This came out of an extension from my fragment story, Reality and Ideals. If you want the not-so-deep-philosophy behind it, go read that one first J Reviews and criticism are always welcome.
Fucking rain. He never liked clichés.
He was running. It was a good action to do when he was frustrated. A match with his old man always made him cramped, exhausted, furious. He solved that by running. Clear nights were the best. The moonlight shone his steps and he could run until his anger had been worn all out. Those nights he pretended he was anything but—anything but this hell of an obligation his father put on him, the desire of victory, the taste of success. He ran until he could barely understand who he was, and for the moment he could feel elation.
He never bothered to show his emotions. Why would he? He knew how to control them. He had early lessons by being beaten the shit out by his old man, putting on scowl after scowl of defeat before he realized that it was useless. What was the use of the scowl? It was a sign of weakness. Anger was the sign of defeat. He didn't need to show his father the proof of that. The habit stayed; a smirk to anyone and a ruthless challenge thrown in the air, and the consequences could come after.
He was running now, but he wasn't feeling any more soothed. His sneakers pounded against the pavement and his socks were already wet from the rain. His breathing was hard and his legs were trembling yet he couldn't stop—no, he wouldn't stop.
He hated that voice. It haunted him in his nights, when there should be nothing but him and Karupin and it haunted him in his life, where the bastard had no right to be. He hated arrogance as a child, for his father showed him plenty, and the hatred remained. They may have dated and they may have kissed and they may have fucked (Made love? Had sex? What the fuck was the difference) but that didn't mean anything. It wasn't some sort of a commitment.
Last name callings now. Shouts becoming farther away. Sounding desperate., but that might be his imagination speaking for him. Atobe Keigo was never desperate.
Funny thing. When he first agreed to date the person that had his hair shaved off by yours truly, he was amused. Most probably a revenge on the monkey king's part for the misfortune in their teenage years. Or perhaps getting the next best thing after Tezuka. They were both young and wanted to be the best. It would be fling, nothing less. Most obviously both sides agreed on such a thing. It was a snarking, casual relationship. He was fine with that. They were fine with that.
But now that stupid idiot truly sprouted a monkey brain and decided to refuse his engagement. Keigo was nineteen, for Christ's sake. He would someday be running one of the biggest companies in the world. And the same man was out in the rain with him and decided to chase him down to shout out some cheesy line from an overrated drama to commit himself and live a happy ending. The hell.
"Fuck, Echizen, would you stop!"
If I wanted to stop I would have done so half an hour ago, he thought darkly. Clearly that brain of his was not having its best day. He increased his speed. He expected Keigo to give up like the gentleman he was brought up to be and leave him be. He didn't expect Keigo to pounce on him.
He was running slower than he thought, as he made a sound between a squawk and a groan as Keigo literally threw himself at him and sent them both crashing down the pavement. The rain failed to cease as Ryoma felt his entire T-shirt getting soaked and his knees possibly scraped. Keigo sat up after a groan, but still had him pinned onto the sidewalk ground as he situated himself on Ryoma's legs. Ryoma tried to sit up and glared at him.
"Yes, and send you off running again? I'm not that stupid."
"You could have fooled me," Ryoma bit out. "Get off me or I'll punch you."
Keigo sneered. He was angry, Ryoma knew. He could list reasons. Angry that he didn't jump in joy that Keigo broke off the engagement for him? Angry that he wouldn't leap at the chance to live with his great majesty? Angry at things that Keigo was a right fool in the first place?
"We need to talk. You're not going to help that by running."
"Outside? In the rain?"
"I offered a five star restaurant. You're the one who bashed out that door and ran."
"Obviously," snapped Ryoma, "What should I have done? Should I have kissed your feet?"
"You," hissed Keigo, his face leaning toward his—his stupid heart was beating again thumpthumpthump— "could have refrained from acting as a child."
"A child?" he echoed, and he gave out a mocking smirk, a tossing laugh, "I could have never. God knows what that would do to your reputation."
"I asked you something very simple. You had a choice."
"You also said something very stupid. Or did you forget that?"
"I don't see why my engagement is an issue. It was my decision—"
"You and your fucking decisions," Ryoma spat, his eyes now surely blazing, the anger too great to contain, "You think that your decisions are what's best for everyone. You think that by saying this is going to change us? You know what we are. Why the hell would you try to change that?"
A flash of hurt spread across Keigo's eyes, but Ryoma convinced himself he was right. This was possibly the only time he would be right about anything related to Keigo. Other times he was too muddled up to be thinking right, their breathes too tangled up for him to think, kisses that made him melt inside, touches that sent his train of thought crashing against a wall—
"I don't, honestly," Keigo said, calmly as he possibly could, and in this situation too, "You tell me."
We don't have anything. And even he couldn't say that out loud because it sounded too empty to him and it was far from the truth. He wouldn't have been wasting a good two years of his time if this was nothing. Then what was it? He knew what it was and what he wanted but he also knew what was supposed to happen. A relationship with Keigo wasn't one of them.
"Nothing," he finally said, because that was the simplest way, and the simplest ways were often the best, "Nothing. We have nothing. Get off me so I can go pack my bags. I have a New York flight tomorrow morning."
"Running away when it suits us, Echizen?" It was a jeer, an old reminder that Ryoma had ran away too many time in his life when it had suited him.
He really did punch him then. Hard, so that he hoped Keigo's jaw would break and blood could spill and then maybe, maybe Keigo would hate him and he could go on and not feel guilty about it afterwards.
Keigo swore, stumbled down and freed his legs, which he took as the opportunity to stand up and try to run again. Keigo grabbed his ankles and pulled him to the ground again, hard.
"You're just proving my point," Keigo snarled, calmness thrown out of the wind as he dragged Ryoma towards him. A sight they were making, the two of them, Ryoma thought wryly, before his lips were covered with Keigo's own and his hair yanked by Keigo's hands. The pavement was hard and rough, and little stones beneath him were making it hard for his head to properly relax, but he soon forgot about discomfort as Keigo pinned him and just continued to kiss him, prying open his lips and letting him taste the rain.
Ryoma tried to bite the bastard's tongue but Keigo, expecting such a response, just continued kissing while fisting his wet hair more tightly. He let out a whimper, closing his eyes and wishing that this was something he could have. Keigo's body felt warm against his own.
There were simple things in his life. He had tennis and a Grand Slam to win and tournaments to go to and the world to conquer. He had Karupin and more tennis and maybe fragments of Seigaku and its passion. He had losers to taunt and players to defeat and barriers to leap over with a smirk. There was no Keigo related to any of those simple things. Adding in Keigo would complicate things. Make them both miserable.
But there were his desires. When he was secretly pleased that Keigo had shouted to him once, in the middle of their fights gone too far, that he wasn't dating Tezuka, he was dating a hell of a brat who was too stubborn to see it, Ryoma had just stared at him, lost for words. Or when he was ill with a fever and too sick to call up anyone, Keigo had suddenly burst into his house unannounced, bringing with him a handful of remedies that surely would work, some way or the other, looking so unbearably smug that Ryoma whacked him with a pillow.
Desires complicated such truths. He gasped for air when they broke apart, his mouth sore and his mind whirling, while Keigo just loomed over and looked at him, his grey eyes unreadable with subtle meanings. He gently leaned down to rest his forehead with Ryoma's; his mouth was too close again.
"Grow up," Keigo said tiredly, "Even children aren't as idiotic as you."
"I don't see why I'm the idiot here," Ryoma said, equally as tired, power gone from his body. What he wanted to do just then was rest, curled up in his bed and forget this ever happened. Today was supposed to be their last, damn Keigo. He had been steeling himself for this ever since Keigo wanted to have dinner in a five star French restaurant. A break-up to remember by. A memory to laugh over when he was older.
Instead Keigo had crossed his legs and quietly said, "I broke off the engagement." And had searched a response out of him. When there was none, he had continued on, saying that he thought they had dallied enough time and Ryoma was living alone, so why not grab a place of their own? His throat had stopped but he still managed to choke out a casual jibe, "That sounds as if we're going out, monkey king."
Keigo had an annoyed look on his face, perhaps because of the use of his nickname for the uncountable time, before he raised his eyebrow and replied, "I thought that was the premise, yes."
Ryoma had just stared at him then, and he noticed Keigo's shoulders were tense and his fingers maintaining calm and eyes meeting his own steadily. He had stood up and ran out.
"You could have broken my jaw," Keigo muttered, snapping Ryoma back to the present.
"You could have been smarter," he retorted, "There are a lot of could haves, Keigo."
Keigo sighed. "I could have hated you and sued you for harassment."
"Harassment? You were the one who pushed me to the sidewalk!"
"You could have acted maturely for once in your life and said yes."
"It wouldn't work."
"So optimistic, Ryoma."
"You'd thank me later," Ryoma said, letting his eyes roll upwards so the rain could hit his face and sting his eyes, anything but to meet those grey-blue eyes, "And when you do, I'd like some compensation for my injuries."
"I never thought you had a thought beyond tennis," Keigo said dryly, "How wrong I was."
"Well, I never thought you could possibly be more of a dolt. So we're even." Keigo stilled at that.
"What won't work?" Keigo asked, too quiet to hear in the pouring rain, but Ryoma heard it nevertheless.
"Everything." He closed his eyes. "You're going to regret it."
"I don't decide things to repent them later."
"I love you."
And that came so out of the blue, so unexpectedly, that Ryoma jerked up, only to collide heads with Keigo, making them both wince. "What?" Ryoma stated dumbly after he got over his little concussion. Trust Keigo to pull his last resort onto him so suddenly. And it worked too, bastard.
"Ever the composed one for surprises, I see," Keigo grimaced, feeling his head for any bumps on his forehead, "I'll sue you for this too."
Ryoma just blinked at him, lost for words as he tried to reel it all in.
"Honestly," Keigo said, a little exasperatedly, "I didn't ask you to move in just because it would make my sex life easier. You underestimate my morals."
Ryoma scowled at that. "You could have fooled me." He complemented this in his head, rewinding the choices and the disasters that would soon follow.
"You're still an idiot," he said, "And you're still going to regret it."
"My regret, not yours."
"I thought you were straight."
"Excuse me? Why is my sexuality suddenly the issue here?"
"Just," Ryoma shrugged and looked away. "Your poor fiancé. So do I get the engagement ring?"
"You ran away at the prospect of living together. I'm sure engagements could come after."
Ryoma let a small smirk to lift up his mouth. "Right. That is, if I say I want to."
Keigo stared at him indigently for a moment, shock evident on his normally placid face. "No?" he echoed, "I tell you I love you and you say no?"
"I said I was going to New York tomorrow, dumbass," he deadpanned, "We can't move in together even if I leaped for joy."
Keigo glared at him. "That's not what I meant." When Ryoma didn't answer him, he sighed. "You know what I meant, Ryoma."
"You're trying to make my legs break. Move first."
Keigo eyed him. "You're not going to run away again?"
He rolled his eyes. "No."
Keigo hesitated, and then shifted his legs so that Ryoma was freed. He stood up and Ryoma followed suit, wincing at the sudden blood rushing through his legs. Keigo studied him, trying to make sense of his refusal.
Ryoma stuffed his hands into his pockets. He sometimes wished he could make absolute decisions and stick with them. He was about to make a big mistake and he was still going ahead and giving it a try.
"You have your work in Tokyo. I have the tournaments coming up," he elaborated, quickly going on when he saw that Keigo was about to argue, "It's not going to work that way."
"I'm not saying it is," Keigo snapped, "I'm saying I'm willing to try. Our—this….relationship."
Ryoma tilted his head. He gave it a brief thought, but the answer was clear to him. It was clear to him ever since Keigo blurted out those words without intention. Reality be damned. "Fine. We don't have to move in and we can still have sex. It could work."
"You know that not what I meant—"
"I love you too," he cut in, thinking that there would be hell to pay in the near future, "And I still think we're both idiots—wipe that stupid smirk off your face monkey king—mmrrphhh!"
His lips would be swollen come tomorrow, and he could at least blame Keigo for that. Keigo could pay for his old man's outbursts when he found this out too; his only son going out to hook up with a boy. But the beating of his heart—thumpthumpthump—against Keigo's own, was something he could blame no one but himself.
A/N: Yes, I took the rain cliché and used it shamelessly. And Ryoma's a stubborn asshole, but we still love him. :D