Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis.
Description: They had promised him the world. What he got was a bunch of broken promises. Will he be able to move on? Will he be able to learn to love again? Will they realize their mistakes? Broken OT5, eventual Thrill.
Lady Monozuki: So this is a total 180 from my Prince of Tennis one-shots. This story is filled with a lot of angst, drama, and a depressed Ryoma. My warnings to you: it will have suicide attempts and other elements that I can't mention yet for the sake of plot. Another thing to note is that this fic is set eight years into the future. I hope you enjoy!
Special thanks to: SelfHatredIsCommonEnough for betaing this chapter.
Chapter One: Heartache
His hands shook as he stared at the tear-stained picture. Every day that they left him alone to think about their relationship, the deeper he sank into darkness. Their promises echoed perfectly in his mind, reminding him of everything he no longer had. All he could think about was their betrayal and how no matter what, every time they said "I love you", they had never meant it. His chest squeezed tighter, making it difficult to breathe. Their faces flashed through his mind as he shook. The object in front of him started to blur.
When did I need them so much? When did I become last in the relationship?
Pinpointing a time didn't come easy. In fact, he still could not figure out when. Many factors played into their relationship, but only one brought theirs to an end. He remembered giving up tournaments just to be with them, sacrificing his profession and life. All he wanted in return was their full attention and love, but received nothing but half-hearted passion. They were faking most of the time, and to know that hurt. He poured everything he had in this relationship and tried to make everything work.
However, his attempts failed. Everything he did never measured up. They started leaving him behind, not caring about their fifth lover. Why did he ignore the signs? Why did he pretend to be happy? Why did he go through all of the torment? To be loved by them. He did everything for them. After that day, he gave up. He did not want to have to put on shows to get attention. He wanted them to love him no matter what he was doing, but they never cast a glance in his direction. Everything that had happened over the past seven years meant nothing, just like him.
Several times, he convinced himself to hold out a while longer, with the promise of a better day. However, those days never came and they left him to drown in his pain, to fall deeper into depression. In spite of their poor treatment, he knew that not everyone wanted to treat him this way. No, one person was pulling the strings in their relationship, and he knew who that person was. He adjusted the sling that supported his arm. Two nights ago, that person pulled him aside, demanding to know why he did not immediately respond to the summons.
He answered and then something unexpected happened. His brain had tried to sort out a reason as to why, but he did not understand why. They were the ones who did this to him. Because of the injury, he had to give up playing tennis. He shuddered at the memory. He had hoped that things would start to turn around, but he ended up enduring another abuse that pushed him closer to the edge.
Ryoma suppressed the urge to cry. He would not allow himself to do so in this house, he didn't want them to see his weakness. A small chuckled escaped from his throat. He knew how pathetic he had become. If they were paying attention, they would have known. But they didn't. He wouldn't be shocked if one day they would forget that he even lived there.
Not like that will matter soon anyway.
When he first moved here, he thought that everything would get better and that they would live a happy life. He had wrestled with the decision for several weeks before finally accepting. At first, everything turned started out fine. However, when he actually decided to attend tennis tournaments every time he came home, it felt like a different place. After a few years, he knew that he had made the wrong choice. He knew where he first went wrong too, choosing Atobe Keigo.
When he had first played against the diva, he could not help but feel that there was an odd connection between them. They were so much alike but different at the same time. Somehow, they had started talking and the next moment they shared in a needy kiss. At first, they didn't love each other; they used each other to get what they couldn't have. Eventually they each managed to snag boyfriends and left their "romance" behind.
He had started dating Fuji and enjoyed the time with his boyfriend. However, he could never forget about Atobe. When both of their relationships went through rough patches, they found comfort in each other. While they never crossed certain lines, they knew that no matter how hard they tried, they would not be able to forget the few moments that they had spent together.
After being unable to deny their attraction for each other, they decided to confront their boyfriends about the situation. They had expected a blood bath, but got a surprise of their own. Tezuka and Fuji had been involved earlier and admitted that they still liked each other. After they all realized their feelings for one another, they came up with a compromise.
They became a foursome. They made an extra effort to develop their relationship to one outside of sex. After some time, they had become so familiar with each other that they could sense moods and needs without the other speaking. The consistency in their relationship became too stifling. Atobe had even gone so far as to send them all on vacations so that they could have a break.
When their fifth member, Sanada, had approached Ryoma about joining, they became excited. The former vice-captain brought a new element into their relationship, which they needed. Adding another person also brought strains on their relationship, but they dealt with that rather well. The beginning of their five-some was ecstasy. However, it did not take long before everything went from bad to absolute hell.
He flinched at the memory. Every time he thought back to that day, he felt invisible hands touching him, hurting him. They were unfamiliar hands and they continuously assaulted him. No matter how hard he tried, he could not erase them. Ryoma shivered as he felt them crawl up his back. He tried to remind himself that this was part of his imagination, but they felt so real. A crash somewhere in the mansion brought him out of the haunting memory.
Several times, he had tried to overcome this fear and feeling, but never had any luck. He was afraid that the assaults would never go away either. On top of that, his life with his lovers pretty much came to an end. The one time he let his guard down turned his life into a walking nightmare. Rejection was one thing, but absolute solitude and abandonment were another. He couldn't convince himself to leave. After all, his family left to enjoy a life abroad not too long after he left them. Ryoma once thought about getting a place of his own. But he couldn't.
I'm so pathetic. I can't do anything without them.
Despite his inability to live on his own, two nights ago brought him to this point. He had been studying for one of his college courses. After all, he would not be able to play tennis professionally forever. In the middle of his studies, an unexpected person called him. Keigo demanded him to come into their old room right away. However, he was in the middle of answering a question and didn't want to lose his train of thought. He had a lot of make-up to do because he missed a good number of classes due to an illness and putting it off would not help. His teachers had already given him an extended deadline in the first place.
He had finished the question before going to answer his older boyfriend's call. Because he did so, the diva got even more angry, resulting in an injured arm and a notice he would never forget. Just remembering made him feel ill all over again.
"Brat, can't you even show up when Ore-sama calls you?"
"Gomen Kei-Atobe, I was in the middle of doing my homework."
The other person scoffed and glared at him. Ryoma felt uncomfortable standing under his gaze. The piercing eyes brought him back to that night one year ago. It took everything in his power to stay focused on Atobe and not give in to the darkness of his memory.
"W-where are the others?" he asked.
"Ore-sama sent them away to talk to you, gaki."
"Why don't you tell me why I'm here then?"
At first, the diva did nothing. Then, without warning, Atobe lunged forward and grabbed his wrist in an attempt to pull him into a kiss. Frightened by the sudden advancement, Ryoma pushed him away, screaming "No! Leave me alone!" at the same time. By the time the whole ordeal ended, he saw Keigo on the floor, obviously dazed by the reaction. The usually well-mannered heir stood up and pushed him. His arm landed painfully against the bedpost. His eyes widened in shock and pain shot up his arm.
"Ore-sama does not know what to do with you anymore. You have one week to get pack your things and get out of Ore-sama's sight. Ore-sama cannot stand living with you anymore."
Tears threatened to fall again. When he needed them the most, they had pushed him away. With no remorse, they had trampled on everything that he gave them. Not all of them totally abandoned him. Fuji made an effort to try and see him and even dealt with Atobe's wrath when caught. However, the visits were few and far between. They made him start to question if the tensai even loved him.
Fuji had been one of the reasons he kept holding on. He hoped every day that the sadist would come visit him, hold him again, and promise him that they would pull through this. However, that had not happened recently. With their rejection and the constant reminder of what happened a year ago, he couldn't move on from the deep pit of depression. The pain brought him to this point; he could no longer live like this.
If any one of his four boyfriends had given him a reason to believe in them again, he would not consider this option. However, years of abuse and heartache took a toll on him and made him this way. They didn't care for him anymore. Fuji had not come to visit him recently, which hurt him more than anything else. With his parents gone and the other Regulars going their separate ways, he had no one he could turn to at this point. No one would care about him like he cared about others. No one was there to help carry his heavy burden, and no one came to support him when he could no longer stand.
A tear slid down his face, he could no longer prevent himself from doing so. Not even bothering to wipe away the tears, he opened up one of the small drawers to his rickety desk. He loved them all, even at this point, he cared for all of them had wanted them to feel for him in the same way. However, if he could not live with them, he would rather not live at all. Nothing would change in his future he knew that. He had given up on hope.
He pulled out a piece of paper along with a thin blade. This would be his escape from all of the pain. If he slit his wrists, everything would be over and he wouldn't have to deal with the ache in his heart anymore. No one would miss him. Another tear fell down his face as that thought continued to resound in his mind. Their lives would be better off without a broken person like him.
Before he put his plan into motion, he began to write out their promises to him. He could hear their voices whispering or saying them in his mind. Every one of them, they did not keep. That's why he had no reason to believe in them. That's why he would give up on life.
Love doesn't really exist. People just use you until you are no longer worth anything or something happens so they can trample on your already broken heart. If I knew that love would cause nothing but pain, I would have never fallen in love, let alone with four men.
With a sigh, he put down the pen and looked over the piece of paper. Ryoma hoped that they suffered while he was gone, but doubted they would. He closed his eyes and calmed himself before bringing the cold metal to his wrist. Even though he had planned on doing this a number of weeks ago, he had put the plans off in hopes that they would come back to him.
You're such a fool for loving them. You are such a fool for believing that they would come back to you.
Now that he stopped believing in their words and his own, things would get better. He didn't want to live his life confused and walking around in darkness. If he ended everything here, things would be better. He would be dead and they could finally move on without needing to remember him.
At that thought, he pressed the knife deeper into his skin, causing blood to flow from the small puncture. He started to move the blade, red flowing as he went. The pain felt numb in comparison to his heartache. He choked back a sob, which caused him to cut deeper than he meant. He flinched a little but still pressed the metal into the wound, he would rather die than continue at this point and no one could convince him otherwise. After what felt like minutes, he dropped the blade and looked at the damage on his wrist. Red covered the usually white skin, a sign of the end.
Objects in the room began to warp. He blinked a couple of times, trying to sharpen his vision. It did not help. The room began to spin, making him nauseous. He started to feel heavy. His eyes closed and he feel deep into the darkness.