Disclaimer: Here we go. Dun own Prince of Tennis, though, if you all want to get me a good birthday present then this is the one I want
Author's Notes: Ok. This is the last chapter all. This is the whole enchilada. Right here… right below… um, yeah. So now I have to thank all my loyal reviewers for their continuing support, I truly couldn't have done this without you all. Big huge thanks to Glitter for betaing my work and giving me wonderful suggestions. This story would have turned out crap without her. Hope you all enjoyed this fic as much as I enjoyed writing it all for ya. Hope you read my next fics when I decide to put them out.
Atobe's Little Plan
"NYA! Rise and shine! It's CHRISTMAS!" Eiji's voice shouted through the hallways.
The responses were varied, but the dominant responses were curses, thanks to the majority of headaches left over from the hangovers. Tezuka actually went so far as to open his and Fuji's door and throw a pillow at Eiji.
"It's five in the morning. If you don't shut up, I won't hesitate to make you." He glared balefully at Eiji while holding the side of his head.
"If Buchou is making threats, the end of the world really is coming. I'd heed him if I were you, Eiji," Momo-chan muttered, wincing at the slam of a door.
"NYA! You're all party poopers!" Eiji screeched again.
Momo-chan fell on the floor, holding both hands to his aching head.
"Oh, for pity's sake, make it stop!" Momo-chan yelled.
"Ne, ne Oishi, they're being mean to me, nya!" Eiji mock wailed.
"No, Kaidoh, you can't kill him." Inui's deadpan tone floated from down the hall.
He stood behind Kaidoh, holding his shirt while Kaidoh strained, trying to get to the over-excited Eiji.
"You can, though, strap him to a chair, and I can make a tea perfect for quieting enthusiastic children."
Several doors slammed shut at the mention of Inui's famous drink. They weren't going to be caught and made to drink that stuff. Eiji giggled hesitantly. There wasn't much he was scared of, but Inui's drink headed the list. He put his hands up in defeat.
Satisfied, Inui turned around, dragging a less-than-happy Kaidoh back to their room. Eiji stuck his tongue out at Inui. That's what he thought of Inui and his drink.
He grumbled, "Spoilsport." So much for his fun.
Oishi was gently rubbing his forehead. "Try again later, when everyone is rested from their fun last night. Most of them have had only a few hours of sleep, and I'm betting all of them have hangovers."
Eiji was still grumbling. "But what do we do until they wake up?"
Oishi got an idea. "Let's go make everyone's breakfast. That should keep your busy, and you like cooking."
Eiji brightened up. "Yeah! Nya!"
He bounced to his feet, running to Oishi's wheelchair. He nuzzled the side of Oishi's face and then quickly pushed him down to the kitchens.
Takeshi flopped back down on the bed, careful not to wake his boyfriend. That had been a nightmare with Eiji. Just thinking of the guy made Takeshi's head split in two. He settled back into bed and soon fell asleep.
Ryoma, however, did not. How could anyone sleep when Eiji was bouncing around like an idiot? One would have to be dead not to hear that commotion. He felt bad for deceiving his boyfriend, but Ryoma really needed this time to think.
When Takeshi and he returned to their room, Takeshi was the first one to fall asleep, which was fine with Ryoma. He was just about to fall asleep too, when he heard a knock on the door. He was too curious to leave it alone, so he quietly slipped out of bed and put a robe on. He opened the door to find his parents on the other side. He jumped and moved outside and closed the door, hoping his parents hadn't seen inside.
"We want to talk to you, boy," his father said.
They stood out in the hall. Everyone had already gone to bed and been asleep for a while, so there was no way anyone would interrupt them.
Ryoma's mom allowed his dad to do all the talking. "At your party, we saw you were always together with that tall friend of yours." His dad eyed him speculatively. Ryoma held his face straight. "Your mom sort of connected the dots and asked if maybe you might be in a relationship with this guy," his dad said hesitantly.
Ryoma frowned. His mom was very perceptive. There was no way he could lie to his parents.
"Yes," he said simply. "I love him." He looked his father in the eyes as he said it.
Nanjiro frowned and looked at Ryoma carefully. "Are you sure this isn't some passing fancy?"
He took out one of his magazines and buried Ryoma's nose in the hentai pages. Ryoma looked at them carefully, wanting to make sure himself. He felt nothing. They weren't beautiful to him. All they were to him were walking sticks with boobs. He frowned and looked up at his dad. Nanjiro sighed and put the magazine back in his shirt. His wife was wearing a look of disapproval on her face.
"I guess it's not." Nanjiro sighed. "It had entered in my mind a long time ago that you might be when you had no interest for women, but I continued to hope." He sniffled all of a sudden. "Tell that man of yours that if he doesn't take good care of you, then he'll have me to answer to, and I'll beat him to death with a tennis racket." He laughed loudly and boisterously, getting shushed by his wife and son.
Ryoma looked grateful at his dad and gave him a happy smile. His dad pulled him into a bear hug.
"We're here for you, son," Nanjiro said before walking away.
Ryoma blinked. That was a first. He had said the word 'son' without anything before it or after it. He didn't say 'boy' or 'idiot'. He felt a smile tug at the corners of his mouth. This day was really starting to be a most wonderful day.
End of Flashback
Ryoma sighed. This wasn't the time to be thinking about that. He was truly happy that his parents had accepted him. This entire week, Ryoma had been afraid of what his parents would say or do once they found out their son was gay. It looked as if he'd overreacted. He felt proud that his parents were so loving and supporting.
But right now there were more important, disturbing things to worry about.
This time in Atobe's mansion had been a week full of pure bliss to Ryoma and his teammates. But Atobe never did anything without it benefiting himself in the process. So what could Atobe be planning? Ryoma would have screamed if he knew it wouldn't wake Takeshi up, but he knew it would. He was getting frustrated thinking about these mysteries. First the birthday party and now this. He was getting sick and tired of surprises.
A hand on his wrist nearly made him jump.
"Don't worry about it so much. When it happens, then you'll know. Let the now happen now. We'll worry about the future when it becomes the now," Takeshi slurred sleepily.
Ryoma shook his head in bewilderment. Sometimes he thought Takeshi could read his mind. He leaned over and kissed Takeshi's brow before he lay down beside him. Takeshi was right. Let the now happen. It wasn't long before there was the kind of silence only two snoring men could bring into the room.
"Are you sure they're not going to kill us once we carry out the 'plan'?" Sanada asked, a hint of worry in his tone.
"Don't worry. My plans always work," Atobe told him confidently.
Sanada wasn't so confident. "And if it doesn't work?"
Atobe smiled. "Then I have a backup plan. I call it 'Ore-sama's Beautiful Escape Plan."
Sanada felt like banging his head on the wall, but refrained from doing so. It would help nothing if it concerned Atobe. Only he could make up such idiotic titles.
"And what does that entail?" he asked hesitantly. He was almost too afraid to ask.
"Why, I've had some of my servants dress up like me and act like me, and then they will turn out the lights, and when the lights come back up then there will be hundreds of beautiful me's. In the confusion, I will slip out the back door, where a helicopter will be waiting to lift me out of danger." He waved his fan in a seductive manner.
Sanada now really, really felt like banging his head on the wall. Leave it up to Atobe to come up with such a plan. Sanada's mind envisioned hundred of Atobe look-alikes, and he nearly had to sit down. He had to keep his mind cool and calm. Sanada wouldn't do things like that. Sanada was calm and collected. He nearly groaned. He couldn't handle hundreds of Atobe's; one was enough for him.
"Tell me you're joking."
"Maybe," was the reply.
"If this turns out to be a Tango to Death, I'm blaming it all on you." It was a statement.
"I'm glad to know you care." Atobe chuckled.
"You know I love you, but I'm not willing to die with you," was the cool response.
Atobe chuckled wryly. Dang. He was hoping the guilt tripping would work. Ah well, he was having too much fun to feel unloved. He wrapped his arms around Sanada and laid his head on Sanada's chest.
"What do you say to having some fun before our death?"
To that, Sanada could find nothing to disagree about.
"Thank you all for coming to stay at my humble cottage house," Atobe announced that night. "Tomorrow morning, you will all be leaving this place to go different directions, but I have yet to give you all your presents."
He gestured to the doorway and servants came out with packages in their hands. Ryoma gave Takeshi a questioning look, but Takeshi had the same look on his face. A servant came to the Seigaku group with an armful of boxes. When it came to Ryoma's turn, he held out his hands and the servant dropped the box into his arms unceremoniously. Ryoma nearly yelped and dropped the box because of how heavy it was. He gave Takeshi a curious look. He couldn't help it.
He tore open the packaging and opened the box and looked at the object in bewilderment. It was a book. It looked like a picture album. He thumbed open the cover and quickly slammed it shut. He felt a blush starting up in his cheeks. It WAS a picture album. There, on the first page, was a photograph of him and Takeshi in bed, wrapped in each other. Ryoma wore an expression pure bliss and happiness, while Takeshi looked at him fondly while cupping his face. He remembered that day. They had stayed in their room to cuddle, and it was one of the happiest times of Ryoma's memories.
He looked at the rest of the team and saw various emotions playing on their faces. They ranged from terror to happiness to embarrassment.
Gritting his teeth, Ryoma opened the book again. On the seventh page, someone had dedicated the page to Takeshi's and his outings in the forest. Some of the pictures were moments that Ryoma treasured deeply. The first few pages were from when he first arrived. He hadn't even known that people were taking pictures of him. Then there was the ball with him dressed to kill in that females' dress. Takeshi and him were dancing and talking and laughing and… All of these moments were there in that book. All of them. Even the tennis tournament where he won all of his games. There were pictures of him with his other friends and the birthday party. One picture showed Eiji hanging off Ryoma's back, while he was laughing and trying to get Eiji off. Another picture had him talking to his parents, with Karupin stretched up his leg begging for attention.
Some of those pictures were embarrassing, true; but most of them brought tears to Ryoma's eyes. He was grateful to have something to remember this precious time spent with his dearest friends.
"So, you like it?"
Startled, Ryoma nearly dropped the book. He hadn't even heard the person walk up. He looked up and saw Atobe silently watching him. Ryoma felt his eyes narrowing in suspicion.
"I do," he replied evenly. "But what does this have to do with you?" he asked cautiously.
"I call this 'Ore-sama's Perfect Way to Get to the Nationals Plan.'" He laughed deviously. "It's where I blackmail everyone with all these pictures."
Ryoma dropped his head forward so his bangs hid his eyes. "Thanks," he whispered. He whispered. Somehow, he could tell that Atobe wasn't serious. Atobe wouldn't use blackmailing to get him somewhere. He'd feel as if he were cheating.
He turned around to go sit down and look at his book at a slower pace, not noticing the thoughtful gaze Atobe gave him.
"Thankfully, they took it alright. I would hate to have to put your escape plan into motion," Sanada remarked once Ryoma left.
Atobe nodded, the thoughtful look still on his face. He was in no mood to joke around. Sanada sensed it.
He snorted. "One would think you were in love with the kid, what with all you do for him."
Atobe smiled secretively. "Maybe," he whispered. Sanada refused to ask him to speak up. "I think," Atobe said finally, "that I owe that kid more than I can really give. He showed me true beauty in tennis and for that, I could never repay him. This I gave him so he won't be lonely in life. I wanted to show him that even though he was a star, he had friends and someone who loved him more than anything."
Sanada nodded at that. He couldn't argue with it, once again. The Seigaku team was truly a magnificent team. They would show the world the true meaning of tennis, and it had all started with that kid. Yes, Sanada knew exactly what Atobe meant. He wrapped his arms around Atobe.
"I love you."
Atobe gave him one of his secretive smiles. "I know."
They moved into the position to dance and then started to tango.
The vacation really had been too short. Ryoma had gotten used to being away from reporters and fame and hadn't prepared himself for the barrage. It came as something of a shock, when they left the mansion only to meet a huge crowd of reporters waiting for them in front of the gate. Luckily, everyone was in the bus and Ryoma's limo, or they would have been run over.
Thanks to the cars, they quickly outran all the reporters, who were on foot, and Ryoma allowed himself to breathe a sigh of relief. He glared at his manager, who had the grace to blush. Well, that explained how the reporters knew where to find him. Takeshi gave Ryoma a pitying glance. Ryoma smirked. Soon. Thanks to their relationship, Takeshi would soon find out exactly what Ryoma had to put up with. Then Ryoma would be the one to give Takeshi the pitying looks. Ryoma had to really strain to keep the smile from his face.
Ryoma mentally groaned and pulled his cap over his eyes when he saw the circus waiting for them in front of the airport. Takeshi did groan, and he whined about how famous Ryoma was. Ryoma knew he was joking around and therefore refrained from commenting, but he silently agreed with him. Sometimes he thought he was too famous.
When the limo and bus pulled up in front of the airport, the circus of reporters went wild. Ryoma let a smile get past him; there was no reason he couldn't let his friends have first dibs on the questions. He settled in his seat for a long wait. Tezuka-buchou had opted to ride with Ryoma in the limo, for reasons he kept to himself. He gave Ryoma a steady, searching glance but, when he saw Ryoma settle in, figured out his plan and said nothing.
The reporters all leaped like hungry dogs when Oishi, Fuji and the rest stepped off the bus. They were all flustered, but they handled the reporters with semi-ease. But only when their friends stopped by the limo, did Ryoma finally move to get out. Pictures were taken wildly. The low rumble of the questions for the others quickly became a scream as the reporters vied for their questions to be heard. Ryoma allowed his other team members to buffer him against the crowd.
The group shoved their way through the crowds of reporters, trying to get to the front desk to check in. Ryoma bristled when one reporter got through to him and asked him questions.
"No comment," he replied, emotionless. It didn't matter what the question was.
Security finally arrived and gave the group space to get to their plane. Ryoma heaved a sign of relief. Security allowed the reporters to follow a good distance behind, thankfully, or Ryoma would have been angry again.
Ryoma's Christmas present to all of his friends was a trip to America. Unfortunately, they were traveling in separate groups. Ryoma, Takeshi and his manager would all be taking the same plane. Tezuka, Fuji and Taka would be taking another, and the rest would be taking yet another plane. At the junction where they would all have to split up, everyone said goodbye to Ryoma, saying they would see him in America and not to do anything foolish. Ryoma laughed a true laugh and moved, with his manager, to the direction of his plane. The others stayed to watch Ryoma walk away. Takeshi, however, moved with them.
"Uh, Ryoma? Why is he following us?" his manager asked hesitantly.
Ryoma blinked, startled. He thought for a second and then grinned a grin that would have made the Cheshire cat envious. He remembered that he hadn't paid his manager back yet for certain… actions.
His manager suddenly got very nervous. Ryoma was a stubborn, pig-headed, silent ladies man who happened to be the world's greatest and most famous genius at tennis. He was NOT a happy-go-lucky person who radiated a sense of evil. No, when Ryoma was like this, his manager had learned that Ryoma had a bomb to deliver to him. A nervous giggle escaped when he thought of the last time Ryoma had delivered a bomb to him. It was when Ryoma had up and left for this vacation and left him to deal with all the paperwork that he left behind. If Ryoma had been anyone else and any less famous, then his manager would have just quit there and then. But he was Ryoma, and his manager knew that. He mentally prepared himself.
"Didn't I tell you?" Ryoma asked sweetly. Takeshi was giving him weird looks, but Ryoma ignored them to take full enjoyment of this situation.
"T-tell me w-what?" his manager stammered, afraid for his life.
"Takeshi is my boyfriend and will be traveling with us from now on." That sweet smile never left his face. This must have been how Fuji-sempai felt, because he always wore the same smile. Ryoma finally understood Fuji-sempai.
His manager blinked, going over those words again. There was something wrong with those…
"B-b-b-b-boy-" He couldn't go on.
Ryoma's grin spread. Oh yes, he was really having fun. "Boyfriend? Yes."
He waited patiently. He checked to make sure the press couldn't hear them, but they were all too far back. The rest of the team, however, was looking at them with interest.
"Y-y-you're…" His manager couldn't quite finish the sentence.
Ryoma bit back a laugh. "I'm gay."
His manager felt all of his limbs numb at the word. The world was going all nice and black. Bye-bye, world. He thought fuzzily before he fainted.
Ryoma turned his back on the reporters, who suddenly all cried out in alarm. He pulled his cap over his eyes to hide the wide smile spread over his face. He remembered a saying in America, 'pay back's a bitch,' and thought it applied very well to this situation.
"Having a little bit of fun with our relationship, hm?" Takeshi whispered in his ear.
"I was just paying him back for making me dress up as a female," was Ryoma's cool reply.
Takeshi laughed. Oh, how he loved this brat! Ryoma never failed to amuse him.
"Remind me not to piss you off," he commented, with a glance at the fainted manager.
Ryoma grinned wickedly. He had had his taste of what payback felt like, and he couldn't stop. He looked at the reporters and gave them a devil-may-care smile, and then he turned Takeshi around and kissed him full on the lips. He made it extra deep, so that the reporters couldn't pass it off as anything else.
Total silence descended on the airport. No camera flashed, no person talked, even the intercom didn't turn on. Ryoma thought he heard the crash of a couple of cameras, as reporters accidentally dropped them in their surprised state. Ryoma broke the kiss, pleased when he saw the breathless state Takeshi was in. As predicted, all of the reporters stood in the same spot with all of their jaws nearly to the ground. Only Ryoma's team members stood grinning at his antics. He turned to Fuji and gave him a peace sign and winked. Fuji shook his head, a bemused smile on his face, as he returned the peace sign with one of his own.
"Saa, you are learning, grasshopper." His voice was full of laughter.
Ryoma didn't comment. Instead, he turned around and ran down the hall, pulling on Takeshi's shirt to snap him out of his surprise.
"Let's go." Ryoma paused as if in thought. "You know, I still have to pay Atobe back for those pictures." There was something very evil in his voice.
Takeshi snapped out of it quickly, and threw back his head and laughed. Oh yes, this guy was amusing. He'd be surprised if he ever got bored with Ryoma.
"I say we call it Echizen's Plan to Destruction," Takeshi offered, remembering Atobe's own absurd title.
Ryoma stopped and turned to look at him with an appraising look. "Saa, you are learning, grasshopper," he said, in such a perfect imitation of Fuji that Takeshi had to fight not to drop on the ground laughing.
Life was definitely going to be more fun now that he had Ryoma.
THE END (or is it? evil laugh)