Title: Issues

By: ExquisitelyInked

Summary: Keigo and Ryoma, trust issues. They each live in their own separate hell.

Rated: M

Disclaimer: I don't own Prince of Tennis.

A/N: I write M fics more than T fics nowadays, don't I? I was out of town and internet access was beyond my reach, and all I did to survive was listen to The Neighbourhood and write this. There are linebreaks like a poem has, but is set in fixed sentences like prose. Proetry? Poese?

It's terrible, really

how Ryoma never manages to know Keigo.

He tries. He tries so hard, but Keigo kisses him to distract him

and he can't help but get distracted because Keigo kisses like the world is on fire

and touches Ryoma like he's all that's left uncharred.

He doesn't know what's wrong, and Atobe won't tell him what's wrong.

Sometimes he gets a lonely, distant look in his blue eyes

even when he is slickly pushing into Ryoma, pulling out of him

his open mouth closing over Ryoma's skin

his gaze, holding Ryoma's so steadily, runs, far away enough, and he pauses long enough for Ryoma to try and jack himself off

which, of course, brings Keigo back to reality and the unbearably aroused boy under him.

Sometimes he cries in his sleep, and Ryoma pretends the next morning that he didn't notice

the tears and didn't cry alongside him.

Ryoma should really be glad that Atobe doesn't lie to him, at least

Doesn't cheat on him

But he might be cheating on him

Might be screaming in his head, and cutting his wrists to try to relieve the guilt

(it doesn't work)

(Ryoma once did it because he was and is guilty that he was and is not enough for Keigo)

(Atobe saw the cuts but didn't say anything)

(Just fucked him into the bed until Ryoma forgot his own name)

(Just sucked him off until Ryoma's hands made distinct wrinkles in the sheets)

(Just left love bites on his skin until Ryoma couldn't lie about them to his friends)

(Just licked the scars till Ryoma felt them turn raw again)

(All of it only made Ryoma more guilty.)

Keigo is sex and Keigo is beauty and Keigo is a secret.

He won't tell Ryoma anything, and Ryoma feels responsible enough to not

ditch him on the spot

So they just keep fucking,

making love

having sex and not talking. At all.

Keigo is the one who proposed.

But now, Ryoma is the one who feels rejected.

"Are you cheating on me?"


"Stop lying."

"I wouldn't do that to you."

"Yeah, my ass is tight enough to last a bit longer, I guess."

The stare Keigo fixes him with is unbelievably furious. Ryoma has his own stares, though.

"How do you derive the formula for simultaneous translational and rotational equilibrium?" he asks Keigo,

who lets Ryoma change the subject and answers the question like a Physics genius,

but at night

pushes him up against the wall, Ryoma's nipples rubbing against the paint and plaster, hurting so good, and pushes his

cock into him without doing anything to warn or prepare Ryoma, whose fingers scrabble at

the wall for any sort of purchase because Keigo is doing

nothing to hold him up, just has his hands possessively gripping Ryoma's hips.

Ryoma is crying by the end of it, and Keigo lets himself get slapped more than once

And then lets Ryoma ride his cock more than twice. Ryoma makes sure Keigo sees the tears,


this relationship is a fucked one now, unsalvageable, maybe, because there are no secrets

shared, no trust obtained, no common ground attained.

"I love you," Keigo murmurs into Ryoma's ear as Ryoma pretends not to hear.

"I love you," Ryoma doesn't murmur into Keigo's mouth as Keigo's tongue traces the outline

of his lower lip.

When Keigo's hand reaches for Ryoma's, he draws it away and watches Keigo's face crumple along with Ryoma's heart.

Keigo doesn't sleep at night. Ryoma knows because Keigo strokes his hair and kisses the back of his neck slowly, lovingly

all the six hours that Ryoma screws his eyes shut and tries not to sob.

"My father wants me to break off contact with you," Atobe finally manages to choke out one

fine fucking day when Ryoma is trying to have tea in one of the Atobe family's grand

porcelain tea sets.

Ryoma looks up. Atobe's eyes have dark circles below them, and the expression on his

face is that of a haunted man.

"And he will disown me and cut me off from his money if I don't marry a girl soon."

Ryoma waits.

"He'll do it if I don't leave you, too."

Ryoma clears his throat and takes a sip of the tea, and says, "I haven't exactly made your decision more difficult these past few weeks."

A pause, full of apprehension and anxiety and pain.

"Are you saying I should go with the girl and leave you?"

"I'm saying precisely that."

Keigo breaks.

Then they fuck, which is what they always do to fill the void caused by their lack of confidence in themselves and each other.

This time suspiciously feels like the last time.

Ryoma doesn't want it to be the last time, even if he pushed Atobe toward the path

which society would accept.

They kiss once with their mouths and eyes closed, and Ryoma gets off the bed, puts his

clothes on, and walks out without a backward look, ignoring

the broken boy wrapped in the bedsheets.

A month goes by in which Ryoma doesn't talk to Atobe, even if Keigo tries to contact him.

Ryoma fills his time with thoughts of Keigo and the wonder of having touched that

perfection. He waits for the newspaper article detailing Keigo's wedding.

He ignores the tears that fall as he sleeps, just like Keigo cried in his sleep.

A beseeching pain behind his heart eats away at his mind

until he acknowledges it, and when he does, he's no longer Ryoma, when at

the same time, he is.

A month later Keigo shows up at Ryoma's house.

Ryoma lets him in, they sit. Keigo begins -

"I got disowned four weeks ago because I refused to marry, because I still love you."

Ryoma has nothing to say, except...

"…You fucking dumbass."

Ryoma calls him an idiot and swears at him and tries to emotionally destroy him

But Atobe

is Atobe and manages to break Ryoma's walls first.

Later, they lie in Ryoma's bed, talking and talking. Atobe talks about his childhood in England.

Ryoma talks about wanting to defeat his father.

They meet halfway.

When Ryoma's hand reaches for Keigo's, a sublime happiness suffuses Keigo's face and Ryoma's heart.

Salvaged, after all.