Kitti: In no way, shape or form do I own PoT or these pretty, shiny, sparkly boys. I own a few doujins and some english trans of the PoT manga.
Fuji: And a bondage rack. That she locks us to.
Atobe stepped off of the pleasure cruiser to the cheers of a pre-arranged audience. He waved at the crowd; his public smile on as he greeted his well-wishers. He had sent a message to his father by messenger bird and the older man had obviously decided not to keep his arrival a 'quiet affair' like he had stipulated. Behind him, Atobe knew that Ryoma was glaring for all he was worth, though Kunimitsu no doubt maintained his stoic facade. Syuusuke and Genichirou were in front of Atobe; clearing his way while the rest of the bodyguards were behind, ready to spread out into formation the minute they stepped onto land. As soon as everyone was back on solid footing the bodyguards surrounded their three charges and led them to a horse-drawn carriage. The door was opened by Fuji, who allowed Atobe to enter first, to be followed by Ryoma, Kunimitsu and then Fuji himself. Sanada rode up with the driver while the rest of the bodyguards were ranged around the carriage.
"Happy to be home Atobe-sama?" asked the advisor who had been waiting inside the carriage and Atobe offered her pleasant non-committal statements. "That's delightful Atobe-sama." She cut him off and turned to the sulking green-haired boy. "Echizen-sama?"
"Uis." Ryoma answered glaring straight at the woman who tsked.
"Lessons in manners and etiquette first then. We'll have to work on your posture, especially for when it starts to show. No doubt your education was horribly neglected in Seigaku, we'll have to send for private tutors then." And the woman made notations down on a scroll she had sitting on her lap, her list growing in proportion to the size of Echizen's eyes. "And Kunimitsu -kun, we will just have to see what parts of your education have been lost, along with assigning a healer for your wounded arm. Then your grandfather will no doubt wish to speak to you, and the guards will wonder when you do not return to your position. An official statement will have to be made about your missing period and of course your marriage to the father of your child."
Atobe coughed at this and the advisor turned to look at him. "Ah, I'm afraid my father may have forgot to mention that we do not know who the father of Kunimitsu's baby is." The advisor looked aghast and turned her eyes on the uncomfortable Kunimitsu.
"Do you at least have an idea?" She finally gasped out, her surprise at this scandal overpowered by her efficiency.
"Ah, Fuji, and Sanada." Tezuka would not bring up Kajimoto now; he was unimportant as anything but an impediment for Fuji and Sanada to face. He had been rather pleased with the way that both had reacted to his announcement, though the aftermath had not been pretty for anyone involved.
"Well then . . ." The advisor calmed herself down. That was not so bad, the Prince's head bodyguards . . . "You will just have to chose which one is better suited politically, we will of course have to discuss this with your grandfather before making alliances . . ." And so went the rest of their carriage ride.
Tezuka gritted his teeth slightly as they were escorted to a private audience with King Sakaki. He could hear the whispers from the servants already and every courtier who spotted him went instantly slack jawed. He knew he was going to have to endure though, especially since he was stuck here until the baby was born. And after that escape attempts with the baby were going to be difficult. Not to mention escaping with Ryoma and his child. When they finally entered the private audience chambers Tezuka found it difficult to stifle a small smile at Ryoma's expression. You would think that after living on Atobe's ship he would know what to expect but apparently not. Ryoma's face as he looked about at the ornate setting that was Sakaki's style was absolutely amusing.
"You're home." And there was the man of the hour himself, looking debonair with his usual royal suit. "I hope your trip was productive." The cold eyes of Atobe's father skimmed over both Ryoma and Tezuka. Ryoma shivered, Tezuka did not.
"I told you in my letter that Ryoma has already conceived as has Kunimitsu." Sakaki turned to a table by the side and picked up a heavy crystal carafe, pouring himself some alcohol into a large glass.
"You also informed me that Kunimitsu-kun does not know who the father is. Though I'm sure he and his grandfather can figure something out." Taking a sip of the strong smelling liquid, Sakaki held the stem between his fingers as he approached the group. Looking past Keigo, he headed for Ryoma, looking the young man over. "Well." he stated. "I expect you'll do." Ryoma bristled at the other's casual dismissal. Sakaki, however, was already walking away and laying his free hand on Keigo's shoulders. "You will have to change the guard arrangements, though I expect now that you are home you will be returning to using Shishido and the others?" At Atobe's nod the other gave a grim smile. "Good. Sanada and Fuji will room in Kunimitsu's suite until his husband is decided. Assign Kunimitsu's team to him again. Your lover, I assume will be protected by your own? We will finalize the marriage tomorrow." And with that they were dismissed.
Ryoma was again struck by the sheer amount of ornamentation of the rooms. Atobe's rooms now were even more garish then they had been on the ship, though if Ryoma had not already gotten himself used to it he would probably have been struck blind. There was an overwhelming opulence to the room that made Ryoma feel very small. "Do you like it?" Atobe asked as he closed the door behind him. He knew they would not be left alone for long as no doubt Shishido would be over to assign his guards shortly. Ryoma turned to look at Atobe but quickly covered up the lost look in his eyes with a glint of challenge.
"Ne, Monkey King, is this the best you have?" Atobe smirked at the smaller boy.
"I know it's leaps and bounds above what you're used to brat, but you could at least try to appreciate it." There was a knock at the door and Atobe steeled himself while he turned to open it. Behind him Ryoma was watching everything very carefully.
"ATOBE!" There was a hyper orange creature clinging to him now. "ATOBE ATOBE ATOBE!" Giving himself over the inevitable, and ultimately knowing there was no escaping Jiroh's clutches, Atobe just tried to stay upright.
"Yes Jiroh, Atobe's back." Came a droll voice from the doorway. Turning his head, Atobe ignored the still shouting Jiroh to shoot Oshitari a disappointed look. The blue haired man shrugged. "We couldn't wake him up till just outside your door, it really isn't my fault."
"No." Came a waspish voice from behind Oshitari and a smaller man with dark magenta hair pushed past the other boy, glaring at him when he did not move. "It's Shishido's for not telling us when you'd be back." The short boy shot a glare at a shadowy figure Ryoma couldn't see before turning his eyes on Ryoma. "So . . . is this the baby maker?"
Ryoma bristled under the other's dismissive tone. Oshitari placed a hand on the short man's shoulder and made a 'tsk' noise. "Now, Gakuto. Let's not be insulting to Atobe-sama's wife. He is the next Queen of Hyotei." Ryoma bristled even more at that. Next to him Atobe gave a sigh at the way things were turning out, but really he had not expected any better from them.
"Really?" Jiroh finally detached from Atobe and was now sticking his overly cheery face in Ryoma's personal space. "Queen? That's so cool! So you slept with Atobe-san? Was it fun? Was it your first time? Atobe's great with virgins, he made my first time so easy! Is it true that Kunimitsu-chan was your bodyguard? Are you a good sword fighter? I bet you are. What with Kunimitsu-chan training you." He was glaring rather fiercely at his unhelpful 'husband' who was laughing along with everyone else. When Atobe finally managed to recover himself, it was obvious he was still vastly amused.
"Jiroh." The orange haired boy's head snapped up and around like a dog at his master's voice. "Ore-sama is afraid that Ryoma is not quite used to your type of affection. Ryoma is also tired from his trip." Jiroh pouted before bounding over to Atobe again. "Shishido, get in here." Atobe ordered as Jiroh latched onto his arm and started cuddling it while shooting Atobe adoring eyes. Ryoma fought the urge to gag. It was nauseating, really.
A boy with a head full of scruffy brown spikes stepped into the room. "Yes, Atobe?" Shishido questioned, a taller boy with a cheerful face and white hair was just behind him.
"Were you so awed by Ore-sama's prowess that you forgot to tell Jiroh I was coming home?" Atobe said with a flip of his hair. Shishido scowled, though technically he had been scowling since he had stepped into the room.
"No. I just did not want to deal with his incessant fanboying, and the constant questions of 'Is he home yet?' 'How about now?'" Gakuto snickered and buried his face in the smirking Oshitari's chest.
"Of course that was the reason. It had nothing to do with you and Ohtori having sex every chance you got for the past week." Oshitari drawled. The tall boy, Ohtori, blushed crimson and Shishido himself had a small tinge of it on his cheeks.
"Aahhhn?" Atobe questioned with a leer. "Has our favorite Angst Queen finally loosened up a little?" Atobe winked at the fiercely blushing Ohtori. "Or is he still as tight as ever?" Shishido cleared his throat as his blush darkened.
"Do you want to assign them their duties or not?" He snapped and Atobe held up his hands in surrender, though a smirk lingered on his lips. "Oshitari and Gakuto on night duty, Ohtori and I will take over in the morning, followed by Taki and Hiroshi. Kabaji returns from his mission tomorrow morning, so he'll be back at your beck and call. Jiroh . . ." They all looked at the yawning boy. "We'll plop him in a chair somewhere." Everyone nodded then and Atobe pulled the limpet off of his arm to have him pass out in an armchair.
"So." Gakuto stated and grinned at Atobe. "Gonna tell us about your trip?"
Tezuka had to hold back a sigh as he entered his old quarters. Which were, surprisingly, similar to how he had left them. Or more accurately, were exactly like they had been when he had arrived in his rooms in the first place. Tezuka, at age ten, had taken his ailing grandfather's place in Sakaki's court while his grandfather left for their country house to recuperate. His grandfather, upon recovering some of his strength had discovered that Tezuka had a knack for politics. The young boy seemed to fit into Sakaki's court in a way that Kuniharu never had. So after coming back for a few months, Tezuka's grandfather had handed over his post at the royal court to Tezuka and left. His grandfather had long ago gotten rid of most of the excess paraphernalia in the suite.
"Saa, looks like Sakaki-heika did keep it like it used to be." Fuji drawled as he looked around the room. "What rooms do you want us to take, Kunimitsu?" Tezuka opened his mouth to tell Fuji and Sanada what rooms they could claim, but was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was a polite knock, as far as knocks went, but it filled Tezuka with dread. Tezuka knew that behind the polite knocker was a large multitude of impolite people. He knew that the minute that door was opened he was doomed.
"It's open." Sanada said gruffly after Tezuka just stared the door in mild horror. The door opened slightly to admit Oishi Syuichiro and was then pushed all the way open as the rest of the bodyguards piled in.
"Buchou!" Momoshiro cried out happily from where he was slightly smashed between Taka-san and Eiji-senpai. Eiji made a noise and tried to squirm away.
"Geez Momo-chan! Have you put on weight?" He complained loudly when he finally escaped. Then the redhead turned a dazzling smile on Tezuka. "Atobe-kun!" He cried out happily as he glomped onto the other. Tezuka winced slightly and staggered a little as he fought to stay steady and support the other's weight. "We missed you!" he stated happily.
"Eiji!" Oishi cried out when he saw the other cling to Tezuka. "Eiji, get off, that isn't healthy for Kunimitsu!" Eiji blinked as he slowly climbed down the other boy.
"Eh? Why not? He looks healthy to me." Eiji stated as he peered into Tezuka's face. Inwardly Tezuka cursed, he had been hoping to avoid this for a little while at least.
"Eiji. Kunimitsu's pregnant." Stunned silence met that announcement.
"What the hell!" Momoshiro burst out. "How'd Buchou get pregnant?" He looked enquiringly at the people around him, who all averted their eyes. Well, except Fuji and Sanada, but Momoshiro was too scared of them to stare for too long. Finally he turned his gaze on Kawamura, who blushed and rubbed the back of his head.
"You see Momo, Atobe-kun's family line has the ability . . .." He trailed off. "Uh. It's a genetic thing . . ." Momoshiro just blinked at him.
"Fshuuuuu. Baka." came Kaidoh's voice from the shadows outside the door. He stood to the left and behind Inui, who also projected a helpful shadow for the diffident boy. Momoshiro turned to glare at him.
"Oh like you know anything about it!" He exclaimed and immediately the two set to bickering, which everyone else tuned out.
"Kunimitsu." came Inui's deep voice and Tezuka inwardly smacked his head against the wall. "Who is the father, if I may ask?" He was holding a pen over a small notebook that he constantly carried around. Tezuka glared at it momentarily before looking away.
"Not sure." He stated and listened to the room fall silent once more.
"You . . . don't know?" Oishi questioned, his heart close to exploding. He looked anxiously at Fuji and Sanada and realized that that was the reason they were both there. "How . . . Kunimitsu?" Oishi was unable to voice his thoughts but instead let the tone of disappointment tell all. Tezuka looked very pointedly away.
"I slept with more then one person." He stated bluntly.
"Yes. Me, and Gen." Fuji stated softly, not going to bring up whomever that . . .. other had been. Oishi was now looking with him with wide eyes, as was everyone else. Inwardly Fuji snorted, he bet they'd think Tezuka would top.
"A-ah." Oishi said turning a little red. "Well then." He coughed. "We should arrange the guards around all of this then."
It was Inui who confronted Fuji later, stepping into Fuji's room while Oishi fluttered about Tezuka. "The probabilities of Atobe-kun sleeping with you were at 3 when I calculated them last." He stated clinically. "The probabilities of you sleeping with him went down to 42.1 the last time I calculated them. And the probabilities of you cheating on Atobe-sama were 9.8." He stared at him, or at least Fuji had to assume it was staring. He couldn't really tell what was going on behind the glasses.
"Yes well . . . Atobe-sama did need to get married didn't he?" Fuji stated carelessly. "He really doesn't have much time for dalliances with me." Inui frowned at him harder, obviously displeased with his flippancy. Adjusting his glasses, Inui loomed over the smaller male.
"I had not added the possibility of Atobe-kun's reappearance into my calculations. If I had known then the probabilities of you cheating with Atobe-sama would have been raised by 10 and the probabilities of him sleeping with you would have decreased by 2."
Fuji quirked an eyebrow. "I'm so glad to see your data is as accurate as ever." He stated dryly. Inui grunted a little.
"You defy my data, Fuji."
Sanada grimaced as they were finally left in the dubious silence of Kaidoh and Inui. The data gatherer's glasses kept glinting at him oddly. He had a feeling that might have something to do with the talk Inui had with Fuji earlier, but he could not tell for sure. Fuji seemed slightly agitated and that made Sanada uneasy. Unpleasant things happened when Fuji was agitated. Mainly to him, though Sanada had heard horror stories of what Fuji had done to other people. Once Sanada had started working with Fuji, however, he seemed to have become one of Fuji's favorites to play with, probably because of his stoic facade. Though now that Kunimitsu was back, Fuji's interest in him might fade.
Sanada wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not.
Sanada was surprised at how quickly the time went though; he could swear they had just arrived back when dinner was delivered to their door. The maids informed him that Sakaki-heika had felt that Atobe-kun was not quite ready to meet with the rest of the court yet and that he was probably tired after their trip. Sanada figured that meant that Sakaki had a plan for Kunimitsu's grand unveiling and that it wasn't quite ready yet. Bastard.
"Well, this is comfy." Fuji stated as they sat around the small table in the dining nook attached to the suite. The table was piled high with food and Sanada felt a mild pang as he thought of the waste. He himself had come from a lower class family; they had been samurai for generations but had fallen from favor in his great-grandfather's time. Under his own grandfather's tutelage Sanada had been taught the sword. He had become quite accomplished with it and caught the closest lord, Lord Yukimura's, eye. Lord Yukimura had taken Sanada under his wing and soon Sanada had found himself among the Royal Guards as Yukimura's vice-captain. From there he progressed upward, winning prestige as one of the best swordsman in the court. Or at least, the conclusion was that he was the best. There were people he had yet to face off against, like Kunimitsu, and Fuji. Sakaki had halted his last duel with Atobe just as it had been getting interesting.
With Kunimitsu's injury though Sanada doubted he would ever face the other with any sort of challenge involved.
"Gen." Fuji called his attention back to the table and Sanada realized that both of his dinner companions were staring at him. "Would you pass the rolls?" Sanada nodded shortly, passing the rolls to Fuji before setting down to eat himself.
Ryoma turned on his side away from Atobe as the other's breathing deepened into sleep. He stared into the darkness of the room before closing his eyes in disgust. This entire situation was beyond bizarre. He had been kidnapped, and then found out that he was apparently able to bear children, which was quickly followed by his seduction. It pissed Ryoma off how easily his seduction had come to Atobe. The other just had to act gentlemanly for a short period of time and Ryoma had fallen into his arms. Ryoma was not even sure he could pass it off as merely physical lust, because while that had been a definite factor of it all, it had not been the driving factor behind him crawling back into bed with Atobe.
Now that he thought about it, Ryoma realized that Atobe's seduction of him was pretty pointless. Atobe could have just kept forcing himself on Ryoma until Ryoma had given in. Ryoma had just had his first taste of sex; he was more then a little confused about all the new sensations. Sure he knew lust, he had Echizen Nanjiroh as his father, but Ryoma had never experienced the rush of orgasm like he had in Atobe's arms. Perhaps it was simply the difference between it being just his hand and being with an actual person.
Maybe it was something more, something that Ryoma found so horrible he didn't want to consider it.
Because there was no way in hell Ryoma had actually liked Atobe.
Feeling arms pull him back against a warm chest, Ryoma listened to Atobe sleepily mumble as he curled around him. Ryoma fell asleep to the sound of Atobe's heartbeat.
Atobe straightened the sash that lay across his shoulders, fluffing the ruffles on his dress uniform as he prepared for court the next morning. Ryoma scowled as this servant and that fussed over the arrangement of this piece of cloth or the lay of that string. All in all, Atobe though his 'wife' looked rather smashing all outlined in gold and black trim, with a slight green mixed in there. He glowed with something indescribable and Atobe was hard pressed to keep himself from at least kissing the boy. It just was not fair if he was going to look so good all the time.
Nodding at Ohtori as he stepped out of the room, Atobe looked over at Shishido, who was closely shadowing Ryoma. They walked through the halls with long strides, though not too long. While Ohtori and Atobe could easily had stretched their legs farther, Shishido always got so snippy when he had to practically jog to keep up and Atobe had no delusions about just how pissy Ryoma would get if such an event occurred.
Entering the court, Atobe was met with a fanfare from the bugle corps; he waited at the entrance to the royal hall, Ryoma at his side. Holding out his hand, he watched as Ryoma's scowl deepened before he placed his arm on top, and they walked down the long strip of red carpet towards where Sakaki sat. The courtiers cheered loudly at the return of their prince before settling down to hushed whispers. Standing at the bottom of the dais where Sakaki sat upon his throne, Atobe bowed his head. Ryoma did the same, though there were some giggles behind him about how he should curtsey instead. Ryoma could not care less apparently.
As Atobe took his seat to Sakaki's right, he gestured that Ryoma should take his seat in the slightly smaller throne right next to him. Ryoma did without a change of expression and Sakaki gestured for court to begin.
Court was just as long and boring as Atobe remembered it. As it came to a close, Sakaki stood to make a royal announcement.
"As many of you already know, my son Keigo has recently returned from a trip to find himself a suitable bride. He has gained the only heir to the Echizen line as his spouse, a match I have approved of. You may also have heard that on Keigo's trip, he returned with his cousin Kunimitsu, who has been missing for years." The whispers got slightly louder before quieting under Sakaki's glare. "This is true, as is the rumor that Kunimitsu is pregnant. Details will be revealed at a later date." Sakaki then swept out of the room, proclaiming court for the day at an end.
Atobe held out his arm again to Ryoma, who took it with a scowl as Atobe escorted him out. "You still have classes to attend to today." Atobe told Ryoma calmly. Ryoma sent him a glare but stayed silent. "I believe the first one is manners." Atobe said pointedly and this time earned himself a disgusted look.
Biting back a sigh, Atobe dropped Ryoma off with his new tutors and then set out to take care of some unfinished business.
Sanada watched in amusement as Oishi cared for Kunimitsu, or rather, as he was practically smothered by the boy's caring. Oishi refused to let Kunimitsu stand to do anything, and the minute the other shifted on his seat, Oishi would be there, asking if he needed to lie down, or an extra pillow or if he wanted tea? Kunimitsu had finally snapped that he did not need anything besides the accounts of the last couple of years so he could catch up on events in the kingdom. Oishi had quickly fetched them while his partner Eiji had badly hid snickers behind his hand. Sanada found this amusing because he knew that if it came down to it he could defend Atobe-kun, though if he had not been in the room Sanada would not have been amused by it.
Fuji had been gone from his rooms early that morning, slipping out the door just as Sanada awakened. Kunimitsu had woken slightly afterwards, his shoulder paining him badly enough that Sanada had been forced to send for a physician to come look him over. The physician had changed the bandages and pressed a fresh compress of various herbs to it. Then he had instructed Tezuka not to jar the arm before leaving. Unfortunately that last bit had been said just as Oishi entered the room and the black haired man had then spent a good deal of time fretting about Tezuka.
There was a polite knock at the door before it swung open to admit a stately bearded older man. "Kunimitsu." he greeted solemnly, the maids closing the door behind him. Atobe-kun sat up straightened immediately and Sanada himself straightened slightly, if that was even possible, under the older man's gaze.
"Grandfather." Kunimitsu greeted with a bow of his head. His grandfather stepped farther into the room, his eyes pinning Sanada to the ground.
"Is this the young man?" He questioned.
"One of them." Kunimitsu answered but his grandfather shook his head.
"The other is not here, this one is it." Sanada's eyes widened slightly at that decision.
Fuji lounged in the gardens, sitting on a bench beneath the cherry blossoms. He had not picked this spot because he enjoyed cherry blossoms much, he actually found their scent quite cloying, and instead it had been picked for the view. The seat by the cherry blossoms was located next to a wall that looked over the courtyard for the representatives from St. Rudolph's university. Fuji lounged half over the wall, his eyes following one person below. Yuuta was dressed in the plain brown and white of the other teachers. Fuji followed him as Yuuta discussed several things with other similarly dressed males. One male in particular that made Fuji grit his teeth He had hoped that Yuuta's dependence upon that Mizuki character would have waned over the time he had been gone. Apparently he had been wrong.
"Syuusuke." A voice called him. Fuji did not bother to turn.
"Shouldn't you be attending your bride?" Fuji asked Atobe as the other approached where he was keeping an eye on Mizuki and Yuuta's interaction. Atobe sat beside him on the bench under the cherry trees.
"Ryoma has tutoring in matters like etiquette, all frightfully boring stuff that I myself have no need to learn over." Atobe stated arrogantly, wondering just what it would take to drag Fuji's attention away from his brother. It was a well-known fact that the elder Fuji was mildly obsessed about his brother's welfare. "Yuuta looks well." He commented idly as he glanced down at the University staff. Fuji sighed before turning on the bench to face him.
"Saa, Keigo, are you bored?" Fuji asked pointedly from behind his usual smile. He was fuming inwardly, angry that his private time had been interrupted.
"I just thought I would spend time with you, Syuusuke, is there something wrong with that?" Atobe asked, carelessly brushing a few sakura petals off of his shoulders. Fuji's eyes flickered open for a second before closing.
"Atobe-sama, I would hate to seem disrespectful but there is no reason for you to spend time with me. You have a wife, and no doubt filial duties to fulfill. The paperwork and such that no doubt needs your signature is most probably piling up in your study, while numerous courtiers line up to praise you and plead with you." Atobe smirked.
"None of them are you Syuusuke." He leaned in to plant a kiss on Fuji's lips. The other turned his head so that the kiss landed on his cheek instead.
"Don't." Fuji warned, but Atobe ignored him to pull the slighter boy against him for a real kiss. The scent of the cherry blossoms as they were later crushed under their bodies was cloying indeed.
Tezuka looked up as he was lead by Sanada into the main dining hall. Atobe sat on Sakaki's right and Ryoma sat on his right. To Sakaki's left was Tezuka's grandfather and the two seats next to him were empty. Fuji was seated in his usual spot among the other royals. The smile on his face never wavered. Sitting down Tezuka was unsurprised to hear a hush fall over the table as Sanada sat next to him before hurried chattering overpowered it.
Tezuka steeled himself as he prepared for the spectacle that would be supper.
Ryoma grimaced as the desert was carted in, accompanied by dancing girls and jugglers. Not even on their larger feast days had he ever seen such extravagance in the Echizen castle. It was unnerving. As the courses finished up though he noticed the tenseness that began to fill the air. He had no doubt it was about the announcement of Tezuka's 'husband' though it was quite obvious who that would be. They had not even bothered to seat Fuji at the head table. Idly Ryoma allowed himself a 'serves him right', Fuji had been the one to injure Tezuka after all.
When the old bearded guy stood up the table instantly went quiet and Ryoma found himself perched on the edge of his seat.
"As many of you know my grandson has returned from several years of being absent from our court. He has taken a husband in Sanada Genichirou and is pregnant with his child as we speak." And then the old man sat down. Complete silence fell over the table and more then one person turned their head to look at Fuji. They had heard about the other sleeping in Kunimitsu's suite the night before. Fuji just smiled blandly before reaching for his wine glass.
"A toast to the happy couple." He wished. "And for our Atobe-sama and his lovely bride." Fuji wished before knocking the alcohol back and standing to leave the table.
Ryoma felt like someone had just slapped him . . . but he wasn't sure why.
Sanada lay propped up on his side in Tezuka's bed. Idly, he watched as the other slept. His mind went to the many things he would have to take care of tomorrow, the first being that he would need to visit Yukimura and inform him of recent events. Next would be to settle his affairs and set up the official documents of their marriage. There was a long list of many things Sanada would have to do, among which were practicing and figuring out just what he was going to do with the guards under his command. He could not act as a royal bodyguard while he was staying with Tezuka through this whole thing, and his company very rarely had more then a few days of rest before being ordered out.
He could, of course, turn over the troupe to someone else in the group, most logically to Yanagi. Sanada found himself loathe to do that though, but he could not explain why. Lying back onto the bed, Sanada sighed and closed his eyes. Things would work out, he would make them.
Ryoma gritted his teeth as yet another tutor corrected his posture. Again. He was sitting up straight, but apparently not straight enough to please the harpies. He also drank his tea incorrectly, held his silverware in an improper grip, had his shoulders too visibly tensed, scowled too much, spoke with a common accent, and twitched his left foot when irritated. All in all, his left foot was twitching nearly constantly as he sat there listening to them. His tutors in reading and history loved him, though his handwriting instructor was appalled by the state of his script. Ryoma could not believe how much he hated the lessons already.
It almost made the nights curled up in Atobe's arms look enjoyable. Because he had not been enjoying them at all on his own. Of course not. The door to the library opened to admit a familiar smiling brunet who paused when he noticed the goings on. "Saa, I was unaware that the library was occupied." Fuji drawled as he saw Ryoma sitting with a tea set in front of him on one of the tables in the library. Sprawled on the table were a few scrolls with various rules of etiquette.
"Fuji-sama!" The tutor cried. "Please help here!" Fuji looked tempted to leave but walked over to the table instead and looked over Ryoma's hold on his teacup.
"Flip your pinky." He stated and Ryoma scowled before doing so, changing the entire grip slightly. His tutor sighed and nearly applauded.
"Thank you Fuji-sama!" She was nearly in tears too; the tutor grabbed onto Fuji's arm and pulled him over, shamelessly rubbing herself against him. Ryoma's face twisted and he swore for a minutes the smiling boy nearly grimaced. It was disgusting. "I've been trying to get him to do that for hours!" She said breathlessly.
"Maybe you should focus on your tutoring then, Mayuri-san." Fuji stated diffidently and pulled away. "I'm just here for a book." Fuji turned away and went to scan the shelves. Mayuri pouted and Ryoma scowled. Really, what a whore.
"But Fuji-sama! You helped so much with a few words! I need help on tutoring Atobe-sama's wife!" Fuji twitched and turned to level her with a gentle smile and a malevolent aura.
"If you need my help Mayuri-san, you must be in desperate straights. My manners are horrid." And then he strode for the door. "Maybe you should reconsider your position." The door slammed hard enough to cause a few books to fall from their shelves. Ryoma's whore of a tutor sat back in her chair with a pout.
"I doubt that was a lesson in decorum." Ryoma said with a smirk and found himself the bearer of his tutor's ire before she gave a delicate sniff and turned her head away.
'Ha.' Ryoma thought to himself. 'One point for me.'
Atobe glared down at the letter he had in his hand. It had been delivered to his study earlier that evening and Atobe was very, very unhappy with it. "Fuji-kun wishes to leave?" Sakaki asked as he stood perched on the mantle. Atobe's glare hardened and he had to force his hand to stop from clenching into a fist. Sakaki glanced at him dispassionately, a slight reproof in his father's eyes over his emotional state.
"Ah." He grumbled. "He says that he hasn't had a break in over four years and that he misses Chiba." He knew that the phrasing of the letter was deliberate. Fuji was telling them that he had no reason to stay beside his loyalty and even that was running thin. Not only that, he had brought up his tenure as a royal guardsman, and had been fighting with the best of the best since he turned ten. He had served under various captains and done solo work with a few short breaks between them. Fuji had not gone on a long vacation since his brother had started attending the university.
If Fuji wished he could resign his position on the royal guards, he was not even needed to represent Chiba at court, both his elder sister or younger brother could cover the position until someone else could be sent. Lord Kisarazu Ryou would probably look forward to coming to the capital so that he could visit with his brother.
Atobe also had very little doubts about Lord Saeki's attentions towards Fuji.
"If you want him to stay, make sure he cannot leave." Sakaki stated before heading for the study door. Atobe growled at his father's arrogant and unhelpful attitude. It was not till he was half-dozing that night with Ryoma in his arms that the idea came to him. Ryoma had taken to talking about his day when he thought Atobe was asleep and Atobe was not about to disabuse him of this notion. Ryoma's fingers would trace lazy patterns on his chest.
"The smiling bastard stepped in to the library while I was being tutored." Ryoma muttered. "My tutor's a whore, I don't know why you hired her. The bastard taught me more with three words then she's managed all day." It was at that point that Atobe began to form his plan; it was hard to pretend to be asleep while his mind was buzzing with possibilities. Keeping the smirk off his face was even harder.
This was going to amuse the hell out of him, and quite possibly get someone killed.
He was going to make Fuji Ryoma's head tutor.
Fuji stormed into the court, angrily bypassing the guards and the chamberlain. He stormed past the petitioners, shooting everyone an open-eyed ice-cold glare that stopped everyone in their tracks. Even the gossips of the court froze silent in fear as they watched him approach the royal family. Oshitari appeared from the shadows to stand before the royals while one of Sakaki's guards appeared to stand in front of him.
"What," He growled shaking the parchment he held in one hand, the royal seal bright and obvious "is this!"
Sakaki was giving Fuji a look that obviously revealed how infantile he felt this was. Not even he was immune to Fuji's evil stare though, so he kept silent. Atobe looked at Fuji before examining his nails. "A royal decree. What does it look like?" Fuji's glare went up a notch.
"It looks like you assigning me nanny work." He snarled. Atobe smirked slightly and gestured at Ryoma who stiffened as Fuji's eyes locked on him next.
"Do you consider my spouse such a low priority?" Fuji stiffened and switched his glare back to Atobe. He visibly ground his teeth, unable to respond to that without falling into a trap. Insulting Ryoma would be a very bad thing, but otherwise . . .
"Fine." Fuji growled out. "I shall give your lovely wife my best efforts in our tutoring sessions." then he turned around and stormed out of the court, his exit heralded by the slamming of the court doors and the whispers of the gossips.
Ryoma turned to glare at Atobe. "My tutor!" He hissed and Atobe smirked.
"I got complaints about Mayuri-san's ineptitude." Ryoma glared a little more before huffing and sitting back on his seat.
"Fine. Whatever. Don't ask my opinion on these things." He grumbled sourly. Inwardly he was pleased that the whore had been gotten rid of, but was not too sure of the bastard becoming his tutor in her stead. And where had the idea come from? Were his words penetrating Atobe's subconscious or something?
Atobe just kept smirking, allowing himself a mental pat on the back. Sure, someone was going to pay for it, but it wasn't him just yet.
Ryoma glared at the room in general. The tutors with him now were whispering between themselves about why Mayuri had been fired, shooting anxious looks his way occasionally. Ryoma wondered where the hell Fuji was. The door opened to admit Fuji and it was like a sudden wind had ripped through the room, silence fell so quickly. Fuji smiled pleasantly and shut the door behind him. "Now." He said softly in that near feminine voice of his. "What did Ryoma-sama have on his schedule today?" Ryoma watched as his tutors became whirlwinds of activity, pulling out books and pointing out what they had planned on teaching him, all talking at the same time to Fuji, who just smiled and let them chatter until silence fell again.
"And what," Fuji stated calmly, "about exercise?" The tutors stared at him stunned. Fuji shut one of the books that had been lying in front of him. "I understand what you are trying to do, but you are treating Ryoma-sama as a woman. Which, despite his condition, he is not. I suggest," Fuji opened his eyes to spear them all with a look. "You all leave. I will handle Ryoma-sama's lessons from now."
The tutors left faster then a plague of locusts came.
Fuji smiled at Ryoma and flipped the books closed. "You fence, correct?" Ryoma nodded sulkily and in a short period of time found himself escorted to the practice room where various partners were going at it on mats. Ryoma looked around stunned at the type of equipment Hyotei's fighters were given. The fighting stopped as Fuji and Ryoma entered the room though, silence settling like a scratchy blanket. "Saa." Fuji smiled and Ryoma twitched as he wondered if that smile only disappeared when he was angered. "You can all go back to your matches." Everyone hurriedly returned to what they were doing and Fuji stepped over to an empty mat, beginning to stretch and motioning for Ryoma to do the same.
Ryoma followed warily, stretching carefully on the mat. If Fuji could injure Tezuka, even if Tezuka was apparently not as good as he used to be, then Ryoma would have to be careful. The air in the room seemed to thicken as he stretched, the other fighters slowing in their matches as anticipation and curiosity stole over them.
Finishing his stretches Fuji headed to the wall and picked up two practice swords, tossing one to Ryoma and then readying his stance. "Begin."
When Sanada entered the practice rooms he had not expected to see too much activity, as it was early yet. What he had, however, expected to hear was more then just the dull thunk of one set of practice swords. That said, he was floored when he saw Ryoma and Fuji dueling. Fuji's eyes were open and Ryoma was holding his own. "Stop!" The voyeurs spun around to look at him guiltily before slinking away. Ryoma and Fuji however continued battling each other until Sanada came over and forcibly pulled the two apart. "I said stop." He glared, though it had no effect on either Ryoma or Fuji.
Fuji chuckled slightly, sliding into a close-eyed smile. "Saa Gen, we were just having a bit of fun. Right Ryoma?" And Ryoma smirked back at Fuji before nodding his head.
"Most fun I've had since I got pregnant." Sanada's eyes had gone wide as he stared at the two, one smirking and one smiling innocently and felt a migraine coming on. This had to be one of the worst ideas Atobe had ever had.
"That was the worst idea you have ever had!" Atobe looked up to blink questioningly at Shishido who was at the moment shouting at Gakuto. Gakuto looked at Shishido sullenly before crossing his arms and looking away. "Seriously! What the hell tempted you to challenge Kikumaru to that type of contest!" Atobe looked at his half open door with mild interest. Gakuto and Kikumaru always had an interesting relationship, or at least Atobe thought so. Definitely more volatile and fun to watch then Shishido and Ohtori's schmoopiness or Gakuto and Oshitari's sickly sweet romance. "Do you know how many complaints I've gotten from the castle staff about the noises coming from your rooms? And the destruction of everything from chairs to sheets to carpets?" Atobe turned back to his paperwork, Ohtori standing blushing in the corner of his study as Shishido chewed Gakuto out. There was a muffling of the noise and Atobe glanced up to spot Ryoma leaning against the now closed door.
"It's quieter in here." He grouched before curling up in one of Atobe's armchairs with a book on his lap. Atobe went back to reading the treaty between Hyotei and Fudomine. There was the definite sensation he was being watched but when he looked up Ryoma was staring pointedly at his book. Atobe went back to re-reading the treaty, noting idly that it would have to be reaffirmed this year until the feeling of being watched grew unbearable. When he looked up this time he caught Ryoma staring a bit before the other hurriedly went to staring at his book. Sighing Atobe put away the treaty and looked pointedly at Ryoma.
"Is there something you want?" He questioned carefully. Ryoma could be a little skittish sometimes.
"I spent the day with Fuji-san today." Ryoma stated and Atobe fought the urge to lift an eyebrow. Did he only refer to Fuji as 'that smiling bastard' when he thought no one was listening? Or was this sudden respect formed today. "We had a practice bout." Atobe's eyebrow did rise at this. Fuji and Ryoma? "He was good," Ryoma stated gruffly, "not as good as some, but good."
"I'm glad you approve." Atobe stated dryly. "However, I didn't assign Fuji as your tutor so you could try to kill each other." And now Ryoma was back to looking very sulky.
"Sanada-san stopped us." He stated. "And then Fuji-san took me back to the library for a history lesson." Atobe gave himself a silent pat on the back; Fuji no doubt had made the history lesson stick too. "I had no idea your great-great-grandmother was a whore."
On the other hand . . . maybe this hadn't been a good idea.
Sanada picked his way through the long lists of equipment that needed to be replaced or repaired, making notes to the side of what was not necessary and what would take time to replace. He had a large number of parchments spread over the desk in what he had claimed as 'his room' out of Kunimitsu's suite. While he usually slept in the same bed as Kunimitsu, now he used the bedroom he had originally stayed in to store his things and get some work done. Staring down at the list he had, Sanada scowled as he crossed off Marui's note of 'gum.' He refused to count that as a legitimate expense even if the boy wouldn't have nearly the same stamina without the sickly sweet substance. There was a sound from the other room, a heavy thump that had Sanada instantly out of his chair and in Kunimitsu's room where Momoshiro and Kawamura were now supporting Kunimitsu's weight.
Sanada watched as the two lifted the silent man up onto the bed and Tezuka's eyes closed shut in pain. "One of you get a doctor." He ordered, Kawamura leaving immediately at his orders. Sanada moved to Kunimitsu's side and felt his forehead.
"It's just the bones shifting." Kunimitsu forced out. "Just the bones . . ." His hands clenched into fists as he tried to control the pain. He had known it would be soon, and he had known it would be painful. His body was not a woman's and was even less suitable for this then Echizen's was. His hips would need to expand quite a bit in order to bear the child. He felt a cool hand on his brow and unable to move away allowed Sanada to pet him. It was calming . . ..
Sanada drew his hand away as he heard Kunimitsu's breathing deepen as the other slipped into sleep. He removed the other's spectacles and looked down at the sleep-relaxed face of his 'spouse'. They had not finalized the papers yet so they were married in word only. Still in Hyotei with Kunimitsu's condition, word alone was binding.
Sanada hated it. Sanada had been in love with Kunimitsu for what seemed like forever, though he knew his crush on Yukimura had existed for longer. The other boy had been strong though, and he and Kunimitsu had often tested their strengths against each other. Sometimes one would win, sometimes the other and before he knew it Sanada had developed a serious sized crush on the other boy that had evolved into something more. Sitting down beside him on the bed, Sanada could swear he actually heard the other's bones grinding together. When Kunimitsu had left them several years ago, after the unfortunate incident, Sanada had been left a little adrift. The other's magnetism had so pulled him in that when it was gone, Sanada had no idea what to return to. Yukimura had been there, but there was no way Sanada could give Yukimura the same feelings he had for Kunimitsu, especially with Yukimura beginning to fall ill. Yukimura's sickness meant that Sanada now was in charge of the Rikkai squad, and he could not let them down. With the loss of Kunimitsu, the Seigaku squad was one short as well and had solved that problem by sending over Fuji to him and then using the Seigaku team around the castle as guards for lesser nobles.
Fuji, who had loved Kunimitsu as much as Sanada had, if in a slightly different way, arrived at his door with a smile and a sword, forcing his way into Sanada's quiet life in a way Sanada had not anticipated. When Fuji and Kirihara had started teaming up, Sanada began to fear for the worst. When Niou joined in, Sanada beat them all senseless. Fuji always bounced back, was always ready for another round of his sadistic mischief.
When the Rikkai troupe had first been ordered to be Atobe's bodyguards they had agreed reluctantly. Though Atobe had his own bodyguards after all, trained by himself and under his charge, it had not taken long for the Rikkai troupe to realize that they were better then the Hyotei guards. Or at least excelled in different areas, though Marui and that Jiroh character had similar strengths and weaknesses.
Sanada had watched worriedly as Fuji found himself drawn into Atobe's aura. Sanada had been tempted himself and had nearly given in to the pull so similar to Kunimitsu's but he had reminded himself that Atobe was different. Not just in position, but also in personality and it had not taken long for the force-feeding of Atobe's obnoxious arrogance to kill any sort of magnetic draw. Still, when they had found Kunimitsu Sanada had wondered if Fuji would return to himself, the other having changed since his affair with Atobe, starting becoming more and more distant.
However, Fuji would have no chance with Kunimitsu and that upset Sanada deeply. What was the point with a rival if there was no way for the other to win the prize?
Running his fingers through Kunimitsu's hair, Sanada waited for the physician to appear.
Atobe looked up to see Sanada being admitted to his study. He turned back to his work, not bothering to put it down for the other man. He and Sanada had never really gotten along terribly well; Atobe suspected it had something to do with Kunimitsu. He accepted the other's attitude because he was an excellent bodyguard. Not to mention he usually acted like this with everyone, though Atobe did hate to be included as part of the majority . . ..
"Kunimitsu's bones have started to rearrange themselves. I thought you might like to know." Atobe looked up at Sanada questioningly, but the stoic man just kept staring straight ahead. That was interesting. Of course it meant that Ryoma would be experiencing the immense pain soon too. Realizing that the other seemed to have something else on his mind, Atobe bit back a sigh.
"Was there something else?"
"Is there a reason you allowed Fuji to become Ryoma-sama's tutor?" He asked. Atobe raised an eyebrow, and here he had thought that Sanada did not care about either boy. Apparently he was wrong.
"I believed that Fuji could teach Ryoma what he needed to know in a manner that would stick." Which was the truth, even if not the whole truth or even a quarter of the truth, really. Still, he was not lying so there was nothing Sanada could call him on.
"It had nothing to do with Fuji trying to leave the capital?" Okay . . . so maybe there was something Sanada could call him on. Atobe leaned his head on one hand as he looked at Sanada questioningly.
"Syuusuke's request to leave the guards was granted even if his request for leave to Chiba was not. Ryoma required a tutor that would not grate on his nerves." He stated coldly watching Sanada's reaction. Sanada gave a brief dip of his head before waiting to be dismissed. "You may go." Sanada turned and headed for the door. Idly, Atobe wondered if Sanada knew more then he thought he did.
Ryoma sat in Atobe's personal library waiting for his tutor to appear. They had moved the lessons from the public library upon Tezuka starting to feel the bones shift for his pregnancy. Atobe wanted Ryoma close to his rooms if he was affected by similar pains. Ryoma had only felt mild aches so far and did not see the point of worrying, but really what was the point of fighting Atobe's decisions? Especially since he really didn't mind. Ryoma swung his feet slightly as he waited for Fuji to show up.
Fuji strode though the halls. He was mildly late for his appointment with his 'student' because he had lost track of time while watching his brother. He had to find a new spot to do such a thing because his seat beneath the cherry blossoms was . . . no longer suitable for such a task. So his new hidey-hole took a little longer to get back to the main section of the Atobe household.
Turning a corner, Fuji found himself facing someone he had been hoping to avoid during his recent stay in the capital. He ducked his head slightly hoping to get past without him noticing him . . .
Ryoma watched as his tutor sat listlessly in his seat while Ryoma read through another chapter of boring etiquette. Fuji was not even smiling anymore, just sitting there with this little frown on his face. Finally, sick of trying to make sense of yet another boring rule, Ryoma slammed the book shut and glared. Fuji's smile reappeared as he looked at Ryoma.
"Saa, Ryoma-sama, all finished?"
"It doesn't make sense." Ryoma stated and then pointed a finger at Fuji. "You don't make sense right now either!" Fuji tilted his head.
"Ryoma-sama, I think we might want to end today early." Fuji stated standing from his seat. "I'm afraid as is our personalities clash too much." Ryoma stood from his seat and glared at Fuji before wincing and collapsing to the floor. Fuji was instantly there, calling for the guards outside and getting Ryoma escorted to his quarters. As the guards helped Ryoma out he grabbed at Fuji's hand.
"You're grabbing one of those books and coming with me dammit." Ryoma growled out. "I refuse to suffer this pain without entertainment."
Atobe was held up with courtly duties, after all he had to arrange for a rather large 'wedding' with visiting dignitaries and all. It would, of course, be put off until after the baby was born but Atobe knew that these things took time. Such as the Yamabuki ambassadors insisting on including a known rebel and murderer in their party. Atobe could hardly count on Sengoku keeping Akutsu under control. Stepping into his quarters, Atobe headed straight for Ryoma's room. "Stay here." He told Shishido and Ohtori before opening the door and stepping inside.
Ryoma was lying back against a mountain of propped up pillows, his eyes scrunched closed and one hand holding harshly onto the bedspread. The other hand was clutching at Fuji's arm. Fuji sat in a chair that had been dragged closer to the bed a large dusty tome open in his lap. " . . . And then the monk realized he had inadvertently proposed to one of the ugliest women in that city. That's why you never offer a monk wine." Fuji stated simply. Ryoma's teeth clenched against another wave of pain and Atobe softly stepped closer. Ryoma had not noticed him yet, but would soon. Fuji was ignoring him.
"What," Ryoma ground out. "Does that have to do with Hyotei's tithes to the temple?" Fuji paused.
"Saa . . . If you can't figure that out Ryoma-sama, I'll be disappointed." Fuji said blithely. "But I'm sure your husband can tell you." Ryoma squinted his eyes open to see Atobe, who preformed an arrogant hair flip. Ryoma grunted before closing his eyes again.
"Well Atobe-sama? What does it have to do with the tithes?" Atobe smirked and slid onto the bed beside Ryoma, detaching the other's hand from the bedspread and holding it in his own.
"Well, she wasn't just the ugliest woman in the city, she was also the richest. She was the daughter of Hyotei's king at that time, but had not received any proposals because the King had kept her locked away until a suitable husband could be found. She was so overjoyed by the monk's proposal that she accepted right away, even though the monk was supposed to be celibate and was beneath her in status. Her father, horrified, offered to pay the monk off." Atobe smirked. "We have very cut throat religious officials, they milked the poor man for all he was worth and they're still feeding off of us."
Ryoma snickered slightly even as his nails dug into Atobe's flesh. The silver haired man winced slightly but decided he could live with a little pain.
"And now that your husband is here." Fuji stated, uncurling Ryoma's fingers from their death grip on his wrist. "I should take my leave."
"The lesson." Ryoma stated clamping back down on Fuji's wrist. "Isn't finished. You said you'd tell me about the fisherman and why there's a law against eating trout on weekends."
"That's a fun one." Atobe said as he propped Ryoma up a little and slid behind him to let Ryoma rest against his chest. "No one tells it like Syuusuke." The blue-eyed boy sent him a death glare but Atobe just smirked back at Fuji. Fuji sighed before shutting the book in his lap.
"There was a fisherman in the western provinces who was extremely well known for his ability to catch the biggest and most exotic fish . . ."
Shishido peeked into the bedroom when he realized that there did not seem to be anyone talking anymore. "Did they kill each other?" Jiroh whispered from wherever he had appeared from.
"No." Shishido smirked, opening the door wider so everyone could see. "It looks like there isn't going to be any trouble from them tonight." On the bed, Ryoma had curled up in Atobe's lap, and Fuji, it seemed, had been pulled onto the bed to lie stretched out against them. Jiroh let out a little squeal of excitement.
Fuji slid one eye open to glare at them. "The first person who blabs to the rest of the castle faces me in a practice match." He hissed menacingly before closing his eyes again. Shishido blanched and quickly shut the door.
"Sugoi Fuji-san!" Jiroh stated excitedly, glomping onto Ohtori as the other stood slightly white faced beside the door. "It's like he never sleeps! Fuji-san is so cool!" And then Jiroh bounced towards the door.
"Jiroh." Shishido snapped and the bouncy blond paused. "Where are you going?"
"To tell everyone of course! I want that practice match!" Jiroh stated before leaving in a whirlwind of excitement.
"Better him then me." Shishido grumbled as he leaned back against the door. He felt a migraine coming on.