Disclaimer:  Tennis no Ohjisama is the property of Konomi Takeshi.

Author's Notes:  This story is for dementia, who requested a holiday Oishi love triangle fic.  Granted, the entire story isn't about Oishi (as I got sidetracked thinking about snowmen), but I've made up for it (I hope), in that this story is four times as long as 2500 word limit.

The Great Snowman Race

By CalicoKitten

"What?!"

"You must be crazy!"

"…Mada mada dane…"

Smiling at the expected responses from the rival Seigaku tennis team, Atobe inspected his nails carefully before returning his attention to his own team.

"I happen to think it's a great idea.  Don't you?"

By 'you', he meant the rest of the Hyotei team, or the ones who were currently awake.  Shishido, face hidden under the cap that dipped lower and lower, gave him a look that said not to involve him or he'd punch Atobe's pretty face in.  Hiyoshi and Oshitari looked rather indifferent, as they always did, and Kabaji remained expressionless, reinforcing him as Atobe's 'brainless' henchman, which, if anyone saw his school grades, he most certainly was not.  Jirou lay sleeping precariously on the edge of a step, with Mukahi towering over him as much as his height would allow, a glint in his eyes that wanted to kick Jirou down the steps.

Ohtori, face peeking out from over Shishido's slumped shoulder, said worriedly, "But Atobe, isn't it a little rude to invite Seigaku to your New Year's Eve party and then blackmail them into doing something first?"

"It's not blackmail, Ohtori," Atobe sniffed haughtily, nose pointed in the air as he lounged in his expensive purple chair.  "It's just a game.  It'll be fun."

"Fun for you," Shishido huffed right back.  "You're not the one that's doing the work."

Atobe feigned shock.  "Me?  Work?  I may not be 'playing' the game, but I do have a hand in the prize, you know."

"Prize?"  Fuji Syuusuke, the epitome of sadism everywhere, piped up, smile widening just enough to make Echizen Ryoma and Momoshiro Takeshi inch slowly away from him.

"Yes!" Atobe crowed, delighted that someone else had joined into the spirit of the game proposed.  "The prize of the winner – whichever team wins, that is – is…"

He paused for effect, allowing it to last longer than necessary as eyes drifted away from him and Jirou's light snores continued.

"…To hear the other team's buchou karaoke!"

Silence.

"That's it?" Momo asked impatiently.

Kaidoh, in rare agreement with the other second year, added, "Doesn't seem special to me."

"Yeah."  Shishido shoved his cap back further on his head.  "We all know it won't matter if we lose, anyway.  Atobe loves to flaunt himself.  He'll probably wear that god awful white pimp suit if he had to sing onstage."

Atobe frowned at him, glowering at the comment indicating he had bad fashion sense.  "For your information, Shishido, there is nothing wrong with that white suit of mine.  Besides…"

He stopped to turn his gaze back on Seigaku, and specifically on one Kunimitsu Tezuka.

"If you don't agree, you won't be able to attend my New Year's celebration."

Ohtori frowned, the nice boy nature of his kicking in at his captain's words.  "Atobe-san…that's not very nice…"

"It might not be nice, but I, for one, think it might be fun," Fuji spoke up again, seemingly ignorant to the spiteful glares Echizen and Momoshiro were sending his way.  "Don't you, Tezuka?"

"Aa," Tezuka replied unexpectedly, arms crossed like always over his chest.  "It might be good for teamwork, too."

"He's just saying that because he doesn't have to do anything," Echizen pouted to Momo, and Tezuka chose to ignore him.

"Ano…what is the game?" Kawamura asked shyly as he saw with quite some concern Mukahi rolling Jirou over to fall down the steps.

"It's quite simple, really," Atobe drawled smoothly, frowning at Mukahi.  "Seigaku just has to make me a snowman bigger than the one my team comes up with."

"That's all?" Fuji asked as he stopped the sleeping Hyotei player from the trip down the stairs.  He smiled down at the other, and Jirou blinked his eyes sleepily.

"Hey!  It's Fuji Syuusuke!  Will you have a game with me?!  Please, please, please?!"  The now awake Hyotei player jumped up excitedly, clinging to Fuji like plastic wrap on leftovers.

"That's all.  No other rules."

"Okay.  We accept," Oishi said, paying no heed to the death glares given to him by his kouhai and smiling instead at Tezuka, who looked for all the world like he really didn't care what was going on.

"Wonderful."

And with that, the great snowman race between Seigaku and Hyotei began.

*

"I wonder what size snowman we need…" Oishi pondered, peering at the landscape with the vast amounts of snow he'd chosen for Seigaku's snowman-building.  "Inui?"

"I can't be sure," Inui said as he scribbled on his ever-present notebook.  "But Hyotei's team has the notably strong Kabaji…and with his size and their determination, I'm not sure if we'll be able to make one bigger."

Echizen ran past them suddenly, and a snowball meant for the short boy hit Inui in the face.

"Maa…why don't we just let buchou karaoke?" the first year smirked as Inui wiped the snow off his glasses while still also keeping them on his face.

Oishi appeared horror stricken.  "What?  And let the Seigaku name down?!  We can't do that!"

"Oishi-senpai, you heard Inui-senpai.  We don't have anyone on our team as big as that monster," Momo said, draping an arm around the unsuspecting Echizen while shoving a handful of snow in the shorter boy's hair with his other hand.

Echizen coughed as snow cascaded down his face, waving his arms around to dislodge Momo's hands.

"I know we don't," Oishi stated, paying no heed to the two underclassmen who switched to threatening each other with ice balls.  "But I know another team that does!"

And with that, he took out his cell phone, pressed a few buttons, and held it to his ear.

"Ah, Oishi desu.  I was wondering if you would help us out with a little problem…"

As Oishi spoke on his cell phone discreetly as if he feared others were listening, Momo pulled Echizen aside, motioning for the other boy to come closer.

Echizen moved closer, for no reason other than the fact that he liked the pretense of secrecy.

"Oi, Echizen.  Oishi-senpai really wants to win, right?  Do you think we should help him?"

Echizen looked at the other boy as if he was stupid.  "Duh, Momo-senpai."

"Well, do you think I should…" whispered Momo, shoving his mouth nearer so that he very nearly touched Echizen's ear with his lips.

Thinking his words over, Echizen shrugged and shoved the second year's head away roughly, earning him a whine.  "Is that allowed?"

"Ah, I think it is," Fuji interrupted from where he listened in, heedless of their secret conversation and smiling cheerfully.  "I think it's a good plan myself.  I have some acquaintances that would probably help out, too."

He patted the snow angel he'd made on the head, running a hand over the halo to smooth it out and rubbing a spoon in the curves of the feathered wings.

"Fuji-senpai," Echizen said, and he and Momo shared a wry look as they glanced at the pretty snow angel the other made.

"What?"

"…"

"Hmm?"

"Never mind," Momo lied hastily, grabbing Echizen by the arm and dragging the boy off.  "Let's go make that phone call now, Echizen."

"…Mada mada dane…"

*

"Why the hell are we doing this?" Shishido muttered angrily, rolling a ball of snow into the white powder and glaring at it when the snow wouldn't stick.  "Why can't Atobe just say he wants Seigaku to come?  Stupid fucker has to make a big show of it…"

"Shishido," Ohtori admonished.  "You shouldn't call Atobe names."

"It's true, Choutarou," Shishido insisted.  He gave up on the small ball of snow and chose to throw it at Mukahi instead, hitting him soundly in the head with a satisfying thwack.

"Hey, don't throw your defective snowman head at me, bitch," Mukahi hissed, wiping the snow off the back of his head and tossing a snowball back, which Shishido deftly dodged.  "Some of us are actually working here."

"You just want to beat Seigaku because their Kikumaru Eiji is better than you," Shishido said, grinning at the annoyed expression that crossed Oshitari's face at the taunts hurled towards his doubles partner.  Hell, if Shishido was stuck making a damn snowman for some contest he didn't care about, he'd make his teammates' lives as miserable as he was.

As expected, the lithe redhead popped up in front of him, pent up energy raging.

"That crappy player is NOT better than me!  Take that back!"

"Why?" Shishido smirked.

Mukahi made as if to lunge across the deep snow at him, and Ohtori immediately placed himself in front of Shishido as if to protect him from the rabid redhead, but Oshitari was there, pulling his partner back by the waist.

"Gakuto, he's just pissed about the contest because he can't really make a snowman.  Look at his pitiful attempts."

Shishido became even more pissed when Oshitari mentioned the poor snow-body parts lying like dead corpses on the ground, and he opened his mouth to retort, but Ohtori put a hand on his shoulder gently.

"Shishido-san, do you have to bait them?"

Shishido immediately felt guilty as he glanced at his doubles partner, berating himself for making Ohtori disappointed once again.

"…I don't know how to make snowmen, Choutarou.  Mine come out all disemboweled."

Ohtori laughed.  He swung his arms around Shishido's neck, and Shishido turned slightly red at the affection.

"Is that all?  I can help you with that, then."

Shishido shrugged, feeling the heavy arms on his shoulders tighten in response.

"I think we should get more people to help us, though."

Ohtori raised an eyebrow at his words, and Shishido, frowning because he couldn't do that himself, pushed it back down.

"Isn't that cheating?"

Shishido thought about it.

"No.  He didn't say anything against having people to help us."

"I guess it's okay, when you put it that way," Ohtori said, and smiled at Shishido from where his head lay on the other's shoulder.  He nuzzled his neck, and Shishido could feel the softness and scent of Ohtori's hair.

He promptly blushed.

*

"Oishi-kun?"

The vice-captain glanced up from where he sat discussing potential snowman specs with Inui and instantly climbed to his feet to greet the other.

"Kajimoto-kun!"

He shook the Jyousei captain's hand and nodded at the other members of Jyousei Shounan that stood behind him.

"Thank you for helping us out with this," Oishi told the other gratefully as he gestured towards the white, round objects that lay all over the field.  "I didn't really know who else to call for a job like this."

"No problem," Kajimoto insisted.  "We're happy to be of service."

"Well," Wakato Hiroshi broke in charmingly, winking at his captain who suddenly resorted to giving him a look for seemingly no particular reason.  "Our buchou here also wanted to see you again, Oishi-san.  I think he grew fond of you after our matches…"

Pink tinged Oishi's cheeks as the twins – Youhei and Kouhei, he believed – smacked the orange-haired tennis player simultaneously on both arms.

"Wakato-kun should learn to keep his mouth closed," the blue-haired twin proclaimed while his brother nodded in agreement.

"Me?"  Wakato pretended to act hurt at the comment.  "I guess you don't want to know about the secret admirer your older brother has, then, I suppose…"

"Secret admirer?!"  Kouhei instantaneously rounded on his brother, who now sported rosy spots on his cheeks that matched his hair.  "What secret admirer?  Why don't I know about this?!"

"Um…"  Youhei pulled on the fabric of his black choker nervously.  How was he supposed to deal with a curious younger brother?  "Um…"

He shot Wakato a death glare, and the taller boy just smiled back, reaching out a hand to muss up his magenta locks.

Kajimoto coughed suddenly, red also coloring his features slightly, and turned back to Oishi, who continued to smile despite his blush.

"I'm terribly sorry about that.  Wakato has a way of stating things he shouldn't."  He punctuated the statement by looking pointedly at the other, and Wakato took no notice of it.  "You said you needed Daichi especially?"

"Ah, yes," Oishi managed, keeping the stammering out of his voice.  "Kiriyama's tall and pretty strong, so I was wondering if he could roll us the bottom of the snowman for our contest against Hyotei?"

"You called us in for this?" Oota asked in disbelief, looking for all the world like a midget next to the giant Kiriyama.

"Oota, be respectful," Kajimoto reprimanded sternly.

"So speaks up our buchou to defend his loverboy," Wakato supplied, peeking out from behind the silent and stoic Shinjyo.

Kiriyama took care of the orange-haired boy this time, taking a hold of the back of his shirt and flinging him some distance away.

"I don't mind."

"Great!"  Oishi perked up noticeably, and he pointed off to the side at where Kawamura and Kikumaru were attempting to make an incredibly large snowball even larger.  "They got started on it already."

Kiriyama, after one glimpse of it, sighed and shook his head as if they were amateurs.

"That's all?  I thought it would be bigger.  Come on, Oota," he said, though the tiny boy would be practically no help in making the ball larger, as it was twice his size.

"And be helpful," Kajimoto added while the smaller boy stuck a tongue out at him.  He glanced over to where his teammates would be working, then, and spotted catlike eyes staring back at him before looking away hurriedly.

"Oishi-kun, your doubles partner…are you two…"

Oishi blushed yet again, and he waved his hands around frantically to indicate a negative response to Kajimoto's unspoken question.  A glimpse at the pretty captain's face showed relief, and Oishi wasn't sure if he should be glad or not, but a funny feeling fluttered through his chest.

"I see."

Kajimoto's piercing amethyst eyes met his, and the brown-haired boy opened his mouth to say more, but Momo ran up, Echizen in tow, beckoning for Oishi.

"Ah, excuse me," Oishi, this time, did stammer, and he rushed off to attend to his underclassmen.

Momo wore a smug expression on his face when he arrived, and Echizen was trying to pry his arm away from the second year.

"What is it?" Oishi asked, and Momo motioned behind him, triumphant at his accomplishment.

The Fudomine team, minus Tachibana, stood before him, and beside them was the Yamabuki team.  He spotted the Fudomine doubles pair of Ishida and Sakurai talking amicably to the Jimmies while Yamabuki's vice-captain Sengoku currently had an arm about Fudomine's own vice-captain, who seemed mildly irritated at the attention but not so much as to deck the other boy for being friendly.

Minami recognized him immediately and strode up, offering a hand in greeting.

"Oishi-kun, we'd be happy to lend you some help with this snowman of yours."

"Ah, thanks," Oishi answered, shaking the proffered hand.  Briefly, he wondered if four teams were really necessary to make one snowman, but his thoughts drifted as he caught wind of another conversation.

"Maa, Kamio-kun!  Don't be like that!"

Kamio growled and attempted to shake off the offending arm.  Sengoku persisted, however, and glomped onto him even more.

"Like what?!  I'm always like this!"

"I know, I know!"  Sengoku winked slyly, hugging the younger boy as if he was attached with super glue.  "But that's what makes you so cute!"

Kamio turned a brilliant scarlet.

"Oh, are you warm, Kamio-kun?" Sengoku asked, mistaking the color for something other than what it was.  He hugged the boy closer around the neck, and it was a miracle Kamio didn't suffocate.  "Or maybe you're cold?  You want my coat?"

"…and that Yamabuki player is hitting on Kamio.  The lucky one.  Why is he so lucky anyway?  Does he think he can score with Kamio?" Shinji's voice cut through suddenly.

Oishi turned away at the distraction, intent on finding out the progress of the snowman, and ran straight into a smiling Fuji.

"Ne, Oishi."  Fuji eyed the several people behind him, and that slow, wicked – there was really no other term for it – smile appeared yet again.  "Oh, you brought in Yamabuki and Fudomine.  I just wanted to let you know I found more to help out as well.  I hope you don't mind?"

"Er…"  And Oishi looked behind Fuji, and at the two teams he had brought with him.

St. Rudolph prominently illustrated their school by the display of Mizuki Hajime and Fuji Yuuta making out next to Fuji's watchful snow angel, and one of their doubles player – Oishi couldn't remember the name but knew it was the one Momo knocked out with a Dunk Smash – was currently hitting on the blue-haired twin from Shounan, obviously not realizing Kouhei was a boy, not a girl.  The rest of St. Rudolph seemed mildly amused at the sight of the Rokkaku third year Kurobane Harukaze kicking his doubles partner, Amane Hikaru – otherwise known as Davide – due to one of the second year's horrible puns.  Third year Itsuki Marehiko had latched onto Oishi's own doubles partner, whom he had caught sneaking glances towards him every once in a while.

And Rokkaku's vice-captain…well, he wasn't quite sure what Saeki was doing.  The boy held that twinkle in his eyes that told Oishi he was searching for someone, but there were too many people, and he couldn't see who it was.  The captain, on the other hand, appeared like he was having the time of his life, sledding down the hills on absolutely nothing.

"I called Yuuta up and asked him, and he agreed, but only if all of St. Rudolph could come," Fuji told him, the amused expression on his face growing.  "And I haven't seen Saeki for a while, and I know he'd want to come, especially with the other teams we've invited."

"Ah."

"Are you okay, Oishi?  You look a little pale," Fuji asked concernedly, patting his vice-captain's cheek lightly while surveying the field with those closed eyes of his.

"…I'll be fine.  I think I just need to sit down."

"Make sure you don't sit in snow, then," Fuji replied cheerfully, not mentioning that the entire field was covered in snow.

He figured it was better that way.

*

"What do you mean you're helping Seigaku?!  I asked you first!" Shishido shouted into the phone, tempted to shake it and throw it into the trash can.  "So what if the Fujis are related?  Don't back out on me, Akazawa!"

He cursed again through the phone, and the captain of St. Rudolph must not have liked it.  Shishido soon found himself cursing at a silent phone.

"Damn St. Rudolph and their crappy tennis," he muttered bitterly while feigning ignorance to Ohtori's disapproving gaze.  "Why are all the other teams helping Seigaku, and not us?"

"Maybe because they're nicer…" Ohtori offered as he finished sticking the carrot nose into his fifth snowman.

"It's all Atobe's fault," Shishido stated firmly, wallowing in self-pity.  "He's a pompous bitch.  No wonder why nobody will help us."

He punctuated the statement by punching a hole through one of Ohtori's nicely made snowman, and the junior let him, albeit with a little frown.

"Ooh, Yuushi!" Mukahi yelped, pointing at Ohtori's four remaining snowmen when he saw the damage Shishido's fist had done to the fifth.  "Wouldn't those be fun to knock over?  I'm so bored right now!"

Ohtori looked quite horrified at the thought of his precious snowmen being decapitated, so Shishido stepped up, frowning at the loud redhead.

"Hey, I'm the only one allowed to knock over his snowmen."

"Why?  Because he's your future sex buddy?" Mukahi snarled cruelly, and Shishido lunged at him, Ohtori's face going red in the meantime.

They grappled for a while, Shishido being slightly larger but Mukahi being the more flexible one, and both were soon covered with snow all over.  They broke apart then, and Shishido opened his mouth to spit out a particularly scathing remark when the shorter boy flung a patch of snow at him, hitting him squarely in the face.

Shishido remained silent afterwards, touching his face gingerly, and Ohtori began to worry.

"Shishido-san…are you okay?"

Shishido didn't answer, so the taller boy went over, noticing that his partner's gloved hands blocked his face so that he couldn't see it.  Peering down, he saw that drops of blood stained the snow below a brilliant scarlet.

"Shishido-san!"

He pulled the other's hands away gently, allowing him to see the sizeable cut along the third year's face clearly.

"You're bleeding!"

At his exclamation, a guilty expression immediately clouded Mukahi's face, and Oshitari came over to comfort his small doubles partner.  Ohtori, being the prepared boy that he was, raced back over to his bag, pulling out a first-aid kit while Kabaji remained indifferent, tending to his own snowman.

"Here.  I can clean it up," Ohtori said, gently cleaning the cut and placing a rather large band-aid on afterwards.

Shishido winced at the pain despite his partner's light touches, and said, mostly for Mukahi's sake, "Thanks, Choutarou.  I think it's fine now."

Mukahi looked relieved at his comment but mumbled an apology when Oshitari nudged him by the shoulder.

"Anyway, I think this snowman contest is ridiculous," Shishido continued, poking at the band-aid on his cheek until Ohtori had to physically pry his hand away.  "We should just not make one.  Let Atobe sing in his stupid white pimp suit.  He'll enjoy it, you know."

Ohtori frowned, his fingers still unconsciously caressing the older boy's cheek, but Shishido didn't even seem to notice.  "That doesn't seem right.  We'd let him down."

"Yeah, right," Shishido replied, and he noticed Jirou on the ground then, practically covered in a thin layer of snow.  "Yo.  Jirou."

He kicked Hyotei's number two singles player, and Jirou flopped over, snow scattering everywhere, eyes blinking sleepily.

"What?" the sleepy voice asked wearily.

"What do you think we should do about this snowman thing?"

Jirou turned away from him, yawning sleepily into his hand, and Shishido kicked him gently before the boy could go back to sleep.

"Mmm…" the boy muttered, and Shishido, not for the first time, wondered if Jirou was just a bit narcoleptic.  "…why don't you buy an inflatable snowman?  It's perfectly legal."

And Shishido stared at Jirou, who went back to sleep, as if the boy were the smartest person in the world.

He turned around and hugged a very startled, but very pleased, Ohtori.

"Yes!  That's it!"

*

As Shishido hurriedly made plans to find the largest balloon snowman in existence, Seigaku retained its own problems.

"Look out!"

In some manner of events, the bottom of the snowman was now rolling down the hill languorously, taking a number of tennis players with it as it toppled over them.  Oishi saw Kiriyama in slight shock at the sight of his work causing such destruction, and the perpetrators – one short boy with a white baseball cap and one spiky-haired boy – snuck off quietly to the side, hands wiping away traces of white powder that had surprised the tall boy from Jyousei Shounan.

People everywhere tried to get out of the path of the snowball.  Yuuta simply moved Mizuki aside from where they stood kissing, but their teammate who had been hitting on Kouhei wasn't lucky enough and became trapped underneath as Sengoku pulled Kamio into a safer spot to flirt with the auburn-haired boy.  Kawamura, tennis racket in hand, attempted to stop the descent of the rolling object but was soon defeated, and Oishi could see with worry his teammate's head every now and then.  Kurobane from Rokkaku perceived the danger before his partner did, and with a kick to Davide to move him out of the way, his self-sacrifice brought him under the snowball as well.

Watching dazedly, Oishi spied Inui tackling Kaidoh away, the taller boy subsequently staying on top of the younger boy even when the danger passed.  The snowball swerved dangerously then, and it headed towards Oishi before he knew what happened.

"Oishi!"

It was Kikumaru's voice that yelled his name, but the body that slammed into him wasn't, and he raised his eyes to see brown hair and purple eyes gazing worriedly into his own.

"Are you okay, Oishi-kun?" the ever cordial captain of Jyousei Shounan asked from where he lay on top of Oishi.

Oishi tried to straighten out his bearings, but the warmth of the other boy and the eyes from his doubles partner further away made it harder to think properly.

He settled for saying, "In a minute", and Kajimoto rolled off of him but remained at his side, Kikumaru joining him soon after with another worried expression on his face, and something else by the way he was looking warily at Kajimoto.

His head lolled to the side, and he noticed the ball picking up speed at the sharpest incline.  By now, almost everyone was aware of the danger and had moved to where it was safe, but he spotted a small figure in the distance which seemed unaware of the danger.

"Youhei!"  A blue-haired figure rushed past him, confirming Oishi's suspicions of who it was.

The magenta-haired twin remained standing where he was, his excellent hearing and eyesight identifying the menace beforehand, but he continued looking, obviously fascinated by the white ball rolling directly at him.  Oishi knew the twins were quite fast, but he didn't know if Youhei would be able to move out of the way quickly enough.

"Youhei!" shrieked Kouhei, distressed about whether he should be concerned or angry that his brother faced impending doom.  "Move, damn it!"

And Youhei glanced up at where Kouhei was, glanced back at the peril before him, and his eyes widened drastically.  Kouhei was screaming nonsensical things by now, Wakato trying to calm the shorter boy down, and Oishi, still lying on the snow with Kajimoto and Kikumaru next to him, could distinguish a figure making his way down to the twin at a rapid pace.  Just as the snowball seemed ready to strike Youhei down, the figure jumped, grabbed the small boy around the waist while twisting in midair, and a flurry of snow blew upwards while they plummeted into the snow.

Oishi struggled to sit up, and he felt two sets of arms accommodate him.  Smiling his thanks at both Kajimoto and Kikumaru, he peered down the slope to where the snowball rolled to a stop and to where Youhei and his rescuer were.

"Bane, that was stupid of you," Davide told him as he tried to pull his partner out from being stuck in the huge snowball.  "Didn't you know you'd be 'bowled' over?"

Bane's eyebrow twitched, but he couldn't kick Davide because the entire lower portion of his body was still stuck.

"That's the thanks I get?!"

"No," replied Davide, and the curly-haired boy stopped pulling at Kurobane's arms to plant a quick kiss on his lips.  "I'll make it up to you later."

"Could someone help me out, too?" Kawamura's timid voice broke in.  "I'm completely stuck here."

Fuji took pity on his sushi-chef teammate and enlisted the help of Kiriyama, who felt incredibly bad about the whole thing, in taking Kawamura to safety.

"Da…ne" the St. Rudolph boy said weakly as Kiriyama began to pull him out next.  Oishi felt fairly sorry for the boy; it seemed he had no luck whatsoever after being smashed in the face with Momo's special technique.

"Are you okay, Kamio-kun?" Sengoku asked from where he still held onto Fudomine's vice-captain.  "The snowball didn't get you, did it?"

"No," Kamio said, resigned to the fact that he wouldn't be able to drive the All-Japan player away and not looking too disappointed in it.  "…Thanks."

"No problem!" Sengoku exclaimed cheerfully, and he hugged Kamio and kissed him on the cheek, causing color to rise on the shorter boy's cheeks.

Kouhei ran by then, sliding skillfully down the hill on the soles of his shoes, and began to run to where his brother lay.  Youhei currently held one hand to the back of his head tentatively and squinted his eyes, looking up at the person who had pushed him aside.

"It's you!"

And Youhei blushed wildly, but the person on top of him simply gave a smile in return, reaching down to stroke the soft skin of the older twin slowly.

"You can't get away from me now."

Saeki gently helped Youhei into a sitting position, but one arm came around to the boy's other side, and the other hand checked his head to see if he was hurt.

"Is there a reason you've been avoiding me since we've met?  Wakato-kun says you're just playing hard to get."

"No, I'm not!" stuttered Youhei as his cheeks flared again.

"Oh?"  Saeki offered him a wry look and bent his head down to kiss the other boy.

Kouhei interrupted the scene just then, much to Youhei's appreciation and Saeki's disappointment, yelling at how much of an idiot his older brother was to not have moved.  Saeki grudgingly let Youhei move from where he sat, a lustful expression preying around the white-haired boy's eyes, and he followed when Kouhei dragged Youhei off, Youhei sneaking guarded glances back at the other.

Fuji suddenly appeared next to Oishi, and he jumped back with a start.

"Oh?  So that's who Saeki's interested in…"

The prodigy gazed sideways at him, noting both Kajimoto and Kikumaru with him, and his expression became wicked once more.

"Seems you've got company with you.  Sorry to intrude on your threesome."

He winked as Oishi blushed and as Kajimoto and Kikumaru gave each other cautious once-overs, leaving to find Echizen and Momoshiro to congratulate them on aiding with making the snowman even bigger.

"Ano…Oishi," Kikumaru spoke up hesitantly.  He scratched the back of his head in a nervous gesture.  "Can I talk to you for a second?"

"Ah, Eiji."  Oishi turned to his doubles partner and smiled kindly.  "Of course you can.  You know you can talk to me about anything."

Wordlessly, Kajimoto nodded at the exchange and, with a parting touch to Oishi's shoulder to make sure he was okay, the Jyousei captain left to find Kouhei and Youhei.

"What do you want to say?"

"Well…"  Kikumaru twiddled his thumbs around tensely, not meeting Oishi's eyes.  "Do you…ano…do you…"

"I really like you, Oishi," the hyperactive redhead said instead, covering his mouth up immediately afterwards as if he hadn't meant to say it.

Oishi was dumbstruck.

"Um…oh, Eiji.  I…"

He flinched backwards when Kikumaru's dismayed face came up to his, and his doubles partner shook his head fretfully, grasping Oishi's shoulders and shaking them with him.

"Nya!  I'm sorry!"  The acrobatic player grabbed at his hair instead, and Oishi tried to block his friend from pulling the red strands out.  "I know, I know.  You don't…to me..?"

Oishi bit his lip.

"I'm sorry, Eiji…"

The redhead stopped in his frantic attempts to yank on his hair.  Moving closer, he gazed at Oishi straight in the eyes, and Oishi could see the slight hurt, but also affection, radiating within them.

"That's fine, Oishi.  As long as you're happy, nya.  Are you happy?"

And Oishi smiled, a small, genuine smile.

"Yeah.  I think I am."

"Then I'm happy too, nya," Eiji replied solemnly, and quickly, he brushed a feather-light kiss over Oishi's lips before running off, waving back at Oishi despite the pain the other boy's words must have triggered in him.

"Oh, Eiji."

He touched his fingertips lightly to his lips and looked away from the direction his doubles partner ran off to, and his eyes met the figure of Kajimoto, who seemed slightly disgruntled.

"Oishi-kun," Kajimoto started, and he appeared embarrassed at having heard part of the conversation.

"It's okay," Oishi replied instinctively, mind still focused on Kikumaru.

"Aa."  The taller boy took a hold of his arm then, leading them to a more secluded spot.  "I, myself, wanted to speak to you about something urgent."

Oishi at once looked worried and asked, "Is anything the matter?"

"No, no," Kajimoto affirmed, shaking his head.  The Jyousei captain took a deep breath, and Oishi felt a strange sense of déjà vu overtake him suddenly.

"I just wanted to tell you that...like your Kikumaru-kun, I…have also been harboring feelings for you."

The black-haired boy's eyes widened almost comically at the second confession.  Without waiting for a response, Kajimoto acquired control over the short silence, bringing his face towards the shorter boy's and giving him a chaste kiss, his hand on the back of Oishi's neck pressing the two closer together.  Only slightly surprised at his actions, Oishi returned it, and he briefly thought of Kikumaru and his blessings of happiness.

He smiled through the kiss, finding that he did indeed feel quite happy, and also quite amused, as kissing seemed more focused on than making their snowman.

As the kiss deepened, however, he found that he didn't really care.

*

"What do you mean it's not big enough?!" Momo practically shrieked.

Atobe, dressed impeccably in a long black overcoat and donning purple gloves and a purple scarf, smirked shamelessly as he poked holes in the fifteen-foot snowman with his middle finger.  He motioned with his other hand to Kabaji, his ever-present lackey, and the large boy went off, only to return soon after with something in tow.

"My dear Momoshiro.  As I said, my team's snowman is far bigger than yours.  See?"

And Kabaji came nearer, dragging a huge inflatable balloon with him that blocked much of the sunlight from Seigaku and the other teams' eyes.

Everyone looked up, and up, and up.  Momo spoke up first, asking the question on everyone's minds, "Fuck, you get that at a car dealership?"

"Hey, that's cheating!" Kamio exclaimed, temper kicking in as he distractedly pushed Sengoku away from nibbling at his neck.

Shishido immediately popped up, all smugness and haughtiness that made Kaidoh hiss at him, despite Inui's mouth permanently attached to his.

"Actually, Atobe's rules only said that Seigaku had to make their snowman.  We just had to 'come up' with one."

"Atobe?" Oishi asked, furrowing his eyebrows in displeasure at having been tricked.

"I'm afraid my little peon is correct, Oishi-kun," Atobe confirmed, ignoring the attempts of Ohtori to stop Shishido from whacking him with snowballs for the 'peon' comment.  "I'm sorry you misinterpreted the rules."

He winked at the befuddled substitute captain then, and raised a finger in the air, eying the other teams steadily before leaving.

"But to make you feel better, you can bring the rest of your…helpers along, I suppose."

Waving as much as his personality would allow, Atobe flipped the end of his scarf over his shoulder, adding, "No hard feelings, after all."

"No hard feelings!  Why, you…" Momo growled, and in frustration, he chucked a block of snow at Atobe's back.

Atobe's faithful servant Kabaji blocked it by punching through it, however, but in doing so let go of the strings to the towering balloon, and a chunk of ice came flying off from the impact, aiming upwards and ripping a hole through the material of the smiling snowman.

Momo stood staring as the helium rushed out of the balloon and sent the tennis players scattering once more.

"Oh, shit."

A hand wound around his wrist and began dragging him off.  Echizen gave him a petulant glare at the mishap occurring at their account again, and Momo simply shrugged.

"Hey, I bore the blame with you when your snowball made that Shounan guy push the ball down the hill," he protested mildly.

"Mada mada dane."

As the pair quickly and quietly snuck off, they missed the colossal balloon blow into the ground at incredible speed, trapping many tennis players beneath it as it deflated on the snow.

The Fudomine team – minus Shinji, who was off in a safe corner muttering to himself – stumbled across the heavy balloon in hopes of finding their vice-captain.  Unknown to them, however, their fiery teammate currently rested underneath the edge of the balloon, Sengoku on top of him and splattering kisses all over the younger boy's face.  Inui straddled the sour-faced Kaidoh some distance away, with the younger boy looking a bit annoyed but also resigned, and Kouhei was trying unsuccessfully to find his brother beneath the white plastic of the balloon.

"Youhei-baka!  Why don't you ever move?!  You always just stand there with the stupidest look on your face!"

"I think your brother has the cutest expressions ever," Saeki commented to the younger twin, who immediately whipped his head around to give his brother's stalker a death glare.  "Don't worry.  I'll get him out."

And Rokkaku's vice-captain dove under the suffocating blanket of the now-thin snowman, crawling around almost humorously until he found the person he searched for.  Bringing the coughing Youhei out gently, Saeki firmly clasped the older twin with a hand on his lower back and brought him to sit practically on top of him.

"Get off my brother!" Kouhei yelled insanely, practically knocking out the white-haired boy's eardrums, and Wakato had to hold the boy back from doing Saeki potential harm.  "Hey!"

Youhei's face was extremely pink by now, and it seemed to amuse Saeki to no end.

"Um…mmm…thanks."

The last word came out softly and rapidly so that Saeki, if he hadn't been expecting it, wouldn't have heard it.

"Any time."

And with that, Saeki dipped his head forward, grabbing Youhei's chin and ravishing the smaller boy's lips like there was no tomorrow.

"Bastard!" came Kouhei's angry wail.

As the blue-haired twin endeavored to pry the vice-captain away from sucking the life out of his brother, Hyotei remained at the side, Mukahi quite noticeable in his extreme laughter, and Shishido just stood there, smirking like a Cheshire cat at winning the great snowman race.

"Shishido-san, it's not polite to gloat," Ohtori told him exasperatedly, inspecting the damage incurred on their opponents.

Shishido pointedly stuck his nose up.  "Choutarou, how many times do I have to tell you to call me 'Shishido'?  I've even said you could call me 'Ryou', you know."

"I know," Ohtori said, and the taller boy stuck his index finger on his senpai's nose, pushing it down.  "It's a habit."

He poked his face down to Shishido's then, and smiled with his mouth against the other's cheekbone.

"You're a habit."

And Shishido, for the second time that day, blushed profusely.

*

New Year's Eve came soon enough, and with it, Atobe's New Year's celebration at one of his incredibly large and well-decorated houses.  Mansion would have been the more appropriate term for it, but Atobe liked to say 'house' because it gave him an air of modesty that everyone knew he lacked.

Despite being the first ones invited, Seigaku arrived noticeably late, much to their host's annoyance.  Surprisingly, it had been Tezuka who had delayed the team, taking a later train than planned, but Seigaku's stoic tennis captain didn't seem all that concerned.

In fact, he seemed pleased that his team's unpunctuality aggravated Atobe.

Nevertheless, when they entered the Hyotei captain's expanse of a house, the dimpled captain had made a direct beeline for Tezuka, grabbing the brown-haired boy's arm and virtually tossing him into the hands of his professionals.  Professional make-up, hair, and clothing artists, that is.  Tezuka appeared ready to protest against the treatment, but the Hyotei captain merely smiled devilishly, holding up one hand to thwart his objections.

"Now, Tezuka-kun.  Hyotei won the snowman contest fair and square."

At those words, coughing instantly surfaced, noticeably not concealing the hostility and name-calling it was supposed to cover up.

Atobe ignored it, however, and continued, "Be a good sport.  You only have to sing two songs.  Piece of cake, ne?"

He winked at Tezuka, and Tezuka unenthusiastically permitted himself to be led away by the fussing image specialists.  Atobe turned his attention back to Seigaku after watching their captain ascend the stairs, and he gestured impatiently towards the double doors before them.

"Well?  What are you waiting for?"

Motioning towards the servants manning the doors, the great wooden gates flew open, and brilliant white light assaulted Seigaku's senses.

"Don't go into the light, Echizen!" Momo joked flippantly, letting out a mock-yell of pain when the younger boy gave him a swift punch to the arm.

The grand reception area that hosted Atobe's party was indeed a spectacular sight.  Decorations covered the walls and ceilings and were noticeably of either the 'Happy New Year' type or the 'Merry Christmas' sight, though Christmas had already passed.  Mistletoes lined the doorway and spread out across the ceilings, tempting and rejecting many.  Long banquet tables lined the sides of the room, and they were filled with every kind of food imaginable.

"Look!  They even have a dessert table!" Momo squealed as he hurriedly stepped into the doorway to run to the table.

He bumped into someone then, and looked down.

"Watch where you're going," Echizen told him, grumpy at having been run over, and he began to walk into the room before him.

Kikumaru piped up from where he stood next to Fuji – a smiling Fuji, with camera in hand – and said, cheerfully, "Ne, Ochibi!  You're under the mistletoe!  With Momo-chan!"

Echizen frowned, opened his mouth to say he wasn't, stared up at the glaringly obvious green and red object, looked towards Momo, and continued frowning.

"…I'm not kissing this oaf."

"What!" Momo yelped, grabbing the younger boy by the collar of his shirt.  "You saying I'm a bad kisser?"

Echizen smirked.

"What if I am?"

"I'll show you!" Momo replied heatedly, grabbing the startled boy more closely and planting a passionate kiss on the arrogant boy, which lasted until both boys began to run out of breath.  "Ha!  How was that?"

Echizen, who was now a bit unstable on his feet and trying to hide a blush from his senpai, said indifferently, "A little wet."

"What!" screeched Momo, and he hauled the boy off to find other mistletoes, intending on proving that his kisses weren't, as Echizen claimed, wet.  "No way!"

"Mada mada dane," Echizen answered, and let himself be pulled along.

The rest of the team glanced warily around at each other, and one by one, they began to pass through.  Kikumaru paused just slightly to pass a kiss speaking volumes over Oishi's cheek, and the vice-captain returned it carefully, smile just a bit sad to whoever watched.  Quickly sidestepping Inui, Fuji took out his camera and began snapping shots of the bespectacled boy and Kaidoh making out beneath the entrance.

"Jeez, why do they always get stuck there?" one of the servants asked, taking the handle of a broom and knocking the two inside.

The other servant shrugged.  "I don't know.  Kids these days, you know how they get, I suppose."

And with that, they closed the door, wondering what madness might be taking place within.

*

Madness, as Atobe's two well-paid servants deemed his New Year's Eve party, was truly the word for such a lively night the rich tennis captain planned.  Candles decorated the sides and tables of the room – with fire extinguishers handy, as Atobe didn't quite trust his guests –  and the music varied depending on what they wanted to listen to.

"Play my song first!" Mukahi whined, clinging to the taller Oshitari, who simply adjusted his glasses every now and then.

Mizuki frowned down at the redhead.  "I asked first, you know."

"So what," the lithe acrobatics player huffed, and Oshitari shrugged carelessly as Yuuta gazed at him curiously.  "You shouldn't mind waiting for five minutes."

"I shouldn't have to wait!  I asked first!"

Sneakily, Sengoku slyly sidestepped the bickering pair and poked the DJ none-too-gently on the shoulder.

"Oi, DJ-san."  He pulled out a crumpled piece of paper, scanning the list and then holding it up to the DJ to see, his finger pointing.  "Can you play this song?  I'm trying to impress someone here, and it would really help me if you could do me this favor."

Pointedly, his gaze crossed over the room to the redheaded Kamio, and Sengoku eyed his figure up and down, admiring the red shirt and black pants the other currently sported.  He held two drinks and talked to Shinji, his blue-haired friend, and was also looking quite annoyed at having to hold the two cups.

"So, do you think you can help?"

"Usu," came the reply, and Sengoku blanched momentarily as he realized the DJ was Kabaji from Hyotei, but his usual smile came up when the first few notes came out of the speakers.

"Lucky!" he exclaimed happily, taking off under the glares of two sets of eyes.

Crossing the room quickly to find Fudomine's vice-captain, the Yamabuki player passed by the dance floor and briefly wondered if he should drag the younger boy out to dance.

Numerous couples – all boys, of course, as Atobe hadn't invited any girls – were currently dancing on the pristine marble floors.  Kurobane and Davide were dancing together, Davide's hands around his partner's waist and Kurobane's, predictably, tangled within Davide's curly orange locks of hair.  Davide was whispering to Kurobane, who was chuckling contentedly despite the utter gibberish his partner sometimes spouted, and responded by pulling the younger boy even closer.

At one side of the dance floor, Wakato aided his fellow teammate, the blue-haired twin Kouhei, at fending off the unwanted advances of the loud boy from St. Rudolph.  He obviously still did not get that Kouhei was most definitely male, even with Kouhei shouting it loudly in his ear, and Wakato was there to make sure the twin wouldn't pull a gun on the guy hitting on him.

Kouhei, however, looked as if he'd rather use a gun on Saeki, who, after coming into Atobe's party, had immediately apprehended his older brother, dragging him off here and there to 'accidentally' wind up under mistletoes several times.  Presently, the two were located on the dance floor.  Saeki's eyes, open and staring lustfully, held Youhei's eyes to his, and his arms pressed the younger boy as close to him as possible, one arm possessively around the boy's back and one hand holding onto the other's hand.  Youhei was still blushing madly, but he no longer made attempts to break free of Saeki's embrace and actually seemed to be enjoying himself.

"This party doesn't suck after all," Shishido commented, watching as the white-haired boy danced with the magenta-haired one.  He dropped down into the seat next to Ohtori.  "Knowing Atobe, I thought this would be some boring sit-down reception."

He didn't really, and Ohtori, knowing this, smiled down at him indulgently.

"Whatever you say, Shishido-san."

Shishido sniffed at him and thrust his hand out suddenly.

"Here.  I brought you a drink."

Ohtori's face lit up. 

"Really?  You didn't have to."

"Well, I wanted to," Shishido said defensively, wondering at the crafty expression that had just crossed his doubles partner's face.

"Ne, Shishido-san," Ohtori began, setting his drink down carefully on the white cloth-covered table.  The tall boy rose from his seat, taking Shishido's drink out of his own hand and leaning his elbow on the back of Shishido's chair.

"Choutarou?"

Shishido felt only slightly uncomfortable when the silver-haired boy touched noses with him again – Ohtori had always been touchy-feely.

"Will you dance with me?"

He kept Shishido's eyes on his own, and Shishido could see, clearly, the intense affection the other held for him.

He murmured, breaking eye contact, "No."

Ohtori immediately looked crushed, the hurt puppy eyes turning on him, and Shishido couldn't make himself look up.

"Why not?"

The words were plaintive, and the taller boy reached out, grabbing his chin a little roughly and bringing it up so their eyes would meet once more.  Shishido felt awkward – a million reasons ran through his mind, the foremost being 'I don't deserve to dance with you', and the last being 'You're too tall – we'll look funny'.

Meaning for it to be apathetic, he brushed Ohtori's hand away, but Ohtori caught his own, and Shishido knew he wouldn't let go until Shishido answered.

He frowned and looked away again, but Ohtori's eyes bore into him.

He sighed.

"…Choutarou, I just don't know how to dance."

He picked the lamest excuse – which was also probably the truest – and Ohtori's face gleamed like the tall boy just ate two tons of sugar.  Moving behind Shishido, he pulled his chair out from under him, leaving the third year to squawk indignantly and flap his arms about, and Ohtori caught him under the arms just before he fell.

"Don't worry, Shishido-san.  I can teach you."

Ohtori smiled down at him, and with a sigh, Shishido let the younger boy cart him off towards the dance floor.

Fuji smiled at the pair as they went, grudgingly on Shishido's part, and nonchalantly sauntered over to where Kikumaru leaned against the wall, watching with some longing the interaction between Oishi and Kajimoto across the other side of the room.

"Eiji."

The normally hyperactive boy jumped about fifty feet into the air before realizing that the person who had scared him was Fuji.

"Fuji, nya!  Don't sneak up on me!"

"I didn't.  You were just too preoccupied to notice me," he corrected, motioning towards the couple Kikumaru had been spying on.

Akazawa and Mori had just pointed out to Oishi and Kajimoto that they had been standing under a mistletoe for quite some time and had not yet kissed.  Oishi blushed politely, as always, and the courteous Jyousei captain glanced at him for permission before leaning forwards, brushing lips.  Quickly, the kiss became even deeper with Kajimoto's arm snaking around Oishi's back and Oishi's hands twisting in the pretty brown hair, and the loudmouthed Mori immediately gave a catcall before Uchimura swatted him with his baseball cap.

"That obvious?" Kikumaru asked him, turning away from the sight.

"Yeah."

He laid a hand comfortingly on his friend's shoulder, and Kikumaru gave him a small smile.

"Do you want to dance?" Fuji asked, still smiling.

Kikumaru watched him out of the corner of his eye, and Fuji continued smiling, a constant sight to his eyes.

"Thanks, Fuji."

"Of course."

Kikumaru eyed him warily then, and Fuji turned to him, feigning confusion at the other's questioning gaze.

"What?" he asked innocently, pretending to be naïve at his friend's puzzlement.

"What about Akutagawa-kun?  I thought you wanted to dance with him."

"I do," Fuji replied, taking his friend's hand and leading him onto the floor.

Kikumaru frowned, puzzled.  "Then why don't you?"

"Because I'm with you right now," Fuji stated simply, allowing himself to be twirled.  "Besides, Jirou is off napping."

Kikumaru smiled at his response, and his eyes sparkled mischievously.

"Ne, Fuji.  Do you think Akutagawa-kun will be chipper or sleepy dancing?"

"Depends," Fuji said seriously, the blues of his eyes peeking open just a bit.  "If he's with me, I expect he'll be chipper."

Kikumaru stopped asking questions after that, as Fuji's smiling face had gone slightly evil, and the brown-haired boy was currently looking off at the direction of Akutagawa Jirou, sleeping as far away from the speakers as possible, though there was no doubt the joyful boy could sleep through anything.

He probably just didn't want to ruin his hearing.

*

"Attention!  Attention!" Atobe said into the mike, refusing to use words like 'please' to capture the audience's attention.

The festivities continued.

"Attention!"

Everybody ignored him.

Atobe's eye twitched.

"Kabaji," he commanded, sticking his hands over his ears.

The large boy nodded at his captain's order.  "Usu."

With that, Atobe's loyal tennis subordinate pressed a few buttons, and an extremely high-pitched, grating noise emitted from the speakers, pumped up as Kabaji turned the volume higher and higher.  Glass vibrated as the sound resonated across the room, and people immediately attempted to protect their ears, the twins Kouhei and Youhei especially.  Saeki was glaring daggers at DJ Kabaji as Youhei scrunched up his face in pain, threatening bodily harm if the noise continued, so Atobe nodded carelessly to Kabaji.

The noise stopped, sighs of relief were given, and Atobe stood onstage, looking enormously impressed with himself.

"As I was saying," he spoke into the dead silence, and glares of hatred turned his way.  "Since Hyotei won the snowman contest – no surprise there – against Seigaku that everyone here participated in – well, some people because I don't think all of you actually helped – as a prize, Seigaku's very own captain has agreed to karaoke for us!"

He paused, smirking at his audience, and ran a hand vainly through his hair, adjusting the loose purple tie hanging around his collar in the process.

"My staff has informed me that Tezuka-kun is ready to perform, so if you'll all take your seats," Atobe said, tone insisting that they did indeed need to take their seats, "we can get started."

Stopping again to wait for everyone to find a seat, he tapped his foot impatiently.

"There are more seats over there," Atobe stated edgily, frowning at the lack of competence in the room.  He descended the steps of the stage then, choosing a seat next to his humble peon Ohtori, and, glancing around the room to make sure everyone had a seat, declared into his mike,

"And now, Tezuka Kunimitsu, to serenade us with two lovely songs!"

Cheering broke out, and wolf whistles, as Tezuka stepped out silently onstage.  Atobe's mouth dropped open in an undignified manner when he appeared, and Ohtori had to push it closed as he silently told himself to give his wardrobe team a large raise next year.

"Looking good, buchou!" Echizen shouted into cupped hands, and Momo joined along in baiting their tennis captain with whistles and improper language.

Tezuka, much to Atobe's delight, was decked out in a pair of black leather pants that clung to the young captain's slim legs in all the right places, and the lavender dress shirt the other had worn to the party was replaced by a black dress shirt, tight and unbuttoned at the top, showing smooth white skin and a long, pale neck.

Atobe had to clutch onto the arms of his chair to restrain himself from jumping Tezuka right then and there.

Tezuka wore his usual stoic expression, seemingly unconcerned with the many people watching him and catcalling at him.  Taking the mike from the center of the stage, he pushed his glasses farther up on his nose before nodding at Kabaji to begin the music.

Beginning slowly and softly, the accompanying music was dominated primarily by a light and rapid percussionist quality, and in common time, the music felt gentle and flowing to those listening.  Tezuka's eyes were closed behind his glasses, and briefly, Atobe wondered if the younger boy had any talent whatsoever at singing, and he felt momentarily remorseful at forcing the other to sing, especially if it turned out to be embarrassing.

He shouldn't have worried.

Softly, as the accompaniment before had begun, a voice gradually rose, pure and expressive.  The tone of the voice was polished and rich, pitch near-perfect, and the quality of the voice shone through in all registers of the singer's voice.

Amazed – and some downright bewildered – the audience watched, Seigaku in particular, enraptured at the sight of their captain and the beautiful voice emanating from him.  Tezuka seemed much more emotional onstage, eyebrows slightly raised and eyes, for the most part, closed.  Every once in a while, they would open, fix his listeners with a gaze that meant more than any Tezuka-gaze should, and then close.

Echizen and Momoshiro were slightly in shock at the result, eyes wide and slightly disappointed that they could not make fun of their captain for having a horrible singing voice.  Inui stopped trying to grope Kaidoh, who hadn't really minded and was simply watching Tezuka with a respectful expression on his face, and Kikumaru's face was alight, touched by the song.  Fuji and Kawamura sat side by side, each silently watching as well, and Oishi, Tezuka's longtime best friend, had a little smile on his face that told everyone he'd known all along what Tezuka was capable of.

Ohtori, after giving Shishido a bright smile at the lovely song the rival tennis captain had chosen, turned to face his own captain and was greeted by an utterly enraptured, entranced Atobe.

"Buchou?" he inquired, waving his hand in front of Atobe's face.

Atobe batted it away, still fixated on Tezuka.

"Ohtori," he finally said, eyes not looking away from the brown-haired youth onstage.

Ohtori, after poking Shishido worriedly and garnering his attention, answered, "Yes, Atobe-buchou?"

Atobe paused and looked Tezuka up and down once more.

"I'm going to fuck him."

Shishido nearly choked on thin air at what he said, and Ohtori simply blushed liberally at the choice of words, patting his partner's back gently as Shishido struggled to catch his breath.

"That's my New Year's resolution," Atobe added distractedly as the last notes of Tezuka's song faded away, and with it, the beautiful voice. 

He deigned himself to clapping along with the loud applause and catcalls Seigaku's captain earned after the song, frowning when numerous people – the brat and spiky-haired boy in particular – shouted inappropriate comments towards the brown-haired boy.  He noted with some surprise – and pleasure – that Tezuka had a slight pink flush on his cheeks, unnoticeable to anyone not in the front row.

Shishido broke into his train of thought, scoffing at what Atobe had just said.
"New Year's resolutions are supposed to be ones that make you a better person."

Atobe lifted an eyebrow regally.

"I know that.  And it will.  Not like I'm not already the best, anyway."

He winked at Ohtori's lasting blush and chose to ignore the comments Shishido was muttering rudely under his breath.

As the applause for Tezuka died down, new music began, and Tezuka adjusted his glasses once more.  This time, the tempo was fast and lively, and, barely discernible to all who were not observing him closely, Tezuka's eyes were open this time.  He seemed like a different person while singing, and his voice magnified it, pounding out note after note of animated singing with a beautiful timbre.

Atobe couldn't take it any longer.  Throwing his suit jacket into his chair, he jumped up suddenly, startling both Ohtori and Shishido.  Determinedly, he strode onstage to where Tezuka stood singing, and Tezuka's eyebrows furrowed slightly in confusion but, true to his nature, didn't let it interfere.

Atobe soon became more of a distraction as he situated himself directly behind Tezuka, pulling the younger boy back into him with his hands on the leather-clad hips, and his arms drew around Tezuka's waist, holding him against him as the hands went under the black shirt.  The pinkness on Tezuka's cheeks grew gradually deeper as Atobe found it necessary to plant kisses along the sides of Tezuka's neck, and he bit the pale skin lightly, leaving a small red mark.

Seigaku, minus Fuji and Oishi, looked shocked at the display of Atobe groping their captain so blatantly before them, and Shishido growled, plainly disapproving of Atobe's actions.

"Did he just set this party up so that he could make out with Seigaku's Tezuka?" Shishido asked, frowning.  "Bastard."

"I think it's kind of sweet," Ohtori said, before correcting himself.  "Well, I guess in his own way."

Tezuka's voice suddenly cut off with a muffled sound, and looking back onstage, Atobe had tossed the microphone away, claiming the other boy's mouth with his own.  Tezuka didn't seem to mind, and he also didn't seem to mind when the older boy practically tackled him to the ground, ripping the buttons off the black shirt while trying to undo them hastily.

"Kabaji," he shouted, out of breath and not caring about the people staring at his make-out session with Tezuka.  "Curtains!"

Kabaji pulled the curtains closed as his captain instructed, but in the short span of Atobe's call and the curtains being closed, one could clearly see the purple-haired captain on top of the other boy, necking away like the world was going to end tomorrow until Tezuka brought his mouth to meet Atobe's, and they stayed liplocked as the curtains closed.

"We should try that," Saeki told Youhei quite seriously, and he wound an arm around the boy's shoulders and brought his face closer.

"No way!" squeaked Youhei, blushing and giving his brother an apologetic gaze he didn't really mean.

Saeki smiled and leaned even closer, and his hand traveled down to Youhei's collarbone and sort of stayed there.

"Well, maybe in the future."

He ducked down immediately then, letting a silver platter fly over his head harmlessly and chunks of cheese fall on him mercilessly, and Kouhei popped up, Wakato trying to restrain him without getting hit in the process.

"Pervert!" the younger twin shrieked, spatula in hand to give Saeki a beating.

Maneuvering Oishi carefully away from where Kouhei looked ready to kill Saeki, Kajimoto brought them outside to a balcony, waving in gratitude to the servants who closed the door after them.

"Finally," Kajimoto sighed, brushing the hair back from his face as he leaned against the railing.

"Finally what?" Oishi asked, and the other boy had his gaze turned upward, fascinated by the stars above.

Kajimoto stepped closer to him then, and wordlessly, Oishi let him embrace him.

"We're alone."

He smiled that sweet smile of his then, and they saw the birds scatter almost instantly as a small 'tick' was heard, and bells began chiming.  One began at first, then another joined in, and so on, and the two boys paused in what they were doing to listen to the gorgeous harmony of bells.

"That's beautiful," Oishi praised, and his hand rose to Kajimoto's neck, pulling the older boy down.

"Yes, it is."

And with that, he leaned down, catching Oishi's lips gently with his own, and the two stood that way for some time before breaking apart, content to be held by the other.

"Happy New Year's, Syuuchirou."

And Oishi couldn't agree more.