Disclaimer- PoT isn't mine.
Author's Note- Okay, crack pairing time. I just thought it would be fun to write, and believe me, it was. It came really easily, relative to most stuff. I struggled with characterization on this, though. In the end I might have let it go. It got more abstract.
I hope you enjoy it. It's the first lemon-ish thing I've written for years, and that was het... I really do think it's an R, though, not an NC-17. I'm not just putting it as R because it wouldn't go on FF.net otherwise. It's not a PWP, even though there is implied stuff and actual graphic stuff and some violence. Just watch out if you're sensitive. Sorry about this warning for anyone who's really, really, NOT. :-) I love the Nots. I wrote this entirely in school, by the way... -sweatdrops-
This has some of the same ideas as Hype, my MomoRyo two-minute fic, like biting, and slamming... This fic makes Hyoutei play Yamabuki instead of Seigaku.
Song for this fic- Gackt- Papa Lapped a Pop Lopped. The title of this fic is taken from that song, meaning literally, "Make me mad." "Drive me insane." Translation by Super Cat... used.. without permission? -winces- Daisuki da yo, Super Cat! And Kantoku means coach, buchou means captain, sayonara means "goodbye forever..."
Summary- When Atobe Keigo and Akutsu Jin meet, they find the world isn't big enough for the two of them. Akutsu x Atobe, some implied AkuTaka.
Hyoutei was going to play Yamabuki. Kantoku had decided to use the real regulars, too. Their defeat by Fudomine had rather taught the team a lesson. Atobe and Kantoku decided together that Jiroh would be best at Singles 3 to take on All-Japan "Lucky" Sengoku Kiyosumi. Atobe himself would play Singles 2 for the first time since second year, positioned so he'd be the one to play the monstrous Akutsu Jin. They'd only have to use one real doubles team, and Kantoku said to use the best. Atobe decided that instead of Oshitari and Mukahi, their best was Shishido and Ootori, so that was who their Doubles 1 would be. With that line-up, they would barely need a Singles 1, it could just be assumed Hiyoshi or Kabaji would take it if needed.
Hyoutei won the match 3-1. The two pre-regulars in the Doubles 2 spot lost, but Doubles 1 Shishido-Ootori pair won their first ever game there. Jiroh was in high form, of course, and proved too much for his opponent to take on in Singles 3, though it was a close game, and entertaining for both parties. The last game was Singles 2, Atobe, who beat Akutsu Jin 6 games to 4.
Hyoutei advanced in the tournament, and Yamabuki didn't, just as Atobe had known would happen. He heard a few days later that Akutsu had quit playing tennis. It was too bad, Atobe grudgingly acknowledged. He'd been a truly frightening player. Ah, well, it did reduce the competition. The one who'd taken Akutsu's spot was that fumbling freshman manager, too. That gutter school must really have been desperate after Akutsu left them. Atobe could tell Yamabuki was on the plunge. They hadn't been anywhere near Hyoutei's level in the first place, anyway.
A week after the match with Yamabuki, late at night, Atobe had an argument with his father. He stormed out to the street courts alone, unable to even get ahold of Kabaji to order him to come along. But he'd needed some way to work out his frustration, so he went, even though by the time he arrived, it was much darker than he'd imagined it would be, court unlit.
Atobe fell to a stop at the entrance. No one there, he figured. He should have known. Stupid. He was disgusted with himself. This kind of thing was beneath his dignity. Well, he could still practice. He couldn't let his godly abilities slip, after all, and he needed to do something.
There was the faint slap of ball against wall, barely audible amid the quiet sounds of the night. Someone else actually was practicing here. Atobe shivered a little as he made his way inside, hugging his bare arms. The moon above was a new one- no moon tonight. He'd thrown on training clothes without thinking about it, red sleeveless jersey like a basketball player would wear, red shorts, too, all turned black in the dusk, giving little cover from the iced breeze. He was still confident and poised as he moved forward. He was Atobe Keigo, after all.
He came to a stop, Hyoutei bag sliding limply down his arm, when he saw who that person was. Akutsu Jin, smoking as he slammed a ball against the wall time after time, strength in his arms as he swung the racket even visible under his heavy dark jacket. He turned at the sound of Atobe's footsteps, wild hair and yellow demon eyes shining in the dusk-starlight.
They studied each other, the smoke spiraling lazily out of Akutsu's cigarette strange without much light to pierce through it. Atobe's eyes narrowed. "I thought you quit tennis," Atobe said. "Because I showed you your hopeless inferiority.
Akutsu's smile, though hard to see, was nasty as ever. "What're you gonna do about it?"
Atobe didn't really directly answer his question. Only flashes of Hyoutei's buchou showed through the black cloak around them, the jut of his collarbone under the little holes in his jersey, the arrogant beauty mark on his cheek, a slice of pale skin at his hip as he stretched, dominantly sensual. Akutsu spit out his cigarette and ground it to mere ashes under his foot.
"I was here for a game," Atobe said loftily, "but apparently there isn't anyone worth playing here." He showed no immediate signs of leaving, though, raking a hand through his purple-for-royalty hair and letting his bag fall all the way off his shoulder.
"Hey," Akutsu said, voice gravelly, serious. "You picking a fight? It sure sounds like you are, the way you're talking to me."
"I-" Atobe blinked, looking surprised, suddenly a bit less sure of himself.
It was only Atobe's prodigious reflexes that sent his arms crossing up over his face. It saved him a fist in the face. Akutsu sprang forward, laughing darkly, moving with the assurance of a martial artist and the merciless intent of a bully. "Kabaji!" Atobe yelled instinctively, but of course Kabaji wasn't there.
"I'll show you if you're better than me," Akutsu snorted, and Atobe felt his heart plummet.
"Y-you just try it," Atobe sneered defiantly, jumping back. "You'll regret it." They were completely alone. He could still feel that impact of fist on flesh, like the slap of Rondo against grip.
Akutsu was completely still, motionless for a matter of a few seconds, then he'd launched himself low and fast, and a roundhouse kick had pierced through Atobe's defenses, knocking the wind out of him. Atobe gasped, hands flying to cover his middle, and Atobe backhanded his exposed face. Atobe lashed back, but Akutsu just laughed at him and moved back.
Atobe had never been hit before in his life. He might know tennis, but he didn't know fighting at all. He found himself gasping for the air that had been stolen from him. "Hey," Akutsu said, and he was a real monster now. "How about I make it so you can never play tennis again?"
"You," Atobe gasped, hands grasping his head, doubled over, "how dare you do this? Do this to me-"
Atobe found himself suddenly encircled, arms grabbed onto, and he was struggling, putting his knee in Akutsu's ribs, and they were grappling with each other, pushing to try to get control. Atobe pushed Akutsu back hard, panting.
"You'll be fun to play with," Akutsu smiled. "Still think you're better than me?"
Atobe had known that Akutsu was dangerous when he'd played the other boy. His intelligence, his Insight had seen it then, and the rest was coming to him in a sudden, uncontrollable rush. He didn't want to go home. There were no spotlights above them, no moon, only city-dimmed stars. He was the one who was stupid.
"And whatever," Atobe said. Flashes, flushed face, monkey tufts of hair, the number one on the front and back of his jersey, leaning far back against the wall, shorts riding high up slender thighs. "I won already."
A pointless attack on Atobe's part, and he'd been flipped over Akutsu's shoulder, thrown to the ground, air lost again. "I won't let you breathe anyone," Akutsu whispered, and descended.
Atobe didn't cry. He wasn't the type of person who ever, ever cried. The monster's fists hurt, but pain was nothing to him. He tried to get away, to make Akutsu hurt, too, but he was nothing to the other boy. This couldn't be happening to him, really. It couldn't be.
Akutsu leaned down and bit Atobe's neck hard. It hurt even more, the flesh even bleeding, making its way around bone and muscle to spill out. Akutsu, crouched over Atobe holding him down, sucked on it greedily. Atobe shivered beneath him, lips moving, forming fathomless words.
A fist in his stomach, his face, his chest, his shoulder. Feet and elbows and knees all over him, crawling wherever they could find. Let me-
"Hey, what's going on?"
Someone had heard the noises of their fight and come to investigate. A policeman ran into the courts, some ultimately nameless night patrolman. Akutsu darted, disappeared from sight within seconds.
Atobe got to his feet shakily. The man shone his flashlight on Atobe, whistled at the sight. "Kid, you alright?"
"Fine," Atobe snapped, hastily straightening his clothes, mind dizzy. He leaned down, picked up his Hyoutei bag. It was easy to find it with the flashlight illuminating it.
The man stared at the word Hyoutei. "You're one of those rich kids, then. What happened?"
"Nothing," Atobe said quickly. He had no idea how he looked, but he was sure it was pretty bad. He hated that. It was.
"Come down with me to the station," the officer said. "We have to file a report."
"Leave me alone..." Atobe hissed menacingly.
The man was tall, young, with a gentle face, dark hair and eyes. He walked up to Atobe hesitantly, still shining his flashlight on him. "Really, are you okay?" Then the man seemed to suddenly think of something. "Oh shit. Someone didn't try to make you- I mean, with that face-"
Atobe tossed his hair, gave a slow, possessive smile, watched the officer stare, redden, look down embarrassed. He hated pity. No one should pity Atobe. Pity had nothing to do with him. "Yeah. I don't really think you'd like my father reporting you to your superiors for harassing people on duty, would you?"
"I-I'm just trying to do my job," he stuttered.
"See you," Atobe said, and walked out the way he'd came. He went home and fell asleep right away.
Akutsu had started judo again after quitting tennis, this time at a different school, but his certificate of mastery had let him take up his black belt again there, too. That was good, because it meant he could do pretty much whatever he wanted when he sparred with other black belts.
They'd welcomed him because he'd kick ass at tournaments and just his presence kept the kids in line. He didn't really talk to anyone that much, especially the other teenagers. There was always a sort of awkward silence the first few moments whenever he entered.
Judo was weird now, though. He kept expecting Kawamura to be there, muscular beneath his gi, at odds with his timidness, the way he sparred so well and so aggressively he could sometimes take Akutsu down. Akutsu wished to hear that cry of "BURNING!" but immediately pushed it away, dismissing it as sentimental and lame. As he practiced with the others whom he barely knew, he thought of Hyoutei's buchou and the way he'd squirmed. There had been something about him that made him hard to stop thinking about...
And Atobe had been right. He had won already. Whatever Akutsu did, he still couldn't change that. God, his life was crap. Mom had wanted to know why his knuckles had been bruised when he hadn't even had judo. He'd yelled at her and then she'd shut up. Kawamura should have found out about it and gotten mad at him for it. Wasn't that the way things worked?
How had Atobe Keigo seen through him?
"Game and match, Atobe, 6-3."
"Wow, Atobe! Hey, everyone, did you see that smash? Did you? Did you? Let's play another set, Atobe!"
"Practice is almost over," Atobe said. "And don't just go to sleep."
Akutsu shoved his hands into the pockets of his uniform as he made his way through Hyoutei's campus. He'd found out where the tennis club practiced with some strategic questioning, so to speak, and he could hear them from a distance. The snobby little boys and girls gawked at him as he made his way there. Like he cared.
As he neared the courts, he could hear traces of a familiar voice. Then the source of it came into focus, an unimaginably huge assembly of boys, and standing before them not an adult, not the perpetually sour faced looking coach but another boy, dusty-haired Atobe Keigo. He wore the same white and blue-gray as the others but spoke with clear assurance of his leadership. They were all silent, and listening.
"We beat Yamabuki," Atobe said, voice low, teeming with charisma. The sound of it made a few passing students stop and stare. The way it was used sent shivers down spines, completely in command.
"We beat Yamabuki, as we all knew we would. And now we have to train even harder. There's no way we're aren't going to Nationals, and winning!"
A cheer exploded at this, a dull roar spreading through the air. Atobe, unsurprised, accepted it as his due. "There's no way we'll lose with me as captain!"
Cheers of "Atobe!" started, but Atobe cut them off with a wave of his hand. "And no one who loses will be allowed to represent us. Regulars must accept all challenges, and any regular who is beaten by a pre-regular will be replaced by them!" More cheers from said pre-regulars. The regulars themselves turned to the lower members, challenging, confident.
"Hyoutei is taking Nationals this year," Atobe said, voice suddenly quiet. "That's all."
True screams broke out finally, the "Hyoutei! Hyoutei!" and "Atobe! Atobe!" that all Yamabuki had become so familiar with in their match. Atobe made his way off by himself, leaving his coach and regulars alone, maybe even to take challenges right then, going into the clubhouse. Akutsu was there waiting for him.
"Nice speech," Akutsu said, and Atobe saw him.
Atobe smiled. "Of course." He did look startled. Scared? No, his whole team was outside. His confidence wouldn't be shaken that easily in any case. "What do you want?"
Akutsu took a deliberate step towards Atobe. This was his territory. "To finish what I started."
"You should feel honored just to be in my presence."
"You didn't tell anyone what I did, right?" Akutsu said, just as quietly as Atobe had, only menacing simply because it was him. There weren't bruises that there should have been on Atobe's face. He'd covered them up.
"You, beast, know nothing of me," Atobe said, and turned his back, dismissing the other deliberately, began to change. He never learned, did he?
Akutsu, like Atobe, wasn't a good person. He was nasty. He was a predator. And he'd never let someone get away with insulting him. His mother had cried that morning when he'd yelled at her, threatened her for trying to get closer to him. So what. She should be happy, he'd actually gone to school that day. His life was crap, so why should Hyoutei's buchou have everything?
Atobe pulled the zipper of his jacket down, tossed it off into his locker with the haughty grace of a performer. Akutsu watched the other player reach up and undo the three buttons at the top of his shirt, then pull the whole thing off. His physique was completely perfect, skin smooth, silky looking, long, lanky muscles flexing under his skin with the smallest movement. Akutsu snorted. Pretty boy. He licked his lips.
"Just get over it," Atobe said loftily, stretching his arms behind his head and leaning back leisurely. "You'll never be able to touch me again."
"Oh?" Akutsu grinned, then reached forward, traced a large, angry bruise resting on Atobe's ribs. His hand ran slowly up Atobe's chest, the other boy suddenly frozen, the only movement the expansion and contraction of breath. Everything there was dark and hard from the absent cold. His hand slid up, then, to fit around Atobe's neck, finger outlining the mark he'd left. Atobe inhaled sharply. "What's this?"
Atobe hit Akutsu. Akutsu cursed, stumbling. "Kabaji," Atobe said.
The quiet Hyoutei giant stood at the door. Akutsu couldn't have imagined what he was thinking. "Get rid of the intruder, Kabaji," Atobe ordered.
"I'm leaving," Akutsu said, and sneered at Atobe. "Don't let anyone get to you before me."
"No one in the world is good enough for me," Atobe said, but Akutsu had already left. Good enough to hurt me, that is. "Stupid peasant. Right, Kabaji?"
Akutsu turned, and Kawamura was there. "Oh, hey, Akutsu," the power player smiled. "I haven't seen you for a while."
"Shut up and leave," Akutsu said.
"Oh, how's Yamabuki doing," Kawamura asked, undeterred. It was strange dealing with him after Atobe. Kawamura was shy, really, and completely without airs. And annoyingly fucking strong.
"I quit," Akutsu muttered.
"What?" Kawamura blinked, innocent brown eyes wide. His stupid hair was darkened with sweat, so it looked like he'd been training, sleeves of his Seigaku T-shirt rolled up. Akutsu looked away.
"I quit playing tennis," Akutsu said.
"Akutsu!" Kawamura looked genuinely horrified, like he was losing his best friend or something. "But you're so good!"
"Just cause I'm better than you doesn't mean-" Akutsu snapped.
"You gone back to judo?" Kawamura asked tentatively.
"Yeah," Akutsu said. He didn't like staying this close to Hyoutei. Somehow, he couldn't bring himself to make Kawamura leave. Why wouldn't he just leave Akutsu alone?
"You... haven't been getting into fights, have you?" Kawamura asked, wincing.
Akutsu looked down, snarled. And why did he care what Kawamura thought? Why should he care if he disappointed the sissy chickenshit?
"Akutsu," Kawamura said, and why wasn't he scared of Akutsu, someone like him should have been- "If you ever need to talk, I'm still always your friend-"
"What the hell do you TAKE me for?" Akutsu growled, feeling sourness rise in his throat, irrational anger. "I'm not like you." He was stalking off, then. He'd had enough of this. He didn't turn and look behind him, didn't want to see big liquid brown eyes that cared.
Somehow Atobe had walked up and seen Akutsu there. Akutsu was occupied, though, talking to some kid, weirdly enough. The boy was brown-haired and muscular, a Seigaku regular jersey tied around his waist. He was familiar with Akutsu like he was a friend of Akutsu, and the violent boy, though keeping up the appearance of annoyed tough guy, didn't really seem to mind.
Kawamura Takashi, Atobe realized, Seigaku's loud power player. He remembered seeing the senior play once in an open tournament. He'd even taken Atobe aback that time, timid and unassuming without a racket, but a completely different person with one. Yells of bad Engrish and taunts and boasts had filled the court, and between his intimidating attitude and his sheer power he'd won his game 6-2. Atobe remembered thinking he fit Seigaku.
Akutsu ended up storming away, but Atobe had already noticed. He had instinct- he had Insight. About Akutsu? He knew.
"Hey," Atobe said, cocky, walking up to Kawamura, who turned and stared at him. Atobe felt a brief moment at the sensation of eyes on his face before remembering the cover-up he'd put on, sneaking into his mother's bathroom and pinching a jar of peach-white slime to hide that bruise.
"You're-" Kawamura scratched his head.
"You're friends with Akutsu?" Atobe asked, not telling him.
"Oh, yeah," Kawamura laughed. "We've been doing judo together since we were little. You know him?" Kawamura noticed the tennis bag on his back. "Oh? Did you play him or something?"
"Yeah," Atobe said, turned around to the other boy that was approaching. "Kabaji, we're leaving. Give him a message from me, Kawamura."
"Huh?" Kawamura blinked.
"Tell him-" Atobe stopped, gestured for Kabaji to take his bag from him, and continued.
"Tell him that I'll pay him back."
Atobe went to the street tennis courts again that night, walking out of his house close to midnight. He was in his full Hyoutei uniform this time, though. In addition to his bag, his jacket hung off his shoulders, arms crossed out of the sleeves, fabric hanging in the front like a cape. He'd taken off the cover-up, and brought a flashlight and shone it in his way like a little kid, smirking, moving just as fast as usual.
He came face to face with Akutsu, who'd been waiting at the entrance. He could smell Akutsu's breath, saturated with cigarette smoke, cheap coffee. "Let's go," Akutsu said.
"Where?" Atobe stared.
"Somewhere," Akutsu said.
"Why would I go anywhere with you?" Atobe sneered.
The flashlight, shining up on Akutsu's face, cast shadows. "What? You scared?"
"Of course not," Atobe spat, and they went.
Atobe stole glances at Akutsu as they walked but didn't say anything. Akutsu stopped at some playground. The strange night distorted the shapes of the equipment, misshaped them, made them something very different. It wasn't Hyoutei's playground, it wasn't as nice, but it brought back vague snippets of memory. There were swings, monkey bars, parallel bars, a jungle gym, a garish castle, poles and slides leading the way down.
"Why are we here?" Atobe asked, but not in a frightened or plaintive voice, a disdainful one.
"No place better," Akutsu said. He lit up, sending a glow against the yellow part of the structure, and gestured there. "I found you a castle."
Atobe put a foot on one of the steps of the structure, testing it, then climbed up onto the bridge. He hated standing in sand with shoes on, after all. He walked across the passageway, feeling huge in such a small place. Akutsu walked up one of the slides, grinning when it creaked and squeaked under his weight. Atobe thought for a second that he'd seen something, imagined a little boy, laughing and shrieking with glee, but he disappeared soon enough.
Akutsu walked up to Atobe. Here was someone who'd hurt anyone and not care, feel no remorse. Here wasn't evil, though. Atobe was the real evil himself.
Akutsu pushed Atobe down the slide, and Atobe spiraled, skidded downwards, harsh, cold metal offensive to his delicate sensibilities, only he could play tennis and get hurt any amount and not care at all. Akutsu coiled, then jumped off, all the way down to the sand below, the way daring boys would do to impress their classmates in grammar school. He landed on his feet, weight sending sand flying.
Atobe lay at the bottom of the slide, dazed still, staring up at the sky. There was sand under his back. He remembered digging for orange-brown Indian clay under the sand with the other kids. When they'd found some, it hadn't really meant anything. They hadn't known what to do with it.
The farther you got under the sand, the wetter it got, like that game played at the jungle gym, where a kid stood in the middle and closed his eyes and tried to find and tag one of the others, the others shifting around to try to get away from him. Atobe had never had to be in the middle. Akutsu, when he'd had to, had probably cheated.
Akutsu stalked up, planting one hand each on either side of the metal rim, leaning over Atobe. Atobe's face was distant, discontent. Akutsu leaned down and kissed him, leverage making it easy for him to push his way in. Atobe remembered fifth year elementary school, some smart girl going off alone to the far hill to cry and stare into the breeze. He'd sneered at her. It hurt Atobe, the biting, the screaming, the harshness, but it hurt Akutsu, too.
"Shouldn't you be doing this to someone else," Atobe hissed, but Akutsu had been right. He couldn't breathe anymore.
"Shut the fuck up," Akutsu said, and grabbed Atobe roughly, hauled him higher up, not giving him a chance to get away, getting even closer.
Atobe's jacket bunched around the top of his back, uncomfortable to him. He was hard somehow, more than he'd ever been, painfully, straining, everything about him pushing to get free into the cold night air. His body and mind fought against Akutsu, against the tongue and teeth fighting against his, against the long strong hands ripping at his uniform, short male nails scratching at the dark start of his sweatpants, hanging low, hard too, stick-out hipbones, both flat and steel. Akutsu ground against Atobe, pushing his hands above his head, exquisitely painful sparks of friction, fight against a moan. Atobe would never, ever let anyone see him like this.
Everything was gone, completely gone without a trace. He was going to be swallowed whole. He was going to be eaten alive. He pulled Akutsu Jin even closer to him, grabbed his attacker. Then his hips were bare, too, burned by the strongest cold.
There was a claw pushing its way inside him, violation, sharp, seeing how far it could penetrate, how much, buried so deep, there was to break. Atobe panted, straining away, curling into himself. Another, and somehow there was blood already, something unnatural, somewhere that should never be breached. Another, and inferno.
'I am everything I appear to be. I am this way. This is my self that hurts you, my self that is superior to all of you. Don't doubt me. Don't try to make me into something I'm not. I'll always be this way, and I don't want to deviate from it. I've never had to ask for myself. It's been something as much a part of me as the things I'll fight against. It's strength. A strength. My strength. My power. But you-'
Atobe bit his lip to stop from screaming as suddenly, without warning, Akutsu was inside him. 'I don't care about you. You're nothing compared to me. I don't care what you think, I don't care what you want, I don't care who you are, I don't CARE who you're GO-ing to BE. I only CARE about ME."
Can you imagine that feeling? Can you really? Is it like your life, your own desperation? I know you feel hurt. I know you feel stress. I know you cry. I know you hate yourself and love yourself. I know you hold yourself back. I know you think no one can understand you. I want you, then, to feel this. I want you to know something other than yourself.
I want you to know fear.
A dream, of course. Atobe hated dreams. They were never as good as his life.
"So," Atobe said, "That's why I'm right and you're wrong. It's just that simple."
Akutsu sat in the sand before him, perched Indian style, sullen, but still listening anyway. "You know I'd never do that."
"You'd never admit anything?" Atobe perfectly raised an eyebrow. "It's okay. Remember, there's no one in the whole world my Insight hasn't seen through."
"Huh," Atobe said again, Akutsu still quiet. He was right. "You won't forget me, that's all."
I'd forgotten what it's like to drown
"Drive me insane..."
In the sheets, your nail plays with my trigger
The blazing moon reveals traces of an unforgivable crime
I won't let you move an inch, until you can't even breathe
With that hair and those pretty fingers, you can make anyone care- it's unbearable
If you look at me with those cloudy eyes
I can't be patient any longer
I'll hold you, and after a lonely journey
Past the ends of the world, it's "sayonara"
I'd even settle for something insubstantial
But still, you're
Absorbed in someone
With that voice and those hot sighs, you can make anyone your slave- it's beautiful
If our wet bodies overlap each other
I can't be patient any longer
At the ends of the earth where we met
I won't let anyone interfere
Gravity pulling us together
I'll become the moon someday
I'll hold you, and after a lonely journey
Past the ends of the world, it's "sayonara"
I'd even settle for something insubstantial
But still, you're
In the middle of traveling with someone.