Author's Notes: I'm writing again! I got so stuck in schoolwork to even write anything. But the muses were back and I had to sneak in some time to write something so they would make me study in peace. But I guess, when muses come, they never shut up, don't they? ::sigh:: Anyway, I hope you like this. This is another first for this pairing. This was actually based on the poem I made a few nights ago.

Dedication: Reeza, this is the one I promised you a long time ago when our Tenipuri fandom was still starting. ::berates self:: And I was supposed to make a MomoRyo!

Disclaimers: Tennis no Oujisama and all its characters belong to Takeshi Konomi. Only the story and the poem are mine.

While You Were Sleeping

Akutagawa Jiroh yawned and glanced at the clock beside him. Two-thirty in the morning, he read. No wonder he was awfully sleepy. He yawned again, tears forming in his eyes. Rubbing his eyes, he glanced at the figure beside him then at the laptop on his lap.

Keigo…

He never thought in his entire life that Atobe Keigo would be sleeping beside him, peacefully so to speak. His gaze softened, pushing a strand of violet-gray from his lover's closed eyes. No, it wasn't just that. He never thought that the wonderful person beside him would ever feel the same way as he did.

How many times had he asked why he was so blessed? How many times had he asked Atobe why he chose him, only to be answered by a smile?

Countless…

As countless as the times he had thought of how much he loved the creature beside him.

Atobe was a gift to him from above. And he wanted Atobe to know that.

It wasn't that he didn't let his boyfriend know that – he actually did that more often than not – but he wanted to give something special to Atobe. Especially since the boy's birthday was coming up.

The perfect opportunity came when his professor in Greek Literature Studies [1] asked them to write a poem. It needn't rhyme, he said. He just wanted their emotions to flow.

Now the problem was, Jiroh wasn't exactly a poet or fluent in Greek. That was Atobe.

And that was actually why he was doing his assignment in the middle of night.

He had thought about what to write all day, but every time he decided to write, it was in vain. He didn't want to ask Atobe's help either – it was supposed to be for him! He could've asked Ohtori to help him but he wanted it to be personal. So in the end, he decided to sleep on it, especially when the Hyotei Tennis Club Buchou was getting suspicious as to why he was still up at ten in the evening.

But even as he lay in their bed with Atobe's hand draping over his waist, he still could not sleep. He was wide awake, mind still in search of ways on how to write. He pretended to be asleep so that Atobe would not worry, but the moment he felt that his boyfriend was already in dreamland, he turned around and stared at Atobe. Just stared.

Then suddenly, it came to him.

It was a good thing that he had left his laptop by the bedside table.

He yawned again – eyes now blurry – saving his work one last time. He placed the laptop on the bedside table once again – the computer in stand by so he won't forget to print it in the morning.

Smiling softly at Atobe one last time before dreams consumed him, he snuggled closer and shut his eyes.

Sunlight was streaming from his bedroom window as Atobe Keigo slowly opened his eyes, a bouquet of sunset curls welcoming him. He smiled, gently running his hands on his boyfriend's hair.

Jiroh…

Such an innocent-looking child, he thought. But he knew that there was more to the seemingly naïve Singes Two player and it was something that he rarely let anyone see. And he was thankful that Jiroh let him in.

And perhaps that was one of the reasons why he let all pretensions fall whenever he was with Jiroh.

He propped himself up on his elbow and was about to wake the sleepyhead up when he noticed that Jiroh's laptop was on stand by. Curious, he reached for it and saw that a document was still open. An amused smile escaped his lips.

Would you like to save your work before exiting Microsoft Word?

Baka Jiroh must've been too sleepy to save his work, he thought.

He was supposed to click 'yes' and close the document but then the words typed caught his attention.

So this was what was bothering him yesterday, Atobe thought. He shook his head, knowing now why Jiroh was having a hard time. An assignment in Greek Literature – he should've asked for his help! 

Wanting to check what his boyfriend wrote, he read on. His eyes widened.

It was a poem, written in Greek. Dedicated to him.

He was touched, even if there were a few grammatical errors here and there. Smiling, he began typing. What was the use that he was the best student in Greek that Hyotei has ever seen if he didn't give his romantic boyfriend a hand, na?

"Jiroh, wake up."

Slowly stirring from his sleep, wine-colored eyes opened to meet ocean-tinted ones.

"Ohayou," he said sleepily.

Atobe smiled before proceeding to leave the room. "I'll wait for you in the dining room."

Jiroh nodded. "Be there in a minute."

He stretched before getting himself out of bed to wash himself. But before he could do so, he saw a paper on top of his laptop.

"Jiroh,

            I took the liberty of editing your assignment for you. You should've asked me – Hyotei Gakuen's Best Greek Student – to help you, but then again that would've taken out the surprise. But next time, be sure to save it before sleeping.

Keigo"

While You Were Sleeping

- Akutagawa Jiroh -

I can see more than who you are…

            I can see behind the ego-filled mask…

                                    … Behind that cheerful yet always sleepy façade.

I can see beauty beyond what you wear…

            I can see the sparkling innocence in your eyes…

                                    … The way your lips curl into a breathtaking smile.

I can see it…

            I can feel it…

                        Every aspect of you…

                                    Everything you feel…

                                                Everything that makes you who you are…

The good…

            The bad…

                        And I accept it…

I can see it…

            Everything…

                        As I gaze at you…

                                    … Defenseless and open…

                                                … While you were sleeping.

Jiroh's eyes softened.

Keigo…

I love you…

Behind the door, Atobe smiled softly.

I love you, Jiroh…

Owari

12Jul04; 6:54p

[1] I only made this up.