Title: The Lucky Jerk
Summary: Ryoma's in love, and the Seigaku team won't rest until they find out the identity of the lucky jerk... and in the process, Ryoma's paired with almost everyone on the Seigaku team except the real guy, who isn't even on it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Prince Of Tennis. The whole thing (genius, if you ask me, for creating people like Ryoma and Tezuka and ATOBE...) belongs to Takeshi Konomi.
A/N: I'm BACK! –is thrown out of the fandom with the words "No one missed you." Limps back miserably– Hullo. Anyway, I hope this thing is funny, and you enjoy it. Please review. Pretty please!
Ryoma yawned. He scrunched his eyes shut, and tried to go back to sleep. His hand felt around for the snooze button on the alarm ('frickin'—') and pressed it. Twice, just to make sure. All the previous seven times it had rung again. Then his hand touched something furry beside him, and he reluctantly opened one eye to see Karupin licking his paw and rubbing it over the top of his (own) ear. 'Mm, Karupin...' Then he promptly went back to sleep.
Karupin blinked. He'd thought the eighth time the alarm would ring was enough to actually wake Ryoma, but apparently not. He extended a paw and knocked the alarm off its table so it crashed to the floor and broke. Ryoma jumped up like a startled cat. Like Karupin's startled twin, really.
As soon as he saw the broken clock he added two and two and was about to scream 'NO CATNIP EVER AGAIN' at Karupin, who was innocently licking his paw again, but then he saw the time on the clock before it had stopped. 9:15.
Fifteen minutes late for tennis practice. He shot out of bed, into the bathroom and grabbed the toothbrush.
Karupin interestedly watched his owner multi-task. He'd never known his owner could brush his teeth, wash his face, pull on his tennis uniform and tie his shoelaces at the same time. He'd never known anyone who could, actually.
As Ryoma dashed out of the room with his tennis bag, he grabbed a pen and a notepad. He stopped only for a moment near the dining room table, to leave a small note: "Tennis. Back soon."
He was assigned thirty laps, one for each of the minutes he was late. Tezuka didn't look kindly upon those who in turn didn't look kindly upon punctuality.
Not to mention the team members of Hyotei, who were sharing their practice, were out for revenge, and wanted the brat to come play with:
'No, idiot, he'll play with me.'
'Kabaji, you play singles tennis? I didn't know.'
'WHAT DID YOU SAY?'
'Ore-sama commands you plebeians to shut the fuck up! The brat is playing with ORE-SAMA.'
'Ah, nice sleep... oh, Echizen? Of course he's playing with me.'
'There is this astounding item called vocabulary, Kabaji. Ore-sama recommends you obtain it, instead of courteously slighting ore-sama's hair in your peasant-like one-word language because you KNOW he shall play with ore-sama.'
Anyone would have four migraines at once. Where were Coaches Sakaki and Ryuzaki when you needed them?
So Tezuka had assigned the unpunctual Ryoma Echizen thirty laps while the Hyotei members glared at the white cap bobbing in big circles (actually, rectangles) around them, and then went back to playing against whoever they'd been forced to play with.
After Echizen was done, he approached Tezuka. 'Buchou, I'm done...'
'Okay, then. Good. Go cool off. Yudan sezu ni ikou.'
'Yes, buchou...' Echizen strutted off. But as he walked away Tezuka was damn sure he heard a 'mada mada dane' thrown back at him.
He started thinking up possible punishments and made his mind up to ask Fuji for some sadistic ideas.
Atobe was wondering where Ryoma was. Could he have escaped tennis practice on the pretense of "cooling off"? No, no. He loved his dear tennis too much to betray it.
He took a break from his match, by just dropping his racket, stalking off the court, and letting the ball returned by Fuji hit the chain-link fence. He went toward the water taps. And what he saw there, immensely touched his heart (and squeezed it like an orange). Ryoma was softly snoring away on one of the benches near to the taps. His cap had fallen onto the floor, and one hand was hanging down the side of said bench.
Ryoma was woken from his sleep by a shadow over his face. He opened his eyes and saw Atobe. Strangely, Atobe was smiling… before he noticed Ryoma's state of consciousness and changed his expression to nonchalant arrogance. 'Brat. Good to see you.'
'Monkey King. I'd say the same, but I'd be lying like a con at his parole hearing.' Ryoma was inwardly disappointed with the disappearance of the smile.
'Ore-sama's illustrious name is Keigo.'
'Could be confused with King, I suppose. And you look like a monkey, so there we go.'
'Does ore-sama really?' Atobe towered over Ryoma. The vindictiveness in Atobe's eyes made Ryoma sit up hastily, but then Atobe grabbed Ryoma's shirt collar leaning down. 'Ore-sama did not appreciate the insult.'
Their faces were two inches apart. Ryoma noticed the closeness, and suddenly found the urge to whisper, 'Yeah? And what'll you do about that, Keigo?'
And then Atobe was kissing Ryoma. Fulfillment of a long-neglected wish. He gently tongued Ryoma's lips and was pleased when Ryoma gasped and pressed closer to him. 'Ore-sama's wanted you for quite a while now...'
Ryoma just kissed him deeper than before. 'And if you'll not want me after this I'll kill you... mada mada dane...'
Fuji was strolling leisurely toward the vending machines near to the water taps. He took out two coins, inserted them in the slot, and pressed the button which said "Lemon Soda" in blurred katakana. As the can rolled down to the dispenser, Fuji picked it up and popped the seal, bringing it to his mouth and taking a sip.
Fuji looked. It was Echizen. Whose cap was pulled down lower than normal. Was Echizen ... Fuji was slightly stunned. Echizen was ... blushing?
'Senpai, how d-do ... mada mada ... how do y-you know if-if—ugh, bullshit, why can't I—mada mada dane, to hell with it, senpai, how do you know if you're in love?'
Fuji didn't know which thing he'd choked at. The question asked, or the stuttering with which it had been asked.
After a short while of awkward, embarrassed silence Fuji answered. 'Well,' he began, unsure, 'you blush around them. A lot. Kind of like how you're blushing right now. Then, you can't stop thinking about them. You get jealous of people around them. You want to forever be with them. Your heart beats faster around them. You simply know you're in love with them.'
He didn't miss the look of surprised recognition on Ryoma's face. 'Who are you in love with, huh?' Fuji asked cheerfully. He fooled himself thinking Ryoma was really about to answer before Ryoma smirked. 'Just asking, senpai, that's all. Mada mada dane.' He walked away, leaving a very interested Fuji behind him.
Ryoma got to his room and took off his cap. Fuck. What's wrong with me? He took a piece of paper and furiously scribbled down a few points.
And then tallied them with his own feelings. Blush around them. Tick. Can't stop thinking about them. Him and his stupid beautiful face and hidden smile. Tick. Jealous of people around them. He hated the giant. Tick. Want to forever be with them. He wanted to forever play tennis with him. Tick. Heart beats faster around them. Tick. Know you're in love with them...
Ryoma slowly put a tick beside that point...
...and groaned as he realized he was in love with Atobe Keigo.