I didn't think of emerging into the PoT fandom with a coupling as obscure as this, but here goes nothing. Ah, the promises that await in starting a new fic! How I love it. And though this pairing is quite rare, I simply adore it. Oshitari/Atobe—if anyone is frightened or disgusted, please look away. Otherwise, continue. Also, there are some harmless Ohtori/Shishido hints thrown in. They somehow ended up in here without me even wanting to. XD
Disclaimer: Me don't own Tenisu No Ohjisama, k?
Days were boring when there wasn't any tennis being played. Oshitari Yuushi had learned this long ago, when he first entered the sport. It was one of the fewer pleasantries in his life and had never failed in bringing him endless amusement. However, since it was currently winter and definitely not the season for sports, he had to immerse himself into his books to rid the feeling of boredom. Oshitari sighed at this prospect and decided to look away from the window, lest the teacher notice his unusual absentmindedness.
Suddenly, a small paper ball landed on his desk. Oshitari stared at it for a while before finally opening it, looking around and spotting Gakuto gesturing to him. You look bored. Should I be amazed that the prodigy is not enjoying class? Oshitari smirked faintly at his friend's comment and tossed the paper away into the garbage can much to the redhead's dismay. Glancing across the room, there had to be something worthwhile to study. It was then that Oshitari noticed a certain dark-haired captain sitting a few seats away from him, seemingly paying close attention to what was being said. Oshitari knew better, though.
"And life gets interesting," he murmured to himself as he watched Atobe write something in his notebook before tearing out the paper slowly and inconspicuously handing it over to Gakuto, who sat right behind him.
Oshitari didn't partake in the whole business of exchanging notes in class—he actually enjoyed listening to the teacher's lectures unlike his companions. Being in their last year in high school did nothing to make them serious about schoolwork. However, today it seemed they were rowdier than usual. This intrigued him more than anything else. And the fact that Atobe was engaging on the activity made it that much more interesting to witness. In the back of Oshitari's mind, he wondered how long this could go on before they were caught. He smiled at the thought and placed his chin on interlaced fingers in anticipation.
Watching Atobe was always a pastime Oshitari took on with passion, though it mostly slipped by unnoticed by everyone else. Some could consider them rivals but Oshitari didn't think of their relationship like that at all. They were two individuals with very different interests. While Atobe threw himself into building the flawless image of himself, Oshitari preferred to stand by in the background and observe. Atobe was much more of a perfectionist than himself, and the irony in that made Oshitari laugh since most thought the "prodigy" would be much more nagging. In fact, it was this quality in Atobe that caught Oshitari's interest. Not only in his appearance, but also in his tennis style was Atobe constantly trying to be perfect. The reasons were always a mystery, though.
And that bothered Oshitari to no ends.
Just then, another rolled up ball landed before him. The blue-haired prodigy looked at it and closed his eyes wearily. Taking the piece of paper in his hands he tossed it into the garbage without even opening it—such was his luck that he was situated by the plastic bin. When a quiet sound of protest was sounded behind him, Oshitari turned around and smiled at Gakuto, who looked utterly annoyed. How he loved watching his friends grow irritated. And it seemed that Shishido had entered in on the fun as well, Oshitari observed curiously, as he and Gakuto exchanged looks.
Just what is going on?
"Mukahi! Shishido! What did I tell you about passing notes?" barked the teacher suddenly.
Oshitari hid his laughter as the two tennis players stood up in fear. Terachi-sensei was quite frightening when he wanted to be. Shishido and Gakuto stuttered for answers.
"Uh—we're—sorry?" stammered Shishido as several other students in the class began laughing.
Terachi-sensei closed in on them threateningly. "If I catch you two at it again, it'll be double cleaning duty for you," he warned.
The two nodded unanimously and sat back down slowly, breathing out in relief. Oshitari placed his chin his hand in disappointment. You should have punished them now, sensei. Still, this left him with something to tease the two about later on—not that he needed much in the first place. It wasn't that Oshitari was a cruel person—he just needed some entertainment. And until spring came along, he would have to create that entertainment on his own. Oshitari sighed inwardly. Another three months to go. Winter was unbearably long.
So Oshitari went back to his former post of watching their captain. Atobe was back to writing in his notebook and a certain infamous smirk was on his face. Oshitari arched an eyebrow and watched him raptly. Their relationship was always a questionable one. To him, Atobe was a friend, and also a source for entertainment. Out of everyone Oshitari knew Atobe had the most complex personality. It always fascinated him to imagine what the other boy could be thinking. Atobe was predictable most of the times. But his arrogant and flamboyant attitude did give way to a deeper side of him occasionally. Oshitari wanted to explore this side.
In short, he was simply infatuated with Atobe Keigo.
An infuriating thought, yet at the same time something Oshitari couldn't deny. Despite all the years they had known each other now, Atobe still remained a bit of a mystery to him. And Oshitari Yuushi wasn't known to be a prodigy without reason. He would discover those layers underneath Atobe's mask eventually. This was the unspoken challenge he had given himself ever since the tennis season ended. And he still had plenty of time left remaining.
"Oshitari," quipped a new voice.
The dark-haired boy glanced over to his side and saw a paper being handed over to him. It seemed to contain a lot of writing and Oshitari took it with some confusion. Faintly, he heard snickers in back of him. Gakuto and Shishido, it seemed, had not been deterred from their efforts despite Terachi-sensei's warning. Oshitari finally decided to humor them by reading the note.
Yuushi. If you're so bored, why don't you cooperate with us? We're only trying to make life better!
How can you even listen to what Terachi says? His speeches just make me want to fall asleep.
We were thinking of heading downtown after school to watch a movie. Want to join? I think this should be interesting enough for you. Everyone will be there.
Yeah, right, Mukahi. Oshitari would rather bury himself in another book.
So what do you say, Yuushi?
Oshitari stared at the paper and folded it up before tossing it into the garbage bin for the third time since class began.
Gakuto had apparently started to say something before shutting himself up as Terachi-sensei threw a menacing look to the class. Oshitari smiled to himself. Perhaps he would join them later. There was just something amiss about their words, though. Since when were Gakuto and Shishido so persistent in getting him to join in on group activities? Oshitari thought to himself, unconsciously starting to doodle in the margin of his notes. If anyone else saw him do this, they would be shocked. Oshitari was the renowned genius—a perfect student. He laughed at all these fake concepts people made up. After all, who knew him better than himself?
"All right, everyone. I want you to read from chapters four through six tonight. That's all," announced Terachi-sensei as the class came to an end.
Oshitari blinked and casually began to gather his books for his next class. Gakuto practically leaped on top of him from behind
"So?" he demanded, tossing his hair to the side. It had been growing longer as of late. He needed a trim.
Oshitari stared at him calmly. "So," he replied offhandedly.
Gakuto pouted deeply at him and grabbed his shoulder. "Come on! You haven't been out that much lately! Except for practice, you just stay at home all day long!" he whined.
His note of concern touched Oshitari, and he allowed himself to smile. "Oh? Then I suppose I have no choice," he said.
Gakuto looked exultant as he held onto his books tightly to his chest. "And why were you so mean in class? You didn't have to throw away all our notes—and you didn't even read the second one!" he pointed out.
They began to walk out of class, Shishido and Atobe following since they were heading in the same direction. Oshitari shrugged nonchalantly. "I didn't feel like being bothered," he remarked.
"Yeah, right! You had the most bored expression in class. It was the first time I ever saw you like that, Oshitari," commented Shishido from behind.
The blue-haired prodigy cast a dark look on him. "You seemed to be having fun, though. I'm sure you would have also had Terachi-sensei given you double cleaning duty," he shot back, smiling indulgently at the aggravated expression on Shishido's face.
"My, Oshitari, you seem to be in a wicked mood today," drawled Atobe.
"You, too," replied Oshitari without missing a beat.
The two remained gazing at each other evenly for a moment before Atobe smirked and glanced away. "No respect for the captain, I see," he murmured to himself.
"I hate math. I'll see you guys later. Remember, Yuushi! Wait for us after school in the front!" exclaimed Gakuto as he entered his next class. He glared at Oshitari as if daring him to say otherwise.
The prodigy simply waved his hand. "Of course, of course," he said coolly.
Gakuto stuck out his tongue before disappearing into his class. At the next corner Shishido left for his physics class. Atobe and Oshitari continued on their way to their next class, which they shared yet again. As they walked on in silence, Oshitari wondered to himself. He was never nervous around Atobe. Was this how crushes were supposed to be like? As far as he was concerned, people tended to act very skittish around the people they liked. That was usually the case with Ohtori and the way he was whenever Shishido was around. This, Oshitari couldn't help but tease the younger boy about. But with Atobe, Oshitari founded himself acting like he normally would. He found no discomfort in being with the captain.
Perhaps it because they were so used to being around each other. Oshitari couldn't figure out when it was that he decided he liked Atobe in a more significant manner than a friend—he just accepted his feelings and went on with it. He was never the type to dwell on useless questions. And now he had his own silent quest to find out more about Atobe. Oshitari wondered where this sudden tenacity came from. There was little he could do, however, to discover the deeper roots of Atobe without gathering suspicion. Unlike most friends, Oshitari never invited the latter out to do anything except tennis.
It was quite frustrating, but not something unsolvable.
"Are you going with them after school?" inquired Oshitari.
Atobe glanced at him and then shrugged. "I was the one who commanded it," he answered, smugness seeping into his tone.
Oshitari was already accustomed to Atobe's arrogant talk—but this surprised him somewhat. "Any reason for the uncanny friendliness?" he asked, raising one eyebrow.
The dark-haired boy faced him with a smirk. "Do I need a reason, Oshitari?" he prompted silkily.
"Hm, I suppose not," he replied back just as calmly. He was always the only one from the entire team who could debate with Atobe fairly—mainly because it was hard for him to lose his composure. And even when Atobe did manage to break his cool in the slightest, Oshitari was quick to rebound.
"So why have you been so bored lately, Oshitari?" queried Atobe dryly.
Oshitari looked at him. It seemed everyone had been asking him that question as of late. He knew from the others it had been out of concern. But with Atobe—his purpose was unclear. Oshitari waved a hand carelessly. "There's no reason," he answered.
"As captain, I am obligated to know what's going on with my players."
These words managed to make Oshitari stare at Atobe incredulously. The latter bore a serious expression on his face before breaking into a smirk.
"Or not. That's something Tezuka would say I think. I'm not nearly as dull as him."
The sarcasm was evident in his tone. Oshitari looked at him carefully. This was yet another factor that contributed to the possible failure in his quest—Seigaku's ever-famous captain, Tezuka Kunimitsu. It was no secret that Atobe was interested in him. Oshitari still had to decide for himself whether this interest lied solely in tennis or not. Atobe most certainly wasn't going to spell it out clearly for him.
"Three more months remaining," he said quietly.
Atobe arched an eyebrow and looked at him curiously, or at least with as much curiosity as he would spare without ruining his cool and untouchable façade. "Three months?" he repeated mildly.
Oshitari nodded, adjusting his glasses. "Until the tennis season starts again," he clarified.
"Hmm…is that so?" mused Atobe aloud. "And what will you do until then? Drown in boredom? It seems like a rather depressing way to spend your time."
Leave it to Atobe to make such shrewd remarks on how Oshitari would spend his time. The latter eyed Atobe as they entered their class. "I may have something I can do," he said mysteriously.
"Oh? And what's this?" inquired Atobe imperiously, obviously expecting an answer.
Oshitari smiled knowingly as he took his seat by the window. Atobe leaned against his own desk, waiting for a reply. "I suppose it could be related to tennis," remarked Oshitari purposely.
A small frown marred Atobe's features. Oshitari took pleasure in having rattled his usually unshakable captain.
"You are acting strangely—even more so than normal," commented Atobe dismissively as he took his seat.
Oshitari realized that was an intentional insult made by Atobe, but took it to stride. It was how the boy acted when he didn't get what he wanted—he sulked like a little child. This made Oshitari grin. Life would be so dull without Atobe Keigo in it to stir things up.
Another period ended without much trouble save Atobe didn't speak or even look at Oshitari once during the entire time. It was a hard task to accomplish since he usually depended on the blue-haired prodigy for help when they needed to do problems on the board. This time Atobe sought out the aid of another girl sitting directly behind Oshitari. The prodigy knew this was deliberate and couldn't help but applaud Atobe on his revenge. When the class ended, Atobe simply stood up and left without saying anything to Oshitari. That had stung a bit. The blue-haired prodigy raised a slim eyebrow. It was the end of their last class so they would have to meet up again anyway.
Oshitari walked over to his locker and got out his jacket and put away his books. Unfortunately enough for him, he and Atobe shared neighboring lockers as well so he was forced to undergo the latter's icy attitude towards him again. Oshitari wondered to himself when Atobe would finally drop the act and start behaving normally. He knew the captain wasn't actually mad—he was just amusing himself and seeing how long it would be before Oshitari broke under that cold gaze. Both of them had the incurable disease of being bored easily. And both did different things to amuse themselves.
"I suppose we're to meet up outside…"
As Oshitari spoke, though, Atobe closed his locker and walked away wordlessly. Oshitari stared at his back in genuine shock before his face slowly gave way into a smile. "So that's the way you want to play it," he commented to himself darkly.
Gathering his backpack, Oshitari buttoned up his coat and wrapped his scarf around the strap on his shoulder—it wasn't quite that cold this afternoon to clothe himself unnecessarily. Gakuto would probably scold him, though. The last time Oshitari had said that he winded up having to stay home for a week due to a rather bad bout of influenza. Oshitari smiled at the memory. He had managed to acquire more than Gakuto's scolding that time—the entire team had lectured him, including Atobe.
"Oshitari! Wear your damn scarf before you catch pneumonia or something!" exclaimed Shishido as soon as Oshitari walked out of the building.
The blue-haired boy smiled wryly. "It was the flu—and I caught it from all the sick people around me—namely you, Shishido," he replied smartly.
The aforementioned "bad boy" of the team turned an unattractive shade of red and made no further comment. Oshitari smiled satisfactorily.
"Now, now, let's not argue amongst ourselves," drawled Atobe lazily. "Where's Ohtori?"
Shishido shrugged. "I think he said he had to go talk to a teacher about some report," he answered.
Atobe's eyes flashed. "Ore-sama does tolerate lateness," he stated firmly. "Right, Kabaji?"
"Right," muttered the younger boy.
Oshitari resisted from laughing. Everyone else looked at their captain with mixed expressions. Jiroh laid sleeping soundly on the pavement.
"Sorry, guys! Let's go!" exclaimed Ohtori as he suddenly emerged from the school building.
Atobe faced him casually. "Hmm, that's fifteen minutes less we have for getting the three-thirty showing," he calmly stated, efficiently bringing Ohtori to a state of stammers. After several moments of the younger boy's apologies, Atobe turned away. "No matters. It's Friday. We can always get a later one."
Oshitari smiled faintly. Even Atobe couldn't be cruel for long towards Ohtori.
"Do we really have to watch a movie? Isn't that kind of…," began Shishido, before noticing the dangerous glare being thrown at him from Atobe.
"I agree. It is somewhat redundant," quipped Oshitari.
"You all will listen to what Ore-sama commands," continued Atobe, ignoring Oshitari completely.
The blue-haired prodigy narrowed his eyes at this. Gakuto nudged him in the arm. "Did you do something? He seems to be rather mad at you," the redhead remarked inquisitively.
Oshitari looked at him with a calm smile. "Who knows," he replied.
All he knew was that Atobe carried the same indifference towards him all the way to, throughout, and at the end of the movie. When they had been trying to figure out the seating arrangements in the theater, Atobe had made it a point to avoid sitting next to Oshitari. In fact, by the time the movie was done and they were filing out the building, Oshitari was seriously considering the possibility of Atobe being mad with him. It was a strange occurrence. Atobe and Oshitari never argued.
It was also strange when everyone decided to leave right after the movie was finished. Ohtori had to work on his project—Shishido was to assist him. Hiyoshi claimed having to attend to a family affair at the dojo. Jiroh simply said he wanted to go home to sleep. Gakuto said his favorite program was about start. Then they dispersed from the scene altogether.
That left Kabaji, Oshitari, and Atobe. The blue-haired prodigy was more than suspicious by now.
"Come, let's go for a walk," announced Atobe before glancing at Kabaji. "You can go home, Kabaji."
The younger boy nodded and began walking the other direction. Atobe then turned to face Oshitari charmingly. "So, are you coming?" he asked, eyes twinkling with unspoken amusement.
Oshitari stood his ground and placed his hands in his pockets. "What's this about?" he shot back.
A cocky grin was all that he got in response. Oshitari closed his eyes and shook his head. "How boring," he muttered under his breath.
Suddenly a hand was on his shoulder and Oshitari opened his eyes to see Atobe shooting him a challenging look. "No one is allowed to be bored around Ore-sama," he commanded formally.
Oshitari looked at him for a moment. "Is this what it's all about?" he inquired.
Atobe smiled faintly—and it was a real one this time. "I can think of something that will interest both of us," he suggested lightly.
For several moments, Oshitari stared at Atobe before slowly dissolving into laughter. Atobe, naturally, was not pleased. And he let this statement be heard by the way he crossed his arms and eyed down Oshitari.
"This was a whole plot to get me alone then?"
"You're the genius, Oshitari."
The blue-haired prodigy smiled to himself. It had never occurred to him that perhaps Atobe would be interested in him as well. In all his focus on chasing after the captain, he had failed to realize the already preexisting feelings the latter had for him. Strange, thought Oshitari to himself. He was never the type to miss things so easily. But then again, wasn't that normal in crushes? He amused himself with this thought. So all his apprehension had been for nothing. He had to congratulate Atobe. His planning far exceeded his own.
"You know this might not work. We both get bored rather easily," he commented, looking at Atobe seriously.
The dark-haired boy smiled mischievously. "Oh? Are you saying Ore-sama is not worth your time? Shame, shame, Yuushi," he replied, drawing closer to Oshitari.
They were standing in the middle of an empty park. The sky was lit up dimly by glittering stars and a cold breeze swept down on them. As the lampposts flickered on, Oshitari caught glimpse of the predatory look in Atobe's eyes and stepped back, smiling slightly.
"Are you quite sure I'm worth your time, though?" he inquired softly.
There was silence as Atobe stepped in to close the distance between them. He brought a single gloved hand to cup Oshitari's face and tilt it towards him. "I've let you stay by my side for all these years haven't I?" he whispered into his ear, sending chills along Oshitari's spine. Atobe then let go of his face and smirked. "You're like a little puppy trailing after the big old doggie worshipfully."
Oshitari smiled, not at all fazed by Atobe's words. "You ignored me before," he said calmly.
Atobe arched an eyebrow. "To see if the little puppy would come back," he replied smoothly.
The blue-haired prodigy lowered his face, hiding his eyes from Atobe's scrutiny. Inside, he was smiling at the delight in having what he longed for so long in his hands. The relief didn't quite hit him until then and Oshitari could only remain silent as the feeling washed over him. Atobe, however, took his silence for something else and leaned in closer to the blue-haired boy.
"You know the big old doggie doesn't mind the fawning puppy," he murmured silkily into his ear.
Oshitari finally looked at him, a smirk painting his face. "These dog analogies really aren't going with the situation, Atobe," he remarked amusedly.
Atobe looked slightly affronted before waving a hand in front of Oshitari's face. "Do not tell Ore-sama what is right and wrong," he ordered before lowering his gaze to eye Oshitari with faint irritation. "And it's Keigo from now on—right, Yuushi?"
"Right…Keigo," said Oshitari, wondering what he had managed to get himself into.
Suddenly, Atobe took his cold hands into his own. "So, let's get Yuushi home before he catches the flu again," he said offhandedly, though Oshitari could detect the underlying tone of concern. Atobe had been quite mad the last time he was sick. He had originally thought it was because he had to miss out on club activities. Now he knew it was simply out of worry. The blue-haired prodigy smiled lightly as Atobe took off his gloves to begin rubbing some warmth into his own hands.
It seemed now that both Oshitari and Atobe had found the cures to their boredom.
Well, there goes my first attempt at a PoT fic. I just hope I got them in character. Although, I'm rather liking the way Atobe turned out in this fic. XD