Disclaimer: I own very little.

A/N: Just a little cracklet born from a conversation suggesting that Akutsu, when extremely bored, would decide to pass the time by conquering the world.

Empire of Earth

"Game, set and match, won by the Oishi-Kikumaru pair of the Japan region, six games to three!"

"Well done, Eiji," Oishi said, grinning at his partner. "We are somewhat unstoppable, eh?"

"Nya, we are," Eiji said happily, bouncing over to tackle the other boy. "It's somewhat weird, though – I'm still not used to this whole region thing."

"Well, I guess we have no choice but to get used to it," Oishi said with a low voice as they made their way off the court, the cheering of their fans drowning his words so that nobody but Eiji could hear them. "It's not likely to change anytime soon, after all."

"I guess not, nyaa." Eiji glanced around. "We sure are popular nowadays, nyaa!"

"It looks like that." Oishi smiled, placing an arm around Eiji's waist. He could recall a time when such public display would have caused an uproar in their home country, but the times had changed in more ways than one. Never mind that their home country, as it had been, no more existed.

They expected to be surrounded by fans and reporters quite soon as usual, only to see people suddenly falling quiet and stepping aside to make way for somebody. This somebody was half walking, half skipping towards them, a bright grin on his face.

"You were amazing desu!" Dan Taichi announced with a big grin, his eyes shining with excitement. He hadn't grown much since they had first met him back in middle school, not looking a day over sixteen although they were all well over twenty already. The harmless child-like effect was somewhat spoiled by the huge bodyguards accompanying him, though. "I was hoping you would win desu!"

"We're pleased to hear that, Dan-sama," Eiji said with a grin of his own. "Does that mean we're officially the best tennis players ever, nyaa?"

"Eiji!" Oishi said quickly, somewhat horrified at the other's words. They were not insulting in any way, but with the stories spreading lately...

"Oh, don't call me that, it sounds all weird desu!" Dan whined in protest, a pout on his pale face. "And I can't make things like that offical desu. But I'm sure you'll win the tournament and then it will be desu!" he then added cheerfully.

"Well, if anybody could, I'd expect it to be you," Oishi said with as respectful a tone as he could manage. "We are honoured to have you hope for our victory, though."

"Oishi-san, don't you dare start that, too." The pout was back. "Nobody talks to me normally anymore desu! It's getting really annoying desu!"

"Well, that is to be expected when one is in your position, Dan... san." The honorific came out somewhat hesitantly, and the bodyguards glared at him threateningly, but Dan was beaming at his choice of words so Oishi guessed it was all right after all. "After all, you are not exactly a normal person, either."

"Of course I am! Just because I have some silly title doesn't mean I'm no more me desu!" Dan cocked his head to the side with a questioning expression. "Could you come visit me some time desu, or are you too busy with training?"

"I'm sure we'll manage it, nyaa," Eiji said with a wink. "Is Friday all right?" Really, like they could have refused. Dan, though, apparently happily accepted this response, as his beaming smile was back.

"Great desu! I'll send someone to pick you up desu. Oh, and –" He never finished his sentence, as just then his cell phone began to ring. With a quick apology to them, the younger man dug the phone out of his pocket, beaming as he saw the name on the screen. The sight of this was enough to make both Oishi and Eiji take a step back, already guessing who the caller is.

"Akutsu-sama!" Dan answered the phone happily. Everybody within hearing range tensed now, watching as Dan happily chattered on for a moment, apparently answering to some questions from the other end, what with all the 'yes's and 'no's he said. At last he ended the call, then turned towards the tennis players with an apologetic expression. "I have to leave now desu. I'm sorry to have taken up your time! Oh, and congratulations for the victory desu!"

"No, thank you, Dan-san," Oishi hurried to say, while Eiji responded with a, "Bye, then!" And, with a smile and a quick wave, Dan turned around and hurried away, the bodyguards following him closely.

As the group was out of the hearing range and other people again dared to start to approach them, Oishi glanced at Eiji. Eiji looked back.

"He sure hasn't changed at all, nyaa," Eiji sighed happily.

Oishi agreed. Apparently there were still some things in this world that were constants – even if harming Dan Taichi in any way was punishable by death, nowadays.

"Is it wise to go around like that?" growled Akutsu as Dan entered the room. "The less you appear in public, the better."

"What are you saying, Jin?" asked Dan with a somewhat hurt tone. "Of course it's important to appear in public desu! And besides, I really wanted to see that match desu." Dan nowadays used the other's first name when they were alone, which Akutsu counted as an improvement. The years of 'Akutsu-senpai' had made him feel like some kind of a pervert.

"Maybe, but whenever you are in public, you are a clear target to whoever wants to harm me – or take over your position," Akutsu reminded the smaller man, drawing him closer. "Getting used to somebody else would be too much of a bother." This was about the sweetest thing Akutsu would say, aside from a few especially sappy moments when he didn't hold himself responsible. Of course, Dan knew this, and smiled brightly before frowning.

"Why would anybody want to harm Jin desu?" he asked with apparently genuine confusion. "That's just stupid desu!"

Akutsu very nearly groaned aloud. The kid couldn't be that dense – in fact, Akutsu knew he wasn't. Nobody could be such an ingenious diplomat yet not have the slightest idea about basic politics. Of course people wanted to harm him or take his place, the same going for Dan. They weren't called the two most powerful people in the world for nothing, and humans were greedy creatures.

Deciding that Dan was joking for some obscure reason – because thinking that the person doing the most work in keeping his realm in one piece was such an idiot was simply painful – Akutsu decided not to argue his point further. Of course, he knew that there had been three assassination plans targeting Dan in the last four months, all of which had been quickly and violently stopped. Thankfully the brat was so well liked there weren't more than that, and most people were more likely to report such plans than participate in them. For once, the annoying cuteness actually served some purpose. Even the bodyguards, hardened professionals as they were, were completely under the spell of little Dan Taichi the Imperial Consort – and, naturally, had been well informed that anything even resembling an advance towards him would be interpreted as attempted harming of Dan and therefore lead to a death sentence, effective immediately. This was a part of his politics Dan didn't particularly care for, but Akutsu wasn't about to change his mind. The brat was his, damn it.

"You are the stupid one," he growled, then kissed Dan to silence any protests. Hands wandering down to the younger man's tight little arse, he then murmured, "Bed. Now."

Dan didn't protest, of course. Nobody would protest when the Emperor of Earth gave an order. The only one who might have survived such a thing was Dan and he wouldn't have even dreamed of doing that, especially not in this situation.

Oh, yes. The brat was very much his. As was the world.

Fuji's eyes scanned quickly the front page of the newspaper. "'Imperial Consort appears at the Japan Opens,'" he read aloud. "They even have a picture of him, oh my. Such a bad angle! And the picture balance is completely off, too."

"Well, pictures of him are rarely allowed to be taken too close," a gentle voice reminded him. "And not everybody is as good as photographing as you are, Fujiko. After all, you were chosen to take the official portrait photographs again, weren't you?"

"Well, with all honesty, I guess it was mostly thanks to your association with the Emperor," Fuji said modestly, smiling at Taka-san. "No that I protest, of course. Dan-kun was an easy model, although I didn't like dealing with the Emperor himself as much. He was pretty impatient, I recall, and it was a pain trying to get a picture of him that didn't scream 'I eat little children.'"

"I guess," Taka-san laughed. "Akutsu can be difficult like that sometimes." He then turned thoughtful. "Hey, Fujiko? What do you think made him do all this?"

"He probably just got especially bored some day," Fuji replied lightly. "I'd think conquering the world would hold his interest for a while. I have to admit, though, that it's almost better this way," he then said. "Dan-kun is an excellent diplomat, and Akutsu isn't too bad at politics, either. They've managed to fuse the local governments with their own rulement fairly well."

"Indeed. Almost all the changes have been for the better – like the absolute prohibition on war and then actually seeing it happens, too." Taka-san shrugged. "I guess Dan-kun would be just as happy in a single-room apartment as he is now in their palace, as long as he was with Akutsu, but he appears to enjoy his job, too."

Fuji chuckled. "I guess so. But then, I would also be happy anywhere as long as I were with Taka-san, too," he added then softly.

Taka-san, as was to be expected, flushed a bit. However, his smile was genuine as he picked Fuji up, holding him high and saying, "And I could never be happy without Syusuke."

As he was lowered enough for a kiss, Fuji wondered if he just wasn't the happiest person on Earth.

A/N: There is a sequel to this fic, titled Imperial Crisis.