Cinammon Sweet.

Fuji Syuusuke could do nothing but stare.

He was currently standing on the squared arch that separated the changing rooms from the showers, as he watched with open eyes Echizen's lithe figure as he glided towards him, who was sitting on the changing bench.

It was like observing a train wreck; he was unable to tear his gaze away, even as he felt some hidden part of him being ripped in two smaller pieces.

Atobe Keigo, no other, just sat there, a lazy grin and laughing eyes as he kissed -kissed , Echizen Ryoma. Echizen kissed back, unaware of the half-hidden figure he wasn't facing. The smaller teen broke the kiss and started sucking and kissing his way down the diva's jaw and throat, coming to rest on the juncture of shoulder and neck, allowing Hyoutei's tennis captain to lock eyes with Seigaku's counter expert.

Atobe was no fool. He may act pompously and shallow, but in fact he was a possessive man, one that noticed the way people around him regarded the boy now straddling his thighs. Echizen Ryoma, he was his weakness, the only one capable of dethroning the king. At first, he had hated his guts, not used to someone standing up to him, and confused by the reaction that his brash attitude caused in him.

After a while, and being the smart person he considered himself to be, he realized how much the smaller kid affected him, and came to love him just like that, bratty attitude and defiance.

He was thankful the other teen didn't really think he was a 'monkey-king', and had accepted his advances. After a little while (about four months' time) they had started dating, after they got around all their bickering and pent-up frustration, that is.

Now, the diva considered himself the luckiest man alive. He had now a loving boyfriend (though he tried to hide it, the brat.) who he loved very much so, he was still rich and fashionable, and sinfully handsome. The only obstacle still on his way to absolute happiness had to be -obviously, none other than Fuji Syuusuke, a thought which always managed to sober him up.

The dubbed counter expert had, since about forever, pursued Echizen amorously- his body, at least, and it ticked him to no end. He was subtle, sometimes, as he was not called a prodigy for nothing, and he managed to wind Echizen into long discussions or walks home and witty bantering. At one point, during his own Echizen-courting days, he had felt he almost lost him, as Fuji suddenly made it his responsibility to bombard the younger male with carefully-planned propositions and dropping hints as subtle as a tonne of bricks falling over someone's head.

Luckily- for there wasn't much more to it- Echizen had been too innocent and focused on the task at hand, none other than tennis- to notice, or acknowledge, anyway.

So, back to the near-present, Atobe had taken it upon himself to ensure one, and only one, person knew of this little relationship Echizen was in; he was going to make sure Fuji realised who exactly did his boy-crush belonged with. No one knew of their 'relationship status', as they found it was easier, and neither of them was willing to deal with people's reactions, but this was necessary for him to finally be at ease. If he was to be absolutely sincere, it frightened him to think someone, especially someone as cunning as Fuji, would make Echizen waltz away from his life. The golden-eyed prodigy was everything for him, and he was perfectly fine with sacrificing a piece of their intimacy to keep that lustful vulture off his boy.

Fuji knew something was wrong when he saw Atobe Keigo, Hyoutei's resident diva and tennis captain, making his way through the hall, towards the tennis fields. What surprised him the most, aside from the fact that he was in Seigaku, was that there was no trail of fans or even that big muscular bodyguard- Kabaji, he was called- following him, and worshipping the ground he walked on. He was dressed in plain, fitting dark gray jeans, and a thin, white button-up shirt, through which he could see a long-sleeved black piece.

Fuji had been thinking, for the thousandth time that day, about how gorgeous Echizen's eyes had looked today. Those normally emotionless golden orbs now reflected a tiny bit of anticipation, and he had forgotten to scowl when Kikumaru called him 'Ochibi' after morning practice, which had ended 10 minutes ago, give or take. He was parading the school, since out of nowhere his teacher decided he couldn't stand his face, when he crossed paths with the silver-head. Said teen barely gave him a second glance, but walked confidently in the direction of the tennis clubroom.

'Well, if curiosity killed the cat, he had six more lives left, right?' he thought as he made to follow on a seemingly-disinterested way.

His thoughts strayed once again to the teen that currently took up most of his overloaded brain. It was as if he couldn't get his mind off him for even a second, not when he remembered those green-hued golden eyes looked his way, or when he imagined those skinny arms wrapping around his neck, pulling him close. He was everything he ever dreamt of, he was perfect. He had the most amazing body, a quick mind- rivalled only by his own, and the most velvety voice, one that made him madly aroused. From that little fact, and his apparent failure at covering it up, a rumour had spread about how Fuji only lusted over Echizen's body; stories were made up, as they always were, telling how he was caught peeking at the prodigy through the shower stalls and trying to seduce the brat. And while the last part was true, just not in such a sexual way, he had never lusted over his body without having already lusted for his mind.

He loved his tennis, for instance, and it turned him on more than he cared to admit. He loved everything about Echizen, from his physique, admittedly stunning, to the very way he blushed when Inui reminded him how he hadn't grown an inch and to the way he refused to look at people in the eyes unless issuing a challenge or making some cocky remark.

He didn't do anything about the gossip, though. As you can probably guess, it's not as simple as going to some girl and telling her to tell everyone she knew that, actually, his love for Echizen went far beyond the sole adoration of his body. It had cost him some suspicious glances from the once he wanted the most, but he was capable of bearing it if it just meant he would look twice at him.

He was uncharacteristically startled as the fine sound of Atobe's voice registered in his brain. Right, he had followed the diva. Ugh, he was losing his sadistic ways, and it was all that freshman's fault.

The voice came from the clubroom, and it sounded as though the captain was talking on his phone, as no other voice answered him back.

He decided to go in, find out what the diva wanted, and make sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Echizen hadn't made up a completely lame excuse and actually stayed to fulfil his courts-and-clubroom cleaning duty, uncharacteristically.

He waited until he heard the phone slid shut and silence to overtake the room, before making his appearance, greeting the teen with his usual mask and grin firmly placed; he never quite liked the Hyoutei king, neither did he like all the attention he gave their -his- baby of the team.

"Atobe." said teen acknowledged him with a curt movement of his head, just staring at him, impassive, daring him to demand the reason to his whereabouts.

Fuji was not one to fall victim to this man's provocation.

"What brings you here, at this time, too?" though he wasn't intimidated, he still had to be cautious about his intentions.

"If this is about Echizen, I suggest you look elsewhere. Practice ended a while ago." he continued. He didn't like the possibility of Atobe stalking Echizen, but it was a probably true, anyway.

"Eeh? Really now. Ore-sama will wait for him, then." Atobe smirked, and suddenly Fuji felt he was missing out on something very important, what exactly?

"You know..." the diva, "you should go into the showers before he comes, Fuji." why?

"You know, him being my boyfriend and all, it could get awkward."

That last part resounded in his mind, as it was said in such a snide tone, he felt bile rising up his throat. The lack of 'ore-sama', the powerful smirk, the knowing eyes... ugh.

He tried to calm himself down, and sucked in a shaky breath. "What-"

"Shh, here he comes." he patronisingly guided the fair-haired man over to hide behind the curtain of the first shower stall and sat down at the bench that faced the still-shocked genius head-on.

Fuji barely registered what had happened, the words "my boyfriend" made it impossible for him to do anything about the commanding hand on his back, and he let himself be guided to the 'hiding place', his genius mind still going through all this information.

How? Why? When? Nothing made sense. Atobe Keigo, out of all people! He couldn't -shouldn't- believe it. But then, there was that tone in his voice that was so possessive and harsh. He raked his brain trying to figure this out. If his thoughts didn't betray him, there was, like, no possibility these two got together, not only were they polar opposites, they also couldn't stand the other's presence.

Maybe Atobe was playing with his mind, yeah, that was probably it. But what could've motivated the extravagant captain to go to such lengths just to shake him?

Well, he was answered a moment later, just as he was about to open his mouth to call on Atobe's bluff, nothing less than the sound of the clubroom door opening stopped his motions.

Brought back to his thoughts, he was granted about 20 milliseconds to pray to whatever deity still considered his prayer worthy, because there was no way that was Echizen on the door.

He could only stare from his hiding spot at the back of Echizen's messy mop of black hair in despair. Shit, it seemed he was in no powerful deity's good graces at the moment.

He kept silent, and didn't move a muscle, something inside him told him this was the only way to find out. Because he needed to find out, as much as he didn't like to or want to believe it, he needed to know if the diva really did hold Echizen's undivided attention. Please.

In silent shock he gaped at the sensual figure moving to straddle the diva's lap, kissing and sucking on his neck, and then all hell broke loose inside his overheated brain.

It was all so sudden, out-of-the-blue, one day he was (un)happily nursing his one-sided crush of the smaller prodigy, and his only relief came from the fact that his affection wasn't the only one that went by unnoticed. Then, one random autumn day, it turns out his love wasn't returned because he was previously engaged with 'ore-sama', in a serious relationship, by the looks of it. I mean, they seemed far too comfortable with each other's body for a lesser thing.

He looked on in horror and bewilderment as the couple kissed and touched and blushed and moaned and-

What the hell was he doing, watching something like this? He made a quick check-list of his feelings and discovered that, for all he was worth, he couldn't pin-point exactly how he felt.

He was angry, and sad, and, and... numb and confused. There wasn't a single, clear emotion in the open cerulean eyes as they roamed all over Echizen's movements, as he sucked on the Hyoutei's captain's flesh, and could only watch in heartbreak as said man reciprocated, feeling the smaller man up, as they engaged in a heated make-out session.

Fuji couldn't deny the sight turned him on, more than just a little, but the throbbing in the confines of his ribcage was far more urgent than that in his pants.

As his eyes connected once again with the clear eyes of the silver-haired man, he finally understood the full of this tricky situation: the boy he held responsible for countless sleepless nights, the one that kept him from concentrating and focusing during classes (not that anyone noticed), had a boyfriend. A boyfriend that, first of all, wasn't him, but Atobe Keigo from Hyoutei Gakuen; Said lover loved the boy very much, he could tell by the way he looked at him, and also knew Echizen loved him back- by body language, for he couldn't see his face. He had studied psychology on his own for a while, focusing mainly on the interpretation of body movements and gestures, and was painfully aware of the way their heads were always in synch, how their bodies shifted when one moved, always looking to accommodate the other. He could see, as it was now much more clear to him, that Atobe wanted to make sure he could see these things, he had allowed their feelings to surface in his presence, had lured him here on purpose, sparing him the awkward conversation that would otherwise eventually ensue, and the embarrassment that it would cause.

He now saw that he had no chance, he never had, to conquer that brat's heart. He belonged with the other male, and there was no hope for him. His love was platonic, purely, as the boy was as physically close to him (as schoolmates and team-mate) as he was emotionally distant, thousands of miles apart.

It hurt, in a completely foreign way for him. He never had been heartbroken, hell, he had never been in love: the prodigy he prided himself on being wouldn't have allowed that. It was a rookie's mistake, fall head over heels for the one person he couldn't have, go for the kid with the ever-present cocky smirk, and the challenge that hid the delicate and fragile figure of the one named Echizen Ryoma.

He could have anyone he wanted, because everyone wanted him. But the one he wanted, wanted Atobe Keigo, not him.

Fuji, feeling defeated and disoriented, forced his gaze from the entwining hands and the happy smile 'Keigo' gave his Ryoma, Fuji now forgotten. Said boy sat down on the floor of the shower, not the best idea, but heck, he was breaking a record here for not-so-good ideas.

Echizen and Atobe were walking back home- they had skipped after lunch period, hand in hand, each lost in their own thoughts; and that was fine, the silence between them, as it turned out, was rarely uncomfortable.

Seemingly because of nothing, Echizen took his hands from his boyfriend's grasp and casually put them in his jacket pocket. When an elegant eyebrow was arched in inquiry, the teen merely looked back at him.

"I know what you did." It was a statement, very clear. To Atobe's relief, it held no resentment or anger, just the amusement contained in the thought of Echizen not having noticed a whole person drilling holes on his back with their eyes in that clubroom.

"Huh." Atobe acknowledged this, he wasn't going to repent.

"Idiot." he chuckled, and to the diva's unknown relief, Echizen took his hand out of his pocket and once again pressed his warm hands into his. He then squeezed Atobe's fingers, and for just a second he swore he saw his boyfriend smile a soft smile.

Atobe sighed with relief, "It had to be done" was what left his lips; he knew Echizen understood his reasons, and he knew, in that quick tightening of his fingers against his own silky skin, that the brat understood, he was telling him not to worry and maybe something more... but there was still time to figure those things out.

Echizen sighed in amused exasperation-condescension, but didn't let go-

"I know. It doesn't make you less of an idiot, though."

Atobe could only laugh in response.

He was so much in love it was not even funny, but he laughed nonetheless; he was whipped.

Fuji had spent the last four periods before lunch in that shower stall, surrounded by the pungent smell of bleached tiles and humidity, and after the initial numbness wore off he could understand the slight shivering of his limbs; the shower had been recently used, still damp and dark and stuffy.

Exactly how he felt.

He heard Echizen and Atobe leave, they were talking but he couldn't listen, not anymore. He was lost in thinking about how he didn't notice before, blinded by the images, the words, by everything- for everything seemed thrice as confusing from where he sat.

He knew it wasn't his fault, he couldn't be blamed for anything he did. But still, somehow, the guilt hung thick above the prodigy's head. Guilt for what? He couldn't really be sure, maybe for putting Echizen in such an uncomfortable position, for being so near-sighted he hadn't considered the other's feelings, or possible feelings (he had never once thought Echizen might be interested in someone else- only counted on him being generally apathetic).

As he started to see things more clearly, he felt, not ashamed, never ashamed, but regretful of the way things had happens. Of his weakness, so obvious and immature, his pinning for the slighter male. Ugh, he was hopeless.

Lost he was in analysing every small interaction between himself and Echizen, Echizen and Atobe, and Atobe and himself again and again, he was only brought back to his senses by the bell signalling he had already lost two class periods. He had English now, and though he was top of his class, he couldn't really afford to lose his place to Tezuka, who was always stepping on his toes in the subject.

He tried, he really did, but in an even more vulnerable and extreme sign of weakness, he found himself exhausted and unable to get his body working, just thinking about getting to the English building and being there made him weary; plus, his clothes were damp and his head was already buzzing lightly with what he recognised as a cold, and his limbs were heavy- falling asleep was simply irresistible.

As it turns out, he slept through both bells and lunch, only waking up because his lower body was feeling numb from the harsh position on the floor. Weakly, and without thinking much, he made his way to the nurse's office, got a home-call and waited for his sister in the chairs outside. Once in her car he nodded off again, and upon reaching his house, he took a long warm bath and snuggled into his covers, freshly dressed and like-new, physically. When he woke up, the clock read 20:03 in bright green numbers.

He had received a text, he remembered the shrill tone from his phone. Still buzzing and floating from the cold, he reached into his discarded school-bag to retrieve the phone. It was a text from one of his closest friends, a very nice boy he'd befriended once; at first he had wanted to woo the innocent-looking boy, but the Echizen had happened, and the male had become, silently, his close friend.

It read:

"Heard U went home. Hope UR OK.

I was wondering if U want me 2 take UR H/W for you?

I'll bring films & popcorn if UR up 2 it."

Fuji couldn't help but smile. Maybe-

Nope, he was giving no special meanings to anything this time, he was not going to assume anything from this boy, this lovely boy who was the only one who appeared to be concerned-

Another text. "Mada mada dane, Fuji-senpai. Buchou'll make you run laps when you get better."

He smiled wearily, the text was so very Echizen, but the thought itself made him uneasy. He had opened the reply window ad had already used up all his ideas in trying to respond adequately. Everything he wrote seemed too suggestive, too humble, too forward, angry-

Damn it, it couldn't be so hard, he pondered as he pushed the 'back' button on his phone. His classmate's name blinked at him from the cell phone screen, and he had to forcibly hold back a maniac laughter. It all made sense now, and he realised how foolish he was being.

It was simple: nothing had to change.

He was Fuji Syuusuke, tennis prodigy, a genius in all senses, including the matters of the heart. He needed no one, and loved no one; never did and never will.

He was a player, and never let his feelings cloud his judgement, guide his actions, maybe, but never make him irrational. It wasn't his fault people couldn't see the conniving evil held within that 'Mizuki'-whatever guy his darling baby brother liked to hang with.

He was Fuji Syuusuke, and he was fine, life went on, and his world would and will never be turned upside down- that was his job as the primary Seigaku tormentor, not by a boy.

With these thoughts in mind, he closed his eyes and held his normal, placid smile once again on his face. He forgot all about Echizen's text message, 'the best answer is none at all', and instead wrote back to his lovely classmate a quick answer, as he went downstairs to make some nice, (extremely)spicy coffee and cinnamon cakes. He was back in the game.

"Sure. But no popcorn, too sweet. I've got a better idea."

The End

I know, I know... this is the part where I cry and beg for your forgiveness, 'cause not only have I disappeared for ages, I haven't updated any of my fics, instead I come and post this- this thing.

If it makes no sense to you, congrats, that was the point. Not really, but it can be read that way too.

If you understand, or even begin to think that somehow you get the strange way I wrote this, well, you're crazy, sister! But I congratulate you deeply.

PS: Just so you know, Echizen knows what Atobe did, but it's not decided (I have not decided) If Echizen knows who it was in the clubroom. So, yeah, I'm awful like that, but it can be read both ways, the little bitch. Sorry.

PS2: For anyone who read "The End of the Affair", I re-uploaded the first chapters, changed it a little bit, and added a whole new chapter, but in a replaced one... so I'm not sure if anyone actually received a notification. It's just FYI.

PS3: Last one, I swear: this is "The Forgotten" as shown in the poll in my profile. I just couldn't handle the angst in that fic.

PS4: Just kidding, bye.