my geography dork, after all.

Tezuka buzzed in with the correct answer, Lake Baikal, and Fudasei's captain just smirked and made two audacious guesses in a row, both of which were correct. The score at the half was 60-40 in favor of Fudasei.

"We can do this," Inui said. "They are vulnerable in math and science, and our abilities are closely matched in everything else."

"We can do this," Tezuka agreed.

The first question of the second half was in history and Fudasei buzzed in too early and missed it. Inui and Tezuka got a bonus about atomic weights of elements. Unlike Gyokurin, however, the Fudasei players weren't easily rattled by Seigaku pulling into the lead. They stayed focused and united and took the next question and swept the bonus.

Question three was a trigonometry problem and Inui answered it so fast it made Tezuka's head spin, but then their bonus was all about the Amau Doctrine which Tezuka only had the vaguest idea about and they only ended up getting five points out of it. They went back and forth for a while, and then Tezuka missed a question about Agatha Christie and Fudasei ended up with a seventy point lead with only three questions left in the match.

Agatha Christie: strangely popular in Japan. They even made an anime last year!

"Question number eighteen is in sports. His students included Funakoshi Gichin, Kenwa Mabuni, and Motobu Choki -- "

Tezuka buzzed in and named the father of modern karate, Itosu Yasutsune. They received a bonus in fine arts and narrowed the gap in their scores to forty points. Fudasei took question number nineteen and then missed their bonus because the only baseball player they knew was Nagashima Shigeo.

A lot of quiz bowl teams are weak in sports, for obvious reasons. It's hard to find big sports dorks who aren't, you know, playing sports.

"If we take this question, we will tie the game," Inui whispered. Tezuka nodded.

"What happens if we tie?"

"Sudden death, I think."

"Question number twenty is in geography," the moderator began. Tezuka was leaning so far forward he was actually no longer in his seat. "It is the world's most northern national -- "

Tezuka buzzed in. "Reykjavik." The moderator peered at what was written on his paper.

I don't know how you say "Reykjavik" in Japanese, but I bet it's weird. It's fun to say.

"That is correct," he pronounced finally. "You will receive a bonus in mathematics." Tezuka read Inui's answers aloud and he knew even before the moderator said so that every single one of them was correct.

"Well!" the moderator said. "The score is tied! This is very unusual." He looked around him for someone to tell him what to do and the Fudomine coach hurried onto the stage, flustered, flipping through sheaves of paper.

Tezuka studied the faces of the opposing team. "If we lose," he began.

"We won't," Inui said confidently.

"It all rests on one question, and there is a very strong chance that they will answer it correctly," Tezuka argued.

"Maybe. But we'll answer it first." Inui sounded more confident that he did about statements that he could back up with actual data, and Tezuka couldn't help but believe him.

When Inui throws out his data, it's the sexiest fucking thing ever.

"Everyone please be quiet," the vice-principal told the restless audience. "I have five questions here for our tiebreaker round, but with the way these young people have been playing, I don't think we'll be needing them all. The first team to answer a question correctly will be the winner of this regional tournament."

He paused dramatically. The auditorium was perfectly silent.

"Our first tiebreaker question is in world literature. This fable about a fox, a flower, and a -- "

Tezuka buzzed in one last time. "Le Petit Prince," he said, and then added, quickly, because the vice-principal seemed ready to object, "or The Little Prince in Japanese."

The Fudomine coach jumped back on the stage and whispered something in his ear, and he said, "We will accept your answer, Seigaku. Congratulations!"

Tezuka knew he was supposed to shake hands with the Fudasei team and sign the score sheet and accept the trophy and behave with dignity, but he knocked over his chair and threw his arms around Inui and jumped up and down like elementary schoolers instead and the world didn't come to an end after all.

I often think that someone needs to let Tezuka know that the world isn't going to end.

.

"Here's your book back," Tezuka told Fuji on their way out, thrusting it at him. "It was very helpful."

"Ah, good," Fuji said, beaming. "I wanted to lend it to Yuuta next."

Oh, Fuji.

"There is a zero percent chance that Fuji Yuuta is studying French," Inui interrupted, looking confused. "I know I have his class schedule somewhere ... "

"Never mind that," Tezuka said. He grabbed Inui's hand and distracted him.
  • Current Mood: happy happy
  • Current Music: Playing to the Firmament - Dar Williams - The Green World
*grins* Thanks for posting your commentary on this, it was fun seeing your thoughts on everything. =D
Thank you! I like, you know, sharing my thoughts on everything, not to mention reliving my glory days.
However I enjoyed it and liked the buzzers too because there were buttons.

... I'm trying really hard not to take this to the buzzer-system-as-metaphor-for-masturbation place in my mind, but you're not helping. :-P

Wow, they show the School Reach finals on TV! That's awesome! I wish I lived in Canada.
I love fic-commentaries so much that I read this even though PoT is Not My Fandom. I'm really glad I did, because the fic was adorable, your commentary was adorable, and "Mirror Writing" was the funniest thing ever. I died of gigglefits.

I did Academic Bowl in 5-7th grade, but it was much less intense than this, as there wasn't a buzzer component. (But our advisor/coach in 5th and 6th grade was Crush the First, so no bad there. I have a picture of ickle!me, lovely crush, and my triumphant 5th grade team kicking around somewhere. [In 6th grade we finished fifth, and in 7th we came in second because I guessed Dickinson when I should have guessed Browning. Not that this will haunt me to my dying day or anything.])

Have you read The View From Saturday?
*resurrects teh Ari*

Oh, I love that book! Lovelovelove. I did a presentation on it for kidlit class and also made this icon with part of Mr. Singh's quote at the end (and, um, a Viking ship, because it's pretty). E.L. Konigsburg is my hero.

Wee!Ari playing academic bowl sounds like the cutest thing EVAR. :D :D :D

Oooh, should I do commentary on Problem Children?

When Inui throws out his data, it's the sexiest fucking thing ever.


indeed it is. Desirable Properties? is it another inutez story you wrote? i wouuuuuulld love to read it!~
This was really fun! I loved how non-pretentious and fangirly the commentary was. :) I don't know when I've been in a fandom where people were so in love with the characters and pairings as in PoT.
I'm glad it was good for you. *g* This fandom makes me feel like I'm 13 again, in the best possible way.