Author's Notes: Ok. Here we go again! Wohoo. This is for KagomeGirl21. I finally thought of a plot that I could do. Yay for me. Anywho, on the first few chapters there will be a lot of angst. BUT FEAR NOT! There will be a good amount of humor as well. You'll all see I hope this fic measures out to be as good as my last one. Please read and review. It helps all the writers block to go away.
"Ne, Takeshi, I'm bored," the black haired young man said to his companion.
The spiky black-haired man looked down on the shorter one in amusement. "You're bored, eh?" He grinned impishly at the other.
Golden serious eyes glanced at the taller man. "Yeah. I'm bored." He drummed his fingers on the padded armchair. He looked deep in thought.
Takeshi Momoshiro's amusement grew. There were very few times that the world champion of tennis was bored. Ryoma Echizen had won every single tennis tournament in the world. From the shores of Japan to the world cup of the Olympics, he'd won them all. Takeshi knew this because he'd kept track of Ryoma's tournaments and travels in magazines, and he'd even been there for many of them.
"So, Oh-Magnificent-One, what shall we do to relieve you of this all-mighty boredom?"
"Saa, I don't know," Ryoma huffed, well aware that Takeshi was trying to cheer him up.
"Keep doing that and you'll be called Fuji-sempai Jr." He poked the bristling youth in the side.
Ryoma glared sideways at Takeshi, his golden eyes making him look like a frizzled cat. For a 20 year-old, Ryoma could sure look like a kid at times with that pout. Takeshi gave up with a shrug and threw his hands over his head. There were times where one could win and times when one couldn't. Takeshi had learned to live with both.
Ryoma ran a hand through his shoulder length hair and grimaced when his fingers encountered a tangle. His lips thinned in frustration, and he shook his head sending his hair flying in every which way. Takeshi thought it was wonderful when he did that. Like a masterpiece of art, really.
The plane shook as it hit an air pocket but settled quickly. Nevertheless, Ryoma quit messing with his hair and went back to looking sulky. Takeshi sighed in disappointment.
"You know, my dad once said that he gave up his tennis career for an even better dream. At the time I hadn't realized what that was. But I think I do now." This was all said in a resigned voice.
Takeshi blinked. This was odd. "And what was it? As far as I understand, he wouldn't tell the reporters why exactly he gave up his career. You said he wasn't ill and he didn't have an injury. What other reason could there have been?" Takeshi was serious now. He'd also learned that there was a time for being serious and a time for joking.
Ryoma took a while to answer but when he did it was halting, as if he were unsure. "I think he was bored." Ryoma went back to drumming his fingers on the armchair.
"Bored!" Takeshi exclaimed incredulously. "Why give up a multi-million dollar career because you're bored?"
Ryoma frowned thoughtfully. "You wouldn't understand. When you've been to the top, beaten everyone there is to beat, won everything there was to win, then you'd understand."
Takeshi looked at the ceiling of the plane in thought. It did make a weird sort of sense when he put it that way. But there was just one thing bothering him.
"So he just gave everything up?"
Ryoma grinned at him, the grin that he would only show Takeshi, the one that took his breath away. "No, you're missing something. When everyone's been beat, then you have to wait for your next challenge to grow up."
Takeshi's eyes widened. "I see. Once a person's been beat, you know them. So the only way to have a challenge is to way for fresh talent to show up." Ryoma nodded slightly. "So his next challenge was you. Right?" (inserted paragraph break)
Ryoma nodded again, and Takeshi winced. "Ryoma…" he began, "I don't know if you've thought about this, but we're both guys. There is no way we can have a kid to raise to challenge you."
Ryoma laughed, delight sparking in his eyes. His beautiful voice echoed throughout the cabin and nearly made Takeshi melt into a puddle right there. It had been too long since he'd heard that laugh. He hugged the younger man, much to Ryoma's instant displeasure. He tried to get free, but Takeshi kept a tight hold on him.
"RYOMA! It's been too long since I've heard that laugh. You're soooo cute!"
"Ah! Takeshi, get off me. Takeshi, you're strangling me!"
Takeshi pouted but let go of Ryoma reluctantly. He returned to his serious state, placing two of his fingers on his chin in thought.
"Seriously," Takeshi stated, "you're not thinking of that whole male pregnancy experiment, are you?" He raised a brow in worry.
Ryoma leaned back in his seat, his eyes closed. A smile was playing at the corners of his mouth. "Maybe someday. Not now."
Takeshi clutched his heart and gave a loud sigh of relief. "Geez, Ryo, don't scare me like that." Ryoma snorted at Takeshi's mention of his pet name. "So what are you suggesting, if not what you dad did?"
Ryoma rummaged around in his pockets lazily. He withdrew several pieces of paper. They looked suspiciously like the message slips his manager gave to him. Ryoma threw them in the air and Takeshi was quick to pick the slips out of the air. He glanced at one of the notes.
"Seems that since you won't pose for Fuji he took off somewhere. This is from his manager asking where he is."
Ryoma didn't seem surprised. "Aa, he always disappears when he has no inspiration."
Takeshi didn't know that all of this was taking place. When Fuji called, he seemed to always want to talk to Ryoma. He didn't mind, but sometimes it was frustrating. He'd once asked Eiji, another friend, if he knew anything about this, and Eiji told him that he'd just mentioned to Fuji that Ryoma was gorgeous when he smiled. Fuji had been bugging Ryoma about posing for him ever since. It had been going on for around five years.
All of that aside, Takeshi didn't know where this was going. Ryoma always did things for a reason.
"Never mind that. What's your point?"
Ryoma grinned and snatched that note out of his hand. Takeshi sighed and knew he was being told to read the next one. He read it and frowned. Now very serious, Takeshi looked at Ryoma.
"Is this a joke?" Ryoma grinned, a hint of mischief in his eyes. "The world famous author Oishi has vanished? Why!"
Ryoma shrugged, his amusement growing in his smile. "Don't know."
Takeshi arched an eyebrow, clearly not believing the smaller man. "So either Oishi and Fuji collaborated this between them, or there's something here that I'm missing."
Ryoma grinned. "I choose B."
Takeshi tossed that paper at Ryoma and read the next. "This is from Taka's wife. She's worried about him. He seems really depressed lately and his sushi shop is suffering. He doesn't seem to want to work anymore." He snapped his head up at Ryoma, puzzlement clearly written on his face. "What the heck! Taka's never been depressed about work. That's his life's dream, working the sushi shop. This is insane!"
The smile was no longer on Ryoma's face. "I know."
"You're saying that Fuji's case, Oishi's case and Taka's case all are related to each other?" Takeshi shook his head in denial.
"Yes, they are all related," Ryoma stated flatly. "Those other notes are from other worried managers. Tezuka keeps running off to who-knows-where. Eiji is getting depressed about his work. Even Atobe is calling me telling me that he's bored." Ryoma's eyes flashed to Takeshi.
"You're saying that all of this is happening because they're all bored?" Takeshi exclaimed.
Ryoma nodded slightly. "We've graduated from high school, we've all pursued the careers that we've dreamed of, and now we're all bored because we're the best of the best."
Takeshi leaned forward in his seat, placing his elbows on his knees. "I see. What I don't see is what this is all leading to. They're bored, but what are you going to do about it?"
The mischievousness was back, dancing in Ryoma's eyes. "Saa, we shall see, now won't we?"
Takeshi got very scared. When Ryoma was like this, no one could stop him. He leaned back in his seat and prepared to relax. He would learn Ryoma's plan in all good time. As he said, we shall see.