Note from me: This story is marked as incomplete, and it is. But I'm not going to update it, partly because I can't bring myself to, and partly because there's no other reason. This is highly explicit, and there is 'non-descriptive' Atobe-centric sex in this, but kind of descriptive all the same. Might involve an entire team. A former coach. Atobe's life is well and truly fucked up beyond words in the story. I am warning you. This is probably disturbing. Very. But once you write something like Divine Intervention I guess there's nowhere to go but up.
While I wouldn't dream of dedicating such a piece of shit story to somebody, my heart goes out to the kind people writing kind things in my world of text.
Time is passing by like quicksand in his palm. Just a few seconds ago it was 15:45 and now it's 16:20. What did he - what had he been doing? He doesn't remember. He's been staring at his Mathematics homework, having finished it already but had he been doing that ten twenty thirty thirty-five minutes ago? He doesn't remember. He only knows he feels lonely right now. Lonely at the top, it's always lonely at the top, perhaps it was meant to imply that only a few very special people get to win everything and that's why you won't find many people always successful but he takes it at face value. Yuushi can rib him all he wants, at the end of the day he goes back home to Gakuto, and Atobe, he, goes back home alone, and Kabaji isn't really a friend anymore, just a sycophant without the sycophantic behaviour, a follower without questions but also without love.
He can only wonder where, where, where the hell did his self-confidence go, where did his inflated ego go, did it leave when he let himself think 'what must he think of me'? Because Ryoma doesn't think of him.
But he's a wonderful boy. Ryoma, not Keigo. He would have flourished in Keigo's world of tennis-as-a-hobby and dinner parties and business-meetings-at-just-seventeen-years-old. He would have thrived. Instead Keigo gets to live Keigo's world and sit in front of the door, cradling himself, wondering if his brain is as sick as it's telling itself. If the darkness is spreading. How much time he has left.
He's taken to looking in mirrors. A lot. Very often. Only mirrors. No other reflective surfaces. In those he can't stand himself.
He can't stand himself away from those surfaces, too. He finds himself shivering. It's not shivering because it's not really cold outside, but he's trembling, shaking. This isn't adaptive behaviour like shivering is. Mirrors tell him he's beautiful. He wishes those mirrors were Ryoma.
Sometimes he gets so angry. He could kill someone in that anger.
Then he is shocked at himself. Then the cycle repeats. Mundanely appalling.
He takes comfort in the perfection of his skin and physique and report cards, because he is intelligent and beautiful and a destroyed creature. Yang to the yin. Everybody's hiding something. Atobe hides his need to check his physical existence in the mirror and ensure he is still flesh and blood and bone... and cartilage and tissue and water and keratin and t-lymphocytes and macrophages and lymph and hormones, enzymes. He's dead. 'Inside.' Because he is going to be the first person in the world to rot while in homeostasis. His mom's gonna demand an award for that. A bit on her later.
He takes pride in his tennis, because it temporarily gives him back that air of superiority he once had. It's easier to pretend you're the shit when a crowd is watching. (Not so with Ryoma and his disturbed eyes.)
He takes pride in how his mother shows him off. Your child isn't like my child. See. Does your child overachieve like mine does. Look. He's living gold don't you fucking touch him.
His dad, on the other hand... notice me, dad. Keigo can't remember a time when his father looked at him. But he isn't winning everything for his father's attention, he's above that, that's beneath him.
He meets up with Coach Sakaki, who isn't his coach anymore, and if after repeated nostalgic conversations they undress each other in a hotel room paid for with Sakaki's card without love and fuck each other without tenderness no one says a word. Sakaki is unusually youthful and... active without the responsibility of Atobe's sports future on his shoulders.
And he stays till the morning. Ryoma would leave as soon as they were done. Ryoma wouldn't worship him. But Sakaki does. Tarou. That's his name. Forty-three going on thirty-three physically. Which is still a wide gap, fuck, but Keigo doesn't care as long as Tarou still looks at him and bites his lip and mutters guiltily to himself, so Keigo spreads his legs and beckons without beckoning, by placing his hands where he wants Tarou to do the same.
Tarou can lift him up and fuck him without him ever touching the floor, the wall, or the bed. Tarou can cover his body entirely with his own. Tarou fits.
But he won't kiss him.
That's okay, really. Atobe messes up Sakaki's fancy hairstyle instead while Sakaki creates dark red lovebites on Atobe's inner thighs.
Sakaki worships him, really. At least... at least they don't plan their meetings. They run into each other. Just run into each other.
Ugh, he knows it's fucked up, but the fucked up world follows a fucked up formula, fucked up people have to do fucked up things all the time. All the time. Even if they don't want to. Especially if.
Atobe sometimes takes a biro into his hand and draws on himself. He draws a cartoon heart on the wrong side of his chest and a bean shaped stomach where his liver is and his intestines are just curly blue lines that don't really curl that way. He draws scars onto his wrists. The 'down the road' kind. 'Across the street' was once, for him, a call for attention... from fucking nobody. Nobody. Despite what the psychologist said to his parents (mom).
His team (even Ootori, even Ootori) once got together in the locker room towards the end of their time as a team in high school to pleasure him, y'know. Pleasure him. Not please him. With explicit consent and permission, of course. Atobe was thrilled, because look somebody loves him. He kind of knows why they did it. Gratitude of sorts. He probably changed their lives in huge ways. Somebody was gasping that out while riding him. He knows who it was but everyone pretended they were strangers that time.
They did things that day. Did things unspeakably filthy because hey, they were all going to different universities and weren't going to see each other so soon so they needn't remember how someone swallowed Atobe's broken moans, someone swallowed Atobe's come, someone spread Atobe's legs and licked him everywhere, even there, fucking him with tongues and spit-slicked fingers, and made him arch his back and sucked on his nipples and made them shiny red and kissed his cock and his six-pack abs and teased him and tempted him and left lasting marks on him and double-penetrated him and spit-roasted him and got fucked by him, tied him up with their ties and kissed his red mouth slow and deep and got his sweat and come in their hair. Fucked him with the handle of his own tennis racket while someone held him up in their arms and made him (after asking if they could) suck them all off. Heard and loved his breathing and his gasping and his moaning. Ground their hips against his and looked straight into his eyes. Some did everything. Some just watched. Then whoever could reach him held him in their arms and hugged him close, letting him fall asleep for once.
Atobe was wrecked for days (couldn't go home looking like he did, so Oshitari let him sleep over... for days) after that and permanently lost his gag reflex. No one could look each other in the eye till final exams. But they'd do this again in the blink of an eye. They're all in love with Atobe just a little bit. Just a lot. Overwhelmingly in love with him, but they harbour no illusions about the fact that Atobe has eyes only for Ryoma, only for Echizen Ryoma, who's in the US now and won't look back, who's in the US winning everything left and right just like Atobe is in Japan.
Look. The world worships Atobe Keigo. It's a fact.
...Hyotei does, especially, going by the way even the coach (how old is he?) fucks him open now.
Atobe laughs bitterly. It's been seven years from that day, and he's twenty five years old now. He was seventeen yesterday and eighteen last night. Time... is passing too fast. Maybe he's really dead.
Ryoma, where are you?
Has he imagined everything?
He wakes up one day to find Ryoma smiling down at him. "Good morning, Monkey King."
Atobe kisses him so he can wake up from this wake-up and remember how it feels to kiss a loved one.
Ryoma kisses him back, and then gets out of the bed to shower. Atobe goes back to sleep. He wakes up again to find his father smiling at him and caring. He wakes up and his mother isn't using him as a social tool. He wakes up and he's back in the locker room with the people he loves most in the world.
He wakes up and he's rotting again. He can smell it. There's no smell but he can smell it. Like intuition.
Why the fuck is this happening? He finds it harder and harder to remember the star he was, a shining, burning ball of gas destined to explode and make space pretty to aliens watching from lightyears away.
He breathes in his own smell, it's not a good smell because he probably hasn't showered for a couple of days because if he goes into the bathtub he remembers how he tried to kill himself over and over and over but the cuts (he made them deep) bled a bit and then stopped because his athlete body is fucking stellar and clotted the blood like an A grade... blood-clotter.
Sometimes he lies down on the bed and finds his ten-year old self sleeping beside him. He tries to wake the child up to warn him of how life's going to go bad really, really fast, but the child never wakes up. He's smiling. Atobe begins to pity him.
Sometimes, once he's done pretending at school, Jirou comes home with him, and helps him get out of his skin. Stop pretending.
Jirou sleeps, jetpacking him, and that helps Keigo sleep, too.
He's twenty-five, now, and he's talking about when he was sixteen.
When he was sixteen, he was a wet dream come true.
When he was sixteen, his psychologist told his parents he was at greak risk to himself. He got out of having to go to an... institution because the Atobe family isn't entirely fucking useless.
When he was sixteen, Ryoma broke up with him. He had tears in his eyes. Atobe hates the US, now. Taking Ryoma away. Not like it's not just hours away, but responsibilities (that he spectacularly failed at upholding) and Ryoma's breaking up with him held him back in Japan.
He models sometimes. Not naked. He will never show his body to the entire world, because the entire world might fall in lust with him in its utter shallowness.
He appears on billboards now.
He's famous, actually. Everyone knows his name. He's more famous than his dad and his dad had the grace to concede defeat.
Everyone knows his name and wants his opinion and commentary. He just wants to request his old teammates for... one more round.
They'd come from wherever they are. Because it's the person who changed their lives. And Atobe finally knows.
He bought a couple of... things (edible lube, vibrator) the other day, from this adult store aka sex shop, and got two unfamiliar people (he doesn't remember how he did it) to use them on him. Anyone would agree, the world loves him!
See, the locker room thing, it's not and will never be the central part of his story, his life, and doesn't define him, but he is fixated on it because that... was... the only time in his entire fucking life that he was loved unconditionally. Even his relationship with Ryoma can't hold a candle to that.
Which... is saying something.
He dreams about it. He dreams and remembers Shishido's tongue on the tip of his cock and his hungry eyes boring holes into his own. He remembers Choutarou, Ootori Choutarou holding his hips and fucking him into... into Gakuto's hard body while underneath him Jirou ran his hands all over Atobe, jacking him off slowly, tightly, not letting him come. He remembers Hiyoshi asking if he could tie him up, remembers himself showing his wrists to him, wrists and feet so Hiyoshi took someone else's tie too, and bound him loosely, and then made him come twice using only his tongue and fingers on Keigo's nipples.
He reckons the entire day was spent in that locker room, and no one came to search for them. It was... probably a Sunday. If it isn't a Sunday!
He remembers because he skipped a Monday class test (all of them did) in school the next day, lying in Oshitari's spare bed and touching his overstimulated body all over and groaning while Yuushi watched with an amused smile but did nothing.
He couldn't play tennis the entire week. His distant father and detached mother were furious at him for that, demanding reasons. But was he really going to show them the bruises, the love bites, the hand prints?
Anyway, so he's twenty-five now, a day away from twenty-six, and out of nowhere his parents throw him a surprise party, inviting all his high school peers.
Which means his entire team's present. And coming. Pun intended. Ha ha ha.
The white half-ironed shirt he puts on underneath the black blazer and slacks is half-ironed solely because he couldn't wait for the butler to finish the job, and when he walks into the hotel hall (ballroom) his parents arranged to have the party in, the applause that greets him from all the people attending is thunderous. He is loved. Liked, at the very least.
Everyone wants a piece of him, congratulating him on making it this far, on the fact that his father is going to hand him the reins of his multinational corporation soon - open secret, really - on the fact that he literally has everything he could want in life.
But he doesn't have Ryoma, does he? His old boyfriend who left him for greater and grander things. His old boyfriend who won't cradle him and whisper stupid tennis jokes into his ear at night.
Or maybe he does have him. Somebody by the bar is wearing a white Fila cap to a black tie event, and it can only be one person.
Ryoma. Echizen Ryoma. Second-most famous tennis player on Earth (Tezuka is the first). Prodigy. Could defeat any damn body in the world.
Ryoma. Echizen Ryoma. Dirty smiles and sarcastic remarks, mocking taunts directed at everybody. If he hadn't been so caustic the world would have ended.
Perhaps he's to blame for Atobe's life breaking down internally. Perhaps not. Most of it happened after he left, but was Atobe's love that all-consuming? Maybe. Atobe's parents love each other with that same one-track focus (to a point where they neglect their son). Maybe Atobe never got over Ryoma's absence.
He catches sight of golden eyes near the makeshift bar and loses his breath. Pushes through the crowd vying for his attention, and when he sees that fucking smirk, he loses it. Ryoma jumps off the bar stool (he's still short as fuck) and onto him.
Ryoma's face buried in the crook of his neck.
Ryoma's hair smelling like Atobe's old favourite shampoo.
Ryoma's hands bunching into the blazer.
It feels divine.
It feels transcendent.
Atobe feels whole again. But he's still not whole. There's a part of him that left and never came back. If it did, Atobe probably wouldn't recognize it.
They go into one of the hotel rooms reserved for some of his out-of-town guests to fuck, the eyes of Atobe's high school tennis team on them.
Oshitari turns his gaze to Gakuto, murmurs "it was always going to be this way", takes his hand and leaves after a shot (or five) of tequila.
Ootori and Shishido follow.
The rest, single but not desperate, stay. They're happy for the person that changed their lives. They really are. Kabaji and Jirou cry, unnameable emotional baggage suddenly evaporated.
Ryoma tells him later that he's returning and staying, if Atobe still wants to tolerate him, and Atobe says yes. They kiss and kiss again.
Sakaki Tarou walks into his old haunts, his favourite cafés and restaurants, and sits down alone. He waits till they tell him they're closing. He doesn't wait anymore after the second time, knowing he's at peace.