Title: Fingernails

By: ExquisitelyInked

Summary: Ryoma is the one who loses it first. Call - Part Three.

Rated: M

Disclaimer: Nope. Don't own this. I wish I really did. But I don't.

A/N: Okay, so I wrote an M fic. I regret nothing. I wanted to. Yes. I was Royal-deprived. I probably think you'll need to read Call and Fragments to actually, truly understand Fingernails, but if you don't want to, I guess you can read it as a standalone. Tell me how I did... and that kind of came out wrong. There's so much angst I wanted to put in this. Did I? Really, tell me. I hope it's up to the standard. I have no idea what the standard is. I'm sorry. Just... okay. Read on. I snuck onto my computer to post this.

It's Ryoma who starts it. In the end, he's the one unable to hold out. Things break - another piece of Ryoma which shatters and separates from the main, cracked bit.

It's disgusting how he does it. How he finally gives in to the completely normal look in Atobe's eyes.

The phone's ringing. Keigo's phone has unique ringtones, that were probably made just for him, and Keigo's about to reach for the phone when Ryoma takes it and presses the red button without picking up or looking at the caller. He looks at the confused boy and says, "Stop pretending."

Atobe says nothing. He doesn't reply, not for a long minute, in which Ryoma traces the contours of Atobe's lips with his eyes and kisses them in his mind (his tongue slips past the part in his lips and when it touches Keigo's tongue, a shiver runs down his back and spreads to his fingertips).

"I have nothing to hide. I don't need to pretend."

Atobe's voice is still. It holds power, command, the secrets only Ryoma knows, and every second of his childhood in England. Ryoma can understand the I don't need to hide anything from you locked away in the way Atobe moves. He moves too, in an almost-unconscious way, just about to destroy every bit of everything he has with Keigo.

He moves toward Keigo, the boy he loves, the broken boy who cried into his shoulder a week ago, the King, the strong, unimaginably strong beautiful person.

When Ryoma kisses him, Atobe should have kissed him back.

When Ryoma kisses him, Atobe pushes him off and tells him to get out of his mansion.

Tezuka considers himself a morally sound person. So he thinks he did the right thing when he rejected Atobe. For him, the cause justifies the means (it doesn't, but he doesn't know that). He. Doesn't. Want. Him.

He doesn't think about what happened two months ago. He doesn't need to. It's on the back of his eyelids, burnt into each cell, blazing every time he closes his eyes.

Atobe's dead face

Ryoma's accusing eyes as he holds Atobe to him




Sometimes he wonders if Ryoma had to work to become the other side of Atobe's coin. But then again, he doesn't really care about what he's done. Because, again, it was the right thing (even if it wasn't).

The next time, Atobe starts it.

Of course he's still a wreck. Wounds that go this deep are rare. Them healing, it's even rarer. The name Tezuka Kunimitsu still sparks an inferno in him, a fire that he's used so many extinguishers on but they went and became fuel, razing everything good about him.

Ryoma's kiss

the alien sensation of someone else's lips on his

It had just been another senseless, mundane day, where he didn't need to worry about himself and his slow suffocation. And then a kiss scrambled everything.

Ryoma's a part of him. Atobe's not so stupid as to ignore that. Echizen isn't in his life to add to the numb routine.

So, the next time, Atobe starts it.

He doesn't really know why. He just does.

He feels a second inferno crackle to life inside him, and he doesn't know where it's going to lead him.

Ryoma picks up his phone without looking at the name of the caller, which is the first and only mistake he makes.

"Hello?" The dull, bland, uninterested, hang-up-before-I-do voice that discourages anyone from calling back.

"Come to me."

Ryoma forgets to breathe for the excruciating three seconds he takes to associate Atobe's voice to those beckoning words, and come to me sounds like something Ryoma really shouldn't be doing if he recognizes the tone correctly; it's the tone in which Atobe said

he wanted to properly refuse me

But he goes. It's his Keigo after all. There's something waiting for him when he gets there, something that he knows will dictate how the rest of his life proceeds, and he can't wait.

Ryoma Echizen the boy who obeys nobody can't wait.

He's barely in the room for a second when Atobe pushes the door closed behind him, locking it, pushing Ryoma against it. The handle jabs very, very painfully into Ryoma's back, and he opens his mouth to complain about this wild treatment he's getting, and suddenly Atobe's kissing that open mouth.

It's just kissing. Lips, and more lips. No tongue. Ryoma doesn't expect it. This is probably some sort of revenge. Fucked-up revenge.

Then he feels Atobe's tongue inside his mouth, and fuck, he goes weak. They're making obscene sounds now, Atobe's saliva is getting rubbed all over Ryoma's lips because Atobe's licking them -

Ryoma's eyes flutter closed, and he's almost ashamed.

He edges sideways against the door to get away from that fucking handle, and buries a hand in Atobe's not-unkempt hair, deepening the kiss, fighting him but not fighting him. He's losing what air he has to breathe, which he needs to do latest by next year, and fuck, Ryoma pulls away, breathes in, sighs, breathes in again, waits, reopening his eyes, because he can't miss this.

Atobe comes back to his already-swollen lips like a moth to a flame.

Their gazes haven't met yet.

Ryoma has seen the all-consuming fire in Atobe before, and, as he sees it now, he's not scared for himself, he'll willingly turn to ash for Keigo, he's scared for the boy who won't, can't quench it.

Ryoma pulls away again, to take a breath, to stare at Atobe's face and see his reasons for doing this, but Keigo's poker face won't give him any windows, those eyes are shuttered, shaded, almost black now, and Ryoma can't breathe again when Atobe reaches for his shirt.

He's getting dragged along in this flood now, the overwhelming current of emotions and physical sensations. Atobe succeeds in pulling off all of Ryoma's clothes - Ryoma wonders when he got the time, didn't only a second pass? - and stares at him, finally, stilling completely, losing all traces of movement.

The wooden door feels cold against his bare skin. Ryoma shivers.

Then shivers again as Atobe breathes, hot, warm, wet against his neck. Ryoma can only see Atobe's shoulder, and the bed behind that shoulder. Keigo's hands are on the sides of Ryoma's head, over them, forming a cage. Ryoma can feel the heat radiating off Atobe's body - he has all his clothes on, even after removing Ryoma's - and the coldness on his own back.

Atobe rises from Ryoma's neck to kiss him again, but this time, it's only for a second, as he starts taking off his own shirt. Ryoma involuntarily reaches for the shirt, and Atobe lets him do it, lets his fingers move clumsily over the buttons, popping them out of the holes, pushing the edges of the shirt apart to run his hands over Atobe's chest.

Ryoma can feel his own nakedness very pointedly, as Atobe's gaze shifts from his own to his groin, to the hardness.

He's barely finished getting Keigo's shirt off his shoulders and onto the floor when Atobe pulls him over, over to the bed.

They still haven't said anything to each other. Not a word, nothing.

Ryoma stares up at Atobe, who's again pinning him to the bed. Atobe mutely stares back. He's still giving nothing away.

Ryoma closes his eyes, and flips them around, so now he's the one half-holding Atobe to the bed. Ryoma is presented with Keigo's chest, and he takes the opportunity, kissing the skin, sucking on it, trying to leave marks as much as possible. Keigo is trembling, and Ryoma doesn't know whether it's a good thing or not.

As Ryoma kisses his way down Atobe's torso, he comes across the waistline of his jeans when he feels his mouth on it.

His eyes open and flicker over to Atobe - who's propped himself up on his elbows, silently watching, doing nothing, yet Ryoma can feel the heat in those jeans - and he unbuttons it, pulls the zipper down, pulling the pair of jeans down after that, Atobe raising his hips to help him.

He gets them off, and it hits him that he's seeing Atobe like this, naked, unclothed, for the first time. He halts - Atobe takes the chance to turn them over again, and pushes his hips against Ryoma's.

Sparks. That's the only thing Ryoma can feel, sparks, branching across his body with just that one motion of Keigo's.

Atobe does it again. Ryoma gasps. So Keigo does it over and over, and over.

Ryoma's mouth is covered by Atobe's again, and he's helplessly letting Atobe kiss him -

The pushing becomes harder, more insistent, and Ryoma hooks his arms around Atobe, fingernails digging into his back. They're in deep enough for Atobe to hiss, to increase the pace with which he's giving Ryoma reasons to scream, and Ryoma can feel blood against his fingertips.

He's close. He's so close. He's almost over the edge, and he's over the edge -

"Keigo," Ryoma moans as he comes.

Atobe slows down. The hot liquid coats both of their abdomens.

When Ryoma comes to his senses, he lets Atobe push him down, down to his own, throbbing hardness.

Atobe's cock is covered with Ryoma's come, but Ryoma has no qualms as he sucks it into his mouth.

Keigo arches his back, fisting his hands into the bed. Ryoma doesn't know what to feel. So he just licks Atobe's cock more, kissing the tip, humming.

Apparently, Atobe doesn't need much more, either, as he comes too, in Ryoma's mouth. Ryoma swallows it. He wants to.

But he can't stop his ears from catching that one word he never wanted to fall from Keigo's lips -


Atobe Keigo

Ryoma rejects the call, wondering why he still hasn't blocked the number.

It's been a week since they did what they did. It's been seven days in which Ryoma hasn't even thought about Atobe, or the last thing that he said before Ryoma pushed himself off Atobe, gazing at him with wild, desperate, agonized eyes, mouth opening to say

Fuck you

I'm the one who loves you, you're fucking blind

I'm the one who sucked your cock

You told me to come to you, not him

I've loved you for so long and you've only been drowning in him

... Fuck you.

Ryoma's phone rings again.

He doesn't accept the call.

He switches his phone off.

As he gets out of bed to go to school, he clears his mind of everything. He has to.

He rides pillion on Momo's bike and makes fun of Momo's hair, as usual; it's a normal day.

He goes to his classes and aces English.

He lets Eiji-senpai come to his class in lunch and steal some food. He sleeps on the terrace.

Normal day.

Fuck it.

Tennis practice lasts longer that day, about three hours. It's late, when Ryoma finishes playing a match against his captain. Tezuka wins, 6-4. It's a hard-won match. Ryoma concedes his loss as they approach the net to shake hands.

"I lost this time. I won't, again." They don't talk about Atobe. They never do.

"I look forward to losing against you," Tezuka says. He needs to talk to Coach Ryuuzaki about the upcoming tournament's line up, so he heads toward the school building without cleaning up. It's impolite to the teacher, but something about Ryoma makes him second-guess his presence around him.

Ryoma walks to the locker room - his stupid senpai-tachi have ditched him again - and opens the door, to see Atobe sitting on the bench.

"Get out," he says. "Buchou's not here."

"I'm not here for him."

A streak of pain shoots through Ryoma even as Atobe says it, because he doesn't believe it. Doesn't want to hope.

"I'm not here for him," Atobe repeats, getting up. "I'm here for you, I wanted to see you, you've not been picking up any of my calls or replying to my texts."

"Yeah, well, for obvious reasons," Ryoma says, looking away, but closing the door behind him.

"I'm sorry."

"No, you're not. You're never going to get past him. I'm sorry I kissed you first, because that just opened up a world of hurt for me. You used me, so just admit it."

"I didn't."

"Mada mada dane."

In that confined space, hearing Ryoma's trademark words makes Atobe shiver in a shadow of remembrance, of happier times when Ryoma used to laugh and say that line.

"I'm over him," he says quietly.

"You're not." Ryoma really has seen the unquenchable fire in Atobe. It can't have been snuffed that easily.

"You're what made me get over him," he says, walking toward Ryoma. Ryoma ducks him and goes for his locker, opening it, taking off his cap and putting it inside.

"Stop lying. Are you stalling for time until Buchou gets here?"

"Ryoma, I'm sorry," Atobe exclaims, slamming the locker closed and forcibly turning Ryoma around, so his back was now to the lockers.

"I don't know if you are," Ryoma mutters through gritted teeth. He's getting pinned against surfaces too much for his liking.

In response, Keigo pulls up the hem of Ryoma's shirt. Ryoma struggles against Atobe for a bit, and then finally lets him take it off.

"Buchou's going to be here, soon," he says, glaring up at Keigo. "Are you sure this isn't some sort of desperate ploy for him?"

"You think too lowly of me. If you want, we could do this somewhere else."

"Do you love me, Monkey King?"

"Of course I do." Atobe smiles slightly, seeing Ryoma's glare soften. It's true, anyway. The second inferno has overpowered the first.

"Love you," Ryoma sighs, and leans up to kiss Atobe.

Tezuka is excused by Coach Ryuuzaki, and starts on his way toward the locker room, to change into his school uniform. It's not that long a distance from the school building to the tennis court, but he walks very slowly, unsure of the reason he does it.

He reaches it, and puts a hand on the door, twisting the knob, opening it.

He sees Atobe and Ryoma.

They're languidly fucking.

Against the lockers. They're not even on the floor. It's not Ryoma beneath Atobe, or Atobe on Ryoma.

It's Ryoma, half-naked, pushed up against the lockers; there is something about his mouth that brings the word violated to mind, and something about his hair that sees like hands have run many times through it, like fingers have pulled too many times on the strands.

Atobe isn't in a lesser state of disarray. He is, actually, practically holding Ryoma up in midair, and Tezuka can see the glistening, wet-with-come place where their bodies are connecting, are connected. Ryoma's shirt - Tezuka realizes it's really Atobe's - is pushed down to his arms, covering them, and them only.


That was Ryoma. Tezuka is still, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight of Ryoma and Atobe, staring at each other through half-lidded eyes, as Atobe pulls out - Ryoma's mouth opens and Atobe leans in to kiss him - and pushes back in. Atobe pulls away from the kiss and breathes, "Even after already doing it once, you're still... you're like... oh, Kami..."

Ryoma hums, giving Atobe a lazy, catlike smile. "Like this?"

Something courses through Tezuka - most likely discomfort, least likely... (he doesn't want to think about it) as he sees Ryoma clenching around Atobe's cock.

Atobe loses it. He fists his hands in his shirt that's hanging off Ryoma's arms, the one that is so big for him, closes his eyes and ravages Ryoma's mouth again, as he comes, hard. Ryoma comes, too. The white fluid goes as far as his chest (but there was already some there).

Their mouths remain locked for a while. They still haven't noticed him, standing at the entrance, not able to look away. Or maybe they have and are going to do nothing. Tezuka doesn't know. What they're doing is clearly not aimed at him.

As they part, Ryoma's legs are back on the floor - Tezuka vividly recalls how they were on Atobe's shoulders, supported by them, just a minute ago - and Atobe pulls him into a hug, a caressing, tender hug, just running his hands over Ryoma's back, pushing the tips of his fingers up Ryoma's neck, into the hair at his nape, softly kissing the edge of his ear.

"Stop turning me on again, Monkey King," Ryoma says, voice muffled by Atobe's skin. Atobe hums just like Ryoma did, a half-smile on his face, too exhausted to get annoyed.

"Your fault you want me so much, ahn," Atobe replies, burying his face in Ryoma's shoulder. Ryoma turns his head to accommodate him - and his eyes meet Tezuka's.

Tezuka can almost feel the lightning in Ryoma eyes. The lightning that's saying, You're interrupting.

He doesn't know what to do. To be the captain of the Seigaku tennis team and scold them for doing inappropriate things in inappropriate places, or to turn around and pretend he saw nothing before Atobe notices his presence, too.

Ryoma, for his part, just runs his nails down Atobe's back and bites his shoulder, hard enough to leave a lasting mark. Atobe doesn't scream, he moans. Ryoma's eyes shift from Tezuka back to Atobe, and just like that, he's forgotten as Atobe raises his head and they kiss again.

Tezuka opts to turn and walk away.