Eijun sits up straight and snaps the volume shut with a huff. "How come we don't leave romantic poetry for each other to find, huh?"

Across the room, Kuramochi snorts. "Sawamura, I saw your Japanese Lit grades." Miyuki doesn't even look over from where his head is rested on Kuramochi's lap; he just snickers with Kuramochi and goes back to reading.

"I'm serious, you guys!"

Miyuki turns a page in his stats notebook. "Then go seriously write us some poetry. This isn't going to be all one way, is it?"

"No! I'll do it, but you guys have to write some too! That's like, a requirement, right?" Eijun gets a scoff from Kuramochi and a skeptical look. "C'mon, don't you read? Every great romance involves long, heartfelt messages between lovers where they express the depth of their feelings and speak of their hopes and dreams for the future! They're – they're sealed with heart stickers and placed in secret places for each other to find! And flowers! Someone always leaves flowers with the note! We haven't done any of that!" He waves the shoujo volume at them meaningfully, hoping the rest is obvious.

"Maybe later. Don't you have studying to do?" Miyuki asks.

"You don't understand, this is important!"

"So is your geography test on Wednesday."

Eijun stands up from his chair and scowls. "I'm going to the vending machine. See if I ever write you any romantic poetry. Hmph!"

Kazuya waits for the door to close behind Sawamura before letting a mischievous grin spread across his face.

"I know that look," Kuramochi says with raised eyebrows, "and it never means anything good."

"Well, I think you're going to like it this time. He didn't specify what kind of poetry he wanted beyond 'romantic', right?"


Kazuya chuckles. "How much do you know about limericks?"

"Only that they're generally pretty dirty… oh. Oh you." Kuramochi starts laughing. "That's perfect. Oh my god. Sawamura's going to kill us."

"Hey, he's the one who wanted poetry. We could even branch out into haikus and stuff too if we wanted."

"Can you imagine him reading them, though? He's gonna blush and get all sorts of flustered."

"It'll be adorable," Kazuya agrees. "What would his pure, honorable heroines say?"

Kuramochi guffaws. "They'd probably faint right into their true love's arms."

"Yeah, but Sawamura would clock one of us, which is why we're going to leave the notes for him to find when we're not in his line of sight. Want to brainstorm during class tomorrow?"

"Hell yeah."

Eijun blinks at the envelope in his shoe locker for a couple of seconds. He doesn't remember leaving anything from his mailbox in there overnight, so he's not sure where this came from. It's not… a confession letter, right? He's never seen one in person before.

Well, he's got a couple minutes now before he normally meets up with Harucchi and Furuya, so Eijun gamely rips the flap open. He unfolds the paper inside to find a print-out of a page from chapter fifty-one of Seasons of Falling for You, a series Eijun finished about six months ago. It's the two-page spread from the climactic scene where Akai-kun finally admits that he's fallen in love with the protagonist. Their hands are clasped and their eyes are alight with emotion, sparkling screen tones highlighting the deep significance of the moment.

When his eyes finally focus on the text bubble, though, his mouth drops open. The text has been edited out and replaced with a haiku:

That nicely shaped ass

How fine it looks in your shorts

A round of applause

The corner of the box is signed "Love, MK & KY".

Eijun feels his face heat up. "W-what is this?!" he shouts, even as he realizes with growing horror that he can already guess the answer.

Around the corner, Miyuki and Youichi are laughing their asses off. "That reaction was perfect," Youichi manages to say between fits of mirth.

"Exactly as predicted. You got one in his desk already, right?"

"Yeah, easy-peasy, no one else was in the classroom."

Miyuki grins. "I hope you got the right desk."

The image of someone else intercepting Sawamura's note sets them off again, but after calming down for a moment and wiping a tear away, Youichi shakes his head. "I asked Kanemaru where Sawamura's seat was, so we're good there. I put his name on the envelope too, in case they switched seats or something."

"Good thinking. It's too bad we won't get to see what happens, though. Do you think we could get someone to video it?"

"Kanemaru wouldn't, he's always grumbling about how Sawamura is easily distracted in class. And Yoshikawa-chan's too nice to do that, plus she'd be embarrassed if we told her what we were doing."

"True." Miyuki sighs mournfully. "We'll just have to be content with winding him up from afar."

"Well, he's going to explode at some point, and it'll probably be after he finds a bunch of the notes. Maybe we'll be there to see it."

After the shoe cubby is Eijun's desk, and after his desk is his gym bag, all with similarly obscene content in the notes. Miyuki and Kuramochi even caught Harucchi on his way out of the classroom during lunch break and asked him to deliver one.

"What is it?" Harucchi asks as he passes the envelope over.

"Nothing," Eijun lies, stuffing the envelope into his pocket with the three already opened notes. "Just Miyuki-senpai and Kuramochi-senpai being awful." He would walk naked through the school before admitting that a couple of the more descriptive poems about the three of them being alone together were kinda hot.

One of Eijun's classmates interrupts. "Oh wow, it looks like Sawamura's got a loooove note."

"I do not! That's not what this is!" He's blushing again, though, and it's clear that no one believes him.

"C'mon, just open it! Don't trample on someone's feelings."

"I can't read it here! I'll look at it later, I promise!"

Miyuki and Kuramochi are going to pay for this somehow.

Eijun sighs in relief when there's no note in his baseball bag and he succeeds in putting the prank out of his mind during practice, with the exception of a few instances when Kuramochi and Miyuki look at him and snicker.

The two of them leave when practice lets out to study for their English test tomorrow, but Eijun stays longer to pitch a few more at the net and get in some batting practice. They're both studying on Kuramochi's bed when Eijun stops back in Room 5 to grab his towel and soap, so he glares at them meaningfully before leaving again for his bath.

When Eijun gets back from the baths, he's convinced himself that he's calmer. Yes, he's composed enough to completely ignore the envelope and single flower that are clearly placed on his pillow. He's going to show them that he can be the mature one, which he'll do by starting up his math homework without acknowledging their joke. He opens his desk drawer to grab his calculator and –

"Goddamnit, another one?!" Eijun whips around in his seat to glower at his boyfriends, all pretenses of tranquility forgotten. "What the hell is with you two, huh?!"

"But we thought you wanted poetry, dearest," Miyuki purrs, a lazy smile sliding onto his face. Kuramochi cackles.

"Yeah, but not like this! This is – is indecent!" His expression of anger is probably ruined by the fact that he's red with embarrassment.

Miyuki must see something telling in Eijun's face, because his eyebrows slide up. "Did you get all hot and bothered by a couple of fragmented phrases about what we want to do to you?"

"What? No!"

Miyuk latches on, though, grinning wickedly at Eijun. "Who's really the indecent one, huh? You liked it, didn't you?"

"I did not!"

Kuramochi joins in. "Kyahaha, who woulda thought? We could always write more, if you wanted."

"No way! I don't want poetry from you guys anymore!" Eijun gathers up his calculator, books, and pencil case. "I'm gonna go do homework somewhere else if you're going to be rude!"

When he gets back to the room from Kanemaru's later that night, the lights are off and it looks like the two of them curled up in Kuramochi's bed to sleep. Eijun shuffles over to get his pajamas and remembers the flower and untouched note on his pillow that had been there earlier.

He almost doesn't open it. After all, Eijun already knows what sort of thing is going to be written inside. But… Miyuki and Kuramochi found all those manga images online and edited the text and printed them out. It was a lot of work for a joke. Eijun can just look it over quickly and then have more ammunition for the conversation that they're definitely going to have tomorrow.

Eijun picks up the flower and his heart traitorously skips a beat as he notices that it's a rose. They might be terrible at writing poetry, but the rose is a pretty shoujo thing to give. He sets it carefully on his desk and goes back to pick up the envelope.

He unfolds the paper and this time it's different. All the images so far have been dramatic moments, but this one is ordinary. There are no shoujo sparkles or falling flowers, just three people sitting on a bench together. In Kuramochi's handwriting, the scene is titled "For Real This Time". The text box reads: All teasing aside, we think you're something special, Sawamura. Love you lots, MK & KY

It's not the flowery declaration of love that romance novels speak of, but Eijun still covers his mouth to keep from gasping out loud. Kuramochi and Miyuki are never this direct with their feelings in words. It's always playful jeers and roughhousing with them, snuggling when they watch movies and holding hands and kissing, but never straight-up admissions of "I like you" or "I'm yours".

Eijun rereads "love you lots" and finds himself blinking back tears. "This doesn't mean you're getting out of a serious talk tomorrow," he mutters to his sleeping boyfriends, wiping his eyes and setting the love letter on his desk next to the rose. He climbs up to the top bunk after changing for bed and pushes Miyuki towards Kuramochi and the wall so he can worm his way under the covers. "You guys suck at storybook romance, but I think you're pretty special too."

Hit me up on my tumblr (meridiangrimm) if you want to talk about gay baseball players.