A/N: This was originally a series of drabbles that was going to go up to 365, but due to the fact that I'd probably never actually write 365 drabbles of AtoRyo, I decided to change it into a one-shot format and leave it that. Enjoy!


Xx Public xX

They sit side by side on the couch, staring at the flickering television screen, watching the same reruns for the umpteenth time that day.

"I just don't get it," Atobe murmurs, slipping his fingers under the blankets and tightening them around Ryoma's. "How exactly did you get asked to play in the US Open instead of someone great like me? Ore-sama definitely deserved it more."

Ryoma snorts, watching himself dive across the court on the screen. "Hn. I'm way better than you, that's why."

Atobe frowns, "Even if you werebetter than me – which you're not – I'm much more interesting than you. You bore the public."

"I don't care about the public." Ryoma sits up slightly, tentative. "Do I bore you?"

"Well, um…no." Atobe admits.

Ryoma sinks back into the couch. "Well, then, fuck the public."

XXX


Xx Rain xX

Ryoma ran through the pouring rain, smirking, laughing on the inside as he approached the angry figure standing by the park.

"You're late." Atobe seethed the moment he saw Ryoma reach him.

Ryoma hid a snicker behind his hand. Atobe looked hilarious standing there in his wet jersey, sopping hair and furious scowl.

"Don't laugh!" the older boy said indignantly, grabbing Ryoma by the shirt and bringing him up to his face. Ryoma yelped as his nose met inches away from his boyfriend. "Monkey king-" he started.

"You were late." Atobe said solemnly, his fingers bunching tighter around the boy's collar. "I'm going to have to punish you."

"Monkey king-"

"No exceptions. This time you're getting it for making ore-sama get drenched-"

"Monkey King."

"That's right, you're dead-"

Frustrated that his lover wouldn't listen, Ryoma lurched forward and pressed his lips softly against Atobe's, and in that split second of sharing love, Atobe forgot everything he was mad about.

XXX


Xx Cold xX

Ryoma was shivering. He rocked on the heels of his feet, slivers of cold running over his skin and his breath coming out in puffs of frost. Shifting his weight, he crossed his arms, rubbing his skin in a poor attempt to warm himself up. He really did feel dumb forgetting his jersey on a freezing day like this. The fact that Atobe got to see him suffer only made it worse.

"See?" Atobe bristled, "If you were as rich as me, you could have personally got a coat delivered to you instead of standing here freezing your ass off."

Ryoma scowled, trying to keep his teeth from chattering. "I don't really care. I'm not cold."

Atobe would have snorted but that would have been highly ungraceful. Instead, a smirk splayed on his lips and he slipped off his jacket and hung it around Ryoma's shaking body.

Ryoma blinked in surprise. "Monkey King-" he started.

"Shh. Be grateful that Ore-sama is so kind."

Ryoma snuggled into the coat, relishing the heat. He felt Atobe breathe into his ear. "And you better not ruin that. It's a million dollar jacket. I only have two others."

Ryoma nodded happily while mentally deciding to trip in mud on the way home. After all, seeing Atobe get pissed off was one of the perks of borrowing his jacket. Keeping warm was just an added bonus.

"Oh, Monkey King?" Ryoma said after a moment of silence.

His eyebrow quirked. "Yes?"

"Thank you."

Atobe snubbed his nose in the air. "You're not welcome."

XXX


Xx Dressing xX

First, he slipped on a pair of dark black pants, sliding them over his smooth thighs and adjusting them at the waist. Ryoma shifted his weight, buttoning up his trousers and pulling his zipper shut. After that, he reached his arms up over his head and removed his Seigaku t-shirt, slowly revealing a golden chest and slim back, both glistening with sweat from practice.

Throwing his clothes into his bag, he brushed on a white dress shirt, fixing the cuffs at the ends of the sleeves. He took his time as he proceeded to make each button, his toned body closing up until he was finished. Tugging at his collar, he slipped off his sneakers. Small toes wiggled into proper shoes.

All done.

Ryoma slung his tennis bag over his shoulder, but before he left the room, he looked back. "Ne, Monkey King?" he smirked playfully. "Done staring at me?"

Atobe's jaw hung limply, because for this once, he couldn't utter a single retort. The brat was a little too sexy for him to handle.

XXX


Xx Alarm xX

"C'mon, it's nearly afternoon." Atobe loomed over the smaller boy's sleeping figure. "Wake up already."

He watched as Ryoma snuggled deeper into the blankets, eyes still firmly shut. A sigh escaped Atobe's lips and he reached his hand out and tickled Ryoma's neck. A small smile crept onto the boy's lips at the touch and he mumbled words of affection.

"Monkey King…" he shifted over. "…love you…"

Atobe rolled his eyes. "Wake up. And call me ore-sama."

"Never," came the sleepy yet defiant reply. Ryoma slowly opened one eye, then another. He blinked, his nose meeting inches away from his boyfriend. "Hey," he yawned in acknowledgement. Atobe planted a delicate kiss on his lips.

"Good morning, brat."

Ryoma broke apart from the kiss.

"Good morning, Monkey King. And put on some underwear."

XXX


Xx Invite xX

"What's that?"

"Nothing." Ryoma quickly hid the invitation away from Momoshiro's eager fingers. "Nothing at all."

Momoshiro frowned. "It looked like a party invitation. Who would invite a freshman like you and not invite someone great like me?"

Ryoma's reply came curtly. "None of your business."

Momoshiro groaned at the response, turning away to talk to Kikumaru.

Once Ryoma was sure nobody was looking, he glanced down at the invitation on his lap, a gentle smile easing onto his face. The front of the invitation read:

To: The Brat.

From: Ore-Sama (Or, as you like to call me, Monkey King.)

XXX


Xx Devil xX

Ryoma was officially a devil. Atobe was sure of it.

Even now, he was lying on their bed, an evil smirk playing on his lips. The young preteen had smartly decided to give Atobe another haircut when he was sleeping, claiming that the last time he'd done that after a tennis match, Atobe's hair had grown far too quickly for his liking.

"This isn't right, you know. This is betrayal to Ore-sama's soul."

Ryoma sat up, amusement flickering in his gold eyes.

"You don't have a soul."

Atobe huffed indignantly, staring at the rounded mirror in his hand in disgust. "Do I look like a ginger to you?" He leaned in closer to inspect his face.

There was a pause. "…Well, no. But I'm planning to mix orange hair dye in your shampoo tomorrow, so you'll be one soon enough."

Atobe seethed. Definitely a devil.

XXX


Xx Protective xX

At times, Ryoma wondered how Atobe could be so protective. It wasn't a trait that he would expect from the cocky tennis player. After all, the tennis king was loaded rich and could afford a copy of nearly everything. He rarely acted possessive of something, but when it came to the gold-eyed boy, he probably made people faint simply by glaring at them whenever they dared peek at Ryoma.

It was after a brutal fight in school (Atobe had gotten mad that someone had given Ryoma the wrong directions for something) that Ryoma decided to ask him. "Monkey King, how come you're so protective of me?"

He questioned this while leaning against his boyfriend who had a bandage over his nose after getting punched.

Atobe's reply was gruff. "Cause you're one of a kind. Can't buy another one of you."

Ryoma folded his arms behind his head. "But you can't buy another nose either. Better watch what fights you get in."

Atobe scowled, arms tightening around Ryoma.

"Yeah, well, then there's always plastic surgery."

XXX


Xx A Cold xX

Atobe wanted nothing more than to lie in bed, puke his guts out, and then maybe have a nice cold drink of Manhattan cocktail. He felt disgusting and snotty and, ugh, he absolutely despised being sick. He normally didn't get colds, being such royalty, and was always proud to say that his immune system was invincible. Until now, when after a match in the rain with Ryoma, he had officially gotten the flu.

Weakly, the young master reached his hand out and rung the bell. It was assigned to gain the attention of the housemaids when he needed something. "Ore-sama wants a drink," the boy complained through a stuffy nose.

Instead of his housemaid coming in, he saw Ryoma's innocent face pop into the entrance. "Hey, Monkey King."

"Why are you here? How many times has Ore-sama demanded you stay away from him?"

"But-"

"Leave."

Ryoma looked hurt and took a step backwards. He didn't know why Atobe wouldn't let him near him anymore. He hadn't done anything wrong. Did Atobe blame him for getting sick in the rain? After all, Ryoma had been the one who had pleaded to play a tennis match even when the sky had been gray.

Atobe sighed when he saw the confusion in Ryoma's golden eyes. Sniffling from his cold, the older boy managed a smirk-ish smile.

"It's not you, Ryo. Ore-sama just doesn't want you to get sick as well."

Ryoma eyes widened slightly in surprise. "Wow."

"What is it?"

"Monkey king actually cares about somebody besides himself. How shocking."

Atobe glared at him. "Get out,or Ore-sama will forcefully kiss you just so you can catch a cold as well."

In a flash, Ryoma was out of there, the door slamming behind him. Tiredly, Atobe flopped back onto the bed and leaned his head against his pillow, groaning from his headache. With much effort, he grabbed the bell and rung it again.

"Where's…cough, my drink, cough?"

XXX


Xx New Years xX

Atobe checked the time once again, noting there were only five minutes until the clock struck midnight. It was New Year's Eve, and he was spending the night curled on the couch in his mansion, watching television.

However, everything on television was currently boring. Hmph. The television is not great enough for Ore-sama.With a frown, the young master clicked the 'off' on his remote, watching as the screen faded to black. He yawned. He never really liked the whole 'staying up until twelve-o-clock' thing, blaming it on the fact that he needed his precious beauty sleep.

"Keigo…"

Atobe glanced at Ryoma. The boy only called him by his first name and not 'Monkey King' when he was tired.

"M'tired…" Ryoma muttered, snuggling up against his boyfriend. "…be my pillow…"

Atobe sighed. The kid honestly didn't know what he was saying when he was sleepy. Nevertheless, the older boy wrapped his arm around his lover and let him cuddle against his chest into a comfortable position. After a few minutes, Ryoma fell into a steady slumber, grateful for the warmth of Atobe's skin.

Also getting sleepy, Atobe rested his chin on Ryoma's head, telling himself he would just close his eyes for a second.

Five minutes later, the world cheered 'Happy New Years' and fireworks exploded in the dark night sky to celebrate the start of a fresh twelve months.

Atobe and Ryoma continued to sleep peacefully, oblivious.

XXX


Xx Home xX

Perhaps they both needed to take a chill pill, or something like that. It wasn't often that Atobe Keigo got riled up to the point where his beautiful face flushed red, nor was it often that Echizen Ryoma lost composure in ire. Maybe standing in the middle of the tennis courts yelling at each other under the afternoon sun had been a bad idea.

"I'm not staying at your gigantic mansion with your robot servants, Monkey King. If we're getting married, you're moving into my house. I have to play tennis to beat Oyaji!"

Atobe growled, "Ore-sama refuses to stay in that filthy little rectangular box you call a-"

"That's my home."

"Yes, yes, home." Atobe sounded disgusted. "I thought you would be pleasured to stay at my mansion like a real prince but apparently you're not grateful-"

Ryoma clenched his fingers tighter around his racket, wondering if it would be a good idea to swing it at Atobe's face. "Shut up. We're living in my house because it's much more like a house than your dumb, rich kingdom."

"Who doesn't want to live in a kingdom?" Atobe said incredously.

"Me." Ryoma stubbornly replied.

Atobe sighed deeply, rubbing his temples. A sudden thought came to him. With a sly smirk, he grabbed the wrist of his complaining partner. "Hey, hey Ryo-chan…" his voice softened to purr. "You know what they say…normally the girl stays with the guy's family, not the other way around…"

Ryoma shivered under Atobe's hot breath in his ear. Then, he frowned.

"How- how come I'm the girl?"

Atobe wrapped his arms around him. "Well, it obviously can't be me, can it? You're the closest to a girl it gets."

And Ryoma found himself unable to think of a proper comeback.

XXX


Xx Draw xX

"I thought you were good at everything, Echizen-chan."

"Shut up."

There was rustling of paper and scribbling of a pencil.

"I thought you were a fast learner, Echizen-chan."

"Shut up."

"I thought you went to kindergarten, Echizen-chan."

That was about Ryoma's limit. He looked away from his piece of paper and frowned deeply at his haughty boyfriend Atobe Keigo. "It's not my fault." He mumbled. "…and I did too go to kindergarten."

Atobe snatched the paper in his hands. "If you went to kindergarten, your drawing skills wouldn't be this horrid. I mean, what is that? Ore-sama can't tell if it's a toilet or a slide."

Ryoma growled in frustration. "It's a chair, stupid."

"You call this a chair?"

The smaller boy slouched in his seat. "Okay, fine. It doesn't matter. Art's stupid anyway."

Atobe sighed, flipping over to the back of the page. His eyes widened slightly. "Woah…" he looked stunned. "You may not be able to draw chairs, but Ore-sama has to admit, you have talent in rocks."

Ryoma peeked over Atobe's shoulder. He growled lowly.

"Monkey King?"

"Yes?"

"That's my mother."

XXX


Xx Stubborn xX

"I don't…feel well."

Atobe glanced up from his magazine to see Ryoma staring at him with an innocent gaze. Frowning, the young master placed the reading article in his lap and blinked back at his boyfriend. He felt a twinge of concern as he ran his eyes over Ryoma's drooping eyes and disheveled hair, a faint flush above the bridge of his nose.

"You don't feel well?" Atobe repeated.

Ryoma sighed, slouching and leaning his head against the cool material of the couch. "No…just…tired I guess. And I have a match this evening."

"Tired? You look more than tired. Let ore-sama feel your forehead."

The younger boy's first instinct was to pull away. He still wasn't quite used to Atobe's gestures of affection because he was new to the whole dating scene and still only twelve. However, the moment Atobe pressed his cool palm against Ryoma's forehead, he exhaled in relief. "That feels good," the boy muttered appreciatively.

Atobe grimaced. "Yeah, well, you're burning up."

"Maybe it's because you're touching me…"

"Hn. Don't be stupid. It's a fever."

Gold eyes blinked in apprehension. "I have a match today, though. In a few hours."

Atobe turned his body and gently ran his fingers through Ryoma's hair, smirking at the childish pout on his lips. He loved that Ryoma showed all his sides to him and only him: his bratty side, his challenging side, his childish side – the last one was definitely his favourite. Or, actually, maybe his sexy side was the best. Still, childish came close.

"My match…" Ryoma murmured, closing his eyes. He rested his forehead on Atobe's shoulder, the older boy pulling him closer to his chest.

"Don't go." Atobe said. It was supposed to be a suggestion, but he made it sound like a demand.

"How can I just not go?" Ryoma said. "It's part of the tournament and-"

"You're not going." Atobe tightened his grip. "You'll stay here with me and I will give you whatever you want."

"Whatever I want?" Ryoma murmured weakly.

"Of course." Atobe said. "Ore-sama can afford anything to make you happy."

Ryoma smiled slightly.

"Okay…I want…" he paused, licking his lips. He had to figure out a way to outsmart his lover.

"I want…to go to my tennis match."

Atobe groaned, but smiled. Echizen Ryoma, stubborn as always. Maybe that was actually Atobe's favourite side of him – stubborn, relentless. Without a word, Atobe shook his head in response and hugged the boy warmly, being careful not to suffocate him while he had a fever. Within moments, he lost himself in carding through Ryoma's tufts of black hair, thinking about nothing but the wonderful boy he was holding in his arms. His fingers trailed down his face and ran over his cheekbones and down to his collarbone. Beautiful, Atobe breathed, His Ryo-chan was beautiful.

Meanwhile, Ryoma continued to murmur, "Tennis match…my tennis match…can't miss it…"

XXX


Xx Monkey King xX

Atobe twitched – he didn't exactly trust his little boyfriend with makeup and a pair of scissors.

Still, the young master kept his eyes shut as Ryoma hustled around and applied who-knows-what to Atobe's beautiful face. The latter tried to comfort himself by repeating: This is the sacrifice of having a boyfriend. He gets to touch your face and do whatever he wants with it.Either way, Atobe disliked the situation he was in.

He bit his lip as Ryoma's fingers gently grazed his cheek with… lipstick? Atobe couldn't be sure. He tried to smell it and almost lost his mind. It smelled clearly like fresh paint. What the hell is he doing to my face?

Suddenly, Atobe felt Ryoma attach a headband to his hair.

Is he making me a girl? This better not be revenge from the time I wrestled him into a ballerina dress…

"Okay…" Ryoma said after a moment. He hid a snicker behind his hand. "You can look."

Atobe hurriedly opened his eyes and darted towards the closest mirror he could find. His mouth opened and closed as he saw his reflection. On top of the headband were two brown ears attached, peeking out behind a crown. The rest of his face was painted light and dark brown with a silly smile done with black marker.

"I'm…I'm a… you made me a Monkey King!" Atobe accused with rage.

Ryoma's lips quirked upwards. "Don't worry Monkey King. The paint comes off in, oh, I don't know, around five weeks or so."

"Wha—How dare you- are you…don't you walk away from Ore-sama!"

Ryoma waved cheekily as he disappeared out of the room. But before he left completely, he poked his head back in and grinned.

"That's what you get for turning me into a ballerina."

XXX


Xx Monkey King xX

The first time Atobe saw Ryoma cry was on a warm, Sunday night in his mansion. The boy had had a nightmare. This was probably odd for someone so defiant, so rebellious, someone so strong like Ryoma Echizen, but it happened to everyone and he was no exception.

The young master was awoken by the piercing sound of his boyfriend's scream. Without thinking about the fact that he was still in his night robe and hadn't had his facial check before coming into contact with a human, Atobe raced down the hallway, his heart pounding. Ryoma didn't scream for no reason, so Atobe had wild images of a murderer barging into the room with a knife at the preteen's neck.

Atobe ran faster.

When he burst into Ryoma's room, he was relieved to see that nobody but the Ryoma was there. However, the relief went away as quickly as it had come. Ryoma was sitting up against his pillow, choking on his sobs as his entire body shook with fear.

"Ryo-chan…" Atobe murmured. He padded across the floor and gave his lover a concerned look.

"Kei-Kei…" Ryoma couldn't finish the word and threw himself at his boyfriend's chest. Atobe gathered the boy into his arms and let him blubber. "…so bad….so…awful…" Ryoma managed, taking a long gulp of air.

"It was just a nightmare…" Atobe said awkwardly. He was still not used to this comforting thing. Thinking of what his mother did when he was a child, Atobe traced soft circles on Ryoma's back. "Just a nightmare…"

After a few minutes of crying, Ryoma's tears trickled to sniffling. The boy still clung onto Atobe's arm with a death grip.

"Will you be okay?" Atobe wondered, worried.

Ryoma sniffed, wiping his eyes. He shuddered slightly before nodding. "It was…just a nightmare."

Atobe snorted. "That's what I've been telling you this whole time."

This earned him a glare that was more of a pout from the younger boy. "Che…nobody asked you to come here."

"Yeah, well, if you weren't screaming your head off, Ore-sama's beauty sleep wouldn't have been interrupted."

Ryoma scowled. "Well, sorry I couldn't contain my screaming in my sleep. Completely my fault."

Atobe sighed. "That's not what I meant." He smiled slightly and started to stand up. "Well, shall I go now?"

Ryoma frowned. "No. If you were a good boyfriend, you would ask me if I wanted to sleep with you tonight." He paused. "Dumbass."

Atobe blinked. He couldn't really comprehend what the younger had asked. All he could think about was: Since when did my Ryo-chan get so sassy?

XXX


Xx Too Much Tennis xX

Ryoma played tennis the entire day.

He swung until his arms ached and his eyes hurt. He didn't know such tennis could be so tiring, but it indeed was, and he would have quit playing hours ago if it wasn't for his Atobe. His boyfriend insisted they kept playing, and Ryoma couldn't hurt his pride and admit he couldn't keep up with his lover.

So, he was still playing, even though his wrist felt like it was going to pop out of his skin.

"Hm, slowing down your pace, eh Ryo?"

Ryoma scowled and swung. "I've beat you ten matches in a row now. And I'm getting tired of this."

Atobe rubbed one of his eyes tiredly. "Yeah, my precious, god-like eyes are starting to hurt from focusing so much."

"Then we could always quit." Ryoma suggested, ignoring Atobe's self-praise.

"No!" Atobe said quickly. "Not until I beat you."

Ryoma rolled his eyes. "Then we'll be doing this all day. It's not healthy, you know."

Atobe smirked and twirled a piece of hair around his ear. He wrapped an arm around Ryoma on the couch and let the boy snuggle up to him. "I don't know how you're tired, Ryo." He whispered into his hair. "We've been sitting down the entire time."

Ryoma frowned. "It's my arm that hurts. Besides, this game sucks."

"Tennis does not suck." Atobe admonished.

Ryoma scowled at the screen and swung the Wii remote. "Not tennis, the game in general. Now I know why Wii Sports comes free with the console."

Atobe simply laughed and ruffled Ryoma's hair in amusement.

XXX


Xx Eye Exam xX

"This is quite unusual, Monkey King."

"S-shut up."

Ryoma smirked and leaned back against the ripped leather chairs. They were currently sitting in the waiting room to take their yearly eye exam, and his boyfriend seemed oddly petrified. The twelve-year old could hear Atobe's heavy breathing and teeth grinding, but simply ignored him by picking up a magazine to flick through.

After a moment, though, Ryoma couldn't help himself. "Seriously, though, I've never seen Monkey King look so out of sorts."

Atobe flexed his fingers. "I thought I told you to shut up."

"Someone needs to learn manners."

The older male took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down, if only for the sake of Ryoma leaving him alone. His knuckles were stiff and white as they dug into his thighs. Worry creased his brow. He simply despised eye exams.

"I just don't get it." Ryoma shut the magazine and tossed it aside. He proceeded to kick his legs up on the center table pleasurably. "What's so bad about having your eyes checked?"

"What's so bad?" Atobe whirled around and sunk his fingers into Ryoma's arm as if to make his point. "Everything about it is horrible. Aren't you concerned about the results?"

Ryoma winced as his boyfriend's nails dug into his flesh. He shook his head. "I have eyesight that's almost as good as Kikumaru-senpai, so no, I'm not the slightest bit worried."

Atobe huffed and returned to his position of trying not to hyperventilate and lose his mind. He heard Ryoma snicker behind him.

"You know," the younger boy said, "I still don't see what's so awful about eye exams. Your eyes are fine."

"You don't understand," Atobe snapped. "My mother has glasses. What if I inherited the genes and suddenly have to wear glasses too?"

The young master sounded so stressed that Ryoma actually bothered to hide his laughter.

"Okay," the 12-year old raised an eyebrow. "Even if you got glasses, it's not like it's the end of the world."

"Yes it is," Atobe nearly screeched. He jabbed a finger at his perfectly-sculpted face. "This beautiful face cannot wear such a horrid thing as glasses. It would ruin my perfection; destroy the clear scene of these deep blue-gray eyes. Glasses are the worst thing that could ever happen to a person."

Ryoma shook his head and tangled his fingers with Atobe's shaking ones. A laugh escaped his lips.

"Monkey King, even if you do get glasses-"

Atobe made a choking sound at the prospect.

"-you can always wear contacts."

The room instantly stilled and Atobe's heart rate returned to normal in a snap. "You," he breathed, turning to face the boy with wide eyes. "…are a genius."

XXX


Mellow

Ryoma cracked an eye open as bright sunlight poured in through the window and onto his face. He groaned, and the muscles in his body ached. Turning onto his shoulder, Ryoma ignored the blinding whiteness of the hospital room and stared at the sidetable beside him. A small grin crept onto his face.

On the table was an overflow of cards, flower bouquets, and cans of Ponta with little messages written on the bottom. Ryoma reached over and grabbed one of them. He flipped it over to the back and tenderly ran his fingers across the words etched in black marker.

Drink this while thinking of your gracious Ore-sama. You'll get better quicker.

Ryoma rolled his eyes and took the next can. He promptly turned it over as well.

Trust me; Ore-sama knows what's best for you. And you better not be rolling your eyes or snorting at my messages. I worked very hard on them.

The third can:

You should be flattered.

The preteen sunk back against the pillow, his fingers softly tracing the words on the last can. He hated being stuck in the hospital, cramped in this tiny room with fake-smiling nurses and know-it-all doctors. He couldn't even play tennis. On the bright side, because he was in the hospital, he got to see Atobe's sweet side.

Ryoma inhaled the scent of roses drifting from the several flower bouquets. The last can was just in his reach. When he took the can and carefully turned it around, the smile on his face grew.

I miss you.

Plain, simple, and so very mellow. Completely unlike Atobe. Ryoma relished the message and took a sip out of the can. The drink tasted bubbly and sweet, just like his boyfriend's words.

XXX


Believable

"I don't believe you,"

A look of hurt flashed across Atobe's face, but he quickly hid it with anger. Without thinking, he grabbed Ryoma's wrist tightly and pulled him in close. The younger boy growled at him, gold eyes ablaze with anger. Atobe returned the scowl, sharp and merciless.

"You don't believe me?" the young master said darkly.

Ryoma tried to get out of Atobe's grip, but the older male held him tightly. "No," the boy finally spat, "How canI?"

"It's called trust," Atobe sneered. "But I guess you wouldn't know."

"I sawit with my own eyes," Ryoma retorted, and his bottom lip trembled. "I saw you, okay? There's no other explanation for it, so fuck off, and leave me alone."

"Listen, brat, I know you think you know everything in the world," Atobe pulled him closer, hold more gentle. "But I swear on my life, and yours, and my parents, and the Atobe company, that shepounced on me. I was in complete shock!"

"Lies," Ryoma murmured unhappily, but he could feel his resolve weaken. "You're just making stuff up. Anyone can say that. It looked like you were kissing her back."

"But Imost definitely was not," Atobe looked him straight in the eye. "She's not Ore-sama's type, anyway. Did you see her nose?"

"I don't care about her nose!"

"She needed a nose job. A serious one. I can't believe you can even accuse me of cheating on you with such an unworthy person. If I were to cheat on you, the girl or guy would at least be more beautiful than you," Atobe thoughtfully nodded. "But that's kind of impossible. You're too cute to be surpassed in cuteness."

"I'm not cute," Ryoma pouted, which only defied his statement. "And stop trying to change the subject."

"The subject's done, Ryoma," Atobe said with sparkly eyes. "I didn't cheat on you, that lady needed some serious nose surgery, and you're so beautiful when you're angry I can't resist myself anymore."

"Resist yourself?" Ryoma asked, confused. "What do you mea-oof!"

The rough, passionate kiss was Atobe's explanation.


XXX

Atobe found Ryoma playing tennis against the back wall of the shed. It was a large shed, considering it was a part of the Atobe mansion, but Atobe was too groused to appreciate how rich he was at the moment. He could see Ryoma's tense movements, the aim that was slightly off – it was definitely him.

"Hey, brat."

Ryoma stiffened even more. He swung and missed the ball completely.

"You broke my mirror, didn't you?"

No response.

"Seriously, that was my favourite mirror. At least apologize."

Ryoma stopped, and caught the tennis ball in his hand. He slowly turned around. Atobe was shocked, and his broken mirror immediately flew out the window. Ryoma stood there cutely, but his eyes were rimmed red and his expression was horribly detached. Atobe took a step forward, tentatively.

"You alright?" Almost as an afterthought, he hastily added, "brat."

The boy bounced the tennis ball absentmindedly against the ground. After a short moment, he spoke weakly, voice hoarse:

"Thanks for letting me stay here."

Atobe blinked, and then nodded slowly in understanding. Ryoma's parents had recently been in a car crash – Rinko had taken the full affect and died, and his father was currently in a coma. It had been three weeks since Nanjiroh was placed in the coma and he had yet to awaken. Ryoma had refused to stay with Nanako, especially because the girl was too horrified for her own good anyway, so he had tried to find somewhere else to stay.

Atobe had offered, feeling a little sorry for the kid. Besides, he didhave quite a few spare rooms.

"You shouldn't think about it too much," Atobe finally spoke, awkwardly. "…and you dostill have to repay me for that mirror."

Ryoma rubbed his eyes with a fisted hand, before letting it drop to the side. He smiled back just as awkwardly, and the tension between them increased. Atobe couldn't help but notice how fragile Ryoma looked; his gold eyes wide and wet, his cheeks flushed, and his shirt hanging slightly off his shoulder from playing tennis.

Atobe cleared his throat and took a step forward, wondering if he should hug the boy for comfort. He decided against it and just stood there. The thick silence increased. "Uh," Atobe found himself unsure of what to say. "You know, um, you, uh…still have to pay me back for that mirror."

Ryoma smirked, and like that, the tension released. "You wish, Monkey King."

XXX


Atobe found Ryoma collapsed under a tree on a hot summer day. When he saw the figure lying there – face flushed and drenched in sweat – panic seized him. He had never seen Ryoma on the ground like this, and the boy didn't seem to be moving. Was he even breathing? Atobe leaned in, heart thudding madly.

Yes, he was definitely breathing. Fairly hard too. Almost panting.

Oh no, maybe he's having trouble breathing!

Atobe, for a moment, forgot that he was composed and cocky. He forgot that he wasn't supposed to act concerned for mere commoners like Ryoma. He forgot his personality.Instead, he threw himself on Ryoma, panic clouding his sanity. "Brat! Brat…are you okay? Did you faint? Are you in the process of fainting? Are you dizzy? Never fear, Ore-sama is here! Just don't die on me…brat…? Aren't you going to answer? Don't die! No, you can't die…please…Ore-sama cares about you so much…"

Ryoma made a small noise and lazily opened an eye. "Wha- Monkey King?"

Atobe's heart clenched painfully and he gathered the boy into his arms tightly. Ryoma awkwardly rested his head on Atobe's shoulder, confusion clear in his features. He pulled away slightly and looked at Atobe with annoyed gold eyes. "What's wrong with you?"

"You almost died!" Atobe said hysterically, trying to hug Ryoma again. "You f-fainted! I found you here passed out, and you were breathing so hard…"

Ryoma gave him a weird look. "Monkey king, I just finished my run…"

"Y-you're run?" Atobe asked.

"Yeah. My morning run," Ryoma said calmly. He stood up and slung his tennis bag over his shoulder, before swiftly starting to walk away. Before he left completely, he looked over his shoulder and smirked, "Though, it's nice to see you care so much."

Ryoma then disappeared around the block leaving Atobe sputtering indignantly with a blush on his face.

XXX


Get Up

"Get up."

Atobe's voice was cold. His blue-gray eyes racked up a storm, but his body language stayed painfully calm. Ryoma curled up against his blankets, a whimper threatening to escape his mouth, but he refused to sound weak. Instead, he just stared at his boyfriend with an innocent gaze, hoping for mercy.

"I said get up," Atobe repeated, patience thinning. When Ryoma made no move to get out of the bed, the older male ripped the covers off.

Ryoma shivered as cold air hit him. He hugged his knees to his chest and pressed himself up against the headboard. "I'm sorry, p-please, Kei-Keigo…"

"Get up, for goodness sake. I don't want to see you anymore."

The comment hurt, and Ryoma's head pounded like a hammer was repeatedly hitting it. Slowly, the smaller boy slipped off of the warmth of the double bed. His feet landed on the freezing hardwood floor, and once again, he involuntarily shivered – except, this time it was more of a shudder because he felt like he was going to break apart any minute.

"Here," Atobe said, disgruntled. He grabbed a fully packed backpack with all of Ryoma's important necessities. He threw it at the boy.

Ryoma barely caught it, and stumbled backwards. His lower lip trembled. "I'm sorry, but at least- at least let me explain-"

Atobe pointed towards the door. "Get out."

Ryoma squeezed his backpack to his chest. He felt miserable, and his eyes stung with the oncoming of tears. With shaking knees, he strode quietly and quickly towards the door. He paused at the entrance and glanced back one last time, taking in the room he and Atobe had shared for the past year. Gold eyes locked with blue.

Ryoma saw the pain in them. "I'm sorry," he said softly.

Atobe felt like his heart was being stabbed and crushed and twisted and destroyed, but he managed to sound perfectly composed when he spoke:

"Get out, Ryoma."

Ryoma nodded stiffly, and slipped out of the room. Atobe watched his figure disappear, and he listened carefully as the thudding of footsteps got quieter and quieter. Only when Atobe was sure Ryoma was gone from the entire mansion did the older boy let himself cry.

XXX


Languid

"Monkey King, just lie down."

There was a moment of hesitance, and Atobe clearly made no move to do what Ryoma said. The smaller boy sighed deeply and rolled onto his stomach. They were sitting on top of a grassy hill with the plan of watching the sunset. Ryoma knew he loved lazing around and just talking with his best friend Momoshiro, so he thought it would be fun to do the exact same thing with his boyfriend.

He should have known Atobe would make this difficult.

"Honestly Kei-chan," Ryoma buried his face in his arms in exasperation. "Just lie down on the grass. It's not going to kill you."

Atobe stood stiffly beside the willow tree, the gleaming sunset reflecting off his pale cheekbones. He was dressed in an exquisite, specially-designed outfit from the Atobe company and had no plan to lie down on the grass next to Ryoma. It was just plain ridiculous. Sometimes, he wondered why he had fallen for Ryoma instead of someone rich and compatible.

"Sit the hell down, Monkey King!"

Atobe blinked. The snark,he thought wryly. That's what captured me in the first place.

Ryoma glared at Atobe, gold eyes ablaze. "If this is your idea of a casual date, I'm going to punch you."

Atobe didn't seem fazed. "I'm not going to lie down next to you."

Ryoma frowned. "Why not? Momo-senpai does! It's boring if I'm lying down and you're standing up…I can't even talk to you properly."

"Why not?" Atobe said incredulously. "I don't want to get grass stains on my clothes. It's filthy."

Ryoma blinked, and his glare sharpened if possible. He forced himself into a sitting position. "Are you calling me filthy Monkey King?" The challenge in his voice was obvious. Atobe smirked at how easily riled up Ryoma could get. He used to always be calm and everything, but the moment they started dating, Atobe noticed that Ryoma got irritated really easily.

It was kind of cute, though, so Atobe didn't mind.

"No," Atobe rolled his eyes "Anyway, that's not the point. You think you're so great? How about instead of having melie down, youstand up?"

"No way! You lie down."

Atobe narrowed his eyes. "Stand up."

"No."

"Yes."

"No."

"Yes."

"NO!"

"YES!"

Atobe sighed and gritted his teeth. Once again, he wondered why he was dating such an uncooperative brat.

"Monkey King, if you don't do what I say, I'm never kissing you again, so you better sit your ass down."

Oh yeah, the snark.Atobe shook his head, smirked, and complied.

XXX


On My Mind

Ryoma was in America again, for another tournament, for another win. The preteen sat on the edge of his bed in the hotel room, feeling lonely and uneasy. It was dark outside as night fell on the city of Los Angelos, and Ryoma wanted nothing more than to be back home in Japan. It wasn't unusual for him to get home sick.

He didn't expect himself to be that type, but it turned out he was. He missed his quaint little home and his tennis teammates. The Seigaku regulars were the first people had had ever considered friends. However, while it wasn't weird for him to feel homesick, it was rather weird for him to be thinking of someone from Hyotei.

A Monkey King, to be precise.

Ryoma let out a frustrated sigh and lay down on the soft blankets. Karupin purred next to him and nudged at his elbow. "I don't know what to do…" Ryoma mumbled outloud. "He won't stop creeping into my thoughts…"

The boy lay there for a little while longer, listening to the sound of the fan whirring above him. The tap from the bathroom dripped idly. He didn't understand why he felt so lonely. He had this odd urge to run into Atobe's arms and hug him. Or kiss him. Or maybe rip his clothes off. Ryoma bit his tongue and forced himself from thinking further.

He didn't know what was happening to him. I mean, Monkey King of all people?! You've got to be kidding me!

As he quietly contemplated his thoughts, his cell phone beeped from the bedside table. Ryoma lazily reached out and grabbed it, not hesitating to click the green button. He pulled the cellular device to his ear and snuggled under his blankets.

"Hello?" he asked boredly, expecting it to be either his parents checking up on him or Momoshiro with something stupid to say. His eyebrows rose at the deep, familiar voice on the other end.

"Hey…brat?"

"M-monkey King?" Ryoma stuttered, then swallowed hard. His sweaty hand grasped the phone tightly.

There was a moment of silence.

"I couldn't sleep," Atobe said quietly on the other end. There was another pause as Ryoma attempted to get his mini-hyperventilation under control. When he succeeded, the boy felt a small smile form on his face. He pushed the covers over his head and whispered in a giddy voice:

"Me too."