A/N: This was written after seeing a certain scene in Tenimyu Dream Live Three- thirty times. I plan to write more- the more feedback I get, the sooner I continue!
Atobe didn't know what had happened.
One second, he had been seated quietly in the cafeteria in Hyotei Gakuen, the next he was standing outside the school, shivering as Sakaki-sensei told him the news.
"I'm sorry. The accident killed them instantly. There was nothing anyone could do."
Atobe paused for a moment, struggling to regain his composure. "So you're telling me that both my parents are dead? They're gone?"
"I'm sorry," Sakaki repeated again, uncharacteristically sympathetic.
"But…" For once, Atobe Keigo was without words. "What do I do? Where do I go?"
"The lawyers in charge of the Atobe estate will explain the details to you. But until everything is sorted out, your parents' will stated that you were to live at home, and the staff will take care of you."
They already do, Atobe thought to himself. His parents were rarely home anyway, and he was truthfully closer to his butler than to them. Was that why he couldn't bring himself to be upset over their loss?
"If you'd like, though, you can stay at a friend or cousin. That might be preferable at a time like this," Sakaki suggested, pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket. "Already, many people have called to offer you a place to stay."
Atobe frowned. He didn't want to leave home, with its luxury and hired help, but… "Let me see that." He grabbed the list from Sakaki and perused it.
The names on the list were as expected- his parents' business associates, a few cousins, the Kabajis, Shishidos, and Oshitaris… wait. "Who's that?"
Sakaki give him a puzzled look. "Tezuka? I assume Tezuka Kunimitsu's family. Unless if you know another Tezuka…"
"I don't." This made no sense. "But why would Tezuka Kunimitsu invite me to his home? We're not friends or anything."
Sakaki shrugged. "Perhaps one of his parents worked for your father? I don't know."
"Neither do I." Atobe firmly swore to himself that he would wait until Sakaki had walked away to allow a slow smile to curl up the sides of his mouth. "But I suppose there's only one way to find out…"
Tezuka's mother was more than accommodating- for someone unused to serving others. Atobe had to keep reminding himself that she was not hired help and that he could not treat her like it.
"I was so sorry to hear about your parents," she babbled on as she helped him into the guest room. Half the size of my closet at home, he thought distastefully. "They were the ones to give Kunimitsu's father the loan to start his own business, didn't Kunimitsu ever tell you?"
"No, he didn't," Atobe said sweetly, staring over to the other side of the hallway where Tezuka stood, his back ramrod-straight and his eyes clearly belying his wish to be somewhere, anywhere else at that moment. "Whyever not?"
"It must have slipped my mind," the Seigaku buchou said coldly.
"I was so excited to hear that you and Kunimitsu became friends!" Tezuka Ayane continued, oblivious to her son's plight. "Both tennis captains, and even playing each other… I knew he would be ecstatic to here that you were staying with us!" She smiled fondly at her son, and Atobe was stunned to see the stony captain's mask lift slightly to give his mother a soft smile. Then Tezuka saw Atobe watching and returned to his original glare.
Ayane opened the door to a room, and held out her hand in a sweeping motion. "Why don't you get settled? That boy outside- did you say his name was Kabaji? – seems to have the rest of your luggage, so you can let him bring it up and he and Kunimitsu can help you unpack! I'll go make dinner." She leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. Atobe forced himself to stay relaxed at the unfamiliar sensation of a kiss, of someone caring. "You boys have fun!"
The instant she had vanished downstairs into the kitchen, Tezuka swiveled around and stepped into his own room across the hall.
Atobe smirked. "What, you're not going to help me unpack, Ku-ni-mit-su?" he asked sweetly.
Tezuka spun around. "Why are you here, Atobe?"
Atobe cocked his head. "I just lost my parents, Kunimitsu. If your parents have offered me a place to stay, then you should accept that and welcome me with open arms."
"My mother doesn't quite understand exactly what happened at Kantou," Tezuka said in a stony voice. "But if you think that that means that I will welcome you here…"
Atobe widened his eyes and pretended to be close to tears. "Are you saying that you don't want me here, Kunimitsu? Am I to be not wanted yet again?"
For a moment, Tezuka actually fell for it. "Atobe," he began almost gently, then he shook his head. "That's enough."
"What are you going to do, make me run laps?" Atobe smirked. "I get it, Ku-ni-mit-su- your house, your rules. But don't you think that you should be more gracious to your guests?"
Tezuka turned again and shut his door.
Atobe smiled to himself and motioned to Kabaji, who was waiting at the top of the stairs with three of Atobe's bags.
Tezuka's door reopened a moment later. "And Atobe?"
Atobe's eyebrows rose. "Yes?"
"Don't ever call me Kunimitsu again."
"Fine," Atobe said agreeably. "See you later, Kuni-chan."
This time, Tezuka's door didn't shut quietly.