Trust me... I don't own Prince of Tennis. Truuuuuust me. It belongs to Konomi and a number of other people.

I confess that I am rather worried that I have completely lost my mind... but that might just be me. Or, you know, the singing pirates that are forcing me to write this fic. Damn those singing pirates.

---

Ryoma sighed as he hung off the edge of the ship. It was just like his father to decide to send him off on a pleasure cruise. Though the official reason was that Ryoma was learning more about the Echizen's ocean provinces, however much his father lied to his wife and advisors, Ryoma could see it for what it was.

The bevy of scantily clad women on this ship certainly helped his thesis. Still, Ryoma enjoyed the chance to get out into the fresh air instead of being stuck in a stifling castle, even if it had taken him a little while to get his sea legs. His bodyguard, on the other hand, was, as always, attentive, careful and most of all, totally uncaring about what anyone would be suffering under normal circumstances. Not only had Tezuka stepped onto the ship and acquired his sea legs in the course of a few seconds, but he was not subjected to motion sickness and was even able to help the sailors out on their duties. It was like Tezuka had been born on a ship, which considering the limited information Ryoma had on his bodyguard, was entirely possible.

"Young master, dinner will be served soon." Ryoma sighed and glanced back at the stalwart older man. Tezuka had mysteriously appeared in his father's province four years ago when Ryoma was twelve and Tezuka, fourteen. He had no family or given name, all he had responded to was 'Tezuka'. The boy had made a name for himself as an excellent swordsman, despite his young age, and had found himself quickly hired to take care of the Echizen heir. Tezuka was also supposed to be his 'companion,' though at first his job had been mostly as a nanny. While the other did not discourage Ryoma's wild jaunts, his mere presence was enough to stifle even the most feral of adventures, just because Ryoma knew he disapproved, and for some reason he wanted his bodyguard to approve of him.

"We'll be dining with the captain again I guess?" Ryoma asked with a sigh. The captain of this ship was a female named Hanamura. While the captain of the Jyousei Shounan was a good sailor, she was a bit of a pervert. Seriously, the woman was old enough to be his mother, but kept trying to sleep with him! She was nearly three times his age! She hit on Tezuka too, but seeing as his bodyguard was made of stone, Ryoma sincerely doubted she got very far. Maybe he should just tell the older woman that his tastes ran more to her second-in-command Kajimoto then to her. . . . On the other hand she'd probably ask if she could watch. Shuddering, Ryoma returned to his quarters to prepare for dinner.

--

The cruise had been fairly boring. Ryoma had visited the islands that were in his family's name and had met with all the local governors. Some of them were kind but most of them were greedy. It was no use trying to hide the hunger for wealth, power, or prestige when one was faced with an Echizen. They were well known for their insight into who could be trusted and who could not. It was why that despite Tezuka's mysterious past or nature, no one questioned why he had been chosen as Ryoma's bodyguard. When Ryoma looked at Tezuka he saw someone who was strong, an immovable object. When Ryoma's father looked at Ryoma he saw an unstoppable force. It was just plain logical to put the two together.

Tezuka himself had plenty of reasons to be glad to have managed a position as Ryoma's bodyguard. For one thing, the Echizen lands were plenty far away from anywhere Tezuka did not want to be. Another, his young charge was full of surprises and hidden strengths. The boy from a few years ago had evolved into a teenager who could hold his own against Tezuka in a sword fight or a game of chess. The other might not have gotten to quite the right level to beat his father, but he was improving slowly and steadily. Given a few more years he would overcome his father.

Right now though, he was still very much a developing young man, and one who would need protection. Tezuka knew what was out there in the world, just waiting to pounce. He had been apprehensive about this trip from the start; it put the young master at a severe disadvantage and made him a huge target as well.

--

A pair of glowing eyes removed themselves from the binoculars. Turning to the two men behind him he smiled slightly. "Attack."

--

It happened during dinner, just as Captain Hanamura had lifted her glass to raise a toast to their voyage, their cook, and of course Ryoma, one of the crewmen burst into the room. "Captain! Pirates!" Instantly, the room was in a flurry, the officers standing and heading for the deck while the rich among the diners became flustered and nervous. Ryoma started to head after the sailors but was pulled to the side by his bodyguard.

"Echizen-sama, you have to remain safe." Ryoma glowered slightly.

"I can fight." Tezuka sighed and pulled the boy in the direction of his room, as many of the escorts were doing with their charges. Placing the boy in his rooms, he stepped inside as well and grabbed several of the weapons he did not always carry on him. Ryoma was also arming himself, and once Tezuka turned to leave he was ready. Tezuka put his hand on Ryoma's shoulder.

"It is not that I do not think you can fight, but that I would prefer you did not. We put too much responsibility on your shoulders already. Stay here, stay safe, and protect yourself. I will be back if we cannot hold the pirates off. Don't get careless." And with a turn that deserved a cape to have the right effect, Tezuka left the room. Ryoma sighed and began to pace as an itch formed under his skin. He wanted to be out there, he wanted to be helping. Ryoma hated being dead weight, hated being left behind and being taken care of. Hated it.

--

Tezuka reached the deck by the time the first wave of their attackers came over the edge of the ship. As the fighting began, the first thing Tezuka noticed was the covered faces. A warning bell chimed as he dodged a sword swipe and returned it with a neat parry. These were no normal pirates, normal pirates wanted to be recognized. They did not hide their faces and they certainly did not attack like trained troops. Tezuka dodged a thrust and neatly skewered the body attacking him. As he threw the dead weight off of his sword, he noticed two dark shadows slipping down into the hold. His first thoughts flying towards his young master and the other passengers, Tezuka dodged through the various fights around him and headed after the two shadows.

--

"His room should be down this way." One voice purred in the darkness.

"How can you see in this darkness? Did you have to get rid of the light?" The second voice hissed angrily as he headed in the direction mentioned. A sound, slight like someone had scuffed their foot slightly. The first voice glanced towards the second shadow and gave a light push on his back before turning towards the noise.

--

Inwardly, Tezuka cursed. His vision was shot from the sudden change from early-evening light to the sudden pitch dark of the hold. The people who had come in before were just ahead of him, but Tezuka could not hear more then a murmur of words. Not to mention he was out of practice at being entirely silent, he had never quite perfected the art and had not been practicing lately. He had been careless and he was going to pay for it. Tezuka dodged to the right as a sword impaled itself in the wall where his heart would have been. This guy was certainly good, Tezuka wondered if he could have beaten the other if he had control of his left hand. As it was, Tezuka had been fighting right handed for slightly over five years now. He had managed to achieve a level of fighting better then almost anyone else, but he knew better then anyone that there were better opponents out there.

Keeping an eye on the few stray beams of light that came in through the one window in the hold, Tezuka focused on using all of his senses to fight this man off. He needed to get to Ryoma.

The fight lasted a while, Tezuka pulling out moves he had not used in ages and using reserves of strength he had not had the need to use since Nanjiroh had asked him to prove he could protect his son. Not even Ryoma-sama brought out this amount of effort from him. Suddenly, too fast for him to see the sword pinned him through his left shoulder to the wall. He screamed out in surprise and pain. As if that shoulder wasn't messed up enough already. His right hand dropped his sword and he cursed himself. Carelessness, carelessness was going to get him killed.

"Kunimitsu?" A familiar voice asked, and Tezuka hit his head hard on the wall as it swung up and away from that voice. Their fight had maneuvered steadily closer to one of the few windows in the hold and Tezuka was pinned so that his face was in the light. His attacker stepped closer and drew off his facemask. "It is you." He said with wonder in his voice. Tezuka jerked away from the hand that touched his cheek. Down the hall, a door opened and a familiar figure stood in the light for a second too long.

--

Ryoma paused in his room. Something was wrong. Turning to face the door, Ryoma tried to listen to what was going on outside of it. There was the clang of a sword fight, but it was only one person fighting instead of many. Why couldn't he hear the sounds of the crew fighting? Ryoma recognized the sound of that sword fighting though, the pure ring of the metal, the timing and precision of attacks. His bodyguard was fighting right outside his door and Ryoma could not help him. Then there was the sudden sound of metal penetrating flesh and hitting wood, followed by a scream that made Ryoma's blood run cold. Tezuka was hurt, he might be dying. Why was he still standing in there? Grabbing his sword with one hand, Ryoma opened the door with the other.

On one end of the hall stood his tall bodyguard, leaking blood from one shoulder with a sword stabbed through it. The left hand idly twitched and Tezuka's sword lay at his feet. Ryoma started out into the hallway, but the panic in Tezuka's eyes told him that the enemy was not the one in front of Tezuka, but the one behind Ryoma. Whirling, the younger man brought up his sword in order to catch the down stroke, but it was quickly followed by a fist slamming into his head that he could not see or prepare for.

Ryoma's world went black, and the last thing he saw were Tezuka's horrified eyes.

--

"Ryoma!" Tezuka cried as the second shadow, Sanada, Tezuka knew it had to be Sanada, knocked his charge out. Reflex he had not used in years kicking in, Tezuka flipped his blade slightly with his foot and then casually tossed it with the tip of his toes back into his right hand. Lunging out and ignoring the fact that he was still pinned like a butterfly, Tezuka stabbed at Fuji, forcing the other to back off before he grasped the sword in his shoulder and pulled it out with a yell, flinging the bloody sword at Sanada's back as he dodged the sudden attack to his left by Fuji. Twisting away from the other, Tezuka used his nearly disabled left hand to pull out a dagger and toss it to the right, catching it in his fingertips while he balanced his sword still. Easily tossing the dagger back at Fuji, Tezuka nearly managed to tackle Sanada to the ground but there was a suddenly blinding pain in his leg. Fuji had grabbed onto it and pulled, twisting the ankle. Fuji easily avoided his clumsy blow with his sword, and using the hilt of the dagger he had earlier thrown, hit Tezuka hard enough to knock him out.

Glancing up at Sanada, who was carrying the much lighter load of Ryoma, Fuji smiled mirthlessly. "You want to trade?" He asked mockingly.

--

When Ryoma opened his eyes, it was not to an environment he knew. The light was too bright for it to be the cruise ship, and the colors of the room too garish and expensive to be any room in the palace back home. Rubbing his temples and hoping it would help the headache, Ryoma checked over his condition. No bad bruises, no blood, all limbs intact, clothes still on, just the headache. Whoever had kidnapped him was a professional then, most probably the large 'pirate' attack had been a set up to isolate Ryoma and take him. Frowning, Ryoma remembered one important part about the whole incident. Tezuka. Where was Tezuka?

Standing, Ryoma got off of the large bed and let his eyes wander around the room. It was a male's room, but one with odd tastes and a fashion sense that led towards frills and frippery. Spotting two doors right next to each other, Ryoma debated which one might lead him out. Reaching out cautiously, he turned the handle on the right one.

Five seconds later, Ryoma hurriedly shut that door, shuddering slightly. Really, who needed that many clothes! Reaching for the other door, Ryoma twisted the handle slowly and peeked outside. All he saw was a normal sitting room. As he began to open the door a little wider, a couch came into view and on the couch was . . . Tezuka! Throwing the door open, Ryoma rushed to where his bandaged bodyguard was lying.

"So sleeping beauty awakes." A droll voice commented from somewhere to the left of Ryoma. The other boy stopped several feet away from the couch and turned to face whoever was speaking to him. There, sitting on a throne-like chair, was a silver haired man with teal eyes. On one side was a tall black haired man with a stern, dangerous expression, while on the other there stood the man who had attacked his bodyguard. The man was deceptively frail, with soft blond hair and a kind smile on his face. Ryoma had no doubt it was fake.

"Who are you? What do you want with me?" Ryoma growled out and caught the three amused glances shared by those in and around the throne. The silver haired boy stood and walked towards Ryoma, stopping when he was around five feet away. "I am Atobe Keigo, but you can address me as 'Master'." Ryoma was stunned.

"What?"

--

Atobe did not even bother to conceal his smirk, playing with this brat was too much fun. The kid was good looking, athletic and just a little short, but with big gold eyes and thick hair so black it was nearly green. The young man's muscles were clenched now in anger, and his eyes were lit with an inner fury that just made Atobe want to claim him more. "You heard me. You, Ryoma Echizen-kun, are to call me Master. Because at this point in this voyage, that is what I am." Ryoma was gritting his teeth and no doubt biting back a hundred horrible curses. The other boy took a few deep breaths before he was able to speak again.

"What do you want with me?" Atobe grinned at this and behind him he knew that Fuji had opened his eyes to a slit and Sanada was grimacing. This was so the best part of the conversation.

"Oh, it's fairly simple really. I want you to bear my child."

--

He wanted . . . what! Ryoma blinked as he gaped at the other boy. That... it... it wasn't possible! Ryoma opened his mouth to snap at the other about not wanting to be played with when Atobe spoke before him.

"Oh I know what you're thinking, it isn't possible. Well you'd be wrong on that. It is quite possible, though the ability for men to bear children is very rare. There are three family lines in the world still able to do it today. There is the Kamio line, but the most recent heir of that is a skinny arsed brat with too many suitors already, and then there is the Echizen line, of which you are a pure blooded male descendant." Ryoma ground his teeth together. Surely if it was possible someone would have told him? His oyaji . . . would not have thought that he would end up having sex with another man, and definitely would not consider the possibility of his son bottoming. And kaa-san was barely around, Nanako-chan would not broach the subject and none of his tutors had thought to. Damn them, all too social and polite.

"You said three." Ryoma bit out when his thinking circled back to that key fact. Atobe grinned at this and the younger boy knew he had been set up for that.

"Aa, I did, didn't I." At this point, Atobe started to walk around the room. Ryoma turned his body to follow Atobe as the other boy circled, and noticed when the silver haired boy came to a stop right behind Tezuka's couch. He bristled when Atobe ran a possessive hand through Tezuka's hair and gave him a predatory stare. "There is a branch family of the Atobe line that carries the ability for males to have children. Unfortunately my only male cousin has been missing for the past five years. I have to thank you though for bringing him back to me." Atobe brought the unconscious boys lax hand up to his mouth and kissed the fingers all the while watching Ryoma.

"His name is Tezuka." Ryoma gritted out. There was no way that Tezuka could be related to this creep!

"Clever of you, 'Mitsu to use your Grandmother's maiden name to hide behind, and so far away too." Atobe stated as he gave the others hand an affectionate kiss before placing it back beside the still body and focusing on Ryoma. "His name is Atobe Kunimitsu and he is my cousin. Kunimitsu disappeared a few years ago after an accident with his left shoulder, I assume you have never seen him fight with it?" Ryoma shook his head, still not believing anything that came out of this bastard's mouth. Sure, Tezuka seemed to do everything with his left had except fight with it . . . but there could be lots of reasons for that! "I'm afraid his shoulder was injured and that he left us because of that." Atobe's hand was now resting on the bandaged left shoulder. "Though it does not seem like Syuusuke did him any favors," he pointed a quick glare to the still smiling man who just shrugged it off. Ryoma glowered.

A slight noise came from the figure on the couch as he stirred. Eyelids flickered before they snapped open and Tezuka sat up immediately, backing away from the hand touching him. Eyes wide and slightly panicked, he looked around the room and caught sight of Ryoma standing there. His shoulders slumped a little then before he regained his composure. Ryoma watched all this happen in the span of a few seconds. Apparently his bodyguard did know these people. "His father will be looking for him." Tezuka said, turning away from Ryoma and locking eyes on Atobe.

"No hello, cousin? It's been so long since I last saw you." Atobe purred as he smirked at the other man. Kunimitsu had always been fun to tease because of his serious nature. It had been an activity he had missed in his cousin's five-year absence. Now though, Atobe could get away with all the teasing he had missed out on, the other was not going anywhere. Neither was the Echizen boy, and he looked like he would be just as much fun to tease. Especially if he might be able to get that wide eyed look that Ryoma was wearing right now. It was just too cute.

"Not long enough." Kunimitsu snapped and turned his head to lock eyes with the boy. Atobe could guess what he was trying to communicate. Probably one of the deepest most harrowing of love confessions, either that or 'I'm sorry.' Both were equally hard for Kunimitsu to say.

"You... you're actually related to this guy?" Ryoma spluttered out. Kunimitsu, having faithfully delivered his ocular message was now studiously avoiding looking at anyone in particular.

"Unfortunately." Kunimitsu growled and had backed himself into the arm of the couch trying to get away from Atobe's hands. Atobe smirked slightly and continued touching his long-lost cousin. The other boy's eye was beginning to twitch slightly, always a good judge of just how much Atobe getting to him. "Is there a reason you kidnapped us, Atobe-sama?" Atobe clutched at his chest slightly, how cruel of his cousin.

"Back to formalities, Kunimitsu? You know you can just call me Keigo." Not that the other had ever called him Keigo, but it was fun to see that twitch get worse. "And there is a reason behind your abduction. One of you is going to bear my child." Oh good, the twitch had stopped but the other had definitely paled. So much fun.

"One of us?" Ryoma now looked worried, he darted a worried glance at his bodyguard before going back to glaring at Atobe. "I thought you said you wanted me to bear your child." Kunimitsu stiffened under his hand and Atobe smiled triumphantly. Oh, everything was going perfectly, Kunimitsu's sudden appearance had even helped the plan along instead of throwing a wrench in it.

"But I don't want someone who would find the first chance to get rid of the child entrusted with my heir. It would be dangerous. So the choice is either you or Kunimitsu." Oh Kunimitsu was stiff as a board now, it was so much fun to see all those muscles tighten up like that. Ryoma looked like he had just swallowed a particularly nasty frog too.

--

As Ryoma watched Tezuka open his mouth, no doubt to take the duty of bearing that bastard's child on himself, he just could not take it anymore. Sure, the other might have betrayed him but there had to have been a reason to keep his history hidden. More then that, Ryoma was betting the monkey king was somehow behind Tezuka's mysterious shoulder injury and the reason the older man had left for parts unknown. Ryoma just could not sit back and allow his friend, and despite their differences he and his guard were friends, to make that decision.

"I'll do it." He stated decisively and watched the Monkey's eyes light up in glee. He had a sinking feeling that this had all been manipulated but shored up his determination. He was going to do this, he would protect Tezuka . . . Kunimitsu... whatever his name was.

"Ah, well then. To the bedroom!" Atobe chuckled evilly and Ryoma glared. On the couch Tezuka choked and started to move towards the silver-haired man, but the other was already walking towards his hired minions. "Fuji, Sanada, I trust you can see Kunimitsu safely to his room." Tezuka blanched and Ryoma wondered why before the bastard started pushing him towards the bedroom. "I'll see you three in the morning!" Atobe called out cheerily as he shut the door behind him.

--

Fuji let his eyes open a little to observe his prey. Kunimitsu had always been so skittish and now he looked ready to bolt. A good thing that sprained ankle would undoubtedly give him problems. Next to him, Sanada was grumbling slightly under his breath. The other man hated being given 'babysitting' jobs by Atobe, but Fuji found his entertainment where he could. And right now it was a nineteen-year-old man whose company he had been missing for far too long. "Ne, Kunimitsu. Would you like to see your room or wait here?" There was the sound of a slight struggle in the bedroom and then a sudden crash followed by silence. The brown haired teen's eyes widened at the moan which came shortly after.

"I would like to leave." He stated gruffly, standing up and glaring slightly. Fuji chuckled, Kunimitsu's glares had been the bane of the rabble-rousers back at Atobe's palace, but Fuji had long grown immune to it, Sanada was immune to a great many things by default. Stepping up beside the taller boy Fuji magnanimously gestured in front of them. Kunimitsu had just cleared the doorway when a shout swiftly cut off by a loud groan echoed from the bedroom.

--

"Don't do t-that!" Ryoma stammered as he stared wide-eyed down at the other teen. Atobe smirked evilly before quirking an eyebrow.

"Don't do what? This?" And then he licked a long stripe up the underside of Ryoma's cock and watched as the boy arched his back and gave a strangled scream. When he finally regained some of his brain cells, Ryoma went back to glaring.

"Yes, that, exactly! Don't do it!" Atobe smirked at that and instead opened up a bottle of oil with his left hand while his right was busy playing with the boy's nipple. Smirking he nibbled on the neglected nipple and listened to the boy moaned. Then he started probing him with an oil covered finger. "What the hell? Aagh!" Ryoma shouted as he jolted at the intrusion.

--

Considering that Fuji could still hear the noises all the way out in the hallway, he knew that he was missing quite a show in order to escort Kunimitsu back to his rooms. Not that Fuji minded because Kunimitsu was a show all in himself. Especially those lovely twitches every time the boy let out a long moan. Unfortunately the sounds got quieter and quieter until the disappeared as they walked to Kunimitsu's room. Fuji could only guess that Atobe had chosen a room this far away specifically so the sex sounds from each room would not reach the other. Which was all good to Fuji since it meant he would not be interrupted if he decided to play with Kunimitsu a bit. And really, Atobe had picked out a room specifically designed for sex.

"The room of a concubine." Kunimitsu muttered after he had stepped inside and seen the room. It was luxurious, but in an overdone manner, with silks and hanging drapes and sheer fabrics. The other man had no doubt that he would be forced back into wearing the clothes he used to wear back at the Atobe palace. "I guess I should be grateful he doesn't have me in shackles," the other man muttered, staunchly ignoring the two silent figures behind him.

"He was considering it, but when he realized how much it might tempt his new conquest to see you chained up at the foot of his bed . . . he decided against it." Fuji stated slyly, and enjoyed the other's flinch.

--

Ryoma gasped and arched his back as Atobe finally entered him. It felt really good, if slightly painful. "Does it hurt?" Atobe asked carefully. He did not want to injure his bedmate, and since he would be having repeated bouts of sex with the boy until he finally conceived, it was not that stupid of a question to ask. Atobe knew that it probably hurt, considering the boy was a virgin in this manner, but he needed to know how much.

"A little, it burns. It's good." Ryoma gasped out, high on the euphoria of pleasure. His mind was awash in a sea of good feelings and he did not think he would ever get enough of this. That was, until Atobe had started to move. Atobe smirked above him as the younger teen arched again, gasping and shuddering and looking moments away from completely losing it. "Faster!" Ryoma ordered and the other was all too willing to comply.

"Pushy bottom." Atobe muttered slightly but it was with a fond edge to it. It seemed the boy was already growing on him.

--

"Don't touch me." Tezuka backed away from Fuji's hands and stopped at the edge of the bed, cursing the other silently for backing him into it. Damn the man, he had always made Tezuka feel vulnerable. Sanada was leaning against the wall and watching with a vaguely fascinated expression and Tezuka took the time to curse him too. Damn them all.

"Now, now 'Mitsu. You know that someone's going to get the bright idea to sleep with you, if it's me, it means that none of those 'pirates' are going to be knocking at your door." Fuji cooed sweetly. "And I'm sure that if Sanada joins in we could even keep Atobe away from your sweet ass." Tezuka flinched backwards as Fuji advanced and found himself sprawled on the bed.

Damn them all.

--

Ryoma lay curled up in the bed, deep in slumber after their previous activities. Beside him, Atobe was leaning against the headboard and thinking. They would have to stay on the boat until Ryoma conceived, and then they could head back to the Atobe palace. Kunimitsu would not take the chance to escape if he knew he would be leaving his pregnant charge in Atobe's hands. Ryoma himself would not be in any state to escape and afterwards Atobe would just have to tighten security. Of course, hopefully at that point Ryoma would have grown attached to him and would not want to leave.

There was a quiet knock at his door and Ryoma moved a little in his sleep, mumbling and burying his face into his pillow. "Come in." Atobe called out and placed his hand on Ryoma's back, rubbing soothing circles. Fuji opened the door a slit and slipped in quietly, his smiling mask firmly in place. "I trust that Kunimitsu has settled down fine?"

"Oh, just peachy. There was some fuss at first, but Genichirou and I put a halt to that. Genichirou's with him right now." There was a hidden meaning laced in those words and Atobe frowned. While he had not forbidden either guard to sleep with Kunimitsu he had not exactly given permission either. Ah well, to late to stipulate now.

"I'm guessing this was all a precautionary measure to keep the others away from him?" Atobe asked sarcastically but Fuji's face was strangely solemn. Not with his eyes opened but definitely serious.

"I'm not the one who placed him in a concubine's room, Atobe-sama." Fuji stated and then gave a swift proper bow. "I'll be getting back to my duties." Then, before Atobe could say anything else, Fuji had slipped back outside the door, no doubt taking up a position he would keep till morning. Atobe settled down to sleep with an amused smile on his face; he could trust Fuji to keep them safe. Not always unharmed, but safe.

As he drifted off to sleep, Atobe was unaware that Ryoma had woken up at Fuji's entrance and was now glaring angrily at the door.

---

'He raped Tezuka!' Ryoma thought as he glared at the man who stood on Atobe's side as they ate breakfast. Ryoma was never going to forgive that, and there was no way his bodyguard would have acquiesced to their demands. So it had to be rape. Ryoma picked at his food as he glared at the two men standing next to Atobe, both of who seemed oblivious to his ill intent. Atobe, too, was ignoring him and focusing on his food and several papers of interest. Occasionally he would sign one and move it to the bottom of the pack before going back to idly reading and eating.

Tezuka sat to the side of the table and was picking at his food. Ryoma doubted he was eating much of it, despite the look of his plate. Ryoma had spent years a sulky child picking at his food, he knew what it looked like.

--

Fuji was trying rather hard not to start grinning. Just the little smile was surely enough to convey his amusement. Still the glaring chibi at the foot of the table and the sulky Kunimitsu to the side put up a front of being sullen and silent. It was far too cute for so early in the morning. He knew that Atobe was also trying to ignore just how cute both of his companions looked, though whether Genichirou had noticed was debatable, what with the massive amounts of cute the poor bodyguard had to put up with when dealing with his team of misfits. Which reminded him; they should be coming in soon enough . . .

There was a knock on the door, which swung open to admit one of Atobe's servants and two others. One of them was a rather tangle haired young man while the other wore his hair flattened with reflective glasses. Fuji hid a smirk, seeing how their guests dealt with the Gentleman and the Elf.

"Sanada-buchou, we're here to relieve . . . eeeeh? It's Atobe-kun!" Kirihara started excitedly and bounced over to where Kunimitsu was now shrinking back into his chair. "You came back! Where have you been? We never got to have out match anyway." Kirihara frowned suddenly and was about to reach out a hand when Sanada pointedly cleared his throat. Kirihara shot him a guilty look and then went back to standing at Yagyuu's side.

"We're here to take over for you two. It's our shift today." Yagyuu stated blandly. Fuji's smile twitched slightly. Oh, no doubt today was going to be fun for someone. Atobe sighed slightly and hung his head. Fuji smirked and left the room to get some well-deserved rest. Sanada gave Yagyuu and Kirihara a brief rundown of what they would be doing today, and in Kirihara's case a rundown of what they would not be doing today, in a low voice that Ryoma could not pick up. Then even the stoic man left the room.

"Yagyuu, I'll be spending most of the day in the office." Atobe said as he stood and headed for his study, which was a room just left of the sitting room. "Kirihara, stay here and entertain yourself." Kirihara pouted slightly at not being trusted to watch Atobe do paperwork, but brightened immediately when he realized; he didn't have to watch Atobe do paperwork! Plus he got to bug Atobe-kun, and as anyone will attest to there was nothing more amusing then that.

Atobe-kun had left the table and moved to one of the couches in the sitting area. He seemed to be limping slightly and Kirihara frowned. Was that what Sanada meant when he said Atobe-kun was injured? The kid at the end of the table was now shooting him angry looks, and Kirihara did his best to look innocent. Really it was not his fault if he was suspected of all sorts of wrong doings at first glance; maybe it was the ears . . .

--

Ryoma was glaring at the grinning young man. Everyone on this ship was evil, so by default so was he, and the other seemed to be perfectly happy in this state of evilness. Ryoma chomped down rather viciously on a piece of sausage as he finished up his breakfast. Tezuka's plate was still rather full and Ryoma gave a glance between it and his bodyguard. Well, if the other did not eat at luncheon, then he would bring it up. Ryoma gingerly took a seat at one of the other couches and sulked slightly. His behind still hurt slightly from the activities last night. How could Tezuka move so freely? Surely he hurt more, since it had been non-consensual.

The Evil teen plopped himself down onto the couch with Tezuka, who had a slightly put-upon expression on his face. "Where have you been Atobe-kun? Why'd Sanada-buchou say you were injured? And who's the shrimp?"

"I've been away, because I fought and lost to Fuji two nights ago, and that's Echizen Ryoma." Tezuka answered it all at once, and sighed slightly before blinking. Ryoma watched the sudden realization spring up on his bodyguard's face and wondered what that was all about. "Why are you referring to Sanada as buchou? What happened to Yukimura-kun?" He asked with worry evident. Ryoma wondered who this Yukimura was, and why Tezuka seemed so worried about him. Tezuka had not even asked how Ryoma was dealing with last night, though maybe that was because he did not want to do that in front of other people.

"Eh? You didn't know. You really have been out of the loop Atobe-kun. And how'd Fuji-senpai injure you? You always managed to beat him off in a fight before." Kirihara was a little more worried now about Atobe-kun's injury. There was no good reason for Fuji-senpai to have injured him in a fight; even in a serious one, Tezuka should have been able to fend him off. Maybe it had something to do with the weakness in his left arm Kirihara had seen before? If so, what had happened? "Yukimura-buchou got really, really sick a year ago. He has not been able to recover and fulfill his roll as buchou, so Atobe-sama gave it to Sanada-buchou." Kirihara watched Atobe-kun's face as it changed. Sure it was hard to read the other's stony expression, but Kirihara had grown up with the other boy, and had also grown up with Sanada; both of them displayed all their emotion in their eyes and the corner of their mouths, so if you knew what to look for you could find it.

Right now, the other was feeling mildly guilty. Kirihara tried to redirect the flow of conversation. "So, why are you here?" He asked the kid who was vacillating between glaring at him and sulking at Atobe-kun. The other was . . . Echizen? Echizen looked mildly surprised that he was talking to him, but that quickly morphed into a sarcastic semi-sneer.

"I am here to bear 'Atobe-sama's' child." Kirihara's jaw dropped. Bear Atobe's kid! This skinny munchkin was going to do that? No way!

"You have to be kidding me." Kirihara stated before bursting out laughing. This guy was like nothing Atobe had ever brought to bed before, male or female. And he was going to bear Atobe's child? Did the kid even know what that would mean?

"What's so funny about it? I assure you I don't find it amusing." The Echizen twerp stated while glaring at him. Kirihara managed to contain his laughter and instead sent an amused glance Atobe-kun's way. The older boy was however rather resolutely looking away. Kirihara frowned at this new non combative nature of one of the best swordsman in the kingdom but shrugged it off. Maybe he was not feeling well. Atobe-kun never had done too well at sea.

"Okay, you wanna know why I find it funny? C'mon let's go visit the library." Kirihara stood and headed for the door. Looking back, he noticed that Echizen and Atobe-kun had stood but neither had moved forward. Atobe-kun seemed to be waiting for Echizen to move first. Another piece for the puzzle. "Well? C'mon!" As they left the room and started walking in Atobe's luxurious hallways, Kirihara heard Echizen whisper to Atobe-kun.

"What's up with this ship?"

"It's Atobe Keigo's personal pleasure vessel. It's outfitted specifically for his tastes and personality." Atobe-kun answered back in a rather droll voice. Up ahead of them Kirihara smirked. Well, it was the same biting wit at least.

--

Two hours later, Ryoma placed another rather heavy book down on the table in front of him and looked around in a fit of desperation. Ever since Kirihara had handed him the first book, the blood had slowly started draining from his face, and now Ryoma hardly doubted his skin was anything more then transparent.

In order for the kid to be legit, and there would be no point to this if the kid wasn't legitimate, Ryoma would be legally married to Atobe as soon as he conceived. His own lands and holdings would still be retained in his name, but he would have to live with Atobe and take up the duties of a wife. The child would inherit both Atobe's and Ryoma's land. In short, it rather seemed a little like a hostile take over. It was mildly disturbing how well thought out it was.

Of course, Ryoma was also vastly disturbed by just what he was going to have to do in order to give birth to the kid. That.. It... the kid... ICK! Across from him, Tezuka was idly looking through one of the books and frowning slightly, though about what Ryoma didn't know. Tezuka grew up with this sort of stuff right? Shouldn't he know all about it?

"See kid? Entertaining process isn't it?" Kirihara stated with a slightly malicious twinkle to his eye. Ryoma gave him a distinctly unfriendly look. "And to think you'll have all of that to look forward to."

--

That night, Ryoma barely responded to Atobe at all. The other frowned in dissatisfaction and as he practically dragged him into the bedroom, decided that he would see if he could coax some responses out with sex. The game would be no fun if the other folded their hand too quickly. "Don't touch me!" Ryoma twitched away from his hands and walked away to the far side of the bedroom, trying to distance himself from Atobe. Atobe grimaced, okay, so there was fight left in the other. Though as Atobe stepped closer, Ryoma snarled and dropped into a fighting stance. "Don't come any closer, you bloody conniving bastard." Atobe backed off slightly, as much as he could fight, he tried not to, unless it was a civilized affair, a duel with set rules and swords.

"Now what is up with you? You seemed to enjoy my attentions last night." Atobe stated calmly. Ryoma flushed but kept his stance

"That was before I found out that you weren't just raping me to get me pregnant, but also to steal my country." Atobe was perplexed. What? "The kid, Atobe-sama, your kid gets my family's land." The silver-haired man sighed and sat down on the bed. Was that what this was all about? A little dispute about land?

"The child will be as much yours as mine." Atobe started out calmly. "In fact, possibly more so, since you will be more in charge of raising and educating it then I will." Ryoma relaxed his posture slightly at this, but not completely. "And if you want, I guess you can claim someone else to inherit your land holdings." At this, Ryoma relaxed completely, and Atobe sighed, sprawling gracefully across the bed. "You know, I think I'm too tired for sex tonight. We'll just have to try again later."

'Sheesh,' Atobe thought to himself as the kid unconsciously snuggled in his sleep. 'This kid might be harder to seduce then Kunimitsu'. Not that Atobe wasn't up to the challenge, of course.

--

Tezuka tossed in his sleep as a nightmare overtook him. It was a nightmare of that night. The night that everything changed and fell apart and his world would never be the same again. Bolting up out of the sheets, Tezuka sat straight up in bed and breathed harshly. Beside him Fuji stirred, his companion for the evening. Not his rapist, as Ryoma no doubt believed, since Fuji and Sanada had decided against forcing him into sex. They had apparently decided to wait until the time was right before they bedded him. They were, however, ordered by Atobe that one of them had to be with him at all times, hence sleeping with Syuusuke tonight.

As his breath began to slow down, Fuji started his questioning about the nightmare. Tezuka could not take it, not tonight, not ever, no questions. He did not want to remember the dream and if he waited then he would remember. He refused to remember, and so he used the only thing that had ever driven the dream away.

Turning to Syuusuke, Tezuka kissed him breathless.

Fuji was of course, not one to question his good fortune.

--

Three weeks later, Ryoma had reluctantly given into Atobe's attempts at wooing. Really, the other was not that bad. Atobe had taken him up on deck and given him a tour of the cruise ship. While the way it was decorated still made him twitch occasionally, Ryoma could deal. Atobe had even made sure that Ryoma had suitable, to Ryoma not Atobe, clothes available to him. He had even extended the off to Tezuka, who had seemed oddly grateful all things considered. Ryoma had found he even enjoyed the touches and light kisses that Atobe would bestow on him. Atobe kept him entertained, and showed Ryoma more affection then the other had been given his entire life.

Atobe took Ryoma out on 'dates', which considering they were confined to one ship always managed to be both extravagant and exclusive. Atobe did not go past a kiss unless Ryoma responded to it and even then took the love making slowly. He was always extra careful about paying attention to his partner's needs. To Atobe, this was a new concept, taking care of someone else before himself. In fact, it was oddly refreshing. While he still liked to get his fair share of attention, especially from Ryoma or Kunimitsu, it was a nice change of pace.

What of course won Atobe most of Ryoma's favor was the disclosure that Tezuka was not sleeping with Sanada or Fuji, they were merely keeping a guard on him at night. Ryoma supposed that was a good thing, but reconsidered when he spotted the circles beginning to form under Tezuka's eyes. Were the other two men keeping him up at night somehow?

It wasn't until Fuji showed up without Tezuka and announced rather cheerfully that the other could not attend breakfast because he was dealing with morning sickness that Ryoma figured it out. "You LIAR!" Ryoma shouted at Atobe as he sprung up from the table. "Fucking bastard liar!" Ryoma stomped away to the bedroom and slammed the door shut. Technically he knew that Atobe could follow him in here, but he doubted the other man would. He had been giving Ryoma space; even if that might all have been a lie too.

"Well, that could have gone better." Atobe commented drolly before looking at the smiling bodyguard. "So which one of you's the father?" Fuji maintained his smile, though Atobe suspected there was a slight tinge of danger added to his aura.

"Neither of us is too sure. He slept with both of us in his first week here, and since then hasn't slept with either of us at all." Fuji let the smile slip at this and gifted Atobe with an overly serious expression. "He seemed to be using us to escape a nightmare. I wonder what it was about."

"You should have asked." Atobe said blithely before he stood up and folded his napkin neatly. There would be no dealing with Ryoma until he had a bit of a sulk, so he suspected now would be the proper time to visit his cousin.

--

Tezuka glared idly at Genichirou as the other hovered, rather unhelpfully, over him. Tezuka was at the moment leaning back against the headboard, and feeling distinctly woozy. "Would you just stop that?" He finally snapped and Genichirou looked slightly abashed. There was a knock on the door and Tezuka groaned, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. Perfect, no doubt Syuusuke had delivered the news to Atobe and Ryoma, and while his former charge was no doubt freaking, out his cousin had decided to pay him a visit. "Come in."

Atobe swept into the room like he owned the place, which, in all fairness, he did. Still, it annoyed Tezuka to no end. "I hear you're not feeling well, cousin." Tezuka groaned again and did not even glance Atobe's way.

"Screw off." Tezuka muttered slightly. "You know why I'm not feeling well, no need to pussyfoot around it. I know the symptoms." Tezuka had been in bouts of pain on and off for the past week and he knew it would only get worse. Because he was male, his hips needed to rearrange themselves even more then a female's, and in another few weeks, he would be almost completely bed-ridden as his body tried to make room for the baby. He had read into what was going to happen. That would wear off a little once his body had managed to find room for the baby to settle in, but during his third trimester it was completely possible for him to be confined to the bed again.

"Ah, so. Which one is the father do you figure?" Tezuka squinted open one eye at this. He wanted to watch their faces when he answered, maybe it would make him feel better.

"Might not be either of them." Ah, that did make him feel better. Genichirou's mouth had dropped open and his eyes widened in shock, while Syuusuke, after losing his smiling mask in surprise, now looked faintly murderous. Mmm, gave him all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings. Or maybe the nausea was fading.

"Excuse me?" Atobe questioned. His cousin was, had always been, and would always be, a prude. There was no way he could have slept with three people in such a short span of time. Unless whatever 'nightmare' Fuji had brought up was something that required desperate measures to drive away. Which was highly possible.

"I slept with the Jyousei's second-in-command three days before you kidnapped us." Tezuka closed his eye and smirked slightly, just a little quirk of the lips. "He was very flexible." There was a strangled sound and then someone stormed out of the room and slammed the door. From the heavy sound of the footsteps Tezuka assumed it was Sanada. Well, at least he would not have to deal with the hovering.

"I'll . . . go check on Ryoma." Atobe stated and he too left the room, his mind whirling around this new information. Of course telling his love that his bodyguard was just a really well hidden slut would probably not help his situation, but it was interesting information to know. Atobe stopped the first servant he passed and asked them to report to the bodyguard's rooms and tell them that he wanted Yanagi sent to Kunimitsu's rooms, and Jackal and Bunta sent to his own quarters.

Back in Tezuka's quarters, Fuji had now sat down on the edge of the bed, balancing himself delicately so he barely made an indent on the soft mattress. "Flexible?"

"Aa." Tezuka responded. "Pretty too, nice hair."

"Aa." Fuji considered his next words carefully. Depending on the answer, he might have to kill someone. "Was it because of the nightmare?" Tezuka lifted an eyebrow slightly at this, but did not deem it a question worthy of opening his eyes.

"Hn."

--

"Ryoma, open the door. I want to talk to you." Atobe said, knocking on the door to the bedroom. He knew he could open it and walk in if he wanted to, and was seriously considering it just to shut up Bunta's sniggering, but knew that Ryoma should be the one to open the door.

"Yadda." Atobe sighed.

"Ryoma, Tezuka slept with three people in the past four weeks. He slept with Sanada and Fuji of his own volition!" Inside the room Ryoma plugged his ears.

"I can't hear you!" Atobe knocked his head slightly against the door and sighed. Fine, he'd let his lover throw a fit. Hopefully he would realize how utterly childish it was.

"Fine Ryoma, I'll be in my study then."

--

Atobe did not come back to the bedroom for the rest of the day and Ryoma did not come out. Atobe slept in one of the many empty rooms he had on the cruiser, and steadfastly ignored his bodyguards. Sanada was still silently storming around the cruiser, though apparently some of his temper had been worked out on Kirihara, Niou, and Yagyuu in three separate duels. Unfortunately, those three would be incapacitated for the next few days while they recovered. Fuji himself was repressing the anger to very deep inside of him, and Atobe wondered just what Syuusuke's next fight would look like.

The next morning, upon Atobe's return to the room, (he kept spare clothes all over the cruiser so there had been no need to return before breakfast) it was to the sounds of Ryoma vomiting into a chamber pot.

"Stay away from me you kidnapping son of a horse thief!" Ryoma shouted out when Atobe had opened the door to the bedroom and stepped inside. Seeing the other boy sprawled out, Atobe wisely grabbed a female servant and told her to assist him. Atobe would not be touching the other until he looked less likely to bite. Nor was Atobe going near him until he had finished throwing up.

While one part of him idly considered the hell that a pregnant Ryoma and Tezuka was going to incur, another part thought that he could finally head back to his palace, while the other started jumping up and down in glee of being a father.

And that was when he fully realized that Ryoma was pregnant.

And he fainted.