Disclaimer: The characters and world were created by Konomi for Prince of Tennis
Summary: Atobe wants Tezuka and Sanada wants Tezuka. They decide to compete for the chance to date him but end up falling into Tezuka's trap instead. In the end, things may turn out better than either could have imagined if they learn to work together.
Notes: This was written for a Prince of Tennis exchange for the lovely Cassie. Thank you to my beta, Jen.
And apologies for the original posting. FF ate all of my section dividers making it difficult to read.
It was two months into the new school year, and in that time, Atobe had already defeated all of the senior members who stood in his way of becoming captain, once again been handed the reins of the tennis team, was the representative for not only his class, but for all of the first years on the student council, was achieving top marks in all of his classes and had trusted friends beside him.
But still something bothered Atobe, and he was certain that this time it had nothing to do with the purple tennis courts in front of him. Though, in all honesty, he had had several nightmares of the garish things in the past several weeks, a matter not helped by his father's refusal to have them resurfaced as he did in junior high since these courts were in mint condition. His father just did not understand tennis and that playing on such pansy courts sapped the life right out of him. Not to mention that purple reminded him of something that Higa would have at their school and anything that Higa could possibly approve of made him instantly scowl.
At least the new locker room was well underway and promised to be even bigger and better than the last one with a larger gym and a shower room added on. So while the courts bothered him, there was no reason for him to feel unaccomplished about them. He had discussed things with his father and had at least acquired the locker room and new tennis nets.
Letting out a discontented sigh as he surveyed the second years playing doubles on the court in front of him, he wondered just what he was feeling so anxious about. What thing could he have possibly forgotten about for two whole months? He took out his frustrations on the second years, barking out harsh commands about their game and how to improve it before stalking along the length of the bleachers to observe other groups of players.
"Have you heard the news? It looks like we weren't the only team to have an upset with captaincy," a voice whispered none too quietly to his friend beside him.
"Yeah, I heard that Yukimura and those other two demons he's always with have taken over the Rikkai courts again. Seems the captain wasn't even willing to challenge Yukimura after losing to Yanagi and Sanada. Even though he lost to that brat from Seigaku last year," the other voice replied.
The mention of Sanada had Atobe pausing in what was going to be a quick tongue lashing about milling about and gossiping when there was training to do. Instead he looked at the court in front of him, appearing to be intensely focused on their form when he sharpened his ears to hear more of the conversation.
"Pathetic. Shows how weak Rikkai's become. At least our old captain had balls to play Atobe."
Atobe wondered if the players were blind to not see him standing right there, or perhaps they thought him hard of hearing. However, he didn't care; even if he didn't have their respect yet, he would earn it and prove that he did them all a favour by taking over leadership.
"Too bad those freak freshman had to show up and straighten them out. We could have had an easy ticket to Nationals if they didn't. Even if Yamato from Seigaku made Tezuka his vice-captain, it doesn't mean Seigaku's a strong team, especially since I heard Tezuka's been in and out of sports therapy since Nationals."
At Tezuka's name, Atobe forgot all about pretending not to pay attention and looked over at the two players. One used to be a regular and the other he recognized but had yet to learn his name. "Tezuka is vice-captain at Seigaku?" he questioned, causing the the two gossips to jump to their feet. He had sworn that Tezuka had mentioned Kyuushuu or Germany or some other silly location to run off to for his recovery. It had frustrated him to no end during the holidays to not be able to spend anytime with the man who had held him captivated in a way no other was able to. But if he was back...
Getting confirmation that Tezuka really was in Tokyo and also playing tennis made a true predatory smile surface, much to the horror, or so he imagined, of the players that had been gossiping behind him and were quickly retreating.
At least now he knew what had been bugging him. It was as if his subconscious knew Tezuka was nearby and was wondering why the hell Atobe wasn't doing anything to make the brilliant man his.
From tomorrow on he would work to win over Tezuka until the two of them were joined together with singing birds and the sunset casting the sky in hues of pink and purple with a romantic string quartet playing in the background as they snuggled on the tennis courts. He paused in his thoughts and frowned. He had clearly been spending too much time at the movies with Yuushi, but no matter, he would rectify that from tomorrow on too.
Turning back to the courts he energetically called out suggestions and sent people to run, do weights, or practice their stroke work a new fire burning in him.
In the early morning of the following day, Oshitari watched as Atobe sat on the bleachers. His captain was writing furiously on his clipboard, crossing things out and rewriting words. The intensity of the actions reminded Oshitari of club meetings where they reviewed rival footage and Atobe drilled them on movements and techniques.
"What is he doing?" Shishido asked as he and Gakuto approached the bleachers where Oshitari and Jirou were staring up at Atobe who was continuing to act very unlike himself.
"I'm not exactly sure," Oshitari replied. He took off his glasses to clean them with the bottom of his tennis jersey, then put them back on his face, as if the lenses were somehow to blame for what he was seeing. He had known that his friend and captain could be eccentric at times but this was still rather disturbing behaviour.
"He looks deranged," Gakuto, ever the tactful one, voiced. "How long has he been at it?" He squished himself between Oshitari and Shishido without saying excuse me and flopped down next to Jirou, who seemed half asleep but determined to see this oddity to the end.
Oshitari poked Gakuto in the sides to remind him of manners while Shishido stuck to the more obvious 'scowl and huff' technique. Oshitari was thankful that it ended there and that their curiosity about Atobe ensured that they didn't start bickering. He understood that the two were friends and that they had some kind of odd friendly ritual that involved loud insults and bickering but before 10am it was just too much of a hassle to deal with.
Noticing that Shishido and Gakuto were still waiting for an answers and Jirou wasn't supplying one, Oshitari casually looked at his watch and back up at Atobe. "About fifteen minutes at least he was alrea-" He was cut off by a sound that was likely to haunt all of them for rest of their lives: Atobe had just burst out into what could only be described as joyful yet sinister laughter. It was a sound Oshitari mused that Mizuki, the odd little manager from St. Ruldoph, would make whenever he lured someone onto his team or into admiring the garish possessed garment he called a sweater.
"Ha, I have the perfect plan. This time, it's even as flawless as myself," Atobe declared and as if noticing them for the first time looked over at his friends and gave them an assessing look. "Why aren't you doing your warm up laps yet?" he asked as he smoothed down his Hyoutei high school division jersey as if he wasn't just cackling madly moments before. Oshitari thought that it was really a good thing that the majority of the team had yet to show up or had already begun warm ups well away from the bleachers. It was one thing to accept Atobe as their 'king' but an insane king often got beheaded.
Atobe wasn't used to being shy or nervous or any such emotion. It was a silly waste of energy that could be better used elsewhere. Besides, there was no reason why he had any reason to be nervous or shy, especially around the plebeian school of Seigaku. Still, before he stepped out of his chauffeured vehicle he pulled out the plan he had been working on the day before and examined it.
He knew that by using his natural charm and intelligence he would have, in time, been able to gain Tezuka's affections, but he liked to be organized, to have plans in place and carefully drafted proposals. Seducing Tezuka Kunimitsu would be no different and this would assure him success. Since he didn't have a plethora of hands on experience in these matters, he felt it was prudent to at least have some strategy involved.
The first step was an easy one: all he was doing today was stating his intentions clearly so that there could be be no misunderstanding on Tezuka's part. As much as Atobe respected Tezuka's tennis and intelligence he didn't put much faith in his romantic understandings and aspirations. While the two of them shared an intense rivalry on the tennis courts, it was important for Atobe to distinguish between wanting to play him and wanting to date him.
Hopefully Tezuka would realize it this time as Atobe still found himself grumbling from time to time about how obtuse Tezuka had been at the Senbatsu training camp. He had hardly been battling Sanada for the status of rival that week. Even then he knew his feelings for Tezuka ran beyond tennis, and that he wanted to be recognized by the stoic and proud man.
Brushing fingers through his hair, Atobe stepped out of the vehicle and glided through the school gates towards the familiar sounds of the tennis court. It would be an easy matter to track down Tezuka and ask to speak to him for a moment in private. Assuming, of course, that Tezuka wasn't in some sort of mood where tennis took precedence over a visit from the one and only Atobe Keigo.
Tezuka could sense Atobe's presence before he actually saw him, but as he took in the sharp and determined stride he could already feel the headache coming on. He had wondered how long it would take Atobe to hear news of his reappearance at Seigaku; he had been vainly hoping for at least another month of peace. However, a small smile tugged at his lips as he took in Atobe's disdain for what he would call inferior practice courts and landscaping of the school. It wouldn't do for Atobe to think that he actually liked being interrupted at practice. As amusing as Atobe's reactions to things could be, he still had a tendency to give him a headache and so Tezuka forced his face back into its stoic expression.
"Atobe," he said, nodding in his direction. It was polite but not particularly encouraging.
"Tezuka. I need to have a word with you," Atobe said.
Tezuka saw the pointed look Atobe gave Yamato who was standing beside him and not even attempting to mask his interest at the exchange. "Alone." He tacked on when it was clear that the Seigaku captain was not withdrawing.
After a moment's pause, Tezuka nodded and walked around the corner of the tennis storage and locker room trusting that Atobe would follow. He had a suspicion that Atobe wasn't here to arrange friendly matches between their teams - especially since he was only vice captain. "Better?" He arched an eyebrow to emphasize the question. In his own way he was teasing Atobe's showmanship nature.
Atobe just nodded as he took another moment to study the man in front of him. "When did you get back into Tokyo?"
"Almost three weeks ago."
"And your arm?"
Tezuka was surprised that Atobe didn't demand why it had taken him three weeks and someone else telling him that Tezuka had returned. It softened his expression slightly as his right hand moved to touch his left arm. "It's better." It wasn't perfect yet but it was usable and if he was careful it would eventually make a full recovery. Tezuka could see in Atobe's eyes that he understood what wasn't being said and what his words meant.
"Then I suppose challenging you to a match is out of the question. I don't do things in half measures and I won't accept anyone who does either." It was a statement of understanding and a challenge all rolled into one and Tezuka liked that while Atobe respected him he wouldn't coddle him. Oishi had yet to learn that yet and lately he'd been having more and more disagreements with his friend about how he chose to treat his body.
"I don't accept half measures either," Tezuka stated, meeting Atobe's eyes for a moment to show that he also expected Atobe to give it his all before looking back at his arm. "That's why I'm devoting all my efforts into recovering properly this time." He may be the vice-captain but that didn't mean he had to play in the matches. Especially since he was currently being forced to work on his doubles. While it saved him having to serve half the time and cut down on the strain on his arm he was finding it more and more frustrating every day. Some people just weren't suited to doubles and as soon as Yamato and Oishi realized that the more he would enjoy practicing at school again.
"Good. I can't be seen dating some cripple after all," Atobe said so arrogantly that it took Tezuka a second too long for the words to sink in.
"You heard me Tezuka. Your eyesight may not be perfect but I know your hearing is."
"Well it's a good thing we're not dating then," He said feeling momentarily off balanced as he side stepped Atobe and turned to leave.
"Not dating yet Tezuka! Yet!" Atobe yelled from behind him in a smug voice that made Tezuka's eye twitch slightly, especially when he realized that Yamato had easily heard.
"He's much more forward than your last suitor isn't he," Yamato remarked casually as he watched Atobe emerge from around the clubroom and head towards them. Apparently Atobe had even better than perfect hearing.
"What do you mean last suitor?" Atobe demanded, making Tezuka want to strangle Yamato. But it wasn't proper to murder your captain and so he refrained; he even managed to hold back a long suffering sigh that had been building up in the past three weeks since he'd returned.
"Sanada stopped by yesterday," Tezuka stated quickly before Yamato could ramble off something. Though he really wished he could have somehow avoided either Atobe or Sanada knowing of the other, especially with the look Atobe was now giving him.
"Hmmm is that so?" Atobe arched a perfect eyebrow and Tezuka waited calmly resisting the temptation to point out that Atobe had perfect hearing and heard what he had said. "Well... it seems that someone grew his own pair of balls after all," he eventually said before giving Tezuka his best grin and and saying his goodbyes.
As he left, Tezuka felt impending doom encroaching. Maybe it was time that he actually took advantage of Oishi's offer to listen to him whenever he needed it.
"You sure attract the most interesting people, don't you, Tezuka-kun?" Looking back at Yamato's smiling face, Tezuka made a mental note to talk to Oishi as soon as possible before putting as much distance between himself and Yamato as he could without appearing as if he was doing so.
Sanada leaned over the scroll he was working on, with a careful brush stroke followed smoothly by a motion downward, then to the right. He looked down at the character and smiled. Only one more left and it would be complete. Dipping his brush in the ink, he positioned it over the paper to begin when a loud call of his name startled him into a missed stroke. He cursed quietly, gently setting his brush down and carefully turning before setting a stony glare on the interloper. He would have to talk to his mother about acceptable guests to be let in and those to be left out on the street.
"Atobe," he nearly growled in greeting. With his scroll currently destroyed he wasn't feeling very receptive to Atobe's flamboyant ways. Though if he was here for a match, he would be more than happy to pound him into the ground. No matter what Yukimura thought about Atobe being able to beat him, he knew it wasn't true.
"Sanada, we need to talk," Atobe said as he let himself into the traditional style room Sanada was using.
Realizing that there was no getting rid of Atobe until he had heard the other out, he followed him back into the room and sat comfortably on the floor. "What is it today?"
"I don't approve of your intentions with Tezuka and I have come to lay down the gauntlet, so to speak." There was a small frown to Atobe's lips but other than that Sanada felt that the Hyoutei captain was serious. Just what did Hyoutei teach at their schools?
"My intentions are none of your business."
"They are if they conflict with my intentions," Atobe replied sharply, his finely shaped eyebrows angling down as he frowned furthered.
"I'm still not dueling you as if we're knights fighting over some maiden." Sanada was trying desperately to remain rational but Atobe made that seem nearly impossible.
"Good. Because we aren't dueling over a maiden, we're fighting for Tezuka, and I'm going to win!"
"Are you insane?"
"No! Are you a coward?"
"I'm not a coward, but I'm not fighting you over some idiotic Hyoutei pride matter!"
"At least I'm not a stick in the mud uptight member of Rikkai. You act like some Roman general who's been on the campaign too long and has forgotten how to enjoy life!" Atobe's face was flushed with anger, his sharp blue eyes flashing with the heat of the battle of words.
To Sanada, he looked like a spitting cat and it made him want to laugh or reach out to pet the other's head despite their arguing. He never laughed in foolish situations, and he definitely didn't pet people. Especially when a small voice was telling him that Atobe looked rather cute when all riled up and would only be more flustered and indignant if laughed at.
He cleared his throat and shook his head of stray thoughts. "If it will stop your idiocy, fine." He regretted the words before his voice reached Atobe's ears.
"Excellent. Then you should come by Hyoutei tomorrow and we shall play for the chance of Tez-"
"Impossible. I have practice, and I'm not playing you in front of your ridiculously loud cheering squad," Sanada said, taking some pleasure in cutting Atobe off.
"Well I'm hardly going to play at Rikkai with that incessant droning you call cheering. Not to mention Yukimura tends to be a bit of a spoil sport. You do remember what happened the last time we attempted to play a match to the end."
"If I remember, it ended the same way as it did at Senbatsu when you had it in your head to challenge me to a tennis match."
They glared at each like the stubborn fools they were for even having this conversation. Eventually Atobe scowled and muttered something under his breath before looking away.
"It's like arguing with a giant stone. Fine, then what do you suggest?" Atobe finally asked.
"How about something non-tennis related?" They were, though he was loath to admit it, rather evenly matched with tennis and as they'd never agree on a location anyway, another activity would be best.
"Alright, how about equestrian. I have a small ranch outside of the city; I assume you have some riding experience?" The way Atobe's grin spread across his face, Sanada knew that Atobe was aware of the little experience he had in such matters.
"How about Calligraphy, a noble art that wouldn't be beneath you," Sanada countered, knowing that Atobe couldn't have any more experience with the art other than basic introductions.
They resumed their scowling contest and this time Sanada looked away first. He really had to stop thinking that Atobe was cute all riled; it was doing bad things to his composure.
"Let's ask Tezuka to set the contest then. Though I really think he would prefer to decide for himself who he wants to date," Sanada suggested though he knew the latter half would fall on deaf ears.
"Excellent. And we're not dictating who Tezuka should date, merely giving myself, or if you win," The way Atobe said it made it clear that he didn't think there was much chance of that happening, "yourself a chance to earn the man's affections without another interfering." Seemingly satisfied, Atobe stood and dusted himself off as he straightened his clothes.
"Should we meet with him tomorrow then?" Yukimura would be upset with him for missing a tennis practice but he was sure he could soothe his friend's temper. As long as he left out any mention of Atobe at least.
"No need. I shall call him tonight and inform him of our agreement. That way he'll have something planned before we descend upon him." Sanada thought that was prudent. No need to waste a trip when a phone call would do and Sanada had enough faith in Tezuka for him to be able to see through any of Atobe's attempts to exaggerate things.
"I'd thank you for the hospitality but since I didn't receive any I'll just let myself out," Atobe said. He held his head high as he walked out of Sanada's house with a noble grace.
It took all of Sanada's training to not throw his inkwell at the back of that perfectly coiffed head.
Putting down his book with a sigh, Tezuka looked at the caller id before answering. "Hello." True, he hated being disturbed while reading but if Atobe had something interesting to say it might not be so bad.
"Tezuka, it's Atobe. I hope you're well this evening," Atobe began politely as manners dictated. Tezuka could hear the anxiousness to get to business under the politeness though and was mildly curious to what it could be.
"I was just visiting with Sanada and we've decided that you should pick a challenge for us to do and that the winner will then be allowed to date you."
Tezuka blinked once, then twice, but the words were still the same. Had Atobe really talked Sanada into such a foolish thing? He remembered Senbatsu and sighed as his finger hit the end button on his cell phone. Just because the two idiots wanted to show off did not mean he had to be a part of it.
Unsurprisingly the phone rang again before he could continue reading his book. Atobe's determination was one of the things he admired about Hyoutei's captain. It was also one of the things that often threatened to give him a rather bad headache. Knowing that if he ignored the phone Atobe would just drive over didn't help.
"Yes?" Tezuka stated as he answered the phone.
"Atobe again. We seem to have gotten cut off."
Tezuka smiled at how perplexed Atobe genuinely sounded about their phones being disconnected.
"As I was saying, Sanada and I have decided it should be up to you to decide the contests between us so that it will be fair."
Tezuka let out some noise that could have been taken as a form of agreement but was actually a sound of disbelief escaping before he once again hung up on his self-appointed suitor.
This time he didn't even bother picking up the book but waited for Atobe to call back. At least with Inui there was some time between idiotic phone calls. Atobe didn't seem to get the point and made the whole purpose of hanging up seem futile.
"Have you thought about a new service provider, Tezuka? Maybe a new phone?" Atobe asked.
"No, I'm quite happy with what I have." Tezuka already knew no matter what he said he should probably expect some new gadget from Atobe in the next few days.
"Hmph, you shouldn't settle on something so mediocre. It's not like you. Anyway before we lose each other again, Sanada and I will be by on Friday to get details about our first task. Be prepared." And this time he hung up before Tezuka could argue the point.
Putting down his phone, Tezuka shook his head, a small smile on his face. It might drive him insane in the process but it would certainly be interesting seeing Sanada and Atobe embroiled in some competition. Secretly, he found the way the two of them had looked competing against each other at senbatsu a constant vision in his dreams, especially the ones that led to the inevitable stripping of clothes and wandering hands. Not that they weren't equally compelling when attempting to work together as they had when they were forced to play doubles.
Relaxing back into his chair he picked up his book and managed to read a paragraph before a thought gripped him. They were expecting him to pick the contest. He took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. The sudden headache didn't budge.
"They want you to do what?" Oishi repeated for the second time, still unable to comprehend what it was that his friend was telling him.
Oishi had always taken Tezuka for being so reserved and traditional and not the type to date Atobe or Sanada. Not that he wasn't concerned for his friend; he was. The fact that they were making Tezuka choose events for this weird competition was worrisome. He hoped that Tezuka didn't strain himself with the whole ordeal.
"They want me to be careless like them," Tezuka pointed out calmly though Oishi thought Tezuka looked rather grumpy about the whole thing.
"How about fishing?"
Tezuka gave him a look.
"For the challenge," Oishi added on when his suggestion was meant with a blinking stare.
"Atobe fly fishes. Sanada would be at a disadvantage. "
Tezuka's reply made Oishi wonder if his friend wasn't hoping for Sanada to win and tried to think of something that would put Sanada at the advantage. "A martial arts contest then?"
Tezuka hesitated a moment, clearly thinking about it before shaking his head. "Sanada does kendo, it would be too much of an advantage over Atobe," Tezuka smiled, obviously sharing a similar thought like Oishi was about how entertaining it would be to watch Atobe try anyway.
Clearly, Tezuka wanted this to be an even competition. Or he just wanted to watch his two would be suitors suffer equally for dragging him to their level of competitive insanity.
"Well, why don't you do a few challenges?" He did his best to be encouraging even if the whole thing still boggled his mind.
"A few?" An eyebrow quirked.
"It wouldn't be fair to just have one like you pointed out. Then they could complain about having an off day or the challenge being on the other person's favour. You should do three."
"Three..." Tezuka reached up to rub fingers against his temple.
"You can make them about things that interest you. To see who's more compatible." It was beginning to sound like some weird dating game, but Oishi thought it would serve the two right for giving Tezuka such stress. "You might even enjoy it that way too."
"Hnnn... So fishing, taekwondo and...?" Tezuka trailed off and looked at Oishi for an idea on the last one.
Oishi gave him a smile that showed that the mother hen of Seigaku could also be rather evil with the challenges he thought of.
Yesterday, Tezuka had explained to Sanada and Atobe about the three challenges. It had gone over better than he had thought; Atobe looked pleased and determined as the first contest was announced, while Sanada looked his usual stern though somewhat pensive self. The first challenge was in Atobe's favour and since they weren't aware of the second challenge Tezuka could understand their feelings.
He thought this whole affair was ridiculous and wished that they had just approached him to talk from the start. He was sure he could have offered them something they would both eventually agree on and hopefully enjoy. He knew his idea was unconventional, but ever since Sanada and Atobe made it clear that they both wanted to date him he couldn't get the thoughts of having both of them together out of his head. All he had to do was make Sanada and Atobe see the same without thinking that he was depraved or something. And keep Sanada or Atobe from accidentally killing each other or stop them from retreating before this reached the end Tezuka was striving for.
He pushed those thoughts out of his head as he honestly didn't think he had much to worry about when it came to these two. He understood pride better than most and, with some odd encouraging from Oishi and his weird ideas, he was warming up to the task. Grabbing the needed equipment, he headed out to the meeting place he had told Atobe and Sanada about.
The boat swayed again as Atobe reeled in yet another fish and placed it into his bucket. At the end of the competition they'd weigh their fish and who ever had the heaviest would win. Sanada glared at the fishing pole Tezuka had lent him. It had to be defective; there was no other reason why Atobe was able to catch fish after fish and he had nothing more than a couple tiny ones in his bucket.
Sanada looked over at Tezuka and watched as he also brought a fish up out of the water. After inspecting it, it was let back into the water, Tezuka only keeping certain fish for his own bucket. There was no reason for Tezuka to hold on to every fish when he wasn't competing in the contest. He was the prize and able to enjoy felt shamed at how much he wanted to steal that fish away from Tezuka's hold before it could completely swim away.
It looked like Atobe was also enjoying himself, and Sanada swore if he saw that smug face one more time, he was going to push the Hyoutei captain into the water. Well, maybe he'd wait until they returned to the pier and more solid ground. Ever since he stepped into the boat he'd felt as if one wrong move would have it tipping over, especially when the boat had leaned precariously as Tezuka had moved to show him how to bait the line. Water had actually splashed in from a wave.
Grumbling to himself, he double checked his own life jacket before glaring back at the water. Next time he was forced out fishing because of Tezuka, he'd bring a book to read and leave the fishing up to the pros. But for now, he'd do his best. Reeling in his line, he checked the bait like Tezuka showed him and flicked his wrist to cast it back into the water. There was still a chance to win.
The boat rocked and he gritted his teeth. Go Go Rikkai.
Sprawled on the mats, Atobe wondered how he let himself get into this mess. He turned his head to the right and saw Tezuka there and groaned. Desire made people do crazy things apparently.
Forcing himself to sit and then stand, Atobe adjusted the guards he wore and wondered if they weren't defective. They didn't seem to be a good job of cushioning the strong hits and kicks that Sanada sent his way.
While his rival was a master at Kendo, it was evident from the start that he had had some training in taekwondo, which had Atobe grumbling and trailing by several points. The few kicks he managed to land were more from pure luck than anything else.
Still, the pride of Hyoutei was on this. He couldn't give up and let people believe that Hyoutei were cultured pansies who couldn't fight. Clenching his fists, he ignored the protests of several bruised and pulled body parts and adopted the starting pose for the match that Tezuka had shown him and waited for the command to go. He might not win this round but that didn't mean he should pass up the opportunity to land a few kicks to Sanada's head.
After two weekends of Tezuka's challenges, they were approaching the third and final one. Atobe was debating the wisdom of allowing their paramour to choose these challenges for them as he considered what the final task entailed. He was almost thinking that settling things with a good old fashioned plebeian fist fight might have been easier. The fishing had been easy enough, the martial arts infuriating and somewhat painful. But this newest challenge... he shuddered just thinking about it.
This had to be stopped. Now.
It was only a short car ride to Sanada's house. Charming his mother took even less time and he soon found himself back where the whole mess started, seated on the tatami floor of Sanada's practice room.
He took a moment this time to appreciate the way Sanada's kendo uniform flattered his body. While Tezuka and he both had muscular bodies from their hard training for tennis, their frames were still towards the lithe side. Sanada, on the other hand, had a strong build and broad shoulders. Not that he was doing something as rude as staring.
"Sanada, we need to talk about this last challenge."
"I'm not backing down if that's what you're here for," Sanada said, though he looked rather uncertain about the prospect of going through the last challenge.
Were Tezuka's challenges perhaps an attempt to scare them both away from dating him? But if that were the case, why would he make the first two things that he knew Sanada and Atobe would be good at it?
"I'm not here to make you back down." Atobe paused and frowned. "Well, I am, but I think we should both back down. Tezuka has clearly lost his mind if he thinks we're going to do that." Atobe crossed his arms and waited for the rebuttal.
"And you expect me to trust you on this? I know it's extreme, but my honour won't allow me to back down."
"Damn your honour. How can your honour let you do this in the first place?" Atobe questioned. It was one thing to challenge another for someone's affection but in this way?
"My honour is what keeps me from becoming a selfish showy snob like you."
"Your honour is what makes you a stick in the mud."
"If you came here to fling insults you can leave."
"Or what? You'll toss me around again? Some honour," Atobe spat back, still feeling rather stiff from their taekwondo competition and in a pissy mood now to boot. Sanada looked just as angry, if the flash in his eyes was anything to go by.
"You are impossible to deal with!" Atobe thought that the sparks of anger were a lot more appealing than his usual rigid 'I'm better than you because I'm Rikkai' posturing. Even if the words made him puff up.
"At least I have manners!"
"What manners? You just barge in where you please. Knowing what fork to use doesn't mean you have manners!"
"You're just jealous because I know how to make an entrance and get attention without slapping people around!"
One moment they were practically nose to nose while they flung insults at each other. In the next Sanada was clinging to the front of Atobe's jersey as he pulled Atobe the last few inches until they could kiss.
Atobe's head swirled on contact. The kiss was intense and powerful. But not to be outdone, Atobe fisted his own hands in Sanada's top and flicked his tongue out against Sanada's lips.
In an instant, Sanada not only matched the movements of Atobe's tongue with his own but reclaimed the lead by pressing tighter against Atobe and exploring his mouth. What Sanada lacked in finesse he made up for in passion.
When they finally drew apart they were nearly gasping for air and their hearts were racing. Atobe tentatively raised a hand up to touch his now moist and kiss-swollen lips. Damn. He hadn't been expecting that. But it wasn't bad. He looked over Sanada and decided that he was feeling the same way.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Atobe decided now was a good time to suggest his idea. "What I came here for today, was to suggest we go to Tezuka and force him to change the challenge. The first two show us he wants us to win. There's no reason for him to do something so ridiculous when it's a tie." Atobe noticed Sanada staring at him with an intense fire in his eyes. He looked down to straighten his shirt.
"So you're suggesting we demand another challenge?" Sanada cleared his throat as if still recovering from the kiss.
"Yes. There's no need to abandon the cause because of your barbaric ways of just kissing people." There was no need to point out that he'd kissed back. He'd just blame it on temporary insanity. Just because he found Sanada somewhat aesthetically appealing and a worthy rival did not mean he wanted to sleep with him over Tezuka.
There was a long moment of silence. Atobe looked back up and found his eyes fixed on Sanada's lips again and then at black hair, silently amused by the hat hair. Still, Sanada's lack of communication was getting annoying. Meeting his eyes, Atobe paused and frowned. "What?" he demanded.
"I'm not barbaric and you kissed back," Sanada pointed out evenly.
"That changes nothing about the competition because I'm still going to win."
"You can be such an idiotic mule at times. It's a wonder Hyoutei accomplishes anything with you around," Sanada grumbled, though the words didn't sound as harsh to Atobe's ears as they did at the start of their meeting.
This made Atobe wonder if perhaps Sanada wasn't thinking of some plan on his own. He arched an eyebrow and looked straight into Sanada's eyes, trying to discern what he was really thinking even as he encouraged him to continue. He knew that Sanada still liked Tezuka; it wasn't something so easily changed in the span of a few minutes, but there was more to the emotions swirling in the depths of Sanada's eyes than the ones he held for Tezuka.
"I know this concept is foreign to Hyoutei and especially to you, but do you know how to share?" Sanada's voice was strained as he spoke, as if he was still debating the intelligence of divulging such thoughts.
Atobe watched as Sanada reached up to adjust a hat that wasn't there and instead run a hand through black strands. He had to wonder just what this kiss had done to Sanada's brains for him to suggest something like sharing. Especially since there was only one thing that they both wanted. Sanada wasn't a genius but he wasn't an idiot who would mistake the simple act of battling for the right to date Tezuka with some convoluted menage-a-trois.
"I don't think I see your point..."
"The point is that we've wasted too much time fighting each other instead of getting things done," Sanada stated slowly as if Atobe was an idiot.
Atobe wondered if maybe he wasn't one as the point of what Sanada was trying to get across finally sunk in. If they could tolerate, and even enjoy each other's company at times then why couldn't they enjoy it with Tezuka. True, he wasn't an expert at threesomes but they could hardly be more difficult or scandalous than dating one man. Besides, as Atobe Keigo it was only fitting for him to have a harem of people to choose from. He could probably easily bribe many members of his team to be in it too, even if they were a harem in name only.
Blinking, Atobe wondered if it wasn't his brain power that had died at the kiss. Like he'd want a harem full of the Hyoutei tennis team. He spent enough time trying to control the monkeys. But Tezuka and Sanada were another matter completely. And looking back at the competitions and how they were laid out, maybe Tezuka wasn't able to choose between the two of them because he wanted both of them.
"I am rather tired of all of this running around Tezuka has been making us do..." Atobe said, leaving no doubt that he supported Sanada's way of thinking.
"Then let's meet him like you suggested but instead of whining like spoiled brats about the last challenge let's show him what happens when you make a fool out of Rikkai and Hyoutei." Sanada gave a dangerous smirk and Atobe slowly matched it.
When Tezuka had walked onto the Hyoutei grounds he wasn't sure what he had been expecting. Atobe had asked to speak with him and had requested it be at Hyoutei. Walking towards the tennis club, Tezuka wondered if Atobe didn't want to show off the superior quality of the Hyoutei school compared to Seigaku. The grounds were immaculately kept and the gardens beautifully designed and cultivated. There was evidence of recent construction near the courts and Tezuka had to admit that the club room Atobe had constructed looked much more enticing than the shed with windows Seigaku used.
On his way to the building, Tezuka caught sight of the courts and numerous members of the teams doing warm up drills on what looked like a purple court. Tezuka hoped it was just the shadows cast by the spectator stands causing the odd colour to appear. He also hoped that Atobe hadn't been responsible for that colour choice though it would be fun to tease him if he had.
Giving his surroundings one last look, Tezuka strode confidently into the club room, taking a moment to look into the rooms as he walked down the small hall until he noticed Atobe sitting on a couch in what appeared to be a study room with several computers.
"You wanted to see me?" It was only as he stepped into the room that he noticed Sanada leaning against the wall. Raising an eyebrow slightly at the two of them together, he moved to the couch. The door closed and Tezuka looked over to watch as he moved to sit on the arm of the couch.
"We wanted to see you actually," Atobe corrected, surprising Tezuka as he watched as Atobe rested a hand on Sanada's thigh.
"We don't like your last challenge," Sanada added.
When Tezuka didn't say anything they gave each other a sidelong glance before continuing.
"We both refuse to participate," Sanada pointed out. Tezuka could tell by the way he forced a swallow that he was also pushing down his pride and honour that told him to never back down from a challenge Clearly Atobe had suggested a better alternative.
"And as such we're tied," Atobe said, a grin forming on his face that was dangerous and alluring. "So unless you want to devise some other contrived challenge we have a proposition."
Tezuka was tempted to point out that they were the ones who brought up the idea of fighting for the right to date him but he held his tongue and just gave the two his attention, hoping it was going where he thought it was. "Oh?"
"Instead of having to choose between the two of us, we were thinking," here Atobe paused to give Sanada a conspiratorial look, "that you could have both of us."
It seemed like Atobe wasn't 100% sold on the idea of sharing, but that he brought it up proved to Tezuka that he was more than willing to give it a try. Sanada looked more than pleased by this turn of events and it relieved Tezuka to know that the stern man knew when to relax and indulge.
"So you finally figured it out," Tezuka said with a small smile forming on his face. Yes, it was a careless thing to say since Atobe and Sanada were both proud people who didn't like to be toyed with, but for once, he didn't see the harm in it.
They shared another look between the two of them and Tezuka wondered if perhaps he hadn't been too careless.
"You planned this?" Atobe was the first to break the silence.
Tezuka just shrugged, "I'd hoped for something like this."
Sanada thought that it wasn't such a bad thing to hope for, but going about it in such odd methods wasn't something he'd normally associate with Tezuka. Looking over to Atobe, he decided it was Atobe's fault that things had taken the path they did. He would have to remember in the future that when Tezuka and Atobe were together, the dynamics changed and became more unpredictable than when they were apart. Sanada thought it would be interesting to learn more about the two of them despite his initial reluctance at the idea.
"I think Tezuka should make it up to us," Sanada suggested. He was, after all, a hot blooded male like the others and he wasn't about to throw away an opportunity when handed to him.
Atobe paused a moment at the declaration before he grinned and reached out to pull Tezuka between the two of them. "Yes Tezuka, you need to make it up to your boyfriends."
The title wasn't something any of them had really spoken of, but it had been the whole point of the competition and it went unobjected.
Tezuka said nothing as he reached over to thread fingers through Atobe's hair and Sanada gathered that that was answer enough for right now. After a moment of toying with Atobe's hair, Tezuka pulled Atobe's head towards his and and gave what was probably meant to be a chaste kiss. The kiss quickly turned into a battle of dominance though; tongues slid against each other and hands found purchase in each other's shirts to hold each other close.
Sanada knew from the start that he would not have Tezuka's attention to himself the whole time but was unsure how seeing it first hand would cause him to react. Yes, there was the small twinge of jealousy from being excluded, but the overwhelming heat that rushed through his body was more than enough to drown it out. Satisfied with the knowledge that he could make this work, he ran a hand up Tezuka's back.
By the time Tezuka pulled away from Atobe and turned to him, he was aching to kiss the lithe man. He leaned down and clasped onto Tezuka's shoulders to turn him around. Looking into hazel eyes, Sanada lowered his head and claimed Tezuka's lips with his own. He was so focused on Tezuka he didn't even notice or care when his hat slid off his head and onto the floor.
The kiss was similar to the one he had shared with Atobe in intensity but unlike with Atobe, Sanada eventually let Tezuka take the lead and explore. He liked dominating the proud Hyoutei captain, it was just another competition with Atobe. But with Tezuka, things flowed more easily. Tezuka understood him and what he wanted so it didn't feel like losing in the moments when Tezuka controlled the kiss, or when Tezuka's hands slid down his chest to land at his waist.
There was a short break in the kiss, where Tezuka tucked his glasses into his shirt pocket and undid Sanada's pants. Giving a soft tentative smile, he leaned forward to kiss Sanada again, a hand slowly slipping under material to gently touch his stiffening cock.
The hand was unsure at first, but soon started stroking him with a confidence that alluded to a male with plenty of self-practice. Sanada gasped into the kiss and held Tezuka tightly to him while his other hand buried itself in messy brunet strands. Sanada knew that he could easily become addicted to these sensations and with a small buck of his hips he encouraged Tezuka for more. He had quite a ways to go still to make up for that horrible fishing trip.
Atobe was still working on mastering the concepts of sharing, but he thought for a first endeavor at it with Tezuka and Sanada he wasn't doing so badly. In fact, the sight of Tezuka jerking Sanada off was more erotic than his vivid imagination had been able to supply. Sanada, who was all muscles and solidly defined features, looked savage and alluring as he claimed Tezuka's mouth and bucked his hips for more touches from Tezuka's hand. Then there was Tezuka who had an inherent grace and stillness that surrounded everything he did; it was what drew Atobe to the him from the start. To watch Tezuka stroke Sanada with sharp efficient moves that spoke of this inner nature and the passion he was feeling made Atobe's shorts too tight and uncomfortable and he shifted as he adjusted himself.
Having watched enough, Atobe slid up close to the pair, trailing fingers down Tezuka's injury plagued arm before taking his hand and pressing it to the front of his shorts. He knew when it paid to be direct.
Enjoying the warmth of Tezuka's hand and the curl of fingers around him through the cloth, he pressed kisses along Tezuka's shoulder and the back of his neck, growling against skin as the hand daringly slipped inside of his shorts.
While the touches were simple, they were still coming from Tezuka and it caused heat to pool in his belly. When Tezuka turned to kiss him, leaving Sanada to nibble on his neck and ear, Atobe felt as if he were drowning in some unbelievable fantasy. Tezuka gave himself to the kiss, demanding it to be returned without taking over like Sanada did. It sent shivers down his spine and he pressed closer to Tezuka, wanting more of what he offered, challenging him to give it.
Tezuka didn't have a wealth of experience when it came to making out with other boys and none when it came to threesomes beyond fantasies so when he had both men gasping and demanding more from him he figured he had to be doing something right.
There wasn't much difference between masturbating and running his hands over someone else's cock and he moved his hands in a way he would on his own erection. He decided it had to be more than right when he heard a husky moan from Sanada before his hips bucked wildly as he came. He pulled away from kissing Atobe, his hand still working on Atobe's cock as he leaned in to kiss Sanada. He was tempted to lick at the fluid now covering his hand, curious to know what the taste of the other man was, but refrained for now in order to focus on Atobe.
The Hyoutei captain had slumped back against the couch when Tezuka had broken the kiss and was currently writhing on the couch with one hand reaching over to grip Sanada's arm. His other hand rested on Tezuka's shoulder where it tensed and relaxed in a way that Tezuka was sure meant Atobe was close to coming too.
After a few more hard fast strokes, he was rewarded with a drawn out groan of his name, a very unAtobe like curse and hot fluid covering his other hand.
As he leaned over to kiss Atobe, he had just enough time to wonder if Atobe and Sanada had a spare change of clothes before being flipped and pushed against the back of the couch with both Sanada and Atobe looking down at him.
Atobe was still breathing heavily but a devious smile was in place as he turned to Sanada. Atobe wrapped an arm around Sanad's neck and pulled him in for a kiss that Tezuka could see Sanada quickly took control over, pressing Atobe to him.
Tezuka leaned forward to get a better view of the two kissing, some details fuzzy without his glasses on. The one thing he didn't need glasses for was to know how hard he was and he hoped his repayment for putting the two through challenges that lead to this outcome was forgiven.
The kiss wasn't helping him get his breathing or body back under control. Sanada was relentless with his teasing and skilled with the way he could make his spent body respond so soon. When they heard the soft moan escape from Tezuka's lips unaware they slowly broke apart.
Ignoring the mess, Atobe tucked himself back into his short and then kneeled back on the couch, pulling Tezuka into a kiss as his hands skimmed down Tezuka's sides. They rested a moment at the hem of his shirt but sliding back up along warmed skin to smooth over the expanse of a tight stomach and then higher still to tease Tezuka's nipples. Atobe was rewarded with a throaty moan that made his cock twitch. He had dreamed about the noises Tezuka would make and it was just as magnificent as he imagined. Tezuka was his perfect match.
Looking down from the kiss for a moment, Atobe spotted Sanada running his hands up Tezuka's legs and over Tezuka's covered erection. And there was another match for him, not quite perfect, but Atobe could certainly see the potential.
Pleased with the way things were turning out, he moved to kiss the side of Tezuka's neck, wondering if they were too mature for hickeys.
"You wear too many layers," Sanada pointed out as he tugged Tezuka's track pants, shorts and boxers down Tezuka's thighs so he could easily get to his erection. Sanada didn't make it a habit to rate people's cocks but if he did, he would say that Tezuka's was perfect. It suited the teen it belonged to and as Sanada wrapped a tennis calloused hand around it, he couldn't help but to lean forward and lick the head.
The action caused Tezuka to gasp and buck up. Sanada had guessed that Tezuka wasn't the most experienced of the three of them and it made this all the sweeter. Being one of the first to draw out these sounds, to taste him.
As he worked on Tezuka's cock, he felt Tezuka's hand entangle in his hair, gripping and relaxing but not quite forcing him to do anything but what he already was. One of Atobe's hands came into view, tracing down a toned stomach to swirl around a hip bone and rest on an inner thigh. Sanada was pleased when Atobe let him continue his work without debating that he wanted to be the first to make Tezuka come. It seemed for now that Atobe was content to toy with Tezuka's nipple and nibble along his neck.
Together, they made short work of Tezuka, who looked exquisite as he came, his head tossed back in bliss and a quiet gasp of pleasure escaping his lips.
Oddly enough, Sanada remembered a similar look on Tezuka's face the day his match with Atobe had ended. It was a turn on to know how intense Tezuka could be about everything he did, but it was going to be hard to watch Tezuka ever play tennis again without thinking of him sprawled on this purple couch and completely sated.
Climbing up onto the couch, Sanada gave Tezuka a gentle kiss and gave a genuine smile as Tezuka's eyes focused on him. "Enjoy?"
The nod he received in reply was more than enough for now.
After plenty of more kisses, the three of them reluctantly stood to straighten out clothes, change if needed and overall try to look presentable.
Atobe was worried that they had spent too much time in the club room enjoying each other's prowess when he heard the first sounds of people entering. The clubroom hadn't officially been opened yet to the regulars, but Atobe knew his friends wouldn't let that stop them from snooping around or using the facilities before it was potentially barred to them if they couldn't make the regulars this year.
Giving Sanada and Tezuka a quick sweep with his insight he decided that yes, they did look well debauched but figured that as long as it was Shishido or Jirou who poked their head in then they'd be fine. Those two probably wouldn't even clue in to the rather large hickey on Tezuka's neck. Tezuka hadn't noticed it yet, but when Sanada had noticed he only shook his head in Atobe's direction. Atobe didn't really feel that chastised though since Sanada had then looked back at Tezuka with a smug look before ghosting fingers across his neck.
There was a muffled "What's in this room?" right before the door opened and his four friends piled into the room. Clearly his good luck had given out on him.
"Oh sweet," Shishido said, his eyes first spotting the newest computer stations.
"You call our clubroom being invaded by Rikkai and Seigaku sweet?" Gakuto asked, his voice clearly questioning Shishido's sanity.
"No. That's lame." Shishido's eyes raked over Tezuka and Sanada, seemingly oblivious for the moment about what had just been going on in the room.
"I'm sure Atobe doesn't think so," Oshitari drawled, bringing the attention back to their captain.
Atobe was thankful that he was used to being the centre of attention and didn't have much in the way of shame. "Of course. Who else would I want to initiate the couch with?"
Tezuka and Sanada reacted first. Nothing showed on their faces, both of them trained in the arts of stoic looks, but the way their eyes flicked to him told him that he'd be paying for this. He'd be looking forward to it too.
Oshitari just smirked and Atobe decided it was best not to discern what was going through the genius' head right then.
He hardly had to guess what was going through Gakuto's and Shishido's heads; he could practicaly hear the click as everything connected.
"Oh, that's just gross. Atobe! No sex in the clubroom!" Shishido yelled, his eyes still darting between the three of them as if they would suddenly start making out on the couch again if he didn't keep strict supervision on all of them. Shishido was a good friend who called it like it was but Atobe thought the poor boy needed to get laid so he'd be less high strung.
"Hey, at least we'll know better than to sit there and can laugh at all the senior losers who do," Gakuto pointed out and for once it seemed like Shishido and he were in agreement as they both beat a hasty retreat out of the room. Their loud voices making fun of the situation, and the poor unsuspecting fools who would use the couch, still could be heard until they drifted well into what Atobe assumed was the direction of the gym.
Turning to Jirou, Atobe arched a brow, waiting to see what his reaction would be. It was hard to tell with Jirou if he was even fully awake and taking in the scene and just when he might explode to become a ball of energy.
"I hate when I miss all of the fun things when I fall asleep." Jirou's arms stretched up into the air as he yawned, a patch of tanned stomach on display for a moment before he shuffled out to finish exploring or to find a spot to nap on comfortably and dream of the fun he had missed.
If that had been anyone else, he might have been slightly scandalized; as it was he couldn't help but want to pet the sleepy blonde. Especially since Jirou had managed to actually crack Tezuka's and Sanada's stoic expressions. The two of them were looking slightly startled and even embarassed after Jirou's proclamation, it was quite amazing.
"I think we should go and check up on the children. I'll speak with you later though," Oshitari nodded at Atobe followed by Tezuka and Sanada before leading Jirou out the door.
As the door closed, Atobe collapsed back onto the couch and was immediately joined by Tezuka and Sanada who both let out long sighs.
"Perhaps next time we should meet at my house," Atobe eventually suggested, earning looks from the others that said 'clearly'.
Letting out a soft chuckle, he wrapped his arms around the two of them and decided that now he had everything he wanted this year.