Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis or any characters. So don't strike me with lightning. XD
Author's Note: This came out of a conversation that me and my sister had. Hope it's not too OOC. Enjoy!
Atobe Keigo lay in his bed, clutching one of the seemingly thousands of pillows that normally surrounded him. He glared at the darkness, daring it to become light again for that one split second. But the curtains on his bed were drawn, and no light penetrated them. Though he still cringed when he heard the thunder.
This was stupid.
Right now, Atobe was more angry than scared. Angry at himself for not having gotten rid of his irrational fear of lightning long ago. It was ridiculous for a boy in junior high to still hide under the covers every time a storm came around.
The thunder came again, this time rattling the windows and making him jump. He sat up.
That sounded too close.
Frustrated again, he threw the pillow away and buried his face in his knees.
Why can't I just get over this?
He asked the same question every time. And every time, he came up with the only answer: he simply didn't know how.
It wasn't uncommon for children to be scared of lightning. And as a child, of course Atobe had experienced the same problem. Most kids got over it, though. Most of them had crawled into their parents' beds, crying. Then their parents would quietly explain that lightning was nothing to be afraid of, and the children would fall asleep in the safety of their father's or mother's arms.
Not so for Atobe.
"Young Master Keigo, your parents are asleep right now. You shouldn't disturb them."
Atobe squeezed his teddy bear in both arms, trying to give the maid his best glare. How dare she tell him what to do?
"Is there anything I can do for you, Young Master?"
"No," Atobe quickly responded. No way he would ask her for help. He walked away from her as calmly as he could. When he turned the corner, though, he took off running.
It was a long way back to his room.
The dark hallway stretched interminably. Huge windows to his right lined the passageway, flashing with every lightning stike and rattling with every burst of thunder. The storm was right above the house.
Little Atobe felt tears streaming down his cheeks. Coming down this way had been hard enough the first time. He hadn't expected to be turned away… But it made sense. He wasn't usually allowed in his parents' rooms.
When he got back to his room, he climbed quickly into his bed and scrambled around, closing his thickest layer of curtains. He was glad to have a canopy bed. When he was done, he crawled to the middle and fell backwards onto his pillow, exhausted and still crying.
He heard the thunder again. He held his teddy tighter.
For almost an hour little Atobe lay there, flinching whenever he heard a rumble. He finally decided something. Sitting up and wiping his sticky cheeks, he delcared to himself, "Ore-sama shouldn't be afraid of a little storm." His voice sounded small and mousy to his ears.
The thunder rumbled. Clenching his teeth, he made his way to the edge of the bed and peeked through the curtains. Immediately, he saw a flash and shuddered. The thunder came soon after.
Atobe forced himself to watch the storm. Seeing the lightning made it a little easier, after a while. At least then he could tell when the thunder was coming.
Suddenly there was a huge flash and a deafening noise that came at exactly the same moment. Less than a second later, Atobe heard a crash that was louder than anything he'd ever heard before. He screamed and retreated into his bed, sure that something horrible was going to happen to him.
He didn't sleep until a few hours after the storm had passed. In the morning, he glanced down the hallway to see some servants cleaning up branches and broken glass. A tree had been struck and had fallen through the window.
Atobe winced at the memory. The giant windows in his bedroom were precariously close to his bed. Large trees loomed just outside of them.
He crawled to the side of the bed farthest away from the windows. Perhaps he should have asked for those trees to be removed. But that would mean that he would have to admit that he was scared. And he had sworn never to admit it to anyone, not even his parents anymore. He still held a grudge against them for turning him away.
He grabbed another pillow to hold. It gave him slight relief to make a fist into something soft, like a stress reliever. He squeezed again, hearing another loud rumble.
Why did he want to cry again?
Completely alone, Atobe closed his eyes and waited out the storm.