A/N: Wanted to feed you all a little bit more while inspiration to write is still within me.

As for When Fuji Becomes An Echizen; I'm at a dead end until Eugene revives and helps out so bug her a little too if you want to see a chapter before the end of the year.

Enjoy and do review ne?

Mika3103– Yeah, Rinko's discovering the 'be careful what you wish for' part. The twins will get more time as thrill grows closer.

MARYLOVER – The funny thing is I tell myself that all the time when I start a new story about them. Had a reviewer ask me how I can take the same two and put them in so many stories. Then again, I'm surprised I can even come up with so many plots and center Thrill in them to create stories after so long.

Shizaki Kuro – They amuse me as I write as well so I find I amaze myself when I sit to write about them. I don't know how I do it, but as I write multiple chapters together, I gain inspiration to write certain Thrill scenes and remarks for each story while writing another.

The runt Duchess – Well, and people wonder how I can still love this couple to the bone XD it's because there's never enough scenes that I can do with these two.

Possessive Tezuka was a bit of a stretch and I debated on this but ended up going with it since his character is to persevere in anything he pursues and give it his all so hopefully it doesn't turn out TOO ooc.

JBubbles – I try to maintain their personalities though I end up stretching it a bit every once in a while. I hope you continue to enjoy their steps to marriage and being a couple as well.

PheonixShadow – That's one of the things I love about this fic. I get to focus on mostly thrill and the story is still able to flow. Thrill has a long way to go in this story but they'll be doing it, as always, in their own way and style.

xxxKaixxx- Because I haven't decided what I want out of Rinko yet, I can't guarantee she will NOT be a bad person. Still, I do my best to portray my characters with a sense of realism so hopefully that get conveyed.

One Step At A Time

Rated: M

Summary: When Tezuka marries to please his family, Fuji decides to repay him by marrying for money. But with Atobe playing matchmaker, things are bound to be anything but ordinary.

Chapter X: The "Mother-In-law"



January 4th

Fuji sighed slightly as he shut the door on the latest girl who came to give her opinion on a man taking a perfectly good man off the market.

His team was duly impressed with the way he handled this latest outbreak of girls streaming over to leave their hate at his office. He never raised his voice even as he cut them in hurtful ways and made them leave on their own accord rather than having to escort the majority out.

"What?" Fuji asked noting that the object of interest was him.

"Nothing boss," One guy said with a slight grin. "We are just duly impressed with the polite set downs you give each and every girl depending on their take with you."

Fuji sighed and shot a smile towards his team. "I do what I can."

Echizen Residence

"Well they are getting better with their swings ne Gen?" Atobe stated watching the two little brats practicing their swings so they can play tennis with their daddy when he decides to get home. They had decided to drop by with presents for the two when Nana had mentioned that they were in the back practicing their swings.

"Aa… but what do you expect when their father is a little prodigy." Sanada said watching the two with no expression. Despite the adorableness they exerted, Sanada always felt a need to resist them. It was no joke how Atobe's mom stated that Ryoma's sons were like demons. Beckoning to those unaware and trapping them in sweet looks while clamping on with the hold of a seasoned salesman making the kill of the season.

"Still trying to resist those two?" Atobe asked seeing his boyfriend lips twitch slightly towards the direction of a smile when seeing Hiro get lazy and swing his racquet in frustration instead of the correct stance as his brother was doing.

Sanada sighed and glanced at his boyfriend who smiled in sympathy.

"Trust me, you don't want to kidnap those two for yourselves, they'll make life hell." Atobe warned.

"Am I to assume you tried that before and learned your lesson?" Sanada asked with a ghost of a smirk.

"I knew better not to ever attempt!" Atobe scoffed out. "I always told that brat that these two would be his demise."

"But they are very good at their swings," Sanada said turning to watch the two twins go at it again. "Especially the older one."

"I suppose you could call that advanced for little boys." Atobe said with a slight frown.

"They may very well be the next prodigies at tennis." Sanada said with a glance at his boyfriend.

"Che! I highly doubt they'll go any higher since MY son will be the only ruling that field and many more. After all, his father is talented and many fields!" Atobe proclaimed.

Sanada didn't comment as he continued to silently watch though his thoughts had wandered far from the children. He knew the weight of Atobe's words and both knew that the future awaiting them was the one Atobe had mentioned. Both of them would need to have children and continue their respective lines… they were on a timed relationship and no dreaming was ever going to change that.

Atobe cursed himself mentally though. He had meant to only up the brat one but he ended up reminding his boyfriend of the impending future. He didn't want to think of it though. He didn't want to end up of Fuji's and Tezuka's situation… because if he did; who would come to his rescue?



"At least I can get either if I want." Ryoma said bluntly as his friends teased him about going public about his sexual orientation preference.

"Geez Ryoma," one said with a twist of disgust on his face. "Not all the beautiful woman of the world died with your wife you know."

"Beauty alone can't match up to my late wife," Ryoma said with a shrug. "Besides, now my life is a little more exciting AND I like people who aren't boring."

With that being said, Ryoma turned away to do his own thing. It was true what his friends said about women but he had no wish to mar his wife's beauty and brains with a poor imitation. Syuusuke was something else though. He had a brain, wit, met him eye-to-eye and had no vice that he couldn't deal with so far.

Where was he going to find another like him? After all the trouble the monkey-king went through to hook them up, Ryoma had no problem trying it out.




"Hm?" Fuji asked looking up before his gaze landed on the person beside his subordinate.

"Tezuka-san," He merely said and backed out as Tezuka walked forward.

"What do you want now?" Fuji asked as soon as he was close enough.

"I told you I'm serious about us Syuusuke." Tezuka said taking a seat across from him. "I want to have dinner tonight to discuss our options."

"There are no options Kunimitsu," Fuji said with a dead look, "There is only one solution in your mind, and that's to keep me on your sidelines as a lover."

"That's as good as it'll get if you aim for higher people Syuusuke," Tezuka said bluntly. "We have to think of our families that need a future as well."

"Well it must be positively lucky of me to find a man who is in a "higher" position and already has kids then." Fuji said with a harsh smile. "He's done his duty so it's fine to marry me."

"Is that what you want? Marriage?" Tezuka asked roughly. "You know one day Atobe and Sanada will do the same as I had to. They need to continue their family and let their family hold their heads high at least to the public."

"I don't care what you say; Ryoma doesn't care what the public has to say either." Fuji said with a sigh. "Can you just leave?"

"But people will judge him and his family for going public with you." Tezuka said leaning forward across Fuji's desk. "Using Ryoma to fuel your jealousy against me is not going to bury our feelings or make me believe otherwise."

"What makes you think my relationship is a rebound off of you?" Fuji bit out with hardened eyes now.

"I'm level headed enough to realize your only with him as revenge towards me." Tezuka said equally. "Marriages made out of revenge will be broken."

"I can say marriages can be broken as well if there is no love." Fuji shot back. "Now get out!"



Few hours later

Fuji was still bustling with pent up anger at Tezuka's visit.

How dare he break his heart then come back to dictate his life? How dare he think everything was to get back at him?

Even if it was….

"I can see you are not in your best shape either,"

Fuji looked up and saw Ryoma's mother standing before him with a slight frown.


Just what he needed in a day filled with hate… another opposition.

"Echizen-san," Fuji greeted accordingly.

"Shall we just get straight to the point that I don't like your relationship with my son?" Rinko asked digging straight into the problem.

"I'm sorry you feel that way," Fuji hedged in.

"You should be so you should do me a favor and remove yourself from this position."Rinko suggested. "As much as I hate telling people to do as I say when I'm not their mother, I'm going to highly suggest you don't taint my grandsons or son anymore than you already have."

Fuji felt a burst of irritation with so much opposition for the day. A man could only take so much before he could no longer stand it anymore and this was one of those days where he had more than enough of it!

"Well?" Rinko asked with a frown.

"I'm afraid you're just going to have to put up with it because we happen to be in love and your grandsons seem to not mind that I make them and their father happy." Fuji said as pleasantly as he could manage. "But I would really like to get along for the sake of Ryoma and the boys."

"It's not going to happen!" Rinko said with angrily. "I disallow it and-"

"Ryoma is a grown boy who can choose his life Echizen-san," Fuji said with a smile. So if I'm going to have to call you mother-in-law soon then I hope we can get along despite me not being a daughter-in-law as you prefer."

Rinko was speechless as she huffed trying to retort yet nothing was coming out in her anger. For the first time in years, she considered being unladylike and attacking this man in anger. Instead, she gave him an angry look and turned on her heel to leave.

This was definitely NOT the last time he'd hear from her if he didn't get his hands off her son!



That night

"Ne Syuu," Hiro asked chewing on his pork with bits of rice falling out of his mouth. "Are you gonna live with us here?"

"Don't talk with your mouth full Hiro," Ryoma said with a small frown.

"But I wanna know," Hiro said pausing only long enough to swallow and wipe his face with the back of his long sleeve.

"Syuu has his own house," Ryoma explained to Hiro.

"I do," Fuji agreed with a smile. "But I'll visit often and we can have dinner and play tennis still."

"I want him to," Hiro said instead to Shuji who sat beside him eating properly unlike Hiro. "Do you want him to Shuji?"

"To what?" Shuji asked looking at his brother.

"Live with us like a mommy should." Hiro said with a quick frown at how everyone seemed to not be on the same page as he was.

"If daddy doesn't mind," Shuji said with a minor shrug. Honestly he didn't care as long as his daddy was happy.

"Well since the children have voted, I guess that means you have to marry us and stay." Ryoma said with a grin to Fuji.

"Why not?" Fuji said seriously. "I'll just cancel my apartment and marry you."

Ryoma eyebrow jerked up slightly but their talk was drowned out with Hiro cheering and telling him where he could sleep already.

It took a long while for Hiro to continue his version of life together to Shuji and give them some space. Still, Ryoma placed his hand over Fuji's to get his attention and leaned over.

"We'll talk about jumping that fence privately tomorrow."

Fuji nodded but he couldn't help but feel slightly bad that he's being quite cold-hearted by doing this as a basis of revenge and wondered if he could go through with hurting the boys and Ryoma though he still harbors feelings for his ex.



"So you failed to peel him away…" Sakuya said with a sigh as she took a sip of her tea.

"He had the guts to lecture me about Ryoma and call me mother in law!" Rinko said with outrage.

"Why don't you just give it up?" Sakuya suggested. "If your son's happy then you should be happy for him too."

"Easy for you to say now but what about your son and his relationship?" Rinko pointed out accusingly.

"Your son has children," Sakuya pointed out.

"Stil," Rinko defended "Something tells me this arrangement is not real Sakuya. I'll find out what it is that guy is hiding."

A/N: Well there's trouble on the horizon for these two.