Author's Note: Special thanks to neumegami for sending that wonderful art of ToFu! I received your love along with it! XD

Disclaimer: I do not own POT.

Ninth Encounter

It was three days since the incident in Hyoutei's tennis court happened. Everyone by now has heard of Tezuka's match against Hyoutei's captain and was all feeling revived after that. It started when Tezuka and Fuji gave Ryuzaki-sensei a detailed report of what happened. Somehow, some of the students heard them and spread the news.

"In month's time, we'll all be third years, time sure does fly fast!" Eiji beamed at Fuji while doing a sommersault in the midst of their break time. Fuji chuckled at Eiji.

"I wonder if there'll be new freshmen trying out for tennis," Fuji wondered, looking at two young freshmen competing. Eiji looked at them too.

"Momoshiro and Kaido will be better players, I'm sure of it!"

"I do hope they don't overexert themselves," Fuji commented playfully, seeing them ran around the court trying to out-do one another.

"There's a 76% probability they'll make it to the regulars, with the seniors graduating this season," Inui interjected, keeping tab of the freshmen's time.

"Where do you get those numbers anyway?" Fuji asked in sheer curiosity. Inui clicked his pen and jotted down notes.

"Data," he said simply. Eiji hopped repeatedly looking over other players before setting his eyes on Fuji once again. He noticed the plaster pad on Fuji's neck.

"Ne, I think I've asked you this but I can't remember so I'll ask you again, what happened to your neck?"

Fuji's smile slipped a little but none have noticed. The images in his head of what happened inside Hyoutei's changing room was fading away but the nagging, disturbing feeling kept Fuji aware that it wasn't some sort of imagination. And that it did happen, much to his dismay especially when Atobe's face was so vivid even in his dream. He couldn't remember the details of what happened but the intensity of it bothered him to no end. He bit his lip as he remembered Atobe's lips against him.

"Fuji...?" Eiji broke his line of thoughts. Fuji looked at him and smiled tightly.

"Just an insect bite," he replied.

Atobe made sure that he was the only one in the changing room before removing his shirt. The marks across his chest still sting but more importantly the bruise on his stomach has changed a nasty shade of blue.

He remembered everything that has happened in that room very vividly. He remembered everything even down to Fuji's ragged breathing and penetrating glare. He sighed, feeling rather defeated as he couldn't stop thinking about Fuji ever since then. But even though he admitted that he really is interested to Seigaku's tensai he can't help but feel displeased as remembers too the way Fuji slapped him, clawed him and punched him in the gut. As he puts on new plaster pads to cover up the marks, Oshitari showed up, drenched in sweat. He noticed Atobe instantly.

"What in the world..."

"Don't ask," Atobe murmured, getting back to putting pads on it. Oshitari locked the changing room. Atobe wouldn't want anyone walking in seeing him in this state.

"Who did that to you?" Oshitari asked as he removed his sweat-drenched shirt and went to his locker to find his towel.

"No one that you know," Atobe lied. Oshitari chuckled as he remembered something.

"I used to have that sort of thing when girls can't help themselves, you know with my body and all," he commented giving Atobe a very dirty look. Atobe clicked his tongue, giving a pointed look at Oshitari.

"I am not like you."

"If you say so," Oshitari let Atobe win the argument. "By the way I saw what you did to Fuji," he smirked as he saw Atobe's eyes widening.

"I saw his neck when I helped him up," Oshitari answered to Atobe's silent question.

"Honestly Atobe, did you think of yourself as Edward Cullen?"

"I don't know him," Atobe answered distractedly. Oshitari put on a new shirt and went to the sink to wash his hands.

"He's a vampire," Oshitari said importantly, as if Atobe's a big joke for not knowing it.

"You know kissing Fuji would've been effective. There was no need for biting his neck. Honestly, I feel sorry for the guy."

"I suppose you don't feel sorry for me, do you?" Atobe said testily. Oshitari looked at Atobe with a questioning look before setting his eyes on Atobe's chest, a realization dawning on him.

"Good heavens...he did all of that?"

"Yes," he quipped.

"What were you two really doing while I was gone? Having an angry sex?" Oshitari asked, looking closely at Atobe's bruises.

"O-of course not!" Atobe said indignantly, feeling his face hot all of a sudden as he remembered kissing Fuji.

"But something did happen I'm sure of it," Oshitari deduced, taking a good look at Atobe's reaction.

"Spill it," Oshitari demanded. Atobe clicked his tongue again and looked away.

"It's none of your business."

"Ah that's true but I'm a curious young lad," he winked at Atobe. "Come on now, don't be shy," Oshitari probed.

"...kissed him," Atobe whispered despite himself.

"I do have a hearing problem, mind repeating it loudly?" Oshitari restrained himself from grinning.

"Oh that's it! That's just it!" Atobe half-screamed, half-groaned. Oshitari laughed, feeling very, very amused now. He clapped Atobe's shoulders for a commendable work.

"Wait, did the kissing part happened before or after you got those bruises?"

"Are you talking to me?"

"I am Atobe, I am. Stop being a prude and continue with your story. Was it before or after?"

"After," Atobe sighed.

"I see...and what did he say when you kissed him?" Oshitari asked unabashed.

"...stayed silent," he lied. Oshitari hummed, clapping Atobe's shoulder again.

"Well...its better staying silent than downright rejecting you. Keep up the good work!" Oshitari beamed and opened the door when he heard an insistent knock. Gakuto looked at him, an irritated look on his face evident.

"I want to take a bath! It's so hot!"

"Not now Gakuto," Oshitari smiled down at him before carrying him away like a sack of rice.

Atobe heard an indignant yelp from Gakuto and laughter from Oshitari before hearing the door clicked.

"I could you..."

Atobe looked down on his hand and closed his eyes. He remembered the way Fuji smiled as he reassured Tezuka. He remembered the way Tezuka draped his arm around Fuji's shoulder and the way Fuji clung to his shirt.

He remembered his heart breaking that day.

Fuji was on his way home when he saw an ice cream shop. It had assorted ice cream flavors and elaborate designs on it. Fuji's eyes shined like a little kid.

"What would you like young man?" the old man smiled gently at Fuji. He looked at his spare change and sighed having not enough to buy an ice cream.

"I'm sorry I don't have enough-"

"It'll be my treat," a voice from Fuji's behind said. Fuji looked back and saw a smiling bespectacled guy. He remembered him vaguely.

"What do you want?" Oshitari asked Fuji, grin etched on his face.

"No... it's fine...I-"

"I said it'll be my treat right?" Oshitari pressed. Fuji sighed and pointed the vanilla ice cream, laced with chocolate syrup. "Thanks," he said promptly. Oshitari handed Fuji's ice cream to him.

"Thanks," he repeated. Oshitari couldn't help a small smile escaping from his lips as he looked down on Fuji savoring the said ice cream.

"You've thanked me enough," Oshitari said. They walked in comfortable silence. Fuji smiled to himself, the same genuine smile Oshitari saw three days ago.

"You should smile more often," Oshitari couldn't help but comment. Fuji's eyebrow twitched ever so slightly.

"I'm always smiling," he replied. Oshitari noticed the subtle change in Fuji's voice but chose to continue.

"But it's not a real smile. You look good when you smile. Everyone does."

"I didn't know you're a meddlesome person Oshitari-san," Fuji frowned, somewhat surprised at Oshitari's perceptive attitude. He stopped in his track and looked at the ground.

"Did he send you here?"

"Who sent me where?" Oshitari asked back.

"That self-loving, pretentious guy," Fuji grumbled, licking the ice cream to keep it from melting. Oshitari laughed at the comment. "No one sent me here," he said, settling his eyes on Fuji but Fuji wouldn't buy it.

"It's too much of a coincidence that you're here though, buying me an ice cream for no reason is suspicious too," Fuji further elaborated. Oshitari snickered, one that made Fuji confused.

"You do look like a kid from a far, I couldn't help it. That's all," Oshitari confessed as he walked on.

"If it bothers you, you can pay me back if we meet again," Oshitari said finally as he waved good bye to Fuji.

"Wait!" Fuji called on.


Fuji contemplated whether he should continue what he ought to say or let Oshitari leave but his curiosity got the better of him.

"Do you have any idea why he did...this?" Fuji's finger ghosted over his nape and Oshitari quickly understood what he meant.

"My ideas are probably as good as yours, but please have an open mind about him. He's not that bad, he just can't express himself clearly."

There was a comfortable silence between them as Oshitari typed in his cellphone and Fuji eating the remaining ice cream.

"Is he alright?" Fuji's eyes twitched a little, hating himself as the words slipped off his mouth. Oshitari stopped typing, a small smile forming on his lips yet again.

"Ah...the bruises..."

"I-It's not like I care or anything..." Fuji quickly said in defense.

"Don't worry he's doing better. It's not life threatening. I think he deserves it anyway," Oshitari looked smug as he remembered Atobe earlier on. Oshitari then thought of a sly idea.

"Do you mind if I ask for your e-mail address? Cellphone number?" Oshitari raised an eyebrow.

"No I don't but what do you need it for anyway?" Fuji asked, taking his cellphone from his pocket.

"Future use, I guess."

"Ok...ah! Oh no, I have to go somewhere. Is it alright if I leave now?" Fuji exclaimed as he looked at his watch.

Oshitari beamed at him. "No worries at all."

"Tezuka-kun, the rehabilitation for your arm needs to be done immediately. Otherwise the healing process will take longer," the doctor examining Tezuka said.

"I just need a little more time, I'm the captain of our tennis club. I can't..."

"Tezuka-kun, this matter concerns your health...your future. Please don't take this lightly. You really need to undergo rehabilitation. I've already talked to your parents all we need is your approval."

"I understand."

Tezuka closed the door and walked down the corridor deep in thought.

"If you don't mind, the hospital in Kyushu will accommodate you better. They'll have the proper facilities for your rehabilitation."

Tezuka balled his fist and bit his lip.

"So it really is true, you're broken."

"Atobe..." Tezuka's eyes widened, his body stiffening as he recognized Hyotei's Atobe Keigo. What was he doing here? How did he know he was here?

"Is it your arm? Is it bothering you? Does it hurt?" there was no hint of concern on Atobe's voice at all. Contrary, it was full of contempt.

"Why are you here?"

"Is your tensai friend the one responsible for your injury?" he shot back. Tezuka's narrowed his eyes. It was the exact moment when Fuji walked on to the corridor but seeing Tezuka and Atobe from a far, he hid himself on the corner and listened to them.

"Don't drag Fuji into this," Tezuka's voice raised a notch. Atobe raised an eyebrow at the sudden change of tone. He wondered what Tezuka felt for Fuji.

"So it really is his fault..."

"What is it to you?" Tezuka bellowed, not liking the meddlesome personality of Atobe one bit.

"Oh it matters a lot to me, Tezuka. You're quite an adversary. You have skills that even I, the great Atobe, recognize. It's admirable to the point of annoyance."

"I have better things to do," Tezuka walked past Atobe but Atobe grabbed his arm. Atobe locked his gaze to Tezuka, both of them staring avidly to one another.

"I will be on top of the world Tezuka. Everyone will recognize my prowess. I'll have everyone with the flick of my fingers and I will strip away everything you have. All of it," Atobe's grip on Tezuka's arm tightened as he said the final words. Tezuka lips formed a thin line at that.

"You can't reach the top if it's already occupied," Tezuka stated yanking his arm away from Atobe's grip. Atobe snarled at first but after a while, he gave a sarcastic laugh that resonated on the walls of the hospital.

"Watch me Tezuka as I take that spot. Watch me take everything away from you," and with that, Atobe walked off with his held up high. Fuji contemplated for a while if he should wait for Tezuka or follow Atobe. He did the latter and chased Atobe to the parking lot of the hospital.

"How did you know about Tezuka's injury?"

Recognizing the voice, Atobe turned around quickly, his heart beating loudly against his chest was a dead giveaway of his excitement but his face never betrayed his real emotions.

"I have my ways," Atobe scoffed, walking towards Fuji and stopping in a fair distance away from him. He noticed the plaster pad on Fuji's neck and had an uncontrollable urge to smile. Fuji noticed where Atobe was looking and covered it with his hand, his face flushing in embarrassment.

"You're bothered...that's good..."

"Maybe I should've punched you harder," Fuji lashed, eyes flashing.

"Oh please, stop with the threat already," Atobe scoffed.

"Why are you so fixated on Tezuka? Is what you did to me a way to get to him? Is that it?" Fuji yelled, wanting to strangle Atobe but wary that the same thing that day might happen again. Atobe had an incredulous look on his face as Fuji asked him.

"Where did that come from? What I did to you has nothing to do to him!" Atobe shot back, his heart hammering inside his chest. There was something attractive on the way Fuji's face contorted in anger.

"Then why? Why did you kiss me?" Fuji demanded, his cheeks flushing from anger and embarrassment, Atobe wasn't sure. He sighed and closed his eyes, thinking for a possible explanation.

"What I did to you, I did out of impulse." Atobe finally said. Fuji, after hearing it, gave a shallow laugh.

"Impulse? Who in the world would do that on impulse Atobe? To assault a guy and bite his neck out of nowhere, is that what you call acting out of impulse?"

"Shut up Fuji! You don't understand!" Atobe screamed his angry eyes fixated on Fuji. He stepped forward and finally closed the gap between them as he held Fuji by the shoulders and captured Fuji with a searing kiss. His fingers slowly ghosted around Fuji's cheek and Fuji found himself in shock once again. There was something in Atobe's kiss that made Fuji weak on his knees as he momentarily lost his balance. Atobe caught him as he encircled his arms around Fuji's waist.

"I don't understand, Atobe," Fuji breathed, feeling light-headed and confused. Atobe kissed him once again, tasting vanilla in Fuji's lips as his tongue explored Fuji's mouth. But this time Fuji pushed him away, slapping him hard as he finally woke up from a trance that Atobe has put him into.

"I'm going to prove to you that I'm better than Tezuka," Atobe murmured, not minding the stinging pain he feels in his chest rather than on his face. He gave a longing look at Fuji for a moment before his eyes turned cold.

"And when that happens, even you will be mine."