Summary: Memories are worth a lot. Especially if they're memories created by Atobe and Ryoma.
Disclaimer: I wish I owned it. Sadly, I don't.
Ryoma was sleeping in Atobe's bed while the narcissist took a shower. Atobe got out and surveyed the scene before him. Smiling regally and somewhat regretting the shower, he became sentimental. 'Hey, brat, wake up. Wake UP.' He sat near the edge of the bed and poked and prodded him and took off his cap and blackmailed him using Karupin.
'Asshole. Let me sleep, damn it.'
'What happened to the "mada mada dane"?'
'Mada mada dane.'
'Ore-sama is not laughing.'
Atobe was rewarded with a cheap girly floundering imitation of his words from a thoroughly-pissed tennis super rookie.
'Ore-sama is not laughing now, either.'
'I didn't expect you to. Shut up.'
'What happened to the—'
Ryoma was SO ticked. He pushed himself up. Kissed Atobe before he could complete his sentence. Said a few loving words ("I will kill you and then burn you and hire a few guys to toss your ashes in the rat-infested areas of this town if you wake me up now."), and then rested his head back on the fluffy pillows.
Then Atobe's eye fell on a certain drawer he had never opened since last March. He was bored, Ryoma the Recalcitrant XVI was refusing to rouse, and he never had a taste for feeding and playing around with cats like his lover did.
He got up and walked toward the drawer. It was the first one in the second column of drawers in his study desk (although it was actually used for far naughtier purposes).
He grasped the handle and pulled. The drawer budged open and Atobe was surprised like hell. Then he remembered. 'Fuji…'
The contents of the drawer were PHOTOS. Of him and Ryoma. Taken by Fuji. He remembered that it was Fuji's present for them on their 2nd anniversary of getting (and somehow being) together.
He took the photos out and returned to his place on the bed. He made himself comfortable (ordered fifteen maids to clean the place up and make him a cold coffee, complete with ice cream and froth and ice) and then when it was all over, he inserted a straw into the coffee (which had come with a big piece of Hershey's dark chocolate speared through with a toothpick) and started browsing the photos.
The first photo was of them kissing. On top of a precariously high branch (Ryoma's favourite sleep place, other than Atobe's lap and bed). Well, not exactly kissing the usual way. Ryoma was close to falling down, Atobe was doing everything to hold him up, while his legs were wrapped around the tree trunk.
Memories are of infinite genres…
When They First Got Together: Memory #1
Atobe was yawning because Jirou was yawning. Atobe was yawning because he was sure the cocky brat was asleep high up in a tree somewhere. Atobe was yawning because there was nothing to do at Seigaku.
Tezuka approached him. 'Atobe-kun.'
'Drop the –kun, Tezuka.'
Tezuka raised a slight eyebrow. 'Atobe.'
'Ore-sama commands you to speak, imbecile.' Now everyone was familiar with this side of the (Freaking Arrogant, Crazy, Self-Loving) King.
'How the purple heavens is ore-sama supposed to know? He is a member after all of your worthless team.'
'Yes, Atobe, but the fact remains that you are in love with him, and I know that you keep tabs on his location all the time. So you and your bodyguard are always in the street tennis courts in the evening, and I have personally seen you lurking around the tennis shops which are around the corner from Ryoma's house.'
Atobe sputtered. 'Ore-sama!? Ore-sama is not in love with that stupid cocky brat who's too small for his sneakers—'
'Big for his boots, Atobe, get your idioms right.' Truth be told, Tezuka detested people who used idioms. And used them incorrectly.
'He isn't big, and ore-sama hasn't seen him wearing boots, even at the formal ceremonies he rarely goes to. Ore-sama is always around him and—'
Tezuka pushed his glasses up his nose, much in the fashion of Inui when he and his latest version of bug poison were flitting around from teammate to freshmen.
And with that Atobe was cornered. Shit.
'So, where is he?'
'Kabaji is not my bodyguard.'
'Where is he? It is time for our dual practice with your team.'
'He's in a tree at the end of your tennis courts. Third branch on the right.' Atobe said resignedly. Where did Tezuka acquire such a power?
Tezuka hid a small smile. 'Can you please get him?'
Atobe tried to grab at what arrogance he had left and … left the grounds to fetch his unrequited love.
'Thanks, Kunimitsu.' Fuji said from behind Tezuka.
'Nothing.' Tezuka said, receiving a kiss from his lover.
He noticed the camera in Fuji's hands as he followed Atobe.
Atobe was walking alone for the first time in days. Kabaji usually was like his shadow, but today Atobe was shadowless.
He walked toward the exact Ryoma-inhabited tree, full of misery.
'Brat.' He called. He shook away his desolation and brought back his narcissistic arrogance.
'WHAT DID YOU SAY?' No one told a swear word to Atobe Keigo. No one, not even fuckers like Ryoma. Although, Atobe mused, to him, Ryoma wasn't a fucker.
He started climbing the tree. To hell with his dignity, he wouldn't let the brat get away with telling him to "fuck off". Like he would actually do that. Like he would do what Ryoma told him.
The diva who hadn't ever put his foot on a place higher than his bed was incompetently trying to best a tree.
Somehow the epitome of arrogance managed to scale the branches to the one which Ryoma had made his bed.
'Oi! Brat! PontaBoy!' He shook Ryoma's shoulder. He knew he was in love with the prodigy; it stunned him that he was touching – TOUCHING – RYOMA ECHIZEN. But then, nothing could stun him more than his own beauty.
'What is it, duffer?' Ryoma opened his eyes and sat up, manoeuvring himself so that now he was sitting normally on the branch.
'Don't you dare call ore-sama a duffer, you peasant! You should be snivelling at my feet in gratitude!' Atobe declared. He too sat on the branch (un)regally.
'Now who would want to do that?' Ryoma mumbled.
'Ore-sama heard that.'
'Only you would be stupid enough to think it wasn't meant to be that way. Mada mada dane. Why are you here?'
'Oh. Dual practice. Right. Now get off the damn tree so I can go.'
Atobe looked down. He looked toward the trunk. He saw no way down. 'No. Ore-sama demands we be here for some more time.'
'Just admit you can't get down from the tree, Keigo.'
Ohhhhh. Ryoma called Atobe by his first name.
'Why don't you, then?'
'Ore-sama doesn't want to.'
'Listen, Keigo, I swear if I don't get to TENNIS practice with two minutes I will push you from this tree. You can fall to your death.'
Atobe didn't think Ryoma was serious. So he didn't do anything until Ryoma put two hands on his shoulder and back, applying considerable pressure. Atobe slid downward.
'OH SHIT ECHIZEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING, YOU IMBECILE?' Atobe screamed, hugging the tree. Ryoma's eyes were murderous. 'You are keeping me from tennis, Keigo, and I carry out my threats seriously.'
Who knew the PontaBoy was such a tennis freak?
Atobe couldn't think of a way to distract the tennis rookie. So he (against his better judgement) kissed him. And to his surprise Ryoma kissed him back. They kissed for a while. Atobe hoped this wasn't one of Fuji's brilliantly-orchestrated pranks. Then Ryoma pulled away. 'Thanks. I wanted to do that for a while.'
'What?' Atobe asked stupidly.
'I love you. That is why I wanted to kiss you. Now I've got my wish. That means I won't have any pangs of conscience when I push you off-KARUPIN!' He started sliding off himself.
Atobe rolled his eyes and grabbed hold of Ryoma (with his legs still hugging the tree like no tomorrow). Ryoma clung to him. Atobe said, 'When you're about to die the last word you can think of is the name of your freaking cat?'
'My cat is not a freaking cat. It's a Himalayan cat.' Here, Ryoma's immaturity came into effect.
Atobe rolled his eyes again. Ryoma looked away. And Atobe kissed Ryoma again. This time they didn't stop. Not for a while.
Another victory for Fuji the matchmaker/photographer.
In the end the mother hen of Seigaku, Oishi, looked like he'd have a heart attack if Atobe and Ryoma didn't show up soon. So he nagged everyone into searching for the duo. And it turned out they were harmlessly sitting on a tree and making out like the apocalypse wiped out tennis tomorrow.
Of course the juvenile Eiji pulled up a rhyme from somewhere. 'Atobe and Ryoma sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!'
Kaidoh and Momo couldn't stop blushing. Kawamura had mysteriously vanished. The rest were trying to figure out a way to get them down.
Finally they had to call the local fire brigade. 'Hello, two idiots are stuck in a tree because after the second one got up he couldn't get back down.' Oshitari hissed furiously into his phone.
Atobe yelled, 'Who the hell are you calling an idiot!? KABAJI climb up here! Ore-sama desires some Pinacolada!'
'Who the heck are you kidding, duffer?' Ryoma cried.
'If Kabaji put one hand on a branch he'd bring the whole tree down on us all!' Eiji screamed.
Jirou just looked on and said, 'Hey, nice place for sleeping.' He tried getting on but everyone rose as a mass tsunami wave and pulled him away from the tree.
When the truck arrived, and Atobe and Ryoma got down to much chastising from Ryuzaki Sumire and Sakuno (although Sakuno mostly brandished her polite-angry words at Atobe – she didn't know how arrogant and stupid he was) and Tomoka ("You blah could blah have blah died blah ugh blah"), everything was in chaos. Somehow the school people got to know something happened in the tennis courts and then there was nothing but noise as everyone crowded around.
Ryoma and Atobe looked at each other. Tezuka off to the side was pinching the bridge of his nose, clearly acquiring a mirgraine, and Oishi flitted around them like a dragonfly. At least he didn't cluck.
'Want to make them shut up?' Ryoma offered. 'Buy me a Ponta later.'
'Gladly.' Atobe grinned. And he swooped down on Ryoma and suddenly everyone was treated to the view of an arrogant idiot and a cocky brat making out passionately.
Tomoka had immediately started bawling her eyes out. Sakuno was the perfect image of a princess who discovered her prince preferred men. And Ryuzaki Sumire popped an aspirin and gave one to Tezuka, who stoically and gracefully accepted it. Inui scribbled, scribbled, and people wondered what he was writing. Maybe the angles at which they kissed, probability of it turning into something more in the next ten seconds, something like that.
Or maybe he was just pretending to write about the kiss, but really concocting the recipe for his next bottle of cockroach acid.
Eiji immediately cried, 'Want to kiss Oishi like this!' And then the hen was chased by the cat.
Feathers flew. No doubt about that.
What FINALLY happened: The Hyotei team was bullied into seven hours of running laps by a thoroughly pissed Atobe ("Come on, Captain, we're not homophobes, and anyway, we were a better choice than the brat" or "We could have had a Hyotei team-some! But no; you had to go consort with the enemy"). The Seigaku team was ignored by a thoroughly pissed Ryoma ("Hey O-chibi how was the kiss? Did you like it? O-chibi? O-chibi? O-CHIBI!" or "Ryoma could you spit into this test tube I am making a new aphrodisiac and you look like a good kisser").
Atobe glanced at Ryoma. He was still sleeping. He shook his head and moved on to the next photo, smiling.