Title: The Imperial Palace Chapter 20

Rating: M

Pairing: Echizen/Atobe, Echizen/Ponta

Warnings: Uncreative content, possible OOC-ness, abundance of sarcasm, Atobe's Ponta intolerance, Mizuki does not want to be here, etc.

Disclaimer: Prince of Tennis belongs to Konomi Takeshi.


"Here, I brought sample textures. Now I know the walls are barely visible in this dim lighting, but that's not an excuse to not put in new wallpaper," Mizuki said. "I particularly like this one here, it's leopard-print in light lavender. The only issue I anticipate having is if your dancers end up with costumes that clash— Atobe-kun, are you listening to me?"

Atobe ran a hand through his hair with a heavy sigh. "Yes, leopard-print. Purple. Good."


Atobe barely heard him anymore. After Oshitari had graciously destroyed a good portion of the Imperial Palace, Atobe had been forced to act fast to rebuild as soon as possible. Atobe then had the brilliant idea that remodeling the club's interior would be beneficial to the clientele. Atobe always did like focusing on the good in a bad situation.

Except, Atobe had been sitting with Mizuki for nearly six hours now, going over paint colours and curtain fabrics. That was five hours more than Atobe could stand being in Mizuki's presence. Besides that, the remodeling gave him more time to hire new bartenders. Hopefully these new ones weren't complete idiots like the last two had been. Oh how he missed Tezuka now.

Just as he thought that, Atobe took a sip of the glass in front of him and nearly spit the liquid out in Mizuki's face. Atobe pulled a rather undignified face and rose to his feet. "Excuse me for a second," Atobe told Mizuki. Mizuki merely rolled his eyes and closed his designer book with a heavy thud.

Atobe stomped over to the bar, slamming his glass down on the counter. "What on earth is this?" he demanded to the new bartender, a tall man with opaque glasses.

"Penal-Tea." The bartender answered with a straight face. "It is 22ml of vinegar, 12ml of salt, 3ml of—"

"I don't need to know," Atobe said, cutting him off. "Just stick to the normal drinks and follow the instructions. I don't need any more of your experimenting. And where did you even find vinegar in the first place?"

"I found it in the back of the third miniature frigidaire in the lower left hand corner."

"That was a rhetorical question," Atobe said. He really missed Tezuka now. Back when Tezuka was around, Atobe only had to sit and Tezuka would already have a glass of his favorite wine ready in two seconds.

Atobe felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He barely flashed it a glance before rejecting the call. He was exhausted. In between the constructors, decorators, lawyers, policemen, and the insurance company constantly calling him, the last thing he needed was that bratty tennis player annoying him over the phone. Atobe would listen to the messages later, once he didn't have such a huge headache. Hopefully alcohol could get rid of some problems and fast.

Alcohol always helped.

"Atobe-kun!" Mizuki called out. "We still need to discuss the lighting and curtain designs!" Atobe felt his phone ring again. The new bespectacled bartender then dropped something and Atobe heard it shatter at the same time as his sanity.

"Drop one more thing on the floor and it's coming out of your paycheck," Atobe told the bartender, not kindly. "And you better make your drinks drinkable by the end of the day." He walked back to Mizuki. "I trust you'll make a sound decision about the curtains and the lighting, and any other decorations that are needed. I leave the renovations in your hands for now, but I swear to god if I see any more flower patterns I will fire you."

Mizuki looked mildly scandalized and gripped his own shirt as if Atobe had just insulted his mother. Atobe vaguely realized Mizuki's shirt had a tacky flower pattern.

"Now if you'll excuse me." Atobe definitely needed alcohol now and nothing in the immediate vicinity was simultaneously strong while being of good-enough quality. He buttoned up his suit and nodded good bye to the workers working on the club design. Him sticking around would not make the renovations go by any faster.

All Atobe wanted to do was go home and sleep. Maybe with a flowery bath and a glass of wine to relax him. As his driver drove him home, Atobe received two text messages from Mizuki with more design questions and a call from a certain tennis player – again - which he promptly declined. He was half tempted to turn off his phones… All seven of them.

The car stopped in front of his building. Atobe took one step outside and immediately wanted to return inside his car. A camera flashed nearby, nearly blinding him. All thoughts of a warm bath flew out the window at the sight of Echizen Ryoma leaning against his building's gated entrance.

Atobe sighed, fingers rubbing at his temples. "In case you aren't aware, me rejecting eleven of your calls means I am not in the mood for your company at the moment," Atobe told Echizen Ryoma.

"In case you aren't aware, me calling you eleven times means I feel like tolerating you for once," Echizen replied, taking a long sweeping look at him. "You do look like shit."

Atobe scoffed. "Nonsense. I always look perfect," he said despite the fact that he was very aware of his lack of sleep most probably showing under his eyes. Another camera went off and Atobe glared in the direction of one particularly annoying cameraman. "Now shoo, I'm rather busy at the moment."

"I want to talk to you," Echizen said.

Talk to you. Atobe almost laughed. Talking never ended well between them.

"I'll pass," Atobe said.

Echizen sighed dramatically and turned to the nearest paparazzi. "Lover's spat," Echizen explained. "Keigo's so high-maintenance. He's upset I didn't bring him back a souvenir from France."

"Oi, don't start spreading lies," Atobe said as the camera-people began clicking away for photos and shouting out questions. Damn this brat. Atobe grabbed Echizen's collar and shoved him in through the gate.

Echizen's face was infuriatingly smug on the elevator up to Atobe's penthouse.

"Wipe that smirk off your face," Atobe said.

"Make me," Echizen replied.

"If you're hoping that comment's going to make me slam you against the wall and shove my tongue down your throat, then you'll be sorely disappointed."

"Ha. Is age already getting to you, Monkey King? Are you tired? Aching joints? Can't get it up?"

Slamming Echizen's head against the wall sounded more appealing by the second.

Atobe unlocked the door to his lavish condo, not bothering to grandly invite Echizen in or to give him the tour, as Atobe normally did with his guests. Atobe went straight to his cellar instead. The warm bath may be out but good wine was always a plus.

And, because he was still a kind and generous man, Atobe grabbed two wine glasses.

Echizen had taken residence in one of the sitting rooms, lounging back on a plush velvet armchair. "I don't suppose you have any Ponta?" Echizen asked as Atobe pulled the cork out of his bottle with practiced ease and poured two generous portions.

"If you compare one of my vintage wines to a hundred yen can of carbonated sugar one more time, I will throw you off my balcony," Atobe informed him.

Echizen took the glass, smelled it, and set it down on the table. His loss, Atobe thought.

"So," Atobe took a seat on the opposite couch, "how was the French Open?"

"Fantastic. The finals were almost challenging for once," Echizen said.

Atobe hadn't watched the tournament, but had read praises upon praises of articles describing how spectacular that last match had been. The match of the century, many had called it. There was a reason Echizen Ryoma was one of the most famous athletes in the world. The evidence was in the crowd of paparazzi constantly following Echizen's every step.

Watching Echizen play was inspiring. Anyone could see how much Echizen enjoyed the game, like there was nothing he loved more in the world than a good tennis match. That and Echizen's ass looked sinfully good in tennis shorts, as many magazines targeting women pointed out numerous times.

"I think you had a more interesting time than me while I was away. I heard a drunken fool destroyed your strip club," Echizen said.

Atobe swallowed the rest of his glass, setting it down on the coffee table. "Yes, that was interesting. In between the fire damage and the crumbling walls, of course."

He quickly checked his phone. Seven messages from Mizuki. Atobe was in no mood to read any of them. Echizen stared back at him, his knee tapping impatiently.

"What are you doing here, exactly?" Atobe asked. He was not awake nor patient enough to banter with Echizen around the topic at this point, especially not after Echizen had practically invited himself inside. The wine made him feel warm and relaxed all over. If Atobe had taken a bath, he had no doubt he'd be fast asleep by now. Already he could feel his eyelids drooping; a result of going nearly two days without proper rest, no doubt.

"I thought it was obvious," Echizen said. He stood up and made his way around the table before plopping himself down on Atobe's lap.

Atobe's hands automatically went around the tennis player's hips. "Yes, well, I am aware of how legendary my prowess is, particularly in the bedroom."

"We haven't been in a bedroom yet. It sounds like an exotic place."

"All in due time," Atobe said, saying nothing as Echizen leaned in to line their groins together and grind at just the right angle. Atobe sucked in a breath at the jolt of pleasure. Yes, that definitely made his eyes pop open. "What I meant was, as fun as you are when you're rendered speechless by my sexual abilities, where exactly are you going with this?"

Echizen paused, giving him a strange sort of look. "I'm not about to make you breakfast or keep a toothbrush in your condo, if that's what you're asking."

"I wouldn't have suggested otherwise."

"We simply have… unfinished business," Echizen said carefully. "Your company isn't unpleasant... and I haven't found anyone better yet."

"There is no one better," Atobe said with the utmost confidence.

It was the sort of reply he had expected. They hadn't done much yet and there was still so much left to explore. It would be a shame to break off such an arrangement prematurely. They would have their fun, and if Echizen didn't want to stay until the morning, then the tennis player was free to do his walk of shame in front of dozens of paparazzi.

"Shall we finish our business then?" Atobe asked. Echizen grinned, pressing their hips together once more and reached forward to devour his mouth.

As pleasant as the passionate smack of lips was – and it was pleasant with how Echizen unashamedly used his tongue to taste every inch he could reach - the haze of sleepiness was a blanket over Atobe's mind, turning the fervent embrace to a slow, lazy sort of kiss. Echizen tried to kiss hard, demanding more and more with his tongue and with his erection pressing very insistently against Atobe's belly. Atobe sighed and stroked along Echizen's back. It was a languid hold more suited to post-sex caresses, every motion slow and intimate. Echizen was warm and Atobe continued stroking what skin he could reach.

Atobe hummed, sighing as Echizen laved caresses down to his collarbone. The touches quickly turned rough and became sharp nips and bites. Displeased, Atobe tugged at Echizen's hair to move him back up to his mouth, where he resumed his soft strokes. It was only when Echizen made an irritated sound that Atobe realized his eyes had closed.

"I didn't realize you felt like skipping the sex and moving straight to cuddling." Echizen released him with a huff. "Your fabled prowess seems to be missing in action."


"You look like you're about to fall asleep on me," Echizen said, accusing.

"That might happen," Atobe admitted.

"Well, you're heavy and I'm not moving you if you do fall asleep."

Echizen asked about the bedroom, to which Atobe stood from his comfortable couch (and what a struggle that was) and led Echizen down three hallways and past a large double door. His legs and muscle memory carried him forward, because Atobe didn't think he could think properly about where he was going. In all honesty, Atobe would've been fine opening the nearest guest bedroom and falling asleep on any mattress. As they walked, Echizen might have said something about how the penthouse was too big or maybe something about the extravagant painting of Atobe hanging on the bedroom wall. Atobe barely heard him, already succumbing to the lure of the bed.

How long had he been up? Two days maybe? Much more than one full day, that was for certain. Atobe mentally cursed Oshitari for the hundredth time that day.

"Bed," Atobe announced with a non-committal wave of his hand at the enormous king-sized extravagance taking up a huge portion of his far bedroom wall.

He removed his jacket, hanging it up on the near hook and going to work on the rest of his clothes with sluggish fingers. Tomorrow he would berate himself for leaving the wine out and not hanging up his clothes properly.

Not to mention the tongue-lashing Mizuki was bound to give him for ignoring his messages. And it would definitely not be the good kind of tongue-lashing either.

"You sleep naked?" It was hard to tell if Echizen was pleased or not.

"It's for everyone's benefit," Atobe said and couldn't help preening, running his hands down over his toned abdomen. He stumbled a bit on his way to lie on the bed. In the morning, he would deny that any stumbling had occurred. Atobe Keigo did not stumble.

To his surprise, Echizen followed. The feather mattress moved as Echizen took the opposite side, lifting the silk sheets over him.

"Does this mean breakfast is in order?" Atobe asked.

Echizen snorted. "Don't flatter yourself. I also just flew back in today so you're not the only one who's tired." He yawned. "I don't feel like going out to look for a hotel."

Atobe settled back on his pillow, sighing contently as he let his body completely relax, already closing his eyes and succumbing to his body's desperate desire for sleep. Echizen was shuffling around on his end of the bed and Atobe dearly hoped Echizen was not one of those people who moved and kicked in their sleep.

Instead, Echizen pressed himself flush along Atobe's side, an arm crawling around Atobe's stomach.

"Echizen Ryoma. Professional athlete. Ponta-connoisseur. Cuddler," Atobe said in amusement.

"Shut up and sleep, Monkey King."

It wasn't unpleasant to have Echizen leeched to his side. Atobe wrapped an arm around the smaller's body, which Echizen took as encouragement to completely relax. Echizen's legs tangled close to Atobe's knee and, a little higher up, Atobe could still feel Echizen's half-hard member pressing against his hip. Atobe almost said something about it, but Echizen's breaths turned soft and deep against his shoulder.

Tomorrow morning then.

The hand Atobe had wrapped around Echizen's waist reached lower to grope at Echizen's backside. Atobe made a contemplative noise as the kneaded the firm, round cheeks. The Echizen Ryoma ass was as fantastic as he remembered.

Definitely tomorrow.


It was with great woe that Atobe Keigo awoke with a lack of ass in hand.

Atobe pushed himself up, finding the bed empty of tennis players. Echizen's side of the bed was cold too. So he had left a while ago. Atobe quelled the hint of disappointment in his gut. Oh well. It was Echizen's loss, really.

His phone displayed 23 new texts and 2 in his voicemail. Atobe braced himself and opened one, keeping his phone at arm's length.

"-disrespectful arrogant prick like you, I am going to turn your entire club yellow, and not the good kind of yellow but an ugly mustard colour! I am going to light my fabric samples on fire and let the entire building fall to the ground this time! Call me."

Well, Mizuki was being a lovely ray of sunshine this morning.

Atobe ignored the other messages and instead called his driver. Kabaji was apparently the only person who did not let him down. Atobe gave Kabaji a quick breakfast order as he pulled on one of his house robes.

He wandered out of his room, thinking that it would be nice to have breakfast out on the patio in the light of the morning sun. It was a beautiful morning and Atobe hadn't felt so well-rested in a week. Atobe was half-way there when he passed his third living room, paused, and did a double take.

That was Echizen Ryoma, fast asleep on his couch.

Atobe cleared his throat three times, each time less eloquent than the last, until Echizen finally stirred. Echizen blinked at him, looked around in confusion, and then groaned.

"Good morning," Atobe said.


"Sleep well?"


"Breakfast will be here soon," Atobe said, sending a quick text to Kabaji for extra coffee and food. "You know, there's a number of guest bedrooms you could have taken if my bed wasn't to your liking."

He was not about to verbally admit that Echizen looked extremely cute with bed hair, but Atobe certainly thought it.

Echizen pointed an accusing finger at Atobe. "This is your fault. I half expected you to snore or talk in your sleep, but this is the first time I've had to deal with sleep-groping."

"Sounds like you had an interesting night," Atobe said. "But why the couch?"

Echizen's cheeks turned slightly pink. "I uh… went off to find a bathroom. I got lost and couldn't find my way back so I just fell asleep wherever. Your place is too damn big."

The corner of Atobe's mouth twitched. "Did you enjoy my sleep-groping?""

Echizen's blush grew in intensity. "S-Shut up."

Well, with Echizen's ass, it wasn't hard to see why even a sleeping Atobe would have gone after it. Clearly, Atobe's sexual prowess extended far beyond his conscious state.

Breakfast arrived quickly in the form of Kabaji's hulking figure holding coffees and pastries. By then Echizen had managed to wake up enough to walk to the kitchen and sit down on one of the chairs, stifling another yawn. Kabaji bowed and left to do... whatever Kabaji it was did when he wasn't running an errand on Atobe's orders.

Atobe sipped his cappuccino, sliding his finger across his tablet and looking at the morning news. Echizen sniffed at his own coffee, glaring at Atobe as if he had detected poison in it.

"Still no Ponta, I see," Echizen said bitterly.

"No mornings should begin with carbonated sugar."

"Ponta is for all hours of the day. As if your four espresso shots are any better," Echizen said.

Atobe scoffed. There were only three espresso shots in his coffee, thank you very much. "The only reason you visit my strip club so often is because I decided to start stocking your precious grape-flavoured atrocity," Atobe said.

Echizen didn't deny it. "You're a smart man to take advantage of my Ponta addiction. You should be happy I go to your club at all. I bring publicity."

"I could do with a bit less publicity at the moment, actually."

"Nah. I still want my Ponta."

Maybe Echizen did have an addiction, with the way he was obsessed with the drink. Atobe wondered if there were Ponta support groups.

Suddenly Atobe was imagining a room with people sitting in a circle, quiet until Echizen stood up and began speaking. Hi, my name is Echizen Ryoma and today I've gone without Ponta for a week. The others in the room clapped politely and congratulated him. Later, after the meeting, Echizen would wait behind the building in the shadows and whisper to his fellow Ponta addicts that he knew a strip club that sold the stuff.

Atobe shook his mind free of the story before he could imagine himself becoming an illegal Ponta dealer.

Atobe opened the bag of croissants, slicing one in half and biting into it. "I almost stopped stocking it once."

"And why would you even think of doing such a horrible thing?" Echizen inquired as he took the second half of the croissant.

"It was over a year ago, when you returned from the US Open I believe," Atobe said. "You wanted to celebrate and insisted we pour cans of Ponta into the largest wine glass we owned." And it was a big glass, nearly the size of Atobe's head.

"Oh, wait, I think I remember that," Echizen said, cocking his head to the side. "That was a lot of Ponta."

"I know. You promptly spilled all of it on me," Atobe said.

Echizen couldn't help but laugh. "Shit, that was you? Oh man, you should have better lights in your club because I would have loved to see your face."

Nice to see Echizen still had the same reaction. Even back then, when Echizen had spilled Ponta all over someone else, the boy had had the gall to just laugh and continue dancing as if nothing had happened.

"I was wearing a white Armani—" Atobe began, which only made Echizen laugh harder. "It's not funny. You ruined my suit. I should've stopped stocking it."

"Buuuut you didn't." Echizen looked smug as he plopped another piece of croissant into his mouth. Atobe's gaze darted down to those lips, suddenly wanting to wipe that grin off Echizen's face.

Echizen noticed the drop in Atobe's gaze. The conversation halted as they chewed on their breakfast. Atobe returned to his news screen for barely two seconds when he felt a foot touch his under the table. Atobe swallowed and the foot slid higher, up his calf and touching his knee.

Well then.

Looks like he would be heading to work a little late after all, Atobe thought. He would have to buy Mizuki something later to make up for the stress wrinkles and ulcers he was surely giving his designer at the moment.

Breakfast finished with Echizen's retreating foot and both of them standing. Echizen was definitely shooting Atobe side-glances and appearing peeved at the lack of reaction.

"Well," Echizen said, moving to stand into Atobe's personal space, "as fun as it was to get lost in your home and reminisce about the good old times when I dropped drinks on you, I suppose I should get going."

"Yes, I do hope you aren't giving your coach a hard time again," Atobe said.

"Hopefully not. I told her I was staying at some hotel. She might be slightly hysterical now if she realized I lied," Echizen said with a careless shrug of his shoulders.

"I rather look forward to your walk of shame," Atobe said. "Has anyone ever told you your bed hair is atrocious?"

"You are such a romantic," Echizen said, rolling his eyes. "Really, people should write poetic odes about your romantic sense."

Atobe smirked. "Yes, tell that to your lovely assembly of paparazzi. Also, do mention to them how skilled and thoughtful of a lover I am. If they are going to gossip about me, it might as well be good gossip."

Echizen rolled his eyes a second time, not seeming entirely happy with his current predicament. Atobe supposed he understood. If he had to walk through a line of photographers and talk to an angry coach after a restless, sex-less night, he would probably not be in the best of moods either.

Atobe guessed he did owe Echizen something, particularly after last night's rather uneventful activities. And, well, Atobe didn't want anyone to think he was a poor lover. He did have a reputation to maintain.

"Is it really a walk of shame if all you did was grope me in my sleep?" Echizen looked down at himself, grimacing at his wrinkled clothes.

"Who said I was done with you?"

Atobe gave Echizen no warning before crowding him against the wall and pressing his thigh between Echizen's legs. Echizen opened his mouth in surprise and Atobe plundered it. He grabbed Echizen's messy hair and angled their mouths. He wasted no time delving his tongue inside Echizen's mouth, stroking, dominating every inch. Echizen moaned, his hands gripping the front of Atobe's robe and dragging him closer.

"I told you I never leave anyone unsatisfied," Atobe said and moved in to suckle and bite at Echizen's upper lip before giving the same treatment to the lower.

It was astounding how quickly Echizen gave in to the ministrations, mouth going slack and breathy moans escaping him. Atobe wondered how long it had been for him. Had Echizen truly been too busy with tennis? Had it been frustrating for him, practicing and playing day after day, all the while having this longing, this itch, inside him? Echizen hadn't been in any other scandalizing stories as far as Atobe was aware; all the news talked about was his victory in the tournaments. The thought that Echizen had taken no other lovers and had spent weeks without company made Atobe's arousal spike.

Atobe ran his hands underneath Echizen's shirt, feeling the skin and muscle twitch under the scrap of his nails. Echizen gasped, his hips bucking so frantically Atobe had to work to press them back to the wall. Oh yes, he could practically taste Echizen's desperation.

"You really need this, don't you?" Atobe said. God, already the boy was squirming from the slightest contact. This was a good day already and the morning wasn't even over yet.

Echizen tried to scowl, struggling against the body pining him. "Get on with it, Monkey King," he growled. "You do nothing but speak of your prowess. Are you all talk or—Ohh."

Atobe grinded their hips together so hard he could feel Echizen's excitement, both in the trembling of his body and the hardness between his legs. It was fine; he could let Echizen struggle and run his mouth. He was fine with letting the boy have his comfort in pretending he wasn't enjoying this. Echizen was the one who was all talk, always complaining and giving his snarky remarks, yet here he was about to spill in his own pants just from a bit of grinding.

As much as Echizen complained about how many rooms Atobe's penthouse held, it was convenient that spare bedrooms were spaced throughout the estate. One of those small spare rooms was close to the kitchen and Atobe didn't even bother untangling Echizen's legs from around his waist as he made his way there. He wasn't even certain Echizen noticed the change in location judging by Echizen's glassy gaze. When Atobe finally released Echizen to lay him out on the bed, Echizen looked rather disoriented, if not disappointed at Atobe's sudden retreat.

It wasn't the best room, Atobe thought loosened the sash from his silk robe. The curtains were last season's patterns and the bed covers were a dark turquoise that Atobe was now reconsidering, but it was a flat surface far more comfortable than a kitchen table. Also, Atobe had prepared each spare bedroom accordingly. Truly none of his guests could call Atobe an ungracious host, he thought as he reached into the bedside drawer and retrieved a vial of lubricant.

"God. Do you keep lube in every room in your house or what?" Echizen asked.

"Only the bedrooms. And some bathrooms. One sitting room as well. Each bedroom also has their own miniature wine fridge." Atobe winked. "Perhaps I'll give you the grand tour later."

"No thanks, keep your lube caches and secret wine doors." Echizen pulled at his pants, doing his best to wriggle out of them.

"Eager are we?"

"You were supposed to do this yesterday, so yes I am eager."

He had a point. Atobe never was one to leave his bed partners unsatisfied, but yesterday had been under particular circumstances. While he had been far too tired the night before, that simply meant he would have to do something better now. Something new. Something that would get Echizen to lose it and never again question his abilities.

When Echizen discarded his pants, and despite the tennis player's face looking annoyed at the whole situation, Atobe could clearly see just how eager Echizen was.

Echizen wasn't just hard. He was damp. The front of his briefs were so wet Atobe was surprised it hadn't shown through his pants. Atobe was hard-pressed to hold in his own groan at the sight.

"Are you just going to stand there or what?" Echizen demanded.

Atobe bit his lip, ready to forget the fact that he had definitely been staring in a more undignified, slack-jawed manner. "If you were this repressed, you should've called me while you were in France," Atobe said.

Echizen snorted. "I don't like the sound of your voice as much as you do. It's been a while, that's all. Don't flatter yourself."

"You could've picked others. But you didn't," Atobe remarked.

"Others are too much of a hassle. You know what you're doing," was all Echizen said about that.

"For once, you know what you're talking about."

He loomed over the smaller's body and Echizen's limps immediately latched onto him. Atobe reached between them and squeezed Echizen's erection. He intended it to be a teasing touch, but seeing Echizen's full body shudder gave him an urgent need to touch more. There were hands crawling up his shoulders and fingers sinking into the back of his neck, guiding his lips to Echizen's mouth as Atobe's hand ventured into Echizen's flimsy wet cloth. Atobe swallowed one of Echizen's moans, then another as he stroked.

Damn. Atobe forced himself to take a deep breath, but even that was hard to do when he could feel the faucet of pre-come leaking into his hand. Echizen was making those desperate, whiny noises, hands grabbing his hair to pull him close each time Atobe paused for air.

It was lucky it was early morning, otherwise Atobe would have definitely made a fuss about Echizen's hands ruining his hair.

At this rate, the excitement wouldn't last longer than another minute of rough fumbling. As good as intense, frantic lovemaking was… well, what sort of challenge would that be? "Relax, I'm not going anywhere," Atobe said, as he set about removing Echizen's vice grip on him. He pressed a hand to Echizen's chest, pressing him back down to the mattress. "Here, turn around."

Echizen rushed to obey, turning around on knees and elbows, and oh what a sight he made. Atobe stroked his hands down Echizen's back and lower to grasp at that delectable behind. Echizen pushed back into the touch.

Yes, Atobe thought as he pulled back to pop open the lube bottle. He was going to completely wreck this brat.

"You're still dressed," Echizen said, looking back to glare at Atobe's half-undone robe. "Take it of—nngh, that's cold!" The lube oozed along his lower back and sunk down his crack, rolling down to drip on the bedsheets.

Atobe hummed, working the lubricant right where he needed it. "I believe I owe you after being such an ungracious host last night. Let me make it up to you."

"Ha. You're taking the long road then. You could've bought me a Ponta and I'd have forgotten it," Echizen said.

"Please stop mentioning that vile excuse for a drink in my home," Atobe said. Atobe didn't ever want to see what kind of house Echizen lived in. At this point, Atobe was imagining a large fridge filled with Ponta. Maybe even a pool of Ponta. Atobe wouldn't put it past the tennis player to go that far.

"Never," Echizen said. "You make this ugly disgusted face when I talk about it."

Atobe scoffed. "And you said I was the one without romantic sense. Word of advice: don't falsely insult someone's appearance when you're in bed with them."

"I wouldn't be insulting you if you'd get on with it, Monkey King."

"Point," Atobe said and shoved a finger inside him. Echizen gasped, his entrance clenching around the intrusion. Experimentally, Atobe pulled it out and back in. Echizen was quivering inside, either from the anticipation of more or from that one touch alone. Had Echizen been this tight and sensitive last time? Atobe hardly remembered. He recalled some good wine, sarcastic comments, and the drumming of club music before brutally pounding Echizen against his desk.

Right when the slight shudders began ceasing, Atobe sank in a second finger. He could barely see Echizen's face like this, with Echizen on his stomach and face buried in the bed sheets, and almost wished he had put Echizen in a different position. He could feel every movement, whether voluntary or not, as Echizen rocked back and forth on his fingers. It was enough encouragement to make Atobe continue, spreading his digits against that tight sucking heat.

He had to bite his lip at the sounds Echizen made; whiny groans as his fingers slid out, satisfied moans when they sank back in to the last knuckle. God, how had Atobe resisted last night? He couldn't even imagine walking away from such a sight.

"Have you ever come from this alone?" Atobe asked, his voice breathless. His other hand gripped Echizen's thigh, stopping the tennis player from rubbing against the sheets as his fingers continued their back-and-forth motions. Oh, he was going to take advantage of that desperation. He was going to tease until Echizen was incoherent with need.

"Ngh… no, I can't—"

Atobe bit the top of one firm butt cheek, making Echizen jump. "Good. You will," Atobe promised. He curled his two fingers suddenly and Echizen's mouth popped open, his back arching.

"Yes, yes, there!"

It was hard not to feel powerful in this position, lying over Echizen's body as it quaked in pleasure, controlling the angle and depth of every touch that Echizen craved, and feeling the clench and release of every breath and muscle. Every sound made Atobe want to tease him more.

"What, this here?" Atobe asked, pressing into that spongy spot again.

"Yes yes, oh god, yes right there!"

God, but this boy really needed this.

"You mean this spot here?"

Echizen cried out. "Yes, you bastard, don't stop, yes!"

"Like this?"


Echizen was beyond annoyance, his voice holding nothing but desperation and desire. His breath was coming in pants, his legs spreading wider and wider like it would somehow get him more of Atobe inside him. When Echizen reached down between his legs, Atobe slapped his hand away. "C-Come on, let me—"

Atobe tutted, removing his fingers. "No. I told you already." Atobe drizzled more of the lubricant, this time on a third finger as well and pressed them back in position. The third finger sank in with no resistance and a dry sob from Echizen. "You will come from this alone."

"I-I can't—God, it's—Nnn!" Echizen screamed when Atobe's fingers found his prostate again, alternating between teasing touches and merciless strokes. Atobe caressed his thigh, soothing as the pleasure built and built inside the smaller's body. The proof of it lay at the tip of that swollen cock, dripping steadily all over the sheets and forming a wet puddle.

Such a needy, sensitive body, yet Echizen hadn't shown this to anyone else. Possibly for months. How long had it been for him, Atobe wondered. Before the tournament, with those heated touches in the limo perhaps, but that hardly counted. Maybe it had been even further back, when Atobe had pounded Echizen against his work desk, hard and fast. Echizen was pleading nonsensibly, moaning and gasping and screaming hard enough Atobe knew others in the building would most definitely hear it. Perhaps one day they would do it outside on the wide penthouse balcony, and Echizen would scream so hard all the paparazzi on the ground floor would hear him.

"Look at you," Atobe said, running his other hand up and down that small toned body, carefully avoiding his cock. "It's a wonder how you made it this long without my touch. You must have suffered for weeks, lying awake at night, aching for proper release."

"Yes." Echizen's fingers dug into the turquoise covers. He didn't even try to touch himself again. "So long, too long," Echizen agreed. More long strokes and expert twists of Atobe's wrist made just right had Echizen's stomach clenching and muscles tightening in warning. Echizen's balls drew higher as the tennis player's eyes shot wide open. "Fuck." Echizen writhed, pushing his hips up, as if suddenly unsure about the sheer amount of overwhelming pleasure surging inside him.

"Don't fight it," Atobe whispered leaning in to whisper it against Echizen's throat. "I know you love to struggle, but let me do it. I'll take care of you."

People could say whatever they liked about him, but no one could deny that Atobe was a very throughout lover. Atobe believed it was a sort of insight that allowed him to see everyone's weak points. He knew where to press, how hard to touch and for how long. It was only mercy that allowed Echizen to last this long, but now it was time to finish it.

Atobe gently pressed Echizen against the covers, palm pressing down on his back to restrict any movements. He inserted his fingers back inside, pressing harder, firmer, pinpointing that sweet spot with deadly accuracy. Echizen cried out. "B-Bastard…! Let me-" The movements were no longer teasing circles, every motion and scrap shooting bolts of sensation through his body. Echizen could do nothing but grip the bedsheets and hang on.

"Good boy," Atobe praised. He could feel the trembling shaking through Echizen's body, a string tightening more and more, almost ready to snap. Atobe kissed up Echizen's back, mouthing at the skin of his shoulder. "Very good."

"It's… I'm…!" Echizen gasped, his eyes wide as if in shock, like he hadn't believed it was possible. Another moan escaped him, this one laced with a hint of a whine at the end. He couldn't stop the writhing even if he tried. "Don't stop. There. There."

"I know," Atobe purred, reveling in every ragged gasp his fingers dragged out. His thumb fingered the rim before dragging down against Echizen's perineum, pressing against that spot from the outside. The boy was at his limit. Atobe only had to twist his fingers, digging them in hard, and what little of Echizen's control was left broke. Atobe felt Echizen's full body shudder pulse through him, the muscles around his fingers clutching him like a vice. The first wave of pure pleasure washed through Echizen, wiping away his coherence as every inch of him spasmed. Atobe didn't move, keeping the pressure right where Echizen felt it most. The feeling hadn't even retreated when a second wave seized Echizen, this one making him cry out. Echizen couldn't stop it; couldn't do a thing. The only thing he seemed aware of was those fingers still pressed against his prostate.

When Echizen finally fell limp, Atobe reached underneath him, smiling in satisfaction at the wetness he found there. Echizen shivered at the touch on his sensitive flesh.

"Ho-oly shit," Echizen said.

"Mm." Atobe hummed in agreement. He waited for the rhythmic clenching to stop before his fingers retreated, his hands coming up to knead those firm buttocks a final time. "Consider yourself awed."

Echizen could only give a breathless laugh in response, not even bothering to deny it. If that wasn't a sign of his godly abilities, then Atobe didn't know what was.

"I can't move," Echizen stated with a satisfied sigh.

Atobe stayed to press fleeting touches along Echizen's sweat-damp skin, up along his back and shoulder, light touches to his neck and higher to card along his hair. "I'm afraid you will have to clean up soon. I'm late for work."

"Screw work. I'm a pile of goo over here," Echizen said. "Or a pile of Ponta."

Atobe scowled. "Don't start."

Echizen's laugh was hoarse, his face turned to look at Atobe. "There's that ugly face again."

Fine then. Atobe had been ready to help Echizen clean up, maybe show him to the washroom for a shower too, but that was one too many Ponta mentions for one day.

"Clean up your mess. Shower if you want. I have to get ready," Atobe said and walked out.

After a quick trip to his own washroom, wherein Atobe managed to wipe his sweat away with a damp towel, Atobe set himself to work.

He hadn't been lying when he said he was already late, but that didn't mean he could rush through his preparations. Atobe picked out one of his stormy grey suits with an elegant white tie. Sure, he was likely to spend the day getting annoyed again, but at least he'd do it in style. He slipped off his robe and put on his work attire.

The clothes were only the first part. After rolling the lint off his suit's jacket, Atobe worked on coiffing his hair in a way that was both classy and casual. He hated most hair products and the way they left his hair stiff and with split ends. Most of the shine and bounce was natural, put in place with expert flicks of his comb. He owned a vast array of skin products and was not above using make-up when the occasion demanded it. As he was running late that morning, Atobe settled for his simple moisturizer to give his face a shining glow and dabs of cover-up under his eyes.

Atobe was in the middle of applying lip balm when Echizen strutted into the room.

"This place really is too big. I almost got lost again," Echizen said. He was back into his clothes, his shirt somehow even more wrinkled than earlier. He looked like he had wet his hair, but not much else. Atobe wanted to ask about the state of his guest bedroom as he was sure Echizen had not actually cleaned up anything.

"The exit door is four hallways down. Stick to your right," Atobe said.

Echizen ignored him and sat on the bed. "So it occurred to me that, as nice as your fingers were for me, I don't imagine it was particularly satisfying for you."

"That shows how little you know," Atobe said. "I happen to find great enjoyment in having others writhe under me. And you do writhe very well." He looked at Echizen through his mirror's reflection and flashed him a toothy smile.

"I'm serious."

"I didn't pin you for the considerate sort," Atobe said.

"Pah, stuff it. You're as tense as my racket strings," Echizen said. "Just come here and let me return the favour."

He was late. Really late. As tempting as the offer was, Atobe was still a responsible adult. A responsible adult who owned a half-burned down strip club.

"I'll take a rain check on that," Atobe said. He swore he caught a pout on Echizen's face for a split-second. The spike of desire from earlier was still thrumming through his body, unreleased, and now quickly deflating as Atobe's brain kindly reminded his dick that work was awaiting them.

Besides, Atobe did not want to go through all the trouble of re-arranging his clothes and hair afterwards.

Echizen protested a few more times, even going as far as putting his hands on Atobe's belt, but Atobe simply waved him away as he finished getting himself ready. Patience is a virtue, Atobe told both Echizen and his lower half.

A quick call to Kabaji later and Atobe made his way to the elevator, Echizen in tow. While Atobe was radiating perfection in every way from his glowing skin to his neatly coiffed hair to his impeccable clothes, there wasn't much that could be done about Echizen. There was no other way to put it: Echizen looked like he had woken up to amazing morning sex… after sleeping in the same clothes as the previous night. It hardly mattered that Echizen had shoved his usual cap back on; the bed hair, or slightly water-and-sweat soaked hair now, was not so easily hidden. Echizen still had a glossy, dazed expression on him. Atobe was smug with the knowledge that he was the one who had caused it.

"Text me your hotel's address later. Maybe I'll pick you up tonight," Atobe said.

"What, so you can fall asleep on me again?" Echizen asked, trying and failing to smooth out his shirt as the elevator came to a stop on the ground floor.

"Our business is yet unfinished," Atobe said.

"Heh. Your business is unfinished. My business is very satisfied."

"Very satisfied, are you?" Atobe couldn't help but gloat. But fine, he could understand the hesitation. Atobe had just rejected Echizen's advances not five minutes earlier, on the grounds that Mizuki was actually going to murder him if he showed up any later.

They paused at the gates. Most of the photographers had left the night before. Only a few dedicated one were loitering around the lavish condo's front entrance. Echizen sighed.

"I'll see you," Echizen said, dismissing him with a wave back.

"Tonight?" Atobe asked.

"Bring Ponta."

Tonight, Atobe thought. Lovely. That would give them ample time for a long, throughout session of… business. Already he was anticipating it, and a little anticipation was always good.

Echizen left in his own car, which was parked down the street. Kabaji picked Atobe up in his favourite black limo. The same one he had fondled Echizen in on their first tennis date all those weeks ago. Such pleasant memories.

It was probably the first time he had arrived to work in a good mood all week, Atobe thought as Kabaji pulled up next to the club. Yes, Atobe had a very good feeling about today.

Atobe opened the front door to the Imperial Palace and dodged as a crystalline glass was thrown at his head. The glass shattered against the wall, pelting the ground with broken shards.

"Good morning to you too," Atobe told Mizuki. "I trust you've made progress on the curtains?"

Mizuki had three more glasses next to him. Atobe prepared himself.

"I was going to go with a satin amethyst colour, when I realized I'd rather hang you from the ceiling and use you as curtains," Mizuki answered, his index finger playing with the rim of the second glass.

"Well," Atobe said, "it would be better than the hideous samples you showed me yesterday."

Atobe did end up dodging all three glasses when Mizuki promptly threw them at his face.