Thank for the wonderful reviews—I hope I won't be on an indefinite hiatus like the last time, because I still do love Keigo and Ryoma :DDD
On another note, I'd also like to post up the long shot fics I've been mentioning—Hyotei!Ryoma AU and Gender!bending fic AU Ryoma as well. I finished them last year and I'm not very satisfied with them, so I'll post them up as soon as I do the finishing touches ^^;; I've gotten a lot of request for the fic by e-mail than I expected, so I'll just go ahead and post them J
If I have an excuse for my hiatus it's mostly because I have written a long and epic fic of angst! Atoryo to quell my frustrations of real life =_= Go me and my stress relieving ideas.
abhorsen3: Glad someone shares my views :D Ah well, drama and Keigo goes well together, so fun to write angst with him. Thank you for your review—I didn't know you were still in the fandom but I'm really glad you still are!
EchizenRyomaLover: Ah, the realities of love :D Never took Keigo for one, so might as let Ryoma be the sensible one, eh? :D I'm glad you liked it^^
This is in high school, as it is for all my fics. J
The sun was blazing. The crowd was shouting.
And he was crouching down like an idiot.
"Hyotei! Hyotei! Hyotei!"
Except the cheers weren't the loud cheers he knew from experience. He knew how the Hyotei cheering squad would get—they could take down a building with their screams. Kadiou-senpai could confirm that himself—he was always glaring at the 200 athletes "who couldn't be a man enough to taunt him face to face." He never really cared; all he had to do was win his game and the cheers automatically quieted down, only to regain full force once the next match came up. The cheers never ceased, shouting and cheering and taunting.
Except that, right now, those cheers of confidence and arrogance was a hesitant one, discordant, fragile.
He leaned against the fence and watched from his carefully hidden disguise—hell knows what Keigo would say if he showed up here. Most likely tease him and embarrass him and make him go sit up front with the regulars where Oshitari would send him a smirk and Mukahi would pounce on him. He was comfortable at a distant, in his dark sunglasses and his old man's cap.
" Yukimura, 4 games to 2!"
It wasn't a bad start, but Keigo was panting like mad while Yukimura smirked across the net. He let out an unconscious sneer. Always so full of himself, that captain. Even more than his egoistic boyfriend. Yukimura was pulling out all his stunts now, those tricks that made him into the Child of God or something. Keigo barely could make it to hit the next shot.
"Yukimura, 5games to 2!"
He was complementing whether he really wanted to see this match; it was Rikkai after all, and Yukimura; surely Hyotei had no chance….? Keigo played well, sure (loath he would be to admit such a thing) but that captain played better and he was a sadist. Keigo wasn't the one to deal well with sadists. (And the irony of it all, he once had laughed at how easy it would have been to beat Rikkai. Captain duties in his third year had changed that.) What made him get up on a bright Saturday morning to watch such a fucked up line-up was something he didn't want to ponder on too badly. He snapped his attention back to the game—it was only going to last a few more minutes at most and he could sneak back to his house to pretend this never happened.
Keigo returned the next shot. And the next. And the next.
Ryoma raised an eyebrow. Okay, so maybe he should erase his negative trail of thoughts. Keigo never showed him that shot before. He should file a complaint later and demand for another match.
Keigo's expression changed from frustration to glee, his blue eyes glinting in the sunlight and his lips curved into a smirk. Yukimura wasn't fazed by that (Ryoma honestly didn't think he would be) but those delicate eyes narrowed. He served.
Keigo returned it.
Keigo ran out of stamina a long time ago and yet he was still playing. Ryoma knew the limit of Keigo's tennis game—they played matches too much for their own good when he came over—Keigo once complained they played more than they had sex (Ryoma had smacked him for that). He knew the shots Keigo used, the strategies Keigo planned, and vice versa. What was the monkey king planning?
The next shot was tense. Keigo's jaw tightened as he returned it, but returned it he did, and Yukimura didn't go as far as to reach it.
"Atobe, 5games to 3!"
Ryoma frowned. He didn't like this sense of déjà-vu. This was something like Tezuka-buchou would do, not the arrogant Atobe Keigo.
"Hyotei! Hyotei! Hyotei!"
The cheers grew louder. Keigo's legs were turning into an ugly shade of purple.
"That was some game," Muhaki commented as he made his way up the bleachers, "You had us worried up there for a sec."
Keigo rolled his eyes. "No, really?" he ventured sarcastically, wincing at the state of his leg was in. His right knee blossomed a dark shade of red that spread out to the size of his fist. This was going to take some time to diminish. He still managed a smirk at Sanada; Sanada glared in return as he was ice-massaging his own captain. The sweet taste of victory was worth the pain.
A towel was thrust at him.
He yanked the towel away from his face. "What in the—"
The curse words he were about to spit out was forgotten. Ryoma stood there, his face livid and his eyes narrowed. Keigo was about to snap at his idiot of a boyfriend to please, hand the towel in a more dignified way, perhaps?—but was lost for words as Ryoma threw a water bottle at him next.
Keigo glared. Ryoma just glared back.
"Oh, lover's spat," Muhaki snickered, shoving Hiyoshi, "Hiyoshi, you're up next. Kick that devil's ass."
Hiyoshi threw a withering look at his senior before muttering about trespassers who had nothing to do on a Saturday morning to come and cheer for a team who didn't even need cheerleaders (at this both of the glares were directed at the second year). Keigo held the glare for a split second more before sighing and sitting down on the bench, towel in one hand and the bottle in the other. Ryoma took the seat next to him.
The regulars pretended not to notice.
"Obviously you're an idiot," Ryoma told him bluntly.
"Obviously," Keigo said dryly.
"You're so full of yourself."
"So you say now."
"What the hell were you doing?"
"Trying to winning a match. In case you haven't noticed, Echizen, that seems to be the goal of any sane tennis player."
Keigo threw him a sharp look. "Must we go through this again?"
"If you're going to go ahead and ruin your leg, then yes," Ryoma retorted. "You should have stopped."
"Yes, and forfeit the match? I won, didn't I?"
"You didn't need that win," Ryoma muttered. Oshitari stepped near them and handed an ice pack wordlessly to Keigo, but Ryoma snatched it away. Oshitari's eyes held amusement for a moment before he let his mask slide into place. He stepped back.
"I needed it."
"You already made it to the nationals. You don't need a regionals win for that."
"Such a realist," Keigo snorted. "Tezuka would be proud."
Ryoma hit him with the ice pack. Keigo winced.
"I see we need help with some abusive problems," Keigo said, rubbing his arm where Ryoma had hit him.
"No, you enjoy the pain," Ryoma drawled, reaching down to rub the swollen bruise on Keigo's pale skin. "Machoist," he added as an afterthought.
Keigo scowled. "Brat." He was silent for a moment before adding, "What were you doing here, anyhow?"
"To see you lose."
"Ahn. And laugh after it in my face?"
"How well you know me."
Keigo scoffed. "You beat Yukimura once before. There was no way I could have lost."
"In case your genius mind slipped, you lost to me too."
Behind them, someone coughed. Keigo huffed and tried to snatch the ice away from Ryoma. "Give that here."
"No," Ryoma said, rubbing an especially swollen spot. Keigo hissed. Ryoma didn't stop the rubbing, but he did soothen it with gentle pats around the wound with the ice. He was silent for a moment.
"That really was stupid," Ryoma said, too quiet for anyone to hear, not even Oshitari. His eyes were downcast; Keigo couldn't see his face.
Keigo sighed. "Yes well, tennis players tend to do stupid things. You don't need to tell me that." Ryoma didn't answer him.
The rest of Hiyoshi's match was a quiet affair, with the occasional insane laughter of Kirihara's and the referee calling out the scores. Keigo studied Ryoma's hunched form, bended over to tend to his leg, and he had half a mind to reach out and touch those black locks. He thought it wise not to. The freshman was still pissed at him for god knows what. For acting self-sacrificing as his own captain?
"If by all means it'll make you happier," Keigo sighed, too tired to argue, "I'll forfeit the moment I feel my body is in physical pain, since it's obvious you care about my well being more than I do."
"I don't," Ryoma snapped, "Go ahead and ruin your other leg; see if I care."
Keigo rolled his eyes. "yes, and your concern is very touching, too."
Ryoma chose not to answer, roaming in Kabaji's bag for a roll of bandages and wrapping it around the juncture of Keigo's knee. The rest of the regulars were pretending to watch the match; Muhaki's eyes were darting between Hiyoshi and Ryoma every so often that it was blatantly clear what was holding his attention more.
Keigo examined it. It was a clean wrap, an unlikely skill coming from a boy who only knew how to handle tennis and his cat. "Thank you, I suppose."
"I'm not exactly going to thank you for the abuse you sprouted at me early, would I now?"
Ryoma smirked. "You might," he said. He sat back on the bench again.
Keigo eyed him warily. "Are we done lecturing for the day then?"
"I wasn't lecturing. I was stating a fact."
"A fact," Keigo drawled. His leg wasn't throbbing so much anymore, and he felt sensible enough to guess why Ryoma had appeared out of the blue when he would usually be crouched in the back seats pretending he hadn't come. "Well then, let me enlighten you with a fact: I'm not as rash as your captain to injure my legs so I might go for an infinite health training down there in Kushyuu. I took a gamble I was fully sure I could handle and I won. Your captain sacrificed his arm for a noble cause. Two very different things, Echizen."
Ryoma scowled. "Whatever," he muttered. His shoulders tensed, then relaxed. "Too bad. I would have preferred to see you lose."
"Thank you for the vote of support," Keigo said sarcastically. "Now that that's settled, should we kiss and make up?"
"I'll kick you."
He still brushed his hands lightly together with Ryoma's and linked their fingers together; Ryoma didn't pull away.
1.I have no idea where I wanted to go with this…..maybe because I was too sick of Tezuka's noble causes for his team….argh.
, Keigo won to Yukimura. Clearly we all see which team I support. The beauty of fanfics.
Hiyoshi. He should have won but nobody cared since they all wanted to see the snark. I still love you Piyo.