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The Probability of Dating - Chapter 4

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:  I'm breaking my unofficial updating schedule, because we have fewer people than projects at work and I'm looking down the barrel of some horrible overtime in the near future and would prefer to finish posting this fic while I'm not cross-eyed from lack of sleep.  Yay!  \o/  The next couple of chapters are all short pieces of fluff anyway, they won't take very long to proof-read.  And will probably have fifty more typos because of it.


The Probability of Dating

Chapter 4

By Sinnatious

Twice more Inui solicited Echizen’s assistance with English in exchange for sushi. Kawamura might have thought it a bit weird that his classmate was suddenly so keen on improving his already quite good English marks, but thankfully didn’t comment or spread news of it around.
His next move was actually unplanned. He’d been getting dressed in the clubhouse with the other regulars when he overheard Momoshiro and Echizen talking.
“Not coming for burgers?”
Echizen heaved a suffering sigh. “I’ve got a lab practical tomorrow I have to prepare for.”
“What? You don’t need to do anything for that!” Momoshiro jibed. “C’mon, we’ll even keep it short.”
The freshman scowled, zipping up his racket bag. “My mother gave me a lecture over my marks on the last one.”
Momoshiro scratched the back of his head. “Oh wow. That sucks. Hey, Eiji-senpai!”
Sensing an opportunity, Inui approached. “Echizen, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop…”
Rolling his eyes, the first-year slung his bag over his shoulder. “Yes you did, senpai.”
He had him there. “Yes well… I thought that perhaps since you’ve been assisting me with English so much, I might return the favour.”
He was met with a blank stare. “Ha?”
“Science labs is one of yours worst subjects, isn’t it?” Inui asked. “It happens to be one of my best.”
Echizen looked thoughtful, and then regarded him suspiciously. “You already paid me back with the sushi, though. It’s not worth buying sushi for.” He was right; a ‘worst subject’ for Echizen was still a comfortable pass.
Inui adjusted his glasses. “I wasn’t looking for anything in return. I merely thought that I should be a good senpai and offer.”
The senior was 78 percent certain that Echizen would turn down his offer – after all, the freshman was notoriously proud and rarely asked for help. So it was a surprise when he shifted the racquet bag on his shoulder and nodded. “…Okay senpai. At the labs?”
Inui was still privately reeling from the surprise. It took him a moment to reply. “My house will be more convenient.  I have all the necessary equipment, and the kitchen is set up for it.”
“Alright.” Echizen regarded him suspiciously again. “You’re not going to make any weird juices, are you?”
It was an entertaining notion, but hardly the way to endear the first-year to him. “None of my special drinks.”
“Not even as ‘motivation’?” he asked dubiously.
“I’m actually all out,” he admitted. “I haven’t had the opportunity to restock after yesterday’s practice.”
Echizen relaxed. “Okay then. Let’s go.”
So that afternoon Inui found himself with his chemistry set in his kitchen explaining proper measuring practices to the freshman. Considering it had not been a step in his carefully laid out plan, it was progressing rather well. 
“Look closely there. The liquid will form a meniscus. Both convex and concave, it doesn’t matter – you record the value at the centre of the curve rather than the edges.”
“Right.” Echizen peered at the tube, scrawling nearly indecipherable notes down. Inui kept half an eye on them, more interested in analysing handwriting than their actual contents.
It was a pleasant change from the previous study sessions. Inui felt far more in control, and was perhaps even preening a little at being able to showcase his skill in something for once without his kouhai immediately surpassing him. And Echizen was a surprisingly attentive student. Inui had pegged him as rather lazy, but then, how many times did the freshman contradict his data on a daily basis? The senior was almost tempted to throw his notebook out the window and be done with it. 
“With the weight, it’s to the third decimal point?”
Snapping back to attention, Inui replied, “In your current coursework, yes. Unless it’s otherwise specified. Be sure to read the criteria carefully.”
The freshman nodded, hunching over his paper to write down the numbers, glancing back and forth between his notebook and the digital display. His look of concentration was sort of cute, Inui observed. The thought surprised him, and he spent a moment analysing it. Yes, it was quite enjoyable watching Echizen work.
This was natural, he concluded. It was only appropriate that he find Echizen’s expression cute given his intentions.
Perhaps it was because he was enjoying himself, but it seemed like the afternoon passed very quickly. All too soon they were clearing up and packing everything away. For someone who claimed that practical science was his worst subject, it didn’t seem as though the first-year particularly struggled with it. Inui suspected it was just an attention span issue – the subject probably didn’t interest him, so he likely didn’t take care or pay attention, which was what practical science was all about. After all, Echizen was an incredibly fast learner. It still baffled them all how he'd managed to go from being a complete beginner at billiards to nearly as good as Fuji in the space of one game. It was part of what made him so frightening on the tennis court.
They were in the middle of packing away the last of the equipment when it happened. Echizen had picked up a test tube, but as he did so Inui accidentally jostled his elbow as he reached for the scales. They both froze as the delicate glass tube slipped through his fingers and fell as though in slow motion to the floor. With an almost delicate tinkle, it shattered into tiny pieces.
They both immediately crouched down. “Sorry Inui-senpai.” Echizen’s tone was flat, but the wideness of his eyes betrayed his surprise. He hurriedly started picking up the biggest pieces of broken glass.
“It was my fault for bumping you,” Inui assured him, and gently grabbed the hand that was picking up the glass. “Don’t. It’s sharp – you could cut yourself.” Cradling the hand, he paused for a moment, mildly consternated at how small it seemed. It shouldn’t have been a surprise – he was already quite aware of the approximate size of Echizen’s hand – but held in his own like that the difference felt more profound.
Echizen cleared his throat, and shifted slightly. The senior carefully turned the palm over to dump the glass shards into his own hand before letting go. Their fingers brushed briefly as he moved his hand away, and Inui suddenly felt self-conscious at the unintended intimacy of the gesture. 
It appeared he was not alone, there. Echizen retracted his hand swiftly, and the awkward moment lingered in the air. 
That was an element of his plan Inui had not yet considered. They would need to develop some form of skin-ship. It would be difficult to progress unless he could get the freshman to feel as comfortable touching him as he did Momoshiro and Kikumaru. It would be hard – neither he nor Echizen were particularly affectionate people – but who had ever heard of a couple that balked at holding hands? 
He carefully deposited the glass in the bin, and fetched a dustpan to clear up the rest of the fragments while Echizen busied himself by putting the remainder of the equipment away.
“That’s everything, then,” he confirmed.
“Should I replace the test tube?” Echizen asked.
The data gatherer waved it off. “I have plenty. They break easily.”
“Okay. I should get going then.”
Inui saw him to the foyer. Earlier awkwardness already forgotten, Echizen slid his feet into his shoes. “Thanks for your help, Inui-senpai.”
“It’s no trouble. If you ever feel that you might benefit from some tutoring of any kind just ask. That’s what senpai are for.”
“Che, and free sushi, you mean.”
It took Inui a moment to realise that he was joking. His face stretched into a smile. “That too.”
Echizen headed down the front path, waving lazily once without even bothering to turn around. 
As soon as he was gone, Inui headed upstairs to record down the afternoon’s data. The encounter had shown him a multitude of weaknesses in his approach and areas he needed to consider if he was to progress. He did not yet have sufficient data to decide on his next step, however. He needed to buy more magazines. Perhaps he ought to try some with an alternative target demographic – maybe the 18-20 female age set instead of the 14-16 range? - for a wider point of view. Yes, that should provide ample material. There were plans that needed to be made.
Inui was excited. The entire afternoon had been wholly unplanned, but it had proven more beneficial than all of his previous schemes combined.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
adslfjkh the thought of Inui reading girly mags!
Feb. 16th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
Another lurker again XD
Yippee, you updated early! And since you did, I decided to drop another comment again. =P

Inui and Ryoma's interaction is so cute, but sometimes I feel like telling Inui to THROW AWAY HIS DATA AND USE NORMAL MEANS TO COURT RYOMA! But then, that wouldn't be Inui, and an exceptional fic would be going down the drains. Lol.

If possible, update tomorrow. XD I'm asking too much.
Feb. 16th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Another lurker again XD
Miss Lurker crawling out of the woodwork again! XD I might arbitrarily start giving you a name or something. Something spy-ish, like Purple Crow. :P (See this is why you need accounts otherwise people start making up names for you). Thank you for commenting. ^__^

Heh heh, yes, no chance of a tomorrow update. Daily updates only occur on holidays/during brief bouts of fandom-induced insanity. But hey, you can always be optimistic! ;)
Feb. 17th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC)
Re: Another lurker again XD
MISS Lurker???? How on earth did you guess that? XD But yea, I guess most of TezuRyo's fans are female.

Purple Crow??? XD Yaruja. I've always wanted to be a spy anyway. XP

And O...M...G... I just discovered the TezuRyo Radio Play you made, and O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G... O... M... G...

...just recovered. It's certified. You're the QUEEN OF PILLAR. There is NO OTHER EXPLANATION.

And Pillar kicks Perfect's ass again! XD

Going to replay it another zillion times now. Ja ne. Keep up the brilliance!
Feb. 17th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
Re: Another lurker again XD
:O People are still listening to that thing? I posted that over a year ago now! XD

And don't be coronating me - I merely shuffled into the TezRyo fandom right when a lot of other really huge, amazing fans started to shuffle out. ;) Bookshop, Kishmet, and ka0richan (though she still has a foot in the fandom) all put my pillar love to shame; go check out their journals sometime if you haven't already.

Heh heh, yes, I've only ever had one male read my TezRyo fics (though he protested his gender a little TOO much), and the only other guy on the flist isn't a fan of tenipuri. The statistics were favourable. ;) Oh god you see this is what happens when I write too much Inui.
Feb. 16th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)

Also, you root up terribly memories of chem pracs omg. ;_; All that measuring and SIGNIFICANT FIGURES AAARGH. DX

But god why is this so cute? ;;
Feb. 16th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
Your almost pathological dislike of Momoshiro continues to amuse me! I ALMOST WANT TO WRITE MOMO-CENTRIC TEZRYO FIC JUST TO TEASE YOU. ^__^

Oops, sorry, didn't mean to bring up memeories of Chemistry. BUT HEY, THAT'S ALL OVER WITH NOW, RIGHT?! \o/

I think it's just the Ryoma effect. Makes everything cute. Probably because he looks like Karupin. (You know, pets, owners, that whole thing. :P)

Feb. 17th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)

ickle Tezuka looks more like Karupin BUT YOU ARE RIGHT. IT'S THOSE EYES. :|
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
They had kids together, I think.

(apologies for spamming up your comments, kunkun + kaori + whoever else i've intruded on belatedly D: )
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
hi again~


And I can almost imagine them being a couple that balks at holding hands, woo~

oh and will you also give me a name like Another Lurker's? :D

your fic > amphetamine. If we could get everybody to love TezuRyo, then maybe there might not be any drug abuse problem in any part of the world at all |D

oh and please do pardon my current behaviour as I haven't got any sleep for the past two days and reading this fic has got better effect than coffee and I think I won't be able to sleep for another day or two. um. :D
Feb. 17th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: ohaithar
XD *dubs thee Sparkly Fish*

D: GO SLEEP! Two days!! FIC-INDUCED SECOND WINDS DO NOT LAST, just so you know.

Now that you've mentioned it, all I can imagine is the image of Inui and Ryoma holding hands but refusing to look at each other while doing so. XD
Feb. 17th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
Re: ohaithar
yay Sparkly Fish~! but... birds eat fish, right? *slowly edges away from Another Lurker*

And, 30 minutes after reading this fic, I promptly fell asleep. So yeah, I now know that fics can't substitute for coffee. :))

As for the holding-hands-while-not-looking image; WIN.
Feb. 16th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Ugh, sig figs. I HATED sig figs. >< CHem lab practicals were the worst thign in ym whoel life. Ugh.

But the shattering test tube! :D Inui and girly mags....I'm half tempted to think that he jostled Ryoma on purpose so that he could engineer that hand-holding incident because he ended up reading some shoujo manga anthology, even though the afternoon was unplanned. XDD
Feb. 16th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
lol. I agree with the sig figs. they were HELL. :))

and, and... maybe the jostle was made my Inui's subconscious? Y/N? :D?
Feb. 17th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Skin-ship. ♥ Now Inui's going to orchestrate instances where they bump into each other or have to hold hands as a 'Team Building' exercise, hmm? >D I can't wait to see what he cooks up next. Poor Ryoma. I wonder if the kid's caught on yet? Lovely work. Please write more soon!
Feb. 18th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
HEEEE~ This is so cute!

x3 Skin-ship is hilarious and adorable and !Breaking test tubes and ~Inui reading girly-magazines ♥

Oh chemistry, how I could do without you in my school life =/
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)

(i'll probably have just enough lines to make it to the chapters already out, provided they cover them well =/ must find love haiku)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )