'Twas the Night before Christmas

Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis

A/N: This is for the secret santa fic exchange 2012. This is the prompt I got:

one-shot preference: Romance... What will happen when the clock strikes 12? Who will you choose?
I would like the story to go like this: Ryoma received letters both from Tezuka and Fuji, stating that they want to meet them during the christmas eve... The problem is they want to meet at the same time but different places... What will Ryoma do?
Genre: Shounen-ai, Romance

character preference: TezFujiRyo

dislikes: too much dialogues... Too many errors... Bitch-like plot... Too much fluff..

Pairings: OT3... Mainly TezRyo


Ryoma Echizen sipped on his hot chocolate, occasionally glancing over at two pieces of paper sitting side by side on the kitchen table. He'd read both letters so many times now he was sure he had them memorized; yet his eyes still flittered to the smooth handwriting of Fuji Syusuke and the neat printing of Tezuka Kunimitsu for the umpteenth time that evening.

His father watched him while slurping on extra spicy Japanese noodles, smirking. "Che, you seem occupied. You've read those letters about a million times today. Who're they from? Your girlfriend?"

"None of your business."

"Well, well, well," Nanjiroh Echizen teased. "Somebody's being disrespectful."

Ryoma twitched, closing his eyes and counting to ten in his head. He could feel his father boring his eyes at his forehead, grinning from ear to earn in pleasure. He really did consider himself unlucky; unlucky to have a father whose favourite thing to do was provoke him to no end and read dirty magazines. Then there was the whole letter issue, of course.

Taking another long gulp of his drink, Ryoma reached out and unfolded Fuji's letter. He furrowed his brow as he read over the words again. His heart felt warm from what the older boy had written but it also made his stomach churn queasily. "Midnight at Christmas Eve…" he murmured under his breath. "If only it was a different time…"

Sighing audibly, the preteen grabbed Tezuka's letter. He scanned over the beautiful sentences that his captain had written, all dedicated to him. Frowning, Ryoma glared at the 12:00 AM, Christmas Eve, willing it to change.

It was a truly horrible coincidence. A few nights before, Ryoma had received two letters – one from his senpai Fuji and the other from his captain Tezuka. Both of them had said a few kind words, wished him happy birthday and happy holidays, but the two letters ultimately had one request – to meet at Christmas Eve at midnight. Since both invitations conflicted with each other, the younger boy was in a bit of a tight situation.

"You know," his father interrupted his thoughts. "You could always tell me what the problem is. I know you probably won't believe me but I'm great at solving issues."

Ryoma blanched. "I don't believe you 'cause you're not."

"Don't you remember?" Nanjiroh insisted. "I fixed that broken toaster."

"You didn't fix it, Oyaji. You threw it in the garbage after you 'accidentally' smashed a tennis ball at it."

Nanjiroh ignored his (incredulous) comment and yawned, stretching his arms over his head. In the meantime, Ryoma had returned to reading the letters once again. The boy looked truly distressed, even as he tried to hide it – he was already dressed in winter clothing and his tennis cap, ready to walk out the door and enjoy Christmas Eve with Tezuka – or, well, Fuji. It was honestly unnerving not knowing what to do. If only they could all meet in one place. After all, they were both his lovers. Ryoma tapped his fingers irritably against his mug. His heartstrings were being pulled into pieces with the sweet smell of Fuji's rich-wood scent imprinted in his memory, fighting against Tezuka's deep, husky voice breathing in his ear. God, they were both beautiful. How was he supposed to decide?

"I'm telling you, kid, my advice is great."

Ryoma sighed, placing his cup back down on the table. He yawned. "Fine. How do you choose between two things when they're both equally good?"

Nanjiroh's eyes lit up. "Is this about a girl?"

The boy hid a snicker. If only you knew…

"Just answer the question." Ryoma scratched his right ankle with his free foot, boredly glancing at the clock. He really needed an answer now so he could get going. Nanjiroh leaned back into his chair, his fingers steepled as he thought deeply. "This requires…" he paused, before a 'light bulb' moment popped up in his brain.

He snapped his fingers. "This requires the work of a quarter!"

Ryoma groaned. "If your great advice is flipping a coin-"

"That's exactly what it is."

In less than a split second, using his great reflexes, Nanjiroh had successfully grabbed a quarter from the 'extra change' bin under the counter. He held it delicately between his thumb and index finger, dangling it in front of his son's face. "Heh, this should work, right?"

Ryoma buried his face in his hands. "Not really."

Nanjiroh ignored him. "What's tails going to be? Or, actually, which girl's tails going to be?"

Even though the idea was dumb and stupid, Ryoma admitted that he had nothing better to go on. He might as well see what fate wanted him to do. He took another long sip of his warm hot chocolate. Fuji-senpai…

"So, who is it?"

Ryoma shrugged. "I've got it in my mind."

"You're not going to tell me, are you?" Nanjiroh muttered. "Che, and after all the help I'm giving you…" the man held the glinting coin up in the air, flipping it to the head side. "What about heads? Got that in your mind too?"


"Okay, here I go!"

Ryoma watched with interest as the coin tossed into the air, spinning quickly like lightening, before clattering onto the table. He subconsciously leaned forward to see what the result was. The clear symbol of 'tails' stared back at him.

He blinked.

"It's tails." Nanjiroh said smugly. "Decision made?"

Ryoma nodded absentmindedly – he was surprised at the disappointment he felt at getting tails. However, he knew the time was ticking, the sky was darkening, and he really had no choice to just follow what the coin wanted. After all, he probably would have felt disappointed if it was Tezuka too. Rising from his seat, the boy nodded slightly to is father before making his way to the door.

"Wait! Ryoma…Ryoma! You aren't going to tell me your choice?"

Ryoma slipped on his shoes and opened the door.

"Ah! Fine! I'll just read your letters that you stupidly left on the kitchen table!"

The boy's eyes widened and he froze mid-step. He quickly shrugged it off. His father would find out eventually that he wasn't into girls, but boys. Besides, it would be kind of fun to watch his dad have a mental breakdown over the fact that no cute girlfriends were going to be there to entertain him. Yes, it would definitely be fun to watch.

Ryoma closed the door with a soft thud, before skipping down the steps. Bits of snow littered the ground, cars screeching across the road and a cool breeze wafting in the air. The houses were decorated with Christmas lights and decorations, brightening up the whole neighborhood. Smiling faintly to himself, Ryoma started to make his way to where Fuji had asked to meet him.

He did realize that he probably should have called Tezuka first to explain that he couldn't make it, but it was too late now, and surely the captain would understand. Better him than Fuji, who would probably play an embarrassing prank on him or expose blackmail pictures. The tensai had quite a few of those.

And this is why I have a cell phone… Ryoma thought to himself, wondering if he could convince his father for one next Christmas.

Ryoma uncertainly made his way towards the town square where Fuji had said he would be. He couldn't explain the feeling inside his stomach that kept growling that he should be spending the night with Tezuka, not Fuji.

The boy bit his lip. Or maybe he was just hungry.

As he kept walking, he reached a fork in the road. Two paths covered with snow and looking achingly the same, but both leading to different directions. Ryoma dug a whole into the snow with the scruff of his foot, eyeing the lane he was supposed to walk on to reach the town square. As coincidence would have it, the first path led to the town square, and the second one led to the park where Tezuka had offered to meet him.

Groaning, Ryoma quickly walked where he was supposed to go before he changed his mind. Besides, a night with Fuji-senpai was just as good as a night with Tezuka-buchou. Even better, maybe, since he wouldn't have to act so perfect.

Though he told himself this, Ryoma wanted nothing more than to go to the park and into the warm embrace of his strong captain. It wasn't that he didn't like Fuji-senpai too – he did, a lot – but something about the internal fire and passion in Tezuka couldn't quite match Fuji.

Ryoma brusquely shook his head. No, bad Ryoma! You're already near the Town Square! Don't start having second thoughts!

When he reached the town square, Ryoma couldn't help but notice how empty it was. Besides a few young couples and children milling around, he could easily see it was going to be a quiet night. Ryoma was relieved. He didn't particularly enjoy loud and crowded.

Craning his neck, the preteen looked around for Fuji. He couldn't see him even though the town square was empty and wondered where the sadist was. Ryoma glanced at his watch. It was already five minutes past midnight, so Fuji should have been here.

"Where is Fuji-senpai?" Ryoma mumbled to himself. He felt a strong hand on his shoulder.


The golden-eyed boy froze, his blood turning cold. If he had been expecting the sweet, slightly feminine voice of Fuji, he was mistaken. The voice he had heard was deep and low and suspiciously like-

Ryoma whirled around. His jaw dropped. "Buchou?"

There was silence as Tezuka stared at the younger form in front of him, never letting go of his shoulder. Ryoma caught his breath and averted his eyes to the floor, something he tended to do because the captain was so handsome and beautiful and perfect that he usually ended up staring at him like an idiot. And, obviously, Ryoma being Ryoma, didn't like to look like an idiot.

"Echizen?" Tezuka said. His voice was emotionless but Ryoma knew him too well. He recognized the hint of affection filled in his words.

The snow and wind swirled around them as Ryoma met his captain's eyes. Dark brown bore into golden. "Buchou…" Ryoma mumbled. "What're you doing here?"

Tezuka never left his intense gaze and Ryoma shifted his eyes to the bundle of bushes in the corner. Two little kids screeched happily, chasing after each other. It was cold and Ryoma felt weird and nothing really made sense. This was where Fuji had asked him to meet him, so why was Tezuka here-

"You look like you're confused." Tezuka said, raising an eyebrow. "And I don't understand what you mean by 'what're you doing here?'. Elaborate?"

Ryoma chewed on his lower lip cutely. His heart rang in his ears like a bell - why was Tezuka here? Why wasn't Fuji here? And finally, why did he feel so happy about it?


Ryoma glanced up. "Oh, um, how come Fuji-senpai isn't here? He asked me to meet him at the town square."

Now Tezuka looked confused too. "Really? Because I asked you to meet here too."

The boy stared at him, before shaking his head. "No – no you didn't!"

There was a slow nod from the captain. "Yes I did, actually."

Ryoma blinked, feeling like he'd been whacked by a rock, thrown into ice cold water, before being bitten by a bunch of hungry tigers. Clenching his hand into a fist, thoughts rushed into his head. Could it have been that I mixed up the meeting places? So, wait, Fuji's waiting at the park? But I read the letters and they said…wa-i-t…now that I think about it…it might have been Tezuka who asked about the town square…oh hell…how could I mix the places up?

The boy looked up. "Oh. I must have mixed up the places."

"Oh. So you were expecting Fuji?" Tezuka's voice sounded weird, and it took Ryoma a moment to realize that he appeared to be just the slightest bit upset. Ryoma rocked on the heels of his snow boots, hands clasped behind his back. "I was." He said softly.

"You chose him, then?" Tezuka murmured, so quietly Ryoma wasn't sure if he was supposed to hear him.

"I did choose Fuji-senpai over you." Ryoma admitted slowly. Tezuka's frown deepened. The moment the younger boy saw that, he quickly back-tracked his words. "I didn't really choose." He said quickly. "I flipped a coin to decide."

Tezuka relaxed. "I see."

Ryoma nodded shyly. "But you know, I'm kinda glad that you're here instead. It feels more right."

This was enough for a faint trace of a smile to gleam on Tezuka's face. It was so miniscule and not even really a grin; more of a light-hearted quirk of the lips, but Ryoma saw it and glowed. He slipped into his position next to the captain who snaked his arm around him protectively. They walked past the shiny bright Christmas lights, not really knowing where they were going.

"Happy birthday Echizen." Tezuka said. He felt Ryoma snuggle onto his shoulder, trying to keep warm. The older boy wanted to scold the preteen for only wearing a sweater in winter, but the moment felt so special that he didn't want to ruin it.

"My birthday's kinda done now, but thank you."

Tezuka tightened his grip around him. "Merry Christmas, too."

Ryoma yawned sleepily. "Merry Christmas, buchou."

They continued to walk in silence.

"You know," Ryoma said, leaning tiredly against Tezuka as they strolled down the snowy sidewalk, seeing glimpses of snowman and blinking reindeer lights in front yards. "I feel kind of bad for just leaving Fuji-senpai at the park."

Tezuka stopped. "You didn't bother to call, did you?"

"No. I kinda forgot. Although it woulda been you who I stood up if it wasn't for me messing up the places." Ryoma smirked, tilting his head up to meet Tezuka's eyes. The captain only frowned, ruffling his hair and gently reprimanding him. "This is why we don't get careless, Echizen."

"Sorry." The boy rolled his eyes, not sounding sorry at all.

"It's not right to just leave him there. We should go to the park." Tezuka suggested, half because it was right and half because Fuji had pictures of him that he didn't want anyone else to see. And knowing their Fuji, he wouldn't think twice about exposing them all over the school. Ryoma shrugged, nodding. It would be nice for all three of them to spend Christmas morning (very, very early in the morning) together.

"Alright, so it's decided."

After a few minutes of walking silently, the two boys reached the park. Ryoma caught his breath and he felt Tezuka hitch his too. The park looked so beautiful – snow fell like angels from the dark heavens above, littered softly on to the floor. The moonlight reflected off of the swings and playground, making the snow look like crystals.

And there, sitting on a bench was a lone figure with beautiful white skin and a happy smile. Fuji lifted his hand in a half-wave. If he was surprised to see the both of them together, he didn't show it.

"Fuji-senpai." Ryoma uttered, running forward.

Tezuka sped up his pace as well. "Fuji." He nodded.

Fuji tilted his head, looking up at Ryoma who appeared to have a guilty expression on his face. "Kitten…" he said gently, reaching out and squeezing the 12-year old's hand. Ryoma immediately scowled at the nickname Fuji had created for him. "You brought Kunimitsu here?"

Ryoma dropped his gaze. "Actually-"

Tezuka cut in smoothly. "We both ended up sending him a message to meet him at the same time, and so he flipped a coin to decide. It was originally you, but he messed up the places which is why he ended up going to the town square instead."

"Ah," Fuji nodded, his eyes flashing open. Ryoma bit his lip, stepping slightly closer to Tezuka, just in case Fuji was secretly mad and plotting an evil revenge. When it seemed Fuji was perfectly fine with it, he relaxed.

"Fuji-senpai, did you wait long?"

"Yes." Fuji murmured, tilting his head towards the sky. "But it's so beautiful tonight that I didn't really realize how the time flew by."

Ryoma wanted to say, "Mada Mada Dane," , just for the heck of it, but he refrained. Fuji looked so peaceful, even more than usual, and he didn't want to interrupt it. The three of them all looked up at the dark sky, watching as the stars glittered like diamonds and the faint sound of Christmas bells rung in the distance.

After a moment, Fuji stood up and walked over to Tezuka. Almost knowing exactly what to do, Tezuka opened his arms and warmed the slender boy into a meaningful embrace. The tensai was shivering and curled up in the captain's arms. "Merry Christmas, Fuji." Tezuka whispered into the boy's hair.

"Merry Christmas, Kunimitsu." Fuji replied, his haunting blue eyes wide open and twinkling.

Ryoma stood, looking a little left out.

Fuji moved over a bit and Tezuka widened his arms. "Come here Echizen. The hug's not complete without you."

A smile graced Ryoma's features and he ran into his two friends arms, immediately burying his face in Tezuka's chest. He felt Fuji's hand slide over his neck and tickle his back lovingly. Ryoma smirked, and muttered, "Che, Fuji-senpai. Don't do that.", even though he loved it.

And they stayed like that for a long time, completely still, simply happy to be in one another's prescence. The moon continued to glow bright in the sky, shining down on the three lovers with ease and warmth.

Ryoma shifted, inhaling Fuji's rich wood scent and hearing Tezuka's deep, husky voice murmur in his ear. He realized that maybe his decision hadn't been a big deal in the long run, because all three of them were together now, and even though Tezuka would always be his number one, Fuji was just as special too.

He smiled up at the falling snow and winking Christmas lights in the far distance.

Christmas would always be a merry time, he thought. He glanced over at both his lovers with a soft smile. And as they say, the more the merrier.