Title: The Bare Necessity
Genre: Romance/slight angst
Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis does not belong to me and never will (insert tears).
Main pairing: Atobe x Fuji

A.N. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!

Yes, I know I am few days early but there is a chance that I won't be near my laptop on Christmas so I will post this few days early because I would hate to break a promise.

I was going to make a collection of short holiday drabbles with various pairings but there seems to be a lot of those going on so I decided to write a one shot holiday fiction instead. The pairing is Atobe x Fuji because well I just like them. Plus, I am bit tired of seeing tons of Ryoma fiction on the rise because for the life of me I just couldn't see that much appeal in Ryoma and his character development or lack of it. (Denite starts to run from a mob of angry Ryoma fangirls/fanboys ??)

Words in italic represent thoughts and flashback.


The Bare Necessity

I. Source

My fifteen years of wisdom have taught me that life can be incredibly simple if I choose to make it that way. For instance, if I had already decided once and for all that I am not going to see him anymore then there is no further decision to make. Yet, I wasn't surprise when my full proof plan went up in smoke because with him, thing can and will never be easy.

Anger

Frustration

Once again, my emotions are getting the best of me because of him. I was always angry at someone even when I appeared to be calm and collective. I was always angry at something even when I have my usual smirk on my flawless face. Yet, I can never figure out what it is that fuel my endless source of frustration and dissatisfaction. All I know is that everything changed when I meet him for the first time.

Him being Fuji Shusuke, the tensai that I meet from Seigaku tennis team.

His very presence bothered me greatly because just seeing him was able to calm my anger and that irritates me. I can't let him get too close but somehow it is like a part of me that seek out for him. For most of my life, I had felt incomplete and empty. Empty like a hollow doll and anger was my only source of human emotion. Both of my parents were away for majority of my childhood and even before I could understand basic human emotions I was treated like a king. I was a grown up before I even learn how to be a kid.

I was a very insecure child but I never let my insecurity show because I fear the consequences of my action. No one noticed that I have this problem till I started pre-school. I didn't want to talk to anyone and I guess it was no surprise that my best friend was someone who almost never talks. On my first day in pre-school, Munehiro Kabaji became my best friend. I didn't want to associate with other children. I was just minding my business when the school psychology decided to talk with me.

My father insisted that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me but I could tell he wasn't completely sure. Father started working longer hours and neglected our family. Mother started crying herself to sleep while I just sit there quietly and staring out the window in my golden cage.

Staring out at the view that terrified me

Staring out at the world that shunned me

Then it all happened. One day was all it took to change my peaceful life. I never know what happened to my parents but the news that both of my parents had passed away was on every TV station. I was sitting in my same spot staring out at the window when it all happened. I was still sitting in the same spot when a flood of relatives came over to discuss what they should do with the money that my parents left for me and proceed to ignore me.

Ignore me like I wasn't a human being.

Ignore me like I didn't exist.

Did you hear that his parents pass away because he was a curse child?

What do you mean cursed?

Really?

Yes, there is something wrong with the boy's head.

Good god, I don't want a child like that near my own children.

Me either ..

The words hurt like sharp sword. I remembered attending the funeral and watched as all the people pretend to give a dame about my parents. I didn't shed a single tear that day because I didn't feel sadness or maybe I just couldn't. All I know at that point is that I have to be strong and that showing any sign of weakness is not allow. I vow that I will prove them wrong. I will show the world that Atobe Keigo is not a weakening.

II. Tennis

When I first started playing tennis I didn't put much energy or effort into it. The reason I pick tennis was because it was a rich person's sport and my initial thought was that tennis was simply a sport where your goal is to hit more balls in your opponent's court. However my coach Sakaki change my frame of mind when he told me that in reality tennis is a sad world where feelings don't matter and strange enough that makes me view the sport in a whole never light. It wasn't long before I started to excel in this cold heart sport where hard work meant virtually nothing if you don't have the talent to back it up. After years of taking lessons with coach Sakaki I realized that tennis is a sport where talent rules and money couldn't buy result.

By the time I started attending Hyotei Gakuen I had become invincible. In reality it wasn't hard to become invincible because I view everyone around me as an enemy. Like an angry hunter I continue to strike my invisible sword against everyone like they were my preys until I was eventually called "King" by the public. Even now I want to laugh at the foolish title and in my own way I try to make fun of the title by acting as pompous and as arrogant as humanly possible.

I thought my act was flawless till I meet him, Fuji Shusuke during my final year at Hyotei Gakuen. Fuji Shusuke, the man whom would soon become the root of my agony and the reason for my sleepless nights. At the end of my match against his captain, Tezuka Kunimitsu, the first match that I had came close to losing, he, Fuji Shusuke walk up to me. With his trademark smile, Fuji asked me in a gentle voice, "Atobe-kun, aren't you tired of this childish act?"

III. Acceptance

I have never walked away from a confrontation before but that day I did. I walk away from his absurd question because frankly I didn't know how to answer him. From that moment on, I started making mistakes and letting my true self escape through my perfect act and it was all because of him, Fuji Shusuke of Seigaku.

The layers of bricks that I spend years building around me started to collapse one by one and it left me in a state of confusion with millions of questions racing through my head.

Why am I so bother by Fuji Shusuke?

Why is Fuji Shusuke invading my thought?

Along with the confusion also came my own fear and store up insecurity from childhood. I fear the pain of being betray. I panic at the thought of being judge once more. I tremble under the notion of being vulnerable in the public eyes especially his eyes.

The same eyes that challenge me.

The same eyes that demands answers that I couldn't give.

Yet, no matter how much he bothers me I still couldn't stay away from him. In a way I feel like the moth running toward the flame. Yes, the attraction is there but what about the consequence?

My one rule in tennis had always been that I should let the one who caused my defeat feel his own defeat without any hesitation. So I begin paying attention to Fuji Shusuke and I begin learning and noticing all of his little habits and quirks.

After I put aside my frustration and anger toward Fuji Shusuke, I started to become amused by him. The first thing I learn about Fuji is that he likes apples and photograph. That alone wasn't surprisingly which interests me was the reason why he likes them. Fuji didn't like photography because he was good at it or because he enjoys taking picture. Fuji didn't like apple because they are tasty or because he enjoys the texture. The reason that Fuji likes both items is because they were both names after him (i.e Fuji film and Fuji apples) and I guess it makes sense that he also like to drink Fuji water. For some reason it makes me laugh knowing that the great tensai Fuji might secretly be an ego manic like me.

Another thing that I learn by watching Fuji is that he rarely cares about the outcome of his match and because of that he always has that annoying calm and content expression on his face. At least that is what I thought until I saw Fuji's match against Rikkai Daigaku Fuzhoku's Kirihara Akaya. During that match I saw Fuji reveals his sharp eyes with vengeance. I never thought that Fuji's beautiful blue eyes could look that dangerous.

That match shows me a side of Fuji that I never knew exists and I made a mental note not to cross the vengeful tensai in the near future. After that match I realize something, Fuji doesn't seem to get angry about what happens to him but when someone he cares about gets hurt then he will get even at all cost. A feeling of jealousy aroused inside me and I started wondering if I will ever find such person, a person who gets angry when I become hurt.

IV. Acknowledgment

In tennis if you raise your adrenaline to the limit then you start hearing the most beautiful sounds. The autumn leaves have finishing falling and it soon starts snowing. Before I realized what had happened it was winter and Christmas was only few days away.

I have never been able to hold on to a hobby for very long other than tennis but Fuji Shusuke had managed to intrigue me for months and I am still not bored of him yet. It seems that there is always something underneath his calming exterior that begs to be uncovered.

Next day I found a note in my locker and it made me smile. In the end, I realized that it was never about hatred or even anger. In the end all I ever want was unrequited love from another being and it seems that somewhere along the way I seem to have fallen. Yes, the great Atobe-sama seems to have fallen head over heel for Fuji Shusuke.

On the note in his flawless handwriting, Fuji wrote;

Contrary to popular belief, I don't like to watch others suffer. Would you like to spend Christmas with me this year?

Fuji Shusuke …

A smirk appeared on my face as I walks out of the Hyotei classroom and toward a waiting Fuji by the school gate.

In the end I guess I will always be the silly moth who fly a little too close to the flame because isn't it better to be warm than cold.

Maybe the little moth will survive the scorching heat but I know that if I don't try I can only go so far and it seems that I have already become a little too greedy for my own good.

Three years later:

"Keigo, wake up it is snowing outside." Whispered Fuji softy as I felt a warm heat snuggling against my own body.

A smile slowly appears on my face as I pull Fuji toward me and said, "Merry Christmas Shusuke, now tell Ore-sama what is it that you want for Christmas this year."

Fuji yawned lightly and stretches out his beautiful body like a satisfied cat as he licks the same piece of flesh near my neck like last year before slowly sinking his teeth into it. A stab of familiar pain ran through my body before Fuji said, "Mine."

A loud laugh escapes from my throat as I traced over Fuji's handy work and a mark that I will forever belong to him.

Yes, piece by piece the moth was slowly consumed by the raging flame but I don't mind being devoured because after all it was his special flame.

A flame that suits my taste

A flame that I would gladly run towards too because I know it is a flame that would never hurt me.

Fin.

A.N. I hope you guys like this little story. Feedback and flames are all welcome. Also feel free to mention who your favorite pair(s) is/are for future references in case I want to take a break from writing Tofu pair.