たとえ離れても 心はそばにいるよ (happiestwhen) wrote in balloonstrings,
たとえ離れても 心はそばにいるよ

Close Enough [Prince of Tennis ; Data Pair]

Title: Close Enough
Pairing: Inui Sadaharu/Yanagi Renji, established relationship
Rating: PG
Summary: Inui and Renji live together. ~domestic bliss~
Word Count: ~1300
A/N: early birthday present for my favorite data boys. *gives them all the happy endings*

The day begins like any other. Inui wakes up at 6:30am and wanders into the bathroom to begin his daily ritual: take a shower, read the business section of the morning paper, eat breakfast (it's Tuesday, so Renji will be making omelets), and then leave for work by 7:45.

Renji is out the door at 8:15 to catch his own train. They both work three stations and one line transfer away and selected the apartment for its equidistance. And for the spare bedroom that makes an excellent laboratory.

Inui's commute takes one minute and 45 seconds longer, but Renji's coworkers are chatty and often keep him that much longer anyway. Their salaries are nearly identical. Inui makes slightly more, but Renji is more frugal, spending less on hideous sweater vests and fresh vegetables.

When they come home, they run algorithms to decide who will cook dinner. Renji is a better cook, but Inui is faster, more efficient, and pays more attention to nutrition content. Once they had thought it would be fun to try and cook together, but it had just spiraled into a disaster they now refer to as the Tomato Incident.

Besides, they do plenty of other things together.


They have fought six times since moving in together. Inui has kept track in a special logbook. It isn't labeled like his other notebooks, and instead has a small green heart drawn on the corner of the cover to distinguish it. He keeps it in his desk in his laboratory, writing in it only when he's alone, or when Renji is sleeping.

Their first fight was, as one might expect, the Tomato Incident. Tomato jars are, as it turns out, rather difficult to open, and Inui's hands were still wet from rinsing the other vegetables, and he hadn't meant to send the jar flying onto the floor, crashing open and sending tomato puree all over Renji's new loafers but not all outcomes can be predicted with data.

Their second fight was over laundry. Inui was in charge of laundry ever since he'd learned to mix his own detergent. He claimed it was lighter on the fabrics, and better for preserving the original color. Renji put up with it even though it made all his clothes smell like cucumber. The trouble with laundry was that Inui had never read that you need to separate coloreds from whites. Living at home meant that his laundry just appeared, newly clean, on the line outside his window without him having to so much as move a finger. He figured a machine couldn't be that hard to use, and yet this one was stubborn and managed to turn all of their clothes a pale pink. Or else Inui hadn't accounted for human error. Machines didn't know him like people did.

Renji, upon confronting Inui about it, held up a pair of bright red boxers as the most likely suspect.

"Those were a present," Inui had said.

"I know," Renji had replied. "Your friend Fuji Syuusuke has very strange taste."

"I didn't know they would do this."

"Probability that Fuji did, 92%," Renji had said, and Inui could tell he was trying to sound angry, but that he wanted to laugh. He'd added, "You're lucky I look good in pink."

Their third fight was over groceries. On Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday, Inui gave Renji a list for grocery shopping, since the grocery store was closest to his university. (On Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday, Renji gave Inui a list of books to look for at the secondhand shop near his office.) Inui compiled the list based on the data of their favorite foods, careful not to repeat the same base foods more than once in the same week, and also of course he included the necessary ingredients for his most recent juice recipes. On this particular occasion, Renji had come home with everything but the carrots Inui had asked for and Inui had stared at him blankly for 27 seconds before speaking.

"I needed those," he had said, finally.

"I forgot," Renji had replied.

Inui had looked confused. "You never forget things," he'd said, and went to lock himself in the laboratory to write about it in his logbook.

Their fourth fight was over Renji's friends. Renji had remained close with Yukimura and Sanada all through university, and invited them over often for tea or dinner or just to chat. Inui never minded much, but he did mind when he and Renji were in bed and Renji had gotten a call from Sanada saying to meet him immediately and, instead of telling Sanada he was busy --because he quite clearly was, if his hands down Inui's pants were any indication-- Renji had simply leapt out of bed, jumped into some clothes, and dashed out the door.

It had turned out that Sanada's first child had just been born, but how was Inui to know that?

Their fifth fight was over Inui's friends. Inui never thought of them as friends so much as old colleagues, but Renji insisted they were friends. Especially Kaidoh. Renji seemed wary of him every time he came to visit; his bare ankles and his long black hair falling in his eyes.

Inui had assured him he had nothing to worry about, and it was true; he didn't. But Inui also refused to show Renji any of his eighten Kaidoh Kaoru Data notebooks, which didn't really put points in Inui's favor.

For the record, he didn't let Renji see his notebooks on Tezuka either.

Their sixth fight was over data. They were discussing the probability of rain that weekend as they had planned a picnic and the percentages were not matching up. Inui knew that this was because Renji had not accounted for the variable of the cold front that was supposed to be moving in from the south as soon as next week, and Renji knew that this was because Inui had not accounted for the possibility of a typhoon this early in the season.

It didn't end up raining at all that weekend, which went against both of their predictions.


When Inui comes home one night and finds Renji in the laboratory, sitting at Inui's desk, a paper clip twisted open on the table and his drawer unlocked, he thinks that surely, this is going to be Fight #7. Probability upwards of 96%.

But when Renji looks up at him, Inui's notebook open in his hands, he doesn't look angry. His face is open and light and Inui is horrified that he's about to say he's leaving him. Maybe this was the push he needed. Inui has researched dating enough to know that this many fights signify trouble.

Renji doesn't say he's leaving. Instead he says, "I don't care about the laundry," voice quiet and gentle.

Inui smiles at him. "I don't care about the groceries," he replies.

"I don't care about the tomatoes," Renji says, laughter dancing in his voice now. "Those shoes didn't fit so well anyway. I don't care about your mistakes, or your secrets." He thumbs the binding on the notebook thoughtfully.

Inui sighs. "Statistics predicted this wouldn't go smoothly," he says, and it's true. The figures are all there in the first page of the notebook. But Renji must have read those already.

"Few things in life do." Renji closes the notebook and rises from the chair. "That's what makes them interesting. Maybe you shouldn't listen to statistics all the time." He takes Inui's hand and pulls him until Inui can't help but step forward, closer.

"But—" Inui starts, sure there's a point he should be making.

"Sadaharu?" Renji tugs at Inui's ugly sweater vest and slips his fingers up under the wool.

Inui blinks at him. "Yes?"

Renji smirks. "Shut up," he whispers, and kisses Inui so hard Inui thinks he sees stars. Probability 99% that isn't true, but statistics don't mean everything.
Tags: characters: inui, characters: renji, fandom: prince of tennis, pairing: data pair
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