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The Probability of Dating - Chapter 3

Title: The Probability of Dating


Summary: InuiRyo.  Inui calculates that there is only a 0.02% chance that Echizen Ryoma would be willing to date him.  Fortunately, data can be changed.

Rating: PGish.  Rating for shonen ai and innuendo.

Author’s Note:  This chapter is out a little early as I might not get the chance to post tomorrow.  Hope you like it.


The Probability of Dating

Chapter 3

By Sinnatious

Inui leant back in his chair, folding his hands as he considered the past couple of weeks. Yes, things were progressing nicely. He’d increased his visibility significantly. The chances of Echizen being willing to date him hadn’t shifted more than 0.1 of a percent, but that was still acceptable. This was necessary groundwork.
It was time to start the second phase of his plan.
The next day after practice, Inui approached Echizen casually. "Echizen, I was wondering if you might have some time free this afternoon."
The freshman spared his senior a dubious glance. "More training menu stuff?"
Clearing his throat, he replied, "Actually, no. Though has the new menu been working well for you so far?"
Inui took that as confirmation. "I'm glad to hear it. Actually, I'm here today to ask a somewhat unusual favour."
That got his attention. Echizen actually paused in drinking his Ponta to listen.
"You see, I've been doing an extra-credit assignment in English that's due in a few days. It's a bit above the usual standard of the class, so I struggled with it in some parts. I was hoping I could ask you to proof-read it for me, and possibly give me some pointers on how it could be improved."
"You're asking a freshman to check your homework, senpai?" Echizen asked with a cocky smirk.
"It is a well-known fact that you are the top of your grade in English. From your time in America, it is not unreasonable to assume that you're fluent. I expect that asking you would be more beneficial than asking any of my classmates. Of course, if you have other commitments, I understand."
"Che, seems like an unfair deal to me, senpai. You get extra credit in English and I lose my afternoon."
Inui resisted the urge to smile. He had actually counted on Echizen to bargain. "I thought of this. That's why if you're willing to help me out, I'll treat you to sushi afterwards."
That stopped the first-year cold. Echizen raised a speculative eyebrow. "Really?"
"Of course. It's only fair. It's quite a long assignment."
He remained patient while his kouhai thought the offer through. There was a 95 percent chance he would take him up on the deal. Inui knew it was going to be expensive, but it was an essential move to get the freshman used to hanging around him one-on-one in a social context, rather than just when tennis or academics were involved.
“Okay then,” he relented. 
“I’ll wait here until you’re finished getting changed,” Inui offered.
Ten minutes later they were walking through the streets towards the senior’s house. Inui was inordinately pleased with how his plan was progressing so far. He kept the conversation impersonal and focused on the safe topic of tennis as they travelled.
“I’ve been thinking that we ought to do more weight training specifically with your right arm.”
“I play with it a fair bit already,” Echizen pointed out sourly.
“That is true, but I’ve observed that you perform the majority of your day-to-day tasks with your left hand. You might not notice this, but this is the primary reason why your dominant hand is always the stronger of the two. Those little tasks add up to be a lot of extra exercise during the day.”
“So I should try and do them with my right hand instead? Wouldn’t that make my left weaker eventually?”
“I think some extra weight training with your right hand every day should do it. I’ll make the necessary adjustments to your training schedule. It should greatly increase the effectiveness of your Nitouryuu.”
“Hmmm,” Echizen hummed at that, idly kicking a pebble in front of him as he walked.
“Although I suppose that there aren’t many players in the high school circuit that it’s useful against,” Inui conceded. Ibu Shinji had transferred to a school in Hokkaido – if they did come across him again, it wouldn’t be until the Nationals.
Echizen shrugged. “It’s sort of a party trick now. Although the extra reach comes in handy sometimes.”
“Party trick? Interesting term.”
“You know. Exhibition tennis,” Echizen explained airily, waving his hand in a dismissive manner. His opinion on purely exhibition tennis was pretty obvious, but Inui could have figured that out on his own. Tennis was tennis – whether spectators were there or not didn’t matter to the freshman in the slightest.
In a relatively short period of time, they made it to his house. Inui unlocked the door and ushered his guest inside. “My room is this way. Would you like anything to drink first?”
When Echizen flinched, he hastily amended, “We have some Ponta, if you’d like. It’s not the grape kind…”  The Ponta had been bought specifically for this purpose, but Inui had deliberately avoided purchasing the grape flavour. Evidence of too much prior planning would look suspicious.
Thinking that over, the freshman nodded. Inui fetched two cans of orange Ponta and led the way to his room, shouldering the door open. “You can put your bag anywhere.”
“Your room is kind of… normal,” Echizen remarked as he entered, sounding dubious.
“What were you expecting?” 
He shrugged, dropping his bag to ground. Inui could guess. He’d overheard plenty of wild speculations about what his bedroom might look like in the clubhouse, most of which described it as something of a mad scientist’s laboratory. “So…”
“Right.” Inui headed over to the desk, shuffling through several piles of papers and withdrawing the hand-written assignment. “This is just the draft. Feel free to write in the margins.” He offered a red pen over with the essay.
Echizen plucked the paper and pen from his hands and flopped down on the floor, resting his back against the bed. He glanced at the title and first few sentences, and then arched an eyebrow. “Your essay is on cats?”
The choice of topic was not coincidental. “I was instructed to write about either an occupation or an animal. Cats seemed like a good choice.” He adjusted his glasses. “Oh, you have a cat, don’t you Echizen? Perhaps you might be able to add some extra insight, then.”
Echizen nodded distractedly, eyes quickly scanning the paper. Inui had already completed the work of course, and even deliberately included some mistakes in the essay to be fixed. He was then slightly embarrassed when the freshman not only picked up on those mistakes, but also found a dozen more.
“Spelt ‘veterinary’ wrong, ‘spinal’ wrong, ‘balance’ wrong, and that letter should be capitalised…” he muttered, pen darting across the paper, drawing a forest of crimson words and corrections in the margins.
In less than ten minutes, Echizen had completed going through the essay that took Inui several days to compose.
That was one thing he hadn’t planned. He managed to draw it out a little longer by asking for clarification on some parts, but even that only took another twenty minutes or so. To Inui’s surprise, he actually learned quite a bit. English was hardly his worst subject - Home Economics held that dubious honour – but the difference between someone who was still learning and someone who spoke fluently was startling. He was perhaps just a little bit impressed.
He tidied the papers and set them carefully to the side of his desk for more thorough scrutiny later. “Thank you for your help.”
“Che, it was nothing,” Echizen dismissed with a yawn.
“It didn’t take as long as I anticipated. It’s still early – did you want the sushi now, or would you prefer to wait until another day?”
“Today,” was the decisive response. “I’m hungry now.”
Inui glanced at the clock. “I don’t think Kawamura’s is open yet, but if we walk the long way we should get there at a good time.”
It was a pleasant afternoon, and it was nice to just walk outside. The senior took them past where Kaidoh normally trained in the river, relating the story of the boomerang snake training. Echizen looked interested, at which point he cautioned the freshman to hold off on trying that training until he’d grown taller – it wouldn’t benefit someone with such short reach nearly as much. He was answered with a scowl, but the data-gatherer could practically see the information being mentally filed away for future use.
Kawamura Sushi was just opening for their evening hours when they arrived. “Inui! …And Echizen?” Kawamura greeted them, surprised and not just a little confused.
“Inui-senpai is treating,” Echizen remarked smugly, sliding onto a stool.
“In exchange for his assistance with the English paper,” Inui explained, settling himself onto a stool next to the smaller boy.
“Ah.” Kawamura face relaxed as he handed them the menu – though there was no real need, as they frequented the shop often enough to know the specialities by heart over the years. He sent Inui a sympathetic glance. “I’ll see if I can’t convince my father to give you a discount.”
“I don’t mind,” Inui assured him. It wouldn’t be beneficial to appear a cheapskate in front of Echizen.
“How’s the team doing?” Kawamura asked after they’d ordered.
“Fuji has not been keeping you informed? I was relatively certain…”
“He doesn’t talk about tennis much these days.” Kawamura looked a bit sheepish. “I think he thinks it upsets me or something.”
“Does it?” Echizen asked bluntly.
“I admit that I missed being on the team, in my freshman year especially. But I made this choice, and it’s been over two years now. I’m used to it. I still play in the odd local tournament for fun, too. But I guess Fujiko doesn’t believe me…”
“I see. The team is doing well, don’t you think Echizen?”
The freshman yawned. “I guess so.” His eyes glinted. “We’re definitely going to Nationals again. You have to come watch, Kawamura-senpai.”
He laughed good-naturedly at the order. “I’ll make sure of it.”
Kawamura sat and chatted with them until their food arrived and he had to divert his attention to other customers.
They remained silent while they ate. Inui had already noticed Echizen’s lack of enthusiasm for most forms of conversation – why he hung out with Momoshiro was anybody’s guess – and was pleased to discover that the silence was a comfortable one. It was certainly a better option than wearing out the few safely impersonal avenues of conversation he had left at his disposal. 
Twilight was just setting in when they finished. They bade farewell to Kawamura and headed outside. It was time to part ways. Inui found himself reluctant, but he wouldn’t make anymore progress that day.
“I’ll walk you home,” he offered.
Echizen waved him off. “It’s not that far from here. See you at practice tomorrow, senpai. And thanks for the sushi.”
“I should be thanking you for the assistance.”
Echizen just smirked and walked away. Inui watched him go, mildly surprised to realise that he’d sort of enjoyed the afternoon. Certainly that was the goal, but he hadn’t expected to actually take pleasure in the process having both his wallet and essay ripped to shreds.
All in all, great progress was made. Inui was anxious to head home and start re-working his percentages.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
*laughing* Oh my god this is so adorable. Or, more specifically, Ryoma is so adorable. ajshgjadg My favorite part of this chapter has to be when Ryoma's marking Inui's essay. He's just beaten Inui's data again so bluntly and obliviously and Inui's, probably trying to not feel so put out by it. *_* Aah. I can go on about the little things that had me smiling, but what I really adore is your characterization of Ryoma. I don't know why, it's different, but it's still so Echizen to me. I think that's it. There's this layer of impersonality that we usually don't have when it's Tezuka and Ryoma, because Inui doesn't understand Echizem in the same way. *_*

I adore, how Ryoma is so smug, and then, he's a smug little kouhai, and then he's all snarky.

Oh oh! And his disdain for exhibition matches. AWWW. *_* That's going to change, not necessarily in this fic, but it wiiill.

I should probably comment on Inui. Um. AHAHAHA. :Db
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
Heee, I'm starting to think I could write any old pairing, and so long as there was a heaping dose of Echizen or Tezuka in it, you'd read it anyway. ;) Well, except maybe if it were with Fuji or Momoshiro. :P Although your point about Echizen's characterisation being different as seen through Inui is an interesting one, and might explain some of the difficulties I had. Intriguing!

Feb. 14th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
I'm starting to think you're right. D: LIES. I AM NOT SO EASY TO PLEASE. *stern face*


It's quite strange! But very compelling at the same time. It'd be interesting to see if it could be pulled off while still in the TezuRyo dynamic.

Feb. 24th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
Tezuka/Sengoku plzkthx
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:11 am (UTC)
I don't know whether to love you to pieces or to hate you so much-- I am actually starting to like Inuiryoma a lot!!! The horrors; Inui isn't exactly who you call my favorite character but you're making this work! How is this?????

Kawamura Sushi was just opening for their evening hours when they arrived. “Inui! …And Echizen?” Kawamura greeted them, surprised and not just a little confused.
I am just SO seeing Kawamura's face in this!
I must draw this sometime +_+

I think I'm starting to like this whole data-dating theme!! Essay on cats! CATS! And buying Orange Ponta because Grape would seem too obivious WINWINWIN. Inui is a man made up of WIN.

Sorry if this seems hyper :D I tend to be like this whenever I read a good fic.

Feb. 14th, 2009 09:42 am (UTC)
Oops? :D

Oh, please do! Draw it draw it! Heh heh, poor befuddled Kawamura.

BY ALL MEANS, BE HYPER. It makes me feel better about my own random bursts into flail-mode. ^__^ I'm glad you're liking it so far!
Feb. 14th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
LMAO I'm sorry but I can't help but laugh at poor Inui XXXDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He seems so adorable here XXDDD!!!!!!!!!! It was a slow moving chapter, but my goodness, I was laughing at every point ^_^!!!!!!!!!!!If Inui is going to get through Echizen through his stomach, then he's going to need a job for money XXXDDD!!!!
Feb. 14th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Inui/Ryoma is actually my second favourite pairing, but there is practically none. None! It makes me very sad. And this is the first InuRyo longfic I have ever seen! Thank you so much for giving them a whirl, I am really enjoying it. I love how Inui's emotions - actually enjoying himself! - take him so much by surprise. He always thinks he can reduce everything down to data, and I can see him about to get in waaaay over his head.
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
I do find the lack of InuiRyo longfic a bit tragic. Hopefully this breaks the ice or something?
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha, oh wow, this chapter is made of so much WIN.

Inui's one dedicated stalker/pursuer. I mean, how many ways did he manipulate that date? The orange Ponta, the cat essay, baiting Ryoma with his previous successful training regimens, free sushi...

Hee, I love how Inui's essay contained more mistakes than anticipated. SO CUTE.

I wonder though, how Inui'll be AFTER the pursuit? Since he's not exactly presenting a true face to Ryoma at the moment. D: Hahaha, will Ryoma have 'Get-Out-of-Drinking-Inui-Juice-Free' cards?
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
If Inui is anything, he is thorough. :|

Well, the presenting a good face thing is pretty standard in dating, yes? :P

Heh heh, that would be a fun conversation:

"Oi, how come Echizen doesn't have to drink the Juice?!"
"Because if I did, Inui-senpai would be frustrated for a very long time, right Inui-senpai?"
Feb. 16th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
But Inui's going to the EXTREME to the MAX pretty hardcore about this whole presenting a new, enticing face to Ryoma. I'm just wondering if he's going to fall back to being all, "Ii data," or if he will follow Ryoma at his pace...
Feb. 15th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)

Certainly that was the goal, but he hadn’t expected to actually take pleasure in the process having both his wallet and essay ripped to shreds. Made me laugh.

Well really, the entire thing made me laugh with it hilarity and Inui's dorkiness and Echizen's half-interestedness. And also INUI WRITING ON CATS! *____*

This chapter was amazing, can't wait for more <3
Feb. 15th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
Yay I finally got time to catch up on this fic :D

Hahaha, I totally lol'ed at Ryoma marking Inui's work. I love how you kept Inui so wonderfully in character. Sometimes he thinks too much, but that adds to the humor of this fic ;D I have to wonder what'll bring them together in the end.

Will be reading the next instalment for sure. ♥
Feb. 15th, 2009 04:54 am (UTC)
Oh, man. It's so awesome to find someone that writes InuiRyo. They're my not-so-secret OTP of the PoT fandom.

([/too lazy to sign out of character journal])
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
And to think of a second I was all excited at Beat reading InuiRyo.

OMG, someone with InuiRyo as their actual OTP?! :O You are an endangered species!
Feb. 16th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC)
Oh, you know that outside of fighting Noise and Reapers and skateboarding, Beat likes to sit down and enjoy some InuiRyo. :D
Feb. 24th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)


(man, you made me skip a couple lines ;_______; )
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )