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The Probability of Dating - Chapter 6

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:  In which Inui contemplates the difference between data-gathering and stalking.  



The Probability of Dating

Chapter 6

By Sinnatious

Inui was satisfied with his current rate of progress – Echizen didn’t even react to a brief shoulder pat or brush of the fingers anymore, and he’d also recorded a decrease of 30 percent in the freshman’s radius of personal space when it came to him. It might not have sounded like much, but considering the radius used to be 1.5 metres, it was a big step. They were hardly affectionate, but things were comfortable enough to proceed.
The only problem with that was that Inui wasn’t quite certain where to proceed to next.
Which was why he was currently sitting in his bedroom, magazines spread out around him and pencil tucked behind his ear. 
“‘How to make him notice you’… no longer relevant. ‘Is he really that into you?’,” Inui murmured to himself, then paused and filled in the quiz. Five percent, which brought his average from the week’s quizzes so far up to 3.5. He skipped past the fashion section, lingered briefly on the letters section, but none of the week’s anecdotes provided any new wisdom for him to harvest. He closed that magazine and moved on to the next one.
“‘Signs that he likes you’.” Inui started to fill in the multiple choice quiz again, but paused, considering. What if he were to reverse it? 
He flipped to the answer key, copying down the optimum responses, then leant back and considered what he’d learned. How could he apply these signs?
“‘His friends all know about you.’” Useless – all of his friends were already acquainted with Echizen. “‘He gives you gifts and does you favours.’” He’d already ruled out the gift-giving approach after witnessing the heartbreak of so many girls, but he’d been covering the favours part quite thoroughly. “‘He asks whether you’re single.’” Couldn’t use that one either, as he already knew the answer, and even if he didn’t Echizen would just presume he was gathering data as usual. “‘Remembers a lot of trivial facts about you, such as your favourite colour or food or band.’”
Inui paused, and a gleam entered his eye. This. Finally. Something that he couldn’t be beaten at!
It was time to get back to basics.
When he first began his venture, Inui had attempted to collect a great deal of empirical data on Echizen, but he’d never been able to get very far when it came to more emotional matters such as personal taste and preferences – even Momoshiro wasn’t able to give him much when asked. He’d been collecting slivers over the past few weeks – he now knew the freshman’s usual order at McDonalds, his favourite subjects, and that his preferred choice of grip tape was not the one Inui had written down because it was usually sold out – but there were still large gaps in his knowledge. Gaps that needed to be filled.
That was why the next day found him discreetly trailing Echizen and Momoshiro as they left McDonalds.
“And then she had the nerve to say she was going to tell her brother! Right in front of Kamio!”
“I just don’t get women. Are they all like this? What do you think Echizen?”
“Nothing in particular.”
“Oi, are you even listening?”
“Sure, Momo-senpai. You were flirting with Tachibana’s little sister, and she embarrassed you in front of the whole of Fudomine High’s tennis team.”
Momoshiro spluttered. “It was not flirting!”
Echizen didn’t comment. Inui carefully weaved his way past a small herd of elementary school children, just barely keeping the pair in earshot.
“Well, okay, maybe it was… But can you blame me? Don’t you think she’s cute?”
“Not particularly.”
Momoshiro actually seemed more cheered by the statement than offended. “So what type of girl do you like?”
“Haven’t really thought about it.” Echizen yawned.
“Not at all?!” The junior power player squawked.
The first-year considered it for a moment. “I don’t like long hair,” he offered.
“That doesn’t mean anything!”
Truly, this remained the best way to collect data. Inui’s pen was scribbling so fast he hoped that he would be able to actually read his notes later.
“…She’d have to like tennis?” he added. He sounded bored of the discussion.
“But you said you don’t like An!” Momoshiro pointed out.
“I don’t,” Echizen agreed. 
“But she’s the only girl I can think of that has both short hair and likes tennis!”
Echizen just shrugged. They stopped by a vending machine, and the first year bought a can of Ponta. 
“Ah, forget it,” the junior dismissed, then stretched. “Man, practice was a killer today. Want to skip the street courts this time?”
“Haven’t been keeping up with your training schedule?” Echizen smirked.
“Who could? That Inui must be trying to kill us!”
Momoshiro paused at the lack of agreement from his friend. “Eh? Something on your mind?”
"Just that Inui-senpai has being acting weird," he stated blandly.
The tall power player laughed at that statement. "Inui-senpai has always been weird!"
The freshman didn't bother responding. Inui made another note in his journal. Momoshiro would definitely be trying out his new batch of Inui Super Special Ultimate Juice Max next practice.
“I mean, he’s always muttering about his data and asking all sorts of questions and stalking everyone. He was even asking me what your favourite colour was the other day,” the junior continued, oblivious to the growing dark presence just out of their sight. “And those weird juices of his!” He shivered for dramatic effect.
“Hn. They are pretty disgusting,” Echizen agreed distractedly.
Inui wasn’t quite certain whether he should be more offended at the candid dismissal of his health drinks – they were for their own good, and provided many vitamins and nutrients that would promote healthy growth and an increase in stamina! – or at the accusation of stalking. 
Although… what was he doing right now?
Inui’s pen stilled. It wasn’t something that had ever bothered him before, but he suddenly felt slightly uncomfortable about invading Echizen’s privacy in such a fashion. True, he was collecting a great deal of highly valuable data, but none of it was really related to tennis. Was it okay to collect personal data like this?
When did it stop being data gathering, and become outright stalking?
It was bad enough that near nightly he invaded the freshman’s privacy in his own imagination.
“I don’t know how Fuji-senpai drinks it and says he likes it.”
Echizen didn’t comment. 
“Hey, speaking of Fuji-senpai, you know his brother? Last time An and I were at the street courts…”
Inui closed the notebook, and let the two of them walk out of sight as Momoshiro continued his monologue. 
He wasn’t comfortable collecting data this way in regards to Echizen. This wasn’t his usual sort of project. This was a personal endeavour. And he hadn’t even considered what might happen to his percentages if he was caught! It could very easily undo all the progress he’d made thus far.
The data-gatherer turned on his heel and started to head home. It would be more meaningful if he collected the data without resorting to stalking, he concluded. It would be a new challenge. 
Quite frankly, Inui was looking forward to it.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 21st, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Haven't read it yet, but the words are all centred and the lj cut isn't working. :P

Feb. 21st, 2009 07:31 am (UTC)
LJ being retarded. Only ever happens when I don't preview. :P All fixed now!
Feb. 21st, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Ooh, Inui's having some interesting thoughts there. :DDD

Also, I think there's something wrong with the cut. The entire chapter shows up outside of it.
Feb. 21st, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
All better, sorry for the temporary flist spammage. Thanks!
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
Even though he finds it a real challenge and it's almost like a game, I'm satisfied that he's starting to understand that his work will have consequences. Sin, I love your analytic Inui. He's wonderful. :3 :3

Ryoma is so cute! I like the tiny little hints of him wondering about what's happening with Inui - the way he just murmurs answers but everyone knows there are parts he's not saying. :3
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:23 am (UTC)
I love how blunt and short Ryoma is with Momoshiro. *______*

Also, *points up* this is why you edit in html entirely. :|
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)
sdlkfjlsjf but I'm laaaaaazy. And it's too much like what I spend my whole day doing at work. :| All those brackets that must be closed. :|:|:|
Feb. 21st, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
"Inui had attempted to collected a great deal..." An uncharacteristic grammatical mistake from you.

Wow, Inui has a conscience. I never thought... XD And Ryoma says everything when he's saying nothing. That is so Echizen! I've always thought your characterisation of Ryoma is so very spot-on!

We'll see what Inui does next. ;P All in all, this is a pretty funny chapter.

Oh, and I checked out bookshop's journals, and WOW! I don't think I've ever seen anyone ship TezuRyo like her, and I don't think I ever will. Lol~
Feb. 21st, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
Oops, I forgot to mention I'm Purple Crow. ^^; And sorry for the double comment, there's something wrong with my connection (like always).
Feb. 21st, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
Don't mind. I deleted the duplicate for you. ^__^ And good spotting! It's fixed now. (Always there's one that makes it through...)

I guessed, but thank you for identifying yourself. I guess this means you've officially delurked. ;) Glad you enjoyed this chapter.

Bookshop does indeed ship Pillar with an intensity almost unrivalled. It's only a shame she's not really active in the fandom anymore.
Feb. 21st, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
Sparkly Fish


and ryoma. not paying attention to momo. but paying attention too. at the same time. *___*
Feb. 21st, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)

Sorry, I am still trying to get over Inui and girly magazines *____*
Feb. 22nd, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Hurrah!! Inui's methods are changing~! I was worried before, but I guess I didn't need to be, heee.

I love how he makes a note to make Momo drink some of his Inui juice. All for the sake of collecting data, of course. >D

Plus, Inui reading Cosmo-type mags? I saw this coming. He wouldn't have been able to resist the quizzes...
Feb. 23rd, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Indeed, even without foreshadowing the Cosmo mags were a given. :3
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
I LOVE THE QUIZZES *____________________________*

Feb. 24th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )