Yes, please don't kill me guys. I said the previous chapter was the end, but yeah, I find it hard to end it with that, so I hope you'll like this one much better, as an apology, yeah?
I'm really sorry for making you guys wait. I didn't mean to, it's just, all ideas just ran out.
Disclaimer: I do not own PoT.
Atobe paused from writing and glanced at the outside for a while. The exam was easy, and he could finish it earlier than the allotted time, in fact, he is already answering the last part. Gray clouds covered the horizon, and the trees were deprived of leaves and other parts, except for the stem and roots. And luckily, an exam before the Christmas vacation is more convenient than having one after the holidays. A smug smirk adorned his face before he continued answering.
If one would ask about Atobe Keigo, they would always answer that he is a brilliant young man with a bright future ahead of him, or-
"As narcissistic, and egoistic as he may be," Avery started, as she stabbed a broccoli with her fork for lunch, when Bunta asked her some random question about Atobe that she couldn't quite remember except for kind, and how he is outside tennis. He looked at her, expectantly, as if waiting for anything against him. "He's a nice guy." Came her response before munching the vegetable.
Months after the wedding of her sister, her brother-in-law, and Atobe Keigo seemed to be comfortable with each other. And during that span of time, in which both men had a conversation, Avery figured out that both have the same ego, except her brother-in-law doesn't need to use Ore-sama to address himself because just by saying his name, one would already be on his knees. Something that he and Atobe share in common.
"Avery," The double doors of the cafeteria opened, hushing everyone present. Atobe Keigo took a step, and then the room was covered with screaming, and squealing and claps, and-
Avery couldn't help but let her mouth hung agape. Nothing is new in this kind of everyday scenario, and like in middle school, his presence, his voice, him, or even just the thought of him makes this crazy bunch squealing.
He took another step, one hand poised to snap. A compulsory silence, and then, the screaming, squealing and chaos seemed to return.
Avery's brows furrowed, and Bunta's shoulders shook in irritation.
"This is why I hate to be with you in the cafeteria, Ave!" He pointed an accusatory finger at her. Avery gave an apologetic smile.
Niou and Bunta, overtime, made it a point to always, always hang out with Avery if Atobe is occupied with something. It's not that they hate Atobe, it's just that… the people around him. She is like a Keigo Magnet, as Niou put it, and wherever she is, no matter how she hides from him, he'd eventually find her, and as always, whenever the rest of the population sees him, they'd simply bask in his glory and express it in a horrifying manner. Surprisingly, and luckily for Bunta, they're tamed than usual.
"I want you to see the preparations I have made for tonight's year ender." His smirk widened when Bunta gasped when he sat beside Avery and wrapped his arm around her waist.
The red head turned to Avery whom he expected to remove the hand, but she only sighed. This was just too much to handle.
A bonfire would be held on the school grounds at night, since Atobe felt like doing it to end the year, and apparently, even the administrators of a prestigious school cannot say no to an Atobe.
"Now?" She asked, remembering why she had to tell him that his plan about this bonfire was impossible. And now, he made it possible.
He chuckled as he rose up, getting her along with him. "Of course. If you'll excuse us, sweet tooth, ore-sama shall take her with me." Avery didn't know if the tone of authority was even appropriate, given that Bunta would just let him take her.
Atobe led Avery out of the cafeteria and left Bunta alone. The poor boy only realized that Atobe took Avery away from him, in the middle of an important talk, when his sight was covered by people. And after a while, the cafeteria returned to how it was before Atobe entered.
Avery's mouth hung agape as she looked at Atobe's so called preparations. The former tennis club of Hyotei Gakuen, regulars and non regulars were gathered, learning the things that they needed for their stalls. Oshitari, well being him, he was reading a romance novel in a corner, completely ignoring Shishido's complaints about not participating and poor Ohtori trying to calm him down.
Gakuto tasted the sweets on his stall, and Akutagawa was sleeping.
"Why are there stalls here?" She finally asked, whipping her head to the side to face Atobe.
He chuckled, tucking a stray strand behind her ear. "Because, my dear, a bonfire simply is boring without slaves to entertain the crowd."
Atobe smirked when she nodded. Then, "Wait, why are they slaves? Since when did Oshitari-kun agree to be your slave?" She asked, disbelief coating her voice.
Oshitari glanced up from his novel. "Don't include me in Keigo's slaves, Asusagawa-san, I am merely here to watch them as entertainment if I got bored reading. These three idiots here," The genius pointed at Shishido, Jirou, and Mukahi. "Foolishly told Atobe that he won't get a perfect grade in the exam, and otherwise, they can be Atobe's lackeys for a day."
Avery laughed. "That was really stupid." She bluntly said to the three. "Then why is Ohtori-kun and Hiyoshi-kun here? I'd understand Kabaji's presence."
"I told them that I need their help." Mukahi said, still enjoying the strawberry shortcake.
"Yes, it's also puzzling why they volunteered to be ore-sama's slave."
"Wait, Keigo why are you using that kind of wood-"
"Yes, Asusagawa-san, I complained to him about such high class and expensive wood to be used for bonfire."
"What's with the speakers? And stage?!"
"Ave, dear, everyone would be delighted to hear my beautiful voice end the year with some speech. Are you also going to ask why there are fireworks?"
"There's a fireworks display?!"
It was perplexing, really, how a simple bonfire turned out to be a year ender festival. Avery only laughed when Niou tricked Kirihara into going inside the university. Luckily, Kirihara's family decided to have a vacation in Tokyo since his sister is also here (1).
"That's just mean, senpai." Kirihara felt a little bit insulted when Avery laughed. Well, he expected that reaction coming from her, but still.
"Akaya-kun, there's a huge difference between being naïve and not learning." She pointed out.
Bunta wrapped an arm around his kohai. "Don't be sad, Akaya. We just missed you so much that we called you here. Besides, Akira-san is already planning for your future in Tokyo once you enter college." (2) Akaya visibly flinched upon hearing his sister's name.
"Senpai, please don't-"
"Ne, Niou treat me some ice cream." Avery pointed at the nearest sweet stall, which Mukahi was managing and surprisingly he was able to trick the girls who only went there to see him serve into actually buying his products. She looked around and blinked when she discovered that her companion wasn't there anymore. Her brows furrowed, not used to the fact that Niou wasn't there to tease her about something.
"Niou has other plans for the night." Yagyuu appeared, adjusting his glasses.
Avery's lips formed a frown. "That's odd. Seems like only a few of us are left." She eyed their group. Usually, Yukimura would be there, along with Niou. Sanada, well he was being stoic as always.
College seemed to have reduced their 'group.' Jackal stayed in Kanagawa to take over the family business, Akaya is still in high school and her sister is frustrated over the fact that he's surrounded by tennis addicts that he might not have a bright future, Sanada is being Sanada, and Niou is kind of acting weird these days, Yagyuu has less time since he joined the student council. And so, Avery finds herself stuck with Bunta, who also complains a lot about the whereabouts of people.
"As an apology for the previous lab report," Yagyuu started, a small gentlemanly smile adorning his lips. He still doesn't forget the fact that Avery worked hard for that lab report, and volunteered to do it on her own (she pulled an all nighter for that even though she had a philosophy exam the next day and he was busy with the council stuff) so treating her some ice cream is the least he could do. "I-"
"Ore-sama shall treat you one." Atobe cut him off, gracefully heading towards her in his full glory. The bonfire seemed to be framing his features, and he looked like someone that just came from heavens. His arrogant smirk, ever present in his face. Luckily, the bonfire and some lanterns weren't enough to let his fangirls see him, or else another noise shall erupt.
"Wait Ave, don't leave me with" Marui pleaded, trying his best not to let Atobe take her from them, because being stuck with Akaya is boring without Avery constantly teasing and at the same time defending the poor boy, and Sanada is just too quiet and weird, and Yagyuu will leave him later anyway for council stuff. "Them." He muttered almost in a whisper when Atobe got what he wanted, yet again. Marui only heaved a sigh.
Atobe apparently got himself a new black Mustang. And he wanted to have it tested by going to Avery's favorite café, a few blocks away from the University belt.
Avery always had admired cars. Especially the shiny ones. So when Atobe told her to get in, she was just curious on what the inside looked like, because her father doesn't like these kinds of cars. He'd prefer some other kinds.
And when she remembered she just wanted some ice cream that Mukahi is selling, that was when she opened her mouth to protest. "Wait, we should go back to school. I just want the ice cream over there, and where are we going?" And lastly, "How come you have a new Mustang when you just purchased a Lamborghini last week?"
Atobe smirked. "Because I got bored of that thing." His smirk widened when Avery gasped.
She blinked and heaved a sigh. "Geez."
For some unknown reason, they were in the beach. At this time of the year, a few to none would go to the place. They were the only persons there, enjoying the peaceful tides and the sight of the starry sky. She liked it. Though, after eating a cone of vanilla ice cream, she felt a little cold.
"Hey, Keigo," She crouched down and grabbed a handful of sand. She lifted her hand and let them flow. "Why did you bring me here?" She looked up, waiting for him to answer.
Atobe raised a brow. "Isn't it obvious? It's a date. You told me last time that you never enjoyed the beach because there are lots of people."
Avery rose, dusting off dirt from her pants. She turned to him, expecting another answer, only to realize that, that was the only answer she'd get. And she laughed.
He smirked, closing the distance between them. "There's no need for that."
They locked gazes. Avery couldn't help but hold her breath. She could feel her heart skipped a beat or two.
Atobe smiled. He leaned closer and his lips touched hers. It was different from her first kiss(3). It wasn't forceful and fake, unlike last time. Her cheeks were warm, and she could almost feel how her heart pounded against her chest. She wondered if he could feel it. Maybe not.
He pulled away, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Let's go back."
And she nodded, smiling with glee.
(2) Hope you guys will tune in for my next fic, a Yukimura X OC.
(3) Remember chapter 7? Yeah, there it is.
*** Most important announcement, the next chapter will be the epilogue. So this is the last chapter of this story. I'm really thankful to all of you guys for supporting this fic.
Tell me if I need to put an epilogue.