AN: I came up with this quite randomly when I thought how Atobe would propose to Sakuno, and just how he would generally act. It was very entertaining to write, but I need a break now. So, just read and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis. I wish…
Atobe Keigo was confused. Atobe Keigo was frustrated. Most of all confused, befuddled, puzzled, bamboozled, and let's not forget love struck.
Let's face it, Atobe had been struck by cupid and the arrow of passion refused to budge from his heart. All his fan girls were devastated, and all fan boys who hoped the rumors of him being gay had a basis crushed.
For three years now, he had been going out with his steady girlfriend, Ryuzaki Sakuno. He had been in love with her for four. Ever since he had stumbled upon her at the street tennis courts, more like she stumbled into him, and she had done what no other member of the female species has done to him before.
Hit, apologize, and run. All others would have swooned, bowed at his feet, proclaim their love to him, or just try to punch him like Tachibana Ann did.
Sakuno, however, was different. He had also wondered how he had never heard of her before. Especially when he found out that one of his teammates, Wakashi Hiyoshi, was giving her martial arts lessons to help improve her balance and teach her self-defense.
He blamed it on Hiyoshi's anti-social personality, and made him run fifty laps the next day. His family's private investigators were fast, and he loved being the heir to a vast business empire and captain of the prestigious Hyotei Gakuen tennis team.
Ahhh, power is a beautiful thing.
At first it had started off as a sort of phase, a passing obsession. He would constantly hound Hiyoshi about her personality, but what surprised Atobe was that Hiyoshi kept his mouth shut. Whenever Atobe passed a subtle hint, or if even the name Sakuno was mentioned, Hiyoshi would lock and throw away the key to his voice. It was like he was mute.
Not that he wasn't silent to begin with, but still.
So Atobe decided to pop in on one of their lessons one day, see how she was. Needless to say, he made a great show of himself and Kabaji unnaturally stood five feet away from him the second he saw Hiyoshi's fist raise up.
Atobe couldn't do anything to him out of school, especially on his family's property, so he thought he could knock some sense into the baka saru.
Yet both men turned to stare when the girl who had started Atobe's passing obsession, began to laugh. It was a light, tinkling laugh that sounded like a hundred silver bells. Standing there in her martial arts uniform in the dojo, she laughed at the three silly men in front of her.
"Gomen," she had said, wiping away stray tears of mirth from the corners of her eyes.
"It's just, Atobe-san presented himself so funny, and the look on Hiyoshi-niisans' face…"
As she burst into another fit of giggles, Hiyoshi had the grace to blush while Atobe nearly gawked at her. Nearly. He didn't allow himself too, as it would have been too undignified.
Yet after that, Atobe continued to visit, and he just became a constant presence in the Wakashi family dojo in the afternoons and late evenings. He talked to her, got to know her and vice versa.
He began to like the way she talked, the way she blushed constantly when she would apologize for no reason, her smile, her laughter and everything down to the way she braided her hair.
It wasn't long before he had realized he had fallen in love with her.
He was scared though. What should he say? He didn't know about love. Was this love at all? Was he ready for this? Kami, no, he wasn't ready for commitment!
Yet when the time came when he had bucked up enough courage to ask her out, his determination came crashing down in the form of Echizen Ryoma. Expected, but definitely not welcomed.
His entire team, who had been able to stick together onto high school and gotten to know Sakuno, reflected his sentiments.
"The chibi's not good for her," he had heard Gakuto say one day as they were changing in the locker room.
"All he focuses on is tennis."
"Gakuto-senpai, we all do." Choutaro spoke up, coming to the defense of the young boy. He didn't like the situation as much as the rest of them, but it was hypocritical to say such a thing.
Gakuto waved his comment away, shrugging into his regulars' uniform.
"I know, but that chibi to the extreme. Sakuno-chan could do much better."
"Pray tell, who would that be, Gakuto?" His doubles partner, Oshitari asked, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. His eyes flashed in curiosity behind his spectacles.
"Well…" Gakuto pondered for awhile, tapping his chin. As he kept thinking he began to lightly jump on the balls of his feet. Who would Sakuno-chan be compatible with?
Atobe kept quiet, which was unlike him, but he wanted to hear what Gakuto had to say. In his head, he knew he wanted it to be him. Damn that Echizen…
The sudden smack of the acrobats' fist hitting his hand in realization brought Atobe to reality.
"I got it!"
Although no one wanted to admit it they were listening carefully, and wanted to hear who Gakuto was going to suggest. Each leaned in discreetly, so no one could guess that they were secretly gossip mongrels.
The yell was like a synchronized cacophony, and Shishido became the subject of critical stares, while Gakuto became the object of incredulous ones.
Damn, and Shishido had been just in the middle of hiding his JAPAN POP tabloids magazine too…
So sue him if he was secretly a gossip mongrel! They had nothing on him! He knew what they had stashed in their lockers! Blackmail was useless against him! HA! Um, heh heh. Back to the matter at hand.
"Shishido-san?!" Choutaro exclaimed, his eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets.
"Excuse me senpai, but you've gone off the deep end!"
Shishido glared at Choutaro. Was he saying he wasn't good boyfriend material for Sakuno?
Not that he wanted to go out with her or anything, that would be like committing incest, but it was what he was implying that bothered him.
Gakuto shrugged. "Opposites attract."
Atobe was miffed. If opposites attract, surely he would be fit as Sakuno's boyfriend. Not Shishido! He was more of an opposite then him! He was her polar opposite! Yin to the Yang!
Atobe swore he felt hot blood rush to his face, boiling under his skin.
"I was thinking more along the lines of Choutaro, actually." Oshitari put his two cents in. Hooking Choutaro's head with his arm, he brought him closer, watching as the young man flushed until his sea foam colored hair stood out against his lobster red face.
" Itai, Oshitari-senpai, onegai let me go. Sa-chan and I are only good friends."
"Ah, but friendship can bloom into a flower of romance. Besides, you're so sweet together."
Atobe looked back and forth between the exchanges. He and Sakuno would look sweet together! He could be just as sweet and cuddly as Choutaro could!
Oshitari released Choutaro and Hiyoshi scoffed.
"Why are we having this discussion? Sakuno will date who she wants. It doesn't matter how much we don't like it. Besides," Hiyoshi paused and looked grave as he looked Oshitari straight in the eye.
A few tense moments passed when Hiyoshi finally said,
"Sakuno and Choutaro would be too sweet. Do you know how much they would blush and stutter? It'd be like putting an uke and a uke together."
Many in the room felt inclined to fall Ranma ½ style. Who knew such a thing could come out of Wakashi Hiyoshi's mouth?
"What of Ore-sama?"
The regulars turned around to finally notice their steaming tennis captain.
"Doesn't Ore-sama get any say in this? Don't I have a right to be considered? Ne, Kabaji?"
"Further more, Ore-sama believes that Echizen just isn't…isn't…"
For once Atobe couldn't find any words, he was so frustrated with the whole situation.
"Right?" Oshitari offered.
"Apt? Appropriate? Suitable?"
"Yes!" Atobe cried. "Suitable for Sakuno-chan!"
With that he stomped out in his haughty diva manner, Kabaji close behind him.
"What's his problem?" Gakuto asked.
"Nothing," Jirou yawned, popping out of no where, grabbing his tennis racket and heading for the door.
"He's just been in love with Sakuno forever, now."
After that, it became the Hyotei teams' new resolve to see Atobe and Sakuno together. They had no idea how it would happen, but they were determined to see the new age where little Sakuno would become the companion of their buchou, and in the process knock his ego down a few pegs.
Their patience was rewarded the day word broke out across the high school tennis circuit that Echizen Ryoma had broken up with his girlfriend of a few months. He had apparently decided his main focus was tennis and didn't have time for a girlfriend. He still wanted them to be friends though.
You can guess the kind of beating the Seigaku and Hyotei regulars gave him. It was an unwritten rule that you never say 'I hope we can still be friends' after you break up with a girl. It just means you weren't planning on holding the relationship forever, and it just makes the girl feel lousy.
"It's your move, Atobe." Choutaro said, patting him reassuringly on the back as they rode the train. They had heard of the breakup a few days ago and had decided to make their move today.
Give her a few days of space, then let Atobe come in to the picture. Swoop in to her rescue, comfort and reassure her that Echizen didn't deserve her in the first place.
Don't get them wrong, they had nothing against the kid as a person. He was a pretty cool guy. When you got passed the fact that he had dumped their precious Sa-chan.
Besides that, they had nothing against him. Nope, nothing at all.
"Yes, go in there and show her the great guy you secretly are!" Gakuto said, following his friends' example and clapping his captain on the back.
Atobe glared fiercely at his teammate. Raising a quizzical eyebrow, trying to feign composure he asked,
"Secretly? Ore-sama is always great and magnificent! Ne, Kabaji?"
"Ossu." Kabaji replied.
Shishido groaned and put his head between his knees.
"Are we at Sakuno-chan's stop yet? I really want them to get together soon."
Shishido suddenly bolted upright, amazed, but went up too fast and the speeding train knocked off his balance and he ended up face forward on the cold floor. His baseball cap slipped off and he felt a sharp pain run up his nose.
"Itai. Geki dasa."
He heard a few passengers snicker and others just stare at him. Embarrassed, he straightened and returned to his seat. Picking up his cap, he sat down and buried himself in the hard seat, wishing to disappear.
"Bad luck, Shishido." Hiyoshi said sympathetically.
"Not luck. Just bad karma." Shishido replied, adjusting his cap atop his head, and cradling his hurting nose.
"Same thing. But from what?"
"From actually saying something I thought I would never say."
"That I couldn't wait for captain and Sakuno-chan to get together. "
"Ah, yes, that would do it."
Atobe just sent them a frosty look.
After awhile of sitting in silence to the rocking motions of the train, it finally came to a sudden halt. Jirou, who had been asleep this whole time, fell from his sitting position forward, ending up sprawled eagled on the floor.
"We have arrived at the XXXXX Tokyo District. If you are getting off here, please exit through the sliding doors." The monotone voice droned from the speaker.
The majority of the Hyotei team was relieved and all got up to exit the train. Gakuto quickly shaking Jirou awake and telling him it was time to go. Before they exited the train, Kabaji spoke up.
The rest of the team stared at him, too surprised that he had spoken something other then 'Ossu.' Soon, though, they saw the reason why the tall young man had stopped them.
Atobe was still in his seat, stock and stiff as a board. He hadn't moved an inch, not even a millimeter. He was so uncharacteristically nervous that he had gone into a state of shock.
The team sighed and looked at each other, exasperated. They would have to take matters into their own hands.
"Let Ore-sama go! How dare you handle Ore-sama in such a way!"
"This is the only way, buchou."
"For a guy who proclaims his awesome prowess all the time, this is pathetic."
"Ore-sama heard that! Ore-sama can have you arrested!"
"Spare us the threats, you need us for the tennis team."
"Ore-sama can make it a house arrest! Now, LET ORE-SAMA GO!"
Well, we all know that his teammates did not let him go, and practically thrust him through Sakuno's door. He did a good job at his comforting, because before they knew it he had scored a date with her about a month later. After that their relationship grew and she had, as the Hyotei regulars had dreamed, softened him up and knocked his ego down a few pegs.
He was still Atobe, by all means, but he always seemed much gentler around Sakuno. Now, of course, three years later Sakuno was in her first year of college and he was busy running his vast business empire.
They tried as much as they could to find time for each other in their busy schedules, and when they did Atobe would often annoy his friends by describing it as falling in love with her all over again.
Atobe had even offered to pay for her own apartment in a safe part of the city, but she had stubbornly refused. She told him she was a big girl now, could take care of herself and would pay the rent.
She ended up in a small apartment near her college, but it wasn't in the greatest part of town. So he made it a habit to call her every night at eight o'clock sharp to make sure she was ok.
He had originally wanted her to live with him, but his father put his foot down. It was true, Atobe was old enough to make his own decisions and had his own house now (Actually a mansion) that he had inherited from the family, but his father had insisted he did not want a girl there until he was ready to be committed and married.
Also, Atobe's father was a man too. He knew what could happen in the heat of passion. He respected and admired Sakuno greatly and did not want her to get caught up in his sons' ecstatic fervor too quickly.
This all lead up to now, and Atobe was ready. He knew he was ready. To commit, to share his life with someone until he was old and decrypted. Even though he dreaded the thought of being so ancient.
He was going to ask Ryuzaki Sakuno to marry him.
Atobe groaned, leaning back in his office chair. It squeaked and the leather material let his cloths slip as he slid down the chair until his head was level with the desk.
He was ready, but was Sakuno? She was only in her first year of college, a year out of high school. Would so young a marriage really work out? He was totally in support of working woman, and Sakuno was aiming for a Masters degree in teaching.
Yet, as a student, would she ever have time for her husband? Would he, as the head of a empire, have time to spare for her?
Sighing he straightened in his chair and rubbed his temples. He never thought he'd have this situation. Not only was he wondering what she would say, he was wondering how he should propose?
Spinning in his chair he turned to the glass window behind him, leading to the busy Tokyo streets below. He could just barely make out the Tokyo tower from here, and for awhile marveled at how much it looked like its sister the Eiffel tower in France.
Only difference was, one was purely for tourists while the other was greatly valued for its delivery of great TV shows and radio stations.
He remembered the first time he had gotten her a present. Or at least presented it, and being him it was quite extravagant. She had stared, taken a step back, stared a bit more then promptly fainted.
Afterwards, when she had awakened, she thanked him but politely told him that something simpler would do. His friends had laughed and he had blushed, but heeded her request and had stuck to more simple gifts.
Atobe thrust his hand in his pocket for the umpteenth time that day to finger the small velvet box inside it. A small diamond ring set into sterling silver and aligned with glittering pink gems lay inside, like a pearl within a oyster.
After a bit more pondering he retired, withdrawing his hand from his pocket he stood up. Taking his coat that was draped on the back of his chair he glanced at his computer clock. 7:15
Another early day, and she would be home in another forty-five minutes. He had time to stop by and say hello. Loosening his tie and unbuttoning the first few buttons of his crisp white shirt he left his office. As he closed the door it locked automatically behind him.
He skipped the elevator and took the stairs, after about seven minutes (He was on the twenty-sixth floor) he reached the bottom floor. He headed over to the Secretary's desk and asked for his briefcase, schedule, and work papers for that night.
After receiving them he exited the building and saw his private limo waiting for him.
Tapping the window so his chauffeur would notice him, he hid his nervousness. Would he be able to keep all his pent up worries inside when he saw Sakuno?
The driver finally noticed him and rolled down the window.
"Yes, Atobe-sama?" he inquired.
"I'm going to Sakuno's today." Was all the young man had to say before his driver nodded in understanding and drove off. He liked being discreet, not wanting people to know where Sakuno lived. It would be more obvious if he took his limo.
Atobe began his trek to the train station, reaching into his pants pocket to pull out a pair of sun glasses even though it was getting dark. Rolling up his sleeves he began to relax as a warm spring breeze blew into him.
Letting the stresses of work and his troubles temporarily roll of his shoulders he reveled in the warm weather. Spring then suddenly thrust him back into thought, and he grimaced.
Sakuno would be starting her second year of college soon, which would mean she would be busier. On the other hand she would be almost half done with her education. As his thoughts drifted back to Sakuno, he arrived at the train station, received his ticket and boarded his train.
While sitting on the train, some people gave him strange looks for wearing sunglasses but he gracefully ignored it. Not many people were riding at this time anyway. He wondered how Sakuno was doing at work.
'She should be getting off soon.' he thought. 'Hopefully no perverts hit on her tonight.'
Atobe scowled at the thought. He had warned Sakuno that there would be plenty of perverts to watch out for if she worked at a College Bar and Restaurant. Especially on an early evening shift but she had laughed and waved it off, telling him he worried too much.
Never the less he had hired (forced) his good Hyotei friends from the good old tennis days to look after her. They did, and were discreet for a time, working in shifts. Gakuto would go Mondays, Hiyoshi Tuesdays, Oshitari Wednesdays, etc.
She had caught on quickly though, after spotting Jirou snoring in the corner while she bussed the tables. So she threw them out, and accused Atobe of not trusting her. He countered that he trusted her completely.
"Just not the perverts who go there." He had told her.
He had been quite proud of her however when he had heard that she had given one particular pervert, who was looking up her skirt, a bloody nose by elbowing him in the face. A move Hiyoshi had taught her, and both had not been questioned when they had gone to the manager to tell him what Sakuno did was self-defense. Of course, people listened when the current heads of the Atobe and Wakashi families talked.
If you didn't it usually meant a lawsuit, or a superb right hook to the face.
Finally the train stopped and he got off, heading towards her apartment. When he got there he fished out the spare key she had given him from his briefcase, unlocked the door, and entered. The lights were off, so he flipped on the light switch next to him and closed the door behind him.
He headed for the kitchen to check if there was anything to drink. Opening the fridge he scanned the contents of it and pouted when he saw no Pina Colada mix. It was expected though, since Sakuno wasn't old enough to buy liquor herself yet.
He took a bottled water, unscrewed the cap and took a swig. Turning his head to the kitty clock above his head on the wall, he saw it read 7:40. She would be home in about five minutes.
He retreated to the couch and sat down, gripping his water bottle tightly in his right hand. How was he going to ask? The only person who would know for sure how Sakuno would want to be proposed to was…
Atobe's eyes widened and a brilliant light flickered on in his head and a ringing filled his ears. Yes! Why didn't he think of it himself? But how would he disguise it so she wouldn't suspect it was really him…
Atobe's heart went still as he heard the door open, the sound of shuffling feet and the clunk of shoes dropping to the floor.
"Keigo?" A soft voice said, the voice Atobe always welcomed to his ears.
"Right here Sakuno." He called, waving grandly as she entered the living room.
She smiled warmly and placed her school bags gingerly on the floor. She headed over to him, intent to sit by him.
"I thought you were here, Keigo. I saw your shoes by the door, so I assumed…"
She never got to finish her sentence though as Atobe had grabbed a hold of her waist, causing her to fall into his lap, and kissed her passionately.
Sakuno was still for a second then eased in to the kiss, enjoying his attention. Finally they broke apart for air, and as she gasped for breath she embraced Atobe tightly. Her heart calmed down from its sudden rapid beating when he had kissed her.
"Well, that was quite a greeting." She stammered, her face flushing from the excitement.
He grinned at her. Now to use his charm. He had to make this good, or she might not fall for it. Sakuno was some what easily swayed, but she was also intelligent. She might just not believe the wild story he had for her.
"Sa-ku-no…" he purred, pulling her closer and rubbing his head against her graceful neck.
Sakuno's head was spinning. She was positive that he had some kind of charm or spell that made her dizzy whenever he did something like this. She swore his Insight must do something besides analyze and predict people's next move.
They must have the power to seduce too.
"Ore-sama was asked by Shishido to ask you for advice." He told her, looking up at her from supposedly pitiful eyes. They were actually his best features, as they were the first thing Sakuno fell in love with. His power in Insight and his alluring eyes.
Sakuno slightly snapped out of her stupor.
"Ryou-niichan? Why not ask me himself?"
"He's so busy, and he wanted to know as soon as possible. So he called me today for me to ask you for him." Atobe took in a deep breath, knowing he was making a sacrifice. He had to do it. It was the only way.
"He's going to ask Choutaro to marry him, so he wanted advice on how to propose."
The minute he heard Sakuno gasped, he knew he had got her. He could see a linger of disbelief on her face, but it looked like she had believed it.
The way he figured it, Choutaro and Sakuno were a lot alike in what they liked and their reactions to gifts and such. He and Sakuno were also practically Siamese twins when they were in the same room, inseparable. So if anyone should know it would be them. So if he figured out how Choutaro would react…
Wait, then couldn't he have asked Choutaro? …To late now.
"Really?" Sakuno asked incredulously. "Ohtori-niichan and Ryou-niichan are…?"
Atobe nodded sagely and Sakuno's eyes widened to the size of tennis balls. Atobe sometimes wondered how he had fallen in love with a girl who could sometimes be so gullible. He wasn't exactly doing the right thing tricking her, but he was desperate.
Sakuno grasped his hands and looked worried. "Are they ok? They didn't run into any trouble in their…relationship did they?" The evident distress for her dear friends reminded Atobe why he loved her so much and he felt slightly guilty for tricking her.
It was for a good cause though. So hopefully they would understand. He knew Sakuno would forgive him, but Shishido and Choutaro…well, that's another story.
"Don't worry. They're ok. But you see, it happened like this,"
From there Atobe fabricated a tale of forbidden love, disagreeing families, and tragic mishaps until the two forbidden lovers, Shishido and Choutaro, fought through it and were together at last.
"Of course, they had to keep it under wraps, in fear of anyone damaging their love." Atobe explained as Sakuno stared in awe. She nodded in understanding, but still was slightly hurt that they had apparently not told her.
"So, what's your advice?"
Sakuno came back to reality and puzzled over it for awhile. How would Choutaro like to be proposed too? Leaning her head against Atobe's shoulder she pondered while he took a drink from his water bottle, his throat dry from his quick thinking and storytelling.
"Well," she finally said, looking into the eyes of her boyfriend. "Ohtori-niichan is shy, so it would definitely have to be private. He doesn't like beating around the bush. So, just pretty straight forward, and not anywhere public, and" she put a finger to her lips, signaling a secret.
"He wouldn't admit it, but Ohtori-niichan is sensitive. So you have to be gentle."
Atobe stared at her. That was it? He could've guessed that! In fact, why the hell was he just sitting here? Quickly Atobe kissed her gently and moved her off his lap. Removing his lips from hers, he placed a very confused Sakuno on the couch and got on the floor on one knee.
"Well, Ore-sama guess's this is as good as a time as ever,"
Sakuno gasped and covered her hands with her mouth as she realized what he was doing.
"Ryuzaki Sakuno will you consent to become Atobe Sakuno, my wife?"
Atobe took out the velvet box from his pocket and presented the engagement ring to her. His heart beat rapidly as seconds that felt like eternity passed by. Was she going to say no?
Suddenly delicate arms encircled his neck and a petite body collided into him, almost making him lose his balance. He quickly regained his composure, but was surprised to find Sakuno laughing and crying at the same time.
Did she hit her head or something?
"Yes!" she cried happily, burrowing her face into his shoulder. "Yes! Yes, of course!"
Nothing could describe the feeling of elation that swelled in his chest as he lifted her face to meet his. He couldn't even speak; all he could do was stare at her in happiness. Then a swell of laughter erupted from his body and he mentally rebuked himself.
How could he have doubted such a wonderful woman as Sakuno? He should've known his worrying was for nothing!
As their laughter subsided he eagerly slipped the ring on her finger and felt a great weight lift off his chest. They were engaged, he was going to marry the love of his life. Nothing could ruin this moment.
Suddenly Sakuno squealed and slipped from Atobe's arms, clapping in glee.
"I can't believe it! Ohtori-niichan and I can plan our weddings together! It'll be a bit strange at first, but it will all go great! I better call Ryou-niichan and give him that advice he wanted now and tell him the good news!"
Atobe, as dignified as he could, cowered in fear as he climbed on the couch, cuddling into the soft cushions. He had a feeling he might not even live to experience his wedding night when Shishido and Choutaro got through with him. Maybe he should sleep here tonight.
He heard the phone ring once…twice…thrice…then…
"Ah! Ryou-niichan! Listen, I have great news! Atobe and I are engaged!"
A few comments, Shishido's congratulations and such. Brotherly threats that if he ever mistreated her, etc.
"Oh, I also have that advice you wanted! You see, Atobe filled me in. Its ok, Ohtori-niichan and you are still the same to me. Well, if you want to propose…"
That's when Atobe heard the roar on the other end of the line from where he sat.
Maybe he and Sakuno should immigrate to Poland or something…
AN: Here you go people. An AtoSaku that isn't as sad as my others. There will be on after this once I get the plan out in my head, the a possible Choutaro x Sakuno. I'm also trying to work on three continuous fics. A FujiSaku, a Hiyoshi x Sakuno, and a Sakuno centric. So, please read and review!
Also, in case you don't know.
Baka – Idiot
Saru – Monkey
Niichan/san – A familiar way to refer to one's older brother or brother type figure
Itai – Ouch
Geki Dasu – Way uncool