Inui was still in the locker room when Tezuka came in to change, long after everyone else had gone home. He sat cross-legged on the floor, half-dressed, scrutinizing the neat, bold writing that crawled across the pages of his notebook. Periodically he would circle something with a thick red pen, muttering to himself as he adjusted his glasses only to have them slide back down his nose.
Tezuka turned his back to Inui and pulled a clean shirt out of his duffel bag.
“Based on the information that I had, the probability that I would win today’s match was eighty-nine percent.”
Tezuka ignored him.
“I did not think that you could have improved your tennis so much in the last several months, with your arm in poor condition. I will factor in the possibility before our next match. It is unlikely that–”
“You left this on the court,” Tezuka interrupted. He dug in his pocket for the woven bracelet, worn through in the middle, practically garbage but he’d picked it up anyway when he saw it lying in the middle of the empty court. Inui’s wrist looked strangely bare without it.
Inui reached up. Their fingers brushed together. “I won’t lose next time,” he said.
Challenge. Tezuka’s skin went hot and prickly. I look forward to it, he wanted to say. “You’ll be running laps next time you forget to pick up your trash, Imui” he warned.
Inui smiled and slid the bracelet between the pages of his notebook.