Author's Notes: A random, silly idea that came from the crack pairing generator. The fic was supposed to be short and silly, with just implied shounen-ai. Then I mentioned to my friend (who is also my wonderful beta) that I had this image of Jiroh kissing/licking Atobe's beauty mark stuck in my head, and she encouraged me. (She was the one who told me to pick licking, too.) And the Naughty Pair just sort of...snuck their way into the fic while I wasn't looking. So now, it's rated T. Or, in the words of my beta, 'Rated for Mention of Exhibitionism and licking.'
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or world of Prince of Tennis.
(I can't get this site to keep my indents, so you'll have to live without them.)
Atobe Keigo had the hiccups.
Even perfection was susceptible to bodily quirks then and now, and Atobe had had the hiccups before, particularly after he'd had several of those fruit cocktails he was so fond of, but he'd always been able to hide the tiny jolts of his chest behind his normal primping motions, and he could usually excuse himself for a bit until they subsided.
But these, these were the loud, croaky, body-jerking hiccups, that he'd never had outside of the privacy of his home, and this was the middle of team practice.
Atobe had always prided himself on his control over his body, and he was able to suppress the shudders, but neither holding his breath nor draining his water bottle rid him of the periodic sound eruptions, loud enough that he was surprised that Jiroh, dozing on the bench next to him during a break in between matches, hadn't woken up. (And Atobe would have made him get up and run laps for slacking off, really he would, it was just that Jiroh looked so peacefu—er, that one of those squawks might interrupt the command, and Atobe-sama just couldn't lose face like that.)
Jiroh might not have noticed yet, hard to do while sleeping, but practice was almost over and he'd have to address the team soon. In his present condition, he'd be hiccupping every few sentences, and that would not only ruin his regal aura, but he had a feeling certain Hyoutei regulars would never let him forget it. Kabaji, Ootori and Hiyoshi would be no problem, of course, and Jiroh wouldn't be awake enough to notice. (A good thing considering just how haphazardly bizarre his sense of judgment was.) They weren't the ones Atobe was worried about. But the others…
Oshitari might be subtle enough to just accidentally bring up the topic when the story hadn't been told in a while, perhaps tease Atobe a bit in private if the subject arose. Shishido wouldn't dare spread the story; he'd content himself by smirking cockily during team dismissal for at least the next month, and tactlessly pouncing on Oshitari's 'offhand' topic-bait. But Mukahi…the impressions would start the instant Atobe was out of earshot, and be repeated at eavesdropper-friendly volumes to large groups of anyone who would pay attention; to the point where his teachers had to try not to snigger at whichever student was performing it in the back row. Even once it died down, Mukahi would wait just long enough before repeating it to turn it into a running joke. Not a tennis-team joke, either—Mukahi never did anything even remotely subtly. No, he would turn it into a school-wide, in-the-yearbook type of running joke, to the point where Atobe wouldn't be surprised if it were on the invitation to the class reunion.
Another hiccup jolted him out of this line of thought, only to realize Kantoku was signaling for practice to be over, and the Regulars were drifting over for Atobe's dismissal speech. Very well, the hiccups weren't subsiding, so he would simply have to make the speech short and pray he wouldn't hiccup in the middle. He stood, resigned, and took a step towards the waiting team.
"Your performance today was acceptable. There will be extra practice Sat—" and he cut off abruptly, not so much because the last syllable had been a high-pitched yelp, but because Jiroh, still sleeping on the bench, had suddenly let out a thunderous snore, completely drowning him out. Jiroh never snored. He might breathe more loudly while napping, but never noisily enough to be annoying. He'd sniffled a bit once, while recovering from a cold—and Atobe had no clue why he remembered that so clearly—but he certainly had never made a sound so loud as the one that had just undeniably come from the limp form sprawled over the bleachers.
The rest of the regulars were staring at Jiroh, and even Mukahi looked too shocked to make a snide comment. Kabaji looked at Atobe as if waiting for the order to shake Jiroh upside-down by his ankles until he stopped disrupting Atobe's speech. But Atobe simply cleared his throat, thanked kami-sama for happy coincidences, and continued.
"As I said, extra practice Saturday from 2 to 4:30, be there prompt—" Another hiccup, and anther snore. Perhaps Jiroh's biorhythms had adapted to his own, obviously superior ones? At any rate, he'd best finish this speech as quickly as he could—and he cursed internally as he recalled another issue he had promised Kantoku he would address today.
"—Promptly. Additionally, Oshitari and Mukahi? If you have a fetish for exhibitionism, that is your own business, but please take it to the park or some such place, and away from Hyoutei's public bathrooms."
(Admittedly, the park probably wasn't the best place, but it wasn't as if Atobe had any knowledge on the subject.) He allowed himself to preen slightly for getting that all out fast enough to avoid hiccups, but was interrupted by one that decided to punctuate the statement. He froze for an instant as the teams' eyes shot from their Doubles 2 pair back to him…no, behind him, to where Jiroh had snored yet again.
Mukahi blinked, and then smirked. "It's not as if we like it," he replied. "We just…see it as a necessary sacrifice."
"Be that as it may, continuation of such altruistic behavior will see you dropped from the tennis team."
Mukahi began to pout annoyingly, and opened his mouth, probably to ask what "altruistic" meant, but Oshitari laid a hand on his shoulder comfortingly. "It's all right. He didn't say anything about the private bathrooms."
Mukahi immediately brightened. It was on the tip of Atobe's tongue to ask just how Oshitari intended on procuring a key to the staff's private bathrooms, but he decided that Yuushi, being Yuushi, probably didn't need one. He hiccupped again, and this time it was drowned out by not only Jiroh's snore, but Shishido's loud gagging noises as well.
Shishido began running, probably to distance himself from Oshitari and Mukahi, and was dragging a vaguely disturbed looking Ootori along with him. Gakuto sprinted after them with an evil look on his face, and the others followed, Kabaji after being dismissed with a wave of Atobe's hand. Atobe planned to wait until his hiccups had finally dissipated before joining the rest, though that did leave him with the burden of somehow getting Jiroh up himself. A Jiroh who was apparently out of it enough to snore. And Jiroh was damn lucky Atobe had happened to have the hiccups, else he'd have been running laps until nightfall for interrupting Atobe… Now how on Earth to wake him? By the time Atobe figured it out, his hiccups would probably have disappeared of their own accord…
He sat back down on the bleachers with a sigh, and almost yelped as Jiroh suddenly opened his eyes and rested his chin on Atobe's leg.
"Has everyone left?"
Jiroh paid him no attention, pressing his ear against Atobe's chest. "They're gone. Did I startle you?"
"Yes…wait, you knew?"
Jiroh nodded happily. "Yup! S'why I was making noise! Mukahi would've been annoying if he'd found out."
Well, that was…humbling, considering what his own theories had been on the matter. He shook himself slightly, struck with the sudden feeling that he owed Jiroh something.
"Can I…do something for you in return?"
Jiroh shook his head enthusiastically, getting up only to plop back down in Atobe's lap. Atobe felt his face flush slightly as Jiroh snuggled closer, wrapping his arms around Atobe's neck.
"Nope! Atobe is enough!" he proclaimed, rubbing his nose back and forth against Atobe's.
Just where Jiroh had gotten the idea that he had the right to sit in Atobe's lap and give him Eskimo kisses was beyond the latter, but that didn't mean he was thinking of protesting. Jiroh was, he realized, decidedly cuddly. He was so busy realizing this he hardly paid attention to what Jiroh was doing until he felt a brush of something warm and wet just about where his beauty mark must be.
"Hm?" Yes, Jiroh was definitely flicking his tongue against Atobe's mole…and while Atobe didn't particularly mind in a tactile sense, he had just reprimanded two members of his team for public displays of affection.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Jiroh paused. "Licking you?"
"Not that I particularly mind, but this is neither the time nor the place."
He stopped, looking a bit disappointed, then perked up. "Wait…so does that mean I can lick you again later?"
"Yay!" And with that, Jiroh bounced off his lap and skipped happily towards the locker rooms.
Atobe permitted himself a smug smile, before he panicked and began to sprint after Jiroh.
Mukahi finding out that he'd had the hiccups was one thing. However, Jiroh announcing to an entire locker room of regulars that he now had permission to lick Atobe was…quite another.