A/N: Final chapter. I hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. And everyone should thank Deb for making sure you are reading a spelling mistake free chapter.
Ryoma cuddled closer to the warmth emanating from his companion. He yawned, and grabbed a fistful of the shirt. The fabric felt coarse. Strange, he'd always imagined Keigo would sleep in silk pyjamas.
Ryoma's eyes snapped open. "Shit! Keigo!" He looked up, only to see the sleeping face of his captain. Tezuka's left arm was curled around him, and Ryoma was pressed between his captain and the back of the couch. How they managed to get in to that position during the night was anyone's guess, since Ryoma was pretty sure they'd been sitting side by side, when he fell asleep.
He tried to get up, but Tezuka only pulled him tighter against himself. He started wriggling, attempting to pry Tezuka's arm off him, but that only caused Tezuka to move his hand to his head, and press Ryoma's face against Tezuka's neck. When Ryoma tried to pull the hand from his head, he noticed that Tezuka had managed to tangle his fingers in his hair, and it would be pretty painful if he just simply pulled the hand away.
Ryoma sighed against Tezuka's neck, pulled his hand back, formed a fist, and punched Tezuka's stomach. The older boy didn't even flinch. "Buchou!" Ryoma screamed from frustration, but since his head was nuzzled in Tezuka's neck, the voice was muffled, and didn't wake Tezuka. "Now what?"
With a sudden inspiration, Ryoma lifted his hand to Tezuka's face, traced his fingers on the boy's face, until he found the nose. He pinched Tezuka's nose, waiting for Tezuka to wake from the lack of oxygen. Instead, Tezuka just opened his mouth. Ryoma almost cried.
Just when he was about to give up, and go back to sleep, someone rang the doorbell. Continuously. If they can wake buchou up, I'll be eternally grateful to them. Ryoma thought, just as Tezuka started to stir.
"Echizen?" a hesitant question.
"Mind letting go of my hair, Buchou?" Ryoma asked.
"Sorry." Tezuka said, and untangled his fingers from Ryoma's hair, letting the boy get up.
"Someone's at the door." His words were followed by another series of rings from the doorbell.
"I'll go see who it is." Tezuka said, standing up. "You can go and get yourself some breakfast from the kitchen."
"Thanks." Ryoma yawned, and ruffled his hair. He walked to the kitchen and looked at the time that was flashing in the microwave. "6.30 AM, eh? I wonder who's up this early."
Tezuka opened the door, and was attacked by a cactus, that was shoved under his nose. "Welcome back, Tezuka!" Fuji smiled brightly at him. "Sorry I couldn't come yesterday evening, but Inui didn't tell me you were back, until really late, and I was already getting ready for bed by then."
"You really shouldn't have bothered, Fuji." Tezuka answered, accepting the cactus. "So, are you just stopping by on your way to… somewhere?"
"Don't be silly, Tezuka." Fuji giggled. "I came to make you some breakfast. After all, I remember you can't even boil water."
"Hnh." Tezuka considered just slamming the door in Fuji's face, but knew it would be futile. Fuji probably had his own set of keys to his house.
He stepped away from the door, letting Fuji get in. The big shocker was that Fuji was followed by Inui, Eiji, and Oishi, who at least had an apologetic smile on his face.
Once they reached the kitchen, there was a loud squeal, "O'chibi, you spend the night with Tezuka?!"
"Echizen, are you cheating on Atobe?"
"What is this? Atobe and Echizen? Echizen and Tezuka? Ii, data."
Tezuka groaned. This was not going to be pretty.
He went to the kitchen, and the first thing he saw, was a wide eyed Echizen. He stared at everyone, with a hint of panic in his eyes. When Tezuka arrived, Echizen locked eyes with him, and Tezuka knew what the kid was planning. His own eyes widened. "Echizen." He spread his left hand, and legs, and stood in the doorway, cutting of the kid's escape route. Unfortunately he'd forgotten the other way to the kitchen.
Echizen smirked, and ran to the living room. Tezuka heard the backdoor close. He swallowed, as he was faced with the questioning look of his friends. "And I thought Atobe was just being paranoid." Fuji looked at him, disappointed. "You better start explaining, Tezuka."
Had Tezuka ever said he thought of Echizen as a friend? Fuck that! The brat was now his mortal enemy.
Ryoma ran the first couple of blocks, before he dared to slow down. Convinced, that no one was following him, he stopped, leaned on his knees, breathing hard. Once he'd evened his breathing, the image of Tezuka's shocked face flashed in his mind, and he started giggling. It might be wise, to avoid Tezuka for a while.
The streets were quiet; hardly anyone was up yet, even if the sun had already risen. Ryoma took out his phone, so he could check to time. He had 21 missed calls. They were all from Atobe.
"Might as well deal with it right away." He mumbled to himself, and headed to Atobe's house. It would take at least an hour to walk there, but it would do for a morning jog.
When he got to the house, he didn't bother with the doorbell, but took the spare key from under the welcome mat, and opened the door, and closed it behind him, careful not to make too much noise. He took of his shoes and tiptoed to Keigo's room. Only to find it empty.
Puzzled, he went to the kitchen. There he found something he definitely wasn't expecting. Mukahi past out on top of Oshitari, cans of bear sprawled around them, and a half eaten pizza in its box, next to them. "What the hell happened here?" He asked out loud, before heading to the living room.
He tripped in the doorway, and fell on top of someone. Shishido Ryou was snoring, and clutching an empty wine bottle, pizza fillings smeared in his face. There was a mushroom on his hair.
Ryoma rose up, and headed to the couch. When he was about to sit on it, his eyes fell on a sight that made him see red. Atobe was sleeping on the floor, Jirou tightly held in his arms. Calm down. It's not that different from what happened with buchou. Maybe they just fell asleep.
It would have been a lot more convincing, if Jirou hadn't woken up, seen him, and shook Atobe, saying, "Wake up, Keigo-chan." Why the hell do people insist on giving cute nicknames to my boyfriend?
Atobe wasn't waking up, so Ryoma decided he should help Jirou. He went back to the kitchen, took a bowl from the cupboard, filled it up with cold water, returned to the living room, and dumped the water on Atobe.
While Atobe was choking, Ryoma glared murderously at Jirou. He might have even growled he wasn't sure. But at least he made Jirou back away from Atobe.
Ryoma smiled brightly at Atobe. "Good morning. Did you have fun last night?" He kept his voice steady, and keeping the smile in place was hurting his jaw. "Keigo-chan. Or is it Kei-kun?"
Atobe stared at him, water dripping from his hair to the carpet. There was a questioning look on his face, as he tried to understand Ryoma's words. Then something clicked in his mind. A wide smirk spread on his face. He pointed an accusing finger at Ryoma, and shouted, "Ah ha! You were jealous!"
Ryoma rolled his eyes, dropped the bowl (and it 'accidentally' landed on Jirou's head), and muttered, "Mada mada dane," before heading back to the kitchen, stepping over Shishido again, who had rolled to his stomach, and was hugging the wine bottle.
He stared at the past out 'dirty pair' and decided to make some coffee. A lot of coffee. He suspected they would all need it, once they woke up.
Now normally, Ryoma would have just stormed out of the house, and waited for Atobe to come grovel before him. But this time, Ryoma felt guilty. He had a nagging feeling that it was because of him, they all had come to Atobe's, and gotten drunk. Atobe had a tendency to over react, when it came to Tezuka.
While he waited for the coffee, Ryoma sat down by the kitchen table. He didn't have to wait for too long until Atobe sat across from him, still wearing his wet shirt. He'd only grabbed a towel around his shoulders, and dried his hair. It was a mess, and Ryoma considered pointing that out to Atobe. He didn't, though, when he noticed the dark expression on Atobe's face.
"So, where have you been?" Atobe sounded like wife, scolding his husband, and Ryoma found himself crouching like a husband, that had been out in the town for the night, and not called his wife.
"Sorry." He muttered.
"That doesn't explain where you have been, now does it?" Really much, like a nagging wife. "I tried calling you."
"Yeah, I know. 21 times." Ryoma chuckled.
"Why the hell didn't you answer?!"
"I fell asleep." Ryoma muttered under his breath.
"What? Didn't quite catch that."
"We were watching some of buchou's games, and fell asleep. Sorry."
"You fell asleep?" Atobe didn't sound convinced.
"So, you're telling me that I've been worried sick, hyperventilating, panicking, just because you fell asleep!"
"Pretty much. You hyperventilated?"
"Do not change the subject, when ore-sama is questioning you!" Atobe leaned over the table, staring intently at Ryoma, as he asked the next question, "So you didn't do anything, else, with Tezuka?"
"You have a perverted mind, monkey king!" Ryoma shouted.
"Hmph." Atobe crossed his arms. "You can hardly blame me for thinking that. You're always running to him. This time, you even chose to spend the night with him, instead of me."
"I already told you, it wasn't like that. We fell asleep."
Atobe sighed, and trailed his fingers through his still damp hair. "We can't keep doing this."
"This… This not talking. I'm tired of getting bruises from you, and not knowing the reason for it."
"So you'd be okay with having bruises from me if you knew the reason?" Ryoma smirked.
Atobe laughed. "That's not exactly what I meant…" He turned serious again. "Ryoma, I really l-"
He was interrupted by Jirou, who flung his arms around him, and squealed, "Morning, Keigo-chan! I used your camera to take a picture of Ryou-chan when he was sleeping. He was cute! You want to see it? I'll-" Jirou froze, when he glanced at Ryoma. The golden eyes promised him pain and torment. Jiroh slowly untangled his arms from around Atobe, and hid behind Oshitari, who had recently waken. "Ryo-chan is scary." He whispered.
Shishido emerged from behind them. The pizza fillings, and the mushroom had disappeared. He looked at the bowl of apples on the kitchen table, and asked, "Are those things plastic too?"
"Who'd keep plastic fruits?" Ryoma asked, and chucked one for Shishido, who caught it. He bit, and scowled at it. "Okay, the monkey king would." Ryoma said.
"You like fresh fruit? Ore-sama shall make sure there will be fresh fruits next time you arrive."
"Thought you said they just attract insects." Shishido muttered.
Atobe threw a plastic apple at his head.
"Oi! What the fuck, Atobe!" Shishido yelled.
He would have launched at Atobe, if Oshitari hadn't intervened, and directed him towards the coffee machine, saying, "Do I detect the sweet scent of a caffeinated beverage?"
"It's called coffee, you fake megane! And let go of me! I'm going to pound his head in!"
"For a simple, thrown plastic decoration? That might be going a little too far, don't you think?"
"Does he always talk like a walking encyclopaedia?" Ryoma asked Atobe.
"No, it's a rather new thing, actually. He used to have a terrible accent."
"Oh, what kind?"
"Had a pen pall from there once."
"Still keep in contact with him?"
"No, not since he turned out to be 56, male, and married."
"I was young, and naïve."
"What?!" Atobe knocked his chair down when he stood up, shouting his question, shocked.
"Relax, I'm joking." Ryoma laughed. "We just fell out of touch a few years back."
"Do not do that again." Atobe ordered, as he picked up his chair and sat down again. "I do not need yet another reason to be jealous of you. Tezuka is enough to cause me cardiac arrest."
"I already told you, you don't need to be worried about Tezuka. I mean, it's Buchou." Ryoma thought it explained everything.
"Whoa! Did you hear that Yuushi! He does sound kinkier then I do!" At some point, Mukahi had gotten up, and was now leaning on the kitchen counter, a coffee cup in his hands, eyes fixed on the pair by the kitchen table. He wasn't alone in his activity. The rest had their eyes fixed on them, as well.
"What?" Ryoma was oblivious.
"Well…" Atobe started. "The way you say Buchou, is a little… different."
"What's wrong with the way I say Buchou." Ryoma asked, wide eyed.
"Oh shit, he did it again!" Mukahi squealed. "Why can't I talk like that? Why, Yuushi why?"
"What the hell are they talking about?" Ryoma turned back to Atobe. "I'll ask again, and this time, I want a real answer. What's wrong with the way I say Buchou?"
"Well… It's breathy, and provocative, and… Hell, it makes me imagine things!" Atobe screamed.
"Yeah, me too." Shishido grinned.
"You want another apple to hit you, ahn?" Atobe glared.
"I don't know what you're talking about. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way I say Buchou." Ryoma crossed his arms. "If there was, someone would've pointed it out before." He tried to ignore the memories that popped in to his head, Fuji's quirked eyebrows, Kikumaru's giggles, Momo's crooked smirks, and most of all, Tezuka's blushes.
Shishido groaned over dramatically and closed his eyes. There was a weird glint in Oshitari's eyes that reminded Ryoma of Fuji, in a scary way. Jirou's mouth was open, as if he did not believe Ryoma's daring. Mukahi was staring at him intently, before saying, "You have to teach me that."
The comment was probably what pushed Atobe over the edge. Or maybe it was the fact that he could clearly see Oshitari checking out Ryoma. He jumped up, knocking the chair over, yet again, and pointed a finger at Ryoma, taking an imposing stance. "That is it! I forbid you from ever again saying that word!"
"What word, Monkey King?" Ryoma glared.
"Oh my god, it's not a one word miracle!" Shishido yelled. "And these are images I would rather not see!"
"Now you really have to teach me that!" Mukahi demanded.
"Fucking Hyotei, full of fucking freaks and perverts." Ryoma muttered, as he fled the kitchen. He shivered, as he felt more then one pair of eyes lock on to his behind. He was never again going to meet any of Keigo's friends.
Atobe came to pick up Ryoma from school the next day, not really grovelling, but neither was Ryoma really apologetic. And it wasn't really like they'd been fighting, or anything, when Ryoma left Atobe's house the day before. He'd just left, after getting on overdose of Hyotei.
"Well…" Atobe said, leaning on his car.
"Yeah…" Ryoma kicked the ground, shuffling his tennis, and school bags. They really were a bit heavy. "I asked Momo-sempai." He finally muttered.
"About what?" Atobe wasn't following.
"About the whole 'Buchou' thing." Ryoma clarified.
"Oh!" Atobe coughed, shifted his weight on to his other foot, and asked, tentatively, as if waiting for on explosion, "What did he say?"
Ryoma coughed, hand fisted against his mouth, slight blush on his cheeks. Momo had twitched a couple of times, mumbled 'Thought you were doing it on purpose,' before fleeing. "Pretty much the same thing you all did."
Atobe was itching to yell, 'Told you so!' and point an accusing finger at Ryoma, while doing a victory dance. Instead, he settled for a smile, that he managed to hide from Ryoma. "So, you're going to stop saying that word now, right?" He asked.
"I never said that!" Ryoma shouted.
"But… You just… Why?!" Atobe let out a whine.
Ryoma smirked, "I like to see Buchou blush."
Atobe smacked his forehead. "Of course you do." He muttered. "Why was I cursed to fall in love with someone as insensitive as you?"
"In love?" Ryoma choked. "Hey, you just wait a minute, here! No one told me anything about love!"
"What? You gonna claim now that your seeing me just because the sex is great? A step up from sleeping with me because of my tennis skills, but still…"
"That's not what I meant! I mean, I like you, ok, but love! That's going a little too fast, don't you think?"
"You like me?" Atobe asked, affronted. "That is just so like you, brat. I tell you I love you, and you answer with telling me you like me?"
"I like you a lot."
"That's hardly sufficient!"
"I might learn to love you?"
Atobe took a moment to actually look at Ryoma. The kid was smirking. "I'm going to nail your ass to the ground for that, brat."
"In tennis, right?"
They were leaving the familiar court, when Ryoma noticed something in the chain link fence that caught his attention. It was a metal plaque that had the words, 'Property of Atobe Corporation' on it.
"Your family owns this court?" Ryoma asked in disbelief.
"Well, why the hell aren't there any showers in the locker room?!" Ryoma yelled.
"That still bothering you? If you want, I can have them build showers in there." Atobe suggested.
A/N: I seem to be incapable of writing on ending that spells out 'The End' at least when it comes to these two. But they did finally have a confrontation, of sorts.
Final comments, criticism, and the like would be wonderful, if you can think of anything to say.